My guest for this podcast is Chuck Garcia – author of Amazon’s bestselling book entitled A Climb to the Top: Communication & Leadership Tactics to Take Your Career to New Heights.

Chuck is also the founder of Climb Leadership International and coaches executives on Public Speaking, Emotional Intelligence, and Executive Presence. He also hosts a radio show entitled A Climb to the TOP: Stories of Transformation and coaches leadership development at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Engineering.

In A Climb to the Top: Communication & Leadership Tactics to Take Your Career to New Heights, Chuck draws on years of coaching and consulting experience to explain how you can become a persuasive communicator. This book features concepts such as the Primacy/Recency Effect and the Rule of Three and helps your communication skills and career to new heights.

If you’re interested and want to learn more about Chuck and his amazing works, you may click here to access his website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Chuck Garcia. Thank you and happy listening!

THE BOOK

In his Amazon best-selling book, A Climb to The Top, Chuck provides a unique and inspiring professional development experience. His step-by-step proven framework for impactful communication guides audience members to develop the mindset, skillset, and motivation to take their careers to new heights.

THE AUTHOR

Chuck is the founder of Climb Leadership International and coaches executives on Public Speaking, Emotional Intelligence, and Executive Presence. He is professional speaker, Amazon best-selling author, and talk radio host of A Climb to the TOP: Stories of Transformation. He coaches leadership development at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Engineering. Alongside, he is also a passionate and accomplished mountaineer.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining us from New York is Chuck Garcia. You can see it by there. It says chuckgarcia.com. And we're gonna be talking about his book A Climb to the Top. And the subtitle is Communications and Leadership Tactics to take your Career to New Heights. We'll check the date. Yeah. How are you doing?

Chuck Garcia
I'm very well, Greg, thank you. And good day to you as well. We are on opposite coasts. So it's very nice to connect from east to west.

Greg Voisen
It is and it's a beautiful day here in San Diego. How is it in New York? Is it believe it

Chuck Garcia
or not, we actually have a San Diego day. It's beautiful, sunny, and in the 60s, we really had days like this. So thank you, Greg, for bringing us your weather we needed it. It's been a lousy spring.

Greg Voisen
You know what those lousy springs with the rain and all the rest of stuff they make for beautiful springs, you say spring but summer now with all the blossoms and so on. So I always appreciate that. And you know, I'm going to tell our listeners a little bit about you. Chuck is the founder of Climb Leadership International, and coaches executives on public speaking emotional intelligence, of which he has a book that He's almost done with coming out on emotional intelligence. I wanted to make sure we got that in there. But what's going to be the title of that book, Chuck.

Chuck Garcia
Right now the working title is called the moment redefining what it means to be smart.

Greg Voisen
Great. And once we do that, we'll do a podcast with you make sure thank you. Um, he's a professional speaker, Amazon Best Seller, a radio talk show host of climb to the top stories of transformation. He coaches Leadership Development at Columbia University's Graduate School of Engineering, and is passionate and accomplished mountaineer. And obviously for the title a climb to the top. Now, you know, you start this book off with the mountain climbing story about admin Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the first climbers to ascend Mount Everest. And I happen to be very familiar with this topic, because I'm helping a gentleman write a book about his quest to the Seven Summits and I've been interviewing mountaineers. And I've found a lot of interesting similarities. Can you tell our listeners about the lessons that you've learned from mountain climbing, and how that kind of reef relates to what you call the Law of Reciprocity, it applies to mountain climbing. And I think that you were actually referring to that in kind of a base camp example. Kind of getting along with others and, and being able to work together. But let's define it. And then tell us what your lessons are about leadership that you've learned from mountain climbing, because you've been some of the highest peaks yourself.

Chuck Garcia
Indeed, no, thank you. And I appreciate that. That intro, Greg, appreciate the kind words, I think the important part that I first want to convey is the reason I titled the book, a climb to the top. It was interesting as I was climbing mountains, what I found in it was on Kilimanjaro, when we were finally at the bottom at the end of the whole expedition, as I reflected on what did we just do? It was a metaphor for how I climbed my career. Because I thought about when you go up a mountain, no matter what it is, you've got a backpack. And those tools are very important. And the climb to the top uses mountaineering as a metaphor for career climbing, but the toolkit or communication tools, and there's a variety of communication tactics I described in the book. But there was something incredibly special. When I thought about what did it feel like climbing that mountain felt exactly like my career and three ways. And the first one is, we as a team, collectively, we set a goal. You don't always reach it, but you know what you wanted out of this? The second one was it was one step at a time. And when I look back at my career, I know and I see many of my students if they want shortcuts, they want to be the CEO in two years. Well, my career just didn't work that way. It was a step at a time. And the third Greg, which is why I went with Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary was, you can't do this alone. mountaineering and career climbing are not solo ventures. They are based on the quality of the people on your team. And what I found in it was particular it hit me this law of reciprocity when I climbed a mountain in Alaska that I thought was way beyond my own potential. antral I was so in awe of the amount of people that helped me and my mates climb to the top and the bottom. And what I found is this law of reciprocity. What I found is the more generous they were to us, in helping us with our technical skills, or breathing techniques. And just in caring about our goals and objectives. We as a team were gushing back in our generosity of how we wanted to not only give them back the equivalent of what they gave us, we were so inspired to give back more because they were so kind and generous in their skills and sharing them with us. So when we look at what Sir Edmund Hillary and Norgay did, there were 20 teams for the last 15 years before them that tried and did not accomplish their feet. And when you read about their expedition, this law of reciprocity, the team from the very base camp when they started to assemble that led them to the top, and I will say that that Hillary and Norgay were not originally selected to be the two gentlemen to make it to the top. They just happened to be in the best shape based upon the people who helped them to put them in a place for success. So that law of reciprocity, Greg, it was it applies on the mountains, it applies careers, it applies to families, if you want to be successful, help others to be successful, and they will, in turn, do everything in their power to reciprocate that generosity.

Greg Voisen
Well, it's a basic premise of most spiritual teachings, and in particular, the Buddhist teachings. So I would say that it's one that simple, but it's one that I think sometimes the ego gets in the way of, and it prevents people from having that generosity because they think they know it all. Or they can do it all or they can do it on their own. But

Chuck Garcia
I couldn't agree more because also I grew up in a very Wall Street world. And Wall Street is not a Wolf of Wall Street, although there certainly that's an entertainment consideration of how you can watch Wall Streeters behave. But Wall Street is a place driven by fear and greed. And when you have that many people who are dominantly driven by those two characteristics, there's a lot of self-absorption, and not a lot of thinking about how do I help other people. So I think no matter but Wall Street doesn't have a monopoly on self-absorption. It's all over the place. But I state that because even in the Wall Street world where people were stepping on each other's toes in order to make money. I never forgot where I came from the values that that my parents taught us about being kind and generous, that can work in all kinds of universes. If you just be patient with it, and just stay focused on helping people, they will go to the end of the earth for people that help them. So it's universal, it's Buddhist, but it's New York, it's Wall Street, it's sports, it's all kinds of things. And if I make it my life's mission, if I can just get one thing, it's tried to help people come to that conclusion and to practice it.

Greg Voisen
Well, I think someone asked me a long time ago, you know, what is your purpose in life and I said exists to serve to inspire passion. And to me, that was always around giving people clarity. I remember that, you know, the more you can help people understand. You know, Bucky Fuller used to say this, seek to have them understand Don't be misunderstood. And, you know, it's may sound like such like a simple thing. But the reality is, if you're going to do a speech, and people walk out, confused, more confused and when they walked in, that's not a good place to leave people. The way you want to have them is make sure that they understand, even if they maybe don't understand it fully, but you don't want to let have them leave being confused that I did know.

Chuck Garcia
That is Stephen Covey's in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. That's one of the habits seek first to understand pause for dramatic effect, then to be understood in that

Greg Voisen
order. Yep, exactly. Now, Chuck, you mentioned that one of your role models was John Keating, played by Robin Williams late Robin Williams, who was just a phenomenal actor in the movie, The Dead Poets Society, which I thought was Crazy good movie. What did John Keating exemplify that you want your coaching clients to learn from you? I think as people reflect on this movie, if they saw it and they listened, and they saw it, they probably get this, but I think it's an important one. So, there you go.

Chuck Garcia
Yeah. No, thank you. I appreciate the runway on this. I remember when I watched, I was a fan of Robin Williams Well, before I watched this movie, so back from Mork and Mindy, or whatever movies he made before I was like, wow, this guy is really something. I have not seen someone with this abundance of talent. Maybe I have, I never recognize it. But whatever movie he's in, I'm gonna watch. And I didn't quite know what Dead Poets Society was. I just knew I was going to Robin Williams movie, what the heck, and whatever it is. As I watched that movie, and I watched the scene in Sue where he walked into the classroom, and he had his students stand up on those desks. And they were blurting out my name is whatever that is, and they were looking feeling awkward. And I thought about, oh my god, I sat through endless array of cram exam, regurgitate, never leaving my desk, just trying to just spit out everything I learned. Where do we get a teacher like this? Look at the enthusiasm that he is arousing among his students. I've never seen anything like this. I had two teachers throughout my entire high school and college that were close to this not quite, but I'll give them enough credit. They were close. But I remember and people were asking, Mr. Keating, why are you asking us to stand on these desks? And he took a big pause. And he asked one of the students named Neil who was played by Robert, Sean Leonard, take a look around. What do you see. And he started describing from the vantage point by being on the desk, he had seen things in the classroom he had never noticed before. Because when they came in sitting at the same desk looking at the same Blackboard, the view never changed. So Greg, what really appealed to me is this is a teacher who's not only arousing enthusiasm, but thematically what he was describing his to his students is, and I'll quote, we must constantly remind ourselves to see things in different ways. Unquote. Nobody ever encouraged us or taught us to see things differently. They encouraged us to cram exam and repeat it so that when we got 100, on the exam, we could all high five and see how smart we were, Greg, that character helped me to redefine what it meant to be smart, and to redefine what it meant to teach. And I am at Columbia University, although I never envisioned I would ever teach that wasn't me. I'm a Wall Street guy. Oh, my goodness, that teaching and coaching is based on what I learned from that wonderful character, John Keating. And Robin Williams, I know you're up in heaven, but thank you for helping me to come to class, so I can help others in the same way.

Greg Voisen
You know, that's a really great story. And stories move people. And I love you telling that on the podcast. And I remember a guy who used to be a photographer, and this goes straight along the line. For National Geographic, his name was Rob, I think was Robert De Witt. And he shot 1000s of pictures of which a few would only be chosen for National Geographic. And this one time, I'm going to add to this, he got this intuition, something came to him a voice from inside. Wherever the voice came from, I wrote a book on intuition. So I should know, a feeling and it said turn around to win, turn around. And then from that point forward, he turned around and he got different vantage points, different views. And then he would lay down on the ground, and then he'd go up in a tree. And he'd hear these voices telling him to do certain things that he'd never done before because his viewpoint or vantage point, was always the same at eye level. Let's take a picture. Let's do this. Let's do that. Right. The point was, you must listen inside for messages to be heard about getting different perspectives. and viewpoints on things and look for the signs and symbols that are all around you, almost every day, giving you a message that you need to open up your consciousness to, and possibly whatever that message might be. Either act on it or think about it. And you have a story in the book about how much does your life way, I love that as much as in your pack your backpack. You cite Ryan Bingham, played by George Clooney and the movie up in the air. And Ryan started his speech with this question. And I thought, it's a great question. Speak with the listeners about the art of making a good impression and mastering the primacy effect, as you call it in the book. Because, you know, that question, you know, how much does your life way? I think if you ask a lot of people, they probably say it's pretty heavy. Yeah,

Chuck Garcia
this was the first chapter in my book. And it's called the primacy, recency effect on the notion that as human beings, we tend to remember the first thing we hear from somebody, we're very good at remembering the last thing. That's the recency effect. But at 125 250 words that we speak as it is in English a minute, it's very difficult to remember what's in between. So I thought about when I walked into meetings, or I've been on the receiving end of watching some incredibly boring speeches, I began to notice how people open up in the meetings and presentations, and they bumble around for about two minutes, they talk about their weekend, and then I surprise, right stubbed my toe, and all of this blather that nobody is going to particularly key on, but that's what they remember. So they don't even remember what the meeting was about. They just remember how it opened. And when I thought about that, in my career, as a public spokesman for Bloomberg for many years, I started to experiment with different openings. And what I found rather than getting up there and just start blabbing away, I said, how do I provoke an audience? How can I engage them in the first five seconds? Instead of me, recognizing maybe they're coming to hear me having something to say, but I don't want to be the one making the statements. I learned early on from Mike Bloomberg, that the smartest person in the room is the one who's asking the questions. So why don't I begin my communication that way? And when I saw the movie, and I up in the air, and I saw George Clooney throw out this abstraction, how much does your life weigh? In the first three seconds of that engagement? He immediately had his audience provoking a change in how they were thinking about what they were going to hear? And how much does your life Wait, that doesn't make any sense, we can't weigh our lives, or can wait. And the primacy effect is using questioning techniques to provoke a change in the mind of your audience before you've even laid down any words of wisdom. So Ryan Bingham, the character who was flying around the country, laying people off in the financial crisis, was trying to help people recognize that most of the things that are causing you any kind of discomfort or, or you're not moving as quickly in your life as you wish you would, is because you are so bogged down by all this stuff. And how much does your life way he talked about put, take every possession you own and put it in the backpack and see how your posture is, and you get weighed down? And I thought that was Greg, just an illustration of helping people to recognize when you walk into a meeting, or when you're giving a speech? Don't be the ones always making the statements throughout a question that provokes a change, or helps them to think, even if for three or four seconds. Hmm, what’s he asking me? I never quite thought of it that way. Oh, my God, that makes perfect sense. And that is the great setup for all the words of wisdoms that are going to come, but allowing the audience to participate in that primacy effect. And getting them to think differently

Greg Voisen
Is a primacy effect because it's like a primer. And I think it's a primer for actually using critical thinking skills, which we don't actually use enough versus, versus sitting in an audience and waiting for somebody to inform us. How about posing a question that actually makes you think about something that's important to you? And I think that's, I think it's brilliant. I have seen people use it quite effectively many people and I think it's a wonderful technique so all of you leaders who are listening, next time you do a meeting, why don't you try? Want to Chuck's questions when you open up your meeting, versus like he said your step toe thing, or I went to dinner here, wherever I went, that might be a better way to start your meeting. Now, Chuck, it's obviously that your father was your hero and your mentor, you quote him in the book as saying humans are not thinking machines, they're feeling machines? What are the three key principles we need to keep in mind when we connect with people's emotions? When doing a speech, or I say, just in a one to one meeting doesn't have to be a speech? It can be anytime you're communicating with another soul on the planet?

Chuck Garcia
Yeah, and I appreciate that context. Because when I wrote the book, even though I so much of my career was based on my public speaking skills, what I found is when people got to know me, they said, when they saw me on stage, and then I had, let's say, I had dinner with them. What many observed in me, Chuck, you're exactly the same. The way you're talking to me is the way you spoke to me on stage. And my question to them, did you expect something different? Like I was surprised by that? And they said, Yeah, I did. Usually when we see someone on stage, there's a certain way they are. And then when we meet them, whether it's over a cup of coffee, or whether there's something different about them, it's as if they're play acting on the stage. And yet, they said to me, you were you're the, the guy, we're meeting right now is the same guy, we saw that we mean that in a very complimentary way. So that's when it dawned on me that what I'm actually teaching is not just a public speaking model, this is a model for how we communicate one on one or one to many. So I knew then that why should I even keep this in, in speech context, use the same tactics primacy effect. In this case, this is chapter two, called The Power of emotional appeal. And what I learned from my father, who was a professor of linguistics at the United States Military Academy in West Point, so he trained army officers, and he trained them in certain language techniques, because they had to learn how to communicate. But through all of that, and through all of his brilliance, he constantly reinforced to me and my brothers, that no matter what that brain power is, no matter how well you do on exams, he encouraged us to always place the humaneness first, that we as human beings feel we feel first, we think second, and I think his teaching methods were very much rooted on that when everyone else many of his colleagues are all about the mind, get you to think How smart are you? My father helped us also like John Keating, they are my heroes, my dad and John Keaton were the best teachers I've ever seen. He helped us to recognize when it comes to connecting with people, you have the mind, you have the heart, and you have your intuition. Do it with the heart, let them know you care. And if you want to express to them your brilliance, don't try to do it with the mind. Don't even try to do it with the heart in the way that makes you look smart. Connect with them, ask them about their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations, don't talk about yourself. That's not what's on display here. You are not here for you, you are on this world to help others. And the only way to do that is to connect with them on an emotional level. And how do we do that? Same isn't the primacy effect? Start asking them questions. Tell me Greg. What, what are your dreams? What are your What did you think about what do you want to do? And the more you can do that people can begin to think oh my god, he or she is showing an interest in me. Nobody's showing an interest in me. And it's just a simple technique. To remind ourselves, if you want to connect with people on an emotional level, it's pretty simple. Ask them about themselves. And they will talk about their favorite topic. them.

Greg Voisen
That's absolutely true. You'll also learn so much if you stop and listen. And there's always two sides to a conversation unless you're talking to yourself and then people might think you're insane. But the reality is, is that when you are in a dialogue, not a monologue or dialogue with somebody, you're able to not only not wait for the next question to ask, but really be with the person after you ask the question, because that's when you're going to learn the most from them, versus going into some for foreign land where you're trying to extract the next question that you're going to ask somebody. And I've probably learned this pretty well after 950 podcasts. You know, you don't always have to go into the sequence. I know for my listeners, they don't know how I do this. But I prepare, I read a book I prepare I formulate questions. I have them on an iPad next to me. But frequently, they're not in order. They're not the same questions. They're based on me following Chuck's lead, you know, where did Chuck go with this? So that's an important thing, because you can learn a lot more that way. Because you can go deeper, you can go a lot deeper with IT person.

Chuck Garcia
Well, let me let me express Greg before the next question how grateful I am for the time that you took to prep for this. This was this is extraordinary. Your command of the book I could tell from the questions, your you are living your values. And you may have heard that before, but you never heard that enough. Thank you for that. And it's wonderful.

Greg Voisen
I appreciate the accolade thank you because I do take this, it's important to me now, in the chapter title conviction. Courage to commit you state that conviction is a balancing act that requires caution and care. What are the three central truths? And you cite this finish communications theorist? Cosmo, whoa, whoa, whoa,

Chuck Garcia
whoa, yeah, that depends on how you pronounce is good enough.

Greg Voisen
I've never heard of him before. But if you would speak, he spoke about when it comes to conviction. In other words, what were the central truths of that? And I'd love for you to convey it to the listeners, because I think it's, it's so important in the world in which we live today.

Chuck Garcia
Yeah, no, and no question. Well, thank you for that lead in. Because when I when I was writing the book, I thought about it, I was just confounded over the course of many years. Why are relationships many of them so disastrous? Why are people's careers so bad in spite of their brilliance? And what I found it all came down to? I know what you said, tell me what you heard. And often what people said and what someone heard, they were completely disconnected from each other. I told you, I wanted a coke. And you brought me a Pepsi, really, you know, something different. So when I started to read about wheels work as a communication theorist, I was, I was first hesitant because I didn't want this to be academic. I didn't want I wanted this to be utterly practical. But he was one of the few academics I brought into the book, because what he said make perfect sense. So to our listeners, he came up with the few immutable truths about communication. And when I first read these, I started chuckling to myself, and I was laughing, but only because they were so damn true. I had no other reaction to it, but never quite thought about it that way. So the number one tenant from that debt he espouses, is, communication usually fails, except by accident. And when I first saw I was like, what is he crazy? Wait a minute. That's so true. People know how to talk. But that doesn't mean they know how to communicate, because there's so much disconnection between speakers and listeners. Oh, my God, I think he's right. He usually fails. And maybe if you're lucky enough to land, it's not because we were trained. We weren't. We were not trained to communicate, we were taught how to speak. And we were scolded that we didn't listen well enough. But who was teaching us to communicate? So that's the first one. The second one is perhaps the most important and a career killer. Any message that can be interpreted in any message that can be interpreted, will be done so to maximize damage? And I thought about that night illustrated something in the book called The Ratner effect, where this gentleman in London who built a jewelry Empire, the Empire came crumbling down in about four seconds, when he was asked a question and the answer was offensive. And he was all over the next papers, headlines, and the whole world worked against him to shut him down. His message was meant as a joke, and it was interpreted as an offense, something so quick. It maximized damage from the misinterpretation. The lessons, be mindful of your words. Words, love. Words have power, they also destroy and can be destructive. So be careful about what you say. And then third, this is the most interesting part because I think anyone who's married can relate to this, that there is always someone who knows better than you what you meant. And I say that because I've been married for many years happily, thankfully. but sometimes my wife will say, hey, Chuck, do me a favor, take out the garbage. And my response is I start washing the dishes. And she says, what are you doing? I said, I'm washing the dishes. I asked you to take out the garbage. Yeah, I know. But I know when you asked me to take out the garbage, that's code for washing the dishes. Now, some days it is. And some days it's not. But I thought I was so smart that I'd like to think that I know better than her what she meant. Now she's a hell of a lot smarter than me. But how often do we as human beings get into these scuffles where you say one? And Greg, and yeah, I know. That's what you said. But I don't think that's what you meant. So I'm just going to conclude you met something else. And then I act accordingly. We get into an argument. I said, Hey, you did b Yeah. No, that's what you meant. No, it's not. You're arguing? It's funny, but it is so true.

Greg Voisen
Well, just prior to this, I actually had an on a man on the with a John man, they wrote the book, The Go Giver, marriage. Oh, don't give him read. Yeah. And what's interesting is, you know, in a lot of cases, the ego says I want to be right. So the conflict occurs as a result of you just saying, I'm going to be right versus letting go. And, and being non attached to it. Because you get so emotionally engaged, when you're attached with somebody else says, because you're either offended or whatever. And but you're not really looking at it clearly. It's just that you're, you're attached to it. And in a relationship. They used to say, and I'm sure it's still said today, would you rather be in love? Or would you rather be right? And you know, that is a great statement? Which leads me to this next question, which is body language. Now, in a marriage, we use body language a lot in our spouses, our spouses can tell a lot, but we use it in businesses a lot as well. And leaders use it a lot. And many leaders have challenges with it. I mean, it's misinterpreted. Almost everyone's been told the body language is an important factor you state and then when communicating with someone else, or doing a speech, right. So I think people forget about the importance of body language and their communication. So there's, can you speak with the listeners about the five categories of nonverbal communications, and their importance in making effective speech and quote, unquote, I'll say, or, and or communicating one to one, because you pick up this body language one to one as well. And I want to make a quick comment. No. F, not every political figure, but political figures are in the limelight quite a bit. We had a prior administration where one gentleman was in the limelight a lot. And you could miss a Terp and misinterpreted much of what he said. But if you looked at his body language, you would actually see that he was expressing exactly what is meant by the scowl on the face, or the hand movements, or whatever it was that you wanted to do interpret. Very colorful, to say the least, right?

Chuck Garcia
Colorful is a mild way of putting data, but let's leave it at that. I'm with you. In fact, as I watched him, and people would call me and say, Chuck, what do you think? There's nothing much for me to say. In fact, I couldn't listen to him. But when I turned down the volume, I just watched his body language. So there's a lesson here. And I think this is my tenant here. I won't use a communication theorist. This is just Chuck's practicality, the body speaks before the mouth opens. Think about that. Not now, not even on a stage, think about you're meeting a friend for dinner. What happens right at the moment that you sit down, you don't say anything first, you may, but usually, your body precedes you before you speak. That's how it goes. So we as human beings, there are 19 body parts that actually communicate. And if you look at the hands, the eyes in the mouth, they are the cornerstones of body language. Even the hands there are 68 different gestures, believe it or not, so 19 body parts, there are 407 gestures. But the interesting part about body language, it's it can be broken down into five categories. Number one is being aggressive. So imagine, you know, when someone is aggressive, they don't even have to speak. If I were just as I'm doing right now I'm crossing my arms and I'm putting a scowl on that face. That is a very aggressive tone even without stating a word. Second, second one is what's called a defensive posture. Now you could also cross your arms or you could put your arms here, you've got your hands. So if your hands are on your hips, and because you're in disbelief, and you're leaning over, that's a power pose that may be driven by something defensive. The third category is nervous. And you know exactly when someone is nervous, they're twirling their hair, they're scratching their face, they're twiddling their thumbs, they're doing all kinds of things that I think most of us could conclude. And I do this in class, I put up pictures of different people and ask them, what do you see, I see nervousness, I see anxiety, how do you know that? From the hands, the mouth, the eyes, the next one is bored. Everybody knows when someone's looking around, they're not dialed into your eyes, they're just looking around and they're distracted, they're probably bored. So to our listeners, five, categories, four, are concluded as negative. And then the fifth one is interested, that's the good one. And we know that when you're speaking to someone, and it starts with the eyes, you can then bring in the hands or they make no hand eye contact, eye contact, or their hands open and exposed. If you put them into the prayer position, or into the steeple position, they're looking like they're engaged. So when we think about the body speaks before the mouth opens, be mindful of all of the body parts. And a lot of it, I'm going to give a plug to a wonderful book by a guy named Joe Navarro, who was the FBIs, he was a hostage negotiator he was he interviewed terrorists and all kinds of people. He wrote a book called The dictionary of body language. And it explains all of this. And he had to learn very early on how to interpret all the body signals. And that's where I got most of this.

Greg Voisen
Well, it's important, and it's something that's frequently forgotten. I think that just for you saying in this podcast, for those that are listening, still listening, that it was, it's great to be reminded of these things, right? So that you can apply them or at least know what's going on when somebody is doing that to you, or you're doing it to somebody else.

Chuck Garcia
So what what's great, one thing I will add, Greg, when I coach and teach people this, the interesting part is a couple of weeks later, they come back and they start telling me hey, Chuck, now when I'm in a restaurant, I begin to notice, I can't believe he she did this, they begin to now be conscious of what other people communicate in their body language. That's the best outcome you can expect. Because they're not only mindful of how they show up, they're now beginning to observe and see the world in different ways. That's the John Keating point in Dead Poets Society, we remind ourselves to see things differently. And if you just shut off the volume, and all the noise in the world, and you just stop talking, and look, you are now listening in ways you've never listened before. non verbally. It's a wonderful learning tool to just watch and observe.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, it is. And you know, I kind of date myself with this. But I remember watching a speech by Leo, but Scalia, for those of you who I was in the audience, and he was telling his famous story about UCLA in the love class, and now the girl drove off the cliff. But nobody knew anybody in the room. They didn't, was like, Hey, does anyone know where she is? No. Do you know her name? Do you know her name? No, we don't know her name. But this story and the body language the way he told the story, I can to this day visualize and see it. That's how poignant it was. And the impact, I can still recall the story after 30 years of having heard that speech. That is somebody who knows how to deliver speech really well. Now, Chuck, in your chapter you titled minimize the distance teach, don't preach. You speak about the history of the lectures at Harvard. And it was really fascinating, by the way, I didn't. I didn't know the spiritual or I should say religious connection either. Yeah, no. And you know, you do see lectures up there. And your correlation here is, hey, you have Robin Williams. And then you have these guys at Harvard are standing up behind a podium, very stoic doing their speech like a preacher. Let's put it that way. Obviously, this is pretty old school now and outdated, but not maybe everywhere, but I would say hopefully it is. If you were to make a cut connection with the audience. If you were to make a connection, how do you recommend making a meaningful connection with the audience, be it in person, like, same there, or I use the term or over zoom, what you and I are doing right now. You know, because this, this brought to mind to me how many classes like you said, we sat in, and we heard a lecture, and we basically fell asleep or pretended we were paying attention, because we figured whatever we could blur, we could just read it out of the book after we finish the lecture hall. Yeah.

Chuck Garcia
You know, I think back to my educational model, and I'm trying to give credit to my best teachers. And what I know is they didn't do they didn't do what you're describing. So just for context, when Harvard was created in 1636, it was not created as a charter for a religious institution. However, practically speaking, it was there to teach Unitarian ministers. That's how that's how it started. Even though it was nonsectarian. They taught people to be preachers. And if you've ever gone to a Christian service, I grew up Catholic. They put many of the priests in this was beaming back then. But it didn't change much up on a pedestal. So they're way off their God. They're about 150 feet, seemingly from the congregation. So there's a great deal of distance. So there's a separation between the priests that knows all and that is closer to God. And the congregants who is now looking down, think about any conversation you've ever had with somebody, physically, when they're looking down at you think about that makes you feel you make you feel like you're being condescended to, and you're being lectured at. Nobody wants to feel that way. But since it was working at Harvard, when other institutions said, Hey, let's teach biology, how are we going to teach it? Well, if you're working at Harvard, look at the way that they're teaching Presbyterian, Unitarian ministers will just do the same thing. And then, at Dartmouth, they started teaching English and everything else in the modern day lecture was born. Flash forward to the TED talk, I trained a lot of people to step on this TED stage. What do you notice on a TED stage? No pedestal, no barriers, no podiums, it's just the individual. And often when I'm teaching them on the TED stage, I bring them right to the lip of the stage. The foundation and fundamental tenet here is the minimization of distance. try as best you can, if you want to connect with people to create an intimate atmosphere. Now, I'm not taking anything away from people who go to church and in their pursuit of God, that's awesome. And I respect that. But when we get out of there, imagine if the TED talks were up on a pedestal, 150 feet away from the audience, and you start preaching, the idea of the TED talk was just to have a discussion with your audience, and to do that in a very intimate way. So my recommendation, when you go to a restaurant, do not sit face to face that looks like a face off what I do to anybody that knows me, if there's only two of us in a restaurant, I will always call the restaurant in advance. And I will ask them to juxtapose my chair to the side not to look at each other, but I am right next to them. So I am at an angle at a right angle. Why do I do that? Because the people in my life I care about I want intimacy at that lunch. And I don't mean that in any kind of sexual way. It's just my, my, my closest friends, I owe that that be here today be somewhere else tomorrow. I minimize the distance so that when we're speaking, we're close to each other. We are within a touching point. Because sometimes if somebody's giving me bad news, I can reach over and I can touch their hand. I show them the intimacy that comes with we feel first, we think second, there's just too much distance in the world. Greg, in this chapter was all meant to minimize it to make people feel that they are intimate with the people that are around them. Greg, you've muted, Greg.

Greg Voisen
Yep, I did. But we'll cut that out. So yeah. And then I say it was great advice. And I think people should do that more often to have that intimacy, to have that deeper connection, whether they turn their chair or not. I think there's a lot of things you can do to make that connection. But I liked your idea there. You know, and I, I go back to listening to Norman Vincent Peale. And I don't think and I'm not I'm going to kind of skip this question, but I'm going to go to the last question so we can wrap this up. But it was the power of pauses. I am Nobody I knew nobody like Robert Schuller or Norman Vincent Peale. Both coming from that. Hold on a second. Yeah. All right. I knew nobody who came from the spiritual community that did better posits than Robert Schuller and Norman Vincent Peale. And I used to listen to Norman Vincent Peale says I would drive from account to account my car, and my date myself with cassette tapes, and the cassette tapes would play. And I would listen to how he would have a pregnant pause for such a long period of time to get you to think about something. And I just want to say to people, because Chuck's the communication expert here, there's something about you don't have to fill this, this void the space, you know, you feel like you need to, because I gotta have say something. But the reality is pauses, and even pregnant pauses work really well, to get the audience engaged with you. Or even when you're speaking with a friend ever coffee, there's no reason to just fill the air with nonsense. Wait for that person to respond. I think that's what you're getting with, with the whole pause thing. But Chuck, if you were to leave the listeners with three takeaways each, for each and I underline for becoming a better leader, because the books on leadership as much as it's on communication, and for improving their communication skills, what would you advise them to do or action to

Chuck Garcia
take? There are many, but I've liked the rule of three because that was another chapter. So I appreciate your prompting on three. And what I what I will leave our listeners with. And I'm going to provide a couple quotations from people that were a lot smarter than me. And one of them was an 11th century poet named Rumi, a philosopher. And he said, and I, this is in my head often. And this is a bit introspective and potentially abstract. But think about this yesterday, I was clever. And I wanted to change the world. To today, I am wise. So I am changing myself. That's my first piece of advice. I see a great deal of idealism in the world, especially my Columbia students that want to come in a fresh water and go to space. And it's all great. But many of the people that come to me have failed in their ventures and what they failed to change was themselves, they get frustrated, when things around them don't change, they don't get the operating results they expected. And what I asked them, what are you doing to change yourself. And it's usually rooted in learning to communicate and to get people behind your dream. And in order to do that, you're not going to do it by features and functions, you're going to do it by creating a platform and a sense of emotion that will drive people closer to your cause. The second thing that I would leave them with, and this is part of what I've learned over the years about very uncaring people. And it was Teddy Roosevelt who said, people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Now, that does sound a bit trite. But I think it's important in this world of self-absorption, that we constantly remind ourselves, stop trying to tell them how brilliant you are that you know more than them to show him you care. And it gets back to the law of reciprocity. Show people you give a damn about them, forget everything else, and they're gonna give a damn about you back in spades. And as leadership lesson, I cannot think of something more powerful than that. Get out of your own head and go help somebody. And it's amazing what comes back to you.

Greg Voisen
And then realize you have one more right?

Chuck Garcia
I do. And it's the great Winston Churchill. He was my hero. I look at Mandela and Churchill, as the people I look up to the most who were in those kinds of positions. And what Winston Churchill says, we make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. Now. That is a number one. Yeah, making a living all good. And when I went to Wall Street, I thought that's what it was all about. And what I came to learn, oh my god, we make a life by what we give. Be kind and generous. Be tough. Stand your ground, do not let somebody push you around. But never under any circumstances should we ever exclude how important it is the power of giving, whether it's the Go Giver, whether you're on Wall Street, it doesn't matter what I have come to distill in these leadership lessons. The best leaders are the ones who are most passionate about giving, and that's what I'm leaving. And while you're at it The more you can improve your communication and emotional intelligence skills, forget the cramming the examining and the regurgitating, let's redefine what it means to be smart, look at the world in different ways, and help people to achieve their dreams, then it will bounce back to you. And this law of reciprocity where all these people will help you achieve yours.

Greg Voisen
Chuck, wonderful podcast. And I think for my listeners, not only a climb to the top, the book, but he has a course. And you can go to the website, and under courses, you can click the blue button. And it was because there was a request, Chuck told me that people wanted to have more information here. So you'll, you'll see some courses that Chuck has created. And I encourage you to go out and get the book off of Amazon, we'll put the link, we'll put a link to his website, which is really easy, Chuck garcia.com, not very difficult for you to get to. And there, do check out his courses. highly engaging interview, thank you, Chuck, I would add to that appreciate your enthusiasm for this topic and appreciate your compassion. As a giver, I can I see that I feel it, I sense it. And it's always appreciated by not only me, because thank you for your gift to our nonprofit as well as really to everyone that you come in contact with whether or not there's reciprocity or not. I think when you give just to give, versus with no expectation and return, those are the people that are going to benefit the most right. And I know you're one of those kinds of souls that's walking the planet. So I appreciate you appreciate the book. Appreciate the podcast that you're doing. And the course that you've got, go up and visit Chuck's website, just cruise it real quick look for the things that you want, pull them away, get in touch with Chuck. He also does coaching as well, executive coaching. So it'd be a great place. And thanks so much, Chuck for everything today.

Chuck Garcia
Well, Greg, let me say just state again, your level of preparation was superb among as good as I've ever seen your kindness and generosity and what you're doing in the service of others to be able to bring the funding for this podcast to someone else in need of our help. That doesn't get any better than that. So I am grateful to you for the opportunity to be able to share some of these lessons here and to our audience as well. And thank you for having me. I am blessed to have participated and contributed to your podcast.

Greg Voisen
You said put your hands together namaste my friend.

Chuck Garcia
The divine in you up to our listeners. Greg, thank you so much.

Greg Voisen
With all the Sherpas you've climbed with I'm sure you've seen plenty and

Chuck Garcia
I love them for that they keep us calm and they keep us climbing. So it's my climb on everybody. All right,

Greg Voisen
a climb to the top with Chuck mountaineer. Author podcaster and educator at Columbia University blessings, my friend.

Chuck Garcia
Thank you Greg right back at you.

powered by

For this podcast, I have Ana Gabriel Mann joining me. She is one of the authors of the book entitled The Go-Giver Marriage: A Little Story About the Five Secrets to Lasting Love.

Ana holds a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and dance-movement therapy from Antioch New England, where she specialized in working with adults and family therapy. She also served as clinical director for a New England–based program providing county-wide therapy, education, and services for family members caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

While for the past two decades, Ana has worked primarily as a corporate consultant, speaker, trainer, and business coach in both profit and nonprofit sectors. She is also the creator and lead facilitator of the Go-Giver Marriage Coaches training program.

Following her work, she, along with her husband, came up with The Go-Giver Marriage: A Little Story About the Five Secrets to Lasting Love which is part of the bestselling Go-Giver book series. It’s a one-of-a-kind relationship guide shows readers how to unlock a deeply satisfying, abundant relationship based on simple, everyday acts of generosity.

If you want to know more about Ana, their book The Go-Giver Marriage and many more, you may click here to visit their website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Ana Gabriel Mann. Thank you!

THE BOOK

“To say love is what makes a marriage work is like saying it takes oxygen to climb a mountain. Yes, oxygen is necessary. But not sufficient.”

This is a one-of-a-kind relationship guide shows readers how to unlock a deeply satisfying, abundant relationship based on simple, everyday acts of generosity.

Over the years since the original Go-Giver’s publication, the term “go-giver” has become shorthand for a defining set of values that has helped hundreds of thousands of people around the world find greater professional success. Now, with its charming fable-within-a-parable, followed by an in-depth practical guide, The Go-Giver Marriage brings the personal side of The Go-Giver to life.

THE AUTHOR/S

John Davin Mann is a coauthor of more than thirty books, including four New York Times bestsellers and five national bestsellers; Ana Gabriel Mann is the creator and lead facilitator of the Go-Giver Marriage Coaches training program. They are husband and wife who have been dreaming about cowriting The Go-Giver Marriage and bringing its message to the world ever since the first draft of John and Bob’s original book came sliding out of his desktop printer in early 2005.

 

 

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and the host of Inside Personal Growth. And we have Anna man joining us from New England area she said just a minute ago and she said the sky outside is beautiful is the sky behind her there with the Go Giver marriage book listed on it. And, Anna, Good day to you. How are you doing?

Ana Gabriel Mann
I'm good. Glad to be here. Thank you. Good. But

Greg Voisen
from the looks of the website, boy, you guys do a lot of podcasts. So I can see that you and John are very busy people. And you've got a book, which really, in today's world, with all the mash up of everything that's happening, I think I'm not certain what the divorce rate is anymore. But people need each other and they need to build strong relationships. And that's what this book is about is how to sustain, maintain and build loving relationships and couldn't be a more appropriate time than now. Right?

Ana Gabriel Mann
Absolutely. The pandemic is what drove us to write the book. We've wanted to write the book since 2005, since the original Go Giver came out. Or actually since the original Go Giver was written it was published in 2008. Right. But we've wanted to write this book since then, because we felt after, after that book was written that it kind of quantified what we have in our relationship and what we endeavor to teach.

Greg Voisen
So it is it is something we're going to go through this and we're going to talk about it with my listeners, but I'm going to tell them know a little bit about you. And it man is earned her degree in clinical psychology, before going on to serve as a celebrated educator, therapists, corporate trainer, speaker and coach, she currently coaches go give her marriage clients and leads go give her marriage coaches training program, which is a training program for people who want to learn how to use the techniques that they've developed in this. And you can go to go giver, marriage.com. That's the website for the book. But it's also very informational website, you're gonna find all kinds of things there. They have a list of their podcasts, if you want to learn more about John, the co-author. He's prolific author with over 30 books either authored or coauthored and his name. And the biggest one probably being with Bob Berg, in 2008, as Andy just said, which is the Go Giver book, which is around generosity, but marriage is around generosity. So there's definitely a correlation there. What compelled other than this pandemic, you and your husband to finally write a book together? After all the years of him writing. And in particular, were you kind of the impetus because of your background and therapy and what you've done before to actually say, hey, you know, John, we need to write this book, because there's a huge need for this.

Ana Gabriel Mann
We've actually collaborated in writing before, but not, you know, in published books. But, yes, my work as a therapist, the Go Giver, principle and philosophy. I'm a great believer that a therapist is only serving their clients if they're teaching and educating at the same time that they're working with them on the particular issues that are relevant to them. And I feel like a spirit of generosity and a marriage is the most important thing that the two of you can have and develop because a spirit of generosity and of giving that's without agenda that's not transactional, is really where the sweet spot of a marriage is, because it's giving with compassion, giving with willingness.

Greg Voisen
I love that generosity. I don't know if you know Nate clamp and Katie clamp, but they wrote a book called the 8080 marriage. And it's interesting how the generosity element gets incorporated into therapy into working with couples because it seems to get one sided one way or the other. Now, the first part of this book, The Go Giver, marriage is a parable about Tom and Tess, this married couple ended up with challenges and they have a child which is what do you call it? Disabled. I don't want to say disabled but the way you explain it as a special needs special needs. Ken and I'm sure you run into couples yourself all the time that are dealing with the wife or the husband and trying to do actually work on all the tasks that have to be done during the day that people have to do that are a challenge. Can you tell the listeners a little about the story and set the stage of what we're going to talk about, which are the five secrets of a lasting of lasting love and lasting relationships?

Ana Gabriel Mann
Well, in true parable fashion Tom and Tess have, they don't have a marriage that's crumbling, they just have a marriage that has signs and stress. Right. And, and that was intentional. Because we wanted people to see that sometimes the rumbling of a thunderstorm is often the distance but the storm is, in fact coming. And we also really wanted to be able to create a story where, you know, each person Tess and Tom, were having their own unique experience in one day of learning from others. What the secrets, the five secrets are really about what really makes a marriage tick. Why is generosity so important? And why is removing yourself from scorekeeping and from being transactional, so important. So the story kind of winds through that, and comes to a conclusion that is surprising. And it shifts the marriage and shifts the two of them in in a very profound way. And then the second half of the book is actually unpacks, the five secrets and says, Okay, this is what the story showed you. Now, here are the five secrets, and here's how they apply to your life. Here's why they're they were created, what they mean, psychologically, and how you can put it into action in your marriage.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, those secrets, we're gonna get to them listeners, but because they are valuable, and Anna said it would be tough to cover all five of them. So I'm going to pick a two or three, and we'll see how far we can get with those. You know, in the chapter, the tree, I found this one to be really interesting, the way that the question was posed, Tom's given us thought provoking question from Jeremiah and Jeremiah is kind of working in a company climate lab, try and climb the ladder. And, as in, you know, a good standard form in in writing a book, and especially a story. I always love Joseph Campbell, because this kind of follows the Joseph Campbell hero's journey, right? It's like, I go out, I need help I find the people to give me help. And in this case, Jeremiah was somebody to give them help. And he asked this question, what is the purpose of marriage? And I'm going to ask this to you. And in your estimation, what is the purpose of marriage?

Ana Gabriel Mann
Well, I would actually go with Jeremiah's answer, which is later in the book, which is the purpose of marriage is to give yourself to another and in the process to become your best self. Because when you truly engage in a relationship that's transformational, and that actually has real intimacy, you find that your desire to become a better person expands. And you not only desire to be a better person, for your spouse, but you desire to be a better person in the world. And so you, you know, and, and I guess the other side to it is that if your spouse is really engaged in that kind of closeness and intimacy, where you're both about building the other person, then when you're building the other person, you're encouraging them in every possible way to go after the very things that they care the, you know, the most about, you know, what is it you really want to do in the world, inside of the parable is a fairy tale. And that fairy tale is used by Jeremiah to illustrate some of the facts that he's bringing forward about marriage and about what makes a marriage tick. And there's a great moment between the princess and her husband, where she asked him, what is it that you really want to do? What is it that you want to do in the world? You know, why are you here? He says, Well, I've always wanted to build a cathedral. And you know, her eyes are wide, because here, they've been married for years. And she didn't know that about him. And, you know, there's another line in the story that says, you know, every person is an unexplored continent. And that's kind of the truth in a marriage. You know, there's always something new to find. If you are in fact looking.

Greg Voisen
Well, these are really important points. And in the real world, that's not always how it works. Sometimes in the real world, as you know, as a clinical psychologist, it's hard for the other person intellect out and let that person become themselves. Whether it's their ego, whether they need to be right, which would be the ego again, saying, Yes, I'm going to be right. I remember this, would you rather be right? Or would you rather be in love and I think that goes back to men are from Mars Women are from Venus book series. But Tess goes to this meeting with several women and receives advice from Nicole, one of the women at the meeting. Nicole says Love doesn't blind, it illuminates. And you've been speaking about that. If you're truly in love, you're obviously illuminating the other person. You're bringing light you're bringing love? What do you think that that tests needed to learn because she was having doubts about their marriage? And she was she went, like you said it was the thunder in the distance. But the rumbling was getting closer and closer, and she wasn't certain about love. That's an I thought was an important lesson. Even though it's not one of the five secrets, it was a great lesson. Would you comment on that?

Ana Gabriel Mann
Absolutely. You know, I think that when you say love doesn't blind, it illuminates, it's not just that you are illuminating the other person, it's that you actually know that person well enough to know, their soft underbelly, you kind of know, the ways in which your partner is vulnerable. And, you know, the parts of them that are undeveloped, you know, the parts of them that are still growing? And, you know, that's kind of the illumination is that you, you know them better than anyone else. And I think that that for tests, I think that she had resentment under the hood. Yeah. And that resentment was growing, because of her own sense of, of disempowerment and discontent. You know, here she was home dealing with a child with special needs, and a child with special needs is a huge big deal. In fact, about 95% of parents that have a child with special needs get divorced. Yeah. So it's, it's a, it's a big issue.

Greg Voisen
I know, I donated time to school locally here called the Terry school, there were 625 Down Syndrome and autistic kids and I would go in every morning. And it was, some of them were just so loving, so wonderful to be around. But the parents, when we would have caregivers kind of come to relieve them, right of just the pressures of having a severely autistic child or a Down Syndrome child. I speak from experience, because I spent almost a year and a half there, helping raise money for the charity, and I understand it, because I saw the kids every day. And for those of you who don't have a child like this, you'd have to walk a day in their shoes to really see what it's like to do that. So how to test in this case. Now. I We said we've picked two or three of these secrets. And then I'm gonna be the, I'm not gonna say devil's advocate, but I'm gonna look at it from the psychological side. Because in a marriage, there's so much going on. There's the relationship, meaning, understanding, there's the intimacy part, the sexual part, there's all of these other elements in a relationship. And your first five secrets are appreciate a state to look for specific things that your partner that you love about your partner. And when you notice them, take a moment to tell them we all want to be appreciated. Guaranteed. What is and we, we, you can say you appreciate somebody. But more important, you have to show them, you appreciate them. What is the difference? Because sometimes that doesn't get communicated very well in a marriage. It's like, oh, I appreciate you, honey. But then you don't take out the garbage. And so that animosity starts to build if you following what I'm saying here, your actions and your words are two different things. Are you living up to the words that you're speaking? Are you honoring them, and so on? Can you comment on this first one, because there's a lot built into appreciation? I don't think we that we I should speak for myself. I think in this world is fast as it moves. With the world that we're living in today, we forget this whole concept of the secret of appreciation.

Ana Gabriel Mann
I think it gets buried under piles of problems and stress from work and children with special needs and, and miscarriage that happened last month. And, you know, I mean, I just think there's so many things that when you get into the real life of a marriage, and of a couple, trying to move forward in the world appreciation, and every other secret of the five can get lost. I will separate secret number one and secret number two in terms of the ways that you act out appreciation, because when you're attending to somebody, which is the second secret, those are the ways that you are doing things like taking out the trash and picking their socks up off the floor, and bringing them a cup of tea at seven o'clock in the morning and putting it on the bedside table. You know, making their favorite banana bread just because you know, they had a rough day at work and they can use a treat, you know, just the ways that you attend to somebody. Attending is another way of appreciating someone, it's another way of being generous. But appreciation. The thing about appreciation is that in the explanation in the back appreciation really falls into that place of primary narcissism for a child, you know, it's the place where when you're a tiny little child, and your grandparent says do you look at you, you can read that book all by yourself, you know, you kind of puff up, you know, you're a little bigger, after Grandma says that to you. Because it hits that very place of needing special attention of needing the recognition that you are, in fact, unique, powerful and different. And so appreciation can't just be passing compliments. appreciation is not just I appreciate you, honey, or hey, you know, I just want you to know, you know, you're looking good today. You know, I mean, yes, those are casual ways of appreciating somebody. But a real appreciation is authentic, it's genuine. And it's specific. So when my client recently said to her husband right after Christmas, you know, when you took the kids Christmas shopping, and without my asking, took them out for the evening, took got them pizza, got all their shopping done, brought them home, carted them upstairs, wrapped it all, and they came bouncing down the stairs with all these secrets that Mama didn't know about, you know, they were so happy and so joyful, and you are so incredible when you're with them, that I just want you to know that when I watch you with our kids, I know that I pick the right father, and I know that you're just the right person to be in their lives, because you're constantly building them, you're constantly taking care of them in special ways that are unique to each one of them. And I just want you to know, it just it just blows my mind. And I so love that about you.

Greg Voisen
That is quite an appreciation statement, I have to admit. Yeah, I hope that the listeners picked up on that. And that would be the way to actually frame your appreciation statement to your partner, or in some manner like that. Because that is directed at one thing, which was very significant that the person can really be acknowledged for and I think the acknowledgement is there.

Ana Gabriel Mann
And to add something to Gregg appreciation is really gratitude wrapped up in a package that specific about the other person, the person that you're appreciating. And so when you're letting your partner know the ways that you hold them in gratitude, and the ways that they are, in fact unique and special to you. That's when your partner suddenly feels the way you would feel at four when your grandparents said, Wow, you can read that book all by yourself. You know, it's that moment when you go, Oh, I matter in this moment. You know, I you know, this is powerful.

Greg Voisen
Yeah. And I think you know, when you look at these things we do all day when we interact and I go back to, you can't start comparing the amount of time or the specific duties one person does. So there's a checklist it says, Oh, Anna did this. Greg did that. And it did this to bring did that. And at the end of the day, if it doesn't add up, you become there's animosity against the other person saying, Well, I did more than Anna. And so I should get a brownie point and why aren't you recognizing me for that? It can't work that way. You can't have a checklist where you're saying, I did this, you did that and it's not equal and oh, I make the money and I do this and I Do that and you sit here with the kids all day and whatever it is, because that's what creates the problems. Correct?

Ana Gabriel Mann
Not only correct, but also you just described perfectly. The 5050 marriage, which is a recipe for disaster. That's one of the lines in the book. But also you just described a transactional marriage, a scorekeeping marriage. I did this for you, what are you going to do for me? Right? And or I did the dishes three times this week, what have you done? You know, and that is, you know, the opposite of appreciation is criticism, Greg, and, you know, when people are transactional, they're looking, they're picking for criticism, right? They're like, Okay, I picked up your socks again, today. When are you going to stop doing this?

Greg Voisen
Yeah, but you know, as a psychologist, which you are, and I am as well. We still live in this human body in this limbic system, it wants to think that way. It we're, we're very prehistoric in many senses and the way in which we operate, and the only way to do that is to be aware of how you're operating. And that system needs to change if you're going to have a marriage, which is going to be like what you're talking here and this one, like I'm going to pick is the secret is allow, take responsibility for the energy you bring to the relationship, accept your partner for who they are, and the way they are, be theirs be their safe harbor, have a generous spirit and be kind, in your estimation that gets in the way, what gets in the way of allowing us to accept our partners for who they are. And why are we always trying to be right, and change the other person.

Ana Gabriel Mann
Because somewhere in our childhood, we feel terribly out of control. And we have never lost that feeling. Number one, you know, no one escapes childhood without wounds. And when you talk about the limbic system, you know, the way I see it is, there's the amygdala, which is constantly adapt in reaction. It's, you know, the adaptive part of you, the part of you that had to adapt to the dysfunctional behaviors of your parents or your family. And therefore, you developed habits, which were not functional. And now as an adult, you still have those not functional habit habits. And so what that creates is an amygdala that's constantly reacting, you know, you're the part of your brain that that reacts is firing, saying, wait a minute, I need to be right now. And therefore, I'm going to, I'm going to challenge this. And, yes, awareness is what really wakes it up. I mean, the secret of allow is the most powerful of the five secrets, in my opinion, simply because it is for better or for worse, and it's the worse, it's for sicker or poorer, in sickness and in health, and it's the sickness. And it's the for richer or poor, it's the poor. It is, it is the secret that basically says marriage is not fair, number one, number two, you're going to have to pick up the slack at times that your partner cannot, you know, when your partner's just had a miscarriage is not the time to say, Hey, let's go make love and try again. You know, I mean, she may be so crushed, that she isn't able to even talk about it, let alone take that next step of action. Right. So, you know, allow simply means really be aware of the energy you're bringing. And that takes awareness, you know, when you're trying to train a person in therapy, to come from their prefrontal cortex. That's, that's about awareness. They have to they have to be aware of what their reaction is, why their reaction is there and what it means for them, and so that they can start to go Oh, there I am, again, I'm reacting to that. And start to become a little bit more compassionate, first to themselves, and then to their partner, in terms of how they handle that allow is a complex secret because it really not only demands awareness, but it really demands compassion, and that's

Greg Voisen
and letting go and I think that what happens from an Eastern philosophy standpoint, if I put it in here is you know, you get married you go down the primrose lane, you have a viewpoint of what marriage is supposed to be. It doesn't quite turn out to be that way. But you have a strong attachment to what you've this what you think it should be, right Uh, you know, I'm, whatever that might be, I'm supposed to be waited on, I'm supposed to get my meals, I'm supposed to do this. I'm supposed to have sex every night, whatever. And it doesn't work out that way, right. And so that attachment to whatever that story is, you've told yourself that you believe, is really one of the strongest barriers because that's the one that's getting in the way of you having a true loving relationship, because that's the that's the problem you have. I have, let's, let's, I want to cover three of these. And the fifth secret is grow. And it says every day, identify what you need to be happy, I love this one, healthy and fulfilled, and then give yourself that and dare to dream, a bigger dream for yourself. How important? Would you say Anna? Self-love is in cultivating a healthy relationship with your partner, because not many people speak about self-love. And I think we have a tendency to like, beat ourselves up way too much. And it's so important to acknowledge ourselves, just like you're saying in this one. Dream big. Go for it. Acknowledge yourself. How important is this whole self-love concept in your estimation?

Ana Gabriel Mann
Well, the fifth secret is counterintuitive. The first four secrets are all about ways that you're generous with your partner. But the fifth secret is about being generous with yourself. Right. And I think when you're talking about compassion, it also applies to that secret. Number three, allow simply because in order to be compassionate with another, you have to have self-compassion first. And I think that the reason that grow is such a significant and important secret of the five is that too many marriages try to get their needs met by the marriage, first and foremost. And the truth is, the marriage cannot fulfill your needs, the only person that can create happiness for you, is you. And second, and I see this in marriages over and over again, across the land. People who they're not only trying to get their needs met by the marriage, but they're trying to get their needs met by their children, and by their grandchildren. And so when the children leave the nest, boom, you know, there's a huge crisis, because this person doesn't even know who they are, without the kids at home. They have no concept of a personal sense of self and development, because they've given themselves to the marriage to the children, to the family, to the faith, you know, to whatever it was that they believed was the important thing that spoke to their duty, if you will, versus their need. And I think that when you do that you divorce yourself from the self from your large s self, and you lose yourself, in essence. And that is a great tragedy. And the other reason why growing is so important. It's not just personal growth and personal development, which is the premise that we're talking about here. Because personal development and personal growth is also about uncovering and knowing yourself fully. And by that I mean, whether you spend time in therapy, or whether you have a support group, or whether you engage in some extreme sport that kind of pushes you in a way. Understanding the trauma, the history, or whatever it is that you bring to the table is a part of how you grow personally. Because in order to be fully compassionate with your partner, you would have to understand why your amygdala is over firing, why you're reacting to such small things. Are you going to really go to the mattress over a pair of socks on the bedroom floor? No, I mean, what battles are you going to choose? And so again, compassion starts at home, if you can't develop, you know, I'm a great believer in meditation, because I think meditation really, really brings you home to a more compassionate sense of self.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, it centered yourself obviously, in any somatic breathing techniques that one might use or any of the other alternative things, including just a walk in the park or walk on the beach. Yes, that's you can do to contemplate your situation and put you in a different environment. You know, yes. So if something came up for me while you were talking was, you know, in this compassion for self, and we deny ourselves permission to be as compassionate with ourselves. What would you advise the listeners about opening up the core or to get to that, and the denial that they that they want to give themselves. It's almost like, I remember having April Rennie on here who wrote the seven. What was it, it was called Thrive. But it was it was all about this constant change and what we're dealing with. And she says we're running from something to something or running away from something towards something. Not happy with what we have here. Because we think what we have, there will be better, right? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So what do you think that in a marriage, people run from? And, and, and then what are they running to, but if they made up to run to,

Ana Gabriel Mann
I think that when people fall in love, the very act of that blissful, you know, riding on a high falling in love. That is the definition of the act of running from themselves. Because when you fall in love, and you're in that blissful, wow, this person is perfect. And I've never, never been in love. You know, I've never experienced this kind of feeling. People want to ride off on that like, like for women, the white horse and the prince, you know, they want to ride off on that feeling. And they convinced themselves. And this is pure denial in action, they convinced themselves that this is the person, their soulmate, and that they are going to feel this way for the rest of their lives because they're choosing this person. So I think that when you combine all of that, that is the running from the self, because the truth is, your self is not in a state of bliss, 24/7, nor will it continue to be even with this person. Number two, your self has been pushing down and denying any traumas or dark experiences that have happened to you in an effort to overcome and to function and to feel like you could move forward. But all of those experiences, you can't, you can't just shut them down. People are trying to run toward a sense of bliss, or completion, without having actually taken the steps to uncover the things that are incomplete and to heal them. Right, you know,

Greg Voisen
or to find a way to coexist with them. Even hear them hear them. Yeah.

Ana Gabriel Mann
And that was what grows about if there's a central premise to grow in my book, it is that grow is about your own self-healing your own inner journey to knowing yourself, and knowing your own mind about things. And also so that you're not pulled down the road by your friends who might have an agenda that has nothing to do with your needs. And really just seeking the kind of growth that's personal for you, because it might not be some fast paced career. And believe me, I have tons of clients with men who are hugely successful in their personal career, but their personal lives are in shambles.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, and I know, you know, you know this, but as we've grown up from little babies, to young adolescents, to adolescents to moving away from our house and going to college, and you look at where did this come from? Where did this belief about this come from? And oh, I had an alcoholic father or I, you know, my histogram looks pretty dotted. If I went and looked at my, my histogram and looked at all of the various characters in the, in the chain of my lineage, right. And immediately, you know, in my case, a little Jewish mother and a Christian father and the beliefs that you carry on and the things that you've got, it's, it's quite interesting to explore them, it's one thing to explore them become aware that that's where it comes from. And the next is to be able to transform out of them in some way through counseling or courses or books you read, or however you're getting your information. And yours would be one that go give her marriage, this is a perfect opportunity for my listeners to go pick up a copy of the book. And really look at these five secrets. And once you start digging down into the secret, you're gonna find out there's more there. Now. The book is filled with practical advice for building a loving relationship, or at least it identifies five secrets that will help you do that. What are three takeaways from the Go Giver? Marriage that you want our listeners, and you'd want to share with our listeners to improve their marriage. And in this case, it's marriage. But I'm going to say, you know, if you look at these secrets, it's any relationship. It's any relationship. You know, if you thought about this, even from a work relationship, it would work.

Ana Gabriel Mann
It not only applies to work relationships, it applies to your siblings, it profoundly applies to your children. Right, and it applies to your marriage. The takeaways for me are you know, it's, it's, it's really easy to I mean, this is a what I would call an a neurobiological model. And that is another way of saying it's a cognitive behavioral model. And the reason is that I am a great believer that what you think is what will be. And so you can think about your marriage in negative terms, and you can fall into criticism and contempt and control and all the dysfunctional behaviors, that will have a negative impact on your marriage. But the way to shift a negative behavior is by replacing it with a positive behavior. It does take work, but let me let me put it this way. You know, you could spend $350 an hour to go to therapy, you know, maybe you might find therapy for less than that. But you can spend money and go to therapy, or you can also spend the time to you know, just like if you were a musician, you know, in order to be a first chair cellist you have to play cello a lot of hours. In order to be great at a marriage, you have to remember that, that love is not a static feeling. It's not that blissful feeling that you had when you first fell in love. Love is a practice and a practice, whether it's a meditation, practice, a prayer practice, musical practice a, you know, athletic practice, if you're going to be a great marathoner, you got to run a lot, if you're going to be a cellist, you got to play a lot. It's the same. And so the secrets actually take two or three minutes a day each. That's it. So if you're taking five secrets, and they each take three minutes a day, you're going to take 15 minutes of your day, to be putting energy that cognitively is moving the marriage toward a more positive, stronger place, is actually reinforcing the very parts of your partner that need reinforcing. And for yourself, if your partner is practicing these five secrets for you, your self-esteem, your sense of belonging, your sense of, of, of feeling cared for and taken care of, all of these things will grow. Because your partner is actually taking the time to attend to you in ways that are authentic for you, to appreciate you in ways that show her gratitude for you. And to actually believe in you in moments when you don't believe in yourself. You know, it's like there's a level of compassion in all five of the secrets that when they are really practiced with integrity and with care, the marriage changes. I mean, it's really profound. And what happens is criticism falls away. Contempt falls away scorekeeping falls away, it starts to shift. And that's what we're trying to say is that this is a cognitive behavioral, neurobiological view of how do you shift in marriage, you shift it yourself through your behavior?

Greg Voisen
Well, you know, marriage counseling is for both, both the husband and the wife. A lot of times someone else say no, I'm not going to marriage counseling, we don't need it. But the other person goes to marriage counseling. And if they learn some of these techniques, and they take it back, that are in this book, The Go Giver marriage. Usually what happens is the other person doesn't understand what happened to you. It's like, oh, my gosh, what happened to this person had the nicest, kindest person that I ever met. And I think when you're in this together, it amplifies the actual respect that you have for one another. I think that's a word I would use here to be respect. And that's the important thing, but if you are in a marriage, and I'm saying for anybody out there, where the other person is denying this, and you are going to go, what I think would happen is if you started practicing these secrets on your partner, your partner will probably wonder where the heck you went. And ultimately, they start to come along as well. And I think you'll find that you'll have a lot more happiness in your marriage. Any comment on that, and then I'm gonna give the listeners a link to your website.

Ana Gabriel Mann
I would agree with you completely, because I've had numerous clients that practice the secrets all by themselves. And one of them actually, you know, after appreciating her husband, you know, really, and she called herself the hands on her hips, girl. She said, I was the person who was criticizing him at every turn. And when she stopped criticizing him and started appreciating him, one day, he said to her, I love so much what you just said, but what have you done with my wife? Yeah, exactly. And she was like, she started laughing. And she said, they broke out laughing. She said, he started tickling her on the couch. And then but in the middle of it all, she said he welled up with tears and said, I love you, baby. And she said, she was just struck. She was like, No, you don't understand my husband doesn't like tickle me, and then tell me he loves me with tears in his eyes. You know, I mean, it was, it was a really sweet story. But she had been practicing for three or four weeks, and really giving it effort, like putting herself into all the secrets she was, she was spoiling him with attending to him in different ways. And you're she was doing a bunch of really sweet things. And he was just Charmed, it woke them up. And I've had numbers of clients were intimacy that was on hold. I mean, their marriage had a sort of free zone going, freeze, and in the, you know, not free freeze. And the intimacy was backing down, if at all, and it warmed up, and they got back in the sack together. And they started laughing in bed. I mean, it was just like good things were happening, because one person was practicing. But in all cases, when somebody wakes up and realizes the marriage feels so much better, what are you doing, they usually read the book. And when because the other spouse says, Well, I read this book, and this is how it changed. And that's when the magic really happens when both partners read the book. It's really powerful. But I will say to your listeners, this, do not try to make your spouse read the book, read it first yourself and start practicing. And then if they start saying, Hey, what's going on, you're being so nice to me. Then you can say, well, you know, this book is really changed my view. And I don't know, I know, you don't have a lot of time in your day. But this book is golden.

Greg Voisen
invigorate them with kindness, let's be kind, you know, I'm gonna let my listeners know, it's go giver, marriage.com. That's the website. You can order the book through there. And you can also get some free gifts. I don't quite know what the free gifts are, but they're there. And I would say if you want to order it, it's very simple. Plus, you can also see what other people are saying about the book. There's lots of accolades there. People that you'll recognize, and it's been a pleasure having your own side, personal growth, taking a few minutes to speak about the book, speak about the parable, speak about these five secrets. We didn't cover them all. But go get the book, start reading it, and then treat your partner with that respect, that you would like to be treated with yourself and see what happens. I think you'll find it will be an amazing, it'll be an amazing thing for you. Thanks so much for being on. I really appreciate you ppreciate John, sorry, he couldn't be here, but we got what we needed. Thank you. Namaste to you. Have a wonderful day.

Ana Gabriel Mann
You too. Thank you.

powered by

My guest for this podcast is Steven S. Hoffman or more likely to known as Captain Hoff and this is not the first time I am interviewing him for the show.  We have him on the show not too long ago for Podcast #918 –  The Five Forces That Change Everything: How Technology is Shaping Our Future and I invited him back for his other book entitled Surviving a Startup: Practical Strategies for Starting a Business, Overcoming Obstacles, and Coming Out on Top which is very intiguing for me.

Steven is the CEO of Founders Space which is a global innovation hub for entrepreneurs, corporations, and investors, with over 50 partners in 22 countries. Moreover, he has served on the Board of Governors of the New Media Council, was the Founder and Chairman of Producers Guild Silicon Valley Chapter, and was a founding member of the Academy of Television Interactive Media Group.

In Surviving a Startup, Hoffman brings readers on a wild ride, sharing with them the tumultuous journey of launching a venture-funded startup and revealing what it takes to make it.  This book prepares entrepreneurs to avoid mistakes, overcome obstacles, and master the skills necessary to make the right choices along their path to success.

If you are interested on learning more about Steven S. Hoffman, his company and books, click here to visit his website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Captain Hoff. Thank you for listening!

THE BOOK

The fact is that most new startups fail. The path to success is filled with pitfalls, wrong turns, and obstacles. Decisions along the way can make or bankrupt a small company. Every entrepreneur must face this harsh reality and learn to master it if they hope to survive and wind up on top.

The book takes you through the nuts and bolts and sweat and tears of running a real business. It’s about dealing with dysfunctional teams, hitting dead ends, messing up half the time, losing money and self-confidence, and then moving forward. It’s about what it’s actually like to run a startup.

It’s also about the process and planning. Hoffman shows you exactly what he learned running his own startups and coaching others. He has mentored hundreds of founders, collaborated with some of the most brilliant minds in the world, and come to understand what it takes to break through.

THE AUTHOR

Steve Hoffman (Captain Hoff) is the Chairman & CEO of Founders Space, a global innovation hub for entrepreneurs, corporations, and investors, with over 50 partners in 22 countries.

Hoffman is also a venture investor, founder of three venture-backed and two bootstrapped startups, and author of several award-winning books. These include “Make Elephants Fly” (Hachette), “Surviving a Startup” (HarperCollins), and “The Five Forces” (BenBella).

In addition, Hoffman served on the Board of Governors of the New Media Council, was the founder and Chairman of the Producers Guild Silicon Valley Chapter, and was a founding member of the Academy of Television’s Interactive Media Group.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Steven Hoffman Audio Interview
Steven S. Hoffman
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. And I have Steven Hoffman joining me and he likes to be known as Captain Hoff. And Captain Hoff is joining us from the Silicon Valley. Actually, he reminded me last night, you really aren't here in Davis. Isn't that right? I am a little bit outside Silicon Valley, more like the Central Valley. Yeah, Central Valley, Central Valley. Definitely. And we had him on the show not that long ago, for a podcast number 918 called the Five Forces that change everything. And I invited him back because if you can see my his screen, there's a book and I'm going to hold up the book that just intrigued me, called surviving a startup. Now, there couldn't be any better person to speak with us about this, then the founder of Founders Space. And Steven, I'm going to let him know a tad bit about you from your website.

Greg Voisen
He's the chairman of founders place a global innovation hub for entrepreneurs, corporations, and investors with over 50 partners in 22 countries. Captain Hoff is also a venture investor, founder of three venture backed and two bootstrapped startups, the author of several award winning books, one of them that we haven't done is a book called make elephants fly, the surviving startup we're going to do today and the five forces we did already. He also served on the Board of Governors of the new media Council and was the founder, the chairman of the Producers Guild Silicon Valley Chapter was the founding member of the Academy of Television, Interactive Media Group. Cough earned his Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from the University of California, Master's degree in film and television from the University of Southern California, and currently resides, as we said in Davis, but spend most of his time in air visiting startups and investors and innovators all over the world. Well, Steven, great to have you back on the show. And it's great to talk about in your screen, the middle book, Surviving startup. And, you know, one of the things that you mentioned in the book is, you know, you speak a lot at events, you go around, you speak at events, maybe a lot of it now is more, you know, Zoom kind of events, but you're, you're still doing a lot of speaking. And you frequently get asked questions, should I engage in creating my own startup? You know, and a lot of people have ideas, but to then have the, as I call it, the hutzpah to actually take the effort to go turn that idea into something. You know, I always tell that story. Oh, I had a great idea. And I told somebody, and then, oh, a year later, I saw that on the shelf, somebody else embedded it, you know, so what, in your estimation, are the characteristics of someone who would be successful as an entrepreneur? Because we know that very few of them make it. Right. So I'd love to get your viewpoint from all these people you speak with.

Steven Hoffman
So there are a lot of characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. But let me tell you one right off the bat based on what you said, you know, you think of an idea, you think it's incredible. And then you discover much later a lot of the time that somebody else had already done it. So the first thing that the first characteristic of really good entrepreneurs, is they are diligent, they do their homework, they know that it's not easy. It's not a get rich, quick thing. They when they start their company, they will actually research spending Huge amount of time researching the market, other companies out there so that they're really well informed. So that's one thing. Number two great entrepreneurs tend to be creative individuals, they tend to question you know, everything around them always ask that you're not just accepting that what everybody else is thinking, not just accepting kind of the norms out there. Instead, they ask, why are people doing it? Couldn't they do it differently? Is there something somebody hasn't thought of, because that's where the great ideas come from. Right? Number three. And this is probably the most important one out of all, I'm going to give you four. But number three is the most important one. Number three is leadership. Like, if you can't lead people, if you can't convince people to join you, when you just have an idea, when you don't have a lot of money, get great people on board, it's going to be really hard for you to grow a big business. So if you're not a leader, if you're more of a programmer type of want to work on your programming, or you're great at sales, you're not really great at motivating and leading people, you're like an individual contributor, that could pose a problem. Finally, there is stamina, what I call resilience, because it's going to be tough. This is why we call the book surviving a startup because it's brutal. I've done I myself have done three venture funded startups to bootstrap startups, I've had successes, I've had failures. I know what it's like to go through a startup, it's a roller coaster ride. And when you're down, you feel really down. And the great entrepreneurs can just continually pick themselves up and say, Okay, what's the challenge today? What problem? Do I have to solve? What obstacles in my way? And how can I get around it, and they do it over and over again, even if they're hitting their head against the wall, eventually, they figure out a way through.

Greg Voisen
All of those are great, those four characteristics are definitely important. And I would add to that, that I've gone through three myself, uh, you have to be resilient. And you have to be really curious. You know, most entrepreneurs are very curious, you say they ask a lot of questions are looking a lot of things. And I happened to see the other night, this is very relates very much to this. I watched the Netflix on SpaceX. And they were had a lot of video of Elon Musk. And at one point, which I think everybody listening to the show probably remembers. He had failure after failure after failure as the as the chips went up. And he was down to his last penny said basically, you know, he had like, this was the last chance this one, and it made it and then he got a call and he got his $1.5 billion contract for masa. Right? So interestingly, you know, you have to have, he's got an innate kind of ability to take huge risks. And I know a lot of people don't have that. Speak with our listeners about the 10 reasons not to start not to launch a startup just because there's a lot of reasons not to. But I think what's important is that you've articulated this in surviving a startup. And it's important to know why not to

Steven Hoffman
okay, I might not go into all 10. Because it'd be a long talk, yeah,

Greg Voisen
we're going to go into a few of the most important ones,

Steven Hoffman
I will hit the most important one. So one of them is what you just said. People need a high risk tolerance, right? If you are stressed out about money all the time, you don't like change, you don't like unexpected events, don't be a startup period. You know, know yourself, right? Know who you are. Number two, really important. A lot of people go into a startup for the money. They think, oh, I'm going to be rich. Yeah, I want to be the next billionaire. Well, that's not a reason to start a company, you don't start a company. Just because you think you want to be rich, you start a company, because you see a problem that needs to be solved in the world, you see something that needs to be done. So that getting rich is a result of starting a company, it's it shouldn't be the reason to start a company. Number three, is when you look at the world out there, and you look at yourself, you have to understand how everything fits together. And one thing that people don't understand is that some people believe that, you know, I am in a job, and I'm unhappy with my job. So I'm going to do a startup a startup will make me happy because my boss, my boss is a jerk. I don't like working for this corporation, whatever it is, you think being your own boss? Is the reason to start a company? Well, let me tell you, it's not the reason. Absolutely. It's the worst reason. Because no matter how bop bad your boss is at your current job, well, you could go get another job first of all, and probably find a better boss. But even if your boss is pretty bad, you are going to be trading that boss for the worst boss in the world, I will tell you, there's no worse boss than yourself. Because you can never escape yourself. In when you wake up in the middle of the night, your boss, your brain is going to be pestering you about your startup. Wish you shouldn't do this, you should do that. What about this employee problem? What about that problem, your boss will go on vacations with you, your boss will be with you every second of every waking hour. And you can't get away from that. So if you want the worst boss in the world, start your own company, it's not a reason, it's not a reason to quit your job. The next one is a lot of people, there's a sort of mythology that people buy in that it's easy. Like in Silicon Valley, like it's you know, you, you pick up any paper you go, you know, read any blog, whatever it is watch TV, you're hearing about these unicorns, it's just seems so easy. Well, it's not like, that's a myth. Don't get into it, because it's easy, there's a lot of other easier professions out there. And I could go on and on, there's just so many reasons that you shouldn't do it. Um, but the one reason that you should do it, the reason that you really should do it is because you are passionate about making a change, or doing a difference, you really want to make a difference. And not just your desire to make a difference. You actually see something that needs changing. And then you go, Okay, I'm going to like the fishing industry, let's say the fish, you know, they're overfishing our fish, they're wiping out the fish of the ocean, they're polluting their terrible working environments, you say, I want to go into that industry. And I want to make positive change, you know, and I want to use new technology, new ideas, new business models to do it. Maybe that's a good reason to do a startup. You know,

Greg Voisen
I found out something this morning, I helping put together a documentary with a director. And I interviewed the people at lomi, which is pettah, pet Earth PE T A. And they made the covers for the phones and started in 2011. They now have this thing called a lomi. And the lomi is a compactor I mean a garbage compactor, and basically recycles, as you probably you may have seen it. And I was thinking to myself, This company started in 2011, or 2020. And everybody thinks that it's just this loamy Well, it was the phone cases that were made from combustible material, I should say, recyclable material that then drove the next item in the in the guys evolution. And it's fascinating because this lomi thing I think is going to skyrocket. And it already has they raised 7.3 million and stopped in crowdfunding. And now they're doing a series of other funding. But it's really something and you know, you cited a report in the startup genome report where 3200 high tech startups were surveyed. And the findings were that 90% of those startups fail. And then the less than 10% that do survive, they encounter near death. So speak with us about the challenges that startups face with their funding, and how to overcome some of these funding challenges. Because, you know, let's face it, it's the death of most of these is they run out of money, and then there's no one else to give money to keep going. So they just die.

Steven Hoffman
That's true. And let's be clear, these are startups that are high tech startups, usually in Silicon Valley, the 90%. Not like if you're starting a restaurant now starting a restaurant or a local business, that isn't easy, either. But the survival rate is much higher, right? Although the payoff tends to be much lower, like it's risk versus reward. So when you're doing a startup, you just if you want to have the next unicorn, you've got to take big risks. That's it's just built into the formula. That's why these companies are worth so much. Why do they, you know, why are they worth a billion dollars in a few years? How does that happen? Well, because they, they went out there on a limb and did something nobody else does. And when you try to do something that people haven't done before, oh, II, most people are going to fail. Like it's, it's simply not going to work. And the world is also very competitive. There's just a lot of people out there, everybody's moving, markets are always changing, huge number of risks you take off. So what I do, like at founders space, when we work with startups, we try to lower the risks, we try to get people in a position where they can really evaluate what they have, and see what they have clearly. And I want to tell you something, the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when they're starting their companies, the biggest mistake is something you wouldn't think about. It's that they fall in love with their idea. Yeah. And they stick with that idea, too long. So you talked about lomi, you know, they, they started with cases for like iPhones and stuff. And now they're doing something totally different. Totally, you could see the connection, right, they're both sustainable, good, good for the environment. But really, they're totally separate products, to the I will tell you, most of the startups that are successful, they're doing something very different than their original idea. And this is what entrepreneurs don't understand. I tell entrepreneurs like, you know, if you want to be successful, don't come up with one idea and fall in love with it, and then spend the next five years trying to make this happen. And in believe the myth that if I just stick with it long enough, it'll work. It's not,

Greg Voisen
it's not going to drain you dry. Most of the time, it usually

Steven Hoffman
drains you dry, like ideas either work, or they don't. And you just need to figure that out as early as possible,

Greg Voisen
like you say, fail and fail fast. And I agree with you, you know, you've got to find out if it's going to work or not work and do it quickly. And get that feedback.

Steven Hoffman
Got to do it quickly. And this is why I say, don't pick an idea. When you start. There's a you know, there's a mythology, the ideas, everything, do the idea. Don't pick an idea, pick a direction, an area you want to innovate on, come up with 20 ideas, get a team together, have them come up with more ideas, then you engage with the people who actually use it. The people who your goal in a company isn't have a great idea. It's to create value, create value for other people. So if you create enough value for them, then you're going to have a business. If you don't, you don't and you need to figure out right away is the value there. And what your

Greg Voisen
value you tell a great story is a majority of startups, just like we've just said they discard their original ideas. I wouldn't say that Patta discarded the phone case. But they moved their focus to the loamy. Right, it's now all about the Lummi. You tell two great stories about companies that morphed the original ideas and became huge successes, successes. Can you tell the stories and why being flexible is so important, because you know, those stories, I didn't even know those stories. And I had no idea about the one you're going to tell because I was like, wow, that was it. So

Steven Hoffman
which one? Are you thinking of that dating app?

Greg Voisen
The one that started as a dating app? Yes,

Steven Hoffman
I will tell you, there was a startup out there that wanted to create a dating app, a video dating app, like we all think, you know, it's in this was in the early days of the internet, they thought Well, everybody would want a video game. We'll of course, people don't like the video date. It's very awkward. But they didn't realize this until they had built the product and put it out there. And then they're fumbling around, trying to figure out what to do their startup is failing. And they actually, in the process, they had their own video of, you know, their a party with friends, and they want to share it with their friends. And they're like, We don't have a way to share this video. How are we going to do it, and they go, Oh, we could upload this to our video dating site that we built that nobody's using. And we could just share a link. So they built this way to easily share files, video files online. And then all of a sudden, they're like, Wow, this works really well. If we could do this, other people probably want to use this. So they put it up there. And they change the name of their video dating site to YouTube. And the rest is history. Right? They didn't start off with the brilliant idea. We're going to build the largest broadcast network in the world. They start off with a totally different idea. And look at startups like it happens over and over again. Groupon right. Groupon said

Greg Voisen
LinkedIn started up with different to that was one of your stories.

Steven Hoffman
Yeah, fine. I think it was Yelp started something different. So Yelp, actually, the review, you know, where you give a restaurant or business five star review. That wasn't that was an afterthought. That wasn't even a main feature that became Yelp, right that that feature of reviewing people writing they didn't know that people would want to write views. They just put it in, oh, maybe somebody will want to do and it turned out to be the application. Another one and I really want to emphasize this is Slack. So we all know, communication software slack Well, Slack started out as a game, a game, and the game was failing. And you know, they had raised a lot of money, the game, just nobody wanted to play the game. And then the CEO looked at the company, and he said, you know, my engineers have hacked together a way to communicate with each other. That seems pretty useful. What if we made this our product and the light bulb went off?

Greg Voisen
It, you know, the feedback loop in all of this is so important from the people that are using it. And I think no matter if it starts from a group of engineers, or one engineer, or whatever it might be in the software field. And we're speaking about everything from apps to, to full on full blown software, it improves as a result of the feedback that you're getting and the recommendations from people. And then it frequently morphs quite a bit, just like you said. And I think the key here is, and I thought this chapter even though very short, in your book, was on defining the problem, you give the entrepreneur five questions that they should ask themselves. And I know when we start, doesn't matter what it is, we think we have a better mousetrap. But we haven't always gotten the feedback needed to figure out if it was the better mousetrap. And we really haven't defined the problem. We think we have defined the problem. Speak with us about the questions and how important they are to ask and answer before developing any product or service to put before they go to market.

Steven Hoffman
Yes, you really, you hit the nail on the head, you're exactly right. You really need to define the problem while and you need to engage deeply with your customers, like whoever is going to be using the product. You know, a lot of entrepreneurs, especially when you love your idea, they when they engage with their customers, they're always trying to sell their customers trying to convince them that their ideas the best that their product is the best that they should love it. Well, don't do that. Just shut your mouth and do two things. One, ask questions. Number two, listen, listen carefully to what they say. And there's a third one, observe what they actually do in their business every day. So I can give you an example. You go into the restaurant business, you say, I'm passionate about changing the restaurant business, I want to bring new ideas, new technology, new business models to this business. Well, you don't go in there just trying to sell them an idea. At the beginning, when you're trying when you when you're trying to figure things out. You go in there you implant yourself, embed yourself in that business, and start watching what people do. What do they do every day? What ask them questions like? What are your biggest problems? You know, what gives you a real headache? Where do you spend most of your time are the things that are sucking up a lot of time. And they might not consider it a problem. Because they do this all the time, you know, the same thing. But you might look at that process that they're going through and say wow, with technology, we could actually make that we could make that so much more efficient. You when you're in the business, you look at how they interact with each other, what they're doing on every day on the job. You look at different opportunities. And another key question to ask, and this is so important, are what are your top five priorities right now? Like, so? What do you as a restaurant owner, really need to get done? And they'll give you their top five priorities? Because most of us know, they're like our top five priorities. And let me tell you, if you're not in one of the top five, you don't have a business, nobody, like your people are focused on their top five, usually their top three. And if you're not in those, then they're what they'll say is Oh, that's great. That's great. You know, come back to us later. And basically what they're saying is, they're not saying it's great. They're saying I'll never get around to it. I don't have time, because I have these five things I have to get done first. So make sure what you do aligns with their top five, whoever you're selling, if you're selling it to chefs, right? It has to be the chef's top five, you're selling it to the owner, the owners top five, if you're selling it to a distributor in the restaurant business, the distributors top five.

Greg Voisen
it logically and deductively. It all makes sense. I think entrepreneurs sometimes throw logic and deduct deduction out the window. But if they went at it a little bit more methodically, I'm not saying that intuition isn't something that you need to tap into. What I'm saying is when you get to the point, I wrote a book called hacking the gap, from intuition to innovation and beyond. And I interviewed all kinds of designers and developers and people and people that I have done that. And I said, you know, how did you get this product from here to here? And what I found out is that, you know, at first there is a spark of intuition, there is this idea. And it goes through a sequence and a cycle. And I interviewed innovation labs and people in innovation labs in it, it really is fascinating. How something sparks and how the ignites the flame and how it ultimately continues to keep fire. Many entrepreneurs who came up with ideas think that they should keep my secret. I've heard this from lots of people, because I've been involved in this space, what shouldn't they keep? Why should they keep their ideas a secret? And why is feedback on new ideas so important to the success and the rollout of a new product? Because, you know, a lot of people are like, I got to keep it a secret, because I got to go get the patent. And then I got to worry about the patent, and you know, all this kind of stuff you're like, That's bullshit.

Steven Hoffman
It's total bullshit. Let me let me tell you, patents are only worth something. Usually, if you have a business, if you don't have a business, what you end up is sitting on very expensive, they cost a lot of money. Yeah, patents that Do you know, good, because you don't even have money to go and force them. You know, most of the patents that entrepreneurs think, honestly, unless you've been researching something for years, and it's really high tech, in those cases, patents can be worth something. But in most cases, the idea is that entrepreneurs patents, software patents and stuff, they're not worth the paper, they're printed up. They're nice investors sometimes like them, they can they're there, you know, they can, they can, they're nice to have, but they don't make the difference. So when you're starting your business, and you are thinking about what you need to do, a lot of entrepreneurs get scared, they're like, I have this brilliant idea. It's so great, that if I put this out there, somebody's going to rip me off. Well, let me tell you a couple things. Number one, somebody's probably already doing that idea. You know, there's somebody in Finland doing it, or China or somewhere else that has that exact same idea, and probably more than one person who are working on it at the same time. So it's not going to be the one who had the idea. First one is going to get first. And so one who goes to market first, but not just goes to market, goes to market with the right product really figures it out? Because remember, Facebook, was it the first social network? No, no, but Facebook, why did Facebook dominate? Why is MySpace and Friendster and all those other early ones gone? Because they had the right idea. But they didn't get it? Right. They didn't figure out how to make it work for the users. So the most important thing, and I like to say this, the most important thing entrepreneurs need to do at an early stage is view themselves as information gatherers, detectives out there. Because what you need to figure out is how do things work? What do people really need, and the more feedback you can get early on, the more you can start to understand and see the potential. Otherwise, if you isolate yourself, if you don't talk about your idea, you're just you're living in a bubble, and you're probably going the wrong direction. So how do you get on the right course, is the most important thing. And that means surrounding yourself with really smart people and sharing your idea with them. I'm not talking about going to a big conference, and broadcasting your idea to all your competitors out there, you know that that would be silly, right? But I am talking about not being afraid to talk about to every smart person you bump into because honestly, those smart people, the chance of them stealing your idea is like tiny, it's miniscule, the chance of your startup not failing, or your startup failing, because you don't execute on the idea because you don't fully flush it out is really high, exponentially higher. So you need to focus on the big risk, which is not gathering enough information, getting enough feedback, not the small risk of somebody stealing it.

Greg Voisen
I concur. And I know that to be the case, because I've seen so many people try and hold something close to their breast. And then you know, and I'm not objectionable, the signing NDAs I've asked for NDAs as well, I get that. And if anything, if they really want to try and protect it, then have someone sign an NDA and, you know, then disclose what you need to disclose. Speak with our listeners about the 20 missteps as to why startups fail, and how to avoid them. You don't have to go through all 20. But, you know, there are lots of missteps. You had like five pages of missteps. Yes.

Steven Hoffman
There's so many mistakes. Yeah. touched on a few of them already. Yeah.

Greg Voisen
Maybe you want to just articulate from that list, maybe three. And, you know, when I'm going to tell the people because we're going to have a link. This is not an expense To book is really good, the chapters are short, and there's lots of them. So what you can do is you can pick it up almost anywhere, open it up, turn the page, and it says skeletons in the closet here, look at I didn't even have that marked, right. And that is only two pages. Most of these are two to three pages. And they're just really smart little ideas that you need to have, this is my plug, go get a copy of the book, if you want to get all of this, and then visit the website, founder space. And we'll put a link to that as well. And then reach out to Steven.

Steven Hoffman
Thank you, Greg. Yeah, I really crammed that book full. Like, it's, it's a book where I just put everything I've learned doing all my companies, and then working with literally hundreds of entrepreneurs seeing all the different crazy problems they have, you know, did a great job. Thank you. It's,

Greg Voisen
it's, you know, it's like, I love it, because it's like almost an encyclopedia of, of startup, you know, hey, if I wanted a Bible and I wanted to go learn something, you should pick up surviving a startup,

Steven Hoffman
I wrote the book I wished I had, when I began my first company that concisely puts everything you know all the basics, everything you need to know to get going. So let me talk about missteps. Now, one of the missteps entrepreneurs make is that they jump in to building their product too soon. Like, don't when you start a company, first of all, don't spend a lot of time building your product. Definitely don't go out and try to raise money. Pick an idea that you can do yourself with a talented group of people, other people, and then spend 80% of your time upfront, finding those people, not cousin Joey, or, you know, your beer drinking buddies, find the most amazing people, you can. Entrepreneurs, a lot of times, they just don't spend the time trying to find people, number one, number two, and I'm going to, I'll go through a few of these. Number two, when you look at the market out there, all the other products out there, spend time using them. If there are competitors out there, a lot of people like they get lazy, like they're like, I just want to build what I want to build, I don't want to look at the competitor, I don't want to copy their ideas will copy their ideas. Don't not copy their ideas, like they've spent maybe years or you know a lot of money, figuring something out, you should know exactly what their products do, and what they do well, and even more importantly, what they do badly where you can innovate on. Number three, don't try to an area's most great products that you build in, you know, they have one or two innovations in these one or two innovations. They're not just like little I, there's a big difference between features, and real innovations. So features make a product a little better. innovations make a product exponentially better, they solve a high value problem, I call it extreme value that somebody really needs. And literally, at the beginning, when you're starting your company, most people will go for your product, just for one reason, they'll say none of the other guys do this, I need this, right. And so adding all the other bells and whistles, adding more features doesn't usually help your product. In fact, it hurts it, you need to isolate down into that one thing that you can do step creates so much value for people that they can't get anywhere else. That's the key.

Greg Voisen
So you know, if it's, if it's a product that needs to be prototyped, it's one thing to engineer software and have engineers work on it and continue to refine it. And yes, that is a prototype because you want people to test it and try and break it. But, you know, I built products in my day that actually had molds and you had to make molds and you had to put physical mold, right? We weren't using 3d printers at the time, we were buying very expensive molds. So you had to get it right. Because if you didn't another mold cost you a lot of money. Right? So what I tell people, you know, is in that design phase of that before that in there still a lot of people that use molds, because plastic injection molded stuff. You need to really work very hard at making sure that whatever designs you're showing the public, whatever you're doing, you're getting feedback, you know, and this jumps me to this funding question because, you know, Steven, finding capital to grow a startup can be really complicated. It actually it is complicated. Okay. There's venture capital, there's angel capital, there's crowd funding, there's bank financing. There's SBA loans and I I think I could go on and on and on. But let's seize it to say that some of the top ones right, what recommendations do you have for startup companies about the options and how to obtain funding?

Steven Hoffman
Okay, number one, try your best not to take money from friends and family. Because, honestly, you saw, you know, you heard the odds of failure are extremely high. You know, what you're basically doing is taking your friends and family money and going to Vegas. And that means you will probably lose their money. And in that you will damage or lose those relationships.

Greg Voisen
I do. I did that my first startup I took, I can't so you know this because you have as much experience or more, I brought 30 people into my living room in my house. And I started a toy company. And it was really exciting because it was in the 80s. And I raised one point something million dollars in my living room that night. Right. Wow. Okay. Great concept. It was a failure. i Yes. And a lot of those people were my friends,

Steven Hoffman
are they still your friends, that's the hard part is to keep them with you.

Greg Voisen
Some still are in. And Steven, I can say it went to the point of pardon me, we sold it to Toys R Us and it didn't work. And it was merchandise on wheels. And it was a long story. I'm not going to go into all of it. But you know, in the end, it was very heart wrenching. Because I was still the CEO, I was driving the company, it was my idea. And one of the investors who put in a lot of money. And in this is a story that I want my listeners to learn from. One day, I get to eat a letter that says, Your major investor wants to remove you as the CEO of the company,

Steven Hoffman
oh, pain. On top of everything else,

Greg Voisen
it as you say can be very painful. And that's

Steven Hoffman
the point where you really need your friends and family, yet, they're not going to be as sympathetic if you just lost their money. So I'm like one of the litmus tests, if should you do the company is can you get a professional angel investor who's not a friend or relative to actually put your money in your company. So they're not putting it in? They're putting it in for the right reasons, because they believe in your company, not because they want to be nice to you, or they believe in you. But they actually believe in what you're doing,

Greg Voisen
and how those people get through the pitch fest to get

Steven Hoffman
an angel. So yeah, that's another thing. So I write about this in detail.

Greg Voisen
Who did I wasn't going to put that in here. Because we didn't have that much time. But you know, the whole thing around pitching and being enthusiastic and doing it right? Even a guy like me, who's pretty good at it. It was tough.

Steven Hoffman
It's tough, but you get better. And let me give you a few. A few tips. Number one, you know, if you're pitching anybody, just tell them what your product does. Just focus on that, like, what value does it create for somebody else? That should be your entire pitch, all the market graphs and everything else don't matter as much? What value are you creating what's so special, so unique that you're doing that other people aren't? Number two, when you go out there and actually try to raise money. What you should do is when you talk to investors, don't just talk, don't just pitch at them, get the invite them out to coffee, sit down with them, show them your idea, and then shut up and listen, listen to what they're these people, these investors are smart. Most of them were successful business people, they've run company, they have ideas start, you couldn't pay them enough, because you don't have usually a lot of money at the beginning to hire them as a consultant, many Shark Tank, right. And here they are giving you feedback on your idea. But you can take that and actually make it much better than what you originally had just by so no meeting is wasted. If you listen and get information out of that meeting, plus, when an investor starts giving you their ideas, magic happens, suddenly they become not. They become already mentally invested in your company engaged and you pitch and I'm an investor, like with startups, I hear so many pitches, I tune out right? But when I'm giving ideas, all of a sudden all those neurons are firing in my brain, you know, and I'm getting excited. The chance of closing goes up so much. And let me give you a third one. The third one is what I call The Prince and the frog rule. So everybody out there wants to find Prince Charming. They want to they all they see are frogs, right. These frogs these investor frogs out there and they think if they kiss the frog You know, it'll turn into Prince Charming and all their dreams will come true. Well, let me tell you, if you kiss the same frog three times, and they haven't given you the money, they're just a frog. So the rule of the story is really, when you go to investors, pitch them once, they'll call you back. If they like it, go meet them again. But the second time you meet them, tell, ask them to invest. Don't wait, just say, Look, can you write the check now? If they don't write the check there? You say, if you say, Are there anything you need to know that you don't know? And I will get it to you. You get it to them. By the third meeting, you basically told them, I'll meet with you. But you have everything you need, right? Everybody in the room, who needs to be a decision maker will be in the room. That's when you agree to meet with them, you go to meet with them. If they don't invest, then move on. Too many entrepreneurs waste too much time on false hopes when pitching.

Greg Voisen
It is a fascinating world to navigate. Startup. And again, for my listeners, you are going to want to buy this book, we'll have a link to Amazon Go to Stephens Captain Hoffs website. This has been highly endorsed by lots of people. And it is I just like to look at it. It's you know, if I was going back into a startup, again, I would have this is on my desk is kind of like a Bible. You know, I'd use it, I'd ear I, you know, bookmark the pages, I'd use my highlighter. I go through there. And I I would take Stephens advice, because it really is Sound Advice. And that's the point of this podcast. Hopefully you all got something out of this. And you literally can go to founder space.com and get in touch with Captain Hoffman, Captain Hoff. And you can ask him questions direct, you don't have to wait, go through me. Just go straight down. In wrapping this up, Steven. I always like to leave some tangibles. Three things that people could take away and use. And remember, when thinking about moving forward with some kind of startup venture? What would you what are the three things that pop into your head that you think they could use?

Steven Hoffman
So number one, know your business model. There are certain types of companies, if you want to do a big company, when it grows really rapidly. Focus on business models with recurring revenue, recurring revenue, look at all the big companies out there, you know, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, you name it, you know, they have revenue, they don't get money once from a customer and have them disappear. They get money over and over. When you acquire a customer, it's the most expensive thing you do. Once you get that customer, never let them go, number to lock in that customer. Make it so that it's difficult for that customer to move to a competitor. You know, how do you do that? You create an ecosystem where you're, the more they participate, using your product or service, the more value they are gaining, and the more value they are creating for everybody else in the network. And then number three, really important. When you do a startup, remember, you want to do good in the world. So make put your values down on paper at the beginning. So that they can remind you every day, there will be situations where you might compromise those values. Because you're under a lot of pressure. Like we look at Facebook, like why did Facebook make some of the decisions they made that weren't in their users best interest? Because they lost sight of what they really were. There are social network which is supposed to enhance and make people's lives better and richer. Instead, they sold data, they cut corners, they did all this stuff, just because they wanted to show shareholders more profits shareholder value? Yes. So make sure your values are down on the paper and make sure everybody in your organization knows them and lives by them.

Greg Voisen
Well, Netta, which it's now called, has made a few mistakes along the way, which we all know. And the reality is they're still surviving, because they've still linked what billions of people

Steven Hoffman
were. They did the first two things right? Yeah. They didn't do the third one right that.

Greg Voisen
That's right. They did not do the third one. Right. Well, kudos to you cap off. Thanks for being on inside personal growth again and sharing your wisdom and knowledge. And again For my listeners, we'll put a link. You can see on his side surviving a startup. That's the book we've been speaking about. It's been a pleasure having you on and I know everybody who's listening to this can take something away from this. Just if you're in the stages of a startup, if you're just thinking about an idea, even in you're trying to take to the next level, your advice has been invaluable. Thanks so much for being on.

Steven Hoffman
Thank you, Greg.

Greg Voisen
Thank you for listening to this podcast on inside personal growth. We appreciate your support. And for more information about new podcasts, please go to inside personal growth.com or any of your favorite channels to listen to our podcast. Thanks again. And have a wonderful day.

powered by

My guest for this podcast is a human-centered future of work expert, a business and marketing strategist, a business owner and a podcaster – Connie Steele. Connie is also the author of the bestselling book entitled Building the Business of You: A System to Align Passion and Growth Potential Through Your Own Career Mashup.

With over twenty years of combined Fortune 500, mid-size company, and startup experience, Connie has always been intrigued by the “why” behind companies and careers that thrive. She studies the reasons behind people’s attitudes, beliefs, motivations, and behaviors, what we as people really want going forward, and how it impacts the way we will work and live.

Also with the combination of her expertise, experiences, and beliefs, Connie came up with her book Building the Business of You. It is the first book to help professionals and entrepreneurs navigate the new world of work while aligning personal purpose and professional advancement.

To know more about Connie, her book and other amazing and inspiring works, you may visit her website by clicking here.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Connie Steele. Thank you!

THE BOOK

Building the Business of You is the first book to help professionals and entrepreneurs navigate the new world of work while aligning personal purpose and professional advancement. Here, Connie shares the trends of tomorrow so professionals, entrepreneurs, freelancers, founders, and side hustlers can “skate where the puck will be” and form their own career mashup.

THE AUTHOR

A human-centered future of work expert, a business and marketing strategist, a business owner and a podcaster. Connie’s mission is to help people and the organizations they work for achieve meaningful fit in their pursuit of progress. In today’s new world of work, the definition of success is fundamentally shifting. Hence, she is passionate about delivering perspectives that provide clarity in this ever-changing world. Aligned with her mission in life, she is also creator and host of the Strategic Momentum podcast and the founder of management consultancy Flywheel Associates.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transcription (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. And we have joining us and now Connie, remind me where you are.

Connie Steele
I am in Leesburg, Virginia., so right outside DC

Connie Steele
Leesburg, Virginia is Connie Steele. And we're going to be speaking about a new book she has out, put it right up to the camera. Building the business of you the subtitle is a system to align passion and growth potential through your own career mashup. And, you know, we're living in such a changing time that that's so important. And what you do is so important, and I'm going to let our listeners know just a tad about you. She's a marketing and strategy executive. And she'd spent much of her career in the technology space. And she says, after 15 years in the corporate world, working with companies of all sizes, she decided to make a pivot nine years ago to regain control of her life and subsequently find personal and perpetual professional fulfillment. You can learn more about Connie, by going to her website, Connie - c-o-n-n-i-e-w-s-t-e-e-l-e.com I think that's page where it has her bio. But it's just conniesteele.com. Right?

Connie Steele
conniewsteele.com

Greg Voisen
Okay, well, we have the W in there, I wanted to make certain of that in there, what you're going to get is information about consulting, speaking, this book, her podcast called strategic momentum, log research. And she has done quite a bit of research. And you know, kind of, Connie, before we get in to, you know, you telling a little bit about more about your background, I've the way I Found You was through LinkedIn. And then what really intrigued me was the research paper that you wrote, maybe to set a context for this whole podcast. Once you tell the listeners what you found out about where the workaday world is going, what's happening to people and the trends that are going on, because I think people would be really interested in that.

Connie Steele
Sure, well, one of the most important things I think, for people to realize is that uncertainty is the new certainty and change is constant. What people are looking for now, and many of you probably have seen this in the news as a result of the great resignation. people's definition of success is fundamentally changing. They are looking for meaning not just money, they want fulfillment, they want to pursue work that fulfills their passion that has a purpose. A lot of this too, is driven by the funnily changing dynamics of the workforce composition, we now have for some will say five generations in the workplace. The millennials are the largest. They are digital natives. And they've grown up differently. They have a focus of wanting to do better, be better very aware of this need to have that balance of their mental health and physical health and what they do. But they also want to really deliver an impact in the world. And given them a venue. actually haven't been a bit older than that. But it's something in which I guess I've also realized I'm very much like that. But at the time, when I grew up, it was very much a straight line path. There was a programmatic net was guaranteed our perceived guaranteed way of reaching success. But now that's changed with this shift in the composition of workforce. Again, you've got two generations who think differently, Gen. Z's are very impacted, focus on one online, their passion and purpose. They have had a level of optionality as a result of technology that has enabled them to pursue different paths, pursue different interests, learn how to monetize things differently and know they may even think about being influencers, creators and so forth, and start with wanting to be the CEO from the very beginning. So once you have that context, in addition to again, the other generations that are there, it's important to realize, well, what's happening, why is it happening? What are people really looking for, and it's not a one dimensional pathway to achieving that level of success. It's actually multimodal. We are multi-dimensional. So we're multifaceted. So there's been funnily this shift from this linear, sequential, somewhat conformist and rigid approach to how we achieve what we want in our career, or even, I guess it was moving up the ladder was that original goal. And those goals also in the past were much more narrow. People were focused on money, title and power, that has shifted to one that's much more fluid. Multimodal, multi-dimensional, is one in which people want to really express themselves be their whole selves, that's about individual agency. And so what you see is this, just this convergence of physical, digital purpose, also profit, work and life. But people want to integrate that. It is not, again, a very siloed way of looking at things. It's very integrated

Greg Voisen
with your foresight and wisdom, because this is something that you've researched. And you've spent all this time looking at and you consult with companies on this. If you were to see around a corner, Connie, and look at the workforce of the future. In other words, let's project out 2530 years from now. I've heard all kinds of futurists say all kinds of different things. But I'm interested in your perspective, as someone with tremendous foresight, wisdom, knowledge and expertise in this area, as to what is this new workplace look like. And actually, I even told Stephen R Covey the other day, you know, in his book, trust and inspire, you know, from command and control cultures to trust and inspire cultures, the word work is wrong. It actually has to be removed from the vocabulary, but we use it so much everywhere. That it, it just seems, it seems like a wrong definition.

Connie Steele
I would agree because work doesn't feel or sound fulfilling. People want to achieve a level of fulfillment, and purpose. And so when I talk about the future of work, it's getting back to being human, it's really human centered. We've seen over the years also as a result of technology, that there's been this almost over indexing, on productivity, on efficiency, because it's enabled us to do things better, faster, cheaper, but at the expense of taking care of ourselves thinking about what's best for us. And now you see this shift towards the power of really the employees now having more of the power and realizing Wait, you know, I need to have the time for myself, I need to figure out what fits me best. So when I think of what the future ultimately is about, it will be fluid is what I talk about in the book, because the rate of change will be just faster and faster and faster. This job hopping is that new advancement, purpose really will be the new pivot because people are really looking to find fit. It's not about, you know, force spinning themselves into something in which it might be the right thing, but they really want to be able to express all of who they are. Right? And that will be different. You see this shift in people expressing their identity, their personal identity at a much earlier age, and being comfortable with that. And inevitably, that will shift over time. But they are opened up exploring and understanding who they really are and have actually this depth of knowledge that many of us I didn't when I was younger, on what does it really mean to be all of me and when I can really just be me and whatever that may be. I know I will find that flow state, I will be able to find what truly can help propel me forward and help me reach my potential.

Greg Voisen
Well, you know, we have so many people today talking about happiness. There's a course at Harvard that's always over enrolled. And, you know, Dr. Sigma rouse speaks about happiness. I've had tons of people. And I think at the true center of this is around happiness. And you know, you came from a culture which was pretty rigid. You know, here we're speaking with Asian American woman who literally was brought up with that regiment. That is the way normally that happens in in your culture. Speak with us, the listeners, let him know a little about your background, your career with AOL, which you actually enjoy, according to the book, because you got autonomy, you got to be creative, you got to be innovative, and the beliefs that you had that were not serving you. In other words, I look at beliefs we carry around about who we are and who we have to be and doesn't serve us. And tell us why you believe that this book is important for people to read, if they're seeking something different, to transform their lives and career because you do give a roadmap in this book,

Connie Steele
I do. So much of this has been this journey to I guess, somewhat explain my own story. But I didn't even realize it at the time, it was that I was seeing this fascinating pattern of all these other really amazing people that I interviewed on my own podcast and trying to understand why what's going on and why. But my own personal story, as you've mentioned, I am a child of immigrant parents, I'm a first generation Chinese American. And in our household, it was all about academic excellence. And so it was expected that we obviously do the best that we could academically. So that would lead to opportunities in universities, which then lead to opportunities in top companies, which would then lead to getting jobs and moving up that ladder, and then finding that stable, successful role. But when I entered the business world, I thought it was a meritocracy. I thought, well, it's sort of that similar linear sequential pattern, that if I work hard, I do, as I'm told, I'll be recognized for my work, and subsequently, that will help me move up. But that's obviously not the case. Anyone who has worked in business realizes that there are lots of different factors and dynamics that happen. And I realized that because we have to think about people, there's a whole people dynamic, not just the output of the work you do. And I had no idea how to navigate that, and struggled, because I had understood the world to be binary, you do A, B, C, your grades are quite rigid, and it's very defined. But in the world of work, it's just not. I also learned in those experiences prior to AOL. So I'd worked in consumer packaged goods companies, while they were wonderful training grounds that there wasn't a fit. And I couldn't understand fully why. But it was through some of these experiences that felt like failure to me, because I thought it was doing the right thing. But it wasn't creating the outcomes that I wanted, that I knew that I had to really pursue something different. And that's when I got really hooked on technology. So at that time, this dates me know, in the late 90s, I was drawn by all the opportunities that the web was creating. And I wanted to be able to apply that I had always been right brain and left brain. But I was forced to be one, because it was the mathematical sciences, specifically, unfortunately, truth Asian stereotype that that was valued. And that's where I was pushed due to my parents. But I wanted to express that I knew I loved it, because I got exposed to it in the job that I had prior to going to AOL, and I realized, you know what, I want to make a shift. I know that being in a very quantitative role isn't the right fit. I want to move from that, which is marketing research, which I loved. But I wanted to move into marketing. So I could exercise that creative side, that innovative side, the right brain. So when I went to AOL, it just felt like a wonderful fit from the beginning. Because it wasn't so hard and rigid and structured. A lot of things didn't have a very specific roadmap to exactly how we needed to do it. A lot of the initiatives hadn't been done before. So you had to think in a different way, you have to operate a different way, you have to build relationships in a different way. Because of the structure of the company. It was one where it was a matrix. People may know what that is. But it isn't a hierarchy. So there wasn't a specific clear line of command. Actually, you had multiple people who are somewhat in charge, and you had to build the relationships with cross functional teams. Because we all worked together to successfully deliver it wasn't the sort of industrialized industrial line way of working where one function has one role. It's done and passed on to the next one. It was one where it was a series of amazing teams coming together to solve a problem. So because of this just different way of working this ability to learn earn other people's roles, see how it comes together, try experiment to determine what would create wonderful opportunities for users. That just felt, right. It was that entrepreneurial aspect, I guess that I had no idea that was really even an option. That made me realize there's just a different way to work. And it, let me be me, it brought out skills and talents that I didn't even know I had.

Greg Voisen
Well, I could see that knowing that the founder’s philanthropy work that he's now doing, and his wife is creating such a difference. I don't know, if you're aware, you probably know that. He travels around in a big motor home, and he helps inspire entrepreneurs. And I could see that about him and everything in the way he speaks and who he is. Now, you know, you spoke about fluidity, and fluidity is something that leads to flow. That's what people are looking for. Steven Kotler has been on here a zillion times with the flow Genome Project. And you have a black belt in karate, which is very linear. You know, it's like you have to go do this before you can do that before this. And Bruce Lee, you said was your big fan? But can you speak to the listeners about the importance of fluidity as it relates to career lives and why you think practicing flow leads to greater innovation, creativity, and success. And I might say that in karate, Bruce Lee, and everybody who teaches it, it's like, if you use the movement, the energy, the kinetic energy, you virtually can flip somebody, right? So you're saying, I'm not having to do something that isn't already there. In other words, I'm in the flow of it, I'm, I'm moving this person's body this way or this way. So speak about that. Because flow is something that so many people are speaking, are interested in, and many people are trying to hack it, in, the way they're hacking flow is, you know, they're doing anything that will raise their level of endorphins in their body by running an exercise that we know, that's one way to do it, there are people that are microdosing LSD as well, you know, they can get into the flow state. I mean, it goes into a lot of areas here, or they're going and doing Ayahuasca because they think that's going to help them get into flow state, what is your, what is your take on this?

Connie Steele
Well, you know, flow needs to feel effortless, because it is like water. So as folks who might also be fans of Bruce Lee, you know, his monitor philosophy be like water just really resonates with me, because it's not about setting it to one form. It's not about having a fixed mindset, per se. It's really about this growth and add activity, and it's about building who you are over time. So again, it's that shift from that linearity to fluidity, sort of the singular to multiple, it's not right or wrong, it's relative. And why this notion of fluidity is so important to careers, ultimately work is because it gets back to the point I made earlier about our personal identity. And what you are seeing is that people today, particularly those who are younger, are much more comfortable and confident and expressing their identity, and their identity may not be fully fixed. And that can be whether it's in their gender, or whether it's them their ethnicity, my kids happened to biracial. And so they will say, Oh, mom, because I'm Asian, I am like this, because I'm Caucasian, I am like that. And I've actually heard and seen that with other friends whose children are biracial. But we also have to recognize, too, that the ethnic composition of the American workforce is one that's also changing, and that many people are now paying homage to their ancestry and realize that there's just an incredible value and benefit to tapping into that and expressing that. So when we as individuals are realizing that we're just also not one role in person. So I look at myself, while I am a consulting business owner, I happen to be an author. I'm also a podcaster, but I'm also a mom. And during the pandemic, the context switching that had to happen was pretty intense. Yeah, so I had to fluid The switch as best as I could, between all of these different roles, to be able to accomplish the different tasks or projects that I had. And when you also take a step back that all of us have multiple roles in our life, our identities, just in general, are not just one thing, you are a podcaster, you are an author, you are a successful business owner, Greg, but you are also a husband, you are a father, you are a close friend to others. And so your identity switches, depending on

Greg Voisen
a grandfather, and a grandfather, who gives red envelopes to his show. Because my son is married to an Asian American, oh, I know that culture.

Connie Steele
To me, you know, understanding fluidity really is getting grounded in who we are as people today and how we are as people will be changing and acknowledging that not just from a demographic standpoint, but also just attitudinally. And what we're motivated by so when you look at this very holistically, you start to understand, well, you know, things really aren't fixed, because we're constantly adapting and evolving. I think one thing that's really important, too, is because there is constant change, and that our whole world is really on the internet to that we're now product and service on the web.

Greg Voisen
Yeah. And you stated that the only constant is change. I agree. Yes. That you, you proceeded to inform the reader that all the changes, such as mindset change, predictability, change, knowledge change, and you had a bigger list than that. But let's just say, what do you believe the new worker will experience? And how would you define, in your estimation, and we've been talking about this, but maybe we can get more to what you think it's going to look like and feel like the work of the future? In other words, if you were to say, what is that? What does that feel like? I think people relate or, or visualize what it's going to be like, I get that there's remote workers I get people aren't working from the office as much, and there's, they're at home, and so they're there. But in essence, if you were to dig in, dig to the root of it, how do people manage the 24 hours, they're given every day, it is a gift, because we never know if we're going to have it the next day, to manage all these elements of their life that you were just speaking about you were talking about being a mom and, you know, you during COVID, I'm guarantee you are a teacher as well, you know, so, and then being a businesswoman, and being a podcaster and all these things. And I see that and I get that we've moved so fast, Connie, that it's we haven't been great adapters to change. We are forced to adopt technology for change. But I'm I see there's still some resistance, right. And I think what you resist persists, which is then painful, becomes very painful. And there's a lot of people out there that are listening that are in pain, and they're suffering.

Connie Steele
Change is hard and change. That fear of change. And there's a chapter in that book that's all about preparing for change, that what I've learned really stems from this fear that we have this fear of failure, this fear of shame, this anxiety that we have, that we won't be successful in whatever it is that we want to pursue next. But to answer your first question about you know, what is that future look like? What are people looking to pursue and how to get there? Well, what I note in the book where this is all moving towards this people want to create their own career mashup it is how do you really integrate all these different facets of you, those interests, those experiences, those talents, that education into a career that lets you reflect all that you can do all that you can be and that's going to be iterative, and that includes the personal and profession. Rational. And it's one where you don't feel boxed in. Now, it's not necessarily easy to do. But once you have clarity that what you want to do may not be this one role that you see, because most people are out there just saying, Oh, well, I'm going to find this job and I think this job or this title, is it, inevitably, it isn't always it. What you have to do is do that self evaluation of yourself to say, what is it that I really want, and realize that there might not be one path to doing so inevitably, there isn't, particularly when you've got multiple goals, which many of us do, if you think of it as a linear equation, so we're going to be the mathematical self, if you have multiple goals, and they are now somewhat equal in weight, there's no one direct pathway to get there. So that future involves people side hustling, which we are seeing more and more and more. And it's not just for just financial security, or risk management. But it is a way for people to be able to tap into those interests, that they have those talents that they have, that fulfill a different side of them. Some of them may be paid, some of may not, but they are building relevant skills that could be applied to their job. Or they may be actually building a foundation for a business that that might pivot into in the future. Funny enough, my brother had mentioned that person, he knows they work, I believe in their office, but on the side, they do their Mazouz. So they're side hustling a tune, and it's my, my daughter, my brother is a doctor. So she helps with the administration there. But it's very interesting to learn about this other role that she has. So I think you'll for people to be able to create this career mashup though, what I found in several of these podcast guests that I interviewed, what they were doing is strategic planning for themselves, they realize that they are a business unto themselves. And we have to now we are product and service on the web. So just like the companies that we work for, we have to look at ourselves in that way to that to achieve what we want. Creating that strategic plan, where we have clearly defined what it is that we ultimately want to achieve, what is that goal. And those pathways to get there will help us determine whether or not we're on the right path, or we need to pivot. But unfortunately, a lot of us are not taught that in school. And if you don't really do that as a profession, then it isn't something that you necessarily get exposed to. And it wasn't until I saw this common pattern of all these people that I interviewed, that they were really mapping out their plan, but constantly iterating over time, because I realized that they would build, you know that initial pathway, determine what fit and what didn't, pivoted, and it was just almost data that they pulled in, to then help them identify, this is the next thing I need to do. So it was all these building blocks.

Greg Voisen
Well, your book will help those who are confused. That's what I'm here to say. Because, look, you've spoken about all these elements. But at the core of this, we're still in this skin. And we still have this mammalian brain that likes to protect us. And Action sometimes doesn't take place. I was on a did a podcast with a social biologist the other day about her book called on the verge. And you know, we seem to wait a long time to take action. In other words, it's almost like it has to get right in front of us. And there has to be a threat, flight, fight flight or freeze, right. And I'm talking about the psychological effect, because this is a show on inside personal growth. And what I'm encouraging you to do would be to get Connie's book, if you're in that state of what do I do next? What's the action that I need to take? If you need to read something, find something to read like this, that gives you at least a spark to move to the next direction to go. And if you would speak with the listeners about what you refer to as the fluid career system, and the five components of this system, because that part is probably at its core, a big part of this book. And I think it is something that you can articulate pretty well in a short period of time to tell people that this is how you can do it. But I am going to encourage them to get the book.

Connie Steele
Sure thing. So these five components really is the foundation to help you build this strategic plan. Think of it as research, analysis, and really implementation. And it starts with spine, the trends, which is the first component. This is all about doing the necessary research and analysis to understand near term and long term opportunities based on market trends, competitive trends, and really your own trends know you a lot of times we don't take the necessary time to understand what's going on out there, but also align it to who we are, where do we play best? What value do we deliver? Once you're able to really ingest all that information and see those common threads, it will start to really coalesce all these ideas that you might have had on what you want to do, and a much more data driven way objective way, because then you're going to take that information to help you build this compass. So the second components while creating your compass is actually mapping out a more detailed plan. And there's a framework involved, called the ghost method. So for people who do strategic planning, they'll be quite familiar with it. But it's goals, objectives, strategies and tactics. And that is just a specific framework to help you organize, how to reach these specific milestones. And it not just be a checklist, because a lot of us tend to write down a bunch of tactics and a list but don't ladder that up into whether or not that makes the biggest difference, and helping us move towards where we want to go. The next piece is called Preparing for change. Because once you have a plan, and you get excited, how many of us start to think, and maybe put some things in place, and then we stop. Because we get really nervous about whether or not we can do it, because the task at hand, may feel insurmountable. So this is really about change management for you. It's understanding what is causing this fear that you have of not moving forward. And doing that introspective work of realizing where is that fear coming from? Next is networking. So as part of any strategic plan, you need people to help you get there. But there is a way to build a relevant network that can support you towards your goals. It's not that transactional dynamic that you see quite often, it's one where you need to build a great relationship with someone be very clear on what it is you're looking to do, but also, in turn, help the other individual. And so when you have that plan, and that second component, you're going to be better at able, you're going to be better able to articulate to these people what you're looking to do, but it also gives you a guide as to who you need to talk to, in order to accomplish this, this goal that you want. And then lastly, it's about building your skills. Obviously, that should be part of creating your compass. But what we focus on specifically, is building those soft skills, and particularly EQ. In today's world of work, connecting with people reading people's emotions, you're having that personal awareness, that social awareness, the personal competence, that social comments is so important. Because in order to really create that momentum, in whatever it is you do, you really need to understand people. And that is something I wish I had learned early on. That was, I think, one of the biggest aha moments I had when I had started my career. Because I didn't understand any of those components, I didn't realize those factors can be an incredible kind of driver of action for you. But when you aren't versed in that, and you don't have a mentor or advisor to tell you, you hit a wall, and you're not then introspective to on what those factors could be. So those are the five components. And they work together while we teach it sequentially. It really is an iterative system,

Greg Voisen
you have a course as well that people can take that's there. So this is probably a good time because you will get this from the book. But she's also got a course. What is the course that my listeners could tap into? And where is that?

Connie Steele
Well, you can find that on my website. We're actually going to be having a self-administered course coming out quite soon. So by the time this podcast airs, we'll probably all be ready to go. Okay, but this is all about building those skills in more depth. Because sometimes having those specific exercises which we have a few in the book, and we have done a course actually live we first started doing them live but now we want to make sure that we can reach as many people as Paul Last fall, but we want to be able to do some more specific exercises that force you to do the necessary thinking and activities to help you really ingrain how to build that plan.

Greg Voisen
The other thing you should do for my listeners is, she has a podcast called strategic momentum, you can just type that in Google, and it's going to pop up strategic momentum podcast, or you can click on it at on our website, which we're going to have links on our website as well. Connie, you know, you in your chapter on creating your compass, you talked about building the strategic plan, you speak about how to build the plan, which you did the four elements. You put a chart in the book about the psychology of change. And I think that that's what I was alluding to a minute ago, is, can you discuss this model, and also the steps that we can take to move beyond the fear of change, because we've talked about change itself. As I said, a lot of people, you know, it's fight flight or freeze, and now it's there, they're going to run the other direction, they're going to freeze or they're going to fight it. What would you state about that model, and also how you could help my listeners move beyond it?

Connie Steele
Sure. So this model, it all really this emotional cycle change, it comes from Darryl Connor, who is a change management expert. And it was actually developed in the mid 1970s. And it's really about researching how people react to change and as five stages. And as you think about sort of the cycles that we all go through these ups and downs, the peaks and troughs, kind of envision this model like that, where you start with this first stage of uninformed optimism, you, you feel certainly, that you could do this. But then as you start to move towards operationalizing, it, there's doubt, because you get some sense of scope and level of effort. It's also very different, potentially, than what you've done before. And that can create a lot of angst, because it's not maybe within your wheelhouse or something that is quite predictable for you. So oftentimes, people check out. So as you think of you're starting off, at sort of the lower part, and it's starting to move up you, you have this important pessimism, doubt people check out and they leave. But then if you can crest that, and you push past that doubt, you reach this level of hopeful realism, that's stage three. And then once you start to see some success and get those signs, you reach the stage of informed optimism, you build that confidence. And once that confidence continues to build, you see more successes, then you reach stage five, completion, and satisfaction. But it is these ebbs and flows that you always have, and those amplitudes that you likely have of the informed pessimism because I think everyone goes through that. And being able to crest towards hopeful realism, we become lesser and lesser, so you won't have as high of an amplitude, the more you do it, the more comfortable you get with trying. And the way to push past this comes down to understanding what those triggers are, that cause this fear and concern and this pessimism in the first place. And doing that analysis of diving in and said, Well, what is it? What is that situation that you are envisioning? That is causing this fear, anxiety and even shame and then linking that back to what could it be in your past life? That could have been the real trigger? And then based on that particular context, you what did you learn from it? Likely you're able to push past that? And how did you pivot? So again, this all goes back to really understanding you. And the question becomes, how likely is this to happen again, because many times we catastrophize the situation, right? We always assume the worst, whether that's reality or not, you know, that's really for you to kind of pick apart and realize, likely it isn't. And so, the next thing you do is do another exercise is list out the likely outcomes. So if you're, if you are afraid of something, do that introspection, map out what has happened and say, these are all the outcomes that can happen, but how likely is it? What are the positive outcomes? Where are the negative outcomes? It's kind of doing like a pro con pro analysis, right? You become much more objective about it. Then you could see Wow, a lot of this likely is in my head. I'm just nervous. But if I do this, the pros definitely outweigh it. It can't. So why don't I just try. And another thing to do is that and don't look at this effort as this big bang, everything takes small steps to accomplish, break that down into those finite tasks that make you comfortable, map that out and start chipping away. Because once you do that first task, which is which is aligned to what you're trying to achieve, you realize, Wait, that wasn't so bad. Let's do it again. Let's do it again. Let's do it. Again,

Greg Voisen
that explanation of that chart was it's really informative. And I think people, what you just said, allows them to look at the steps, even though there can be some troughs and valleys and in between peaks and valleys in between. Connie, as we wrap up this podcast, if you were to leave the listeners with three takeaways from our interview, and something that they could apply to their life and their careers, what advice would you want to leave them with?

Connie Steele
I'd say realize that the future of work, the future of you, is fluid, you will be constantly changing, evolving, growing to reach your own potential, and it won't be a straight line path to get there. And that's okay. And to find that right fit for you, that aligns your skills and interests, passions and talents, requires you to have a plan. And that plan really is that plan is going to be fixed, you need to start having a plan though, to get started. It's going to be iterated upon, as you continue to gather learnings about yourself in terms of what works and what doesn't.

Greg Voisen
Well, you call it the mash up, it can be messy. And you have to be willing to wade through both your emotional attachment to things and your ability to detach from certain things. And I think that Buddha said it really well. And one of the statements, he says you have pain and suffering. And then there's the end of pain and suffering, the end of pain and suffering is the result of you being able to let go and shift your mind. And I think one of the biggest challenges we have is we set a goal or an aspiration. And we've visualized or we think it's going to happen a certain way. And it hardly ever happens that way. You have to be fluid enough to accept it the way that it is going to happen. And not be so attached to the fact that you said what's supposed to happen with step 1234. That's the way it's going to happen. No, I can speak from experience, it never happens that way.

Connie Steele
Well, you are a career mashup or you're an early career mashup. So you, I'm sure I get intimately share what the experience is like, and sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

Greg Voisen
You do. And you know, there's so many things in life that affect it. You know, and so regardless of what we're dealing with now inflation in the war, and, and the challenge with China and that being in lockdown, and you know, how many things could we actually try and deal with right now. I mean, I think people are looking at the external world and their internal world. And I would just say, instead of becoming depressed over it, if you can remove yourself summit from it and do something, I always find doing something physical, like going on a bike ride or walking in the woods or going down to the beach or walking in the mountains or whatever it might be, or yoga or doesn't matter, meditation, do something that removes you from being in the center of the fire, you know, the fray. And at times, it feels like that I know. But Connie has given us hope that we can find a path. Here's the book, building the business of you. I will put a link to this and to her podcast. Connie, thank you so much for being on inside personal growth, sharing some of your own personal experiences, your wisdom, and then on your podcast. I'm going to tell people to go to strategic momentum podcasts because you're going to listen to interviews she's done with people that have gone through this. So Blessings to you. Thank you so much. And no Miss day. Have a great rest of your day. I appreciate you being on Inside Personal Growth

Connie Steele
I appreciate you. Thank you so much for having me on the show.

Greg Voisen
You're welcome

powered by

Joining me for this podcast is the Chief Medical Officer of Riverside Community Care headquartered in Dedham MA, a Lecturer of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and triple Board certified in adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and a diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine – Dr. Joseph Shrand.

Dr. Shrand has developed a strength based model called The I-M Approach that suggests a fundamental paradigm shift, moving away from pathology to viewing a patient at a current maximum potential. This approach is also what his new book exhibits.

In Unleashing the Power of Respect: The I-M Approach, Dr. Joseph illustrates through his patients’ stories that no one is broken. We’re all doing the best we can, with the potential to change in the very next moment. It takes the chaos of life and organizes it into four manageable domains that help us understand who we are and why we do what we do.

If you’re interested to know more about Dr. Joseph Shrand, you may click here to visit his website.

Thank you and happy listening!

THE BOOK

Unleashing the Power of Respect takes the chaos of life and organizes it into four manageable domains that help us understand who we are and why we do what we do. Dr. Shrand’s method gives us a clear, actionable path where respect leads to value, and value leads to trust. You control no one but influence everyone, and you get to choose the kind of influence you want to be. All of us want the same thing—to be valued by others. This book is your roadmap to unleashing that power of respect.

THE AUTHOR

The Chief Medical Officer of Riverside Community Care headquartered in Dedham MA, a Lecturer of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and triple Board certified in adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and a diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He is also the founder of Drug Story Theater, Inc. which a non-profit organization that takes teenagers in the early stages of recovery from drugs and alcohol. He also has a weekly radio show on WATD 95.9 FM, The Dr. Joe Show: Exploring who we are and why we do what we do.

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transcription (not edited) of the interview.

Dr. Joseph Shrand Interview

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and host of Inside Personal Growth. And I have Dr. Joe joining me from Philadelphia. Right Dr. Joe?

Dr. Joseph Shrand
Not quite close to Philadelphia, it's more like Marshfield close to Boston. But it's close enough to Philadelphia.

Greg Voisen
Why did I say why did I say Philadelphia for some reason I'm going to Philadelphia, my brain

Dr. Joseph Shrand
hurts. Okay, I'm a psychiatrist, we can explore that later.

Greg Voisen
We should. I'm going to let my listeners know a little bit about you from your website. And for all those listening, go to Dr. S H r a n d.com. And I'm going to say SRAM, does that work? That works great. Okay, and what do you how do you say it? Shred, okay, because I want to make sure so it's Dr. Joe Sharan. He is the chief medical officer of Riverside Community Care headquartered in Massachusetts. He's been a lecturer of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and an adjunct faculty at Boston Children's Hospital. He is a triple board certified in adult psychiatric and Child Adolescent Psychiatry, and diploma and from the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He's developed a strength based model called the I M approach, and we're gonna be speaking about his book right here, I'm gonna show my listeners, I'm gonna hold it up here, Joe, because it is a work of art. It is wonderful. Look at that. So we want you guys to all go out and get this we're gonna have a link to amazon so that you can get it. And this is an approach that suggests a fundamental paradigm shift moving away from pathology to viewing a patient as a current maximum potential. He is the founder of drugs story theater, Inc., a nonprofit organization that takes teenagers in their early stages of recovery from drugs and alcohol, and teaches them improvisational theatre techniques. The teenagers then create their own shows, which they perform in the middle of high schools so that the treatment of one becomes the prevention of many. I love that he is on a radio show. And this is weekly, w a TD 95.9. FM. It's called the Dr. Joe Show. And he's the author of many books, which we're going to be speaking about the book that I just held up. But he also has, is it five other books? I think it's five other books,

Dr. Joseph Shrand
five total books. Yeah, five total books, unleashing the power of respect is the latest one.

Greg Voisen
Yep. And this one is really, really, you don't have to have read the predecessor books to actually understand what's going on this book. It's got lots of stories from the patients that Dr. Joe treats, which is a good way to kind of tell it by story, you can tell it Dr. Joe is a good storyteller. So what I would like to do is start this off, because the forward is by Dr. Ken Duckworth and the he says in there that unleashing the power of respect is a book for this time, the benefits and indeed magic of treating people with respect has never been more in need. And I couldn't agree with him more. As a society as a society we are struggling with many long standing problems and the power of respect is grossly underutilized. How has disrespect in your estimation underestimated the fabric of our society? And what can we do about it? Dr. Joe?

Dr. Joseph Shrand
First, let me thank you again for having me on the show. And just imagine Ken Duckworth is the medical director of Nam a the nationalized mentally ill, he's going to be coming out with a book relatively soon, you may want him on your show. It's called You Are Not Alone. And I think one of the things that I'm so honored that Dr. Duckworth agreed to write the foreword, because he is able to, to really focus in on what's going on here. We have had disrespect undermine a lot of stuff that's going on in our culture in our world. Part of it has to do really with not just COVID but with the idea that if you don't agree with someone, then somehow you're being disrespectful, which doesn't necessarily need to follow. You can have a discussion with Someone can still absolutely respect them, even if you don't agree with them. But we have this world now that is so divided and put into these groups. So that if you don't agree with me somehow, you are less valuable. This is really the key to b I am approach and unleashing the power of respect. When was the last time you got angry at someone treating you with respect? When you think about it, you really don't Anger is an emotion designed to change things we get angry, when we want someone to do something different, start doing something or stop doing something. But being respected, feels great. So you don't activate that very primitive part of your brain.

Greg Voisen
But don't you think to Dr. Joe, and just I want to add this because this is something for my listeners, we live in a society which you're in my time, we didn't have all this digital connection. Now we've got so much social media, we're actually blurting out a text or posting a blog, or doing something that's going to create anger is very easy to do. I mean, you look at Twitter, and now Musk is saying he's gonna buy Twitter because he wants it to be an open platform again. And he doesn't want it to be censored. But if you look at all the anger that's kind of being infused by this instant always on let's say something kind of thing. I'm just curious as to I don't I know you believe that this has got to be aggravating it. But how can we work in those platforms and still work with respect?

Dr. Joseph Shrand
Interesting, isn't it? We call it digital communication when there's so much miscommunication, right? We call it social media, where there's so much anti-social media now. So why is that happening? The first thing is it shows us how powerful words are and how important words are to us. The second thing is, it shows us how important it is to actually have face to face contact with someone not that you're going to put your face up against someone's face, but that you're watching and looking at someone's face. We are so attuned to the emotions that somebody portrays in their face, it's actually something called theory of mind. We actually have evolved this is not theory of evolution with theory of quantum mechanics. We can't see someone's mind. So we have to guess and theorize, what are they thinking or feeling? We look at their face. To do that. You can look at emoticons and you can immediately discern if the emotion is anger, sadness, happiness. When we are doing just words, it leaves it up to the reader to interpret the inflection of those words. Great that can it can I ask you in our audience just to do a quick exercise just to demonstrate this? Sure. Say these words exactly. I am having lasagna for dinner.

Greg Voisen
I am having lasagna for dinner.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
I say the exact same words. The exact same words, but as a question.

Greg Voisen
Am I having lasagna for dinner? And now as a demand? I am having lasagna for dinner. Exactly. And

Dr. Joseph Shrand
now, this is a tough one. Greg has a seduction. I'm having lasagna for dinner. Beautiful, right? So look what's just happened here. The exact same words, but with different cadence, different prosody different rhythm, a different expression. When you hear them, somebody can understand that. But if I were to write those words out, you get to attribute whatever emphasis you want. And that is part of the miscommunication. That is part of the difficulty with it. It's the same thing with road rage, right? With road rage. You can't necessarily see that driver, you just know that they've cut you off. And so you get furious. Can you imagine doing that in line at a supermarket? Would you really get that furious with some of that same degree of rage? If somebody just goes in front of you, you're gonna get angry, but you're probably not going to try to pull out a gun and kill them. Because you don't have that human connection where you do when you're in line with someone. So this is absolutely part of it.

Greg Voisen
Yeah. Well, you know look as a MD. You've worked in psychiatric wards with locked down and we're gonna get to the question about the guy with the chair was the nurse and the way that you're able to manage people's out of control emotions, right? But I do want to get to is early childhood events for you that I think helped to form who Dr. Joe is today. You know, you talked about your parents’ divorce when you were 14, and you stated that they didn't have a happy marriage. Your dad was a pediatrician. And your mom was an actress to air interesting combination. And at 14, you audition for a PBS show called Zoom kit. And you were selected, right? It

Dr. Joseph Shrand
was just called Zoom. It was called Zoom, oh, zoom, and I became an I became a zoom kid.

Greg Voisen
Right? Okay. And you became a zoom kid. And your mother gave you some sound advice about respect when your kid didn't come from your dad? Because you said your dad was angry? What indelible bit of advice did you receive from your mom, that is still with you today that you'd want to impart to our listeners about respect.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
My mom, who was quite a famous actress in her own right, Frances strand of the spider's web, she had her own radio show where she would read children's books on WGBH. And she said to me, Look, Joe, you're now a celebrity. People will recognize you in the street, and some may come up and ask for an autograph, right. Just think of what bravery and courage that may take for somebody to come up to a really a stranger, someone they've just seen on television, and ask for an autograph. And always treat them with respect. Always treat them with respect. Now. Zoom, laid a foundation for respect, Zoom was all about people coming together. It was the first fully racially integrated show, we had people, kids from all over socio economic status. There were no adults in the show. It was just a group of kids coming together. And Greg, this is now 50 years later, we just celebrated our 50th anniversary. So folks, if you want to go and check it out, WGBH actually just released some of the content. They never done this before. You can go to WGBH dot o RG and then backslash. Zoom Z Oh am five zero. And you can scroll down you can actually see the original show. Oh, but it was about respect. Now I didn't see that respect between my parents. They were disrespectful, devaluing, which led them to be mistrustful. I'll say this in jest. But my mother always used to say she was a divorcee, but always wanted to be a widow. Which is really pretty great. And I, I learned early on, that I was living in a family where there was so much potential, so much talent. My father was an incredible pediatrician, he was chief of pediatrics at a very large hospital in Boston. But the two of them for whatever reason, they could not get along. And I vowed as a kid that I would never repeat that in my own marriage. And I am delighted and very honored to say I have an incredible partner, my wife, Carol, we have four amazing kids. But it was all based on respect and value. Because respect is what leads to value. And if you think about it, great. This is what everybody wants. Think about every person you've ever met in your life listeners think about every person you've ever met. The common thread that binds us, we just want to feel valued by somebody else. Think about that. We want to feel valued. We have spent millennia.

Greg Voisen
Civilization, but that anger that your dad had, obviously toward your mother.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
Vice versa. Yeah. And

Greg Voisen
your mom toward your dad. Yeah. Um, you know, psychologically, as a psychiatrist, I'm sure you know, some of the reasons you lived in the family. And it frequently is and you can address this because all of what you've done. It's the words and the way you communicate the words to one another, that actually create it's almost like your, I don't want to say your etching away and it just gets deeper and deeper and deeper in the wound gets worse and worse and worse and it gets more and more painful. And for your mom and for your dad. It was extremely painful because of the words that were spoken in the family right there. Similar to your I Am approach that we're going to talk about here in a minute. But that is what erodes a marriage.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
Yeah, I agree. And again, if you think, and remember that Anger is an emotion designed to change things, what did my parents want to see different. And I think it came down to somehow they just, they just didn't treat each other with respect for whatever reason, there may have been many things going on in their relationship that I as a young child was not privy to, right. But the bottom line is the same. And that's why when you can step back and look again, at why someone is doing what they're doing without judging it, then you have a chance to shift your brain. Because the anger part is from this ancient part of our brain, the limbic system, it's irrational, it's emotional, it's impulsive, it's where memories live.

Greg Voisen
Why does the ego as a psychiatrist always want the person to be right? Because you know, what happens is, you know, I've been in relationship for 43 years, and I understand, you go through ups, she goes through downs. But frequently, when this agitation occurs, it's about one person wanting to be right, because the ego is very challenged. And or you're being reminded that you did something wrong. You didn't do it the right way. Right. So we all are in relationships, where this occurs in every relationship, this happens, okay. Sure. Approach, how would How would you know this, I have an approach to tell us the acronym and meeting for the four domains that are part of the model. I'd love for you to do this is a perfect timing. And it's a perfect question for that. Because you give a way to get out of the limbic kind of modality that we're in, I call it the mammalian brain, it just defaults to doing that.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
It's the it's the reptilian brain or reptilian brain is the limbic system, and the mammalian brain is what we have evolved. Yes, yeah.

Greg Voisen
So where we are is, you know, we have a hard time breaking that cycle.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
Yeah, we do, don't we? And isn't that fascinating? And why is that it is because we are so worried that we will be viewed was as less valuable. That's what the item is all about. Yeah. The item is saying, we're all doing the best we can. You're at a current maximum potential. This is who I am. This is me, I matter. That's the paradigm shift. How often do we hear you're not doing good enough? You should be doing better. What's wrong with you? You're broken. In psychiatry, that's what happens. That's what happens in medicine. We've spent a long time trying to fix people.

Greg Voisen
But with your model, how do you break that cycle? In other words, what's happening is one person is saying to the other person, I'm right, you're wrong. Right. that agitates the other person to say, I'm right, you're wrong. Shut up. Right. And they get angry.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
They can? Yes. And this was this has been absolutely a reflexive way. Yeah, this has been part of what I was saying earlier is we have spent millennia increasing our value, we're everybody wants to feel valuable. We've spent millennia increasing our value by decreasing somebody else's. And then they're astonished that they do the same, they then try to re increase recapture their value by decreasing yours. And then all of a sudden, we have war. We have the group division we have in our country, we have this global conflict that is going on right now. Because one group is trying to reestablish their value by taking away somebody else's. But we don't have to do that anymore. That's what the I MSA, the IME is saying even that's an im so the best that person can do right now. To increase their value is try to make me feel less valuable. What's going on in there I am. What is the I am we are influenced by four domains?

Greg Voisen
What's going on? Putin is I am I mean, that's about it. That's right. Yeah, Joe, it's, it's my wife has always said it's the test of money and power. And always the one with the most power doesn't always win and always the one with the most money doesn't always win. And we could check a lot of boxes from Mr. Putin. And a lot of people say, Well, he just didn't get enough hugs. You know, well, they said the same thing about Trump. And I, you know, I'm not afraid to talk about political figures on the show. It's my viewers can do whatever they want to do. My point is, is that, you know, when you look at psychologically, how, I don't know how you put your the psychiatrist, delusional they are. Maybe delusional would be the term. Tell me because there's a perfect example of I am not working. Well, but you see, it is working, because he is I am yeah, that's right.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
That's it. Exactly, Greg. And that's, that's the refrain, right? For whatever reason, the best this person can do, is what he's doing. And it is alienating a lot of people. But there's also a lot of people who say, Hey, I'd like to be part of that group. This is the dilemma that we have as human beings. But if we all want the same thing, which is to feel valued, and I don't think there's any disagreement that at every, at any moment in time, you can remind someone of their value. And whenever you remind someone of their value, increases your value, I hear your dog, right now, dogs are a great example of this. Right? Because what does a dog do for a human, if not make them feel valuable? It's unconditional. It's actually based on a neuro hormone called oxytocin, which we'll talk about not Oxycontin, oxytocin, the neurohormone of trust, this is what we can do with the I Am, we are influenced by four domains, your home domain, no one's gonna argue the home you grew up in, it's an influence on your work. We were talking about that in my own personal world, how my home domain influenced me, the social domain, which is everything else, that was what zoom was for me, Zoom school, meeting, Carol, my social domain, everything other than the home, these two domains are outside. And you can appreciate stuff that happens at home influences, the decisions you make in your social world. But then there are two internal domains, the biological domain of your brain and body. Are you hungry? Are you tired? Are you digesting your lunch? And then what I call the ice domain? How do I see myself? How do I think other people see me? As I said, human beings are very interested in what other people think or feel we call that empathy? What do we really want to know? We want to know what someone is thinking about us. And these four domains interact all the time. But if you don't like it, you can change it the eye and doesn't mean you're going to win. It doesn't mean you condone it, it's not a free ride, you're going to be held responsible. It doesn't even mean you're going to be successful. And for some people, I was actually was listening to one of your podcasts one of the guys who's talking about oh, repeating so that was what was it? You keep saying the same thing. That was I think you've just released it the last week or so. One of your podcasts?

Greg Voisen
Was it Steven Kotler?

Dr. Joseph Shrand
Yeah. And he was talking about the his book about you already said that? Something like that. Sorry. But oh,

Greg Voisen
yeah, quit repeating yourself. Right. Just released. Like last night.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
Yeah. Right. And it talks about success. And for me, one definition of success is when you love going to work and love going home. But for some people success is having food in the refrigerator. For some people success is having a home to have a refrigerator. For some people success is just being able to wake up and get through the day. Yeah. But instead of judging each other, as less than and broken, should be doing better. Let's look again at why we do what we do, based on the influence of the four domains. And I want you to just think about these words, look again and reverse them. Again, look, again, to repeat something look like a spectator. The item is saying, let’s respect why people do what they do without judging them. But wondering, what has happened in their four domains that this is their I am. Respect is what leads to value, which is what everybody wants, and value means to trust. And with that trust, trust is the antidote to anger, fear, sadness, because when you trust someone, you can make mistakes. And you know, you're not going to be judged. So that's valuable. We live in a world full of mistrust. Due to devaluation due to disrespect.

Greg Voisen
I can change that. Yeah, I Well, we have to change it. Yeah. Oh, yam has to change it exactly, because it can't change anywhere else. And you know, I happen to be listening to an address that Barack Obama made yesterday at Stanford, regarding the division, what's going on? And he says, you know, he used the word sludge. So the media was like, wow, it's just enough sludge. And he said, Look, if Putin wants to put into the airwaves, just enough sludge to confuse, because people are listening, or we put enough sludge, you can. And I thought sludge was a great example sewage, no, actually, it's called sewage, called it sewage, not sludge, that it confuses people enough that they don't really know what direction to take, you know what I mean? So it's like,

Dr. Joseph Shrand
that will make them anxious, that will increase their anxiety. They don't know what direction to take?

Greg Voisen
Correct. Correct. And he says, that’s exactly what's occurring. You know, literally kind of worldwide. If you look at the leaders, he, he used Venezuela, he used the US, he used many countries to give an example of that, but he called it sewage. So there's enough sewage out there floating around that people are getting confused. And so they're going to use this sewage to slash out at somebody else about something because they're finally going to take a side or whatever. I thought it was really interesting.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
And that's right. And think about it in terms of our limbic brain, the fight flight freeze response. Yeah. So if you don't know what's happening, if you don't know what to believe that's going to increase your anxiety. Yes. Right, which is the flight response. But one way that human beings have been able to tolerate that anxiety is by forming a group. Because now, you are not alone. Remember, this is why value is so important. Millions of years ago, we weren't the biggest animal the fastest or the strongest, we were isolated mammals scurrying around, hoping not to be lunch, we were prey. And then we found these social groups, and our survival potential increased. So dramatically, human beings are everywhere. But to access to protection of that group, you must contribute to that group, you must have value, you must have value. So, you know, President Obama is correct. There's a lot of stuff out there in the airways, there's a lot of ability to influence other people that, yes, and bring them into your group by saying, your group is being attacked. Now, there's a fascinating

Greg Voisen
what we couldn't have a better example than the insurrection in on June 6 of people that got in a group and chose to march on Washington. And now we've got everybody trying to investigate it. Right. But my point is,

Dr. Joseph Shrand
but step back for a moment and look at them. That's their I am, yes, going what was going on with them, that the best they could do was form this mob, to try to change something. If we can't have that dialogue. And wonder, instead of worry, and be reflective, instead of reflexive, we must have this dialogue to understand what it was these people wanted to see different.

Greg Voisen
Well, they wanted to be valued. That's right. That's right. I mean, they didn't believe they didn't believe they were being valued. And then the other side said, You're not valuing us. So that you created this conflict. You know, in your chapter on building on the science, you talked about your first book, manage your stress. And let me tell you, this is a stress producer, for everyone. I would say the only way to eliminate it to a certain degree would be you turn off all media, you go to a deserted island, and you don't listen to anything or read a book or open up your phone or do anything. Otherwise, you're pretty much affected by sludge or sewage. Speak with us about the biological domain, and how this affects the ability to move into a state of respect, because let's face it, this is affecting all of us for moving into this state of respect.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
Right? So let's look at it from a biological domain. Again, let's step back. Let's look again, this is an AI n. Let's not judge it. Here's what's fascinating about stress. Stress has been part of our survival response for millions of years. We need it to have it

Greg Voisen
right. Fight it was a phrase is used

Dr. Joseph Shrand
exactly the fight flight freeze response, but was stress a chemical from the brain called ACTH. Basically, as Paul Revere and says, Well, there's danger, there's danger, there's danger and it releases into the body. Paul Revere goes down and goes to a tiny little gland on top of your kidneys called the adrenal glands. Sounds like adrenaline. It also releases cortisol. Now, these are the Minutemen. These are the chemicals that come out and activate that fight flight freeze response. Cortisol can result in increased blood pressure, all sorts of different medical things. We can talk about those later. But what cortisol also does is it interferes with another chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is the neurohormone of pleasure, all drugs and alcohol for spraying to make dopamine, when you're under a lot of stress, it's hard to feel that much pleasure. That's part of what's happening in the world right now. The second part of that cortisol does is it interferes with oxytocin, the neurohormone of trust, it's really hard to trust people when you're under that much stress. So a lot of people will then begin to use drugs and alcohol to at least feel some pleasure. But here's what happens with dopamine. Dopamine also interferes with oxytocin. Now, you have a world where we have so much cortisol, the stress response is so hard because it COVID reticle divide, yeah. And it's interfering with the dopamine and the oxytocin, right. But now we know. So we can step back, we don't have to take it personally. This is stress in manage your stress, what I suggest is the best way to reduce your stress is to help somebody reduce theirs, because then you increase your value. And then you actually are going to be increasing oxytocin in both brains. And oxytocin can overcome all these things. It is a remarkable thing. And we can do that for each other at any and every moment.

Greg Voisen
Audience you go you well, empathy and empathy and compassion are a result of oxytocin. Right?

Dr. Joseph Shrand
Yes, empathy. Absolutely. Right. But, but what I'm saying is that when you feel that I am empathic towards you, you then respond to me very differently, and increase my value. You thank people. Thank you for saying that. Thank you for being so empathic. Thank you for being so compassionate. Whoa, what does that really mean? That means that you have done something to increase my value, so I will reciprocate in time. Why not do that in the world, instead of trying to increase our value by taking someone else's and then are astonished that they're going to do the same? No need to do that

Greg Voisen
any? Well, in a utopian world, this is what we would do. You know, I, I wrote a chapter in a book a friend was writing for Bucky Fuller and I always used to live Bucky Fuller is to talk about and one of them was if we put more money in living reverses weaponry. Right, that was it was he used to make up words, right? So it was made up words. Imagine how many people we could feed in the world and what we could do, you know, in his comment was really about look at what we're like the correlation now is give Ukraine more weapons to fight Russia. Okay. We're like right, great. So now we're going to put more weaponry and now we've got nobody living they're all trying to flee go to other places. Because it's they're dying in the process. And I wish you could take your content and going fuse it in. And everybody over there because that's what needs to really happen. You're, you're fascinated, I love this approach. I think it's great. You have five books six with this one.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
Now, this is the fifth one. This is the fifth book iPhone.

Greg Voisen
Okay, I keep getting it wrong. I'd like to get the other it's so

Dr. Joseph Shrand
your I am great. I'm okay with it.

Greg Voisen
Okay. Because it all came up to I am really all those books led to this. So if all my listeners just get this book, you don't have to get the others but I would say based on

Dr. Joseph Shrand
what it's okay if you do though it's okay. If you get

Greg Voisen
you mentioned that the basic idea rather than worry that we have less value. It's recognize that the very worry at Self is the best we can do based on the brains, which is what you said, I agree. The I Am approach helps us to be more respectful when the ancient brains would rather react and say stupid things that we'd regret. Right? Okay,

Dr. Joseph Shrand
so

Greg Voisen
how do I trigger? myself to remember, so that the ancient brain doesn't take over? And do something I would regret? Because unless you catch yourself in the moment, you know, this is I always remember Tony Robbins beating himself on the chest right after a rubber band that he would bang on his wrist right? To do the neuro linguistic programming. How do you? How would you tell my listeners who catch themselves in this moment, and they see themselves going down that rabbit hole to stop going down the rabbit hole and go, I am? Sorry, they are? Right.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
The first thing to do is just recognize it's happening. Okay. Awareness. Yeah. Because your limbic system is going to activate, it will activate in a way to protect you. But you can then step back from them and go, wait a sec, there are no more saber toothed tigers. What just happened here, something changed in my four domains. And I see domain, the way I saw myself, the way I thought that person saw me activated my biological domain. And my cortisol levels went up. And I

Greg Voisen
saw not to interrupt you. But think about this in our world today. We're not out fighting tigers, we're not doing things like that. But what we are doing is taking in information and forming beliefs and the beliefs cause conflict. Because you sent stands so strongly for something that what you hear or what somebody says, you become angry about, that would probably be many of my listeners. Okay. What would you what advice would you be, you know, they're in listening to a lecture, they're watching a newscaster, they're on Twitter, in somebody's infusing their, you know, limbic system, and they're just going, fuck you. You know, it's just, you know, that's the way it gets. That's my point. I see this, because I'm involved. I'm on the air all the time. So what advice this is it don't help phrase don't fight

Dr. Joseph Shrand
is remember that that person is that there I am. We're all doing the best we can. I don't have to like it. But I want to understand it. Right? If I can't step back and look again, and respect, remember, respecting something isn't the same thing as saying it's okay. But I have to understand what has happened in that person's four domains that the best they can do is say something that I so disagree with. But rather than create a cap around it, we're now I'm in one group, and you're in another group, I'm going to recognize, well, this person wants the same thing I want. They're just going about it a different way, will speak and also want to feel

Greg Voisen
about the lady in the gun. Because you know, in that chapter, you talk about these attachments. Now, in Buddhist traditions, there's, you know, I've studied it, you know, it's, Hey, I say you can have a goal, but don't get so attached to it, because it may not happen the way you want it to happen. But you also get attached to a lot of other things too, right? And in in that one, it's the chapter you talk about Bridget and Jan. Right. And I'd like for you to tell the story, because I think it's a great story. Also, if you could comment on the four basic types of attachment, because, hey, that's, that's what happens.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
Really, with a gun is a story about a woman who did not think she could love her child. And by the end of her journey, realized how much she truly did love her child. Part of what had happened to her is that she had been abused. And when you're abused, you very quickly begin to see yourself with less value. Of course, what happened in our work together and these are my patients Teachers is we developed a rapport. We developed a trust. And, and one evening, you know, this was before cell phones, right? This is where we've had beepers. And my pager goes off. It's this patient, she's been coming in to see me every week, certain time, the same time every week. And I call her back. So what's going on? She says, I'm not coming in tomorrow. Talk to me. And I said, what's happening? She's, she said, I have a gun. This changes the dynamic quite a bit. And somebody says to you, I have a gun. And I had to make a decision. This was her I am. I didn't like it. But I was going to trust her. She had been hospitalized so many times. But what I did was I said, Listen, I'm gonna call you back in 20 minutes. If you don't answer the phone, I'm gonna send the police over, put the phone down, call the back in 20 minutes, she, she picked up the phone, she wound up coming back in the next day and everything the whole story spilled out. So she had developed a more secure attachment with me, as opposed to having an ambivalent and insecure attachment. That was the result of being abused. She also developed an attachment style with her daughter, where she was distant, and then was astonished that her daughter was also pulling away from her. So the attachment is about value, it comes down to that value and trust. If you think about the way an infant comes into the world, they don't have any mistrust. They don't really have an attachment to individuals, they don't even recognize that they are an individual. Right for quite some time, right? That's who we are. When we come into the world. We are completely connected to each other without an awareness of who we are. We are just one. Yeah, yes. And then things happen. And we begin to forget that we begin to confuse it. And yet, we can always come back to it. Because that's what the IMF is saying. There are no groups except for one group called humanity. We all want the same thing. We are all connected in this way. The I Am because the four domains interact, there are two truths. The first truth, small changes can have big effects. You don't need to change everything. I'm hoping that your listeners that this small change of listening can have a big effect. Today, you can do a small change, because of the second truth of the I Am, which is everyone's got one. Everyone is interested in what you think about them, which has an effect on their biological domain, because you know, it feels different. When you feel respected or disrespected. And you are part of someone's home or social domain. What this means the second truth, you control no one, but you influence everyone. You get to choose the kind of influence you want to be, you get to choose. So if somebody is getting you angry step back What do I want to see different? Why is the best this person can do? Make me angry. That's my limbic response that's reflexive, but I will now be reflective and talk with them. And I will use something called my mirror neurons. We mirror each other's emotions. That person's angry, my mirror neurons activated I got angry, but you know what? I can now reflect on that. I can calm down. And I can treat that person with respect. It will take a little while. But that person will be unable to sustain anger. Because

Greg Voisen
awareness is it Dr. Joe Waring. Yeah. You know, it's so true what you're saying. But always a little more difficult to actually pull off. It's gonna take some practice, it takes practice and if you can, you can and there's ways that you can do it. I believe people that meditate more, have the ability to keep calmer during those situations and remember who they are versus the ego saying no, that's not it versus the soul of themselves being expressed, which is a loving kind and compassionate soul. And you know, one of the ways you express yourself and I said it in the bio in the beginning, was the drug story theater theater, and how you've helped adolescent brains. There's so many, you know, so many challenges when we're adolescents, right? Speak with us about the three core concepts of the drugs, story, theater, and your work with teenagers. Because no, this is big work for you. This is, this is part of Dr. Joe. And it is what's helping heal society and heal a group or community of people, especially in adolescents that are very influenced. And they've been influenced, because you said, many of them are either in alcohol or drugs. Yeah,

Dr. Joseph Shrand
yeah. So let's, let's just remember that addiction is not about morality, it's about mortality. It's simply the way the brain responds. And so in drugs, we theater not only do these kids create their shows, and perform them, as you said at the beginning, but in between each scene of the show, they step out of character. And they do PowerPoint presentations, teaching the audience about the neuroscience of adolescent brain development. What we're trying to teach is the dopamine, oxytocin interaction, not Oxycontin, oxytocin, so you can get high, but the price you pay is trust, you decide what pleasure is more important to you. The second thing we teach is that one of the main reasons kids start using drugs or alcohol is low self-esteem. But at any moment, you can remind someone of their value. And whenever you do that, you increase your own value. And then one of the third things we teach is just simply because of brain development. If you start using drugs, or alcohol after the age of 21, one out of 25 people are at risk for lifelong addiction. You start using before the age of 18, because the way the brain is developing, because your limbic system is more in control, that number goes from one and 25 to one in for one in four kids who start using before the age of 18, are at risk for lifelong addiction. So we're asking our audience, just to wait. If you are going to use just wait until your brain is a little bit more developed. Our kids are powerful, in the sense that it's peer to peer, they are in their own recovery. The slogan of drugs for the theater, the treatment of one becomes prevention of many, every time that audience gives our kids a round of applause. They are increasing oxytocin in our kid's brain, that is our kids treatment. Those kids in the audience have influenced our kids on stage. This is the same as the I Am. You control no one you influence everyone you get to choose. But the vast majority of our kids have started using because on some level, they felt less valuable.

Greg Voisen
Well, it's such a great program that you're reaching kids who are using or have been using, and the ones in the audience who possibly are using or have been using, and to have it peer to peer. You know, it's so powerful that way. And I love the work you're doing. And if people want to learn more, you can just go to Dr. Joe's website. And we're also going to be putting the link to the book. Here we go. One last question to wrap this up. If you were to leave the listeners with three great takeaways from your book that they could apply today, in their lives, and it and it would have them improve in some way. How would you help them open up to the power of respect?

Dr. Joseph Shrand
Firstly, thing is remember, you're doing the best you can. Instead of judging yourself, look again at why you do what you do based on the influence of the four domains, you are not broken. The second thing the small changes can have big effects. You do not need to change everything. If you think you need to change everything, you're going to get overwhelmed. If you're overwhelmed, you're going to flood your whole body with cortisol and interfere with dopamine and oxytocin. Find a small change to make today in any one of the domains and see the ripple effect that happens. See what changes. And again the third thing you control no one influence everyone. You get to choose the kind of influence you want to be. And I know I know if everyone's heart people are good. They really do want to influence the world in a good way. But they may just be so afraid that they're going to be seen as less valuable. Relax, you read an I Am. Dr. Joe,

Greg Voisen
thank you so much. Namaste to you. Your wisdom, your great books, we'll put links in the blog, actually put links to this book. But I've just decided I think we'll put links to all of Dr. Joe's books. So you can check them out because he said it's okay, then maybe they don't go in succession. But the reality is, all of his books in his books titles are super interesting, and you can learn from them. So Blessings to you, thanks for the work that you're doing with the theater. Thanks for the work that you're doing individually with your patients. And thanks for the people you're trying to reach through this book. To get them to just be aware of where they are in the situation. And make that momentary awareness so that they don't lash out and use that limbic system and then ward off the good chemical releases in their brains that make them feel good about what they're doing. So that's the most important thing. And, again, thanks for being on inside personal growth and spending some time with our listeners. I really appreciate you.

Dr. Joseph Shrand
Thanks for all you're doing Greg and to all your listeners much appreciated.

powered by

A truly inspirational man – Marshall Goldsmith, has joined me in today’s podcast to share his stories of success and to talk about his new book entitled The Earned Life: Lose Regret, Choose Fulfillment.

Marshall is the only two-time Thinkers 50 #1 Leadership Thinker in the World. He has been ranked as the World’s #1 Executive Coach and Top Ten Business Thinker for eight years and was even chosen as the inaugural winner of the Lifetime Award for Leadership by the Harvard Institute of Coaching.

Marshall also is the author or editor of 41 books which have sold over 2.5 million copies, been translated into 32 languages and become listed bestsellers in 12 countries. I got a great opportunity to have a talk with him about one of his masterpieces and his most personal and powerful work to date – The Earned Life: Lose Regret, Choose Fulfillment.

In this book, Marshall offers a dazzling but simple approach that accommodates both our persistent need for achievement and the inescapable “stuff happens” unfairness of life. It’s packed with illuminating stories from his own legendary career as a coach to some of the world’s highest-achieving leaders.

If you want to learn more about Marshall and his amazing works, you may click here to access his website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Marshall Goldsmith. Happy listening!

THE BOOK

In The Earned Life, Marshall Goldsmith challenges your unproductive attachment to outcomes and reveals the key to living unbound by regret, by helping you connect to something greater than the isolated and fleeting achievements of careerism:

“We are living an earned life when the choices, risks, and effort we make in each moment align with an overarching purpose in our lives, regardless of the eventual outcome.”

That’s the definition of an earned life. But for many of us, that pesky final phrase is a stumbling block: “regardless of the eventual outcome.” Not being attached to the outcome goes against everything we’re taught about achievement and fulfillment in modern society.

THE AUTHOR

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith has been recognized as one of the Top Ten Business Thinkers in the World and the top-rated executive coach at the Thinkers50 ceremony in London since 2011. Published in 2015, his book Triggers is a Wall Street Journal and New York Times #1 Bestseller! He’s also the author of New York Times best seller and #1 Wall Street Journal Business Book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, winner of the Harold Longman Award as Best Business Book of the Year.

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transcription (not edited) of the interview.

Marshall Goldsmith Interview

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth and the man across the table here actually, in Nashville, which you probably all recognize from his picture from being out on the internet is Marshall Goldsmith, good day Marshall, how are you?

Marshall Goldsmith
Very happy to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me.

Greg Voisen
Namaste to you as well. I appreciate you taking the time. I learned more about you in the earned life than I earned that I learned from the other books. So it was it was really good. And I'm going to let my listeners who don't know much about you just give you a brief little bio. Dr. Marshall Goldsmith has been recognized as one of the top 10 Business Thinkers in the World, and top rated executive coach at the thinker's 50 ceremony in London since 2011. Seems like so long ago, published in 2015 books triggers is Wall Street is a Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller. He also is the author of The New York Times bestseller and number one journal business book, What Got You Here Won't Get You There, winner of the Harold Longman award at the best business book of the year. Well, you know, it's really a pleasure to have you back on the show. And especially about your book, do you have the earned life book behind I do right here the right steps because I never got a copy yet. But I did get a PDF of it. So thank you. And we are going to be talking about the earned life. And it's from regret to fulfillment. And I think that many of the listeners have always have had regrets. But let me start this off Marshall, because I looked at this as kind of an introspective. I've been studying Buddhism now for ever and ever. I'm a self-realization Devontae all my listeners know that. And I recognize the real that kind of fine line in spirituality and coaching that one does, in this book has been written. As I say, when you're reflecting on your personal life at an age in life, where I think we all do some introspection, I'll be 68 years old this July. I appreciate the story that you told the introduction about Richard and his regrets in life, just this character, somebody you coached. You state that any decent advice book aims to help readers overcome a perennial challenge all of your books had some perennial challenge in them, you are helping people to overcome you state that the challenge you're tackling with this book is regret. I think that's true. But I think you're tackling a lot more than regret with the book. After years of coaching executives, everybody from Alan Mulally to wherever which I'm going to ask you a question about Alan. You, you've heard all kinds of people give you regrets. And what shift in perspective do people need to embrace, to either eliminate or reduce the regrets that they have?

Marshall Goldsmith
Well, if you look at the concept of what leads to great life, they're to me not that many variables. And one that I don't talk about in the book is you need to be healthy, too I don't talk about in the book is you need to have like a lower middle class income above that it doesn't go up or down much on happiness. And you need to have great relationships with people your love. Assuming that you're healthy, you got a good relationship with who you love, and you got a middle class income. What matters? Well, to me, there's three things that I talked about in the book. First, is our aspiration, you need some sort of higher purpose, why am I here? Why am I doing this? Why are you on this call? There needs to be some higher purpose than has to be religion just needs to be some answer to the question, Why am I doing this to then you need to achievement, your ambition. And your ambitions are these achievements that have a time perspective, that hopefully are connected to this aspiration, and then three, your day to day actions, and that's the process of life. And if you do have higher aspirations and what you're doing every day, your level of achievement is connected to those aspirations. And you enjoy the process of life where you just won, you pretty much won the game of life. That's, and there may be more but I'm unaware of what it is. You pretty much won that game of life. And if you look at the people in history, most of our ancestors, they lived in the action zone. I mean, they were doing day to day things, their life was pretty much controlled. They did what was in front of them they tried to eat. They were just living, not bad or good. I just was. Some people are lost in their heads. They're living up in the clouds. They have very high level aspirations, but they don't achieve anything. The people I've coached over the years, and the people that inspired this book are achievers. And they face the great challenges of achievers. And we never think about achievers as having challenges. Well, they do. And that's what the book is about often is when you get lost in achievement. And one of the most important points in the book is you never, ever place your value as a human being on the results you achieve.

Greg Voisen
Well, I'd say this topic is obviously something we could discuss at length and infinitum, because it's such a dynamic topic. But I did a podcast with April Rennie not that long ago, and she sent out a letter that said, you know, people are running from something to something. And I thought that was an interesting perspective, because hers was all about thriving in this current time, you know, you wrote this during the pandemic. And you were still in La Jolla, then. Right. And so, you know, I always question when you've was such an interesting person, because you've been with so many people face to face that question about running from something to something? What would what would you say? Because they're high achievers, they're running to something. So what are they? What most likely, or in your estimation, are they running from?

Marshall Goldsmith
Well, in the COVID period, we had 50 or so people every weekend, my friend Mark Thompson has been six hours. So we spent a total of 500 hours and they would rotate the group so they're a different group every weekend with these 50 people. And it was amazing, because you know, these are like I could tell you they were the president World Bank. And you know, the head of St. Jude's Hospital and the pelvis saw the basketball player in quarters Martin the football star and tell him to Broadway star and head of the Olympics and rock on and on and on. And these are like, Great achievers. One thing, though, is it's very lonely. There's an old saying, you mentioned what are you running from? It's lonely at the top. It used to be lonely at the top. Today, it is much lonely, or at the top, it's lonelier than it's ever been. People don't have a sense of community. They don't have a support group. They don't have anyone to talk to one guy sit in a group one hour a week, I get that guy a human.

Greg Voisen
And that one hour that he had with you guys.

Marshall Goldsmith
Yeah, that was it to be human. You get to get up and act like a human being. You don't have to put on a show for an hour.

Greg Voisen
I love it. I love it. Now you state that your premise is that our lives toggle back and forth between two emotional polarities. And on one end of the polarity of fulfillment on the other end, you have regret and then you've got a line that goes back and forth. Can you speak with us about the six for fillers? Because I think the biggest one is happiness. In my personal, humble opinion, after having done 900 podcasts with people on personal growth, I would say happiness is probably the biggest one that we can seek to embrace in our lives, the fleeting fulfiller of happiness. Because in the end, you know, nobody's going to say to me or you. I wish I spent another hour at the corporate office. I love the Dalai Lama's comment in I say this on many of these shows because he's quote hangs on a wall. You're going to be known by who you loved, how many people loved you and how much you let go. And the reality is, that's so true, because you talk about in this book, too, and I'll go there and in a few minutes. This impermanence and non-attachment, sometimes for CEOs, that's a really difficult and difficult one to get. So can you speak about those six fulfill orders? And how we can find that big fleeting one which is happiness?

Marshall Goldsmith
Let me start with the happiness then I'll go to the others and just remind me to go the others. Okay. If you look at happiness, basically the Great Western diseases I will be happy when I get the money status, BMW when I get the condiment and when I have this achievement, I will be happy when? Well, that's the Great Western disease. It's a great western myth is once I do this, what the book what The Book says, once you get this, they lived happily ever after. The type that book is called a fairy tale. There's a reason it's called a fairy tale that's not life. In life, we are constantly reinventing ourselves. We're constantly starting over welcome constantly returning our life and, and the essence of Buddhism as I practice it, and there many schools of Buddhism I don't make any judgment on someone else's school. Yeah, is basically this Buddha was brought up very rich and his father thought you're going to be fine if you get more. And he kept giving him more and protected and we lived in a bubble, he was able to sneak out three times where he learned you get old, you get sick and you die, shit happens and you're going to have all the money in the world old sick and die be poor, old sick and dies, it is more stuff not doing it. He tried to be happy with less he starved himself he lives like a hermit, you know, we learned didn't work either. What the Buddha finally realized you can never be happy with nor can ever be happy with less, there's only one thing in life, you can ever be happy with what you have. So only one time you can ever be happy now, only one place you're going to ever be happy that would be here. Where's nirvana? is listening to a podcast right now you and me This is it. It's not someplace else is out there some lizards, it's here.

Greg Voisen
Good. Thank you for that plug. That's great. But what you know, I say is to the Four Noble Truths. And if you look at the first one, the Buddha always said they're suffering in the end of suffering. There's only one person that could cause the end of suffering, if that pursuit of something is causing the suffering, right? The only thing that somebody can do to mitigate that is to be okay with them. Who they are.

Marshall Goldsmith
And also be don't get fixated on outcomes results, right. Because the again, we have been bombarded with the Great Western art form, which goes like this, there is a person has said, so said they spend money, they buy a product and they become happy. Well, how many? It's called a commercial. Have you ever heard that before? How many times? How many 1000s of times hundreds of 1000s of times the same message over and over and over? The message is happiness is out there. Right? No, it isn't, as in here. Look, they took a great study, one group of people became quadriplegics and the other group won the lottery Three years later, there wasn't much difference in happiness.

Greg Voisen
Yeah. And you know, the conundrum for you. I'm thinking is here is a success coach speaking with high achievers about non attachment and impermanence. And, and I bet they all get it intellectually. Okay, they get it intellectually. But is there any way you can help them turn the dial down so that it becomes much easier to live with that because that isn't a concept. It's a concept that's kind of foreign to achievers,

Marshall Goldsmith
or it's not kind of foreign? It's exceptionally for Yeah. It's exceptionally foreign to not just achievers. It's exceptionally foreign people in the West period. Yes. We have been so conditioned that you know, happiness is a function of getting something. Yeah, let me give you an example of a guy in our group Sofie Bacall. Now Safi has got an IQ equals a mine and yours combined, probably. And he has PhD physics from Stanford. He wrote a book called loon shots, he is made 10s of millions of dollars. He's,

Greg Voisen
he was on my podcast you've met Savi consulted the

Marshall Goldsmith
President's, you know, on and on and on and on. Safi said he had a great realization in our groups. He used to think that happiness was a dependent variable based on achievement. He said, he finally realized you can achieve a lot and be happy, you achieve nothing and be happy. You achieve a lot and be miserable, and you can achieve nothing and be miserable. Happiness is an independent variable from achievement. This was such a great breakthrough for him. As he kept thinking once he achieved something else, he was going to be happier. I told him Safi, how much you got to achieve here before you declare victory? Let's say you already got a PhD in physics from Stanford, you need to get to, you're already worth 10s of millions, even hundreds of millions making difference. You've already successfully started four companies and you get happy after five. And you've already consulted with a few presidents. Are you more no matter if you're already a 99.99 on achievement?

Greg Voisen
You really Marshall. I like what Dr. Seek Morales says about happiness as a guy at Columbia talks about I know him, he's one of my 100 coaches. Okay, so he says you kind of start with having it isn't something you get when you have to just have it. In other words, it isn't something so much you pursue, you have to imbibe it. In other words, it's, it's part of Marsha you see it, you know, life is good. But you know that you end that because that's a mantra for you. You know, Marshall Smith's mantra Life is good. No more. So, there's this TEDx Talk Catherine Schultz, she did in 2011. About regret. She said that regret is the emotion we experience when we think that our present situation could be better or happier underline and if we had done something different to pass you on to state that regret is totally in our control. Can you speak to the list speak with us about the advice you gave. And the reason I picked out all and Alan Malala here is because I was in an event in San Diego and I met Alan, I wasn't certainly his coach, the loveliest man I'd ever met in my life, the most tremendous speaker I'd ever heard at this event in at the Convention Center in San Diego. But he had regrets about leaving Boeing and taking the position of CEO of Ford. How did you coach him through those regrets? I mean, this book well,

Marshall Goldsmith
actually, Elon doesn't have a lot of regrets as a person. And I think one reason he doesn't have regrets is he thinks if I didn't do something my dad regretted, and then he does it. So I think he's a person actually with very low levels of regret in life and of all people I've coached. I mean, I've learned so much from him. Well, one thing, by the way, a little bit of a diversion. One thing I'm proud of, in my book, if you look at the endorsements, is the first paragraph. The first paragraph in the endorsement section is me talking about how great they were not every time and how much I've learned from my wonderful clients. And you know, how lucky I am to be able to work with people like Alan, who's just a wonderful human being. And I'd say, you know, Elon is a great case study, he does three things at the same time. One, I'm working on new book with him right now. So one thing he does is he has a higher purpose in life. He's not doing this for money, he's got plenty of money and status, he doesn't need that. And he's still working at achieving things. He's working at a book and refining what he does. And he's happy. I'll tell you, his day to day happiness score be very, very high. I've known him. I've known him for 25 years, I'm not seeing him be unhappy in 25 years. So this guy is a really great role model for everything I teach. And that's the, you know, simultaneous pursuit of these things, what you can do. One other one about regret, though, is this. One of the parts of the book I really like is the every breath paradigm. Yeah, every time I take a breath, it's a new me Buddhist concept of impermanence. Every time I take a breath, it's a new me. Well, I tell people to do this everybody listening right now. Take a deep breath. Take a deeper breath. Now, every time I take a breath, it's a new me. So think new me. Everything that happened before the second in your life was done by an infinite set of people called the previous me's. Now, think of all the gifts those previous years have given to you that's here now. Think about the people they've helped. Think about how hard they tried. Will Feeny group of people do that many nice things? What would you say to those nice people?

Greg Voisen
Thank you,

Marshall Goldsmith
thank you. Now did they make a little mistake or to let it go? Let it go. Let it go. And don't sit there and criticize the previous versions of your yourself for being who they are. You know, LinkedIn, one of my most popular LinkedIn quotes is forgive other people for being who they are. And forgive yourself for expecting that they'd be somebody else. Well, we can apply that to our own life, forgive the previous versions of you for being who they were, and forgiving yourself for regretting that they weren't someone else.

Greg Voisen
So, self-forgiveness is a big one here, little sign on my desk. It's probably backwards, but it's on my desk all day long. I'll show you something else in a minute as well. So you state the official policy on regret in the pages of this book is to accept the inevitable but reduce it reduce its frequency, right? Which means we need to create a life of fulfillment we you know, we talked about happiness, six, the reason we didn't get all of us sick, so maybe we should go back and you can give me the other five. All right, well, the first one

Marshall Goldsmith
is, you need to be having a purpose, I'm going to do micro and macro. at a macro level, you need a purpose. And on a day to day levels, you need to be setting goals or objectives aligned with that purpose. Then the second thing is you need to be making progress toward achieving things related to that purpose, then you need to find meaning, every day you need to find meaning in life. And by the way, finding meaning doesn't mean you have a meaningful job, it means you create meaning where you are. One of my good friends is Gary Rich, who was CEO of WD 40, they had some the highest scores on meaning in the entire world of any corporation higher than children's hospitals. Now, you can't say making lubricants is more important than curing sick children. Yet, they found meaning they created meaning every day. The next one is Be happy, being happy and then they in other words are building positive relationships with people. And then the final one is being fully engaged and fully engaged in what you do. And if you that's about it. Now one thing I always teach is a daily question process every day if you just give yourself a test on in the questions, I'll start with a phrase my daughter Kelly told me this, I'm proud of my daughter. She had a PhD from Yale. And she's a full professor at Vanderbilt. Now. That's why I live in Nashville. Kelly taught me this, and asked questions to begin with, did I do my best to? Why you can't blame someone else? Is if you ask, were you happy? And someone says no, you know why it's their fault? If yes, did I do my best to be happy? Given the situation, did I do my best to find happiness? Did I do my best to create meaning that I do my best to ask those six questions every day? Just by asking those questions. Our research is amazing. You know, 3030 something 34% of people got better at everything. Two thirds got better at four things. 91% got better at something almost nobody gets worse. Why every day, these questions get us to focus on the one thing in life that we can control. Did I do my best? And by the way, doesn't say you were happy? Did you even try? Did you even think about being happy? In my book triggers that I talked about interviewing five or three medical doctors, three of the smartest people I've ever met Dr. Jim Kim, simultaneous MD and PhD with honors from Harvard in anthropology and five years, became president Darby College, head of partners and health and then President the World Bank, Dr. Raj Shah, who was head of the USA ID and is now head of the Rockefeller Foundation. And Dr. John Noseworthy, was the CEO of the Mayo Clinic. So you know, when the brains were first passed out, none of these guys are near the back of the line. All three individually asked the question, how would you score an average day? Did I do my best to be happy? Ultimately, the same answer? never dawned on me to try be happy. Never thought about it. Too busy achieving things. So I asked him, did it dawn on your you're going to die? Did they cover that medical school death? Did they cover that topic? He said, Yeah, they brought up that death thing. I said, Do you think this is a silly question or trivial question? I said, No, it is a very important question I forgot to ask. It's a very important question. I just got to as well ask yourself the question today, am I doing my best to be happy today? Am I making the best of it. And by the way, I'm a great believer in the Bhagavad Gita, the Bhagavad Gita. And you know, the Bhagavad Gita is pretty clear, it talks about somebody has a choice, bad and worse. Sometimes, you got a choice in life bad and worse, pick bad, make the best of it. You got a choice between bad and worse, take bad, make the best of it, you're not going to doing better, you're not going to turn bad to good, just make the best of the bad?

Greg Voisen
Well, that whole concept around, you know, look for 100% responsibility for we take 100% When we should take 100% responsibility for how we feel our emotions, our actions, everything. And once you get that, that you realize that when the other thing is around your beliefs and the attachments and that and what you were talking about impermanence, because finitude I know. So well, just this last two years, I lost two brothers, not to COVID. But you know, you were asking those doctors something, hey, in medical school, did you guys actually, you know, think about this never dawned on us to be happy? Well, you should be happy when you go to work that way. Now, you tell three great stories in the introduction. And I thought it was great, because one of your guys was named Leonard. That's my legal name, first name Leonard. And Leonard was the only one who got it right, actually. And you tell the stories about three people that you coached. And Leonard was able to succeed at accepting what was and eliminate his regrets. What advice would you give to our listeners about non attachment and eliminating beating themselves up over their regrets?

Marshall Goldsmith
Well, the first thing is forgive yourself. Yeah. And then what happens is we feel bad, then we feel bad about feeling bad, then we feel bad about feeling bad about feeling bad. Well, you don't have to do that. And whatever you did in the past, you did. Right, let it go. You know, and here's why Buddhism is so hard to understand for people in the West. The essence of Buddhism is now and when I say there's only one second in life, you need to learn to be happy. It's now people that means that they think it means I have to be happy every second. And I started saying well, what if so and so happens, I might not be happy, but totally misses the point. The point is not you have to be happy every second is the opposite of that point. So one seconds need to be happy now. Right? Just focus on now. If you're going to sit there and worry about something might happen or might not happen in five years, you're going to get bummed out by that month. All right, you're not going to be happy. Well, you're not living now. You're living in a dream. So really, I think important to focus on now. Now, now,

Greg Voisen
well, and I it, and I concur with you and I and I remember, Jim Laura was back on the show, again, not that long ago. His book was a power of full engagement, if you remember. Yes. And, and it was around energy management. And the reason I'm mentioning this is because so much of our energy is spent, you know, I this kind of sound like a broken record here. But the imagined future and the dead past? Well, you know, the reality is, you know, when I do meditation retreats in the orcas islands, they have these monks that come. And they say, Well, what do you, you know, one of my friends is, what would you guys want? Because they had no watches, they said, well, we'd actually like to have a watch. And they said, Well, why would you want to watch? And they put a skull and crossbones at the top of the bed, and they wanted a watch, right? I thought this is a great story. And they said, well, because we're trying to figure out, or what we would like to know is how much time we have left. Right? Not what time it is. So interesting. Now, the operative definition of the earned life is we are living in earned life when the choices risks and efforts we make in each moment, each moment align with an overarching purpose in our lives, which you just said, regardless of the eventual outcome outcomes, right? You state that something truly earned makes three simple requirements of us. Can you speak with the listeners about the three simple requirements of the earned life?

Marshall Goldsmith
What are they?

Greg Voisen
Maybe you don't, don't remember, I don't know that took it out of the bag.

Marshall Goldsmith
I cover so many things, you got to realize it's three requirements and sixes,

Greg Voisen
tell our listeners is Marshall doesn't know. So go buy the book. How's that? When you buy every book, when you buy the book, you have this free course. Yeah, I want to mention that maybe this is a great time to mention it. He's got a full on mean email. Yes. So when you buy the book, you send him an email, and he's going to give you this free online course that you've got, right? And I would encourage everybody to go to Marshall goldsmith.com. And we'll just skip that question. Because it doesn't really matter. But the reality is, the answer is in the book. So if you want if you want the answer, you got to go in the book. And the reason is, I didn't write down the three statements, Marshall. Our sense of fulfillment, happiness simply doesn't last, that we've that the earned life is imperative and a fragile vessel to contain our wishes and desires for an earned life. Speak with the listeners about the influence that the philosophy has Buddhism has had on your perspective, about attachment and impermanence in life, because you started studying it when you were 18. You put a little cliff note in the bottom of the book. I don't think in any of your other books, of course, I could be wrong, where you actually disclosed that. Okay. But this time at age, what's your age now?

Marshall Goldsmith
7373. So

Greg Voisen
you and I are five years apart, you start to let people see in the window a little bit more and see where your philosophy is coming from. And I thought that was really, really nice of you. Because I didn't know that about you. But when I read it, I assumed that that was where you're coming from. So tell our listeners if you would what, what up there with the impermanence and the attachment?

Marshall Goldsmith
Well, as a coach, I use Buddhism all the time. Let me tell you a few ways. One is feedforward. Buddha said only do what I teach you. If it works for you. If it doesn't work for you, it's okay. Just don't do it. That is so freeing. So in my program with these 50 grade people, every weekend, they would practice feed forward over and over. Each person says, Here's what I feel good about. Here's what I want to do better than say, give me ideas for the future, not feedback about the past. Everyone gives them ideas for a future and they say thank you, then another person, other person or the person, other person. People love this because it's positive, it's upbeat, it's helpful, and nobody's getting judged. No one, they're accountable, but they're not judged. Nobody's been judged by anything. So that's one element of Buddhism I use. Another element of Buddhism I use it's really central is that we're constantly reinventing ourselves. So Coach, people will say things like this. Oh, I'm a bad listener. I can't listen. I've never been able to listen, I can't listen. So I look in their ears say, Well, you got some stuck in there. Why can't you listen? Well we talk about ourselves is we if we have incurable genetic defects who will last permanently Throughout our lives, as opposed to saying, you know, in the past, I haven't listened very much. But in a future where I can listen, I'm not stuck with this. And it's very important point, if you don't do this, let's say your self-image is I'm a bad listener, and I'm your coach. And let's say you work very hard. And people say you're a good listener. If you don't work on the way you define yourself as a human being, you're not, you're going to feel on the inside, you feel like a phony. You know what you're going to say, that's not the real me. That's not the real me. You see, the real me is a bad listener. That's the real me. I just acted like a good listener. But that's not real. You have this weird idea of this real me that goes through life never changing, as opposed to saying, Look, to me, that's here today is not the same. That was 10 years ago, or five years ago, or last week. One story in the book that people love is the story of the guy. And he's with his wife, and they had a great, great weekend with the kids, and they're driving back home. And the wife starts going on, well, 10 years ago, you didn't do this, and this, and you could have done this. And we could have had this and that. And you know what he said, You're right. I'm not the same person as I was 10 years ago. I really think I'm a better person than it was 10 years ago. And you know, that person 10 years ago, made some mistakes. I'm not the person. And his wife said, You're right. You're right. You're not that person, you're a better person. Why am I bringing up what some guy did 10 years ago, that guy's not in this car right now. That guy's not in this car. You're not that guy. You're a different person. And I think that's a great way to look at life is, you know, we're not who we were 10 years ago, or five years ago, or one hour ago. We're a different person. And that's it. We're constantly evolving in life.

Greg Voisen
Well, what a great introspection because awareness is the only thing that creates that So her question actually allowed us an opportunity for a dialogue that then allowed the two of them to kind of come together to have this realization and that awareness. We don't ever know who's going to give us that awareness are going to pop the question. Well, one thing that I've become good at is asking question after having done 900 And something is bought gas. Use. You spoke on the way

Marshall Goldsmith
that's an interesting element of the book. It says the lost art of asking.

Greg Voisen
Right, I did see that in there. I've got I got

Marshall Goldsmith
an exercise for everybody. Are you ready? Yes, I am a fun exercise. Alright. Alright. I asked in my classes I was do you think customer satisfaction is important? Yes. Should we ask our customers for input? Yes. Should we listen to our customers? Yes. You have a husband, wife or partner at home? Yes. Have you been asking that person? What can I do to better partner? No. So I have people take out everybody who's listening, take out your cell phone, and send a text message to your husband, wife or partner and ask one question, What can I do to be a better partner? Yeah, it's a great exercise

Greg Voisen
in and you know what half of them would fall off their chair? Because they're wondering, where was this person today? Who gave

Marshall Goldsmith
hilarious things? Let me tell you some of my favorite responses. One is who has stolen my husband's cell phone? Are you drunk? You know, is this message intended for me? Who have you been sleeping with?

Greg Voisen
Exactly? Yeah, I can imagine that you get all those in more? Well, it's, it's, it's fascinating. And the book is wonderful because it gives an opportunity to people to deep dive in introspection, and look at regret and look at fulfillment in their life and look at the continuum and look at ways to do that. And, you know, you speak with the listeners, if you would, we you mentioned it the Great Western disease of what Buddha called The Hungry Ghost. I don't think a lot of people have heard the term the hungry ghosts. So more importantly, please give the listeners your advice on how to avoid getting sucked into the mire of life and living the illusion. Because the reality here is if we're going to go with Buddhism, we might as well go a little bit deeper even here now. Because this this maya, this thing that sucks people in to the fact that they believe that what it is I know many of my listeners know the term. Some people listening may not right, but could you could you give them some advice about how to avoid that. How to avoid that trap. Because you said a minute ago, you go buy a new car, you get the Tesla you buy the house on the hill, you buy the bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, you went down a whole list of things, you're going to be happy. Right? Well, that's the Maya that I'm talking about here.

Marshall Goldsmith
Right? into me, the key is as your journey through life, you just ask yourself, look, am I doing my best? Is this something that's related to my long term ambition in life? And then you ask yourself, you know, am I enjoying this ride? am I enjoying what I'm doing right now? If the answer is yes, that's it. Now, the results are going to be what they're going to be. You don't have total control over the results of much of anything. You could get run over by car tomorrow, you didn't control COVID, you know, the results are going to be what they're going to be. I'm not saying you don't try to achieve things. Yet you don't place your value as a human being based on achievement. It is a fool's game. It is a fool's game. If you saw the bios of the 50 people I spent COVID period with every weekend, you'd think these people if achievement would make you happy, they'd all be dancing off the ceiling every day. They're all in 99.99 in terms of achievement, right? Well, it's not bad to achieve. On the other hand, you achieve to achieve, you don't achieve to be happy. You don't achieve to find peace, finding peace to find peace, as Sreekumar said, be happy to be happy. But don't believe that I'm going to achieve something's going to make me happy because it never ends. The Hungry Ghost. The Hungry Ghost is you're always eating but you're never full. Or whatever you achieve. What's the next thing next year? Next year? Albert, Burleigh Pfizer? How was your year? Hey, well, came up with vaccine good employee engagement. Hi, good book. Good see of the year. Good. Good, good. Good. What's your problem next year? I think anybody that bought that stock cares if he came up with a vaccine. Now, you think they care how what they did last year? Zero. Next year, there's always going to be next year. And look at this. Michael Phelps 25 gold medals. What do you think about doing killing himself?

Greg Voisen
Yeah, yeah. Interesting. He's been on that. advocating that application for mental health, which is very cool. So that being the case, you know, look? If not, if that is the case, that is the case. We know that you're so calling that the Great Western disease. And I concur. That is it. Getting there and then being able to sustain this level of happiness, you're saying there's a continuum, it goes back and forth, be able to live with that be able to accept it. So and I think the key is, and I might be wrong here, but I obviously think I'm on the right track. It's around accepting where you are. And just saying that's okay. I am where I am. I am where I am. Right? I

Marshall Goldsmith
am where I am. And you know, I mean, my last podcast with my friend Dave Chang was just a great guy. And his call colleague Chris it Well, yeah. I said, What about our typical listeners? They're not like us. Just describe 127 years old tech guy Berkeley, striving to get ahead looking at you think it easy for that guy to talk? You know, he's rich, he's written famous books. He works to great people blah, blah, blah. Easy for you to say as a you know what? Had kid so I'm I don't have 45 years. Yeah. I don't have 45 years. No one's he wasn't best-selling books. Okay, give me 45 years, we got to deal. You're going to have the damn book as All right. Well, you don't look at life and say I wish I was him. Yeah, you really want to be 73? Maybe not. I mean, I'm happy being me. But I don't think if I were 27, I want to be 73 You have been 27

Greg Voisen
Most definitely. Now, the every Beth paradigm connect to living and earned life. You say? I say how does the every Beth paradigm connect to the living in life, you say that connection is immediate and direct as flipping a switch to fill a dark room with light. And where there's darkness the light serves the darkness. If we accept that everything of value that we have earned is impermanent, subject to the whims and in differences of the world, which you just mentioned. We must also accept the prized possessions needed to consequently re earned practically on a daily and hourly basis, perhaps as frequently as every breath. That's right. Can you explain what you mean? I think you have but you know what, there's something about repeating things three times. And you understand this as being a great public speaker. You know, you repeat something three times and sometimes people get it right. So,

Marshall Goldsmith
well, I'm asked a question is Buddhism about reincarnation? To me Buddhism is about nothing but reincarnation. Everything is reincarnation, every breath is reincarnation. Every breath is a new me. Every breath is a new me and we get a new start, we get a chance to start over. And we get a chance to be something different. And we get that we get that chance. And I think the key is when you look at life that way. It makes life a lot different. It's a very nonwestern thing. Let me give you an example. Some people says Does that mean you don't care about achievement? No, I didn't say that. Let's take the example of I didn't I didn't tell the story of the golfer in the bureau candidate know, the golfer and American. So there's the guy in the country club, and he's got a chance to win his little Club Championship. He's teeing off on a team. In front of him. There's a drunk people drinking and making noise very annoying. And he breathed concentrate. It's a perfect drive. The perfect drive. Looks good. But then Ulsan it hits something goes into the rough, terrible life. He walks toward the ball and what does he see a bear? Can the idiots in front of him have left a beer can? He's very angry. How could they have done this? What is it called for me to do? Stop and breathe? stop and breathe. Forget about those people. Forget about the drive. Forget about the results. Forget about winning the Club Championship, come up with a strategy of what you want to do. You walk to the ball, and you hit the shot in front of you. The other thing about the golfer is enjoy the process. You're in some little country club. You're not a pro golfer. Enjoy, what are you there for, you're not going to be Arnold Palmer, have a good time, have a good time, hit the shot, make peace and move on. Well make sense. You don't necessarily hit a worst shot, you probably had a better shot. Because you're not focused on the past which you can change. You're not focused on the future, which may or may not happen. You're actually just focused on one thing just hit the shot. You know, Coach K that coach at Duke is a good thing. He watches a player miss a shot. And they act sad or sad or angry. What do you say next play. Next play he watches a player make a great shot his job, no shirt. No, he says next play. You got to like, you got to let go the past,

Greg Voisen
I think life as you know, and we get to be the age we are. It's all about the next play. And all in all you can do is pay homage and respect to all the plays prior to this play. Meaning this play in this moment, this podcast in this moment. Hey, look, I did 900 And something before this one, this is 900. And something this is like this is great. I couldn't be any better. And I think that's the way you have to look at it. And that way, what happens is happiness just happens. Because you're doing that. So you created a two letter exercise for people that intellectually understood the Everett bet paradigm, but haven't developed the muscle memory that makes it natural and instinctive in their lives. And that's an important point. Can you explain the two letter exercise and what our listeners can expect to experience? If they engage in that exercise? And it's yes, actually, remember

Marshall Goldsmith
that went the exercise two letters. One letter is you write a letter to a previous version of yourself. And you write a letter and you say thank you to this previous version of you, thank you for learning to speak Chinese or thank you for studying Buddhism or whatever it happens to be. You think my life today is better because of this thing you did back then. And you're like you said, pay homage a good phrase, you're paying homage to that person, you're saying thank you previous mean, thank you for doing that for me. And then a secondary exercise, you write a letter to the future you and you say to the future, you know, I'm going to make some investments right now. I'm investing in you. And here's what I hope happens as a result of my investments. So you're really given the future you some ideas of here's what I'm doing now for you. And here's what I hope works for you. And here's what I'd like to see you do. I think it's a great exercise. The negative example I used as the CEO who basically said I worked 80 hours a week for 40 years with one goal. So my kids would never have to work as hard as I did. Then he said the worst thing I could have ever done for my children, for myself, for my family and for life. Kids are spoiled. They have no work ethic. They don't like me. I don't know my wife. bad use of 40 years.

Greg Voisen
A long time but don't have regret. Dude, if that's where his head is at, and I get that that's very, very powerful. But what's powerful is the awareness not to have the regret about what it was you did right now? Yeah. So you spent 40 years doing that you did it. But that doesn't mean that's the way you have to be going forward. Change. Because those previous

Marshall Goldsmith
US gave you a lot of money. Yeah. gave you some neat stuff. Yeah. How can you take what they gave you and make the best of it?

Greg Voisen
Right. Right. You know, you, you I've done. You said, you spent eight days a year teaching leadership course at Goldman Sachs executives and their top clients. You work with Mark Trebek, I think it is, Teddy said to turn at Goldman, you tell his great story about creating his own life and what was stopping him from claiming his new career in life? Because this one was actually a shift in careers. Total shift.

Marshall Goldsmith
Yeah. So Mark is just a great friend of mine, just a wonderful guy. And was mega successful at Goldman Sachs. He was, I think, one of the top five people in the company when they did the IPO. And if you know what that means, that means you don't ever have to work again, you get more money he's going to spend in many lifetimes. So then mark gets this opportunity to be the CEO of the Nature Conservancy, which he really would love. But he's second, well, what will they think of me? And I told him what he has talked about change his life, is it live your own life? Who are they don't live some other person's version of your life? It's your life. And don't sit there and say, what would they think of me? Number one, they don't care. You think they're going to hold it against you? Because you're the CEO of the Nature Conservancy. No, you leave Goldman Sachs, you create a little more space, somebody thinks your customers and move into your office, they're probably all happy going anyway, they don't care. And you're not doing good deeds. God bless you. You don't have to apologize for that. Well, you don't live your own life. It was great, because a good boy wants to live my own life.

Greg Voisen
Very good. It was a great story in the book, by the way. Well look in wrapping the interview up, and then I'm going to show you something. The urn life, it has so much practical advice and guidance for individuals wanting to live a fulfilled life without regrets. What three takeaways, either something we've already talked about, or something that we haven't talked about, would you leave the listeners with? As we kind of wrap up this podcast?

Marshall Goldsmith
I say, I would take away one takeaway is have a higher aspiration, have an answer to the question, Why? Why am I doing this? Why. And then number two, focus on your ambitions or achievement. So you're doing something about that aspiration. It's not just a pipe dream, you're actually achieving something that's helping you get there and three, enjoy the process. And in my life, my higher aspiration is, I just want to help as many people as I can, in the limited time I have left to do it and hopefully help them now. And then after I'm no longer with us. That's the higher aspiration doesn't have a target my, my immediate achievement is being honest with you.

Greg Voisen
But you're going to reincarnate martial, and then you're going to come back smarter, more handsome, and then you're going to write more, but wait

Marshall Goldsmith
a minute, smarter, maybe more handsome, that's got to be a stretch. Then and then the final thing you just have a good time Life is short. You know, my, my new research is not published yet indicates we're all going to be equally dead here. So I think yeah, I think it's a pretty safe bet. So yeah, just enjoy this process of life. And we're all going to die anyway, just enjoy the process of life. And so that's about it. And then, and again, no one can define meaning for you, but you, I can't tell you what's going to be meaningful for you. And I can't tell you what's going to make you happy. Those answers that look in here, whatever that is, for you do that. Whatever that is for you. You just do that. And as the mark person storage point, no one else can tell you that.

Greg Voisen
Well, Marshall, another wonderful book. I should stay that, you know, I know Mark Ritter is the co author has been on many of your books. Oh, I have four of them. Right? We have one. And I want to give you recognition because you know, behind the scenes, these books don't get written by themselves. I'm working on one right now with a mountain climber has climbed all the highest seven summits in Everest twice. And I've interviewed all these guys who've gone up and just climb in, you name it every mountain climber. And it's very interesting the correlation that we've talked about here. And you know, this, this, this whole concept and I'm just saying to write a good book. It is a huge project. And Marshall, I just want to commend mark and you Namaste to both of you Ever such a wonderful work, because it's articulated so well. And so well put together, easy to follow. Great book to read. And something that really gets people to think deep about their life, how they're living their life, and how they can better their life. And you've always done that with every book, but this one in particular, I think adds more. So, thank you. Thank you for doing that.

Marshall Goldsmith
Thank you. Thank you, and thank you for inviting me very much.

Greg Voisen
Oh, you're quite welcome. Namaste.

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Joining me for today’s podcast is an award-winning and bestselling author Susan Shumsky. Dedicated her life to helping people take command of their lives in highly effective, powerful, positive ways, Susan is also a highly respected spiritual teacher and a professional speaker.

Definitely an achiever, Susan has already won 42 prestigious awards including First Place Ben Franklin Award. She also is the award-winning, best-selling author of 20 books in English and her books even have been published in 36 foreign editions.

One of her masterpieces is the main topic of our interview. It’s her book entitled Prosperity Meditations: Everyday Practices to Create an Abundant Life. In a nutshell, Prosperity Meditations is a simple guide filled with affirmations and meditations to attract abundance, success, wealth, and creativity instantly. It can help you manifest your fondest dreams and desires through the mental alchemy of meditation.

If you’re interested and want to know more about Susan and her amazing works, click here to visit her website.

I hope you enjoy and learned from this engaging interview with Susan Shumsky. Thank you and happy listening!

THE BOOK

Prosperity Meditations can help you develop a new, fresh, optimistic, and empowering attitude. It’s a simple guide filled with affirmations and meditations to attract abundance, success, wealth, and creativity instantly and by using its methods, you can change your belief about prosperity and thereby draw greater wealth into your life on all levels: spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, material, environmental, and planetary.

THE AUTHOR

An award-winning and bestselling author; a highly respected spiritual teacher and a professional speaker who takes time on teaching and inspiring people about meditation, prayer, affirmation, and intuition. She also has done over 700 speaking engagements and over 1,300 media appearances since her first book was published.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transcription (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and host of Inside Personal Growth. And we have Susan Shumsky, Doctor of Divinity joining us from Pennsylvania. We don't know where in Pennsylvania but she's, she's there. And we're going to be speaking with her today about her new book called Prosperity Meditations. And boy, considering the world we're living in today, we were just talking. We all could use this book. This is a book you should rush out and buy, to start to bring in more abundance into your life, everyday practices to create an abundant life. Susan, how are you this lovely, beautiful afternoon? It's obviously almost evening your time but how are you doing?

Susan Shumsky
I'm doing fantastic. How are you?

Greg Voisen
Wonderful. And we appreciate having you on the so show to share some of your wisdom and insight with our listeners about prosperity meditations. But most,

Susan Shumsky
thanks so much for inviting me gray.

Greg Voisen
Oh, you're quite welcome. You're quite welcome. I appreciate you. And I'm going to tell the listeners just a little bit about you. She does have a long bio at her website. And if you want to know more about Susan, you can go to divine revelation dot O R G r e v e l a t IO n dot O R G. That's the website, but she is a bestselling author 20 books in English 36 foreign editions what are 42 prestige his book awards for most spiritual expert and highly acclaimed, greatly respected professional speaker has decades of experience as an educator in the consciousness field. Her books include divine revelation, which was the 1996 Miracle prayer Random House, exploring meditation ascension, instant healing the power of auras, The Big Book of chakras, awaken your third eye Awaken Your Divine intuition. Color your chakras, Third Eye meditations, Earth energy meditations, prosperity measured meditations which is the one we're going to speak about today. For two decades, she studied in the Swiss Alps in the Himalayas, and around the world and under the guidance of Maha Rashi Yogi guru, The Beatles guru to Deepak Chopra. She served on maharishi's personal staff for six years. She is a Doctor of Divinity has taught meditation, intuition, yoga and spiritual enlightenment. As a true New Thought pioneer, she's done over 700 speaking engagements and over 1300 media appearances since her first book was published, and cool, including Alan combs on Fox News, Coast to Coast AM and George Nori, while you've been around, Susan, you have a just a plethora of background, if my people want to actually learn more, you're gonna see several videos that she's posted as well at the website, which are very important of some of the interviews. But it's a website that literally just gives you more information about her books, her lectures, what she's doing, where she's at. The book that's at the top right now is obviously prosperity meditations, but also earth energy meditations. So, Susan, you know, tell us why you wrote prosperity meditations? And how do you hope the readers of this book will benefit with relation to the beliefs about abundance and money because it's, it's all around our beliefs, it's what we, you know, whether we picked it up from childhood from our parents, and we drag it forward. But we have these beliefs around abundance and, and money. And in as you said, in your book, some people believe money is evil. Probably not the best thing to be running around with. So tell us what you'd like to help people today achieve was a result of doing the meditations.

Susan Shumsky
Right? So abundance, abundance in life. That's what we all need. And the fact is that many people have been brainwashed to believe that money is bad money is evil. So I wrote the book to help those of us who are spiritual people, spiritual seekers, because many people who are spiritual, have this belief that if they are poor, that makes them better, makes them more spiritual. And they have the belief that the old believes that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to attain the kingdom of heaven. And that money is not something that they want to have in their life that it just causes problems. But the reality is that those of us who are spiritual, who have the thoughts of humanity in mind? who wish to create a better world? Wouldn't we be more effective in the world creating a better world if we had more resources at our command? So that's the reason why I wrote this book to help those of us who really have the interests of humanity at heart, who really want this world to be a world of peace, a world of prosperity for all, a world of abundance. And, you know, we can do it, we are creating our reality ourselves.

Greg Voisen
Yeah. And somebody like yourself, who spent so much time with Maharishi in ashrams, and living a really, really deep spiritual life. You know, your, your kind of, of the world, not in the world. And, you know, when you are more that way, the focus isn't on monetary, riches. Right? It's more on how do I deepen my, my connection with a higher source? Right? And so speak with us a little bit about that, because I see the book behind you Maharishi, and me. The reality is, those experiences are just phenomenal experiences for most people. And you come with a Doctor of Divinity. And so how is that set your own tone with relation to money, wealth, abundance?

Susan Shumsky
Yes, well, I've never really been interested in money as being the source of happiness. Because true happiness comes from within. So all I ever saw throughout my life, was to achieve inner peace, to achieve inner happiness. And I did that through many years of meditation, through spiritual study, and so on. So really, money was never a huge issue in my life wasn't really that important to me. The reality is that this book, prosperity, meditations and that's just to create money, it says everyday practices to create an abundant life. That means abundance on all levels, physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and in all areas of life. Not only finance, but also career also relationships, love happiness, home, in all different areas to create an abundant life to have an unlimited life.

Greg Voisen
Right. And, you know, if you look at the Eastern philosophies, the ashram as you were in my Rishi, Buddhism speaks about the Four Noble Truths. And one of those truths is the attachment. Right, our attachment to things? How would you address because I just interviewed Dr. Roger Walsh, who wrote a book on the spiritual principles, and he's a teacher like you are as well. And we had this discussion. And it's really interesting, because if you take that kind of vow of non-attachment, no matter what you're accumulating, all these things you accumulate around you, and we talk about material things. We'll speak about the spiritual side in a minute. It's a challenge, right? But you've mentioned in the book that we have been brainwashed to believe that money is evil, there is nothing inherently evil about money, you say that the truth is, money is power, the power to be effective in the world and fulfill our highest aspirations. So, you know, using some of your ageless methods, can you help people shift this belief about all this abundance in their life, whether it's money, whether it's love, whether it's physical health, whether it's whatever it is, what I mean, the book is got all these various segments in it, which I love about meditations in each of those areas, right. And then affirmations in each of those areas. Right? There were there's great affirmations in the book, there's great meditations in the book, there's, it's an awesome place for people to I'd call priming the fire, you know, start you know, it's kindling for the fire, right? So let's suppose speak with us with about dress this, how do I stay nonattached but at the same time, have abundance and an abundance, you know, in a whole person element?

Susan Shumsky
Right? Well, fullness comes from within. So, whatever is around us whether we have a lot of things whether we have few things, no matter what situation we are in, the real happiness, the real fullness is our own state of being It's our own consciousness. I call it prosperity, consciousness. Prosperity. consciousness means having infinite awareness being having unbounded awareness. And if you are centered within yourself, if you're feeling settled, if you're feeling whole, if you're feeling a sense of well-being a sense of peace, then you are infinitely abundant. That's really is the truth, no matter where you are, or what your circumstances are. So attachment comes from seeking in the external world, for your happiness, looking outwards for trying to get happiness from out outside of yourself. And that will never work.

Greg Voisen
Well, I think in a lot of the practices, they talk about cravings, getting rid of these cravings that you have, you know, and you just said, infinity and your said, embrace this, how can you help the listeners create this heightened state of consciousness? And what are some of the practices that they could use? Because this is all about, we always speak about elevation of consciousness. And for a lot of people, I kind of look at it, and maybe you do. This is a blending of being able to live with the ego, but at the same time, I have the subconscious mind working in conjunction with that, because I'm talking now on more of a the way our mind works, then there's the whole other round the astral realms, which we could speak about. But most people are dealing with just the hard facts of how do I work with my subconscious? How do I work with my conscious? How do I elevate it? How do I make myself better? What are some of the practices because you have lots of in the book,

Susan Shumsky
right? In the book prosperity meditations, there is, first and foremost, guided meditation. Guided Meditation is the easiest way for people to meditate, especially people who think that they, quote, unquote, can't meditate. Reality is that anyone can meditate. If they practice guided meditations, what I suggest is that what readers do, is just open to a meditation that you want to practice in the book, and then record it onto a device, such as your computer, and then sit comfortably and get into a really comfortable position, a quiet place where you won't be disturbed. And comfort is the most important thing about meditation. And then just start the playback and close your eyes and allow your own voice to guide you into meditation. So guided meditation is first and foremost, the best way for people to experience this unbounded awareness, this inner peace and so on. Then, also in the book, there are affirmations and affirmations, what they do is really create things effectively in the world. And whenever you do an affirmation, I suggest that you speak audibly, not just read it, but speak it audibly, and speak it in a powerful voice with conviction, and speak as though your Higher Self just pretend as though your higher self is speaking through you, not your ego, self, but the big self, the biggest self is speaking through you. Then also in the book, there are mantras and mantras are really they're just affirmations, but in Sanskrit, so there's all some mantras in the book. And there's also visualizations visualizations mean that once again, this type of guided meditation, where you are visualizing the goals that you wish to attain. And in the book, there are certain exercises, certain things that you can do little things like creating a vision scrapbook, for example. This is a way that you can manifest your dreams and desires. So there's so many different ways for you to manifest abundance in your life through using the book prosperity meditations,

Greg Voisen
well on page 103. You call it prosperous bank account. One. You've got lots of these. But you know, it starts out I am blessed of the Lord which had which had made heaven and earth. I delight and Lord who gives me the desires of my heart. I remember the Lord my God who gives me power to get well and it goes on. And for my listeners. As she's saying, take these and read them audibly read them into like, you know, we're creating a podcast here. It's so easy anymore to record anything and then play those back on your phone. play them back on whatever device you want to play them on. But the point is, recording them is easy, and that's a great thing. Also, writing, journaling is an excellent way to do it because handwritten, whether it's handwritten or its type, and then you read it after you type it, I think it's fine. Do you agree with that? Either way,

Susan Shumsky
you know, it really depends on the individual, some people find it's more effective for them to speak audibly. Other people find this really effective to write. And I recommend writing actually, with a pen, or pencil or whatever an actual writing tool rather than typing. It just gives you your body gets more involved in it. And so there's many ways whatever works for you, you know, really

Greg Voisen
well, I think, you know, just for the listeners who are digitally inclined, you know, there's so many writing applications, like on your iPad, or on your Samsung tablet, or whatever. And what's cool about it, and it just this is from a process standpoint, you can hand write it, you can turn it into a PDF, and then you literally can have the handwritten note, you can print it out. So it's pretty cool. There's a lot of ways you can do it; you say that I'm certain that all the listeners or I did that the listeners would love to find more happiness in their lives. We live in a world of uncertainty, which we just talked about, and it influences our psyche and our attitude. Obviously, it's very easy these days to get down and depressed unless you've just turned the news off completely, or you don't read a feed across your phone. But you're finding something new every day happening. What are some of the meditations and affirmations that can be used to sustain this attitude of gratitude, happiness, love and joy?

Susan Shumsky
Okay, well, let's read one, how about happiness, okay, happiness affirmation, it goes like this. I now choose to be happy. Even in the midst of challenges, I rise to the occasion, and I'm happy. Even when blocked by obstacles, I find a way around them, and I am happy. Even when beset with problems, I find solutions to everyone, and I am happy. Even when everyone seems against me, I stand strong and myself, and I am happy. Even when I feel weak, my higher self is invincible, and I am happy. Even when my life seems in shambles, I affirm divine order, and I am happy. Even when I feel unhappy. I know, outer circumstances do not determined inner happiness, and I am happy. Even when I experience a devastating loss, I find a way to reverse it. And I am happy. Even when I feel betrayed and stabbed in the back. I am forgiving, and I am happy. Even when I feel impoverished, I have the power to change my circumstances. And I am happy. Even when I bump my head against a wall without success. I can fulfill my desires with relentless determination. And I am happy. Even when it seems no one loves me. I know God loves me, and I am happy. Even when I feel alone. I know God is with me always. And I am happy. Even when there seems no reason to be happy. I find something to be grateful for and I am happy. I do not wait until my life is easy before I decide to be happy. I love everyone and everything in my life. And I am happy.

Greg Voisen
Hey, let's do that with a smile. Well, you know, I don't know how many times you said I am happy with the accent on I am happy. But just the pure fact that you're repeating to your subconscious and your conscious mind that you are happy. You must have said it 20 times during that. But the point is, is that that emphasis on I am happy and repeating that actually is like a mantra. You know we've talked about we've talked about, you know, affirmations, but mantras would be repeating something like that, like you just did, I'd actually look at that as a little bit of a mantra.

Susan Shumsky
Suzanne's mantra and the important thing for us to understand is that Buddha said one time, in fact, it's very first verses first chapter of the Dhammapada, which is arguably the most important scripture in Buddhism. He says all that we are is the result of what we have thought. And I'm gonna say that again. All that we are is the result of what we have thought. And then he goes on to say if a person speaks or acts with a pure thought, then happiness follows him or her. It's a person and speaks or acts with an impure thought and unhappiness follows him or her. So what he's telling us is that we create our own destiny, our own reality, day by day, moment by moment, through every thought, every word, and every deed. So we are creating our destiny ourselves. We are not victims. We are volunteers. We've created it, we've created our situations that we're in. And we didn't create it consciously. As you point out, Greg, it is our unconscious mind that is determining our destiny. So that's why the repetition of mantras, the repetition of affirmations can help us because it really works on changing the subconscious mind. And so it is meditation as well. And Jesus once said, we are not defiled by what we put into our mouth, we are defiled by what comes out of our mouth. So he's telling us the same thing, that our words have tremendous power. And whenever we use the words I am, it's very important that what we say after we say those words is something that we want to own something we want to draw into our life. Because we are manifesting every time that I am phrase has the power of manifestation, and we are manifesting do we want to manifest? I'm so unhappy? I'm so sad. I'm so poor, I'm so overweight. Do we want to manifest that? Or do we want to manifest I am filled with light, I am joyous, I am happy, I am wealthy, I am healthy. The vibration is no different. When you say positive statements,

Greg Voisen
I remember going to a conference in Palm Springs, and it was the guy it wasn't Ken Wilber because kinsmen on the show, lines, levels, consciousness levels where people vibrate at it was another one. Is it Hawkins? Yes, it was Hawkins. You know, he's, he mentioned that as the that so few people vibrate at the level of the Dalai Lama or Jesus Christ or whatever. And that the majority of the population is vibrating at levels which are just extremely low. And you have to think to yourself during these times, and I know we're off topic a little bit here, but we're really not somebody like Putin throughout the course of his life, how he spoke, how he did what he did. My question for you would be, what do you think somebody's like that in many of these world leaders who rise to power, had the ability to rise the power and convince enough people or demand whatever they demanded, and then be such low vibrating law levels of people, and evil.

Susan Shumsky
Whatever we place our attention on grows stronger in our life. Yeah, that's one of the major laws of the universe is the law of increase. So whatever it is that we focus on, whatever it is that we desire, that's exactly what happens to us. So if a person desires and only thinks about world domination, and only thinks about their ego, megalomania sort of thing. That's exactly what they're going to create in their life. We have free we have free choice, we have free will, we are creating our own destiny.

Greg Voisen
Well, you know, you tell a great story about a wise advice you received from a Vedic Astrologer about how to increase your fortune. I remember that story. Can you tell the story and give my listeners some advice on how to increase their fortunes, no matter what kind of fortunate is, but the data kept some great advice for you.

Susan Shumsky
Yeah, I mean, he actually advised me to take a look at my life to reflect and he said, what have you done in your life that has created the greatest money? What have you ever done something where you had like a windfall where you made a lot of money, you had a huge so I thought I thought about it. And I realized that there was one time when there was a big conference that was being scheduled for a place that only held a small number of people to stay overnight. It had enough space for the actual conference to go on for the people to sit in a room and, and enjoy the conference, but there wasn't enough sleep and accommodations. So I thought, Well, why don't I just call up some hotels and reserve some hotel rooms, and then sell those hotel rooms to these people? So that's exactly what I did. And I was fairly young at the time. So. So it was the first time I ever really made a lot of money all at once. And it was more money than I had ever made in my life. By doing something very simple, it didn't really take all that much time. So as a result of that, that was how I came to the idea through talking to this Vedic Astrologer. That's how I came to the idea of starting divine travels, where I would take people to sacred destinations and tours. And that evolved into taking people on cruise ships of conferences at sea. So that is how my company divine travels began. And

Greg Voisen
Yeah, not ablate on cruise ships as much right not have like, you're probably okay not being on the cruise ship as of late. Well, look, we've talked about affirmations, we've talked about mantras, we've talked about meditation. And you know, a lot of people have boards they visualize on and let's talk about visualization now. And you speak that the power of visualizations and using what you call miracle making visualizations. A lot of people you know, cut out magazines and pictures and paste them together and create a board. How do you recommend using visualization to manifest abundance in all areas of your life, let's not just talk about abundance, money, but just abundance in all areas,

Susan Shumsky
Right. So some people are really good at visualizing, and sitting down closing their eyes, and imagining in their mind's eye, the thing that they want to create, actually, strangely, I'm really not very good at that. Or I haven't been up until now, I don't want to make the affirmation I am. Right. So I have not been in the past. Very good at that. Even though I'm an artist. And even though I have incredible spiritual experiences, whenever I meditate, I get visions all the time, visions of divine beings, visions of celestial realms, visions of life, all kinds of visions, but actually sitting down and imagining a screen in my inner eye, and then putting a picture on that screen or a movie on that screen and manifesting things that way. I have not had really great success at that

Greg Voisen
I found I have

Susan Shumsky
interesting, what I found is that creating a vision board or a vision scrapbook that really works, because what you're doing is you're cutting out pictures from magazines or downloading pictures from the internet. And then you're placing them onto a board or I like the scrapbook idea because each page of your scrapbook could be a different subject. So you have on one-page home another page, you have money and other page you have career and other page, you have relationships and other page, you have healthy children, you have health different things in your scrapbook. So I recommend creating a vision scrapbook and writing some affirmations on the pages. And also, I suggest maybe having a picture of your higher power on the top of each page and maybe making rays going down from your higher power on to the pictures that are in your vision scrapbook. And then every night, just before you go to bed, just look through just thumb through your vision scrapbook and look at the pictures and say the affirmations audibly, with a confident and strong voice. And I think you'll find that this is a miracle making method.

Greg Voisen
Well, it sounds really interesting, this scrapbook idea. And, you know, I've seen the vision boards, and I've seen things people have done and I think segmenting it out like that into categories is a good idea. And you stay you state, there's no limit to our good and that we deserve all the luxuries that we desire, and what we have and that we have the power to make our dreams come true. How do we reprogram our beliefs about again, abundance, whether it's wealth, money, love, you know, whatever it is we want health in our life to have a more plentiful life overall, because now we're talking about beliefs. Beliefs frequently are pretty strong. Meaning people's beliefs turn into truths, but they're not always. They're not always the highest spiritual truths. They're their truths. Okay. So how would you address that?

Susan Shumsky
Well, I have many techniques to address that. But let's start with this one, this particular affirmation that I recommend, I am in control. I am one with God, I am the only authority in my life. I am divinely protected by the light of my being, I close off my aura and body of light to the lower astral levels of mind. And I open to the spiritual world. Thank you God. And so it is. So what that affirmation does immediately shifts your entire consciousness, it takes you to a higher vibration. It, I could just feel the love and light just pouring into me as I was saying those words. And I think that you'll find that this affirmation can change your life very, very quickly. And I suggest that you do it every day.

Greg Voisen
Well, you know, I know a lot of people out there have an app on their phone. And it has meditations and affirmations from Deepak, right. And when you do these in your voice, not Susan's voice, you just heard Susan voice. I think it's important what she said right off the bat, that you record these yourself. There's nothing like listening to your own voice. I know, I've done 900 And something podcasts. And when I play back the podcasts, it's really interesting for me to listen to my own voice. You know, it really is. And then I have people that like today I had a phone call. And this happens frequently. They think that I'm a woman, because my voice is high. I know. They do. They do. And they got that? Well, it happens on the phone a lot, believe me a lot. But you know, I always tell people, you know that I have this ability and have almost all my life. I'm pretty balanced between the feminine and masculine. So if they say that to me, I say, Well, I'm just balanced between my feminine and my masculine. Exactly. So could you speak with our listeners about the law of compensation, the law of increase in the law of circulation, and how these laws really work? Because you mentioned them in the book. And I'd love for you to address these for the listeners.

Susan Shumsky
Okay, so the law of compensation says states that you'll always be compensated for your efforts, and the contributions that you make. In other words, it's really the law of karma. As you sow, so shall you reap, right? Whether it you notice a result immediately, maybe immediate, but more often, it's much later, that that comes back. So whatever you're putting out into the universe is exactly what comes back to. So for example, if you throw a stone into the center of a pond, the ripples go out from that stone, and to the edge of the pond, and then they come back to the center. So it is it is done unto you as you believe. That's what Jesus said. And so what we are creating what we are manifesting through every thought every word in every deed comes back. And so if you're creating good if you're creating a good vibration, if you're vibrating love and light and happiness into the universe, that's exactly it will come back to you.

Greg Voisen
So now, how about the law of increase isn't? What is that all about? Yeah, the..

Susan Shumsky
law of increase states, whatever you put your attention and intention on grows stronger in your life. I did mention that before, when we were talking about Putin. The reality is that whatever we focus on in life, that's what manifests. I've always throughout my life, my technique for manifestation is to decide on something to make a final and firm decision on whatever it is that I want to manifest, and to persevere doggedly with determination with persistence with resolve. Not ever imagining for one moment that I won't create it. So that's the way I've created so many things in my life is simply through making a final decision, and placing attention and intention on that. And that's really a very powerful technique for manifestation. I

Greg Voisen
think it's important though, to note, and I will note this, and you can either agree or disagree with me. But you know, we, we put these things out, and we want to manifest them. They don't always manifest exactly like we expect them to. But they do manifest and you need to look for that, right? Because you don't always happen the way you think it's gonna happen.

Susan Shumsky
Right? I'm really glad you brought that up. Because it also brings up another issue. And that is that many people because they read the secret, and they learned about the law of attraction, what they do is they make a laundry list, okay, I'm gonna manifest this and this, and this, and this, and this. And then they go out and with determination, and they manifest all these things. And then when they're done, they look at it, and they say, well, but I didn't really want that. And I didn't want all the troubles that came with that. Why did I try to get that in the first place? So that's why it's really important. I think that the first step in any type of goal setting or manifestation, the first step, in my opinion should be that you meditate and ask spirit, and find out what your mission is, what your purpose is, why you're here, what you're supposed to be doing, and then make your laundry list. These are the things that I need to do in order to fulfill my destiny in order to fulfill my true mission and my true purpose in life.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, I would agree with you and then the law of circulation. You want to end with the

Susan Shumsky
law of circulation states when you circulate substance, you keep the river of prosperity flowing. When you circulate money freely, more money flows into your life. So it's a law of circulation of wealth. In other words, not to hold on tightly and be miserly, but to allow was the money to flow, and then money will flow back.

Greg Voisen
That's why it's called currency. Currency. You know, because it's supposed to flow that is current. That's the idea. That's what we call it current like that. Yeah. You know, it's interesting it has on it in God We Trust So, but really, it should say, the God within we trust. Because the reality is you were the one that manifested it, and you are the one that will put it back into circulation. So that is, I love what Susan is saying here. Now, Susan, in wrapping up this interview about your book, prosperity, measured meditations, and I'm gonna hold this up for my listeners, again, we'll put a link to Amazon for you to go get the book, we'll put a link to Susan's website as well. Because as you can see behind her head, there's lots of other books you might be interested in as well. I would love personally to read the Maharishi and me, because I think that would be fascinating. Susan, your books filled with great advice, tools and food for thought. What are the three takeaways that my listeners can apply to their lives today? To transform their beliefs, their actions, whatever to put more plentifulness and abundance in their life? In every area of their life? What three things? Would you tell them?

Susan Shumsky
Yeah, well, first of all, I would tell them that, to use the book prosperity meditations to actually use it, and to do the methods in the book because it will transform your life very quickly. But here are the takeaways. The bad news is that you created your situation through your search, you have created your own situation and circumstances through your own thoughts, primarily, your words, and your deeds, those three things have created your reality. That's the bad news. The good news is that you created this yourself. The good news is same as the bad news, because of the fact that you created it yourself. That means you can change it yourself. Right? You have the power to change it yourself through changing your thoughts, your words, and your deeds.

Greg Voisen
Were honors, were 100% responsible for our thoughts and our own actions.

Susan Shumsky
Exactly. To our 100%. Responsible. Yeah.

Greg Voisen
So anything else you want to say?

Susan Shumsky
Yeah, that was number one. Number two, is that money goes where it's welcomed, and it stays where it's well treated. So if you push money away, which a lot of people do, especially subconsciously, because we have these, we've been brainwashed with these beliefs, that money is evil. If we push it away, subconsciously, it won't feel welcomed, it won't come to us. So money goes where it's welcomed. That's to number three. This book provides practices to create an abundant life on all levels, not just money. So health, happiness, relationship, relationships, love, every area of life should be unlimited, not limited to our own negative beliefs, habits and conditioning, unlimited life.

Greg Voisen
Well, those are great pieces of advice, the first one you said, which is pick up the book, but more than just picking it up, read the meditations and record the meditations, and then play the meditations back for yourself. Because those are what are going to make a significant difference. I would also add to it you know, the mantra thing that you were saying, you know, I am happiness. It's just whatever that mantra is to change your vibratory level is so important. And those things do help you and shifting your vibratory level. And the other thing I would say is, you know, your gratitude journal or any journaling you're doing. And the other thing she said was this scrapbook with the different segments in it. All of those were wonderful takeaways that I took away from this interview. And I want to thank you for spending time with our listeners, and sharing some of yourself and some of your thoughts and your ideas and your wisdom and knowledge about how to transform our lives to have a more plentiful life, in every area of our life, whatever it might be. Namaste to you, Susan.

Susan Shumsky
Thanks for Namaste.

Greg Voisen
Thank you for being on the show. And thanks for spending a few minutes with the listeners at inside personal growth.

Susan Shumsky
Thank you.

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My guest for today’s podcast is the founder and CEO at Inner Matrix Systems and the author of The Inner Matrix: Leveraging the Art & Science of Personal Mastery to Create Real Life Results – Joey Klein. Joey is also an international keynote speaker and a corporate trainer who talks about leadership, personal development, emotional intelligence, among others.

Meanwhile, as for Inner Matrix Systems, they have worked with more than 80,000 individuals from around the world through both live and online training programs, as well as one-on-one coaching. Clients have included: Boeing, IBM, Dell, Google, Panda Express, Coca Cola and The World Health Organization.

Moreover, as a result of his research, training, and experience, Joey has long been considered an expert on the inner game of performance and even came up with his own book The Inner Matrix: Leveraging the Art & Science of Personal Mastery to Create Real Life Results. It’s basically a comprehensive program to realign your emotional, mental, and physical states to support the achievement of down-to-earth objectives.

If you’re interested and want to know more about Joey and his works, you may click here to access his website. You may also click here to access Inner Matrix Systems’ site.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Joey Klein.

THE BOOK

In The Inner Matrix, you’ll discover a simple, practical approach to managing your emotions, thought strategies, and nervous system to channel success; ways to develop fulfillment, peace, and inspiration; how to create the neurological alignment needed to achieve any outcome you desire; methods for training yourself to design a rich and meaningful life; and case studies, scientific references, expert insights, and much, much more!

THE AUTHOR

Joey trains individuals and teams in his proprietary personal mastery training system that rewires, trains, and aligns your emotions, thought strategies and nervous system to achieve strategic outcomes. He develops leaders, dynamic opportunities and endless possibilities. With his high-energy style, Joey blends East and West wisdom traditions with the latest in neuroscience and psychology, to help people, teams and businesses thrive in a complicated world.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transcription (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining us from just a little bit outside of dinner in Denver, he said, is Joey Klein, and Joey has a book out, called the Inner Matrix. And the subtitle is leveraging the art and science of personal mastery to create real life results. Joy, good day, dia, how you doing?

Joey Klein
Hey, I'm doing awesome, man, thank you so much for having me.

Greg Voisen
Well, we appreciate you having you. We, you know, this shows been on the air 15 years and personal growth is our I want to call her lane, but there's like four lanes. And there's some in spirituality, personal growth, wellness, and personal mastery. And I think you cover all of those. And on the mastery side, I think you said in here, it takes longer. And I remember doing an interview with George Leonard, he was one of the first people that wrote a book on mastery. And he's also the same guy that started s lawn with Michael Murphy. And I learned so much from George about mastery in his little book that is still a huge seller. But we're going to be talking to Joey, the inner matrix. And I'm going to let my listeners Joey know a little bit about you. He's the founder of inner matrix systems. It's a personal mastery training system for high achievers. Actually, it's for any achiever. For more than 20 years, IMS has delivered a proprietary methodology that rewires trains, and aligns the nervous system emotions and thought strategies to create real life results. And I think that's the secret formula here is you know, how to rewire and retrain. For most of my listeners, they know, I know, we've had Steven Kotler on here many, many times talking about how do you rewire this brain? How do you change the circumstances? And how do you get out of that, and Joy's a master at that. So he's been doing this, and he's had over 80,000 people through his course. I think you're all are going to really enjoy this interview, you can learn more about joey and his book in two places. The first place I'm going to direct you is there's a 60% off, actually, believe it or not, of the book right now. And I want to direct you to the inner matrix.com to go there. And you'll be able to get this book for 995. This is that's quite a bargain. I didn't count the pages. But you can say it's pretty thick. But it's had its big type. So it's an easy read. I love how you did that. There, you can learn more about the work of the art and science of personal mastery. You can learn more about Joey, but do go to there and then click that reserve your copy off and get 60% off. The other place that you can learn more about joey and the inner matrix is really at the inner matrix systems plural.com. And we'll put a link to that. That's where you can learn more about his courses and what he's doing and everything else. So Joey, let's start this off. You know, many people who write books like this. Life wasn't simple. They didn't have the most perfect family. They things were tough. And you state in the introduction that the family life was less than perfect. You saw pain and suffering. I was just reading a part in your book again about your dad, you always got stuck. And he said, finally your dad answered you, you asked him how many how much did he make running these businesses out of the basement. And he finally said between 60 and $70,000. And you realize that you've programmed your brain and your system, that that's all you were gonna make for a long time. And you saw this pain and suffering you said, and there was very little happiness, love and joy. If you tell us a little about yourself and your quest to find meaning and purpose and joy in your life. And really, the big thing here is the influence of Dr. Lu. I, this mentor had so much influence on you that really they changed your life. So go ahead and let our listeners know a little about you and Dr. Liu because that's where a lot you learned a lot of this. Sure, sure

Joey Klein
thing. Absolutely. So I mean, you're right on track there in terms of how my life got started out. Like I remember I was probably my second year of college or so where it really all came to a head and hit me pretty hard. And I fell into just this Oh A lot of partying and a lot of drugs on alcohol. You know, back then if you'd have met me, you probably, you know, would not have met me met me sober run ins with the police just really unhinged and you know, trying to cope with, you know, the different struggles that was my life etc. And really my whole journey started because one night, you know, after going a little bit too far, I really feel like I was probably close to dying. And I remember I had this awareness, that simple awareness, which was simply like, I think I'm here for something more. And if I keep living the way I'm living, I don't think I'll be alive in a year. And so, you know, I was really young, I was 19 years old, I moved out of my house when I was 17. It was on my own, and about 18 or so 19 years old. You know, I really said, you know, I just want to know happiness, you know, peace and fulfillment like what do I need to do to find that? How do I do what I wanted to do didn't have really good direction in my life. And I ended up meeting a mentor who is a bit of a spiritual mentor in the beginning. And that's really where, where my path got started. He actually was a guy in Boulder, Colorado, so I moved to Boulder was a living student for a year. And then it was a year after that, that I met Lou, among a couple other like key people who directed me and I found my answers like I really did find a sense of, of a bit of peace and fulfillment and happiness in my life. And, you know, it was totally done with all the partying and the crazy behaviors that I was up to. And I remember when I when I kind of got myself dialed in, people just started asking what I was doing organically, and asking for advice. And my teachers, Lou was one of those main mentors that said, you know, you really should, all these people are just asking you what you've done, and they're asking you for your advice, and you're sharing the information that we're giving you, like, you really need a career, you need to be able to take care of yourself. Because I was kind of couchsurfing, I was real happy. But I was couchsurfing, right? I was like a 20-year-old, you know, you know, bomb, I was like, like hanging out wherever I could. And I remember they just told me to start charging for kind of the advice that I was sharing and giving. And I remember I named a price, I just started coaching people. And they really told me like Lou was one of them that said, Hey, if you don't share the information I'm giving you I'm gonna stop mentoring you. And so it was kind of at their, their, you know, it wasn't even really a request, it was a demand, where they said, if you don't share this stuff, and you know, start, you know, kind of giving back, if you will, or pay it forward. We're not going to mentor you anymore. So I started sharing with people, what I was up to what I was doing, and you know, that led to today. And Lou was a prominent psychologist in LA that's really where I got my start, she convinced me to move out to LA ultimately. And the reason she did that was because I helped out her daughter. Her name is Kelly. And she had a brain injury and, you know, was a bit unstable and wasn't kind of able to do the things she wanted to do in life after a severe car accident. And she asked me like, Hey, do you think this like internal training stuff you do can help me? And I said, you know, I don't know. But I've seen it do some pretty cool stuff for people. So why don't we give it six months a year and see what happens. And then a year she was off all her medication, she was normal. She was you know, maintaining a job and all the things. And her mom took notice of that her mom was Lou, Dr. Liu, who became my mentor. And she started to send me some of her high profile clients. And now I was able to really make some differences there with the things that I had learned and was learning. And so she moved me out to LA and she said, Listen, I'll teach you kind of the artist psychology. If you teach me this inner training stuff you're doing and we'll make a trade. And she kind of took me under her wing. And she's really where I got my start because she started sending me all of her clients, I did a great job with them. And then it kind of took on a life of its own from there.

Greg Voisen
Well, you are martial arts champion as well. And you had mentioned something about trading the martial arts is that correct? Is that was what you were doing?

Joey Klein
Yeah, I had a I had a traditional, you know, to focus on traditional martial arts, and La again, like all these mentors kind of showed I had these primary mentors showed up in LA and, and one of my mentors said, you know, you really should get strong and you take better care of your body and, and I thought to myself, well, when was I you know, the most strong in my life and I remember back to my early teens, back then I did a style called Okinawan Kempo. And I remember I was really fit I was really strong and fairly athletic. And I kind of fell away from that. So I said, you know, I'm gonna get back to that. And I found a very traditional martial arts master Grandmaster Lee was his name. And he was in LA. And so I started studying with him privately, world renowned martial artist. And so that's where, you know, I kind of kind of kind of led that that's kind of what led my path into the martial arts there. And when I started studying with him and training with him privately, he said one day, you know, if I'm going to train you privately, I don't train very many people privately. You have to compete in the in these tournaments, you have to win. And I was like, all right, I just wanted to learn martial arts. I actually didn't like competing. I don't like competition. I didn't want to, you know, compete. I just loved the artist studying. And so it was like a tradeoff. I was like, well, I'll compete, as long as I get to train with this guy. And I was like, Well, if he thinks I'm good enough to do okay, I guess I guess I'll believe in that. And so really the World Championships and kind of my leaning into martial arts was, again, one of my mentors, saying, like, hey, I'll train you. But then you've got to, you know, you got to go out there and show that I trained you and do pretty good. So, you know, ultimately, it worked out and I won three consecutive, you know, world championships in a row. And then after that, I got clear, like, if I continue this, it's not going to be great for my body and my 5060. So I could have kind of took a took a change there.

Greg Voisen
Well, there is a discipline, though, associated with any martial arts, when you're doing it, that's so important. And it follows suit in the work that you talk to people about here as well, this inner work, the discipline that needs to take place as part of this transformation process, and you stay that radical evolution can be instantaneous, but that mastery takes time. That's the discipline I'm talking about. Mastery takes time. Can you distinguish the difference between the two, for our audience and comment on the journey to mastery, versus just this instantaneous, radical evolution that you might have? Yeah, of course.

Joey Klein
So for me, like, I think of transformation. And when I see people's lives transform, and I get to kind of see this, you know, on a regular basis, I just got done teaching a program in Kansas City, and, you know, like, like, you know, we had 100 people there a little over 100 people, and there was a number of people who their life just simply won't be the chain be the same as a result of, of like, engaging there. And when I look at transformation, it really is a paradigm shift. And we've all experienced it, at some point in time in our life, most of us probably just didn't, didn't drive it, right, we didn't intend it, if you will, it just sort of occurred in one direction or another. And so a transformation happens when our perspective of ourselves and reality changes. And it really is an instantaneous event, you know, just like I was sharing with you, you know, when I kind of, you know, wait a little bit too far, when, when I kind of first began this journey, you know, 20 plus years ago, and I realized in that moment, like, hey, if I continue living the way I am, I'm not going to be around any longer. And I'm here for something more. And in that moment, I just saw my reality completely differently than I did moments before. One moment, it was, this is fun, and I'm living my best life. But the reality was, I was just hurting myself and other people in extraordinary ways, right? People that loved me, people that cared about me, and, and, and myself. And as soon as that that paradigm shift happens, where you realize, oh, I'm actually doing x naught, y, and x is possible. For me, as opposed to as to why it's like all of a sudden, that moment, I was no longer ever going to be the same. And yet, it took a little bit of time for that to unfold. You know, the second example that I can have of like, like instant transformation in my own life that wasn't directed, was when I moved when I was a child. I remember moving from, you know, grade school into middle school, we moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico, my dad got a new job, we moved to Wichita, Kansas. And I remember, you know, loving school and getting good grades. And, you know, all of those things. And I remember sitting in the counselor's office at the new school that I was going to go to in Wichita, actually Andover, Kansas, and I was sitting there in the counselor's office. And I remember, like, it was yesterday, the counselor talking to my parents and going well, this is a harder school than then, you know, Joe is coming from, and we don't want to set him up for failure. And although you know, it's recommended that all these advanced classes be taken, we really should put them in just the normal classes. And then if he excels, we'll go ahead and bump them up. Because we don't want to set them up for failure. We really, you know, it's a much more advanced curriculum here. And we're not sure that he's going to thrive in these other classes. And for whatever reason, I remember like, in that moment, thinking to myself, this is going to be hard. And I remember like taking on this idea that I was dumb that I was stupid. And sure enough, like going into school, new place new reality. I remember thinking this is going to be hard. And sure enough, I struggled in school from then on, you know, forward,

Greg Voisen
reprogram the subconscious. Yeah, exactly. Right.

Joey Klein
It just happens to us all the time. We don't realize it's going down.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, remember an interview with that guy is just was recent, actually. It's interesting visit doctor teaches in university, Joey. And he said, you know, he always thought he was bad at math. But the department he was in they moved into an apartment and said, You're gonna be the math instructor. And he was like, me, the math instructor. How can I do that? And I love this story, because he became really good at math, and he enjoyed it. And he had this student come in after hours and she said, Doctor, whatever his name is, at this point, I can't remember. I'm horrible at math. I am just horrible at math and He says, Well, why'd you say that? And she says, because I've never really done well at math. And you could see she already preprogrammed herself. So he, she, he does the first test. He hands it to her. And she says, it's an A. And she said, Oh, my God, Dr. Jones, you know, there's no way I got an A, he said, Yeah, you did get an A, you, you. You aced it, you really did. She goes, I don't know, I don't know how that happened. So second test, she got a D. Third test, she got a D. And what she realized that she could be an average student, which was C, she had two Ds and an A. So they average the grade together. And she ended up getting a C and the course. But he would say to her, just like you said, why do you believe you're a bad student? You're not, you're a good student. Yet, she'd already preprogrammed that she was going to be a C student. And she ended up being a C student. So there you go. There's another example of how powerful the mind is, you know, like you just said, that's, it's a great example. Yeah, we

Joey Klein
just take it on. I remember, you know, and I struggled through school all the way through my second year of college. And I remember my dad, like he, he took this Dale Carnegie course. And he, he somehow got me in there for free. So I was, you know, 15 years old or something. And I'm in there with the CEOs and business people and just terrified out of my mind. Because I'm the only kid in there everybody else is very successful running companies in this kind of thing. And I remember at the end of the course, you know, the facilitator who was running for mayor he was running to for the, you know, to be the mayor of Wichita comes up to me with his wife. And he says to me, you know, I don't know what you're going to do. But I know, it's gonna be amazing. Because you're extremely smart, and you're so capable. And you're, you're just obviously special. And so I don't know what you're going to do, but you're going to be an outstanding success. And I want you to call me, and let me know what amazing things you do. And I remember that moment, because all of a sudden, I like took that on. And I was like, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. But it's going to be great, it's going to be amazing. And all of a sudden, that was a paradigm shift for me again, and all of a sudden, I was like, I was clear, I was going to do something, but I had no idea what it was that I was going to do, you know, like, like how great it would be or anything like that, but I assumed it to be true. And so like, like, transformation happens in a moment. But then when I look at well, what did what did it create? What did it take to do something significant? Like what did it take to succeed? You know, I had to study business, I had to, you know, study personal development I had, I had to study the sciences, and like it was throwing myself into the right things, you know, for two decades, that that created a high proficiency. Or same thing with martial arts, like I might have a natural aptitude for that. But in terms of, of, of mastery, or creating excellence, you know, as for ours, and in the dojo, you know, doing hard training six hours a week, year after year after year after year, that developed a high capacity and a high skill. And so although transformation can happen in an instant, where life really is one way, and then it's just never the same for us. And then it unfolds over time. If we really want to master something and achieve and know what's possible for us and realize our potential. We've got to lean in and do the right things over time for sure.

Greg Voisen
It's so true. And you know, that experience you had at 15 and Dale Carnegie, it brings me back to the days where I was in Carnegie. And I actually became a trainer. And the man who put me into Carnegie was a gentleman. He was my manager. When I was doing insurance sales. His name was Grant Benning. His daughter is Annette Bening. And he introduced me to the grandson who would had the San Diego location for Dale Carnegie. And he's been on the show. And I ended up going to New York as a result of it. And flying to the headquarters of Dale Carnegie, which is in New York. And the interesting thing was, is that I, I always remember the Dale Carnegie sales training. For some reason, you talk about spaced repetition, learning, they were miraculous at it, whatever they did. attention, interest, conviction, desire clothes, right? That's called the sales Berger, you know, and to this day, after all these years, if you really look at the process, the process is still the same, and it's crazy. How to Win Friends and Influence People. Dale Carnegie, another great course. And you know, you mentioned that the research and this comes from the research and the scientific data on how to step into a powerful life. That only small pieces have been translated into accessible language and made readily available for mainstream audiences. When you state that you have merge the modern science and the ancient mystical practices and have developed this inter matrix system. Can you give the audience an overview of what the inner matrix is and how it helps people to transform their lives because you're taking the ancient wisdoms, and you're taking this other scientific data, and you're putting it together. And that, to me, means me shows that there's a spiritual side. And then there's this data side that the stuff that's going on in here, how are our neurons wired? How are they firing? How are we looking at? We'll get it to an in a minute. But you talk about this, these deep patterns that people set up, right. And those patterns then kind of lead normally to failure. But I want you to speak about the inner matrix and how it works and how people can benefit.

Joey Klein
Sure. So for me, I define the inner matrix as our, essentially our unique set of emotions and thoughts, strategies, that that ultimately drive and determined every choice decision and action that we take. And so another way to say that is if we, if we look at a choice that we make something simple as like, Hey, what are we gonna eat your breakfast this morning? Right? Are we going to have, you know, fruit or eggs or, you know, coffee and a bagel? Like, like, at the core of that decision, emotion really drives those basic, simple decisions. And then the decisions that are that are obviously more life determining in terms of how we think about it, you know, who are we going to marry? Right? Are we gonna say, Yes, we're gonna say, No, who do we date, etc. Like, they determine those decisions as well. And a lot of times I have, you know, like, like, especially my clients that I work with CEOs of like big companies, fortune 100, companies, things like this, they always tell me, Joey, I'm a very rational person, I'm an objective, individual, you know, I make objective decisions. And when we stop to consider the nervous system in the brain, and how it, how it, how it forms, you know, that's just simply not the case. Some of us are more connected to emotions and the feelings that we have than others, and we're more, you know, we're more aware of how that's driving in us. And then, you know, some are, are not as aware. But if we really look at it, you know, when we were when we were young, a year old, two years old, our entire communication system was emotional, we felt we felt sad, we felt happy. Without joy, we felt peace, you know, through the mirror neurons in the brain, which are responsible for empathy, but we had no idea to call them joy, or happy or sad, or anger was just imposed on us, right, we just kind of experienced that which was in our environment from those who are around us. And then, you know, around five or six, we started to formulate language, which gave us the ability to think and so from a nervous system perspective, emotions were a primary communication system, you know, for the first face, you know, 567 years of life. And then we started communicating in language. So, so thoughts are, like, superimposed on top of emotion. And so in terms of just how we're wired as human beings, emotion drives the thinking, and then those thoughts reinforce emotion. And so when we think about decision making an actions that we take, we might, we might be aware of rational thought, I like this, right like that. But what's underneath the surface, often in the unconscious self, is emotion driving the show, if you will, if we know how to manage that emotional leverage that emotion, you know, we can get ourselves to take just about any action that we want. If we don't know how to manage or leverage that emotion, we may want to take different action, but we just can't quite get ourselves to do so. Right, like working out every day or changing some dietary habits and things of that nature. And so when I worked with my spiritual mentors, you know, I worked with, I studied in India with gurus and I, you know, had a Dallas meditation master and, you know, study with a rabbi. And I noticed like, all these true ancient wisdom traditions had these like breathing practices and focus practices. internal training, is how I thought of it, because that's how I thought about it for martial arts, like, Oh, you do this technique, and you get a result. And, and I had these great results, but I didn't understand like, exactly why they were happening. And it was actually my mentors that told me to go seek out how to make this available in white, like, like, encourage me to take it more to a mainstream audience. And, you know, I met a Harvard trained neurologist that I was introduced to, and he would give me these papers with all these medical terms, and I'm like, Dude, I don't understand any of this. Can you put it in layman's terms for me? And so what I started doing was I was like, yeah, here's the technique I do. Why is it that when, you know, we breathe this way, we feel more calm? And then he talked about, you know, the different regions of the brain, it would stimulate the prefrontal cortex responsible for peace and, you know, creating a sense of sense of joy and like, that's the region of the brain that that creates these kinds of experiences. And when you breathe this way, or you focus in this way, you know, it trains that region of the brain. And I was like, oh, okay, so this technique creates that result he's like, exactly, I was like, good so be my interpreter, right like helped me I understand this stuff that I really can't even read because it was beyond me with all the medical terms and stuff like this. But he understood, you know, really clearly what was what was going on. And so he helped me break that down in layman's terms. And so that was really the process of like, like really understanding, hey, why is it that this makes me feel better? Why is it that this produces that result, and I kind of went on a search, because I'm a wide person, you know, for me, it's not enough to just do something and get the result, I really want to understand it. And it was through that understanding that I kind of understood, oh, this could be a system, this could be a training process, just like you train anything else. And so and if the, you know, not to say that there's not extraordinary value, in our wisdom, traditions, and in ritual and in, in those things, like, like, I appreciate them so very much. And obviously, they've been around such a long time, there's so much value in that. But I found a lot of people will do things, if it's not tied necessarily to, you know, religion, so to speak, but it's just techniques that get results and can be explained in better their lives.

Greg Voisen
Well, I think that some people, you know, look, I've done a lot of interviews with people in the Eastern philosophies, Western mystery schools, as well, and everybody, including Steven Kotler, it's always about how do you hack flow? How do you hack something, and I think the traditionalists are not as interested in having someone hack it? Because you can get there quicker, doesn't, you know, they'll say, it doesn't always mean that it's better. You know, I know that to get to a flow state, whether it's induced through meditation, or to induce through your practices, or you're micro dosing LSD, or you're doing all kinds of things, allows you to get to altered states of consciousness. Now, whether or not this improves, what it does is it opens up the part of the psyche of the mind, which you realize, and allows you to enter into areas that you maybe haven't been willing to go and it helps you clear, much of what is blocking you, right. And there'll be a lot of people that tell you, you know, I've gone to South or gone, I've gone south and done ayahuasca, right. And I and I know many people have lots of people. And I had rom das on the show before he passed away. I thought it was very interesting. You know, if there's one guy in this world who's spent most of his time in meditation, he always said, the Eastern practices of meditation were the ways that he found the ability even because, you know, at Harvard, they said, no more LSD, dude, you're, you're gonna have to find a different way. You state for the most of us, because of the lack of education and awareness, than instead of being able to purposely create our reality, a random set of experiences or conditions, or our inner matrix, and as a result, we react to the environment in a series of specific ways. I agree. I think that's all absolutely 100% correct about the matrix, however, you want to look at the matrix? How can you help the listeners that are listening right now become more aware and proactive in creating the realities in their lives? Other than to allow it to kind of go on automatic pilot?

Joey Klein
Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, something that that I, that I started to notice, like, those events that I shared with you a little bit ago, when I, when I took on this new identity, if you will, one time, not for the better, right? I'm not, I'm stupid. And the other time, I'm going to do something great, right? When I took on these identities, like, well, what really drove that what happened there, and the combination, like the reality was, like, there was an intense emotion that I was experiencing at the time. And then I adopted an idea, right, an idea about myself and idea about the world, you know, a way of seeing reality that was different than what I had access to before. And, and then it lit up my nervous system, right, my body felt different, right? My, my action started to change as a result of that, which I took on. And so you know, what I've noticed and what I what I see is like, hey, if we can, you know, learn to notice when we're inside of intense emotion, and start to like, intentionally adopt the perception we want to take on or what different situations are going to mean to us, then we can essentially train ourselves we can wire ourselves inside of the experience we want to have and also direct the trajectory that that we want to go and the outcomes that we want to fulfill on and we can do that in two ways. Like number one, you know, life is going to happen and we're going to have an intensity of love and joy at times in our life. That happens upon us, and we fall in love or something like this. And then there's gonna be times when, you know, the unexpected happens, and it's painful. And if we can, you know, have a little bit of, of a formula for when those intensities of moments, you know, of life come, and instead of, you know, accidentally, I, you know, assume something as to what we're going to have it mean or what we decide, it's going to mean for our future, if we stop and ask the question, what do I want this to trend toward as my future? What do I want this to mean, for me, what's the experience I want to take forward, we can start to really make this an intentional process, if you will. On the other side, if we learn how to activate intense emotion, you know, for some of us, that's music that can do that. Some of us it's using the body, you know, some people, you know, breathe in a certain way, etc. But like if we understand how to activate intense emotion within ourselves, and then again, determine, you know, meaning tied to that emotion and the outcomes that we aspire to, or the aspects of life we want to change, we really can direct and drive our behavior in a very different way than people are accustomed to.

Greg Voisen
Well, look, we're living in a world right now, that is very uncertain. It's very volatile. There's a lot of things going on. And I have a feeling many people. around just a many people don't really know what they want. It's confusing, right? It's confusing, and it and let's face it, the times have never been as rapid as they are, and they're never going to get slower. Let's just face it, it is what it is. How would you help somebody who's stuck? And saying, Hey, Joey, I don't really even know what I want in life. Because you were there. At one point, you know, you were you were stuck. You were saying, hey, these things aren't good things aren't whatever, how did you get out of it? And start to actually make something positive happen in your life? Yeah.

Joey Klein
So I think, most important is, is that is that is that moment of decision, right? We've got to decide to make change a must for ourselves. Not a, it would be nice, or you know what, you know, it would it would be, you know, not necessarily just hopeful that things change, right? But get to a moment where we go, you know, regardless of where we are, right, we're in a lot of pain. And that pain goes, I have to make a change, right? Or are like, Hey, I'm just, I'm just tired of things just being okay. Right, we're just kind of going through the motions, I think step one is we have to get to a place where we're sincere with ourselves, and we go, you know, I have to make a change here. It's a must for me. And, and in my opinion, like, if we do nothing more than that, a series of opportunities that sort of follow that, that will almost guide us toward creating or making, you know, those changes happen. And I think the second piece to it is, number one is like determining we want to change is not necessarily, you know, wanting to make more money, or have a nicer house or move or, you know, meet another person, I think that's where we go to a lot of times, but I think a lot of people, you know, the reason they're looking for their path or their you know, seeking these things outside of themselves is really because they just want to feel better. At the end of the day, like the core reason we want change to occur is we're looking for first and foremost a new emotional experience. And I remember the first you know, sort of thing I drove to when I said, I have to change my life. I didn't drive I sort of instinctually didn't drive toward, I need to know what to do, I need to know who I'm going to be in terms of like a policeman or a fireman or a doctor something like this. I remember getting so clear. And I said, you know, I need to, I need to find happiness, I need to know how to create joy for myself, I need to understand what is fulfillment, before I can really name what it is that I want to do. And that's what's really important to me. And that's really what I went out seeking for right? Some people we go out, we look to make more money and all that's fine. But you know, I've trained so many people who are really wealthy. And you know, the reason they're calling me is because there's sadness, there's unworthiness there. And so I would start with what all human beings want, which is, hey, I must change. And what I'm going to do is I'm gonna look to create a sense of fulfillment or sense of happiness or sense of joy for myself. And I know it sounds funny to people when they first hear it. But the truth is, like once we have our basic needs met food, water and shelter, if we're not happy and we're not fulfilled, it's not because of our wealth. It's not because of the people in our life. It's not because of our job or because we don't have our purpose. It's because we're not managing our mental emotional self in a particular way. And that's what's keeping us from those fulfilled experiences. So the first step to transformation is how do I want to feel? And let's start asking ourselves what can I do to create that feeling? I think it was the Dalai Lama, I read a book that that he produced, he was talking about the studies that he, he funded I forget what college, a university that he worked with, or who was who was speaking to, but I remember the quote, and it was something to the effect of, you know, why is it that all these universities are studying depression? Right? Why don't you study happiness, and the art of happiness, essentially, and look at the formula that produces happiness, because what, and that's all from the depression anyway. And so let's do a study that really, you know, let's do a study, and let's really start to start looking at what is the brain doing? And what is it that people do to be happy? Like, let's do a happiness study as opposed to a depression study, right? And that made so much sense to me, like, let's focus on the experience you want to have and start paying attention to how do we create that?

Greg Voisen
Well, you know, it's interesting, because, as we've all know, homeostasis is a tough thing. And to kind of move beyond the body wants to just go to homeostasis, you know, it's like, okay, but to actually move beyond and achieve what you would like to achieve in your life, knowing what you want to achieve, you have to be willing to take some additional steps. And those steps sometimes are hard to initially determine what they are, you have four separate yet interrelated aspects that comprise what you call the inner matrix, the mental, emotional, physical, and the intuitive, or what you refer to as the higher self. I should know this one really well, I wrote a book on intuition called hacking and the gap, a journey from intuition to innovation and beyond, can you explain the elements of the higher self and the energy that you referred to as presence, and how this is responsible for our state of the deep sense of connection, because it's so true, that, you know, if you're, if you're going to reach this higher state of consciousness, and you calling this presence, that that is the state where I say, most creativity comes from most fulfillment comes from yet so many of us spend so little time there.

Joey Klein
So I think I think of the higher self in two ways, one, is a little bit more of a spiritual idea. When we think of, you know, when we hear like the word or idea of like Soul, or, you know, Atma, or, you know, there's these different terms for, you know, who we exist as, beyond the body, as pure consciousness or pure energy, you know, that which we existed, as before, maybe we're in a body, and perhaps that which we know ourselves as we were no longer in the body anymore, right? That that eternal self. So I think that's a component of higher self. And at that level, we're definitely connected to all things. The more practical idea of the higher self is, is Who am I, if I give myself permission to believe, in my fully realized potential, right? What's the emotion I'm capable of? What am I capable of achieving? What difference Am I able to make in the world? Likely, who could I evolve into from where I am now. And if I were to imagine, the best of myself fully realized, you know, I think of a person who's loving and kind and compassionate, and resilient and confident and, you know, unshakable in these qualities, and somebody who you know, is a, you know, caters to or supports the growth of humanity and sees you as making contribution and is capable of that at the highest levels. And if I think of the higher self, it's like, Hey, what is this image of ourselves? That, that if we imagined ourselves as realizing our full potential, if we kind of grew into that? Who would we be? And what are the types of things we might accomplish or do or serve, and then it gives us a mark, it gives me a focus, and I can go, oh, you know what, that's what I'm going to strive today to, to evolve into a little bit more. And then the next day a little bit more, and the next day a little bit more. And when I've done that, and I imagined what is the potential, like if we think of our higher self as what we could fulfill as our highest potential, and we start moving toward that and try to grow into that. It gives us a focus, it gives us a destination. And we're able to sort of move into that, that that reality of ourselves. And what's always fascinating to me is when I connect to that idea of myself, and I named what I want to do, it's usually centered around connecting with human beings serving people in the best way possible. How can I give back what difference can I make, you know, it's usually around some kind of contribution? And when I name it, I don't know how it's going to happen. But I commit to it and it always seems to bridge the gap. I always seem to go hey, you know I remember I said, Hey, I want to serve 1000 people, and I want to support them in bettering their life. And I had no idea how was that was going to occur. And I was kind of, you know, working with four people at the time. And next thing I knew there was 1000 people, right? And then I thought, well, if I could do 1000, can I do 10,000, and sure enough to bridge the gap from 1000, to 10,000. And I thought to myself, like, like, I had no idea how this is going to happen, I'm confident that will occur. And so that sense of connection or universal energy or, or source, if we want to call it that, that, you know, I have enough examples in my life where I go, you know, what, there's some intelligence that I can count on that if I can get out of my own way and believe in the in the reality of who I can become as being possible, what I can achieve as being possible. Somehow, it nudges me in that direction, and always puts the things together that are required to fulfill that outcome. And so for me, when I think of source or connection, or that Universal Consciousness driving us, you know, we can't necessarily, you know, taste it or touch it or see it. But if we look careful, there's a ton of evidence that it's there all the time. And we can align with it if we learn how

Greg Voisen
the most certainly we can align with it. And I think the key is to being in unconnected being connected to it all the time, I was trying to find a different word, but it's there all the time. And it's really realizing it is and calling upon the power that is within it, to guide us and direct us, you know, intuition. To me, it comes in many different ways. You know, you when you look at it from a standpoint, is it? Are you hearing a voice? Are you feeling something? Are you acting from a gut feeling? People say, Well, I have a gut feeling about intuition, because I did a lot of research on intuition. And it was really fascinating to me, the people that thought they were so linear. And in the end, when you interview them, you know, they're like, scientists or whatever. And you say, Well, you know, you're putting together software. And yeah, I follow this process. Well, in the end, how did you get to that? Well, you know, we came together as a team, but I believe there was a collective consciousness, oh, collective consciousness of people coming together to help solve a problem. Where did that come from? Well, I don't know. Right? So you know, you would you would kind of do these interviews, and it was really fascinating to me than the end. I'd say, Well, did you think you have intuition? Oh, yeah, I have intuition. I use intuition. So what is your definition of intuition, and you get all these different definitions of what it was. But the reality is, we know that it's their joy, you state that our ability to be aware and perceive our patterns. And this is what I was talking about these deep patterns is not natural or innate, and it must be trained. And I know when I got my degree in spiritual psychology, they used to say, hey, if a camera followed you all day long, would you like what you saw? When we played it back? The patterns that you've created in life that you see, you know, the other thing they used to say was, you don't have to believe everything you think? I love that one. Because, you know, we're thinking all the time. And then as you talk about, those beliefs start to become our reality. I mean, just look at the divide that social media has created in beliefs, you know, many of them misguided at this point. But the reality is, hey, people have taken him on his belief. I believe that, you know, it's my right to go march on the Capitol. That's what I should do insurrection. Can you speak about our patterns and where they come from, and how we can become aware and train new patterns that serve us? And the greater good? Not just us, but us and the greater good?

Joey Klein
Yeah, excellent. So if we look at why we do what we do today, a lot of it is all it's all conditioned to trade. Now, it's hard to see that when we're kind of going through our day to day life, you know, that our emotions were conditioned and trained, and that our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves in the world was conditioned and trained. And that that led to the actions that we take emotion, thought, and then and then nervous system action. But if we really if we learn to stop and sort of pay attention, and I think psychology does this pretty well in different ways, right? Where it's like, Hey, you feel this anger, and this and that's going on, let's talk about where that came from. And they tend to want to go to the past somewhere and go look at the family dynamics of what was happening here. And, you know, there's some there's some, you know, good modalities out there that can show us like, Oh, like this conditioned or trained, you know, this way of being and when you learn to sort of, you know, pay attention and you take the time to really notice, like, hey, how am I feeling and where did this come from? You can in order to see that, that you didn't make it up, right, it didn't just happen, you know, it came from somewhere, and then we adopted it as a reflex. And this is a really great thing. Because if we adopted our emotions and our thoughts and our behavior as reflexes, and that was a train process, well, then we can untrain. And we can retrain some new inner processes, and emotions and thoughts and actions that lead to the different results that we want to create. And so the more we start to pay attention, the more we're going to see how our inner reality truly is driving our actions and producing producing our results. I had my one of my early mentors, you know, said to me, Joey, are you aware, you know, what an angry person you are? And back then I was, you know, I was extremely angry, I was I was unhinged, right. And I remember thinking, I'm not angry, I'm, I'm totally fine, right? I couldn't, I literally couldn't see, you know, myself in different ways, even though I was getting in fights all the time. And, you know, I was getting arguments. And, you know, my behavior was such that I was extremely angry. But I would have told you, I was not an angry person. So I couldn't see myself. You know, we are the hardest people for ourselves to see. But once I was able to see, oh, you know, what, I'm a, I'm an angry person, and I'm doing these hurtful things when I'm angry. You know, it's not, it's not like my fault that I'm hurting these people, because I can't control my behavior and action. So many people think that the way they feel is their fault, it's not so much a fault, as it is, hey, let's pay attention to just what is happening here. What are we doing. And what I noticed is that when I learned to pay attention to just being angry, and step out of that, and, you know, learn to calm myself down and literally acts as a place of peace, all of a sudden, my behavior was radically different. It's like, it's a different intelligence. And all of a sudden, you go to a place of acceptance, you go to a place of peace, you go to a place of just naturally caring for other people. And you're not the same person in that space and that pattern of peace, if you will. And so how do we contribute to the betterment of other people in humanity and serve? It really is as simple as becoming a better version of ourselves, and Accessing Higher emotions such as joy, peace, compassion, etc. Because from those spaces, we're not going to hurt other people. And we're in it's a natural impulse to make contribution.

Greg Voisen
It is. And I think that one of the one of the things that has to happen is we, if we're going to give, we're going to make a contribution. No. And the contribution is going to be for the greater good of everybody, not just ourselves. And I think that's really important. Can you speak with us about some of the inner matrix system trainings, practices that are designed to help clients bring deep programs and patterns to a level of conscious awareness, one you mentioned is staying fully present in the moment, and allowing our thoughts and feelings to pass without judgment or attachment. I have a little thing right here that sits here all day long. And I'll show it to you. It's no secret. I also have a nail clock on my wall. Now, the now clock which I can't, I can show you, it has no hands on it, it just has a pendulum that goes back and forth with our home. And it just says now in the middle. This non attachment is one of the Buddhist Four Noble Truths that you've blended into some of these practices into the inner matrix or is it is what I'm saying. Because attachment is really a big thing. In Buddhism, you know, Buddha says, you know, there's suffering, and then there's into suffering. Well, the only way you're gonna get the end of suffering is when you change, and you realize you're the one that created your own suffering, you're 100% responsible for your own suffering. So speak with us, if you would, about how the inner matrix kind of works at that some of the practices that you use to help people have this realization like you did that you were in denial of what was going on, and how you help people reprogram? Yeah,

Joey Klein
yeah, I definitely think like, I agree with you 100%, around the everything happens now. Like, that's really the only place we exist. And an attachment like learning to be unattached is critical. And seeing ourselves is critical, too, and sometimes not so easy. And so when we look at, well, how do I see myself I find, you know, it's a combination of some things, because if we like, stop, and we, you know, try to meditate sometimes right and close our eyes and go, Well, what's there, it's like, it's like, nothing's there. Right? The mind goes quiet. And, you know, it's kind of like you're trying to focus on nothing, and it's hard to do sometimes, right? And so, you know, two effective ways to see ourselves is, is number one, you know, you know, ask the question, you know, how am I feeling like get in touch with the emotion that's there? And then when you notice the emotions that are there, like if you're interacting with a spouse, or you're, you know, overwhelmed with your job or your business, you know, ask why questions, right? Why am I overwhelmed? And then write the answer down. Why am I anxious? Write the answer down, then ask it again. Why am I anxious? And what I find is that when we ask questions of ourselves like this, it kind of pulls out where we actually are in a way we can see it, especially if we write it down. I'm a fan of writing things down, so that it's outside of myself, and I really can look at it more objective. And then the din then decides, do I want to detach from this? Do I want to unattached from this? You know, there's a lady in that showed up this last weekend. And, you know, she had a divorce, right? She recently broke up with her with her husband. And she had this list of things. And she said, Joey, but what if my anger is justified as an example, and she had these reasons why she was very justified in being angry. And I shared with her, I said, you know, of course, you're, you're justified in being angry, and there's nothing wrong with feeling angry, and you can choose to be angry. The question you got to ask yourself is, is it worth it to me to hold this for another day, another five days, another year, another five years, and then what that that anger, and the way we think when we're angry, is going to mean for the impact that will have on you and your health and stress and the people that you love and care about, and the meaningful times it might take away from those times, as you define yourself as this reality? And so yes, like, like, like, you know, do sometimes bad or wrong things happen to us? Absolutely. And so if we hold on to that anger, as an example, and we don't give ourselves to unattached, from that, or to let go of that, or accept that it's there, then then it's a driver in our life. But when we go, Hey, yes, I feel angry, yes, these thoughts are there. But I'm going to let go of the idea that this is the only way to perceive reality. Because if we hold on to the idea that this is the only way to perceive reality, well, then we're going to be angry. And that's our quote, unquote, truth as people say, sometimes, and then we're and then we're stuck, we don't have another option. But once we say, I choose no longer to be angry, I must change this. Now we can start to say, Hey, I choose to have compassion, I choose to be grateful that I'm not in this relationship anymore. That wasn't working. For me, it's time for me to go on to something better, you know, we can choose to take on a different way of being a new pattern, which will then you know, translate to new results and new outcomes in our life. So you know, it's paying attention to where we are. And then even if it doesn't seem that way, in the moment, to have the courage to go, it doesn't have to be this way, it could be a different way. And that gives us that ability to pull back a little bit, and then start to get clear about who do we want to be? And then redirect, well,

Greg Voisen
I think then, and when the outcomes are beneficial by going the new way, opening up. I remember one of the masters this was Byron, Katie, I don't know her or not. But he used to get people on stage. And they would just like your lady who's went through the divorce and said, I'm justified, these are the reasons and she goes, Is it true? And then she'd say, Is it really true? Is it really true? And when you start to ask that question around truth, you start to really realize, maybe it's not true, it's something you made up that it was pretty one sided, the divorce, or whatever, and you're allowed to let go. But I loved her questioning. And she had three simple questions. And she'd get people on stage in front of hundreds of people and answer these questions. And they began to realize, and you'd see it happen right in the middle of the audience. It was like, Is it true? Is it really true, is what's going on for you, so she was a master at it. Joy, your book is filled with valuable practices and wisdom to help one transform their life, and to manifest a life to create a life of love, peace and happiness and abundance. If you want to leave the listeners with three takeaways, and or practices that would help them in some way on their personal journeys. What advice would you give him?

Joey Klein
I'd say to start with, you know, just entertaining the idea that that every result in our life good, bad, or indifferent, in terms of how we look at it is created from the inside out. It didn't it didn't it wasn't an accident. It didn't just occur. It didn't just happen upon us, but we created it from the inside out. And so number two to start paying attention, well, what is happening inside me in relationship to what's happening outside of myself? What are the emotions that I feel with the thoughts that the mind is thinking? And then go on to a third step, which is, as opposed to it like we were just talking about or you are speaking so well, in terms of you know, about Byron Katie, is as opposed to, you know, you know, validating or rationalizing or justifying why our emotions and thoughts are true and real, rather ask a different question. So to ask the question, hey, it does this emotion in this thought, drive me toward the outcome that I want to experience in my life, the outcome I want to create in my life, and if it does, then lean into it, invest in it, hold on to it, and if it does it no matter how real it may seem, start to give yourself permission to evolve it and change it and adopt the thoughts and the emotions that that will produce the results in your life that you aspire to, and that you deserve to have at the end of the day. It's great

Greg Voisen
advice, Joey. And for my listeners, again, if you want to get this book, you're going to go to the inner matrix.com, you're going to see a big banner there. And it's basically gonna say, 60% off limited time only while supplies last, I would say, go get a copy of this book. I'm going to hold it up here, hang on. Yeah, in formal show in that direction, but the reality is, this is the book you want to get. I encourage you all to go get this. It's 995. And he pays the shipping. How good is that, I mean, there's no better way to get a book than to pay 995. And then he's going to ship it to your door. The other thing I would encourage you to do is to go to the inner matrix systems.com You're gonna see a video of Joey there, you'll see a video on the other one as well. But you're also going to find out more about the program, the things we've been talking about today, and how these would apply to your life, and how this can help you make transform, transformation. As I said earlier in in here, Joe has trained over 80,000 people and I think it speaks for themselves. You can actually see some of the testimonials. He said 30 701 on ones sessions with certified I am training is happening all the time because he's not the only trainer. And the programs are power of focus, power of intuition, power of vision, and power of emotion. Definitely go there. Watch the videos, learn more about joey Klein, his program, the inner matrix, joy, Namaste to you. Thank you for spending some time on the show with us and allowing my listeners to get some wisdom and insight regarding your book and the inner matrix system. appreciate having you on.

Joey Klein
It's been great. Thank you so much for having me here. And that's been fun.

Greg Voisen
Good.

powered by

For this podcast, it is with joy and honor to be joined by a brilliant and competent CEO and author, Rhamy Alejeal.

Rhamy, along with his wife, owns People Processes, a provider of integrated, automated HR processes. It helps hundreds of companies across the US to learn how to stop pushing paper and start prioritizing people. Rhamy also serves on the Federal Reserve’s Industry Council on Healthcare, providing insights into employer costs and how they affect businesses in today’s marketplace.

With his expertise , he also turned their company’s concept on to a book entitled People Processes: How Your People Can Be Your Organization’s Competitive Advantage. Rhamy lays out the steps for optimizing procedures such as onboarding, scheduling, payroll, reporting, compliance, and communication to address problems like unmotivated employees, poor performance, high turnover, among others.

If you want to know more about Rhamy and his amazing works, you may visit their website by clicking here.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Rhamy Alejeal. Happy listening!

THE BOOK

People Processes reveals how you can use technology to streamline your personnel operations. Taking you through every component of HR workflow, Rhamy Alejeal lays out the steps for optimizing rote procedures such as onboarding, scheduling, payroll, reporting, compliance, and communication. You’ll learn how to make the needed changes and, even better, discover what the employee experience looks like after you do.

THE AUTHOR

Rhamy, along with his wife, owns People Processes, a provider of integrated, automated HR processes. It helps hundreds of companies across the US to learn how to stop pushing paper and start prioritizing people. Rhamy also serves on the Federal Reserve’s Industry Council on Healthcare, providing insights into employer costs and how they affect businesses in today’s marketplace.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transcription (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and the host of Inside Personal Growth. And we have Rhamy Alejeal joining us and he's joining us from Memphis, Tennessee. Rhamy, Good day to you. How are you?

Rhamy Alejeal
Good day, Greg. I'm doing great. I appreciate you having me on.

Greg Voisen
Well, it's a pleasure having you on and you know, People Processes is really a challenge for most companies and most HR directors and CEOs and CEOs. And especially during this pandemic time, it's been really challenging, not only finding the labor, but keeping the labor. And today we're going to be talking about a lot of those issues, and how Rhamy helps people get through that to the other side, and makes it so much easier for him. And if you want to learn more about Rhamy and his company, go to people processes.com It's just like it sounds p e o p le, p-r-o-c-e-s-s-e-s.com. There you can learn more about his company, his solutions, what he provides for his clients nationwide. And Rhamy, I'm gonna tell my listeners just a little bit about you. Romea, Gao found German people processes, a provider of integrated automated HR systems on October 1 2009, Rama and his team worked with hundreds of companies across the United States, helping them learn how to stop pushing paper and start prioritizing people. I love that. In addition, Rhamy serves on the Federal Reserve's Industry Council on healthcare providing insights into employer costs, and how they affect businesses in today's marketplace. He holds a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, and an MBA with a focus on economics. And we're talking today about his new book, can you hold that up? People processes, there you go. It's a number one best seller in Amazon, under the HR category, and one of Inc. dot coms top 10 leadership books that you can get. And again, we'll put a link to Amazon to get this book, we'll also put a link to Romney's website, while running to set the stage for the interview. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself? How did you get into the world of HR, and what's the greatest lesson that you learned from people and processes because every day your team, you have to deal with complex issues, but you help people simplify it and make it easier in their life. So tell us a little bit about yourself and how you and your team do that?

Rhamy Alejeal
Well, like any good HR person there, I was five years old Halloween, I dressed up as an HR person, you know, with a checklist and a funny hat. No, no one ever winds up in this career. You know, I wanted to be an astronaut. And this This is where I wound up. But I over the years, I was very entrepreneurial. I started young building businesses, growing businesses. And the bottleneck that most small businesses had, that were marginally successful, I'd say the truth is, most small businesses fail, because they have a crap product. They don't know what they're doing. They, they have a problem, right? That's the first step is don't suck at your job. And that's a, that's a hard enough lift for many people. But once you get through that, and you start creating standard operating procedures, and you start building out a team who's supposed to follow those items where I saw, the most bottleneck was in that realm of people, and management. And that's what attracted me to it. It's a big problem. And I wanted to help solve that. My wife and I started this company together 12 years ago, fresh out of graduate school. And we have focused on various parts of it from, you know, insurance and compensation benefits analysis, that kind of world thinking that the answer to getting good people was providing a great compensation package, as part of it, to investing in purchasing companies that were in the realm of payroll time off management time, and labor, timekeeping, thinking, Oh, it's not just having a great package, you also have to have a great, you know, software experience, and that's part of it too. But over the years that's developed really into a full suite of HR, that's not just the tools, and not just the information, but also the culture, the performance management, the pieces needed to really remove people as a bottleneck as best you can inside the organizations

Greg Voisen
Did either you have your wife, I mean, usually when you get people that are working in organizational development, cultural transformation, this kind of area, they had an interest to go into psychology, where either you weren't because you came from a financial background, but what was it that kind of intrigued you both Muzo psychotic, the softer side, they call it the soft side? You know? People say, hey, in my balance sheet, my biggest asset are my people. But what is the actual cost of having those people? I know you deal with turnover rates, you deal with retention issues, you deal with all kinds of things. But how did the two of you go from? Well, in your case, it was your financial guy by

Rhamy Alejeal
On labor economics right saver. So I loved economics. And I still do and I, I approach very much from that data world, I love figuring out the motivations and drivers and turning them into dollars. That's my world. I absolutely love it. My wife, undergraduate in theater, stage management, she came from the theater world, her mother's an opera singer and her, you know, father's a PhD and choral music, very useful. He's a great guy, he doesn't see that. But he, it's that world, she became a stage manager and at 20 was put it was managing shows with multimillion dollar budgets and huge staffs. She was a savant at stage management. The business world needs both It needs people. You need the data and the guidance and the academic side to understand and informed decision making. But Liz's, the show must go on. And we're going to bring in people from all walks of life, with differing levels of skills and experience for their unique value, and put them together and in three months turn that into a show, honestly, has had a much bigger impact than my ability to do statistical analysis.

Greg Voisen
And I think the key is in the stages of our life, you know, she's got all these actors on the on in the play. Same thing in business, those are the actors that are playing in the business. And with her background and your background, you make a dynamic duo team to actually help employers navigate that, because look, you can write a script for the play, which would be the business plan, you can put that actors on the stage, but doesn't always work out that way. What is the purpose of writing people processes? And what did you find missing and needed to be communicated me to a world that was really in reality, are readily available for business owners to reference in the book?

Rhamy Alejeal
That is a great question. I, again, come from a bit of a nerd background. So I'll tell you when I wrote my book, it was 440, single page work single spaced word of pages with graphs and charts and analysis. And my, my editors, sat me down and said, Rhamy, are you writing a textbook you would like to be used in graduate HR courses? Or are you writing a book for business owners to understand and make progress inside their business, they smacked me around pretty hard. In the end, people processes have a few. The book has a few key guiding principles, one, it should give you a next step, it should give you something that anyone can read pretty much at any level of experience, and have something trigger to go Alright, well, that's a place that can improve. The second, the SEL, is that systems need to be applied in HR. And many people miss that an HR, some people are data people, some people are people, people, a lot of people in HR, love the people side of it, but they miss the great gain of modernity, of systematic improvement. And so we try to lay out the key systems and how you can work on them to make incremental improvement. The wellness of the Yeah. Oh, Greg, you're on mute, buddy.

Greg Voisen
Sorry. Well, we'll edit that. It is, you know, interesting in the book, and I'll let you get to that the purpose of the book, you know, the purpose of the book is a roadmap. You know, in essence that you know, if I was just say it, that's really what it is. But your roadmap is unique, right? There are certain things and elements that every HR person comes through, but I think you bring a uniqueness to it. What would you say is people processes is unique?

Rhamy Alejeal
to me, the you again, it's there's nothing new under the sun, I am amalgamate are of all great best practices. What I look at from the book specifically, is its ability to set up each one of these employee life cycles or key events and in in HR key systems in HR, and not just put them in place or tell you what to tell you what to do in them. But to establish a system that improves itself, because no matter how well I write my book, it will be wrong in five years in HR, it will be very wrong in 20 years, right so it's more about designing the process. SS that help you put something in place, run it, make an incremental change, measure it and come out with a new solution. And that is so much more valuable than any one leap forward. So all of our clients and the things that are really our claim to fame is putting in place these systems and processes that improve themselves over time, more than any stroke of genius, I have, oh, you know, you really could do it this way. It's about making sure it improves over time.

Greg Voisen
Well, and I think most of our listeners know who are managing, managing people or an HR or CFO or, or the CFO, it's an iterative process, you know, everything, as it relates to business is an iterative process. It's always about fine tuning and making it better. And I think what you provide is the little touches that can fine tune the process. And in the introduction of the book, you tell an interesting story about Christie of a 40, something manager was looking for just an opportunity, and finally got it. Can you share her interesting story with our listeners, and how it kind of relates to people processes? Yeah, I thought Christie was

Rhamy Alejeal
the avatar I was trying to write to, in this book. Christie is was she worked in a nonprofit, she wound up becoming the executive director of a nonprofit after working in a few other places. And the nonprofit she took over had a mission that was dear to her heart. That was very important. But it had been around a while, in a good way. It was a pillar of the community. And everyone knew this nonprofit. And that it solves these problems. But she went in there and found the average employee tenure was 35 years. The average the average employee age was 63. Not the end of the world, I'm not an ageist, but this company had stagnated, they were doing the same things they were doing 10 years ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago. And when she went into this nonprofit, the management, the managers of it, were at best paper pushers, they were completely consumed with the day to day administration of it and no real progress on the mission, or the way they did things had been achieved in many, many years. They kind of stagnated. Christi went in and it wasn't that their mission was wrong. It wasn't what they what they were doing in the community had any sort of problem or, you know, they needed to revise those had been kept up with, but the way they manage their own people was the primary issue. And she implemented many changes that around performance management, recruiting, onboarding, even things like time and labor time off payroll management, that moved the average manager from spending 30 ish hours a week on effectively administration to being able to focus significant Lee on their time moving that administrative timeframe, down to two or three hours a week, to being able to focus on actually improving the systems and improving the outcomes of their people. And, and I think that's kind of the dream, right? The dream is that you're spending your time working on the business than in it, both from an executive level. But even at a managerial level, if you're able to get rid of the rote, repetitive administrative side of things, you're able to spend significantly more times making improvements. And that was really what Christie captured and was able to do inside her nonprofit.

Greg Voisen
Well, you know, speaking to nonprofit because you use that example, you know, many businesses look to the triple bottom line, and it's people plan it. Right and purpose. Right, right. Are you working more with businesses? Are you seeing a shift? Because look, it's the people in the business, you know, if you don't have a handle around that, you have one of the biggest challenges culture, the people, whatever you want to call it. It's my human resources. It's my highest investment that I have. But where are you seeing the shift, if you would, for retraction and attention of millennial type people to come to work inside of companies and stay where the planet and purpose is aligned with the people that they're hiring? So that they can feel like and are not just feel like I don't want to use a term like feel like but that there is a difference being made by the company so TOMS shoes or Patagonia or any of these kinds of examples. What are you seeing the shift in smaller businesses are you seeing much?

Rhamy Alejeal
Yes, for first of all, I guess I should disclose that 70% or so of my clients are nonprofit, I actually very tied to companies that are mission driven. The remaining 30%, we have a pretty strong selection process. But one of the key items, I find the most successful for profit businesses are those that are a mission that has a business surrounding them, not a business, that's figured out what their mission is going to be. Right, right. So in our organization, which is a for profit business, our drive is 101, great places to work. The one is us, we work with only 100 clients, at any given time, we give up to a year's notice when we let somebody go, and we only work with those 100 companies. And it's that limitation has allowed us to focus on our focus our efforts to the extent that we make an impact in the lives of the business owners, the managers and the employees. And that's very much how we drive it. We want 10,000 Wonderful, happy employees that we're taking care of as an HR department. And so you're not

Greg Voisen
Just a jar, you're really much more expansive than that. And I think when people go to your website, they'll see that that's the case.

Rhamy Alejeal
But those 10,000, but the key is that the mission drives us, right, in the clients we work with. A lot of that is sometimes the business owners have to take a step back, if they want to attract people who are highly talented, who are going to give above and beyond a paycheck for time to think about it when they wake up in the morning, oh man, how can I make that better, you have to have something that matters more than getting a paycheck. And that that, that is a key part of what I find is a lot of times business owners in the for profit space, they actually have that mission in the back of their head. Sometimes they've even tied their own personal finances to that mission. But the communication internally, and the alignment of the employees to that mission is a place where HR can make a big difference and communication.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, you know, it's a it's a dance that we play this between the two of these we know we've got to make income, we've got to make payroll. And but we want to do something that will better the world and make a bigger impact. And I think that's important. It's just like me with compassionate communications Foundation, my nonprofit, when I help the homeless, or the people in Ukraine, and I take nothing from the show. My goal in my mission through doing these interviews is to educate, inform and inspire my audience, while at the same time providing benefit and relief to people that are underprivileged. So I look at that mission. That's what gets me up every morning. That's what drives me to do what I do. In in your section on shifting focus to people you speak about popular financial, and a company that provides HR solutions to help businesses talk to listeners about popular financial, and what are some of the challenges you had in making this complicated, uncomplicated? Well,

Rhamy Alejeal
Poplar? No you to the poplar financial was the company that Liz and I founded 12 years ago and did all this HR Finance, payroll work. It's poorly named. But what did I know? I thought we were going to be more in insurance and compensation.

Greg Voisen
I absolutely. Repeat, I like people processes better. We renamed

Rhamy Alejeal
It. Yes. We rebranded online, all of our stuff makes a lot more sense. Yeah. Because I often got credit, like, do you do mortgages? I'm like, well, here's why. We all have our own business lessons to

Greg Voisen
Know we do bark off of trees, we do barks often.

Rhamy Alejeal
So yes, people processes. But I will say some of the biggest, you know, challenges or the some of the biggest things that we've put in place. In our company, we have around 140 individual items that we consider that make up the employee experience and the business systems. And that is that some of those things are simple, like compensation analysis. Some of them are more soft, like cultural communications, core values, those sorts of items. And basically, what we do as a as an organization is when a company hires us, we come in and analyze what they're doing based on those 140 items. We just say, walk us through it. How do you happen? And in a small business with 20 employees, you know what 90 of them the answer is, we don't do that. Right? Or I downloaded it off Google five years ago. That's how I know I'm compliant. Right? So we work through all those items. And then we lay out a 12-month strategic plan and we work through Each system, each little grouping, one month at a time, talk to management, talk to individual stakeholders, put together a program presented, get approval communicated, push it back out, it's step by step as we work through those items. And most of those items are actually good. It's developed a little bit since the book came out. But most of them are in that last section of the book where we kind of lay out all the key employee lifecycle events and processes that we're just going through. And we're saying, what do you do?

Greg Voisen
It's like anybody who has to take an intake to get an audit. That's right, this is kind of your audit process, that you know that when these steps are being followed, it works. And then if they're not, there's a challenge. And that that allows you to determine the focus of your employees that are going to work with these clients and how they're going to get it done. And you state that onboarding is an important welcome. I couldn't agree more. We were talking about that with a client this morning, actually. What advice can you give to the HR leaders to be able to conduct seamless and successful and I'm going to add to this kind of salient, you know, look, if you go to work for Disney, you're gonna have a two-week onboarding, you're gonna know who Walt Disney was, you're gonna know, Roger Disney was, you're gonna know everything about the company, before you start sweeping the streets at Disneyland and Anna, okay, or whatever the job is serving food. But you're gonna know, but most small businesses do not have a two-week onboarding process. So how do you help people create that?

Rhamy Alejeal
So onboarding, I would first address the mindset of the business owner, especially in I would push out that the acquisition of a new employee, from recruiting through interview and selection to the actual offer letter, and to bring them on is as equally challenging. And as huge and as large of an impact in your organization, especially in a small business that's only got five or six people, or 10, or 12 people, you're talking a huge percentage of your labor pool is coming on, it's as big of a deal as getting the largest client you've ever gotten. Imagine you had worked so hard to market, to identify, to qualify, then to sell a huge client, they signed up, and then you said, Great, I'm gonna FedEx you a stack of black and white photocopies that are kind of crooked, fill those out, and we'll be all good to work together. That's, that's onboarding for most small businesses. You went through all this crap, and then you're gonna say, All right, here's your paperwork. Thank you. Thank you. Let me know if you have any questions as Sally, she'll just see what Sally does. You can do that exactly. acquisition process for a 10th of your labor pool. Or your glory forbids your fifth employee, man, no wonder turnover is ridiculous among these companies, because you got it, you haven't put it, it's if you treated your clients that way, they would send that back to you. With a frowny face note and just never talk to you again, your employees need to be treated the same way. And you're gonna get the same results. By setting your onboarding up, you're doing the same things you do with a client, you're intaking gathering the information you need. You're orientating them, here's what's going to happen. You're setting expectations, here's how we're going to interact and what the deliverables look like. Right? It's the same steps you're going through with your employees, you're gonna bring them in, doesn't have to be in person, I highly recommend digital onboarding, it's much more systematic and consistent, which is very good. But what you're going to do is introduce them to the company history, you're going to introduce them to the company leadership. And then as you grow, you're going to start walking through each layer of the company. Here's an overview of the departments. Here's a deep dive on your department. Here's a deep dive on your job. And you're laying out how they orientate themselves in the organization and where they need to go for help, where how they interact, how they fit in. And then you're going to lay out performance expectations, just like you would with a client, here's what we expect, here's what we're going to get. And you're going to hopefully, through this process, not just orientate them to what's happening, but how things happen. So you want to talk about the culture in terms of the behaviors that you expect and that you expect other employees to have towards them. Just some basic cultural pieces like that make a big difference. And I..

Greg Voisen
For me, your monitor just went off. I saw that I should be back now. Okay. All right. Well, I have to edit that. All right. But yeah..

Rhamy Alejeal
So implementing those cultural onboarding steps is not does not have to be particularly time consuming. And I but it does not have to be particularly polished. Disney has the down to a fine art. And they have animators who are going to draw a cartoon of a new employee coming to the cafeteria. Get your cell phone out, pointed at your head, and tell people why you do what you do and what you're working on. And then have their manager do the same thing. And also lay out what they're looking for in the new cafeteria server. I love when my cafeteria servers do this, I hate when they do this. I can't wait to meet you. It's a minute and a half video on a shaky cell phone. Yeah, it will have a huge impact.

Greg Voisen
And also, you know, maybe even show them the org chart and where they are in their chart, right. You know, give me an idea of the structure of the company and so on. You know, you, you state that many HR processes are time sensitive and delays and they're missing information that can cause more than simply logistical issues. How do you recommend that HR leaders deal with delays in HR processing and implementation because it it's a it's a jagged process at best unless there's a system. The other thing is to keep the flow of perspective employed employees in a pipeline. So you're constantly either interviewing or walking. I don't care if you're using indeed or you're using LinkedIn or whatever process you're using, speak with us about creating a better process?

Rhamy Alejeal
Sure. Well, as you mentioned, the future employee pipeline is an absolute recruiter, we call it the recruiting process that often stops starts at Job analysis, what you're looking for, through advertisement through interview to select for those items, so on and so forth, you need a process, you need to be able to keep track of it. In general, HR is one of the most antiquated systems in most small businesses and even forget small businesses in most businesses, because there's less external pressure. If your website looks like it was built in 2008, your executive is going to know it, and they're going to get yelled at about it. But if your process for requesting time off, you know, requires they use Internet Explorer, you're gonna engage that's what the employees have to do, right? Or God, they have to fill out a piece of paper and send it somewhere. So what I would say is that in order to address most of these process bottlenecks, it's the adoption of technology saves you a ton. The number of people or the number of businesses not small either that still have their benefits enrollment done on paper, where an employee writes in their hire date, their date of birth, their social, all their kids, socials, all their kids dates of birth on a piece of paper and checks the boxes of what they want. I have seen multi Oh, I think the lawsuit was about 190,000 Was what it's settled for. Because an employee while filling out their paperwork, reversed the hire date, and birthday. Right? This wound up going into an insurance carrier, who for some reason insured someone who's five years old as an employee. But when the cancer claim came,

Greg Voisen
denied the claim. Right?

Rhamy Alejeal
Yeah, is this very basic, if they had had an automated system, it would have been completely obvious that you can't put in a date of birth that's under 19 years old, or whatever. Right? So these sorts of items, over time compounds when you don't have good systems. So that's just a random example. But in general, automation, and better technology allows you to design processes that save you from dealing with these crap burning fires that come up every three weeks in HR, that are because someone did something wrong. And by automating the submission, you can make those problems go away

Greg Voisen
the devils in the details usually and you know, your company helps people get the details right. And put it in perspective to how important it really is. And I think these HR departments, at most in these small companies have maybe one-part time person or a person and they have other job functions on top of it that the employers as laid on them. So they find it challenging at best do their job effectively. Whereas if they had systems, they could do the job much more effectively. And you state that communications is the most important component of HR as it is the multiplier that makes everything you you've done work effectively. What are some of the tips that you have for the HR leaders listening to become better at communicating both good and bad news to employees?

Rhamy Alejeal
Very good question. Communication is the differentiator in good versus bad HR. I mean, you could have a bad HR department in that they don't know what they're doing. And they don't have good systems and all that. And that's terrible. But many HR problems are perception problems, their problems with the information that is available to the employee and how it was communicated. A few quick tips, good news, or bad news or new processes and new policies, whatever it is, written, is best explaining what. But video best explains why I don't believe that there should be it, you know, and if you can't, if you're not a person who can do a video, you gotta go talk in person, that's the downside. But everything you do, that interacts with your employees, needs to have a why behind it. Employees are understanding, believe it or not, they're gonna have that they understand that you're a business with limited resources, you have to make choices between certain items. And you can't provide six months of paid maternity, because of this thing. And that you have to lay that out for them. The why is incredibly important. So we communicate what in writing, and why via videos. And nothing we do, whether that's benefits, whether that's HR, an HR policy, around sexual harassment around partying at the workplace, drinking on the job, whatever it is, whether it's a new update, or revision, or just a brand new thing that's come out, there's a paper aspect, and then there's a communication aspect of it. And we invest as much time in our videography, graphic design and copywriting, as we do in the actual HR side of things. And that's why we're perceived as incredibly good. The truth is sherm.org, get your share membership, you can go get the same policies that 99% of businesses are going to use, and they're just fine. But the communication will separate you.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, it always has been around communication. I know companies that specialize in actually giving employees a statement of their benefits, right? Now we're gonna employ, so an employee benefit statement. So they understand the value of working at the company, you know, we're going to pay FICA tax, and we're going to pay SDI and we're going to pay all these taxes that we pay for you and contribute in your time off your vacation, pay all of that. And when you add it to the normal paycheck, you get to see what the real paycheck is, right? Sure. And for a lot of people, that makes a big difference. And that statement is really big. You speak about automation, as the important factor to keeping the processes consistent, and round effectively improve the overall HR, what's the best bit of advice or tips you can provide to listeners, whether they're in HR or not about automation is its function in HR, because the reality is, if you've got a CEO listening, or CFO listening, you know, that these are the kinds of things they need to understand as well.

Rhamy Alejeal
The bane of automation is siloing. The number one issue, especially in larger enterprise systems, is simply that there are so many legacy items and ways of interacting, that you cannot, that it's very difficult to actually automate well, and so that that's why some of these things take ridiculous amounts of investment, because you're replacing a training system that you've had for 14 years, and a payroll system, and a time and labor system, and a Benefits Management way of doing things, and a retirement platform. And there's all these different pieces. And if your HR person, every time they have to hire somebody has to go in and add them to payroll, and inform a benefits carrier and another benefits carrier and another benefits carrier and the retirement company, and then turn on their timekeeping and then get their security turned on, and then order all their materials. The likelihood of a mistake is it's not a likelihood it is a certainty that it will happen. automation allows us to make sure that they happen the same way every time. And the hard part of it. The tip is you have to fight the siloing of data. It is so easy to go, Oh, here's a new leadership training software. Let's Well that sounds great. We'll have a weekly training system on how to manage people. Great, great, great. And it's $7 a month per employee. This is perfect. And you get an approval for that and you put it in and now your managers are running through a training system that has no connection to the onboarding of employees that has no connection to the termination thereof. The number of companies we go in and they're paying for a hunt Word, subscriptions that they don't have that 100 licenses on a subscription for people that have been terminated. Because that's a thing that doesn't automate and connect. So when you're evaluating your systems, you need to think about its ability to either provide everything you need, which is unlikely, or at least integrate and automate across the board. Small businesses have it easier, they don't have, you know, decades of legacy systems to make them talk for them. They need to be thinking future facing. Right, when they're evaluating these, they need to be thinking Well, right now, I don't have a 401k. But how does this work when we do one? And right now, I don't have a need for in depth data analysis to figure out what you know what levels these employees are behaving at. But what's that going to look like in the future? And make sure you have a backbone you can grow?

Greg Voisen
Would you say people processes is not may not be a fair comparison, but is like the people soft for smaller businesses?

Rhamy Alejeal
I compete against workday all the time. Yeah, okay. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Okay. And, you know, we were, we were, the difference is between an enterprise so we're in it, we buy and build out enterprise multimillion dollar software that is used at 1000 Plus employee companies. And then we do it for the client, they have access, they can go in and design a multi tiered workflow with custom forms, that splits out and waits for different things and all that. But if they work with us, we assigned them a system engineer, their HR managers, like we need this thing to work their business owners like this is a problem. The system engineer programs, all that. And we have to do that when we originally started with our large we wanted to build software that a small business owner could use, like the big boys to automate these things, right? It didn't honestly didn't work. I mean, we could, we could sell it, but they wouldn't use it right and have the time or the expertise. We learned that for companies that fewer than a couple 100 employees. The only way to do this is to have a staff of six or seven experts who can handle each.

Greg Voisen
One. Do you have your own platform? Or do you use a guy that talks to all of these others and brings various pieces and elements in to make it happen? Or is it both?

Rhamy Alejeal
It's both? Yeah. So we customize, we have our own kind of software development around certain HR functions. But we use master tax which is ADPs large tax engine that does geospatial taxing, there are 13,000 tax districts, it would take more than my entire company just to keep track of that. So we write for timekeeping, we love you know, timekeeping, I can I could program a basic clock in and out system, or my team could, but we use Cronos we've bought their wholesale license, it's integrated, and the clients don't know anything about Chronos. But if they need physical clocks, I can't I'm not gonna go source from China a bunch of physical clocks, I'm gonna call up Chronos and say, Send me six biometric clocks with thumb prints, play around with our system, right? So yeah, it's a combination of unique pieces and enterprise grade pieces.

Greg Voisen
Sounds fascinating. I have a client right now that using time docs, they only have 100 employees. But, you know, in when you get in small business world, a lot of these people are still using QuickBooks. Well, QuickBooks has its own time, timesheet. And especially when you're trying to do job costing, and you bring in some other vendor from the outside, it complicates matter, because now it has to be brought in and then your payroll is being done by decision HR. And, you know, you start to get all of these systems that are trying to talk to one another. And, you know, people you know, just want to put a gun to their head.

Rhamy Alejeal
So in ours, you know, we integrate with QuickBooks, we integrate with Xero for the small business side, so it all flows through, we're going to talk to your CFO, we're gonna talk to your CFO or your finance team, import your chart of accounts and connect all those pieces for time and labor management tea sheets is great. You can assign jobs, you can assign departments, but we can assign not just those, but also collect mileage, collect tips, allow people to insert certain piecework items that give them sales, all that complexity that you need in an enterprise grade timekeeping system. Most small businesses don't need but in order for us to be able to serve 100 Different ones we need. And that's where our system is pretty different. We're able to really bring those in depth enterprise grade features, and then tie them back to a QuickBooks chart of accounts. So everything's put through,

Greg Voisen
Well, you've gotten a wonderful process and you understand and I think that's important because you're always doing your due diligence on other pieces of software that could have a great integration and bring a dashboard into the system that would be effective and allowing somebody to improve their processes. If you're gonna leave our listeners with three great takeaways from your book, what would they be and how He suggests that they put him to action.

Rhamy Alejeal
All right? Small business, we're gonna take them piece by piece, small business, maybe you're hiring your first few people. You suck at it, that's how it is, you're new to it, you're going to hire the wrong person, you're probably going to treat them wrong, you don't know how to set their performance expectations. So start hiring the easy jobs. First, small business owners. If your third hire is a co CEO, you're doing it wrong. Hire the simplest jobs first, with the recognition that you got a place to learn and you got to, you're not risking your entire company on this higher. So start simple. And look at it as an iterative process so that as you put things in place, you can improve them over time and scale up. Small business, medium business, you are 20 to 150 employees, you're you've got a system in place you're growing for those. For those, I want you to look at each one of your key HR systems. They're listed out in my book. But they may be recruiting, onboarding, performance management benefits and compensation, off boarding, lay out what you think are those key systems, you should have at that size, some sort of process guide that you kind of follow for those things to some degree may not be well defined. But I want you to write a goal for each one of those systems, is the goal of onboarding, to get pieces of paper filled out, to not go to jail, those are reasonable goals. But perhaps the goal of your onboarding should be to as quickly as possible change from an enthusiastic new hire, to someone who can be trusted to make decisions in the absence of management. Think about what the goals are for each of those systems, and then look at your processes. You're smart, you're smart chap, you'll figure it out. I have 100% belief that if you turn your brain to any one of those processes, after setting a goal, you will see five things that could be improved very quickly. Pick one, and make a change small piece at a time. Larger companies, enterprise great companies, my last tip, I want you to start thinking about the data you have and what conclusions you can draw from it, the interaction between your PTO system and your benefits system and your performance management system. If it's a single system, great, but a lot of times those are spread across multiple organizations, multiple divisions, think about the data analysis that you could have done to figure out if there are trends and relationships between these pieces. The best thing about automation is that it gets you clean data in it means that the result is similar that you're not going to have these screw ups. Now it's time let's say you've done all that you're going Rhamy, I've got a great HR system, what do I do next? I want you to take a minute and think about what data can teach you from that. And see if there are correlations between for example, time off that lasts longer than three days. And negative performance reviews or average utilization of time off, and the overall career track that someone has, and start seeing if that can teach you something about how your culture is maybe frontline employees, even though you say you have a highly inclusive, you know flexible schedule, but the ones that take time off seem to share not get very often promoted do that. You need to be able to analyze that data. And I recommend that would be a great step for larger organizations that already have the basics in place and if needed or improvements and are working on them to start thinking about the information they can

Greg Voisen
look. Well, those are three great trips, tips. And Rhamy it's been a pleasure having you on inside personal growth, taking time to talk with our listeners, hold your book, if you're up if you would, again, please about your people processes book. I'm gonna recommend everybody go out and get that book. Also go to his website is website is filled with resources. It's people processes.com. There's an academy there, there's resources there. It's a complete HR, you literally can do that. Or just reach out to Romney. There's a phone number there. He'd be happy to take your call, or somebody within the organization would. They're based in Memphis, Tennessee. So for those of you in time zones, you know, it's eastern time zone. So do reach out to him. Let him know you're there. And let him know you've got a problem and see if he can help you resolve that either just maybe by buying the book. Or maybe he's got some simple solutions for you Rhamy. Pleasure having you on the show. Thanks so much for taking the time. Appreciate you providing your wisdom, expertise and knowledge to my listeners around the whole world of human resources and people management and people processes. That clutter.

Rhamy Alejeal
Thank you

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