In this episode, we’ve brought in CSP, CPAE Speaker Hall-of-Famer, and leadership extraordinaire, Jason Hewlett!
Having delivered thousands of presentations over 2 decades, Jason Hewlett is the only speaker in the world teaching leadership in a performance of uncanny musical and comedy impressions, utilizing the legends of stage.
Today, we’re chatting about his new book, The Power of the One, and how you can transform your mindset, your business, and your leadership skills with practical advice.
You don’t wanna miss this one!
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Show Notes 📓
✅ Check out Jason’s New book: The Promise to the One https://www.amazon.com/Promise-One-Jason-Hewlett/dp/1640951938/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1582725577&sr=8-1
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Read the Transcription 🤓
Taylorr: Welcome to another episode of Technically Speaking. We are so excited about today’s guest professional speaker and leadership extraordinary, Jason Hewlett. Welcome to the show, Jason.
Jason: Guys, this is awesome. I’m glad we’re doing this. Thanks for having me.
Taylorr: Yeah, definitely. It is an honor. For those of you who don’t know Jason, Jason has delivered thousands of presentations over the last two decades. He is the only speaker in the world, teaching leadership in a performance of uncanny musical and comedy impressions utilizing the legends of the stage. The promise is a keynote speech that feels like a show with proven processes and immediately implementable takeaways to transform your business and leadership skills. Jason is the author of the Facebook post entitled I Saw My Wife at Target Today, which has been seen by more than 100 million people. A recent and one of the youngest inductees and the prestigious speaker hall of fame, his talks inspire leadership from the perspective of a promise of giving attendees an engaging, entertaining, and educational experience all in one. With over 2000 presentations for Fortune 500 companies and clients such as Amex, Delta Airlines, the Salt Lake Olympics, Experian, Nu Skin, Unique, Coca-Cola and Wells Fargo, Jason Hewlett is your go-to solution for keynote entertainment and MC. Jason man, so decorated. There’s just so great that you’re on the show today. Thanks for being here.
Jason: That’s embarrassing to sit here and listen to you read that, man. That’s like…
Taylorr: We hear it all the time.
Jason: And he’s an Eagle scout., and he got straight A’s one time. Oh man, that’s so funny.
Taylorr: Use to walk [inaudible 01:57] both ways barefoot.
Jason: That’s right. That’s funny. But thank you for reading all that. It’s been an incredible career, been very blessed and equally 2020 has brought me to my knees and be grateful for every gig that I’ve ever had.
Taylorr: Sure, we know how it goes.
Austin: You’re not alone there.
Taylorr: So, Jason, two decades in this space, what got you into the crazy world of speaking? What led you here? When did you know that you had a message to spread?
Jason: As a kid, I always wanted to be a speaker. I saw a guy named Dan Clark, who’s in the speaker hall of fame, one of the greats from Utah. I saw him at my elementary school when I was a kid, he hates when I tell that story, but it’s true. I saw him and said, I would love to do something like that someday. And eventually after high school and after going to Brazil to do some church service work, next thing I know I’m in Las Vegas performing. And so, I took a long route to the speaking world. I was a performer first impersonating Ricky Martin, Elton John, legends in concert, it was a good time. And then I created a one-man show of music, impressions about a hundred voices that I would impersonate other people.
And then eventually within the show of being a clean family friendly, corporate friendly experience, I was getting so many bookings that I actually was experimenting on the stage. Some night it would just be hilarious, some night it would just be music, other nights it would be music and comedy mixed with like a motivational message. And I remember a company came up after I did their holiday party and they said, you shared a lot of leadership within your comedy and your music, we’d love for you to come speak to our leadership team in the spring. And I was like, yeah, sweet. That was kind of the final launch to get this thing rolling as a speaker that was about a decade ago. I’ve really gone all in with the speaking in the last five years, four or five years where I said, I’m going to go all in kind of burn the bridges on the entertainment only show and utilize my speaking as a leadership speaker with some of the music and the comedy mixed in because I believe everyone’s a performer. Everyone is a legendary voice if we’re willing to share our signature moves is what I call them. And that we all have a promise to share with the world in our leadership with our unique voice. That’s my angle as a speaker performer.
Austin: That is so great. And something that I love too is I think it’s pretty well known within the thought leadership space that there’s a lot of leaderships speakers out there because it’s such a broad category that a lot of people can fit into. But you’ve found a real way to differentiate yourself, let’s say, and call to a specific problem that you help solve in your unique way and I think that’s huge. I can’t say for certain that this is true, but I imagine that’s probably one of the things that’s helped you become so successful is because you’re so clear about your value proposition. Would you agree with that?
Jason: Yeah, it’s very nice for you to say. I believe that is true as well. I hate to say that a lot of people are just quoting the calendar that they got from the motivational quotes all day, but that’s not thought leadership in my opinion. And not to say that we’re recreating the wheel here every time either, but when we can add our own signature moves or our own unique voice to those principles that are eternal and that have been foundational for all of us in leadership. When we talk about authenticity, the question is, is the person talking really authentic or when we’re being vulnerable, are we really vulnerable or are we just saying you should be vulnerable or are we living that way? And so, where I like to take that with people is say something like, you know, you have uniqueness, you have talents and gifts that nobody else has. Just like the voice of Louis Armstrong. People told him not to sing, but he did anyway. And I think to myself what a wonderful world. And then I say, okay, so what if he didn’t sing? We would never have had that voice, and what if you don’t share your unique gifts and talents? It’s your personal brand. It’s your brand promise and you need to promise to share that with the world. That’s part of the reason that you’re here and that’s really what distinguishes it. It’s entertaining, opens the heart to allow the mind to learn. And it really works well.
Taylorr: That was awesome. Did you know right away when you got started after that company came up to you and said, hey, you sound like you’d be great for our leadership conference or whatever it was, did you know right away that was where your value proposition would land or did that evolve over time for you to become so specific in how you help people? Is that something you always knew or was that a learning curve for you?
Jason: Well, the learning curve has been more in the, how do you deliver exactly what you’re trying to say? I always knew what I meant to say and it was always around talents, gifts. We naturally have something that we’ve been given from a divine place to share with the world. It’s always been there. It started as, what are your gifts? What are your talents? Then it became, what are your signature moves? And then it became, what are your commitments? And then now it’s become the promise. I’m slowly getting to a place where I’m like, I like the word promise. It’s really strong. There are a few men that are like, I’m going to talk about promise, it sounds like a Hallmark Card really. But the promise, I love that it’s kind of gutsy. And at the same time, some people are like I don’t like promises, I don’t keep promises to myself and I say, well, let’s talk about that and why it’s important, not only to yourself, but to your business, to your family. I’m really digging in on some deep stuff that people are like, I don’t know if I should go there right now, but I’ve been speaking about it for years, just in a roundabout way until we really define the actual branding of the promise.
Austin: I think that’s awesome. It’s an important topic too and it’s one that, like you said, people sort of scurried away from, I think naturally, because it means taking on more responsibility and being held accountable. I know personally for myself, the idea of making a promise, especially to myself, this is sort of a segue into your book, obviously, which we can get more into in a minute here. But the hardest part for me in making a promise to myself is holding myself accountable to whatever promise that may be. I’m curious, how does that play into this, this philosophy that you have around being unique and yourself and making these commitments to yourself?
Jason: It’s really just about that whole accountability piece. If we’re not willing to go there for ourselves, why would we go there for a company? And oftentimes we have it backwards. We’re doing everything for the company or everything for the client at the sacrifice of our health and we’re staying up late to fulfill the promises that we’ve made and we’re like, why did I take on so much? And eventually you can’t keep going. You’re going to burn out, you’re going to flame out and it’s happened in 2020, unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the history of business, in my opinion. Because people are giving everything, they can to keep things going and you have to do what you have to do I get it, but there’s got to come a time where you say, wait a minute, hold on.
I got to keep some promises for myself. I have to change my way I’m sleeping, change the way I’m eating, change the way that I’m doing my day. I don’t want to keep doing all the minutia within the business when I should be doing the thing that I’m best at doing. There’s a reason I wrote this book you guys, The Promise to The One and the one is yourself, because I’m the ultimate example of not doing it well. And I share it just so vulnerably within this book that people are laughing their heads off and then crying because they’re like, I’m the same way. How do I shift this? And I give you tools in the book how to do that. I hope that answered your question, but it really is a powerful thing to really self-analyze and say, am I making promises to myself or am I just doing it for everyone else? And then there’s nothing left for me. And that’s why the book has started as far as a series of books, which will all be coming out eventually. There’re so many elements of a promise, whether it’s to your family, your team you work with the company that you’re with or the clients you have you name it. But the promise to the self is the most important start with.
Austin: I’ve got sort of a follow up question to that because I get this dichotomy that we’re all sort of faced with, which is how much we’re investing in ourselves versus how much we’re investing in others, in whatever form that may be. I also see the people tend, I think, to lean towards helping others before they help themselves. And I’m curious, I don’t know if this is something that you extrapolate on in the book, which I’m very excited to read by the way, but do you think that that comes from a good place? Do you think that that generally starts with somebody thinking that the best thing is for them to help somebody else rather than themselves? Or is that misguided? I’m curious, I guess my question is, do you think that people do this for good reasons or is there something else at play that makes us inclined to think for others instead of ourselves?
Jason: What a cool question? I’ve not gotten that question and that’s great. I would just say wherever it comes from originally for you. In some cases, you might say to yourself, I’m going to serve this other person until it affects me negatively. And if you’re willing to do that because they need it and you’re not worried about getting credit back then, perhaps the motive was correct. But oftentimes we’re doing it to keep a job or to get the promotion or to win points with the person. If we’re going at it from that angle, it’s unsustainable. We could go back to that example of the old airplane adage, where they’re like, put your mask on first, helping everyone else. They don’t say, because you’ll be passed out in time, you know with the drop of the altitude.
They don’t want to scare you. But the truth of it is yes, we have to feed the horse before he can pull the cart. And so unfortunately, we so often are like, oh give, give, give, give, give to everyone. And those are the people that are amazing for like, six months or a year and then you’re like, where did they go? Well, they flamed out, they burned out. They couldn’t keep it going. When we are certain in our ways, it’s a lot about boundaries, it’s a lot about setting expectations, it’s about making a commitment and keeping it. But if you’ve made too many commitments, how can you fulfill those and then say to yourself, okay, wait a minute, I got to slow down. I have to make sure that I’m not doing so much or else I’m going to be worthless to anybody else.
Taylorr: Definitely. I’m curious you said at the beginning of the book, and I think you’ve done this on stage too, but you share those vulnerable moments when you necessarily didn’t behave that way or you over promise, let’s say, and then you had to course correct. Tell us a story about that. Tell us a time when you over promised and you had to reassess and how did you get yourself out of that rut to readjust. What were some of the tools in your tool belt that have allowed you to constantly reassess that?
Jason: You could go all across the board with this one. Even when it comes to service, let’s say you are asked to serve on a board because you’re becoming so important in the community, let’s say. I remember at a certain point I was becoming quite popular because I was doing shows publicly in my state and so people were like, hey, we should have him on our board. He could entice people to give money to our charity or a cause. I think I sat on like 10 boards one year, right at the same time as my wife and I were just having our kids and I was young in business. It was really foolish after a while; I was on the board calls or the board meetings so much that I didn’t even have time to work on my business.
I was barely there for my children or my wife and I couldn’t serve in church, I couldn’t do things in the community elsewhere. And so, at a certain point, you start to say, wait a minute, I need to make sure that I’m slowing down. How can I say no, if I’ve made the commitment already? Can I fulfill the commitment or can I go to them and say, hey, look, I took on too much, if I could serve for another three months and I’ll help you find another person to replace me. I share this kind of stuff in the book where it’s really just a how to say no, when you’re a yes man, which is what I was and say to them, hey, look, I took on too much. I’m embarrassed or I will fulfill the commitment and then I I’m not going to be taking on all the other requests that come forth. And that is a very important thing to learn or else it’ll be like that person that we all know who’s like, oh man, they’re amazing, they’re at every meeting, they’re doing everything. And eventually you’re like, where’d they go?
Taylorr: Just disappears.
Jason: They died of exhaustion is where they went. It’s sad.
Austin: This sort of reminds me of this article that I just saw the other day where Jeff Bezos, he came out and was talking about his daily routine basically. And he sleeps eight hours a night, every night wakes up and does breakfast with his family and his main objective is to make three high quality decisions per day. That’s what his job is. And he does that because there’s so much happening at Amazon and Blue Horizons and all these other organizations that he’s a part of that, there’s no way he could be productive if he were spreading himself too thin. And to me it sounded like really the moral of the story was he learned how to say no and only says yes to the few things that will absolutely make an impact. Am I sort of on the same trail as what you’re talking about here?
Jason: A hundred percent, I didn’t even know about that, but that’s a great example. Even as this book launched this summer of 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic, perfect time to launch a book by the way, holy cow. But I took the kids to go and my wife out of town for a little get together with some friends months ago. And I came back home and I was just sitting here for three days and I’m going, what am I going to do? I could stay up all night because I usually would work all day, all night, all day, all night when they’re gone so I get tons done. I thought to myself when’s the last time I had eight hours of sleep. Do I even know how to sleep? Can I even lay down and go to sleep? And you guys, that’s part of this book.
It’s like saying, am I really happy? Am I really healthy? Am I really living at the highest level that I’d like to? You read all these motivational people that are like, I sleep for eight hours and I’d get up at 4:00 AM and I take a cold bath and then I do a thousand pushups and then I run a marathon and I chased the whales and it’s like, dude, I can’t keep up with that. What’s good for me? I know for myself making a promise to say, you know what? Each night I’m going to sleep with the phone in my office, not in my bedroom. It’s a very simple shift. Or I’m going to take social media off my phone and I’m only going to look at it on my laptop when I actually post something.
Or I’m going to go to sleep at 11 o’clock and I’m going to sleep till six or seven or until, I have to go to the bathroom and wakes me up at 3:00 AM, I don’t know. But what can I do that will make me happy? And that will make me feel fulfilled. And you guys, in a couple of days’ time, by the time I went and got my family, brought them back home, I had shifted my sleeping pattern, my waking up pattern, my mornings, just by making a few promises to myself and saying, I don’t think I need those caffeine drinks anymore. I don’t think I need to watch Netflix at night to go to bed anymore, I don’t think I need my phone on me so much anymore. Just making these little commitments to myself, made all the difference and I’m way happier, especially in the middle of a time when I should be sad. I mean, hey guys, I’m a speaker for large events, I lost everything in 2020 financially and I’m pretty happy. That’s the promise.
Austin: It’s cool too, because you were just doing these little things. Nothing that you said is a barrier of entry, so high that anybody could take advantage of it. Sleeping with your phone in the office. Anybody can do it takes zero effort, it’s just a decision that has to be made. But the momentum, making those tiny decisions that impact your life add up pretty quickly. And I know this has been a recurring theme on this show, we’ve had a lot of people say the same things, but anytime you’re trying to make your life better or your business better, or if you’re trying to accomplish any goal, you don’t get there by saying, I’m going to do this one thing. You don’t lose a bunch of weight because you said I’m committing today that I’m never going to eat anything unhealthy again. It’s not going to work.
But we do commit to is I’m going to stop eating at eight o’clock tonight, I’m just going to eat for less time today, or I’m going to cut out this one sugary drink that I drink all the time. And once you stack a few of those small habit changes on top of each other, you get to see the progress and the momentum. I know for myself, I’ve implemented probably small amounts of what you’re talking about at a whole, like for one thing I wake up every day and I spend a few minutes reflecting about what I’m grateful for. It takes a few minutes, I’m drinking my coffee, I’m enjoying my life, it’s just a thought exercise. It takes no effort. But I noticed that even just that really translated into me being happier overall. Maybe not like it didn’t completely shift my mindset, but it did give me more opportunities throughout the day to be reminded of the things that I’m grateful for. I don’t know, I just want to highlight and speak from my own experience that really those little things that you’re talking about add up in a big way. I think for a lot of people, the question becomes, okay, what little things can I implement? And sounds like you’ve got an answer for us there my friend so that’s awesome.
Jason: Well, yeah. And you said it very well. That was very eloquent my friend and it is all those little things and truth be known, I’m not perfect at this at all, I’m not even close. That’s why I talk about it so much and I’m candid about it. I’m like, yeah, I messed up. I put Facebook back on my phone for the weekend just to look at things and the next thing I know, I’m on there for like eight hours. What’s my problem? And a lot of the promise is about forgiveness. Is to look at ourselves and reassess and say, wait a minute, why did I spend 12 hours a day on my phone last week after the weekly report? That’s insane. Can I redirect? Can I regroup? Can I recommit to something greater? Yeah. So, what are you going to do? Very simple. And that’s why the promise is such a simple concept, but it’s so powerful. Those little shifts make all the difference in our happiness, in our fulfillment in work, even in the way that we deliver to our clients. It’s a big deal.
Taylorr: I like what you had to say about forgiveness too because I was just going to ask about this because occasionally, we lapse, we beat ourselves up for it because we ate out that one day or I decided to stay on Facebook for 12 hours like you just said. Is that the process that you walk yourself through when you lapsed to get back on the bandwagon again? What’s the method for not beating yourself up basically for doing that and then getting back on as soon as possible?
Jason: Guys, this is great. All you have to do is get a journal. Get a journal whether it’s a little one or a big one, whatever you want to do. I love to wake up in the morning and write in the journal and that is my self-assessment awareness time. It teaches us right at the beginning of the book. In fact, I give this link, that’s a private link to those that have the book to go to my website, download a journal guide. I think journaling is so powerful. Obviously, it’s not a replacement for therapy, but it’s a good place to be able to say, this is what I’m doing, this is what I’ve done, what can I do to recreate myself? My friend Dr. Benjamin Hardy talks about personality, isn’t permanent and I believe that is true. Whether we take the disc or the color code or all these assessments that are very powerful and very real, we can also communicate to ourselves within our journal and say, this is my promise for today.
Yesterday I messed up, today I’m moving forward. This is who I am. This is what I create. This is what I become. This sounds like we’re talking about the secret here, but the truth of the matter is it’s just very simple as self-assessment write it in the journal, commit to it, look at it and go, okay, I’m going to schedule this much time to go on a walk today. I’m going to commit to my children. I have four kids. I’m going to commit to each child to do that one thing, which they want to do with dad every day. And that’s very simple. I’ve talked to my children already. I know that my son who’s 12 wants to just shoot some baskets in the driveway, even for five or 10 minutes. I know that my son who’s nine years old, he wants to just have me watch him on the skateboard outside. That’s all he wants. I know that my daughter wants to go over some videos on TikTok and make something funny. That’s the power of just making these promises and then them in our life is way, way more fulfilled.
Austin: It’s so cool too, that you’re not missing the execution piece because this is something like I have opinions about things like the secret and I think that there’s a lot of good there, but I think sometimes what gets left out work that has to get done after you make that commitment to yourself. And you just gave a few examples of promises that you made, that you stuck with and that you executed on. I don’t know that that can’t be missed when we have these conversations, because the progress stops where the ability to do the work stops. No promise is good without you delivering on it.
Jason: That’s right. And it’s really ugly when we make a promise and we break it. Obviously, we’re like, sure, I’ll come out and I’ll watch you on your skateboard and then you’re just trapped in your office all day. What are the promises that we’re making that perhaps we’re exceeding the expectations? It doesn’t mean that we have to make these huge promises, but if you’re making goals every day or even every year as we’re coming up on the new year of 2021, as our listeners and those that are watching are thinking, hey, how can I actually make a resolution and keep it this time? I like to say, why set a goal when we can make a promise? Not to say that goals aren’t important, but where you set a goal and you miss it, you just set a new goal. There’s no consequence, but if you make a promise and break it you have a problem. So, I like to say, we’re goals are particulars promises are proclamations. So, what do you proclaim? Perhaps you set some goals to say, I set a goal today that I will not eat sugar, but your promise proclamation is I just live a healthy lifestyle and` then it just almost becomes a little simpler.
Taylorr: Definitely. For our listeners too, there’s one thing I want to highlight here that we haven’t really even talked about Jason. But this is a common theme that comes up on the show, especially with our more successful speakers that we bring on. And it’s this isolation to a single word of a very abstract concept that you bring to the table. For example, Simon T Bailey is known for this. He reinvents himself like every 10 to 12 years on a new word. It was brilliant for a while, spark right now. And it’s a common theme that we’ve noticed with successful speakers is they take their ideas and everything that you bring to the table, and you can narrow it down to one core idea, one core word, and more importantly, that core word can make babies, different ideas that you have based on that. Like you’ve said, The Promise to The One right now, that’s where it starts, but there are six other books probably there that need to be had and said that all fall under that category. So, from a business perspective, Jason, you’re doing all the right things, man. It was awesome to have you on the show to talk about that, talk about your experience, how you got here. I’m sure we could spend hours more, having more deeply rooted conversations in those ideas. You know we’re all about providing value for our audience. What are some of things you’re working on right now that our listeners can benefit?
Jason: What’s really exciting to me is having written this book called The Promise to The One and that it is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, all those places is that it really made me sit down and say, am I just doing keynotes? Even though I’m grateful for the keynotes and now they’ve gone from live in front of thousands of people to virtual, which is so crazy, but it’s worked, is to say, are people really walking away with value? Are they actually implementing what we talked about? Or is it just a really good show for an hour? To me that’s not enough right now for me. It’s been enough for the last 20 years because I would just do the gig, get the cheque, get the standing ovation, go do the next gig. Get the cheque, standing ovation, excited and I just did that over and over. But when everything went away in March of 2020, for me and for my family, as we sat there and said, daddy’s not probably going to travel again this year, which has pretty much been true.
What can I do that can still be a deliverable for the client? And that is I’m creating The Promise Institute, which I actually haven’t announced anywhere else, but on this podcast. I’m very excited to talk about it because we’re creating online coaching, it’s the backend of a keynote that would become something where everyone goes, I want to become a Promise Company. I want to train that within my company to help our culture become promise people, people that keep their promises. We’ll be certifying people on The Promise, we’ll be helping speakers that are still trying to figure out their word or their direction who are like, I kind of liked The Promise. Well, then come join us. We’d love to help you to find that course for yourself and be a part of it, just like a John Maxwell or the disc training or all these other things that you can do and certify in that’s what I’m working on The Promise Institute. It’s not even a website yet, it will be soon, but we have a couple of trainers in place, people in ready to go, clients that are just begging for it, asking me for coaching for years. We’re finally going to do it in 2021, I’m very excited. Thanks for asking.
Taylorr: Yeah, totally. That is awesome to hear. We will have links in our show notes for everybody listening so definitely go check that out. Go give Jason’s new book a read, you can find that on all of the awesome retailer, we’ll also have a link in the show notes and hey, if you found this episode valuable, don’t forget to subscribe rate at five stars. And if you want more awesome resources like this, go to speaker flow.com/resources. Thank you so much for chiming in. I just wanted to take a second to thank our sponsor Auxbus. Auxbus is the all-in-one suite of tools you need to run your podcast. And it’s actually what we run here at Speaker Flow for Technically speaking, it makes planning podcasts simple; it makes recording podcasts simple; it even makes publishing podcasts to the masses simple and quite honestly, Technically Speaking wouldn’t be up as soon as it is without Auxbus. Thank you so much Auxbus. And if you are interested in checking Auxbus out, whether you’re starting a podcast or you have one currently get our special offer auxbus.com/speaker flow, or click the link below in our show notes.