I’m proud of my journey. One of the main reasons I’ve been truly excited about becoming a speaker is because not only am I able to share my message with my neighbors, patients, and families, but also my growing social media communities. I find sharing information on healthy eating, exercising, and engaging with others is truly rewarding.
I want to translate that connection to a larger audience, to be able to do much more. But I can’t do it on my own. That is one of the reasons why I like to listen to podcasts. They help keep my mind active and entertained. And some of my favorites are those that can help me learn how to best spread my message. One podcast I listen to often is The Big Leap Podcast hosted by Mike Koenigs and Gay Hendricks. I had the chance to interview Gay and learned so much that I decided to reach out to Mike too!
In a candid conversation with Mike, serial entrepreneur and best-selling author, I was blown away by the tips and tricks he shared to help me disseminate my message and have more impact. Have a look at these seven lessons I learned and see which ones resonate with you.
1. Look for shortcuts
At the beginning of our interview, Mike shared that he grew up in an environment with strict discipline that didn’t resonate with him. He would spend his time figuring out how to hack everything and look for shortcuts. He would try to break the system, and as a result, find innovative ways to move forward faster.
He said, “It wasn’t because I wanted to get away with anything, I just wanted to explore all options available, even if it meant coming up with new ways of doing things.” That skill of looking for shortcuts came in handy later on for Mike because he taught himself how to program when he was 14, leading to great opportunities in his youth.
Being aware of your surroundings is important, particularly if there is a shorter distance to your goal. Find a way to break out of the norm and always look for shortcuts. It is likely to get you to your goals faster than if you did what everyone else does.
2. Position, package, and tell stories
Mike started his own business called Digital Café. It was one of the first digital marketing agencies that worked with big brands like 3M, General Mills, BMW, Domino’s Pizza, Sony, 20th Century Fox and others. As a marketer, he learned the importance of positioning, packaging, and storytelling. His agency combined his and his business partner’s filmmaking skills, creativity, and knowledge of digital marketing to develop branded video games, most notably Chex Quest, which was distributed in more than six million boxes of General Mills cereal.
You can apply the same marketing skills to your brand, whether you’re in a creative industry or not. While not everyone is a natural storyteller, you can study what others have done and even interview them to learn their secrets and ask for advice. Mike does a great job at packaging his offerings, and after talking with him, I want to save so I can hire him! Think about what you are offering, and make sure it’s packaged in a way that inspires others to take action.
3. Study what you love
As a boy, Mike was obsessed with infomercials and what used to be called “junk mail” before the digital age. Even though he didn’t know the term “marketing” when he was young, receiving packages and letters in the mail with sales pitches gave him insights into creative selling.
As he advanced his marketing career, Mike spent his time studying the top infomercials and it helped him learn effective copywriting, which would result in his first information product called the Internet Infomercial Toolkit. He adapted the television infomercial to the Internet before YouTube.
What you love might surprise you, and can even lead you down avenues you never expected. If you find yourself immersed in a hobby or an odd interest, give yourself time to enjoy it in your downtime. It may inspire ideas that you can apply to your business or service. Hearing Mike talk about his passion for junk mail and infomercials made me realize that my passion for cooking recipes might help me in packaging my health message from the stage.
4. Communicate small amounts of information in short periods
Mike shared that he started receiving speaking inquiries. While he wasn’t a paid speaker at conferences and events, he was a platform speaker. That means he became very successful selling products from the stage and was able to raise his prices as he gained more experience.
While observing other platform speakers, he learned the art of persuasion. Today he has it down to a science—communicating the smallest amount of information in the shortest period of time. Mike learned that he can make significantly more money as a platform speaker than a traditional paid speaker, selling from the stage, rather than being paid to speak. Whether you speak to sell or not, pick what will work best for you and your goals! For me, speaking is more about spreading my message of health and wellness than making money. There is no wrong way to do it when you do what works best for you!
5. Passive income is not passive
This one surprised me because I usually think of passive income as video seminars, books, and investing in real estate. It’s not just about products or tangible items.
Mike said, “Learning to speak, present, and build a platform are the most valuable things you can ever do. The belief that there’s such a thing as passive income is generally not true.”
Creating digital products does not guarantee you money on demand, Mike says. You have to remember that there are many moving parts and that if you don’t have the technical savvy and marketing prowess that you will waste a lot of time and money. Selling online requires websites, sales pages, advertising, and lots of moving parts that can break or quit working overtime. To succeed you have to constantly build and grow your platform (and yes, get out there and speak!)
6. Invest in yourself and your education
One of the best pieces of advice Mike shared with me is to invest in yourself and your education. He said, “Build momentum and understand the value of relationships, connections, and proximity.”
It pays to spend money that will further your ambition, whether you’re going back to school, using your degree, or pursuing a side hustle on the weekends. So take that online course you’ve been putting off or shadow someone you admire and want to emulate someday. The best investment you’ll ever make is in a good coach who can save you years of time and give you shortcuts to achieve your goals. What’s the value of time to you?
Remember, you’re betting on yourself, and spending the time and effort to grow will pay dividends.
7. Give the world something different
The last takeaway I gleaned from my interview with Mike is to solve a unique problem. Instead of being generic, know what your hook is and find the social proof that your idea will work.
You have much to offer to your friends, family, colleagues, and people you have never met before who can encourage you to keep going once you figure out what unique problem you want to solve. I want to solve the problem of our dependence on processed food.
So, what problem are you solving, and what are you waiting for?
After my conversation with Mike, I’m more motivated than ever to take the steps needed to reach my goals of impacting more people by empowering them to make better food choices. It’s funny how one short conversation can have such an impact. I hope these highlights get you inspired to keep after your personal, professional, and health goals. After reflecting on all that Mike shared with me, there was one gem that I want to leave you with. I asked him, “How can I make an impact by sharing my message of health with millions of people?” He reminded me that it’s not impossible to change a million people’s lives. You just have to start by creating an impact with one, three, and then five. And in time, your impact will increase! So make your message unique, prove it works, channel your charisma, and above all else, keep moving forward in the direction you want to go.
If you want to share your goal-achieving tips with me, tweet them to me at @reyzanshali.