Introducing Carl Could
Carl Gould is today’s guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast interview.
He is a master at helping people become entrepreneurial and create businesses that not only work, but flourish.
He learned from an early age that he had the ability to see a larger vision and that everything is an opportunity.
This was the foundation on which he built his reputation as an International Entrepreneur, growing successful companies across six continents.
But it also helps massively when you come to the realisation that “You cant work for anyone else” and that realisation certainly is a huge part that has made our guest flex his hustle muscle, and start swinging.
He started his career in probably one of the most inspirational, positive environments possible, as for eight years he worked in the Anthony Robbins Companies in San Diego, where he trained, coached and inspired people everyday.
And from that point onwards two things seemed to come together massively.
How The Dots Joined Up For Carl
Firstly he realised that he had an amazing talent to helping people grow their businesses, and love what they are doing at the same time, and secondly he found that he loved doing this more than anything else.
And that seems to me to be a common trait to achieving great success.
Find the thing you love doing most, which fulfils the largest need in others.
And now as a keynote speaker, coach, mentor and author of the bestselling book The 7 Stages of Small-Business Success: From Startup to Seven Figures in Three Years or Less where he makes the thought provoking statement “The personality of a business will mirror the personality of its owner.” he is a man on a mission
So when did he realise that he was unemployable and couldn’t work for anyone else again?
And did he boldly go into the unknown, certain of success, or did he carry the same fears that we all have striding out on our own?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Carl Gould.
During the episode we discussed such weighty topics with Carl Gould such as:
How to self assess your personality against that of your business, to see if you are a good match, or to find where you need to make the improvements.
How he recalls a huge dot in his life being asked to arrange the hitting order in a baseball match by his coach, and still wondering why his coach did it?
Why the education system is flawed, and if there is anything we can do to improve upon something that is no longer functioning as it was designed.
Why his mantra in life became “I need to hang up the hammer!”
How your gut is always, always right, but your interpretation of its decision is often wrong.
Full Transcription Of Carl Gould Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there world. Welcome to Join Up Dots with David Ralph. I don’t wanna say my name. It just makes me feel good. It’s like recognition somehow. It’s Episode 264, as I say, and today is going to be a great one. Because I have been pre chatting with the guy and he’s got a history he’s got a history of inspiring Well, not just me, he’s already inspired me but the world he is a master at helping people become entrepreneurial, and create businesses but not only work but flourish. He learned from an early age but he had the ability to see a larger vision and that everything is an option. Unity and this was the foundation of which he built his reputation as an international entrepreneur growing successful companies across six continents. But it also helps massively when you come to the realisation that you can’t work for anyone else. And that realisation certainly is a huge part as made our guest flexes hustle muscle and start swinging. He started his career in probably one of the most inspirational positive environments possible as for eight years, he worked in the Anthony Robbins yet Tony Robbins himself, companies in San Diego where he trained, coached and inspired people every day. And from that point onwards, two things seem to come together massively. Firstly, he realised that he had an amazing talent to help people grow their businesses, and love what they’re doing at the same time. And secondly, he found that he loved doing this more than anything else, and that seems to me to be a common trait to achieving great success. Find the thing you love doing most which fulfils the largest need in others, and now as a keynote, speaker, coach, mentor, and often The best selling book the seven stages of small business success, where he makes the thought provoking statement, the personality of a business will mirror the personality of its owner. He’s a man on a mission. So when did you realise that he was unemployable and couldn’t work for anyone else again and did he boldly go into the unknown certain of success? Or did he cross carry the same fears that we all have striking out on our own? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start Join Up Dots with the one and only Mr. Carl Gould. How are you?
Carl Gould [2:30]
I’m great. David, thanks so much for having me. Really appreciate it. Looking forward to having a little bit of fun.
David Ralph [2:36]
Absolutely. We are going to have fun because you’ve got a bit of a you’ve got a bit of a history, haven’t you? And it’s it’s one of those kind of histories. When you look at it now obviously, you’re you’re a mover and shaker You’re doing great stuff. It almost looks like it was a given you work on to get to this point. And what we talked about in Join Up Dots is whether it was a given or whether you have stumbled you forward you’ve moved across so if i Just go back to that that statement that I made because it fascinated me when I was actually reading this morning and I saw getting the research together, the personality of a business will mirror the personality of its owner. Let’s start with that. What does that actually mean?
Carl Gould [3:16]
Well, you know, in the early 90s, I, the first three careers I had were in construction, I had construction based businesses, I was a contractor landscaper, all that and and i and i got intrigued. I went to a Tony Robbins seminar in 1990 1990, then again in 91. And I decided, you know, I like this idea of coaching and I want to get more involved. And so, I started down this path of personal development and leadership training and coaching. I did sports coaching as well as life coaching. And fast forward a couple years and here I am sitting with a business owner of a $60 million dollar US company, and he was telling you all of his problems and everything and and I’m taking notes fever sleep, because I kept thinking, Oh my God, this guy knows so much more than I do.
How the hell am I gonna help him?
David Ralph [4:08]
I promise you,
Carl Gould [4:09]
you know, and and so I had, I didn’t have chance to really debrief my notes the next day, I’m sitting down with the owner of a $200,000 a year company, very small company. And you know what all the problems were the same. And that the linkage between the two was I said, you know, the guy, the owner keeps talking about his business as if he’s describing himself. Every, every time he would talk about a personal problem. The problem of the business seemed to be the same exact thing. Whenever he talks about what was going on. That was goodness life. And then he talked about what was good in his business. It was about the same thing. And at that time, I was doing a lot of work with behavioural assessments, you know, disc assessments and values assessments and Myers Briggs and all that. And so, my innovation in the coaching and consulting world was my contribution. I should say was I learned that you I created a personality model for the business. And if you were to do an assessment of the owner and an assessment of the business, and then take one and overlap it on top of the other, they were almost identical. And I mean, that was that was over 20 years ago. And to this day, now we’ve done this correlation of 10s of thousands of times, we’ve done 75,000 coaching sessions, and it never ceases to amaze me. How somebody who says I’m a real driver go getter, I get things done, but I really am not very good with process. Oh, really? Tell me about your business. Well, you know, Carl, we get things done. We make things happen, you know, you know, when we say we say jump, everyone says how high but you know, we can never seem to get it to do it the same way twice. You know, I was I was reading about led Zep. I’m a big Led Zeppelin fan. And they used to talk about Led Zeppelin. They used to say these guys cannot play the same song The same way two times in a row, they just can’t do it. Totally incapable of it. And I, and so it always makes me think of that, you know. And so I, I started to realise that, you know, personality of the business is gets trickled all through the organisation, no matter how big or small the organisation is. And sometimes that’s good. And sometimes that’s not so good. And, but if you’re at least aware of it, you can work on it, you can compensate you can you can cover those blind spots, you know, so how do you
David Ralph [6:33]
do that though? It’s I say, myself, single man business, and I’m riding the crest of a wave at the moment and success is coming to me. But as success comes to me, it puts me in a different area that I’ve never encountered before. Because when you start everything new, everything is new, and you move through the different sort of areas. So how do you actually look at that and assess yourself? If you if you’re not going to sit in front of somebody like yourself? Okay, can you do Can you self assess?
Carl Gould [7:02]
Oh, absolutely. There’s, I mean, there’s two questions you can ask of yourself or anyone else and you can you can profile 95% of the population with greater than 90%. accuracy. And the, and when you ask yourself these two questions, the first question is, are you more outgoing and faster paced or reserved and slower paced? And you’ll answer one of the two. And then the second question is, are you more task oriented or people oriented? That’ll give you your base level behavioural style. Eat most behavioural models have four quadrants, right? You’re either a real driven person, a real, influential, outgoing person, a real systematic person, or real detail person, any one of those four, right? And the intersection of those two questions tells you, you know, what is my primary style. And if all that was way too technical, just go on Google type in disk, and there’s free assessments all over the place. Turning
David Ralph [8:01]
18 seconds when you said that to me a moment ago, I instantly knew my style. Is it Is that normal?
Carl Gould [8:07]
Yep. Yep. You ask those two questions now. Now, if you at least know your style, you know where you’re strong. And you know where you’re weak or as we like to say blind. Okay? Now that’s very important to know that transfer, you know, self awareness is the first step of any transformation. So if you at least know you, before we started, David, you didn’t know what you didn’t know. Now we have gone to the next level where you at least know what you don’t know. I at least know now what my style is. I don’t know what to do about it. Okay, well, we’ll figure that one out in a minute, right. But once we at least can pinpoint where the strengths are, and where the blind spots are, then we we take a step back for a second and take your show for a moment and you say, what am I trying to accomplish? All right, I’m a certain kind of host. I’m a certain kind of marketer. I’m a certain kind of leader of This tribe, where what does my tribe need? What is my show need? And what can I provide for that? And what can I provide for that? So even if you’re a one person, business, as most are, by the way, England I think was two years ago for the first time in history has more soul traders, which I know the Brits know what that means, versus companies that have employees. For the first time in history, you have 1.2 million sole traders. And you have 1 million, approximately 1 million businesses that have employees for the first time in history. So you’re you and I and many others are not alone. If you say that you’re a solo entrepreneur or a sole trader, right? But you’re not you’re never alone, even though you’re the only one in your business. You have there’s outsource. There’s all sorts of outsourced resources, other contract companies you work with and they will Have a personality to and or lack of personality in some cases, right? What you would look to see where do I lack? So for example, let me let me take a shot at this one. You’re an out, you’re a, you know, charismatic guy, you, you, you build your programme. And you’re really good and engaging with the audience, but maybe just maybe now and again, details are a bit of a challenge for you. Process getting, you know, doing it the same time each way, is a little bit of a challenge for you. Okay? So if that’s the case, then there’s where you would look for resources to help you. So for example, you might hire a producer, or you might barter you might say, Listen, I’ll promote your business because I’m great at that. You produce my show. So you come on, help help with some of the technical aspect or some of the prospect perspective side. And, and that’s how we’ll work together. Or you say, you know what, I need some back office support. Some virtual assistant work or bookkeeping service, Listen, I’ll give you a banner ad, on my website, you, you, you do my bookkeeping, you know, that sort of thing. And so whether you can pay for it or you could barter it out, you know, you look for the resources that fill the gaps in your personal performance or your personal wiring. Right now, that’s really embarrassing.
David Ralph [11:23]
Because for all the people out there who listen to this show, and most of them have got that, that passion to take a leap, and to do their own thing or control their own time. That seems to be the big one with the people that email me is not that they want to earn any more than they’re earning currently, but they want to earn it at times that’s convenient to them and not be told that they got to go to the nine to five. So I’ll be saying in this conversation, but if somebody is out there and they’ve got this idea, and but they haven’t got the money for it, they should look to barter somehow to be able to get things up and going and look to play their strengths where other people have weaknesses and sort of work. Going to swap system.
Carl Gould [12:01]
That’s one of the quickest ways to do it. You know, it comes in a lot of forms barter, strategic alliances, strategic alliances, joint venture, partnering, I mean, it happens all the time. You see it a lot in the legal profession. You know, attorneys when they first start out, they can’t afford these big offices and reception areas and, and staff. So what do they do? You drive past you driving down the street, you look at the building, and there’s four names on the side of the buildings. There’s the David Ralph Golden Smith law firm. Well, they just exactly what we just said.
David Ralph [12:39]
I’ve got the head name now. That’s good in that.
Unknown Speaker [12:42]
You like that right now.
David Ralph [12:43]
But yeah, top bidding.
Carl Gould [12:48]
Yeah, so you’ve earned it, you were the first one in there. So because they all say, well, we can’t afford this place on our own. So let’s band together create a firm instead of a instead of a practice, and we’ll just share common resources. And it happens all the time. And it’s getting more and more prevalent in today’s environment, after economic challenges and the web and you know, the collaborative tools that we have now, I mean, you know, it’s it’s becoming more univer it’s becoming more of the standard now than it’s ever been.
David Ralph [13:20]
So tell me tweet you back in time, like we like to do and Join Up Dots normally take you right back to the sort of the young call, but I’m grappling whether to take you back that far, or take you to the landscape because that seems a huge departure from where you are now, but I’m gonna take you back earlier. So when you was the little cow and you was running around, could you have ever perceived that you were going to end up here did if somebody said to you cow, what do you want to be when you grow up? Well, what would you have said, Can you remember?
Carl Gould [13:49]
I said, Yeah, I do. Remember, I’m a big baseball fan. I live just outside of New York City and that was a big fan of the New York Yankees still are. I still am and I thought I’d be a baseball player. And I thought I remember that I wanted to be on a championship team. And I wanted to and I wanted to play baseball, you know, as a kid, that was my, that was my big dream. You know, interestingly enough, the job, the job that I do every day and David, the job you do every day that didn’t exist when we were kids. No, that’s right. So, you know, like, I mean, when I first became a life coach, I would if you would have taught tell people that you were a coach, when I became a coach, the most common response I got was what sport like, No, no, I’m a life coach. What a life coach, what does a life coach do? You know, and it was even hard to explain, you know, but going back then I always wanted to be part of something. I wanted to be part of a championship team. I wanted to be on a winner, and I wanted to be a winner. And
But yeah, I always thought it would be something sports related. When I was a kid
David Ralph [14:58]
because the analogy of baseball saying Come up time and time again in my conversations, that a fact and I heard somebody say this the other day, and I’m not a baseball fan, so I went to one baseball game. And I sat there for like, maybe six days it felt like and they won one. No, no, no,
Carl Gould [15:16]
David Ralph [15:17]
Cricket. Yeah. At least at least you get a favourable result at the end of it.
Carl Gould [15:22]
But I wives British and I still, you know, I watch cricket rugby. I try. I really try David. And I’m like, Oh my god, this is painful. But yeah.
David Ralph [15:34]
Just Just leave cricket behind. Yeah. Five, five days and ends in a drawer, but we were baseball. They just didn’t hear it just went on and on and on. And it was like Neil, Neil all the way through. I thought this is going to end badly. But somebody said to me the other day that the greatest hitters if that’s what you call them, are the ones that missed the most. And they gave me this stat but the Babe Ruth or something, but hate the most home runs or something like that actually missed more times when he hit. And it seems to me that that is an analogy that comes up more and more in business and when you were sort of mentioning but you have a larger vision and that everything is an opportunity you’ve really got to set your stall up to miss a lot having you to be who you are to be the car gold that we’re talking to. Does that scare you? But you’re gonna be missing more than you hit or does that excite you?
Carl Gould [16:27]
I am I get the analogy and they’re talking about Babe Ruth. He was the you know, he struck out he led the league in two things home runs hitting it over the fence. What would you call that a six in cricket absolute and also a strikeouts meaning he went up to the plate and he never hit the ball at all. And and I think in I think in certain professions that that’s a reality like in sports. You know you base an all time immortal baseball player would be successful three out of 10 times You know, if you’re a salesperson, you might be successful one out of three at 10 times. In the business world, though it’s not. While that’s a popular metaphor, you know, think about it, we’re really good at what we do. I don’t know anybody that goes out there, like if you’re, you know, you don’t do 10 podcasts and have only three of them be decent, that are even listenable. And seven are just total, you know, crap. You are, you know, you’re 95 out of 100. I bet you at a very high level. So, so I get the analogy that, you know, you’ve got to be willing to risk failure in order to be successful. There’s no question about it. And I think the more your risk tolerance is, the more willing you to take a chance, the more chance that the better your odds are of being successful because you are willing to risk it all. And the reality is, I just want to greatest lessons I learned from Tony Robbins is there is so little Competition for number one, you just have to have the balls and the guts to go for it. And if you do, there’s very few people actually trying to get to that spot. There’s a lot more competition for number 234 and whatever else. But very few people have the guts to even try for number one. So therefore, there’s very little competition for number one,
David Ralph [18:20]
but he’s easy to do that for you, isn’t it? And he’s easy to do that for me in certain regards, because we’ve already started making that momentum. But for the listeners of this show, who are sitting on the tube on the bus, in their cubicles, and I’ve got this idea, and it’s been sort of niggling away at them for quite a while. That’s quite scary for isn’t it to say, you know, VS code foul. How do I combat that? That that starting point?
Carl Gould [18:46]
I don’t I don’t know that it actually, I don’t know that you actually do overcome it. I think it’s how you choose to channel that feeling, as opposed to eliminating the feeling. I mean, I’m a keynote speaker and I I totally understand the responsibility that I have. And if you know and you’ve organised events, this podcast and you’ve, you’ve gone, you’ve been part of a business group that had a speaker, you know how much work goes in to have putting on even the smallest num events. And if the speaker screws up, you just blew it for everybody’s evening or breakfast or whatever, and all the time that they invested in this thing. So I totally get the responsibility that I have as a speaker, to make sure that I’m prepared, I do my best, I’m respectful. You know, I know the audience or at least think I know the audience and I deliver, right. So today, even though you know, I put my 10,000 hours in as a presenter, you know, I, I’ve reached that level of mastery or whatever. I still every day, treat that talk. Like it’s my first or my last or anything in between, that it matters how I show up. So I still have that fear that something could go bad. I could totally blow it. I could screw it up. I can think I’m getting your Right and get it wrong. But it’s not the feeling, what, what I used, you know, what used to be fear and could be something that would paralyse me is now fuel to make me work harder. So that guy that’s sitting in front of the tube or that lady that’s on the bus, I have the same feeling running through my body that they have. It’s not the feeling I in my opinion, in my opinion, it’s what do we do with it? So I take that feeling. And I say, I don’t like this feeling. I this is a feeling of failure. And if I don’t take action, if I don’t work harder, I can’t overcome it. I can’t use it as a friend. You know, right now what’s holding me back. So I take that I take that energy and I say and I put it into preparation, I put it into, you know, the activities that I at least think that will advance what I’m trying to accomplish. And then what I realise is that my natural talents take over and as many Many of the listeners will, they’ll start to, they’ll start to get some success, they’ll start to leverage their talents and their core competencies. And before you know it, they’ll be making a lot of progress.
David Ralph [21:09]
When we call it the body’s compass, really where when you You are scared. That is because you are being pushed out of your comfort zone and you’ve got one decision, you either follow back, and it took me years to realise, and now I’m doing this on a daily basis. I kind of look back at myself, and I think, well, I did not realise this. I knew this. He just didn’t sort of gel with me somehow. But it made me realise that when I was a public speaker, and I was doing all the kind of things that you were doing, when I was most scared was when I enjoyed it the most. And it was only once I got out there and I confronted that fear and I started doing it but I realised I was actually raising my game and I was going to the next level. And it’s a key point, isn’t it that fear in your stomach when you wake up early in the morning if you got to do today, oh my god. That is actually the thing that we should be looking for. Because that showing us how to develop.
Carl Gould [22:03]
That’s when you feel. Again, in my, in my humble opinion, I think that’s when you’re the most alive. When you’re challenging yourself and you’re putting yourself on the line. I think that’s when I think that’s when you find out who you’re really who you really are and what you’re really about.
David Ralph [22:17]
Well, when did you start to realise who you were? Because I was interested right at the beginning, when you’re sitting with that guy. And you think God, he knows so much more. That’s scary, isn’t it? When you put yourself in that position, you think, Oh, my God, I don’t think I can do this. When did it start to come together? And you realise that your talent to help people grow their businesses was something that you were naturally good at. And you love doing at the same time? Was there a moment when you thought yeah, this is adopt this is one of my big dots.
Carl Gould [22:47]
Well, a big part for me was I believe I was, I want to say was 12 or 13 years old. I was a seventh eighth grade kid and I was playing baseball. And I remember my coach coming to me and he’s got the you know he’s got a score score book and he’s got the roster of kids. And you know one of the one of the key strategies in baseball is the what they call the lineup. What order do the hitters hit? So the first hitter supposed to be the kid that is best on getting on base, the second the number two hitter is the one that is best at advancing the runner from one base to the next. Your number three hitters your best hitter all the way around your number four hitter is the is the person who’s got the most power and then the number five hitters supposed to backup the four hitter and, and there’s a strategy to all nine spots. And I remember my coach coming to me and saying, Carl, I’d really like your feedback on what order we should put the kids in in the lineup. And it’s unheard. I mean, and how old we even heard of. I was 12
David Ralph [23:55]
Carl Gould [23:56]
I mean, so I’m not it’s this was this wasn’t last week. I mean, I’m the kid It was just happy to be on the team. And now I’ve got the coach saying to me, how would I run the lineup? So he was basically, he was basically consulting me as the coach. And at the time, in that moment, I made some suggestions which by the way he took, and you know, he he did the lineup the way I suggested. And I remember thinking back on it, not not too much longer as towards the end of that season. And I thought, wow, why would he come to me? What did he see in me that he would not only ask the question, because I’m a, you know, a 12 year old 13 year old, and but then he took my suggestion, you know, so that he has put his name on the line and they and you know, when the parents said, Why did you do that lineup? Oh, I asked one of the kids on the team to make the lineup and then I just ran away. I mean, it was he basically asked for my opinion, it was a no win situation for him because if he doesn’t take my opinion, then it does take my suggestion, then, you know, he looks like an idiot for asking in the first time. plays and he looks like a bigger idiot if he ever actually admitted to the fact that you took my suggestion. So you
David Ralph [25:06]
in that true leader, did he see something he knew that he will you naturally somebody that would encourage and push people and help them, even if he did it in a subtly way on the pitch.
Carl Gould [25:17]
Um, I think there was a part of that I almost separate the two because I was a, I was a guy who would get in the face of my teammates and encourage them and, you know, and and hold them accountable and all that, when also I think, I think I had a natural gift for strategy. You know, I knew where to put the pieces, even back then to get the most out of them. And, you know, the goal was to win the game here, the people we have, there’s our opponent, what would be the best way that we could set ourselves up so we match up the best and, and I’ve always seemed to have a natural talent for that. You know, so if somebody wants to build a business and they say, Well, here’s my challenge, you know, I’m Got this much money, I’ve got this kind of idea. And here’s the kind of people I need to sell my idea to, you know, those those dots Connect for me pretty naturally.
David Ralph [26:10]
It’s fascinating, isn’t it? There’s this whole show stemmed from a first conversation we’ve now had over 260. But everything seems to be on a daily basis, that the thing that you naturally do well, as a kid, the thing that you love doing is almost the thing that you should be doing when you’re older, you might be doing a different format. But if you like playing with Lego, and building things, as a kid, you should be looking at doing construction or building or websites or something as an adult. But that middle, that middle bit through the education system, we lose ourselves and I always say the same thing every day call. It just seems to be there’s a fundamental flaw in the education system across the world that lacks inspiration. And it’s just a production line to get you out the upper end into employment and we don’t focus in on the little cow but little He beat and the little whoever and what they love is small children.
Carl Gould [27:04]
What mean this, the school system was designed to create employees, factory worker workers, you know that that was the original design of the school system that we know and we participate in today. And, you know, that’s why all that well, with a few exceptions. That’s why they The seats are in a row. That’s why the bell rings at a certain time. That’s why we have classes you have to walk in the line. I mean, it was designed for how a factory was set up, and it was that’s what it was designed to teach you. So it just, the problem is, is that hasn’t changed. In you know, the last hundred and 50 years since the what is it the Industrial Revolution, just the education system just hasn’t changed. I mean, in the United States, we have a nine month school year for the most part. And you know why three months off? Well, when we were an agricultural economy, that’s the amount of time you needed to harvest farms there’s very few, very few kids that are that are that have parents that are farmers now, I mean, we don’t need a nine month school year the way we had it, which is that’s the way it’s always been, you know,
David Ralph [28:13]
they break things down and let’s play some words now that really breaks down the kind of vibe that education system is based about. This is Jim Carrey.
Unknown Speaker [28:24]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [28:50]
You love what you’re doing cold on you.
Carl Gould [28:53]
Yeah. Oh, yeah, I’m I’m doing the work that I was built to do. Now. I wasn’t always the case. I am doing the work today that I know I should be doing.
David Ralph [29:03]
So do buying into those words on both sides. I was listening to it then. And I was thinking, from the dad’s side, Jim carries dad side. I think for many, many years, I didn’t believe I think I’d been brainwashed somehow that is about security and responsibility and you get a job and if it’s boring, then that is what work is about. But now I see it from the totally the opposite side of the view that you can have your cake and eat it and you can do things and earn more money, have more flexibility, love what you’re doing, be creative play to your skills, blah, blah, blah. So have you ever been on the bad side or Have you always been on the business what I should be doing side?
Carl Gould [29:43]
No, I was I grew up when I when I started my first businesses when I was a teenager and then in my 20s I was doing construction work, which I grew up in. I had a background in it through both my mother and father side of the family. And I was taught the trades and that was just kind of a thing that I thought I was supposed to do. And so I went into construction I started out in landscaping which I enjoyed to a certain degree I enjoyed the the reward of you know, starting off with a blank canvas and then coming back and you know, coming back and you know, having something physical there, which is the building
David Ralph [30:25]
Park and isn’t it
Carl Gould [30:26]
was the building part Yeah. And, and then I sold that business, and I grew that business and sold it and then I started a contracting company. You know, so I was doing so you would call us a builder in in the UK, but I used to do here we’d call it a contractor, I, I did renovation work, I did conversions, as you would say. And I also did a new construction and then I morph that into a real estate development company. But the it was the none of them that not the landscaping, not the contracting or the real estate, develop. was really for me, it wasn’t my, it wasn’t my passion work, it never really charged me up and, and I realised now how much energy it took me to get through the day. How much energy just like when the weekend would come around, I would just be anxious for the next day and be like, Oh, I can’t, anxious, not in a good way, like I want to avoid the next day at all costs. And I did that for years. And, you know, I remember very distinctly in 1996, I met a business advisor and, you know, I said to him, Look, my life in my business are running me not the other way around. I need to learn a better way. And our mantra became, I need to hang up the hammer. So still doing too much of the physical work, you know, and, but it still wasn’t real. It wasn’t right for you know, this work wasn’t right for me. And after a couple of years, I said to him, you know, I got my business and more in control. I said, I want out and I want to do what you do. And that’s where I learned how to blend my life coaching skills with my entrepreneurial background was because I’d been working with businesses for, you know, I’d run businesses and I was working with business owners, so and executives of corporations, so I had a feeling for, you know, what that life was like, and I, if I took my skill set plus my experience, I said, you know, it just feels right, I should do business consulting, and business coaching. And so that’s the direction that I went in.
David Ralph [32:31]
And it’s nothing more than that. It feels right. I, when I started this show, I was listening to somebody else’s show and I just thought I could do that. And it was just as simple as that. It doesn’t need to be that the answer is laid out in front of you. It just needs to be that something gets you going, doesn’t it?
Carl Gould [32:50]
There definitely needs to be a spark. There definitely needs to be some some reason why. You know that you’ve decided to take that leap and and And and make that change. And usually, I was at a talk recently and somebody said, What do people do more to avoid, you know, do what, what leads to action more to avoid pain or to move towards pleasure. And everybody raise their hand or move towards pleasure. That’s what I’m like. And then he shows a picture. And on the screen, it’s got a picture of a crocodile on one side, and a picture of a person at the top of a mountain, you know, with their arms up in celebration. And they said, which one would make you move faster? And then everyone said, well, the crocodile said, right, so you would avoid pain in a second. But you will contemplate whether or not you’re going to go for the thing you love. Right? And so I think for most people, fortunate or unfortunate, it takes a painful episode for them to make a change. The number one reason why people come into coaching based on our research is a health event, either in their life personal Late, or in some that was very close to them.
David Ralph [34:03]
Yeah, that’s true. I think pain is the thing, isn’t it? Because if you’re in the painful position, you will do anything about it. I was in a painful position, and I did something about it. But many, many years, I was in the comfort position, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t too good. It wasn’t too bad. I just kind of floated along for years and years and years. And every now and again, I had moments of pleasure, but it wasn’t until it got bad. That’s when you do something about it. And I think that is the killer. We call it the the swear word of all swear words. Comfort is when people have got their dreams, they’ve got their passions, I’ve got visions, but they just don’t do anything about it because it’s comfortable. It’s easy to get their salary is easy to get. sitting on the sofa watching a box set in the evening with a bag of Doritos because it’s comfortable. But you take that away, you put it into pain and that’s when it all starts to come. It’d be interesting to see that the sort of Uber successful people that the Branson’s and the Trump’s and all that kind of stuff. I don’t know the answer. Today’s might be, you know, deanza whether they all started from that position of pain well Eve trying to get away from something.
Carl Gould [35:08]
Well, if you if you think about it, I don’t know if they were necessarily trying to get away from something or go towards something but you meaning there was that there was a specific event that triggered it. But, you know, Richard Branson first inquired about starting an airline when he was taking a flight and the service was so crap that he said, This is terrible. There’s got to be a better way. He picked up the phone and he called Boeing and said, what would it what is 747 cost? And and that kind of and when he realised that to purchase one wasn’t as unreasonable as he thought he then he said, Well, maybe I want to give this a shot. But the and, you know, so I think it does require some level of discomfort, I think is the is the natural trigger. Its most common trigger for most of us. And when we experience it, what we realise is that whether we take action or not, we now know that no matter what, we cannot remain the same. I think that’s the moment. I think the moment for most people is they realise, you know, it’s like, if you’ve got something on your face or something stuck in your teeth, and you have no clue, and you’re walking around smiling all day, and somebody walks up to you and says, Hey, David, you got some, I don’t know, a piece of broccoli or something or something green in your teeth. All of a sudden, you’re self conscious. You’re like, Oh, my God, I can’t show my teeth anymore. There comes a point when you realise you cannot stay the same. You’ve been outed. Right? And usually, we’re the last ones to know. We’re the last ones to admit it. You know, like we say, well, geez, was I really that bad to be around? Like,
David Ralph [36:48]
it’s not bad breath. Isn’t it? You all along? Yes.
Carl Gould [36:52]
Right. And so I think there, there needs to be that realisation where you say, when you say look, I just whatever What’s going to happen, I cannot remain the same, I’m going to change, I’m going to do something, I’m going to do something different. But wherever I’m at is no longer acceptable. Because we all have in our life, what we tolerate, we all have in our business, what we tolerate. And, you know, it’s just, it’s natural, you know, that, that we have these things in our life that aren’t perfect, but when those things are not perfect enough, and, you know, our current life condition is intolerable. We take action. And, you know, that’s when I think that that’s a, you know, natural external cause. There’s just some people that we read about like the Richard Branson’s and the Donald Trump’s of the world, is they can generate that level of discomfort internally. They don’t have to, they don’t have to wait for the external stimulus to, you know, to make it happen for them. You know, they can generate it on their own.
David Ralph [37:55]
So so your internal kind of stimulus when you decided you couldn’t move For anyone else was somebody that was really bad to you? Or was that just a feeling inside that you actually created? And actually, I’m pretty much unemployable. Now, I’ve got to go out and do my own thing.
Carl Gould [38:11]
Yeah, yeah, I’m, well, it was funny when I had my landscaping. Last landscaping job when I was 16. I remember my boss, we were really busy at the time. And he said, Hey, Carl, I need you to run over. We’re in this development, and we’re working on this track of homes. And there’s one other home in the same track. He said, I need you to write up a proposal and go tell Mrs. Smith that, here’s what we’re going to do tomorrow. And, and he said, Oh, and she was undecided whether she was going to put that one line of trees in or not. And he told me what they would cost and everything. So I said, Okay, so the next day I went, I wrote up this proposal, I went to Mr. Smith, I said, Hey, Mr. Smith, how you doing? My boss, you know, he’s busy right now. So he asked me to come over the work you asked for here’s what it costs And oh, by the way, you know, he was mentioning you might be interested in those trees. Here’s what that would be. We got into a conversation. Mrs. Smith tells me what she wants to do. I come back, and I say to my boss, well, we’re, you know, we’re ready to go with Mrs. Smith. And she’s going to do the whole line of trees. And he says, well, how’d you get her to do that? She’s been hemming and hawing on that forever. I said, I don’t know. I just, I didn’t know I just, I just explained it to her. And she seemed to be, you know, receptive. And she agreed. And he was like, wow, okay. And so he sent me out on a few more of these estimates, these proposals, and I started winning some of these proposals, right. And then when I was done, he would say, hey, great job now go do the work. That’s right. After a handful of these jobs, I’m like, What do I need this guy for? Yeah, I’m doing. I’m not just doing one part. It’s not like I think I can run the business better because I do one part better. I was doing everything. At night I was running. I was doing all the estimates. I wasn’t getting a sales commission. I was getting paid $6 an hour, to do as heavy manual labour as you can ever do. And my reward for winning the job was, I got to go do it the next day. So I thought, Well, wait a minute, I now know
Unknown Speaker [40:07]
what he’s getting paid.
Carl Gould [40:09]
And I know what I’m getting paid. And I gotta tell you something. He’s getting paid a lot more than I am. And he hasn’t even touched this customer. He hasn’t touched any of the material, nothing. I’ve done everything. And so it wasn’t like, it wasn’t like he was a bad guy. He gave me the opportunity. He taught me a lot. I just I was sitting there saying, you know, I remember one day I’m they’re rolling turf. That was our we used to roll 250,000 square feet of turf every summer. And in three months. That was a big part of our business. And I remember thinking, What am I doing? Why, you know, I have all the equipment this guy has, clearly I can go out and sell this stuff. I’d make four times the amount that I’m making now. Why? You know, so we just, I just thinking of myself I thought you know, I by not doing something I felt a bit Like I was, I was allowing myself to be taken advantage of.
David Ralph [41:05]
Did you know when when you were talking, I had this image of Mr. Miyagi? Remember The Karate Kid when he was saying, do this, do that, and the kid was doing it. I don’t know why I’m doing this. But he was almost training you for success, wasn’t it? He was almost giving you the elements that you couldn’t see at that time until it was right. And then you you use them?
Carl Gould [41:26]
Absolutely. I mean, I’m very, very thankful for the education that I got, because he taught me He taught me a lot of things. And, you know, as I as I look back now, he was, uh, he was a guy pretty early in his career, just trying to figure it out. Also, and, you know, he knew a lot more than I did, there’s no question about it, but he, he was willing to be open with what it took to run this sort of business and, and I learned things from him that you know, was priceless because I got I got a front row seat with the the boss in the decision. maker and I got the benefit of all of his knowledge. You know, so I was very, very happy for the for the opportunity. And, you know, we were still friendly. And I see him now and again, he’s 30 years ago, but I, you know, when we see each other, we’re very, very friendly stay in touch the whole bit. But that for sure I was, you know, for sure. There was a level of discomfort there. And I said, Wait a minute, this is this isn’t right.
You know, it just, it doesn’t make sense for me not to take action.
David Ralph [42:31]
And when you meet him now, do you still see him as the boss? He’s in a tonne of hierarchy that you can’t shake because you worked under him?
Carl Gould [42:39]
I’m a good question. I a little bit. I mean, I think of him first and foremost. As as the guy who gave me my first real break and first real job, but you know, as I look back, we’re not far there’s not a big difference between us and age. You know, I was 16 at the time he was in his early 20s. I thought that was I thought he was 90 years old. It’s time when, you know now he’s more contemporary than anything else, you know. But yeah, I mean, I still have fun in a fond way, I still think of them in those terms. You know, as the guy who gave me that job, and I made it, you know, good money during my high school years, but now it’s more friendly as anything else.
David Ralph [43:18]
So do you like friends and peers? So do you buy into these kind of, I suppose it’s the theme of the whole show Join Up Dots, but no experience is wasted. But if there’s people out there listening to this, and they’re in a crappy situation, they’re in a job that they don’t like, but it’s their responsibility to take something from that job to help them move to the next part time the experience. Do you believe in that?
Carl Gould [43:42]
I absolutely. There’s I’m part of this organisation called entrepreneurs organisation. It’s also called eo for short. And it’s, it’s a worldwide organisation where business owners learn from each other we experienced share, we have peer to peer mentoring. groups and, and there’s an exercise that we do called the lifeline exercise. And you do this exercise when you’re meeting somebody new, it’s kind of a staple inside of eo and, and all it is, is a little timeline. And it starts when you’re born and it goes to, you know, whatever age you’re at now, and you’re supposed to kind of plot that the best and worst events of your life. You know, so hey, I was born good day for me, maybe bad day for my parents. That would be mad be a bad mark on their on their diagram, but I mind it’s a great one. And then I did something great in school. So that was a high point, and then I got hurt. And that was a low point. And I did this and I was a high point. And so I’ve been in this organisation now for about eight years, and I’ve done this Lifeline exercise, I would say about five times at this point. And what’s interesting is, is that every time I do it, I find it harder and harder to come up with low points. Because as I keep going back and I do this exercise, I realised those low points were My high point there, even though it was a really hard time, I learned a lot It was it changed the trajectory of my life. It was the defining moment of my business. And every time I think back, well, I think back when I do that timeline, and that Lifeline exercise, I say, well, this really bad thing happened. But here’s what it turned out to, you know, and then this really horrible thing was going on in my life, but it made me realise this, and now I have things so much better as a result of that experience. So, as I go through as, as I go through that exercise, and I, and you know, I continue to do I realise those, I’m much more aware now that where the nugget is and where the learning is, in those quote unquote bad times.
David Ralph [45:45]
I’m going to play the words of Steve Jobs in a moment, but what you’re saying is absolutely true. And he, if you listen back to Episode One, and two and three or four, quite often I was telling the story about having a terrible boss, and she was an absolute coward. She was the reason that I did face. And now, I kind of have a fondness to water. I think this is the first time I’ve ever said this, actually. But if I saw her in the street, I’d actually go up and thank her. And hundred episodes ago, I couldn’t have done that. But now I see that that low point was actually a plus point, it made me move on to something better. So I agree totally with what you’re saying. And I think it ties up beautifully with the words of Steve Jobs. So I’m going to play them now. This is Steve Jobs.
Unknown Speaker [46:28]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something,
Unknown Speaker [46:48]
Unknown Speaker [46:49]
destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [47:03]
Do those words make all the difference to you car?
Carl Gould [47:07]
Yeah, I am. I agree with what Steve is saying in that, or what he said, in that you connect the dots looking back. But I also believe you, you reach a point in your life where you realise that you’re in the middle of a dot that just connected something big. You know what I mean? Like now I one of the things just, you know, spending a life in personal development. One of the gifts I think I’ve gotten out of this is I can understand when I’m in the middle of a doc, you know, and this is a dot that just connected and this is a dot that just made a difference, you know? And so I, I think that you realise if you if you are willing to take a little bit of chance on yourself, you’re willing to bet on yourself a little bit and You realise what a win looks like what a loss looks like or lesson looks like, as they’re happening, you realise when you’ve made some right choices and you and when you either made some bad choices or, you know, you just didn’t make the best one and you’re gonna have to work through this one a little bit, you know? So, yeah, the, the view is a lot easier looking in the rearview mirror, then looking forward, but I do think there comes a point in your life where you you can look forward it with with some certainty and say, You know what, this It feels right for a reason. Because it is right and it is something that I should I should be taking on. So
David Ralph [48:41]
since, uh, you know, with this sort of the gut intuition that he was saying, you you feel that that the stomach is the way to actually show you the path.
Carl Gould [48:49]
Yeah, the, you know, what I’ve learned over the years of doing assessments is that your gut is always if not Almost always right? It’s your interpretation of your gut, that’s often wrong. So, you know, if you think it’s right, it probably is, but what we tend to do, I do this I do this little exercise about how to know when you’re getting something right versus how you know, you’re getting something wrong. And one of the areas people struggle with tremendously is knowing when they’ve gotten it right. Most people know when they get it wrong, they just they struggle so much with you know, they know when they get it wrong, but they don’t always know when they’re getting it right. And so many times in the middle of getting something right, people will stop. One, just one length from the finish line, not realising how close they were to realising their dream. And that’s a bit of a shame to me. You know, had they gone forward just a little bit more they would had everything that they were, you know, seeking, but they they stopped just bolt In front of the finish line, and, you know,
Unknown Speaker [50:04]
that’s a bit of a shame to me.
David Ralph [50:05]
Well, it is, isn’t it? It’s a six foot from gold sort of scenario. And I know that and you must have known that yourself. I’ve had times doing this where I’ve literally got to the point where the show was at collapse, because I couldn’t get people on it. And it’s a daily show seven, you know, seven days a week. And I got down to like, maybe one or two shows. And I went to bed thinking, well, I can’t do anything more. But I woke up and I suddenly had an email inbox of people saying, Can I come on the show? And I hustled like mad, and I sort of got it going again. But it would have been quite easy for me to just walk away and not turn the computer back on. So it is that realisation that you just go again. And is that is that something that you can train? Or is that something that you naturally have to have?
Carl Gould [50:50]
You know, I’ll tell you it’s, um, I think it’s a little bit of both, but you have to
be willing to keep going and learn as you go. It’s the old cliche of when you’re driving home at night, you can only see as far as your headlights, you can’t see the final destination you get in your car and you drive across town in the middle of the night, you can’t see the destination, you can only see to the edge of your headlights. But you have to trust in your ability to make the right decision. When you roll the car forward 10 more feet, because it’s going to expose another part of the road and you’re just gonna have to trust yourself, you’re going to know what to do. If there’s a pothole or if an animal jumps in the road or there’s a detour, that you’re just you’re going to have to figure it out. And you’re going to have to, you know, put some faith in, in your equipment, your car and yourself and your ability to put the two together and make sure that you get home safely. And sometimes we underestimate our own ability to do that, you know,
David Ralph [51:47]
this, I don’t normally do three motivational speeches, but you you have a professional you’ve led me down the path to it. This is something that Oprah Winfrey said recently and I heard it and I thought, this is interesting because it emphasises what We’re talking about here, just focusing in on your next move and not worrying about what lies ahead, this is over
Unknown Speaker [52:06]
the way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move? not think about, Oh, I got all of this stuff. What is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move, and not to be overwhelmed by it. Because, you know, your life is bigger than that one moment. You know, you’re not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you. Because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [52:38]
powerful words online.
Carl Gould [52:41]
Yeah, she’s. Yeah, I think Oprah is really having as much impact if not more now with her new, you know, her new What do you call a new station for network or network? You know, because we’re getting to learn a little bit more about who Oprah is not just her bringing us the world. You know
David Ralph [52:59]
what he’s About Oprah. And we’re going to sort of come to the end of the show with cow. But it is fascinating because she’s almost a kind of, I don’t know, she’s almost like a Yoda character, isn’t it? She seems to know what to do over time. And obviously, in life, you have as many failures or successes or you if you aren’t really successful, hopefully you can sort of balance it out and maybe a few months, but she seems to see see stuff that we don’t
Carl Gould [53:25]
it’s interesting, she, I think that’s a good. I think that’s a good analogy, because she’s been an observer of history, and a reporter of history throughout her career and whether she feels she’s earned the right or maybe she’s always had the right or, you know, through her observation, she’s now contributing to history. You know, she’s now a maker of history, and what she’s doing and that’s the shift that I see in her and, and However, she acquired it. I mean, she, you know, that level of awareness or skill or talent over the years. It’s impressive. She’s you know, she’s built an empire you know but however she acquired a she certainly has earned it earned the earned the right to do it you know
David Ralph [54:11]
what what’s your legacy that you’re leaving obviously Oprah’s leaving an empire as you say she’s leaving her own legacy she’s putting a mark on history car gold where do you see that your stamp is going to be made?
Carl Gould [54:25]
Well, you know, the work that I’m doing today didn’t exist when when I was younger and when I started it was very early in the in the life cycle of that industry. So I feel like I’m I’m just leaving some breadcrumbs along the path. So if anybody walks the path after me, you know, they can see that. Hey, listen, someone’s done it already. So you know what, there’s some some some things out there proven. And then as they walk along those paths, those that path they could see that those breadcrumbs are air for the next person. So, you know, hopefully I I have created a safe path for people to follow. So they can realise the dream of owning and running the business that they always wanted. You know, because this was when I got close to it, this was the business that I really wanted, but it didn’t really exist. So I had to, I had to create it from scratch and, and I just want to leave the recipe behind. That’s all.
David Ralph [55:25]
I think that’s a perfect legacy to have. And I think that leads us perfectly to the end of the show, because this is the part when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young call, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out now because I’m going to play the theme tune and when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic. This
Carl Gould [56:09]
is the age that I think I would pick would be right around 20 years old. I was I was in college. I second year in college, I broke my leg pretty badly. And I was I was pretty much in traction for about three months learning to walk again. And that’s when I actually launched my first business. But I going back to that time, if I was going to I pick that age, and then I would say, the conversation I would have with myself is one I would I would tell myself how proud I was of the fact that I stuck with it. That, you know, I had this dream of owning a business and I didn’t let the injury that I had, you know, slow me down. But so I went ahead and I did launch the business and I stayed true to what my idea was for what I wanted to create and So I’ve had to reinvent myself a few times over the years. But that was one of the first times I reinvented myself. So first thing I would do is I think I would acknowledge myself for the fact that I was willing to take the chance and take the risk on myself and gamble on myself. The advice I would have given myself at that time would have been is that my formal education at the time would have been as important as the practical education that I was getting. So I was definitely a PhD in the school of hard knocks, and I certainly went to that university. But if I were to go back and give myself some advice, I would have stuck with the formal University training that I was in. I left school full time and then I did go back to school part time, but I did not immerse myself in it the way that I had been the prior two years. So my my main advice and the third piece of advice I would have given myself a back at that time, if I had the conversation was I would, I would Thought even bigger than I already do. So at the time, I thought I was thinking big. But what I realised was that I wasn’t thinking as big as I could have been. And so going back in time, those are the three main things. I had been very proud for reinventing myself, I would have, I would have spent more time
Unknown Speaker [58:24]
I would have spent more time
Carl Gould [58:28]
was I saying, spend more time with my formal education, and I would have thought even bigger, and I would have picked around 20 years old to speak to my former self.
David Ralph [58:37]
And do you think everyone out there listening to this conversation listening to all the conversations, do you think that they can add the kick ass life that they’re there they’re craving.
Carl Gould [58:46]
Well, I think in many cases, they’re already having that kick ass life. And hopefully they’re being very grateful for the part of their life that already is kick ass, and they could take whereas already is kick ass and Apply it to the areas that are not quite kick ass. And hopefully if they do that then they’ll have many more kick ass moments in addition to what they’re already experiencing.
David Ralph [59:10]
Perfect on. So how can our audience connect with you co
Carl Gould [59:15]
Well, you can on Twitter you can follow me at at Carl Gould. You can go to my website coral gold.com learn a little bit more about me there. And I actually did the coral gold calm is a gateway to kind of get to all of my all my stuff. But you can also go to Facebook like me there coral gold on Facebook and, and I’m also coral gold on LinkedIn. So any of the major platforms you can you can get to me, and then we’ll figure out the best way that for us to interact with each other after that.
David Ralph [59:44]
Carl, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining those dots and please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Mr. Carl gold. Thank you so much.
Carl Gould [59:57]