Spending time on the internet is one way to divert yourself to cope with your personal struggles or issues in life. It’s time to make better use of that time as you discover the amount of opportunities to make money from being online. Mark Metry, the host of the Top 100 Humans 2.0 podcast and Founder of VU Dream, a growth agency in the VR/AR industries. Having 5.5M followers in his podcast, Mark shares his journey of self-discovery where he emerged creating one of the biggest servers, doing podcasts, and starting up VU Dream. Learn the importance of building your brand equity and relationships through consistency and honest communication with your followers in this inspiring conversation with Mark Metry.
Our environment has programmed and influenced our subconscious mind in ways we don’t really consider during our formative years. A lot of decision-making we made in our personal lives or in the workplace is based on our unconscious bias. Corporate relationship expert Tony Chatman examines the idea of unconscious bias happening in the subconscious level. As there are no studies that have a correlation between intelligence and bias, Tony says we need to be aware if we are likely to be biased in a particular situation. For Tony, if we not only believe that everything should be fair but also willing to work towards it, that desire actually begins to reduce our biases.
We have Mark Metry and Tony Chatman. Mark is the Founder of VU Dream. He’s the host of the Global Top 100, Humans 2.0 Podcast. Tony is a corporate relational expert, TEDx speaker, author of The Force Multiplier. These guys are dynamic. I’m looking forward to this episode.
Listen to the podcast here:
The Path To Self-Discovery Through VU Dream with Mark Metry
I am here with Mark Metry who is the Founder of VU Dream, a marketing and brand agency founded and operating in Massachusetts. He works with startups, individuals and corporations to help customers imagine new future realities in the field of emerging technologies, virtual reality and podcasting. He has his own show and he’s the host of the Global Top 100 Podcast called Humans 2.0. He has a lot of the same guests I’ve had but he’s had over four million times people have listened to his show. It’s exciting to have you on, Mark, welcome.
Diane, it’s such an honor and we have a lot of mutual friends. I’m super excited to chat you up and also have you on my podcast.
Thank you. I can’t wait. You have some of the greatest people on my show. We talked about a few of them before: Naveen Jain, Kevin Kruse, Whitney Johnson. I saw that you want to interview Jim Carrey. Did you ever get him?
No, not yet.
We will both put a call out to him here because I’d like to interview him too. That would be an interesting conversation.
I don’t think he’s ever done a podcast before. That will be very interesting. It will 100% happen one day.
I want to hear it. When you get it, send it to me and if I get it, I will send it to you. I want to hear it because he’s an interesting guy. I’ve followed his work from the beginning. I liked his story of writing himself a check. I liked that thought towards the future. A lot of people know you because you’re such a success, but for those who may have missed you for some reason, can you give a little background? I know you have an interesting background in how you get to where you are. Can you give us that little bio?
I’m a pretty young guy myself. I was born on 1997 up in Boston, Cambridge area on the East Coast of the United States. I came from immigrant parents. They immigrated from Egypt a couple of years before I was born. They came to this country with $200. They hustled and grind to give me and my older sister as well as them better opportunities for the future. When I was growing up, I had an amazing childhood. I don’t have any other memories of me, my parents and my sister having fun at the local playground, walking around or go to Walmart or something like that.
Early on, I had some health issues. We ended up moving around a ton, more times than I can remember. As I got older and I got into that middle school and high school age, we ended up living out in this super small town out in Western Massachusetts of 5,000 people. There are many nice people in that town for sure. The interesting thing about it, I never realized this until I was able to look at it now, is that the school and the town that I went to was predominantly all white. There was zero diversity and I wasn’t one of those outgoing kids that would run around forever. I was that quiet kid that sat in the corner. Looking back at it with the lens of different health issues that I had, having my fair share of bullying, having everybody around me looking different. It put me in this negative me versus the world survival mindset for years and I never realized this. Looking back at it, I never made deep relationships with people. I never did something that I thought was fun. I never played a sport. My coping mechanism throughout all of this was playing video games and being on the internet.Face your fears to truly discover yourself that will lead you to the path of growing. Click To Tweet
To keep the story short, I did many things online from starting a YouTube channel when I was twelve or thirteen to starting the world’s number one Minecraft server, which completely changed my life financially speaking. It was an interesting time where I went from somebody who didn’t have any wealth growing up to doing something that I love, starting this Minecraft server and making a ton of money. I’m slowly starting to discover what a real success in life is because I had achieved society’s American dream definition of success. I had reached that when I was fifteen or sixteen, yet I was still super depressed and anxious. By the time I ended up going off to college when I was eighteen, I began to become conscious of a lot of these things that I’m telling you here. It sent me on this path towards growing and trying to face my fears and truly discovering myself in every sense of the way. That’s me and the podcast came from that and a lot of other things.
For how young you are, it’s stunning to see what you’ve done. How do you create one of the biggest servers on the planet? How do you even know how to do that?
The funny thing is you don’t. When I was younger, I don’t remember sitting down to myself and being like, “I’m going to do this.” It was this very natural thing that emerged because it was my coping mechanism. I was doing this out of my own anxiety and pain because I didn’t have friends. I felt I wasn’t doing anything with my life even when I was at that age. When you do that, you get on this treadmill and you don’t stop running, even though I had a very fun time doing it for sure. If you were to go up to around fifteen-year-olds like, “Do you want to make six figures from running a video game?” I would do that any day of the week. It is such an interesting time in my life for sure.
How did you grow up the website? It was ten million users and 10,000 registered premium members. That was a lot. How did you get to that level?
It got there not because of me or my leadership ability or anything like that. It was because I let the community take a super active role in its leadership. What I mean by that is the staff team that we had on didn’t start off with 40 people. It started with me and eventually five other people that became top-level staff members. They became administrators. I taught them how to do everything. I would chat with them like they’re my friends and then I will let them take creative control and do what needs to be done. If anything goes wrong, they know that they can hit me up and I’d be happy to help them out. On top of that, it was deploying the community itself.
I remember when I was sixteen and as the server was growing and some people were joining, I got a message from somebody that said, “Mark, I go on the server all day long. This is where my friends are at. This is where we talk to each other and hang out. My parents got divorced and this is where I go to have fun and escape that world.” When you have people that are on there and that are giving their life and this relates a lot to a ton of other things that we do. A podcast, for example, somebody is giving you 45 minutes of their life to listen to an episode.
You’ve got to find ways to incorporate them in the very thing you were doing. We lead contests all the times. We would always try to highlight people within our community on a pedestal and show it off to the other people and be like, “Look what this everyday user did and he won so on and so forth.” When you do that, eventually what ends up happening is people will do the marketing for you. People will talk about it. If you look at the statistics, the number one is word of mouth. It comes down to how did that word of mouth begin? It’s about creating a system and a process to incentivize those things from happening. That’s what we unconsciously did way back when.
It’s fascinating to look at what you can do at such a young age. You probably have a high level of Gen Y and Gen Z following you. Did you try to reach all age groups right now with your podcast? I’m imagining some of the people who followed you on your server came over. They go, “I like this guy. I’m going to listen to his podcast.” Did you find that a lot of people were following you?
In the server days in 2013, 2014, I was not on social media. That was way before. I was on some websites like YouTube. The social media accounts that I did have, I don’t know how long you’ve been online, Diane, but everything used to be usernames. It wasn’t Mark Metry. I remember my username was Swag the Seventh or some other completely different thing. The question that you asked is interesting. I looked at my podcast analytics and then also on some other sites where I get a high following. It turns out that the number one person that follows my podcast is a female 25 to 35-year-old. What I’ve honestly found is most of my audience generally skews young, but at the same time I get a ton of feedback from people who are 55. They are telling me like, “I am stuck in this job. I don’t know what to do but I have these kids, an X, Y and Z.” It ranges.
For me, I’m trying to understand the mindset of the person that I used to be, so I can use my communication to almost go back and communicate to that person based on their perspective of the world. For example, I’m releasing a rap album. I’ve never rapped ever in my life. I grow up listening to rap or anything like that. I’m doing it because I remember when I was twelve, I was also listening to rap and hip hop. It’s like, “What if you could take the mainstream beat vibe of what’s on the radio, but instead of talking about hookers and drugs, you could talk about mindset and you could talk about important things?” That’s an example of one thing that I’m doing for sure.
Does rap have to rhyme? I’m trying to think what rhymes with empathy.
Yeah, it does. Not entirely but you’ve got to rhyme when you rap.
I want to hear that when it comes out. I was listening to some of your other interviews, people interviewing you. I saw your video, you were reading Think and Grow Rich and some of the older books out there. The Napoleon Hill series is big. Sharon Lechter was on my show and she’s written this version for women of Think and Grow Rich. What appealed to you about that book?
To be totally honest with you, Think and Grow Rich was the first book I ever read back to back in my entire life. I was attracted by the money title, the Think and Grow Rich, “This is going to teach me how to make money.” It definitely does but it’s more or less talking about the architecture and the operating system of the human mind and how it interfaces with the environment in many various aspects of life from the different fears that we have to different things that can stimulate our brain. It brings in leaders that may not be relevant now since all of them are dead but Napoleon Hill went around. For me, that was transformative.
I read the book in a week. Every day and every night when I read it, it almost felt my brain was this room. Every time I read a chapter and every time I began to download this stuff in my brain, it felt I was putting up different wallpapers, different wall backgrounds, different stickers up on the walls. When I look at that catalyst versus now in my mindset, a lot of it has changed for sure. That was the rudimentary foundational piece that I had to learn in my mind. Ever since I began reading that book and I try to read it all the time, it’s so powerful. It’s a real catalyst for change for somebody who is intended to do change.
It is a classic book and you can learn so much about self-improvement in a lot of these books. That’s always been my motivation because I study a lot of these behavioral things. It seems like we have a lot in common in terms of our interests. I was looking at some of the articles and things on your site. I saw you had Secrets Your Surgeon Won’t Tell You and things like that. My husband is a surgeon. I’m going to make him read that. You focus on the whole person. You’re not just dealing with business success. You talked about how you had some health issues and autoimmune issues and all of that. What is your focus? Is it business? Is it health? Is it everything?
I get that question a lot specifically when people look at my podcast. They say, “Why don’t you have an entrepreneurship marketing podcast?” For me, that’s hard. I would place myself in a ton of different labels and buckets. I’ve been marketing and doing business stuff online for the past few years. I love doing that but I don’t want to start a show that’s specifically around just that domain. The most interesting conversations that I have had with people is not just about this one narrow subject or topic of life.
For example, I remember when Naveen Jain came on my show. We were talking about how he got started coming from India to becoming a billionaire, to starting his first company, to starting a healthcare company, to talking about exponential technology. We started talking about human consciousness. We went all over the place but all being said on a similar thread, a similar line of going to that next level no matter what it is. For me and my fascination and what I’m trying to do here with this podcast is I have a thesis. It’s the fact that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re doing or what you’ve done, nothing can stop you from heading towards the life that you know you want to live other than yourself.The most interesting conversations aren't limited to just one narrow topic of life. Click To Tweet
I struggled with that belief. What I’m doing with my podcast is I’m interviewing all these people, I’m talking to all these people, having all these conversations with bestselling authors to business tycoons, to world-class Olympians, to world-class chefs. I’m talking to all these different people from various backgrounds for them to talk about their story in the perspective of growing and going to that next level. What I’ve learned is not everybody resonates with me and my story, not everybody resonates with Naveen Jain and his story.
I’m trying to get as many powerful people as I can in case a 22-year-old or a twelve-year-old girl from Morocco maybe listen to a guest that I’ve had on and she might understand something that I am unable to communicate to her. That’s my focus. I’m trying to impact people. Somebody asked me, “When are you going to stop doing the podcast?” I told him, “I’m going to stop doing the podcast when I have 7.5 billion listeners on my show.” That’s what I’m trying to do and the podcast is a vehicle for that. I don’t necessarily want to be known as a podcaster. It’s simply a vehicle.
I do this on the side as well because we have very similar things. We have our own company and we have this, and I do this for similar reasons. I totally get it. Naveen is so funny. He was on my show and I saw him speak after he was on my show later. He was on Joe Polish’s Genius Network. When you’re talking about all these different areas, it was funny because up on stage, Joe had his iPad on his lap with his question that he was going to ask him and Naveen took it and threw it off. Joe goes, “I don’t need that. I’m fine.” It was cute. It’s an interesting group of people. I do the same thing. I have people who have been in different movies and different things because it’s fun to look at interesting people and that’s what I like to do as well. I totally understand that. How did you get to four million? That’s a big number to have your show so popular.
Actually, it’s changed. It’s now 5.5 million or something like that. What it’s all about is if you can create a trustworthy stream of communication, you can win. What I mean is if you set up your podcast and you say, “I’m going to post every Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 8:00 AM,” people who are subscribed to you learn it over time like, “I can rely on Mark giving me 45 minutes or 60 minutes of something that’s entertaining, informative and also impactful.” You begin to build trustworthy relationships in that way through consistency. That’s a major step that is missing with a lot of people’s podcasts.
Secondly, it’s all about dripping content. What I mean by that is not everyone who follows me on social media is also listening to my podcast and vice versa. What it’s all about is if you can create micro pieces of content for each podcast episode and you release those over days, weeks, months, years, you’re always leading people back to episodes. The most effective way to do that is with LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s organic reach, specifically video, is how I grew my entire podcast for the most part and getting awesome guests and promoting them. What ends up happening is you build your brand equity in the background. If you do an episode with this person or with that person, it’s almost like your media perception changes. That helps you get on other people’s podcast. That helps you get on other magazines, news things and that over time builds your following. I do not think that there is a substitute for that. Consistency is absolutely important.
Do you have a wishlist of guests other than Jim Carrey that you would like to have on the show?
Yes, it’s on my LinkedIn. It’s actually an entire article. I’m trying to get Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferriss, Jason Silva, JK Rowling, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak. There are some pretty interesting people in there.
It sounds like we have a very similar wishlist. The PayPal Mafia in general, anyone on that would be interesting to me. I’ve met Steve Wozniak. I tried to get him on the show. He’s tough to get on but he’s an interesting guy. He was interesting to meet and talk to. He’s really chatty. I wasn’t expecting that. It would be fun to have him on. You’re doing a lot of great things with your podcast. Tell me more about your company. What do you do at VU Dream?
VU Dream started from a fascination of what’s going on with exponential technologies and how this world is changing so fast with all of these different industries that are being formed from 5G to virtual reality to artificial intelligence to blockchain to all of those buzzwords that we hear on social media or whatnot. We’re a marketing agency to help those companies grow and start things that we don’t know how they’re going to fit into society. It’s hard to market a virtual reality game or system if virtual reality isn’t a thing yet. We mostly help clients and organizations in that area. We’ve also been branching off to podcast and helping the right executives in organizations start and grow the podcast. Podcasting is such an exponential mouthpiece. It’s like an announcement system that you can use to totally grow your business content. We’re trying to find ways to integrate that. We’re based up in Boston. I started at the end of 2016 and it’s been a totally wild ride.
You do some amazing things and a lot of people will want to know how they can reach you either for VU Dream, your podcast or any of this stuff that we talked about here. Is there some link you want to share?
Thank you, Mark. This has been so much fun. We have a lot we could talk about and the show went by too fast. Thank you so much for being on.
Thank you for having me on, Diane. This is awesome.
The Truth About Unconscious Bias with Tony Chatman
I am here with Tony Chatman who is a corporate relational expert. He has a TEDx Talk. He’s an author. His book is The Force Multiplier: How To Lead Teams Where Everyone Wins. I’m excited to have you here, Tony. Welcome.
Thanks for having me, Diane. I’m excited as well.
It is going to be fun. We were chatting and I know a little bit about you, but a lot of people would probably want to have a little bit of background. Can you tell me how you got to be this corporate relational expert? A little background would be great.
My undergraduate degree is in chemical engineering, which is probably the last thing people think when they meet me because I’m extremely extroverted, extremely big picture visionary, not what you would normally think of when you think of a chemical engineer. What engineering taught me was how to look at things in a very logical way, how to do lots and lots of research. Later when I decided and I realized that I should be working with relationships, I said, “Everyone does this in such a touchy-feely way, but they forget that there are data and metrics that go along with it and it’s those two things combined.” That’s the beginning of my journey. At one point, I decided to leave the corporate world to save the world by going to a nonprofit. I left my chemical engineering career. I went to a nonprofit and that’s where I began to develop into more of a coach dealing with relationships.
The problem with working with a nonprofit is that it’s nonprofit. There’s no money. We took a 67% pay cut to do it. You can only do that for a certain amount of time. What I did is I developed two strong skill sets. One was speaking. I spoke three to four times a week. I trained other people on how to give presentations. I have done that all my life. I was in debate in high school, but I refined that craft. The second thing is because I was working in a faith-based nonprofit, I was very hands-on in lots of relationships, whether it was within the community doing organizing or even at one point my wife and I functioned as a marriage counselor. I started to understand what makes relationships work and what makes them not work, and taking that same knowledge and putting it into the workplace. Obviously, you should take the sex out of that. That’s a whole different workshop but beyond that, how do the dynamics of relationships translate? Whether they’re in the workplace, whether they’re marital relationships, whether they’re friendships, there are certain components of that, that are universal. The more I understood it and the more I began to teach that to executives and it resonated, the more I understood that I had a very unique perspective that I could share with the world.
I knew you had the desire to learn about the speed of light, escape velocity and all that. I love that because I’m big with Neil deGrasse Tyson and I read so much of that type of stuff too. Research is important to show how important some of these relational training that we do can be. I did a lot of research for my assessment to tell what holds people back from being curious. It took years of assessing that. I like that you touched on that in your TEDx Talk about how kids are told not to touch the stove and that curiosity sometimes gets the best of them. Do you find that you meet a lot of people who’ve had the curiosity talked out of them in a way because parents say, “Don’t touch the stove, don’t do this, don’t do that?” I’m curious in your training how much you deal with helping people become open to more experience.One of the greatest ways to get empathy is direct contact with other people. Click To Tweet
People fall into two categories. You have what you said where the curiosity may completely quench out of them from those experiences. You have another group that’s not curious because they got to the point where they think they know everything. They no longer need to explore and consider different perspectives. It’s fascinating because one of the hottest topics I work with is unconscious bias. What’s interesting is because I do it from a scientific background, it’s very helpful. The majority of people who are in my workshops have a PhD in some form of marine biology, microbiology and something like that. They come in with a box in a framework that they’re not comfortable leaving. If they had the curiosity to go beyond that box, they would not only be more effective in what they did, but they have far more full experience in life.
That’s funny because I’m writing a lot about perception and unconscious bias ties into a lot of that. I want to know what you found is causing a lot of that. What kinds of unconscious bias are you seeing the most of?
You have to start off with people’s formative years and what influenced them. Parental influences, community influences, the bias with the education, whether who’s teaching it or the hidden agendas within the education system, religion, television, movies, TV, all of those things are programming the subconscious mind in ways that we don’t consider. When I think of bias, I used to think of it in terms of judgment, but now I think of it in terms of it’s this decision-making algorithm that we have. We all have ways where we make decisions consciously.
Me being an engineer turns out far more logical or it’s far more data-driven than you would think. From a subconscious standpoint, I have a completely different algorithm that makes decisions and it happens before I respond, before I can react and before I can think. Being aware of that makes a world of difference. I shared with people that many years ago, my wife and I moved from Illinois to New York. We didn’t move to New York City. We moved to New York State and we moved right into the Catskill Mountains, this beautiful area, hundreds of acre of land. I totally expected wildlife. I expected that there would be deer and squirrels and I even knew that there would be black bears. What I did not know is there would be lots of rattlesnakes.
People don’t think rattlesnake when you think of New York State, but there was a rattlesnake reserve about three miles from our house because we’d hate to run out of rattlesnakes. One day I was in my backyard raking and as I looked up, I feel something slither across my front foot. I looked down and I can see that it’s about three inches in diameter. Before I knew what happened, I was on my deck going, “What the,” you could imagine what I said. The key to it was before I knew what was happening, I had an emotion that drew a behavior. That’s the whole idea of unconscious bias. It happens at a subconscious level. When you look at neural pathways and things of that nature, it happens at much faster processing than what happens consciously. Once that happens, then you’ve got to deal with affinity bias. We tend to like people who are like us, but we have confirmation bias on a few different levels. We begin to see things that confirm what we already believe. We justify how we already responded and reacted. That dominates the workplace right there because it begins to explain pay gaps and hiring differences and everything else.
It also explains why we were killing innovation when everybody’s in agreement because they all think alike. You’re getting status quo thinking. A lot of what you’re talking about, I hear a lot about perception is a reality and you mentioned awareness, which you could get through empathy. Emotional intelligence ties into this. This is such a huge thing. What’s the solution for us? Is it all empathy and trying to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes? How do we solve this unconscious bias?
There are a few things. First, there is the idea of being aware that you could be biased and that you likely are biased. The reason that’s important is there are no studies that have a correlation between intelligence and bias. There are no studies that show a correlation between education and bias. Those two things can be detrimental because we can start to think, “I’m too smart for this to be my blind spot.” We’re not aware of what we’re doing and the damage that it causes. You mentioned empathy. One of the greatest ways to get empathy is in direct contact with other people. There’s the idea of exemplars. There are studies that show that when we interact, especially at prolonged positive interaction for example, if we know we have a bias against the LGBTQ community and we have started having positive interaction with them or with people from that community, that will have a direct impact on our bias both consciously and unconsciously. Finding positive exemplars is a big deal.
The word motivation is thrown around and it’s a little too general. There’s an idea called chronic egalitarian goals. It’s the idea that if we not only believe that everything should be fair, but we’re willing to work towards it, that desire begins to reduce our biases. There are things that you can do to produce it. From an individual standpoint, those are the things. From an organizational standpoint, things like having job applications that are blind like you can’t see gender, race, ZIP codes, age and all of those things are big. You have things like mentoring is one of the biggest strengths that we see in organizations if you want to increase inclusion and overcome the impact and effect of bias.
There are tons of things when you start going down that road that have a positive impact. I will use race as an example. We’ve gone from slavery to civil rights, to affirmative action, to managing diversity, to inclusion. As far as what our goals are, now we’re trying to be inclusive. We’re using the methodologies that we use from civil rights, affirmative action and diversity. We realize it doesn’t work that way because what starts to happen is we start looking at parts of the problem but not the core issues. You have some that are totally on racial equality, where others are totally about gender equality, where others are about the rights of those with disabilities and not understanding that those are all facets of the same GM. If you go after the entire GM, then you can have inclusion. That’s what fixes a lot of the relationships within the workplace.
Those are all great examples. What comes to mind when we’re talking about this is how much we’ve focused on cultural quotients lately. We’re interacting with many different countries and cultures and different things in the workplace. You’re dealing with corporation or organization that wants to do business in another country. Let’s say they’re starting a company in another part of the world, but they want to have a good perception from the United States. What do you tell a leader who’s working from a culture that maybe we have an unconscious bias about to make us accept them better in the United States for example?
I would send them to you because if you think about it, what’s the first step? They need to be curious. They need to ask questions. They need to, “I have these biases. There’s a chance they may be wrong. Let me come in.” Ask all the questions, be curious and find out why people think the way that they do? Why they behave the way they do? Why they have these perceptions? That would be my first thought in my first step. There’s a book called Values for a New Millennium. It’s this interesting book by Robert Humphrey. He was a Marine and he was hired by the Marines because they would set these Marine bases up in different parts of the world and there would be unnecessary conflicts between the base and the community. He was on the cutting edge. He was one of the pioneers in how do we get our basis to keep the mission of the Marines, but at the same time to be accepting of the culture around them and have that culture accept them?
It’s fascinating because he said people have two driving values. Value one is the well-being of themselves. Value two is the well-being of those they love. A lot of times, if we look at some of these differences, we don’t realize that we don’t know the whole story, which is why curiosity is important. If we knew the whole story, then we understand it’s very possible that what the people are doing is being driven to either preserve one of those two values or it’s the other side of the coin or the fear of losing one of those two values. There are amazing examples that I could never do justice to. Values for a New Millennium is a great example of how do you go to another country and get that perspective. I wasn’t making light of what I said. The curiosity standpoint is huge. If you can go in and say, “I’m here to learn. I want to see things from your perspective instead of my own,” and you can convince others to do the same, you can cover a lot of ground.Sometimes, we start looking at parts of the problem but not the core issues. Click To Tweet
I was thinking about how you had said, “Consequences motivate us,” in your TEDx Talk. When we talk about what motivates us to do things, consequences can be one of them. When we talk about motivation, it’s what drives us. When I’m studying curiosity, coming back to your point, curiosity is the spark that ignites motivation in everything that I researched. All the experts I’ve had on my show from Francesca Gino from Harvard and all the great experts, they all agree that we have curiosity first. I am excited to hear that you back up a lot of the research that I’ve found that this is important because many people have to escape their comfort zone as you put it. I don’t know a lot of people who recognize that they need to do this unfortunately. How do we get people to recognize that they need to escape their comfort zone?
First, people have to get an understanding of what their comfort zone is. I try to take something that’s more ethereal comfort zone and see what are its tangible components? I realized you have things like thoughts, habits, behaviors, emotions and relationships. One of the biggest things that have driven the changes in my business over the last few years has been changing who I spend time with. I have a very different friend group. As a professional speaker, I realized I knew it but I didn’t know how to get access to it. A lot of my friends are certified speaking professional and many are in the Speaker’s Hall of Fame. They make tons and tons of money. Being around them made me realize that my comfort zone was obsolete because when I was around my old friends, I’d say, “I’m thinking about doing X.” They would say, “Why would you do that?” I’m around my new friends and I’m saying, “I’m thinking about doing X.” They’re like, “Why haven’t you done that already? Here’s how you do it and while you’re doing that, do A, B, C and D with it.” It’s crazy.
I’ll tell a quick story about a relationship. I’m having one of my first professional speaking engagements after working in nonprofit. I’m opening for Les Brown. My first professional speaking engagements were opening for Les Brown. It’s weird like forming a garage band and then your first concert is opening for The Rolling Stones. You’re like, “Now I’ve got to go back and play this local bar,” but it is not the same anymore. I’m there and 800 people sold out within 30 minutes. It’s amazing. I had this crisis of consciousness while I was on stage because I let myself go physically. I was about 40 pounds heavier than I am right now at the time. I was sitting there telling people how to change your life. I was like, “I can’t do this and not acknowledge who I am.” I sat on stage in front of everyone. I was like, “I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, ‘What about you?’ I’ll tell you what, the next time you see me, I will be a different person. If I’m not, then anything I said is not valid. If I am, everything I say is valid and you need to follow to the word that I said.” I said this and left the stage. I had honestly made a real decision. I didn’t know if I will ever be back, but I made a real decision to change.
It was crazy all the things that happened after that. I started losing weight and I had friends telling me, “This is probably temporary water weight. You’re going to gain that back.” I found that I was coming back and I kept losing weight. All of a sudden, I lost 40 pounds and I have to go buy some new suits at a great well-known store. He goes, “What do you need?” I said, “I need three suits. I’ve got this big event in Bermuda. I just lost all this weight.” “How much did you lose?” “About 40 pounds in three months.” “You shouldn’t buy suits now. You’re going to gain that weight back.” I thought, “You’re going to give your commission up.”
A month later, I talked to a friend and he said, “I realized that you changing took away all the excuses I had of why I couldn’t change.” It hit me at that point. It’s not that other people are part of my comfort zone. I’m part of other people’s comfort zones. They’re used to me being exactly who I am and the minute I change, they react in a way that tries to bring me back into my comfort zone. I cannot overemphasize the importance of understanding that in my life. That was the game changer because it helped me to realize why I get all of this resistance when I’m trying to do something different or think differently. It helped me to maintain associations but change my close influencer group because I needed people who could help me get to where I am, not people who would help me stay where I already am. It’s a big deal.
Misery loves company and sometimes people will hold you back so that you’re there with them. It’s a tough thing. Not to be cliché because I know you don’t like what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. I’m making all these inside comments so people will watch your TEDx Talk because I thought it was great. I also want to focus on your book, The Force Multiplier. How to lead teams where everyone wins. What’s the main focus of that? If somebody is reading this, why would they want to read it and who is it meant for?
It’s meant for people who are going to lead in any capacity. I realized after giving training all around the country that the majority of people were put into situations that they weren’t set up for success. They weren’t trained properly and they weren’t ready for it. Even though there are all these books on leadership, most of them are high-level and theoretical, here’s how you turn the ship and change the culture. If you’re dealing with people on the front line, this is how do you influence people directly? How do you make them better? How do you delegate? How do you get the best out of them without becoming a jerk?
How not to be Steve Jobs and still be successful?
There you have it. You have filled in the blank for about eight other people but exactly. I’ve vetted this concept with everything from colonels and generals in the military to executives. It’s fairly universal what it takes to be a leader. The problem is it’s rarely taught. What I wanted was a book that was straightforward, practical and implementable so that if someone was in a situation, this book would be their training and they could use it and get results.
I was looking at some of the companies you’ve worked with like the US Secret Service, Chase, Estée Lauder, NASA, you have a very strong background and no wonder you could get a chemical engineering degree. That would be brutal. My husband has got a chemistry background as well and it’s science type of background. Those degrees, especially the chemical engineering aspect, is very tough. I love the fact that you put research behind what you talk about because behavior sometimes sounds all fluffy. You use soft skills and all these words and people don’t take it seriously. Some of the Navy SEALs and people I have had on my show, they’re all focusing on a lot of these behaviors because they are important. Your book sounds amazing. If somebody wants to reach you and get the book or find out more, how would they go about finding you?
My website is TonyChatman.com. You can always find me on Facebook or LinkedIn, Tony Chatman, as well as Twitter and Instagram, @TonyChatmanSpeaks. Every way to contact me is right on my website. I’m pretty simple.
Thank you so much for being on the show, Tony. I enjoyed it.
I’d like to thank Mark and Tony for being my guests. They’re such great guys, both of them. I thoroughly enjoyed it. They are such different topics but are so enlightening. We get many great guests on this show. If you’ve missed any past episodes, you can find them on the website at DrDianeHamilton.com. There’s also a link there to the CuriosityCode.com information. Everything’s on the website. I hope you check it out and I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
- VU Dream
- Humans 2.0 Podcast
- Naveen Jain – Previous episode
- Kevin Kruse – Previous episode
- Whitney Johnson – Previous episode
- Think and Grow Rich
- Sharon Lechter – Previous episode
- Naveen Jain on Humans 2.0 Podcast
- The Force Multiplier: How To Lead Teams Where Everyone Wins
- Values for a New Millennium
- Francesca Gino – Previous episode
- Tony Chatman’s TEDx Talk
- Tony Chatman on Facebook
- Tony Chatman on LinkedIn
- Tony Chatman on Twitter
- @TonyChatmanSpeaks on Instagram
About Mark Metry
Mark Metry is the Founder of VU Dream, a marketing & brand agency founded and operating in Boston, Massachusetts working with startups, individuals & corporations to help customers imagine new future realities in the fields of emerging technology like virtual reality and podcasting. Mark is also the host of the Global Top 100 podcast called Humans 2.0 featured by Forbes, NASDAQ, and Yahoo Finance as the “Top 21 Growing Podcasts you must listen to in 2019.” Mark’s show has been listened to over 4 million times and features the greatest leaders of our time and frequently converses with Billionaires, Professional Athletes, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, and New York Times Bestselling authors exploring today’s dynamic of the human experience in modern technological times of 2019.
About Tony Chatman
Tony Chatman is a Corporate Relational Expert, TEDx speaker, and Author. The Tony Chatman Experience [TCeX] delivers presentations that are an entertaining and impassioned balance of both science and practical insight. Tony breaks down tough topics such as change management, teamwork, and unconscious bias. He creates a new, stronger foundation for true leadership. Audiences leave focused and motivated to turn individual differences into business advantages.