Podcast Episode #4 Tribes, by Seth Godin
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(Jon) Welcome to the Circle of Knowledge podcast. This is your host for today, Jon Kovach Jr. Sitting in this room with me today is Brian Hubbard and Matt Fritzsche. We're super excited to talk to you about a book and give you some insights that we're learning from the readings of these books. But I would like to pass it over to Brian.
(Brian) Oh, and I'm actually playing hot potato. I'm passing over to Matt on this one for a little fun fact.
(Matt) And I'm about to pass... just kidding. It's good to talk to you. We're going to share with you a quick fact about our team here at Amplified Minds. Something fun that we like to do when we need to get our minds away from the computer screens and off of all the deep topics we're always discussing, we get together and we rage on Rules of Survival and PUBG, the mobile app games. And by rage, I mean we rage so hard, dying as fast as we possibly can, which is pretty common, but we love it. Rules of Survival and PUBG. There you go. Team Amplified.
(Brian) That is our shameless plug where we get nothing from it, but you should play with us.
(Matt) Today's topic is going to come from the book, “Tribes,” by Seth Godin. I love this passage from the book, “challenge religion and people wonder if you're challenging their faith.”
Look, guys, this is not a religious book. This is a book on leadership and building your tribe (community/following). But I think that is such an interesting idea. If you challenge someone's religion and people wonder if you're challenging their faith. We can take the religious aspect and then start to apply more towards the business side of things. A lot of the wars in history started because of religious disputes. Why is that? It's usually because one guy looks at another and says, “No, you're wrong,” and the other looks at the other and says, “No, you're wrong.” And it starts up a war, right? And it's all because they're challenging each other's religion. And when you challenge religion, people think that you're challenging their faith.
How are wars started over it? This is where I'm going to tie this into business. Again, the passage is, "challenge religion and people wonder if you're challenging their faith." If you're you're listening and you're a salesman, network marketer, or you're starting your own business, and you have a product that you are selling to other people–even if you have an idea or a topic that you address in a conversation with another person, are you challenging their religion? If so, they're going to challenge everything that they know. From a sales standpoint, when you go in with a product that you're trying to get into somebody else's hands by telling them what you're currently using isn't good enough and you need to have my product, what are they thinking? They're not really thinking you're challenging the product. They're thinking you're challenging them because you made the decision to buy that first product. You're challenging them when you're going in and saying, "Look, what you're currently doing is not good enough." The same thing can happen in a regular conversation like starting a business. You might have entrepreneurs going to people working hard or going to school and working a nine to five job, which is honestly something we talk about a lot. Know the risk it takes to jump out of that lifestyle, but for an entrepreneur to come in and say, "you're never gonna go anywhere working a nine to five job so you should start a business," the person is not really thinking you're giving sound advice that I need to go start a business. They're thinking, “Really? Am I making that bad of a decision?” They feel like you're attacking them. Let's open it up. What do you guys think? Have you ever felt that? Have you ever seen that?
(Brian) Have I ever seen the fact that when I challenge something they might get defensive and then they push it back on me or vice versa?
(Matt) Have you ever been sold a product where somebody makes you feel like the decision you previously made to do x, y, and z wasn't good enough and therefore you find a disconnect with what they're trying to sell?
(Brian) Yeah, actually. You know the one thing I'm actually going to bring up right now is once again outside of religion because this is not a religious book. The fun fact that Matt brought up about the game that we like to play is that game actually came from two other types of games? There's a game called PUBG and Fort Night. These are two of the biggest games. These are massive games. There is so much debate of which one's better. It's it's 100% opinionated of what you think is better. And the instant that I say no, this one is better the other person will say, "that's wrong." That's impossible. They put up a wall and they're going to point fingers. Obviously, there will be three pointing back at you. And it doesn't lead anywhere. Debates can lead to places if you are questioning things, but the incident you're just challenging others and you don't have an open mind, it will be impossible to persuade. On the flip side of all this is asking the question, “why,” is not challenging something and simply asking what you know, getting to the core of it all.
One person in my life came up to me and said, "How are you doing this, Brian? How are you doing what you're doing?" And I responded, “Ask your way to wealth.” That was the one thing that popped in my mind at the time. I'm not saying you don't have to challenge others. You can challenge what you think about. But do not put your guard up. Do not be closed minded, it will get you nowhere.
(Matt) Here is an example of all this. Now, I won't tell you my opinion on network marketing, although I've been part of some, and I'm currently a part of one, I think the system works, but this isn't me pitching it. I have been hit up by so many of them in the past and to relate back to this book where it says, “challenge religion and people wonder if you're challenging their faith.” I remember being in a Barnes and Noble once upon a time, and I had an individual who came up to me and saw me looking through the business book section. He said to me, “Oh, you're reading these books. You must be into business.” I told him, "yeah, I've got my own business right now.” And the first thing out of his mouth is, "I think that I have something that I can get you that would replace your income in the next six months. Would you be interested in talking about it?" The first thought that came to my mind was, “Dude, I just told you I own a business. You didn't even ask what I do. You certainly don't know how much I make. But yet you have the audacity to say, you can replace my income in the next six months?" I was instantly turned off because he was challenging my ‘religion’ and what I was currently doing as a business owner, which I just expressed to him. And when he challenged that he was really challenging my faith. Do you think that me starting a business doesn't compete with what you have to offer me? He said, “I'm saying because being an entrepreneur is a part of my core.” I don't want to say it affected me like, “oh, I'm so sad now.” It was nothing like that, but I certainly didn't want to listen to the guy. So from a sales perspective, if you have an opportunity, even if you are in network marketing like this guy was, and if you're part of something like Vivint (summer sales company) or Amway, when you show up on their doorstep or when you approach another individual, do not say, what I have is better than what you have right now.
Because that starts to go back to the decisions they made when they bought it, and how they felt when they bought it. And now you're challenging their faith, not just religion. So be very careful with that. And it's okay to present your opportunity without challenging their your religion. Find the common ground. If the guy would have said, “you're a success or you're a business owner? Let me find out more about your business? Tell me about your business. How much do you make? If you were to say those are great things, those are things that I'm working towards. I'm doing it this way. Have you ever thought about doing it this way? That's a completely different and more open approach and more friendly approach than I think I can replace your income in the next six months. You see what I'm saying?
(Jon) Yeah, absolutely. This whole time I've been thinking about one perspective of the entire concept and that perspective is being on the opposite end of the recipient. How many of us have ever had a good experience with a car salesman? Probably nobody in our audience is raising their hands, I assume, because everyone has had a bad experience with their car salesmen. I once took in a car that I bought four years ago. And it was a pretty car. And they asked me, “why did you get this car in the first place?” And I said, “Well, it was at a time I needed it.” And they said, “Oh, well, you should have never done that.” And I was immediately taken back. But then I thought, “you know what, I'm going to be open to this.” And so my thought is you need to learn how to cope with the challenges of your faith and to be more open as you learn to ask why. As you learn to be open to the idea of learning about why they're coming at you that way, then I think you're able to learn a little bit more from them and to approach it as, “okay, they're trying to get something done. They're trying to sell me something, or they're trying to get something across.” But the most important thing to realize is that maybe you can learn something from these people and that you can gain so much more from just asking why. And you can completely change the atmosphere of a selling pitch, or somebody challenging your religion by just continuing to ask that question. You know, that little kid in the family reunions who is always like, why, why, why? Well, if you continue to go down that road, you might actually find some pretty incredible things.
(Brian) To tailor right off of that, Jon, is we don't want to sit here and tell you what not to do. I don't think that that's very productive. We want to sit here and tell you what you can do. So what we can tell you obviously, you know, within this point that we brought up, don't challenge but just ask why. Maybe get to the root of what is going on. You don't have to just jab them in the heart or stab them in the back. You can go about it in a different perspective and ask the same thing and continue getting to the point that you want to get at, which is that you initially wanted to be able to just challenge right off the bat because we're all defensive people at the core. But let's switch it up a little bit. Let's open our minds to what's out there and ask them in a different perspective to go to get to them to the same direction of where you're wanting to go through a different angle. So that's one thing that we can tell you to do is go about it with a different perspective. Then, simply ask why. Get to the point of what in the world you're wanting to build so that you can tell them what you want to tell them at that point.
(Jon) For example, Matt, why do you listen to Evanescence?
(Matt) Because when I was in middle school I thought she was hot and I loved all their music all growing up. I was working with my brother from age 12 and up and I used to help him do some of the handy stuff flipping houses and he loved rock. It was a great combo. So the rock side is a little bit more sentimental. You know, I'm a 90s rock guy, for sure. But adding the fact that she was a female kind of added to it. And there was something about her music that I loved. Oh, and not to mention, I love the piano. I'm a piano player myself. And piano soothes me, and she is a freaking incredible piano player (pianist).
(Jon) So taking that one step further, why was that something that resonated with you?
(Matt) Again, hot girl plays the piano and is involved in rock music. It can't get better.
(Jon) And we could keep going. If you keep asking why and push, you're going to get to a deeper, much deeper knowledge. He could say, well, actually, it comes down to a certain soothing memory that I had.
(Matt) Well, I think that unfortunately, I practice the whole study of why. I feel like I kind of addressed it in the first part, right? But if I'm gonna get in deeper, especially to those moments when I was working with my brother and we would listen to Pearl Jam, we listen to Stained (the band), and Lincoln Park, and for me I just fell in love with rock because it was what my older brother liked and so I loved that too. So that was very sentimental to me.
(Brian) One way that Jon could have gone about this is if he had asked, “why did you like that band?” On the contrary, had he started right off saying, “dude, Linkin Park is way better,” then boom, there goes up a wall. He’d be challenging what that person believes. And that conversation is not going to go anywhere. All you're going to do is debate and challenge each other. If you think Evanescence is better than Linkin Park, then that approach is not going to get to where you want it to go.
(Matt) And and I think that your intent will come out in the way that you communicate because I can also think with the question why, for example, I was using a pest control company. I don't remember who they were because honestly, they weren't that great. But we were using them and we were paying for them. Well, I met another guy from another pest control company who came up to me and said, “why in the world are you using those guys?” You know, my first thought was, “why in the world are you questioning my decision to pick those guys?” You know what I mean? Did I give him my business? No, I did not. So I think it's definitely in the way you communicate. But at the least, be sincere about what the other people care about first. It goes back to the concept from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People right from Stephen Covey, “Seek first to understand then to be understood.” Don't come out and try to be understood. Seek to understand and I think it's where you communicate. So if you are going to ask why it's to seek an understanding, not to be understood. Questions like, “why would you pick them?” don’t seek to understand but throw the balance of intent way off. Do you see what I'm saying? And I feel like that's a big difference between manipulation and persuasion. Manipulation is asking the question, “why would you pick those guys?”, which leads them into giving you those answers, so you can plug in why you're better. Taking that example of manipulation and compare it to persuasion is, “I'm curious to know what made you go with that group?” You see what I'm saying? Just minor hints. There is a difference in the way you communicate that makes such a big difference. The point of it all guys is don't challenge people's religion because if you do you're going to challenge their faith. And we don't like that. If you want to sell more. If you want to make more money with your business, go to the way of communicating intently. Start looking at yourself first and how you can communicate it first or seek first to understand then to be understood. So we've kind of combo a little bit of Stephen Covey. We've talked about a few other things start with why from Simon Sinek for goodness sakes, and to remind you guys to go check out tribes from Seth Godin.
(Jon) Great conversations. We appreciate you being with us. And thank you for joining us on the Circle of Knowledge. Thanks, everyone.
(End of Podcast)
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