Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast with Sean D’Souza
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Introducing Sean D’Souza
Sean D’Souza is my guest today, on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
He is a man who has learnt throughout his life that simplicity is the key.
Breaking information down to be transferred from one person to another in the shortest possible route.
He’s learnt that this is the way to success and fulfilment for both parties.
He knows how to make customers rabid fans of his work, by removing the questions that stop a sale.
Being born in Mumbai, India (formerly known as Bombay), he lived there for about 30 years.
Until he decided that he didn’t have enough sheep in his life.
Who doesn’t get to that point I ask you?
So he found his spiritual home by moving to New Zealand with its 4 million people and 44 million sheep.
Could there be a better place to develop his business and raise the baa??
And that business started 15+ years ago, fresh out of college with a degree in accounting (of all things) he joined an advertising agency called Leo Burnett.
Which had a life changing effect on the young man.
How The Dots Joined Up With Sean D’Souza
Times were not good in the advertising world, and even though work was hard to come by the now deceased Leo Burnetts integrity shone through.
He learnt that there is a right way and wrong way to business, and took that with him, as then moving unusually from copywriting to cartoons.
The opportunity of working with one of the best advertising agencies in the world took him on the heady road of copywriting.
Writing TV commercials (learning how to do them in 5 seconds), graphic design, cartoons and web design.
Which once again, the underlying synchronicity was the constant search to find ways to communicate in the simplest, most effective manner.
Write text that is absorbed easily. And build conversations never forgotten.
And now with multiple online platforms teaching this ideal, he is loving life and perhaps getting to spend quality time with a sheep or two as well
So how did he take this ideal, and expand it into an income producing machine?
And does he see that the thing that stops so many people out there, is there desire for perfection against one of simplicity?
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 Mr Sean D’Souza
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Sean D’Souza such as:
Why he now feels strongly that there was a gift given to him in his life due to never be told to do something that he didn’t want to do.
Why the talent that you have inside of you needs to be nurtured in an environment that is carefully constructed by yourself….no one else will help this occur but you!
How you will know if you find the perfect teacher for you, if they speak to you and you can repeat back seventy percent of what they have told ou
Sean D’Souza recalls moving from cartooning to copywriting and feeling a compete fraud, as for a year and half he was convinced that he was not up to the same level as his peers.
Why risk has to be learnt. You cant except to deal with risk easily, but you can learn to move through it quicker in the future, by tackling it head on.
How To Connect With Sean D’Souza
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Sean D’Souza Interview
David Ralph [0:00]
Today’s show is brought to you by podcasters mastery.com, the premier online community teaching you to podcast like a pro. Check us out now. 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 how they’re weld how are we welcome to another edition of Join Up Dots. This is gonna be a special one because it’s the first time I’ve ever gone all the way across to New Zealand. This is probably the biggest distance from where I actually recall. So hopefully the editing and the body and will come out good because we’ve had A few problems just before we press record on it, but um, I’m sure it’s gonna be okay. Well, today’s guest is a man who has learned throughout his life. That simplicity is the key breaking information down to be transferred from one person to another in the shortest possible route is the weight of success and fulfilment for both parties. He knows how to make customers rabid fans of his work by removing the questions that stop a sale. Now being born in Mumbai, India, formerly known as Bombay, he lived there for about 30 years until deciding but he didn’t have enough sheep in his life yet, who doesn’t get to that point? I asked you. So he found his spiritual home by moving to New Zealand, where it’s 4 million people and 44 million sheep, could there be a better place to develop his business and raise the bar gamma raise the bar that’s genius. And that business started 15 plus years ago, fresh out of college with a degree in accounting of all things. He joined an advertising agency called Leo Burnett, which had a life changing effect. The young man times were not good in the advertising world and even though work was hard to come by, but now deceased Leo Burnett integrity shone through, he learned that there was a right way and wrong way to business. And he took that with him as been moving and usually from copywriting to cartoons. The opportunity of working with one of the best advertising agencies in the world took him on the heavy road of copywriting writing TV commercials, and learning how to do them in five seconds, which were after discuss graphic design cartoons and web design, which once again, the underlining synchronicity was the constant search to find ways to communicate in the simplest, most effective manner. Write text that is absorbed easily and build conversations never forgotten. And now with multiple online platforms, teaching is ideal. He is loving life, and perhaps getting to spend quality time with a sheep or two as well. Hopefully not too much time. So how did he take this idea and expand it into an income juicing machine. And does he say that the things that stopped so many people out there is the desire for perfection against one of simplicity? Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Sean D’souza. How are you, Sean?
Sean D’souza [3:15]
I’m good, thank you.
David Ralph [3:16]
You are a man of many sort of different facets you’ve had a life that is it’s kind of split up into two key parts. Did you feel that was there like a beginning to your life and now the next stage is clearly defined?
Sean D’souza [3:32]
I don’t think so. I think it’s shifting situation. It’s how I define success. It’s, it’s, you know, people define success as having money or achieving something I just think success is a is a stepping stone. It’s, it’s doing the stuff that you really want to do in being who you really want to be. But But
David Ralph [3:53]
your earlier life was very much being on a route that was kind of normal for most people. You can And you get a job and you work for the man. But now you’re a man who’s got choices. And you can do it if you want, and don’t do it if you want, and you are building up a community across the world. So that is a clearly defined mark of success, isn’t it when you’ve got your own personal choices, and like the weld, but actually had to wake up on the alarm clock and get going just because I’ve tilted
Sean D’souza [4:25]
That’s right. But even so even when I did get into a job or do stuff, it was purely because I wanted to do it. It was when I grew up, it wasn’t, you know that you had to do something. Granted, your mother always says, you know, when you’re going to get a job, but other than that, you Well, I was trained to just do whatever I wanted to do, which was really useful and I got into a few jobs and I got out of them when I checked Do I think I’ve only been made redundant on one job in my whole life? And considering that I’ve spent only two years in, in all my jobs, that’s not a very long time to spend in, you know, in the job land. And so
David Ralph [5:14]
do you have that sort of reflection when you look back, was it a gift, but you weren’t told to go down a certain path and you weren’t told to, you know, cartoons, cartoons or Child’s Play? What are you doing? Where do you think that is a gift that you’ve been given that you’ve taken forward?
Sean D’souza [5:33]
I think so. I think I think there was a kind of the, you know, my mother speaking and my father not saying anything, but just doing stuff. And I think that in some way, both of them gave me roots and wings. And it really helps because I think that the core of what makes people successful is very clear responsibility. At a very early age, the less responsibility you have, the less risk you have to take. And then as you grow up you have, you know, risk doesn’t seem so appealing. So then you want more information, information becomes more debilitating, more frustrating. Think the people that are given that factor of, of responsibility, then risk and I think that’s a that’s, that’s a great gift.
David Ralph [6:30]
Because I find now that so many people want to embrace the adventure so many people want to challenge themselves and do something creative. But the bottom line as you’re alluding to, is, what if I lose what I’ve already got? They’re very protective of what they’ve already gained instead of thinking, Okay, if I do lose it, I can do something to get it back or to go again in a different direction. So they can be in positions for a long long time, but I don’t like just because don’t want to lose what they’ve got. And you agree with that?
Sean D’souza [7:04]
Yes, I think that responsibility or rather, risk is, is a language and you have to learn the language. And if you learn the language just as you did as a kid, you know, whatever your mother tongue, then you become really good at it as you grow up. If you don’t learn the language, then at some point in time, you have to, you have to take classes and you know, life is the only class you have. And it can be, can be very frustrating when you’re 30 years old, or 40 years old, and you lose everything. So it’s much easier when you’re 10 years old, and you’ve lost everything and there’s a backup system in place.
David Ralph [7:42]
So let’s sort of frame what you do for a living because maybe the introduction didn’t really nail it. What is your day to day life? like dealing with your customers? How do you attract your customers and what do you actually provide to them?
Sean D’souza [7:58]
This used to be a very simple question to answer. It’s not anymore. Essentially what I do is I, I write about marketing. I’m very fascinated with how customers think, why they buy, why they back away, what causes them to buy something that’s more expensive, even when they have a cheaper option. So I’m always trying to explore what is it that customers do and why do they do that? And that’s why we started this site at psycho tactics calm, many years ago, almost 13 years ago when the internet was pretty new. And along the way, we’ve had customers that have wanted to tap into other skills that we’ve had, which is on presentations and cartooning and watercolours, these are my personal skills. And along the way, we’ve branched out into teaching those other skills as well. So we have courses and we have workshops, but primarily, I write books and run a membership site where I engage with customers 20 million times a day,
David Ralph [9:04]
because I’ve got a book on my bookshelf. And as you were talking, I was looking over it trying to see who wrote this book. And it’s a book called predictably irrational. And I read it a few years back, and it was very much about what you were talking about there, why customers will pay a lot more money for something vain by need to why three only works to a certain point. And they were looking at sales techniques and working out the best way of doing it. And funnily enough, more often than not, the best way of doing it wouldn’t be that helpful layman would actually think it was to do you’d think, Okay, give a load of free stuff away, and then somebody would come along, you actually have to provide value and people need to be feel that they’re getting sort of justification for their money. And funnily enough, they will then use it even more because they’ve paid for money. So do you find that as well, there is a sort of predictable rationality to it. Oh,
Sean D’souza [10:00]
Yes, people like to think that they’re very unpredictable. They think you know that men are different from women, that they cannot, you know, be taken down about. But essentially, the way human beings work is extremely predictably. So even though the topic of that book is predictably irrational, in some way, in every way, they’re very irrational. And given a certain set of triggers, a person will respond in a specific way. I used to do a presentation very early in the career in my career. And it was about the brain audit, which is how customers think and i would tell an audience full of, you know, maybe 600 people that at the 23 minute mark, I will say something and everyone in the audience will have the same question on their, in their minds. And you think well, how is that possible? And how was it possible essentially, the question When was how do you do that? Or what do you mean by that?
David Ralph [11:04]
Why, okay, that’s kind of blew my mind. So you’re doing a presentation and you’re on a certain subject. And then you said to them, right, you’re all thinking, why are you how are you doing that? And they all went, Oh, yes, that’s exactly what I was thinking at that
Sean D’souza [11:17]
time. Correct. So so I can do that right now. It’s, you know, for instance, if I say to you, I mean, obviously, there was a build up in the presentation, but if I said to you, you can learn how to take three months off without losing any income or customers.
Be a popcorn your brain
Did you and your brain automatically switches to how do you do that?
David Ralph [11:44]
Yeah, but do you not think that people will have that fault straight away and then instantly come up with a it’s all white for sure. There will be those excuses that suddenly root that that feeling of curiosity suddenly
Sean D’souza [12:00]
Correct. And that’s what when I started out many years ago, that’s exactly what I did. I wrote this book about called the brain audit. And the brain on it was, it showed you how your brain is kind of like red bags on on a Caruso. When you get off at the airport. You know, there are you have these bags that you put on the flight. And then when you get off the other end, you’re taking those bags off. And if you leave even a single bag behind, if a single bag doesn’t show up, you don’t leave the airport. So that’s approximately what happened to you right there, which is you ran into the bag of objections. So when you’re building up a sales letter or a presentation there or or or any kind of pitch to a client, what you’ve got are a series of bags that have to be removed and if you leave any of those bags behind, then the customer goes but that’s okay for Shawn. So effectively that One bag was the objection, and you pulled it out now in a presentation. In a sales letter, you’ve got to make sure that you have tackled everyone. So you have to know the bags, you have to know the sequence that they have to follow. And then you remove them one by one by one. And then the customer goes, that’s pretty simple. That’s logical. You know, it makes sense to buy.
David Ralph [13:24]
And this is something that’s always been with you or is it something that you have developed by a tuition and education and general life experience?
Sean D’souza [13:36]
I don’t believe in inherent or inborn talent, and I spent a lot of my time trying to disprove that not just trying to but we’ve actually disproven that it might be a whole different podcast, but I think that you learn a lot of stuff along the way and some of it is just sitting around. So when I was growing up, I lit I stayed Around, and I read comics and I said my father’s plays while he ran his business. And technically, if you ask me, what did you learn, I have no clue what I learned. But I know for a fact that I’ve learned a lot of stuff just by sitting there and reading comics. And then along the way, you read books and you go to courses and you do other stuff. And if you sit down and you analyse everything, and you deconstruct it and you get really good at deconstruction, then you realise that everything is a pattern, everything is slow motion. And if you can run that slow motion camera, then you can see things that other people don’t see. And when you go back in, in history, you find that there are several people that do this, they, what seems to be extremely fast and rapid, is actually very, very slow motion. At triple the speed are four times the speed so when you look at someone likely I’m not comparing myself but if you look at some Like Leonardo da Vinci, he mapped the flight of birds. And, you know, for four or 500 years, no one had ever seen it until they got a slow motion camera. So it’s the ability to see things to see about him that other people aren’t seeing. And I think some of it comes from, from your, your environment, and some of it probably comes from your genes as in, you know, the ability to figure out stuff. And a lot of it comes from from your learning.
David Ralph [15:36]
But the environment is the key thing, isn’t it? And people will be having these ideas because they’re surrounded by other people, but don’t they kind of compress themselves somehow to an inferior version of what they could be? For the listeners out there that’s listening to this conversation. I’m thinking this is this is genius. I can already see the potential of tackling every obstacle before Put my work out into the world, what’s a good way for them to actually break free from that environment of suppression?
Sean D’souza [16:09]
The first thing you’ve got to remember that you the concept of inborn talent is a prison. So everything is a language and it every language has its grammar and its syntax and it’s in and when you learn how to use that, how to understand that language and speaking that language, then you become what people call talented. So for instance, if you know we teach a course on cartooning, most people the reason why we teach a course in cartooning is because almost exclusively, it’s something that almost no one can do. So you can go into a cafe and pick up 20 people and say, Okay, how many of you can draw a cartoon and almost everyone says, You know, I can’t even draw a straight line and so What we’ve done is we’ve taken something that almost exclusively people can’t do. And then in six months, when you look at that work you go, how, you know, do you do this as a profession? So people who look at their work say, do you do this as a profession. Now, they’re not even doing this all day long. They’re just doing it a couple of hours a day. But when you have a teacher, a system and a method, then you learn a language. And this is what your your listeners need to understand is that when people say that you’re good at math, or you’re better at, we say maths, of course, but we are good in maths, or you’re good at drawing, or you’re good, that’s just nonsense. There is a method and what you have to do is you have to find the right teacher and the right teacher will speed up things for you. And there is no need of any 10,000 hours or anything. It’s just like driving a car. You know, none of us use Need 10,000 hours to drive a car because we have a system in place? We have a teacher and we drive.
David Ralph [18:07]
Right? Okay, million dollar question here. somebody sitting out there listening to this thinking, yes, I want to do X Y Zed, but I don’t really know how to do it. How did I find the teacher? That is good for them? How do they find that one that can explain because more often than not, you will go to places and you will have a teacher who either bores you or doesn’t explain it in the right way for you. And you come out going, I’m an idiot, I’m never gonna get that so you give up. So is there a way that people can find the right teacher for them?
Sean D’souza [18:42]
So there are two parts to this question and the first part is that you are not an idiot. You’re only an idiot if you think that you uh, you’re not smart, not intelligent. Nick can never be intelligent. So if you if you go in with that mindset, you’re never gonna find anyone because everyone you You’re, you’ve already classified yourself as useless. So you’re never going to find anyone and the second question is impossible to answer. The it’s, it’s like dating. It’s like saying, Okay, how am I going to find the the perfect one? Well, you have to take a lot of chances. And you have to seek out a lot of people. But I know as as crazy as that answer sounds, here’s what you have to look for. You have to look for someone who explains thing in a way that you can explain back. So when you go to a presentation, and when you listen to the presenter, at the end of the presentation, you should be able to do at least 50 to 70% of the presentation or back to the presenter. And that’s how you know that they’re a good teacher. when when when you are dealing with someone who’s giving you information and more information And the more information that is not a good teacher that is a presenter that is a someone who’s demonstrating. But when when you run into someone, so you can go on YouTube, for instance, I bought a software, hardware, which records audio. And I couldn’t learn anything from the manual. And I couldn’t learn anything from the YouTube videos. But there was this one Australian woman and she broke up everything into like three minutes segments. And I could, if you asked me after watching the three minutes segment, can you do this? Can you explain it to someone else? And I would say yes. And that is a teacher, so to say, How do I find the teacher? There is no answer to that. But what does the teacher look like? The teacher looks like someone who is so good that you are able to teach them back. And that’s the benchmark.
David Ralph [20:58]
Well, let’s play some words. Now. It’s gonna take us to the second stage of our conversation. And we’ve already touched on it earlier about taking risks in life. This is Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [21:10]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [21:37]
Now, the question I’ve started posing on that show is you obviously are doing something that you seem to love at the moment. Was it evident when you started on this path? Or did you just go for something?
Sean D’souza [21:50]
No, I just, I was, see this, this when you listen to the Jim Carrey that quote, he’s very clear about it. The reason why he was able to do that was because his father lost his job. The reason so he learned the language when he you know, he seems to talk about his father in a slightly derogatory manner that that he was in that shell. But his father had learned the language of a job, and he couldn’t break out of that language of a job. And Jim became who he was because of what his father went through. If his father had that steady job, Jim would have had a steady job, and we wouldn’t know Jim Carrey. So, doing what you love requires you to learn the language. And what what I’m saying here is probably slightly contrary to what a lot of people say, which is, you know, do what you love. But I, I’ve actually, you know, my wife was, had a job and I would always say to her, you should do what you love, you should, but it she had to learn the language of risk. She had to learn the language of business. And I don’t know if I’ve answered your question. But what I’m trying to say here is that you have to build up that, that skill, that muscle to take the risk to do that stuff. And I had that language when I was a kid, you know, when I was seven years old, my parents would send me out on missions that, that, you know, involve me going to a hospital with blood tests, and you would never send a seven year old on that mission. So I learned that language of risk very early. So for me, risk is not even an issue. It’s like it’s, it’s who I am. And what I’m saying is that a lot of people say you should do what you love, but it involves a lot of risk. And I’m saying that you should start to learn that language of risk by taking smaller risks and building on them without information because what you see in really successful people is that they don’t have a A lot of information. And the people that struggle with risk are those that have endless amounts of information. And that’s what causes a great amount of risk information is actually crazy debilitating.
David Ralph [24:13]
Because the fascinating thing about Join Up Dots is for 400 episodes, we’ve been having conversations with folks like yourself who are living and breathing and walking around doing this stuff. And I decided that we could learn a lot from the people who aren’t with us anymore, or perhaps hadn’t been interviewed on the show. So if you go over to the website, you can see biographies that we’re doing now on people like Steve Jobs, and we’ve just done one on David Bowie. And the thing that comes out from the stories is the obvious fact that you need to want it to get greatness you need to want it and take huge action, but there’s a time and a place that starts to greatness. And you can look at the Steve Jobs one and although ending up as a legend and many say the world’s greatest CEO, he Couldn’t have got there without the journey the journey is the key to everything is the stumbles balls, successes and blind faith. And that’s what gets you there. But you kind of need to start experiencing life away from being told what to do in an office behind a slab of wood to bring it all together. You need to start walking in any direction, but you just have to start walking. And I think that’s what you’re saying, Shawn, isn’t it but yes, you you go for what you love. But until you start actually moving in a direction you don’t really know what you love until it appears you don’t
Sean D’souza [25:32]
know. Yes, you don’t. It’s it’s pretty much a journey. I mean, when you go you know, this is what people want. They want information. So when you go on a trip to Italy, for instance, you can read up all the books you can look at all the maps, you can look at all the pictures, you can do whatever you want. And then when the plane lands and you’re standing there in Rome, you are standing on a street you have never been before. No matter how many times you’ve looked at the map or done the you know, looked at the pictures or read Whatever you read, now, it’s completely different. Everyone speaking Italian, everyone speaking faster than you can imagine, the experience is completely different. And you have to get there and get you to dinner, you have to get your wine you have to, you have to navigate stuff. And it’s the journey you I mean, that’s when you’re going to run into some really crappy stuff. And then you’re going to run into some great experiences. And you go, Wow, this is amazing. Just today, for instance, we’re talking about journey. You know, I’ve had a couple of calls that I had to do this today, and two people didn’t show up. So I had to make the journey to the office and sit there and they didn’t show up. And in my book, that’s just that’s just learning. That’s just okay. This is what you’ve got to do next time to ensure that this doesn’t happen. And I don’t see it as a bad thing. In fact, it’ll go in the book, as a story as something that you You need to do as a business person. So when people look at bad stuff, they go, Well, this happens to me alone, but doesn’t happen to them alone. The entrepreneur, the person that really is able to go forward, join the dots, that person realises that there’s going to be bad stuff, and there’s going to be good stuff. And usually the bad stuff is going to teach you how to get better.
David Ralph [27:25]
It’s interesting when you say about people not turning up, because obviously I run this show, where literally, we connect across the globe. And we expect that each side of the conversation is going to be better when the time is to connect. And when I started doing it, I used to get a lot of those people but just didn’t turn up. But over that period of doing 400. I almost have a radar of the ones that aren’t going to so then I do extra work on them to make sure that they’re there. So it is it’s a learning learning experience all the way through and now there’s not many people but don’t turn up when I want to record Just because I’ve built up that experience of understanding how it kind of operates somehow.
Sean D’souza [28:04]
So all the all the bad stuff really is absolutely stunning stuff. I mean, yesterday I was doing a podcast, I recorded everything. I was not tired. I was doing great. And then at the last minute, I went and did something and got rid of all the music in the podcast because we have a lot of music in our podcast. And so that meant I have to do three hours of work all over again. Well, this morning, I didn’t have three hours, I had only an hour and a half. And because of yesterday, I have now half the time for all future podcasts because I figured out a way to do it in an hour and a half without reducing inequality in. So I really don’t look at bad stuff as bad stuff. I look at bad stuff as like, when is it going to happen?
David Ralph [28:52]
Oh, absolutely. Basically, you’ve hit the theme of the whole show. The whole show is based around the Steve Jobs speech, which we’re gonna play later, when he talks about Looking back and only being able to join up your dots by looking at those dark dots, and those white dots and all the the life experiences that bring you there, and with yourself now getting to that point where you say, there’s no such thing as a bad experience, it’s just experience to learn from it’s the good stuff is the nuggets. Do you look back into your younger self and think, Wow, what a different person I am now, or did you always have that kind of mentality?
Sean D’souza [29:30]
I don’t know. I probably did. And the funny thing is that people say I was always like this. And I don’t feel like I was always like this, but but when I speak to friends and stuff, they would go Yeah, we knew this when you were 12. We knew this when you were 20. So I don’t know maybe maybe it was always there. Or maybe it was that language I learned very, very early as a kid and it was always there. So is evident. But you don’t feel like it. And there were times in my life when, especially when I moved from cartooning to marketing where I felt like a complete fraud. I felt like someone’s going to tap me on the shoulder and go, Wait a second, what you’re saying everyone knows this stuff. And it took me a year and a half of that, because I’d moved to New Zealand, I was a new country, I was doing a new profession that I’d never done before. I didn’t know anyone. There was a lot of insecurity there. So that’s still my younger self that goes back 15 years now. But for a year and a half, I was sure I was going to get that tap on the shoulder and when it didn’t come, I was like, okay, you can go back to being what you were when you were seven.
David Ralph [30:45]
So how did you get through that? Because I know many, many people that leave a job and they go to a new job. And about three months into it, they start writing back saying Can I have my old job back because it’s new and they Don’t like it, I don’t like to commute and it just feels unnatural. So how did you manage to push through that fear for a year and a half of I’m a fraud, they’re gonna, they’re gonna find me out here.
Sean D’souza [31:12]
Well, I couldn’t shake that. And the way the only way I actually got rid of it was I went and met with other people in my profession. And I started speaking to them. And, and somewhere along the line, I realised, wait, I know as much as you guys know, and, and probably in certain cases, I know, different stuff or better stuff than you do. And I think that you can only I’ve seen this with writers as well, people start to write because they go, you know, I could probably write better than that stuff. And when you start actually comparing with other people in your own field in your own profession, once you’ve had a little go at it, like you know if you start to compare within a month or so that’s probably too pretty But say you give yourself a year and half, you’re still struggling through that year and a half, because you’re not sure of yourself. But give yourself a year and a half, give yourself a couple of years, and then go in meet with other people who you think wow, these people are that are really good at what they do, you know, in my profession, and when I met with them, I thought, Hey, your dad, great. And that completely changed my perspective on things.
David Ralph [32:27]
It’s it comes back to the title of the show, I suppose, but journey because you do have to give yourself time, don’t you? which so many people don’t. When I started this show, I knew I was going to do it for at least two years, even if nobody was listening. Now fortunately, that hasn’t been the case. And the show went off like a rocket. But I knew that the version of me in the year one was not going to be as good as the version in year two and the version in year two is not gonna be as good as year three. So you have to push through those times when you think that no But he’s looking in your direction. Because you get to that point when you say you, you’re in a room with other people doing your thing, and you look around, and you think, Wow, I’ve really learned I didn’t realise I’d learn as quickly as I have. But I’ve given myself out about two years foundation to really set out the rest of my life. And that’s what you got to do, isn’t it?
Sean D’souza [33:22]
That’s exactly right. I mean, I do a watercolour every single day because I went to a watercolour class five years ago and my teacher at that point, he said, he didn’t teach me a hell of a lot. But he said, here’s what you want to do you want to paint every single day and so why don’t you do like a diary of your life, you know, take one incident of the day and then do a diary. just illustrate that and I started out with really basic stuff, and then it got more complex and, and at this stage in my life, what I’m doing is the best I can possibly do, and it’s to me, it is outstanding. But when I look at it from a year from now, it doesn’t look so great. And to my mind, I can’t even figure out how that happens, because I can’t figure out how I can push the boundary more than I already am. I mean, right now, when people look at it, you know, after five years of painting, people look at it and they go, this looks outstanding. This looks fabulous. And I go, I know, and I enjoy doing it. And yet, I know, a year from now, it’s going to be better. And I don’t know how, but I just have to, if I keep going at it, I just get better. And that’s, I think you also have to learn along the way. I mean, it’s not just doing but you also have to add to your skills. And that’s what I do and that’s how it gets better. I guess.
David Ralph [34:55]
I remember I’ve spoken about this on a few shows because it was really profound to me and I was listening to To another podcast, and it had a drummer on there. And this drummer was very into going down the route of being the sort of Madison Square Garden session player behind Led Zeppelin and all that kind of stuff. And when he decided that’s not what he wanted to do, he wanted to teach. So he’s created this incredibly valuable business where he teaches online drum lessons. And he makes six figures a month. So he’s really crushing it. But the thing that he said, Shawn, that was so profound to me was the fact that he said, there is no good or bad, there’s only different positions on the timeline. So if you looked at how he drums now, you would go, oh, wow, I’m never gonna be able to do that. But he’s already looking at people further ahead of him thinking are never going to be able to do that. And when you look back over your shoulders, joining up your dots, once again, you’ll look and you’ll go, Wow, I remember when I couldn’t even hit a drum. Now I can go did a little little Little bit and I can do that. So he’s he’s really focused on there’s no good or bad it is just where you are on the timeline. And if you start on that timeline earlier, you’re gonna be in a better position now.
Sean D’souza [36:14]
That’s exactly right. There it is exactly right. The few things that you’ve got to do to improve your your ability to do anything is one, you have to practice two, you have to have a great teacher. And third, you have to find some way to learn new things that that enhanced that skill. And if you have these three elements in place, there is no way that you cannot be outstanding at what you do when when people look at say someone like Michael Phelps. They say Look at this guy, he’s got you know, long legs and he’s got feet that are like flippers and he’s you know, he’s so tall. I could never be like that. And it’s true, you could never be like that. But sport is a completely different thing. And yet, when you look at Michael Phelps as his coach, Bob Bowman, you know, he’s not very impressed. He says, you know, at the swimming pool at the Olympic swimming pool, everyone is pretty much Michael Phelps. And there’s only 0.01 second difference between the gold and the silver. And that difference is the coach is the skills is the practice. And that’s it. That’s that’s pretty much it. If you want to make your life more interesting if you want to go down and I mean, you want to improve the stuff that you do you want to earn. It’s not all about money. I mean, I know a lot of people talk about money, but I think just waking up and being able to do the same illustration. So much better to be able to write so much Better to be able to present so much better. I think it’s such a big kick just for you to see yourself going back in time, or even now, you know. I just spoke at an event in Denver and I was, I was actually ill, I couldn’t speak the day before the event. There were 600 people in the audience. And I went out there on stage, I thought I was okay. And then the curtain of air conditioning came down and I couldn’t. I was struggling through just speaking to the audience. And at the end of that event, my wife gave me an eight. My wife’s a pretty tough taskmaster, she’s given me a minus two in some events. So what was what what I’m saying there is not that I was so great and stuff, but it was the practice and the teaching and the learning and stuff and that that’s really what makes It Sorry, it’s a long ramble there.
David Ralph [39:02]
No, not at all. And I’m what I’m gonna do, I’m just gonna take you back a step because the one of the questions that you sort of posed in my mind, was the fact that when you’re painting and you’re painting now, and you’re looking at it, and you think it’s outstanding, but you said an interesting thing, but at the moment, you can’t quite see how to take it to that next level. So how do you overcome that mindset where you think to yourself, this is as good as I can do? But obviously, it’s not but there are different levels of achievement. And by that we we obtain, and then we plateau for a while before we manage to go again. Are there tricks to push through?
Sean D’souza [39:42]
There is no trick. The trick is that the trick is exactly what I’ve told you there. The trick is to know that as you go around the corner, there will be a different scene. It’s like you know, when you drive in New Zealand it’s like unlike any other country in the world, because we have lived here for so many years. And as we drive through, say, any, any part of New Zealand and we think, Wow, this looks so great, and then you go around the corner. Wow, that looks so great. And then you go around the corner and Wow, that looks so great anything is this ever going to end. And really that’s the analogy for how your life can be that it doesn’t it is amazing as you look at it. And as you go around the corner, you think that’s so great. But the point is you have to go around the corner because if you stop now, then that’s the only scenery you’re ever going to see.
David Ralph [40:37]
And that ties up really with how many of my listeners communicate with me that they’re in jobs, and they’re listening to this. And they’re reading self development books, and they’re doing all this kind of extra stuff, but they’re still going to the same place and not giving themselves a chance to go around that corner. And it has to get to a point where that corner is screaming at them and they’ve got to leave it there. And start moving. But more often than not, I don’t. And no matter how many shows and books and whatever and emails from me, they’re still kind of routed to the spot Somehow,
Sean D’souza [41:08]
I was quick to jump to the conclusion. I’m not so quick after seeing the experience of my wife, but I think that you have I don’t know you have to put yourself into a situation where there is no way out. So often people are made redundant. Often situations change, maybe they go to a new country, maybe something happens. And I don’t think you can have a safety net and be a trapeze at the same time. The reasons why the trapeze artists take off that safety net is just because we doubted you’re always thinking I’m gonna go back to that safety net. You it’s a skill risk has to be learned risk is not something that you have to take risk is a language and you have to speak the language and if you don’t speak the language and you will not speak the language. It’s, it’s to me it’s that simple.
David Ralph [42:05]
Well, I’m going to play the theme of the whole show. And this is a gentleman who took huge risks. And funnily enough, when I started the show, this speech was the whole theme of it. But I wasn’t that interested in the chat more than this. But now I’ve become hugely fascinated by his character and the way he’s driven himself. And he’s taking huge risks. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [42:28]
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 [43:03]
So what he’s saying there really is, it’s about risk. You don’t know the answer, but you’ve got to trust in something, you’ve got to move forward. And the thing that I found Shawn, I’ll be interested in your perspective on this is that risks are scarier in your head once you actually deal with them. You think what was I worried about, but you sit down at Arby’s isn’t gonna work and that’s not gonna happen, and I’m going to lose all my money, but you sort of do it and you think, Oh, actually, that wasn’t too bad. I suppose. In New Zealand, I see a lot of them doing bungee jumping. Sounds looks like lunacy to me. But I know that if I do it once, and I survive, I’ll probably be able to do it again. I’m not going to do it. I’ve got no interest, but it’s the same thing. It’s the tackling it once isn’t it that Steve Jobs is talking about?
Sean D’souza [43:48]
Yes, it’s you. You have to you have to take I mean, the biggest problem and I’ve seen this with a lot of people the biggest problem that they have is infighting. Because with the lack of information, you’re able to operate in a much better way. The more information you have, the more options you have. The more options you have, the more you are frustrated. Think about it. This way when you go into an ice cream store, you say What flavour you’re going to have. When you choose strawberry. Essentially what you’re doing is you’re getting rid of all the other 19 flavours that you didn’t choose. So you have to go through 19 flavours to then eliminate those 19 flavours to get to strawberry. But if you just had strawberry, then you could go ahead and have the strawberry in two seconds instead of going through all the 20 flavours and then eliminating 19 flavours and then getting to strawberry, which is exactly the same thing. And so, when people don’t take risks when when they’re trying to do what Steve Jobs did, what you find consistent stantly with people that succeed is that they have less information they take, they make decisions based on very little information. So what they do is they go, Okay, I’m going to start a podcast and the person that that wants to get everything right wants to have the safety net is going to read 20 books and it’s going to do a lot of stuff and they’re going to bomb all that information in their brain. As soon as that happens, you have 19 guns, 19 flavours that you have to eliminate. And that becomes the biggest problem. Because information doesn’t improve your your ability to move forward, you move forward, you correct based on the information you get, you move forward you in that’s this the only way you can move forward. You can’t move forward with with tonnes of information.
David Ralph [45:54]
So I wasn’t going to play this speech but I’m going to play it now because it ties in very nicely to what you were just talking about, but this is a Oprah Winfrey, what do you think about this?
Oprah Winfrey [46:02]
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. But 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 [46:34]
So she’s not saying what you need to do is get every single book and every single flavour of ice cream, she’s just saying, do the next right thing. Do you buy into that?
Sean D’souza [46:45]
Correct? That’s absolutely right. You what you have to do is you just have to do what am I going to do next? And the problem is that people have to do lists and the lists become longer and longer and longer. I don’t really have Have a to do list I have the pretty much what she said, which is the next thing I have to do. So I had to do this podcast tomorrow morning when I wake up, I have to do something. And when I finished that something I have to do the next thing. I don’t really have this humongous list that a lot of people have. I don’t have the the enormous amount of information. This is not as if to say I don’t put information in my head. I go for a walk every single day. And I do seven miles a day. And I will listen to audio books and I will learn languages and I will listen to podcasts. And so I’m putting a lot of information. But that information is not necessarily what I need to make a decision or to do what I’m doing. I’m just listening to it. It’s helping me along the way. But what I have to do is the next thing Yeah, I mean, you’re building a website, for instance, people go well, there are So many pages to put together well, don’t look at the whole website, let’s look at the About Us page, but your About Us page, when you read the About Us page, look at the first paragraph of your About Us page when you finished with the first paragraph. Let’s look at the second paragraph. And that’s how you go ahead. And when you look behind you go, Okay, I need to fix this and the About Us page and dad and now the About Us page is done. And that’s page one and then you go to the next page. But the the people that get stuck, they want the whole website the whole plan the whole everything together. That’s never gonna happen.
David Ralph [48:39]
course it’s not like I actually listened to my episode 200 A while ago and it was interesting. I must have just been on a flight of fancy but the guests asked me what my plans for the show was and I started just talking. And now I’ve realised that I’m starting to believe that it must have been in my subconscious somehow but a year later Certain things that I spoke about vein have started to come true. And I’ve just started, well, I haven’t started, I’ve just been chipping away. And I say that to everyone, when I have one to ones with people and I do my coaching calls, I say to them, all you got to do is start chipping away. And if you start with something that you like doing, that’s a good start. You don’t have to love it, just like doing it. And then once you start chipping away and building up your experience, and you start looking over your shoulder and think to yourself, ah, I think I’m a bit better than those people behind me, then that like starts to become a passion. And then once you get even further and that passion becomes an obsession, then you’re really cooking on gas and you’re really moving forward to the life that you think you want. The interesting thing and I’m sure that Shawn has seen this in his life as well. Is that what you think you want at the beginning? turns out not to be what you want as you’re on the journey. It’s a small version of what you suddenly realise you can achieve. Would you agree with that, Sean
Sean D’souza [50:00]
Absolutely I mean, I didn’t see myself ever being in marketing I, I saw myself as being in advertising as a creative director. I didn’t see myself having a career in, in cartooning in marketing in, you know, having workshops around the world. Speaking to audiences, this is like, I mean, I’m not saying this is amazing or anything, it’s what I do. It’s what I love to do. And tomorrow I might start to teach kids how to how to be better in maths or in English in the day after that I might get into, I don’t know building lamps or or building furniture. I really don’t know where I’m going to go but I don’t care. All I have to do is, is do the stuff that I love to do.
David Ralph [50:56]
I’ve been very heavily reading Steve Jobs this week. As as So of alluded to earlier, and he’s co founder on Apple was a gentleman called Steve was niak. And even though he created Apple with Steve Jobs and become hugely successful, his real passion was to teach kids how to build computers. So he started doing that teaching five to nine year olds how to build computers. And I thought that was fascinating. But even with overnight success, the success wasn’t the essence of what the man was about the essence was what he was doing originally in a garriage. Before all the success came. Interesting stuff.
Sean D’souza [51:34]
Yeah, I mean,
the thing is that life just takes its own little route. And you have to follow along. You know, if you try to control control is is ridiculous. You’re not really trying to control that much you do what you can and keep going.
David Ralph [51:54]
So just before we send you back in time on the Sermon on the mic, what would you say would be your Dawn on the Join Up Dots timeline, what was the moment or the decision where things started going in the way that you are living now?
Sean D’souza [52:11]
I don’t think there was any specific thing or any specific point in time where my life got better. But there was one point where the life got more precise. And that was when I read the book by Jim Collins, which was good to great. And he asked the question, what can you be the best in the world at and ever since that’s what we’ve tried to do. I mean, when you look at our ebooks, they are very hard to copy. They’ve You know, there are thousands or millions of ebooks out there. But when you read one of our ebooks, you’re hooked. If you listen to the podcast, it’s got all this music and production values that other podcasts just don’t have. And so I think that question, what can you To be the best in the world at is very intimidating. But striving towards that is such a fascinating thing. And that to me was a point that really made a difference.
David Ralph [53:13]
Well, let’s send you back in time now on the Sermon on the mic, and this is the part of the show when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young show, what advice would you give and what age would you choose? Well, we’re gonna find out because we’re gonna play the theme and when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic. We go
with the best bit of the show, sir man, my
Unknown Speaker [53:47]
Sean D’souza [53:56]
So here’s what I would say to myself. First of all, I would go back to an age where I was kind of uncertain about stuff. And I would say to myself that you don’t need to be uncertain about anything, you just, you just need to go ahead and do whatever you need to do that at that point. When I felt like I was a fraud, I don’t think that was a very comfortable position to be in. I always felt I, you know, I always felt like, I’d be caught out and it comes back sometimes even when you’re my age. Now it comes back, you write a book or you do something presentation, you think everyone knows this stuff. And amazingly, I found that when you put it out there, everyone doesn’t know the stuff and what you’re doing is your voice in your way in your method. It’s and it’s amazing and people want to know more about it. So What I’d say to you is very simple that you want to do the best you can at all points in time. And you will find that there is always someone to listen, even if it’s just one person to begin with. And then that grows if you keep going,
David Ralph [55:16]
Shawn, how can our audience connect with you sir?
Sean D’souza [55:19]
There is one book that fits in quite completely with your audience. And that is about resistance and you can get that at psycho tactics calm slash resistance. So that’s one thing, psycho tactics calm slash resistance. The second is the podcast. And that said, the three month vacation. My wife and I, we take three months off every year that we work for three months, and we take a month off three months that we take a month off, and we’ve been doing this since 2004. So it not only shows you how you can move ahead in your life and join those dots but also why it’s so critical to take those breaks and how you can pay for those breaks without losing customers or, you know income for that matter.
David Ralph [56:09]
I’m gonna go over and listen straight away. Shawn, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. 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. Shawn, thank you so much.
Sean D’souza [56:27]
Thank you, it’s been a pleasure being on the show.
David Ralph [56:32]
Thanks for listening to today’s episode of Join Up Dots brought to you exclusively by podcasters 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.