Mentalist As Business Strategy Expert

What Gives You The Edge?

Live performance.

Every show I do is an opportunity to get real-time feedback from real-live people on what works, what doesn’t work, and what I should work on.

Shows are composed of hundreds of experiments. I play with language, timing, positioning, tone of voice, physicality, scripting, lighting, information order, and thousands of details that make the show.

Every reaction (or lack thereof) is it’s own data point, Read More

A Warrior’s Mindset

There’s no shortage of articles explaining how “business is war,” and they almost all start with pull quotes from Sun-Tzu’s Art of War. They go into granular detail about the strategies & tactics of warfare as a way to help you understand how to apply those lessons in the boardroom.

They explain how to deceive your enemies. Confuse your competitors. Outsmart those who want to eat your lunch.

But they’re almost all missing a key component:

Mindset.

The mind of a warrior is their most valuable weapon; this can’t be overstated.

To achieve the mood of a warrior is not a simple matter. It is a revolution. To regard the lion and the water rats and our fellow men as equals is a magnificent act of a warrior’s spirit. It takes power to do that.
~Carlos Castaneda

A warrior understands to underestimate an opponent could spell disaster. Treating everyone & everything as your equal is a way of respecting their potential to teach you something (like you’re mortal).

3 Aspects of a Warrior’s Mindset

1. Focus on Victory

The primary thing when you take a sword in your hands is your intention to cut the enemy, whatever the means.
~Miyamoto Musashi

Complete focus & dedication to success is absolutely essential in making it a reality.

If your mind is concerned with anything other than the job at hand, you will lose.

Most people are “interested in being interested.” They dabble. They dip their toe into the water. Their mind is always distracted with “what if.”

They have crippling FOMO.

Those who lack total commitment to their goals wind up drifting through life. They never enjoy the benefits of a hard-earned reward. They go for the easy route.

You, on the other hand, can sustain a laser-like focus on what you want. Dedicate your incredible willpower to making it happen, no matter what stands between you and what you want.

There will be people who will tell you ambition is unsustainable. This is their own fear of failure being projected on you. They love you, and don’t want you to suffer the pain of disappointment when it doesn’t work out (like what happened to them).

Don’t limit your life to someone else’s comfort zone.

Be of a single mind that is solely focused on success.

2. Know Your Capacity

“I was just doing what anyone in my situation would have done.”
~Every Single Hero on TV

There’s more inside you than you realize. You are capable of amazing things; both good & bad. Familiarize yourself with your potential, and then train it to a high degree.

This takes incredible mental strength that is already inside you.

The trick, then, is to create a safe setting where you can explore your inner warrior so you can learn how to call on it. Just like you can find yourself in a state of flow, you can develop a sense for your own inner warrior who is capable of fighting tooth & nail like your life depends on it.

Because it does.

What would you do differently if you found out you’re dying? Would you call the people you love? Would you finally start that hobby you’ve been putting off?

Because you’re dying. Right now. And so is everyone you know.

None of us is getting off this ride alive.

Generally speaking, the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.
~Miyamoto Musashi

So don’t hold back. Don’t wait for a better time. Train your mind to be its best.

Now.

3. Advance

Approach the enemy with the attitude of defeating him without delay.
~Miyamoto Musashi

It’s an unnatural thing to move towards danger. Our first instinct is to withdraw to a safe distance.

This helps those who would do you harm.

If, on the other hand, you move towards a person/situation, it will surprise them. It stifles how much room they have to maneuver around you.

In life, every action you take has the potential to be good or bad. Only move if the odds are heavily in your favor; otherwise, stay put.

Moving with no clear purpose only serves to expend your energy, and cloud your ability to see the most advantageous options available to you.

When making a big decision, don’t rely solely on momentary consideration. Really lay out everything that could go right & wrong.

Want to start your own business? Make a list.

Want to pursue a new relationship? Make a list.

No matter what the decision, make a list.

This will keep you from reacting to momentary distractions. This will help you consider all possibilities, and avoid the pitfalls of moving for moving’s sake.

To ignore this detail is to invite disaster.

So move when it’s in your favor. Stay put otherwise.

Retreat only when absolutely necessary.

Conclusion

Most people are content with their lives. They’re fine with cruise-control, and letting others set their course.

This article was not for them.

If you’ve made it this far, it’s likely that you understand that you have to fight to stay human, & the most important part of that process is the mental part.

Hopefully you’ve gotten something worthwhile out of the article, and if you think someone you know would appreciate it to, be sure to share it with them.

Sidenote: You might have noticed several of the quotes were from the same person, Miyamoto Musashi. He has a fascinating story. He was a samurai who fought his first duel at age 13, killing his much more experienced opponent. He eventually won 60+ duels before retiring from a life of fighting where he spent years reflecting on the nature of life. You can read his book, “the Book of the 5 Rings” to find out more.

Objections, Your Honor

Whenever I talk with anyone in sales, this question invariably pops up:

“How would you suggest I deal with objections?”

Short answer:
Don’t do anything objectionable.

Long Answer:
Take a seat.

Objections can take many forms. Maybe it’s about budget. Timing. Needing to talk with a partner before making big decisions.

Whatever they’re telling you, it’s a smoke screen.

The reason they give is never what the objection is truly about. No matter what the excuse, here’s the real issue:

Lack of Trust

Maybe they don’t trust you. Maybe they don’t trust themselves. Maybe they don’t trust whatever you’re selling to do what they need done.

Maybe they don’t trust their ability to do what you say they can do.

Maybe they don’t trust their team to follow through.

How do you find out?

You’re not a mind reader, so the only other option is to treat their objection as a request for more information. They need to know more about you, what you’re selling, other people who have bought from you previously, their results, how people like them have fared with your services, etc.

Objections are really only objections when you’ve done something inappropriate. Otherwise, they’re a request to build more trust.

Socratic Espionage

I know one thing; that I know nothing. ~Socrates

Socrates was a master at looking like an idiot while being the smartest person in the room. It’s an incredibly effective strategy, and there’s even a term for it: The Socratic Method. It’s the process of asking innocent questions that trap your target before they’re aware anything’s wrong.

Basically, it’s the skill of being stupid like a fox.

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“Stupid like a fox,” is one of my favorite lines of all time, and it perfectly encapsulates the strategy we’re going to explore together.

In some ways, Homer is the epitome of the Socratic Method. He’s a bumbling idiot that everyone underestimates, yet everything seems to work out in his favor.

Over the years I’ve used the socratic method mixed with a healthy dose of human psychology to create something I call “Socratic Espionage.” It’s the closest you’ll get to being a master spy who can find out everything you need to know about someone, without them being able to stop themselves from sharing it.

Answers Without Questions

How many times have you been at a coffee shop, and overhear an incredibly personal conversation between two people? It’s amazing what people will share when they think nobody else is listening, isn’t it?

The instant they know you’re paying attention, though, they clam up. And, what would happen if you were bold enough to ask them a point blank question?

They’d tell you to get lost, right?

People hate telling you things. (Especially if they think it can be used against them!)

That’s why they won’t answer your questions. Information is power, and by refusing to answer you questions, they’re trying to maintain control of the situation.

Ask someone what their budget is for hiring speakers? Forget about it. They’re not going to tell you. They want you bid low because you’re desperate. They save money, and you miss out.

Need to know what the political landscape is in an office? Nobody’s going to take off the gloves and tell you what they really think of their manager. . . unless they’re an idiot. They don’t know where your loyalties lie, so they’re going to play it safe.

The more you appear to need something, the less willing people are to give it to you.

I wish it weren’t true, but it is. That’s just how things are. So how do we get around this?

Secret of Comedy

Humans laugh for only 2 reasons:

  1. They feel superior
  2. They feel surprised

That’s it. I’ve just ruined your ability to enjoy anything funny from now on. I don’t care what situation you propose, if it’s funny, it’s because it’s one or both of these things.

Socrates + Comedy = Success

People hate to tell you anything, but they love to feel superior.

More than that; they love to let you know they’re superior.

That’s the secret formula.

By using strategically incorrect statements (instead of fact-finding questions) you are going to by-pass your mark’s in-born hesitation to answer questions, and trigger their deep desire to demonstrate their superiority over you.

In Practice

Let’s say you’re trying to find out how your friendly competition has been getting so much work lately.

You could ask them, “What’s your marketing strategy?”

Since it’s a direct question, you’ll get a vague answer. No good.

Try this instead.

Say something like, “I’ve been using Facebook marketing, and it’s pretty much useless.” You’ve demonstrated you’re failing which allows him to feel superior.

He will respond with one of two possible answers:

  1. Are you kidding me? We’ve been using them for 8 months, and it’s like printing money!
  2. Oh man, I feel you on that. We sank thousands into Facebook ads, and never saw a penny come back.

Either way he’s told you a very valuable piece of information about his marketing strategy.

So who cares that he thinks you’re stupid?

They don’t know you’re stupid like a fox.

 

Fire Triangle of Online Sales

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I love fire more than you do.

When I was 14 I almost got arrested for juggling fire. Well, not for juggling, per se, but for drawing a crowd big enough to block the sidewalk & forcing folks into the street who wanted to get by.

Fire & street performing taught me a lot of what I use every day in my business, nearly 20 years later.

It’s all about triangles

Triangles are everywhere, and for good reason. They’re simple, strong, and infinitely variable.

Once you see it, you’ll notice them everywhere.

3 legged stools are stable on any surface. Triangle chokes in martial arts are nearly infinite in number. Ever heard of the fire triangle?

Fire needs oxygen, fuel, and heat to exist. Remove any one from the equation, and it goes out.

Turns out there’s a “fire triangle” of doing business online. These are the 3 essential elements to successfully doing business on the internet. Get any single one wrong, and you’re not going to be toasting any success marshmallows. </mangled metaphor>

Website

You have to have a place where you can build your presence. Some people use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I prefer having my own website.

Hey, look! You’re on one right now!

If you’re building on someone else’s platform, they can change the rules overnight, and you’ve lost all your hard work. (Ask me about my friend who lost his 40,000 YouTube followers due to their mixup, never to get them back.)

A website is always available. Multiple people from different places on Earth can visit the same website at the same time. That’s like being in 2 places at once.

You can’t do that.

Your website is your best tool for telling people who you are & what you’re about. When we do that in the real world we call that having a conversation & that builds trust.

Your website is your virtual handshake and trust builder with potential customers & clients.

Social Media Marketing

You have to tell people you exist.

I get it. You want people to find your organically. You want to feel like people are connecting with you based on the value of your work.

You want people to like your page because you’re just that wonderful and they should just know.

You feel like if you tell people about your work, you’re being sleazy.

Well, consider this.

What if you created the cure for cancer in a lab in Antarctica? What if you didn’t tell anyone you created the cure for cancer? What if you thought, “I’ve worked hard creating this cure. People should know how amazing it is. I shouldn’t have to explain it to them. I want them to come to me here in the frozen-ass wasteland where I live.”

For shame! How dare you hide the cure from the world like that! You have a moral obligation to tell as many people in as many different ways you’ve done this amazing thing.

Telling people you’ve cured cancer is marketing. Helping people understand how valuable the cure is, is sales.

Now, if your cure is just water, and you’re telling people it’s the cure for cancer, then you’re lying & that’s sleazy.

But, there’s nothing inherently wrong with telling people what you offer is valuable, and the best place to do that nowadays is online.

Email

Think about someone asking you to marry them on the first date.

Sure, there might be a situation where you’d say yes (Maybe it’s me: devastatingly handsome, charming, and successful. I get it, but my heart belongs to someone else.), but the chances are you wouldn’t have enough context to make a decision. You barely know the person.

If you ask too early it’s gonna be awkward. Too many people ask for the sale right away and they wonder why they get turned down.

Think of email as a way to court your customer. Help them understand how wonderful you are. You show them you can be a good conversationalist. They have a good time whenever you show up, and eventually they look forward to hearing from you.

That’s what email can do for your business.

Put It All Together

If you apply these three things in juuuuust the right way, you’ll have a successful business that you can run from anywhere in the world.

Don’t know what your fuel is? Tried it before but it didn’t work? Let’s chat about it. This is what I do for a living! I help people turn their experience into a successful business by helping them create their own holy trinity.

If you’ve read this far, let’s talk about how we can make this happen for you. Click the button and it’ll take you to a scheduling page where you can set up a 45 minute brain picking session where I’ll ask you a whole bunch of questions about what you want, and then if we’re a good fit I’ll offer a way we can work together. (You can marry me!)

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Make Better Decisions

“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” Charles R. Swindoll

Whether it’s figuring out whether to take the job offer or not, who to date, where to go to school, or what to have for dinner, every day is full of choices.

The quality of our lives are the results of the choices that we make. We actively design our life with every decision we make.

No pressure, right?

We often have very little information on what the outcome of our choice will be, and we can have a difficult time weighing the pros & cons of a particular choice we’re faced with. That’s why it can be easy to get “paralysis by analysis.”

That’s why I want to share 3 psychological elements that influence the choices that you make, and once you understand them it will help you make better choices more quickly.

“One should make his decisions within the space of seven breaths.” Lord Takandobu

Element 1: Loss Aversion

As much as we’d like to believe that we’re noble creatures driven by logic & reason, we’re actually weak apes who are terrified of having things taken away from us.

When we think about the future, we’re much more concerned with what we could lose instead of being excited about what we could gain. Our motivations are more about what we can keep than what we can get.

This is why it’s easy to get stuck in negative mental loops about how everything is going wrong in our lives instead of appreciating all the amazing things that are actually going right.

When you consider a decision, ask yourself if you’re deciding to keep what you’ve always had, or if you’re opening yourself up to getting what you’ve always wanted.

Don’t (only) think about what could go wrong. Think about what could (also) go right.

Element 2: Intrinsic & Relative Value

Everything is relative.

“When you sit with a nice girl for two hours you think it’s only a minute, but when you sit on a hot stove for a minute you think it’s two hours.” Einstein

It’s the same 2 hours in both cases, but your perception of its value is different. The same goes for making choices.

Think about the proportional value of what you’re going to win or lose when making a choice. If you stand to lose $5 and you’re a millionaire, it’s a (relatively) low risk decision. If you only have $20 to your name, though, suddenly $5 is a significant amount of money.

The intrinsic value is the same (near worthless paper), but the relative value is much different.

If the stakes of a choice seem high right now, take the course of action that will increase your relative value the most.

Element 3: Anchor Points

Anchoring is a cognitive bias that deals with our tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information we have when making a decision.

Think about buying a car. What’s the first thing the sales person does? Takes you to look at the most expensive car on the lot.

He knows you’re looking for something sensible for your family of 5. He knows they’ll never all fit into that shiny sports car he’s showing you. He also knows that when you see the price tag of that sports car, your mind uses that as the set point for how much cars cost.

It’s now the anchor point.

Now, when you look at the minivan, its price appears much more reasonable, relative to the sports car (see element 2).

That technique is a powerful 1, 2 punch to your psychology, and it works.

This is why a sales person will help you buy your suit first, and then the little stuff later: your mind uses the price of the suit as the anchor point for making price-based decisions later (relative to that anchor point).

So when you’re evaluating a decision, and how it will play out, understand that your emotional connection is directly linked to the first piece of information you consider. Use this to your advantage by anchoring yourself to a positive outcome, and go from there.

Takeaways

Decision making is a messy system with a lot of fuzzy math involved. Our conscious brain plays a much smaller role than we’d like to admit, so take the time to really understand how your non-conscious mind influences your choices.

Take control of your choices, and you’ve taken control of your life.