The Global Credibility Expert Mitchell Levy sits with Michelle and shares how people don’t know their purpose because they have different expectations in their minds of what success and who they are. If people are guided through unraveling who they are, it will be easier to find their purpose. Mitchell talks about how you can build your credibility. He also suggests that people should build trust to be credible because, in this matter, you build connections. So if you want to exit rich, tune in to this episode and build your credibility level with Mitchell Levy!
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Credibility Expert: The Path To Exiting Rich With Mitchell Levy
Welcome to the show, Mitchell Levy. I’m going to tell you a little bit about Mitchell. He is a keynote speaker and I’m very jealous of this because he’s done two TEDx Talks. He’s done TEDx twice and I am only now working on my first one. He is a talk show guest and global credibility expert. He’s a speaker and an international bestselling author. When I say bestselling author, a bestselling author of 60 books and an Executive Coach at Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches.
After interviewing 500 thought leaders on credibility, he published a seven-country international bestselling book. A lot of you are like, “I’m trying to write one book. How do you write 60?” He’s also an accomplished entrepreneur who has created 20 businesses in Silicon Valley, including 4 publishing companies that have published over 750 books. He’s provided strategic consulting to hundreds of companies and has been the Chairman of a Board of a NASDAQ-listed company. Mitchell has been happily married for many years. Mitchell, do you have kids?
I’ve got one and if I’m using Silicon Valley parlance, he is successfully launched.
Welcome to the show, Mitchell.
It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me.
You are the credibility expert, which is huge. When you had me on your podcast, I was like, “I have to have you on my show because I love entrepreneurship.” I love business owners and I’m always looking for vendors, suppliers, marketing people, good copywriters, etc. and there is always some snake in the grass. A lot of times, I go to these different speaking events, masterminds, and those things all hire those people, and those people many times are the snakes in the grass.
The credibility expert is so imperative for business owners and me in order for them to know what to look for when they’re dealing with vendors, when they’re looking for suppliers, when I’m looking for partners, or when they’re looking for clients. That’s why I’m so excited to have you on the show but before we dive into all the meat and potatoes and all the good stuff, why don’t we start with, who is Mitchell? What were you like as a little boy? Were you a credible man?
One of the things I found in studying people’s purposes in life is oftentimes, the person we were when we were youth and we overcame it turns out to be the superpower that we show up with now. My parents divorced when I was nine and looking back, that’s the first time the word integrity was coming to mind because, for a long time, I called him bio dad. Now, he’s forgiven. I call him dad.
My physical father would come and try to do dad stuff on weekends, but it didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel the love and energy. My question is, “What’s a father supposed to be?” and for a period of time there, I got really angry. By the way, there are two big male figures in my life that were negative and one male figure that was super positive. My first bio dad was negative and my first mentor out of college was hedonistic and narcissistic and taught me so many bad roles.
I had to go through most of life unlearning stuff that I learned as a youth. The savior is mom, who was always amazing. Besides smothering us with love, the thing that mom did, which was spectacular, was to look us in the eyes and say, “You can do whatever you want. You can be whoever you want to be.” That feeling that we weren’t confined somewhere and could figure out what our love was and what we wanted to do was powerful.
Those were some great points to unpack there, especially when you had the undo what your fathers did. Many people can relate to that because think about it. We’re a product of our environment and we make unconscious decisions every second based on our childhood experiences. It’s also associated with our relationship with money and how we think about money, how we think about business, how we think about serving others, credibility, etc. That’s important. How do you undo it? How do you go back and unlearn all of those lessons? I have a lot of childhood trauma that I have to unlearn and that’s why I’m trying to raise my daughter trauma-free. How do you go back and unlearn all of that?
By the way, I do agree. One of the best things I did as a manager in life was to raise a child. When you learn the lessons from a clean slate, someone you bring into this world and then you share, you start looking at, “What do you want that is different than what you had? What do you want to deliver?” The thing that that mom gave me was, “You can do whatever you want. You can make stuff happen.”
How do you unlearn? It depends on how deep. I’m going to say it. I know a lot of different coaches in a number of different areas. Some people would say hypnotherapist and I know a couple of different hypnotherapists that I love and adore. Some people would say time, recognition, and knowledge. I’ll give you the last lesson. I like saying this. The male mentor I had out of college was hedonistic-narcissistic. I was physical with him for a year. He was virtually with me for 36 years.
Here’s the interesting part. I did not know that. I thought I got rid of him and I don’t mean this in a negative way, but I thought he exited my mind when I first left corporate. This is thirteen years, but then, I did my first TEDx. TEDx is a great way to unpack yourself because you’ve got to look at the world differently. When I did my first TEDx, that’s when I realized that there was a lot of stuff I needed to unlearn and unpack. It was my second TEDx. The second TEDx was the 28th most popular in 2021. It’s called, We Are Losing Our Humanity and I’m Tired of Watching it Happen.Leaders live their values and make a difference. Click To Tweet
Because I did it during COVID, I couldn’t practice in front of live audiences, so I had 30 Zoom room meetings where I’d invite someone. These are magic words. When I did my first TEDx, this was pre-COVID. In a two-month period, I’ve gone to probably 10 to 15 events and for every organizer of the event I’d go to, I would say, “I have been accepted to do a TEDx Talk. Can I practice?” Every place I went, they put me on stage.
How did that help you unwind and unlearn the past?
On the second TEDx, the 10th of my three 30 reviewers said something. To me, the opposite of credible is dubious. He goes, “Mitchell, do you realize that the people who were dubious, they’re not there on purpose?” They’re dubious because that’s what they were taught and those before them taught them that. They’re innocent and what you need to do is forgive that person because they’re not they’re doing it maliciously.
They’re there because that’s what they’re taught. That was the last lesson, the last vestige of what I was holding on to from my male mentor out of school and that was purely forgiveness. It was recognizing that he wasn’t doing what he was doing because he was being specifically mean to me or malevolent to me. He was doing it because that’s what he was taught.
That’s the easiest way to remember that is to hurt people hurt people. I said an apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and we’re a pattern of our environment. That’s why you got to break the cycle.
That was one example, but how do you unlearn it? You have to recognize that as you’re talking to people, I typically have between 40 to 60 meetings a week. I love talking to people. As I’m talking to people, I’m here to learn.
That’s a lot of meetings.
The component of being credible is being coachable. Sometimes I go into meetings and I don’t know or I don’t have an agenda. Sometimes I go into a meeting and somebody has an agenda. They want to share. Sometimes that agenda happens. Sometimes it doesn’t, but there are times I go to meetings where there was somebody’s doing something so amazing. I’m like, “Tell me more about that.” As I’m learning and growing, I’m like, “That’s interesting. How does that apply to me?”
It’s the same with others. Many times when I have meetings with others and I’m sharing. In order for somebody to articulate their purpose, Michelle, they have to throw away the marketing cookie-cutter stuff. As an executive coach, when I’m working with people, a lot of times they don’t know their purpose because they have different expectations in their minds of what is success and who they are. What has to happen as we unravel to the core of who the human is and sometimes it’s relatively easy. Many times, it’s relatively easy and sometimes it’s really hard. I have coaches I recommend for that as well.
I want to dive into that. I want to talk about the credibility path and all the different levels of that, but before we do, I want my readers to get to know you a little bit more. Tell me about these companies. You had twenty different companies in Silicon Valley and you have credibility. It sounds like an oxymoron almost. I’m not saying that people in Silicon Valley are not credible because I’m sure they are. You started twenty companies in Silicon Valley and you’re the credibility expert.
Tell us about some of those companies. Did you ever feel like you were in a company or going down the wrong path where you weren’t credible? You were drinking your own Kool-Aid, walking down the path. Talk to us a little bit about the twenty companies. Give us a high level about the company as you did on in Silicon Valley. Did you ever feel like you were going down the wrong path based on the lessons you learned that you were working on unlearning?
That’s about 4 or 5 different questions in there. Of those 20 companies, all of them were primarily professional service type companies and only 1 of them I sold. Typically, what happens is I find somebody who I enjoy or find a company that I like. We look at each other and we go, “It would be fun to work and play together.” We then go, “Let’s pick up the first client. We may have a handshake deal. Let’s pick up the first client. Let’s see how it works together.” At the end of that first client engagement, we go, “That was fun. Let’s do it again.” For me, what I care about is that the person in the room treats the client in the way I would when I’m not in the room. Only once have I made a mistake of character.
Are you saying you grab somebody that you think it would be fun to go to business with and then you start a business with this person?
How do you know you’re picking the right person because a lot of partnerships end up in disaster? A lot of times friends go to business with each other, even family, and many times, it ends up in a train wreck. How do you know you’re getting the right partner and have you ever chosen the long partner?
Yes. Let me say that I call myself a parallel entrepreneur, not a serial entrepreneur. A parallel entrepreneur is someone who has multiple businesses going at the same time. That’s much more prevalent now than it was when I started doing it. When I was running an executive business program, I created four different executive business programs at Silicon Valley universities. Each one of those is a separate company. They have a start, length, and time to exit. I had different partners because there were two different universities there.
I ran four conferences for one of the major conference companies during the dot-com days. Running a conference to me is a whole lot like creating a movie. When you create a movie, you’re creating a separate company. You do the movie. The movie makes it or doesn’t make it. The company starts, runs, executes, potentially pays dividends, and then you move on to the next movie. That’s the way I look at companies. When you’re interacting with a partner, the interesting part is having a clear understanding of where the boundaries are.
How do you pick a partner, to begin with? You’re not going to match-make or something like that.
There’s something that’s cool about interacting with 40 to 60 people a week. When I interviewed 500 thought leaders on credibility, I made a bunch of relationships. This is between 2019 and 2020. There are a couple of people that I work with on a continuous basis and there’s one person in particular that we were doing stuff together right now. I’ve got something called The Ultimate Credibility Bootcamp and it’s a guy by the name of Lucas Root.
He was one of those guys that the first time we worked together, I couldn’t cut through the marketing cookie-cutter stuff. He came back a couple of months later and because he came back a couple of months later and there was a marked improvement, I’m like, “This is something interesting.” We started talking to each other. I have a couple of people that I have continuous weekly meetings with because we enjoy each other’s company. Every now and then, we are like, “It seems like we should do a business for that.” We’ll break off into a business relationship.
Sometimes, it’s obvious when you meet with somebody. A great example is if you take a look at my screen, what you see there is somebody who we’ve been talking about playing together for a while. He almost joined one of our masterminds and then elected not to. We’ve been talking back and forth and then one day he goes, “Mitchell, I want to make it so that you look different.” If you take a look, I now add my bottom third to the bottom. It’s at a push button. I’m going to take that away.
I’ve got a border around it. When I want to show slides, I can show slides and it’s a level above. From a credibility perspective, this is somebody who we’ve been talking to for a little over a year. We don’t have a physical business, but I’m going to be pushing his business because he’s helped me to show up better. I want other people who want to show up in this way, I want to recommend him because he’s a good producer. The show you want, Leaders Living Their Values, the next episode I have, he’s going to be a producer on the show. We’re going to run probably 3 to 6 months of shows together and we’re going to make a decision. “Do we want to continue? Was it valuable to both of us? Was it fun?”
That’s what I have always been taught. I want to move through because I got so many questions to get to, but I always say it’s important to test it out.
You got to test drive.
Out of all these twenty partnerships, did you have any that fell?
Nothing as dramatic as what other people have. I’ve had one person who, when I was not in the room, ability to talk to our joint client was exactly the opposite of what I would’ve said. We did not go to the next step.
It always sounds like a test run before you solidify that partnership itself.
That was the test. I would say with some of the larger academic institutions, they worked themselves out of the relationship because their decision-making process was academic, not real-world. Both universities ended up working themselves to the point where it didn’t make sense to have a business anymore. I closed both because of that.The two things you could do to be likable are sharing your stage and showing respect. Click To Tweet
I believe in those test periods. I believe in them for employees. I believe in them for the partnership to make sure that you have the right fit because everybody sounds good on paper. Everybody can tell a good story, but how well do they share your values? How much are they going to deliver?
Here’s the best way to think about it. For me personally, find somebody alike. Let’s find a client. The business is real when money comes in the door. Let’s do something together. Sometime during that experience, s*** is going to hit the fan. When that happens, how does the person you’re working with the deal under pressure? How do they deal with your clients? If you like that and you think you can get the next client, then you can put the contracts together. At least, that’s the way I look at it.
How come you’ve only exited 1 out of 20? How come you didn’t sell all these companies?
For instance, when I’m focused on aspects of eCommerce, they are relevant to the trend in which eCommerce existed in that particular thing.
They were not sustainable businesses for both of them.
It was only one of my book publishing companies that sold that particular brand to a third party.
You’ve been with 500 different people. That’s a lot of people, 500 different leaders on credibility. Number 1) How long did that take? Number 2) What was the outcome? What was the takeaway from that?
It was huge. It took about a year. One of the superpowers I had was to build systems. Imagine you work with me and I go into a team meeting and I go, “I have an idea. We’re going to interview 500 people in the next year. We’re not going to increase staff and we’re going to keep doing our existing publishing company.” With the surprised and shocked look on everyone’s face, I’m like, “Don’t worry about it. Let me help you with the first ten.” What I did was I put a process in place and then and let the team execute.
You personally interviewed all 500.
At this stage, it’s now 670 and we’ll get to this thing called a CPoP. I’ve done this over 1,000 times. I personally interviewed 500 people to come up with the book, Credibility Nation. The second TEDx was a result of that and it was the 28th most popular in 2021. The book is on Amazon and in bookstores.
Was that an Amazon bestseller’s book?
What was the biggest outcome? What was the biggest takeaway on 500 people on credibility?
How much we’ve been taught, which is the opposite of credible how much we’ve been taught, which is dubious, and where that ultimately resides is that 98% of those people I spoke with could not articulate who they served and how they serve them in ten words or less. They could not articulate their purpose.
Did you ask me the question during my interview?
I did because, for me, the way I articulate my purpose in eight words is leaders living their values and making a difference. The podcast you were on with me is focused on leaders living their values. As I’m asking you about your values and how you’re living them, I’m formulating who you are and how you would show up and articulate yourself.
That was the biggest takeaway and when you’re interviewing all 500 people and maybe you did your due diligence beforehand, how could you tell that all of them were credible because a lot of people who are not credible will say they are? It’s like, “Trust me. I’m credible.” Out of those 500, did you determine some of those were not credible while you were doing the interview?
Credibility is the quality in which you’re trusted, known, and liked and what’s interesting is that when I was doing the interviews, I did not know all the questions to pay attention to. What I’ll say, Michelle is that for the first 5 or 10, I was figuring this out. I encouraged people to come at a specific point in time and to come to the green room ten minutes early.
This is crazy. As you’re doing a live show, you notice I came early, not super early. I came seven minutes early, which to me was on time. Early is if I came 10 or 15 minutes early, that’s early. If I come within three minutes of the official start time, I’m late. Michelle, 23% of people came late to this interview I had, and let’s make it worse, 4% of people came after the start time.
That doesn’t surprise me. It’s the paradigm of running late instead of running early.
I did know that. When I first started the interviews, I didn’t realize I needed to keep track of whether or not people would come on time or not.
For you, it’s a teeny-tiny simple indicator of credibility. Isn’t it? It’s not a big pet peeve when people are late.
Of the ten values of credibility, that’s the one that falls onto likability and that’s respect. Do you have the respect to show up on time? On-time doesn’t mean at the top of the hour particularly if you’re doing a live show. It is at least five minutes early, if not before.
I have people who are always late to my office and my life. It drives me crazy. That’s 1 of 10. Rattle off the other nine credibility factors.
Let’s start with like likeability. If you want to be likable, there are two things you could do that are simple on the likeability side. The two things you could do to be likable are you can share your stage and show respect. Share your stage is a word I came up with called credust. It is that magic that happens when you share somebody else’s ideas, thoughts, and actions. Share your stage and spread other people’s credust. Also, respect is simply coming early, prepared, and with your heart. When I was doing the interviews, 50% of the people walked into the room without showing me their hearts. They came with their marketing cookie-cutter answers.
I kept them in the green room a little bit longer so I could open them up so we could have a good conversation. If we’re talking about credibility, I ended up creating a product that I now sell. The product is being able to have a CredReel. It’s being able to have a video that’s five minutes or less where people can trust, know, and love you in that five-minute period. To be able to do that, you got to be you. You can’t be a marketing cookie-cutter version of yourself. That’s under being likable and trustworthy. We understand authenticity, integrity, and vulnerability.
In my list, integrity is listed twice. It’s the only value that’s listed twice of the ten values because under being trustworthy, it’s your external integrity. Under being known is your internal integrity. The last value in the trustworthy piece is being coachable. It’s being open to learning and growing. Many people who are experts were taught that they’re at the top of the line and they know everything. Many CEOs are like,” I know more than everyone else,” but you don’t. Being coachable and learning from others is an important element of being credible.
It’s my number one determining factor if I decide if I want to partner with business owners or not. Are they coachable? I’ve got a few business owners that if they were coachable, we grow so much faster than what we have done, but you got to be coachable. I always say you’ll never grow the business beyond what you can call the owner.Coachability is one of the elements of credibility. Click To Tweet
It’s simple, but we don’t pay attention. We weren’t taught this.
It’s simple, but they’re not doing it because of their own childhood baggage and their own issues. People need to check their bags at the door and keep them there. Maybe they send their bags on a no-return trip.
Under the auspices of being known, what I’m talking about here is not that I know of you. It’s that I know you. That I understand you’re a servant leader and that you have the intent and commitment to do the right thing. This is why integrity is twice. It’s not the external integrity you show the world. It’s the internal integrity you have with yourself. It’s like, “Do you cheat on your diet? Do you cheat on your taxes? Do you cheat on your spouse?”
If you’re doing that, it will stem over into everything else. “It’s hard to trust you if, as I’m getting to know you, you don’t have integrity with yourself. It’s hard to recognize that you got to have integrity outside.” That is one of those mistakes that many politicians make. They have this beautiful unblemished external integrity, but internally, they’re a mess, and eventually, it comes out.
You’ve got to have some case stories here. What’s the best case story? What’s the worst-case story that you’ve ever come in contact with?
I think the worst case and the best case continually grows. The worst case was doing the interviews. It was a $ 35,000-a-day keynote speaker, who when I asked him the first question, it was, “What is your CPoP, Customer Point of Possibilities?” When people signed up for the interviews, they’d get a 16-minute video on how to prepare because the end result was asking 5 questions to be answered in 5 minutes. It’s a structured approach. The real benefit was in the green room learning more about people and how they showed up. I said, “What is your CPoP?” Normally, people respond in 1 to 3 seconds and his was 30 seconds long. He used his elevator pitch.
He clearly showed me no respect because he didn’t watch the video ahead of time. He did not prepare because he’s a public speaker making $35,000 in events. “Why would I need to prepare for any speech?” I said, “You could shorten it down by focusing on who you serve and what either pain point or pleasure point you deliver.” He got it down to 15 seconds. I said something that it turned out his answer shocked me. I said, “Do you mind if I do a little bit of coaching?” We’re at that stage. I wanted to take the 15 seconds down to 2. His response is, “Yes, I do.” He says, “I have my way of doing things and you have yours and I don’t want to learn yours.”
By the way, for everyone reading, that’s the point when I realized that coachability is one of the elements of credibility. I sat on the board of a NASDAQ company. I could imagine if the CEO wanted me to interview the Chief Marketing Officer or the Chief Revenue Officer if as I was talking to them, they said, “I know exactly what to do and I don’t want to learn from anyone else. I don’t want to learn from the customers. I don’t want to learn from the CEO. I don’t want to learn from the people working for me. I know the answer.” That person wouldn’t get hired. Why would I hire somebody to speak to a group of people onstage if they’re not coachable?
How much was making as a speaker?
$35,000 a keynote.
I bet I know who he is.
I will not agree or deny any name.
I’m pretty sure I know who it is. I know a lot of speakers. I’m on the speaking circuit, too. That’s why I won’t bother with someone unless they are coachable. I hired employees and they are coachable. That’s why I will walk with vendors or suppliers because nobody knows everything. I’m coachable. For I always say you’ll never be a great leader unless you are a great follower.
Agreed. That was the worst case.
My worst was far worst than your worst because my guy married his high school sweetheart. I was like, “Is that even legal?” He is like, “It’s legal.” I go, “Where do you live?” He is like, “I’m living in Atlanta.” I go, “That is not legal in Atlanta.”
It doesn’t work for me either. That continues to change and grow. As I keep learning, as I keep growing, I’d say at the moment what was interesting. One of the best I already mentioned is the guy by the name of Lucas Root. He came back for the second interview and we’re now partnered together on one of the companies that we’re deploying, The Ultimate Credibility Bootcamp. I do this now with Lucas Root. We’re doing another podcast together. We’re doing different things together because we like each other.
This is a big question. Can you teach credibility? I always thought they either have it or they don’t. There is a speaker in Canada and when I say he likes credibility, he likes all forms of credibility in so my ways and he still gets speaking gigs, which is shocking.
I hear your statement and by the way, when I first started the credibility interviews, I did have a friend say to me, “Mitchell, I hope you’re not successful.” He then went on to say, “Because if you’re successful, you’re going to share the models that people can copy to pretend they’re credible.” The thing is, you can’t, in the long-term, pretend you’re credible. You either are or you aren’t. However, if we’ve been taught dubiously, a good example is coming on time.
I was one of those people. Until I started doing the interviews, I was one of those people. I don’t think I ever came a minute early. I’d always come exactly on the hour or maybe 2 or 3 minutes late because I had other things going on. That’s how I was taught. When I was doing the interviews, I learned something different. I learned that on time meant at least three minutes early. I taught myself only because I always experience that with others. If we’re taught in a dubious manner that credibility means having 60 meetings a week and that if 1 meeting goes late, they all go late. If that’s what we’re taught, that’s what we’re going to do.
My partner calls it your paradigm.
If we’re talking on the other hand that every person is important and we expect to come a couple of minutes early to every meeting and that is what credibility means. That is what being credible means. It’s having the respect and the integrity to make a meeting and come on time, that’s teachable. If we haven’t been taught that, then that’s teachable.
Changing your paradigm, as Bob Proctor talks about, is very teachable in his Thinking Into Results Program but I’ve seen so many people that are not credible. I don’t know if that’s something that can be taught. Given your lessons, I agree with you. I always say when somebody like 48 Hours, and all those shows and programs like Investigation ID, I say, “You’re giving criminals the way to go out there and get away with a crime.” If you’re teaching all your secrets out, people will be credible, even if they’re not.
They’re going to go duplicate that but I don’t think that it’s duplicatable. You either have it or you don’t. You can teach them patterns like showing up on time and teaching them how to change their paradigms and stuff. If somebody’s credible like the speaker I’m talking about who steals money from everybody, I don’t know if he can be taught credibility unless God gets ahold of him.
There are people who are dubious. I call dubious the opposite of credible. People are dubious and they were taught that they need to take advantage of people and that the most important element of life is muddy versus anything else. Now, it’s possible you could change your paradigm.
You got to identify if they are a sociopath or not.
That’s something different.
If a person is a sociopath, I don’t think we can change that person.
The question I would like to ask anyone, in terms of me ultimately getting down to what is your purpose now, is when you’re sitting on your death bed and somebody comes next to you. They’re holding your hand and they say, “What are you most proud of? What did you do in your life that you’re most proud of?” Those people who said I made $100,000 or $1 million or $1 billion, these are people whose paradigm is not the right one. When you were on your deathbed, what relationships did you have? What impact did you have? How did you change the world in a way that was positive, even if the world meant your most immediate family?Have clarity of who you are and who you serve. Click To Tweet
I call that the tombstone test.
When you do that, now you step back and you go, “What’s your purpose?” What I often like to do with this concept called CPoP is to help people truly understand what paradigm they should be living in right now. What is that playground they’re living in right now that they want to invite people to be part of their playground? That is what I call the CPoP, the Customer Point of Possibility. What’s the playground you play in that you want other people to recommend you and you want people to join?
Let’s break it down. Jump into the CPoP. You’ve been talking about so let’s jump into it. What does it mean?
Think of it as two parts. Typically, your CPoP is less than ten words. I love it when people have four words CPoPs. Your CPoP represents who you serve. Now, people often say, “I serve the world,” but the answer is no. If be as finite as you can, who do you serve? The second thing is either what pain point do you address or what pleasure point you deliver.
One of my favorite examples is a friend of mine who’s a hypnotherapist. Her name’s Jill Fischer. In a business-to-business types of conversations I have, I don’t normally have the opportunity to recommend a hypnotherapist. Probably the first time I said the word hypnotherapists outside of context was earlier in the conversation. In the past, I wouldn’t know how to recommend Jill Fischer.
When we did her CPoP, it turned out to be four words. Her CPoP, “Lost moms reclaiming themselves.” In that framework, I know how to recommend her in half because hypnotherapy is a technique she uses, one of many, to help lost moms figure out how they reclaim themselves. They could be lost for so many different reasons. It turns out that if you know your purpose and wear it on your sleeve, it’s so much easier to find partners.
You asked me how easy or hard it is. I’m looking for leaders living their values. If they’re living their values and helping other people in particular ways, they’re all potential partners, collaborators, or customers. I can hire them. Those are the people I want to play with it. If they’re in my playground, I want to play with them somehow. It changes everything.
It has to be 4 words or can it be 4 or 5 words?
It’s typically less than ten.
Mine is all business owners exit rich.
What I would say if I was going to take you is because we’ve done an interview before together. You don’t say the word help because the CPoP is the playground you play and you’re not helping. You’re not serving. What I would do is your audience is business owners and you could say, “Business owners wanting to exit rich.” That could be a good CPoP for you because it’s not saying, “I’m amazing at this. I’m great at that.” When people say, “I’m a business owner. I want to exit rich. Tell me more.” That’s when you do your normal shtick.
Why is it that credibility starts with clarity? You said it to me a few times. Let’s explain that to all the readers.
The good news is that we had the preface to that conversation in having clarity of who you are and who you serve. I’ve now done the CPoP exercise over 1,000 times. Many people have a marketing cookie-cutter approach. They say, “This is where I’m getting paid now, but the audience I want to serve is so much bigger.” The thing is you could change your CPoP over time as you grow and as you have more credibility or as you have a bigger reach but at the moment, I want to be able to recommend you. Let’s think about it in a different way.
Business owners wanting to exit rich. I can remember that. When I run into somebody and by the way, given the percentage of people in my age group who want to sell their companies, when I run into somebody who says, “I’m ready, 2 or 3 years from now, I want to get rid of my company.” I can think about you because now that we’ve talked about it and I’ve submitted it in my mind, I know the playground you are playing.
Many people when I talk to you, imagine if, in a short period of time, I know the playground you play in and how to recommend you. What am I going to do first? I’m going to then go and google your name. I’m going to look at you on LinkedIn. I’m going to look at you on your social media and your web presence. What I want to do is make sure that you reinforce who you are. You’re credible. You have the integrity to show up when we’re talking synchronously like we’re doing now and asynchronously, you reinforce it.
If you reinforce on your website and your social presence, business owners wanting to exit rich, if you reinforce that, I’m comfortable recommending you. Now, when people come to me and they have this CPoP, but then their website has like 5 or 6 or 20 different things they do because they can do those things, I don’t recommend them.
That’s not much for us because we are about helping business owners exit rich, but they will also have helping buyers find the right business. We also partner with business owners. We do all of those. We specialize in buying stuff, growing, and fixing.
If you want to, we could do an exercise where we spend time focused on your CPoP and we’ll come up with something that’s a higher level and then that one thing we came up with, but notice, this is a great example. The example is, “That’s not me. That’s limiting. I want bigger.” By the time you’re done, you’re sitting on top of the planet and you’re the next Elon Musk. Most people present themselves that way instead of how do you make it easy for me to recommend you?
I always think, too, when you’re coming up with that CPoP to think about who you’re serving. That’s what I always talk about when I help my business owners who want to exit rich. When I designed your processes, they are always designing their processes around the owner’s agenda. Look at doctor’s offices. What are their hours? Monday to Thursday, 9:00 to 4:00. My doctor is 9:00 to 4:00 and closed on Fridays.
My husband and I have medical clinics and we have evening appointments and Saturday appointments available because we took into consideration the customer experience. It’s important to think about what you want that customer experience to be. If you don’t do that, you’re going to lose market share.
Many business owners will lose their market share because whoever makes it easiest to do business with them, provides quality service, and creates a wow experience is the one that’s going to dominate. Amazon dominates because they do make it so easy. You can practically buy a horse on Amazon and have it delivered in two days. I always talk about you got to create that wow experience. Why did you say that we were taught wrong to lead with the value proposition?
To first answer your question, you know what clarity is all about so I appreciate the question. If you have clarity, people see you. They see you for who you are. The value proposition and the 30-second pitch both have something in it that is wrong. It has the word I or we. When somebody says, “What do you do?” here’s the truth. They don’t care what you do. They care about what you can do for them. What’s in it for me? If you say, I or we, they’re asking you what they do because that’s what they were taught but that’s not really what they’re asking. They’re asking what’s in it for me. You start with I or we and even though they ask, they may be afraid, “They’re trying to sell me something.”
That’s where the CPoP comes first. Notice, it didn’t say helping. Helping or serving is another form of I or us. What happens is if you can articulate this playground you are playing, which is simply who you serve as finite as you can and either the pain point or pleasure point you deliver for them. Think about this. If somebody says to you what you do, the way I do it by the way, is I typically would say because if somebody doesn’t know what the word CPoP means, I’ll go, “Clients typically attracted to me,” and then I’ll do a pause. “Leaders living their values and making a difference.” That’s the playground I play in. If they don’t care about that, it doesn’t mean they don’t care about me. I’ll get those signs.
If there’s someone who might want to recommend me to somebody else or I’ve been in front of a mastermind where somebody raised their hand and said, “That’s me. Tell me more.” If they’re a recommender or a potential prospect, they’re going to ask you to tell you more. That’s when you can go into your value proposition or your 30-second elevator pitch because they’re asking you, “This is a playground I want to recommend or I want to join in myself. Tell me what you do to solve that problem.”
You all hear that, folks. Lead with your value proposition. I always say to lead with the brand promise in the customer experience. I see you’ve looked at over 100,000 LinkedIn profiles. That’s a lot. You interviewed 500 people, published 60 books, altogether 750 blogs, and reviewed 100,000. I guess you don’t sleep. Tell me about these 100,000 LinkedIn profiles. What makes a LinkedIn profile credible other than what you’ve already said about making sure it’s in alignment?
By the way, a great observation, because lots of people don’t even ask that question. First of all, 99% of profiles are not in alignment. At least 98% of LinkedIn profiles are treated like resumes. LinkedIn is not your resume. Think of LinkedIn as a search engine or the LinkedIn-optimized opportunity for people to find you. How do they find you?
If you know who your customers are and you know either the pain point you’re serving or the pleasure point you’re serving, for example, your CPoP, that’s what they’re going to be typing into the LinkedIn search engine looking for. If you can take your CPoP and put it into the tagline of your LinkedIn profile and that’s what they’re typing into search, guess whose profile is going to pop up when they’re searching? It’s yours and then you reinforce it with videos.
A benefit of a resume is that it does reinforce credibility, but it’s not the resume they care about. If you have a CPoP, you need to reinforce that you can do what you say you’re going to do. When you look through the jobs on my profile and you look through the jobs and others, “I have video testimonials. I have videos of things that we can do. I have video testimonials from others. There’s a mix so that you can learn a whole lot about me asynchronously before you talk to me.”If your people love what they do, work equals play. Click To Tweet
That doesn’t hold true with LinkedIn, although LinkedIn is the best place to start with entrepreneurs. That’s true on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube as well. Everything should be congruent.
The thing that’s fascinating is that some dubious teachers will say, “Change your platform to be focused on the audience you’re talking to.” The answer is yes, and. You’re going to talk to your audience differently on TikTok than you’re going to talk to your audience on Instagram and Facebook. There’s a different way to have engagement on all those platforms.
Your profile should be fairly consistent.
For instance, for me, you and I are very similar. The first place I go is LinkedIn but Lucas, the first place he goes is Instagram.
He’s a Gen Z, I would assume.
He is a different person.
He’d go on Instagram or TikTok.
We do an Ultimate Credibility Bootcamp. There were so many in there that 90% of our business comes from TikTok. I’m like, “Tell us more because we had her spend ten minutes talking about how she uses TikTok to generate business.” It was fun to learn because I’m coachable. It’s fun to learn what she does and how she brings people into the room. The thing is, though, if I looked at Michelle on each one of those platforms, I want to recognize you quickly. I want to quickly recognize that no matter what platform I’m in, I found the right person.
That’s why I say you need consistency in your profiles. We’re almost out of time here, Mitchell. You’ve dropped so many golden nuggets and words of wisdom. Was there anything I should’ve asked that I forgot to ask or more golden nuggets you want to drop on our audience before we say goodbye?
If I’m thinking about exiting rich, this would be the audience that you’re focused on. What do you need to do? You need to be able to put processes in place. You need to have opportunities where your customers are happy and those people working for you can service them whether or not you’re there or not there. You need to have teachable and formattable roles that make it easy. You also need to grow over time.
One of our businesses is a book publishing company. For those people who need books, we have a done-for-you book service. Whether or not we’re the right fit for you depends on after we have a conversation. Does it feel good? Is the company credible? Is it one in which all your employees are the best salespeople for the company? If it’s not, you can go to sales trainers, but that’s what we do from the Ultimate Credibility Bootcamp. We help clients understand that if your employees don’t want to be there and they’re not showing up properly, it’s time to let them go and find new ones.
I loved what you just said there because what you said is that all of your employees are the best salespeople for your company. A lot of times, someone will say, “I don’t do sales or I’m not in a sales role,” even in my company. That is so far from the truth because everybody is selling. Your receptionist and assistant.
From the minute they pick up that phone with that happy, authentic voice, greeting that client and thanking him for calling, our analyst provides great analyst evaluation that is pain-free as much as possible. It’s going to QuickBooks and making it easy for our clients. Everybody who works for you as a salesperson and I don’t think most employers and employees recognize that. That was a very good and wicked smart golden nugget you dropped on us. Have you got any more bombs?
The best thing I’d think about, given where we are, there was Labor Day. It is officially this holiday where we’re giving people who are laborers time off. I’m going to say, if you love what you do, work equals play and you play all the time. If your people love what they do, work equals play, they play all the time. You don’t need an official holiday to get a day off. You can take days off when you need to.
If you could create a culture and environment where people love what they’re doing and love showing up to this thing, you can call it work or you can call it play, then you’ve created something that not only will your employees your most important stakeholders care about, but your customers and your partners as stakeholders will care about.
If you can create that culture, that environment where it’s infectious, where people love coming and playing, to me, that’s Nirvana. To create a company where people love showing up because they know the goals. They know their CPoPs. They know what’s going on. They know how to serve and they’re enjoying serving. They have the freedom and power to be able to do that. If you do that with any company, then you have the opportunity to exit rich.
If you want some good examples, Zappos is a good example of that and so is Google. I’m not sure about Facebook, but I know Google is, for sure. Google has to tell people to go home. They have to make them go home because they get ice cream. They get to play Ping-Pong. They have pool tables. They get to do all this fun stuff, but they’re also creating and they are working. Their working hours are playing. Zappos is really good about culture.
I’ll give you one last company that I like. They specifically focused on accountants and focused on lead generation for accounts. The entire company takes a week off every two months.
I know what’s going to happen when this show is over. My people are going to come to me and say, “When can we start our week off every two months?” Mitchell, where can all the readers find you? Where can they connect with you if they want an Amazon bestseller? Where can they connect with you to get your books, into some of your coaching programs or your bootcamps?
Like many of us, I’ve all of these URLs going to multiple places. MitchellLevy.com is the website and that’ll direct you to anywhere you want to go. If you’re on LinkedIn, that’s the place I play most. Connect to me on LinkedIn and go to my website. There are many different opportunities and things that we offer. We have the Ultimate Credibility Bootcamp, which is amazing. The next time we run that is December 1st and 2nd, 2022. We’d love to see you there.
Where are all those held?
We’ve been doing virtually so far and if there’s a company that would like to bring us in, we’ll custom create something for you.
Thank you so much, Mitchell. You were a wonderful guest with so many great golden nuggets. I asked all my audience to do the credibility check. See what your accountability level is and keep tuning in to the show. If you love this episode, which I know you did, share it with the audience, friends, and your coworkers. Subscribe to the show. I hope everybody has a fabulous week and I hope everybody makes a difference in somebody else’s life.
Thanks, Michelle. I appreciate it.
- Mitchell Levy
- We Are Losing Our Humanity and I’m Tired of Watching it Happen – TEDx Talk
- The Ultimate Credibility Bootcamp
- Credibility Nation
- LinkedIn – Mitchell Levy
About Mitchell Levy
Global Credibility Expert Mitchell Levy is a 2x TEDx speaker, an international bestselling author of over 60 books, and an executive coach at Marshall Goldsmith’s 100 Coaches. After interviewing 500 thought leaders on credibility, he published a 7-country international bestselling book, delivered a powerful TEDx on humanity, created courses, and created the Credibility Nation membership community to help those live, learn and surround themselves with others on the credibility journey.
He’s an accomplished Entrepreneur who has created twenty businesses in Silicon Valley including four publishing companies that have published over750 books. He’s provided strategic consulting to hundreds of companies and has been the chairman of a board of a NASDAQ-listed company. Mitchell has been happily married for thirty-three years and prior to covid-19, regularly spent four weeks a year in Europe with family and friends.
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