Welcome to the Join Up Dots Podcast with Mort Fertel
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Introducing Mort Fertel
Mort Fertel is today’s guest on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast.
He is a leading authority on the psychology of relationships with a global reputation for saving marriages.
He’s the creator of Marriage Fitness, a new methodology to marital healing (a proven alternative to marriage counselling).
This breakthrough relationship renewal system was born out of Mort’s own marital crisis, as he and his wife worked together to pick up the pieces of their marriage after the tragic loss of three children.
Marriage Fitness, which instructs couples to set aside their problems and make positive choices going forward (instead of fixing their broken past), has saved millions of couples from marital crisis.
How The Dots Joined For Mort
Mort has been a featured expert on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and the FOX News Network; he’s also a frequent guest on talk radio programs.
The Marriage Fitness program has appeared in numerous media publications, including The New York Times, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, USA Today, and many more.
Mort is a former marathon runner who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania before serving as the CEO of an international nonprofit organization.
When he’s not helping others build strong relationships, Mort loves spending time with his wife and five children at their home in Baltimore, Maryland.
So does he look back and think wow I have tackled something bigger than I could have possibly dreamt off?
And would he recommend people following suit and start their own business?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mort Fertel.
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Mort Fertel such as:
We discuss the difference between pain and torture and discover that pain always has a purpose. Use the pain to find solutions for better relationships.
Why a couple does not have to be compatible to be truly connected and build an amazing relationship that lasts.
Mort and his wife actually didn’t want to start a business, but they had the passion to create a mission to help the world.
Why it is so important to identify and resolve the problems in your life to change the dynamics of your marriage.
How To Connect With Mort Fertel
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Interview Transcription Of Mort Fertel Interview
David Ralph [0:01]
Once upon a time, there was a guy with a dream, a dream to quit his job to support himself online and have a kick ass life. Little did he know that dream would lead him into a world of struggle, burnout, I’m dead, until you found the magic ingredient and no struggles became a thing of the past, of course, was that person. And now My dream is to make things happen for you. Welcome to Join Up Dots.
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. Good morning to you. Good morning to you one and all. Thank you so much for being here on the Join Up Dots podcast show Giving you the inspiration and the motivation to go out and create your own business, get your own dream lives and basically have a bloody good time in the process. Well, today’s guest on the show, he is a leading authority on the psychology of relationships with a global reputation for saving marriages. He’s the creator of marriage fitness, a new methodology to marital healing, a proven alternative to marriage counselling. Now this breakthrough relationship renewal system was born out of his own marital crisis as he and his wife worked together to pick up the pieces of their marriage after the tragic loss of three children. Now marriage fitness which instructs couples to set aside their problems and make positive choices going forward. Instead of fixing their broken past as a the millions of couples from marital crisis. He’s been featured expert on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and the Fox News Network and he’s also a frequent guest on talk radio programmes. Now the marriage fitness programme has appeared Numerous media publications, including the New York Times, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, and many more, and he’s a former marathon runner who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania before serving as the CEO of an international nonprofit organisation. Now, that’s all busy stuff, but when he’s not helping others build strong relationship, he loves spending time with his wife and five children at their home in Baltimore, Maryland. So does he look back and think, Wow, I’ve tackled something bigger than I could have possibly dreamt up starting this. And what do you recommend people following suit and starting in their own similar business? Well, let’s find out as we bring on the show to start joining up doors with the one and only Mr. Mort Fertel
Mort Fertel [2:47]
Good morning, David. I’m doing great. Thank you so much.
David Ralph [2:50]
It’s lovely to have you here. I need to start right from the start big you know, I can’t think how terrible it is to lose preaching. Children so you know, let’s let’s get away from it but bad times have led to good times would you say in Join Up Dots sort of formula?
Mort Fertel [3:11]
Yeah, we, you know, we we really responded in the end, we responded very well to a tragic situation and take away from the pain of the tragedy and the difficulty of the time, but at least we’re able to look back and see that it did have a purpose. It did have a meaning. You know, somebody wants shared with me the difference between,
you know, sort of pain and torture.
torture is when your pain has no purpose, but pain itself. If you can find meaning and purpose in it, it’s tolerable and in the end to the book, sometimes be a blessing.
David Ralph [3:57]
Well off the 2000 plus shows of Join Up Dots. Literally every man and woman will say that the darkest times in their life were actually the lightest times when they look back on it, it was the moment that they either got the strength or the clarity, or the motivation and enthusiasm to make things better not only for themselves, but for other people. And that’s how a business is born. So, as I say, big credit to you to turn that into a positive and let’s make it a whole show. A positive. Now, you’ve got something here that is the marriage fitness and you say it’s a new methodology to marital healing, a proven alternative to marriage counselling now, I’ve never been to either. I’ve got a rock solid marriage, hopefully Fingers crossed. But what actually is the difference in between marital healing and marriage counselling.
Mort Fertel [4:52]
You mean diversity, marriage, fitness and marriage counselling?
Marriage fitness is the name of the methodology that I created. It’s An alternative to marriage counselling. And the differences in short, marriage fitness is not about fixing what’s wrong. It’s about making new things, right. And what I came to realise was that in a relationship when you make new things, right, it creates a connection between the husband and wife. And it’s that lack of connection. It really is ultimately, at the core, the problem of every relationship, in marriage counselling in marriage therapy, typically, of course, it all depends on the therapist. So there are certainly exceptions. But typically, they start with the question of what’s wrong. And you get launched into a whole discussion about your problems and your issues, and you try to sort of resolve conflict. But those problems that issues that are, are the answer to that question those problems and issues that you might identify as the problem in the relationship. Really just a symptom, it’s not really the problem, even though it’s what would come to mind and what bothers you. Really, the problem at the at the core is a lack of connection between a husband and wife. And when a husband and wife reconnect, when those problems just sort of disappear. I’ll give you an example. You know, typically in marriage counselling and therapy, they’ll work on communication techniques, right? And you know, he’ll learn about Mars and children learn about Venus, and they’ll practice all these different communication techniques. And they’ll repeat after me that I understand what you said. And the irony is, this is after 510 15 years of marriage and really knowing each other upside down and inside out, and we can’t seem to see two words to each other and communicate well, without using all these fancy communication techniques. And even then it doesn’t work. But if you think back to early in your relationship before you really knew each other, you could communicate with the Wink of enough and you finish each other’s sentences. And he didn’t know the difference between Mars and Venus and you had practised any communication techniques. How could that be? Because at the beginning, you were connected, and 10 510 15 years down the line, that connection got broken. And so communication techniques don’t lead to a deep connection between a husband and wife. It’s the other way around. A deep connection between a husband and wife leads to easy communication. And so, in typically, in marriage, counselling and therapy will go backwards into the past the problems and the issues and try to resolve them. The marriage fitness approach is completely different. We’re not about trying to fix what’s wrong. We’re about trying to make new things right. Because at the end of the day, it’s by doing that you really do end up fixing what’s wrong. It’s one of my own students said I can’t take credit for this line, although it’s perfect. He said I get it what you said the problems don’t actually get resolved, they just dissolve. And that’s perfectly said.
David Ralph [8:08]
Now, I don’t understand why marriages go wrong. As I say, you know, I think that it is a lack of communication. Me and my wife had nothing in common at all other than the love of ourselves and each other, and the love of our family and our kids. And if she wants to, you know, do something, I am the polar opposite, but we just find that common ground. And we always know that. It’s even when it’s at its worst, it’s still the best thing around. I don’t understand why people stop talking to each other. Where as you say, when you first meet, you literally sit talking for hours and you’re on the phone or you’re in restaurants or whatever, and you just can’t get enough of each other. Why do people stop talking?
Mort Fertel [8:56]
So before I answer that, if you don’t mind, I just want to say you just have on something. It’s fascinating and brilliant. And I want to just underscore it for your audience. What you just said about your marriage was that you and your wife have almost nothing in common. And yet you have a great marriage and are deeply in love. And in a in a very personal way, you just addressed one of the biggest myths about relationships, which is that a successful relationship has to include people who are quote, compatible. I call this the compatibility. It says if liking the same music and wanting to go to the same sporting events and liking the same food and liking the same climate tastes and furniture and who knows what else people think is like makes me compatible with the other is what makes for a successful relationship. And that is a total lie. Compatibility has nothing to do with a successful relationship. There are plenty of couples like yourself, who might not consider themselves quote compatible, but in working connected, they feel close, they feel they feel in love. And that’s not because they share the same interests. It’s because they share the same life. And compatibility is something that’s very vulnerable. It could be when you first meet and fall in love, it could be that you do that you are compatible, that you do have a shared interests, for example. But if it’s those shared interests that are the the cornerstone of the relationship, then the relationship is very vulnerable. Because interests can change, tastes and music can change decisions about what kind of job you want, and where you want to live can change. But when you have a deep core connection, like you just described, that you have with your wife, that’s not vulnerable to these outside compatibilities and therefore, the relationship is not horrible. So I know that didn’t answer your question, but I hope you don’t mind. Just taking a moment, it was fascinating what you said. And it just gave me an opportunity to bring out to your audience a really important point. That’s often. Yeah. So an answer to your question, why do people stop talking? Look at the risk of being repetitive. Why? Let’s talk about why people talk. People talk because they feel close. People talk because they want to share their life. People talk because they feel connected. They feel intimate. And so people stop talking. People distance themselves from their spouse, when they start to feel disconnected. When they feel don’t when they feel not close, when they feel like this person is no longer integrated into my like, the inner part of my life. And so then I have nothing to talk about. And the things that I really want to say that are really all my mind that in my heart, I don’t feel comfortable sharing anymore. Because I don’t feel that closeness and intimacy.
David Ralph [12:07]
I’m going to jump in there mo because I know that my wife has 100 million conversations going on with people in 100 million different ways. All of them more than you know, a few words here, a few words there. And I say to her, you know, why don’t you phone them up and just talk to him? Oh, I don’t want to talk to them. And she’s just having all these like bite size all of them conversations with people on messenger and, and WhatsApp and all that kind of stuff. Has that, in your view changed the way that relationships occur? Because, you know, if you go back 100 years ago, you know, before electricity when it went dark, you probably made up your own entertainment. And most of it was about being with each other.
Mort Fertel [12:49]
So this question, this could be an entire podcast itself. This is a big topic, which I have a lot to say on and you know, you’ll you’ll you The interview and you tell me our deep you want to go into the slave
David Ralph [13:03]
you? I will, sir.
Mort Fertel [13:06]
Okay. But just to start, I think I think that one of the ways in which he has a big impact on relationships is that technology digital communication allows us to experience what I call counterfeit connection. In other words, this this poor connection that I was describing, which is the essence of love, and the heart soul of a good relationship between a husband and wife, person get sort of a calc, a sort of Kwazii counterfeit experience of that collection through digital communication. But the problem is that that connection that we have through digital communication, with government with maybe sometimes dozens or hundreds or even thousands of people It’s a very wide connection. The net is cast very wide. I can touch and reach and share my photos and my life with a lots of people. But the connection, it’s wide, but it’s very shallow. But the real richness of life, the real fulfilment in life comes not from a wide, wide connection that is shallow. It comes from narrow connections that are very deep, but I say narrow, I mean, with a small group of people and if you think about in your life, who’s really important to you, what, what relationships really bring your life fulfilment, satisfaction, and enrichment. It’s usually just a few relationships. And if you’re not experiencing this, if you don’t relate to what I just said, it’s probably because you’ve been seduced into this wide net of shallow relationships at the cost of the expense of the real fulfilment, that comes from a few relationships that go really quite deep. So this digital communication that allows us to connect widely what’s at risk our marriages, and the whole secret of a, a small number of relationships. And this is a, you know, a wide net discussion a little bit. Isn’t it fascinating that we are in the most abundant times in the history of the world. We have the ability to communicate and have relationships with more people. We have more comforts or conveniences, higher standard of living, greater ability to communicate, travel, to get well with we’re sick access to medicine. I mean, standard of life is, is just off the charts. If you look at World History, at the same time, that we have advanced in that way, the rate of depression, suicide, loneliness, adoption, adultery, alcoholism, drug addiction, and the list goes on has skyrocketed.
Unknown Speaker [16:27]
How could that be?
David Ralph [16:28]
Well, we all know why that is done way. We all know why that is.
Mort Fertel [16:32]
Right. And I think the reason is exactly what we’re speaking about here. Because many of these things, and these are the shallowness of these things, and of our relationships are coming at the expense of the things that really matter most.
David Ralph [16:52]
know if we spin this on our own its head and take it into the more entrepreneurial view. of the business that you’ve built. Do you need to have lived this to be able to teach this? So if somebody is out there, and they’re listening to this conversation, and they’re thinking, Oh, marriage support, I’d never thought of doing that. Do you need to have a crappy marriage to be able to teach people? You know how to do this?
Mort Fertel [17:21]
I don’t know if you need to, but it’s hard for me to imagine otherwise.
I can’t see you need some because I don’t feel comfortable saying that. But let’s put it this way. I can’t imagine it otherwise, I can tell you that the feedback I get from the people that I have worked with, in my programme, is that the programme works, they succeed, because they know I’ve been where they’re at. And I can show them firsthand how to get from where they are to where they want to be. Yeah. And it’s not something that I learned in a classroom. It’s not an intellectual Ever. It’s based on not only my own personal experience, but it’s based on the professional experience I’ve had working with thousands and thousands and thousands of couples that have taken them through this path. So, you know, I think that one of the, just to tie it back to previous piece of our discussion, I think that one of the problems or failures with marriage counselling and marriage therapy is sometimes the marriage counsellor, and the marriage therapist. In other words, I don’t think, for me to really succeed and for you to really learn how to turn your marriage on, I have to be a live wire. You have to be able to feel in the what I’m teaching and what I’m sharing. It can’t just be some intellectual endeavour. And I think in many cases, I mean, look, let’s be honest, you know, to get a licence to be a marriage counsellor. You don’t even have to be married. No less have a good marriage. Yeah. Right. I mean, it’s it is a academic endeavour, which is kind of silly if you think about it, because what in the world is academic about trying to transform a marriage? I mean, this is typical of man, I’m going to make a commentary outside of marriage camp. This is typical of the entire mental health industry, right? Entire mental health industry wants people to think that it is a science, not an art, they want to be able to assign diagnostic codes. They want to be able to relate to the science of mind. And by the way, they want to be able to get paid by insurance companies. And in order to get paid by insurance companies, you have to assign a diagnostic code and in order to have a diagnosis, so you have to make this like sort of scientific, what we’re talking about the heart, we’re talking about. Soul, we’re talking about the mind. And it’s not scientific, you know, it is a bit of an art. And it has a lot to do with character development. And so, you know, the entire mental health industry, not just marriage counsellors and therapists have really, you know, tried to try and try to sort of transform this into something sort of scientific. And it’s much more of a personal. And if you haven’t been there and haven’t experienced it, how can you possibly give somebody something that you don’t have? You know, the analogy that I sometimes like to use is, let’s say you wanted to know about the moon. You could go in one of two directions. We could go to Harvard, and speak to some Professor on astronomy. And I imagine he could share with us a lot of interesting data about the moon. There’s somebody else we could talk to, though that I think would be much more excited.
Unknown Speaker [21:01]
David Ralph [21:04]
Yeah, but he wouldn’t talk to you when he he never want to talk about the moon at all. I would Neil Armstrong with a
get the point. I get the point I get the point. Well, let’s listen to these words now. And then we’re going to be back with more detail.
Steve Jobs [21:24]
You ready to make a full time living online? Check out the amazing Join Up Dots business coaching. Hello, my name is Alan. And I’ve just completed the excellent eight week course with David before I started working with David Actually, I had no idea where to where to start. I had a lot of ideas about what I probably thought was going to be good in business. David was out to help me through that guy to find that passion. Within literally minutes. We had we had a business idea. And for the last seven weeks, we’ve been building on it and building on that and the position I’m in now but if you’ve got an element Here on my own, because of the amount of information that David gives the structure, he’s got the full package here. And he explains it in a way that I can understand. His support is is phenomenal. I feel like this is the way business is supposed to work, maybe help me understand what would the logical steps that I should do? How, how can I get this up and running? So I would really recommend this is an excellent course helping you if you have an idea, you have no idea, really teasing that out and some of the practicalities and steps to take to really launch your business whether as a full time job was a side hustle. So it was really excellent. I recommend it for anybody thinking about setting up their own business, or both. It’s an exaggeration to say David will totally save you, us. Thank you, David for your amazing help and support which keeps on going. And we certainly couldn’t be where we are today without you. So your author
David Ralph [22:55]
job you would love to become my next success story and have your own life changing. Business following my step by step system, fine tuned over many years to take away the effort and expense that others struggle with, and come across to Join Up dots.com and book a free call with myself. Let’s get you living easy life, as it’s there waiting for you to get it. That is Join Up dots.com business coaching. So, mort, let’s take you back to the early days of your business, you’ve gone through difficulties in your marriage, you then decide to actually transition and build this business now. What you doing similar stuff beforehand, was this a natural transition? Or was this a total right term?
Mort Fertel [23:43]
It was a total return. And I think that it’s important for people that are interested in starting a business to the most important thing, I think, is passion. And that’s why You know what one thing I think that people can learn from my experience from a business point of view is that it came from a very personal place. I mean, my I really wasn’t interested in starting a business. I was interested in starting a mission. My wife and I really felt after we discovered sort of this methodology for reconciling marriages, and at the same time realised how pathetic that the help that was available to people out there that were in similar situations, we really felt like we had a responsibility to sort of share this with the world kind of codify it and articulate it in a way that other people could utilise it. And it wasn’t it wasn’t like, it wasn’t coming from a business place. It was coming from a place of being useful, a place of being helpful, a place of wanting to, you know, to contribute to two people into the world and asleep. Freaking away. And, and that translates into passion. And that kind of energy behind a quote, business is so crucial to its success. It’s crucial to its success for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s incredibly motivating to the people behind the business. I mean, if you’re just motivated to build the business, because you why because you want to make money because you want to drive a fancy car because, like, why there, it’s just that that motivation is going to work very quickly and very easily unless there’s something else behind it that’s really driving you.
David Ralph [25:41]
But I’m just going to stop you there because what you’re saying is absolutely right. And that’s why so many businesses fail because they’re basically screaming, bye, bye bye. And they’re not thinking about Help, Help Help. But with your mission, did you have income coming in that allowed that mission to growing in the beginning,
Mort Fertel [26:02]
I didn’t, but I was
30 I was in my late 30s when I first you know, created the marriage fitness methodology. So, so I already had a whole career before that I had, I had actually multiple careers before that. And so I had some we had some money to live on. I didn’t, I didn’t have to be working I was I was I had the luxury of being able to develop marriage fitness, without having to draw an income from it for a while,
David Ralph [26:38]
was have a plan to monetize it because what I want to say is well, more moving through the sort of business coaching world is people leave that final sale on the table for too long by build something based on a mission and then they feel almost guilty about saying, although I’ve been doing this for free Although I’ve been building this to help you, actually, I deserve some payment for it. Did you find that was a bridge too difficult to cross yourself?
Mort Fertel [27:09]
That’s a great question. I had no problem with that. And the reason I had no problem with that is because I always had in mind even though it was driven, very mission driven, I always had in mind that I always knew that I wanted it to be profitable. And I wanted to profitable not only because I need to support my family, and I’m not a, you know, I’m not embarrassed to say I wanted to make money I needed I needed to make money. But I wanted it to be profitable, because in order for it to be successful, it had to be profitable. I can’t do what I do, unless I’m able to support my family and do it at the same time. So in order for me to make the contribution that I wanted to make in order for me to have the impact that I wanted to have, the way I was going about this had to be profitable. So then why are you always always had that in mind and I hit No problem with, you know, the two piece right purpose and profit, or the two M’s margin and mission. And I don’t think they’re in conflict with each other. I think they actually go hand in hand, because the profit drives the purpose, the margin drives the mission. And I also think that
we the profitability is an indication or a measurement of the contribution that you’re making. I mean, if people aren’t willing to pay you for what you’re doing, then maybe it doesn’t have any value. Now, I’m not saying that that is always the case. There are. I don’t mean to disparage nonprofits. There are plenty of nonprofits who are doing very, very good work. And there is no business model that could never fund them. They need to rely on contributions and I’m not disparaging that It’s fun. But, but in my mind, also, you know, the fact that people are willing to pay you for your product or your service is an indication of the value that it’s bringing them.
David Ralph [29:12]
Well, it’s not just the value, though is it is the value, and it’s the transformation. And that’s the thing that I think people struggle with, they sell a product, but they don’t actually think how is this going to transform somebody, and it’s either from pain to pleasure, from broke to financial or whatever, they just give a product that sort of sits in the middle somehow, and it doesn’t take them from one side of the bridge to the other. Do you see that a lot, because it seems obvious to me when I see a product I think it’s never gonna sell because you’re not actually giving them the rest of the bridge. You’re just getting them halfway across.
Mort Fertel [29:50]
So do I see a lot I mean, I’m not really, you know, I’m in a different kind of gal or I’m not a business guy. I’m not. I don’t, I don’t usually look at things like so much from a business perspective. So when I see products or services that I don’t know, I’m more I look at them, I think more from a consumer point of view than a business point of view.
David Ralph [30:17]
Now, how does your wife fit in to the business as well? Is it something that you total down to a little office in your house and sort of deal with customers and clients well, or is she part of it is, is the marriage fitness actually a marriage concern?
Mort Fertel [30:35]
The most important way that she’s a part of it and this is, you know, I think an important insight for entrepreneurs and would be entrepreneurs. The most important way she’s a part of it is that she’s supportive of it. You know, she, she believes in what I’m doing. She is helpful when she can be and she just in every way is Part of loving in, in my work. And that’s important, because I see with a lot of business owners or even other people who are not necessarily owning their own business, but very, very into their careers. Sometimes a person’s career can become a real sticking point in the marriage. And that’s a big problem. It’s not only a big problem for the marriage, but anybody that’s been through that will tell you, it’s a big problem from a business point of view. Because, you know, when I go to work every day, I’m able to focus 100% on my work, and I’m not worried that, you know, my wife is doesn’t like what I’m doing or feels second place to my work or doesn’t believe whatever like, I just feel her love and support and that like unleashes me to with, you know, a pure heart and a pure mind to Just, you know, go into my work. So I think that that’s the most important way she’s supportive. She’s also supportive, or she’s also involved because, you know, when it comes to she’s not involved in the day to day. But when it comes to, you know, significant decisions, or, you know, big issues, I’m always talking to her about what’s going on. First of all, I’m talking to her about what’s going on because from a marital point of view, this is a very important marital skill to be able to really share your life with somebody and keep them keep them integrated into your life on a day to day basis.
David Ralph [32:40]
also, because entrepreneurs generally I find, as you’re saying that they get the support but they don’t get the understanding the part that doesn’t really understand why somebody wants to quit their job and start creating their own business. They they don’t get it they’re all white as it is go off to work, but other diets can Back in the evening, we are okay this way. Why do you want to do that? So what you’re saying that that that level of support, which is underpinning the business but not actually impacting on the business, it’s like as I’ve been talking to you today, I’ve had a message come through from my wife, and she says, Do you want to sandwich? You know, it’s just little things like that, that she’s thinking or he might not have a chance to eat today. Let’s make something easier for them. And it makes a whole lot of interest in the business easier for me.
Mort Fertel [33:32]
Yeah, hundred percent. And if if you’re saying that, you know, lots of entrepreneurs whose spouse doesn’t understand their desire to go out on their own, that maybe is the next step or the first step that they should tackle before they go out on their own. And that is, get it right with your spouse. Because if you don’t have the support and love, if you’re not going to be in it together, that doesn’t mean you have to work day to day together, but If you’re not in it together, meaning on the same page, it’s going to be very hard to succeed. You’re gonna, you’re going to be feeling you’re gonna feel torn. You’re going to, you’re going to feel like you don’t have support from home. It’s gonna it’s going to impact both your marriage and your business. And I see lots of businesses struggling, because the marriage is failing and people can’t focus. It takes a lot of time divorces, very expensive, marital crisis is emotionally consuming. It’s devastating you have to have that could be the first step, the work that you have to do is to answer that question from your spouse. Why do you want to do that so that they can get on the same page?
David Ralph [34:39]
We went out for a drink recently with some old friends. I haven’t seen him for a few years. And they were saying, you know, how’s the business going and stuff? And I was saying, Yes, brilliant. Yeah, it’s great. We’re going marvellously and my wife said, you know, when it wasn’t No, it was it. You know, our marriage was in crisis. And it was the first I knew of it. And I went to what do you what do you mean now marriage was in Christ. CC hasn’t been. And she opened up to how she was feeling. Four years ago when I was saying, you know, it’s about the business. I’ve got to get the business up and running and I wasn’t giving her time. And for some reason at that time, we didn’t talk. And now 2020 is all about having weekends away and having a disconnect, because I realised that my rose tinted view of marriage actually wasn’t as rose tinted. But it was from my point of view, I just thought it was okay until, as I say, she opened up in the pub and told me what was going through her mind four years ago.
Unknown Speaker [35:39]
I hear it.
David Ralph [35:40]
Now, when you hear that from people because one of the things about your business is and we see it with sort of shrinks and the staff. Most of them have mental issues themselves because they’re dealing with people’s problems all the time. How do you separate yourself from other people’s distress and disappear pointment and issues to come back as a freshman and you’re not dragging it with you.
Mort Fertel [36:09]
Yeah, I don’t know if there’s a system to that it’s it’s not easy.
I don’t know if I have a good answer to that I just do the best I can when I leave work, to leave work, and come home and engage with my family.
David Ralph [36:29]
And where he’s work more to is in the house. His office. Yeah.
Mort Fertel [36:33]
Yeah, you asked that before. No, I don’t work from home. It’s a separate office
David Ralph [36:37]
and was a career decision that you made to separate it.
Mort Fertel [36:41]
It was in the very beginning, I was working from home. But as time went on, and you know, things develop and expanded and grew and I needed employees and it just, I just needed to separate I needed to separate it.
David Ralph [37:02]
Is because you do, don’t you? You did because I built a brick built recording studio. At the beginning it says live from the back of his garden. And it’s absolutely true. I’m as far at the back of the garden as I can be. Nobody will bother me for a whole day until I then go home and my home is 15 steps down the garden past the washing line. And I’m, you know, I’m back in the office, but I couldn’t do what I do at home. I just know. And when people say to me, oh, it’s great working from home. I always think how do you motivate yourself when life is going on around you all the time? How do you sort of get that business professionalism?
Mort Fertel [37:41]
Yeah, there’s different issues around working from home that I think impact people differently. Like the motivation working from home is one challenge that people have. It’s not really one that I had. I didn’t find that that was an issue. I know. As I mentioned, it’s my work is very mission driven and I’m highly motivated. So that really wasn’t an issue. One of the biggest issues when I work from home originally was when my kids were little. And it took a lot of emotional energy to sort of block out when I had to the noise of the home in order to focus on my work. And I was definitely relieved of that. And I felt infused, you know, infused with of energy. When I bought this office, and you know, it’s about 10 or 15 minutes from my home. So it was great while I was working at home, I have no regrets about it. In fact, my kids talk about that time in our life because I would have, you know, breakfast lunch and dinner with them. You know, unusual for working father to, you know, to be Oh, by the way, that was confusing to people. We we homeschooled our kids. So it wasn’t just me it was home. You know, it was the whole family, my wife and five kids. So it was a very special time But eventually, you know, I had too many employees and too much going on and the kids you know, it was a emotionally taxing to sort of block out all that was going on in the house when I needed to. So it was great while we did it and having the office, you know, for the last number of years or whatever, it’s been seven years. Also,
David Ralph [39:25]
because I’m extremely focused in 2020 on as I call it, empty scale, building the smallest most profitable business that you can have that doesn’t have employees but doesn’t have hassles you find your sweet spot you find the the 8020 but means a lot of the hassles that people have, you haven’t got. I’m always fascinated when a business gets to a point when it goes from being an entrepreneur to having employees because then ultimately, you have got an added level of responsibility of people paying I don’t pills. Was that difficult journey to do as well for you? Or did you just breathe into that accepting the fact that From then on, you’re actually the breadwinner that helps other people make a living themselves?
Mort Fertel [40:17]
So, so to clarify, I don’t I’m certainly going to answer your question, but I don’t know if I’m the best person to answer the question because to clarify, I do have, you know, a few employees. You know, depending on how you count, who you count and part time full time, I have like four or five employees. But it’s, you know, that transition from a sort of small, you know, entrepreneurial thing to a much larger operation with many employees. That transition that you’re describing. I’ve heard other business people talk about it. I don’t know that I ever really made that transition. I mean, I don’t have a big operation. Certainly There was a transition to a few employees. And that’s true. But there really wasn’t, I don’t know, it wasn’t such a, it wasn’t such a big deal. And, you know, it’s, you know, most of them are, you know, helping me on an administrative level. So I don’t know that I’m really the best one to speak to that transition from small entrepreneur to all of a sudden somebody who has really a significant labour force. I’ve never really done that.
David Ralph [41:30]
I was just looking at picture of you and your wife and I had to sort of widen it up very beautiful lady. I suddenly thought it was the same wife that Paul McCartney’s got. Your your wife looks very similar to Paul McCartney’s wife at the moment.
Mort Fertel [41:45]
Okay, well, I can assure you that it’s not some person.
David Ralph [41:49]
She is the best she bring a load of Beatles records home Sunday and and stuff. Is she? Is she spending time away from the home?
Mort Fertel [41:57]
Absolutely not. No, no. And she’s not even old enough to.
Unknown Speaker [42:03]
We’re not old enough to do it. Because appreciate the Beatles,
David Ralph [42:08]
we want a strong marriage bear. So just before we bring you to the end of the show, is it a good business model that you’ve created? Because people out there listening thinking, God, yeah, I’ve been through some real crap in my life, I’ve had some real touchy times, is it as simple as saying, I make a decision and then people flock to me always have a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to actually make that knowledge base that you’ve got thrive.
Mort Fertel [42:35]
It’s both. It’s both it’s an enormous amount of work. It takes an enormous amount of wisdom, knowledge, skill, and work. There’s no easy way. It was, it was a long road. And you’ve got to really solve people’s problems. You know, that’s, that’s when you know that you have something It’s sellable that people will pay for that’s valuable. You have to sell people something, I think one of the best ways to be sure that you’re solving people’s problems is to identify the problems that you have in your life. And the chances are good, that your problems are not as personal as you think. They’re probably quite universal, just like mine was. And if you can solve it for yourself, chances are good and not only sound for yourself, but then sort of codify or create a methodology around that solution and then learn to articulate it. So then the chances are good that it’ll be a solution for other people that have the same problem. And these interesting, isn’t it that we all create an avatar, but actually the avatars us, you know, I say all the time, ultimately, my business now
David Ralph [43:57]
is strength is because as you say, resolved the issues in my life. But I wanted to be able to travel when I want close down the business make it just like a profit making machine that works on automatic pilot almost, that then becomes the avatar for other people. But we all start with basically solving our own problems.
Mort Fertel [44:20]
I don’t know about everybody, but I think it’s a good model. I think.
David Ralph [44:24]
I think I think literally everyone, I really do that. You know, I speak to people time and time and time again. And they all pretty much say that when they solve their own issues was went back when the business started.
Unknown Speaker [44:39]
David Ralph [44:41]
You’re not gonna argue with me there. Oh, yeah. I was trying to push you
Mort Fertel [44:46]
know, I know of course I as I said, I think it’s a it’s a, it’s a great it’s a perfect seed for an entrepreneurial venture. It’s a great sort of source of inspiration. And motivation. What is what is personal is often very universal. When a business can start from that place, I think it’s tremendous. I just don’t think that all businesses start from that place. I think there are plenty of people out there, unfortunately, who are just thinking about how do I make money? You know, like, like, you know, all the people that are making all the billions of dollars in the gaming business. I don’t know, maybe I don’t know the gaming business well enough. But I, I kind of doubt that they’re all big gamers. I think that they’re seeing a market of people who are addicted to these games, and creating, you know, creating games that will feed that addiction and they’re interested in capitalising on it. I don’t see that. I kind of doubt. I can’t imagine what the mission or purpose or contribution would be. And I think a lot of that going on in a lot of different industries. And I know I don’t know I I couldn’t do it. I can’t, you know, I have a very hard time getting motivated for something that doesn’t, not least with meaning.
David Ralph [46:10]
But let’s hear some words that are extremely laced with meaning Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [46:15]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [46:50]
Brilliant words rose and I think they apply very much TSL when you look back, can you join up your dots
Mort Fertel [46:59]
for Sure, I mean, they certainly do apply in the sense that we went through this marital crisis. And at the time, it was torture. It was, you know, at the time it had no meaning and purpose at the time, it seemed all bad. But, you know, in retrospect, look what came out of it. Not only did we succeed the transform our marriage into something much better than it had ever been even before. But we succeeded to help. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say millions of people
transform their marriage. What a blessing.
I think, though, that there’s something there’s a comment that I’d like to make from based on the clip that you just played from Steve Jobs.
I think it’s not only a matter of
looking out, see how the dots Connect, but I think we have to live in a way It ends up connecting the dots. In other words, he expressed it in a way that was just a matter of like perspective. You know, you look back and you see it. I’m not sure about that. I don’t think it works that way. I don’t think you just look back and see it. I think that you have to live every day reacting and responding to things in your life in such a way that gives them meaning and purpose in the future.
David Ralph [48:36]
I mean, so you might not seem to stepping stones.
Mort Fertel [48:39]
Yeah, I mean, we, when we had this marital crisis, we could have just divorced then what that would have been connected with or we could have succeeded to reconcile our marriage but not felt any response. ability to create a methodology that made a contribution to others their other marital crisis, send them then maybe there would have been some dots connected in terms of our own family. But it wouldn’t have been from a professional point of view or a contribution point of view. So I don’t think it’s a matter of just like, you know, look back on your life, and you’ll see how the dots Connect. I think you have to live in a way that purposefully connects those dots, makes meaning out of difficulty. And we do that from our response by being proactive. I mean, it’s, it’s a it’s a cliche, but it’s also profoundly true. And that is, you know, the real, the real meaning of our life is doesn’t come so much from what happens to us. It comes from how we respond to what happens to us. And that’s not just a matter of perspective. That’s a matter of being proactive. Yeah, yeah.
David Ralph [50:05]
Interesting stuff. Interesting. And it leads us interestingly, to the end of the show that we’ve been building up to. And this is the part of the show that we call the Sermon on the mic when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young adult, what age would you like to speak to him? What advice would you give him? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the music. And when it fader up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Mort Fertel [50:56]
This is an easy one for me to answer. I would say to myself, my younger self, at almost every age and the age that I can begin to comprehend, that is the most important thing, our relationships. It’s more important than being right. It’s more important than winning. It’s more important than succeeding. It’s more important than making money. It’s always the relationship that should take priority. So whenever you’re in a situation where a relationship is potentially being compromised, for the sake of something else, realise that that’s something else is not nearly as valuable, and that should be subjugated to the value of the relationship,
David Ralph [51:47]
what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you sir,
Mort Fertel [51:52]
go to Mortfertel.com and my contact information is there. You can also get my free report there seven secrets for fixing your marriage. There’s also links to all my social media channels, you know, the usual Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, from my website work for calm,
David Ralph [52:11]
we will have links in the show notes to make it as easy as possible to connect with you more. 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 moat. Thank you so much.
Mort Fertel [52:31]
You’re welcome. Thank you.
David Ralph [52:34]
Mr Mort Fertel. So you could start a marriage business. If you’ve been in the process of living life in a way that can help other people solve their issues, why not? And a personalised business like that. You’re always going to have business coming to you. You know, people are always going to have trouble with their marriages. New people will get married and they will have trouble with their marriages. You know, it’s It’s something that you can help them transition to better times. If it is, when there’s a value in it for you, it’s all about giving you guys the ideas of what you can do in your life, to transition to a better life yourself. And net. Until next time, thank you so much. As always, for everyone who are leaving ratings and reviews we haven’t had many recently on iTunes, it really, really does help only takes a couple of moments. So really appreciate that. But until next time, thank you so much for being here. Bye bye.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.