In this episode, Corey Poirier joins Patrick as they talk about helping people find their purpose and passion and his book, The Book of WHY (and HOW): Discover the Timeless Secrets to Meaning, Success and Abundance. Corey shares the catalysts that led him to write his book and where he got the inspiration for his style of writing. They discuss the importance of expectations, discipline, and gratitude as Corey shares the pearls from his remarkable experiences. Get a deeper look into Corey’s drive to help other people by understanding their why. By surrounding yourself with the right people, learn how you can accomplish your goals quicker and the success keys that you need to put to action in your life.
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Corey Poirier Wants To Help You Find Your Purpose and Passion
For those of you familiar with Napoleon Hill, my next guest to me, is the modern-day version of Napoleon Hill. He’s interviewed over 5,000 successful individuals from all different walks of life, individuals like Les Brown. He’s also shared the stage with individuals such as Deepak Chopra. On this episode, we’re going to talk about his book, The Book of WHY (and HOW): Discover the Timeless Secrets to Meaning, Success and Abundance. Our conversation is about passion and purpose. We talked about expectations and discipline and gratitude. There are so many pearls that Corey spoke about in his own experiences and where he wants to go in his drive to help other people. It’s interesting, even from the book where he does an exercise in helping other people to understand their why, he says that, “My name is Corey Poirier. My passion is speaking to audiences about passion, purpose, legacy and customer service. My purpose is to inspire, motivate, donate, entertain and educate.” In this episode, he does all of those things. Let’s get into it.
Corey, thanks for being here. I sent you the picture sitting down in Marco Island in Florida on a beautiful night, reading your book out on the deck, The Book of WHY (and HOW). There were so many pearls in that book from start to finish and in terms of how you end the book, which is unique in terms of the different voices that you bring into this book. First off, what was the inspiration for the book in the first place?
That’s a great question because a lot of times, when we write a book, there’s one thing that we can go to and say, “This is what triggered it. This was the catalyst. This was the one thing.” I can’t say this with this book. One catalyst was that I went through this period where I worked for a Fortune 500 company for five years. I started with them and they didn’t have a training program. I thought it was weird. It was the 58th largest company in the world at the time. My training program was, “Here are 25 business cards. Here’s a pen to write your name and here’s this Zig Ziglar VHS.” For people reading, if you’re not sure what a VHS is, let us know and I can inform you. If people think of Blu-ray, it’s what we use before Blu-ray and DVD. Having said that, the Zig Ziglar tape at the time, I was like, “This is my training?” I didn’t have a clue who Zig Ziglar was. I watched that tape and I still tell people that was more than twenty years ago. I can still tell people 2 or 3 big memories from that video that I watched once. That’s how much of an impact of that in my life.
There were two things that happened. One, I admired what he did in that paper with storytelling and how he’s able to reach me through a videotape. At the same time, I still said, “I can’t believe this is the training at our company.” I wanted to make sure in the future that other people didn’t have to go through that. Even if the company didn’t provide training, they at least could afford to take the training. That was the catalyst or my speaking and training career. I realized as I was working on this book that in fact was also a catalyst for the book because it was another way to get those messages out. That was at a point where I go back to Steve Jobs says joining up your dots. That was one of my dots. The other one that pops into my head was having done these interviews that I mentioned in the book. Now I’m over 5,000, which seems insane. I’m interviewing the top influencers.
After learning so much, I had this hungry desire to find a way to share this insight with other people. I’ll give you one more third dot. Think and Grow Rich was the second book I’ve ever read in my life. It was a game-changer book for me. Napoleon Hill followed a similar path to what I’m doing now. He interviewed thousands of thought leaders and that book was made up of 500 millionaires, the insight he got from 500 millionaires. Loving his writing style and also the idea of getting inside the minds of some of the world’s top influencers and sharing that, that was the third catalyst. You probably noticed, Patrick, the book is written in the style that Napoleon Hill and Dale Carnegie wrote. It’s more of a storytelling style that is from years gone past versus modern storytelling. If I look at the catalyst versus inspiration, those are the three dots that I can join.
It’s interesting, especially because you mentioned two of my favorites, Zig Ziglar and Napoleon Hill. I would agree with you there, which brings me to the tagline of your book, Discover the Timeless Secrets to Meaning, Success and Abundance. I’m sure there’s a meaning behind that in terms of that tagline.
The timeless part, you’re not wrong. The timeless part is two messages. One is that the people like the Zig Ziglar’s, four decades plus of speaking and teaching and what he was teaching was timeless. What he taught 40 years earlier was still relevant on the last day he spoke. Having said that, the other side of it is these interviews. Learning from all these top influencers in the 2000s, in 2006 and 2010 and 2020. I’m learning these things and I go back to the foundation of Napoleon Hill. Napoleon Hill talks about all the contemporaries that inspired him 20 and 30 years earlier.
You can go back through those times, but Napoleon Hill is the best comparison because of the type of work he did. That book was written in 1937 and I’m learning stuff that it’s different because we’re in a modern world, but if you take the modern world part out of it, everything he taught then is still what the influencers are doing for the most part. There are some variances, but what he taught is timeless. You’re not wrong. The idea behind the timeless secrets relates to the fact that these things I’m learning now have always existed, but the majority of people don’t know it.
As a matter of fact, I keep this one on my desk at all times. What I loved when I read that the first time was at the beginning of this book, he speaks to the fact of, “I’m not creating anything new, but all I’ve done is reassembled other ideas and things in a way that works better.” When I read your book and especially the way that it ends where you draw in many different individuals to give their insights. To me, that seems to be part of that where you’re saying, “I don’t have all the answers. These aren’t original thoughts. I’ve combined them in ways for a reader to be able to access them maybe better.”
In fact, to put a stamp on that, even when I have an original thought, I get taught different and I’ll give you an example. Two things. One thing I have been teaching for a while, and I don’t even have a sexy name for it, but it’s the surrounding yourself with exercise. I referenced it in the book where I had this moment in my life where I was battling anxiety, hypochondria, and then I got past it. How I get past it was finding my why, but fast forward a few years and all of a sudden, I was starting to slip back. It was like, “Why? Nothing’s changed that I know of.” I went back to that great quote and I always reference two people, either Les Brown or Zig Ziglar.
I could probably find the answer because I interviewed Les and I’ve interviewed Tom Ziglar many times and Ziglar before his passing. I could ask Tom and Les because he has quoted this, but the quote essentially says along the lines of, “The only difference between the time you have now and in five years’ time will be the books that you read and the people that you meet.” I went and looked at what books am I reading? That was easy. I was reading the right stuff. As a side note, I only started reading at 27 years of age. I’m making up for lost time now with my reading. The other side was, who am I surrounding myself with? It came to me. Why don’t I do this exercise? Why don’t I right now do an inventory? I wrote down the people that were adding toxic energy to my life on the left-hand side.
At first, I wrote everybody, but then I put a plus or a negative beside them. I separated them and had the negative on one side, the toxic energy people, and the people that were bringing positivity in my life on the right-hand side. I went one by one and said, “Who can I reduce time with? Who can I eliminate time with? Who can I spend more time with?” The interesting part though, Patrick, and when I did the actual test or the inventory is, I would’ve thought it would have been like 16 out of 18 positives. It was more like 14 negatives that I was surrounding myself with. It was easy to see this is why I’m getting back into a funk the more I’m hanging with the wrong people. I thought that was an original thought, the idea of doing that exercise. A good friend of mine, Tiffany, Jack Canfield trained her. She goes, “Corey, I love that exercise. Jack did it last week.” I said, “What do you mean?” She told me, “He does that in every session.” I thought it was an original thought and I never heard it through Jack. Is it possible I picked it up somewhere? Maybe, but I thought it was an original thought and then I was proven wrong once again.
If you follow Napoleon Hill, you’d say you found it through the ether, but it’s the energy right there. It’s interesting when you say that Jim Rohn has been quoted with saying that you’re the average of the five people you hang around the most. I certainly believe that whether it’s 5, 3, 4, or 10, but we do draw energy off of each other. There’s a synergy to that and a compounding.
I’ll even go so far as to say people ask me, “Where do you get all the energy?” I’ll add that one of the misnomers is people think because they see my lifestyle that I don’t sleep at night and let me correct that right away. I’m not the four-hour sleep guy. I’m not the Robin Sharma 5 AM Club guy. I’m typically up at 8:00 and now we have a 2.5-year-old. I’m not always getting solid eight hours asleep, but I go to bed in the range of about 10:00 and get up at 8:00. I’m set on a ten-hour sleep. People are like, “How can you accomplish so much?” There are a couple of answers to that but one of those answers is I surround myself with the right people. The reason I’m not getting as stressed out, the reason I’m not getting bogged down is that I’m with the right people 90% of the time. That gives me energy.The only difference between the you of today and the five years’ time will be the books that you read. Click To Tweet
The other side is because I’m serving my passion and it gives me the drive to do it. The last component is some of these timeless secrets I share in the book. We’re going to dive into that, but one of them is the power of no. That was a big one to realize what’s in my genius zone and what’s not. How do I say yes and no to each of those things? If I can say no to a bunch of things, I can say yes to the few that’ll move the needle, then I can get more of those done than the person that says yes to everything. That was a long way to say that for me, I have the energy because of who I’m surrounding myself with. I do believe it’s we surround yourself with. Not only that, when you surround yourself with or learn from the right people, you get the shortcuts. You get the way to do something quicker because you learn what they’re doing differently than you.
You mentioned 1 of the 6 secrets is talking about the six success keys. Would you go through those?
The first one is a lot of people who bought the movie The Secret or the book, The Secret, and said to me, “This is going to change my life. This is it. Everything changes now.” For those that didn’t read it, the core message is around the Law of Attraction, which we think about and associate with will draw into our life. For me, right away, I loved it. I love the fact that The Secret brought many people into talking about whatever that is, new age, magnetism, the Law of Attraction, positive energy, mental health, all that mindset stuff. Here’s the cool news. When I wrote the book, I probably only had interviewed one person that was in The Secret. Since that time, as of now, I’m at six. Five of the six have reaffirmed what I felt when I watched it, which was that it was awesome. It delivered a lot of what was supposed to, but the big caveat was it didn’t talk about the other law that’s as crucial, in my opinion, which is the Law of Action.
The first secret I talk about is you need to practice the Law of Action. I used to say, “You could try to draw anything yourself if you want to, but if you never step in front of the light of where it’s being drawn to, you’ll never receive it.” Lisa Nichols gave me a better and funnier way to explain that. She said after she was in The Secret, she started going out, doing talks to explain it to people. She said, “I want to explain it like this. You’re going to have a visual board on your wall next to your couch for a year. You can sit on the couch the whole year and look at that vision board twenty times a day but never get off the couch. All you’re going to have at the end of the year is a big lump on your couch.” To me, that’s the Law of Action and Attraction. In the book I talked about, you need to combine the two. The Law of Attraction works but if you don’t ever get up and take action, you can’t expect it to draw it to you.
If you watch The Secret, it showed a motorbike outside with a ribbon on it and you’re going to walk out and have the motorbike because you thought about it hard last night. Does that happen? Maybe once, but that’s an anomaly. That’s not happening every day. We know that. I gave the example in the book. You might remember this, Patrick, but it’s a good example. I put down a list. This was my visualization. I put it down on my vision board. I want to share the bill with a top speaker, one of the most recognized international speakers. I put five speakers on the list. The first one I put on the list was Deepak Chopra and I was going to go in order and say, “I want to speak with one of these.” I went to Deepak’s site and tried to find an event when he was speaking at. I found one site that was public. There were a few that were private summer retreats, but one public event where you could share the bill the whole year.
Interestingly enough, it was in my own backyard. Literally, it’s one of the few times I could drive down the street to the shop. I reached out to the group and she said, “Corey, we’re full.” We didn’t know each other, but she said, “Sorry, we’re full.” I said, “I’ll leave my name in any way, just in case.” Sure enough, a couple of days later I got a message from her. Her name’s Ann. I still know her now. She said, “Corey, we had a cancellation. Do you want my spot?” I took the spot, but here’s my message to that. If I was practicing visualization and wrote down that board, but never reached out to Ann and they were already full, what are the odds I would be the speaker they would randomly find, discover and call all in a matter of two days at when they had a cancellation? Probably zero or close to nil.
To me, that’s a perfect example. If I practiced Law of Attraction, that would have passed me by. You also have to watch for the synchronicities. Something happens that’s outside of your, “I want to have this happen,” but something happens to the right side and you don’t listen to it, then you can’t be mad whenever what you’re trying to draw to yourself doesn’t come to yourself. The other last thing I’ll say is you have to put in the work. I interviewed people would know him, but John Gray, Men are from Mars. John told me that he did an intention every day for eight years around the book, Men are from Mars. His goal was to be the number one bestselling relationship author in the world. It took him eight years. It took time to get on New York Times list.
Usually, it happens right away. It took him time. It was 1 or 2 years. The bottom line is the books then sold 100 million copies. It’s the number one bestselling relationship book times ten now. Second is The 5 Love Languages, if anybody’s curious. The point is that John did that every day for eight years. The other thing is we were led to believe that you’re going to wish and dream about this and it should come into your life right away. I’ve had people. I told them, “It took John eight years to do that.” They’re saying, “He must’ve been manifesting wrong.” I’m like, “Are you kidding me? He did something that nobody else in history has done. Do you think they should take eight hours?” You get my point, hopefully. Take action.
The word action is within attraction. The two are together. Attraction and action are together in the same word. I completely agree with you on that. You need both. I’m a believer in the energy, that idea of the Law of Attraction, but not by itself is going to get the job done. You need discipline. You need to put in the work to get there. That’s what you did. You want it to be a speaker with Deepak Chopra. You didn’t wish it. You took action. You worked to make sure that there were opportunities for that to happen.
I referenced somebody else in the book who did this. A great example is a friend of mine named Christine Campbell. She’s a musician. You might remember I mentioned this, but she did the same thing with Bob Seger. She wants to share the bill with Bob Seger. It was announced he was coming to town. What she did is every morning and every night she said, “It’s so great to be sharing the bill with Bob Seger tonight. It was great to be sharing the bill with Bob Seger yesterday.” She did that every day for three months. At the same time, she put out a petition and she put her name out there and try to get people to vote. There was a vote going on, plus you got a petition going for her to share it. She took action, but she also still visualized every day too. The end result is she was she shared the bill with him once and he brought her in for a second show. She even got bigger than her wish and she manifests the bigger, but she still was practicing the act. That was success key number one.
Success key number two has to do with comfort zone. I talked with this in my second TEDx Talk about crushing your fears and expanding your comfort zone. What I’ve found is there’s a great quote that says, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” It was Neale Donald Walsch who said that. I truly believe that. My life changed. Everything changed when I got outside of my comfort zone. I shared that. I found my why and it got rid of my anxiety and my hypochondria. That started in stand-up comedy. It evolved into speaking thankfully. I started with stand-up comedy and that was way outside my comfort zone. If I would have walked out of that club and knock it on that stage that night, my whole life will be different. I suspect I wouldn’t be talking to you. I may not have ever read my first book. I would have never gotten to speaking. Everything would have changed. It all started by me being willing to get outside my comfort zone. In the book, I talked with exercise about how you can baby-step your comfort zone so you’re not jumping in the deep water right from the beginning.
Before we go on, it’s important for those reading to know how many stand-ups have you done?
There have been a few more since the book, but I don’t think many. As of the last count, it’s approaching 750 shows over the course of about nine years.
Which to me speaks to the discipline. You persevered. You were grinding through it when it wasn’t comfortable. Talk about an uncomfortable place to be. I haven’t done standup, but I’ve done a lot of improvs. Even that, it’s uncomfortable at times, but that speaks to your success.Passion is what you do, purpose is while you do it. Click To Tweet
First of all, thank you. I’ve done improv too and it’s funny how one of them gets that. For me, stand-up’s more comfortable than improv, but I know a lot of people have done improv. It’s way more comfortable than stand-up. I did improv at the Groundlings Studio in Hollywood. They are like The Second City of improv essentially. That was a cool moment. The neat thing is for me, and this is the power of grinding it out, as you said, is I look back at those first shows. The first show, I shared a bit in the book, how I did the first two jokes about the mic turned off and that was the start. How big would it start? I bombed horribly and I went back week after week.
I want to say maybe two years before I had five minutes. How crazy is this? I had five minutes of material that works. I’ll tell you one thing because people always ask, “What kept you going?” I read an interview with Jerry Seinfeld back then from a book called Comic Insights. He said that it took him two years to get fifteen minutes of work. I said, “If I’m a third of the way to Jerry Seinfeld, then okay.” It also told me that this is where we start. Another friend of mine, her name is Tracey MacDonald. She was the only female Star Search winning comedian ever, but maybe the only Canadian one. She won $250,000. I moved to Hollywood with a movie pilot and Tracey told me it took her five years to get her first headline. She was at one point voted the funniest comic in the world and it took her five years. Those things pushed me through, but here’s where I was getting to. The shows that I’ve done that I’ve added up to that 50, now I discriminated heavily.
When I’m doing a show, there has to be a big reason. One of the last shows I did was with The Second City. Who would’ve thought that guy that was bombing and couldn’t get to laughs together could eventually perform at The Second City or The Improv? Now I do those kinds of cool shows. It’s not that I’m a comedian and that they come to me for those shows. I have connections that I still have from back then that’ll say, “Corey, I don’t know if you’re interested, but I found that there’s a spot at The Second City this weekend.” In that case, I flew to Toronto and I brought my girlfriend. The first and only time she’s ever seen, I do stand up at The Second City. How epic is that? The point is that I was on those first 200 and 300 shows. I was a far cry from Second City. I look back now and I realize every time it was starting over. Every time I was building up the gumption to get up on that stage again and it was never easy.
Before we go onto the next one, there’s a dance that I find that goes on and I mentioned it to you in one of the pieces that I use. You certainly demonstrated the expectation and the discipline, but also there’s a level of gratitude I feel that that plays into this. To me, it’s almost a dance to be content with where you were in terms of that next show, but also the drive to go on to the next one.
I’ll tell you something that took me a long time to learn. If I’m being honest, I don’t even know if I learned it by the time this book was originally done. I don’t even know if I fully, truly grasped this even a few years ago. I was doing it, but not to the extent that I am now that I’m conscious of it, which is the gratitude for the journey. I put in a quote not that long ago, and again, it’s probably not an original quote, but I thought it was at the time. It was more of a question that made it unique. I said, “What if the journey is the destination?” I believe that could be true. I went through periods where for a long time, I enjoy getting to the destination.
What the challenge with that is as soon as you’re done, you go next. What’s up now? You wait all this time building anticipation, you think you’re going to enjoy the destination you get there and you don’t enjoy it. What are you enjoying? I switched and I was enjoying the journey, but not the destination. Finally, I reached a place in my life where I’m enjoying both. The answer to your question, it’s gratitude now for both. When I was doing the comedy, I was enjoying it at the moment, but I was only enjoying the time on stage and chatting with the guys afterward. The week leading up to it, I wasn’t enjoying it. I was only enjoying the payoff for about fifteen minutes a week.
If I were to go back and do stand up regularly now, I would enjoy every night. I would enjoy the bombing. I would enjoy the hiccups. I would enjoy the great stuff. I would enjoy that moment where I and the audience is in a synergy. You need to be grateful for the journey. That’s the takeaway. I’ll add-in, this is another thing that I’ve since come across learning after I wrote the book. There’s always the next book. I’m working right now on what I consider to be my modern-day version of Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, the more for business people, totally different focus. One of the areas I want to focus on that I didn’t talk about, there are new things that have come out, which is cool that Napoleon Hill wouldn’t have had to deal with, like living the unfiltered life.
That’s one of my last talks. The idea of people getting online and saying, “Check out my great house.” What you don’t see is when the camera goes off and somebody chasing them off the lawn and saying, “Stop filming in front of my house.” We don’t see that part. The other one is this whole idea of being happy. What I’ve discovered is that there’s a lot of influencers, and it would shock us how many, who don’t enjoy the journey. We don’t talk about it. Nobody wants to admit it. If a person’s an influencer and they’ve maybe they have one million followers on Twitter, they don’t want to tell anybody. They don’t want anybody to know they’re not enjoying the journey. As entrepreneurs and influencers, we need to talk about that because I’ve noticed in interviews, if I press enough with the questions, there are a lot of people that struggle with enjoying the journey. This is a big one.
I don’t cover it in the book, admittedly, but that’s for the next book. We’re going to success. Number three. Key number three. His one, I talked about this. This is the one I mentioned earlier, the power of no, essentially. You could call this the power of focus. Mike Lipkin, a Canadian speaker, he said to me, “I think what it is, Corey, is these people go all in.” That was a cool distinction. I’m calling it the power of no, the ability to say no to all the things that won’t move the needle so you can say yes to the few that will. It’s cool to sanction and say it’s also going all-in because what that means is that the idea is you should be going all-in with the person when they’re with you.
If you’re not with the person, maybe you go all-in with your phone. The idea there is to give 100% attention to whatever’s in front of you, not try to separate it amongst various different people. Also, I talked about Robin Sharma. I asked him, because like me, he works with the people that are focused on technology. Let’s say at the time he was working with Blackberry and he was working with Apple. If you think about that these devices are designed to distract us. I’m putting them on the spot because I’m saying, “What would you say to somebody if they said, ‘Is this a good thing? Should it be focused on the person and the device?’” I thought his answer was a great political answer because he is working with these groups as well.
He said, “I will tell you this. I feel that there’s no way you can give 100% attention to two things at once.” It’s almost like the whole thing like if you chase two rabbits, you’ll never catch one. He’s basically said, “If you put a person in a room of salesperson that gives 100% attention to the CEO in front of them and you put another person with equal skills, everything equal, that gives attention to both their phone and the CEO.” Who do you think is going to win that deal 9 times out of 10? The person that gives the CEO all their attention. What I’ve learned is that the top influencers somehow find a way when they’re with you to feel like they’re with you and nothing else is on their mind. Whereas I would say the average, most people don’t. They’re always thinking about what’s next.
They’re never listening to the person. They’re already getting ready to ask another question or say something else. I call it the power of no. It’s being able to say no to this thing. You can say yes to something else because we all know if you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to something else. Do you have to choose? It’s their ability to choose what things to say no to. They know how to say no and to say no way more often than everybody else. That’s the success key number three, being able to do that.
We’re onto the next one. I put together four and five. I talked about it. Four is the problem, but it serves us well. There’s the solution and it’s served as well. I combined the two of them, but essentially the success key number four relates to the fact that we’re in what I call an information-heavy wisdom society. What does that mean? There’s lots of information bombarding us. In fact, we’re bombarded with information, but getting to the actual wisdom that’s going to make the difference is the new challenge. That becomes the new, “How do we do this?” Most people struggle because they’re overwhelmed with the information. They don’t know where the wisdom is. They’re constantly looking for new information, constantly surfing, constantly getting overwhelmed, like the people that go on Facebook and then six hours later, they’re asking, “Where did the time go?”
That’s what’s happening even in the business world. We go to a magazine shelf and you see twelve business magazines and they all contradict each other. Not only that, we’re ignoring the fact that each one of them has 50 pages of information. Who has the time in a month to go through whatever that works out to 400 pages of information to get the one little piece of wisdom that’s going to change the game for that? First of all, that’s the challenge, but it also presents an opportunity. The top influencers, what they do differently is they figure out who the best sources to learn from are. They figured out that you should go to the people who’ve already curated for them. They get that wisdom quicker than everybody else. They make use of it quickly.Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Click To Tweet
They fail quickly so that they can learn quickly. An example could be a podcast. You and I, when we were running a show, ideally we’re curating. We’re picking a person that hopefully is going to bring some insights who are listening. We’re curating and we’re doing it an hour-long or our 45-minute long intake, rather than saying, “I’m going to bring on Corey for an eight-hour day and you’re going to listen.” Not only that, people can stop, they can pause. They can come back later. My point is that they’re trusting you as the curator. When I read, say, Success Magazine, I’m trusting at the time it was Darren Hardy. Now Josh publishes it. When Darren Hardy was publishing, I was trusting that Darren was vetting all that stuff so that I don’t have to go through 25 books to get the same content.
The influencers, in my opinion, that is rising to the top, they know how to get to the right sources. They don’t bombard themselves with 1 million sources. They get to the right sources and they get their wisdom quicker. That could be them saying, “I’m going to listen to TEDx Talks and I’m going to listen to TEDx Talks around this idea.” That could be their source. Their source could be Success Magazine. It could be this show. It could be the Zig Ziglar, Jack Canfield, Lisa Nichols. When I picked three of them for three months and they say, “Here’s what I want to learn from right now.” That’s what they’re doing differently. Whereas other people, everywhere they go, they try to learn something and they don’t realize they put so much in their head, they can’t act on it.
I think of the word distillation when I think of that, of how do we boil this thing down to the most important components. I go back to the subtitle of your book in terms of timeless secrets. At times, have we not overcomplicated things, but there are some of these ways to success are much more foundational and timeless than we deal with now?
I would go so far as to say that the sad part is it’s like dieting. I know we all hate that word, but it’s like dieting or eating better. I still struggle with this, but the irony is I know what it takes. I know what works. Most of us do. If I say this, then people still argue that it’s wrong because people want to have a new way of approaching it. If I said eating not less but eating better, moving more and eating less of the wrong stuff and then exercising if you want to get in shape. That’s it. Those four things. Yes. How many words have been distributed in the last five years even? We don’t even know. Ten billion? I don’t know how many words have been to try to teach us how to get better shape, but it always comes back down to the fundamentals.
It’s the same with like the idea of saying no. People in their front office for 200 years now say no. You go back to the Romans, I’m sure. You didn’t get to see the King or whatever. You had to go through people who said, “No, you can’t see him right now.” We don’t like to look at it that way, but if you think about it, I can’t call Tony Robbins. I can’t pick up the phone and call him on his front desk. I can’t call through the front office and then say, “Put him right on.” He’s got people set up to say no. He doesn’t even know it’s happening, but he needs that system. The more things we have, the bigger the system has to be to do that. My point is that it’s been existing forever. These people are also being discriminated about what gets through in terms of wisdom. They’re also saying no to all the information, so they get to the wisdom. This has been fundamental and timeless. Do you want a bonus one?
Number six, I call it the bonus one because originally, I was going to do five and then I added one. The bonus one is I call it the non-talent factor. For example, other people might call it the 10,000-hour rule. In front of the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. He made it famous, even though I know he wasn’t the person that figured it out if you will. I’m not even talking to the 10,000-hour rule as a whole. I’m combining it with something else, which is that I believe firmly that some people are born with a natural talent, but I also believe that some people craft an unnatural talent and can sometimes become more successful than the one with the natural talent.
This is a weird belief to say, but I believe that there’s at least one. There’s more than one, but I believe there’s at least one more Wayne Gretzky in the world, but we’ll never know it because that other Wayne Gretzky or Wayne Gretzky’s never honed their talent like the Wayne Gretzky we know. He was out in the ice at six years of age with his father every morning before school. There was another person that probably could have done that the same as Gretzky, maybe even better, but never honed it. If they did play hockey, they played for fun. They never put any time in. By the way, that’s been a common thing like Sidney Crosby. I have a friend who runs a hockey school. Sidney Crosby is one of their students.
He said, “Corey, that guy was here two hours before everybody else. He had a key to the building at nine years of age. He was game playing before I was at work. I get into work and look down. That kids down there escape.” This isn’t a coincidence, but we love to say, all the kids got matched out. I wish I was as talented as him. There’s a non-talent factor. Part of it comes from finding out what your purpose is and serving it. I’m escaping the word passion because a lot of people are tired of hearing the word passion now. I’ll say purpose, which is bigger. In the book, I describe it as to why you do it. I say, “Passion is what you do. The purpose is why you do it.”
We’ll talk about purpose for a minute. I think they’re purpose-driven and because of that, they’re willing to hone the craft and work harder and put in more hours than other people. In the book, I shared how a renowned fiddler named Natalie McMaster, as she shared the bill with some of the best musicians in the world. She didn’t name names, but she said, “Corey, there’s people that were beside me playing that could have been in bigger stages than I’ve ever been on and bigger stages than other people. They never hold the craft. There are people I shared the bill with on big stages, like The Tonight Show and stuff like that who probably should have never made that stage, but they were passionate about it, they put in the 10,000 hours that they got there.”
I also shared Alan Andrews who runs a hockey center. He told me that there are lots of players that everybody said they’ll never make the NHL and they didn’t care. They didn’t care what Alan said. They may be NHL. He said, “There are people that we looked at and said, ‘That person’s goal is they should be the next Gretzky and they never made it.” It’s a non-talent factor. If you’re willing to, A, figure out what your purpose is and be driven by it, and then B, put in more hours than everybody else. They do what nobody else will. That to me is the non-talent factor.
When I think of what you said, I think of two things. I think of beliefs and behaviors. Those people believed in themselves more than what other people were saying about them. Back to the behaviors, what did they do? They put in the work. Their behaviors create a difference. I fully agree with you there, which leads to the next piece of this. As I read, it struck me and I had never thought of this that way when you said, “When did you retire?” It’s not what most people would think about.
No, and I don’t think I shared it in the book this way, but where it started is, I did this talk for a financial services group like a life insurance company with financial planners in the audience. I posed the question. That’s how I opened my talk. These people are working with people’s money all day, helping people retire. I said, “How many people in the audience feel that if I hadn’t invested any money and I hadn’t made any plans to retire and I didn’t win the lottery, nothing came up and no money came into my life. How many people feel like to retire at twenty years of age?” If I got a hand, it was a person being smart.
I don’t even think I got one hand, but I may have gotten one, but it was a room of 400 financial advisors. I said, “I’m going to now prove to you that I did and I can retire at twenty years of age. What’s the definition of work?” I brought them through all what they defined as work. The idea was I was trying to show them that if you’re not working anymore, then you’re retired because we define work as we work until retirement. My argument was I haven’t worked a day since I was twenty. I’ve often said that in the joke, “If you would catch me working, you let me know and I’ll stop.” I haven’t worked since I was twenty because I love what I do and nothing feels like work.
To me, I retired when I was twenty and now the rest of it is all fun and games. I retired and I’ve been retired for years now. It’s not the definition other people put on it, but that’s their choice to put that definition on. They’re putting the definition that they have the money to do what they want and they have the time to do what they want. Even if you use that definition because I’m self-employed, because I’m following my purpose, it took years to get there. Even by that definition, I can do what I want. I get to travel all I want. I calculated it. Some of these are work-related, but I’m talking like one day work, twelve days not working. I calculated my girlfriend and I and my son.You need to be grateful for the journey. Click To Tweet
He was with us for every trip. We did six occasions in one year. Now you might say, “There was work.” I call them pleasure trips, but there was work associated with it. I went to Hawaii for a week, maybe ten days. I did one talk that lasted 45 minutes. That was the only time I was on stage working with the client. I didn’t even see them until the day of the event. Let’s say I put in a half a day’s work. I got to stay in Hawaii. By the way, in that case, they pay for the trip. We went on to Phoenix and we stayed there for another six days and I didn’t work there. I get to take three weeks’ vacation. Even if you go by that definition, I’m retired. By my definition, anybody can be retired as long as they can figure out how to do what they love and do more of it.
It’s interesting because I feel the same way. I don’t look at days of the week in terms of work that I’m doing other than things that are scheduled. If I do things on a Sunday or a Saturday, it doesn’t feel any different to me. There are a love and passion for it, to use that overused word, but it doesn’t feel like work. A lot of the work that I do is with organizations’ engagement and this thought of how few people enjoy where they go when they turn the key in the car in the morning.
The other thing is we talked about joining the journey versus the destination. How many people live their life going, “When I’m retired, guess what we’re going to do?” There are 25. They’re saying, “I’m not going to join this journey of this next 40 years. I’m going to enjoy the day I retire.” Sadly, we see it so often. People retire and a week later they pass away. Does that mean you only had one week of your life that you enjoyed? The question becomes, why does that happen often? It’s because they’ve lost their purpose. Even if they hated their job, it was a purpose every day and they lost the purpose unless you replace it with another purpose. I always say to people, “If you want to figure out what your passion is, ask yourself what would you do if you won the lottery?”
Most people love to say, “I’d go to the beach and retire.” You would probably for two weeks. The question is what are you going to do when you get back? Nobody can stay at the beach forever. I’ll correct that. There might be the odd one, but we’re talking less than 1%. To that point, the idea of retired, why not set up a life for yourself? This is from Seth Godin. I don’t want to steal his thunder, but why not set up a life for yourself that you don’t have to escape from. That’s retired. Where that story came, which I thought was brilliant, is he was on the beach one day working and this couple behind him and they probably didn’t think he could hear them. They said, “How sad is that guy? He even has to work on vacation.” He thought to himself, “How sad is it that they have to work all year only to take two weeks to come here?” His thing was, “I send out my blog. It takes me 30 minutes. I sit on the beach all day. How’s that working?” His idea was, “Why do you have to set up a life you feel you need to escape from?”
Are there rituals that you have in terms of how you start your day out or how you end your day?
There are rituals, but admittedly, sometimes they fall off. I’d love to be that guy that says every day, it never changes because it always works perfectly. I talked about in the book, Jack Canfield’s Hour of Power. That was a big game-changer for me. I asked him Jack the question what does he most account for his success? At first, he didn’t want to give me one answer because he has a book called The Success Principles with 64 of them. I finally pushed him for that one. He said, “Probably my Hour of Power, which basically what it means is every day he spends twenty minutes exercising, twenty minutes learning and twenty minutes meditating.”
The reason I said it works so well is that he’s feeding his mind, body and spirit every morning before most people start. I rephrase it like that my body and spirit. I have never heard him say it, but that’s probably not an original idea. Somebody else probably had that too. That’s a callback to our earlier conversation about original ideas. The Hour of Power, I’m going to say more often than not, over the last ten years, I still get the learning always. Even when I’m not practicing as well as I could be, I always seem to get the learning. Even thinking about the interviews I do everyday. I get the learning in no matter what every day. It’s broken down by twenty minutes. The twenty minutes of meditation, I get that in 50% of the time and exercise. I was on a good run.
I fell off here with traveling and my own self to blame, but I know I need to be doing it. I can feel the difference and I know I should be doing. That would be one ritual is the Hour of Power. My girlfriend and I, we do a thing called MEPSS once a week. We’ve been good and then we slipped off. This is a reminder to me, but what we do is we do an inventory. MEPSS stands for Mental, Emotional, Physical, Spiritual, and Social. What we do is I’ll say, “Corey checking in,” and then I’ll tell her how I feel in all five of those areas. We’ll discuss it. She’ll do, “Shelly checking in,” and she’ll tell me her plan. That’s something she picked up in a treatment center. She’s five years sober, but she went through recovery and that’s something she picked up the broadest from there. That’s another ritual that we practice.
What else I love is your first answer in regards to saying these are things that I don’t do all the time because that’s inspiring as well for people to hear that, to say, “I can’t do it. Corey does this every day. That’s why he’s where he is.” To say, “I don’t do these all the time.” Ideally, that would be great, but you don’t need to do it every single day to reach your goal. You need some consistency to do it along the way.
Robin Sharma, I saw an interview with him and he put out the book called The 5AM Club. I was impressed. I was surprised because I see him as somebody who’s ritualistic and sticks to his plan. He said people ask him all the time. It was in an email of his or something. “Do you stick to the 5:00 AM thing?” He said, “I’ll be 100% honest, no. I’d love to say I do. There are days I don’t feel like getting up at 5:00.” He was blunt about it. I thought that was great because the tendency would be to say, “I crush it,” especially when you’re teaching it. I love that he said that there are days that at 7:00 I’m like, “What did I do?” I’m sure with him, he’s saying that but I’m sure it’s like once a month, but he still says it happens.
It makes everybody else feel like, “He’s human too. I can do this.”
I’m sure we’ve all heard the thing when you fall off the horse. I believe a big reason a lot of people quit is that they fall off the horse and then they think, “Crap, now everybody’s seen me fall off the horse. Now I fell off the horse. I’ve already failed. What’s the point of keeping going on?” I think there’s more success in falling off the horse and going, “I fell off the horse. I’m going to get back on.” When you’re eating a certain way and you go six days in a row and eat grapes, and then you have one bad slip up and then people throw in the towel, that blows my mind. I was that person too. I get it, but it blows my mind because the truth is it’s one little tiny misstep. The average of those seven days, you’re still way ahead of most people. That’s a key part of it is we quit too easily sometimes because we think if I fail once it’s a failure. New Year’s resolutions, how long do they last? The average, 90% fail within the first three weeks. That’s a whole other story about how long it takes to create a habit, but I digress.
It’s a whole other story that is extremely important. Maybe we’ll do that for a second show. I’d love that. If there’s somebody that’s picking up your book, what do you hope they walk away with after they’ve read it?
That’s a big question because I feel that this book, there’s so much content that takes you in different directions. I mentioned this too in the book that I’ve designed it to be a theme, but at the same time, each act should stand on their own. That was designed to be that way. For me, if I said what would they take away, this is not meant to be a copy because I’ll circle back to this a little more. I’ll dive into this more, but on the front end, it’s what works for them. In other words, what they’re needing, I hope they take away that from the book. Having said that, what that should look like is goes back to the subtitle. I hope for a lot of people, they start realizing these timeless secrets aren’t that hard. These things have been sitting here all along and people have been using them. They’re not saying, “I get the secret. I’m not sharing it with you.” It’s that we don’t realize either they’re there or we don’t realize how common they are, how common it is for these high achievers to say no. The opposite scenario, how common it is for most other people to say yes. It’s the awareness of these timeless secrets so they can practice them.Fail quick and learn quick. Click To Tweet
Since the book has been out, I’m sure you’ve had all of the feedback that you get from people that have read the book. Is there any surprise that you’ve had in terms of, “I wouldn’t have expected that?”
One of the big ones for me is two things. One is on the power of why. The people that I had felt already found their passion and their calling, the amount of those that said, “I’m glad you put it this way because I realized I was a little off track,” that surprised me. The people that I didn’t even think would admit that. The other one is how many people talked about how cool it was to have the bonus quotes that you referenced in the back of the book. I’d love to say I see that all the time, but it’s rare. I can’t think of many books that insights in the back of them and it wasn’t intentional to be unique, to be honest. It was just I love sharing people’s stories. That’s why I’m putting here is that it helped share other people’s story and their magic and that felt natural to me to add their quotes. The number of people that said, “One quote in there changed the way I view my life.” If you think about that, there are 400 roughly bolts in the back. One quarter to 400, not including the whole book itself, of somebody saying changed their life. That was the other thing that surprised me, how big of an impact those individuals could have.
I loved that. It was unique. It’s not something that I’ve seen in any of the books that I’ve read. Certainly, testimonials and books, but not the way that it was formed. I appreciated that. To be honest with you, I haven’t gone through all of them.
I’ll have one thing, which is funny. You said about testimonials. This is going back quite a ways when I said, “Would you be interested in having an original quote of yours in my book?” There were a few people that sent me along testimonials. I said, “No, I meant that.” Other people said, “Do you want a testimonial for the book. I’m happy to do a quote.” I said, “No, I want one of your original quotes.” “What do you mean original?” It was such a foreign thing that people thought it meant testimonials. I ended up getting a few testimonials from my other book unintentionally. That would have worked out, but it wasn’t intentional, but I said, “Can I use that?” Also, I’d like to get an original quote from you both about how you use speaking. It was my other book, my speaking book.
As we’re speaking about your book and the other services that you provide to individuals, what’s the best way to get in touch with you?
It depends on which part you want to talk to me about. If it’s about getting a copy of the book, let’s say it’s as simple as that, we do have a site set up called TheBookOfWhy.com. It’s an easy way. Another option I would love to give. I believe that if you get to discover who I am and you’d like who I am and it resonates with you, there’s a better chance you’re going to want to talk further anyway. If I can, I’ll give away people a free copy of my other book, which is called The Book of Public Speaking. It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s me revealing to people the secrets of how to speak on stages. That’s called The Book of Public Speaking and no surprise, probably, Patrick, the website is TheBookOfPublicSpeaking.com.
If you go there now, you can get that free book. The third thing is if you want to connect with me further, I also help people get on stages and get paid to get on stages, and all that stuff. The best way to reach me there, you can go to my main website, which is ThatSpeakerGuide.com. On that site, it has all the social channels and everything. That’s the hub. If you want to reach out and say hi or you want to learn more about what I do on that side of the world, ThatSpeakerGuide.com. If you want a free book, TheBookOfPublicSpeaking.com. If you want to grab a copy of the book that we’ve been talking about, TheBookOfWhy.com.
I didn’t realize you helped people to get on stage as well.
I’ve been a weekly paid speaker for years, which is rare. I did not know that when I started. There are a lot of people that speak on stages that aren’t getting paid and we don’t realize that. I had a lot of people that have been speaking for years come to me and say, “Can you help me get paid to do this?” They see I was speaking so often and I comment out openly about how I didn’t do any no-fee costs. These were all paid. People were like, “How are you getting this much? How are you landing these often?” I launched what I call The Speaking Program. I landed three TEDx Talks in a short amount of time. People came to me and said, “How can I land a brand on top?” I launched a program around that. That’s another side of my life. I do help people land talks like I’ve been doing for years and also land branded talks.
This has been such an enjoyable conversation with you, Corey. I pulled many pearls out of your book and it reinforced a lot of my thoughts and beliefs and experiences as well. I believe they are timeless. Thank you for that.
Thank you, Patrick. It’s been an absolute pleasure and I’ll call it a to be continued.
I appreciate that.
Corey left many great pearls in that interview. As he talked about things like the six secrets to success and around expectation and gratitude and discipline, there are many opportunities here to rise above your best in regards to following what Corey talks about. He’s interviewed over 5,000 people to gain even more evidence as to what are the recipes to success and not financial success, but success in life overall. If somebody that you think would benefit from this episode, I’d ask that you forward this on to them. If you haven’t subscribed already, please go ahead and subscribe. It would mean the world to me if you’d leave a rating or a comment in regards to this or any other episode. Until our next episode, I hope you can do two things. One is lead like no other and the other is to rise above your best piece.
- The Book of WHY (and HOW): Discover the Timeless Secrets to Meaning, Success and Abundance
- Think and Grow Rich
- The Secret
- Men are from Mars
- The 5 Love Languages
- Comic Insights
- The Success Principles
- The 5AM Club
- The Speaking Program
About Corey Poirier
Corey Poirier discusses his best selling book, The Book of Why and How and the impact it has had on many who have read it. We discussed the six secrets to success, how to find your passion and purpose as well as many other pearls. He is a modern-day Napoleon Hill and has taken a modern-day approach to drawing lessons from many successful people to help others become successful.