A lot of sales books fall short because they are all filled with tips and tricks without offering insights into who the salesperson needs to be. You can have all the strategies in the world, but if you are not clear about who you are and who you are talking to, everything is for naught. Putting the heart in selling, Dr. Diane Hamilton is joined by the founder of the Shari Levitin Group and author of Heart and Sell: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know, Shari Levitin. Here, Shari helps us understand the importance of developing empathy in sales and why emotional intelligence is an important skill in this area. Plus, Shari also lets us in on the growth mindset, the call method, and the seven motivators—all vital to selling successfully.
Going further into the topic, Dr. Diane Hamilton also interviews David Bush—certified health and lifestyle coach, business coach, motivational speaker, and author—to talk about the importance of being good at communication to become successful. At the center of it is learning how to understand people, even before you wished to be understood. David shares with us how this skill has helped him become who he is now, especially with helping to understand what people wanted and get it faster, easier, or simpler than they could get it. Passionate about designing and living an extraordinary life, David goes above and beyond to make others succeed. He shares some of his ways with us, including the six questions to ask yourself to help you reach your goals.
I’m glad you joined us because we have Shari Levitin and David Bush here. Shari is a sales guru and the bestselling author of Heart and Sell. David is a certified health and lifestyle coach, business coach, and motivational speaker. We’re going to talk to both of them about sales, health, lifestyle, you name it. It’s going to be interesting.
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Putting The Heart In Selling With Shari Levitin
I am here with Shari Levitin, who is an energetic, wickedly funny sales guru who helps sales teams bridge the gap between beating quota and selling with an authentic heartfelt approach. You’ve probably seen her as part of the Shari Levitin Group. She’s created over $1 billion in increased revenue for companies in over 40 countries. She’s also the author of Heart and Sell: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know. I’m excited to have you here, Shari.
Thank you, Diane. Me too.
This is going to be fun. I’ve been in sales for decades. I love anything that is related to sales, but I like to get a background on people. I’m sure people are aware of your work, but in case they’re not, can you tell me how you got to be interested in doing this and how you reached this level of success?
I wasn’t interested in doing it at all. I was on my way to law school and I took a little detour and never went back. I had gotten to sales at a young age and in the hospitality industry. I remember my career shifted when I had a great mentor who taught me that sales was human connection and all the different things that went along with that. First of all, through his mentorship, I became the top salesperson in all of Marriott at the time. I used to love going around and training other sites and locations. That was my love is helping people transform and grow. It got more and more creative with that. I remember at one point we were all sitting around and talking about what we would do if we won the then $30 million-lottery?
We all have these conversations, “What will I do if I won?” One gal was going to get this fancy apartment in New York City. The other was going to start an outdoor business with Sherpas all over the world. They all looked at me and said, “What would you do?” I said, “I had started a training company and I’d bring in guest speakers and I’d have a radio show. I will do all these things and I’d have trainers, tapes and videos.” This was a long time ago, somebody looked at me and said, “You don’t have to win the lottery to do that. You can do that.” That’s when I realized, “This is what I wanted to be when I grow up.”
A lot of people think that they want to be things, but then a lot of people don’t have the tenacity and a lot of the aspects that it takes to reach that level of success. I’m a Marriott fan and I teach a lot of courses where we talk about Marriott. I was curious because every time I’ve stayed there, and I’ve talked to people about this, they only serve Pepsi products there. I’m like, “What’s the deal with that?” You don’t see it. They said they were loyal to Pepsi because they gave him a loan in the day. Is that the true story?
I don’t know about that. I do remember a story though that back when Bill Marriott was more active, everybody was saying Bill Marriott was coming for a visit and everybody got nervous. The word was, “Wear red. Bill Marriott loves red.” All the employees from the housekeepers to the VPs, to the general manager, we all show up in red and the report comes back, “I loved the resort. I loved the hotel. Why were they wearing red? I hate red.”
I wonder where that came from. Did you ever figure out who had the bomb advice?If you're going to have a growth mindset, it has to start with curiosity, and then you have to take responsibility. Click To Tweet
It was a miscommunication. They forgot the word hate or doesn’t like.
When you look at some of these companies, you’ve done a lot of work with many interesting ones. I was looking at some of the recognition you’ve gotten from being the Most Dynamic Women in Sales to Top Ten Voices in Sales. I’m looking at all these Salesforce and all these things that everybody’s recognized your work. It’s interesting to look at what you write about because as I’ve mentioned, you’re the author of Heart and Sell: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know. You’ve come up with the growth equation, which I found fascinating. I want to know how that ties into what I researched. I researched curiosity and we’ve talked about that in our communication. You had a Ferrari story I want to hear.
Is it the one that I promised my husband I’d never tell again, but it’s in my book?
Yes, that one.
The 10 Universal Truths, to give it a little context are a combination of what you need to do tactically and who you need to be emotionally. I find that a lot of sales books fall short. It’s all about tips and tricks. Instead of understanding who do you need to be, not just in sales with your customers, but in your life, because we can’t have different versions of ourselves. The first truth I talk about is the growth equation and where this came up. My husband and I met late in life. The minute I met him, I knew he was the one. It was apparent to me quickly. We had only been together for 90 days and he invited me to go to a coffee shop and there we are.
He looks me in the eye and puts his hand on my hand. I’m thinking, “That’s happening. This is sooner than I thought.” He says, “I want to tell you, I love you so much. You’re smart, but you’re a Ferrari on crap gas.” I said, “Excuse me.” He says, “No, you’re smart. I love being with you, but all you ever think about and talk about is sales and marketing. I need somebody that’s a little more diverse, that can talk about politics and art and all other things.” I was furious at first and I tried to defend my position, “I’m running a company. We’re in 40 countries. We’re this, we’re that and now I have to learn social media.” All of a sudden I realized he was right. The revenue in my company had stalled to use the metaphor along with my learning. I had gotten myopic and wasn’t applying the things that were important to me, education, and learning transformation.
At that point, I realized that the first universal truth that I wrote about much later is a take on Carol Dweck’s growth mindset. She talks about the most important attribute anyone can have as a growth mindset. When I started teaching it, I realized everybody said, “We love this idea of a growth mindset, but how do you get one? Do you buy one? Where do you find one?” I came up with a concept called the Growth Equation and it is the key to a growth mindset. If you think of a triangle, if you will, at the bottom is curiosity. If you’re going to have a growth mindset, it has to start with this curiosity, and then you have to take responsibility. We have to take accountability for our actions. We can’t blame external factors if we’re not growing or something’s not working. At the top is this idea of unconscious mastery that our goal in any profession, whether it’s sales or leadership is to know the technical aspects of what you’re doing well, that you can connect with another human.
Everything that you’re talking about ties into what I found in my research for curiosity because it is the spark to everything. No matter who I’ve talked to on the show of what they’ve researched, if it’s creativity or even if it’s curiosity, they all say this is the spark to motivation, drive, innovation, engagement, and all these things. What I found interesting when I was studying it was that they didn’t look at what kept people from being curious. You have to focus on some of these things that we tell ourselves. If it’s fear of looking stupid or if it’s what we don’t think we are good at something. We’ve over underutilized technology, our environment or family always said, “We should do this or that.” All these things are important.
It’s important to ask ourselves some of these questions because it ties into some of the stuff that I know you talk about with empathy. If you can develop this ability to ask great questions, you’re going to develop empathy because you will ask people about themselves and you’ll be able to see things from their perspective more. In selling, we miss a lot of that. I gave a lot of talks where I talk about how I got taught out of that when I was a pharmaceutical rep because they’d teach you these scripts. In sales, don’t they do that? How do you develop empathy in sales and why is it important as part of an emotional intelligence skill?
Let me go back to what you had said about why we don’t have curiosity because if we’re supposed to do this, why aren’t we doing this? What’s getting in our way? I want to speak to that before I get to empathy. Quite frankly, it takes more effort. Listening, asking questions, doing your homework, all of this takes more effort. As a society, often, we default into lazy behavior. Neuroscientists tell us that when we talk about ourselves more than we listen, we get feel-good endorphins where it’s like, “Of course, I want to talk about myself. I want that spurt of dopamine.”
One of the things we love to do in our big group events, which are now virtual is I love to ask the question or start with the statement that one thing we all learned in Sales 101 is there are two things you need in order to make a sale. One is your competency, for example, knowing your product. The other is your empathy, knowing your customer. I always love to ask if you had to choose one and you only get one competency or empathy in a sales process, what would you choose? Usually, it’s about 60/40 because they know where I’m going with it and then I reveal that it’s a trick question.
There’s a great Harvard Business Review article called Connect, Then Lead that says both of them are equally important. Empathy and competency make up for 90% of the influence, the skill needed for sales. However, the order matters. This is where not even sales reps, leaders, all of us get it wrong. Instead of leading with empathy, listening, and putting yourself in the shoes of the customer, we lead with competency. “Here’s what I know. Here’s how great I am. Let me do a demo before I find any information about you.” It’s a default.
It’s interesting because I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the impact of emotional intelligence on sales performance. I don’t think I got into that depth about those two things of which comes first, but I was fascinated about the value of what I saw in the salespeople of how important it was to their success. I remember writing about this thinking, “That was a cute, interesting topic.” All these years later, I’ve had Daniel Goleman on the show and we’ve talked about this stuff. Why do you think that people are still finding this new after all this time? We’re not getting that far as I’d like to see.
There’s some interesting research from Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation. I look at the new landscape and what she says is, “As technology increases, empathy decreases.” You think about this shift from when I started selling 20, 25 years ago, we had all the information as salespeople and the way we consume information is shifted. Neuroscientists call it information overload. Information is everywhere. We’re barraged with information. The customer has information. I saw a statistic that we take in the equivalent of 175 newspapers worth of content per day. Getting back to your question, information is everywhere, but what’s rare is human connection. With all of this information coming in at us, often we feel that the need to recirculate that information. It’s much easier for me to talk about facts and figures than it is to listen, connect and put myself where you are and put my own prejudices and perceptions aside, and to get inside your world. It’s much harder.
The sales training is getting better. I’m thinking back to 1985 or something. It’s been a while when I humiliated myself in a sales call because I remember getting through all the products that I was supposed to get through. I thought I was doing this amazing job. When I ran into the guy I sold to, he got on the elevator with me. I didn’t realize it was the same guy. I said, “Do you work in the building?” I had sold it to him two minutes before.
I feel your pain.
Don’t you die? It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I thought I was doing it the best way because I did what they taught me and yet if he hadn’t gotten that elevator, I would have never known that it was the worst way. There are questions you need to ask and the pain points you need to find. I was watching your speaker reels and your different things. You were saying you have this call method, you have these questions we need to ask, but we only ask certain kinds. I want you to get into that a little bit because I found that fascinating.
Part of leading with empathy, first off, we have the ability to do our homework. We need to do exactly what you said, research the person that we’re going to talk to. That gave us that connection. I know you live in Paradise Valley and all of that. It starts there but the second thing is that we’re only going to learn surface-level information about another human from their social profiles or from what we can Google. What any great salesperson or great leader and coach will do is they’ll ask questions. We’ve been talking about that since the ’80s since you and I both got sales training. Do you remember an article, Diane, that went around the New York Times? It was The 36 Questions That Lead to Love. You give this some context. It was going around the internet.
That was on The Big Bang Theory. Didn’t they do that on there? Sheldon and Penny did it to see if they could fall in love with each other.Empathy and competency make up for 90% of the influence, the skill needed for sales. Click To Tweet
No, but they liked each other better at the end.
Maybe love is a little stronger. Maybe it is an exaggeration. The idea was that if you ask somebody 36 questions that caused them to be progressively more vulnerable, at the end, if you both do it, you’ll fall in love. That was the idea behind it. I had heard about this and I thought, “I’m going to do some research on this. Is there any science to this? It sounds good.” It turns out there are. What we realize is that it’s not about asking questions in a sales scenario, it’s about asking the right questions in the right order. We came up with a framework that people love. It’s silly, it’s fun, but it’s memorable and it’s backed by science. That is that there are three types of questions we need to ask.
The first type is the first level, what you call a skin question. It’s surfacy, it’s the facts. It’s that information I could uncover about you online. The truth is that 80% of all salespeople stop there because it’s easy to get and talk about the facts. What better salespeople do is they go pass these skin questions and get to the bones and bone questions are a little bit deeper. They provide the framework for the sale. A bone question reveals problems that your customer may be having and the implications of those problems. What are the challenges with their provider? Here’s the real key, what the best salespeople I’ve ever studied, and I’ve been studying them for 25 years too, is they break past the skin, through the bones and into the heart. That’s where decisions are made. They’re made on a heart level, maybe it’s subconscious and that takes courage. It takes courage to go that deep and listen that hard and most people don’t do it and they don’t know how to do it.
How do you do it?
You do it through practice and understanding. You have to know what you’re looking for. One of the things we talk about is that there are seven emotional motivators that drive all human decision-making. We talk about what they are and they are emotional. I don’t care if it’s a B2B sale or $1 million sale. At the end of the day, your consumer is making a decision so they look good and they get a promotion and they can spend more time watching their kid play baseball. At the end of the day, you’re still selling to humans. This drive for whether it’s status and inclusiveness, it’s understanding what those motivators are and then having the courage to practice and to see it. I always say, if you look at ads for any products, whether it’s jewelry, a car or whatever it is, they don’t tell you all the facts of the car. You don’t look at 25 pieces of the transmission to this or that. You see a cool guy getting the girl in the car. It’s emotion.
Emotion ties into so much in sales. I remember writing an article about this too for many different aspects of where we tie emotions in. When you talk about those seven motivators and you say they’re all emotional, can you list them? Without going into too much detail, when you say there are seven things, everybody’s going, “They are?”
Here’s a way to find out what motivates you at a core level. I call it getting to the heart level. I love doing this on a stage and I’m not trying to be stereotypical by gender, but typically men will think, “No, I’m more of a logical decision-maker. I did it for this reason and we’re always able to expose that on a stage.” The seven motivators are going to be security, safety, which is huge right now. We’re in the middle of the pandemic. This is first and foremost in people’s minds. The next is relationship. People will do something to enhance their relationship and it depends on your product too. If you’re in banking, it’s different than if you’re in travel or if you’re selling education, depending on what it is you’re selling.
There’s security and relationship. Certainly, status is one. Nobody would readily admit to that. There is growth. I don’t even remember the order of all of them, but these are the types and sometimes we put them into different buckets, but they’re similar. These are all the things that motivate us. If you look at your last purchase, you can say, “Why did I buy it?” Another exercise you can do as a leader is say to a sales rep or an employee, “If you had an extra these many dollars a month, what would you do with it and then what?” At the end of the day, even if somebody is going to take their money, put them in investments, it’s why? They have security. Why? They can provide for their children. You can keep taking it to that next level or that heart level.
Finding out more about our customers is a huge thing. When I used to be in pharmaceutical sales for banking sales, and computer sales. I’ve sold all crazy things. I had this boss who was great at looking around the office and finding out more about what the people were into or where they went to school? He was observant, which was a good skill, which is harder. We were trying to eVirtual sell because you can’t see everything. You’re seeing the back wall behind them. I noticed that you and I have a lot of similar interests and hobbies from what you’re saying. You like rock climbing. I was in a rock climbing competition. I was like, “We need to talk about that.”
You’re a much better climber than me if you were in a competition.
There were five people. I came in third. I’m third from the top, but third from the bottom. It’s something that helps to know about people. How challenging is this to do this eVirtual selling?
To create the connection virtually?
Yeah. Maybe you’re used to calling on people in person and because of COVID, you’re having to do your sales call in a different manner. Maybe you can’t get right in front of them to demonstrate something. Are you dealing with a lot of people struggling with that?
Ninety percent of everything we’re doing is helping companies shift to building connections, trust, and closing sales in a virtual environment. I am going to say, is it tougher? Absolutely. Talking about the brain and neuroscience, my brother is a neuroscientist, so I get to geek out. He got the brains in the family. At any rate, there’s a hormone that’s released when two people are in together in the same environment called oxytocin. You know about it. It’s the trust hormones. A new mother gets a big squirt of oxytocin when she’s nursing or we get oxytocin when we fall in love and it’s not only linked to increasing trust, but it also causes people to spend more money. We can’t smell each other over the phone. There is no pheromones. It is more difficult.
I was reading some research, 90% of all B2B companies are selling virtually. What I will say though, is it’s here to stay. In some ways, it’s more effective because you can get to more people. Your win and close rate may not be as high, but you’re going to be able to get to more people. What it takes is having an awareness that many of the things that you did live, you can still do online but you have to think about it. For example, the most obvious thing is to turn on the camera. You are seven times more likely to build trust if I can look at you. Look at your micro-expressions because otherwise, I can tell you this if you are selling to somebody virtually and their camera’s not on, they’re probably shampooing the dog of they’re doing their taxes. They’re not listening.
They’re on pajamas.
There are things like that. It’s realizing that if you’re selling virtually, you’ve got to think about, “What stories am I going to tell? How am I going to make it interactive?” The truth of the matter is, I find a lot of the same mistakes that happened live happen virtually. We can just detect them better because we’re recording them on Zoom.Oftentimes, communication is about learning to understand people better before you wish to be understood. Click To Tweet
I remember having to do details where they call our sales presentation details in pharmaceuticals, they would record us and make us analyze every little painful thing we did wrong. It was brutal at the time, but there’s nothing like sales training for everything else you learn in life. A lot of people can learn a lot from your book, Heart and Sell: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know. There’s a reason it’s a bestseller. You do amazing things. With that and writing for Forbes, CEO Magazine, Quotable, Inc., and Huffington Post, I’m impressed with everything you’ve done. I was excited to have you on the show. Shari, thank you so much. How can somebody find out more about you, get your book and follow you?
My book’s on Amazon, Heart and Sell. I’m active on LinkedIn. Follow me on LinkedIn. I put out free videos every single week. If you want to talk more specifically about us working with your teams virtually or live, you can email me directly at Shari@ShariLevitin.com.
This has been so much fun and I know we’d have plenty to chat about. Thank you so much for doing the show, Shari.
Thank you, Diane. It’s great to meet you.
Living Above And Beyond With David Bush
I am here with David Bush, who is a certified health and lifestyle coach, business coach, motivational speaker, and author. He’s personally coached almost 1,000 individuals to achieve their goals and was honored as 1% of the top 1% of health coaches and coach trainers out of 20,000 coaches nationally looked at. He’s coaching a select group of entrepreneurs to achieve their physical and mental well-being goals. He does motivational and coach training and presentations nationwide. He’s got a picture of him holding a football on his side. I’m interested in the backstory. Welcome, David. It’s nice to have you on the show.
Thank you so much, Diane. I’m looking forward to our conversation and for sharing some of these life-changing principles that have helped me and have helped many others.
I know that you and I talk about similar things in terms of helping people reach their full potential and getting extraordinary results and all that. I was interested in your background. I know you’ve had an interesting weight loss story and some other things that have shaped your situation. What is the football meaning in your picture and what’s your backstory a little bit there?
I grew up in Southern California as the era of parents and my grandfather who played football at the University of Southern California. As the one that looked exactly like him, I followed in his footsteps and played collegiate football. I became an all-American offensive center. The guy that’s the hiker, the one that’s the hotter. That’s what my wife says, “The hiker and the hotter.” I went on to play a thing called Arena Football for four years. My ten seconds or ten minutes of fame is that I was the guy that hiked the ball to the Super Bowl Champion Kurt Warner, who came out of their Arena Football League and went onto the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I like to tell people, had it not been for me and my poor blocking, he wouldn’t have had such a quick release, but that was one of my first dreams that I ended up following and pursuing a level of athletics that was beyond my playing ability. I didn’t necessarily have the best speed. I didn’t have all the best of everything, but I had a big desire and great persistence. That was the first dream come true.
After four years of doing that, I suffered from what a lot of experts call a career-ending lack of talent. I moved on to a different career and went into the world of home mortgages. I ended up doing that for about ten years. That’s where my first business opportunity came out of. I became a business owner and we had seventeen offices in three different states. I enjoyed the business of helping people, but I never felt like home mortgages were my calling. That’s what led me into the world of peak performance coaching. That was another dream that I followed through on. It turned into a nightmare, but it has given me a lot of opportunities to help a lot of people and it’s turned into a dream come true, but it wasn’t always a perfect journey, that’s for sure.
I don’t know if anybody has that, but sometimes some of the worst things that happened to us teach us some of the best lessons. It’s funny when you’re telling me all this, I’m marking off some of the things we have in common. First of all, every morning when I took a walk and I go by Kurt Warner’s house. It has a big W on his gate and I don’t think he lives there anymore, but it was interesting that you mentioned that. I sold mortgages for years. Any sales experience prepares you for about anything. I’ve been in pharmaceutical and computer sales and all sales, but in mortgages, they would throw you a phone book if you did B2B and say, “You have to upsell the brokers.” If you’re B2C, you’ve got to figure it out completely on your own. What did that sales experience do to help you?
The number one thing was that it helped me to understand that you didn’t have to necessarily be good at math to help people in the mortgage world. That’s the one thing. Math wasn’t my favorite topic but what I found was that the world of professional selling or consultative sales was more about communication than it was about expertise. If you could be a good communicator verbally, orally and doing written communication, you could make a huge impact in the lives of other people. Ultimately what I found is that I got excited about helping to understand what people wanted get it faster, easier, or simpler than they could get it. When I did that, I was successful and it turned into an opportunity to get more referrals, which led to more opportunities, which led to expanding my opportunities into management and then into ownership. It all started out with being good at communication.
That’s one of the things that I coach on quite a bit is that if you’re not good at communicating, you’re going to struggle to achieve your hopes and dreams. You need to find a way to learn how to communicate better. Oftentimes, it’s learning to understand people better before you wished to be understood. That was my first lesson in communication and how important it was to get clear and make sure that you’ve got all your I’s dotted and your T’s crossed. If you don’t have those done, the devil is in the details and you could lose a whole lot of money and work and spend a lot more time on something than you needed to.
You said many interesting things. As I’m thinking back to what I learned from mortgage sales and any other sales, a lot of it does boil down to learning and to communicate well. I’d love the faster and simpler part. My expertise is in the area of developing people’s curiosity and curiosity ties in a lot to communication because if you don’t ask questions, you’re not going to get empathy. You’re not going to be able to develop those interpersonal skills that are important. In my research on emotional intelligence, that’s critical. When you’re talking about communication to groups, I assume that’s one of your main topics. Tell me what your favorite talk to give is and what people hire you to speak about.
I would say that the most popular thing that I talk about is the thing I’m most passionate about and that is to design and live an extraordinary life. The word extraordinary is defined in the dictionary as going above and beyond what is usual, regular and customary. That’s the first definition. The second definition is exceptional to a marked extent. I’ve found that as people are willing to go above and beyond what’s usual, regular and customary in every aspect of their life, they can truly live an exceptional life to a marked extent.
A lot of the things that I communicate to them are these six questions. When you get the answers to these six questions, they lead you to so much clarity, opportunity, and success. The six questions are, what is your current reality? Do you know where you’re at physically, mentally, and financially? If you were to give yourself an assessment on a scale of 1 to 10 in each one of those areas, what would be your combined score between the three of those? If those scores don’t match up with your desired outcome, then let’s match the desired outcome to that dream that you have in your mind of what life should look like. I’ll ask them, “What is your desired outcome? What would you like to be doing half?”
Once we get some clarity and oftentimes people don’t know how to answer that question, Diane. They’re unclear because they’ve never been asked that question, which is in my mind, a complete tragedy to a person’s life to not have somebody ask them, “What do you want to be, do and have?” Not stop with the topical answers, “I want to be happy. I’d like to be successful,” but get down to the details of, what are you passionate about? What would you like to accomplish? What would you feel fulfilled or what would give you great meaning and purpose to your life if you were to be this, to do this, or have it?
Once I get that clarity with them, I asked them the question, “Why is that important to you?” A lot of people get clear on what they want, but they don’t get clear on why they want it. Oftentimes, the how clouds the opportunity of what they want to accomplish. They miss the opportunity or they miss out on achieving the thing that they want because they’ve never gotten a clear why. You and I both know when you have a clear why, and it’s meaningful and powerful, the facts don’t count. When the dream is big and the why is clear enough, the facts don’t count. You will overcome any obstacle you face to achieve whatever you set your mind to if the dream is big enough and there’s a big enough reason of why to accomplish it.When the dream is big, and the why is clear enough, the facts don't count. Click To Tweet
There’s the fact of when. When do you want it? A lot of times people dream about things, but they don’t set a deadline. Setting a deadline creates accountability. It creates a sense of urgency and scarcity, and that’s what moves people into action. The other question I ask is, where? Where are you spending time to achieve it? Where are you spending your time and does your calendar match your goal? The final thing that I ask is, who? Who’s done what you want to do? Are you following them? Are you making contact with them? Are you building a relationship with them? The final question is, how? How are you moving yourself forward? Do you have a plan of action? If you don’t, let’s get clear on that. Those six questions, what, why, when, where, how, and who, they teach us so much. It’s simple to do, but oftentimes hard to implement because we don’t have somebody asking us those questions.
I’m thinking about all these questions as you’re saying them. As you were talking about your current reality, my next book is on perception so I find that fascinating because your reality is different from everybody else’s reality. Knowing that about each other, you have to understand the value of your perception and how you can gain that empathy and get along with other people. You were talking about setting deadlines and I loved that because you want to have SMART goals and all that stuff, but what if you miss your deadline, then what?
There’s no such thing as failure, there’s feedback. The feedback is a great educator and it’s one of the best and cheapest educations than we could get. Many people go off to school and rack up tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of school debt, but they never understand the power and the benefit of failing their way to success. When I think of the idea of failure, I think of more the idea of failing to meet a deadline and learning from it. It’s not being discouraged like, “I’m such a failure. I didn’t achieve the goal that I had set.” It’s a matter of, “What can I learn from this? What is this teaching me?” If you have that mentality and the power of perspective and the positive aspect of looking at things with a positive perspective is going to be so much more powerful than the idea of having those negative thoughts, self-doubts and limiting beliefs begin to cloud your future opportunities.
I’m always about the idea of, “What did we learn?” If you’re not failing, you’re not growing. I mean failing big and going after things that scare you to death. If you’re not scaring yourself to a high level, you’re not feeling like you’re living an extraordinary life. Many people are living an ordinary life, which is acceptable in America. I don’t blame a person for living an ordinary life or shame them for doing it. For those people that want to live an extraordinary life the top ten percenters that want to make a huge impact on the world, or want to live a life with meaning, purpose, legacy, and significance, you’ve got to be scaring yourself and willing to go out there and fail big. Otherwise, you’re never going to achieve things that are significant from my perspective and my opinion.
I agree with everything you’re saying. I would say a lot of people exist instead of live and they watch the faucet drip all day in a way of life. They don’t think about the next thing. What interested me in research and curiosity is that you look at what holds people back. There are a lot of things that hold people back. I know you haven’t let certain things hold you back. I read that you lost a close to 100 pounds in six months without surgery and all this any medications and all that stuff. I’m curious, what kept you from failing at that when a lot of people would?
What happened was that I had given up hope and the idea that I could get healthy. I started accepting this self-limiting belief of, “I’m big-boned or I’ve tried it before and I can’t do it.” There’s something out there and I love the quote from Mark Twain. He said, “It’s not what we know that gets us into trouble. It’s all the things that we know for absolute certain that aren’t so.” I was believing in things that were untrue and I oftentimes challenge people because of my personal experience in the testimonials of others I’ve worked with, I have come to believe that there are a lot of beliefs that we have that are filled with lies.
It’s right in the middle of the word beliefs, the word ‘lie.’ I challenged people to take their beliefs, put it out there and write it into existence and then acknowledge it and say, “Is that true? Is there any other way of looking at that than the way that you’re looking at it?” If a person that you knew had that belief and it was holding them back from achieving something, what would you do? What would you say to them to encourage them to overcome it? What’s one action that you could take that would end up moving you in the right direction? That’s what happened for me is a good friend of mine had gotten healthier.
I was at a point in my life where I was a good teller. I was telling a lot of other people how to live their life and get healthier and do all the things that they wanted but in the back of my mind, I was struggling. I had done many different things and my identity had become a big football player, but I wasn’t playing football. I wasn’t even an athlete anymore. I was in a position where I was a dad and a workaholic. I got to the point where I wanted to get healthier. When I saw my friend do it, I thought, “If he can do it, I can do it.” I gave myself another chance and I was willing to take a risk. I was willing to stay on myself forward. I had decided that I was no longer going to be unhealthy. I was at a point in my life where I had three beautiful kids and a beautiful wife and my grandfather, the guy that I grew up modeling my life after, he died before I ever met him. He died at the age of 47 in the LA Coliseum at an LA Rams game. My mom was only sixteen and he died of a heart attack.
I began to see my life looking like his. I said, “I don’t want to do that.” I was willing to fail because the cost of failure was a whole lot less than the idea of the cost of continuing on the way I was doing it. With a little structure, simplicity, and a support system that helped me to see my situation differently with a personal coach that was coaching me that’s what I did. With six months of focus, I was able to transform my life. I went to a place that I had never been to in my life. I went back in time. A lot of people will say to things, “I used to weigh when I was in high school this amount of weight, but I don’t think I can do that.”
I went to a place that I had never been as an adult. I did that at the age of 35. I’ve continued to do that into the age of 48. I’ve been in a position where I’ve seen the impossible become possible, and I’ve seen things that are unbelievable become believable. That’s what I challenge people to do is to believe in the unbelievable. If you can’t believe in the unbelievable, believe in something that is believable, like somebody else that’s done something unbelievable. If you believe in another person and what they’ve accomplished, and you simply following their footsteps, you can truly achieve unbelievable things.
It’s hard for people with a weight loss situation. I always thought the movie Super Size was fascinating because he didn’t even like hamburgers until he started making himself eat them. He got to crave them. A lot of things we do are habits and things we get ourselves into. You talk yourself into, “I always have to have this and if I didn’t have this, my life wouldn’t have meaning,” or whatever it is people tell themselves. When I researched curiosity, I found a lot of the things you’re talking about are the things that keep people from being curious. It’s fear and assumptions. It’s what you tell yourself in your head. Many people get locked into that the dorky way of saying, “Stinking thinking,” or whatever you want to call it. That you’re never going to be able to lose weight, to have that right job. It didn’t work before. You get into this stuff you tell yourself. Your story emphasizes that. I want to go to the one thing you said, “Who do you want to be like?” Who inspires you and why?
One of my greatest inspirations was a guy by the name of Jim Rohn. He was America’s Foremost Business Philosopher. He had many great ways of thinking and doing things that were simple. There are a lot of great people out there that are motivational speakers and they can do some amazing things and they can create some amazing experiences for people. Jim was one of the types of people that I could listen to him for hours and hours and the content that he was sharing. He was taking practical wisdom, truth, and turning it into lifelong transformation. He’s somebody that I’m inspired by. Also, Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen is another mentor of mine and he was the guy that wrote the Transformational Health and Lifestyle Coaching Program.
A lot of times, people think about getting healthier. The one thing that they think about is the thing that they’ve been told for ages, and that is to eat right and exercise, but that’s not the issue at all. Dr. Andersen woke me to that. He said, “David, there’s not an eating and drinking problem that people have. What people have is a thinking problem. If they can think differently, all of those other things will go away. Rather than the doctors telling people to eat right and exercise, he tells people, “Think different.” Rather than thinking about all the problems that you have, think about your desired outcome. Think about those six questions that taught you all you knew what, why, when, where, how, and who, and then simply work with a habit system that creates that life, person, character, health, relationship or whatever it is that you want and start practicing those habits. Break it into small bite-sized micro habits to start creating that.
I was like, “All this time I’ve been trying to manipulate the macronutrients, eat less fat and carbs, eat more protein, workout more, do more reps and more time in the gym and that wasn’t the thing that was going to transform me for life.” It would transform me for a season like many of us have done before. We’d go out there and we’d do a diet or detox and then what happens is that it all comes back because we never created a healthy thinking habit. We never ended up shifting from this idea of getting rid of problems or pain, being overweight, unhealthy, tired, and lacking energy to creating health and well-being at the highest level that we desire it. That change in thinking has inspired me and it’s what has got me excited to share it with other people and helping them to design and live extraordinary lives through better health and wellness.
I had Albert Bandura on the show who is like next to Freud, the most cited psychologist and still alive. He’s an amazing guy. We were talking about how he’s the guy with cognitive thinking training and some of that. If you’re afraid to a snake, you get snakes. You get one-inch closer and closer eventually, you’re sleeping with a snake kind of thinking. It’s all about baby steps. When I teach my doctoral students to write their dissertations, they’re overwhelmed by the thought of writing this a book, hundreds of pages of content, and research. I tease them and I’ll say, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” That is how it is. You get this habit you’re talking about your small habits. What does a small habit look like?
If you think about the idea of losing weight, one small habit could be something as simple as drinking a glass of water, every 2 to 3 hours. If you can’t do a glass of water, what can you do? Rather than focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what you can do. Could you eat a healthy meal or snack every 2 to 3 hours? Could you do one pushup a day? My good friend, Jim Cathcart, who is another mentor of mine. I’ve known for a long time. He ended up having a great health transformation. One of the things that he did, the micro habit he created was every day he would put on his tennis shoes and walk to the end of the driveway and touch the street and come back.
That was the minimum commitment that he made. Once he got his shoes on and once he got to the actual end of the driveway, what happened? He got moving. He overcame the significant barrier of getting motivated to go do something that was 30 or 45 minutes long, which was running in his world. He didn’t want to think about all that. He thought about, “Let me get on my shoes.” He said on some days, that’s all he did was put on his shoes and go to the end of the driveway, touch the street as a minimum commitment, and then go from there. What happened was, because he made the minimum commitment, he was more consistent and he showed greater results because of his consistency, which led him to become healthier and losing 50 somewhat pounds.
It’s those simple little habits. Jim Rohn says, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Many of us have heard it, but what if it was true? What if it was true that if that’s all it took was an apple a day, with that potentially in-depth, creating a consistency that would lead to other ripple effect choices, like being more active, drinking more water, or having healthier meals throughout the day? Those are some of the simple things that we talk about, but anything that is like what you said, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Break down the elephant. If it’s too big, break it down again. Come up with that one thing that you can do consistently every single day for a period of 30 or 60 days and watch how the habits start compounding.When people are willing to go above and beyond, they can truly live exceptional lives to a marked extent. Click To Tweet
That’s a good amount of time to see some changes. This is all good advice. A lot of people are interested in finding out more about what you do and the help you can offer. Is there some site you want to share or some way they could reach you?
The best place to reach me is to go to the website, which is eHealthCoaching.com. There are free resources and blog posts. There’s a place that you can schedule a time to have a complimentary health coaching consultation if you want to meet with a health coach and have a conversation about your health goals and come up with an action plan. We’ve got something for every budget, for people that are looking for a little bit of a jumpstart but don’t have any financial resources to invest in their journey. We don’t charge for that. We give free resources away because our mission is to get America healthy and then the world.
If a person wants a more personal coaching relationship, we’ve got opportunities there. We also have an opportunity for people that are looking to maybe make a difference in the lives of other people. If they want to become one of our certified health coaches, we have a training program where we guide and train people to become certified coaches so that they can go out there and take some of the information I shared and pass it on to other people and make an income doing it.
That’s a great program and I think that everybody should check out your site. I enjoyed our conversation, David. Thank you so much for being on the show.
Diane, it’s been a pleasure and thanks for all the work that you’re doing. You’re a bright light in a dark world. We appreciate you.
I appreciate that.
I’d like to thank both Shari and David for being my guests. It’s been such a great show. We get many great guests on this show. If you’ve missed any episodes, please go to DrDianeHamilton.com. You can also find out more about Cracking the Curiosity Code book and the Curiosity Code Index assessment and the Perception Power assessment. There’s so much there. I hope you take some time to go to the site and drop me a note if you have any questions. I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
- David Bush
- Shari Levitin Group
- Heart and Sell: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know
- Connect, Then Lead – Article
- Daniel Goleman – Previous episode
- Reclaiming Conversation
- The 36 Questions That Lead to Love – Article
- Amazon – Heart and Sell: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know
- LinkedIn – Shari Levitin
- Albert Bandura – Previous episode
- Cracking the Curiosity Code
- Curiosity Code Index
- Perception Power
About Shari Levitin
Shari Levitin is an energetic, wickedly funny sales guru, who helps sales teams bridge the gap between beating quota and selling with an authentic heartfelt approach. As the founder of the Shari Levitin Group, Shari has helped create over 1 billion dollars in increased revenue for companies in over 40 countries. Shari is the bestselling author of Heart and Sell: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know, (now translated in 4 languages), a contributor to Forbes, CEO Magazine, Quotable, Inc Magazine and Huffington Post.
About David Bush
David Bush is a Certified Health & Lifestyle Coach, Business Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Author. He has personally coached almost a thousand individuals to achieve their goals and was recently honored as one 1% of the top 1% of health coaches and coach trainers out of 20,000 coaches nationwide. He currently coaches a select group of entrepreneurs to achieve their physical, mental and financial well-being goals and do motivational and coach training presentations nationwide.
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