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Brant Pinvidic: How Saying Less Can Get You More

We are with a special guest with an electrifying background.

He is an award-winning film director, a veteran television producer, C-level sales and presentations coach, keynote speaker, top-rated podcast host and a columnist for Forbes.

He has been named as one of The Hollywood Reporters, 30 Most Powerful Reality TV Sellers and is widely recognized as one of the great creative sales leaders in Hollywood.

His endless energy quest for adventure and the three-minute rule, have helped make him one of the most sought-after C-level consultants in the USA and abroad. He's here to share the wealth.

Please welcome to the show, Mr. Brant Pinvidic.

Brant
I'm going to take you with me after an intro like that. It sounds good when you say it.
Dustin
I want to jump right in, you sold more than 300 film and television projects, including Bar Rescue and The Biggest Loser being some of the most notoriety. However, at one point in your career at the TLC channel, they didn't respect that and you got fired. What's the story here?
Brant
It's funny because that's what everybody wants to talk about, all the success that I've had. What's interesting about the TV is it's mostly failures. I'll pitch a hundred shows, we might sell one. I've sold 300 and some projects, but I've probably pitched at least 3,000 or more. It is the same thing with job performance. I ran the network programming as the head of TLC. It was a big moment in my career that was moving to another step and being on the buying side. I didn't do it well. I didn't bring what I needed skill-wise for that particular job. I had the skills in general, I could've done well if I would've read the signs right, but the way my boss was and the way the situation was, it didn't work. When you get fired for something like that, it shakes you. There was that moment where I was like, “Am I even supposed to be doing this anymore?” It was one of those gigs where you get paid out for a long time because you're fired in the middle of your contract. I wasted every second of it, agonizing, “Will I find another job? What will I be able to do?” I could have taken a year off, paid and had the time of my life and I squandered every second of it because of the anxiety that you're filled within those moments.
Dustin
As you move forward after you go through that, how do you pick yourself up?
Brant
You have a little bit of this delusional optimism. When you’re faced without the situation that's real, when you don't look at it from a real perspective and you start to look past it. I got reminded of it with one of the biggest producers on television when he was talking about me. He had mentioned this moment when I got fired and this reputation that I had gotten because I had almost turned my back on the producing community a little bit. I had gone from the producing guy to be the buyer and I was almost like a traitor for a moment there. I have forgotten how bad that was and how my reputation at that moment was ugly. This producer had said to me at the time, “You're dead for a little while. You need to cool off. Nothing's going to happen.” That delusional optimism was like, “It will work out. No one's talking about it that way.” You push past that moment.
Dustin
What do you do to reinvent yourself at that point?
Brant
I think you find where your skills are valuable again and you realize that somebody canceled lunch. It’s not because I'm not influential anymore, but because something came up in their lives and you stop internalizing it. I remember that year, I was number fourteen on the power list. The second-year I got fired, I go from 14 to 1,400 and that's the reality of those jobs. In our business, you're in the chair. The chair is the power, not you. You have nothing. The PhoneSheet with all the cool people on it, that's the same PhoneSheet that was there with the last guy. It's the same PhoneSheet as soon as you leave. For me, I had to get my brain around. The idea is like, “What do I bring to the table? What can I do?” Once I figured that out, things started to gel a little bit better.
Dustin
Before you got into this whole entertainment world, you had some entrepreneurial ventures. What were those before you got into some projects?
Brant
Entrepreneurial ventures are a good way to catchphrase it all. It was more like entrepreneurial spaghetti thrown at a wall is what it felt like to me. I wanted to do things differently. I had big ideas. I could plot strategies well. The execution was not really my friend, but that seemed like that's not the sexy part of learning how to do things properly and taking the right steps and going through the right channels. I wanted a big idea, a big moment and a big home run. Growing up in Canada, there is not quite the same entrepreneurial drive and positioning in the culture. I just found that I was up against that so I tried web design business. I ran bars and nightclubs for years. I’ve run pool halls. I am always trying something different out there, but I could never quite make it mesh. I moved to the United States, I find television entertainment and everything starts to work. It was like, “Now you're an overnight success after 30 years of banging your head against the wall.”
Dustin
You've got these big entrepreneurial spaghettis going on. You find a film, you find entertainment and you get in this world. I'm curious, why not stay in this world? What prompts you to write a book?
Brant
What happens in entertainment is it looks sexy, it looks alluring, it looks glamorous, but what you realize is that anything that has that appeal, that has the financial success you can achieve in that world is highly competitive at every level. That level of high-level competition grinds on you and it wears you. As I started to get to a point in my career, the winds felt smaller. Getting a show on the air, getting a credit on IMDb, getting nominated for something didn't have the same punch in my life that it used to. The big winds were further and farther between. Back in the day, you could get a show on the air. It was going to rate. You had a chance of making a big hit. Now, with every form of distribution out there, it was harder to get something big that came out of the blue that changed things. It was not in the cards for me when I'm looking at the odds.
It became a matter of, “What do I like about doing this business? It's just the paycheck.” It's like, “That's fine if you're doing it for just the paycheck.” As soon as it starts to get into your brain that's why you're grinding, sacrificing and putting up with crap in your life that you would never normally put up with. You deal with people. You let them treat you in a way that anybody knows this system that you would never let if you didn't have to in a personal sense. That wore me out. I had been working on the business side helping mostly small public companies with their investor presentations and how to simplify their message using the Hollywood storytelling techniques that I've perfected over the years. That was powerful. When people would say, “You changed my life. This has been amazing.” I was like, “No network president has ever said that to me.” I always joke, I'm a caveman. My ego is pretty easy to find. You poke at me and be like, “I appreciate you. You're great.” I’ll be like, “I like that. Let's do more.” That's what came into it until finally, I said, “I'm out of the TV.” I went and said, “I'm going to do this. I'm going to help people as much as I can.”
Dustin
I could still relate. Prior to this adventure, I was in that same way. I was at that moment that you realized, “It does go downhill fast,” and you have to reinvent yourself.
Brant
It's one thing to have one foot out the door but it's hard to keep one foot in the door. People talk about getting one foot, I was like, “That's the easy part. It's keeping the foot in that you're trying to do stuff when you've already got a vision of where you want to go.”
Dustin
You mentioned Hollywood pitch secrets, which is sizzling. I want to dive into that because there's so much that can be gleaned for business owners, entrepreneurs or anybody that has to sell and communicate an idea.
Brant
You wouldn't try to influence anybody. That's the thing.
Dustin
Brant
I've sold hundreds of TV shows, billions of dollars in revenue but I never pitched a television show with a tape that was more than three minutes long. It’s because I'm dealing with a very sophisticated high-level audience and most of the people listening are doing the same thing. They know a lot of stuff. They have a deep knowledge of things. What you're probably doing in a lot of the companies I work with is they're telling their audience stuff they already know. It fills this need to say all the right things, but it's not getting to the point. What storytelling is, it’s not the literal sense of telling a story. It’s not like you know a guy at a party who tells a great story. Storytelling is about leading with information. It's using the information piece by piece to build a foundation of understanding.
Once you understand the characters, once you understand the motivation, once you understand their view, their vision and where they want to go, you understand why your movie works. You understand the conclusion. You want that to happen because you understand the basics of it and that's what storytelling is. It's not sexy. It's not clever. It's not a wordsmith. It's literally like, “This happens and then this happens and because of that, this happens.” It leads you through. Advertising traditionally has gone the complete and total opposite direction. They've used the state-improved model, which is I'm going to give you a big claim. You've got your attention, “Tell me more.” I'll lead you in with the information to back that up. I'm going to prove what I said is a big claim.
If you've got a time machine, you can go back to the 1970s that might still work but now, if you make a big claim, everybody's like, “That’s total crap.” They distrust everything you say. They've heard promises that get bigger and bigger and the results get smaller and smaller. I make this joke on stage where I had to change the keynote that I do because I used to talk about clickbait, about how online have these clickbait headlines and you'd get there, except for nobody falls for them anymore. Your audience may have fallen for it years ago, but you never click on an article with that ever anymore. That's how sophisticated, doubtful and skeptical we are. What Hollywood does is it builds your desire through the process of leading you with information. That's what I try to tell and that's what the book does well is it explains how to do that.
Dustin
This is more about being magnetic versus pushing an agenda. This is about enrolling people and getting that to make sense.
Brant
Nobody wants to be sold anything. If they feel you are selling them, they are out. They're repulsed by that. It's hard for someone who's looking to market, sell or deliver anything to somebody. Everybody else that has been doing it horribly with their clickbait and with their click funnels is ruining it for everyone else, but we're all in the same pool. It is about using your information as your biggest advantage. I always say simplicity is the new sexy and clarity is compelling. That's what draws people. If you're able to simplify your message and say less, that quiet confidence resonates with people. That's how you get heard. You can say less and get more.
Dustin
I want to talk about getting people's attention. Your big thing is don't lead with that big claim or that big hook. In the world of social media, TV and with distraction, how do you get someone's attention if you can’t make a claim? What are the ways to open up that conversation to get people into the story?
Brant
People want to make their own decisions quickly. We have this idea that Microsoft did this study that shows that our attention span is down to about 8.2 seconds and a goldfish is at nine seconds. The impression is that there were mindless zombies distracted by shiny objects and you've got to flash something to get them. It's the total incomplete opposite. We focus now more efficiently and intensely than ever before. What we're doing is if I get your attention and I give you information that you want in value, you'll stay with me. If not, I'm out right away.
The misnomer is that I can give you a big shiny object quickly and that'll grab your attention and I can figure out how to hold it. It's not like that at all. What people want is information. They want the details. I have these four steps in the book called the WHAC Method, which is how you structure any pitch, presentation or conversation. It breaks into four steps. What is it? How does it work? Are you sure? Can you do it? It's how we make decisions. We conceptualize it, which is what is it? How does it work? Do we contextualize it as how does that work for me? What is it relevant in my world? We actualize it as, “Can I get that from you? How does it work? What's it cost? When can I have it?”
If you think about the last time someone was droning on and trying to present something to you and your brain is almost saying like, “Could you tell me how this works? I want to know what it is and how it works. Can you skip all the other crap?” That's basically what we do internally. I teach people how to take those moments, the presentation that they're trying to make and mimic what somebody is going through in their head. That helps simplify it and catch people's attention. There’s a great story about Niagara Falls. It froze, blocked off and stopped running. At 3:00 AM, the 5,000 residents of Niagara were jarred awake and wandering the street like “What happened?” The sound of the silence was deafening to them because the raging torrent, raging water, this myriad of noise of that water had blended into the background for them. That's what the world is now for marketing and messaging.
It's a Niagara Falls of raging water of crap out there and people have tuned it out. What you find is the silence was the loudest sound they heard in years. When you hear somebody give you the straight information, let that information live on its own without trying to color it, without adjectives and without the crap around it. It's the silence that deafens. It cuts through and you notice it right away. That's why I think this book has been doing well is because of that. I think people are responding to that because they are like, “You mean I don't have to work as hard. I don't have to shout louder than everybody else.” It's like, “No, if you want to get heard, you can talk quieter and be a little more specific.”
Dustin
I want to ask you about this because I imagined the presentations that you've been a part of. I've been a part of those presentations that are drawn on and on. I'm empathetic to the passionate person that is excited about their thing, but they feel that need to overcommunicate. How do people have this self-awareness? What do you tell them to do to say, “Don't barf on them, don't tell them everything, tell them the most important things?”
Brant
That's the main thing I have to get people to understand. Conceptually, it's not about everything you want to say. It's about only what needs to be said. The problem is you live with your information. You understand it perfectly. It's all valuable to you because you have all of the contexts. You understand it all except that I've never heard this before. Could you start with the cons? What is it? How does it work? You can explain to me the, “Are you sure?” moment which is like, “Explain some facts, some figures, logic and reason that build that framework so that I can understand that.” It's like, “Now, I can start to place value on that.” What I find is when I can get people to start to structure it like that, they feel more confident about the information because now they're making people understand it. Making someone understand the value of your business, product or service the same way you see value is powerful.
When you have that powerful feeling, it changes the way you speak. It changes the way you approach a situation. It becomes part of who you are. The client asks me, “Can you help my sales team or can you help me be more confident?” I was like, “No, you can't learn confidence. You have to earn confidence and confidence comes from the value of the information you're bringing to somebody else. Whatever you believe that value is, that's what your level of confidence is.” I have this funny thing about Gordon Ramsay where I say, “If I wanted to cater to your wedding, the biggest day of your life. I had Gordon Ramsay as the chef that was going to be there, how many words would I need to sell you that?” I have Gordon Ramsay, four. I have my chest out. I'd be smiling. I'd be excited. I'd be confident. I wouldn't have to say much. If it was my brother in law who was an ex-convict who doesn't cook very much but needs a job, how many words would I need to sell you that? A lot of words. Would I be confident? You'd know right away. You'd sense that and you'd feel that I was trying to sell you. I always tell people the value of your information, what you're presenting is somewhere between Gordon Ramsay and my brother-in-law ex-convict. The more words you use, that's how you're going to tell your audience where your confidence level is.
Dustin
When people have a tendency to overcommunicate, do you try to give them advice or do you give them advice on being more concise? It’s go the other way so that people are like, “Tell me more.”
Brant
It's more linear. The problem with people who drone on and go out sorts and speak is that they don't speak linearly. They speak in a shotgun effect. They start on something and they are like, “I also do this over here.” They're all over the place. What happens is if I can get them to think and process their information in more of a linear fashion and then kind of story. The way you would watch a CSI episode where you know what's going to happen, it's the same format in LA Law. If you can tell a story like that, it's hard to draw in on it because you're doing it in a specific order, in a linear fashion and people will follow along with you.
When you get them to condense the number of words, you don't need to sell it or make it sound bigger or better. When I get them to take back the opinions, I don't want to hear you're passionate about your opinions. That doesn't help. I want facts. I want the details. If you've got an opinion, that's fine. You can lay it out there. I don't want to see you jumping up and down about it because then it's like, “Why do you think that's such a great idea? Maybe you're an idiot.” That’s what I used to deal with on TV all the time. Someone would come in with an idea for a TV show, they thought that was the greatest thing ever. They would make me feel how great they thought it was and I was like, “If you think that's a great idea for TV, I don't want you in my office ever again.” That happened a lot.
Dustin
I'm envisioning Mr. and Mrs. Skeptic, “Brant, I sell very sophisticated things. I can't get this down to three minutes because of some sophisticated space technology.” What do you say to Mr. and Mrs. Skeptic?
Brant
I would say probably the number one thing I hear from a new client, “Our system is very complex. We're very scientific-based.” The problem is that they're not having real conversations with people at their level. If you're talking to other scientists like, “It's super complicated, but it's not what they want to do.” They want to recruit talent. They want to raise money. They want to get their stock price up. They want to keep people investing. Until someone understands the conceptual nature of what you do, all those little finite details are never going to have value. It isn't about condensing everything into three minutes. It's about what is your best three minutes? What are the three minutes that make the person at the end go, “I want to talk further. I want to talk to my boss. I’ve got to call my wife. Let's get you in to meet the board. Let's have another meeting?” That's the world we live in. It's called a decision by committee. You can't escape it. Your best chance is to get them in the mode of engagement. For complex scientific nuanced business, that's all engagement stuff. Once someone's interested in digging in a little bit, I'm going to dig in and do my due diligence and then all those little things matter. Let's get to the basics.
Dustin
I'm sure you've seen your share of crazy pitches. You've been a part of crazy pitches. What's the craziest one that you've been around? What comes to mind?
Brant
The crazy one I did is I had a show called Remote Chef, which was the worst cooks you could ever imagine. They are coming in to try to cook one of the most sophisticated culinary dishes in the world. The twist is you have a world-class chef, Gordon Ramsay, in your ear. He's got a Google glass and he can see what you're doing. He guides you on how to cook it. It is a fun show. To demonstrate that, I invited the buyers from the major networks to a test kitchen that we had rented on a set. They thought they were going to come to see the pitch. I knew that the head of ABC was a notoriously bad cook. I had her come up and rig her with the rig. She did it live and did these amazing lamb chop things with Gordon in her ear. That was pretty cool. That was a wild pitch.
I have seen oil and gas guys talk for nine-and-a-half minutes about their background, who they are, who's on their board and where they all used to work. I watched one oil and gas company do that. It's painful and I wish I could say they were the only ones, but biotech guys and oil and gas guys tend to be the farthest away from being successful in a pitch presentation. They tend to do well when I work with them because they don't want to be better presenters necessarily. They want to get this done. They want to do it right. I find that introverted people are better students than extroverts. Extroverts like myself, we feel like we can figure it out. I'll use my personality, “I don't need the information to be that good. Look at me, I'm awesome.” I find those guys, high-level CEOs that have that personality. They listen a little bit less. They want to use their prowess verbally and with their charisma to overpower. That doesn't work very well either anymore because people are like, “What do you actually have for me?”
Dustin
Part of this methodology that you have is you still have to have a hook. I'm thinking of the oil and gas guys. What are some of your tips, your strategies for condensing this information and finding what's that salient point?
Brant
There are two main pieces. The one is I break it down into bullet points. It is an old school and it's not sexy. The first thing I bring is a set of Post-It notes and we're going to put bullet points on a wall. When you are forced to categorize everything about the business you've been running for many years, that does $9 billion in sales and put it on one or two-word bullet points, it's amazing how restructuring that is. It's like, “I've got to say it in one or two words. I've been reading off our branding statement for fifteen years.” What it does is it cleans out all the crap and mostly the language and then you could see it and the reason why I use Post-Its is that they're so tactile. You can move them. You can grab them. You can scrape them up. You can rewrite it and that helps people put things in a flow.
The next biggest thing is the hook itself, which is the coolest thing about it. I always say, “What's the coolest thing? What's the statement you can make that makes your audience go, “That's cool?” If they understood it all. They won't say that if you come out with that. The biggest mistake is people want to start with that hook. If you look at Bar Rescue, that’s probably the biggest show I've produced. People love that show. The hook of that show was Jon Taffer is the Gordon Ramsay for bars and nightclubs. You get it, you're like, “That's cool.” If I would've gone into the network president and started that pitch, “We're going to talk to you about a show called Bar Rescue. I brought Jon Taffer, who's the Gordon Ramsay of bars and nightclubs.”
The reaction would have been eye roll and thoughts going, “He doesn't look like Gordon Ramsay. He doesn't have an accent. I don't know if he's Gordon Ramsay level.” They would have been poking holes in it the entire time. Whereas I knew that was the hook so my goal was how do I get the audience to almost think that hook by the time I'm ready to explain it to you. How do I lead you to that? For me, in Bar Rescue was, “Here's the show. Here's how it works from an episode to episode. Here's why Jon is the right guy for this because this is his background. He knows how to do what’s being called a butt funnel, which is shocking.” His personality will resonate on screen and I showed that. The network president at the time said, “He could be our Gordon Ramsay for bars and nightclubs.” It's like, “That's how it works in the best-case scenario.” I always say, if you've got a hook, what information would your audience need so that they almost don't need you to say it. They're almost right there as well, where you lead people. I've got a great lot of great examples in the book of how exactly to do that step-by-step.
Dustin
I have a big question. I've got to imagine what you’ve got is, “I've been trying to whittle this thing down.” They say the hardest thing to do is to give 1, 2 or 3-minute. Give me an hour and I’ll get on stage. What's your advice for someone that's following this, that’s doing it, but they can't get down to that three minutes?
Brant
It's not easy. It's difficult because you're so in love with your information. The biggest thing I can say is you've got to go back to the core start of it. You got to get to the bullet points. You got to get to the statement of values. You've got to leave what you think you need to say aside for a moment. I know you want to say it so badly. The intro of my book is four pages. The average book reader reads about four pages. It takes about three minutes. Coincidentally enough, they decided they were going to read it. Yet, the average business book intro is fourteen pages long. It doesn't make any sense. I thought, “What I'm going to do is write this intro four pages as a perfect example. Here's how the three minutes work.
My publisher is like, “Write the intro after you've written the entire book and it will give you the sense of what's in there.” I'm going to go write my four pages. I'm excited, but it was nine and a half pages long. That was my first pass. I go and recut it and seven pages are the best I can do. I said to myself a couple of times, “Maybe this is the one pitch that needs to be longer because the book is so in-depth and there's so much value in here. Maybe I don't need to follow my own rule.” I got to smack myself out of that. In the most literal sense, I got to set a Post-It out and went through my own system to get my own intro. There's a picture of my office with the bullet points for my intro in the book because I was mesmerized with how I had to do it myself because I wrote the book. I knew every single word and it was good. This seven-page intro is good. Part of me wishes you could read the whole thing, but the truth is it wasn't that good. It was a lot of extra words. A lot of extra thoughts and stuff that I already said, stuff that I was going to say later. It’s like, “I needed you to decide you wanted to read the book in the first four pages. That's it.” It takes more because the book is smaller than when I originally read it, but it's right there.
Dustin
Why didn't you make the font smaller?
Brant
I’ve tried all that. I had to email the publisher, “Is it pages or words? How does it work?” He said, “It doesn't matter what you're doing, you either get it or you don't.”
Dustin
You brought up Post-It a few times. It sparked in my head. Are you a fan of the Prezi or the fancy tools and all that? What do you advise people that want to do their PowerPoints?
Brant
Anybody who's ever seen me do a keynote, I use black and white text on a slide. I don't do anything else. I have people working for me that were on an avatar. I can make anything happen on a screen. Everybody knows that. They know fancy fonts. They know graphics. They know transitions. It doesn't impress them other than maybe to make them realize that you're trying hard and that doesn't help you. You don't want to feel like that. I use it in my keynote as a point to make. I literally have one or two-word text slides. You don't need that stuff. People want the information and if your PowerPoint can help you lead somebody with your information, great.
If you're trying to make it do the work for you, you are in deep trouble. It doesn't tell your audience how professional you are anymore. My son could make you a branding deck on Photoshop. It's not that difficult. Many companies spend so much time trying to get their brand right and their logo. You haven't sold anything yet. Nobody's listening to your story. What are you doing? It's not impressive. Back in the day, if you buy something from Apple and the packaging, you're like, “This is the greatest thing ever.” Everybody packages stuff like it came from Apple. It loses its effectiveness. Simplicity says more. You go in with a pitch deck that's basic. You must have strong information because there are no editable links and 3D diorama's that pop-up.
Dustin
Brant, we’re cut from the same cloth. Everyone wants to focus on these other things. Get out and sell something, get out and communicate, get out and talk to costumers.
Brant
If you don't have the goods, people are going to figure it out so focus on what you got. You don't need more. Everybody wants to shout louder and you want to try bigger. You want to do what everybody else is doing, but it's like, “You should go the opposite direction. It's way more powerful.”
Dustin
I sold it in three minutes. I'm excited. We covered a lot of ground. What’s my first step? I want to work on my pitch. I want to work on my craft. What do I need to do to start crafting this into three minutes?
Brant
That's easy, buy the book. The book is a very detailed step-by-step process. It's got great fun stories in it. It’s true to the way I pitch and present it. It's about how to do it and less theory. It's like, “Here's how you start.” The first thing is the simplification of those bullet points. I have a great exercise where I show people a television show that I did with NBC. I show them one or two-word bullet points. They're not on TV. They've never seen this show because it didn't get on the air. I can show you twenty bullet points and you can pitch that show back to me like you were a television producer. I have exercises when I do a seminar where it's like, “Take your business, write it down in one or two bullet points. Hand it to the person next to you.” Wait until you see what comes back. It will blow your mind. It's like, “I've been working so hard for so long to say this. I've developed so much material and someone knew everything in twenty bloody bullet points.” That's how our mind processes information and your story from A to Z, you don't need every letter of the alphabet.
Dustin
My understanding is you apply this outside of the business context, outside of the business world. How are you applying this methodology outside that?
Brant
It's two ways. You'll find that you'll be able to learn how to communicate with anybody for any reason in a simplified version. You'll understand how to lay things out so when you want something. If you want to commit your wife where to go for dinner, you change the way you process that information because you do a little bit more. It becomes natural and you also hear better. I hear when I listen to clients or listen to people or listen to my kids' friends or whatever. I can hear their value a little quicker because I know what I'm listening for and I sift through this stuff a little bit better. My kids do it to me all the time. I hear my wife doing it with my parents when she's trying to convince me with something. She knows how to be like, “Here's what it is. Here's how it works. Here's why I'm sure of this. Here's what we can do.”
Dustin
Do you find it funny when someone's using your stuff on you?
Brant
It's noticeable because it's like, “I get it.” You notice when someone does that because you expect them to drone on and try to convince you. When they're like, “Here's my information.” You're like, “I’ve got to get some of that.”
Dustin
Brant, this is refreshing coming from marketing, you get paid for the word. To simplify in this day and age, light bulbs are going off on my head. I want to say thank you for bringing it. It's different. I want to shift gears a bit. I want to talk about Reject Average.
Brant
It's a travel and adventure club that I started. It’s nonprofit. I didn't have enough playmates to do stuff. I couldn't find people to go play and do fun things. At high-level executives and successful people get focused on their jobs and their work and through the years, you lose those bonded relationships you might have in college or whatnot. What you find is your niche of people that do things on the weekend gets smaller. I needed something to do. I always make the joke that I have a red sports car and my wife is still built like a nineteen-year-old. I was like, “Where's my midlife crisis going to be? I’ve got to find something.” For me, I want to go jet skiing. I want to go dirt biking. I didn't have enough people to do that.
I started inviting people to go. I started putting the packages together on how we're going to go do it. People wanted to come who said, “If we're going more invites, people want to do stuff.” It ballooned into 50 people, then it became 150 to 400 people. There are actors, models and hedge fund executives and all these people. It's like, “Do you guys want to go jet skiing? Don't you have any friends here?” I get it. I asked them like, “Who wouldn't want to go jet skiing?” Everybody. “How many times did you go jet skiing?” None because no one's inviting you to do it. I created this thing to invite executives and friends to go experience this stuff. It's blossoming and it’s a great work-life balance that I call work-life integration where I try to win every situation all day.
Dustin
My understanding is it's fun, but also you put people outside their comfort zones. Give us some examples of how you're executing on this.
Brant
I'll put together packages of things that you wouldn't normally do. We're going to go out shark diving off Guadalupe Island with their biggest great sharks in the world. You can book that trip but very few people get on that trip. I got the whole boat. I'm bringing eighteen members on this boat. All of us together, we do a little bit of this executive mastermind stuff where we share high-level issues, problems, success stories with each other. I lead the group in that piece, but you're also doing something that's ridiculously fun, cool adventure and experience.
We've gone to the glaciers of Whistler, British Columbia, helicopter skiing and helicopter fishing on the same day. We did an exotic car rally up the coast of Monterey, where there are ten guys and ten cars. They swap cars every hour. I put really fun stuff together and when you have high-level people together doing really fun high-level stuff, it opens up a different level of dialogue that I wasn't expecting when I did it. I want to go jet skiing more and it's become a way of building on what I do and being better at who I am and what I want to achieve. I'm better at it because of that.
Dustin
You easily could have made this a for-profit, a traditional business. This is a non-profit. Why did you go that route?
Brant
If I was turning it into a business, it would take the joy out of it. There would be issues, expectations and things I've got to deliver. The for-profit side of it isn't enough money to make that worth it. I want joy. I joke about it and when I say like, “If I was richer, I pay for everybody. I do this for free and have everybody do it as a thing.” I'm not that rich yet and I might never be. If I started to make it more about like, “I can make $300 on these trips, it would suck a little of the joy out in my life.” I got enough high-level stuff to deal with and stress and deliveries on things. I can't take joy out of the equation. Anywhere I can find it, I'm getting it. If it was huge money, I would sacrifice little, but that's not the way it is. I had a job. I had a good job in TV. I could be going in and making money doing that. If I wanted to turn something for-profit, I would continue doing that.
Dustin
That ship has sailed. Your background is amazing. I wanted to ask about the documentaries that you had. The one that stood out to me is why I'm not on Facebook. Why did you embark on creating a documentary? Was it to check the box?
Brant
The truth is it was to check the box. I was between gigs. I had six or eight months before my next gig was going to start. I was like, “What am I going to do?” I was watching a very adequate, non-special documentary that someone did. It was super average and plain boring. At the end of that documentary was directed by, produced by and written by. I was like, “I can't believe that guys are getting the mileage. I could have done this documentary in my sleep.” I was like, “I could have done this. This is what I do for a living. I'm going to make a film.” I went into it. The idea is I got to make a film, “What am I going to do?” I tried to produce the film, “What am I going to make it about?” I couldn't figure it out. My son literally hounding me about Facebook. I was like, “You can't be on Facebook.” He kept asking why. I couldn't come up with a good excuse. I thought, “I'm going to be the Michael Moore of Facebook. I'm going to expose them.”
I went into that and my first cut went to the editor. He said, “I’ve got to tell you, Brant. This is the worst piece of crap I've ever seen. You cannot release this. This is absolutely awful. It's about something that everybody knows. It's totally inauthentic. Nobody gives a crap. You're the only person in the world who probably that doesn't understand Facebook this much. This is a waste of time. The only scene that was valuable was with you and your son when he was poking you about it. You’ve got to go do that.”
I went and filmed another couple of scenes. I realized, “This is going to be about me.” I made a good decision to say, “I'm going to let this story go. I've told talent for the last several years, “Don't worry about the final product. Go with the moment. Let the story go. You don't worry if you look like a fool, the audience will love that. They'll be drawn to you.” I was like, “I cannot believe I'm going to take Dr. Drew's Narcissism Test in this movie and show what a narcissistic, insecure fool I am.” Every time I would do that and do it for real, it was authentic and it worked. Every time I'd go try to prove Facebook was bad, it'd be like, “It's more me. I was the problem, not Facebook.” I let the movie do that. It did pretty well. It was pretty fun.
Dustin
Why follow-up the Pokémon Go?
Brant
It is because people had been pressing me, “What are you going to do next? What do you do? You have to do another one.” It was the same thing. My daughter, I caught her sneaking out of the house after midnight not to go be with her boyfriend and not to go drinking with her friends, but to go run around catching Pokémon. I was like, “That's weird. I don't understand it.” It’s the same thing with Facebook. I must be bad if I don't understand it. I'd already had that smacked in my face once. I was like, “I'm going to do this again.” It was a way to connect with my daughter that I didn't realize was going to happen. It changed our relationship forever. It was fun. I did that as a short but it did well, which was cool to have that happen. I enjoyed that too.
Dustin
I’ve got to ask, are you using TikTok to come in next?
Brant
There are a lot of those people ask me, “What's next?” I don't know yet. Documentary filmmaking is a very revealing process and you've got to get into it. With all the other stuff that's going on, I don't know if I could do it as authentic as I did before. I would worry about falling short. It's one of them. It's one of those things, “There's no money in it.” If I'm doing stuff for no money, it's got to be super joyful. Making a movie and making a documentary, I would not say is joyful. It's a little lower on my thing. Directing a bigger movie, I don't know. We'll find out if the right thing comes along. I'll be there.
Dustin
You’ve got the book out. What else are you most excited about? What's coming into your future?
Brant
I do a lot of work with high school kids. I have a thing. I will speak at any high school at any time free of costs. It’s no problem. My son graduated high school and I was so embarrassed by the lack of practical knowledge that he received from that education that it bothered me so much. I literally thought about quitting everything and starting charter schools. I realized that's probably a bad idea and not going to go well so I gave up on that. What bothered me more than his lack of basic financial understanding, which they should be teaching, as opposed to geometry, is he had no entrepreneurial sense of what that world was out there. Effectively, the teachers and that world are not entrepreneurial. They're the only access to education. I couldn't take that. I started an early entrepreneurial training program for kids, a summer camp that's an immersion program. It’s a week-long fun summer stuff, but immersion speakers, curriculum, all about entrepreneurial training. I found when I looked into it, there was a lot of startup stuff, “You want to start your app? Here's a startup camp.”
I want it to be a little bit broader where it's like, “I'm going to teach you about financing, borrowing, HR issues and the things that you would need, not only to be a great employee if you have some of that entrepreneurial mindset. If you want to start a business or run something for someone or buy a franchise.” I've listened to my son's friends talk about what a franchise is because they work at In-N-Out. They work at Chick-fil-A. I'm like, “You don't have a single clue how this business works or what's beyond wrapping up a hamburger.” That's new. We're talking about eighteen-year-old kids. That's unbelievable. I'm excited about that. It runs through my foundation. By 2021, I'd like to be doing those almost year-round if I could.
Dustin
We should talk. We've got a whole thing. Most people don't even know this, but we have a WealthFit team. We’re of the same mindset. We’ve got to put this education into it.
Brant
It has become part of what they do otherwise, we're turning out people that are not prepared for this. It was a good lack of competition out there but that's not going to help us as a society and I can't watch it anymore. I can be crazy.
Dustin
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, where else can people get the book?
Brant
It’s at 3MinuteRule.com. You can pretty link to anything, anywhere you like to buy it. It's in your airports. It's in vending machines. If you're on my Instagram feed, it's everywhere. All I do is post about the book. You can go to be website. There are lots of fun stuff there. I interact with people that subscribe. You can send me your bullet points. I'll give you my logline where we can work on stuff together. It's fun. I love that stuff.
Dustin
Where can people follow you on the social?
Brant
I'm pretty well everywhere, @TheBrantPinvidic. I'm pretty easy to find. I do all those social things. You've got to play the game. You’ve got to play the role. You’ve got to be out there. You’ve got to do the thing.
Dustin
Brant, thank you big time for being on the show. As we like to say here, be sure to share the wealth. If you know someone that would benefit, perhaps a young one that would benefit from this show, be sure to share the wealth. I can't wait to have you back for the next show.

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