PP 673: Show Up With Credibility- How to be Known, Liked, and Trusted by Your Audience with Mitchell Levy
“When you show up, come early, to be prepared, and show up with your heart.” – Mitchell Levy
What do entrepreneurs need in order to grow their business? This week, Kim and Global Credibility Expert Mitchell Levy answer that question by diving deep into how entrepreneurs should show up. Credibility is an important aspect of entrepreneurship. But what does it mean and how do you build a solid credibility? Mitchell shares how to gain your clients’ trust, why careful preparation is needed when you show up, what place should failures take in your life, and why punctuality is more serious than you think. Also, listen as Mitchell talks about 4 things business owners can tap into to scale their business and the secret to making your profile a client magnet. Click the play button and join in for another fun-filled yet practical and meaningful conversation.
01:49 Credibility Defined
07:28 Credibility Of A Business Owner
10:04 Come, Prepare, Show-up
18:01 Business Automation
29:13 CPOP: Customer Point Of Pain
34:59 Dot Com Days To Book Publishing
41:59 Two Superpowers
04:38 “If you can’t be trusted to deliver what you say you’re going to do then your words don’t mean anything.” – Mitchell Levy
06:47 “When we deliver and live to our credibility, we live to our integrity, our authenticity or vulnerability.” – Mitchell Levy
15:09 “When you show up, come early, to be prepared, and show up with your heart.” – Mitchell Levy
27:51 “You’re not who you say you are. It’s who you demonstrate you are, and you demonstrate who you are through your actions.” – Mitchell Levy
37:30 “Don’t take your failures personally, otherwise, you’ll never learn, you’ll never grow.” – Mitchell Levy
About Mitchell Levy:
Mitchell Levy is a Global Credibility Expert and a TEDx speaker and international bestselling author of over 60 books. As The AHA Guy at AHAthat, he helps to extract the genius from your head in a two-three hour interview so that his team can ghost write your book, publish it, distribute it, and make you an Amazon bestselling author in four months or less. He is an accomplished Entrepreneur who has created twenty businesses in Silicon Valley including four publishing companies that have published over 800 books. He’s provided strategic consulting to over one hundred companies, and has been chairman of the board of a NASDAQ-listed company. Mitchell has been happily married for thirty years and regularly spends four weeks in Europe with family and friends.
Kim Sutton: Welcome back to another episode of Positive Productivity. This is your host, Kim Sutton. I just want to warn you, my listeners today, in the pre chat alone with our fabulous guest, by the way, Mitchell Levy, I have already had a number of brain farts so I want you to be prepared. I guarantee, I will have brain farts bloopers. We will have a lot of fun in this episode. Mitchell is a Global Credibility Expert. I just did nothing to help my credibility talking about brain farts today.
Mitchell Levy: I think that’s part of the authenticity, which is all you.
Kim Sutton: Oh, yeah. Listeners, I showed Mitchell my gigantic coffee mug that my son gave me a few months ago, and I think there must have been a hole at the bottom of it this morning because I don’t feel like I’ve mastered the full effects of my caffeine today. Mitchell, I’m so happy to have you here, and I can’t wait to see where this conversation goes.
Mitchell Levy: It’s great to be here. I think one of the TED Talk I did when I said in the green room: “How do I make this an interesting conversation?” You said: “Well, show vulnerability, Integrity, Authenticity.” I’m like, I’m thinking to myself, I did a TED Talk. Wait, just talk about that. So that’s normal for me. So yeah, let’s have fun.
Kim Sutton: Where do you see, and I wasn’t planning on going here first, but I never know where I’m going to go. Where do you see credibility intertwining with transparency, and authenticity, and integrity?
Mitchell Levy: Well, that’s a beautiful question.
Kim Sutton: You set me up good.
Mitchell Levy: Well, it’s still one of those things that I’m thinking about as we’re walking through in the world, what does that mean? It’s so interesting, there isn’t really, you can look at the dictionary for the definition of credibility. And largely what it says is to demonstrate trustworthiness. Well, what’s trust? Trust is what you mentioned. To me, I define trust as integrity, authenticity and vulnerability. So what is credibility? It means, before somebody talks to you, they have a good feeling of who they are, what they’re getting into. It means, while they’re dealing with you, you deliver exactly what you say you deliver. And it means afterwards, they feel really comfortable sharing you with others, because you’ve demonstrated exactly who you are and they know exactly who they’re going to be sharing with their friends.
Kim Sutton: I hate to admit this, but this goes along with my transparency, authenticity and everything. The credibility and the delivering as promised was a struggle to me. I know that could sound, Oh, I don’t want to work with her. But let me explain. I had a huge battle with being a YES, MAAM for years, for like six years in my business. I would say YES to everybody everything all the time, and never consider the fact that I had 80 hours of work already scheduled for the next day. I wanted to be a people pleaser. I just couldn’t fully wrap my head around, there’s only so much you can do, Kim. There’s only so many hours in a day, you have your family, you need to sleep. I was trying to come up with a sleep schedule that didn’t require me going to bed for eight hours. I thought that I could just schedule in 30 minute naps throughout the day, and like a 130 minute nap every three hours, and I would be fine.
Mitchell Levy: That’s fascinating.
Kim Sutton: It doesn’t work like that, though.
Mitchell Levy: No, no, well, maybe for a day or two, or depending on how old you are. Maybe for a week. But I think you really hit on a nice head, that the nail you hit on the head was simply just saying yes to everybody is not making them happy. I mean, there’s this immediate, yes. But at the end of the day, when you look somebody in the eye and you shake their hand, whether or not you’re on Zoom, or you’re physically in person, you get to deliver what you say. If you can’t be trusted to deliver what you say you’re going to do, then your word doesn’t mean anything. I think if we go back to the way the world was before the industrial ages, we lived in a village. And in the village, you had your local proprietors and they did exactly what they said. They were going to do because if they didn’t, what would happen is the village itself would either self correct or ostracize. That’s the story that visualizes this, it’s not theory. Let’s say you’re in the old village days, you have a party on Friday, and if assuming you’re not a vegetarian, you go to the butcher, you go, Hey, Sam, I’m having a party on Friday. Got 10 people coming over, it’s so important. I even have a cook coming in early, could you have good quality steak delivered to us by 2:00 o’clock on Friday? Sam’s gonna smile, Sam’s gonna shake your hand, and Sam’s gonna just look at you. And you look at them, and you just know. Now, you didn’t talk about price, because the price is going to be less than you expected. You didn’t talk about quality, because the quality will be better than you expected. And you certainly didn’t talk about delivery, because you know Sam will deliver on time.
What’s interesting about that story is that’s the way things were. Now, why is credibility important? As technology gets better, as we can absolutely know, like when I look at you today, and I can determine when you make a promise to me whether or not you’re going to deliver it or not. If that is something that’s tracked alongside of you because of what technology brings, all of a sudden, you’re going to make a promise. But then I got the bullshit lie detector on, Hey, is that true or not true? Is that going to happen or not happen? And what’s more important is that you deliver to your promise. And so as we move from the industrial age, which is this crazy place we are right now, to the global village where we actually know when people deliver on their promises, all the things you talk about will become reality. Within what happens is, how do we actually survive? How do we live? How do we thrive? It’s when we deliver and live to our credibility. It’s when we live to our integrity, our authenticity or vulnerability. Does that make sense?
Kim Sutton: It makes absolute sense. I love every bit of this. Especially since we’re speaking to entrepreneurs here, my whole client right now is all referrals, and that’s because I finally wrapped my head around my ability and my competence to say NO, or to up-up the time expectation. Because even though I like to think that I’m super mom sometimes, and superwoman, and super business owner, I don’t have a time machine. Would it be awesome sometimes if we did have a DeLorean though?
Mitchell Levy: Oh, my god, no kidding.
Kim Sutton: But I date four times, and I’m delivering when I say I’m gonna deliver, and my clients are happy so they have no reservation and recommend their friends. And the more you deliver on time of the quality, I don’t even want to say it like this. I always over deliver pride in that, but I need to be careful in over delivering because it can quickly eat up a lot of time that other clients also paid for. But they know what they can expect from me, they know that when they refer me, that their referrals will get it and I’m not going to let them down because it will make them look bad if I don’t give their referrals the same. I always have this reservation now, and I want all the listeners and you too, and I’m sure you already have this. Sometimes, marketing concerns me because I’m already taking such good care of the people that I have, that I’m afraid about getting more because I want to make sure that I can keep my quality up.
Mitchell Levy: Yeah, it’s always an interesting thing as a business owner. Well, how much money do you need? Or how many clients do you need just to survive? How much do you need to thrive? When is that? When do you hit the wall? I’ve actually given what I’ve done in my life and in my undergrad in my ascent to the board of a public company for 10 years so I’ve always thought about, when do I hit that wall? So I know when I hit the wall, and I don’t have a problem at the moment. Because at some point in time, you have to spend money to make sure you don’t hit the wall. And by the way, sometimes, regardless of how good of a job you do, you’re going to hit a wall. But if people have been with you, and you’ve time and time again have delivered on value, the sooner you can let people know, so for instance I’m doing interviews same as you, what’s interesting is that people who sometimes canceled like a minute before and then they give an excuse, oh, my spouse had already booked something for me. Well, that’s great. But didn’t you know that weeks ago or even days ago, because she didn’t or he didn’t book something for you a minute ago, right? So it’s one of those things that piece sets credibility, that piece of when you, there’s only so much time, but let me actually go back to exactly what you said.
Kim Sutton: I say though before you go to that, I’m cracking up because I had one of those this morning.
Mitchell Levy: Oh, no kidding?
Kim Sutton: Yeah, it’s not just that they’re traveling, but they’re traveling out of the country and their time zone is 12 hours different now. Well, you can’t tell me that you just hopped on a plane overnight.
Mitchell Levy: Right, right. Exactly. I know people seem to be funny to me. But I want to go back to the ability to say no, but before we do that, let me tell you one of the things I’m doing, which is just so much fun. I’m in the midst of a Napoleon Hill exercise where I’m actually interviewing 500 thought leaders on credibility. For those, if you want to see past interviews, it’s at thoughtleaderlife.com, and it’s six to nine minute interviews. The cool part is that when you see one of those interviews, you get to know the person just a little bit better. And the reason I started doing that, I wanted to define what credibility really meant. And at the moment, we’ve done so many, and we are quickly going to get to 500 so I wanted to be able to come up with that definition and come up with a book. I’ve got the credibility search engine, not that it’s fascinating. I also wanted to give back, when people actually talk to me for the first time, the first time they’ve talked to me is after they’ve watched a TED Talk, that level of conversation is so much more beautiful. That’s thoughtleaderlife.com. So here’s a story I was going to mention, I didn’t realize when I first started the interviews, is that I needed to keep track of when people actually come online. So what’s really shocking, are you ready? This is gonna shock you. Let’s start with how many people come early. 8% of people come early, early means 10 minutes before.
Kim Sutton: Okay.
Mitchell Levy: So 8%. Typically, those are the wealthiest people who I have had on the air. 64% come on time, on time means between four minutes and nine minutes. I remember, I’ve got a scheduled interview, and I’m going live on Facebook, and then we share in a ton of other locations as well. Now, here’s where it starts getting shocking. 24% come late, which is between three minutes and zero minutes. Remember, I’m scheduled for an interview where we’re gonna go live, and we’re talking about your credibility. And here’s the worst part, 5% comes super late, which is after the half hour.
Kim Sutton: Wow.
Mitchell Levy: So if you’re an entrepreneur, listen to this, I mean, when you hear this, there isn’t any way that here’s this, it doesn’t go wow, but then it still happens. 5% of people come when they’re scheduled to do an interview on their credibility, and they come after the half hour and they think that’s credible. So it’s not just what you say in the world, it’s what you do, which now circling back to the ability to say no. It’s not the fact that you said you can do something, it’s actually delivering on something that makes more sense.
Kim Sutton: This is so fascinating to me because one of my overarching words for the year is consistency, which for me means showing up how I need to, but it never occurred to me at the time as well. I mean, when I have a client call, I am there on time. I’m in the Zoom room right on time. And I have this whole system that I’m following right now to level up my personal and professional life. Mitchell, I don’t know if you know that my husband is a video game designer, we are both gamers. Yes, I talk a lot about productivity, systems and all that a lot. But that’s part of what I do for fun with my husband, with my kids. I started thinking about what it takes to level up your character in a game. And then looking at my real life, what do I need to do to level up my person in real life? What does next level Kim do that I’m not doing now. So I think you just gave me that next step. Show up, and what was the most wealthy, it was like nine minutes, about 10 minutes early?
Mitchell Levy: 10 minutes early.
Kim Sutton: Thank you, you just gave me my next level up challenge.
Mitchell Levy: Since at one point in time, the name and a lot of websites still call me the AHA Guy. So I’m just gonna say, AHA,
Kim Sutton: Yes, AHA.
Mitchell Levy: Kim, what happened is, I think after about 40 or 50 interviews, I was on my first podcast talking about the credibility interviews. And I had one of those hosts that I, every now and then, you’ve got this host who’s gonna plan a session ahead of time and walk through what is that most important thing to say. I do that when you’re on my show, we’re going to spend 10 minutes just running through the questions. I have five questions, and I send you a four minute video on how to prepare for your six to nine minute video. Even though I would say that only 65% prepare. So let me step back and say I was on the show, and the guy said, what is that theme? And as soon as I say it, you’re gonna say, oh, my god. That’s just what I said. It’s exactly what you said. If I was going to come up with a theme of what I learned now, we’re close to halfway done in terms of the 500 interviews, what I would say in a very simple term, show up when you show up.
Kim Sutton: I love that.
Mitchell Levy: And then what happens is, what does that mean? So let me break it into three pieces. It’s to come early, to be prepared and to show up with your heart. So the COME EARLY, they got that, we just talked about that. The BE PREPARED, I have to tell you, if you have a scheduled meeting, if you’re an entrepreneur, you have a scheduled meeting with, how about this, you have a scheduled meeting with a prospect. If you’ve not spent at least five or 10 minutes googling that prospect before you talk to them, you’re being silly. They’re probably better words I could use–
Kim Sutton: I completely agreed.
Mitchell Levy: Even family friendly, right? So you’re shooting yourself in the foot. I mean, there’s so many people set up all these great meetings, and someone like you, someone like me, we put all of the stuff that’s about us online. We put our heart, our character, our soul into the podcast that we do, the videos that we do, I do a lot of videos as well. So when somebody, the first time they interact with me, if the first question out of their mouth is, what do you do again? I kind of do a mental reset. Because clearly, that’s not somebody I really want to do business with, to be honest. Because it’s one of those things. Then what I’ll do is I’ll figure out where they are in their life, how successful they’ve been in their life, and I’ll make it a learning opportunity. And it’s the learning opportunities, if you really wanted to use me, if you were thinking of me as a mentor, you missed that mark. What you really want to do is, you could have done a lot of research ahead of time and ask specific questions. So being prepared.
Kim Sutton: All I can hear is dun, dun, dun. I love it when I get guests on the show who, listeners, I hope you never catch wind of the guests who do this, and just you know, Mitchell is not one of them. But they come, and who’s your audience?
Mitchell Levy: Oh, my goodness, right.
Kim Sutton: Wait a second, you are coming on my show, and you don’t even have an idea of who we’re talking to? I would always make sure that, and please, whoever’s listening, you one person, or because I’m talking to you, whoever’s ears just perked, if you’re going on stage, if you’re going on a podcast, if you’re going on a Facebook Live, you got to know who you’re talking to because your credibility, your authenticity, your integrity, your ability to impact them will be done. I can’t think of a word so I’m just gonna reuse that. If you don’t know, has anybody asked you about the credibility series? So what are we doing here?
Mitchell Levy: Oh, my goodness.
Kim Sutton: Oh, please tell me no. I have a feeling you’re gonna tell me, yes, though.
Mitchell Levy: Oh, man, sorry. I’m laughing so much because I have so many stories, I don’t even know where to start. It’s really interesting, right? So first, let’s step back. When somebody makes a goal, that somebody be me, that I’m going to do 500 interviews. When I did my first or second, I was so disappointed when something went wrong. I’m like, wait a second, how am I going to get through 500 if people are scheduling, and rescheduling, and not booking? I’m like, well, wait a second. My goal isn’t necessarily to hit 500, it’s to enjoy the journey. And enjoying the journey, what am I going to pick up along the way? What am I going to learn? What am I going to do? So we actually had people when I do the 10 minutes up front now, what their show is going to be like, what we’re going to talk about, at the end of the 10 minutes, Mitchell, I’m not ready. Can I reschedule? And we’ve had only 50% rescheduled? They weren’t ready. Now, I also have, here’s what’s interesting. When I invite people to go on the show, one of the most immediate responses, well, who’s your audience? Like, really? So because when I invite on the show I say, here’s a four minute video on how to prepare, this will help you understand the questions I’m going to ask, and here is a website where you can actually see past interviewees and people we’ve done in past shows.
And if you can see that, it’s got the answer to all the questions. And then might some send an email, or I might send some LinkedIn message and they say, okay, hey, please take a look at past shows. Take a look at the four minutes on how to prepare and use this link to sign up. Because if we don’t automate, it’ll drive me nuts. So it’s a calendar link and I let people sign up directly, and then I have automated emails that then follow through to remind them that they’re going to go on the show. And then at the bottom of the email or LinkedIn, oh, I’m interested, give me a call. Well, I didn’t say I’m going to call you, or get back to me in two weeks. Wait, it’s a calendar system so you can actually book as much as you can’t book in two weeks, you’ve got a book out a couple months out. So I have all of those funny questions. And once again, I’m not questioning someone’s integrity, I just think they haven’t been, we just haven’t taught. We’re not taught entrepreneurs, how to be successful and how to do things in life. So when I get silly questions like that, hopefully, after spending a little bit of time, they get put on track. And if not, then they wouldn’t be a good guest anyhow.
Kim Sutton: You’re actually making me think about conversations with my young children. I have three who are six and younger. And one of them, all three of those, all three of the littles can be in the same room, and one asks us, what’s for dinner tonight? And they get the answer. No joke, 90 seconds later, another one will ask because they’re just not paying attention.
Mitchell Levy: They’re not paying attention or they weren’t ready for the answer. But imagine if we all follow the same approaches, Imagine if we all use a calendar system, like Calendly. We all use zoom, right? Imagine if we all had what was common. So at some point in time, it was not common to use a fax machine. At one point in time, it was not common to have a website, podcast or blog post. At one point in time, it is not common, and this is thinking about the future. At one point in time, it’s not common to know about the person you’re interacting with before you do. So imagine, Kim, let’s look at a vision of the future. I can’t remember, I think it was the person who books me on interviews who reached out to you. But imagine when they reached out, you would have a score over their head if you looked at my name, Oh, how did Mitchell do on other podcasts that are similar to live? Hey, just Mitchell have a network that I could either get other guests on? Or might actually be a nice referral for me? Maybe I should spend and set up time either before or after the interview to see whether or not it would make sense to explore synergy with Mitchell. And imagine if you set up the criteria that said, Yep, I want to have people who hit a certain score. What if we automatically set up that calendar appointment, and we were never actively involved. That’s the world we’re moving towards. So as an entrepreneur, if you know those things are happening, why don’t you do that today?
Kim Sutton: Oh, my gosh, I have two funny sorts of examples. One of them is not. Well, I guess it does give them credibility. I have on my website, I have a work with Kim page, and this is specifically actually for hiring team members for the future. For anybody, as of today, I am not hiring. But I always keep the page up because who knows where the next awesome team members are going to come from?
Mitchell Levy: Yep, agreed.
Kim Sutton: So at the top, I have who this is for, I have actually a Hello paragraph and a goodbye paragraph. The Hello lets them know that I’m willing or I’d love to work with you if, and I give a detailed description. And the goodbye is we are not meant to work together if, and I give it a description over there and they say, if you do not pay attention to detail, we will not be a good fit together. Which is embarrassing, because in full disclosure everybody, I forgot to give Mitchell the Zoom link until five minutes before our call today.
Mitchell Levy: Well, I didn’t see it for like a minute before the call because I didn’t expect it.
Kim Sutton: Right. So my computer crashed at the end of 2019, and I was already having enough fun with the other, I’m not going to name their name because I don’t want to tarnish their reputation at all, but it just wasn’t working for podcasts recording. I forgot that I switched my scheduling system over to now through Zoom, but I forgot that some of the old ones were still recording, or saying that they were–
Mitchell Levy: The old one, what are you doing–
Kim Sutton: No, not you, the old, the old, hey, I got to use that for myself too then, you know? Yes. Okay. I’m just gonna let that one go. Pay attention to detail, and I’ll know that you didn’t pay too much attention to detail if you don’t know that my favorite snack of the moment is, and I listed it right there at the end of the paragraph.
Mitchell Levy: Oh, that’s funny.
Kim Sutton: And then I have an application that they had to fill out. And the last question of the application is, what is Kim’s favorite snack at the moment?
Mitchell Levy: Oh, my god, was what was that?
Kim Sutton: It was right there on the page. And you would not believe some of the crazy responses that I’ve got. I even had one person said: “This information is not retrievable from my short term memory file.”
Mitchell Levy: Oh, that’s funny.
Kim Sutton: Hello? You know?
Mitchell Levy: No, no, I like that one, though.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. I was laughing
Mitchell Levy: That’s an interesting one, right?
Kim Sutton: Yeah, I was laughing. They admittedly got instantly deleted, because, come on, there’s Google, but you can also just scroll up. So that was story number one. And then story number two, I am not throwing anybody under the bus here. Honestly, I can’t remember the name of the business, and I wouldn’t say it even if I did. But it was something related to happiness, or purpose, or fulfillment, or something like that. So this person submitted through my website to be a guest on the podcast and filled out the application. And when they come in cold, which is not how you came in, like you came in through an introduction, I have great relationships with a lot of the booking agencies, and they know who I’m looking for. But when people come in cold through my site, then generally in one day a month when my team and I will review those applications and approve people, and then they go into our automation. Well, Mitchell, I was explaining to you how I’ve cut back from two episodes to one episode a week. So right now, my episodes are pushed out pretty good ways. If somebody were to book the recording right now, they’re not going to record for a year. But this person didn’t like that and gave me so much attitude, and then proceeded to schedule. I was like, wait a second? This is a Positive Productivity Podcast, right?
Mitchell Levy: And you’re talking about happiness, and you don’t have it.
Kim Sutton: Yes, in your business is about happiness, or purpose, or fulfillment or something like that. Again, I don’t know, I don’t remember. I had to let that one go.
Mitchell Levy: No, it’s relevant. I would never ask, maybe quietly between two of us. Certainly not when we’re recording.
Kim Sutton: I was like, Are you kidding me?
Mitchell Levy: Well, Kim, it goes back to the first thing you said, You’re not just who you say you are, it’s who you demonstrate you are, and you demonstrate who you are through your actions.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. And then if I can just share, on my scheduling page, I have two options. For podcasters, loosen it on this one. I have the free, first available for free schedule there, that’s when they’re gonna schedule in the year. I’m not charging them. But I understand that when I am getting ready to launch my book, or when I’m getting ready to launch a course, I have options. I can pay for paid ads on social media, I can go on podcasts, I can go on radio shows, I can actively promote. And if I’m going to be paying for cold ads on social media, if it were an option for me, I might as well pay to go on to a podcast where I know I’m speaking to my ideal client, right?
Mitchell Levy: That’s one way to monetize.
Kim Sutton: So I give them the option that if they’re doing a launch, they can pay , and this person just took off. I’m like, wait a second? It’s an option, I didn’t say you have to pay to get on my show. It’s right there, free.
Mitchell Levy: Yeah, people are funny. Speaking of which, we’ve had a good conversation so far. Can I tell you who my audience is?
Kim Sutton: Yes. And please tell everybody what you do too, I want to know what you do.
Mitchell Levy: We didn’t cover that because you started by saying, I didn’t know how to say no. And we just sort of went off on credibility, what that was, and I love that. Here’s what I think everyone should be able to do. You should be able to describe the problem you solve for your clients, I call it a CPOP, Customer Point Of Pain. So what is it that you do? What is the problem your clients have? Why should somebody want to pay attention to you? What are your prospects? By the way, it makes it easy for people to recommend you as well. So for mine, it’s busy, successful, professionals. And you could say professionals are entrepreneurs, speakers, coaches, small and large companies. So busy professionals, successful professionals who are looking for more credibility. They want it with a book, but they have no time. So that’s the audience I serve. Hey, you want credibility with a book, but I just don’t have the time to do it. Let me give you my answer. What we do is through an interview, we then go straight, publish, distribute, make you an Amazon best selling author. We do that in four months, and your time spent is 10 hours or less. But we literally press the easy button on you having an Amazon best selling book.
Kim Sutton: I love it. I have a confession when you said CPOP.
Mitchell Levy: Yes.
Kim Sutton: Just sharing with a friend last week that in high school, I was working at a record store when the Hanson Brothers released, MmmBop, I know completely a deviation. But when you said CPOP, all the sudden they put it to music and I was thinking, see pop, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo. Do you remember that song from the late 90’s?
Mitchell Levy: I do.
Kim Sutton: Yes. I can just imagine a little jingle that goes along with the CPOP now.
Mitchell Levy: Oh, well, you’re gonna make me think about this all day long.
Kim Sutton: Uh, huh. Good.
Mitchell Levy: Yeah. All right, great. I’ve got these buttons, I’ve got the easy button in my office, I’ve got a $1 button that’s like a cash register. I want to create either an AHA button, or maybe you should create a CPOP button or even better. I think that game that goes like, game lost, game over?
Kim Sutton: Yep.
Mitchell Levy: That should be a button we hand out to people, although I kind of lean towards the positive reinforcement versus the negative. I think I’d rather do the AHA button, it’s a better one for me.
Kim Sutton: Oh, I think that would be a great button for you. Oh, darn it though, Mitchell. Seriously, now I’m thinking about the CPOP jingle.
Mitchell Levy: I know, silly me. Well, I think of it in a different way. You can think about the jingle, and maybe I should take a look to see if I can find the jingle and put it associated with. Let me tell you something that’s really fascinating, fascinating in a negative way. We have been taught as entrepreneurs to say our value proposition. You go to a network of that, and at some point in time, you get that horrible question, what do you do? And people then go and I do blah, blah, blah, or we do this, this, and this other thing. And the thing that’s fascinating is when you’re talking to somebody else, it’s not what you do, they don’t really care about that, they care about what you do for them that might be interesting. So it’s not what you do for yourself, it’s what you do for others. So when you’re thinking about the CPOP, what is that? What is that pain point that’s been solved? And in mind for instance, I’ll go back on what I talked about busy, successful, credibility, book, time, lack of time. So if any one of those things are relevant, the thing that I always think about when I talk about the CPOP, when I talk about the Customer Point Of Pain is, what can I say in such a short period of time that the spouse of the person who’s my prospect goes, Hey, honey, you need to talk to Mitchell, he can press the easy button on writing a book. What’s really interesting is you want people to talk about you. When I think about you, I think about, Oh, Kim, someone who can automate and put production into my system. So if I’m running around like chaos, I don’t have procedures, tools and practices, talk to Kim Sutton because she will automate you. You have to be able to clearly articulate to allow other people to be able to share who you are.
Kim Sutton: I love that you brought up the spouses because I’ve been joking, and some people think it’s inappropriate, I help my clients get away from their businesses and back into bed. Then I always have to put that disclaimer in, no, I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about sleep. But my husband, the first time he heard me say, his eyebrow raise like, look, we’ve already got five kids. But seriously, if we just had this stuff automated, that’s what it is. But I want to go to what you were saying like last year or two years ago, maybe I don’t know, time flies when you’re having fun, right?
Mitchell Levy: No, no kidding.
Kim Sutton: I looked at my LinkedIn profile, and I was totally talking about myself. I was treating it like a resume. I wasn’t talking about what I do for clients, their point of pain and the transformation that they’ll see, it was all about, here’s my resume. Here’s the certifications I’ve got, and a lot of the lingo was just lost. I mean, a lot of people don’t even know what marketing automation is, or business automation. But here’s what here’s how it will help. How did you get into this?
Mitchell Levy: I like it. Well, this is a very interesting question. So I was someone who just automatically jumped into the workforce and started working for companies. I was in Boston for a little bit. I got an undergraduate, I’m going to give the title of my undergraduate degree, which it’s always fun to say. It’s a Bachelor of Science in Stochastic and Deterministic Models of Operational Research. Why do I say that? It turns out that I’m one of those people who have used my undergraduate degree my entire life, and I didn’t realize that really full force into I started doing the survey, because everything I did in the survey just came natural. It was absolutely beautiful. They ended up with an MBA, and ultimately for the last 35 years, I’ve been in Silicon Valley. And it’s been fun to see the world, and how the world has changed based on what technology has brought into play. There’s so many beautiful stories I can share in so many different areas. What I’ll say is the last time I actually worked for somebody else was 1997. And at the time, I was running the E-commerce component of Sun Microsystems supply chain. And as an entrepreneur, I basically just went to places where there was a problem. Typically what I would do is I go to a place where I saw that there was a major transition happening in the world. So that first transition was the .com days. Yeah, in 1997, it was so crazy what was happening. Esther Dyson called me Mr. E-commerce, I was the guy going around helping CEO’s and VP of operations recognize, were going to talk directly to the clients, and that this really convoluted supply chain we have in place, it’s going to be completely transformed, and we’re going to make it optimized and so much easier. And being Mr. E-commerce was really cold during the .com days, and was really yucky when the .bomb happened.
Kim Sutton: Yeah.
Mitchell Levy: And that was a beautiful lesson learned for me. So at the time, I was making kinda like $5,000 a day, consulting was 70, $500 keynotes. And literally, it went to zero overnight, literally. And it was really interesting, that was a beautiful lesson. Here’s the lesson, one is, it wasn’t me. I didn’t do anything different to make the business go away. If you’re an entrepreneur, you just can’t take your failures personally. Otherwise, you’ll never learn, you’ll never grow. And second is, it was really good to have other revenue streams. So at the time, I had this really tiny company, it was a CEO networking company, like Vistage, but we only had four groups. I was making $40,000 a year, it was so small at the time compared to .com money that was actually going to throw it away. And then all of a sudden, when the rest of my E-commerce business went to zero, 40,000 a year looks like a lot of money.
Kim Sutton: Absolutely.
Mitchell Levy: This is really cool. So lesson number two, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Kim Sutton: Oh, I’m running sound because I am getting out of the one basket failure. But I love how you said, don’t take your failures personally. Because at first, I did. I was kicking my butt big time, but then I realized that there’s so much content that can be shared off of this set of failures, a huge learning experience.
Mitchell Levy: Yeah.
Kim Sutton: And there’s other entrepreneurs who don’t have to go through this bom bom bom because I’ll share with them how to avoid it, because I’ve already done, I’ve already gone through the poop for them.
Mitchell Levy: It’ll work for some, and others may not hit the right, you may not hit, like your kids, you may share it, but they weren’t ready to receive it.
Kim Sutton: Oh, yeah.
Mitchell Levy: So how do I get into that? Continuing on this story, the .com days happened, and then what I realized is the democratization of book publishing. So in 2005, I started a book publishing company. And between 2005 and 2017, we published over 800 books, so we were reasonably successful. And what I’ll say is I was serving the wrong audience. And that’s me, and talking about my vulnerability, I just didn’t hit all the goals I wanted to as a publisher because I wanted to be involved while the world was changing, and I wanted to actually do something significant. But because I was so focused on the wrong customer, by the way, the wrong customer is the person who wants to write their own books. It’s just the wrong customer for me because who I work with now are the people who want to use our book to drive more business, so they care a little bit less about making sure every T is crossed, and every I is dotted. Because it’s okay to have bloopers in your book, it’s okay to show that you have personality, it’s okay to get a book that demonstrates your Customer Point Of Pain out in the marketplace in four months and use that book to drive more business. What’s not okay is taking years to write your book, what’s not okay is taking time away from your business. And what do you do for a business? To grow your business, you need to do one of four things. You need to empower your team, something you focus on, you need to prospect for new business, you need to satisfy existing customers, you need to build a product for tomorrow. So physically sitting down and writing a book doesn’t fall into any of those four categories. Therefore, it’s a hobby. So now that I’m focusing on the people who are using the book to drive a new business, to be able to pick up new clients, to be able to demonstrate their credit, do new things, it’s a whole lot more fun.
Kim Sutton: You do realize that you’re talking to the person who, since day one of her podcast, almost four years ago, has been talking about the book which has yet to get written.
Mitchell Levy: No, I did not know that yet. Because I didn’t see, I listed a couple of your episodes, but you didn’t mention that yet.
Kim Sutton: Chronic idea disorder, the entrepreneurs guide to overcoming idea overwhelm.
Mitchell Levy: Ah.
Kim Sutton: So it’s finally getting written. However, it’s exactly those four challenges that you were just talking about. At this point, it’s not driving leads to the business because it’s not yet published. It’s not delivering the deliverables to the clients. It’s not building products for the future. I mean, yes, you could say that writing my book is putting together a product, but it’s different. And I forgot what the very first one was, but it’s not.
Mitchell Levy: The last one is when you grow big enough, it’s empowering your team.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. Not yet. Yeah.
Mitchell Levy: I know, it’s really hard. Because we, as humans, have been taught that when we’re born, we’re going to create a story and write about it. And then someone like Oprah is going to come by and turn it into a major motion picture. And then we’ll be rich and famous.
Kim Sutton: Mm hmm.
Mitchell Levy: And that doesn’t really happen in real life anymore because of this thing called the internet democratized audio and video. And as a result, anyone who wants to create, just take a look at all the new content that’s coming out on all the streaming channels. Anyone who’s a streaming channel, like Hulu or Netflix, we don’t have three TV stations anymore, we have a plethora. And what you’re seeing at the moment are just the bigger brands. But every consumer or every entrepreneur that wants to create their own channel and stream that on Roku and a ton of other locations, all of a sudden, life is different, right? So what’s your goal? Your goal as an entrepreneur is to serve your audience. What is the quickest and most efficient way for you to be known, liked and trusted among your audience? There may be ways you can do it while you’re writing, particularly someone like you who’s got a podcast and you’re doing it ongoing, but I’m also happy to talk to you and help you move it along if you want some help that way.
Kim Sutton: Well, if I can just share and I know like, I’m sure this is exceptionally helpful for your clients too. What I had to get over, and why I’m finally able to make progress now is I was concerned about the voice I was writing in. I thought I needed to write in a voice other than my own. And when I finally figured out that it’s okay and expected that it’s doing my due diligence to write in my voice, I want to say that you can work with a ghostwriter and still write in your voice. But I realized that I was trying to write the book that I thought my readers expected, rather than writing it in my voice. And when I got over that hump, the word started flowing.
Mitchell Levy: Oh, nice.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. It never even occurred to me, actually, until I just said it that a ghostwriter can still write in my voice.
Mitchell Levy: Oh, well, that’s what we do. So first of all, to summarize, I’m going to say, what your book needs to be as your point of view, and how you solve the problem. So somebody actually read your book, unfortunately, they just don’t read enough books today. But when somebody reads your book they’re like, Oh, yeah, that’s what it would feel to work with Kim Sutton. That’s what it feels like to work with, and I could rattle off any of my clients, that’s what we do. So I have two superpowers, okay. One is pulling out the genius from somebody’s head. Two, building systems. By the way, that doesn’t mean I can’t outsource to other people to help build systems for me. To me, the systems I build are helpful in my customers. I try to take the entire customer journey and automate it in such a way so that my team can actively supply the best value for our clients. That’s what I mean by building systems. So on point of genius, what happens is, if I’m helping somebody with a book, the most important thing is I start with the CPOP, what is your Customer Point Of Pain you solve? And think of that as the project plan for your book. Once I have that, then we typically do as far as the ghosting is concerned. I do a three hour interview, I pull your genius. It’s three hours where you get to talk about you, and who you are, and what you do, and how you solve your clients, and I transport myself to be in the mind of your prospect. What then comes out is I’ve created a writing school, we’ve graduated 50 people from the writing school, they’ve been trained to listen to the conversation and pull out your nuggets, to pull out those pieces of information that truly represent how you touch the world. So it’s your voice. It’s as if somebody else has pulled that out from the conversation we’ve had, and been able to create something that’s just easily digestible by those people you want to read your book. So the answer is, yeah, if somebody goes through your book, there are many different ways to go straight, but at the end of the day, it has to be your point of view because that’s one more way that people get to know you.
Kim Sutton: Yeah, I don’t want it to feel like it’s my evil twin when somebody gets in touch. I absolutely love this. Mitchell, where can people go to find out more about this?
Mitchell Levy: There’s so many different websites like many of us have, but I have one that I’d like to direct people to, it’s mitchelllevy360.com. So just my name, M-I-T-C-H-E-L-L-L-E-V-Y-3-6-0.C-O-M. And what you’ll see is a one and a half minute customer testimonial video, how we have touched other customers. You can get to websites like ahaguy.com, which is the primary publishing vehicle, thinkaha.com. For those interested, you could actually see that. And probably most importantly, if this is of interest to you, if this is something that you go, I want Mitchell, I want to at least have a conversation to see if it makes sense to have his team write a book for us, you can actually put book time directly on my calendar. And so, that’s mitchelllevy360.com,
Kim Sutton: Amazing. Listeners, those links, all of them, especially for you, if you are driving, try not to burn dinner, don’t want to fall off the elliptical, all the links will be on the show notes page, which you can find at thekimsutton.com/pp673, you’ve given me a lot to think about, thank you.
Mitchell Levy: Oh, it’s my pleasure to have a conversation that makes that, A, I can think about and what goes next. And by the way you have as well in terms of articulating where I’m going and things I’m doing. And to be able to share something that allows somebody to have even a slightly better future.
Kim Sutton: I’m already thinking about clients who I need to send to you because they keep on telling me, and this is where chronic idea disorder comes in as well. I’m going to write a book this year, and then they come up with 18 other ideas. And I’ve had to cross this hump myself, no, just focus on getting this one done today. But if they could put the book into your hands while they’re focusing on one other project, I can’t imagine what their year would be like instead of being a big frustrating mess. So thank you for being out there and making your services available to the thought leaders and media.
Mitchell Levy: Oh, you’re so welcome. Thank you. This has been fun, exciting. I’ve really enjoyed it.
Kim Sutton: Do you have a parting piece of advice or a golden nugget that you can leave with listeners?
Mitchell Levy: I’m going to go back to part of our conversation. Just remember that, show up when you show up. That means that for everything you do, come early, be prepared and come with your heart.