In today’s episode, we’ve brought the legendary, Rich Mulholland in to talk about his new book, Here Be Dragons.
Now, we don’t often have episodes that focus on someone’s book. We take the recommendations we give you seriously and only want to share vetted content that will actually help.
That being said, Here Be Dragons is on the top of our list of recommendations because Rich has made it dead simple to take the story you tell about yourself, and supercharge your business by telling the story of your audience instead.
To put it simply, it’s not about you.
Join us as we unpack why you’re the world’s best kept secret and what you can do about it.
See you in there!
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Show Notes 📓
✅ Download the preview or buy a copy of Rich’s book, Here Be Dragons: getrich.af/dragon
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Read the Transcription 🤓
Taylorr: Welcome to another episode of technically speaking. We’re your host, Taylorr and Austin, and today we have an awesome episode in store for you guys. We have brought back a guest from season one and that guest is Rich Mulholland. We had Rich come on season one to talk about the missing link in all of our presentations. And if you haven’t listened to that episode, yet you totally should, It’s one of our highest rated ever on Technically Speaking. We wanted to bring Rich back for round two, because he just released his new book, Here Be Dragons. And we love this title mainly because we have a core value here at Speaker Flow of slaying dragons, but nonetheless, this book is a game changer in how you can position yourself to your audience, not the people you speak in front of, but the people who buy from you, so that you can start telling their story and start converting more sales.
Often when people start working with us here at Speaker Flow, they want to sell more or market better, get in front of more people, grow their business, but you see there’s no CRM, there’s no presentation, good enough that’s going to solve a bad story and how you approach attracting and converting and guiding your prospect through the ways that you can help them. If you focus too much on yourself and your own story, ultimately, they’re not going buy from you and Rich’s premise about Here Be Dragon is how to solve that problem. So join us today as we about sales, as we talk about telling the story of our audiences and as always, stick around until the end for some awesome resources and we hope you like this one. All right, Rich man, welcome back to the show. It is, wow, round two appearance.
Rich: I’m so stoked that I got a call back. It’s always a good sign. If nobody ever to bring you back again, you know they were lying when they told you, oh, this was great. Thank you so much.
Austin: Yeah, that’s probably true. Well, it’s an honour to have you. I think you’re our first ever guest that we brought in twice either, so you’ve just helped us hit a milestone here at Technically Speaking, man, thank you for that.
Rich: It’s my pleasure.
Taylorr: For those of you not on video right now, you just missed a glorious shot of Rich so make sure you check that on YouTube shameless plug.
Rich: I mean, all the shots are glorious.
Taylorr: Oh, I’m sorry, Rich. Yes, of course.
Rich: And listen, I cannot compete with these two gentlemen and they’re wonderful beards. I have all kinds of beard envy where I’m on the call. I’ve got this like half gray, little, I look like I’m something out of a Charles Dickens thing.
Taylorr: Charles Scrooge vibe, is that what you were thinking?
Rich: Yeah, Scrooge vibe. [cross-talk 02:52].
Austin: That’s so funny.
Rich: Yeah, but more like mac duck.
Austin: I just got to throw out there too, this again for listeners go watch the video, but Rich, you’ve got like the coolest studio set up I think I’ve ever seen in my life, complete with awesome lighting and this light, dark kind of dichotomy happening and a fog machine, it’s so cool, man. My grey background over years crying just seeing what you pulled together over there.
Rich: You know what it was? First of all, a throwback to my career cause I was a lighting designer in my past life, but also realizing that I wanted to have a busy and a plain space for directing human attention, and then also, I just wanted to have someplace I wanted to come to work every day. My favourite picture didn’t go on that wall, it’s on that wall here, I’m going send you guys a photo afterwards. And I thought, I know it’s going be wasted, but I want to look at it every day, I don’t want you to see it. So actually my favourite piece in the entire studio is sitting in front of me just to remind me and it’s badass. I will definitely send you a picture, I want to see what you think.
Taylorr: Nice. I can’t wait to see it. So Rich, we are here to talk about Here Be Dragons, the latest release from your glorious mind, the book. How did Here Be Dragons come about? Tell us that story. And I know you’re all about presentations and storytelling, so how did this whole idea of Here Be Dragons come about?
Rich: Okay, actually I’m going tell you the kind of business end story, and it’s not the glorious, beautiful story that I would normally tell, but let’s go back to the true origin of it. I was invited to speak at a conference called Think Sales. 5,000 people, a huge big conference and all sales managers and sales directors of really big businesses. And their only shtick is that they never get speakers for free, all speakers are fully paid, and if they’re going pay you, you’ve got to present something you haven’t presented before. It’s actually a great model. They’re like, no, we’re not going negotiate, give us your fee, we’ll pay your fee, but just bring something original. So I’m thinking, well, I’ve got to write content for sales professionals and I had all these ideas in my head. The problem is I had this 30 minutes time slot.
I was stressing, I thought, how do I get everything out there? And also how do I get them to connect with me afterwards? Because of course, your work actually starts when you get off the stage. What I did is I wrote over the weekend before the talk, this little e-book came in at 25 pages. And that was a book that was originally called Good Story, Bro. We later called it Story Set because we thought it was easier for people to understand. And so I did an entire talk and I said, I have these ideas I’ve done, but what I’ve done is I’ve written a book to accompany this talk that you can take these ideas and shared with your teams. And so that’s where the whole thing started, we didn’t actually realize how good it get, this storyteller workshopping with businesses has become one of our best selling products in the business.
Rich: So people say you can’t make money writing a book. You absolutely can’t make money writing a book, just probably not from the book.
Taylorr: From the book.
Rich: Yeah. And so the managing director of my business, Sam, she came to me and said, this book, when we get people to download, it works really, really well, but not enough people want an e-book. Now we’ve been working on it for longer, don’t you think you can turn this into something real? So I contacted my publisher and I said, here’s my idea. I’ve taken this, she’d already read it, and I said I think we got a whole book in, can we do it? And then she said, yes, no problem at all, but the caveat is that I want to get it out for the December run which will be big, which means you have to get me the finished manuscript in two and a half weeks. And I was [inaudible 06:28].
Austin: Wow. Some late nights ahead of you after that?
Rich: Yeah, totally, because I still had my work days, but it was amazing because I went into rapid, I just sat there and I worked out the chapters I wanted, what I wanted to cover and because I had been speaking about it so much already and using it in workshops and things, you guys know what it’s like, you have these idea traps where you’re like one day I’ll get to this. And so you have all of these like random ideas just stored for if ever you want to work more in this. I just put them on these chapters and then I just went into hard research. I think all speakers are in one of two categories. They’re either in the Olympiad category or they’re in the journalist category. If they’re in the Olympiad, they rely on their history and their experience and if they’re in the journalist, they rely on their research.
And I knew in this space that I was a journalist so I just went researching hard, which was amazing. And you know what it’s like when the more you read the more you’re like, oh my goodness, and then you want to write more and you want to write more. And I thought it would be about like four times the length and it ended up becoming about eight times the length. On the last weekend, I was supposed to had it in on the Friday and I said, I know you’re not doing anything, give me till Monday. And then I had two full days that I could just pump out, and I think the total writing time in [inaudible 07:43] was like 32 or 34 hours or something and it was the best fun that I’d had. My brain was exploding. I was on fire. I absolutely love this.
Taylorr: Man, what a feed, two and a half weeks to produce. Okay, the book content is already amazing so the fact that I just learned that took two and a half weeks, incredible. Why write this book now? Obviously you’ve been around for a while, aside from Sam coming to you and saying hey, we should do this, what in you said yes, absolutely? Aside from it performing well, I guess the, the more specific question here is why do think that first ebook performed so well? And was that the only decision that led you to write the book now?
Rich: You know Julian Shapiro at all? @julian or julian.com?
Rich: Phenomenal thinker, so worthwhile checking out. He talks about when he writes, he says that your ideas of anything you write, I only saw this last week, by the way, in a video I was watching actually three days ago, he says you want to do something that’s counterintuitive or counter narrative. So either take something that doesn’t seem obvious and you’re thinking, huh, okay. Wow. Okay. You present that to me, that makes sense, that’s interesting or do something that’s counter narrative. Like we’ve been told something makes sense, but now we’re saying it doesn’t. And in the world of people getting… my biggest frustration, my biggest frustration, and I worry that I might be calling you guys out here because I’m sure you do it, but this is over valuing of storytelling.
Guys, you just got to [inaudible 09:17] how’d you be a good speaker? Tell a good story. Oh, thanks Captain Obvious. But like Stephen King, how’d you write a book? Tell a good story. That’s not easy. And also when it comes to sales and everyone says, you want do a sales presentation, just tell a story. So people stand up and they tell their own story. So the kind of counterintuitive and counter narrative to a degree point is nobody cares about your story. My business partner wrote the foreword, and the foreword she wrote a lie that I love. And you know what I hate is I think it’s the best line in the whole book and I didn’t write it. And the line is this, she says, there are two stories in sales, yours, and those that matter.
And that line sums up the entire premise that yes, you have a story, but nobody cares. Our job, isn’t to tell our story, it is to sell other people a new version of their own story in which we play a part. And your job is never to become the hero of their story, is to audition and for better and better parts. And the sooner that idea in my head is so like, I just wanted to push and push and push. And I know guys when I started working on it, guy’s like Donald Miller, who’ve obviously created Story Brand, we’ve done some amazing work in that regard. But when I went on to Story Brand, it’s all very, very much about what you say on your website and how to present yourself and how to write you overarching narrative. And while I think there’s certainly parallels between the two, all I care about, world is presentation and all I cared about was how can this impact the speakers we work with and how can this impact the customers we work with. So I wanted to write the presentation version of that and then get it down into sales as well.
Austin: Okay. Very cool. I’m also just hearing you say this and I can already hear the pushback in the back of my head of lots of people out there that would feel I don’t know…
Austin: Maybe hurt.
Rich: Yeah. Triggered, [cross-talk 11:11].
Austin: The idea that it’s not about them. And I think that intuitively we all know that we’re are here to serve, we have to do the right thing for the people that we’re standing in front of, but people feel very connected to their own journeys and their stories. And I imagine there’s a lot of people listening to this going, oh man, most of what I do and talk about is about me. So just tell me about the pushback that you’ve heard, and how do you respond to that?
Rich: Well, generally speaking, so bear into to mind in you are the hero of your story, the entire premise is built on the fact that you’re the hero of your story. The aha moment for me, as I was reading a book called I Am Keiths by Tom Esiker. In the book, he talks about the fact that everybody is living their own movie and we look at everybody as if they’re extras in our film and then we forget that they’re the stars of their own. And when he said this to me, it was like this huge aha moment and there was a specific moment where all came into like high def for me. I was walking in a Cape Town airport, there’s a long passage way, where you go from baggage to you go out like any airport you got where the cars pick you up. And on the way though, these booth of people with taxis and they all stand there with their sign and they say to you, taxi? Would you like a taxi service? Would you like a taxi service? And they’re just kind of interrupting you walking.
So what everybody just does is they just pretend they don’t exist, and they would just walk past them and ignore them completely. Chances are, you’ve probably done something like that to those people. People just interrupting your day, taxi service, taxi service, and at best, you might give them a like this as if you’re the CEO of a global corporation and how dare they interrupt that one second of thinking. So this particular day, I’ve just been listening to this book on the plane I’m coming down, and this guy turns around and says to me taxi service? And I was, halfway through just dismissing and flat out ignoring and I thought, oh crap, this is this guy’s film. In this dude’s movie, he is the hero of the movie and every single extra ignores him for his entire existence. And I was like, oh, what a thing?
And I turned around and said, hey man, no, thank you so much. I’m all sorted, thank you so much and I walked away and you could see like he didn’t even know what to do [inaudible 13:19]. I was going, hey, hey, back off freak, what are you doing? I being polite, you’re not supposed to be polite [inaudible 13:30]. And then I started thinking about this thing, so that’s is that everybody is running their own film mand then every single person you speak, what’s important to them is how the next scene in their film looks or the following on scenes. So if you realize that you understand that all human motivation is people writing better versions of their own film. So by all means, you can get onto stage and tell them your movie, but actually, unless that movie is in deep service of them writing the next scene of their own, they’re not going take an action because of it.
They may leave inspired, they may leave motivated, but these are generally relatively empty ideas. They have all the nutritional value of a spoon full of sugar, give you a little bit of a high and you move away. If you’re a for example, a motivational speaker and you just want to motivate people and that’s your job, make them feel good, then that has purpose, you can come out and you can do it. And again, if you’re an Olympiad and you’ve climbed Kilimanjaro six times backwards, then great story. But for the most part, most people, they don’t want that, they just want to understand how to write the next scene in their own.
Taylorr: Wow. So how did you land on then the themes like dragons, weapons, treasure, where did this whole idea of this dragon theme come from?
Rich: Well, first of all, because dragons are [cross-talk 14:48]…
Taylorr: Yeah, right.
Austin: For sure.
Rich: The dragons are always cool, except when they’re on the black t-shirt of a 47 year old white guy.
Rich: That dragon ceased to be cool.
Taylorr: Yeah, that’s right.
Rich: And [cross-talk 15:05]. Exactly bright colours, metal, but [inaudible 15:13]. The other thing is like a big part of my history, I’m a huge board gamer and a huge part of my entry into board games is a youth of playing Dungeons and Dragons my whole life. I know this is, this is probably the geekiest thing I’ve ever said out in public, but one of my fondest memories, literally of my youth was the day we defeated or first blue dragon, lt was like an incredible thing. For me, you don’t beat dragons in dungeon dragons very often. And this was like a high point of my role playing career, so just dragons are cool.
However, I think originally in the first iteration, I can’t remember, I think I used the term villain and you go know your villain and it was some literation that I wanted to use around that. The problem is if I used the word villain, I needed an extra cast member because villains are nemesis or bad guys, they’re generally only important that we beat them and then we can go back to life as normal. But most people don’t want to go back to life as normal, what they want is to overcome something and then land up in a better place. And what I like about the dragon trope, if you think about it is if you picture a dragon and you picture a picture of a dragon behind them is a cave full of gold and treasure and things like this and I like the fact that the dragon represents both the opportunity and the threat, so the opportunity that exists if we overcome them.
So either I can tell you that there is a threat to your business and we can help you defeat it, in which case the dragon is relevant. Or I can say to you, your business deserves X, the problem is standing between you and X is and we can help you get past that. Once I realized that I thought, okay, that’s very cool. And then I also love that phrase, and I guess as the title of the book Here Be Dragons it’s from the old maps of old hic sunt dracones. On the old maps, everybody knew dragons existed and the old explorers they would go out and they would look at their map and they would look at where they wanted to go and if they weren’t sure what was out there, they would draw a dragon or a sea serpent. And the reason was we know dragons exist, but we’ve not found them yet, therefore they must be in the lands we’ve not yet explored and if we can get and find those dragons, then we will achieve glory and, you know, go down in history.
And so the explorers would set out essentially to find the dragons, the hic sunt dracones, and I thought that’s so cool. And it was actually Danny, one of my team at Missing Link who turned around when I’d originally had the book called Storyteller. And she was like, ah, Storyteller is what it is but the book should be called Here Be Dragons. And I was like, yes.
Rich: It should be.
Taylorr: Yeah, It’s perfect name. It’s like for those of you who don’t know listening slay dragons is our fourth core value here and largely for that whole reason. There’s a treasure beyond it, we can improve our life after slaying that dragon basically so we totally resonate with that.
Rich: Amazing. I love it. Love it. That is such a cool story.
Austin: So who do you feel like this is best geared for? Who’s the perfect reader for your new book?
Rich: Ah, it frustrates me saying…so I probably have two core heroes that I would like entrepreneurs generally, and, that actually is not true. It’s tricky. It’s a book on sales and a lot of the concepts in the book discuss sales things, how to run a better sales meeting, how to use tools of persuasion and eloquence to get people to think about something differently and to make a decision go your way. I think you have to understand that when I say this is a sales book, that might seem like it’s not a book for you until you accept that we’re all in sales. We’re selling ourselves on the next job, we’re selling ourselves on a promotion, sales is just such an inherent human quality. It’s getting an idea across to other people and getting your way. It’s actually persuasion and the it’s a book on that.
I think most directly practically, this is a book for sales profession and it will, I really believe level them up. The next place that I think is fantastic is for change management professionals. To me, one of the biggest sales jobs in the world is change management and I always see companies, in fact, a company came to us today and he said, you know, we want your help working on the presentation of some values, we’re amalgamating five businesses. And I thought if you amalgamate five businesses mand you tell them what their values are, then no one’s going to believe you because how do you know? But if you can get all of these people together and then you can present them, let me tell you where we came from, this is the world that’s out there. And this is how hard the world is to defeat, because we needed to have these five different rings and if we could bring these rings together, then we are able to go… and I believe that that’s what we’ve managed to do by bringing you five together.
This is the purpose we’re out there to get the victory condition that we need and I believe that not a single one of us is able to do it together. By selling them a new story, as soon as people agree, then they’re like, holy crap, you’re right. Because people don’t mind change, they just don’t like being changed so I think that’s another big archetype, but I really do want, I just want like regular folk to read it. I think it’s a helpful book that will change the way you think about persuading other people. That’s why we moved away from the highly practical book, title of Storyteller because I think even though it’ll get picked up more by sales professionals, I think the Here Be Dragons may get picked up a bit more by regular people and I think it’ll probably have a more profound impact on them.
Taylorr: Yeah, definitely.
Austin: And I know if I was just walking by that book in the store, I would pick it up just because it’s a really cool freaking name. So if nothing else you got that going for you.
Taylorr: [Inaudible 20:48] cover. Look at that.
Austin: Yeah, right.
Taylorr: Yeah, dollar bills with the dragon, oh man, Rich, killed it.
Rich: I’ve got an old staff member used to work for us for years and he’d worked on some of the other stuff for me before and I messaged him ,was like, Jeza I need you to draw this from me, bro. And I said, I have this idea of an origami dragon made from dollar bills. And he was like, I’m on it. And I showed him this one image and when he came back, which was so much better and he had it in the night, I never had a knife involved in there at all and he was like, no, but we got to have somebody slaying the dragon and he put it in, I was like, yes [cross-talk 21:23].
Taylorr: Yeah, that’s right. So, Rich, what are some of the key takeaways that you want people to get from the book? Obviously it’s an amazing set of content, but what would you say are the key points that you want people to take away from it?
Rich: I think a lot of this is going to change. Obviously the first thing I want to do is to understand where you fit in the cast of persuasion and the most important thing is understand where you sit and understand where they sit and start thinking more about people’s motivations. The next thing is to work out very importantly, are you speaking to the right person? And you know this, you got to figure out what they care about. There are many small little subtle concepts though, that I like throughout the book. I talk about the idea of anchoring and I talk about the idea of pre-supposition and engine language we use to be more persuasive and more confident. I talk a lot about the idea of pricing, how to understand your pricing value and what pricing can do, and how story can dramatically increase your prices when you attach narrative to something, how we can use to do that. Probably one of my favourite concepts as well, that actually was in my previous book, Boredom Slayer, but it was just too perfect for this not to get a mention. And I can’t remember if I’ve spoken to you about this before, but it’s a theory of the peanut butter and the pill. Have ever have I ever chatted to you guys about this?
Taylorr: Nope. That’s fresh.
Rich: All right. So my basic theory was when people think about stories, and they think about telling a story, they think that the story is the job, but it’s not really. And I want to explain this to you. Do either of you have dogs?
Taylorr: Oh yeah.
Rich: Cool. I used to have a dog, a boxer, his name was Murphy. He was like badass so well trained, I did agility work with him, I did man work training, we did tracking this dog was really like the most obedient dog that everybody in my family had ever, ever seen. But the one thing I couldn’t get him to do is if he was feeling sick, I couldn’t get him to take a pill. That dog would only take food for me, and if I gave him food, he would wait and then I’d say, you could take it, he would take it. But if I tried to give him a pill, he would just be like, bro, no way. Absolutely not. This is bullshit. So of course you’ve figured this all out, and so we figured out that what you do is you give a little bit of peanut butter, I don’t know if it’s the same thing you were do in the us but in South Africa we give a little bit of peanut butter, get a taste for it, then I take another blob, I put the pill inside it and I put it on the ground and I say, Murphy stay. And he looks at me like what? Stay and he’s doing that bum shake thing, like, ah, stay. And then all of a sudden I say, Murphy, take it. And this dog would just go forward, consume it and you can see he’s all like this and then he would look at me like, I know what you did.
Taylorr: I know what you did. Yeah.
Rich: I know what you did and I’m pissed, but by then the pill is done. Now, the reason I’m telling you this story is because to me, this is how we have to think about storytelling in business. Is that it was never about the story, the story is just the peanut butter, the story is in service of the pill. It’s only reason for being is smuggling that pill into their brain. Now, if you say, well, then let’s just give them the pill, that’s what most people do with slide decks, with too much information, they show up and they throw up and they just force feeding facts and information into people’s brains. And it doesn’t stick, people fight it off, but if you can smuggle it in like the horse of Troy, then you win. So too much pill, and it’s too bitter for them to swallow too much story, they’ll swallow the story but they’ll forget the pill and won’t have the effect. The job was not to make the dog have nice taste, it was to make the dog better. And I think that’s one of the fundamental ideas of storytelling in business context is that what are we smuggling in? And most people haven’t thought through that. They want to tell a story on a stage because they love the story, but they’ve not figured what they’re trying to leave behind when the story is gone. And of course the best thing about stories in that context, when done well is every single time somebody remembers the story, the pill gets smuggled in as well so it kind of can work on repeats. That makes sense.
Austin: Yeah. Oh, I love that analogy. That’s that’s going to stick with me like peanut butter. Ha ha, just kidding. Anyways, I think that what I love about storytelling too is not only is it just this vehicle that’s going teach a lesson more or less, but it also has this way of contextualizing the information that we’re receiving so that it’s easier for us to make use of the information. Because the problem with just straight up facts and figures is that they’re kind of dry and you almost have to memorize them and then make use of that information yourself, figure out where it’s applicable in your life. But if a story is built around it, that already gives you sort of a framework that you can see how it’s applicable in the real world sand then it makes it easier for you to go and implement it yourself. So outside of it, even just tasting better, quote unquote, but it helps block the lesson in, I think over time. And I think maybe you were just alluding to that, but I think that’s a really important [cross-talk 26:21].
Rich: Great point. And I also think it makes it easier for you to tell it on. That guy, I think his name is Brant Pinvidic, he wrote the Three Minute Rule. And one my favorite insights on his theory was it’s not what you pitch to them. That matters. It’s what they pitch to the person they tell afterwards. So if I go into an hour long presentation to a big bank and all the head of procurement is in there and everything, and they’ve got to go afterwards to the CEO, they’re going walk out and they’re going to take one bit of that, the bit that’s easy for them to remember and they’re going communicate that on. That’s where we can use story and smuggle it in. The most important thing for me though, is the story I’m trying to smuggle into them.
What’s helpful. What’s not helpful of their is if they turn around and say, this is a presentation company for Missing Link, they’ve been around for 25 years, they focus on this remembering that because I’m interesting. But if they say this company presented an interesting take on what we thought our challenge was, we told everybody else the challenge was X, but they’ve actually told us that the challenge is this. And in fact, they told me a great story about why they think that’s true. Do you know that according to this, this, this, this, this, this happens. And then the CEO says, holy shit, that makes sense. And they say, right. And so that’s what they then propose to do. Step one, two and three. So when they’re presenting forward, they’re never telling your story, they’re always telling the version of their story that they think will make sense.
Rich: And then one last concept that we can maybe come back to later if we remember is the concept of the elephants and the robot from the Happiness Hypothesis, probably one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. And t I’ve kind of taken that concept quite a bit throughout the book as well.
Austin: Wow. Can we just go there? I would love to hear about that.
Taylorr: Yeah. We can’t end the episode on the elephant and robot.
Rich: There’s a guy called Jonathan Haights. He wrote a book, it’s H A I G HT pronounced Heights, and he wrote a book years ago called the Happiness Hypothesis. Honestly, it will blow your mind. I can’t wait for you guys to check it out and you’re going send me a mail and you’ll be like, dude, this is the most underrated, why are people not talking about this book? And what did was in this book he says his greatest work is basically summed up in two sentences. And he said that all forms of decision making is basically we think about when we make a decision as a rider on the back of an elephant. And the idea is that a writer is logical and the elephant is emotional and your brain can want you to do whatever it wants to do, but if your emotional brain says, nah, <we’re not doing that. That’s what you’re doing.
So for example, if your logical brain says, I shouldn’t spend $950 on a Grimsmo Norseman knife, I’m not saying that we made that mistake in our house. If I’m saying that I’m not going to spend that much in a pocket knife, but then I end up buying it, then my rider becomes a lawyer and finds out all the reasons to justify that that was a really great decision and I’ve now worked out how I’m going use this knife in keynotes and in talks to communicate ideas of craftmanship and stuff. So when I told my wife, she was like, oh, so it’s a work prop. I was like, yeah, totally, that’s exactly what it’s, but when I presented the story my problem with it is I keep on thinking of myself as the rider, because the rider is inherently human, I keep on separating the fact that I am on the back of an elephant, when in fact you are both.
You are the crazy elephant and you are the rider. And I thought it was much more helpful when I changed the image and the image that I now go with in my head and I find that now I get it so much, it just landed for me is C3PO on the back of Dumbo. Logical C3P0 this is where we’re going, this is what we’re doing, all the rules and then Dumbo flying around. And just being like, yeah, whatever, man, but we’re going here. And once that landed… I spent quite a bit of time talking about how do we motivate, when do we motivate the rider, when do we motivate or the robot, and when do we motivate the elephant? And the truth of the matter is the biggest realization with the more research I did going through the book was you always motivate the elephant. You motivate the elephant, the elephant makes a decision, and then the robot becomes the lawyer. That’s how people make decisions. I want to work with these guys because I think they’re cool. I’ll find the justification in order to explain my decision to somebody else so I feel good about it. And as soon as I settled on that, it became a very recurring [inaudible 30:43]. And it made me realize that our stories should be in service of the elephant.
Taylorr: Wow. What a gem. I love that train of thought largely because I feel like that story tells that… I don’t know about you, but that tension that you have almost with yourself of like you wanting to go do something, but you have needing logical reason to go and do it and it kind of labels to things that I think historically have been a little abstract. There’s one thing that I’ve got to ask before we wrap this episode up, that I feel like some of our listeners might be asking themselves. And I think when we have an episode like this, all of these ideas are amazing and we want to say yes, like how do, we get this thing into our business? And I know it’s probably a whole other like episode that we can touch on, but if you had some quick tips for somebody who wanted to improve their story, where would they start with the business they have currently? How would somebody try and take, let’s call it a DIY approach to improving the story in their business, whether they’re selling, whether they’re presenting, how do they start that process of refining it?
Rich: I think [inaudible 31:43] for years have spoken about a concept called a USP, a unique setting proposition. And a unique setting proposition is what makes us special. And if you think about it, that’s straight storytelling. It’s just, this is me and this is why I’m special. I think we need to change that acronym a little bit. And I think this is instantly practical and you can take away tomorrow, but there was only one thing I would start with would be this. You want to ask yourself, what is your ups? Let’s just try experiment this with you guys. I want to know what your ups is. Think about everybody else that does what we do in the industry versus you guys, your ups is the unique problem that only you can solve. So what is a problem that you are uniquely placed to solve in the world? There could be other things you’re better at, you’re brilliant at this, but the one problem that we can solve is this, that other people can’t solve. Can you give me a thought? What do you think that would be for you? And there’s no rehearsal here, so we’re straight on the spot.
Taylorr: Austin, do you want to deliver that? Or do you want me to deliver that?
Austin: I think it’s on your CEO. You got this.
Taylorr: Great. Okay. Yeah. So the unique problem that we solve at Speaker Flow is being able to bridge the gap between the business strategies that we know work and how to actually bring those into the real world with repeatable systems that constantly produce success.
Rich: Okay. So what is everybody else saying? What is everybody else in your space saying to let’s say speakers that want to work with them?
Taylorr: Yeah, generally it’s just a bunch of strategy, so it’s like that typical kind of business coaching. They’ll get an idea, if you want to like refine your message, go do competitive research and then build up a list of your differentiators and then put together this little value proposition, let’s just call that a little exercise. But they don’t give them the practicality of putting that into the real world and then testing that against, let’s say their sales process or reaching out to like past clients, let’s say there’s no structure to that strategy of how to go and deploy it right now. It’s just, here’s an idea. Go and think on it.
Rich: Okay. So what I’m hearing here is that… and the first thing we want to do is we want to turn every conversation into a two horse race. We don’t want tp be in a five horse race. We want to be in a two horse race, you versus the best of the other four. So if everybody else is out there selling strategy, this is their USP. We will help you with your strategy, your talk strategy, create a nice talk that does this help you figure out these things, you want to say to them guys, here’s the problem though, that is like having beautiful fall leaves lying on the forest floor. You’re one of them, but nobody can find you. The job is not being the beautiful leaf, it’s about being the one that gets taken home and gets picked up, that is our job.
And I believe that the biggest feeling that speakers have is not that they’re not brilliant speakers with great ideas and great messaging. You actually don’t need us for that if you think about it. Yes, we can help you, but generally speaking, that’s a bit you can figure out. The problem you have is that you’re the worst kept secret. The problem you face is if you have all of these tools, but nobody can get out there. The dragon is that you are the worst kept secret. The dragon is that nobody understands that they need what is inside your head, inside their business. That’s the only thing we can… we are obsessed about trying to figure out how can we help you bridge that gap? How can we get you in front and we believe that the answer to that problem, the weapon that we put out there is technology.
It turns out people have over intellectualized, the role of speakers and they’ve underutilized technology or over intellectualized, the role of speaking in your talk and your things like this. They’ve underutilized the role of simple technology in getting you in front of the right people quickly. We want to help you with the one, but we want to give you the other. So, and again, like we’re [inaudible 35:25] here, but that’s the messaging, that’s how I would frame it. By starting off with a unique problem. So the way we always say to people, when speakers say to me, but I want to build my personal brand. I always say to them, no you don’t because nobody else cares about your brand. What you want to do is build the brand of the dragon that you can slay, go to war with something, be counterintuitive.
What can you go to war with? Pick an enemy, have an nemesis, go to war with that dragon. If people start agree with you on social media, you’re absolutely right. We are thinking of story the wrong way. You’re absolutely right. Death by PowerPoint is a copout, blaming PowerPoint for a bad presentation is like blaming a pan for a bad meal. We can be better at this. Once they start agreeing with the dragon, and then once they start seeing the treasure behind it, then your brand gets raised by default because you’re the only person standing with the plus six weapon of that particular dragon slaying. So I want everybody right now just to sit down on a piece of paper and to go through and say, what does table stakes in our industry? What does everybody do? Tick, tick, and are not the solutions they provide the proper they solve for speakers.
Some of them you might find you don’t do, but you might be able to discover this and then to turn around and look and say, well, what problem do we uniquely solve? Even if it’s not the most important one, even if it’s just that one little feature, let’s say this. I do jujitsu and there’s many, many, jujitsu academies and they all teach variations of the same jujitsu and they’re all like Gracie based and things like this. The difference between the one little jujitsu school I go to is that it’s connected to 70 other jujitsu schools around the world, and I can train for free when I travel on any one of them.
Rich: Whether I’m ever going to use it or not, and in fact, I just came back from a speaking tour of the US and I didn’t, even though the idea that you should never miss out on your training, that you should be able to train in a system that exists anywhere in the world, wherever you are, that was enough for me to think this is the smart school to go to. I am assuming that because it’s run by, you know, Gracies themselves and all of these things that all the boxes are checked. So what is that unique problem that you can solve in your business and how can you make your audience believe that that is the thing that their give a shit tank, their gas tank should be full on.
Taylorr: Wow. What a powerful way to end this episode. Rich, you are incredible. Thank you for coming on today. If people want to learn more about the book, order the book, where can they go?
Rich: Probably the easiest, there’s a nice little sampler on getrich.af/dragon. So you can go there and you can download sample and there’s links to anywhere where you want to buy it. The audiobook version, the Kindle version, the print version, let me know. And from there you can… obviously I’m very open, there’s is my email address, my details, and you’re welcome to connect. I’m probably most active on LinkedIn, but all of that information is there.
Taylorr: Awesome. Rich you are the man. Thank you so much for coming on the show today and talking about Here Be Dragons and hey, look, if you like this episode, don’t forget to rate it like it, subscribe to it and if you want more awesome resources like this, go to speakerflow.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 planning podcast 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.