Daniel Pink, the 4x New York Times Best-Selling Author on Why Persistence Trumps Talent Every Time

Show Notes

Daniel Pink breaks down why: Persistence trumps talent, his process for writing books, the sunk cost fallacy, why the world should be better after they buy your product, why you must learn to say no to grow, and more

On today’s interview Daniel Pink discusses:

  1. Why he believes persistence trumps talent
  2. Why he didn’t know what he wanted to do until his early 30s
  3. Why he strongly disagrees with zero-sum negotiation and business deals
  4. How he became the speechwriter of choice for former Vice President Al Gore’s
  5. Why it’s important to figure out and define what it is that you do
  6. The mechanics of becoming a best-selling author
  7. His process for writing books
  8. How to find a literary agent
  9. The value of having a literary agent
  10. Why his book proposals are typically pages longer or more
  11. Why he believes that performance goals don’t always lead to learning goals and that you can actually get an A in French class without actually learning how to speak French.
  12. Why you must say no to grow
  13. Why it’s important to learn from failure.
  14. Why the world should be better as a result of buying your products or services
  15. Why when you take the low road consumers will find out and you will lose.
  16. Why you can’t screw customers and then get positive Google reviews
  17. Why things that rhyme are more sublime

Book: When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

  1. Ladies and gentlemen, on today’s show we are interviewing the iconic author of books about behavioral science, sales, management, work, life design, and what truly motivates us all.
  2. Throughout Daniel Pink’s career, he has been the host and co-executive producer of the National Geographic Channel Social Science TV series Crowd Control.
  3. He graduated from Bexley High School in 1982 and received his Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University. He then received his J.D. (juris doctor) from Yale Law School in 1991 where he was the Editor and Chief of the Yale Law and Policy Review.
  4. Daniel Pink is the author of six thought-provoking books, that I’m aware of, including his newest, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, which has spent four months on the New York Times bestseller list.
  5. His other books include the long-running New York Times bestseller A Whole New Mind, as well as the #1 New York Times bestsellers Drive and To Sell is Human. His books have won multiple awards and have been translated into 38 languages.
  6. From what I can tell after having invested copious amounts of time cyberstalking, Dan and his family now live in Washington, DC, with his wife and their three children.
  7. Dan, welcome onto the Thrivetime Show! How are you sir?!
  8. Dan, you have written so many thought-provoking books throughout your lifetime that we could focus on, but to introduce our listeners to the incredible diversity of your work, I thought we could focus on breaking down some of your writing on the subjects of motivation, sales and timing. So 1st, let’s start with motivation.
  9. Where did your career first start gaining traction?
    1. I feel like my career is still gaining traction
    2. I went to college and majored in linguistics
    3. I went to Washington for a bit and then went to law school
    4. I never worked with the law after getting my degree in it
    5. People always told me “You have to find your passion!”
    6. I realized that you have to ask yourself “What is it that you do?”
    7. I realized that the thing that I was doing on the side is what I wanted to do
    8. What is the thing you are doing in your free time that you really enjoy?
  10. How did you become a speechwriter?
    1. Somewhere someone said “Oh Crap… I need a speech… Pink can you write?”
    2. I said, “Yeah I can do that!”
    3. It didn’t suck so I kept doing it over and over
  11. What was the process like of getting an agent?
    1. I had left my job and written a piece for a magazine called Fast Company
    2. I took that short article and turned it into a book proposal and sent it to a ton of agents
    3. Some of them said “No Thanks” and some of them wanted the next conversation.
    4. One agent thought it was really interesting and wanted to get lunch
    5. He told me it was a good idea but poorly executed
    6. He became my agent and has been now for 20 years
    7. While other aspects of book creating will change, your agent will always be there by your side.
    8. I have a technique that keeps me out of writing a bad book.
      1. I got better at it thanks to my agent
      2. For every book that I do, I write a 30-40 page long book proposal
      3. This proposal has research
        1. Who is this book for?
        2. Why hasn’t someone wrote this?
        3. Why am I “The Guy” to write this book?
      4. This process let me kick out bad books before I got too deep into it
      5. It is just like a business plan.
  12. In your book Drive you write, “Grades become a reward for compliance—but don’t have much to do with learning. Meanwhile, students whose grades don’t measure up often see themselves as failures and give up trying to learn.”  I’d love to have you break down this quote for us?
    1. That book is about the science of motivation
    2. One of the things that happens in schools is good grades motivates and bad grades do the exact opposite
    3. One of the greatest motivators that people have is:
      1. Knowing why you’re doing something and doing it
    4. I took French and got straight A’s but I can’t speak French… Why?
      1. I was doing it for the grade.
  13. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Performance goals don’t always lead to learning goals.” – Daniel Pink
  14. Daniel Pink you wrote in your book, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need, “Persistence trumps talent.  What’s the most powerful force in the universe? Compound interest. It builds on itself. Over time, a small amount of money becomes a large amount of money. Persistence is similar. A little bit improves performance, which encourages greater persistence which improves persistence even more. And on and on it goes. Lack of persistence works the same way — only in the opposite direction. Of course talent is Wimportant, but the world is littered with talented people who didn’t persist, who didn’t put in the hours, who gave up too early, who thought they could ride on talent alone. Meanwhile, people who might have less talent pass them by.” Tell us more about the power of persistence and where most people get this wrong by default?
    1. This is fundamental.
    2. We have in some ways oversold the importance of “Great Talent” or being “A Natural”
    3. This matters far less than showing up, being persistent and making that 105th call.
    4. Writing was something I liked to do but I never told myself that I was talented at it but many talented people fail because they dont have persistence.
  15. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Over time, someone with persistence will outdo someone with talent.” – Daniel Pink
  16. My wife Vanessa and I have 5 kids and you have 3 kids…so we stay busy between our careers and our family. Most of our listeners are also trying to best balance their family and their career, which is why I loved the freeing power of when you wrote in Drive, “So get rid of the unnecessary obligations, time-wasting distractions, and useless burdens that stand in your way.” On a very practical level can you share the best way most people can free themselves from their obligations, time-wasting distractions and useless burdens?
    1. Some of it isn’t a complete waste of time. It is worth trying stuff.
    2. If you get to the event and realize that it is a total waste… Leave!
    3. The key is to try but to get out earlier rather than late
    4. Part of it is a flaw, it is called the “Sunk Cost” fallacy where we decide to keep investing into something because you had already invested in it.
    5. Many business owners told be that the biggest mistake I made in managing my business is that I didn’t fire people soon enough.
    6. You should be able to chalk it up as a learning experience
  1. You wrote in your best-selling book, To Sell is Human, “Finally, at every opportunity you have to move someone—from traditional sales, like convincing a prospect to buy a new computer system, to non-sales selling, like persuading your daughter to do her homework—be sure you can answer the two questions at the core of genuine service. If the person you’re selling to agrees to buy, will his or her life improve? When your interaction is over, will the world be a better place than when you began? If the answer to either of these questions is no, you’re doing something wrong.” Dan, I’d love to have you share what you mean by this?
    1. One of the big reasons I wrote this book is because, the people I met in the business world and especially in sales were different from our idea of the sales team.
    2. Sales used to have more information and seemed to just be a lower level of person.
    3. Now the roads have flipped. You want your client or customer to be better after buying from you.
    4. You want them to say “WOW” at the end of today. This approach has changed from the original view of sales where the team would just try to get as many jobs as possible.
    5. In today’s technological world, if you take the low road, you will be found out. Today the buyer has so much more information about the seller than he does of the buyer.
    6. Oxifresh.com has a substantial amount of reviews and that is how you are to gain rapport in today’s world.
  1. Daniel Pink, your entire approach to sales is the perspective I encourage all of our clients to take, and you wrote, “when both parties view their encounters as opportunities to learn, the desire to defeat the other side struggles to find the oxygen it needs.” Share with us why it’s so important for both parties to view their encounters as opportunities to learn?
    1. One of the things that we miss is that business is not “Zero Sum”
    2. There can be a benefit to both parties in all business negotiation. It is not one winner and one loser. There are many creative ways to be positive sum and not zero sum.
  1. Daniel Pink, you wrote “Pitches that rhyme are more sublime.” What do you mean by this?
    1. There was a research project done where they gave a group of people Proverbs.
    2. One group they gave “Woes Unite Enemies”
    3. One group they gave “Woes Unite Foes”
    4. The proverbs that rhymed people had thought that they were more truthful
  1. Daniel Pink, you have written multiple best-selling books, is there any particular book that you’ve written that you would recommend for all of our listeners to purchase?
    1. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
  1. What does the first four hours of your day look like?
    1. 7:30 Wake up
    2. Go to my office by 8:30 am
    3. If I am writing, I give myself a word count goal that I have to hit. Some days I have to work until 1:00 pm and some 3:00 pm
    4. It takes diligence and persistence to write books and get almost anything done.
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Audio Transcription

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Nervous it this one. Yeah. If you’re going to be introducing Daniel Pink the four time New York Times bestselling author, this intro clay had better be hot. I don’t even know how to begin to introduce this guy. I mean he, he graduated from Yale Law School and 91 he wrote, he’s a speech writer for, for Al Gore. I mean, he’s a four time New York Times bestselling author. I mean, don’t, don’t be overwhelmed by the fact that you got kicked out of Oral Roberts University or that you took Algebra three times a lifted. Do you took the act three times. Just focus on the fact that you, ah, have none of the skills or talents that he has and just, just like I have a po, we don’t get overwhelmed. You just get up. Darren,

ladies and gentlemen, on today’s show, we are interviewing the four time New York Times bestselling author demand. They paid a fake it stuff. Oh, what’s the speech writer? He knows how to write in the streets. The people, the boards, he must grab a pen. Pen, implore peers talk is the art of war. Oh, but you bought the going to blow your mind and you’ll be in boards most sublime. I gonna tell you this name one more time. Daniel pink nose shut up to Yale law school. Classmates 91 Daniel Pinke. And it the don’t know. No

We have a very special guest. It’s not other than my brother from another water before time. New York Times is best selling author Daniel Pink. Mr Pink, how are you sir? I’m very good. Thanks for having me on the show. Clay, I have to ask you, I don’t know that you keep track of this, but how many times have you been a New York Times bestselling author? Oh, I keep track of this man. Okay. How many weeks or how many books? I don’t know how many, how many books have you booked to become New York Times bestsellers for? And with those four books, um, you, you’ve now had this overwhelming success. You’re, you’re so eloquent. There’s so many great interviews. You’ve done so many presentations. Go back to the bottom. Go take me. Take me to the bottom. The very beginning at the genesis of the Daniel Pink career, where do you feel like your career first began to gain some traction? You know, it’s a, I feel honestly, like I’m still gaining traction. Okay. Um, uh, that, you know, and I came to this career in writing it, writing books and, and sort of a weird way. I didn’t really figure out what I wanted to do with my life, what I want it to be when I grew up until, I don’t know, in my early thirties. So I went down a very peculiar path. I, I went to college, I majored in linguistics of all things. I was very interested in social science and especially linguistics is a very mathematical kind of social science. Um, I ended up working in Washington for a little bit, then I went to law school. Uh, really didn’t like it, didn’t want to become a lawyer. Uh, graduated from law school, uh, unemployed, um, have never practiced law and started working in politics. Did that for a while and decided that I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life. And the, the, the, the insight as it came when with this, and I think it’s a lesson for, uh, it was pretty particularly some of your younger listeners out there, there are a lot of people who said, who tell you, you know, you got to find your passion.

What’s your passion? And I, and I hate that question. Um, for me it was a very different question. [inaudible] was this, uh, what do you do? What do you actually do? And for me, from the time it was in college all the way to the time that I was working in politics and had some pretty demanding jobs, I was always quote unquote writing on the side. I was writing newspaper articles and magazine articles and columns and things like that. I did it kind of as a hobby, as weird as that sounds, in the same way that people, you know, Oh, I’ve got my bowling night. Oh, I’m going to go, you know, do you know, do whatever taxidermy, you know, um, and it wasn’t, I don’t know how I came up with bowling and taxidermy, although it’d be Kinda cool if you had a sport where you actually rolled a ball down a lane and you knocked over the little stuffed animals. That would be kind of cool. Um, we’ve got a new, we just invented a new school fort closer, we’ve done together, our first

ABC sports. Um, and so, um, and it wasn’t until I realized that this thing that I was doing on the side was kind of what I should be doing. Um, and so that’s why I like the question, and I’m sorry for such a long winded answer, but that’s why I like the question of, you know, asking like, what do you do? What do you pay attention to? What do you care about when no one’s watching? When you have free time, what is it that you actually do? And I, and I think that, that, um, it’s usually not a super loud voice. It’s a quieter voice. You have to really listen for it. But I think if you follow that voice, uh, you can have a better chance of finding your path.

You in the world of politics. If I am, and again, if I am getting anything incorrect, you to feel free to correct me. Here you are a speechwriter. When you started, am I correct there? Yeah, right. I worked on some campaigns and then in a completely convoluted way became a speechwriter. I’m a speechwriter where you the master orator and I believe you wrote some speeches for Mr Alvin Gore. Um, so I, I did, uh, for several years. So here’s the thing, here’s how I became a writer. All right?

And this is the, the, you know, it wasn’t like, wow, you are so articulate. Wow, look at that sentence you wrote it gleams off the page. That’s not how I became a speechwriter. Here’s how I became a speechwriter. Somewhere along the line someone said, oh crap, we need a speech. And they looked around and they saw me and they knew I could type and they said, pink, can you write a speech? And I said, and this is a very good lesson for your younger listeners out there. I said, yeah, I can do that. Having basically no experience doing it. Yeah, I can do that. And I did it and it didn’t stink. And they said, hey, can you do it again? And I said, I can do that. Can you do it again? And that’s how I became a speechwriter.

When did your first book come out? When did your first best selling book come out?

My, my first book came out in 2001, it was a book called free agent nation and it was about the rise of people working for themselves. Like many of your listeners, people who left large organizations to go out on their own, start a small business, uh, become an independent entrepreneur. And it was really about like, why was it, this is way before the gig economy. Why was this happening? Why were people uh, uh, choosing this path and why were some people are being forced onto it? But, uh, what was it all about and how is it changing the way that we work?

It’s interesting because again, you know, you’re, you’re, how old are you right now there, Daniel Pink? I am 54 years old. Okay. I’m 38 I’m a father of five kids and I am about my oldest daughter. She’s four 14 my son’s 11 and have a daughter that’s nine and then twins that are seven. Okay. All right. And I started my first company out of my dorm room at Oral Roberts University, which is still around. I sold the company, but it was the nation’s largest wedding entertainment company called Dj connection.com and I was in Minnesota and I had a family member who, who’s a family member of mine, who’s very, very successful, who said, I need to read this book free agent economy. Oh really? And I said, bye. Ah, books. I knew about all the Dj music. I do the top 40 you know, I knew about these things.

Scaling a company, thinking about my career free age, it’s down at out. Then I sold DJ connection, kind of a 27-year-old now retired the 27 I didn’t have to work anymore. And I picked up the book. Oh. And so it’s like a message in a bottle that took me years to run. That’s how I first discovered your writing. And I just want to ask you this. It’s because I write books and you write bestselling books. So I want to ask you this. What was the process like of finding an agent that finally understood you and could help you get a book deal that you, you know, felt like made sense?

Yeah, that’s a great question. And um, you know, and I, and I think it’s helpful for aspiring writers to have writers really talk about some of the mechanics. Like what does it, what does it really like? And I’ll tell you how, how, what, what, what happened to me? Uh, I it, for this first book, I had actually written a, I left my job and was out of my own and I had written a magazine story for a magazine called Fast Company about this phenomenon of people, of, of, of what we call it free agents. And, um, and I said, wow, this is so interesting. There’s so much more to write about. I think I want to turn this into a book. So what I did is I took that article, I wrote a short and very bad book proposal and I sent it to, I don’t know, a bunch of agents.

And I found those agents by talking to friends of mine who are writers. Uh, another good way to find agents it is to go into the acknowledgments of books, read the acknowledgments of books because a writer where you usually thank his or her agent. Um, and I sent it to a bunch of agents and I don’t know, maybe that doesn’t and that friends and whatever had recommended and some of them said, Eh, no thanks. Not Interested in this. Oh yeah. A lot of them. Yeah. Uh, and some of them said, this is great, I’ll represent you and let’s have another conversation. And um, there was a one, one agent in particular who called me up and said, this is really interesting. Um, do you want to have coffee, want to have lunch and talk about it? And so I had lunch with him and talked about it and he said, and he basically told me that this is a good idea, poorly executed and I could do it a lot better. And he was so smart and so savvy. I said, this is the guy I want to go with. And um, that, uh, this fellow rapes the gallon has been my agent for 20 years now.

Really? So you guys have had that, that relationship for 20, 20 plus years.

Yeah. And it’s a very, and the writer agent relationship is extraordinarily important because a lot of times in publishing houses, editors come and go, uh, and your agent is your, is, it can be a sounding board. Your agent can be a, uh, your agent certainly is your advocate, uh, not only in getting the contract and negotiating good deal, but also throughout the publishing process. Ah, your agent is very good at understanding the broader contours of the market and this, and so my decision to pick this particular literary agent was one of the best business decisions I have ever made.

You, uh, have you ever written a book from start to finish? That was totally terrible. And once you got to the end of it, you realized what I have just done is I’ve invested 300 pages, hours, 400 outlets, say 4,000 hours and 300 pages into writing peer dribble. This book must not be released. Um, no, but the only reason for that is that I have a technique to avoid being in that, that, that predicament. Because what I do

when I remember in this one instance that I told you, I wrote a pretty bad book proposal. I got better at writing book proposals thanks to the guidance of my agent. And so now for every book that I do, uh, I will write a book. Um, and my book proposals tend to be 30, 40 pages long. Wow. They have, yeah, they have researched, they have footnotes. It describes what the book is about, why nobody else has written it, why I’m the perfect person to write it, who’s the market for this thing, how I’m going to organize it. And in a, here’s the, and here’s the thing, clay. There have been several times when in the course of writing that proposal, I said, holy smokes, this stinks or holy smokes, this is not interesting enough to spend the next several years of my life on. And so I didn’t get to the point where I had written 300 pages. I use that 30 to 40 page book proposal as a way to kind of road test it. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a prototype of sorts. It’d be like, here’s the thing, like, I don’t know, you were, you were, you were in college, did you have a business plan for your business?

Um, it was interesting. I had a plan, but it was a drawing.

Okay. That’s it. That’s actually really interesting. Um, that’s a, that’s that’s super interesting. So, so in some sense it’s sort of a book proposal, sort of like a business plan. You can write a business plan and say, oh my God, the numbers don’t add up. Oh my God, this market is a lot smaller than I thought. Oh my God, 18 other entities have already done this. And say, wow, that was a good exercise because it avoided me starting a business. It would have been a mistake. It’s similar for me in book proposals.

Now what I want to do is I want to take the listeners through sort of a highlight reel as a DJ. All Times you buy a CD and it’s got like back in the day you buy a CD, you have like the best of the eagles. Sure. You know, like the best of the Doobie brothers. The best of, once you got to the, to the part of your career where the, where you were starting to book Casino Gigs, you know, the Dell journey is now at a casino of the Doobie brothers. Once you got to that phase, I actually majority fan. Okay, so once you get to the casino phase of your career, you realize what we got to do. Let’s do a best of album. Let me, Garth Brooks from Oklahoma here, he’s been doing a best of every year at Walmart for I think about a decade now.

So in your book drive on to go to the best of this is an interesting, it’s the best job with an author who still putting out current relevant stuff in your book drive you right grades become a reward for compliance but don’t have to do but don’t have much to do with learning. Meanwhile, students whose grades don’t measure up often see themselves as failures and give up trying to learn. I am a person, took Algebra three times, I took my act three times. I used to stutter as a kid and now I’ve been approached to syndicate our show we’ve been doing for six years. And so it, I think anybody out there who got beat up in school and started to see themselves as a failure can resonate with and can connect with what you just said, break down why you wrote that and what that means to you.

Yeah. So that book drive is a, is about the science of motivation and what what really motivates people. And one of the things that, that, that, that, that happens especially in schools is that, um, what, well, here’s what we know about motivation in general. One of the greatest motivators in, in that people have this intrinsic motivator is knowing why you’re doing something and making progress in doing it. And so in our schools, um, many schools are so incredibly great conscious that grades are about the grades or the point of the exercise. Grades ought to be feedback on your performance and some ways that you can get better. And so what happens is, is that the kids who are, you know, more or less good at school, which is a very peculiar ability. Kids who are good at school or just totally compliant, they know what you need to do to get the grade.

And kids who are less good at school get up, they get bad grades and think that they don’t have the capacities. They don’t have what Carol Dweck, the Stanford psychologist calls a growth mindset. And so for you and Algebra, there is no doubt in my mind having talked to you for 11 minutes, that you can master that, that the young, you could have mastered Algebra. It was just, it was just basically you didn’t have, you weren’t in a setting that was prizing learning. It was pricing performance and let, let, let me actually make a simpler, a simpler way to describe this aisle. I’ll talk about me. All right. I was actually a pretty good student in school because when I went to school, you know, if you gave the authority figure what he or she wanted on time and neatly, you could do pretty well. And so let me give you an example of French.

All right? I took French for six years, four years in high school, two years in college. I got straight A’s in French every marking period I got straight A’s in French. But here’s the thing, clay, I can’t speak French. Why? Because I was going for it. The grade, not the learning. I could conjugate verbs, I could get the answers right on vocabulary quizzes. But that’s, I was doing the French for the grade. And one of the things that we know about the psychology of motivation is that performance goals that is getting an a in French don’t always and often do not lead to learning goals, mastering French. So I had a purely performance goal and that doesn’t lead to a learning goal. If I had been smarter and I wish that I had been, I would have focused on learning French. I would’ve learned French and probably would have done just fine on the test.

There was a Napoleon hill quote that sent me free. I was probably 19 there, Daniel Pink. And it’s said that failure is a prerequisite to success. Sure. And I was cold calling out of my oral Roberts University dorm room, Boeing ups, huge companies trying to convince them to book me for their Christmas party, you know, and uh, I’m going, failure is a prerequisite to success. Okay. So I have to fail and I’ll fix my script and then, you know, I had to see it as a prerequisite. And in your book the adventures of Johnny Bunko. Yep. The last career guide you’ll ever need, you wrote it Kinda, it’s kind of like a taking Napoleon hill to the next level. You wrote persistence trumps talent. What’s the most powerful force in the universe? Compound interest. It builds on itself. Over time a small amount of money becomes a large amount of money. Persistence is similar. A little bit improves performance, which encourages greater persistence, which improves persistence even more. I ran it, a highlighter juice right there. I ran a highlighter juice and I’m just like, Oh God, I gotta get up on this show. It’s a, walk me through that quote is so good.

I think this is fundamental and it’s something that I wished someone had told me earlier in my life. It’s something that I discovered later in my life that is, um, and it goes to, there’s some know there’s some very, I’ll come back to the research on this, but let me tell you what the idea is. Um, uh, we have in some ways oversold the importance of great talent, um, that, uh, and, and being a quote unquote natural. And the truth of the matter is, talent’s still matters. And there is such a thing as innate talent and innate ability, but it matters far less, I believe. Then we think that it does. And what really matters is showing up and being persistent and making that a hundred and third call and making that a hundred and fourth call and making that a hundred and fifth call.

And what I have seen as a writer, and actually it’s, it’s interesting because I’m making a connection I might not have made earlier. Remember how I talked about I was a writing on the side. All right. And I think a reason for that, I haven’t thought a lot about this. It really just occurring to me right now. I think a reason for that was that I didn’t consider myself a very talented writer. It was something I’d like to do, but I didn’t consider myself a huge writing talent. Uh, and what I discovered about writing and basically every human endeavor is that, um, like I sort of early in people’s working lives, you know, it seems like, oh my gosh, that person is so talented. He or she is going to do really, really great. Um, and I’m just a piker. But what I’ve seen is that many, many talented people go nowhere because they don’t persist.

They don’t put in the time, they don’t endure the failure. They don’t show up every day. And people with less innate ability over time who have, uh, you know, uh, persistence will outperform them. And so if you gave me a choice and, and in the book, Johnny, but the Johnny Bunko book, We, we, uh, uh, the one of the characters, Diana takes them to a casino where you can bet on people. And so you can have, you know, so you take two people early in their lives. One is, is very talented, but not persistent. One is moderately talented, but extremely persistent. I’m betting everything on that second person, everything on the second person. Um, because showing up persistence and during failure ends up being a better predictor of success than innate ability.

You have so many bombs per capita. When I go through and edit the show, I’m going to have to just marinate on this rotisserie style for several, several days. I want to ask you this because, and Andrew, you know, this is, you’re taking the show notes here. You know, I never want to try to one up a, a guest. This is never would want to do it, but this is what I thought about. I thought, you know, I have five kids and Daniel, I think you have three, right Daniel Pink. Okay. Um, you know, but Dan though, he’s written four best selling books and I have written zero, but, but I’m, I’m, I’m, do you know what I mean? I’m, do. I have built multiple multimillion dollar companies, six, I don’t know how many you’ve built, but you seem to be the wiser man. Know how no matter how many will you have these, these notable quotables that are powerful and it seems like I’ll read a little line and it’s like three lines and it changes my year. So I’m gonna read a notable quotable from the book drive. Okay. Talk to me. That changed my year. All right. And uh, so I give you the mega points. You, you win. Here we go. So, so get rid of the unnecessary obligations, the time wasting distractions and useless burdens that stand in your way. Here’s where I was when I read that. What, what year did that come out? Do you remember what your drive came out?

I think that was 2005

there we go. See, I sold DJ connection 2000 in like 2008 I think I sold DJ connection 2008 nine. So it was like right in that window. But I read this and I’m going, I am the head of the Tulsa Bridal Association. It was like a wedding show, you know, organization. I’m going, why? Like how many leads do I get by networking with other wedding vendors? I mean, honestly, let’s look at that. And I’m going, ah, I, I would rather spend the time, it was one meeting a week, the 52 hours a year. I’d rather just buy a billboard or a mailer. I free myself. And there was so many things where I said, why, why am I doing, why am I going to that networking group? Why Daniel Pink, why do we get all so caught up in these unnecessary obligations? And where do you see most entrepreneurs wasting their time?

Well, so, okay, so, so some of it is not a complete waste of time. Okay. That’s, it goes up because, because I don’t, I’ll tell you why. Because we do, we do make mistakes in this round two and it’s worth trying stuff. Okay. So, so you, you could have gone to this, that association, that whatever the club and, and said, hey, this isn’t, this might work out. You get there and you realize, oh my God, this is a total waste. The mistake that people make is that they keep going after some, they say stick with something that they know isn’t a warrior’s Dan six years. Yeah. And so I think that the key is to try stuff, but, uh, get out, uh, earlier rather than late. And I see this in a number of different realms. I mean, part of it is a, is a, is a flaw in the way we think there is this, there’s, uh, there’s uh, something called the sunk cost fallacy where we feel like if we’ve invested in something then, so, so let’s say, you know, we, we buy, we buy, buy, buy tickets to a basketball game and uh, on the night of the game it’s raining and you feel like you feel terrible and don’t want to go.

You say, well, I, I need to go on the tickets. I spent money on the tickets. But the truth is, it’s like whether you go or not, you’re still going to have spent money on the tickets. That’s, that’s a sunk cost fallacy. And so what we do is we deepen our commitment to things that, that don’t really matter what we need to be doing in many cases. And I see this in many realms of businesses or one boss, um, uh, that I saw. And you say your entrepreneurs and maybe you yourself, clay, I have had this experience, uh, told me, he says, the biggest mistake I made in, you know, in managing my business is that, um, uh, I always kept the pitcher in too long. That is, I didn’t fire people soon enough. I knew it was a mistake. I knew this picture was going to keep getting hit, but it didn’t pull the picture uh, early enough. And I know, and I think that we should have that kind of, it’s, it’s, it’s interesting we want to be able to experiment and test stuff, but we have to be able to say, you know what, that is a noble failure and I’m going to chalk it up to experience and information and feedback and move on.

That right there is something that somebody needed to hear. If you’re, if you’re headed down the path of certain defeats, there’s no need to continue going. Just pivot. Make the change. You know, your, your book, you wrote the book so many books, but the to sell is human to sell is human. In that book you wrote, if the person you’re selling to agrees to buy, will his or her life improve when your interaction is over? Will the world be a better place than when you began a, if the answer to either of these questions is no, then you’re doing something wrong. A total, I mean by this.

Well, I mean, here’s the thing. I wrote that book to sell is human for a couple of reasons. Number one, and one of the big reasons was that I had in, in writing about business, I hadn’t met a lot of people who were in sales and they were nothing like the stereotype. We have this view of people, uh, up sales as sleazy and dishonest and duplicitous and not that sharp. And in fact, the people I met who were in sales, we’re super sharp. They were very smart. They were very good at what they did. And it got me thinking about how sales has changed over the last several years. A sales used to be a world where the seller always had more information than the buyer. That’s a world of buyer beware. Right? Why do we have buyer beware? Because sellers had the edge and information, but now there’s so much information out there that they’re at an even playing field.

We’re now in a world of seller beware. And so what sellers have to do more and more is take the high road. And I think for long term sales success, what you want is you want your client or customer to be better off because they bought from you. You’re not just trying to hit your numbers, they’re not just numbers on a wall. And so for you, let’s say take your wedding business and the DJ business, what want is you want? I think that you want, I think good entrepreneurs want this. Hire you as a DJ at their wedding and and have people and the bride and groom say, wow, that DJ was so good, he helped make this an unforgettable day.

That is definitely what we wanted. I would say that my whole, I told everybody, all my djs are, our whole theme is you want to take every event and take it from ordinary to extraordinary because every wedding is somebody’s big day.

Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that that having, that’s kind of standard, it’s not saying, Oh wow, we got to do three more deals this month. You know, what can we, what can we, what can we hustle up? I think that taking that approach over the long run is better. Um, it’s, it’s better morally, no question. But I actually think that it’s better business. It’s, it’s better business to have that kind of high road mentality. And the other thing about it is that there’s a pragmatic reason for it because today in a world of TripAdvisor and Yelp and Linkedin, you know, if you take the low road, you’re going to get found out and people are going to talk about it. And so one of the things when we think about selling a product or service or idea ourself or anything, we have to recognize, we’ve gone from, we’re in a very new world in the last 10 years, 15 years ago, 20 years ago, the seller of anything had, you know, uh, versus the buyer. The buyer had the buyer of anything, had less information than the seller. Uh, not many choices. And no way to talk back today. Buyers have lots of information as much as the sellers, lots of choices and all kinds of ways to talk back. And I think that changes the nature of what sales is and forces us much more to the high road, forces us in in some ways to use your language, clay, to go from ordinary to extraordinary.

I, uh, for the listeners out there that want proof of this, you know, one of the brands that I talked about on the show a lot that I’m involved in help, help the work with is called Oxi fresh. And it’s, uh, the world’s cleanest, the carpet cleaner, Dan, we have 319 96 locations now, franchises all over the country. And uh, we hit today 147,000 Google reviews. So if somebody types in, oh my God, yeah. If he gets the most reviewed company in the world, seriously. So if you type in carpet cleaning quotes on your computer, Dan, or on any computer out there, you know, we come up top and uh, we could, I could sit there and say that, but you know, every show is transcribed. Every show is downloaded by a lot of people and people read the reviews. They just do. And it doesn’t matter if, you know, if you’re going to have something come to clean your house or come clean your hotel, you’re going to read those reviews.

And that wasn’t a thing back in [inaudible] 99 that wasn’t a thing in 2001. That’s why I think that this book that you wrote many years ago, what year did you write to sell is human? 2013. I’m looking this up right now. This is incredible. You see that? I see two different things. I see 149,139 reviews. So I lied to you by 2000 short. It grows all the time. Uh, we have a haircut chain called elephant in the room that I own. It’s a men’s grooming lounge and you type in Tulsa men’s haircuts, you’ll find us. And we have like, I want to say 30 times more reviews than our nearest competitor or are 20 times. I mean, it just, you know, if you treat people right, people read those reviews and it’s just, this is your book is actually becoming a, my opinion more relevant every year. And in this book you wrote, you said when both parties view their encounter as opportunities to learn the desire to defeat the other side struggles to find the oxygen it needs. Oh, I’m not into tattoos. I know a lot of millennials are, a lot of listeners are, would you be opposed to a millennial tattooing an entire arm sleeve with that quote? That’s a good quote, Dan. What does it thanks. Thanks. But here’s the thing. You know, one of the things that

I think we missed, I think good entrepreneurs know this, uh, I think, uh, a very, uh, narrow and, and kind of twisted view of business views business as zero sum. If I win, you have to lose. And the truth is is that most encounters are not zero sum there positive sum. And so this is one of the things about about negotiation. Whenever I’m in a negotiation I say, what does the other side won? How can I help the other side? When, how can I help the other side get what it wants and not thinking of it as, oh my God, one of us is going to win and one of us is going to lose. And it doesn’t have to say in negotiations of anything can be contentious. And it’s not like, you know, you don’t want to be a pushover, but if you start the IV, if you realize that there are many creative ways for it, for encounters and, and I think inherently in many business and counters to be positive, some rather than zero son, unfortunately there’s a certain strain of business thinking that says, hmm,

this is war. We’re trying to defeat people. You know, that’s the wrong way to do it. Crushed him and then get a good Google review, get a bright rip people off, fleece them and then, you know, send them an annoying anonymous. He sent them an annoying, impersonal, personal email asking for a review. All right. All right. Now you have, I have two final questions for you, but you have, you have two degrees. You got to get a degree from Yale law school, which I believe Daniel Pink, do they still just give those out to anybody? Is that just sort of like a, it’s pretty much, there’s a patient, there’s like a vending machine. You put an order in. It’s like those old,

I dunno if you remember those. I don’t know if they still even have him, but I used to love them when I was a kid. You put a quarter into this vending machine, you get this like little mini NFL helmet.

Oh, that was, that was when America was America. Really? That’s the Babylon. That was the dream. That was the dream to it.

To ask your mom or dad at the grocery store if they could give you a quarter for one of those, and when they said yes and you’re just thinking,

ah, that would surpass your desire for candy for at least a day. You’re like, I got the helmet candy anymore. Totally cause the helmets there the next day. The candy’s. That’s right. That was the deeper thinking. I didn’t have available that in my early eighties. So law school degree from Yale Law School, Northwestern University. So you’ve, you know, you’ve done some thinking and so here is a Daniel pink thought that makes us all think pitches that rhyme are more sublime.

Oh, oh 10 break it down. But here’s the thing. Uh, so this is based on some really interesting research. Uh, I’ll tell you about the research. Here’s what they did. They got their participants, they got a bigger people. They divided them into two groups and they said, we’re going to give you some proverbs and what we want you to do is tell us how accurate these proverbs are in describing the human condition. So one group, they said, um, they get, they gave ’em a proverbs. Uh, uh, I’m trying to think of what, what they, what they might’ve been okay. Uh, woes, unite enemies woes, United enemies and the other group, they gave woes. Unite foes. All right. Um, and so in one case there, it’s the same idea, right? Woes, unite enemies, woes, unite foes, um, uh, uh, uh, caution. And one of them was cautioned in measure will when you riches.

The other one was caution and measure will when you treasure. All right? So they’re identically identical in their content. And what they were looking at is, did, did these groups think that these proverbs accurately describe the human condition? And it turned out that the proverbs that rhymed people took more seriously. They thought they were more accurate. They thought that they were more insightful. And what’s going on here is it rhymes, increase what linguists call processing fluency. The message goes down easier. And so, um, and so, you know, rhyming pitches are, and, and, and rhymes in general are incredibly powerful in getting people not only to remember something, but also to believe it.

I want to give you a rap name if you’re okay with it. Pink, Pink Panther. Think about that. You, yeah, we might have a trademark. We met our copyright or trademark problem there. Well, here’s the deal. I’ll just record a freestyle pink panther rap for you. I’ll send it to you if you want. We use it. That’s great. I like all of a sudden I, I commit to you. I will do that. A former Dj Wilson at the Pink Panther, Andrew put in the show notes. I cannot tell a lie on the shovel. Send it to you. Just hit delete immediately when you get it, if you need to. I respect that. Now, final question I have for you are very intentional guy. You have a family, you’ve got kids. Ah, you’ve got a lot of people reaching out to every day, you know, people wanting to book you for a speaking event. You’ve got a lot of social media. I’m sure if you ever take an opinion about anything, someone gets upset, people are happy. How do you stay intentional? How do you organize those first four hours of your day and what time do you wake up?

Okay. Um, I am, I’m more of a lark and then an owl, but I don’t wake up. It’s insanely early. I usually wake up between seven and seven 30. Uh, on writing days. I tried to get to my office by eight 30. Fortunately, my office is the garage behind my house, so I have a 22 step commute community, not riding days. I’m very, very intentional. Uh, what I do, clay is this, I come into my office by eight 30 and depending on where I am in a particular project, I give myself a word count. Uh, 600 words, 800 words, um, every once in a thousand words, but usually less than that, maybe 600, 700 words. And that is my job that day, that morning. And I don’t bring my phone into the office. I don’t open up my email. Um, I don’t do anything until I hit that number.

Um, uh, and so, uh, sometimes I hit the number by 10 30, 11 other times, not till noon. Other Times one or two are on horrible days, three. But for me, that’s how I maintain the intentionality on writing days. I have a quota that I have to hit. I treat writing the way I would treat like a, like a, a job like brick lane. What’s my job? I come in and I lay some fricking bricks. What do I do in the next day? I come in and lay some more bricks. What do I do the next day I come in, fix the bricks that are now out of line and then lay some more bricks. And to me that’s the discipline it takes two to write and it goes back to our idea of persistence and trumping talent. Um, there were a lot of people who just aren’t willing to show up and aren’t willing to do the work. And if you show up and do the work in general, you’re going to be fine

asking you to pick your favorite book is, I’m sure like asking you to pick your favorite child or, so what is the, what is a book though? One of the books that you’d say if all the listeners out there, what entrepreneurs are saying, you know what, I’ve heard a lot about this guy. I liked today’s interview. I’d like to check out one of his books. I’m just a click away on Amazon. What’s, what’s the book you’d say? That’s a good entry into the Dan pink experience. Yeah, that’s it. That sounds like an amusement park or like a Disney ride. Uh, the pick experience. Um, the, I dunno, actually, I, you know, I think the latest one, the book a book called win about the science of timing is, is pretty fresh really. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s just out in paperback and, um, and I think that a lot of the ideas in there are really, really fresh. It’s stuff and research that a lot of people don’t know about and there are all kinds of tools and tips and takeaways in there for business people.

Daniel Pink, I appreciate you more than you, you know, for coming on here. I know you’re rebounding from a cold. I know your intent and an intentional guy. I know you’re a married guy, you got a lot of things you could be doing, a lot of places you can be seen. But thank you for believing in our listening audience enough to come on the show and, and uh, uh, share some words of wisdom. It has been a pleasure being with you. I’ve clay, I actually really enjoyed it. You know, Jason, I think that, uh, Daniel Pink actually enjoyed the interview. Do you think, so did you, did you feel like you enjoyed the interview or is he just, is he just telling me what I need to hear today to make it through yet another tough day in the world of adversity called entrepreneurship? He seemed very genuine.

I agree. He’s, he’s a great author, a great communicator, and a great dude. Now I would ask you this, what was maybe one or two takeaways that you got from today’s show that you thought really were just, I was literally typing and then you started typing faster than me, but why persistence trumps talent? Cause as soon as he said that, that was the biggest knowledge about for me it was persistence trumping talent. I 100% agree with you. And I also like, it was a little kind of a side note. I love, I love, he’s talking about how selling where if you sell your product to consumers, they should be better off as a result of buying your product or service or you shouldn’t be selling it. Yes. And that’s my entire philosophy and that’s why I’ve never been attracted to selling drugs or things that would actually make somebodies life worse.

You know, I love the idea that you can sell something and make somebody’s life better. I loved that. I loved the idea that persistence, Trump talent every time. I also love when he talked about how to rhyme is sublime. Oh yeah. Because things do get stuck in your head when they run. Oh, for sure. On this guy, I’m, you probably have to listen to the show two or three times thrive nation, but I would encourage you today to ask yourself and what areas of your business are you not being persistent enough and what areas of your life are you just not being persistent enough? Because Daniel pink talked about that. He says, a lot of people start off their career with a lot of talent. People think they’re going to go dominate, but over time, over a 10 year, 20 year period, he’s discovered through his career and I’ve seen in my career that the people who are simply the most persistent all ways when and as always, if you learned something today, if you liked anything, if you learned something, if you laughed, if he had a good time, I would encourage you to share today’s show with somebody in your family.

Think about who do you know that you could share today’s show with via text or Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or or maybe you want to share via megaphone. Maybe you feel called to go out into the parking lot of a prominent to retail environment and to Yale. The phrase thrive time show. In fact, I feel as though there’s somebody out there right now who wants to do this. Something inside you is making you want to drive to the center of a very, very busy thriving intersection in the middle of, in the middle of a metropolitan area where there’s a lot of people congregating

and you want to begin to chant the phrase thrive time show. Because in your mind you can picture this going so she could see the crowd getting behind within in the distance. Oh No. It looks as though you’re actually inciting a riot. And then all of a sudden you begin to feel as though you’re a pro us southern border wall supporter, south of the border south, where there would be wall with B, and you’re dressed up like Donald Trump, and you’re wearing the Trump wig and he’s going to attack it out and you have a tee shirt on. It says from Mexico will pay for the wall and here comes an angry God and you’re covering in Baghdad. Luckily, do not make that mistake. And inst,ead you shared today show via text, email, or social media. My name is clay Clark, reminding you, don’t incite a riot, but share today’s show. Three, two, one, boom.

 

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