[Transcript] – Zombie Musicals, Quitting Your Job & Living An Extraordinary Life with Stever Robbins.

Affiliate Disclosure


Podcast from: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/06/stever-robbins-podcast-the-get-it-done-guy/

[0:32] Four Sigmatic Food

[2:19] Blue Apron

[4:04] Kimera Koffee

[5:50] Introduction

[7:23] All about Stever Robbins

[10:00] What is a Zombie Musical?

[13:52] The reason why Stever moved away from home

[16:57] What Stever means when he says “the journey is the reward”

[21:09] 3 Questions to ask yourself about life according to Stever

[41:31] Myths that might get in the way to live the extraordinary life

[54:38] How dangerous the concept of delayed gratification can be

[1:04:19] End of Podcast

Ben:  Hey it's Ben Greenfield, and I took a risk today.  I actually decided to talk about business and lifestyle and self-improvement with my guest.  There's a reason for that.  And I'm gonna tell you why in the intro to today's episode.  But be forewarned.  We're not gonna be talking about crunches or sipping green smoothies.  The first fifteen minutes or so of this episode we had some audio difficulties but it gets better as we go along.  Trust me.

I wanted to tell you though, about a couple of things.  First of all there is this new mushroom blend.  I've been talking about how I dumped Chaga which is a potent immune system stimulant into my coffee.  But now I decided to switch up a little bit and use the same company that I was getting my Chaga from.  But now it's Chaga blended with cordyseps, enokitake, maitake, shiitake, lion's mane, bet you didn't know that there are many ta-ke's huh, tremella, agaricus, meshima and reishi mushroom.  I think I butchered the name on one of those, or two possibly three.  And then rose hip for a boat load of Vitamin C.  So these are dual extracted, all the mushrooms are, so you get the alcohol, soluble components as well as the water soluble components.  And everything that I just told you about each of those mushrooms.  Those are considered medicinal mushrooms that specifically target your immune system.  And then the rose hip, of course with the enormous amounts of Vitamin C that rose hips have also provide a natural source of Vitamin C to strengthen your immune system.

All these stuff comes from a company called Four Sigmatic, and the name of that blend I just told you about is Winning X.  Winning X.  No clue why they named it that.  But it's called Winning X and you can get a discount on. The way you get a discount on for 15% off is you go to foursigmatic.com, just like it sounds f-o-u-r Sigmatic.com/Greenfield.  When you go to foursigmatic.com/greenfield, you use coupon code Ben Greenfield.  And that gets you 15% off this dual extract blend of 10 different mushrooms called Winning X.  Highly recommend, you try it out if you basically don't want to get sick ever.

This podcast is also brought to you by exactly what my kids are going to be using tonight to cook me Peruvian roast chicken and potatoes.  And while most 8 year olds wouldn't really know how to cook Peruvian roast chicken and potatoes my kids do because they're following a recipe card along with a box of every ingredient that they need for this.  The chicken, the sauce, the smoky spices, the vinegar, the pickled jalapeño, the green beans.  Like it all comes to our house in a special package along with a bunch of other recipes each week from this company called Blue Apron.

So my kids can literally just take this card out.  It wasn't actually designed for kids, it was designed for adults, but it's so easy the kids can do it.  Anyways, they’re make this meal and this company, Blue Apron actually sends meals to your home each week that you can cook, but they use really, really good ingredients to make home cooking easy and also healthy.  So things like Japanese ramen noodles and wild Alaskan salmon, heirloom tomatoes.  It's always the best food and it's always inexpensive.  It's like less than 10 bucks a meal that you get these seasonal recipes delivered to your home for.  So the deal is that you can get your first 2 meals for absolutely free with free shipping.  If you just want to try ém out.  If you don't believe me, and you just want to try it out and get something shipped to your house.  You go to blueapron.com,  That's b-l-u-e apron dot com.   For those who don't want to spell blue without the E, don't do it.  Go to blueapron.com/ben.  When you go to blueapron.com/ben you'll get your 2 meals free with the free shipping.

And then finally, this podcast is brought to you by Kimera Coffee, and Kimera Koffee I've talked about a lot before.  How they make this nootropic infused coffee that's got special chemicals in it that turn up the dials in your brain.  I say chemicals but that sounds really bad.  They're just natural things like DMAE and phosphotidylcholine and theanine.  And things that you'd find in nature but they just add them to the coffee.  They just came out with this new stuff though called Kimera Cacao.  It's raw cacao and cinnamon.  And then also this stuff called L-Glutamine.  It's in this little shaker bottle that you put into your coffee.  You can blend it with your coffee or dump it in your coffee or whatever.  Now L-Glutamine, the cool thing I like it does a bunch of stuff.  But the cool thing I like about it is especially is it helps to heal a leaky gut.  It’s like a band aid to heal your gut.  And so, while you're drinking your coffee, you can at the same time be lining your gastrointestinal tract with this vital nutrient.  This glutamine stuff.  So you can get a discount on not just this new Kimera Cacao.  You get 10% discount on that, 10% discount on the Kimera Koffee that you dumped the cacao into.  All over at Kimera Koffee that's k-i-m-e-r-a-k-o-f-f-e-e dot com.  And at kimerakoffee.com you use discount code BEN to save 10%.  So enjoy that.  The Kimera Cacao along with your Kimera Koffee.

Alright.  So, like I mentioned, today's episode is a little different.  Let me know if you like it.  Go to the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/extraordinary if you do like it.  Or if you don't like it, just let me know and I can never ever again interview somebody about lifestyle improvement.  But anyways, my guest's name is Stever Robbins a.k.a. The Get-It-Done Guy.  Enjoy.

In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show:

“A lot of people focus on the times they hear no, and they go, oooh, it’s real, I can't ask that person that! And what I would say is, you know what, even if only 1% of the people say yes to the request that you're making, all that means is that you need to get through those 99 no's as quickly as you can to get to the 1 yes.  “The advice we're giving each other when we say maybe we just need to work harder.  What we're saying is, maybe you need to just do a few more hours of things that you're not good at and you really don't enjoy, and then you'll have the life you want.”

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:  Hey, folks it's Ben Greenfield here, and last month I was driving to play tennis at the club.  I play tennis on Wednesday nights in the men's league.  While I was driving to tennis, I plugged in this audio episode that I downloaded to my MP3 player, it’s called ‘Living an Extraordinary Life.'  And I'm not really a voracious like self- improvement consumer, and this type of thing doesn't actually happen very often when I'm listening to podcast or audio books or audio lectures, but I actually found myself multiple times stopping to like pump my fist and verbally like shout in agreement and furiously take notes on my phone.  Not that I would ever hold my phone while driving but I'm just saying.  It was quite an experience and the actual program I was listening to was called ‘Living an Extraordinary Life' and it was recorded by my friend and also a fellow podcaster named Stever Robbins.

So, if you've ever been over to the website Quickanddirtytips.com or iTunes, you may know that I have this podcast called The Get-Fit Guy podcast.  And there's another podcast put out by these same folks called The Get-It-Done Guy podcast and Stever is the Get-It-Done Guy.  And he's basically more or less a lifehacker.  He's got a ton of business experiences.  Company is called Ideas Unleashed.  But he has a ton of experience primarily in business.  He co-founded an early internet success story called FTP software.  He was COO of a company called Building Blocks Interactive, CEO of jobtactoe.com, he's been a team member of 10 different start-ups, 4 IPO's, 3 different acquisitions, project manager at Intuit.  He's been a business plan judge over at the Harvard Business School, and his podcast what I mentioned The Get-It-Done Guy podcast, it has spent weeks and weeks as number 1 in the iTunes business category.  It's been downloaded over 23 million times, and he's seen all over the place; CNN Entrepreneurs, Living the American Dream, New York Times, Fox News, MSNBC.  Stever's a rock star in the whole like business self- improvement world.  And now we get to speak with him.  Most lately, Stever actually co-wrote a musical, and the musical is called ‘Work Less and Do More The Zombie Musical.'  Yes a zombie musical.  So, Stever, that's my first question for you actually, man.  What is a zombie musical?

Stever: Well, that was quite an introduction.  Thank you for having me.  A zombie musical is a musical about zombies.  This was started as a joke.  I wrote The Get-It-Done Guy book based on my podcast which is called The Get-It-Done Guy's – 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More, and I was talking to a friend of mine and for some reason he just acquired an interest in theater.  I had never acted, I had never sung, I had never danced.  But I was interested.  And I was talking to a friend and I said, you know, I’m doing this book on personal productivity but I really wanna be doing theater right now.  And wouldn't it be funny if I had a one man show that I can perform that would somehow based on my book and could be part of the book promotion.  And my friend just looked at me and he said; “you do know what I do for a living, right?” And I said, “Sure! you're a Journalist.”  ‘Cause I thought he was a Journalist.

Ben:  Alright.

Stever:  And he was not.  It turns out unbeknownst to me he teaches at musical composition at NYU.  So he has written several musicals that have been on off Broadway and things like that, and I approached him a couple of days later and I said; “you know that thing I was joking about, you wanna actually do it?”, and what it is it's a musical it's intended to be done as a business keynote, so it's 45 minutes long.  It can be, the original version was an hour, we cut it down so that it would be doable as a lunch keynote.  It is so dramatic that people cry, and it is so information packed that people take notes.

Ben:  Where does the zombie part come in?

Stever:  Well where the zombie part comes in is that there is hypothetical person names Stever Robbins who is a graduate of Harvard Business School but the kids at Harvard Business School ostracizes him and never invited him to their parties where they had Oreo ice cream cake.

 Ben: (chuckles)

 Stever:  So, after he graduated, he decided to get revenge by raising a zombie army and taking over the world, and cornering the world supply of Oreo ice cream cake.  So that way if they ever had parties going forward they would have to invite him.

 Ben:  Oh wow!

Stever:  And the audience is the zombies, and this is the orientation lecture and tomorrow is the day that we're going to march on Washington and take over the world.  And so, the theme of the show is; Welcome Zombies, this is your orientation lecture.  And he gets a little ways into it, and then let's just say that the unexpected happens.  And it takes you on a journey of discovery both personal and self-discovery but also discovery of things like, how to deal with your inbox better.

And in fact, anyone who'd like to watch, we did a 5 minute promo video, and had two professional musical theater actors from New York perform it.  So it's just topnotch skill level.  And if you go to worklessanddomore.com.  All one word. worklessanddomore.com. The first link on the page is a video.  Click it and you can watch a little 5 minute promo where you can hear the songs, and you will actually get 3 of the tips from my book in that promo.

Ben:  I love it.

Stever:  And you know honestly, it's one of the things I'm proudest of in my entire life. (giggles)

Ben:  That's great.  And I know you've got a little bit of a back sore about how, of more about like how you got involved in a musical but I will link to that in the show notes.  Any of you listening in, the show notes for this episode are gonna be at bengreenfieldfitness.com/extraordinary.  It's bengreenfieldfitness.com/extraordinary, if you have difficult spelling extraordinary, just goggle that.

So anyways, Stever, you moved away from home when you were 15 years old.  That to me seems like a pretty early age, and I was home schooled.  I graduated high school when I was 15, and started university when I was 16 but I was living with my parents at that time.  I did not actually move away from home because I liked the free food.  But you moved away from home when you were 15.  Why did you do that and what led up to that?

Stever:  Well, I would love to tell you some dramatic story about I was going to be the next Elon Musk or a horrible tragedy about drug abuse.  None of those are true.  The truth is quite simple.  I was living with my mother and stepmother in Allentown, Pennsylvania and I, let's just say was not a big fan of living with my mother and stepfather. So when I went out to visit my father for the summer, I simply informed him that I was going to stay.  My stepmother took, as soon as he informed my stepmother, she then informed me back that she had no intention of being in the position of a mother.  That wasn't what she had signed up for.  And she refused to have me live with them.

So they lived on a tiny apartment complex, and the solution that we ended up with is renting a studio apartment about a hundred feet from their back door.  And I moved into this studio apartment and then they announced that they were gonna be moving away.  And did I wanna go with them?

And I had, this is the first time in my life that I had ever had friends, that's a long story I grew up in a travelling new age commune, so all of the neighborhood kids were always warned about the kids on the other side of the tracks, well that was us.  So, I grew up never really having any friends, I had friends for the first time.  I was going to a magnet school that specialized in Math, Science and computers, and when they said you can come with us or you can stay here in San Diego.  I said, you know what, I'm staying in San Diego.  So they moved away and I stayed.  And the funny part is at that time when I look back on it, I think, really, really 15 years old and I just stayed when they moved away?  I became an emancipated minor legally so that I could take care of my own affairs and stuff.  But you know, at that time it didn't seem unusual.  It was the only next step that I could possibly take to get what I wanted.  The hardest part of the whole process was the one I went down to the courthouse to get my emancipation papers ratified or whatever they call it by a judge.  I went up to the courtroom that they had assigned me and the courtroom had a big sign that said, ‘no minors allowed.'   So I was sitting there thinking well what can I do coz until I've had the papers signed, I'm a minor.  And just a sheer stroke of serendipity at that moment, my best friend’s mother who was a lawyer happened to be walking down the hall on her way back from a case.

Ben: Oh wow!

Stever:  And she saw me and she's like, ‘what are you doing here?” I said, I need to get my papers signed so that I can be an adult even though I'm just 15”.  And she said. “Absolutely!”  And she went it, argued my case for me, got the papers signed and delivered them to me.

Ben:  Holy cow!  Jesus.  There are so many little back stories there especially like what a new age commune is that I would love to delve into.  But perhaps I've to pick your brain at another time about that because what I actually I wanted to get you on the podcast to talk about was what got me pumping my fist in the car that day.  And that is this ‘Living an Extraordinary Life’, and for those of you listening in, I'll link to the full audio of what I was listening to Stever talk about.  If you get to bengreenfieldfitness.com/extraordinary,  I'll link to that.  But Stever, you start that entire conversation off by saying, ‘the journey is the reward.'  What do you mean by that?

Stever:  Oh, what I mean by this.  This has been something that has taken me so long to notice.  It was in front of my face the whole time and I never noticed it.  What I mean by that is that, and this is gonna be heresy for those people who are into personal productivity.  But I truly believe this.  Goals, reaching your goals don't matter.  When you ask somebody about something they're proud of?  Generally, what they're proud of is the experience that it took to reach the goal, not the actual reaching of the goal itself.  When I strive for something, right I went to Harvard Business School and MIT.  And interestingly enough, in neither case was I going because I knew it was a big named school.  The circumstances surrounding my getting into both of those were very unusual.  And it was never like, oh my god I want an MIT degree.  It just happened to be the school that I was going to for completely different reasons.

And when I graduated, it was like, ‘okay, yey! now, I have an MIT degree’.  But when people say what was it like?  I don't say, ‘oh well, you know it was great!’  The piece of paper felt so good and I feel like such an awesome person because I have a degree.  What I talk about instead, is no here's what the experience was like.  Here's the things I liked about it.  Here's the things I didn't.  Here's the way it changed me.  I talk about virtually everything except the actual reaching of the goal itself which is the least important part.

Ben:  Interesting.  So when this comes to something like, for me this was the case when I was training for Ironman for example, like my first Ironman.  I remember thinking when I was at the starting line of that race that it was all about the finish line, and then I crossed the finish line, and started telling stories with all of my friends and started thinking back to all of those hours spent like, riding through the forested mountains of Couer d'Alene on my bike, and swimming in the ocean over and over again, and you know, learning how to do open water swimming and just all these little things that led up to the actual finish line.  That you know, that whole phrase of the journey is the word really struck a chord with me because in fitness especially for a lot of the people who are listening in who are getting ready for a 5k or a triathlon or a marathon or a Spartan race or whatever, sometimes frankly, the event is either a letdown or it's not quite as good as what you thought it might be or just as good as you thought it might be but the journey is even better.

Stever: Absolutely.  Well, as somebody who is not naturally inclined towards fitness and exercise, who lives entirely in my head, as you know, I actually work out 7 days a week, well I work out 6 days a week and rest 1 day.  And I have a trainer so I'm making sure that I'm always doing everything you know, well balanced in getting results.  But the thing that keeps me going back to the gym and I am super aware of this.  In fact I did a series of Get-It-Done Guy episodes about my motivation for how do I keep myself going since the activity itself doesn't intrinsically motivate me.  But what I've discovered is by going every day at the same time and always showing up, I've met all of the other people who go at the same time and they always show up.

And so we formed a little community and it just so happened that what we have in common is that we all work out.  So we're always talking about our work outs,   we're always trading tips, we're always spotting each other, but we're not doing it, well, actually I don't know why the other people are doing it.  I'm not doing it because I'm inherently interested in fitness.  I'm doing it because I'm inherently interested in having a community, in having friends who I see on a regular basis.  And it just so happened that I was able to evolve this at the gym.  So for me yes, I love the way I look, I love the way I feel,  I love the fact that I am in unbelievably good health for someone of my age etcetera, etcetera.  However, the journey is the part that motivates me to get to the gym and the journey is I get to hang out with my friends.

Ben:  Yeah.  So there were 3 questions, and each of the 3 questions are kinda involved,   but there's 3 questions that you ask yourself or that you decided to ask yourself.  Can you go in to why you came up with 3 questions to ask yourself about your life, and how it was that you discovered those questions?

Stever:  Absolutely.  They came to me in a dream.  I'm not a particularly religious person but I dreamt I was talking to God, and God offered to give me the final exam of life.  And these are the questions that if I passed them, I bullet passed.  And I get to go on to do the next thing. 

Ben:  They came to you in dream.

Stever:  They literally came to me in a dream. 

Ben:  Were you doing any of these like lucid dreaming smart drugs or anything like that?  Or they just came to you in a dream?

Stever:  They just came to me in a dream, but I do want to point out that I was raised in a travelling new age commune.

Ben:  I was gonna say you were raised in a travelling new age communes that might have something, maybe some psilocybin leftover in the bloodstream or something.

Stever:  Oh well, the irony there is that once you reach certain levels it’s just, you think that way.

Ben:  Right, right.  Okay.  So you discovered this in a dream and how do they go?

Stever:  So the question number 1 is, did you make the most of this one extraordinary life that I gave you?  Or actually did you make the most of your one life and make it extraordinary?  Whatever that means to you.  And that part's important because different people have different ideas of what they want to get out of life.  Question number 2 is, were you a good steward for the planet because you have 7 billion other people who you have to share it with and trillions of plants and animals, and all of them need to use it.  So have you been a good steward to the planet that is here for you to live your extraordinary life?  And then question number 3 is, did you do your best to help everyone around you do the same?  To live their own extraordinary life and to be a good steward for the planet.

Ben:  Got it.  Okay.  So, did you live an extraordinary life, were you a good steward of the planet and what was the third one again?

Stever:  Did you help everyone around you live their extraordinary lives and be good stewards for the planet.

Ben:  Okay got you.  Let’s delve into each of those questions.  Is there one that’s more important than the others?

Stever:  Well, certainly the one that’s most selfishly important is question number 1.  Which is, did you live your extraordinary life?  I would say that the one that is the most important from, then if I were to say what’s most important for the species and what’s most important for the world that would be question number 3.  Which is, did you help everyone around you?

Ben:  Okay got yah, got yah.  So what did you do after this dream, like how did you act on these questions?

Stever:  Well at first I answered them, and I said basically am I living an extraordinary life?  Maybe.  Not sure.  Question 2, am I a good steward for the planet.  That one’s easy.  The answer is no.  You know, no amount of, being an American no amount of recycling is going to possibly begin to make up from our carbon footprint in the level of ways that goes in to giving me the standard of living that I enjoy.  And question 3, do I help others do the same?  That one was pretty easy because my profession for the last 16 years has been  primarily executive coaching and life coaching of some sort.  So most of my job and most of my interaction with people is all around helping them live whatever they consider an extraordinary life whether I call it that or not.  That’s ultimately what goes into it and since I work with business people it generally has a big business component of how do they start and run businesses.  But what motivates me in that is really helping people live their dreams, and I just happen to work with people whose dreams are typically business related.

So, 3 was a yes, question 2 was a no, and question 1 was a maybe, which means the place,  I just don’t imagine myself being able to be a good steward for the planet even if I personally do everything I can in my little area.  Well, you know my ability to have a major impact there is just slim.  So, I put my attention on question 1, which is am I living my own extraordinary life and that was what led to the whole extraordinary life presentation that you saw.

Ben:  Okay, so after you asked yourself that question like, am I living an extraordinary life?  What happen? Was the answer?

Stever:  How the answer was no.

Ben:  Okay.

Stever:  That even take any thought.  What I did well, it boy, you know, it’s interesting because the orders that I present things in the presentation is not, doesn’t correspond step by step to exactly what happened.  I take several things that only in retrospect that I see that there was a thread.  So, what I actually did next is I got out a notebook and started writing down what the hell do I even mean when I say I’m not living an extraordinary life?  You know what is it that I would rather be doing?  What is it that is working, that isn’t working, and I divided the piece of paper into 3 columns and in the first column I wrote the title of that column was things that really nurture me and things that are extraordinary.  The second column is things that are neutral and the third column is these are things that actively drain my life energy.  And what I did is go through my calendar.  And I said in terms of the number of hours per week, what are the activities that I spend my time doing?  Which columns do they fall into and how much of my time is being spent in which column?

And what I discovered is probably 70% of my time was being spent in the column of things that drain my energy.  And about 10% of my time was being spent in the column of what are the things that really are giving me an extraordinary life.  And about 20% of my life was being spent in the neutral column.  And I said, you know what, this is not the way my life should.  I shouldn’t just be spending 10% of it doing the things that give me joy and that give an extraordinary life.  That should be the 70% column, and the stuff I don’t like should be the 10% column.  So I knew it was time for a change.

Ben:  And what did you do at that point?

Stever:  Well, what I did was go, ‘help I don’t know what to do.’ And I hired a coach, a man by the name of Michael Neill who is a pretty exceptional self-help person in his own right.  He’s been a friend of mine for gosh, like 26, 27 years at this point something like that.  And I’ve always admired the kinds of results that he gets with people.  So I hired him.  And I said help me figure out what the hell is going on because my life needs a major overhaul.  And what we discovered is that we discovered that I wasn’t allowing myself to move out of my comfort zone because the dominant question in my entire life and anyone who’s listening to this who’s going to business school will understand where this comes from.

The dominant question was always what’s the payback period for any major investment that I make and is it less than 3 months?  I don’t know where my brain came up with 3 months.  But basically I wasn’t allowing myself to explore anything that I didn’t think would payback within 3 months.  When I say payback I literally mean that in terms of dollars.  So I was in a job that where the bulk of the work that I did I wasn’t enjoying, but it was very hard for me to change jobs because I would do something else or think about doing something else and if it didn’t seem like it would be something that would pay off handsomely in 3 months I wouldn’t do it.  So I kept myself constrained to a narrower and narrower set of things, and Michael pointed this out.  He saw it from the outside.  And that was when we decided that I should do some kind of experiment of explicitly going way outside my comfort zone, and finding out what happened.  And that’s what led to the 3 year experiment that I talked about in the presentation.

Ben:  So let’s tell them this three year experiment.  Did you more or else just like quit your job or what did you do?

Stever:  Well, I was self-employed.  So quitting my job is, I’m not completely sure what that means in that context.  What I did do was I stopped promoting myself the way that I was promoting, and I stopped actively looking for clients.  And I started seeking out what are the things that I would consider extraordinary.  And I would love to say that there was a rigorous way of doing that, but the way that I did it was by going upstairs and sitting down in my, I call it my Stever space.  It’s a room in my house that has a big papasan chair and nice light.  And I sat there and just relaxed. and didn’t do anything unless I felt like I wanted to do it.  So the rule was I had to be called to get up out of my papasan chair and go do something.  Now as you know, papasan chairs are very comfortable.  So the call had to be a pretty strong one to get me out of the chair.

Ben:  I’ve actually never been on a Papasan chair.  I don’t think.

Stever:  Ah, don’t start ‘coz they’re just way too comfortable.

Ben:  What exactly is a Papasan chair?

Stever:  It looks like a giant candy dish.

Ben:  Okay.  I think I do know what you’re talking about.

Stever:  Yeah, and you can kinda curl up in them, you can curl up in one, and they’re comfortable, and if you are there in a nice room, it’s just sort of a cozy, very cozy little thing.  I’ve had one ever since college coz as a college student it was all I could afford.

Ben:  Okay gotcha.

Stever:  And so, I waited for something to strike.  And while I was waiting, I just noticed what are the things that give me joy, and what are the ones that aren’t?  One of the first things that happened during that 3 years is that I was listening to a podcast.  Podcasting was quite new at that time, and there was this wonderful woman whose name who I didn’t know.  All that I knew her by was Grammar Girl.  And she had a podcast and I loved her podcast.  And she somehow managed to take grammar which although weirdly I am kind of a grammar geek, but I knew that most people aren’t.  She took this topic that most people were not super interested in and would considered dry, boring topic and she made it really fun.  And I listened to her podcast and I thought, wow, she’s fun.  And I had my own podcast at that time I only had about 10 episodes of it, and it was about business but it was kinda boring.

And so, I wrote her a fan letter and I said, dear grammar girl, if you ever decide you would like to have a business podcaster I would love to be that person because I have a nice voice, I’ve been doing my own podcast, and I know an awful lot about business but gee, you’re having way more fun than I am.  So I wanna come be part of your party.  And I sent her the fan letter, and it got to her, she had just sold her little podcast network that at the time had 5 hosts and she just sold it to Macmillan Publishing, and they were having their first meeting to decide who their next podcaster should be.  A very first podcaster not from their original group.  My email happened to get to her that same day, and I sent her an audition audio and long story short, she listened to it said, we’d like to have you and that was in fact how the Get-It-Done Guy podcast started.  It started because I was sitting in chair, I listened to something I like, then I just said, you know what, I’m just gonna pursue that just for the heck of it.  Who knows what’s gonna come of it.  And in fact, you know, as you have seen a tremendous amount of stuff has grown out of it.

Ben:  Yeah.  That’s amazing.  That’s very similar to kinda how I launched the Get-Fit Guy podcast.  I had discovered the Quick and Dirty Tips Network and absolutely loved it and wondered why in the heck they did not have Quick and Dirty Fitness Tips each week.  And so, I literally found the phone number for the company who is putting out these podcasts, and I called them up and asked them if theýd like me to send them over an audio sample of what I think would make a really good, like short weekly fitness podcast.  And so it’s really is interesting like once you find these things that you dig and that your passion about how it can be easier than you think to make them a part of your life or even you get involved with doing them but that’s funny.  That’s very, very similar to how I got started in the podcasting world with Quick and Dirty Tips. So, go ahead.

Stever:  I was gonna say, you know, I think you just hit on something that’s surprising profound, and it’s not profound in a philosophical sense but it’s profound in a behavioral sense, which is, there is so much in life that if you show up and ask people will say no to.  And you know what, you’re just screwed.  But there’s an awful lot in life that if you show up and ask people will say yes to.  And a lot of people focus on the times they hear no and they go, oooh it’s, I can’t ask that person that.  And what I would say is, you know what, even if only 1% of the people say yes to the request that you’re making, all that means is, you need to get through those 99 no’s as quickly as you can to get to the one yes.  And most people instead give up after the 5th or 6th no.

Ben:  You know one of the things that really leapt out to me during your presentation was how to know like what the extraordinary life for you is.  And you talk about how you were immersed in something that you didn’t even realize you were that passionate about until you started asking yourself this question.  And I believe it was theater or musicals, or something like that where you were emotionally moved.  Can you get into how that ties into living an extraordinary life?

Stever:  Oh my God.  So okay so, it’s entirely possible that I may tear up as I tell the story because that’s what happens sometimes.

Ben:  That’s fine.  People cry all the time on this show.  No, not really, but if you will, you would be the first.

Stever:  I also may not.  But it’s funny ‘çoz when I do when I think about it I do tear up.  So this was during the 3 year experiment, I started the podcast in the first year and the second year the podcast was doing so well that Macmillan approached me and said, “would you like to write a book?”  I wrote a book.

When the book was being edited some friends of mine said, ‘hey let’s go see a show.’ And they took me to go see a student production of a musical here at a local, I live in Boston, it was in MIT.  And we went to MIT and watched this show.  And yeah it was a nice show.  It was a definitely not a cheerful show.  It’s kind of a dark in its own way.  But we watched it and we walked out from the show and as we walked out I suddenly burst into tears.  And didn’t really stop.  And I got home and I was still really upset by this.  I wasn’t quite sure why.  So I mean it clearly has something to do with the show.  And slept on it, woke up the next day.  Nothing could change.  I was still feeling this overwhelming sense of emotion and sadness, and all kinds of stuff.

So I figured, oh I’m gonna get rid of this by desensitizing myself to it.  So I bought the soundtrack for the show to listen and listened to it a hundred times.  Yeah, not only did it not desensitize me to it but in fact if anything it increased the angst.  And it took me a month to figure out what was going on.  And what happened was I spent this entire month in this state of just feeling like everything was falling apart.  And about a month into it, I was pacing back and forth in my office in the basement, and I turned to the wall and out loud I said,  goddamn it what the hell was my mind trying to tell me that I should be doing musical theater or something?  And the instant those words left my mouth, I felt great.

Ben:  Wow!

Stever:  And I was like, no, no.

Ben:  Musical theater which is so different than what you were doing at that time which is basically like business development.

Stever:  Correct.  I had never been on a stage, I had never ever seen, I had been on the stage like in college.  I was in the orientation show.  But that was it.  That was like one thing that I had ever done.  And I might add, I hurt my back so badly that to this day I have lower back problems.  But I had zero experience.

Ben:  I can help you with that.  Let’s talk after the show.

Stever:  Alright. (laughs)  I had zero experience of any sort doing anything theater related.  I knew that theater existed but that was about the extent of it.  So, and what I did next which you will recognize from our conversation a second ago is I said,  well, if I’m interested in the theater I should learn about it ‘coz I know nothing about it.  And I picked up the phone and I went down to New York and I started meeting producers.  And it turns out that if you call a Broadway producer and say I want to meet you.  They will almost always say yes because they think you want to meet them so that you can invest in their show.

Ben:  (sighs)

Stever:  Which I didn’t know that at that time.  But it turns out that the thing about theater which is very different from film is that theater is an extremely poverty stricken business.  It’s not a very rich business.  And people in theater are only in theater because they love it.  No one’s in it to get rich.  Everyone hopes they will and occasionally it does happen.  I mean the writer of Hamilton is never gonna have work again.  But everyone was willing to meet me.  And what I started to discover is there was this amazing industry full of really interesting, dramatic, emotional people which couldn’t be further from me ‘coz I’m not that dramatic and I’m not that emotional.  And they were all welcoming me with open arms.  And everyone I met I just loved and had a great time with.  And quickly determined that it wasn’t from a business perspective, it wasn’t a business to be in, but it really opened my eyes.  I’ve invested in a couple of shows and discovered that you can lose all of our money investing in shows.  I have also invested in one show that made it to the Tony’s, and because being an investor I got an opportunity to get a ticket to the Tony’s which at that time was being held at the Beacon Theater which was too small you actually needed some sort of ‘in’ to get a ticket, and got to go in person and meet all these fabulous theater people.  And it was a great time, it was one of the funniest nights of my life to date.  And none of these would have happened if I haven’t seen this show at MIT and just randomly burst into tears, and didn’t spend the month that it took to really get to the point where my mouth was willing to say what my mind was not yet willing to think.

Ben:  This is so interesting because I’ve run into this before many, many times.  I’ve talked to other before running this too.  Like for example, I can watch a football game on TV, and feel just fine sitting there watching the game.  Totally fulfilled.  If I watch a tennis match, I’m annoyed the whole time because I wanna be on the court playing.  The same thing has happened to me with fiction for example, which and a lot of our podcast listeners know that I’m writing fiction now.  When I read like a fantasy fiction book like say, Game of Thrones.  I actually don’t enjoy it that much because as I read it I’m wanting to change up the story.  I don’t think a name fits.  I wanna change the way that a scene is described.  Like I wanna actually be producing that.  Not necessarily consuming that and I have like this strong emotional tie to the fiction or to the tennis game.  And what I’ve realized is that you know, that strong emotional tie can as you allude to, it can almost be like a signal that maybe that’s something that you should actually go out of your way to be immersed in for more than just like a content consumer type of standpoint.

Stever:  Well, I would go far enough to say drop the maybe. (laughs)

Ben:  Yeah.

Stever:  That’s precisely at the heart of really the conclusions that I kinda have come to with the ‘Living an Extraordinary Life’ thing.  I hesitate to call it conclusions because at this point I’m saying, you know what I want, know the conclusions are until I’m on my death bed ‘coz Lord knows how many times I may change my mind over the course of my life.  But my basic thesis is that the foundation of an extraordinary life is pay attention to your emotions.  Your emotions will tell you the direction to go in.  They won’t tell you specifically what to do but they’ll tell you the broad direction.  And where your analytical and thinking brain comes in is in figuring out how to make that direction viable for yourself.

So rather than saying, oh I’m gonna do the sensible thing and become a management consultant for 15 years, and then I’ll have enough money to retire and do the thing I love.  A strategy that has worked for an extremely small number of people but mostly just results in people being miserable and finally quitting their job in disgust without a good alternative to move to.  So instead of saying, I’m gonna put the money thing first and then hope that I get to the point that where I can pursue the things that really drive the emotional spark.  Let your brain say, oh you know what Stever, you wanna do theater.  Oh sorry, let the emotion say that.  And then what my brain’s job is is to figure out what is it about theater that is floating my boat, and how can I get that either through theater or some other way and still survive at the same time because theater yeah, being an actor is not the way to do it, for example.

Ben:  So let’s say that somebody begins to identify these things that might be the things that they actually need in their life to live that extraordinary life.  What are some of the myths that we live every day that might get in the way because you talked about some of these myths in your audio, and I wanna delve into these a little bit.

Stever:  Oh yeah.  The myths are really important because a lot of them are conventional wisdom that we give each other, and I just don’t believe ‘em.  So one of the big ones is the myth of hard work, and everyone says if you’re not getting what you want everyone says maybe you just need to work harder.  And when we have kids and the kids aren’t getting what they want, what we say is you know, ‘well next time you just need to work a little harder.’  And the problem is, that we always say that but no one has ever stopped to say, what the hell does that mean?  What is hard work?  So I started asking people.  Every time I give a presentation I would just ask people you know, please write down your definition of hard work and now let’s read them out.  I had people write them down for us so that they wouldn’t be biased by hearing what other people had said.  And I would say the vast, vast majority of people, this is not universal but the vast majority people said by definition what hard work is. It’s work that I’m not very good at that I don’t enjoy.  That I work long hours at.

So the advice we’re giving each other when we say, ‘maybe you just need to work harder’, what we’re saying is, ‘maybe you need to just do a few more hours of things that you’re not good at and you really don’t enjoy, and then you’ll have the life you want.’  And I realized wait a minute, yeah you know, at least me and 90% of the world, 90% of the audiences I’ve spoken to are really miscalibrated on what the hell hard work means.  Because people who work a lot of hours at stuff they enjoy, don’t really think of it as hard work.  They think of it as energizing or as challenging or maybe as a lot of effort.  But very few of them say, ‘oh god I have to work so hard.’   You know.

Ben:  It’s almost like the Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Work Week thing, like a lot of people think that for example, Tim and not to put words in his mouth, but they think that Tim says you’re only supposed to work for 4 hours a week.  But in fact the title of that book should’ve been, Only Spend 4 Hours a Week Doing the Things That You Detest Doing.  And then, you know, (snickers) or the things that might you consider to be hard annoying work you know, and spend the other hours doing the things that you love to do.

Stever:  Exactly.  And so, hard work in my mind is one of the biggest myths.  And the other thing to, you know frankly, (sighs) boy.  So I went to MIT and Harvard Business School, and I have all these friends from Harvard Business School and I’ve seen where they have ended up in their careers, I know where they came from.

And yeah, this is perhaps this I hopefully not as big a secret as I think it is.  But there’s an awful lot of people who get very, very rich and they don’t work very hard by any definition of hard work.  You know, they get themselves in the position where they simply get a percentage of the deal flow that someone else gets.  They land a couple of big deals and that’s it.  They’re entire career is made on the basis of having brokered a deal that took them three months to broker and they ended up with millions and millions of dollars in the bank.  And done.  Or they inherited.  Or you know, their good friend from school gave them a lucrative consulting contract, and then the other good friend let them invest in their, you know super secret hedge fund.  And that was it.

Ben:  Right.

Stever: And we don’t acknowledge those things.  You know, we close our eyes and we pretend that doesn’t existBut when people say, ‘oh you know luck is important.’  But of course, you know the way that you get lucky is you work hard.  And I’m like, well maybe.  But you know what? There’s a lot of people who just period plain get lucky.  And you know, to try to soften that by saying, ‘well you know, but they got lucky and worked hard.’  No they didn’t.  So I looked at it and I say, I know a lot of people who work very hard and are not, don’t have the life they want.  And I know a lot of people who do have the life they want, but they didn’t work very hard to get it.  So while there is a relationship between hard work and the life that you end up living, and there’s definitely relationship between laziness and not getting what you want.  While I don’t think hard work is a guarantee, laziness is almost certainly a guarantee that you won’t end up with an extraordinary life. 

Ben:  Yeah, Okay.

Stever:  You know.  I don’t think that’s not the part worth obsessing about.  The hard work part.  Despite the fact.

Ben:  So hard work is a myth.  What else is a myth?

Stever:  Another thing that’s a myth is the myth of goals.  And by goals here I mean, life goals.  I don’t mean intermediate goals.  But the idea that you should decide at the age of 25, I wanna be the best XYZ in the world or I wanna build a gigantic company you know, by the time that I’m 40 or whatever.  And there’s a number of reasons why goals aren’t great.  Again life goals.

Shorter term goals can be very motivating it can help you set direction.  And I’m all about shorter term goals.  But in terms of shaping the arch of your life, people are very, very bad at predicting.  What’s going to satisfy them and make them happy, and very bad at predicting what they’re gonna want 10 or 15 years in the future.  You know, when you’re 25 you haven’t yet had the experience of really learning how much your priorities change as you get older.

Ben:  That’s interesting.  So like this when we have college students for example, sit down and create like 10 year plans for their lives, we’re actually setting them up potentially for making mistakes?

Stever:  Yeah, because what a 20 year old thinks is a good 10 year goal to reach is not necessarily at all any place where a 30 year old wants to be.

Ben:  What should people be doing instead?

Stever: What they should be doing instead is well, as what we talked about before – noticing.  What is the thing that really draws you?  And go and get involved in it.  And when I say get involved in it, I mean go first of all develop skill because no matter what you do in your life unless you are the recipient of some really incredible luck and or privilege and or inheritance, generally speaking, you need to be able to bring something to the party, whatever party you end up in.  And that’s where skill comes in.  But if you go and pursue the things that your brain is really calling to: number 1, find where you can develop skill somewhere in that area and 2, start to get known.  Meet people.  And I hate to use the word network because most people think of networking is going and forming insincere relationships.  Screw that definition.  Create a network of friends and people who really like you and you really like them and they respect you and you respect them.  And you know what, I don’t know what you’re gonna need the network for.  But here’s the way that I think about having a strong network.  Is that if you wanna get from point A to point B and it’s over a chasm, you could build a bridge and a bridge goes straight there.  The problem with a bridge is all you need is one plank in the bridge to fall out and now you can’t get across the bridge anymore.

Ben:  Right.

Stever:  The other thing you can do is you can string in a net.  Now, I don’t know if you have ever tried to walk on a net, but one of the things about walking on a net is number 1, is you’re not gonna go straight across the ravine.  You’re gonna bounce around the whole bunch and go left and then right but you can eventually make it across.  Number 2, is that if you have enough threads in the net, any particular thread can break and the rest of the net will still support you.  You’re not gonna fall through.  And number 3, is that you never know in advance which threads you’re gonna bounce on.  If you walk across a net, you only ever put your weight on a very small number of the total places there are to put your weight.  So you can’t predict in advance which threads are the important ones.  You just have to build the net and see where it takes you.

Ben: This reminds me a ton of this book.  Have you heard of the book “Just Enough?”

Stever:  Uhm, Just Enough.  Is that the book by Howard Stevenson?

Ben:  Yeah.  Who I believe was a Harvard professor.

Stever:  Howard Stevenson is one of my friends and a man that I admire tremendously in life and he was one of my professors.

Ben:  Interesting.  Yeah, because he goes into in that book about how you have to strike a balance between like having a little bit of a plan but also looking at life as a series of moving targets that are constantly changing and fluctuating, and your role is to simply take care of yourself, continually learn, you know and immerse yourself in the things that you’re passionate about, and then just stay open to those targets that are moving through your life.  And you know, I think that’s an incredibly fun and adventurous and fulfilling as you might say extraordinary way to live your life versus making a 10 year plan and simply putting your nose to the grindstone and sticking to it.

Stever:  Yeah.  And the other thing by the way, in this part of the myth of planning, the other thing about the myth of planning is that just because you made a 10 year plan doesn’t mean your plan will actually get to where you think it’s gonna take you.  Life is not like building a bridge.  Building a bridge we know what all the pieces are, where they need to go.  But with life, you know in fact a lot of this thinking was sparked because I used to do volunteer work at Harvard Business School.  I would come in a day a month and I would do coaching of outgoing students as a way of getting that involved with the community.  It wasn’t strictly volunteer they paid me something but it was you know, 10 cents on the dollar compared to what I usually got.  And what I kept hearing and you know, by the time I was in my early 30’s I was already starting to recognize that there was something weird going on.  These people would come in to my office and I would, ‘what would you want to do?’, and they would say, Óh I wanna be an entrepreneur’’, and I would say, ‘Great, how are you planning on doing that?’ And they would say, ‘Well first I’m gonna go become a management consultant.”  And I’d be like, ‘What?”  Like what does being a management consultant have to do with being an entrepreneur?  I wouldn’t say that out loud. I would very respectfully say, ‘Oh you know, and then what?’  And we will walk through it.

But essentially what I discovered is and these were people who worked in their early 20’s.  These were all people who were 27, 28 years old.  That which is the graduation age from Harvard Business School.  And what I started to discover was that people’s ideas of the way the world worked and the way the careers worked just had no connection with reality.  They didn’t have enough experience to know how to get to the places they wanted in their career so they basically made up plans and then followed them.  The problem with making up plans and following them is that if you don’t have the knowledge to make up a plan that’s gonna work, then you can still go ahead and follow it.  And if you do get to where you think you wanna go, it’s gonna be coincidental at best.

Ben:  Yeah.  Yeah.

Stever: You know, I wanna say one more thing about what you were just mentioning about Howard and having a series of goals and being on the lookout for opportunity, I am in the middle of putting together an outline for a curriculum that at some point I plan to offer as an online course or maybe an in person online combination course which takes a lot of these concepts makes them very, very tactical.  And one of the things that I have certainly discovered in the coaching that I do with people one on one, is that people don’t know how to look for opportunity and when they spot it they don’t know how to take advantage of it.

Ben: Hmm.

Stever:  And you know, they say be on the lookout for opportunity, I’m like, well how do you that?  How do you determine if something is an opportunity or just an attractive diversion?  And then let’s say, there’s real opportunity, if you get involved in an opportunity, how do you make sure that you’re going to actually be able to share in the success?  Because there’s a lot of people out there who do things, who jump on opportunities and do them and then suddenly discover that everyone in the groom got rich except them because they didn’t understand enough about how to structure deals or they didn’t know how to negotiate.

Ben: Right.

Stever:  And you know, in my mind there’s an entire curriculum here which as far as I know, no existing school teaches.  Which is not in a specific field but overall how do you recognize opportunity?  How do you structure deals?  How do you make sure that you have something to bring to the table so you have negotiating leverage when you wanna give in on those deals?  And then where do you go to start to find the opportunities?  What kind of environments can you place yourself in?  What kind of relationships you need to develop in order so, in order for a lot of luck to be present in your environment so that when something does pop by, it seems like a good thing for you, you can jump on and take advantage of it.

And it really, it doesn’t require going to an Ivy League School, although, let me be blunt, going to Harvard Business School, even though I didn’t go for that reason is not a bad place to go in terms of meeting people who will later gonna be influential.  But you know, when I wanna get into a new field or do something else, I just pick up the phone and like I said, you know, 5 phone calls into my discussions, and 5 phone calls into my Broadway producer investigation and I was already talking of producers of multiple, I was already talking to producers of multiple Tony Award winning shows.  It’s you know, and that had nothing to do with where I went to school.  That was entirely I was just willing to pick up my phone and talk to them.  And I knew how to approach people in such a way that they were interested in talking to me.

Ben:  So hard work is a myth.  Setting goals is a myth.  What was the last myth?

Stever:  Ah, planning is a myth.

Ben: Okay, so planning was that last myth that you were talking about.

Stever:  And there’s a fourth one.

Ben:  Really?

Stever:  Oh yeah, the fourth one is the myth of marshmallows.  And if you wanna hear why it’s called that one, you’ll have to listen to the presentation, but it’s the myth of deferred gratification.  And a lot of people choose their career path based on the logic we talked about earlier.  Let me go get rich now, and then once I’m rich I’ll do what I really wanna do.

Ben: Right.

Stever:  And that’s deferred gratification.  That says don’t worry about being rewarded now you will be rewarded in the after career.  And for right now just put your nose to the grindstone and work.  And there’s a whole bunch of problems with that one.  And again I’m talking about deferred gratification on a life level.

Ben:  Right.

Stever:  Yes, I once had a coaching client who was in his mid 40’s and he said to me, he said, I’m amazingly good at deferred gratification.  I have the deferred part absolutely down solid, now I’m just starting to work on the gratification part.  And you know, the problem is he could get hit by a bus tomorrow, and then he would have been all deferred and no gratification.  And so the myth of deferred gratification really says you need to learn to strike a good balance between what you’re gonna defer, and what you’re gonna insist on now.  And I know that in my life I have had other people use the idea of deferred gratification as a way to exploit me.  They said, ‘Oh come in and do all this hard work and once you’ve proven yourself, then we will give you whatever the reward is.  Every single time I have been promised that without exception I have fulfilled my part of the deal.  And they have not fulfilled theirs.

Ben:  Makes sense. Yeah.  I’m all about deferred gratification when it comes to like nutrition and exercise, and stuff like that.  Like for example, one of the things that we say a lot on the show is, save all your carbohydrates for the end of the day until after you’ve done a hard workout because what’s gonna happen is those carbohydrates are gonna get shoved into muscle tissue rather than getting converted into fats or rather than hanging around your bloodstream for a long time as blood glucose.  And so, you avoid the dark chocolate, and the sugar filled Kombuchas and the sweet potato fries, and everything else until the very end of the day.  And even that as after you’ve done a hard workout but at the same time, I’m a huge fan of these concepts of like mini vacations, right, and not having a retirement account instead spending that money early on investments and businesses and things that are going to allow you to not have to wait until you do, you know, as you say, get hit by a bus at the end of your life having not really (chuckles) had a chance to enjoy life.  So yeah.

Stever:  Oh yeah. Well the other thing too, is if you wait you never build a foundation from which to enjoy life.  If I had gotten involved in theater in my 20’s but oh well, I didn’t actually know I wanted to, but let’s say I had known that I wanted to and I had gotten involved in it in my 20’s.  Even if it was just on the side I would still have been building a portfolio.  I would have been building a network.  So that let’s say I suddenly made a bunch of money I could it full time.  By that time not only would I be able to do it full time but I would have all the resources and the skills and the context.  However, if I start from ground zero at the age of you know, 45 or whatever, then it’s much, much harder to get started at that age because you’re competing against people who have put in, you’re competing against people 10 years younger than you who have 10 years more experience than you do.

Ben:  It makes perfect sense and you know that’s why I started writing fiction.  I write now for 15 minutes a day because I got advice from a couple of people to continue to build Ben Greenfield Fitness and eventually you know, sell it or back out and then merge into a new chapter of my life, pun intended, writing fiction.  But then I got advice from other people to just start writing fiction.  And just start doing.  So now, you know, I’m 60,000 words into a book that I probably would not have started until like I was 40 years old.  Unless I had decided to take that advice of you know, not waiting to do that thing that I was passionate about instead of just diving right in.

Stever:  Yeah, and certainly for stuff like that, you know, there’s a perfectionist thing that I’ve noticed a lot of people have which is they say, ‘Oh but I don’t want to start writing a book until I have the time to classes and learn how to do it right.’  And I’m like, you know what, in the time that it will take you to take classes and learn how to do it right, you could write 4 crappy books, learn each time, and by the time you write you finish your fifth book, you’ll actually be pretty good at it.

Ben:  Yup.

Stever:  And people forget that it’s only in recent history that we’ve gone to school for everything.  You know, most of human history people mainly learn by trial and error.  And yeah, the problem with trial and error is that you make a lot of errors as you’re doing those trials.  But eventually you get good at stuff especially if you seek out feedback and are willing to listen to honest criticism from people and even dishonest criticism.  You’re always free to ignore whatever you want.  But we really, really under rate the value of doing a poor job because you can just do a poor job.  Great!  Now you’re done.  Now do another poor job but this one’s a little better than the one previously.  I have two different coaching clients who both have been doing the same thing, like writing a book.  And in one case he’s been working on it for 5 years.

Ben: Wow.

Stever:  And I asked him why he doesn’t, why it’s been so long and he says ‘coz he wants it to be perfect.  I was like, dude.  You could simply sit down and write a stream of consciousness and come up with one and then spend like 1 week editing it.  And then it’s done.  Now do it again.  Same story but start again and in the same amount of time writing the same number of total words he would almost certainly have gotten to a much better book by now rather than never letting himself try to create one coherent thing and have it be bad.  And you know…

Ben:  Oh sure.  Yeah, it’s that concept of two crappy pages a day and that’s the way that I write now is I dictate much of my work.  It is fraught with errors, It is fraught with edits.  And the words and the thoughts are there on the page.  Once there on the page it’s pretty dang easy even if you’re tired at the end of the day to get on and edit spelling mistakes and change up sentence structures and stuff like that.  But yeah, I mean you have to simply be willing to, I guess as Seth Godin, another guy who I follow, and I love his blog and his writings you know, he says, just ship the darn thing.  You know, just get out there, and you know, don’t wait for it to be perfect.  Or as there’s another saying that is a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.  And all about simply starting, right?  Like beginning the work.

Stever, we only like scratched the surface of this entire talk that you gave called ‘Living an Extraordinary Life’ because you quit your job for 3 years, you self-funded this 3 year experiment where you just basically followed your dreams and your passions living this extraordinary life.  You created a lot of magic for yourself and I found it to be incredibly inspiring.  What I’m gonna do for folks listening in is, first of all put a link where you can just go all these stuff for free.  Stever’s talk, the slides that went along with it, the version that he gave to Harvard Business School, the version that I listened to in car ‘coz I think that you need to listen to that to fully wrap your head around you know, more a little bit more detail on these myths, and this concept of the journey being the reward, and Stever’s crazy journey leading up to all this.  I’ll also put a link to his really cool weekly podcast that tiny little short one I talked about – “The Get-It-Done Guy” podcast.  And his Work Less and Do More website.  And that book I mentioned Just Enough and much more.  But Stever, thanks for coming on and sharing this stuff with us.

Stever:  My pleasure.  Thank you for having me.  And also if I can point out to people they can text the word Extraordinary to 33444, and it will send them back a link to the page where they can hear the full audio.

Ben:  Oh fancy.  Text the word Extraordinary to 33444.  Cool.  I like it.  I like it.  Technology, baby.  So bengreenfieldfitness.com/extraordinary or text the word extraordinary to 33444.

Stever:  And in the spirit of full disclosure that also does sign you for my newsletter which you can unsubscribe to with one click anytime.  I wanna be clear about that.

Ben: (giggles) All through the wonders of technology.  We’ve grope into hearing more from Stever which I don’t think would be a bad thing.

Stever, thanks for coming on the show.  What you’ve done is incredibly inspiring and I am honored to have had the chance to introduce people to something that I found to be very, very inspiring in my own life.  So thank you.

Stever:  My pleasure and thank you for giving me the opportunity to share it with more people.

Ben:  Alright folks, this is Ben Greenfield and Stever Robbins, The Get-It-Done Guy signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.  Have a healthy week.

You've been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting-edge fitness and performance advice.



Last month, I was driving to play tennis with some friends, and, while driving, I played a 55 minute audio episode entitled “Living an Extraordinary Life”.

I’m not a voracious “self-improvement” consumer, and this type of thing doesn’t happen very often when I listen to podcasts, audiobooks or lectures, but I actually found myself multiple times stopping to pump my fist, verbally shout in agreement and furiously take notes.

The program was recorded by my friend Stever Robbins, also known in the podcasting world as the “Get-It-Done Guy”. Stever combines business savvy, “life hacking,” and personal development to help people make their lives extraordinary.

He is CEO of Ideas Unleashed, a company that helps thought leaders build businesses around their areas of expertise. He is a serial entrepreneur, executive coach, and executive curriculum designer. He co-founded the early internet success story FTP Software, served as COO of Building Blocks Interactive, CEO of JobTacToe.com, and has been an initial team member of ten start-ups, including four IPOs and three acquisitions. He was project manager at Intuit, where he co-led the development of the award-winning Quicken VISA Card. He serves as business plan judge for the Harvard Business School business plan competition, the Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards, the William James Foundation social enterprise competition, and the Mass Challenge entrepreneurship competition.

His experience developing organizational leaders began as co-designer of Harvard Business School’s “Leadership and Learning” curriculum redesign, and has gone on to include being an advisor and mentor to senior managers in several high-growth companies.

His Get-It-Done-Guy podcast has spent weeks as #1 in the iTunes business category and has been downloaded more than 23 million times. He has been a repeat commentator on CNN-fn’s Entrepreneurs Only and hosted a regular segment on the nationally syndicated radio show Entrepreneurs, Living the American Dream. He is a featured expert in Harvard Business School Publishing’s Harvard Manage Mentor, as well as appearing as an expert in critical thinking and memory in Houghton-Mifflin’s forthcoming Skillbuilders series.

He has been interviewed in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, ABC News Now, MSNBC, FOX News, BusinessWeek Online, and Investor’s Business Daily. He has written for Harvard Business Review, The Boston Business Journal and has had columns on Entrepreneur.com, Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, and the Quick and Dirty Tips network.
He is the author of It Takes a Lot More than Attitude…to Lead a Stellar Organization and Get-it-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More, an Amazon Business & Investing top-10 best-seller.

Stever is also the co-writer and lyricist of the musical Work Less and Do More: The (Zombie) Musical.

Yes, a zombie musical.

And that is where we start with today’s podcast.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-Why Stever moved away from home when he was 15 years old…

-What Stever means when he says “the journey is the reward”…

-The crazy dream that Stever had that led him on a three year experiment to quit his job and start a podcast…

-Why I dislike watching tennis and reading fiction, and how this relates to you deciding what an extraordinary life could be for you…

-Why values like “hard work”, “setting goals”, “planning” are all myths…

-How dangerous the concept of delayed gratification can be…

-And much more!


Resources from this episode:

-Book “Just Enough: Tools for Creating Success in Your Work and Life”


The Get-It-Done Guy podcast

-Text the word EXTRAORDINARY to 33444 and then follow the instructions to send in your email address and you’ll get a link to the Stever’s slides and audio materials in your email.

-Go to http://SteverRobbins.com/lelhbs to get a special version of his talk given to Harvard Business School, which has a section on goal-setting that the regular version of his talk doesn’t have.

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/06/stever-robbins-podcast-the-get-it-done-guy/

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