EFP 173: What Would It Take?

Justin Cooke

February 2, 2018

What would it take for you to get better about using your intuition when making important business decisions?

What would it take for you to double your business this year?

What would it take for you to feel happy about your business again?

The What Would It Take (WWIT) methodology to finding answer is one that’s spearheaded by our friend Michaela Light @ Intuitive Leadership Mastery. This simple start to a question can help you view the problem differently and come up with solutions you might not have otherwise come to.

In this episode, we get into the WWIT strategy in-depth, but also cover topics like business intuition, entrepreneurial roadblocks, and doing business “differently”. I had a blast with this episode and I think you will too!

Check Out This Week’s Episode:

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Topics Discussed This Week:

  • WWIT Strategy
  • Business Intuition
  • Entrepreneurial Roadblocks
  • Doing Business Differently

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“When you ask WWIT, it kind of opens up your intuitive mind to come back with solutions that you might have got from your logical mind.” – Michaela – Tweet This!

“Your intuition, the more you use it, the more you trust it that faster and better it gets.” – Michaela – Tweet This!


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So…what are your thoughts on Business Intuition? Let us know in the comments!

 

Justin:                   Welcome to the Empire Podcast, episode 173. What would it take for you to improve your business intuition when it comes to making important business decisions? That’s what we’re talking about with today’s guest Michael life from intuitive leadershipmastery.com. We discussed what would it take method to finding solutions to problems, roadblocks in your business. So stick with us. You’ll find the show notes for this episode@empireflippers.com wwit. All right, let’s do that.

Speaker 2:           Sick of listening to entrepreneurial advice from guys with day jobs and want to hear about the real successes and failures that come with building an online empire. You are not alone from San Diego to Tokyo, New York to Bangkok. Join thousands of entrepreneurs and investors who are prioritizing wealth and personal freedom. Who’s the oppression of an office cubicle? Checkout the empire podcast and now your house, Justin and Joe.

Justin:                   All right, Joe. So what I’m drinking beers with other entrepreneurs as you do and were inevitably talking business. I feel awkward when they start talking about how they make these data driven decisions and you know, they’re looking at the numbers, and they’ve made, you know that this is a statistical analysis, and we’ve made the decision, and the truth is, and our dirty little secret is a lot of the decisions we make are not based on that data for a bunch of reasons.

Joe:                        Yeah. I mean obviously you’re not going to have enough data a lot of times to make a decision. You’re not going to be able to wait all the time in order to collect the data. And probably if you’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time, you might have enough experience to know normally what the right decision is and kind of go with that.

Justin:                   Yeah. So you know, we kind of make a lot of these gut decisions, right? We use these kind of gut decision making when it comes to a lot of this is not all, and some of them are data driven when we have the data, but sometimes you know, as you said you can’t wait the requisite time to figure it out, and you have to make decisions earlier. So the question is then you know, we have this intuition that we use and we have these rules. Like don’t work with assholes rule. The question is can we get better at it? Can we use our intuition more successfully? Can we come up with better rules? And that’s what today’s podcast is about with Michael She uses what would it take process to, answer that question and like it helps you if like find solutions instead of just fretting about the problem, which I think is pretty interesting.

                                There’s also a question of like, is your intuition right? And I think a lot of entrepreneurs or early in their business, kind of second guessing themselves, adopt themselves and then over time and born through experience, you come up with these rules that you use in your business that is effectively your intuition. What would it take is similar, we don’t use it the same way Joe, but we use the what would it costs? So instead of what would it take to hire eight new people and get them on board inside of three months, right? He started to go, what would it take? It would require this and I need this. We don’t ask it that way. We actually do what would it cost question, right? Because like we have other things going at a time. So it was like, what are we willing to give up to do this? And it, it helps us answer the question or whether it’s actually worth it or not. Are we worth giving up something to make this other thing happen.

Joe:                        Yeah. And I think that’s really kind of have to do that. Especially when you have a busy business going on, you have to make some concessions in order to give things up to do what may further the business long term.

Justin:                   Yeah. And some of the things we talk about on this show one of the things is imposter syndrome, which I think you deal with all the way through your entrepreneurial career. So that was kind of interesting. We also talking about like objective versus subjective measures of success. If you feel like you’re comfortable in Chian Mai making $2,000 a month with your business, is that really success? And does it matter whether it’s objective or just subjective? So that’s kind of fun. And we also talk about whether you know, we work for our business or whether the business works for you. And she has some interesting thoughts about like how she uses her business to become fulfilled. And so we get into like how it supports her and her lifestyle and her wants and needs in life, which is pretty cool.

Joe:                        Yeah. I mean the working for your business or does it work for your thing. I think you have to be a little flexible there. Sometimes you’re going to just have to work for your business, right? So that later on your business can work for you and sometimes you’re going to have to work in your business instead of on your business. And I think if you own a small business, and you’re getting started up and even if you’re getting to that medium size area where empire flippers is that now you’re going to go through these kinds of periods where yes, it’s not ideal. You’d rather be working on the business working on bigger picture thing, having the business work for you. But for right now you need to solve a problem and an issue and get through a period where eventually things will be better in the future.

Justin:                   Yeah. I kinda like what you’re seeing there at Joe because conventional wisdom says, you know, if you don’t like what you’re doing, or you don’t enjoy it, then either outsource it or delegate it or always do that. Right. That’s kind of the answer. And you know, it just like, that’s kind of the wish fulfillment crowd, the instant gratification crowd where they, I don’t want to do anything I don’t like, well, sometimes you got to do things in your business that are just boring. Now, if you find yourself week after week, month after month, year after year doing it, well maybe, maybe there’s that need to change, right? You don’t need to be doing that, but there’s going to be hours or days where I’m working on something. I just don’t like it. It’s not fun, and it’s just it’s something you have to do to get through it on your willing to do it because you see the goal at the end is worth that.

Joe:                        Yeah. I mean, I have a friend who owns a business. They went through a little bit of a downturn and they have these lists of customers. It’s a couple of hundred people where they canceled their order right before hitting, yes on the credit card screen. And they had everything including the guy’s phone number. And I said, you know, I realize you’re not in my business and I realized you don’t do this very often, but suck it up buttercup time to call these people and see if they’ll just buy. And sure enough he did that and you know, we wound up making some good sales and selling an extra 10% for the month. So sometimes you need to do those things to turn things around. You’re right, long term you have to delegate that, find a way to set up a process and get that done. But short term sometimes it just makes sense to just do it yourself.

Justin:                   Absolutely. And one of the other things we’ve talked about is just kind of the value of being honest, both with yourself but also with your team, with your customers and just being honest about who you are. Being honest about what you believe in. And you know, you and I talking about that a lot in terms of, honestly we’re talking about like transparency, right? Where like we said, here’s kind of where we’re good, here’s kind of where we bad, here’s what we’ve been up to. And that kind of honesty or transparency attracts the right crowd, but I think it does it in other areas of your life as well and we dig into that a bit in the show. Anyway, I had a really fun time doing this interview. I though it was fantastic conversation, one of the best in a while, so I’m really excited to share this with the listeners. Before we do that though buddy, we’ve got to pay the bills. We’ve got to talk about our featured listing of the week, which is listing 4413 Joe.

Joe:                        That’s right. We’re talking about a two site package uses ad sense and some other advertising platforms. Healthy sites were created back in 2015 and they’re in the political news niche, so if you’re a political junkie, this is for you. All the articles are written by freelance writers, so it’s not like you would have to write your own content that’s already done for Ya. The site is making a little more than 44,000 thousand dollars a month net profit. That’s after paying all the bills, including the content writers and we have it listed for just over 1.4 million dollars.

Justin:                   Yeah, I know this one, I’m aware of it. It’s really interesting. It’s a little bit of what you think are maybe a little bit where you don’t think so. Someone’s interested in kind of the political niche on a site that’s making quite a bit of money and it looks like it will continue and then not too distant future. I think this is an interesting picture.

Joe:                        Yeah, and the only requires about two hours a week from the actual owner, so it’s definitely a very passive based business and also with the midterm elections coming up in 2018 at the end of the year. Definitely think that this is poised to make a good term.

Justin:                   Jesus to political science making money. I don’t know about this about all know about those. All right, let’s dig into the heart of this week’s episode.

Speaker 2:           Now for the heart of this week’s episode.

Justin:                   Hey Michael, welcome to the show. Really Nice to have you on.

Michael:               Great to be here with you.

Justin:                   One of the reasons I wanted to have you on the show is, you know, we’re both members of the dynamite circle and we’re friends with Dan and Ian who run that entrepreneurial community. And one of the things I’ve always found fascinating is your advice to other, especially like kind of early stage entrepreneurs and I’ve always found it to be just, I mean almost always spot on. I mean nodding my head and kind of smiling and going, yep, that sounds about right. Or you know, looking at it and going, there’s some good advice that I can pull out of that as well. So I’ve just been really impressed with some of the comments you’ve had and some of the responses you’ve had in the DC.

                                One of the things though that confuses me is I haven’t been able to square that with kind of the spiritual side. Like you’re into the kind of, I don’t know how to put it, but you can probably put it better than me, but like the yoga spiritual side of life and I don’t really, I’m not on board with that and it doesn’t really square in my head. And so one of the reasons I want to have you on, because I want to talk about how that relates to kind of the like just solid logical business advice you give and like what’s the connection there if there is one and why I keep them separate I guess.

Michael:               Yeah, great question. And you’re not alone in having that concern. You know, I’d say about a third of the people in the DC into the woo woo stuff, a third, not into it and a third or maybe open to it. And you don’t have to go into that spiritual stuff in order to use your intuition when you’re doing a business deal or running a business. And maybe we can talk about that later in the show, how you might use that without getting stuck in the woo woo stuff.

Justin:                   Well, one of the things you’re really well known for is what would it take kind of strategy or approach the wit and I see it often mentioned by you but also by other people in the DC. I think it’s kind of picked up at other people have picked it up and run with that. Can you explain to me just briefly that what would it take kind of approach to problem solving?

Michael:               Sure. So what would it take is a great way to access your intuitive mind to get answers to your problems. So if you have a problem, maybe you are trying to hire someone to do graphic design, you might ask what would it take to hire my ideal graphic designer this week. So in there I put some time element because I don’t want to get an idea of one, two months now I want them now. And I also don’t just want any graphic designer. I want my ideal graphic designer, which you detail what that meant, do they have good communication, do they have interesting designs? Do they meet deadlines? I don’t know what an ideal graphic designer is for you each of us probably have our own definition of that. And then when you ask the what would it take, it kind of opens up your intuitive mind to come back with solutions you might not have got from your logical mind.

                                So you might get, you know, to contact an old friend who maybe know someone you didn’t know who had a graphic designer or maybe you get the intuition to go to a particular job board and post the job there so you can get all kinds of things coming back. I think we’ve all had the experience of getting creative or intuitive messages. You know like when you take a shower or you go for a drive or you know when you stop pounding away on the problem with your logical mind, you can get these flashes of inspiration and what would it take is a way to get those a lot quicker.

Justin:                   It also feels a little empowering too because like if you’re as an entrepreneur of stock and feel like you aren’t able to make a decision or world is conspiring against you, it kind of brings that power back to like, I could do this. What would it take for me to actually do this? Right?

Michael:               Yeah. What would it take to have this? And it’s very different from asking how can I solve this problem? Because that’s traditionally what people do when they have a logical approach to problem solving. They’re looking at what are the detailed steps to solve the problem. And when I ask how do I hire an ideal graphic designer this week, immediately my mind is kind of like, I’ve got to do this and that and got to have all the steps in place in order to get it kind of thought. And it gets a little overwhelming for me. Whereas what would it take, maybe there’s a real easy way, maybe I don’t have to do the hiring myself. Maybe I asked my assistant to deal with it, maybe I’ll ask my business partner to deal with it because they’re better or hiring than I am. So maybe I go to lunch and there happens to be a graphic designer at the next table, you know? And there’s a synchronicity that produces what I need.

Justin:                   It helps you come up with more potential creative solutions to the problem than you had before.

Michael:               Absolutely. I think a bit like as a Google for your intuitive mind, you know how when you have a problem, when you go to Google and you type it in and it comes back, with all these possible answers. The same thing with your intuitive mind. If you ask what would it take is kind of like doing a search through your intuitive mind to give you the potential answers.

Justin:                   It’s actually like calling on your intuition to help you make the decision. Well, one thing I realized, Michael I hadn’t thought about it this way before and definitely not before we did this call, but something I often ask myself is like, what would I give up or what would we give up to do this? Right? And so like, because there’s like a limited bandwidth or whatever. And so it’s like what is this more important? I was thinking of it in terms of like a totem pole. Like what’s the higher priority? Yes we want to do this, we want to do everything, but if we’re going to do this, we’re going to have to give something up. What do we give up to do it and what’s worth giving up? And that’s probably a worse way of thinking about it because it assumes that there’s limited resources. Whereas what would it take goes outside of just, limited bandwidth I guess.

Michael:               Yeah. And I think it doesn’t have to be a zero sum game. And I know that’s how I used to approach business, if I’m going to have one thing, I’ve got to give up another. And it sort of relates to the whole idea that you have to hustle and struggle in order to grow a business, which is what I used to do when I was younger. And now I call on my intuition using what would it take and other techniques in order to get easy answers to do things. I can have someone else do the work for me or I can do a partnership with another company and we help each other out. Or maybe I can do a crowdsourcing approach where me, I find, you know, a car and drive or maybe I find some points in my account and get appoints ticket for nearly free to go to New York City. So you know or maybe one of my friends has a private jet and I go that way, you know? So there’s just so many more ways if we open ourselves to creativity than having to do it the hard way.

Justin:                   I was trying to think through, what would it take and I was looking for you know, problems with that kind of approach. And one of the things I did think of is like, if you’re doing it, what would it take or do you kind of like presupposing that thing you’re looking to do is beneficial. It’s like what would it take to, hire this graphic designer. But that’s like supposing that you need a graphic designer whereas maybe you don’t. So like you know what if, what you’re trying to like think through isn’t the actually the best solution, doesn’t this like get you moving forward on something that may not be the best move?

Michael:               Well, that’s the risk of using any tool in your business. You know, if you just buy a sports car, you can suddenly go a lot faster in the wrong direction, you know? Whereas when you’re walking, you couldn’t go 30 miles away in a few us, so well minutes, even if it’s a sports car. So absolutely you do need to know is this thing going to be beneficial for you? And I drill it down even more. Is it going to be profitable? Is it going to be joyful? So I separate out those two considerations because sometimes you know, you might hire someone and they’re going to make you money, but they’re going to be such a pain in the ass to deal with that.

                                It’s a negative thing energetically speaking. And so I look at, well, what would it take to know how much profit this person’s going to bring me? What would it take to know how long they’re going to stay with me because that’s something else I want to know when I’m hiring someone. Are they going to flip out to another job in six months or are they going to stay for a few years? What would it take to know how well they’re going to get on with the rest of the team?

Justin:                   Yeah, we just went through hiring eight new people and that was one of the questions we were asking ourselves is like, what’s the likelihood that this person is going to stick around? And that was part of the criteria in hiring them was trying to, I mean, you can’t know when it’s open to play me ride. They could leave, they walk, but trying to get a sense for the person that’s going to stick around a little longer because it’s valuable to the business. You’re right though. You were talking about something like being joyful in business and, and I’ve known people that, ended up hiring and really kind of scaling and growing their team and it definitely didn’t make them more happy. In fact, maybe they make more money, but we’re not in a position where they enjoyed their business anymore.

                                And then I’ve met other people were, and I’ve even been this good in your position of trying to guide them to scale and they’re like, no I don’t want to hire people. I don’t want to run a team. I’m making good money. I’m happy with my business, I’m happy where it’s at and I just don’t want to head in that direction. It’s hard to argue with that. I’ve tried it. I like, look though you’re the new spot, you could really grow up. They’re like, no buddy, I’m not doing it.

Michael:               Yeah. And I think that’s a good thing to consider because when I was younger it was like, Oh yeah, you’ve got to grow. You’ve got to make it bigger. That’s the mark of success, right? How big your office is or how big your team is these days. And I don’t feel that’s the only criteria, doing something meaningful in the world, having a joyful experience at work, being part of something bigger than yourself. Those are all things I think both I look for and I think, workers look for too.

Justin:                   Yeah. That was a selling point for us is that, look, I mean cause everyone has, especially if you’re kind of in or around our community of some kind of entrepreneurial bug, and so our argument to them, and it works for the right people, if we’re like, look, you can be a part of a bigger team, a bigger something, then you can on your own and you’re going to have a team to support you. And that’s a selling point, I think for the right people.

Michael:               Yeah. And to entrepreneurs that come to mind, right. My mind on the opposite ends of that size spectrum, but both seem to be really happy in their business. Ross Perry of design pickle and he’s got like a hundred people on his team at, she’s grown in the last 14 months I think. And he wants to grow it to 2,500 people on his team. I think that’s his goal. He set up DCPKK in the next two years. If I got the numbers right, apologies if I didn’t quite get it as goals. But it was a pretty aggressive growth goal, but he’s got a deeper meaning that they want to serve people better. And then on the other side of the spectrum, John Myers, as far as I know he’s, maybe he has some assistance or whatever, but be basically works on his own and he’s had plenty of opportunities to start up companies and what have you. But he likes doing his own club itself.

Justin:                   Yeah, my buddy MC Brenwall walls and a summer position likes kinda running his business and you know, without people, I think it was a virtual assistant, but like that’s about it. He doesn’t want a full team and it doesn’t prefer that, you know, oh sorry. From what would it take? Let’s talk about some other, business intuitions or personal intuitions you can use in business. What other kinds of like intuitive or not intuitive approaches do you use when it comes to like doing business, doing deals?

Michael:               I listened to my body and I just want to say that different people get their intuitive messages different ways. Some people hear words in their head, some people see things, some people feel something in their body.

Justin:                   I just screwed up on my chair. I feel that we will come on. So I’m like, I’m getting close. We’re going with this. I want to hear the fit bit. Listen to your body part. What do you mean by listen to your body?

Michael:               Well, do you get up, you know, when you’re thinking about doing a deal with a particular person, do you get a pain in your back to you get, you know, gut tents, you’re feeling contracted. You know, maybe you have an old wound from a skiing accident and it starts playing up when you’re meeting with them. It could be anything that happens in your body that you noticed the changes. When you’re, you think about that particular deal and you know, there’s a famous billionaire and I’m spacing out on his name. I’ll get it to you later. But George Soros, yeah, he does a currency trading. He famously bet against the Bank of England with $1 billion and one when he’s in a position, if his back starts aching, he unwinds the position. That’s how he decides when to get out of a trade. So, you know, same thing with a business deal, different parts of your body. You may give you information

Justin:                   S your body may … people were acting in ways that don’t really make sense to you. But if you listen to those signs, there may be some value there.

Michael:               Yeah. And if that intrigues you, I encourage you to just keep a decision journal, when you’re hiring someone or making a business deal. Okay. I decided to hire, Joe as the graphic designer and you know, I had this ache in my tummy at the time, his resume looks great on paper or whatever and then you check back a month or two later and it’s like, okay, Joe worked out. Or maybe Joe ended up stealing some of our clients and leaving, and it’s like, maybe that gut feeling was telling me something .

Justin:                   That’s interesting. I’m going to pay attention to that. I’m going to how to look for that. Yeah, I’m skeptical, but it does kind of make sense to me. I’ll take a look. I think the general advice is right though, that entrepreneurs need to be better at trusting their gut. Right? A lot of entrepreneurs, especially early on, but even later stage, try to look at the numbers and they tried to make it just an analytical decision when especially if they’ve got some experience or they’ve got intuition that’s kind of leading them down the right path, they should trust that intuition a bit more. So I totally understand the advice around that. Like trust your gut, trust your intuition in business.

Michael:               Yeah. And also businesses just speed it up so much. I mean I’ve been in business 28 years and when I started out, we didn’t have FedEx, we didn’t have faxes, we didn’t have smart bones, didn’t have email. And now look at all the things that make business deals go so much faster. You can do everything in days if you want to or even-

Justin:                   I’ve thought about this a lot is a lot of artists, isms in business had been made by gut or instinct. Right. And more than I think most people had met. And I see a lot of like case studies and like if people documenting their journey and they talk about how they really, you know, look weigh this versus that and they, they took six months of testing before they made a decision in a lot of times especially with like conversion rate optimization or things like that if I waited around to like get the data thing, everything would have moved on. Like I wouldn’t have gotten it gotten anywhere. Whereas it might have made that gut decision six months before at least it would have been a decision and then I can decide, after that kind of whether it was successful or a failure.

Michael:               Yeah, exactly. The speed of business has just got so much faster and that is so much more chaos out there. I mean, you can definitely see that in hiring, if you wanted to do a totally logical hiring decision and you investigated everything about the person that you’d take months or years to figure out. And by that time they’ve probably been hired by someone else, if there are any good. So, and the same thing as with business deals, sometimes you’ve just got to make a quick decision if it’s a really good deal. I remember reading someone who they had some small website business and the person wanted five grand for it and they thought there’s gotta be something wrong with this. That’s what they’re logical mindset. But their guts said do it and they bought it and they turned out to be a good deal. But if they waited to investigate, someone else would have snapped it up.

Justin:                   Yeah. This ties into something I’ve been really curious about and thinking  about over the last few months. And I know a couple of guys, and these are just examples, but there are others, like I was like Greg Mercer, Travis Jameson, I respect them and they’re great entrepreneurs, but one thing they do that fascinates me and freaks me out quite honestly about the way they do business as they make super quick decisions, right? They will make on hiring, on doing deals on partnering and they just almost, it seems like a snap decision to me. I like to mold things a little bit so I’ll take a little longer because that tends to just work for me, right? Like maybe, it takes me longer to come to that decision because my intuition, but the way mine works, it takes a little longer.

                                And so I’m just amazed at how quickly they’re able to make decisions. I know other people that do that and aren’t successful, but those are guys that are particularly really successful at doing that. And I wonder if this ties in, like if they have just tuned into their intuition a bit better. Like maybe their intuition is faster response to them faster so they can make those quicker decisions. It’s really interesting.

Michael:               Yeah. I don’t know them in particular, but maybe they, it’s like a muscle. You can work it out at the gym, your intuition. The more you use it, the more you trust it, the faster and better it gets. So, if you’re new to it, maybe try your intuition somewhere small, and your business where it’s not tens of thousands or millions of dollars, you know, some smaller decision and see how that works out. And again, if you like doing things logically and making decisions that way, keep doing that. But listen to the intuitive messages and write them down in this decision journal and then you can look back and see, okay, I could have, instead of spending a week making that decision, like I had the answer straight away from my intuition, I can see that, nine times out of 10 that’s worked out good.

Justin:                   Are you though recently on, it’s just not business but personal. I was. I’m taking a trip to the US with my wife for the first time, you know, her visiting the US and this was planning on a trip. I’m looking for places to visit and I remember looking at a couple of the hotels we were going to stay in like weeks before and I didn’t pull the trigger was like, oh I’ll figure it out later. I ultimately in a booking those same hotels weeks later get that going to save myself the time. So maybe you’re right about that.

Michael:               Yeah. Many travel decisions is a good place to start cause that’s pretty low expense, you know? I mean if you make it wrong and maybe lose or gain a few hundred bucks, right?

Justin:                   Yeah, for sure. That’s not horrible. Let’s talk a little bit about entrepreneurial roadblocks. We talked about that a couple of weeks ago. The things like imposter syndrome. Can you kind of like describe that for our listeners and explain what that is?

Michael:               Sure. Entrepreneur, imposter syndrome, that’s where it doesn’t matter how successful your business is, you always feel like an imposter or you’re a fake that someone’s gonna find out that you’re really not a real preneurial, I’m really not successful and that any success you had was just luck. You don’t acknowledge it. And if people congratulate you on how well you’ve been doing, you kind of brush it off and don’t really take in their appreciation. So, and at least a lot of worry and overworking and I did a case study with someone in the DC who has this syndrome and they found they didn’t make as many sales because they just didn’t go after people as much or they didn’t follow up as much. And they also worked a lot longer as because they had to make everything perfect because they were afraid it would fail.

Justin:                   I think almost every entrepreneur I know has gone through some degree or some level of this, like everyone has this to some degree and maybe for some people it’s worse than others. I can remember specific times and kind of my entrepreneurial path where that came on strong. When was the time when we closed an office that we had in the Philippines, we had it open and it was costing us money. We weren’t making much money at the time, like just enough to kind of pay our bills and pay our people and we were like, it’s pointless to have this office up as just additional cost. We don’t need, we can have them work from home. But there was something about closing that office that made me feel like not a real entrepreneur. Like if everyone’s working from home, what the hell are we doing? We’re not a real company. And so that was, that was the one for me that was like a point for me where it sucked for Joe was when we had less people.

                                So he viewed having more people on the team as being entrepreneurial success and having less as being less successful. And we both realize both of those are crazy now. Like look, less people and more profit is fantastic. Right? But like you, when you go through it, you don’t really see it as clearly.

Michael:               Yeah. I mean I think I once read at least 70% of entrepreneurs have this impostor feelings that some point or another in their career. So, and you know, if you look at where it comes from, it typically comes from childhood. You know, being at school and being criticized by your teachers or your parents criticizing you never need good enough. You know how some kids that, even if they get A they’re parents were to sizing them for not getting A plus. And it just makes it hard to be okay with yourself. So it can be pretty deep stuff to move.

Justin:                   Can it be motivated? It’s like, look, our business isn’t good enough yet. Right. And so you’re like, okay, I know where we need to go next. Right. They can like drive. And that’s different than I think that imposter syndrome, that’s different.

Michael:               Yeah. I think I can want to improve my business without feeling I’m a fake and I’m about to be found out. Yeah. I mean just cause I have the joy of wanting to grow it and improve it. That’s very different from being worried that I’m going to be, uncovered as fake entrepreneur or the business will fail.

Justin:                   If one of our listeners is dealing with this right now and they’re feeling fake or they’re worried they’re going to get found out. Or Cod is not being a true, I’m doing the air quotes’ thing, the true entrepreneur, how can they work on that? What are some tools they can use to kind of feel better about that or have that negatively affect their business last?

Michael:               Sure. I mean there’s a bunch of different things you can do. Basically you’re going to be shifting the beliefs you have that you’re not good enough or that you’re not a real entrepreneur and replacing them with beliefs that yeah, you are good enough and you know, you’re doing good. So I mean you can use what would it take question as part of that, you know, what would it take for me to feel competent in job? What would it take to feel a real entrepreneur? And see what your intuition says. You can also see if you can identify what exactly what beliefs you have. You know that your business might fail if you don’t work, 60 hours every week or whatever the particular belief is.

Justin:                   The what would it take my point out, some biases you have. And then once you write them down, they may look a lot less realistic like mine. What would it take for me to feel like a real entrepreneur? Oh well to have an office. I may look at that day or two later and be like, what? That’s crazy. What am I thinking?

Michael:               Yeah, just being conscious because so often these beliefs are not conscious. You know, we have that belief that, oh, I’m not a real printer unless I have an office or I’m not really finance. I have a big office or I’m not real unless I have the comfy chair in the 30 foot, you know, sized corner office on a high skyscraper in the downtown of a fancy city or whatever the belief is. You know, but you may not be conscious that that’s what your actual belief is. And yet it’s running your behavior. So, and it’s running how happy you feel. So uncovering those subconscious beliefs as a really powerful step. I would suggest for, whatever method you use to clearing the beliefs. And we mentioned what would it take and there’s a bunch of other ones you can use, but the four steps I use for this is uncover those beliefs.

                                Then measure how much of that belief you have. So on a scale of zero to 10, how much do you believe that belief, you know, is it a like one or two, it’s kind of maybe or is it a 10 like yeah, this is definitely true, you know, it’s like to you and then do some clearing method, be the, what would it take or some of the other things and then repeat that back, go back through the loop and see if there are any new beliefs of now popped up because now you’ve cleared the having to have the office thing to be successful. Maybe something else comes up. Maybe you need your father to be proud of you or maybe I mean who knows. It could be all kinds of things.

Justin:                   Yeah, it makes sense. One other kind of like odd for roadblocks. Have you seen, have you worked with people that they’ve kind of come across and struggled to kind of work through?

Michael:               I think the, you know, what does success mean to them? You know, it costs a lot of us focused on, you know, how big the revenue is of the business, you know, a seven figure business or an eight figure business. And is that really what you’re striving for? Because it’s, for me, once beyond a certain amount of money where I’m comfortable, it has a lot less motivation. I’d much rather be focused on am I enjoying route having this business? I mean half the people I’ve talked to who are entrepreneurs and most of them are in the DC, so they’re pretty abundant oak as positive people, but about half of them are thinking of selling their business cause it’s like there’s not doing it for them. Well, it’s good for me and that’s a little sad.

Justin:                   Don’t ruin it. Let’s keep up sad. Let’s cue about happy they could sell the business with us [inaudible 00:32:26]

Michael:               But you know what else is, you know, can you be joyful in your business and in all areas of it, we’re really good at, well some of us are really good at profit and loss and balance sheets. We hire someone else who is good at that to like see, okay, which department is good, where are we leaking in our business? That’s pretty common analysis to do. But what if you did the same for the joy you get? Is there a part of your business that gives you a lot of joy and another part that really sucks the joy out of you? And that’s pretty common whatever it is. Maybe the sales really turns you on, but the accounting turns you off or the legal stuff is a real drag or the operations. You just close your eyes when you have to deal with that stuff.

Justin:                   It’s industry Michael I’d like to see like either like a worksheet or a checklist or something on that on kind of like, you know the profit and loss of joy in your business. I think that’d be something that’d be really interesting to take a look at. A few. You don’t, I don’t know. You don’t have lose came up with it now, but that’d be really interesting. What do you think?

Michael:               It would be interesting and if you put a number from zero to 10 that’s how you’d measure the joy. You’d say, okay it really sucks. Zero or as tenants really joyful at least then you’re conscious of what areas in your business good deal with some a tenderloin.

Justin:                   Yeah, they’re [inaudible 00:33:30] of the joy. Yeah. That’s interesting.

Michael:               So you know, I suppose you’ve got an area in your business. Suppose the booking is a three out of 10 for you. What would it take to get it to a four out of 10 and I said that rather than what would it take to get to 10 out of 10 cause often it’s easier to like jump a little bit rather than try and make a big jump all at once. So you might get inspiration there and then once you get it to a four, okay. What would it take to get to a five what would it take to get to a six you kind of jump it up a bit of time.

Justin:                   Yeah. Maybe I can bring a bookkeeper on or maybe I can change the way I’m doing my accounting. Maybe I can get a start getting quarterly reports. That made me feel a little more confident, secure or whatever it is. Yeah, that makes sense.

                                Let’s talk about objective versus subjective success. I think there was a, you know Dan Andrews from the DC, it was talking about, I think he was in Barcelona or something and someone was talking to him about, the coconut cowboys and you know like you know, those guys are struggling and they need to start doing some real business and you didn’t really like that. He wasn’t a fan of kind of that kind of downplaying but same time. I mean there are some people I think that could use to level up, right. Especially the ones that are in like let’s say [inaudible 00:34:39] or Vietnam or whatever, for example, that are not happy with where they’re at. Right. That do want to level up. There’s probably some value in maybe making better connections. Getting outside of, places that are super cheap to live. It could help them, but for the people that are happy doing that.

                                Right. I come back to my buddy Mark Brenwall who’s doing well, lives in Chiang Mai, travels a lot but lives in Chiang. Mine is happy there. Like it’s no one else’s place to tell them, oh, you’re not good enough for, you need to build a bigger business or you shouldn’t live there. But you do see some of that in the DC and it’s like this push that we have, you know, outside of kind of what we’re doing. Like the keeping up with the Jones’s. Well there’s a keeping up with the Jones’s and like expat entrepreneurship too.

Michael:               Yeah. I think I’ve seen that pressure. But really, just a business making you happy. Does it make you money? Does it help you be live a healthy life? Which is another thread to add it in there because if you’re like really stressed out and working long as, and it’s, you’ve got bits of your business that drain your joy and energy, that’s where your health may suffer. And I know there’s one or two DC as who’ve had health crises, you know, have had cancer or had a heart problem or whatever, and then they suddenly really refocus on what their priority is. That I want to be healthy because for me, if I’m not healthy, it’s really hard to enjoy the money.

Justin:                   Yeah. We got to live a while to enjoy the business and the trappings that it provides. Right.

Michael:               Yeah. So, and the other thing I think underneath this, there’s a subtext of like why are we entrepreneurs to start with? And I don’t think we look at that too closely. And for me personally, I regard my businesses as a vehicle for me to get personal growth. I mean, sure they make me money, I get to enjoy them. But the leveling up thing, I do that less. I mean, sure. I like making more money, but I also do it because often when I’m leveling up, I suddenly challenged to do things I hadn’t done before and learn new stuff and address personal patterns or blocks I have or beliefs have been getting in my own way for years or decades. So you know, that’s really exciting. Like right now I’m doing a small business thing, which is a 90 day video challenge where I publish a video every day and I was scared to do that to start with cause I was afraid what people would think of it or maybe they criticized me or maybe no one would watch it.

Justin:                   Well that’s ballsy because video, I’m just such not a fan of. And then in addition to that, Michael, you just recently like came out publicly identifying as a woman. Right? And so like that like transition is to do that publicly and a talk about it publicly and to answer questions for people that are curious or concerned or whatever. That I think is scary.

Michael:               I was pretty scared. I mean, I’ve certainly done female things, but a long time. I’ve had a, I felt female inside for a long time. I’m still working on getting my voice to sound more female. It doesn’t sound particularly female right now, but coming out more publicly. So what I did is I phoned up my clients and that was scary as shit. Like what if they decide to cancel our contract now? It all worked out fine. They actually ask myself ahead of time, what would it take to have an easy and graceful conversation with each of my clients? And I shared this with them and they were very supportive and then they shared some stuff in their lives that I didn’t know one of them had a daughter who was get gay and someone else had some other stuff going on in their life.

Justin:                   I’ve noticed that when you share something with people that very personal or private Ryan and you can come up with that, then people are much more willing or they almost feel like obligated to share something with you. Right. So that’s kind of interesting. Why did you bother though? Like why did you bother? I mean I just don’t really want to do it in your life, but like why did you bother telling your clients? I mean it’s not really relevant to the job you can do for them. Is it because you felt like you were not being honest and truthful with them? Like what your reasoning there?

Michael:               It’s a combination. I wanted to be my authentic self in every area of my life and if I was being female in my private life and my friends and family, but I wasn’t being in business, it just didn’t feel, it takes energy to be inauthentic, effectively lying. And I don’t know about you, but for me lying takes quite a lot of energy and then you’re always like thinking, oh did I tell that person? But not that person.

Justin:                   It’s just easier to be honest. Right. It’s easier. It’s less headache, less stress.

Michael:               Yeah. And then the other factor was, I figured this would give me a shit load of personal growth, which she did. So, and it was interesting. I did this I’ve been playing with it for a while, but it was when I was at DCBKK on the mastermind day and I just had this inspiration, I need to do this now. So I got up and asked Catalina to change my name in the DC system and she was like, oh fine. Yeah, no happy to do that. And it took two minutes and like I’d been worrying.

Justin:                   Yeah, you’re like remolding it over and going, Oh God, what are they going to do? Did you get any backlash from customers? Have you had any backlash from, anyone the dynamite circle or anything like that?

Michael:               I’ve had full would lash, if that’s a word. It’s in other words, I’ve had new business. So yeah. I mean, my view is it’s a kind of, the more I am my real self and I’m my authentic self with people, it does polarize your audience, you know, so they’re all going to be some people who don’t resonate with that. But the ones who do click with you, we’re going to click even more and I’m going to want to be more connected. That’s my belief and experience. So when I tried to be everything for everyone, I’m nothing for no one.

Justin:                   It’s funny, I was asking you black blackout, we’ve done business where I was like, does your being black ever, do you ever see any like downsides from that? Like where people are like, I don’t want to do business with you or anything like overt racism. And he was saying that it’s actually a poor rising in a way that it’s like, the people that aren’t interesting to revisit when we don’t even bother approaching me. So like the people that are approaching when you do a business or happy to do it and I don’t have to worry about it. I was like, that’s interesting.

Michael:               Yeah, I did some, what would it take? Because I emailed my whole email list. I’ve got a 5,000 person email list for my software business. I sent an email to them telling them I’m changing my name, I’m changing my gender and here’s why and here’s the blog post about it that gives you more details if you’re curious, and I’m partly doing it to set a role model for other people who want to be authentic in whatever way they want to be authentic at work and to help other people in that.

Justin:                   It goes along with what we found too where if you’re very open and honest about the way you do business about what type of business you’re trying to do about kind of your philosophy on what governs you and your decision making, then it attracts people that are interested in that, that want to do that are onboard with that. And it repels people that aren’t right. Which is ideal for us. Like, we want to do business with people that are on board with the way we do business and for everyone else don’t be, our customers don’t work with us, you know?

Michael:               Yeah. And I love what your friends said about, he doesn’t even see the ones who don’t go on attract a night. I did the same thing when I sent out that mass email, a nice social posted about it on LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter. I got about, I think about 400 comments through email and through comments on social media. Every single one was positive, no hater comments. That’s the intention I set before I sent it. That that’s what would happen. That the people who didn’t like this wouldn’t even see the email or the social posts.

Justin:                   I was thinking of that one of the issues with it, it’s like it’s kind of politically poor rising and, but that’s crazy cause there’s not a political issue. It’s a very personal issue but it’s become so politicized in the US that’s like almost, you can see people taking, stepping to the rider, stepping to the left on the issue. But that doesn’t make any sense because there’s a political issue there, but when you’re dealing with someone that’s much more personal. Right?

Michael:               Yeah. I’m not doing this for the police. I mean, there is a some political connection I guess with all the abuse stuff that’s coming out and the empowerment of women and, and also the transgendered stuff, you know, there’s a lot more open. So I’m not greatly tied into that. I mean, I do support those things. Like for example, I have a two podcasts I started a year ago and one on the tech podcast. I interviewed women about issues they have in tech about, how they don’t get heard and how they don’t get paid as much as the man who do the same work and et cetera. So I did some, I don’t know if you want to call that political or it just to me, seemed to be doing the right thing.

Justin:                   Yeah, for sure. Let’s talk a little bit about, the people in the DC and kind of our community, they’re all a bit different, right? Like they’re not all following the same drum beat, like everyone operates a little differently. So there’s like, I mean there’s definitely some value in going off script right off the script that was kind of written for you and kind of designing your own path and my, if you’re own entrepreneurial path, but that doesn’t always work. You can’t always go against the grain in business, right? There are some ways of doing business that just makes sense and they’re, like trying to go against that may not be the best move for you. Can you think of like a way to like kind of work through that if you understand my question-

Michael:               I think I understand your question though. Maybe a specific example would help to understand it better. When you say going against the grain business, what would that look like?

Justin:                   Let’s say that everyone in your industry is doing it one particular way, right? Everyone does all of your competitors do it one way and you go, look, I’m going to do it differently to be different, right? I think there’s value in that and sometimes that tends to work and it helps you stand out and is a new and innovative way of doing it. And other times you’re just going against what makes sense. Right? And so how do you measure two? How do you decide, what is an interesting kind of going against the grain of what is not going to be so good for your business? Does that make sense?

Michael:               Yeah. So I’d say most of the time going against the grain is a better way. And that’s how the virgin empire grown. I mean, like pretty much every, they got like 500 businesses I think under that umbrella. And I pretty much every one of them tries to go against the grain of how things were done because they’re versions, right? They look at it with fresh eyes and say, well, everyone else does it this way. But is that the best for us and our customers? Yeah, maybe, maybe not. If you want to know ahead of time, what would it take to know whether this is going to bring me profit? What would it take to know if it is going to bring me joy? I mean, one of the other tools I use as well as what would it take is I visualize a profit graph over time in the future and see, how much profit, and I do a joy graph as well. See how much Julie I’m going to get. Does it go up and down? Does it have gaps in it? Does it end mysteriously after two years? So maybe that’s a little further on the woo woo spectrum.

Justin:                   What are the things I do? It is, if you go against the grain and you find you’re running up against something that just doesn’t work for your business, it’s always easy to back down from that. But if you kind of go with what is common knowledge or is, typically the way that businesses dot. It’s really hard after the fact to go and change that to be different. So maybe especially earlier on, if you’re just heading into something, testing against the grain to see if it holds up or not is I think maybe the better move. It’s worth trying at least. And it’s easier to try before you’ve got everything in motion in place to be. That makes it more difficult.

Michael:               Absolutely. I like that idea of thinking it as just an experiment. It’s not like you’re setting this in concrete that you must do this forever, this way you just going to try it out and give it a fair chance and see how it goes and then be quicker pivoting or improving it. So that’s something I used to have a lot of trouble with, you know, letting go experiments that didn’t work out.

Justin:                   Yeah, hanging onto experiments too long. I’ve done that too who are like either, I didn’t set up a measurement of failure of success early on and so I was kind of stuck going, I dunno if this is working, which is really tough one, or it was just a baby of mine, but I didn’t want to kill. I can save this one. This all I can, we can keep going, but it didn’t work. Yeah. That’s something where I could listen to my intuition maybe a little earlier. I’d be like, no, this one.

                                All right. If you had to kind of, oh, we’re getting toward the end of the interview here, but if you had to kind of boil down some of the things we’ve talked about in that you’ve shared in this podcast, what are one or two takeaways that you want our listeners to walk with?

Michael:               Well, try out the, what would it take question? You already know how to use that and so just try that out. The more you can practice it, the better. If you find it helps you share it with your staff as well. Share it with your clients, you use it in meetings, you know, okay. Everyone coming up with an intuitive creative ideas and then your business can really take. And then the other thing is, you know, I’m on a mission here to have all entrepreneurs use their intuition at work openly because I think it will make us more money.

                                It’ll give us less stress, it’ll give us a lot more joy in our business and right now we going to do with more all three of those things.

Justin:                   For sure.

Michael:               And also I also think if all business leaders use their intuition, they make less they dumb ass decisions that hurt other people or the planet and maybe that less applies to the entrepreneurs who are listening and maybe some of the larger businesses where they just screw around people, they screw up the planet or they just do things that I really think if they listen to their gut, they wouldn’t be doing it quite the same way.

Justin:                   I like that Michael. Well thank you so much for me on, it’s been a really interesting conversation and I really think our listeners are going to get something they can walk away with them. News, someone’s getting in touch with you or find out a bit more worse. They go, I mean I know you’ve got intuitive leadership, mastery.com where else can people get in touch?

Michael:               Yes, intuitive leadership mastery.com is where you can find my book and podcasts and YouTube Channel. Basically if you Google for intuitive leadership mastery, you’re going to find all our social media and things. I’ve got a lot of case study videos on the youtube and also the whole podcast is also on youtube as well as being audio so and also I have what would it take course that I created a few months ago, so if it intrigues you to learn how to use that more deeply, check that out.

Justin:                   Awesome. Thank you so much.

Michael:               Thank you.

Speaker 2:           You’ve been listening to the Empire podcast now some news and updates.

Justin:                   All right Joe, time for some news and updates. First stop. We’ve had more than 1 million all time downloads across all of our podcasts and shows that cause its empire flippers. That includes what equity show and that includes the digital podcast journey. So yeah, dude, that’s a lot of downloads.

Joe:                        That is a lot. That’s pretty amazing. Definitely tickets a couple of years to get there and hopefully we’ll get 2 million quicker than we hit 1 million.

Justin:                   Well, if we do a few more podcasts now. Yeah, we’ve been through periods where slacky but we’re on it right now. Let’s see. I looked it up one time where all these take downs are coming from. We had some on some, some crazy countries do like maybe like three downloads and that comes through, but I was like I can’t even believe that’s on the list. Lisbon changed it like this last November so you can’t see the countries that came from previous, from November. I don’t know what’s up with that, that’s some crazy stuff. Second point is we are currently split testing our valuation tool and the cellular site page right now, so if you’ve seen any differences there, even the reform and it looks a little different. That’s probably why.

                                So bear with us while we do a little bit of testing. Check out the valuation tool, let us know what you think in terms of the changes and see if you think it’s interesting that work. We’re basically just testing conversions, seeing what converts better and when we get some numbers. I love to come back and talk about kind of where they were before, where they are after and what the reason for the changes. Just to kind of, share a data point with some of our listeners.

Joe:                        Yeah, I’m very excited to see what these changes due to the site and you know, what kind of things we can increase.

Justin:                   Last point is we have lowered our commission, so we want to get the word out there. Let everyone know on the larger deals. So here’s how it works. Normally we take 15% across the board on the successful sale. That’s really where we make our money and where you pay, you pay on upon successful completion of the deal. It’s still 15% for businesses. Listen up to 1 million, it’s 12% for businesses, 1-2 10% for businesses, 2-5 at 8% for businesses listed at over $5 million. We’re doing this as we do even more and more listings and seven figures and we’re just saying, look, I mean I think it makes more sense to cut down our commission at that level.

                                I think it needs to be competitive and I think it needs to be reasonable. I don’t want to lose a deal from a friend or someone that I know that’s like I was just charging too much man and I have just, you know, $3 million business and I can’t list it with you because it’s too high. That’s just not good.

Joe:                        I think it represents market rate at this point, definitely towards the top end, but I believe we’ve provided quality full fledge service, so we deserve to get that rate.

Justin:                   All right, man. Listeners shouts also known as the indulgent ego boosting social proof segment. First up we’ve got Ryan Brazil on Twitter said, is the content position still available? A strong interest. We hosted you and Joe on our podcast beach house from Brazil a few years ago. Lots of happened. I’d love to connect the answer Ryan is yes we are currently taking applications for our content position or conduct creation position. It’s on the blog. If you want to take a look, I’ll link to that in the show notes as well. If you’re interested in applying, we’re getting some applications in and we will be hiring someone that will be joining us in the Philippines on Bork I beach in April.

Joe:                        Yeah, you’ll go from Ryan Brazil to Ryan Philippines.

Justin:                   Ryan in Philippines. That’s right. Another agreement in our buddy Kevin Graham was interviewed over at Lion Zeal, La Friend Daryl about building and then selling off his website so they go into some detail. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes if you ever checked it out. Lion zeal is a great show, a great podcast run by Daryl or really good SEO. Definitely worth checking out.

                                That’s it for episode one 73 the Empire podcast. Thanks for sticking with us. Who back soon with another show, you can find the show notes for this episode of Mort Empire flippers.com/wwit and make sure to follow us on Twitter at empire flippers. See you next time.

Joe:                        Bye Bye everybody.

Speaker 2:           Hope you enjoyed this episode of the Empire podcast with Dustin and Joe. Hit Up empire flippers.com for more. That’s empire flippers.com. Thanks for listening.


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