This week we're going deep into what life is for, why living in the moment and taking action on what moves you, now, is so important.
This week my guest is Richie Norton, author of The Power of Starting Something Stupid and in this episode he talks me through why he wrote his book and how he's built multiple businesses with one simple rule - and it's the rule which gives him the freedom to always live in the moment.
Richie Norton is the award-winning, bestselling author of the book The Power of Starting Something Stupid (in 10+ languages) and Résumés Are Dead & What to Do About It. In 2019, Richie was named one of the world’s top 100 business coaches by Dr. Marshall Goldsmith. He is an international speaker (including TEDx & Google Startup Grind) & serial entrepreneur.
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This week, we're going deep into what life is for by living in the moment and taking action on what moves you, now, is so important. This week, my guest is Richie Norton, author of The Power of Starting Something Stupid. And in this episode, he talks me through why he wrote his book and how he's built multiple businesses with one simple rule. And it's the rule which gives him the freedom to always live in the moment.
Hi there and welcome back to Amplify the Digital Marketing Entrepreneur podcast.
I'm Bob Gentle. Every week I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to the show, then take a second right now to subscribe so you don't miss new episodes and you can grab some older ones when you're done with this one. Don't forget as well, you can join our Facebook community. Just visit, amplify me, EFM forward, slash insiders and you'll be taken right there. So welcome along. And let's meet Richie.
So this week, I am thrilled to welcome Richie to the show, Richie, why don't for those who don't know, why don't you tell us a little bit about who you are, where you are and the kind of work you do?
Hey, guys, super excited to be here. Thanks for having me on. This is going to be a lot of fun. Just a side note so everybody knows we met up in London, didn't we?
Well, I have a funny story.
When I met you in London, the first time I saw you was you've walked into a conference hall and I thought, who's that guy?
Because you you were you stood out and you just look like a skater, surfer guy who I wouldn't actually be drawn to. And I thought he must be somebody's friend.
And then I met you at dinner with Jeff Goines and I thought, this is a guy I would really like to spend time with. And I have no idea what you did. And we will talk about what you do in a minute. But it was only afterwards when I got home, I realized, wow, this guy does a lot. So I've been really keen to have you on a podcast for a long time, so. Yeah, sorry.
That's my ramble.
No, no, no, thank you. So and I was super excited to meet you, not only because you're amazing and you're doing really cool things, but I just love Scotland so much. Have I don't have, you know, heritage there and and I've never been. And so you give us, my wife and I, some great tips and we just had the greatest time ever. So as really I can't wait to get back, but I'm born and raised in in San Diego.
I live there my my whole life until I was about 19 then I lived in Brazil for a couple of years doing missionary work. And then I moved to Hawaii where I did school and lived here in Hawaii ever since I did an executive MBA at Thunderbird. It's the number one international business school. And finish that up. We came back to Hawaii and have a bunch of kids. I'm a family man and I'm just kind of making it up as I go.
Uh, what age did you move to Hawaii? Uh, I was twenty one. I was twenty one. Yeah, I was twenty one. And I turned, you know, twenty six months later. So yeah. My, my wife and I, um actually met in Washington State working at kind of like a youth camp kind of thing. We were camp counselors and we were married within two months of meeting and she'd been living out in Hawaii as well.
But we didn't know each other here. And, you know, it's kind of a whirlwind thing. We immediately, you know, just jumped right into starting a family. Um, had and I'll I'll get to some of these details later. But, you know, I have four boys and it's just wild and crazy. We so but but for work and I'll get back into my family. So important to me, um, I'm an entrepreneur. I've been starting businesses since I was a teenager.
My my dad taught me how and gave me that that mindset. His dad was also an entrepreneur and his dad was an entrepreneur and so on and so forth, all the way back to the, you know, the pioneer days. And also those who decided across the pond, you know, come to the states, uh, or that and, you know, just open, uh, land, so to speak, which is debatable. By the way, we all know that nowadays times are crazy, but, uh, very, very grateful for the life we lead, the things we're doing.
The other day, I try to help other people make their projects successful and happy while while doing my my own. So I have my own businesses, several. And then I, I when people ask, I teach people how to start their own businesses and grow them, start scale and streamline and and from there I'm able to also my goal really is to impact the world in a deep and wide way now and not wait till I'm, you know, sixty five and retired to finally do the work that I want to do.
I think all of the things you do are quite impressive and we'll get into those. But one of the things that's impressed me the most is how publicly you do it. It's a hard thing to explain, but if I take the whole of Instagram and I think, well, who am I really learning from here, yours stands out, it's really, really impressive. And yeah, I would like to get into again a little bit later on how you manage the productivity side of that because you were doing a lot of different things.
You're also living life. And I'd love to know how you a make the time and be how you set your priorities because it's something to behold.
OK, excellent question. I'll dive right into it and then I'll also share why I do this and maybe some, you know, tips and tricks and how to do it on your own. For me, tight time is everything. And I'm not a. Fans of time management, I believe that you should stop managing time and you should start prioritizing attention, people who are in personal development have adopted time management practices from business to try and, you know, not only increase their output, but also increase their quality of time in life when in reality, if you know anything about time management and its history, it was legitimately created to squeeze every single ounce of blood, sweat and tears out of you for every hour, every minute, every single day has nothing to do with freedom.
It was all about maximizing output at the sacrifice of people lives to the point where people were burning out so fast. So they decided to implement things like retirement plans as an incentive to make you work for 40 years without stopping, except for except for maybe two weeks at a time, if that with dangling the career of maybe getting some tax deferred, you know, retirement money, only to find out that when you're older and have more money and you have no deductions, you're actually paying way more in taxes at the end of the day.
It's a it's a great plan for some, but for most, if you know anybody who in retirement or approaching retirement, some did well, but many with the economy as it goes up and down, they have been failed by this plan to the extreme.
And so when I saw this happening, especially like in 2008, you know, I'm young recently, you know, I'm married, you know, got a couple of kids and things are good. You know, I watch the bottom just fall out for so many people, including members of my own own family. And I thought this this is the plan I was given to to put my head down for 40 years and then put off living to one day, say, now I can finally start and, you know, to know that people lose their health and, you know, situations just change.
And I thought, you know, I've always planned to, like, do my part and grind and make everything, you know, just I'm a worker. I do things. I have no problem with hard work, get my hands dirty. But if that's at the sacrifice of my family in the hopes that I'll have more time for them later, that's just not true. It's not true logically and it's not true in theory.
It just you lose time and it doesn't work out that way, especially as the economy goes up and down. So I thought I asked myself a better question, how can I create the lifestyle I would hope to have in retirement? And to me, that was helping others helping in poverty, you know, working in places where or this is this is a major need, which is kind of everywhere, even in developed countries, and and have the ability to take my my kids to school when I want to pick them up, if I need to, you know, be their coach for baseball, basketball and soccer.
And, uh, you guys call it football, right? Yeah, very good football. All these things.
Um, and I thought about how can you do that work where you're helping people, where you're supposedly not making money, how can I do that and also feed my family at the same time. And that became my task ongoing to help people and make money at the same time. Later I learned that there's actually a term for it. It's called social entrepreneurship. And the idea is how to, uh, what's the catchphrases solve social ills with business skills.
And so I got into this world and in fact, my first business was a cashmere company in Mongolia when I was my first, like, real business when I was twenty four years old. And there wasn't even there's not even I don't know there is now. But when I went, there wasn't even a McDonald's there. I mean we're talking like, you know, like it's amazing, incredible people that nomadic and, you know, in certain parts of the country.
And the whole idea was to help people create jobs, not just be an employee. And so as we as we did that, I learned more about this world. I started doing stuff all over, I'm in Hawaii, start doing stuff all over base, you know, in the Asia Pacific Rim, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, all over the place. And this these people I would meet in Hawaii and eventually started what's called a center for entrepreneurship at my university, BYU, Hawaii, and that still runs today.
They have now paid professors and they're running the whole thing. Thousands are influenced. And I just kept doing that on my own and setting up sustainable ways for this to happen. But with the idea that it wasn't taking away necessarily or at least it was a choice, not def, not not not default, not taking away from my family and time. The idea is how do I create time, not take time with these businesses and systems.
OK, the reason this is super important is because at one point in time my brother in law who lived on and off.
Thus, he for five years, he passed away to sleep and he was twenty one, and when he passed away unexpectedly, no apparent reason just a short time ago or whatever, like it shook us to the core, as you can imagine.
And when you have a lot of people have terrible experiences, but you have to you know, it's the way you internalize it, interpret it, you know, that kind of changes you one way or the other. And for us, it was such a slap in the face and we were so sad that we realized not only can we not wait till later, but we might not even have a later. He didn't have a waiter. That was the end, religion aside.
Right. Like there's more to life done.
And at that point we thought, hmm, how can we how do we do this moving forward?
Let me tell you what happened a few years later. Actually, my our fourth son, we named him Gavin after my brother in law. His name was Gavin.
He end up catching, um, uh, communicable disease called pertussis, also known as whooping cough. And it was just so much on his little body. I remember we were in the hospital and at one point they took out all the tubes and the wires. And I held him for a moment after a long time of him being there and then trying to treat him. He handed it to my wife, put my hand on his little heart, and we just sang a lullabies and waited for those last beats.
And he slipped away your worst nightmare as a father. So here I have my brother in law passed away unexpectedly. My son passed away unexpectedly, and I had a mentor that said, Richie, like, what did you learn from these two, you know, people and their passing?
And I was like, I don't know what kind of a question is that?
Right. And my wife wife's like, ask me any year, you know? And she's like, Yeah, yeah, it's a great answer, you know, ask me in a year. And then I thought I thought about it for a while and I actually couldn't get the thought out of my head. And I came up with something that I actually talk about in my book, The Power of Starting Something Stupid. I call it Gavins Law, which is live to start start to live.
Meaning when you live to start those ideas that are pressing on your mind, you really will start living. There's so many people, you and me included, who walk around not knowing what to do, when to do it, how to do it. And they're like the walking or the living dead. And at the same time, ironically, there I there are ideas pushing, prodding, percolating in the mind that we decide to not do anything about it because we're scared or we say it's stupid or it's not a good time or someone else should do it, not me or I'm not qualified or I don't have enough time, education, experience or money.
When we do that, we're actually saying no to these ideas of the universe, to whatever, and then we wonder why we have no purpose in life. And it's like it's been given to you. Why aren't you doing something with it? You're the only one with this knowledge, with this idea. And if there are others, it's coming to you right now. Why aren't you doing something about it? So Gavins law, the ideas do what you have, do what you care what you have right now live to start and you will start living and people say, what does that mean?
How do you start? And I made an acronym for that. It's start, start, serve, think, ask, receive and trust, serve others think others ask others received from others and receive others. Actually you know them as a person, see them and trust others. And through that process, if you go back through history, this is how people make change and make a difference. So I can get into more details. But I've used this process now.
Yes. To write books that book The Power sorry, something stupid. Some like ten different languages. Now it's doing really well. And when people read it, they reach out to me, help them start their stupid idea.
I think the book I'm not finished yet. I'm probably about halfway through, but it's outstanding. I think it's when I'm reading it, I really wish that I'd read it when I was 19, 20 years old, because what shines through it is a route to overcoming fear. And I think so many people live life entombed in a case of fear. I don't know that that's certainly in my life. Help me back a lot. My fear of ridicule, comparison, who is this guy to do this thing?
And that that for me is the real reason I love the book, has the permission to just let it go and not worry about all the things that we neurotically worry about, especially me. And what I like when I'm reading that in conjunction with your Instagram is you so clearly offer a real role model that's 100. Aligned with what you're talking about, which which is quite rare as kind of you to kind. Thank you. I appreciate that.
I think one of the questions I've written down here, which I mean, there's lots of things that you haven't spoken about that. Yes, you have a business product. Yes. You've written a book. But also, I think Marshall Goldsmith's top 100 coaches in the world, that's no small accomplishment to get an accolade like that. The question that I've written is what made Richard Norton? Because when I look back through the years of the content that's around you, surrounding you, there seems to be a big change at some point.
I didn't I've never really got to the point of understanding what that was. But is that something you recognize?
Yes. And I'd also say it's one big soup.
You know, it's just, you know, many little spirals or roller coasters over and over and over again. And it's hard to pinpoint one thing. It's like I've had uniquely a string of events. It's funny because I could tell my story from the tragedy side. And you think this guy has the worst life, you know, and then you tell it from the positive side. And, you know, this guy has the best life, you know, and it's so when you put them together, it creates more context and in clarity.
Um, I'll talk about that for a second. So, yeah, my brother in law passed away. My my son passed away. At some point we there's a mom we need to help with her kids and a single mom and she we just met her like in a day. She asked if we could watch her kids while she went to like work at night, some new job and we're like we don't know you. But of course, like if you have no one like of course.
And we did. And long story short, his mom didn't come back and she kind of touched base here and there through text. And we're like, what in the world is going on? And eventually Child Protective Services shows up at our door and says, hey, we're here to take these kids. We've been you know, I don't I don't want to give too many details, but like, what do you mean? Like, what's going on?
And may explain why we said, well, what are you going to do with these wonderful three children, seven year old girl and one year old twins, boy and a girl?
And they said, well, nobody wants three kids. It's too many. And I know I can I can take that. So we're going to split them up and there's no way to put them. So they're going to stay in our office until we can find someone.
We're like, no, can we take care of them until you figure this out?
And they're like, well, you're not foster certified, but maybe since she put them in your care first, we can call it kinship placement and we're like, whatever in there, you go and get paid for this.
There's no you know, whatever we do with foster people all the way, I don't care. Let's not split them up. We love these children, you know, even though we've only known them for a little bit. And they said, sure. So these kids ended up being with us for two years and we plan on adopting them and now didn't work out to adopt them. The mom came around and eventually, fortunately and in other ways, sadly, you know, just one of those weird situations, I'm happy for happy for her.
Really, really worried. Right. For the children kind of thing. Got them back. But when this happened, it tore us apart. Like I mean, now we have a death of my wife's brother, death of our son. These three children are gone, which in some ways hurts ironically or weirdly or strangely more, because you know that this they're still out there. You can't do anything right.
Like you don't know what's happening. Anyways, when this happened, it tore us apart. And I don't know how this happened, but my wife and I were driving. We're like, we got to go take our thing with us. We went from three kids to four kids to three kids to six kids, so seven in total and then back down to three kids again on a short period of time. And family's everything, right. So we need to huddle our family back up and just kind of hug and love on each other and kind of figure this out and, you know, also protect our children's experience, you know, with with what life looks like now.
And we ended up flying to New York. But to go on this road trip that we didn't have a return ticket, so we were going to see what would happen on the way to the airport. My wife starts stuttering. She can't, like, remember certain things. She she loses, like, her ability to actually speak and comprehend and remember. And it turns out she had some sort of mini stroke or something. And we're not sure if it was induced by this, you know, horrendous situation or something else.
It was stress induced or not. But it happened.
And so here we are now, another crazy situation, after a few days, the doctors, you know, said, you know, go home and we're like, what are you talking about? Well, we don't see anything. We don't know what's going on. There's no damage. We don't know why this happened. We we do recognize that it happened and it could happen again. But we can't do anything right now. Thanks a lot, Doc.
You know, and my wife is like, I'm still going on this trip. Like, no, wait, we're going home. We're going to lay down your lives.
Like, no, if I lay down, I won't be able to get back up. And she was so brave. And in fact, the way we staggered the tickets, she was going to go to a conference first and then and then we were gonna show up after. So she was actually getting on the plane by herself and we were going to follow the next few days. So she gets on the plane by herself. But I give her a little piece of paper that says, if I forget my name, I call this number.
And then when she got the plane, I started realizing, oh, man, she's going to forget to give them the piece of paper.
So bad, so bad. I got so bad.
Terrible joke, everybody. Anyway, so she gets there. Her friend meets her in New York. She's fine. We get there, meet with, you know, later we meet up, we end up on the road, man for six months every day, not knowing where we're going to stay on purpose, just traveling, going wherever we wanted. Zigzagging up and down the states from New York to San Diego, almost. We went coast to coast.
We're like, let's go over the border. Let's go ride horses in Mexico on the beach, and let's go all the way up to Canada and see some ice, you know?
And so we we did that. Then we drove back down to wherever we needed and the somewhere in the Midwest and then flew back to Hawaii. There's more to the story.
But when this happened, it made me realize, again just how fragile life is. But what's interesting is people think, how did you do that? And it wasn't like we had all the money in the world. And in fact, we've gone through so many tragedies and it cost so much money.
I mean, it's almost like we're going broke every day.
You know, there is a time in our lives where we were literally collecting cans from trash cans at a park to be able to to recycle them so we could get money for gas anyways.
So this is not on the road trip. This is something else. But people said, how did you do it? And I actually gave a TED talk about this in Moldova, of all places.
And I and we made our money on the road from our cell phones because we had intentionally said, we want a life that we can live with autonomy, doing whatever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want.
And as these tragedies have forced us even into this practice, because it's so hard, you know, um, we'd actually learned how to create environments of resilience by spending more time with our family and making money from our cell phones. So when I create businesses, I think my my my constraint is. But can I do it from my cell phone? Because if I can't, I need to think of another way to do it or to do something else, because I don't want to be stuck in one geographical location if I don't have to.
Well, do you mind if we nibble into that a little bit? Because I think the the listener will not forgive me if I let that go past because everybody's heard of the myth of the digital entrepreneur and the the digital nomad. And a lot of the time is a very nice idea. But you're always left with the question of, well, how do they do that? Selling gigs on Fiverr? It clearly isn't that. So do you mind just sort of roaming around what it is you were doing on your cell phone?
Yeah, let me let me is unpacking a lot. So, you know, because everyone's in a different situation, right? Yeah. So it's not about being careful, but it's about being intentional. So people don't don't misunderstand if you're doing physical work that requires you to be in one place doing one thing like I mean, obviously you have to do that unless you choose to get another job or to outsource that or to figure out how to get the same result in another way.
So let's not dance around the fact that you have to do work differently.
You have to and we will shy away from that for some weird reason. It's like it's obvious you another job like that said there's way more to it. It's actually extremely complex, but it can actually be super, super simple. When I wrote The Power of starting something stupid, everybody came to me. I didn't know this would happen.
I just wrote a book because I was a great idea and it was very practical and inspiring around. I knew that people were. Were successful, started things, but what was curious in my research in talking to three hundred people or more personally in interviews and also studying the stuttering study, studying the success of people in history, they didn't just start things. They started something that someone once called stupid. Everything from the telephone to the you know, the model T, you know, automobile, even to Twitter.
And even now I'll just keep using words that start with t twitch and tick tock, all stupid and all stupid idea that turn out to be very smart and very great. And a lot of our ideas are that way. Anyways, as I wrote this book, I didn't realize that when people read it, they would reach out to me for help. I read it and run with it. And so I sort of thought the business model through better, but it would reach out and they'd say, well, how can I start my stupid idea?
I already showed you how to start it. What do you mean? Like, no, no, no. I want specifics. And when I quickly learned was I couldn't be the subject matter expert on this stupid idea because it was novel not only to them and the world, but like it's a super niche. And so I, I, I learned I could focus on their business model and the outcome or lifestyle that they wanted, regardless of what the thing was within reason.
And I learned I could help someone make a lot of money doing their thing, their stupid idea that not a problem, it's a matter of math and sales. But what was really interesting is that that wasn't what people actually wanted. They would come up with some random idea or they'd have a random idea and they would attach it to a result that would come from it later.
Meaning they would do the the in their head, they would have an idea of what success would look like after they were successful. For example, they would think, I want to have more time with my family in financial freedom and be able to travel the world like you, Richie, or whatever.
But they wouldn't necessarily say that. And so what would happen is and I am not saying like people went the wrong direction, but I'm saying what people normally do in life is just more in general than I'll talk specifics.
But they would say, for example, I'm going to start a gym. This is a real one. I'm going to start a gym so I can get out of my corporate job and go, OK, yeah.
And then we go, cool.
We obviously can make that successful. Like, again, we're going to get a thousand people doing a membership, paying you one hundred dollars. You're going to make one hundred thousand dollars a month. That's the way gyms work, right. Something like that.
And but then I then I quickly realized that wasn't what they actually wanted. They wanted the freedom. So I'd ask them, OK, we'll just pretend you're successful in this. All works out great. Then what for? Well, then I, you know, try with my family, do all these things like go wait a second. You think that if you're responsible. Let's be honest to lock and open this thing every night and every morning that you're going to have the freedom to go on and do these things, are you going to be the one doing this or are you going to hire someone else to do it?
Oh, no, I micromanage. I have to do it myself. OK. And how long is this going to take for you to turn a profit? Well, basically no numbers. It'll take five years. Mhm. And how old your your son. Oh he's 13. So you're telling me when he's 18 out of the house you'll finally have freedom to travel the world.
Yeah. You see people do all the things we don't think through.
And so, so, so, so, so in psychology, what I'm going to teach in my next book, it's actually called Final Cause like what's the actual thing? What's the success after success that you want? So I teach people, take that success. I'm getting back to the cell phone thing, by the way, take that success after success that you want and start there. Don't don't tip toe up to the crust or the fringe of this dream.
Put the dream at the center and build processes around it to support it. That way you can create time, not take time. So when I say I can work for myself or anywhere, it's the same work you would be doing anywhere just remotely. It's the same result, different process. Two people can be doing the exact same result, making the exact same money and have two different lives. One has all the time in the world. The one has no time because one is required, um, with one with no time is required to work nine to five and a chair in a cubicle somewhere, whereas the other guy can do it from the top of a mountain or on a boat in Fiji.
You know, what I really like about that is and again, we will get back to the cell phone thing. Roger, James Hamilton has written a few books about business. I can't remember their names, but one of the principles that he often comes back to is you'll rarely build true wealth from your first business because your first business probably won't be built to deliver what you actually wanted, that you really need to almost here's a much more eloquent way of putting it, but level up from your first business into your second business, which will just inherently be completely different.
And what you're doing there is almost shortcutting not learning process, not the learning process as such, but the experience process, because that experience isn't really helpful. You're right about that.
And let me is one more example and then I'll get some more specifics. You know, when I was in your land over there in Scotland, I saw a lot of castles. So let me use the castle analogy.
So let's pretend modern day lets modern talking go back in time. Modern day. Let's pretend someone wants to live in a castle, but they start by building a moat. The moat is work.
They never get out of the moat and they never get to live in the castle and it keeps filling up with water. There you go. That's beautiful. And instead you could just build the castle and not have a moat or build a castle and the moat simultaneously. So symbolically, if you could put your life's dream like your goals, your final cause, the actual success after success in the center, like a castle, then you can build strategic and economic moats around it to protect it.
So all of a sudden, your business that you're creating are supporting the walls or the goals or the dreams that you've created for your lifestyle as opposed to preventing you and distracting you from getting there.
So essentially, if it were to take you five years to become profitable and do this thing before you live your life or in most cases 40 years, when we're thinking of the retirement mentality, you just saved yourself five, ten, forty years. You literally can step into your dream life today. So let me take this super real. If you want to be able to work from your cell phone, that doesn't mean you grind for five more years at your work.
It means you figure out how to do that same work, same job from the road or.
Yeah, start a new new thing from the road or find a job that allows you to do that and you start living it immediately. This is possible for every one listening right now.
I absolutely agree. And I think one thing that it really bothers me, especially when I watch my kids and I think like you, I'm third generation business owner. And before that, I don't know. I think they may have been business owners. I don't know. But I'm very grateful that my kids have that, because when I look around in the wider world and I see people doing jobs they clearly don't enjoy because the expectation of peers and family is that that's normal, but it doesn't mean it's right.
And that's what really struck me with. For example, the video that you and Natalie did on the home page of your website, the show up video link is really powerful. Nobody needs to accept the way life has always been through.
You know, it's not like I can pretend like it's easy. I'm just saying it is simple. It's a choice. Like, I actually met with a professor of economics. I think it's from Kellogg or something. And he said something like this. I'm going to totally, you know, mess this up.
But he's like, oh, I messed everything up. He was like, you want to know how to, like, balance the, like, national budget? He's like spend less than you make.
And he's like, I know that sounds funny because everyone's laughing, but he's like it's purest, simplest form. That's the answer.
So when people say, how do I work my cell phone, it's like you want to take your cell phones, a computer. Right? So unless you physically have to be somewhere, you could be doing it from anywhere. That's the answer. Yeah, but my boss won't let me. Well, now now you've identified the problem. Talk to your boss and see if you can do it from somewhere else or get another job or create your own. Oh, but there's all these things I have to do.
There's all these things you have to do. But if you don't do that, where does that leave you? Right back where you are right now?
I think for the purposes of the cell phone, you've you've been very sort of clear on there are many answers to that question. Yeah. And it will be very unique to the person in question. But there will always be an answer. You just need to look for where do you actually want to be and make a commitment that that's where you want to be.
Yeah, and I'm sure people like, well, what do you do from your cell phone? I'll give you three examples. Um, one, yes. Coaching, consulting, online courses done for my cell phone, done over the phone, done on the Internet, through, you know, the way you use the Internet to, which would not make sense to most people.
I make over a hundred different physical products for entrepreneurs around the world, everything from ideation to actually prototyping, manufacturing, packaging, shipping, warehousing and fulfilling from my cell phone is a multiple seven figure business I do for myself. Um, yeah.
And then, you know, we do, uh, I have a lot of clients. The thing is, I'm not just like choosing things. I just want to go and do I do that to many times of the questions people ask me. And it's usually around me seeing people have no time or ability. So coaching courses, online courses, because people say they want help in education. So I do that the sourcing thing. I have a background.
You heard I started a business in Mongolia making Kashmir people like how to make a physical product. I'm like, well, there's one hundred steps. Why don't I just do all ninety nine for you? So all you have to do is sell. That's what it is. There's no there's no entrepreneur that has a physical product that couldn't just step into selling right now because I have figured out the entire rest of it for you over years. But it's done.
And then for like I have a lot of friends that are like super big you tubers. And I saw they would go to Disneyland and pretend like they were having fun, but in reality they were stressed out and one parent would stay home editing the videos while the other one was out pretending to have fun with their kids stressed out. Right. It's a good time. So I started took me a year to figure this out, but I started. And in fact, that video you watch was a product of it.
I figure out how to have editors all over the world editing overnight for YouTube. I don't know how to edit stuff, but I'm editing hundreds of logs a month. I'm editing hundreds of logs. I'm doing literally not that the people I work with are, but I created a process in a system and offered to solve the problems so I could give you two hours their time back their life back, because that's important to me, their family. And I thought they would take this excess capacity or this newfound time and like spend more time with their family.
But in reality, you know, they do make more videos. So, you know, that's the thing is once you realize it's a choice to be busy or to be productive or to work in a job or to work on the road, once you realize it's an actual choice, it's hard to face, but then you can do something about it.
How many ideas do you say no to? I think well, maybe a different way of looking at that question is, oh, all of these opportunities come through relationships. And you clearly must spend a lot of time building and cultivating relationships and knowing you a little bit. That's going to be done in a very genuine way. You know, Hustla, really, I.
I'm not I don't I mean, I, I, I also don't really hustle's a great word sometimes. I just don't like it because a lot of people think it just means I can put my head down in one day it's going to happen. And I was like, no, this is not the way I works. Like you can put your head down and it's not going to happen to.
Yeah, I, I'm not a you scratch my back, I scratch yours kind of guy.
I hate transactional relationships. I'm a transformational. I go deep, like with people for a long time, with no expectation of anything return just because that's what life is. But it turns out by happen stance that when you do that, people get to know you as a real human. They know love and trust. You may refer business to you. It just happens that way.
I can see that. Yeah. And that is a really good answer to my question, because I imagine that you don't have to say no to an awful lot of ideas because you help people get to the right ideas, because you spend the time with.
Oh, well, OK. That that's actually a really good point. Um, we know we do say no to lots of things depending on the situation. However, you're right. When someone looks to me for for coaching or consulting, I listen to their idea. And I it's always there's it's always possible.
It's like it's always inherently a terrible idea. But I also know that when they're telling me that it's not what they actually want. Right. It's that final cause. So once I learn what they actually want, after they spit out all the things they think they need to get there, we can rearrange the whole process.
It might be a new business or a different business or different pricing model or different business model or different strategy. But once you know exactly the dream, you can then you can create whatever you want around that because there's a lot of ways to get there.
So something I would like to understand, and I'm looking at the time and I do not want to miss this question because it's important to me the way that you manage your to use a crude word, personal brand is not a crude word. I mean, it's there's not very many ways that you can express it. But you do a great job, particularly on Instagram, of being very present. And and a lot of people on Instagram and social media in general, they're very careful about turning a particular face to the to to the Internet.
And the face that you turn to the Internet is authentic is the only word I can think of, because it's it's everything and it's your whole family and you're very open, very public.
How do you do that? I'm I have to ask that question. I've got to speaking from the perspective of a very introverted Scottish, how would you describe this repressed British person? And I see somebody like Richard Norton, who's very open, emotional, vaguely flamboyant. And I think, wow, I'd love to be like that.
You don't want to be like me. It's OK. You know, I don't know how I do it, but all but all.
But to answer your question, let me explain. I've been highly criticized by many people, influencers. You know, people in my circle is as like I don't know what you do.
Like, you're all over the place. You're you're saying so many things. You need one message. You need to be like very clear on what what's happening in a guy. Why would I do that? I actually don't want to be in a box. I actually don't want anybody to know what I'm doing.
I want to be able to do anything whenever I want. I want to go to change if I want to change. Right. And I guess there's pros and cons in that. But to answer your question, like I share life as it comes. So so if you look on Instagram, everyone right now, it's super trendy. They're going to make every colour tinted with orange and teal and everyone's going to look all weird. And they're they're going to talk about something that just requires engagement, using questions and almost manipulating the conversation.
Sorry for people to do that. You might be authentic. I get it. OK, um, but that's what people are doing.
People are super into trends like what will get me more like. So get me more clicks. What will get me more. Get me more. Get me more. I'm not saying that's bad. I'm just saying that is transactional. And I'm not saying transactional isn't sometimes necessary and depends on your intention. But many people in that space are only looking to get more followers. They're not looking to create massive transformations. And in the same breath, they know that by getting more followers, they can create more transformations.
So it depends on the goal. So it's not a criticism.
It's just that's what is I mean, is it not like that is that's straight up truth? It is what it is, of course. But then you say, are they aren't they more than that or are they inauthentic? And it's like they're probably authentic people, but it's showing up online means you're only showing one side of you and then every once in a while manipulating a tragic situation and trying to get more like followers. That's just that's a strategy and a tactic.
That's not a life. Let's be honest. It's for the Graham, as they say, like it is for the Graham. I don't do things for the Graham or for or for Facebook. I do understand how to play the game. I do understand the game being played around, as I do know how to pull the lever, wanting to pull the leather, that leather pull, pull the lever, however. However, when I say I just talk about it as it comes, as I'm doing in that way, looking back on it, it's not intentional like looking for it, it becomes relevant.
So my goal, when I do a post, if it's for me, it's for me, it was to try and get more followers. Oh, my gosh. There's like a million ways to do a game and give away a gift card and get 10 people to chip in one hundred dollars and have everyone follow each other. That you can do that. That can be part of an overall thing.
But that's what you're saying about being like flamboyant all over the place and all these kind of things. There's two things that are important to me, character and competence. So I'm deep on I'm a covid guy. Stephen Covey was a mentor of mine. Like, I'm deep into principles that can be used universally and deep into character over like skills. I'm deep into character, over personality, and I'm deep into competence so that you can actually apply it. So yeah, I'll I'll show a picture of my dog and then I'll talk about coronavirus and then I'll talk about the ineffectiveness of the school system and then all because that's my life and that's your life and that's all of our lives.
But some people are so scared to mess up the algorithm that they choose not to share things that are important with them. And they're and they silow their lives on social media, which is a strategy and a tactic.
And if if that's good for that, it's good for them. But that's not what I do.
Well, I love it. And it's something that I regularly say to clients is that 30 percent of people will not like, you know, I'm going to sort of say Third's because my percentage get messed up. A third of people will not like you. A third of people will be ambivalent. They'll take you or leave you, but a third of people will really like you. And if you're always turning a managed face to the world, then people aren't going to get you.
And I like letting people get you is really important. And I think people getting you is more is more important and getting more if that makes life so good.
A managed face is a good term.
It's very good.
So I would like to dig into the time management side of your social media a little bit because again, you were very prolific and I'm curious to know what it takes to achieve that.
OK, everybody's brain works differently and everyone has different like fears. Right? So this this is that. But, you know, I prolific is the right word. Like, I believe that being prolific is better than being perfect. In fact, it does not practice. That makes perfect. It's being prolific. That gets you to become more perfect. Is practices behind the scenes. Being prolific is actually showing up for the world. Right.
So you can do both and perfectionists. This is where he will get stuck in the trait most associated. Ironically, with procrastinate, procrastination and perfection is actually an addiction to impulsiveness and immediacy. And we will say, well, how does that make any sense? You go well, it's like when you go to dinner and you fill up on bread. Before the main course comes out, because you because you can't wait for the thing to be perfect, because it takes so much time and effort, you choose to do other good things and you're actually highly productive at doing all kinds of less important tasks.
Procrastinators are not lazy. They're extremely busy. They'll do the dishes and the taxes before getting that project done.
So with with my social media, I know I'm different. Other people, I, I use it like a journal. I post my thoughts as they come. And it's not to say that every thought like I just put out there, I do obviously filter them. So I'm not saying the horrible or different or weird or like uneducated things, like I have to like, think through it. Of course, you know, what I'm trying to say is don't just post everything that comes to your head.
People get into trouble for that, you know, if you not watch Twitter lately.
But what I am saying is I don't stop and pontificate and make a masterpiece of each post. In fact, I intentionally don't. I am literally throwing out raw material every day as it comes that someone watches my Instagram stories, they will know stuff that is like legitimately a soup that creates something different and cool later. And so let me tell you what's happened by doing that. And I threw out an idea on Facebook or Instagram stories or even on just the feed on Instagram or LinkedIn or Twitter.
When I get a response, I'm just writing it down so I don't lose it. I look, I'm a punk rocker. When I was when I was a teenager, I was on a punk rock band. You know, we were offered a five year contract that we turned down so I could move to Brazil like that's what I did. And I would write down on a piece of paper every thought that I had regarding lyrics and melodies and whatever else.
Okay, so I've continued that practice and now I just do it publicly is what happens when someone responds to it and asked me a question and I and I answer because questions prompt answers. I create more content and I take that answer, if it's if I think it's halfway decent, I repost it and if these things start to catch fire, then all of a sudden I go, oh, this is a this is something that people are interested in. Maybe I should use this content where you work it, stretch it out, go deeper, research it and write a medium article on it.
So then I'll write a medium article on it. And let's say just it does well or it doesn't whatever. People highlight things on medium. So do I go look at the highlights on Medium and go, oh, these are the things that people like that they're interested in. Maybe I should share. This is a quote. Maybe I should make a video about it, maybe I should go deeper. So I'm throwing out my ideas, but the content builds content.
Oh, that's so good. I think I'm the cogs are turning and I'm thinking this is such a good workflow, such a good practice.
Content builds content and then you can repurpose the content for different platforms. And for me, obviously, because I'm a writer and I'm working on books, I'm thinking of larger content pieces that can be used in a book or an article or a course or a talk speech or whatever. See, this is how it happens. So in one way, I am every day throwing out things that I think and on the in the other way, if it's something that catches fire, then I'm doing I'm not I'm not punishing the market, so to speak, the market of readers and consumers.
I go, oh, you like that? Let me take it to the next step. And this becomes an upward spiral of fantastic content that people find useful.
What I really like about that is so many people are so worried about what other people think about their ideas and their thoughts that they never put anything out there. And what that means is they never get these little sparks of encouragement that if you fan the flames, there's a fantastic idea there. And so there's all these on board, fantastic ideas. And really what you're doing there is you're allowing people to to cheer you on and buy what they cheer on, you know, what works, what's what's good, where the interest or the passion is.
Yeah. And I'm letting people destroy me.
It depends on what it is, you know. And that really brings me back to the beginning, which is I have a notepad of notes here and at the top there's only one thing I've outlined and it's the word fear, because I think that for me is why when I look at Instagram, I really would have to think about Richie Norton as my social media spirit animal, because it's that element of fearlessness around the content marketing that really stands out. You I read your social media content.
You must get lots of negative comments. Do you get lots of negative comments?
Yeah, I guess a lot is is relative. And I've, you know, kind of gained and curated an audience of people that enjoy the style. Right. So but yes, it's always that way. And I'm always surprised, you know, when people say things. But then I realized I realized a couple of things. One, it's out of context. So now we can have a conversation to like, whatever. Do I have to engage this person if they're if they're like actually sort of like semi violent, like, can I just block them?
Of course, you know, whatever.
And then, um, the third thing, though, is it is the tough questions that people ask me about something that allows me to take the time to be more thoughtful and clarify my thoughts. Because when you're writing, it's really hard thing to do. But you're talking to like people with a thousand different points of view and it's hard to address them all at the same time because you can't. So it actually is sort of helpful in that refining. So I'm not afraid of someone attacking it.
Well, then what do I what you know what? I can use it. Now, here's the other side of that. I am afraid of people attacking it. It does scare me. I don't like it.
But at the same time, what's the alternative?
You know, and if you're not scared, are you pushing yourself enough? If your dreams live outside of your comfort zone, as they say, then if you're comfortable, you're not really living your dreams. So it's by intentionally pushing myself to say things or do things that are outside of my comfort zone that help me become more helpful to others.
Bridget, I'm looking at a time and we're pretty close to hitting our mark. And I know we had some technical problems at the beginning, so I've had your attention for quite a long time now. One question I always try and remember to ask everyone towards the end of the interview and all of them have had a little bit of No. This of this, except you, because I forgot and that's what's one thing you do now that you wish you'd started five years ago.
I can't imagine you being someone who would struggle to have five years ago.
I wish I would have started podcasting five years ago. Yeah. How long ago did you start?
I started in January and ended up. But I mean, I'm talking almost 2011. So almost 10 years ago I started being a guest on podcasts and that really changed my career because people were just like you, like they would listen and they reach out and that would turn into something. Right. And then these things are evergreen. So that just keeps happening over and over and over again. Plus helped me with books and projects and getting to know people, and that's been extremely helpful.
I even have courses on being a guest on podcasts with John Lee Domus. And we do stuff. I mean, think about it. Think about who my clients are. I mean, Charlie Domus and Pat Flynn. I work with Russell Brunson. Like, these are all people that are because of this world, you know what I mean? I'm able to be a part of, fortunately, only by just sharing ideas. And then once you share an idea, I can turn into business if there's a fit for something, you know.
Um, so there's that. Um, but yeah, starting the podcast has really changed a lot of things for me, being on the other side of the mic and talking to people and getting to know people like you. So I don't know if he wants to do it. It's a great format.
It's very, very, very different. Being the host to being the guest, though I think I find being a guest much harder. It can be.
It's true. I was you know, I was honestly super scared of the technology. And this is a long time ago when I started to. But it seems like technology's gotten it's still difficult. So a lot of things to do, but it's gotten a thousand times better and easier. You know, it's really become an industry instead of some some weird thing on the side. So it's huge.
Well, I have so many more things that we could talk about, but it would make us ridiculously so. Maybe we have to talk again sometime. Let's do it. But for the listener who wants to connect with you, maybe they have a stupid idea they want to take further. How can people connect with you?
Go to Richard or Dotcom. And there you'll see I have something called the 1768 Challenge. My son live for the one that passed away for seventy six days. And so I've been doing my projects, you know, just under three months around that timeline. And I learned that if you put your head down like we talked about earlier, but you also keep your eyes up, you know, on the goal and then you also put your feet on the ground and start living it immediately.
You can make magic happen in three months. So are dot com last seventy six. They challenge all kind of hold you by the hand, help you make it happen. Another thing I didn't mention is around fear. When we came to Hawaii about a year after we got back from the road trip, my son was crossing the road with his bike on the highway car, didn't see him, didn't slow down and hit him. And he was sworn to a debt to news in the hospital.
And he should be dead or quadriplegic. But he's back doing his thing, diving and see cliffs, caves and, you know, doing all these kind of things that you probably see on social media.
And the weird thing is like, I'm like, why aren't you scared? You should be scared of everything. Like, this is terrible. He doesn't see it that way. He sees it like I survive getting hit by a car.
And like he has this courage, this commitment, this, this, but also humility and no ego around the fragility of life, but also being brave. I mean, it's called courage.
So if you've been around trying to say is like if you've been knocked down like it's a tunnel, not a cave, like you're going to get through it, you just have to keep walking.
I live in Hawaii. That is a beach right by me called Sunset Beach. My friend, like, almost died on this massive wave and broke his femur and half the board dead and he got a metal pole put in his leg. And then a few weeks later, he's back out surfing. I'm like, Why? How are you doing this? And he's like, Oh, how could I not? Like, I love it. It's so fun.
And I realized I said, Aren't you scared? And he said, everyone scared out there. But his fear of not being able to surf was greater than his fear of surfing and getting hurt. So when you're scared to post content or you're scared to do something, if your fear of not becoming or doing or influencing is greater than the fear of what might happen to you, if you do, you're like a mama bear protecting her cubs.
You will do anything to make it work. So everything's a challenge and you can learn more about stuff like that. But anyways, this is a great time, bro. That was such a fun. You ask great questions. Thank you so much.
Richard Norton, thank you very much for your time.
Thank you. I really hope you enjoyed the episode. Richie is one of my favorite people, and you can probably tell there's an important lesson in this show and that's now is all we really have. Waiting until the conditions are just right is just making excuses. So if you're thinking of starting something, do it. Now, before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe. And if you haven't already to join our Facebook group, you can find a link in the show, notes or visit, Amplify Me, Dot FM Forward Slash Inciters.
I would love for you to connect with me on social media. You'll find me wherever you hang out at Bob Gentle. And if you do message me, let me know and I'll follow you back. If you enjoy the show, then I would love for you to review on iTunes. It would mean a lot to me and it's the very best way to help me reach more subscribers. My name is Bob Gentil. Thanks again to Ritchie for giving us his time this week and to you for listening.
And I'll see you next week.