Did you know that ANYONE can be successful? Would you like to learn how YOU can break free of the 98% and join the 2% reaching their full potential? Join Jay Samit (Author of the bestselling book Disrupt You!) and Eric Partaker as they uncover tips, tools and strategies that you can use to be successful and win at life!
Failing Is Part Of The Process – The great thing about failing is you either win or you learn. Either way you will be propelled forward, you will never end up where you started.
Follow Your Own Path – Ignore the naysayers. People that gave up on their dreams will tell you to give up on yours. Yet every song that moves you, every movie, every painting that you love was created by somebody who never gave up on their dreams no matter the obstacles.
Don’t Fly Solo – There has never been a self-made person. Surround yourself with people who will propel you forwards, and help you through all the ups and the downs.
Solve A Problem – Solve a problem for five people, you have five friends. Solve for a million, you’re wealthy. Solve for a billion, you’ve made history. People have changed the world by just solving one problem. What’s your problem solving idea?
Money’s Nice, But Satisfaction Comes From Helping Others – Remove the “This is how it’s always been done” mentality. Most of society runs on autopilot. Open your mind up to new possibilities. How can you get out there today and change the world for the better and help just one person?
Everyone Is Capable Of Success – It’s easier today than it has ever been, all the groundwork has already been laid. The internet is already there for you. It’s your job to connect the dots.
Jay Samit: … you would have told me dozens of friends would become self-made billionaires and that a new self-made billionaire happens every 36 hours now. Pre-pandemic it was every 48 hours. What are these people doing differently? Can it be taught?
So I said, “What if I could teach people…”
Eric Partaker: Hi everyone, and welcome to another episode of The 2%, where as always, we’re super excited to be interviewing yet another peak performer, Jay Samit, and the whole point of this show once again is to uncover tips, tools, and strategies that you can use to break free from the 98%, and join the estimated two percent of people operating at their full potential in work and in life. So welcome to the show, Jay.
Jay Samit: Hey, thanks for having me. Excited to be here.
Eric Partaker: And we were just talking that you, not long ago, were where I am right now, in Cascais in Portugal.
Jay Samit: Yeah. Beautiful, beautiful place.
Eric Partaker: And a thousand person dinner, you were saying.
Jay Samit: Yeah, first and only time probably that I’ll have a thousand people seated at one table.
Eric Partaker: Yeah. Amazing, amazing. So Jay, you’re an accomplished entrepreneur, you’re a disruptor, you’re an innovator. You have an incredibly long resume. Why don’t we just start off by just talking a little bit about your beginnings? How did you get to where you are today? What does the short version of that look like?
Jay Samit: Well, I like your theory on the two percent. I was not destined, I don’t believe in destiny, to be in that group. Dyslexic kid, working class family in Philadelphia, I bought into society’s rules that if you go to school, get good grades, you live happily ever after. And I graduated in a recession. No jobs. And I it dawned on me, when you apply for jobs, that any job that already exists means somebody’s already done it, which means somebody has more experience than you. This is a rigged system that makes no sense.
As I write in my books Disrupt You and Future Proofing You, it all starts with a growth mindset, and I’d love to say that I was that actualized, but in fact I had two sons when I was young, and I looked at them, and that was all the motivation I needed to never quit. So when you read the resume that I worked with Bill Gates and Branson and the Pope and presidents and all these people, it was really started from that basic premise, if you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.
And yes, you will fail, and failing is part of the process. Because when you fail you don’t end up where you started. You either earn or you learn. But either way, you’re propelled forward. And so I believed this. If you would have told me dozens of friends would become self-made billionaires, and that a new self-made billionaire happens every 36 hours now, pre-pandemic it was every 48 hours, what are these people doing differently? Can it be taught?
So once I got tired of running big companies and I was Independent Vice Chairman of Deloitte and I ran Sony and all these companies, hundreds of thousands of people, and built startups worth billions… it gets old. So I said, “What if I could teach people to do this?” So I started teaching at the university level. I had students that did a hundred million dollars their first year. So it can be taught, and that’s why I wrote my first book, Disrupt You.
And compared to running a company or being a Nasdaq president, where your inbox is filled with “I hate you,” “We’re suing you,” problem problem problem, when you write a book that just holds up a mirror to people to show them what they can do, and they do it, I get what I call love letters. I get emails from all over the world. I’ve heard from people in a hundred and forty countries. The book’s in over a dozen languages. But this one email ate at me. It was from a millennial that said, “This is all motivational, but I could never do this.”
And so I take that upon me as failing. When you try to sell a business or pitch and it doesn’t happen, it’s not their fault. It was your inability to communicate in a way that they could comprehend. So I decided to do something insane. What if I could take a homeless immigrant with no money, no support system, and mentor him one day a week, give him no contacts, no capital, so he’d have to start a business with zero money. And spoiler alert if you’re going to read Future Proofing You, he went from broke to self-made millionaire in under a year.
This isn’t a get rich quick scheme, this isn’t an overnight success story. This is, he was willing to work harder for one year than most people will so he can live the rest of his life in a manner that most people can’t.
Eric Partaker: Wow. Absolutely amazing. So that’s your newest book, Future Proofing You.
Jay Samit: Yeah.
Eric Partaker: And yeah, there you go. And you talk about 12 truths in the book, and I think truth number nine is, you must fill a void. Is that right?
Jay Samit: Yeah.
Eric Partaker: And so with that in mind, what’s the void you believe this book fills?
Jay Samit: Excellent question. Boy, I do a lot of these, nobody tied those two together.
Here’s what I think it fills. There are literally thousands upon thousands of motivation books, get rich quick books, all this stuff on Amazon. I think I searched “Self improvement” and there were like 90,000 titles. But no one has ever written a book that proved it. When I looked at the business books before I wrote my first book, they fill into journalists who’d never actually done anything but report on other people’s doing it, egotistical bios of, “If you did what I did when I came out of this and did this, you’d be great like me.” But there were very few people that sat in empty room and started a billion dollar company, let alone multiple times. There’s very few people that then have gone and run the big, boring companies [inaudible 00:06:12].
So I saw it from every angle. And I’m not the smartest guy in the room. I’ve met the smartest people on the planet. They’re few and far between. Reid Hoffman, who wrote the foreword to Disrupt You, is one of those people. He can see the future more crystal clear and accurate than anybody I’ve ever met, and if you want to know the secret for predicting the future, hang out with the people that are coding it. So now that I have Google and Facebook and Apple as clients, and Microsoft, I know the future. When I’m telling people where there’s a big opportunity, it’s not that I’m making it up. But let’s tie back to the void. So I thought, here was a book that could get the people that still had that nagging voice in their head that says, “I can’t do it.” That little push.
Because most of your well wishers, your teachers, your parents, told you that you couldn’t do things, to take the safe route, because they wanted to shield you from pain. There’s no growth without pain. You know? Schwarzenegger, I’m sure, was aching every day when he got out of that gym. Okay? But the people that gave up on their dreams are telling you to give up on yours. And yet every piece of clothing that you like, every song that moves you, every painting, every movie, every book you’ve ever read, was made by a stubborn person who didn’t give up.
Eric Partaker: Exactly.
Jay Samit: And it doesn’t mean you’re going to hit your home run the first time. You’re going to fail. You know? Walt Disney’s first company, bankrupt. Henry Ford’s first company, bankrupt. At the beginning of my career, there were two guys that I thought were really bright, and they had this genius idea. Hook up computers to traffic lights, synchronize traffic, reduce traffic. Flawless. No city planner had any idea what they were talking about. The company was called Traf-O-Data. So Bill Gates and Paul Allen’s first company went bust. Their second company, Microsoft, did a little bit better. And I can go on and on.
And for millennials, and I have two sons, this [inaudible 00:08:23] a study in my point of the generation, it’s harder, because social media’s showing you the greatest hits reel of other people’s lives, or even imagined greatest hits reel. It’s like watching baseball on the evening news. “What an exciting sport! Hit the ball, catch the ball, run, run!” You go to a baseball game, and crickets. I mean, it just is a slow moving [inaudible 00:08:49]. That’s the way your career is going to be. You’re going to commit to lifelong learning. And the biggest oversight that I had in Disrupt You, that was at the core of Future Proofing You, is don’t fly solo.
We have this machismo thing of the self-made man or woman, that you do it on your own, you can make it on your own, that’s the only way. There’s never been a self-made person. Okay? Doesn’t exist. I used to run the world’s largest music company, EMI. I was President of EMI. We had the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Beach Boys, go on and on. Coldplay. And I remember being at Wembley Stadium in London, hundred and ten thousand people, one artist on the stage singing to all those people. And you go, “Well, that’s the self-made dude.” You don’t see the songwriters, the composers, the musicians, the managers, the lawyers, the agents, [crosstalk 00:09:49]. You don’t see the costumer who makes the sweaty, grungy looking t-shirt that she brings them from the dry cleaners that looks that way. I mean, it takes a team.
And here’s the great thing. People want you to succeed. People want to help you. They don’t want to get paid for it. Mother Teresa found the mentor that changed her life on a bus bench. Barbara Walters helped Oprah Winfrey. Even when Bill Gates became the richest man in the world, his mother went home and said, “You need a mentor.” Imagine that. “I’m the richest guy in the world. What are you talking about, Mom?” “Yeah, but you don’t know how to deal with that. Why don’t you go reach out to Warren Buffett? He’s been through some of these things. He’s older.” And they’ve been best friends. Because how many people can give advice to other self-made billionaires? And I teach you in Future Proofing You how to find those mentors. It’s not, which I get an inbox full of, “Hey, will you be my mentor?” [crosstalk 00:10:49]
Eric Partaker: You’ve done it once, right? So I imagine you got a lot of people who are lining up for the sequel.
Jay Samit: Oh, I get a lot, where “You haven’t done it with a person from this country.” “You haven’t done a person with one leg.” “You haven’t done it with this.” I actually set up a Facebook group for a thousand people this year from around the world. We’re going to try to create a thousand millionaires. But writing a stranger, “Will you be my mentor?” is like walking into a bar and saying, “Hey, will you have my baby?” It doesn’t work. What you want to do, and I teach you how to look through people’s LinkedIn profiles and find the people that are sending the signals that they want to be mentors.
Eric Partaker: Yeah.
Jay Samit: And they want to do it because they learn from it. It validates their life experience. And they got there because they believe in abundance.
So here’s the other place where people bail. Eric, when you were in elementary school, they taught you business was this. Jay buys a banana for one dollar, I sell it to you for two dollars, and that’s how I make money. While true, that assumes a zero sum game, like a poker game. There’s only so much money on the table, and I have to take it from you to get rich. And if you have that mentality, when somebody else gets the raise, I hate them. When somebody else takes a job, another country… you have this dog eat dog, miserable life.
On the other hand, last startup I had 18 months, then it was acquired by News Corp for $200 million. Okay? So if I said, “Eric, I’m starting a new company. I’ll sell you 10% for $10,000.” What do I now have? I have 10,000 cash and 90,000 in stock, that I can hire people, buy things, do things. So most of those self-made billionaires are creating wealth out of thin air. It wasn’t money from the Federal Reserve. They’re creating money that didn’t exist on the planet except for their efforts. And once people realize that that creation takes place, you now understand why people want to be mentors.
Eric Partaker: So let’s go back to that comment you made earlier about this book, Future Proofing You, isn’t a recipe to get rich quick. It’s tied to effort. Yet the person that you mentored, with the 12 truths, they went from zero to a millionaire in one year. So I think a lot of people would say, “Well, that’s kind of quick.” So how do we resolve that? It’s not get rich quick, but yet it’s a year to go-
Jay Samit: So let’s talk about his year. The average American, I’ll just use American stats, looks at their phone for five hours a day. They’re looking at TV for X number of hours a day. They’re going to the game, they’re going to a movie, they’re having a social life, they’re dating, they’re going to [inaudible 00:13:35] the bar.
Vin Clancy works seven days a week for an entire year. No social life, not even physical fitness. It was an extreme. It was my version of SEAL boot camp, okay? He was wrecked. At the end I was worried he was going to tap out. Because he had already hit his number and he still had some time on the clock. But what kept him going was, he knew he was going to take the next year off and just travel the world. Not because you can live the rest of your life on a million dollars. You can’t, okay? But because he knew he was future proof. He could restart at any time. And now he has multinational clients. So it all starts with that void.
I learned early in life, as I was saying, that any job that already exists, there’s somebody better. On any given day, there’s somebody that is smarter than me, better connected than me, richer than me, better looking than me. I hate that person, okay? So I hate competition. But if you find a void, if you find something no one else is doing, by definition you’re the best in the world at what you’re doing. Now the only job is how long can you hold onto that?
In the early nineties I made video games. At one point my little startup had seven of the top 10 bestselling video games in the world. Then I’m looking, Microsoft’s going to launch a Xbox to get into video games. Sony’s going to launch a PlayStation to get into video games. People are going to spend billions of dollars to go after my terf. I’m running for the hills, how fast can I sell it and move to the next void?
Eric Partaker: Okay, great. And probably a bit of overlap with the void question, but what is it about this book that’s different from all the other… how is this book not competing with all the other books out there?
Jay Samit: Because at the end of every chapter, each chapter’s divided up on 12 truths, that if you follow these 12 truths, you will have the same results. You will be successful. There’s no “Maybe if…” They’re truths, they’re not opinions, and I give the… whether it’s psychological studies about a growth mindset, whether it’s other case examples. But at the end of each chapter, you’re seeing how one individual applied it to his life. And that helps you connect the dots. And you interview tons of authors. I haven’t seen any other book that does that. I’m not slamming other books, I’m just saying, this was an approach that nobody… I welcome everybody else out there that’s touting stuff. I mean, [crosstalk 00:16:27]. Go ahead.
Eric Partaker: Yeah, just thinking, building on what you’re saying there, I think the other thing worth mentioning too is the workbooks, because there’s a lot of books out there, but it’s not often that you get a book that not only prompts you to think, as you’re saying, at the end of each chapter, but you also have some materials that go with it, right? [crosstalk 00:16:46]
Jay Samit: Yeah, Jay Samit dot com, J-A-Y-S-A-M-I-T dot com. There are free workbooks for both Disrupt You and Future Proofing You. There’s no upsell here. Jay’s not selling masterminds, Jay isn’t available for coaching. The only people that can hire me at this stage of life are really giant corporations or really big governments that want to learn how to be more entrepreneurial. Because my soap box for doing this is, without a strong middle class, you have no democracies.
The middle class got wiped out during the pandemic. Okay? Mom and Pop businesses, restaurants, everything, shuttered. They didn’t get the bailouts that the big companies did. And there’s never been a war between two countries that have a McDonald’s. So we need job creators, and yet we only teach people how to be employees. School’s about conformity, following rules, doing what you’re told, filling in the box, da da da. And that doesn’t create anything.
And I’ve been a CEO of a large company, and I’ll let you in on a secret, now that I don’t have to say, “I think of shareholders first, I think of employees first, I think of customers first.” There’s not a CEO that thinks of any of those things first. Because their board dangles this carrot that says, “If you get the stock to move from here to here, we back up the Brink’s truck to your house, so that your descendants for generations won’t have to work.” So what do you think about? “How do I move that stock?”
Now there’s two ways to move the stock. Simplicity. One is, spend years on R&D, millions of dollars to invent the next cool product. Think of what Apple does. Okay? Well, all those years that you’re investing that money, you’re not making money, so the board’s going to fire you. Okay? Unless you’re the founder. And even Steve Jobs got fired by his board, if you remember. Or you shut down R&D, you cut back everything, you destroy the future of the company, but for one golden quarter you’ll hit that number, and you’ll become rich. And that’s the mentality that’s driving these companies.
Now when that quarter goes over, you can’t pull that trick twice, so here’s the next trick that a CEO does. They’d rather overpay for something that somebody else developed that they can then swoop in and do. So Google, monetizing search on the computer desktop? Genius. Most profitable business model of all time. But one day they wake up, nobody’s staring at computers, they’re looking at their phones. They go, “Holy crap. We’re out of business.” So they buy Android. They don’t care what price. Facebook. Zuckerberg’s killing it. One day he realizes, “Holy crap, they’re all gone to Instagram.” So he spends $17 billion for a company with zero revenues that’d been around for a year. Okay?
This is how you do these exits. People don’t understand this. I teach the deal structure in this book, because we live in this dynamic era. You don’t have to invent things from scratch. You’re not Doc Brown with a flux capacitor. You just have to take something that solves one problem and make life simpler, because we’re now one click away from billions of people. You only have to be right for a nanosecond to make millions of dollars or change the world. And that’s what I teach.
Eric Partaker: And who in the world right now would you say is future proofing really well? Who’s modeling this?
Jay Samit: As a company? Well, you have to start with the obvious ones. Google has the greatest minds in the world working on all kinds of stuff. Still has huge blind spots. And every time they recognize one, they write a giant check.
Now, I got a call about two years ago from somebody very high at Google that they wanted to hire me to consult, and I’m like, “In all actual modesty here guys, when I want to know something, I Google it. You have PhD scientists and engineers and wizards and witchcraft experts, okay? What in the world could I know that you don’t?” And their answer was, “We’ve never successfully brought a product to market.” They’ve never sold a thing. It’s not in their DNA. Their DNA isn’t [crosstalk 00:21:24].
Eric Partaker: They gave away a lot of free products.
Jay Samit: Yeah, Apple never sat down and said, “We’re going to make the best product we can.” That’s not what a hardware company does. It’s “the best product we can, that will get in the store by this date, so we don’t miss Christmas season.”
Eric Partaker: Yeah.
Jay Samit: It’s a different mentality than “We have endless engineers to just keep on making our stuff better and better because there’s no delivery date.” So I go, “Okay, you’re right. I’ll share some brain power.” But there are so many open voids. The one I’m obsessed with right now is a 17 year old high school girl. You’re about to feel like you’ve wasted your whole life Eric, okay? This is a girl who’s 17, okay? I feel the same way.
High school science fair. I’m the living proof of the guy who made the baking soda and vinegar volcano. Okay? That was my high school science fair project. She looked at the number four cause of death in the United States is hospitals. Not what you went into the hospital for, just being in a hospital. Infection. And she started ruminating on this. Make a long story short, she figured out, what if we made stitches, sutures, that changed colors if they were infected?
Eric Partaker: Wow.
Jay Samit: Played with beet juice and the pH balance of skin. It was fairly simple. Parents weren’t doctors or scientists, this is like regular, she saw a problem. You can Google what to do, Google how to get a patent, and she’s now making a fortune.
At the other side of it, in the book I write about a mom that just had one simple problem. The middle of the week, her daughter has to do a project for school on poster board. She messes it up at night, and she’s crying, “Mommy, Mommy, please go back to the store, get me another sheet of poster board, please please please.” The mom relents, but before she gives it to her daughter, she draws little fine lines on it, so the daughter can write straight and do a nice project. In the morning she’s talking to her sister, like, “Why don’t they sell poster board with lines on it?” She files a patent, goes to the biggest maker, and she’s made like $5 million. No employees.
So you just have to solve things. Solve a problem for five people, you have friends. Solve for a million, you’re wealthy. Solve for a billion, you change history. I’ve watched this again and again, of people that have changed our world by just solving one problem. Three guys who were stuck in traffic in Tel Aviv, not the busiest city in the world, but every city is poorly designed, so there’s traffic. And it dawned on them, “The phone company knows where my phone is. They know where that driver’s phone is. If they tell them to go right, me to go left…” that was the genesis of Waze. Sold for a billion dollars without a penny in revenue. Okay? You just have to solve.
And there’s big problems. I don’t want to run another company, but an engineer that worked for me 20 years ago at Sony came to me with something that solved the greatest list of problems in the world. I felt morally obligated to say yes and become chairman of a company called Greenfield Robotics. Hundred years ago, somebody thought the best way to grow food was to dump poison on it that kills all the weeds, all the insects, all the small mammals, all the birds, but it would never do anything to people. Billion cancer cases later, they might be wrong. So he thought about this, and the problem, he grew up on a farm, his father was a… grandfather, Kansas, you know, middle America farmer. “What if on row crops, your corn, your soy, your cotton, what if you made little robots that just went up and down and cut out the weeds? No chemicals?”
Let me tell you what this solves. One, farmers now growing organic makes 40% more. Not a single farm in 2020 in the US made a penny. So farmers make better money. They don’t have to handle the chemicals. Even better. We don’t have to ingest the chemicals, the poisons. Even better. The extra chemicals don’t run down the Mississippi and kill all the fish in the Gulf of Mexico. There’s barely any life there. But here’s the best part. The single largest source of carbon released in the atmosphere isn’t factories or cars, it’s tilling the soil to chop up weeds. So now farmers can go no-till. Imagine that globally. We would take away 16% of what’s heating up our planet without taking away jobs, without hurting people, but by solving a problem that’s universal.
Eric Partaker: That’s amazing. And here we’re talking about groundbreaking innovations and disruptions. Another-
Jay Samit: Yeah, this isn’t for the first time person to sit down on their own and try to do that. But if I have my list of contacts, I’ve raised hundreds of millions of dollars for startups. There’s nobody that you can’t get to at this stage.
I believe the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose. And I couldn’t come up with a better purpose for my time that would help make the world better than I found it than the time I spend with Greenfield Robotics.
Eric Partaker: Fantastic.
Jay Samit: So I had to say yes.
Eric Partaker: And so aside from the disruptive innovations, another big theme in the book is failure. You talked about how failure’s nearly essential at the beginning of our talk just now. I think you say failure is great in the book. Can you turn the light on yourself personally? What was your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?
Jay Samit: Oh, I failed endlessly. Financially the greatest failure was my first little startup company, my video game company. Another company came to me and said, “We’d like to acquire you, we’ll give you one third of our company for your company.” Now this isn’t Jay with the gray hair at this stage of life, this is young kid Jay. I didn’t know what stock was, I didn’t know what that was. “What if he messes up my company?” So I turned having down a third of Activision Blizzard, so that was about a $9 billion mistake by 30 years old.
Eric Partaker: Ouch.
Jay Samit: When things aren’t going well, that haunts you. But it didn’t stop me from moving forward. I still sold my company, still had great success, and quite frankly, after a certain dollar amount, I don’t understand what you could do with more of it.
It’s interesting, Bill Gates, you’re the richest man, you’re stepping down from your day job. He already set up a foundation. It sounds pretty boring for somebody that’s used to accomplishing goals and working nonstop. So a friend of his went up to him and said, “Being the richest guy in the world is kind of cool, but you know what would be really cool? What if you were the first person in history to eradicate a disease from the entire planet?”
That got his juices going, and then he spent the next seven years and billions of dollars getting rid of polio to the four corners of Earth. Then once he saw those size problems, somebody said, “Two billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. Two billion people!” Well, that means making a toilet that sanitizes without using water. That’s his other one. Most of us don’t use clean energy. So he set up these companies, raise unlimited resource, not just financially but knowing the process to set up and create new sustaining businesses that solve problems.
Eric Partaker: So this road, this road that Bill Gates took, this road that you’ve taken, this road that you’ve mentored people to take to create your own future, to create your wealth, to create opportunity for yourself, of course it’s not without trial and tribulation, you even said that, that you were worried that he was going to tap out and give up. When was the last time you were feeling low and down in your journey, and what did you do to correct the course and get yourself back to where you should be?
Jay Samit: Motivation is like a shower, it doesn’t last very long. You need constant reinforcement. So if you can find how to nurture a passion, passion will carry you through those down times. I’ve had down times. Had many hours do you want me on the air? I’ve failed more than most people, because I’ve tried more than most people. Michael Jordan missed more shots than he made. Okay? But there were times. For the first half of my career, for those that are on the ascent that are listening, here was the big epiphany. Took me forever.
I remember being really young, having a brilliant idea, getting that once in a lifetime meeting that you prepare night and day for, you get in there, and it doesn’t go your way and you leave, “Why don’t they get it? Why don’t they get it?” I must have said that for 10 years, because I was always doing the next thing. And then one day it dawned on me. It’s not their job to get it. It’s my job to explain to people living in the past the future in a way that they can comprehend. And once I put that onus on me, I never had a bad meeting again.
Eric Partaker: Right, right.
Jay Samit: And that was such an eye opener. And it’s those types of lessons that made me want to write these books. Because you will learn these lessons, but wouldn’t it be great for the price of a cappuccino to not waste 10 years of your life to get that lesson? I explain to a lot of people how to do all the iterations of their business by talking to customers before they spend a dime, because you’re going to find out what’s wrong with your business plan, I guarantee you. But if you find it out after you’ve spent all the money?
Eric Partaker: Too late.
Jay Samit: Yeah.
Eric Partaker: You talk about 12 truths in the book, to future proof yourself. Which are your favorite?
Jay Samit: Tough to pick a favorite. Having a growth mindset is the most important. Right? That’s where it all starts. But one that I really want to hammer on because it was a pet peeve is, I really hate, and I won’t name names, you’ll find them all over YouTube, the people that tell you to overcome fear, get past fear, fear isn’t real, you’re weak if you have fear. Bullshit. Okay?
Fear is hardwired into our brain. The central core of our brain is the fight or flight. The second I see you for the first time, “Is he going to attack me? Is he going to eat me?” No rational thought takes place. That instantly happens. So telling people that are afraid of starting a business, afraid of losing their money, afraid of losing other people’s money, afraid of being embarrassed, of all those fears… They’re real. You cannot get past them. You cannot put them out of your mind.
But. What I tell people is, imagine you’re thinking about starting a business, thinking about all those fears, you’re walking down your beautiful sidewalk there in Portugal, and a big giant truck loaded with dynamite and bees jumps the rail and is coming right to run you over. What’s the only thing you’re thinking about at that moment?
Eric Partaker: “I’m out of here.”
Jay Samit: Get out of the way of the truck! It’s an existential thing. Your life is going to be over if you don’t jump out of the way of the truck. Which means you can prioritize fears. So if you now reframe… that job that isn’t making you live the way you deserve, that isn’t supporting your family in the manner that they should be, that you’re trading a day of your life, a week of your life, a month of your life, a year of your life… you’re going to wake up one day, and you have given up your life just like that truck. For what? Because you might be embarrassed? When you’re jumping out of the way of that truck, you don’t care how you look. You don’t care if your clothes come off. It’s your life.
So the more that every day you’re wasting is one day less that you’re working on your future… now you can prioritize. Now I have a whole chapter about now that you understand fear, how to harness it, because every person you interact with has those same fears. And if you’re dealing with big companies, the number one fear of everybody there is their existence in that company. Not getting fired. They’re not thinking about how to make the company better. Most aren’t thinking about how to get promoted. If you read The Peter Principle, you understand most people are stuck at the level of their maximum incompetence. They’re afraid of being discovered. So if you can walk in and instead of all about you, solve for that person across the desk?
I have a whole chapter in Disrupt You called OPM, Other People’s Money, of how I get giant corporations to give the millions of dollars for my startups. They get no equity, they don’t want to get paid back. Because I’m solving some problem for them and riding the coattails. When McDonald’s suddenly had their worst year ever and sales were down nine percent, which is huge, because there was a movie called Super Size Me, where a guy dies eating just McDonald’s, I’m like, “These guys are in trouble.” I had to launch a competitor to iTunes for Sony. What do the two have in common? Nothing, that’s my job.
So when I went to McDonald’s, said, “I can make you [inaudible 00:35:19] again, I can get your sales back, put this little code on each Big Mac, ‘Buy Big Mac, get a free track,'” McDonald’s spent the millions on the commercials, put signs in every window, tray liners, bags. Magnificent marketing. It brought their sales back. But you know what it did for me? The first week I launched my digital music store, 20 million paying customers. My marketing budget? Zero dollars and zero cents.
Eric Partaker: Nice.
Jay Samit: And the second I set that up, I could then go to the team that worked for me, and I said, “Okay, we just did QSRs, quick service restaurants. Now take the same model and get me a beer company. Get me a clothing store. Get me a car maker. Get me an airline.” We repeated that model a hundred times.
Eric Partaker: Now, I think a lot of people would love to become something more than they are. They would love to find an idea, to become successful. There are as many people who would say that, “Look, it’s not fear that’s stopping me.” And what is stopping them is that they would say, “I don’t have anything unique. I don’t have an idea. I don’t have anything of value to someone.” And I know you talk about this in the book as well, you talk about your unique superpower and how that equals your success, but-
Jay Samit: I have a technique, and I’ve done this with every class of students, and it’s in the book. Three problems a day for 30 days. I can guarantee you, if you do this, by the end of the month, you will have more deals and more choices than any venture capital firm gets to invest in in a month. It’s that powerful.
And I’ll tell you it right now. Today, not tomorrow, start today, write down three problems in your life. Pretty easy. If you have no problems, I can’t help you. Okay? But do this every day for a month. Because here’s what’s going to happen. After a day or two, you’re going to go, “I have no more problems.” You do, but you’re living with blinders that every time you have one, you don’t think about it. Larry Twersky, a reader that I’ve gotten to know, he was… his version of this, and one morning, he’s taking his medicine, and the phone rings. Finishes the call and he goes, “Wait a second. Did I take my pill? If I take too many, that could be bad. If I don’t take it, that could be worse.” That’s a problem! Add it to the list.
So he thought about it, then he took a little Happy Meal watch, put it on the pill bottle, so when you look at it, says “Oh, I opened it three minutes ago, yes, I took it.” “Oh, I opened it eight hours ago, no I didn’t.” It’s called TimerCap. “Oh, you can do that for opioids so they only lock or unlock.” “Oh, you can put Bluetooth on it so I now know to call Grandma to remind her to take her medicine, because I know that she didn’t.”
Eric Partaker: Love it.
Jay Samit: Huge monster problems. Huge solutions. Business out of one little insight.
What you need is an exercise to get the insights. You only need two things to be successful. Insight and perseverance. I can show you to get the insight for anyone in anywhere, because the greatest thing that came out of the pandemic is people realized that you can work remotely. So you don’t have to pay the rent to be in a big city, you don’t have to live in a first world country. Okay? You can run your life with more enjoyment from Portugal than from where you moved from. And live cheaper. But that also means that somebody in Lisbon can now launch a global business. Or in Costa Rica. Or, I have friends that are truly nomadic. Why wait till you’re old and gray to see this magnificent planet, when you could work, run your business from all over the world, every month be in a different place? Chase the endless summer?
Eric Partaker: And just coming back to a couple of the ideas you mentioned, I like the stitches idea, the idea with the caps. They’re solving problems, but in a way that deals with the physical world that we live in, operate in. There’s no deep tech going on really, it’s just an everyday thing, it’s within our eyesight. And I think a lot of times, people overlook basic things like that around them that can be innovated upon, disrupted, as a source of ideas. It’s right there in plain sight, is the amazing thing. But just nobody has done anything.
Jay Samit: And the thing is, you just have to get out of your “This is how it’s always been done” mentality. You don’t even realize that [inaudible 00:40:11] spend most of your life on autopilot. And most of society just runs on autopilot. Giant corporations are just doing their annual planning cycles on autopilot. Most people are not experiencing the moment by moment.
And if you’re solving a problem, here’s the real benefit. Money’s nice. Not knocking it. I’m not one of those tree hugging, “You don’t need money” guys. Okay? But satisfaction and joy comes from helping others.
Eric Partaker: Yeah.
Jay Samit: So if you’re solving a problem for other people, you’re making the world better.
Eric Partaker: Agree, agreed.
Jay Samit: And that’s a wonderful feeling. I get more satisfaction from those emails that I get from readers than any celebrity I’ve worked with, any multi-billion dollar deal, any of those things. Okay? The idea that somebody in Ghana or Pakistan or places that I’ve had to actually get out the globe to find, I’ve helped. That is what powers me to do this and promote.
I would have liked to kept my privacy, I’m not trying to be some guru or do that. But the only way you can market nowadays, or the most effective way, is podcasts and being a personality. I mean, there’s a reason why Kylie Jenner became a billionaire at 21. Okay? You go, “Well, she’s a Kardashian.” There were no billionaires in the Kardashians. So would you rather do it her way, which is the Future Proofing Me way… She lives down the street, by the way. Or would you want to do it the Warren Buffett way?
Warren just hit a hundred billion dollars. I’ll confess, Warren is worth more than I am. But he made 99% of that after he was 50. Who do you imagine’s having more fun in life? A billionaire at 21, or a billionaire at 50?
Eric Partaker: Jay, fascinating. Absolutely loved the discussion. I loved Future Proofing You, I think the book is fantastic.
Jay Samit: Thank you.
Eric Partaker: Lots of great simple truths, highly practical. I highly recommend it to anyone listening or watching right now. Can we just end with just one last question, Jay? What do you believe that others don’t?
Jay Samit: I truly believe that everyone is capable of success. I have not met someone that I haven’t learned from. And I’m living proof. I was written off as a dyslexic stupid kid. So I truly believe that you can, and that it’s easier today than it’s ever been. That all the groundwork has been laid. You don’t have to figure out how to set up an international distribution center in Bali. It’s called the Internet, it’s already there for you. Right? If you’re making something for left handed golfers under five feet tall, I’m sure you can just buy those keywords. It is so easy nowadays, but most people just weren’t shown the first steps. They can see the horizon. And so I believe it takes so little.
In the case of Vin in this book, by the end of the first month, when he had made almost $70,000, more money than he could have imagined, more money than relatives make in a year, more money than 99% of the planet makes in a year, I didn’t have to motivate him again. It was all internalized. And yes, I gave him advice to tweak the business and some of the complexities that we talk about in the book of how to grow and how to get multiple revenue streams. But once you find out that that voice that says you can’t is wrong? Once you disrupt yourself? That’s why I wrote the first book. Everybody thinks of changing the world, nobody thinks of changing themselves. Once you can change who you think you are, everything else is easy. And that’s my core belief that most people don’t have.
Eric Partaker: Magic. Thank you Jay. Thanks for your service to the world, thanks for the hope that you’ve provided with this book. But I’d say most of all, thanks for making it real and ultra practical, as I said before, so that people, someone can actually pick this up and literally change their life in a very short space of time. And on that note, if somebody is keen to do that, how do they get in touch, and would you mind just sharing once again those workbooks? I think that would be good to [crosstalk 00:45:30].
Jay Samit: Yeah, so the URL is my first and last name, J-A-Y-S-A-M-I-T dot com. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, social media, LinkedIn, da da da da da. If you can’t find me, you’re not trying. You can get the books on Amazon, or wherever books are sold. Disrupt You’s already out in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, this year it comes out in Urdu, Polish-
Eric Partaker: Wow.
Jay Samit: … Croatian, Lithuanian. It’s already out… I mean, it’s mind blowing. I wrote this book imagining the students that I was teaching, imagining typical people that I dealt with. The fact that these truths have now been proved as universal… I mean, two days I got a email from somebody in Ghana. Okay? I know nothing about Ghana. I couldn’t tell you their industries, their exports, their imports, what language… I mean, I’m a moron. But he applied something that he found. I’m just so motivated to try harder to reach other places.
One quick one, then I’ll go. I got an email from a teacher who teaches in an inner city school, and said, “My students have two choices. ‘Would you like fries with that?’ or going to prison.” I mean, that’s basically what comes out of her school. She wants to show them that there’s a third choice, that they could be entrepreneurs. Something. They don’t have role models, they don’t have anybody that can do it. So I said, “Here’s the rights to Disrupt You. Turn it into a course for high school kids. Turn it into a workbook for high school kids.”
So she does this. She wins Teacher of the Year. I then lean on one of my corporations, I lean on HP. I said, “You guys make printers. Why don’t you print some of these to give to all the Boys & Girls Clubs?” Right? So we can put that spark in teenagers’ minds. You know, the bottom hundred and forty million Americans own less than one percent of this country. They’re feeling left out, left behind, clawing for leftovers. That is not how you’re supposed to live your life. That’s not what we are capable of. We’re better than that. So why not show people? And we all benefit from the solutions that they create.
Eric Partaker: Fantastic. Love it. And as the quote goes, the best way to predict the future is to create it, and Future Proofing You is a guide to do that, a guide to help break free from the 98% and join the two percent that are estimated to operate at their fullest potential in work and life. Thanks again Jay, and loved having you on the show.
Hope you enjoyed that discussion, and I know you’re going to absolutely love the next one as well. It’s with John Lee Dumas, talking about his newest book, and all the incredible things that you can be learning to increase your financial awareness and wealth, and I know you’ll love that. Just click on the link right here, and I’ll see you there.