Phillip Crum: Do you know what time it is, Kathleen?
Kathleen Mills: I do.
PC: It is time for another episode of It’s Just Coffee.
KM: Yes, sir.
PC: Which happens to be your weekly episode review of things that small business owners, particularly in the mental health field, can use to grow their business.
KM: Right. And may I first start out by saying, “Holy Batman!” You know, this whole time in my life, and I’m pretty old, I thought for a long time that I was shy. Totally shy. And so I went to this podcast conference and I heard our guest Chris Brogan, who is the world’s leading authority on owning the game you most want to win. He is the CEO of Owner Media Group, a sought-after public speaker, and the New York Times best-selling author of eight books and counting. Chrisbrogan.com is the website – you must go there. You know what, Phillip? I am really – instead of being shy – I am really a happy freak.
PC: Yes, you are.
KM: Chris, thank you so much! My inner freak has been embraced and I’m so excited that you chose to spend some time with us.
Chris Brogan: My utter pleasure. Thanks for having me.
PC: His latest book is The Freaks Will Inherit The World.
KM: The Earth.
PC: Yeah, that’s what I said. The Freaks Will Inherit the Earth. So tell us about that, Chris, and what was the purpose of the book? How’s it different than your other material? And who’s it aimed at?
CB: It turns out that it’s all about the whole concept of helping people figure out how to have that sort of tattoo-level obsession with a particular community, particular group of people that you feel you most connect with. And then how do you help them? What do you do to serve them? How do you turn the parts of you that made you feel like you were weird into the parts of you that are the most beneficial? So it’s a book about entrepreneurship from the ground up, but not your typical two white guys shaking hands over a business table.
KM: You talk a lot about sticking to your commitment and also yesterday on yesterday’s webinar that I finally got to do last night is you specifically said, “Be a sniper to your excuses.”
CB: Absolutely. There’s nothing more grinding in our lives than falling prey to our excuses. Every single thing in our entire universe around us in every direction is telling us it’s okay to be average. It is okay to be just enough. It is okay when you drop your goals. Who cares? Let those goals fall on the floor. The time for average is over. It is time for people to really stand out and do what they’re supposed to do. Complacency is a sheep inside the herd. There’s room for sheep – I mean, if you want to be a sheep, have a ball. But if you’re kind of getting tired of the way life is treating you, then you’ve got to treat life a little bit differently. And that’s the next level for people.
KM: Yes. And I don’t know how people can access this so you’re going to have to walk me through it, but you did the owner’s path webinar yesterday. And you really honed – at least I honed in – on get up out of your control zone, or your comfort zone. And I think for my profession, sometimes we’re in our comfort zone way too many times.
CB: No question. I mean, especially in the world that you’re working with – everyone goes through their schooling. They get their degrees. They go through their residency. They do all the stuff that they’re supposed to do to get that badge that says, “Click click. Now you’re a pro.” And then they do no further learning. They do no further expansion of their skills. No further testing and challenging of what they already know. You know, I’ve already got the paper – it must mean that I’m good. And that’s just not true. I mean, systems change. Life changes. Time changes. We’ve got to continue to evolve and adapt. The world outside changes. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff that’s fairly fundamental in mental health, but then there’s stuff that changes all the time. Everything in the book, the absolute bible of mental health, changes all the time. So that’s why there’s a version five and they’re already halfway to version six, you know, so. There’s nothing that stays still except your commitment to keep serving the community that you serve the best you possibly can.
PC: Chris, I’ve got a small farm animal question for you. There have to be sheep. Can’t everybody be the shepherd. There have to be sheep.
CB: No question at all, but that’s not to whom I’m speaking. So the same as The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth: my goal is to speak to the people who are tired of being sheep. If you want to be a sheep, have a ball, I’m just not interested in you. There’s a whole planet helping you out. I’m here to help the people who want to get out of there.
PC: Right. Step one is, er- one of the first steps. I have to decide that I’m not destined or meant to be a sheep, but that little voice in the back of my head is going, “Yeah, you’re supposed to be a sheep, buddy.” How do I know whether I’m supposed to be, I’m ordained by God, to be a sheep or a shepherd?
CB: It’s a lot like, when you say ordained by God, it’s a lot like that. It’s a calling. I mean, you know if you’ve got something more to say. If you’re not willing to sit still in your seat. If you get antsy when you’re not driving then you’re probably not a sheep. You are probably somebody who’s got more to give. There’s a lot of people who come out of the world with good intentions, but that’s the road to hell evidently. There’s a lot of people who have a starting level of passion. I mean, I talk to people every day that are excited about something for 30 days, but they’re not taking it all the way through. There’s a whole lot that needed to get done and there’s basically a few ways to get after it, but the simplest one that people don’t do is just do. They don’t start. They don’t make something new from doing nothing, so their couch is their best friend.
KM: I love your podcast. I think it’s episode 19 – the start start start. Love it – it gets me fired up every time I listen to it. Do you remember doing that?
CB: Oh, no. I have absolutely no memory of it.
CB: No, absolutely. Absolutely. First, thank you. It’s definitely it’s one of those things where it’s a message I tell people all the time because you people want to be perfect. They want to be right. They want to know that they’ve got all their ducks lined up. And there’s very few things in life like that. You know how kids get born? Certainly not with careful planning a lot of times.
KM: Right. (Laughs)
CB: Guess we’re going to have to figure this out. You know, I think that’s the way it’s meant to be. And life’s meant to be that way. It’s a good thing to have a plan, but just like Mike Tyson said, “Everyone’s got a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
KM: Right. And you talked about failure and you just got to pick yourself up and keep going. And you really hone in on, like, expect the failures. Expect to be on your knees. And you just got to keep going forward.
CB: No question about it. I mean, you know, I would say maybe a third of the book, The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth, is built around the idea of what to do with failure. A lot of times people just don’t know what to do. One of the things that people misunderstand is one way to reframe failure in a much better way is just think about it as an outcome you didn’t expect. Because that way you don’t put so much emotion attached to it. Did you, you were going to go to the gym and you were going to run for 30 minutes and cut it short because you remembered you had an interview, then you didn’t fail at getting your 30 minutes in at your cardio, you just didn’t really expect that outcome. Because then you find a way to make it work. I mean, there’s the other difference for people is some people just accept that they didn’t get the number, and then other people – and I would be in this category – go get the number some other way.
PC: When you want to fail, or expect to fail, any excuse will do. So the flip side – is there any excuse or reason in your mind that is acceptable for not achieving success? I know that sounds a little funny, but you know what, my problems are different, Chris.
CB: You know, my opinion, I would say that I do allow for one excuse. There’s only one. So I say no excuses, but I caveat there is one – die. If you die, you have a perfectly good excuse for not finishing the work you were doing. It’s okay. Then I’ll give you a pass on that one if you go settle up with whatever your higher power is. Beyond that – no. I mean, there are things you can quit. I mean, it’s amazing how many people think you’re not supposed to quit anything in life, but I think there’s a lot of things you should quit.
KM: You mentioned eight of them in your book.
CB: I mean, quit watching TV so much. Quit telling yourself you’re good enough. Quit telling yourself that a small goal is a good enough goal. There’s lots of things we need to quit in our life, but I think that – and you know what? We can quit our plans. I launched a magazine called Loner Magazine. I ran it for 10 months and made some money. It had some impact, but not enough. So I shut it down. It’s okay. I’m not a failure, I just learned another thing I don’t want to do.
PC: That was a successful decision to shut it down.
KM: So do you view it as being a failure?
CB: Not even a little bit. I learned a lot of things. I learned less things I don’t want to do. I learned that managing 30 plus authors, wonderful well-meaning authors, was not a job I wanted to take on myself. So if I were to do it again I would have some staff in place to do all the running around and the editorial stuff and I would just help keep the creative side of it running.
PC: That’s a lot like herding cats, wasn’t it?
CB: No question. And I’ve built projects a bunch of times like this over the years, and I’ve just decided that I’ve got to take it on a different way. So, it’s all good. It’s how it gets done.
KM: You also mentioned yesterday in the webinar is there’s no connection to comfort and being awesome.
CB: Exactly. If you were drawing a Venn diagram and you drew a circle for comfort, the circle for awesome doesn’t even touch it. You have to go outside your comfort zone. I was doing work at the gym yesterday. I get a lot of my business ideas at the gym. Jacqueline and I were there and my training called for 100 repetitions in a row – something called the leg extension where you just kind of bend your legs up to a straight position or whatever – with weights. So wow, 100 in a row. This is going to hurt. And I went and I started doing it, and you know, that was well outside my comfort zone. When I got off that machine, I was walking like I was drunk. But I can tell you today that my legs are a lot stronger than they were yesterday from doing it.
KM: So there’s purpose in pain?
CB: Oh, no question. There’s bad pain of course in life. There’s lots of pain that we don’t want and don’t need and doesn’t help us. But I always tell people, “Sore isn’t fatal.” And that’s true in business as well.
KM: There’s a lot of benefits to being a freak, isn’t there, Chris?
CB: No question. I mean, if you’re worried so much about fitting in, you’re going to have a lot of energy expended in the wrong direction. Because at the end of the day, you’d be better off worrying about standing out. And the best way to stand out, it turns out in the land of freaks, is just finding people who are already resonating with you. The reason there’s bats on the cover of the book is that it’s a bat signal. The people of Gotham City would shine that thing, they would get Batman to come and clean up the problem. And so I’m shining a bat signal saying, “This is who I am. Come find me.” And magically it works.
KM: It did. It did for me. You’ve given me a lot of encouragement, and I’ve gone completely outside my box and I’m loving it! And I would encourage everybody to do that.
PC: So I’m a mental health professional, a counselor running my own small practice in need of getting outside of that box. Chris, you’ve got a lot of material that you’ve written, including the latest book. If you were to advise me, you know, where to begin – I want to think differently, I’m tired of being a sheep – where do I start? Give me a plan.
CB: Easy peasy. So I’d say first up, the people who want to think differently already view things differently. They just want to be able to express it. So, for instance, one of my favorite mental health professionals is Dr. Robert Brooks. He has a whole body of work around resilience. So his whole plan isn’t to make everything perfect, it’s to make you more resilient so that you become better. So he stands out by working resilience. Dr. Phil, even as sort of an armchair kind of a mental health professional, he’s sort of a tough love kind of a guy. So there’s way to stand out because there’s those kinds of people that want to get into the spiritual side and your healing chakras. There’s Christian mental health professionals and then there’s people that are tough love mental health professionals. Jacqueline, my better half, she’s getting her Ph.D. in mind body medicine psychoneurology, and she’s studying mental toughness – it’s one of her biggest drives. And so, I mean there’s a lot to understanding those different paths. The kind of person who wants to go to Jaq is the kind of person who wants to hear, “Suck it up, buttercup.” And that’s very different than the person who wants to hear, “Oh, you’re good no matter what,” and everyone gets a medal. So I think right there, once you start portraying that, once you start communicating that, once you – I don’t know – you blog about it, you create a podcast about your perspective on the business, you’re going to start gathering the people that really resonate with you. And then from that they’re going to start asking you for business if you’re doing it right.
KM: Well it segues into that mastery of something in order to own the game.
CB: Absolutely. And you know, mastery people said, “Do I need a master first before I start a business?” I said, “How are you going to master anything if you don’t start it?” So you have to start somewhere and the only thing I want you to be the master of before you start the business is surgery and a commercial airline pilot-ry.
KM: (Laughs) There you go. You talked about, you talk about the forty... 60/40 split in your day.
CB: Absolutely. I have 40% of every single day is what I schedule. And the 60% is in case stuff goes wrong. It’s amazing how many people try to schedule their day at 100% and wonder why it falls down all the time. We had no other system in our universe that we like to have run at 100%. Your cars runs at 100%, it blows up in five minutes. Your computer runs at 100%, it locks up – nothing good happens. Nothing wants to be at 100% the whole time. And yet, that’s how we schedule our calendar. So I found 40% the best number for me. That way, I’ve got a little time to breathe. I’ve got a little time for mistakes and everything gets picked up from there.
KM: Tell me your experience about the podcast movement, just for, I thought you were brilliant. I thought a lot of other completely did, too. What did you like about it?
CB: Well, I like the people who are involved. First off, I should say Jared Easley, Gary Leland and I don’t know Dan and Mitch as much, Dan Franks and Mitch Todd, but they seem to be nice people as well. But I knew the other guys. I mean, Carey’s been in podcasting since forever and he’s a legend. And Jared is a nice guy for what he’s put together. I co-founded an event called Podcamp back in 2006. We’ve had hundreds of them all over the world and this is just kind of a new evolution in the conversation about podcasting. And it was great. I enjoyed the event. I think podcasting is still on the rise right now and there’s still some real opportunities for people to use it because what’s coming from it is the opportunity to have the conversation that we want to have and that aren’t necessarily matched to the mainstream. So we get the better opportunity to do good stuff.
PC: Are you a participant in the school of thought that says podcasting is not the end all be all to everything as far as communication? It’s one form – a major form – of communication within content marketing and you should utilize various forms of content?
CB: No question. I think that podcasting is definitely just part of the storyline. I think that there’s a whole scenario where you’ve got to use other mediums. Some people don’t like the audio medium. Some people don’t like the video medium. And I think that there’s a lot of opportunities where we can do better stuff by having sort of a mixed platform. So that’s my thought on that.
KM: Go ahead. Go! Mindset, fuel and path is what you really hone in on as well. Can you walk my listeners through that real quick?
CB: Yeah, so I promote a course and a project called The Owner’s Path. And to my mind what a lot of people have that they’re struggling with is they’ve just kind of fallen off any real path and they’re sort of scrambling around trying to figure out what to do everyday. The whole thing of like when you become a grown up and someone else isn’t scripting your life, if you don’t put a script in place then you’re just kind of winging it all the time. And I think a lot of grown ups are still doing that in their life. So I came up with a concept to The Owner’s Path that applies mostly to business but it can also apply to life. And then to get there you need the right mindset, and to stay there you need the right kind of fuel. So Jacqueline came up with this idea called “fueltarian,” which is the mind, the body, and the spirit kind of fuel as well as everything else. So that’s really the model there and so in explaining and trying to get people into the right place with The Owner’s Path is I start by explaining some of the right mindset to have and what it’s going to take to get you there. And I walk through what kind of fuel you’re going to need along the way because you need really good fuel inside of you to do something extraordinary. Everyone around you is going to tell you you’re good enough, or everyone around you is going to tell you you can’t possibly do that. So you need to find it in everyone around you, even if it’s just in your ears. And then the path is just how do you line this stuff up? How do you find mission-driven execution and make that work for you? How do you take that mission and figure out the game that you need to win? And then what do you do to map your actions to your day, because most people tend to have this weird experience of thinking that their goal exists 12 months out from where they started, but they don’t do that in their day-to day.
KM: Why do you think that? I mean, why do you think people just stop?
CB: Oh I mean, there’s a million reasons. It’s easier to stop. Holy cow, the couch is way more interesting than the gym. We are very willing to hear that excuse is everywhere. Oh, well you’re sore so you shouldn’t go to the gym. Oh, you might be bothering people so you shouldn’t make a sales call. Oh, you’re not that good at it, or they didn’t reply to your email or whatever so you should never follow up. Maybe they don’t like you, that’s what they meant when they didn’t hit reply. And all those things are lies. They’re all things that just, you know, your inner critic is just set up and waiting for you to fail again. And it wants to protect you from that failure by giving you excuses ahead of the time. And that’s Dr. Matthew MacKay’s work in self esteem is about that, so I believe in that.
KM: Chris, where can people get a hold of you? Where can they locate your website, various venues that they can learn from?
CB: You know, my primary website is Chrisbrogan.com if they wanted to learn just a little more about the book that you and I talked about. It’s Callingallfreaks.com, which redirects to a part of Chrisbrogan.com.
KM: I love the book, Chris. I love it.
CB: Thank you. I appreciate it.
KM: I’m almost done with it and I’m going to read it again.
CB: I appreciate that.
KM: You’re very welcome.
PC: And we are out of time. So we’re going to scoot here. We’re out of time. Kathleen, where can people find you?
KM: Lifetreecounseling.com or you can email me at [email protected] or my number is 972-234-6634 ext. 104. How about you, Phillip?
PC: Before I do that, Chris I have a book title idea for you. Your next book, you should interview Jacqueline, channel your inner Jacqueline, and call the book Suck It Up, Buttercup. I think it’d be great.
CB: (Laughs) That might be a good say.
PC: I think it’d be great. We really appreciate you spending part of your morning with us.
PC: And hope the listeners-
CB: Thanks, guy. I appreciate it.
KM: Get the message out. Chrisbrogan.com and Chris, you are awesome. Keep doing what you’re doing because I’m just excited.
PC: I’m still Phillip Crum-
KM: I’m happy to be my happy freak.
PC: Thanks for listening, everybody. I’m Phillip Crum, the content marketing coach. Contentmarketingcoach.us where you can find me and we’ll see you next time. And on we go. Thanks, Chris.