39: Chris Taylor on how to Focus & Be More Productive

Discover how to take action on the RIGHT PROJECTS without overwhelming yourself with Chris Taylor. Learn simple techniques that can remove the stress and help us be super productive on an upcoming project in this conversation with host Mike Domitrz.

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Chris’ Bio:
Chris founded Actionable in 2008. Born out of the idea that ideas are only valuable when applied, he embarked on a quest to read one personal development book a week for an entire year, distilling the idea that resonated most strongly with him into a summary, so others could benefit by applying the most valuable insights at the core of each book.
But what began as a passion project has since turned into something much, much bigger. As the Actionable community grew, Chris found his mission: to harness technology and the power of behaviour change to build more effective organizations. Actionable now boasts a Consultant Partner network of 200 top L&D consultants whose learning initiatives are made sticky and measurable by the Actionable Conversations Platform.
A sought-after speaker, and the creator of the 21st Century Workplace podcast, Chris is deeply knowledgeable about the forces impacting today’s Learning & Development landscape. Prior to founding Actionable, Chris held senior sales and marketing leadership roles in advertising and consumer goods companies.
Links to Chris:
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**IMPORTANT: This podcast episode was transcribed by a 3rd party service and so errors can occur throughout the following pages:

Mike Domitrz: Welcome to the RESPECT podcast. I’m your host Mike Domitrz from mikespeaks.com where we help organizations of all sizes, educational institutions and the US Military create a culture of respect. And respect is exactly what we discuss in this show. So let’s get started.

Mike Domitrz: And this week we have the creator and the founder of Actionable.co. Chris Taylor works to bring better conversations and meaningful behavior change to corporate learning programs and change initiatives.

Mike Domitrz: He believes that ideas are only valuable when applied. And that we can all do it with better conversation in the workplace.

Mike Domitrz: Which I love talking about communication, and all of those areas that bring in implementation into one’s life. So thank you so much Chris for joining us.

Chris Taylor: It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me Mike.

Mike Domitrz: Absolutely. Now you run a completely virtual environment. How do you create an inclusive, engaging team aspect to that, that really thrives in respect in a virtual setting?

Chris Taylor: Sure. So it’s been a journey. I started the company 11 years ago and we’ve been virtual since the beginning. And what we’ve found is that there’s an advantage to having the business be truly virtual in the sense that there isn’t a head office somewhere with office staff and then sort of satellite people.

Chris Taylor: But rather, everyone’s on equal footing. And we try to maintain that sense even when we have people physically in the same space. Getting together for meetings et cetera is when we get on to team calls we will separate physically and everyone gets on a respective window so that there’s a sense of equality across that.

Chris Taylor: So we find that the part of it is that everyone’s on the same footing. There’s a sink or swim sort of approach within the virtual environment. There’s a lot of autonomy. And so it attracts certain people.

Chris Taylor: And the people that I love to work with, those who are self starters and able to manage their own time and calendars. And we’re forced to treat them like adults which works really well with the people that we choose to work with.

Mike Domitrz: Now when you say everybody has an equal voice, it’s your organization. So there’s certainly going to be times where you could make a choice that’s different than what everybody else wants. So when people hear equal footing, what does that mean when it comes to decision making?

Chris Taylor: Yeah totally fair enough. I think when I was referring to equal voice, it was more of the actual logistics of the fact that everyone has the same size window on a Zoom chat. But you’re absolutely right.

Chris Taylor: I mean I think as sort of the owner of the company, and being responsible for the livelihoods of the people that work here, I’ve got a sense of obligation to make decisions that are in the best interest of the company and the sort of stability and long term success of the company. Even if they’re at odds with short term viewpoints alternatively.

Chris Taylor: But you know, even having said that Mike, it rarely comes to that where I’ve got people violently disagreeing with the decisions that I’m making. And I think a big part of that comes to as trite as it sounds, making sure that everyone understands from the beginning what we’re trying to achieve, the intended path as it currently exists.

Chris Taylor: But with enough time and the right information for people to be able to weigh in on whether there might be a better way to get to that path. And so sometimes that leads to different choices than certainly what I was anticipating initially.

Chris Taylor: And even when it doesn’t, there’s that sense that everyone feels heard. They were a part of the conversation. And whether it was the ideal path in their mind or not, they had a contributing voice in that discussion.

Mike Domitrz: I love that question, what are ways we can get to that goal? And then listening before bringing yours forward. Now I know when I myself have made this mistake in the past, is that careful line of listening and then presenting yours at the end as the answer.

Chris Taylor: There is that right? The articles around listening.

Mike Domitrz: Right.

Chris Taylor: Yeah I can say that from on high and it’s certainly not a perfect practice on my end. I think enthusiasm can be such a positive thing as a leader. And it can also be detrimental because you can unintentionally steam roll people into your way of thinking when you just sort of bombard them with enough enthusiasm that they, “Okay, fine, fine, fine. You’re excited so we’ll do that.”

Chris Taylor: And so I think the onus as always is on the leader to try to keep that in check, and to appreciate that we’re not perfect creatures no matter how strong a leader we are and there’s always gonna be opportunity to reflect on the discussion that just happened and how we might do it better next time.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah. So which way do you tend to present it? Do you put your idea out first and say, “But this is just one idea. I’d love to hear what everybody else is thinking, or how you could improve that idea?” Or, do you wait to hear there’s and then choose whether to include yours or not?

Chris Taylor: I’ve definitely been guilty of the former in the past. And it does tend to sort of … Everyone’s happy or putting on an err of happiness. But it does shut down dialogue. What I’ve found helpful for myself, because if I try to wait until the end, I’m biting my tongue and in many cases and to your point, not listening as well as I could. Is what I’ve tried to do is separate the desired outcome from my potential path to get to that outcome.

Chris Taylor: And I put more emotional weight into the desired outcome for myself before sharing where we want to go with the people involved. Such that I’m not as emotionally invested in my path to get there, because I’ve managed to retain emotional investment in the outcome. Which may not be a perfect practice unto itself but it certainly helps me at least to ensure that more voices are heard.

Mike Domitrz: I love it. That’s awesome. And the work you do at Actionable, it’s based on helping translate ideas into action. And I’m a big fan of this. When I’ve been interviewed, and they say, “How did you grow the Date Safe Project so much?” I will always tell people, “I just did was I was told. I implemented.”

Mike Domitrz: Where a lot of people debate, which am I to do? I just did, did, did, did, did. Which is the whole idea. I always have loved the quote, Spencer Herbert I believe is the one who said it. Which is, “The goal of education is not knowledge, it’s action.”

Chris Taylor: Yeah I love that.

Mike Domitrz: And I’ve always loved that. And it’s been quoted by others but I believe he was the original quote the source came from. So how do you help people do that? How do you help people more quickly? Because people will do it, but some do it over 10 years what could have been done in a day because they’re debating, they’re analyzing. So how do you respectfully help people translate ideas into action?

Chris Taylor: When we first started positioning Actionable to the market talking to particular heads of learning and development, we would get people really excited about what were doing. Everyone would nod vigorously saying, “This is really important. We need to have better conversations at work. We need to make sure that people are finding relevance and taking action on that.” There was this great sense of importance and then nothing happened.

Chris Taylor: And what I’ve found is that, there’s a real need to capture the sense of importance, the desire or the intention that people have when they’re looking at making a change. But then also creating that sense of urgency.

Chris Taylor: We need to find a way to increase both importance and urgency. And so I look at both of those not exclusively but as two halves of the whole in order to drive change and quick change forward.

Chris Taylor: So just to dig in a little bit on that, when we look at importance for individual change, the importance piece is around personal relevance. It’s why should I care? Why does this matter to me? In the most cynical kind of sense.

Chris Taylor: The more time we can spend not on the what but on the why, to borrow from Mister Cynic, around what it is about this change, or program, or initiative, whatever it is that’s personally relevant to me. What’s the reward that’s gonna make sense for me at the end? Whether that’s intrinsic reward, or external.

Chris Taylor: So that sense of importance needs to be there because that’s what weathers the storms, and the inevitable challenges that we have is that guiding deeper why around the change or whatever it is. But then there’s also that sense of urgency around what happens if we don’t execute on this in the next 30 days, 90 days, 120 days? What’s that actual negative effect and how much further away from our goals are we going to be?

Chris Taylor: So I find one of the fastest ways to drive urgency is to appreciate that it’s not a matter of procrastination, and I’ll be starting from the same place as I am now. In most cases, and I challenge people to think through this in something that they’ve been putting off.

Chris Taylor: In most cases the act of starting now, versus starting even next week, you’re actually further ahead now than you will be a week from now. You’re actually regressing over time. So when you think about health, or when you think about quitting smoking, or being a better spouse, or being a more proactive employee, or showing up for meetings on time.

Chris Taylor: It’s easy to say, “Well if I don’t do it today it’s not a big deal.” But every day we’re either getting closer to an ideal state, or further from it. There’s very few things in our lives where we’re static.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah well that’s a great example. Let’s say it’s the, I want to be a better spouse or partner and you wait a week. That means for another week you chose to not be the best partner you could be.

Chris Taylor: Right.

Mike Domitrz: I mean that’s a horrible thing to think of when you say it out loud. When they go, “I didn’t choose that I just didn’t do it.” Well then you chose it right? Because you chose not to improve it and you knew you weren’t improving it. It wasn’t like this is one of these things in your life where I didn’t know what I didn’t know. No, you knew and you chose.

Mike Domitrz: And so I think that’s a powerful statement. Same with the body right? I’m gonna wait, next month I’m gonna start getting in shape. Then you’re choosing to harm your body or not give your body what it deserves for the next month. Why would you choose to do that?

Chris Taylor: Well exactly. And even in the neutral state, even if you think it’s not like I’m doing more harm to my body. I would suggest you probably are because the habits that have led to you being in a place where you now think you need to proactively get in shape are probably doing harm.

Chris Taylor: And same thing with your relationship, you may think you’re being sort of a neutral party in that relationship, but neutral party to your partner may actually be the thing that’s driving them further away right?

Chris Taylor: I think there’s an urgency we can tap into when we look at, if I continued this forever the way I am, what’s gonna happen? And every day that I move towards that is a day moving in the wrong direction. Not neutral.

Mike Domitrz: So how do you avoid the mistake that I made early on? And I made it for a while. Which is thinking, everything is urgent. That’s why I implemented everything because we can’t afford not to. There’s the, I can’t afford not to do this priority. That’s healthy. But I can’t afford not to do that either, and that either. And there goes the squirrel. I can’t afford not to watch the squirrel. So how do we avoid that?

Chris Taylor: Sure. I think there’s sort a Jiu Jitsu approach here, which is, I’m gonna suggest not to actually avoid it, or try to avoid it. But rather to say, okay this is something that for whatever reason deemed to be urgent. Great. So I want to make proactive change. I want to make something happen different than what’s been in the past.

Chris Taylor: But it doesn’t need to be, I’ve been a couch potato all my life and I’m gonna run the Boston Marathon next month. It can be the tiny, incremental step. It’s what BJ Fogg talks about out at Stanford around that laughably small first step that you can take towards improvement in that area.

Chris Taylor: And I find that this really takes the pressure off trying to go binary and decide what’s urgent and what’s not is you can look at anything that you want to improve in your life and go, yeah there’s an importance there. And from an urgency standpoint I can create a small tiny incremental step in the right direction.

Chris Taylor: Now sure that might start breaking down if you’ve got a thousand things on your list, but typically I find that when you take the approach of instead of trying to decide and being that analysis paralysis as to whether this is urgent or not, having the what’s the smallest thing I can do to actually move it forward? Really takes a lot of the pressure off in that regard.

Mike Domitrz: That’s interesting. And I do know a lot of people, I think because of my line of work and personality that draws similar. We are the ones with a million things on the list.

Chris Taylor: Sure.

Mike Domitrz: And so for that person, is it a matter of just stopping and going, priority means one. You cannot have 10 priorities. That defies the word priority. So is that

Mike Domitrz: … lesson there of just going, “Wait, is this a priority?”

Chris Taylor: Yeah. I mean the laughably small first step might be to revisit this in six months time, right?

Mike Domitrz: Right.

Chris Taylor: Like, to put a point in the calendar’s to later. It doesn’t need to be something that you’re doing regularly and every day. And I think to your point, Mike, I mean, being able to identify the one thing or certainly at least the one thing in each major bucket or area of your life right now, great. Everything else, it’s not dead and it’s not a, you know, some day maybe it’s a, “Yeah, I’m actually going to revisit all of these things at this date.” Right? That’s my next step.

Mike Domitrz: And so what do you think is the biggest mistake people make on a journey of getting a project done? So now we’ve got it urgent. We’ve got that this is why. We know our why. Now where the struggle is typically?

Chris Taylor: Yeah, I think there’s the, you know, I feel like I’m referencing indirectly Covey a lot in this conversation, but the whole begin with the end in mind piece, the biggest thing I see falling down is people failing to consider the work involved in achieving that outcome, which sounds obvious, but the nuance of that work, who else do I need to have involved, where’s the appropriate breathing time for things within this, where’s the, you know, the meetings have to be set with this group and so what happens has to happen before that.

Chris Taylor: I think there’s a general thought of, “I know what’s involved in that project, so I’ll be able to work to a good pace on that,” and sort of convincing ourselves that we’re somehow subconsciously masters of our own schedule, which of course we’re not. And being able to sit down at the beginning of the project and say, “Okay, so what does the output look like at the end?” And then working back, where do I need to have those major milestone pieces?

Chris Taylor: It’s forever away until it’s tomorrow. And that just doesn’t work. We need to be giving small bursts of attention to what the next milestone is and who needs to be involved towards that. That’s my take on it.

Mike Domitrz: Well, let’s go right into that because you mentioned milestone and you’re a believer in knowing people’s personal milestones in addition to professional from what I understand. So how do you gently cross that line or go into that world of personal without being invasive or inappropriate?

Chris Taylor: Part of it is inviting the conversation, which is something I’m big on. But you know, people will volunteer whatever level of comfort they have around sharing the personal elements of a professional project or initiative. You know, some people are extremely guarded and potentially, you know, based on experience or just personality, and others you can’t get them to stop talking about the personal. So if you invite people to a place of, “Hey, so here’s this thing that we’re working on collectively. I’m curious, Steve, how does it matter to you? What’s in this for you to be engaged in this project and to be realizing success.”

Chris Taylor: If you just stop talking as a leader at that point, people A, in most cases haven’t been asked that question before. So it will take them by surprise. But if you get in the habit of asking that question, people will come to a sort of expect it and they’ll share whatever level of comfort there sharing.

Chris Taylor: And I think a big piece with it is that you can’t force people to be more open or transparent, right? All you can do is create the safe environment in which they feel that they can share those pieces without judgment, and that you’re coming at it from a place of support and wanting to help them achieve the things that matter to them so long as they’re, you know, ideally in alignment with the organization’s objectives and at least not to the detriment. Right?

Chris Taylor: But I find it’s interesting the more we help clients to do this, to invite more sort of blending of personal and professional objectives, the more I find that that that concern that individual’s objectives might be totally misaligned from organizational objectives is rarely the case. Most people want to come to work and be a contributing member. Most people want to feel a valued part of the tribe and they want to work towards a shared outcome that they can celebrate together. They have their own reasons for wanting to do that and so if we create this space and invite people to enter it to have the conversation around their personal relevance to that, pretty surprising things can happen and almost always positive.

Mike Domitrz: Well, and I love what you did there. You didn’t make it personal the way people think of the word person. I think when people think of personal, they mistakenly think I’m going to ask him about the family, about the kids, about their partner, their dating, versus what excites you about this project. So it’s their personal attachment to work. You’re not invading outside the workspace.

Chris Taylor: Yeah. And again, if people want to go into sharing how this matters because they want to take their partner on a trip because things are being struggling, whatever. Great. Then you know, you can go there if you want to. But I think starting from that shared place, which is we work together and there’s stuff that we’re working towards and now I want to know why that matters. I think that’s the other interesting bit is that, you know, what’s more personal than our aspirations, hopes, and dreams, right?

Chris Taylor: I’d suggest very little. And so you can actually get to a much more meaningful connection with someone without actually getting exposed to a lot of the sort of, I don’t want to call it superficial, but the more sort of trappings of the individual themselves, right? Like the, you know, their money situation or whatever, that’s sort of irrelevant. It’s more around what drives them, what are they working towards, and why.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah. Respecting their drive. I mean, that’s so powerful. And you’re a big believer in that there’s a movement now about managers becoming better coaches. And what are the advantages you see of that?

Chris Taylor: I think clarity and alignment are there are the biggest piece. You know, I think our, our mutual friend Michael Bungay Stanier has in my mind, the definitive book, The Coaching Habit on how to be an excellent coach manager in 10 minutes or less. And I think that reading through the questions that he poses in the book, it helps a manager to very quickly understand what’s going on in someone else’s head on their team, and to do so in a way that leaves the responsibility and onus for working through with the individual, but positions the manager truly as a coach of being able to help flag where maybe their understanding, the member’s understanding of something is misguided or incomplete and to re sort of nudge people into a place of aligns momentum.

Chris Taylor: And that, again, I think, you know, it creates this incredible world of mutual respect where you’re not taking responsibility for that person’s deliverables, but you’re able to help support them in achieving the things that they want to achieve that are in line with, again, the organizational objectives.

Mike Domitrz: And just for our listeners again, the book title is?

Chris Taylor: The Coaching Habit.

Mike Domitrz: And I’m going to have that in the show notes for everyone too, but I want to make sure they just heard it again because sometimes you’re driving, you’re listening to this doing something, I want to make sure you heard that. So The Coaching Habit, great book with specific questions. All right, so let’s flip that question. What are the disadvantages, the downsides of a manager thinking I’m a coach, not a manager.

Chris Taylor: I think that’s a great question because I think that that word coach, like so many words in our business lexicon is a loaded term. We have different sort of internal definitions of what that means. And so, you know, we see it where being a coach means that I get to put on my superhero cape more often and fly in and solve everyone’s problems for them, which is absolutely not being a coach, but it invites that potentially as a path. I think there’s also the perception from a manager that coaching can be time intensive and where the heck would I find the time when I’m already, you know, starved to get the work done that I need to get done. I think, you know, I appreciate it’s not directly answering your question, Mike, but I think that it’s flawed logic.

Chris Taylor: It sort of like, you know, taking my car into the shop for regular maintenance oil change as a big time and money waste. It’s like, well, sure it is until the alternative happens, which is you’re on your way to an important meeting and your car catches on fire on the side of the highway, right? It’s the same thing here. It’s that maintenance mode of having more meaningful engagement with the people on your team reduces the amount of time, and energy, and agony, and you need to spend in performance coaching, getting people up to snuff, and or exit interviews, and new hires, and onboarding.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah, absolutely. And the mistake of thinking, “I’m no longer a manager, I’m a coach.” Because then you disavow yourself of management responsibilities, which are very different than coaching responsibilities.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah, that’s a great point.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah, absolutely. Well I mean, I love where this is going. And when you were building your organization, I’d love to hear a little background because you turned down VC funding in 2017 where everybody’s saying, “Raise money nowadays, raise money.” You turned it down. Why? What drove you towards that path?

Chris Taylor: Sure. So for 20 seconds of context, I had a sizable angel investor in 2015 and we got kind of drunk on the money and focused on where, you know, this massive organization that we could build. And then, you know, inevitably that money ran out. And so I was hunting actively for VC or private equity back in sort of mid to late 16 and into the middle of 17.

Chris Taylor: But it was interesting to go through that process. I interviewed with about 42 different venture cap firms and towards the end started to get some offers. And I’m really glad that those offers didn’t come earlier in the process, which maybe sounds crazy, but it was through having the sort of forced reflection time of having all these VC conversations and learning sort of the models that work. So, you know, VCs are looking for recurring revenue, they’re looking for a scalability, they’re looking for scalability both on a revenue side but then also on the process side, and realizing through that process … and they also want to position for a five to eight year exit typically. Again, not universally, but typically.

Chris Taylor: And I found that through the process of having these conversations realized that there were some fairly serious limitations that would be applied to the business. Things that would do harm to our clients and to our network of consulting partners that we work with if we were to sort of smooth off the edges to fit cleanly into the VC mold.

Mike Domitrz: I’m want to pause there. I want to pause, because a lot of our listeners have never been in that world and you see it, they see Shark Tank where you have angel investors and they hear about VC. And for anybody listening is not aware, That’s venture capitalists. So they watch certain shows on TV, and you know, 20 billion are being thrown at a firm or whatever, or being bought. And it seems inconceivable. So I’m going to back it up a little bit. When we say venture capitalism, what’s the difference in that and somebody giving you money for your business?

Chris Taylor: Sure. So a venture capitalist or venture capitalism firm is typically a body of professional investors that manages other people’s money. So they’ll put together a fund of 25 million, 100 million, some of them now are insane, multiple billion dollar funds and they’ll take money from different institutions and individuals. And then they look to place that money with fast growth tech companies typically that they see an opportunity to earn a multiple on their investment.

Chris Taylor: So I’ll put in the million dollars here and five to eight years from now, if things go right, I could get 20 million out. Right? That sort of thinking. And then they invest in a portfolio approach. So basically they say, “I’m going to invest in 10 of these companies,” Sort of like betting on ponies. And some of them are going to flame out and disappear and I’ll lose my money on those. Some of them will do okay and I’ll get my money back.

Chris Taylor: But if one or two of these achieves what they are planning to, then I’ve made a great return for my investors. I’ll get more money from them on the next fund. And away I go again. So that’s different than an individual giving you money, what might be referred to as an angel investor. An angel investor is typically a higher net worth individual who believes in the nature of your business.

Chris Taylor: They definitely want a payout. They want their money back with with a sizable return. That’s good. But it’s usually secondary or at least one of two

Chris Taylor: Priorities for them. The other one being I believe in the founder and/or I believe in the good that the business is doing and I’m putting money into that. It’s usually not a portfolio. They don’t usually have the capital to put into 15 companies sometimes but not usual. So they’re investing in a couple, you know, we have a few in our business and, and I think the one that’s most active has three companies that he’s invested in and it’s really for a much longer term and they like to be involved in the business at least from an update standpoint and they typically have some experience or advice to offer as well.

Mike Domitrz: Awesome. Thank you for that. I think that’s so great for people to hear the difference because you hear about in the news, TV and that. Great explanation. I’m going to go a different direction here. You did what was called the Author Interview Road Show and you got to interview Dan Pink, Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk, Sir Ken Robinson, all these incredible people. And your comment is I did it being an absolutely nobody. Now you’re not a nobody but, how’d you do it since you say you’re a nobody? I mean, I think everybody always has that dream of how do I get to someone? How’d you do it?

Chris Taylor: Yeah, so I started the first part of Actionable was, it’s still alive and well, it’s called Actionable Books. And this is where the whole sort of drive to apply intellectual concepts came from. That, you know, ideas are only valuable when applied. I was reading a lot of business books and what I tried to do with each of those books was to actually take just one idea. And you know, anyone that’s read Drive by Dan Pink knows there’s probably 16 great ideas in there, but I wanted to skinny it down to what’s the one thing that I want to put it into practice and I’ll write about that. And so these actionable summaries that I started creating were, here’s a high level overview of the book, but here’s the one thing that resonated with me. Here’s how I’m planning on applying it. It was a personal application.

Chris Taylor: One of the things that I did right and did well at the very beginning was as I was reading, and this was really a passion project, it wasn’t even a business back then. As I was reading these books and writing summaries, I would find the email address, which is usually readily available of the individual that wrote it. I would send them an email and it would basically say, and this is almost verbatim, “Hey Dan, I read Drive, I love Drive. I’m planning on applying concepts from Drive. Really appreciate your work. Here’s the link to the summary if you’re interested. Thanks and keep it up. Chris.” That was it. There was no ask. What became interesting was that there’s certain authors, like many of us that I gravitated to and so I really, you know, got into Seth Godin’s works as many of us have.

Chris Taylor: And so Seth got probably eight of these emails from me that were almost identical. But it was just, it was a give and it was a thank you. There was no ulterior motive. It was very much around the respect for their work. You know, in hindsight, I was also clearly building a track record of deep diving into their content, the stuff they really care about. And so when I reached out for the … It was actually I’d finished Seth’s last book at the time, this was before Linchpin came out and after I added sort of a PS to the standard email and it said, “Hey, I don’t know what you’re working on now, but I’ve ran out of Seth Godin books to read. Would you be open to an interview if I came to New York? Can I sit down and pick your brain on what you’re thinking about now, appreciating that your most recent book, the thinking’s probably two years old.”

Chris Taylor: And then I almost fell on my share when he said, yeah, sure. Now I also didn’t know, but there was a bit of a perfect timing because he was doing, he was starting to gear up for the book launch for Linchpin. And so it fit well into his PR campaign. But then having Seth, and I was going to New York anyway. And again, this is all on my dime. There was no revenue stream. I thought, well, I’ve got to find somebody else. I’ve heard of this upstart Gary Vaynerchuk who had just published-

Mike Domitrz: Upstart.

Chris Taylor: This is like 12 years ago. He just published Crush It. And so he’d obviously done well in his own businesses before, but in the author world he was new. But I liked Crush It. It was fun. And so I reached out to Gary and at the time Gary would take an interview with literally anybody, you know, just get out there. A little bit different now.

Chris Taylor: But then I had got Seth and Gary and so then it opened, it opened more doors being able to say, “Hey, do you want to be a part of this series that those two are on?” But I think, you know, if there’s an underlying message in there, the two things that I would suggest for folks is show that you care before you ask for something and, and mean it right? Like don’t reach out to people pretending that you like their stuff. If you’ve just skimmed an article they did on Ink, right? Like dig into it if you want to talk to them. And then secondly, you know, with guys like Gary and again it’s, you know, it’s funny to think of him as a rising star, but in the business book space he was, and so being able to … I do the same thing with Simon Sinek. Start with Why hadn’t even come out yet as a book. The Ted Talk was just getting traction and I reached out to him and he said sure. And at the time he was, you know, for his keynotes he was billing about a 10th of what he charges. Now if you can find those rising stars, the people that you genuinely believe have talents and are going to do great things and connect with them, it can build for the long term there too.

Mike Domitrz: Well, and what I love about that is the consciousness of I’m just doing it because I’m like, these people have helped me, so I want to help them. The, I think the problem we make is how do I get to that person where you were, how do I give to that person with literally no intention other than to give. And so I think the mistake we make is thinking, how do I get a business out of this? Or how do I … Don’t. Just give to more people and see where it comes back in life, right? I mean that ends up being the message there.

Chris Taylor: It circles back to, you know, echoes of the VC issue that I had, which is short term thinking in general. And you know, in this example with the authors, if I decided today that I needed Seth’s involvement in something and I’d never talked to Seth, but this thing’s launching in January, so I got to get him on board, right? I’m in a very different position than if I’ve spent 12 years building a relationship with the guy. Right? And he could still very well say no, but I’ve given and given and shown respect to the individuals that I genuinely respect. And so that allows for the reciprocity. Should they choose to engage.

Mike Domitrz: Love it. Thank you so much, Chris for sharing all this wisdom and insights with us today.

Chris Taylor: My pleasure. Thanks for having me, Mike.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah, definitely. And for all of our listeners to remember that you can absolutely find Chris all about Chris. Actionable.co is Chris’s website, obviously organization. And then you’ll also find all the links on our show notes for all of our listeners. And you know, what’s next listeners, that is question of the week.

Mike Domitrz: Before I answer this week’s question of the week, I’d love to ask you a question, would you please subscribe to this podcast? The Respect Podcast with Mike Domritz. By subscribing you can make a huge impact. Now you might be wondering, Mike, how does my subscribing to your podcast make a huge impact? Well, here’s how. For every person that subscribes, it raises the rankings of the show in the search engines. So for people who care about respect like yourself, when they’re doing a search for podcasts, they’re more likely to find the show, thus providing an awesome opportunity for us to spread more respect around this world. And all you do is hit subscribe under your podcast.

Mike Domitrz: Plus, the second benefit is by subscribing, you automatically get every episode right into your phone or whatever device you’re listening to the podcast on. It happens automatically, so subscribing also makes your life easier. Now let’s get into this week’s question of the week. Oh, and by the way, you can always ask your questions of the week by joining us on Facebook in our discussion group. It’s called the respect podcast discussion group. Go there on Facebook and ask whatever questions you would like me to answer and/or address in this segment of the show. And then listen to each episode to find out when your question is included. This week’s question of the week is Mike, what is your favorite audio book?

Mike Domitrz: Now the one I’m about to share is only available on audio book. You actually cannot get this in printed book, at least at the time that I’m sharing this and I’ve never … and it’s been out a long time. So the book is the Art of Letting Go by Richard Rohr, The Art of Letting Go by Richard Rohr audio book only. It’s on Audible just so you’re aware, The Art of Letting Go by Richard Rohr. So deep, so powerful, especially in self exploration.

Mike Domitrz: Do you know what I would love? I would love to hear your answer to this week’s question of the week. So would you please answer what your answer would have been if you were asked that question today on the show, all you do is go to our Facebook page. We have a special group where we have these discussions called the Respect Podcast discussion group. So the Respect Podcast discussion group and share with us what would your answer have been to this week’s question of the week. And take a moment, post us a new question for future episodes. What question would you like to hear me answer on an upcoming episode? That’s all done on Facebook and our special group, which is the Respect Podcast discussion group. Can’t wait to see you there.

Mike Domitrz: Thank you for joining us for this episode of the respect podcast, which was sponsored by the Date Safe Project at Date Safe Project.org. And remember, you can always find me@mikespeaks.com.

 

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