How to Write a Book | Interview With 5 New York Times Best-Selling Authors: Seth Godin, Daniel Pink, John Maxwell, Mark Manson & Robert Greene +, & Success Stories

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Audio Transcription

Some shows don’t need a celebrity narrator to introduce the show, but this show does. In a world filled with endless opportunities, why would two men who have built 13 multi-million dollar businesses altruistically invest five hours per day to teach you the best practice business systems and moves that you can use? Because they believe in you, and they have a lot of time on their hands. They started from the bottom, now they’re here. It’s the Thrive Time Show, starring the former U.S. Small Business Administration’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Clay Clark, and the entrepreneur trapped inside an optometrist’s body, Dr. Robert Zimmer. Two men, eight kids co-created by 2 different women. 13 multi-million dollar businesses. We started from the bottom, now we’re here. We started from the bottom, and we’ll show you how to get here. Started from the bottom, now we’re here. We started from the bottom, now we’re here. We took life, started from the bottom, and now we’re at the top. Teaching you the systems to get what we got. Colton Dixon’s on the hooks, I break down the books. See, bringing some wisdom and the good news As a father of five, that’s why I’m alive So if you see my wife and kids, please tell them hi It’s the C and Z, I’ll call your radio And now, 3, 2, 1, here we go! We started from the bottom, now we’re here We started from the bottom and we’ll show you how to get here We started from the bottom, now we’re here We started from the bottom, now we’re here We started from the bottom, now we’re here Yes, yes, yes, and yes! Thrive Nation on today’s show, we’re talking about how to write a book. Now we could do an entire podcast about how to sell a book, how to become a best-selling author and on today’s part two, three, four, five, and six of today’s show, we are going to feature interviews with five New York Times best-selling authors, as well as two, actually three, ongoing Thrive Time Show consulting clients, clients that we have worked with or that we worked with for a long period of time. So the point of today’s show is how to write a book. We’re gonna teach you how to write a book, but I also want you to hear from people that have actually written a bestselling book. And if you write a book, it turns out you have to sell a book if you wanna become a bestselling author of a book. So step one when writing a book, Devin, what is the first step here, the first step on how to write a book? Step one, write the title, subtitle, and table of contents. Right. And people say, well, how? Eventually, somebody has to just sit down and write the book. So I typically just block out time, and I don’t know if this is a controversial idea for people out there. It’s time where I turn my phone off, I tell my wife, I tell my kids, I tell myself, I tell everyone, don’t talk to me and I’m gonna write my book. And I find that if I start writing around 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. and I write until 7, nobody even talks to me anyway. So that’s the big thing right there. Everything else we’re gonna talk about here is completely meaningless if you’re not willing to block out the time. And so per page of a book, it’s about an hour per page. So a 200 page book, 200 hours. 100 page book, 100 hours. 300 page book, 300 hours. Hopefully I’m communicating this idea. Okay, so step one, you write the title, the subtitle, the table of contents, and step two, Devon? Write a stream of consciousness version of the book with no editing. Yeah and I just recommend you just write that thing and people say do you sit down with someone to interview you? No. Someone says do you write it verbally and transcribe it? No. I actually write the book. I type it out. That’s what I do. Someone says well I’ve heard there’s companies out there that will sit down with you and interview you and then they’ll turn it into a book. That’s great and there’s companies that do that. That’s not what I do though. I actually write the book. And the people that I’m interviewing on part two, three, four, five, and six of today’s show, they write their books too. But there are companies out there, you can pay them right now typically $30,000 to sit down and then they will interview you. I know a few companies that do it for 20,000, but they’ll sit down, Devin, and they’ll ask you about your life and how you grew up and what’s going on. And then they take the book and then they write the book based upon those interviews. And usually the people that pay to have those kinds of books written usually never read the book that was written. But the good news is most people that buy books don’t read the books either. So it’s just a cycle of jackassery. And just so we’re clear, I’ve had some very, very long time friends of mine, clients of mine, they’ve said, Clay, I love your book on time management. That book is incredible. And I say, you like that book? Oh, it’s incredible. I love it. And I said, you went to and you bought the book? They go, dude, that book is awesome. I go, OK, what did you like most about it? Now, I don’t do this too much, but sometimes I’ll just say, what would you like about it? They’re gonna went to thrive They clicked on shop now they found the book and And and they’ll say oh, well, you know just the idea of the time management just managing the time I like that and I go so you you read the book on time management. Oh, yeah I really do like the book and you so so you you would you like most about it? Well, just the idea of the time managing overall. I mean that just has to be done. And I go, okay, you didn’t read the book, and I didn’t read the book. So the art of getting things done is the book that people often tell me they’ve read. Start Here is a book that’s been classified by Amazon as a bestseller. But again, I write books that specifically are designed for entrepreneurs to read to improve their lives. I’m not writing a book for most people. And James, what I found in America today is you have 330 million Americans, and James, according to, according to, this is real-time data, folks. They add it all up, real-time data. How many people, James, are self-employed right now, according to James, you got to see that right there. Do you see it ever? Oh, nine million. How specifically? Nine million forty nine thousand six hundred and fifty four. Right. And according to Inc. Magazine, 96 percent of business owners fail. And Devin, you know why? Ninety six percent of business owners fail, according to Inc. Magazine and other publications. They’re not consistent. Yeah, they don’t want to study how to become successful. I would never start a company that goes into bankruptcy. I’m just not going to do it. But again, a lot of people are more passive. They want to watch Netflix, whatever, water flows downhill, it’s easier, whatever’s the easy path, looking for the easy way out. My books are written for people that are wanting the proven path to be successful. So if you want to learn how to optimize a website, and I don’t think most people do, but if you do, I’ve written a book on search engine optimization and about once a month someone will tell me hey, dude I read that book and it was awesome and I’ve optimized that’s great But it’s not like again being on me a becoming a best-selling author is a different subject than becoming an author So let’s continue. Okay, so step three after you’ve written the book stream of consciousness step three What go to sleep and wait a week? Important, I mean you go to sleep what you can go to sleep and wait a day But I find that after you revisit what you wrote, James, what do you think is going to happen on step three? After you’ve revisited what you wrote? You’re going to edit it to become better. Yeah, so I just finished a book right now I’m working on here, and the working title is called Habitual Wealth. Habitual Wealth, that’s the working title. What do I mean working title? I mean the book, it’s being written right now, but I’m probably going to change the title a little bit. So it’s called A Millionaire’s Guide to Creating Habitual Wealth. But then the subtitle is The Proven Practical Plan for Achieving Financial Freedom. That’s what it is. But again, I might change the title. But again, after I looked at it, I wrote it, I wrote the book, I wrote the last three weeks I was writing the book. Then I looked at it again, and Devin, what do you think I found? Probably a lot of errors. Right, so I fixed the errors. Okay, so step four, you, what Devin? Read your book and edit it to be grammatically correct. Step number five, Devin? Edit book to be better. Right, step number six? Go to sleep and wait a week. Oh yeah, now you don’t have to wait a week. I recommend you wait a day, but you go back. And again, my wife and I have a unique relationship, and so we have, it works for us, but I just like to tell her, hey, I will not be reachable all, it’s great, it’s like the 80s. Like my head won’t explode if she can’t reach me and I can’t reach her during the day. So I just say between the hours of like, you know, 1 a.m. and 5 p.m., I won’t be reachable. Because you know why? I’m gonna write a book. And you know when she wrote her book called Now I See, you know what I told her to do, Devin? Wake up at 1 a.m. and write the book? What do you think I did, Devon? We have five kids. I said… You said lock yourself in a room and just do nothing but write the book. Yeah, so I think we checked her into the Renaissance Hotel off of 169 and 71st. I said, just spend your day writing Now I See and don’t talk to me during the day. Don’t call me. Don’t check on me. Don’t talk to anyone. Just write the book. It’s like you’re in a jail and you can’t get out until you write your book. And she did. She wrote the book in a couple days and every night she would come home and tell us about her day. But we dropped her off and I wouldn’t see her all day. It’s crazy. No one died. I didn’t have to text her to see, are you alive? We made it. Okay. So we’re moving, and now we’re on to step number seven. Step number seven. Edit book to be better. Step number eight. Go to sleep and wait a week. Step number nine. Edit book to be better. Step number 10. Go to sleep and wait a week. Step number 11. Edit book to be better. And by the way, I’m putting all these on the show notes. Okay. Step number 12. Go to sleep and wait a week step number 13 edit book to be better step number 14 Go to sleep and wait a week. There we go And per page it should take you one hour right not less than an hour and people like what’s the shortcut? There’s no shortcut. I talked to so many people like well. I want to write a book I’m just not good at writing, but you’re not a writer Clay I want to be a fitness model, but I’m not in shape then you’re not a model I want to be good at football but I don’t play I don’t like to throw the ball. Then you’re not a football player. I want to be an author but I don’t want to write. Then you’re not a writer. Come on. Don’t be a jackass. Sit down write your book. Okay. So we continue. So now step number 15. What? Have the book professionally edited for grammar. That’s gonna cost you around how much? $2,500. Now again that’s what a professional charges typically. Now, why is a professional going to charge you $2,500, Devin, $2,500 to read a book that’s 250 pages? Please tell me. Oh, $100 per page. Why? Because they can do that. Come on, keep going. Come on. Because the time it takes… It takes them about a… An hour per page. Right. And they’re not going to have a ton of clients. So they’re going to charge about $100 per page. So it says well, I want just gonna use AI fine Use a go for it have fun with that. Okay, so now step number 16, you’re gonna Edit book wait step number 16. Yeah. Yeah edit book to be better even after someone’s professionally edited. Yes Why that’s what every single book I have every single book. I have no matter how many times it’s been edited Someone says hey, did you know on page 14 here book the word the is spelled wrong. I go, yeah, I could see that. I think you should probably check that before you put it out, right? So the books, the 24 books that I’ve written, I believe are a lot better than the books that people who have not written have written. The 25 books that I’ve written, I’d rather have the 24 books out that I’ve written than not have books out because I’m waiting for perfect because perfection is the enemy of done. Every time. Perfection is the enemy of done. Just get it done. Okay. Now step number 17, Devyn. Go to sleep and wait a week. Oh man. Step number 18. Create a book cover. Now this is where we’re gonna start selling books. Is it okay if we transition into how to become a best-selling author? Yes. How to become a best-selling author, which I’ve done a couple times but I just want to make sure we’re on the same page. So step 18 is what? Create a book cover. Clay, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But people do! They do. No, you shouldn’t. Well, they do. Yeah. They do? They do. Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t know if they do. They do. I don’t like it. This is not fair. This is nasty. This is why the world is so gross and just crazy. If the world wasn’t like this today, then people would be… We have better candidates for elections, and we would just be better off if people wouldn’t judge and people would… great I agree awesome meanwhile people do judge a book by its cover right okay so Michael Levine best-selling author of many many books by the way the guy represented 34 Grammy award-winning artists 43 New York Times bestsellers he has this thing called the Tiffany theory and the Tiffany theory is all about branding. And branding is such a big thing because if you understand the Tiffany theory, then all of a sudden branding and it becomes very easy to grasp this idea. We as a culture today, we as a culture, we gift wrap everything. We can gift wrap toilet paper, we gift wrap presents, we gift wrap politicians. It’s just, that’s how it is, okay? So again, I’m going to read this to you. This is from Michael Levine. This is the top PR guy in the world. He says, the Tiffany theory states that a gift delivered in a box from Tiffany’s will have a higher perceived value than one in no box or a box or a plane box. That’s not because the recipient is a fool. It is because in our society we gift wrap everything. Our politicians, our corporate heads, our movie and TV stars, and even our toilet paper. Public relations is like gift wrapping. Now I’m going to ask you this question, Devin, it’s offensive, but I’m going to ask you a question. Have you ever met a really handsome man and or a beautiful woman who was an idiot, but who scored favoritism because they were an attractive person? Have you ever seen this happen? I have. You have? Yes. Okay, let me tell you a story. I was in college. There was a person I knew who was an idiot. She was attractive. Everybody liked her. Yeah. Until you met her. And when they met her, they’re like, yeah, but she’s misunderstood. When you used to be the homecoming queen, it’s hard to relate to normal. You’re trying to tell me it’s hard for me to relate to you because she was the homecoming queen? No, I’m serious. And she was built like a, looked like a, talked like a model, but her whole life was dumb. But everyone was like, oh, she should be in charge. You know, so I watched, I’m serious, you know, and they have the freshmen, the sophomore, they put her in charge of the wing. She should be in charge of the wing. Why? Because she’s beautiful. People even today leave comments about her on social media. She’s so beautiful. What? What did she do to deserve being born like that? I don’t know. And she would like just be ridiculous. Have you met these people, James? I know exactly what you’re talking about. Someone can throw a football, foo, because the score on touchdown, can’t have a conversation. Right. All of a sudden, like, this person should be in charge. What? If you haven’t read the book called Lord of the Flies, Lord of the Flies, it’s about this idea. Have you read this book James? I have not. Lord of the Flies is a book about a bunch of kids that get marooned on an island. Have you read this book? I have. And they decide to put the handsome kid Jack in charge and things get crazy from there. Because Jack was a handsome kid who’s in charge, who’s good at sports. So our whole culture does that. Yeah. So people, and I’m not attacking anybody who happens to be president now or who was president in the past, but a lot of times people say That guy was a pretty good actor. He should become president.” What? And then they just give them a hall pass because they’re good at speaking. Right. So you look through the history of our presidents, both Republican and Democrat, the ones who are good at speaking, people are like, oh yeah, I get behind that. They’re like, bro, do you recognize that homeboy voted exactly against what he said he’s for? Well, I’m not going to look at what they do, I just watch what they say. What? So it’s just a little bit of that jackassery. So you got to have a great book cover. Now for our clients, we do the book cover for them. But if you don’t, I’m going to put a price tag on it. Okay. I’m going to put typically a good book cover. Good ones going to cost you five to $10,000. You know why? Because the guy who’s good at designing book covers is what Devin? Um, come on, come on. He has, come on. He’s busy. This is his job, right? And how many people per year are coming to him saying make a book cover? Two. Right, so he’s gonna hit you for five to 10 grand. Yeah. Now step number 19, you gotta decide on the type, setting, style of the book. So I’ll put examples here just so we have a little meat on the bone, okay? Example number one would be Purple Cow. It’s a small book. Have you read Purple Cow, Devin? Yes. Okay, it’s a very small book, okay? Small book, great book. Then you have like, you know, search engine for dummies, search engine optimization for dummies. We interviewed Bruce Clay on our show. That’s a big book. People oftentimes get frightened when I show them the book. It’s a big book. That’d be example number two. Example number three right here. Look at, look, look, look at this book. I love this book. I get emotional thinking about this book. This is Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing. Oh yeah. Have you ever met somebody who’s told you about that book? I haven’t. Have you, James? I have, yeah. So you’ve had people tell you, read Rich Dad, Poor Dad’s Guide to Investing? Oh, well, not that one, but his other book. You know why no one has told you to read Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing? Why is that? Because no one’s read it. Because no one wants to spend the time to read a book! Look what I’ve done to this book! I have the highlights, look at the cliff notes! How would you describe this, Devon, to people? I mean, it’s like, there’s stapled sticky notes, highlights, check marks. It’s like, you can tell it’s been read through over and over and over and over and over again. Right. Yeah. It’s got some miles on it. Right, and it’s just what you, so again, you know, you got a book like Purple Cow that’s small, petite, easy to read on a plane. Second, like Surgeon’s and Dipper Dummies. And then you got something the middle length, okay? This is like a middle length. And this would be like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the original version. And that’s a small book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. And still people will say to me, Clay, how do you find the time to read? It’s crazy, it’s like the 80s. I tell my wife, I tell my kids, I hope you’re seeing a pattern. Don’t call me, why? I’m reading a book, I’ll talk to you at the end of the day, no one dies, it’s crazy, it’s crazy. I don’t put an app on my kids to track where they’re at either, it’s crazy. It’s crazy, crazy, crazy. I don’t track how many steps I walk. I know if I walk them or not, okay? How about that? It’s crazy, right? But I see a lot of people that are like, again, reading the book, writing the book, you get the walkout time. This whole show is kind of about time management, okay? So step number 20, you gotta… Type, set, the book. That’s where you put the board. It starts to look like a book. You set it up in a program called InDesign. Normally, they’re gonna charge you how much for that? 7,000 to 8,000. Now, this is not a commercial for me to sell you the book writing services I offer. I’m not doing that. You asked me, James, you said to me, you said, I have somebody I know who wants to know how to write a book. Right. That’s what this show is. You’ve created this problem. Thank you. But it’s not the thing where like I’m trying to fish for, you know, book writing clients. I’ve written quite a few books throughout my lifetime. I probably have to 50 now that I’ve been a part of, but it’s it’s the people that I help them write their books. This is what I say. You’re a coaching client. I charge you $1,700 a month, the product you’re selling happens to be your book, but I want $1 per book. And every time you sell a book, I want to make a dollar. And I’ll typeset it, I’ll do the cover, I’ll do it all for you. And you know how often that’s turned out to do, the 50 books or so I’ve worked on, do you know how often it’s turned into a fairly lucrative paycheck? Probably not. One time. Yeah, okay. You know why? Because people are shady. And they go, oh yeah, I can’t pay you the $1 per book because we’re starting to sell 100,000 copies and I want to see if I can just buy out the agreement. Wow. Sure. After I spend a year of my time, you know, so again, I do that, I don’t know why I do that deal. I do that deal, I think I do the deal because I hope that humanity changes. I know it won’t. It’s probably for the same reason that someone’s out there trying to stop poverty right now or someone’s out there trying to stop illiteracy. There’s probably someone right now who’s going, that’s what I’m doing. There’s someone there right now who’s like, I’m trying to stop poverty. I’m trying to stop racism within the black community. I’m trying to stop racism in the white community. I’m trying to stop racism in the Latino community. I’m trying to stop racism in the bi-racial community. I’m trying to stop hate with rap music. I’m trying to stop negative music. I’m trying to stop body shame. I’m trying to stop bullying. I’m trying to stop bullying. I’m gonna stop it right now. Why are you yelling? Because I want to stop bullying, so shut up. Are you bullying me? Well, no, I wasn’t like this way, but I became this way by trying to stop bullying. You forced me to become a bully. Shut up, stop bullying. Right, you see that? People that have signs, they stop hate yelling at people. Oh my goodness. Yeah, it’s horrible. Be tolerant! That’s why only people that hate America could live in this neighborhood. Be tolerant! Whatever. So I don’t, you know, I don’t know why I do it. But anyway, um, by the way, do you like clams, Devon? Clams? No. Yes. My daughter yesterday, Havana, said, Dad, why do you like clams? I said, I’ve never had that thought. But I think now I like them because most people don’t. I think that’s what it is. If I had to think about it, I’m just a counterintuitive dude. So she was like, you literally eat clams because you don’t, because other people don’t like them? It was Leia asking me, Leia asked me this, and I said, I think so. So I don’t really know. But again, somebody out there, you’re wanting to write a book right now for the same reason I like clams. I don’t even know why I like clams. That’s the problem. We could have a whole show about that. So there, you’re wanting to write a book for the same reasons I like goats. I do like goats, but you might say, well, why do you like goats? I don’t know. I just think they’re great guys. They are great. But I’m not writing a book about it. I did recently write a book called Make Your Dog Epic on how to train a dog. I never thought I would do that. I thought about the other day writing a book on how to become a DJ, because I was good at that. You know, and someone will probably buy it, but most people won’t. But years ago I read a book on how to become a DJ, and I was about 18 years old, and I read it. It’s like a message in a bottle. I remember I was on Amazon back when that first came out, and I bought this book called How to Become a DJ. And I read it, and it was written by a best-selling DJ, not a best-selling author, she was a best-selling, she was a heavily booked up, she owned a DJ company in New York City. And I thought, whew, this lady’s teaching you how to do the electric slide in a book, to the right, to the right, to the left, to the left, to the back, half step forward, half step back, around, it was like, wow, this is incredible. She’s teaching the cha-cha slide in the book. She’s teaching you the wedding, the dollar dance, how to introduce the bride, the groom, the bouquet toss, the garter toss, the etiquette, the doll. I was going, this is great. What? This is great. Abba Nagila, what’s it mean? She wrote it all in a book. What songs fit together? Woo-hoo-hoo. And she probably sold seven books. I was one of the buyers. Okay. You know how much money you make off a book when you sell it on Amazon, by the way? Is it like $5? About two and a half. But you usually make less than Amazon makes. Wow. So you as an author usually keep one third of what Amazon makes. And for added fun, talk to J.T. Lawson in our office, because if you go to and you buy his book off his website, he’ll make like eight times more than if he sells it off Amazon. Wow. And Amazon, you are literally feeding the beast. You make them wealthy. They make more money off of your book than you make off of your book. That’s insane. And you don’t remember partnering with them, do you? Okay, so now we move on to step 23. You got to write the what, Devin? Front jacket cover. Come on now. Now again, step 21, just to recap, that was where you… Edit book to be better. Step 20 was? 20, 20, typeset the book. Let’s go back. Step 20, you typeset the book. Yep. How much did it cost? 7,000 to 8,000. Step 21, Juan. Edit book to be better. Step 22. Go to sleep and wait a week. Step 23. Write front jacket cover. Step 24. Write back jacket cover. You got to do this stuff. It’s what’s, I don’t know how to write a back jacket. You know what I do every time I want to write a back jacket? I go get a book with a back jacket. I look at it and I try to do it better than what that author did. Right? Step 25. You what? Write introduction or dedication. Now this right here, this is going to cost you probably $10,000 here. Sometimes you can get one for 20. That’s where you pay a celebrity to say the book is awesome. Now let me tell you a little secret. They’ve never read the book. So behind you, I won’t mention the names of the books, behind you are some best-selling books right there to your right, James, right behind you to your right. Those books are best-selling books and I happen to know the people that wrote the books, okay, and I’ll tell you three dirty secrets about those books. The authors of those books did not write the books. Two, the person who wrote the foreword for the book didn’t read the book. And three, most people who bought the book didn’t read the book either. That’s insane. But if you want to read a book about the power of getting a book endorsement, it’s called Think Big and Kick Ass by Bill Zanker. Have you read this before there, James? No. The story goes like this. I’m learning how to read. Zanker, okay? Bill Zanker. He wanted to write this book called A Think Big and Kick Ass, okay? And that was his vision. And he wanted to do it, and the thing is, nobody wanted to buy the book. So he went to President Trump, at the time, before he was Trump, and he said, hey, could you do an endorsement? He calls the secretary, could you do an endorsement for my book? And again, I haven’t read the book in a while but I think it was one million dollars was what the offer was. So the secretary says Mr. Trump would be happy to talk to you about the book and he’d write a book with you but it’s a million dollars. And so he says I don’t have a million dollars. She’s like well I suggest that you get a million dollars then come back. So long story short he finds a way through loans and a variety of ways to get Trump to write the foreword for the book, and he’s on the cover, and it’s Trump, and it says, Think Big and Kick Ass. If you picked up a copy of the book, Think Big and Kick Ass, you would think that the book was written by Trump. It looks like it was. It says, by Donald Trump and Bill Zankier, but when you get the book, after the first chapter, you never hear from Trump again. Because Trump only wrote the first couple pages and that book allowed Bill’s anchor to become a best-selling author and Then his whole career was launched from that point forward and that book is essentially about how he convinced Trump to do it How it worked the Trump effect the whole thing Anyway, it’s called think big and kick ass the introduction is so important. So if your book has introductions or endorsements On the bottom, if it says, this book is amazing, signed, I don’t know who the celebrity, but if you were a Christian author, and it said, this book is awesome, signed, Tim Tebow, certain people, gosh, I might want to get that. If you were an R&B artist writing a book about your memoir, and it’s like, you know, the boys to men, they write the intro, like, boys to men says a must read, or, you know, Jay-Z says you should read this book because, or if you’re a culinary guy and Wolfgang Puck writes the foreword. But a lot of these people, for about 10 to 20 grand, they’ll do one for you. It’s real talk. It’s how it goes. I don’t know if people know these things. Okay. Step 26, and by the way, it almost never works not this way. Okay, so step 26. Step 26, buy ISBN from Bo- B-O-W-K-E-R dot com. Okay, now ISBN number, just so we’re clear, this is an international serial book number. It’s like the barcode that goes on the book. If you don’t have this, you’re just not going to have your book findable. People can’t find the book, even if they want to buy the book, they can’t because it’s not going to work in the system. So every book, you have to have one of these or it won’t work. Now, typically, typically to buy one of these, it’s going to set you back around $500. Now, again, I know somebody might say I got it less money. Okay, fine. But that’s typically what people say they spent, okay? Then and again, these are, I’m not, if you find a better deal, go for it, okay? Then you add the ISBN and barcode to the cover. That’s step 27. Step 28, you, what, Devon? Set a book on Ingram Sparks. Now Ingram Sparks is a platform that allows you to self-publish. Now if you want to get a publisher, you do all this work and then you go to the publisher and you say publisher I’d like a book deal. And if the book and if the publisher likes the cover and the overview of the book, they’ll go I like the cover, I like the overview, however I want you to redo the whole book. Typically, they typically don’t even want the book you wrote, but you have to have it ready to go in case they do want it. All right? And you know, the food, so one of my friends is one of the top literary agents in the world, actually two of them are, and one of them, what he does is once he gets a book that, you know, he likes to cover, then he’ll call the book publisher and he’ll go, I’ve got an author who wants to write a book on how to flip houses. Do you have any appetite for that, Mr. Book Publisher? And the book publishing houses go, nah, we want to write a book about a gay guy who’s married a dude and they flipped a house. And he’s like, I don’t got, and they go, what else do you want? What else do you want? Come on, give me something else. They go, I’m looking for a book about a guy who grew up poor and he ended up making millions by flipping houses. And he’s like, how poor? The agent says, how poor? They go, we’re very poor. And he’s like, goes back to his client. Client, how poor were you? The client goes, I was pretty poor. He’s like, well, tell me you’re more poor. How poor were you? He’s like, well, you know, we, my dad had two jobs. Like, were you on food stamps? No, we weren’t on food stamps. Tell me you’re on food stamps. They’re like, oh, they want to get a guy who was on food stamps. And they go back, hey, my guy wasn’t on food stamps, but he was poor. His dad worked two jobs. They’re like, ah, sorry, not a fit. I’m looking for a poor guy. And this is the game. You just pitch to publishing houses and they’ve already decided what they want their narrative to be. Wow. And you just find the wave and surf on it. You don’t make the wave. You find a wave and surf on it. Someone should write that down. That’s how PR works. You find the wave, public relations, you find the wave and you surf on it. You don’t tell the publisher, this is what the wave should be. That’s why a lot of publishers right now are saying, I don’t really do the Christian wave right now. All publishers are like, we don’t do the Christian wave. Now if you want to write a book about, you know, summoning Satan, hey, Witches Magazine’s looking for someone. Have you seen that now at Target? Witches Magazine, have you seen this? I haven’t. You have to go there. You have to go there. Witches Magazine is now at Target. I think I see at least one witch a week now driving. I mean, if you go to Target, they’re there. So if you want to write a book that’s like kind of a left-wing, left-leaning, Luciferian, self-enrichment, self-eng- a kind of a book right now. But if you’re wanting to write about Jesus, hard pass buddy. So it’s real, I’m just telling you how it is. Now, step 29, you gotta get? Create, oh, get headshots. Now this is real, and again, I’m just telling you, most of the people I know, when I’ve worked with them to do books, they’ll say, okay, before we do headshots, tell your client not to eat anything for 30 days. And they’ll put you on like a water fast, I’m being serious, or some kind of, because they want you to have the best image, so it’s normally like don’t eat anything for 30 days, not kidding, just do like water, or, and you’re like what? And they go yeah, and you need to tan, or you need, and it’s a whole, now you’re getting into the whole industrial thing, and then tell them not to do interviews unless they have pre-agreed upon points they can say, have them not say this, don’t say that, because we’re going to give them an advance. And if they cause reputational risk to the publisher, they have to refund it. And most authors have never made any money, so they’re like, well, I don’t want to refund the $100,000. So now they start eating nothing. Now they start saying nothing. And they go, we’re going to team up with a social media expert who’s going to help you shape your brand. And then they start, well, we’ll get your logins for your social media, we’re gonna post on your behalf and moving forward, you’re not allowed to post. But we will post for you because we’re helping you market your book. And then that’s when the artist, the author gets muted. They never, you never hear from them again. Even on the books they write, they’re never in the book because the books are just, they’re carved out images of things that aren’t actually real. It’s kind of crazy. Okay, then you gotta create a PR kit. That’s a public relations kit. It’s a kit that tells people why they should read the book. All right? Because that gets shipped to all the bookstores, which there are not very many anymore, but they get shipped to the bookstores. That way they can decide if they want to preach to the book. And then step 31. Create a Dream 100 list of small podcasts related to your book topic. That’s where 99% of authors tap out. So on part two of today’s show, three, four, five, and six. We’re going to interview these authors, one of which I’m not asking you to endorse the guy’s lifestyle, but he wrote a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving an F. The Subtle Art. And everybody’s seen the book. It’s an orange cover. Everybody’s seen it at every bookstore everywhere. It’s one of the most popular books of our time. And this homeboy, Mark Manson, he did an insane number of podcast interviews including mine You know John Maxwell agreed to do an insane number of podcasts including today’s show Daniel Pink agreed to do an insane number of interviews including today’s show and today hilarious. I had a show I was just on and I don’t know if I saw it pulled up But the lady was letting me know that she didn’t like what I said on today’s podcast So she’s not gonna release it. Says the person with like, seriously, like a thousand subscribers. So when you start doing podcast interviews, please understand that not everybody you interview is, every show you’re on is gonna even air the interview. And by the way, they don’t wanna interview you. So you have to tell the podcaster, like you wanna interview me today because my book is incredible, it’ll help all your listeners because, and that’s where the PR kit comes in. So you want to interview me because my book can help your listeners with, your product, you’re selling your story to the podcaster. Right? And there’s not a day that goes by that someone doesn’t ask me to interview them. And it’s usually about like just bizarre topics that no one cares about. Like my love of clams. I don’t even understand, I mean, I don’t even get it. I don’t understand why I like them. I don’t think I do. Have you ever had them before, Devon? No. Really? You don’t know if you like them until you’ve had 45 in a row. I can’t get past like the way they look. Yeah, I don’t think I can either. I think I look at them and I’m like, I can do this. And it’s almost like a war with food. Have you seen this? Yeah. I just put whatever sauce on it and I just smash it. I think oysters are better than clams these days. I mean, I just know I’m like, can I keep the shells? Can I bring this home? I mean, it’s a trophy. But if I wrote a book on how to eat clams or how to eat, you know, oysters, I don’t know that anyone would care. And sometimes people write a book like that, though. So it’s like forty seven revelations I discovered while walking through the desert. You’re going, who are you? Why are you in the desert? Like, well, it wasn’t really the desert. I was in Iowa and I got lost. You know, and you’re like, what? You know what I mean? So, have you ever seen Will Ferrell play the part of Ron Burgundy about his new book? Have you ever seen this, Will? Yes. Okay, have you ever seen this, Devon? I don’t know if I know what that is. Okay, so it’s Ron Burgundy, okay, and he’s doing an interview about, he’s doing an interview where he’s, he’s doing an interview about his new book. And it’s the book, it was with Conan O’Brien back in the day. And he’s trying to sell people on his new book. And this is the interview. And I think people should hear this because what he did, he did such a great job of making people want to buy the book. But he doesn’t break the character of Ron Burgundy in the whole interview. So here we go. We queue it up here. This is Ron Burgundy. Will Ferrell is Ron Burgundy. Just listen to this, folks. It’s crazy You Every single one of you and it’s just it’s so great to be here And I got it. I got it. I got to say some a few words about this guy to my left Conan Colin Conan you’re the only talk show who let me come on to promote my book, and I tried all of them. Donahue, Moripovitch, The Magic Johnson Show. It was as if the phone was disconnected. Wow. You people allowed me to come on. Yeah, we picked up that phone and we wanted to get you here. It was lickety split. Yes, it was. Yes. This is exciting. You have a you have a book out and I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before you have a testimonial that you wrote yourself now real quick now Usually you pay someone 10 to 20 grand for that But what’s happening is will Ferrell is mocking the idea of the book industry so he wrote his own endorsement Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of people promoting a lot of books I’ve never seen the author put their own testimonial on the front of the book. You know that’s what the critics were eventually going to say and I just beat them to the punch. And it is. It’s a hell of a book. It’s a real page-turner. And it’s 130% true. Oh wow. That sounds almost mathematically impossible. I literally poured my soul into it. I go deep. You do. I look through this. There’s a lot of helpful tips. There are. There are many different varying chapters. Yes. And what’s fascinating is that there’s some tips in here that I wouldn’t expect to come from a newsman. One is how to survive a prison riot. Yes. You write about that in this book. I’ve spent a number of times in prison being being a investigative journalist. Yeah. Mostly in South America. And you had some helpful tips. I had 12 tips to surviving a prison riot. And you know, basic ones like, of course, make homemade weapons. A shiv or whatever, a comb with a little baby tooth on the end of it. Terrible weapon. Where do you get baby teeth? I keep a small satchel of baby pee. That’s incredible. Probably my best tip is tip number eight, always keep your own poop in your cell. What do you mean keep it with you? Bags of your own poop. Collect it throughout your stay and just have it ready because if if it goes down I mean guy stained and poop running after. So you put it over yourself. Oh if I hear any sort of trouble I just start rubbing it all over. And I just come at people. No one wants to fight you. No. No one wants to fight you. I believe you right now. You’re caked in your own liquid feces. Yes. That would be handy too if like you were at a car dealership and didn’t want to get bothered by salesmen. Sure, if you wanted to drive down the price. Exactly. I won’t leave until you lower this by two grand. That’s right. Now, Ron, I’m curious, you have another one, a chapter, What’s Wrong With America? Yes. You wrote a chapter on what’s wrong with America, and I was surprised by one of the answers. You said, babies. Yes. Babies have gotten uglier in this country. You think babies in America have gotten uglier? Well, I don’t think, it’s a fact. In fact, did anyone bring a baby tonight? No, they’re not allowed to be in here. I proved my point. Anyway, that’s what he does, he does these interviews, and that’s what drives the book sales. So you’ve got to do interviews nonstop. So if you want to sell books, you’ve got to do interviews. OK, step 32. Create emails to send out to small podcasts to appear as a guest on the podcast. You’ve got to write a pre-written email that’s pithy, that’s quippy, that gets people excited to want to interview you. So it’s like maximum of two lines, three lines. Hey, my name’s such and such. I’d love to be on your show to talk about this. Here’s a link to my book. Here are some testimonials. Boom. And then number 33. Repeat until success. Right. And that’s, that’s, that’s the, now the only shortcut to this, I put a little shortcut here, and can you read the shortcut please? Landing a literary agent has the potential to gather you more distribution faster, but you only make one dollar per, per book. Typically. So that’s, that’s how you write a book. Now on part two, three, four, five, and six, we’re going to have best-selling authors back-to-back on today’s show. And then we’re going to have some client success stories. So that’s how you write a book. I would just tell people this, I have gone through the process of writing books 24 times. It’s not super painful, you just have to do it. You just gotta block out time to do it. And I think that’s the biggest challenge people have, is blocking out time. James, any follow-up questions that you have? You know what, I don’t have any questions, Clay. One observation I would say though too, most of my friends who become bestselling authors, and I have probably two dozen friends that are bestselling authors, they all have told me that it’s blown their mind that no one reads their books, even the people that buy them. So you have to just get past the idea that people are going to read the book. It’s usually about 1% of the buyers that will ever read the book, because people typically buy the book and give it to someone as a gift. They buy the book because they’re at the airport. They buy the book because they’re excited. They typically put it on their nightstand, they read a couple pages, then it somehow works its way into the drawer. Then pretty soon they get another book, and next thing you know the book’s on the floor underneath the bed. Then after that they graduate from college, they get married. After they get married and the book’s in the closet, now they don’t want to throw it away because it’s a book. Pretty soon they got more kids, next thing you know they’re retiring. And so that’s what happens with books. Very few people actually read the books. And so you have to embrace that as an author, that the people that do read your books, that’s exciting, but most people will not read your books. So hopefully that’s the facts that people needed to know. And I’m not trying to say these things to be demotivational or motivational, I’m just trying to make it very vocational so you can learn specifically what you need to do to learn how to write a book. And without any further ado, part two, three, four, five, six of our show and back-to-back client success stories. Here we go. On today’s show, Seth Godin, the iconic entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, and the man who in 1998 sold his company Yo-Yo Dine to Yahoo for $30 million. Well, now that’s a lot of money if you round it up. Joins us to share how he started his first business out of his New York City studio apartment. Why he believes that instead of wondering where your next vacation should be, you should set up a life that you don’t want to escape from. Why nobody bought one of the first books that he wrote. Why he doesn’t own a television. His process for writing books. His criteria for what he says no and yes to. His mantra of pick your customers, pick your life. Why he rails about industrial complexes, our shared love for patina, and much, much more. Some shows don’t need a celebrity narrator to introduce the show. But this show does. Two men. Eight kids, co-created by two different women. Thirteen multi-million dollar businesses. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to another exciting edition of The Thrive Time Show on your radio and podcast download. Mr. Seth Godin, welcome on to The Thrive Time Show. How are you, sir? I’m fantastic, but getting better. Thank you for having me. Well, Seth, you’ve written now over 15 books. I believe 17 is the official count. Do you have a favorite book? It’s a little like asking about your favorite kid, but I will tell you, you know, the new one is my 19th. The one that I tend to talk about when people ask me that question, the second or third one, which is called Survival is Not Enough, and the reason is because no one bought it. It was a total failure. There are two reasons for that. One reason is because it came out right after 9-11, which was tragic for so many people. And then the second reason is because it’s about evolutionary theory. I worked on it eight hours a day for a year. I loved that book, but it didn’t work, so you learn a lesson. You know, Seth, you have written a lot about finding your vocation. I don’t know if you’ve ever used those specific words, but the word vocation originally in the Latin means you’re calling, and vacation means to retreat from. But you have a notable quotable where I’ve read that you once wrote, instead of wondering wondering where your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from. Can you share what you mean by this? I think we begin with this. Everyone should have something that they love to do, something that feels to them like they’re truly connected to it, but that doesn’t have to be the same thing. But rather than forcing that thing you do to also be the thing you love, if we give ourselves permission to do both, to say, I love opera and I’m going to work in my spare time and I’m not going to try to make money from that. And then when I do my job, I’m going to do my job with care and grace, but I’m not going to expect it to feel like opera. We let ourselves off a dangerous hook when we do that because then we can go to work and act as if, act as if our work matters, act as if we are making a contribution, act as if our energy will come back to us many times over. And what I found when people do that is they can turn almost any job into a job where they can thrive. And when you take that attitude, suddenly you’re not in such a hurry to run away from it. I feel like you’ve been running towards your vocation for many years and a lot of people know you now as the best-selling author as one of the most influential entrepreneurial authors of the past decade, some could argue. But you started out of a New York City studio apartment with a book packaging company. Can you share with us what it was like to start that book packaging company? When did you start to develop some type of traction as an entrepreneur? You’re being really generous because for something to be a company, it needs to have revenue. For a year, I didn’t have revenue. I was getting close to selling my stuff to the pawn shop, but that’s all I was selling because what book packagers do is they invent ideas for books, bring them to the book publishing world and if someone likes them, they give you money and then you go make the book. I started the company with a project I did with Chip Conley who also went off to become successful. We sold that book for $5,000 on the first day, but then I started the company and I didn’t sell anything for a year. Rejection, rejection, rejection for a whole year. I was working 12 hours a day, shipping out proposals, 850 or so proposals, not one thing sold. That was really, really hard. It wasn’t just that I wasn’t getting revenue. It was that the people around me didn’t get what I was trying to do. So not only didn’t the world understand my vision, the people who cared about me didn’t understand it either, and that took a lot of reserve to get through. You know, Dr. Zellner and I both started from the bottom. He is an optometrist turned entrepreneurial tycoon. I started a company called DJ Connection out of my dorm room. It grew into the largest wedding entertainment company in the country, and we’ve gone on to grow 13 multi-million dollar companies together. We love stories about guys like you that started from the bottom and sort of grew to the next level. I think one of the things you have to do to become successful is you have to build a foundation mantra, your daily rituals, your daily flow state, your normal. Can you walk us through the first three hours of your typical day? I mean, what does that look like my friend? Because you’re the master of saying no. What are the first three hours of your… what does it look like? How do you organize your day? Walk us through your routine. Well, you know, I think it’s important to not get confused by the specifics. So, as you know, Dr. Zellner went to school in Buffalo. I went to school in Buffalo. Does that mean you have to go to school in Buffalo in order to be successful? I don’t think so, right? That that’s an irrelevant coincidence. What’s relevant is, what’s the story you tell yourself about the work you’re going to try to do. For me, I was telling myself a really negative story, particularly halfway through the first year. The phone would ring and I’d say, oh, here comes someone ready to reject me. The mail would come and I’d say, oh, here comes some more rejection. It was as if I was hoping that it would happen. I spent a lot of time listening to Zig Ziglar, a lot of time making sure I was feeding myself a different story. And the big shift for me happened when I made the decision that I was now doing work that I get to do, not that I have to do. And that’s the biggest thing about my daily ritual. I don’t have an alarm clock, I just leap out of bed because I can’t believe I get to do this again. And there’s not one part of my day where I roll my eyes and go, oh, I can’t believe I have to do that. Because if I’m gonna do it, it’s choice. And if I don’t wanna do it, then I can arrange my life so I don’t have to. So I don’t go to meetings and none. I don’t have a television, because those were things that were winding me down. And instead I’ve tried to organize a day where I can’t believe I get to do this. Tell me about the process you go through in creating a new book. What do you start and what does it look like and then how do you finish it? So the way it used to work is I made a commitment that I was gonna do a book a year because I liked the rhythm and the process. So every once in a while I would say, hmm, if I’m gonna have a book coming out next year, I better have something ready to go soon.” I would look at what the world was saying to me, where I saw a hole happening, where the opportunity was. But I haven’t done that in about eight or nine books. Now it’s so painful to bring a book to market that I only write a book if the book demands that I do. So my blog lets me off the hook. If I can just write a blog post, then I don’t have to write the book. Done. But if the idea keeps knocking on my door and won’t let me go, I say, all right, well, this idea demands this format. And because I’m not saying to the world, read this book, buy this book, because it’s time for me to sell you a book, my posture is different. I don’t have to go out and say, oh, time to sell a book again. It’s a different sort of process. Then what I do generally is write the whole thing in three weeks and then spend six months or so rewriting it, thinking about it, throwing parts of it out. There are five books I’ve written, the whole book, and no one’s ever read it because it wasn’t good enough when I was done. So I sort of put that into place, see how it all fits together, and if I think it’s something that I can be proud of ten years from now, then I’ll share it with people. You know, Seth, one of the things I think is remarkable about you is that you say no to a lot of things, and I’ve heard you in previous interviews talk about this, and you say no to speaking events routinely, which Jonathan, who works closely with me in my office, who I believe arranged our interview. Jonathan knows this. Whenever someone reaches out to me for a speaking event, I almost immediately say no, unless X, Y, Z is the case. Can you explain your criteria for what you say no to? Because that’s why you have the time freedom to focus on the things that you’re excited about. I mean, just because you say no, can you talk about what are the, what’s your criteria for the things you say no to? And what do you say yes to? Well I would begin with this. The mantra that I think is true for everyone is pick your customers, pick your future. The people that you are serving, the people who are paying you are the ones who are going to determine how you’re going to spend your day. So I don’t have a staff, I don’t have a team, it’s just me and if I don’t spend today doing X then I could do Y but I can’t do X and Y at the same time. So I used to limit myself to about 30 speaking gigs a year. Now it’s 15. And I think hard about how far is this gonna be, how many people am I gonna be able to impact? Is the audience, is the biggest one, enrolled in where I wanna go? So I mistakenly took a gig six or seven years ago to 3,000 men and women, mostly men, who own car repair, a big chain of car repair franchises. So there were 3,000 people there. It met many of my criteria, except they had no interest in what I had to say. What was your speech of that day? Do you remember? Yeah, totally. My speech was, the speech I give is, if I were in their shoes, what would I need to hear, what would I want to hear, how could I open a door for them? So I imagined what I would do if I owned a Goodyear, good, rich, tire and rubber kind of facility. How could I be significantly above average? What would it mean to have a different relationship with my customers? What would it mean to do work that they would miss if it were gone, to not be in a commodity business. And I was right, except for one thing, which is that’s not why they were in the business. And they were in the business for something that I would never be in the business for. They liked owning a car repair shop and they didn’t want it to be one that was exceptional, they just wanted it to be the one they had. Right. Pay the bills, I just wanna pay the bills. And I’m like, fine, that’s great, but I shouldn’t be the person to talk to you today. Ooh, well, now I want to ask you this, because you have said, there was an interview you did with Tim Ferriss, and Tim, for those of our listeners out there who don’t know, Tim Ferriss is one of the top podcasters on the planet. And you talked about how you typically rail against industrial complexes. Can you please explain why you rail against industrial complexes? And if you have time, I want you to talk about patina, because you and I share a love for the patina. So talk to me about railing against industrial complexes. And if you have a moment, I’d love for you to share your focus on patina. So General Eisenhower famously warned the public that there was a military industrial complex being built that was pushing us to be in the Vietnam War. What it means is you have a company that makes weapons. You use some of that money to lobby the government to get into war so you can sell more weapons. The military industrial complex, it works in tandem. What’s happened is various industries have grown as they’ve also turned into complexes. So you have the educational industrial complex, which is a for-profit system that’s constantly chewing kids up, putting them through test prep, putting them into debt, et cetera, et cetera. You have the social media industrial complex, where people are basically going to work for their phones, not vice versa. That if you’re on a social network and you’re not paying for it, that’s because you’re not the customer, you’re the product. We have these engines that push us to be cogs in a machine, push us to be part of the cash system, not part of the make a difference system. Whenever I see one of these working, my disruption is to say to the people who are willing to listen to me, wait a minute, you have more power than you think you do, you have more freedom than you think you do. It’s worth standing up and saying, I care enough about this that I don’t want to be a pawn in the system. I just want to make something better instead. I’m against cogs. I’m against people who check their imagination at the door when they get to work and who work for the weekend, work for the self-storage unit, work for the TV because life I think is too valuable to waste spending nine hours at work so that you can spend an hour and a half watching Netflix at night. Can you talk to me about patina because I think you and I share I think we have a vesicle Pisces I think we have an intersection of our of our two values I love patina can you talk to the listeners out there what is patina why are you into it? So What is a Japanese term, wabi-sabi? Wabi-sabi is the decay of nature and its intersection with the rest of us. Wabi-sabi, patina, it’s the disorganized bookshelf, it’s the fingerprints we leave behind. My office has a patina of 25 years of making stuff, the patina has a patina. I can tell when I walk into my office if someone’s moved a few of the books, because they’re not in any order whatsoever except they’re in my order. And patina is the sort of cruft that’s left behind of a life well lived, so I don’t have a lot of patience for people who want it to be industrial and pristine. I would like to see that someone was here before me, and I’d like to leave behind this set of fingerprints. Seth, if I could ask you this question, this is a self-help question for me personally, and then I’ll let you hang up on us, because I know you have other things to do, and you’re choosing to be here with us. You guys are great. You’re good at this. I really appreciate this, because this is like, I’ve read your books, and I’ve thought to myself, I would love to meet Seth Godwin. And because I’ve built multi-million dollar companies, that doesn’t take away my boyish excitement to have you on the show and it’s gonna go down as one of those like I want to put on my tombstone I once interviewed Seth Godin it’s so exciting so I want to ask this question you’ve been interviewed by some of the top podcasters and publications on the planet in your mind who was your favorite interviewer the person who interviewed you where you thought that was a good interviewer because I want to get better. So what was the best interviewer you’ve ever had and why? Well I would say minute by minute you two are up there because it’s almost impossible to do an interview in 10 or 15 minutes that actually gets to something of substance and I applaud you for being crazy enough to try and this has been thrilling. The interviews that are on my all-time list are much, much, much longer than this because you need to get into sync with people. My friend Brian Koppelman has done five with me. My friend Krista Tippett did an interview that made me cry that I recommend to people because that’s my best version of myself when I was on being. What I’m doing with my podcast Akimbo is interviewing myself and I’ve done that for 25 episodes so far and I really think that’s resonating with people. So those are three that I would mention. As we’re wrapping this up, I just want to point out that you’ve had great success and I would say the secret of your success is work that matters for people who care. And that’s the untitled subtitle of my new book. Because if any of us get the chance to do work that matters for people who care, that’s all we can ever hope for. And that’s powerful. I love that. If I can sneak in one more question. Can you tell us about your new book, your new thing? Because I’m excited as a consumer, and I know that if I buy your book, after you pay this guy who pays that guy who pays that guy. I don’t know what you make. Let’s say I buy a book for $20, which I always buy your books. So let’s just say you get, what do you get if I buy a book for $20? Do you get two bucks? I mean how much less? Less than one dollar? Yeah, a dollar fifty. I probably have to buy four of your books. I’m not kidding. I have bought at least 50 of the Purple Cow Book and I’ve given it away. Well, you did what I wanted you to, but let’s be really clear. If anyone thinks they’re gonna make a living writing books, they’re crazy. I do not write books to make a living. I write books to make a difference. I go through all the hassle of cutting down all those trees and going through all these steps, not because it’s a good way to make a living, but because some people benefit from having that object in their hand. I’ve written 7,500 blog posts for free. If you want to read those, read those. But if a book helps you, then my new book’s called This Is Marketing. And the idea of this is marketing is when you appeal to the smallest viable audience, not the biggest one, with work that matters, when you see people for fear, when you see them for status, when you understand that some people measure affiliation, and some people measure dominance, that when you get to the humanity of the story we tell ourselves, then you can finally get down to making the work that you care about. Seth, I appreciate you for writing content that matters, books that matter for people who care like myself. I hope I didn’t screw up this interview so much that you never want to come on again. I want you to know your book, Purple Cow, helped me launch a company called Epic Photography. It helped me absolutely change the way I ran DJ Connection, and our company Elephant in the Room that we’re franchising, and a brand called OxiFresh that has over 400 locations, have all been impacted by the book Purple Cow. And so I’m honored and humbled to have you on the show, and thank you for not saying no to me, because I know that you are the master of saying no, and it means the world to me. And I’m probably gonna go into my forest here behind my man cave studio and probably cry to celebrate this moment. And prophetically chop down a tree because you said you have all those trees chopped down to produce your book. I mean it though, it’s a huge highlight in my life. So thank you so much for being here today. I feel great about it. I’m glad we got to connect. Thank you both. Good luck with the show. Thank you. It’s been a lot of fun. Have a blessed day. Classy out. Thank you. Thank you Seth. Bye bye. Bye-bye. Thrive Nation, if you are looking for a gift for somebody in your life who loves business, growing businesses, and the idea of achieving success in the world of entrepreneurship, you’ve got to go buy Seth Godin’s newest book called This Is Marketing. All right, Thrive Nation, on today’s edition of the Thrive Time Show, we are interviewing the international best-selling author of the 48 laws of power, the 33 strategies of war, the 50th law, mastery, and the laws of human nature. And he joins us today to share the importance of truly understanding human psychology and how to stay focused in a world that is irrevocably distracted. Get ready to enter the Thrivetime Show. Here’s a Thrive Time show. That’s what I’m a dive so if you see my wife and kids please tell them hi It’s a C and Z up on your radio and now three two one here we go We started from the bottom now we here We started from the bottom now we here Yes, yes, yes, yes Thrive Nation we are in the air everywhere and we are joined by the international best-selling author of the 48 Laws of Power The Art of Seduction The 33 Strategies of War of the 48 Laws of Power, the Art of Seduction, the 33 Strategies of War, the 50th Law, Mastery in the Laws of Human Nature. Robert Green is on the scene. Sir, welcome, how are you? I’m fine, fine, thank you for that great intro. Fine, how are you? Well, brother, I’m excited to have you on the show, and I just want to say this, see, this is probably gonna be a backhanded compliment. Probably is. I was introduced to your book 48 laws of power. I Read the book and I thought to myself on the first pass What does this book mean? I? Mean seriously, it’s like a deep book. It’s deep. I go back and I’m going I think Maybe this is a bad book. Maybe this is a book that I shouldn’t have read. Hmm, but then I read it again I’m going no. No, he’s showing me the moves that bad people are always using to get ahead. That’s what he’s doing. So I read it the second time. Then I go through the third time and I’m going, these moves are everywhere. People are using these moves. So it helped me to see the world as it is and not as I wanted it to be. So Robert, I wanted to ask you, when did you first have that idea to write 48 Laws of Power? Well, I had been working as a writer for many years, starting in the early 80s as a journalist. And I had, my girlfriend and I, I had like 50, 60 different jobs. And in those jobs I had seen all kinds of power games, all kinds of maneuvers. And then I started working in Hollywood. And I was really kind of shocked by the kind of double game that was going on. People would appear to be so liberal, so woke, so understanding, but behind the scenes, they were incredibly manipulative. What they really wanted was power. But nobody writes a book about this. People write books about business management. They make it seem as if everyone are these little angels walking around, that everyone just wants to cooperate and be a team player. But my experience in all of my different jobs was extremely different. That all these games are being played behind the… When doors are closed, all kinds of manipulations are going on. And nobody writes a book like that, and it made me kind of angry. So I thought, I’m going to expose all these things that I’ve observed and that I’ve read about in history. So that was sort of what inspired the book I quoted in. Now when you wrote the book 48 Laws of Power, for people who don’t have a copy of the book, who haven’t read it, it’s a deep read. And then you cite everything that you say. So I don’t know your process for writing books, but I wanted to hear it from you. We’ve interviewed many people on the show, including Ryan Holiday, who knows you and has worked with you, who have bragged about your, or not bragged, they have celebrated your writing process. Could you share with us, what is your process for writing a book? Well, it’s something I’ve evolved over maybe about 22 years, 23 years, since I started writing these books. And basically, I do a lot of research. So, when I’m writing a book about power, for instance, I read hundreds, literally hundreds of books on the subject, and I try and cover every aspect, every culture around the world, every time period, because I want my books to be sort of universal. So I do massive amounts of research, and then as I’m doing the research, the ideas for the book, chapters for the book, start coming to me and I put them on note cards. So when I finish reading a book, I go back a month later and I put the ideas on it on cards. Each card contains like a separate idea. And then when I finish the research and it’s time to begin writing the book, I’ll have amassed maybe well over a thousand cards, sometimes 1,500 cards that I keep in these kind of shoe boxes and they’re categorized. So when it comes time to writing, I have, okay, this is a chapter, this chapter has 50 or 60 cards. I pull them out and I go, well, okay, here’s the chapter, here’s the research, here are the ideas. And that’s sort of my process. I’ve kind of owned it over the first six books, but that’s basically how I do it. Now, once you write the manuscript, how many times do you edit the book, where you start off at the beginning and you go through the whole book? And for anybody who hasn’t written a book before, you know, you think when you first write it, if it’s your first book, you go, oh yeah, this is good. But then when you read it again, you say, this is bad. Who wrote this book? And then around the third time, you start to think, I’m a bad writer. I mean, how many times do you go through before you’re happy with the book edits? Well, just to go back, just for a second, back to the last question. The reason I do all that structuring of it is because I think what makes a good book is that it’s well organized. Your ideas are organized. A lot of books fall apart because people have an interesting idea, but they don’t know how to structure. And so by the fifth chapter things start repeating, etc. But to go back to your question here, I’m very hard on myself. So I write a chapter or I write a section, and then I go back and I start editing it. And my first draft, if you read my first draft, you go, this guy sucks. I don’t know how he became a best-selling writer. He’s not even good, he’s mediocre. So my goal, I improve everything by editing. If I didn’t edit, my books would be absolutely terrible. So maybe three, four, five, six drafts, it starts getting better and better and I’m quite a perfectionist. So I’m never happy until it’s spot on, but I’m somebody that absolutely depends on five or six passes on the same thing to make it readable. And then once it’s readable, how many times do you edit it before it’s then publishable? Well, once it’s readable, I mean, I go through it a couple of times, and my girlfriend who’s been with me for many years, she reads all of the chapters, and she helps me edit it. She gives me her seal of approval and all that. And then I know that then it’s pretty much ready to send to New York. So once I’ve got those five, six, or seven passes, it’s pretty much there. Who has, because there’s so many big names that have read your books, who are some of the big names that have read your books that have wowed you? Because when you’re writing this book, I mean, you’re not surrounded by celebrities, you’re doing your research. I mean, who are some of the people that have reached out to you and have said, hey, I enjoyed your book that just blew your mind? Well, there were a lot of rappers, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Drake, I’ve met and I’ve worked with. And then a lot of athletes, Bogey Bryant, I’m sorry his name escapes me, plays with the important trailblazers anyway. There are quite a few basketball players who reached out to be coaches. I’ve worked with somebody who’s now an NBA coach. I can’t name his name. Sure. I’ve been consulting with them. And politicians. I heard through the grapevine, I heard that Fidel Castro had my vote against the man. And there were presidents in different countries, like the president of Guatemala, for instance, and people in Ukraine, politicians. So Bill Gates has the book. Then when my war book came out, my strategy book came out, Chuck Hagel, who’s then the Secretary of Defense, wrote how much he loved the book, and he gave a copy of it to Barack Obama. He had 33 strategies. There are others, Bill Smith, the actor, a lot of actors, Hollywood reached out to me, and film directors. I could go on and on, I don’t want to brag, but it’s extensive. I noticed he didn’t mention Clay Clark. He did not mention me. No, I’m sorry, I didn’t know about you before. No, Z, a lot of athletes… That one would be Clayton’s part again. Oh, there you go. I shaved him into it. That’s one of the laws of power. I used the power on him. He’s using a power move on me somehow. We’ve got to open the book and flip through. Now, this is a thing I want to bring up, though. A lot of athletes want to become rappers. A lot of rappers want to become athletes. It’s kind of like singers and actors. Robert, when are you dropping your rap album? When are you dropping the first one? Yeah, what are you? Probably after I’m dead because I am the world’s worst singer. I actually can make a lot of people laugh by how bad a singer I am. And I’m just a really dirty white guy and I kind of know my place. So you have to get me really drunk or high on peyote or something before I start telling any kind of rants. All right, well what I’m going to do now is I’m going to go through a few of the 48 laws of power, just a few, because I want to demonstrate to the listeners how I perceive knowing these laws has helped me with my career. I want to get Robert’s take on this, since he’s right here. Law number nine from 48 laws of power reads, win through your actions, never through argument. To me, it sounds a lot like Proverbs 14, 23 reads, in all labor there is profit, but the talk of the lips tendeth only to pinnery.” Why do people need to know that they need to win through actions and never through argument? How is that practical for our business listeners out there? Well, words are a dime a dozen. Words are cheap. Anybody can say anything. They should defend their actions or try to persuade you what they want you to believe. And so we’ve all become very distrustful of those. We’re barraged with advertisements. We hear politicians lie all the time. Anybody can say anything about their accomplishments, about what they’re going to do. So people are naturally distrustful when you start trying to tell them what your great idea is or how they are wrong. But if you show it, show it through an action, it’s much more powerful. It goes directly to the brain. It goes, I demonstrated to you the rightness of my idea or the wrongness of your idea, for instance. So it’s much more powerful. Instead of trying to tell people why you did what you did, just demonstrate it to them. Show it through what you’ve done, through what you’ve accomplished. I have a story I’ve used in a, I believe, a second book on seduction, where this woman said, when I sat next to William Gladstone, this is in the 19th century, he was a private stripper, I thought I was the most brilliant woman in the world. But when I sat next to Benjamin Disraeli, this is Gladstone’s great rival, I thought that I was the most brilliant person. So he made her feel like she was brilliant and wonderful, great, instead of telling her, trying to please her and flatter her, he just showed it to her by listening to her, by paying attention, by making her feel like she was a star. by paying attention, by making her feel like she was the star. does this mean, how does this apply, what’s the principle. Law number 10, you wrote, in section, avoid the unhappy or the unlucky. Because it says, again, avoid the unhappy or the unlucky. When I first read that part of the book, I thought, this is a mean law. But then I opened up to Proverbs, you know, Proverbs from the Bible, Proverbs 13, 20 reads, he that walketh with the wise shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” I’m thinking, I think he’s talking about avoiding idiots. I started thinking about my business and my career and all the business successes I’ve had and all the problems I’ve had. How many idiots you’ve had along the way? It seems like all of the major issues were caused by people with major issues. Yeah, imagine that. Could you maybe help the listeners? What’s the balance that you have? Because I know that you’re a compassionate guy, you want to help people, but if you hire somebody who’s a complete disaster to edit your books, you probably will never get them done. I mean, where’s the balance there, Robert, because I know you are a compassionate guy. Well, the idea is that we’re very susceptible to the moods and emotions of other people. So if we’re aware of it or not. And so the thing is people don’t announce themselves, they don’t say, hey, I’m an idiot or I’ve got bad ideas or I’m a very aggressive person. And so you get trapped in their lives. And a lot of people who are very infecting are very dramatic. They seem very exciting when you first meet them. Then slowly you realize that they’re drama kings or kings, and they’re embroiling you in all of this emotional turmoil. It’s very hard to disentangle yourself. So who you associate with is going to play a very large role in how you feel in your moods and your emotions and the success that you have. So if you surround yourself, you don’t choose wisely, just choose people how they appear, if they appear charming. You’re going to find yourself getting entangled in all these needless dramas and all these other things that you don’t want. It’s going to suck the energy out of you. On the other hand, associating with people who are successful, who have their act together, who are, you know, very smart and rational, and who are practical and get things done. So you have that kind of effect on you. And it’s not that you avoid people who are unlucky. The idea in that chapter is some people appear to be unlucky. They’re surrounded by all kinds of unfortunate things. And you have said that people are the more you can expect them to do this, that they bring it on themselves. They’re constantly churning out all sorts of problems around them, and they create their own bad luck. So people who are genuinely unlucky and unfortunate, you want sympathy for them, you want to help them, the people who you suspect are kind of creating their own trauma for themselves. They’re very big, very big. So that’s basically the idea behind it. Now, the law number 15 from 48 Laws of Power is crush your enemy totally. Now again, at first glance, I read and I say, I love this. I love that. I open up my Bible to 1 Samuel, chapter 15, verses 2-3, and it reads, One day Samuel said to Saul, It was the Lord who told me to anoint you as the king of his people Israel. Now listen to this message from the Lord. This is what the Lord of heaven’s armies has declared i have decided to settle accounts with the nation of amalek for opposing israel when they came from egypt now go and completely destroy completely entire amalekite nation men women children babies cattle sheep goats camels even the donkey even the livestock so again what’s the balance there robert i mean what what are you talking about how does that apply to the listeners out there? Well, it’s not really meant for individuals, or your little individual battles. It’s really meant for groups, for organizations, for businesses, and for armies in the military sense. So if you notice, sort of the modus operandi of most large corporations, particularly in the tech sector, where their whole idea, their whole strategy is to completely eliminate any rivals. So Facebook, when it’s facing something like Instagram, what does it do? It buys them out and now becomes a product of Facebook itself. It can’t allow to have any kind of rivals out there, because if you give people like that any space, they’re going to turn into something larger and larger and larger. The idea is you can’t go halfway when you start making it clear that you want to get rid of the rival. They know it. And if you don’t go the whole way, they’re going to come back and really make you regret that. And to me, the paradigm of that was Saddam Hussein in the early 90s with the first desert storm, when we let in and basically decimated the Iranian and the Iraqi army. Well, we didn’t finish the job. We didn’t go out and get Saddam Hussein because the first Bush said that’s going too far. And then 10 years later, Saddam Hussein is back at it. He’s worse than ever. And Bush, W had to go back in there. And whether you like it or not, I think it was a really good strategy, but he had to go in there and waste a lot of lives and money trying to get rid of him. So the first time around is when you can get rid of your driver, finish the job. Now Robert, I want to tap into your wisdom. So we have kind of like a town hall assembled here. We have Aaron Antus. He runs Oklahoma’s largest home building company. He’s here. We have Dr. Robert Zellner. He runs the state’s largest auto auction and optometry clinic. We have James. He’s an attorney. And so I’ve got a couple more questions and we’re going into like town hall mode and if we ask you a question and you don’t like the question if it was even if we paint them into a corner if you hang up on us we’ll know we went too far I think it’s fair. Okay, we’re not trying to crush you all the way to the end or anything I’m just saying we’re not going to apply that principle here but okay so law number twenty nine plan all the way to the end what does that mean and how do people not do that by default? Well, you basically, the end of your project, your ideas that it contains is everything. Right? How you finish your job, how you finish your book, what the end product is producing your business. That’s what how people are going to judge you. That’s what your success depends on. And most people do a kind of half-assed job when it comes to strategizing. They’re thinking of the goal that they want to reach, the business of the project they’re launching or the enterprise they’re launching or whatever it is. And they kind of imagine the end. They kind of have a wish, this is how it will end and it will probably be good, but they’re not thinking all the way through. They’re not getting enough attention. So you want to put all the strategy into how this will actually finish and be the deep thought and not let your wishes and your desires affect the planning process. And so that’s the dividing line between those who are successful and those who aren’t. You’re able to finish the job, you’re able to execute it by planning and thinking as far ahead as possible. Is that clear? It’s very clear and you said think deeply and it reminded me of your book, Mastery. And in your book, Mastery, and I’m paraphrasing, you were talking about that there’s certain people in the future that they’re going to have a hard time because they can’t focus. You were talking about how in the future there’s going to be this great division between the people that can focus and think deeply and those who are so irrevocably distracted by all the media around them that they can’t focus and sustain a thought. I think we’re seeing a lot of that happen right now. We’re seeing that happen in front of us. We’re seeing a lot of headline reading, a lot of people just grabbing a headline and sharing without knowing what the actual article is about. Could you talk about your book, Mastery, for a second and what you hoped to accomplish with your book, Mastery, and maybe even just thinking deeply? That book was powerful for me, teaching me how to think more deeply. Well, I was thinking out of a deep concern about what was going on in the world. I thought a lot of young people, we live in this age with incredible amounts of information at our disposal. And I’ve really had to spend a lot of time writing my books. I can tap into anything that’s ever been written, any ideas or scientific papers or journals, all around the world. It’s absolutely amazing. But at the same time, people are so distracted, they can’t focus anymore. They’re on their phone and they’re just this, that, the other, and the other. And so you see it in all the things that are being made today. These are not made well. They don’t know how to make a product. They don’t have a craftsmanship sort of mentality where you’re actually comprised to making something that’s well done. And so, you know, I remember traveling around the world to different hotels, and I would look at how, look closely to see how shoddy things are made, you know. And so I was one of the people who don’t know how to make things anymore, don’t know how to build anything, don’t know how to create anything that’s solid, that’s going to last. So I wanted to show you the sort of timeless wisdom. This is what people, since the beginning of your intelligent beings, this is the path that they follow to create something amazing, to become a master in their field. I’m not talking about just writing books, I’m talking about business, I’m talking about even if you’re working with your hands, I’m talking about asking to any field. You have to have patience. You have to first of all choose the career that suits you so that you’re emotionally engaged. If you’re interested in literature and then you go into law, you’re probably going to burn out because it’s not a good effect. Then you’ve got to go through a practice phase, you learn a lot of skills, you’ve got to be patient, you’ve got to be willing to take criticism. That is a problem that most people, a lot of young people have. You can’t criticize them. They get all personal, they think everything is about them, and we’re just trying to help them improve themselves. That was what made me. Well, I’m on the right holiday as my assistant, which is amazing, but I could also criticize it if it didn’t take it personally. Then you have to understand how to work with people, and then you have to take all of this knowledge and become creative with it. And I take you step by step by step this process. This is how the human brain works. You follow this path. You put in your 10,000 or 20,000 hours and the end result will be success. You will accomplish something great. That’s sort of the idea behind it. The quote that I was referencing is from the book Mastery that you wrote. It says, In the future, there will be a great division. It says the great division will be between those who have trained themselves to handle the complexities and those who are overwhelmed by them and those who can acquire skills and discipline their minds and those who are irrevocably distracted by all the media around them and can never focus enough to learn. Z, you are a man who is mixed focus with fun. So to the person who doesn’t know you very well. I call it funness. Funness, okay. Funcus. People will see the look up Dr. Zellner and they go, oh man, this guy owns a bank, he owns an optometry clinic, he travels a lot. This guy, man, this guy must really just be 90 miles an hour. This guy, this guy’s just, but really, you’re a guy that knows how to turn on the take it down a notch, focus mode. You make the checklist and the systems and the processes, and once you nail it, Z, you scale it. You do it. So what questions would you have for the great Robert Green? Well, first, thanks for being on the show. I love your books. And if I were to ask you this question about other than your books, because we know your books are awesome and that you would recommend, what’s two or three or four books that really impacted you, have been fun for you to read, that meant a lot to you for our listeners out there? Kind of slide them towards, I mean, obviously, they wouldn’t get yours in the gift pack. There’s probably like all the books in one pack But what are some other books that you would recommend? adversity in your life, any kind of resistance is actually a good thing. You want to push against it. You want to go past it. You want it to be a teaching moment for you. So the negative things in your life, the negative experiences, they’re going to enrich you in some deep way. Another book I like that’s a little bit different is by Howard Gardner. I don’t know if I have the title exactly right, but it’s something like Five Brains of Intelligence, like five brains of intelligence, something that I used a lot in mastery. And the idea is that basically there are, we tend to think of intelligence as just this intellectual process, people who have created abstract things, that each shows that there are these different forms of intelligence, and each person, each child for instance, is basically primed for one of them. It might be limited to two of them, but there’s really one dominant one. And it’s not, it could be words, it could be patterns of abstract reasoning, it could be kinetic, actually moving your body, it could be music and that sort of thing. It could be social. And the trick and the idea in that book is to discover what your natural form of intelligence that you are suited to, and be willing to lean in that the most, your choice of a career. And if you’re someone who’s like, word-oriented, and then you choose something that’s not suited for that, you’re gonna have a life of misery. And I found that book very profound. Which is why you’re not a rapper, is that correct? Yeah, but maybe after this show, maybe I’ll change my mind. I think you gotta do, you gotta throw down. I think this is the boat. I think you could you and you and 50-cent should sit down. I mean come on these guys love your stuff. You should say Jay Z and 50-cent let’s sit down. Let’s do a rap and you could maybe they maybe it’s like a hook. Maybe you’re on the hook Yeah, maybe they sample you. I’m just saying you you gotta have a sample his hook. Oh, yeah I don’t even know. You’ve got to talk to the… You know, that kind of goes to everything I’ve ever written about, which is sort of knowing your place and about knowing which form of intelligence you’re good at and being able to master it. I am not going to ever master rapping. I’m sorry. Robert, maybe you could use this example of, like, folks, this is what happens when you get out of your lane. Don’t do this. Well, what I’m saying is this. He could do the, what is the classic Michael, you’re the old DJ, the Michael Jackson song, Thriller. Thriller, yeah. And he could do the Michael Jackson song, Thriller. And he could do the Michael Jackson song, Thriller. And he could do the Michael Jackson song, Thriller. And he could do the Michael Jackson song thriller thriller Yeah, and then who’s the guy that reads in the middle of it. I mean he was an old Vincent Price Vincent Price There you go middle of one of their songs. So I could do something like that. That’s a great idea. Thank you. Well, you’re very welcome. Free ideas. You want to write the song for me, Doctor? I absolutely I will. I tell you what, consider it done. Now, I want to ask you this because, and I mean this again, not a backhanded compliment, and this isn’t one of these things where you say it with all due respect and then you attack the person. This is just what it is. You just attack them. I have reached out to try to have, we’ve reached out to try to have Robert on the show for years, and as our audience has grown, we’re honored to have you on. But at a certain point, your handlers or yourself or somebody had to say, nope, not going to be on the show. And I respect that. And when we just keep coming back, we’re like bamboo. We just keep coming back. You cut us down and we’re just right next season. We’re back up there. We’re like the cockroaches of interviewing. We keep coming. So I just want to ask you, what are your laws, your rules that you have, maybe a couple of what you say yes to and what you say no to because people are so irrevocably distracted by smartphone updates, emails, text messages, requests for speaking, etc. What’s kind of your rules for, okay, I’m not gonna, do you have like a rule that you don’t look at your smartphone during the day? Do you have certain rules you’ve done to allow yourself to stay focused? Well, mostly it’s kind of fear. So I have a book to write, I have deadlines, and I’m always feeling like the devil on my heels. Like, if I don’t put my five hours of writing today, I’m worthless, the book is going to fail, I won’t finish it in time. So that won’t keep you very focused if you realize like today, when I finish this interview, I know I have like four or five hours and I’m writing. So having projects and having things that you have to get done and feeling a sense of urgency, which is something I’m very, I talk a lot about, I have this thing in my strategy book, I call it the Death Ground Strategy. And the idea is, it comes from Sun Tzu, when you want your army to fight harder, put their back against an ocean or their back against a mountain. And they have to either win or they die, and you put them on deathbed. I put myself on deathbed. I have to finish this by the end of the day. I have to finish this by the end of the week or I am not going to make it. And that motivates me and that focuses me. And it helps me decide, okay, today I can take a peer review, but it’s got to be this late. This isn’t worth it because it’s going to distract me from my goal. And I’m ruthless about it. I’m absolutely ruthless because the thing that matters the most to me is getting things done, is having results, having books out there, having projects that I realize. Aaron Antus, you are a man who likes to read. You like to study authors. What question would you have for Robert Green? Being that I’m not an author, my main question is, I know when we build homes, there’s a certain one that I like the most, and there’s certain neighborhoods that we’ve developed. The thatch roof. Not model plan roof, but typically a shingle. When I go back and look at a community after it’s all done, it’s like, wow, that really turned out good. Is there a particular book that you’ve written? You’ve written a lot of books. Is there a big kahuna? I particularly like Mastery, but what is your favorite work that you’ve done? Or how about this? If there’s somebody out there who hasn’t read any of your books, is there a snack pack? Is there one they should start with? Then I was also going to say, and why? What was it about that book that just really, was it the experience of writing it that you grew or what was it that made it turn out as your favorite, let’s say? Well, it’s a little bit hard to say because often for me, when I’m writing a book, it’s the one that I’ve just finished or the one that I’m working on that I’m most emotionally engaged with. I wrote my last book, The Laws of Human Nature, which came out about two years ago. It was kind of what I considered the culmination of all of my thinking of my whole life, to put it bluntly. So I took all of these ideas that I’ve accumulated, all the lessons I’ve learned, all the bad things that I have done and experienced from it, and lessons from it, all the consulting work I’ve done, and I put my heart and soul into the laws of nature. And it came because I thought a big problem that people have nowadays is they’re so immersed in their smartphones and their technology, they don’t know how to understand people. They’re really bad at human psychology. And because of that, they hire exactly the wrong person. They pay, they have a business partner that ends up making them miserable and they spend years getting over it, or they choose the wrong partner for an intimate relationship that causes all this damage, or they don’t know how to influence people, they don’t know how to persuade them of their great idea to get some funding, or on and on and on. So I put so much energy, so much of my heart into that book, and I drew on all the things things that I’ve learned that perhaps I would say it’s my favorite to me, sort of the most important book. Maybe my favorite in some ways would be Mastery because it’s also extremely important. It’s a very different book. I was kind of stretching myself there, but I think I’ve had a lot of very positive feedback. So I would say those are my two favorites. Now the thing about Mastery, and for people that don’t know and haven’t read the book, there’s so many examples in the book. You know, you’re getting into Sir Isaac Newton. You know, and you might think, okay, I know about Sir Isaac Newton, but do you really know about Sir Isaac Newton? No, no, no. And then you read your book and you learn a lot about history. I just, I love the way you write. It’s great. Now, James, you’re an attorney from New York. Robert, we have a theme song for our New York attorney here. This is his theme song. A lot of people have some strong feelings towards attorneys. Robert, I get a different intro than you do, by the way. Okay, nice. Okay, so what question would you have for Robert Green, sir? Okay, now I heard you talk about your process earlier, your writing process. I also heard you mention something about, you know, 10,000 to 20,000 hours. Maybe that’s your time limit or maybe that’s your average time frame or the first person or the person’s first experience at writings timeline, what was your timeline for your first book from? Inception of the idea the concept the title to actual you know put your last Pencil down you’re done, and it’s ready to go to publication and and then Compared with what you’ve done now with the laws of nature? Well, that’s a very interesting question because my first book, I started writing it when I was basically 35, 36 years old. I was really desperate because at that time I hadn’t had any real success in life. I was kind of wandering from job to job and my parents were starting to get really worried about me. I was desperate to make this book a success. I was the most motivated person on the planet. To this day, I guess because I was a lot younger, I don’t even understand how I did it, but essentially I pulled that entire book off in two years. And what that meant was I had to create the concept that I now use for all of my books. So I had to create it out of nothing. In other words, using stories from history, creating different sections, creating kind of sections on ideas, and the quotes, the things on the margins and all of that. And then I had to read hundreds of books, organize them, write them. I didn’t know how I did it. And as a contrast, my last book essentially took five years. Five years? Yes. Whoa, is that your cat? That was my cat. How many cats do you have? Two. What are their names? Claudius and Jacques. Claudius and Jacques, the two cats. Now I want to ask you my final question here for you, sir, is you have the mic. Sometimes we have shows, Z, that have millions of downloads, and sometimes we have shows with hundreds of thousands of downloads. And I want to give you the mic to just share whatever you want to share with the Thrive Nation, and maybe you can tell us where listeners can find more about you? Well, I’m always hungry for new readers of my books because what really motivates me is there are a lot of self-help books out there. Everybody’s interested in changing themselves and improving their lives, making them better at what they do. But my experience is a lot of these books don’t actually affect you. And my whole strategy is I’m trying to get under your skin. I really want to change how you think, how you approach it, how you look at people, etc. And change you from within and have a long-lasting effect. You might find that a bit nefarious, but that’s sort of my strategy. And I think that’s why a lot of readers identify with my books and they have this kind of bigger effect than other books. And so to contact me, I have a website that I started, gosh, I don’t know, about 16 years ago, and I kept it as The N is spelled out. That’s There’s the name of our song. We’ve called it, cut down, Power Seduction. I don’t think the name of the song. That’s a great hook. Power Seduction in War. Yeah, I love it. 50 Cent. That’s your rap song, yeah. Featuring Robert Green. Yes. Which you’re gonna write for. Absolutely. And it won’t take five years, I promise you that. Oh! I’m not saying how good it’ll be, but it won’t take five years. We’re quality and speed. We have to choose. He’s gonna go with speed on this one. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I might do it under a pseudonym. I don’t know if I want to have myself identified. I’m thinking more like Big Daddy Green. The Green Machine. I like that one. That’s another one that’s jumped out to me. You could wear a big green hat. It would be a costume. We won’t even know it’s you. A big green hat. Beautiful idea. See, we should really spend hours thinking about this. We need to do it. We need to do it. We need to do it. We’ll circle back. We’ll circle back. for being on the show and for lowering your standards to allow us to be to interview you today. I really do appreciate you. Yes. Big move. Yeah. Well, you know, I lowered it just far enough. I like it. So thank you. Maybe I’ll keep lowering it even further. On today’s show, we are joined by the New York Times bestselling author who has sold million copies of his books. His book titles include The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** and the best-selling book Everything is S***. Also, Mark Manson is the author of Models Attract Women Through Honesty. And on today’s show, he joins us to share about the following topics and much, much more. I read Tim Ferriss’ Four-Hour Workweek and I had messed around with some web design and stuff when I was in school and I just, I read that book and I’m like, that’s it. That’s it. I’m going to start a web business and then I’m going to go sit on a beach. The funny thing about that book is that he doesn’t tell you that you make money while you sleep because you’re working 16 hours a day to build websites. Right, right, right. How many blogs did you write before you had any kind of traction? Oh, God. A hundred? Fifty? A hundred? You know, it’s funny. I get asked all the time. People come to me and they say, you know, I want to start a blog or I want to start a YouTube channel. It’s probably similar with you. Like, I want to start a podcast. Oh, yeah. And my go-to answer is I say, write 50 posts and then come ask again and I’m happy to help you. And I think in the last, you know, when it comes to content businesses like these, they don’t blow up overnight. That’s just the nature of them. Like you’re not going to really hit scale for like a year or two. I started online in 2008 and that was 2011 when I had like my own product and I was making like I could live off of the money I was making from my own thing for the first time. You know, if you cleaned up your language, more people would read you, which I find hilarious, by the way, because I’ve sold like 12 million books. But we have to train ourselves to begin to ignore them and to sift through all of the junk diet of information and hone in on the sources that we trust, that are very good, that are very well thought out and very, very productive, not just for us, but for other people as well. All this and more on today’s interview with bestselling author Mark Manson. Some shows don’t need a celebrity narrator to introduce the show. But this show does. Two men, eight kids, co-created by two different women, 13 multimillion dollar businesses. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Thriving Time Show. Now, 3, 2, 1, here we go! Yes, yes, yes, and yes! Thrive Nation, on today’s show, we are interviewing one of my favorite authors, the author of the subtle art of not giving a f***. Mark Manson, welcome on to the Thrive Time Show. How are you, sir? I’m great. It’s good to be here. Hey, you, uh, your little orange-covered book is all over the place. Every time I go to the airport, every time I go to Barnes & Noble, every time I go anywhere, that orange-covered book is everywhere. Does it blow your mind to see your book everywhere? Yeah, it’s pretty insane. That’s wild. It’s wild. I mean, you’ve had a ton of success, but I’d love to start at the bottom of your… at the very bottom, the very beginning. Sure. Kind of share your story of how you grew up and when you figured out what you actually wanted to do professionally. So I had a pretty typical, you know, middle class background, went to college. When I was in college, I thought I was gonna go into finance. And then I happened to graduate into the crash of 2008. So that didn’t work out so well. And so I was bumming around for about a year just taking odd jobs and I read Tim Ferriss’ Four-Hour Workweek. And I had messed around with some web design and stuff when I was in school and I read that book and I’m like, that’s it. I’m going to start a web business and then I’m going to go sit on a beach and life’s going to be easy. And the funny thing about that book is that he doesn’t tell you is that you make money while you sleep because you’re working 16 hours a day to build websites. Right, right, right. So I spent the next couple of years doing that and then eventually kind of the thing that stuck was a dating relationship advice website. And from there I started writing, I started blogging, because back in the day, back in like 2010 or whatever, blogging was like the hot new thing you had to do if you wanted to get traffic. It was the move. And then from there the blogging took off, and next thing I know I’m being read by like hundreds of thousands, millions of people. And from there I get a book deal, and it’s just like, it’s been crazy. It’s been a really crazy ride. Ah, my mind exploded. Now I want to ask this because somebody out there needs to get the little kick in the tail they need here. When you sat down to start blogging, bro, how many blogs did you write before you had any kind of traction at all? You know what I mean? Like how many blogs did you have to sit there? Because when you write it, it’s like kind of putting a message in the bottle out there but I mean, how many blogs did you have to write before you got any feedback at all? Oh God, 100, 50, 100? You know, it’s funny, I get asked all the time, people come to me and they say, I wanna start a blog or I wanna start a YouTube channel. It’s probably similar with you, like I wanna start a podcast. And my go-to answer is, I say, write 50 posts and then come ask again and I’m happy to help you. And I think in the last six or seven years that I’ve been saying that, maybe one person has actually come back with 50 posts written. In the last six or seven years that I’ve been saying that, maybe one person has actually come back with 50 posts written. In the last six or seven years that I’ve been saying that, maybe one person has actually come back with 50 posts written. My partner and I, Dr. Zellner, between the two of us, we’ve built 16 multi-million dollar companies. So there’s an optometry clinic, and there’s a brick and mortar men’s haircut chain, and different actual brick and mortar companies. And we only did the podcast because people kept asking, can I pick your brain? Can I pick your brain? And we thought, well, hey, we’ll do a podcast. That way when people say, can I pick your brain, there’s a way to give them our brain without giving them our time necessarily. And we just now have passed the 2,000 show mark. And I don’t think, Mark, we had any feedback from anybody at all until about 100 shows in. It’s the craziest thing ever. Even though we’ve had, quote unquote, some success, it’s like, is anybody listening? And you check how many downloads, and it’s like, look, you downloaded it, and I downloaded it, that’s two downloads. So how did you keep yourself encouraged during that time before you gained traction? Well, I think, you know, when it comes to content businesses like these, they don’t blow up overnight. That’s just the nature of them. Like, you’re not gonna really hit scale for a year or two. And so the piece of advice I always give is like, okay, if you wanna start a YouTube channel or a blog or whatever, great, but you need to plan on that not being your main gig for the first year or two. You need something else going on, some sort of back end or some sort of associated business that you’re also trying to build. Because I just think people see the result, they see where I am now 10 years later, they see where you are however many years later, and they just assume, like, oh, that’s, you know, they think that’s going to happen six months from now. Right. No, it’s a slow burn. How did you, or when did you first monetize your blog in any capacity? Was it like an advertiser? Was it somebody who hired you for some consulting? Do you remember the first time? I just wanna know how long it took you to monetize it in some capacity, because there’s somebody out there I wanna encourage right now. So I, initially my blogging, I’d say the first two years, my blogging was just used to get traffic and to promote, to basically do affiliate marketing. So to promote other people’s products, other people’s books, things like that. I started a number of blogs to do that and they all made a little bit of money, not much. But then the dating relationship thing started to take off. And so after a couple years I decided I should create my own product and then start promoting that. And so that was, I started online in 2008 and that was 2011 when I had my own product and I was making, I could live off of the money I was making from my own thing for the first time. What was your first product for the people out there who are not familiar with your story? So I wrote a men’s dating book. Yeah. Basically, because most of my readers at the time, I was like 25, 26, and so most of my readers at the time were around the same age, they were single guys. And so I wrote a men’s dating book and just self-published it, threw it up on Amazon, and to my surprise, it did super well. It’s still doing well. Models attract women through honesty. Is that the book? Yes. Okay. And so you wrote this, now you start monetizing. So it took a couple of years to start monetizing this thing. And then you, my understanding is that you felt inspired to write a blog one day that one day that you decided it was going to be the most offensive blog ever written potentially. I don’t know if that was your goal. Tell us what happened the day you woke up and thought you know what I’m gonna write this blog post. Sure well I’ll throw in just really quick there was a transition in there around 2013 so one thing I always did is I would start with like a super niche market and then once I kind of saturated that, I would pivot into a bigger market. So, you know, I started with like young men’s dating advice and then I went to just general dating relationship advice for men and women. And then I went from there and to kind of the self-help market at large. And that whole process was probably like a five-year process to build up that audience like one step at a time. And so, jump ahead to 2015 and my blog had caught on pretty well. I was getting probably a million and a half readers each month. And I sat down, I was in a really cranky mood and I had a title, I keep this sheet in my phone with title ideas and article ideas and things like that. And I had this idea that had been sitting in my phone for a long time and it was called the subtle art of not giving a f***. And I had never really known what to write for that. It just kind of sat there. And then one day I was feeling kind of bummed out and angry and snarky and decided I’m going to write an article and it’s going to say f*** as many times as I possibly could say it. But it’s also going to give some of the best life advice that I can possibly give to people. And the goal was to just like scramble people’s brains, like leave them in a state of like, well, this is so offensive, but it’s actually really good and I don’t know what to do with myself. And that kind of cognitive dissonance just, it took off. It was absolutely crazy. I think that article itself ended up getting more than 10 million page views the first month. You know, I have a Judeo-Christian background. That’s kind of my world view. And I know it seems that a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** probably doesn’t have a whole lot to do with my world views, but there was a Bible verse that I love, Matthew 5.10, that said, Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Essentially, if you stand up for something, somebody is going to persecute you. You know, someone’s going to be upset about it, no matter what values you pick. I think your book is very emotionally liberating for a lot of people, of all faiths and all backgrounds. Do you get that a lot? Do you hear people tell you that it’s emotionally liberating for people to embrace that by standing up for something, somebody’s going to be pissed off about it? Absolutely. And I get that. I get the religious thing, too. You know, I did a couple Christian podcasts with pastors. One of them said that he regularly recommended the book to his congregation. I hear that from Muslims, too, from Buddhists. That part really surprised me because it is a secular book. It’s not religious at all, but I think so many of the life lessons are just so fundamental and part of the human experience that they’re reflected in each of the religions. Have you spent a lot of time studying the origins of the word f***? You know what’s funny? As you can imagine, I get the criticism all the time. If you cleaned up your language, more people would read you, which I find hilarious, by the way, because I’ve sold like 12 million books. I get that email constantly. And so, like three or four years ago, I actually, I started, I researched profanity and vulgarity. And I wrote a post about it, kind of explaining like, okay, this is why I use this language. And it’s a very, like, it’s not, I’m not using it because I’m just an idiot who can’t think of other words. Like I’m using it very pointedly and intentionally to kind of like slap people in the face a little bit. And it was interesting because most of what we consider vulgar today, it’s really only, it’s only been considered offensive for the last 80 to 100 years or so. And it’s really funny, if you go back to like the 1700s or 1600s, what was considered offensive back then is completely different. Like I discovered that in 16th century or 17th century England, the most offensive word you could say was occupy. It’s crazy, occupy? Occupy, it was like the most scandalous thing that you could possibly utter. Occupy. It just shows you how arbitrary these things are. Words are just words and the meaning, the significance we put on them, we’re choosing to put that significance on them and the meaning evolves. At first somebody told me what it meant. They told me about this Scottish poem that came out in 1503, 1505, something like that, where in the poem the guy uses this acronym, you know, fornication under consent of the king. You know, because basically back in the day if you wanted to have extramarital sex or you wanted to just be a man whore, you could pay an indulgence for the right to do that. You know? And so he came up with this acronym, you know, which stood for fornication under consent of the king. And I just think it’s interesting how a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** could teach my favorite Bible verse, Matthew 5.10, Blessed are those who are persecuted because of their righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. I mean, seriously, it’s like, your book is phenomenal. Now, in your book, and I want to talk about your new book too, but in the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***, you write, The act of choosing a value for yourself requires alternative values. If I choose to make my marriage the most important part of my life, that means I’m probably choosing to not make cocaine-fueled hooker orgies an important part of my life. I’d love for you to break down where you see most people struggling to reject alternative values in this world of political correctness. One of the things that I raise throughout the book is that I think people are very, so there are two things that I think happen a lot today. One is that we simply aren’t aware of our values. I think part of it is just all the distraction from all the technology and phones and blah, blah, blah. We become so caught up in just this autopilot that we don’t even realize what our priorities are a lot of the time. And then I think the second thing that happens a lot, and I think this is driven primarily by social media, is that we like to portray certain values, perhaps online or to each other, that we don’t necessarily live or embody or act in our real life. And I think the problem is that the media and the kind of the social media, but just the media environment in general is rewarding that right now. So it’s rewarding kind of like self-righteousness and moral outrage. And it just, it promotes that kind of behavior and that kind of attitude towards people. I think the right has had its own dose of that in the last ten years, but I think right now it’s the left’s turn to really, really just scold everybody as if they’re everybody’s mother or something like that. I have a funny story for you. I think you’d like this, Mark. Mark, you are kind of to blame for this, your book is, okay? One of my clients, if you get a chance to Google search him, his name is Steve Currington. And if you Google search Tulsa Mortgages, like you’re looking for a mortgage to buy a house, his company, Total Lending Concepts, comes up top in the Google search results. He’s been a client of mine for five years, and now he did $251 million of mortgages last year. And he gets 1.75% on all that. He’s doing great. That was one of his goals, to buy this neon green Lamborghini. And right away, just having a Lamborghini pisses people off. I mean, there are certain people that are mad and certain people that want to get a photo. But now in a town like Tulsa with 500,000 people, everybody knows him. Now he is a very pro-Trump kind of guy. That’s kind of his world views pro-trump you know and so he recently auto-wrapped his car a Lamborghini with Trump and his crazy hair all over the car it’s a great no I’m not kidding and if you go to YouTube and go to Lambros right now on YouTube it’s Lambros L-A-M-B-R-O-S he has millions of people that want to see this Lamborghini with the Trump wig on it and it’s the craziest thing because it looks like he turned up Donald Trump into an action hero. It’s amazing. It just screams a Trump-tastic America. And it’s just, it’s American flags and eagles and there’s a big wall, you know, going around our country and it’s the craziest thing ever. And he gets people that will clap and boo, but it causes people to react. Why, why is it, why is it so power? I mean, I just want you to explain this because you’ve studied the science of this, I’m sure, but why is it that everybody in a town like Tulsa is going to know the guy with the Lamborghini with Trump on it, and no one’s going to remember the guy with the Honda with nothing on it, because he doesn’t want to offend anybody? You know what I mean? If you had a Lamborghini with Bernie Sanders on it, why does everybody remember that, and no one remembers the guy with the Honda and the conservative black, so no one gets offended? Well, we tend to remember things that cause an emotional reaction. And we also tend to overestimate the importance of things that cause an emotional reaction. So like, for instance, this is why everybody’s freaked out about the coronavirus, because it’s very scary when the flu kills 10 times more people every single year, year after year after year. It’s that the flu is very boring and quotidian and not very exciting, so we forget about it. We don’t pay attention to it. You know, and this is one thing that I write about a lot. It’s just that our human faculties are very flawed. We’re very, we’re not, we didn’t really evolve for truth. We evolved for survival. A lot of the way our perceptions work, our memory works, our emotions work can actually work against us in a lot of ways, especially when we live in such a complex world where we have to deal with so many different kinds of people. One of my missions in life is to just make people more aware of how flawed their psychology is and make them aware of like you know how a green Lamborghini with Trump on it driving by can like set them off one way or another and like that it doesn’t matter like it doesn’t it’s just the car yeah I am the unimportant people so outraged even before you auto wrapped it with the Trump stuff I’ve seen people outraged that he even has a car that cost them it’s crazy yeah it’s just wild how there’s that, we want to be outraged. In your book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***, we are defined by what we choose to reject. And if we reject nothing, we essentially have no identity at all. So I’ll pick on myself. I have five kids. They’re great kids. And I have one wife. We’ve been married almost 20 years. And I drive a Hummer. And I live on a ton of land. I mean, just a ton of land. You know, thousands of trees. That’s kind of my thing. And I sort of reject a lot of things, but I didn’t really, I wasn’t aware of it until I’d read your book, how many things I reject. So I don’t participate in social media, except to put out content. I don’t respond to stuff. I don’t go out to eat when requested to. You know, people ask me to go out to eat. I don’t do it. I just don’t. I invite people to my house, but I don’t go out to eat. I never meet alone with women because I know myself, and I just kind of want to, you know, where three or more are gathered, I feel better about life as a married guy, for me personally, you know. I have these certain things that I do, and I didn’t realize how much it irritated some people that I have these certain rules I live by. Can you talk to me about, or talk to the listeners out there about some of the things that maybe we need to reject to become happier people? Like what are some of the things that we need to, that maybe the average listener needs to start rejecting to get to, maybe to be more at peace? I think the big thing I propose all the time is we need to develop a habit to become kind of merciless with the information that we consume. I actually, I draw an analogy with the 1950s and 60s. So like when industrialized food blew up and suddenly like everybody can go to the grocery store and get Twinkies and TV dinners and all this stuff. Like for the first time in human history, like there’s just this overabundance of really, really sweet and salty food for very cheap. And so for the first time ever, we had to learn how to manage our eating habits, manage our nutrition, manage our diet, start exercising, things like that. It’s a skill that we had to develop as a culture in reaction to the abundance that we produced. I think the same thing is happening today with the internet and information. There’s this overabundance of information. There is the twinkie equivalent of shocking YouTube video or upsetting tweet that just went out today. Our mind craves those things because they’re very easy and they’re very satisfying for a short period of time, but we have to train ourselves to begin to ignore them and to sift information and and hone in on the sources That we trust that are very good that are very well thought out And very very productive not just for us, but but for other people as well And so like I’ve kind of been on a crusade about that and I I don’t for some people that means getting rid of all social media I don’t necessarily, you know Some people need some degree of social media to keep in touch with certain people or for work or for whatever. But for me, it’s like there should be a really, really strong screening mechanism of what you let onto your newsfeed, what you let into your inbox. There should be a really, really strong screening mechanism of what you let onto your newsfeed, what you let into your inbox. There should be a really, really strong screening mechanism of what you let onto your news feed, what you let into your inbox. If you’re a guy with five kids, I totally get it, who you go to dinner with or how often you go out for dinners. Time is really the only scarce, truly scarce resource in this world. You need to protect it and you need to take care of it. Well, you know, there was an article that Paul Graham, the guy behind you, Airbnb and Dropbox and Reddit, that he sent out a tweet to an article that appeared in The Guardian called Our Minds Can Be Hijacked, The Tech Insiders Who Fear a Smartphone Dystopia. And in that book, Justin Rosen, or in the article, Justin Rosenstein, who created that Facebook like button. He was explaining how, just some of the statistics that are out there and why he personally is now trying to avoid using smart phones and apps and that kind of thing. This is the guy who invented the Facebook like button. But he said the average person now taps their phone or swipes it 2,617 times a day. And Nielsen now shows the average person is on their phone 11.3 hours a day. And I just find it’s like, I mean, Psychology Today has articles about this. What advice would you have for somebody out there who feels, maybe the business owners out there, who feel, you know, they own a bakery, they own a plumbing business, they own a doctor’s office, a law firm, something like that, and every time they look at their phone there’s a bad review or a good review. There’s a bad comment or a good comment. And they got all the apps set up there. They got all the push notifications going on. And therefore, they can never actually be happy because they’re in this permanent dystopia seeking universal praise. What advice would you have for the business owner out there who’s got thousands of data points coming in a day and they’re just letting those push notifications push their brain around? Outsource it. I, especially as an author and somebody who’s very prominent on social media, I have very strict rules for myself in terms of like, it happens about once or twice a year where like I will somehow end up scrolling into the reviews of my own books. And as I’m doing it, I’m like, why are you doing this, Mark? Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it. And sure enough, I get there and I read like two of them and I’m like, it’s just, it ruins my day. I, you know, the feedback’s important, but the problem is, is that so much of the feedback you get online is just noise. You know, it’s the Yelp review of somebody who’s like, you know, amazing bakery, but couldn’t find parking, one star. You don’t, if you see that as the business owner, that is going to upset you so much. But if you get somebody on your staff or an assistant or somebody and tell them, look, once a month, comb through Yelp, find the five most useful pieces of feedback on Yelp and then write them out and send them to me in an email or something. That’s super useful. And then you don’t have to take the emotional toll of scrolling through all these bull emails and reviews and things like that, and having to go through the emotional roller coaster of reading those things. You know, I’ve noticed too, I’m going through your book reviews right now on Amazon. The trolls, for my businesses, they love to write the long, long reviews. Oh, the trolls do. Now, the happy guy usually will write a short, kind of a to the point thing So I’m seeing love this book and the concept. Thank you five stars. Oh, awesome You know, this is definitely one of my favorite self-help books and it goes on five stars mark. You’re killing it But then the one guy who’s upset he’s got a lot of time on his hands. He likes to write stuff It’s unbelievable now for the business owners out there to make this very actionable one of the things we teach a lot in our business coaching program is is the purple cow. The concept by the Thrived Time Show guest and best-selling author Seth Godin. He talks about, if you’re remarkable, it’s likely that some people won’t like you. That’s part of the definition of being remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise ever. The best that Timmy can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out. You are standing out, but what advice would you have for the bakery owner out there or the business owner out there who is wanting to paint their sign neon green so that it stands out. They’re wanting to paint their plumbing truck with a purple cow print to stand out. They are wanting to deliver that sermon that’s going to outrage people but hold them accountable. They’re wanting to, but then they don’t want to offend anybody, what would you say? It’s impossible. And you know, this ties back into that quote that you pulled up earlier, which is, think about these things in terms of who do you want to alienate? Because if you’re a business owner, or if you’re trying to do something in the world, like you said, you’re going to have to alienate somebody. So ask yourself, who do I want to alienate? Which customers do I not want coming into my bakery or into my doctor’s office? And then position yourself accordingly. That is good right there. Who do you want to alienate? We got to put that on a shirt. That is hot. That’s hot. That’s a book title for you, my friend, right there. That’s book four or five. That’s hot. Who do you want to alienate? Shunda. That is good. I’m going to hit my bomb button here. Oh, that’s a glory. That was a good one. Okay, I’ll move on. That was good. Now, you have a book. Again, you see it, you find it everywhere, and you’ve gone from the blog guy to the book guy, the self-published guy, to now the best-selling author guy. So I just wanna know, I wanna know the process. How was your process like for getting a book deal? I think a lot of people wanna know what that looks like. It was a little bit different for me because I had a big blog. But it’s generally, you always wanna get an agent. What I noticed when this question comes up, people tend to overestimate how important the book idea is. Book ideas are dime a dozen. It’s like business ideas. We’ve all got business ideas and none of it matters. Until you actually write the thing, none of it really matters. People overestimate the book idea, they underestimate all of the business stuff. So who’s your target market? How do you plan on marketing it? Do you have an online platform? Do you have a blog or a podcast or a YouTube channel? Do you have connections to journalists or other people that can promote it? Like that stuff is just as important, if not more important than the actual book idea itself. If you’re like, it’s like if Kim Kardashian wants to write a book, they don’t even care what the book idea is, they’re like, here’s some money, go write it. If you have a platform and a marketing machine above a certain size, they’ll figure out the book idea with you later. So I think people need to worry more about the business side of things and a little bit less, you know, the idea will figure itself out. How did you determine what agency to go with or agent to go with? It’s actually a really funny story. So when I wrote that blog post around the time, the subtle art of not giving a f*** about blog posts. I actually, I happen to mention on the website around that time that I was working on a book and I wasn’t sure if I was gonna self-publish it or publish it normally. And I got about four or five agents reaching out to me and setting up calls with me. And it was an interesting conversation because I was, by that time I was making good money through my site, I was making good money from my self-published book. I knew if I self-published another book, I’d probably make high six or low seven figures from it. And so I went into these calls with the agents of like, okay, convince me why I should do this. Convince me why I should sign with a publisher and give them 70% of my royalties or whatever. And it was funny because all of the agents, they tried to be my buddy, they tried to be like, you know, they kind of promised me the moon. Oh yeah. They said, no, it’s gonna be amazing, like just trust me. Trust me. And they tried to sweet talk me and all this stuff. And then I got on the phone with this one woman and she consistently interrupted me. I could never get a word in. And then when I asked her why I should publish, go with a publisher instead of self-publish, her response was, I don’t know, do whatever you want, but if you want a publisher, call me back. And then she hung up on me. And I was like, I was offended for about five seconds. And then I’m like, that’s the person I want negotiating on my behalf to other people. And so I called her back the next day and I’m like, alright, you’re on. And she’s been my agent ever since. She’s amazing. This just in, tips for getting mega clients, talk over them and just don’t let Mark Manson talk and then you too can become his agent. Exactly. That is awesome. Okay, so now your book is everywhere. It’s in Targets, it’s in Barnes and Noble, it’s in airports, I mean literally everywhere I go I see the orange cover. And I’ve actually bought many copies of the book for my employees and for myself and for people I care about. So you’ve probably made at least $200 from my staff here. I think you get like two bucks a book maybe, right? I mean it’s not that sweet. People think you get a lot more per book, but hopefully you’ve made a few hundred dollars off my staff. Yeah, two to three dollars each I’d say. Okay, well, so I’ve probably paid you $600 so far, so I need this help. If you’re out there listening today, buy a copy of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***. Let’s get at least $1,000 in Mark Manson’s pocket today. If you think about it, folks, all you’ve got to do is go without a regrettable purchase from a convenience store. Don’t get the regrettable burrito. Don’t supersize a meal this week. Maybe fast for one day. Don’t go to Starbucks for one day. Buy a copy of the book. And you could have been done but you decided to go ahead and work on another book. And your next book is called Everything is F***, a book about hope. What? What is this book about? What inspired you to write it? Two things really. I mean the first was, the first was, I’ll say there’s kind of a social component and then a personal component. The first, the social component is kind of what we were talking about earlier, is that I think by pretty much every material metric, being alive today is the best it’s ever been in the history of humankind. Truth. It’s just, the world is amazing. If you take the time and just think about, like if you think about what’s happening right now, like I’m walking around in sweatpants in LA with a headset on that isn’t even like there’s not even a cord and I’m talking to you God knows where you are and it’s being recorded as being blasted out to you know hundreds of thousands of billions of people or whatever like it’s it’s absolutely stunning what we experience on a day-to-day basis and yet when you look at mental health measurements and kind of the more psychological metrics, people are more anxious, depressed, miserable, upset, and angry than any other time in modern history. And so, I wanted to look at, basically to me that says that there’s something about modern life and all this technology and everything that is causing us to feel as though things are getting worse even though they’re actually getting better. And so I wanted to write a book that looked at that and took a real critical analysis of what it is about the world that is causing that. You know, we had a guy by the name of Daniel Goleman, the clinical psychologist on the show. And he was talking about in this world of digital devices, we have to create boundaries that didn’t exist before. You know, he says, he talks about how you lived in this world back in the day, you know, in the 1980s, or when I first started my first company, DJ Connection. Even though Market became the largest wedding entertainment company in the country, do you know how many times I got a text message from an angry customer? Never. Do you know how many times I got a bad review? Never. Why? Because you couldn’t do it. If you were pissed, what would you do? You call, you leave a voicemail, we call you on Monday. Right? Now everybody’s all hooked up to the devices and Daniel Goleman writes, we need to recreate boundaries. When you carry a digital gadget, that creates a virtual link to your office. You need to create a digital boundary, a virtual boundary that didn’t exist before. What advice would you have for the listeners out there who own companies, where they have literally thousands of people at any given time who could be happy or pissed. I see so many business owners that struggle. The bigger their company gets, the more depressed they get because they’re always hooked up to the digital universe. What advice would you have for them to maybe create a little more happiness in their craniums? I think that’s a great piece of advice, the digital boundaries. You know, for me, I’ve just learned throughout my career, especially as I become more popular and recognized and all these things. Drawing that line between the professional and personal and then sticking to that line, not breaking it, is just so important for my professional health and sanity. You know, it’s like if I’m taking messages from my team during dinner with my wife and I’m stressing out about stuff like this or that, you know, not only is it removing me from my personal relationships in that moment, but it’s stressing me out, it’s burning me out, and I’m gonna be less available the next morning when I need to get up and be ready for work. I just try to, if things come in after, when I’m done for the day, I’m done for the day. When I’m on the clock, I’m on the clock. When I’m off, it’s just no emails, no texts. And if something comes through for whatever reason, I say, cool, I’ll look at it tomorrow. That is powerful. Now, in your book out there, there’s somebody out there who’s thinking about, they’re going, you know, I’m thinking about buying the book, Everything is F***ed, but at the end of the day I might not. I’ve got to click the button, I have carpal tunnel, I might have to go to Amazon and click a button and I have carpal tunnel, my hand is very tired right now but yet I’m very motivated to buy the book. It’s hard. It’s hard. I’m just going to open the book and just kind of peer into it a little bit. Chapter one of Everything is F***ed, a book about hope, is titled The Uncomfortable Truth. What is the uncomfortable truth? I feel like you should read it, because I’m not going to do it justice if I don’t read it. If you go to the second section, there’s a joke on there about if I worked at a Starbucks, I would write instead of writing people’s names on the cup, like what I’d write instead is something akin to like, you and everyone you know are going to die and pretty much everything you do in your life is going to have absolutely no significance on the grandest scale of things. And it just goes on and on and on. It’s like, we’re just a bunch of monkeys on a piece of dirt. Like, you know, enjoy your coffee. And it’s called the uncomfortable truth because on the one hand it is true. We are so tiny and insignificant and things are so fleeting and seem so minuscule in the grand scheme of things. But it’s a certain, it’s a fact that we all have to negotiate and kind of figure out for ourselves. We all are confronted with that truth at some point in our lives and we all have to develop some sense of meaning and purpose for ourselves in spite of it. And that’s kind of what the book is about. This thing is, this idea, we’ve got a lot of emails recently from listeners about this, but I built I sold it when I was 27. So since the age of 27, I haven’t really had to work in the way that other people have had to work. And so I have this little boutique, we’ll call it, Mark, you know, consulting company, and I never take on more than 160 clients because I just don’t want to. It’s like I got to 160 and I was like, that’s good, that’s good, that’s good, that’s good. It bothers people though when you’re satisfied and or comfortable with where you’re at. You know, they almost feel like it’s depressing when you don’t have any huge goals to eat the earth. You know, I just want to tap into your brain and your goals here. What are your goals? Do you want to put out 10 books before the age of X? Do you want to, you just want to make your next book the best book? Do you, how do you define success? Because I think it’s very interesting when we interview super successful people to find out how you define success. Well, it’s interesting you ask that because after Subtle Art came out, I really struggled with that because I’d say previous to Subtle Art, I had a lot of those conventional metrics of success. You know, I want to be a New York Times best-selling author, I want to sell a million books, I want to do speaking engagements in foreign countries and all this stuff. And all of that happened in like a year. And so I suddenly was sitting around with a lot of time on my hands and a lot of money coming into my bank account and having no idea what to do with myself anymore. And so I’ve actually spent a lot of time the past few years thinking about that. For me right now, I kind of think of it as I have a few missions in life and one of them is I feel like the self-help genre or the self-help industry has a lot of toxic and kind of cancerous aspects to it. So I want to disrupt that industry. Yes, yes, yes, and yes, I could not agree more. This is great, continue, I love this, I couldn’t agree with you more. Yeah, and that’s beautiful because that’s a long term slow moving thing. I think the one thing I discovered the hard way is that having those very numerical external metrics of like, okay, I want to do like a million dollars in revenue or something. You know, it’s like, that’s nice. Like it’s, it’s nice to have those and it’s nice to get those. But they’re not sufficient. Like you need some broader. And I, again, I think of it as like a mission in life. And so disrupting the self-help industry is one of them. Another one is the same one I mentioned earlier, which is simply like making these ideas about, like understanding how our emotions drive our sense of what we find important and how like, you know, a green Lamborghini feels important, but it’s not, or, you know, a few hundred people in China dying feels important, but it’s not. It’s just scary. And those aren’t the same things. You know, it’s, I want to raise the consciousness in the culture and have all these kind of psychological concepts. And psychologists have known this stuff for decades, but it hasn’t seeped its way in. Like, people haven’t processed it yet. And I feel like we need to process, if we’re gonna survive the social media age, we have to process these things, or else we’re just gonna get thrown into a hurricane. Mark, we have four minutes and four rapid fire questions, so here we go. What is the Disappointment Panda? Disappointment Panda is a superhero I created in subtle art, and his superpower is to tell people truths that they don’t want to hear. Awesome. Such as? Maybe give just one example. In the book, he walks door to door like a Bible salesman and knocks on the door. Somebody will come and say, ìYou think that making more money will make your kids appreciate you, but it wonít.î Then he tells them to have a nice day and goes down to the next house. Oh, disappointment panda. Okay, so Brett Denton, one of our thrivers out there, heís a very successful business owner, listener, client of mine. He built a gym called Cavell Fit. It’s like a big group classes, a fitness training center in Boise, Idaho. And he writes a question for you. He says, it seems you have a knack mark for writing and researching in a way that is new and fresh. How do you determine the content for writing and how to spin it in a way that is new and interesting? Generally, I use myself as a barometer. I kind of trust that if I find it interesting and if I tell my friends about it and they seem to find it interesting, that it’s probably something that a lot of people are experiencing or thinking about. And then from there, in terms of writing it in a fun or clever way, I get bored easily, and so my bar is like, I need to write something that I wouldn’t be bored reading. And that’s it. Okay, final two questions for you. Thrivetime guest Nir Eyal, the author of Hooked and Now Indistractable, apparently is your writing accountability partner. Could you explain about your relationship with Nir as it relates to being your writing accountability partner? Ah, Nir’s great. We wrote our books together. So being a writer is hard because it’s very isolating and it’s really hard to keep yourself on task when you’re just sitting in a room by yourself for six, eight, ten hours at a time. And so I met Nir a few years ago. We had both just started our last books and we were both struggling to make much progress on them. And we actually, we discovered that we only lived like maybe half a mile away from each other. And so we started meeting up a couple of mornings each week and banging it out and we’ve been friends ever since. Final question. You’ve got the mic and before we drop the mic, you can say anything you want to our half a million listeners, any word, message, book they should buy, action step you want them to take, disappointment, panda quote, anything you want to say. Well, I’m not promoting anything at the moment. So, you know, just check out the books when you’re in, next time you’re in the airport. But yeah, I would say improving your life is about improving your problems, not necessarily improving your successes. So focus on choosing good problems, and all the good stuff will happen as a byproduct. Can you dig it? And I’m gonna say this to the listeners. I don’t want any of the listeners to feel bad if they don’t buy a copy of Everything is F***ed, a book about hope. I don’t want them to feel bad, but I can say for as little as maybe $20 a week, you too could support a very successful author by buying a copy every week. So just keep buying that. Put that on auto ship. Get that stuff. Get that on Amazon. Mark Manson, thank you so much, man, for being on the Thrive Time Show. Thanks, man. It was a blast. Oh, Thrive Nation, that was an incredible show right there. Mark Manson, great author, great guest. If you learned something today, share that with somebody. Just share the podcast with somebody you know. Send them a text. Send them an email. Tweet it to them. Send it to them on Facebook. Maybe fax them an MP3 if that is in fact possible. Now listen, listen here. If you’re going to be introducing Daniel Pink, the four-time New York Times best-selling author, this intro, Clay, it better be hot. I don’t even know how to begin to introduce this guy. I mean he graduated from Yale Law School in 91. He wrote, he’s a speechwriter for Al Gore I mean he’s a four-time New York Times best-selling 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 so that you took the ACT three times just just focus on the fact that you have none of the skills or talents that he has and just don’t let overwhelm you just get up there and do your thing. Ladies and gentlemen, on today’s show, we are interviewing the four-time New York Times best-selling author, the man they pay to think, its thought leader, Daniel Pink. Once a speech writer for VP Al Gore, he knows how to write the speech to make the people implore. You must grab a pen and pack, I implore. Daniel Pink is talking strategy like the art of war. If you’re on the floor but you want to score, then peace can hold your mind and you’ll be one and more. He says with language rhymes it’s more sublime. I’m gonna tell you his name one more time. Daniel Pink. And if you don’t know now you know. Big shout out to Yale Law School, class of 1991. Daniel Pink. And if you don’t know now you know. Some shows don’t need a celebrity narrator to introduce the show. But this show does. Two men. Eight kids. Co-created by two different women. Thirteen multi-million dollar businesses. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Thriving Time Show. On today’s show we have a very special guest. It’s none other than my brother from another mother, the four-time New York Times best selling author, Dan 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. How many weeks or how many books? I don’t know how many weeks. How many books have you written to become New York Times bestsellers? Four. And with those four books, you now have this overwhelming success. You’re so eloquent. There’s so many great interviews you’ve done and so many presentations. Go back to the bottom. 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, I feel honestly like I’m still gaining traction. I came to this career in writing books in sort of a weird way. I didn’t really figure out what I wanted to do with my life, what I wanted to be when I grew up until, I don’t know, in my early 30s. So I went down a very peculiar path. 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. I ended up working in Washington for a little bit, then I went to law school, really didn’t like it, didn’t want to become a lawyer. I graduated from law school unemployed, 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 insight as it came went with this. And I think it’s a lesson for particularly some of your younger listeners out there. There are a lot of people who tell you, you know, you gotta find your passion. What’s your passion? And I hate that question. For me, it was a very different question, and it was this. What do you do? What do you actually do? And for me, from the time I 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 gonna go, you know, do you know do whatever taxidermy, you know? And it wasn’t I don’t know how I came up with bowling and taxidermy Although it’d be kind of cool if you had a sport where you actually rolled a ball down a lane and you knocked over little stuffed animals. That would be kind of cool. We just invented a new sport. Right. This is something we’ve done together. Our first collaborative opportunity. It’s ball endurme. Coming up on ABC Sports. And so, 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. 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 think that that, 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, 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 feel free to correct me here. You were 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. How did you become a speechwriter? Were you the master orator? And I believe you wrote some speeches for Mr. Alvin Gore. So, I did for several years. So here’s the thing. Here’s how I became a speechwriter. All right? And this is 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 bestselling book come out? 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, become an independent entrepreneur. And it was really about like, why was this way before the gig economy Why was this happening? Why were people? Choosing this path and why were Some people being forced on to it. But 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? I am 54 years old. Okay, I’m 38 I’m a father of five kids and I am about… How old are your kids? My oldest daughter, she’s 14. My son’s 11. I have a daughter that’s 9 and then twins that are 7. And I started my first company out of my dorm room at Oral Roberts University. I sold the company, but it was the nation’s largest wedding entertainment company called And I was in Minnesota and I had a family member who was a family member of mine who was very, very successful who said, I need to read this book, Free Age and Economy. Oh, really? And I said, bah! Bah! Boo! Because I knew about all the DJ music, I knew the top 40, you know, I knew about these things. Scaling a company, thinking about my career, free agents, no, no, no. Then I sold DJ Connection, kind of a 27-year-old, now retired. At 27, I didn’t have to work anymore, and I picked up the book. Oh. And so it was like a message in a bottle that took me years to read. And that’s how I first discovered your writing. And I just want to ask you this, 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 felt like made sense? Yeah, that’s a great question. I think it’s helpful for aspiring writers to have writers really talk about some of the mechanics, like what is it really like? I’ll tell you what happened to me. For this first book, I had actually written a… I had left my job and was out on my own and I had written a magazine story for a magazine called Fast Company about this phenomenon of people, of what we call free agents. 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 were writers. Another good way to find agents is to go into the acknowledgements of books, read the acknowledgements of books, because a writer, we usually thank his or her agent. And I sent it to a bunch of agents and I don’t know, maybe a dozen and that friends and whatever had recommended and some of them said, no thanks, not interested in this. Oh yeah, a lot of them, yeah. And some of them said, this is great, I’ll represent you and let’s have another conversation. And there was one agent in particular who called me and said, this is really interesting, do you wanna have lunch and talk about it? And so I had lunch with him and talked about it. 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 this fellow, Rafe Stegallan, has been my agent for 20 years now. Really? So you guys have had that relationship for 20 plus years? Yeah. And the writer-agent relationship is extraordinarily important because a lot of times in publishing houses, editors come and go. Your agent can be a sounding board. Your agent certainly is your advocate, not only in getting the contract and negotiating a good deal, but also throughout the publishing process. Your agent is very good at understanding the broader contours of the market and this is my decision to pick this particular literary agent was One of the best business decisions I have ever made You have you 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 have invested 300 pages Hours 400 hours at 4,000 hours and 300 pages into writing peer-dribble this book must not be released. 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 so 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, I will write a book proposal. And my book proposals tend to be 30, 40 pages long. Wow. Yeah, they have research. 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 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 used that 30 to 40 page book proposal as a way to kind of road test it. It’s a prototype of sorts. It’d be like, here’s the thing, like, I don’t know, you were in college. Did you have a business plan for your business? It was interesting. I had a plan, but it was a drawing. Okay, that’s actually really interesting. That’s super interesting. 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 that would have been a mistake. It’s similar for me and book proposals. Now, what I want to do is I want to take the listeners through sort of a highlight reel. As a DJ, a lot of times you buy a CD and it’s got like, back in the day you’d buy a CD and it had like, the best of the Eagles. You know, like the best of the Doobie Brothers, the best of. Once you got to the part of your career where you were starting to book casino gigs, you know, Journey is now at a casino, the Doobie Brothers. Once you got to that casino phase. I like Journey though, I actually am a Journey fan. Okay, so once you get to the casino phase of your career, you realize what we gotta do, let’s do a best of album. I mean, 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, I’m going to go through the best of. This is interesting. It’s like a best of with an author who’s still putting out current relevant stuff. 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 am a person who 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 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, A Drive, is about the science of motivation and what really motivates people. And one of the things that happens, especially in schools, is that, well, here’s what we know about motivation in general. One of the greatest motivators that people have, these intrinsic motivator is Knowing why you’re doing something and making progress in doing it. And so in our schools Many schools are so incredibly great conscious that grades are about the grades are 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 are just totally compliant. They know what you need to do to get the grade. Kids who are less good at school 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. For you, 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 I agree was just it was just basically you didn’t have you weren’t in a setting that was prizing learning It was prizing performance and let me actually make a simpler a simpler way to describe this. 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 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 have learned French and probably would have done just fine on the tests. There was a Napoleon Hill quote that set me free. I was probably 19 there Dan and it 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 I’m going Failure is a prerequisite to success. Yeah Okay, so I have to fail and I’ll fix my script and then you know, I had to see it as a prerequisite Yeah, and in your book the adventures of Johnny Bunko. Yeah, the last career guide you’ll ever need. You wrote, it’s kind of like taking Napoleon Hill to the next level, you wrote, persistence trumps talent. Oh, wait, totally. 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 out of highlighter juice right there. I ran out of highlighter juice and I’m just like, ah, it’s so good, I’ve got to get them on the show. Walk me through that quote, it’s so good. I think this is fundamental. It’s something that I wish someone had told me earlier in my life. It’s something that I discovered later in my life. That is, and it goes to, there’s some, you know, there’s some very, I’ll come back to the research on this, but let me tell you what the idea is. We have in some ways oversold the importance of great talent and being a quote-unquote natural. The truth of the matter is talent still matters and there is such a thing as innate talent and innate ability, but it matters far less, I believe, than we think that it does. And what really matters is showing up and being persistent and making that 103rd call and making that 104th call and making that 105th call. And what I have seen as a writer, and actually it’s interesting because I’m making a connection I might not have made earlier. Remember how I talked about I was writing on the side? Yeah. All right, and I think a reason for that, just I haven’t thought a lot about this, it’s 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 liked to do, but I didn’t consider myself a huge writing talent. And what I discovered about writing, in basically every human endeavor, is that early in people’s working lives, it seems like, oh my gosh, that person is so talented, he or she is going to do really, really great and I’m just a piker. 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. People with less innate ability over time who have persistence will outperform them. And so if you gave me a choice, and in the book, the Johnny Bunker book, 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 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. Because showing up persistence and enduring failure ends up being a better predictor of success than innate ability. You have so many knowledge bombs per capita. When I go through and edit this show, I’m going to have to just marinate on this rotisserie style for several days. I want to ask you this because, Andrew, you know this as you’re taking the show notes here, I never want to try to one-up a guest. Never would want to do it. But this is what I thought of. I thought, you know, I have five kids and Daniel, I think you have three, right, Dan? Yes, I do. OK. You know, but Dan, though, he’s written four bestselling books and I have written zero. But I’m due. You know what I mean? I’m due. I built multiple multimillion dollar companies, six. I don’t know how many you’ve built, but you seem to be the wiser man. No matter how many we look at, you have 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 going to read a notable quotable from the book Drive. Okay, talk to me. That changed my year. All right. And so I give you the mega points. You win. Here we go. It says, 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 year did that come out? Do you remember what year Drive came out? I think that was 2005. There we go. See, I sold DJ Connection in like 2000. No, no, no, 2008. I think I sold DJ Connection in 2008, 9. So it’s 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 organization. I’m going, why? How many leads do I get by networking with other wedding vendors? I mean, honestly, let’s look at this. I’m going, I would rather spend the time, if 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 were so many things where I said, why? Why am I going to that networking group? Dan, why do we get all so caught up in these unnecessary obligations? And where do you see most entrepreneurs wasting their time? Well, so some of it is not a complete waste of time. I’ll tell you why. Because we do make mistakes in this realm, too. And it’s worth trying stuff. Okay, so you could have gone to that association, that whatever, that club, and said, hey, 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, they stick with something that they know isn’t working. Six years, Dan, six years. Yeah, and so I think that the key is to try stuff, but get out earlier rather than late. And I see this in a number of different realms. Part of it is a flaw in the way we think. There is something called a sunk cost fallacy where we feel like if we’ve invested in something, then let’s say we buy tickets to a basketball game and on the night of the game it’s raining and you feel terrible and don’t want to go, you say, well, I need to go because I spent money on the tickets. I spent money on the tickets, but the truth is, is like, whether you go or not, you’re still gonna have spent money on the tickets. That’s a sunk cost fallacy. And so what we do is we deepen our commitment to things that don’t really matter. What we need to be doing in many cases, and I see this in many realms of businesses, one boss that I saw, and you say you’re entrepreneurs and maybe you yourself, Clay, have had this experience, told me, he says, the biggest mistake I made in managing my business is that 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 pitcher was gonna keep getting hit, but I didn’t pull the picture early enough. And I think that we should have that kind of, it’s interesting, we wanna 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 gonna 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 headed down the path of certain defeat, there’s no need to continue going. Just pivot, make the change. In your book, you wrote, so many books, but 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? If the answer to either of these questions is no, then you’re doing something wrong. Dan, what do you mean by this? Well, here’s the thing. I wrote that book to sell as human for a couple of reasons. Number one, and one of the big reasons was that in writing about business, I had met a lot of people who were in sales, and they were nothing like the stereotype. We have this view of sales as sleazy and dishonest and duplicitous and not that sharp. And in fact, the people I met who were in sales were 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. 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 in information. But now, there’s so much information out there that they’re in 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 take your wedding business, the DJ business. What you want is you want, I think that you want, I think good entrepreneurs want this, hire you as a DJ at their wedding and have people in the briding room 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, our whole theme is we want to take every event and take it from ordinary to extraordinary. There you go. Because every wedding is somebody’s big day. Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that having that 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. It’s better morally, no question, but I actually think that it’s better business. It’s better business to have that kind of high road mentality. 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, 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 or self 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, versus the buyer. The buyer had, the buyer of anything had less information than the seller, 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 some ways to use your language, Clay, to go from ordinary to extraordinary. For the listeners out there that want proof of this, one of the brands that I talk about on the show a lot that I’m involved in, help work with, is called Oxifresh. It’s the world’s greenest carpet cleaner, Dan. We have 396 locations now, franchises all over the country. We hit, today, 147,000 Google reviews. So if somebody types in… Oh my gosh! I think it’s 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, we come up top. I can sit there and say that, but every show is transcribed, every show is downloaded by a lot of people, and people read the reviews. They just do. It doesn’t matter. If you’re going to have someone come clean your house or come clean your hotel, you’re going to read those reviews. That wasn’t a thing back in 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 Us Human? 2013. I’m looking this up right now. This is incredible. You see that? I see, well, two different things. I see 149,139 reviews. So I lied to you by 2000 short. It grows all the time. We have a haircut chain called Elephant in the Room that I own. It’s a men’s grooming lounge, and if you type in Tulsa Men’s Haircuts, you’ll find us. And we have, I want to say, 30 times more reviews than our nearest competitor, or 20 times. I mean, if you treat people right, people read those reviews. Your book is actually becoming, in my opinion, more relevant every year. And in this book, 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 that quote mean? Hey, thanks. Thanks. But here’s the thing. You know, one of the things that I think we miss, I think that a very narrow and kind of twisted view of business views business as zero-sum. If I win, you have to lose. And the truth is that most encounters are not zero-sum. They’re positive-sum. And so this is one of the things about negotiation. Whenever I’m in a negotiation, I say, what does the other side want? How can I help the other side win? How can I help the other side get what it wants? Not thinking of it as, oh my God, one of us is going to win and one of us is going to lose. That’s not to say negotiations of anything can be contentious. It’s not like you don’t want to be positive some rather than zero some. Unfortunately, there’s a certain strain of business thinking that says, this is war, we’re trying to defeat people. That’s the wrong way to do it. Crush them and then get a good Google review. Get a better one. Right. Rip people off. Fleece them. And then send them an annoying anonymous, send them an annoying impersonal email asking for a review. All right, all right. Now, you have, I have two final questions for you, but you have two degrees. You got a degree from Yale Law School, which I believe, Dan, do they still just give those out to anybody? Is it just sort of like a- It’s pretty much, yeah. It’s like a vending machine. You put a quarter in. It’s like those old, I don’t know if you remember those, I don’t know if they still even have them, but I used to love them when I was a kid. You put a quarter into this vending machine, you get this little mini NFL helmet. That was when America was America. Really that’s the problem. That was the dream. That was the dream to ask your mom or dad at the grocery store if they could give you a quarter for one of those. When they said yes, you’re just thinking, oh, I’m a cowboy. That would surpass your desire for candy for at least a day. You’re like, I got the helmet, I don’t need to eat candy anymore. Because the helmet’s there the next day, the candy’s not. That was the deeper thinking I didn’t have available in my early 80s. So, law school degree from Yale Law School, Northwestern University, so you’ve done some thinking. So here’s a Daniel Pink thought that makes us all think, pitches that rhyme are more sublime. Dan, break it down. But here’s the thing, so this is based on some really interesting research. I’ll tell you about the research. Here’s what they did. They got their participants. They got a big group of people. They divided them into two groups. And they said, we’re gonna 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, they gave proverbs, I’m trying to think of what they might have been, okay, woes unite enemies, woes unite enemies. In the other group, they gave woes unite foes, all right? And so in one case, it’s the same idea, right? Woes unite enemies, woes unite foes. Caution and one of them was caution and measure will win you riches The other one was caution and measure will win 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 described the human condition and it turned out that the proverbs that rhymed people took more seriously They thought they were more insightful and what’s going on here is that rhymes increase what linguists call processing fluency the message goes down easier and so you know rhyming pitches are and rhymes in general are incredibly powerful in getting people not only to remember something but also to believe it I wanna give you a rap name if you’re okay with it. Pink Panther. Think about that. We might have a 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 to use it. That’s great. I’ll commit to you. I will do that. A former DJ. I’ll send that to Pink Panther. Andrew, put in the show notes. I cannot tell a lie on this show. I will 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. You’re a very intentional guy. You have a family. You’ve got kids. You’ve got a lot of people reaching out to you 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, I am more of a lark than an owl, but I don’t wake up insanely early. I usually wake up between 7 and 7 30 on writing days I try to get to my office by 8 30 fortunately my office is the garage behind my house, so I have a 22-step commute commute On writing days. I’m very very intentional what I do clay is this I? come into my office by 8 30 and Depending on where I am in a particular project. I give myself a word count 600 words 800 words every once in a while 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 I don’t do anything until I hit that number And so Sometimes I hit the number by 10 30 11 other times 10, 30, 11. Other times, not till noon. Other times, one or two or 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 a job like bricklaying. What’s my job? I come in and I lay some fricking bricks. What do I do 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 to write. And it goes back to our idea of persistence and trumping talent. There are 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. So what is a book though, one of your books that you’d say, if all the listeners out there, a lot of entrepreneurs are saying, you know what, I’ve heard a lot about this guy, I like today’s interview, I’d like to check out one of his books, I’m just a click away on Amazon. What’s the book you’d say, that’s a good entry into the Dan Pink experience? Yeah, that sounds like an amusement park or like a Disney ride. The Dan Pink Experience. I don’t know, actually. I think the latest one, a book called When, about the science of timing is pretty fresh. It’s just out in paperback. 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. There’s all kinds of tools and tips and takeaways in there for business people. Dan, I appreciate you more than you know for coming on here. I know you’re rebounding from a cold. I know you’re an intentional guy. I know you’re a married guy. You’ve got a lot of things you could be doing, a lot of places you could be seeing, but thank you for believing in our listening audience enough to come on the show and share some words of wisdom. It has been a pleasure being with you. I actually really enjoyed it You know Jason, I think that Dan Pink actually enjoyed the interview Do you think so did you feel like he 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 a great author a great communicator and a great dude now I just 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 knowledge bombs? I was literally typing, and then you started typing faster than me, but why persistence trumps talent? Because as soon as he said that, it was the biggest knowledge bomb for me, was persistence trumping talent. I 100% agree with you. And I also like, as a little kind of a side note, 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 somebody’s life worse. You know, I love the idea that you can sell something and make somebody’s life better. I love that. I love the idea that persistence trumps 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 rhyme. Oh, for sure. Unbelievable. This guy, you probably have to listen to this show two or three times, Thrive Nation, but I would encourage you today to ask yourself, in what areas of your business are you not being persistent enough? What areas of your life are you just not being persistent enough? Because Dan 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 it in my career, that the people who are simply the most persistent always win. And as always, if you learned something today, if you liked anything, if you learned something, if you laughed, if you 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 maybe you want to share via megaphone. Maybe you feel called to go out into the parking lot of a prominent retail environment and to yell 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 busy, thriving intersection in the middle of a metropolitan area where there’s a lot of people congregated and you want to begin to chant the phrase, Thrive Time Show. Because in your mind, you can picture this going so well. You can see the crowd getting behind you. Within the distance, oh no, it looks as though you’re actually inciting an angry 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 of where the would-be wall would be, and you’re dressed up like Donald Trump, and you’re wearing the Trump wig, and they start attacking you, and you have a t-shirt on that says Mexico will pay for the wall, and here comes an angry dog, and you’re covered in tickets! Luckily, you did not make that mistake. Instead, you shared today’s show via text, email, or social media. My name’s Clay Clark, reminding you, don’t incite a riot, but share today’s show. 3, 2, 1, boom! John Maxwell’s office? Hello, help you I must. Yeah, this is Clay Clark. I’m trying to reach John Maxwell. Yoda? You seek leadership Yoda? I guess you could call him that. I mean he has sold 20 million books and he’s been the speaker of choice for the NFL, Keller Williams, Delta Airlines, pretty much everybody. Is he available? In due time. Take you to him I will. But first, we must eat. This is a live call-in podcast kind of a deal. I don’t know that it’s going to go over super well, you know, with all of our hundreds of thousands of listeners listening to you and I eat. No, no, no! And patient you are. Please? I promise, if this goes well, you and I are going to get together in the future and we can levitate rocks together. It’s going to be awesome. Patience you must have, my young padawan. Transfer you now, I will. Some shows don’t need a celebrity narrator to introduce the show. But this show does. Two men. Eight kids. Co-created by two different women. Thirteen multi-million dollar businesses. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Thriving Time Show. Now, 4, 2, 1, here we go! We started from the bottom, now we’re here. We started from the bottom and we’ll show you how to get here. We started from the bottom, now we’re here. We started from the bottom, now we’re here. We started from the bottom, now we’re here. Yes, yes, yes, and yes! Ladies and gentlemen, on today’s show, we have the opportunity to interview a legendary leadership expert, and a multiple-time New York Times best-selling author who has sold over 20 million copies of his books throughout his career. Throughout John Maxwell’s career, he has served as a senior pastor of multiple churches, and he’s been the keynote speaker of choice for the United States Military Academy at West Point, the National Football League, Keller Williams, Delta Airlines, Microsoft, and countless Fortune 500 companies. I first read John’s book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, on a seven-day Caribbean cruise in 2003 when my multi-million dollar company, DJ Connection, was imploding as a result of great marketing and great sales and poor leadership and management skills. John, your book sincerely changed my life. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s welcome Mr. John Maxwell onto the show. How are you, sir? Oh, I’m excited to be with you, Clay. My gosh, I mean, with that intro, why wouldn’t I be excited? I think everybody’s excited. So good to have some time with you and your listeners, that’s for sure. John, I remember being on the cruise ship. It was a Princess Cruise Line. I’m reading through the book, and as I’m flipping through the pages, I’m going, oh no, everything that he’s telling people to do, I’m not doing. And so I’d like to start with the law of the lid. That was the one that I read. Can you please explain to the listeners what the law of the lid is all about? Yeah, I sure can, Clay. It’s life-changing. The law of the lid basically says how well you lead determines how well you succeed. And to illustrate it the best way I can is if from a one to a 10, I’m an average leader, I’m a five, well then that five represents my lid. And what that means is my organization’s gonna be a four, a three, a two, or a one. It’s impossible for my organization to go above, rise above that lid. So whatever I am as a leader is going to contain what I’m leading. But if that’s discouraging to a person, the encouraging part is that you can learn to lead. You can learn to grow as a leader. You can be better. So you can go from, if you’re average, you go from a five to six to seven to eight. And every time I raise my lid, I raise the potential of my organization also. And that law has, clear back when I was 25, I became convinced that everything rises and falls on leadership. That, you know, if leadership’s good, good things happen. If leadership’s bad, bad things happen. And so that law has been kind of my life stance in leadership for a lot of years. I just know it’s to be a true law. And so I love leadership, but I love helping people learn to lead. And what I really help doing is lifting the lid for people and helping them go higher. So hopefully after you read the book on the cruise, you got the lid lifted a little bit, buddy. Well, I highlighted pretty much every part of every page during the book, in the book. I got back to Tulsa and I thought, I’ve got a lot of work to do. And one of the things I did, I did a deep dive into you, because the laws you were teaching were really, really powerful. But I thought, but who is John Maxwell? You know, I think a lot of people know your name, but they don’t know your background. And I certainly didn’t at the time. Could you share with the listeners a little bit about your background before becoming the best-selling author and leadership expert that people now know you as today? What were you doing before that? Well, I was a pastor. I’m a theologian and grew up in a leadership home, but grew up in a home where my father was a pastor. So when I graduated from college, I went to my first little church in Hillham, Indiana and had three people the first Sunday. Two of them were my wife, Margaret, and me, and away we go. Of course I didn’t know anything about leadership, but I realized very quickly if I was going to grow that church I was going to have to know a lot about leadership. I began to be consumed by it and read it and study it and practice it. The more that I did dive into leadership, the more I realized that that was essential. By the time I was 29, I had the 10th largest church in America and people were coming to me and asking me how I did it. And really I did it by leadership principles. And by the way, everything I know, Clay, about leadership, everything is out of the Bible, everything. In fact, when I’m in a secular conference and I’m doing some interactive Q&A, whatever, and sometimes, not often, my faith will come up or whatever, and I’ll just basically tell them everything I know about leadership I learned from the Bible. And I’ll see this kind of disappointment look on their face, and I’ll say, now let me explain something to you. Everything you know about leadership came out of the Bible, too. And it’s a huge exercise. I’ll say, okay, give me your greatest leadership thought and I’ll give you a biblical principle right off of it. And it’s, oh my gosh, it’s like magic because all of a sudden they’re saying, wow, you mean this has biblical roots, yes it does. So I was a pastor and I started writing books to help pastors learn how to lead because I had three degrees and never had a leadership course in any of my three studies or degrees. And so I thought, oh, I’ve got to be, somebody’s got to teach these leaders how to lead, these pastors. And so I started writing books for them. And I was with my publisher, and we were having a publisher’s meeting in 1995. And my books were really doing well. And so they had done some research on it. They came and they said something that shocked them. They said, you know, two-thirds of your book are not bought by the Christian community at all. They’re bought in in secular bookstores by the business community. Literally at that moment, I knew I needed to make a leadership. I needed to I needed to go go over there because I have a heart for sharing my faith and evangelism. I thought, wow, this will give me an opportunity to have an audience that very few people in my area get. So I made plans, and I had a large church in San Diego, so it took a couple of years for me to put that church where it needed to be so I could make that change. But then I crossed over into the secular world, and that’s where I’ve spent, gosh, the last 20-plus years I’ve been just trying to be salt and light over there. I would like to get into your new book that you are releasing here. I’m super excited about it. I’m excited to read the book, to dive into the book. I had an advanced copy, so I was able to really take some notes and put some questions together. I promised Pastor Randy Frazee and Pastor Brady Boyd that I would tell you hello. I interviewed them yesterday, and they said, you’ve got to tell them hello. So hopefully you know those guys Hope we’re not randos. I’m just not making up names here No, no, you that you’re those both those boys are they’re the real deal and I’ll bet you had a great time with it Didn’t you I did I will but there’s a deal a pastor Frazee is from his family from Frazee, Minnesota Turns out he’s related to my uncle. Oh Oh, okay. My uncle’s grandfather started Phrasy, Minnesota. It’s a town of a thousand people. Just randomly, he happened to know the guy. And then Tim Redmond, who is one of the business consultants I work with, he was actually quoted in your book, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. So I think this is a divine appointment, and now I must ask you, this book, Leadership, what first inspired you to write your newest book, my friend? Well, I’ve been doing leadership now since I was 25. I’ve been doing leadership for a long time. I’ve been doing leadership for a long time. I’ve been doing leadership for a long time. newest book, my friend? Well, I’ve been doing leadership now since I was 25. I’m 71. And what I’ve noticed is that in my life, leadership changes. And the ones who are successful in leading people are the ones who are constantly making these adjustments and have an agility to them. And all of a sudden I thought, I don’t see anybody writing about this or helping them understand that these adjustments are natural adjustments and that they’re going to go through them. And especially in our day and age, oh my gosh, with social media, speed is everything. I was getting ready to do a conference for a company recently and their their theme was fast forward. And so they asked me what I thought about the theme. I said, I think it’s good. And I broke it down. I said fast to mean means faster than ever. I mean when people say, well, I just don’t want to make a decision until things slow down. I just, you’re never going to make a decision because they’re not slowing down. So with social media and everything else going, fast is faster and forward shorter. You know, when I start off leading, you have a 10 year long range plan, a five year mid range, two year short range. Now a long range plan is about 18 months. It’s shorter. So when you look out into the future, you just realize it’s going faster. So I wrote this book because I haven’t seen anybody writing on shifting, the shifts that you need to make, the changes that you need to make. When you put that in the context, Clay, what leaders all have in common is they see more than others see. They see the bigger picture and they see before others see. And the moment… What’s that? I was going to say, you have that… I feel like you have a pulse on what people need to hear now. I don’t know if that’s a prayerful thing, if that’s because you’re speaking so much, you’re meeting leaders, but you have this knack for writing a book right now that the world needs to hear right now. I’m sorry to cut you off. I just had a little Skype cut off there, but it seems like that’s your next. I think so. I think what happens, Clay, well, first of all, I have six companies, so I’m leading all the time. So I’m in the leadership game. I’m not just a teacher on leadership. I have to lead companies, so I’ve got that, and then I’m out speaking all the time. And I’m with other great leaders and interacting in green rooms and things like that. So I just get a lot of great exposure. Most all my books, I speak them first in teaching and lectures and I find out what catches on or what everybody’s kind of saying. This is really helpful. But I am very current and I’m very excited about this book because, okay, it’s not how fast you are. It’s getting started first. So let me explain. I was having a dinner with Gail Devers, who many of your listeners will recognize that name. She was the terrific Olympic track athlete from the United States, won Olympic medals in three different Olympics. So incredible, incredible. In fact, when I happened to have a dinner with her and her husband, she was getting ready, she was training for her fourth Olympics and she’d been reading some of my stuff and she had some questions she wanted to ask. So we had dinner and so I thought I’d have fun with her toward the end of dinner. I said, Gayle, I’ve been thinking about this. I think I could, I think if you and I ran a hundred yard race, I could win. And she looked at me, I mean, with huge disbelief. I mean, she in fact, she looked at her husband and said, did you hear that? You know, he thinks, and then she looks back at me and she’s, she’s looking at the Pillsbury dough boy, you know, but she’s just, she’s, she can’t handle this boldness. And, and, and I got her to the place where she’s ready to take off her shoes and go out front and run around a block and, and, uh, have a little race. And then I said, no, Gail, before we go out and run, let me explain something to you. I believe I could, I believe I could, I could win a hundred yard race with you. If I had an 80 yard headstart and she started and she started laughing. He said, well, Oh, well, well, of course you, yeah, of course you could. Now, I’ll be honest with you, Clay, I really wanted to say 70 yards, but I went straight up and pulled that one off. So I wanted to make sure. So, so I said 80. And of course, here’s the principle. It’s not how fast you are determines who wins the race. It’s who starts first. And, uh, excuse me for a moment. And so leader shifting, it’s all about starting first. If you see more than I’ve ever seen, you see the core of the seed, then what you need is you need to start. You need to start shifting. You need to start moving in that direction. You need to be fluid. And so in the book Leadership, I talk about 11 of those shifts that I have made in my years of leadership. And those aren’t the only 11. There are probably 30 or 40, but I’m telling my journey. And the 11 that I went through, I know this, anybody who wants to lead well they’re going to have to go through those same shifts in their life. So I just had a blast laying it out and kind of basically just talking out of my experience of what I’ve learned and how a person could really kind of be adjustable and agile and move quick and take advantage of this day that we live in. John, did Gail Deaver still have the super long fingernails? Yes, she did. Okay, I’m just curious. I wanted to know. That’s something I’ve always wondered. So I’m just curious if she decided to. She still has long fingernails even post-track career? Yeah, not for me. I mean, she didn’t change it for me, that’s for sure. I didn’t know because she’s super fast. I didn’t know if it would mess with her aerodynamicness with the long fingernails if she’d ever change them. I have no idea. I just know that I could win a race with her if I have an ADR head start. That’s all I know. I mean, she’s a fast runner. She’s a fast runner. She’s a fast runner. She’s a fast runner. I have no idea. I just know that I could win a race with it if I have an ADR head start. That’s all I know. Well, you as a writer, what makes your book so fun to read is you put stories in there, you put quotes in there, and there’s a ton of research. You put the stories, you put the quotes, you put the research, and then there’s actionable items. There’s things you can do. You’re not sitting around going, well, this is fascinating. What do I do? It’s very specific. What did your process look like for writing this book the leadership? Well the process was very simple I just went back in I went into myself first of all and said okay What shifts did I make and started writing them down? And and then that I go always I always stay inside long enough to say now what personal illustrations do I have? and then what I always do is I start talking to my leadership friends. And I start talking to them about my idea and asking them what they think and bouncing off of them. And they began to add incredibly to my thinking. And there’s no such thing as a great thought coming from a single person. A great thought is a combination of several good thoughts. And so I just really direct my questions and my relationships probably for up to a year while I’m getting ready to write the book, even while I’m writing the book to other really successful leaders. And I pull from them and learn from them and they give me more added thoughts and materials and ideas. But when it’s all done, the thing that I think is so important, Clay, for the reader of the book is, again, so what? Okay, now that I understand these are shifts I have to make, how do I do that? How do I make these shifts? And, and, you know, there’s no transformation without application. And, and so what I do is I in all of my books, I always have an application section, basically, okay, you read the chapter. So what let’s, let’s, let’s talk about now, what are the three, four things we need to pull out of that chapter and apply to our life so we can be successful in that area. Whenever I whenever I speak, whenever I write, I always ask myself two questions, Clay. What do I want the reader to know and what do I want the reader to do? Or if I was speaking to an audience, what do I want the audience to know, what I want them to do? So clarity as far as here’s the lesson, here’s the teaching, here’s the principle, and then application. Okay, now that you know that, here’s what I want you to do.” And put the two of them together, because it’s pretty powerful. John, you’ll probably disagree with the parts of your book that I highlighted, but I was highlighting a lot of them. So I’m just going to read some of the ones that I highlighted. I’d like to have you break them down, because I probably missed the biggest nuggets with my dense mind, but this is what I highlighted. In The Leader Shift, you write, one of the first and most important shifts anyone must make to become a leader is to move from a soloist to a conductor. Is from soloist to conductor. You can be a successful person on your own, but not a successful leader. Can you break down what you mean by this? Yeah, well, if I’m a soloist, Clay, it’s all about me. Everything features me. Spotlights on me. The orchestra behind me is playing my song. Everything is to lift me up and to I’m the star and the soloist. And one of the things that leaders do immediately, Clay, is they realize that it is not about them. It’s really about others. And so a lot of people never make that shift because they want it to be about them. And so I think the first, almost the first shift every leader has to face is, do I want it to be about me or do I want it to be about others? If I want it to be about me, if I lead, it’ll be a very small group. If I want it to be about others, then, wow, it could become huge. And I started the book with that because I think that’s tackling the first issue. And if I just say I’m going to be a conductor, then I’m ready to go make some other shifts in my life. If I’m going to be a soloist, that’s a whole different deal. I love the statement that I use in my Laws of Teamwork book that says, one is too small of a number to achieve greatness. And it really is. And if you’re going to climb Mount Everest, you’re going to have to have people around you. You’ve got to have a team. If you’re just going to take a hill out behind your backyard, you can probably put on your tennis shoes and climb the hill by yourself. But the big stuff, you can’t go by yourself. And so the shift has to be made sometime. You know, basically, how big is my dream? How big is my team? And you know, a nightmare is a big dream and a bad team. Gosh, that’s a nightmare. And so you’ve got to learn to be a conductor. You’ve got to begin to lead and point to and feature the strengths of the orchestra, not your strengths. John, I don’t expect you to have done exhaustive research on me like I did on you. I did kind of creeper-level research on you before interviewing you. But when I read your book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, I remember I had a company called, one of the first multi-million dollar companies I had ever started. Before I sold it, it was the largest wedding entertainment company in the country. I realized, oh no, everything is about me. I am definitely, it’s all about me. I’ve got the law of the lid, I’m a soloist. Why do you feel like that I was able to implement and have success when so many other people maybe read a book and then don’t implement. I know there’s somebody out there who maybe reads some of your books and it doesn’t apply. I would like for you to speak into the lives of the people out there. Why are some people able to implement and some people not? Help us implement. Well, I think anyone could implement. I don’t think it’s can I apply it to my life. I think it’s will I apply it to my life. Whenever I look at a person, I always ask the question, are people, can they and will they? Can they has to do with ability, will they has to do with attitude. Anybody can apply. The reason that you learned from the book and applied that book to your life, Clay, is very simple. You’re teachable. You have a teachable spirit. A teachable spirit is a spirit that wants to learn and is willing to change. And it has to be both, wants to learn and is willing to change. See, learning in itself is not gonna do it for you. The greatest gap in the world is a gap between knowing and doing. So when a person says, well, I’m learning something, well, that’s nice. The question I have is, are you improving? And improvement is where the application comes in. You can know something and still not do something. You’ve got to flesh it out. And I think that you were teachable, which meant that you were willing to learn and wanting to learn and you were willing to change. And boy, when you put the combination of, I’m willing to be teachable, I’m willing to learn from you, you’ve got something to teach me that’s going to help me. But not only is it going to help me, I’m going to help myself. I’m going to apply it to my life. Now you do that, anyone can have a positive change and anybody can grow from the stuff I give them. But I don’t change anyone. I just give them the environment to change in. You made that. I gave you an environment to change your leadership in, Clay, but you’re the one who made the decision to make the change, not me. And because you did, look what it did for you. But many people, they come and hear me or they read a book and they say, well, that was interesting. Or, man, I learned a lot. But again, if they don’t apply it, they’re not going to get any better, that’s for sure. I probably owe you residual royalties for all the shameless ideas I’ve stolen from you over the years. So in Chapter 4… I’ll give you the address to send them to. Now in Chapter 4 of your newest book, we’re moving on there. I don’t think we heard that part of it. Chapter four of your book. Yeah, I think you… Hey, you weren’t very teachable there. All right, right, right, right. In chapter four of your newest book, Leadership, I feel like, again, I could highlight the whole chapter, but the chapter’s titled Perks to Price. Could you break down what this chapter of your book is all about? Yeah, well, it’s very simply, one of the things I teach is everything worthwhile is uphill. And it’s a phenomenal principle. In fact, when I teach it to an audience, I just raise one of my arms and as you know, uphill, and I, you know, I just, I just hold it for a while. And so everything that you need to know about success in life is visually right before you right now. And so they’re just looking at my arm, raise the air. I let them let it sink in visually. And I say, now everything worthwhile it’s uphill. There’s nothing in your life or my life Clay that’s worthwhile that we slid to. We didn’t slide down to something that was very special and precious to us. We had to climb up to it. And you know that means you have to have energy, that means you have to have effort, that means you have to it takes time. There are no shortcuts to this. And by the way, it’s uphill all the way. It’s not uphill part of the way. It’s everything we’ve got uphill. And so, to go uphill, you have to be intentional. And this is where it really, really becomes huge. No one’s ever written a book on accidental achievements. That’s the price that you pay. And what I tell people is it’s not a price you pay once and after you pay it, then you’re on easy street the rest of your life. No, this is a price that you pay every day. It’s uphill all the way. And most people don’t handle that. Most people, they don’t lead their life. They accept their life. And because of that, they’re waiting. They’re waiting for a better day, an easier moment, and it doesn’t come to them, and they never reach their potential, not because they couldn’t, they didn’t reach their potential because they wouldn’t. And what I tell people all the time is that price, the price is the obstacle between you and your potential. So the question is not, when people say, do you think I can reach my dream? I say, well, yeah, I think you can. The question is not can you, the question is will you. The dream is free, but the journey isn’t. I could not agree with you more. To launch this podcast, we’ve spent $10,000 a month on AdWords for a long time to promote this. We have 1,400 some odd shows just grinding, grinding, working. My partner and I, people look at us now and say, you know, you guys have built 13 multi-million dollar companies, that’s great. They don’t realize the uphill battle that we had to fight the entire time. And we have one of our listeners out there, she’s a fighter, she’s a hard worker, and I promised her that I would ask you a question on the show. She’s a long-time reader of all of your books, and really, she is a huge fan. So, John, this is a question from Lori Kelly. She asks you, she says, as a leader, there are always people needing you. How do you, Mr. John Maxwell, organize your day so you can accomplish the things you need to do as well as help others accomplish what they need to do? Well, that’s a great question, and several things go through my mind. Let me get to you very quickly. First of all, the question is not, will your calendar be full? The question is, who will fill your calendar? If I let all the needs of the world fill my calendar, I’ll never get onto what my purpose and calling and giftedness is. So I fill the calendar. And what I do is I fill it with the things that I need to do to help the most amount of people. So you can’t meet everybody’s needs. So one of the principles I follow is very simple. Do for one what you wish you could do for many. And I do, I’ll find a person and pour into them and give them what I can’t get everybody because of time. But then my requirement is if I deposit this in you, you gotta go deposit this in others too. So that I can kind of keep it moving and help it be a river, not a reservoir. So, it’s a great question, but I think you have to keep control of your calendar. There’s no such thing, by the way, as time management. When people talk about time management, it cracks me up. You can’t manage time. Time, in fact, you don’t need to manage time. It goes on whether you manage it or not. I don’t have to look at the clock and say, I gotta manage you to get to the next hour. No, no, it just keeps going. What you do is you manage priorities, not your time. That’s where you make the best use of time, by managing your priorities. So that’s what I would share with her. Hopefully that helps. John, that’s awesome knowledge there. This entire show is a knowledge bomb. I just need to keep hitting the knowledge bomb button over and over and over again. Now, John, on a very practical level, you run organizations, I think four companies you said, and you have to hold people accountable. You’re known as a positive speaker, you’re an inspirational speaker, you’re a practical speaker. But let’s just say someone was working within one of your organizations, and I know it never happens to you, but for other people. Somebody’s working within a company that you’re in charge of, and the person you’re delegating to clearly knows what to do, but yet they choose not to do it. It is abundantly clear that they knew what to do. How would you, Mr. John Maxwell, handle it when somebody knows what to do and clearly chooses to not do what they know to do? It happens with everybody, but the problem didn’t happen when the problem occurs. One of the things we work on very hard, and I do have these companies, but I really don’t run them anymore. I’ve got Mark Cole, who’s my CEO over all of them and in their presence, but let me explain it this way. We have what we call upfront expectations, Clay. And when somebody joins the team, we sit down with them and we say, now are expectations of you. And, um, and, and so we, there are not a lot of about six of them that we say, we, you have to understand that this is upfront and you don’t have to buy into it and we don’t have to have you on the team. So this is the way it’s going to work. And these are the upfront. And one of the upfront expectations is we will have tough conversations. We let them know right in the very first moment before they ever sign on, join a team, that we’ll have tough conversations. And whenever somebody doesn’t perform like they need to perform, we won’t wait for a performance review. We’ll sit down right then and say, hey, this is not acceptable. Remember, we said we’re going to have tough conversations. This is one of them. And it could get a lot tougher unless you kind of make some changes here in your life. And what I found out is if you have upfront expectations, it’s huge. Max Preece said, the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. I think Upfront Expectations does that for us. Hopefully it does. That’s how we do it. John, I cannot thank you enough for hopping on the show today to share with our hundreds of thousands of listeners. We have about a half a million people a month that download this podcast, and on behalf of everybody, I just want to say thank you for investing in our listeners. I would invite all the listeners to check out your newest book, The Leader Shift. This book is game-changing. John, thank you for sending me an advance copy of the book. Hopefully, this podcast did not fail to meet your expectations, my friend. I loved it. I loved being with you, and let’s do it again, okay? I tell you what, I will circle back to you and again, you changed my life. Cruiseboat,, if you Google it when we hop off, you’ll see it’s all over the country now because of you and the leadership that you taught me so many years ago. I hope you have a blessed day, my friend. Yeah, well let’s keep in touch, okay? All right, you take care. Blessings, bye-bye. Bye. Thrive Nation after 15 years of chasing the leadership Yoda around, there it is. John Maxwell on the Thrive Time show, and that deserves a boom. So here we go, without any further ado, 3, 2, 1, boom! What if one awkward, potentially even harsh conversation. Have the opportunity to serve as the catalyst that would forever change your life. My name is Clay Clark and I’m the father of five kids. I had a goal to be a millionaire before the age of 30 and to hire my dad. And after I achieved my goals, I’ve spent the vast majority of my professional career helping people like you. Because I care enough about you, I’m willing to have that tough conversation with you today. Because I believe in your future and I know of your dynamic ability to change. Are you tired of chasing your rainbow dreams and being one of the 90% of American businesses that fail every single year? Are you tired of feeling stuck and being one of the 70% of Americans that hates their jobs? Are you looking to build a real business that will realistically create both time and financial freedom for you and your real family while you’re still on earth and healthy enough to enjoy it? Are you done with the pyramid schemes, the get rich quick hyper programs, the no money down real estate scams, and those quasi religious feelings focused motivational seminars? Are you looking for the practical and actionable business systems and processes and the strategies that both Dr. Zellner and I have used to build 13 Multi-million dollar real businesses my friend. These are real companies We’re talking about a real multi-million dollar optometry clinic a real multi-million dollar wedding photography service a real multi-million dollar durable medical equipment company a real multi-million dollar auto auction, a bank, a top ten iTunes podcast in the category of business, and an Amazon best-selling book. So, are we lucky? Do we just know how to pick the right industry, or do we know the proven path? My friend, why do 90% of businesses fail, yet all of our businesses don’t? What if you knew the proven systems too? Would you too earn financial freedom? But will the system work for you? Well, I don’t know. Call Rachel and Tyler Hastings with the Delrick Clinical Research in New Orleans. These folks have implemented our systems over the past 22 months and they are now making an incredible monthly profit with Delrick Clinical Research of over $100,000 per month. Will the system work for you? I don’t know. Call Thomas Crossen with Full Package Media in Dallas, Texas and ask him what it feels like to go from being a startup to grossing over $100,000 per month with his real estate photography business within 26 months of joining our program and implementing the proven business strategies. But will the system work for you? I don’t know. Call Rachel and Ryan with Tip Top K9 and ask them what it’s like to grow their dog training business from just one location to over eight locations within just 24 months, implementing our proven business coaching system. But will the system work for you? I don’t know. Call Aaron Antus with Shaw Homes and ask him what it feels like to be Oklahoma’s largest home builder and what it feels like to increase the amount of inbound leads that he receives by over 300% within just 18 months of implementing our proven system. So what does it cost? And what’s included in this system? My friend, the Thrive Time Show business coaching program is now enrolling just 2,500 people out there just like you into our exclusive Ultimate Business Coaching Program. This program includes one ticket to the two-day, 15-hour, and the world’s highest and most reviewed business workshop at the Thrive Time Show World Headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This program will allow you exclusive access to email your questions to info at, where they can be answered on the podcast and the live radio show broadcasts. This program will give you access to over 2,500 business training videos taught by people like the former executive vice president of Walt Disney World Resorts who once managed over 40,000 employees and 1 million customers per week. You can learn leadership taught by the iconic investor and two-time NBA champion, two-time gold medalist and NBA MVP David Robinson. You can learn public relations taught by the PR consultant of choice for Nike, President Bush, President Clinton, Prince, Michael Jackson, Nancy Kerrigan, and Charlton Heston, and countless other world-class mentors. And my friend, you will gain exclusive VIP access to get a behind-the-scenes look at our businesses, including the elephant in the room. How do the systems work? Dr. Robert Zeller and Associates, how do the systems come together? And the Z66 auto auction. Okay, so what does the world’s most effective and practical business school cost you? Well, if you went to the University of Tulsa and studied at a private school, you won’t learn anything that will help you to start or grow a real business. And it will cost you $40,221 per year. Now, if you went to Oral Roberts University, where I personally went to school, and studied business at yet another private school, you still won’t learn anything practical there either that will help you to grow a successful company. But it will cost you $41,024 per year. So let’s do the math. That means that the Thrive Time Show Business School without the BS experience is $39,993 less per year than the University of Tulsa. Again, that means that the Thrive Time Show business coaching program is $39,993 less per year than the University of Tulsa. And that’s why we’ve made our program exclusively available for just 2,500 people like you at a cost of just $19 per month, which comes out to a whopping $228 per year. Are you kidding me? No, I’m not kidding you. Thrive Nation, this is your opportunity to experience the world’s best business coaching program for $20 a month. So why wouldn’t you do it? Well, according to studies conducted by Nielsen, other people, not you, but the average American is watching TV 5.2 hours per day and consuming 2.3 hours per day of social media. And so they don’t have time to invest $19 per month in a coaching program. Did you know that according to Forbes, 88% of the world’s rich people spend 30 minutes per day reading and studying on how to improve their practical business skills? My friends, I’m a father of five kids, and I know that my kids get to enjoy the fruits of my financial freedom, not because I’m a genius, but because I know the proven systems. I took the ACT three times. I had to take algebra three times just to pass. I got kicked out of college. Trust me, if I can do it, you can too. My friend, you have nothing to lose. But you will lose by default if you do nothing. So are you going to act and take advantage of this exclusive offer before all 2,500 spots are taken? Or are you just going to become yet another sad example of the 90% of American businesses that fail, and the 70% of Americans, according to Gallup, that hate their jobs. Reserve your spot and enroll in the world’s best business school today at It’s just $19 a month. Reserve your spot and enroll in the world’s best business school today at My friend, it’s just $19 per month, and there’s only 2,500 spots available. Do not miss out on this exclusive opportunity. Well, Thrive Nation, we have an opportunity all the time. We have so many wonderful people that go to and they reach out to us to schedule a 13-point assessment. We also have a lot of people that go to and they schedule a free 13-point assessment and they’re not a good fit because I only work with diligent doers. I only work with people that are willing to actually implement the proven systems that Dr. Zellner and I both teach and implement in our own companies. So people say, I do want to grow my business seven times faster. I do want to reduce my working hours. I do want to increase my time, freedom, and my profits. I think we’re all in agreement that that’s a good thing. However, we can only help people that are willing to put the work in. And on today’s show, we’re joined by a man by the name of Ronnie Morales. His company is I hold him in high regard because he and his family-owned business, they actually are growing, I would call it dramatically, if you look at this Inc. Magazine right now shows that 96% of businesses fail. Inc. Magazine says 96% of businesses fail. That’s not good. Whereas this guy’s business isn’t growing by 10%, it isn’t growing by 20%, it is growing dramatically. But again, if Ronnie Morales had filled out the form and had scheduled a consultation and wasn’t willing to actually implement what we were teaching, it would all be for naught. So I’m excited for you to meet somebody who I would consider to be a diligent doer. He’s based in Richmond, Texas. And without any further ado, Ronnie Morales, welcome on to The Thrive Time Show. How are you, sir? Hey, I’m doing great. Thanks, Clay. Hey, so how did you first hear about us? How did you hear about The Thrive Time Show podcast for those seven years and I was learning so much. I was like, man, I got to give this guy a try. So you listened to our podcast seven years ago? Yeah. Really? Four or seven years. Do you remember the first podcast you listened to seven years ago? I don’t. I don’t remember. I listened to so many of them. Okay. I probably listened to, you know, more than once. Now when you’re listening to the podcast, I try to feature clients on the show so that you know there’s real people really doing it, really implementing the systems. When did it occur to you that you might want to go ahead and fill out the form at and schedule a consultation? It got to the point where I just needed to take the next step. And I’ve been in coaching before, like group coaching and different things like that. But I just felt like everybody on your show was making tremendous changes in their business. And coming from you and Dr. Z, I felt like y’all had the experience. And it didn’t matter if it was because I’ve been used to doing construction, like peer groups and construction coaching, where your contract is only. Well, I felt like, you know what, I need business, somebody business-minded to help me grow this. I don’t necessarily need a group of just contractors. You know, I need somebody that knows the business part of it. And what kind of growth have you had since you began working with us as far as a percentage? Do you know a percentage or what kind of growth? Yeah, so we had about a 57% increase from last year’s first quarter to this year’s first quarter. So that was huge for us. And I’m personally a growth too. I honestly just as a business leader and team member here in my company, I’ve grown a lot to be a better leader, learn how to delegate better, learn how to get these 15-minute huddles started every morning. And it’s been great. I just continue to learn, and I can’t wait to keep moving forward. Well, you know, people always ask me, they say, what’s the most important part of business consulting? And that would be to me like asking a baker, what’s the most important ingredient in a cookie? I mean, is it the flour? Is it the sugar? Is it the eggs? I would say, if you take out any one of those core ingredients, you’re going to have a weird taste in cookie. So in our business consulting, we focus on marketing, branding, sales, hiring, leadership, management, accounting, all of those things. So let’s kind of go through the process from just a branding perspective and a marketing perspective. How has the business consulting impacted your company? No, it’s been great. I mean, the branding, the marketing, I mean, people around town are telling us, hey, I’ve seen your trucks here and there. I see all over the place. When people are searching Google or whatever it is, you know, they’re finding our videos and they’re reaching out to us. I think one of the biggest parts with business coaching for me has been the accountability, like just having somebody to tell me like, hey, get this, this and this done and have it done by this day. And, you know, we move on to the next step. So it’s been great. Now we have a weekly meeting. The purpose of a weekly meeting is so that you have a week to get your homework done. We have a week to do our homework. I mean, we do photography, videography, web development, search engine optimization. And you and I meet on Saturdays at 6.30 AM. I find a lot of my clients like to meet in the mornings. How important is it to have that weekly meeting? Because again, I’ve done, I’m 42, but when I was 21, I was hiring business consulting programs that would do quarterly meetings or oftentimes even monthly meetings. And I found that nothing got done. How important is it for you to have a weekly meeting? I think it’s very important as a business owner to have that weekly accountability to make sure you’re staying on schedule because as a business owner, you wear so many hats. It makes it difficult to get those important things done that you need to get done, but that you want to put on the back burner. But when you know you have somebody to be accountable to, and it’s a weekly thing, and they’re steadily putting in your ear, like, you got to get these things done, you know, get the reviews, you know, get the video testimonials. It just makes it to where, you know, you have an assignment and you just get it done. Now at the business conferences, we walk people through the entire system. This is the system we teach from. This is from my newest book called The Millionaire’s Guide to Becoming Sustainably Rich, which everyone can download for free right now at forward slash millionaire. You and I, we track the numbers every week. So box number one, we establish those revenue goals. We do that. We know the break-even numbers. We know how many hours you’re willing to work. This is crazy. You’re married, your wife loves you. You love your wife. I’m not ever advocating during our coaching meetings, like forsake your family and grow your company. Can you talk about that? How important it is to work with maybe a coach that understands that you want to have a healthy family and a healthy company? Oh, I think it’s very important. You know, like yesterday I had a good dinner with my wife, you know, and we had a good evening with live music and we enjoyed each other’s company. You know, I took my kids camping twice this month already for four days and we’re enjoying the summer. But I think it’s very important that as a business owner, as you put the hours in, put the hard work in, but you also take the time to spend with friends and family. And I mean, it’s important, you know, rising up early to get my meditation time is very important to me too. So I think just, again, having somebody that knows the value of these things is important. Yeah, as we go through, I mean, you are knocking it out with the marketing and the branding and all the things we have to do to optimize your website and make the ads work. We’ve determined your unique value proposition. We’ve improved the branding. We have a three-legged marketing stool. We know how to generate leads online and offline and referrals. The sales process, and I’m not picking on you, but I mean this, you’re like a super humble guy. So I feel like that the sales process was something that once you learned the proven process, you kind of took to it right away. But I think a lot of contractors don’t want to come across as too aggressive or too passive or too whatever. And I feel like the sales process of your team really doing a good job of calling all the leads and the calls are recorded for quality assurance. I feel like that’s been a big needle mover for you. Maybe I’m wrong. I’d love to get your thoughts on that. Yeah, no, it’s been great. I had my own way before I joined your team. You know, I had my own way of sales and what I thought was working really wasn’t working. And at first I put up a wall, but once I was opened up to the why you do it the certain ways you do it, it really opened up more ways to be more successful with the call scripts, with the recorded calls. We’re still tweaking scripts and things like that, but it’s like an ongoing process. But it’s been great. And I think that it has helped us a lot. We do have, we call our lease back right away within hours, a few hours most of the time. And it’s important. And we’ve gotten a lot of leads and where I needed to hire my first sales employee. And now we’re working on more of the systems, creating these repeatable systems and managing a large group of people. In that daily huddle, I hammer all my clients. It’s so important to have a daily huddle with your team, to huddle with your team every morning and to have a weekly staff meeting. Could you talk about the importance of implementing these human resource strategies for managing people and what impact that’s had for your company? Yeah, so the impact that daily huddles have for my company is that it brought the team together. All of our employees, which is 17 of us full time, it’s brought us all together to where we’re good to see each other in the mornings and grow together. We start off with some wins, keep it brief. We go over company updates. Then we go over all our projects and we ask like, you know, how is that client doing? How is the project on schedule? But what it did, it helped us a lot with the daily interruptions with, hey, so what’s going on here? And these questions that can be answered in the morning. So they learn to answer these important questions in the morning so that there’s less interruption throughout the day. Now, the final two areas I wanted to cover here is, you know, there’s so much to growing a company and that’s what we talk about on our weekly coaching calls, but building a sustainable and repetitive weekly schedule. You know, like every week we’re doing the group interview. Every week we’re gathering objective reviews from clients. Every week we’re gathering before and after images. Every week you’re gathering testimonials from your happy clients. It’s like, you have to do this stuff every week. It’s like a garden. You have to pull the weeds every week. Could you talk about the importance of having these human resource systems in place where you do these systems every week so it’s proactive as opposed to reactive, doing the same things over and over? Yeah, I think it’s important to do it every week and repeat them so that things don’t fall through the cracks. And if you get too relaxed on not doing it or you go two or three weeks without listening to recorded calls or whatever it may be, you start to slack off a little bit. The next thing you know, you’re in trouble. And now you’re putting down another fire that wouldn’t have been there if you would have been on track and keeping up with the systems and processes. So just be doing it repeatedly, it helps with building that system. Everybody knows it’s this day at this time. Our morning huddles are every day from 7-07, last 15 minutes, and everybody knows to be there. And it’s just been great. Now, final two questions for you. People out there that maybe want to do business with you, they’re hearing about you. Again, it’s very hard to gather objective Google reviews if people don’t like you. It’s very hard to gather video testimonials if people don’t like the work you do. What’s your website and how do people go ahead and get a hold of you if they’re looking to hire you guys for maybe a big project? Yes, our website is and you can definitely just fill out our get in touch form to reach out to us. And I personally will actually be in touch with you and I’ll have a conversation with you. And for anybody out there that’s contemplating coming to one of our workshops or scheduling a free 13 point assessment, what word of encouragement or what advice would you have for anybody out there? Well, I would say don’t wait any longer to jump in because if I would have jumped in seven years ago, I’d have been a whole different place today. I guarantee you would be. I’ll say this, though, and I’m not prophetic. I’m saying you’re on pace. You’re on pace to have a business that’s going to be about five times larger than what it was when I first met you. I say that because the first thing you see is the leads coming in, and you start to see new teammates joining your team, and you’re building that foundation for success. I totally see you guys going to the top. I totally see you guys going to the top. I’m going to be there. I’m going to be there. I’m going to be there. teammates joining your team and you’re building that foundation for success. And I totally see you guys going to a great place right now. So I wish I would have met you earlier. That’s my only complaint. But that’s Ronnie Morales. Ronnie, I really appreciate you. I’ll give you the final word. What do you want to say to everybody out there that’s maybe contemplating taking their business to the next level? Like I said, guys, don’t wait any longer. Reach out to play in the team, do your assessment, and be a diligent doer. Amen to that. The number of new customers that we’ve had is up 411 percent over last year. We are Jared and Jennifer Johnson. We own Platinum Pest and Lawn and are located in Owasso, Oklahoma. And we have been working with Thrive for business coaching for almost a year now. Yeah. So what we want to do is we want to share some wins with you guys that we’ve had by working with Thrive. First of all, we’re on the top page of Google now. I just want to let you know what type of accomplishment this is. Our competition, Orkin, Terminix, they’re both $1.3 billion companies. They both have 2,000 to 3,000 pages of content attached to their website. So to basically go from virtually non-existent on Google to up on the top page is really saying something. But it’s come by being diligent to the systems that Thrive has, by being consistent and diligent on doing podcasts and staying on top of those podcasts to really help with getting up on what they’re listing and ranking there with Google. And also we’ve been trying to get Google reviews, asking our customers for reviews, and now we’re the highest rated and most reviewed Pessamon company in the Tulsa area. And that’s really helped with our conversion rate. And the number of new customers that we’ve had is up 411% over last year. Wait, say that again. How much are we up? 411%. Okay. So 411% we’re up with our new customers. Amazing. Right. So not only do we have more customers calling in, we’re able to close those deals at a much higher rate than we were before. Right now, our closing rate is about 85%. And that’s largely due to, first of all, our Google reviews that we’ve gotten. People really see that our customers are happy. But also, we have a script that we follow. And so when customers call in, they get all the information that they need. That script has been refined time and time again. It wasn’t a one and done deal. It was a system that we followed with Thrive and in the refining process and that has obviously, the 411% shows that that system works. Yeah, so here’s a big one for you. So last week alone, our booking percentage was 91%. We actually booked more deals and more new customers last year than we did the first five months, or I’m sorry, we booked more deals last week than we did the first five months of last year, from before we worked with Thrive. So again, we booked more deals last week than the first five months of last year. It’s incredible, but the reason why we have that success is by implementing the systems that Thrive has taught us and helped us out with. Some of those systems that we’ve implemented are group interviews. That way we’ve really been able to come up with a really great team. We’ve created and implemented checklists that when everything gets done and it gets done right, it creates accountability. We’re able to make sure that everything gets done properly, both out in the field and also in our office. And also doing the podcast, like Jared had mentioned, that has really, really contributed to our success. But that, like I said, the diligence and consistency in doing those in that system has really, really been a big blessing in our lives. And also, it’s really shown that we’ve gotten a success from following those systems. So before working with Thrive, we were basically stuck. Really no new growth with our business. And we were in a rut. The last three years, our customer base had pretty much stayed the same. We weren’t shrinking, but we weren’t really growing either. Yeah, and so we didn’t really know where to go, what to do, how to get out of this rut that we’re in. But Thrive helped us with that. They implemented those systems, they taught us those systems, they taught us the knowledge that we needed in order to succeed. Now it’s been a grind, absolutely it’s been a grind this last year, but we’re getting those fruits from that hard work and the diligent effort that we’re able to put into it. So again, we were in a rut, Thrive helped us get out of that rut. And if you’re thinking about working with Thrive, quit thinking about it and just do it. Do the action and you’ll get the results. It will take hard work and discipline, but that’s what it’s gonna take in order to really succeed. So we just wanna give a big shout out to Thrive, a big thank you out there to Thrive. We wouldn’t be where we’re at now without their help. Hi, I’m Dr. Mark Moore. I’m a pediatric dentist. Through our new digital marketing plan, we have seen a marked increase in the number of new patients that we’re seeing every month, year over year. One month, for example, we went from 110 new patients the previous year to over 180 new patients in the same month. And overall, our average is running about 40 to 42 percent increase, month over month, year over year. The group of people required to implement our new digital marketing plan is immense, starting with a business coach, videographers, photographers, web designers. Back when I graduated dental school in 1985, nobody advertised. The only marketing that was ethically allowed in everybody’s eyes was mouth-to-mouth marketing. By choosing to use the services, you’re choosing to use a proof-and-turn-key marketing and coaching system that will grow your practice and get you the results that you are looking for. I went to the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, graduated in 1983, and then I did my pediatric dental residency at Baylor College of Dentistry from 1983 to 1985. Hello, my name is Charles Colaw with Colaw Fitness. Today I want to tell you a little bit about Clay Clark and how I know Clay Clark. Clay Clark has been my business coach since 2017. He’s helped us grow from two locations to now six locations. We’re planning to do seven locations in seven years and then franchise. Clay’s done a great job of helping us navigate anything that has to do with running the business, building the systems, the checklists, the workflows, the audits, how to navigate lease agreements, how to buy property, how to work with brokers and builders. This guy is just amazing. This kind of guy has worked in every single industry. He’s written books with Lee Crockrell, head of Disney with the 40,000 cast members. He’s friends with Mike Lindell. He does Reawaken America tours where he does these tours all across the country where 10,000 or more people show up to some of these tours. On the day-to-day he does anywhere from about 160 companies. He’s at the top. He has a team of business coaches, videographers, graphic designers, and web developers. They run 160 companies every single week. Think of this guy with a team of business coaches running 160 companies. In the weekly he’s running 160 companies. Every six to eight weeks he’s doing reawaken America tours. Every six to eight weeks he’s also doing business conferences where 200 people show up and he teaches people a 13-step proven system that he’s done and worked with billionaires helping them grow their companies. So I’ve seen guys from startups go from startup to being multi-millionaires, teaching people how to get time freedom and financial freedom through the system. Critical of critical thinking, document creation, making it, putting it into, organizing everything in their head to building it into a franchisable, scalable business. Like one of his businesses has like 500 franchises. That’s just one of the companies or brands that he works with. So amazing guy, Elon Musk, kind of like smart guy. He kind of comes off sometimes as socially awkward, but he’s so brilliant and he’s taught me so much. When I say that, Clay is like, he doesn’t care what people think when you’re talking to him. He cares about where you’re going in your life and where he can get you to go. That’s what I like him most about him. He’s like a good coach. A coach isn’t just making you feel good all the time. A coach is actually helping you get to the best you. Clay has been an amazing business coach. Through the course of that, we became friends. My most impressive thing was when I was shadowing him one time, we went into a business deal and listened to it. I got to shadow and listen to it. When we walked out, I knew that he could make millions on the deal and they were super excited about working with him. He told me, he’s like, I’m not going to touch it. I’m going to turn it down because he knew it was going to harm the common good of people in the long run. The guy’s integrity just really wowed me. It brought tears to my eyes to see that this guy, his highest desire was to do what’s right. And anyways, just an amazing man. So anyways, impacted me a lot. He’s helped navigate. Anytime I’ve gotten nervous or worried about how to run the company or navigating competition and an economy that’s like, I remember we got closed down for three months. He helped us navigate on how to stay open, how to get back open, how to just survive through all the COVID shutdowns, lockdowns. I’m Rachel with Tip Top K9, and we just want to give a huge thank you to Clay and Vanessa Clark. Hey, guys. I’m Ryan with Tip Top K9. Just want to say a big thank you to Thrive 15. Thank you to Make Your Life Epic. We love you guys. We appreciate you and really just appreciate how far you’ve taken us. This is our old house. Right. This is where we used to live a few years ago. This is our old neighborhood. See? It’s nice, right? So this is my old van and our old school marketing. And this is our old team. And by team I mean it’s me and another guy. This is our new house with our new neighborhood. This is our new van with our new marketing and this is our new team. We went from four to 14 and I took this beautiful photo. We worked with several different business coaches in the past and they were all about helping Ryan sell better and just teaching sales, which is awesome, but Ryan is a really great salesman. So we didn’t need that. We needed somebody to help us get everything that was in his head out into systems, into manuals and scripts and actually build a team. So now that we have systems in place, we’ve gone from one to 10 locations in only a year. In October 2016, we grossed 13 grand for the whole month. Right now it’s 2018, the month of October. It’s only the 22nd. We’ve already grossed a little over 50 grand for the whole month and we still have time to go. We’re just thankful for you, thankful for Thrive and your mentorship and we’re really thankful that you guys have helped us to grow a business that we run now instead of the business running us. Just thank you, thank you, thank you, times a thousand. The Thrive Time Show. Two-day interactive business workshops are the highest and most reviewed business workshops on the planet. You can learn the proven 13-point business system that Dr. Zellner and I have used over and over to start and grow successful companies. When we get into the specifics, the specific steps on what you need to do to optimize your website, we’re going to teach you how to fix your conversion rate. We’re going to teach you how to do a social media marketing campaign that works. How do you raise capital? How do you get a small business loan? We teach you everything you need to know here during a two day, 15 hour workshop. It’s all here for you. You work every day in your business, but for two days you can escape and work on your business and build these proven systems, so now you can have a successful company that will produce both the time freedom and the financial freedom that you deserve. You’re gonna leave energized, motivated, but you’re also gonna leave empowered. The reason why I built these workshops is because as an entrepreneur, I always wish that I had this, and because there wasn’t anything like this I would go to these Motivational seminars no money down real estate Ponzi scheme get motivated seminars, and they would never teach me anything It was like you went there, and you paid for the big chocolate Easter Bunny, but inside of it. It was a hollow Nothingness, and I wanted the knowledge They’re like oh But we’ll teach you the knowledge after our next workshop and the great thing is we have nothing to upsell. At every workshop we teach you what you need to know. There’s no one in the back of the room trying to sell you some next big get rich quick, walk on hot coals product. It’s literally we teach you the brass tacks, the specific stuff that you need to know to learn how to start and grow a business. I encourage you to not believe what I’m saying, but I want you to Google elephant in the room. Look at Robert Zellner and Associates, look them up. And say, are they successful because they’re geniuses? Or are they successful because they have a proven system? When you do that research, you will discover that the same systems that we use in our own business can be used in your business. Come to Tulsa, book a ticket, and I guarantee you it’s gonna be the best business workshop ever, and we’re gonna give you your money back if you don’t love it. if you don’t love it. We built this facility for you and we’re excited to see it.


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