I find it fascinating that you're now known for being a success mindset guy, but it wasn't always this way. At 25, you found yourself in a world where you didn't think it made sense for you to function and you heavily contemplated suicide. It's a crazy duality to me because you're so positive and you're so on mindset. I want you to take us back to this point in your life. What's going on in your world and how did you rebound from that?
Not to tell the entire story but very briefly, I grew up poor in a rich neighborhood. I know that's a total cliché but it's totally true. I grew up in a little town called Kennebunkport, Maine. It is a wealthy community but my family was dirt poor. I mean that literally because we lived at the bottom of a dirt road in a drafty unfinished house that my parents end up losing to foreclosure. I grew up with that poverty mindset in my family but yet right down the street, I saw that there was another way to live, that there were wealth and abundance. I hated that life of poverty, fear, lack and not-enoughness. I tried to get out of it by reading books. That was my escape. I was reading self-help books and going to the library.
I tried to make them work. I worked hard but I could never seem to get them to work. Many years later, at the age of 25, I tried all these different things and nothing had worked. This was pre-internet. I didn't see a way out for my life. I had gone through a lot of things like that. It got to the point where I said, “I don't want to be here anymore.” If you work hard and sacrifice and then you have success, you have that feeling of accomplishment. If you work hard and sacrifice and don't have success, that leads to depression and frustration. That's where I was. I remember I made a decision to take my own life. I wasn't thinking about it. I decided to do it. I was going to do it.
I tell that story in the books, but at the very last moment, my life was spared. I didn't know why, but I realized that I had been spared for a reason. I decided to devote the rest of my life to serving God and serving humanity as best I could while I was still here on the Earth. I still didn't know why I was here on the earth. After that happened to me, I went on another long journey of spiritual discovery. I read lots of spiritual books as opposed to success books, which is what I had done before and it didn't work. I went on more of an inner journey reading people like Dr. Ernest Holmes, Marianne Williamson and people like that. In 1997, I had two epiphanies that changed my life when I first discovered how to change your subconscious thought patterns using my Afformations Method. Secondly, I discovered the Power Habits System, which are the power habits of unconsciously successful people. Those two events that happened in 1997 led me to the work that I'm doing now.
You talked about reading those success books and then at 25, you didn't see a way out. I've had that phenomenon too where I'm reading stuff and I'm not manifesting things. Things aren't happening. I'm feeling guilty. “What's wrong with me?” All that mind chatter is going through my head. This is a slippery slope for people. What do you advise people to do now that are trying to put their best foot forward? They're doing what mentors are telling them. They're reading books, but they're feeling guilty or they're not happy. What do you say?
There are several parts to that question. Let me get to the one part first, which I call your head trash. I’ve written fifteen books on this one subject, which is how to get rid of your head trash. Your head trash is the voice in your head that says, “I can't do it because…” then you fill in the blank. In my case, it was, “I can't do it.” Meaning I can't succeed or I'll never get ahead, whatever your dream might be. Your dream might be to even lose weight, make money, start your business, and get more customers, whatever it might be. I call that your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
I can't do it because I'm too old, because I made too many mistakes, because I've tried everything already, because my spouse won't support me or whatever it might be. What I always tell my clients is that the thing about your head trashes, you always makes you right. Humans have an almost infinite capacity to make ourselves right. If you don't believe me, put a Republican and a Democrat in the same room, have them watch a political speech and see what happens. Put a Boston Red Sox fan and a New York Yankees fan and have them watch the Yankees-Red Sox game. Are they watching the same game? Yes and no.
They're watching the same set of circumstances on the field, yet when one team does something great, one will be happy, one will be sad. People say to me, “I want to do what you do. I want to do speaking, write books, have my online business, travel the world, but I can't do it because…” Whatever happens after the word, because, is what you believe. The irony is you will defend it to the death and this is what you don't want and you're defending it to yourself. Stephen Covey called it arguing for your limitations, which we all do this unconsciously because we want to be right. We'd rather be right than happy.
Nobody does this on purpose consciously. A big part of my work that I do at our live events, in my books and training is bringing it to the conscious level because the first step of any transformation is awareness. One of my clients years ago, and this is a great analogy, as we were doing the work together and helping him uncover all this stuff, he said, “As we do this work, it's like you turned a light on in a room that had been dark my whole life.” As he said that, I said, “That's exactly what it is.” Think about this. Imagine if all the lights went out in this room. It was completely dark. Imagine then somebody said, “Dustin, you’ve got to rearrange the furniture.” How successful are you going to be rearranging the furniture? It's going to be hard because you can't see what you're doing. Does that mean you're incapable of rearranging furniture? Of course, not. You're perfectly capable when you can see what you're doing.
That's exactly the challenge with our own brain is we can't see it. We're not aware. The first step of any transformation is simple awareness. I say simple but it can sometimes be painful because these feelings may have been buried for years or decades. That's why at our live events sometimes we have grown men in tears because this is bringing up stuff that may have been buried for decades. We had one gentleman who I remember was a former professional soccer star. He flew from Columbia, South America, not Columbia, South Carolina. He flew fourteen hours to come to my event. He was in tears because it was bringing up things for him that he had never faced before, certainly hadn't faced in a long time. He then went on to have the best year of his life because he was able to get rid of this head trash.
As you were sharing that, I started thinking about other people that have success. Let me lay it out for you like this. Let's take Zuckerberg building Facebook or let's take any billionaire out there. They worked hard. There was luck involved. How is it that there are people like that, that looks like to the outside where they fall into this crazy amount of success, being at the right place at the right time? Are they attracting something? Is the head trash removed? Talk a little bit about that.
This is exactly what I teach. The title of the book is Power Habits: The New Science for Making Success Automatic. The title of my work is The Power Habits of Unconsciously Successful People. That's what I teach in the book and in my programs. Let me unpack that. That's a mouthful. Whenever we humans want to master a new habit, we always go through four stages of competency. The first stage is unconscious incompetence. That means you don't know that you don't know. The second stage is conscious incompetence. That means you know you that you don't know. The third stage is conscious competence. That means you know that you know. The final stage is unconscious competence, which is you do without thinking.
The example I always give at my keynote speeches or my live events is driving a car. Probably most people know how to drive a car. We all had to go through those four stages of driving a car. The first stage is you didn't know that you didn’t know how to drive a car. Meaning nobody comes out of the womb and goes, “Where's my car?” That's not possible. You don't even know that you don't know. The second stage is you get to about age 8, 10, 12-year-old. You're like, “I want to get away from my parents and all I have is this bicycle. How do you drive a car? I want to drive a car, but I don't know how to drive a car.” I know that I don't know how to drive a car. You then get to about age 15, 16, 17, you learn how to drive a car, you get a license that says, “I'm consciously competent to drive a car.” That's not what it says but that's what it means. You know how to do it.
For most people reading this, you do it without thinking. You are doing it without any conscious thought. There are dozens of things that we do every single day like getting dressed, tying our shoes, brushing our teeth, eating, reading, writing and so forth, that we went through these four stages. The point is that for those people that you're talking about, Zuckerberg, Buffett, Bill Gates, they have become unconsciously competent at allowing themselves to succeed. What I mean by that is they don't have this head trash that 99% of humanity has. That's why I call them the one-percenters or the two-percenters, depending on your math. The point is they’re naturals. They're at the top of the food chain. They're unconsciously competent. I know this not only from my own work with clients but also because I've interviewed over 200 multi-millionaires and highly successful people.
I will often ask them a question like Gary Vaynerchuck is a great example. I've interviewed him several times. He's a great guy. We all know he's super successful. I'll say to him, “Gary, did you ever realize that you do such and such? Did you ever think about doing this such and such? Did you ever notice that you do that?” He pauses and he goes, “You're right, I never thought about that. I did do that.” What does that tell you? He's unconscious. He is doing without thinking. This relates to power habits, wealth and success. This is why many people have spent all this time, money and effort on all these different success programs, but they're still stuck. Why? Because the people teaching these programs are unconscious. They're unconsciously competent at allowing themselves to succeed.
I'm saying that specifically because it's not like they don't work or they're lazy. There’s none of that stuff. They work hard but they're not holding themselves back. It's the one thing that nobody talks about that is the secret ingredient. That's why people call this the secret sauce. People have said to me all the time, “This is the missing ingredient I've been looking for 20, 30, 40 years. I've had people come up to me all the time at events and keynote speeches say that to me. I go, “That's why, because the people that we’re listening to are unconscious. It's not that they're bad people, they're great people.” Gary Vee is a dear friend of mine. He's a great guy, but he doesn't know. When you're doing something unconsciously, you do not think about it. Therefore, how could you teach it? It's like asking a fish to tell you about water. The fish goes, “What do you mean water? What isn't water?” That's what the natural does. They're like, “Why would I hold myself back?” Meanwhile, 99% of us are going, “How do I stop holding myself back?”
I think of the sports world when you talk about that. There are some people that are the world's greatest athletes and they suck at teaching. They can't teach it because they're unconsciously competent about the swing or the thing.
I use that example all the time. The example that I use is Magic Johnson and Phil Jackson. Everybody would agree that Magic Johnson is one of the top ten all-time basketball players. He was a lousy coach. He was the coach of the Lakers for about fifteen minutes and he did not do a good job. He's unconscious as you can get as an athlete. Meanwhile, Phil Jackson played in the NBA maybe 6 or 7 seasons, nothing memorable, average, but he's the greatest NBA coach in history inarguably. There are many examples of that. That is a perfect analogy.
Getting the book is one way to go about it. I want you to spill a little of the secret sauce here. Everyone, me included, wants to get to that fourth level. I want to get to unconscious competence. How do we get there? Through the Power Habits, right?
Yeah, the Power Habits System. If you look on page 100, that's what it is. That's the book. I lay it out for you step by step. There are eleven power habits and that is my proprietary system that I've been teaching tens of thousands of people all around the world for decades since that epiphany in 1997. One of the key habits that I teach is this methodology that I call afformations. You are familiar with this, but for those of you who aren't familiar with it, this is one of my discovery's proprietary methods. I can break it down very simply. Everybody knows what an affirmation is. An affirmation is what we've been taught for decades. It’s what all the gurus taught us in every book like all those books that I was reading that I talked about.
They're in every book. They all say the same thing. At my live events or at my keynote speeches, one of the things I'd like to do is have everyone stand up in the audience. I said, “We're going to do a traditional affirmation just like they taught us. Everybody says, ‘I am rich.’” They go, “I am rich.” Do you know what happens next? Everybody starts laughing. I go, “What are you laughing at?” They go, “I’m not rich.” I said, “You said you were.” They go, “I don't believe it.” That's the problem. There's nothing wrong with the statement. The problem is we don't believe the statement. The gurus said, “If you don't believe your affirmation, repeat it a thousand, million, billion, kajillion times until you believe it someday.” For many people, that worked fine but for millions of us, it didn't work at all.
It was very frustrating. That's exactly where I was. In April 1997, I was a frustrated college student. I had gone back to college the second time. I was a religious study major. I was reading all these books. They all say the same thing. I had it all over the wall and sticky notes, everything they said and nothing was working. I'm like, “This is frustrating.” I was so frustrated and one morning I got in the shower and I was thinking about all this. In my books and my programs, I call it The Shower That Changed Everything because we all have those a-ha moments in the shower. This particular morning in April 1997, I was thinking about what we're talking about right now. I was going through this in my head.
I had been over it a million times and I said, “How come I'm using this statement and doing everything the book says and it’s not working? What is missing? What aren't they telling us?” I started to think about it and I said, “What are we talking about?” We're talking about beliefs, but what is a belief? Belief is a thought, but what is thought? The more I thought about what is thought, I realized that human thought is the process of asking and searching for answers to questions, not statements. Let me give you an example. Dustin, I'm going to ask you a question. Everybody reading this play along with me right here. I’m going to ask you a question and I want you to see what happens. Why is the sky blue?
Look at what happened. What happened in your brain? I asked you a question, “Why is the sky blue?” What instantly happened, and you proved it, you didn't know I was going to do that. Everybody I know, this just happened. All around the world, this just happened. I asked you a question. Instantly your brain started to search for the answer. You couldn't not do it. It happened without your own volition. It's like a Google search or computer search for your file. When you do a Google search, you're asking Google a question, “Google, show me all the Chinese restaurants in San Diego, California.” There's the answer or any question you want. That's what it is. It's a search engine. Your brain is a search engine. Your brain is a computer. It's searching files, “The sky is blue because…” I don't know, but it's looking. It's automatically doing that.
If the human mind is automatically searching for answers to questions, why are we going around making statements we don't believe? Why don't we cut out the middleman? I said, “I don't know. What would that look like?” You’ve got the statement or affirmation. This is what we've been taught, “I am rich,” to which your brain says, “Yeah, right.” In my book, I call it the, “Yeah, right response,” because your brain says, “Yeah, right.” If that's the statement, then what would the question be? I then said, “Why am I so rich?” Everybody reading this, ask that question right now, “Why am I so rich?” Dustin, what's happening in your brain when you ask the question, “Why am I so rich?”
I'm searching for the answer.
Exactly. What we're talking about here and what I teach in my programs is the Law of Sowing and Reaping. As you sow, so shall you reap. This is nothing new. It's been taught for centuries, but what are we sowing? We're sowing seeds of thought, and yet what are most people doing? Sowing lousy thought seeds. “Why am I so stupid? Why am I so fat? Why can't I lose weight? Why isn't my business growing? Why can't I get more clients or patients or customers? Why is there more month left at the end of the money?” When you ask lousy questions, you got lousy answers and that creates a lousy life. I said, “What if instead of asking lousy questions that lead to lousy answers and create a lousy life, what if we flipped the whole thing on its head?” Start asking empowering questions that lead to phenomenal answers and create a wonderful life.
As I was standing there in the shower on April 24th, 1997, I said, “I think I invented something.” I had to give it a name. The name I gave was afformations. You can google that right now, Afformations.com
. The point is this is now the Afformations System, my Afformations Method, which now I've talked to hundreds of thousands of people in over 120 countries in the intervening decades since I had that discovery in the shower in 1997. That's what I realized in working with many clients and helping people make so much money over many years.
I realized that this is what highly successful people are doing unconsciously. They're asking empowering questions as opposed to disempowering questions, which is what most humans are doing. They’re asking lousy questions, getting a lousy life, and not doing it on purpose. It doesn't matter because of the Law of Sowing and Reaping. It doesn't matter whether it's on purpose or not. Because of my Afformations Method, for the first time in human history, we can take conscious control of the questions we're asking, change your questions and change your life.
I see a big part of afformations is empowering questions. What's one empowering question that I can ask myself?
I gave you an example, “Why am I so rich?” That is an afformation. The purpose of the afformation is to change your brain. It is to rewire your brain. Think about the brain like a series of highways or roads. That's all the brain is. It's a bunch of connections, 30 trillion or whatever the number is. It's an enormous number of connections, neurons and synapses, which connect the brain. Think about this. The average person has a lot of negative thoughts about themselves. That’s your head trash, “I can't do it, I'm stupid, I'm not good enough, whatever.” A lot of those are questions, “Why am I so dumb? How come I can't do anything right? Why does nothing ever work out?” That is a negative afformation, not conscious.
The average person has these huge superhighways of disempowering questions like, “Why am I so dumb? Why can't I do anything right?” You've probably thought that a million, billion, kajillion times or whenever your negative thought might be. What happens is right next to that huge superhighway, you got this little dirt road that says, “I'm enough, but I can do it.” What we're doing with the afformations is rewiring your brain. Instead of this little puny dirt road that only a few cars can get through a day, we're going to widen that to now we have a six-lane superhighway of, “Why am I enough?” Imagine if you were to start to not affirm but afform, “Why am I enough?” How would your life change?
I get emails, phone calls, cards and letters in social media from people whose lives have been changed by this one simple strategy. I'll give you a quick example. I had one gentleman who wrote to me. He had read one of my books and gone to one of my programs. His name's Jacob and he lives in Canada. He said, “Noah, before I read your book, I was living in a 300 square-foot apartment. I had drug-dealing neighbors and cockroach-infested apartment. I was hopelessly addicted to marijuana, cigarettes, coffee,” and one other thing. It was four addictions.
He said, “I've been trying to quit for seventeen years. I use your Afformations Method. I read your book and I got your program online. I was able to quit in less than two months using this one method. I sold that condo. I've moved into this new beautiful apartment.” This is a quote from that email. I can remember it specifically says, “I now consider myself as the happiest and luckiest people on the face of the Earth.” That gives you chills. We've helped people. Think about this, think about your beliefs, where do your beliefs not affect you?
I don't know if that's possible.
I asked that question to my audiences all the time in my speeches or my presentations. That's exactly what they do. I go, “Exactly, nowhere. There's no place your beliefs don't affect you.” Think about how powerful this one simple strategy is and that's the first of the Power Habits. There are ten more. This is what I have done for decades. I take the traditional success literature and flip it on its head.
I want to go back to that other epiphany you had in ‘97. I've found this term fascinating and it got me curious, success anorexia. What is success anorexia? It doesn't sound good, but what do I do about it?
It isn’t good at all. I have to paint a little picture here. I won't give you full, but I'll give you the shortened version. I have a background as a professional ballet dancer. I'm the only person in the personal business growth industry who made a living lifting ballerina. I can definitely make that claim. When I was younger, I had braces on my legs like Forrest Gump. I couldn't walk very well. When I was seven years old, my pediatrician said to my parents that I should take dance lessons to strengthen my legs so I could walk better. I started taking tap dancing lessons when I was seven years old. When I was fifteen, I started taking ballet lessons. At eighteen, I became a professional ballet dancer. At age 22, I had to retire because of a career-ending injury. I was onstage lifting a ballerina and I heard something go pop in the hip joint. I was like, “That's it for that career.” That's what led to my suicide story. That was a big part of that. I didn't know what I was going to do with the rest of my life.
That's how it all ties together. The reason that I shared that is because, in October of 1997, I was at a seminar on eating disorders. As most people know, unfortunately in the dance world and the arts, there are a lot of people who are suffering from eating disorders. I didn't have an eating disorder but I knew a lot of people who did a lot of my colleagues and friends over the years. I went to this seminar to learn about it. I don't have any eating disorder but I wonder why people develop that. I’m interested about human behavior. As the speaker was talking about why people develop eating disorders, I had something unexpected happened, very shocking in fact.
The speaker was saying that the people that develop eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia are typically young women who have very low self-esteem. They're overachievers and straight-A students. They put themselves last and put everybody else's needs first. It has nothing to do with nutrition or food even. They're trying to punish themselves because of that very low self-image. As the speaker was saying all this, I said, “That sounds like me. I check every one of those boxes. I have no self-esteem. I'm always putting everybody else first. I don't have any self-confidence. I'm an overachiever. I got straight-A’s. I checked every box. How come I didn't develop an eating disorder?”
If I checked every box, what happened? That was when my life made sense for the first time. Here's what happened. All of what I'm about to say took place in my mind in two seconds. It takes much longer to say, but I’ll try to make it brief as I can. Women have been taught for centuries that their worth comes from their physical body. It's obvious that is not where a woman's worth comes from. I want to be very clear that that's where they've been taught it comes from. There are still places around the world that teach that. It’s totally wrong.
We're being very clear. That is not where a woman's worth comes from, but it's what she's been taught for centuries. If a human being who's been taught that their worth comes from their physical body, develops very low self-esteem and wants to punish that physical body, what's a great way to do it? Starve yourself with food. I described an eating disorder in 30 seconds. That's what causes an eating disorder. What about the other sex? That would be men. Where are men taught their worth comes from for centuries?
Going out and being successful, acquiring wealth, status, success, money, whatever material.
I call it your material body to distinguish it from your physical body. You've got the physical body and the material body. Men have been taught their worth comes from their material body, not their physical body. This is not where a man's worth comes from either any more than a woman's worth comes from her physical body. That's where we've been taught. Both sexes have been taught totally wrong. I want to be totally clear on that. If a human being who was taught that his worth comes not from his physical but his material body, and he develops a very low sense of self-esteem and no self-worth, what would be a great way to punish him? It would be to starve himself of success. I did that. My jaw hit the floor and I went, “My life makes sense for the very first time.” It was October 20th, 1997 at 8:20 PM and I went, “This is what I've been put on the earth to do, to teach this for the rest of my life.”
I went home and I walked around for about 30 days and then I sat down. I decided to write a book and I wrote a book in two weeks called Permission to Succeed
. That book was published subsequently by the Chicken Soup people. Jack Canfield discovered me back in 1998. He said to the Chicken Soup people, “You've got to publish this book because millions of people need to hear about this.” That's how my first book, Permission to Succeed
, came to be published. See how I had to tell you the whole story? That is what success anorexia is. It’s the starvation of success.
Some people reading this might say, “Noah, what about women? You said men have been taught their worth comes from the material body.” I have people at my seminars and when I'm doing keynote speeches and they'll say, “I'm a woman and I've been starving myself of success.” Women over the years have been entering the workforce in larger numbers than men. Women are now not only taught that their worth comes from their physical bodies, but they also have to make a lot of money. They're told that their worth comes from their material body too. I call it bonus pressures for women. Women have this extra bonus pressure.
Keep in mind that this is all wrong. It's all completely false. It's all head trash, but yet it's what is out there. Jung called it the collective unconscious. It's floating out there. That's a big part of my teaching when I work with coaching clients. When I do my live events or keynote speeches, a big part of this is bringing it to awareness. If you're not aware, then how can you change? The answer is you can't. When I even say the word success anorexia, it hits home for a lot of people and they go, “I've been starving myself of success my whole life. I didn't even know it.” I'm like, “I know, me too. That's why I've written fifteen books on this.”
You're on record for saying there's a hidden connection between habits and money. This being the Get WealthFit Show, we talk a lot about money. We talked a lot about wealth here. I love this intersection of tactical stuff that we often talk about with mindset stuff that we're talking about now. What is that connection and why is it important?
I'm glad you brought this up because a big part of my teaching and my mission is to help people get this awareness. Whenever we humans want to do something, there are always two components to it. Let's say you want to build a house. There's the inner component and the outer component. At my company, SuccessClinic.com
, we call it the inner game and outer game to keep it simple. The inner game is everything that happens between your ears that you can't see directly, but it affects everything that you do. I asked you before and I often ask my audiences, “Where don't your beliefs affect you?” The answer is no place. There is no place your beliefs don't affect you.
Your beliefs affect your health, your relationships, your family life, your social life, your money, your finances, your business. There's no place your beliefs don't affect you, but you can't see a belief. You can only see the effects of it. Also, someone could be doing well in one area of their life, but meanwhile, they're struggling or stuck in another area. For example, maybe your business is going well, but your health is suffering or your relationships are going great, but your finances aren't so great. It's not one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter, it's customized to each person. That's your inner game. We also have the outer game. That's everything you can see directly. In the investment world, that's all of the marketing and the digital stuff. In the internet space, it's your lead magnets, it's your sales funnels, it's your marketing copy and so on.
All that stuff that we've been taught that people have spent tens of thousands of dollars on all that outer game stuff, the point is it's right in front of your face. You can see it. That's why it's called outer game. It's right there. It's only when you master the inner game and outer game that you have the phenomenon called success. I'll give you a quick example. I was speaking at an event in Los Angeles for about 1,000 entrepreneurs, very high-level of attendee. I finished presenting on what we're talking about right now. I was walking off the stage and a man ran up to me from the audience and he practically grabbed me. He said, “Noah, I want to hire you as my coach. You are the coach I've been looking for.” I didn't know this man from Adam.
Ironically, his name was Adam. I said, “What's going on?” He goes, “I'm totally stuck. I'm only making $4 million a year.” I had to laugh because a lot of people would like to be stuck with $4 million a year. It doesn't sound like a big problem. I said that to him. He goes, “You don't understand. I own a company. I'm the CEO of this company. We got to $4 million in revenues fast like hockey stick growth. We've been stuck at $4 million in revenues for four years. I've thrown all this money at this problem. I've hired this guru. I've gone to this marketing and that marketing and we're still stuck. As soon as I heard you speak on inner game, outer game, success anorexia, afformations and everything you said, I knew you're the coach that I've been looking for.”
He hired me on the spot. I worked for them for about eighteen months. In that eighteen-month period, his company went from being stuck at $4 million in revenues for four years to over $20 million in revenue in less than eighteen months. How did I do that? I worked on the inner game. He had thrown all the money on the outer game, which isn't wrong. You have to have it. Think about all the celebrities that you and I and everybody reading know who had everything and then lost it all. Robin Williams, Chris Farley, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, John Belushi, I can go on and on and on. We all know the examples.
Why is that? They had everything that we want. They were rich and famous, but because no one had taught them what I'm teaching all of you, which is how to master your inner game, sadly they lost it all including their lives. What a loss for humanity. That's a big reason and a big part of my ‘why’ of what I do is because I don't want that to happen anymore. Those are huge losses. I still feel the loss of Robin Williams. I feel the loss of Chris Farley, these great talents who took their own life. They didn't have to, but it doesn't have to be that dramatic. It's an example that we can all see. It's right there. It's famous, sad and unnecessary.
I’ve got two follow-ups on that. The first one being, I've often heard that the company will only grow to the size of its leader. This seems to be the example that you've given here. It was him inhibiting the growth. Was that the case or was it management underneath him? Does it all go back to the top like that leader?
In this case, I just coached him. I was his peak performance coach. In this case, it was him. He was perfectly aware of it. Remember and I keep saying it, the first step of transformation is awareness. He was not aware because all those gurus that he hired are unconscious. Do you see how all these ties together? He was hiring all these guys that are naturals, that are unconscious and they're like, “Just succeed. What's your problem?” He's like, “I'm trying.” $4 million is pretty good, but $20 million is even better.
The second question I want to ask is that balance. I had this as a question. I didn't call it inner game, outer game. It was mindset versus tactics as you said, building the business or the actual investment strategy versus the soft. Especially if you're starting, how do you weigh your time?
I strongly feel that 80% to 85% of success is inner game and I feel that way because I've been doing this for decades. I've helped my clients add over $2.7 billion. I've helped people like your audience add multiple 6, 7, and even 8-figures and more to their businesses by primarily inner game. The problem with inner game is you cannot see it. It's not sexy. It's mostly annoying to work on. It's not fun. A lot of people like messing around with marketing stuff and copy, “Let's change this lead magnet.” I get that. It's fine. I enjoy it too. It's fun. Think about it this way. Reaching your goals is like driving a car. I use that analogy before.
When you're trying to reach your goal to grow your business, add 6, 7, 8 figures, whatever it is. You're trying to go from where you are to where you want to be. It’s like driving a car. Let's say you want to go down the street to the grocery store to pick up some milk and eggs. You're going from where you are to where you want to be to reach your goal. Imagine you're driving your car, but you are unknowingly driving down the road of life with one foot on the brake. You're pressing hard on the gas, but unbeknownst to you and you're doing this stuff without even being aware of it, you have your other foot on the brake. How long is it going to take you to reach your goal? It's going to take forever.
Not only that, but you also keep trying different things you don't like. Somebody comes up to you and say, “Your problem is you need to get a new set of tires. That's the problem.” You're like, “I'll change my tires because this guy said to change my tires,” but you still have your foot on the brake. It’s the same result. Someone else comes out to you and say, “You need to put a better type of gas in your car. That's the problem. Try this new type, cool and expensive gas.” Same habits, same result. Somebody finally says, “You need a new car. It's the car that's not good enough.”
You spend all this money to get a new car. Because no one's told you how to change your habits, the ones you don't have the awareness, you have to keep doing what you are doing, even if you don't want to do it and aren't aware that you're doing it. I'm the guy that comes in and says, “Dustin, did you have your foot on the brake?” You're like, “What? Yeah.” “If you get your foot off the brake, you can reach your goals a lot quicker, easier and less expensive.” You’re like, “Really?” “Yeah, it's pretty simple. You follow these eleven steps and that's it.”
You talked about awareness. How does one get awareness? If I don't know that I got my foot on the brake, how do I get that awareness? Maybe I know in business. I know something's up, but like I've been dating these women or this other person and it never works out. She shows up but I don't know it. How can I get that awareness?
The answer is you’ve got to listen to programs like this. I'm serious. Most of the people who come to my events or hire me as a coach, they have tried lots of things. For the people listening this program, this is probably not your first podcast listening to it. I listen to a lot of things like this. That's great like Adam who I shared before, he spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to fix the problem, but it's exactly what I said. Everybody was telling them, “Try this new gas, get some new tires, get a new car.” That's not exactly wrong advice, but it's not fixing the problem. Some of my clients have said that my training is the only training that fixes every other training. That's not me saying it, that's my clients saying it. They also say that my programs are the only program that fixes the problem that causes every other problem, which I also think is correct. That's it. They have to look at it in this new way. It’s not just look at it in a new way, but have this new and easier solution.
This is your fifteenth book. You most certainly know how to write, communicate and put stuff into the world. Why this book and why now? How did this come to be? How did you derive book number fifteen was going to be this book?
I was approached by the Nightingale-Conant company. They’re one of the biggest producers of audio programs. They've produced everybody from Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Stephen Covey, all the classics going back to Earl Nightingale. When I was a kid, I used to listen to Nightingale-Conant programs all the time. These were tapes and I listen over and over again. This is a true story. I used to dream about being a Nightingale-Conant author. That was one of my dreams. They contacted me a few years ago and they asked me to do a program called the Power Habits System and it became that audio program. It became one of their top ten all-time customer favorites along with people like Earl Nightingale, Jim Rohn, Joe Vitale and the giants of the industry. I'm the little old me. I was humbled by that and very honored.
They asked me to do another audio program, which we ended up calling The Power Habits of Ultimate Self-Confidence. That also became a bestseller. The President of Nightingale-Conant, Vic Conant, called me, “We're going to start to do physical books.” They had only done audiobooks for the last 50, 60 years. We're going to get into the book industry now. This is the President of the company. He said to me, “We're going to start with three of our authors. Keep in mind, they have everybody from Tony Robbins down. He said, “We're going to start with three of our authors, Earl Nightingale, Zig Ziglar and you.” After I fell, I got up off the floor and said thank you.
I was humbled and honored by that. This is a Nightingale-Conant
publication, which is a dream come true for me. I made this special. I worked extra hard on this. I gave a lot of new research and it's chock full of diagrams and pictures. We humans think in pictures. That's why I use a lot of analogies like driving a car and things that people can remember because you're like, “I get that.” That's how we remember things. That's what I do in the book. There are a lot of diagrams and pictures. I walk you through every step. It's more like an action guide. What I hate is when I read a book and I'm like, “I read a book. What am I supposed to do now?” It's so aggravating like, “This is my time, you took my time and I still don't know what to do.”
That makes me mad. I always want to make sure that my books are like an action guide. At the end of each chapter, “Here's your checklist, go do this.” That's what I always wanted. I wish somebody would've given me those checklist years ago. I always say to people, “If I would've had this when I was a kid, I'd be a trillionaire.” I spent most of my life holding myself back unconsciously doing everything that I'm sharing right now. I hope to give people a leg up on their competition, but also to stop stopping themselves from the success they are capable of.
Noah, it's always fun to talk to you. Your passion oozes out. If people want to get the book, they can go to PowerHabitsBook.com
. If they want to continue the conversation with you and check out what you're up to in the world, and look for that maybe sixteenth book coming out or whatever you're up to in the events and seminars, you talk about NoahStJohn.com
. Where else, do you like to direct people to continue?
If you'd like me to speak at your event, you can go to BookNoah.com
. Our live events are called the Freedom Lifestyle Experience. It's a two-day transformational experience where I teach you in two transformational days. On day one it's inner game and day two is outer game. It's powerful and transformational. That's FreedomLifeX.com
and we do those throughout the year.
Noah, I want to acknowledge you to go from a broke dead-end job, we did get into that. That's where you started contemplating suicide, which affects many people to now completely transforming yourself and then paying it forward. That speaks volumes about who you are. I'm grateful for you and your work doing that. I’m grateful for you being on the show. Thanks for being on.