What do you do when your business loses 70% of its revenue?
It happened to one of Justin Gilchrist's businesses. In the following interview we will talk about what he did about it.
Justin is a serial entrepreneur.
He is also the UK based cofounder of Centurica.
Centurica provides due diligence and website assessments to people who buy web based businesses.
Justin has a background of buying, operating and selling internet businesses, and specializes in SaaS and Ecommerce.
He's also the author of Digitally Wed. The complete handbook to help you get to grips with buying an online business.
Listen to the following interview to find out how Justin pivoted when his business lost 70% of its revenue.
Check out Justin's book Digitally Wed.
Have you ever considered selling everything to become a location independent entrepreneur?
In 2012, Graham Brown sold everything to travel the world to become location independent.
Graham is an Author, Director and Founder of mobileYouth and Chairman & Founder of The Youth Marketing Academy.
Since witnessing the growth of youth media and technology having lived in Japan in the early 90s, Graham along with business partner Josh Dhaliwal has helped grow mobileYouth to serve over 250 clients in 60 countries worldwide - names such as Vodafone, Nokia, Coke, McDonald's, Red Bull, Nike, the UK government and the European Commission, just to mention a few.
Graham is a regular public speaker and has presented at the 3GSM World Congress, Barcelona and been interviewed on CNN, CNBC, BBC TV and Radio.
His work was also featured in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and the Guardian.
Listen to the following interview to find out what it takes to build a location independent business.
Say hi to Graham at barefootjournal.com.
Are you struggling to start, finish, or publish your book?
Tom Morkes is the CEO of Insurgent Publishing, a boutique publishing company.
Tom's mission is to help people start, finish, and ship creative projects.
He wrote 3 books.
Tom is a West Point graduate and an Iraq war veteran, and for a while he got paid to jump out of helicopters.
Listen to the following interview to find out what it takes to finish your creative projects.
Say hi to Tom at tommorkes.com.
What are the best systems, action plans and strategies to grow your business?
David Risley has been an entrepreneur of over 16 years.
He knows what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.
David will be the first to tell you that you should ignore the "get rich quick crowd".
He is the founder of Blog Marketing Academy.
The Academy is a destination for small business owners, online marketers, bloggers and more.
His mission is to show specific systems, action plans and strategies anybody can follow in order to grow a successful online business.
Listen to the following interview to learn from David and the power of content marketing.
Say hi to David at BlogMarketingAcademy.com.
What does it take to have a business blog that stands out?
Create and post content consistently.
Scott is building a business around that concept.
He is a serial entrepreneur.
Scott sold his first company to Traffic.com.
Today, he is the CEO of BlogMutt.
BlogMutt is the No. 1 marketplace for crowdsourced blog content.
Scott is also an award-winning writer.
Listen to the following interview to find out how Scott is building BlogMutt.
Say hi to Scott at blogmutt.com.
What does it take to raise $10 million and get 100,000 users?
After starting multiple businesses with little success, Lucas Carlson started AppFog in 2010.
Lucas raised almost $10 million dollars in venture capital, and was acquired in 2013 after signing up over 100,000 developers.
Lucas is also an author. He wrote Ruby Cookbook which was published by O’Reilly in 2006 and has sold over 20,000 copies.
20,000 copies for a programming book is a big number.
Lucas is also a keynote speaker. He spoke at nearly 30-conferences around the world.
And last but not least he is an open source programmer who’s code has been used by over half a million people.
Listen to the following interview to find out how Lucas went from multiple failed attempts to success with AppFog.
Say hi to Lucas at craftsmanfounder.com.
What does it take to turn your passion for food and travel into a lifestyle business?
Tasting food around the world is Mark Wiens' passion.
Mark is the founder of Migrationology.com and Eating Thai Food.com.
Born in Arizona, USA, Mark is now based in Bangkok where he is working on building an online business that finances his dream of travelling and eating his way around the world.
Mark has a very successful YouTube channel where he has more than 103,000 subscribers and nearly 18 million views.
I have watched most of Mark’s videos and I am fascinated by what he does.
Listen to the following interview to find out how Mark is turning his passion for food and travel into a lifestyle business.
Say hi to Mark at migrationology.com.
How do you go from MIT to Amazon to venture-backed entrepreneur?
Sandi Lin is the CEO and cofounder of Skilljar.
Skilljar provides businesses with an easy and flexible online course platform.
Their instructors are using the platform to generate leads, sell courses, and improve customer success.
The Skilljar founders were graduates of TechStars Seattle 2013.
Skilljar received $1.1 million funding in November 2013.
Sandi has an MBA from Stanford and 2 Engineering degrees from MIT.
Listen to the following interview to find out how Sandi and her team are building Skilljar.
Say hi to Sandi skilljar.com.
What does it take to start five businesses and sell three?
Satya is the Founder and CEO of MartMobi.
MartMobi helps online retailers go mobile in less than a day, through both mobile sites and native apps.
Satya is a serial entrepreneur.
He sold 3 startups prior to MartMobi which is his 5th startup.
Listen to the following interview to find out how this serial entrepreneur is succeeding in business.
Say hi to Satya at martmobi.com.
What does it take to go from nothing to making over $280,000 per month?
John Lee Dumas is the Founder and Host of the Entrepreneur On Fire podcast which was awarded 'Best of iTunes 2013' with 7.4 million downloads, 829,000 unique listens and subscribers in 145 countries.
John interviews today's most inspiring and successful Entrepreneurs 7-days a week and has been featured in Forbes, INC, & TIME Magazine.
John has turned Entrepreneur On Fire into a business that generates over $200,000 dollars a month & shares all the details in his monthly income reports.
John also founded Podcasters' Paradise; a community where over 1200 Podcasters learn how to create, grow, and monetize their podcasts in a supportive environment.
Listen to the following interview to find out how John went from unknown to Best of iTunes 2013.
Say hi to John at entrepreneuronfire.com.
Read Raw Transcript Now:
Success Harbor: Hi everyone, this is George Meszaros with Success Harbor and I have John Lee Dumas with me today, John is the founder and the host of the entrepreneur on fire podcast which was awarded best of iTunes two thousand and thirteen with seven point four million downloads and eight hundred and twenty nine thousand unique listens and subscribers in a hundred and forty five countries.
John interviews today’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs, seven days a week and has been featured in Forbes, INC and Time Magazine. John has turned entrepreneurs on fire into a business that generates over two hundred thousand dollars a month and shares all the details in his monthly income reports. John also founded podcasters paradise, a community where over twelve hundred podcasters learn how to create, grow and monetize their podcast in a supportive environment.
I am very excited to have John on the Success Harbor podcast today, check us out at Success Harbor dot com and subscribe on iTunes.
John Lee Dumas: I am excited to join you George and of course prepared to ignite.
Success Harbor: By the time you started your podcast in two thousand and twelve, there were a lot of podcasts, it wasn’t really a new concept yet you have managed to stand out and differentiate yourself, what do you think people need to do today in two thousand and fourteen to have the similar success that you had and create that differentiation that you were able to do?
John Lee Dumas: There are three letters that I want to bring up George, USP, Unique Selling Proposition, that was one thing that I was really able to identify as missing as a void in the marketplace in podcasting back in September two thousand and twelve, there wasn’t a seven day a week podcast, there wasn’t a podcast, it was just structure and it gave me the same format and flow overall every time you press the play button so that’s really what I did and I was able to do it in more of a broad sense.
But in today’s game George, the saturation is much more heavy, a lot of people are getting into it for obvious reasons, it’s an incredible medium and a great way to build an audience so my biggest suggestion to podcasters these days is look at your market right now that you want to get into, your passion, what you are excited about and then find a way to niche down and then niche down again and then even niche down a third time, you might feel like you are niching a little too much but believe me, when you get to that point, you are now at the place where you can start, dominate that niche, build a rating fan base in that niche and then once you get the momentum George, then you can start to build out and expand a little bit but you are never going to get that momentum if you start too broad so don’t be afraid to niche to dominate and then expand.
Success Harbor: So it’s almost like niche down until you feel like you are talking to one person.
John Lee Dumas: Absolutely and it can be only one person because sometimes you can start with one and then once you have converted that person [Inaudible] then you can be like ok, lets expand the market to ten people, now a hundred and before you know it, you have all these raving fans because you have connected with them in a powerful way.
Success Harbor: So, what are the most effective ways for you in the beginning to market yourself to get the word out about your podcast?
John Lee Dumas: What’s so powerful about entrepreneur on fire and interview podcasts in general is when I started out, I was a nobody, I had no social credibility, I had no online platform, I had no online experience, I had no interview experience so I was weighing heavily on my guest now if I was only doing one episode a week, that would be four guests a month that I would be relying on to help me spread the word of entrepreneur on fire and that would have taken a lot longer to get going but doing a daily interview show allowed me seven days a week to interview inspiring and successful entrepreneurs and to have them, every single day, share their journey with their massive audience.
Exposing a whole new level of people, a whole new number of people to entrepreneur on fire for the very first time, a certain proportion of which were listening, a certain proportion of that were becoming evangelists and subscribers and that snowball effect really helped me build that momentum while I was still a poor broadcaster, while I was still an inexperienced podcast host but it allowed me to build that momentum which I have now maintained over the last seven hundred and fifty episodes.
Success Harbor: When you mentioned the numbers, seven hundred and fifty episodes, it’s almost scary for somebody that starts out and it’s almost like… previously you mentioned about finding that niche and really focusing down to something narrow. You want to set a goal that’s so scary that other people don’t even want to try to do what you are trying to do.
John Lee Dumas: There is a book, a great book and he actually talks about BHAG, the Big Hairy Audacious Goals and if you are not willing to set those big hairy audacious goals, guess what, you are never going to accomplish them so why not just get out there and set those really scary goals for you and the book is actually by Jim Collins, how to achieve big hairy audacious goals so it’s really just something to think about for people.
Shoot for the moon, odds are you are going to miss but at least you will land amongst the stars so fortune favors the bold, think big, go big and have a blast doing it.
Success Harbor: So when I was doing my research, I read about the twelve hour work days that you put in and I would be shocked if you are still not doing a lot of that even today so what advice do you have for those that are interested in starting out maybe a podcast, a blog or a business, how many hours do you think they should expect to put into that business especially in the beginning?
John Lee Dumas: It really depends on what your goals are of that business, if you were me and you were going all in because I wanted my entire business to revolve around my podcast, I wanted to build a business around entrepreneur on fire, a seven day a week podcast, I went all in, I went in ten, twelve hour days, six, seven days a week and I am still at that cliff almost two years later. The reality is that not every, A, can put in those efforts right away because they need to be monetizing, they still need to be bringing paychecks to be paying the bills, to be paying some mortgage, to take care of the kids etcetera so there is nothing wrong with starting as a sidepreneur, waking up an hour early, going to bed an hour late, stopping, watching, no longer watching amazing race or voice with the stars.
And instead working on your business because if you can do that as a side preneur two hours a day for six months and you are consistent with it, you will be shocked at how far you have come and then this time you can take that leap because you have set enough of a platform. I just did the full leap without any knowledge of what was awaiting me below but I had the financial backing to allow me to do that so if you do, I recommend going that route because there is nothing like trial by fire, there is nothing like on the job training, there is nothing like putting your back against the wall and having to survive, having to thrive but if it’s just not realistic, the side preneur route can be powerful as well.
Success Harbor: So, tell me what is it about a podcast that makes people take notice, there are people with a following, Tim Fares is a good example, he started podcasting and he is doing a great job and he already had a huge platform, for somebody that’s starting out now without a brand, without an audience, what can they do, what do they have to do to create something special so people take notice.
John Lee Dumas: It really goes back to the things we have been talking about which is what I love because it is a scene that is really consistent throughout this interview. Unlike Tim Fares, when I launched, I had no online presence, I had no name, I was nobody in the world, I had never done anything entrepreneurship related whatsoever in my previous career, I was an officer in the army for eight years, I was in corporate financing, I was in commercial real estate XYZ but I knew that I needed to mix elbows with the right people so I hired a mentor, somebody that was in the place that I wanted to be, Jamie Tardy of the eventual millionaire.
I joined the mastermind [Inaudible] which was really powerful because it was chalk full of likeminded podcasters and then I started going to conferences and rubbing elbows with the right people at conferences with the ten Ds, [Inaudible] they are really getting into it and building relationships because when it came down to it, the success of entrepreneur on fire was built off, number one, of the relationships that I made with the guests that I had on every single day of the week and then, number two, the unique structure that I took into creating entrepreneur on fire so find that niche as a podcaster that you really want to nominate and then get out to those rock stars in that industry, ask them to mentor you.
Ask them to be a guest in your show, do whatever you can to try to ingratiate them with you and you with them so you can really become a powerful connector in this universe and again, don’t be afraid to niche down until you are in an area where you can actually make some ways, if I jump into the pacific ocean right now and I start jumping around, I am not going to make any waves that anybody in Japan is going to notice but if I jump in my little pool right here on my patio, people are going to start noticing some waves, anybody that’s hanging out by my pool.
There might only be a couple of people by the pool but they are going to notice these waves so really don’t be afraid to make waves.
Success Harbor: You brought up Jamie Tardy and that was one of my questions actually, can you bring up one example that helped you working with Jamie Tardy?
John Lee Dumas: So a great example is I sat down with Jamie and she agreed that she was going to mentor me for three months and it was not cheap, it was thousands of dollars for me to invest so number one, that investment along just flipped my mind to being like “Ok, this is real now, I am investing real money that I spent a lot of time working to create and make into this mentorship, I am going to make the most of it”, so when Jamie looked at me, she said “[Inaudible] number one, I want you to go to an entrepreneurial conference. Next week in New York city, there is blog world, I am speaking there, other people like Pack Flynn, Michael [Inaudible], Corporate Bar are speaking at this conference, these are your future guests for entrepreneur on fire, I want you to buy a ticket, get a plane ticket, get a hotel room, invest in yourself, get down there and attend this conference”.
I was like “I spend all this money investing in Jamie Tardy and now I need to spend more money on this three day trip, it’s going to over a thousand dollars in total if not more” again George, it was something that I knew was right, I listened to my mentor, I went down there, for the first time, I was hanging out with other attendees that were like minded attendees, these were people that were in similar situations to me which was so powerful, I was seeing that energy.
I sat in the front row and listened to the speakers as they went on about what they were doing, I went to the networking events and I asked questions of the speakers and I asked them straight up. I said “Hey, listen, Jamie Tardy is my mentor and they all knew Jamie Tardy because she has been a rock star in the industry for a while and she has spoken about events and I said “Jamie is my mentor, she is rocking and rolling and she has suggested that I come up to you and ask you if you would consider being a guest on my upcoming podcast entrepreneur on fire”.
And George, that’s where I got my first couple of yeses because I was there, in person, looking at these people in the face asking them if they would join me on entrepreneur on fire showing social credibility with my mentor Jamie Tardy, I got my first couple of yeses at conference, I was able to go back to my little studio and man, that I was able to then start writing E mails to other people’s saying, hey [inaudible] they would agree to be on my podcast, I would love if you would join me as well and that’s how I build up my first forty [inaudible] just from that that one trip, with just a couple of guesses, turned that social credibility into forty guesses and getting to pair for my daily podcast launch.
Success Harbor: How much more effective do you think is to actually meet some of these people that you want to interview as opposed to just reaching out to them on twitter because it feels to me and I….tell me if you have a different experience that if when you look at somebody and they look you in the eye, it’s a lot harder to say no than it is just to send them a hundred and forty characters to why you want to interview them.
John Lee Dumas: I completely agree with you, I get DM’s and I get Facebook messages and I get E mail messages every single day from people asking me to be on this show and I can tell you honestly that any time I get an E mail right now from today we’re talking George and forward and this has been the way for the last few weeks, I’m just frankly booked out for [inaudible] for all of two thousand and fourteen like when you booked this, you had the book a little ways in advance and after you booked, I pretty quickly filled up and so my response back now is, listen I’m sorry like I’m completely booked up for the rest of two thousand and fourteen and I’m not even booking for two thousand and fifteen.
But if you want to reach out to me in January, you know we can see where you are at, I mean we can talk about where you want to schedule then and that’s what I say to the multitudes of requesting, I get coming to me from unknown people but George whatever I get asked by somebody who [inaudible], a great example is the interview right before this, I went to…I spoke as Jonathon Fields camp GLP in September in Maine, so I was in upstate New York and it was a great [inaudible] conference and I got to spend a lot of time with specific individuals there and one was a woman named Lora.
And Lora was a great person, she looked me in the face and she said, John, can I get…can I have you on my show and my answer to everybody else is that I get E mails from and messages from as you know I’m sorry, I’ll reach back out in January because I’m booked out but my answer to her was, listen, she [inaudible] E mail when I got back to San Diego, I’ll fit you in and I did and that’s the power I’m looking for In person.
Success Harbor: Can you talk about being helpful because networking comes up so much and I’ve interviewed a lot of people and networking is probably the most important thing when it comes to success, also be helpful comes up with networking so what advice do you have for people that want to reach out, want to network, want to grow their network, how can they be helpful to the people that they want to interact with?
John Lee Dumas: So this is a very powerful question because your answer whenever you’re reaching out to somebody to ask for something is first and foremost, how can I provide value, how can I be a person of value, so here’s a little strategy that I used that has a lot that is [inaudible] really well, has had a lot of success over the past two years, what I’ve really drilled in and narrowed into something that I really want to have on my shelf, I start adding value to them by retweeting their tweets by going to their blog posts and commenting on their blog posts.
By sharing their blogs, by liking a comment and sharing their Facebook messages, I become a person of value in their world, I just get, give, give add value, add value and then after I’ve done that Gary V, jab, jab, jab for a little while, then I pull that right hook and then I say, hey by the way this is John not sure If you have mentioned, I have just been loving your stuff recently, I’ve been sharing with my audience for some time and of course, they are going to see that because you’ve been doing it for some time.
Listen, I’m doing this late show, it’s perfect for you, I know that because I’ve been following you for some time now and then know you have because they have seen you following them and that just share [inaudible], join you for twenty five minutes on a Skype audio only call, I’d love to share your journey with my audience and George, works every time.
Success Harbor: So let’s talk about evolving as an entrepreneur, I mean since you started, you have generated about two million dollars in that income, I mean it’s a huge accomplishment in a world where most businesses fail, you have accomplished a lot but at the same time you’re also evolving as an entrepreneur so how are you changing, how have you changed in the last couple of years and how is that helping you to take yourself to the next level as an entrepreneur?
John Lee Dumas: So I really like to kind of focus in [inaudible] an Albert Einstein quote, which is trying to become a person of success but rather become a person of value and George I was going after success for most of my life, after I served in the military, I jumped to [inaudible] worlds and I went to Law school chasing success, chasing [inaudible] and then I quit cause It was miserable and I tried to corporate finance and I was chasing that success and that respect and that easy money and then I failed miserably there.
Same story commercially, the reality was I realized finally after six years of these failures, of these setbacks, of these quittings, that I had quit every single one of those ventures, I realized that I was going at my [inaudible] all wrong, I was trying to become a person of success which is a sprint, in a sprint you always get burned out but if I instead turn into a marathon and try to become a person of value and for me that value turned out to be entrepreneur [inaudible] delivering free valuable consistent content seven days a week and just delivering, delivering, delivering value and then letting my audience grow and then my audience tell me the way that I can monetize and so I once I got to the tipping point with my audience fire nation and what they told me exactly what they needed and what they wanted and what their struggles and pain points were.
I could then turn around, create a solution for them George, often a solution then create a [inaudible] business.
Success Harbor: So Podcaster paradise is your biggest source of income, what gave you the idea to create this community of paid members, how did you come to that idea?
John Lee Dumas: So exactly using the method that I just shared, I would reach out, my audience would reach out to me and say, John, loving the podcast, thank you for the content, I would respond with the most powerful question you can ask your audience, what are you struggling with? And there answers John were, I create my own podcast on how to make sure my messages with the world, how can I create a podcast that allows me to share my voice, allows me to roll an audience, allows me to monetize my business and all these questions kept coming George and the answer for me was an aha moment.
I need to create a community that teaches people how to do just that, how to create, grow and monetize their podcast and that turned the podcast paradise, George since October of two thousand and thirteen so just a little over a year now, we’ve generated over one point three million dollars of revenue and we have over fifteen hundred members since podcast paradise has launched, hundred, if not now thousands of podcast and more coming every single day and just an amazing community that just is every single day they are taking nearly over two hundred video tutorials that we have every part of the process.
They are the accountability match maker tab, we match people up with the accountability partner, the thriving Facebook group where people can ask for guidance, support feedback and give the exact thing, again you get to over fifteen hundred people, it’s amazing [inaudible] level that you get and then we do the monthly webinars with today’s top podcast exclusively for podcast’s paradise in a monthly Q and A session with me.
All of those ideas George, every one of those came with our members, it didn’t come from me, it came from the members of our community telling us what they wanted and what they needed and then us providing that solution.
Success Harbor: So in December of two thousand and twelve, you have interviews, Barbara, everybody knows her, she is in the introduction as a huge, it’s a huge win for you but it was back in two thousand and five so I mean today it was a lot easier when you just said, you know I have millions of downloads and hundreds of thousands of subscribers or…in hundred and forty five countries subscribed to us in a hundred and forty five [inaudible] support but you were talking about two years almost two years ago so how did you land someone like Barbara?
John Lee Dumas: See that’s a great question because it’s not easy, cause you don’t have that sort of credibility, you don’t have that social proof but you do have what you do have and that’s what I use, I did have a platform, I did have a podcast that was live, I did have a podcast that was rated one point number one and number one in [inaudible], Notebook or iTunes, I did have a lot of [inaudible] guests, by December I’d already interviewed close to a hundred people and I was able to share all of these numbers with Barbara and just say, listen this is what I’ve done thus far, this podcast is only growing, your episode is going to be ever green, meaning that people when they hear about entrepreneur [inaudible] for the first time, they are going to go back and listen to that episode like it was the very first time.
Because for them it is and that’s again another power of podcasting and I just listen to very much the value [inaudible], I would be adding value to her twitter, her tweets, I’d be adding value to her social media in any way possible leading up to me asking that question so when I did, I didn’t come across as a complete stranger, she made a comment on [inaudible] where she said, I love the military, I’ll do anything for them and so I started off the E mail by saying, I’m a US army veteran, I spend thirteen months in the army and you say you’ll do anything for the military, I’m asking for twenty five minutes of your time to talk to me about your journey with my audience.
That’s a pretty powerful ask and it’s pretty hard to say no to that, on National TV, you just proclaim you’ll do anything to the military, well here’s a veteran that has spent thirteen months at war, after twenty five minutes and that was a pretty easy guess for her.
Success Harbor: We only have two minutes left so really quickly, can you talk about, I know you have multiple BA’s that are helping you, in the beginning, what were some of the first things that you outsourced?
John Lee Dumas: So the first things that I definitely outsourced is any redundant task meaning you know tasks that might be used to [inaudible], sending E mail reminder to our upcoming guests, sending thank you messages to past guests, going ahead and entering, in the bio, the Skype ID name and entering the calendar, all of the interviews that I was scheduling, I’m scheduling social media releases and tweets and Facebook posts via [inaudible], doing all of the tasks that are very redundant, that’s what I use my BA’s for, so my suggestion to anybody is, take no over the course of one week, right now everything that you’re doing and then go back on Friday night and look at the tasks that you are doing over and over again.
But if you could just sit down at one time and create a video tutorial using a tool like JING or SNAGGET and you can just show a BA how to do it that will be completely taken off your plate, opening up so much bandwidth and energy that you previously didn’t have.
Success Harbor: Well John I really want to thank you for coming on success harbor and I want to thank you for your service as well and I do wish you much more continued success with entrepreneur on fire, how can people contact your….connect with you, find out some of the projects that you’re working on right now?
John Lee Dumas: So George all the magic happened at EOFire.com and I highly would recommend anybody that thinks podcasting might be for them, go ahead and check out our free weakly podcast workshops, we do them every week when they are free, they are alive, you can ask them any questions you have, that’s podcasters paradise dot com and also George I’d love to get all listeners a gift, my book podcast launch completely free, no E mail required, just go to EOFire.com/gift.
Success Harbor: John and everyone else, thank you very much.
John Lee Dumas: Thanks George, bye.
Success Harbor: Thank you.
What does it take to come up with a business idea while fishing and turn it into a multimillion-dollar business?
Joe Mecca and his brother Paul founded KwiKBoost in 2010.
The Dallas, Texas based company makes mobile device charging stations.
Kwikboost charging stations have charged 20 million mobile devices at universities, car dealerships, hospitals, bars, and more.
They proudly manufacture everything here in the USA.
Listen to the following interview to find out how Joe and Paul are building and succeeding with KwikBoost.
Say hi to Joe at kwikboost.com.
What does it take to create a movement with your business?
Eric Bandholz is the founder of BeardBrand.
BeardBrand is much more than a company that sells beard oil and beard care products.
According to Eric, BeardBrand is a movement for the bearded lifestyle.
Established in 2012 with a mission to help men take back what is natural to them, their Beards.
In just a couple of years, Eric and his business partners went from zero revenue to $150,000 per month revenue.
Listen to the following interview to find out how BeardBrand is building a movement.
Say hi to Eric at beardbrand.com.
What does it take to raise over $300,000 through crowdfunding?
While living between a boat, a grandmother’s basement and the open road Noah Dentzel and his cofounder Brian Hahn raised $161,000 on Kickstarter in the summer of 2012 and about 172,000 in 2013 on Indiegogo.
The Nomad mission was to reinvent the USB cable with their first product, ChargeCard.
Nomad creates minimalist smartphone accessories.
Listen to the following interview to learn how Noah and his team are growing Nomad.
Say hi to Noah at hellonomad.com.
By the time he was in his 20s Tai Lopez was a self-made millionaire.
He is also an author and a member of MENSA: the high IQ society.
Tai has read over 5000 books.
He wishes no one ever had seen when he was on Bravo's "The Millionaire Matchmaker."
Listen and learn from Tai what it takes to succeed in business:
Say hi to Tai at tailopez.com.
Read Raw Transcript Now:
Intro: Hello everybody and welcome to the Success Harbor podcast with George Meszaros, where it’s all about making success happen for you.
Success Harbor: Hi Everyone. This is George Meszaros with Success Harbor and I have Tai Lopez with me. Tai is a self-made millionaire, an entrepreneur by his 20's, an avid reader of over 5000 books which was noted when he was seen on Bravo's The Millionaire Matchmaker and fortunately his episode is the highest rated yet. Welcome Tai.
Tai Lopez: Thanks man. How are you?
Success Harbor: I'm great. It's Friday and it's beautiful out and just great to be here. Thanks for being here. You've been an entrepreneur for 18 years and started 12 multi-million dollar companies. Can you give our audience, our audience an idea of some of the companies that you have started?
Tai Lopez: Yes, so really what, what I like to do is, I'm an investor so you know, if you look at the 440 wealthiest, there’s 440 approximately, 44, 450, self-made billionaires. There's more than that who inherit their money so, the largest category of wealthy people are investors. About 77 are self-made billionaires, are investors so that's about double even the next closest second category so you know I started when I was a teenager. I started a long time ago. I didn't start you know, late and I really started my first business when I was 5. I remember 4, I started a little tomato stand outside. I remember nobody would buy my tomatoes. I had a little 10 cent bag of cherry tomatoes then I realized lemonade worked better, which is one of the 25 cognizant biases, reward versus punishment. Most people don't like tomatoes, at least cherry tomatoes. They like lemonade with sugar so that was my first business lesson and since then you know, it turns out that the businesses that, a lot of businesses I've started, been an investor in or I'll co-start with people. So I like to be behind the scenes. I owned some of the biggest night clubs on the east coast. I sold them so they've changed names. I started a big investment company on the East Coast called; it used to be called Legacy Life Group. I basically have sometimes I exit the businesses that I'm in, so that's still around. My business partner and close friend John Dewar runs that. It's called LLG Financial and now I invest, you know, I own some of the largest dating sites as an investor, big net worths of dating sites, not necessarily Match.com although I work with, in that space, the social space. But now I, I try to get. What I like to do is I travel around the world, and, and I find the best person in any industry and I talk them into doing a 50/50 business with me. So I just bought a business in Romania, 50 percent. I'm looking at one of the large universities in Europe wants me to buy a large percentage. I don't want to say the name because I'm under a NDA but they're a pretty well-known university that's doing some for profit stuff outside of Europe. I am, you know, I have, done real estate investment company.
Success Harbor: So how do you decide on these ideas? There are so many ideas and so many opportunists so what makes you say no to some and yes to others?
Tai Lopez: Well, okay, here's the deal. Humans have what's called bounded rationality, so you must always constrain your choice potential by some level of bounds. So I put a boundary around what I feel confident in you know, and so now over time you know, it started out, one of my first businesses with Joel Salaton in agriculture. For about ten years I was very focused on organic agriculture, grass-fed, the whole paleo movement before it was even the paleo movement, I was involved in. And that was something that came out of my natural interest , curiosity at that time of my life. I spent two and a half years with the Amish, did lots of different stuff and from there I decided that I needed to understand money because most humans, most of us are destined to spend most of our time acquiring money, resources so I decided, why don't I get into becoming a financial advisor because then even at the worst case scenario, even if I didn't like that industry I would learn about money in order to help me in whatever I wanted to do. So I focused on that. I became a certified financial planner, CHFCC, all those things we did. I was one of the first guys to market financial products online. In 2001 Google Adwords merged and so it's been a progression of things that are. I think I talked about this, we can talk about this later but I call this business destiny. You know there's four concentric circles. You got to find where they intersect and those circles are what you grew up around, what you've been doing the last ten years, what 3rd party people that don't know you have always complimented you on and lastly, what you have natural energy around. So when I was younger, I was a little more erratic and random. I did what I had energy and as I have gotten a little experienced, I've been able to become more and more focused. And now I 'm mainly focused on spreading good ideas with mass media. So I'm interested in, I live in Hollywood Hills Hollywood so I'm interested in the entertainment industry and mass media and TV and movies and internet, radio, magazines, books, anything that I can take a message and spread it to a lot of people quickly. And so, now I'm focused on basically education based things. So most of my investments if I'm going to be invading or finance I'm going to be in the business, of business teaching people how to understand you know financial planning. If I'm going to be in the dating world, instead of, you know, being maybe, owning dating sites, I'm taking those dating sites and making them more educational, learning about social and romance. If I'm going to be in the health space instead of actually manufacturing a physical product like a vitamin, I'd rather be in the business of selling education, some education stuff, but I want to blend it and meld it with, you know, I want to meld and blend that with entertainment, so I call it you know, edutainment. People on a scale of 1 to 10 and a textbook is a 10. I like to read textbooks. Textbooks, most people don't, you know. A 1 is the Kardashian show. You come out dumber from it so my blend is you know, how can I blend 1 through 10 in some way where it's not too textbook-y and it’s not too minus entertainment. So that's what I'm working on now and that's my goal and all, anyone listening to this, the sooner and younger you narrow down the focus because creating immense wealth or creating immense impact, whatever your goal is whether it's money or to be the next Mahatma Gandhi or Mohamed or Martin Luther King Jr., you know, Dalai Llama, whatever that might be, the way you're going to get there is with planning and execution. It’s that simple, those two things. But planning is immensely difficult. Zig Zigler says, you know, spend 30 hours on your plan. I think that's a gross understatement. Sometimes it takes me a year to make a plan. But you know what, no matter how long it takes, it's better to make a good plan to get really good at a the wrong thing. Joe Sandler, one of my mentors said, “Hey dude.” He said, "Worst thing in the world is someone who's good at the wrong thing. Most people are good at the wrong thing. You must never be good at the wrong thing.” So what you got to do you must figure out what is your destiny when it comes to and I'm assuming we're primarily talking here about business. But I think everybody here has 4 destinies. You have a health destiny. Some people are naturally built like big body builders. Some people are built like skinny, you know, endurance runners. Find your destiny and pursue it in health. When it comes to wealth, some of you are destined to, you know, I say this, four levels of wealth, there is scarcity, that's what most people are in. That's when you make according to Daniel Connerman, the great noble prize winning economist spoke of happiness under in the modern world. You know, if you make under 80,000 or so you'll experience deprival and a level of unhappiness that it is can be seen on a brain scan so most people are in scarcity. The average American makes 50 grand or less. And so you got to get to a position, of at least, the next level from scarcity is financial independence. That's level two, anywhere from an 80 to lets say 150 grand. Now if you live in a, if you live in Romania, you don't need to make this much. I'm talking about, you got to look at the parody. What it means, the market, where you live. For some of you, if you live in the UK, you need to make more because the pound is the beast and expensive there so then you got to get level 3, which is, or you can move to level 3 which is prosperity and prosperity you know is generally let's say whatever, 150 grand, a million dollars and then beyond that is the final and fourth step which is wealth and impact, and not everybody is destined like Jon Wooden, the great UCLA coach, basketball coach said, he said look man, he said, "God only made one cream of Doulleger Park. God only made one Michael Jordan. God only made one Bill Gates. You do not have to, you should mentor under them and mimic them to the extent that you can, but you may not have the exact capacity that they have in those areas but it's not a competition with others. It's a competition with potential. The greatest tragedy of our times are not religious wars, they're not strive, they're not divorce, they're not hunger, although all of those things are, you know, nasty. What, the true tragedy of our time, of our lives, and of your life will be wasted potential because time is elusive. Time is the thing that even great physicists don't understand. My grandfather was an astrophysicist and he talked about Albert Einstein said if you go at the speed of light, you would, time would begin to slow down but if you go faster than the speed of light, potentially you could reverse time and go back in time but he said, Einstein said the problem is that as you get, approach the speed of light, mass becomes infinite and you become more or closer to infinity and you become heavier and heavier. So as far as we know, it's going to be hard to ever reverse time so you got one shot. Maybe reincarnation is true, maybe heaven is true but you don't know. All I know is you're probably here now and you better not waste your potential because one day you will look back and if you want to be unhappy you can do what Charlie Monger says, "Before you try what will make you happy, focus on an inversion and invert, invert, invert.” What will make you unhappy? Memories of wasted potential.
Success Harbor: So in one of your videos on YouTube, you talk about, one time when you walked in to someone's office telling the person I will work for free as long as you show me how to make money. Would you recommend that approach to others and why aren't more people doing that, especially earlier on before they started something on their own?
Tai Lopez: Well recently I put out this, you know, PDF info graphic called the 67 Steps To Becoming A Millionaire. You see things on 3 steps on how to become a millionaire which I think is naïve. I think it takes a hell of a lot more than 3 so I've got a couple 100 written down but I think there are 67 concentrated ones that will create wealth for you and prosperity and whatever it is that you may want to be doing and so I think the number 1 of those 67 will answer your question. So most people I call it, you got to have , I call it, "get arrested humility." The ability to be so interested in what you do in terms of pursuing mentors, ideas from other people that you’re willing to get arrested. The guy who started ACME. He was basically arrested by, I can't, I forget if it was Bill Gates or, or Steve Jobs office persistently saying, "Hey, you got to help me. You got to listen to me" and they eventually had police, it wasn't police, they had security remove him. Right. You've got to have that level of humility that you're willing to say I don't know and I'm willing to, you know, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to do that. And most people aren't. They are very, very, very proud. You know the great billionaire, maybe the greatest business man of our time, Sam Walton, made 160 billion dollars personal net worth for himself and his family with Wal-Mart back, and this is what I call 'get arrested level in humility.' He was down in Brazil. This is after he was the richest man in America, after he started the empire of Wal-Mart and he was down visiting some friends and while he was down there, he was, his friends in Sao Paolo got a call, he'd been arrested, come bail him out of jail. They go down to the jail and they're like, "What are you doing arresting this, this 60 or 70 year old billionaire from America? Brazilian jails are a dangerous place to be for anybody and for sure for him.” And they said we thought he was crazy. He was crawling around on his hands and knees in all these stores and they asked him why were you crawling around? And he said, I was measuring how wide the aisles were in these stores were because I was trying to see if these Brazilians knew something that I didn't know. Think of that for a second, the level of humility to make a billion dollar, but yet say, maybe somebody knows something I don't. People are too damn proud. They're insanely proud for no good reason. I asked, one of the 67 steps is, from where does the pride come from? Where does your pride come from? Most people have pride not based on any, any actual accomplishment or if they do have an accomplishment, it only sounds great to them because they're friends are losers or I don't want to be judgmental, but they hang out with people who had done worst than them. Man, don't have so much pride, you know. Whenever I get proud I think about my best friend who's making a million dollars a day right now with his business. Seven years he built a company he's going to sell for a billion dollars. Whenever I get cocky, I think about him. Whenever I get cocky, I think about you know Mahatma Gandhi changing the world, Daniel Lewin by 31, Steve Jobs, I mean Bill Gates by my age were much more, much more accomplished. So whoever is listening to this, whether you make million dollars a year then you better be comparing yourself with men who make and women who make a million dollars a day. They’re out there my friend. You think you're good at basketball, that just means you play on the wrong court. Go play down on the UCLA summer games when you'd be playing against you know pro basketball players. You won't feel so good then. Compare yourself to Michael Jordan. I call it the law of 33 percent. You don’t need to beat yourself down. Right. You know, I call it the law of 33 percent. Hang out with people, 33 percent of your time should be with people who are below you. You can mentor them and they'll also make you have high self-esteem when you realize that other people are doing worse than you. Then you can also spend 33 percent around people on your level. Like Mahatma Gandhi says in his autobiography I just read . I read a book a day and I try to read from all types of greats and he said, "On the rise to the top you will often feel lonely." So you need friends who are on the same path as you but not ahead or behind. Those will be the people you connect with, and lastly, find and this is the hard step, people 20 to 30 years ahead of you. If you find men, this is the path humans learn, not by visual, audio. They learn not by kinesthetic. They learn by osmosis. Osmosis, as things rub off on you. You must have the right people rubbing off on you. The beauty of mass media, in books and YouTube and airplanes where you can fly around the world, when I was in my teens I took a little bit of money I had saved and I travelled around the world, been to 51 countries and I went to, you know, I remember I took a plane trip to Tazmania, an island off Australia, rented a car, drove across from Lancashire to a little village on the other side of Tazmania and I was literally about as far off as you can ever be on a planet. I was in the south of New Zealand, at a place that said, 30 miles south from here is Antarctica, but I was looking for people full with answers right. You've got to have the humility to spend all your money learning from others. Forget the hype that you learn from within. You don't learn from within. Did you learn English from within? No. Somebody taught you. Did you learn to drive from within? No. Somebody taught you. Did you learn basketball, did you learn social skills? No. Everything is taught. If you and I were left on an island, it would be like Lord of the Flies. We would be killing each other with spears and not talking; we'd be grunting. In the same way, elevate the mind and you will accomplish what you want and you will do it by learning. The great influential impact people, I was just reading Jean Jacques Rousseau from the 1700's this morning. It's a story by Willanera Grant, the great gale historians and they said you know, Jean Jacques Rousseau, he ran, he worked on a paint of volume, a work and he read 200, I think it wasn't Rousseau, maybe it was Voltaire, I forget. But before he wrote his book, he read 200 books on the subject so that he could write a good book. Most people are out there spouting their own opinions without downloading the consciousness of great people in their minds.
Success Harbor: So I want to get a deeper understanding of what it takes to succeed. When most business' fail, you know, there are people that can, who are just serial entrepreneurs. They can succeed almost every time. Nobody succeeds every time but they just know how to go from one success to the next to the next and those people that can't get there, why do they fail? What are some of those, what's missing? What's missing? Is it a mindset or is it skills or is it being, not respecting the business to do their homework? What do you think is some of the biggest reasons some people fail repeatedly?
Tai Lopez: Well you guys would like, you should have everybody, it's free on my site TaiLopez.com, have them download my 67 things. The answer is I put together 67 vile. If you violate these 67 principles, you will very high likelihood be a massive failure and so if you can follow frameworks of thought, you will do much better. Now if you're asking me what's the most important, you know I, there's a handful of highly important things in my experience and like I said the first one is people who are not humble enough generally fail. People who try to build too much off their own ideas, often fail. Okay so that's one of the 67. Other things, if you want the full list they can get it on my site. It's free I just give it away. I'll give you a handful. Other times,
Success Harbor: So trying to be original is a bad thing in your opinion?
Tai Lopez: Well it depends on your definition of original. Let me give you an example
Success Harbor: Okay
Tai Lopez: Are you original in how you speak English? The answer is yes and no. You formulate words and recombine them in the order that is in your brain but where did you learn the foundational building blocks of the word "the", the word "a", the word "and”, the word “house"? Those were taught to you and they are construction. Victinstyne, the great philosopher speaks on this. Your reality is a construction of the words that you use but you were taught the words so what you do is you use other people's thoughts as the foundational steps and then you recombine them over time but I will tell you man, most people, do you know how hard it is to come up with an amazing idea that hasn't been thought up? Why? Why do you need that? My mentor Alan Nation told me and this is a very accomplished, one of the smartest people I've ever met. He said to me, "Tai, I never had an original idea in my mind. I just read a book a day of smart people. That's where I got this idea back when I was a teenager. Reading." And this is the normative pattern. Find me a great world changing person who doesn't read. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates both said that if they could, they were asked what's the number one super power you wish you had and they said, "To read a book a day, I mean to be the fastest reader in the world." To be the fastest reader in the world whereas you know I always talk about rich friends, poor friends. I've got rich, very rich friends, that book by Kawasaki, poor, Rich Dad Poor Dad. I didn't have a rich dad. I had a poor dad, but I have rich friends and poor friends now. I've some of the wealthiest that are my friends but I have my old school friends. I don't base my friendships on how much money someone makes so I have all my friends back who are just regular people and I’ll tell you the difference between my rich and poor friend. The difference between my poor people are what I call, skinny fat. Every heard of the term skinny fat? It means somebody who appears skinny but if you grab their skin they're kind of flabby. Most people are humble cocky. They appear to be humble on the outside yeah yeah, yeah, but if you look at their actions, they’re never learning. They're secretly think that one day they'll wake up with the next great idea that makes them great. It won't happen. Read Nicholas Tesla. People think he's a self-made man. He had a photographic memory. He had a mathematician. He read an immense amount of books. He had a mathematician mentor. He went to university and learnt from some of the top people. Victinstyne, the greatest thinker of modern times. He went and tracked down Bertram Russell. For 3 months he haunted the great, you know, Bertram Russell was the great philosopher at that time and he went. Victinstyne went as a young kid and pursued Bertram Russell and said, and Bertram Russell thought he was crazy. So he had pursued and said, I need to learn from the best. That must be your attitude. We'll never get along. I never get along with any person that tries to tell me how they're going to learn the answer within. I’ll give you an example. Somebody. The Dalai Llama was mentored by who? He was mentored by Gandhi and Gandhi had a mentor. It's a series of passing down of knowledge. Why do you want to do it yourself? Most people are mistaken, massively mistaken understanding that the way that you learn is through mistakes so I was going to tell you the other reason that people fail is that most people are trying to learn from their own mistakes. That's a long hard path that's going to take you 30 years. You only learn from mistakes that is true but, but, but, but, but, you learn much quicker through other people's mistakes. Who do you want to be? Someone who spends 30 years learning through your own trial and error? You want to be somebody who has to discover that the world is flat versus round? I already, it didn't take me more than one minute to realize that the world is not flat. I read, I built upon other people's works. I didn't spend my life, I could've spent ten years, travelling the globe and trying to go to space and mathematically proving it. Why? So why are people going, “Hey Tai. Well I want to do it my way, the original.” And I’m like, well then you want to be poor my friend. That's your choice and I'm happy for people who want to be, who want to be poor. That doesn't bother me at all.
Success Harbor: So, so you credit 90 percent of your success to five of your mentors, 3 millionaires and 2 billionaires? What were some of the most important things that you learnt from your mentors that you can share now?
Tai Lopez: Well a lot of this, a lot of this 67 steps that I have is from the compilation you know from travelling the 51 countries and learning from people like that okay. So that, that's step one. I mean I've been mentored by all the books that I read. That's extremely important for me to, to learn through these books and the most important thing are in that 67 steps. There are things from understanding, like you must control your mind, you live in a world where we're bombarded by too much stimulus. Robin Dunbar, the available, I mean Robert Dunbar, the great anthropologist said, “We really evolved only to be in groups of 150.” Okay. And hold on one second, let me close this door. I have all my assistants here talking. Sorry about that
Success Harbor: Alright
Tai Lopez: So you've got this 67 steps right and I think there's about 2 or 300 I just didn't want to bombard people. So some of the big ones is, one of my mentors, I was about 18 years old, my mentor, he was a guy named Mike. He was one of the wealthiest men in Ireland and we were on this farm in Mississippi and he, he, he was telling me that. I brought up somebody that I looked up to and I was like, "Oh this person you know blah, blah, blah and this person da dee dee." And he looked at me and said, “But Tai is he worth a damn? Was, is he worth a damn?” And at the end of the day the three most important lessons I learnt from mentors is number 1, the “worth a damn” factor. What's your worth of damn factor? And worth a damn is a set of massive intangibles. It’s hard to define but I call it awareness. People who are aware. Like this Amish guy, I lived with the Amish for 2 and a half years and an Amish guy told me, “You know Tai, there are three kinds of people in the world. One watches things happen, one makes things happen and the last wonders what happened. Most people wonder what happened. You must never wonder what happened. You must make things happen.” So, that's the first one.
Success Harbor: So
Tai Lopez: So that’s the first one. Sorry.
Success Harbor: No go ahead
Tai Lopez: The second one that you must do, okay, you must then what I talked about a little earlier. You must have massive levels of humility and the next, the 3rd one which I haven't gotten to is what Charles Darwin said. Charles Darwin said, “It's not the most intelligent. It's not the strongest that survive. It's the most adaptable.” The most adaptable. You must be adaptable. Right so most people don't read the obvious signs of their life. They do not read that their life is crappy and they won't admit it. That can't be you. That cannot be you so those 3 things and there are 64 other main things. There's cognitive biases, misaiming bias in essence, bias availability, association bias, papilogan response. You, contient fairness. There’s systems that I, 6 sigma perfection levels that you have to work on. It's really a recipe, an overall recipe that you must master. It's different for different people, Okay?
Success Harbor: Can you share your five percent rule to a 7 or 8 figure income? I read a little bit about it on your site I believe. I don't know if you can go into that a little bit.
Tai Lopez: So, so, okay, so the law of 5 percent. I used to date this girl that almost won American Idol. She was one of the best singers. She made it to the final rounds of American Idol and she was on a scale of 1 to 100 of singing, you know, just to audition and get on American Idol you have to be in a stadium of 15,000 people to make it okay and she did. And then she made it, and Simon liked her and so on, but the thing and this is the tricky, nasty, thing about success, on a scale of 1 to 100, okay, she's a scale, on a scale of 1 to 100, the world no longer rewards 85's or 90's or 92's or 93's. The world rewards 95's to 100's. That's the hard part. That's the hard part. How can you become that last 5 percent? That's what you have to figure out. Okay.
Success Harbor: Hmm mmm
Tai Lopez: So that's what the law of 5 percent says.
Success Harbor: You also talk about a, an infinite cash injection method you pioneered to keep a constant cash flow coming into your business. Can you share that?
Tai Lopez: Yes so there's three factors of production out there in the world. There's classic if you study economics. Number 1, it is, well it’s land, labor and capital. So, most entrepreneurs are focused on land. That's the position that you need. That's networking and who you know and so on, okay. Number 2, labor. Most entrepreneurs are extremely focused on their own skill levels. “Hey Tai. I'm good at that and the other thing,” okay. But lastly and the one that's most often forgotten by most entrepreneurs is capital. We live in a capitalistic society. You probably need capital. Richard Bronson, if you read his great autobiography, Screw It Let's Do It, what he says is without capital you're done. He acquired massive amounts of capital. That must be what you do as an investor. Now when I say massive it will be different amounts for different people. For some that’s 10,000 dollars and for some people that's that is you know, I don't know, 50 million dollars. So, that, but, make no mistake, capital is the fuel that you must bring into your business and so I've pioneered various, I have this academy that I do and I, I give away almost 80 percent of what I do for free but there's a few things. I have this academy for highly engaging, it's a private mentorship and I teach this whole system. I’ll explain some of it. I mean I teach 5 hours on it in the system I can't teach at all now but I'll lose my voice. But the basic system is you want to create an ongoing source of capital that's not always you know profits for your business. For some people thats shares, for some people that's debt. But I like some creative strategies like franchising. I just read the book Grinding, Grinding it out with Ray A Croft. Amazing book if you've never read that and his trick was very simple. He created a franchising system. He licensed it from the McDonald brothers but they are, another very humble guy and he went out there and licensed this business to other people. So he was able to bring in large sums of cash in that way and so for some people you will do it through a form of franchising or licensing as I call it which it can be extremely you know, extremely effective. For some of you it's licensing if you're a more software business. If you, for some people I find that what works best is a system of debt. Sam Walton built an empire on debt. Debt is nasty though. You should only use debt, if you do decide to use it, when you already have a proven system that you can pretty much, Walton was borrowing money once he knew the numbers and what would sell you know. So he didn't use debt to furnish his initial business. You must be very, very careful, very, very careful about using debt. So those are, infinite, and I've got some things that are more advanced that you can do but the main place to start first is listening. You must come into a place mentally where you understand that you probably will need capital at some level. Sometimes if you're lucky enough you can use reinvested profits as your capital source but you may want to diversify the flow of money that comes into your business.
Success Harbor: So how should we imitate entrepreneurs that are way ahead of us? So you mentioned that maybe you have a third of the people you interact, you kind of help out and then the rest of the people should be ahead of you so you can learn from them and they can possibly influence you. So what can we do to imitate or learn from these entrepreneurs that are kind of way ahead of us or at least a few steps ahead of us in the game?
Tai Lopez: You mean how can you get them to do what? How?
Success Harbor: Well what I look for, if I look at Mark Cuban you know, I didn't really, I can read a book about him or whatever, but he's a billionaire so maybe he's not the best example. Let's suppose somebody makes 100 million dollars so that's a substantial business, what do I, what do we want to learn from them? What do you think is the most valuable things that we can learn from them? Is it more about just the general outlook on life or do we want to get, try to get tactical you know in terms in terms of trying to imitate what they do?
Tai Lopez: I think, I mean go the most humble path, like Alan Nation taught me. The secret to life is ignoring 99 percent of people but when you find the one person listen to everything they say. So I was actually reading a book called The Republic, which is by Plato, this morning and he talked about this concept of listening to one or 2 people at a time. And remember it's not a cult following. Over time you'll accumulate people in your life but listen to them you know. And so, think it’s better to, what I recommend people do, I find, it's very simple. You go out and you identify your destiny and you find somebody 20 years ahead in your exact destiny. That's the best type of mentor. So if you want to do a hotel business, don't get mentored by a guy who owns a sushi restaurant. Right? You can have them on your board of advisors. I teach in my academy on my site, tailopez.com, I got a little link there, but I teach there about the difference between a board of advisors and actual mentors. Mentors need to be in what you're doing so that you can emulate them very, very closely okay? So if you could do that you know that's the first path. So you brought up whether the Rich or Richard Branson or whoever it might be, you know, you may make a mistake of following somebody who has you know, really no experience. Just because somebody is successful in something doesn’t mean that they'll be able to lead you down a different path for a different type of business so they can be on your board of advisors and give you generalized advice, okay. But in general you know they should be on your board of advisors. They give you big picture advice and then you find mentors that you can really follow around, maybe work for, whatever it might be you know.
Success Harbor: Yeah. Many entrepreneurs spend their days putting out fires instead of being strategic. It's almost like they're operating in crisis mode, most of the time. What do you think they, you know, why do you think they choose that path, I mean and what can we do to avoid it, to build a business that doesn't operate in crisis mode most of the time? What's, what's going wrong in their business?
Tai Lopez: Well, it's hard to diagnose. It's funny. There are only a few ways to succeed but there are a hell of a lot of ways to fail so the people can be failing for anything. Like Charlie Monger says, if you really want to fail, have a lot of slough and unreliability. Some people have slough, they are lazy as hell. Some people are unreliable. They're good one day and not good the other. They should read the book Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker. Other people are going too fast of a track you know. It took Pablo Picasso a long time to become Picasso. They call it the 10 dark years, the 15 dark years where nobody knows your name. Wray Crawford before he became the richest man in America spent 30 years selling paper cups. Bill Gates started at 12 and wasn't a billionaire until 31. Buffet started at 7 and wasn't a billionaire until 57, 50 years so some people's timelines are so short and they're like "I'm failing" and I'm like you're not failing my friend, you're going through the normal and normative growth patterns of any biological organism and business in a sense is like a baby. Alan Nation told me, said, “It's like a baby. The first year it keeps you up all night, crying. The second year it's a brat. The third year, fourth year it finally you know, you can sleep through the night but eventually if you take care of that baby, it'll take care of you. So some people have a baby business and are treating it like a grown adult going. You know, there's a big lie out there in especially in the Internet entrepreneur world. I'm not sure where it started but I think some of it started within the four hour work week as much as I like Ferris’, his general ideas, they're massive, massive mistakes in it that are causing people to go, “Well I'm going to start a scale up business and this and that". It's a bunch of BS. It's not true. You can't find many examples. You can find a few statistical aberrations but its aberrations. So I think most people, especially maybe your audience specifically, is simply, okay, is just simply poorly timing and they have a poor framework dude. I mean, I told you it's about planning and execution so most people have the crappiest plan ever. They build their plan off some internet nonsense that they read somewhere. It's a weak plan. I mean what do you expect from a weak plan. What if my plan when I broke my ankle was to put you know, wave a voodoo doll over my ankle to get better? You follow a crap plan and you're going to have a hell of a lot of problems with your broken ankle. You want to follow a good plan and most good plans are carefully, methodically done. When I broke my ankle playing basketball at UCLA a couple of years ago, I wanted an expert. Somebody spent 30 years, and built upon an accumulated body of medicinal knowledge at the hospital to fix my ankle. You know. That's what I wanted.
Success Harbor: So most people handle failure badly. What do you think, why do you think that happens? You know, I think you've talked about this. I don't know if it's one of the videos on YouTube or maybe on your site, you know how 70 percent quit after the first failure and another 20 percent quit after the second and 90-95 quit after the third, you know, and the average millionaire fails about 3 times before they actually make it. So what can we do to condition ourselves, because you know, when you're a baby and you try to walk, I mean you fail a million times a day and yet you keep going
Tai Lopez: Yeah but
Success Harbor: What breaks, what breaks in us that as we grown up? Well I don't even know when that happens. You know you fail and you take it personally and a lot of times it really ruins people.
Tai Lopez: Well look, there's two ways I can answer that. There's some people that answer that by saying the education system has trained us to see things as black and white. I think there's some there. I think there’s some religion and traditional morality but I think, you know, so I could go down that path and talk about that. Let me take you to a little different place before we even talk about that. There's a good interview by Warren Buffet and JayZ. I think it was for Forbes magazine or something and basically what they said was just very fascinating was. Well Buffet says, Buffet had a mentor named Benjamin Graham, one of the foundational guys who taught people to understand the stock market and what he said was “What you want to do is never fail, make a big failure. Okay, so when you’re walking as a, a baby your mom does not let you walk close to a cliff. When my mom was a little girl my grandmother said she disappeared at 2 years old through the back door and my grandmother found her across like a pier with a fifty foot drop off to shark infested waters in Panama. You don't want that for your kid or for your life. Right. So you can have mistakes but they can be little ones. What you need to be trying to do is get on first base. Everybody is trying to get on home base, with the first hit. Don't be a fool. Make a lot, a lot, a lot of first base hits and the next thing you know, you've scored a lot of runs. So really, most of us have bought into the lie that you need to make a ton of mistakes. Joel Sods had told me the first day I was there he said, “Tai, I have one rule. You're not allowed to make any mistakes.” What he was saying was limit, put risk prevention. In stock market you put options on it right. You put options on it to protect yourself from down side.” Don't go all out with your first business. Everyone I meet wants to make a million dollars but I’m like have you ever made 100 thousand consistently? Don't tell me about your million dollar plan. I had a guy come to me one time and say, ”I want to go to lunch with you. I've got the next billion dollar plan.” And I said well depending on how you answer this one question, I'm going to tell you if I'm going to go to lunch with you. Have you ever started a million dollar business? He said no. Did you ever start a 100 thousand dollar business? No. Fifty thousand? No. Then why are you talking about a billion? You're too cocky my friend. It took Warren Buffet 50 years to become a billionaire. He has a 155 IQ. It was measured by the Winter Warden. It was mentioned by one of the greatest people of all times in the financial area and and it took him 50 years but you're sitting here telling me you've got the next billion dollar idea? I feel like saying get out of my face my friend. I can't handle it. I don't want your bad vibes. Now, he meant well and I didn't say that to him but that's what I naturally feel. So most entrepreneurs out there I'm like, hey man if it took Bill Gates 19 years and from age 30 Bill Gates said "I never took one day off", ten years he used to sleep and you know not take a shower and sleep at the office in his cubicle writing code. If it took him and he's got a 155 IQ as well, are you smarter than Bill Gates my friend? Because if you think you are and you're working for 19 years like he worked and you're still having problems making money then you can come talk to me. But everybody wants, this is what my TED talk was about. Everybody wants but not everybody's willing to do what you have to do to get what you want.
Success Harbor: So what businesses are exciting to you? Where do you see the greatest opportunists today in 2014? If you're starting something or if you're advising somebody to start a business, where do you see the great opportunities now?
Tai Lopez: Well I don't buy into that. I hate opportunistic stuff. I tell people you can disagree with me as much as you want but you got to have facts. So when I state strong opinions I'll try to back them up with facts. If you look at the wealthiest people in the world, 44 self-made billionaires, there's no consistent pattern except maybe investors that continually wins the game of business. They're all over the place. There's a yogurt billionaire. There’s a billionaire who, Sara Blakely needed spanks. She made tights and made a billion dollars. There's people from tech, real estate but they're not dominating that thing. They’re all over this so I tell people, quit with the opportunistic stuff. You will not create wealth with the next big opportunity. For every story of Instagram where they stumbled into a billion dollars or multibillion dollar business, there's 10,000 failures. You don't want to play a hand of cards that wins 1 out of 10,000. You want to play a hand of cards that wins 1 out of 2 or 2 out of 3 and the hand that wins 2 out of 3 in a consistent pattern of world impactful changing people as people who follow what I talked about in the beginning, business destiny. What's your natural destiny? Go down that path. Opportunities will arise over time and you will make money if you're suited. But remember the law of 5 percent. If you're trying to just jump in, like me I suck at construction. I did it. I know how to build a house but you will never want to live in a house that I built. I have no interest in it and the doors will be crooked because I don't like building so if I was to pursue and say there was a ton of money in real estate and I'm going to get into a construction company, I would be a fool. You never want to be a fool. All these people out there, is the blind leading the blind. Don't be that person. Remember if you don't know who the sucker is, you're the sucker. What you need to do is first get massive levels of clarity. You should be able to say in a few words what you want to do. Warren Buffet at 2 years old, I mean 7 years old, I want to allocate capital. I met Steven Spielberg. He said around 7 years old I went to an Indiana Jones, private screening here, in Hollywood and he was talking there at the beginning before the movie. It was the 30th anniversary of Indiana Jones and he said, at like 7 or 8, I was playing with camera lens. I already knew what I wanted to do. Bill Gates at 12, there's there is a pattern, now you may be listening to this and you're fifty years old. Well you can never, you better get this down now, faster. Most people are like well I'm already 50 years. Well it doesn't matter. The laws of business don't change just because your life is out of whack. So what you got to do is figure out what you should do immediately. Immediately. You know.
Success Harbor: Yeah
Tai Lopez: Yeah
Success Harbor: You know, I just basically have one or two more questions. I know we went over a little bit than you know, I said about a half an hour so I appreciate your, you being here. What do you think is the biggest time waster for people in business, people that want to be entrepreneurs or people that are trying to be entrepreneurs?
Tai Lopez: Oh that's easy. Getting good at the wrong thing. Getting good at the wrong thing is the tragedy of our time. Everybody wakes up and goes to work and 99 percent of those people are getting good at something they don't like. Don’t get good at something you don’t like. Why? Let somebody else be good at that because they probably like it. So that's the biggest time waster without a doubt. Without a doubt.
Success Harbor: Any last word of wisdom to share about building a business, or growing or taking your business to the next level before we call this?
Tai Lopez: I would probably say the biggest thing that you could do. I mean take the philosophy of what Chief de Kumsa says, “Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all thinks in your life.” Focus on an end game that you want. Right. So the end game and then work your way in reverse. Figure out where you want to be at 70 and then go okay, if I want to be there at 70, what does my life have to look like at 60. Then say to get there at 60, what does my life have to look like at 50. And then move your way back to your present age, work your way in reverse. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People talks about end game. The end game. Be an investor and not a consumer.
Success Harbor: Well Tai, thanks very much for coming on online on Success Harbor to share your story, to share your wisdom. How can people connect with you or find out more about you or or where should they go?
Tai Lopez: So I just launched a podcast. If you guys could do me a favor. I rarely ask other people for failure, I, for a favor, I just launched a podcast and it gets in new and noteworthy if I get enough ratings and stuff so if you go to my podcast on iTunes get your blackberry and go to the Tai Lopez show, The Grand Theory of Everything. It's me talking, a little bit of babbling, hopefully a little bit of good news and good wisdom in there, what I’ve learnt from other people and I'll pass it on and just leave me a rating, subscribe. That's the first way. Second way and maybe even better than that, is my site, TaiLopez.com. I've got this 67 Steps PDF. Check it out. Join my book of the day newsletter. You should be reading a book a day but if you can't do it, let someone else do it for you. So I read a book a day and I put out a free summary. A million and a half people from 40 countries are on there. So if you go to TaiLopez.com there's a little place to join our pop up you'll see and you can get the 67 Steps plus free, my book of the day club. Some of you, those people who are really interested and want to join my private mentor program. It's not very expensive. It goes white to black belt. It starts out very inexpensive and that's there's a link on millionaire mentor. I'm on Twitter, I just passed 170,000 followers the other day on Twitter. It's under TaiLopez. You can see my lifestyle and what I'm trying to do. It's @tailopez and the number 1,@tailopez1, and then on Facebook I'm on TaiLopez Official, YouTube. I meet stuff in different channels. My YouTube has some unique stuff but I, you can go to my website, Tailopez.com and go from there but leave me a podcast thing if you guys don't mind. A little review there and subscribe, hopefully I can get five stars. Maybe, I don't deserve it. Give me what you think is fair. I'm not going to tell you what to rate me but
Success Harbor: So check out check out Tai's podcast on iTunes. Check out TaiLopez.com. Tai thank you.
Tai Lopez: 67 Steps I just put that out. It's pretty cool and 67 Steps, it's a PDF and I've recorded like 3 or 4 videos that are about an hour long where I go through the 67 steps. I can't do all 67 in the videos. I do them all in the academy but you can get, like I said, I give away around 90 percent of everything I do for free. Seventy, ninety so yeah, check that out.
Success Harbor: Okay Tai. Thank you again. Thanks for listening and maybe you'll come back again in a year and tell us how everything is going now.
Tai Lopez: Awesome
Success Harbor: Thank you
Tai Lopez: Thank you my friend. Stay strong.
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David Jackson is the CEO and Cofounder of Clicktools, the world’s leader in the field of customer feedback integrated with CRM.
David is a popular speaker around the world.
He has had many articles published and is the author of several books, including “Dynamic Organizations: The Challenge of Change” and “Becoming Dynamic.”
In the following interview we cover everything from starting Clicktools to its $14 million acquisition by CallidusCloud.
Say hi to David at clicktools.com.
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Stephen Key has successfully licensed more than 20 simple ideas that have generated billions of dollars of revenue during the past 30-years. Stephen holds 12 patents. His products have been sold by some of the most recognized brands such as Disney and Walmart. Stephen has won many awards including the Edison Awards. Stephen is the author of One Simple Idea. Listen to the following interview for an insight into the mind of a creative product guy.
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What does it take to bring order to chaos? David Allen is the creator of Getting Things Done®. GTD is the work-life management system that has helped countless individuals and organizations bring order to chaos with stress-free productivity. After decades of in-the-field research and practice of his productivity methods, David wrote the international best-seller Getting Things Done. Published in over 28 languages, TIME magazine heralded it as “the defining self-help business book of its time.” Fast Company Magazine called David “one of the world’s most influential thinkers on productivity.” Listen to the following interview if you want to become a better entrepreneur through greater focus and productivity.
Say hi to David at gettingthingsdone.com.
Read Raw Transcript Now:
Success Harbor: Hi everyone. This is George Meszaros with Success Harbor and I have David Allen here with me. David is the creator of Getting Things Done, also known as GTD. GTD is the work life management system that has helped countless individuals and organizations bring order to chaos with stress free productivity. David wrote the international best seller Getting Things Done published in over twenty-eight languages. Time Magazine called it the defining self-help books of its time. Fess Company Magazine called David one of the most influential thinkers on productivity. Welcome.
David Allen: Glad to be here George. Thanks.
Success Harbor: Thanks for being here David. What were you doing before you developed GTD?
David Allen: Well the methodology of GTD is something that just developed over twenty years of me doing consulting and coaching and training work in the professional world. Before that I had my own little consulting practice. Before that I had thirty-five professions. Didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up so of course the consultant is about the only route to take if that's sort of your style. So you know I liked coming in and assessing situations so I can say how can I prove it so people can get more done with less effort and then move on to the next thing. Then one day I actually realized that they actually paid people to do stuff like that so I hung out my shingle and became a consultant in I think 1981.
Success Harbor: Let's talk about the feeling of being overwhelmed. In your opinion what are the reasons people, both in personal and in business life often feel overwhelmed.
David Allen: They're keeping all the stuff internalized in the system and define and objectify it and your head is a terrible office. It has no sense of past or future so you tell yourself you need to buy cat food or you need to extend your credit line at the bank and if your head is the only place keeping track of that and we're viewing it, it's bouncing around like pinballs in a pin ball machine and it'll wake you up at 3 o'clock in the morning about your cat food or about the bank and you can't do anything about either one then. It really is not, your brain is really not designed for that.
Success Harbor: So what do we use then if our brain is not designed to keep all that information? How do we avoid all that?
David Allen: You can use anything that keeps it out of your head. Write it on your wall, write it on your arm. Print it out. Stick it somewhere. The main thing is you need to get it out of your head. Not just writing it down won't fully solve it. That's the first step. A lot of people write a lot of stuff down. They just don't do anything with it. They don't look at it and they're finished thinking about what they write down. So it's still crawls back up in their head. So there is a formula that I uncovered really about how do you get stuff off your mind without having to finish it yet and that's a five step process that I uncovered so you know that's quite simply you need to capture the stuff on your mind. You need to clarify exactly what it means and what you're going to do about it if anything. What's the outcome and what's the next action step? You need to park those results in some sort of appropriate, organized, set of categories so you can then step back and you know stage four, step back and look at that inventory on some consistent basis so then step five, you actually engage with something from a trusted place as opposed to geo-hope this is what I ought to do. But most people are still being run by the latest and loudest thing in their head because they're still using their head as their system.
Success Harbor: What do you think is the reason that so much self-talk is negative?
David Allen: Well, I read a study many years ago that if you grow up in a healthy American home, whatever that means but you know, reasonably sane, you know American home, about eighty-three percent of your feedback was negative. Don't do this. You'll hurt yourself. [00:04:11.16] Mumblings. Don't do that. And then later on, the people who were studying the self-talk process said that the typical adult does about eighty or eighty-three percent negative self-talk. So it makes sense that that matches up to how most of us are raised.
Success Harbor: Is it that you think that's a part of the animal in us to have that self-talk, to kind of keep us alive?
David Allen: I don't know. I don't know if that's it or not. I think you know you can't stop talking to yourself so you're constantly doing it. The nature is, what's the nature of it, you know as I say, what if your friends talk to yourself like yourself? "Hi George, what an idiot. That was a terrible interview. You weren’t perfect. You said that word wrong. Oh my God. Don't even try to wake up in the morning." You know this is a strange little animal inside of all of us so I think there is a proclivity or propensity for people to want to. I think people want to perhaps save themselves from disappointment you know. The pessimist is never disappointed so you know it's kind of risky to step out there and say I'm okay, I'm good. Life is great so let's go, you know. So entrepreneurs have to deal with that all the time.
Success Harbor: Can you tell? I'm sorry to interrupt. Can you talk a bit about the importance of focus? I think we talked about the feeling of being overwhelmed and I don't know how much of that is a lack of focus. Can you give us an example of staying focused or how to stay in focus?
David Allen: Well you know you have to put yourself in crisis and that handles it. You know just you know set your house on fire. You'll focus, you know. Most people actually move into a high performance behavior in a crisis because basically it puts you, it has you doing the behaviors that allow your brain to be highly focused. You have a desired end result that you're very passionate about called live. You know don't burn up and you're constantly then making next action decisions. You have an outcome that you want, you make a next action decisions. Much like in software or technology. It's agile programming. It's where we're dynamically steered. I take a step, I get feedback until I'm correct and get out of that building and live. That's focus. So that happens automatically. I think a lot of people allow themselves to get into a crisis mode modality because it reduces the necessity for you to think. You don't have to make decisions.
Success Harbor: You know, when I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs, they kind of pride themselves on putting out fires. I was wondering if wanting to feel that you're putting out fires is the way for them to just be more productive or feel like they're able to focus better?
David Allen: Yeah. I think it is. I think it's you know, it galvanizes your necessity to focus to begin with and makes you feel important you know and you feel like you're getting stuff done. And it gets you off your butt, you get moving. You know, so I understand that that's not the most effective way to deal with life. If you're making decisions when the heat forces you to make decisions they're usually not good decisions. If you can make those decisions before the heat is on so I think people actually need to learn how to focus and make decisions before the you know life forces them to.
Success Harbor: I have read that the average person looks at his smart phone about one hundred and fifity times per day. People log in on average to Facebook about fourteen times a day so it's like the culture that is developing is always focused on elsewhere instead of here. Why do you think that's happening?
David Allen: Well I think it gives people a sense of control. It gives people a sense of belonging, gives people a sense of fun. It's the fastest way to avoid your life. You know. Not that it's a bad thing. You know I think social media. I relate to it like a cocktail party. You wouldn't want to spend your life at a cocktail party but sometimes it's fun and sometimes it's necessary if you're trying to network. So there's nothing inherently wrong with any of that. There's really you know. Social media in a way is nothing more than a bulletin board in a Laundromat. It's just a lot more available, coming at you fast and it's kind of sexy and you've got lots of links that you can go down and all kinds of rabbit trails that can suck you in if you're not highly focused on what you need to do. So you know all that social media and all that you know, the digital world has it's come on, is really a two-edged sword. First of all, there's you know all the way cool apps that are showing up every day. At the same time it's this black hole of bulk and moors of what the hell do I do with all of those apps and where do I put this and where does this go and should I, which one should I check and how often should I look at that and you know, it's crazy and it can be very crazy making very easily. But that's only because you know all it's done is surfaced the fact and the situation for people to let you know and give you lots of feedback about how focused are you.
Success Harbor: Yeah. I mean does it feel like that it's easier to be somewhere else virtually than dealing with the here and now. So it's just another way of the opposite of being focused on what needs to be done at the moment.
David Allen: Yeah. Could be. Could very well be. I mean there are lots of ways to avoid being totally present with where you are or what you're doing. You know, oftentimes, it's the, you know, the people who procrastinate the most, people who avoid doing you know important stuff you know, are usually the most sensitive, intelligent and creative people because you know talk about self-talk, it's the thick, dullards, it's the insensitive people who just go start hard charging because they're too you know insensitive to be aware of all the stuff that smart sensitive people that in a quarter of a second that can generate huge phantoms and demons in their head about all the things that might have to be done in order to do that thing perfectly and all the potential negative consequences if it's not perfect and they just freak themselves out within half a second. So that makes it very easy to want to run away from that. So that's why a lot of what I teach is how do you take anything that’s got your attention and identify it and identify the very next action step on it because that next action step as simple as it sounds, that's the whole point. Get it simple. Get it down to something that you can very easily get a hold of and feel like you can win at. Increase your back credit line. Great. You know I can do that. Wait a minute. What's the next step? Pick up phone. You can do that. Punch seven numbers you know. See what happens. And if you get it down to that and if you can say focused on that but if what you can do is train yourself to focus on a doable event you know about any of those things that have your attention, that's. That doesn't happen by the way just because you're born. That's actually a trainable, learnable, skill or behavior set.
Success Harbor: So breaking everything down into small manageable chunks?
David Allen: Sure well you need two things. The zeros and ones ultimately of productivity are what does done mean and what does doing look like and where does it happen. So what does done mean? That's equally important to break something down, to say break what down. What is it that you're trying to accomplish here? You know, what's your project? Is your project to increase your credit line or just to find out whether you can or not? Those are two different projects. So entrepreneurs need to feel more comfortable to say I need to feel okay if they don't give it to me and I need to still create a win. In other words, I've optimized the possibility that I could extend my credit line. That's like in sales, you always need to give yourself a game you can win. So instead of affirming and yes it's nice to have a vision that the client or potential client is going to buy from you but they may have had a bad day and still win as long as your project will maximize their opportunity to buy. And that's a challenging thing for any sales person to do but that's something you can always win at that no matter what they do. So you need to sort of define, wait a minute what are the games I can win, the things I can finish and define those. So that's defining outcome. That's the zero and the one is okay, what would be my next step if I had nothing else to do but that, where would I go physically? Would I boot my computer? Would I surf the web? Would I call somebody? Would I talk to my partner you know? What's the fixed physical visible thing that would start to kick-start movement towards completion of whatever this thing is about? And those are master keys but they seldom show up. Most people listening to this right now, if you have anything that looks like a to-do list, I'll be willing to bet you 99.9 percent of you have an incomplete list of still unclear things. You’ll look down on that list and see things like bank or mom or doctor. Well good you may have captured some things but you have not defined, wait a minute, what's the specific outcome? I get to mark this off as done when what's true? What's the win here and that's your motivator. You know you need to build that in to all those things that have your attention. Nor on your list will you see very many if any very next actions. What's the next action on Mom? Why is it on your list? Oh it's her birthday coming up. Well what's the project? Oh I don't know I guess we're going to give Mom a birthday party. Fabulous. Now you have a project. What's the next step? I don't know. I guess I'll have to call my sister and that's the kind of thinking as dumb and silly as that sounds that most people are avoiding like the plague. I know I've spent thousands of hours with some of the best and brightest people on the planet, best side with them going through that process.
Success Harbor: That was really good by the way you know. It just makes me think about to-do lists in an entirely different way. It feels like there is so much more competition for attention, so much more data out there. I'm not sure if we’re smarter though. There is all that's out there to become just a distraction or to make us dumber.
David Allen: Well George back to your original point to stay focused. What are you trying to do? You know for some people that may be exactly what they need to do for networking reasons or other things but why are you doing it? You know. And that's tricky business because sometimes the thing to do you need to, if you had a bad day you know you've been in six meetings and you were beat up in five of them and your brain is scrambled eggs by 6 pm you know, that's not the time to call a potential client. That's the time to surf the web and do Facebook and do all kinds of dorky things just to relive your own pressure on yourself so you have to. It's all about how conscious are you. Why are you doing this? Is this avoidance or is this recreation and I think that's important to know. A lot of that's about how well do you know yourself and how conscious are you willing to be you know at that point in time. Does that make sense?
Success Harbor: Yeah do you think that society is addicted to distraction? You know I'm wondering if distraction is actually just another form of addiction or an escape?
David Allen: Well that's a good question. You know I don't know. I'm just guessing on it. From my experience the biggest addiction is control or attempt to control stuff and I think that when people feel out of control they need to hop into something they feel like they can control. That's why people love to play golf, or play tennis or play pinball or play computer games or whatever because you get to complete something. You get to control it. You know and I think that's what people are most addicted to. I think that's also why people keep stuff in their heads because of the false sense of control.
Success Harbor: What do you think are the reasons for people staying busy doesn't translate to being productive?
David Allen: Well, if you step back and say well what’s the definition of being productive? Say well, do you produce something or what are you trying to produce? If you go on a vacation to relax but you are stressed out on your vacation, that's an unproductive vacation. I think people have a little bit of a preconditioned idea of what productivity is. Productivity in my terms is just achieving desired results for experience. So if you're trying to relax but you can't relax, that’s unproductive. That's an unproductive experience. So when you think of it that way then being busy is, it's all about are you, is your busyness producing what it is you're committed to produce. Some people, being busy is a very healthy thing to do. If you have serious depression, sometimes getting up and being busy no matter what it is, go wash the dishes, go you know take the dog for a walk, go do something that you can do because busyness then may actually be a very positive thing for you. Get you engaged in something. You know so you don't you know you don't sort of self-absorb in morbidity. So again, it's tricky. I don't mean to be clip about this but you really do need to ask yourself wait a minute, what are you trying to produce. I know, the simple answer is, sure, a lot of people out there are used to doing busy kind of work but that work is not focused toward a specific outcome. They wind up just doing a lot of stuff. Why are you doing it? I don't know because I've always done it. Well that's probably not the best answer.
Success Harbor: Can you share your ‘mind like water’ way of thinking about productivity?
David Allen: Well that came from the martial arts. I spent some years in martial arts years ago and it's a great image. Water sort of responds to things appropriately. You don't see water over or under reacting to things. It's an appropriate response. You know you throw a little pebble in the water, the water responds to the pebble. It doesn’t overreact. Throw a big rock in it and it has big rock responses. And it goes back to calm again ready for the next input. So that idea is not overreacting or underreacting to anything but being appropriately there. So it's another way of saying I'm present or being present with whatever it is that you're doing. So that idea is ultimately getting things done and here's a big secret George for you and your audio listeners, getting things done is really not about getting things done. It's about being appropriately engaged with your life and your work. Now there's a lot to unpack about that idea of appropriate engagement. What does that mean? Well, you know if you keep telling yourself I need cat food and you know and it keeps popping into your head, you're not appropriately engaged with your cat or you're agreement with your cat. You know so you don't have to go very far to see where to say wait a minute, do I have my life water yet? Well that's because of what's still on your mind. You know, what's still popping into your head, distracting you, pulling you, tugging you, little big personal or professional. You don't have to go very far to ask yourself what has your attention. The reason things have your attention is usually because there’s some decision about that thing you haven't made or you haven't parked the results of that in some systematic way so that you trust your brain can let go of it. Did I answer your question or did I go too far afield here?
Success Harbor: Yeah. No, it's actually great. It's great. Now can you give me an example in your own business on staying focused? What helps you stay focused?
David Allen: Well yeah. First of all, zeroing all my in-basket, getting out all my new inputs every twenty-four to forty-eight hours so that I'm not distracted or pulled on by stuff that might be meaningful to me that might be more important than whatever it is that I'm focused on. So I need to stay focused by keeping very current with whatever is new and in my work and in my life so it doesn’t pull on me. And so that I can also then trust my inventory of all the options I have to do. And you know so that's you know basically I implement the five steps you know. I make sure I capture everything that's on my mind, everything that's popped in that's potentially meaningful. I pull it into my own entry or in-basket, ensuring my own in basket, both electronic as well as physical and then I zero themselves out sooner or later. What is it? What does this thing mean? Am I going to do something about this? Is it reference? Is it trash? Is it something I need to do something about? What do I need to do about it? Is it a single action? Is there a project here? So I'm constantly making those decisions and essentially defining what my work is and then once that work has been reasonably defined and is reasonably current, then I need to be able to step back and take a look at the whole picture. Look you know, I'm out. I've got a mobile phone. I'm waiting on a client to meet with me but he's twenty-minutes late. Let me see all the phone calls I need to make then I've already determined the next steps on anything I need to make progress on. So all those techniques and all of those, the results of having captured, clarified and reviewed all of my stuff is how I stay present.
Success Harbor: As an entrepreneur, how often do you revisit what your vision is, what your goals are etc.?
David Allen: As often as I need to get those off my mind. There's an inverse relationship between on your mind and getting done. So if you keep thinking, I keep. When I'm playing with my dog I don't want to think about my strategic plan. I need to have already thought about it. So it really comes back to what do I need to keep looking at. Now a more practical answer perhaps is yeah, every so often it's a really good idea to pull those things out and say am I directing myself or really where I want to be and how I want to be. You know, I would say, I’ve identified in my book and my work, I've identified six horizons that we actually have commitments about you know. On the ground level are all the commitments of actions you need to take, phone calls you need to make, cat food you need to buy, stuff you need to talk to your banker about, stuff you need to talk to your spouse about etc. So there's that level called the action level. A lot of that action level is driven by your commitments on the next level up which is projects. What are the outcomes that you're trying to accomplish? Oh yeah I need to extend my credit line. Oh yeah I need to make sure I get all my checkups since I'm fifty this year or whatever age you are. So make sure you get all that updated and handled. That's a project. Need to give Mom a birthday party. So that's the next level up would be horizon one which would be projects. But the reason you have projects and actions too is horizon two which is what are all the things you are committed to maintain? You know, what are the things you need to keep up to a certain standards? I need to maintain my health. I need to maintain my finances. I need to maintain my relationships with people. I need to maintain my house. I need to maintain, in your business. I've got PR and marketing and financing and whatever., Those are not things to finish. Those are just areas that need to be maintained at certain standards. So that's the third horizon up which I call horizon two because the first horizon is really the ground level. Horizon three is going to be well okay, where are you going in the next you know three to eighteen months? And that would be what most people would think about in terms of plans or objectives or strategies for the next year or so, so that's oftentimes where you want to look at that. You know where do we want to be by the end of 2015? Okay what do we want to have true? Above that would be vision. Where are you going with this? When you really grow up five years from now, three years from now, whatever, you know what would success look like for your business, your enterprise? And then above that horizon is about what's the purpose, what is the point in doing all this and what really matters to you, you know? What's the purpose of your business? What's the purpose in your life? So those are all relevant levels of commitment to start to identify and so when you think about how often I need to look at those, I'd say well you want to keep day to day control. You need to look at your calendar. You need to look at the calls you need to make. That's the ground level, probably once a day or multiple times a day you better revisit that. The next level up in terms of your projects, you probably better be reviewing those weekly if you want to keep it in control and at a next level. And then your job description and your org chart and how am I doing about all the aspects of my life in terms of life balance, making sure I'm monitoring all of those every month, every quarter or so is not a bad idea. You pull that out as a checklist and then your goals meaning what are you trying to accomplish in the next twelve to eighteen to twenty-four months? Yeah probably once a year or quarterly revisit those. Make sure they are still alive and well. Correct them if you need to change them. The big picture stuff. You know hey where do you want to be? Where's out vision? Not a bad idea to do that yearly. You know go off-site with your partner or your spouse or your family or step back and take a look and say hey where are we really going here? So those are you know generally speaking the horizons or commitments. You don't need to look at those every hour or every day but probably need to build at them often enough. So I’ll come back to my first answer. I tend to do those whenever I need to do those so that that pressure gets off my brain whenever that needs to be. Oh come on entrepreneurs can be big picture stuff constantly especially in the tech world. Man those things a lot of people especially if you're edgily building your business, you may come up with a very different product than the product you started with as you probably know George in that world. So there's kind of a, it depends, but those are all the factors that one should consider.
Success Harbor: Can you give us an example of how your company helps entrepreneurs?
David Allen: Well what we do is we produce and facilitate the conditions for people to be able to flourish. We like that word because it really means a lot of different things to a lot of different people and it should. In order for anyone to flourish they really need to have clear space. The need to have, they need to feel in control, need to feel focused. So all of our work is to facilitate people being able to get into that space where they are in control and they're focused and they have the capabilities to do that in a maximum way and you know it looks very different for different kinds of people. So if I say you know if you're twenty-four, you're old and full of juice and venom and adrenaline, flourishing for you may look like a twenty-four-seven kind of week you know. That's because that's your game. If you're fifty and just left a corporate job and going to sort of build your own little business, the next thing you want to do and do it on your own, flourishing may look very different for you. You may have kids that are still trying to get into college and a lifestyle that you still want to maintain and so that's going to look very different for you. However our stuff is universally available for both of those people to be able to do both of those things better with less effort. You know the whole idea of productivity is being able to produce an outcome with less effort and less resources required. So being able to stay focused, able to keep your eye on the ball and be able to allow your brain to not be distracted by the things that hold it hostage because you haven't managed those well, that's what we solve and or that helps anybody.
Success Harbor: You have managed to build an amazing brand. What are some of the reasons that GTD stands out today?
David Allen: It works. Sorry. It's good stuff and one of the things, I did not go out to publicize GTD as a brand. It's kind of an accident, brand by accident. It just really you know, the methodology was developed over and I tested it, researched it, used it for twenty, twenty-five years before I was willing to sit down and write a book about it. I had to make sure there were no holes in it and I've literally spent thousands of hours with truly some of the best and brightest people on the planet that would spit you out in two seconds if you couldn't stand toe-to-toe with them in terms of this methodology not being functional or not really working for them and it worked without fail with everybody. So I figured okay it was time to write the manual for it. So I know that's not, doesn’t say much about how do you promote and build a brand. I think you know one of the things we've been learning over the last two or three years ourselves is you know, is I think a real key to brand is authenticity. How authentic do you show up? Does what it is that you're putting out represent who you are, what you're doing and what you're delivering? So you know I think because I didn't hold anything back, there's really not much dialogue out in my work. At least I don't think so. I wrote it all into Getting Things Done in that book because I truly wanted to say look if I got run over by a bus, maybe somebody at some point would figure this methodology out but apparently nobody else seems to have done it the way I did so I decided I would just put it out there in that way and you know part of this too is I kept, stayed available. I've done probably 99.9 percent of every podcast, every interview, everything that anybody ever wanted to talk to me about this thing, I said sure, because you know it's like, I care enough about it and I suppose this comes back to what people would you know generally refer to as passion. It's like I can't stop doing it. I discovered this is great stuff. It improves everybody's life when they start to implement any version of this so I can't hold it back. And it's fabulous to have sort of created something that without fail you know is one hundred percent bulletproof that it works. So I don't know maybe some combination of all of those things helps. Maybe that's the long way of saying, George come [00:30:59.07] Inaudible. I'm sort of used by it as much as anybody else.
Success Harbor: That's great. How much of your growth is global and what kind of impact does it have on your business?
David Allen: Well we're still a small little company. I mean we're twenty-plus people you know and we're still not huge but you know our game, I think a lot of what we've been learning over the last few years is stick to your knitting. In other words, what are we the best at and try to as best we can find partners and other channels that can manage what we're not that good at. So one of those aspects was years ago we discovered this is great global methodology and the world had been knocking at my door since Getting Things Done was published. We’ve has all kinds of people as you can imagine, said gee David can I distribute your stuff in Romania? Can I distribute your stuff in Japan? Can I distribute your stuff? So we really didn't know how to manage that so our strategy is then to find partners who we knew had much better capabilities and expertise in those kinds of channels. So we now have a partner whose been setting up exclusive franchisees around the world for us, for this methodology. So we're right in the middle of that right now, just starting to get traction but we have officially and legally fifty countries now that we've signed in license agreement to start to distribute this. Still very small but it's a long tail and a long game of my division that we would build a global community of practice, best practitioners and trainers and people who really get this. Because if there's no bias culturally, gender wise or person-wise for this methodology and the world really needs it more and more so every day.
Success Harbor: David I want to thank you for coming on Success Harbor today to share your wisdom. How can people find out more about you, either the franchise opportunity or about GTD in general?
David Allen: The website. Gettingthingsdone.com to spell it all out and go there. Lots of stuff. It's a fun site now you'll see lots of stuff. Lots of ways to play there.
Success Harbor: Everybody out there. Go to gettingthingsdone. Check it out and again David thank you very much. I appreciate your time today.
David Allen: George my pleasure. Best of luck to all of you
Success Harbor: Thank you very much. Bye.