This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is John Assaraf. John probably needs no introduction as one of the world’s leading mindset experts and authors on human performance, but if you haven’t heard of him, here’s a little bit about him.
John is a serial entrepreneur, brain researcher, and the CEO of NeuroGym. In the last 25 years, he has grown 5 multi-million-dollar companies in real estate, internet software, brain research, life and business coaching - and consulting. He is the author of two New York Times best-selling books: “Having It All” and “The Answer.”
And he has a brand-new book called “Innercise: The New Science to Unlock Your Brain’s Hidden Power” which I couldn’t put down because it covers a subject so near and dear to me – becoming aware and learning to control your thought patterns. To truly choose your mindset and have it work for you to deliver the results that you deserve. So, I’m very excited for our discussion in this episode.
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John took his life’s “mess” and turned it into his message. His parents were divorced, and he moved from Israel to Montreal when he was 5. He had trouble because he didn’t know English or French, only Hebrew. For the first 3 years of school, he was so far behind that the teachers thought he had a learning disability. He ended leaving school after 11th grade and went to work in the shipping department of a computer company where he was miserable.
He felt there needed to be something more. His brother set up a meeting for him with a successful entrepreneur in May of 1980. The man asked him what his goals for his life were and John’s response was basically just to be able to pay for basic needs. The man challenged him in that he was capable of so much more. John didn’t have any bigger goals. After lunch, the man gave him a set of goal setting documents to him. John watched the show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and decided to go for it. When they met again, he told John it was awesome and “way to dream.”
Then he asked a very unique questioned. He asked, “Are you interested in these goals or are you committed? John asked what the difference was and the mentor told him, “If you are interested you’ll do what is convenient. You’ll allow your past, stories, and current beliefs to drive your behavior. You’ll come up with excuses and reasons why you can’t. If you are committed, you upgrade your stories, your skills, your habits to become the person who can achieve these goals. Once you’re committed things start to happen.”
At 19 years, the man, Alan Brown, committed to mentor John in real estate and help him to get on the path he took to get where he is today.
What else did you learn from Alan and along the way through your career?
At the 17 min mark, John answers the question, “How does the brain work when it comes to our conditioning and automatic responses?”
We have to learn how to create harmony between our goals, our vision, and our desires and our subconscious patterns. We can do both at the same time.
Most people have to goal and the dream, but they don’t do anything to focus on the subconscious patterns. There are actually only 5 things that get into people’s way of doing this. Innercise leads to this.
Neuroplasticity is a result of clinical work that realized our brain is consistently making new connections. When you see something new, your brain creates a new connection of that thing. It takes mental pictures of what the senses felt in that experience. These connections become the automatic self that acts without us having to think. If you repeat something enough it becomes an automatic response and habit of our brain. But, you can change it – even though the brain doesn’t like change.
What are the Innercise exercises for how to change our thinking?
“Most people are living in a reactive state instead of a deliberate, responsive state because they haven’t learned how to truly tap into the power of their mind…”
What is the one thing people can do right now, today, to start taking control of their thoughts?
What is your best advice for an entrepreneur starting our today?
“Most entrepreneurs don’t fail because they run out of money. They fail because they run out of hope. They don’t understand the complexities of the game and don’t seek the help needed to play the game at the highest level.”
What is the biggest lesson that business has taught you about life?
Why do we always feel like we have so much more potential, but in many cases don’t reach it?
Human “being” is just as important as spiritual “being.” There will always be a part of us that yearns and wants for more. That is absolutely OK.. But, if you want more, are you willing to become more?
Best Quote: "Are you interested or are you committed?"
John's Misfit 3:
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Scott Keyes. Scott’s just your every day, run of the mill guy who turned a hobby of finding cheap plane tickets into a multi-million dollar business in less than 2 years. As he would say it, Scott’s Cheap Flights was more an accidental business and he started out as more of an accidental entrepreneur. A misfit if you will.
Over the last 5 years, the business has grown to service hundreds of thousands around the world, help save clients millions of dollars on their flight purchases, and has been featured everywhere from CNBC to Virgin, Conde Naste, and Time Magazine.
Scott has learned a lot about finding a niche and cultivating a great business from it and that is one of the things I’m most excited to explore with him in this episode.
As Scott says, he’s an accidental entrepreneur. He ended up where he is completely by accident. The way it came about happened after he graduated college and moved to DC. He had a degree in political science and loved to write. He became a political journalist. There wasn’t much money in it, but Scott wanted to travel and needed to find a way to fund it. So, he got into the world of travel hacking.
He got really good at it over the course of a couple of years. It all culminated when in 2013, he got the best deal he had ever gotten – a ticket from New York to Milan for just over $100.
When he got back from his trip, word had spread amongst some of his friends and co-workers and they started asking him to share deals with them when he found them.
He started an email list to send out deals he found to his friends and co-workers. Over the next year, he did as a hobby, but the subscribers started telling other subscribers and they told others and so on.
By 2015, it had grown to over 5000 subscribers. At this point, there started to be some costs involved. In August 2015, Scott relaunched as a “freemium service” in which there is still a free signup, but also a paid sign up with more content and perks.
Nowadays, Scott’s Cheap Flights has over 1.5 million subscribers.
When you look back on how you got to this point, what is your best advice on how to discover a profitable niche and uncover opportunities under your nose?
At the 16 min mark, Scott tells us how SCF works…
At the 19 min mark, Scott talks about how the business is setup and the model (this is a great model that you could follow in your niche).
Scott loves the freemium model. In today’s age, people are skeptical. It is so much better to give them a way to show them the value you can create and how you generate results for them. It relieves pressure and creates more devoted clients.
What have you learned about building a business in going from 1 man with a hobby to having employees throughout the world and serving millions?
Are there any systems or specific strategies you’ve used for remote employees that work really well?
What have you learned about building and cultivating a subscriber list and how did you transition from free to paid?
At the 36 min mark, we have a great discussion on value and what that means to clients.
What are some tips on cultivating and taking care of subscribers on your list?
At the 43 min mark, Scott answers the question, “What are some tips on how to find deeply discounted flight deals?”
Best Quote: We are terrible predictors of our own career path. Be open and humble about where your career path can and will go.
Scott's Misfit 3:
Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!"
In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.
"Lessons for Hannah" are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share it.
This week’s Lesson for Hannah
There is something in this world that has existed from the beginning of man-kind and it has the power to change the world. It has the power to take people and lift them from poverty to riches. It has the power to help people on a world-wide scale. It has the power to make life better, easier, and more enjoyable. It has the power to create whole new ways of thinking or entire industries.
And what’s more, it is also very small. In many ways, it is very simple. And even better, is that it is infinitely abundant, it never runs out.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. What I am talking about is an idea.
Victor Hugo once said, “All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” He’s right. Ideas change the world. A simple idea of creating a place where the individual was given the freedom and right to life, liberty, and to pursue their happiness created the United States. A simple idea that man could fly, propelled the Wright Brothers to find a way to make it a reality. Almost everything you see around and use today came from an idea. The internet, smart phones, cars, heck even a toaster, started as a simple idea in someone’s mind.
Everything begins with an idea. Ideas are the most powerful things in the world. And they can be created and used for tremendous good and extraordinary evil. Nazism started as an idea, was turned and weaponized into a movement and ultimately killed millions of people in its wake. Same with the ideas of Stalin, Mao, Polpot and others. Over 100 million people were killed because of their ideas.
I use these examples to illustrate the power of ideas and to make you aware of the fact that this power can be abused.
But, a great example of an idea taking hold and standing for thousands of years is that of Christianity. I recently watched a movie about the life of the Apostle Paul that was fascinating and such a great illustration of an idea that can do so much good. Paul was first known by another name, Saul of Tarsus. He was a persecutor of Christians. He hated them because they did no follow the traditional doctrine of the time. And one day, Paul was blinded during his travels and Jesus appeared to him. Shortly, after per the prediction of Jesus, a man came and healed Saul. He became a believer and became known as the apostle Paul. He went on to be arguably the most influential person in the Bible next to Jesus. He traveled well over 10,000 miles on foot setting up churches and preaching and sharing the story of Jesus and the faith of Christianity. Even after being imprisoned and sentenced to death by the emperor Nero in Rome, he continued to write letters from prison and teach. Many of these letters make up what is the New Testament today. In fact, half of the books in the New Testament are attributed to Paul. He truly did amazing things and never wavered from his principles or core beliefs.
So, why am I sharing this with you? It’s simple, what could compel a man to devote his entire life to teaching and spreading the word of something? An idea. And for those listening, whether you are Christian or not, the example of Paul is a great one to see what the power of what an idea can do and drive a person or group of people to become. You can apply the example to your religion or belief set.
Understanding this, as you look throughout history, you can see why ideas are the most powerful things in the world. Why did Mother Teresa do what she did? A powerful idea that she believed in. How did we get to the moon in less than 10 years? An idea. An idea that we could do what everyone said was impossible.
Hannah, every day in your life, you will have ideas. Learn to recognize them, understand them, and use the good ones to help you create your life and leave an impact on the world. How do you know a good one, you might ask? My best answer is to trust your gut. If it aligns with your principles and values, has the ability not just to help you, but others, is worthy of being shared with others, and most importantly, is something you believe deeply in, then it is probably a good one. The key is to act on it.
And no matter what, not all ideas will work out, but that is the beauty of it – ideas are infinite, there will always be more. So, enjoy the ride and make the most out of the ideas you create and the ones that are shared with you that resonate with you in your life.
Here’s to the power of an idea!
I love you,
Best Quote: “All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come."
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Phillip Andrew. Phillip is an Emmy-nominated producer, world traveled DJ, speaker, and coach out of LA whose has been featured everywhere from CBS to Netflix, E, Country Music Television, and tons of other places.
But, it is not his successful producing career that made me want to have him on the show. Instead, it was his story of loss, overcoming addiction, and how he lifted himself to new heights that really resonated with me.
He now speaks throughout the world about how to develop resilience, stand in life with integrity, and how live life to its fullest. And in this episode, I’ve asked to share his best advice and life lessons with you.
Phillip is originally from Detroit. His dad was a police chief. His mom was very involved with the school board. Everyone knew his family and as a result, Phillip felt entitled and had a big ego. It also developed anxiety in him in needing to be the perfect kid. As he says, this was self-inflicted. His parents never pressured him. He was also the youngest kid on the block and hung out with the older kids and was trying to impress them to fit in.
He started developing masks for the person he needed to be with different audiences. When he was 11 years old and hanging with the big boys, he started drinking and partying. It ended up being an escape for him from his masks. One day they were sitting at the dinner table having a normal dinner when he dad grew silent and turned the TV off. He then proceeded to tell Phillip and his sister that their mom had cancer. Phillip was 14. They all cried.
Phillip put on a “tough mask,” and endured, but just before his 16th birthday, his mother passed away. This combined with his drinking was the perfect recipe for keeping the alcohol in his life and letting it gain more control – even though he was high functioning and still doing well in sports, school, etc.
From 18-20, it really came to a head. He was arrested multiple times, crashed his car. Got a DUI and had to go to AA.
AA was a place where he finally found a level of acceptance, he didn’t have to prove himself or try to please people. He’s now been sober for over 10 years.
At the 15 min mark, Phillip talks about how freeing it was to finally just be himself and who he really is.
“Secrets grow in the dark and will hold you hostage”
When you learn to choose how you live and take the power back from others and note cede it to them – you find the ultimate freedom. True freedom lies in taking control and ownership of who you are.
At the 18 min mark, Phillip talks about how grateful he is for the problems he had and why – and how even small experiences in our lives can have such a big impact.
“If you want to be more resilient, accept that fact that failure, struggle, and hardship is coming. It is a part of life. Accept it now.”
How do you teach people to attain or regain self-confidence?
What has being a producer and a world-traveled DJ taught you about business?
What does it take to put on a great show? What elements do you need?
Best Quote: “If you want to be more resilient, accept that fact that failure, struggle, and hardship is coming. It is a part of life. Accept it now.”
Phillip's Misfit 3: