Helping people to get to where they want to be in their life is what today’s guest has always been doing. Dr. Diane Hamilton shares the mic with Chris Patterson, a podcast host, inspirational speaker, and the CEO of Interchanges and Live Large Coaching. A digital marketing expert, he shares what he has learned from his unusual background to reach his huge level of success. He talks about how Zig Ziglar became his mental fitness coach and how Zig gave him the opportunity to be who he is today. Don’t miss this episode to discover the three stage of life that should be scrupulously pursued and some tips to help you become successful.
I’m glad you joined us because we have Chris Patterson here. Chris is a CEO, podcast host, inspirational speaker, you name it. He’s had some of the top clients out there. He’s a digital marketing expert and he’s going to share what he’s learned from his unusual background to reach a huge level of success.
Listen to the podcast here:
Achieving Digital Marketing Success With Chris Patterson
I am here with Chris Patterson, who is a CEO, podcast host, sought-after inspirational speaker. He’s the Founder and CEO of Interchanges, a strategic digital marketing agency that’s generated $1.4 billion in revenue for their clients over the past several years. He believes three stages of life should be vigorously pursued. I love the quote on his LinkedIn because Zig Ziglar is always a famous favorite of mine. I had Tom Ziglar. His favorite quote is, “You can have everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want.” I couldn’t agree more. It’s nice to have you here, Chris.
Thank you. The pleasure’s all mine, Diane.
This is going to be fun because having your show and I have my show, but we both deal with helping clients and working in different industries. You have some amazing clients from ColoCSX, Lamborghini, Palace Resorts, Hard Rock. Let’s go back and get a little backstory on you. I know how successful you are, but has it always been this way?
No, I was a complete loser. I’ve got proof too. It’s fun. I often share from the stage how I started and it was me doing everything wrong. I had no guidance. I had no mentorship. I wanted to be successful desperately, but I didn’t know which way to go. I fell into drug and alcohol and partying, not too abusive, but wasn’t leading me down the path that I wanted to go. By the time I was about 25 years old, I had screwed up my college. I had screwed up my relationships. I had been fired from four jobs and then I had to figure out how to get my act together finally. The way that happened is my dad called me one morning about 11:30 in the morning. I was still hung-over from the night before. He said, “I’d like to take you to a success seminar.” I said, “How’s that going to help me?” I was negative about it, but I went with him. That is the first time that I saw the great Zig Ziglar speak from the stage. He was saying things that I’d never heard before. “You could have everything you want in life if you help enough others get what they want. It’s your attitude that will project your altitudes.” All of these different wonderful things. I bought a case of these tapes and was off to the races learning more about personal development.
You can’t beat Zig. The message he had such enthusiasm. For the time, there was nobody even close. I don’t know who’s even come close since then. I got a chance to talk to his son about that a little bit. It’s got to be hard to follow in those footsteps because he’s such a legend. I can imagine that if you’re at a crossroads and you sat and listened to him, it could make quite an impact. You said this the first time you met him. Did you meet him quite often or more than once?
That leads to a miraculous story. Once I started getting all these cassettes and I was listening to them and I started writing down my goals and keep in mind, I was broke. I had $700 to my name, but I decided to move to Florida against every one of my family’s wishes. They all thought it was crazy and lost my marbles and I was going to fail and all that kind of thing. I made a move to Florida in 1995. I got a job at a gym. I got promoted four times in the first year. That’s quite a contrast from what I was used to.
Was it from using Zig’s advice?
From listening to the tapes, it got me pointed in the right direction. They eventually gave me my set of clubs. I got promoted to vice president and they gave me a set of clubs in Plano, Texas. I would often train my team, how to sell memberships and build relationships and that kind of thing. One day, an employee ran into my office and said, “Chris, I need you to take this next guy around the club.” I’m like, “Are you kidding me? I spent 2 hours teaching you guys how to do this. That’s your job, not mine.” He said, “I don’t think you understand.” He pulled out a driver’s license and slid it across my desk. I looked down and it said Zig Ziglar. I was like, “Shut up, Zig Ziglar’s in my club? He’s here?”
I was like, “Are you guys setting me up? What in the world is going on here? Is this a joke?” They were like, “No, Zig’s here. He needs a membership. He lives a mile down the street. This is your opportunity.” I was super nervous because this is my hero. This is the guy that changed my life and set me in a different direction. I decided, “Man up, Patterson, go sell the greatest salesman of all time something, will you?” No stress, no pressure on me. I pretended I didn’t know him. I followed the procedure, established rapport, uncover his needs, and then go through and try to match his needs to the solution. Eventually, we ended up in the closing room. I decided, “Here’s my chance, I better use one of Zig’s closes.” I opened up a booklet and on the left-hand side it said, “You can sign up for our membership here for $40 a month or you can pay in full for three years and save 15%.” I looked at him and I said, “Which would you prefer?”
That’s called the Which Close or Alternative Choice Close. At that moment, he looked up above his eyeglasses, your glasses sink on your nose a little bit. He looked above his eyeglasses and he said, “Son, you know who I am, don’t you?” I turned into a Justin Bieber fan. “You’re the greatest thing.” I went crazy. I gathered myself because I’m like, “I’m going a little over the top here.” I lost it. I had suppressed trying to keep it a secret. When he uncovered it, I got excited and he laughed and he said, “Chris, you did a fine job. I know you get paid more on the 1 for 3 years, let’s go ahead and do that because you deserve it.” He said, “I need one more favor.” I said, “Anything.” He said, “I need someone to train me three days a week personally.” I’m about as sharp as a bowling ball most days, but this was one of those days I had the light bulb go off.
That might be a good idea to do.
I said, “Mr. Ziglar, I’ve got an opportunity that you can’t refuse.” He said, “Tell me.” I said, “I will work on your physical fitness for free, 3 days a week, 3 hours a week, as long as you agree to work on my mental fitness 1 hour a week each week.” That’s how I got the great Zig Ziglar to mentor me for twelve months when I lived in Plano, Texas. I would either go to meet him in his church, at the cafeteria or his house. It was the most life-changing thing that ever happened to me.
To be in Plano where he happens to be, you happen to have that advantage. I don’t know, I used to listen to him much when there were CDs and your car thing in the day. Everything he said was he had that passion. It’s funny because I had Bob Burg, who’s a Hall of Fame speaker on my show and he makes a great Zig impression. You’ll have to listen to that episode because he did it on that. He did it right to him on stage. There’s a video of him doing it, took it right to his face and it was cute because they loved it. I could see that he would give you advice that would be helpful. Other than giving everybody what they want kind of advice, what other things impacted you?You don't have to enjoy everything you do in life. Click To Tweet
There was one moment when we were in the gym that shaped how I do my work going forward. He’d walked into the gym one day and he said, “Chris, what are we doing?” I said, “We’re going to do arms, Zig.” He said, “Okay, great.” Clapped his hands and off he goes. He was 20 feet ahead of me already and up the stairs. He was 78 years old at the time and I’m chasing him around, 28 or whatever. We got up there and he sat down at one of those preacher curl benches and he started picking it up and lifting right away without even checking the weight. I was like, “That’s too much.” Seventy-eight, a little bit frailer. He pulled a few and I said, “Zig, can you please stop?”
I said, “Let’s change the weight,” and he ignored me and then he started pulling a few more. I see him getting red and his jugular veins popping out. I can see it in the Dallas Morning News, “An idiot personal trainer kills the greatest man alive.” I get nervous and I’m like, “Zig, let’s change the weight.” This time he snarled at me. What was going on? He pulled one more, dropped the weight and it reverberated through the gym and everybody was a record scratch. Everyone turned and stared. He did something I didn’t expect. He reached over the preacher curl. He grabbed me by my lapel on my golf shirt. He pulled me close to his face and he said, “You don’t have to enjoy everything you do in life.” He let me go. I was like, “What happened?”
I know I’m supposed to learn something from this. I can’t figure it out. It took the next couple of years to understand how impactful that was for me because Zig and his great wisdom realized that at that time, if it was uncomfortable that I wouldn’t do it. He probably picked it up in my conversations or those things. It changed me because every time, even now I had a huge workout. I did cardio afterward and I wanted to get off the treadmill, but I’m like, “Come on, Chris, you don’t have to enjoy everything you do in life.” How many sales presentations I had to prepare for? Presentations are building the company and many things I had to do to get past my comfort zone.
I meet many people who try to stay in that comfort zone. The comfort zone can be boring. I’m one of those people who like to push into uncomfortable territory, even though it makes you miserable sometimes. How do you know what you’re going to like or not like if you don’t push yourself a little bit? I love that advice from him and I’m sure that was helpful to you. You started your own business. Did you get out of the gym business? What did you do after that?
After I left Texas, I got recruited to America Online. You remember AOL, “You’ve Got Mail.” Do you remember that?
Yes, I still get it from my mother.
I got recruited by AOL, worked there for a few years, did extremely well. It was time for me to start my own thing. Several years ago, I started with a digital marketing agency. Here I am almost many years later and it’s still going strong. I’ve got my team running the business and my main focus, I should tell you the last part of the Ziglar story, Tom and I are good friends. Tom had called me after his dad passed away in 2012 and he said, “Chris, I’d like you to consider helping carry on dad’s legacy and if you’re interested, we’ve got a certification program.” It’s one of my proudest achievements is to have my Ziglar Legacy Certification and I’ve been able to help hundreds of people since. Trying to recreate the experience that I had and help people get to where they want to be in life.
I know he continues to do many great things that his dad inspired. That’s awesome that you went on to do that. I’m curious what you learned from the AOL experience because I’ve seen Steve Case speak and he was a quite interesting guy. Did that have any impact on the future of your next company you created?
Yeah. Believe it or not, I was fired.
We learned the best things through some of the bad things though.
This was one of the situations I had no control over and it wasn’t caused by me either. They had let go of many people at the same time. I remember I used to walk out onto the steps of the building. Every time I would hit those steps when I would leave, I would ask myself, “Chris, did you give it everything you had?” This time I was walking out with a pink slip in my hand and I got to those steps and I said, “I didn’t do anything to deserve this. It’s not my fault. It’s a situation. It’s an event that happened. This must be a promotion.” Those words carried me on to start my business, carried me on to start my digital marketing agency. Thank God I had that mentality, which I know came from Zig. Looking at the positive and it revolutionized the way that I started my business and grew my business. I figured I would do the digital marketing stuff until I found a real job. Here I am several years later, I still haven’t found it.
That’s quite a path. When you started with your discussion of your lifestyle trying to get out of that. It reminds me of Scott Harrison on the show talk about how he created Charity Water and he was doing the same lifestyle. He woke up one day and said, “I can’t do this anymore.” A lot of people spend decades before they wake up. I have to say, you woke up at a young age at least to move on to the next step. You were fortunate, but you talk about three stages of life that you think should be rigorously pursued. I want to talk about those because what you’re talking about ties into a lot of my work. I study behaviors and I see a lot of people who exist instead of live. I see a lot of people who don’t question anything or explore, they go on the status quo. If we have much status quo thinking companies are not going to be innovative or you’re not going to be engaged and you’re not going to have a lot of things. That’s why I worked to build curiosity in people. Let’s talk about those three stages because the first stage was moving from survival to stability. What does that tell?
I would say the majority of people in America start in survival mode. Most of us weren’t born with a silver spoon. I certainly wasn’t. We’ve got to understand these stages so that we can progress through them. The first one is survival. If you do that correctly and you’re working hard, you can eventually get yourself to stability, whether you have your business or you’re working or those things. Stability is not enough. Unfortunately, many people quit. This is why they’re working paycheck-to-paycheck. Maybe they don’t like it, but they still don’t make the jump to go to the next step. Survival, stability and then success. Success is having more than you need, financially at least, and making sure that all the other areas of your life are as high as they can be. You’re doing as well as you can in all those different areas. Ultimately where people should think about getting to at some point in their life. I’m here. I’m turning 51 in April. I have the opportunity to live a life of significance, which is no longer about me worrying about me and trying to build my empire and all that kind of stuff. It’s about giving back to as many people as I possibly can and making a difference and leaving a legacy.
A lot of people after they hit their 40s and 50s, they start to think, “What can I leave? What can I do differently?” A lot of people are trying to be successful, but they don’t realize they defined success differently as the age. When I asked people to get on the show, I always ask them, “Is there something you want to discuss? Is there anything you want me to talk about?” I know you had five tips to help people become successful. How do you define a successful first? What are those tips?
I have five different shifts inside of a webinar that I do. I’m going to save those for anybody who’s reading. If you want to know what those five shifts are, go to LiveLargeAcademy.com, and you can hit the replay there and watch the webinar. It’s free. It’s an online training for you. One of the things that I discovered about success and Zig talked about it a lot too is he would go around and ask people, “Who’s successful that you know?” They would say, “So-and-so.” He’d say, “Okay, great.” He asks them any of the questions, “How’s their health?” “They’re not doing well. They’re 300 pounds and they’ve got diabetes.”
I go, “How’s their family?” “He’s had four divorces and he’s single and his kids don’t like him.” “How’s he doing personally, mentally? Is he a positive guy?” “No, he’s miserable, he hates everything.” “Why do you say the guy was successful?” “He has a lot of money.” It’s not enough. Most of my coaching students come to me when they realize they’re stuck in life, they’re stuck where they’re at. They don’t know how to get out of it. If there’s anything that I specialize in, it’s that transition or that transformation of getting people from where they are to where they want to be. I often say I love to help people discover what they want to be, what they want to do and what they want to have. I show them exactly how to get that.
Having that picture painted, all the decades of sales experience I have, they always taught us to paint a picture in their mind of what they could achieve. What could they have? What are you trying to sell? A lot of people forget to do that. I could see that’d be beneficial. I was looking at some of the stuff that you have on your bio and some of the things that you use to promote yourself. I’m curious about some things. First of all, are you in Jacksonville still?
I’m in Atlantic Beach, which is the beachside of Jacksonville. Yes and no, but I live in Atlantic Beach, Florida.
My co-author in my next book lives in Jacksonville and I keep telling her to watch The Good Place. Have you watched that where they slam Jacksonville every time?
I’ve seen a couple of episodes. It’s hilarious.
It cracks me up. I was noticing on your show, I watched one of your shows, part of it when you interviewed Billy Graham’s grandson. I’m curious about the rhino on your logo and your rhino thing. Can you explain what the rhino is?
I get that question quite a bit. I’ve got rhino logos all over my brand and people say, “What’s the significance of the rhino?” I go, “There are four things important about a rhino.” Number one is they have thick skin. I started studying these things and it doesn’t matter if they get mosquitoes, gnats, bugs and everything else crawling all over him, they don’t even flinch. They might give a little shake, but they have thick skin and they don’t let those little irritations bother them. Too often we’re like people, I know I certainly used to be way too easily offended. That is a recipe for disaster in business because if you’re fighting every battle, you’re going to lose the war.
The second thing I found out about rhinos is if they feel any threat whatsoever, they don’t go run and hide. They don’t pontificate, they don’t think through it, they don’t try to avoid it. They don’t pretend it’s not there. They put their head down with their big old horn and they charge directly at their problems. Many people that I’ve coached, they’ve been hiding. They’ve been trying to let things go. People that are living life like a wandering generality rather than a meaningful specific. That’s another area that I thought the rhino’s interesting about. The third thing is rhinos rarely walk backward. They can, but not well.Success is having more than you need, financially at least, and making sure that all the other areas of your life are as high as they can be. Click To Tweet
I’d like to know how you found that out.
I did a lot of studying and I started learning all these things about rhinos. I’m like, “This is great. This is interesting.” I watched some videos because somebody said they couldn’t walk backward. I watched some videos and I found one that was walking back a little bit. They can, but 99.9% of their life they’re moving forward. Too many people are looking at their past events. They’re looking at their failures, they’re looking at the challenges. They’re not living in the present and focused on the future. That’s something the rhino can teach us as well. Last but not least, rhinos can run about 15 to 20 miles an hour by themselves. When they get with a crash of rhinos, like a flock of seagulls, they can double their speed. They can go 30, 40 miles an hour. Isn’t that true for us? If we try to do it alone, it’s going to be slow. That’s why people hire me as a coach. It’s because they want to triple their speed, especially if it’s a good fit, then I can do that. Too often, people try to figure everything out by themselves. They’re trying to run everything on their own. Business is lonely at the top. We need a community of other rhinos that we can run with. There you go.
I’m going to have to look at the few animals you’ve got me interested. I know hippos are mean and sharks stop swimming when they sleep or something. I’m going to have to find out what my animal is.
It’s funny, I interviewed Grant Cardone. He was interesting. I walked into a studio and he had 10X and Grant Cardone all over this huge big screen behind his desk. It was a studio. He hadn’t shown up yet. I ran over to the producer and I slipped him a thumb drive. I said, “Put my logos on the street.” He said, “Mr. Cardone will be upset.” I said, “No, he’s on his way. It’s fine. Go ahead and do it.” He walked into a studio and it said, “Live Large Academy,” with this big rhino head on there and Chris Patterson. He goes, “What the heck is going on? What’s all this?” “My name’s Chris. Nice to meet you.” I figured I’d take over your studio. He laughed about it. He was great. He was fine.
Those guys, I get to meet a lot of the group that is in that whole realm. Joe Polish does his network out here and a lot of those guys join him for that in Arizona. I don’t know if you join that group at all. There’s a lot to be learned from what people can achieve from helping other people to achieve what they want to achieve. Some of the companies that you’ve worked with, how did you get in with Lamborghini, Palace Resorts, or Hard Rock? Those are some big clients. What did you help them do?
It certainly didn’t start that way, Diane.
Was it your first customer?
This is embarrassing, but I’m going to go ahead and be vulnerable. When I first started the business, I had no idea what I was doing and I was like, “How do I get the message out that I sell websites?” Keep in mind, this is 1999 or something like that. I figured, “I know, I’ll go buy a bunch of those yard signs, those real estate signs and stick them in the ground all over Jacksonville.” I had websites for sale and here’s my telephone number.
You’re the guy who does that? I was wondering.
Yeah, I was the idiot.
It worked. It can’t be too bad.
It didn’t work. It failed miserably but when I walked into the sign shop, they said, “What do you need the signs for?” I said, “I create websites and do all this stuff.” They said, “We don’t need that. We’ve got the Yellow Pages.” I had to educate them. I ended up getting all those signs for free because I made a trade with them. That was my first deal. Fast forward, one of the things that I discussed with my team early on. I said, “Our reputation is more valuable than silver and gold. If we keep a strong reputation, if we do what we say we’re going to do, we over-serve our clients. We take care of them, we have excellence in everything we do. Business is not going to be a problem. Business is going to come to us.” We took that approach into business rather than super heavy marketing and being aggressive and all that stuff. We took care of the people we had, but we’re good at asking for referrals. One of the things that we would ask is, “Do you know any companies like yourself that could utilize the services the same way you have?” That’s how we got many referrals into Lamborghini or CSX is the Fortune 500 company here locally. Lots of hustle, but having quality services and asking for referrals.
It’s such a huge part of every business. I remember my first. I probably interviewed 1,000 people on this show, but I remember when I was first interviewing people. You’re always looking for more people. At the end of the show, as you talk to people, you go, “Do you know anybody that would be a good fit for the show?” It’s the thing that you do in sales and you’re used to it, but it has led to some of the more interesting people I’ve ever interviewed. You have a podcast, you know what that’s like. Have you had people that you’ve asked that? What are some of the more interesting people? Who are the most interesting people you’ve received as referrals?
You already mentioned Tullian Tchividjian, that’s Billy Graham’s grandson. He went through some serious trauma in his life, some of it’s self-induced, but that was a fascinating interview. Seeing him go through hell and then come out on the other side and he’s winning again. That was a good interview and he’s become a great friend. Probably my favorite interview and I have lots of them, but I would say the one that sticks out the most is Ed Mylett. Do you know who Ed Mylett is?
I’m trying to think. It doesn’t come out to mind right away.
Ed is probably the new kid on the block that’s been around for 50 years. He started his social media and being an influencer a couple of years ago. He went from 0 to 1 million followers on Instagram in one year.
How do you do that?
He also comes from a huge network marketing background and he already had a huge following anyways. They weren’t consolidated on social media, but he’s continued to build these brands. I went out to Laguna Beach, California and interviewed him in his mansion. He had a cliff carved out to build his home in it. It was probably the most breathtaking real estate I’ve ever seen. His net worth is somewhere around $500 million. He reminded me of Zig. He has a huge heart. He’s funny, he’s knowledgeable, does his homework, but Ed’s a good interview.
Do you always go to their homes to do your interviews? Do you go to them? I don’t do all mine. Some of them I do video. It depends on the situation when it can work out when it can’t. How do you do your show? How often do you do it?
I’m not super involved in doing interviews, but if I have somebody interesting or I get excited about, then I do want to do in-person interviews with those people. I also do some Zoom interviews and different things like that as well.
I do those. It’s interesting to look at who has fascinated you. I can remember interviewing Tom Hopkins early on. He was huge here, the Zig of his time, and for real estate in Arizona. I know a lot of people knew him as the Tony Robbins-type character. When I got to meet him, I remember, “This was somebody like Zig who I used to always listen to their CDs.” It’s fun when you get to meet people who you followed all their careers. I remember going to Albert Bandura‘s house. That to me was inspiring because next to Sigmund Freud in psychology, Bandura is listed in about every course. I teach many courses. You get these names, the same with Kotter‘s, that’s in a lot of courses I teach. I wrote my dissertation with emotional intelligence. Having Daniel Goleman on the show, people like that where you’ve read their work, you’ve seen what they do. They inspire me. I would’ve loved to have Zig. It was fun talking to Tom. The names that you’ve learned to have done these amazing things growing up. It’s a huge inspiration. Do you continue to do the show then on occasion?
Yeah, I’ll probably do maybe 5 or 6 interviews a year. I’m not trying to have a show necessarily. What I like to do is if I can create a video and an interview in that format or that style, I like to push it out on the interwebs and watch it grow. We’ve got 250,000 views for Ed Mylett’s video. It took off good. That was the idea, especially if you can get it on video.
It sounds fascinating. I’m going to have to look at him up after this because I’m interested. You’ve picked unique people to interview. I noticed you have Billy Graham’s grandson. You met Zig Ziglar. These are all Christian names. Do you focus primarily on the Christian audience? Did that happen to work out that way?
It’s been working out that way. I’ve been a Christian for 25 years myself and you’re more akin in the interview when you know that about each other, but it’s not necessary. My goal is to interview people that are interesting enough to me that they’ll be interesting enough for my audience. It doesn’t matter your religion or any of those things. I want to find people that have moved the needle and are doing unique things and thinking outside the box. Those are the ones I want to interview.You can set your goals, but achieving them is a whole different thing. Click To Tweet
It’s always fun. You learn something from everyone and I didn’t get to learn how you got a Lamborghini though. How did you go?
Lamborghini was a referral. We started working with Audi locally. We worked with a couple of their dealerships. We kept on asking and somebody said, “I don’t know. Can you handle Lamborghini?” We’re like, “Sure.” That’s how we got in.
It’s funny you brought up Audi because I sometimes talk about the Billboard Wars of LA. Were you around when that was going on with Audi and BMW?
I don’t recall.
It’s a good example of getting out of status quo thinking because Audi had to use the chess analogy, your move BMW. When they put their picture of their latest car up on the billboard and BMW came back with your pawn’s no match for our king. They were going back and forth. It was a good example of how to get your customers involved. Audi was great because they’ve got a lot of their customers suggesting the next billboard and tweeting about this and ideas. That to me is what we’re trying to get, the next wave of thinkers. It sounds like you and I are both focused on some of this stuff. Your digital marketing agency is something that I don’t do, but I wrote a brand publishing course when I was the MBA Program Chair at Forbes. I know how frustrating digital marketing is for everybody. From going through that, what is your biggest frustration? Is it still trying to get a message out at scale where you feel like you’re reaching people individually? Is it trying to get all the vendors to speak to one another in some way where it’s cohesive? I remember when I wrote it that those were some of the big issues. What are your big issues?
We’ve been smart with the business over the years to train me three days a week personally and we did a simple exercise called start, stop, continue for years. What should we start doing? What should we stop doing? What should we continue doing? We meet regularly to go over that, analyze it, and optimize it. Honestly, it’s the best it’s ever been. My team is mature. Most of my people have been with me between 10 and 18 years. Our marketing is working extremely well. We’ve got a great reputation. People are coming to us when they want to blow up their business. It’s good. If you want to talk about the beginning, that’s a completely different story.
It sounds like you’ve got past that hard times and you’re in great times. I am wondering what’s next for you. Are you continuing on this path? Are you writing books? I know you’re an inspirational speaker. What’s your hot topic? What’s next?
I do a lot of goal setting and achievement workshops. I also work one-on-one with students helping them set their goals and figuring out how to accomplish them is two different things by the way. You can set your goals, but achieving them is a whole different thing. I walk people through that process, but I’ve handed over my business to my team. I meet with them once a week for an hour on Fridays. We go over some of the main statistics and I say, “I’ll see you guys next week,” which means I’ve got about 95% of my schedule open. I want to live a life of significance and I want to help and give back to people. I’m looking for more people that need coaching and they can go to LiveLargeAcademy.com, watch my free training there. If you want to schedule an appointment, you can do it right after you watch the training. It’s right on the link for you. That’s my focus.
Chris, are there any other links you’d like to share? Is that the main way they can reach you?
I saw a couple of your videos and it looks like you continue to work out and do what you originally did, but it looks like you’re doing a lot more things with your life. It’s great to hear such a success story. Thank you for sharing that on the show. It was nice meeting you and I loved having you as a guest.
Thank you and I’ll commend you. You told me at the beginning it was going to be fun. I didn’t believe you, but you were right. This is fun.
Thanks. I’m glad, Chris.
That was a lot of fun having a chance to speak with Chris and the work he’s done. He had a story that resonates much. I’ve had several guests as I had mentioned on the show, like Scott Harrison from Charity: Water, who have gone on to create some of these amazing companies and done inspirational things. Maybe they started in it not the best of places in their lives. It’s rewarding to hear examples of changing your situation. That’s what I’m trying to do with individuals and organizations who are interested in working on getting out of status quo thinking. Many people have this dialogue in their head that, “I can’t do this. It’s going to be too hard. I am not going to be interested in it. I’ve done it in the past.” That’s one of the assumptions that people come up with that hold them back from being curious, from getting out of status quo thinking. That’s what I’ve been working with individuals and organizations to help them improve their curiosity by facing some of these issues of what’s holding them back. If you look at the four factors of curiosity, which are fear, assumptions, technology and environment, you get a strong indication of what it is that keeps you from going to the next level. What keeps you from exploring? What’s holding you to a point in your career, in your organization where you’re existing, you’re going from job-to-job, but you haven’t found the thing that makes you passionate?
Recognizing that these are the things that are holding you back can be the biggest first step. The assessment that I created, the Curiosity Code Index is a simple test. It takes ten minutes. It’s something like taking a DISC or Myers-Briggs and Emotional Intelligence, that kind of thing. You’re able to get feedback instantly, a PDF, what you would get if you took one of those other assessments. That’s maybe 26 pages or something. It’s going to give you all the specifics for each of those four factors. Within each of those four factors, there are the sub-factors. The nine questions under each factor that you answer in this assessment that tells you, “What is it that you fear? What is it that you’re saying to yourself? How is technology becoming a crutch or maybe you’re not utilizing it to its best advantage?”
Those things. Also, how has your environment impacted you? A lot of people, you might be managing someone and you may not recognize that it’s not their leader or their situation that’s a problem for them. Maybe a boss or a company culture that they had a couple of different jobs ago. People aren’t staying with companies for many years anymore. They’re hopping around quite a bit more and there’s a lot more that can impact them. I don’t think a lot of people are exploring how much the last leader who said something to them, “Don’t come to me with problems if you don’t have solutions,” kind of wording.
It held them back because they don’t want to be the person who suggests something and then looks bad. I’ve been working with a lot more companies who are looking at the value of exploration and creating curiosity. I talked to Novartis and to Verizon and big companies, which they’re focusing on changing their culture to that of embracing curiosity. I know at Novartis, they have a goal of learning 100 hours’ worth of new content every year. It’s something that if we push the envelope a little bit and push ourselves to the next level of what we try to research or look into, it opens up a world of opportunity that we hadn’t thought of.
Reading for the sake of reading isn’t what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to say explore different areas. Look at what you might not have normally read or maybe you’ve always found this interesting, but it wasn’t something that your family ever thought was a cool thing to study or do. As we do that, we’re going to open up a lot of doors in the workplace because innovation is going to replace a lot of jobs. As people are being moved around from one position to another, and if we’re moving people not thinking about what they’d care to do or what they’re good at, then we’re going to continue to have problems with engagement. My main focus is to have people get that recognition.
We have all of these ingredients that we’re mixing together of motivation, drive, engagement, innovation and we’re trying to mix it all together and have this end product of productivity and success. Nobody is turning on the oven, the spark to ignite all this. That spark is curiosity. If people are held back because they fear exploration, they’re telling themselves they can’t do it or if they’ve never had anybody promoting them to do that thing, there are many factors that can hold people back. I would love for people to take the Curiosity Code Index. If you’ve taken it, I’d like to hear your feedback. What did you learn? What did it help you do?
I know a lot of organizations are doing. I know it’s required reading at the Forbes School of Business and UNZA in Africa and all around the world, people are exploring their curiosity because it’s an MBA program and it’s in HR programs. It’s in all these great locations for students, but it’s also in organizations. If your organization hasn’t had you take the Curiosity Code Index, if you’ve taken DISC and you’ve taken other assessments. That they’ve been helpful or maybe they haven’t been helpful, maybe it’s because you’re not getting to the root of the problem, which is recognizing what’s holding you back. These are fun assessments.
We get some great feedback from what people have learned and are able to accomplish. In fact, we’re doing a research study with 200 people at a pharmaceutical company that’s going to give more insight as to the pre and post research data as to how much this impacts people’s abilities to suggest ideas and be innovative. That’s what we want to prove. All these years I’ve researched curiosity to come up with this assessment has been fruitful. It’s getting the attention of major groups out there who see the value for organizations. If you’re thinking of taking the Curiosity Code Index, it’s simple. You go to CuriosityCode.com or you can go to DrDianeHamilton.com and the curiosity dropdown menu is at the top.
It’s simple. It takes ten minutes and you get your report right away. What’s most important is it gives you feedback on how you can overcome these 36 sub-factors and how to create an action plan. You’re going through personal SWOT analysis in the way of defining your opportunities and your threats and how you’re going to overcome them with smart, measurable goals. It’s something you can incorporate in your behavioral training. At work, I know a lot of HR people and consultants have become certified to give the Curiosity Code Index because the corporations are incorporated into their HR programs. If you’re interested in becoming certified, we do have an online certification process.
It’s a half-day online, on-demand, whenever it’s convenient for you, which is nice. You would get 5 hours of SHRM recertification credit for going through the program. I spoke at SHRM and their major event about this. It’s fun to speak to top groups because I know executive networks and other top groups I spoke to have CHROs that are interested in developing curiosity. I spoke to International Project Management Day, 50,000 people are looking at how can we do this for project managers? It’s all groups. This is relevant for every industry. A lot of people ask me, “Who should be taking this assessment?”
That’s a good question, but it’s almost about everybody. As long as you’re in the working world. It’s determining. It’s meant for working individuals because you’re focusing on some of those issues. It’s something that everybody could benefit from taking. It goes along with my book, Cracking The Curiosity Code, which I was fortunate to have Keith Krach, the genius behind DocuSign, former Chair and CEO, and the Under Secretary in Washington. He wrote the foreword. A lot of great reviews from people like Steve Forbes and Ken Fisher and amazing people. I have Dave Ulrich. The list goes on and on of people who have said wonderful things. I have to thank all of them for their feedback on the book. I wanted to take this time to share that because it ties into a lot of what he was talking about.
You can be on this path where you’re existing and not living. I want to get people on a path where they are into exploration and they find the things that are passionate about. When we do that, we get much better lives for us. As leaders, our employees will be much more innovative, much more creative, much more engaged, and all the things that lead to productivity. We struggle with a lot of these soft skills issues, emotional intelligence, and behavioral stuff. If we can develop empathy, which is a big part of emotional intelligence, that is a huge part of getting along in the workplace. To do that, we have to ask questions. We have to be curious. We have to know more about other people.
We have to explore that sense of desire to want to know more about them, to see what we can do, to meet people and reach them. As Tony Alessandra says, “Instead of the Golden Rule, we want the Platinum Rule to treat people as they’d want to be treated instead of how we would want to be treated.” All of this is listed on my website if you want more information. You can go to the website to get past episodes of this show, to find out more about Cracking The Curiosity Code the book or the Curiosity Code Index. It’s all on the website. I hope you take some time to go to DrDianeHamilton.com and/or CuriosityCode.com. I hope you enjoyed our episode. I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
- Chris Patterson
- Tom Ziglar – past episode
- Bob Burg – past episode
- Scott Harrison – past episode
- Ed Mylett
- Tom Hopkins – past episode
- Albert Bandura – past episode
- Dr. John Kotter – past episode
- Daniel Goleman – past episode
- @CoachChrisPatterson – Instagram
- Facebook – Chris Patterson
- Curiosity Code Index
- Cracking The Curiosity Code
- Keith Krach – past episode
- Dave Ulrich – past episode
About Chris Patterson
Chris Patterson is a double CEO, podcast host, and sought out inspirational speaker. He is the Founder and CEO of Interchanges, a strategic digital marketing agency, that has generated 1.4 Billion dollars of revenue for their clients over the past 19 years. Chris’ company has worked with medium-sized businesses all the way up to Fortune 500 companies. Colo CSX, Lamborghini, Palace Resorts and Hard Rock hotels are all happy clients to name a few.
He is also the Founder and Head Performance Coach of Live Large Coaching. Chris’ true passion is helping people get from where they are in life to where they want to be. Chris believes that there are 3 stages of life that should be rigorously pursued: Moving from survival to stability, stability to success and success to significance. He has helped many start successful businesses, get out of debt, improve their relationships, get promoted, believe in themselves and take massive action towards their dreams in life.
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