Sharí Alexander is a persuasion expert known for bringing the “dark arts” of influence into the light.
She’s a speaker, writer and trainer, revealing powerful secrets behind conversational influence. She teaches persuasive triggers and techniques currently used by CIA field agents, hostage negotiators, con artists, trial attorneys and many more.
Her mission is to put this powerful skills and techniques into the hands of entrepreneurs and leaders, so they can bring positive influence into their business and lives.
We’ll be discussing how Sharí landed her first CEO client at the age of 22 without any proven track record or any previous clients, whatsoever.
We’ll be discussing the best coaching advice that Sharí ever received from a mentor.
She’ll share the not-so-obvious technique that she uses every single day to create meaningful and highly valuable conversations with others and how you can actually start using this exact same technique today.
Key Points From This Episode:
- How Sharí landed her first coaching job at 22.
- Asking the right questions and making it about them.
- Learn more about Sharí’s courses and the people she has helped.
- How Sharí learnt to fight negativity and trust her own genius.
- The importance of looking back on your progress and successes.
- Allowing yourself to feel pain in order to move forward.
- Recognizing that nobody starts out as their big name brand.
- Balancing a high standard without being a perfectionist.
- Sharí shares her own personal book-writing process.
- Why a good conversationalist listens more than they talk.
- Why “should” is the most dangerous word in the world.
- Worrying about what can you ask, not what can you say.
- Sharí’s challenge: How long can you go without talking about yourself?
- The invaluable lessons from simply writing things down.
- And much more!
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Sharí Alexander Website – http://www.shari-alexander.com/
Sharí Alexander on Twitter – https://twitter.com/sharialexander?lang=en
Sharí Alexander Youtube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/sharialexanderspeaks
Learn to Influence Resources – http://www.shari-alexander.com/store-learning-influence/
“SA: It’s okay to have people to model after but know at what point in their timeline you should be modeling. You can’t start today and be at Gary V’s end point. You need to start today and look at how did Gary V start.”
[0:00:17.0] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Fail on Podcast where we explore the hardships and obstacles today’s industry leaders face on their journey to the top of their fields, through careful insight and thoughtful conversation. By embracing failure, we’ll show you how to build momentum without being consumed by the result.
Now please welcome your host, Rob Nunnery.
[0:00:41.9] RN: Hey there and welcome to the show that believes micro failing in a hyper focused way is the fastest way to start a business, quit your job and live a life of absolute freedom. In a world that only likes to share successes, we dissect the struggle by talking to honest and vulnerable entrepreneurs and this show is a platform for their stories.
Stories of how they were able to battle through failure after failure to achieve freedom in their lives. Today’s story is of Shari Alexander. Shari is a persuasion expert known for bringing the dark arts of influence into the light. She’s a speaker, writer, trainer, revealing powerful secrets behind conversational influence. She teaches persuasive triggers and techniques currently used by CIA field agents, hostage negotiators, con artists, trial attorneys and many more.
Her mission is to put this powerful skills and techniques into the hands of entrepreneurs and leaders, so they can actually bring positive influence into their business and lives.
We’ll be discussing how Shari landed her first CEO client at the age of 22 without any proven track record or any previous clients whatsoever, it’s actually in a beautiful lesson for aspiring entrepreneurs, looking to get their first sale. We’ll be discussing the best coaching advice that Shari ever received from a mentor and Shari will go into the not so obvious technique that she uses every single day to create meaningful and highly valuable conversations with others and how you can actually start using this exact same technique today yourself.
But first, I just finished three weeks of straight travel and luckily all I needed to travel with was a backpack for one reason only, it’s clothing from an innovative Toronto apparel company called Unbound Marino, they have clothes made out of Marino wool that you can wear for months on end without ever needing to have it washed.
If a company can be a spirit animal, Unbound Marino would be my spirit animal. They’re doing amazing things over there and their clothes are just fantastic. Check in at the show notes page for an exclusive Fail On discount that you won’t be able to get anywhere else.
If you’d like to stay up to date on all the Fail On Podcast interviews and key takeaways from each guest, simply go to failon.com and signup for our newsletter at the bottom of the page. That’s failon.com.
[0:02:58.5] RN: Welcome to the Fail On Podcast. Today I’m sitting down with Shari Alexander, welcome to the show.
[0:03:02.8] SA: Thank you for having me here.
[0:03:04.7] RN: Just for a little context, we are sitting– and actually, this might be the biggest room I’ve ever done a podcast in.
[0:03:10.5] SA: It’s definitely the biggest room I’ve ever done a podcast.
[0:03:13.7] RN: It’s the convention center in San Diego, the big hall where they’re actually doing some breakout sessions. We’re both here for Tod Herman’s 90 Day Year event but thanks for taking the time during the event to come chat.
[0:03:25.4] SA: Don’t tell them, we’re playing a little nooky.
[0:03:29.3] RN: I know. We were just talking before we got on the air. I use headsets right? That actually you have to put on your head, it’s not just a mic.
[0:03:36.6] SA: Super cool.
[0:03:37.7] RN: It’s like you’re a pilot, it’s so awesome.
[0:03:38.8] SA: Yeah, I feel like I’m in NASA.
[0:03:40.5] RN: My childhood dream come true.
[0:03:42.4] SA: They just want to talk to Houston. You’re like, “Mission control, help us.”
[0:03:45.9] RN: It’s awesome but I was just saying, because I interviewed Nicolas Kush he has the same headset on, probably no more than two hours ago and he couldn’t even put the headset on his head because he didn’t want to mess up his beautiful hair.
[0:03:57.3] SA: His frock?
[0:04:00.0] RN: Exactly. But you, you just threw it on, you’re ready to roll.
[0:04:02.5] SA: With the big curls, my hair isn’t as quite close to what they say in the south as “The bigger the hair, the closer you are to Jesus.”
[0:04:10.1] RN: I’m from Georgia, so it’s very appropriate.
[0:04:12.6] SA: Not quite as close to Jesus right now but I’ll fix it later on.
[0:04:15.3] RN: I love that. Obviously I want to go into what you do, with the persuasion and stuff and the coaching and the speaking. But before we get into that, I’d love for you to take us back to – if you can think of it, the first time that actually gave you money?
[0:04:29.6] SA: I know exactly when it was.
[0:04:30.1] RN: In exchange for a product or service.
[0:04:32.0] SA: Yeah, it was nuts.
[0:04:33.4] RN: Just in terms of the mindset, you’re like, ‘What are they doing? Why are they paying me?”
[0:04:37.9] SA: Yes and no, but that was after the fact, during the meeting itself because I had a face to face meeting with the CEO of a company and his right-hand man assistant. During the meeting, because I am – my previous life I was an actress. From the age of 14, I did a bunch of stage plays and primarily I did a lot of Shakespearian stuff. I think I just tapped in to my acting background, in the room, I totally faked my way through it. I was just like, I’m pretending like I know what the heck I’m doing.
[0:05:07.3] RN: Yeah.
[0:05:07.7] SA: Can we curse on your podcast? Or not?
[0:05:08.8] RN: Yeah, let her rip.
[0:05:09.3] SA: Okay, alright, I forgot to ask that before we started. I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing and it was a really great meeting. I was helping the CEO with his – he was wanting to do more speeches to get more clients. I said I’d help him through coaching and my first project was $1,500.
I was 22 at the time. The fact that my first client was $1,500 and I was 22 years old I was like – still to this day, I still can’t believe it happened.
[0:05:38.3] RN: What made you kind of go after that big target at first? Rather than like starting off with the super low hanging fruit or somebody that would just pay lower?
[0:05:46.0] SA: Well, I got connected to him through another contact of mine. I didn’t actively pursue that person, just somebody had known of me and had heard him say he’s wanting to do this and say, “You might want to talk to that curly headed chick.”
We had the meeting and it was because the meeting went so well and this ties into my whole world of influence which I know we’re getting to. But at the end of it, I remember because I became very good friends with his assistant and she told me afterwards, she said, “Yeah, after the meeting…” because they cut me a check right away, it was like on the spot.
[0:06:21.4] RN: This is amazing.
[0:06:22.0] SA: This is the best thing ever. It’s always going to be this easy, right? This is the norm.
[0:06:27.0] RN: We got to do more of these.
[0:06:29.1] SA: I don’t know why people complain all the time. She said, after the meeting, they said, we looked at each other and we said, “We feel really secure in this decision but we were also wondering, why did we make that decision?” Because the whole time and they shared this with me afterwards. The whole time I asked really solid questions.
At no point during that meeting did they ask me who my past clients were because I had none. At no point in my meeting did they ask me what my certifications, qualifications, degrees were because I had one in theater.
They didn’t ask me anything about me, it’s because I knew what to ask about them and asking questions that they hadn’t thought of and pointing things in a certain direction that they were like, “She’s an expert because she’s clearly – sees a perspective that we haven’t yet.”
[0:07:15.7] RN: And it took to focus off you, right? It was all about them.
[0:07:18.4] SA: Yeah, well, and honestly, even today, even though I can name drop and say like I’ve worked with such and such and so and so. Even to this day when I’m on calls or meetings, I don’t talk about myself. I make it about them. I do it in a way that they realize that it’s almost, like overt pushing power and then there’s subtle power. It’s like you can try to push people towards something or you can be the magnet. I 100% always choose to be the magnet.
[0:07:44.5] RN: Now that you mentioned name dropping, let’s go ahead and name drop. Who are some people you worked with?
[0:07:53.2] SA: I’ve worked with a lot of great companies and individuals. I have clients from the NFL, I have clients from the NBA, I’ve got clients from UPS, a client of mine, gosh, announcers from ESPN and HLN network. I mean those are kind of the bigger – not on certain ones of those.
[0:08:11.1] RN: Not on the Fail On Podcast?
[0:08:13.0] SA: Correct. New York time best sellers and so because in some of the work that I’ve done with them, might have been either speech writings so I ghost wrote their speeches and things like that. I’ve worked in a lot of different capacities with individuals but like for example –
[0:08:26.6] RN: Yeah, so what are they hiring you before they come to you because they have some problem. What’s that problem that they’re trying to solve?
[0:08:31.4] SA: Well, nowadays, I mean, it’s changed. I’ve been in business for, on my own for a little over 10 years now. I don’t want to think about the number anymore. A good enough long while.
Nowadays, I have like basically three verticals in my business. One is I’m a professional speaker so that’s usually like corporate, that’s sales teams, leadership teams and possibly like HR trainers and those type of things.
[0:08:56.5] RN: Speaking on persuasion.
[0:08:58.0] SA: Speaking on, influence and how to be a positive influence in your company, be the leader that people want to follow. Then the other vertical is specifically focused for entrepreneurs and that’s my online courses.
I have one that’s like self-study that’s evergreen and then I have one that I only do twice a year, that’s live.
[0:09:16.0] RN: What does that teach stuff the entrepreneur?
[0:09:18.2] SA: Yeah, that’s Persuasive Profits and basically, I created that course because I was really sick and tired of seeing so many courses and offerings out there for entrepreneurs about one little slice of the business of like, you know, like a software, saying like, “This software is the solution to everything of like…”
“If you just have click funnels, you don’t have to do everything, if you just have infusion software.” There’s nothing wrong with those softwares, I’ve used practically all of them and continued to use a few but they were selling those things as if they’re solutions, they’re not, they’re tools.
There’s so many entrepreneurs that have the tool and then throw out their hands and like – but it’s not working and they don’t understand that the reason why it’s not working is because if you don’t understand the fundamentals of creating an influential message. Then all of it is going to fall apart.
I created the course to be the base code for no matter what methodology you use in sending out your message, the message you create is always going to be based in persuasive strategies. The modules we cover like webinars, we cover speeches, we cover copy writing.
We talk about the methods but I give them the models of how to create the message that goes with that. We’ve had some fantastic successes from the groups and we’re going to tear up possibly right now just because this email came in to me just literally an hour ago.
One of our students, he hasn’t been able to participate in the course because his dad has been really sick. He just emailed me a little bit ago and he said, “I haven’t been able to catch up yet but I’m really happy I’ve gone through it because I had to give a eulogy for my father and it just happened last week and because of your course, I feel like I did a really great service for my dad, eulogizing him.”
Just like you know, it goes – we talk about the business stuff but really just moments like that, it can’t –
[0:11:04.4] RN: It just makes it worth it, right?
[0:11:06.6] SA: There’s nothing that compares to that. Yeah.
[0:11:08.8] RN: Have you gotten any other stories like that in the past that have just been…?
[0:11:12.6] SA: Well, for example, we’re in the middle of the course, so a few of these stories are pretty fresh. Last week, we hit the halfway point and last week during that one specific week. During week three, we had people close 11 clients, eight of the students closed those eleven clients and for four of those students, four of those closes were their first paying clients.
[0:11:34.2] RN: That’s so cool.
[0:11:35.4] SA: Yeah, I mean, it’s just helping people find their confidence by teaching persuasive psychology and influential strategy rather than this is another thing I see a lot in the marketplaces.
“Well here’s the script that works for me, just follow this perfect template and plug in – just put in your name.” And I’m like, “Yes, I have no doubt that that worked for you.” Okay, no, I have a little bit though. But, let’s just assume that that’s true.
That worked for you because you created that script from the inside out of you, with your personality and your target market. I would much rather see entrepreneurs know the process of how to create their persuasive message with their voice that comes from their insides and bring it out into the world. Instead of pulling from the outside of them and using some maybe else’s and trying to make it work.
That’s why they hate sales is because they’re using somebody else’s words. I mean, unless you have an acting background and even if you do, that’s really not the way you want to be running your business for the rest of your life.
[0:12:32.9] RN: No, it’s so true. I think a lot of people that are trying to get into business for the first time, look for like, because they could be so overwhelmed by all that information out there that that’s what sells, right? The five-step process to doing this. You’re like, “I can follow a five step process.” When it’s never that easy, right? Because everybody has their own path.
[0:12:50.7] SA: I have been knocked by my colleagues and fellow entrepreneurs saying that “Your course is too expansive, it’s too much, you should just do like – I should just create a course on webinars. I should just…” But you’re missing the point, I want to empower more entrepreneurs to know that basically, I want to remove a lot of the mystery behind what it means to create a persuasive message.
Because I think there’s a lot of people that like, “If I only give them this piece then they’ll end up with this other piece.” And I’m just like, “That’s fine, you do you, you be on your path boo boo. But I got my own – everybody’s boo boo.”
I feel more aligned and ethically connected in the way in which I’m presenting it.
[0:13:30.7] RN: It’s less tactical, right? You’re not trying to lead somebody into your next course per se.
[0:13:36.2] SA: I mean, don’t get me wrong. I have another thing that I’m going to sell them in to but –
[0:13:39.5] RN: You like commerce but that’s not the driving factor.
[0:13:41.8] SA: Correct. But lo and behold, because I created this thing that I’m so much more aligned with – it is by far my most successful program. I mean, the first go around we had like just a handful of people and then the next go around blew up and we’re going to do it again in the fall. I have no doubt whatsoever that it’s going to be even bigger and better.
Also because, you know, the people that took the course, you know, guess what? Now they are becoming affiliates of the course. You know, how many people do they say that like, they buy a course but then they’ll never going to use it. I would never use that, wear that as a badge of honor. I know a lot of people are like, “It doesn’t matter, the course doesn’t have to be that great because they’re never going to even open it.”
[0:14:22.5] RN: That’s so painful.
[0:14:23.6] SA: Right? I just like, I never want to talk down to my audience, you know, there are people that do and that’s fine. I only get this one life and so I’m going to use it the way I want to.
[0:14:35.9] RN: So first article is speaking? Second?
[0:14:38.6] SA: Second is courses and then third is kind of just inspiring – I’ve got ebooks and then of course I’m working on my book at this moment so that will be a whole other thing. Then, of course I’m creating that book to feed more on the speaking side and probably, you know, of course will help with the entrepreneurs and things as well.
Yeah, the third is just kind of little catch of all of the stuff. Yeah, then one on one coaching and group coaching and things like that, that’s another, yeah. Then something else I probably forgot.
[0:15:09.6] RN: No, that’s cool. You obviously had an interesting start because you got that $1,500 check on the spot and you’re like, “Oh this is neat. I love entrepreneurship, good, just write me checks, not even doing the work yet.”
[0:15:20.6] SA: Yeah, that didn’t happen always.
[0:15:22.2] RN: No, but what I would like to dive in to is, it obviously wasn’t that easy and business never is. What were some of the hardest struggles and actually getting things off the ground after you got into it through that?
[0:15:33.8] SA: Yeah, I would say I mostly will chastise myself before I ever trust my circumstances. I would say my biggest struggle was consistently having the confidence to finally pull the trigger on things.
I look back and I hands down, I probably lost – I would say, good three to four years’ worth of growth because I held myself back. There’s a lot of reasons for that, obviously just fear and things like that. But I know this whole kind of shows about failure and pushing me on that and not being afraid of it, specifically.
If you were to like really get me to open up, I would say that the biggest failure, it’s not necessarily at a specific event. It was a systemic opposite of a catalyst like whatever that is, barrier block of – so I was very fortunate in my career that I have been able to connect with a lot of influential powerful people, specifically in this entrepreneurial world. That’s fantastic and wonderful.
I made the mistake of not trusting my own inner compass on my decisions. Meaning, I surround myself with the experts of experts, literally. If they hear my story or if they hear what I’m up to, they love to. It comes from a loving place, they love to say, “Well, what you should do is… Where you should be… Where you should dot dot dot.” For years, every single time somebody said that I was like, “Okay, I’ll do that to.”
Any time you say, “I’ll do that too,” you’re running into a problem. Well I would have on like tackle on like five to seven more “too’s” to get to what I was doing. I thought, “My god, will I have to be everywhere? I have to be on YouTube, I have to be on Facebook, I have to do emails, I have to do…” Well guess what, I was nowhere, because I wasn’t making any headroom on any of these things.
I kept following the should’s instead of the “What am I good at? What’s my genius? What do I enjoy?” And trusting that. It ties back to persuasive profits as well like we were just talking about is, I have tons of people who say how this core should be, what things I shouldn’t get rid of because that’s a lot of work for you.
Okay, yeah, it’s time but I freaking love that part of my business. I denied myself a lot of the aspects of my business that I love because, well, the experts said I should cut that out. So that’s probably entrepreneurially speaking, that’s my biggest regret and it’s my biggest joy now to hopefully help entrepreneurs.
Yes, I teach influence so I’m sure there are people that teach like “Trust your intuition.” Those are words I personally would never use but it is a joy to help entrepreneurs through their message, give them the confidence to say like, “No. What you just said, that’s viable, let’s roll with that kind of a thing.”
[0:18:20.1] RN: Yeah, you're surrounded by successful people that were basically telling you what to do because you’re kind of just on the up and come and getting started and they wanted to help. They come from a good place, like you said, but it wasn’t necessarily the right path for you. It was what they saw success with and they thought, “Everybody should do this because this is what worked for me,” right.
[0:18:37.3] SA: Sure, right.
[0:18:39.2] RN: Beyond that though, are there any specific moments that you look back on and you’re like, that you didn’t think you’d recover from because it was such a low point. In terms of, it doesn’t even have to be business related, it can be personal. Toughest struggles in terms of, because I think they’re kind of inter related. I know building my business, a lot of it is your own personal and emotional shit that you have to get through.
[0:19:04.4] SA: 1000%.
[0:19:05.2] RN: You know what I mean? Outside of just purely business, the technical side of building a business, it’s getting through your own shit which sounded like you had your own confidence blocks which I think almost everybody does. I don’t know anybody that comes through and just, “I’m going to build this gigantic billion-dollar business.” Even Mark Zuckerberg had his struggles too. If you had to look back, is there anything you can pinpoint that –
[0:19:28.1] SA: I think I can tell you, yeah, it’s not specific moment, it wasn’t a specific project, or “failure.” Because I honestly have never used that word in my business. I don’t think, honestly, I have never said that was a failure. Even the things that didn’t do as well as I’d hoped.
I mean, it’s cheesy but it’s true, in the NLP world, they say there’s no such thing as failures, there’s only feedback. I really have been, I pay attention to that feedback.
[0:19:58.0] RN: Data.
[0:19:58.7] SA: Yeah, it’s data. But, with that said, even though there has been a specific moment, I can tell you that there’s been about two very specific times that I’ve had full on breakdowns. Curled up in the bed, crying, mascara on the pillows. Like, “I’m never going to come out of this, I’m a piece of shit, I’m worthless. I’m never going to break through this, everybody’s better than me.”
[0:20:20.7] RN: Let’s go back to the first one, what led to it?
[0:20:23.0] SA: You know, I think it was just because like, after a certain – I just always felt like I ended up being in the same place, like “Oh my god, I’m here again.”
[0:20:30.6] RN: Not progressing.
[0:20:31.3] SA: Not progressing and this is also an issue of my own personality that I continue to try to work on is I’m not great at pointing at my own wins, it’s like, “Okay, that did well but it could have done better.”
[0:20:44.4] RN: Very easy to nitpick the hard times but never congratulating yourself on the positives.
[0:20:48.9] SA: Completely, even with certain things like, with this last launch with Persuasive Profits. Me, telling my colleagues, I remember because I was going to an event right after the launch had finished. I was going to be around my colleagues and I had to, I literally did like this internal prep of, “Tell people, tell people.”
Because I was afraid to of saying like, because I didn’t want them to think, “Oh well that’s not how much.” But of course though, I told people and they were like “Holy shit, that was great,” you know? For me to build that kind of confidence hoping that they aren’t – very rarely do other people have the negative demons in their mind that you have about yourself, you know what I mean?
[0:21:25.2] SA: Totally.
[0:21:27.1] RN: I consistently am trying to train myself on that. During those really dark moments, it was because all I saw was the bad, the negative, all I saw was the gap form where I am to where I want to be. All I saw was those things versus looking backwards and what – shoot, what’s his name. Strategic coach guy. Dan Sullivan calls closing the gap.
Instead of looking for it, you have to take those moments to look backwards and go, “Where did you start, where were you and now look where you are.” I’ve never been wired for that. I have to consciously make that decision and sometimes on a daily basis, one of the best coaching advices I got from a mentor of mine was, every day, right, the things that you did, or three things.
What three things moved the needle today? Because it takes me longer to come up with those three things, rather than the seven things that I didn’t get done.
[0:22:15.3] SA: It’s crazy isn’t it?
[0:22:16.2] RN: It’s nuts. Because you did way more positive things during the day than you do negative but you just can’t think of –
[0:22:23.9] SA: We can do a whole therapy session on why. I know the reasons why this is – knowing these things about myself and then making those steps is what – so in those dark moments, just my brain went full wiring towards the negative mode.
[0:22:37.7] RN: How did you get out of it? From those breakdowns, I mean.
[0:22:40.8] SA: This is going to be a weird response because I think chemically I understand what happened is, I don’t know if you’ve ever had this type of a moment, if you, for weeks or perhaps even months. I was holding back that sadness, that fear, that despair. Then when I finally allowed myself and I really did make the choice of like, “Okay, I’m going to allow myself this day to feel all of it.”
[0:23:06.1] RN: This is so crazy you’re saying this because I’m not kidding you, Nicolas Kush who we mentioned earlier had this exact same conversation. He said, when his lowest point, he’s like, “I was just trying to block all the pain. I allowed myself to embrace it and I actually just sat with the pain, it was freeing for me.”
[0:23:23.8] SA: It was so freeing. I think the only time I’ve ever could say that I had an epiphany or euphoria, it was after one in particular. I remember, I allowed myself to feel all the pain. I allowed – I did nothing, I was in bed all day long. I didn’t eat, it was ugly, it was beyond ugly cry, it was like –
I remember the specific moment of like, my body just said, “Okay, that’s all.” I literally felt this euphoria and I’m sure chemically, there’s a whole reason for, of like the brain is like “Okay, you just need some more dopamine right now.”
Then, it was so weird because then I transitioned into this happy cry, then I was happy and grateful for this moment, it was just this, I felt light and I know I’m using like some woo-woo phrases which I’m’ not even that much of a woo-woo person. But that’s just, that is what happened and then the next day, it was like – I also remembered in that euphoric moment.
I made a conscious decision to anchor that in. To like feel this and then I carry that to next day and the next day I remembered that feeling of gratitude, appreciation, freedom, all of those things and then you know, it lasted for a bit and then you just kind of had to figure out your own patterns, to avoid the darkness again.
[0:24:40.1] RN: It was 100% and is an internal change because your circumstances didn’t change from that one day to the next.
[0:24:45.9] SA: Yeah, totally.
[0:24:48.1] RN: What that tells me is like, you don’t have to go from – I don’t know what your financial situation was but you know, in some cases, people are low because they’re financially in a bad place and you’re saying, you don’t have to go from that, to being rich to make you happy. Right? It’s just a decision almost you make internally, not always a decision but –
[0:25:07.0] SA: Yeah, I don’t know if it’s a decision either. It’s more of, I think, for me, there’s a lot of trust. I mean, as an entrepreneur, you have to trust and you have to trust yourself. If you don’t trust yourself, it’s going to be much more of a difficult process.
If you don’t know yourself – you can’t trust yourself. If you don’t know yourself then this is –honey, child, I might point you in a different direction. Yeah, you might need a little bit more time in the oven before you pop out.
[0:25:36.1] RN: No, it’s true, it’s something I learned as well because I’ve talked to a few people about this where, which I think is also normal to kind of conform yourself to people you’re talking to, so they accept you and like you more, right?
[0:25:48.7] SA: Yeah, clearly, what the voice says is, “Well of course they know better than me. They’re older than me, they’ve done more than me, they’re richer than me. Who the fuck am I to not do what they say? To not follow their steps.” And also this is something I recently shared with my group in Persuasive Profits.
Because I was noticing a lot of the students were wanting to build a bigger business, tackle a lot of niches, tackle a lot of problems and transformations for people because it comes from a good place, they want to help all of that stuff.
If you look at what the model they were trying to build, it was like, “Oh but I want to be like a Gary Vanerchuk.” “Okay, great, I understand that, totally get that but you have to look at where Gary Vanerchuk was. Not – he didn’t start out as Gary V.”
[0:26:33.6] RN: No, yeah.
[0:26:34.9] SA: He was the wine guy and then from the wine guy, he was the social media guy and then from the social media guy, then he became a speaker guy and now he’s Gary V. It’s okay to have people to model after but know at what point in their timeline you should be modeling.
You can’t start today and be at Gary V’s end point. You need to start today and look at how did Gary V start? And as you grow, then where was Gary V at this point in his career? I’ve heard a lot of actors talk about this as, I can’t think of names at the moment but I remember like a few interviews of “I paid attention to how Glenn Close built her career or how Meryl Streep made her decisions.”
That just comes like, that’s what we need to be doing as entrepreneurs. You can’t jump out the gate and be Tony Robbins. Tony Robbins in his start is Tony Robbins. Tony Robbins was the, “I’ll help you with your phobia guy. I’ll help you stop being afraid of spiders.”
Then he was the, “I’ll help you quit smoking.” Then he was the motivational guy, then he was the Tony Robbins. Nobody starts out as the – by their name brand.
[0:27:35.4] RN: Yup, that’s a good point. Even Dean Kane who was here yesterday was talking, not many people know he’s been writing he said for 20 years. Scripts, strips, TV, film and he even said, one’s going to hit off one day and they’d be like, “He wrote his first film and…”
[0:27:50.1] SA: “Overnight success.”
[0:27:50.9] RN: “And crushed it.”
[0:27:51.8] SA: Yeah, a decade later.
[0:27:53.2] RN: Two days later.
[0:27:54.2] SA: Completely. Well, and just like to throw another one in there. I ‘m a huge fan of comedy nerd, I love it. Louie CK has said, because I think he’s been a comedian for 24 years or something like that. I can’t remember the exact number.
He said, “The last four years have been great.” Meaning, he was this nobody, unknown and he’s even said in the past, “I was horrible, I wasn’t good.” And it took him that long to find his voice which has become this absurdist look at the world and now he’s hit it.
As entrepreneurs, we’re often told the story of, “Well, if you don’t do it big and if you don’t do it fast…” Male dominated world… “Then you’re not good enough, then you’re not doing it right.” Then, being the types of people that we are, we reflect that inward and go, “I guess I am a piece of shit because my first launch didn’t crack six figures right out the gate, like so and so’s did.”
We have to remember that if it does take you over 10 years, if you’re doing what your – first of all, if you’re doing what you love, you’re already well ahead of the game. If you’re able to pay your bills or even make a little bit of money.
Do you know, that is a huge blessing and yeah, in the entrepreneurial world may snub their nose at that. Fuck those people, it’s not fair, it’s not kind, it’s very cruel.
[0:29:15.4] RN: Well even Gary V always says, if you have 120k job that makes you miserable but you can make 60k doing what you absolutely love –
[0:29:24.6] SA: I’ll take the 60.
[0:29:25.5] RN: Everybody should.
[0:29:27.9] SA: Right. If you’re able to sustain your living and then at some point maybe 10 years in or 20 years in, then you really break a break and then you become the name, that’s cool but understand that that’s more the norm than the flash in the pan people. Also in the entrepreneurship and in the online space, we see a lot of people make it big. I’ve been around this long enough that I’ve also seen the people that make it big and then totally crash.
Just like in acting like Dean Kane was talking about yesterday is like, there’s tons of people you had – they become the big star but then the media wants to tear them down and it’s like, guess they’re addicted to drugs, now they got a DUI and all that stuff. I’ve seen that in entrepreneurship, it just doesn’t get put in TIME Magazine or whatever.
I’ve learned and I’ll shut up in a second. I’ve learned like, to be very diligent in taking the 360 view of my world of entrepreneurship. I look at entrepreneurs, I’m like, “Okay, yeah, that business is super sexy but also, how much does it cost to put that together?” This event that we’re at, this is probably like what? 15,000 just to put on, you know?
That’s not even revenue, that’s just pure cost. Then I look at how are their relationships? Are they happy, are they married and this loving relationship, are they miserable because I could never have a business that I love and go home to somebody that I can’t stand.
I don’t want that for my life. If that’s the model and they’re like, “Oh you got to put everything into the business and then sacrifice the rest of your life.” I don’t want to model you now. Then, how are their friendships? Do they actually have friendships or is it just people that they pay for the work that they do? And so that’s helped me get more and more grounded which actually has given me more freedom to find my voice in my work. And lo and behold, it does so much better than what I was trying to fit somebody else’s mold that they’ve created.
[0:31:18.8] RN: Got it. I know you said you don’t use failure like you don’t use that term in your business. If you had to how would you define failure though?
[0:31:26.0] SA: I mean for me personally it’s all the times that I didn’t do it that’s all the time –
[0:31:31.2] RN: So you didn’t try or attempt?
[0:31:33.4] SA: Yeah, that I didn’t attempt or I didn’t pull the trigger. I half assed it and then backed away. But it’s also to say that it was a grain of salt because there are times where I did that and then the timing became right later for that thing. Because if I had started doing online courses in my first year as an entrepreneur, I don’t know if they’d be as good. There is a timing for everything so –
[0:31:54.7] RN: Is there anything you regret?
[0:31:56.0] SA: Oh I’m sure. I regret telling people that I am writing a book early on. I should have kept that silent.
[0:32:02.7] RN: I’m an author.
[0:32:03.4] SA: I should have because every time I meet somebody they’re like, “How’s the book going on?” I should have never told anybody.
[0:32:11.4] RN: Yeah, what is actually your opinion on that because I know a lot of people say, “Declare what you are going to do.” Because then it holds accountability.
[0:32:17.8] SA: Yeah, that’s what thought when I did the book thing. That’s exactly what I was thinking when that happened.
[0:32:22.3] RN: Didn’t work though.
[0:32:23.1] SA: Well so specifically with the book, I feel like the mistake that I made was I told people I was writing a book, when I was in the research phase of my book. So my whole book was based off of learning influential skills and techniques and strategies from the world’s best influencers like CIA agents, hostage negotiators, con artists, pickup artists, all of those people. I knew that that was going in a book so I told people I am writing a book when I was still researching it.
The writing phase didn’t show up until three years later. I didn’t know that it’s a process. So specifically, with that, I didn’t know what this project was going to look like. So alright, if I have to suck it up every once in a while when another person says, “How’s the book coming?” I’m like, “Alright, it’s fine.” I can deal with that.
[0:33:07.1] RN: But it’s still in the process, right?
[0:33:08.0] SA: It’s still in the process, we’re in the manuscript right now.
[0:33:11.2] RN: So people are probably like, “Man she’s been working on this book for five years. This better be a damn good book.”
[0:33:15.1] SA: No, I get shit from so many people. They’re like, “My god!” Also that is a good point because there are some colleagues of mine who have written 13 books. Okay, great. Personally, when I read one of those 13 books, I would be embarrassed if I put that book out into the world. So for them, they’re okay with putting out, in my personal opinion, subpar quality in order to say, “I have 13 books.” And there’s always exceptions.
There are certain prolific writers that they can have 13 books and they are all great. So, I am not saying that is across the board.
[0:33:49.8] RN: But fiction writers, not to get too far off but fiction writers actually have a pretty templated system to where it’s just different characters, different settings, etcetera, etcetera and they can just pump them out.
[0:34:00.9] SA: Yeah and that’s true in business as well even in the non-fiction worlds. For me my goal with my book and I have said this a few times is yes, I have my business reasons for the book. I want to get on bigger stages. I want people to come to me. I want to be the known in this industry for this and the other. Okay, fine but for me personally it’s as if I were to die the day after the book publishes I want to be proud of that piece.
I want it to be if that’s the only book I ever put out into the world, I want it to be that. So I have a standard that I have with my specific book, even though it’s probably going the self-publishing route and all that stuff, that’s okay. I’m just very particular with it.
[0:34:45.8] RN: On that point how do you balance the high standard without being a perfectionist? Because I feel like there’s, you know?
[0:34:55.2] SA: Yeah, completely. I think I don’t know if I have a specific answer to that because it took me a long time to realize that. I think for –
[0:35:04.2] RN: You always hear “Done is better than perfect,” right? You always hear that.
[0:35:07.0] SA: Right and that’s true in a lot of ways because the book is never going to be perfect. I mean I have no doubt that when the book publishes that there’s going to be at least one typo. I have no doubt that that’s going to be the case.
[0:35:16.4] RN: Are you okay with that?
[0:35:17.0] SA: I am already prepared for it. I’ve already made my peace. But I think for me it has to do with the vision. Having a clear vision. So yeah, I –
[0:35:27.6] RN: In what way, what do you mean?
[0:35:28.6] SA: It’s hard to describe specifically just around the book, I know what this should be. I know it has organically grown into this. Now it’s just time to –
[0:35:39.0] RN: So, it’s not like you nitpicking every little thing because you are not ready for it to be on the world, you just have a really clear picture of what it needs to be before it is released.
[0:35:46.3] SA: Yeah so specifically around writing and this is a great lesson just in general is so my first draft of this book, I am not proud of this at all. It is a shitty first draft. There are so many sentences I am so embarrassed by, there is so many. But I know that because I have done enough writing for and there is so many different areas that this is part of the process. There is no way that I am going to be out the gate perfect. That this is going to have to go through so many phases.
And that’s true of every article I’ve written like even today whenever I go to an event. I’ll have an idea and then I’d jot down an article idea and I just put in just let it flow and then I create the general structure. Then when I go home I am going to write the article but even with after creating this structure. Sometimes I’ll go home and I will write the article and then the article ends up being something completely different. Because that is part of the process.
I had to go through that to be like, “Oh that’s what this is really about.” So I can never, never do I start with, “This is what that is.” It never comes out that way and again, even with my students they say that they get stuck in the first word or the first sentence and when they send me drafts of things and I go through it, it’s about three to five paragraphs in that I say, “This is your starting point.” And every time I write copy, it’s not until the fifth paragraph that I’m like, “This is where I should start.”
And so just knowing that, it really frees up a lot of that perfectionist thing. If you follow the process, it removes a lot of that.
[0:37:21.1] RN: Got it. If you had to attribute one key thing that’s led you to your success, what would it be? Is it that you’ve been surrounded by really high quality business people? Is it the network?
[0:37:35.8] SA: Yes but more specifically to that. So I teach influence. I teach people how to be influential in conversation. Specifically that’s my love, also that applies into copy and webinars and all that stuff. The reason I am where I am is because I’m a skilled conversationalist and most people think when they hear conversationalist, “Oh people listen to what she has to say.” It’s actually the exact opposite. I am very good about shutting up and listening, making it a point to listen.
Guiding conversations, leading people to a direction that they normally don’t or people don’t normally ask about or are curious, maintaining that curious mindset. It’s genuine. I am not putting any façade and because of that I and even before I knew anybody, before I could name drop anyone. I always seem to connect with the most powerful influential person in the room because I came at it purely as a, “I am not pretending to be a big shot.” I’m not –
[0:38:35.9] RN: Trying to get anything from you.
[0:38:37.8] SA: I’m not trying to get anything and I am also undercutting myself like, “Oh I’m trying…” I’m thinking, “No.” It’s just like, “Hey, you’re a human being. Guess what? Me too. Let’s just chat.”
[0:38:48.0] RN: But how do you because you talked about the low self-confidence. So how did you have the confidence to talk to these people?
[0:38:53.7] SA: I think my parents get the credit for this. I was raised that, first of all nobody is better than me. Nobody has no worth than me but also how that showed up in my upbringing is that anytime I’m at events and somebody is there to pick up the trash in the room, that person is also no worse than me. I am better than them either. So I ask something like, “Oh you know could you turn on the air conditioning in this hall?” Or something like that, “Excuse me sir?” everybody a sir and ma’am.
So I think just because in practice and in life knowing that and feeling, I mean it is not as if they were said it was just purely by watching and example. Then the big wigs just, “Well you are not better than me. You don’t have more worth. You have accomplished a lot and that’s cool.” So yeah, I never had that. Also I will have to say okay, a lot of naiveté probably plays into that because again, I started when I was 22 so I was pretty freaking clueless. So I will say early on that probably was a little bit in there too. Yeah.
[0:40:05.3] RN: How do you assess risk when going into whether it’s a new vertical, whether it’s a new project? What do you look at in terms of saying, “This is something I should take on or this is something I shouldn’t take on?”
[0:40:16.9] SA: I think for me the final decision is always which one am I more excited about, which one am I okay living and breathing for the X amount of time. Even with my mentors, the ones that I would take a bullet for these individuals. When I am struggling in making that next decision and I go through it like for example, Joey Coleman, is a dear – I would say he’s the big brother I never had even though I do have a big brother.
[0:40:42.9] RN: He’s awesome.
[0:40:43.5] SA: He’s the best human being and I remember before Persuasive Profits, I had outlined – I said, “Okay here’s the four major projects I could take on. I’m really struggling. I don’t know which direction to go” so we went through it, got all the details, he thought I should go with this certain direction and I sat with it. I was like, “Man, I hear you and everything said makes perfect sense but this course I’m really drawn…” Not even finished the sentence and he was like:
“Oh you should do that then.” And so first of all to have a mentor that understands that and doesn’t have the ego to be like, “Well no, you should choose my decision. I’m right.” You know? So the final decision is always which one am I drawn towards even right now like I am launching a new group coaching program in a little bit and making that decision that that’s going to be my focus versus other options. It was because I thought of it I was like, “Oh not really. That sounds like a lot of fun and I’d be okay living and breathing that for a certain period of time.”
[0:41:42.8] RN: Just talking about Joey, in terms of like conversationalist and persuasion, the guy’s unreal. It’s crazy, one thing I love about him is how deep you can go with him just meeting him. I interviewed him for this podcast as well and he’s in town for Social Media Marketing World. He is doing the keynote there but he’s telling me a story. I don’t even think we told it on air, he told it offline. But he said the night before, he had just met a woman – that he met for the first time.
And it’s like a skill of his but they went so deep that they were both in tears talking for the first five minutes they met, which is an insane skill to me.
[0:42:23.2] SA: To me that’s true influence and that’s the type of influence that more people need.
[0:42:28.1] RN: That’s the magnetic type right?
[0:42:29.2] SA: That’s the magnetic type. Like one of my, I don’t know, the byproducts of what I do and who I am and how I live is I have so many people tell me, “I’ve never told anybody about this.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that phrase and it’s not as if I am coming out from some weird like, “I wonder what I can learn from somebody, like what’s the skeletons in their closet?” No, it’s purely out of genuine open-minded curiosity that we end up going a certain directions.
I’ve learned about affairs, I’ve learned about drug addictions, I’ve learned about abuse and then people say, “I’ve never told anybody this.” And I take that, I honor that. It is a safe space, I have never shared any of those things with anybody else.
[0:43:11.0] RN: For somebody listening, how can they start developing that skill to where I think a lot of it is just like being authentic and actually caring and not putting up a façade and not having your own agenda. It is actually listening to the person and actually listening and hearing what they are saying.
[0:43:26.4] SA: Yeah so that is on the right brain or heart centered side of that response which all of that is a 100% true. So how my background, how this all came about is my brother is a quantum physicist. He’s like pure left brain, the fact that –
[0:43:39.5] RN: He’s a dom.
[0:43:40.6] SA: Right, yeah. He is clearly the black sheep. No I’m totally the black sheep so he’s very left brain, I am very right brained, the fact that we can even communicate ever is a miracle. I think that is probably what shaped me in a lot of ways and as well as him. He had to deal with me too and so in response to that, yes that is a very right brained or heart centered answer. So flip that, I also like to give little practical steps for people who might struggle with that.
[0:44:05.9] RN: Please.
[0:44:06.6] SA: For me it’s to give yourself a challenge of how long could I go without talking about myself? Because most of the time, people struggle with, “What should I say next?” Should is the most dangerous word in the world. I feel or should I say next. And so their process, the brain is processing that. They are waiting for the moment, people can see that more often than not. When you actually say that, it is not the right time or whatever that is.
So what should I say and worrying about that, stop that. Worry about what should I ask. To take that even further, when I am talking to people and they’re telling me a story – you can think of it as being Sherlock Holmes of, what are the details in the story that I don’t know yet? And it is just by asking of a simple like, “Oh that was in Arizona right?” It’s like, “Oh no, it was actually Arkansas.” And I continue the conversation. So I am not just being silent the whole time.
But it shows that I am listening, it’s a little detail. I play a movie in my mind of what it is that we were talking about, who they were with, what does that person look like, or how do they look like in my brain? Where were they, where was that seen, how does that…? And if there’s ever a missing gap in this movie that I am playing while I am listening, that’s what I would ask the question about. And it just gets a little bit more detailed and then the next thing you know, they feel comfortable.
And then they are talking about feelings and emotions and experiences. Then that’s when especially as a coach and there are so many coaches here today at our event. That’s where the real conversation happens. That’s what I honestly live for.
[0:45:41.3] RN: I never heard that before that’s really interesting. That’s a good way to look at it. Just visualizing a movie in your head, you’re gathering the details as they come and then you’re just filling in the gaps by asking questions.
[0:45:52.4] SA: Right and so if they are talking about, “Oh I was downtown,” and it’s like, “Oh were you by yourself?” “No I was with Rob,” And it’s just, “Oh okay.” Now Rob is in the movie so yeah or I’m sorry, as James would say, “Ron.”
[0:46:05.7] RN: He never gets to live this story down. I’m going to tell everybody. It’s going to spread and it’s going to make him feel worse and worse for it.
[0:46:10.7] SA: I love it.
[0:46:13.1] RN: Just for context, we’re talking about the infamous interview with James Altucher where he is calling me Ron half the time, that he probably didn’t hear it because I edited it out of course. I almost wanted to leave it. I was like, “God, I can’t do it. I’m just launching.” So maybe I’ll put it back in later.
[0:46:31.0] SA: That’s so funny, oh bless his heart. Bless your heart.
[0:46:33.6] RN: Yeah, bless your heart. Such a southern thing as well, right?
[0:46:36.1] SA: Yep.
[0:46:37.3] RN: So I’m going to note the challenge, you mentioned the challenge which we like to lay, we like to provide so what would that challenge be just to rehash it.
[0:46:46.9] SA: Yeah, so I think just something simple as first of all being better conversationalists. Again, people often think it’s what I should say, how I describe myself, what should I talk about and that’s the exact opposite. So having that mini challenge of see how long you can go without talking about yourself? And I don’t mean not talking. You’re still prompting and continuing the thread but how long can you go without talking about yourself?
And this is also something that sometimes you use this strategically, sometimes it’s just the way I am but people will try to throw back the conversation to me because they think they are talking about themselves too much. They think they’re rude or whatever but I have a genuine interest in what they are talking about. So it is very easy like even if they try to talk and say like, “Oh you talk about you now,” and I’ll just toss it right back of:
“Yeah, my business” blah, blah, blah, “But I was really curious about when you mentioned that one thing, what was that?” And so just toss it right back and see how long or even if you want to see how long you can keep or how many times you can keep tossing it back, whichever one you want to play with. It’s built that skill set of first of all not worrying about what you have to say and also asking those prompting questions and insights.
[0:47:56.0] RN: Yeah it will stretch you out of your comfort zone a little bit because you are not used to doing it right?
[0:47:59.9] SA: Yeah most people aren’t, yeah.
[0:48:00.9] RN: You are using a new muscle, no that’s awesome. So on that note, I am just curious when do you – do you ever just talk about yourself or is it always just pushing it back? I mean when is the appropriate time?
[0:48:14.1] SA: Oh man, okay my natural skillset is no, I am not great at talking about myself. In these moments obviously I can tap into that because this podcast is supposed to be about me so I better talk about me a little bit. Normally that’s not my comfort zone so in fact my comfort zone is the exact opposite from most people. I just got to –
[0:48:31.3] RN: First of all, I’ve got to say thank you for not throwing all the questions back at me because I would be sweating over here.
[0:48:37.0] SA: So I am just taking over right now.
[0:48:39.5] RN: Yeah, exactly so about you Rob.
[0:48:41.9] SA: Right. Ask the question again, what was it?
[0:48:44.5] RN: No I just was saying so when would be the perfect time to talk about yourself.
[0:48:48.5] SA: So I mean I don’t know about the word appropriate. So I will say that when it comes to specifically like sales calls this is usually the biggest stumbling block that people run into is because on a sales call, they’re so worried about, “How do I describe myself, when do I talk about price?” And again, me-me-me questions. So there’s two lessons in this, first of all people ask me, “Do you still get nervous before you go on stage?” The answer is no, not really.
There’s very few circumstances where I will feel that adrenaline kick in. It’s usually because I am speaking in front of my peers, people that I really respect. That will usually trigger it.
[0:49:23.9] RN: So when you are speaking to people you don’t respect? I am just kidding.
[0:49:26.9] SA: I mean I just don’t know them yet. They’re just people, they’re not Joe, Rob all of that because they’ll tell me if I didn’t you know? They will tell me their real thoughts which again usually they don’t have the demon voice. They will usually say, “That was really good,” so tying that all back around. So if I do feel nervous and even before sales calls, sometimes I will get a little bit of that and even before coaching calls, I get a little bit because I know that there is a certain expectation and I do have a hope from this.
I do have a specific influential intention. So in those moments whenever I catch myself and this is a huge influential lesson, whenever I catch myself asking “What should I say?” That’s always the wrong question to start with. No influential person worries about what they have to say. Their first question is always, “What do I need to know? Where are my data point gaps about this person? What do I not know about what triggers their emotional states? What do I not know about their aspirations?”
“What do I not know what’s important to them?” And then the conversation just tying it all together, you’re asking questions, they’re doing the talking, you’re curious, you’re open-minded. So that’s the first question. Also I have a bit of a routine that when I feel that nervousness, I put my hand over my heart and I close my eyes and I just wait until I feel my heartbeat just very comfortably beating and I tell myself, “My only goal is to connect and really and truly that is your only goal.”
Is it because once you make that connection everything else just flow seamlessly. I’ve had people sign up for my coaching without even talking about price. They just sign up, I send them the link and then they’re on board because the connection was so strong. Going back to my very first client, they didn’t even know my background. But because we connected then it became – so my only goal was to connect. Specifically, when you transition to talking about yourself when it comes to sales calls I would say it’s the last third or even the last fourth of the conversation.
Even when they try to bounce it back to me and they’re like, “Well tell me about the program?” and so I say, “Totally looking forward to sharing it with you, I just would like to learn a little bit more about you – mentioned that thing, I’m really curious about…” And just toss it back because I know what I don’t know about them and until I hit those certain mile markers, again, this is everything I teach in Persuasive Profits. I know that until I hit those mile markers it’s not time yet for me to talk about me.
Because then when I do talk about me, I’m just tying it back to them so in the program we have implementation weeks and just like you said, how you feel like it’s pretty lonely and it’s very difficult to put practice things that you learn. That’s why we have implementation and you know how you were talking about how you really struggle with copying and getting anxiety around that? So in this, I’m talking about me but I am talking about them still.
[0:52:17.6] RN: You are just throwing it back yeah.
[0:52:18.6] SA: The only way I am able to talk about them is because I hit those mile markers and I made a point to learn that about them.
[0:52:24.8] RN: You couldn’t tie it back if you didn’t have that data.
[0:52:26.7] SA: Exactly then what I am doing is I am speaking to an avatar rather than a person. So the difference in how that sounds is somebody saying like, “Well most people when they experience, they feel like it’s pretty lonely.” And most people they say, “And that’s why they love implementation to make.” First is, you know how you said and use their words, “That it’s pretty difficult to implement. Well you are going to love this part that we put into the program.” It’s a huge difference. Night and day, yeah.
[0:52:55.8] RN: Because you are solving their problem directly and through their own words.
[0:52:58.6] SA: With their own words, yeah. I am not saying and this is another thing people get nervous about. It’s like about, “Oh do I parrot it back?” No, you can say it in your own words but just don’t deviate very far from what they said because a part, a thing that I do with my one on one clients is I listen to their sales calls and that is a pretty common thing they’ll hear is that they’ll use the way that they would say it that they themselves the person trying to sell the thing. Rather than using that person’s words and I can hear it in the voice of the prospect of like:
“That didn’t quite land with them. I could hear the tone go down. I could hear the pause last longer. That you lost momentum with them with that choice.” Yeah.
[0:53:36.7] RN: No, that’s interesting. You talked about mentors a lot that it helped you on your journey. If somebody came to you and didn’t even really have a business yet, they just maybe they’re in a corporate job, nine to five and they want to start something but they don’t know what. What would be one piece of advice or kind of a directive or step one that you would tell them to do?
[0:53:57.9] SA: Ooh, first of all writing things down. We have so many thoughts and we usually get so overwhelmed and that we’ll have the same thought rattling in our brains for weeks and months. So building a practice to write it down. Whenever I am struggling with the next project or who to market to or whatever that is, I will struggle with it and still I put it on paper of “Okay, here are my options.” I think that I feel like it’s 25 and then when I put it on paper it’s like, “Oh it’s just four.”
Oh, in fact just at this event I was talking to somebody who is starting a business trying to figure out what does that product look like, who should it be for. I told her some of the key questions that helped me was, “Who do I want to work with? Who are the people that I think I could work with? Then who do I think could afford me? Then who do I think is going to be the most fun? Then who do I think will that my background they will relate to?”
And I am trying to think of the other questions but unless you write those down and answer and then you can see the van diagram of where the overlap is. I remember when I was first trying to figure out my target market, I remember that managers was one of the ones on my list. It was entrepreneurs or CEO’s or managers or HR. I think there was eight of them. Managers quickly got cut from the list because when I looked at, I don’t really have much of a background that a manager is going to.
I don’t think that they can afford me. I don’t think I’m going to enjoy them as much as these types of other people. So it was like, “Well that’s gone.” But it’s not until you can write it down and see it. It is just going to be consistently rattling around and you’ve got to get it out.
[0:55:37.0] RN: Got it, so journal, get it out of your head and then things will become more clear.
[0:55:40.2] SA: Yeah, I am a huge fan of those big post it notes, that the big white board of posted notes that can stick up on the wall, I’m more of a fan of. Whenever I’m doing some strategy I’m more of a fan of that than journaling it because I can see it and I can manipulate it and move it around and stuff.
[0:55:53.4] RN: So we’ve talked a little bit about the book that’s in the works. What else is coming up that you are really excited about?
[0:56:00.9] SA: Really excited that I’m launching my group coaching program called Influence HQ and in that, it’s basically a mix of what I love honestly. You know, I try to walk my talk.
[0:56:13.4] RN: Business by design.
[0:56:14.8] SA: Right. Once a week, I’m teaching a lesson of whatever I think people are going to need and love. Once a week we’re having a student doing hot seats. So somebody wants one of their drafts to be torn apart and never make it to watch and listen and get the feedback.
Then the third week is the one I’m most excited about, it’s Spotlight Week. Where we as entrepreneurs – we have no safe place to practice something. If you want to put on a webinar other than you, working alone in your office, there’s no safe place for you to practice it.
Spotlight Week is for, if you wanted to practice a webinar, practice a speech, practice your video script, whatever that is, then you get the feedback. But then the additional value to the group is like if you were just speak on overcoming failure.
You, practicing it, now the entire group gets to learn about overcoming failure as well as you getting processed.
[0:57:03.8] RN: Yeah, it’s really cool. Spotlight Week, I’m super excited about and then the third week is, I’m just calling it Surprise Week because it’s like, whatever I think the group needs at that time, whether it’s diving deeper into a topic we’ve already talked about, general ask me anything.
I’m also going to be bringing in like Joey Coleman has already signed up for one of the sessions. Because I do have a fantastic network with amazing, just super smart people so I’m going to bring them in.
I’m just not committing to every month, I’m going to bring in one of my friends but a good amount of the time with spotlight or surprise week will be somebody teaching something cool and you’ll get that Q&A with them.
[0:57:38.8] SA: Amazing, any speaking engagements or anything like that coming up?
[0:57:41.2] RN: I’ve had a quite a few already this year. I’ve got a few webinars for some groups and companies which is nice because then I don’t have to fly. But yeah, this quarter in particular is pretty blocked off for get the first draft of the book done and the launch and all that stuff.
Yeah, later in the year, we’ve got a few more coming up but the next like 90 days, not as much. Cool, we’ll link to all this in the show notes obviously but don’t want to take too much more of your time but thanks for taking time out of the event to chat.
[0:58:10.2] SA: Yeah, thanks for having me here.
[0:58:11.2] RN: Awesome, see you. All right, you could find Shari @sharialexander on Twitter, that’s @sharialexander and of course for that spelling, along with all the links and resources Shari and I discussed, including or information on her work and online coaching, can be found at the page we created especially for this episode, that will be at failon.com/031.
Next week, we are sitting down with my good friend Steven Christopher. Steven is the Founder of Sequis Digital Marketing, a web marketing firm designed to help business owners increase their online visibility and reach. Before Sequis, Steven also started and ran several other award winning financial companies.
He actually had a really great well-known podcast as well which we’ll talk about why he decided to stop running that show but in this episode, Steven shares the lessons he learned as his mortgage company completely tanked and failed in the crash of 2008 and how he was actually able to turn that failure into a beautiful opportunity. He shares the benefits of working a full time job while starting your side hustle.
Much more, it’s a great conversation, don’t miss it. If the podcast is providing value to your life, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know which your biggest takeaway from this episode is. And as I continue to build Fail On with the goal of helping employees become entrepreneurs to create absolute freedom in their lives.
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