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Transcript of Taking Relationship Marketing to the Next Level

Transcript of Taking Relationship Marketing to the Next Level written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing
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John Jantsch: This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ZeroBounce, an email validation system that integrates with all the major ESPs to make sure, hey, your mail doesn’t bounce. Check it out at zerobounce.net .
John Jantsch: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Zvi Band. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of the CRM platform, Contactually. He’s also the author of a book we’re going to talk about today, Success Is in Your Sphere: Leverage the Power of Relationships to Achieve Your Business Goals.
John Jantsch: So, welcome to the

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Transcript of The Ins and Outs of Marketing Automation

Transcript of The Ins and Outs of Marketing Automation written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing
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John Jantsch: This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is brought to you by Gusto, modern, easy payroll benefits for small businesses across the country, and because you’re a listener, you get three months free when you run your first payroll. Find out at gusto.com/tape.
John Jantsch: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Jason Vandeboom. He is the CEO and founder of the CRM and marketing automation platform known as ActiveCampaign and we’re going to talk about how CRM and how relationship building and how email marketing and marketing automation have changed for

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Weekend Favs June 15

Weekend Favs June 15 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing
My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.
I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

Krisp – Mute background noise during calls.
Press Hunt Boost – Use AI to get your company noticed by the right journalists.
HelpDesk – Track and respond to customer service requests.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

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Transcript of Flex Your Curiosity Muscle to Grow Your Business

Transcript of Flex Your Curiosity Muscle to Grow Your Business written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

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John Jantsch: This episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Gusto: modern, easy payroll, benefits for small businesses across the country. And because you’re a listener, you get three months free when you run your first payroll. Find out at gusto.com/tape .

John Jantsch: Hello and welcome to another episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Diana Kander . She is a keynote speaker, innovation coach, and co-author of the book The Curiosity Muscle: How Four Simple Questions Can Uncover Powerful Insights and Exponential Growth .

John Jantsch: So Diana, thanks for joining me.

Diana Kander: I’m so excited to be here John. Thank you so much.

John Jantsch: So I’ve been doing this show for about 13 years, hundreds and hundreds of episodes, and I do believe you are the first husband and wife team that I have now had on the show [crosstalk 00:01:04]. Your husband Jason was on a few months ago. So it’s a first.

Diana Kander: Well we like setting records. So on behalf of the Kander family, thank you so much for this honor.

John Jantsch: So the book, The Curiosity Muscle is written as a fable, a business fable about institutionalizing curiosity. So maybe set the plot up for us.

Diana Kander: Yeah, absolutely. I mean the plot is what happens to most companies once they experience success, is they get really comfortable, very complacent, and they lose their curiosity. They start thinking that they know their customers better than the customers know themselves.

Diana Kander: And what happens is you quickly lose touch with your customers and start becoming irrelevant. And this happens frequently with large organizations when they find out that it is much harder to stay at the top than it was to get there.

John Jantsch: And you wrap it around a fictional character. That’s-

Diana Kander: Yes. A gym franchise.

John Jantsch: … And so your previous book, I think you did the same thing. Maybe you don’t have a lot of experience to answer this question, but I was once asked to write a fable type of book on referrals. And I started the process, and I found it so much harder than just telling people what to do.

Diana Kander: Well that’s how I feel about non-fiction books John. So I started writing non-fiction books, and I’m like uh, I can’t really talk about my former clients and what they went through because I’ve signed all these non-disclosures. But if I write a fiction book I can talk about everybody and everything as long as it’s a fictional story.

John Jantsch: And wink, wink. The characters in this book do not represent anyone in real life, right?

Diana Kander: No. They’re an amalgam of lots and lots of companies that have gone through very, very similar experiences. In fact, Jim Collins wrote a amazing book called How the Mighty Fall, in which he describes the same process, but in a much more scientific way. And there’s a very similar kind of loop that companies that go out of business, and this is like the fictional version of that.

John Jantsch: A lot of my listeners are small business owners. And I’m going to tell you one of the biggest problems with owning a business is that nobody promotes you to that position. You pretty much decide I’m going to do this thing. And now everybody thinks you should have all the answers.

John Jantsch: And I think a lot of small business owners feel like they have to have all the answers, and that sort of leads to not only shutting off curiosity but a whole heck of a lot of stress. So how, as a small business owner, do I get over that idea of feeling like I have to have all the answers? Everybody’s looking to me.

Diana Kander: Well I feel like it’s no different than most people who get promoted to manager. They feel like they got promoted because they had the right answers, and so they have to keep generating them.

Diana Kander: So in both of those cases I will tell you that the most successful people ask much better questions than they give answers. And they know that curiosity is the secret to unlocking exponentially better answers than whatever their gut initially says.

John Jantsch: Yeah. As one of those small business owners, it took me a lot of years to learn that. I mean people would come to me and ask me, people who worked with me or were trying to do a project for me, would ask me a question. I felt like I had to tell them what to do.

John Jantsch: In fact, I felt like that’s what they wanted. And I later leaned that they actually didn’t want the answer. They wanted me to say what would you do?

Diana Kander: Right. No. I mean you can get so much further just by asking better questions, is one of my sayings, you know. If you’re unsatisfied with the results in any part of your life, what you need to do is ask better questions, and you can significantly change them.

John Jantsch: So let’s unpack the four questions. I’m going to go over them real fast, but I want to ask you questions specific to them.

John Jantsch: So they are: what are my blind spots, am I prioritizing, am I measuring the right thing, and how can you involve others to get what you want? So we’ll tackle each of those.

John Jantsch: The first one, what are my blind spots? It actually takes a degree of vulnerability to even admit that you have those.

Diana Kander: Absolutely. So most people think of their blind spots. They relate them to their weaknesses. And so they’re like well, I know what I don’t do well, and I’m terrible at showing up on time, or whatever.

Diana Kander: But blind spots are not your weaknesses. Blind spots are things that you think you’re doing well, but are actually impacting your work. And so whatever problem it is that you’re trying to solve, or if you’re trying to understand your customers better, you always have blind spots and what you think you know about them.

Diana Kander: So creating some kind of a process or systematizing staying in touch and understanding your customers, even as they evolve and change, that will help you not have blind spots that, if you don’t uncover them, you might get blindsided one day by your customers.

John Jantsch: It’s a terribly practical thing too. I mean how many people have created a product or a service and packaged it all up and went out to the market, and the market went I don’t need that. What were you thinking? And it’s like-

Diana Kander: The majority John.

John Jantsch: You’re right. Right.

Diana Kander: The majority of people.

John Jantsch: Yeah. And so, really great question. Am I prioritizing? Number two. And boy, this one is so hard because people will have that strategy meeting to come up with the 19 things they need to get done this quarter. And I think one of the best things that question probably begs is what should we not be doing?

Diana Kander: Yeah. I mean they never teach you want to not do as a manager, a small business owner. And you cannot be busy and curious at the same time. You cannot be busy and creative at the same time. You cannot be busy and innovate at the same time.

Diana Kander: And we, as a society, are busier than ever before, and we’re producing less than ever before.

John Jantsch:  And I think one of the things about that idea of not focusing on am I prioritizing is you can make yourself busy. It’s really easy to make yourself busy.

Diana Kander: Super easy.

John Jantsch: Yeah. And so if you don’t take… I mean a couple of years ago I started the practice of taking two days a week where I just don’t do any appointments, no of these calls. They’re supposed to be my kind of focus time. And that made all the difference in the world in terms of actually getting real, important stuff done.

Diana Kander: Yeah. I think about my days as offense or defense. And defense is like when I’m answering email, when I’m doing things that other people have asked me to do. And that’s not when I’m creating valuable content, creating work for my clients.

Diana Kander: And that’s offense, right? Offense is what scores points. You’re not going to get to your goals on defense alone, by checking your email.

Diana Kander: So I always think about my days like, am I having the right proportion of offense to defense?

John Jantsch: Yeah, because let’s face it, defense pays less than minimum wage usually.

John Jantsch: So… I’m sorry for all the defensive people out there. It’s just the truth. Defense does not win championships in business.

Diana Kander: It does not score points. No.

John Jantsch: All right. So the third one, and I think people really struggle with this. Am I measuring the right thing? I mean how the hell do I know? There’s so many things I can measure. How do I know I’m figuring out the one that has impact?

Diana Kander: Well I think this is particularly integral to your licensees and people who do Duct Tape Marketing, and even small business owners. It’s so alluring to measure what are called vanity metrics. And these are numbers that make you feel good about the initiatives that you’re taking. Like how many visits to your website, how many people attended a conference, like numbers that can only go up.

Diana Kander: But they are not related to any actual substantive values for your company. So how do you measure numbers that can actually look bad for you? And to know whether or not you’re actually going in the right direction or whether you should change course.

John Jantsch: Well sometimes, though… And here’s what I struggle with: sometimes I find things that are kind of intangible to actually make… I mean they’re more the marker towards the fact that yeah, you’re making progress. And I know that sounds… I mean because it’s intangible. Right?

John Jantsch: You can’t really put a spreadsheet around how many smiles we got today as something goofy like that.

Diana Kander: Well I like to introduce two questions. I call these failure metrics. So everybody has success metrics for their projects. And those usually take a while to figure out, whether you’re going to be successful or not.

Diana Kander: The failure metrics you can figure out much sooner. And that is asking yourself how would I know if it’s not working and when would I know that? And in that case, you can measure the intangible.

Diana Kander: So if you have a speech that you’re giving, and everybody’s on their cell phones, how would you know if it’s not working? Well people aren’t requesting you to give other speeches. Or they’re just not paying attention to you during your speech.

Diana Kander: So failure metrics are those intangible things that you’re talking about. And you can find them much sooner than looking at your business at the end of the year and figuring out if you’ve hit the numbers.

John Jantsch: Everyone loves pay day. But loving a payroll provider, that’s a little weird. Still, small businesses across the country love running payroll with Gusto. Gusto automatically files and pays your taxes. It’s super easy to use, and you can add benefits and management tools to help take care of your team and keep your business safe. It’s loyal, it’s modern. You might fall in love yourself. Hey, and as a listener you get three months free when you run your first payroll. So try a demo and test it out at gusto.com/tape. That’s gusto.com/tape .

John Jantsch:  Let’s talk about failure since you keep mentioning it.

Diana Kander: Yes.

John Jantsch: You know, it’s a hot topic right now in the startup world. And I’m sort of over it. I’m sort of sick of it, because I think a lot of people have used it as this fail-fast. Or figure out, don’t be afraid to fail. And I think that that’s sort of a cop-out. I’d like to turn it around and say figure out how to succeed.

John Jantsch: Obviously if something doesn’t work, it’s teaching you something. But I’m sort of tired of the word failure, so there. I think it’s overrated.

Diana Kander:[inaudible] that entrepreneurship and innovation. You know, all these words that get used. Look, I believe in the growth mindset, which has not yet been really corrupted. And that is, no matter where you are today, you could always be better. And you can’t be better without taking missteps.

Diana Kander: You know, if I meet somebody and then we’re talking about ice skating, and I say have you ever fallen while ice skating? And they say no, I’ve never fallen. It’s amazing. I’m really quite good. Then I can definitively say you are not good at ice skating if you’ve never fallen, right? Because you’ve been hanging onto the edge. You’re not really trying anything interesting.

Diana Kander: And that’s how I feel about failure or missteps. You have to have some things that don’t work out, that push you forward to learn better. But with that said, I believe in the concept of deliberate practice, which is not just failing for failure’s sake, but figuring out your blind spots and what you need to improve at in order to increase the results of what you’re working on.

John Jantsch: Yeah. I know it’s become sort of cliché to say, but I mean to me, there is no failure. It’s just a learning moment. For me, at least.

Diana Kander: That’s right.

John Jantsch: That’s just kind of a mindset, that I’m never going to stop doing what I’m doing. Just hopefully I’m taking in the feedback and using it to get better.

Diana Kander: Yeah, but that takes a really long time for people to grasp and feel that way. And I think that they’re never going to feel that way until they experience some success. And once you experience success in your life, you can always point to a pivotal failure in your life that created it or stems from it.

Diana Kander: So my first book was a very successful book, sold a lot of copies, and kicked off my speaking career. But I never would have started writing it if I didn’t have a startup that was going horrible. And I was so ashamed and embarrassed that I started journaling as a way to deal with my feelings around it.

Diana Kander: So I think every big success stems from some kind of failure.

John Jantsch: Yeah. And we’re just talking semantics at this point. It’s really more like what you do with it that really is the only thing that really matters.

John Jantsch: So I think we’re on question number four, we haven’t tackled yet. And this is actually my favorite, because on the surface it seems pretty simple. But I think it’s more complex than that. How can you involve others to get what you want?

John Jantsch: And what I meant by the more complexity, it’d be pretty easy to say yeah, be a team player. Give others credit. But I think where this question gets really hard is how can you get others to hold you accountable as a business owner. I think that’s one of the biggest challenges. I have nobody to hold me accountable, and that would be a great way to get other people involved in helping me get what I want.

Diana Kander: Yeah. So there’s two parts to this question. The first is exactly what you’re talking about. And that is there’s been research done that if you have a goal and you share that goal with somebody you care about, you are 65 percent likely to reach that goal, which is amazing. But if you setup a regular check-in with that person where you just tell them how it’s going and what you’re planning to do next, you are 95 percent likely to reach that goal.

Diana Kander: And that is the power of accountability, on being able to reach whatever crazy dreams you set out for yourself. So that’s kind of the first element.

Diana Kander: And the second element of it is, back to how everybody puts pressure on themselves to come up with the big ideas. Oftentimes when you involve other people in coming up with the ideas, they’re going to have way better ideas than you. And they’re going to feel an ownership stake in those ideas.

Diana Kander: So if you have a small retail location and you’re trying to figure out how to get customers through the door, rather than you yourself thinking about how to do it, have a meeting with your team. And just have them brainstorm. And sometimes they’ll come up with crazy ideas, and then they’ll work on their ideas in their off time, and feel really, that sense of ownership to execute on them, much more than if you had come up with an idea and put it on them.

John Jantsch: Yeah. And I think that over time particularly, people just stop coming up with ideas if they never get asked or they never get involved. And so it’s a vicious cycle. You kind of shut down the innovation that you could have.

Diana Kander: That’s right. And they’re closer to the customer, oftentimes, than you are. So they’re going to have much better insight into opportunities than you will.

John Jantsch: So, in addition to your writing and speaking, you’re a podcaster as well.

Diana Kander: Yes. I’m a brand new podcaster.

John Jantsch: So you were telling me, and again I’m not sure when people are listening to this, if you’ll have new shows that you’re publishing. But tell me the premise for the show. Because I think, in addition to being incredibly useful, I think it’s a rather intriguing idea of what you’re doing.

Diana Kander: So in the course of writing this book, The Curiosity Muscle, I gave myself a crazy, audacious goal. So one of the subplots was a character in the book was trying to a 10 minute plank. And I thought well I’ll try it. I’m not going to get it, but if I try it I can at least write about it in a much more realistic way.

Diana Kander: And at the time, I could do a one minute plank. So 10 minutes seemed completely ridiculous to me. And I started applying these things, these principles that I teach organizations, to myself. And in four and a half months of struggling with it, but sticking with it, I did an 11 and a half minute plank.

Diana Kander: And when I tasted that level of goal achievement, I was like oh my god, what can’t I do?

Diana Kander: So I sat down with a piece of paper and listed… Okay, here are all of the things that I want to fix about myself. I have confidence issues and I have anxiety that I struggle with. 49 different items of… horrible at making eye contact and terrible at taking compliments. Oh, my god, I have insecurities about being a mom. So everything I wanted to improve about myself as a professional.

Diana Kander: And then I use the podcast as a way to hold myself accountable to working on each of these things. So every week I talk to an expert who will help me uncover blind spots in those areas that I would never have guessed on my own, and try things that I never would have thought to try.

Diana Kander: And you know I’ve been having some very significant results.

John Jantsch: So in addition to being a podcast, it’s sort of a self-improvement project that you have somebody holding you accountable in some ways. I mean, because-

Diana Kander:  That’s right.

John Jantsch: … you’re putting it out there to the world. So it’s awesome.

Diana Kander: I have this formula in my life, John, which is the scarier something is, the more people I need to hold me accountable to it, so the more I’ll broadcast it. So working on 49 different things is very scary for me and very vulnerable, so I just try to tell as many people as possible.

John Jantsch: So Diana, where can people find out more about you and your work and hopefully tune into the podcast?

Diana Kander: Yeah, they can find everything at dianakander.com . Links to books, speaking, and the podcast. And the podcast is called Professional AF, which just means really professional.

John Jantsch: So the AF means nothing, huh? Just-

Diana Kander: People ask me what it means, and it means really, really professional.

John Jantsch: … Awesome. And so that’s dianakander, E-R, .com . And we’ll have it in the show notes as well.

John Jantsch: So Diana, great book. The Curiosity Muscle . You have a t-shirt that I tell people all the time that curiosity is my super power. And I guess I need a t-shirt from you. But I’m not sure-

Diana Kander: I wanted to bring you one, but I only have them in women’s cut. So I can offer them to your daughters or your wife John. I don’t have a unisex version yet.

John Jantsch: … So I have a story, that it may or may not be true. I grew up with… I have seven brothers and two sisters. So 10 of us. And my mom used to tell a story, and like I said, I have no idea if it’s true or not. But when they would take us all somewhere, dad would say you watch the other nine and I’ll watch John. And that’s because I have a very strong curiosity muscle.

Diana Kander: Well I think that can only get you into trouble when you’re young, but get you into a lot of opportunities as an adult.

John Jantsch: I agree. I credit it with… The 30 year journey I’ve been on is just bouncing from one thing I’m curious about to another. So that’s why the title of this book intrigued me so.

Diana Kander: Thank you for being curious about the book and for inviting me on the show, and this is the most fast-paced interview I’ve ever done, but also the most exhilarating. So thank you so much.

John Jantsch: And we didn’t mention this, but you’re just down the street in Kansas City, Missouri. So it’s always fun to interview somebody in my home town, which I don’t get to do enough.

Diana Kander: I know. There’s a lot of us authors lurking around.

John Jantsch: I typically end this show, as some listeners will recall, saying I hope I bump into you soon out there on the road. And I’d say it’s probably more likely with you than many others.

John Jantsch: So thanks for joining us Diana, and again, I will end it as I always do. Hopefully I’ll see you somewhere out there on the road.

Diana Kander: Ditto John. Talk to you soon.

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Transcript of Creating Exponential Growth Through Hard Work, Not Magic

Transcript of Creating Exponential Growth Through Hard Work, Not Magic written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

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John Jantsch: This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing broadcast is brought to you by Gusto, modern easy payroll benefits for small businesses across the country. And because you’re a listener you get three months free when you run your first payroll. Find out at gusto.com/tape.

John Jantsch: Hello. Welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Brad Sugars. He is the founder and chairman of ActionCOACH , and the co-author of a book we’re going to talk about today, Pulling Profits Out of a Hat: Adding Zeroes to Your Company Isn’t Magic . Welcome back, Brad.

Brad Sugars: Hey, buddy. Good to be back, good to chat again.

John Jantsch: I’m a little disappointed in the title of this book because you claim that it’s not magic, and aren’t we all just looking for magic?

Brad Sugars: It was funny. I sat down with a buddy of mine at lunch about two years ago, and he says to me, “It just seems like magic the way these companies like Ikea, and Amazon, it just seems like magic the way they all keep growing and stuff.” I sat there and I said, “You don’t really believe that do you because, you know, magic is just a system as well. Magic is just a methodology of getting a result that looks like accidents. It’s just a system that people follow right behind it.” I think that he looked at me weird, and I looked at him weird. I said, “Do you know what, I’m going to write a book on this,” and so here we are two years later.

John Jantsch: I think you hit on a really good point. I think a lot of companies that do things, not household named company, I mean any company that you look at from the outside, and it just you use magic, or whatever term you use. I think sometimes magic, or genius, or growth it involves so many things that we don’t see, or don’t understand. I think the really great companies just make it look easy, don’t they?

Brad Sugars: Oh look, I think that the greatest of anything, any greats in anything, sport, acting, music, business, you name it, the greats make it look easy. My wife makes it look easy running our house with five kids and all of these things going on and stuff. That’s not that easy. It’s tough.

Brad Sugars: But, I think what we found in writing Pulling Profits is that when you look at businesses that are having real growth, and I mean exponential year-on-year growth, you notice something about them that is just different to other companies. It starts with that mindset of it is possible to have that level of growth.

John Jantsch: Let’s unpack that term because I was going to ask you about it because you use it throughout the book, this idea of exponential growth. I mean how is that different from year-over-year growth?

Brad Sugars: Well let’s think about this, so we go into most business scenarios, and you chat with the average business person, and they’re sitting there saying, “Well you know, what we’re looking for here is we’re looking for 20% or 30% growth.” My first challenge to all of them is, “Well, what about 10 times, 20 times, 30 times growth?” They look at you like you’re very weird. Multiplication growth is different to percentage growth. It’s like, “Well, how would we do that? What would have to happen in order for us to do that?” That’s where just that mental change just has to be there for a person to actually understand it. Probably the best example is that… Do you remember the movie, what was it called, The Founder, The Ray Kroc movie? Did you ever see that one?

John Jantsch: I did not.

Brad Sugars: I use the example of that because it shouldn’t have been The Founder. It should have been The Finder. Ray Kroc came along and he found this business, the McDonald Brothers. The McDonald Brothers were looking for annual growth, percentage growth. Ray Kroc comes in, and looks at it differently and say, “Okay, how do we put this on every street corner in America, and eventually every street corner in the world?” It’s looking at it from a different perspective.

Brad Sugars:  For me as an entrepreneur, right, I mean I just bought a company down in Melbourne, Australia. It’s a commercial cleaning business, and one down in Houston, Texas, a property management company. I look at them and they’re amazing businesses with a singular office. They do phenomenal things, great marketing, great sales systems, good culture, all of that sort of stuff. However, at no point are they considering opening up across the US, or across England, or across the world for that matter, and so it’s really just starting with that mindset, I guess, of exponential growth.

John Jantsch: Well, and you used the word mindset. For a lot of people they can’t ever get past this because they won’t allow themselves think that way.

Brad Sugars: I got to tell you buddy, it’s scary to think, okay, what if we went for 10 times, or 20 times growth and missed it? At least at 30% I’m safe. There is no real risk. All I got to do is work a little bit harder, a little bit more, push my people a bit better, train them a bit better, get a few more customers. Do you know what I mean? It’s that safety march. But, when we go and see companies that are growing exponentially, and we start seeing that level of just domination of a market very quickly, people sit up and go, “Oh, I don’t think we could do that.” Well yeah, you can, but there is a systematic methodology to it.

John Jantsch: Let’s talk about this word profit. I think one of the things that drives a lot of company is that bottom line mentality. That to reach for 10 times sometimes means maybe you won’t make a profit, or worse maybe you’ll have to kill the profit you’re already making because it’s going to require you to do things differently. You actually take profit on, and say maybe it’s not the sacred cow that it used to be.

Brad Sugars: The interesting thing is that what we look at in most business today, and this is where big business I guess has had this understanding for a long time, it’s the value of the company that we’re looking to build not necessarily the immediate profit of the business. Small business unfortunately lives with a day-to-day profit mentality rather than what’s the value of the business we’re building?

Brad Sugars:  Now, in the beginning I know with all of my small businesses when I first started out we needed that profit. We needed that tomorrow because if we didn’t have the profit we weren’t bootstrapping our way through, so I get that whole philosophy. But, I think that where we’re looking for profit, profit can be defined differently as we go forward in business today. Profit can be defined in retention of employees. It can be defined in retention of customers. It can be defined in how we add value to the community that we’re a part of, so there is many different ways to look at it, and within the book we go through the five main constituents and how you build, so that each of them actually gets a win.

Brad Sugars: Absolutely, I’m an accountant by training. The bottom line has still got to be there. You got to have that profitability for valuation. You’ve got to have that profitability to fund growth to do all those things. That’s an interesting debate, my friend, and I’m sure that we can continue it for years and years.

John Jantsch: Well, it’s interesting. You mentioned, and you talked about it in the book, the companies that do what you describe, pulling profits out of a hat, adding zeroes, do meet a win for all these constituencies. Do you find that companies that do that, do that intentionally, or maybe that’s just built into their mission, or who they are, or what they believe, and then it happens, or does it have to really be something that you sit down in a room and say, we’re going to do XYZ?

Brad Sugars: I personally think it’s about planning it because a lot of the companies we look at when it comes to matching the five constituencies, the five core disciplines, and when I look at the five core disciplines in the average organizations what I start to see is they’re pretty good at two, three of them. But then in the other two areas… And it normally depends on where the CEO or where the C level execs are strong. If they’re real strong in that people side of the business then obviously they’re going to have a fairly strong mission, and people development, and that sort of thing. It’s really a balancing act, my friend. I think that some people naturally stumble across it, but in most cases it’s a planned growth strategy.

John Jantsch: Let’s name them, strategy, business development, people, execution, and mission. I think you hit on a really good point. A lot of founders, solopreneurs, they start a company, they’re good at strategy, or they were great marketers, or they’re good at execution, and there is probably not too many human beings that are just wired to be good at all five of those disciplines, so how do you bring them all together?

Brad Sugars: It’s interesting because now through this book we’ve now developed a program for businesses to do that. What we find though buddy is this, and if I can spend a minute defining each one in a moment, but what we find is this, that in a business where the C level execs all just keep hiring other C level execs like themselves, or with an owner who hires people like themselves, very quickly the business leans in one direction. The differentiation of people is a core to a great team, and that’s a big part of it.

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John Jantsch: We will come back maybe in the course of doing this, or you can outline them all, but one of the things I found interesting, most people start with mission. I’m not saying you necessarily put these in order, but I found it interesting that mission was the fifth of the disciplines.

Brad Sugars: If I’m going to start with a business, the first thing I look at is strategy because without strategy the business and how it delivers… And I’m not talking about are we using Facebook advertising? That’s a tactic. A strategy is the core of the business. Let’s say I went into the music business. I can go into the music business and I can be a drummer in a band. I’m still in the music business, or I can be Spotify, or iTunes, or something like that, or I can be right in the middle and be in a music production house, or something. Do you know what I mean? The strategy within which you attack it.

Brad Sugars: Even if you take iTunes, you go back to Apple’s strategy, their original strategy of make a computer sell a computer, they had to change strategy otherwise they were going to go bankrupt. Steve Jobs becomes a brilliant strategist and goes away and runs Pixar, learns leverage, which is one of the four components to strategy as well as learning great management, and leadership skills, comes back to Apple and says, “Hey, we got to get out of this make at once sell at once business,” and so he went into the music business where… And even more genius than me, Steve Jobs never make a song and sell them forever. I mean my definition of leverage is do the work once, get paid forever. If a business has to fight against leverage, if it’s getting a customer once and then they have to go and get another customer the next time, these are some of the things that fall under strategy.

Brad Sugars: Scalability falls under strategy. If a business today has to have human interaction to make a sale then its scalability factor is limited. We look at how Uber took out the human factor from the taxi business. Instead of having to make a phone call to a person who then dialed out and got another person to answer the phone call and then Uber goes straight through technology, no human interaction, boom, got the sale made. That’s how they can scale so fast.

John Jantsch: Do you know what’s interesting about that example is that technology was available to Yellow Taxi, but they choose not to employ it because it was going to shake up the status quo, and consequently they’re struggling now.

Brad Sugars: Well, the MP3 player was invented by Sony who is one of the biggest music companies in the world. Now, they’re paying 30 cents on the dollar to Apple to sell every song they make on a machine they invented, so just because you… That’s where execution comes in, I guess. That’s one of the five disciplines as well.

Brad Sugars: But also mission, I go back to mission because you mentioned that, and I think that one is really important, and whether it’s fifth, or… Because here’s the thing about the five of them, if I go into a company that’s really good at mission, and really good at say people, and execution, but its business development is struggling then it doesn’t matter what order we put them in because every business is different.

Brad Sugars: Apple, again, another success story on mission because mission is all about the word love in my opinion. Do your customers love buying from you? Do your staff love coming to work? In the days of the lowest levels of employee engagement we’ve seen in a long time, or maybe it’s just measured today, and it wasn’t always, we sit here thinking how do we get our people to love coming to work, and how do we get our customers to love buying from us, not just enjoy it, and not just buy from us because we’re cheaper, or we got better marketing, but because they love doing a transaction with us?

John Jantsch: Yeah. I think one of the things that’s tough for a lot of companies is some of these things, some of your disciplines require investment that maybe doesn’t drop to the bottom line, at least not immediately. I mean we all know it does.

Brad Sugars: Yeah.

John Jantsch: You’re happy engaged employees drop to the bottom line whether, or not they’re making a sale. I think that isn’t that one of the challenges for a lot of people? I don’t want to say it’s a leap of faith, but it’s a hey, we’re going to invest in mission and in people, and those may not immediately make a sale.

Brad Sugars: Yeah buddy look, for many years investing in my team, and investing in the humans in my business because that’s if you look at the discipline of people and try, and describe it real quick it’s how you build your people determines how they build your business. And if you don’t build your people then don’t expect them to… You can’t expect people to outperform their training. Let’s just make it that blunt.

Brad Sugars: I remember as a young man going to my dad, I think I was about 20, or 21, and I said to him, “Dad, I just can’t get good people. I can’t hire motivated good people.” He looked me dead in the eye and said, “Son, you get the people you deserve. You’re an average manager running an average business. The highest caliber of employee you should expect is average.” I’m like, “Hey, thanks dad. That was really, really great advice,” and it was. At the time, it stung like anything. I mean it was like thanks, wow.

Brad Sugars: But, what I’ve had to learn and what a lot of people have to learn is that if you don’t build your people… I mean how you recruit, hire, train, induct, mentor, manage, lead your people today determines where your business is at tomorrow. The longevity of business is all about building great people who build great businesses. I think that whole section of the book is quite eye-opening for a lot of people about how they want to build long term.

John Jantsch: I think it really comes down to how the leader of said business views those disciplines because there are a heck of a lot of business owners that I talk to that still think marketing, or business development in this case is a cost and that people are a cost as opposed to an investment.

Brad Sugars: I love that you bring that up because you and I every day agree on this wholeheartedly. The reality of marketing is if you’re doing it wrong it is an expense. If you’re doing it wrong it’s the dumbest thing you can ever do in your business, but if you’re doing it right it’s the world’s best investment, business development, your sales, your marketing, your customer service. I love that you use the word discipline now with me because we put it in this book as a discipline of business development and [inaudible] five disciplines because it’s not something you got right once and then you can just let it run. Your sales team needs to be trained daily, and brought up to speed daily because the markets shift.

Brad Sugars: I was with someone the other day and I said, “Tell me, do your customers know more about your competitors than your salespeople?” He said, “Oh, probably.” I said, “Well, then you’re out of business.” He looked at me and said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Well, if I’m a customer and I know the benefits of your competitor better than your sales people do, you can’t sell me. I can sell you, and what I’m selling you is that you can’t help me,” so yeah. I mean I wrote that whole book, Buying Customers, to teach entrepreneurs and executives about the whole principles of how much money you need to invest to buy customers.

John Jantsch: Does what you’re outlining in, Pulling Profits, change the role of the typical leader?

Brad Sugars: Dang buddy, that’s a tough question. I don’t think it changes it. Actually, I’ll give you an answer that I got. I was in Dublin last year giving a speech. She was a fun one because before me was Lady Michelle Mone who is a baroness and after me was Sir Richard Branson, so it was like the lady, the convict, and the lord. Sending an Australia up between a lady and a lord is funny. But, I got offstage, shook Sir Richard’s hand. He went up and did his gig. There was a question for him that said, “Have you had to change your management now with millennials?” He said, “No, we’ve always done good management.” I thought about that for a minute. To answer your question, does it change, no, it just requires you to actually do it. A great CEO, or a great entrepreneur will cover all five disciplines. I think that’s probably the simplest way to answer it.

John Jantsch: My follow-up to that really is, and I’m sure you hear this sometimes, it’s going to continue to evolve, it’s not… none of these disciplines are static as the company changes. I mean how do you keep this alive and fresh and engaging because it… I mean let’s face it, it’s exhausting to constantly be juggling all five of these balls?

Brad Sugars: Yeah, so is parenting. I got five kids. Juggling that is the same, I guess. I think it comes back to a very simple understanding and that is that do you remember Bill Gates did an interview many years ago where they said to him, “Are you every worried about somebody?” He said, “Listen, there is a kid in a garage somewhere and trying to put Microsoft out of business.” He was right, but it was two kids in a dorm room, Lowrie and Sergei, and they almost got him.

Brad Sugars:  The point behind that is that, that’s what I love about business. I love the fact that it’s always changing. I love the fact that it’s always growing and stuff. I can wait and follow, but the problem with imitation, or following someone else is that you’re second. The view don’t change too much, second, or third, but imitation doesn’t get there, so you’ve got to fall in love with the fact that you’ve got to keep growing and changing. I think the greatest execs and entrepreneurs do love that about business.

John Jantsch: Brad, where can people find out more? Obviously, at actioncoach.com , but also about the book itself?

Brad Sugars: The book, they can jump on pullingprofits.com , or any great bookstore, buddy, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, you name it. It’s sitting on their shelves I’m sure, and they’re selling them for me, or they can jump on any of the social media platforms. You’ll find me on Insta, and Facebook, and LinkedIn, and You Tube, and all those, probably not Pinterest, no you won’t, actually definitely not Pinterest. I’m not that crafty.

John Jantsch: One of those things I meant to point that I forgot, one of the things I love in chapter six you show each of these disciplines we’ve been talking about. You actually had an assessment for us, so we can not only fully, or more fully understand the discipline, but also measure where we are in that. I love books and resources that do that because I think in some cases maybe we learn better by doing that kind of assessment.

Brad Sugars: Yeah, it’s interesting. When we sit with businesses, and they fulfill that assessment they start to really understand a bit of a benchmark as to where they’re at versus other businesses not just within their own realm because sometimes the challenge is we can’t see the forest through the trees. We might think, okay, we’re doing great at the people as a discipline, but then we go and do the tests and we realize, hang on, we’re not keeping up where the market is today.

John Jantsch: Yeah. It’s hard sometimes to… You get really lulled to sleep sometimes in your own business, and it really does take a look outside to, or somebody else, a third party come looking in to help out.

Brad Sugars: Hence, ActionCOACH, buddy. That’s probably the reason why ActionCOACH is still around for that exact reason. It’s hard to see what’s in your own business.

John Jantsch: Pulling Profits Out of a Hat, co-authored by Brad Sugars. Thanks, Brad. Hopefully, we’ll catch up with you sometime out there on the road.

Brad Sugars: Hey John, great to be here. By the way, anyone listening to this for the first time please subscribe. I love what you’re doing, John. I’m really a fan of all of the podcasts. Thanks, buddy.

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Transcript of Finding Hope and Happiness in a Pessimistic World

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John Jantsch: This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by ZeroBounce, an email validation system that integrates with all the major ESPs to make sure, hey, your mail doesn’t bounce. Check it out at zerobounce.net .

John Jantsch: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Mark Manson . He is a speaker and a blogger at markmanson.net and the author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and the new book, Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope . Having thrown my PG rating out the window, I want to welcome you, Mark.

Mark Manson: It’s good to be here, John.

John Jantsch: There is a Mark Twain quote that I love, and when I quote people, I end up paraphrasing. I never get it right, but he advised writers to every time they were tempted to use the word really or very to substitute the word damn because your editor would strike it out, and your writing would be so much stronger, but not so much anymore. Huh?

Mark Manson: Apparently not.

John Jantsch: I’d like to think of these more as concepts than words, but I was walking by… the use of this language anyway. I was walking by an airport bookstore the other day, and there’s an entire section now that I think maybe you started of people using F with some variation of asterisks. With all the issues going on in the world now, is cursing become trifling?

Mark Manson: I guess so. Honestly, I’m fascinated by it too. Clearly, I’ve created a brand, and a bunch of people are jumping into it and copying it, but there seems to be something about vulgarity that the shock value in it or the emotional charge in it that people are getting really excited about for whatever reason.

John Jantsch: Yeah. Well, it might have something to do with some sales that you’ve accomplished as well. Last time I looked, and I’m sure you have it more accurate, but I think I saw somewhere 8 million plus copies of The Subtle Art… Do you have any sense of why that book exploded?

Mark Manson: I think it’s a combination of things. I definitely think part of it’s the title. It definitely grabs your attention, but I also think… I sometimes call my brand of self-help a pessimistic self-help. It’s a personal development that is less about, “Oh, we can achieve anything.” It’s more just, “Humans suck; let’s try to suck a little bit less.”

Mark Manson: I think there’s something about the last few years that I think people are just feeling incredibly pessimistic, and there’s a cultural moment that’s happening where we’re becoming very aware of our own pessimism, and so for whatever reason, my style of writing, my titles, everything, it’s really catching that wave right now.

John Jantsch: Yeah and for those who have… the handful of people who have not read any of Mark’s work, you’re very funny. You tell great stories that are very engaging, and so it’s actually very easy to read. What I enjoy the most is you’re reading along, you’re reading along, and then you just zing us. It’s like in this newest book, the How to Start Your Own Religion, I was like, “Wait a minute. What? Is that… ?”

John Jantsch: I wasn’t sure if you were kidding or not for awhile, and that’s what I love about your style of writing, but I’ve got a really hard question for you.

Mark Manson: Sure.

John Jantsch: Not everybody sells 8 million books. What has that done to your life?

Mark Manson: Oh, well, it’s made my bank account a lot bigger. It’s funny, I was on another podcast recently, and they were like, “Wow man, so tell it. Come on, tell us what’d you go out and buy?” I was like, “Uh, I bought a Nintendo.”

John Jantsch: Well, here’s the reason I asked that. Obviously, it swelled your bank account, but I don’t get the sense-

Mark Manson: Sure.

John Jantsch: … that you’re a person that necessarily seeks fame and seek it or not, you’ve gotten it.

Mark Manson: Yes. Yeah. It’s funny. I don’t think it’s changed my life a whole lot. I tell people that I think being a famous author is the perfect mix because your work is widely known and appreciated, but people don’t really recognize you on the street or if you go into a restaurant or anything, so you don’t really get your privacy invaded a whole lot. I wish I could give you a really exciting answer, but I don’t think it’s affected that much.

John Jantsch: You mentioned the last couple of years seems like it’s been a rough patch. I think every generation probably thinks that theirs has been the worst time in history. Do you find that to be true? I mean you look at some of the divides going on, particularly in the United States right now, and I feel like they’re historically bad. I know you’re an avid researcher. Do you think that that’s the case?

Mark Manson: I do think you’re right. Every generation does because every generation, whatever problems face that generation, are completely new and unexplored. There’s a little bit of I think a sense of specialness that comes with each generation. What is interesting about today is that the level of pessimism or I guess just hysteria that’s going on is not relative to how well we’re doing economically. Our economies are booming; we’re safe; we’re not at war, we’re not being bombed by anybody. There’s not riots in the streets.

Mark Manson: Usually, the type of pessimism that we see right now is accompanied by some sort of massive, tumultuous thing that’s going on. For whatever reason, today it’s not. I just thought that was really peculiar, and that was one of the starting points of the new book is basically if everything’s awesome, why are we so upset all the time?

John Jantsch: How does admitting we’re all gonna die let us live a better life?

Mark Manson: I think facing one’s mortality is a big principle in my work, and it’s one thing I’m constantly trying to make the reader more aware of, I guess their own insignificance. I think while it’s a downer, I think it has a very liberating effect in that it’s only by thinking about one’s own death that we’re able to really get good perspective on what’s important in our life.

Mark Manson: If I start asking myself questions like, “Well, if this is the last year I’m alive, would I still be doing the same thing I’m doing?” that presents a lot of clarity for the decisions that I’m making and helps us avoid traps and falling into habits that we wouldn’t be happy we had in the long run.

John Jantsch: There’s some… Viktor Frankl, certainly… You have a story about Auschwitz in the book, and Viktor Frankl I think was in Auschwitz?

Mark Manson: Yes.

John Jantsch: Eli [Wiesel] was in Auschwitz, and I think… I can’t remember which one of these said this, but that the opposite of love is not hate. It’s indifference. Hope is in the title of the book, and you talk about the opposite of happiness is hopelessness. How do we wrestle with that?

Mark Manson: I wrote a book about hope because I think, again, coming back to this pessimism that’s pervading everything today, I wanted to investigate what it is about modern life that is making it so difficult to have a clear vision of where we want to go in the future. I think happiness gets discussed a lot, and we all want to feel good, and that’s great and everything, but really it’s at the end of the day, we need to have some sort of hope for something greater for that happiness to ever emerge.

Mark Manson: If we’re not able to construct that vision of something greater for ourselves, then we just end up in despair. If we’re angry or we’re sad or we’re anxious or upset or something, that at least implies that there’s hope of something greater. But if we just feel hopeless then that implies that there’s no vision for any sort of improvement.

John Jantsch: I believe at least that a lot of people have hope when they feel they’re in control of their situation. You basically tell us that self-control is an illusion, and that we all pretty much just have to accept our fate. Maybe I’m paraphrasing, but I read that.

Mark Manson: Well it’s not that we don’t have any control over ourselves. It’s that our… First of all, I agree with you that a lot of hope is rooted in a feeling that we have control over our fate. Chapter two is called self-control, is an illusion. The point of that chapter title is that we actually have far less control than we think we do, and we perceive ourselves to have total control over our lives.

Mark Manson: Anybody who’s tried to start using their gym membership or maybe cut something out of their diet quickly finds out that you have less control over your behavior than you typically would like to admit.

Mark Manson: The whole chapter simply discusses why don’t we do the things we know we should do? Why do we seem to have such a difficult time acting on all of the stuff that we want for our lives, that we know is good for our lives, but just for some reason, we can’t peel ourselves off the couch or whatever? It turns out our minds are kind of a messy place, and there’s a little bit of an art to getting ourselves to act the way that we would prefer ourselves to.

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John Jantsch: My favorite part of that chapter is that you told a little story about Tom Waits, one of my favorite singer-songwriters. Old 55 changed my life.

Mark Manson: I love Tom.

John Jantsch: One of the things that I see frequently, particularly, you get to a certain… You’re not living on the streets. You got a nice job. You’ve got a nice house. You’ve got a nice car. We go out of our way to make sure that we don’t do anything that’s uncomfortable. A lot of people anyway. You talk quite a bit about not necessarily the need to suffer, but the benefit of suffering. You want to unpack that a little?

Mark Manson: Yeah. I think in this discussion of why have we seemed to be so [inaudible] pessimistic today, I spent a couple chapters talking about comfort and talking about pleasure and avoiding pain. Essentially, the short version is that I come to the conclusion that the same way we need to… our muscles need to be stressed and strained a little bit on a regular basis to grow and improve and maintain health, I think our emotional and our psychological “muscles,” so to speak, need a certain regular amount of stress and strain to also remain healthy and robust.

Mark Manson: My fear is that so much of the 21st century world is built around convenience and immediacy and instant gratification that we’re not getting those reps, where part of our mental health is essentially just atrophying from a lack of regular exertion.

John Jantsch: Yeah, I read somewhere… I can’t remember actually who the author was, but, and there may be some physiological benefit to this, but you’ve talked about taking a cold shower in the morning, and the benefit of it was that you were going to suffer some right off, beginning of the day, and that was going to then set the benchmark for the whole day. Again, there may be some actual physiological benefits too, but he was talking more mental.

Mark Manson: Yeah. I think there’s a lot to be said. I think the same way 50 years ago we discovered… nutritional science started to figure out like, “Oh hey, you can’t eat cupcakes every day. That’s bad for you,” it’s, I think, we’re starting to discover just in the last few years that some habits that we have, whether it’s phone usage or social media or where we get our information, has the same effect on us mentally.

Mark Manson: I think there needs to be an informational diet in terms of making sure that we’re challenging ourselves, challenging ourselves intellectually, but also challenging our own beliefs, challenging a lot of our assumptions about our relationships in the world and things like that, and that we need that to a certain degree to maintain a healthy and balanced psychological worldview.

John Jantsch: I wonder to what degree we can blame mobile devices and social media for people being so freaked out lately?

Mark Manson: I think this is a hot, hot topic right now, and it’s funny cause there’s a lot of data that shows a lot of really scary stuff. Then there’s a lot of data that shows a bunch of nothing, and the jury’s out, but my sense is that social media is probably only really bad in very large doses or for very young people. That seems to be the most clear pattern amongst the data on social media.

Mark Manson: Interestingly, I think the smartphone thing might actually be a bigger culprit here. I think it’s the constant instant access to everything you want that actually creates more psychological issues and emotional issues than necessarily Facebook.

John Jantsch: I remember when I was growing up, like all kids, “Mom, I’m bored,” and she used to say, “Well, good. You should be. You need to be. It’s healthy.” Now, we we just can’t allow ourselves that moment of boredom, can we?

Mark Manson: Yeah and there seems to be with that unwillingness to be bored a little bit, there also comes this lack of attention, lack of focus, and also this… I think it causes us to be a little bit more emotionally volatile than we would be otherwise.

John Jantsch: I am a big fan of Thoreau’s writing, and I love this quote from… I’m not sure actually where it appeared, but we ignore the God inside us in an effort to venerate the God that would not exist without us.

Mark Manson: Hmm.

John Jantsch: You take on religion a little bit, or at least the organized fashion of religion as a little bit of a, I don’t know if you want to say enemy, but as something that also freaks people out.

Mark Manson: Yeah. It’s funny the… There’s a chapter on… You can’t really write a book about hope without writing about religion, and so I’ve avoided touching religion for pretty much my whole career, but I felt like this book was finally the place to do it. I have a couple of points about religion. One, first of all, I’m an atheist, but I’m not necessarily… I definitely am not super critical of traditional religions themselves.

Mark Manson: I think there’s a lot… I understand why people believe in them and a lot of the benefits and meaning that they get from them. For me, the points I wanted to make with that chapter is one, I don’t think there’s actually… It’s actually the opposite of atheism, which is that I don’t really think it’s possible for us to not behave religiously to some extent.

Mark Manson: You know, even if you don’t worship like a traditional God or go to church, you’re still buying into certain groups and belief systems largely on faith, that they are important, they matter, and that they’re going to make the future better. They provide hope for you. Anytime you buy into this set of belief systems or set of constructs on faith, you end up creating alliances with other people who share those values and then also defending those beliefs against other people. I cast a very wide net in terms of how I define religion.

Mark Manson: Something as simple like something… political parties, sports teams, even being a fan of a TV series, these can all be religious experiences in that there is a mythology that we are putting our hopes in, and then we are organizing ourselves around those hopes together and finding meaning in them. It’s a fundamental human behavior. We all do it, but as with every human behavior, it has a lot of benefits, but it also has a lot of costs.

Mark Manson: A lot of people just over the years and a lot of people… I’m always being emailed by [various] religious people, saying, “Well, X book that defines my whole religion said a bunch of this stuff before you did.” My approach has always been like, “Well, of course it does, because this is just how the human mind works.

Mark Manson: The reason these religions have been around so long is that they manage to help orient people very well towards the world. It’s a little bit of a trippy chapter, and I’ve definitely lost some readers over it, but I’ve been prepared to make that sacrifice.

John Jantsch: I thought we were just going to lose the Catholics, but now we’re going to lose Game of Thrones fans and The New England Patriots fans all in one shot, one chapter. Great.

Mark Manson: We’re probably better off without them.

John Jantsch: The political messages today seem to be everything is screwed up, and it’s not your fault. It’s them. I think that that mentality seems to be at the root in some ways of all this discontent.

Mark Manson: Yep, absolutely. One of my big goals with this book… Because one of the things that surprised me and made me very happy about the success of Subtle Art was that I had very, I have very large fan bases on both sides of the political spectrum and especially, in 2019, there are not many people who are able to speak to both sides without being skewered in some way.

Mark Manson: I very consciously wrote this book to speak up to both sides at once and say, “Hey, it’s not ‘them’ that are causing the problems. It’s us. We are the problem. There’s nothing special about that person you hate or that person you hate. It’s us. This is a cultural issue, and we have to come together to solve it.

John Jantsch: The final chapter, you talk about AI, and I think you even go as far as calling it “the final religion,” when I read that… I’m into technology. I like to know the new things going on, but the further I got into that chapter, I couldn’t decide if I was hopeful or if that actually caused despair, the idea of that.

Mark Manson: Yeah. It’s-

John Jantsch: I couldn’t tell really where you were coming down on that.

Mark Manson: I think I’m strangely… I’m in a very weird spot with AI. I think most people, there are people who are I guess terrified of AI, who think that AI is going to overthrow the world order and we not make it out alive. Then there are AI utopists who think that AI is going to… we’re going to merge with the AI, and everything’s going to be amazing, and we’re going to solve all of our problems.

Mark Manson: The reason I called it the final religion is because essentially, all of these other issues that we struggle with today on all these other places, all these other places that we try to find meaning, once once general intelligence surpasses human intelligence, it’s gonna render all of these other questions either obsolete or it will advance them so quickly that we’re not going to be able to keep up.

Mark Manson: I felt like it was a natural end point. As much as it’s blindsided a lot of readers, I felt like it was a very natural end point for the book, and I personally think AI’s probably going to render us obsolete, but I find that to be very hopeful because, for one, I believe morality is very much based in rationality. I think the best aspects of ourselves come when we are able to sit down and think and be compassionate.

Mark Manson: If the AI surpasses us in intelligence, then it’s probably going to surpass us in its understanding of morality as well. One of the points I make in the book is look, we’re the ones who commit genocide. We’re the ones who beat and abuse and enslave each other. We don’t really, in terms of an ethical argument about AI, we don’t really have a leg to stand on.

Mark Manson: If this greater force comes along that we’re no longer able to comprehend, and they start organizing a world in which a lot of these religious conflicts and us versus them dichotomies fall away, then I think that better for everybody, even if we’re not the ones in charge anymore. I’m like this misanthropic AI supporter.

John Jantsch: Then there are those that would argue that it could actually amplify those things that you talked about as opposed to making them go away. I guess that’s the challenge with any technology.

Mark Manson: It is; it is. It could amplify, and it could amplify up to a degree, and then I think once it surpasses us, maybe it comes back on the other side. The other thing I wanted to explore in that chapter that I haven’t really seen talked about anywhere is that traditional religion emerges from mystery. It’s when humans don’t understand something, we come up with a lot of, I guess, supernatural explanations.

Mark Manson: It’s like if you dance this way, then it’s going to rain next week. I really enjoyed exploring this idea of once AI takes over, we’re not going to have any idea what the hell is happening anymore. Cars are going to show up and drive us somewhere and drop us off at a building. There’s going to be people there, and we’re not going to know why any of this stuff is happening.

Mark Manson: In a weird irony, we might start returning to a lot of this religious behavior of cavemen and stuff. It’s like, “Oh, well if you wear this shirt, the AI gods will will put favor on you, and they’ll take care of your family. Be sure to say this when the car comes.” I don’t know. For some reason, I think it’s hilarious, but a lot of people have emailed me and been like, “Dude, that is dark.”

John Jantsch: Yeah I didn’t find it dark. I think the word you said, mysterious. It just really shows that it could be a different world, which maybe-

Mark Manson: I-

John Jantsch: … is unsettling to some.

Mark Manson: I think it will be. All of this joking and the religious talk aside, I think it really is going to be a different world, and I think it’s going to be different in such a way that we can’t really comprehend what the issues and divisions are going to be when it comes.

John Jantsch: Mark’s books can be found pretty much anywhere. In fact, I have a… This is a personal question. Many of my listeners may not care about this, but I noticed your recent book, Harper brought it back out in paperback and hardcover at the same time. Was there any thought in that?

Mark Manson: Well, they’re doing this thing. It drives me crazy, man. They do these things called Harper Luxe, and it’s basically large print editions. They’re paperback, but they’re large print editions, so it’s like 500 pages. The fonts are blown up really big for people with poor eyesight.

Mark Manson: Amazon keeps categorizing them as paperback even though they’re these special editions for people with bad eyesight, and so people keep buying them thinking that they’re the paperback. Then they show up, and they’re these big fat like 600-page books with giant text.

John Jantsch: I’ve got another funny story for you on my first book published 2007 by Thomas Nelson who is now owned by Harper or they’re all owned by each the same company probably, but my first book, they had very few edits, but one of them is they wanted me to take the word crap out of the texts, so I thought you would enjoy that.

Mark Manson: Wow. How far we have come.

John Jantsch: Mark, it was a pleasure meeting you in this format and learning your thoughts and deeper thoughts on your writing, and people check out Mark’s work. As I said, the books are sold pretty much anywhere you can buy a book, and you might want to follow markmanson.net . Any other places you want to invite people?

Mark Manson: No, that’s it.

John Jantsch: I did it all. All right. Awesome. Mark, thanks so much. Hopefully, we’ll run into you out there on the road sometime.

Mark Manson: All right. Thanks, John.

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Weekend Favs June 8

Weekend Favs June 8 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Consent Manager – Get consent to use cookies without a banner.
  • Shop Grid from Buffer – Connect your Instagram bio to multiple URLs and create a landing page for shopping.
  • Donut – Manage employee on-boarding through Slack.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

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