Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with John Livesay
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Introducing John Livesay
My guest today, on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview is an man who has been in sales and publication since back in 1990.
Starting his career as the sales manager for Self Magazine he worked for nearly a decade, in the world of publishing and sales via stints in Elle magazine, W Magazine and other such works.
And through this period of work, you can see the first steps towards where he is today, and more importantly want is taking up his time.
He is known as the Pitch Whisperer, who helps business owners go from invisible to irresistible with an elevator pitch.
He teaches individuals, businesses and conferences how to build the momentum in gaining sales
What he does is translate the left brain, technical speak into right brain imagination speak (where all selling happens) so people can present their offerings with a new-found confidence.
The result is that its easier for the right people to say,”Yes” and share their vision with the same excitement.
How The Dots Joined Up For John
He achieves this with the 3C’s, making sure…
1) Their CONFIDENCE is at a maximum via incredible preparation
2) They have emotional storytelling skills for CONNECTIONS that are memorable and compelling
3) They’re asking for a COMMITMENT that is irresistible.
So did he always have the belief and understanding that storytelling is such a powerful component of selling a product or service?
And when he looks back at his earlier career in sales and publishing, was this the key to where he is today?
Did he need to operate in this area to develop the skills that he has today?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Mr John Livesay
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with John Livesay such as:
John tells the story of how his Dad took a risk in his life, leaving his job to follow his passions and what an inspiration that was to him.
We discuss how it is so easy to be knocked off path by comparing yourself to the success of others. Just get your head down and do the work
How he was told by many people to go off and build his own brand, but was reluctant until finally taking the plunge and never looking back
Why John is a great believer in the slide of faith to build income whilst you are still in employment. Dont burn all your bridges, but just set it on fire once you are established.
How To Connect With John Livesay
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of John Livesay 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 [0:34]
Yes, hello there. Hello everyone. And of course, it’s David Ralph because this is join up dots and this means that you are listening to another episode, wherever you are in the world, we are coming to you. And we are spreading the world is becoming greener, when you look at podcast charts. At the very beginning, when you launch your chart, you see tiny little dots of green and that means that some poor unsuspecting victim has tuned in and found your random ramblings. And little by the it’s all the world goes green. And we are we are almost green, except for Greenland, funnily enough, which no one ever listens to a podcast and green that I don’t know what it is about Greenland. But hopefully we will get a listener there soon. Well, today’s guest is one of these guests that I’ve been looking forward to have on the show because he’s kind of he’s super talent is as fascinating as he’s backstory. And when the two come together, you really think to yourself, well got a guest here. Now he’s a man who’s been in sales and publications since back in 1990. And starting his career as a salesman, self magazine, he worked for nearly a decade in the world of publishing, and sales via stints in Elle Magazine, W magazine, and other such works. And through this period of work, you can see the first steps towards where he is today. And more importantly, what is taking up his time. He’s known as the pitch whisperer, who helps business owners go from invisible to irresistible with an elevator pitch. And he teaches individuals, businesses and conferences how to build the momentum in gaining sales. Now, what he does, and you got to concentrate on this, he translates the left brain and the technical speak into right brain imagination speak where all the setting happens. So people can present their offerings with a newfound confidence. And the result is that is easier. But a lot of people say yes, and share their vision with the same excitement. Now how he does this. And as I say this is technical stuff. he achieves this with the three C’s making sure their competence is at a maximum via incredible preparation. They have emotional storytelling skills, pick connections that are memorable and compelling. And they’re asking for a commitment that is irresistible. So did you always have to believe and understanding that storytelling is such a powerful component of setting a product or service? And when he looks back at his earlier career in sales and publishing? Was this the key to where he is today? Did he need to operate in his area to develop the skills that he is showing? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up with the one and only Mr. JOHN liver say. Good morning, john. How are you sir?
John Livesay [2:57]
Good morning, David. Thanks for that enthusiastic, detailed introduction. I love it.
David Ralph [3:03]
Well, I love it as well, because I used to work up in a city of London for years and years and years. And so I was in sales. And in those days, it was just like the cold calling, you’d pick up the phone, you’d phone a number and it was very monotonous. And even in my sort of fledgling brain, I realized that when I actually connected by telling a little bit about myself, and I used to call it sales, dating, trying to connect with the person, that sales would naturally happen. And you’re seeing it more and more on the online web now where people are really sharing their stories and building those connections. Let’s talk about what you’re doing now first, and then we’re going to sort of Delve back into it. But is this something that is just waiting to explode? Is it already exploding this understanding that storytelling is so important?
John Livesay [3:52]
Well, storytelling David has been around since Plato, Plato said storytellers rule the world. And I think it’s literally in our DNA. You know, in the caveman days, we sat around the globe of campfire and told stories, and now we sit around the glow of PowerPoint slides and tell stories. But the problem is, so many people have forgotten the importance of storytelling, and they get caught up in the numbers, and what they’re selling, and they don’t tell a story about why it matters to people. And when that happens, everybody gets bored and confused. And so storytelling is the way out of that.
David Ralph [4:27]
And it’s not rocket science Is it really you know, from the moment we’re born, we love a story, we get tucked up in bed, and it’s the company and you get lost in it. And when you watch the Disney films, it’s all stories. So it seems strange to me that we don’t translate what we know is wonder, as a child into our adult life, we lose it somewhere on the on the way
John Livesay [4:49]
we do. And when you capture that back, especially when you’re telling someone why you’re so passionate about what you’re doing. And your story of origin is what I call it, you know, here’s, here’s how you need to take them on the journey, then you’re going to pull people in, as opposed to having to be this pushy salesperson. So let’s just make that really clear that selling is pushing and storytelling is pulling people in. And when you pull people in, they remember your stories much more than your numbers. And so many people get so obsessed on the numbers and what they’re going to say and you know, at the end of the day, that’s not what gets people emotionally engaged. They’ll get engaged emotionally, and then look at the numbers later. But you can’t start with the numbers and expect people to say yes,
David Ralph [5:34]
now obviously, you know this now, john, if we went back to the 1990s, I bet you she pushy salesman, because that’s what everyone did. You was just cranking through the numbers. Do you remember those days?
John Livesay [5:46]
Oh, vividly. Yes, I you know, remember being you know, have a quota, make this many calls per day, per week, per month, and you will hit your quota yada, yada. And I just thought, okay, I’m willing to have many conversations. But I really quickly noticed that, you know, unless I showed empathy to people, and that people trusted and therefore got to a place where they liked me that they weren’t interested in listening to my can pet show, I quickly dropped that, and got into the place where I was listening to them, and would ask them some questions, so that I could customize what I might have that could fit. And you know, one of the most disarming things you can say to somebody is, this may or may not be a fit for you. And if it’s not, then maybe we’ll be better. Like when I was calling a Lexus, for example, one of the car companies, they would have new models coming out every few months. So not every model had the same target for the audience of the magazine that I was selling. And when you would step back and say, you know, this may not be the right fit, depending on who you’re targeting for this particular launch. But if it’s not, I’m sure will be a fit for another model. And it just makes the people so much more relaxed and open to hearing what you do have to say. And they realize that you’re not focused just on you and hitting your number that month, but more of a long term relationship.
David Ralph [7:09]
Now if we take you back right to the little john, a little john running around in shorts, with scabs on his knees coming back from school, what space were you perceived yourself to be? Did you have a dream of being something quite different from where you are?
John Livesay [7:26]
Well, originally, I thought I wanted to be a dentist, if you could imagine. I thought that seemed like a really, you know, I liked my dentist and I had braces as a kid. And when my braces came off, I thought, Oh, this feels great. And I actually had a tooth model, instead of an airplane model, I had a model of a tooth that opened up and showed all the veins and all that stuff. So I thought I was going to be a dentist. Well, I hadn’t really thought that through at 10 years old. Because, you know, you have to be really interested in chemistry. And I didn’t know that. And what you also have to be really good with your hands. I really hadn’t figured out that that wasn’t my forte. I’m not terribly mechanical. And of course, when you’re inside someone’s mouth, you have to really be agile with your fingers moving and things. So but yeah, so I had no idea that I was going to do what I’m doing when I was a young lad, I
David Ralph [8:18]
was going to go into a conversation piece and what other things we can do in people’s mouths, but I decided the show john, we’re not going to go there, we’re going to pull away from that one. So what interests me is the sort of essence of join up dots is basically did the stuff that we used to do as real little kids, there’s sort of natural fun things are more often than not what a person discovers but they naturally like when it all comes together for them. So what is it that you’re doing now that really bridges that gap with the really small kid that didn’t care about money would just lay on the floor doing it just because it was fun?
John Livesay [8:55]
Well, I was an avid reader from a very young kid, my parents read to me, as you said, the nighttime bed stories I couldn’t, you know, I had my favorite stories, I wanted them to read and read over and over again, I never got tired of them. And of course, I grew up on TV shows and movies. And that was always a big treat to get to go to the movie was a big reward. And I would lose myself in this story of the movie. And I would feel whatever’s going on in the screen. So I think if you connect the dots from that experience of whatever that is, I want to do it. I don’t know, I don’t want to be an actor per se. But I want to be in the world where people get transported, and take it out of everyday humdrum life into a story that, you know, either inspires them makes them sad, makes them think something that was part of it. So reading books, reading about travel, all of that was, you know, led me to the place now where I still love to travel. And I love going to different companies and helping them become storytellers. And literally that has become my personal mission is I want to make as many people as possible, understand how to become a storyteller so that they can, you know, pull people in and share their passion in a way that gets their dreams fulfilled.
David Ralph [10:12]
So it’s not about money view as such is more about transformation. You love that. the nuts and bolts of the story that takes us from one point to another, we follow along that journey. And if you do it well enough, it takes you from one point to another in your own personal life is the is the transformational journey that is more important to you.
John Livesay [10:32]
It is it’s you know, it’s the concept of the storytelling of the hero’s journey, right? We all started out in place, and then we go to another one of the favorite examples I have is, is really telling people, okay, here’s a story genre. And here’s a movie that I really love that brings that to life. And some of those are from my childhood. So you relate to that. And then here’s an actual brand that using it in their marketing so that you can start to see it for your own life. So firstly, Apple one story. genre is you know, leave home and have an adventure and then come back and tell about it. Well, that’s really the Wizard of Oz. Isn’t it David Yeah, absolutely. Right. And then of course, today, Expedia is an online travel Service says, you know, leave home, book, your trip on Expedia, have this amazing adventure, and then come home and tell your friends about it. So that’s just one of several different genres. Should we tell us about more? Do you like that?
David Ralph [11:27]
I like it, you keep on going on with you over wiser.
John Livesay [11:30]
All right, well, another one is rags to riches? Well, that’s Cinderella. I certainly watch that. And you know, everybody can relate to a man when you’re sitting by that fireplace, and the ashes and everybody’s being mean to you. How will you ever get out of that situation, so that, as you said, the transformation to you know, suddenly, things that become magical, and you become Cinderella. So you know, Johnnie Walker scotch, they use that genre, Johnnie Walker was this poor Scottish farmer. Now he’s, of course, Johnny Walker. So that’s another wonderful example of a genre a movie and then a brand. So you can start to think is that my story that I’m going to use? Another one is just a quest story, right? You know, going, like Lord of the Rings, right? That’s on a quest to find something. And that’s a Lexus getting with their tagline is the pursuit of perfection.
David Ralph [12:23]
Everyone on a quest story, john, you know, I think the world is looking for something, even if they can’t pinpoint it.
John Livesay [12:31]
Yes, but it all depends. If you want to tell that story, or you want to tell the story of why I’m on my crest, I was poor. And then I became rich. Or when I was on that story. I went and traveled near you, you know, see, there’s your specific genres within that story. For example, another storytelling genre is rebirth. So that doesn’t, you know, what’s a wonderful life? You know, the Christmas movie is a great example of that. And I think today a brand using that is Prudential. They said your retirement, your rebirth, it’s your third act in your life, reinvent yourself. So there’s different ways to look at all that.
David Ralph [13:11]
So what would you be at the moment? Would you say you were Cinderella, would you say, you know, where would you be?
John Livesay [13:20]
Well, I, I would say that the one that is really resonating with me right now is this rebirth. One, the last one I mentioned. Because leaving my corporate job after so many years, and having a rebirth of Okay, instead of being an interpreter, someone who’s got that interpret entrepreneur spirit and trying to create new things within a corporate structure, I’m out of my own now for the last three years on this whole rebirth. third act. Let’s see what we can do. rebranding myself and, you know, relying 100%, on myself for everything.
David Ralph [13:57]
And was that is obviously scary to when you do that you’re in the comfort of a salary, you’ve been in the comfort zone of such for so many years, I mean, you spending all your actions result in all your rewards, which is great, but also, all your actions result in all your failures. When you was lying in bed thinking, I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to go out on my own. What was that sort of time period? Was it you know, just go for it? Or was it six months? Was it three years? Did you build up?
John Livesay [14:26]
Well, people would say to me a lot, a lot, my friends, my family would say, you know, you should go out on your own, I’m like, Well, I don’t know about that. And then finally, I just decided, you know what, it’s now or never. And so it was sort of a slow build process, I would, I didn’t jump into something, I really sort of tested the waters. And I would encourage everybody to keep your day job while you test and see if what you’re doing fits. Because until you have a business model in place, and you’re really clear on who you help, and what problem you’re solving. And it took me a while to figure that out. And really get niche down too. I’m the pitch whisper, I’m going to help people have a you know, everybody needs a great elevator pitch, and few people have it. And if I can just help people get that, then they’re going to want to have me come and help them with their pitch to get hired or their pitch to get new clients. Or even now I’m evolved into helping people win back clients that they thought were lost. So it’s a journey that keeps evolving. And I don’t think the fear ever goes away. But you just have to learn how to put a face on it. So let me tell you what that was, for me. One of the, since you have a podcast, you may have experienced that yourself. Someone had said to me, you know, if you really want to put yourself out there and brand yourself, you know, you should have a podcast and I said, Well, I should also maybe you know try to go to the moon on or a space ride with Richard Branson or something. But it seems so out of my reach. And I thought, What am I afraid of? Let me put some faces on it. So the first fear for me, is the fear of rejection. You know, when you start anything, you’re like, well, could I talk to a client? Or in the case of a podcast, if you’re asking somebody to be on? Could I hear other episodes? Well, you’d be one of the first right so but I’ve been in sales long enough David to know that I just never reject myself. Even if somebody says no to me, it’s no right now, but I don’t reject me or what I’m doing. So that’s like, Okay, so that’s one step. The second one was the fear of failure. Well, what if I get some people to be on my podcast, that nobody listens, no downloads, I’ll be humiliated, embarrassed, have wasted all this money. And I thought, you know what, I’m just going to look at it as feedback is not if it’s not working, I’m just going to keep figuring it out until it goes. In fact, one of my favorite guests was Jay Samet, who said, you know, failures, you just keep going till you get a zombie idea. So great at won’t die. Yeah. So now I don’t fear failure at all. I just go, it’s just feedback that didn’t work, figure something else out. But the big one for me was the fear of the unknown. The technology was overwhelming. What Mike do it? How do I edit this thing out? What kind of questions should I ask? How do I promote it? And luckily, for me, I found someone who that’s their business done via podcasting. So I really see that the fear of the unknown can be handled when you don’t go it alone. You know, and you know, you’re savvy, and you can edit your own podcast, but not everybody can. So that shouldn’t stop you from having a podcast If you really love it. So that’s my three fears. And hopefully, that’s, you know, rejection, failure and the unknown. Just don’t reject yourself, look at it as feedback. And finally, get some help. Don’t you don’t have to be an expert in everything. It’s interesting,
David Ralph [17:35]
you say that, because as you were talking, I was sort of reflecting on my own story. And when I created join up dots, I didn’t have any of those. I kind of, I didn’t care if nobody was gonna listen. Because I just thought, why wouldn’t people listen, I think to myself, I’m going to get better at this. So when no one’s listening at the beginning, that’s good, because I’m not very good anyway, you know, and I’ll just sort of move through. And I just was absolutely convinced that this show was going to be, as we say, my bread and butter, it was going to grow into something. Now we’re coming up to three years now. And we’ve gone past 4.2 million downloads or whatever. And it’s got spin offs. But I keep on writing in because I don’t feel like I’ve quite nailed this before I move on to the next thing. And what I tell you that story is because I realized that with anyone who is successful, it’s about defining their their it their quality, what they bring to the table, before they go off and do something else. And you see in TV, somebody has a success in one branch. And then they say, oh, release an album, and I can’t sing for anything. And you think you know why? Just because you’re famous, you’re doing that. So I never had any doubt that this wasn’t going to be a success. But I knew that I couldn’t leave it until it was an you know, disputable success. With yourself with your paper whispering where we sat on that timeline? Are you still working towards it? Do you think to yourself? Yeah, it’s pretty close to what I realized at the beginning. Where’s the pitch whisper? Because it’s quite niche, isn’t it?
John Livesay [19:12]
That where’s the pitch? whisper? Where’s the successful pitch podcast?
David Ralph [19:16]
No, where’s the pitch whisper your brand, your brand.
John Livesay [19:20]
It definitely keeps evolving. First, I was just helping people with their pitch to get funding. And that was very niche. And, you know, I think it’s important to have a niche and really be clear. But now I’ve expanded it to help anybody who needs help with an elevator pitch, or pitching to get new clients. And as I mentioned, or even getting those clients back. So that really helps people say, Oh, we need you. We’re not in we don’t need to raise money, but we need you because for example, Gensler is one of my clients, they’re big architecture design from around the world. And they’re architects, they don’t really know about selling, and they certainly don’t know about storytelling, from the standpoint of pitching. So what they were doing was just going in and showing their designs and, and hoping that people would like their design so much, they’d hire them, as opposed to selling themselves first, through the storytelling. And it’s interesting, you talked about childhood, one of the things I did with someone there was, I said, you know, instead of just talking about how long you’ve worked here, and you know what other clients you’ve worked on, tell us a little bit about your story of origin, how did you get inspired to become an architect, and he said, Well, I used to play with Legos when I was 11. And that inspired me. And now I’m an architect, and I play with my son with Legos still, and well, that’s very endearing, and heartwarming and personal. And that’s the kind of story that cause Gensler to win an account that I was helping them on. Because it told a story of why you’re so passionate about doing this, it’s not just a job to you.
David Ralph [20:50]
And I think we’ve all personal brains, there comes a time when when you start you’re almost embarrassed of putting your name to something, you know, you, you’re doing the slide of FIFO, we say the side hustle. So you’re in a corporate gig and you’re doing something secretly. And then it gets to a point where people are starting to notice you do bad. When did you feel comfortable with what you were creating? But you didn’t feel embarrassed about the quality of your website? You didn’t feel embarrassed about your videos? When did you think to yourself? Yeah, this is kind of, you know, this is good enough, this is good enough for me to put in front of mining corporations and be happy with it?
John Livesay [21:28]
Well, I think what you said there really taps into one of my personal things is is letting go of perfection. And when someone just said, you know, focused on your progress, and I’m like, Ah, you know what, I’m going to be a progression just instead of a perfectionist, and not obsess on having to compare myself to other people. That’s really the secret for me David is, you know, I’m inspired by other people. And I see how much they’ve accomplished. But I don’t compare myself to other people, because that will send me in a downwards viral. So all I do is compare myself to myself, you know what, this is better than it was last month, it’s better than it was six months ago. And I’m going to keep it I’m not going to say Oh, my websites perfect. And I never have to change a thing. It’s always being updated, and with new weekly podcasts, and etc. and press I’ve been on. But it just continues to evolve. And so I always I never had the sense of I’m embarrassed, I just would realize, well, this is a good start. And it’s better than never having my website up. So that’s my personal experience. And that’s what I love to tell people is, you know, just do something. Don’t let perfectionism stop you from putting anything out there.
David Ralph [22:38]
I think that the the comparison, I think that is that the classic C word. That’s the big swear word. I think that’s what holds so many people back from even starting, and what I have been aware of very much john, and I’ve been talking about this on a lot of podcasts. I’ve now gone anti social media, I don’t look at anybody else’s posts on Facebook, because you’re seeing what they were want you to see. I’m interested when you’re looking at people and you’re saying, I’m not comparing with what they’re doing, you’re not really you’re comparing with what they have allowing you to see. And they’re not. You see that the kid has grown up on them as morning as they were just walking out the door and you know, their lives rubbish. It’s interesting how so many people now that I’m talking to I’m actually retracting from that be everywhere mentality, and just focusing on a very small bubble. And that’s where the money is for them?
John Livesay [23:31]
Well, there’s actually research to back up your thought there, which is the more time you spend on Facebook, let’s say, the more depressed you become, because people are curating their best moments. And then we start to fill in the dots and say, Oh, well, if they’re that happy at that moment, when they’re blowing up their birthday candles or drinks, they must their whole life must be that happy. Yeah, four, seven, and you like you said, you don’t know what happened before the picture or after the picture. They could, you know, have a great picture with their spouse. And then the next minute, that could be huge fight. But that’s not posted. So it really can drive yourself crazy. I learned that lesson when I was a swimmer since you like your childhood stories. When I was a competitive swimmer in high school. There was always a guy who beat me in a race. And you know, when you swim breaststroke, you pull your head up out of the water, take a breath and put it back down. And when you hit the wall after the race, they measure your time to the thousands of a second. And I remember doing that and they said, Oh my god, you beat him. And I said, How is that possible? And they said, Oh, he turned his head to the left when he took a breath to see if he was ahead of you or not. And you stayed focused on the wall. And I went, Ah ha.
So what I focused on my own progress, I literally win. So that’s my life lesson from my childhood that I still take today. And, you know, now you look at other in business I that really stuck with me. So I did some research. And I said, probably you know what Jeff Bezos started Amazon. People forget, they just sold books. They didn’t everything, just books. And they had Barnes and Noble competing with them online and all these brick and mortar stores. Amazon had 500 employees when they started and Barnes and Noble had 5000. But Jeff was very clear to his team and said, we’re just going to focus on being the best online bookstore not anything else. Just let’s fix that problem first, and then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do. So everybody has to put blinders on so you don’t let the competition drive you crazy.
David Ralph [25:28]
Well, let’s play some words. Now that will lead us seamlessly into the second part of our conversation, is Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey [25:35]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [26:01]
Now, I’m fascinated with that speech. And I listened to it in different ways each time. And more often than not, I think to myself, it’s the parents, isn’t it? You very few of us have real inspirational parents that really will drive us to do amazing things. Very few of us have Richard Branson as our dad, it’s more often than not just play it safe, get a job, get to 60, retire, play golf, and then hang around with a load of old people. What What was your parents like? Well, they very proud but you got into a solid career where they were you when you decided to throw it up in the air and go for it yourself?
John Livesay [26:38]
Um, well, my dad was an accountant. So I smiled when I listened to Jim Carrey talk about his dad being an accountant. And my mom was a secretary back in the day when a secretary took shorthand. And, you know, really, it was a skill of not just a virtual assistant type of thing. And my dad decided when I was about eight, that he didn’t want to do that anymore. He hated office politics. And so he and my uncle bought a business and started running that. And so I saw that he took a risk, it kind of freaked my mom out, because you know, I had two younger sisters and their bills to pay. But my dad in his own way modeled, you know, what, if you don’t love what you’re doing, find something else to do and and then he went on after that business to become a carpenter. He started making furniture. So he kept morphing. So they were always encouraging me on the importance of education more than career and finding some things. And when I decided I didn’t want to be a dentist anymore. I was like, Well, I guess I’ll drop out of college. And they’re like, Whoa, there might be some other things you could do. So that was my first lesson in letting go what I call this all or nothing black and white thinking, and that was my big challenge is my youth was, well, if I’m not doing this, I’m not doing anything, right. If I’m not going to be this, then it’s all forget it. So they were very helpful on and hapa me going, you know, well, you know, there’s somebody in my office, it was in sales, he seems to like it, maybe you should explore degree in that. And so I looked into marketing, and I thought, That’s almost it. But then when I found advertising, I’m like, aha, this combines business and show business. You know, you’re entertaining people and advertise your headline on jingles. And then that’s really, you know, made my heart sing. And I loved working in advertising. And because it’s, in essence, this this 32nd story, commercial. So So tell us
David Ralph [28:46]
a jazz hands, man, john, are you somebody that you know? Did you do like a spotlight on you? Or do you like to be just off the spotlight?
John Livesay [28:56]
I would say I’m definitely a spotlight guy. I love giving keynote talks and entertaining the audience and making them laugh and teach them something at the same time. And I think as a salesperson, one on one, my my job was to go in and be the best part of somebody’s day, when they were having a meeting with me, that was my intent.
David Ralph [29:16]
So how hard is your life now? Because you know, what Jim was saying in that clip. And it’s so true is you know, you’ve got to do what you love. And then whether you fail or not, you’ve got to take a chance in it. But when you do that, and you find the thing you love, then after a while, it kind of becomes easy. And you see people self sabotage when they’re getting paid a lot of money. And I thinking, you know, I’m not really doing anything. I’m just turning up and, and people are paying me all this much money. How easy is your life now compared to the life that you had before?
John Livesay [29:48]
Huh, what an interesting question, How easy is my life compared to the life before? Well,
it’s easier in that there’s no one cracking the whip over my head going, you have to meet this number? or Why didn’t you do this. So I get to crack my own whip. And sometimes we can be our hardest critic. I think so I, I, but I do love my life. Now. I love getting to meet people like you and being a guest on a podcast and hopefully sharing some of my knowledge that can inspire other people to do something that makes them happy and makes them money. I love having guests on my podcast and meeting them. I’ve always learned something from them. I really enjoy watching people go on that journey where they’re stumbling through a pitch and confusing people. And then after working with me, suddenly they’re soaring and their confidence goes up. And they’re getting more business. And they’re doing it in a way that’s authentic to who they are without them having to totally become this pushy salesperson. And they go, I love telling stories now. And when I tell my story, people want to work with me and oh my god, I’m really able to to
do what I love without having to put on a hat that I don’t want to put on.
David Ralph [31:07]
Which is the key, isn’t it? The key when you wake up every morning, I was talking to a lady on another podcast this afternoon. And we were saying when your body compass goes man to he, and he stands for excitement, you know that you’re on the right track. And if you wake up every morning, not every morning, but most mornings thinking how this is going to be good, I’m really looking forward to it. More often than not, you do your best work, you’re more prepared, you’re more focused, and the results are greater the rewards are greater for you, because you’re really in that sweet spot that people strive for. And it is it’s a great shame why I certainly spent so many years just going through the motions in a corporate gig just getting paid getting to the next month getting paid getting a Christmas bonus, moaning about it every now and again. And then just sort of like going through because now My life is pretty much exciting all the time. And I want the world to have that. But I know I also know that there’s a huge proportion of the world that won’t ever have it because either they won’t believe it, or they won’t take the action to make it happen. Because it always comes down to you making a decision to go, doesn’t it?
John Livesay [32:15]
It really does. I think of myself as a stock. And I’m thinking, all right, you’re going to invest some money in this stock, right? And this stock is going to invest in buying a mic and learning how to, you know, podcast, and you’re spending money to get the website where it needs to be at all the things that you would do if you were opening up a bakery or anything else. So I think the mindset is you have to say, Well, if I’m going to put my money in, I don’t know, IBM or at amp T or I can put my money in john lewis a stock. And you know what, I know john lewis a stock better than IBM and at&t and I don’t have to depend on those people working at those companies to work hard to make the price go up. So I think I’m a good bet.
David Ralph [32:58]
Oh, in the introduction, john, we were talking about the three C’s the confidence that connections and the commitment, does one have to come before the outline. But for somebody out there who’s interested in what we’re talking about, and is going to come over to your website and check out your work? Do they have to have natural competence to start building the connections and commitment? Or can I go with the connections? First of all, that then leads to the competence? How does it need to operate to really find his full power?
John Livesay [33:26]
Well, my belief is you have to start inside first is an inside job before you start putting yourself out there in person or on the web. So confidence is everything. Arthur Ashe said, the key to success is competence. And the key to confidence is preparation. So that’s really been one of my secrets to my success is I really prepared before I would go see anybody on a call, I would do some due diligence on what they’re currently doing. And be able to look, you know, if you’re going to meet somebody, look them up on LinkedIn, really, you know, do some homework so that you’re prepared. So the more prepared you are, the more confident you are. And also, you can practice what you’re going to say, when you have an opening, you know, as opposed to just winging it, you know, when you’re preparing to pitch someone, you should have a pretty good opening in your head, and ideally, also a really good closing, for example, when you’re pitching, you know, it’s just saying any questions, it’s not a good closing, in my opinion. So having those two things as your tent poles will boost your confidence. And I also encourage people to write down three or four times they knew in their life when they nailed it, right? You, you took a test, you knew you’re going to get a good grade after you walk out of the room because you knew the answers because you studied. Yeah, somebody out on a date, you probably were confident you’re going to get another date. Remember those moments before you go in to pitch. And your confidence goes up, as opposed to all the negative fear that can Oh, I really need this job, or I need this sale. And then you get all in your head and your confidence plummets. So confidence is the first step. And then once you’ve got your confidence slightly elevated, you can go into having a connection with the person. And that’s where the storytelling comes in an emotional story of why you and why now, your story of origin as I gave an example, or you know, one people love to hear is the story of a client that you worked with, and how you took them from stumbling through something to actually getting them what they wanted. So in the case of you know, and I’ve done that with Gensler, right, I told you the story of origin of how I worked with that gentleman, and then how they won the business after they had a good story. So when you tell a story like that, that people can instantly put themselves in that story and say, You know what, I want to go on that journey. That’s what I want to do, I want to be more confident. I want to have someone help me craft a story when I have a connection with people I’m trying to get to hire me. And then ultimately, it’s the commitment. And as I say, you know, when you get on an airplane, and you’re flying from London to LA or anywhere, and they start making the announcement, we’re now landing, you don’t suddenly stand up and go what I thought we’re just going to circle around forever. So you need to tell people, here’s what, here’s the journey we’re going on. And when we get there, we’re going to land the plane, we’re going to do business together, if all these things are met, right, it’s not a shock to ask someone to hire you.
David Ralph [36:19]
I think that’s brilliant. And I think it works very well on a podcast, I’m very aware on podcast, as you probably listen to him, I don’t listen to many other people’s. But I believe that they have to have a really good start. And they have to have a really good end, you have to know that you’re working towards something. And more often not you hear these shows, but they’re really good. And I just got to dwindle away to nothing. And you kind of think Well, that was unsatisfying, that was like going to bed with the most beautiful woman in the world. And then she starts snoring after you jumped into bed with it, you know? It’s not one, it’s not what you want in life, there’s got to be a satisfying ending to everything, isn’t it?
John Livesay [36:55]
Well, it’s so true, you know, you you’ve given a couple of references. We at the beginning, I said sales dating. And I would love that analogy because I use it in my invisible to irresistible ladder. So let’s talk about that for a second. Because this relates to dating and business because I find it really interesting for people. So you know, if you’ve never had this happen to you, I’m sure because you’re dashing and charming and all that. But some of us have been at a party and felt invisible, right? We see somebody we’re attracted to, and we’re invisible, and they don’t even know where you exist. And in the business world, you can you know, be selling something, your services, whatever it is, and nobody knows you exist. So that’s at the bottom rung, then you move up to insignificant, which gosh David in the dating world, I don’t know what’s worse, but you know, they see you but they’re not interested at all right. But you know, it’s the same thing in the business world, right? You’re like, yeah, we know you do this, but we’re not even interested in working with you. Because it’s not, you know, you’re just not big enough to work with us or whatever the problem is. And then maybe you say something clever, witty in the dating world and you become in you’re sitting there still not going to go out with you. But they’re at least interested to hear more, or you’ve said something that’s intrigued them a little bit. And that’s the next rung up is intriguing. I’ve literally talked to people in the business world and said, you know, if I could do this, if I could get you to feel more comfortable with pitches, if we could get you to become a storyteller, so that your clients would be not only wanting to work with you, but inspired to work with you. Would you want to have that experience? And they Yes, I’m intrigued. Tell me more. Uh huh. All right, I still don’t have a sale. But I’ve moved up from interesting to intriguing. And then it becomes irresistible, and irresistible. It’s where they see you, in the dating world as Oh, my God, I want more of this. And I better get this person before somebody else, marriage them, right. So it’s you, it’s really the fear of missing out because you know what, I only have so much time, I can only help so many people. And you know, cancer calls me their secret weapon when it comes to pitching. And if, if you’re interested in having me be a secret weapon against before your competition does, then this would be the time to pull the trigger.
David Ralph [39:08]
So when you want TV, john, and you’ve got a five minute slot you’re being interviewed? How do you get so irresistible without coming over as sort of cheesy and forceful? How do you maximize your, your personality but not come across wrong?
John Livesay [39:25]
Well, you know, when you’re on TV, you do have to be a heightened part of your personnel, they need a lot of energy, and they need a lot of enthusiasm. But the key behind it all is that you’re still authentic, you’re not faking enthusiasm or passion for what you’re talking about. Because you really are passionate about it. And when that comes out, that’s what the people really love. So I’ve been on TV several times as the expert on how to ask for what you want and get a yes. So that really is a broad topic for daytime shows news at night. People are interested in learning that so I asked somebody asked me Well, you know, how do you help people get hired if they want to ask for that? And I said, Well, one of the questions that I give people, when you’re interviewing is, you know, at the end of the interview, most likely the employer will say to you, do you have any questions for us? And some people will say, Well, what am I benefits? How much vacation to get? Like, that’s the wrong question. Instead, say, what would it look like? If I was to exceed your expectations in this job, boom, suddenly, you’re showing empathy, suddenly, you’re making it about them, not you. And you’re showing you’re the kind of person gives more. So when I gave that example, the host of the show goes, Oh, my God, that’s brilliant. So she said, I was brilliant. I didn’t say I was brilliant. I was just giving content that I know works. And it’s actually helped someone get hired and hopes that people watching could use it. So that was my intent. And that’s how you come across as someone that they want to have back. You know,
David Ralph [40:52]
this is really uncanny, john, but my son’s 15 years old, and he had to go to a fake job interview to sort of him. And he was saying, you know, I don’t know what to ask when I say any questions at the end. And I said, Yeah, and I said to him, just two days ago, what you should say to them is, if I get this job, what can I do to wow you every single day,
John Livesay [41:16]
every single day. Wow, that’s even better. Because that, you know, I’m not just gonna, you know, be a one shot wonder.
David Ralph [41:23]
Yeah, and, and he got the job, he got the job. And so he’s really worked. Well, what would I do now. So we are going to play the words that became legendary when Steve Jobs stood up and said them back in 2005. And they become the whole theme that runs through join up dots is Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs [41:39]
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 [42:14]
So are you on a path john, other people have tried before you are you creating your own do you think?
John Livesay [42:22]
I would say a little bit of both. I’m certainly inspired by other people like Tim Sanders and Jay Samet, who have written books and become keynote speakers and have a life that they love and make a difference in the world. And I’ve put my own spin on it by being the pitch whisper. So I’m not imitating them, but I’m inspired by them.
David Ralph [42:44]
And do you take the best of them? Or do you just do your own thing? Is it the fact that they’ve gone before? You? You know, it’s possible?
John Livesay [42:52]
Yes. For example, I look at their websites. And I’ll say what, on this website, the way it’s laid out the way they have their videos edited? way they’re very, how do they produce content to clearly positions them as a brand? How can I use that template to create my own? So yes,
David Ralph [43:11]
he’s it’s a great blueprint for success, isn’t it. But if you choose maybe two or three people in your environment that you want to be in and look at what they’re doing really well. But it’s strange. People don’t do that. They will ask their mates down the pub, they will ask, you know, their special partner, whatever, what do you think I should do? And I always say to them, ignore all the advice, but just look at the three people that are really rocking and rolling, and do your own thing. But what they’re doing as well. And it just works.
John Livesay [43:44]
Yes, it’s true. If someone’s already figured out how to invent the wheel, you don’t have to start from scratch, right? Yeah.
David Ralph [43:52]
So in your journey, your timeline, your join up dots When did it start coming together? We call it your big story. But when when you look back, you think, yeah, that that was it. That was the moment when, you know, I started transitioning, really with confidence to where I am now.
John Livesay [44:10]
I would say when I one salesperson of the year at Conde Nast, that was a big affirmation of Okay, you now have the confidence, the credibility and the proof to know that your way of selling, connecting with people emotionally telling stories, taking the long view actually works. And now you are able to leverage that experience and that success into a book and into a podcast and into being a keynote speaker, where what you have to offer has been proven so that people will believe what you have to say,
David Ralph [44:47]
as a strange how we cling to these, these recognition. You know, we don’t actually need it. It’s dumb bows, magic feather, it’s something we can hold, and then flap our ears and fly at the moment I going forward for the British podcast awards. And one of my colleagues who’s a podcaster said, you know, with your audience in your profile, you should go for it. What’s the point, you know, and now a minute, God, I want to win it, I really want to win it, john, I’m absolutely nailed down to winning it. But I know that ultimately, I don’t need it as recognition. But on a human level or a time, I don’t know what it is. It’s Dumbo magic, wherever it will just give you that, that flag to wave as you go forward with your career.
John Livesay [45:31]
Well, we can look for outside signs, that doesn’t have to be an award per se. When I wrote my first book.
I reached out to Tim Sanders, who already had his first book out Love is the killer app, and had asked him, we’ve developed the relationship and a friendship. And I said, here’s the book I’m working on, about helping people soar their way to success through selling in a whole different way. And would you ever consider writing the foreword to it? And he Well, I’ve talked to my agent and I think about it, it’s it’s a lot. It’s a big ask. It’s not just a quote on the back cover. And when he said yes, about two months later, that was a huge, I was a static because I thought someone I respected admire, see something in me that they’re willing to put their name on and, and talk about that will help me in my career. He said that so we can look for other people to support us on our journey and in any way possible. But it requires again, the confidence to even ask.
David Ralph [46:36]
Yeah, as you say, it all starts within, as this show always ends where we are. Now this is the part 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 young john, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m gonna play the theme. And when it beats you up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [47:04]
Here we go with the best beer on the show.
John Livesay [47:23]
Jon Lovitz say you’re 21 years old, you’ve just graduated from college, you think you want to get a job in advertising, and that’s fine. But I have a couple pieces of advice for you. Relax, it’s all going to turn out. You don’t have to know how what’s going to happen. Just trust yourself, and enjoy the journey instead of stressing out about what’s going to happen when learn some patience, and enjoy the ride.
David Ralph [47:54]
Right advice? John Livesay. What’s the number one best way that our audience who’ve been listening can connect with you, sir?
John Livesay [48:00]
Well, the best way is just to go to my website, John Livesay calm. And on there, if you put in your email, I’ll send you my PDF of the three mistakes to avoid when you pitch for anything. And then of course, you can also find my podcast the successful pitch on iTunes or on my website. And that’s all great content and free and on Twitter. I’m at john underscore Levis, a Li v as in Victor E. Sa Why?
David Ralph [48:26]
Right stuff. Well, john, 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. John Livesay thank you so much.
John Livesay [48:40]
Thank you, David
David Ralph [48:43]
Mr. John Livesay. He talked with passion, didnt he. about sales. And a lot of people think sales is icky. But I’m seeing more and more people that are selling just by being themselves because it attracts the other people, it attracts tribe. They’re not trying to force things on, as john was saying, they’re pulling people towards you. And the more that you’re authentic, and the more you’re passionate, and you’re enthusiastic and you know your stuff. Naturally, people will come to you and look around and then convert them into sales nine in a key way, but in just a positive and enthusiastic way. Thank you so much for listening to join up dots as I always say thank you so much to anyone who’s been over on iTunes and left a rating and review that’s always really, really useful. Can’t get enough of those. And until next week, we’ll see you again. Cheers. Bye bye
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to join up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on join up dots.