Ben Ivey Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Ben Ivey
Ben Ivey is today’s guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business podcast.
He is a man who from the outside view has it made.
He is known as the Lifestyle Entrepreneur and spends his time bouncing across the globe to present in the USA, China for companies such as Maersk, HSBC, Coca Cola.
But the truth is sometimes quite different from the obvious route to success.
The view that the world sees can often be a collection of highlights that truly mask the journey that the guest has been on.
How The Dots Joined Up For Ben
When Ben Ivey started on this journey, he was perhaps in a similar position that many business owners face.
Despite owning his own business and working with his international team, he was feeling overwhelmed, lost and unfulfilled.
Feeling like his life was lacking meaning, Ben began on a destructive path of self-sabotage, burn out and damaging relationships.
After this downward spiral, Ben became obsessed with the question:
Is it possible to build a successful business whilst living a great lifestyle simultaneously?
And it certainly appears that even after suffering personal heartache with the suicide of his father, he is out there, presenting, building connections and creating wealth and support for others.
All the while showing one of the happiest grins that you could ever hope to see on someone day in day out.
So has he got the lifestyle entrepreneur dream that so many people think is what its all about?
Is he on a laptop in his underpants doing three minutes work a day, or hustling, driving forward and working hard to achieve?
So why do so many people create success for themselves and then spiral downwards on a self sabotage route.
And where does he want to go from here?
What is his dream for the development of his company?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Ben Ivey
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Ben Ivey such as:
We talk about the fledgling businesses that Ben started which gave him the understanding of where he wanted to head in life. They dont always have to the right fit if they then spin the compass to where you should be heading.
Ben shares how the grind and hustle of starting his business truly had a detriment to his health and well being, and why he sees things quite differently nowadays.
Ben talks about the things that he doesn’t like through his business but also highlights why its vital to understand the business before delegating.
How To Connect With Ben Ivey
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Ben Ivey Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:25]
Yes, hello there. Good morning to you. Good morning to you and welcome to a Join Up Dots. Yeah, this is an interview show. This isn’t one of those mad ramblings solo episodes, but I do every now and again, but we’ve got a guest on the line. But I had to laugh when I spoke to him because I’ve been doing my research and he spends time in USA, China. He travels the world and I said to him, where are you today? Where are you? Are you somewhere exotic? And he said clapper which is about 14 miles up the road from me so we could have literally met in a pub and Although it is hard to stay on in the morning, and that would mean that we got a drink problem, so that’s not good. Anyhow, he is a man who from the outside view has it made he’s known as the lifestyle entrepreneur and spends his time bouncing. Yes, if you see him He’s like, take on steroids across the globe to present in the USA, China for companies such as my HSBC and Coca Cola. But the truth is sometimes quite different from the obvious route to success. The view that the world sees can often be a collection of highlights that truly master journey that the guest has been on. Now, when he started on the journey. He was perhaps in a similar position that many business owners face despite owning his own business and working with his international team. He was feeling overwhelmed, lost, and unfulfilled feeling like his life was lacking meaning he began on a destructive path of self sabotage, burnout, and damaging relationships and after this downward spiral, he became obsessed with the question is it really possible to build a successful business whilst living a great lifestyle simultaneously? And it certainly appears that even after suffering personal heartache like the suicide of his father, he is out there presenting building connections and creating wealth and support for others, all the while showing one of the happiest greens that you could ever hope to see on someone day in, day out. So has he got the lifestyle entrepreneur dream that so many people think is what it’s all about? Is he on his laptop in his underpants doing three minutes work a day on the beach? Or is he hustling driving forward and working hard to achieve? And so why do so many people create success for themselves and then spiral downwards on a self sabotage road? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Ben Ivey. Good morning, Ben. How are you?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [2:59]
doing very well. Thank you. I enjoyed your analogy of being in the pub in the morning. I’m sure that we can have a cheeky 123 chatting on the podcast.
David Ralph [3:06]
Yeah, but it can’t anymore. Kenya, I went in a pub the other day and you couldn’t sit here, you couldn’t go there. You had to queue up. You know, I’m a man, I don’t queue up outside toilets. That’s a woman’s thing. I go straight in and do what I have to do. There’s so many restrictions at the moment, but it has it made your life more difficult being somebody that does travel extensively in their business.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [3:30]
Oh, yeah, that’s that’s me. I mean, when I thought of what my year was gonna be at the beginning of this year, how my plans that China talks ready. I was so excited David, and unfortunately that that went down the pan, and then I have to I want to pivot my business a fair amount, but one of the good things that came from it is I ended my long distance relationship and that my wife moved from LA to the UK. And now I’m only 40 miles down the road from you, David.
David Ralph [3:57]
So why clapper? This is interesting. If you could Go anywhere. I’ve got nothing against clapper. It’s lovely. But why clapper?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [4:06]
Well, for me, it really doesn’t matter where I am. I really did it for my wife because she wanted to work up in London, she’s get a job and she wanted to live just outside of London and still have a commute. So we thought clapper would be a good place to go.
David Ralph [4:19]
Now, when you came choose the world. How do you actually make personal decisions but doesn’t feel restrictive? Because I always send this question out to people. They work in exotic places, hot, sunny places, How the hell do you get any work done? How do you actually not think to yourself, okay, it’s time for a move. Let’s go when you’ve got that ability to do it.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [4:46]
Well, for me, I have that ability. My wife doesn’t as yet so, for me, I have the ability to to travel to different places because most of what I do is online, but if I’m honest, I’m not one of those people that can just sit on a beach and do work if I want to For me, I think it’s important to have that that business environment where you work and then also when you go on holiday to actually relax.
David Ralph [5:09]
Now, of course, on this show, we will be jumping back and forth and joining up the dots. That’s what we do. But let’s start with talking about what you actually do. Okay, so you’re a lifestyle entrepreneur. I’ve been on your website, I’ve been looking at your videos, I’ve seen you on TV and you are happy in front of audiences. Yeah, happy bouncing around the state. But what actually is the core of your business?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [5:36]
My business is helping overwhelmed and stressed out entrepreneurs to enjoy the lifestyle that they thought they would have when they started that business. And I do coaching and courses to help these entrepreneurs.
David Ralph [5:47]
How do you get to that point? Do you only get to that point, by actually living through it?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [5:54]
Well, I think that there’s a variety of fact that some people come to me at the end of that tether bonds are overwhelmed. Have no idea what to do. Other people are starting on their journey and don’t want to go down that path. And there’s other people that have the awareness that their health is deteriorating or struggling. And then they start to seek advice on how to overcome that.
David Ralph [6:13]
Because I see so many people and I get a lot of people that request to come on the show. And I always call them the working in Taco Bell on Monday, and they know an expert in something on Tuesday. And there isn’t that sort of journey, where they’ve actually sort of lived through the things that they are coaching. You know, they say, I’m an Instagram Expert, and you go over to their Instagram account. There’s no one on it. It’s bloody crickets. So with yourself, was this where you were heading? Ie, Was this your dream business? Or did your life actually indicate the way?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [6:52]
Absolutely not. When I first started on this journey? I was the entrepreneur that wanted to make a tonne of money. I wanted to be able to inspire people, but I really He wanted success fast. And I remember doing an import export business, selling bags around the UK and I was running an app in Silicon Valley and aiming to raise a lot of funding. And for me, I really thought I was going down that path. And obviously, as you mentioned, remembering bio, I found myself going down this negative spiral of seeing people on weekends having a rest. And I was thinking that they were lazy. And I genuinely had that mindset because when you’re around an environment of people that are just workaholics, when you see people that don’t work, I was genuinely on that mindset of these people are lazy. And now I realised that was obviously wrong. But as you mentioned, when when I lost my father to suicide, and he was my best friend, I saw him the day before, that really shook my world and completely changed the trajectory of what I what I ended up doing. And I guess the reason I started on this journey was to figure out what happened to him and then also to figure out if other people I struggle with that and ended up making a business from it.
David Ralph [8:03]
Now, I have to say, I love You’re tired, I’d never met him. But anybody who walks out of a toilet wrapped in toilet paper pretending to be the Invisible Man I bought this is somebody that I would love to have met is that kind of creative spirit because I is a creative spirit. He’s like a fun entrepreneur to go into an environment thing basically funny and come out and do that. What’s that? Always in you and him? Were you always playing off against each other?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [8:35]
Yeah, well, I think that I definitely modelled him but to be honest, he was someone who really show like showman everything that he did. I think that his personality how ridiculous he was. I mean, the amount of ridiculous stories I can come up with, like, you know, there’s toilet paper walking out of the toilet wrapped around his head. He’s coming to restaurants wearing a pirate outfit, like through the balcony. Being accidently ridiculous I mean, it’s those experiences that I think are are incredibly memorable. I think that I suddenly modelled a lot of his behaviour and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had a father like that. So I can see what the end of the spectrum of ridiculous really it’s,
David Ralph [9:17]
and life should be fun, shouldn’t it Ben? You know, I, I got too serious about four or five years ago, and very much like you It seems I had burnout. I thought I could work through burnout and then got hit with extreme burnout and it almost brought me to my knees. Now I look at it and I think, Why Why did I do that? Why did I believe about the hustle muscle as I used to talk about and outperforming and outworking and if you do 10 hours, I’m gonna do 17 hours. Like it’s a badge of honour, because it’s not it’s just bloody stupid. But I bought into that totally.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [9:58]
Yeah. Well, I think I was I was totally the same and, you know, I realised now obviously being busy isn’t being productive and you can work smart, not hard, but at the time, I really just wanted to grind and hustle. I think that there’s so many so called experts that speak about that. And for some people, that’s a great way to go. But for me if you’re not enjoying the journey,
David Ralph [10:18]
now, he’s not bad. I’m gonna jump in there. It’s not the right way to go. Grind and hustle. The fact that it’s got the word grind. That’s not good, is it?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [10:29]
Yeah, I mean, grinding isn’t good, right? Yeah. I really think that you’re being able to have that lifestyle design or figuring out how you want to live your life as you build your business is of paramount importance because otherwise you end up building something that becomes a burden that you resent. I think that’s such a shame when a lot of entrepreneurs go on this entrepreneur journey to give back to other people, yet they end up losing themselves in the process
David Ralph [10:57]
this year 2020 it’s been a weird one. Isn’t it you know, we’ve we’ve all we’ve all injured certain things. And we’ve also all found a kind of clarity and a simplicity and a streamlining of our businesses. But at the end of 2019, me and my wife were planning to go away every month, every month, even if it was for a weekend in a local pub and explore a local town that we didn’t know it was going to be adventures every sort of month. This has been taken away from us totally. And now a lot of it is just feeling flat. I’ve found it difficult to keep the motivation of my business when I felt like so many things were being taken away from me. Have you experienced that as well? That kind of deflated balloon feeling where you’re trying to pump yourself up to get going, but then you just sort of like let the air out again.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [11:56]
Yeah, like when I can really relate in the beginning of This year as well, when I had my plans to get to China and I’ve been doing this for seven years, I plan my trips, I get really excited, and I go, and then what I have to look forward to like a zoom meeting. And it’s not really the same getting on stage, people. I’m there prepping myself, I’ve got my shirts on a bouncing up and down on a trampoline, and I’m thinking, it’s really not the same and I can’t see half the people, there’s lag, and I’m attempting to do my best to portray emotion, but it really doesn’t feel the same. And when I think of my business, it was incredibly challenging to begin with to think of how on earth I can ride through this wave of COVID that’s affecting people left, right and centre and I think this is really where for myself, it’s you’re gonna have bad days as an entrepreneur and I think that I could say I every day is a great day it’s not and being able to think of my Why think about what I’m actually doing, I think really helps me move forward and I guess the way in which I view it Looking at an asset as an opportunity, and this year, I’ve obviously expanded much more online, I was used to doing a lot of offline events. And the way that I view it is that this is a great foundation so that when everything does open up, it’ll be so much easier. And I can enjoy it even more knowing that I’ve had that online foundation that I’ve laid over this. Yeah,
David Ralph [13:20]
I love that. I love that. So you’re now seeing that, you know, I did a show yesterday called overcoming obstacles. And as you mentioned, I made a comment about a hot dog and a bottom that I kind of regret. I now blush when I think about it. But I do think that there’s a lot of issues that get thrown of you as an entrepreneur, which actually you’ve got two choices. You can either accept them with a mindset of, okay, it’s not ideal, but let’s make it even stronger. Let’s make the foundation’s even better, or you can just sort of run away from them. Now I’ve been speaking to so many people and a lot of people are just kind of head in the sand business. They’re saying, Okay, I’m just getting through this so that when it finishes, I’m ready to go again. And I think to myself, why don’t you use this as the opportunity? Like you have been to think why, okay, instead of always having to travel, I’m now giving my business a shot in the arm of flexibility, but I can do things in different way that that is true lifestyle entrepreneur, isn’t it?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [14:31]
Yeah, I think that if you can pivot and build your business in a different way and have those different revenue streams, I think that really makes you unshakable. I think that the the real challenge is figuring out how best to do that because when we’re in a world that is changing so rapidly and innovating left, right and centre is sometimes challenging to stay on top of everything and I was chatting with with a lady the other day and I said, if you can use 2020 as an opportunity whereby When you emerge in 2021, you’re unrecognisable but you’ve done so many different things to lay that foundation to scale to give back to inspire. And you’ve actually used that as a foundation. I think that is really the best way we can spend this time from my point of view.
David Ralph [15:17]
I use it and you can add this as a strap line because I bought when it came out, I thought this is brilliant. I thought I’m going to use it as 2020 vision. Now that is clarity in it that we use the year and I actually put the vision after it. You see what I’ve done the bed see what see what I’m done. I love it, David love it. So when you get that feeling, because this is what I see with people, they’re sitting out there and they think they want to start a business and I don’t know what business to start. And so they try this and they try that they get a little bit of success and they kind of move around, sort of circling until the big piece drops and normally, it’s a life experience that gives them the clarity to start thinking, ah, okay, I could do this. And more often than not that life clarity has always been under their nose. It’s almost too close for them to see. How much did the young Ben are we seeing in his authentic state now how much of the young Ben was actually living the business that you do now?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [16:25]
I think actually a huge part. And I think in in hindsight, when I look back and I think of what I did, I remember I would speak in schools you know, sharing with young uns I remember I wrote a book How to dominate any exam. So there are an atmosphere that’s pretty funny I was a while ago. And I think that when I when I restarted I genuinely wanted to inspire people. But the biggest thing that I realised that I had that I see a lot of people have is the when I have this, then I will addiction. And for me, it was when I have success in business, then I will inspire people and for me Have a life experience that I had forced me to remove that prerequisite so that I decided I’m actually just going to do this now. And I’ll find a way to make it work. And for me that was exactly what’s happened. And I think that the more I’ve done this the more I’ve started to really sink into my own shoes and speed up my the my most authentic self being ridiculous on stage, doing things that really congruent to myself. And I think that the more you step into your own personality, the more success you have, because you’re really leading with that authentic self.
David Ralph [17:32]
So you weren’t trying to join up the dots to perfection. You just fold. Let’s start making it up. Let’s see what happens.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [17:40]
Honestly, I’m making it up as I’ve been going along the years, I think, especially when I look at in China and some challenges I give myself like Chinese right. So I’ve been learning Chinese for seven, eight years. And I think the when when I think of joining up the dots later in life, I was doing a TEDx and I decided you I’m gonna do this in Chinese, and attempting to sort that out and do something like that was probably one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever given myself, I have to say, David, I completely went blank on a TEDx stage whilst I was speaking my Mandarin speech, and I tell you what, you can watch it. And it’s very, very amusing.
David Ralph [18:18]
The boy do that. Actually, I’m going to come back to that question. Here’s Oprah.
Oprah Winfrey [18:23]
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. 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 [18:55]
So jumping back to the question, with Oprah as the subtext yesterday. And you think I’m going to do a TEDx talk? And I’m going to do it in Mandarin. I’m going to do it in Chinese. To me, that doesn’t seem the next right thing. That seems let’s make it doubly harder. Why did you do it?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [19:16]
To be honest, David, I actually really enjoy challenging myself doing different things. And I think the cyber started small at a young age where I’d see someone do street dancing. And I think that is cool. I want to do that. I remember seeing someone in China wolf boiling down a taxi. And thinking to myself, I need to learn to wolf whistle because that is far too cool not to do it. And I think it’s been those challenges on my journey that have really helped me move forward. So I’ve been teaching TEDx public speaking out in China for a few years and when I had that opportunity to do a TEDx in Chinese, I thought, you know what, I’m really going to take this and it took me months to prepare 100 member learning the entire speech off by heart, and I’d literally be in a pool swimming, doing links and rescue Citing this, like a song, I couldn’t get out. And even to this day, I still remember, I can honestly recite part of the beginning because it’s just so engrained in my system. I’ve gone through so many times,
David Ralph [20:14]
hey, it’s funny because I was thinking of the best man speech I had to do for a guy that I used to know. And I prepared for it, and it went down a storm, it really you know, when you just stopped there, and every joke hits, and it just got better and better and better. And I stood in the shower the other day, and I could still do the speech, seven years down the line, every single beat. And not only that, I was adding more jokes as I was doing it. And I was thinking to myself, people generally don’t put that much preparation into stuff that actually becomes ingrained. Do they? They kind of do the bare minimum.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [20:56]
Yeah, and I think that it’s so easy in life to see this access them on time and not see the foundation like that that taught me months. And as I was alluding to, I remember holding stage literally going blank. And I looked at a member of the audience and in Chinese said, What do we do now? And this poor Chinese man looked at me and just had no idea what I was talking about. And it was enough to remind me while I was saying, but that was definitely a squeaky bottom moment of a little bit afraid there. David Weil says hundreds of people looking at me in Mandarin,
David Ralph [21:29]
he should have had a hotdog with you, you would have been sorted.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [21:33]
Clearly the hotdog was what I was missing there, David.
David Ralph [21:37]
Know, now jumping back again to the young Ben, you grew up where I live, I imagine because your mom and dad are about sort of 15 minutes down the road to me, are you an Essex guy?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [21:50]
So actually, in Essex, my grandparents so my parents actually brought me up in Isha so I’m slightly down south. Yeah. posh posh Yes. As I feel like I’m in a very fortunate childhood, but my most of my family are in Essex. It’s only my mum is a sister of four, who’s actually gone down to sorry.
David Ralph [22:13]
Now with everything that you’re doing at the moment, What don’t you like bed? Because this is something that I like to share, but you don’t get the dream life. You don’t get the dream business you get coming to 75% sometimes it’s 100%. Sometimes it’s 60%. What do you actually not like about what you’re doing?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [22:35]
Oh, David, where to start? I think that for me, the thing that I dislike the most David is admin. I dislike admin. And I really dislike when things just don’t work the way I want them to. And this is something that has just worked me for a while, but just technology doesn’t seem to work. Right. And I’ll give you an example. So I’m launching a podcast that film season one, and I’m just connecting it to iTunes. Right. And as I’m connecting it to iTunes and Spotify, and then get, it’s not in the mp3 format. So I go and I change the mp3 format, and then I get the same message. And it’s those sorts of things, David, that annoys me. And the truth is, I know I can outsource and I can get someone to do it. But for me, I like to know the process of that I can outsource it effectively. Yeah, but it’s just that challenge on that journey to begin with to get it. And I find quite a gruelling process.
David Ralph [23:28]
I find a lot of the online platforms that I use, and I agree with you totally, I like to know every part of my business so that I can share it and I can help people along the way. And even simple things like setting up email marketing, like using MailChimp. They don’t tell you really how to do it. I spend more time kind of clicking around and trying to get something working. You know, it’s a minefield out there or wasted time. And I come home quite a lot from my office and they say, what did you do today? And I say, to be honest, nothing. You know, I’ve just kind of struggled with things all day.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [24:12]
Yeah, I completely agree. And I think of managing pop ups. And I’ve got to get my website designer to literally send me a video of how he does it. And the worst part is that it’s so simple, but I just don’t know where the buttons are. And it’s those small things that I just some tedious and annoying that I think that just for me, personally, I find is a bit of a challenge in the business. And then when I look into other things that I find not enjoyable, some of the things like that I have to do in China, probably not the most enjoyable thing like I’ve my business out in China have accounting, we have to do accounting every month, I have to send them everything and then the amount of loopholes you have to jump through in China to set up a business and to get your work hard and do all these different things is just unbelievable.
David Ralph [24:57]
So why was it China? What What was it about? China because this is unusual for a guy from Asia to sort of decide to go over there.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [25:06]
Sure. So I did economics, a mandarin University’s Mandarin foundation. And then after I lost my father, I decided that I go to China for a break and do something different. And that’s where I started to work. I ended up living with a guy who was a master NLP practitioner, a bit of a mentor to me. And I started to find a very different world that I was used to. And it was nice, because in China, I could very much reinvent what I was doing. And that’s where I started with my mini workshops. I remember in a coffee shop, doing a productivity workshop, and then doing a bit of public speaking here in there. And I found that I had a lot of different opportunities out there when self development was just starting in China. And then since then, it’s been the snowball effect of somebody going back there and getting another opportunity and then going up to Beijing. And suddenly I’m working with a corporate company and I think that is very much this snowball that happened. It was one trip that led to. And then since then it’s been a major part of my business. Obviously I’ve set up my business in China, because that’s where the majority of what I do is,
David Ralph [26:11]
and how do you get clients?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [26:14]
Sure. So previously, this is pre COVID, it would be offline speaking to online coaching. So that was a huge part of my business. So I would go out to China, and I would go out there for three weeks, I’d set up maybe 1415 speaking gigs, and it would just be back to back. I’d run my courses, I’d run workshops, and then I would get a bunch of new leads and clients after that. And then I go to Los Angeles, and I do maybe one or two talks that not as many because I found that if I was attempting to do talks in China, LA and the UK month on month, it just got a little bit overwhelming. So I thought that you gave China would be enough
David Ralph [26:49]
to just just jumping into that. It’s all right to say I go up and I line these speeches up and these presentations out you find out about them.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [27:00]
Sure, so in China, I’ve built relationships over time. So what happens is I have event organisers that I know. And every single year I can go back to them. And I connect with new people. And one of the things that I do in China is they have WeChat groups, kind of similar to Facebook groups, but a little bit more intimate because you only have a maximum of 500 people. And I see who’s posting events, I see who is sharing on different platforms. And then I network so that I can organise things in advance. And by doing that, I basically set up all these different speaking gigs. And this isn’t something that’s just happened once. Because I’ve been doing this I couldn’t even imagine the amount of trips I’ve done to China must be 2025 trips, I’ve constantly kept those relationships up so that now they know that I will go and speak and I have deliver and that I will talk to them. So that’s how I built that foundation. And then when I look into the UK, once again, it’s been networking, connecting with other speakers finding out where they speak and starting to To become more on those platforms to be able to share my message,
David Ralph [28:04]
we had a tip the other day, Ben and I thought, Oh, this is easy. You know, Google Alerts, just have calling all speakers, China, or calling all speakers LA. And then Google just sends you sort of requests for presentations.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [28:21]
Yeah, I think that is a fantastic tip. It’s not something that I’ve done, it probably won’t work too well in China, because most people don’t use Google out there. However, I think that it’s a fantastic dip to use pretty much anywhere and something that I should definitely do. Do more. I think I’m not too not too good when it comes to some of those some of those things I stick to some of what I know best in the community.
David Ralph [28:44]
Now you have got an international team, as we spoke about in the introduction, how much about international team are actually involved into the day to day the fact that you’re talking about creating pop ups and an mp3 files. It sounds like Like a lot of it still goes through yourself.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [29:03]
Sure. So when I think of my team, I have people that manage social media I have, you know, accounting out in China, I have a different social media manager in different places. But the podcast is something new that I’m doing. So this is where I like to understand how it works first, before I outsource it, so understanding how to do intro outro upload and then once they can effectively understand the different parts and elements, then I can more effectively outsource it. So for me, this is very much a new project that I’m doing. But when I think of my team, I have no one that is full time. I have everyone part time and when I need them, so when there are designer or my website or doing SEO, it’s those elements that when I need them and depending on my strategy, every three months, I’ll look at who I need to fill those gaps.
David Ralph [29:50]
The only thing I outsource now I do everything through Join Up Dots is my email inbox. I just couldn’t keep up with it. I was well I’m getting about 100 30 emails a day, ask him to come on the show and stuff and I needed support. I still feel I could do it. I’ll tell you what, once I decided I’ll solve it, let’s get somebody to do it. It’s been such a relief, because now I’ve just got like a little inbox that the important ones get put into, and I respond to and everything else is kind of filtered out. It’s a big leap of faith, isn’t it when you start giving trust to your business to other people, and I think certainly, a lot of it held me back I look back on certain things that I paid for outsource because they were too technically advanced for me, but I think they’re not some bolts. I could have outsourced a lot easier but there was something stopping me do it.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [30:52]
Yeah. And I think that when I think of myself and when I was getting started doing all the speaking and designing everything, I did everything, my I’m in designing posters in China, it was horrendous. I can’t exactly express to you how bad with Photoshop, but genuinely that. I mean, I remember sharing one thing and you couldn’t even read the date because I like moved a piece of blue over the black. And honestly, it was just horrendous when I when I think back when I first thought it, and ultimately obviously now that’s James, but I think that when when you’re first starting, it’s this challenge of wanting to trust someone to do something different. But then when you’re starting out, there’s also cash flow and working out, is it worth doing and this is where I think similar to yourself. I really like to understand how I do something first before I outsource it. And the reason that’s the case is because I’ve been burned many times I’ve spent thousands of pounds on Facebook ads over the over the years and I think that when I first started I genuinely had no idea what he was doing. I was like, yeah, I’ll give you a grand a month. Let’s see what you can do. And it was an absolute waste of time because I genuinely Had no criteria, and no idea about how best to take someone on and yeah, can interview people. But what people say, as you mentioned, I mean, anyone could say they’re an expert, but whether they can actually produce a result is something very different.
David Ralph [32:14]
I interviewed a guy probably about four years ago, and he said, I only hire on results. So basically, he says, people, look, I’m not going to pay you anything. If you don’t do what you say you’re going to do. If you do, not only am I going to pay you, I’m going to pay you better. And one of the things he used to do was public speaking in the United Kingdom. And so he hired a guy and he said, I want a bottom on every one of those chairs in that room. I don’t care how you do it, but if I walk in and every single one is full, I’m going to pay you and the guy accepted and he said it was a game changer. Up to that point. He was always paying people to do the job and not based From the resolve.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [33:01]
Yeah, I completely agree. And I think figuring out that result is very, very important. And when we’re known as being, you know, for example, every, every week or so I publish articles out in China and they get translated. And when I first started, David, I kid you not. I had someone translate the first paragraph and forget about literally seven other paragraphs, and they just translated the first bit and sent it out. And then it’s translated. But what are you talking about? And, obviously, in hindsight, I should have caught up on it sooner, but it genuinely took a few months before I actually started looking at it, and realising that this person was only translating the first few sentences before sending something out. And I think that, definitely being able to clarify the results that you want to generate with different parts of your business is one of the best uses of your time as a manager, as a leader, to make sure that what you’re what you’re paying for is actually what you’re getting.
David Ralph [33:54]
Now, one of the things that you said there and it tied up to something you said previously, is It’s so important to know the results. Now, you mentioned about 10 minutes ago that you knew when you achieved success. But what was the success that you wanted at that time? Was it control? Was it how people looked at you? What was success for you then?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [34:21]
Success before I started on this journey was very much having a million dollars being a millionaire being successful. Now, for me, I think that I define success in a different way. And that success is is defined very differently from person to person. And I think our society depicts successes, having the money you know, being able to go on those holidays, having a big house a nice car. For me, success really isn’t that, for me, success is enjoying my journey, being sustainable and having fun as I do it. And as I go through this journey, I’ve really got to prioritise what I want what really matters to me in life, like my house, my wife Being able to spend time with friends and actually inspire people to really have a great time as I do it, as opposed to having all this pressure on myself to achieve without having the patience, which I think a lot of people need now, to be able to stick in the game long enough to actually see tangible results from an external point of view.
David Ralph [35:19]
And how do you deal with the client set come through, and we all have this, that we give them that our absolute best, we give them all the knowledge, we drive them forward. And then when we sort of launched them to the world, they just stop. And they don’t do? Did you find that difficult to deal with because I used to struggle big time with that, thinking to myself, why aren’t they Why aren’t they doing it? They’re so close to it.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [35:49]
Yeah, I am. I completely agree. And I think one of the challenges that I had is that when that would happen, I would go on a real negative spiral because I’d ask myself, what did I do wrong? I’m not sure You can relate to this data, but I have a client I work with, I give them everything they need would work on a tools or strategies, I’d ask them to do something, they wouldn’t do it. And then I look back and I think, am I doing something wrong? Like, am I not good enough? Do I don’t know enough. And I think that’s what really put me on a downward spiral. Whereas now I think that the only thing that you can do is be the best version of you, you can be a fire in a sparkling company, but ultimately, it’s up to them to then do that journey. And obviously, you’re here to help them about blogs. But to begin with, I used to really get myself into some serious negative states because I genuinely cared about the people that I worked with. And I found it really tough that they weren’t getting the result that they really wanted.
David Ralph [36:42]
I had exactly the same pain. I used to care too much, because I knew that what I teach people work, because it doesn’t just work for me works for everybody else. And I think one of the issues that I had was simply that I cared too much You know, and I think as a businessman, you’ve got to say, I provided a product, I provided a service. If you’re not going to use it, then that’s up to you. You know, I think Sony doesn’t come back to your house and say, Look, you bought that TV and you haven’t watched it for six weeks, you know, we different only.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [37:21]
Yeah. And the analogy that I often use with people is I say, I can show you the fastest way to climb Everest, but you still have to climb it yourself. And I think that’s really important. And the challenge that I have is that sometimes people will come up with a mindset that I’m responsible for the results that they get, and I think that’s the biggest belief and challenge to overcome where someone comes to you. And the truth is, I think a lot of people have it nowadays. I’ll do your course but can you guarantee me results and you can’t guarantee someone results if they’re not going to take the action needed in order to get that?
David Ralph [37:50]
Why do you think that people do this? Because I have had through Join Up Dots. And it makes me smile now but it used to bother me again. I used to have People that would pay me thousands, and then not even login to what I gave them or you know, and you could just see it was just like they opened the window and they gave me money. And I used to go back to them and say, oh, is there an issue? You know, should we have a catch up? Should we do this? And they would just cut me off. But I still given me money. Why do you think I do that?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [38:22]
I genuinely David. Absolutely no idea. And I think sometimes people like this when they have the best of intentions, and then they just don’t want to follow through. And I remember working with a lady, and she saw my TEDx speech as a partner of a law firm. We start working together, and then three months later, I just don’t hear from her. And she says, Yeah, and and then we schedule a call, she doesn’t turn up. And suddenly I’m thinking, wow, maybe she actually doesn’t want the help that she thought or she got what she needed already. And I think that this is where it’s, it’s that challenge of where you genuinely care about someone. But you can’t go head over heels constantly chasing them in order to get them there. result that they wanted to begin with.
David Ralph [39:02]
I wonder if it’s fear, just basic fear, fear about the work, fear about not being good enough. You know, if she’s a lady who’s obviously done well in her career, and she’s looking to transition is that amounting to much?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [39:20]
Yeah, I think that there’s some fears that really hold us back. And you alluded to the I’m not enough, I won’t be loved. I think there’s also this fear of failing. I think that’s a real big one for people now, because they feel that, yeah, if I’m not successful, and people see that, see all my social media, they’ll see that I’m not what I’m what I’m making it out to be. I think that’s a real challenge for people, especially when they are moving into a field that they haven’t done before. And the truth is, especially nowadays, you’re probably going to have 456 different careers because things are moving so quickly. And this is where being able to reinvent yourself to lean in and actually embrace that failure or to see it as a learning opportunity, I think is one The best assets you can have in your mindset to really enable you to move forward.
David Ralph [40:05]
Because that’s what I love about Join Up Dots. That’s what I love about podcasts. If you’ve been doing it for long enough, if you’re sharing these amount of content, but I do, you can go back into the archives, and you can hear my darkest times, when I was crap, when I didn’t know how to podcast, you can see the journey move all the way through. And there is a personal confidence that comes by just doing it, doing it day in day out, you know, now, I get thousands and thousands of people every single day, you know, it blows me away. I hear people and they say, Oh, my podcast is doing x y Zed. And I think God, I get that before I even wake up each morning, you know, and that’s only because I’ve been doing it long enough to grow an audience. And that audience span gives you competence and that competence gives you persistence, but you still got to do it every day.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [41:00]
Yeah, and I think it’s so important to really hone those skills through time. And when people say, How bad How did you get that opportunity? And I think I’ve been doing this for seven, eight years out in China. I’ve built those contacts. I’ve built those relationships. Of course I can. And I see people that come in and just expect that instant gratification. And I’m sure you have this David Buss and we’ll go, David, yeah, I’m doing this. Why don’t I have thousands of downloads every day? Like, why aren’t more people interested? And I think that that’s the challenge of having those expectations. And I think that that instant gratification is something that even for myself, I find that we get things so quickly in life. And I was interviewing people the other day, and I think patience is actually the biggest needed skill nowadays, to really enable you to enjoy your life and not put that pressure on yourself to achieve when you’re just starting out.
David Ralph [41:49]
There is a guy that I’ve got a poster above my desk, and he’s a guy called Thomas foul Buxton. And he says this thing and It says the longer I live, the more I’m certain that the great difference between men between the feeble and the powerful, the grey and the insignificant is energy, invincible determination, purpose once fixed, and then therefore victory. So basically, they are not giving up. And I think people don’t even get to the first stage. I think they give up before they even try.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [42:27]
Yeah. And I think that it’s very easy to see another opportunity. And I think that there’s too many people dabbling in lots of different things, and not committing to anything as they move forward. I think that’s, that’s a real challenge. And that the quote that you were just sharing reminds me of something that I say to myself every week or so, which is how on earth would be to meet the man you could have been? And I think that’s so powerful. When you look at that and think that are you actually going to make the most of what you’re doing? Are you just going to dabble and attempt to do lots of things without having a real focus?
David Ralph [43:00]
Let’s just touch into this because this this is key to everything. It’s alright to say, the main you could have been. But when do you suddenly realise the main you should be? So on your journey, and I’ll tell you my story. When did you realise that actually everything was a preamble, everything was the death sort of build up to me deciding who I was born to be.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [43:30]
I think that the biggest differential that I made was when I thought about who must I become in the future to live the life I want. And this is where I was thinking, I want to be a leader. I want to be inspirational. I want to be ridiculous. I want to be authentic. And when I looked at what I was being day to day, and I model different people, I felt like I was trying to be someone that I actually wasn’t to begin with, especially speaking on stage. And the reason why I say that is I’ve gone on lots of courses and I model different people. But I’ve never really dived into what it is to be men and the message that I wanted to share if I was to reinvent the wheel and actually start again. And I think that when I look into that being standpoint, for me, it’s been a journey. I wouldn’t say there’s a point where I said, Okay, now I’m not mad. I think it’s been this decision of I’m going to become that person. And I’m going to do whatever I need to do and be in the day is in order to start to become that person, but not wait 10 years to do it. But instead to start to be a leader to be inspirational, and to start being a little bit more addictions, a bit more fun to on that journey.
David Ralph [44:37]
Because I realised that when I started, probably the first 5060 hundred episodes of my podcast, I had this image, but I would fly over to LA and the podcast is already out there. I’d sit in a bar with them and have a drink and stuff. And I realised actually probably about four into it when I decided to throw off comparisons. Now my show I’ve always done it as I felt it should be. I haven’t compared myself to anyone at all. But I’ve been there was a comparison or business or profile of success of self esteem that I was benchmarking on what I was seeing other people, when I switched off from social media, and I got rid of Facebook, and hardly ever go on LinkedIn. Funnily enough, we connected on LinkedIn. But that was when the moment started, but my business, my personal life, and everything showed me the way. And that was, it’s my way. You know, if it’s my decision, and it’s wrong, fair enough. If it’s my decision, and it’s right, I reap the rewards. But I can’t look at what anybody else is doing. Other than what I’m doing, and it’s been a liberation. I wake up each morning and I think okay, let’s go do work. And after three hours, I finished and I go back to my house. And I’m not looking back on this person’s done that I should be doing that this person’s doing that. There’s no pretence of Granger. It’s just what it is.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [46:19]
Especially with social media, it’s so easy for someone to depict. Like this is what I want to be seen as, as opposed to the reality and I think it’s so easy to get drawn into the social media to see what’s happening and to start attempting to do all these fads as opposed to just sticking to yourself and I really think sometimes be able just to focus on what you want to do. Getting your head down and forgetting about everything else is actually one of the best things you can do. Because it’s where you start to really have that authentic self that authentic You and I have everything your podcast is really shines through on that with our authentic our find how different it is with regards to those conversations. I think that’s why it’s been so successful because you can really have that authentic self that really shines through.
David Ralph [47:06]
Let’s listen to Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [47:08]
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. How often
David Ralph [47:43]
do you lack belief, man?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [47:46]
I think that’s something that occurs when I appear in a negative state. And those are something daily or weekly or a monthly basis where I just have a real down day, and I wake up and I think I’m feeling not that great. Do I really want to get up and I’m an early riser like you are getting up? Yeah, have five things and be able to start my day. And I think, do I really want to do this is actually what I want to do right now. And it’s sometimes I feel that you can actually do this. And one of the big ones that I think about was, can I actually be fluent in Mandarin? And because there’s the amount of effort that I have to put in nice to see that as this real challenge, and even now, I’m not fluent, like I can get by okay, but if you put me on a TEDx stage, now, I would bomb like, no, it would be absolutely horrendous Chinnu in New York. And I think that it’s it’s those things that are challenging, and I think as anyone I do my best to believe in myself to work thing forward and I have a real strong belief that I genuinely can do anything that I’ve set my mind to. I think sometimes the challenge though, with the belief is if I set myself up to achieve something in a small time period, And that is perhaps unrealistic. I think that’s something that I’d have to catch myself on, and reassess, especially this year where I think that so many people started out with these grandiose goals. And then to have that reality check and think, well, what what’s actually under my control? And what can I achieve is one of the things that I use to move out of those bunnies. But sometimes it’s try I do have those times I’m in a negative state, and I’m thinking, Oh, is this really what I want to do? Can I do this? And I do question myself. And that’s where it’s important for me to be able to change my state governor walk and be able to change that. So I can start to think in a different way.
David Ralph [49:38]
I used to believe that I could achieve anything. And now I believe that I should achieve the things that I should achieve. You know, I shouldn’t be trying to do everything. I shouldn’t try to be a master on everything. Because I think that dilutes your message, doesn’t it? I think you have to be clear, precise. And consistent with what you’re delivering to the world. And if that is I do everything, then effectively you are Amazon, you know, you’ve got to be totally precise on what you are willing to do. But also be open with people to say, That’s not my will. I can’t do that.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [50:22]
Yeah, and I think that’s so important, especially nowadays, where there’s so many different people doing all these different things and imagine a cleaner coming into your house cleaning and then saying, Yeah, I can fix your cupboard. Yes. Yeah. Well, why is it different? They can do a lot of things, but you don’t have been right. I think the it’s it’s often this challenge and and i think it’s a real challenge, actually. And so when people first start out, especially in the coaching industry, because I have some coaches that will come to me and they’ll ask what to do and one of the things that they struggle with is niching straight away, how can I suddenly be an expert and for me personally, what I share with them is useful. can’t play football and to sign on a position if you’ve never played the game. And that’s why I tell them to explore to do different things before they decide to put their stick in the ground and decide, you know, this is what I’m going to commit with. And this is what I stand for.
David Ralph [51:15]
I agree with that totally. And that’s one of the things I say, through so many of my episodes, stop listening to Join Up Dots and actually get out and do stuff. And some things you’ll love something’s you won’t, but the more things you love, and those moments when hours, just pass, you know, I’m going to be here for 12 hours doing podcast. At the end of it, I’m absolutely exhausted by tell you why it doesn’t feel like 12 hours, it feels like sort of like 30 minutes, because it’s in that moment of where your passions meet your skill set. And that’s where I think people don’t give themselves enough opportunities to discover their skill sets.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [51:55]
so important to be constantly evolving your skill set and one of the things that I talk about is about identity capital, and thinking about the skills you need, in order to live the life that you desire. I think that if more people spent time developing those core skills to lay a strong foundation, that user would be to excel in the roles that they want to in the future.
David Ralph [52:16]
So before we send you on the Sermon on the mic to have a one on one with your younger self, what’s happening for the rest of 2020 vein, where are you focusing your energies in now?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [52:30]
Sure. So right now 2020 is me focusing on getting my podcasts out there now in China to inspire more people. It’s creating the systems so I can scale more efficiently. And ultimately, just spending time and enjoying myself during this period. It’s very rare that I’m so grounded in one place, I’m actually really enjoying the opportunity to go play some board games to go for some wine nights to go have tacos with the 50% off which I enjoyed a lot. And I really took advantage of that, David I was supporting business left, right and centre Monday through Thursday,
David Ralph [53:05]
I can tell you something I just jumped into my wife works for green King pups. And at the moment, they’re getting 50% off. And the government is paying as well. And so literally, we’re eating for nothing. We can go down and have a big mixed grill. And it cost me like one pound 20
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [53:24]
Yeah, it’s, um, it’s outrageous. And I love it. And I’m taking full advantage of it to support small business there. But yeah,
David Ralph [53:31]
I just like ripping off. I just think to myself, bear. There’s a bargain I’m gonna have. Well, this is the part of the show that we’ve been building up to. And this is the part that we called a sermon on the mic when we’re going to 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 Ben, what advice would you give him? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the music and when it fades is your time to talk to each other. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [54:06]
We go with the speed of the show the Sermon on the sermon.
Unknown Speaker [54:23]
Hello there then
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [54:26]
I’m very happy that you are alive and enjoying yourself. This is your wiser, more good looking and more intelligent self right comedy joking. But there’s a few wise words that I want to be able to share with you. The first thing is that in life, it’s very easy to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve. And I think that on your journey as you go through a variety of different life experiences, if you can choose to actually smell the roses, enjoy the journey and actually ground yourself. I think you’ll have a lot more fun. I mean, there are times where you’re probably going to go on holiday and attempt to do some business tend to do some work in the whole scheme of things actually doesn’t matter that much See if you can actually be present, and enjoy that journey along the way. Because the truth is, you can be in a place, but if your mind is elsewhere, you’re never going to enjoy it as much. The next thing I’ll say is that believe in yourself. The truth is that if you have people around you that don’t believe in you, you need to change that network. Make sure that you have an environment of people around you who really support you. And I really care about you and love what you do. Think about who you want to have around you long term and I think one of the one of the best pieces of advice that I could give you is I want you to imagine who you would love to be able to spend time with and go above and beyond to make them your best friend. And the reason why I say that is if you can spend time with the people that you really care about and our people that you admire and want to model and you can actually be with those people care about them and have a genuine connection. Your wife is going to change left, right and centre. Next I want to say about friends and family. It’s very easy to become obsessed with your business, your money, your hobbies, all these different things. Relationships are one of the most important things along the way. Make sure that on a consistent basis, you’re spending time to call your mom or your dad, spend time with those people around you. Because the truth is, when you’re 21, you’ve already spent 90% of the time you’re going to with your family, and when all is gone, you can’t bring your TV, your laptop, your phone to your grave. It’s those memories that you have. So spend time creating those magic moments. And the last thing is work hard on having fun. If you’re not having fun and enjoying yourself properly. You are doing life wrong. be ridiculous. Be your authentic self. And remember, it doesn’t matter what anyone says because the truth is you can only You life isn’t a dress rehearsal and make sure that you live your life to the fullest going get
David Ralph [57:04]
on Ben. Yeah, Ben, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you, sir?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [57:10]
Sure. On my website so ban dash iv.com IV, why not supplant
me on those social media too.
David Ralph [57:17]
And I can find you in any clap and Parbat are past eight in the morning. Is that right?
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [57:23]
Absolutely. David, absolutely. I do my rounds. Clearly Monday through Friday, before I jump off my calls a little bit tipsy to make sure I can serve people. Well.
David Ralph [57:33]
I think that’s the only way to build a business with a foundation, isn’t it? Ben, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again when you’ve got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our paths, it’s the best way to build our futures. Mr. Ben IV, thank you so much.
Ben Ivey – Lifestyle Entrepreneur [57:54]
Thank you for having me and I love being on the show.
David Ralph [57:59]
Okay, so Mr. Ben Ivey, an English guy had a similar upbringing to me. He’s now travelling around the world, USA, China. It didn’t just happen. There is a journey and the fact that he was starting other businesses and trying things and moving around, you know, you’ve got to be aware of that action leads to success. You know, I can’t say that enough. If you think that you are going to be an expert in something just by researching, it’s not going to happen. You’ve really got to put your money in it. You’ve got to put your efforts in it. You’ve got to put your passions in it. Some things are gonna work, some things are but little by little, you find the way through, okay, it’s the only way that you can do it. Now I’m here to help you. I’m here to chat to you. I’m here here, you know, all the time. Just jump over to Join Up Dots and connect and I will speak to you one to one. I can’t promise you that it will be a life changing conversation. But we might be able to get a glimpse in into the world, but you’re heading and just change your mind slightly. That’s what we’re here at Join Up Dots for. Until next time, I’ll see you again. Look after yourself. Cheers. Bye bye.