If you want to create an incredible business and life, you need to master your inner game first. And this is just the tiniest glimpse of today’s incredible conversation with James Wedmore.
About a year ago, James and I decided to meet for lunch. To be honest, I didn’t know a ton about him at the time, though I knew that he had a popular mastermind group for entrepreneurs as well as a super successful online business.
I expected our conversation to revolve around things like the latest business strategies and tactics, but as soon as we sat down, it was clear to me that James was so much more than “just a business coach.” For the next two or three hours we delved into personal development, spirituality and the crazy impactful stories that left a profound impression on our lives. Not to mention, James was funny and relatable, and he brings all of these elements of his personality to this fun and unique interview.
In this episode, we talk about eveeeeerything – from upcoming business trends and predictions, to his first real business (any guesses?), but we also dive into his personal journey with spirituality. James shares about how he shifted his brand to talk less about marketing and more about mindset. He has this uncanny way of combining self-help with business strategy in a way that’s seamless, and in my opinion, necessary.
I have a feeling you’re gonna love this conversation. 🙂
Check out the episode below:
In this episode, you’ll hear about things like…
- The shifts James has seen in the online space and what’s he had to master when it comes to overwhelm.
- His introduction to personal development and energy healing and what his practices are now.
- What the “leapfrog effect” is all about, and how it can hold us back.
- A simple visualization exercise that will change the way you look at your personal brand.
- How and why he transitioned from just being known as “the video guy” to something even bigger.
Some Questions I ask James…
- Why do you feel like personal development is essential for entrepreneurs?
- Was there ever any fear involved with transitioning to totally different topics, especially when you created your podcast and went from the video marketing guy to the guy who talks about crystals and manifesting?
- Where are some places that you see entrepreneurs getting stuck internally that hold them back the most?
Links from the interview:
- James’ Website
- Mind Your Business Podcast
- James on Instagram
- Mind Your Business Podcast: Episode 114 with Jim Fortin
- How To Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
- Think & Grow Rich, by Napolean Hill
- Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, by Kamal Ravikant
- Influence, by Robert Cialdini
What do you think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode. Do you often experience fear and “stuckness” inside your business, when it comes to moving outside your comfort zone?
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Thank you for listening!
TranscriptRead the Interview Transcription Here
EPISODE 35: WHY YOUR BIGGEST ROADBLOCK IS YOURSELF (AND HOW TO FIX IT), WITH JAMES WEDMORE
Welcome to Pursuit with Purpose. I’m your host, Melyssa Griffin, and I know firsthand that it’s way too easy to slip into the rat race of competition and comparison. This podcast is all about meaning and fulfillment, and how to bring it to your life, today and every day. So let’s get into it.
Hey, Pursuit with Purpose family. So about a year ago, today’s guest James Wedmore and I decided to meet for lunch. Now to be honest, I didn’t know a ton about James at the time. I just knew that he had a popular mastermind group for entrepreneurs and that he had a really successful online business, but that was basically it. I expected our conversation to revolve around things like the latest business strategies and tactics, but as soon as we sat down to eat, it was clear to me that James is so much more than a business coach. For the next two or three hours, we talked all about personal development, spirituality and the crazy stories that had taught us something in our lives. Now not to mention, James was funny and relatable. We instantly hit it off.
James brings all of that to this fun and unique interview. Now sure, we do talk about upcoming business trends and predictions, as well as James’ first real business, a bartending program if you can believe that, but we also dive into James’s journey through his spirituality and through shifting his brand to talk less about marketing and more about mindset. Sound familiar? Well, I’m on a similar journey too, which is why I love what James is doing so darn much. Now James combines self-help with business strategy in a way that’s seamless, and in my opinion, necessary. He and myself truly believe that if you want to create an incredible business and life, you need to master your inner game first. I’m so excited introduce you to a dear friend of mine. Let’s dive in.
Melyssa Griffin: Hey, James. Welcome to the show.
James Wedmore: Melyssa, thank you so much for having me.
Melyssa Griffin: Amazing. Okay, so I have so many different things that I want to ask you about. I kind of wanted to—all the things. Kind of wanted to do this interview because I personally want to pick your brain about a lot of different stuff and having a podcast, it’s like the professional way to do that without being annoying. So first, I want to know how old were you when you started your first business and what was it?
James Wedmore: Oh my goodness. It really depends on what you mean by first business, like first sale, first transaction. I was, I think six or seven. I was hired by my neighbors to water their garden while they were out of town, but the thing about my neighbors is they live on like an acre of property. So just watering took about three to four hours a day, of like moving all the different manual sprinklers into hoses. There was a whole science to it. What it was is I’d have to sit there and like hold the thing for 15 minutes while it sprayed a certain area, and like okay now move it here. And so I remember as a kid like doing that and just sitting there getting bored. An idea popped in my head because they had a lot of fruit trees. They had avocado trees. They had macadamia nut trees. They had vegetables. And so I started picking them. While I was watering, I’d pick them and then I’d go and knock on all the other neighbors’ doors, and I’m selling them…
Melyssa Griffin: No way!
James Wedmore: There was no like—at the time, there was no morality issue. I wasn’t like is this bad, I’m like stealing from neighbors. I was just like really, like oh. Yeah, I would just sell out every day because they’d take like a month vacation. So I was making more money selling the fruit than I was watering the garden, which was—that was my first one. Yeah.
Melyssa Griffin: Wow. I mean maybe serves them right for hiring a six year old to take care of their house while they were out of town.
James Wedmore: Child labor laws here.
Melyssa Griffin: Wow. I mean do you feel like you were kind of meant to be an entrepreneur, this is something that you’ve had inside of you?
James Wedmore: Absolutely. I didn’t know this because my grandparents passed away before I was born, on both sides, but it’s like it skipped a generation or something, because both my grandfathers were entrepreneurs. One of my grandfathers owned a mechanic shop in Pasadena. Up until a couple years ago, it actually still said Wedmore and Co Garage. Finally, someone changed the name, but that was my grandfather’s shop. He started an auto mechanic store. And then my other grandfather, also in Pasadena—what did he do? He created a, like a hardware company that actually sells nuts and bolts, and just made a killing because everyone needs construction companies, need nuts and bolts and stuff. So he built that company. I had no idea until I was probably in high school. My parents told me that’s how both their dads started their businesses. And so there’s been a lot of other things, like the lemonade stands. I would go to golf courses and I would be the guy that was waist deep in the mucky water, recycled water, picking golf balls, like jamming my hand down into the muck, grabbing them. And then the next day after washing them in my parents’ bathtub, I’m selling them back to the golfers. I was doing all that stuff. When eBay came around, I was all over that. I had my dad driving me around in the minivan. I was picking up old antiques, old motorcycles. And so by the time I was in high school, I was selling all this stuff on eBay, making 2 to $3000 a week. Yeah, so I started young.
Melyssa Griffin: That is so interesting. Yeah, I feel you don’t meet many entrepreneurs like that. I definitely wasn’t really like that myself until I got into my 20s I think.
James Wedmore: Yeah. That’s what I notice with people too, is like I work with a lot of people that are just entering the entrepreneurship. By the way, I just heard this statistic—I don’t know how true this is, but there are 500, apparently 500,000 new people entering entrepreneurship every month. That’s crazy. That’s a lot of people. I notice that when people are going online or leaving their corporate job that—and maybe this is a perfect segue into some of the stuff you want to talk about—is that before you can show them that secret formula or the seven step process blah, blah, blah, you realize that they’ve got years and years of training, behavior, operating like an employee. The way I think and the way I operate as an entrepreneur, and as you know, is very different. A lot of it is like we’ve got to cut out some of those bad habits. They’re not bad, they’re just not conducive to entrepreneurship.
Melyssa Griffin: Right. It’s funny, I was talking to my boyfriend recently, who wants to start his own business, and he was kind of running by me an email that he wanted to send to people, kind of like a cold email. He works in a corporate environment. I was like you can’t send that, it’s too impersonal. It started with “I hope this email finds you well”, and it’s like…
James Wedmore: To whom this may concern.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. It’s like you’re doing an amazing job, don’t get me wrong, but this isn’t how the entrepreneurship world works. It’s like a little—you have to unlearn things, I think, to succeed, which doesn’t mean that you’re going to fail if you come from a corporate environment. I’m sure there’s a lot of things you’ll bring that are super valuable too, but I think there’s some stuff to unlearn as well.
James Wedmore: I couldn’t agree more.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. So I want to talk a little bit about your transition with your business. You’ve gone from teaching people how to become bartenders and then how to create videos online, and now you teach a lot of more business topics. I see you also segueing into, especially with your podcast, which is amazing—congrats on a million downloads recently.
James Wedmore: Thank you. Thank you.
Melyssa Griffin: But teaching more mindset and personal development. You just had these big transitions. Maybe I’m asking a little selfishly here, because I’m feeling like I’m kind of making a similar transition from teaching business to teaching more personal development. What has that been like for you? Was there any fear involved?
James Wedmore: Yes there was, but there’s no regret, not in the slightest. In fact, I want to give myself a lot of credit. I think we should be giving ourselves a lot more credit than we do, by the way. That’s a whole side note. Hopefully something you’ll come back and ask me about is something that I’ve been really working on, is the topic of self-love. That’s been really transformative for me. I think as entrepreneurs we’re kind of just sick in the head at times. We just treat ourselves, like we wouldn’t treat our worst enemies the way that we treat ourselves sometimes. That’s why we work so hard and we turn it into a strong suit, like well that’s how I hustle and that’s how I work hard, and whatnot. So I do want to give myself credit that I followed my heart. Sometimes those things come off as like really cheesy Instagram quotes, but I truly mean that, that I could have not listened to what felt right for me and years later regret that I didn’t do it, or go down a path where almost, like man, what—it got to this low point of like what was I thinking, what was I doing, I could have done this years ago. And so in my head, I just knew it. And so one of the things I talk about is this concept that I call the leapfrog effect or the learning leapfrog effect, where we tend to look at—we all—our brain compares ourselves to others all the time. And so if you’re not, like please teach me how to not compare yourself to others because I think we all do it on some level. We look at where someone else is and we reflect back to where we are. We make it mean something about what we don’t have, what we can’t have, we’re not moving fast enough. You probably see it your program all the time. People share this illusion of I’m behind. Are we measuring where everyone’s at? Did everyone start at the same time but you? Where is this I’m behind and all that stuff? Because we’re constantly comparing and we don’t see that we are.
And so you might look at someone like me or Melyssa and not really look at the story that came before that, the story behind the brand. And so for me, when I stopped—I don’t stop comparing myself. I just stop making it mean anything bad about me or like there’s something wrong with me or broken with me. I look at my journey and there’s a lot of steps along the way. Every step was preparing me for something else. So as you said, how does bartender become the video guy, and how is the video guy, is now talking about like spirituality. What the F? First of all, we all have our own journey. There was no cookie cutter like 10 years ago. I didn’t go okay first I’m going to do this and then I’m going to do that, blah, blah, blah. There was a desire of like I see people speak on stage at marketing events, I would see the big video launches and stuff, and I was like I knew that would be me one day. I started with where I was at and it was one step at a time. All I knew at the time was how to bartend, so I create a product on that. Soon as I did that—I’d gone to film school, so I took all my film experience to make all these videos. I was putting them up all on YouTube. This was back in 2008. People were like how are you doing this, this is amazing. I listened to them. I was like would this be of value if I showed you how to—are you kidding? I’d love to learn videos. I was like okay fine. I started doing that. The more I went down that path, I felt like something was missing because I was like I want to help your business, I want to help you make more money so that, so that, so that, all these things. It was this tool that I still love. I mean we do video all the time. Like we were talking about before the show, there was a lot of work I had to do inside, and in my head, in my heart to shift things for me. I felt like I cannot hold this in any longer, that I feel like I’m telling a lie if I don’t share this part of me, that here’s the work I do every day in here, here’s the routines and the habits and the rituals that I perform. It’s not just this one tool.
I think that’s how most people’s brains are wired. It’s like oh it’s the one missing piece, like I need this one thing, but so few people were really talking about that, like what about us. What about our emotions, our mental state, where our awareness and our attention is, our thoughts, that voice in your head, that monkey mind? So I launched it. And yes, I did an episode around this. I was scared to death. I was so freaking out about it. In fact, I recorded a bunch of episodes and waited six months.
Melyssa Griffin: Of your podcast?
James Wedmore: Of my podcast, yeah. I was so scared, Melyssa. That was bizarre for me because I hadn’t—you probably don’t have as much fear about putting something out there today as you did three years ago. It’s kind of like you feel comfortable, it’s like oh I felt this before. Woah, I haven’t felt this in years. This is what it’s like for someone who’s launching their blog for the first time or creating their first product or writing that first email to people. I felt it all over again like it was day one. Yes, there was so much of a needing to be liked, needing to be approved, want to look good, don’t want any judgment, opinions, criticism, etc. As soon as that came in, I said that’s all the reason why I need to put this out here because that’s stopping so many other people. I can talk for an hour on a podcast, you can talk for an hour on a podcast. We do all this blah, blah, blah stuff. The biggest way that I’ve been able to impact others is by leading by example. I always have to remind myself that people are going to follow much more who I am being and what I stand for, rather than the words that I blah, blah, blah to them on a podcast or anything. So this is the first example of that. This is the first opportunity I have to feel the fear and do it anyways. The biggest breakthrough for me, and I always remind my audience on my show, is that fear isn’t an indicator that something will go wrong. It’s not a premonition. It’s not saying anything about how it’s going to end up. It’s just an ego survival mechanism that’s there to protect you from potential danger. If you feel afraid, it doesn’t mean I’m afraid, therefore I will fail, it usually means the exact opposite. When you feel that fear and do it anyway, the feeling that you will have, that I’ve labelled it, is exhilaration.
Melyssa Griffin: I like that word.
James Wedmore: Yes. I love that word. You’re building your business or whatever you’re creating, becomes exhilarating You can’t have exhilaration without fear. The best roller coasters are the ones we’re like saying holy shit, at the same time, you’re like hell yeah this is awesome. And so I’ve trained myself. This is what you have to do, you have to train yourself to lean into that, to look for that, to recognize it and say hey on the other side of this fear is that exhilaration. I’ve never looked back. There was just no regrets there.
Melyssa Griffin: I love so much about everything you just said. For me, it was personally helpful, but also, I mean I think you’re right in that we—a lot of people who are entrepreneurs and myself included to a certain point, think that we just need the next tactic and we need the next tragedy, and if we just learn how to do this one thing, then we’d be successful, and the only reason these people are successful is because they figured out the things. What you’re saying or what I’ve found to be true also is that it’s usually not about the tactics. It’s about who we are inside, and that gets shoved under the rug so much. People think like well that’s not really important or oh I went to therapy a few years ago so I’m good. It’s like this lifelong thing where you need to continually work on your insides. I feel like your business can only grow as much as you grow personally.
James Wedmore: Yes. I talk about step one is taking radical responsibility for your life. That’s not always easy. Entrepreneurship is any type of business, is like the ultimate personal development course, because you’re only as strong as your weakest day. That’s how I feel at times, that if I can’t handle a negative comment or a problem happens and I go into a whole breakdown about it, which used to happen all the time, things don’t get done. The business doesn’t move forward. And so to really develop that mental, emotional maturity is so important. One thing that’s really huge that I really learned a long time ago from a spiritual teacher that I had, was this phrase—let me know if you’ve heard it—“as within, so without.”
Melyssa Griffin: I haven’t. No, I haven’t heard that.
James Wedmore: I mean that stays with me daily. When we teach in my program, we have a phrase as well, like everything’s really hashtag backwards. I think that’s why a lot of people struggle, is that it’s like they’re trying to apply common sense to certain things. A lot of things that I’ve learned are just completely backwards from common sense. Here’s a perfect example of this, this whole “as within, so without it”—and this is like we’re going deep down some spiritual like…
Melyssa Griffin: Rabbit hole.
James Wedmore: Yeah, I mean the rabbit hole, is that we tend to look at—hopefully I can put this as eloquently as possible, but we tend to look at the outside, external world around us. And then that gives us this like feedback loop of information that we then base our decisions off of. This is a very reactive way to life. We look at a bank account, it’s not where we want it. And so we go make our decisions off that, like oh I won’t do this thing because I don’t have the money, or I’m not in the shape I want to be, or I don’t have this result in my life. That is backwards. I believe very firmly, and I live my life this way, that the world outside of us is simply a reflection of what’s going on within. That can be a really hard pill to swallow. So I get it, I get it. It’s normal if someone here is like—wants to reach through the microphone and punch me in the face. I totally get it, because look, stuff happens, stuff totally happens. For the most part, everything shifted for me when I realized “as within, so without”. So the world is really much more like a mirror. So what we do is like you go look in the mirror in your bathroom and you got a zit, you don’t punch the mirror. You’re like okay well I will do whatever I do to get rid of a zit. You don’t blame the mirror. You don’t go breaking the mirror. The mirror is just reflecting back what’s the information*. When I started living my life that way, and it’s still a—it’s not unconscious competence, it’s not mastery. It’s still very conscious competent for me. When I started living my life as what I see in the external world is the mirror reflection of what’s going on here, I know—and by here, I point to my heart—I know that my work first and foremost is always there. It’s always go back within, what’s going on inside. Is there fear there? Those thoughts, that negative voice that like beats you up more than anybody else ever will. How can we get that under control? That took me down a whole rabbit hole. One hundred and twenty episodes later, there’s so many topics that we get to explore and uncover. It’s been really fun.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah, that’s amazing. Do you feel like for people who have a business and they’re either hitting a plateau or it’s just not working very well, that it’s more about there’s something inside that they need to heal or work on versus they just need a different strategy?
James Wedmore: Well I think it’s—I don’t want to say either or, because I don’t want to say like oh there’s something broken that needs healing. But there is stuff—and we had episode 114, and hopefully he’ll come on your podcast as well, Jim Fortin spoke about this, is there’s something that, what’s at a subconscious level called the identity level, which is if inside, whether it’s my belief system or the identity of who we think we are like, who is Melyssa Griffin, and you get really like clear on that, what you answer to that question doesn’t match up with the results you want in your life. There’s a reason why. There’s a correlation there. So if inside I’m broke, or I could never be successful, or I don’t deserve this type of money, or I don’t deserve this type of notoriety, or attention, then it doesn’t matter what strategy that you need or you get. No strategy is going to solve that, because you’re going to find a way to continue to be congruent with the belief system.
Melyssa Griffin: It’s almost like the strategy hits you, bounces off. It’s like I can’t get through that.
James Wedmore: Yes, but I think it’s different for everybody. So I’ve seen it when—I’ve seen this with me, where like okay, you do a strategy and it works. And so people will have money come in, but they have money stories and money blocks. I’ve had people come on the show talking about this. And then all of a sudden, they have problems keeping the money. So what it really is, is taking an assessment of your life and like what’s not working, what is. Starting with you first, because I’ve done a lot of work where I’ve had to deal with a lot of my own money stuff. I come from parents who—I hope none of it comes across as like anything but love and admiration for my parents, because they’ve taught me so much. One thing they did teach me was the most incredible work ethic ever. They’re both workaholics, healthy workaholics, but they’re workaholics. They taught me how to be a workaholic and I’ve still—and it’s a huge mission on the podcast, is I’ve still found myself struggling with the—to make more money, you have to work harder, and the more effort, the more money. We both know from the people that you know to your own personal experiences that that’s not true, that there is not a direct correlation with efforting* and hustle and hard work and money. That goes back to that employee mindset. We’re trained to be employees growing up if you look at our public education system; work hard if you want to be successful, successful as an employee. You work harder and longer as an employee, you do get compensated for that, but there’s no guarantee for that for entrepreneurship. I think at times when fear kicks in, when we go back into this like survival mindset, our default is that hard work. A lot of people resonate with those messages of hustle because there’s comfort, there’s certainty in that struggle. I really want to do my best to shake people by the shoulders because I don’t want them prescribing to that. It is the recipe to burn out. There’s no guarantee that you’re going to get what you’re really after when you work yourself to the bone.
Melyssa Griffin: Right. I completely agree. So I’m curious. How did you get into the kind of personal development, spiritual stuff for yourself? When did that happen for you?
James Wedmore: So I think the first thing to say, and hopefully for like skeptics and people who just roll their eyes and shake their heads, it’s like I put that I have an energy healing background in one of my posts and I had a couple guys just totally laugh at me. I’m like I know, I get it, I’m totally weird*…
Melyssa Griffin: I remember when we met up in SoCal a while back. I thought we were going to talk like marketing. I did not know you were balls deep into just all this kind of spiritual stuff.
James Wedmore: I think that’s my new tagline: balls deep in the spiritual rabbit hole.
Melyssa Griffin: But I loved it, yeah. It was completely different than what I expected, but I loved it.
James Wedmore: That’s most people’s—that’s how most people describe—because that’s what I’m fascinated in, that’s what I’m passionate about right now. So I was hands down the biggest, like staunch naysayer, critic, cynic. I think I was atheist in high school. I just have memories of deciding in my mind, you die and it’s black, and you turn to fertilizer.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. That’s what I thought too.
James Wedmore: Yeah. I was okay with that. It was totally fine. I just made up my mind one day. My parents didn’t push any type of practice or belief system on me at all. So I just decided on that. The turning point of—the story I told in the past is, there was a girl I dated in college, not for very long. It just didn’t work out. And then I saw her years later and she was like a completely different person. She was floating like a foot off the ground. I was like who’s this person? I was getting into personal development, so I had read like the—what is it? Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and “Think and Grow Rich” were the first two books I read. I’m just like oh my gosh. I was really intrigued by it. As soon as you become an entrepreneur you realize, “wow, the better I am, the better the business is going to be. Okay, I’ll do this so I can make more money.” I’m like who is this person, what are you doing? She told me, she’s like, “I do Reiki. I do energy healing.” And so she started doing it on me and doing these sessions and practicing on me, and things changed immediately. One thing that I think really helps with our podcast and stuff I teach is that every struggle, every problem, like every breakdown people have had, I’ve had it. I struggled for a very long time. It took me a long time to get here. I see someone like you Melyssa, like bam, so fast. If we were starting at the same time, I’d still be back in my parents’ basement like “wait for me”. There was so much struggle.
Anyway, so I start doing the sessions with her, and immediately this fear and this frustration and this anger that I had for myself, anger that it wasn’t working—I was pounding my desk and breaking keyboards, I was so angry all the time, would just melt away. There was like this sense of just trust and knowing, and like dude let it go. I had never had that before in my life. I was like what did you just do? There were times where she would just put her hand on my back. I’d want to be angry and be like wait, what’s going on—changed my state immediately. So she introduced me to the person that got her in involved with that and I worked with her for about two to three years, and went through an intense program with her. It was like there was an introduction into a spiritual energy world and I was the guy, folded arms, like this is nuts, this is ridiculous, for the longest time. I used my scientific, logical—I was open minded enough to say let me run the hypothesis. Let me test this that’s it’s all miracle after miracle after miracle. Today it’s like I don’t even care what people think or what their opinions are. I’ve just seen and experienced so much that there’s no doubt anymore. Even if some of the things I talk about sound really weird, it doesn’t matter because I’ve seen it for so long now, and I’m like gosh, I wish I knew this when I was younger. That was really the beginning. I went through Reiki and just learned a lot from that world.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. Do you have any spiritual or person development practices that you do you on a regular basis now?
James Wedmore: Yeah. Oh yeah. Oh my goodness. I think my goal is to integrate it so that it doesn’t seem separate. I think that’s what I was doing for a while. That was 2.0. It was like oh here’s this cool thing I can do for 10 minutes a day and then I’m going to go back to work. I’ll do this for 10 minutes in the morning and I’ll go to work. I think where I’m at right now is to bleed the two together as much as possible. There’s meditation in the morning, in the evening. I think everything is about starting with intention, so I’ve become much more intentional and declaring an intention on whatever I’m doing. And then it’s a practice of setting the intention and then falling into a place of just trust and knowingness and making sure that there’s no doubt there, there’s no uncertainty. And so I’ve always used these examples with myself of like we all know what it feels like to have trust in something. We don’t take for granted that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. We all know what it feels like. On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your level of believability or knowability that the sun is going to rise tomorrow? You just know. And so anything I said as an intention, I want it to feel that same way, like it’s going to happen, and it is. Any time I don’t feel that, I kind of dive in to see what I can let go of or kind of just detach from, because the best things that have happened to me are the things where like I set the intention, but then it showed up in its own way, like surprised the heck out of me. I wasn’t expecting it like that.
The first time that that really happened to me, which was—this is back when I was just learning this stuff. This was the first example, and I share this story all the time in my community, because it was like the first time I got proof. So I’ll share the very short version of it. Needless to say, when I reconnected with this old girlfriend—we actually started dating again. Her birthday was coming up and she wanted Tony Robbins tickets for her birthday. So I said I’m going to get her Tony Robbins tickets. Now at the time, I was broke. I called up the Tony Robbins ticket place and I said, “I’ll take two tickets for Tony Robbins.” They go, “That’ll be $1000.” I was like “Awesome. Do you have a payment plan?” The woman literally laughed at me. She laughed at me on the phone. I had $500 that I knew of in my bank account I said, “Okay, I’ll call you back. Let me see what I can do.” By the time I had gotten off the phone call and checked my online banking, I had less than a dollar left in my name, because I had some stupid AdWords bill that I had left on and it had just debited my account. I had less than a dollar to my name. I was devastated. I was like I can’t—how pathetic is this? I can’t even get my girlfriend a gift right now, like not even a card because I don’t have a dollar. I was living at home so I didn’t have to worry about food or utilities and stuff. That was nice.
So this is where I was like oh wait, I’m learning all this weird woo-woo crap. I said okay, I’m just going to decide that intention, intention. I’m going to be there. It was very easy. This is huge. There’s a lot of lessons in the stories here, is that it was very easy for me because it wasn’t about me. A lot of times when we’re building a business and putting ourselves out there, especially as a personal brand, it can be really hard because we make it about us. It’s like we got to kind of convince people like we’re awesome and you should like me and follow me. It’s like a lot about you. This wasn’t about me. So I was able to say look, put me aside. I’m not being selfish here. I’m being selfless because this is something that she wants and I’m committed to making it happen. We’re going to be there. I just, in that moment decided it’s happening. The magic happened when I stopped trying to tell myself, stopped fooling myself that I knew how it was going to happen. I think our brain is always trying to know how or know why. So how, how, how are you going to do it? When you don’t answer that, if you don’t have the answer, if the answer is I don’t know, like it’s a total breakdown. It’s like well then it’s not happening. This is not true, and I think that’s the difference, is it was like I don’t know. It’s like Christmas morning is tomorrow, I don’t know what I’m getting for Christmas but I know I’m getting something. I don’t know how I’m going to get there, but I know I am.
About three days later, I get a random phone call out of the blue from an old friend. She invites me to go play tennis with her. Long story short, within the first five minutes, she’s like, “So what are you up to?” I’m telling her like, “Well, I’m doing these videos for clients now.” She’s like, “I want one of those.” I’m like, “Yeah, totally.” She goes, “I’ll trade you Tony Robbins tickets for them.” I just dropped my racket. I was like, “What did you say?” She’s like, “Yeah, I want a video.” I was like, “No, after that. What did you say?” She goes, “I know one of the reps, the sales reps at Tony Robbins. I can hook you up with free tickets. You know he’s got an event in…” I’m like, “Yeah, I know…”
Melyssa Griffin: She didn’t know you wanted to go?
James Wedmore: No idea. I hadn’t mentioned it. We’d just gotten there. I had chills run through my entire body. That was my first real experiment. I’m like okay, there’s something to this. You don’t need to label it spirituality. You don’t need to label it anything. There is power in our intention and having trust and being clear on what you want. Needless to say, we went to Tony Robbins.
Melyssa Griffin: Wow, that’s incredible. I love that. That would definitely make somebody who’s not much of a believer yet into someone who’s like maybe there’s some truth to this kind of stuff.
James Wedmore: Yeah. I try and live my life and run the business that way today. It’s like what do I want and then I just get out of my way. That’s the biggest thing, we’re in our own ways more than we realize. It’s like drop the ego a bit. Just throw your hands up and get out of your way. That’s all I’ve had to do. That’s another thing I’ll throw in there. I warned you I’d go off on tangents. When we talk about personal development, I’ve seen two phases or versions, like version 1.0. I think this is really important, especially if you want to go further with sharing what you’ve learned. Version 1.0 was what I call enhancement and optimization. It was let me learn these things, let me master those. It’s kind of like we come out of stock, out of the box. Here’s Melyssa’s stock out of the box. Let me put all these skills on and try and prove. What I didn’t discover until years later is the fallacy in that, is that most the time we’re doing that because we’re coming from—and I’m not saying you’re doing that, I’m talking about myself. That’s all I can speak to. Most of the time, we’re coming from a place of I’m not enough as it is right now, so I need these things so that I’m enough. I need to learn speed reading so I can read more books about how to be a better person because I’m not good enough as I am right now. All these skills, I got to learn sales training and I got to learn this and I got to learn that. I found myself doing that. That’s what I would call version 1.0 of personal development. Version 2.0, which is where I believe the magic happens. This is where I believe breakthroughs—this is where I believe transformation happens, is when you do the opposite. It’s really about stripping away and letting go the things that aren’t serving us, the beliefs that we think are true, or that pesky thing we call the ego. The more that I have stripped away, the more I’ve simplified my life, the more I’ve let go, the more miracles and breakthroughs I’ve experienced. That’s because I do believe that there’s nothing that needs fixing. We’re not broken. We don’t become a better, more worthy person because we’ve mastered or learned something. I think the ego would have us believe that, and it’s just not true.
Melyssa Griffin: I agree. You touched on self-love earlier and I feel like this is the perfect time to talk about it. I think people have this idea that self-love is you take a bubble bath and you write three pieces of gratitude every day, and then you suddenly love yourself. I feel like that’s not what it is. What’s your experience and what do you feel like it actually is?
James Wedmore: Well, that’s a good question. I don’t know what it is, but I know that we can get a clue. Maybe it is a bubble bath, because I think we get a clue from our behavior. And so what I mean by that is if you start taking an assessment of your life—I think that’s always a great place to start. If you’re working 14 hour days and they’re grueling, if you’re taking on too many clients and they’re crappy clients, just treats you like crap, if you got that voice in your head that’s always telling you it’s never good enough, you’ve got to ask like if you had a young child that you love more than anything, would you allow them to be treated that way? Would you talk to them that way? Would you let them do those type of things to themselves? If the answer is no, it’s a good indicator that you should probably love yourself some more. I mean I can’t say it any other way. You know what I mean? So maybe it is a bubble bath but it isn’t. There’s another phrase I love, is putting whipped cream on garbage. If you’re doing 14 hour days and then you end it with a bubble bath, you’re putting whipped cream on garbage. It’s like it’s okay because I took a bubble bath, but the rest of the day you’re like miserable and hate yourself. So I notice that I still do that. I still will put myself last. I think that’s hard. I think because our culture condemns selfishness. And so for the last couple weeks, I read a book and even had them* on the podcast, “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It”. Have you heard of this book?
Melyssa Griffin: I’ve heard of it, yeah. Awesome title.
James Wedmore: Fantastic book. It’s like 60 pages. You can read it. It’s to the point. I mean he even says if I put anything else in this, it’s just a waste of time. Let’s just get to the point. It’s the same message if you’ve heard the analogy, like flight attendants got it right when they said put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help loved ones. That’s what’s going on here, is that if you want to serve, if you want to help, if you want to love others, you can’t hate yourself enough to love someone else. It has to be full within you first. And so I really started a big practice of this. I would recommend the book to everybody.
Melyssa Griffin: I have a question for you. I was actually thinking about that, that idea this morning of you can’t actually love someone else until you love yourself. I feel like I remember hearing that in high school and stuff, and not really getting it because I thought well I do love people. I don’t really love myself right now in high school, but I do love other people. What are your thoughts on that? Because now I believe that that’s true.
James Wedmore: I mean I’m sure you can, but I’m saying that—there’s a phrase, and I think it’s Abraham from the Abraham Hicks group that says this, that you can’t get poor enough to help poor people. So it’s not that you can’t loathe yourself and love another. Maybe you can, maybe you can’t. That’s not the point though, is that people—let’s use the context of something like wealth and money or health. These are all just different contexts, different areas of our lives. We know that if you want to help poor people, you being poor doesn’t help them. That’s kind of the same thinking that a lot of people have and I totally get it. When you’re putting yourself last, it’s because you say you’re doing it for others. I just have experienced really firsthand that when you start with yourself, you have so much more to give. I mean just practicing this for two weeks now, you really start to see life in technicolor. You think there’s a song in your head while you’re walking down the street. You’re like, “Oh hey, you. What’s up?” I know the difference versus like when you’re tired and you haven’t stopped working or something. And so I just think that’s so important.
Melyssa Griffin: Right. I 100% agree. I think part of what I realized about that phrase too is that when you hate yourself or don’t like yourself, but you feel like you love other people, for me, it seems like it doesn’t come from as genuine a place, because if you can’t figure out what love is for you, then it’s so much harder to authentically love someone else without needing anything in return. It’s almost like the love for other people is more of a…
James Wedmore: It’s not unconditional.
Melyssa Griffin: Exactly, yeah. Wow…
James Wedmore: Let’s talk business marketing strategies, Facebook hacks.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah, let’s do it. I’m curious though, so I know we’ve been talking about a lot of different personal development, spiritual stuff. Where do you feel like—and you work with a lot of entrepreneurs on this kind of stuff. Where do you feel like entrepreneurs get stuck the most, where they hold themselves back the most internally, maybe without even realizing it?
James Wedmore: That’s a really good question. I want to take a moment to ponder that. So many things. I would say the first thing that comes to mind has to be around being liked. That was the first time that came up for me, a need to be liked or a fear of rejection, approval from the pack. I don’t think we recognize how much we limit ourselves, how much we restrain ourselves, how much we hold ourselves back, because we’re putting things through the lens of what will others think about this and will they like it and what if they don’t. One of the fascinating things there is that that’s a recipe for failure, because the marketers that are successful, are marketers, and marketing has to get attention. It has to be polarizing. It has to stand out. It has to be different. And so I believe that if someone here is like, what I would just call personal brand business, like a Melyssa Griffin business, you are the product. At the end of the day, it’s your face at the top of your website, not your widget. It’s you. I think this is such an extraordinary time in our world that we get to do stuff like that. It’s so exciting. It was a whisper of an idea 10 years ago, people were doing it 10 years ago, but it was like wow maybe you can do this. Now so many people are doing it and it’s so amazing. I also believe from the mental emotional side, it’s the hardest type of business to run, because I mean come on, I got to imagine—like there’s got to be one person, maybe one or two that has said something bad about Melyssa. Even though you’ve had thousands of people—like I mean your podcast has only been on for three months and you have over 300 cluster views. That’s amazing. That’s so exciting. If you get that one bad one, it’s like… that’s all we focus on.
So it’s tough because we equate, like with the personal brand thing, being successful is like being popular. So we’re trying to do everything that will get us liked and will get us to be a part of the pack. That means you’re just going to say the same thing that everyone else is saying and you’re just going to blend in. And so I think there’s a really good practice of just detaching who you are as a human being, your personal identity as who is Melyssa Griffin as a human being versus here is this product I have, which is melyssagriffin.com. That was easier for me to do because I’d been making videos for so long that I kind of got into a character and I was like oh yeah, look at that annoying kid in those videos with those stupid jokes that he does. That’s not me. I look at that, I’m like that’s not me. It’s not who I am. Sometimes I have to remind myself because a negative saying will come in and you don’t know if they’re attacking James the product or James the human, and your ego flares up. I think that keeps people really limited, really boxed in, really afraid. I’ve had people say anything and everything about me and I’m still here, I’m still alive, no damage has been done. I think we live in fear of a lot of that. I think that’s a big one if it’s only just running a personal brand. What’s your journey been around like that? I mean you’ve just had such explosive growth. It’s been so awesome to watch you.
Melyssa Griffin: Thank you.
James Wedmore: What has been the thing that’s like, if anything has hooked you at all? It’s like been turbulent for you.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. I definitely resonate with the needing of approval. I think I’ve worked through a lot of that, but definitely for the first few years that was huge of almost wanting to have this personality online, where I saw what other people were doing, what kind of personality they had. I felt like if mine was a little bit different or I wore something that was a little too colorful or I was a little too corky, then it would—like some people would not resonate with that and they’d just want to leave. I think for years I tried to put out this kind of image of here’s Melyssa, the Melyssa you know and love, like the kind of online persona. And now, I would say in the past year, I’ve gone through a lot of shifts where that just wasn’t fulfilling for me anymore and I didn’t feel like I was attracting my people. I wanted to—yeah, I think when you put yourself authentically out there, even if some people don’t like it and they are going to leave or say something mean, it’s going to attract even more of the people that you really resonate with and that really are changed by what you’re doing. So that was something I struggled with, but I feel like now I see the merits of just being me even if it rubs some people the wrong way.
James Wedmore: Yeah. It comes back to the self-love thing, like you don’t fall in love with yourself, it’s a lot easier to just be you.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. Right, yeah exactly. I’m trying to think if there were other big things. I actually feel like that was probably one of the really big ones. Something that I see with a lot of people, even if it’s like a different way that it’s coming out, like well I’m scared to launch this course because I’ve never launched a course or I’m not an expert. Underlying that belief or fear is also this fear of people don’t like me or maybe they’re not going to like what I do.
James Wedmore: I’m not good enough. I’m not enough to do this. And so here’s a little exercise that I learned a variation from one of my mentors and it really helps my students. It’s just a simple visualization. You guys can expand on this and just practice it, just do it once or twice and then you just really integrate it. It’s just like imagine if you’re alone on a beach, you’re the only one out there. Look left, look right, there’s no one but you. All of a sudden you hear someone out in the ocean and they’re screaming for help. They’re drowning. There’s no one around but you and you don’t have a cell phone. You’re not going to just go call. You, a person who wants to help others, what are you going to do? You’re going to beeline for that person. The last thing you’re going to care about is how do I look while I’m doing it, how should I save them, should it be in a boat or a yacht or a jet ski, or I only have a dinghy and it’s not real pretty, and maybe I should a website first, and all this stuff. You’re just going to go and help that person. In that moment, that person that needs that help, they don’t care about that stuff. They just care about being helped. Those are three magic words that we—is that great copy? I can help. I mean those are three words that can save someone’s life.
I shared this example recently. One of my students actually interviewed me on her Facebook live show. She told me right before finding my podcast and one of our programs, that she was getting ready to give up entrepreneurship and go back to her corporate job. I mean I used that as an example as I shared that. I’m like that’s what talking about, like saving someone’s life. For someone to have to give up on their dreams, is like giving up on a huge part of themselves. We all have that opportunity, oh my gosh. The quicker we wake up to that—and if you don’t believe me, because a lot of us, some of us don’t have very many experiences at all of what it’s like to impact another’s life. You don’t need a website and a product or a course to do that. Sometimes a friend, a family member or neighbor just needs to hear a compliment. They just need to have someone listen to them. I say start wherever you can to start impacting somebody’s life and you can grow from there, but you don’t need all this stuff that everyone tells you—and look, the quicker you can become like Neo in The Matrix and realize marketing for what it is, you’re going to appreciate it, but you can start to see it for what it is as well. When Neo just sees numbers on the screen, Matrix, you guys remember that movie, 1999? Melyssa was too young to see that movie.
Melyssa Griffin: I saw it. I saw it.
James Wedmore: Everyone who’s selling their thing has to say it’s the thing. So then we start going like oh I need all these things that that other person has, and I need all these things before I can start a business because they said I got to have a website, I got to have a funnel, I got to have Facebook Ads, I got to have an e-mail list, I’ve got to have all the social media sites. No, you don’t. You don’t, you don’t, you don’t… You don’t need anything to help somebody right now. I’m not saying make false promises like I’ll build you a seven figure business and I’ve never done it before, but we can still help. And so that brings a full circle to this concept, the leapfrog effect. I wanted to help people, so I started with where I knew how. One thing led to the next thing which led to the next thing, which led to next thing. And so many people just think that not only do you need everything, but you need it to all happen overnight. If my business isn’t up and running 30 days from now and I’m not making six figures in a month, then I suck, I’m a failure, I’m giving up, this better work. For me, it was a decision from day one. I’d love to hear what your perspective was on this for you when you started your blog. It was throwing my hat over the wall, burn the boats and I said this is my life. This is what I’m doing now. There was no going back. I said it doesn’t matter how long it takes, the time is irrelevant. I will do whatever it takes. This is my life. This is what I’m doing.
I remember a couple years into my journey—and this was such a lesson for me, so beautiful. I just started seeing success and I go to this like Internet Marketing—there was a party at the end of it. There was a bartender and we were talking about marketing and stuff. This was about 201. There was a bartender there—and this is crazy Melyssa, because I was a bartender and I used to bartend private events. Here I was on the other side of the bar and there’s a guy there and he goes, “Are you guys talking online marketing stuff?” We go, “Yeah.” He’s like, “Oh, I tried that stuff.” I said, “Oh, yeah?” He’s like, “Yeah, I dabbled in it for a while. It doesn’t work.” Period, like that was the conversation. I just remember so much like full circle in that moment, so much gratitude because I never dabbled. Everything comes back, I promise guys. The whole “as within, so without”, we’re so waiting for it to work before we jump in. We’re like I’ll dip a toe into the business and see if it’s right and we’ll see if it’s successful, then I’ll do it. No, it’s all or nothing. You first, then the results. That’s commitment. That’s essential. What was it like for you? Was this like a…?
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. Well first of all, I love—it’s almost like you saw what could have been if you dabbled when you met this guy.
James Wedmore: Yeah. That was like my alternate universe. That’s what I could have been, totally.
Melyssa Griffin: Right. Mine was similar. My motto when I started my business was always I’m just going to move in the direction of what feels good. So I started my business—it actually just started as a blog that was meant to be a fun hobby online, and that transformed into a graphic design business, and then I had a greeting card shop, and then started teaching marketing, and now trying to get more into personal development. My motto has always been—it was never like this fear of oh my God, I don’t like this thing anymore, I want to do something else. It was more of you know what, I really like this other thing so I’m going to do that. I don’t over analyze it too much. It just feels like if this thing feels good to me, then that’s probably the thing that I should be doing. I feel like my business 10 years from now might be completely different, who knows? Because I’m just going to keep following what feels good. I completely resonate and agree with your journey, where you started your business as something completely different and now it’s just in a totally different place, because you just continue to find those things that you’re passionate and excited about, and just moved in that direction. So what I tell people when they’re starting businesses is, find some way that you can help that excites you. It doesn’t have to be the thing that you do for the rest of your life. This one business idea is just your kind of gateway to the rest of this world and it will lead you to these other things where you’ll find, like you did, places where you can help people along the way. It just leads you eventually to kind of that…
James Wedmore: So true. That’s how I describe the leap frog effect, because look I get it, everyone’s got quote images. So the problem with is that you—there’s just some profound truths with things that have become so cliché, like “it’s the journey, not the destination”. How many times we just roll our eyes? Oh yeah, I’ve heard that one before. So true. Let’s dive deeper on that to what you’re speaking to Melyssa, is that what if what you’re doing right now is just part of trusting the process that it’s preparing you for whatever that next step is in your journey. When I looked back and I discovered that for myself, it dropped me to my knees that all these things, there was a—this synchronicity, this miraculous meaning that I suddenly had of like oh my goodness, doing this prepared me for this, and because I learned this here, it allowed me to do that. I went to film school still not knowing what I wanted to do and I was really bummed out. I had a big breakdown. I was like everyone else wants to be a lawyer, a doctor, all these successful things. I have no clue what I wanted to do. Of course, I didn’t. YouTube hadn’t been invented then, like how would I know what to do and how do you know what you’re doing? Whatever you’re doing may not even have been invented yet. The quicker we can just trust the process where you’re at right now, you’re getting lessons you need, it’s the right step in your journey that you never get it done. There is no destination. That’s also the thing. It’s not the journey, the destination, it’s the journey because it’s only the journey, and it will always be the journey until the day we die. The quicker we can just be at peace with that and choose where we are in our journey, accept that, I think the quicker we can progress in our journey to be honest with you. I also want to say I love that you have a motto. I had a motto. I still do. It was “inspire others through my actions”. I would look up at that thing at the worst of days and say like hey, I’m not being really inspiring right now. I need to pull my head out of my ass and get back to what I’m doing. That’s really cool you have a motto.
Melyssa Griffin: I’ve been saying that for years but never really thought of it as like my motto, but I might just own it. This is part of what I believe. Yeah, I like that.
James Wedmore: I think that should be like a homework assignment for you. I think everyone should create a motto, like their own personal through line statement that goes on our tombstone or something. We take it with us and share it with others.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah, I like that. One other thing that I’ll say about what we were just talking about it, is I was thinking yesterday, what if—you were saying there is no destination, there shouldn’t be a destination. What I was thinking yesterday was what if the goal of our lives is just to grow? What if the goal is not to accomplish something in particular, like having a good relationship or growing your business to a certain point or getting a degree in something? What if that was not the goal? Which it feels like it is in our society, like we have to have these things, markers of our achievement. What if the goal was just to grow and learn and work through the thought patterns and whatever, the things that hold us back?
James Wedmore: Yeah. I mean, gosh, these are the type of questions I have with myself all day long.
Melyssa Griffin: Welcome to my brain, James.
James Wedmore: Right. I know. What is the meaning of life? Yeah. I do believe that whether it’s growth or just lessons or—it’s like just one giant video game that we’re just accomplishing not physical stuff, but the things that we need to overcome. I don’t know. Obviously, I don’t—neither of us know the answer to that. What I look for in my life today—there’s that other cliché quote that like life begins just outside your comfort zone, and it’s got a cool little image of your comfort zone and life…
Melyssa Griffin: Like a yoda in the background or something.
James Wedmore: And there’s yoda in the background…
Melyssa Griffin: On a beach.
James Wedmore: Superman is there too. I go, okay, I love that. I really do. And so I look for my comfort zone. The thing is the comfort zone expands as you expand. I look for today, kind of like what I said at the beginning, where I’m actively seeking out where that boundary is of the comfort zone, like where do I say I can’t or no I couldn’t do that. And that’s where I go first, like oh there’s my lesson, there’s my opportunity for growth. So I think the context I have for my life now is much more about let me see what I can do or let me find a way to make the impossible possible. That’s very different than James 1.0, which was survival James, which was like how do I not rock the boat, how do I stay in my little comfort zone and bring it right real close to me so that I don’t disturb anybody, I don’t get any criticism, everyone’s going to like me. It’s changed so much more to be like where’s that thing that I’m saying or I think that I can’t do, that’s where I begin. It’s that exhilaration, and that to me is fun. That is exciting. That’s what I get really lit up about. So yes, growth is—and it’s not just—I’m not talking business anymore, I’m talking all of life. I’ve had to learn how to be a husband in the last year, and a lot of lessons in that, especially because I run the company with my wife. There has been so much out—yes, business kind of touches a lot of our areas and we have a personal lifestyle business. So much in other areas, such as relationships and love that I’m still learning and still jumping in with like screw it, let’s get messy, whatever. Let’s put the ego—I don’t have to be right. I don’t have to look good. I don’t have to do this without making mistakes. Let’s try it. I want to continue living my life that way.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. I love that. I love the practice of finding where your comfort zone ends and making that where you begin, where you focus your energy. I’m curious, a serious question. What James are you on now? You keep talking about James 1.0 and 2.0. Are you like James 8.0 right now?
James Wedmore: There’s like 15.7. Yeah. I’m still learning this. I think my whole show is about saying like hey I’ve learned some of this stuff and let me introduce you to some more people that have mastered this. For you, I love that you’re talking about shift in brand. I just want to throw out there, because this keeps coming up for me, is that it was very easy to fall into the trap of James is the video guy, because that’s what everyone said. It’s easy for that to become who you are. I knew deep down that that’s not who I really was. So it was very easy for me to become something else. When you realize like who are you, those are big philosophical questions too. I think where I’ve concluded with that is you are who you say you are. Melyssa tomorrow wanted to be Melyssa the world healer, miracle maker, then that’s who you are. I think the longer I go, I still question who I am and still go with I don’t know, but I know I’m here to help and I know that I can help more, help other people more if I’m congruent with what I’m talking about. I’m not just talking hot air. I’m like hey here’s something I tried out, here’s what I’m doing, here’s what I’m going through. The self-love is a perfect example. That’s what I’m going through right now and it’s working for me. And then I get to share that with people and I get to share that with your audience as well. That’s like oh my gosh, that’s all I want to be doing. I don’t know what iterates, I think I reinvent myself every week because I want to continue to go—we have a ton of marketing products. I do, I want to start reaching people outside of that, that need this type of work. Who knows? One day at a time, I guess.
Melyssa Griffin: No, yeah I love it. I love it. So I want to put our marketing caps on for a few minutes and ask you—yeah, I see it right there on your head—ask you some more business questions because you’ve been in the online business world for a decade and you’ve seen a lot of stuff happen. So I’m curious, what are some of the things like trends or tactics or anything that you’ve seen, that’s persisted throughout that period of time? Anything?
James Wedmore: That’s persisted, yes, because all I look at—by the way, I still think you’re an INTJ. Did I tell you that?
Melyssa Griffin: INTJ? Yeah. I’ve never gotten that, but a lot of my friends are INTJs. I definitely like to think about all this kind of philosophical stuff.
James Wedmore: You are like very adamant that you’re INFJ and I let you have it. I was like okay, whatever you say. It’s not me to judge, but…
Melyssa Griffin: I’ve never gotten a T.
James Wedmore: I bring that up because the persistent, consistent, unchanging—that’s something that INTJ looks for. Just throwing it out there. It’s very fascinating that you asked that because in 10 years, I kind of laugh and scoff at whatever is like the latest, greatest thing, because without fundamentals, without principles which are unchanging truths, then it doesn’t matter what tool you’re using. So like if we take—if I can use—because I do the same thing, I was like YouTube, YouTube marketing. So if we talk about something like Pinterest, was like okay, if your copy sucks, your website sucks, you have that offer that no one wants, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. You can have all the pins and all the traffic you want, and if we’re taking them to a 1999 like hello world, WordPress* blog, it doesn’t matter. Direct marketing principles, the more we can master copy persuasion and influence principles that have never changed—there’s a fantastic book Dr. Cialdini’s “Influence”, which is sitting right next to the Dale Carnegie book, which is funny. They’re like touching each other. Have you ever read “Influence”? Did you read that book?
Melyssa Griffin: No, I haven’t.
James Wedmore: Come on.
Melyssa Griffin: I’m going to put it on my list.
James Wedmore: You’ve got to put it on your list. It talks about six principles of influence that are all scientifically proven. He was a professor, maybe it’s Stanford, I think. He did all the social tests, social experiments. So things like—some of these we heard of and we just say other people do them so I’ll do them too. Don’t look at the tip of the iceberg, folks. Look what’s below the surface. Ask why, why is someone putting testimonials on their site? Well, because social proof is an influential principle. Humans are like these herd type creatures. We look at what everyone else is doing and we go, “I’ll just do what they do.” They’re thinking this way, I’ll think that way. So principles like commitment and consistency and the law of reciprocity, these all come from this book. And so if we’re trying to have the prettiest logo or the—I see people in my group, they’re so concerned with the tools; what tool do I use and what software do I use. It is like you could use anything you want. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get the stuff down. So that’s the stuff that’ll never change. That’s a great book to get started. Knowing how to communicate, write copy, create stuff that people actually want to buy…
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah, such a good point. That is such a good answer. I love that.
James Wedmore: Here’s the shift I’ve seen that—and I can only speak in the marketing space. I know you’ve seen this and I know you know what I’m talking about, is that content is people creating a course or selling their digital product or whatever. I’ve been doing this, selling digital content for 10 years. Now, especially within the—I would say the last 18 months, 12 months especially, that people have reached critical mass of overwhelm at an unprecedented level. Dare I say this is like an epidemic. People who are so overwhelmed, it’s not even funny. So now content, the very thing that we sell as a solution, has become the problem.
Melyssa Griffin: There’s just too much information…
James Wedmore: It’s the number one thing people say in surveys. It’s the number one thing people say, is like who do I follow, how do I know which is this, I’m so overwhelmed, there’s so much coming at me. I blame Facebook and Zuckerberg for this. It’s a real thing. And so for those of us who are like well I sell a course—look, if you’re in a different niche, you may not have as many competitors, but some niches are very—marketplaces are very oversaturated. And so what I say to my students is that the first thing we have to do is we have to create something that is more than content, because what we’re doing when we’re selling our stuff is that we can’t be selling content in the first place. We’ve got to drop that. We are facilitating results. We are supporting people to get results. So how else—and those are the questions we want to stay in, staying in the right type of questions. The quality of your life is determined by the quality of questions you ask. So how else can we be getting results for our students without overwhelming them, without flooding them with hundreds of videos? What else can we do? Our business has shifted a lot because we’ve been asking this question and kind of an anticipated this a lot. And so my business today has more live events, more live workshops. We have a high level mastermind. We have an in person group coaching, in person and virtual group coaching. It’s really designed, all of those are designed to get people to focus, because wow, we are—and myself included—are struggling so much to stay focused.
So the solution today as an entrepreneur, for those of you guys listening, you’ve got to master your ability to say no, because there’s so much stuff coming at you that trying to chase two rabbits at once, you’re going to catch none. The analogy we use is if you’re trying to build seven bridges at the same time, you’re never going to get one of them done. There’s the whole concept—this was a study done about context switching, like how much of our time and energy is lost going from project one to project two to project three to project four. You’re going to be feeling more powerful when you just focus on one thing. So from a course creator standpoint or a content creator, how can we create an environment—it’s environment is the key that facilitates how can we give them or facilitate the results without overwhelming people with more and more stuff that they just have to do. Yeah, that’s kind of where I see things. I don’t know. What are your thoughts on that? Do you agree, disagree? You can disagree with me, Melyssa.
Melyssa Griffin: I know I can. Honestly, I agree with both of those things. I think you’re definitely right about the messaging of what it is you’re selling in the first place. I think that’s definitely the basis of making any sales, regardless of what tactics you use. I feel like…
James Wedmore: Just creating something that people actually want. “I don’t know what to create a product on.” How many times have we heard people say that? Maybe ourselves. “I don’t know what to create a product on or I know, I want to create a product on this”. You start both those sentences off, you don’t even need to finish, and I know it’s going to be a disaster because we shouldn’t be creating stuff based on what we want. We should be creating stuff based on what our customers tell us they need. That’s how you get successful. I have products that have failed. It’s because I got ego in the way and it was like “James is really smart, he knows what they need, he knows what’s best for them”. No, I don’t. They’ll tell you. I think it was Marie Forleo who says, “sell them what they want and then deliver what they need”. And so you have to start with what people want.
Melyssa Griffin: Right. I think one of the things that I’m saying—we could talk about some of our kind of predictions for the future too, but one of the things that I feel like I’m seeing—because I’m hearing mixed things from friends who have programs and courses, where some people are doing really well and growing and making money, and other people who had done well for a while, are suddenly not doing as well anymore. The difference that I see is this culture of authenticity, which I think is probably becoming more prevalent because it’s this big millennial belief and we look for people who seem genuine. I think that is becoming more and more of a differentiator for people in who they want to do business with. Is this person genuine? Do I feel like I’m getting an authentic sense of their personality or are they feeding me like the marketing script that they learned somewhere? Is this even who they actually are as a person? So that to me is a big trend that I—it’s not even a trend. It seems more like just a way of being, but something I see…
James Wedmore: It’s become far more relevant, increasingly more relevant. I think there’s several reasons why I think in a saturated market, it’s marketing on top of marketing. You hear something 100 times, you hear it from someone else too, it’s like oh yeah, never heard that before and I have to go get it. When someone comes out there and they’re fresh and they’re just like—they’re speaking to what’s going on in their mind, like, “ look I know you’ve heard this before, this isn’t some whatever.” Yeah, that’s huge. I also think and I also think that people are craving authenticity because they want someone who truly cares to really help them. I call it “the curse of the expert newbie” right now, where I see instances of a lot of people that say “I know this already, I already know this.” There’s a difference between knowing and having results because true knowing will come from the action and the experience that we have. Yeah, I think there’s just been so much content out there. What I see the market needs—and this is yours and my market, is they need someone to be like “how do I actually do this though, how do I operate and execute and think and act like an entrepreneur.” When you start doing that for people, that’s where I get to have a lot of fun. That’s where we make breakthroughs. In my mastermind, we’re talking about how to be a leader. In the marketing mastermind we’re talking about leadership qualities and how to build a team and a vision and core values. Yeah, so it’s interesting.
Melyssa Griffin: Right. I like that. It’s changing the person into that kind of person who gets those results.
James Wedmore: Yes, totally. Completely. There’s a phrase we have, “what got you here won’t get you there”, and who do you need to become to get you where you want to go.
Melyssa Griffin: Right. So I think we’ve gotten through half of what I wanted to ask you. I feel like we’re just going to have to have you on the show again. Part two. I’ve got so much more that I want to talk to you about.
James Wedmore: I mean this is really fun for me. If your audience likes it, if they don’t like it, just don’t tell me.
Melyssa Griffin: We’ll just never share any of this with them. Hide it away, delete it. I do have one last question that I like to ask all of my guests. That is: what do you feel like people should do to live more meaningful and fulfilled lives?
James Wedmore: It’s so good. I hope I’m not just sounding like a broken record and repeating myself, but anything you can do to make a difference in somebody else’s life. I think we’re—I always heard all those things. I mean if we even look at your podcasts with purpose, I was very much 1.0 with survival James. So I was like yeah, James, all that sounds great, let me—or to whoever was saying it to me, that sounds great, let me make my money first, let me get enough to live and to get by, then I can do this. If we can flip that on its head and lead with that, because that—I think that I really do believe that’s what it’s all about. Ten years of doing this, I’ve seen so many people come and go because they get burned out. They go “uh, this is it” or “I just can’t keep doing this”. I don’t get burnt out because I know the secret. My rocket fuel, my gasoline on the fire of passion is the—I mean I got a text message from one of our mastermind members yesterday, the end of the day. She said, “When I applied for your mastermind, you said what would make 2017 a success for you.” She said, “If I could hit 500 K, that was my big stretch goal, then that would make this the most wildly successful you have ever had.” She goes, “James, I just want you to know I’m at 550,000. We still got a launch to go in three more months.” I hear something like that and I’ve got fuel for months. That’s what keeps me going. We’ll all have haters. We’ll all have critics. We’ll all have naysayers. We’ll have whatever, especially if you’re getting big and like playing a bigger game. When you can fall back on those people and just like remember the times that you’ve made any type of difference, it just gets you back on the horse and gets you to keep going. It’s given me meaning in my life.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah, I love that. It’s like finding what that purpose is and then living it full out…
James Wedmore: And make nothing else matter. It doesn’t matter if someone wants to say like you’re an idiot. You’re like okay, I get it.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. I couldn’t agree more. Well, amazing, James. You’re awesome, fantastic. Where can people find you because I know they’re going to—if they don’t already know all about you?
James Wedmore: Yeah. I’m just going to send everybody, invite everybody to come listen to an episode of my podcast, see if it’s your cup of tea. It’s called the Mind Your Business podcast. Hopefully, we can link it up, otherwise, it’s on iTunes or the website is mindyourbusinesspodcast.com.
Melyssa Griffin: We’ll definitely link it below.
James Wedmore: Thank you. We go far and wide and deep down the rabbit hole. I mean I’ve had people coming on talking about crystals, and meditation, and energy healing, and money blocks, and subconscious beliefs, and subconscious reprogramming, Akashic records—I didn’t even know what that was, like so many things, numerology, feng shui, like everything because I’m all about all of it. It’s not for everybody, but it’s had an impact on some people, and that’s why I keep doing it.
Melyssa Griffin: Some many, many people, over a million. That’s incredible. I definitely have to check out more of the episodes on your podcast. I did listen to 114, Jim Fortin, it was amazing.
James Wedmore: So good, right? He’s amazing.
Melyssa Griffin: You’re a great interviewer too. So got to give you some props too. It was really great. Amazing, James, thank you for being on the show. I can’t wait to share you with everybody. This was great.
James Wedmore: Yes. Thank you, Melissa, and thank you guys for listening all the way to the end too.
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