Segment 18 - Koka Sexton: Building Social Selling
I have spent the last ten years using the internet to make things to connect people to share ideas and to tell stories primarily through this project that is now known as theon mystic will create why seek out people that I find insanely interesting people who I'm morbidly curious about and people who above all things stand out in a really distinctive way like this guy so I wanted to make money and I had was very angry and I decided I wanted to go do crime because I could make money that way and so started off small thieving sense of entitlement I didn't want to work I just want to take and what people give me things they weren't giving me fasten them so I started taking them this sort of little petty robbery on checks stealing a car eventually over time I was wanted five counties so I left mexico you know I thought it was a little bad ass twenty three years old doing look crime twenty four but I got robbed in mexico thirty something thousand dollars I had eight hundred bucks to my name...
I was cam and I needed it I needed make more money that's when I decided that I would rob banks and uh the next day I came into the united states and I robbed my first bank in january nineteen eighty eight I was twenty six years old and I went on a fourteen month bank robber spree which I robbed thirty banks. The jeweller has since gone on tio become a talking head on the subject of the criminal justice system. He wrote a book called confessions of a bank robber, the man who outgrows prison cell and was one of the most fascinating people that I've ever had the chance to talk to you on the unmistakable quit it with this woman when I was twenty in college and his name was baxter, and we're still friends that that was like a recognition 00:02:00.497 --> 00:02:04. of wow, this relationship has an infinity to it, and 00:02:04.66 --> 00:02:07. that was the first time I felt that andi, we were 00:02:07.82 --> 00:02:11. in college, we were hanging out, I think I caught 00:02:11.87 --> 00:02:15. his eyes and he cut mind he was smoking a cigarette 00:02:16.58 --> 00:02:22. and it was like in an art party and we started talking, 00:02:22.26 --> 00:02:24. I don't even remember if we were talking very much, 00:02:25.15 --> 00:02:28. it was pretty non verbal. It was pretty much an instant 00:02:28.48 --> 00:02:33. recognition of a you're mine and I'm yours and and 00:02:33.41 --> 00:02:37. this is and and now we're we're clicking in we're 00:02:37.94 --> 00:02:41. clicking into something that's bigger than us, and 00:02:42.33 --> 00:02:45. it was really creative from the start full of creative 00:02:45.86 --> 00:02:49. energy. In fact, when I read just kids and I read 00:02:49.44 --> 00:02:52. about patti smith and robert maplethorpe, I thought 00:02:52.44 --> 00:02:55. that was that was me and baxter that was us, you're 00:02:55.65 --> 00:02:58. making drawings together is making music together 00:03:00.54 --> 00:03:04. having a sense of this other person that constantly 00:03:04.28 --> 00:03:07. surprised you and where your imagination was constantly 00:03:07.58 --> 00:03:13. being mobilized and where you were kind of this entity, 00:03:13.15 --> 00:03:17. this third, that was not you and not him. But this 00:03:18.05 --> 00:03:20. thing that you made together, that was your energy 00:03:20.64 --> 00:03:22. together. That was your relationship. So may impose uh somebody was introduced means there's a medical doctor and she teaches a class on the art and science of love at gnu uh and also happens to be a writer and works on a whole bunch of really interesting projects and what I want to finish the day I'm talking about is how we make things how we connect people and how we share ideas and tell stories not on ly in a way that stands out but in a way that is so distinctive that it eventually makes the entire concept of competition completely irrelevant but in order to get there we have to start by talking about a rampant mimicry epidemic that has perpetuated the way that we attempt to stand out. So chances are that almost all of you are familiar with this project called humans of new york created by a guy named brandon stanton who walks around new york city and takes pictures of strangers and puts up those pictures on the internet now any one of us sitting here could get on amazon or go down to costco, buy ourselves a really nice camera, walker out our cities, take pictures of strangers and put up those pictures on the internet. But the real art in what brandon does is not in taking pictures. The part that makes them unmistakable is not taking pictures it's in creating the connection that he does with the people that he photographs it's in getting a complete stranger open up in this very raw and vulnerable way and sure something that they may not want to share with their closest friends while at the same time knowing that thousands if not millions of people are are going not only see their photograph but learned one of their most intimate secrets now what you might not know is that if you go to facebook or google and you do a search for humans off you'll find a human's of project for just about every other city in the world but not a single one of them has had anywhere near the same degree of success that bryn has had with humans of new york in the earliest days of blogging there's a human writer in christian lander who started a website called stuff white people like and just in case you're wondering according to christian lander these air a few of the things that white people like having grown up in indian indian family and having suggested things like camping and hiking to my parents as potential vacation ideas or recreational activities and having my parents constantly tell me know perhaps christian lander is onto something but I digress much like the people who tried to imitate humans of new york christian spawned dozens of copycats stuff brown people like stuff indians like stuff asians like just taken adjective that describes a group of people put it between stuff and like and you'll likely find a project attempting to replicate a success and not a single one of them was anywheres near a successful so some of you heard me tell a little bit about this story last night but in april two thousand nine I graduated in business school and we were in one of the most challenging job markets that we've ever been in particularly for young people if you have kids who graduated from college during that time do you remember this or you yourself got out of school during that time? You might remember this because we went from for decades being in an economy that had rewarded people for fit in to overnight being in one that rewarding people for standing out and a young writer blogger and designer named jamie verone started one of the very first viral social media job search campaigns called twitter should hire me on twitter should hire me lead to tons of national media attention dozens of job offers for jamie and eventually she ended up starting her own company because of that project and of course much like everybody who copied humans of new york and everybody who copied stuff white people like jamie spawned dozens of copy sat copycats and I was one of them as I told you about I started this project called one hundred reasons you should hire me and I publish this project I actually got a career website called brazen careerist dot com to feature my job. Search campaign I got hate mail from strangers on the internet classmates of mine who had never spoken to me in the two years that I had been a peppered and went out of their way to email me and tell me what a stupid idea this was and then like I said last night after three weeks I ran into the biggest hurdle of all and that is that I couldn't come up with a hundred reasons why anybody should hire me and I've thought a lot about why this is over the last ten years why is it that we look at something that works? Why is it that we look at something that some figure of authority has created and try to replicate that thing and duplicate their success as quickly as possible? And I think it comes down to instant applause and every one of us has experienced instant apostle you have to do is put a picture of yourself with cute baby on facebook and look at how many likes you get and you'll see what I'm talking about but if you really want to create things that stand out if you really want to create work that has an impact on the people it's intended to have an impact on then you have to prioritize the long lasting connection that occurs between the creator and an audience over the incident applause that you could get from putting up cute pictures of babies on facebook so I alluded to this earlier one of the funniest things I've ever seen in all the years that I've been creating work on the internet was this sketch about life coaching that jon stewart and dimitri martin did together where demetri martin goes and he films the entire experience of somebody going toe a life coach and he basically makes fun of the life coach he asked the woman who's a life coach does what she does how do you become a life coach? She explains to him that there is an online university and then she does this gesture with their hands and so he basically concludes that so basically what you need to become a life coach is limited credentials enhanced so having a life coach is like having a really expensive friend with limited credentials in hands uh and then finally he asks the woman who goes to see the life coach have you seen a difference in your life since going to a life coach and she says, yeah, I'm now a life coach and of course we laugh it that because it's hysterical it's funny but really it's indicative of a much, much deeper cultural narrative that is the by product of years of conditioning in which we've been taught to believe that if you do exactly as a person in a position of authority tells you you'll get the result that they have promised despite the fact that there's plenty of evidence to the contrary if you followed your own parents advice we all know that to be true but the reason people do this is that it absolves them of any responsibility and the funny thing is it doesn't sound stupid the way it does with a life coach going to somebody going to life course to discover they're calling in life is to become life coach instead we package it up and call it a best practice which makes for a wonderful case studies on big websites that makes for great books and the thing is that what people don't realize is best practices let you off the hook if what you tried doesn't work you can blame the author who wrote the book you can blame the publishing company who published the case today are the thought leader who came up but but all this playing it safe comes at a really significant cost because that best will create a pale imitation of something that already exists and at worst we'll be completely ignored and you see this over and over again and organizations particular educational institution so if you look at something like singularity university where their tasking people to come to singularity and to build nonprofit initiative to start start up companies that will solve the problem that impacts a billion people within a decade that to me is where we should be headed with education but they can't get accredited as an actual university because they update their curriculum in real time, whereas our standard education system is based on a system that's hundreds of years old it's based on the industrial revolution, which ended fifty years ago. So basically, what we end up doing is we follow best practices, and at best, all we can do is replicate something that already exists. So we give in to this temptation that we have to mimic what we've seen work as opposed to model it and take what works for us and discard what doesn't, and that really gets to the heart of what this idea of creating worth its unmistakable is about, and that is create art that doesn't require signature art that is so distinctive that nobody else could have made it. But you it's immediately recognized as your work. So when slash plays the opening guitar after the guns and roses song sweet child of mine it's unmistakable, when toni morrison writes, her voice is unmistakable, and when danny meyer opens a restaurant, the service is unmistakable. But the most difficult thing about this is that there is no formula. There is no map. There is no set of steps that you can follow to particular producer particular result, because the goal is not to replicate something that's already been done, but to create what what's never been created before and on ly the way that you could create it and basically you began a journey where you're making two choices between doing what's tried and true and what's not been proven to work so when I started down this path of striking to create work that was unmistakable I found myself in this really strange crossroads I was trying to find a job and I would submit my portfolio as my way of getting my door my foot into the door to the job and then I would go to the interview and they would say this doesn't look like you need a job looks like you're really the second you don't need us so I was stuck in this perpetual cash going into it I finally said you were going to cut off the possibility 00:12:09.479 --> 00:12:11. of ever going down that road and I started to write 00:12:11.84 --> 00:12:13. in a way that I had never written before I started 00:12:13.97 --> 00:12:17. to tell my story raw, unfiltered not in a train wreck 00:12:17.78 --> 00:12:21. sort of way but much more ron transparent and the 00:12:21.71 --> 00:12:25. result of that was that by writing started to resonate 00:12:25.49 --> 00:12:27. with people like it never had before my work started 00:12:27.49 --> 00:12:30. to resonate and after about six months of this honest 00:12:30.05 --> 00:12:31. insanity, which I certainly have called committing 00:12:31.95 --> 00:12:34. career suicide. One facebook status update at a time 00:12:35.24 --> 00:12:37. I ended of compiling all these status updates into 00:12:37.49 --> 00:12:40. a book that became called the art of being unmistakable, 00:12:40.07 --> 00:12:42. which mars designed to cover for, which subsequently 00:12:42.69 --> 00:12:44. ended up in the hands of glenn beck and went on to 00:12:44.71 --> 00:12:47. sell thousands of copies. And it's, largely. Why? 00:12:47.47 --> 00:12:48. I'm probably here talking to you today. 00:12:51.97 --> 00:12:53. I think is when nobody does what you do in the way 00:12:53.57 --> 00:12:54. that you do it 00:12:55.34 --> 00:12:57. all of the standard metrics by which typically are 00:12:57.62 --> 00:13:00. measured become completely relevant because people 00:13:00.66 --> 00:13:02. aren't price shopping people don't compare you to 00:13:02.15 --> 00:13:03. somebody else when we want something done by mars 00:13:04.24 --> 00:13:06. there's no question as to what the price is going 00:13:06.96 --> 00:13:09. to be we don't negotiate all we do is we tell what 00:13:09.92 --> 00:13:12. we need he does it for us want to show you a sample 00:13:12.45 --> 00:13:14. of his work not my favorite piece of his work but 00:13:14.7 --> 00:13:17. the thing is that every time you see his work you 00:13:17.72 --> 00:13:21. know it's hiss and because of that when we need something 00:13:21.08 --> 00:13:23. done by him there is literally nobody else we can 00:13:23.27 --> 00:13:26. go to he's made his competition completely irrelevant 00:13:27.24 --> 00:13:29. because he's the only one who could do what we need 00:13:29.11 --> 00:13:30. him to do and for some strangers and like I said, 00:13:30.98 --> 00:13:33. he's mastered how to give our own brand a distinct 00:13:33.3 --> 00:13:36. field that literally makes it very clear that when 00:13:36.73 --> 00:13:38. something came from the unmistakable creative you 00:13:38.31 --> 00:13:39. know it came from us 00:13:40.74 --> 00:13:42. couple years ago I met this guy named a j leon who 00:13:42.85 --> 00:13:45. runs a design agency called misfit ink left a high 00:13:45.55 --> 00:13:48. profile investment banking job four days before his 00:13:48.52 --> 00:13:50. wedding is amazing collection of essays called the 00:13:50.7 --> 00:13:53. life and times of a remarkable misfit which you should 00:13:53.65 --> 00:13:55. all read and download and jim will make sure we get 00:13:55.5 --> 00:14:00. that included a link so a j in two thousand thirteen 00:14:00.09 --> 00:14:02. decided to have a conference and he did the kinds 00:14:02.42 --> 00:14:04. of things that would make anybody who plans events 00:14:04.9 --> 00:14:07. for a living cringe and make him think he was out 00:14:07.72 --> 00:14:10. of his mind he didn't have the event in a big city 00:14:10.39 --> 00:14:13. like new york or chicago or l a or san francisco he 00:14:13.16 --> 00:14:14. had it in fargo and people came people came from around the world toe fargo chances are most of us will never visit fargo in this lifetime not only that they came back year after year when it came to attention to detail his level of attention to detail bordered on insanity every single name tag at the event was custom illustrated it's almost six years later I still have this name tag I might ask you never threw it away and I'm willing to bet money every single person who didn't either when it came to integrating advertisers he didn't put up ads with banners and low goes all over the place he took every opportunity he had to integrate an advertiser into this event and decided to create some artwork out of it that doesn't look like a piece of adult advertising it a piece of art that does some advertising a couple years ago I had the chance to talk to the author and pastor rob bell and the very first thing I said to him was robbed my issue with religion is that it's time consuming particularly because I'm indian and all indians religious traditions are incredibly time consuming if you've all ever been to an indian wedding you know this and by the way not a viewer india and so if you were there that means the wedding was made shorter because of your presence there and rob said I agree how is it the church this place where we're supposed to be having the most meaningful conversations about life and spirituality and creativity this so mind numbingly boring having been in a band when he was younger rob decided to approach a sermon like guerilla theater and in that process he ended up building a congregation of tens of thousands of people and eventually he found himself on tour with oprah uh no but I spoke to was a guy named eric wall and when I talked to eric wall for the first time he said live music has engaged participants keynote speaking has passive consumers there's room to be explored in hydra bridge the gap between those two things and so when my own teammate unmistakable creative decided to plan an event eric's words became our compass rather than approach a conference as a conference we approached it as a theatrical performance we had signs that were custom illustrated we take every speaker and we turn them into x men style superheroes courtesy of mars story in so in every one of these cases when you look at people like mars, you look at people like eric you look at people like a j every single one of them completely ignored the so called best practices of their industry and as a result they've not only made their work standing in the world they've made their competition completely irrelevant now it's possible you'll go home after hearing this message and attempt to start making changes to your life to the way you live to the way you work but one of the greater possibilities and one of the greater challenges is that nothing will change that the staff school will continue because what I'm talking about here is too edgy it's too risky and it might not work and I want to talk about why that is but more importantly how to prevent it and it really comes down to one very simple idea what seth good infrequently first to steven press field first was resistance and seth good infrequently refers to as a lizard brain you see when you attempt to do something that hasn't been proven to work that means that you get all the credit when it works out in your favor and all the blame when it doesn't it's a decision and a commitment to seek out the very thing that amplifies your fear and the possibility that maybe just maybe you might actually be wrong and surfing there's a section of the water that is known is the impact zone it's ideally where you never want to end up if you can help it and it's inevitably where you're going to end up at some point or another the only way not to end up in the impact zone is not to serve there's a picture of the surf today that I found myself in nicaragua paddle out in conditions that were far beyond my skill level at the time and I found myself in a situation where thirteen foot waves just started rolling in now typically when you're in a position like this you can either duck dive the board and get out the other side the wave but I couldn't do that given where I was that I thought about letting the board go uh but if I did that the leash would snap and I would have to swim back to shore and there 00:18:18.944 --> 00:18:22. was more sets of waves coming right behind this somehow 00:18:22.42 --> 00:18:25. my survival instincts kicked in and I just covered 00:18:25.87 --> 00:18:27. my head I got dragged underwater almost a hundred 00:18:27.76 --> 00:18:29. yards all the way to short coming up for air handful 00:18:29.65 --> 00:18:31. of times in between got washed up on shore having 00:18:31.99 --> 00:18:34. literally lost my shirt I walked over to my friend 00:18:34.34 --> 00:18:35. who was sitting at the bar on the beach is that give 00:18:35.73 --> 00:18:36. me a beer I'm done for the day 00:18:38.39 --> 00:18:39. but the very next day I was back in the water 00:18:41.16 --> 00:18:43. an almost natural instinct was wrong we try something 00:18:43.66 --> 00:18:46. and it doesn't work is not to do that thing ever again, 00:18:47.69 --> 00:18:50. and this fear that we have of being wrong is not natural, 00:18:50.83 --> 00:18:51. it's learned. 00:18:52.67 --> 00:18:56. And it goes all the way back to that moment. You're 00:18:56.11 --> 00:18:58. sitting in school, raising your hands when you had 00:18:58.29 --> 00:18:59. the right answer, keeping quiet when you have the 00:18:59.98 --> 00:19:03. wrong ones, god forbid you raise your hand, thinking 00:19:03.36 --> 00:19:05. you have the right answer, only to discover that you 00:19:05.61 --> 00:19:08. have the wrong one. The whole class laughs. Your fear 00:19:08.2 --> 00:19:11. of being wrong gets reinforced, and you stop speaking 00:19:11.58 --> 00:19:12. up. You stopped taking chances, 00:19:14.09 --> 00:19:16. and that carries into our adult lives and completely 00:19:16.67 --> 00:19:17. inhibits our creativity. 00:19:19.79 --> 00:19:22. And the funny thing is that everybody throughout history 00:19:23.19 --> 00:19:25. who has created anything of significance, experiences 00:19:25.52 --> 00:19:25. this. 00:19:27.19 --> 00:19:30. Just go to amazon and look at five star reviews of 00:19:30.38 --> 00:19:31. some classic literature. 00:19:33.49 --> 00:19:36. A giant, steaming pile of crap. The catcher in the 00:19:36.3 --> 00:19:36. rye. 00:19:37.73 --> 00:19:39. One of my favorite reviews. This book was the person 00:19:39.56 --> 00:19:41. that I wish I had missed my adolescence because of 00:19:41.75 --> 00:19:42. this book. 00:19:45.06 --> 00:19:47. The most meaningless book I've ever read. They're 00:19:47.21 --> 00:19:49. making a movie about this. The great gatsby. 00:19:51.29 --> 00:19:54. Hemingway must have bribed his publisher to get this 00:19:54.08 --> 00:19:56. book different. The old man in the sea. 00:19:58.63 --> 00:20:01. My favorite to star review of one of my books in the 00:20:01.47 --> 00:20:04. on ly one that I can quote you by memory is from the 00:20:04.16 --> 00:20:06. woman who said I hope this guy is a better surfer 00:20:07.01 --> 00:20:09. than he is a writer three hundred five star reviews 00:20:09.54 --> 00:20:11. and that's the on ly one that I remember 00:20:12.83 --> 00:20:15. see it doesn't matter if you're some sort of iconic 00:20:15.4 --> 00:20:18. creator if you're a new york times best seller everybody 00:20:18.27 --> 00:20:21. experiences this is something that is universal this 00:20:21.47 --> 00:20:23. is how this voice in your head works every single 00:20:23.85 --> 00:20:26. person whether you're an intern who fetches coffee 00:20:26.44 --> 00:20:28. whether you've written multiple new york times bestsellers 00:20:28.36 --> 00:20:30. with your oscar winning film director everybody experiences 00:20:30.83 --> 00:20:33. a sense of resistance in this fear it's invisible which means you can't punch it in the face you can't block it on social media you can't refuse to answer when it calls and you can't tell it to go to hell and worst of all it's always lying and completely fooled so why is it that we listen to this debilitating voice in our heads what you might have noticed is that it never shuts up it keeps going and going and going everyday when you wake up this voice in your head this thing of steven press field called resistance is speaking to you happens to me every day probably happened to you throughout the day today but if we keep doing our work and we keep showing up eventually the voice becomes a little bit quieter eventually it starts to lose its power over us eventually were able to defeat it that doesn't mean it won't be back tomorrow when you show up again it just means you've learned howto work with it and defeated all of us wear masks and it's something we start doing at a really early age when we're old enough to understand that we want other people to prove us I remember the very first of my many master was in the fifth grade and I was when I discovered that I like girls and they were popular kids and unpopular kids and I was one of the unpopular kids so it's all my dad we're having a fifth grade dance I need you to get me a pair of sunglasses and when he asked why I said because of the sunglasses all the cool and then I can walk up to the prettiest girl in class and I can ask her dad and my dad never bought me the sunglasses never became any cooler never asked a girl to dance ah then I fast forward to the seventh grade and went out for football thinking I would be a hero only to realize that I lived in texas and their seventh graders the size of grown men that was the end of football very quickly but I realized what I'd done was all the way up until college even when I was choosing a major even was choosing jobs. I was constantly making decisions about how I thought those choices would be approved of by other people on what we do is we keep putting on these masks over and over and over throughout our lives, until we get to a point where we look in the mirror. And what we've created is not a pale imitation of anything else. We've created the pale imitation of our most authentic self. We all have stories too and our stories shape our perceptions of what we think is possible with our lives and with our work one story is I have enough I've been a fans I have enough followers I would've traffic have enough authority another story is I don't have enough of any of those things that I just mentioned but really built into those two stories of I have enough and I don't have enough are stories of I'm worthy I'm not worthy sometime in two thousand fifteen I made a list of one hundred insanely interesting people you should know and the reason I made this list was because every year when fast company published its list of the hundred most creative people in business or forbes published his list of thirty under thirty, I was kind of pissed off litle envious that I wasn't on the list that these people had done something that I had hadn't done and they'd done something more worthwhile. So I decided to make my own list and the most ridiculous paradox of creating a list for the entire point of the list was to reject this idea that you had to be picked was how everybody was not on the list responded dozens of comments saying, I wish I was on the list or I hope I'm on the list next time you make a list that was made up out of thin air and its authority manufactures a complete illusion and yet that's how deep this cultural need we have to be validated to be picked and to be approved of runs yet it's on ly and letting go of that need that are most interesting innovative and unmistakable work truly starts to emerge so we all have labels that we identify with on our labels determine what we think we're capable of what we think we can do so you guys have seen me in multiple capacities today so in one moment I'm an author if you listen the unmistakable creative I'm a podcaster when I'm standing on a stage on the speaker and the most expansive label of all of course is being an artist because you're no longer defined by one thing that you do there is so much more toe every single one of us then can possibly be expressed there's something as limiting as a job title or an occupation or bullet points in a job description and when you see the world through the eyes of an artist you can't help but see the world differently and as a result that is what is reflected in everything that you do and how you show up in the world so I want to leave you with one final piece of advice something that has had a profound impact on me for the last ten years and something that I hope will continue to inspire you and fuel your own creativity that's very simple and something that, I think, will bring a great deal of joy to your life and that's simply to make something every day. Doesn't matter what it is. Doesn't matter who it's for doesn't matter if it's for a million people doesn't even matter if it's only for an audience of one. Just make something every single day. Thank you all for being here.
In a constantly evolving economy, strong, dynamic marketing and sales skills are equally essential. John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing and the upcoming Duct Tape Selling, is ready to equip you with the tools you need to think like a marketer and sell like a superstar.
During this workshop, you’ll learn how to shift your thinking about the relationship between sales and marketing. John will cover ways to leverage customers’ dependence on word-of-mouth, personal recommendations, and internet research when making purchasing decisions. You’ll also learn how to build a competitive edge by positioning yourself and your company as an expert provider of a niche service. John will introduce you to the Sales Hourglass, a tried-and-true sales process that allows you to educate customers more clearly and effectively about your company’s unique offering.
This course will energize and equip salespeople, marketing professionals, and small business owners to sell more and sell better.