Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast with Mr David Wood
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Introducing David Wood
David Wood is today’s guest, joining us on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
His entrepreneurial journey has led him through many different dots, and its the joining of his dots that are so remarkable.
As he says: “When you’re 10,000 feet ABOVE the Himalayas hanging from a piece of cloth, you see life differently”.
He holds the viewpoint that life is the best game there is and asks: Are you playing for REAL?
He coaches high performing entrepreneurs, executives, and leaders to play the best game they possibly can, deepening connection and living a regret-free life.
How? By setting life-changing goals, laser-focused action, and increasing their levels of Truth, Daring, and Caring – in both life and work.
He loves sharing his message of Playing for Real on live stages, podcast interviews, and radio shows, and has been best described as “playful and deep”.
How The Dots Joined For David
A former Consulting Actuary to Fortune 100 companies – including Sony Music, Proctor & Gamble, and Exxon – David left his cushy Park Avenue job 20 years ago to explore both the outer world and his own inner world.
Along the way, he’s coached thousands of hours in a dozen countries around the globe and is the author of “Get Paid For Who You Are,” with foreword by Jack Canfield.
He is a member of the Transformational Leadership Council, alongside such thought leaders as Don Miguel Ruiz, John Gray, Marci Shimoff, and Vishen Lakhiani.
So is it simple enough to say that the children of the world who spend their time playing actually are the keys to our adult life?
And where do people get hung up most, on the doing or the wanting to do?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. David Wood.
During the show we discussed with David Wood such weighty topics such as:
We chatted about the amazing journey that David has been on to get to where he is today, back in the place he wanted to leave: Corporate land.
How we all get lost in the identity management process that we show the world no matter how hard we try.
Why David believes that everything in life can be cleaned up. We shouldn’t have any regrets left on our last day on earth.
David shares the process he took to leave his corporate job by becoming a musician, before heading towards high achieving clients.
How To Connect With David Wood
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of David Wood Interview
David Ralph [0:00]
How amazing would it be to be able to share your struggles and successes with real people in your area where you live, or join up dots local support groups are being formed across the globe. Now surrounding yourself with other positive MOOC is the key to success. And you can now do it live, head over to join up dots local support groups. And finally, number one in your locality now, it really is the key to success.
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 [0:52]
Yes. Hello there. Good morning, listeners. And welcome to another episode of join up dots Yeah, it’s another one. You can’t get enough Kenya. Well, today’s guest and we’re going to bring him straight on the show because he’s been hanging around a little bit. We had a few technical problems as it happens in online world. And he is a guest whose entrepreneurial journey has led him through many different dots. And it’s the joining of these dots fast, so remarkable in so many ways. As he says, when you’re 10,000 feet above the Himalayas, hanging from a piece of cloth, you see life differently. Fascinating. We have to find out what that means. He holds the viewpoint that life is the best game there is and asked Are you playing for real? Now he coaches high performing entrepreneurs, executives and leaders to play the best game they possibly can deepen in connection and living a regret free life. Now how how does he do this? Well, he does this by setting life changing goals laser focused action, and increasing their levels of truth, daring and caring in both life and work. He loves sharing his message or playing for real one life stages podcast interviews and radio shows, and has been best described as playful and deep. Now he’s a former consulting actually to fortune 100 companies including Sony Music Procter and Gamble, and Exxon and he left his cushy he says Park Avenue job 20 years ago to explore both the outer world and his own inner world. Now along the way, he’s coached thousands of hours in a dozen countries around the globe. And he’s the author of get paid for who you are with foreword by Jack Canfield, who appeared on the show back on episode 310. Now he’s a member of the transformational leadership council alongside such thought leaders, as Don Miguel Ruiz, john gray, Marcy shim up and vision tachyonic, probably murdered all those names. So is it simple enough to say about the children of the world who spend their time playing actually other keys to our adult life? And where do people get hung up most on the doing order wanting to do? Well, let’s find out as we bring them to this show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. David Wood. how are you sir?
David Wood [3:02]
I’m good, right. Thank you. And I’m remembering now this is the fun podcast.
David Ralph [3:06]
Oh, it’s good to be here. It’s all about playing and just being well, getting paid for who you are. I, as I read that it’s funny, because I got the introduction together. And that didn’t sort of resonate with me until I was reading it just a moment ago. Get Paid for who you are. That’s what life’s about, isn’t it David
David Wood [3:26]
Well, I think it’s the Holy Grail. So why not shoot for it to do something that you actually love, and be paid well, and return for it. And I just think it’s incredible. I still have to pinch myself a little bit that I get to. I mean, I just started with a client last week, who wants to raise money for animal welfare. And she’s, I get paid to help her raise money to help animals. I just, I can’t think of anything that
David Ralph [3:55]
Why can’t you think of anything better? Because if you’re living that, is it anything. For example, my wife can always think of bad things in her life. And the other day, she was watching Game of Thrones, and she couldn’t get the last episode. And she went, there’s nothing worse than bad. And my son said, What, like the Holocaust, or cancer? You know, you she has a negative way of thinking, but you’re looking at it. That’s it’s so good that you can’t possibly think of anything better.
David Wood [4:25]
Yeah, well, you know, I think for people who don’t don’t like their job, at least, let’s start with having a job that you can tolerate. Right? And then if you can get your mind around, well, maybe I could really enjoy my job, and I can’t wait to get to work. And then if you I mean, I just feel so fortunate that I get to do the work that I would do for free. Anyway, because I love coaching people, I get paid well, and and plus I get to be of service to the world like saving animals. So I just I get to pinch myself occasionally go this is this is amazing. This is actually possible. Let’s pinch each other.
David Ralph [5:05]
Yeah, when you pinch me in our pinch you at it, and we’ll see what. But it is it is a journey. I hate using that word is a journey. But it is and more often than not, you get to a point where actually, as I’ve seen time and time again in join up dots the things that you leave behind because you think that they’re either too easy, or nobody will pay you for them are actually the things that later on you go God, I’ve been struggling for five years here. I should have done that straight away. Did you feel the same in your own journey?
David Wood [5:39]
Yeah, it just seems like this huge mystery. Because when I started out, I went into a mathematics career because I was really good at math. So then I became a consulting actuary. And I’m consoling the fortune 100 companies on Park Avenue. And I figured this is it. This has got to be the pinnacle of life. I had no idea fear that I would end up loving transformation and loving personal growth and helping people get more deeply connected in their life. It’s such a mystery, how it works out. And I love how you call your podcast join up dots because yeah, it is a bit of a mystery. And you do have the dots. But I do believe if you keep sticking at it and you keep walking, then you can start to join up some of those dots and it can start to make sense. Yeah, but don’t you think that
David Ralph [6:29]
it’s, you know join up dots and I say this on probably 1500 episodes, but it’s true. So I’m going to say again, you live life gaining experiences every second you become the unique person you are. And certainly I do a lot of business coaching. And people always want to create something new. When I say to them, why don’t you do something you know about already? You know, you’re an expert in something, why don’t you do that. But I always want to move on. Life is training us, isn’t it for that moment when we go, there we go. That’s what I’m gonna do. I’ve already been here for 40 years preparing?
David Wood [7:09]
Well, yeah, maybe maybe you’ve spent 40 years preparing, or maybe you’ve just spent 40 years waiting for that, that thing that feels just right. Thomas Leonard is considered the father of modern coaching. And he I once wrote to him and asked me a question related to this. And he said, A plus B plus w plus g plus x equals bam.
David Ralph [7:35]
Why is that? Why did you send that email or letter and you’ve got that back.
David Wood [7:40]
That’s what I got, I got back. And what I got from that was, sometimes you don’t know how it’s all going to connect, you follow your passion, you do what feels right. And then maybe at some point, you get bam. Like, for me, I did this corporate consulting for years. And then I left it to go into something completely new, which is transformational and personal coaching. And then I found my way towards business coaching, which is kind of like in the direction back towards corporate life. And now 20 years later, here I am playing back in corporate land, I had no idea that my work as a consulting actuary would influence what I was going to do. 20 years later, I was just going to be doing in a different field. I could I couldn’t predict that. There’s no counselor that’s going to tell you that’s the way it’s going to go. But if you have faith and you keep moving, sometimes you can join the dots.
David Ralph [8:33]
I think you can always join the dots. And I’m going to play some words that really will move us on to the next stage of the conversation is Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey [8:41]
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 friends, 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 [9:08]
Now, this week, baby, I’ve been launching as local support network across the globe for people. And I keep on having this, this praise. There’s this mantra that Ziegler said, going around my head about if you can help enough people achieve their goals or achieve their dreams, you will achieve yours or something along those lines. I paraphrase. And it’s just going around me all the time. Now, with your journey. When did you realize and how did you realize the value that you could provide? Because that’s the starting point, isn’t it? When you actually think, Blimey, I can do this, and somebody’s going to pay me for it. This sounds like a good job.
David Wood [9:53]
Firstly, I got goosebumps listening to Jim Carrey just said that was a really beautiful clip. So thanks for playing that. And my first moment was probably at school, I was really good at math. So that seemed like the direction I should head in. And that’s what ultimately led to me being on Park Avenue consulting to, to the big companies. But my next point, when I realized that I had something for coaching. I don’t know if I realized I had a skill for it. But I definitely got that I had a passion for it was when I went and did a personal growth course. Someone told me my wife should do it. And the more I heard about the course I said, Wait a minute, let me go and check this out. And I found myself coaching people in the course. So people would get stuck. And I say, Well, here’s what here’s what the teacher said. And I there was one woman who sat in front of me and told me that 10 years ago, her husband had an affair. And she’d been holding it over him for 10 years to control him. And then as we got deeper into the conversation, she she told me that someone else had had fear 10 years ago, it was her. But she hadn’t told him that bit.
David Ralph [11:05]
You said women don’t women don’t David they they they keep the secrets from us.
David Wood [11:10]
I think all humans are actually pretty good, pretty good at keeping secrets, which is part of my job to try and have a soul. I’m not touching that with a 10 foot pole. All tell more of the truth. But I sat with her and I helped her tap into her courage. And she she went back and she confessed. And she revealed to him what happened and she apologized for the last 10 years. And they were they felt like they were walking on a six feet above the ground the whole weekend. And I realized I want more of this. I want to help people find the courage and to live life so fully, that they can have zero regrets on their deathbed.
David Ralph [11:49]
So that was a turning point for me. I think I would have dumped her. Do you know that if she was my wife after 10 years of being beaten up? I think I would have said enough is enough. I can’t put up with this.
David Wood [12:00]
Maybe Yeah. And that’s what she risked. That’s what I find beautiful about it, that she was willing to risk her marriage to tell the truth and have a chance at a real marriage. And he saw that opportunity and grabbed it. But yeah, he could have said, we’re done yet repairable damage. And then at least I say at least she’s she’s now clean. She’s now honest, even if she’s divorced, there are no more the you know, the skeletons out of the closet. And I would much rather the skeleton be out of the closet 99% of the time and take the consequences in the short run, then waiting for something to bite me on the ass can use young.
David Ralph [12:45]
online, you see it more often than not now. But there’s there’s two kinds of camps. There’s the ones that you go over to their website. And when I started this job five years ago, I used to have to really hunt around to find juicy gossip about people because it just wasn’t there. It was always sort of a corporate boring website with not a lot of sort of backstory to it. And now there’s a kind of 50% of ones where you go over and they really lay it out on the line. They really tell you the dark times what got them to where they are. And then there’s that group that are lying. And you see it on YouTube all the time. The ones but yeah, and this is a bugbear. So if you’ve been listening to join up dots over the last few weeks, this is annoying me at the moment. But you see them all the time by their private jets and now affinity poles and how their lights wonderful. And all you’ve got to do is buy a bit and then you’ll get the same thing. Where does authenticity come into it actually in business, because it’s always saying being who you are. But in many ways, you have to be what people want you to be. So you kind of play a role anyway, don’t you David
David Wood [13:58]
Yeah, we’re talking about it, management, I think and personal branding. And I think there’s a place for that, I realized that I cultivate that. I want people like if I’m doing something that I think, cool and might attract other people to me, then I want the world to know about it. For example, just recently, I’ve started training prison inmates in authentic relating, and being more honest, I think that’s, that’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. So I want the world to know about it. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But what I think is sad is that we get lost in that identity management, and we stop sharing the stuff that isn’t shiny, and that we think people won’t accept. And what’s really happening at the deeper level in doing that we’re not accepting that about ourselves. So as a personal practice, I’m an evangelist for take a risk, share with someone something that you don’t normally share with the world and see what happened. Maybe as in the case of the woman I mentioned, maybe it will end the relationship, you take that risk, but if it doesn’t end the relationship, you just upgraded.
David Ralph [15:06]
There’s not a lot in life, actually, about when you lose even you know, partners and girlfriends and boyfriends and stuff where you feel Oh, my God, you know, my life’s gonna be rubbish. Six months down the line, you think actually, actually, I’ve moved on that there’s not a lot is it that you really have bad regrets. I think if I look at my life, there’s probably one regret that I have. And that was just saying something really mean once to somebody who didn’t deserve it. And there was no reason for me to do it. It was just like an easy target. And I would like to go back and say to that person, I’m sorry, that that really wasn’t right. But at the time, I didn’t know I was just in a bad place. I can justify all I want, it was still wrong. But most things in life you just move on from, don’t you?
David Wood [15:51]
Well, I want to respond to that. And I’m wondering, is it possible to track that person down
David Ralph [15:58]
persons dead now, which is it, which is one of the drawbacks. So if I were, I would actually hunt them down and, and save it. And I do that every night that there’s been a couple that bothered me. And one of them was a girl that I was friends with when I was at school. And when you have at school, you say some bad stuff, because we all do. And I actually remember making a cry this girl so I sent a message on Facebook, I tracked her down on Facebook, and I said, Look, you won’t remember this. But I just want to say sorry. And she came back in and when when I remember you, but I don’t remember that. But thank you so much for apologizing, even if it was 45 years too late. And I thought I felt better for it. But I also felt like I’d opened up something that actually wasn’t remembered anyway.
David Wood [16:46]
Yeah, but there’s something about the energy of it. And there’s.
So I do want to talk about regrets in a second. But I think that anything we’ve ever done in life can be cleaned up. Alright, you’ve got someone who’s who’s dead, the best that I can think of is to write a letter, just write a letter put down what what you would have said to the person, and that’s one way to do it. I think everything in our life, there is a way to atone, there is a way to apologize or make it right, at least as best you can. And I you know, this course i said i did years and years ago, that was my turning point that was landmark education, ran that course. And they it’s like a boot camp for cleaning up stuff in your life. And every course I went and did they say I make a list of everyone that you might owe an apology or any regret you have or anyone that you harbor resentment for whatever you have to make the list, then you have to call a damn list. And it used to piss me off because I’d finished the course. And then I go and do another course six months later, I gotta make another list. So I kept doing that until there’s almost no one left on my list. And each time you do the first list, I don’t cover another list, like stuff that I buried or stuff that I thought are tiny little thing. But sometimes those little things, my brother did the course. And he couldn’t think of anyone to apologize to. And he said look, no matter how small, just just trust the homework. So we call up an ex girlfriend and said, Look, this is really weird. I’m sorry, I’m doing this. But when we broke up, I just wanted you to know is nothing to do with you. I wasn’t in a place to really commit to a relationship and you were great. And she wept on the phone. And she said she’d been having trouble having relationships ever since because she thought that she was broken something wrong with her. And my brother had no money came out of that course saying that was worth $10,000 to me that one conversation.
David Ralph [18:48]
And we store the stuff up, don’t we we carry around with us. I tell you another story I I had a falling out I this meet for about 20 years. And we went on a road trip crew America. And if you ever go on a road trip with anyone, you’ve got to make sure that you’re pretty nailed down because you’re in each up as well for 24 hours. And I got to a point where I couldn’t even bear how he was breathing. He could you know, just done anything. It was just grating on me. And so we had a big falling out. And for about five years, I just kept away from him. I just had nothing to do with him. I felt really antsy and really angry. And he was good friends with my wife and good friends with my kids. And he used to come around. And if he came around, I used to go, I’m going out, I’m going out. And then one day, I was down the pub, and he was there. And I thought I will let’s get it over and done with and I went up there and I said, Well, I buy you a drink. I said, you know, and part of me wanted to say, I still think you’re a scumbag. But I buy you a drink anyway. And I don’t know, I’m not going to do that. And it was just like a balloon had been popped a heavy balloon I’ve been carrying around and the energy went off. And by the time I got home, I was just exhausted. And I realized I’ve been carrying that resentment around for 10 years, but didn’t need to heat moved on. Well maybe hadn’t moved on. But I hadn’t I was still harboring that grudge. And I should have said this and use it, you know, and all that kind of stuff. And once I put it to bed, it was just energy off.
David Wood [20:25]
Yeah, yeah, if we could see a picture of ourselves here, look in the mirror and see the stuff we’re carrying around that’s unresolved. It could be quite a quite a sight. Let’s make this practical, because I’m a practical guy. And I’m a coach. So for the listeners who are thinking, all right, maybe I’m carrying some stuff around, but I’m not really sure. I’m going to offer a simple exercise, which is get a little piece of paper. As soon as you’re done with this podcast or right now. And write down what you regret. There might be one thing or there might be 50 things on it, that’s fine, but make the list. And before I tell you the second part of that, that exercise, you may find what James found out. And what I found out is that the things that you truly wish you could take back if you could go back in time, you might not be many of those decisions that you would take back that I also had the same realizations, like everything lead to something, some kind of growth or some kind of opportunity. So very little I would actually change if I could. The second part of the exercise is out of any of those things that you regret, circle two of them, and going clean it up as best you can. If you regret never going to a Broadway show. Don’t buy a ticket. If you regret something you said to someone or something you didn’t say to someone. So if you can track them down and just say Look, I know this is weird, but this guy in a podcast told me to do it. I’m doing it.
David Ralph [21:53]
Do you regret Tony me James just a moment ago David
David Wood [21:57]
on that. Or you know what? I’ve been looking through the emails and I’m looking at where you signed one that said David and then we’re looking at one that said James and I will work out what the Korea
David Ralph [22:07]
You can call me one. yourself David Davies is the host of the join up dots podcast.
David Wood [22:14]
All if I call you what I call myself I call you, stallion.
David Ralph [22:17]
That’s fine. I’d go with that. I’d go with that big time. So so let’s get it back to you in the corporate environment. So you are working where you are. What was it that actually sort of pivoted you and made you move because I think most of us have a five year of should have done this earlier. It kind of drags around for a while until we think now we’ve got to do it now. And I was certainly the case and most people I speak to could have done it five years earlier than they did what made you change?
David Wood [22:48]
I would agree with you. I think most people probably make the switch too late. I didn’t feel like that for me. I was I was enjoying the job. I was enjoying going to some big clients. And it wasn’t a what what had me unhappy was my marriage. I wasn’t happy. I had stress in my in my side, even though even though the stress went to the doctor, the doctor said, I think you got stress. I said Don’t be silly. But my get my god hood. And I realized that wasn’t happy. And it was complaining to someone about it that she said, sounds like your wife should go and do the landmark Education Forum. And when she told me more about it, I went and did it. And when I did it, I realized something was missing from my life that I was working with people on numbers. And I was doing really well at that. But I wanted to work with people now and people. Now I took about another six to 12 months, I didn’t just quit my job straight away. But I went to my work and I said in 12 months, I want to go back to Australia and and just make some kind of a shift. And I did. I moved back to Australia and I actually started I thought what would I do? When I’ve got six months. If I took a six month break before starting a new job? What would I do? And I’d always wanted to be a one man band, like a guitarist that puts on like a black Afro, and puts on a wig or wears a kilt sings 500 miles at the ski slopes. I love that kind of thing. And so I went back to Australia, and I went and bought the equipment. I got a singing lesson. And the next week, I got my first booking, which was to play at a squash court that happened to have a bar in the corner of it. They paid me 50 bucks. And I spent the next year doing that.
David Ralph [24:43]
That’s I’ve got to jump in there two things. It has to be Australia, but I’ve got a bar next to a squash call. That seems Yes. Bizarre place. And the other thing is that’s a big ballsy jump. But you decided to do this and you women like a week Yeah, actually performing in front of people and being paid for that. That seems dramatic.
David Wood [25:05]
Thank you. I’m hearing that I feel acknowledged and seen and appreciated. You’re right, it was a big move. Now if I just said, I’m quitting my job as an actuary to be a professional entertainer for the rest of my life, I imagine that would have been a much scarier leap. It was easier for me to say I’m going to do this for six months. And then I’ll get a job. kind of related to my to my old career. What happened was I was enjoying myself. And I did a little consulting on the side. And I and then I started coaching professionally, I found out someone was getting paid for coaching. like wait a minute, I always love that. Can I do that? So as I started doing that, I decided at one point, and this was a huge leap. This is one of the biggest leaps I’ve made in my life. I wrote my letter of resignation from the Institute of actuaries of Australia. So it took me eight years to qualify for that. And then I quit. That was huge. And I went into coaching full time. And as I say the rest is history.
David Ralph [26:06]
And do you look back at Rockstar life that you lead, you lead, even in Balboa squash court and did it back on that and think that that really that was the playful element that’s, that was really connected to who I wanted to be.
David Wood [26:21]
Now, I don’t look back and go, Oh, I, I don’t look back and go, I wish I’d done more of that. Because I like I just wanted the experience. But doing a four hour gig in a pub for a small amount of money isn’t something I want, I want to do a lot in my life, I’m happy to play my guitar on the balcony here overlooking the river. But speaking of joining up the dots now and I look back on my life, I can take that corporate work that I did, I can take that entertainer aspect of myself, I can take the theatrical work that I’ve done of improvising on stage, like Whose Line is it Anyway. And I can take the coaching that I’ve done and training for the last 20 years, and put that all together now. So now when if I do, if I do a speech, I might do little comedy. And I’ve done some stand up comedy as well. And I do some improv, I might pull out my guitar and do a song. All these things can start to come together. And I couldn’t have picked that 2030 years ago. But now I can join up the dots and go, look, all these things that I love can come together and play in the same arena now.
David Ralph [27:33]
Because I realized now through doing this job that I love, deep talk, I love talking to people, I hate parties where you’re just having chitchat could leave those behind. But to sit in a bar or sit somewhere and really talk to somebody, I just find it fascinating. And I never get bored with it. And people say to me, you know, after needing Well, we’re coming up to 2000 episodes now, don’t you get fed up with talking about the same stuff join up dots is pretty much the same stuff. Really. That’s what the theme of the show is. And I never do. I never ever get fed up with having a conversation about somebody’s life.
David Wood [28:12]
I’m smiling hearing this, you know, I, I’ve got a friend who loves talking to people, we can go anywhere. And he is real, to speak to the old man on the bench. he’s thrilled to speak to the couple walking down the street, the people selling blueberries at the store. He just loves people. And I’m a little jealous. Because I’m realizing now in later in life, that this is a skill that can be cultivated. There are organizations now that are teaching you to tap into your natural curiosity. And you seem to have it naturally. I’m learning it. And I think others can if they want to. And even now in a corporate setting. I just did a podcast interview. I think Diane Livingston is a name. She’s got book now about the corporate world, and about navigating by curiosity and how powerful that is for leadership. So I think you’ve really tapped into something here, David, that Notice how I got your name, right? Yeah, I was.
David Ralph [29:12]
I was wondering whether you called Diane James as well, I was going to jump in and ask you. I
David Wood [29:16]
did? I did. It’s a pet name I have for everybody. I just hope it grows on you.
David Ralph [29:22]
I’m embracing it and embracing it. Yeah,
David Wood [29:24]
yeah. But you have a you have a powerful talent, which which can actually be really powerful in the business setting the corporate setting, a marriage setting with your kids, just natural curiosity, of like, person, like what makes them tick. Now one of those big bridges that you
David Ralph [29:43]
had to cross baby, and it’s one of the hardest bridges you’re ever going to walk across is to number one, connect with yourself and understand yourself and understand what your unique positioning is in the world. But then accepting that you’re going to get paid. And I see so many people start businesses, and particularly coaching businesses, when they they literally doing it for free constantly. Because they don’t have that ability to say to somebody, VAT is X amount of pounds or X amount of dollars. It doesn’t seem to me bear in mind, you put on an afro and a kill and a guitar and instantly said $50. But you have a problem for charging. But did you in the early days?
David Wood [30:29]
I don’t think I’ve had a problem for charging. But this is this is such an amazing concept. I love this question. Partly it’s made up partly how much we charge and what the value is, is what you say it is. So I could poke someone. And I could tell them that it’s 3000 for a year of coaching. And they could go Whoo, boy, 3000, I’m not sure if I can, if I can afford that. Or I can say to someone, it’s $100,000 for a year of coaching. And we can have the same conversation. Or worse. I don’t know if I can afford that. So I didn’t have a problem charging, I just set my fee what I thought it would be when I had, say 1520 clients, and I felt really confident as a coach, that was the fee. And then I offered a half price to say the first 10 to 20 people so that I could build my confidence. My experience. Yeah. But that’s a made up number. As, as I’ve gone on, I’ve realized, you know, I really get a large say in what I think the value is. And so now my programs at the bottom, and it’s 25,000. And it’s the higher end, it’s 100,000 for a year. But one second piece of that is you need to find the right people to work with, I worked for 20 years with people who didn’t have much money. And so it was a constant struggle to try and find people who could afford 25,000 a year, because they didn’t have much money to start with. And I was working with them on a startup business. Yeah. So there is no proof of concept 80% of them are going to fail, why it doesn’t make sense to pay me 25 grand. So it was an epiphany I had a few years ago realizing if I really want to charge a really good solid fee, particularly a fee that’s going to allow me to go in and train people in prison for free. I’ve got to be paid really well by the rest of my clients. I need to find people where it makes sense. So now I focus on high performers, who their executives, they’re entrepreneurs, they’re already doing well in most areas of life. And for them to invest 25 $200,000 in upgrading their life and having a be even better. Make sense. It’s an investment they want to make. But until I made that shift in target market, I was kind of kind of limited by how much I could charge.
David Ralph [33:00]
How do you obviously you can’t guarantee anything, but how do you set that, I suppose satisfaction metric, right? They’re going to get 100 grands worth of value from you.
David Wood [33:12]
What I do is I tell them that at the end of any month, they can stop, and I’ll give them a pro rata refund. So I you know, I don’t if they don’t know me very well, having them expecting them to commit to $100,000 in a year long program doesn’t really make sense. I want them to commit. But I tell them, if you don’t like it, you you’re going to be on the hook for at least the first month fee. But then you can have the rest back. Yeah. So that’s
David Ralph [33:41]
brilliant, isn’t it? Really, because you know, that’s be you to test yourself out with them. And they test you because there are some clients, God forbid that actually, you don’t like David and after a month, you think to yourself, I don’t think I’m going to bear being with this person for the rest of the year?
David Wood [33:59]
Well, I don’t know that I’ve, I’m not sure if I’ve had that. But I’ve definitely not invited people to to become a client. So I’ll do a discovery session with people who are interested to see if there might be a fit. And then there are sometimes I just don’t think it’s a fit, I don’t think I can have a great impact with them. How do you get
David Ralph [34:23]
that emotion that you?
David Wood [34:26]
Polly it’s their goals. Like if they were, if they’ve said don’t seem excited about life, then that’s just not my kind of client. If their goals don’t seem exciting to me, if I’m not inspired by the goals, then then that’s a factor. And then also the way they interact. If they’re in constant complaint or victim mode, for example, then it’s just going to be uphill for me to help them to create something new in their life. So I get a good feeling from it. And by the end of the call, usually either both of us know our hell yes, this is going to be great, let’s do it. Or it’s like, Hey, I hope you love the plan. Go and implement it. And please let me know how it goes.
David Ralph [35:08]
I love it. The other thing I could go for it
David Wood [35:10]
yet. Yeah, the other thing David is you don’t want. Like if you’re if you’re working with a coach or hiring a coach, I’d suggest you you don’t want to guarantee it changes the dynamic completely. If you know that at the end of the month, or the end of the six months, if it’s not working out, you can just quit and maybe get all your money back. What incentive Have you got to really show up, I want you to know, to feel the sting of what you’ve invested, I want you to sit up and take notice and say I’m going to do all my damn homework. Because I’ve got money on the line here. There’s a dynamic it sets up. And I think it’s very important.
David Ralph [35:46]
But the world is full of people that want a guaranteed David and I understand exactly what you’re saying. But they want to know that they can return because they want to know that the battery they buy for their car has got a three year guarantee you they want to know that the TV they can return its life is about in many ways not taking a risk anymore, it’s about going, I can return that and get another one that’s instant, you know, I can have a new partner instant, everything is the wind Brigade, as my friend said the other day they want it now they want what you can provide, but they’re not willing to actually risk big to get it.
David Wood [36:26]
I think that’s fine for a new car or TV. Because it’s a product where your input doesn’t matter very much. But if it is a relationship, then having a guarantee kind of takes you off the hook for showing up. And so you got a losing situation there. If it’s a coaching relationship, having a guarantee again, takes you off the hook, you are so much like it, you know, I was making up this number. It’s maybe 20% of my input and accountability and reflection and 80% how you show up that’s going to transform your life. So again, really important is and
David Ralph [37:07]
this is sort of spinning again. It’s all right to say and I these are leading questions to gain the conversation that I know my listeners one. But it’s all meant to say you have an epiphany, I’m going to start working for richer people. But how’d you been following them how to actually attract them into your life?
David Wood [37:28]
Yeah, that’s, I love that you asked that because it is so true. You can’t you know, I wasn’t by really hanging out with a lot of rich people. I like I’m really into like moved to Boulder, Colorado. And yeah, there’s money here. But there are a lot of people teaching yoga, and just going to Whole Foods and doing a dance meditations under the full moon. And you know, like that. So I had to I was like, how am I going to find those people. So what I did is I looked at my network, and I’ve been around for 2030 years. So I’ve got through the transformation Leadership Council, for example, I know a lot of people who are very successful, and they know a lot of successful people. So one thing I started doing is reaching out to my network and offering to coach them, give them a sense of what I can do. Ask them for referrals. And then the second thing I did, which tied in really well with the first strategy was I was going to do speaking public speaking because I love being on stage. And then a friend of mine, Ezra Firestone, actually, from smart marketer, calm, give him a little little plug there, because he’s done so much my life. He said, Why don’t you do podcasts, speak on podcasts instead of traveling around the country speaking on stages. And I just thought that was genius. So this interview here, this conversation, this is an example of me putting my message out into the world. So the right people can can find me. Now it might only be one person from every podcast that feels like like a really good fit. But that one person, we’re going to do amazing things together.
David Ralph [39:06]
Well, I agree with what you’re saying there. And it always makes me wonder why celebrities, for example, they will go on to a radio station, and they will broadcast and the people that are listening, hear it and then it’s gone. Well, with a podcast with my podcast, it’s going to be there forever, you know, you can get back to that value time and time again. And it’s not just a 15 minute chat on breakfast TV, and then away it goes. So I do wonder why people haven’t quite embraced podcasting, like, Mike, I certainly have.
David Wood [39:42]
Well, I think I think it’s going to grow. I mean, a friend of mine said to me, it’s going to 10 x over the next few years. And I’m excited by that I’m launching my own in the next couple of weeks. And you are obviously a pioneer in the field. But I think you’re right. It’s like I’m thrilled with the clients. I’ve been at this for five months. And I love the clients that have come to me already through these podcasts. And I’m aware that this is around forever. 10 years from now, someone might stumble upon a podcast interview, I had a client Find me a few years ago, I said, How’d you find me? She said I was reading a book. And you were interviewed in the in this ebook. And so I clicked and went to your website, and here we are. And she was a $25,000 client, I’d forgotten about that interview. So what stuff is around forever. And I think there’s a snowball effect. As as I, you know, now I’ve been interviewed on maybe 20 podcasts. And then each of those people knows, maybe five to 10 to 20 to 50, other podcast hosts as well. And then someone hears me on one and says, Hey, why don’t you come on this one. So this is not just for podcasting. But in marketing, in general, any kind of method that you go deep into, I believe there’s a snowballing effect, that you get more and more rewards as go deeper into that marketing channel.
David Ralph [41:02]
Well, I caught you do is and by the fact that you’re turning up, and you’re performing, and you’re presenting an honest appraisal of your skills, but in a non preachy way, you know, I’ve had some people that come on the podcast, and they just haven’t got it, they just don’t understand that the power is authentic conversation. And it’s not to just in chapter three of my book. And I remember there was a guy in his early days. And he had this kind of anagram for success. And I said to him, you know, how’s your day been? And he said, I tell you how my days been? s was for sunshine, and I woke up this morning when the sun was shining, and you was full. And I thought you’re losing me already. And you’re losing the audience, because he hadn’t quite realized that what you do in front of 100,000 people on stage doesn’t translate on a podcast. It’s the intimate See, it’s that eavesdropping quality, that makes it so powerful.
David Wood [42:05]
Good thing, I appreciate that tip. Because as I said, I’m watching my podcast soon. And I want to know, like, how’s this whole secret world work, and that that strikes me as a powerful tip.
David Ralph [42:18]
It certainly is. And you can add back for nothing, I’m not going to charge you 100 grand for that either, you can just you can just walk away with it. Well, this is what connected the whole show joins up all the dots. And I was given a speech by this man, nearly 10 years ago now. And let’s hear it again Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs [42:37]
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 leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [43:12]
Really are powerful words bows, aren’t they David
David Wood [43:15]
Wow, I got goosebumps again. That’s so true. That I think this is I was missing that word earlier when I speak into this is that word faith that like it’s some level I I followed Byron Katie a lot. She’s one of my greatest teachers. And at some level, I do believe that it’s really not my business. My business is just to keep on following my heart and doing what feels right and taking the best shot that I have with information I have, and trusting that those dots will connect up. So that word faith, I wasn’t really raised with faith. But in my later years, I’m realizing it’s not right to have faith. But it’s a nice place to stand.
David Ralph [44:00]
Remember, john lennon being asked, you know, what do you believe in and he said, I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me. And I always think to myself, that is when it comes together, when you actually start truly believing in yourself. Because certainly I think there’s a lot of fake it till you make it. And as I say to people now and I’ve said this on a few shows, it’s about live it and then give it actually take your experience and take your knowledge and take your knocks and your bad times and suck them in and believe that they were there for you, I suppose that is faith. And then you can you can transform worlds really by that power that you’ve gone through.
David Wood [44:44]
Yeah, and I don’t, I don’t think it’s blind faith, like I don’t believe in just like believing in green fairies, for the sake of it. But it just, it just seems to make sense. Even from a scientific point of view, when you have 10 or 20 years of life and you look back, you will find things that connect your find things that that start to make sense, you will make meaning of them. So it’s not silly hippie, whoo, whoo stuff. I think it’s just practical, you may as well have some faith that will line up because it’s very likely that it will end everybody listening to this as a live right now. So you’ve already got history, you can look back on your life. And you can you can write down some of those dots on a big piece of paper and just see, see what’s joining up.
David Ralph [45:29]
And that’s probably far more useful than sitting there binge watching Netflix. You know, you’ve got to be curious about the outside world. But you gotta be curious about your inner world as well. It’s the two that come together.
David Wood [45:42]
Yes. Yes, you said it.
David Ralph [45:46]
Oh, it’s powerful stuff, this powerful stuff? Well, this is the part of the show that we’ve been building up to that we call the 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 David what a would you choose? And what advice would you give him? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m gonna play the music. And when it beats you up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
David Wood [46:35]
Love that so much. I will go back in time, to the age of 25. And I would tell my younger self, there are going to be times when it feels so hard, you don’t know if you’re going to make it. You don’t know if you’re going to survive, you’re going to have some anxiety when your body just is freaking out of control. And you don’t know if it’s going to explode. And you’ll have depression where everything feels so double. And you don’t know if you’ll come out of it. But I’m here to tell you that you will. It does happen. And this word faith is something you could really apply more of in your life, because you will come out the other side.
David Ralph [47:17]
Right advice. And that’s not just to the young baby, but as to everyone as well. So David, what is the number one best way that our audience can connect with you, sir?
David Wood [47:26]
Thank you. Well, I mentioned I love doing discovery sessions. So if something resonated with you in this podcast, and you’d like to either join up dots or create a plan for your life and work, then I’d love you to request a session. I can’t accept all of the requests, but I can accept a lot of them. If you go to play for real dot life, l i f e play for real dot life. And just click on Request a session is also a great life assessment that takes about five or 10 minutes that I say, you’ll get a lot of value from it, even before you book something on the calendar for us. So request a session with me, I’d love to hear from him.
David Ralph [48:06]
And we’ll have all the links on the show notes. Of course David, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. David Wood. Thank you so much.
David Wood [48:25]
Thank you, David. Thanks for showing me what a fun podcast feels like.
David Ralph [48:33]
So be authentic, find nothing but you can do better than anybody else and play and enjoy yourself. But don’t be frightened about charging your true worth. And if your clients haven’t got the money, then go with the clients that have got the money seems pretty logical, doesn’t it? Well, David certainly nailed it. And he’s doing great things across the world. And every single one of you out there can do the same. So until next time on join up dots thank you so much for being here. And we look forward to seeing many of you in the live local support groups that we’re building at the moment. So look out for that, and I’ll see you again soon. Cheers. Bye bye. Now you’ve listened to the show don’t just listen to it without taking action. Let’s help you create the life you want join up dots is now creating local support groups across the globe, giving you the ability to surround yourself with hugely inspiring, motivational people in your own locality. Now being in direct contact with other entrepreneurs striving to make their dreams come true can be the key to accelerated success. Head over to join up dots and look for the support group near you. And let’s start making that dream come true today.