• Podcast

EPISODE 56 — Best of Season 2: Q1

You’ll never change the game if you don’t think outside the box. That’s why game changing attorneys don’t blindly follow the status quo to get ahead — they look to leading business owners and entrepreneurs from all industries to elevate themselves and their practices.

So far this year, we’ve spoken to game changers in all sectors. Publishers, biohackers, giftologists, hoteliers, and of course a few world-class attorneys have shared their experiences about how they got to the top of their respective fields. They’ve given up their best secrets to tell you how to take your law firm to the next level and beyond.

In this Best of Season 2: Q1 roundup, we take a second look at some of the most poignant moments and prominent guests we’ve encountered on the podcast. Join us as we rediscover the habits, strategies, and mindsets of the architects of some of the most influential and disruptive businesses and law firms of the 21st century.

Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, and Spotify.

Show Notes:

2:21 – You can’t do it all. [Jay Papasan] “A lot of us work from to-do lists, and a lot of us have a list of things that we know are priorities. It’s great to understand your priorities and have a plan, but if you could take it one step further and say, ‘Of all the things that I could do, what is the one thing that I should?’ You’re just saying, ‘What’s the 20% of this?’ until you get to one. We do a little exercise where we’ll make a list of 25 things that we’ve remembered we have to do, and then identify usually no more than five things that actually matter — and what’s even better is that, of the handful of things that actually matter, there’s a clear number one. And when I look at the days that I know that I knocked out my number one first, I feel righteous.”

12:16 – Balance as we know it is a myth. [Jay Papasan] “Balance is not a destination. When I’m public speaking and I’m in a room with a bunch of people, I’ll often ask people to stand up on one foot. I’ll say, ‘Great. Are you balanced? Are you balancing?’ and everybody’s like, ‘I’m balancing.’ I’m like, thank you. It’s a verb. It’s not a noun. There is not this place where you get everything in your life organized. There is not a destination where I’m in balance and everything’s great. You have to do it, and it’s an active thing.”

15:47 – Hack your biology like a computer. [Dave Asprey] “I realized that if we can troubleshoot the internet, maybe I can turn that knowledge around on myself. I started measuring what worked, and I realized a lot of the stuff that I’ve been told was just BS. It was dogma. It was a belief system, but it was not based on science. It was not based on our understanding now of how biology works. It took a lot of studying, but I eventually spent more than a million dollars on hacking my own biology, and I’ve lost the weight. I’ve gotten younger. My brain has the response time of a 20-year-old. I have the visceral fat levels of a 20-year-old, and I am 48. So something here is working.”

23:02 – Living to 180 is more realistic than we think. [Dave Asprey] “There are five people today who are 120 years old. 120 years ago, it was 1900. We didn’t have antibiotics. We couldn’t spell DNA because we hadn’t invented it. It was a different world, and they’re still around. Look at what’s happened in that one lifetime. If we can’t do 50% better than our best in the next 100 years, it’s because a comet hit the planet. Right now, we understand more about our biology than at any other time in human history. That’s how quickly things change in this era of exponential change.”

27:50 – Giving a gift is not about you. [John Ruhlin] “Most people are selfish. We think, ‘I like bourbon, so I’m going to get bourbon. I like golf, so let’s take people golfing. I like steaks, so let’s take people out for steaks.’ We give what we like to receive. So if you find something that you can give to somebody that they’ll actually use and that they don’t already have, it’s a practical gift. Most people focus on the luxury side when they give a gift. But unless you’re willing to go best-in-class in a category and make it nicer than what the person already has, then they’re not going to use it. They’re going to thank you because they have ‘gift guilt.’ The gift isn’t about you. A gift by its very nature better be about the other frickin person.”

31:37 – Not every gift will display an immediate ROI. [John Ruhlin] “Most people start with giving gifts to prospects, but that’s the last person you should be appreciating! You should be starting with their employees. Most people will treat their clients or their prospects at the Ritz Carlton level, and then give their employees the Motel 6 treatment. If you want loyalty and engagement with your team, you need people who are not just bought into the dollar sign, but bought into the mission and bought into you because you care about them. What’s the ROI to have engaged employees? I don’t know, but it’s worth a lot of money. I send nicer gifts to my vendors. Why? Because I need them. Most people treat their vendors like crap, and then they wonder why nobody wants to run through walls for them? Well, you treat them like A-hole and then you want a favor from them. That’s not how relationships work. It’s not always just a matter of ‘put $1 in and get $20 back out’ because you can’t always tell. We’re emotional beings. People will leave a company, not because of pay but usually because they don’t feel respected or appreciated.”

40:06 – Mediocrity is an unacceptable option. [Horst Schulze] “I talk to people who proudly say, ‘We are a good average.’ What is the average? Average is the bottom of good and the top of bad. Why would you not make a decision to be truly excellent in your particular business? That was the vision of the company. I left a great job because I could create that vision for this new company, which eventually was called Ritz-Carlton. But I questioned myself at the same time, and that’s a key leadership element in any company. What is your vision for your company, and what is good for all concerned? For the investor? For the employees? For the customer? For society as a whole? That is your responsibility as a leader: to create something that is good for all concerned.”

44:00 – Complaining customers can be salvaged into loyal fans. [Horst Schulze] “We teach problem resolution. It’s very simple. The first thing we teach is to listen if the guests have a problem. Listen attentively. Don’t look the other way when you see something, but look them in the eye and listen. Show empathy. Next, apologize. You own the complaint if you get it, even if it wasn’t your area. You say, ‘Please forgive me,’ and make amends. Then next, delight them. Delight then by buying breakfast or sending them fruit baskets. Instead of becoming terrorists, they will become an ambassador. You have to empower your employees to do so.”

51:48 – Stay in touch with who you are. [Sara Williams] “I think the thing that differentiates a good trial lawyer from a great trial lawyer is the willingness to do things and try cases in a way that goes against the grain of how we’ve been trained. My trial team coach used to tell us all the time that the number one thing that you have to get over, in terms of training as a trial lawyer, is the thing you have to do to become a trial lawyer — and that is to go to law school. Because most law schools do not prepare you to just be a regular person and talk to people as you were before you became a lawyer. I think people who try cases tend to talk at juries instead of talking with juries. So I think those who flip the switch, as I would say, from good to great really know themselves, figure out who they are, and then they are themselves in front of a jury — whoever that is. I think authenticity and just being normal resonates with juries more than any other flashy trial advocacy technique.”

56:17 – Don’t worry about how people expect you to act. [Sara Williams] “There are folks who thought I was a deaf person. I was so shy and so internalized because I had learned that if I am this outgoing, outwardly confident person, people don’t expect that. They’d say, ‘How dare this heavyset Black woman walk through this world being confident?’ That’s not what we expect, and that’s not what the world shows us. I think some of it is that you’ve just got to give the middle finger to the world. That’s just where I am in life. I am done with being a person who people expect me to be. I’m going to be myself, and that’s either going to be something that’s receptive to you, or something that is not receptive to you.”

1:03:38 – The best partnerships complement each other, not clone each other. [Jessica Mogill] “I think anyone who works together really closely needs to be able to complement each other, while not being the same. At Crisp, we use tons of assessments, and whether people are visionaries or they’re more operationally structured, we know that we need variety there. I think also a really important aspect is the fact that you love sales and marketing so much. You’re a sales and marketing visionary, but I didn’t want that. I think something about a person in this position is that they have to really be okay being number two. They have to actually love being number two. I don’t envy you or anything that you do every day.”

1:07:52 – Running a business with your spouse. [Jessica Mogill] “It is not for the faint of heart. It is not for everyone. I would actually say really look deep inside your soul if you are ever considering this. Again, you and I never had the intention of this spanning across many years. We thought it was going to be for 30 days, but there’s a lot to this. I think the pro, of course, is that you’re not going to trust anyone as much as you would like your significant other — being in the business and being the one running payroll, or being the one who’s mindful of budgets and how much money you’re spending, and all of that. But at the same time, there has to be some level of separation, and I will admittedly say that before we had a child, that separation was pretty non-existent.”

1:23:13 – The biggest risks can yield the greatest rewards. [Kyle Bachus] “Investing in advertising was our willingness to participate in serious delayed gratification. In other words, it would consume the vast majority of net revenue of the entirety of the law practice. We made a commitment to earn nothing and to lose money during the implementation year. We were willing to go into the red, personally, for the opportunity. We also fundamentally believed that we had proven to ourselves that we could earn money doing what we were doing and that we were good at what we were doing. It wasn’t without faith and belief. Yes, we could lose money doing this, and that’s our income for that year, but we felt like we could rebuild it, even if that failed. We were not going to give up until we could find a path to success. If you take enough bad ideas and execute them thoroughly, something’s going to work out for you.”

1:25:20 – If you’re not looking ahead, you’ll soon fall back. [Kyle Bachus] “The stagecoach was a hell of an idea — until somebody invented the car. And if you stuck with the stagecoach, well, you’re not going anywhere. I think that all along the path of the history of our law firm, we have tried to stay on the front side of technology, the front side of the marketing curve, and to have tried to make sure that we are committed to change — not committed to the same, but committed to change — because if you’re only committed to the same, then you’re probably going to be Sears & Roebuck. That’s committed to the same, to death, and those that commit to change are committed to the future.”

1:29:19 – Degrees don’t matter unless you can solve problems. [Eric Thomas] “I’m not really into degrees, but the critical thinking part is everything. When I was younger, I would have problems and create more problems from that problem. But as an adult now — I’m not saying that I’ve mastered it, but I got to a point where I can start figuring it out. You’ve got to critically think: how can you get yourself out of this? So I started to be a critical thinker. I was more analytical. I was solving problems, and I realized that the world was treating me a lot different as a problem solver than it was as a person who created problems.”

1:34:02 – The key to success is to want it. [Eric Thomas] “I always say you should want to succeed as badly as you want to breathe. The challenge is not potential. The challenge is not even talent. The challenge is desire. They say effort is the indicator of interest. I think the biggest challenge is that people have potential. They actually have some skill set. I just think most people don’t want it. They don’t put forth the effort. What would your life look like if you gave 120%?”

EPISODE RESOURCES & REFERENCES:

Jay Papasan:
The One Thing by Jay Papasan
Keller Williams Realty
Gary Keller
HarperCollins Publishers
Pareto principle
Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
Atomic Habits by James Clear
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
Game of Thrones
Peloton
Edward Deming
Willpower Doesn’t Work by Ben Hardy
Instagram
Angela Duckworth
Hummer
Israel
Netflix
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
Google News

Dave Asprey:
Silicon Valley
Arthritis
Cognitive dysfunction
Chronic fatigue syndrome
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Wall Street
Bulletproof Coffee
Intermittent fasting
Fast This Way by Davy Asprey
Autophagy
iPhone
Ghrelin
CCK (hormone)
Ketones
Ketogenic diet (keto)
MCT Oil
Coronavirus
Hormesis
Insulin
Upgrade Labs
University of Colorado
The New York Times
Wolverine (X-Men)
University of Calfornia
World Series of Poker
World War I
OURA Ring
Levels Health
Ambien
Hyperglycemia
Game Changers by Dave Asprey
Bulletproof Radio
Nobel Prize
Navy SEALs

John Ruhlin:
Davy Crockett
Daniel Boone
Cutco Cutlery
Nature Sunshine
Rolex
Facebook Ads
Bourbon
The Five Love Language by Gary Chapman
Bose Headphones
iPad
Cutter & Buck
Nordstrom
Bed Bath and Beyond
Williams Sonoma
Seiko Watch
Apple Watch
Gary Vaynerchuk
Ritz-Carlton
Motel 6
Opus One
Lewis Howes
Southwest Airlines
Starbucks
Daddy Warbucks
Ebenezer Scrooge
Giftology by John Ruhlin
Goodwill
Vitamix
Tony Robbins
The Notebook
Ryan Gosling
Rachel McAdams
NASCAR
Shawshank Redemption
FBI
Romeo and Juliet
Oprah Winfrey

Horst Schulze:
Horst Schulze website
Need to Lead
Excellence Wins by Horst Schulze
Ritz-Carlton
Cancun, Mexico
Buckhead, Atlanta, GA
Capella Hotel Group
Aristotle
Coca-Cola

Sara Williams:
Florida State University
Marquette University
Tulane University
Cumberland University
Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys
Super Bowl
Brené Brown
Steve Jobs
George Floyd
Donald Trump
Atomic Habits by James Clear

Jessica Mogill:
Delta Diamond Medallion Status
Instagram
Mount Everest
Peloton
Netflix

Kyle Bachus:
University of Florida
UHaul
Albertson’s
Target
TV Guide
Yellow Pages
PPC advertising
John Morgan
Sears & Roebuck

Eric Thomas:
McDonald’s
MLB
NFL
Detroit, MI
Phil Jackson
Michael Jordan
Kobe Bryant
Credit score
Michigan State University
Brian McKnight
Take 6
Iron Man
Superman
GED
Oakwood University
NBA
Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice by Dennis Kimbro and Napoleon Hill
Federal TRIO programs
Steve Smith
Dan Gilbert
Magic Johnson
Crenshaw schools
YouTube
General Motors (GM)
Chrysler
Tom Brady
Nick Saban
University of Alabama
Auburn University
S&P 500

CONNECT WITH MICHAEL
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