Welcome to the Steve Jobs based Join Up Dots Podcast Interview with Marc Ensign
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Introducing Marc Ensign
This guy did me a huge favour, before he has even appeared on the show, by basically writing the shows introduction for me.
Normally, I do all the research and spin it all together, but when you go to their linkedIn and about page and start laughing straight away, then why write the thing yourself.
So in his own words “I’ve had a bit of a whirlwind of a career over the past 20 years that all began as a well known Broadway musician.
I’ve always been an entrepreneur by nature. I really didn’t have much of a choice as I was pretty much fired from every job I had as a kid for always insisting on doing things my way.
As it turns out, companies generally don’t like it when you do that…unless of course you own the company, so I started my own company. Successfully promoting my way to Broadway as a musician told me that I had a real knack for marketing, so in 2001 I picked up a copy of PhotoShop and started a website design and search engine optimization company called Sound-n-Vision.
How The Dots Joined Up For Marc
For over 11 years now I have been directly involved in the success of well over 1,000 organizations from local Mom and Pop shops to Internet startups to non-profits to Fortune 500 Companies and everything in between by helping them to develop new strategies for success using website design, search engine optimization and social media.
With all of the success I have been able to achieve for my clients, I figured that it was a natural transition to share my real world experience and expertise on successful Internet Marketing strategies with people from all walks of life.
Marc Ensign describes his style of writing and speaking as “Internet Marketing Without the Geek Speak” meaning that I have a gift for taking otherwise complex subjects like search engine optimization, social media marketing, blogging, increasing conversion rates and other marketing strategies and breaking them down in a way that anyone can easily understand and take immediate action on.
This is a man who has found a passion where he didn’t originally see that he had one?
And like me, Marc also struggles with spelling the word definitely every time he types it.
So has he created the skill that has led to his successful online business, by simply working harder than most at practicing his art?
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs with the one and only Marc Ensign
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Marc Ensign such as as:
There is nothing better than waking up everyday to find that you are being the person that you were born to be, and are authentically true to yourself.
How he bumped into a man down in Florida, who within one conversation changed the way that he wanted to be from that point onwards.
How he recalls playing both sides of the music industry by promising something that he couldn’t deliver at that very moment he promised it to both sides.
Why he spent so much time focusing and visualising on the moment when he would first stand on the stage at Broadway.
How he recalls being on the road for 365 days per year, and barely saw his family, so found himself almost naked outside of a Seven Eleven.
How To Connect With Marc Ensign
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Marc Ensign Interview
David Ralph [0:00]
Today’s show is brought to you by podcast is mastery.com, the premier online community teaching you to podcast like a pro. Check us out now at podcasters mastery.com.
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 [0:38]
Yes, hello there everybody. This is David Ralph. This is Join Up Dots and this is episode 394. I’m feeling good about myself today. could could that be a better job than being a host of Join Up Dots? I don’t think there is. But the today’s guest is probably got a close second because he’s doing things his own way and he’s done it so well. But he’s basically He did me a huge favour before he’s even appeared on the show by basically writing the show’s introduction for me. Yeah, he’s got a way of words. Normally I do all the research and spin it all together. But when you go to their LinkedIn page and start laughing straight away, then why write laughing yourself getting naked. So that’s what I’ve done. So in his own words, I’ve had a bit of a whirlwind of a career over the past 20 years or began as a well known Broadway musician. I’ve always been an entrepreneur by nature, and I really didn’t have much of a choice as I was pretty much fired from every job I had as a kid. But always insisting on doing things my own way, Matt is not as good. As it turns out, companies generally don’t like it when you do that, unless of course you own the company. So I started my own company successfully promoting my way to Broadway as a musician told me that I had a real knack for marketing. So in 2001, I picked up a copy of Photoshop, and started a web site design and search engine optimization company called Sound and Vision. But over 11 years now, I’ve been directly involved in the success of well over 100 organisations from local mom and pop shops to mom and pop that sounds like a mom and a dog now, mom and pop shops, to internet startups to nonprofits to fortune 500 companies and everything in between by helping them to develop new Strategies for Success using website design, search engine optimization, and social media with all the success I’ve been able to achieve my clients. I think that it was a natural transition to share my real world experience and expertise on successful internet marketing strategies with people from all walks of life. Now, this is a man who has found a passion where he didn’t originally see that he had one and like me, he also struggles with spelling the word definitely every time he types it. So has he created the skill that has led to a successful online business by simply working harder than most at practising his art. Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Marc Ensign. How are you?
Marc Ensign [2:58]
I’m doing great, David. How you doing?
David Ralph [3:00]
I am rocking and rolling. I started getting bored myself in that introduction jenova it seemed like a good idea, great content. But as I was going through it, I thought to myself, I’m losing the will to live here. But that’s that’s what we do as entrepreneurs, isn’t it? We kind of we like the new thing, and then we get bored very quickly. Did you struggle with that?
Marc Ensign [3:20]
I’ve been struggling with that four times since like we got on the call. Oh, yeah, absolutely. So I think it’s, I think, I think it’s hard not to, I think that most entrepreneurs or most most people that want more of a life, you know, our fall victim to shiny Penny syndrome, where you know, no matter where you are, there’s always a shiny Penny somewhere else that you have to chase after
David Ralph [3:44]
easy it’s not that that film was it up school and your attention goes instantly. Do remember that little dog in that film up?
Marc Ensign [3:51]
That Yes, I do.
David Ralph [3:52]
Did you call it that film? Did you call him? Oh,
Marc Ensign [3:55]
I don’t want to say
David Ralph [3:57]
Come on. No one’s listening. right every time I see that film and I don’t know what’s just become a gale winner.
Marc Ensign [4:06]
Do you really cry? No, I didn’t I didn’t cry in that one but but I maybe I should maybe that maybe there’s something wrong with me that now I feel bad about myself. Thanks, David.
David Ralph [4:17]
Well, no, I think it’s something wrong with me because I now I watch films and there’s nothing even sad in them. And I go, oh, something’s happening with me. I’m not sure what’s occurring. Maybe, maybe I’m just getting to that point in my life, where you become relaxed and authentic to yourself. Now, that’s a perfect segue. So you are a man who is authentic to yourself. You seem to have many different elements to your armoury. And you bringing them all together, but the main thing as I said to you before the interview, you sound like you’re having a blast. You sound like it’s just fun every day. Is it because it seems like it from this side of the fence?
Marc Ensign [4:53]
No question. It is absolutely not.
It’s Yeah, I mean, it’s It doesn’t come without its struggles and and, and frustrations and you know, but but at the end of the day, there’s something to kind of owning your life and being able to be who you want to be and and it’s a constant learning process. I mean, I’ve gone through a transition over the past year to where you know, my I went on this quest of really kind of finding myself and I’m in the midst of finishing up a book about it. And it’s, it’s it’s a really great place to be like like when you when you feel that you’re you know when you find that you’re out of line with who we are and and then you start to dig a little deeper and pull the you know, untangle the you know, all the wires and start figuring it out. It really is such a great place to be you know, even if you’re not there yet the journey is just is just amazing.
David Ralph [5:53]
So did you think but you was out of whack somehow and that’s why you you went on this quest or was it just as or write the book
Marc Ensign [6:01]
No, well what happened was, it’s, it’s, it started about a year and a half, two years ago, I was living in New Jersey and my, I decided to move my entire family down to Tampa, Florida. I didn’t like where I live, I wasn’t happy with who I was and where I was in my life. And I felt like I was beating my head against a wall. And it was and the solution in my head was we need to move, you know, new surroundings will change everything. And so, so we packed up all of our stuff, we sold our house and we moved down near the beach in Tampa, and that was supposed to fix everything. And I quickly learned that, you know, the first day that we were there, that that was not true that you know, I brought all my problems and all my challenges and my frustrations with me. And so, but now I had a bigger problem. I didn’t know anybody. I didn’t know where I was. I couldn’t find anything that was lost in this in this new place. I didn’t you know, we didn’t have any family here. We just threw a dart at a map. And
David Ralph [7:03]
why did you do this sunshine then? Well, I want to temper.
Marc Ensign [7:08]
You know what we we, every year we would go down to the Gulf Coast in the panhandle in Florida. We love the beach up up there, but we hated the area because it was very, very touristy. Like every corner had a T shirt shop. So we basically just followed the Gulf Coast around and we were like, hey, Tampa seems like a really cool place. We should just go there. I mean, I wish it was more scientific than that. But it really was and it was just, I was willing to go anywhere to get out of the, you know, to get out of the place where I was in, I was stuck. You know, I grew I was living in a house that was a couple miles away from where I where I grew up. And you know, this is coming from a guy that I graduated high school and I turned around and flipped off the high school and swore I would never come back and I moved a couple miles away. So you know, it just it wasn’t my ideal life. And so, moving anywhere would have been Better, at least in my mind that was that I convinced myself. And so. So the first day we were in Tampa went out for a walk, and I and I ran into this guy, this guy named dick and he lives down the street, he was about 888 or nine houses away from me, and just the sweetest guy you’ve ever met, you know, just incredibly nice and really good to my kids. Like I wouldn’t walk in for my kids before he even you know, introduced himself to me he was on one knee talking to my kids, I’d I given him the, you know, attention and respect and love that they that kids need. And we just had a great conversation. He was so welcoming gave me a bunch of information to you know, here’s some answers that you’ve been looking for. There’s a great pizza place up the street and you got to go here and do this and call this person and they’ll set you up with that and give me everything I needed to know. You know, as a new person in the neighbourhood. His wife was was equally as nice if not more, so. Within a week we’re in, you know, we welcome into their home and admit their family. The guy had a dozen enemies hanging on the wall. And you know, in the office in his house, you never would have known he was the most humble guy you’ll ever meet. And he, I found that he had just had all of these characteristics or what I eventually called Virtus about him, that I was just in love with it. I wanted to be just like that. And about two months after we met, it was my birthday. And he came by the house because he had a birthday present for me. And, you know, I figured it was going to be some weird sweater vest or something like that, you know, the guy’s a lot older, and, and he ended up handing me a baseball in a Ziploc bag. He works in sports, that’s where a lot of zombies came from. And he handed me a baseball and on that baseball was were signatures from every Red Sox player that he could find. I’m a big Red Sox fan. He must you know, he knows that from from the hat that I wear everyone Morning when I’m taking my dog for a walk, and he caught that and with enough time got, you know, went to a bunch of games that he was working and got some red sox players to sign the ball for him. And that was my birthday present and I just was speechless. I mean that this is it was a level of of being human that I’ve never seen before. I’ve never been on the receiving end of
David Ralph [10:21]
my Mom, did you cry?
Marc Ensign [10:23]
I cry. No, I don’t think I cried
David Ralph [10:26]
yet. I’m gonna find it, I’m gonna find the thing that makes you cry somewhere on this show.
Marc Ensign [10:31]
I think that’s common, though. So So um, so I immediately went out for a bike ride because that’s what I do when when when, you know, I need to kind of find myself I go on a bike ride. And as you know, trying to figure out the answer to life and and I decided that this is what I wanted to be I wanted to be this guy. And and I you know, I wanted to follow his footsteps and see him as a mentor and learn from all these things. So for the next you know, I came back I wrote down all these different virtues, I came up with 12 of them. And for the next 12 months, every month I focused on one making it the core purpose of my life is to, you know, spend a month be more grateful spend a month, be more humble, spend a month being more engaged. And and, you know, and I didn’t have any intention of writing a book about it, this was just for my own well being and I was shocked at who turned me into the type of person that it turned me into.
Unknown Speaker [11:29]
David Ralph [11:31]
oh, well, you like a better version of who you would naturally be.
Marc Ensign [11:36]
Definitely a better version of who I would naturally be like, like, it’s that and that was the thing. It wasn’t. I didn’t want to become this guy. You know, like, you know, at first I did, like, at first that’s where it started. But I was like, No, no, I don’t want to be him. I want to be I want to be influenced by that. I want to I want to see you know, take the things that he’s done and he’s willing He’s been and learn from and as, as a marketing gift from the gods, you know, the guy’s name is dick. And so, you know, my mantra was be a dick. And so, so that’s the name of the book, The name of the book is be a dick and it’s all about but with a capital D, of course, and, you know, and it’s all about, you know, it’s not be dick, like, I don’t want to be this guy, I want to be a, you know, a dick a person like that at, you know, a person that, you know, that’s perceptive, that’s, that’s, you know, looking at, you know, who people are and trying to find how I can connect with them instead of forcing them to connect with me on my terms, you know, person that’s more generous, both with my time and my money in my, in my life, you know, and, and, and all these different things that, you know, I was I started off my life being very introverted, and this forced me to be more welcoming together. Go out and just start meeting people and, and forcing myself to be more extroverted and, and connect with people, you know, and without a fear of rejection that I’ve had for, you know, a number of years. So it really had me looking at life completely different. I find
David Ralph [13:20]
it fascinating though that somebody like yourself, obviously was born with hustle muscle running through them to be able to get into Broadway musicianship that takes us metal as opposed because it is a very competitive world. Did you always feel that you was going for route vain but was expected of you? Did you want to go to Broadway or was that what people expected you to do? Did you want to do base? Did you want to do that? Or were you like all of us on that path that’s kind of laid down for us?
Marc Ensign [13:54]
No, I leave me there’s you know, there’s nothing more horrifying I think than telling your parents do you want to be me? You know, like, like, you know, I think I broke my parents spirit by telling them that I wanted to go to music for the rest of my life. So, so no, this is not the plan that they laid out for me. I graduated college and for some reason, I don’t even know why at the time, I’d never even been to a Broadway show, I decided that I wanted to work on Broadway, I figured it was the most prestigious thing you can do as a musician. It was a steady job, it was, you know, paid well. And it was, that was the big time like that, that to me was was something that really meant something that, you know, and so that was my goal. I was too stupid to realise that that I had no right being there. And and so what do you mean by by? Well, I, you know, when I when I started, I started calling people trying to get the job. You know, it was, you know, there was there really the internet wasn’t really it was in its infancy, and so You know, you couldn’t connect with people on Facebook and, or Twitter or anything like that like, like all the internet was good for was chat rooms and porn and I had exhausted both of those at that point. So I’m still being here
David Ralph [15:13]
Marc Ensign [15:16]
and so so I you know, I started going to the city no stealing playbills from all the shows every night until I had them all. And I wasn’t able to join the union because I didn’t have a gig yet. So I, I took a wire cutter and I stole a phone book from the plane from the bus station. And I just started calling people and I got hung up on I was threatened with restraining orders. And I don’t know why like like, like, you know, if I had been told so many times it would have put normally put me or a any human being in the foetal position. But I just couldn’t accept it. I couldn’t accept no for an answer and I just kept hammering away at it and have
David Ralph [15:59]
you Looking back on it, why you kept on going for it?
Marc Ensign [16:05]
You know, I want to say that that it was this enlightened, you know, part point my life was probably because I wanted to move out of my mom’s basement. But But I don’t know, I just wanted this so bad that I just couldn’t hear the word note. It was poisoned to me. So, so I just had to keep finding a different way. I had to keep, you know, like, if you told me know that I just had to figure out another way. And eventually when everybody told me no, I took a step back and I determined that I, you know, I was I had nothing to offer anybody. I was just this dumb kid that wanted to know wanted to steal their gig. So I reached out and I told everybody that I wrote for bass player magazine, and I was writing an article on what it takes to be a musician on Broadway. I figured that was a great way for me to find out what it was taking what it would take because obviously I was I was not doing something right. And and it would get me connected to everybody and sure enough with the ego that That most musicians have they were all over and so I had met with every single bass player that worked on Broadway I saw every single show from the pit and I copied the music from every show and so now I had this you know, a little bit of an end and the problem of course was I didn’t write from bass player magazine so so I had to reach out to bass player magazine and sell him on his idea for the article which they loved the idea of so they bought the article The problem was I didn’t write the article so that I had this you know, I had promised both sides of the coin and leave article eventually came out and and it was that I reached out to everybody sent them the magazine and and begged and pleaded for the job. And they still said no, but there was there was one particular guy that was really, that was really touched by the article is as it ends up his father was a bass player too, and never got the notoriety that he earned. And this article just meant so much to the guy that I ended up writing an article about his dad And it wasn’t until I stopped asking people and stop asking him in particular to give me the gig and just started doing, you know, doing things to help out, you know, offering value of some sort that he reached out and he asked me if I’d like to sub for the show, and that’s where it all started
David Ralph [18:17]
now and he’s a key message for the listeners out there but forcing the issue only works so far, providing true value and trying to help and reaching out to people saying, I love your work. Is there any way that I can help you but what do you need is a great way of doing it.
Marc Ensign [18:37]
Yeah, and I think that’s one of the things I learned from this whole experience with being a dick it was that it’s not so much you know, me call reaching out to you and saying, Hey, what do you need because I’m going to do it for you and this way. You know, I have one hand out one hand in, I do this for you. You do that for me? Because there’s there’s nothing great about that. It’s it’s You know it’s ringing the doorbell and handing somebody a baseball with signatures of their favourite team on it not because they asked you for it or because they said hey, you know, I you know I work do a lot of baseball games, I can probably get you a bunch of signatures Would you be interested like like that never happened it’s it’s being perceptive and saying that like, Hey, I see, I see some place where I can add some value. And I’m just going to do it. And I’m going to do it with no strings attached into expectations. And, and there’s there’s a totally different feeling when when you come at it from that perspective than you do from the perspective of, you know, wanting something in return, like like I have, I’m anticipating a return on this investment.
David Ralph [19:43]
Because I found a lot of value family and I will be doing this show I have to research people’s websites. And when you go on people’s websites, you click around and quite often I find links aren’t working. They obviously want them to work because there’s some kind of monetary reward with most websites, and so on. I always go over to him and say, Oh, I’m not sure if you realise but this link isn’t working, you might want to fix it. And I find I break down a lot of doors that way. I’m not asking for anything. I’m just saying that there’s something wrong, but maybe they haven’t spotted and I don’t ask for anything in return. And then back two or three weeks later, something comes back to me and he comes back in a very open genuine way. Which means as you say, you provided value and but you want to do it back.
Marc Ensign [20:27]
Yeah, there’s I think there’s there’s a certain quality that most human beings have where it’s, like, you got to pay somebody back. Like if somebody does something nice for you with with no strings attached and not expecting anything. There’s this uncomfortable feeling of it being one sided you know, even if it’s subconscious, it just, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s why someone who’s really good at networking, the way they approach networking is by trying to hook up as many people as they know, like they don’t walk into the room. Looking for business, they walk into the room looking to see how they can give other people business. Because if you do that, you know, if you can hook up 10 people or give out 10 referrals, you’re going to get 20 back. And, and I think that’s just human nature that, you know, when somebody does something nice for us, we just feel such an obligation to return the favour almost to the point where it’s uncomfortable until we do when you look back
David Ralph [21:25]
at your life Now, obviously, you’re loving what you’re doing and we’re gonna touch on what you’re doing. But if somebody said to you, right, you can either do what you’re doing now, or be back in Broadway. I assume you’re a bass player. Is that what it is?
Marc Ensign [21:39]
Yes, I am.
David Ralph [21:40]
Right. Okay. So you could be on the number one show in Broadway, whatever it is, at the moment playing bass or doing what you’re doing now. What would you do?
Marc Ensign [21:50]
Well, that’s a really tough question.
Wow, I don’t know I am because I absolutely loved my time on Broadway and I And I had done it for a little over 10 years. And so I outgrew it I got bored with it eight shows a day eight shows a week rather, for so many years. It You know, it was like the movie Groundhog Day, just do the same thing over and over and over again and my life got very boring. And not only that, but I was I was always away. I was always out for holidays, my family used to have my head, a picture of my head on a stick. So when it was for Thanksgiving, the whole family would get together for Thanksgiving. And somebody would hold mark on a stick. So at least I was kind of in the picture because I would because because I was always away. So I was never around and and now that I have kids in a family. I couldn’t imagine, you know, never being you know, not being around anymore. So I would have to probably say what I’m doing now but That’s a really tough question. You know, if I had to be selfish, I would say broadwick. So I absolutely loved it. But I know within six months, I’d be bored to tears of it, you know, again, anyway.
David Ralph [23:11]
So so when you started doing your manoeuvring and your networking and pulling your connections together, did you realise but actually, this is going to be a business or was it that you were just playing you were trying stuff you were moving around?
Marc Ensign [23:28]
Now, you know, it was completely by accident. I had, I decided that I was going to I was on tour all the time. I was on the road 365 days a year for years, maybe come home for a week or something every now and then. And I was I decided that, you know, I met my wife we moved in together and you know, it was becoming unfair to her for me to always be away. So, you know, I wanted to come home and I wanted to try to see if I can make this work at home and And, and, and part of that was I found myself falling into like the wedding band kind of deal. Because it you know, pays well. But it’s just a horrifying experience like as a musician, it just, you know, it just breaks your soul. And I had had enough like I was a couple weeks into this, you know, doing this wedding band thing. And I was coming home at two or three in the morning. And I was like, that’s it. I’m never doing this again. And then they called on Wednesday and said, We have two more gigs for you this weekend. And I took them and then I was coming home on you know, on Sunday or Saturday night, and I swore I would never do it again. And then sure enough, you know, they call them Wednesday again. And they offered me more gigs. And I said, Okay, and I found that I just it was like it was like a drug. I couldn’t I couldn’t say no. And so I was coming home that Sunday night and I said I’m never doing this again. Then I caught myself and you know who am I kidding? Of course I’m going to do it again. This is what I go through this little song and dance every week. You know and And they’re gonna call him Wednesday I’m gonna take the gigs. And so I was like, but this time I really meant it. And so I pulled over into a 711 parking lot, convenience store parking lot. And I stripped down to my boxer shorts and I threw my tuxedo shoes and everything into the clothing donation booth and donated my tux to a better cause and, you know, and came home half naked having to explain to my wife which is kind of awkward, but you use somebody with
David Ralph [25:29]
gestures on you, you seem to like the big things in life the kind of I had a moments
Marc Ensign [25:34]
It was exactly like I had to like I had to commit and that was that was the ultimate and commitment and so now when Wednesday rolled around I didn’t have I couldn’t say yes I didn’t have a tuxedo anymore. And and it was too late to get one altered or anything like that. Like I was in like I had made the decision. And with that I had no choice but but to now figure this out. And so as a well I’m really good at this marketing thing. I should do that. And so that’s kind of how it started. But I didn’t have a choice but to make a living at it like I had. I had cut off all other possibilities.
David Ralph [26:10]
Well, let’s play some words. Now that will take us to the next stage of our conversation. And these are the words said by Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [26:18]
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.
Marc Ensign [26:45]
Good words. Oh, my God, you know, you have you have no idea the nerve that you hit. I absolutely love that speech that he did for was at the marishi University Right. Yeah. And I actually I wish, I wish we You’re on video right now because I turned my computer over I have a big sign right in front of my face from from that. That I quoted. He had said be someone that makes be someone that makes others present their best selves to you wherever you go. And and you know that was one of the things that he had said was you know he did this amazing thing I’m you know I made people present their best to me wherever I went. And and that was one of the things that I that you know really touched me because because you know to be able to bring out the best and other people everywhere you go. Is is such a gift such a you know to be able to do that is absolutely amazing and all of a sudden it you know when when I came from a place of you know fear of rejection in meeting new people and walking into a big room of a lot of people you know, which is which is what makes the Broadway thing so weird that I you know that I did that with so much rejection, but that Or that saying, you know, has me be able to walk into a room and let go of myself and try to be there for everybody else. And, and the results are always, you know, it’s such a shift and we are
David Ralph [28:13]
so so deep you taking risk as as Jim Carrey was saying, did you take a risk because I like the fact that you say you literally burn all your bridges. So there was only one way to go and that was forward. So does that take the risk element away from it? Or is it something that you need to have on the back burner that you’ve got an escape plan somehow?
Marc Ensign [28:36]
Um, I’d like to say that that you know, I did this is a big thing where I cut off all other possibilities, like I did burn the bridge, but it was the bridge was also made of metal so still kind of standing and if I had to get back over it, I probably could have, you know, like, like, I still could have gone back to the wedding band gig a week or two later if I really you know, if I had to, you know, focus on my family was starving and said look, you know enough this business isn’t working, get back out there, you know and start playing the girl from Ipanema, again we need some money. I could have done it, you know, in a heartbeat just would have made buying a new tux and making a few phone calls and you know, and apologising to a few people. So so I kind of did so I but I think I also had in the back of my mind that there was a safety net below me if I needed it. There’s always an opportunity for you know, that I could have figured out I could have gone back on tour, I could have gone back into the winning man thing. But like the Broadway thing, I had my heart set on, you know, I need to find another way I need to figure out a better way to do this. Or I just want to experience something different. And I get bored very easily.
David Ralph [29:44]
So So how do you keep your focus, Ben because one of the things that is true in entrepreneurial route, and I’ve certainly discovered it doing this show, but when you focus on one thing solidly I think the acronym is follow one course until success. Bye You’ve got more chance of success, but by definition entrepreneurs like the startups but they don’t like the the pushing it to the end. So how do you keep that away from your your game? Really? How do you stop that boredom creeping in?
Marc Ensign [30:18]
I don’t I fight with it on a daily basis, I think I think most people do and anybody that says that they don’t, I don’t think is being 100% honest. You know, unless, unless you’re the type like there are, you know, those types that just aren’t entrepreneurial by spirit, just like they’re, you know, they’re content with, Hey, I just can, I just want to do my nine to five, you know, get through the day, do what I do. And, you know, and their energy comes from other stuff from you know, from travelling or from family and from, you know, other places, you know, but, but if you’re, if you have that entrepreneurial side of you, I don’t think you can and turn off that boredom or that shiny Penny syndrome. I think you could just kind of controlling a little bit, because it never goes away. Like, like, that’s why entrepreneurs are always caught, you know, constantly, you know, jumping out of the Internet of different situations or starting new things or, you know, or even fail at a lot of things because their attention is always somewhere else.
David Ralph [31:18]
Because I found myself fascinated by the process of growing a show. And literally every day, I will tweak one thing and I will try something else. And if I get to a certain amount of downloads, I will try to break it to see if but one thing is the tablet turns it on and off. I like the process which I’ve never had before. Are you somebody that if we took you back to the sort of the young mark, you would have been drawing and using Lego bricks and stuff? Is it not the kind of the building that you like, or is it the creative element?
Marc Ensign [31:51]
I love the creativity. I actually don’t like the building at all. I don’t like the product success. I don’t like the systems I don’t like it doesn’t That doesn’t connect with me at all. I love the creativity, you know, if you look at my background with music and, and, you know and and storytelling and writing, it’s all comes from a creative side like like my, my, my head spins. You know, when I hear a good story or I see a good opportunity, I mean, you know, we always joke my wife and I joke about, you know, the whole thing with meeting our neighbour dick and how, you know, for her, you know, the story when I met the guy that lives down the street, he’s a really nice guy, his name is dick. For me, I wrote a book about it, you know, I dedicated a year to it, because I see things differently. And, you know, and and in most cases, the, you know, the reason I see things differently is because I’m constantly trying to improve myself just like you, I’m trying to tweak you know, little things here and there. And, you know, if I had a good day yesterday, how can I tweak it to make it better today? If I have this great idea, how can I make it even better? What can I do to, you know, connect with more people or or, you know, or reach out to, to somebody that I admire that I want to get to know? And how can I get to know them from, you know, a place of authenticity and not because I want something or need something. And so I’m constantly in a state of trying to, you know, tweak my life, just like you’re tweaking your show.
David Ralph [33:25]
And so for the listeners out there that are listening to these these shows, and they’re in the queue because and they’re on the train or whatever. And they’ve got an idea and I’ve got this this this niggling idea that just keeps on coming back from all the time. Is it something that we should advise them just to get it out there and see how it flies? Is it something that we should say, reach out to people who are doing similar stuff, and then see if you can get any advice? What would be your advice for the listeners out there? Oh,
Marc Ensign [33:56]
yeah, I think you have to, I mean, if it’s, if it’s one of those things is Magnetic and, you know, in the back of your head and you’re tossing and turning over it, absolutely. I mean, there’s something inside that’s telling you that needs to this needs to get out. I think, you know, one of my biggest fears is that I’m going to die with with a dream, you know, stuck inside, you know, I got like, like, you know, this this book, I’ve been working on this book for a year and a half now, almost two years. And I’m terrified that it doesn’t hit the shelves, not because like, you know, I want to sell a million books or anything like that. But because it’s a story that I just have to tell and if this thing doesn’t get out, and it dies on the vine, it’d be devastating. And how many more things how many more ideas to do I have that, you know, I got to get out. And so I you know, we only get one shot at this thing. And what a shame if you spend it, you know, playing it safe and and not, you know, not willing to Hear that thing that’s, that’s speaking to you, at least a listen. That’s how many people do don’t
David Ralph [35:05]
lie, you know, and I’ve got some mates. And if you’re listening, mate, I’m not gonna say your name, but you know who you are. And they tell me that they’re bored with their job. And they know it’s up to them to do something about it. But I don’t, they just keep on going along doing the same thing. And they will buy the self development books, and they will listen to these shows, and they will listen to other shows and stuff. And we have deep conversations in the pub. And we will, you know, start coming up with ideas and I go, Yeah, you’re right, you’re right. This is what I should be doing brilliant. Three weeks later, they’re still doing exactly the same stuff. So why do you think people know what they need to do but they just don’t
Marc Ensign [35:44]
it’s the fear of unknown you know, I like you don’t know what’s gonna come of it. Like I you know, there’s there’s a safety and you know, like, I’d rather rather deal with the, you know, the fear that I know than the fear that I don’t know. You when when you have a job or you have, you know, or even, you know, there’s certain things in my life that that, you know, like, geez, I could really use a change here. But if I change that, what’s that going to bring? You know, and and so sometimes just, you know, it’s hard to fight that voice that says, You know what, maybe we’re just better off, you know, being thankful with what we have. And, you know, let’s let’s wait a little while and that other thing that you want but we
David Ralph [36:27]
know we know, we know deep down you must know that we’re not no matter of course not. If you’ve got that voice going in your head. That’s a huge indication that hang on, I’m not happy.
Marc Ensign [36:38]
Right? Yeah. And and it’s and it’s also that it’s not going to get better. It’s only going to get worse if you don’t start listening to it. And, and I think we all have to get you know better at that like I think I think there’s you know, I gotta I don’t want to pretend for a second that I’m the guy that wakes up in the morning and and has something whisper in my ear and go you know, well That’s it, I guess I’m, you know, going on safari for a couple weeks, like, you know, it’s, it’s, I don’t do that at all, like I fight with it just like everybody else and I lose that battle often. And you know, and then occasionally I win and those are those stories I like to tell.
David Ralph [37:17]
But the guys that duva on there, they’ve set their lives up, but they can wake up and go, yes, boom, I’m off to Safari. You know, I’ve been speaking to these these very successful businessmen that literally say to their clients, for two months a year, you’re not going to be able to get hold of me so sorted out yourself, and where clients have kind of bought into that. And I said, well, you’re worried that they were gonna, you know, walk away. No, I was providing enough value and I used to do it while I was on holiday. And now I go, No, you can’t have me for this month and you can’t have me for that month. Get me before and get me after. And what they keep on coming back and saying is that beforehand, you think, Oh, yeah, if I do this, we’re gonna walk away. Oh, everything’s going go wrong. But actually very little ever happens. It just sort of like plods along you sit, you’re stalled out and people buy into it. And I find that big time and do you do you find that as well, when you actually take control of your life? And you pull it away from other people’s agenda? Generally things work a lot more smoothly.
Marc Ensign [38:19]
Yeah, I mean, it’s almost story that we tell ourselves like, you know, we we try to try to convince ourselves that we’re really more important than we really are. The truth is that a life will somehow go on people will somehow figure things out and you know, if you have a team they’ll be able to get by without you if you don’t have a team. You set up the process right? There will be hiccups in it but for the most part, it’ll it’ll work itself out. And and if it doesn’t work itself out, and you end up really screwing somebody over or causing a lot of problems or whatever, you apologise, you clean up the mess and you make a note of it and you learn for next time. That’s that’s how you get better at it. Otherwise, you know if you come from a place of fear Well, I can’t go away or have to go away with my phone strapped to my face, then you’re not you’re not fixing the problem, you’re actually making the problem worse.
David Ralph [39:10]
I love these words I’m going to play now that really sort of emphasise that moment when you’re doing something and you’re not sure that next step, you’re not sure whether what you’re going to do is going to cause a problem. What you’re going to do is going to be the home run that you hear, but you still do it anyway. This is Oprah.
Oprah Winfrey [39:26]
The way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move? not think about, Oh, I got all of this stuff. What is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move and not to be overwhelmed by it because you know, your life is bigger than that one moment. You know, you’re not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [39:59]
Marc Ensign [40:01]
Yeah, absolutely. I think that she might have talked about it earlier. You know, the, the only thing I would add to that is that you have to just have to know what your outcome is, you know, so let’s say if your outcome is to perform on Broadway, you know, what’s your next right move to get there? You got to be crystal clear on what that outcome is. When I wanted to work on Broadway, I was crystal clear that I was going to be on that stage. By the time I had my first shot at it. I had visualised myself playing that show 1000 times and what some way
it was. The show was rent. Actually, I was a great show. The bass player was phenomenal. I can imagine I’m gonna download
David Ralph [40:47]
it on YouTube and listen to can we find you on YouTube if I type you in and stuff playing, playing your bass
Marc Ensign [40:53]
playing? It’s possible there’s probably something out there I’m sure. I don’t know about YouTube, but maybe there’s there’s gotta be something out there. I wasn’t the original bass player for that show, I had I inherited the gig from the original bass player so so on the actual cast recording, it’s not me but uh, but it was, it just was it was a fun show to play. But but like when by the time I had gotten to that point where I actually played the show, I had done it so many times in my head and in my room and on the stage, and I would go, I would go to the theatre when everybody was on dinner break. And I’d sit on the stage, and I with my headphones on, and I play the show by myself with it with headphones on. So I can just feel like what it was like to be on that stage. And I did this for months until I finally got, you know, until it was my turn. And so by the time I did it, I wasn’t nervous at all. I was so prepared that it just came so naturally to me. And that I think comes from from really having been crystal clear on what you want, and then figure out what that next step is. I think that’s the nugget of gold of this whole show for the listeners out there.
David Ralph [42:03]
Yeah. You won’t know the journey you really won’t you won’t know the first thing to do. But you can do something. And as Oprah says, you do it and you look around Did it work? Did it do nothing? Did you just move forward, but as long as you know yet, aim, go. When I started this show, I knew what my end goal was. And I’m nowhere near it To be honest, I’m I’m staying.
Marc Ensign [42:23]
Wait, wait, hold on, hold on a second, I thought your end goal was to hang out and talk to me.
David Ralph [42:28]
Mom, we’re gonna do it face to face, we’re gonna be this is gonna be the big live session. That’s what we’re gonna call it. And the two of us will be together. But yeah, and I’m in stage one. And I’ve clearly just past stage one, and I know what I’m working for the stage two. Now, I don’t know how to do those stages. That’s the key thing. I just know what I’m working towards. And as Mark saying, that’s what you need. So if you’re in your cubicle, if you’re on the train or whatever, and you have got this dream of doing something. I know it’s a cliche, but just The first thing and then do the second thing and just keep on moving forward. And then once that passion for the task kicks in, you’re really starting to go, when you get to a point where people will start noticing you, and then you speed up again. And then it becomes a lot easier. But you’re going to do the first step. I’m in your mouth.
Marc Ensign [43:18]
Yeah, you have to, I mean, you have to be clear on what you want, and you have to commit to it. You can’t walk into something with like, I didn’t. I didn’t walk into Broadway thinking boy sure would be nice to perform on Broadway. Maybe someday, you know, like, I walked into like, okay, it’s just, I’m going to be on that stage. I mean, they may have to arrest me to get me off of it, but I’m going to be on that stage. I don’t know how I’m gonna do it. But it’s mine. And so now, let’s, you know, let’s take a look at where we are and how do we get there, but, you know, you have to know what it is. We have to be committed to you gotta be willing to, you know, traje waist deep and sewage to get there. What it’s going to take,
David Ralph [44:01]
and what one of the amazing things I find is Walmart, I don’t know, if you find the same is when you get to that, that dead end and you just don’t know what to do. You go for a walk in the park or you go to sleep. And more often than not the work that you’ve done previously, somehow comes back and helps you round it, I find that I’ve had numerous obstacles that I couldn’t see how to get around. So I just kind of left them and things occurred because of the work I’d already done that is my path through Do you find similar things?
Marc Ensign [44:34]
Yeah, I think that there’s always, you know, a story or an experience that we can tap into to kind of re energise or you know, look, I mean, it always seems devastating at the time, but looking back like all those little failures, all those times I got hung up on all those times that that I was told no, actually meant something. It may you know, if I wouldn’t have got The gig because if it wasn’t for those knows, and the reason I say that is because when someone finally said yes, I mean, it was a year of people threatening to call the police, you know, I was because I was I was abusive in the way I was trying to get in touch with people and reach out to people. If it wasn’t for all those knows, by the time I get that one Yes, a year later, I wouldn’t have appreciated as much as I did. So I probably wouldn’t you know, if the first guy said yes, I probably would have walked into it a little half assed, I probably wouldn’t have been as prepared. It wouldn’t have meant as much to me. Oh, my God, this was easy. And then I would have blown it, I’m sure. But because I was I went through so much to get there. I appreciated it so much more. And because I appreciate it respected it so much more. I tried that much harder. And I did that much better.
David Ralph [45:49]
Well, let’s play some words. No, no, the theme of the whole show. And this is the speech that Steve Jobs did back in 2005. When he talks about all those little things, those things that at a time You can’t see how they join up. But they become the big dots. They become your your blueprint to success,
Steve Jobs [46:07]
Steve Jobs. 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 leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [46:43]
So I love to ask this question marks. I’m not gonna let you get away from it. What’s your big bang on the Join Up Dots timeline, but he’s talking about what’s the big dog when you look back on it and you go Yeah, I think that’s when things started to come my way.
Marc Ensign [46:59]
The big day For Well, I’ve had like a couple of big dots. I mean, you know, because I’ve had a couple different phases of my life. You know, one of which was the Broadway thing and other which was meeting dick and writing this book and changing, you know, my life. You know, for, I think, where a lot of things changed for me was and I mentioned a couple times that I that I had this fear of rejection and and that stemmed from a story from when I was in third grade, where I had moved to a new town in the middle of the school year and the girl, the popular girl in school came up to me and, you know, we’ve all been there and she she said, She’s like, Hey, you gotta remember I had buck teeth, braces, thick brown glasses and curly hair. So I wasn’t the, you know, a handsome guy that I am right now. And so she came up to me and she said, she said, Hi, you’re pretty, pretty ugly, and it’s so stupid looking back, but when you’re at years old and and there’s nobody there to tell you otherwise, you own that. And so that’s what I did, I became this kid that was pretty ugly. And that’s how I saw life through that lens. And I applied that to everything that I did for the next 25 years, I became afraid to talk to people, like I became afraid to, to, to meet people to walk into a room and you know, everything that I did was was had this, you know, this, this fog over it that was cold, pretty ugly. And I went to a seminar and I was talking to somebody and they gave me this exercise of tell, you know, tell us your earliest memory of something bad that happened to you. And I was telling the story to the girl sitting next to me, and she was laughing, and I was mortified. And you know, here we go again, just solidifying this thing that I’ve been holding on to for 25 years. And then she broke down she said, I’m not laughing like at you are not really, you know, laugh. I’m just I’m so relieved. Because here’s my story. And she had a very similar story. And her for her, she was called stupid, you know, over and over again by her dad as a joke. And and so she believed that she for her whole life, she thought she was stupid. And I’ve my whole life I thought was pretty ugly and and you know, and then the more I start talking to people, I started hearing everybody’s pretty ugly story. And it was really that moment that I realised that like, all this time, I thought I was alone and dealing with this thing. And meanwhile, magician is giant room full of people, and we all think we’re alone. And not realising that, that, you know, we don’t have to buy this story that we’ve been told that we believed in all these years. And and, and I let go, I just let it go. And I ended up writing a blog post about it years and years later. And I’ve since received a couple hundred stories and people that have told their pretty ugly story. And it was such a defining moment for me because it kind of it. It was such a clear indication of what our brains do to us. And what These stories that we create what they do to us and how they hold us back and how, how I was so paralysed by this, this thing that this eight year old had said to me, you know, 2530 years earlier, who just so you know, is is, you know, an adult also, and would probably be mortified if she knew the effect that she had on me. You know, she didn’t mean it was just a stupid joke that that a dumb kid says, but I had it had changed the trajectory of my life. And when I realised that that was a big eye opening for me, because that that you know, if that was true, did you know if that was just a story, how many other stories do I tell myself? And so from that point on, I could see where I let go, and was able to do some pretty great things because that was no longer holding me back.
David Ralph [50:46]
Wow, what a powerful story. And Mark Yeah, you’re a good looking man. I’m a heterosexual man. But if anyone could turn me it would be user.
Marc Ensign [50:56]
I don’t know if I’m, if I’m flattered or completely horrified. is, that could be something that you drag
David Ralph [51:01]
around with yourself for the next 25 years. I’ve just screwed. I do apologise, I do apologise. Well let’s take you back in time now to maybe that time when you were finding yourself in that new town because this is the part that we call the Sermon on the mic when I send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could speak to young mark, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m gonna play the theme tune and when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [51:37]
best bit of the show.
Marc Ensign [51:53]
I never would have guessed you had such a beautiful voice.
So if I had to if I hadn’t talked to the My eight year old self, because that’s that’s who I would no question. Choose, it would, I would, I would take myself right back to that moment when I was, you know, standing in that lunch room and this girl came up to me and said, You’re pretty ugly. And I turned around and because it was my first day at school, I didn’t have any friends and I turned around, there’s nobody there to to, to tell me that she was that it wasn’t true, or nobody there to tell me that she’s kind of a jerk or that she does that to all the kids. You know, and that’s just her thing. I would, if I can go back in time, I would be the one standing there. And so when I turned around in that moment, I would I would be staring back at my older self and you know, wearing something nice. So I don’t look pretty ugly. But But, but really just, you know, to to support myself and tell myself that it was not true that this doesn’t have to define who I am that this is just that this is something that in the future is going to make me stronger. And so rather than waiting 25 years to allow this to, to give me the strength to do some pretty great things, I can do that right now. You know, I lost 25 years of meeting people and have and have experiencing things because of that. And, you know, that was by my own, you know, it was by my own sword that I did that and I’d love to have the opportunity to get those 25 years back and speaking to that person and telling that person that that you know, the benefit of being called pretty ugly at such an early age you know, could change all that and who knows where I’d be right now if I if I was able to do that.
David Ralph [53:44]
Mark, how can our audience connect with you sir?
Marc Ensign [53:49]
best thing to do is head over to my website, which is Mark ma RC Ensign, NSI gn calm, and that’s kind of my blog and my you know, ramblings of What I do and who I am. And, you know, one of the things I struggle with is I don’t really have a blog that talks about anything specific in the sense of, you know, I’m not a social media guy, and I’m not an SEO guy, I’m not a, you know, LinkedIn expert, or anything along those lines, I really, I’m a storyteller. And my, my purpose on my blog is to really inspire people and try to, you know, try to figure life out together, you know, where, you know, where we all kind of have this opportunity to share our story and where we’re coming from and what we do. And, and so, if that’s something of interest, if that’s what people are looking for looking for a little inspiration, a little honesty, a little vulnerability, then then definitely swing by and throw your 32 cents into the right.
David Ralph [54:47]
Mark, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. And of course, we’ll have all those links on the show notes. 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. Mark, thank you so much.
Marc Ensign [55:04]
Thank you, David. Appreciate it.
David Ralph [55:08]
Thanks for listening to today’s episode of Join Up Dots brought to you exclusively by podcast is mastery.com. The only resource that shows you how to create a show, build an income and still have time for the life that you love. Check out podcasters mastery.com.
Now, David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.