117: Jeffrey Shaw: The Secret Language For Meaningful Conversations


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Not every connection happens with every spoken word that is out in the open. Sometimes, it lies in the secret language that allows you to connect with each other. This is what Jeffrey Shaw believes and he’s on a mission to share this with the world. As a high-end portrait-photographer-turned-coach to entrepreneur in the creative business, he helps people find the more meaningful aspect to a conversation: the unspoken word. By doing this, entrepreneurs get it right from the start because they’ll be working with their ideal customers. Speaking the lingo is about understanding the depth of the people you like to serve, and Jeffrey Shaw willingly speaks about it.

Jeffrey Shaw: The Secret Language For Meaningful Conversations

Our guest claims to speak a secret language, one he believes we should all speak when it comes to attracting our ideal client. His background as a portrait photographer brought him in close contact with such notables as Pat Riley, David Bloom, Stephanie Seymour and others. From that perspective, he learned something powerful that it shifted his entire business in a completely different direction, which we are about to explore in-depth. Welcome, Jeffrey Shaw, to the show.

How are you, Mitch? I’m glad to be here with you.

I’m glad you’re here too. I’m excited to hear about this secret language. I want to dig a little bit into your background. Tell me how you got started.

I started out as a portrait photographer at the age of twenty as a hobby. I enjoyed back in the day darkroom work more than shooting, but nonetheless that led me to pursue photography as a career. I went off to photography school and got out of that program. I returned to my hometown, a little town a couple hours north of New York City called Hopewell Junction. It is a small country town. I had great aspirations of being what I consider to be a high-end portrait photographer. I don’t know that I for myself defined what high-end meant. I just knew that I felt and due to this day that photography portraits have a high value. It’s meaningful. It’s important. It’s something that gets handed down from generation to generation.

I returned to my hometown only to find my great discovery about Lingo is that I was speaking the wrong language to the community in which I was trying to build a business. Although I didn’t probably figure this out until several years later, realizing that most businesses are built backwards. We have great ideas and we let that idea become a springboard for a business we’re going to create. We don’t know the clientele that we’re trying to serve as well as we need to. We build a business and then we spend our lives trying to fit people into it, which is why entrepreneurship and small business always feels we’re chasing customers.

With this light bulb moment, I knew I needed to reinvent myself and I did. I reinvented myself as a truly high-end portrait photographer serving very affluent people. The problem was I didn’t know anything about affluent people. I didn’t know what made them tick. I didn’t know what was important to them. I had to learn. That’s the basis of my whole concept of Lingo is understanding someone’s secret language. Lingo to me is a collection of one’s values, life priorities, their essence, their soul. What’s in their heart? When you speak someone’s Lingo, it’s almost ironically the unspoken word. When you’re speaking someone’s Lingo and speaking to their soul, to their heart, to their values, it’s as if you’re speaking the unspoken word because it’s meaningful. That led me to a 33-year career as a photographer. Years ago, I started transitioning to coaching and helping entrepreneurs. Particularly those in creative businesses build more successful businesses using my strategies. That brings us to now where I’m coaching and released my book, etc.

When you understand the person and use their language, you feel closer and feel more of a bond to them. Click To Tweet

I have to tell you that we have something in common that I did not mention before. I’ve been a photographer all my life. I started when I was a little boy. In 1988, I got very serious about it. I set myself out to study with some of the great masters of landscape black and white, high-end landscape photography. I studied with John Sexton who studied Ansel Adams and others. Howard Bond was my mentor. Ron Rosenstock to this day is still my friend and mentor. I still travel all over the world photographing the landscape. I don’t use a 4×5 view camera anymore, I use a Sony digital. I love darkroom work too, but it became caustic to me after 30 years of having my hands in the chemistry. It was a great transition to digital when the time came. For our audience, you can go to MitchRussoTravels.com and see my photography there. When I understand the person and use the language of whatever it is their world is, I feel closer. I feel more of a bond to them. That’s the result of this effect that you call Lingo. Is that right?

It is. I’m using it as an upfront strategy to build your business in the first place. Right from the beginning, my goal for entrepreneurs is for them to build businesses where they’re only working with your ideal customers. In the book, I referenced it as busting up the Pareto Principle. The Pareto Principle is the 80/20 rule, which states 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. There’s factual truth to it, I’m not going to argue the mathematics of it. It’s not a great business strategy if you accept it now. It’s hard to stand out to get anyone’s attention. We can’t afford for eight out of ten customers to be a waste of our time.

The strategies I presented and the meaning behind Lingo is by first understanding the depth of the people that you want to serve. You understand the way they walk through life. What kind of life looks for them? What’s their perspective? I offer a five-step strategy in the book. The goal is that you’re going to attract that customer as you’re speaking their Lingo. The ultimate compliment we can receive as marketers now, and if you’re in business, you’re a marketer. Some people like separating, “I’m not a marketer because I didn’t go to school for that.” It’s like, “If you’re in business, you’re a marketer.” The highest compliment we can get, and the social proof that this is working, is when someone says to you, “It’s like you’re in my head,” or they say something like, “It’s like you get me.”

I also want to encourage entrepreneurs, small business owners to look at how they experience the world. Are you not drawn to a business that feels you’re connected to them like you get each other? Are we not willing to pay a premium price because we feel the relationship with that business is more meaningful to us than the price? Look at Apple. Apple has a cult following. People are devoted to the brand, as I am. If not a brand, you might be devoted to a genre. I know some bicycle hobbyists. People who are passionate about their biking and have all the gear, the expensive bicycle that they paid thousands of dollars for, the brakes, the helmet and the gear. Price is not an issue. They’ll pay the premium price because of their devotion to that brand or they’re a super consumer of that genre.

My feeling is that’s what you want to be to your ideal customers. You want to be something that they feel connected to, that they feel deeply passionate about. That’s where I ended up with a business where no more 80/20, it’s 95% of your business is coming in from 95% of your customers. It’s an even predictable business that way and you have far more control in your business and your finances with that level of control.

To be clear to our audience, the Pareto Principle basically says mathematically, if you look back in time and you see where your business came from the idea behind that is most of your business will come from a few customers. Business can mean revenue. It may mean transactions. While I agree with you, Jeffrey, I hate to have 80% of my customers not generating enough revenue. It’s not literal in that regard.

FTC 117 | Secret Language
Secret Language: 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers.


It’s a principle that entrepreneurs have to understand that they don’t have to accept. What happens is a lot of businesses and entrepreneurs then take whatever work they can get. Some money is no money, and that’s a very hard loop to ever get out of. If you accept that, this is part of the lower crop of the business. Some money is better than no money. That’s a loop that you’ll stay trapped in. It’s one of my objectives is to try to get this information into the hands of startups and people in the early stages of their business. It’s a problem they can solve earlier on. However, I work with plenty of people as a coach that had been in business for twenty years and you can still change the concept. The fact of the matter is business has changed.

My advantage is I’ve been in business for 33 years. In the ‘80s, you could throw a spaghetti at a wall and make money at it. There was a lot of money circulating and the values were different. People were label-conscious. They bought brands based on label names more so than quality. My photography clients had beautiful mansions and gorgeous homes. Many of them would work with interior designers that were such divas and difficult to put up with, but they were the “designer to have.” That doesn’t fly now. Something I say often is people don’t hire you because you’re the best, they hire you because you get them, and they get you.

We see this every day. If masses of people don’t feel aligned with your values as a company or some statements that you make as a company, masses of people will drop doing business with your company instantly. We see that level of transparency all the time. I love it. I love the state of the world in a lot of ways. I like the fact that people are saying, “I want to put my money where I feel where my money is going that is aligned with my values.” That’s an important way to be in the world.

It’s really hard to stand out to get anyone’s attention. Click To Tweet

This goes back to what other people have said about finding your why. If you know your why and you’re able to communicate it clearly, then one of the big benefits is people with that same why will resonate toward you. When I work with CEOs in my consulting business, one of the first things I do is try and capture the essence of who they are. Make sure that we are in agreement before we do anything else.

I’ve worked with a gentleman who is a former NFL player. He had a fantastic career but wasn’t sure what his true value was in this world and how he would express it. By understanding him, we discovered that one of the things he loves to do as a hobby became his profession. Now, he has several hundred thousand people following him on social media and he’s doing amazing things because he got clear on what it was that he did. Jeffrey, can you give me an example of a client you worked with and what you took them through so that we can see what you mean by Lingo?

I did a video of our process together because it’s quite magical what came of it. Largely, what I’m doing is working with brand messaging. I’m helping businesses, small businesses, entrepreneurs to speak the Lingo of their ideal customer, which begins with defining who your ideal customer is. Surprisingly, a lot of businesses are not clear on who their ideal customer is. Step number one, figure that out. The way to figure that out is not as linear as people think. When trying to define your ideal customer, my suggestion is you look at yourself first. Chapter Two in my book, LINGO, is the chapter around defining your ideal customer. The name says it all. The name of that chapter is Who Will Love That.

What I want to recommend you do is first, what are your innate characteristics? What are your personality traits? I, for example, am an organized, neat person. What are your innate characteristics? Then ask the question, who will love that? What is your skill set? What’s the skill set you bring to the table? What’s your talent? Who will love that? What’s your unique perspective? This is what separates competition. In most fields, there are many people doing the same thing that you might be doing but you have a unique perspective on why you do what you do. Who will that connect with? That’s how you define your ideal customer.

If I look at this globally, Mitch, I’ll offer you this. What I try to flip people’s mind into thinking is that imagine as you’re creating and building your business and then reorganizing your business. Imagine if you think about it in a way that there’s a world of people waiting for you to show up. They’re not chasing customers, but that all the people who can support your business are already there waiting for you to show up. You need to show up transparently and authentically to be found by them. This client I was working with, she came to me. She has an interesting six-month program for new parents. She helps new parents navigate through those murky, early months of having a baby. It’s not inexpensive. It’s a five-figure program and clearly not for everybody. She’s in Manhattan. I understand the Lingo of her clientele well what I would consider the Upper East Side, Park Avenue, 5th Avenue parents.

She presented me with her website and a lovely photograph of her. She had a rather bold headline on it that said, “Helping new parents stress less and sleep more.” I can completely relate to that. It seems good. I resonated with it, you may resonate with it, but here’s the problem. Her ideal customer will not resonate with that, and here’s why. This is an expensive program. The people that can afford her program are not losing sleep. They have baby nurses. Underneath this headline was something about, “Now that you’ve set up the crib, the mobile and the changing table, now set up your sanity.” The folks that she needs to reach, the people that can afford her, they’re not setting up a crib. That comes fully assembled, mobile hung up, nicely decorated nursery.

If you get underneath the lifestyle and the values of her ideal customer, those that can afford a five-figure, six-month parenting program. There are two values that are incredibly important to them. One is when you have money, money is not an excuse. The feeling, the essence, the Lingo of that client is that they feel a great deal of pressure to do everything right. They go to the “right school,” they marry the “right person.” There’s a certain amount of pressure of doing all the right things for their child. They will literally throw money at her if they feel that’s a box they can check. That, “I did all I could. I don’t know how the child is going to turn out, but I did all I could.” That’s important.

FTC 117 | Secret Language
Secret Language: There’s a world of people waiting for you to show up.


The second thing that’s important for her ideal customer is that their life is not set back by having a child, where most of us, it is. It sets us back financially. Everybody I know always move after they have a second child. The second child tips the scale. Everybody needs a bigger house after the second child. If I were a realtor I would market specifically to families that have their second child. For most of us that set us back financially, we can’t go out as much. We don’t see our friends as much. If you’ve got financial means, none of that is true. Having a baby doesn’t set you back, it’s the other way around.

Part of her program is that when these folks have a baby, those that can afford her program they want life to go on as wonderful as it already was. They want to go out Friday nights with their friends. They still want to take vacations to five-star hotels and they can afford to do so. They can afford the help, the nannies, etc., to bring with them. Her Lingo on her current website and all her messaging were geared towards what she knew of parenting, which was her own experience but it didn’t understand the Lingo of the people that she wanted to serve.

You said to find your ideal customer, you look at yourself first. If she looked at herself first and came up with that, then how did she miss this glaring problem about not understanding who her true customer was?

When I say look at our self, first of all, understand especially if you’re in a service business that’s true of most businesses, we are often serving people who are not exactly like us. If you’re in a service-oriented business, chances are you’re serving an audience that is likely to be a little bit better off than you are financially so that they can afford your services. We, in turn, hire people in our lives who we can afford. There’s a little bit of a trickledown effect there. The same is true in product development. You could be developing a fantastic technology that takes care of a problem that has been something you struggled with. By creating the technology, you’ve solved a problem for yourself. You can’t think any longer about the person who no longer had the problem you have to think like the person who has the problem.

In this case, that was not a good advice. For her, she did what you said. Find your ideal customer and look at yourself first. In your case, the brilliance that you brought to the table here is, “You did what is logical, what most people would do. We need to go one step further. We need to understand more about who is paying for the service and the lifestyle that they lead.”

People don't hire you because you're the best; they hire you because you get them and they get you. Click To Tweet

You need to understand what I’m saying. That’s what Lingo is about. It’s having a willingness to walk a mile in the shoes of the people you want to serve. Step number one of the five-step strategy is perspective. You can’t build a business speaking the Lingo of your ideal customer unless you first understand their perspective, which is likely to be different than your own. If you’re in business, building technology, product or going to serve Millennials, for example, if you’re not a Millennial, you have things to learn. You have to understand their mindset. This has always been the case, whether it’s Baby Boomers. If that’s a market that you’re going to be serving, you have to think as they think.

I’ll give you a simple example. I was coaching a photographer who specialized in high school senior portraits, a pretty common thing. She is well into her 30s. She’s not a high school senior. When she had the preview for the photographs, etc., she was sending it to the mom in the evenings. What she was missing was an opportunity to send the preview of the photo shoot to the teenage girl. Even more specifically, I said, “When you’re photographing these girls, find out when they have their break in school. When are they on a break hanging out in the lunchroom or courtyard or something with their friends? That’s when you want to send a preview. You want to send it to the daughter, not the mother. How many teenage girls want their mothers seeing their photographs first?”

Ideally, what you’re saying is, “Who is your client?” Is your client the child that you’re taking the picture of or the mom of the child? Whereas conventional thinking would say, “Where does the money come from?” It comes from mom. You’re saying that approval of the product will come from the subject in this case.

Especially now, what that girl wants, mom’s going to pay for. I don’t mean that to sound in any way entitled. Unlike a lot of people, I don’t think Millennials or younger generations are entitled although it’s often perceived that way. It’s respecting her as an adult. She’s seventeen, eighteen years old. She has an opinion of where she looks good and she should be respected for that. I don’t see it as an entitlement. It’s a matter of respect, having a relationship with her, and understanding where she’s coming from.

I happen to know that a number of people in our audience are in the business of being a coach, a consultant or business consultant. Like most coaches, not everybody is making the money that they’d want to make. They’re not having the number of clients they’d like to have. How do we apply your process to your average coach? Let’s do it together so we can demonstrate exactly how to do this.

What are your innate characteristics? What’s the skill set? What’s your unique perspective? I’ll use myself as an example. I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire life. I’ve never had a job. I’ve never received a paycheck. Every dollar I’ve made I have made on my own. Most of it’s been through the business of photography.

FTC 117 | Secret Language
Secret Language: You can’t build a business speaking the lingo of your ideal customer unless you first understand their perspective, which is likely to be different than your own.


Prior to writing the book, LINGO, somebody challenged me with a question. It’s quite confrontational, but an effective question. She said to me, “What gives you the authority to write this book?” After getting over my anxiety of, “She’s right. I don’t have a degree. It was my first book. What authority do I have?” I realized, “Here’s my authority. I sold something no one needs to the hardest market in the world as a portrait photographer. It’s a luxury product. Nobody has to have family portraits. They certainly don’t have to have $10 holiday cards that I produced. People don’t have to have what I do, and I served the most challenging market to break into in the world, affluent market.” This is what gives me the authority and that’s true of all. What is your background? What’s your unique perspective?

I’ll give you another example of a coach. This is a woman I went to coach training with, one of many coach training things that I’ve done. I was trying to help her as a friend figure out what her unique perspective is. Where can she serve? For me, as the story I just told you, it was obvious that I could help, which is how I present myself as a coach for uncommon entrepreneurs. I’m not interested in coaching people who sell groceries or things that are common. What I’m skilled at is helping entrepreneurs who are doing something unusual because that was my story. That was my own background. I have a marketing brand that works with if you have something challenging to sell, whether it’s transformation or a unique product.

This other friend of mine, when I was trying to help her, she was not finding this thing that she did. I was out walking one day, and I called her and was asking for her guidance on some life issues. After she gave me some great advice, I hung up the phone and it hit me. I called her right back and I said, “Do people call you all the time for you to help them get clear on like, ‘Cut to the chase, get to the point?’” She was like, “All the time. That’s the story of my life.” She’s a former IBM executive. She had said that when she was on boards, people would always rely on her to be the person to cut to the chase. She’s like, “I’ve heard that my whole life,” and I said, “That’s how you serve as a coach.” There’s a need for that. I call upon her, even as a friend, all the time to help me see through the clutter and bottom line it. That’s a unique skill set she has.

One of the exercises I often give my coaching clients to help them find their way, which is what I’m going to offer to your audience as well, is to make a list of compliments that you’ve heard throughout your life. Pay particular attention to the compliments that you want to brush off. The, “I’ve heard that my whole life. People have always told me I’d get to the point.” Pay particular attention to those things. In my case, it’s a double-edged sword. I’ve heard it as a compliment, but it’s also been one of the personal attributes that people have made the most fun of and I’ve also received the most criticism. That is that I am ridiculously organized and neat. My family criticized me for it. It drove them crazy that I’m type A. I’ve also been complimented on it, people are like, “Every T is crossed, every I is dotted.”

Going back to chapter two in my book to find your ideal customer, who loves that? Do you know who loves that? Affluent people, because their life is buttoned-down. When I’m photographing families, the woman doesn’t have to worry about a blouse being askew or a hair out of place. They don’t have to worry about their family members receiving portraits that are sent to them directly as a gift. They know everything’s going to arrive perfect. It’s innate to who I am.

I’m going to go back to the example. You are an unusual example because you are doing something. You’re a business coach in a very unique way. Many business coaches don’t have what I would call IP. They don’t have original material or intellectual property of their own, but they’re smart guys. They’ve been in business and they’ve helped other people be successful. When we asked some of the questions that you’ve posted, they help somewhat. When someone doesn’t have that uniqueness other than their experience, where should they start?

Not everybody is making the money that they'd really want to make. Click To Tweet

Everybody has it. In the book, I referenced that. I almost wish I could correct this because in the book I referenced that your unique perspective is as unique as your DNA. What I’d like to correct about that, it’s more unique than your DNA and here’s why. In any given family, if there are multiple siblings, it’s amazing if you talk to your brothers and sisters how you have a different perspective on the same life events that you all witnessed together. Siblings are supposed to have matching DNA. If that’s the case, then your unique perspective, what you’ve projected on that life event is more unique than DNA. Your matching DNA didn’t see it the same way.

Your perspective is a combination of many things. It’s how breakups and relationships affected you. It’s the career path that you took. It’s the education you received. There are many elements that ultimately form for you to have a perspective on something. I don’t think there’s anybody that doesn’t have a unique perspective. I’ll give you another example. One of my other coaching clients came to me, a very successful guy. He’s founded numerous companies. His stint was fifteen years at a company that he co-founded that he left because it was draining. It was no longer fulfilling him. He’s 55 years old at the time. He contacted me after having been out of the company for quite some time and he said, his exact words were, “I’m 55 and I’m not dead yet. I don’t know what I want to do next. I’m certainly not retiring but I don’t want to do the same old, same old. Do you think you can help me find my way?” I have to say with some trepidation because this is open, “I don’t know where we’re going here.” I’m a little bit more of a strategist. I was like, “I’ll bet we can. Let’s get creative here.” If you looked at his background, he has education as a CFO, but he has CMO experience, he has COO experience, he has CEO experience. He has all this C-suite executive experience in various roles. What I learned from talking to him is like, “What’s your unique perspective on business? What do you see as a core problem?” He referred to it as what he called an inflection point.

A lot of businesses get to an inflection point that either makes or breaks them. Either they’ve seen significant growth and they get to this place in business and the decision-making becomes important at this inflection point. A lot of businesses don’t get the support they need during that inflection point. I love the whole terminology of inflection point. I thought it was a little bit of a different spin on that crucial moment of businesses that have been written back about even way back to the E-Myth book. What do we do with all this? We put him together. We brand him and put together a business for him, which we call CXO. Fill in the blank with whatever C-suite executive you need the X. Do you need a CEO? He’s a project-based, temporary C-suite executive.

I told him in the beginning, “It’s like an Airbnb model for C-suite executives,” because there are a lot of companies that are in between C-suite executives. He doesn’t want anything long-term. He’s 55. He was like, “I just want six-month contracts.” He’s working with companies that have a six-month gap or three-month gap in their C-suite executive or they’re a company that is privately owned, maybe doing $2 million to $20 million or something and need their finances straightened out. He is brought in as a project-based CFO to straighten out their finances. We refer to him as a CXO. It’s visually laid out and slightly the X is big. He’s a project-based C-suite executive, like an Airbnb model for C-suite executives.

I’m sure he was thrilled with that. To our audience, we are talking to Jeffrey Shaw. Jeffrey is an expert. He asks the type of questions that make you money. He asks questions like, “What are your innate characteristics? What are your skills? What is your unique perspective?” Jeffrey, how does this all relate to Lingo?

FTC 117 | Secret Language
Secret Language: Your unique perspective is as unique as your DNA.


Do you know how we often overlook the obvious? To me, everything relates to Lingo. If you want to build the business of your dreams and reach the success you want, you have to speak the Lingo of your ideal customers. I look at this as the step beyond buyer personas and avatars, which has been the buzz in the marketing, but I no longer think it’s enough. Consumers now and even more so in the future are going to demand that we know more about them than their demographics. We’ve made a pseudo avatar of them. We’ve imagined who our ideal customer is. They’re going to demand a deeper emotional connection with your business before you will have their trust and ultimately their business. It all comes down to Lingo.

I had a fellow podcast host, I was on his show and he contacted me sometime after his show. He said, “Now that you’ve brought it up,” he can’t unsee Lingo. You start realizing that, but Walmart has a specific Lingo. It’s cost-conscious. That’s the Lingo they’re speaking. Their rollback prices, things are priced to the 100th of a cent. It’s cluttered, it’s busy. It’s folksy. You walk in. You see all the registers lined up right away. It’s transactional. They’re speaking a cost-conscious language. They want you to know as their customer that they’ve done everything they can so you don’t pay more than 100th of a cent more than you have to for their product.

Ikea is one of my favorite brand stories to talk about Lingo. Ikea has a brilliant but less obvious Lingo. It’s almost easier to say what it’s not. Ikea is not speaking the Lingo of saving time. If you’re someone like me, my whole life is geared around how I can do things quicker. Ikea, as wonderful as a brand it is, it’s not for me. It’s such a time-consuming process, but they speak in the Lingo of do-it-yourself pride. People will go to great lengths, follow that freaking line around the store. They’ll go to the warehouse, load the stuff on the cart, take it off the register, put it back in the car, load it in their car and drive it home. Then they’ll watch YouTube videos to figure out how to put it together all for the moment of satisfaction that they can stand back and say, “I built that.”

It’s not about saving time. If you’re a consumer and your Lingo is saving time, Ikea is not for you. If you have time to spend and that’s an outing for you and you speak the Lingo of do-it-yourself pride, then Ikea is right for you. It’s everywhere. My hope for the whole concept and idea of Lingo is that it is the marketing strategy of the future. It not only makes businesses successful, but it also makes the world a better place when we stop to get to know each other, the people we’re going to serve. With empathy, when we get to know them that well, how can this not make the world a better place?

That’s a great place for me to insert one of my favorite questions. This is a question that helps our audience to get to know who you are a little bit better. 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?

If you want to build the business of your dreams and reach the success you want, you have to speak the lingo of your ideal customers. Click To Tweet

I want to see my grandmother because I loved her so much. I was fortunate I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. I’m going to say, Jim Rohn. I don’t know if you’re familiar with a lot of Jim Rohn quotes. Many of my favorite quotes have come from him. Talking about Lingo, everything that came out of that man’s mouth resonated with me. My favorite quote of all time is a Jim Rohn quote, “Your level of success rarely exceeds your level of personal development,” and that is everything to me. I use that as a coach all the time to point out to people.

It’s like, “If you want to grow your business, you have to grow as a person first. As you raise the ceiling of your own personal development, all that you deserve in life come up underneath you to meet that ceiling. You raise the ceiling again by growing again. The ceiling of your success and all that you wanted in your life once again rises to meet you.” It gives me chills to this day to think of that quote and so many others. Jim Rohn was also responsible for the quote, “We are the culmination of the five people we spend the most time with.” Everything that came out of that man’s mouth is fundamentally truthful that he’s speaking my Lingo through and through. That’s who I would want to take a walk in the park with.

I would love to join you on that walk because he was one of what I call my rolling university professors. Throughout the years that I was on the road as a salesman, I had a trunk filled with cassette programs and he occupied a large percentage of those programs. I share your love of Jim. Thanks for bringing that up. The second question and the grand finale, the change the world question, Jeffrey. What is it that you are doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?

I secretly say to myself often, I don’t often say it out loud because sometimes it’s hard to own our biggest dreams without feeling like, “Who do I think I am? How dare I think so grandiose?” When I have the guts as I am now to say it, I will say that I want to change the world one entrepreneur at a time. I believe entrepreneurs are on the frontline. Statistics tell us such. Predictions are by 2030, 60% of the US economy will be driven by freelancers and entrepreneurs. I feel we are the change-makers as small businesses, as entrepreneurs. I want to change the world one entrepreneur at a time by encouraging them to speak the Lingo of their ideal customers and make this a more beautiful world.

I make this clear at the beginning of the book. I talk a lot about getting into people’s mindsets, understanding their Lingo, their values, their priorities. I make it clear up front this is not conniving or creepy. This is about empathy. It’s about all of us, particularly those of us in business, to increase our capacity to have empathy for other people. To understand, without judgment, without assumption, where other people are coming from. You don’t have to agree, but we can respect each other and see the world from another people’s perspective. We can change the world. We can have a more kindhearted, less judgmental, quick to judge, quick to assumption world if we simply take the time with empathy to know each other at a deeper level. I challenge small business and entrepreneurs to take the leading role on that.

FTC 117 | Secret Language
Secret Language: If you want to grow your business, you have to grow as a person first.


I happen to agree with you and I know the entrepreneurs in our audience will agree with you as well. I understand, Jeffrey, that you have a gift for our audience. Can you describe what that gift is?

It’s the LINGO Media Kit. In it, there is an infographic which visually lays out with a brief description of the five steps of the Secret Language Strategy. If you want to learn how to speak the Lingo of your ideal customers, this is a quick visual summary of the five steps to do so, which in-depth you’d have to read the book. There’s also the free chapter of the book which is chapter three. I know most people give away chapter one. Chapter three has an audio version of it as well. Chapter three is about perspective, which is foundational to everything. You can’t have empathy, you can’t build a business, and you can’t speak the Lingo of your ideal customer unless you take the time to understand their perspective. That’s why I offer in that chapter.

Jeffrey, thank you so much for attending and being on the show with me. I had a great conversation, I enjoyed our time. I learned something too, which is another reason why I love to podcast so much. Thanks for being here.

Thank you so much for having me.

We’ll talk again soon.

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