Welcome to the Join Up Dots Podcast Interview with Mr Ben Michaelis
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Introducing Dr Ben Michaelis
Dr Ben Michaelis is todays guest joining us on the Join Up Dots free business podcast interview.
He is a guy that has an amazing and slightly strange route to where he is today.
If you were setting off on a path, to become an author, clinical psychologist, popular speaker and blogger for Huffington Post would you say to yourself “Right I need to travel to Nepal and India to learn from Buddhist Monks in the Himalayas, oh yeah, and I must seek guidance from Big Bird, and Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street.”
Probably not, but our guest has, and now from his practice in downtown Manhattan, shares his proven strategies to take action.
He believes that we are all meant to create.
How The Dots Joined Up For Ben
And he teaches people to discover their true selves, what they really need out of life – and how to make it happen.
He provides them with a practical plan to find the right path for them, face what’s holding them back, and break through the illusions that have been keeping them from living a life of possibilities.
And that word illusion is the key thing.
Why do we constantly create these illusions that make us think that things have to be in a certain way?
Why do we not think “Ok Sesame Street is the way to go” as every journey is full of experiences that can help us find our true path, if we only look hard enough.
Well lets find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Dr Ben Michaelis.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Dr Ben Michaelis such as:
Why saying yes to an opportunity is the best way to achieve greater success,
How it is so important to get yourself in a safe environment and then start trying things out to see what feels the best for you.
Why he feels strongly that everything in life that is seamless and easy is worthless.
Why giving your talents away to the world truly allows for taps into your power.
How To Connect With Ben Michaelis
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Dr Ben Michaelis Interview
David Ralph [0:00]
Do you have a business that can’t get going or would love to create your own one that works whilst you sleep and is built around the things you love? Well, podcasters mastery is the place to go to learn the six simple steps to create a business that flourishes connecting with thousands of customers that tell you what products they want. podcasters mastery is the online route to business success. Check us out now.
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 and 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 [0:49]
Yes, hello everybody and welcome to Join Up Dots Episode 411. And I’ll be honest, I’m going to enjoy this one because I’ve already been sold mentally bothering with the guy already. He’s from America. He is America. And I’ve told him already about the beer is rubbish. And Independence Day was a bad idea. And it just LED on from there, but he’s gonna take it all right, because he’s got a great attitude. And he’s a guy that has an amazing and slightly strange route to where he is today. Now, if you were sitting off on a path to become an author, clinical psychologist, popular speaker, blogger for Huffington Post, would you say to yourself, right, I need to travel to Nepal and India to learn from Buddhist monks in the Himalayas and I’ll eat Yeah, I must seek guidance from big burden. Burton Ernie on Sesame Street. Well, probably not. But our guest has now from his practice in downtown Manhattan, shares his proven strategies to take action he believes that we’re all meant to create and he teaches people to discover their true selves, what they really need out of life and how to make it happen. He provides them with a practical plan to find the right path for them, face what’s holding them back and break through the little I’ve been keeping them from living a life of possibilities. And that word illusion is the key thing. Why do we constantly create these illusions that make us think that things have to be in a certain way? Why do we not think okay, yeah, Sesame Street is the way to go. Every journey is full of experiences that can help us find out true path. If we only look hard enough. Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, the one and only Dr. Ben Michaelis, how are you?
Dr Ben Michaelis [2:29]
I’m great. Thanks so much for having me on the show, David. I appreciate it. And that’s a great buildup. By the way. I’m wondering if maybe we can save that recording. And we can play that every day when I get home so that my wife will be really excited when I get home. That’s the kind of that’s the kind of intro I need to have at all times.
David Ralph [2:45]
I can’t remember the last time my wife was excited in any shape or form. So if you think that’s gonna work, I’m gonna play it. That’s gonna do for me.
Dr Ben Michaelis [2:55]
Awesome. Awesome. Maybe we’ll get some theme music, you know,
David Ralph [2:58]
I’ll let you know how it goes. Do you know how All the doctors I’ve met, there’s, I’ve been looking at your picture all week and you have gotten I’m gonna cut to the chase here. You’ve got a look, which is perfect for a psychologist, you kind of look out of worldly somehow. Yep. That’s people who don’t know what Dr. Ben looks like. He’s got a perfectly bald head, he would look like the pilot of the Star Trek Enterprise or whatever you’ve gotten. They’ve got that thing about you and those piercing eyes. But then you open your mouth and you’re fine and jovial and all that kind of stuff. Is that kind of, is that how you’ve always been? Obviously, you weren’t born as well. You weren’t born as a baby, but then you had hair and he sort of disappeared again. So how have you created that?
Dr Ben Michaelis [3:44]
It’s a great question. And I often get this a lot of a couple of patients over the years have compared me to Yoda in a few different ways that there’s a, you know, because Yoda sort of looks a certain way and then he opens his mouth and there’s a very sort of childlike quality to him. And The answer is yes. Like I think that it’s really important to maintain your childlike qualities without maintaining your childish qualities throughout life and having an open way of being and a playful way of being and an openness to new experience. Like it’s just essential. Whenever it basically, within reason, when people ask me to do something, my answer is almost always Yes. And then I’ll see how it goes. And that’s the way we learn best is by just trying different things out. And and that’s the way I think that if one can approach their life with that level of openness, life becomes, you know, an adventure that you get to have as opposed to something that you have to do and a lot of people unfortunately feel like life is a slog, and like something you have to do, but we have tremendous it’s a tremendous thing. When you think about It right like this, I don’t want to immediately go to the spiritual but like when you consider the odds and there was this one mathematician who actually calculated the odds against any of us being born and it’s, it’s too impossible to actually count. And you know, we’re kind of statistical miracles and we need to make the most of that.
David Ralph [5:19]
Did you know what’s fascinating about you is positivity exude your one side of the pond, I’m here, but it’s actually sparking off you. I can see you there. And it wouldn’t surprise me that you say yes to most opportunities. So I’m going to give you an opposing view, Dr. Ben, through the conversations that I’ve been having time and time again. I’m now finding a theme that the real entrepreneurs who are rocking and rolling Say no more so that they can get the big yeses. They give themselves time to accept the big yeses which move them on. Can you see that point of view as well?
Dr Ben Michaelis [5:57]
I can and I think that I think that that does come with experience over time.
So for example,
when I first opened my practice, I tended to say yes to everyone. And now I definitely don’t don’t do that partially because I just don’t I don’t have the space in my practice. And partially is that, you know, from experience, I have a sense, pretty quickly of some some folks that I might not be the optimal person to work for them. And so I can certainly see that view. And I think that there needs to be a balance and the it seems like the more successful people get, their time just gets compressed and compressed and compressed. And they ultimately have to say, say no, a little bit more, but I do hope that, you know, for everyone that there is a balance between those things.
David Ralph [6:50]
So isn’t it still not frame what you do? I’ve said that you’re a clinical psychologist, you’re an author, you’re popular speaker, and I always like to sort of ask it in this way. But if you You will be in a bar and somebody comes up to you and says, What do you do for a living? We have so many strings to your bow. What’s the first one that you go for?
Dr Ben Michaelis [7:09]
You know, it’s interesting, I had this conversation with this, this man, you know, it’s sort of like when we were talking before the show, you were explaining about an experience you had in New York, meeting someone that was from really close to where you’re from. And when I was doing a talk in Oklahoma, which is very far from where I live, this Sorry, I forgive that digression here. But there was this this poet who was on the stage two people before me. And he was so powerful and wonderful that when he got off the stage, I approached him immediately and was like, like, you’re awesome. That was really great. He was like, Oh, thanks very much. He gave me his card. And I noticed from the phone number that he he was from North Carolina, and he’s like, Well, actually, I’m, I’m from Brooklyn, and I was like, really what neighbourhood is like prospect heights and it was like really what street turns out, we live down the street from each other and we We met in Oklahoma City. And so afterwards we we did go to a bar, our neighbourhood bar and he asked me, What is it that you do? And, you know, my first answer to him, which is the answer I’m gonna give you is I create safe environments for people. You know, so much of life feels unsafe. And like there’s no room for error. And my main goal is to create a cloister for every person that I have the privilege of working with, so that they can feel free to come up with ideas and and explore different ways of thinking and being with no fear of reprisal or, or rejection. And if I can do that for people, I feel like I’m doing something really meaningful and helpful to people. So that’s the way I answer that question. That’s gonna be the world’s biggest business card,
David Ralph [8:57]
isn’t it? we’ve all worked on it. So how do you sort of like summarise it into words?
Dr Ben Michaelis [9:07]
Create safety is what I do.
David Ralph [9:11]
And is creating a safety, just a mechanism for overcoming, as we said in the introduction, those illusions that we build up that things aren’t possible by creating that sort of safety zone. Does it take us back to that? I suppose playfulness where we used to know that nothing bad could happen. So we would just try anything we want as a kid because our moms and dads would look after us and pick us up. Is
Dr Ben Michaelis [9:37]
that the same kind of thing that you’re doing? But with adults? Exactly. Exactly. And when people are safe, some amazing things happen. And, and they don’t even they don’t even necessarily realise it. But when they when people feel safe, they just, they let their guard down and they open themselves up to possibilities because many of us spend time So much of our time just trying to get by, that we’re not focused on, on the possibilities of doing things differently. And when people feel safe, they are open to new possibilities, new ways of thinking, new ways of being. And that for me, I as you can probably tell, I feel very blessed to get to do my work. I feel very fortunate. This is sort of since I was a teenager, what I want to be doing on one level or another, and to be able to be a part of people’s journey, just like I imagine you very much are in terms of the way you interview people. It feels really wonderful.
David Ralph [10:39]
Yeah, when you hit your thing, it becomes effortless somehow, doesn’t it? And I know there’s a lot of preparation and there’s a lot of knowledge, and it’s a learning curve for everything. But if you find that essence within you, then it does make it easier. And I think my essence has always been an ability to connect with People very easily, even if I’ve never met them before I can put them at ease. And I’ve used it all the way through my career, but I’ve never praised it as something worthwhile having it was just me. But you put that kind of thing in the right environment. And then it’s power, isn’t it?
Dr Ben Michaelis [11:19]
Absolutely. And, you know, so my mentor is actually from the UK. Sir Ken Robinson. Oh, I know him.
David Ralph [11:29]
You met him? I haven’t. But I’ve seen these TED Talks. He was one of the best TED Talks I’ve ever seen.
Dr Ben Michaelis [11:35]
He is Ken Sir Ken is even he what he is in his TED Talk. He’s actually even more generous and human than not, if you can imagine he is one of the most. I mean, I get brought to tears every time I think of Ken. He’s just so wonderful. And his book The element how finding your passion changes everything really talks about this and living in a in line with who you are. And finding your tribe and finding other people to support your efforts. It’s it is a game changer in a world changer.
David Ralph [12:17]
And when people are trying to find this because it is one of those things that is so difficult, even though it’s under your nose, and I know for years and years and years, I was doing jobs that almost skirted on what I should be doing, but wasn’t quite there. And now I look back on it and think Oh god, what was I doing? It was quite obvious. What’s a good way for people to start finding that thing, but you and Ken Robinson, I called him Ken, you called him Sir Ken or get up to on a daily basis.
Dr Ben Michaelis [12:48]
You know, it really involves action. And, and sort of just as I was saying earlier, just trying things out, being open to trying things out that seem interesting to you. You know, I have a cousin who, when we were kids loved American football, he was just obsessed with it. He was not the biggest guy. He was not necessarily the most gifted athlete, but he just loved it. And we played all the way up through high school, which is a big deal for someone that’s not naturally, I think, a particularly gifted athlete. But he worked really hard and really loved it. And there was really no chance that he was going to become professional just because of limitations on his size and things of that nature. But he became a an exceptionally good sports agent, and loves what he does. He’s very successful is very well regarded in his industry. And he works with football, American football players all the time now and he’s, he’s at the top of his game and and there’s no way that when he was a child, he could have predicted that’s what he’d be doing. But he gets to do a combination of Enjoying sports enjoying business. And just because he followed his passion throughout his life and and it’s that sort of, as you were saying, for your own journey, kind of successive approximations, as long as each thing that you’re doing was getting you closer, then it’s all worth it.
David Ralph [14:18]
But people don’t know it’s getting them closer. And that’s the frustrating thing, isn’t it? When you look back on it as the whole theme of this show is based on as Steve Jobs says, and we’ll be listening to him later, you look back and you can join up your dots and you can see it but while you’re actually moving through, looking at other people’s stellar careers and progression, and you’re still doing that crappy job every day, but you don’t really like and it’s just gone flat. You can’t see those small dots line up Can you
Dr Ben Michaelis [14:48]
know, but you can, you can use your instinct. Um, you know, I’ll tell you my something personal so my wife has been in a job that has not been working out for her And I was watching her get progressively more upset. And at some point I just said, sweetheart, why don’t you just quit? And my wife’s fairly conservative and the idea that she would do that without having something lined up seemed completely foreign to her. But I give her so much credit because you know what, two weeks ago she did. She was like, You know what? You’re right. We will figure it out. And honestly, I don’t know what her next thing is and neither does she but being open to possibility and not being afraid. Um, is is I think is really important in order to find whatever it is that is going to be your next big thing,
David Ralph [15:39]
but you must know what her thing is probably easier then she knows it’s very difficult to see it yourself. But friends and family can see your talents in a different way. Well, what would you think that would be her natural path?
Dr Ben Michaelis [15:53]
I think that she probably is going to end up opening her own shop. She’s can end up doing a because she’s, she’s very talented my wife’s a very talented lawyer, but she also has a wonderful personality. And those things don’t always go together due respect to the lawyers out there that and and and so the idea that she could use both of those elements of herself her real skill and being able to understand the law and her interpersonal skills together I think will make for a great career in that regard. But I’m sure she’ll, she’ll get there if she gets there. And there may be other things that she does in between but but that’s what I actually think is what’s gonna end up happening,
David Ralph [16:39]
all right, and she could stay in what she’s doing, but just rebrand herself as the friendly lawyer, the person who likes to connect, because you all look at lawyers, a bit like I do with doctors. I don’t like to go to a doctor because I don’t think that I can really understand what they sort of say to me afterwards. And so if she branded herself as you know, I’m a normal person, I’ve just got a lot of knowledge in law, she’d probably enjoy it, I would have thought.
Dr Ben Michaelis [17:05]
Absolutely. And I think that she will, she will not be hurting for business because so much, you know, so much of, of life is about just that personal connection, feeling like this person is with me and appreciating that we’re in this together. And and when you meet up with someone that truly lives that and believes that it, it can make any experience really rewarding. And and when you meet up with someone that is sort of trying to hold all the marbles for themselves. You can also sense that and you tend to want to move away from those people.
David Ralph [17:43]
So is there more power giving away your sort of your weapons, actually sharing your talents with the world more than actually holding it close?
Dr Ben Michaelis [17:52]
Oh, absolutely. And that’s something that it takes a while to get to. Because we tend to think of knowledge as this sort of rarefied thing. That needs to be guarded in, you know, universities or things of that nature. But the more it’s like, you know, it’s like love, you know, it’s like the more of it you give, the more of it you have. And I have found that having, you know, since my book came out a little while ago, having had the opportunity to be outside of my office a little bit more, meeting new people that I wouldn’t normally meet. I, I’ve learned so much more from the experiences I’ve had with people all over the country, then you know, that I have, you know, just just reading back to back books.
David Ralph [18:35]
So how did you end up I’ve been dying to get there straight away, but end up on Sesame Street with Big Bird and Bert and Ernie. And how did that actually occur? Was that just a job came your way and you went for it? Or was that part of a master plan?
Dr Ben Michaelis [18:50]
There was no master plan there at all. I there was a job advertisement that I saw when I was finishing up No, isn’t it internship advertisement that I came across. I mean, this is a long time ago now, but like it was like a posting someplace for an intern in the research department at what was then called the children’s television workshop. And I thought, well, I always loved Sesame Street. And I, you know, I have some research skills, so why don’t I apply for it. And I started as an intern there and just as luck would have it, the and this was my first job out of college. The department kind of fell apart a number of people left for various reasons. And I ended up having a fair amount of institutional knowledge. So I ended up getting to travel all over the country, interviewing preschoolers, to see if they understood because one of the things that people may not appreciate about Sesame Street is it is an extremely, extremely well researched show. It has its roots in academia and It’s started by a bunch of Harvard professors. And so every everything that you see on the air has been well researched and considered from every angle. And so I ended up travelling around the country and interviewing preschoolers to see if they understood some of the health related messages that the producers were trying to convey, offer some sesame street specials.
David Ralph [20:26]
So what you were doing you were going around the world basically stepping into the safe environment and we were talking about earlier that you’ve kind of created in your professional life.
Dr Ben Michaelis [20:37]
That’s exactly right. I hadn’t quite considered it in that way. But yes, that’s what I was doing.
David Ralph [20:41]
Well, that’s what we do on Join Up Dots. You say we connect, we connect. So when you when you were doing that, were you after what you are doing now or has it literally been like all of us stumbles and falls because I know when you said when he was in Seoul University, you were planning towards it. But we all plan but Then things overtake us. Has it been seamless?
Dr Ben Michaelis [21:04]
No, no, I don’t think anything that seamless is probably worthless to be honest with you. And, you know, I, when I was a teenager, I had always felt like the grown ups that were around me were not. They weren’t great sort of mentors or leaders and I always sort of wish that I’d had someone who was a little bit more no nonsense and so I’d kind of what
David Ralph [21:29]
they do just so let you run loose and stuff.
Dr Ben Michaelis [21:32]
Well, it was a combination of things. It was either adults that just kind of would let would, you know, just sort of do their own thing and let me run loose or we’re on the other side of it like, I’m trying to maintain you know, power, what have you and a lot you know, one of the things we allowed to swear on the show. What’s the story with that? You can say would you say on Sesame Street would you say in front of Big Bird?
No So I wouldn’t
David Ralph [22:02]
do it. You can do it go on.
Dr Ben Michaelis [22:04]
Okay, well, I think that when you’re a teenager, you have a pretty strong bullshit metre. Oh,
David Ralph [22:10]
you’re gonna come out with some explicit one that I’ve never heard of before.
Dr Ben Michaelis [22:14]
All right, no, no. So you have a pretty strong bullshit metre.
David Ralph [22:19]
It’s how you say twice. Oh, did I? Oh,
Dr Ben Michaelis [22:23]
now I’m gonna start drawing it out.
David Ralph [22:25]
Yeah, you’re pushing the boundaries. Yeah.
Dr Ben Michaelis [22:27]
That’s how I do. So I think that a lot of adults are not straight with you when you’re a teenager for various reasons. They, you know, concerns about, you know, what you’re going to do with these newfound abilities and freedoms and things of that nature. And it always bugged me. And so I kind of wanted to become, you know, some sort of a guiding force. When I was that when I was that age, and then when I went through university, I’d kind of forgotten about that. And I was actually being groomed to become a professor
when I was at college,
And then and so I was involved in research in a number of ways but but that the research thing never really stuck for me and after, after Sesame Street I ended up travelling a bit and deciding to go east and spending some time in India and Nepal. And while I was travelling, you know it sort of the initial ideas of my my adolescence came back to me, and that’s when I decided to to go back to graduate school in my mid 20s.
David Ralph [23:35]
I find it fascinating the amount of people that I’ve spoken to have travelled through India kind of finding themselves and on Join Up Dots. We’re currently releasing episodes about Steve Jobs, the Steve Jobs story, and he did the same thing. He travelled through India, you know, high on drugs off the time, find himself, but the beauty of it is it gives you a chance to think But we don’t have a normal life, do we? From the moment you leave the education system, you literally and it’s got worse now with tweets flying around and Facebook posts and people on phones and all that kind of stuff. Could you have found your path? Naturally? Or was that a great place because of that ability to step away disconnect and think about your future?
Dr Ben Michaelis [24:22]
So it definitely didn’t have to be India. But I do think that and there’s there’s a lot of precedent for this, both in history and in mythology, that like certainly for like Joseph Campbell, you know, in the hero’s journey, that there needs to be some form of separation from the individual and his everyday life in order to gain knowledge and gain experience. And India just because of its mythical lore and certainly at that time when I went in the 90s, when it was certainly much less connected to the rest of the world. Seemed like, you know, an ideal place to have that kind of retreat. But it certainly doesn’t have to be India. But I do think that there does need to be a separation between the individual and the environment that he or she knows, in order to go through a period of self discovery.
David Ralph [25:17]
And he doesn’t have to be a law. I’ve heard numerous stories from guests that twice a year or at least once a year, they will book themselves in a hotel, leave the family behind, say to the husband, you’ve got to look after the kids and just lie on the bed with paper and books around them, and kind of let their thoughts wander. And it’s during those moments of not quite boredom, but total disconnection, which we’re not used to. That’s when the things fly up into you and you think oh, wow, never thought about before. Did you see the power of doing that locking yourself away for the listeners out there are struggling to find their next thing.
Dr Ben Michaelis [25:57]
I did and do I see Do take some time every year, it can be even just a couple of days where I just am by myself and cultivating, as you said, cultivating boredom or cultivating silence. Because a lot of us tend to be very afraid of silence and silence is really, really create for the mind that allows the mind to go to places that it might not normally go. And it’s that process of the mind searching that often brings up our best ideas.
David Ralph [26:31]
Well, I’m gonna play some words, but Oprah said and it touches into this quite strongly, this is her next move speech,
Oprah Winfrey [26:37]
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 too. 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 [27:09]
pretty profound. Do you think?
Dr Ben Michaelis [27:12]
I agree with everything that Oprah just said in due respect to Oprah. The only thing about that that troubles me is the word right? Because I think a lot of people get very focused on right, as opposed to just next. And that the idea that there is something that is right or wrong, it’s just next. And if you keep moving, you do tend to find things that work for you. But I just this idea of, of what is right I think can can end up stifling people’s movement. So but everything I certainly agree with her concept about failure, and I’m a huge believer in failure. I mean, I fail all the time, David all the time.
David Ralph [27:59]
Well, you’re And that’s the way that we’re programmed. And I I do think, though, that with the opa speech, I don’t know if it’s because of this show, but I am far more reflective than I used to be. Because my key strength is futuristic, I’m always I come on, we can do this, this would be amazing. Why don’t we do this and all that kind of stuff. But I don’t think what she’s kind of saying is, you do that thing, and then you look back and see whether it was right or not. And then you do another thing is to kind of look over your shoulder and, and assess, keep moving forward, which touches in strongly to what you said, but I see it in a slightly different way.
Dr Ben Michaelis [28:36]
Yeah, I agree. And, and just continuing to, and that’s part of going back to this idea of reflection, having the time to be like, hmm, that didn’t work out the way I thought it was going to, and maybe it worked out in a way that was better or suboptimal. But having the ability to take time and to take a pause is quite useful in that regard.
David Ralph [28:59]
Due to luck. Your job What do you wake up some mornings ago? Oh, just watch Netflix all day. Last thing I want to do is go into a safe environment or does it get you going every morning?
Dr Ben Michaelis [29:09]
So the answer is I love my job. I mean, every, every job has things about it that are not ideal. Fortunately, like, I’m really not so much into the business aspect of what I do. And fortunately, I’m at the point now that I have externalise that and somebody that helps me with it, which is a dream, David, I can tell you because I just, that’s not that’s not so interesting to me. And so for the first X number of years where I just I had to do all that stuff. I didn’t really love that, but, but the idea of being, you know, I, I really, I honour the concept of struggle. I think that struggling is an honourable thing. I think that avoiding struggle is dishonourable. And so by definition, the people that come to me are struggling with something and being able to be a part and hopefully a helpful part. That struggle, I think, is a very honourable and exciting thing for me. So by and large when I, you know, I’m truly inspired by what I get to do, and so that those aspects of my work, do continue to sort of get me out of bed every morning. It’s the administrative parts of the job that are not so interesting to me.
David Ralph [30:20]
But that’s the genius thing, isn’t it, that’s when your power goes into warp speed. You really are on the Star Trek Enterprise, when you can take away all the stuff you hate doing, and just do the stuff that you like doing. And you’re very good at it and do more of it. And we see this time and time again, when entrepreneurs take that first leap. But more often than not, they’ve been in a corporate gig and they’re being paid money and everything’s good, but they’re bored. So they decide to go for it themselves. And they go from 40 hours a week to 100 hours a week because I think they’ve got to do everything and I can’t afford it’s very much bootstrapping time, but literally to a man and a woman. When they get to the point that like somebody else can send those emails. I don’t need to do those every single day. And they start focusing in on what they’re better. That’s when the money goes up. The clients go up, everything seems to speed forward and you’ve got those white lines flying towards you like you’re getting in space ships when you’re going really, really fast.
Dr Ben Michaelis [31:19]
Absolutely. I I thought that you said white lions. I’m like, what kind of white lions that I took me a moment. I’m like, Yeah, yeah, hyperspace. I’m so grateful to the I’ve two people that helped me with certain things. I’m so grateful to the two of them. Like, I thank them several times a day because and they’re happy to do their, their parts of and how
David Ralph [31:43]
did you find them? Because that’s, that’s a key question. People are so worried about handing stuff off. They don’t hand it off. So how did you find them and trust them to do it?
Dr Ben Michaelis [31:53]
So the first person I hired very, very fortunately, was and is amazing and I had just threw something out on Facebook saying that I was looking for some help. And the woman that responded was and is extraordinary what she does and I couldn’t function without her. So I got pretty lucky for the first person. The second person, it was a long process. I hired a couple of people that did not work out. And you know, I was I’m willing to give people a try but but I that was about an 18 month process to find the right person. And now I finally have the right person but but it it took some time and it took a bunch of mistakes on my part, to be perfectly honest with you, because I have a big
David Ralph [32:40]
issue with people working for me, but no one seems to work at the same speed as I do. I seem to work at rapid I do the stuff and get it out there. Boom, ship, ship, ship, ship ship. And when I sort of hand stuff over, I go, come on. I would have done 20 votes in this time, but they’re still getting it done. I just see urgency they don’t seem to have the urgency that I have.
Dr Ben Michaelis [33:06]
Yeah, and that’s, you know, one of the things about owning your own you know, business is that you know, as the owner you’re always going to be more invested in in certain things because it’s it’s your it’s your thing it’s your name. Um,
David Ralph [33:20]
it’s no biggie but STD speed, get it done. He won’t, it doesn’t take you 40 minutes to do an email just bashing out?
Dr Ben Michaelis [33:27]
Well, and I think that there’s also characterological thing there, the people that are entrepreneurial, are ready to for it to be like 90% Okay, knowing that it doesn’t need to be 100% Okay, and some people are less likely to feel comfortable with that, that they want to check it over and over and over. And so there’s there’s different styles at play there.
David Ralph [33:47]
Yo, yo, good. You’re you’re posing questions back at me. So for the people out there that do the real good stuff, the real movers and shakers, the A listers, do you think that they work on a 90% robot
Dr Ben Michaelis [34:00]
You know, I think that by and large, yes, there are certain things that need to be 100%. But a lot of things just need to be done. And they don’t need to be, they certainly don’t need to be perfect. And that’s one of the things that I think stops people is the idea that all what if it’s not perfect, it’s like, you know what, ain’t nothing perfect. And you just got to keep on ploughing ahead. And sometimes you end up paying a cost for that. But by and large, being, I think at 90% allows you to find more opportunities.
David Ralph [34:32]
It’d be interesting actually to do something and see if there’s any effect for not doing it quite to the level. And then next week, do it slightly less. And I bet with the amount of information that’s whizzing around, because at the moment with my show, this is a big thing that I was discussing with somebody the other day, I used to spend a lot of time promoting, promoting, promoting you got to promote on tweets and Facebook and get your name out there. And I got to the point, I thought I’ll be bothered anymore. The Boring in it, I just don’t want to do it. So I stopped it and people say, What are you doing? How are you going to do that all the momentum you’ve built up, it’s gonna be the waste. Nothing’s happened. In fact, if anything’s happened, my my listenership has gone up. And I’m not sure how that’s happen, but it’s just going up. And I think that we get tied into doing stuff because other people have done it beforehand. But it doesn’t mean that it’s right to do it.
Dr Ben Michaelis [35:28]
I think that’s absolutely right. And as you were saying before focusing on kind of your core competencies competency, your core message tends to what’s the word I’m looking for, intensify the benefit of whatever it is that message is, and the other stuff seems to work itself out.
David Ralph [35:52]
So if we were talking about a human movement, we’re going to be combined mentors here. And we’ve got we’ve got a guy Cool. We got two guys come one called Bert and one called Ernie, I’m still on this track. And they come up and they need help, or Hi, I need help. And that was Bert. And Bert comes up and says, I’ve been doing this job for 10 years. I’m not getting any promotions. I don’t know what to do. It just seems too big for me. What advice would you give to Bert first of all?
Dr Ben Michaelis [36:23]
Well, the The answer is to take a step back for a second and make sure that the people that are around you or strike that the people that are maybe like above you in your organisation are people that inspire you. Because if you are if you don’t want to be like or if the people that are that are above you are not inspiring to you, you’re probably not in the right place to begin with. And so so so the question itself suggests that maybe you need to be looking someplace else. But if If you are in a place where you’re inspired or you feel the people above you are good leaders, then the question comes where you want to look within and say, okay, what’s preventing me from from going further? And and you want to explore if there are some, you know, forgive the term like personal demons that may be holding you back from asking, asking certain questions.
David Ralph [37:27]
Now, the thing is Bo, it’s all always within, isn’t it? That that’s the problem. It’s finding that key but actually opens the door to you, which is why it’s so huge the annoying as I keep in saying that she already shows and I probably mentioned it on this one as well. But you’ve got it in you, you know what needs to be done, but you just can’t see it until the time comes. Do you see that with your safe environment? are you providing keys in that safe environment? Is it a matter of time, and that if somebody picks up a bunch of keys, they will find the right one or will they Keep them going indefinitely.
Dr Ben Michaelis [38:03]
Well, the rule, you know, one of the things that struck me about listening to that Oprah clip earlier was, she said that failure is just a message to try something else. And I really liked that because the rule in nature, if you look at any species, the evolution of any species, the rule of nature is when stay, lose shift. So if something is working for you, you keep doing it. Because it’s working. If it’s not working for you try something else. And so if, if someone is just trying different keys, they’re not going to go on and definitely, they will ultimately because there’s something inside of us that just leads us to, to our natural gifts. You know, I worked with this woman a number of years ago who was a or is I should say a designer, a clothing designer. And she was she went through her schooling after much hardship. She, she didn’t take the traditional route to school. She was out of school for many years. She had to work to support herself. She went back, she did finally get her degree. And then she couldn’t get a job. And as she was going through this process, remember she said to me, I must be in the wrong field. And I said, there’s just no way you’re in the wrong field. Like being a designer, clothing designer is a very specific thing and requires a very specific set of skills. And if you as someone who has persisted in their education, and could have easily not got not finished high school, not gone to college, not gotten a degree have persisted this long. There’s something that’s driving you there And sure enough, she has to my knowledge, I’m not working with her now. Continue to in that field. And so there is something inside of us that leads us towards are natural gifts. The thing that I think that happens with people is they stopped looking,
David Ralph [40:04]
you feel that strongly, then they just go Enough is enough. I am where I am, where I am and all that business.
Dr Ben Michaelis [40:12]
Well, it’s not it. Look, life happens. And we as we get older and we get we have some, you know, children or mortgages or other responsibilities, we have to do things what we need to do to survive. But so so believe me as someone that’s waited tables, and you know, and had several jobs at the same time, like, nobody respects that more than me. It’s just that if you’re, if you’re if you’re not pleased with where you are, and you have limited time, using that time to continue to find what really works for you is essential.
David Ralph [40:46]
But I find it more often than not now we have got such an opportunity. I couldn’t have done this five years ago. I certainly wouldn’t have dreamed about it 10 years previously, and the fact that we can all now create online Line environments that work and connect. There’s no reason why even if you’re 5060 years old, I had a chap called Chris Baker backer. And he was a brilliant guy. And he was a really successful businessman and a nightclub owner and stuff. And he lost it all. And he thought, Well, what do I do I just sort of sit around or just watching Netflix all the time, or do I go out and do something about it? So he just started playing around. He said, he literally couldn’t get on a website, let alone build one. But little by little by little he got going. Now he looks back. He said, I would never change things. I would never change anything. I’ve now got my freedom. I’ve got information coming to me. I’ve got connections, I’ve got money, I’ve got everything. And he says it’s never too late. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It’s never too late. And it’s never impossible. It just means it might take longer to get there.
Dr Ben Michaelis [41:55]
I couldn’t have said it better myself. I mean, I have a woman who came to me She’s now she’s in her mid 60s. And she had, she was a writer in her 20s always wanted to write a book and was discouraged in a number of different ways. And then she ended up getting married, having having children. And the desire to write a novel has never left her. And we spent the last year working on her novel and it is done. Now it’s out, we’re still waiting to see who’s going to publish it. But you know, when she’s in her mid 60s at this point, and so it is absolutely you can be 60 you can be 70 you can be 80, you could be 90, it’s the spirit that matter. It’s not the age and Bessie need to
David Ralph [42:41]
have somebody publish it county publish yourself.
Dr Ben Michaelis [42:45]
She could, you know, I think that she’s from a time when the idea of self publishing is sort of anathema to her. And so she really wants to have someone publish it and and I respect that, you know, people have different needs as to what Feels validating to them. But no one does not necessarily need a publisher anymore. But But I think that for this particular woman, I think that that would feel
David Ralph [43:17]
Yeah, I can see that it’s nice to have a proper paperback and it’s up on the shelf and it’s in a bookstore and all that kind of stuff. Yeah, okay. I can, I can see but, but the fact that we’ve now got that word self in front of publishing, literally everything now you can do Konya. As long as you get your mind around it. I was speaking to a chap, he’s one of my top long term mates called Harry, this is about you, sir. And he’s just quit his job to go contracting. And it’s scary for him because he’s always had a salary but now what he wants to do is work on a higher salary for like two months and then take a month off and have sort of breaks in between. And I can see that this is just the star. This is him cracking that damn to creating an absolute blueprint for success, but he had to start and do something. And he sent me an email. He said, Oh, it’s a bit funny. I’m starting my own company. You got a laugh, and I said, No, you don’t go lol You go, w o w, that’s Wow, that is the three letters that really starts it, you’ve taken that action. And it doesn’t have to be even in the direction that you want is it as you said earlier, if it’s seamless, it’s worthless. As long as it’s in some kind of direction, vein, you are on your way because you’ve taken that action, that first step. And then you just look for the next step. And you you move on.
Dr Ben Michaelis [44:37]
That’s right, you don’t need to see the whole staircase to take the next step. And you know, I love you know, I love that metaphor that you just used of cracking the dam. I love it because it just, it’s such a visceral experience you can so click clearly picture that in your mind and I just I love that and just so you know, I’m going to steal it and probably not give you credit for it, David. I don’t get credit on this at
David Ralph [44:59]
all. Did you ever do that? No, I actually I had this chap on the show and Episode 407 something. And he’s a country and western singer. And I wrote a song live on air. It just came out of me. And he said, Oh, he kind of send it across, you got to send it across. And I said, Well, I’ll send it across. As long as I get sort of writing credits on the back. Just be nice to see my name on a country and western album. And I bet it doesn’t happen. What do you reckon? Dr. Ben Am I being used for my creative output?
Dr Ben Michaelis [45:30]
If you like the guy, and you felt like he was trustworthy, I mean, there are people out there that are unfortunately, if
David Ralph [45:36]
you’re trustworthy, and you just said that you’ll get a nickel from me, and don’t give me a credit.
Dr Ben Michaelis [45:44]
Yeah, I think that there’s a big difference here, but the answer is I probably will give you credit.
David Ralph [45:51]
I need adulation. I’m not getting enough adulation in my life. That’s what I want.
Dr Ben Michaelis [45:55]
I think none of us are David. I think we all need more adulation. Why don’t we got to figure
David Ralph [46:01]
it across the pond. Create a I don’t know, a transatlantic adulation club?
Dr Ben Michaelis [46:07]
Oh, Consider it done. I’m gonna get the I’m gonna get the URL right now for us.
David Ralph [46:12]
And the brilliance about that I know, it’s just sort of saying off the top of your head, you know, I now know that you could make money on it. That’s just an idea that comes out of your head. And you go, Oh, yeah, you could do that. Create that, get a membership, build a community, get a Facebook group on bang business. Now, if anyone’s out there listening, you can have an idea run with it because it’s gold. Because I’ve now think that literally every idea you have no matter how bizarre it is, is gold. It’s only your mindset is that illusion in your head, but it’s not possible that stops it being gold, but there’s some in the nicest way. There’s some idiots out there earning a fortune. And they just do one thing very, very well and it’s a theme of the shows recently. That’s why I say it but it is you look at it and you think really We need a billionaire him and that doing was a stupid idea. make a lot of money with it anything’s doable. Once you met Dr. Ben.
Dr Ben Michaelis [47:08]
Completely agree and whoever it is that does take this idea, just, you know, love to see how it goes. Because I think that I really do think I mean, I don’t know if you guys had this craze in the UK like, but when I was growing up we had pet rocks, yeah, here in the United States and like, I’m like what? You know, but someone made a fortune off of that. I can tell you that much. So
David Ralph [47:30]
it’s nice slinkys a blooming spring that walks down stairs and and misses a few steps. And they’ve been sending that since the 60s and my kids still want one. Yeah, so yeah, that’s just proof positive. Anything is possible. Anything is possible as your own mindset and i think that’s that’s a way to bring us on to a man who had a mindset that went through many different variations, but ultimately he bounties true self and these are the words Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [48:01]
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 [48:36]
But you’ve had some rather bizarre dots lining up so where did it start view? Where was your big dot that led you to where you are now.
Dr Ben Michaelis [48:46]
You know, a number of years ago I was in my office with this woman and I she was a patient of mine and she came in she was very depressed single mother working actually working at a law firm and nothing I was doing was helping her nothing. And, you know, I really want to help people. That’s why I’m in my job and I was honestly quite frustrated. And at one point, I said, You know what, let’s just forget all the kind of behavioural science that we’ve been trying to implement here and let me ask you this, I want you to close your eyes. And I want you to imagine your great great granddaughter. I want you to really get a flavour for who she is think about who she hangs out with. Who she who she likes you she doesn’t like what she has for breakfast, what activity she does really, really picture this girl and then turn the camera around onto yourself. And think about what this girl knows about you. What is this girl thankful for? Why does this girl thankful that You were her great, great grandmother. What did you do that contributed to her life? Think about if there’s something tangible that you can do. And this woman opened her eyes and she said, I would make a piece of jewellery for this young girl to wear to her senior prom. And David, that moment was a profound profound moment for me and for her, because she then became a jeweller. She had not had any history of making jewellery she used to like she said she used to like to play with beads when she was younger, but like nothing of any sort of serious nature, but she began taking metal smithing classes and she rode the wave of etsy.com and made that her life and for me, it was exciting. credibly profound because I saw this woman transformed by this latent creativity that had been lying dormant within her. And so what I did, and this was again, not, I wasn’t trying to connect the dots going forward, I just started making copious notes of things that worked in my work with her to help get her moving. And then a couple of years later, I was sitting down over Christmas time, looking at some of these notes. And I was like, you know, these kind of become a book. And it never really thought about it before that moment. And so I began sculpting my work with this woman into a book and that was the basis for my first book and titled, your next big thing 10 small steps to get moving and get happy and that that has been a tremendous change for me. So I’m no longer just in my office with patients. I am out speaking I I’m getting to meet folks like you, I’m doing more writing. And it really honestly all stems from that one moment with this one woman. So that was a huge shock. For me.
David Ralph [52:11]
It’s fascinating, isn’t it, but how everything can connect to these junctions. And at that moment, when we’re standing on that junction, we’ve literally got three or four different directions, and none of them are wrong. That’s the key thing. None of them are wrong. We can go down there, and you could have published that book and it could have gone nowhere. But then one person might have picked it up, and then that could have become your biggest client. It’s just that you’re doing stuff and getting out there.
Dr Ben Michaelis [52:40]
Absolutely. And this goes back to that idea that there’s not there’s no wrong way. There’s just different ways. And you know, the thing with the book is that you know, it has, it has touched a lot of people and they have in turn reached out to me and provided me there’s this this I was doing a radio show, probably about two years ago now. And this woman heard it. She called me up. She was the head administrator at a Catholic Women’s College in New Jersey. And she said, Look, we have meetings for our clergy retreats for our clergy every summer. I never do this without knowing the person. But I heard you on this radio show. I would love to have you lead a retreat for our clergy this summer. So that was over the winter that she called. And so not only did I do that, which was one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had, being able to work with members of their clergy who were sort of nearing the retirement age. But I’ve maintained a really strong relationship with with these folks in this in this unit, college. And I’ve continued to be involved with their development and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences that I would have never had. Had I not written that book and had That book that book had not been written. If it hadn’t been for that one experience with that one other woman in my patient,
David Ralph [54:05]
I Oh, join up. Now what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna bring the show to an end. Because this is the part that we call the Sermon on the Mount, where we send you back to see your younger version. And if you could go back in time and speak to the younger you, what age would you choose, and what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m gonna play the theme. And when it fades you up, this is the Sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [54:34]
with the best,
Unknown Speaker [54:39]
Unknown Speaker [54:41]
Dr Ben Michaelis [54:50]
so I am talking to a 13 year old version of myself at this moment and what I’m saying to you Is there are so many beautiful opportunities out there for you. And what you need to do is to try a lot of different things, even things that are going to not work out. Have the courage to explore blind alleys. Meet people that are different from you. that’s especially important talk to people that have different points of view than you that will challenge you and help you grow. And there is learning in every opportunity. The only thing that holds us back is our fear of failure, our fear of being considered considered a failure, our concern about the way others view us but if you have the tenacity to persist, especially when things aren’t working out, but to to say Hmm I wonder why that didn’t work out and and follow your curiosity. It will take you to amazing places. And it really is the secret to living a rich, bountiful whole life. That is my sermon on the mount. Mike.
David Ralph [56:24]
Dr. Ben How can our audience connect with you sir?
Dr Ben Michaelis [56:29]
So a number of different ways David and I actually just sent you something that I just I’m going to give to your listeners. So if your listeners your listeners can can find me on at Dr. Ben Michaelis calm but I just gave you a link to a page that will allow your audience to have to get a free gift from me which is a chapter of my book. Your next big thing 10 small steps to get moving and get happy. So if you go to Dr. Ben Michaelis calm slash landing page is what I just named it. They can get a free chapter of my book. I’m also at Dr. Ben Michaelis on Twitter. I am on Instagram at Dr. Ben Michaelis. That’s m IC h A Li s. And I’m on Facebook also Dr. Ben Michaelis. Please connect with me. I genuinely as you can tell, I love people. I love hearing people’s stories. I love being able to contribute to people’s lives. So whatever I can do in any way that you can connect, please do, please reach out.
David Ralph [57:35]
We’ll have over links on the show notes. Dr. Ben, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our paths is the best way to build our futures. Dr. Ben, thank you so much.
Dr Ben Michaelis [57:52]
Thank you David. really wonderful experience.
David Ralph [57:57]
Thanks for listening to today’s episode of join 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.