Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Michael Fishman
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Introducing Michael Fishman
Todays guest, joining us on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview is Mr Michael Fishman,
An entrepreneur, business coach and a man who for over twenty years has remained a trusted advisor to brands and personalities on marketing.
He also loves positioning and business growth, with special expertise in health and personal development.
During his career, Michael Fishman has directed some of the largest campaigns ever executed.
With several acquiring in excess of 250,000 new paid customers.
He knows the words to use, and the stance to take if you wish to separate yourself from the masses.
He gives us the best possible chance to find the success that you deserve.
Finding the thing that well as we say everyday makes you authentic and much more appealing to everyone.
How The Dots Joined Up For Michael
According to our guest before you even think about expanding your universe, you need to fully understand what your market is and how your product fits into it.
You need to dig down before you push out and conquer the world.
But that is understandable if you are a business, but how does he create a path of success for individuals and personalities?
What questions are needed to be asked to give yourself the best chance of success?
Especially when starting a new business or developing a new idea?
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 Michael Fishman.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Michael Fishman such as:
Why it is so important once you hit adulthood to trust yourself that the path you end up walking will be the right one for you.
Why the larger the group you study the more predictable the results will be in your advertising campaigns.
Why the words of the Grateful Dead’s late guitarist Jerry Garcia are so profound and are a great business metaphor to follow.
We discuss in life why should anyone accept for anything less than they deserve and have a chance to go and get.
Why we should always work hard to be better than we were yesterday, but aim to be even better than that for tomorrow.
How To Connect With Michael Fishman
Return To The Top Of Michael Fishman
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Michael Fishman 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, everybody, and welcome to Episode 211. of Join Up Dots particularly excited today, because we hit the top on iTunes, yes, couldn’t believe that when I dipped into iTunes, and we were sitting at the number one position in our categories, which is all down to you guys. For everyone who has subscribed and left a rating and review. It really is the Rocket Power that pushes shows like this to the top. And if you haven’t, and you suddenly think, Oh, I should have done, please go over there because it will keep us better as well and get more and more listeners. Thank you so much. Well, let me introduce you today to the guest. he’s a he’s a man who for over 20 years has remained a trusted advisor to brands and personalities on marketing, positioning and business growth, with special expertise in health and personal development. During his career, he’s directed some of the largest campaigns ever executed, with several acquiring in excess of 250,000 new paid customers. He knows the words to use and the stance to take if you wish to separate yourself from the masses and give yourself the best possible chance to find the success that you deserve. Finding the thing that well as we say every day makes you authentic and much more appealing to everyone. But according to him before you even think about expanding your universe, you need to fully understand what your market is, and how your product fits into it. You need to dig down before you push out and conquer the world. But that’s understandable if you’re a business but how does he create a path of success by individuals and personalities? What questions that needed to be asked to give yourself the best chance of success, especially when starting a new business or developing a new idea. Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start Join Up Dots, the one and only Mr. Michael Fishman, how are you Michael?
Michael Fishman [2:12]
All right, David, I’m doing great. And I’m very honoured to be here.
Thank you is a lovely to have you on the show. When we hit the top spot. Michael, very exciting today.
Well, congratulations on that as well.
David Ralph [2:26]
What is his life generally, because I’m going to talk about this because it has been a kind of real long Push, push push to get to the top of his show. But is it sort of generally what life is all about? is it all about Push, push, push? Or have you got some magic sprinkle dust that you can sprinkle on your clients and shoot them like rockets to the top?
Michael Fishman [2:49]
I love the question. Look, you know, I the people that I’m honoured to work with are very much called to do what they do as a purpose. You know, and hopefully everybody has a passion for what they do, I guess that would, you know, we could say that might be the ideal condition for, for for you and I and for the great people listening. You know, doing what you do with a purpose, I think is is important to doing it with fire and, and ambition and conviction and, and you know, jet fuel every day. So I don’t know, I don’t know, if it’s about getting to the top, I think winning is important. You know, I you know, I think it’s important to be better than for each of us to be better than we were yesterday. I think that’s one way to when comparing ourselves to others. You know, some people say leads to despair, because if you think you’re better than somebody else, you know, that puts you in a place of superiority. And if you think you’re not as sufficient as somebody else, you’re inferior. So either way, that’s it’s a little bit of a rough go. But I think we can each be better than we were ourselves yesterday. That’s probably the way to go. And the other thing, I think, David is that when we leave our ego out of it, and really wake up in the morning, do what we do with our friends with our communities, with our business tribes, if we endeavour to, to help others, and to have impact, I think I think the the most amount of money probably comes from the most amount of impact. I think people that wake up in the morning looking to make a tonne of money might make a bunch, but wouldn’t make as much as if they woke up looking to have impact helpful impact or what it is that they do. So those those are some thoughts around that.
David Ralph [4:40]
Because I must admit, as you say it is the journey is about getting better tomorrow. And then the next day and the next day because I did I looked at that. And we were at the top spot. And for maybe a nanosecond, I thought Yes. And then I thought, Oh, it’s down from here. And it seemed to be but journey was just getting going even though I’ve got to that point. So we’ve yourself it’s difficult to find anything about you online, you are a bit of a mystery man, I spent more time trying to find the information to build that introduction, then any guests in the Upper 200 shows? Is that part of your strategy? Do you promote yourself from word of mouth from client referrals?
Michael Fishman [5:28]
That is a great question. And I’m and I’m sorry for your inconvenience?
I would say it is not. It’s not a strategy.
The fact of the matter is most of what is that what most of the rap on me or you know, most of the conversation on me I think is is word of mouth. Through the advisory work that I do through some of the investing that I do through the Invitational event that I host each year, the consumer health summit. mean, as an example, the consumer health summit doesn’t have a website. So that would be very intentional. And if it did, there might be a much longer bio on me there. But so some of it is intentional. I like you know, I like I like the privacy, I think my clients like the privacy, I’ll be building out some new projects under my own name in the bounce of this year, and certainly through next year and beyond. So that will enable me a little bit more visibility in my own name. But, you know, has has not been by design really thus far?
David Ralph [6:36]
Well, it’s obviously going very well if if it wasn’t by design, I’d keep with it. Because that I can’t find any bad comments about you until your integrity shines out. And that really is what you said at the beginning, isn’t it, you set your store down each day to provide a value to your clients, who vain provide value to their clients. And that is the way to in this day and age is to ultimately win that the days of the get rich, quick screw over people is kind of dying out. It certainly seems from my side of things, it seems to be dying out. Do you find that as well?
Michael Fishman [7:12]
Well, I certainly hope so, David.
And look, you know, from a perspective of have integrity or you know, even having a sustainable business. Even having a having a business that can be built can be sustained can be of interest to acquirers or partners. You know, having whatever the product is whether it’s flower seeds, golf clubs, you know, shampoos, sweaters, vitamins, you know, it could be anything. But I think people that are people that are in love with the products they sell, tend to do well, I think, you know, it’s important that products do what what they’ve been promised to do, if not more, I think under promise and over deliver liver is is the space where in in our current marketplace, I don’t see us returning to anything. You know, less than that. And that’s with respect to product, but also experienced, I think, you know, we, you know, you and I am sure and the people listening were most devoted and most loyal to the companies that we not only get good products from but enjoy working with and enjoying those experiences. And so these new dimensional experiences or relationships, to use a word we all know, we’re committed to the, to the organisations that we have a relationship with. And so from an entrepreneurial perspective, looking at the other side, turning every transaction into a relationship, I think is is the way forward and you know, ever look every most overnight successes that I know are actually took 10 years and no and just nobody really knew it. You You know, I don’t know that there’s a get rich thing or or an overnight success that is either real? And if and if it actually happened that way. I certainly don’t know if it would be sustainable. Well, one of the sort of phrases I like very much is from Steve Martin, the comedian, and he says, become so good, but they can’t ignore you anymore. And that’s all pretty much says about the 10 year overnight success, isn’t it like companies experience? Yeah, I think that’s accurate. Or, you know, I think Jerry Garcia, from late of the Grateful Dead, said, you know, be the only ones that do what we do. And if if I’m misquoting him, it’s not a bad thing to shoot for anyway. But, you know, turning turning transactions into relationships would be the I think the ultimate sort of summary of what is happening for successful companies these days where, where customer care is critical. And where people feeling a appreciated and understood is, is critical as well, David.
David Ralph [10:04]
So before we start sending you back in time, and we start joining up your dots which we do on the show, are you in love with what you do at the moment? Have you found the thing that lights you up?
Michael Fishman [10:16]
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I’m on you know, I I’m, you know, I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. And you know, supporting health publishers supporting health personalities, supporting great, great entrepreneurs and great people with their effectiveness, their marketing effectiveness, their business strategy, and I jumped out of bed every day to do that. I’m not tired of it. You know, I grew up offline, even in my early career was offline. And migrating from offline to online and understanding the tactics of these multiple platforms. And how to how to help, you know, some of the great messengers and some of the great healers in the world. You know, to expand their message and to expand their impact has been a great passion. So I absolutely love that. Sure.
David Ralph [11:08]
So so what what did the young Michael Fishman want to be the sort of if I asked the question of the eight year old, a 10 year old, what was the aim for your life? Ben?
Michael Fishman [11:20]
Well, it’s interesting because I, I studied, I always studied science, that was just kind of a natural order of things. You know, I mean, I studied all the subjects any kid would study, but what I seem to enjoy the most was science. But ultimately found out that I was probably more fascinated by science than I was somebody who could actually master the intricacies of organic chemistry or physiology, zoology, etc. So ultimately, psychology became something that I love just because of the nuances of understanding how people tick and so forth. So I, you know, I wanted I knew that that people were of interest to me how why people do the things they do where it was fascinating to me. And I, you know, when I’ve, I mean, when I was an early in my childhood, I think something to do with science, something to do maybe with the ocean, oceanography, Marine, science, fish, etc. But ultimately, that, you know, that got that got put aside in favour of other things that ultimately led me to where I am.
David Ralph [12:24]
So you’ve always been an academic, you would never aiming to be the quarterback or whatever.
Michael Fishman [12:31]
And no, no, I mean, I had I had, I had been a better tennis player, that would have been the direction in terms of athletics or sports. But I wasn’t, I wasn’t a team sports, sort of guy. I was a runner and attendance fino singles, tennis. So the various things that you would either do either by yourself or, you know, opposed by a single human being on the other side of the net.
David Ralph [12:56]
But does that play to your strengths now? That Are you somebody that would he likes to work on your own? Or are you a team player now?
Michael Fishman [13:06]
love these questions, you know, I mean, Susan Cain, in the book, quiet, talks about that quite a bit. And the subtitle of that book is the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. And she says that, you know, introverts are people that tend to do their best in solitude, and definitely restore and rejuvenate, from big gatherings in solitude. And in many respects, that’s probably not me. You know, I’m pretty social. And I, you know, the people that I have in my business ecosystem are friends and family to me. So that’s, I think, the great blessing of, of this business. So I, you know, I have a home office. So I’m in the fact of the matter is, I’m in solitude, or, or working alone quite a bit of the time, but I’m always looking forward to the opportunity to be with clients to be with friends to work in collaborative environments, to host and participate in masterminds, to organise dinners, where people come together and get to know one another. I’ve done all of those things quite a bit.
David Ralph [14:18]
So so you’re kind of, I suppose a Connexions expert, you’d like to see how things play out together, whether it’s building up relationships, personally, or between companies or campaigns, that there’s a kind of analytical, psychological spin to you, isn’t it?
Michael Fishman [14:38]
I think I think that’s true. And in terms of understanding markets, and understanding the psychology of this of this very predictable animal we call the marketplace, he’s a predict, can I
David Ralph [14:50]
Michael Fishman [14:52]
Well, I think it is, I mean, if if I were to look at you, and the various attributes and characteristics of who you are, I could make some predict about that. But that would only be based on my assumptions and influences about one person, but if I had a million of you, I could, you know, and I had a fight a million David, or if I have a million people who are of a particular demographic and are in pain, or I have a million or even, you know, 10,000 people, 10,000 women who have kids at home, I mean, those, you know, once you know something about a large group of people, and you can understand what they want, and why they want it. You know, like in the aggregate, or looking at that group as a whole, that group becomes very, very predictable. And I think that’s, that’s really the the heart and soul and nucleus of marketing with looking for some sort of a response, whether that’s on in a direct mail, whether that’s on the internet, whether that’s on TV, you know, the influences and the assumptions that we make about audiences drive our effectiveness and how we speak to them what we offer to them. And so absolutely, I think without, without predictability, we would have no idea how to talk to anybody, as marketers,
David Ralph [16:17]
because he seems to me that word predictable coming that says to me, and this isn’t going to be true, because I know you’re going to throw it straight back at me. And so you should do. But if everything is predictable in markets, when so many people should be successful at working within those markets, but obviously they’re not. And there’s so many failed campaigns. So where do you get the angle that makes you different from the other people? I’m looking at that figure of several campaigns, bringing in excess of 250,000 new paid customers, which, you know, if that was predictable, everyone would do it? Surely?
Michael Fishman [16:52]
Yeah. Yeah. Well, look, no, in terms of predictability, no crystal ball is is perfect, right? Just like the best athletes never, you know, perform on every play or hit the ball every time or, you know, what, you know, score a goal every time the best athletes are operating, you know, between, you know, maybe two and 300% success, you know, at the high end, depending on the sport, so.
But I do think that
understanding people understanding psychological triggers and understanding audiences and understanding men and women at different ages, you know, life stages are times in their life, the things they’re interested in, helps mean nothing is 100%. as you point out, campaigns fail all the time. The best copywriters in the world are like the best athletes in the world, they fail a lot. But you know, whether it’s, you know, you have to swing the bat in baseball, you have to get, like, you know, Wayne Gretzky said, or Michael Jordan, one of these guys said, you know, you You missed that reshot you don’t take. So, you know, I think the thing is, nothing is perfect, nobody can can succeed every time out. And success in marketing is probably maybe a 10 to 30% proposition. If you’re 30%, if you’re good 30 40% of the time, you’re doing fantastically well, you know, the thing, you know, I enjoy the greatest degree of certainty that I can get, and as we all do, and so from, you know, from me, the secret sauce, if you will, or the X Factor in increasing the odds of a marketing test working or a headline working, or just a campaign working, is understanding the people that were talking to, perhaps even better than they could report themselves, where they asked questions in a focus group, or were they given a survey, I want to understand their psychology and why they want the things that they want better than they can even report it. And if I can speak to that depth of level of motivation, I think I do have a better chance to succeed. And I think over the years, you know, I’ve been able to, to bear that out.
David Ralph [19:12]
That has the motivation that people show changed over the years, if you was going to target a specific audience maybe 10 years ago, because of the way that life is now. And things are much quicker, and people have got the ability to buy stuff in a competitive world, but I didn’t have 10 years ago, 15 years ago, are you more likely to get different answers? Are you kind of almost reinventing the wheel all the time? Or are there similarities of run all the way through it?
Michael Fishman [19:43]
By I think we, you know, in most countries, you know, most of the, you know, you know, the UK, where you are the US, you know many other countries where there are active business communities, where there is a saying middle and upper class, if you will, people are living at a level of luxury and a level of aspiration for quote, unquote, you know, the luxury the luxurious expected things and experiences, you know, differently than they were 10 or 20, or certainly 30 years ago. So I think that’s absolutely the case. Yeah.
David Ralph [20:23]
And does that make that exciting for you, but you’ve never going to have like a Bible that you can just flick to page 20. And that’s what what I do today, you’re constantly reassessing constantly studying?
Michael Fishman [20:36]
Well, I, I think if for those people that are involved in for those people who have more, you know, wealthier markets, you know, wealthier people that they sell to, excuse me. If you’re selling advanced investment vehicles, or Steinway pianos or you know, Bentley automobiles, the buying patterns at the high end of the market, I think, are critically important to monitor and understand why people buy those things and what it means to them in terms of their, their own identity. And really the pageantry, if you will, or the ceremony of kind of, you know, flexing their muscle or showing their colourful feathers are, you know, the various reasons people show, you know, you know, display prestige, you know, cars or $3,000 pocketbooks, or those sorts of things, but in the markets where I’m involved in health and wellness and success, personal development, people looking to improve on themselves in some way. In many respects, the psychology there is is evergreen, is you know, doesn’t really change from year to year from, you know, economic forecasts, you know, recession’s even even, even Nash even events, typically the provide, or that create distractions, you know, mean, in the US, it could be a terrible storm, or a drought or something that impacts an entire region of the country, or our involvement in a conflict elsewhere in the world. You know, those kinds of things create distractions, to, to purchasing decisions, and yet, with health and personal finance, as well, and personal development, those subjects tend to skate through all of those internal search or external circumstances, because people want those things and they never stopped wanting them. And so that’s, you know, that’s a helpful it’s a good condition in the marketplace to have, because, you know, there’s always an appetite for things that help people to be healthier and better.
David Ralph [22:49]
So how have you done this, Michael, because, obviously, your your hits history is built up on research and expertise. But at the beginning, obviously, you couldn’t have just gone straight in and say, I’m a branding expert, I got, you know, I understand marketing and positioning, it’s something that you’ve got to develop over a period of time. So when you was at college, what was the first.on? The timeline to where you are now, what was the first job that you went into?
Michael Fishman [23:18]
Um, well, the first, the first job was actually a job in a direct marketing agency, really just typing the invoices in their billing department, because I was a college student still. And that was a job that I found in the newspaper and just needed some summertime money and and took that job. I mean, it’s interesting. So the question
David Ralph [23:42]
wasn’t bad for marketing, it was like, so many of us just a job.
Michael Fishman [23:48]
It started as just a job. I mean, I had an interest in advertising, I enjoyed writing, I thought, possibly I could be a copywriter at an advertising agency, I didn’t really have any models in my life, who had gone ahead and done that. And I didn’t know much about that industry. But it was with a science education. I mean, I hadn’t, and I had studied Shakespeare and took lots of literature and so forth, and was a decent writer. So my, all of my elective courses, and all the things I’m minor in are really the things that I was hoping would equip me to do what I thought I was interested in, and all the majors in science and biology, were, you know, probably created some good pathways in my brain of how to solve problems and, and be analytical, but wasn’t something I was planning to directly, you know, go into the market to the workplace and use. It is interesting,
David Ralph [24:43]
isn’t it. But so many people start on a journey without a clue, even though we’ve gone through the education system when we come out the upper end, and I put my hands up, and I know most of my listeners who contact me will say the same thing. They have gone through education to subjects that they thought were going to be useful. But when they come out the other end, they find that they don’t use them as much as I thought they are. So they get a job, any job because they need a job. And they in five or 10 years go along, before they start to realise Actually, I should have been going a different direction. So did you ever had that feeling that our audience had Where? Hang on? There must be more to life than this? Or once you’ve got in bed? Did you think Yeah, I can I can bite down on this and start working towards something?
Michael Fishman [25:29]
Well, I think so. I mean, you know, when I was 18, or 19, I read a book called Zen and the Art of motorcycle maintenance, which was the first time I came across any literature that actually articulated what it was that was going on in my head that I never had encountered, anywhere outside of my head. And it was really all about the journey being as important as the destination.
so that, you know, that, that spoke to me, because it actually was the way I was living my life, with just a very organic, natural way. Nobody ever recommended it, to me, it just was what I was doing. And so, you know, I went through college as the journey and just studied what I was interested in, and then graduated college without any real intention to continue my education, or to use what I had studied. So I just, I was willing to just change course, you know, I had a degree and that stood for something. And so I just was willing to change course, and identify what it was I was passionate about, or at least very interested in at the time and, and to have the courage to, to pursue that. You know, I mean, I know lots of people with advanced degrees in medicine and law, so forth that are not practising. physicians are not practising attorneys, they’ve taken those degrees, and in some cases, repurpose that education and done something else with it, or in some cases is done, just something unrelated. So I see that all the time, there was a book, written in the states probably published there as well, in the UK by Michael Michael Ellsberg called the education of millionaires, which is all about which was interviews with lots of CEOs of some of the new tech startups, where the CEO either didn’t complete or or never attended college. And there’s a lot of criticism of the university system right now, in the states in terms of its, you know, its self sufficiency or insufficiency in really preparing young adults for what it is to be entrepreneurial, or even to go into a large corporation. So I think the options at this point are unlimited. And there’s a tonne of evidence, you know, both anecdotal and, you know, other kinds of evidence of people and you know, particularly in professions that have made other kinds of choices.
David Ralph [28:02]
So let’s play some words here, but are extremely prepared. And I play him around about this time, every single day, because first time I heard him, I thought, Wow, it was like, the hairs went up on my arms. And I know, so many guests have said the same thing to me. This is Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [28:18]
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 [28:45]
Is that really the message that we should be getting out to people?
Michael Fishman [28:51]
Thank you for playing that. I’ve actually heard that just in the last few days. So it’s amazing to hear it again. And you know, right away. I think it’s idealistic in some respects. But then again, why should any of us settle for anything less? You know, I mean, Life Life is, is this very precious experience that we have, you know, the day the day that you and I have today’s in, many people won’t complete, and that, you know, they would wish they had the day that you and I have right now. So I do home life is precious, and I do hold. You know, my highest experience is something that I am really committed to, and that I encourage other people to be committed to, because I think when you’re at your best, you have the best opportunity to make a difference in the world. So I’m, I’m right with, I am right with Mr. Carrey, in that respect, yes. Because I am I,
David Ralph [29:51]
every time I listened to that, and I listened to it every single day, I almost feel like running around the streets of the United Kingdom going Come on, guys, you can do so much more. Because I do I have conversations, through the mentoring through the coaching or live conversations when I go back and speak to people that I used to work with. And you just see it, you just see they’re kind of they want more. They just don’t want to either lose what they’ve got, or take that risk. And I just think my God, we’ve only got one life, we’ve got one life, and to get to 40 5060. And bingo. Oh my God, I’ve wasted it doing something that I never really liked, which I know. So people did so many people do, because I did it for so many years as well. I you know, I’m now looking back at my own life joining up the dots thinking, yes, I couldn’t wait any longer I had to do it could have done it. 10 years earlier, probably I wasn’t right, emotionally. But now I am absolutely primed for it. And I want to get that message across because you’re somebody that springs out of bed every morning. You love it. I spring out of bed every morning. I love it. But the world is full of people that just roll over. Oh my god, another nine hours of fat. And that’s a shame, isn’t it?
Michael Fishman [31:04]
Yeah, well, let me I agree. And let me say this, David, because I actually responded and said that’s kind of idealistic. And I really want to withdraw that word, because it’s actually not I don’t like that word at all. And I want to actually not just sort of retract that. Because when we say something’s idealistic, it kind of puts it out of reach. And it almost frames it as well. Why go for that? Why would you want to have your life be that great in bed, and the fact is, you would want to have your life be that great. And everybody should and I’m, you know, I’m completely with you and with Jim Carrey. And, you know, and everybody that stands for that for themselves. So it’s, it’s not idealistic, it’s what it’s, you know, it’s everybody’s birthright. And, you know, we all need to shed the storeys and the evidence that we’ve gathered as human beings to support our own feelings of insufficiency. And we need to do the best we can to shed that and to come into who we actually are, what we’re doing on this planet, and to end to go for it. So that’s where I stand
David Ralph [32:05]
is a key thing that we have to be authentic to ourselves. You know, I was saying in the introduction, a lot of what you do is actually getting your clients to know themselves and actually dig down before they reach out and conquer the world. Is that a key point to everyone? Are you totally authentic to yourself? Do you play totally to the strengths of Michael Fishman was given?
Unknown Speaker [32:29]
Michael Fishman [32:32]
You know what, I’m not perfect at it. And I don’t know if anybody is. But if you’re not, if you don’t have that level of awareness, and you don’t have it as an intention, then you have no shot, right? I mean, we you know, it, if we don’t believe something is possible, or if we don’t have it in our awareness, then the odds of it happening are slim to none. If if we do have it as an intention, and it is in our awareness, then then we’re playing for it. And that’s the goal. And so we so you have a shot. And so, you know, I do, I do think authenticity is critical to Connexions between people that are actually real and sustainable. I think people that assume facades, either intentionally because they think that’s what they should do in business, or that’s what they should do in a relationship. I think people that assume facades or just some sort of artificial, you know, outward face, you know, I don’t think those relationships are sustainable, because they’re not founded on, on who people really are, they’re bringing some edited best version of themselves to a situation, and it forces them to be to sort of remember the things that they’ve said, and remember the posture that they’ve taken. And I just, I think, artificiality just leads to relationships that are not as successful as they could be, and are nowhere near as long as they could be. I think people you know, one thing I say on stage quite a bit, David is that when speakers have an ego that is more prominent than their message, trust heads for the exits, you know, the trust that the audience might have for that person is diminished, greatly diminished. Now, nobody has zero ego, but it’s really a balancing act of the message being far more prominent than the presence or the prominence of the ego. And I think that’s another way of looking at at this idea of relationships, whether it’s business relationships, intimate relationships, you know, having a purpose and wanting to stand for other people and wanting to do the best for your customers and wanting to to, you know, disrupt in a positive way, the industry that you’re in or, or do things far better than they’ve ever been done before. You know, it requires you knowing who you are, it requires you knowing what your superpowers are. And it requires securing trust of a little lots of people around you. And that could be people in your business people in your life, or millions of people in the marketplace. And without authenticity, none of that can really be real.
David Ralph [35:10]
I think that being authentic is fun. I think it’s certainly not as tiring as putting on a facade, I’m member to many, many years. I wasn’t very good at it. But I would be in corporate land, playing a role, because that’s what was expected of me. And every now and again, I would let that role slip, and I’d enjoy myself for a couple of days, and then think, oh, that’s not what’s expected for me and I kind of play it again. Right, right. I do find more often than not that it is just simply timing, it’s got to be easier, being yourself and trying to be somebody else, isn’t it?
Michael Fishman [35:46]
Well, it’s beautiful, what you’re saying, because it actually takes the least amount of effort. I mean, it just, it’s just, it’s a natural flow state, if you will, it’s just it’s just allowing yourself to be who you actually are, without taxing yourself or effort, or, you know, having all these other sort of constructs that take effort to come up with effort to maintain effort to remember which version you were with, with what person you know, that I mean, some of the and really this, this actually drives, I mean, some people might want fame and you know, that could be ego driven. But I think ultimately those who, you know, if you help millions or billions of people, the odds are you will become known. But, you know, like Dr. Mark Hyman is is a very prominent physician in this in the states and maybe known among health and wellness, debo tease in the UK as well. He’s written myth, many best selling books, he’s on TV programmes all the time. And he’s a good friend. And, you know, if I see him on national TV, or on a very prominent, you know, TV programme, or on stage or at breakfast, across from me, it’s the same person. And there’s, and there’s virtually no different in persona in presentation. As people, we all have kind of a gradient or a spectrum of, you know, from soft spoken into excited, too enthusiastic, but, you know, those are all representations of who we actually are. And in Mark hymens case, you know, anytime you with him, you get the same person. And I think that’s why he’s an example of somebody that that secures a huge amount of trust. And, you know, I call it hug factor. I mean, he’s just a guy you want to hug, you know, because he’s very caring. He’s very loving, ridiculously smart, you know, bringing a view of health and wellness to the world that is, you know, scientifically, you know, airtight, and, and it’s just changing lives of, you know, millions of people. And it hasn’t changed, too. He is one bit in terms of how he presents himself. And so he has a huge amount of trust around him. It’s just, it’s just a great example. You know, transparency, and consistency, and just bringing who you actually are, to all of your relationship chips. Is is definitely the least taxing on you. It’s the easiest way to be and and, and it’s so yeah, absolutely.
David Ralph [38:09]
Have you ever played roles? Obviously, you are now I imagine you are totally authentic. You walk into a boardroom, you are who you are, you walk on to stage, you leave your ego at the door, as you were saying, but have you fallen into those traps? Like I have a most people that you have played a role? Because it was what was expected of you?
Michael Fishman [38:28]
I think absolutely, absolutely. Um, you know, I don’t, I don’t know that I ever had a business persona. But although I’m sure if I was to hear myself on the phone in my early to mid 20s working in a, in an agency, I look, I we can only be as authentic as we, as we know ourselves to be, you know, the the old the first relationship to get clear on is the relationship with yourself. Right? So if I’m in my early 20s, and not, you know, thinking I’m Supercell sensitive and super aware and super conscious, I don’t even know if those were the words then. But, you know, I can only bring myself to others, as authentically as I can act, you know, be with, you know, understand who I am for myself. So at that time, I’m sure there were, you know, different fronts, or different conversations or different ways of saying things or different tone that maybe I thought was the way to be in business, you know, quote, unquote, the way to be, you know, but at the same time, in my early 20s, I was like cooking, you know, baking carrot breads and sending them to my clients. And no one told me to do that it just was an affection and appreciative thing to do.
David Ralph [39:39]
Did I like it? Oh, did I go hang on this is a bit strange.
Michael Fishman [39:43]
I think they liked it, because they worked at prevention magazine, and it was kind of a, you know, kind of a homey, you know, farm sort of atmosphere out there. So it certainly was not outside of their culture to receive a gift like that. But I’m so he looked in some respects, I was doing some of the right things early on with virtually no coaching or direction from anybody else. And, and I’m sure that’s true of every person, we all have some things on the ball, and then we need coaching and direction and correction in other areas. You know, and and hopefully the things that we’re doing that are endearing us to other people are outweighing the things that where we may be tripping over ourselves in some other areas.
David Ralph [40:28]
So so so when did you start hitting a few home runs, everything we’ve talked about so far is you kind of moving into an area where you suddenly pick up speed and, and gain momentum. And that’s what generally life is you try stuff you try base, you try that. If you ask many people what you want to do in life, they will go, I don’t really know, if you say to him, What don’t you want to do, but I can list off a load of things, because I’ve done them and I haven’t liked them. So when can you remember so roughly a time was in your early 30s? Your late 20s? or what ever when you suddenly fall? Yeah, hang on. This is this is this is good. I really like this. And I think I’m going to be good at it as well.
Michael Fishman [41:07]
Yeah. Well, I made you know, as, as we’ve discussed and acknowledged, I’ve been supporting health and wellness publishers and personalities, virtually my whole adult life and with, you know, marketing business strategy. And you know, I think in that case, one of the things I figured out early on was that in the in this in the case of health and also personal finance, and also self help or personal development, those are subjects that a lot of entrepreneurs and publishers think our niches which really aren’t niches, you know, I mean, you there’s no great sales copy that will get anybody to be a woodworker tomorrow, that was not a woodworker today, or a guard, you know, a gardener, a pilot, a parachute diva, you know, you know, a birdwatcher, you either are those things or you’re not, and those are niches and people that that provide products and services in those space need to find those people. But health and money and, and, and relationships and personal success are niches that if you think about it are as universal as oxygen. And when I realised that even in my mid 20s, when I was probably in over my head, and was very fortunate to be supporting the companies that had allowed me into their world. When I realised that I had a huge advantage, because I saw something and I saw an opportunity that even my clients hadn’t seen for themselves, they were living in a self fulfilling prophecy, that health was a niche, and they and their joint venture partners and their list, you know, buys their media buys had to be in the realm of health. And as soon as I was able to see through that, and help, you know, frame out a marketplace based on age and demographics and other kinds of criteria, everything but an interest in health, that expanded the market for, you know, a number of these clients in, you know, by, you know, by many, many factors, you know, in many, many multiples. And so that was that was one of the first breakthroughs for me. And of course, the other thing was just really my fascination with psychology, and finding all the resources that I could to understand how people tick, and then ultimately, to devise some models of my own and some lenses with which to look at the marketplace, and to understand what people would do if presented with a particular product or a particular promise, you know, as represented by sales, copy those kinds of things. So that, you know, that’s that’s how that happened. So
David Ralph [43:55]
get getting straight in my head, by you were targeting an audience with a already targeted many, many times. And you came along and said, Now Hang on, let’s go and advertise for the people that don’t know you. And there’s other people out there that will never buy your product because they don’t even know you exist. So let’s target them instead sort of almost, you found the gaps around their market. Is that is that how I’ve got it straight?
Michael Fishman [44:19]
Well, wasn’t it? I’m glad you asked that, David, it wasn’t so much going to people that had not heard of that company, it was going to people that had that to our knowledge had never engaged in any transaction whatsoever around their health. So it could you know, the point was to talk to people with no prior interest that we knew of based on the list, we found them on that that list or that audience had nothing to do with health. So it could be a faith based audience, it could be somebody who had donated to a charity for, you know, disabled combat veterans, it could be somebody who was gardening or cooking or doing a whole range of other things. But what but but what they had going for them was they were in our age target, they were in our say socio economic or economic target, they had engaged in a transaction before in that case, you know, via direct mail, you know, they had spent a particular amount of money, they had responded to a particular type of sales copy, you know, so that we knew that they would be willing to likely read more sales copy. So it’s, it’s kind of like putting together the person that you’re looking to talk to, in kind of a mosaic or you know, just assembling them cloning them, if you will buy every other criteria that you could possibly need other than the interest in your subject. And ultimately, it’s like a domino which is tips over because you’ve essentially found that person and you’ve got a universal subject, you can’t find that person and ask them to be a birdwatcher tomorrow, or to start playing golf. But you can ask them to start thinking about their health, because everybody at every stage of their life is either preventing, you know, disease or or dealing with disease. And so health is something that you can engage people in very, very readily whether whether they’re, you know, whether you find them in an environment, about health or not.
David Ralph [46:21]
Now, that seems hugely sensible to me, when you when you’re talking about it, I think, yeah, absolutely. So how did you manage to go the alternate direction, you’re in this company, they’ve always done things their way, in a certain way. And you’re sitting there thinking, hang on, I think I’m saying something here, but by having now most people at that point will go, oh, there must be a reason why this has never been done before is that they must be right. And I’m wrong somehow. How did you sort of overcome that? And, and, and bring it to the table?
Michael Fishman [46:54]
Yeah. Wonderful. I, you know, I think I had a I had a clear vision for what I believed was possible. And it wasn’t a big investment for a client like prevention magazine, let’s say to actually validate that and the upside was so massive, that it wasn’t a dangerous or risky experiment, to actually put it to the test. You know, if somebody if somebody else wants to build a factory to build cars with three tires, you know, that’s a, that’s a very risky experiment. So the ones I was proposing were not risky or costly.
David Ralph [47:37]
sting you, you still had courage.
Michael Fishman [47:39]
There’s no, there’s, there’s no doubt, there’s no doubt. But I think that the clarity of the vision that I had for what was possible, definitely trumped my fear, or my insecurity, me, my fear, and my insecurity, were not zero, they were present. And so I think, you know, like people say, you know, courage is not the absence sense of fear, it’s just willing to be afraid and to take action anyway. So I’m sure I was afraid. And I took action anyway. And I presented, you know, carefully what I thought was possible, and it was it and it was attempted. I think that, you know, the, and then look, this happens in every industry, as you know, and I think when, look, they’re there a break, there are breakthroughs and positive disruptions, let’s say, in every industry, especially today, I mean, somebody came up with Uber, somebody came up with Airbnb, I think these are brands that are present, you know, for your audience. And in the in the UK as well. Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So there are, there’s more disruption happening now than there was, you know, 20, or 30 years ago, when I came up with, you know, what I thought was a very simple idea that ultimately led to some very big breakthroughs and enabled some businesses to grow to multiples of what they would have been. But those kinds of disruptions are happening all the time now. And it’s something that people just exiting universities, or even in their 20s, and 30s, you know, in the entrepreneurial space, people are, are on the lookout for ways to disrupt the traditional, you know, brick and mortar or even service businesses. I mean, you know, taxi cabs are not a brick and mortar business, they are a physical business, but that business has been very dramatically disrupted by Uber, so.
David Ralph [49:30]
So i don’t i don’t know if i disrupted anything, but I did have the courage to, to really advocate for what I thought was possible. And, and it turned out well, but you you disrupted your path in you that that that’s a key, that’s a big dose in your life, because so many people out there will have an idea. And they will be frightened to put it forward. And I remember thinking these things myself, I’ve been in companies where I’ve been looking at something thinking, this is really stupid, why am I take five hours when I could do this in two hours? There must be a reason. So I carried on doing it. But for you to go now Hang on, this is totally groundbreaking. I think it’s worth putting through. That’s a scary moment. That’s a big thought in your life.
Michael Fishman [50:16]
Well, it was and I think it gave me the confidence to look for other for other kinds of breakthroughs, because it was the it was the first big breakthrough. And it really gave me the motivation and the confidence to pursue what I was really passionate about, which is figuring out how people tick and would they do certain things, if presented with certain, you know, sales propositions or copy or products, and then was ultimately able to devise, you know, a number of other, you know, behavioural models, ways of looking at markets, ways of looking at language, ways of looking at behaviour that were equally as predictable. And that actually led to very significant, measurable results in terms of creating language that not only clearly describes what a company does and helps customers understand the company, but helps customers feel understood by the company. It’s a huge, huge distinction. You know, helping companies be not just easily understood, but impossible to misunderstand, huge distinction mean, these things are easily said, but not easily executed on, you know, I mean, I could go, I could spend a month with a company, turning them from a company that’s easily understood to impossible to misunderstand, you know, that that’s, that’s a huge gap that requires a lot of work and a lot of exploration and auditing, if you will, of virtually every word that a company uses to represent itself.
David Ralph [51:48]
Well, a company that has done that for many, many years, and he’s incredibly simple, but the loyalty of the brand is amazing, is Apple. And the words of the show are Steve Jobs he made back in 2005. And I’m going to play them now because I really would be interested to see whether they have resonance to the way that your life has panned out. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [52:10]
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 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 leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [52:45]
But I’ve got a couple of questions about that. First of all, is do those words mean anything to you to your journey? Do you have resonance to them?
Michael Fishman [52:55]
Absolutely, David, and you know, I’ve, I think that was from his speech at Stanford University, which I’ve heard probably twice, but not recently. And they resonated then and I, they resonated now, I mean, just in this experience with you right here transparently, is kind of a it’s kind of a breakthrough, to look backwards and see how things did Connect. And which I’m and I’m grateful to you for that. So yeah, I think I think he’s right on. But But I also think that it requires trusting oneself at an early stage of adulthood. Because so many people go through their entire career, just taking, as you said earlier, that job, and then they just pursue wherever that job leads to maybe within the organisation, they may not ever zig zag or depart from that department, or that subject area or that company. And, you know, like Jim Carrey said, his father became an accountant. And that’s what he was till he was fired. So I think I think we have to be clear on who we are, as people, I think we need to be, have a self awareness that enables us to appreciate ourselves and our entitlement to do things that we love doing. And, and, and, and really to have the courage to pursue that. Now, when we have families and responsibilities. You know, I understand that’s not always the easiest thing to do, you know, you may not, you may have an idea that’s hard, that that feels scary to pursue. And sometimes that fear or the burden of responsibility even suppresses those ideas from even coming up in the first place. Because people, people are just bottled up inside of their responsibilities, and they don’t even generate new interesting ideas, or goals for themselves. So it’s a, it’s one of those things that’s easily said, easily agreed to, I can see where in my life because I didn’t have a lot of responsibility in my early 20s, I was I was somewhat freed up to pursue the things that I thought were exciting to me and they and that made sense for my clients and have the courage and take those risks. And I, you know, I would wish that for for everybody. Absolutely.
David Ralph [55:19]
Because I was 44 years old, when I said no more, I’ve got to do this. And I had five kids, a wife, grandchild, all the responsibilities in the world. But I plan for it. And we talk a lot about I don’t like the phrase leap of faith, I like the slider faith, I believe you can plan towards something, and you can plan around your daily gig if it needs to be and instead of watching Telly at night, work on something, and at lunchtime work on something and before, whatever you want to do, if you want it enough, you can transition so it shouldn’t be cut and dry. But it’s either survival or failure, because that that is the path that stops so many people in their tracks, isn’t it?
Michael Fishman [56:04]
I agree 100%. And I and I congratulate you and acknowledge you for you know, for the transition that you created in your life and and and doing what you’re clearly passionate and also quite excellent at doing.
David Ralph [56:18]
Well talking about somebody and a tight as a huge compliment from you said, Thank you so much. But Steve Jobs he created Apple, and what is it about Apple as a company with your experience that really goes beyond a company into a kind of almost a cult, people love their products, I love the company, and they will queue up at sort of middle of the night to get a new version of something, what they done, which is kind of is it radical? Or is it just what they’ve done. And we’ve all bought into it.
Michael Fishman [56:53]
I you know, I haven’t studied that space, too deeply as a as a business person, but I’m sitting here on a Mac, and I have an iPhone next to me.
And I understand that culture.
You know, they I mean, Steve and you know, I mean, the company, ideally will, you know, go as many, you know many more years than even Steve lived. I mean, it’s, I guess the biggest market cap in the world right now. I think the their ability to build a tribe with the kind of attention and and devotion that you described, I think has a lot to do with design. They have a legacy of design. That was I think cutting edge. I mean, right now, Samsung and many other brands have emulated the apple design sensibility with respect to both physical products, and you know, what’s happening on your screen or on your screen of your phone or the screen of your device. So now things are starting to look the same Apple led the way in terms of the simplest, you know, the deceiving, simplicity, deceptive simplicity of design, the interface, you know, I don’t have the technical language to even describe how they pioneered the interface and the way in which their devices work. But ultimately, you know, Apple is about an experience, just like Starbucks is isn’t about coffee, it’s about an experience, right? You know, the ultimate company, the, you know, the ultimate brands are dimensional, beyond the transaction into not two things, as I said before one relationship, and also experience. And so there’s a there’s a culture, there’s a lifestyle, around apple and and you know, the the lifestyle, and the experience around apple or something that have always characterise the people that have been at the front end of the curve at the leading end of technology, the leading end of thinking, at least in the last, you know, 20 or 25 years. So when we have Apple we we associate ourselves with, I think the leading edge of, of thought and innovation. And I think you know, for me, that’s been a big part of what has helped them succeed.
David Ralph [59:22]
Just before I send you back in time, I don’t want this show to end, I never want any show to end but particularly not this one. And we send you back in time to have a one on one with yourself. Where do you see your life going? Now you’ve achieved so much you found the thing that lights you up, you love bouncing out of bed each day, what excites you about your soul potential future?
Michael Fishman [59:46]
Well, right now, in the last, you know, the remainder of this year, and also this coming year, I’ll be doing more speaking. And the speaking that I do is or is around consumers psychology, not necessarily committed to, you know, focused on health and wellness businesses, but more on commerce and consumer marketing in general. So I’ll be doing more speaking about that, which is exciting to share what is almost always very helpful and actionable message with people. And I also have one or two concepts of my own one in particular little too early to publicise but something that I think can will appeal to and ultimately attract millions of participants in a movement for all of us to be better today than we were yesterday or better tomorrow than we are today. So I have a have a brand and a movement in mind that will I think mobilise people, millions of people in a very easy and effective and accessible way. And that’s something that I plan on launching in the next few months. So those are, you know, more speaking and launching a very big company, you know, getting mobilising a very big community
David Ralph [1:01:11]
are two things that I’m really, really excited about right now. Wish you all the best with bows. This is the end of the show. And this is the part when we send you back in time to have a one on one with yourself. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Michael, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m going to play the theme tune. And when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [1:01:38]
Here we go.
Unknown Speaker [1:01:41]
With the best beer on the show.
Michael Fishman [1:01:55]
Well, I’d be I’d be speaking to myself probably past 16 or 17 years of age, just completing high school entering university. Probably two things, the the number one thing I would say would be always lead with generosity, where you know, pick your spots carefully, pick where you go carefully. But when you go, have no agenda, the best way to advance yourself is to be helpful to others. You know, looking in the mirror, looking around today, you know, agenda based networking doesn’t work anymore. generosity has always worked and always will work. So if you’re known as somebody who is generous, virtually everything you’re committed to, will happen for you. And the other thing is to be true to yourself simple words, to say, not as easy to, to live up to every single day. But the better that you know yourself. And the better that you can shed the evidence that you’ve gathered. And we as all human be all human beings gather evidence to support their own feelings of insufficiency. And to, you know, the evidence to say, Yeah, I really am not smart enough, not good enough, we all gather that evidence, it’s important to know that you do that as a human animal. And to see it for what it is, which is really a falsehood. It’s kind of like picking up an obscene phone call and actually staying on the line and listening. You don’t want to believe those things about yourself. You want to harness who you are for the best of what you are and to pursue that and to make choices around that to stand for excellence in relationships to stand for excellence in everything that you choose, and everything that you do, knowing that you deserve that. So that would be it. Michael, how
David Ralph [1:03:56]
can our audience connect with you, sir?
Michael Fishman [1:04:01]
Well, I appreciate that as well.
My website is Michael Fishman consulting. com and there is a contact form there, which goes directly to my email and I if you put in the subject line that you are coming from, from David’s podcast, I’ll support you as quickly and the best that I can.
Also on twitter at Michael Fishman
David Ralph [1:04:24]
will have all the links on the show notes. Thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. 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. Michael Fishman, thank you so much.
Michael Fishman [1:04:40]
Thank you for this privilege.
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 and guide for free. And we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.
David Ralph [1:05:09]
Thought you got rid of me. Now I’m just going to ask you a favour anyone out there who’s enjoyed the show, and has enjoyed all the shows. Could you go to iTunes and leave a review the more reviews I get the better the show will perform. And then it’s a win win. You’ll be getting me every single day for the rest of your life. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But yeah, iTunes, David Ralph, Join Up Dots. And I love you so much or even come down to walk your dog. Thanks very much. Bye bye