- Many entrepreneurs think that because they haven’t been to college that they can’t be successful. It’s the grit and the belief more than anything else that will get you to where you want to be.
David facilitates executive teams with his HSDO (High School Drop Out) designation.
- David isn’t interested in studying your competitors and understanding what they’re doing.
“When you’re going in to help a client, you don’t care what their competitors are doing.”
- The fundamental flaw in the branding industry is that they think you know who you are, and you think they’ll figure you out. Neither of those are true.
- It’s important for business owners to reflect on their core values. When you leave your beliefs out of the business, you’re leaving yourself out, and you’re on your way to being a commodity.
“Every product that you make, and everything you do, is a deep reflection of your values.”
- The mistake people make is they listen to people who are ahead of them, and they start adopting traits from other people that don’t natively exist within themselves.
“What do you do that nobody else can do?”
- Steve says Juliet is an awesome co-host because he forgot to ask David a question.
- “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to gather wood, divide the work, and give out orders; instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Meet David Anthony Childs
Our guest is David Anthony Childs, Living Blueprint’s integrative thinker and lead facilitator, and co-author of Monster: Your Billion Dollar Ideology. David helps companies realize their vision by focusing on their core values and fostering meaningful connections with their target audience.
Smart Man, Smarter Woman References
We talk about a lot in each episode; however, we don’t want you to miss a thing! Here are some key items were mentioned if you want to take a closer look.
Propaganda by Edward Bernays
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Steve Loates (00:00):
Hello everyone, and welcome to our podcast. Smart Man, Smarter Woman. A Podcast for Entrepreneurs by Entrepreneurs. And thank you very much for joining us today. I am Steve Loates.
Juliet Aurora (00:15):
And I am Juliet Aurora.
Steve Loates (00:18):
And we are your co-hosts. And before I introduce our special guest today, let’s hear from my wonderful co-host, that smarter woman herself, Juliet, how are you doing today, Juliet? You’re looking fabulous as usual.
Juliet Aurora (00:33):
Well, thank you. I appreciate that. I’m doing really well. I think that today’s episode is going to be quite interesting, not only because it’s something that we’ve struggled with in our own business for many, many years, but something that’s also been a topic of fairly intensive discussions over the last couple months as we’ve revisited and refined the values of our business. So I think it’s going to be a really interesting conversation today, looking forward to today’s episode.
Steve Loates (01:03):
Absolutely. Yeah. And as our regular listeners know, our goal with each episode is to hopefully provide you with some entertainment, but most importantly, some value for your time. Some insights, maybe a gold nugget or two to help you on your own journey wherever that may be. And today we have a great show for you. We have a special guest, David Childs, and David is the lead facilitator and founding partner of a company called Living Blueprint. David along with his team guide companies to discover and codify their core values in a way that helps forge aligned culture in the workplace and solidifies an emotional connection with their target audience. So both inside and outside the business. Beyond applying his varied skills to help companies know thyself and realize their vision, David also writes for business in Vancouver where he’s located, and speaks at business events and conferences. He is co-author of an upcoming book, which I love the title, Monster: Your Billion Dollar Ideology. So without further ado, let’s bring our guests into the show, David Childs. Hi David, and thank you for joining us today from Vancouver.
David Childs (02:28):
Thank you very much for having me. I’m looking forward to our conversation and where it goes. And this golden nugget, I’m full of a lot of things, so let’s a golden nugget falls out today.
Steve Loates (02:38):
Absolutely. I’m sure there’ll be several David, I have faith. And likewise, looking forward to the conversation today. We always love talking about things that entrepreneurs need to do or should be doing to help their business be more successful, and certainly core values, vision inside your business, aligning that with your target market are certainly, I think very important and should be of interest to a lot of our audience. But before we dive into that, perhaps you could take a few minutes and just share a little bit of your own entrepreneurial journey. How did you get to where you are today?
David Childs (03:20):
I want to give enough background, but also not spend 45 minutes on it. I have tried pretty much everything that I’ve ever wanted or accidentally convinced myself that I should do. So when I was young, I completely decided… I grew up with much music in Canada and MTV in the States, but mainly much music because that was what was on most of the TV shows. And if you heard a song on there, you had to wait until it came back on. I mean, there was no other way to get it. And I watch all these bands, and I grew up in the 80s, and I had decided I was going to be a musician. So I just went into studying guitar. And I’ve always, I guess you could say had an untrust of teachers, and I didn’t grow up in the best neighborhood in Calgary. I mean, it wasn’t the Bronx, but it wasn’t the best, and I didn’t really get the role models I was looking for.
David Childs (04:20):
Now, I fully understand that could have been my unreal expectations or, we can probably put a lot of names around that. Belligerence is a hint, but I refuse to learn guitar from other people. I also refused to learn anybody else’s songs, which the reason that’s important, because that pattern actually came in from music. I also carried that forward into entrepreneurship and into business. So it’s something I write about in the book is me sitting in the room facilitating a billion dollar company. And I know that sounds large and I don’t want to give the wrong impression that every one of our clients is that big, it’s called a whale for a reason, but here I am with my HSDO designation, high school dropout designation, leading 15 executives, some of them went to the best schools in the world, plus my team of five and they’re all educated, wondering, well, how did I get here? How am I leading this? And why are they taking me seriously?
David Childs (05:25):
And on the path of convincing myself to do all these different things, I ended up having about 35 different jobs. I tried everything. And what I realized about looking at that afterwards was I was actually studying human beings, and studying relationships, and studying what connects us, and studying how organizations run, even when I didn’t understand why I was doing it. But it’s actually aided me a lot with culture and values of being able to be inside an organization and looking contrast, looking for things that work, looking for things that don’t work. So years ago I was in a band, and when the band broke up, I said to myself, within a year I will be not only working in an office, but I will be on an airplane flying somewhere at the expense of the person who has hired me.
David Childs (06:20):
Now, to think of that as lofty as it was, I was a roofer, and the only time I had ever spent in an office in my life was when we were on tour, we were in a city and I needed cash, so I worked for an office moving company for a couple of weeks. So the extent of me being in an office was moving one while I had my downtime in a bag. So the goal, and I remember this distinctly, I was in Prince George when the band stopped and I’m like, that’s it, within one year I will be on an airplane flying somewhere for the office that I work in, and almost to the day it happened. And I didn’t know what I wanted to do with myself, and all I could muster when I was talking to people and I found this… I started doing flooring, like I was doing anything.
David Childs (07:10):
I moved back in with my parents when I was 27 years old, just to recenter because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And I remember I had this one conversation with this guy that I was doing flooring with at the time, I was doing anything. And he said to me, “What do you want to do with your life?” And I said, “I have no idea.” And he gave me this look and he said, “Yes, you do. You got to know something.” And I said, “Well, I like computers and I like art.” And he pulled out this laptop, and this was 20 years ago, so laptops weren’t everywhere back then, right? And he showed me AutoCAD and he said, “Look, I’m building a deck for these people, and I made it in AutoCAD.” And I was like, “Ooh.”
David Childs (07:46):
So I got myself in an AutoCAD program. I had to try and find him explanation why I didn’t have my high school diploma. So I just said it was lost in the mail, because it was in a different city, so I could hide behind that. And I took AutoCAD that led into 3D animation, because I’d make something in 3D, then I wanted to do something with it. So I kept asking my teacher, I’m like, “I made all these things, how do I make them work?” He’s like, “Well, that’s animation. We don’t teach that. That’s not what AutoCAD is for.” So I took an animation course. From there, I actually started my first company with two other people, which was an animation company. And this would have been probably… Yeah, probably 19 years ago, and the company didn’t make any money.
David Childs (08:29):
However, we had one contract who barely paid us, but we did get into film festivals. We got in Toronto, we got in Tribeca, we got in Vancouver, we got in Brussels, Belgium. So we got a ton of play, but we made nothing. So at the same point, I was now working in that office that I mentioned, I got a job at this remote sensing company, a cartography digital mapping company. This is what I learned, I could sell myself to virtually anyone because I got an engineering job to create maps in a cartography firm and I didn’t even know what cartography was. So within about three months of having that job, I had my animation company going, and here’s the funny thing. The day I got on the airplane to fly to Chicago to go for a conference was the same day my film was playing in the Vancouver Film Festival and I couldn’t go.
David Childs (09:21):
So I was like, you know what? These are both gifts. I will take them both. I didn’t expect any of this. So I just went along with it. So I never got to touch any of the theme, or anything about that. My friend told me it was on. So from there about three months into that job, my boss pulled me aside, Jake, he took me into his office and this guy was an ominous fellow who liked… He was very theatrical in his own evil way. And he is was very nice man, but he was evil. And I sit in his desk and he was back lit with these huge windows, he darkened the room, he sat me down, said close the door, and I’m sitting there looking at him wondering where this is going to go and he says, “I understand you hate our website.” Because I had mentioned something to some colleagues because it was crap, it was a long time ago.
David Childs (10:12):
And I started backpedaling immediately and goes, “No, no, no. That’s all right. You are our new marketing director.” I said, “What is a marketing director?” He said, “You’re the new marketing director.” Like, “Please explain.” And all he would say to me was you’re the new marketing director. And I sat there and I got up after a while and walked to the door and looked back and he’s like, “You’re the new marketing director.” So I don’t know, it was about a week later I decided, “Okay, fine. I’m going to do whatever I want.” And that started me on a three year path to understand, well, what is marketing? What is advertising? Because I had no idea. But with the animation company, I’d made a website, I’d done a bunch of stuff and I knew graphic design, and I knew that.
David Childs (10:53):
So I ended up completely repositioning or rebranding the company, separating all of the divisions, because I used to go to the trade shows. So I knew our trade shows were confusing. So I just spent three years figuring it all out. And one day I just realized, I wasn’t making a lot of money. And I realized if I did this for a lot of companies at once, I would make more money. And that was where the entrepreneur was born. That was honestly about halfway through, and I just looked at it and said, okay, well, if I’m going to do that, if I’m going to leave and start my own company, I need to finish this project. I can’t leave halfway through and someone says, “What have you done?” And I say, “Well, I almost got a brand done once, and it was really neat.”
David Childs (11:41):
So it’s funny, I did the math in my head and I said, it’s going to take a year and a half, and it did. And when that came up, I put my letter of resignation in and I just packed everything up and I moved to Vancouver and I didn’t know anybody in the city, I didn’t know how I was going to make money. I just rented an apartment, brought myself, my debt, my car, my desk and my computer and I just started networking. And there was really no parachute at all. Like I got one contract before I left with a company that stayed being my client for 12 years called Access Technologies. And they paid my way over, and that was really it, that’s how I ended up being an entrepreneur.
David Childs (12:20):
I just realized with after 35 jobs and all these things I’ve done, I thought it’s time for me to just stand on my own feet, fight for it and see what happens. And it’s funny I shouldn’t phrase it that way, because there was never in my head any doubt that it would work, it was just like, okay, this is me now, this is what I’m doing. And then the trick was, well, how can I meet as many people as possible? How can I network a minimum of three times a week, every week? So that was literally where Living Blueprint started and how it started, it was just all those weird sequence of events. But I tell you, the 35 jobs have equipped me very, very well to lead and be in a board room and be able to communicate and talk to people.
Steve Loates (13:03):
Absolutely. So Living Blueprint-
David Childs (13:07):
Steve Loates (13:08):
… what do you do? Like how do you help your clients?
David Childs (13:13):
I’ll tell it with a brief story. So the client we had, a very, very successful company. It was the car company, which was actually a billion dollar company. I might as well, that’s a fresh story. So three years ago we were called in because they were growing really, really quick. And we did a series of interviews and presentations to their executive team and we were shortlisted, we were one of two, and we were going up against a big agency and we had just finished a couple of big jobs, and went through the whole thing and then we got hired. But when I sat with the owner, Christian, for the first time I met him after like six meetings or something crazy like that, he just looked at me and he said, “We’re growing quick. What if we think we’re one thing and we’re not that, can you help us? That’s what we want to know.”
David Childs (14:04):
And I’m changing what he said with words, but that’s what he meant. Like, how do we know if we’re correct and understanding who we are and where we fit into the world. And in the shortest form possible, that’s what we do. Now, on one front, and I’m glad that you prefaced this earlier by saying that you’ve been going through this and it’s taken months. On one front, it looks easy. We sell cups to people who have a bunch of liquid and nowhere to put it. That’s pretty straightforward, right? Pretty straight forward. However, there are some cups that are made out of crystal that go for an enormous amount of money, and there’s plastic cups that go from one cent on the internet.
David Childs (14:45):
So it’s not as simple as cups. And then you dig underneath the cup, you say, well, why do we make that cup and not that cup? What do we believe in? And then you go even one step deeper than that and say, well, why do people buy from us? What in our story makes people buy from us? And we call it, there’s a harmonic note between those two things that only exists with you and your client market. That’s why I’m never very interested in studying your competitors and understanding what they’re doing, because what am I going to learn from that? They’re not you. I equate that to going into a store and meeting a nice young lady and buying the clothes she’s wearing and giving them to my wife because they look good on her. There’s no correlation. It doesn’t make sense, and imagine trying to pull that one off saying, “Here honey, this looks really good on the girl in the store, you should wear it because it’s hip right now.” It doesn’t work.
Steve Loates (15:37):
Juliet Aurora (15:38):
I love this story, your entrepreneurial journey, because I’m sure that there are people in our audience who have fallen into entrepreneurship, have known that they didn’t really know where their place was and made a place for themselves. And I loved the designation, the HSDO designation, because I bet you there’s a ton of entrepreneurs out there as well who think that because they haven’t been to college, they don’t have the letters after their name, they don’t have a designation that they can’t be successful. And you are the epitome to prove that that is not true. That it’s the grit and the belief more than anything else that’s going to get you to where you want to be. So I wanted to highlight that in your story because I think that’s very inspirational.
David Childs (16:26):
And to be honest Juliet, for a few reasons, there was the belligerence, which I mentioned earlier, but it was also premeditated because when I was young I heard, and I have no idea what age this was, but I’m going to say it was below 10. I heard that 80% of the world’s millionaires didn’t finish high school. Now let’s just pretend that that’s true for our conversation because honestly I’ve pretended it’s true for my entire life, and I’m 46 now. So I heard that and I thought, “Huh, well, what am I going to get an education for?” And then I read about 20 years ago, I read the book, Robert Kiyosaki’s book, the-
Steve Loates (17:06):
David Childs (17:07):
… Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
Steve Loates (17:08):
… Poor Dad, yeah.
David Childs (17:09):
And the beginning of the book states these kids, or he and his friend went to his dad who ran a gas station, another dad who ran a business or something, or what was it? No, one owned a gas station and one was an engineer or something like that. So they went to the engineer and the engineers, like I can teach you how to have a hundred thousand dollar job but go to the other dad because he’s got a business. So it was a collection of these weird ideas that… It was a self-fulfilling prophecy that I was never actually interested in finishing school, and that’s why I started with the guitar story because I didn’t learn guitar conventionally and I got somewhere with it. I did record an album that was the highest selling album in Malaysian history and I was on it.
David Childs (17:53):
When it comes to business, I do facilitate executive teams with my HSDO designation, which I have debated putting on a business card. And when it comes to like, we started off doing marketing or branding and it was… I’ve only ever stood foot in two agencies in my life. So I have no idea how other companies approach branding, strategy, marketing. I have zero comprehension of how anybody else does it. And I do believe that’s one of my biggest gifts, because if I would have learned from somebody else, and this might be a controversial statement, but if I would’ve learned from somebody else, I would have run the risk of deleting anything I had inside of me that could have come out because I would have stepped on it with something perceivably better by somebody just saying, this is the way to do it, do it this way. Don’t question it. It’s almost dogmatic.
David Childs (18:47):
So because I don’t have any of that, it left it wide open for me to connect and do business in a way that other people don’t. We do get told that we do business in a slightly unusual way because when we help a company understand the essence of who they are, it’s a combination of what you believe in, but what you offer, and there’s all the management consulting stuff underneath because without the real data marketing people have a tendency to just say anything they want.
Juliet Aurora (19:16):
And that’s so very true. And it isn’t often that business owners, whether when they’re starting out or even further on in their journey. So we’ve been in business for 20 years, and probably for the first 10 had no idea what we stood for. I’m not sure we stood for anything, and probably started to think about, well, who are we and what do we stand for 10 years after being in business. So I think that that is very common that most business owners don’t even think about it. And to your point that you do things differently and you weren’t concerned about your competitors, it just reinforces what you said, that when you’re going in to help a client, you don’t care what their competitors are doing, and you didn’t in your own story.
Juliet Aurora (19:59):
So it’s a perfect example as to why you don’t care, and it is a completely different approach, because most branding and marketing companies when they sit down with you and they do the initial interview, they ask you to tell them about your business, and then they ask you to list who your three closest competitors are so that they can look and see what they’re doing. And that’s a completely different starting point from where you are.
David Childs (20:22):
And I think that’s very sinister. I’ll just go one point, and then I want to go to you, Steve. There’s this brilliant question that I’ve heard a lot of people ask, or that seems to float around is they’re interviewing you, you’re hiring an agency and they’re like, “Well, if you were a car, what color would you be?” You’re like, “I would be an Aston Martin.” “Oh, good. Guess what your brand is going to look like?” Because you just did half of, if not all of their work for them. And by asking if I focus on who your competitors are and how you fit in with them and how you fit into the market, here’s the twist for you, that has nothing to do with you, zero. That’s me buying the outfit from the girl in the store because it looks nice on her and putting it on my wife and wondering why it doesn’t fit. It has nothing to do with you. It’s sinister, it’s easy and it’s business as usual and it’s not fair to the client who pays.
David Childs (21:15):
And the reason it happens is when you go into an agency you think these people are experts, they do it all the time, they can have their way with me and I will trust them. But here’s the thing, you think they’re going to figure you out. Now, the other side of that is the agency says you’ve been in business for 10 years, you know who you are, we just need to listen. And that’s the fundamental flaw in the branding industry, fundamentally across the board. They think you know who you are, you think they’re going to figure you out, and neither of those things are true. And that is why they ask you if you were a car, what would it be? That’s why they ask you, what are your competitors doing? Because it makes their job very easy. I just sell you back to you by actually deliberately leaving you out of the entire equation, and I think that’s wrong. It doesn’t make any sense. I certainly understand why that dynamic exists, but it’s not fair to the client.
Juliet Aurora (22:13):
And so what would your starting point be in order for a company to identify and determine who they are and what they stand for? Do you have a starting point that you could share?
Steve Loates (22:24):
Can you hold that question Juliet, because I would like to ask a question that I think should become before that question.
Juliet Aurora (22:34):
David Childs (22:35):
All right. I like that.
Steve Loates (22:36):
So hang onto that question because I think that’s great question.
David Childs (22:39):
It is a good question, I do want to come back to that too.
Steve Loates (22:41):
What I just wanted to address was the thought of discovering your core values and then trying to align that with your team, for a number of years in my own entrepreneurial journey I thought that that was just [crosstalk 00:22:58], just find me a customer, let me sell them some stuff, and I got a business. And it wasn’t until much later in my journey that I started to realize how important that perhaps was that we actually did reflect our core values. So my question is, for an entrepreneur currently in their journey and they are where I was that they’re… Maybe they’re struggling with their business and they’re not really sure why they’re struggling with their business, what would you say to them about why you believe knowing your core values and then trying to align that is so important to your success?
David Childs (23:48):
There’s a lot of other ways I can approach this as an answer. I have about probably offhand 12 different ways to answer it, that are all different, because it’s incredibly valuable to deeply understand who you are. And maybe we’ll start this way and see where it goes. Every product that you make, this podcast that we’re on, everything you do is a deep reflection of your values. 100%. So if you trivialize the one thing that is the reason for everything, it seems a little silly, doesn’t it?
Steve Loates (24:23):
David Childs (24:25):
If you leave that out, what I want you to really understand and what I want you to really connect to is when you leave your beliefs out, you’re actually leaving yourself out of the equation, you don’t exist anymore. And now you’re on the path to becoming a commodity. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being a commodity, unless you do it by accident. Unless you’re in a space where intrinsic deep value is precedent, that’s the most important thing, then you’ve commoditized yourself. Now, guess what? You’re the cheapest guy on the block and you’ll never change it. People only to get a huge amount of value out of you and you’re going to struggle to stay alive. And I can identify with that deeply because for me to start this business, we lost a lot of money because I wasn’t willing to ask people what their favorite car was, if they were a car, what would it be? I wasn’t willing to ask them about their competitors because I didn’t care.
David Childs (25:21):
We did a job years ago and I never told the company because I didn’t have enough history at that point. It was the biggest job we had at the time, the biggest client we’d ever had, and this was 15 years ago. All of my staff before that was small, but the guy who hired me saw something in me and ended up mentoring them and ended up being the best man at my wedding and we’re still friends to this day, but he saw something in me and he took a chance. What I never even told him, we were legally bound to do market research, so I did it, but I never told him when I did it. And when we did it, was the day after I signed off on $50,000 worth of print items from the biggest printer in Vancouver, then I did my market research. So I did it. I just never told him when.
David Childs (26:08):
And about six months after that, we went to a party of one of his competitors, somebody in the same industry, and it was in a big building downtown, and you can’t make this stuff up. This was true. And I’m standing in this guy’s office, I didn’t know who they were, and my friend Kevin invited me, he was the client. And I’m talking to this very astute, very wealthy looking gentlemen. And he says, “Who are you?” And I said, “Oh, I work with this company.” “Oh, okay. What do you do with them?” I’m like, “Well, I did all the branding, positioning, strategy, communication strategy. I orchestrated and built all of that.” He’s like, “You did that.” I said, “Yes, I did.” He said, “I gave a presentation on that brand to our company to say this is how you’re supposed to do it.” And that could sound very egotistical, I guess, but the thing was the thing that I knew was I never treated them like their competitors.
David Childs (27:00):
And then the industry, was in the mining industry, and at that point you could buy an entire brand and marketing kit and everything you needed for five grand, website included, it was all templated and all put together, everything you needed and they knew exactly what to say, they knew where to put your numbers. They spent $120,000 with us and we dominated their industry. They were a company that went in, in the middle of a recession with no exit strategy, no products, no nothing, and they were doing their second round of investor where they were going from five million to raise $20 million and they did it with no liquidity event, nothing. And we did it on the basis of, we honestly showed, yes, we may not have a product right now, but we’ve got a whole office full of the top engineers in Vancouver. And we told the story of how they’re doing the exploration, and we deeply connected it to the market. We deeply connected it to what investors were looking for.
David Childs (27:52):
And we gave them an absolutely world class brand that was nothing like anything else at the time. So, because I never treated them just like everybody else, I treated them like them and said, well… Because I’d been into a lot of offices at that point, like mining offices and most of them it’s a shared space downtown, and just like one guy or two people in a little tiny office with a shared receptionist. These guys had like 5,000 square feet with 30 people and most of them were engineers. I’m like, if people don’t know that about them, you’re dead in the water.
Juliet Aurora (28:24):
David Childs (28:24):
Does that answer your question? I went off the rails a little bit there. I tend to do that, I apologize. But did I get the answer you were looking for?
Steve Loates (28:32):
No, no. I think it was in there. It was in there.
Juliet Aurora (28:35):
It was in there. Yes. So now let’s go to my question. So the entrepreneurs that understand why it’s important now and that they don’t want to trivialize who they are and pull themselves out of the equation in the business, where do they start, what is the first question they should be asking themselves to start down this journey?
David Childs (28:54):
Can I be controversial?
Juliet Aurora (28:55):
David Childs (28:57):
You have to look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you have any dignity and self-worth. Is there any reason for you to exist other than making money? Do I stand for anything? Do I deeply respect the people who buy from me? And if most of those answers come up as zeros, commodify your business and target your price and hit numbers. But when you said after 10 years you started to look at your business and say, what do we stand for? Well, here’s the thing.
David Childs (29:25):
The mistake people make is they go out and read a book, they go to a conference and they listen to somebody very, very smart who’s ahead of them, and then you start adopting traits from other people that don’t natively exist within you. Imagine if Paul McCartney did that, and instead of singing like him, he started to sing like somebody else, where would he have gotten? If he believed he should be somebody in a different voice, in a different way, would the Beatles have existed? He had to own who he was, what he had and simply focus on that and have the self-esteem to stand up and say, “I don’t care what anybody else is doing. I sing this way. This is what I do.”
David Childs (30:08):
So for you guys and for any business, if you’ve been in it for 10 years or five years or zero days, if you’re Steve jobs in a garage with nothing behind you, do we honestly believe Apple started with nothing behind him other than an idea? He didn’t start at zero. So at 10 years you have to look back and realize everything you’ve manifested… That almost came out as a weird word. Everything you’ve manifested is a direct result of your values, how you’ve connected to your market, how you talk to me, how you’ve done everything. The mistake people make is they read a Richard Branson book and start trying to impose and adopt his values on top because he’s worth a billion and I’m not. So if I do what he did, I will get to where he is. So if I sing like Paul McCartney, I’ll become Paul McCartney, right?
Juliet Aurora (30:57):
David Childs (30:57):
No, it doesn’t work that way.
Juliet Aurora (30:59):
I love that. And it comes back to being true to yourself and the belief that you mentioned at the very beginning. I love that. Thank you for answering.
David Childs (31:07):
And here’s the way to really understand it. And Paul McCartney is an outlier, he is an anomaly. And I know that because there’s eight million, or eight billion people in one of him, he is an anomaly. Now, why is he an anomaly? He has an innate skill and ability within him that I can’t learn no matter what I do, there’s nothing I can do to get his voice. That’s impossible. I can’t get it. I can’t wrestle them down to the ground and rip his larynx out and stick it into me. I can’t get it. There’s nothing I can do. Look at your business this way, what do you do that nobody else can do? That exists, and I’m telling all entrepreneurs, you have that, no matter what you have that.
David Childs (31:51):
Now think about how slight that is, if you took Paul McCartney’s lungs and put them down on a table and put them beside mine, they would look exactly the same. There would be absolutely no difference, but they’re very different, aren’t they? The way his voice sounds. Now let’s go one step further. He has been writing songs, for what? 75 years now and people still liked him. He sold out a concert tour three years ago in about five minutes. Now I could be wrong on that, it might have taken 20, but he sold out a global thing in 20 minutes. Let’s go on to the high number.
David Childs (32:27):
So he can perform, he can sing, he can write, he can do all of these things. Now again, I can write songs, they’re horrible. I can sing, it’s horrible, but I can check those boxes, so as you’re sitting in your business and go, well, I can write a business plan. Okay, so did Richard Branson. Okay, good. I’m good. I’m the same as him then. I can have a marketing strategy, well, good. So did Apple, oh, good. So I’m the same as them. That’s the trivialization, how we all systematically delete ourselves from our own business. That’s the deepest belief system based on innate abilities that you have to have the foresight and trust to find and believe in, because it is that slight, it is that different, that’s small, and it’s very easy to delete yourself. It’s very easy to become nonexistent in your own business, and you wake up at 50 and go, how did I get here? I hate this thing.
Steve Loates (33:19):
Yeah, no, that’s a great analogy, that really is. Anyway, so that was great, thank you very, very much for that. That brings us to a part of the show, which is the Smart Men, Smarter Woman version of James Lipton’s Q&A from the actor’s studio. I don’t know if he ever saw the show, but it’s where we ask all of our guests the same questions, and we put you on the, if not hot seat, the semi-warm seat.
David Childs (33:53):
Are there these one word answers, or can I give a sentence, or what’s the rule?
Steve Loates (33:59):
Leave that to the guest.
David Childs (34:01):
Oh, okay, wonderful. All right. Game on.
Steve Loates (34:04):
Okay. So are you ready?
David Childs (34:06):
Steve Loates (34:08):
All right. What one word best defines an entrepreneur?
David Childs (34:14):
Steve Loates (34:16):
Okay. What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
David Childs (34:24):
Steve Loates (34:27):
What profession would you like never to attempt?
David Childs (34:33):
Pretty much anything in leadership of government.
Steve Loates (34:36):
Okay. What sound or noise do you love?
David Childs (34:44):
Sound or noise do I love. My daughter’s voice.
Steve Loates (34:48):
Awesome. What book would you recommend every entrepreneur should read?
David Childs (34:57):
This actually might be controversial. There was a book written by Edward Bernays and it was written at the turn of the 19th century called Propaganda. The reason it’s controversial is probably apparent. So the term propaganda actually comes from I believe the Greeks or the Romans, and they’ve been using it for centuries, but he wrote the seminal book called Propaganda. And I think it was in 1908 when it came out I believe. And Goebbels and Hitler thought it was wonderful and they ran with it. And a lot of the ideas in that book are actually not sinister in their origins and meanings. However, he does actually put a warning in his book stating in 1908, “In the wrong hands, this could do some damage, please be respectful.”
David Childs (35:50):
Now, the idea of the book, his uncle, who was actually Sigmund Freud, and when he was writing this book, he sent cigars in trade for Sigmund Freud’s work on irrational thought patterns in groups of human beings. And Edward Bernays was trying to figure out how people connect and what they do, and there’s a lot of wonderful stories around this. Now, because of what happened in the 1940s, Edward Bernays walked away from the title Propaganda and he created an entire industry. And I’ll give you… Just take a guess, what industry that’s here today that changed the world do you think he created this? Take a guess, just throw something out there.
Steve Loates (36:30):
Advertising or marketing.
David Childs (36:32):
Deeper, public relations. Propaganda was coined by the Romans and Greeks, one of those two, brought to life in Propaganda the book, changed in mid-1940s and he created the first of its kind ever office called public relations, and he ran with that. And the ideas in this book… Can I give you one story about the book and then we’ll just move on to tell you why I like it so much?
Steve Loates (37:00):
David Childs (37:01):
I’m sure you’ve heard of bacon and eggs. Did you know that it was an advertising campaign by Edward Bernays for the bacon industry. So what happened was the bacon industry was fully aware of Edward Bernays work at the time because there’s lots of fantastic stories, and not the ones from Nazi, Germany, but other stories. So they hired him and said, “Look, nobody is buying bacon, we’re competing with steak and chicken for the dinner table and we’re losing.” This was the whole industry. What should we do? So they hired him.
David Childs (37:34):
So when he came back to them, or what he figured out is they’re never going to win, bacon is just not going to replace steak or chicken. So he couldn’t go back to his clients and say, let’s change this. It’s not going to work, you’re going to lose. So he had to change, he had to pivot, he had to look for something new. So he hired 5,000 doctors. Actually he put a call out to 5,000 doctors and said, “I need you to write published articles in medical journals that state that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Have you ever heard of that?
Steve Loates (38:07):
David Childs (38:07):
That’s from Edward Bernays. So breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you need a big breakfast. Ever heard that term? That’s from Edward Bernays. Then what he did was he manufactured, created out of thin air, a big breakfast called bacon and eggs. Now out of the 5,000 doctors, how many do you think took them up on it? 4,500.
Steve Loates (38:32):
David Childs (38:33):
So what happened after that was public relations was one idea, when you did that, like, if you think about that, the big breakfast was one idea, but then we got marketing, branding, advertising, public relations, and everybody split it all apart. Everybody took it all apart. So the branding guy does one thing. The marketing guy does one thing, the social media guy does one thing, and the girls and this and that. But if you look back at where our industry actually started, Propaganda by Edward Bernays, a nice small little book, and it actually all started with public relations, nothing else, everything else was an offshoot.
Steve Loates (39:10):
Juliet Aurora (39:10):
David Childs (39:12):
So that’s why I recommend that book. It is fantastic to read.
Steve Loates (39:15):
Thank you. We will put a link in the show notes. I need to move along here. So last question for you, when your own entrepreneurial journey is completed, what do you hope your legacy is?
David Childs (39:29):
The idea of Monster, my book, which is really understanding that if you isolate and understand your relationship with the world, you’re a harmonic note with the world, you forget about everything else, you forget about marketing and advertising, you forget about all of that. And if I can teach entrepreneurs to be completely self-aware and in harmony with their environments, which we can do over and over again, when people get the belief that that’s actually possible and start acting accordingly I think we’re going to have better companies that make a better economy, people are going to be happier, and I know for a fact there’s a way to do it. So my legacy is more and more companies adopting this way of thinking and this way of doing business.
Juliet Aurora (40:10):
Steve Loates (40:11):
Awesome. And that brings us to our words of wisdom for the episode, not that we haven’t had lots of words of wisdom so far, but I am a bit of a quote nerd, so we always insert a quote at this point. And so the quote for this episode, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to gather wood, divide the work and give out orders, instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea,” which I thought was perhaps an appropriate quote for today.
Juliet Aurora (40:49):
Steve Loates (40:50):
So anyway, thank you again, David, really do appreciate you joining us, there was lots of great stuff there for our audience. Thank you again to my awesome co-host, Juliet.
Juliet Aurora (41:02):
Can I interrupt you for a second?
Steve Loates (41:04):
All the time, go for it.
David Childs (41:05):
Juliet Aurora (41:05):
Interrupting you, Steve, you did not ask David how people in our audience can get in touch with him if they wanted to.
Steve Loates (41:13):
My apologies, so why don’t you ask David that question?
Juliet Aurora (41:16):
So David, we know that you have your book and of course coming out before the end of this year, but if anyone in our audience wants to get in touch with you, what is the best way for them to do that?
David Childs (41:27):
living blueprint.com, and most handles around the term, Living Blueprint come to me, also, David Childs, if you look for David Childs, there’s a euphonium player from Europe somewhere, who unfortunately looks like me who’s quite famous, who owns davidchilds.com. And the guy who built the Freedom Tower in New York, where the two buildings disappeared, his name is David Childs. So we have to be a bit more specific. David or Anthony Childs that on Facebook and stuff like that, but typically through Living Blueprint, anything you click on there will take you to the book website because that’s what we’re really pushing and promoting at this point, but there is a contact page.
Steve Loates (42:05):
David Childs (42:05):
And I’m pretty accessible, there’s no barriers between me at this point in my career, the people who handle me and keep people away. If you call me, I will answer the phone, the number is on the website.
Juliet Aurora (42:15):
Great, thank you. Go ahead and back to you.
Steve Loates (42:19):
And thank you for doing that Juliet, I had made that oversight and I should not have, so thank you. And that’s why you’re here, and that’s why you’re such an awesome co-host. And thank you again to our audience, thank you for tuning in and giving us a listen. Sincerely hope you found some value here today, I’m sure you did. If you enjoyed the podcast, please subscribe, you can find us in all the normal places, iTunes, Spotify, or you can just go to the website, smartmensmarterwoman.com, check us out and listen to one or all of the episodes. So thank you again, until next time, take good care of yourself and those that you love. Bye for now.