Joan Sotkin Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:
Introducing Joan Sotkin
Joan Sotkin is today’s guest on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
She is a lady who has been on a journey of success, failure, struggles and self discovery
For years, she suffered from a long list of physical, emotional, and financial problems.
After giving away all her possessions, an extended spiritual journey connected her to the deeper parts of herself that led her to everything she needed to find health, well-being, and peace of mind.
In the 1980s, she thought she was on the way to financial security as she rapidly built a wholesale, retail, and mail order business to the point where she was grossing over $30,000 a month.
Sounds good doesn’t it, but her lack of business and financial skills led to her downfall—and bankruptcy.
How The Dots Joined Up For Joan
But although a dark period of her life, she knew that she lacked the knowledge to prevent this happening, so studied everything she could to ensure it would happen again
She set out on the path of learning everything she could about business and financial management.
This knowledge allowed her to flourish as an entrepreneur while sharing what she had learned with others.
But there is so much more to her story, than we can cover in a short introduction like this.
So how did she create this online success, when quite openly admitting that she didn’t have the knowledge to be a business success?
And where does she see the common issues that others encounter as they start there entrepreneurial leaps?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Joan Sotkin.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Joan Sotkin such as:
How her Father longed for a baby boy, and bizarrely would call his daughter Johnathan as a small girl.
How we all have the ability to create the stories of our lives. Great stories or sad stories are all down to the actions and decisions that we take.
How she would react to voices that she hears in her head, which has led her to great success in her life.
Why she believes that the majority of entrepreneurs are positive folk who believe that things are going to be good.
How Shirley McClain would make the perfect actress to play her in the “Joan Sotkin the Movie” we are all waiting to see. Well I am anyway!
How To Connect With Joan Sotkin
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Joan Sotkin 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 [0:23]
Yes, good morning to you. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas yesterday with your loved ones, you got everything that you wanted. And now you’re ready for the well, it’s the run up to 2015. This is when it all starts so all your dreams should be fulfilled. And you’re starting the plans to new ones. And we’ve got an amazing lady on the show. today. She’s a lady who has been on a journey of success, failures, struggles, and I guess self discovery for years she suffered from a long list of physical, emotional and financial problems. After giving why all her possessions and extended spiritual journey connected her to the deeper parts of ourselves, but led her to everything she needed to find help well being and peace of mind. In the 1980s she bought, she was on the way to financial security as she rapidly built a wholesale retail mail order business to the point where she was grossing over 30,000 a month back in the 80s. That’s a fortune. It’s pretty good nowadays as well. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But her lack of business and financial skills led to her downfall and bankruptcy. But although a dark period of her life, she knew that she lacked the knowledge to prevent this happening. So studied everything she could to ensure it wouldn’t happen again, she set out on the path of learning everything she could about business and financial management. Now this knowledge allowed her to flourish as an entrepreneur while sharing what she had learned with others. But there is so much more to the storey than we can cover in a short introduction like this. So how did she create this online success when quite openly admitting that she didn’t have the knowledge to be a business success? And where does she see the common issues that up as encounter as they start their entrepreneurial leaps? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start Join Up Dots about one and only Joan Sotkin. How are you doing?
Joan Sotkin [0:23]
Great. Is everybody introduced by you that way? Boy, would my life be fabulous? Fabulous. Fabulous. So I don’t really need that guy debate with Thank you very much.
David Ralph [0:23]
It’s lovely to have you here, Joan. And it’s lovely to hear that your life is fabulous. because quite honestly, that’s one of the reasons why this show was given birth to the fact that so many people are in a situation or relationship or a rut where they don’t quite grasp that life can be fabulous. So you tell that from your absolute core?
Joan Sotkin [2:49]
Yes. And to me, it’s a learning to be satisfied with today. Because if you have a satisfaction habit, then you’ll always be satisfied no matter what
David Ralph [3:01]
is as simple as five, if you if you’re satisfied, then you will be satisfied. He is a self fulfilling prophecy.
Joan Sotkin [3:08]
Well, I think it’s all I think it’s a matter of emotional habits. And and the way we live our lives are really a reflection of our emotional habits. And if our habit is disappointment, or dissatisfaction, you’re going to keep on getting that. But if you have a habit of satisfaction, you’ll keep on getting that.
David Ralph [3:31]
I love satisfaction I do. I can’t get no satisfaction, as I said, but no i can i can get satisfaction every single day. And you don’t need a lot Do you which is is what you’re saying, really, it’s your mindset. If you are happy, positive individual, more often than not you get good things coming your way. Because you kind of allow those opportunities to come to you somehow.
Joan Sotkin [3:54]
Yes, I think it’s a matter of expectation. If you expect life to be good, it probably will be. And and if you have an expectation that people aren’t going to treat you well that that you’re going to be abused, you will be but not just from a family standpoint, but from people in business, your habits carry over to your life. The thing that really interested me from many, many years ago was how we create our life storeys. And I don’t think we’re a victim of life circumstances. I think that we create our life storeys. And for me, the big question was, how do we do that? And that was really when how my journey started many years ago.
David Ralph [4:39]
So when you say we create our life, storeys, is that from adulthood? Or is that right from our first stumbling steps as toddlers,
Joan Sotkin [4:50]
from our first steps in our response to external stimuli, is what affects how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. I think it starts very early on. And as a matter of fact, there are studies that show that it starts in utero before we’re even born. And I think that we learn a lot of our feelings and our perceptions from the world around us from our parents. Because in the beginning, before we speak, before, we have logical thought patterns, everything comes in on this kind of energy level, psychic level, where you’re just picking up what’s going on around you. So if you have parents who are very fearful, you’re going to learn fearful it and and you’re learning in this in this nonverbal environment in the beginning, and that’s how you begin to develop your response to the world.
David Ralph [5:50]
So so when you was a little toddler, did you do remember sort of happy positive vibes all around, you know,
Joan Sotkin [6:00]
where I am today is very different from where I was. And one of the things that matters is birth order, and I was the oldest, and parents treat the first one differently than the second and third, because it’s their first time. But I, when I did a lot of the personal growth work I’ve done, I was born with a birthmark down the centre of my face, it disappeared, by the time I was three. But I, there were little remnants of it. And for a long time, that’s when I looked in the mirror. That’s kind of what I saw, even though no one else really saw it. And as I thought back, I thought, well, what would have happened when I was born, parents are expecting their first child, they’re very excited. And outcomes, this thing with a full head of hair, and this birthmark down her face. And I should imagine that there was a certain amount of recoil. And that explained to me a number of things. First of all, I for many years, I had an expectation that when people met me, they would recoil that I there was something wrong with me. And if you can imagine when people look at a child that has a mark like that, they either say to themselves or out loud, what’s wrong with her? And that became one of the themes of my early life. What’s the matter with Joni? And I think it starts that far back and, and also my father very much that wanted a boy. And obviously, that wasn’t me. And the fact that he called me, Jonathan for many years. I mean, all of these affect our self perception, and how we interact with the world. But the key words
David Ralph [7:48]
that really jumped out to me in that whole statement, and he Well, it is bizarre, but you died. Cody, Jonathan, and we’re sort of touch on that. But was the fact that you imagine but there was recoil. Now, do you know? Have you ever spoken to your mom and dad about that in your mind?
Joan Sotkin [8:09]
Well, I did I did with my mother and father when they were wide. And my father used to sit and stare at me for hours, my mother told me wondering what was going to happen to this child when she grew up. And that was then the one storey that that passed down to the family that my father thought was funny. At the time I was born at the Bronx Zoo in New York. They had brought in a mate for the gorilla whose name was gargantuan. And when my father looked at me, he said, Well, there is gargantuan was made. And that became a family joke.
David Ralph [8:53]
That’s really me know, isn’t it? I can understand what Well, there’s too many areas to that. That I think is mean. Okay, man, I don’t understand that Jonathan bit. And I don’t understand why he’s saying that he’s first daughter would meet with a gorilla.
Joan Sotkin [9:07]
Ok. So now that I was, well, that I had thought I’m a gorilla. But then we have to look at who my father was. And in today’s world, we man I was born in 1940. Okay, that was a long time ago, before there was a whole lot of awareness. Certainly, on the parental level, the only thing they had was a book by by Dr. Spock. And they there wasn’t the awareness. There wasn’t the media thing. They there wasn’t all this parenting stuff is around today. And my father wasn’t the healthiest person emotionally. And he dealt with life with humour, that was sometimes a little on the sadistic side. And that that’s just who he was. And that’s what I was brought up with, wasn’t good or bad. It’s the storey that I got. And on many levels, a lot of what I am today came from my father, I just had to learn how to work through some of the stuff that made me a little nuts for a long time.
David Ralph [10:16]
Easy kind of good stuff. When you look back on that, obviously, it sounds unpleasant, really both have a data five, like I am, I just can’t quite understand that mentality. But as you say, it was a different time. But when you look back on that has that giving you strength of character was that kind of formed who Joan is today?
Joan Sotkin [10:36]
Well, the way I look back at it now is whatever happened is what happened. And and I believe that, wherever I’m becoming, and I’m still becoming, I think it’s a process that goes on for your entire life, that I needed everything that happened along the way. And the good things that my father gave me, for example, we were the only people in the United States with the last name of soccer. And because my father was a little nuts, he had all the rules for seconds, okay. And, and so I was taught from the beginning, that it was better to be different than the same, which in the long run had a very positive effect. Because I am, yes, I am an unusual, an unconventional thinker. And I did things in my life, like giving everything I owned away in 1975. And then I think was 75, or 76. And do things like that, even though he didn’t always understand what I was doing. I got programmed to step outside of the box, the conventional wisdom, while even though he wanted me to be on there, he, on some level, he said, Get your teaching degree, so you always have something to fall back on. He wasn’t quite sure how to programme a female child. But it is being different my brothers and I call it the curse of the cytokines, everything we do is a little different, and allowed me to be an innovator and allowed me to, to to be an early adopter, because I was programmed to be different than some of the things like syphons, don’t feel weren’t very healthy. But it was what I got. So it’s what I got.
David Ralph [12:26]
I think, you know, in a way, he gave you a gift on in that regard in me because I think yes, you know, being different, is key. So many people fall into that conformity trap, where they try to play the role that other people are already doing instead of being who they are themselves. So would you say that you are totally authentic to yourself? Are you still work in progress?
Joan Sotkin [12:51]
Every time I think I’m being totally authentic, something else happens. Like recently, I decided that that I needed to be more more honest about my age, I work in a business where everybody is 30 years younger than I am. And I don’t look my age, I don’t behave my age. I don’t don’t relate to people my age. But I decided I it’s like when I said I was born in 1940. That’s my truth. And I realised I know that you like to appeal to boomers that the fact that I’m still working, that I’m reinventing my business at this point, is inspiring to be going a lot of people say that it’s inspiring. So the more honest I am about who I am, what I’ve been through, it just helps me do my mission better, which is sharing with other people what I’ve learned so they can gain from what I went through.
David Ralph [13:53]
But I think it’s a valuable lesson to share, isn’t it? And I was looking at your about page. And it is very, very honest. There’s a lot of stuff on there, I was actually surprised that you would put on an about page. Why did you feel the need to actually share what you shared on there?
Joan Sotkin [14:14]
Well, one of the ways that I started healing was I started going to 12 step programmes. And at those programmes, whenever I talk the way that works in the places where I went, they clap after you after you talk. And it was like I was being acknowledged for everything I said. And I always knew that I was a talker. But I used to get punished for talking all the time. Because I was disruptive. I was always trying to get attention by by talking. And by going to these programmes and seeing that other people got value from what I had to say. I really like doing and I just keep doing that.
David Ralph [15:03]
Does does it surprise you though, because a lot of people I think struggle on the way to they’re finding their path, that they feel that they’re providing a value to others. But it’s almost like oh, yeah, it’s okay. I can just do that. But who’s gonna buy that advice? Or? Oh, yes, it’s okay. But somebody else knows more than me. When you actually give advice and people listen, do you kind of go? Yeah, I can understand why they listen, because I’m Joan sucking? Or do you have that kind of imposter?
Joan Sotkin [15:33]
Now, I don’t think I ever had the imposter problem. One of my I used to go stay with my father sister in the summer for a couple of weeks. And when I was like five years old, she said, I would get out of bed in the morning, say, Hi, I’m Johnny syphon. What are we going to do today? So there was a certain amount of confidence that was there from the beginning. And during the years when I was suffering from a lot of physical stuff, and I really could barely find people would call me up and and i would give advice and they liked my advice. And I just said, Okay, if that’s what they want to hear. And I assumed it was okay, I didn’t see it as good or bad. I just saw it as the way I was interacting with people. So now
David Ralph [16:19]
you’ve got this rocking and rolling business where you help entrepreneurs to find their dreams and overcome the obstacles and and really share your experience. But a lot of your experience has been based around mistakes, really, and sort of the bankruptcy was probably a very big.in your timeline. Take us back to that. How did you build that business so quickly, when ultimately, as you say you didn’t have the knowledge to actually fulfil his promise.
Joan Sotkin [16:51]
Okay, so let’s go back a couple of rewind the tape a little bit. When I was sick, I figured I’d never get out of the house. So I started studying mail order. Remember, before the internet, it was mail order. And I read all these books on mail order and had to drop 32 million pieces. And I just had this library of mail order book. So I knew that mail order was a possibility for me. So we’ve got that bit of knowledge. And during this journey that you touched briefly upon one day, I woke up, I was staying at my mother’s house at the time. And I had had this fever for six days. And as the fever broke, I heard go buy a pound of tumbled stones. And my mother used to give these these mineral specimens to people with little animals pasted on them. So I knew that there was a lapidary store. And I said I need a pound of tumbled stones. And he said what size in my hand just popped up. And I said about this size about an inch in diameter. And I and I got these stones. And and and so at the time remember I was I had given everything away and I had been wandering around. And the whole thing that happened during that time was my learning to listen to that inner voice. And because I had the ability to not care if I was outside the box, I was willing to listen to some of those instructions. So I got this stones. And then I would hear well put them on your altar and and energy is them. And I wound up writing these instructions for cosmic rocks.
David Ralph [18:36]
Okay, can I just jump in? Well, you will you prone to hearing voices like this? Because you seem to just take it as a matter of fact?
Joan Sotkin [18:45]
Well, it’s quite it’s kind of a long storey. But years before things had happened. That allowed me to believe that when you hear things like that, you can trust it. That was one of the reasons I gave everything away, was to begin with to really hear it. I mean, everybody has these experiences that go outside of the norm. But because there’s no explanation for it, they just kind of put it aside, I’ve had people share with me stuff that happens to them that they never shared with anyone else. Because they didn’t think anyone would believe them. Well, I decided to believe the storeys and to just tell them anyhow, when I got these stones and energise them, and and I was staying at my parents house, my father was pretty annoyed that I wasn’t that I didn’t have a job. He never taught us to grow up and have a job, but he felt I should have a job. And having a job was impossible. First of all, I wasn’t physically able to do it. And I was in this very high space where I could barely relate to what was going on in the world. And so I would take the stones, and I would go to like a health food store. And I would say to people, you want to try something, and I would say something in your body hurting. And they would say yes, and I would say will take this stone and put it on it. And, and they would go wow, that feels better. And they would buy the stone for a couple of dollars. And so I now had money to buy my candles in my incense and supplies I needed for this journey. And that was how it began. And when I came started coming back into the world, and I was but living in California again. I actually create I collected I collected addresses all the way along the line. By the time I got back to California I had about 500 addresses. And I created this little catalogue
David Ralph [21:00]
Did you because in those days, people didn’t give an email address
Joan Sotkin [21:03]
mail mail addresses in the West in a list and I and and i i had I borrowed my sister in law’s typewriter. I had so little money that I couldn’t take pictures. So I drew the pictures of the products I had created. And I cut and paste it in made that catalogue. So it was implant action
David Ralph [21:26]
at its best Really?
Joan Sotkin [21:28]
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And I there was a magazine East West journal that was for new agey stuff. And I took out a little ad and I said send me $1 and I’ll send you a free crystal with instructions. And I had these little tiny crystals, I had bought a whole a number of pounds of crystals. And I had these little tiny crystals. And I still remember they were like 375 people sent me $1 Now remember, this is in the early 1980. So that’s like what $700 name or something like that. And, and Okay, and and I sent them all out and I sent them with a catalogue. And they order the stone and I had to figure out a package for it. Right? So I went to I couldn’t just pick a stone, I call them psychic stones and healing stones. I had two kinds of stuff. And, and the instructions were really had a meditate and hold the stone while you’re meditating. And he was, oh yeah,
David Ralph [22:38]
you went sending stuff that you didn’t believe in. Personally,
Joan Sotkin [22:41]
I know I was using the crystals. That’s a whole nother thing, how the minerals, he’ll help our bodies. And I mean, yes, I was into the crystals. I was very into meditation, too. And I felt that when people held these stones as a focal point, they could get deeper in meditation. So we had this healing stone and I couldn’t just stick it in an envelope in the package. So I went to the store in Santa Monica and got this little little box and, and created a little label that I paste it on and and fold it up the instructions in a little tiny thing and put it in the box. And I had my healing style. And I said that looks pretty good. And I sent it off. And so while I was at it, it was close to Christmas time it was about a month before Christmas. I went to a health food store, which is good, which is now Whole Foods. And I showed it to them and they bought three dozen. And I went to a new age bookstore, the Bodhi tree and they bought three dozen. And I I managed to deliver the things and have I had I think four different stones by the time I did that. And within three weeks they sold out. And it’s like, and they reordered. So it was like it just kept happening. Can I just ask a question and a
David Ralph [24:02]
point where you always a hustle muscle person, but were you always somebody that was entrepreneurial? Or was this the first time and you were kind of finding your feet as you went?
Joan Sotkin [24:12]
Well, it started when I was about 10. And in the comic books in the United States, they had this product called clover rien brand sad that they I think they may still do that, that they sold the kids to sell you became an agent for this sad. It’s like Vaseline in a camp. And I wasn’t allowed to go travelling very far from the house. But I could go around the block, we lived on like a square block. And I just went from house to house and sold this set to the neighbours. And I loved doing that. I thought that was fabulous. Do you think people
David Ralph [24:53]
lack that hustle? Because because what you’re talking about is purely getting off your backside and doing something? And do you think that something is lacking in today’s live it? They almost you know if this is a sweeping generalisation. But so many people kind of think that it should just land in their lap, they press a few buttons, they order on the internet, they press a couple more buttons, and then they’re making 20 grand a month.
Joan Sotkin [25:18]
Right. And I just didn’t ever see it that way it It wasn’t a matter of do it or not do it. I just did it. And at one point after I graduated from college, I taught school for a year and then had nightmares that I had to do that again. And I wound up selling great books of the Western world, cold canvassing to sell great books to the Western world, which was a $520 package at the time. And I became one of their top salespeople. So selling was always natural to me. And remember, this was early enough that people weren’t used to women coming to their door and selling them books, right. So was I always entrepreneurial, I guess so. And remember, my father was had his own business. So did both of my grandparents. So it’s not like, get a job was the message in the house. They wanted me to get a job as a teacher. So I always have something to fall back on, which I thought was kind of funny. And but I wasn’t programmed to get a job. And my father, my parents were pretty, pretty liberal with me. I went to college to be a chemist, I went to the University of Rochester, they have no problem with that switch to England, no one ever complained about my education path. They kind of just supported me as I went along.
David Ralph [26:44]
That that’s a key thing, isn’t it, but your path could quite easily be linked to what your parents want. And so many people go down that route. You you you come out of school, you’re going to education, and then you follow something that’s almost expected or you I like the fact that you say that you was almost unemployable. You kind of never had a job. Have you never had a proper nine to five kind of job Have you always created your own income.
Joan Sotkin [27:12]
I’ve had a couple of jobs. I taught school for a year, first grade. And as I said, I had nightmares that I had to do that again. Then I worked in, I produced the radio talk show one of the original radio talk show
David Ralph [27:25]
he wants to do that Joe know what a stupid idea that is.
Joan Sotkin [27:31]
So that was a job. And then after that, I became a talent coordinator on the Joey Bishop show, which was like the Johnny Carson show up as a Johnny Carson. So that was my last job.
David Ralph [27:44]
And what what you actually gain from a proper job compared to entrepreneurial ventures, you know,
Unknown Speaker [27:53]
David Ralph [27:54]
you don’t think I’m proper Jobs.
Joan Sotkin [27:56]
I mean, no, because they weren’t regular hours, they weren’t 95 the only boss I had was whoever was ever show it was and and and that it was a very freewheeling kind of place where they expected you to be really creative.
David Ralph [28:13]
Isn’t your essence been his creativity, your essence, the fact that you you come up with these, these ideas, that the fact that your your mind is, is speaking in voices. And to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever had a voice in my head. I’ve had
Joan Sotkin [28:27]
where you you get your messages, you get your messages somehow, some other way
Alright, so there are things you do, just because you know, you have to do them. Right. When you left corporate. I’ve heard your storey. And and you probably got the message a long time before you actually left. Yeah, probably
David Ralph [28:57]
more than more than a boy.
Joan Sotkin [29:00]
Some people get voices, some people get feelings. I mean, there’s lots of different ways he I don’t think that our three dimensional reality is all there is. I think that’s very limiting. I think that there are other dimensions to our being. And that, that when we open ourselves to these parts of us that see a bigger picture, and we say talk to me, it will, it’s people’s fear of hearing something that’s so, so unusual, that makes them stay on this path and stay in corporate in and do something they don’t really want to do and, and I’ve done plenty of things in my life that were just what were laid out for me, like when I got married the first time or the second time and, and I was just trying to be what I was supposed to be. So for my life, it’s been a lot of conflict between who I want being who I was supposed to be. But I think people get their messages in different ways. I’ve heard so many storeys about people who were supposed to be on a particular aeroplane flight, and they just something happened and they and they didn’t and the plane crashed. And they were they didn’t. So there’s the storeys that happened. And how does that what is all that? That was my question, what is all that? How do how do these had things happen in our life? And how do we get our ideas? Where does the creativity come from? And to me, it’s always been looking past, just what we see and know. And when you’re open to that I think you get the message. Well, let’s let’s play a message from a famous Hollywood a list. And he said something quite remarkable. Earlier this year, I believe it is and this is Jim Carrey,
Unknown Speaker [30:52]
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 to say 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 [31:18]
He’s got a message that everyone should listen to.
Joan Sotkin [31:23]
For people who are comfortable with it. I don’t think that everybody I don’t think that every path is creative. And and, and explorative. I think it’s a great idea works for me. But it may not work for someone else. And if someone else is trying to be what Jim Carrey says then that may not be who they are. I mean, I’ve read storeys, a couple of them that really impacted me. And there was one storey about this janitor, he was a janitor, and he wound up putting a number of children through college, cause he was it he saved from what he made. And and that was his contribution to life and his satisfaction, who knows where people are going to get their satisfaction from. But I think when you have this urge to do something, and you don’t do it because of fear that you’re missing something in your life.
David Ralph [32:23]
Yeah, I agree with that. Totally. And I think he’s worth a spot on for everyone. I think doesn’t matter who you are. Do you want to do something that you love every single day or do something event? Yeah, hey, every single day and I spent years doing stuff? More often than not, I didn’t hate it. But I certainly didn’t love it. And I look back on it now. And I think I wish I’d heard those words when I was 15. Maybe they wouldn’t have been right for me at that time. But certainly, I look back and I think I wasted a certain amount of my life. And that’s the reason for this show. I want people to realise that, if I can have it. It may not be what they ultimately desire by get. But more often than not, it’s going to be better than they’ve got. Would you not agree with that?
Joan Sotkin [33:10]
Well, first of all the concept I’ve wasted parts of my life that that to me, that’s a regret. And I think that every step is taken in your life is what you needed to become who you’re becoming. Yeah, I agree with that, to me that it wasn’t a waste of time. It was just it was just you didn’t see where you were going. It was joining out
David Ralph [33:35]
adults when they join.
Joan Sotkin [33:37]
Absolutely. And there’s a Hindu meditation called neti neti where it’s I’m not this, I’m not that I’m not this, I’m not that. And if you keep looking at what you’re not, you’ll eventually get to what you are. So by being in that corporate space where you didn’t hate it, it didn’t love it. But it was where you needed to be to somehow push you to where you were going. And the value that you bring from the podcast and whatever work you’re doing is so much greater, because you went through what you went through.
David Ralph [34:16]
Yeah, no experience is wasted. But you know, when you sold, he went to find your thing. And I really feel this is the thing, this is the thing that I should have been doing years ago, you kind of thing. God wouldn’t have been amazing. If I could have done this earlier. I suppose that’s more the vibe that I was going for more than Yes, I can see you what has led me to this point. And I can see the skills I have built up to be able to do this. But I wish I could have had this for my whole life.
Joan Sotkin [34:46]
Okay, so that’s, that’s how you’re looking at it. And I have found things that I love multiple times, I had the crystal business, I worked in Hollywood. I love what when I found the internet, it was like the minute I got online I in 1995 I just knew that that was the future and what I had to do, and I keep finding new things to fall in love with. I don’t think there’s one passion. I think the idea is to be totally engrossed in what you’re doing. And to not to say no to the things that don’t feel right at the time. And I think that’s something you have to learn along the way. And I think everybody can do this. We just haven’t taught people how to say yes, Jim Carrey also has a movie called Yes, men seen that way. One of my faves. Okay, so I think that’s great advice. Say yes to whatever comes along. You never know what’s going to come from it. And yes, what I know when I was as I was healing when I was walking Oh, no. Yes, yes. Yes. Yes. Make Yes. And I can the words that guides you. And you’ll find what art what’s coming that that that’s going to pump you up. And to me, it’s the belief that there’s something out there. That’s perfect for me, that keeps me going. And that what I’m doing right now, right this minute is exactly where I need to be an order to get to where I’m going.
David Ralph [36:22]
The word yes is amazing, isn’t it? Yeah. Well, we don’t. Yeah, we don’t really sort of dwell on it. I’ve got a friend called Harrison Floyd. And once again, sir, I salute you. He tells me for saying that. But um, he said to me, did you realise that every time you start a show you start with the word? Yes. And I didn’t realise. But now I listened back to it. It kind of goes, you know, the theme tune, and then I go, yes. Hello, and welcome to another episode. And I start every show with Yes. And he said he likes it because it’s kind of a positive thing. But I didn’t even realise I was doing it. But it is, isn’t it? You can’t say yes, really in a negative way.
Joan Sotkin [37:03]
That’s right. And when I think back, when I knew I was going to be talking to you, I kept thinking about my dots. And one of the first thoughts was when a doctor told me when I was in my early 30s, that I was a hypochondriac. And I could never be healthy. And I should just get used to being an unhealthy person. And I didn’t say yes to that. I said, No, there’s got to be a better way. And that’s what drove me to do everything I’ve done. And it was my belief that there really is goodness out there and a positive outcome for me, that kept me going.
David Ralph [37:47]
So you just put know with a yes rounded, didn’t you? You kind of May, you know, in protective bubble with positive thinking, have you always really been sort of positive even when we were talking about you’re younger life? Some of the things that was offset you and stuff, he hasn’t shaped you at all? Are you somebody that’s pretty much half glass is full.
Joan Sotkin [38:10]
And I’m I’m definitely an optimist. And my father in all his craziness was also an optimist. I think entrepreneurs by their nature, are optimistic, they wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing if there wasn’t a vein of optimism going through them. Because you have to believe in this fantasy that everything’s gonna be okay. When you go into business for yourself, because you have no idea what the outcome is going to be. I’ve always been rebellious. I didn’t accept all the rules for girls. I was the only girl in our physics class in high school. So I, I always travelled different paths. And I didn’t let conventional thinking stand in my way from the very beginning.
David Ralph [39:01]
I think you’re right, by the way, I was writing that down as you were speaking, I think, I don’t think I’ve met an entrepreneur that isn’t positive, you do actually have to have that belief. But yes, I know it’s going rubbish at the moment. But next week, next week is going to turn around and and more often than not, it kind of does. Doing this show has been amazing. I’ve had times where I’ve literally got down to two guests. And on a daily show, that’s a bit stressful, because two days later, there wasn’t going to be a show. And you just saw like mad men, suddenly you’ve got 30 shows recorded, and then other things come to you. So you don’t need to have that positive vibe, don’t you to just keep on going keep on going keep on going when things seem like you’re in the land of despair somehow.
Joan Sotkin [39:51]
Right? And you’re following that inner direction. You’re, you’re following something that says to you keep going, keep going, keep going. And I think that everyone has that kind of voice, they just don’t listen. And the wounds from childhood can be so intense, that they’re afraid to believe in their own success.
David Ralph [40:15]
Are you more surrounded by people like you now, john, because something else that keeps coming up is how hard it is to break free from the naysayers, when you when you start anything, and you want to move away from your situation. And you’re surrounded by people, you know, telling you, it’s not going to work, whatever. But once you get to a certain point, you seem to be surrounded by people that are believing in you and going Yes, go on. Go on, john. And are you in that situation? Now? Is Your Life pretty much surrounded by similar folk?
Joan Sotkin [40:49]
Well, remember, I’ve been online since 1995. I had my first newsletter in 1995. So for many years, I’ve been connecting to people around the world who like what I have to say. So I get a lot of strokes from people. And so when the naysayers are there, if they are, I don’t have to hear them. And for some reason, I just don’t draw in a lot in the beginning. And there were there would be an occasional email where someone’s you know, cuz my stuff is a little out there. And I’ve had a couple of book reviews from my book, build your money, muscles that that we’re not embracing. But then I get reviewed by the the the Journal of financial therapy, telling people that this is the greatest book and every therapist should use it. So there is a balance. And I try not to hear not to listen to the people who don’t see me, I know that someone’s perception of me, is based on their perception of themselves, that if someone someone doesn’t like me, it’s because of something in themselves that they don’t like that they see in me. And so I don’t have to take what they’re saying personally. And that was one of the greatest lessons I ever learned that not to take things personally. How
David Ralph [42:23]
can anyone not like you, Joanie, I can’t believe
Joan Sotkin [42:28]
it. Well, I’m a little bit too blunt. For some people. I mean, I, I just tell the truth, as if someone asked me what I think I’m going to tell you, and not everybody wants to hear.
David Ralph [42:41]
But there is a truth isn’t it that once you hit a certain amount of success, you’re going to get more negative comments from your way van, when you’re striving to sort of move your way up. Everybody seems to say to me, that once you first get that it’s almost like a badge of honour because you’re being noticed?
Joan Sotkin [43:02]
Well, yes, and a person who’s not comfortable or happy with themselves, is not going to be comfortable or happy with you. And once once you see that when I’m with people in any, whether it’s mine virtually or anything else, my what I tried to do is just love them for who they are in the space in the moment. And if they can’t accept me, that is not my problem. That’s, that’s a shame for them, because they’re missing this love that I’m trying to give to them. And, and it’s, it’s okay, I think everybody is where they have to be at this moment in time, in order to become who they’re becoming. And they’re going to learn whatever they have to learn or they won’t in this moment. And I try not to be in a judgmental space that what people are saying or doing. And as a result, I don’t draw in a whole lot of really judgmental people.
David Ralph [44:08]
I’m very judgmental in my personal life, I have to be honest, when when I’m when I’m sitting having a beer with people, and they’re they’re telling me stuff. I don’t say anything to them, really. But inside I’m very judgmental, doing this role. I’m not judgmental at all. I just seem to be a blank canvas that kind of listens and paints whatever’s in front of me into a positive picture. But did you have two sides of your character? Is there a kind of quiet, introverted side? And then there’s this? There’s big Joan that we’re getting today?
Joan Sotkin [44:40]
Yes, I spend a lot of time alone. Remember, I when I gave everything away, and I went on that journey, I would meditate six to eight hours a day for weeks at a time.
David Ralph [44:53]
But why did you give it away? Because we have we didn’t touch on that. I know you you kind of got told to do it. But when you say now what was most I gave all of it away? Well, houses and cars and everything.
Joan Sotkin [45:06]
I had nothing I had no I Well, I had left my my husband. And I moved into this wonderful apartment on the Venice California peninsula. And I was putting together this organisation called the Health Corps. And funny because Dr. Oz is now using that, that for an organisation of his the Health Corps. And I was sure is going to be a success, of course. And it wasn’t and I didn’t know what else to do. And I wound up in this little apartment and and things just weren’t happening. And I just knew that knowing you said you’ve You know, when you’re knowing. And I just knew I had to give everything away. I had tickets to go back to New Jersey to a relative’s wedding, I think it was. And as so I knew I was going back to my parents house. So I packed the suitcase and gave everything else away. And I remember when I got off the plane and my father took the suitcase out of it and put it in a car. I said, Dad, everything I own is in that suitcase. And he paused for a moment. And he said to me, Well, what happened to the pearls? This is a federal necklace that like my that my first husband had given me. And I said I use those as a security deposit for the for the apartment, any pause? And he said, Well, I guess I’ve taught you that things don’t matter. So I can’t get upset.
And yet it was everything.
David Ralph [46:51]
When you did that,
Joan Sotkin [46:53]
well, it just what it was and, and I thought it was kind of cool that I was able to do that. And that I figured there is something I’m always looking for the pony. You know that joke with underneath the pile. There’s got to be a pony. I’m always looking for what’s there. And it was like, Okay, I wonder what’s next?
David Ralph [47:16]
Because he sounds to me, Joan, to Dubai. To me, if I was in your situation now or if I was around you, I would be having a breakdown or something to do that.
Joan Sotkin [47:28]
And people didn’t there was one point where my parents were humouring me because they thought I was becoming schizo Frederick.
David Ralph [47:36]
Which that’s a difficult conversation to bring up,
Joan Sotkin [47:39]
isn’t it? Yeah. But it’s, I mean, this is this is your journey. So Johnny second is willing to be 32nd. I don’t know how else to be. This is just who I am. And, and it doesn’t seem, it may seem strange to you. But it didn’t seem strange to me at all.
David Ralph [47:58]
Not strange, mad, that’s, you know, you’re doing it isn’t kind of strange. Somehow, just by having this conversation for an hour, I kind of almost expect you to do it again, and just go Oh, this is Joan being Joan. But it’s kind of mad, isn’t it to give everything away?
Joan Sotkin [48:17]
I don’t think so. And I remember I had been on the spiritual path for a long time. So I had read all these storeys, about people who had given things away and they had gotten these spiritual journeys and, and so it, it seemed logical to me.
David Ralph [48:36]
And it’s made you who you are. That’s part of Join Up Dots, isn’t it?
Joan Sotkin [48:40]
Yes, yes. And so was it mad? No, it’s just what I did. And it’s not something that someone else would do. It’s like when I got my pilot’s licence, that’s not something many people would do. And when I did the fire walk when, when no one knew who Tony Robbins was. And he happened to be rooming with a friend of mine and come to my, my workshop, and I did the fire walk. And that was that was a big dot for me. Because when I did the fire walk, I knew that I had enough mental power to heal myself. That was really important to me.
David Ralph [49:15]
To be honest, your LinkedIn profile is rubbish. The things you’ve told me in this show, the fact that you’ve worked in Hollywood, you’ve done fire walking, give you that that’s that kind of gold, isn’t it? I can’t write matching why your profile is so bland in somehow you you you come across as a fascinating person.
Joan Sotkin [49:37]
Well, this is it’s it was only about eight or nine months ago that I decided it was really okay to be Johnny sucker. And that I really had to embrace my storey. Now, during those years that I was wandering around. I actually kept the day at a glance diary, because I knew I was the middle of an interesting storey. And I’ve actually written down the storey, and the 45,000 words, the book has the that needs a lot of editing. But I’m really getting ready to come out. And it’s like going out and telling you how old I am. It’s like, yeah, I am an interesting person. But it was hard to find a way to put myself out there. And, and to feel embraced. So I created this business persona that works pretty well and has allowed me to be accepted on a different level, can you understand that I can
David Ralph [50:40]
totally understand that as you slightly playing a different role that’s authentic, but focuses in on what the consumer wants more.
Joan Sotkin [50:51]
Right. And now I’m trying to figure out had how to bring my real storey. And, and, and the storey of other dimensions. And because I didn’t want to be a new age crazy when I had the crystal business, and I was really, I was really successful. But and this magazine from France came along and did a storey about me and Shirley MacLaine. And, and I’m sure
David Ralph [51:19]
that is weird. When when you’re talking about your storey, I was thinking who should play her in a film and I thought Shirley MacLaine,
Joan Sotkin [51:29]
right, who also lives in New Mexico, and, and, and so if I said to myself at that point, I don’t I don’t want to be the crazy psychic lady. I really like mainstream people. I really like guys in suits. So how do I be Joni psychic without them going over? She’s crazy. And now that I’m in my 70s, where you’re allowed to be a little weird, I can come out of the closet and not care anymore. But it took this long for me to be able to say this is really who I am. But again, I had to go through every one of these periods in order to when I finally do come out on stage and go, I’m here. And it’s gonna be really dynamic.
David Ralph [52:21]
Well, let’s play some words that really connect the dots. And I’ve To be honest, I want to see this film with Shirley MacLaine, because this is going to be brilliant film. But these are the words that Steve Jobs said back in 2005 Steve Jobs,
Steve Jobs [52:34]
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 [53:09]
You could be called Joan Kim, could you your your, your life goes into that perfectly.
Joan Sotkin [53:18]
Right. And it’s and that’s what I’m saying, whoever you are, in today’s why you need to leave become who you’re becoming, you’re at point B and you’re going towards point C and you have no idea was a point, see, just follow that inner direction and you’ll get to where you’re supposed to be. And and that’s how I live my life. And it’s it’s worth it’s worth everything I’ve gone through in order to get where I am today, my greatest success is that I have real honest to goodness, peace of mind that I don’t worry about anything. And that I’m just totally open to what’s happening. I take steps on a daily basis when I feel the urge to do something. And I’m starting a whole new thing with my business right now. But it’s knowing that there are there is that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And knowing that that’s what I’m walking towards.
David Ralph [54:21]
Well, why do you think those words are so powerful that it’s coming up 10 years since he stood up and spoke those words. And so many people will say to me, I’ve got those pin to my fridge, I’ve got those on my whiteboard or or whatever they seem to be words that have stuck with us. Why do you think that is the case.
Joan Sotkin [54:42]
Because it’s a truth. It’s something I tell all my clients that don’t be, don’t be regretful about your past, or uncomfortable where you are in terms of what you’ve accomplished, you’re on your way to something. And when you look back, I have the advantage of age now where I can look back and say, Wow, the time when I was homeless and actually called it my spiritual journey was one of the best times in my life, because I learned that you can take everything away from me, but you haven’t taken me away from me. And when I tell those words to people, it really helps them. And so to me, it’s a truth.
David Ralph [55:26]
Well, one of your articles recently I was looking at it was build your business by letting go. And that that’s a phrase that could apply to you as well. You are somebody that is quite open to letting go of expectations, demands fears and worries and just kind of moving forward somehow, is that something people should look at closely?
Joan Sotkin [55:51]
I think so it’s, it’s a matter of not letting things of this world hold on to you. Because it’s the fear of losing them. That creates a lot of problems for people. That I mean, people I know a lot of people with a lot of money, but they don’t have inner peace. They’re they’re worried about losing what they have. So when when I was able to let go of everything, and realised that I still had me, and I still had my relationship to that inner dimension, that’s really all I need, because that’s going to let me know what I have to do next.
David Ralph [56:38]
I tell you what you got to do next, Joan, I’m going to send you back in time, because this is the part of the show that we call the Sermon on the mic. And this is when I’m going to send you back to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time to speak to the young Joan, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re going to 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 [57:06]
Here we go with the best of the show.
Joan Sotkin [57:25]
Well as because of what we’ve talked about today, I think I would tell that little baby that little tiny baby, you’re perfect just the way you are. And you’re going to have a wonderful and interesting life.
David Ralph [57:45]
as short as it’s bad.
Unknown Speaker [57:48]
David Ralph [57:49]
Perfect. Can’t say better. Everybody needs that perfect life, don’t they?
Joan Sotkin [57:54]
Yeah, and and your life is perfect, right this minute as hard as maybe it’s perfect. And once you embrace that, and know that you’re learning what you have to learn in order to be who you are, then you can embrace it.
David Ralph [58:15]
Joan, how can our audience connect with you?
Joan Sotkin [58:18]
Best way is through prosperity place.com. I also have a podcast the prosperity show, which is on prosperity plays calm or of course, iTunes or Stitcher. And that’s the best place to start.
David Ralph [58:18]
Well, we’ll have all the links on the show notes. Joan, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining those dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Joan Sotkin. Thank you so much.
Joan Sotkin [58:51]
And thank you
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he 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.