Joe Calloway Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Joe Calloway
Joe Calloway is our guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast.
He is a business author, consultant and speaker, who is out there on the coalface, helping companies become better and better.
His client list reads like an international Who’s Who in business, ranging from companies like Proctor & Gamble and Coca Cola to Cadillac and American Express.
Joe also works extensively with small to mid-sized business groups including franchisees, medical practices, law firms, and a range of professional services groups.
Now what I love about this guys is his belief that we should all aim to WOW every day.
He has an audacious business strategy: Be The Best At What Matters Most:
As he says “In a tough market it’s tempting to look for shortcuts.
Reality check: there aren’t any shortcuts.
How The Dots Joined Up For Johnny
The one business strategy that creates and sustains success is to be the best at what matters most. What an audacious idea – to outperform the competition on those things that create real value for the customer.
There’s a lot of talk about surprising the customer with “wow” factors.
That’s all well and good, but the ultimate and most powerful “wow” factor is to deliver on your promise every time, with every customer, with amazing consistency.
And in a world of entrepreneurial ventures, over delivering for your customers can take you a long way, but over delivering against what you believe you can personally deliver will take you even further.
So where did he start to have such an amazing mindset, that translates so well in the boardrooms and conferences centres of the world?
And how did he brand himself to start being recognised as an expert that others look to to help them push their own businesses higher and higher towards success?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Joe Calloway.
During the show we discussed such weighty Subjects with Joe Calloway such as:
Why life should be simple in principle. However its even more easy to make it more complicated than it should ever be.
Why his business plan is quite simply to make very book he writes better and better, and let the world know that he is enjoying the process too.
How he knows that he can over do it when he is working and why by relaxing we can al enjoy the process even more and do better work too.
Why living in a world that is spontaneous and edgy is the true safe position that he looks for in his work.
Why the CEO’s of a company are generally the most relaxed of all employees……but then we have Middle Management!!
Joe Calloway Books
How To Connect With Joe Calloway
You can also of course dive head first into thousands of podcast episodes at the JUD’s archives
Full Transcription Of Joe Calloway Interview
David Ralph [0:00]
So if you’re sitting there listening to podcast after podcast, reading book of the book, and still fed up with a life, you are living waiting for something amazing to happen. I have one thing to say to you and this is it. Nothing is going to change your life unless you start taking action. It’s 100% down to you. Stop making excuses and get yourself out there. Start working towards what you want in your life. Now, we work with people like you every day of the week who need the help to change their lives. And we’ve plans targets accountability, or just offering a shoulder to cry on when needed. Our members are seeing dramatic changes in their lives. They’re breaking free from the things that are stopping them earning the money they want. Finding the love they want or just loving their life. They are making it happen. So I need you to stop listening to podcasts and start shouting. This is my moment. I’m starting today I’m going for it. I need you to stop making excuses. Come over today at Join Up dots.com forward slash get the dream Have begin the rest of your life. I look forward to personally working with every single one of you. But you’ve got to start. Basic Join Up dots.com forward slash, get the dream.
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 [1:39]
Yes. Good morning, everybody, and welcome to Join Up Dots. And of course, David Ralph is all exciting in the Join Up Dots world at the moment. Obviously, a show thrives on its downloads and its listener figures. And for many months and many sort of episodes. I’ve been going up and up and up. But then recently I’ve stopped kind of promoting as much as and I’m still going up so that means means that there’s is out there this is a listening to us and are coming to us and hopefully telling their friends you gotta listen to this UK guy. He might know a thing or two. But whatever happens, it’s the guests that over delivers because that’s what makes Join Up Dots such a podcast and today’s guest is somebody that’s got so many strings to his bow. He’s a business offer consultant and speaker. And he’s out there on the coalface helping companies become better and better. Now, his client list reads like an international who’s who in business, ranging from companies like Procter and Gamble, and Coca Cola to Cadillac and American Express. He works extensively with small to midsize business groups including franchisees medical practices law firms, and arrange a professional service groups Now, what I love about this guy Bo, is he’s believed that we should all aim to wow every day he has an audacious business strategy, be the best at what matters most as he says In a tough market, it’s tempting to look for shortcuts. Reality Check, reality check. I put a little alarm on that. Whoo. There aren’t any shortcuts. The one business strategy that creates and sustains success is to be the best at what matters most what an audacious idea to outperform the competition on those things that create real value for the customer. There’s a lot of talk about surprising the customer with wow factors. That’s all well and good, but the ultimate and most powerful wow factor is to deliver on your promise every time with every customer with amazing consistency. And in a world of entrepreneurial ventures over delivering for your customers can take you a long way. But over delivering against what you believe you can personally deliver will take you even further. So where did he start to have such an amazing mindset that translates so well into the boardrooms and conferences across the world? And how did he brand himself to start being recognised as an expert but others look to to help them push their own businesses higher and higher towards success? Well, Let’s find out as we bring on the show to start joining up dance with the one and only Mr. Joe Callaway, how are you? Joe?
Joe Calloway [4:08]
I could not be better. After that introduction. I just want to go back to bed cola today, it’s not gonna get any better than this.
David Ralph [4:16]
Well, I’ll tell you why you’re sexy individual. I already said that at the beginning. We could we could record under the sheets, would that be alright?
Joe Calloway [4:25]
I’m not sure I’m not sure what the sound quality would be. We will stick with it the way we’re going.
David Ralph [4:31]
I think he’s probably pretty professional. I don’t know where it would end up. But it is it’s one of those beauty things that although we say that as a joke, you could do that. Can you now with technology, you can literally create your working environment wherever you want to if you want to build an economy under the sheets, which I suppose in a roundabout way has been going on for years. You could do it, can you?
Joe Calloway [4:53]
Well, it’s extraordinary. You know, the, the office space that I use, I’ve got an office in And then I’ve got office space. And it’s one of these shared communal spaces where you walk in, and you can sit anywhere you want. You can sit in a couch at a table and an individual office, but everybody walks in and all they’ve got is their laptop. And so it’s, it’s true. I mean, I can work anywhere, even if I’ve only got my phone. I can work anywhere. And so, you know what, it’s a double edged sword though, because the good news is you can work anywhere. The bad news is you can work anywhere. And so I think you’ve got to learn to temper your enthusiasm for work so that you don’t, don’t get work crazy.
David Ralph [5:42]
Because you are broadcasting live from the moment from my favourite town in in America, Nashville. Maybe it’s a city I don’t know. Is it a city or town I’ve never asked. But there are distractions in Nashville that literally will go on from morning to night. How do you remain focused And not slipping down to tootsies wine bar and listening to a train of country roads by john Denver.
Joe Calloway [6:07]
You know what? It’s a? I think it’s true for anybody that lives. Yeah, I’ve got a lot of friends that live in Las Vegas. And oddly enough, they don’t go to restaurants and casinos every night. Yeah. I think when you live in a place that has lots of temptations, and and lots of potential distractions, when you live there, and it’s your home. It’s great to have it there, particularly when somebody comes in from out of town. But it’s, it’s pretty easy to resist because it just kind of becomes part of the part of the same rate part of the wallpaper. So you put your head down and get your work done.
David Ralph [6:48]
But do you ever have sort of guests and relatives come along and you think, oh, what should I do with them today and you go to these places, and it’s like new eyes. You see it as a tourist
Joe Calloway [7:00]
Oh wait is it that’s that’s absolutely true. Because the fact is I don’t go to all the downtown Nashville bars and clubs and music venues all that often. So when I do go it’s really true and when you’re with somebody that’s so excited to be there, you can’t help but start to look at it from their perspective a little bit in through their eyes. And it’s great fun it I do enjoy it.
David Ralph [7:27]
I got so drunk into tsys Wine Bar once I had to not drive for two days I I saw Nashville as a pedestrian because I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere near a car which was sensible. But um, I it was it was enjoyable as well.
Joe Calloway [7:42]
Yeah, it can. It can happen again. That’s that’s another double edged sword. It’s like it was it was the best night of my life. It was the worst night of my life.
David Ralph [7:51]
You were there.
You were there. You were with me. I know you were like we start looking at what you’re talking about. Because I must admit when you came through to me, I get a Have offers coming through and I think oh should I have them on, but yours touches into something that really is about the show, Join Up Dots and be the best at what matters most, the only strategy you will ever need now, that is so simple, but when you add it to your other one becoming a category of one, it’s just Rocket Power, but it’s the kind of rocket power that you you really want to slam in front of people go. If you’ve already got it, you’ve got what your you need. You’ve got what you have to strive for just become better at what you’re already good at. But
Joe Calloway [8:33]
yeah, it is. And it’s, it’s deceptively simple. When you say to people, listen, if you want to win, win on the basics, because whoever wins on the basics, wins, they win the game, and people will will their first reaction is often I don’t know that set sounds a little too simple to me. But that’s the point. That’s why it’s so powerful. Cause it’s simple. Here’s the thing, David. It’s easy to make things complicated. It’s, it’s anybody can make things complicated. It takes a lot of work, and a lot of clarity of thinking to simplify. But if well, Steve Jobs of Apple who was I think the the Jedi Master of simplicity. He said once, it takes a lot of hard work, to get your thinking clean enough to make things simple, but it’s worth the work. Because if you can make things simple, you can move mountains, and I absolutely believe that with all my heart. That’s what the marketplace tells me is the most effective strategy is a strategy of simplicity and a focus on absolute excellence on those core things that create value.
David Ralph [9:48]
He’s absolutely a screams at me. It really does. This is what my life is all about. And it’s interesting. You’re talking about Steve Jobs because ultimately he’s career went down. He’ll when he overcomplicated next computers and he wanted to make something perfect. And he he came out the other side with this realisation that simplicity is the key. And as I was saying at the beginning of the show, My show is going up and up and up. And I’m coming to doing less work because ultimately I’m trying to perform in that area, that sweet spot, which people will respond to and things naturally take care of themselves. Are you in that sweet spot? Your books? Do they sort of like run out and sell themselves? Or do you actually have to follow along like a sheep herder getting them to the right place?
Joe Calloway [10:37]
You know, somebody asked me it was just a couple of weeks ago. Somebody said, What is your sum up your marketing plan? What is your marketing and sales programme? And I said, to do a really great job for my clients and to write, to do the best writing that I can be it calls or a book, you know, whatever. So in a nutshell, it’s to do really great work. And he said, Okay, yeah, I get that. But what’s your marketing? And I said, No, that is my marketing. Because if I do, and listen, of course, there are certain promotional things that you do when when a book comes out. But I’m telling you, it’s it’s exactly what you were saying about your show. You can stop the promoting, and just really great shows, and you’re going to be fine, because it’s funny, I’ve gotten another book, a call magnetic the art of attracting business. And that’s about exactly the point you were making, which is, if the quality of the work of the product of the service is good enough, then your customers will be the engine that drives new customers to you. And so it really comes back to this man. Matter of focus, focus on the work itself.
David Ralph [12:04]
And does that excite you the fact that you know that every time you write a book and you release a book, you are going to put your heart and energy to make it better. But no one before is that creative spirit. Key to what makes Joe Calloway who he is. You
Joe Calloway [12:21]
gotta leave you. Well, I was doing an interview recently. And somebody said, What do you think is the is the key to what drives you every day. I said, you know what it is. It’s the creative aspect of my work. And I, I, I discover and I tap into the creative aspect of my work through the challenge of making it better every single day. Because I have a very low threshold for boredom. I get bored very easily. I get bored with my own stuff so easily. And so the creative spark for me is how can I make this better? Better, and I can always make it better. So yeah, you’ve you’ve hit it. Exactly. That is the, the essence of creativity for me. And it’s what is the catalyst for my creative spirit is to always, always, always, every single day, make it better make it better make it better. To me. It’s a great challenge. And it’s a it’s a great source. It’s a great source of opportunity for creativity.
David Ralph [13:30]
So how do you know beat yourself up? And Joe, the fact that I know from being in a creative venture like this, I record, I put it out to the world, some shows fly, some don’t. But more often than not, if I listen back to a show, I think, Oh, you know, I could have just made it. Oh, God, it just made it a little bit better. How do you actually relax after the event and think to yourself, oh, I just go back and do a director’s cut. I think I can improve that page or change this out. You just let it go out and Fly?
Joe Calloway [14:01]
Boy, that’s tough because it’s tough for me, because I think we may have similar personalities along those lines. Yeah, I tend to, you know, it’s funny man, my father instilled a very powerful work ethic in me, and a very powerful ethic of do the job. Well, and that’s terrific. I mean, that has served me very well. But I think I can easily overdo it sometimes to the point where, you know, if you’re too much of a perfectionist, it gets in the way it truly does. And I think it can limit you rather than expand your, your, your possibilities. And so what I’ve tried to do is, is relax into the reality of Look, I’m always going to wish that any given speech had gone better. I’m always going to wish I hadn’t said this, and that I had said that, but that doesn’t mean that I did anything wrong. That’s a very natural part of the process. And it’s a good part of the process. You know, years ago Toyota had a in they may still have it, but I certainly know that it was, it was a stated kind of a part of their culture, which was permanent dissatisfaction. And people hear that and they think, oh God, that sounds terrible, but they used it as a motivator. And they they revelled in that state of permanent dissatisfaction. Because they, you know, they approached permanent dissatisfaction with a smile on their faces, because it’s the spark that says, You know, I can make that better. And that’s a good thing. But I do think you have to learn to channel it so that it becomes an encouragement and a motivator, rather than something where you’re, you’re kicking yourself in the butt all the time, because you feel like you didn’t do a good enough job.
David Ralph [15:55]
Well, one of the guests that I would love to have on the show is Bill Murray that Ghostbusters Go. And if you know anything about him and you sort of delve into his life, he’s kind of like a Zen like character floating around the world, you know, being totally unique and authentic to himself. And one of these things, he talks, he has a seven step programme that he goes through and touching on what you say about staying relaxed. This is what he says. And I’d be very interested to see your point of view, because I think you you come from a similar background to this. He says that one of the steps is to just stay relaxed, and success will follow. Now, somebody told him some secrets early on about living and you have to remind yourself that you can do the very best you can. When you’re very, very relaxed, no matter what it is, no matter what your job is, the more relaxed you are, the better you are. That’s sort of why he got into acting, he realised that the more fun he had, the better he did it. And he thought, well, that’s a job I can be proud of. I’d be proud to have that job. And if I can go to work and say, no matter what my condition or what my mood is, no matter how I feel about what’s going on in my life. If I Just relax myself and enjoy what I’m doing and have fun with it, then I can do my job really well. And it’s changed his life learning that and it’s made him better at what he does as well. He says he’s not the greatest or anything, but I really enjoy what I do. I think the same goes to you, Mr. Callaway, doesn’t it?
Joe Calloway [17:19]
Well, I’ll say this. Number one, I absolutely totally agree with that idea that the more relaxed you are, the better you will perform. And I will also say that I am quite possibly one of the top people on the planet in need of learning that lesson. I believe I believe it with all my heart. And I you know, it goes back to that, that work ethic and that wanting to do a great job. Here’s the thing I take so seriously the responsibility of doing a really good job for the people that have hired me That’s again, that’s a good thing. But as I said earlier, there comes a point where that gets in the way. And I need to let go and relax and say, Look, I’ll do a great job. Ease up a little bit, and have a little more fun with it. So on the one hand, I totally believe it. I think he’s absolutely right. And, and on the other hand, it’s a lesson that I am still learning.
David Ralph [18:29]
Because although I can’t see you at the moment, I can see a twinkle in your eye you like to have fun. You like to be playful, don’t you?
Joe Calloway [18:38]
I do. You know, I love a conversation like this, where instead instead of saying, okay, here are the 12 questions. Get prepared, get your answers ready. It’s like no, let’s, let’s see where it goes. Let’s see where it goes. Because that’s where the fun is. And you know what, it that that carries over. into the speaking that I do, I’ll be in front of an audience. And the best moments, I do a lot of interaction. And I’ll pose questions to the audience. And I think I do my best work spontaneously in response to something that someone in the audience says, because that in that moment, nobody scripted. nobody’s talking about something they had planned to say. They are in the moment. They are utterly present. And in were completely engaged with each other in in the most genuine sense. And that’s the most fun. That’s absolutely the most fun where where you say, wow, this is real. I mean, this this is a moment of discovery, or joy or humour. That was not contrived. It happened. It happened from the energy of the people in the room and you just You can’t get better than that
David Ralph [20:01]
is interesting though, Joe, as you’re saying that I’m thinking to myself, yeah, that’s how I live my life every day. And I used to be a financial trainer. So I know what you mean about getting up in front of people going off subject, but suddenly finding the real gold, but wasn’t quite evident when you wrote the course or the speech or whatever. But then you can use about to make it stronger next time. And it’s got that sifting through the energy but actually finds the real goal. Now, if you go into entreprenuer life, or sorry, not entrepreneur, corporate life, but that feeling is few and far between, isn’t it? That feeling of being in the flow, enjoying yourself having fun? That is really well, your message, I suppose, is for companies to get their employees to find that, that feeling of connection with their work and wanting to be as good as they can. How do you do that when it’s so hard in a corporate environment or see anywhere?
Joe Calloway [20:57]
You know, it really is really depends on the mindset of the leadership in the company. Because it it’s it’s funny, everybody will acknowledge it in theory, that yes, we want people to be creative. We want our people to be connected. We want them to, to take a chance every now and then with their work. We want them to, to innovate and try new things. But then when people actually start to do it, they go, Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute, we’re losing control. We’re losing control. Let’s all get back in formation here. And so it’s a it’s a struggle. And yet I have seen I’ve worked with some companies where the leadership, they meant it. And it’s it’s really a cultural thing. And you can’t have a sign on the wall that says, innovate, try new things. In yet the reality is, you know, the employees look at each other and stuff. Yeah, that’s what the poster says, but they don’t really mean it. You know, it’s, it’s funny, David, over the last few years, my business has shifted to working from those big corporate giants like you listed in the introduction. And I do still work with some of them. But I’m doing a lot more work now with medium sized companies, and with groups of entrepreneurs with franchisees where it’s, you know, it’s it’s a mom and pop that own their own small business. And the joy of that is when I’m working with people that that are with a smaller business, then you can put that idea out there. And, and they after, after the presentation is over, they came up and they say, I just got off the phone with someone back at the office. And we have already started to institute the idea that we talked about 20 minutes ago, so they don’t have the encumbrance on Having to jump through 200 bureaucratic hoops to try something new. They can go back and just do it. And man, that’s fun. That’s fun.
David Ralph [23:10]
I can see how that’s fun. And I can also see but the two words that probably strike fear in your heart and strike fear in everyone’s hard across the world is a middle management. They’re the ones aren’t they, they’re the ones that will make your life so much more difficult because they believe they’ve got to operate in a way of control. Even if the leaders at the top are saying something different. It’s very difficult to get it filtered through, isn’t it? You’ve
Joe Calloway [23:37]
absolutely hit on something that I have found to be so true over the years. A lot of times the Collie it’s really interesting when I think about it, a lot of times the CEO and the very senior leadership are often the most relaxed people in the company that you know in the blimps that are it’s it’s funny, I’m thinking right now I’m having faces flash up in my mind of CEOs that have said, you know, I’m going to try something and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. If it doesn’t work, I may pay the price for that. And that’s okay, I can find another job. But you go down a level or another level, and people are just wound much more tightly about protecting their turf. And they play instead of playing to win, they play not to make a mistake, which is, which is are two very different approaches to business or to life. And so I think you’re absolutely right, that middle management, a lot of times is much more constrained, and a lot more uptight about things then senior management
David Ralph [24:50]
is I spent my whole corporate life being called a maverick. Because the way I used to operate within teams, and it’s funny, and I’m not saying this to just sort of, you know, big money out, but I still meet people now. And they say you were the best manager that I ever had. Because I never cared about the processes. I never cared about the targets. I always cared about the staff. And I always thought if I can get the staff buying into what I’m saying and going for it, then the processes and the targets will take care of themselves anyway. But I used to have terrible troubles with the directors and middle management for creating different ways of operating, I would allow my staff to go home if I did good work and have ice creams in the afternoon. And people used to say, Well, you can’t do that. If all the other teams aren’t having it. Why should your team I used to say stop the other teams, I don’t care about them. They’re not my team. I’m just doing it the way that I think is right. And I used to have terrible battles, but it had to be like a uniform approach or it just wouldn’t work. And that’s rubbish showing that.
Joe Calloway [25:52]
Oh, it’s absolute rubbish. You know, it’s funny, you hit on something. I post on Two or three different social media channels. Every morning, I post something called the morning memo. And the one yesterday which got tremendous reaction, and it’s always a very short little statement or observation. And the one yesterday said leaders without buying, your decisions are absolutely worthless. I’ll never forget the CEO of a hotel group said one time, he said the decisions that I make a CEO are absolutely meaningless unless I get buy in from my 7000 co workers. And I love that he called him coworkers instead of employees. Yeah, but it’s true. If you don’t get buy in and not just intellectual buy in, but gut level, heart level buy in. If you do get buy in on all those levels, then you’ve got something then you’ve got something really special and you can do great things. But without it, ah, it’s, it’s, you’re gonna be working it, it has potential at best.
David Ralph [27:06]
I used to do a lot of things Joe just to annoy the other directors I used to go in. And it really does touch into what I’m all about that there’s a playfulness I like to. I like to annoy people in a kind of fun, playful way. I used to walk around the office, I talk about this a lot, just creeping up behind people and flicking their ears and then disappearing. And it was because you weren’t supposed to operate in that way. That wasn’t how things was done. So I always used to sort of run up to my own coven somehow. And it really sort of slipped straight into Join Up Dots. When I started Join Up Dots. I just kind of made it up as I went along. I didn’t look at what other people were doing. I just kind of did my own thing. Now 500 shows into it. I think thank God I did that. Because it’s very hard to replicate the show. Other people might look at the success of it and think I’m gonna follow along, but it’s gonna be very hard to do, and it’s gonna be very hard to do You’re doing as well, isn’t it because it is playing to that playfulness, that authentic ness. And that just that desire to go one step further than anyone else?
Joe Calloway [28:10]
Well, you know, it’s funny, I, when I do a speech, too in depth for the bulk of my revenue comes from it is the speaking. And I tell people I say, Look, I’m not a humorous, I don’t tell jokes. But I want to have a lot of fun with this presentation, because people will, will embrace the ideas more readily and more meaningfully. And they will, we will accomplish more. They will learn more, if we’re having a good time. And so I’m very playful. I’m very willing to go off on a tangent. I’m very willing to look at the audience and say, Okay, before we went down this rabbit hole, I was making a point that was incredibly important this somebody helped me out. What was that saying? And they’ll say, well, you were talking about data. And I’ll say yes, yes, that’s it. Okay. Let me go back to that. And other speakers look at me and they say, you can’t do that. You can’t. You can’t just go off on tangents and lose your place and admit that you’ve lost your place. And I say, you know what, the only people that care about that and get upset about it are other speakers. My audiences are absolutely delighted by it. And the people that hire me say that it’s effective, and that it works, because it’s real. And I’m there, and I’m present. And I’m in the moment and I’m not delivering some canned memorised pitch. People say, what’s your speech about? And I said, Well, let me let’s put it this way. Let me tell you what the conversation will be about. I don’t even know Like the word speech, I mean, I use it because it’s the reference point that other people use. I’m much preferred to think in terms of having conversations with people.
David Ralph [30:09]
Well, let’s play some words now and then delve more into that because it is fascinating. And he’s laid my, my thought patterns in a totally different direction. This is Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey [30:19]
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 [30:46]
Now, the interesting thing about that is obviously you are doing what you love and you’re standing in front of people but you’re taking a chance you’re, you’re not just hiding behind the same content time and time again, because the real value of what you’re providing Joe to the audience and what the other speakers haven’t quite grasped, is you are connecting, you are connecting with those individuals and if they feel that they’re actually helping you out by putting you back into the position that you should be, that’s all the more powerful, isn’t it?
Joe Calloway [31:16]
You know, what’s fascinating, David is that, that that spot that I stand in which which does depend a lot on on spontaneity, and not quite knowing what’s gonna happen next, for for me, that is the safe space. I get very nervous. I actually, not too long ago, I turned down a very lucrative offer to do a very scripted set of presentations for a company where they said, Look, we like your material. We want to interject some of our material, and we want you to do it. We want you to do a test run in front One of our executives in our communications people, and then we’re going to want you to do it word for word. That way for for 12 presentations across the country. And I immediately said, You know what, thank you so much. I appreciate the offer. It’s simply not what I do. Let me let me refer you to somebody else. The thought of that was really scary to me. I mean, that just I felt that’s
David Ralph [32:25]
why Joe, why was it so scary when other people might have gone? Katyn? Yeah, I could do this with the eyes closed.
Joe Calloway [32:32]
Because it was so confining and it, it truly isn’t the way I work. It would have been asking me to do something, David, that I don’t do. Well, I simply don’t. I can’t I don’t do scripted things. Well, now it you know, I’ve done a series of presentations for companies. And one of the comments I always get from, you know, the people who who are with me at each of those presentations, is at the end of it, they go. It’s unbelievable. You just did 11 presentations for a company, and you were on target and on track with the content, and everyone, and every one of them was so different. And but that’s, that is my comfort zone. That’s the way I work. You know, it’s funny listening to that Jim Carrey and I’ve heard that that was his his commencement address. He gave it a university, wasn’t it? That’s right. Yeah. I’ve heard that. It’s gonna leave What a powerful, delightful presentation that was. But he said, You won’t fail. It’s something you love. years ago, during a recession and a real downturn in the speaking business. A friend of mine, a delightful guy, wonderful speaker. I found out that he had raised his fee, I mean, considerably, and I’ll just pick two numbers. I don’t remember what it was. But I talked to him about it. And I said, Hey, what’s the deal with you raising your feet? He said, Well, you Nobody was hiring me at 5000. I figured that might as well not hire me.
David Ralph [34:06]
But that spot on, isn’t it as well, because what he’s doing, he’s breaking down that mindset of value. He’s actually saying, I know what I can provide. And if you’re willing to pay more for it, then you know, go for it. And that’s a real entrepreneurial journey that we all have to go through, isn’t it?
Joe Calloway [34:22]
It’s a very entrepreneurial journey. And you know, it’s, I’ve got one of the best it’s a temporary job. It’s a one year kind of appointment at a local an excellent University here in Nashville called Belmont University. David, this is the longest title and the lowest paying job I’ve ever had. I am the Executive in Residence at the at Belmont University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship. Basically, what that means is I spend some time mentoring The, the mostly the college seniors who these are not classes projects that they have. These are real businesses. And so I’m working with all these 20 and 21 and 22 year olds who have started these businesses. Oh my gosh, they are brilliant. They’re just, they’re not only smarter than I was when I was 20. They’re smarter than I am now. And they so get it. That part of being an entrepreneur, is you’re going to try things that don’t work, you’re going to fail. And with every failure comes feedback and information that you can then use on the next step. And there, they’re actually quite comfortable with failure. They get it that that’s part of the process. And it’s a necessary part of being an entrepreneur. But there’s a great lesson in that I think, I think for everybody.
David Ralph [35:51]
Well, I think so. Absolutely. And do you sort of tie into the message because out of all your books, the one that I really love more than anything is becoming a category Because I say to so many people, but if you can go your own course, if you can create your own competition, you’re more likely to win. It’s when you are going into the pool of everybody else trying to replicate what other people are doing. So is that your key message? Because that’s the one that jumps out to me become a category of one.
Joe Calloway [36:20]
Yeah, that’s the thing. I mean, it’s just a simple a simple reality. It’s a very simple truth of the reality of the marketplace. That if if I don’t see the difference between A, B, C, and D, if it regardless of what it is, whether it’s accountants or a retail store, it doesn’t matter any kind of business. If, if the potential customer doesn’t see the difference, then you are a commodity. You’re like a pound of nails, and then the only differentiator but becomes who’s the lowest price? But if I go well, here’s ABC and D, and I don’t see the difference, but Over here is z. And wow, now that Oh, okay, that that’s a whole different deal. It may be even the same product or the same service. But it is done in such a way that I immediately see not only the difference, but then the one element that has to be there is I see the value. And so whoever can create the greatest perceived value in a way that my my good friend, Scott McCain, who’s a great speaker, and author, he talks about distinction and the power of distinction. And I agree with that. It’s another way of saying you have to be a category one. But yeah, if there’s no difference, there’s no basis for choosing you.
David Ralph [37:48]
So how do you find out and he says this, we’ll have a hypothetical question to the listeners. How do you find out where you should be starting right at the very beginning, you’re talking to these young entrepreneurs And then obviously making decisions that seem good for them and good for you and excites you and I could hear in your voice. How do people find that first thing?
Joe Calloway [38:11]
You know, I, I really go back to the old old Oh, try tried and true formula of that it’s kind of like a three legged stool. One one leg would be, what do you do? Well, what are your skills? What what is it that that you bring in terms of I am able to create value by doing this? Because I am so good at it, then a second part of it would be, do you enjoy doing it? Because when you’re starting now, if if ever you want to pick something that you like to do better yet, if you love to do it, do it when you’re starting, because if it’s if you’re good at it, but it’s drudgery for you, then ultimately it’s not going to work. So what Do I do well, that I enjoy doing. And then the third vitally critically important element is that the market perceives as being valuable. You know, there are a lot of people, I’ve been guilty of this, who will come up with an idea. And they tell their friends about it. And their friends all say, Oh my gosh, that’s the best idea ever. You got to do it, you got to do it. And and they may even come and have an existing business, and they come up with an idea, and their customers say, that’s a fabulous idea, you need to do it. But there’s a big difference between saying it’s a fabulous idea, as opposed to actually handing you their credit card and buying it. And so a lot of people the world says, this is a great idea. And I think it’s the greatest thing in the world. And I roll it out to the world. And guess what? Turns out I really was the only one that thought there was value in it, but you know, that’s it. That’s, sometimes you try things. And you know, I’ll ask my audiences, I’ll say, how many of you have had ideas that you tried that didn’t work? And of course, we all raise our hands. And then I’ll say, how many of you are going to have more ideas that you’re going to try? That won’t work. And usually, everybody raises their hand, which is a good thing. You can’t stop trying new ideas.
David Ralph [40:25]
And I think the the next good question to ask is, how many of you look back at those ideas that failed? And actually think thank God, they failed? Because I find more often than not when I’ve tried something. And it hasn’t worked. I look back on it. And I think, actually, it wasn’t quite right. I don’t think I actually really wanted to do it anyway. And I was just trying stuff. Did you know what I mean, Joe?
Joe Calloway [40:47]
I know exactly what you mean. And it’s funny. I think you can look back on those very common failures, just things that didn’t pan out. They didn’t work. There’s generally more than one good thing that comes from that. Sometimes I’ll look back at it. And I’ll have exactly the same reaction that you just mentioned, which was, you know what? I’m so glad that didn’t work because I wouldn’t have wanted to do it anyway. Or it would have, you know, here’s the thing, and this is this is part of being the best at what matters most. It’s also part of becoming the category of one to learn the difference between true opportunity and distractions. And a lot of times, I’ll pursue something thinking it’s an opportunity. And then at some point, I realised, whoa, wait a minute. This is not an opportunity. It’s a distraction from what I really should be doing. I think that part of the lesson most of us learn as we go along in our careers, is the value of saying no, of saying no, I’m not going to try everything. I’m gonna learn to distil the difference between a true opportunity as opposed to something that really would would end up getting me off track.
David Ralph [42:10]
So do you believe in the old adage, but if you work towards something that you really love and become the best you possibly can, then the right opportunities come your way?
Joe Calloway [42:22]
I do. But But my one caveat is okay, you do something you really love, and you’d be the best you possibly can. If there is a market for it, because if there’s not a market for it, then what you have is a hobby. And that can be a grand and glorious thing to be wonderful. It’s something that you love doing. And it’s a hobby, it’s a joy. But if there’s not a market for it, then it’s not a business. And so there has to be that element of the marketplace perceives value in what you do, but I Do think that yes, that that is good opportunity will present itself if you if you stay on that right track,
David Ralph [43:11]
because I’ve given up and I’ve turned down on thousands, literally thousands, six speakers recently in money that was coming my way. Just because I looked at info. When I left my corporate job, would this be something that would have excited me? And other than the money? No, it wasn’t. And so I’ve sort of turned it down. And I’ve spoken to a couple of people about it, and they’ve gone You’re mad, and I’ve gone Oh, I know. But financially, I’m mad, but every other decision seems right to me, you know, somehow. It’s not the right money. It’s just money. And I look at that now but in this opportunity that I’ve got to create an environment that hopefully not only inspires myself on a daily basis but inspires the world. You can be choosy because I totally in the bottom, my heart Feel that by sticking to that thing that feels right to you, more often than not, it’s right to the world. simplistic, naive once you think, Joe?
Joe Calloway [44:09]
Well, you know, it’s funny, I was thinking about this just the other day, I was talking with a friend about it, I look back on my career. And and when I’ve made decisions about which path I should take, should I do this? Should I Should I turn down this opportunity? Should I take it? What I generally do is kind of even if it’s just mentally, I make a list of all the logical reasons that I should or shouldn’t do it. And here’s what the logic says, here’s what the numbers say. Here’s what the real world facts say. And then over here is this other perspective, which is simply my gut, my heart, and more often than not, even if logic says, do it, do it. He would pay crazy not to do it. If my gut says, You know, I just don’t want to do it, then I follow my gut. And I’m so glad that I have, because it looking back, it’s almost always been the right decision. I was presented. Now this was years ago. But it was an opportunity like yours. There was a lot of potentially really big money. And the guy that was trying to get me to do it said, I can’t believe it. Bit. You’re leaving all this money on the table. I said, but you don’t understand. For me. It’s the wrong table. Don’t get how many ways Do I have to say this for you to understand it? I don’t want to do it. I don’t care how much it pays. It’s simply don’t want to do it. Now early, early on when you’re just starting out. Sometimes that’s a hard decision to make to walk away from the money but If you’re getting older, it gets easier. I think it’s something that I think everybody should start doing maybe a little bit sooner.
David Ralph [46:08]
You know, if I offered most people a million pounds a year to spend every day rolling around in dirty diapers, you’re not gonna take it, are you? And you know, I always look at that when these opportunities come my way is, is it just a room for the dirty diapers, because at the end of the day, it’s not what you want to do. And so I do think that if you are going on the entrepreneurial route, and that’s what this show is all about teaching you in many different ways, many different stories, but there is a journey for you. You just got to start taking a step towards it. You’ve got to think about, you know, I’ve made that leap. I’m doing things differently. I can have my cake and eat it too and I don’t have to go into dirty rooms. I can walk past that door and look into the next one and see if that looks fun and keep on moving. Because there are so many opportunities. There’s so many doors out there. You’ve just got to keep up Trying until you find the right one to jump.
Joe Calloway [47:03]
Oh, I absolutely agree. And you know what you touched on something that I think is also really important. I love there’s a metaphor that I love. And sometimes what keeps us from pursuing what we would love to do, and and what genuinely would be a true opportunity on so many levels. And what stops us is we say, but I don’t see how I would get all the way there. I don’t see the endpoint. I can only Okay, I see this first step. And here’s the metaphor, you can drive. I’m here in the United States. You could drive from New York City on the East Coast, all the way to Los Angeles on the west coast, driving only at night, only being able to see 200 feet in front of you. You can only see as far as your headlights will illuminate and back All you need is just to see the next step, and then the next bit, and then the next bit. And that ultimately will get you all the way across the country. You don’t have to see the entire way to get there. To get there, you just need to see it one step at a time. And that’s enough.
David Ralph [48:19]
Well, let’s play some words from a man who’s no longer with us. But he created a marvellous speech, and I love to play it every day.
Steve Jobs [48:26]
This is Steve Jobs. Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path and now We’ll make all the difference.
David Ralph [49:02]
It really says something powerful that does doesn’t matter.
Joe Calloway [49:06]
That’s just you know, and I’ve, I’ve heard that before. And I’ve read those words many times. And it just, it just gives you goosebumps. I mean, it’s incredibly inspiring. And you know what some people would say, but it’s not practical. It’s not realistic. And yet, I would, I would back up and say, no, it’s actually I think it’s the epitome, it’s the essence of being realistic. It’s the essence of the way life works. And the way it should work. You know, it’s funny, I talk about something called the The Win Win strategy, which means that the way you succeed, the way you win is to be sure that the other person that you’re playing the game with wins. I’ve got to make sure that the other guy wins. And there are people that that will say to me Joe, I get it. And it’s a nice thought. But that’s not the way the real world works. And I say, wait a minute, hang on, let me get as in your face as I can and tell you, that is exactly precisely the way the real world works. It’s the way business works is the way relationship relationships work. And I feel the same way about what Jobs was saying that it’s actually a very powerful way to approach your life and approach your business. It’s the most powerful way.
David Ralph [50:33]
So looking at your life, tying up to the whole theme of the show, Join Up Dots. Do you have a sort of big.in your life that sort of led you from one step to another into becoming an author to become a speaker that is so powerful?
Joe Calloway [50:48]
You know, yeah. And looking back, I see how the dots were joined together. A big turning point for me and there have been lots of milestones, but a big big turning point. Makerere, David, was the book that you’ve so kindly mentioned becoming a category of one, it was my first published book. Here’s the way it happened. I was doing speaking, and and doing quite well. But what I truly love, even more than speaking is writing. I mean, oh my gosh, that is my absolute joy is sitting in a room by myself and write and create these ideas that can be valued. And so I didn’t have a book. And I had actually approached a publisher, a couple of publishers with an idea for a book and it was just so god awful, that said no, incorrectly so and so I thought, okay, so books, not my future, but by golly, I can write short pieces. And so I wrote, you know, it’s funny then if they weren’t called blogs, I posted articles on my website. And people would give me feedback and say, you know, that’s really good. That’s really good. Well, I got a call one day from someone at Wiley publishing, which is a big, big business book publisher in New York City. And he said, hey, we’ve heard about you. We’ve heard, you know, just your name pop up in terms of being a speaker. So I went to your website. He said, Did you know that you’re really a very good writer? And that’s it? Well, I know I enjoy writing. And I would like to think I’m a good writer. He said, let me ask you this. Do you know how to write a book proposal? I said, Well, interestingly enough, I just went a few months ago to the Maui writers conference. And yeah, I learned how to put a proposal together. He said, Good, put one together for us if you’re interested in having a published book, and I said, I’d love to so I put a proposal together, send it to them. really didn’t hear any thing for about three months and I thought well so much for that. Then the phone rang and he said, your proposal is made it through all the committee’s, we would like to publish your book. So let’s talk about our offer. And it you know it’s funny it’s I didn’t go after a book publishing deal. I wrote short articles, which I loved doing. And the opportunity came to me because I did good work. And so it that was another one of those lessons in do what you love to do, but do it as well as you possibly can. It’s exactly what you said 30 minutes ago, that the opportunities will present themselves if you’re doing what you love to do. And you get better at it every day. That and David that book. Oh my gosh. It had a huge impact on my career. I that book came out 12 years years ago, did an updated edition of it about four years ago. And to this day, it’s it’s so much work comes to me because people say, I read your book becoming a category one, it had a great impact on us. And I’ve had six books, but that one is still the one that seems to touch people, most often and most deeply. But yeah, I followed the exact formula that we’re talking about, but I didn’t realise I was following the formula, except in looking back on it.
David Ralph [54:33]
Well, I’ll tell you what, Joe, and I’m not just blowing smoke up yet, but your titles every single one of them I look at and I think I want to read that I’ve just looked at this and I hadn’t spotted this one before. It must be quite a while ago, work like you’re showing off the joy, jazz and kick of being better tomorrow than you were today. Showing off is a good thing. Showing off is a mindset showing off is about living life and doing work in a way that creates joy, jazz, and a kick in our lives and in the lives of those around us. This is a business book for almost everyone from executives and managers to receptionist and sales clerk. Here’s the key success is an inside job. After 26 years of studying and working with top performers, Joe Callaway, that’s you shares the key factors in creating success without pulling any punches work like you’re showing off isn’t for sissies. It’s a top realistic approach to getting the most out of life by giving more to others. This book proves that not only is working like you’re showing off the smartest way to get ahead in a career, it’s also the most joyful and rewarding way to live. Now I looked at that and I thought oh, my God, I’m gonna show up for a living I am now I accept it. And when I used to be a trainer, I used to get up and I used to show up. I used to try to entertain I used to educate at the same time, but that’s really that’s really my essence their work like you’re showing off. And if you do it in the right way, it’s not an offensive thing is it showing off is just you trying to become better and better and better. And saying that I’m here. I’m doing it. Look at me,
Joe Calloway [56:01]
you know, and in the start of that book, I do talk about that I’m using the term showing off in the most positive, productive sense, you can possibly use it. But think about it. I love to think about the person in any job that when, like I mentioned, the receptionist or you did and in that description, read the book, I love to think about a receptionist that goes to work, and he or she sits down at their desk every morning and thinks about the day ahead, and to themselves, even they kind of smile and say, okay, watch this. You’re gonna see a receptionist like you’ve never seen in your life. And I do think that that’s possible for anyone to bring to their work. And ultimately, if you truly are a show off in the best sense of the word, that means you’re doing something that makes people go okay. That’s good. That gets my attention, but it gets my attention because they’re creating something good and productive. And that has value. So yeah, it’s just, it is kind of a joyful, fun, twinkle in the eye way to to approach doing what you’re doing.
David Ralph [57:18]
Oh, brilliant stuff. I’ll tell you what, let’s make this a four hour epic. That’s just keep on going and going. But unfortunately, we’ve got to bring it to an end. And it’s the part of the show we’ve been leading to. And it’s the part that 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 Joe, what advice would you give him? What age would you choose? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme tune and when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [57:51]
with the best bit of the show
Joe Calloway [58:07]
That that’s the most fabulous thing I’ve ever heard. And I would say to the younger me, probably in my mid 20s, I would say looking back, okay, Joe, you know, you did it, you did it well. And starting off, you started in this career with the utter fearlessness and grand stupidity that that gives you because you had no idea what you were doing? Absolutely none, which gave you the freedom to try anything which you did, some of which just failed miserably, but because you didn’t know what the rules were, you tried all sorts of things, which ultimately led to those things that you do well, that that create joy to create value. So to you, I would say Well played, good for you. Now, here’s some things that I wish you had done a lot sooner. I wish you had started to learn sooner. One is, don’t get stuck doing something that you’re really good at doing. But that every time you do it, you, you go to the job, reluctantly, because you do it really well. And it pays really well. But you just don’t want to do it. Have the courage to walk away from that also, and in sync with that have the courage to say no, to say no to who? Gosh, I’m thinking about jobs that you took, that were lucrative, but took a huge amount of time a huge amount of mind space, and got you off track. Oh my god. Say no to working with people that were so up tight about the world, did it make you uptight to life is too short to work with people that you can’t stand. So don’t do it. Start doing earlier what I do now, which is saying no to jobs that take you out of the country and away from your family for just too darn long at a time. And, and I think ultimately this understand as quickly as you can, that ultimately the quality of your life comes down to the relationships in your life. So choose wisely, your friends, who you spend your time with. And, and if you do that, you will end up with the glorious friends that you have now, and and the family that you have now, which is truly which truly defines who I am much more than my work. So you Pay close attention to relationships.
David Ralph [1:01:03]
Joe, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Joe Calloway [1:01:08]
The website which is my name, Joe Calloway, CA Ll o w. a y.com. The books are there. Listen, go to the videos page, scroll all the way to the bottom. They can download 21 free videos. There’s a pretty cool blog on there. Yeah, everything’s at Joecalloway.com.
David Ralph [1:01:29]
Joe, 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 paths is the best way to build our futures. Mr. Joe Calloway, thank you so much.
Joe Calloway [1:01:44]
Thank you David. Great, great pleasure. Thank you.
David Ralph [1:01:49]
Now that is a man who does what he’s doing then it you could hear that twinkle in his eye Can you hear twinkles in idea calm but you get what I mean. But if you can do that and if you can enjoy it, and if you can Turn down opportunities. But you don’t want to do just because it sounds a bit boring, you really are moving in the right direction. And I totally believe and I say this every single day. And I don’t even have to say after 500 bloody shows, you should know that this is what I mean. But every single one of you can have that you can have that life that you found out a bit. And you start earlier in earlier because it just lights you up. That’s what Join Up Dots is all about. That’s what I’m all about. Please connect with us. Connect with us on Facebook, drop me a line. Connect with me however you want. I always say hello and we build up some good connections. But bottom line, I hope to see you again soon. Cheers. 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.