In today’s episode of the Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank continue their conversation about the unifying convergence of B2B and B2C sales tactics with Jeff Lerner, CEO and founder of Entre Institute. The product Jeff’s company offers its customers is empowerment for people wanting to have a better, more successful life. As he explains it, “Everyone wants an awesome life. There's nothing special about wanting one, but defining your awesome life and executing on a strategic plan to create it, regardless of personal circumstances, is something most don't ever do. You have to be committed to excellence.”
In talking about why excellence isn’t pursued by most people, Chris explains, “Excellence is a form of exile from the community they grew up in — in which people mostly complained about how bad things are in their lives.” Jeff simplifies the process of switching from complaining to pursuing an “awesome” life with his offer of Entre’s blueprint, which lays out three areas of concentration — personal, professional, and physical — which he has named the "3 Ps.” Listen to Chris, Corey, and Jeff discuss the 3Ps, plus the particulars of how Jeff dominates his market using social media videos, and how that B2C approach correlates with the Market Dominance Guys’ B2B approach of “conversations first” on today’s episode, “Do You Want an Awesome Life?”
About Our Guest
Jeff Lerner is CEO and founder of Entre Institute, which provides business training, inspiration, and personal support through videos, messaging, online workshops, and one-on-one interaction for entrepreneurs who want to create online businesses and awesome lives.
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The complete transcript of this episode is below:
In today's episode of the Market Dominance Guys, Chris Beall and Corey Frank continue their conversation about the unifying convergence of B2B and B2C sales tactics with Jeff Lerner, CEO and founder of ENTRE Institute. The product Jeff's company offers its customers is empowerment for people wanting to have a better, more successful life. As he explains it, everyone wants an awesome life. There's nothing special about wanting one, but defining your awesome life and executing on a strategic plan to create it, regardless of personal circumstances, is something most don't ever do. You have to be committed to excellence.
In talking about why excellence isn't pursued by most people, Chris explains excellence is a form of exile from the community they grew up in, in which people mostly complained about how bad things are in their lives. Jeff simplifies the process of switching from complaining to pursuing an awesome life with his offer of ENTRE's Blueprint, which lays out three areas of concentration; personal, professional, and physical, which he has named the 3 P's. Listen to Chris, Corey and Jeff discussed the 3 P's, plus the particulars of how Jeff dominates his market using social media videos and how that B2C approach correlates with the Market Dominance Guys' B2B approach of conversations first. On today's episode, do you want an awesome life?
Chris Beall (02:08):
Who was it... You probably are a little bit more educated than I am in the field, but I think it was... was it Jim Rohn who said the definition of success is a few simple disciplines repeated every day, and the definition of failure is a few simple errors in judgment repeated every day? What I hear you saying is that [inaudible 00:02:28] brought half a beer, I like beer, or about to have a water. If I'm looking at number one, the physical, excellent. If I just follow that guiding light, right?
Corey Frank (02:40):
Chris Beall (02:41):
That's simple enough for... I bet you tell your children this, I bet you talk to high schoolers about a simple roadmap compass for excellence.
Corey Frank (02:41):
Jeff Lerner (02:49):
And if you've got a message as big and broad as mine, you have to find language that says, "Broadly accessible." I can explain 3 P's of excellence to a five-year-old and a 95-year-old and get the same nod.
Corey Frank (03:03):
What would you say, Chris, are those equivalent 3 P's of excellence in our world from a B2B pitch? If I'm a business starting off, and I recently got some funding and trying to decide if I should hire a sales team, but I got to get to product market fit, what are those may be four, maybe five, maybe six, maybe one, but what are those equivalent three tablets coming down the mountain, if you will, in the B2B world that are equitable to what Jeff said in the B2C world?
Chris Beall (03:34):
Well, I think let's try to map them straight up and see what happens. That's always fun, right?
Corey Frank (03:34):
Chris Beall (03:38):
The mathematician in may says, "Let's try one-to-one and onto." So what's the equivalent of the physical? In the B2B world, the physical is actually what we offer. It's our product, it's the offering. And we're either working on the offering to make it better or not, but that's the equivalent of the physical. And when we look at the personal, in the B2B world... This is really hard. It's true in every business. But it's our reason for doing this that actually works for somebody else's... solves somebody else's problem. Why does it make me want to do this thing and attract other people to join me to do it and to offer them a beer instead of a water, if that's what it takes? What is it that's in there?
This is Simon Sinek's why. It's the why that attaches you to the good for other people that's why you're doing it. Because otherwise in B2B, B2B is a little cold. And as a cold experience, we got to warm it up, or we can't stay engaged with it personally. So the personal warmth comes from our dedication to mission. And that is what attracts other people to join us and do anything with us at all. And we can't do very much alone.
And then the professional is... what's interesting about the professional in B2B is almost all of it is, am I having a conversation with somebody from whom I will either learn something that is likely to help me help somebody else more than I'm helping them today, or I'm going to help them learn something that's going to let them either move on and do whatever they're going to do better, or even avail themselves of our services and product and to become a customer? And if we do those three things, I'm just mapping the one-to-one and onto, but I think they're close enough. And I just made that up.
Corey Frank (05:36):
I think that correlates pretty well. And then it does beg the question, if we're going to map those too. Jeff, from your experience, when you look at businesses that are B2B, with your B2C mindset about what you're talking about, about introducing some skepticism and what we're talking about with the culture code and building trust, and it's safe and it's vulnerable, it's a team. When you look at B2B websites, when you get a B2B pitch, another vendor's going to pitch ENTRE, a CRM system, a phone system. What do you think is missing from that initial pitch, that in your world, you just shake your head a little bit and say, "You poor SOB, you're missing something fundamental that exists in our B2C world and our best practitioners of this craft get it, but you don't?"
Jeff Lerner (06:29):
To me, it's a culturalist... it's a vacuum of mission/culture. So much business marketing is feature-driven and benefit-driven. And it's a cliche. And every business owner, every CEO has read a book. They've read Good to Great, they've read Tribal Leadership, they've read Start With Why. And so they would say, "No, no. We're about culture, and we're about values, and we have Simon Sinek's calls of Just Cause. And everybody at our paper mill is really aligned with the just cause of..." And it's like, "No, everybody at the paper mill is not aligned with the just cause, they're just trying not to get toxic chemicals on their clothes so they can go home and hug their kids without making them sick. That's all they care about along with the paycheck.
But it's [inaudible 00:07:15] For me, because I live and die off a culture, I am a cultural offering to a world, like you said, my ultimate product is hope, I would say it's empowerment more than hope. I don't really love hope, because hope is very externally focused. It's an inwardly-focused hope, which I think is empowerment. We're going to empower you with skills, we're going to empower you with the community, we're going to empower you with tools, we're going to empower you with a different understanding of possibility out there. Fundamentally, you think, "Well, who am I competing with?" And I'm some new upstart, less than three years in the market that I... By the way, my entire budget to launch this company, all those video boosts was about 25 grand. So I built a hundred million dollar business with $25,000 startup capital and a whole bunch of chutzpah.
But you think about it, I'm out there... Who am I really competing with? I'm competing from a messaging and a market perspective. I consider myself to be creating a blue ocean, but in terms of how the market would compare me, it'd be like Tony Robbins, it'd be Grant Cardone, it'd be Russell Brunson, it'd be Tai Lopez. It might be, like you mentioned, [inaudible 00:08:19] I'd be flattered for the reference. So when that conversation against those luminaries, it's not going to be about what I say, or even functionally what I offer. It's going to be about how my world's feels.
That's the only way I win; is if my worlds feels... It's like buying a house, everybody has to want to move into my house. You don't move into a house because it's got, "Oh, the chimney's a little bit taller or the kitchen appliances are a little bit updated," the three of us would move in because our wives would be like, "I just like the way that feels." And we, "Okay, honey. That's the one."
Corey Frank (08:56):
So in a B2B world-
Jeff Lerner (08:59):
And B2B [crosstalk 00:09:00] sucks at creating feelings. They just suck.
Corey Frank (09:02):
There you go. Chris, what would you say from your experience in the B2B world when you look at B2B sites. Here we are, consumers, we slide down our dinosaur at 5:01 And also we enter the world of B2C, what do you experience? What do you wish that some B2C organizations would adopt a little bit more that has been successful in the B2B go to market sales strategy, talking to strangers, et cetera?
Chris Beall (09:32):
I don't know. I'm clueless about one-to-many conversations. I'm really am. I'm the worst. The B2B world is not particularly adept at feelings, I would say, where it is. It's so unadept, it's ridiculous. That's our business, is making feelings happen through the medium, through a change of medium, which is the human voice. And the human voice engenders feelings in all cases and there's no avoiding it. And it has a bit rate to pull it off. 20,000 bits a second, you got a shot, whereas you can't get anywhere close to that in a website or an email or whatever it happens to be. What's funny though, because I've listened on Clubhouse to folks starting B2C businesses. And I tell you what, I wish they would do is just... I don't know how to put it exactly. Get a tiny bit more serious about matching up what you're trying to do with a little bit of how it's going to work.
It's just funny. It's like, I'm so full of my desire to be like something else that I saw succeeding. Somebody has a certain kind of business, I've been told that I can go do that. It's like, "Okay, but do you know how business actually works? Do you know..." It's really simple. The business equation is really simple. Jeff said it earlier, maybe it was before the show. He wanted to make a difference and to make a difference yet to make a profit, because if you don't make a profit you're not sustainable. That's the business equation. You have to drive gross profit in order to be able to cover your overhead and have at least a $0 and maybe more than that leftover so that you can apply those to growth and you need some sort of a cash buffer, some asset-base so when it doesn't work out perfectly with regard to timing, you're not dead, because being dead means you can't go after your mission either.
That awareness of just the basic biology of business, when I listen to people talking about starting B2C business, I think somebody should take five minutes and just demystify this simple equation. And it's not about fancy models and all that. It's, can it possibly work? Something investors think about that people who pitch to investors don't think about, is this, the investor is asking you, if it works, will it be worthwhile? That's their question. They're not asking if it'll work or not. Your question as the entrepreneur should be, "Under the range of circumstances I can control, will it work? Does the equation actually work?"
And I think more people should ask themselves that before they just go, "And everybody with a dog is kind of in." And the thing that really bothers me and it bothers the Shark Tank guys more than probably anything, I think Mark Cuban really goes crazy when he hears it, is, "If I get 0.1% of this monster TAM, then blah, blah, blah." It's like, "Sorry, but you actually have to identify the true TAM and go dominate it. Jeff said, "His people. They speak your language and know the 3 P's. Do you really care what people who are not your people, who are outside of that, or I don't know, grants people or whatever, what they know about the 3Ps?
Jeff Lerner (12:52):
Chris Beall (12:53):
Jeff Lerner (12:54):
No, I just care about wowing the people in my world so they'll tell their friends, honestly.
Chris Beall (12:59):
There you go. It's that clarity that when you're clear you know that there's limitations and the limitations or boundaries are good, not bad, because it gives you something to go make a difference in. Making a difference for everybody, sounds great, can't be done. Making a difference for some people, whether it's because they opt in or they have some characteristics or whatever, you got a shot. If that's one person, we call that marriage. If it's a handful, we call it friendship. If it's in a thousand companies, we call it business and pure changing 130,000, 150,000, 200,000 lives at a time, what do we call it, Jeff?
Jeff Lerner (13:41):
Call it a movement.
Chris Beall (13:43):
Yeah. What do you think about that? Jeff, am I barking up a completely branchless tree here?
Jeff Lerner (13:49):
No. No. You guys are just so... You're intuitive landing at the same place I'm at after a few years of doing this. A few things. First of all, I just want to cover a couple things you said. First of all, the 3 P's, I think they really do map. This is a new awareness. Physical is about helping somebody do a thing... If I were going to try to map with the benefit of what you already said, I would say physical is about helping somebody to do their job easier. I would say personal is about helping somebody do their job warmer, is maybe a better way to say it, more human. It's about humanizing their job. So physical would be simplifying their job, personal would be humanizing their job, and then professional would be making their job either more profitable or more scalable, the actual business results. Anyway, that's [crosstalk 00:14:41]
Chris Beall (14:41):
Jeff, we could write a book.
Jeff Lerner (14:43):
It is, yeah. [crosstalk 00:14:44]
Chris Beall (14:44):
The True Convergence.
Jeff Lerner (14:45):
The Unified Theory of B2C and B2C. But anyways, and then the next thing, when you guys were talking about going from one-to-many... Well, actually, before I say that, Corey, when you asked the question, what is it you think that a lot of people in the B2C world could learn from B2B? The first word that came to mind was just, for me, when you asked the question was just be a professional. It's okay to be personable, but not as a euphemism for being an amateur. Be a professional, learn to speak... And Chris, that's what you were saying, is if you want to do business, you have to operate from sound business principles, and you have to speak a language that's fundamentally grounded in and appealing to business, right?
Corey Frank (15:35):
Jeff Lerner (15:36):
And there's just so much amateurishness. And look, I ran a digital B2B agency for six years. I helped 11,000 small and medium-sized businesses with their marketing. And usually when you're trying to help a business with their marketing, you realize very quickly you've brought a knife to a gunfight and you actually need to help them with their business. And so I did that 11,000 times in six years. I'm a pretty competent business conversationalist. And there's no fabricating that. People try to masquerade. They're like, "I got out of college last week. And I used to have a lemonade stand, let me tell you why you should hire me to consult your call floor or something." And it's like...
Anyway, and then the thing about one-to-one, one-to-many and how you scale outward, I really felt like you hone in on something there. I think that's one of the reasons the 3 P's concept has been so sticky with people; is it's not just 3 P's existing laterally, it's 3 P's growing from the inside out. So when I draw it, I draw it as a concentric model; physical, personal, and then professional. And essentially, the processional is the outer ring. I say you don't even have a right to try to get a professional result until you're first taking great care of yourself physically, because you can't take care of yourself... It's like, if you want to get married, first buy a goldfish or something.
And then the second wrong is you can't take care of the people you love, the people that you supposedly care so much about, and you're trying to leapfrog right to, "I want to make a million dollars by giving value to the market, but I'm a 60 pound overweight, hypertensive slob and I'm nearing a divorce." Really? There's no credibility in that. And so I teach first take care of one, then take care of a few, then you can talk to the market. And that maps, Corey, with what you were just saying. I think that's one of the reasons people get it so sticky is because that's my counter punch to them... that's the us versus them in the market because the whole market has everybody focused on making all this money.
Corey Frank (17:29):
Sure. Although I would like to hear the podcast of the 60 pound overweight going through the divorce and all those other kinds of things. That would be interesting to at least listen to, to observe. Maybe they can mask the face of everybody that goes on there. A lot of them learning the anti-hero. With that regard, it sounds like it's a journey, I can't snap my fingers, but yet you were alluding to earlier, Jeff, that oftentimes people are not professional. In our world, in the world that Chris and I come from, in the B2B, we call it brewing it out, when I'm going to try to call you as a VP of sales and I'm going to get way too casual, way too quickly. I'm going to abuse all the nationality that Chris alluded to about tone and empathy and not be aware of how that helps build trust.
We had another good friend of ours in this podcast. He is a gentleman by the name of Oren Klaff, who wrote a book called Pitch Anything and Flip the Script. And he has a concept called squirrel theory. And squirrel theory is that when folks experienced new things, oftentimes a sales rep will try to [inaudible 00:18:40] that prospect over the head, "Hey, it's brand new, it's 10X and it'll save your life and cure cancer and do loads of other things." And Oren's testament is more his feeling, is more that it's like a squirrel discover something. You have a picnic basket under a tree, a squirrel about 20 feet away in a bush, peaks its head out a little bit, scurries a little closer and then goes back in the bush and then gets a little bit closer. And very cyclical finally gets the courage to look in the basket, hears a noise, and it goes back to the bush.
But eventually, the squirrel is feasting off your picnic basket, but it takes a couple of cycles of this novelty to not be so angst-driven [crosstalk 00:19:19] And I think that amateurs, folks like me, I'm an amateur in a lot of things, that if I was new to sales, if I were new to sales, the propensity for me to want to brow it out too quickly is masking my insecurity that I probably have that this is a new situation for me. So I'm going to have the nervous laughter, I'm going to probably talk about the weather, I'm going to try to talk about all these things that I think are engendering trust, right, Chris? But as you had said, in that sense, it is magnifying that fear factor, pushing me farther away from trust, it sounds like. Is that what you're finding with a lot of folks in your world that try to leapfrog those different P's to the professional?
Jeff Lerner (20:03):
Yeah, I think that was the question for me. So yes, I'll say... The squirrel theory is exactly why I had to have so much content. Every new video in their feed was an opportunity for them to come to it just closer, but still dart back. And I just had to keep serving up more and more videos, more and more videos, more and more picnic baskets, more and more picnic baskets until eventually, they're close enough. And they're like, "Well, I haven't been caught by the animal catcher yet. I haven't been attacked by the leopard yet. So I'm just going to go down on this picnic basket." And it gets a little safer each time. So yeah, I think that's exactly right. And as far as professionalism and trust, if you want to... And this is true B2C and B2B. This is why that stuff you were saying is so ineffective.
If you want to build trust with somebody in a professional context, whether it's consumer or a business, show them that you respect the value of their time. Talking about the weather is the opposite of that. And so for me, I had to focus my conversations on universal concepts that I know people struggle with.
Listen, if you talk about not having time to go to the gym, if you talk about having a fight with your wife and going to sleep and not having enough time the next morning to actually talk it through and resolve it because you're late for work, if you talk about your kid coming home crying because they struggle in school and their learning style isn't a fit for the way schools teach, but you feeling fearful that if they don't succeed in school, what hope do they have in this world because you're not aware of an alternate path that I happen to know, those are conversations that just get right into people's pains and that show them that I respect and I share their experience of the world. If you want to build rapport with somebody, talk about stuff like that, don't talk about the weather, right?
Corey Frank (21:57):
Yeah, that's great stuff. Your favorite sports team or [crosstalk 00:22:01] thank God it's Monday, thank God it's Friday.
Jeff Lerner (22:04):
The other thing I wanted to say, just so I don't forget it, when you were talking about how businesses could be more human and more warm, use video, man. Just get your most, not even your most charismatic, just your most normalized, effective, healthy communicating person in your office to make a quick 90-second video articulating the single problem that your solution solved and have all your sales reps start sending that out. And you'll, forget the term, you'll 10X, the effectiveness of everything you're doing from an outreach space. People just like watching videos now.
Chris Beall (22:46):
Especially if you send them right after a conversation, because they'll actually open it.
Jeff Lerner (22:49):
Exactly. Yeah, exactly.
Chris Beall (22:53):
That's the ultimate 10X cheat, right? You talk to 10 times more people, send everyone a video, and you got open rate times 10X more conversations. That's a hundred X right there, which is too scary and nobody wants to do.
Jeff Lerner (23:06):
Yeah. And most people's businesses would crash and burn if they actually had a hundred times more customers.
Chris Beall (23:12):
They will [crosstalk 00:23:13]
Jeff Lerner (23:12):
Let me share with you guys an interesting anecdote or experience that you guys can maybe process in your own worlds because, presumably, you guys are also trying to advise your clients on these types of concepts, where you're trying to help them be more successful with your solutions. When I started this experiment and saying, "Hey..." I actually launched it in September, 2018. I walked out on a stage out at event with the equivalent of this; it was a selfie stick and my phone. And I said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I am starting over in my career. I sold my agency and with a very meager startup budget, I'm going to make a million dollars with these two things." It wasn't this, it was a little plastic selfie stick I bought at Best Buy and my phone.
I said, "I'm going to make a million dollars with a few bucks and my phone and a selfie stick. And here's how I'm going to do it." And I explained the whole concept. I said, "I'm going to go out to market and strike up conversations, build trust, create rapport, get intelligence, get feedback from people, figure out what product they want. Eventually once I have a big enough trusting audience, I'll launch a product, I'll..." I did have that much in mind. Again, I didn't know what the brand was going to be, I didn't know what the product was going to be, I didn't know all the details, but I told everyone what I was going to do. And I even sold a product at that event because I'm always a marketer. I can't help myself.
I said, "For $1,500, you can be a part of a private Facebook group with me where I will take you through this experience and we can all do it together, arm and arm and lockstep as a group. And I'll always be the lead dog, I'll be... I'll figure out the settings on the YouTube videos, I'll figure out the keyword optimization hacks, I'll figure out the types of subject matter, I'll figure out how to do the audience targeting analysis. And I'll just share it with everyone in this group. So you'll benefit from my obsessive workout thinking and trailblazing." And I think at that event, 40 people signed up. 90 days later, guess how many people were still meeting their quote of producing one video a day, even while I was out there doing all the hard work?
Chris Beall (25:14):
Jeff Lerner (25:16):
Chris, you're a cynic. It was more than zero.
Chris Beall (25:18):
Okay. Well, what can I say? I just watch people try to do things every day. I asked myself, how many people have gone for a barefoot run every day since 1 January, 2007? And the number is pretty small.
Jeff Lerner (25:31):
Probably zero. My answer was actually overly... my response to you was overly skating because the answer was one.
Chris Beall (25:37):
Jeff Lerner (25:38):
So you were actually very close. Your cynicism was mostly [crosstalk 00:25:42]
Chris Beall (25:43):
For all we know, that one skipped a day somewhere when you were looking the other direction.
Corey Frank (25:48):
Well, were you surprised by that, Jeff, from when you originally issued the challenge, when you originally coalesced this group, did you assume it would be one in that amount of time?
Jeff Lerner (26:00):
Nothing surprises me anymore. I have completely enrolled in a philosophy in all aspects of my life of hoping for the best and planning for the worst with myself, with life, with environment, with other people, with the stock market, with investments, with error. And I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than consistently disappointed. I focus on having extremely high expectations of myself, extremely low expectations of everyone else and it seems to work out. It didn't really surprise me. I've been doing some form of on and off marketing coaching. Even when I had my agency, I was having conversations indirectly through my team with thousands of business owners, advising them on how they can improve their internal processes. Because the number one response we would get when we were talking about marketing is people saying, "I can't handle more business," because a lot of these were owner-operator, solopreneur plumbers, roofers, landscape guys, whatever.
And we say, "Okay, you can't handle more business. That's fine. But could you handle more mine?" Even though that somebody is trying to be difficult. Nobody ever says, "No, I couldn't handle more money." You say, "Okay, great. Wouldn't it be worth taking 10 minutes to discuss your business? There's usually one weak link in your process where you don't get back to people fast enough, you don't know how to get the proposal out the right way, you don't have the right marketing message, you don't know how to close a deal. There's usually one tweak we could make that could probably double your capacity for new business. Or maybe it's on the fulfillment supply or distribution side, whatever. I've dealt with enough businesses. I can usually help. Let's at least try to solve that problem because I'm sure if you went home to your wife and said, 'Hey, honey, I told this guy on the phone today I couldn't handle more money.' She would be like, 'Go back to work tomorrow, call the guy back.' So why don't we just entertain it?"
I had so many of these conversations and people just... they have not-invented-here syndrome. It's so ridiculous because they go out into the market looking for a better idea to do things a better way because they're frustrated with their own results, but then they reject things categorically because it wasn't their idea. I don't know if that's... it's probably ego. They don't want to admit that somebody else knew what they did and about their business. It's like somebody telling you how to raise your kid. So to answer your question, no, I was not surprised. And now who [crosstalk 00:28:13]
Chris Beall (28:13):
I wasn't either because I thought it was zero.
Corey Frank (28:17):
Chris Beall (28:18):
Well, you know what? It's not actually cynicism fundamentally though. Let's face it. That group of people who signed up in that moment signed up because of their experience in that moment. Had they already been signed up inside themselves sufficiently that they could actually do this thing for 45 days, 90 days, 180 days, they would have already been doing something like that. So it's hardly surprising that that's the kind of person who signs up because they're super attracted to something. It's like, "Hey, finally, something that I can do every day with somebody." It's like, "Well..."
That's why I made the comment about I run barefoot every day. I've been doing it every day since 1 January, 2007. I've never missed a day any time. Why? Well, because I'm not going to miss a day. I'm just not. And I wouldn't recommend it to somebody else because, I don't know, it probably might be a bad idea or whatever, but people who can do things, who figured out how to do things that are not easy to do every day, or maybe they are, for me it's easy, but they're already doing them. They just are already doing them. You catch an adult who's about to... in one's truth. That would be saying, "Actually, you're going to get the physical... Was their physical in shape to do something every day? Was their personal in shape to support doing something every day?"
For you, it's like this great idea. I got the selfie stick, and I'm going to do this thing, and I'm going to make this multi-million dollar business right in front of God and everyone. But for them, they're still going, without knowing it, "But my physical doesn't even support that." They haven't even done that first step. So it's like, "Yeah, we just found out that you had a great experience telling you that you got to start at the beginning, and this wasn't the beginning."
Corey Frank (30:09):
Chris, I'm curious on the running thing, but James to you, is that the book Atomic Habits, right? Another one by [crosstalk 00:30:17]
Jeff Lerner (30:17):
Yeah, James Clear.
Corey Frank (30:18):
James Clear, exactly. That's right. James Clear. You're talking about the physical and the personal, professional. And again, I'm still hung up on that number of group down to one and I think in Atomic Habits he talks about this cue, and then routine, and then I think there's a response, and then the reward. I think those are the four, right?
Jeff Lerner (30:39):
Corey Frank (30:39):
Cue, craving, response and reward. And so that kind of loop, it builds your life into it. Is that the same type of principle, what you talk about in the physical and the personal, professional and that something's got to be that cue for. Something's got to be, they responded to your ad in the B2C world because, "Hey, I want a better life. I want an awesome life." But maybe it's like, "I don't want to have that awesome of a life." Maybe it's like the, "I don't feel enough pain to want to prompt it." Where do you find that that drops off? Is it because I live a relatively life here in the Western world and nothing is as bad as... "My boss isn't that bad. I don't make that little of money. My wife isn't that bad," et cetera. And we start rationalizing, as the second strongest human urge sometimes that we have. Where do you see from your experience training all these people and with regards to that habit, or do we just fall short?
Jeff Lerner (31:41):
Yeah. You're exactly right. Most people have built a fort of comfort with fort, is basically what comfort means. "In my fort, I'm comfortable." And so what I really try to lean on, and I will say, the problem you're alluding to got better in my favor in terms of the mission of what I'm trying to do, which is activate real, meaningful change in people since COVID. COVID shocked and scared enough people to go, "My illusion of comfort was... I'm a little more willing to admit how illusory it was. And so I'm a little more willing to respond on the basis that it might not be permanent." But pre-COVID and soon enough, we'll regress to the mean and people will be delusionally secure again.
What I really try to do is create an ideology and a language and a shared understanding, a belief system about the world. And part of the way you do that is you agitate it and you develop it internally with your language. And part of the way you do it is you just attract people from the get-go that already believe what you believe, which is... And there's a lot of people in this world, and certainly in this country, that are frustrated by the lowest common denominator thinking, the idea that meritocracy is unfair, that every kid should get the same grade, every kid should get a participation trophy.
Jeff Lerner (34:39):
There's a lot of pent up frustration in this world around that stuff. And so, all I have to do is tap into it and say, "Listen, if you want to have an awesome life, you have to be committed to excellence. If you want to be committed to excellence, you have to be excellent. If you want to be excellent, you have to be as unlike the average as possible because there's a little camp up there on top of the mountain where all the excellent people hanging out, and there's this giant Valley at the bottom of the mountain that all the shit rolls downhill to that's called Average Camp. And all I'm inviting you to do is take the hard walk up the hill into the Excellent Camp where there's 700 of us that have the great life, but it's an open border. It's not discriminatory. Anyone can, but obviously everyone won't because most people will choose to be average.
I have that conversation so much in my world that you're either going to be repelled by the conversation because you think what a tyrannical jerk I am, or you're going to love the conversation, which means you are signing up to believe what I believe, which means it's now easy to convict you if you're not doing the work. Because I'm inviting you to self-select to excellence, so all the typical average behavior now becomes a contradiction and you guys know the Commitment and Consistency principle from Robert Cialdini. If I'm having people take micro-commitments, and I don't just think about micro-commitments as, "I bought a $5 product. Now I'll buy a $50 product. Now I'll sign up for a coaching call. Now I'll buy a $500 an hour product. Now I'll sign up for an annual bundle for 20 grand," or whatever the ascension stack is.
But I think of micro-commitments as, "I posted a picture in Facebook holding a piece of paper on which I wrote my 90 days 3 P's goals. And I took a picture smiling on Facebook, and now I'm committed. I'm a little more committed to excellence and one foot out of the average camp." And I walk people through those type of micro commitments. I have a process... All my processes that are the indoctrination processes in my world, they're very personal growth-focused. I have something called the ENTRE Blueprint that walks them through very basic steps, mostly personal development. I have something called the Awesome Life Challenge. It's things like developing your success character and standing in a mirror and acting like a cartoon defined version of yourself where your best attributes are enhanced.
Just like cartoon characters, they enhance certain characteristics and you minimize your weakest attributes. And I have them do these exercise and then post about the exercises in the groups. And I have them go through something called an implementation bootcamp, which is a two-week training that doesn't teach you anything other than how to be a better implementer, regardless of what you're implementing. It's like all the basic training modality. And once I've done that, people are like, "Hey, we're the few, the proud, the entrepreneurs. And we're excellent." And I don't really have to fight those battles anymore. But the reason it works for me is because I've invested the time and I take the time and I've created those resources. There's no shortcut.
Chris Beall (37:41):
You just said, I think, Jeff, the big reason most people don't choose excellence, and that is excellence is a form of exile from the community in which they grew up, the community in which they're comfortable, and the community in which they can have the primary conversation that people have all day, every day, which is to achieve rapport by complaining. This is the number one source of words coming out of people's mouths coming on to social media. All of the words that if you add them all up and you say, "Is this a word that's within a complaint about something or not?" You'll get 99-1. 99, it's out of every 100, are within a complaint about something.
Jeff Lerner (38:30):
Chris Beall (38:31):
And it's a lonely idea, a scary and lonely idea because we fear exile way, way worse than death. Exile is the worst punishment throughout all of human time. It has been the way that we punish those that have transgressed the most, is we exile them. If we like them a little better, we kill them. But if we really, really think they're bad, we exile them. And choosing self exile from your community of complainers is itself such a lonely prospect that the idea of going part way up that mountain and now you have nobody, you're nowhere. That truly is no man's land. There's no one living in a hut one halfway up Mount Excellence. And so it's scary. And I think you've hit the reason. And this is true. And this isn't a B2B or B2C thing. This is just when you make a company, for instance, one of the things I do when I'm asking people whether they want to join us, I make it clear it's probably a bad idea for them to join a company and work with me.
And the reason is, I say, "Look, first, you don't get the comfort of having somebody to report to and getting to blame that person for your woes. We both report to the truth. And the truth is a hard task master." Every once in a while, we don't have enough information. We don't have enough time. Somebody has got to guess, "That's my job. I'm the [guesser 00:39:57] guest, sir." It's a corrupt system. I also declare we're going to guess. You're signing up for that. Sorry, the math happens to reach a singularity point of the single guesser, but everything else, we're coming to work naked every day. We're being enthusiastically wrong every day. We don't have a place to go hide from each other because there is no each other; there's the truth. We're trying to handle the truth.
And that is a lonely place to go. And I say to folks, "I recommend you don't do it because it's going to separate you a little bit from the world where you get to go to work and you bitch." Because that's the standard, you go to work and the comfort of the job is that you get to complain about the job, the boss and the customers. That's comforting. That's the comfort, Jeff.
Jeff Lerner (40:41):
It is. I'll tell you how I counter that. Again, you have to... Us versus them is the most powerful concept in marketing, at least from my experience. And the way I combat that is I really do have to somewhat demonize the average, perhaps unfairly. But you have to. Change is always an overcorrection or else nothing changes. I remember my mom telling me, when I was a little kid, somebody at school used the term feminazis or something. A militant feminist is a feminazi. And I was like, "Mom, what's a feminazi? She's like, "A feminazi is a very activist feminist. But the thing you have to understand, Jeffrey," because I was eight when I asked the question, she's like, "somebody has to be radical and extreme just to get enough light shined on an issue for the mean to shift a little bit towards the extreme. You have to have Malcolm X so that Martin Luther King Jr. could win," is what she was saying. And I was like, "That's true because otherwise we're just creatures of inertia and nothing changes."
So the way I have to do it is I really vilify the common environment that you're describing, this complainer society. What I do is I hearken back our tribal origins and I say, "Historically, what I'm asking you to do would have been terrifying you because it would make you less like the people around you, which creates an existential threat you'll be cast out and eaten by a bear. But the world we live in now ask yourself, 'Who is my tribe?'" And you've given me some new language here to have this conversation with because every tribe in the modern world is already basically a tribe of exiles.
How many of your friends that you're sitting around complaining with are working in the family business? How many of them even grew up in the town that they're working in? How many of you actually live together in the same neighborhood? How many of you, his kids actually go to school together? All the tribal connective tissue has been completely scrapped and reworked in modern society. So you're clinging to a tribal concept that already doesn't apply. So get over the idea of needing to belong in the tribe and realizing you're never going to live in the nice hut in the tribe until you go out of the tribe, prove yourself in battle like the prodigal tribesmen who goes out and then comes back the returning neuro so you can rule the damn tribe. That's it. Right?
Chris Beall (43:13):
That was so flipping good that I almost used an adjective. But this is a family show because Corey's got lots of love [crosstalk 00:43:25]
Jeff Lerner (43:24):
I used the sh word, and I apologize for that guys.
Chris Beall (43:28):
Did you really? I was in a conversation with a very senior executive at a big, big payroll services company and the number of words like that she used, it made me feel pretty good. I felt like I belonged. It was excellent.
Corey Frank (43:44):
Isn't that a more... It'd be interesting. Just talk about that just for a second, is I got bro it out over here on the amateur scale. And then we've all been part of B2B conversations where that happens. And again, listen, hey, we're in a real world, we're not daisies or immune to power boards in the world here and shocked by subtle things like that. But it is a technique, is it not? It is a discomfort. Oftentimes where people overtly use language like that in business, it masks an insecurity, it masks something. What do you say?
Chris Beall (44:25):
Not in this case. But yes, I think it often does in this specific case [crosstalk 00:44:28] In this case, what...
Corey Frank (44:30):
The team was good and [crosstalk 00:44:30]
Chris Beall (44:30):
No, it wasn't pain at all. It was actually the opposite. It was a 20-minute meeting that turned into a deep exploration of the market dominance opportunity for a multi-billion dollar company. And we hit on the very thing that could be done. This is a first meeting, a 20-minute discovery meeting. And it was an hour and 27 minutes into it where all of the covers came off. All of the buckets were brought out, we looked at all of this, some of this or some of this, and then it was just, we were on the same team and just talking about how to solve a big problem.
Corey Frank (45:07):
Well, you hit raw nerve by this epiphany of what I've have been missing.
Chris Beall (45:12):
Exactly. It's one of these things that... This is why AI can't possibly work with language, because we can barely do it ourselves unless we were there. It's so subtle how language works with folks. Jeff, you talked about vocabulary. I used to be a relatively well-known in certain circles large-Scale software systems developer. I was an architect. I was the guy you brought in when... if the guys had been working or the gals have been working for four years and the thing isn't going to deliver, and somebody's got to fix it and we have four weeks and we're going to make it again from scratch. That was what I did for a living.
And the first thing that I would always do is get the team together and say, "We're going to stay in this room until we agree as to the precise definition, in three different ways of defining it, of every single word that we're going to use from now, until this product is built. Let's start putting words on the board and let's decide what they mean." And it normally takes three or four days. And it's really, really just uncomfortable for people because they're going, "Why aren't we writing code? Why aren't we writing code?" And it's because until we speak the same language, we don't have a chance of writing a coherent system.
And once we speak the same language excellently with precision, with deep understanding of what these words mean, and specifically what they don't mean, what they're anti-meaning is, how this isn't one of those, as soon as we understand that, it's the easiest thing in the world to write massive bug-free systems. And I think it's the same thing when you're writing, so to speak, writing or architecting a system for life. You've got to get to where the words have specific, precise, shared, resonant meanings, or it's very dangerous to talk... It's dangerous enough to talk in person like this. It's really dangerous to talk in writing when there's no one there to correct you on the spot when you make an emotional error with the word, and those are the big errors.
Jeff, you said that you had [crosstalk 00:47:14] for a while, and now a while is over. Look, I am going to work on one of my P's immediately. My barefoot running has been short today and I'm going to go make it six miles or seven miles longer. So that one is in the bag. I simply love your concentric foundations and why they are like they are. I tell you when young entrepreneurs ask me a question all the time, which is, "What's the one thing I need to do in order to be successful?"
And I say, "Take great care of your body because when your body starts to not quite support, just tiny bit, or you're not getting why it's not supporting the next level of activity, which is your personal, but when your body won't do it anymore, you won't notice it. All you'll do is fail." And entrepreneurship begs you not to take good care of your body. It just begs you to because it says, "There's always one more thing I can do at the keyboard. There's always one more thing I can do sitting down."
So I'm going to go for a trot with huge, huge, thanks to you. I heard that a guy had an awesome life kind of company, but you're bringing awesome life to Market Dominance Guys today. This is simply an amazing experience. Thank you.
Jeff Lerner (48:34):
I'm so glad we got to do it, guys. While we were talking, I texted two different people to move meetings out because I enjoyed this conversation so much I didn't want to cut it short. So I really appreciate you guys.
Corey Frank (48:45):
Well, we got to have [Yon 00:48:46] in... In fact, we should send an invite immediately after this, Chris, but one year from today, because I have a feeling as more and more quarters and months in the next years come by, Jeff's going to be a tougher and tougher get, and Tony Robin's going to be opening up for Jeff Lerner, I think, here. Because the principals are so timeless and clearly for us to go this long on a Market Dominance episode is pretty unusual too. So we certainly appreciate all this. I got three pages of notes here. So I always live vicariously through Chris and my guests here and adopt all this new content and spend it all on myself and the teams here. So we appreciate that certainly. With that, this has been another episode of the Market Dominance guys with Corey Frank and Chris Beall. Until next time.
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