Perry Marshall started his professional life as an electrical engineer but was promptly laid off. With no job, no money, and no prospects for work, he became a marketing consultant, but the real turning point for Perry was the discovery of the 80/20 principle which led to several life-changing transitions. He eventually wrote Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords in 2007 which became the world’s most popular book for internet advertising. Since then, he’s built a series of courses for his clients to elevate their skills, their revenues, and their lives.
Perry Marshall On Marketing as Human Engineering
Today’s guest is Perry Marshall who started his professional life like I did, as an electrical engineer, found a job and was promptly laid off just as his wife was three months pregnant. No job, no money, no real prospects for work as an engineer, he became none other than a marketing consultant. The real turning point for Perry was his discovery of the 80/20 principle, which led to several life-changing transitions and to eventually write the Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords in 2007, which became the world’s most popular book on internet advertising. It all started with 80/20. Since then, he has built a series of courses for his clients to elevate their skills, their revenue and their lives. I am one of his clients. Perry Marshall, welcome to the show.
Thank you, Mitch. That was a great introduction. Electrical engineers roll a very tiny, little slice in the world and we do it proudly.
It’s so funny how many of us in the electrical engineering community have ended up in two different fields. One is music and the other is marketing. Isn’t that funny?
It is. I know a lot of really brilliant marketers who love Jazz and I think they’re both the same thing. I think marketing and Jazz improvisation are pretty much the same skill set. You have a simple set of rules. There’s a time signature, there’s a key, “Go.” What can you do and how fast can you do it? Can you do it in concert with other people? That’s the art.
The stuff I learned in schools is long obsolete. What I left with was a way of thinking that has served me all of my life. Have you found that to be true?
Yeah. In fact, I think that for me, it was really a liberal arts education for the 21st century. Furthermore, very little of what I learned is obsolete. Maybe it was because my school took a theoretical approach to it. I find the engineering skills to be immensely valuable. In fact, it’s really even core to 80/20. Marketing is arithmetic and human psychology. You could call it human engineering. It’s serious on the engineering side and of course it’s really serious on the human side. It’s blending those two things together. What I hope that I do is, for all of my customers regardless of their background, is I do install a little bit of engineer into their business brain because sometimes those skills are priceless.
I think that’s part of what attracted me to your stuff. I like the procedural aspect of it. I like the thinking behind it as well. As far as my education, I haven’t yet found too many vacuum tubes in my marketing funnel. I’m still looking.
Vacuum tubes are alive and well, that’s the funny thing though. They’re very much alive and well. Analog is roaring back. In fact, there are a people that have never had a real analog music experience. You should go try to have one because it’s a pretty special thing. I still build stereo equipment. Every few months, I do a project. I had a bunch of people, they were at my son’s graduation including some of my friends. This one lady goes, “Perry, I saw a picture of your speakers on Facebook. Can we go hear your speakers?” I take everybody up into my man cave and I start playing music for them. Most of them had never had that experience before. They were like, “Oh my word, that was amazing.” They had never experienced that before. In fact, another girl said, “That was as amazing as the sunset at the Grand Canyon.” She just squealed when the song was on.
As the owner of a restored pair of McIntosh MC60s fed by a vacuum tube preamp and a Roksan Turntable, I think I can relate.
We’ll have to get together one of these times, either when you’re in Chicago or when I’m in Boston.
Perry, at this point, I would love to dive a little bit deeper into your background, the story of how you lost your job and what happened next. All that are stuff that you can never plan. You never really start out thinking, “I guess I’ll just lose my job and become something else,” and know what that is. Tell me a little bit about how that evolved for you and more importantly, tell me the thinking behind the decisions that you made at that time.
I got invited into this meeting. I was designing speakers at Jensen. This was what I was doing at the time. I designed the speakers in a ’96 Honda Civic, for example. There’s this meeting and there are all these strange people in it. I’m like, “Why are all these people from all these weird departments in here today?” The guys were pacing back and forth and looking a little nervous. I’m like, “This doesn’t seem good.” We all get laid off. I remember the last stop out the door, I sat down to this office and somebody gave me a severance check. I think both of these people were bitter and I said, “It’s not like the day I was born that some other guy was born with a responsibility of giving me a job. Thank you. It was great for the last two and a half years. Sayonara,” and out I left. I remember driving home like, “What am I going to do now?” I could have stayed in the field I was in but I would have to move and I didn’t want to move out of Chicago. I ended up going into sales, which was two years of baloney sandwiches and Ramen soup. Six months later, my wife was going to come home from work and she did so our income was suddenly cut in half. The next couple of years were tough sledding.
As first sales jobs go, it wasn’t too bad. The people at the company were really nice. But in other ways, it seemed like it was a fit but it really wasn’t. There was this just constant ‘square peg, round hole’ thing going on. As I tell the specific story, I want to be really clear about what is the general principle behind what I’m saying. The problem with that job is it was too much sales and not enough engineering. It didn’t really harness my true skills. I found some products that we sold that did use my skills but in this particular situation they were very hard to sell. I kept fighting my nature. My employers wanted a sales guy who’s just going to let go flat backs, tell jokes, get purchase orders and “build relationships” which they never really seemed to be real relationships. They were really just buyer-seller relationships.
I really needed to be in something where a regular sales guy could not do the job without some technical skill. It really needed to blend the two things together. I eventually get fired from that job. It took two years but finally we gave up trying everything we could do. I took a different job that was just a better fit. Not only from the engineering side where I was really talking to engineers about stuff that a regular sales guy wouldn’t be able to confidently talk to them about. Then I also flipped it around where I was also engineering the marketing. What had happened about six months before I got fired from the previous job was I had wandered into a big coliseum with all these speakers, like Zig Ziglar and Barbara Bush. The last speaker of the day was Dan Kennedy. I had never been exposed to any of that before. Dan was talking about direct response marketing. He’s talking about how cold-calling is the worst form of grunt work, which Dan was being more brutally honest than the other sales trainers I had ever seen on a stage because they all tried to sugarcoat it like, “Just smile and pick up that phone.”
He levitated $300 out of my wallet, which is a small miracle considering how threadbare my wallet was at the time. I latched on to direct response marketing. This was actually in the middle of 1987. Six months later when I got fired from this job, I take this other job. This new company has a website. The customers are actually using it because they’re engineers actually. They’re early adopters. They have computers on their desks. They’re using the web. Nobody was really talking about this yet. It only took me a few weeks to figure out, all the stuff I’m reading about direct mail and catalogues and responses and sales letters, all pretty much applies directly to the web. I can read a Dan Kennedy newsletter, which at the time was all about direct mail and print advertisements and stuff like that, maybe press releases. I could just apply this to the web. I need a response mechanism. I need to measure it. We’re off to the races.
I was doing a very early primitive form of information marketing to sell computer hardware and software to industrial companies. I liked that job. Actually, my first commission check was the best month I had ever had in my career. It started to work almost immediately. I really was starting to see vividly now how much I had been fighting my own nature and cramming a square peg into the round hole.
In fact, there was one time with that first sales job where we were manufacturers’ reps and we went to visit one of our principals, the companies we represented. I reached out my hand and I introduced myself, “Hi, I’m Perry. I’m an electrical engineer.” My boss says, “Perry is a sales guy. Sometimes he just gets a little confused about what he does.” It was like jerking me back by the scruff of the neck. “Thank you very much, Wally. I will remember not to do that again.” You get the idea. When you have a really great strength and somebody doesn’t value it, you’re probably in the wrong place. The very first week on that job, I’d had that sense and I just suppressed it.
I’ve got to tell you, Perry, you have no idea what a parallel life we’ve led. I graduated college and I went into an engineering position. To me, the job was great. I loved engineering but I was invited to become a field applications engineer and support the sales force for a semiconductor company and I said, “Yes, I would.” I’m going out there and just like you, I would introduce myself, “Hi, I’m Mitch. I’m a Mostek Field Applications Engineer.” The sales guy would pull me back, stick me in the corner and say, “We’re here and we represent Mostek,” and off he would go. I would thrown into a conference room, run the PowerPoint slides and then off I would have to sit while these guys, as you say, backslapping their way through a three martini lunch while I sat there just miserable. I hated my life, Perry, during this period. Until finally, I got up enough nerve to go to the head of the entire department and I said, “I can sell better than those guys because I’m an engineer. I actually know what these damn products do.”
When I worked at Jensen, about once a month or once every two weeks, some vendor would come in and do a lunch and learn and they would buy everybody pizza and they would do their dog and pony show. The engineers would show up for the pizza, not necessarily because they were interested. There was always a question that everybody would ask before the people showed up. They would say, “Is this going to be a sales and marketing guy or is it going to be an engineer?” What that meant was, “Can I throw hard ball questions at them and really get my questions answer? Or do I have to be nice and play patty cake with these people and eat their pizza?” They always loved it when a guy showed up who actually knew what he was talking about.
Perry, it’s so funny because I was the US expert on the Zilog Z80, if you remember that microprocessor. I used to be rolled in to companies. I was flown all over the country to fix problems that corporations were having with their designs. Finally, I ended up going to work for a competitor as a sales guy. The interesting thing was the only thing I gravitated towards was the semiconductors companies that did custom semiconductors. This way, I got to spend my time in engineering, designing in products that I knew would be huge volume while the sales guys were out there fighting the battle on the commodity stuff and the purchasing agent’s office. It’s so funny how we somehow managed to do similar things at similar times.
You’re so right about this one element. Something you said is so important here. You said that you were fighting your own nature in that first sales job. There’s the clue. That’s it. That’s the moment when you say, “I don’t care. I cannot do this any longer. I need to plot my way out of this position so that I can stop having headaches every day during the day and hate my life.”
There are different versions of this. One version is you’re thrown in the lake and you’re forced to swim. You might eventually figure out you’re just in the wrong lake. Another version could be you’re in a river and you’re swimming in it and you used to like this river but over the last two years or ten years, the river has turned into a river that you don’t like anymore. Then you have to be honest with yourself and say, “I’m spending half of my life doing stuff that I really don’t like. I am cramming square pegs into round holes. It is time for a change.” Probably there’s going to be something painful. It took about two and a half years for me to make that transition from engineer to successful sales and market manager at a technical company to where all the sudden, “This really is comfortable.”
When I finally got it fixed, which was every day I’m showing up and there are leads in my email box and there are leads that came over the fax machine, there are people who want to talk to me and I’m not having to have a wrestling match in order to get a purchase order because I explained it to them, this is the only product that solves their problem. Here comes a purchase order three hours later. I’m getting commission checks. That was better than any therapy. It was so good.
I think it’s the life that you designed and it’s the life I designed too. I think the point is that we were both quite deliberate about where we wanted to apply our skills. I don’t know about you, but for me, I have to say it was driven mostly out of boredom. I hated doing stuff I didn’t like. I needed to do stuff that was cool and interesting. Did you find the same thing about yourself?
I’ve always been that way. In fact, the worse version of that was when I was in college doing stupid jobs. School gets out and I have to get some work. I call a temp agency and the next day I’m screwing bolts into some assembly in a factory somewhere with all of these people who clearly have been there for twelve years and seem to be able to put up with it. Some of us just have brains that need stimulation. Our brains will torture us until we go find something stimulating. I’m sure that probably all of my customers are like that.
Of course it’s a different day and age right now. Now, the internet provides endless means of useless and distractive stimulation. Now, you have to pick your stimulations very carefully. In fact, there’s almost a monk-like department of my life where I really avoid the stimulation because it gets to be too much. Very much so, I have to be doing something that’s interesting. The truth is, for most us, there’s really zero point 1% of the world which is where we actually belong. If you’re in the other 99% where you don’t belong, at some level, you know it. You just have to be honest with yourself.
I want to address the issue you said, the thing you brought up, this endless distraction. I think you called it the matrix. As you know, I’ve just been through your 30-Day Reboot Program. For those who don’t know what that is, Perry runs a program where every single day there’s an email with some directions. If you want to succeed, you follow the directions every day. I was in Japan when I signed up for your program, in a hotel room. I listened for an hour to your long, long video. I loved it. I was spellbound by it. Then I signed up for your 30-Day Reboot Program. The first thing I had to do was unsubscribe from emails. I did not realize that I had been subscribed to over 500 different email lists. I never realized. I feel like taking out the weed spray here. It must have saved me immediately two hours without even thinking about it. Every single day, each exercise has got me to the point where still to this day, even though the program has been over for a couple of weeks, every day I’m downstairs, I’m doing my reading, my meditation, I’m writing in my journal. It’s really been a great program and I highly recommend it to anybody who’s listening.
I have not done anything in at least five years that got as much raving testimonials. In fact, it’s shocking. We had a little contest, “Tell us how your life has changed.” The first couple of times when all those entries came in and I started to read them, I was on the edge of tears. For example, I had one lady, she writes in and she goes, “I’m not even your ideal customer at all. I’m a soccer mom. I don’t really have a business. Although I’m really seriously considering something that I want to go do. I’m not your typical customer but I like your emails and I like what you do. I did not realize until I went through this program, I was spending five hours a day on Facebook. I was snapping at my kids because they were interrupting my Candy Crush.”
The thing is she is merely admitting it. I’ve actually seen numbers that say that the average American spends five hours a day on Facebook every day. She merely admitted it. People suddenly became self-aware. They’re like, “I thought I did eight hours of work today. I did about an hour and 45 minutes of work. The rest of it was all barnacles. It was some mish-mash social media and low-value tasks stuff I’m not gifted for; bad quasi-addictive time-wasting behavior.” The thing is that chews up your creative engine. It doesn’t just waste time.
I can certainly confirm that. Again, a big thank you for the program and the results I got. Let’s talk about something you said. You talked about low-value tasks versus high-value tasks. I was hoping we could transition into a discussion of 80/20 and how it affected you and where you took it.
Back when I had that sales manager job, I heard about 80/20. I actually printed out a sales report and I got out a calculator, I’m like, “Is this really right?” Yeah, it was. “Yeah, that’s cool.” It thought that was it and it wasn’t. I didn’t know that I didn’t really understand 80/20 yet. I thought it was just a business rule of thumb that somebody somehow managed to notice. I read Richard Koch’s book, the 80/20 Principle. He makes an off-hand remark that 80/20 has a great deal to do with chaos theory and fractals. Then he just goes on talking. This just stopped me cold in my tracks and here’s why. Back when I had been in college, my wife brought home a book from the library and she goes, “Here, I think you might think this is interesting.” It was this German book from the 1980’s called The Beauty of Fractals. For those who don’t know, everybody has seen fractals, they’re computer images where there’s a spiral growing on a spiral growing on a spiral. They’re usually really brightly colored. They look cold and austere. Probably, most people just think it’s some weird computer art. I read this book and it explained that this is a signature pattern in the universe and it’s a signature of self-similarity and scale.
Let me give you a couple of examples of what I mean by this. If you look out your window and you see a tree and you can see the whole shape of the tree, the tree has this branching pattern. When you zoom in and zoom in and zoom in on the tree to the smaller branches, to the twigs and the leaves, you keep seeing the same branching pattern over and over again; all the way down to a microscopic level, down to individual cells in a leaf being fed by tiny little veins. That branching pattern just repeats and repeats at every level.
That’s must have been something that you just read and said, “That’s really interesting,” but you probably didn’t have an application for it when you read that book, right?
I didn’t have an application but from that point forward, I couldn’t not notice it anymore. Here’s what happened. The book did a really good job of explaining; it’s trees, it’s rivers, it’s rocks, it’s sand on the ocean, it’s crystals, it’s sand dunes. You could take a picture of a mud puddle in your front yard after it rains and a person would not be able to tell whether that’s a mud puddle or if it’s a lake photographed from an airplane or a little river. You could have a little trickle of water on the corner of your driveway or you could have the Mississippi River or anything in between and it’s the same pattern exactly, it’s just at different scales. It is patterns within patterns within patterns within patterns and that this is very closely related to things like avalanches and earthquakes and cracks on your windshield, how a crack grows very rapidly when a rock hits your windshield.
I walked out to my car the next morning. It was a cold day. There were ice crystals growing across the roof of my car. There are crystal patterns inside the crystal patterns. I was unlocking my door and I looked at the roof of my car and I’m like, “They’re everywhere. This stuff is absolutely everywhere.” I couldn’t not notice it anymore. I saw fractals everywhere. I didn’t really know how to talk to people about it very much because it was a little bit too geeky but I also knew that fractals just come from taking really simple formulas in repeating them over and over and over again. That’s how you get fractals on a computer screen. It’s a really simple little math formula that just repeats and repeats and repeats and it goes on forever.
You’re familiar, Perry, with the Fibonacci theory as well. As an investor, I use Fibonacci curves to look at the course of pricing and stocks and charts and make decisions based on the Fibonacci theory.
Fibonacci is related to fractals and Chaos and scale. Fibonacci pattern works in stocks because macro patterns and micro patterns, macroeconomic changes in the market or microeconomic changes in a tiny little market still obey all the same rules. The macro and the micro all are in the same set of rules. Richard makes this little comment and all of a sudden, I’m back to the day by my car with ice crystals realizing these are everywhere. I’m like, “If that’s true, that means there’s an 80/20 inside every 80/20 and then there’s another one and then there’s another one. It means that they’re across multiple dimensions so it actually applies to everything.” I freaked out. I jumped up from the coffee shop. I drove home. I had been in business at this point for a year and a half. I got my web statistics out. I got out my CRM. I started looking at my email list. I started looking at my customer list. I’m going, “I have an 80/20 fractal pattern in my web traffic. I have an 80/20 fractal pattern in my spreadsheets, in my customers, from my biggest customer, my smallest customer.” My brain was on fire.
The way they explained 80/20 is that there’s an 80 and there’s a 20 and the 80% produces 20%, the 20% produces 80% and there are these two groups. I put on my engineer hat and I said, “Actually, that’s not what it is. This is a Calculus formula. It’s like a curve.” What would 80/20 look like if you put it on a graph? It would look like an exponential curve then. Instead of just going up towards the right, what it actually does is it goes asymptotically to the right side of the graph. It just goes higher and higher and higher. As you get to the edge, it just zooms up at an incredible speed. I’m like, “How would you solve this?” I couldn’t figure it out. It actually took me three years to figure it out, but I did figure it out. That is the backbone of my now book, 80/20 Sales and Marketing. There’s a website that goes with the book, 8020Curve.com.
Here’s an example. 80/20 tells you that if you own a Starbucks and a thousand people came in this week and spent $5 on a latte, which is $5,000, it’s just about pretty much the law of physics that one person will come in and spend $2,700 on an espresso machine. For every thousand lattes you sell for $5, you’re going to sell one espresso machine for 500 times more money. It’s true. Starbucks does sell a $2,700 espresso machine. 80/20 tells you how many they’re going to sell every week. It also tells you how many $270 espresso machines they’re going to sell. I started to realize, you can actually use this to make very small tests of a business idea and predict accurately how they will scale up to very large businesses.
This is very much along the lines of what fascinates me as well. I have not taken it to the extent that you have but these are the typical ways that I think about marketing and selling. We all do testing before we ever roll anything out. We analyze the data. I love the perspective of this. As an investor, I understand the math behind it. I also understand the reason why the math works. It’s nature. It’s not because it’s some cool formula that somebody thought up. It’s mimicking nature and the way nature works. Those who enjoyed that we just had about the 80/20 principle, can you tell us again what that website is?
It’s 8020Curve.com. There are some instructions. The best way to understand the site is to read my book, 80/20 Sales and Marketing. What often happens to people when they read 80/20 Sales and Marketing is actually the goal that I had when I wrote the book. The goal that I had when I wrote the book was when people read this book, I wanted them to go, “This is everywhere. I can’t look out a window without seeing 80/20,” just like I couldn’t look out a window without seeing fractal patterns back when I was 21 years old. I want you to have that epiphany because if you have that epiphany, then every time you’re doing your Google ads and you’re sorting by the clicks or the impressions or you’re doing Facebook ads or you’re doing your CRM system or you’re looking at the opens and the clicks and the money spent, you will know all this data, there’s a whole bunch of 80/20 patterns in it and I can optimize a whole bunch of it by only working on 5%, I could ignore the other 5%. I can make predictions about what’s going to happen in the future before it’s even happened. I can know that they’re going to be right. I can sniff out the invisible lever.
If you understand 80/20 and you’re a consultant, you’ll never run out of things to go fix for a client. There will always be another lever that you can pull, another rabbit that you can pull out of the hat and you’ll just about never run out. The good part is that you’re working on the levers. You’re working on the 20% that makes the 80% of the difference. You’re not polishing turds and that’s what’s important about it.
I think that’s part of optimization in any type of a program, any type of business and frankly, in our lives. We’re always looking to optimize the value of the time we spend, the value of the enjoyment we get from our money and our time. This is optimization at its finest. I have not read your book but I will. I love the idea of the way you described it. I love the epiphany you had. I would love to apply it the way I understand it from having lived as long as I have doing similar stuff but without understanding it from your perspective. Thanks for exposing us all to that. Listeners, if you don’t go out and get that book, you’re crazy. The book actually costs a penny, right?
It’s a penny plus shipping which makes it $7 in the US and $14 international. I have a very specific strategy in mind when I do that. We are taping these dollar bills to these things when they go out. I know my metrics and I know my numbers and I know how many customers I get out of this. It’s a very calculated move. If you read the Amazon reviews, about every tenth person will say, “The reason you should buy this book is because it comes with all these bonuses. When you get on Perry’s email list, you’ll be able to see an 80/20 marketer doing 80/20 marketing. He doesn’t just teach it, he does it. You can learn as much by watching what he does as you can by listening to what he says.” That’s really what I want for people. You’ll make a lot of discoveries that way.
We’ve talked about a couple of things today. We’ve covered a lot of ground. I really love having this conversation with someone who’s so likeminded as you. What I want to do now is I want to talk about the types of stuff that you do for folks, to put it simply. Tell me a little bit more about when you work with clients, what sorts of programs do you have? How can people get more involved in what you do in your world?
The thing that we’re more famous for is Pay Per Click and I wrote the world’s best-selling book on Google Advertising and also the world’s best-selling book on Facebook Advertising. My co-authors carry most of the knowledge with those topics now, Keith Krance and Mike Rhodes. A lot of people come to us to learn Google AdWords. There are several things that in consistently find myself working on with them, which is AdWords or Facebook, in and of themselves those are fine but they’re also very competitive. You really have to have your unique selling proposition nailed. We have a better process for unique selling proposition than anybody I’ve seen in this business. That would be one thing.
The other thing is Richard Koch, who wrote that original 80/20 book, he and I have become good friends. Richard is one of the most underrated authors in business, despite the fact that his 80/20 book sold a million copies. He wrote a couple of other books. One of them is called The Star Principle and the other one is called Simplify. At some level, both of those concepts undergird everything that I do now. What we’re really trying to do when we work with clients is get them in a position where they have a star business. What is a star business? Richard grew a consulting firm and sold it. After he had paid his taxes back in the late 80s or early 90s, he had $4 million in his bank account. In the last 25 years, he has grown his net worth to $400 million as a private equity investor. If you put the guy on a growth chart, he’s almost right up there with Warren Buffett. He is one of the smartest investors alive. Star Principle is his criteria for picking winners.
When I read this book, I realized that this actually matched every success story that I personally ever had, that Star Principle was fractal. It was scalable. It was the same principle at $400 million or $4 million or $40,000 or even $4,000. Here’s what it is: If you want your company to grow and grow fast and produce a good return on investment, or your product, or if you’re getting a job and you want opportunities for advancement, whatever it is you’re doing, you need to be the number one player in a market that’s growing at least 10% a year. If you’re not number one, let’s say you’re number sixteen or you’re number five, don’t bother trying to move to number four to number three to number two, which is what almost everybody does. What you do is you carve off a slice of that market that’s not being served and you make yourself number one in that slice. If you can’t be Coke, don’t be Pepsi, be 7 Up, but don’t be Sunny Delight or don’t be Shasta.
Just to be clear, there are markets for Shasta and Sunny Delight. It’s just that what you’re saying is that if you want your company to grow in a specific way. Generic product companies can grow fabulously but they’re not growing on the principle of excellence. They’re generally growing on the principle of delivering the cheapest product for the best price. Nonetheless, I love what you’re saying and it makes a lot of sense. You know what I do, and I think you know I subscribe to that as well.
When Richard explained this better than I had ever seen it explained but I had already seen it on Google AdWords. You pick any keyword or any niche in Google AdWords, even if it was just like underwater basket weaving. It didn’t really matter what it was. The number one player in that market made almost all the profit and gave out almost all the raises and had almost all the promotions. Everybody else, number two, three, four, five, six, seven, they’re all fighting over the scraps. Their kids are skinny. Life is just not that good. You can make a living working at Shasta but it’s going to be a hard living and the morale is low and nobody really makes that much money and you’re not growing. You wake up every day and you have to go fight for everything you get. For the number one player in the market, it’s not like that.
That’s a great point. I’m really glad you shared that. I think the point that I want to make is that when you expose yourself to Perry’s list and to Perry’s work, this is the kind of thinking you get and I get this kind of thinking every day in my inbox. Perry, at this point I have a question for you. It’s a question I like to ask because it typically gives me some insight to who I’m talking to. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch, or an intense conversation with?
I would pick the person who’s the most loved, most hated, most argued about, most adored, most discussed, it would be Jesus. Talk about stepping into the world and splitting time in half: BC and AD. I’ve been a Christian all my life but I don’t have any doubt, if I had lunch with Jesus for an hour, my mind would be blown and there would be this giant list of assumptions that I had in sacred cows that got shredded, I would love to do that.
Jesus is very popular on this show. He has mentioned a lot when I ask that question. You’re in good company.
What really is at the top of my mind when I say that is just how controversial he was. Talk about a polarizing guy. I think a lot of the popular depictions and teachings about Jesus are like a milk toast; a really nice guy that looks like a French painter. I just know, he’s a wild man. If you were one of Jesus’ disciples, every day you would probably feel like you’re careening around a turn on some steep cliff that we don’t know if the tires are going to stick to the road or if the thing is just going to go over a cliff like a burning bus. I really think Jesus has been watered down into this namby-pamby person. Most people have never read the gospels. They’ve never actually read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All the information they have is second-hand. When your information about anybody or anything is second-hand, you’re getting a very diluted version of it.
While we’re on this topic, I think most Christian men are secretly pissed because they think they’re supposed to sit there on a church pew and be mediocre for the rest of their life being obedient and conform. I don’t think that’s the point at all. I think life is supposed to be a wild, crazy adventure. Life isn’t about just obeying all the rules. Hello, pay attention. Do you see how many rules the guy broke? I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and he told something I had never quite realized. He said when Uber was first starting, one of the dictums that Travis told everybody was, “Let’s see how many laws we can break today.” As a Christian, I just have to ask, how many Christians would run screaming from the room at the prospect of doing such a thing? After the guy was successful, you realize he really broke up one of the most corrupt industries that has ever existed, which is a taxi business. They were in bed with all the city government. You can pretty much gauge the corruption level of the city by whether Uber could make it work. How long did it take before Uber could finally operate in Louisiana or New Orleans, for example?
You’re definitely on track. I just want to make the point that I think that if you believe that being good is the same as being successful, then you got some wires twisted. I think most people realize that. The other thing I’m here to tell you is that none of us are really being very good. I think everybody is out there bending the rules. In some ways, it’s not that you should break the law. I think it’s by bending the rules you get to test your limits and discover where there’s a place and a time to go either have some fun or make some money. I love that idea. I think Jesus would be a blast to hang-out with. Even though I’m Jewish, I’d still like to hang out with another Jewish guy.
I think you’d get along with the Jewish guys better than a lot of Christians.
I never said this on the show but my person is Nikola Tesla. He is my guy because I saw his ability to see the future in a way that nobody else ever did. In fact, he was so controversial that Edison tried to destroy him. How smart do you have to be for Thomas Edison to have to destroy you? It goes beyond that. His stuff, to this day, is still being discovered. They are unearthing his research and trying to replicate it so that we could transmit energy through the air. This is who this guy was. That’s why he’s my favorite.
My now thirteen-year-old discovered Tesla about two years ago. He was like, “Dad!” I’m with you. I would love to have lunch with Tesla. He died not having received the recognition that he really deserved, that’s for sure.
Here’s my grand finale question. This is the change the world question and it’s really very straightforward. What is it that you’re doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?
I have two mega bucket list items. One is to heal the rift between science and religion. The other one is to start a second renaissance. I’m hard at work on both of those. The clearest example of what I’m trying to do is in my book, Evolution 2.0 which is on Amazon, which is a science book. It’s not a business book. I think that the war between science and religion is a ridiculous con and it is perpetrated by people on both sides. It’s a big grudge match. It didn’t even exist 150 years ago. It was actually invented. Let me just give you an example on this. Have you ever heard the story of Christopher Columbus going to the Queen of Spain saying, “I want to sail across the ocean,” and she says, “You’ll fall off the edge of the Earth.” Have you ever heard of that story?
Yes, I have.
Did you know that’s a complete fabrication?
That was taught to me in school. How could that be a lie?
That was made up in 1871 by a guy named John Draper who wanted to make Catholics look like idiots. He wrote this book and he convinced a whole bunch of people that people in Christopher Columbus’ time thought that the Earth was flat. They didn’t. They all knew the Earth was round. The only argument was how big it was. Columbus thought it was smaller and he thought India was the next stop and he wasn’t really quite right about that but he had pattered anyway. This gives you an idea. It’s just one example that’s been repeated a million times on a whole bunch of different scales. I think if we could heal this one up, the world would transform in some really tantalizing ways.
I agree and I think that’s an excellent point to end the show because we have covered so much ground today, Perry. I have so enjoyed speaking with you. For our listeners, if you’d like to get involved in Perry’s world, join me please because you would be welcome. Go to PerryMarshall.com and just dive in. There are so much there. There are so many great resources and just start learning and expand your mind because Perry is someone who has a lot to teach. Perry, thank you so much for your time today. I really enjoyed our conversation. Let’s talk again soon.
Mitch, thank you. It was a total pleasure to be here today.
You’ve been listening to Your First Thousand Clients with your host, Mitch Russo. Go to www.YourFirstThousandClients.com for our free guide on how to get a thousand of your own clients. If you like this episode, please go to iTunes and subscribe, rate and review.
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Perry’s Website
- Perry’s 30-Day Reboot
- More of Perry’s Products
- 80/20 Curve
- 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall
- 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Success by Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch
- Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords: How to Access 100 Million People in 10 Minutes by Perry Marshall
- Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising: How to Access 600 Million Customers in 10 Minutes by Perry Marshall
- Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design by Perry Marshall
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