“Be Careful Who You Listen To”
Welcome to our first edition of the Big Idea Podcast where we will be finding out why you shouldn’t read the Daily Mail, that John loves Marmite, but Jason doesn’t and how to feed the beast. Make sure you watch, listen or read our podcast each week, and for today’s podcast, it’s entitled ‘Be careful who you listen to’.
Big Idea Podcast Episode 1
Below is the transcription of our podcast for you to read through if you prefer:
John: Hi there, welcome to episode one of The Big Idea podcast. My name is John, and I’m here with my friend and colleague, longtime associate, Mr. Jason Brockman.
Jason: Associate, thirteen years you know, thirteen years. Hi.
John: Doesn’t seem that long.
Jason: It doesn’t.
John: Twenty, twenty-five years now. The topic of this podcast for today’s show is Be Careful Who You Listen To. The big question therefore is who are we, and why should you listen to us? That is a very good question, who am I? Well, I am John Lamerton, I’m the managing director of Big Idea Media Limited, and I’ve working in business and in marketing in particular for getting on for sixteen years now. Created multiple businesses over that time, countless different sectors, we have evolved consistently and constantly and picked up lots of tips and tricks along the way that we’re going to be sharing with you guys over the coming weeks and hopefully years.
As a marketing group, we’ve been working with a small number of people here in Plymouth on a one-to-one basis over the last year or so, and we want to scale that up now, we want to help a lot more people. We’ve helped probably about twelve people this year to grow their businesses and that’s been fantastic, but what we want to do in 2017 is to help a lot more people. I was saying to Jason just before we switched the microphone on that we helped twelve people this year, or last year as it is now. In 2017 we want to help a good 12,000 people, and this podcast is going to be a great way of doing that. That’s who I am, hopefully you’ll want to listen to me, if not, it’s been nice knowing you. I’m going to hand you over to Mr. Jason Brockman.
Jason: I have been listening to John for the last thirteen years, joined the business to help John at the time when he finished working full time, and since then we’ve, as John said, evolved the business in lots of ways. I consider myself as the ideas man of Big Idea, I do come up with lots of ideas and think about things in a different way than perhaps you would have done before, and hopefully come up with some of the ways of implementing it as well. That’s how I think I like to help, I’m passionate about helping people, I love to give support where I can, and so any questions really, I’m your man to answer them if I can.
John: Ideal. That’s, I think, how we work, so how’s the podcast going to work? Well, what we’re aiming to do here, we’re not going to be like a typical American podcast where we’re just trying to sell you non-stop, where you’ve got five minutes of adverts before you even get into any of the content. We’re not going to have an endless procession of guest stars coming in, it’s basically going to be myself and Jason venting, ranting, giving value. What are you shaking your head for there?
Jason: I’m going to find out what I’m going to vent about and rant about, that’s going to be exciting.
John: It should be, I think we’re very passionate about what we do and I think what makes us work very well together is that we don’t always agree. I always say you don’t surround yourself with yes men, and I think we may well have the odd Barney, the odd disagreement, and I think that could make for some interesting audio.
Jason: Yeah, it will be on Facebook Live, then that might be interesting to see too.
John: Facebook Live, Jason, talk us through, because obviously if you are listening to this on audio, on the podcast, you will not even be aware that we are recording this live on Facebook. Jason, do you want to tell us a little bit about how our Facebook community works?
Jason: Yeah, those of you who are watching us right now, you’ve already found our Facebook group, you’ve searched for Big Idea Podcast, and you’ve found us, asked to join the group, and we’ll let you in. Every lunchtime on a Monday, we will go and have this live podcast broadcasted out to you guys, and then we’ll have that transcribed, and then if you’re listening to the podcast, then there you are. But if you come and join us on Facebook, you can then keep in contact with the conversation as we’re going along, you can then ask any questions you like at the end, which we can cover for you, and also you can get in your questions that you’d like us to cover for next week. Good?
John: Yeah, that was, this is very new to us.
Jason: Is that the [crosstalk 00:04:50] that you wanted?
John: It is, we need to get used to this, throwing across the desk to each other. So, shall we get into the topic of this week’s podcast? The topic for this week is Be Careful Who You Listen To, and the reason I’ve chosen this as our first episode is because I was dicking around on Facebook the other day, and I came across a thread. Now, those of you who know me know I’m well into my juicing, I like to drink fruit and vegetable juices, have done for a couple of years, transformed my life, we’ll do a future podcast about that, but someone was asking their friends and family on Facebook, “Should I do juicing? Has anyone read this book?” Some of the comments that this person received from their friends and family, their so-called …
Jason: Trusted sources.
John: Yeah, exactly. It was ridiculous, from the uninformed to the partially informed, there were comments like, “You can’t do that, because you don’t get the fibre.” Well, I’ve done some research on this, you don’t get insoluble fibre, you get soluble fibre, it’s basically the fibre can actually digest, the nutrients are all in there. Anyway, I just got very, very angry that people were very quick to dish out advice, and I think it’s one of those things. One of my mentors always said that free advice is worth every penny, and you really do need to be careful who you listen to.
All the people on this thread saying it’s dangerous, you shouldn’t do it, “I read a book that said this”, or, “I’ve seen a documentary that says X, Y, Z”, and you think well, I’ve lived through it. I’ve done it for three years, it’s worked for me, I can speak from my personal experience, but if you’d rather listen to someone that’s seen a documentary that might or might not have had a biassed angle on it, that’s up to you. At one point, we will cover something that I’m quite passionate about, which is what I call the Five Magic Ingredients for Success, and that sounds really American and really spammy, and I apologise now for that.
John: If I can come up with a better name for it, I will, but at the end of the day they are the five things that if you study any successful person, they’ve all had these five magic ingredients. One of them, it’s actually number four, is the environment that you surround yourself with. We’ve all heard that you become the sum of the five people around you, and that your network is your net-worth, and if you haven’t heard that basically it’s the premise that if you hang around with five losers or five drug addicts, you’re going to become the sixth loser, you’re going to become the sixth drug addict. If you hang around with five multimillionaires, that you’re going to become the sixth.
I really do subscribe to that, that who you surround yourself and what you put in your ears and what you put in front of your eyes really does dictate the direction that your life goes.
Jason: You did that though didn’t you, because you read a book.
Jason: Then this is a prime example, where you put in front of you the book about stopping alcohol, that was your very first step, wasn’t it? You took on the new John, kind of thing, which has now been three years, that’s brilliant. You put yourself in front of this book, you read this book, and then never touched a drop of alcohol after that, so it is important whatever you read is in front you, and it’s good.
John: It is.
Jason: It’s good.
John: Again, one thing to be careful of is you need to check the credentials of who you’re listening to, not necessarily to see whether they’re qualified or not, but whether they’re right for you. As an example, I subscribed to a podcast the other day, I can’t remember what the hell is was called now, I don’t want to actually name it in case I upset the poor guy, but in all but any other name, it was building wealth, was kind of the way it was sown. I thought oh, that’s cool, that’s what I’m interested in. We invest, we’re growing our investment assets now, this is what we want to learn more about, so I want to find people who’ve built significant wealth and I want to learn from them.
I started listening to this wealth building podcast and a few comments come out, like the guy was talking about property and suddenly said, “Of course, you know I don’t own any property yet, but I hope to one day.” This little alarm went off in my head and I thought well, if you have built wealth and you say that property is a good tool for building wealth, why the hell don’t you own any? Other little comments then started leaking out, where he was talking about one particular American author, and then he’d say, “Of course, I’m not as rich as him, I haven’t got his money”, and by the time I’d listened to about three or four episodes, I had this guy pigeon-holed. I was like, “He’s an IFA, he’s just a financial advisor with a microphone.”
If I intend building anything of any significance, he’s not the guy I need to be listening to. If I’m the John of twenty years ago who’s a civil servant working for 15 grand a year, yeah I want to know about which is the best ISA to invest in, how to get more out of my pension, how to try and prepare for a retirement that I’m not going to be able to afford, but as a business owner who actually has got serious ambition to grow my investment portfolio and to actually become seriously wealthy, no, he’s not the guy to listen to. You combine with a guy that I know we’ve both been reading recently, Mr. Grant Cardone. If you’ve not heard any Grant Cardone, in fact if you’ve read Grant Cardone you haven’t read Grant Cardone, because you need to listen to this guy. We’ve been listening to his audiobook as part of our monthly mentoring group, the book was called ‘Be Obsessed, or Be Average.’ I got that wrong.
Jason: I think you were trying to get the accent. I’m just going to get it, “You’ve got to be obsessed!” You’ve got to be obsessed.
John: That’s an awful accent, because he’s a deep south Texan, isn’t he?
Jason: He is.
John: He’s a rootin’-tootin’ …
Jason: Feed the beast!
John: That’s a little bit better. Grant Cardone, he’s basically, he’s an expert in sales, if you want to sell more then you go and study Grant Cardone, and if you want to think bigger in any way, you’ve got to listen to some Grant Cardone. This guy will just push you. He owns 500 million dollars worth of property, half a billion dollars worth of property, he will tell you his public goal is to get 4 billion dollars worth of real estate.
Now, if I’m looking to build wealth and I’ve got a property onto that where I’m looking to build wealth in property, who am I going to listen to? Am I going to listen to the IFA with a microphone, that doesn’t invest in property even though he knows it’s a good class to, or am I going to listen to the guy who’s got half a billion dollars worth of bloody real estate?
Jason: And this is half a billion dollars that he didn’t have when he started out, this is half a billion dollars he didn’t have when he did his $10,000, $15,000 sales job wasn’t it, originally?
John: Yeah, he was a car salesman.
Jason: Yeah, yeah, yeah. He’s grown to that half a billion, and now he wants to take it on to the next level, to 4 billion.
John: Yeah, and the interesting thing about that is he didn’t know how he was going to do that, he just said, “Well, I’ve got this crazy goal.” His initial goal was twenty apartments, was it?
John: He’s working for $15,000-$20,000 a year and says, “I’m going to own twenty apartments.” “How are you going to do that, Grant?” “I have no idea”, but he did it, and he did it in six months via some crazy ass stuff, “And so how are you going to get to half a billion?” “I don’t know”, but he’s done that. “How are you going to get 4 billion?” “Well, that’s crazy, but I’ve got half a billion so …”
Jason: “I only need to find three and a half billion more, don’t I?”
John: Exactly, and then his attitude to that is, “Right, so who’s done that? Who do I study?” You could say Grant Cardone is the pinnacle of the investor, he’s got half a billion dollars worth of real estate, but as far as he’s concerned he’s still on rung three of the ladder, so he’s peering up and saying, “Well, who’s got 4 billion dollars worth of real estate? How did they do it?” Interesting point you said, he’s not Trump. We’ve not made it past episode one, and we’re mentioning Donald Trump.
Jason: Yeah, you’ve got to get him in there.
John: But Donald Trump inherited his wealth. Donald Trump Senior was the man with the money, he was the man who actually made all this money in real estate, and has just handed it to ‘The Donald’. Grant Cardone, very similar mindset to Donald Trump.
Jason: But he made it happen.
John: He did, absolutely, but even he knows to listen to the right people, to the right person. I think with Grant Cardone, whether you’ve studied him or not, he is a divisive character, he is very Marmite. For any Americans out there listening, I’m sorry you don’t know what Marmite is, but the tag line is ‘You either love it or you hate it’, and I think no one goes, “Marmite? Yeah, it’s all right I suppose.” People either go, “Oh, it’s disgusting”, or, “Yeah, I love Marmite.” Personally I love it, Jason what’s your opinion?
Jason: Oh, I hate it.
John: There you go.
Jason: I’m not a Marmite lover at all. I was eating Twiglets last night and I’m glad to leave the room, because it just stank.
John: Not a fan of Twiglets, they are a Christmassy thing, aren’t they?
Jason: But you do like Marmite? Oh, that’s interesting.
Jason: Never mind, enough of that.
John: Okay. Back to Grant Cardone, because Grant Cardone is very Marmite, you do either love him or you hate him, and I find myself both loving and hating him. I’ll be listening to him, and he’ll be making me think bigger, he’s really challenging me and I think, “Oh, that’s great,” and then all of a sudden he’ll mention something that I completely disagree with, because we run what I class to be an ambitious lifestyle business. Everyone in our company works from home, but we are very ambitious, we work around people’s lifestyles. Most of the people in the company have got kids and we work around school runs, and them being sick and having duvet days, and all sorts. As far as Grant Cardone is concerned, that’s not a real business, and we’ve given up on our ambition, we have been treasonous to our potential.
He is really passionate about this, and you find yourself going, “I don’t agree with you, you’re wrong. You are wrong, mate,” which is fine, but what would be very easy to do there is to go, “I don’t agree with Grant Cardone, so I’m not going to listen to him. Grant Cardone has got nothing to teach me, because I don’t agree with some of this principles.” I don’t agree with some of his sales tactics, does that mean he’s got nothing to teach me? No, clearly he’s got a lot to teach me, but I just need to apply my own little philtre to it to think do I want to implement what he’s actually teaching me there? I think it’s so easy just to turn off, just to switch off and say no, don’t agree with you, I don’t like you. Do I need to like somebody to take advice from them?
Jason: No. It’s important to listen to a large group of people, all of which you’re kind of aspiring to really, in order to get as much information from them, gleam them. They’ve obviously done it, they’ve been there, they’ve got the t-shirt, kind of thing, and you want to find out how they’ve done that.
John: Exactly. Talking about needing to like people, one of the worst people to take advice from is friends and family.
Jason: Not all friends, can I just say.
John: Well, I mean, friends and family, they are always the first with the advice and they’re the most well meaning with their advice I think. There’s always good intentions there.
Jason: But sometimes they’re just not quite so qualified to give that advice.
John: No, exactly. If I think back to, I launched my business in the summer of 2000, and I then worked part time for about eighteen months and finally left my day job in, it was actually the 1st of January 2002, so it would have been about fifteen years ago, yeah in fact it was fifteen years ago now that I was making that decision to leave the day job. I think back to that period, and I thought if I’d actually listened to my friends and family then, I wouldn’t have a business.
Jason: “What are you doing, John? You’ve worked in civil service, you’ve got a job for life, you’ve got a pension, you’re set in there for 15 grand a year.”
John: Yeah, it is, it is a nice, safe, secure job, what the hell am I doing with this weird internet thing? You know, I’m giving up a safe job. Do you know people are out there crying for jobs? This is the advice I was given, and it would be so easy, because again, very naively, I was what, twenty-two years old, sat there thinking, “Well, these guys have lived through generations of work, and they know how life works.” Well, if I look at it now they don’t, because my parents are retired, they’ve not got a lot of money, and that was working for a nice secure job with a nice pension at the end of it. That’s what it got them, it got them not tremendous wealth, and I don’t want that.
I hated my job with a passion, so that I think was the kicker for me, because if I’d enjoyed my job I probably would have stuck it out, but if I’d listened to them I certainly wouldn’t have left the job. If I’d listened to other members of my family the year before that when I bought my first house, I wouldn’t even be on the property market, I wouldn’t even own a house because they told me in the summer of 2000, “Housing market is overpriced, it’s going to crash.” I paid £55,000 for my first house, I sold it two and a half years later for £86,000, but if I’d listened to them I wouldn’t have made that 30 grand. Literally, because I wouldn’t have bought my 55, because they were telling me the market’s overpriced, “You want to pay 35, 40,000 for that tops, that’s the most that house is worth.”
Now, were they property investors telling me that? Did they go and buy houses? No, they worked a day job, they read The Daily Mail, and so …
Jason: No [inaudible 00:20:08] there for a second.
John: We had a little conversation, we had a little talk, a little prep talk before we hit the mic, and we said, “Look, do we mention The Daily Mail?” Because do we want to annoy people, do we want to piss people off from episode one? Do we?
Jason: And John said …
John: I said yes, of course we do.
Jason: He likes Marmite.
John: I think that if you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing. So, what happens, Jason, what happens when you listen to somebody like The Daily Mail or The Daily Express or The Sun, or Sky News?
Jason: It’s the same with everything really, to be honest. It could be just Facebook, it doesn’t need to be a tabloid.
John: You don’t need to name check them.
Jason: It could be kind of anything really, because if you just focus on one area, whether that is reading a single newspaper or whether that’s reading Facebook, or whether that’s a quick look in the search engines or whatever really, and you resist yourself to that one viewpoint, then that’s your viewpoint that you’ll adopt and that’s how you’ll see the world, as far as I can work out.
John: I think so, it does, it gives you that narrow viewpoint. There’s talk at the moment of boycotting companies that sponsor certain newspapers and things like that, you mentioned earlier there’s been a walk-out at our local university, or a ban at the university of certain tabloid newspapers.
Jason: Oh, they binned a few of the newspapers, yeah, decided that they spurt too much hate in their journalism, and so they’ve decided to ban them. I think a couple of universities have done that across, our local one is certainly following that through.
John: To me, you end up with this … It breeds fear, I think. Hatred is obviously the one that’s been bandied around, but for me it’s fear. My, are they going to be listening to this? No they’re not, probably not. Listen, Chris, Mike, if you’re listening, I’m sorry now, just turn off, turn off the microphone a minute, but my parents in-law are Daily Mail readers and quite often they will give me advice, tell me what’s happening in the world with the opening line, “According to The Mail …” and then they start spouting some racist nonsense, or something, that there’s a mugger on every street corner.
They live their life through this vacuum of fear, negativity, scarcity. That’s the stuff that sells newspapers, and you’ve got to admit, that’s the reason that The Daily Mail – sorry, if The Daily Mail are reading this and they want to sponsor the podcast, you can, because we don’t do ads – but if you are listening, I make no apologies, you are the scapegoat of today’s episode. If you surround yourself with that kind of negativity, they spout it for a reason, because it sells newspapers. ‘A man is very happy in his job’ doesn’t sell newspapers, ‘Couple have been happily married now for seven years’ doesn’t sell newspapers.
Jason: [crosstalk 00:23:12], does it?
John: No, exactly.
Jason: You’ve got to kind of hate, you’ve got to get this extreme view.
John: You’ve got to stand for something, you’ve got to be on one side of the fence or the other, you can’t sit on the fence, and I think they know what sells newspapers and they know what gets people riled up. They hire columnist like Katie Hopkins, they don’t hire Katie Hopkins for her wonderful prose at writing or the way that she constructs a sentence, they’ve hired her because she can stir stuff up.
Jason: She has an opinion.
John: Yeah, she’s got an opinion that they know half the people who read their newspaper, who pay them for their newspaper, will disagree with. They know that people will go onto their website and comment, and say, “This woman’s spouting a load of rubbish”, and then they’ll share it with their Facebook friends and they will get so much coverage from this divisiveness. I avoid all the newspapers, and I avoid a lot of the media, it means I don’t do so well in general knowledge quizzes as I used to perhaps ten years ago, you know?
Jason: You used to be pretty good.
John: I did. Now, not a clue.
Jason: You used to be good at music as well, and that seems to have gone.
John: That’s because music used to be good and isn’t anymore. But to me, if you do surround yourself with that, and the lens that you view life is one that has a little philtre on it which is the news and what’s going on in the world is fed to you by one particular brand, I’m not going to single out The Daily Mail anymore, but your life is then dictated. The quality of your life is dictated to by Brexit, by the stock market, you know, is the FTSE up or down, what difference is that having on your life today, that you can do anything about? House prices, we are obsessed with house prices, The Mail are bad for this, but The Express, don’t even start me on The Express. Literally, ‘House prices are going to fall if you vote this way.’
They sway elections based on how much the house you’re living is worth versus how much it is worth next year, or who wins a reality TV show, or who killed Princess Diana. That’s very much The Daily Mail, and The Daily Express that focus on that one, but it is filtering. Should you listen to these guys? If you want to achieve anything yourself or you think that you’ve actually got any notion of control over your life, you need to be careful who you listen to. Jason, who should we be listening to?
Jason: You, John.
John: Well, I agree.
Jason: And apparently, Grant Cardone.
John: It is, and I think obviously we should be listening to us, we all know that, but I think you should surround yourself with positive people, I think you should be listening to mentors. I think everyone should have a mentor, and that’s one of the things I wish I’d done ten years before I did it in business, was actually got a mentor. I had in the very early days a lot of people who helped me out, and could class them as mentors, I mean, they were actually my competitors at the time, but we were able to actually swap notes, compare, literally help each other out and everyone grew as a result. There was none of this, “Well, I’m making this pile of money here, this is my money, you’re not having any of that.”
Everyone was willing to help each other out, and I think when I first got started, bear in mind I was a civil servant and I knew nothing about marketing, I knew nothing about the internet, so the natural progression for someone who knows nothing about marketing and nothing about the internet is clearly to launch an internet marketing company.
Jason: Natural progression.
John: It is, and looking back, what I did …
Jason: In those days, though, it wasn’t really kind of that, was it? It was kind of …
John: No, it evolved into that.
Jason: Yeah, that’s it. We’ve had a lot of evolutions over the period of time, and certainly is it.
John: But I think going back to the me not know what the f … how I was doing – that’s right, we did promise not to swear here as well so the kids can listen in, and I very nearly did then.
Jason: I haven’t yet.
John: Well done, Chufty badge for you. Yeah, thinking back to when I knew nothing, I was a civil servant who read The Daily Mail, and Facebook, et cetera, didn’t exist back then, but I had this scarcity mindset, but what I did was study people who’d done it before. We launched a freebie site, that was one of the first businesses that we launched, and I knew nothing about this, but I’d seen another one so I literally went on there and, “What do they do? Oh, they list it in these categories, okay. What works better, what do people tend to like?” Literally introduced myself to a few of the guys who owned these websites, and low and behold, literally to ask them questions and they would help me.
I was coming along saying, “Look”, can you imagine someone coming along and saying, “Right, I want to own a burger joint, excuse me Ray Kroc from McDonald’s, can I just pick your brains for a second on how to build it? Oh, by the way, do you mind, can we do a list swap, can I email your customers, please?” No, he’d have told you to … where to go. Oh no, I’m starting to rant now.
Jason: So, bringing it back then.
John: Bringing it back, you need to listen to mentors, you need to listen to the people who’ve done what you want to do, people who’ve basically got the blueprint. Now, you can approach people personally, you can find out what they’ve done, because normally people who’ve done what you want to do have written books, you can go to your library and read them. They’ve recorded audiobooks, I love audiobooks because I can listen in the car, I can listen when I’m walking the dog, and they’ve recorded podcasts. Go dive, divulge? No, go di …
Jason: Dive in?
John: Digest, go digest the information. Head to YouTube, if you want to know how to do anything, go to YouTube, and I think if you want to achieve anything, then you need to know who to listen to, where to find them, and surround yourself with the right people and the right environment to bring it back to that brilliant place we started, with my magic ingredients. Which is: The environment that you surround yourself with, who you listen to, what you watch, what you read, and who you hang around with. Of course, the most important of all that is us. You need to listen to us, and we are back here next week.
John: With another podcast I think, I don’t know, you know, how’s this gone this week? Please do let us know. Jason will tell you in a minute just how you do that, but we will be back next week, when our topic next week is What Do You Really Want? The emphasis there is on the word ‘really’, so Jason, how do the wonderful listeners to this podcast contact us?
Jason: Okay, if you’re on the podcast and you haven’t found us on Facebook yet, you need to go and search for us on Big Idea Podcast, ask to join the group and we’ll approve you into there. You can then watch us every Monday live, you can ask us questions as we’re going along, and you can keep your questions coming in for what you’d like us to cover the following week.
John: That’s it?
Jason: And that’s it, that’s as simple as that.
John: I thought you were going to expand on that then, I thought you were going to …
Jason: No, that sums it all up nicely, doesn’t it?
John: It does.
Jason: If you have any questions you’d like us to cover next week, obviously we’re going to do What Do You Really Want? That’s what we’d like to cover, but if you’ve got anything you’d like to ask us on any of the areas in business that you’ve got issues with, pop your comments in the thread.
John: Yeah, the community is there for you guys really. It’s a way that we can just keep this conversation going. We’re sat here now, we talk into a microphone for half an hour, we have a little bit of a rant, go off topic, but we want to know what do you guys want us to talk about, is there a burning question you’ve got that you’d like us to answer.
Is there anything we’ve mentioned in today’s show that you don’t understand, that we’ve actually perhaps not explained very well, that you’d like us to expand on? Leave a comment in the Facebook group again, search Big Idea Podcast on Facebook, find us in the group, we’ll have a chat with you. We’ll talk to you in there for the rest of the week, and failing that, we will see you next week. Bye-bye.