Welcome to the Steve Jobs based Join Up Dots Podcast Interview with Laura Posey
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Introducing Laura Posey
She is a lady who gets asked the same question again and again and again.
“Why is your company called “Dancing Elephants“?”
So I will do my very best to not ask this question as I wouldn’t want to get off on the wrong foo.
She is an author, speaker and consultant for companies around the world on sales and marketing.
She knows what is needed to attract clients, that become loyal consumers of a companies products?
Nope don’t see the elephants connection yet?
But how has she achieved the kind of sales knowledge that is sought after across the globe, and how did she and her partner Will Turner, develop the “Six Secrets of Sales Magnets” and the soon to be available “Sales Magnetism: The Ethical Salesperson’s Guide To Success” which brings a different perspective to the sales technique.
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs with the one and only Laura Posey.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Laura Posey such as:
How she loves to choose who she works with and choose what she does, and wouldn’t trade this for a huge paycheck….no way!
How she has never met her assistant in her life, not even on Skype or video conference, but works with her everyday!
We have this idea that work should suck, and she remembers the words of her Dad who said “If you like what you are doing then you are doing it wrong!”
Why it is important to remember that you can do anything in life if you are willing to leave your ego at the door!
How she developed faith in herself that she didn’t have in the early days by going looking for it!
How To Connect With Laura Posey
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Audio Transcription Of Laura Posey Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there. How is everyone out there in internet land? I hope you all right. I’m actually not very well, I’m not dying, but I just feel a bit ly I’ve got a summer cold coming on. So if I sound a bit of sort of muffled today is an audio problems is just your host struggling through bringing the professionalism out to give you a show. And the whole system has actually been crushed two or three times over the last few weeks. And so today’s guest should have been on about four weeks ago. But I had internet problems and everything crashed around my world. And then the next time I had this terrible thunderstorm, and it blew out everything. And then the next time she had a terrible thunderstorm, and it did exactly the same. So fourth time lucky. We’ve got one today, and she is a guest who I’m really gonna have to start with the thing. She gets asked the same question again and again. And again. Why is your company called dancing elephants? And so I don’t wanna be boring. And I’ve tried to do my best not to ask this question as I wouldn’t want to get off on the wrong foot. But she’s a lady who is an author, speaker and consultant for companies around the world on sales and marketing. She knows what is needed to attract clients have become loyal consumers of companies products. Nope. Don’t see the elephants connexion yet, but how Has she achieved the kind of sales knowledge that is sought after across the globe? And how did she and her partner will turn up develop the six secrets of sales magnets, and the soon to be available sales, magnetism, the ethical sales persons guide to success, which brings a different perspective to the sales techniques. Let’s find out as I bring on to the show to start joining up the dots of Li Mo one v only Lola Posey, how are you, Laura?
Laura Posey [2:08]
Fantastic. I just got back from vacation. So I mean, you know, it the only time you that’s better is when you’re actually on vacation. So it’s fabulous time to be me,
David Ralph [2:17]
I kind of like the fault of vacation more of an actually being on vacation, I find that there’s certain parts of my life that I kind of like to have around me. So I end up picking up a paper bag and then putting it down because I’m a bit bored and picking it up again and putting it down the fort. It’s good. But actually, when I’m out there, not too keen on it. Are you somebody that just lays down and embraces the vacation vibe?
Laura Posey [2:43]
For me vacation is really just about working with a different background and different scenery, because I do so much work online. And I love what I do that vacation for me is not about escaping work and getting away from everything. It’s about picking up work and taking into another corner of the world and experiencing some other cultures and some other places and throwing some work in to the days as well.
David Ralph [3:10]
And so so what is it that you love about your job so much? What is it about you can’t leave behind? Because that’s, you know, that’s enviable? Isn’t it? Most people would want that when a job is so bare thing. But even when you’re on holiday or vacation, but I don’t want to leave it behind.
Laura Posey [3:25]
You know, I think it’s a couple of things. I think it’s one, you know, being an entrepreneur working for yourself, you get to choose the people that you want to work with. So I have an absolutely fantastic team and I love every single one of them. You know, I get to handpick the people that I want to work with. So I don’t have to, you know, go to a great cube every day and be surrounded by people that someone else chose to be in my environment. So you know, that’s part of it is just being able to choose people that I want to work with. And the other part of it is, is just the work itself. Because to me, running a businesses like solving the puzzle, you know, every day you’re figuring out how do I make it better? How do I got all these different pieces? How do I make them fit together? How do I create this successful company that serves its clients? Well, that takes care of its employees and and certainly serves its founder as well. And and so it’s just this puzzle. And every day, I’m just thinking, thinking, What can I do? How does this work? How does this fit?
David Ralph [4:22]
So have you ever sat in a grey cubicle? Have you been one of those people?
Laura Posey [4:27]
Oh, well, I had a grey cubicle, I was not very good at sitting in it. probably the closest I’ve ever come to being a couple of times I’ve been in the grey cubicle. So I used to sell cars, worked in a car dealership, I didn’t actually have a cubicle, I just had a section of countertop with a chair at it. That was my quote desk. And I spent my days taking really bad drivers on test drives and selling them cars negotiating. But it was a place I had to be every day at a certain time I had a schedule and I had to show up at you know, it be there at 10 o’clock in the morning. And I couldn’t leave until six. And that sort of felt like a grey cubicle to me. And then at one point I was a, an insurance agent and I had an office but I did my best never to be in it. I had an assistant who sort of kept the home fires burning while I went out and made sales. And I just didn’t like to be in the office. And then when I became a sales manager, I really did have a great cube and a giant cube farm. And I was in there probably three minutes a week, because I just hated to be trapped in that environment. So I was always either out visiting my agents, or driving around or sitting in a coffee shop coming up with a new marketing idea or something.
David Ralph [5:52]
When you were a little girl, we use somebody that like to run around and jump and beam moving all the time.
Laura Posey [5:58]
Yeah, I grew up outdoors. My grandmother had a horse farm. And I spent most of my time outside on the farm. And we had horses in my house as well. And I you know, I grew up in that that generation of parents who thought that if you were indoors, something was wrong. So we were just constantly being shoot outdoors. And and you know, when you’re outside, what are you gonna do sit under a tree, you know, we were running around and playing and climbing trees and riding horses and, you know, making cities out of dirt and sticks and, and that sort of stuff. So yeah, I was a slightly active child.
David Ralph [6:36]
Because I think more often than not, we touched on something on this show that the people’s passions when they were young, should be the things that they do now. And it certainly sounds when you were saying that that’s why I asked that question. You know, there seems to be a movement, but you like there seems to be the ability to leave your space and, and almost create your environment, which is reminiscent of that kind of young girl running around doing things when she wants where she wants back coming up with an end product.
Laura Posey [7:04]
Yeah, you know, I think I’m just curious about things like I have this deep desire to understand how things work and why things work and why people do the things that they do and how they make decisions. And, and I find that, you know, if I’m just sitting around the house, staring at the dogs or watching TV or something I’m not learning, my brain is just sort of stuck in neutral. And I find that when I’m in motion, I get my best ideas. And, and I’m learning and I’m seeing things in a different way. That’s why I like to travel so much.
David Ralph [7:37]
And so as a way, where is your place of travel? When if I could wave my little wand and send you off to the dream vacation? Where would it be?
Laura Posey [7:45]
Oh, wow, I’ve been so many amazing places. I just came back last week from a couple of weeks in Bali. I live in the United States right now I live in Virginia. But sometime, it’s a sort of undetermined time. I have an old dog who can’t travel with me. But at some point in the near future, I’ll actually be moving to Indonesia. So I’m really excited about exploring that part of the world. I think next big vacations probably going to be New Zealand.
I’ve just heard so many wonderful things. And since I’m going to be on that side of the world anyway. It’s only a 12 hour flight from Jakarta instead of a 30 hour flight from where I am now.
David Ralph [8:29]
I can you literally sit on a hotel bed lift your laptop on and work is about is about how it works.
Laura Posey [8:36]
Yeah. And that was by design. Right? So I guess, you know, going back to the great cube. When I first started dancing elephants with my partner. We had a, we started our homes, but then we had an office and we were doing training every day. And we had people coming into the office and we’re doing training where we go out to their offices and do training. But it’s a very nine to five sort of world. The courses that we taught were long term courses. So if I started a course I was sort of on the hook for 12 weeks with it. And a few years into that I just I woke up and went I hate this right I just sucks to be trapped in this box. And so I sat down and, and wrote out a plan and said, I want to be able to you know the number one thing after how much money I want to make is, I want to be able to work from anywhere in the world. As long as I have an internet connexion, there are some corners of the world where I have an internet connexion. It’s not exactly stable. But
it’s functional enough.
David Ralph [9:43]
Well, that’s, that’s all you need. Because I find this this fascinating. I really do. And it really talks to me, I very much like the people that are sitting somewhere in a cafe on the top of a mountain with a laptop, and they’re doing their work, because I hit four hour workweek the old Tim Ferriss book. And it is it was a defining moment in my life. I read this, I tell the storey all the time. But I got to page 44. And I knew my life would never be the same again, because I just couldn’t see the point in going to the same office working at a time that wasn’t compatible with the way I wanted to work when there was work to be done. So I just didn’t understand why I couldn’t do it at two o’clock in the morning. And then had the next day off. If I got the work done, you know the end product, get the work done. And that’s what you’re creating in your life and with your employees. But pretty much you kind of almost leave you choose the white star, but you know that they will go off and do the work and you don’t really care what they’re doing it.
Laura Posey [10:43]
Yeah, now that we’re all virtual, As matter of fact, my assistant I have never met in person. She’s been working for me now for over a year. And we’ve never met. We never even had a video chat. I’m going to head down she lives in Florida. I’ll head down there this year and meet up with in person. That’s what Yeah,
David Ralph [11:02]
isn’t it? That is that is actually quite mad.
Laura Posey [11:05]
I you know it to me, it works. Who cares?
David Ralph [11:09]
No, I agree with that. Who cares? But he’s coming. He’s mad, but you can do that.
Laura Posey [11:14]
It is Yeah, it’s it’s it’s just a different way of looking at things. And I think everybody, you know, sort of has to figure out for themselves, what works for them. Like I have friends that they find comfort and security in routine. They love that. They go to the office at nine o’clock in the morning, and they come home at five and they’re with the same people all the time. And there’s a routine and a pattern to their day. And when they come home from work, they have a routine and a pattern. And when they go on vacation, they go to the same place every year, and they stay at the same hotel. And they travel with the same families and in for them that’s optimal. Like they love that they that sense of routine is very comforting for them. For me, that’s a straight jacket. Right? I’m just kind of the exact opposite of that. And I think you have to figure out, you know, in your life, like what works for you, are you, you know, do you want the routine? Do you you know, I have a really good friend who works for a big company and, and loves the security of working for a big company and having a pension and having a steady paycheck and, and knowing their colleagues. And you know, for me in a bit as an entrepreneur, there are days where I think, oh, a steady paycheck wonder what that would be like, I remember those days.
It but it’s just not worth the trade off. Does it ever frighten you though, because
David Ralph [12:39]
I know a lot of the people are listening to these conversations. They’re in jobs, where they are kind of trapped in the comfort zone. It’s not too bad. It’s not too good. And they get regular money. But they would like more excitement, they would like more stimulating work conversations to be at the ability to go where they are, you’re saying? So do you do you think that the fear factor that routes into the spot is actually a valid fear? Or now you’re into it? Do you think that most people could do what you’re doing?
Laura Posey [13:13]
Um, you know, I honestly, I don’t think most people can do it full time.
Because you really have, you have to have an absolute passion for something. Because it’s hard, right? There’s nobody telling you what to do. There’s nobody keeping you focused. It’s all on you. And I think it takes a certain kind of person who’s got some driving passion, something that just won’t leave them alone, to get them through the low spots and the difficulties and to keep them focused. You know, there’s so many people that if you leave them alone for two or three days, nothing happens, right, that the structure of a classical work situation is helpful for them, because there’s people watching and there’s accountability, and performance reviews, and all that sort of stuff. So, you know, I think there’s a small percentage of people that are just so driven by something that they can’t not be entrepreneurs. And I think everybody else should do something on the side, right? Like, if you’ve got this thing you really want to do, and you want that adventure, and you want to try to keep your day job, but do it on the side, start small, do something, you know, I have a friend that works for a large company, and she loves what she does. And she’s great at it. And they love her. And it’s a really wonderful situation. But she has a side business as well. And she makes wedding invitations, because she loves making wedding invitations. But she doesn’t want to trade her nice, fat corporate salary for making wedding invitations full time and turning it into a big business. Yeah, it’s just something you
David Ralph [15:05]
haven’t yet got choices now.
Laura Posey [15:07]
David Ralph [15:09]
How did you find your passion, Ben, because you are Uber passionate, I can hear it coming out of you. So that is the problem that so many people have, finding the thing that they’re passionate about finding the thing that will drive them on at two o’clock in the morning when they should have been in bed three hours ago? Where did you find your passion?
Laura Posey [15:28]
You know, it’s, I stumbled into it. I mean, I grew up with a laser focus on I’m going to be a vet, and I’m going to be a horse bet. That’s what I’m going to do. And that’s why like, everything was focused on that all the classes I took in school, my college major like, boom. And when I was a junior in college, I did is a year abroad, and suddenly went, Oh my goodness, there’s an entire world out here I never knew existed. And it completely derailed me from my original path. I went, Wow, this is so much more fun exploring is so much more interesting to me than being a vet. And I started to look at being a vet, as this oh my goodness, My days are going to be pretty much the same. And I’m not good with that. So I just started doing different things. I I worked a bazillion different jobs. And I just kept trying on different things to see what fit. And I went out and got a sales job honestly, because I was working in a restaurant, I was actually working in a pizza place managing a little caesars pizza. And a guy came in one day and said, You’ve missed your calling. You should be selling something something big, like cars or jewellery, a big ticket item. That’s what you should be doing. And I went, huh, I wonder what that’s like, because I wasn’t enjoying running a little caesars pizza operation that didn’t seem like the place I wanted to be the rest of my life. And so I answered an ad in a in the paper. They said, you know, hey, come work on our car dealership will train you no experience necessary, went and got the job and started selling and realised, wow, this is really interesting. Because it’s just, it’s it’s psychology, it’s understanding how to help people figure out what they want, and then how to figure out how to get it for them. And you know, psychology for me is just lovely sort of. It’s got the science background that I like. And it’s the it’s the solving a puzzle piece.
David Ralph [17:39]
And then he’s making you understand how they they tick. And that’s what you said right at the beginning. You’re interested in that. So when you found something that played to your direct passion?
Laura Posey [17:48]
Yeah. And I mean, I stumbled on it, right? I mean, anything. That’s how a lot of people find their passion, they just start doing a lot of different things and go, Oh, I love this. I hate that. I didn’t like selling cars, because it It involved. Really kind of sleazy negotiations.
David Ralph [18:08]
Um, why why why would they sleazy?
Laura Posey [18:12]
Well, you know, the whole car business is a bit of a racket in the States, it’s really the only place that that is open to intense negotiation. And you know, you’ve got, there’s a value of the car, right, somebody bought this car from the manufacturer, and there’s a value for this car, but there’s the sticker price, which is completely different number. And as the consumer, it’s your job to pay as little for the car as possible. And as the dealership, it’s their job to get you to pay as much as possible. And they hold all the cards, it’s gotten a lot better with the Internet, and some transparency, but at that time, it was really about how do I manipulate you into paying more than you should. And it was really hard for me knowing the guy that bought a car just like yours 20 minutes ago, paid $2,000 less than you did just because it was a better negotiator. And, and that it just never sat with me. It, it just always rubbed me the wrong way. And it’s it I mean, it’s a difficult job physically, you know, you’re, you’re stuck in this dealership, you have to wait for people to drive up and see you, right, you can’t create the demands, what else is creating the demand. And then when someone comes in a sort of all over them, and then you have to take them on a test drive. And in the summer, it’s ridiculously hot. In the winter, it’s ridiculously cold. And you have to get in a car with somebody you just met 30 seconds ago and let them drive. And as a self confessed control freak, that’s not really fun, you know, and then you come back inside and you start to negotiate and essentially, you know, it is a true car dealership, your job is to get as much money out of their pocket as humanly possible. And it’s just a game, you know, sit you supposed to pretend to go up and talk to the sales manager. And
it just wasn’t any fun.
David Ralph [20:22]
So So did you have an epiphany? And you thought, I can’t do this anymore? Or did it? Did it drag on for months and months and months until you made that?
Laura Posey [20:30]
Yeah, dragged on for months and months and months. And in the you know, the thing was, I was pretty good at it. But it I just didn’t like it like I hated going to work every day. And I actually got recruited out of it. I sold a car to a guy and his wife. And you know, it’s weird. I still remember every car ever sold, I can tell you exactly what the car was and what it looked like. And all the features. It was really weird. And the guy didn’t like me, but his wife really did. And she convinced him to hire me. And he was a regional manager for an insurance company. Any hard me as an agent
David Ralph [21:02]
wants you to easy like even
Laura Posey [21:05]
I’m honestly, I think it’s because I didn’t give into him on the negotiations. And you know, it’s funny, I worked for him for a number of years. And we never did get along. I didn’t like him. I didn’t trust him. He did some things that I thought were not above board. And, you know, he was just really all about, can you perform? And can you help me make my numbers? And but it was his his wife thought I did a really good job. And in apparently he she convinced him that I would make a really good agent. So
David Ralph [21:41]
are you more wise to sort of people’s vibes now? If somebody came along, but you had a dislike to now, would you sign up for him?
Laura Posey [21:50]
No, no, I’ve got you know, you, you get to a certain age where you just stop playing games with people. And if you don’t like somebody just walk away. You know, in hindsight, I was so desperate to get out of the situation I was in that, you know, I probably would have walked out the door with the double himself and and, you know, looking back and go, Oh, you know, on the one hand, I really hated working for that guy. On the other hand, I learned a tonne. During my time working in insurance, I gained a tonne of skills, I made a bunch of money, you know, they made enough money to be able to start my own business. So it was really good move. I just didn’t like the guy.
David Ralph [22:35]
He’s fascinating. You know, every episode, we get into the nuts and bolts of when somebody takes that leap of faith and they move in a direction that there is unique to themselves. And most of the time it comes down to a bad point in their life is a job that they really hated. And they were forced to sort of move on. Or it was a relationship that they were in that was terrible. And it always comes down to that moment when bye realised that this situation is rubbish. But with hindsight, I can see that I got worth from it. It forced me into the position that I am now and I would never have made that move if I was comfortable. And would you agree with that?
Laura Posey [23:15]
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I see the biggest decisions in that I’ve ever made were because it was running away from something that I didn’t like. And I stumbled into something that I did like, but you know, it’s an interesting, back when I worked for the insurance company had this one guy that I worked with who was just really, he got it. I mean, he just he was a great mentor. And he sat me down one day because I was going to move into management, I was thinking about leaving the agency and moving into management. And he said, when you’ve got a big decision to make like this, always make sure that you’re running towards something that you want and not away from something that you don’t, because you’re going to jump from something bad into something else bad, you’re just not going to know this thing is bad for a while. And at the time, and I really thought about that. And it it just stuck with me. You know, gosh, it’s been probably 20 years now. And and marks words have just always resonated with me. And I can look at that and say, every time I’ve jumped from something bad into something else, it’s been a good thing. Because it got me out of something bad. But whatever I jumped into, ended up going bad as well. And the things that really work, the things that were amazing, were the times when I jumped from something that was good into something that I saw as much better.
David Ralph [24:46]
I think I think that’s fascinating. And that, you know, I want the audience to play that bit back and listen to that, because that really is a key point to getting the life you want, isn’t it because there is a kind of urgent See, there’s a desperate, desperate, nice, but we all have at certain times, and we will just grasp anything. And I’ve been I’ve been there and I’ve gone for Jobs just to get out of a situation. And even the jobs that have paid me Uber amount of money. And I thought this is fantastic. I’ve really fallen on my feet, I’m in a terrible job here. But I’m getting is making payroll This is going to be no it’s not is absolutely dreadful as well. And in many ways, it’s even worse than the time before because they’re paying you so much money they expect you along and a kidney and everything else you have to turn up every single day. So for the fact that if you’re in a good position, you’ve been got opportunities to be able to be more selective and choose, you are going to be more wise on you.
Laura Posey [25:43]
Absolutely. And that’s where you you’re able to open up and see what you’re passionate about. And you’re able to follow something that you’re passionate about, instead of just chasing the paycheck or getting away from that bad thing. And it’s a complaint, different way of looking at change.
David Ralph [26:04]
Let me play you a little speech. But I’ve been playing on the show time and time again, it’s not a big speech, but I’m going to play later on. But this is one by Jim Carrey. And I just like to get your your thoughts on this.
Jim Carrey [26:15]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. Would you end up at that lower?
Laura Posey [26:45]
Oh, absolutely. I mean, it’s, it’s the illusion of safety, right? You know, I work with this big company, and I get the steady paycheck, and I’ve got all these things and they can let you go at any point. Right? It’s, it’s, it’s not up to you, right, as an entrepreneur, you really, you know, you have all the responsibility of success. But you also have all of the opportunity to create success. I mean, if if you, if you succeed, it’s on you, if you fail, it’s on you. There’s no one else to blame. And, you know, to me, being an entrepreneur is about doing something that you love doing that, you know, that just sticks with you all the time that you know it does, it wakes you up, I can’t tell you how often I wake up at three o’clock in the morning. And my head is just on fire, I just just said, Oh my goodness, I’ve got all these ideas, I’ve got to get out of it. I was taking the dogs for a walk this morning. And, and on the walk, I thought, gosh, I can’t believe I forgot to bring my notepad with me because I had all these really great ideas that I wanted to jot down. And I’m like rushing the dogs through their walks. But I can get home and write these things down before I forget them. Um, and I never did that. When I work for somebody else. You know, I never woke up at three o’clock in the morning when I had the most brilliant insurance idea ever.
David Ralph [28:14]
I worked for a bank and insurance company for years and years and years. And one of the happiest jobs I ever did was one of my very first ones, which I used to have to stick vouchers in a statement a bank statement and send them out to people. And that’s all you did. You looked in like these little files. I was 16 years old. And I was getting these vouchers and sticking them in. And honestly, as soon as I licked the envelope, it had gone out of my mind. I was totally blank. It was like being inside of meditation but the whole time. And I’d walk out the office and I would just skip home. And people used to say to me, oh no, I think about work all the time. I think, well, I don’t I just sort of walk away from it a little bit later. Yes, it sort of engulfed me. But now I’m doing this I agree with you totally. Five o’clock in the morning, bang, I’m wide awake. And so like two o’clock in the morning, I’m dreaming about doing interviews and and all those kind of things. He just sort of floods around me flatter me. And it’s not a bad thing, either. It’s kind of like it’s almost your body, fine tuning you and getting you more prepared for what you need to do. And you do have those moments when bang, it comes into your mind. You think, God, what did I think of this before, and it doesn’t matter if it’s two o’clock in the morning, you want to run up to your office or wherever you work and crack on. And I never ever did that either. I would have said slave labour Why the hell should you be working at two o’clock in the morning? But once you find the thing that you love, you just can’t get enough for Kenya?
Laura Posey [29:34]
Yeah, exactly. It’s it. You know, we have this, I think we have this idea that work is supposed to suck. I mean, you know, I mean, I can remember my dad telling me, you know, if you like it, you’re doing it wrong, like your work is this thing you’re supposed to hate. It’s this this necessary evil. And in I’ve always thought Why does it have to be that way? Right? Why? Why should work? Suck? Why can’t work be just another part of your life? It’s, it’s, you know, work is the thing that brings you money. Right? Why can’t you love that as much as you love your hobbies? Or as much as you love being with your family or walking your dogs or whatever? Why can’t you like all of it? Did you argue
David Ralph [30:23]
with your dad, when he said that to you?
Laura Posey [30:26]
know, I mean, I, at the time, I thought okay, well, this is the way it’s supposed to be right? Like it’s work is this thing that you go and do so that you can make money to support your family. And, and this is how it is and you know, as a lesson that he learned from his parents and their parents, and, you know, that was just sort of the family lesson, and I’m a bit of the black sheep in the family. Because I never went down that path. Every time I got into a job that I started to dislike, I just go get another one. Everybody else in my family, you know, whatever they were doing when they were 20 is what they were doing when they retired. You know, they had moved up, you know, moving up the ladder and but the you know, the goal is to go get a solid job with a solid company and work there until you retire and get your pension and go home. And
David Ralph [31:22]
it was it. It’s a different mindset, though, isn’t it and it’s what I can understand. Now I’m doing this, and I’m not in the nine to five world, I seem to have a different brain than I had before. And I see things differently. And I hear things differently. And I even sort of write and breathe differently as opposed now. Because before I would if I was in a job that I didn’t like, I would accept it for so long. Because I just thought, okay, it’s a job, I’m lucky to have a job, I’m earning money. I’m paying for the kids, whatever, you know, whatever they need, and all that kind of stuff. And it was just kind of excuses for me actually taking action and doing something about it. And now I sit here and I think to myself, why are you in a job that you don’t like those other jobs, go get another job. And if you don’t like that job, get another one and just keep on trying until you find one. It’s a totally different mindset. But so many people and I was the same for years and years years was trapped into that full of, I’ve got to cherish this job, I may not get another one and I don’t care how crappy it becomes. This is where I am and I’m going to stick it out.
Laura Posey [32:25]
Yeah, what yeah, I think it’s, it’s a part of our culture. Right? And, and certainly, it’s to the boss’s advantage for you to think that way. Because it’s really expensive for him to replace you. And, you know, I think we just, we, we’ve grown up in the you know, and certainly Western society, we have this sort of factory mindset of Oh of, you know, jobs are scarce, it’s really difficult, the economy’s tight. We, you know, we hear storey after storey of people who got laid off and haven’t been able to find a job for, you know, two years or three years or whatever. And I think we’re just, you know, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, right, you know, you get right down to the security level, of off, I leave my job, am I going to lose my house, I’m going to be able to eat. And, you know, I think the truth of the matter is, you figure it out, right, you, you start your own business, or you go out and and you just you figure it out, you You know, I’ve got a friend who lost his job. And he’s just one of those, like, really super bright guys, really creative, just a fabulous fellow. But he never finished college, and he just had such a hard time getting the job. And he started delivering pizzas. And he’s like, you know, I, once I checked my ego, and realised, hey, I’ve got a wife and three kids, I need to do something, to generate some cash. He’s like, delivering pizzas, what bad It talks, it is over until I got a job that I really liked. And it turns out, he went to work for another company stayed there for a few months. And they ended up starting his own business. And he’s been really successful with that, he met a guy at the place where he got a job. And they went off and started a business together, they’ve been doing it now, gosh, probably five years, and doing better than he ever did working for somebody else.
David Ralph [34:23]
I love storeys like that. I really do. It shows you that you can do anything, can you, you know, at the moment, I’m in the transition, I left my nine to five job, I took a big financial pay cut huge, bigger than I should have done, really. And I’m still fighting my way back. But I know that the effort and the energy and the audience speakers and everything that’s happening at the moment, it will come back. And I totally believe that it will come back better. But for a while, I have been doing some pretty dire stuff, just to get by. And I know that that’s what you got to do. And it hasn’t killed me, I have to go off and do these things, where I’d rather be doing this and building my own business. But hey, at the end of the day, it pays the bills. And you you move on and you move on. And I’m a total advocate now that, you know, it doesn’t have to be forever. It only has to be a part of your life. And you can put out with a part of your life. Because you know, you’re moving on to something better. But if you are putting up with that part of your life, because it’s your choice not to move on to something better, then bear something well,
Laura Posey [35:30]
yeah, well, I think you know, so much of it has to do with the labels we put on ourselves. I’m this I’m that I’m this old therefore I should be at this place. You know, it’s like, when my friend in when I started delivering pizzas, he’s like, I’m a graphic designer, right? I you know, anybody. He’s one of those really cool guys where he just said, Yeah, like, that’s what I’m really good at. But I can’t get a job doing that right now. So I’m going to pizza delivery guy. Right? In the he’s comfortable enough in his own skin. And you know, people say, Well, what do you do? He’s like, well, I’m a graphic designer, but I deliver pizzas. Right? And, and he didn’t have that, that attachment to any particular label of what he was supposed to be or what looks good on paper or what people expected of him. And it allowed him to really breeze through the transition.
David Ralph [36:23]
And could you do the same? If he all went pear shaped view now, could you start delivering pizzas and stuff?
Laura Posey [36:30]
Yeah, you know, I thought about it was funny. A friend of mine A while ago, I was in food service for a long time I did catering for a long time and works in kitchens. And in a friend of mine had a sort of emergency bartender situation a while ago, she had a party and they couldn’t get a bartender there, the person flaked out on him and posted on Facebook, can anybody help me and I was like, Sure, I’ll come help you. I don’t have anything going on that night. And I was standing there, you know, behind the bar, doing my thing going. I really like this like this, this is fun. If if I needed to go make some extra cash for something, I’d go find a caterer that I know and say, Hey, you need some extra help. I know the business. Why not? And you know, I did have to go Okay, so what if I’m at a party and somebody I know sees me? You know, there’s that moment of what you’re here.
David Ralph [37:23]
I know, who,
Laura Posey [37:25]
you know, I think in in for a few moments, it would, but I guess I’m kind of aware of it. So I would do my best to to sort of get rid of it beforehand. You know, I’m a, I like to prepare for things. So I would sort of prepare my answer. And, and then just move on with it. You know, again, I think you get to a certain age where you really just stopped giving a crap what other people think because a you don’t have any control over it, and be 99.9% of the time, they’re not thinking about you anyway, they’re so busy thinking about themselves. Like for the moment, they might be thinking something about you or judging you or whatever. 20 seconds later, by the time they’ve turned their back. They forgotten it, it’s gone.
David Ralph [38:11]
So So how did you know when you started your company called dancing elephants? And I still haven’t asked why it’s called fat? How did you know that it was going to be a success?
Laura Posey [38:22]
Well, you know, it’s funny. My partner and I started in April of 2001. And we had been preparing for it. So I’d saved up some cash and, and you know, we’d sat down and we put some plans in place. And we had talked to some people. So we had some contracts kind of out of the gate. And we started off doing pretty well. And six months later, September 11 happened and everything stopped. All of our contracts disappeared, everything went to blue eight. And so going into it, I thought, Man, this is easy. So six months later, I got a real slap in the face and a reality check of Wow, this is how most people start a business. This is hard. And, you know, when did I know it was going to be a success? Depends on what day asked me. Right? So it’s probably 99% of the time I’m blue skies, Rainbows, unicorns, the whole nine yards. Every now and then I have those days where it’s like, and this is hard, right? Is it? Is it all going to come together? Is everything that I really, really want going to be there? Am I going to hit those big goals. And then again, you know, again, that’s part of the entrepreneurial mindset, you have to be able to just look at those things and understand that’s a temporary emotion, own it, wallow in it, and then get up and move on. Because there’s you’ll never make progress when you’re sitting in that pile of mud.
David Ralph [39:56]
I think since I’ve been doing this show I’ve had vote down at least once a week, and more often than not every day. And I can back them away now and I can just think Nope, everything’s going great. And it’s moving on. But even now When the download because are amazing. And the listeners are keeping coming back to me time and time again. I’m still having those four. So this is going to crash over my head. I don’t know why I think that but he is and you never shake that D it drives you on?
Laura Posey [40:27]
It does. You know, man, I honestly I mean, I think Richard Branson gets up some days and thinks, holy cow, what if it all disappears tomorrow? Right? You know, whatever. I’m just one bad incident away from it all crashing down around me. And I think that’s just a part of being an entrepreneur because you get so successful. And it’s there days when it just seems so easy. It’s It’s like magic. And you think I am the luckiest person in the world. And then but there’s that little seed of doubt that pops up and says, What if it goes away? What if that and I think you just have to get mentally tough enough to move beyond that, you know, I think it’s, it gets really similar to think there’s, there’s no, it’s no coincidence that a lot of entrepreneurs are into, like marathon eating or Iron Man or some sort of, ah, Dream sport where they’re pushing their body. And because those sports make you mentally tough, right? Like nobody runs a marathon without getting to mile 20. And going and everything hurts, huh, six more miles. This, this sucks. Because the human body just isn’t built to go those distances. It’s a mental exercise from there, of just convincing yourself that you’re going to get to the finish line that you can overcome these obstacles and you can overcome this pain. And you can take another step in another step. And it’s a series of step by step. And it you know, as an entrepreneur, I think you need that same mental toughness, you have to be able to recognise Oh, I’m in this put mud at the moment. And it does suck. But there is a finish line. And I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. And then something happens and you know, you make a big sale or a new like, Oh, well, okay. It’s all sunshine and roses again.
David Ralph [42:26]
The other thing about entrepreneurs I’ve discovered as well is they seem to like sunshine. And I think it’s the ability to design their own lifestyle, but means that I speak to so many of them who are in California, San Diego, Florida. They all seem to be along the sunny bottom of America, or if they’re not there in some other sunny country.
Laura Posey [42:48]
Yeah. Yeah, I think you know, I think, again, it goes back to that control. And and I think there are a lot of people who say, Oh, well, this is where I grew up. And this is where my people are. And there’s that sense of comfort and familiarity. And I think entrepreneurs have this tendency to look at things and say, but there’s something better, right? So yeah, I live in Michigan, and it’s cold and it’s grey, and the weather’s, the winters suck, and I want to move to California, I want to be in the sunshine. I want a life where I can be outdoors every single day. And I’m just going to figure out how to do that and figure out how to take my family with me right in and figure out how can I move my, my spouse and my kids and my parents and my brother and my sisters and like everybody?
Unknown Speaker [43:39]
You know, it’s what
Unknown Speaker [43:41]
would you move to the sun? storey?
Laura Posey [43:46]
What would I pick up and move? Oh, heck yeah, absolutely. I mean, I am where I am right now. Very much by choice. I got married last year. I’m going to get drunk. Yeah, last year, and my spouse and stepdaughter have already moved to Indonesia. My my spouse has a really great job there. And I am still in the states in Virginia. Because I have this amazing old dog who has stuck by my side for 15 years. And I’m not leaving.
David Ralph [44:22]
And but but if you didn’t have a dog, would you just up and go?
Laura Posey [44:26]
Oh, hey, yeah. Yeah, I didn’t I hadn’t gone last year when they moved. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker [44:33]
Absolutely. He’s just choice isn’t it
David Ralph [44:35]
is total choice. You know, and I keep I keep on coming back to this because this show isn’t about being entrepreneurial. We we talk a lot to sort of entrepreneurs, but it’s about loving your life. And if you’re in a job, and you’re an employee, and you’ve got a lovely boss, and you’ve got a lovely office, and the commutes good, and you have doughnuts every morning, when you know, love it, just try to do it better, and try to find a passion, everything he do. And that’s what we’re just saying, we’re just saying, you know, try to be passionate, and try to enjoy your life, and realise what work shouldn’t suck. And you’re, you’re really taking that to the, you know, to the finishing line, really, where you are doing a job that you love, you’ve got a family that you love, you’ve got the ability to take it to places that you love, and you’ve got it Avenue, you’ve got it,
Laura Posey [45:27]
it really does feel like it and you don’t mean even when you work for somebody else, if you want to pick up and go someplace else, get a job that allows you to do that, you know, I’ve got a friend of mine, from Buffalo, New York, who is an accountant, right, you know, think of the oil accounting and travelling the world. And she wanted to live in other countries. And so, but she loves accounting, so she went and worked her way into one of the big five accounting firms that has offices all over the world, and immediately raised her hand and said, Go wherever you want to put me, right? Put me on a plane, send me there, I will go and do my thing. And she ended up being in New Zealand met her husband got married, has been living in New Zealand for a while I think she’s back now she’s getting relocated someplace else. And they just as a family, you know, they’re, they pick up and go wherever the company wants them to go. And they they love it, they you know, it’s one of the best of both worlds, it’s a sort of secure type of job very stable, you know, nine to five kind of profession. But, and being able to live anywhere in the world with the backing of you know, big multibillion dollar company. Um, you know, and then there are other folks who are accountants and, you know, they stay in their little town and that works for them.
David Ralph [46:51]
You cannot predict your future Kenya, you really can’t.
Laura Posey [46:55]
I don’t think you could predict it. But I think you can plan it, I think you can decide what you want, and consistently make decisions that will move you in that direction. You know, I when I said I want to work from anywhere in the world, that changes the things I say yes to the things that I say no to, right. So if somebody offers me a consulting gig, and they say, Well, you know, you need to be in Cincinnati, Ohio, every Tuesday. For the next year, I’m going to go now that doesn’t work for me. Because I’m just not going to make a one year commitment to being in a particular place. that violates my work from anywhere in the world. statute in my my plan. And so I think you know, when you decide really clearly what you want, you know, it’s like, oh, if you live in Michigan, and you want to live in Southern California, start making decisions that move you to Southern California,
David Ralph [47:51]
is it as simple as that though, but for the people listening is as simple as visualising or setting a goal and just work towards that goal.
Laura Posey [48:01]
It is because a mean, life is just a series of decisions, right? Every moment you have a decision to do this or do that. Right? You come home from work, and you put down your briefcase and you take off your tie. And you have a decision to make. Am I going to pick up a book? Am I going to take an online class? Am I going to watch the latest rerun of law and order? Am I going to take the dogs for a walk, I’m going to sit the living room play with the children? What am I going to do, right? And every single minute of every day you have decisions about what you want to do. And so often we just make the same decisions we made yesterday. And we do the same thing we get into the same routine. And, and again, you know, for some people, that works for them. But if you want something different, you know, we’ve all heard the quote, The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Right sitting on a couch, watching TV is not going to get where you want to go, I don’t care how many episodes of House Hunters International, you want to watch, sitting there watching that is not going to get your butt to a beach house in Tahiti, if that’s where you want to be. You’ve got to make different decisions than you’ve made. And it’s a, it really is as simple as saying, I know where I want to go. And I’m going to make decisions that get me there, you know, I married someone who travels for a living, who works in places all over the world, because that’s what I want. I couldn’t marry somebody who wants to stay in the same town for the rest of their life, because I want to live in lots of different countries. And, you know, so I had to make dating decisions based on sort of my life plan and my business plan. And I think that, so often we’re just not willing to get really clear about what it is that we want, or we don’t want it enough that we’re willing to make the changes necessary to get there. because change is uncomfortable. we’re hardwired to routine, we’re hardwired to do the same things over and over. It’s a survival mechanism. And if you made conscious, if you listen to
David Ralph [50:19]
Episode 91, I had a lady on there called Shelly hunt. And she’s got a company called success by design or success, it design my success. And she audits her life every three months or so. And she looks back at everything she’s done every three months and works out the things that has worked and the things that hasn’t. And basically just gets rid of the things that hasn’t and replaces them with the things that do. And she says it takes a little bit of time. But she’s got a book and she’s just swings down and says no, that was a bad mistake, that was a good, good thing. And it’s just pushing on pushing on pushing on. And she’s she’s mega successful. And you know, she says, there’s a lot of hard work involved, and there’s risk taking over kind of stuff. But she can understand the fact that as you say, we’re doing the same stupid things time and time again and expecting to get different results.
Unknown Speaker [51:08]
Yeah, and sometimes
Laura Posey [51:11]
getting started is so easy. I mean, if you want to move to a different place, vacation there first, right? Go see it, fall in love with it, take pictures of it, get excited about it, start reading about it, start finding out what companies are in that area, start go online, I mean, you know, the internet is such a beautiful place, you can meet anybody you want to meet, meet somebody who lives there and tap into their network. And, you know, start building relationships in the place that you want to be ahead of time. And it’s to me, what I find is, the more you start just taking actions in a certain direction, even if they’re not working, it’s like, there’s, you like putting little grains of sand on a scale. And at some point, you just, there’s that one grain that tips the scale and it doesn’t. It’s not like you know, it moves a little bit, it tips it the whole way. And everything starts to happen really, really fast. But it’s you know, 100 actions that lead up to that that have shown nothing up until that point. But as long as you know that every grain of sand that you’re putting on there is pushing that scale in the right direction. And you’re just constantly doing things that are moving you towards that next step. If things break loose, and in you just think, you know, it’s that classic sort of overnight success, right. But let’s
David Ralph [52:42]
let’s probably the speech that Steve Jobs made famous back in 2005, because that sort of emphasise is what you’re saying a very, very well indeed, this is Steve Jobs, of course,
Steve Jobs [52:51]
it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards, 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future, you have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [53:26]
It’s the same thing, isn’t it having faith having trust, but your actions will lead to something?
Laura Posey [53:31]
It is? Well, you know, again, it’s no coincidence that a lot of extremely successful people are also very spiritual, right, they have a deep faith in something. Right, they have a deep faith in God or the universe or source or whatever they’re calling it. But they’ve got this, this trust, that it’s all going to work out the way they want. If they just keep moving forward, we’re all going to work out. And, you know, I’ve never talked to anyone who’s extraordinarily successful, who doesn’t have some sort of faith in some big, higher power energy source something. And I think that faith is the thing that gets them through the rough spots. Right. And in the people that are wildly successful are the ones who just push through more rough spots than everybody else. They just kept going when everybody else stopped.
David Ralph [54:35]
I use somebody like that as well. Do you have a sort of faith barometer that sort of point you in the right direction?
Laura Posey [54:43]
Yeah, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s not something I grew up with, or that I ever had, for a lot of my life, it’s been a reasonably recent edition. And it’s fabulous. Because it does get you through those days, or those minutes or those hours or those sometimes weeks where you think, why is nothing working? Am I just beating my head up against the wall? Is the wall going to win? And, and you can just fall back on that faith and that trust and just go? No, I know, if I just keep at it, the wall will fall down. And I’ll move forward. And I’ll move forward in a huge way. And so it brings a sense of security to a really uncertain life.
David Ralph [55:35]
Well, why have you don’t that never been lower,
Laura Posey [55:37]
you know, I went out looking for it. Right? Like I, I was looking for some sort of centre or some sort of anchor or something, to to, to really kind of hang my hat on and go, I got back up here, right. And I started you know, I’ve always been fascinated by other people. And I started really looking at other people’s, and seeing, you know, the people that I consider to be really successful and, and not just, you know, people that have made a tonne of money or going big companies or whatever, but people that are just intensely happy. And really living the lives that they want to live. And every single one of them has a strong faith. And I thought, all right, how do I find mine? And so I just kind of went on a journey for a path and have faith that that worked for me. Right? You know, I think some people grow up with a faith or religion that the they sort of have their whole lives, my family had such divergent faiths. On my, my grandparents, and my, my parents were sort of completely agnostic, they didn’t carry that through in any way. And so I had to go sort of find my own thing. And so I’ve found ideas and concepts that just sort of fit with me and who I am and the way I look at the world.
David Ralph [57:12]
So you’re totally different person to your younger self. I know, you know,
Laura Posey [57:16]
Oh, yeah, yeah.
David Ralph [57:19]
Well, let’s put that to the test thing, because I’m going to send you back in time now to speak to your younger self, because this is a bit of a show that we called a sermon on the mic. And as the music plays, you’re going to be transported back to a room where you will meet the younger Laura. And if you walked in and met the younger, Laura, what age would you choose? And what would you say to them? Well, we’re going to find out, as now you’re up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
With the best.
Laura Posey [58:05]
So here I am talking to the younger Laura. And yeah, she’s just been 18 and getting ready to head off to college. And, and I’ve just got a couple of bits of advice. And I think the first piece is, do what makes you happy. And really don’t listen to anybody else. Like never take advice from somebody who isn’t living the life that they really want to live. You know, there’s always somebody who’s going to tell you how to do it, and what the rules are, and the way to do things. And most of the people who are giving advice are pretty miserable. And they’re not even following their own advice. So if you want to listen to somebody and you want guidance, listen to people who are living a life that you want to live or who are living a life that that they’re deeply, deeply happy with.
I’d also say, you know, take more risks,
you’re going to fail a lot, get used to it, and realised that failure is just falling off the path, you know, you think you’re going to go from point A to point B, and it’s gonna be this really straight line. And it’s not as never straight line. It’s curly and gnarly. And there’s all sorts of stuff along the way. And failure is really just giving up between A and B. And don’t do that. Just if there’s something you really want. Just keep at it. Even if the path doesn’t go the direction you think it’s going to keep focused on the vision. And you know, it’s really cliche to say, oh, enjoy the journey, because sometimes the journey sucks. But find those parts of the journey. You often can’t see them when you’re in them. But look back at them. Go Oh, yeah, I remember that at the time. It’s up. But in hindsight, man, that was a really good lesson. And it really don’t be afraid to take some of the chances because the chances give you the experiences that are going to give you the storeys that you’re going to love to tell the storeys you want to tell your kids it’s those those moments where you did something that in hindsight was really stupid. But you survived it and you learn something really, really powerful. And the safe path never has any good storeys. It’s boring as all get out and skip that path. Take the other one. It’s really a lot more fun. And at the end of the day, that’s all you have.
So that’s what I would say.
David Ralph [1:00:57]
Right, I’ve got one last question for you, Laura. And I’m deliberating do I ask why your company’s called dancing elephants and Hello. Now, I’m not going to ask that people can look you up and find that out. I’m just going to ask this one question. Do you think everyone should and can have a kick ass life?
Laura Posey [1:01:19]
Absolutely. They want. If if you get up and go kind of should be something more. Go get something more even if it’s a little tiny thing. You know, it’s to Eleanor Roosevelt, quote, do something every day that scares you. Right? Just do something that’s a little bit different. If you always get a caramel macchiato get up peppermint macchiato, just to shake it up right? Do something a little bit different go it skip Starbucks and go to the local coffee shop. Right? Just one tiny little thing differently drive to work a different way. You know, roll down the windows, instead of turning on the air conditioning, change your radio station, something, make a little bit teeny tiny change and shake stuff up. And you’ll start to find that all of the things that you think are keeping you safe and secure actually just a straight jacket in handcuffs. And yeah, there’s safety and security in that but you also aren’t going to get very far that way.
David Ralph [1:02:19]
Know How can our audience connect with you?
Laura Posey [1:02:23]
Oh, I am all over the place. I love new Facebook friends. So you can catch me on Facebook. I am not Laura Posey on Facebook. I’m actually sales magnet on Facebook. every place else you can get me at Laura Posey, Twitter, LinkedIn. Pinterest, Google way. I’m everywhere else. I’m Laura Posey. So I’m all over social media, you can check out my we have our dancing dash elephants.com website. So you can learn about dancing elephants in the storey of why we’re called that is on there. I’ve got a new brand that we’re launching called the simple plans, you can go to my simple plans.com. And check out how to get your own strategic plan and map out your own life. It’s the tool that I use to sort of turn everything around. And now I use it with everything from startups and nonprofits to my biggest client that uses it is a $27 billion company. So it’s got kind of a broad reach. And yeah, so those are the easiest places to reach me online a lot. I don’t answer the phone. So you can call me but you’ll leave a message and I’ll probably call you back or email you back. I’m just not a big phone person.
David Ralph [1:03:37]
We will have all those links on the show notes. Laura, thank you so much for spending time with us today joining those dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Lower Posey, thank you so much.
Laura Posey [1:03:53]
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.