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Personal Branding Pt.1

Are you in the red ocean? Lean into your weird and let go, what makes you weird makes you wonderful.

Important: We’re sorry about this, but this transcript is hard to read. We’ve added the wall of text below to help our search function better. If you’d like to help us format this, please reach out to andres@thefutur.com. In the meantime, simply turn closed captions on (CC) the video above to read along.
OK, so everybody, welcome to personal branding one, This is where we talk about branding and modern mythology, this is just part one. Like I mentioned, this is a beta release, so please don't share this with anybody. It's written all over the place. Please do not share, do not distribute this as I'm working on this and this will be a paid course at one point in time. This is just for you. And we're going to get going here. So we know that it's a super noisy world. And if you're an undifferentiated person, if something that you do doesn't stand out, you stand in the sea of the same. Often referred to as the red ocean, the highly competitive space. And I wanted to take this whole red ocean concept to something that you might be familiar with, which is a Star Trek and any Star Trek fans here. And raise your hand. I can see you will be. Yeah, Jennifer. Yeah, a couple of Star Trek fans. What do we know about the red shirt people? We know something's going on. They always die. They always die. Ok? that's right. They always die. And I looked it up. It's just because, you know, they're just standing characters there. What do they call it? They're called extras, and you don't want to be an extra in your life. I mean, you might want to be extraordinary and sometimes you want to be extra in your personality, but you want to be an extra in a movie or a TV show because your rate of dying is much, much higher than the rest. And so it turns out that upon introduction, the cast that wear a red shirt are 60% likely to die as opposed to a gold shirt or blue shirt. So when I handed out the shirts for the cast of star trek, make sure you grab a blue or red one because you're going to get written off the show. OK, you're just going to fall dead. So what we need to do is we need to stand out. We need to do something to make us be seen. And this is not that different than in real life. And I like these reflective statements, so to be found. You must first find yourself, but that's no easy task. Because whenever I ask people about their personal branding, their stories, everybody is like, I don't have a story and I'm the same person, I'm like, I don't have a story either. I'm not any different. I don't want to be different. I think part of this reason is because for the most part, many of us have been socialized to fit in. Now we learned early on to get along, go along. And people who are different are often ostracized, they're punished, sometimes they're kept back in school. They get sent to a different school. It's what we need to do is we need to rediscover ourselves, so this is another expression I love it's adopted from James victory expression. What makes you weird makes you wonderful. So today we're all about leaning into our Weird you're not normal. This your square peg in the round wholeness. To embrace the idiosyncratic self. So we have to just be able to let go. OK, I'm saying that right now because this is not going to work if we're still holding on to these old ideas. And what we want to do is we want to try and find harmony between our public and our private self. So we're going to talk a lot about superheroes in the superhero world that's called an alter ego. Most heroes need to have a secret identity because they're doing good and they're fighting crime, and criminals fight under a different set of rules. The I have no rules. And so they have to create a false identity for themselves. So they don't harm and hurt the ones that they love. And depending on your perspective. It's sometimes debatable, which is the alter ego. So Peter Parker, as you know, is his spider-man, and he has to create spider-man because if he runs around fighting crime, it's Peter Parker. First of all, it'll give his Aunt May a heart attack. But then people can hurt his family and his loved ones. And I kind of feel like that's necessary as a superhero. But in your world, being different than who you are in private creates all kinds of tension and it requires different levels of energy. So if we can try to bring those two things together like to fuse those things together, I think we're going to live a happier life. So how are we going to do this? Or, as the title suggests, we're going to talk about mythology. I'm not a mythology person. I didn't do that well in school. And the reason why is because I read a lot of comic books skateboarding, so I'm really into pop culture. And so in ancient times, we look at the gods and they're part of mythology, and in modern times we talk about superheroes and they dominate pop culture and media. This is the modern world. And so that's what we're going to do. So we're going to be looking at branding through the lens of pop culture. And hopefully, some of you have some references here, and it's OK if you don't. Don't worry, it'll still make sense. So we see characters like this from the DC Universe. Some of the most iconic the trinity, if you will, are superman, Batman and Wonder Woman and secondary characters like green lantern, Aquaman and the flash, the Martian Manhunter. You know something about unless you're a big comic book nerd, you might not know much about them at all. You might not even know their real names how they got their powers. What, what makes them them? And there's some debate, at least in my mind. Why some characters are more iconic, more part of the pop culture, part of everyday names and characters we all recognize, like if I think, would my wife know this person. And what does she know about them? And if she can answer a few questions, then the creators of these characters have done a really good job. And so you're scanning the screen here. I forget where I pulled this from. Um, but some of the most iconic characters from the Marvel universe are spider-man, Iron Man and Captain America, and the lesser known ones are in here somewhere. You even have red Hulk in the back there. We all have our favorites for different reasons. OK, so I want to ask all of you. What is one way that a character can stand out and be more memorable? I just want you to think about that. OK, so I'm going to stop this share that what's one way and I'd like for you to type that in the chat? What's one way that a character can be more memorable and stand out? Just think about that for a second. OK, I'm seeing the answers here, so I want you to try to be really specific. As my young youngest son back when he had a little list, he would say, be specific, be very specific, everyone. OK look at that. Interesting OK. I'm going to ask for some volunteers, can I get some volunteers and to be a volunteer, I need you to do a couple of different things. Thank you. I just need three people just to raise their digital hand. If you go under the reaction's part. A raise your hand there. OK OK, perfect. Now the condition of this to be a volunteer, I need you to be in a quiet place. I need you have a microphone and to turn your camera on, ok? So I'm going to pull up, Jennifer first. So, Jennifer, go ahead and unmute yourself. Thanks for volunteering. We're going to do a little experiment, ok? Have you all met Jennifer before Jennifer, say Hello to the people? Hello, everyone, I'm Jennifer. OK, now, Jennifer, I want you to do something for me. I want you to turn off the camera. OK all right. Can you guys remember anything about jennifer? I want you to write down one thing in the chat that you remember about Jennifer right now. And it could be anything. It could be the tone of Jennifer's voice. It could be anything. I picked Jennifer for a reason. OK here we go. Yes, Yes. OK a lot of people are saying the blue hair, the blue hair is so memorable. I wish when Jennifer turned off. Uh, the her camera that the blue hair wasn't there because there's an icon left over, so we could still be reminded. But this is the thing like when you meet someone, when you see someone online, OK, Jennifer, turn on your camera again. Thank you. So let's just make sure you have blue hair, blue and pink hair or blonde. What are you doing today? It's pink, but the pink has gone. It's like a pale pink, so it doesn't stay for as long, but it's a little bit pink. OK, now I know this is a dumb question, but I'm going to ask anyways, is blue your natural hair color? Nope what is your natural hair color? It's like a kind of light Brown color, but I've had colorful hair for like 15 years. Different colors, but always colorful. OK, so you made a conscious decision to change your hair color? Did you do that? Because it was cool, I wanted I wanted to have pink hair since I was like 12, and I think my parents let me when I was like 14, and I pretty much had colorful, colorful hair since. Yes so there's a lot of intentionality behind how Jennifer presents himself. So she's got the headphones, really bright red lipstick. Usually in this really cool CG environment because you also do some really cool packaging design, right? Yes, I do. Yeah, I do. Some 3D rendering hasn't been as much lately. The more strategy stuff lately actually so nice. It's pretty fun. Yeah and so you can see the microphone set up. You can see all the things in the background. So it's very intentional. And if I were to ask you, like, what do you remember about? Ben burns, those of you guys that have seen Ben burns, what are characteristics that stand out? Yeah uh-huh. She's already gesturing at the big beard. Now I've known Ben for a long time. I knew him before he had all that. It's almost like an animal grew on his face. There's something there. I knew him before all of that. And now I think if you were to shave that off, I was just like, get out of here. I don't even want to know you now. It's a now he's stuck with his beard because I think as soon as he shaves it, we're like, no, go back, go back. And I remember to Jose, he's a scruffy beard and some at one point he had a little soul patch here. You guys remember I was able to nail soul patch like right here, little Kentucky Fried chicken, Colonel Sanders thing. And you know what? I have to say this, and I hope this doesn't trigger anybody. I said, Jose, get rid of that. You look like a child molester. I know you're not one, but it's just like the way he looked with that just did not look good. He looks good with a full beard, with a little salt and pepper in his beard, and it just looked really good. And so when he and I were creating our show, we wanted to make sure we were so different, like we had different on air personas and we did this purposely. So he said, you know, your Latin, you're a little bit more free going, you're more spontaneous, free will. You've done drugs. I've never touched it. You know, I try to stay healthy. You eat whatever, whatever falls on the floor. So we're so different. So why don't we lean into that? So that's when he's like, OK, Chris, I'm going to go outside and I'm going to go to Venice Beach. I'm going to buy some beads. I'm going to buy like some kind of hemp shirt, and I'm just going to lean into the hippie vibe and like, cool, you're that guy. OK, and then I will be the business guy, so I have a lot of suits and I like to wear my suits and I don't have occasion to wear my suit, so I'll lean into that person. But I want to mix it up too, because I don't want to be a boring suit because I'm a creative person. And I like wearing baseball caps or flat brim trucker caps, snap backs. So I start to become this person. He becomes that person. And then the die is cast. So here's something that's really important for you to think about. Because we're going to design our brands, we're going to be intentional about how we present ourselves to the world. So it's going to be hard for us to forget that Jennifer has blue hair. It's just going to be really difficult. And so when you're ready to go like I see Ryan right now, Ryan flat, he's got a red beard, he's got a really nice beard, he's got a blue beanie skull cap going on that may or may not become his thing. And Ali's got his like, funny like blue. I don't know, is that a bandanna with little ears? Maybe some kind of a Japanese anime character? I don't know. OK, so each and every one of us know whether you like them or not. Some people in pop culture and music and entertainment have done a really good job at learning how to stand out. And so we're going to get into that today. We're going to figure out how to stand out. Now that, you know, the exercise, it's going to be very hard for us to not be looking for in each and every single person. OK, but I'm going to call on is that that's not your is that your name? Is it vapid? That's not your name, is it? What is your name? Dude, I forget your name. Help me out here, don't trick. My name is Paul. Paul, yeah, Paul is just a nickname. Yeah OK, so Paul wants to be called Papa. Yeah it's the nickname I've had for 30 years. I love it. I won't remember it. I'm not going to. I'm going to struggle with this. Paul Swappa. OK all right. So we're going to look at Papa too. So baba, turn off your camera for a second. Hopefully, it'll be a Black one. So we have no clue now. OK, so what do you remember, papa? OK, so go write that down, so people are saying the gray hair. I'm afraid of what that means there. OK yes, it's a spiky hair because he's got to kind of upright, it's standing up. So he might be a little bit older, but he still has a lot of style. He does have great hair. I'm jealous. Anything else, anybody pick up an accent? See, so he gave us a little bit of that already. So that stood out, at least he doesn't have an American accent. There's something else in there. And the beard? Anything else, anything about the way he wears? Or did he have eyeglasses? Does anybody remember? This is like FBI, CIT training here. Like a person walks in a room, what do you remember, everybody? Ok? no glasses. No OK, so if you were pretty good at that, OK, this is wonderful. All right, you guys can all just lower your hand. All right. We're going to keep going here, because we're going to get we're just getting warmed up. Thank you for participating, everybody. Well, there's a lot of people on the call today. All right. So let me go back to sharing my screen share screen. All right. So you probably came up with all kinds of answers, and so what I want you to do is we're going to do a breakout room and I want you to try to come up with as many different ways that a character can stand out and be more memorable. OK, so let me stop this share here. And I have I'm trying to pull a Christine loser here, guys. They may or may not work. Copy here. There's a link. So what I'm going to do in a little bit is I'm going to share a link and it's going to have another. It's going to be a document paper document. It's going to link to one of 20 tables. And I just want you to brainstorm for 3 minutes with your group and try to write as many different ways that a character can stand out. And you can think of superheroes. It's a lot easier to think of superheroes, but you can think of regular people because I guess there are people too. All right. So let me see her. And if somebody sent me a private chat right now, just say it out loud because I unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to read your private chat while I'm trying to run this call today. So I'm going to create a breakout room right now. And I'm going to ask that even if you're in a place where you can't speak and turn on your camera, just go to the room and listen in or just briefly let everybody know in the chat when you're in there that you can't participate, and that's OK. So I'm going to create a room right now. Don't go to it yet. I'm not going open the room, and here's the link. Everybody see that link. Go ahead and click on that link. And hopefully it's working. OK, whatever room number you're in is the link that you'll use and you'll just type it in there. This took me forever to make, by the way. Are you're going to laugh at me? So I'm going to open up the rooms, OK, I'm going to send you to the room and I will message the room. You have 1 minute and roughly 1 minute after the room will close. OK, so everybody go to your room. OK, so, Rio, why are you not in a room? I'm going to send you to a room right now. For for people who did were able to log in and do this, was it hard for you to come up with some ideas? Anybody have a problem? Go ahead and just unmute yourself if you had a challenge with this. Carlson could not type in table 11. I'm not quite sure why. Maybe I messed up the link. OK it'll be all right, I'll fix it later. OK when I click on, this is table 11 to me. And it looks like you are in there. OK, I'm not going deal with technical problems right now. I'm going to keep going. OK all right. So pretty easy. So we now know what kind of stands out and we're going to need to keep going down this rabbit hole. OK, so let me fix this. All right, cool shared stock. All right. Um, why is this on here? Don't it? Are you seeing yourself right now? There we go. Yes, we are. Now you're not right, you're seeing breakout. Or no? We're seeing both a break and now it's just us. OK darn it. I think it was your screen instead of just the window. Are you seeing breakout now? Yes Yes. Yes beautiful. It just it's behaving a little funny on me. OK, so here's some questions for you to think about. Who are some of the most popular and enduring characters from modern day in the comic pantheon, if you will? And if you don't mind, just type that in the chat. Who are some of the most popular and enduring characters from any universe, DC Marvel dark horse image? Right, so, you know, the biggest, most iconic ones, the household names. Now again, I'm going to assume that everybody has a moderate level of nerd nerdiness in them, just moderate, not like super geek like myself and a couple of others. And so the question is, do their story? Do their origin story? Do all the characters in their lives, their allies, their confidants? Do their credo, their axiom, their motto? Do you know that the moment that made them? OK ooh, hellboy, nice, see, Hellboy confuses me, but we'll talk about that later. Right so modern mythology here. And so when we think of the character, sometimes the characters are so well designed visually that we know them, but they're the crafting. The creation of the story itself. Behind the character is a little fuzzy. And like, I don't know, all of like aquaman's story. Like those of you guys that might have written down DC character like the Green Lantern know green lanterns real name type in any of whose real name. I'm going to talk about the original green lantern, not the. Many other versions of Greenland that we see today. OK, perfect, it is Hal Jordan, thank you very much. So all you nerds, you win my respect. That's what you want. Hal Jordan and do you know how Jordan got his powers? And he's part of the Green Lantern corps, but how many different cores are there? So it gets a lot more complicated when you dig into the Green Lantern Green Lantern mythology in his world, in his universe, a dying Martian. So, yeah, so, OK, so see how it becomes a little less clear, and we'll talk about why that is in a little bit. So when we have characters, I'm talking about mostly comic books right now, so let's just keep it focused on comics because then I think it'll be easier for us to then relate it to real life. Believe it or not. Great characters have clearly defined strengths, and more importantly, they have clearly defined weaknesses. And one of the reasons why I think some of the DC characters are so unrelatable to me, at least, is because they were designed in an era where they didn't have problems and they don't want to see them struggling with anything. Superman is an alien with godlike powers. As far as I can tell, he has very few weaknesses. And so his stories have to be really like world and universe ending for it to matter. He's most likely not going to stop the alleyway mugging, right? He has to stop and prevent the biggest problems from happening. And to contrast that with Peter Parker, who's just trying to maintain a relationship to keep his job and to not let his aunt know that he is spider-man. He's got all kinds of struggles, and I love the Marvel universe, I'm heavily biased here because the whole creation of the X-Men and the mutants is that they were a minority group and still are and are being hunted. They're classified as Homo superior and Homo sapiens fierce Homo superior. And so there's all these like the epic one. The whole campaign with Professor X is like, is this a surrounded by a mob? And they throw a brick at his head because they say die moody and anybody that's ever been marginalized, feel felt ostracized, can connect with that story. It's us versus them. We're the outcasts. And I think that's also why characters like Harry potter, who is like an orphan who doesn't belong, he doesn't have this connection to his family. We jump into these stories because of their struggles. So I think some of the most enduring characters, whether it's comic books, animation, anime, there's something that's different about them that stands out. So it's still classic strangers in town, kind of thing. Or a person out of time. You guys remember Buck Rogers in the 25th century. Do you know that TV show or is it too old for some of you? Buck Rogers well, Buck Rogers was brought out of like a catatonic catatonic frozen state, and he came from an era when men were like tough and rough riding and all that kind of stuff. And so he is operating at a different time, quite literally. OK we just keep going here. So story in the creation myth. They play a big part in how well we know these characters. And in his book directing the story, Francis global talks about this, he says, to know me is to know my story, to know me is to know my story. So that is to suggest that if you don't know my story, then you don't know me at all. And I think he's right. OK, so let's do a couple of tests here, OK, see how well these characters in these stories. And I'm going to ask if you're just a hardcore comic book nerd? Just relax a little bit. Let the other lesser, you know, gods in you, if you will, in this group, let them have a chance of trying to figure it out because we know as soon as you type in the right answer, it's just like, it's no fun. OK, so I'm going to ask if the answer right away off the top of your head, do not write the answer in the chat. Everybody cool. Yes, the lesser gods let them. OK, so who makes this oath right in brightest day in blackest night? No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship Evel's might be where my power. Blah blah blah blah. Who says this? Oh, now we know without the help of the comic book nerds. I did not say this crickets, Oh my God. OK some guesses are coming in. I love this. Wow oh, my goodness. Y'all, keep guessing. Come on it, nerds, hang out. Don't do it yet. Let them struggle. This is where you wield your mighty power of silence. Dark wing duck. OK, who makes this out in brightest day in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight, let those who worship Evel's might be where my power. Green lanterns light. OK, so you see, I love this, this oath that he makes and that he says, and if you've ever watched Greenland or if you know anything about it, you know this oath. You know it. So now we know most of you don't know thundercats. Oh, all right. All right. Different era. Different thing. OK, so now we know, you know, if you have an oath, the motto credo, it makes you memorable, but unfortunately not enough people know about this. He's not that popular just yet. OK whose credo this one, you will know. I'm pretty sure. With great power comes great responsibility. Yeah, of course it's not Iron Man. Come on. I think you're doing that to messed me up here. OK, see? So you know this one? Well, because it's been repeated so many times. Here's the next one for you whose parents were murdered while exiting a theater. OK, this one everybody wants to know. Yes well, Batman's parents were not murdered. Bruce Wayne's parents were murdered. He was yet to become Batman. Ok? and then who killed his parents? What was a murderer's name? Oh my God. OK, so Edward, we know your Batman. That came out too fast. All right. Unless you guys are googling this. So part of our character, our story is our origin story, our defining moment. Or in some cases, the transformative moment. How we become who we become. This one should be really easy who's known as the man of steel. Super easy, right, the man of steel. Come on. Some people are just trying to be funny with me right now. And then the arch nemesis, and this is really interesting. I was going to ask you what Superman's weaknesses are. But we'll get to that later. OK nice. Well done. OK, so we know Superman is probably the most iconic superhero of all time. Then who wields the Lasso truth? Yes, wonderful. OK, so now we also learn that the tools, the objects that we carry with us can also have an identity if they're unique enough. Right? so it's not just you, it's not just your personality. It's just not your origin story that the tools and objects that you use and will test your knowledge a little bit. This 1 May be some of, you know, maybe some of you don't, but who gained their power via gamma explosion while trying to save a trespasser on an army base? Yeah, that's right. It's the Hulk. And then what was this person's name that Bruce Banner saved? Who then later on becomes his best friend? Mm-hmm Has more Marvel, these questions are Marvel, what are you talking about? Nobody knows. Come on. OK, so I'm going to give the nerds a chance now. Don't Google. Just use your mind. Not, Bob. It's just a random guess. What was his name? Nobody cares about Hulk sidekick. I do. It's an important relationship in. His name is Rick Jones. Well done, well done, mike, you were holding off to see what these mortals can do. And then you flex your might. You smashed. OK, now look at this. Now we're going to go visual. Ok? and now whoever has the answer can just type in. Who is this? Now, isn't this interesting? This is a painting of characters assembled together to make another character, I think and abstract, as this is just from the design of its eye. You can, you know, with spider-man, it's so iconic these large eyes that taper up. And so one fragment, one little component. Can be a thing that makes you memorable to stand out. Of course, you know this. Now, Deadpool has much smaller eyes. With a lot more Black. So the shield, the icon, the symbols and many of you that are in design and branding, we create icons and symbols for companies. Do we have icons and symbols for ourselves? In our personal branding, Aaron Kaplan has icons and symbols of certain Pantone orange, a mesh trucker cap. The jean jacket, his expression, I don't want to wear pants. Of his pet. What is it? It's not a chihuahua, it's like his hot dog, dachshund, I think, Gary. Right? see, you saw the props, all these things to make us who we are. We know he's a dog person. Probably not a cat person. The colors. Who is this? Green lantern glow, perfect, good job now, even super famous characters, even seeing one component of them, you know exactly who it is. And so when you see a red cape, you automatically think it's going to be, of course, Superman. You don't need to see the symbol. You don't need to see the hair, the quaff, the curly thing in the front. You don't need to see him with taking off the glasses of Clark Kent. You already know just because the red Cape is so iconic. But you know what? There are other red capes in the universe. And so then who is this? This is just a different red cape, but this one has a cowl and it has a little necklace part. You know it. It's Benedict Cumberbatch. It's Dr. strange, right? And even if we see the purple jeans that are torn with the green foot, see, so I'm just zooming in really tight right now and you guys can tell and the icon of this person. The flash, you guys are having such a good time, you're typing so fast. OK all right, so now I'm going to send you off and I want you to revisit your list and if you can't edit the list that you were given. Just invade someone else's list and do that totally fine, so revise your list. And we do you break out. So now what components are required to develop memorable characters? OK just think about that. Let's just keep it in this space of comics because when we start looking at yourself, we start to panic. We don't know. But when we look at comics and mythology, I think is a lot easier for us to figure it out. So I'm going to do another breakout here. I'm going to open up the rooms again. And please, even if you can't speak, if you can't participate in any way. Just join a room. That's it. Just sit there and listen. OK and get to know each other. Um, say Hello. I'll give you guys five minutes now to revise your list, and then I'm going to show you my list and we'll compare notes. OK, so see you all in a little bit. OK, welcome back, everybody. I was monitoring your progress and now I saw the ideas flowing. It's really nice to be able to see that, and we saw that a group 11 finally figured it out and they were able to click on the links so they deserve a prize for just being able to use Dropbox. Awesome So we're so tech savvy. You are. I wish I could just slap a ribbon on all you right now. Tech savvy win or unicorn? OK, so now let me go back to sharing here. Test up to share. Good, you guys see the word breakout, Yeah. OK, now I'm going to unveil upon you a diagram. That's the most complicated diagram I've ever drawn. And the genesis of all this conversation, it looks like this. I think when I do this, when it's totally done, it's not done yet. I think it's going to be like a t-shirt or a poster or something. And I've broken down personal branding into four key components. Of course, there's the character. You are the character. Originally, I called it the hero, but some people that first of all, that's not a gender neutral term, but a character. And you are the hero, the Schiro or the heroine of your own story. There's a story component, and I've extracted the parts that I think are useful and a new component that I'm introducing called the World and the world is the environment in which you exist and the city that you live in, the city that you were born in. It says a lot about you and it can be part of your personal branding. When we see some of from Germany or from New York city, we automatically start to think about how they might be. If you're from the suburbs, if you're from New Jersey, we also think about who they might be, or maybe you're Canadian or from Vancouver or Toronto. We think about who they are. So the city in which you reside in the city that you choose to live in says something about your worldview, your values, your opinion, your taste, maybe even your political ideology. And we're going to dig deeper into the world. So we do a little world building as my friend Brett Brown would call it. And then the hallmarks are some of the things that we talked about all the things, the signature trademark things that make you you. OK, let's dive into it. So part one, the hardest part to figure out is the story. And all of us don't think we have a story. And I remember reading in Kendra Hall's book stories that stick, which I highly recommend to every single person. If you want to become a better storyteller, you should read that book. And true to form, it's a book about stories, so there are stories in it. Of course, it's a fun read, and she was talking to somebody who was like an ex-military person or somebody who was like living a super exciting life and they're telling all these stories, and then she asked them, what's your story? And he just said, I don't have a story. Nothing about me is interesting. And she's like, you know, floor hits. The jaw hits the floor like, you just told this crazy, super cool, interesting story. But as soon as I asked you, what's your story? People shut down. And I think there's a reason why. Because you know your story really well. It's like if you're 38 years old. You've known this story for 38 years, so it seems ordinary only when you tell it to a stranger and then all of a sudden they're like, wow, you've had an interesting life. I did not know that about you. So we have to get into the practice of telling our story, and I've broken it down to a few key components. OK the key components are you have this is adopted from Joseph Campbell's hero's journey here with a Thousand Faces. You've been a part of these calls before, and there's a long part of this. Like, there's an ordinary world and there's a call to adventure. And then you have the anxiety of the call, the refusal to call. And almost all stories work like this. All the heroes are always reluctant to take that step, and they need a little help. And there's reasons why and the reasons why really matter. So when you're set up your story, when you find that point where there's tension between where you are and then ultimately what they call crossing the threshold, that's where the story's most interesting. And usually not always a mentor or peers, and the mentor isn't always like an older person, a sage or something, the mentor could be a flyer that you pick up and you're like, you know, or fortune cookie. You read that data sets today is the day for you to make a brave decision. And that's the thing that is the catalyst to push you forward more often, not as a person, but it doesn't have to be. These are the key components. OK, so when we break this thing down, as you can see there, well, if we follow these three parts, like what was the call to adventure? What was the anxiety of the call and who? Or what appeared to help you cross the threshold and when to do this in three layers? There's the origin story, the defining moment. And then the having transformed, and I'm going to use comics to talk about this again, of course. And then you'll probably maybe this will make a little bit more sense, and it doesn't always follow this exact formula. For me, it does. And I'll tell you what my origin story is, my defining moment story and then having transformed moment. The origin story for me is it's April 30th, 1975. It's the fall of Saigon. My parents in a 24 hour window flee and escape. Kind of a harrowing tale and a journey to escape when a country is under collapse and in recent news, when we hear about what's happening in Afghanistan, we kind of see the desperate lengths at which people will go to escape what's to come. They are literally hanging out on airplanes, falling to their death because they know that fate is better than what awaits them. And that's the real life conflict that my parents had. Because my dad was in the military and communists, the North Vietnamese army were not kind to combatants. So they needed to escape, and in escaping my story, my narrative, the trajectory of my life completely changes. And so I sum it up by saying my origin story is from going from Saigon to Santa Monica. There's alliteration there. It's easy to remember small sum it up that way. My defining moment is the moment in which I meet a real life graphic designer whose name is Dean Walker. And so this is when I make the jump from thinking of myself as someone who's going to become a computer science, working with data to opening up the window to being a designer. So that's when I go from data to design. If I don't meet Dean and it's pretty random that I actually meet Dean. I probably would have struggled through college and gone into the humanities, done something and ultimately found my way back to design, but I would have a much later start. My having transformed moment is the three DJs in my life. Jessie, my wife, Josie, my partner. And then making the jump from doing service design work to teaching people. So that this is the moment that I've transformed, my wife says, you know, you need to do more with your education. You need to teach more people. You need to reach more people. I don't have the answer for you. So there's the call to adventure. My anxiety of the call is I don't want to do this. I don't know what you're talking about. I love teaching. Would you ruin this thing for me? And then Jose comes in and it's like, let's make YouTube videos, man, like, I don't want to do that. The cost benefit analysis is do not do this. But I do it anyway. He's my mentor. My resistance is I don't want to be on camera, I don't like the way I look, I don't like the sound of my voice. Do I have anything important to say to the world, like, would anybody care? And I do it, and then ultimately, we dissolve blind as a service company and we put all the team against the future, and that's where we're at today. So that's my moment of having been transformed. You can see that I've worked on this. It's not like I just woke up one day. I'm like, boom, here it is. I try to figure out the story. I reduced it down to its core elements. I try to use alliteration Saigon to Santa Monica, going from data to design, and the three DJs Jessie, my wife, Jose, my business partner, and making the jump from service service design to serving the world. Everybody understands that. So far. OK, I hope that was clear. Well, let's get back into comics. Do you guys know Peter Parker's origin story, his defining moment and when he is transformed? Now, most people think that when he was bitten by the radioactive spider, that's when he becomes a superhero. And that is untrue. That's true. Most of us know that Peter is an orphan raised by his Uncle Ben and aunt may, but we also don't know that Peter's parents were theoretically killed in a plane accident. There's some revisionist history to go back in and actually alive, but he, his parents died in a plane accident. So that's part of his origin story, and it sets off a whole chain of events that makes him the outsider without parents, but from the love of his uncle and his aunt, may. So he's raised by them. His story is he's a high school student, and he's bitten by a radioactive spider that gives him the proportionate strength and agility of a spider. His genius brain invents the webs that he shoots because they're not part of his anatomy, and he figures out a way to live. This dual life. And in his hubris and now finally having the strength and power. And his spider sense, he becomes a professional wrestler and he makes money. And so one day he's collecting his prize money and the promoter screws them over. He says you're not going to pay me. And he just feels angry about that in a sequence. Someone goes to Rob the promoter and Peter's standing at the door there in the hallway and the promoters yelling, stop him, stop and stop, thief. And Peter looks at him like, you know what? Karma is a. The biatch, isn't it, so he lets the mugger run out the door only later to discover when he returns home. There's a police scene. His Uncle Ben has been murdered. And he finds out it's that same person he let run away. So his uncle's words? Haunt him for the rest of his life. His words were with great power comes great responsibility. He swore. He didn't stop it then, but he's going to do everything he can to prevent this from happening in the future. What a powerful story, everybody. Powerful stories, so the origin story. His parents die, he's raised by his uncle and aunt. The defining moment he gets bitten by a radioactive spider. His transformative moment, the moment that Peter Parker is no longer Peter Parker and becomes truly spider-man. Is unfortunate at a tragic moment when he loses his uncle, someone who he loved dearly. And I think this is one of the reasons why. Spider-man is probably the most iconic character from the Marvel universe, from comic books, from TV shows, animated series, everything. It's all about spider-man, and spider-man has a lot of nicknames, too, because papa was saying, you know, Paul was saying, that's my nickname. He's known as the web head, the wall crawler. Your friendly neighborhood spider-man, and we'll get into all those things a little bit. OK all right. So Superman story. Do you guys know? Oh, I'm sorry, what am I doing here? OK, so that's the origin story. And now we're going to go over to the strengths and weaknesses, ok? All characters that are good have strengths, and oftentimes their strengths are their weaknesses. So we mostly think about Superman's strength. I mean, he has impenetrable skin. He can move as fast as the flash, debatably, he can shoot laser beams out of his eyes. He's at supersonic hearing. He can fly. He has freezing breath. His X-ray vision, like this man, has no weakness, it seems like. But he does have some they're not great, but he does have some. His greatest weakness, in my opinion, is that he's a God among people. And you cannot save everyone. So when he's put in situations where he has to save people who can die, that's usually that where the stories get really interesting. He has to be very careful not to let other people die. Well, we know he's from Krypton. I think the son of jor-el, he's call the House of OK. And he has power. His power comes from our yellow sun where they're from. It's the red sun. I think so. The yellow sun gives him power, and his weaknesses is when he's exposed to either red sun, red radiation or. When he's exposed a chunk from his own planet, kryptonite. So the expression like this is my kryptonite comes from that, and kryptonite locks also borrows from that. His city is a fictitious city called metropolis, which is a stand in for New York City. Hustling, bustling. He grows up in smallville, which is, I think, Kansas. So he has a small farm town like ethical, like work hard, take care of people, be humble, those roots being raised by Ma and Pa Kent. And if you're interested in Superman mythology, read red sun sun is in. So when it takes Superman in instead of landing in smallville, he lands in Russia. So his whole story is so different, and it's quite interesting that story that they tell, he has weaknesses, the magic, telepathy, electricity. In a couple of drinks, ultrasonic sounds. Those are his weaknesses. OK and so I want you to think about now, what is your origin story? What is your let's see where why am I here? What is your. Sorry what are your. Oh my god, I'm just totally screwing this up, you guys. I mean, the wrong area. No wonder this is all jacked up theory. Then we clicked on the wrong slide. OK, so what's your origin story? What's your defining moment and what is the moment that you have transformed? I want you to think about that. And we're probably going to pause here. I'm going to spin you off into your own rooms, and I just want you to think about it now. This might get a little awkward. What I want you to do is just pick one of these moments. And practice selling it to your room, you'll need a few minutes to think about this because I'm sure you do not wake up today and saying, well, I'm going to tell a group of strangers my original story today. Or I'm going to tell the moment in which I became who I am. With a moment that was the biggest change in my life. Changes the course of where I was going to go. I go in door a. I become this person. I go in door B. I become a different person. OK sorry about the strengths and weaknesses, I totally screwed it up because my slides look exactly the same. Apologize, guys. It is beta, it's live, it's what happens. So does anybody have a question because I want to send you off to your rooms, I'm going to give you probably like 10 minutes to do this because it's going to take a little bit longer. Rachel, go ahead. Yeah so we're talking about the defining moments and transformations in regarding to our business or just in regarding to us as a human. We're doing personal branding right now. So I want to focus on you when you understand who you are, the company would then align itself to you, though, or the creator story the creator. What does that call the spacing, the creation mythology, you know? So I'm going to pull up this diagram right now. I'm going to ask all of you to go ahead and screen capture this so you have these things available to you. And when you go to your room, I want you to really think about like, Wow. What was the catalyst that disrupted my world? Everything was cool, and now it's not, that's the call to adventure. It's not literally the Herald comes in and it's like attention, Rachel. Something is happening. It's not always like that. So for my parents and my origin story. I forget it's the Nixon or I forget who it was, but they pulled out of Vietnam, causing a whole domino effect, just like biden's, we're going to get out of Afghanistan. That's it. So everything is a chain reaction from that. It was Nixon. It was Nixon, thank you very much. All right. And then the then whatever mentor appears, so I want you to think about either your origin story, you're defining moment or the moment in which you've transformed. Usually it's kind of early in life, middle part of your life and then as an adult, so as a child, what is your origin story as a developing teenager? What was your defining moment? And not always, and then as a fully realized adult, that could be when you're 25. It could be when you're 50 five, it doesn't matter. The moment when things have crystallized now you know who you are. It is to people. Pardon me. What if it's two people like me and my wife both do this. So you have separate stories, though, because as far as I can tell, you're not one person, you have different stories. They do cross over. Like I mentioned, my wife, Jessie as one of the three DJS, so she's part of my story. But this is my story right now. OK, so the two of you might be the dynamic duo, you might be Batman and Robin or whatever and whatever. Yeah, she's Robin Robin. We'll see who's sleeping on the couch tonight, but after that? So you guys figure out your individual stories and then how they overlap. So for when we go out to the breakout room, just work on one story. OK, start there. Like if we can become better storytellers from our conversation today, I will feel really proud. I've tried to teach us many different ways and people still get stuck. I'm going to turn this over to Richard Richard, what's your question? Sure my question, I wrote it in the chat earlier. I was wondering if you're defining, I'm sorry, you're transformative. Transformative moment is always associated with tragedy. Not always. It could be like you were called to go and work in a big city or something. And you decided to do that. It's not, it's just it's just it is quite open. And it's like this big call to adventure and it's not always tragedy. Well, Thanks. In the superhero world, that does seem to be revolving around tragedy, like it's your planet explodes, your mom and dad die in a plane accident, almost always right. But now we're doing it for you, so I just want you to think about that, ok? Yes OK, Maggie. The nino, and then I'm going to send you off to your rooms. I have a question about mentor. I'm wondering if the mentor always is a positive force, for example, can it be an enemy that pushes you to realize something? Yes, whoever brings conflict to your life. Oh, I'm sorry. Not conflict. The mentor, you're talking about the mentor, right? Yes OK. The mentor is just OK. You have resistance. We all have resistance, right? For example, I'll just make this really basic this morning. For some of you, it's just a normal time. It's ATM for some of you, it's 11:00. For some of you, it's 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. And there's going to be resistance to jumping on this call, I got things to do. I am backed up on projects. I have kids. I have to feed and get to school. You have all these kinds of conflicts. I got a client meeting. And so somehow you have to change that course of action to a new course of action. And usually someone helps you. Maybe it's your partner in life who says, you know what? I know you have a big, important meeting today. I'm just going to clear your schedule. I'll take care of the kid. Don't worry about this. So the mentor isn't always someone who teaches you, but makes it possible for you to cross the threshold, to go through what it is that you can't do. Sorry about the sirens of the back there. Maggie, is that ok? Yeah, that makes sense, if I could, just because I know your personal story, I'm sorry to put you on the spot, but would you say that toxic relationship? Your ex-girlfriend is a mentor? Can she be a mentor? Well, you just took me there. Yes, sir, I knew the red light was going to serve its purpose. She just took me right there. This super toxic relationship with my ex-girlfriend for that I suffer through for a couple of years. It was very much a defining moment in your life. You're going to find many such defining moments. There were a lot of negative things about that relationship, but there, excuse me, I would not be who I am if I had not gone through that. So I'll tell you my revenge story later after the break, I'll tell you how I got revenge with my ex girlfriend, so it's not always, you know, cotton candy and there's a follow up to it. OK, I'll tell her, it's a horrible story. I'm going to tell you how diabolical I am. OK, so my girlfriend wrecked me. But yeah, I mean, she taught me so many things she taught me if I'm uncomfortable. Oh, shoot, I didn't I didn't realize that sorry about that. She she taught me if I'm uncomfortable with being asked something just to ask the person a question back. I learned that from her, I learned so many vocabulary words from her. I learned for better, for worse. How to become stoic because of her, because that was an emotional cry, baby, the whole time. I really was and I had a conversation with myself, I'm like, Yo, dude, I don't like you. Stop doing this. And then the other part of me is like, OK, OK, can we do this? I'm like, yeah, we got to. OK thank you, Maggie, for exposing a deep wound for triggering a response. Oh my bad. I appreciate you, Maggie. OK, I'm just Messing around Nino. What's your question? going to spin you off to your group because we're going to run out quickly. You know, like you said, there's the having transformed like the realization. So I'm pretty sure I'm not in that part of my life. Yeah, that's so do we just leave that part out. Or Oh yeah, very good. Very good. Depending on how old you are, depending on your own life experiences and do me a favor. Hit me because I can hear the feedback. Oh, sorry, Yeah. Is there are three stages the beginning, the middle and the latter part of your life. I just want you to pick one of those components to practice telling to the group. And I think we want to tell it to someone because we're going to see in their eyes and their reaction and their face how your story connects with them. See, when I told you guys about the revenge story, how I was able to acquit myself, I saw a lot of faces. I saw you guys reacting to that part. Morgan, I saw you see I see Ali, and there's a reaction. So I just want you to practice telling one of those three things OK, and this should be enough time in the groups that we have for you guys to quickly isolate your story. Tell it in 30 seconds or less. I told each one of those layers in 30 seconds or less, and you can do it too. OK, so let's do that. All right. Good people. I'm going to give you 10 minutes at most, so don't waste any time. I'll send you off to your same rooms. See you in 10 minutes. It OK. It's usually a good or bad sign when it close the room and people do not come back until they're literally kicked out of the room. I'm just going to assume it's a good sign because you enjoy talking to each other. So much and telling your stories. I was talking to who is it? Was it Lee or ryan? Somebody about like, I have so many stories to tell. Which story do I tell? OK, that's a very good way for us to continue the conversation and ultimately wrap up for today, which is this you all have a million stories, you have an infinite number of stories you really do. If you were paying attention, you have so many stories to tell. What story should you tell? And so I'm going to just tap into the genius of Steve Jobs during his Stanford commencement speech. He said that it's impossible to connect the dots. Looking forward, the only way you can connect the dots is if you look backwards. So we know where we want to be today, how we want to be perceived and the kind of impression we want to make on people. Look for the stories that connect that. And I'll tell you why I picked the stories that I picked, so that that'll help you find your story. I tell the story of my parents and how we fled Saigon to ultimately arrive in Santa Monica. This is because. My desire to teach to do do social good. My desire to give back my sense of karmic equity comes from this as a person who arrives with nothing to be able to achieve, the things I've been able to do in my life have surpassed anything I could have dreamt of so far. And so I feel incredible debt to repay, which I'm trying to do now. So when people hear that I'm teaching and I'm giving away this information for free when they don't know my story, they think you're a scammer, there's a click funnel somewhere. There's going to be something that Chris is going to get his hooks in you. He's running a cult. There's ulterior motives. They see all these things and they tell themselves that story. I have not done a good enough job telling my story so that they understand the motivation. You see, like when Peter Parker doesn't stop that criminal, who then murders his Uncle Ben in a petty crime. The motivation for him to save people, his willingness to put himself in harm's way time and time again, the sacrifices he makes on an episode by episode basis is incredible. Without that? You he probably wouldn't do that. It's also why Tony Stark is like a billionaire Playboy who has a substance abuse problem. He has a whole different story. And many of us don't know this, but there's a period in Tony Stark's life where he's an alcoholic and he's totally ruining his life. Because he felt incomplete without the suit, he became addicted and co-dependent on the armor. It's an excellent story arc, so good. OK, so you picked the story from your past sort of with where you want to go. The one that stands out and aligns, that's what you're trying to do. So my story then in terms of meaning, Dean. Dean Walker and choosing design was because that was not by design. It was totally coincidence. And I realized something about myself then is that until I can see someone doing what it is that I didn't know was possible, that door would have never opened for me. So again, why am I on YouTube doing what it is that I do? Is it that when young people call me, it's like my parents won't let me do this because they think it's a dead end career where I very seriously tell them earnestly? Have your parents call me? I'm not a career counselor. I don't know this kid. But if I can make it possible for someone to live their dream. I'm going to do everything I can, because that's a debt I need to pay it forward. I'm writing a talk right now for my son's high school class and I'm nervous as hell, but I wrote this thing down in this little note says, like what is it I want to impart on these teenagers? Find out what you're good at. If you can just figure this part out, you're going to be really happy and fulfilled. So I'm going to write my talk based on this one little post-it note among many post-it notes, but find out what you're good at. That's what Dean Walker did for me, and that's why I'm teaching. That's why I'm sharing. OK, I'm going to leave you with a teaser. But before I leave you with the teaser, I'm going to ask you a question. The teaser is if you want to find out how I got revenge on my ex girlfriend, stick around. The question for you all now is how was the storytelling exercise for you? Did you make any progress today? And I would love to hear from you first. Just think about What's one thing that you could start telling or getting clarity around in terms of one of these stories. Do you know, because I want you to take action on this? I want you to go on LinkedIn today, and I want you to tell one of those stories today by close of business day today. If it's super early for you, that means you have a long time. If it's super late for you. We'll consider tomorrow. And OK, deadline. OK, so tell your origin story or tell your defining moment story. Or tell you are having transformed story. It's OK, if not if it's not the final story. Totally OK, don't worry about it. I just want you to practice telling your story. The formula I find to be most helpful is to write and edit all the stuff. But first, just write like crazy. Go back in and edit out all the extra details because we tend to get caught up in details that don't really add up to the story and then find one image one image a photograph that triggers an emotion for you that might be somewhat tangentially related to this. So if there's a story about your childhood, find like an old wagon photo or a picture of the home or a sweater or any, It doesn't literally have to be the depiction of that moment, just something that conjures up the emotions because it will be the portal in which other people jump into your story. I had this great photo. The photo is me using IKEA table stands and a door that about from home depot, a phone system that I wired up myself from Staples and these cheap ass Office Depot chairs that was office number one. And I posted that photo and I talked about how it begins, you know? Little did I know where it leads me to today, and people love that because that is the Jeff Bezos Steve Jobs Wozniak story about building a computer in a garage. People always want to see that when it was gritty. We call that year one in the comic book pantheon. Like year one stories people love when you don't know what the hell you're doing. So those are some, some ideas to think about. OK, now I want to do this real quick. I want a commitment from each and every single person who's going to do this within 24 hours. I want you to digitally raise your hand. I want you to commit right now digitally raise your hand so you know how to do that. Go to reactions, digitally raise your hand. I want to light up the board, you guys. Right, thank you. Look at that, everybody. OK, Andreas, do me a favor. Screen capture this. Everybody looking right, the camera when I count to three, ok? One two three. OK interested, you can capture it. Look at those Beatle fans, so now I have a story to tell about all these brave individuals who stumbled into today's cause. Like, I'm not doing this and now their hands are up. OK, you got all this going to lower your hand? That's awesome. Thank you very much. Congratulations thank you so much. OK all right, guys. You're going to do that. I'm going to tell a little story. I hit stop right now. So next week we'll get into part two, part three, part 4. We'll get into it. Be sure to give me any kind of feedback on circle if you like this. If you have questions, if you want more or something, just ignore the part where I screwed up. And it jumped around to the wrong slide. We know that, OK. And I'll see you in the subsequent weeks and we'll get into this. And I hope all of you by the end of this will become your own real life superhero.
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