Do you have what it takes to change the world? Joining us on YAP this week is Jay Samit, a best selling author, serial entrepreneur and one of the world’s leading experts on disruption and innovation.
At its very core entrepreneurship is not about selling, it is about problem solving. For example a company like Uber solves a problem for millions of people around the world by creating a simple and streamlined process of getting people from point A to point B. Jay Samit describes the disruptor mindset as looking at problems from a different point of view in order to generate new and creative solutions.In this era of constant innovation, it is becoming increasingly important for aspiring entrepreneurs to see how a new invention or discovery can change the world. For example, Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx solved a very simple problem of women who wanted to wear pantyhose in the summer but didn’t think they looked stylish with open toe shoes.
As Jay Samit states during the interview: “Sara Blakely changed the world by coming up with spanx. Everybody laughed at her, everybody turned her down. But she was solving a problem that she knew women faced.”
Learning how to develop a disruptor mindset can help many of us on our journey to becoming the next big entrepreneur. In this episode, Hala Taha and our guest Jay Samit discuss how having a disruptor mindset helps to fuel innovation and share simple tips on how to retrain our brains to view the world differently.
This episode of YAP is sponsored by our friends at Rethink Creative Group. They’re a digital advertising, marketing, and content creation agency focused on helping small to medium sized businesses. Guess what? As a YAP listener, you get a special gift if you work with them. Head over to rethink.agency/yap.
Solve a problem for a few friends, you’re popular. Solve a problem for a million people, you’re rich. Solve a problem for billion people, you’ve changed the world.
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What we are yapping about in this episode:
- Jay Samit’s personal story [11:10]
- Understanding the disruptor mindset [07:37]
- How to look at problems differently [15:40]
- Understanding a business’s value chain innovation [23:53]
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Hala Taha:00:00Hey guys, young and profiting podcasts has just launched Yap Society on slack. It's a cool community where listeners can network and give us valuable feedback on the show. To Join Yap Society on slack, go to bitly/YAP society. That's bit dot l y slash Yap society and if you're already active, share the wealth and invite your friends. This episode of Yap is sponsored by our friends at rethink creative group. There are digital advertising, marketing and content creation agencyfocused on helping businesses of all sizes. They do everything from running your social media platforms for you to build on your website, running digital advertising to producing podcasts just like this. We've seen their work and trust me, they're awesome. They focus on generating results for their clients, which is why they've worked with over100 different clients across industries in the past four years. I partnered with them because I'm always asked to take on freelance marketing projects, but I simply don't have the bandwidth andthey're the only agency I would put my name behind.Hala Taha:00:56So if you're tired of marketing, that just doesn't work. You need to let these guys up. Good. rethink.agency/yeah and our listeners get a special gift if you sign up to work with them. That's rethink.agency/yeah, you are listening to Ya young and profiting podcast, a place where you can listen,learn, and profit. I'm your host Hala Taha and this week on Yap, we're featuring Jay Samit, a bestselling author who has been at the forefront of global trends for decades and recognized as one of the world's leading experts on disruption and innovation. He's a serial entrepreneur that has helped to start businesses that are worth billions now and his book disrupt you. Samit describes how you can take the same strategies that have helped shaped the world's most innovative companies and applied them to disrupt yourself and grow your career. Hi Jay. Thanks for joining young and profitingpodcast.Jay Samit:01:47My pleasure. Excited to be here.Hala Taha:01:49We are so honored to have you on the show and to help my listeners understand the caliber of leader and person you are. I just wanted to run down a
few of your accolades. You are a serial entrepreneurwho has taken companies public, you've helped to build billion dollar startups, you've transformed entire industries. You're the former independent vice chairman of Deloitte. You've held digital media executive roles at Sony Universal Studios and more.And you're also known as a leading authority in disruption and innovation authoring the Uber Popular Book disrupt you. And if that wasn't impressive enough, you were a philanthropist and have worked on Whitehouse initiatives for education and technology. Did I miss anything big? It just shows you that everybody can do anything. You are definitely one of the most impressive people we've had on the show. And so I really hope to make this conversation as productive as possible.Hala Taha:02:42No, you're to kind. Okay. So as we were preparing for this show, one of the things that stood out to me was you're very interesting and unique life paths to success and you're keen ability to articulate and tell stories about these pivotal moments in your life. So first I'd just like to unpack some of these stories to help my listeners really getinsight into the type of life you've lived and the wayyour mind works. So let's start with getting your foot in the door and the entertainment industry. From my understanding, you had a dream to work in movies, specifically special effects, and you did something really clever to get your foot in the door.Jay Samit:03:16Sure. So I'm a in my fifties so I'm a little bit older, but when I was just getting out of high school, this amazing movie, Star Wars came out. So I'm getting out of college and I'm go, what I want to do is I want to make movies like that. I want to make special effects and you know, change how I would now a couple of problems. One, I knew nothing about special effects too. I knew no one in Hollywood. So what set me on a path in the way I look at things is if you break down everything into problem, every problem has a solution. So I said, well, I wonder how people get started in Hollywood.How do they get that first job? So this is before you had Internet ads and everything. I took an ad out inthe Hollywood reporter, what was called a blind ad.Jay Samit:04:02It doesn't say the company. And I described the job I would like to get as if I was a production company
offering this job. And that gave me two key pieces of data. And what you'll see is the repeating theme here is everything in life is datadriven. And so the two pieces of data were one, I got all these resumes of people that thought that they were qualified for that job. So I now knew what a resume should look like, what things I needed to do to be able to get my foot in the door. And number two, I now had a list of places that were about to lose an employee because all these people had one foot out the door. And so by doing those, that's simple thing. I instantly got my first job. Now let me give you the modern version of it, which I talk about in disrupt you.Jay Samit:04:48There was a, a brilliant guy who got a job at one of the giant international ad agencies on Madison Avenue in New York. It was his dream to work in advertising and he gets there and like anyone, he's a little disillusioned to being at the bottom of the ladder, doing something completely mundane and he literally is going out of his mind. So he looks online, any Google's, the names of some of the most famous creative directors at the tops of the big agencies, the Omnicoms of the world. And he sees the no one has bought their names as keywords. So for $9 in advertising, he knew the famous people would check their names to make sure there's nothing bad posted about them. And when they would check their names, who would say, Hey, I want to work for you with a link to his portfolio. Three of the five offered him a job and he basically accelerated his career 20 years for $9 investment. It's that easy.Hala Taha:05:46Wow. That's incredible. So much to unpack there. And it just shows how, like if you could just be a little creative, you could basically do anything and accomplish anything.Jay Samit:05:56Well, the that they don't teach you in school is no one got to lead a company, lead a nation, change the world by following in the footsteps of someone else. So it's not, you know, go and do what everybody else did. I can vividly remember the day I got out of college, everything up until that was, you go from first grade to second grade, junior highto high school, high school to college, and then what? And then all of a sudden you go, oh my God, I'm not competing against the same people. I'm
competing against everybody. And they're so many people were pushed by their parents to go into, youknow, that secure job that's secure career. Well, I'mhere to tell you there's no such thing as security in the 21st century. Half of all jobs will disappear within this decade. So it's the illusion of security that keeps people in jobs that they don't like and tospend your whole life doing something that you don't enjoy unless you really believe in reincarnation. You're really missing the point of being here.Hala Taha:06:59Yeah, totally. And I can't wait to get into all of that and uncover the different ways that we could become entrepreneurs and how we should free our minds to be open to that kind of possibility. I can't wait to dig into that with you. First, let's talk about your expertise on disruptions. So Harvard Professor Clayton Christiansen coined the term disruptive innovation back in 1997 and he explained that a disruptive business is one that starts by either satisfying the less demanding customer or creating a market where none existed before. So does your definition of disruption differ from Clayton in any way, or is it similar?Jay Samit:07:37Don't like to trash people. L mines. One of the reasons I wrote disrupt you was there were a lot of books written by pure academics that have never worked or done anything. The one you're mentioning actually once raised a private equity fund and they forced him to give back whatever money was remaining less than a couple of years later because he had lost most of it. Here's the simple definition of disruption. Think of that scene in Indiana Jones where it's on the streets of Cairo. Okay? Now there's that swordsman with the giant Symitar that he pulls out. Swords had been around forever, you know, from the Bronze Age, they madelittle knives, bigger knives, kings were defended, game of Thrones sorts were great. And all of a sudden that scene in Indiana, Jones and Raiders of the lost Ark, the guy comes at him with a big swordin Indy, pulls out a Smith and Wesson.Jay Samit:08:28That's disruption. Once somebody invented the gun, the sword was kind of, it doesn't matter if you make a better sort of new store. We now live in this era of endless innovation. And so what you have to realize is every business will be disrupted and the
only way to continue your career is to continue to disrupt yourself. So a great current example is everybody knows about autonomous vehicles. Everybody knows that they're coming fast. I have a Tesla and I'm blown away as it drives and changes lanes and does everything. So most people go, okay, so the auto industry is disruptive, but you have to look what else changes? Well, here's what else changes in the u s the automobile insurance industry is a 220 billion industry that goes away. If there's no more drivers behind the wheel, it's not your fault. If it's an accident, the car that you buy, Tesla will sell insurance. And so you start noticing the ripple effect of change. So you don't have to invent something new. You just have to see how it changes the world. That's my definition.Hala Taha:09:33Awesome. So essentially disrupters don't have to discover something new. They just have to discovera practical use for that discovery. Correct.Jay Samit:09:41And that took me 20 years of my career. I'd see these amazing things invented. The companies spend millions and millions of dollars for, and whatever reason, it didn't hit the market that they were going for. And you could say, wow, but if I would take that same thing to solve this other problem, I don't have to invent all that. You know, we live on a time where there's so much technology. We have a super computer in our pocket with us, 24 seven that can reach 7 billion people. You're one click away from being a billionaire. It is that simple and all you have to do isfigure out that path in the first step is to realize entrepreneurs don't sell something. Entrepreneurs aren't buying an apple for $1 and selling it for $2 an entrepreneur is solving a problem. You solve a problem for a few friends. You're popular you solve a problem for a million people. You're rich. Solve a problem for billion people. You change the world. Allof us have that ability today because we're so interconnected. So you're just like one nanosecond away from changing your future in the world.Hala Taha:10:51Yeah. You actually have a great story about taking technology from a failed business and then applying it in a new way to achieve massive success. You actually were the inventor of the airport kiosk. Could you just tell that story to our listeners because I think it really articulates how
with disruption you don't have to actually be the inventor.Jay Samit:11:10Sure. So I was in my early twenties and one of the early people working with computers and there wasa new thing that came out called the lottery. States now had lotteries and to go back in 1980s ancient history, the way that the lottery tickets were sold was the little screen one of those. What do you see in the movies, those green and white screens that just shows you the numbers and, and California wasthe next state to get the lotteries and they want somebody to make a self working kiosks that you put your bill acceptor in and do all by yourself. And so the competition had this little green screen and you type in the numbers and that's it. And I spent every penny I had and out my credit cards designing what I thought it was the perfect machine a, it had a color screen that did video.Jay Samit:12:00It spoke in eight languages. It had a motion detector. When you walk by it in a supermarket go, what would you do with $1 million or whatever you want to say. It was so much head and shoulders above the competition and when you're young and starting out, you're cocky and think you know everything that I knew I was going to win this multimillion dollar contract in life would be sweet and everything and I go up to Sacramento. What I didn't find out till later because the FBI had a secretvideotape was somebody who was making decision. The state senator named Alan Robbins was taking a briefcase with $50,000 cash in it from my competition and was awarded the contract. Now, I don't know this on the day, I find this out later he goes to prison and my competition, by the way, got to keep the contract even though they bribed for it.Jay Samit:12:48But that day I lost. I'm not getting it. And I fly back to Los Angeles and I am not only dejected, I don't actually have a work in credit card at that point because I maxed them out and they didn't have enough cash to take a cab. And I'm trying to figure out how to get back from the airport. And at the airport they used to have with these nice retired people, little old men and ladies who would sit you and tell you different stuff. But by the time I got to the airport, those desks had been closed. The information desks. So now I have no clue. And then
it dawns on me, Lex has 50 million visitors a year. Not all of them speak English. Not all of them come when the volunteers are there. How do people figure out how to get from point a to point B, how to get a cab?Jay Samit:13:33This is before Uber and everything. And then I realized my kiosk would be perfect for this. So from that failure, I didn't give up. I just looked at how to solve another problem. And so, so many businessesor pivots. There were three guys that had a great idea when 10 years ago computer dating was already popular, but broadband had come out. So now you could use video and people could have video on a computer. So they said, wait a second, let's make a dating site instead of still pictures, we'll put videos. And it was called tune in hookup. So they are going to make a fortune. They go, oh my God. Now he can see persons personality, hear their voice. So much more of chemistries video than a still picture. And they put the site up, they do a brilliant job, and they had one problem.Jay Samit:14:26They didn't realize, what do you do if nothing but losers show up? They had the worst fiddy hoes. Thefirst video on the site was a guy standing in front ofthe elephant cage at the zoo talking about why youshould go out with them. So tune in hookup was a dismal failure. But they looked at the data. You'll hear me say this again and again, and the data showed them something they didn't expect in their business plan. Yes, no woman wanted to date thesepeople, but she absolutely wanted to show every one of her friends how bad the pickings were. So she shared the videos and guys shared the videos. So about 10 months in, they changed the name of tune in hookup to youtube and they became billionaires within their first year.Hala Taha:15:11Wow.Jay Samit:15:12Twitter was a music site. I can go on and on. Most companies pivot. It's very rare that a person says, here's my business plan and here's, you know, the straight path to the top. It's about failing. It's about failing again and again and again until you succeed. So it's about believing in yourself. If you think you can or you think you can't, you're right. That's what Henry Ford said in it is so true.
Hala Taha:15:40Definitely. So from your reading material, I understand how that true innovation really comes from looking at problems differently and you have an exercise that helps your students get into a disruptors mindset where you tell them to write three problems they face each day and it helps them look at problems differently and get ideas for innovation. I'd really like my listeners to try this at home. So could you explain how to do this exercise?Jay Samit:16:04Sure. So yeah, so one of the things that I've done for the past decade for fun is I teach a class at the largest engineering school in the u s on how to create a high tech startup. Been the best student project was two students that did $150 million the first year. So this process works. And here's the process. As you said, write down today, not tomorrow. Start right now, three problems in your life and do that every day for one month. The first day it's pretty easy. I was in traffic. You know, whatever you want to write down, but after you getone or two or three days into it, it's really hard to come up with problems because we've gotten in a mindset of this is the way it's always done, this is the way it happens and we don't recognize problems. So give you two classic ones.Jay Samit:16:53So the traffic, one, couple people were stuck in traffic and Tel Aviv. Now I live in Los Angeles. We have the worst traffic probably in the US, but every city now has traffic and Tel Aviv isn't as bad. It's nota giant, giant city. But it dawned on them, the phone company knew where their phone was, so they said, wait a second, if the, if my phone told meto go left and the other driver to go right, there wouldn't be traffic. That was waze and they sold it for over a billion dollars without a penny in revenue. Second example was a reader of mine. Hegets up in the morning and he's takes his, grabs hismedicine to take it. The phone rings, he answers the phone has this conversation and then he staring there. Did he take his pill? Well, because he was doing the exercises sitting there. Wait a second.Jay Samit:17:43Yeah. Okay. No, this is a problem. If I don't take it then I won't get better and if I do take it I could. What do you do? So he got a little plastic watch likeyou would get from a happy meal, put it on the lid
of a pill bottle. So when you shut the pill bottle, the clock goes to zero. So when that situation, you could look down and said, oh, I opened it three minutes ago. Yes I took my pill. Or Oh it hasn't beenopen for eight hours. No I didn't. Then he made a Bluetooth version so that you could check whether grandma took her medicine and remind her and take her medicine. And then he said, how do I makethis really popular? And he realized it was the solution for the opioid crisis that you could make bottles that only unlock at certain intervals.Jay Samit:18:25And so what from that one moment in his day, he launched a giant business that has changed society. So it's really that process. So at the end of your 30 days, you have 90 ideas, you have more deal flow than the busiest venture capital firm in Silicon Valley and then sort them along two axes. One, what are you really passionate about? Because the road to success isn't going to be easy. So you really have to really want that business succeed and believe in that you're making a difference. And the second is what's the size of thataudience? So if the problem, something that only affects 10 people, odds are it's not going to make you wealthy if it affects everybody. Great business to go after. And there are countless examples of people solving this problem. One of my other favorite ones was a woman who got a job with a sales company down in Florida and they required women to wear panty hose.Jay Samit:19:26Now Florida's hot and sticky and you know, she wanted to wear sandals and pantyhose look horrible with sandals. So she wants to cut off the toes and she kept on playing with it and she finally came up with something that she thought would work and she went up a couple of states to the Carolinas. We're all the hoser was manufactured and showed her idea to a bunch of men and they all said, this is stupid. And one even ripped up her business card in her face. So she went out to the bookstore and she bought a kid, you not patents fordummies, wrote her own patent. And Sara Blakely change the world by coming up with spanx. Everybody laughed at her, everybody turned her down. But she was solving a problem that she knewwomen faced. Brilliant.
Hala Taha:20:17Yeah, that is brilliant. So once we've come up with all of these ideas, you preach that we really need tofind a way to kill them. You call this Zombie ideas and you say, the faster you can kill a bad idea, the quicker you can pivot to a successful one.Jay Samit:20:32So many entrepreneurs are wrecked by praise, you know? Oh, that's such a good idea. Oh, that's so good. You know, one of the things that took me years, I've raised hundreds and hundreds of millions from venture capital. And when I was starting out, I would come out at every meet and go, oh my God, I think I closed the deal. They loved it because they tell you how great it is. And then they come back and go, whoa. You know, talk to thepartners and the partners, uh, you know, don't want to do it. Well, they're basically blowing smoke because your next idea might be good one and they don't want you to be not like them. But here's what you want to do. You want to find people that will tell you everything wrong with your idea because the more iterations you can do, if your idea between your two ears, the less money you're burning because these problems are going to find themselves when you launch. And if you've spent all your money launching something that doesn't work, then you're a failed entrepreneur and you're back where you started. So when I meet with entrepreneurs, when I look at him, you know, you could call cruel. I'm sitting there telling them every reason why I think it will fail. And unless you can come up with answers for each of those reasons, you're going to fail. And so once you can make that bulletproof thing that cannot be killed, that Zombie idea, now go out to raise money and you'll see how quickly that processes.Hala Taha:21:54Got It. And then can you give your perspective on the difference between failing and failure?Jay Samit:22:01Sure. Failing is trying something that doesn't work. You know, famously Thomas Edison failed thousandtimes before he made a light bulb that works. Failures, throwing in the towel and giving up when you're failing. How do you know when to stop? Okay, you could be one idea, one minor tweak away from, you know, changing your life. If you throw in the towel, you're guaranteeing that you won't be successful. So as I said, most startups pivot, most businesses evolve. And what causes
that? Pivoting, what causes that change is really simple. You look at the data, you look at the results,you compare what's happening to your assumptions and you may discover something that no one else did. And here's what really happens with a startup. You start with an obvious idea, but you start spending time and resources going down a path and you go farther into the jungle than anybody ever has.Jay Samit:23:06And that's where you discover something new. And that's what makes a successful business because you now have a competitive advantage that no multibillion dollar corporation has. You have new information and new data that only you know, and the only competitive advantage in the 21st century is being able to respond to data from your target audience faster than your competition. And big companies are not competing with you. Most aren't really trying to innovate. They're trying to fight. Last year's battle again and again, I was a very senior global officer at Sony. Sony thought all their competition was Japanese electronics manufacturer. They didn't see apple as competitionuntil it was too late.Hala Taha:23:53Yeah, that's so interesting. So staying on this topic of companies kind of providing value and being successful and not getting disrupted, you have a concept called value chain innovation and you talk about how businesses and products basically need to be understood as a some of their value adding links. So can you tell us about value chain innovation and can you give an example of a business that optimizes it well and one that does it poorly?Jay Samit:24:21Sure. So when you look at where value is created, there's two things that you have to think of. when starting your business, your idea. One is value creation. Okay. So you've created a new product that does something. The second part of that is value capture. Napster came with the idea of people could share songs and steel songs change the world, but it didn't put any of that released value into their pockets so it didn't make a successful business. So you have to figure that out. So value creation can take place in any of the stepsof business you can take place in r and d can take place in marketing and sales in research. So really
if you look at each stage in, in disrupt you, I give examples of how in each of these stages you can just focus on that one part because the part of the business that you really want to control is the part that's going to capture the value.Jay Samit:25:15And so in different businesses, different stuff. So conversely you can then look at where businesses lose value. So a great example, I mean, absolutely so brilliant is the most common business that people start. Do you know what the most common business people start is in the US no. A restaurant. Okay. Okay. And typically it's somebody goes, oh, I've got a barbecue recipe, I'm going to make a fortune. Well, if you're really looking at why restaurants succeed or fail, one of the least important things is really the secret sauce in herbs and spices. It has nothing to do with that. Number one reason restaurants fail is they have too many items on their menu, which means too many products. And if nobody buys the fish, there goes your profits. So this guy sat down and said, okay, I'm going to solve that problem by only offering three items on my menu.Jay Samit:26:09That's it. Second reason restaurants fail is people all eat at the same time of day, which means if one person sits down at a table for four at lunch, you can't monetize those other three seats. So you're actually losing money. So second rule that this guy said is, okay, I'm going to only seek full tables and require people to sit with strangers. And since I'm only seating full tables, people are going to have to wait at the bar until a tables available and you make money on alcohol and food. So he has these three data points that he's going to work on. It sounds absolutely like the worst idea. I'm going to have to have a restaurant with only three types of food and you're going to have to sit with strangers who would do that. And for nearly 50 years now, Benihanas has been making a fortune.Jay Samit:27:03He didn't set out to say, I want to make a Japanese Teppanyaki House. He set out and said, why do restaurants fail? He started by solving a problem and that's every successful business that you see today. You know, Uber solved an amazing problem. Anybody that ever visited New York City is an example. Cabs are great, except when you need one in the rain or snow or cold, you can't get one.
And then you get into one and odds are you don't speak the same language as the driver, so you can't explain where you want to go. Especially I travel all over the world and you have to carry money and you don't always have that. And on andon and on. Uber solved all that. And then people looked at that concept and started the uberization of almost everything. There were two college women in Grad School that weren't planning to be entrepreneurs and they faced a problem that many women were facing. And it was this, they had lots of, uh, friends having parties going different stuff and they want it to look nice. So they had a choice of either spent all your money and get a really nice outfit of growing nice dress and they'd be known forthe next six months is the girl with the purple dressor by not nice looking stuff so that you can buy something that's not nice looking for the next eventand the next event and always be looking crappy. So they created rent the runwayJay Samit:28:38and created $1 billion business by solving that verybasic problem.Hala Taha:28:43Those are great examples. Thanks so much for sharing. You also connect business disruption to personal disruption. And you talk about internal value chains. Can you explain what that is?Jay Samit:28:55Yeah, so that's probably what separates, disrupt you from every book out there is really disruption islike plastic surgery. Except you're the one holding the scalpel. All disruption has to start internally because if you can change something that you thought was a malleable about your personality, about your soul, if you can change that, you'll realize everything else to change in the world is easy. So in my personal case, I'm dyslexic. I was taught in school that that means I'm stupid. And I internalized that. And when you look today and yousee that one third of all business owners are dyslexic, you know, Edison and Disney and Steve Jobs, et Cetera, et cetera. We're all dyslexic. You realize it just means that you think different and it wasn't a negative. So if you can change that one belief, you know, many people go, Whoa, I'm not good at math.Jay Samit:29:56Why do you believe that? Because in third grade you failed a multiplication test that you could ace
today. You know, so many of these things happenedfrom parents and teachers that wanted to steer us down a path because they were afraid to try and they didn't like the pain of failing. So they wanted to protect you from that pain. Well, growth comes from pain. If you constantly protect yourself and choose to live in the matrix, you achieve nothing. And here's the secret folks that I can tell you now that I have gray hair. If you're listening and you don't have any yet, go talk to your grandparents, go visit a senior home and you will find out that thebiggest regrets that old people have, the biggest regret you'll have at the end of your life aren't the things that you tried and failed at.Jay Samit:30:48But the things that you fail to try. If only I tried to be a rock and roll musician. If only I had tried to do this, oh, I had such a good idea and somebody else did it. Those things will haunt you. You don't get to live forever. But what you create in your lifetime can, and the impact you can have, especially at a time like today with so many major problems, you know, climate change it and, and population change in, in all the things that go with that. Imagine the impact that you can have. That's what's exciting. That's what gets me up in the morning. You know, to get to meet entrepreneurs that are coming up with things where you just go, oh my God, that is like makes so much sense. Because those Zombie ideas, by the way, don't take a 20 page PowerPoint to explain. You can explain them in one sentence and you go, wow, that was so obvious. And you go, well, if it's so obvious, why didn't somebody else do it? Because most people aren't trying to change the world. Mostpeople are just accepting it the way it is. And to methat's sad. Yes.Hala Taha:31:55So if we were told when we were growing up that for example, we're not smart enough or we're nevergoing to be rich or we're not fast or productive, howdo we disrupt ourselves and retrain our brains to view the world differently? Well,Jay Samit:32:10start doing that. What you were told you can't do. One of the most common things is people are afraidof public speaking. You know, it said that most people given the choice of giving a eulogy at a funeral or being in the casket would rather be in the casket. So if you're really afraid, if you say, I
can't public speak, I can do that. Well go start doingit. You know, volunteer, get on panels at conferences, go anything. By the way, it's the best way to market yourself and create your brand. So indisrupt you, I walk you through the steps of breaking down that internal chain of what is your personal r. And, d, what is your personal marketing,what are the tricks and steps that others have usedso that you can shorten your path to success. And the second you realize that you can change.Jay Samit:32:53It's amazing. So the other example in my life being completely transparent is my mom, since she listens to this, she hates when I tell the story. My mom wanted me out of the house early, so she forged on my birth certificate, changed my age. So I went to school a year younger than everybody else, which doesn't sound like much, but when you're a little boy and all the other boys are older, that means you were the worst one at sports guaranteed from day one, which means you hate everything having to do with sports. You have no interest in sports. You don't watch any sports, you don't play any sports. Sports were just a place for you to be humiliated and feel like a loser. Fast forward, I'm 40 years old, um, deliberately looking at what can I disrupt in my thinking about myself. And I realize I'm not that four year old kid competing against six year old kids on the school yard.Jay Samit:33:49I could do whatever I want. And it, coincidentally, I happen to have a member of the US Olympic team working at my company. So I asked him what are a bunch of exercises because I had a node out of PE. By the time I got to high school, I hated it and I started exercising and all of a sudden for me, for the first time in my life, you know, and you can do one, you know, a hundred pushups, you can do pullups. I had muscles and I go, wow, you can make this. I don't have to be that scrawny little kid. And then I tried to figure out, well, what can I do with this? And being the weird person I am, I said, you know, I always wanted to be a trapeze artists, so I'm going to go and take lessons and learn how to fly through.Hala Taha:34:27Yeah, that's great. You can do anything. Another common excuse is people thinking that they don't have resources to be successful, whether that's
money or context. What do you have to say about thatJay Samit:34:39bullshit? That is the entrepreneur's version of the dog ate my homework. That annoys me so much. Oh, I had such a good startup, but we ran out of money. Really? If it was such a good startup, you wouldn't have run out of money. There is no gatekeeper separating you from money. There is crowd funding, there is private equity, there's vcs, there is initial coin offerings. There are a million ways to get funding today. Now is there somebody standing on a street corner handing out million dollar bills? No. Do you have to learn what is the process and where do I go and who do I have to talk to? Yes, but think of it the other way. VCS, venture capital firms go out of business. If they can't find entrepreneurs to invest in private equity goes out of business. If it can't find businesses to invest in, there are millions of people whose job is to give you money.Jay Samit:35:34On top of which I talk about in my favorite chapter, the book OPM, other people's money. There are companies that will give you millions of dollars and I've done this time and time again, tens of millions of dollars that don't want any equity in your business and don't want to be paid back any of thatcash, and you go, well, what do they want? Well, it turns out that your business that you're starting is gone for specific audience. You're making a productfor teens you're making for women you're making for senior citizens, whatever it is. Well, it turns out there's tons of companies that are not competitive to you that also want that same audience and whatyou're giving them as an idea of how to reach that audience that they didn't have. And so that's marketing spend and they'd be happy to do it. And I'll give you a great example that'll do as quickly as possible.Jay Samit:36:22When I was at Sony, iTunes had just come out and the iPod is killing the Walkman and we had to launch a competing service and apple spending $100 million a year in advertising and I had an advertising budget of zero. So I go, well, I guess I'mdoomed to failure. No. I said, okay, how do I get someone else to give me their money to launch my competitor to Itunes, my digital download service? And so I looked at who's in trouble, what businesses
were failing. There were two, right? Then Spurlock had had the movies supersize me where ate Mcdonald's for 30 days and nearly died. So Mcdonald's sales went down for their first time in their 40 year history. Said, okay, Mcdonald's has problems and the biggest airline in the U S United Airlines was in bankruptcy echo. They have problems. So now all I have to do is figure out how do I solve Mcdonald's and United's problems with my music download service and they'll give me money.Jay Samit:37:25And you go, well how do you connect those dots and make a long story short with Mcdonald's, pitched him by big Mac, get a free track. So you've got a free song, you've got a free code song with every Burger that you bought. And Mcdonald's spent tens of millions of dollars of TV advertising where every customer was driven to my store to get their free song. And then they'd signed up and they could buy other stuff. And United Airlines had tons of people that weren't flying anymore cause they're worried about the bankruptcy. But they had enough frequent flyer miles to make like nine roundtrips to Pluto. So I said, okay, you can now spend your frequent flyer miles at my store and now United let us throw a concert at 35,000 feet in a plane. They played that video on every flight and millions and millions of their customers. Some became my customers.Jay Samit:38:16I spent $0 million and 0 million cents to launch that business. I've done that with crowd funding for commercial real estate. I said, okay, no one cares. That's a complicated concept. How do you get anybody to care about? And and I said, okay, wherecan I find hundreds of journals that have nothing to write about? And it turns out that was the first year that Coachella went from one weekend, two, two weekends. So I go, okay, so there's 600 journals that had a bunch of stuff to do one weekend sit in palm springs with nothing to do for five days and another weekend. So I went to hard rock hotel and Isaid, we're going to crowdfund your remodel. And they go, we don't need a remodel. I go, you need a remodel. Here's a free million dollars. What would you do with it? And suddenly everybody writes about it, launches the business and the business gets millions of millions of customers.
Hala Taha:39:08Wow, that's incredible. Such great examples. They're just switching gears a bit. Something else that you talk about is visioning. Why do you think visioning is so crucial when we have our next business idea and what are your tips to do it effectively?Jay Samit:39:23So I hope I hearing my examples on how I think that you can pretty much tell are not some hippy dippy, you know mystic. Okay, I'm very practical but here's one of the things that I am writing. Disrupt you. I looked at all the research and it turns out that that expression, the power of positive thinking is absolutely true. When you are in a positive mind frame, when you, you know, I start each day with two affirmations today can be better than yesterday and I have the power to make it so, and just by looking in the mirror and saying that, assilly as that sounds, here's what happens physiologically it lights up the synaptic nerves in your brain and you release dopamine. So you actually are doing the same thing as if you were using drugs and it puts you in a positive state of mind.Jay Samit:40:19Well, when you're in a positive state of mind, you'remore likable. You'll have a better love life, you'll close more sales. You're seen as more intelligent. It goes on and on. Conversely, when you're in that negative funk, you can see opportunity. We all workwith that person that comes in every day with a cloud over them. You know, Oh, this is wrong, this iswrong. Then they're never going to get out of their own way, so you have to start with picturing that end state picture, that goal, Arnold Schwartzenegger, you know, before it became Mr Universe, he pictured himself up on that stage. Most Olympiads picture themselves on the platformwith the metal going around their neck. They see it,they visualize it. Yeah,Hala Taha:41:39totally. Something that we didn't touch on yet that Ijust want to give some insights. My listeners is the fact that you started a business at one point, I thinkfor your special effects where you started a business but you weren't even the CEO, you gave yourself like a low position and you say that, you know, in order to succeed you need insight and press severens and everything else can be hired. So can you just unpack that for us?
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