Change is not always better,
better always takes a change.
Change will bring abundance.
Do you see change as a problem or an opportunity?
Chris Brogan and Warren Whitlock take about rapid change and how adapting can bring new opportunities and faster growth for the future.
Listen in on the conversation, always great fun to hear from Chris.
Listen to the podcast here:
Chris Brogan and Warren Whitlock
Warren Whitlock: [00:00:00] Hi, Warren Whitlock here with a, another fantastic Distributed Conversations podcast. And I do another 40, 50 of these. I may learn the name Distributed Conversations.
Today with my good friend, Chris Brogan. If you have not heard about the great Chris Brogan, you are in for a real treat. And if you are a Chris Brogan fan, you’re also in for a great treat because Chris Brogan is here, live via recorded zoom, in the flash, the real, the one, the only Chris Brogan.
Chris Brogan: [00:00:48] or an anytime I can be in your presence, I feel happy. So thanks for at least having me digitally nearby.
Warren Whitlock: [00:00:56] You’re a digitally never far away. so today we’re going to talk a bit about that. We are living in a different world than when you and I met. And when you and I met, we were talking about blogs and podcasts and social media. We’re not talking about a long time ago in the history of the world. But the world has changed a lot.
And I think the lesson of the 2020s is it’s going to change even faster in the future. and to where I believe that we are going to say 2020 was a blip, but first, let’s give that a little bit of a context. How would we have done if we had had this same pandemic 10 years ago, what would have affected our lives more?
Chris Brogan: [00:01:38] Oh, that’s a really interesting question to start with. there’s so what’s what comes off the table 10 years back was Uber and all the Uber food services, like Uber eats and grub hub and door dash, where those as prevalent. I don’t think so. So that means we’d have to go get our own damn food. So that’s a problem.
And then I guess there’s the question about, what else do we lose in 10 years? So we lose a little bit more bandwidth, a little more speed on our internet. So all those families home being able to do what they gotta do. I don’t think Zoom’s even 10 years old. So we’d be trying to muddle through this on something like go to webinar.
Warren Whitlock: [00:02:15] years old. It was less messed up than it is today,
Chris Brogan: [00:02:18] Yeah. but group stuff. No, but like I’m thinking schools where the kids had to stay home. There just wouldn’t be, there’s no Google classroom. There’s no Hangouts. There’s no, 10 years takes, if you really think about it, it should mind blow anybody listening, because just so much comes out so many things from only 10 years,
Warren Whitlock: [00:02:38] were not prevalent. 10 years ago.
Chris Brogan: [00:02:40] not as much.
Warren Whitlock: [00:02:41] 10, 12, 13 years old, but I didn’t get my iPhone until nearly 2010. I had a smartphone before, but, Android didn’t exist until about that time. wow. Different world entirely. And we thought social media was big, nothing like today, and not a utility we can depend on.
it’s, I know that’s not often how we describe social media, but, I believe a lot of the utility part of it’s just knowing that, I can pick up my phone and expect Facebook’s going to be there. better that I not pick up the phone every five minutes to use Facebook, but that’s a different, that’s a whole different discussion.
And now problem of getting addicted to the technology couldn’t have existed, the way it does today. I think we were talking about it in the OT, but not the same. probably there were more blogs. instead of people trading on Robin hood, we’d have him talking on blogs.
Chris Brogan: [00:03:39] Yeah. one other thing that’s changed dramatically in the last 10 years. This one’s a really easy one to trace this back, but if you don’t realize how insidious it’s become LinkedIn, just the other day announced stories because we had them on Facebook. We had them on WhatsApp. We have them everywhere.
Now I feel like if I went to the ATM to take out a hundred bucks, it would say, do you want to add a story to this ATM? it’s everywhere now, Warren.
Warren Whitlock: [00:04:01] yeah, it’s a weird, I’ve always tried not to check in when I’m at a bank, I’d
Chris Brogan: [00:04:06] right.
Warren Whitlock: [00:04:07] people know where the money is,
Chris Brogan: [00:04:10] Watch over your head, but no, it just seems like any app, it seems if we step on our scale, it wants us to add a story to the scale network. Again, another thing I’ll never do in this lifetime. But I think that, LinkedIn stories, following WhatsApp, following Tik, TOK, following all of these things.
So why, because not only did you and I convince enough people that you really should get your sort of communications and information flow through the web. But now, because of all the anxiety and all the extra things going on in our universe, we want it small bite-sized video and, very short that’s all we want.
Warren Whitlock: [00:04:49] Which is, I was calming before we started the recording about, about, my inability man stuff. I really think I get, inability to get messed up. Boy, that sentence came out wonderfully, but there’s something there. Yeah. Even getting messed up, even if I want us to turn it all off and watch television.
I spend the whole time looking at the plot summary and the casting, reading the credits, I’m, I got my, I am BB open and then I’m playing a game and checking communications all at the same time. really hard to turn all that off. I managed to, I sit around like a lump far more than the average person.
So I’m good at it. It’s one thing I’ve mastered in life. Setting it setting like a lump on a couch, but, w we have so much technology at our fingertips. We can always be in communication with anybody. I’ve always said that, Oh, the guy Mitch, wrote the six pixels.
Chris Brogan: [00:05:46] Mitch, Joel.
Warren Whitlock: [00:05:47] Joel. That’s right.
Minstrel and yeah, I interviewed him years ago when we got talking about this and we both were lamenting. Why do people tell us that they need to have a day off of their technology? the technology Sabbath or the three days in the woods, I went to a tech event in San Jose and they were talking about, there was a wooden cabinet and set up on the event floor.
And they were showing people how they had this retreat, where you could go and leave your cell phone at home. you know what, they didn’t know that there was an off switch. I don’t want to go on vacation and forget about my technology, the vacation, the destinations buying, but I want the being with family is fine.
Although, I can do all those things at home and through technology, but I don’t want to turn it all off and forget about it. And then I think. More and more people are realizing that they’re talking about how the pandemic is going to hurt kids, development of their brains. And I’m thinking like, no, we they’ve got digital devices.
They’re their brains are going to be wired different than we can even imagine. And yes, that scares people. just a pandemic scares people. Boy, it just seems like we’re dealing with a whole lot of fears right now. But I want to get past that. I want to talk about the future. I heard you mentioned in a newsletter, how things had changed rather abruptly in your, in your business model for this year.
Tell us a little bit about that then. how easy it was to find to change.
Chris Brogan: [00:07:21] sure. So I’m probably not alone in some of the people who come to your show in that I run a business more or less for myself and I do business advisory and coaching and that sort of thing. Plus professional speaking on the books I’ve written. And, almost all of that stuff dried up almost a hundred percent instantly.
It was 90 plus percent because all my speaking travel got canceled. A lot of my consulting projects got canceled. Now, a lot of them I could have easily done remotely, but the other reason they got canceled is because people pulled back on a lot of their projects. Most all of the things that I get paid to do are in the sort of the experimental budget, the jam jar for when times are great.
And you’re thinking of, getting a steak instead of a burger. And a lot of that got cut. And so I suddenly found myself, and one other detail that’s not related to the coronavirus or anything was just that I had been thrashing in a lot of different offerings. And so after a while, if you offer too many different, strange things, people really don’t follow along anymore.
And so they’re not thinking, I became not top of mind for any particular thing, but more or less just seeing like that guy who does a lot of strange things. That’s never a good, it’s good for your friends who like interesting things. It’s not good for a business because your business should be like, if I go to McDonald’s just cause I want to get one of those burgers, you should always be, it should be a one stop mindset to why you would go somewhere to be with somebody.
And I lost, like I said, a little more than 90% of my business, all my revenue basically. And I ended up turning it around by, just at least short-term some very small term coaching experiences. some very like lower end, starter projects with companies just to keep the lights on for me, but also to help on the other side.
A lot of companies were suddenly in the same situation as me, a B to C and B2B, because they were used to so much of the, what their business runs on being a face-to-face element. Their salespeople are not knocking on doors anymore. There were no more trade shows for them to go to. They couldn’t hand out samples at Sam’s club or wherever.
And so how does that work? What’s it, what’s a sh grocery shopping look like when you don’t pay extra money to buy the end cap anymore, because everyone’s buying it online and, or getting curbside delivery, so a lot of businesses we’re faced with a lot of changes. And then on top of that, speaking of distributed, How do we communicate with people?
How fast, how brief, how clear does it have to be? What kinds of changes do we have to make? How we communicate? That’s really opened up some avenues to do some work. And so I started working on those kinds of projects, how to, how the business could tell its story at a distance.
Warren Whitlock: [00:09:55] It’s fascinating about this is that you and I deal with helping people in businesses that are change, changing things, moving forward. I focus on emerging technologies. You work on innovation in, I would say probably larger companies than I normally deal with, but, that they are trying to get their heads around a changing world and do better at it.
And here they’re faced with the biggest change we’ve we can imagine, all of the workers suddenly at home, and, I don’t think you or I would be considered us. a slouchy knowing how to work at home. We, have a little bit of experience with that creating content from our bedroom and, and the contact contracts get canceled.
Now, in my case, the stuff that I lost was because somebody wasn’t holding an in-person event, this actually was more of a, the income got cut, not gone. And and then some other things, we have a. A site where people download eBooks. And so that in some categories, children’s audio books, like 700% increase, was a small category for us.
And overall we’re up way up over last year. our revenue depends on selling ads and some other things that have been. more textured than just rapid growth, but, we’re still dealing with that. But, there were different things to do. And then what I’ve been expecting is somebody said, Hey, about all this, you know how to manage running a company on zoom.
That’s the only way I do it.
Chris Brogan: [00:11:28] That’s right.
Warren Whitlock: [00:11:28] companies, I work for the most. Never have a public meeting, or, yeah. the other board member on my board comes to town and we go get, we’d go get food. Which we did just before the, the lockdown. And, and that guy is now in Costa Rica.
Talk about remote office. actually the one I’m talking about as Colombia, the main guy working in a company that goes to Rica and we’ve met each other, but we run the business with zoom meetings and I’ve been doing it for time. And instead of somebody saying, Hey Warren, how do you do this?
How do you get this done? I have this problem with zoom meetings. we see, and in your case, they were saying like, please come on a zoom call and help us adapt to the, what are we going to do without in caps?
You’d expect it to go up and I guess it should.
Chris Brogan: [00:12:18] Yeah. I think that, I feel like the first phase, so talking like inside baseball for consulting type work, I feel like first phase of any moment, like this is that everyone goes, Oh, we’ll figure it out. there’s a kind of popular meme that happens a lot where, the joke is basically the kid says, mom, I want.
Ex mom, I want star Wars and mom says we have star Wars at home. And then the third caption, which has always the joke of it is that star Wars at home is bristle blocks to made to look like a X wing fighter or something, So the joke being, I want this important thing, the mom says, no, there’s no budget for that.
We’re not buying that. We have that already. But they really don’t have it. They have junk to me. This is that phase. We have good, excellent zoom meeting runners at home, meaning they absolutely don’t. They think they do. And when I say this, it’s just because. They think that because they had to turn on and off the technology and mute everyone in a room, then everything else is just ported one-to-one from, but in cubicle to button zoom room and that’s not it.
And I just had a conversation today. Debbie cavalier and Mike King run, the Berkeley college of music online. So they’re, they’ve been running Berkeley college of music online for over 20 years. I think Debbie’s 20 years, Michael is a little less, way before a pandemic changed a lot of America’s universities and the worlds to remote that Berkeley’s had a great process in place for a long time.
They started doing mail in courses back in the sixties. So that’ll tell you, but she said, one of the confusion people have when they decide to become a teacher online, and I’m not trying to throw salt at a teacher, is that they think getting on zoom is the start and the stop of what they had to do, as opposed to learning how to use.
Learning management systems and all that kind of technology. So it’s the same in businesses. I think you’d agree, which is not just, we’re online now, but but are you using the right tech? Are you using the right things to facilitate the interaction that you need to have with the people that you’re serving?
Warren Whitlock: [00:14:19] And are they even asking the right question?
they don’t know. I have a, fairly frequent conversations with the, with a seasoned teacher. He’s my brother. he’s been teaching now for forever and, he has chosen not to go into administration, is that he spent his whole career in a classroom.
Switched to charter schools has a, now is doing something. I’m not sure. I quite understand. He’s like a typical employee. Doesn’t want to talk about what he does when he’s not there doing it. and so we talked, but we have, over years, I’ve learned quite a bit about this, that he has a one-on-one, sessions with students who are either struggling or in there for whatever reason.
And so he’ll have just a whole lot of, different students coming and going through his classroom. switch that to last year’s version of zoom, at home was, he dealt with everything from, they didn’t have the machines to do. How does this count for credit and where are the points? there was something about needing 10,000 credits to pass the course.
I believe it was a pass fail thing, or that might’ve been a who cares. And, but again, what was that system? How was that invented? And then some kids were going in and trying to get extra credit. When they already had 25,000 points,
Chris Brogan: [00:15:37] Oh, my
Warren Whitlock: [00:15:38] learning. They wanted to learn more. And of course that’s the joy in teaching is getting a student that’s that anxious to learn something, is hardly getting them into a better college or anything like that.
He teaches middle school. So I doubt that it’s anything like somebody trying to, offset another poor grade, or extra curriculum or any of that kind of stuff. And he said, I said, how do you deal with all that? It’s almost like Anna thought of it. He shows up, he does, it was the job he was told to do, and it works well.
And I’m not saying he’s a bad teacher. I’m saying that he’s a great teacher that doesn’t worry too much about the technology. He’s always led technology. he’s got this brother that forces him to think about things
Chris Brogan: [00:16:20] Drags him to it.
Warren Whitlock: [00:16:21] And, so he’s always been up to date. In fact, when max, he came out, he was, I had a million in some of this stuff, and, so years ago, and I went I can’t, but we’re not asking the right questions.
Like what’s happening to those kids. my granddaughter came over and brought a school, provided laptop Chromebook, and I, I don’t get how that works, but that’s a lot just stick thing that any business should have to deal with, but that, in the schools, it’s got so many layers between parents and especially grandparents and the kids.
Oh, we don’t know what’s happening. We’re just barely getting started at adapting to this. And meanwhile, we’re asking questions about, when are we going to be able to go back to campus, which may be the whole wrong question to ask. Maybe what are we going to do so that we don’t need to shut down during a pandemic?
So I’ve often thought that, That, education is a lot of childcare wrapped up in a bunch of union rules to perpetuate the way that it used to be done, which is a system set up by Horace Mann to teach people just enough to know how to read the buttons on a, on an industrial machine.
They were operating as they came off the farm, Cordy, keyboards being set up to. To slow down, typing. So you don’t break the typewriter. and things we don’t need to worry about today. but we should replace some of those things. And maybe not. I know the number one thing you get out of it, college education is the networking, the prestige of getting the sheep skin from a couple of places, because that’s two things you get.
And in my case, I got neither. I left without a degree. and in my day in the late seventies, the idea that you would keep in touch with the people you met at a college in a couple of years, while I had some great friends, really soon, long distance phone calls faded, and we didn’t keep in touch.
Contrast that to what I watch my kids. Do. They stay in touch with high school friends. it’s a different world. I think in the future, it’s going to be even more different, but I can’t believe that my two year old granddaughter is, going to be going to a college like we do today.
So it’s really hard to get excited about the college fund, the fund to help her out with whatever she needs later. That’s a little different, it’s not about whether or not to save the money and call it a college fund because we don’t have a better name for it. But. yeah. so just in that way, that’s existing technology that is going to change the way things are going.
And perhaps this big disruptive disruption is a chance for us to move the technology forward faster.
Chris Brogan: [00:19:05] I do feel that I feel that for sure. Warren, one of the things that I’m thinking is that right at the beginning of pandemic, people like YouTube and Netflix said, look, We’re going to have to throttle things a little bit. Like you’re not going to be able to expect super high Def because so many millions of people are going to suddenly hit this service faster and more often and for longer durations than ever before.
So they’re, th they load balance there. Traffic the same way that gyms do gyms presume that no more than 22% of people will be in them at any given time on any given day. So they build their entire system around the idea of breakage and around meaning no one’s going to come in and you still get to keep the money and around the idea that, even if you keep your membership, you’re not going in there.
So they can, they only have to engineer for 20% or so of they’re there. Paid subscriptions to be able to work at a gym at the same time. this is true of, high band with broadband. So all of a sudden, a bunch of the bigger players had to say, Oh, sorry, just kidding. we’ll throttle it back and make it fuzzy for a while.
You’ll be fine. But, as you’ve come to learn, the fact that you can operate so much of your world, just a tablet, most days as other people are coming to learn that, our mobile devices are, 10 times stronger than the computers from 20 years back or whatever are.
It all points towards some real changes and some real upgrades, but the biggest element that’s going to happen over and over again is the human one, which is that people are going to go, Oh, I don’t need to learn this. Or I don’t want to learn this. Or this time in our life is so temporary.
I’m just going to wait it out. And then I’ll go back to my own methods, And we, I. And I think about this a lot. I think about the fact that the minute we allow entropy to set in the minute we allowed ourselves to lock a belief in, as soon as we have a belief. We’re already working at a disadvantage because what we should have is a curiosity and a confirmation that makes life harder sometimes because if you’re walking around, not like holding on to some domain knowledge, then you’re doomed, but it also feels like how do you know the one you’re holding onto is the right one?
I just saw something saying never, ever submit a one of those digital resumes on a platform like indeed or LinkedIn or whatnot. No, I’m not looking for work. I run my own company. I’m looking for work. I’m not looking for a job. I didn’t know that I didn’t know that was necessarily a negative thing, but what they said is that people who read those resumes are like lower end HR people, bottom of the food chain people.
And if you don’t do it, the old fashioned way digitally with some introductions, from some friends who know the friend, then you’re just begging not to have your work history known by anybody besides a robot. And as I heard that, I thought, this is damn straight. And then I thought, but if you don’t know that and you’re out there still sticking your resume into places like, indeed, you’re already behind somebody.
Who’s heard this same advice that I heard. So it’s tricky.
Warren Whitlock: [00:22:04] I’ve heard some innovative ideas of what to do with that. when I was doing futurist work for IBM, they pulled me onto a call to tell me about something new they were doing. And this has been released at least five years ago. So I think the NDA has expired, but, they were talking about it being so good for employment and the ability to follow up with somebody because it was the first time they were going to allow a mobile app on it.
So that an employee didn’t need to call the company or, a potential employee didn’t need to call the company every day to find out whether or not he, there were any hope of him getting to the next point in the process, but just would inform him on his mobile phone. And I thought, first of all, a lot of what they were talking about just made no sense to me because.
Why wouldn’t you try to treat the people that are applying for a job as well as you could. And so two things I learned, one technology was not for me because a bare minimum for a little company to try, it would be hiring a thousand people a month, not applications, but hiring a thousand people yeah, it’s a little bit above anything I’m working on.
I don’t need to worry about that. and the other part was just how little the innovation was. They had just gone through an innovation to replace Lotus notes inside of IBM. And and what it looked like to me at the time was. Gmail when it first came out little fancier, you could see icons where the people on your team or that you communicate with most little circles and a picture, you know, and a couple of things like that, and definitely addressing the big corporate, databases, with the LTAP, I think that’s what they call their phone books.
so another thing I’ve never bothered to use, and. And of course they were discussing things like what to do when somebody wants to talk about their cat having puppies. And it becomes a threat to everybody where everybody says, Oh gosh, isn’t that a cute picture? And it’s like the only thing in your inbox for awhile.
And they had a bigger problem because they were using Lotus notes up until 2014. and so it was a new innovation that worked well for them, but big companies were thinking differently. And to me moving slowly, And now I’m looking at it, I’m going, like one thing I’ve seen, IBM is out there pushing some things, so good.
Kudos for them. they’re in blockchain, they’re in AI. and and they really understand why the supply chains is important. As we all know now, anybody that. Had an experience, not being able to buy toilet paper in the last six months. it only takes one stub seeing store shelves empty and you realize, Oh, I take a lot for granted.
yeah. by the way, on that one, I tried asking at the stores. So I, I use Sam’s club. I put in an order, I go and pick it up. It’s been working for five years. It’s changed many times, not always for the better as they change ways of doing it, but it was working pretty good. again, I was taking it for granted.
It was so good. the pandemic hit and suddenly you couldn’t get an order that way. You had to go walking into the store and they had the orders were pickup. We’re taking over three times as much real estate as it should or normally did. And, I was walking to the store without a mask, and wandering around and, found it nice that no one wanted to talk to me, and I went back and checked and everything.
And then I think I dawned a mask or whatever when it talked to the people running controlling inventory and things like that. when, when do you get the bottle of water and my favorite. they have tons of bottled water, but it’s not the best. And I want, cause first world problem and connect you connect, you drink from the tap.
yeah. We’re not gonna have a problem because we have plenty of tap water. It just doesn’t taste good. and and so I’m tying to him about it and they just didn’t know. They said, a truck comes in every day and unload. And then they opened up for seniors. And so I could go in at 7:00 AM because this may come as a shock to the viewers, but I really am old.
and I could go in early and I got that. This is going to be great. I get an early, I didn’t go at seven because there was a line. And there’s one thing worse than a line at the store. It’s a line of old people in front of you at the store. You don’t want a bunch of BS in the line. people on carts and canes and all of that.
And I came back at seven 30. All the toilet paper was gone. It was paper towels that week, but all the product I really wanted was gone. And I said, so I asked, when does this come in? Oh, it’s comes in every day. You just have to be here when it comes in, because we had a truck load of it. It’s gone from seven to seven 30.
Chris Brogan: [00:26:55] That’s wild.
Warren Whitlock: [00:26:56] okay. And then the other answer for that is I can live without paper towels. We do have some. Dish towels or whatever you call them. Rags. I have a lot of microfiber rags because I’m old and think that I need to have rags steady. And when
Chris Brogan: [00:27:14] In case you need them.
Warren Whitlock: [00:27:15] they come 50 in a package in many bright colors.
Every time I look at them, I’m thinking like what great modern technology I would use the same rank. And when I was growing up as a kid, That rag, didn’t go into a washer machine more than once a week. And we kept using the same thing. So in so many little ways, technology is better and it’s just going to keep getting better.
so I hope people are going to adapt things more. but, should we have we covered enough to say we’ve covered the tips for productivity?
Chris Brogan: [00:27:47] you know what I think, any time you think you’re ready? I’m ready. I’m I’m here enjoying the company.
Warren Whitlock: [00:27:53] There’s just like I bring you on and talk to you for a half an hour and we
Chris Brogan: [00:27:58] I’ll listen to you. I think people, you can do this show one-on-one with every single person who has the opportunity to have a distributed conversation. I think it’d be great because people, one thing I want to cover about you getting the chance to wait in line at 7:00 AM, if you wanted to, which I wouldn’t, You have such a wealth of knowledge and understanding and wisdom, and you’ve seen this done other ways with other tools and what sets you apart in so many ways, is that not only do you have such a huge body of work to drop from and talk about, but you also compare that with the fact that you are staying current and you are watching what’s next.
And I see you talking about stuff all the time that I’m not staying current with, because I’m like, Warren’s got that. I’ll just look over at his homework and copy. It’ll make perfect sense. If anyone has a tech question, I just look at Warren’s stuff. So I think, if everyone’s going to come to this show one guest at a time and listen to you talk, it’s still a great show.
I’d watch it.
Warren Whitlock: [00:28:52] I, it is not, it’s not the intent, but it does happen quite often. And if I ever really do need to know about Marvel characters, I’ll come to you.
Chris Brogan: [00:29:01] there you go. I know about comics and weird things. I have just, I’m like a, such a junk drawer of strange knowledge. Yeah.
Warren Whitlock: [00:29:08] But I guess that’s one of the cool things about, about, the kind of life that we lead. We lead, we can do whatever it is we want. And, I know I’m watching the documentary series you recommended, what’s the name of that?
Chris Brogan: [00:29:22] Which one choose yourself.
Warren Whitlock: [00:29:23] Yeah. Choose yourself. Yes. The concept I remembered the name,
Chris Brogan: [00:29:27] of course.
Warren Whitlock: [00:29:28] yeah. And, Jane fantastic. It is, Purdue produced and directed by Nick Nanton. and, he got started at getting into publishing by having a book and he found out about this guy that could help them do a promotion to make sure they were a bestseller on a book for his partner. and, yeah.
any hired some. Unknown guy in Vegas to help with it. So Nick
Chris Brogan: [00:29:53] That’s so strange how that works.
Warren Whitlock: [00:29:56] So I used to do that quite well. runs, run stuff up the, the Amazon flagpole and tell people that we’re bestseller, today. I rely a lot more on appealing to my niche. If I’m working with a book, we make sure that it’s in the right category.
Let people know about it. You let the right people know they’re looking for either a bargain or a bonus, or just to find out it’s there. And they’re going to support the person that wrote the book, is the way it’s always been done. I find that, I find talking to you, we often, we often cover the subject of what you will do to, and you won’t do to take money. let’s not recount all the stories we’ve shared before, but, do you find yourself right now saying I wouldn’t work with that company, but I would right now. And what do you do about avoiding that desperation of getting into that, whatever depression and not losing your confidence?
Chris Brogan: [00:30:52] Okay, so those might be two different things for me, but all sorts of I’ll lay them out because they do hit a lot of the same buttons, which is that when I, when anyone is in a financial bind and they’re really needing to Make up some, put some spackle on the wall to keep it looking the right way.
you might say yes to jobs that I think of as spackle jobs yes. Where I should have said no, or yes. Where, I wouldn’t necessarily normally, interact with this business at a, such a lower level, for instance, like I might not normally want to do a smaller piece of someone’s project or something.
But what I’ve come to think about is that when you’re in that mode, when you just have the big need to get something done, sometimes what happens is you just say, I’m going to say yes, but I might not like it. And you try to deliver as your best. there’s no consulting. maybe there are, I don’t know, consulting people who stick around if they just phoned it in and just try to get the check, but I will say, Not unlike that series, choose yourself that you mentioned for a minute.
It really, everything works so much better. If I’m feeling energetic about the work I want to do with a client. And so I try really hard to find the kinds of clients I really want to work with. I have some coaching process going on right now with some people. And so for instance, day after tomorrow, I’ve got a call with someone who I really want to see when.
And so spending an hour with that person as a coaching client, even though they’re paying me. I’m going to feel like I benefit because that person’s going to make the world better. The other person has like an incredible career behind them. And they’re saying, I just want to notch it a bit. And do you think that you can help?
And I’m like, I don’t know, but give me a bag of money and let’s try it. And I love those kinds of projects. I love those projects where I really want to get into it. What kinds of projects I sometimes say yes to that? I don’t want to do. Are right on the nose kind of marketing or right down the middle or sometimes what’s like fish throwing marketing, the reason that content marketing isn’t, where it could be is because so many people found out that they could buy articles at $50, a pop from anyone who has a keyboard and.
Yes, they can type a lot of words in the words can have some keywords and technically to look and read like an article, but how many times is someone going to come to your site? Read an article like that and go, Oh, I feel served, and I don’t engineer for that. I engineer for relationship based selling we’re in which guys like Warren Whitlock lock comment, every newsletter I send, even if it’s a sentence only that keep me connected to him over more than 10 years of newsletters.
That’s what I engineer for. And it’s really hard to sell that to certain people as a, selling process. You know what I mean? It’s not, everybody’s buying the thing that I
Warren Whitlock: [00:33:30] I guess it really comes down to, if somebody says, I just don’t want something that isn’t, you’re not going to show me where the ROI is on this transaction, that they may not just be a good fit. And I’m finding it’s not a good fit for me either. And then many times have I gone and said, I’ll try that.
I’ll try it. If I can help you. And I take a little chunk and try to turn it into, I learn about the business. I care about the business. I want to do great things. And then, I get slapped in the face every time. yeah, but, can you show us a report that shows that we tripled our money on what we spent with you this month?
And no, I guess we’re canceling the rest of the contract because it’s I just, I don’t feel joy out of working for this person. I think it’s why I don’t have info products. I’ve never felt that I had an info product that I’ve had some, and I did. It’s not that I felt they were bad. I just never felt like I could count on helping a per a regular person that went through it.
I, I was pitched for Amway. what right out of college, in a very bizarre story that, I’ll leave for another time, wound up at a meeting where somebody had bought me dinner. Couldn’t figure out how it, how everybody in the ballroom was there for something that I knew nothing about.
And the next thing they’re talking about circles and arrows and diamond direct and things like that. Being polite to my host, I paid attention and driving home from that I’m thinking like I could possibly do this. And then it hit the people that I would be inviting into my living room, my neighbors and friends, and talking into this or running the classified ad to get people.
It was much different in the seventies. it was like, you’ve got to go out and network, you can’t possibly run an ad. I’m in advertising. They’re saying don’t run an ad. Got ah, but some of them want to be successful. I’m successful in sales because I love selling. I love helping people get what they want.
And even more. I was good at sales, but when I found out that I could turn that around and help people get what they want and actually became a marketer a couple of years after I got into sales. I know I’m good at it. I enjoy it. I love seeing that just as you described. but, but, I said, I can’t talk somebody into buying a hundred dollars worth of Amway product to stick it in the garage because all their friends are going to want it.
I just didn’t get that. It didn’t bring me joy. Now, since then I’ve met some whales in MLM. I have a very good friend that has been at the top of a couple of organizations, wonderful guy who gives and gives, and he gets back. And he’s of the opinion. I’ll give you the tools you need also support you in telling you can do it and then understand that nine out of 10 people are just not going to do it. And I said, I got to go the other direction. I can’t, I don’t feel joy by being able to guarantee you something that’s 90% failure.
Chris Brogan: [00:36:27] It’s a little tricky. your neighbor in, Nevada, Eric wary, who runs network marketing world. He had me on his stage. He also put me nicely enough in his little documentary, which was fun. I like that. I have an IMD B credit. For that, It’s pretty lame, but I’ll take it.
it is, when I went
Warren Whitlock: [00:36:45] the people, I’ll tell you the people over at Disney that you’re available. If they need an
Chris Brogan: [00:36:49] There you go. I’m ready to be on the Mandalorian any day. I am the, sorry, not, I am DB network marketing. I have, I did a little bit of work with one company with that. I tried it liked, it, thought it was fun. I think the model works really well, but only if you are so married to that product, whether or not you are selling it or a service or whatever.
And I’d have I have a friend right now, who’s doing one where he helps swap out point of sales at mom and pop shops and smaller businesses. And that swap out, saves the business, the mom and pop shop a lot of money. And of course he makes his money moving that process along. And it feels like a win all the way around.
And I only seem to like those kinds of experiences where everyone feels like they got something and I think they exist, but it just isn’t. it’s not as easy as just somebody say, I like that hand cream also the hand cream. It never works that way. It’s never the way to do it.
Warren Whitlock: [00:37:46] when social media came along, I had, when I was dealing with these, the MLM people, the most, it’s not like. What this needs is instead of, watch this video and then go back to the person who gave it to, it was the disc back then.
Chris Brogan: [00:37:59] yeah, sure.
Warren Whitlock: [00:38:00] that’s not very sophisticated.
how about you log in and watch the video when we know who sent you and, like that. So it’s now been about 15 years that I’ve been saying also support what you’re doing. If you’ve got something where I could share a link and then I don’t do anything else. Because at that point, I will share it with a lot of people and I will, I, and if it works, I’ll teach other people how to do it.
I don’t mind having the downline, but I don’t want to, lose somebody just because they go to the next guy over, or, or I’m not giving them enough upline support and all those kind of nonsense things are going on. And I came up with the idea of what, if you’ve tracked a Facebook And somebody decides to sell it 15 years from now. And you know that at 15 might be 15 months from now. and sure enough, I heard what the COO of Mercedes did. I don’t know if we’ve discussed this before or not. COO of Mercedes said we can’t run a PPC and see a result. This weekend. we put the Mercedes in a tent sale.
We lose all credibility. You have to the range of the length of time. You have to want a Mercedes is much longer. And I remember a film where the teenagers, I see a Mercedes with heated leather seats and go, that’s the coolest thing I want to have that when I know I will have arrived when I can buy the Mercedes with the, with of course, leather seats and heated, if you need to.
I live in Las Vegas. I can’t imagine what a
Chris Brogan: [00:39:32] Yeah, you wouldn’t want
Warren Whitlock: [00:39:34] would I’ve got a heated seat. I left the car outside. and, but that wanting it for so long and in that in the 15 years, until you’re able to buy a Mercedes you’ve have owned several Toyotas and you had the Prius and you had the family van and you had the whatever else models.
And now the choice is between Lexus and Mercedes Lexus still has. Hey a, a negative perception compared to the Mercedes, but Toyota has 15 years to win you over. So the battle is not one way or the other. There’s a case to be made for both of them. Neither of them make it by having a tent sale. yeah, I guess that’s the big marketing tip I have for the future.
And, yeah. And so be sure to tune back next time when we talk about actual technology of the future. but it will never be more fun than to talk to today’s guests. Chris Brogan. Thank you for being with us.
Chris Brogan: [00:40:30] Thank you.
About Chris Brogan
Chris Brogan has nearly two decades experience as an industry leader in helping people in companies large and small be more effective at a distance. Now that sales and leadership and marketing are often conducted online almost as much or more than in-person meetings, a strong digital presence is no longer optional.
New York Times bestselling author of 9 books and counting, podcaster since 2005, video guy since 2005, and currently co-producing The Backpack Show with Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, a weekday LIVE video show about business insights.
Chris has worked some of the world’s biggest brands and has launched international media events, run a handful of companies, and advised companies and individuals at all levels in a variety of industries.