Having reached the height of success and checked off all the boxes, Sean C. Higgins found himself asking, “Now what?” He had an epiphany of his higher calling which was to help people get through their own journey. Sean shares how you can find true fulfillment by living your purposeful life. In this fast-paced world where people get distracted their attention gets pulled from every direction, Mitchell Levy has mastered the skill of capturing the world in seven seconds. Learn how you can, too, by asking the right questions and sharing stories that provokes people to view the world in a different light.
We’ve got Sean C. Higgins and Mitchell Levy. Sean is the CTO of Herjavec Group and Mitchell is The AHA Guy. Between the two of them it’s going to be a really interesting conversation, and I’m looking forward to it.
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Living Your Purposeful Life with Sean C. Higgins
I am with Sean C. Higgins, the CTO of Herjavec Group, the largest independent information security company. In the Canadian bestselling book Driven, Sean is described as, “The smartest guy I’ve ever met,” by Robert Herjavec. Sean was named the first CTO of the Month in September 2012 by IT Focus. Though having worked in the information technology field for more than 25 years, Sean started a journey a few years ago, which led him to become a transformational specialist. He has received training from Christy Whitman through her Quantum Success Coaching Academy and David Morelli through his Enwaken Coaching and Enwaken Apprentice programs. He’s the author of Living Your Purposeful Life. It’s so nice to have you here, Sean.
Thank you for having me, Diane.
I’m curious about the Herjavec Group and what it’s like. How did you start this? Tell me a little bit about what you do with them?
Herjavec Group’s been around since 2003. It was founded by Robert Herjavec, George Frempong, and myself. This is Robert’s second major company. His youngest daughter went to school, so he got bored after selling his first company. He approached George and myself and said, “Let’s start this company.” We were in security in his first company. “Let’s bring some innovative products to the market.” Robert being in the D.C. area, I said, “Here are three cool technologies, they’re going to sky rocket. Let’s bring them to the market.” Within the first three months, those three technologies were bought out by major companies. IBM, that product went away.
Network General, the company is no longer around. McAfee, that’s the only technology that’s still around. It’s their Intrusion Prevention System, but we didn’t have a relationship with McAfee. McAfee was big in antivirus and there were other vendors out in the market that’s holding antivirus. We had no leverage, so it’s like, “What do we do?” We went back and started talking to customers. We ended up doing some projects that nobody else could accomplish. There was one project where somebody sold some hardware to a major utility company here in Toronto and nobody’s been able to get it to work for two years. In three months we were able to get it to work. We started picking up projects along the way. In the second year, anti-spam hit, and we found a product that started getting us along the road.
Robert was shark on ABC’s Shark Tank. I’d like to know how Robert got involved in the Shark Tank first and how you got involved with Robert.
When I first started my career, I worked for General Electric. I moved out of the lighting business group in Cleveland. I had the opportunity to become the IT Manager in their production plants here in Oakville many years ago. One of the things I first had to do was get conductivity from the plants to the US operations. I had to buy some telecommunication equipment from Robert to make that connection work, and that’s how I ended up meeting him. It’s been a few years. That was way back in the ‘90s.
He said you’re the smartest guy he’s ever met. You must have made an impression on him.
Every time I hear that, I’m very humbled because I don’t consider myself the smartest guy in the room, but I try my best to help solve customers’ problems.
How did he get involved in the Shark Tank?
Shark Tank is actually a Sony product, so I guess the original show was Dragon’s Den in Japan. It moved to the UK, and then it came to Canada. When it came to Canada, Robert was invited to participate in Dragon’s Den in Canada. He was on that for seven seasons. Mark Burnett picked up the idea from Sony. He didn’t like dragons. He didn’t understand dragons, so he called it Shark Tank. What he did is he invited Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary from Dragon’s Den to come and participate in US version. That’s how Robert and Kevin got transplanted down to the US version of the show.
One interesting story that I love that Robert told was they’re shooting the pilot, and they go out to dinner after the first day. Everybody’s all pumped. Mark Burnett’s there and everybody’s thrilled. It’s going well. Mark Burnett stands up at the end of dinner and goes, “There’s six of you around this table tonight. At the end of tomorrow there’ll be five,” and Burnett leaves. Robert said he looked around the table and you could see people going, “Oh my God.” I said, “What did you do?” Robert goes, “I just got to be one of you.”
How does the whole Shark Tank impact what you guys do? The notice from it?
What Shark Tank has done is it’s raised the awareness of Herjavec Group. It’s allowed Robert to grow the brand, and now we’ve been able to use that to expand. Herjavec Group started as a Canadian company, and now we get about 40% of our business from the US. It’s helped us get in the door, expand our presence. Robert continues to be in the media because security keeps being in the media, but I think the Shark Tank helped us grow that brand.
I’m fascinated by your work, not just that you do there but with your writing. Tell me about your book. You wrote Living Your Purposeful Life. What is your book about and who is your audience for that?
I wrote the book for me. It’s my journey trying to get through stuff because stuff always comes up. I write about a lot of instances that I had and how I handled them, because stuff will knock you down and it’s like, “What do I do with this?” I published the book because I thought it would help others and constantly amazed because I’ll end up going to an event beginning in Phoenix, I ran into three people that say, “I’ve read your book.” You’re just like, “Somebody’s read it.”
What is the basis of the book? What is it about?
Getting to your purpose. Living your life with purpose to help you understand where you’re going and getting along that path. Sometimes along that path, we get presented with different options and it’s trying to figure out which one’s the best. A question I like to ask people when I talk to them is, “Whose goal are you following?” For me, I had to evaluate that because growing up, one of the things my father told me is, “You’re getting a university degree.”He drove that into my head and so I picked up that goal from him. It’s not to say it’s good or bad, but you need to evaluate it. I worked with students and some of them are accountants because their parents said they needed to be an accountant, but they’re miserable.
Not everybody does well. Ask Steve Jobs or whoever what they got from just taking classes. There’s all kinds of ways to be successful, I’m with you on that one. It’s interesting because I’m writing a book on curiosity and part of what I’ve been researching is what keeps us from being curious. A lot of it is that you’re over directed into directions you’re not interested in, so you give up on some of the things that maybe you would’ve been more curious about. You’re talking about paths, which is so fascinating. If you just take one path, how different would your life be? I’m sure you probably think about that. I saw you had a weekly radio show, Paths to Peace. You deal a lot with the path thinking. How do you know if you’re on the right path?
You need to evaluate where you are today and where you want to be going, and make sure that you’re taking steps along that path. That can change. Today, you may be interested in one thing, but it shifts to another. An example from my past is when I started out, I was a Computer Programmer. Working at GE, I wrote programs to count light bulbs. When I got involved with Robert, I started getting into networking, which is different than programming, but it became something interesting for me to wrap my hands around.
It also expanded me because I’m learning about how computers talk to each other instead of how to make them talk to each other. You just have to look at what you’re doing at the time and learn what you can along the way because there’s going to be things that trip you up. Somebody asked me if there’s anything that I regret. If I looked back and said, “If I’d done that differently, would I even be where I am today? I’m happy where I am today.” Is it a real regret? Because I’ve taken it and I’ve learned something from it.
That’s really an important point because a lot of people see failure as a learning experience. At the time, you were not real thrilled with it. Some of the best things you learn are through failure, and it’s interesting for me to look back and go, “I wasn’t thrilled with this job or this situation, but if I didn’t do that, it wouldn’t have led to this, which wouldn’t have led to that.”It’s all a domino effect and it’s fascinating to look back at what we’ve done. You’ve had some interesting training. I’m curious about the Christy Whitman and David Morelli training. What did you think of those programs? What was it like going through those?
I’ve been with Robert for many years. Several years in I said, “At some point, this is going to end. What would I like to be doing after? Let’s look at coaching,” because I really enjoy talking with people. I enjoy helping people. I looked around and the first program that I took was from Christy Whitman. Her coaching program is around Law of Attraction. It was very interesting to learn more deeply because if you’re familiar with the Law of Attraction, you’re probably familiar with The Secret. The Secret talks about the Law of Attraction.
It’s really what you want, you have to believe you want it, and it will materialize. Sometimes that does happen. It has happened for me. You have to go deeper into it, and I think that’s what I learned from Christy Whitman is more about the Law of Attraction. You have to desire something and want it, but then you also have to allow it to come into your life. For example, if you want a red Ferrari, what if a yellow Lamborghini shows up for you? Is that really bad? Are you going to turn down the yellow Lamborghini because you wanted the red Ferrari? Knowing what you want, but also knowing if it shows up a little differently for you, so that’s part of what I learned with Christy.
Along that way, I met a gentleman by the name of David Morelli, and he was on Everything is Energy radio program. He would have guests on there and he would help fix their problems by looking at the energy of what they’re saying versus just what they’re saying. I’m like, “That’s pretty cool. If he ever teaches a course on that, I’m going to have to go take it.”He did teach a course and I did take it. I had a great time. I wouldn’t say that I started out as a great time, but I had a great time.
What kind of things did you talk about in that course?
First off, everything is energy and a lot of people are talking more about that. Quantum physics, a butterfly flaps in California might cause a typhoon somewhere else in the world. Everything is connected, the Butterfly Effect. He talked a lot about that. Another good point was if you see a toothpick in somebody else’s eye and you’ve got a branch in your eye, sometimes what people are reflecting to you is what you’re giving to them, so something to keep in mind.
I’m curious about your radio show. You co-hosted a weekly radio show called Paths to Peace. Do you still do that or is that something you did in the past?
That’s something I did in the past. It was a very dynamic show. My co-host, Maria, and myself, we wouldn’t talk until we got on the show. We would talk about what was coming up that week. We had some pretty interesting deep conversations and we didn’t really know until we showed up what it was going to be about. It was funny because we did the show for an hour. I’d get ready for the show and I’m like, “How are we going to fill an hour?”
I did that to you, and I do that to my guests. I don’t want to talk before the show starts so much. I’m worried it comes across as rude, but I tried to explain to people, “It’s better if I don’t talk until we get on the air because I like to get to know people on the air.” Otherwise, you miss all the good stuff. If you start talking, you get on the air, and then you missed it all. Did you find that?
I do find that it allows it to be more spontaneous, to be in the moment. Whatever’s going to come up is going to come up.
You do some speaking. You’re in international school, so what’s your favorite topic to talk about?
I’ll speak about many different things. It depends on who I’m talking to because I can speak technically. Back in Phoenix, I ended up talking technically about the issues with Blockchain from a technical perspective. I also did a talk on why I coach. It depends on the audience and what we’re going to talk about. I was with a group of students to talk about life mapping, how do they look at how they’re going to take that next step in their life, what things should they consider?
That’s really quite a diverse assortment of things that you can talk about. Blockchain is such an interesting topic. I had Wolfgang Koester on my show. Are you an expert on Blockchain? How about cryptocurrency in general or the Blockchain technology? How deep do you go into this?
It’s really just trying to understand where the technologies are going today. You’re looking at two different topics here. Cryptocurrency is just a different way to exchange money, and Blockchain just happens to be a piece of that. They do work together. Blockchain is the ledger that allows you to keep track of all the exchanges. We’re looking at the Blockchain and saying, “How can it be used outside of cryptocurrency?”There are applications for it and it’s trying to understand, “Does it make sense or does it not?”
I know a lot of people with the cryptocurrency were having difficulty getting their money out. They say they make all this money but then they can’t actually get it out. Is that a problem because of Blockchain or something else? That’s where I was curious, why they can’t cash out?
You need somebody to be the exchange for that currency. Look at it from US-Canadian perspective. US has a dollar, Canadian has a dollar. Who’s going to exchange your US currency into Canadian currency? That’s the same thing with Bitcoin and all these other cryptocurrencies, who’s going to take your Bitcoin and convert it into US, Canadian or whatever kind of currency? The interesting part is the big breakdowns are all at these exchanges. The exchanges are the ones that are getting hacked, and that’s where people are losing their money because the exchange had a flaw on it. Somebody was able to take advantage of it and exchanged the money on somebody else’s behalf.
Whenever you add another party to the mix, that’s always the problem, isn’t it?
The hackers look for the easiest way to make a chink in the armor.
Everything is getting so complicated that it’s very challenging. It must be interesting to have the ability to think about in these different ways that you’re able to think. It’s probably really helpful for companies to have a speaker like you come talk to them. Some coaches or speakers, they know certain things but they don’t have that real well-rounded background like that. I could see where you’d be in demand. I’m sure a lot of people would probably like to know how they can find out more about you if they wanted to have you speak or to get your book. Can you share your information with everybody?
The best place to get a hold of me is on my website. It’s SeanCHiggins.com. That’s the best place to find out about me. I’m on Twitter and LinkedIn, two places where people like to connect with me. Those are great places to connect with me.
Thank you, Sean. It was so fun talking to you. I really enjoyed having you on the show.
My pleasure, Diane. It was great meeting you as well.
Capturing The World In Seven Seconds with Mitchell Levy
I am with Mitchell Levy, who’s known as The AHA Guy as he loves making people think. Asking that question or sharing that story that will help you think about the world or a specific pain point in a much different way. His focus is helping you demonstrate that you’re the expert who could do the same for the audience you serve. Being recognized as the expert who can address the pain points of your prospects is a mandatory component of success. He is known for his TEDx Talk where he discusses the core components of success in tomorrow’s social age. It’s nice to have you here, Mitchell.
It’s great to be here. Thank you.
You’re known as The AHA Guy. What does that mean exactly? What does an AHA guy do?
In today’s world, we have seven seconds to capture somebody’s attention. What that a-ha is that moment, that flash, where somebody says, “I see the world in a slightly different way.” My favorite a-ha from my 58th book is we live in a seven-second sound bite economy, so make it count. That would be a good example of an a-ha.
58thbook out of how many? Is that the 58thlast book or is that 58 out of?
58 was recent. The 59th book is the book that just came out and it complements the TED Talk. I have a book called Being Seen and Being Heard as a Thought Leader and that was a lot of fun. What’s fun about that one is I did the Ted Talk and it was rush and I loved it. For those that are interested, it’s AHA.Pub/TEDTalk or you can go to YouTube and type in Mitchell Levy TED Talk and you’ll get it. All shows was done and then you had that cursory like eight weeks or so before it gets posted. I go, “What do I do now? How do we let people know about it?” I go, “I should write a book,” given that’s what I do.
What I did, instead of sitting down and write it myself, is I interviewed four other thought leaders. An AHA book is comprised of 140 bite-sized quotes. For an AHA book in the AHA That platform, a two-hour interview is enough to create an AHA book. Having four half-hour interviews was enough. I now have a book that practices what I preach and what I say as a thought leader. 80% of the content you share should be somebody else’s. I have a book that 80% of the content is somebody else’s, which is very cool.
I was interviewing somebody who said, “It’s just old wine that you’ve put in a new bottle,” that everybody knows everything, but we repurpose it into different ways. Do you agree with that?
The answer is yes. I’m a big fan of repurposing. I don’t think I’ve heard that about, but I have to give that some thought. Lots of the lessons we’ve learned in life are the similar lessons repurposed and put into context of today’s world by those that we respect. That’s the major difference with thought leadership. Part of what you see when you saw the TED Talk is simply that the thought leaders of the past, they were given to us by those in power and with money. The broadcast media told us who we were going to watch. The publishers told us who we are going to read. The recording studios told us who we were going to listen to.
Nowadays with the internet and the microphone, the cool part is we get to make our own thought leaders that many people have. I’ll give you another a-ha message from the book Being Seen and Being Heard as a Thought Leader. This is from Robert Clancy. He’s got about a half million followers on Facebook. His Twitter handle is @GuideToSoul. It’s a-ha number four in the book and you’ll get it immediately. What it says is, “Good thought leaders are at the top of the mountain. Great thought leaders are at the bottom of the mountain helping people up.”
What’s an a-ha message? It is something you could say, 140 characters or less, that inspires somebody to go, “What am I doing today to help my tribe move to the top of the mountain?” If you’re not doing that on the day to day basis, you really have the potential of being a great thought leader? That one sentence does that. That’s what The AHA Guy does. I help frame messages for others. More importantly, I want to teach everyone who’s interested in being able to do it themselves.
There’s a lot of people who have an advantage if they had a book. I had Craig Duswalt on my show. He spoke at a Genius Network event that I went to and he was telling people different ways to get noticed. He said, “Get a book, and do this.” They were asking, “How can you get a book?” One of the things he said was, “You can come up with quotes.”He had five simple ways of coming up with books. I like that you do this. You help people come up with books in ways that they maybe hadn’t considered, that they had in them. What do you do with helping people with their book creations?
It is easy to think about our company and go, “He’s like everybody else,” but I have to tell you, you could say that, but our firm is like nobody else in the market. Here’s what’s real simple about us. We have a platform called AHA that, so you can go to it at AHAThat.com. There are 800,000 users who are looking for content because it’s free to use, free to share, and they’re sharing our authors’ contact. On the writing side, this is where we actually charge authors to publish. What’s fascinating is there are two types of people in the world, those that like to do it themselves and those that just don’t have the time.
On the Do-It-Yourself side, we’ve had over 300 authors write their books in eight hours or less. We have a three-step writing process. Let me tell you about the Done-For-You. The Done-For-You service, we do a two-hour interview. At the moment, the ‘we’ is me. I’m going to be creating a certification program to have other people be able to do the interview. My team from that interview will pull the content and be able to write the book, because two hours of a good, compelling conversation, if you took this conversation we had multiplied by four, we’ll have an AHA book. If you and I, for instance, talked about curiosity for two hours, that’d be enough contact to be able to create an AHA book. That’s what we do.
At the end of the day, the title of your book, the topic of your book, the subject that you write about, this is really simple. Today’s world, you want to be known, you want people to find you, and when they find you, you want them to immediately be interested because you can help them. The most straightforward way to do that is if you know who your prospects are, and you know what their pain point is, that’s what you write about. Are you writing a book on curiosity? I’m assuming what that means is people come to you because they want to teach others how to be curious or they want you to consult on doing the process. The title of the book and the subject you’ve focused on is what helps people be successful. My book, Being Seen and Being Heard as a Thought Leader, those people want to be seen and be heard, they run into the book or they went into the TED Talk and then they go, “I need to know more about Mitchell Levy.”
I imagine that it’s really challenging to pick a good title that hasn’t already been used before. Do you date to your writers?
I’m going to absolutely disagree with you on that. First of all, it’s absolutely irrelevant that the title’s been used before. You can’t put trademarks on title. If you don’t mind me saying it, the thought of that statement is old school thinking. The reason I say that is that the book that you have is your book. It’s your point of view. You don’t care if the world sees your book. There’s some guy in China that if they see your book, it’s irrelevant because that may not be a client of yours. The audience that needs to see your book is the audience that’s most relevant to you. If the “right audience” is the audience that are your potential prospect base or your existing customer base. They need to see the book and it doesn’t matter. There’s some things you don’t do if there’s a common book title that’s out there. You don’t try to replicate that because you’ll seem too phony.
We did a book by Laura Sicola who was also at AHA That. The title of her book is Maximize Your Leadership Influence. What she does is she works with corporate experts and others who want to be seen more as influencers. Existing leaders, but they’re not getting the credibility that they need, because they either don’t look good, sound good or put their sentence structure together properly. The reason why the title of the book is the pain point of the prospect you solve, if somebody goes to their friends and say, “I’m not getting the respect I need at work.” What they’re going to do is they’re going to say, “How do I increase my influence?”or “How can I be a better leader?”or “How do I sound like a better leader?” If any of those phrases ended up bringing Laura Sicola’s book up, you’ve got somebody in her book references for TED Talk, which has 4.7 million views. All of a sudden you now have the expert that you could at least talk to. That’s what a book is for. It’s to open the door. If you could do a book in two hours, which is what we, two hours of recorded conversation, and some review time, you have a book that speaks the language that your prospects are uttering. Very simple.
Let’s say you’re at a networking event. Everyone gets ten seconds to stand up and say who they are. What do you do? Do you say, “Here’s my name and here’s my boring title.”That’s not going to go anywhere, but what if you said your name and you’ll say, “I’m just in the middle of writing a book on,” or “I just finished,” or “Author of.” If the title of the book is the pain point that your prospect has, you’ve got the credibility piece of the fact that you’re the author and then you’re speaking the language with somebody. If there’s anyone in the room who has that problem, they’re going to come to you afterwards and say, “You wrote a book on this? I’m having a problem in this area. Let’s talk.” It’s really simple.
I know Dr. Laura Sicola’s a very smart woman and she communicates unbelievably well. I imagine she would be very simple to speak to because she’s so bright and can speak very clearly. Not everybody is that great when they have to be interviewed, and they want to give their book information. How much ghost writing do you have to do to adjust things?
Laura was particularly fluent and articulate. She is one of those people that when you ask a question, she’s got a whole series of phrases that come together and sometimes you’ve got to sit back and process what came because it’s a deluge of messaging that pops to you in a positive way. Not everyone is as articulate as that. That said, there’s not a formula. A lot of times, these book companies, what they do is they get some college kid who’s reading a script and you’re selling these questions, and then they take this content and they transcribe it and that’s your book. That’s not a book. Those are horrible reads. It just doesn’t work.
What we do, this is why at the moment I’m the primary interviewer, is I’m asking questions about you and your client base, and what problems they have today and what are some of the solutions to those problems. If there are objections to what’s going on, what are those? I was thinking back of a testimonial we got from Laura, and part of what she says is that, “This conversation is not scripted,” that interview. I’ve got another one with a CEO running a $100 million firm. We start with one of the basic questions and then from there, we meander. I know two hours may seem like a long period of time, a two-hour conversation where somebody in the other end is truly interested in who you are, and we’re spending two hours talking about you, your prospect, and your client base. I will guarantee that you’re going to have so many a-has throughout the conversation on things that you need to do differently and you will speak differently going forward.
We haven’t had a client yet where it wasn’t compelling enough. If somebody is potentially a good storyteller, one of the things that I’d often say is that, “An AHA book or particularly an a-ha, when you tell a story that’s ten minutes long, there may be one or two a-ha messages in the story.” A story may be good for a more traditional book, but it’s not good for generating a-ha messages, so I often will stick away from those stories. The person on the other line, what I’ll suggest is if you have a bunch of stories that you really liked, that you need to make sure you get out, the AHA book itself has a 140 bite-sized quotes.
Any of those quotes can include a URL, so what I’d suggest is take a video camera, hold it up and talk about your five-minute story. When the a-ha messages come back, you include a URL to those stories that you want to include as part of your work. This way, your book is more than just stuff on paper. It sits in a platform and has links that will allow people to see your video or see a slide share presentation or, in some cases, go to the top of the funnel where people will pick up some lead candy and then they’re part of your funnel so you can then ultimately helped to close them.
I’m curious what you think are important questions that we should ask ourselves for the book. You mentioned some, but if you’re going to write a book and right before they wanted to call you, what kinds of questions would you have him run through their mind?
The best way I could answer that question, for those that are interested, go to AHAThat.com/Author. What you’ll see there is a three-step parting process. Step number one is a Word document where there are four questions. Think of that as a project plan for your book. The questions are simple, it’s what’s your name, what’s your bio, and give us a title of your book. We may change that. When I say that, it’s your book, it’s not our book. If we change that, we’ll change that together. That’s the one thing that you’ll get is this is a collaborative process. We try to use as little of your time as possible, but at the end of the day, every word, every way, every structure, every framework, every layout, every image, every cover, these are things you’ve approved. It kills me when I hear people say they’ve had their books ghostwritten and they never got published, or a publisher took their book and then did something funny with it. That doesn’t happen.
The four questions are your name, your bio, and title of your book. One paragraph description. Question number one’s the most important. How it reads is “Who is the reader and what are their expectations?” What it really says is “Who is your prospect and what is their pain point?” In terms of things to be thinking about, before we get on the phone together to do the two-hour interview, what I’m going to want to ask you is who is the avatar and who is the best way to think about how I become curious about the other person. I try to picture myself as their customer. As their customer, what questions will I ask? I need to know who their customer is and what the pain point is that I’m experiencing. With that in mind, you just put your curiosity hat on and you say, “Yes, and why? Tell me what this means.” One of the coolest things is if somebody has been doing this for awhile, what are the objections people have?
Tell me about the top three objections. Objection number one. When somebody asks this, “How do you respond?” The answer to the question is, “It’s a great question. The answer would be there are some things that could be formulaic, but generally speaking, it’s a flow based on the conversation.” If you have a business and you have customers that have paid you money to do something, by definition, you have some form of expertise. If you have expertise, that means that you know what problems you’re solving for those people you’re interacting with. What we do, The AHA Guy, I will extract the genius from your head, so then my team can pull together a-ha messages.
When you’re talking about pain points, prospects, and readers in general, it made me think like, “What if Daniel Pink had come to you with his book Drive?” Who do you see as the reader, the prospect, or the pain point? That’s not a small book that you could do quickly. What advice do you tell somebody that has a very large audience like that?
One, if you have an existing book like that, and let’s say you’re not going to read it cover to cover, read the chapter summaries. You read the two first sentences at the beginning of each introduction. If you did the Evelyn Wood speed reading of the book or even before the book was done on the author’s brain, that’s what an AHA book is. It is the CliffsNotes of the book. We could take an existing book like Drive and then pull out a 140 bite-sized quotes. Any of those quotes can point back to the book for sale on the Daniel Pink’s website, Amazon or videos that he’s done. If we did the social media piece of it, not even the physical books, you basically have your social media that’s associated with your book. That’s the cool part because if you already have an existing book, you might as well get two for one because you’d get something called an AHA book, which when you send people to. It’s a CliffsNotes version of what you’re doing and it points to places where you want them to see more information.
I could see a lot of uses for that for authors who want to give out a lot of books. Maybe they don’t want to sell the whole thing wherever they are at the moment, but they want to get people interested. They could give them a taste of what the overall book is. Do you see the book as being the new business card?
At one point in time, fax machines were the new business card. At one point in time, websites were the new business cards. Nowadays, people think about AI bots as the new business card. I would say, and I have so many authors who say this, “If you don’t have a book, you don’t have a business.”
You’ve got so many books. You said 58 already?
Actually, I’ve written my 60th.I just don’t want to publish it because my 59this so critical to me. We’ve published over 800. It’s one of the things that’s really valuable. Let me answer that one that one other question on Drive. If you have an audience that’s so broad, you could still do the traditional bigger book that covers everything. What I would suggest you then do is potentially five or ten or twenty AHA books, and each AHA book is focused to a very finite demographic.
Think about if you’re doing Facebook AdWords or Google AdWords, what do you do? You want to narrow down your niche to an audience that’s a reasonably sized and very targeted. Then you want to create images and words that are focused on that particular niche. You want to create twenty AHA books. After you do your first one, going to the second, third, fourth is relatively easy. Because all you’re doing is saying you’re taking the concept of what you communicate and you’re communicating in chapter more at stake, you’re communicating it to a particular bowling alley. You’re communicating it towards particular vertical audience.
I assume these are print on demand?
When we think about the word ‘book’, the atom at the lowest level that we have are a social media enabled e-books, so that’s in the AHA that platform. It’s simply a 140 bite-sized quotes. It’s social media content for a couple of quarters. If you want to see my book, Being Seen and Being Heard as the Thought Leader, it’s free to take a look at it and to share. You can go to AHA.Pub/ThoughtLeadership and what’ll happen is my book will pop up. You’ll start seeing the quotes. If you hit the next button, you see the first three quotes when you pop up the page. When you hit the next button, you’ll see the quote I mentioned before, AHA number four by Robert Clancy.
If that resonates with you, remember good thought leaders are at the top of the mountain, great thought leaders are at the bottom helping people up. If you like that quote, underneath that quote are buttons, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. You click on the button and then you share it. What I’m facilitating with just the AHA book concept is the ability for you to communicate with your audience content, yours and others, and 80% of what you share should be up from other people, so I’m giving you that 80%. We have 43,000 AHA messages you could share for free.
I saw that you had Marshall Goldsmith’s tweeted that.“To quote your Bible for thought leaders” was his tweet about your book number eighteen Creating Thought Leaders. I really enjoyed our talk, Mitchell. What’s the main website? Is there another one you want to leave?
I have many different websites, as we all do. The AHAThat.com is the place that you could start sharing content for free. AHAThat.com/Author is how you can learn about the process or sign up for the session where we interview. You want your book, that two hours and a little bit review time, and we will write your book for you. You want to reach out to me, it’s Mitchell Levy. Just Google me, I’ll grab five of the top ten slots. Connect to me in whatever platform you like to communicate at. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Snapchat, Instagram. I play in the platforms that my audience participate in and I’m happy to communicate with you there as well.
Thank you, Mitchell. It’s so nice of you to be on the show.
Thanks for your questions. I loved interacting with it.
Thank you so much to Sean and to Mitchell. If you’ve missed any of my past episodes, you’d go to my site DrDianeHamilton.com. You can go to the radio station part to listen to the show or you can go to the blog to read the actual show. Until the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
About Sean C. Higgins
Sean C. Higgins is CTO of The Herjavec Group, which was founded in 2003 by Sean, Robert Herjavec, and George Frempong. The Herjavec Group is one of Canada’s fastest-growing technology companies and the country’s largest IT security provider. In the Canadian Best Selling book, Driven, Sean is described as “the smartest guy I ever met” by Robert Herjavec. Sean was named the first CTO of the month in September 2012 by IT Focus.
Though having worked in the Information Technology Field for over 25 years, Sean started a journey a few years ago which has lead him to become a Transformation Specialist. He has received training from Christy Whitman through her Quantum Success Coaching Academy and David Morelli through his Enwaken Coaching and Enwaken Apprentice programs. Sean combines traditional life coaching skills with his ability to read energy. He has develop a program called Purposeful Living First Steps to help people connect with their purpose and assist them to begin their journey on Living Their Purposeful Life.
Sean is an international speaker with a wide range of speaking engagements and topics which include “Identifying Our Passions” at Core 2012 for Schulich School of Business, “Turning Passions in to Actions” at the University of York’s Career Mentorship Program in 2012, “Introducing Ubuntu” at University of Guelph’s Philopolis in 2012, and “The Herjavec Group. The Road to $100M. The good things we did and the mistakes we made.” at SIM of Central Florida in 2013. If you are interested in having Sean speak to your group, please fill out the contact information here.
Sean has written Living Your Purposeful Life.
In 2013, Sean co-hosted a weekly radio show called “Paths to Peace.”
About Mitchell Levy
Mitchell Levy is the AHA Guy & CEO at AHAthat who empowers thought leaders to share their genius. He is an accomplished Entrepreneur who has created twenty businesses in Silicon Valley including four publishing companies that have published over 800 books. Mitchell is a TEDx speaker and international bestselling author with fifty nine business books. He’s provided strategic consulting to over one hundred companies, has advised over five hundred CEOs on critical business issues, and has been chairman of the board of a NASDAQ-listed company.
In addition to these accomplishments, he’s been happily married for twenty-eight years and regularly spends four weeks annually in a European country with his family and friends.
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