GUY KAWASAKI: That’s quite an intro. Thank you.
JAIME TARDY: You’re welcome. First off, you’ve been doing a ton of interviews promoting your book. Can you tell us a little bit about how you came about writing it but also something really interesting that maybe you haven’t mentioned in all of the other interviews that you have done?
GK: I can’t keep track of what I said in the other interviews.
JT: So we’ll pretend.
GK: I have been evangelizing computers and products and services about 25 years now and I’ve finally figured out that you have to go beyond and you have to start enchanting people. There’s a higher order of standards and so I wanted to help people learn how to go from engagement to enchantment, just like Tom Peters, if you’re old enough to remember who Tom Peters is. He went from having companies survive to being excellent. So I wanted to help people go to the next level.
JT: So what made you decide to write it now?
GK: I was in a two book deal with my publisher. They said, “You owe us another book.”
JT: Perfect timing then. Great. I started reading the book and I really, really enjoyed it, of course. I already love you so it’s pretty easy to please me, but I’ll actually be honest, the first part of the book I actually sort of had a chip on my shoulder because you talk a lot about likeability and I’m like, “I’m likeable, this is great but I actually learned a lot of really interesting tips.” So do you mind sharing some of the tips that you have in the book about really how to be enchanting?
GK: Yes. So the pillars of enchantment are that you’re likeable, trustworthy and have a great product or service. A lot of people say that’s three duhs, of course that’s true. I agree there, of course it’s true, but how many people really do it. That’s the question. So likeability begins with some real basic stuff like a great handshake, adequate or appropriate dress and finally, that you have this great smile. One way of looking at it is well yeah, duh, of course. But truly ask yourself how many people are likeable.
Trustworthiness, that’s the next step, because you can be likeable but not trustworthy. Likeability and trustworthy are two sides of the same coin. If you’re trustworthy you’re defaulting to a positive yes attitude where you’re happy developed people. You want to help people. You also believe that the world is for bakers not eaters. Eaters see a pie and say, “This is a zero sum game. I will get as much of the pie as possible.” A baker by contrast says, “This is non-zero sum game. I can bake a bigger pie. I can bake more pies.”
My philosophical orientation is that bakers are typically more trustworthy than eaters because bakers see the world as non zero sum game but everybody can succeed. And the last thing about trustworthiness is where you have to understand that this is not a chicken or egg question. You have to trust others before they trust you.
JT: So how do we know whether we’re a baker or an eater?
GK: Well, I mean really, how do you approach the world? Do you see the world as a zero sum game? When you see somebody succeeding do you envy them and wish they didn’t succeed because you believe that there’s only so much success in the world and you have to grab all you can or do you want to make other people succeed too?
JT: Excellent. So you also talk a lot about how a business can be enchanting which is separate from when the person can be enchanting. What are some of the steps that you do or can tell us about for an enchanting business?
GK: I think an enchanting business should not be much different than an enchanting person because an enchanting business has to be likeable, trustworthy and have a great product. I’ll go through one example of each. The great product example, of course, the easy one is Apple. It’s a great iPod, iPhone, iPad and computers. The great trustworthy company that stands out recently is Zappos where millions of women trust them enough to buy shoes sight unseen.
The final thing of likeability is Richard Branson. So the first time I met Richard Branson he asked me if flew Virgin and I told him no so he got on his knees and started polishing my shoes with his coat. There’s not a lot of CEOs who would do that. I think business people and eventual millionaires should aspire to be product quality of Apple and the likeability of Richard Branson and the trustworthiness of Zappos.
JT: You talk a lot about how enchanting Richard Branson is. Like you said, not many billionaires would shine your shoes ever let alone care whether or not you fly Virgin or not. It’s funny because I actually saw how the back of the book you actually had a quote from him. So I want to ask you, and this is sort of self serving for me too because I want to interview, one of my main goals is to interview Richard Branson sometime in my life. So how did you enchant Richard Branson on the other side to get him to give you a quote for your book?
GK: Well, earlier in the book you saw that picture of him polishing my shoes, right? I remained in contact. I sent him a few emails. I sent him my existing book and I also, I became friends starting from that moment with the people who run Virgin America in America and they are quite active on social media so I was helping them out on social media. I definitely believe in helping people who can help me. So basically, the fact that he gave me that quote and was so helpful to me is more proof of a concept of reciprocation that if you help people they will help you.
JT: So I’m assuming you only fly Virgin now?
GK: Honestly, it’s not that I only fly Virgin because Virgin does not fly to some places I need to get to. If I can catch a Virgin plane to where I need to go, I will catch a Virgin plane. There are several factors going on. No matter how likeable Richard Branson is, if his airline sucked, I mean I still wouldn’t fly, right? So you have to back that up with a good product. But in San Francisco, Virgin has a great brand new terminal. It has really nicer planes. I think the people are happier who work for Virgin and I love the fact that every plane has wi-fi and, to this day, not every plane has wi-fi. You got the good airplane and you have a good staff and you have a likeable CEO, I mean that’s basically the trifecta.
JT: Maybe that’s why they’re doing well. Excellent. One thing that I love about you, in general though, is that you’re extremely action oriented. So it’s not just about reading a book and obtaining knowledge and hoping that helps. It’s about actually doing something and taking action. The new book especially has a lot of actionable info especially about social media. If you had to boil it down to a couple small things a small business owner could do when jumping into social media, what would you suggest?
GK: I would just get back to basics. In the digital realm, believe it or not, one of the simplest and most effective things you could do to enchant people is answer your email. I kid you not, if you just did that, you would probably rise to the top of most peoples’ list because so few people answer email. Literally, it is that simple.
JT: What is it about answering email? Like what does that show your customers and clients?
GK: I mean it shows that you’re kind of doing your job. Imagine if you email a business and you ask them a question and they just ignored you? I mean that’s essentially what happens if you don’t answer your email. I must admit that I often fail at this too. Don’t get me wrong, but I try and I think it’s very important. Maybe the single most important thing you can do for enchanting people in a digital way.
JT: It’s funny how rare that is though nowadays, you know what I mean? I mean I remember how Gary Vaynerchuk sort of had this whole thing of I will respond to every single email that comes in and it’s amazing how different that made him comparatively to any other, especially web celebrity or celebrity in general, but it’s weird that that’s uncommon because you would think when customers and clients are emailing you then you need to email them back.
GK: The interesting thing is now you send him an email, if you get an email back, it says please watch this movie while I explain how I can’t answer the emails.
JT: I haven’t emailed him lately. That’s great. So he couldn’t handle it either though? I mean I think that’s the hard thing, the massive amounts that we’re getting nowadays because it’s so easy to send out an email. That must be why it’s not prevalent. You probably get tons and tons of email, you know. You’d be able to spend less time with your family and more time to send out email all the time.
GK: At some point you do have to make some choices there, seriously.
JT: Excellent. Or hire somebody else and have them answer your email at least at first. So I love how in the book too, I mean I say this a lot because you know I already love you, you say that you want people to go out and change the world. What is your reason behind all of it? I mean you’ve got ten books, you’re helping people, you’ve got a venture capital firm, you’re trying to change the world, what is all that behind it? Why?
GK: Boy, are we doing a little psychoanalysis here? I don’t know. I just think at the end of one’s life, kind of have to face up to what you did with your life and you could make a lot of money, you could spend a lot of money, you could do a lot of things, but I think ultimately the real value you provide is that you made the world a better place and I realize that getting into heaven isn’t necessarily quid pro quo, you do good things you get into heaven, but just in case it is, you never know, you might as well do good things because it’s a long time. Eternity is a long time.
JT: That’s awesome. It’s funny because leaving the world a better place for other people not only helps you get into heaven but helps other people afterwards too which is an awesome, awesome goal. So, in your book, at the end, you talk a lot about social media, marketing tips on how you can use technology specifically, not even just social media for your business. What are some of the technologies that you suggest that we should use?
GK: Well, I think that technology can be divided into push and pull and push is Twitter and email and pull is Facebook fan page and website and you need to do both. The beauty of Twitter and email is you could control when and how you interact. You could push a lot of stuff at people. Assuming that they read it, it’s kind of involuntary. On the other hand, with pull, you have to really attract people to websites, which is not trivial but theoretically, once you get them to a website, you can do a lot more with them.
So there are positives and negatives of both of those things and I think that both are essential these days. You cannot really be effective as a marketer without doing both. I actually think that Twitter and Facebook are just the best things that ever happened to a marketing person. It’s a great time to be a marketing person, Jaime, it’s just wow. Twitter and Facebook is free, it’s ubiquitous, they’re ubiquitous and reach millions of people. Life is good as a marketer right now.
JT: And free, totally free! Excellent. So I have a client who is a plumbing company and she knows that Facebook fan pages are where it’s at but she has no idea what to do to go about and get the new younger customers. This company has been in business for 80 years. They said actually most of their customers are dying off right now because they are such an old company. They’re trying to get into new media. What would you suggest for a company really trying to get into learning about Facebook fan pages and getting people to pull and come to their site, especially a plumbing company?
GK: This is a non trivial question you’re asking. First of all, we have to visit the assumption that every company in the world has to have a Facebook fan page and a Twitter. I mean it may not be true, God forbid. How about if I zoom out and I say, if the question is really how can something as extreme as a plumber be enchanted? Okay? So the answer to this question is that I think that plumbers can be enchanted. First of all, they could pull up their pants.
JT: That’s all you would need!
GK: Then you would show up on time and you would actually do the repair and the cost would be equal or less than the estimate. Just think, how many plumbers just do that right there? An enchanting plumber would have an email account so that it’s easy to arrange stuff. You don’t have to call the person and get the voicemail and play telephone tag all the time. All these things are pretty cut and dry basic stuff but man, I’ve used a lot of plumbers in my time, I can’t say any of them just completed all that box. It can be done.
JT: Well, like you said, a lot of this stuff sounds almost like common sense but we aren’t doing it. I think of all my clients and I think of a lot of businesses, and there’s just a lot to it and we aren’t doing even the simple stuff. So what would you suggest for people like going through their business and going okay I already have a business, what’s the most important things I could be doing with your book enchantment? Like what are the some of the key things that people should take away from it?
GK: I keep coming back to the principles, the three pillars. If you’re not likeable, trustworthy and have a great product or service, you’re not going to be enchanting. So we need to work on the basics and a lot of people, listen, for 26 bucks, which is if you pay full retail for the book, which nobody ever does, but if you did pay full retail.
JT: Wait, I did!
GK: Thank you. You know what, no book can just overnight change you. So, a book, this book, it’s about the process of enchantment and it takes a lot of work. You have to improve your likeability, your trustworthiness, your product, your service. You have to create this effective launch. You have to be a good speaker. You have to do a lot of things. I mean it is a process. It’s not an event. If it were an event, I would charge a lot more for this book, honestly.
It takes a lot of work. People need to understand that you don’t just wake up in the morning one day all of a sudden enchanting. So I’m not trying to undersell my book but I want people to be realistic that it is a process. Now, I also would say that it is not the case that people are either born enchanting or not enchanting. I think that enchantment is a lot like fitness, you could be really fit and you could be not so fit, but everybody has room to improve. Obviously or maybe not obviously, but clearly someone like Lance Armstrong has an advantage, right, just genetically.
I will never be a Lance Armstrong so he had some genetic advantages, but even if you’re not a Lance Armstrong, everybody can improve. That’s, I think, one of the keys in any process in life that you can improve. You’re not either born a salesman or not. You’re not born an entrepreneur or not. Everybody can improve.
JT: That actually brings me to the question though, you know, as you’re going through life, as you’re learning, especially in business, you have to grow personally and professionally in everything. How have you grown from starting out way back when to now? Like what are some of the key areas that you feel like you have grown as a person?
GK: I think I am a lot more tolerant of people who don’t meet my expectations of them. Before, I used to really think why can’t people do this? Why, I was very impatient with less than stellar results. I think now I have a much greater appreciation for the fact that people have other things going on in their lives and work might not be their top priority and there’s nothing wrong with that.
I think I have a lot more tolerance and, in fact, in the book, I recommend that when you judge people, most people judge other people’s results against your intentions. But what you really should do, if you want to be enchanting, is you should judge your results against their intentions. That’s a much harder test.
JT: Yeah, I read that part and was like oh yeah I totally should do that. That’s huge. I mean that’s a huge piece of information that anyone could do because we are so easy to judge other people, way too easy to judge other people instead of the other way around so that’s some key advice. Excellent.
GK: It really is true and I think that only comes with age.
JT: Oh thanks! It’s going to take me awhile to learn.
GK: You just need to get the crap beat out of you. That’s what it takes.
JT: Ooh I have something to look forward to. Woo-hoo! It’s funny because even in the book you say, “Sometimes you just need to suck it up and just do stuff anyway without complaining.” What I’d love to know is were there times and what are the times that you’ve had to go through where you just had to suck it up? We’ll hear wonderful success stories about how wonderful everything was and even when we hear some of the hard stuff, it seems like well, you’re Guy Kawasaki, you can do everything. So what are some of the times where you knew you just had to stop complaining and just suck it up?
GK: I had to work like a dog in the Mac division. We were killing ourselves. It was a lot of fun and exciting and all that but we really were working 70, 80, 90 hours a week and I’m not capable of doing that anymore, just physically, and it was a great time. So sometimes you just learn you need to suck it up, you need to put in the hours, nobody promised you a rose garden. That’s just not how the world works and I think another thing that gets beat out of you through life is that you learn that there is no sense of entitlement, that the world doesn’t owe you anything.
JT: That can be a hard one to swallow sometimes, right? I mean especially, no offense to my generation at all, but we’re told you could have everything you want, you could do anything you want and TV is right there for you. Everybody is getting trophies, all that fun stuff and unfortunately, you know, we’re not. You have to work really hard and some people don’t realize that you have to actually work really hard, tirelessly. I interview millionaires and one of the key things that all of them say, you know, is you have to work really hard. It’s not as though someone hands you a plate and it has a dessert and it’s wonderful. You actually have to go through and suck it up and stop complaining.
GK: Well, look how young you are, you’ve already figured that out. You’re like way ahead of most people.
JT: Thank you. Can I use that as a quote, Guy?
GK: Feel free!
GK: Feel free.
JT: So what are some of the failures that you’ve gone through? This is one of the questions I usually ask. What’s like one failure that you’ve had that you had to bounce back from?
GK: Well, you could make the case that I failed with Macintosh because Macintosh only has 5 percent market share, right? So you could say that Macintosh failed. Not a lot of people would agree with that theory but you could make that case. So definitely I learned from the Macintosh Apple experience is that the best product doesn’t necessarily win.
I think when you grow up you think you just make the best thing you can and of course people will love it and life is good, life goes on, life is easy and then you go into the real world and you discover wow, not so easy. If you have the best thing it’s not so easy. That took me quite awhile to figure out.
JT: That’s a hard pill to swallow especially for new people coming into it going I’m so excited. Things are going to be great. I have the best thing ever. It will be easy to sell and then they go out and try and sell. Excellent. So actually, I would love to talk to you about just some speaking tips. You are an amazing speaker and I’d love to know, what is your top one or two speaking tips for everyone that wants to be a speaker?
GK: Well, the number one tip for anyone who wants to be a speaker is kind of a duh-ism which is you better have something to say. A lot of people, and this goes for book writing too, a lot of people say I want to write a book and you ask them well what about and they say I don’t know but I just want to write a book, increase my credibility. Give me more speaking fees or whatever.
You have to ask yourself whether you’re writing a book or making a speech, if you walk into Borders or Barnes & Noble and there’s 100,000 titles and there’s 100 in the new and noteworthy section, and there’s a book by, I don’t know, Clayton Precious and Jeffrey Moore and Chip and Dan Heat and maybe me and Tom Peters and that’s right next to the section where Condoleeza Rice wrote her biography or auto-biography, and Colin Powell wrote one and Richard Branson is writing a book about business management. So why is your book going to stand out in that crowd? That is a very good question.
And the answer is not because you want it to. The question is why? Why will it stand out? Ask yourself as a customer, you walk into Barnes & Noble or you heard that this person was speaking, why would you go here, Joe Blow of Joe Blow Publishing, President of the Blow Company, write the Blow Way. I mean that’s a harsh question but that’s the question you have to ask.
JT: What I love about this sort of topic in general though is even about how your book jacket. I don’t know if anyone knows, but even with the Art of the Start, you’ve done contests for your book jacket and I found these amazing, I mean you’ve been crowd sourcing before everyone else did but amazing because it’s your audience that chooses the type of book cover that they want to see and therefore you’re way more likely to have it be picked up by people who are your audience. So what made you start doing that?
GK: You know, what made me do it is practicality. An author, basically every author, gets to choose from about 10 or 15 titles. That’s just not enough for me so I don’t have any graphic talent so I couldn’t design it myself. So what I did is I crowd sourced it so that other people could look at it and look at the spec and figure out and see if they could do a better job. With this book, I think 250 people designed 700 covers. When you have that many smart, talented people looking at your problem you’re probably much more likely you’re going to get a great answer.
So part of it is just ability to think that maybe you don’t know everything. So I love that. Of course there’s a twist in my story because I showed the winning design to my publisher and they didn’t like it. They said it was too self-help, too feminine, too woo-woo with this blue butterfly photo. So then I converted that theory to origami and I had this origami master that I found on the web and he basically built me a butterfly. Could you imagine a blue moreful butterfly having sex with a B1 stealth bomber? That’s the butterfly that came out.
JT: That’s an awesome description and it’s beautiful. I mean it’s awesome. I would love to have one of those. I am sure you probably have the actual one somewhere special. It’s awesome. Excellent. So I have two more questions for you. One is what resources have you turned to in your life like books that you’ve read or tools that you’ve used that have really helped you out?
GK: I think that, I’ll tell you some books that have been instrumental in my life. One would definitely be If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. This is a book about creativity and expression and it kind of changed my life. This would be one of the books that I will tell you really affected me, really helped me improve my game. Really helped me understand what’s going on in the world so I would highly recommend that people read it if you want to write.
JT: I haven’t even heard of that book, wow.
GK: Yeah, it’s a great book. Changed my life, that book.
JT: That’s great. I’ll have to get it. Perfect. So for my last question then, what’s one action that the business owners listening can take this week to move them forward towards their goal of a million?
GK: Well, I mean this might not be so popular an answer, but I don’t think the goal should be to make a million dollars. I think the goal should be to make the world a better place, increase people’s creativity or productivity and I think that making a million dollars is a natural outcome of successfully changing the world. So the way it works is you focus on changing the world, you’ll probably make a million dollars. If you focus on making a million dollars, you might make a million dollars but I think you’ll probably be less successful. Don’t focus on the reward, focus on the goal.
JT: Excellent advice and I agree with you 100 percent. That’s sort of, actually, I don’t know if you’ve seen the site, but it’s sort of about having the life you want to live and being able to help other people and them make your million or at least do it while you’re able to live the life you want and help other people because it isn’t about the money. I mean that’s sort of the whole point of it is that it’s definitely not about the money. You can be happy and help others without the money and that’s just a measurement of how well you’re doing in life to me anyway.
So I just want to say thank you so much. I highly recommend everybody pick of the book Enchantment and I also think you guys listening would also love The Art of the Start if you haven’t read that one yet. I highly recommend that. So Guy, what’s the best place to find you online and how can we support you in changing the world?
GK: It’s hard to avoid me online.
JT: I know!
GK: It’s like avoiding smog. So my website is guykawasaki.com. I have a Facebook fan page called Facebook.com/enchantment and those are the two ways. Of course, you could just go to Amazon and cut to the chase and buy the book. But what I really want, I want people to have different level of goals so I want them to become enchanting not just engaging. So this means that you have the likeability of Richard Branson, you have the product of Apple and you have the trustworthiness of Zappos and if you do those three things, you’ll probably change the world and as one natural outcome of changing the world, you will also make a million dollars.
JT: Thank you so much for coming on today and for, in general, making the world a better place even if it’s just making more people more engaging and more enchanting because that’s a wonderful thing too. Whether people make money or not, it’s an awesome thing. So thank you so much for coming on today, Guy. I really appreciate it.
GK: Okay, thanks.
JT: Take care. Have a great day.
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