Be The Dumbest Person In The Room

In this episode of the the Circle of Knowledge podcast, the team discusses the concept of surrounding yourself with smarter people in order to grow as a person and professional, which was derived from the book, "How To Be A Bawse," by Lilly Singh.

The Circle of Knowledge podcast is brought to you by Amplified Mind helping entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and dreamers take their business ideas and goals to the next level. This podcast features best-selling industry resources and the professional panel discussion by the core team at Amplified Minds. Now, here are their discussions. (Jon) Welcome back to the Circle of Knowledge podcast. This is Jon Kovach, Jr. accompanied by Brian Hubbard and Matt Fritzsche. Before we get started with our topics today, I wanted to pass it over to Matt who's got a fun fact, which is a fun way we like to start the show off with. (Matt) Okay, now this is definitely more of just a fun get-to-know-me moment. When I was 11 or 12 years old, there was a girl that I had a crush on and we were at a wedding, kind of together, and we played soccer. It was actually my brother's wedding. We were playing soccer, and I remember kicking the ball trying to impress her. And I remember nailing a ball so hard at her face and knocking her right on her backside on the ground. She got up and she was in tears. I felt so bad because I had the biggest crush on this girl. So there's my story. I nailed the girl that I crushed on with a soccer ball. (Brian) Oh, that's one way to impress a girl. (Jon) We call that Crushing It (Gary Vaynerchuk reference). (Matt) Okay, I got the selection of the book for today. And today's book is called, “How To Be A Bawse (as in Boss). It's, “How To Be A Boss,” by Lilly Singh. She is a YouTube star. She's met a lot of famous people. If you read her book, you'll see a lot of her credentials. She knows a lot of prominent individuals. But the topic of discussion for today comes from chapter 32. It's just simply “to be the dumbest.” And what she talks about is being the dumbest person in the room. She has a quote in here that says, “being the dumbest person on your team doesn't make you a stupid person, it means you're smart enough to select people to work with that you can learn from.” And I think that that's a very interesting topic. Just because if you really want to excel yourself forward, you do need to be surrounded by people who are smarter than you. Especially if the whole saying you, you are the average of your five closest friends, right? Or your income is the average of your five closest friends means you better be the dumbest person in the room, or you're never going to grow. So I think that's the topic of discussion. And maybe we could just share some examples or experiences that we've had that emulate this very topic. What can we say to inspire our audience to go find people who are smarter than they are? (Brian) Yeah, so actually, that's one thing that means a lot to me because while I was growing up, I always had a great group of friends, they meant the world to me. And as I started growing up, I learned that maybe they didn't want to be going the same direction as I wanted to. It doesn't mean that they have to go do business like me but they just didn't have the same type of goals. And it's not that I wanted to just drop them cold turkey. It’s not that I wanted to start with an all-new group of friends. But one of the hardest things that I had to do was try to surround myself with people that had like-minded goals. Now, it wasn’t really as I said, ‘cold turkey cut off from my friends,’ but I made an effort to not spend as much time with them because it's I needed to be the dumbest person in the room. I wanted to surround myself with a lot of people that knew a lot more than me that made a lot more than me and had bigger goals than me. I believed that was going to rub off on me. And it's been bar none one of the best experiences for me. If you know my wife and my parents with what they've done, they’ve done something similar and have found much success. For me, it has been the number one thing that has helped me in this world. By surrounding myself with people that think like I do and even more than I do. (Jon) I love that story. I wanted to add to it with a more historical story. A long time ago, there was a group called the Inklings, which was a mastermind group made up of a group of famous writers. Amongst that group was two individuals whom we all know as CS Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien at the time was not necessarily the smartest person in the room of that mastermind group. He came to this mastermind group and started talking about the success he had with his first book, “The Hobbit.” He came to the group struggling with the second Hobbit book which he was calling it at that moment, “The Hobbit II.” He brought it to the group and he said he didn’t know what to do. This is was his dilemma. Tolkien didn't know how to take this story further. Then from within the group, C.S. Lewis, a much smarter author at the time, mentioned to Tolkien that the only way that his stories were going to be interesting is if something happened more to the hobbits. Lewis said, “What makes a hobbit interesting is when he leaves the Shire.” Tolkien was able to take that advice, go back to the book, and write another couple of books, which led to the completion of the greatest story series of all time. We all now know this series as the “Lord of the Rings.” It’s pretty cool when you surround yourself with incredible people, smarter people, and just people whom you know are just better than you, you end up succeeding in many ways that you did not expect. I don't think J.R. Tolkien ever expected to write the “Lord of the Rings” series and to create a language based off of the ideas that he had, and just look at how it's changed the world today. (Matt) Yeah, I would second that. I feel like if you were to take a good survey of all the very successful people that we all want to be like, we’d probably find that every single one of them would say exactly what we're talking about. They’d all probably say that they became who they are because they surround themselves with people who are smarter. I can think of one particular example is in Elon Musk and his what-he-would-call autobiography where he talks about how he (Elon) had moved into some part of Canada, and with no money and just nothing but his brains and the backpack on his back, he met up with a local millionaire or some very prominent individual who kind of took him under his wing. But that was his intention of getting up there — to make sure that he found somebody that he could start emulating and I think it's something we can all do. I think even down to whether it's business related or not, surrounding yourself with the right people is important. I'll tell you that Bob Kittell, public speaker, and mentor figure, share some of my favorite moments in which I appreciate the most. He has helped me find a lot of inner peace. I feel like those moments came from golfing with Bob, from hanging out with Bob, and having conversations that eventually led to me discovering that I had so much turmoil in my life. He showed me that I was just shaking the snow globe in my life. And by shaking that snow globe, there were so many things in my life that just weren’t clear. And after meeting with Bob, so many times of being around him, I started to see a lot of clarity. So it doesn't always have to necessarily be about business. You can emulate someone who is trying to you achieve peace in this world. Look to people who have a happy family, have a happy marriage, and they should lead you to want a happier family and marriage. Go surround yourself with those people who have a happy marriage, because you're going to start picking up and pick up on what they're doing. (Brian) I love that because Bob is a fantastic individual who has really helped us as one of our mentors in public speaking, business, and general habits of life. He has advanced ways of thinking and he's a great individual. I do have a question for Matt and Jon. It's kind of a devil's advocate question because one thing that I think we do very well at Amplified Minds looks at both sides of the story. If you only look at your side, you're going to be blind to the rest of the world out there. And you have to make sure that you see the full spectrum of all things. For example, politics, there's a very strong left and right side to every party. But if you only ever look at the left, and you never even give the option to the right to think about it and consider it, then you're blinding yourself to what other people think of this world. So, after that long introduction, my question to this idea to be the dumbest person in the room if you're the dumbest in the room, that means everybody else is smarter than you. But why in the world would these smart people want to hang out with a dumb person? (Matt) I think there's definitely a counter side to being the dumbest person in the room. I think being the dumbest person in the room means surrounding yourself with much smarter people so you have the chance to ask questions to learn. But I think On the flip side, every smart person wants to be able to give back. I think that they want to give back because they've succeeded and now they won't help the next generation or the next individual succeed. And so I think it's just two sides, you know, are you in it to learn? Are you in it to help others? I think by helping others you surround yourself with as many dumb people as you can. And I am one of those dumb people that allow these smart people surround myself with, which is okay by me, but I just think it's about how your own approach may be. (Brian) I like that answer. As they say that, “success breeds success,” you’ll find that successful people love to help other people become successful because they've learned that's how they became successful, which was through the help of others. And if they don't give back, well, then they're stopping the pay-it-forward universe. So I do agree with that. And, obviously, if you're the dumbest, then why would they want to be with you? But I really do think that that is a good answer. Jon, do you have anything to piggyback off of what has been said? (Jon) I would say if you are the dumbest person in the room, which you should be, find ways to add value. If you're the dumbest person in the room that does not mean you can't add value. And the example I like to give is every football team has a bench, right? Every every sports team has a backup player or backup position. And the reason is just in case the front line goes down, you can resort to your back line. But the backups don't just sit there and ride the bench. There are no freebies in life. When I was in high school playing football, I played safety and wide receiver but I was also the backup quarterback. My coach would always ask me how I was adding value while I was sitting on the sideline. And so the other benchwarmers and I would run up and down the sideline cheering for the starters, psyching them up. We’d get everyone up on their feet and make sure the team was benefiting for our sideline camaraderie. We’d give others high fives and picking each other up when others were down. We’d find a way to add value. You just need to add value in some way. So if you're not the smartest or the best in the room, that doesn't matter, you obviously want to get to that point. So then you can increase your capabilities one day, find a way to create and add value. I think that goes back to what you were both saying, which was, “Are you going to serve in a different way?” That's what definitely brings you that quality of having the dumbest person in the room in the first place. (Matt) Very interesting. I think that we need to give our audience a challenge. What kind of challenge can we give them? I know, we had one individual in our mastermind group just last week whose goal was to meet someone new every single day. But it wasn't just anybody knew. He was going to go to a high-end place like a country club and meet someone new at the country club. I think that we all probably have people that are already smarter than us within our networks. I think now is the chance to maybe go meet someone new that we can learn even more from. So I guess that would be the challenge to our target audience right now. Go get in a place where you know, high-profile people have what you want to be like, what you want to really know. Go to where they hang out and meet just one person. Sit down with them. (Brian) So, just to reiterate, the challenge Matt gave is to go out and meet somebody that's new that is smarter than you. Also, if you are listening and are finding that you are the smartest person in the room, go find smarter people to surround yourself with. The instant that you think you're smarter than everybody else, you're never going to allow other information to come into your life. So always be humble to learn more. But if you do think that you're someone that can help another individual don't have the mindset that others are dumber than you. Just make sure that you're able to help them out because you never know how somebody else can help you out. That's a huge portion of Amplified Minds and our mastermind groups – you will never know what others know and what another person could do for you. Make sure that you are always with an open mind, a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. (Matt) I do find that very interesting because I feel like we have people who attend our mastermind groups who aren't expecting to learn what they walk away having learned. And those are the people who get in there and they're humble enough to listen to others and are blown away with what others have to offer. But then we still have those few individuals who think that they are smarter than everyone else. So for them, they're there to show up and say, I'm here to help you guys. But they walk away from it with no value because they think they're smarter than everyone else. And they'll never grow. I think that they've limited themselves by thinking that they are the smartest person in the room and dumber people can’t provide them value. Sometimes, those same people think that they're God's gift to life and business and that mentality drives me nuts. (Jon) And those people stand out. We know who those people are because they just give off something. (Matt) I love this concept. I love giving value, make sure that you're giving value, even if you're the dumbest person out there. Make sure you're giving value back if you're at the top of your game. Make sure that you're humble enough to listen to other people and be willing to learn from other people because you never know who's going to teach you a good lesson. Make sure to get out there and surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. And that's basically the lesson that we got out of, “How To Be A Bawse,” from Lilly Singh. So if she ever listens to this, which she probably is right now, let's apologize for pronouncing her name wrong. Shameless plug for you, Lilly. My daughter's name is Lily. So at least we got down. (Jon) Thank you all for being with us. We hope you enjoyed the podcast. This is the Circle of Knowledge. Thanks for joining.