Perry Marshall, thought leader extraordinaire, joins Tonya Dawn Recla to explain the potential business benefits of personal development. From demystifying Google AdWords to decoding sales and marketing to deconstructing evolution, Perry leaves no stone unturned. He also happens to be one of the world’s most expensive and sought-after business consultants. Clients seek his ability to integrate engineering, sales, art and psychology. Listen in as he talks super powers and how to spend your time doing $10,000 an hour work.
Hello everybody! This is Tonya Dawn Recla, your Super Power Expert. I’m a particular kind of thrilled today to have with us, Perry Marshall. I’m going to tell you before we bring him on why I’m particularly thrilled about this particular guest. Perry’s resume is very, very, very impressive. Most people will say it looks extremely good on paper, but I will tell you what really jumped out at me. This nice hybrid of the ultimate guide to Google AdWords and he’s a business consultant. He also serves as the expert witness in Google AdWords litigation, which who knew that was a field, right? It didn’t even register, but it makes perfect sense when you hear it.
But what really jumped out at me was this quote. It just really got to the heart of me and I’m really excited about our conversation. He quotes from somebody saying, “If you don’t know who Perry Marshall is — unforgivable. Perry’s an honest man in a field rife with charlatans.” Here at Super Power Experts we are very, very, very big on transparency, in showing up fully in your own authenticity and autonomy. And that just really jumped out at me. In a world where, you can imagine, in the litigation world, even in the Google AdWords world, in all of those fields. He happens to also be an electrical engineer. He dances in some of these really traditional arenas. For somebody to say that and to have that perspective and in the short time that I got to chat with him before the interview, I can say that in full transparency that you can feel that from him. And so, I’m excited to have him share that perspective. So Perry, welcome to our show today. We’ll actually take a pause because I’m excited about our title too. Today’s show is about “Can Perry Marshall explain the potential business benefits of personal development?” Hi Perry. Welcome.
Hey, it’s great to be here. And I’m just glad that we can kind of have a little fireside chatter. It’s summertime, so I don’t know, maybe it’s not a fire, maybe it’s an iced tea chat. I am kind of a personal development junkie of sports. I mean, I didn’t go to the Anthony Robbins seminar Walk on Fire but I’ve been to a lot of seminars and I spent an awful lot of my money trying to make myself better and yet is a personal development scam or not. It’s six o’clock.
Like I said, my bias is I think you absolutely can explain the potential benefits of it. Let’s jump in first and ask you, what are your super powers?
I actually have a list of six that I can tell you. I’ll give you the story after I tell you. I deconstruct. I invent. I write. I teach. I encourage and I evangelize. Those are my six things. The way that I came up with this is I got this assignment from Dan Sullivan and strategic coach and it was email 10 of your friends and ask them, “What do I do better than anybody else?” and take this class and can you tell me in your own words and people and the assignment was to sift, sort and distill the answers down until like you looked at what all the people said what most of the people said and reduce it down to one word or one phrase. I did that. Everybody should. The way I look at my work is that the more of those six that I’m using at any one time, the better fit that task is for me. The more valuable it is and the more I’m going to get paid for it. And in my book between sales and marketing I talk about how there’s a $10 an hour work and there’s $100 an hour work and there’s $1,000 an hour work and there’s even $10,000 an hour work. You’ll only do that $10000 an hour work if you’re on all your zones pretty much simultaneously. You must know yourself. That’s my super powers. That’s all six of them.
Well, those are impressive enough to say you are very prepared for that question. I love it. But I feel very clearly that it wasn’t necessarily preparation for that question that it feels very intrinsic to how you operate. I appreciate that even more. The value in the business sector and it’s fascinating because you really do see the delineation between business owners who are willing to take our look at themselves versus the ones that want to keep everything kind of external and off of them and about the business or about other people or about strategy and sales and everything else, without incorporating that real internal process. What have you seen over the years and in your experience distinguishes the folks who accomplish the most in business and experience the most in business success?
I found that the people that get the farthest are not just good learners. They’re voracious about learning. They’re voracious about implementation. They don’t starve themselves. I’ll tell you a story, my personal development stuff goes back to the early 90s and I got into Amway. I’m going to all the rallies and the seminars and I’m buying the tapes and I’m reading the books and basically drinking the pink Kool-Aid. That didn’t really work. I got a lot out of it and I got a lot of payoff, but I didn’t get a lot of payoff from that, if you know what I mean. Fact is, the whole thing was kind of a bust. Then I did find some good sources. For about two or three years, I kind of had this whole budget and “okay, this is what I’m going to spend developing myself.” Our money was pretty tight and stuff and I wasn’t. Go for broke about it as I was in Amway because I’d been burned. Does that make you all sense?
It absolutely makes sense and we talked to a lot of people who have that same experience. It creates a lot of resentment over time and I think that that’s where a lot of people get turned off from the conversation altogether. That’s really what jumped out at me about that quote was the idea of here’s this guy in the midst of the charlatans. I love that word, the snake oil salesman. My husband and I coming out of the counter intel arena we started a business doing due diligence and B2B transactions specifically because we saw a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs getting taken for their money for reasons that really didn’t need to happen. That critical thinking deconstruction kind of thing is really helpful in those situations. I absolutely feel what you’re talking about there.
The irony is I was go for broke when I was getting ripped off. And then I was cautious when I wasn’t getting ripped off anymore and that’s a little backwards. I think you can see in. What I see is that people that really kind of break out and run ahead of the pack are able to kind of shed that reticence or the reluctance and just like, “man, I’m running for word. If I find a really good author I’m going to buy all their books. I’m going to go to all their courses. I’m not just going to kind of sample a little bit of this, a little bit of that and give their permission to be a little bit obsessive, if you will.” Look, really successful people are obsessive. In fact, a lot of customers that I have. One thing about my little tribe, we call it Planet Perry. We do have a lot of candid conversations. I had a lot of customers and clients who have addictive personalities and it’s usually multiple things. So it’s usually like really good things, like running their business and being excellent. And there’s usually some bad ones that come along with it. Like, no joke, I had a customer die of an opioid overdose about a month ago. Very sad. Now this is not normal. I’m not beginning to suggest that Period got like a little tribe of drug users or not. Not at all. But just to say that an addictive personality is an addictive personality and like you’re really into stuff. My friend who followed Van Halen all over the country. He’s also a good entrepreneur. For the same reason, when he chops down on something. I mean he is chopping down on that thing and he is not letting go just remorseless and relentless. Along with, I also think the ones that are most successful long term are the ones that are willing to be introspective. They’re willing to look at their demons. They’re willing to confide in other people. They’re willing to be critiqued and criticized by other people. They don’t live in some little bubble that feeds their ego. That’s a dangerous one. If you’re constructing a little world that feeds your narcissism, that’s a very bad sign.
Well, you’ve touched on so many key points. When I first heard the call, if you will, to create this like international personal development and what not, it was some of the key elements of it were exactly you’re talking about like the collaboration effect the accountability effect the you know peer to peer, like they growing transparently in the presence of others and things that over a period of business consulting and kind of coaching timeframe I saw really distinguish who was moving forward and who wasn’t not. And the balance of the inner and the outer worlds I think you encapsulated that really eloquently in the sense that you have to be out there and experiential and doing and experiencing and failing and getting back up and all that stuff. Interweave the inner journey also and I see that there seems to be folks that kind of are on either side of that: fully introspective or fully out there in the world. It’s that balance in that integration I think that where the sweet spot lies. So talk to me a little bit about how you know you’ve got kind of a vast array of experience from the using the ultimate guide a Google AdWords and all the way into this Evolution 2.0. You’re the perfect profile of something that’s doing this experiential thing. Talk to me a little bit about how you’ve kind of gone into all these different environments.
I believe, one of my core beliefs is that the whole universe runs on a fairly short list of simple principles and that they just combine together to make a very complicated world. Most people live at the level of all of the surface level complications and they think that every situation they encounter is new. When in fact, if you can just wrap your head around a few simple principles you’ll start to recognize that you’re dealing with the same stuff all the time. For example, people ask me all the time actually. So you’re an electrical engineer who built a marketing career and then wrote an evolution book, like, what does any of these things have to do with the other. My answer is all three of these things have everything to do with each other. The short answer is the engineering was how I learned all about digital code. And the whole you know the whole digital world is built on that. Google AdWords is a big giant evolution machine where you test ads and the winners dominate markets and the losers go bankrupt. It’s like a big giant videogame where you make lots and lots of money if you win. Right. Google AdWords is only a microcosm of how the wider world of evolution works it or it’s on the exact same rules. So like when you take antibiotics the doctor says, “you have to finished this bottle. Do not stop taking these until they’re all gone.”
Well the voice the voice of the universe: God is that you?
Perhaps. Well, why do you have to finish your antibiotics? Because if you don’t kill those little bugs they’ll evolve into super bugs in about a week and they will they will develop new features and they will rearrange their DNA because they are. If you’ve ever done Google ads or Facebook ads you hopefully know that you’re supposed to split test ads. Let’s try this, let’s try that. Well, that’s what germs do. So if you don’t kill them you don’t finish them off. Man they’re roaring back with a vengeance later. In fact, a germ can make a major evolutionary leap in about 30 minutes if he finds the right combinations like cracking the code on a walk. Which is sort of the feral invincible entrepreneur. You can knock him down but if you don’t kill him, you’re in trouble.
Oh, you said feral invincible entrepreneur.
I had this friend named Tom. Tom was visiting his friend at Stanford University . They had thrown away these rat cages. On the sight of these rat cages, Tom was looking at him he’s like what’s this tinfoil and the guy says that’s not tinfoil, that’s stainless steel but rats are feral and they gnaw on that stainless steel until it’s thin as tinfoil. Then we have to go get a new cage and throw the old one away, otherwise they’ll break out and they’ll spread all over the place. And Tom says to me and just then I realized and this is how Tom thought, “just and I realized, entrepreneurs are feral men.”
It is not I would say.
You have to know how to evolve. When I wrote the book Evolution 2.0, it was actually because I was skating on the on the boundary between science and religion. I really wanted to know how this stuff all works. I just wanted to just get me to the truth here. What I realized is I got into in this is that I’ve been living this my whole entire life. Like the same thing that happens in a petri dish happens in one of those incubator centers that that they have down the street from the college campus where all the startups are. It’s like the same thing. It’s like we’re recombining different genes and different DNA. We’re crossing different organisms together and work or making hybrids and we’re making duck billed platypuses. If we do enough of these interesting experiments something amazing is going to happen. We’re going to be the next Uber or we’re going to be the next AirBnB. And our balls are going to be so big that everybody’s not going to be able to believe it.
We will get invited to banquets. And then we’ll run for president.