Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Mr Erik Fisher
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Introducing Erik Fisher
Erik Fisher is todays guest joining us on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
He is a man who quite simply knows how to get things done.
He is the owner of the blog and podcast “Beyond The To Do List” and shows us all how we are wasting so much time doing stuff that quite simply will not push us onto doing the great stuff that we have to do.
Yes, Facebook is fun. Twitter is useful. And Youtube is wildly entertaining.
But none of them should be used when they do not have a need to be used.
If they are keeping us away from what we should be doing, then stop it.
But how do we do that?
How do we beat the addiction that checking our emails 50 times a day seems to have on all of us?
And how did he manage to walk boldly into an area that we all struggle with…is he a recovering addict?
Well lets find out and not waste anymore time, you see I’m being productive
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs in todays Free podcast, with the one and only Erik Fisher.
During the show we discussed with Erik Fisher such weighty topics such as:
How as a kid he never did his homework, and kept on getting away with it, much to the chagrin of his teachers and parents, due to lack of time and desire!
Why he is planning to practice for 10,000 hours to beat the Guinness World Record for eating Jaffa Cakes whilst on a pogo-stick recording a podcast….yes, is that the weirdest thing you have heard on this show?
How building a train takes time, but once you start pushing it then soon it gets easier and easier to move…the same as a business!
Why library’s are the perfect place to go and learn and separate yourself from all the distractions in the world!
How everything you do in life is preparing you for the success you will have in later life if you want it bad enough!
How To Connect With Erik Fisher
Of course if you want to hear all our amazing shows then jump over to the podcast archives to hear thousands of interviews by simply clicking here.
Audio Transcription Of Erik Fisher 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, bear world. How are we all in join up dots land? I hope you good. I hope you’re rocking and rolling. Because we’ve got a belter of a show for you today. I always say that, don’t I but it’s true, because I just know it’s going to be a good one. The day guest is a man who quite simply knows how to get things done. But Master non procrastinator, the king of patching the prince of the 8020 principle, and the Lord of my favorite law to probably Parkinson’s Law is the owner of the blood blood, a mummy Teva company. He’s the owner of the blog and podcast beyond the to do list and shows us all how we are wasting so much time doing stuff that quite simply will not push us on to doing the great stuff that we have to do. Yes, Facebook is fun. Twitter is useful in YouTube is widely entertaining. But none of them should be used when I do not have to be used if they are keeping us away from what we should be doing when Stop it. But how do we do that? How do we beat the addiction that checking out emails 50 times a day seems to have on all of us? And how did he manage to walk boldly into an area that we all struggle with? Is he a recovering addict? Well, let’s find out and not waste any more time you say I’m being productive. Here is my pleasure to bring onto the show to start join up dots but one and only Mr. Eric Fisher. How are you, Eric?
Erik Fisher [1:37]
I am doing amazing. Thank you for that awesome intro. I’ve never thought of myself that way. But I guess I guess everything you said is true. So
David Ralph [1:44]
it is isn’t it you You must be but everything I know about productivity is about matching 8020 principle and Parkinson’s Law. Now that’s what I kind of do on a daily basis. But I’m sure you’re going to take us in areas that we’ve never dreamt possible and spin our heads around and make us vomit pea soup or whatever you’re going to do. But it’s going to be absolutely amazing to find out. So I’m going to come right to the chase. First of all, as I always like to do, how do you remain so productive when you’ve got family and kids and everything else that goes on in our life? How many kids have you got?
Erik Fisher [2:19]
I’ve got to I’ve got a nine year old daughter and a soon to be three year old son.
David Ralph [2:25]
And it’s your knowing your daughter like my nine year old daughter that does handstands constantly and cartwheels and bounces around the house constantly.
Erik Fisher [2:33]
Oh, yeah, definitely. And in fact, add roller skates to that and maybe a pogo stick or her bike. Yeah. He’s all over the place. Can you pogo
David Ralph [2:43]
stick? Because I can’t do that. I’ve tried. I just can’t do it. So
Erik Fisher [2:48]
I can do maybe five? And then I’m done. That’s about it.
David Ralph [2:51]
What’s the record? If we could push you on? to do it? Wow, we could do it live on air. Can we get your Pogo sticking low live on air? I know we could we could you
Erik Fisher [3:03]
know, I don’t think anybody’s done that actually that that would be unique. That would be that would be a Guinness Book of World Records. Most pogo stick bounces on air have a podcast. So you probably it could be Yeah, it could be 10 to 15 probably at most. I mean, I’m sure I’ve practiced at it. I could get really good at it. Like Like a lot of things that are fun, but maybe not as important. But you know, I could I could probably swing it. I could I could push that 10,000 hour rule on the on the
David Ralph [3:34]
on the pogo stick. Yeah, you’ll be a very sad middle aged man when you 10,000 hours on a stick but that’s what life is all about. It’s not talking about Guinness Book of Records about it. Do you ever sort of look through the records because my favorite stat basically on Guinness Book of Records? Because most of them we kind of think okay, Usain Bolt’s the world’s fastest man and going up into space all these amazing kind of records, but some records in that book a rubbish that just kind of beyond rubbish and you kind of think how did somebody not beat that? My favorite stat and I’m going to ask you this question is how many Jaffa cakes Can you eat in a minute and be classed a Guinness Book of Records holder?
Erik Fisher [4:17]
Oh my gosh. Well, what’s the one What is it Jasper cake a Jaffa Cake. So don’t Jaffer.
David Ralph [4:24]
Yeah, yeah. chatbot like a biscuit with an orange in the middle? Do you not have Jaffa cakes out there? Oh, we don’t. It’s almost it’s almost like a Danish like a donut with a fruit center of some sort. It’s kind of like a soggy Oreo. We’ve kind of the very last sort of soft top but inside it’s jelly. And it’s orange jelly. So you can kind of bite the top or take the orange bit out like a kind of little little disk. You can eat that and you can eat the bottom bit as well and they called cakes. We haven’t been the United Kingdom all the time. I thought the world was out of Jaffa cakes. I hope you do that. I might
Erik Fisher [5:00]
the closest thing Yeah, the
closest thing we probably have is maybe a jelly filled donut. Or a like i said i cheese not a cheese Danish a Danish that has you know fruit filling that but there’s no top on it. It’s it’s open faced in a way. So
David Ralph [5:17]
when you do you need a computer issue. Okay, yeah, when you do get it. We’re just kill time for a moment because this is okay. This is a big part of this show. This is what makes this show award winning.
Erik Fisher [5:30]
Right. Let’s see. Oh, so it’s it. Oh, okay. I believe I’ve never seen one in person. But I have seen this online before. That’s interesting. Yeah, it does look like it looks like an Oreo. A does it kind of looks like a
David Ralph [5:46]
web stuffing. Yeah. So So what do you recommend looking at that and then sort of Oreo sighs how many This is the biggest build up these questions ever had? How many do it right to be a Guinness Book of Records? world holder?
Erik Fisher [6:00]
Oh, gosh. Um, I’m gonna go with
David Ralph [6:09]
seven. If you got hit seven. last count, you would have smashed the record seven seven of those in a minute. Only? Yeah.
Erik Fisher [6:17]
Oh, in a minute. Okay, that’s way different. Um, yeah, you’re right. I would have guessed probably about 10. But yes, seven. Wow.
David Ralph [6:23]
Yeah. Seven. So see, you can you could be a double world record holder, you could be the pogo stick champ, and also a Jaffa Cake eater.
Erik Fisher [6:32]
But and if you could do it at the same time, then that’s even a bigger record, you’ll end
David Ralph [6:36]
up on The Tonight Show or something like that. It will be it will be human tricks. Glory. Yes. away. Why? So let’s let’s cut to the actual chase now. And and let’s get on with the productivity because basically, I pulled you away from being productive there. And I made you waste some of your time, which kind of is, is what I like to do. I like to twist it slightly. But how did it all come about? How did you become the master of the beyond the to do list because I like to phrase that because that is something that we all struggle with on a daily basis. Anyway, we haven’t got enough time, or we think we haven’t got enough time. But you’ve kind of flipped on its head and you’re proving on a daily basis that you have got enough time.
Erik Fisher [7:15]
Yeah, and I would say that the reason anybody ever gets good at anything, unless it’s a natural talent, and they just start practicing, and, and really just hitting that groove with that is by failing at it for a very long time, beforehand, and then deciding to change. And that’s exactly what I did is, you know, along the way, I mean, I this will come out later, but I hated doing school work, I hated being in school I hated, you know, having to do any type of work that was not enjoyable. So the key was defined the work that was enjoyable. But even then, work can be you don’t want work. You know, it’s one of those things where everybody’s always like, find your passion. And then once you find your passion, it won’t feel like work anymore. And I’m like, yeah, that’s really only the key to not making it feel like drudgery. Sometimes hard work is still hard work and hard work still drains your energy and makes you feel tired. Don’t Don’t kid yourself, that’s I mean, you and good, you know, the good work that you can do. And if you find it, and you connect it with your passion and all that stuff, it will refresh you as well. And you’ll feel validated and, you know, and the dots will join up, etc. But yeah, you still, you still have to figure out how to function efficiently and effectively. And in essence, that’s where I struggled for a long time until I started to investigate and learn, you know, these tips and tricks and hacks and tools and things to you know, basically build that structure that scaffolding that system up to support myself so then I could be more flexible again, and more creative and artistic etc. So that’s that’s how it that’s how it came about in a nutshell.
David Ralph [8:59]
So So how bad were you?
Erik Fisher [9:03]
Well, I mean, there there were months and months where I didn’t do homework at all
David Ralph [9:09]
in school and did not tell you did the teachers not tell your your mom and dad say no, they told you haven’t had homework for months now what’s going on?
Erik Fisher [9:17]
I mean, that’s essentially it, like the teachers would say, Oh, you don’t have your homework. And my parents, you know, specifically my dad would say you don’t have your homework, you haven’t done your homework. And it’s and it just didn’t, I didn’t care. It didn’t matter to me. It wasn’t you know, and it and the thing was, was that it did I know now that I could have done it, and I could have structured you know, the evening time better after I got out of class and school and got home and you know, refreshed with a snack and some TV and you know, play outside or mow the lawn or something for money. That would have been great. But yeah, just didn’t was not my interest.
David Ralph [9:58]
You like to lay on the sofa with a pogo stick and some Jaffa cakes. And that was bliss was there you go?
Erik Fisher [10:03]
Yes, yes, it was we joined Oh, yeah. And yeah, and even later on, like, only in only in college did I start to have some of the, you know, systems and things click into place where Finally, it was a manageable. I knew where I was going. I knew or at least I thought I did. And so moving in a direction helped. And even then, after graduating and moving on and changing different styles of jobs over a few different years and work styles shifted. And each time it was very much a Oh, this now works completely different need to set up a whole different system. Okay, good. Well, here we go.
David Ralph [10:45]
So so let’s give our audience a steer just so that we can get sort of a time zone here their timeline on on it. How old are you now Eric? If you don’t mind me asking.
Erik Fisher [10:55]
I am 36 years old. Okay, so you’re 36?
David Ralph [10:57]
You’re you’ve been married for how many is? 12? Oh, you answered that really quickly. That was That was good. So and so there was a because my anniversary is next weekend. So I am very aware, you will be a bad man, wouldn’t you if you’d forgotten? Yes. Yes, of course, we record this live, you realize, and so it is the 17th of September? So it’s Yes, it’s gone wrong. It’s gone wrong. You’ve missed it.
Erik Fisher [11:22]
So now it’s been 12 years and a month?
David Ralph [11:24]
Yes. Or more? Once again, twisting with your brain. So your your age? When When will the system starting to come in? And did you see somebody that just seemed to have it down pat? And you kind of saw them and go? Why is he just floating around? Why is he got all the beautiful women on his arm. And I’m just running around stressed because I haven’t managed to get my homework done.
Erik Fisher [11:47]
Yeah, that’s interesting. I think there was probably a few, a few friends in college who seemed to not struggle, I mean, they would still get have all that time, the same time I did or more without stress that is even too to do the fun things and not be stressed out. And they wouldn’t be worried about tests, they, you know, they’d studied, they’d put that time in, they’d done their assignments, they’d attended all their classes, they were working, they had their relationships, guy, friends, girlfriends, etc. And it was all great. And I didn’t have all that together just didn’t seem to be in place. So yeah, at that point in time, and then especially after, after getting married, and especially work moving into working life at that point. And this, again, would be 10 to 15 years ago, and then into marriage and working in in that in the last 10 years. It’s It’s definitely been, you know, along that time, at some point, it was realizing, again, oh, it’s another shift. And I don’t know how to make this work with, you know, the new job and the tasks and the routines that needed to happen to make that work. And then getting things done kind of came along. And I or at least I found it a couple years after it came out. And that was really kind of the first couple, you know, key people, one of the first couple key pieces. So
David Ralph [13:09]
because I’ve always been very productive, and it’s just kind of in me, I’ve always thought to myself, and once I started studying, and we’re going to talk about Parkinson’s Law, because I’m sure you’re an expert on it. And I really like it. And I kind of preach to my kids about Parkinson’s Law. But when once I started reading this book called the 8020 principle, it flipped my head. And basically, for the listeners out there, pretty much 80% of your efforts, the good stuff that comes to you is based on 20%. So 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. So if you flip it on the other side, you’re wasting so much of your time doing stuff that really isn’t relevant to your end product. But if you just focus on the things you want to do, that will have a direct relation to your end product. Bang, bang, you’ve got so much time. And I discovered this and there was a book, and it went on and on. And on this book basically telling me the same principle over and over again, it could have been a pamphlet, basically. But by the end of it, I thought yeah, absolutely. Right. So I looked in my work, and I thought, What do I need to do? And I wrote a list of what do I need to achieve? And I just focused on bad. And suddenly my our day went down to about two hours. But then that screwed me up because I started thinking, well, if I can get it done in two hours, why am I sitting here for eight hours? And I kind of become a Tim Ferriss kind of clone that wanted to go and sit on a field somewhere or run around and do stuff because I’ve done the work you asking me? And why do I have to be here for eight hours, you only pay me for doing that work and my mind went to a funny, so I made the leap of faith. But um, but you kind of step through those dots as well, that there was key points to your life when you went Yeah, I really need to get productive. And I’m not only going to be productive, but I’m going to demonstrate it to the world.
Erik Fisher [14:57]
Yeah, yeah, definitely. And that’s the thing is, you know, for me, I started to realize exactly that same kind of a flip in my mind was, Oh, you mean, I only really need to do these things. And it’s based the job is basically done. Well, how do I do those 20% things faster or even repeated to that they’re always you know, in check, and I know that they’re done.
David Ralph [15:22]
I do a seven day a week show and the amount of people that go to me, ah, the amount of work. And I kind of go, yes, I suppose so. But it’s not that hard once you get the systems in place. And once you sort of put it together and you know, when you’re doing things. It’s not like work, really, I’m having a chat at the moment, you know, I’m doing something I love doing. I’m having a chat. I’m recording it, I’m putting it out to the world. Hopefully people will love it. and end the day. I’ll do another one. I’ll do another one. I do another one. It just keeps on clicking over. So a lot of people have this kind of perception of Wow, that’s a lot of work before they’ve even tried to do it themselves.
Erik Fisher [16:00]
Well, yeah, it’s a lot of work to build a train and then put it on the track and then get it running. But once you’ve built it, and when it sits on the track, it’s not like every single day, when you do a new show. You’re building a train, you’re just getting on the train you’ve already built.
David Ralph [16:16]
Oh, I like that. I like that is why you’re the master Eric. So yes, oh, no, absolutely right. I think probably 80% of the effort was getting it going in the first place trying to get guests on the show, setting the sort of network up. But now it is, as you say, it’s just moving on a little bit moving on a little bit. And what I like about analogy as well is with a train, if you try to push it at the beginning, it’s almost impossible to get it moving. But once it starts rolling, it gets easier and easier and easier. So I’m good as well. And I
Erik Fisher [16:49]
There you go, yeah, the momentum starts and then you need less effort to get back into it.
David Ralph [16:55]
So have you got a boss at the moment? Eric? Are you the boss?
Erik Fisher [17:00]
When it comes to my podcast, I’m the boss. But in when it comes to the contract work I’m doing currently that I do have a boss actually.
David Ralph [17:09]
Well, I wanted to ask you a question about how how much of your time is focused on the end product. But if your boss is listening, I’m not gonna ask that. We do it afterwards. But it is useful to know that as a social kind of entrepreneur, when you are in the online environment, a lot of your work can get done at times, that’s not sociable for other people. And that frees you up as well, doesn’t it? The fact that you can get up at four o’clock in the morning and have a chat with somebody in knighted Kingdom at their time zone and vice versa. You’re not restricted to what everyone else is doing it nine to five.
Erik Fisher [17:44]
Yeah, no, definitely. And then that whole flexibility of time. And location really is helpful.
David Ralph [17:51]
When did you start loving it? Because it’s quite obvious you do love it? And have you found your thing? Do you think this as you say, Have you found your passion, Eric?
Erik Fisher [18:01]
You know what, I think there’s still room to explore and grow and fully express TV, the things that I’m really interested in. There’s there. I mean, you, for example, the productivity podcast, not the first podcast that I’ve done for solo show, but not the first podcast that I’ve done. I used to do a social media show that was co hosted, I actually did a comedy show. Prior to
David Ralph [18:30]
this, where I had to come up with jokes or ranting or you know,
Erik Fisher [18:36]
kind of ranting kind of you know, it was a kind of a duo comedy team kind of a thing, my friend and I, we’d sit in front of our microphones, and we just hit record. And, you know, the show was called we’re both right. And the idea was, as we’d kind of argue, but we never went that way too much. It was more Oh, yeah, this is my opinion. This is my opinion. And then it’s like what we’re both right. And back in 2007, we were actually at the end of the year in December, iTunes named one of the top 10 new comedy podcasts way back in the day. And that was that was fun, but I miss it. I miss doing witty banter creative back and forth with people on a show. So at some point here, that’s going to have to come back because I miss it too much.
David Ralph [19:16]
Because you will ahead of the curve. You was in sort of ricochets territory back in 2007 when you because there wasn’t an awful now, basically, dogs and frogs have got shows and anything that moves and it’s got a mouth seems to have a podcast, I get so many people on the show where they come to me and go, I’d like to be on the show. And I look at their thing. And their their whole life doesn’t seem to be linked to a podcast at all. But there’s a podcast, and they’re putting these shows out. It’s amazing how it’s exploded.
Erik Fisher [19:48]
Oh, yeah, I mean, it’s funny the way that it’s almost taken 10 years to get here to where we’re at now. But podcasting has been around for actually more than that it was 2005 was when iTunes added it to its software, but it was around for another year or two before that. So you know, 2004 2003 Even so we’ve we’ve kind of hit the 10 plus year of it existing but really not crossed over yet. It’ll be summer, next summer, summer 2005. Or sorry, 2015. When iTunes will have had it had podcasts available in the iTunes Store for 10 years. That’s just that blows my mind. It’s been 10 years already.
David Ralph [20:34]
What would you say when people ask you what you do for a living because people keep asking me and certainly in the United Kingdom, no one understands what a podcast is. And my downloads, my downloads seem to be huge in America, which kind of understandable. The French love me don’t know why. But hey, they’re going great guns. But in the United Kingdom, it seems to be my friends and my mom and people sort of listening to me, because people don’t understand the concept of a podcast. So I kind of say I’m an online radio host, or I’m a kind of online talk show host that kind of thing. What what how do you actually describe yourself?
Erik Fisher [21:11]
Yeah, I’m you know, I for the most part, up until recently, it was very much the the other way around where the thing that I was, and I still kind of think of it this way, the thing that I spend the most amount of time on is what I say that I do, which is you know, right now, I’m a community manager for Social Media Examiner. But up until recently, you know, about four months ago, a little more, actually, five months, by the time this is out that I you know, I used to do, I used to do, my day job was social media. So that’s kind of where I would start off with but then some people, they would not know me from that they would only know me from the podcast. So I still would say, Hey, I do a podcast. And if they didn’t know what that was, I would say, well, it’s an online radio show. Let me leave it at that they would they would understand, I think, to a certain point, you know, they that the technology has still not fully even though we’ve got, you know, super powered computers, in our pocket, always on us. We don’t understand that. And then Wi Fi everywhere, I guess whether it’s in actual Wi Fi or its cell tower capability. We’ve got access to everything and processing power beyond what we can comprehend on us at all times. But we don’t understand that you can listen to something through a device in your pocket. Even though Walkmans have been around for forever, I guess they’re not around now. But they used to be you know,
David Ralph [22:39]
because I’m I do to my kids, and I go is no I do. Is I mp3 player? I know it’s a Walkman.
Erik Fisher [22:46]
Oh, no, I don’t call I mean, I call it iPod now, but Oh,
yeah, there you go. I mean, I used to have I had the literal Walkman, I would call them the the predecessor of that the, the CD player that would play the compact discs. And especially when they established the, it would read ahead by about five to 10 seconds. So if you were moving around a bit, it wouldn’t skip while reading the disc. And then yeah, mp3 players. I didn’t really, I had one mp3 player at one point, but then I moved into the iPod, for sure. And since then, it’s ever it’s always been
David Ralph [23:22]
iPod. The most stupid one I remember was the vinyl Walkman, which further sort of youngsters you won’t remember this. But there will be things called records. And I would like big black things with a hole in the middle bit like a sort of x standard CD. And as I’m doing this, Eric, this is another Google opportunity for you type in a vinyl Walkman. And you will see the picture of this thing. And it’s like a huge stapler that you basically hung a record in, and the record would spin round as you walked, and you could actually listen to it as you would going. Now, that is one of those devices that you think, really why did that not take on being able to walk around with somebody that could easily get scratched or dirty swinging by your leg?
Erik Fisher [24:07]
Have you ever seen those man, I have never I did not know that a vinyl Walkman ever existed. That is insane. In my mind,
David Ralph [24:17]
it’s beyond insane. You say this is why you’ve come on the show. As I said at the beginning, I will take you into areas that you’ve never thought possible. And you will now be sitting in a pub with your mates and you will be going to know how many Jaffa cakes you can eat in a minute and beer Guinness Book of Records. And you’ll be talking about vinyl Walkmans and pogo sticks and stuff, nothing about the conversation that I meant to have, that that would be just gone from your mind. And so what did that English book talk to you about? You got? Oh, I can’t remember. But I do remember these stupid things. But yeah, vinyl Walkman. And all our listeners out there will be now sort of secretly listening to this at work while trying to sort of Google these things. Oh, they’ll be good. Yeah, there’s googling happening right now, trust me. But I actually had tried to buy a record player A few years ago, because I realized I had a lot of these records. And I went into a shop, they had no idea. And I actually had to say to him, it is a black thing with a hole in the middle, it spins around. Absolutely no idea. And that’s only because kind of 10 years ago, it’s amazing how technology has moved to where we are now basically, creating content on the podcast, which kind of just goes out into space, and nobody really owns it. But it’s hugely valuable. Especially if you get a podcast, it is rocking and rolling is getting huge downloads, you know, it’s life changing, isn’t it? But nobody actually owns the thing itself. Amazing.
Erik Fisher [25:30]
Yeah, no, not at all.
David Ralph [25:33]
Did you people understand what you’re doing both? With the podcast and stuff? You know, do people say yeah, but how are you going to make money from it? How is it a business?
Erik Fisher [25:43]
Yeah, I think so. I mean, in one sense, they understand that the more people that listen, then is appealing to people who would sponsor or buy ad space in the show, that’s one way. The other is just, when people know you from something that they listen to, that you do over time they trust you. And then if you have something that’s beneficial to them, they’ll pay you for it. That’s just, it’s simple. Like, you know, with my book that I co wrote with my friend, and, you know, people bought it, and that’s paid some bills. So that’s been nice, you know, so and I wouldn’t think that it’s, it’s not just the whole being online, quote, unquote, Celebrity, it’s being helpful, and then being available and really listening to what people need, and then giving them that and then, because of that they’re willing to pay so yeah, I mean, not everybody. I mean, that’s kind of thing is not everybody knows, I have a book out there. And not everybody knows I even have a podcast, but those that do understand it to a certain extent. and and the the gap between those two is there’s not widening, the opposite of widening, it’s thinning. So
David Ralph [26:56]
so so how do you actually group all those things together? You know, one of the things that we talk about on a daily basis is the leap of faith. And have you had that leap of faith because all our listeners are out there, and they’re doing jobs and they’re not keen on it? Or they’re in relationships, and they’re not keen on it? And they, they haven’t got that, to actually do something about it? Did you just naturally transition? Or was there a time in your life that you can look back on and go, yeah, if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be where I am now, what we call on the show the Big Dot?
Erik Fisher [27:27]
Yeah, I would say that that’s definitely it was more of a subtle thing and a longer thing. And so it kind of came to fruition. Again, recently, earlier this year, where it wasn’t necessarily a planned thing. But it was very much an aware thing that sometime in the next year to two years it was going to happen. And it just became more of a hapa than a leap because the bridge was being built the entire time across that chasm to where when you finally got near the edge, it was Oh, up, you know, instead of, you know, run, run, run, run, run me but hope to grab the other side, you know,
David Ralph [28:06]
because that’s that’s what people think is we don’t know when they’re when we’re in a job. And it’s a rubbish job. And they don’t like it and they don’t like big nearly that sits next to them. And it just sort of gets them down. They do feel that they really the only way that they can get to three is pretty much telling somebody to get off, basically. And then we’re Yeah, walking out with no salary and no income. But what we’re trying to get across on this show is, as long as you plan as long as you sort of extend things, it shouldn’t be like that you should be able to at least transition while your bills are covered. And that’s what I did. I knew that I was going to take two years to go from where I was to where I wanted to be. And it’s been coming up a year now. And I’m kind of pathway veil, you know, I’ve set the groundwork of I still got a roof over my head. Yes. Am I still paying the bills? Yes. Am I doing stuff every single Good day, but I want to do know, I’ve got certain things that I have to do. But the transition, as you say, I would say it was more slide Actually, I slid. I don’t do like a little hop.
Erik Fisher [29:14]
I like that. I like that a lot. Yeah. And that’s the thing is people you know, they feel like they’re stuck in a job. That’s the thing you got to do to feel unstuck is to look around you and look down and look at where you’re at and say to yourself, okay, well, if this isn’t where I want to be, then how where I am now can I start building the bridge to where I want to be because it’s not going to be just some jumping out of an airplane with a parachute. It’s it that’s not it, you’ve got to, again, slide or leap or hop, whichever you know, and you never know when the opportunity will be there to when it’s right to do it. But prep for it.
David Ralph [29:54]
I’m going to play you a little speech. Now this is by a man called Jim Carrey and I think it says everything what we’re talking about have a lyst
Jim Carrey [30:01]
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.
David Ralph [30:28]
Do you think we should teach all our kids about?
Erik Fisher [30:31]
Oh, yeah, definitely. I mean, even I’ve had some, some talks with my daughter about just the fact that how much she loves doing art. And I would rather her do that, then, you know, settle. So even now. It’s how do you do what you’re supposed to do? Don’t do what you feel you have to do.
David Ralph [30:49]
But we will do that. Don’t worry, we all go for we do. And we leave college and we go into jobs that just pay your stuff. And it’s our passion. No, but it’s a good job. Yes, that’s what I want. And they will look at five years into it. We actually think actually, the good job isn’t that good, because I’ve got used to the money now. But I don’t like the hours.
Erik Fisher [31:08]
Yeah, and the thing to remember there is those jobs aren’t bad per se, there are, you know, it is, in a sense physical labor of your mind. Or it could be literal, physical labor, for that matter where you’re getting paid. But you’re exercising, whether you’re exercising your mind, your body, etc, your willpower, your discipline. That’s what that is, is an opportunity to exercise those things that you’ll need. In order to do well, the thing you really want to do.
David Ralph [31:39]
Because you You said that phrase at the beginning. And it used to annoy me so much. And I heard it in your voice, it annoyed you as well. Find your passion. And yes, people used to say that to me for years are when you find your passion, you will know and I used to think oh, I know what my passion is just tell me. Just Just give me a clue. You know me better than I know myself. But then when it happens, you kind of think oh my god, but you were right. And one of the things that we’ve sort of stumbled across here is that your true passions in life apparently are the things that are closely evidence between the ages of eight and 14. So the things that you come back and you do from school, and when you should be doing your homework, you want to be drawing you want to be running around you want to be doing stuff just seems to be coming out time and time again. And I’ve had people that say to me, yes, when I was sort of like between the ages of 1848 and 14 I would get home and I would run around and I would pretend I was a soldier. And I’d say to him well what you what you do for a living? Oh, I’m I’m in the army? Or like oh, I would lay on the floor and I would draw for hours and what are you doing now? Oh, I’m a graphic designer or something. And it seems to be that trait. But we forget what we love to doing somewhere along the line so that when we get a job we just get a job and we don’t really plan on what makes us come alive inside.
Erik Fisher [32:58]
Yeah, I think so. And I think that a lot of the key elements of what I’m all about and enjoy doing and being even we’re definitely from that that era that that eight to 14 and maybe a little even earlier and a little later but yeah, all the different things like the the audio the video even social media was communication and really media meets technology. And then again, the things that I found out that I did like about school even if I didn’t like the homework was English class and writing class because it was very much about the reading of you know, story it was stories and it was an even acting a little bit being part of a story or playing a part and and even these days when I’m working in social media and marketing marketing to me is just effective communication. It’s not manipulation it’s it’s effective communication. And it’s all the these different things mixed together and even the acting kind of fits into the my interest in comedy too. So yeah, all those interests though, I think, as they’ve morphed into be this wider palette of things that I like to draw on the root of all of them. Yeah, definitely in those you know, me playing army making mixtapes, you know, back in with my little tape recorder, you know, I’d listen to the radio and be like, oh, here’s the stuff I love this song record. And then making mixtapes has that kind of morphed over, where you’ve got the two decks and the one machine. And then it moved over to you know, as as, as the technology evolved to where you can, you could burn CDs, and, and then playlists and obviously then to the iPod and, and even with video, it was very much recording VHS tape soft, the TV and then moving towards the nonlinear editing that I movie. And Final Cut Pro became you know all about it. I say that if I knew podcasting, and YouTube would be coming down the pipeline, I would have prepared for them. But and I almost kind of was in a sense,
David Ralph [35:13]
like, Well, you did this no experience is wasted. All the things that you were doing that was praying just makes you aware of the possibilities, doesn’t it?
Erik Fisher [35:22]
Yes, yeah. And that’s the thing is now I’m aware of the possibilities back then I didn’t I had no clue there was no, the things that I’m doing right now, as a job did not exist 510 years ago. And now they do. And I could not have imagined that. So how do you prepare for that? by preparing yourself by learning how to do what you love well, and then you adapt that to the technology as it becomes available.
David Ralph [35:50]
Because I had an amazing thing. I was a financial trainer, and I used to do training courses for this insurance company. And there was only me doing it. And it was all white at the very beginning, the company was quite small, but it got bigger and bigger and bigger. And suddenly there was you know, few hundred people, and only me. So if I was training to 30 people, there was 170 people that needed training, and I couldn’t do it. And so I just said, Look, I’m going to make these little videos, and I would record myself. And then people can listen to them at their desk with the headphones, back your training. And I look back on it now. And I thought I was just creating a podcast. And I didn’t realize was. So when I actually started doing this, a lot of the skills that I needed to actually sort of make sure that the audio quality and all that kind of stuff was good. I already knew Yes, I had to put it together. And I knew you know how to upload it onto Lipson and all those kind of techie things that no one else is interested but you’ll understand. But the nuts and bolts of it, I kind of already knew just because I’d been trying things and then pulled it together. So yeah, no experience is wasted. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a rubbish job, or a rubbish relationship or whatever, you can get some nuggets of gold from all of them, can you?
Erik Fisher [36:58]
Totally Yeah. And that’s the thing that I’ve you know, learned a building up until this point. And in fact, that’s the whole thing is you don’t like the whole Steve Jobs connect the dots. Thing is, you don’t know you can’t see it. hindsight is 2020. You don’t look forward and know for sure you don’t have certainty. But unless you have, you know, faith or whatever he says that you that it’s going to connect. And I think that’s the thing is if you realize, for the most part, the people that look forward and assume it will connect, prepare for it to connect, and then they’re available and ready and willing and able when it does connect. And then that’s kind of why it does you know,
David Ralph [37:36]
yeah, absolutely. Let’s bring on Steve, because I think you you built him up quite well, he’s waiting in the wings. This is Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs [37:43]
Of course, 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 connecting 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 leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [38:18]
Once you think those words are so powerful, and I’ve only ever had one person in 150 shows who actually said I would like to punch him in the face for saying that. And he came back with a quite a quite an okay theory why he wanted to and he almost swung me but he didn’t. He didn’t swing me. But everybody else says yeah, I totally agree with that. And it’s like words of the ages. They’re going to be there forever in a day, aren’t they?
Erik Fisher [38:43]
Yeah, the reason that I mean, here’s the thing, I wouldn’t argue against it, because I’ve heard it a couple of different times. And for me the reason that it rings true is because it does it resonates with my quote unquote journey, my story, my path, all these different words, I guess, just my experience, there you go. My experience has been that it’s true. Because looking forward from back then, I didn’t know. But looking back from where I am, I can see the dots Connect.
David Ralph [39:14]
But that’s the same for everyone, isn’t it. But and this is really I don’t think I’ve ever said this on any show. But I’m going to say it now, we say that because we have made it happen. And the people who are in, you know situations, but they don’t like they’ve got to start doing something. Otherwise they haven’t got any dots to look back and join up. That might sound a bit harsh. But then at the end of the day, they will sit there and go Are those words weren’t true. And I can go to them. It’s only true because you didn’t make them true, you actually had to get off your backside, you had to turn off Netflix and you actually had to try to start doing something. And it doesn’t matter if it happens overnight. Hopefully doesn’t happen overnight. Hopefully you you plan and you progress, like Eric says. So it’s agenda slide to dream life. But I would be totally wrong if I wasn’t saying the words now. But you all out there can have the best life you possibly can have, or worse, much, much better than you’re getting at the moment. But you do need to take that first step and start wanting it. And that is what Eric’s done. That’s what I’ve done. And we’re not all successful. We’re all in that sort of transition, we’re all striving on to more things. But we aren’t making those dots that we can look back and go Yes, we’ve got there. Is that a bit harsh here it
Erik Fisher [40:30]
I don’t think it’s harsh. I think that in effect, if you want to make it softer or easier to digest, don’t think of it as dots, think of it as two dots, the where you are and the the one next step forward where you want to go, there’ll be other dots further down, they’ve already been dots further back. And so in essence, maybe turn around and look where dots have already connected that you haven’t been aware of. And don’t look at all the forward, you need to connect. Moving forward, just look at the one in front of you.
David Ralph [41:05]
I’m gonna tell you something that happened to me the other day, Eric, and it has to do with you. So this, this is going to be picking you up, I was sitting here preparing for the show, and I like to do a certain amount of online stalking, and I went on your site, and you have got a range of podcasters I who hasn’t. And there was one of them. I can’t remember the title of it. But it pretty much said You know, a lot of you are going to hate this podcast. So if you don’t like it, because it’s just me in a car driving along talking, then just turn it off now. And just because you phrased it like that made me grab attention. And I thought about this is the one I want to listen to more than anything else. And at the beginning, you’re talking about the flavor of the show. But you actually said, I’ve listened back to this. And I actually got sent out of it, which I didn’t realize I was saying at the time, you actually were kind of joining up your own dog. Because you were just speaking, it was coming out of your head. But it wasn’t until you look back and you reflected, which I suppose this show is all about. But you actually went, Oh yeah, I can actually see that. I didn’t know what I was saying at the time. But you gave yourself that opportunity to look back. And because you did that you’d now stepped forward. It was I love that show. I liked it because you can hear the ground moving where you were driving in the car, and I just got a vibe, but it was used to speaking into a handheld of a little mic or whatever you were doing. But it was just you talking and it was coming from the heart and it was in your head.
Erik Fisher [42:37]
Yeah, honestly, that one. For me, regardless of it being a podcast or not that experience of walking through those talking out loud thoughts, and then listening back through it again, and to you know, do show notes and everything, it really, it was an experience of reflections, audio journaling, and it was honestly was very much digging, it was almost like I was digging the dots up out of the dirt in my mind. And then once they were in front of me, I could start to look at look at them and studying them a little bit and draw connections to them to each other. So yeah, it honestly that’s another thing I would suggest to people is if you you feel like you’re stuck on the dot you’re on, then start journaling, you know, become more aware, have more awareness of your thoughts, your feelings, etc. Because that’s one of the things where people, you know, again, this whole realm of Find your passion. But don’t look at it that way. Just look at it as knowing yourself better. If you have to go that route.
David Ralph [43:38]
I love the way you say that it really winds you up, doesn’t it? Because it does one meal.
Erik Fisher [43:43]
It does. I’ve just heard it too many times. It’s not. It’s not false. It’s just trite, because people say it too much. But that doesn’t make it untrue. either. I just the packaging, I guess is off for me. Now,
David Ralph [43:56]
I really got to the point when I was probably about in my 20s that I could have punched the next person who said that to me, because it was just one of those things I remember desperately wanting to move on in my life, but just couldn’t see what I needed to do. And I think that’s one of the things that you know, we need to emphasize, when it’s right, you kind of know it’s right. You know, when you realize that, yes, I can’t take this job anymore. I’m going to jump and I’m going to sort it out before I fall, then it’s right. But you can’t look at anyone and go, God, I should have been doing this. I’ve had conversations with these kids. They’re not really kids at 14 years old. So their kids in age, but the things that they have done is amazing. And I think to myself, I was 44 before I did anything new got 30 years on me. And I find that hugely positive. But the kids nowadays have got these opportunities that we never had, they’ve got the internet we never had, they’ve got the ability to type in how to and learn stuff instantly, where you were probably the same as me. And when you got homework where you didn’t do your homework, you weren’t the same as me at all. I used to have to cycle down to the library and look up books and actually write it out longhand. And now it’s very much instant, and you’ve got tuition all around you. But you’ve got to start wanting it. You’ve got to be aware, you’ve got to look in the right directions, I suppose.
Erik Fisher [45:15]
Yeah, definitely. And that’s the thing is like it as time went on later, I was spending my time you know, looking books up and the internet still wasn’t too easy to access. But I was using, you know, rudimentary forms of it and starting to dive down rabbit, you know, rabbit holes of interest. At that point, it’s when I was able to soak up tons of different music and watch all the different films that I hadn’t watched up till that point. And, you know, public libraries is still a huge benefit to a lot of people and to myself.
David Ralph [45:51]
It is isn’t it is I haven’t been in one for a few years, I suppose. Because I just haven’t been given much homework recently. But if I if I did, I probably wouldn’t do it, Eric, now I’m at that age, I would just throw it back at them. But if I did, I’d still think that’s a good place to go. Because you go, you’re away from the distractions, you haven’t got Facebook and stuff pulling you away, you’ve just got the content in front of you. And it is a kind of separating yourself from all those distractions becoming more productive, because you put yourself in an environment to become productive.
Erik Fisher [46:24]
Yeah, that’s true. Because when when all the different things, whether it’s audio, video, text, etc, come through screens, it can because anything can come through there, it all comes through there. So yeah, it does actually, it helps to not just go to a library, but to also pick something up off of a shelf, put it down in front of you, and even sit at one of the tables where it’s got like the it’s almost like a small version of a cubicle. So that there’s even blinders up on the left and right in front sides of it to where it’s just you and it’s just the thing, and you just sit and you be where you are now, you know,
David Ralph [47:04]
did you use readability?
Erik Fisher [47:08]
I yeah, I have, I’ve actually been using a different tool these days called pocket, which kind of does the same thing.
David Ralph [47:15]
For all the listeners out there. I used to struggle, but I want you to read something and things would be flashing all over the screen, little adverts and all that kind of stuff. And my attention was just all over the place. And you can get these these apps now. And you can get these look programs on the web. That will you I don’t know how they work. But basically, they click and they strip down all the words and just almost turn it into a text page. And you can save it to later. So when you decide to read it, there’s nothing going on other than the text, but you want to learn. And that was a big wake up. For me really, when I when I discovered that I realized that I could actually not train my focus, I could create the environment around me to give me more focus and be my productivity increased again.
Erik Fisher [48:00]
Yeah, and honestly, that’s one of the things that in the past few months or so or more has been in change of environment, and even changes of environment ongoing. You know, whether I’m working at a coffee shop, or I’m working here in my bedroom office desk, with talking with you is where I am right now, what’s the best setup, audio wise, visual wise, etc. Even ergonomics with you know how I’m sitting, how are the best ways I can position my mind, my body, my attention to the work that I have set out to do at that time. So that I’m giving it the focus, it needs to be completed, you know, or at least move forward.
David Ralph [48:47]
Yeah, I’ve got my own office at the back of my garden at the beginning of the intro, it says live from the back of his garden in the UK. And I have I’ve got like a recording studio. And I just pulled down all the blinds, and so there’s nothing going on other than what I’m doing. And I can crack for hours upon hours upon hours. Fortunately, I love doing it. So even when I’m not doing it, I like to run up the 15 seconds at the garden to be able to do that. But absolutely as you say you create your environment to allow you to do the work that you need to do. Because once it’s finished, you can then walk away lock the door behind it, and then you’ve got free line. Trouble with being an entrepreneur is you suddenly develop that passion for it. And you don’t want to stop doing it. And I’ve never had a job like this where really I just want to do it all the time. And I know that I’ve got to spend time with my family. I’ve got to watch films, I gotta do this. I got to do that. But actually speaking to Eric Fisher every day, who would want more?
Erik Fisher [49:44]
Yeah, well, I’m honored. Thank you very much.
David Ralph [49:48]
So Eric, it would be totally wrong of me to let you go without you expanding and telling our listeners about the wonderful law that is Parkinson’s Law. First of all, is it a law? Or is it just something people say because it sounds more official?
Erik Fisher [50:02]
Well, like with Murphy’s Law, that who knows. But if you’re looking for things to go wrong, Murphy’s Law definitely exists. I would say that ultimately, time and time versus tasks is what Parkinson’s Law is talking about, where essentially, time is fixed, but the task could actually be done longer, or it could take longer to do it’ll expand into the time allotted. Or if you compress that time, the task can be done much quicker.
David Ralph [50:34]
So what we’re saying is really, if you give yourself six weeks to do your school, homework is going to take six weeks. But if your parents say, we’re off to Disneyland, and if you don’t get that done within an hour, you’re not coming, you’d still get it done. Yeah, and even if you give yourself six weeks, you won’t sit there for six weeks doing it, you’ll spend the entire six weeks other than 510 minutes or even a half hour, and you’ll sit and do it then. And the quality will be less because you’re not in the zone, you’re not focused. And so it’s just a bad thing doing it, what we should all do is, as I tried to do, I set a clock, and I set a clock and it takes down tix down takes down. So I said all tasks a time. And once I stumbled across space, and it was a it was a simple thing to do. And I don’t know why it took me so many years to do it. But once I set a clock and for how long this task going to take me normally take me two hours. Let’s see if I can do it in half hour. More often than not, I would say 100% of the time I get it done in half hour when I look back on it. Because there’s a kind of mild panic running through me, the quality is as good or better than the two hours. The only problem with that then if you’re in corporate land, what do you feel with the rest of your time up with? That’s the question there. Yeah. Are they paying you for the work? are they paying you to sit there? Back is where we need to get Tim Ferriss on the phone, somebody send up the fairest signal and see if we can get him in? Because I’m that is the problem, isn’t it with so many people, you know, it’s what as an entrepreneur, you can get the work done. And then you can just run off and do what you want. But in corporate land, you are responsible for being there. And I remember going back onto his book again, I remember distinctly having the realization of going, yes, he’s saying why is somebody in Bora Bora told to work nine to five. And but their work fits exactly eight hours and my work in London fits eight hours. Who’s come up with this who’s come up with this eight hour day? It’s just lunacy. Surely it should be done on the amount of work you do or the the value of work you’re providing. Not that you’re there for eight hours fundamental flaw, but I don’t think we’re ever going to get around that.
Erik Fisher [52:41]
Yeah, heck, we’ve got people who work more than 40 hours a week. So I think we actually go the opposite direction sometimes, too. Absolutely.
David Ralph [52:49]
Well, this is the end of the show, Eric, it’s been an absolute delight speaking to you. And this is the bit we called a sermon on the mic, and we’re going to send you back in time like a young Marty McFly. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Harry, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give, so strap yourself in, you’re going to hit 88 miles an hour. And this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [53:19]
bead on the show.
Erik Fisher [53:35]
Hello there. This is Eric Fisher. And I’m talking to you Eric Fisher sounds like I’m talking on a podcast, you don’t even know what that is, you will trust me. See, I don’t look that different. But at the same time I do. I don’t have hair. I do. But I have hair. It’s all it’s all migrated down to the beard. So to compliment trust me anyway, keep in mind, here’s the thing, I know that you feel bad, I know that you feel bad about you know, being in early High School and still not feeling disciplined or able to, you know, do what you’re supposed to do. But you want to do all the things that you want to do well, in the future, you will be able to do all those things that you want to do, you’ll be able to, if I told you, someday in the future, you’ll be able to do something that has to do with books, and has to do with reading and writing and enjoying to do that as well as recording audio, and doing mix tapes and video and doing you know recording VHS tapes, and even to all the technology and video games that it could all be wrapped up into kind of one big package and you could get paid to do it. If you knew that that was even a possibility. Now you would be able to do the thing that some people say which is just a buck up and and do it. Well, here’s the thing. If you know you can look forward, and you get to do all those things in the future that it will be bearable to do the things you need to do now to make it easier on yourself later. So that’s the best I can give you is sit down and figure out how to be disciplined journal. And don’t forget to do those fun things. But do some of those things that you have to do and keep doing the things that you want to do. And it’s going to work out fine.
David Ralph [55:24]
How can our audience connect with you?
Erik Fisher [55:28]
You can connect with me on twitter.com slash Eric with a K, the letter J. F is h er Same goes for Facebook. And my show is beyond the to do list.com
David Ralph [55:42]
and if I ever get this show rocking and rolling to the point that we take it live into stadiums, will you be there to be on a pogo stick eating Jaffa cakes and breaking world records for me. I will be there and I will break that record. That’s what we want. And we get it on YouTube. Well thank you so much for spending time with us today joining us host don’ts and please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up those dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Eric Fisher Thank you so much.
Erik Fisher [56:11]
You’re welcome. Thanks for having me
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.