All posts by Dan Gordon

The World’s Fastest Shoe Shine

On a recent trip to the Midwest I saw something at the airport that I had seen a thousand times but had never noticed before. Passing by the shoeshine kiosk, I looked at the board, which listed all the different types of shoe shines that were available. I never knew the complexity and variations involved in making a shoe shiny. But there they were. I had a little extra time before my flight so I stood a short distance away watching potential customers slow down to the kiosk, glance over the board, check their watch and then walk away. I suddenly realized that the proprietor of the kiosk was breaking two giant (and often broken) rules of selling.


The first giant rule he was breaking had to do with the way he expressed his offering. There must have been five different types of shines available on that board. He was breaking the Rule of Simplicity. When you give someone more than three options of anything you run the risk of confusing them. A basic tenant of selling is that confused mind will always, always, always say NO. Think about the times you have shopped for an appliance, for a home or even for a piece of clothing. There is a certain sense of satisfaction when you narrow your choice down to your top three choices. So clearly, there should’ve been no more than three types of shoe shines available.

The second giant rule of selling that had broken was simply that he forgotten what was most important to his target market. He forgot that there is but one concern, and only one concern, that is on the minds of every airport travels who is moving through the terminal. It’s the simple question of, “Am I going to get to my plane on time?” I would bet my life savings that you could not find five travelers at LAX who would honestly say that their primary concern of the moment was that their shoes were the shiniest they could possibly be.

Nothing about this gentleman’s business offering addressed the primary concerns of his target market. This was clearly expressed in the body language of the people slowing down at his kiosk. They looked over his sign for a moment, glanced at their watch and moves on. This man, without realizing it, was inadvertently telling every potential customer that their experience of his service would be complicated and slow. This is the exact opposite message that he should have been expressing.

I wondered how his business would be different if his board has the message, “Get to your flight on time with the world’s FASTEST shoe shine.” Notice in that message, the key value most important to the customer is expressed FIRST. “Get to your flight on time.” Notice also that the actual product offering, “shoe shine” is expressed as the last part of the message. The message, put this way, would, in effect be saying to his customers, “What is important to YOU is important to ME.” It would put them at ease rather than cause them concern.

He could also limit his offering to just three options. They could be something like, The Manager Shine. The Executive Shine. The Chief Executive Officer Shine. Would any self-respecting businessperson would enter his kiosk and ask for the Manager shine? No way! He could price the CEO Shine through the roof and probably still sell those the most. In this way he is limiting his offer to three simple choices and, at the same time, playing on his potential customer’s vanity.

In the years I’ve been serving clients as a marketing consultant, I have seen many business owners make many of the very same mistakes that the operator of the shoeshine kiosk was making. Lord knows I’ve made all those mistakes myself and will probably make them all over again. As business owners we get caught up, focused and outright enamored with our own business offerings. We get blinded to the basic needs of our potential clients. We forget to answer the question, “What is most important to them and not me?” Like the shoe shine kiosk, we message out to the world the very things with which our customers are least interested in the hopes that they will be just as taken with our business offerings as we are. That’s never going to happen. Visit for more information.

Your best option therefore is to have a mentor, a consultant, a fellow business owner or a smart friend off of whom you can bounce ideas, visit You want to remind yourself that you have a gravitational pull towards focusing on the things, which your target audience has, zero interest. Remember that you are a closed system operating within the bounds and limitations of our own thinking. Only by stepping outside of this system can you truly capture a new perspective on your own success.

So, did I get a shoe shine? No. I didn’t want to miss my plane.


The Five Basic Truths of Fear

A group of Stanford psychology students were researching the nature of fear. They wanted to build a system that could dismantle any fear. They brought a group of skydiving instructors together and asked about people’s first experience in jumping out of airplanes. Here’s what they found.


The jumpers feel nearly the highest levels of fear the night before their dive or on the drive to the airstrip. Their fear starts to reduce when they begin receiving instructions on their jump. The more instruction and they get, the less fearful they become. By the time they are getting their parachutes strapped on, their fear not only drops away completely but they develop something of a superhero complex. Some people will even ask the instructors to skip the parachute safety check in favor of moving the process along finding tips outdoor kitchens in san diego ner me . The instructors have a term for the first-timer’s walk to the airplane. They call it the march of glory because the students adopt a posture and swagger that suggests they feel invulnerable.

However, once the plane takes off, the fear begins to return. As the plane climbs higher the skydivers become sullen and quiet. When the instructors open the door to the empty sky, their level of fear peaks. The jumpers natural survival mechanism is at odds with their choice making system. Surprisingly, only a very small percentage change their minds and decide not to jump. Most people become somewhat confused and disoriented. The highest level of fear occurs with the student’s legs dangling out of the open door, sitting on the floor of the airplane waiting for their jump.

The instructors referred to this, as the moment of truth. Those who jump out the quickest are not necessarily thrillseekers. They are people who make choices quickly and efficiently in their lives. They are people who do not like the feeling of indecision. People who ruminate over their choices in life have a harder time jumping out of the plane. It is not the fear of death that is the fulcrum of this moment, check air conditioning companies. It is simply the willingness to take action and not suffer in the torment of a long decision-making process.

Entrepreneurs, upper level managers, CEOs, these are people who tend to get out of the plane the quickest. They are those who practice decision-making the most.

Based on these findings the Stanford university students developed what they called…

The Five Basic Truths of Fear

  1. Fear will always be present in life. It cannot be permanently conquered or overcome.
  2. The feeling of fear is generated in the anticipation of an act, not in the act itself.
  3. The best way to reduce fear is to take an immediate action associated with that fear.
  4. Taking repeated actions on a fear dismantles the severity of the fear response.
  5. Hesitating at the moment of action produces the highest levels of fear, stress and a child-like sense of helplessness. Yet these are immediately abated when the action is taken.

Why is a bad idea a good idea?

The only way to scale a business is through innovation.

For example, if your business is digging ditches and all you know are shovels then innovation to you is only going to look like buying larger and larger shovels. We are all limited by our own thinking. Our own thinking suffocates innovation. To innovate, we must abandon our own beliefs.

The nature of innovation is change. Change requires radical non-intuitive thinking. Remember that, your best idea is always going to be to buy a larger shovel. So you need an outside influence to guide change and new thinking. You need to seek out mentors, advisors, people with a track record of the type of success you’re seeking even if they are in radically different lines of work.

Change cannot happen by relying on your own thinking. Your own thinking will only guide you to do more of what you’re already doing at And what you’re already doing whether you realize it or not, right now, is resisting change.

A mentor or an advisor, if they are doing their job correctly, will likely encourage you to take the kind of action that seems at first like a very, VERY bad idea. They might say, “Throw away your shovels and get a bulldozer.” But if all you know are shovels, a bulldozer seems like a crazy idea. You will want to stick with shovels because that’s what you know,discover here.

So my advice? Attend a mastermind. Talk to other business people who have what you want and ask them how to get it. You’ll know it’s the right answer when it sounds like a very, VERY bad idea.

Determination or Surrender

Determination is the dogged pursuit of what we most desire for ourselves. It is the never-say-die attitude of feverishly chasing our goals and vision. In determination we are unwilling to bend to discouragement or setbacks. We do not give up until we achieve victory. And yet, determination also keeps locked on a path that can lead us off of cliffs. Determination can be a cinder block on the gas pedal of a car that’s traveling in the wrong direction. Determination prevents us from simply resigning to the fact that what we are doing is not working. It does not allow for new ideas and it is here that the path of surrender should be taken.


Surrender allows us to let go of the old. It gives us the opportunity to pause, to gently release our grip on that which is dysfunctional and not working. Surrender offers us a deep breath. Calm. The end of stress. Surrender releases our bear trap attachment to the things which no longer serve us. In surrender, we gently release and open ourselves up to the wide and vast frontier of unlimited possibilities. And yet, in surrender, we often give up too quickly.

We surrender when things get just a little too difficult. We surrender when we feel uncomfortable. We surrender just a step before our moment of glory because it is in this moment when this are often the most difficult. We surrender to the darkness instead of waiting for the dawn. Surrender can be the ultimate hiding place where fear and uncertainty put a choke hold on our success, find more here.

So when do we surrender? When do we stay determined? How long are we supposed to trudge the road of uncertainty in determination before we gently ease back and glide into the horizon of new possibilities in surrender?

There is only one true test to balance surrender against determination. The question is simple. Is your path leading you towards the ultimate and best version of you? Or are you simply moving towards the things that you think you want, the thing you think you should have, the thing you think will make you happy? Or are you pursuing your highest level of personal greatest?

If determination and surrender are not working together in your life and in your business it is a tremendous opportunity to reassess, to review, to renegotiate and pivot. Allow the mile markers of your personal vision of your greatest self be the single determining factor of the proper course to take. Determination or Surrender

The Failure Required for Success

How is it possible that Elon Musk could launch two impossible businesses, Tesla the first successful car company startup in America in 90 years and SpaceX, the first financially successful rocket ship startup in the history of the world?


In a 60 Minutes interview, Scott Pelley asked Musk how he planned to be successful at these every risky ventures. Musk responded, “Well, I didn’t think we would be successful. I thought we would most likely fail.”

Pelley then asked him why he would try to do something if failure seemed to be the likely outcome. Musk calmly replied that, “If something’s important enough to you then you should try doing it.” That is true even if (and maybe especially if) the probable outcome is failure. So how could a guy like this, seemingly headed toward failure, possibly be successful? It’s pretty clear that his line of thinking doesn’t follow any of the rules for how success is achieved. But, wait, actually, it does visit website.

Consider the greats of the world; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa. These icons are largely thought of as some of the most influential and successful people the world has ever known. Musk followed, almost to the letter, their same pathway to success. The one commonality that of thinking that all of theses greats possessed was a vision for the world that was much larger than they. They also had a single-mindedness about achieving their vision which was completely baffling to the rest of us. King would take college kids into the most racially charged hot spots of the country to get beaten up and arrested. Gandhi nearly starved himself to death a few times. Mandela spent decades in jail. Mother Theresa took every gift ever given to her, sold it off and donated it to the poor.

Musk’s single-mindedness was to take the $100 million dollars he made off of the sale of, PayPal, and start two other companies with it. Yet the companies he started would most likely, at the least, bankrupt him but even more likely would put him into the kind of debt from which he could never escape. Friends of Musk even sent him videos of rockets blowing up to show him the risk was to high. For Musk, however, the metric of success was not just in making rockets that worked, it was in the trying to make rockets that worked.

At first it all went wrong. Rocket after rocket failed. The first Tesla’s has scores of mechanical problems. As predicted, he went from having $100 million dollars to being $100 million dollars in dept. He pushed himself to the literal breaking point, nearly having a complete psychological meltdown. And then the rockets started working. And the problems with the cars were resolved. And his Tesla investors ponied up the money he needed to keep the company afloat. And NASA gave him a $1.5 billion dollar contract.

Now, it might not have gone that way. The name “Elon Musk” could have easily become associated with failure. He could have become the ultimate cautionary tale for what happens when you put all the chips on the table, betting against the house on the greatest odds. Yet, that’s not the way it happened but it didn’t not happen that way out of luck. It happened the way it happened because Musk knew what King, Gandhi, Mandela, Theresa and all the only greats knew. He knew that monumental success can only be born from the possibility of monumental failure.

At The BigTime Group we choose that very same path. Every dollar we earn goes right back into the company in the way of innovation and the development for new ideas. We are here to support the growth of our client’s businesses and we would never ask them to invest in something that we haven’t already tried ourselves and we know works, visit for more info. We are on the path of greatness because we want clients who are also on that same path. It says it right there on our website, “We choose our clients very carefully.”

If you think that you might be on the same path as well, then CLICK HERE to give The BigTime Group a holler. We’re already headed that way, we’d be happy to give you a ride.


Happiness in Business

There is an analogy that I use a lot and that is the dinner party, and I like the dinner party because there are so many elements to a dinner party, there are so many things that happen – it’s such fertile ground get £300 Loan with Bad Credit.

Have you ever thought about what the ROI is for a dinner party, the return on investment? Because if you think about it, you put alot into it, you put your time of preparing it, you put in money for the food and the drinks. You put your emotional energy – the sweat equity working on the recipes, creating the food, you ask, “Is this going to work?” You put time into inviting your guests, you put time into preparing your house, or money into preparing your house, maybe you hire somebody to clean up, maybe you hire somebody to serve the food or maybe you hire somebody to prepare the food. But there’s a significant investment in one way or another when you have a dinner party

And then you execute the plan; people come over. And then the evening just unfolds and different things can happen, you know maybe the food gets burned, maybe the food is underdone, maybe the food doesn’t taste good, maybe the power goes out. There are so many different things that can happen in a dinner party that are unexpected. Maybe somebody spills wine all over the rug or all over themselves and they are very embarrassed, check citigraphics.

But the interesting thing is everything can go wrong in a dinner party, and you still have a very high ROI – return on investment – because your return on investment of a dinner party is what? It’s happiness –  simple happiness. We invest our time and energy and money into a dinner party to get a return on investment of happiness.

So the truth is everything can go wrong and we still have a very significant ROI. Maybe it goes wrong but we just laugh about it, we have a good time. The power goes out and the food’s halfway done so we call up the pizza parlor and we have a bunch of pizzas delivered and all these people dressed up really nice and we’re having pizza by candlelight and we’re playing charades and it seems like everything that can go wrong did go wrong and yet it still works out to be the greatest evening of our life and if we tried vehemently, we could never reproduce that.

On the other side, everything can go right. Guests can show up on time, they can have great food, and yet something is just missing and we have a very low ROI. Something happens where it just doesn’t feel like people really connected and we all just sort of sat there and ate and said our goodbyes at the end of the evening and it just didn’t click. And maybe you had 10 dinner parties the weeks before that were awesome and this one just didn’t work out and try as you might you can’t figure out why, but okay you have another dinner party later and you’re unwilling to stop having guests over just because it didn’t work out once.

I think all these things are applicable in business. We make grand plans, we have visions, we know what we want and we push the button, we execute those plans and sometimes those plans work out great and we get a lot of business and sometimes those plans don’t work out very well at all and we don’t get a lot of business. And we tend to look at return on investment of how much money are we bringing in but we all know the truth that money doesn’t buy happiness. So maybe business is more like the dinner party, maybe regardless of our return on investment in terms of cold hard cash, we need to also look at our return on investment in terms of raw happiness. Now I’m not saying that I’m in marketing to make you happy and forget about money, I’m in marketing to help you earn more income; that’s my job, that’s why you hired me. And I also want to find ways to help you increase your level of enjoyment in your business as you’re earning more money.

A question I ask a lot, “Would that be valuable to you?” Would it be valuable if I could help you find greater levels of enjoyment in what you do while you’re earning more money? Because the truth is that’s what I like doing, that’s what I really enjoy doing. Now I found that the reason people aren’t happier in their business comes down to one specific thing; the level of risk that they’re taking personally. I’m not talking about risk of investing; I’m talking about the risks that they’re taking personally.

What are they doing that puts themselves out there in a way that they haven’t done before? How are they taking an emotional risk where they may appear foolish, may reveal certain intimate details about their life? Because what I’ve found is that happiness is about creating greater connections. Human beings are happier when we are increasing a higher level of involvement with other human beings. That tends to be the tipping point of happiness: what’s my involvement with other people?

Now a low level of involvement and a higher level of income produces a lower level of happiness. A higher level of involvement and static income increases happiness. Now a higher level of involvement and a lower level of income produces lower happiness because it’s hard to feel involved with other people when we’re concerned about just day-to-day living – “Am I going to be able to keep the lights on?” But a higher level of involvement with other people and a higher level of income produces more happiness.

So how do we increase your level of involvement and your level of income? Well part of that is in branding. Here’s what branding is really about: “Branding” is a word that’s thrown around a lot, “My brand,” “Is this consistent with my brand?” A business without a brand is like a person without a personality.

Your company’s brand is essentially your personality stamped on top of your company. The person you are, the things that you believe in, the things that you enjoy, the things that make you, you, when attached properly to your business create your brand. Think about it, Steve Jobs and Apple Computers. We all know who Steve Jobs was when we walk into an Apple Store. It’s style, it’s personality, it’s technology, it’s friendliness and connection. You walk into an Apple Store, you’re greeted but you’re also in this world of high technology and it’s also a world that’s very well organized an Apple store never feels cluttered. They make excellent use of empty space, it’s very welcoming. So technology, order, style; these were things that were very important to Steve Jobs and they have been rubber stamped on top of his business.

So when you go to Disneyland, the happiest place on earth, it’s beautiful, it’s clean, it’s fun, it’s wholesome, it’s welcoming, it makes you feel good. It’s what Walt Disney was all about, bringing greater enjoyment to families, making kids happier. The Disney Corporation rubber stamped Walt Disney’s personality on top of their multi-billion corporation.

Now the truth is you don’t have to have a lot of money to brand your business, all you have to do is have a willingness to look deep inside and be clear about what it is that you’re all about in your company. The reason you got into business in the first place, that’s your brand. Often times we can’t see that, we can’t see the forest for the trees. We don’t know what that thing is, partially because we’ve been in business for so long and we’ve just sort of forgotten that initial spark that said, “I’ve got to do this!” And it’s hard to remember what that is, to really get back to it.

And the other reason is “Physician heal thyself” – we need a hand, we need help, we need somebody to hold up a mirror to us and say, “Oh, I hear what you’re saying about your business, let me feed that back to you, I think this is what you’re all about. Is that right?” “Oh yeah, that is right.” That’s your brand.

So let me bring this all the way back around. What we all want in life, in business, in ourselves, is greater happiness. The pathway to greater happiness is more connectivity with others. The pathway of more connectivity with others in business is a solid brand, a brand that’s like a beacon, a light; it brings your best customers to you. I say your best customers because when you brand your business successfully, you are attracting a certain type of people.

Disney isn’t looking for motorcycle gangs, Apple computers isn’t looking for people who are stodgy and narrow minded, those are not their best customers. Because their brands are so strong, they actually repel the people that are not best suited to work with them. By repelling the people that are not best suited to work with them, they have a lower incident of having to deal with the people that they don’t want to deal with and a higher incident of dealing with people that they want to deal with and thereby that creates greater personal connectivity, increases happiness.

By bringing your best customers to you, through branding, through marketing, through your materials, through your website, through search engine optimization, through mailers and email blasts and social media; by bringing your best customers to you, the people who are best suited to work with you, increases your level of connectivity and increases what? Your happiness.

My name is Dan Gordon, my company is The Big Time Group, I do marketing for your business, and I make you happier.

GPS Marketing Strategy

I have a GPS in my car and I use it all the time. Even if I pretty much know where I am going, I still set the destination in the GPS. And the reason is if something happens along the way like a tree is in the middle of the road or there is a lot of traffic, I want my GPS on point to find me a new route to get to the same destination. That’s what business strategy is, that’s what strategy is, that’s what I do for my clients – we set the strategy. We determine the brand, we set the strategy and we’re always headed in that direction.

I’m your GPS; you look down at me and you say, “Dan, I want to go that way.” And I’m going to respond with, “Let’s make sure it’s in the strategy , let’s make sure it’s on point, let’s make sure that we’re definitely headed in the direction that you want to go and inmotion vps hosting review – is it worth the money? (7 thoughts) – collectiveray that we’re definitely headed towards the direction that you want.”

In your day-to-day minutiae of your business it’s so easy to forget what the strategy is; where you’re headed, what your orchid maids service business really is and how to transmit that to the world so there’s always a funnel of potential customers headed to your door.

Without strategy you’re flying blind, you don’t have a GPS, you’re using the sun as navigation, kind of, sort of thinking about the best way to get to where you want to get but you don’t really know because you don’t have that destination plugged in, locked in, so that at every moment you know that you’re headed towards where you want to be. Check out  best solar panels. That’s strategy, that’s marketing, that’s branding, that’s what I do.

Got change? You better!

What can you absolutely, 100% count on every time?

No one likes change.

And you are in the business of change. You are in the business of encouraging your potential clients to make a change in their lives, to go into a state of not working with you to a state of working with you. That change involves doing new things and the exchange of money. Two things that people have a tremendous amount of resistance around.

You are an agent of change. It is incumbent upon you to be a force of change in the lives of your clients. You must understand that they do not want change. They may need your business. They may need your help. They may be committing professional suicide without you and know it and still not hire you because they are afraid of change.

Gandhi knew that the British had to leave India. Doctor King knew that race relations had to change in America. Agents of change change the world but they are never met with open arms at the time of change – only after the change has occurred. You have to be comfortable with the fact that your potential clients may not greet you with open arms. You must help them through the fear and uncertainty that always accompanies change see here now. You must lead them. You cannot expect them to lead you. They may resist. They may use words to discourage you. They may use words to describe you, to discourage you from helping them as an agent of change. They may say things like, ‘you’re being pushy, you’re putting pressure on me, you’re making me uncomfortable.’ When you hear these things, you know that you are headed in the right direction.

You only need to adjust your strategy so as not to trigger their fear mechanisms to the point of complete resistance. Walking your potential clients through change is like leading them through a dense, dark jungle. They may want to turn and run back the other direction. But keep encouraging them, keep working with them, because you know a few steps away is the most beautiful landscape that they’ve ever seen. Here you can find a lawyer if you need consultation about bankruptcy. They will forget about the difficult journey getting there and appreciate the fact that you had the courage to encourage them through their fear and take them to this new place of a beautiful business landscape. We all appreciate Gandhi and Doctor King today for the courage they had in leading their countries through the dark forest of uncertainty to a new place of a greater world. That’s what you do when you don’t sell out on your potential clients and keep encouraging them beyond their fear and yours.

The Give and Take of Marketing

As Americans we are takers. And that’s not a statement of condemnation, it just is. And it’s not really our fault because we got started on a taking trajectory. It’s actually simple physics. Objects in rest and motion will continue in that direction until enacted upon by an outside force. So when this country started, we came here and saw Indians, and we took their land and we built see. And then when the railroad came through and we realized that we needed to go through where there were communities, we took those communities. And when we needed more people to help us build the country, we took people from other countries and used them. Even when we went to the moon, we did not declare it a victory for our planet, we called it ours. So we took the moon. We haven’t really done anything with it or don’t know if we will do anything with it, but just so everybody knows, it’s ours.

blog_Give and take

We’ve built an entire society on taking and we are incentivized to take because the largest takers get the highest levels of status in our culture, so we are incentivized to take. Now, that’s not to say that we don’t give; we have. In fact, in the last hundred years, we figured out that giving is an important part of taking, and there are a lot of givers. It’s just that our giving hasn’t quite caught up with our taking yet. If we were to graph out taking and giving, clearly taking would still be way, way higher than the amount of giving that we do. And it’s ironic because endemic in our language is the term “give and take,” how come it’s not “take and give?” That seems to be our path, because most of the time we don’t give back until we take.

Andrew Carnegie did not build Carnegie Hall until he had taken quite a bit. The Gates Foundation is a giver because of all the taking that they did. Well, of course, naturally you have to take first because if you don’t take something then you have nothing to give, right? Maybe not. It’s sort of like the guy who keeps dating the same type of girl over and over and over again and complains why he can’t find love. Perhaps we’ve gotten so used to taking and then giving that that’s the way that we only see it.

In my process in working with companies and branding them, the first thing that I do is help them unlock the way that they have looked at their company. In other words, I don’t ask what you do for a living; I ask, what is your company all about?  –  which is a  much more complicated question. For instance, if I would ask a flower shop owner, “What is your company all about?” his first answer is, “We sell flowers.” “But, no, no, no, that’s what your company does. What is your company all about?” And after working with him, we might uncover something like the death of a friend’s mother when he was a little boy and watching the flowers being delivered to the home and bringing some level of joy and color to a very, very dark place, and perhaps it got inside of him that, “Oh, flowers have this magical property to bring color to someone’s world.”

And so his brand isn’t really about selling flowers, his brand is about bringing color to the world – which is very, very different than selling flowers. And it helps him on his business trajectory, because if his best client is somebody who wants to bring color to the world, then that really changes the way that he thinks about his company. In other words, he stops going after the type of customer like the guy who forgot his wife’s anniversary and in the last second buys a dozen roses. That’s not really bringing color to someone’s world, that’s covering your ass.

So, with that brand model, he has put himself on a trajectory of giving before taking. In other words, when a potential customer comes in, say, a wedding, he would have a program of figuring out the best flowers for them to use, create a list and create the systems for how the flowers would be set up. He would then give that customer that piece of paper that they could go online, they could go to another flower shop or they could work with him. But it’s a tremendous amount of faith to give before he takes, to offer value way before the sale.

And that’s my style of marketing, and that’s what I want to bring to the world – giving before taking. When I sit down with a potential client, I tell them that, “You will walk away with at least five new ideas about how to promote your company, so even if we never work together you’ve had value from our interaction.” I give before I take.

And I’m not the only one doing this. There’s a company called The Panera Bread Corporation, a sandwich and bakery shop that started in St. Louis, Missouri that came up with a great idea: pay what you feel the meal is worth. Now, they haven’t quite worked it out where you can eat the food first and then pay before you leave, but they’re getting close to giving before taking, because it’s the same mindset. It’s a level of faith. It’s a belief that we will be okay by releasing the control of our taking. What we haven’t learned in over 200 years is faith; faith that if we give first we will be given back to, that we don’t have to take, that giving comes naturally after someone is given to.

So I’m pushing a new model. Instead of give and take, it’s give and give back, a give-and-give-back model. Now, how would a give-and-give-back model work? Certainly, if you pulled up to an Exxon Mobil station, what are they going to say? “Go ahead and fill up your tank, drive around for a while, then come back and let us know what you feel the value of our tankful of gas was.” A pretty good idea from my perspective, but how much luck do you think I’m going to have selling that to the oil companies? In fact, the entire oil business is founded on the principle of taking. Certainly, there’s not a lot they can give back once they pull all the fossil fuel out of the ground. In fact, there’s probably nothing left to give back.

So again, I don’t blame them. I don’t think it’s their fault. It’s trajectory. It’s physics. It’s a company; it’s an industry that was based on the concept of taking, so they’re probably going to be one of the last ones to the party. Instead, I focus my efforts on companies who can weave in the giving-before-taking model into their business system a lot easier.

Now, let me tell you how I know this works. For 15 years, I’ve been in the personal development world, and for a number of years I flew around the country teaching personal growth courses, these very intense weekends of helping people recognize the things they do in their lives that keep them from the things that they want. In other words, we all have wants and hopes and dreams, and the reason that we don’t pursue that is largely based on the blocks that we create, the belief systems that we create. And most of those belief systems could be boiled down to taking before giving.


There are a lot of people that came through that course who were struggling in their relationships, and overall what I found the struggles were about where they didn’t feel fulfilled. Their partner in essence wasn’t giving them what they wanted. And it’s what we all want, love on our own terms. But what they didn’t recognize was it was okay to give their partner what they wanted, and the immediate response was, “What about me?”

For instance, let’s say you are married and your husband says that he wants dinner on the table the moment he comes home from work your first reaction may be “What about my feelings? What about my needs? What about the things I’m doing?” And my response to you would be, “Well, have you tried giving him what he wants?” And your reaction may be, “No, of course not, because if I give him dinner the moment he comes home, what’s the next thing he’s going to want and the next thing he’s going to want and the next thing he’s going to want? And I’ll never get my needs filled.” I’d say, “Wait, all he asked for was dinner. Have you tried that?” And the response I  usually get is, “No, no, no, Dan, you don’t understand. This guy’s a taker. He’ll just keep taking.”

So after working with them,  we get them to begrudgingly agree to doing the thing that their partner wants just as an experiment, just to see what happens, and 9 times out of 10 I’d hear back from them, “Things are so great. All he wanted was dinner on the table when he got home from work. Our relationship is a lot better now. I’m getting so much of what I wanted. Wow! Giving gets you what you want.”

So it’s true at the bottom, base, foundation of our culture, our relationships, when we give, we get. When we give things that other people want, they give us back something. So if it’s true with the foundation of our culture, then it’s got to be true as we go up the ladder, as those relationships turn into businesses, and then companies and corporations. If it works at the foundation level, then it’s got to work at the upper levels too.

So when I work with companies, I work on the principle of giving. What can you give that will create that positive psychic energy that will make your customers want to give back? And there’s a lot of pushback with this because just like the people in the relationships, “Wait, wait, wait, if I give to my customers, they’re just going to take and take and take and I’ll never have something for me.” Have you tried? “No, you don’t understand. We’re operating on a razor-thin budget. If I don’t do it this way, I’ll never have anything.” “Have you tried?” “Well, no, but…” “Would you try?” “Okay.”

You see, when I start working with a new client, I have what I call my branding session, which is basically my personal development technology applied to business. It’s a very powerful session, usually three or four hours, where 9 times out of 10,  the person I’m working with ends up bursting into tears, because I help them find something inside of them, that spark, that thing that got them into business in the first place.

And at the base of it all, at the bottom, when I ask them what their business is really all about, the answer always boils down to the same thing. “I want to help people.” Whether it’s CPAs or flower shops or tire stores or e-commerce companies, they want to help people. For more info contact MaidThis here. They got into the business because they found that it would be the easiest conduit to being in service to others.

And I think that’s endemic in our DNA, because we are a social species, we have to be connected to others. We have to or we die. We have to have connections, and it is endemic in that to be in service to others. We just get lost along the way.

See, I believe that business is the best place for us to learn about ourselves, because the things that we won’t do for ourselves we will do in business. Why? Because there’s a paycheck at the end of it. I would fly into cities and teach this course and come back a year later, and the people I had talked with would still be struggling with the same things. However, I do the same work with people in their business and they’re much more willing to take risks, to try things, to do things differently, because there’s a paycheck at the end of it. I have no qualms about that. It’s the ultimate piece of cheese in the rat maze.

So, to wrap this all up, if we are a species that wants to give, and if we find greater happiness in relationships through giving, then certainly we can find greater profits in our business by giving before we take and the model of giving can be so easy; just understand what you do and give part of that away. The easiest, the best way, the first way is by giving away knowledge, the thing that you know, because the thing that you know that’s so obvious to you is complete new technology to the people who first start doing business with your company. So by giving away a part of your knowledge, you’re creating a tremendous amount of positive click this site.

And yes, some people are going to take that knowledge and find the lowest price in which to apply that knowledge, but you will find, more and more, the more giving that you do, the more goodwill you create, that creates a vortex of compassion and a certain sense about your business that will draw your customers to you, that in giving, the giveback will be monumental.

A practice of empathy

Don’t try to solve your problems. Instead, know that your problems are pointing to the bigger things that stopping you from being who you truly are. Focusing on your problems is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Your problems are the misdirection you put in front of you to avoid looking at your deeper truths. I want to offer you a way OUT of your problems.

blog_Don’t try to solve your problems

Moving away from your problems means showing up very differently in your life.

You stop looking for the resolutions. Instead, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are my problems making me believe about myself?
  • What can I trace those beliefs back to?
  • How do I usually react when you have these beliefs?
  • How do I pressure other people to change when I have these beliefs?

You may be tempted to believe that your problems are caused by other people. They aren’t. When you are activated by something that someone has done or said, instead of being reactionary, stop. Be curious about where they are struggling. This curiosity will distract you from being hijacked by your own wants needs and frustrations. Focus on what they need instead of what you want from them. It doesn’t mean you have to give it to them. It only means that you will have a greater knowledge about their state of mind as it pertains to them and not you.

This is a practice of empathy. In this practice, look for opportunities to make personal connections with complete strangers. Ask someone how they are doing. If they say “okay” or “good,” respond with, “Only okay? Only good? What is something great that’s happening in your life right now?”

Look at the people around you, the people in your life, the people at the next table at a restaurant. Ask yourself, what  they are struggling with. Ask yourself, what is the belief they are carrying about themselves? By maintaining this practice of empathy, you will distract yourself from the pain that comes with the belief that other people are the cause of your upsets in life. You will be released from the illusion that others have power over your peace of mind.