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Ivy Malik

We welcome creative sales coach Ivy Malik to the show. Her mission: grill Chris Do with a series of five tough questions. And she does not disappoint.

Is The Futur a cult?
Is The Futur a cult?

Is The Futur a cult?

Ep
165
Dec
01
With
Ivy Malik
Or Listen On:

5 Rounds of Q&A

Welcome to our second installment of 5 rounds. In this episode, we welcome creative sales coach (and Futur Pro Group member) Ivy Malik to the show.

Her mission: grill Chris Do with a series of five tough questions. And she does not disappoint.

Ivy tasks Chris with questions about how to be your true self in both public and private, why he dislikes the current state of educational sales, the role emotion plays in his decision making, and the biggest one of all: is The Futur a cult?

Hosted By
special guest
produced by
edited by
music by
Appearances

Episode Transcript

Chris:

We try to teach fully, unbridled, untethered, like, "This is how we teach. I give it all away." And so when people pay for a course, they're like, "Oh, you're giving it away again." I'm like, "Yeah." And I find that most people in our space don't do that. They give you morsels, they give you tidbits, they talk about the problem, they talk about why you're not winning in life, but they don't actually tell you what to do. I don't like that.
Ivy Malik, welcome to the Ring, the squared circle as they say. We're going to do another Five Rounds with you. And so I'm going to turn this over to you.

Ivy:

All right. Are you ready for the first question?

Chris:

I think I am. Should I be scared?

Ivy:

No, let's start easy.

Chris:

Okay.

Ivy:

In talks that you've had in the Futur Pro Group, you have mentioned that people aren't showing up as their true selves. How they are behind closed doors is different from how they're showing up in public. Why do you think it's so important to remove this dissonance that you're detecting?

Chris:

Okay. So we have to accept a couple of things, that there is probably your public self and your private self. And if you talk to psychologists, they will refer to this as your shadow self. I think oftentimes the two are pretty far apart because I think we're driven by this desire to be like, to be popular, to be right, and to be seen as generally a good person, when sometimes our true nature is not that. Or sometimes what we think are negative attributes. For example, to be proud of the things that you do, to be happy with the things that you have and if we share that within certain society, certain cultures, it's frowned upon. You don't talk about yourself. And who do you think you are sharing your victories when other people are suffering in the world?
And so, that creates this dissonance, also this distance between these two selves. I think when the two selves are in conflict, our brain is constantly managing "Who am I showing up as today?" And sometimes we forget who we are. Oftentimes, we will see people and they'll walk around and they'll carry themselves a certain way. And we say to ourselves kind of quietly, "How pretentious! That person is totally fake. That person is two-faced." And I think they see what we can't acknowledge. They see the difference between these two selves. And I can't tell you, Ivy, how many people that I've spoken to in private, they behave a very specific way. Oftentimes, they're more vulnerable, they're honest, they're transparent. But as soon as someone else is listening into the conversation somebody they want to impress, and this could just be one more person, it doesn't need to be a room full of people, they start to behave differently. And I'm taken aback. I'm like, "What happened to Mary? What happened to Joe? Why are you behaving strangely right now? You're not behaving as yourself." And I see that. What are your thoughts on it?

Ivy:

I see what you're saying, but sometimes I wonder if people are trying to portray their future self in public or what they want to aspire to be. And they're moving towards that rather than being where they are at the moment. So they're like, "Okay, I want to be a certain way and I'm going to project that into the future and in my public persona and move towards that." I know. What's your response to that?

Chris:

That's a lot of lofty explanation as to why you're not being real with me. I find that people who are talking about their future self, first of all, that's just some fantasy. It's some imagined version of you that doesn't really exist. And I think it's good to be aspirational. I think it's good to work on personal development and work towards something, but present you as yourself as you're working towards that thing. So for example, let's just say I want to run a marathon. And I think I can run a marathon. I'm not saying that person, because I'm not going to run a marathon. In that, I present myself like a marathon runner. Like, "Guys, I'm really fit. I'm going to be running marathons. This is who I am." And I'm far from it. And then those of us that know us, their eyebrows would raise and say, "No, you're not. You're actually really out of shape right now."
So setting that goal actually doesn't help you to achieve it. Saying it out loud, that doesn't help you. It actually creates this dichotomy that exists between yourself and your future yourself, rather than say, "I aspire to be a marathon runner. I have a long ways to go. I realize I'm really not in great shape. Will you guys support me?" There's a big difference there. I know it sounds the same, but there's a big difference there in how you're perceived and how more importantly you perceive yourself.

Ivy:

I'm onboard with that. I can see that. I do think that there is something in trying to become your future self, but if the gap is too big, then it doesn't obviously make any sense. So my next question to you on this topic is, are you more personable with clients when cameras are turned off? Is there a dissonance in you as well? Are you showing up differently?

Chris:

I am showing up differently on purpose for different people and different events and functions. But I don't see them as different, like they're not me. They're just shades of me. And I think we are all very complex people and that there's different parts to us. I'll give you an example. When I'm with my children, especially when they're younger, I had to be the tough dad, the disciplinarian. I'm also a very loving father. And so those two versions, I'm still a father, but I need them to know at certain points in time, "There's no debate. We're going to do what I say because there is potential danger ahead."
So I'll give you a classic example. When my children were much younger, they're small little dudes, we'd walk in a parking lot. And the eye line of the driver is not where their heads are, because they're below their eye line. They're not looking for them. And so the kids would like, as kids do, I have two boys, they run around a little bit. I said, "Boys, stop." I don't want there to be a debate. This is not me asking for permission, right? And then they don't listen to me. And I said, "Stop" and I say it in my really like angry dad voice. And I said, "Come here," right?
And then what I then switched over to is not the commander anymore, I switch over to the compassionate father. I said, "Here's what I'm going to do." So I scoop up both my boys. I lift them up. And from the vantage point of where I'm standing, they can see, "There's a car where the lady's looking at her phone or the dude's doing something else and he's backing up and he's not going to see you. So when I say stop, I need you to stop immediately." And I put them back down.
So I use the commander voice. Very authoritative, very direct to get their attention to immediately curtail whatever behavior. And then I'm going to explain to them what's happening. So I don't think me being one person for a situation or another is me being disingenuous or being two-faced. It requires different things. I'm not going to ever talk to a client like the way I would talk to my children. They're adults. They're my clients. And there's different ways I'm going to talk to them that's going to be different than how I talk to my partner, my wife. And so, we're not trying to say you have one voice, you have one mode of operating and you need to use that all the time. What I'm talking about, when you purposely choose an alter ego or an alternative persona because you're afraid of being seen for who you are. That's a very different thing.

Ivy:

Okay. So people are afraid of seeing themselves, right? That's kind of like where you're alluding towards and how people are going to respond to their true selves. So what advice do you have for people to actually overcome this?

Chris:

My advice is not going to be great. I'm going to look you right in the next camera right now and say, "Get over it." Here's why. I'll make an argument for you, okay? You can laugh by the way, Ivy.

Ivy:

Can I have my mic on-

Chris:

We have two separate channels.

Ivy:

Okay.

Chris:

You don't have to mute because they'll be able to separate this. Yeah.

Ivy:

Okay.

Chris:

You don't have to go away silent on me. Okay. So a couple of things I want everyone to think about. When you adopt this public self that you know is not you, first of all, you always feel like "I'm going to get discovered. Somebody's going to figure this thing out." And the truth is, everyone has already figured it out. You're just the idiot in the room who thinks you're fooling everyone. I mean, Ivy, I know you can see it. I can see it. And it's very clear. When somebody makes remark out of ego, out of jealousy, out of insecurity, we can hear it and we can see it. Even though they pretend to be confident, self-reliant, self-assured, all those things, we can see right through it. So not only are you not doing a great job of convincing others, but you're now saying to other people inadvertently, "I'm fake. I'm a person you need to watch out for." And if that's the impression you want to make, go for it. And this is what people do all the time.

Ivy:

Yeah. So I think I'm definitely guilty of not showing up as my true self. The nerves get to me and I get really serious. I don't laugh as much. I'm just really uptight. I'm like, "Okay, I got to be focused. I got to make sure that I'm in the zone." And then I get all serious. And I think it's really hard to let go in public. So I'll just get over it I suppose.

Chris:

You got to just get over it. I mean, it takes a lot of mental energy to be somebody else, to watch how you behave, the words you choose, whether you can be goofy or fun or professional. I think you can be all those things all the time whenever you want. And when you give into of this and just say, "You know what? I'm tired of carrying around this other false identity. I can be myself and people either love me or reject me. Either way, I have no control over that. What I do have control over is who I want to show up as."
Now, here's the thing. I have this theory about why actors fall in love on set. They play opposite each other their romantic leads. And they oftentimes have a partner in life. Sometimes they're married. And something happens on set. What happened? Well, the way actors become great actors is become the characters and to feel the feelings, to be super vulnerable and to let go of their guard. So if in a film they have to pretend like they love this person, they eventually do fall in love with that person. And that happens on set all the time. It's the phenomenon, right? And so what that tells me is, if you pretend to believe something to be someone else for long enough, you can also become that person. And sometimes that's not the person you want to become. So there's your true self. There's some fake persona you've created for yourself, the person that you think you're going to be someday, but it's not really what you want. It's because you think that's how you have to navigate in the world. And then at some point, you forget what face is the real face. That becomes problematic.
So I think one of the things that I have worked out really well for me, Ivy, is I figured out who I want to be. I'm going to be this person. I leave it up to you to decide if you like me or not. And at that point I don't care. And I then get to spend the rest of my mental energy into just being more of me versus someone else that you want me to be. And I've had 18 years of practice being someone else to please other people. I was not very happy. I've had a longer period now practicing being myself. Making some people unhappy, but I'm really happy. So get over it, Ivy.

Ivy:

I am actually getting over it. I am. It is definitely hard, but I am getting over it. And I'm trying to show up as myself and just letting the guard down and just allowing people to judge if they want to, and then they can leave if they don't like it and that's fine. But it's a journey. You've been on yours. And I think everyone else that is on it now, they're on theirs. And taking that step I suppose is the hardest thing. That was the end of that one.

Chris:

Okay. I think we know who clearly took Round 1. It's not a competition.

Ivy:

Is it?

Chris:

I'm just messing you out.

Ivy:

I don't think this competition is going to result in anything to where it's a win for me at all. I'm just here for a chat.

Chris:

I have to ask you. Are you sweating right now out on the pits?

Ivy:

Of course, I am.

Chris:

Okay. All right. Well, one of the things that I think will help people who are listening to this is if you speak your fear, some of the power of the fear goes away. So if you have sweaty pits, you're like, "Guys, I'm sweating like a pig right now." And then you don't have to worry about people discovering that you're all sweaty and maintaining a lady-like posture in public. You can just be yourself.
I remember one time I was super, super nervous. Not one time, it's every time. Every time I'm out there doing public speaking, I'm like, the nerves are getting to me. And when I get it really excited and I'm trying to project, I speak and I spit, right? So I run up on stage and I'm like, "Guys, I'm super excited to see you. I'm a little gassy, not the kind of gas you think. I've just got oxygen trapped in my lungs so I might be burping. And the other thing is when I'm really excited to speak to you, I might spit on you. I'm sorry for everybody in the first row. Sometimes they say those are the best seats, not in this case." And then I continue on. Now, as little spit flies out of my mouth, I don't have to worry like, "Oh my God, he just spit on me. I can't believe it." I told you I was going to spit on you. Not on purpose, but just because little bubbles fly out, you know? Yeah.

Ivy:

So you're setting the stage. Getting everybody prepared.

Chris:

I'm just showing up as myself.

Ivy:

Yeah.

Chris:

I'm going to reveal what I'm afraid of you discovering, and then that loses some of its power over me. All right. Let's head into Round number 2.

Ivy:

Okay. I want to take the conversation to sales. What you say around sales really aligns. You're a master teacher. Your role plays are packed with learning. And you're really good at selling. And I'm not entirely sure if I'm picking up on energy that evens exist. And I have a little bit of hesitation to even ask this question, but I'm curious. Do you have a slight discomfort when selling your service on mass to a big audience? For example, on Clubhouse? I notice it mainly when I contrast your sale to an individual versus when you're selling maybe your Futur Pro Group or the Business Bootcamp to the big audience. So my question is, can you please speak to your selling mindset and how you view sales and whether there is any truth to the energy that I may or may not be picking up on.

Chris:

I think there's some truth to your observation. I struggle with this. And I admit that I struggle with this because of some fundamental beliefs that I have. They might very well be limiting beliefs. I see how "experts and influencers" sell. And it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It's very formulaic. It's designed to squeeze you into a funnel and they promise big learning things, but they drag it out for 30, 45 minutes and they follow a very specific template. And I feel like they're insulting my intelligence. But it seems like everybody who does this is quite successful, at least from the outside. I have no evidence either way.
And so when I have a personal reaction to the way that people are selling to me, they're not being honest, they're not being genuine, they're not being transparent, I don't want to be the person who perpetrates that on others. That would just be wrong for me. And so, you're right. I think I'm very comfortable selling something very specific to human being because I know they have a problem, a challenge, and I know in my heart I can help them. But I can't possibly know that I can help a thousand people at the same time. I can't. It's not one size fits all.
And so I'm simultaneously, one, trying not to commit the same sins that I accuse other people of doing. That would make me a hypocrite. Two, I'm looking for a different way that's an open and honest and a genuine way to talk to people in mass where I can naturally tell them about the things that we have, talk about the virtues of why I think it's a good fit for some people and then answer questions as we go. But what you're seeing is me practicing objection handling on a large scale. And it doesn't really work that well. One person's objection is another person's like, they're not even thinking about that. They're like, "That was a selling point, Chris." And then I sell one person and I unsell someone else. And so, it's a very delicate, tight rope to walk. What are your thoughts?

Ivy:

I mean, I completely agree with what you're saying, but the immediate thought that comes to mind is that the desire to sell in a different way which all those formulaic funnels or strategies that people are using to get you to sell, you want to stay clear of that. I understand that. But you have your reputation around sales. And I just wonder if that thought is just a mindset block for you which doesn't allow you to just sell even though the way you sell is just so much more authentic. I feel that because of the way that you do everything else, the expectation isn't that it's not coming from a dishonest place where you're trying to please people of money or push them into something they don't need. So I think the challenge for me here is to challenge you. And I just wonder whether it is a mindset block on your part. What do you think?

Chris:

Yeah. I don't know. I'd have to rely on your observation to tell me if it's a mindset block or not. And I've yet to watch someone sell in a large group where I didn't feel like "You're just being a little sleazy." So when we host rooms or webinars, I tell people, "This is the thing I want to sell you." I'm upfront with it. "I'm going to sell you. And this is how I'm going to sell you. And if you're interested, stick around. If you're not, leave. I totally get that."
And then of course, then it looks like maybe I'm uncomfortable with this, but I like to practice some form of radical truth and transparency as much as I can. And perhaps this style just doesn't work and I'm just being silly because if I just did what other people did, followed their formulas and did their templates, it would work out just fine for us. I'm getting close to admitting defeat on this because obviously they're selling 2, 3, 4 times as much as we are. And I think our products and what we do, it's better, there's better intention and mission behind it so I need to be successful in that front in order for us to continue doing what we do.

Ivy:

And that's kind of what I'm thinking as well, right? The latter part. That the products that you produce, they actually do serve and help people. So when you approach the sales with that intention, that this is going to help and serve, I kind of feel that that trumps the method in a way, because if the result is that people are going to sign up, the outcome is so much better than if they don't. I don't know.

Chris:

Yes. But there's one thing that truly does align with some of my beliefs, which you can debate with me if you wish, which is, when I'm selling services one on one, I honestly think this and I act this way. I generally just come into thinking, "We're not going to be a good fit," because I'm trying my best to get rid of every poor fit possible because I've been down this road before and they're torturous. They'll complain. They'll ask for other things that no one else ask for. And I'd rather not just deal with them. And we do have these people. Even in some of our most expensive coaching programs that I sell, people come in, they're like, "Oh, this didn't work" or, "This feels like everything else I've seen." Did you want it to be different than everything you've seen? Like there was going to be some shocker, like I was going to appear as some other person?
And that's one of the faults that we have, which is we try to teach fully unbridled, untethered, like, "This is how we teach. I give it all away." And so when people pay for a course, they're like, "Oh, you're giving it away again." I'm like, "Yeah." And I find that most people in our space don't do that. They give you morsels, they give you tidbits, they talk about the problem, they talk about why you're not winning in life, but they don't actually tell you what to do. I don't like that. I'd rather teach you as much as I can and in hopes that some form of reciprocity will come back in our way, where when I have a offer or a product, you might sit there and think, "I don't really need this. I kind of probably can use it, but you know what? I've already received excess of value upfront. And I'm just going to give some of that back to you." That would be great if we could live in that kind of society.

Ivy:

That's an interesting concept, but the reciprocity does require everyone else to be on the same page.

Chris:

It does.

Ivy:

What is your experience so far with this reciprocity model so to speak? Do you feel like there is reciprocity at the moment?

Chris:

Yes. Yes, I feel there's a tremendous amount of reciprocity. So you're right, it requires people to have the same values in the same character as you. So you have to have some of the core values and core principles. And so here's the really neat thing, is for the people who aren't ready who don't think like that, they're going to be on the outside, on the perimeter, on the periphery. And the people who share our values are going to be much closer to us in alignment and the way they act with this. And that's why our community and our tribe is so strong, Ivy. It's hard for me to even imagine how far we've come in the few years that we've been doing this.
I dropped our first YouTube video with Jose, my former business partner, in 2014 in I think January or something like that. So in the course of seven years, the kind of connection that I have with complete strangers all over the world, from the UK to Australia, to India, to parts of Europe and Asia is incredible. Today, when I walk down the street, there's a high probability someone's going to come up to me and say something like, "You know what? I love that video. I don't want to bother you. I just want to tell you to keep it up, man." And that warms my heart. That's just nourishing for my creative soul.
And so, yeah, we're going to lose a lot of people, but the people we keep, and this is congruent with my life philosophy, the people we keep are going to be amazing people who are going to be here for the long haul. So if and ever we misstep, they'll be there to pick us up and say, "You know what? We all have an off day. We know your intention behind this and we know that that's not you. So we're going to look past this and we're going to lift you up."
But let's talk about in real, tangible ways. If you look at modern internet marketing, people look at the cost per acquisition, how much they have to pay to buy a customer. Our customers pay us to just be part of the community. There's a thing called Sustaining Members where people just give us money from $5 to $25 a month without any expectation of getting anything in return. It's a very unusual patron because we promise nothing. We promise we'll show up and continue to make content to serve the community. And they're on there. And there are hundreds of people who do this. There are people who just send me money randomly on Venmo from $1 to $500 just because they had a win. And I think there are very few businesses in America that are not organized religion where people just voluntarily give you money without even prompting. I think that's really cool.

Ivy:

That is cool. I'm going to backtrack a little bit because I have another question that is really into the initial.

Chris:

That's for 10 minutes by the way.

Ivy:

[crosstalk 00:23:55].

Chris:

Yeah, you want to wrap that thought or you want to move to the next question? You can wrap it.

Ivy:

It's not a thought, but I'll just ask the question. You can decide if you want to answer it. So it relates back to the hesitation of wanting to share your services in other rooms that you're hosting and then you're invited to pitch. So someone may set up a pitch for you and say like, "Oh Chris, don't you have a business bootcamp? Would you like to share something about that?" And at that moment, I really sense there's a lot of hesitation for you from your part. We've spoken about this before and I would love to just hear your thoughts on that again if you want to share it.

Chris:

Yeah, let's do that. I think that's still connected to what we're talking about here. So I think you're interpreting my hesitancy to do that when I'm prompted to sell something when that's not the intention of the room. And it's true. Again, I don't want to be seen and perceived as an opportunist, who I only show up because there was a deal made between me and the host prior, unbeknownst to the audience, that they were going to plug or mention my products and services. That's not the case. And oftentimes they'll ask me, "Do you want to plug anything?" I'm just like, "No, I don't want to plug anything at all." Because the relationship that I'm trying to build is going to be much more powerful and valuable in the long run in trying to just jam something in. I don't want to cheapen the experience.
And you can call it as ego or whatever or self importance, but, "I showed up because you invited me to speak on a subject and I'm here to speak. I'm not here to sell you kitchen knives or a new undercoat for your car." And it's one of the reasons why on Ted Talks you're forbidden to selling pitcher services, it's because this is about ideas and lifting up people and they want to prevent people from doing this. It doesn't look good on the speakers. And I'm not saying that I'm on that level, but I think that's something that's aspirational and one should work towards.
Now, that's very different when I create a room and I tell you 10 reasons why you need to buy my product. I'm upfront with you. I'm clear. And that's what I'll do. And so, I feel like I'll oftentimes as a courtesy, the host will just very, in a non sequitur way and say, "Chris, what products are you selling again?" And I'm thinking to myself, "If I'm in the audience, this has no relevancy to the entire conversation. This is just getting sideswiped, T-boned, in an intersection by something random." And that's never good. Plus, we've seen this too. I don't know about you. I used to go to seminars. I would sit there in the audience and I can tell the entire seminar is really light on information, really dense on sales. And there's the back of the room book sales and there's an upgrade and there's upselling. It just makes me throw up in my mouth. I don't want to be that person. Do you want me to be that person, Ivy?

Ivy:

No, I think you're good the way you are.

Chris:

Yes.

Greg Gunn:

Time for a quick break, but we'll be right back.

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Greg Gunn:

Welcome back to our conversation.

Chris:

What do you have for me for Round number 3?

Ivy:

Okay. Your position on emotions fascinates me, because-

Chris:

Ooh, I like this.

Ivy:

... I'm an emotional being and I believe most people are actually emotional. But you are on the opposite spectrum where you have also referred to yourself or maybe other people refer to you as the robot. So my question to you is, why do you place such low value on emotions?

Chris:

I don't place low value on emotions.

Ivy:

Do you not?

Chris:

I'm an emotional person too. No. Well, let's talk about this. And I'm not sure that there are polar opposites, but they do belong in different polarities and maybe not directly opposing.

Ivy:

Okay.

Chris:

But when we think of emotions as irrational, unexplained, a feeling, and then we think logic as being rational, a deductive reasoning and if we are sitting here thinking like "What's going to serve us well in our life?" and we think these irrational nonsensical, sometimes feelings, cloud our judgment and perception and cloud how we want to behave or act, I don't think they service well. So for the first half of my life, I was a very emotional person. I cried all the time. I rode the emotional rollercoaster if you will, from going from the high highs to the low lows. And I didn't like where that led me.
And it was not a reliable filter in which to look at life. I think it's great as an artist to be in a very vulnerable, emotional place to have those dark places to draw upon. And I think some of the best artists are made that way. And during those periods, I felt very creative because I was so in tune with how I was feeling. My body would tingle. I would get shorter breath. I would feel this kind of nerves as if my skin was on fire or the pit of my stomach. I felt all those things. And eventually, it led me to a dark place where I didn't like my life anymore and I wasn't sure this is the life I wanted to continue.
So I had a conversation with myself. I went into my mind cave if you will, the cave of my mind. And I made a very rational decision to say, "If you continue down this path, where would that lead you? What's an alternative path? And where would that lead you?" And so that night I had my dark night of the soul and I came to wrestle with, "Moving forward, I don't want to be that person anymore and I'm just going to change." I took my own advice. I just did it. Just be a different person tomorrow. I get an opportunity. And so, slowly... And I would use this. I know this is dramatic, but I bared that other person. I did. I said, "You're no longer allowed to be that person. You sit in the chair. We're going to take over from here and out."
And so from that point forward, I've become much more self aware of the feelings that I feel and I asked myself lots of questions before I actually respond with those feelings. "Are these rational? Is this based on any evidence? Is this helpful to me? Is it helpful to the people in this room right now?" And if it's not, I make a different decision. So in a way I become a conductor or a director of the traffic of all these emotions. I feel them, but I've come to learn that the more I'm able to process and witness my own feelings and make different decisions for myself, the better and healthier I am.
I don't want to put this out there like where I don't feel love, where I don't feel joy and I don't feel depressed. I feel all those things, but I feel them in times in which I think they serve me well. For example, when my grandmother passed away... I had a really strong bond with my grandmother. There was a period in my life I actually lived with her. And when she passed away at the age of 99, I was simultaneously at peace knowing that as she get older, her hearing wasn't good, her memory was almost gone. And she's, I think at least off to a better place. She was a religious woman so I'm going to pretend she's going somewhere else. But I also felt tremendous loss, like, "I'm not going to be able to have a conversation with this woman anymore. I'm not going to be able to hold her hand or give her a back rub in her very tough tightly bound muscle body. I'm going to miss her."
And I felt sadness and I cried. I didn't try to stop myself because that's the time when you feel, right? And when my children are in danger or they're not healthy, I feel very vulnerable. I feel very emotionally connected to them, but I don't think that serves me well in many situations. So I'm not saying I've stripped away the emotions. I just look at where they're helpful to me and where they're not.

Ivy:

Okay. That's different from conversations that we've had before where you argue that emotions don't serve you and if people-

Chris:

I have no idea what you're talking about.

Ivy:

Okay.

Chris:

My public self is saying, "I don't know." No, I'm just kidding. So I think the problem is I witness a lot of people who act very irrationally, very emotionally. One day a life is great, the best life they can ever have. And literally quite in 24 hours, it's the worst day ever and you don't want to continue living. And I see that from the outside. I'm like, "Wow, what must it be like for you to bank from side to side of these two opposite emotions? And it must be very confusing for everyone in your life to see this, because are you the happiest, most privileged person in the world? Are you the victim to everything that's ever happened to you?" They don't really compete with me. And if you get pulled between these extremes, I think this is where some of these emotions don't serve you well.

Ivy:

I'm trying to remember if it was a Clubhouse talk or something like that where you definitely have said, and this is what I'm trying to pull the conversation from, that you've definitely said that if people had... I'm paraphrasing. If people would just have less emotions or if everyone were just robots, it would just be easier because every thing... I can't remember exactly what you said, but something along those lines. That if more people were robots, that would just-

Chris:

I don't remember that.

Ivy:

You don't remember that? Okay.

Chris:

I don't remember that line you were trying to quote so I can't either confirm nor deny it.

Ivy:

All right. So I'll take this to another place. For those people who are so emotional and who do make irrational decisions based on emotions and maybe even act on their emotions which may get them into even more trouble. I mean, I know that I'm emotional. In business, I'm very good at separating my emotions, but when it comes to my personal life, it takes over. I think everything I do in my business, in my personal life, it just completely takes over. So what advice would you have for someone who is this emotional? Because you seem to have managed to bury that one person very effectively. But that, I don't know how you did that. Can you talk on that a little bit more?

Chris:

I can I think. And I want to tell you also that I also act in irrational, emotional ways that I think are very positive. For example, if I see someone on the street, they're struggling, I'm going to do what I can to help them even though I'm probably jeopardizing few things. The logical thing is keep walking. I'll give you an example, okay? I was sitting outside at an American cafe, like American food style cafe. And I was sitting there with a friend I was catching up. And then this black man was walking by and he was in a suit. And then I heard the most horrific sound, this loud thump. I was like, "What the heck was that?" It sounded like a piece of concrete with like a leather baseball glove and something tremendously strong hitting it. It was just really loud thud. And I'm like, "Whoa, that's an unnatural sound."
And then I look over across our table, there's a planter box that's separating the sidewalk from the cafe and I see a pool of blood. And I figure out what has happened. For some reason, this man fell and split his head open on the concrete planter. And everybody in the restaurant were like, "Oh, this..." And you know what? I can see this and I was simultaneously concerned for the man and also upset that everybody was sitting here thinking about things versus doing something. So I just jumped over the fence. I tried to help the man over and I can see he was having a seizure. For some reason, he was triggered. He hit his head, of course, bleeding all over the place. And I'm like, "Guys, everybody, give me a towel. Give me something. I have to it put pressure on this." The little that I know, I have to stop the bleeding. And I yelled at somebody, "Call 911!"
And I'm sitting there and some lady yells out to me, "He's having a seizure. My brother has seizures. You have to make sure he doesn't bite off his tongue." I'm like, "Gee, thanks. You have experience with this, but you're going to sit there and talk about it rationally from the other side of the guardrail. And I'm here, I have blood all over myself and I just started eating too." So the logical thing would ignore this. Let someone else do it, but sometimes you have to act. You have to act in a way that might be out of your comfort zone that might put you in danger. Of course, when I told my wife this story later, because I had blood on my shirt, and she's like, "What happened?" She's like, "Honey, you can't exposures self. What if you got a disease?" I'm like, "You know what? There's a lot of what ifs, but this man needed me." He needed someone to step up, right?
So for 15 minutes I do this. I can't eat. My nerves were shot, like I have no more appetite. I'm like, "You guys are going to send me a bill for this? I have blood." They're like, "No, no we got you". But that's where I think sometimes your emotions can serve you and you can act in irrational ways when it benefits you. And these are those moments. And moments of bravery, like when you run into total destruction and danger, I'm not saying that's what I did, to save someone like a child in front of a runaway train, that's not the rational act. And I'm not telling you that I want to live a life devoid of emotions. I just want them to serve me well and not cloud my judgment.
So Ivy, if you, let's just say in this case, suffer from these wild swings, these rides from high highs and low lows and full of these irrational thoughts, if you want to change, I just have to ask you really, what's holding you back? I know from an irrational point of view, these things I'm saying is so rational, like, "Why would that... Duh, if I could do it, I would do it." I made that decision. I'm just wondering what's holding you back.

Ivy:

I don't dislike my emotions actually, because in business-

Chris:

That's the problem.

Ivy:

Yeah. I think my emotions do serve me. As long as I can keep my emotions in check for my business, I think that is something that is important for me. And it's interesting because I can do it in my business, but I don't necessarily do it in my personal life, which means that I'm actually choosing to retain my emotions in my personal life. So I have the ability... Actually I have answered my own question. I have the ability to switch off if I wanted to in my personal life as well. But I do think just like what you said-

Chris:

I believe you're right.

Ivy:

Yeah. But I agree with you though, that I think that the emotions do serve us and we just have to pick and choose and use that as a filter somehow to check in whether it's logical or rationally enough or not, because I think our emotions can drive us. They can motivate us.

Chris:

They can. And they can also make us scared.

Ivy:

Sure. Yes.

Chris:

They can paralyze us. There's a lot of things emotions can do. My final thought on this is if your emotions serve you well, embrace it. Don't worry. And if they're not serving you well, it's clouding your judgment, it's making you behave in ways that you wish you didn't, it's time to address that. And I think for most people, not for everyone, if you decide today "I'm tired of feeling this way and I don't want this anymore," that's a day that you start to make that change. So it sounds to me like you're comfortable with it. You like it. Even though it's an unreliable witness to your life, you're okay with having it all along as a passenger or sometimes driving.
I'm not okay with that. Personally I'm not because a lot of times... Sometimes both my wife and my oldest son, they're very emotional people. They're like, "Oh my God, I can't believe this is happening to me." I'm like, "Let's technically look at what has happened before we describe it as such with such judgment for you or the other person." And when we look at it, it's actually nothing in which you described. Not based on the evidence you've presented. And so this is where I think it can ruin us.
I'll give you another example. If we're really hopeful and optimistic and we always think people love us, we'll get on a new business call and the clients have not said anything like they're going to do work with us. We go home telling everybody, "Oh my God, I just booked this job. This is going to be amazing." And we go and spend the money, and then the clients ghost on us. I don't think clients really ghost on you. I think you're just a poor listener and you have happy ears and the ears' positive emotion is like, "No, everything's going to work out. Everything's great. They're going to sign on the dotted line. Why wouldn't they?" It becomes a thing where you're disconnected from reality. That's all I'm saying.

Ivy:

Yeah. I think we can agree on that.

Chris:

I think we can. And I think we're going to agree that I'm killing you on this Round 3 [crosstalk 00:41:01].

Ivy:

I think we can agree on that too.

Chris:

Probably edit that part out, Greg. Or not. Whatever you decide. Okay. Let's go on.

Ivy:

Okay.

Chris:

Let's move on to Round number 4.

Ivy:

Words have profound effects on people, especially when these words come from someone charismatic like yourself. People hang onto every word you say and they feel like they're at church. Church of Do, Dojo. Only some examples [inaudible 00:41:33]-

Chris:

Donations.

Ivy:

Donations.

Chris:

Donuts.

Ivy:

Back to my question here.

Chris:

Yeah. What was your question? I was lost in my own charisma.

Ivy:

Yeah. So we've talked about the future being a bit like a cult, and I'm not going to go down that rude completely.

Chris:

Okay.

Ivy:

But I'm going to talk about you as a person of influence. So the difference between you and other people I see who are people of great influence is that people have unquestioning faith in you. I've seen it on Clubhouse. I see it in lots of different places like comments in YouTube or whatever, and they just have unquestioning faith. So I suppose I want to talk a little bit about that. And my first question is when did you realize that you were in this position of influence and how has that transition to being so influential impacted you?

Chris:

I don't know if I see the same things you see, Ivy.

Ivy:

Sure.

Chris:

I see the things that are publicly said, of course. I could see those things. And I'm not privy to the conversations when I'm not in the room. And generally speaking, the people who have "unquestioning faith," they don't also just say that to my face. So it's usually in the conversations that are not privy to. So I don't really know. I'm also not going to deny that I aspire to be an influential person. I work a lot on self development. I try my best to share stories and lessons and things that can help other people. And I think they aligns with my identity in terms of being a teacher. And I think teachers can be influential if they're working towards a higher purpose.
And so if you're saying like, "When did you first realize you were influential?" I guess it would be in somewhere mid of my design education when other people were asking me for help with their design layouts because for some reason I figured out quicker. And so it started to happen pretty early to a very small group of people. And I don't think much of it. I just think that's what friends do. Like you're good at building models or miniatures and I'm good with type and design. I'm pretty good with coming up with certain kinds of ideas and if you need help with that, I'm more than happy to help you. And I just think of this as just normal stock and trade of how organizations, communities, small groups share and grow together, were sharing different pieces of information. There was a time when I really struggled with animation, and so someone who knew more about animation was able to be influential to me and help me get over my own hurdles. And so that seemed just normal. That's what we do.
When it starts to change is when I start to go at a larger scale. I think this is when I started to create content, I guess it's social media on YouTube where I start to share my ideas and then people sit up and like, "Wow, that was refreshing. I like the way you presented that. That's a different point of view I hadn't heard before." Or they'll say like, "This was gold." Now, that's the Internet's favorite expression: gold, 24 Karat. Whatever it is. And then you're like, "Oh, something I'm seeing is connecting with a broader audience. This is cool. It's helpful so let me do more of it." I don't spend too much time thinking like, "Oh my God, the kind of influence I have, I got to mind my Ps and Qs" because that will mess you up, right?

Ivy:

Yeah.

Chris:

If this is what you did and it's working and it's helping people, then don't try to change that too much. So that would be the time. I forgot the second part of your question.

Ivy:

The second part of the question was how did that impact you? The transition I suppose, like the change.

Chris:

I think it's nice to be recognized for the contributions you make. I've been plugging away at this content game for seven years as I mentioned, but I've been a teacher for 15 years outside of making content. And one of the highest honors that I never got was to be voted Teacher of the Year for the school I was teaching at. And the reason why I would never, ever be able to do that is because I taught six students. The teachers who were teaching 60 students at a time had a much greater chance because the students would vote and that's how it would happen. But it's an honor that I would like to have. And I was like, "Maybe one day when I go back to teaching again, I can do that and I can have that kind of impact."
So the second best honor I can get is to teach in mass on YouTube, on social media, and elsewhere on podcast and how people recognize me for that. The easiest way is for them just to say it, like, "I really was going through a difficult moment. That episode, that article, and that thought, you really pulled me out of a dark place." That means the world to me. And if I say too much, I will get emotional, which I'm not trying to do here. And the other way that they can do that is they just leave a comment and I can read that. I read all the comments from all the social channels. And I'm like I get the collective sense of the vibe that people are sending to me. Obviously, not everyone's happy with what I do. There's a good portion of people who are very unhappy with what I do. And I'm okay with that too.

Ivy:

I still wonder with the weight of your words, because when I talk about this as unquestioning faith that I see, this is in public like on Clubhouse for example, they're like, "Oh my gosh, Chris, this is so good." And they'll say all these things that I probably would never say to anybody that I don't know very well, but I'll go, "Thank you for your advice" and then I'll move on kind of thing. When your words carry so much weight, I want to dig a little bit deeper there and ask like, do you feel like you ever have to filter? Do you have to be careful about what you say because you have someone's life in your hands, they might do exactly as you say? I don't know.

Chris:

I wish I had that power to get people to do exactly what I say because they would be happier, healthier, more successful and live with a little less stress in their lives, but I don't think I have that kind of power. I'm being really genuine and earnest when I say this. I'm doing the best I can just to control myself, to control my thoughts, my habits, my actions, and my words. Who am I to try to control your thoughts, your actions? It's just too much. I don't know if that's real.
If my words carry a lot of weight, I say thank you, because maybe that's a sign of me showing up consistently or a reward for the amount of personal development I've done. But just as much as the words I can say that can be constructive, for some people that can interpret that as destructive. Same words, same audience, same video. All you have to do is read the comments on our YouTube channel. How could this be? And I cannot obsess over that because then I start to think, "Should I say this? Shouldn't I say this?" And I become less of myself. I don't want to do that. So when people try to pin me, it's like, "Chris, you need to be very careful." I'm like, "I don't know. I'm not sure I buy that. You be careful."

Ivy:

Okay. No, I like this response. It kind of ties into what we've talked about earlier as well, so that would make sense. But I need to ask you a question about your ego. With all this devotion, how do you keep your ego in check?

Chris:

I try to squeeze through the door every single day. It's becoming increasingly more difficult because it's like I could barely get through it. And that's why I prefer sliding glass doors. I don't know. I think I have a pretty clear sense of who I am and to not be overly self important. I do love myself. I do think that I'm my own number 1 fan. And we can get into that if you want. But I find that people who don't love themselves are difficult to love because they take all your energy just to support them every single day. So I think each and every single person who's listening to this needs to think about like, "Are you your own number one fan? If not, what's the problem? And why is it that you can accept someone loving you more than you love yourself?", which is a really strange thing.
But I also think we've been socialized not to love ourselves, to be sometimes falsely humble and just really to be really insecure about what it is that we do in the world, to not to take credit for the things that we do. So I simultaneously acknowledge the things that I do well while also recognizing the parts that I don't do well. I make decisions about what I want to improve and not improve. And so when someone just showers me with praise, "I already know who I am. So that's cool. I appreciate you saying that, but it doesn't really change me because I knew that I was who I was prior to you saying that." And I think that's where your emotions can sometimes get the best of you. So your emotions will say, "Oh my God, they love me. They said this was the best thing they've ever heard." And so your sense of self goes really, really high.
Simultaneously, they're like, "That was terrible. You're just a snake oil salesman. Your emotions will tear you down to the bottom." I don't know how one operates living in those two polarities. It's just too much. So I like to have a clear idea who I am, what it is that I do to be really honest about it. If you judge me as being braggadocious or arrogant or so full of myself, that's okay. I accept that. I don't think of myself that way. And so that's why the praise that I might get, it doesn't really swing me too far from where I'm at. I know where I am.
Where it gets really entertaining is when someone that I care about is very critical of the things that I'm doing, and then they're just met with overwhelming opposite evidence. I find that to be really funny, because I'm like, "You see, you thought I did terrible. And these people said I did well." So we'll recalibrate a little bit.

Ivy:

Okay, great. Well, I think that's a great learning that everyone just definitely has to learn to love themselves first and not seek that external validation. And then that is the way that people can keep their ego in check, right? Okay.

Chris:

Yeah. And Ivy, I give you full permission. If one day you're like, "Oh my God, the ego in Chris is just ridiculous." Just tell me, like, "Dude, what happened to you? What happened?" I tell all my staff this too, like, "What happened? You were tolerable before. Now you're just intolerable. We just can't deal with you anymore. Your poop don't stink or what?" No, my poop stinks. It does. All right. I think that's a weird, awkward transition to Round number 5, but here we are. I'm going to start the timer. Ivy, Round 5, way to just go ahead and bring this one home.

Ivy:

Okay. Let's imagine we're in the multiverse of DC comics and there's Chris Do on earth 3. Let's call him CD. CD wants to be a life coach and is in the process of getting certified. He's currently known as a designer and he's phenomenal, and he is really killing it. His path to success as a designer is clearly defined, but the trouble is that he hates what he does and it doesn't bring him joy. So what does Chris Do on earth 1 advice CD on earth 3?

Chris:

And you're talking about some kind of crossover event where the multiverses are able to cross over like that?

Ivy:

Sure.

Chris:

Yeah?

Ivy:

Yeah.

Chris:

Okay.

Ivy:

Everything's go.

Chris:

Okay. So I'm assuming I'm Chris Do from earth 1, right?

Ivy:

Yes. Yes.

Chris:

Okay. Well, earth 1 Chris would not advise earth 3 Chris what to do because I don't believe you should give people advice unless they explicitly ask for it, are capable of hearing it, and are committed to action towards fixing whatever it is they want to fix. This is really critical because too many people like to give unsolicited advice thinking that they're helping, but they're doing actually a lot of harm. And I think we need to be aware of this. All you have to do check the internet. Everybody out that can type words has an opinion. They're just very excited to jump on the opportunity to give you their feedback because they're experts at everything, right? So earth 1 Chris would not advise earth 3 Chris unless that person asked for help and I thought I could help this person that committed to change.
When you asked me before how do I become less emotional, I asked you. I don't think you want to be less emotional. You're right. And so we got rid of that problem. So the day that you show up earnestly and saying, "Please help me. I'm tired of riding this roller coaster. I want to get off this. Tell me how to do this" and then we can begin the work, it's really important. So here we are again. So, is earth 3 Chris asking for help? Wants help?

Ivy:

Earth 3, yes, he wants help.

Chris:

Ready to do the work? Okay.

Ivy:

Ready to do the work.

Chris:

All right. A person is really good at doing something and the path forward is very clear, but it doesn't align with their soul, their spirit, and where they want to move in life?

Ivy:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris:

My general advice is just because you're good at something, doesn't mean that's what you should be doing. It almost should be a sign for you that you're going to, I think become really bored. You're going to become bored at doing this thing that you're good at. And you're going to figure it out one way or the other. So let's figure it out sooner the than later. So what I would do is to advise the person to build a bridge from where they are, to where they want to be, to minimize the risk and exposure that they have for themselves. So if it's so easy for you to be a designer, go do that and carve out three days of the week of your work week to do that professionally and charge a crazy amount of money to do that so it doesn't feel like you're suffering, because you're so good at it anyways, you could do that.
And then with your remaining two days of work, work on this other career that you want to have. And give yourself permission to explore, to waste time, to just go out on a whim and try something before you fully commit to it, to say like, "This is what I want." So if you want to become a life coach or you want to do something different in your life, work on acquiring those skills, put in the practice time to become really sure that this is really what you want to do. There's one danger of switching careers all the time, which is you never really get the depth that you're going to need to have to be really, really successful. So every time you make a lateral move, you are going to start at the bottom of the ladder again. And this is really critical, because a lot of people have some kind of career ADHD. They keep switching because I can't find it.
So my thing is before you jump all in on something else, yet again, just explore with an open mind, like, "Do I want this? Do I not want it?" and to keep an open mind and not to plunge yourself so far into commitment that even if you don't like it, your pot committed and you're going to go see it all the way through. And then when you're ready, when you feel like "This is what I want" and you've built some traction, you've written some things and you're starting to make a name for yourself, you can slowly take away one day from the other career that you have, go from three days to two, to one, to zero days and you can just make a very nice gentle transition from one to the next.
I used to teach storyboard in sequential design. The thing that was the most difficult for students to work through were how little story bits move from frame to frame. In the transition, it either becomes jarring or it's smooth and seamless. I think your life can be like that too. So in our life, we want try to design these seamless transitions from where we are. First, it's just abruptly jumping the edit and going to a totally different scene. And I think that creates a lot of friction. It's jarring for your friends to witness. It will create a lot of confusion and people are going to get concerned about you. So I think that's how you start to begin that blend. And if three days is too few days to do this, start with four days. If you can't afford to do that, stick with your five-day work routine and pull out and steal back one day from your weekend and slowly let that grow to be the majority of how you spend your time.

Ivy:

Okay. The reason I have put this question in here is because obviously you want people to be doing what they love. I think sometimes there's such resistance towards accepting that you can actually make money doing what you love. And I think this kind of illustrates a way for people to achieve that if they don't see that vision being able to be realized in a way. But you mentioned that when you are really good at something, just... You didn't use these words, but charge through the roof so that it's worth it. What if people aren't willing to pay that really high price that you charge? So they end up having no work in the end. What would your advice to someone who's trying to do just that? Raise their rates so that they can survive on less days, but they're not quite succeeding.

Chris:

Yeah, by definition then you're not worth it. You're only worth what somebody pays you. So you can't say I'm worth it and then no one agrees to that price point. Then that becomes delusion. So I think if you want to be able to have everything in your life, you're going to have to give up something. So you're going to have to give away a couple expensive habits. If you can't raise your rates in which people are willing to pay you, then you have to say, "Okay, I need to live on a little bit less. I might need to move in backing with my parents. I might need to just go public transportation or cut out my latte diet every single day and that'll add up to something." So a lot of times what I see is there's a scale somewhere in the universe and you want this career and you want to hold onto this lifestyle and you're not willing to give up anything, and so you wind up not getting anything.
It's like two ice plates shifting and you have your foot on both. It's going to hurt. Eventually, you're going to have to get off one or the other. So I think you have to be willing to let go of something that you don't want or need to get the thing that you truly want to need. So I'll give you an example. I used to read a lot of comics. I don't do that anymore. And some part of me is that. I used to play video games. I bought a PlayStation 4. It's still unopened. I have not touched a video game controller in years, because I want something much more than the gratification of smashing some kid online. I want to help people. And so now, instead of reaching for the comic book, I'm going to read a really dry book on sales or building habits. So you have to do the things you don't want to get the things that you really, really need or want in your life.

Ivy:

Okay. You won that one too.

Chris:

I just think people don't want to make a sacrifice, Ivy.

Ivy:

That's true. Yeah, I don't think that people are always ready. I think that the ones who are actually succeeding in business for example, they're the ones who are actually taking the action. And maybe they're also the ones who are not letting their emotions hold themselves back. So we tie on all the different rounds that we've had. But I think taking action is the most important thing and making that choice and decision in their life to do so.

Chris:

And that is exactly one of the arguments you and I have had, is taking action is paramount to all the other things. It is the thing that's going to be the greatest indicator of you having success or not.

Ivy:

Yeah.

Chris:

You can read every book and talk to every coach about the theories of diet and exercise, but until you move that body of yours, until you lift that weight, until you accelerate your heart rate, until you just change the things that you put in your mouth, nothing will change.

Ivy:

Yep.

Chris:

Nothing.

Ivy:

Right.

Chris:

So as much as we have this culture that says, "Start with why and tell me why I want to do something," I think just start with, "Just do it." It's a pretty good slogan already. It's got my name in the middle of it. So just do it, people. Just take action because that's going to be the single biggest predictor of your future success in my humble opinion. Ivy, thank you for doing this with me. Thanks for going Five Rounds. Do you have any final thoughts?

Ivy:

No, except that it was fun, but you won.

Chris:

It could be a win-win.

Ivy:

It could be a win-win. Yeah. No, this was great. Thank you for having me here and allowing me to ask you a gazillion questions.

Chris:

Okay. If you've enjoyed this conversation today, my guest and my sparring partner has been Ivy Malik. In the Five Rounds, we try to go head to head on a topic, or a subject, or a question that we're both thinking about. Not necessarily in an adversarial way. And today, it's been Ivy Malik. And it's been a pleasure talking to you, Ivy.

Ivy:

Thank you, Chris.

Chris:

And if people want to find out more about you, Ivy, where do they go?

Ivy:

I'm very active on both Instagram and LinkedIn. So Instagram is ivymalikofficial and Ivy Malik on LinkedIn. And then of course, ivymalik.com if you want to find my website. It's pretty simple.

Chris:

Do you have an upcoming course or a program that you're launching and sharing?

Ivy:

I do. I have a sales coaching program that begins in January. The early bird ends in middle of November, so 19th of November. That's going to be really fun. I'm really excited about my sales coaching program. It's called Selling Secrets.

Chris:

Selling Secrets. That sounds really interesting. Well, thank you very much, Ivy.

Ivy:

Thank you, Chris. I'm Ivy Malik, and you're listening to the Futur.

Greg Gunn:

Thanks for joining us this time. If you haven't already, subscribed to our show on your favorite podcasting app and get a new insightful episode from us every week. The Futur Podcast is hosted by Chris Do and produced by me, Greg Gunn. Thank you to Anthony Baro for editing and mixing this episode and thank you to Adam Sanborn for our intro music. If you enjoyed this episode, then do us a favor by reading and reviewing our show on Apple Podcasts. It'll help us grow the show and make future episodes that much better.
Have a question for Chris or me? Head over to the futur.com/heychris and ask away. We read every submission and we just might answer yours in a later episode. If you'd like to support the show and invest in yourself while you're at it, visit thefutur.com. You'll find video courses, digital products, and a bunch of helpful resources about design and creative business. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time.

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