“All of us are going to figure it out at about the same time” - Gregory Offner
Gregory Offner is a globally recognized expert on performance; the Founder and CEO of Global Performance Institute; and an international keynote speaker. His Performance Agreement methodology has helped organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive under pressure, and create cultures of high-performing, highly fulfilled people.
In addition to his international business and leadership experience, he holds advanced professional designations in the fields of Risk Management, Organizational Development, Lean/SixSigma, and Positive Psychology. Gregory is also an accomplished entertainer; having performed professionally on five continents and numerous countries as a solo artist, and dueling piano performer.
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Your liquidity event is the most important financial transaction of your life. You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count.
But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.
Our founders said "no" to a 7-figure offer and "yes" to a 9-figure offer less than two years later.
Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event.
After all, how can you master something you've never done before?
Are you leaving millions on the table?
Learn how the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our 9-step roadmap helps you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.
Enjoy the interview!
[00:00:00] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Deep Wealth Podcast where you learn how to extract your business and personal Deep Wealth.
I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.
This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.
When it comes to your business deep wealth, your exit or liquidity event is the most important financial decision of your life.
But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time and your hard earned money wasted.
Of the quote unquote "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of the deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.
I should know. I said "no" to a seven-figure offer. And "yes" to mastering the art and the science of a liquidity event. Two years later, I said "yes" to a different buyer with a nine figure deal.
Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event?
Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing the skills that built your business are the same ones to sell it.
After all, how can you master something you've never done before?
Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and the 9-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the best deal instead of any deal.
At the end of this episode, take a moment and hear from business owners like you, who went through the Deep Wealth Experience.
Gregory Offner is a globally recognized expert on performance, the Founder and CEO of Global Performance Institute and an international keynote speaker. His performance agreement methodology has helped organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive under pressure and create cultures of high-performing, highly fulfilled people.
In addition to his international business and leadership experience, he holds advanced professional designations in the field of Risk Management, Organizational Development, Lean/SixSigma, and Positive Psychology.
Gregory is also an accomplished entertainer. Having performed professionally on five continents and numerous countries as a solo artist and dueling piano performer.
Welcome to the Deep Wealth Podcast. And for all, you business owners out there, hang on to your seats.
We are in for an epic ride today with our episode and with the guest that we have because it's all about something near and dear to your hearts and also near and dear to a liquidity event that you might be thinking about. It's leadership, it's culture, it's everything else in between because those are the really the rocket fuel that's what makes your company move forward and just do all the incredible things that it does. So before I get ahead of myself, Gregory, welcome to the Deep Wealth sell My Business Podcast, an absolute pleasure and delight to have you with us, and Gregory there's always a story behind the story.
What's your story? What got you to where you are today?
[00:03:07] Gregory Offner: Hey, Jeffrey. I'm happy to be here. Yeah. That's a really fun question because I didn't have the normal trajectory that you think of when you think of keynote speakers. You know, I didn't climb Mount Everest. I didn't go to the moon in a spaceship. I didn't sell a multi-billion dollar business. I was just an average kid from the Philadelphia suburbs, went through school thinking he wanted to be a rockstar, and ultimately landed a job in sales.
So for several years, I worked for the varying organizations and varying levels of responsibility in sales and marketing leadership roles, building sales teams, eventually working internationally doing that. But at night I pursued my passion. With a job as a professional dueling piano player, I've played at piano bars and on stages around the world on multiple continents and entertained thousands.
All that came to a head in 2015, when I lost my voice and went to see a doctor about that, a specialist who said you have such vocal trauma that you'll never speak or sing again unless we conduct surgery on your vocal cords. We actually rebuild and repair your vocal cords. And that was going to take me out of speaking commission, such that I would not be able to be successful in my day job.
Wasn't going to be able to sing at night and it left me feeling out of place, out of touch without purpose, without the greatest competitive advantage I had known to date my voice and it left me in a place where I was very scared from that uncertainty that pressure, came the work that I do now drawing on my background in psychology and philosophy on my business background, on my entertainment background, helping organizations create and build cultures and build people who thrive, who are highly fulfilled by the work that they do and on high performance.
[00:04:55] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow. Gregory. That's quite the story from high performer corporate side of things. And then at nights you're in the Piano bars and just strutting your stuff. I have all these images of you going out there and then having that taken away from you. So before we jump into what you're doing and the terrific things that go along with that, talk to us about your mindset, because something that you loved was near and dear to you, that you cherished all of a sudden it was here today and tomorrow it wasn't.
So that must've just been really tough and difficult to wrap your mind around and actually get through how'd you cope with that? Tell us what was going on with that.
[00:05:32] Gregory Offner: There were a lot of really dark nights. And I don't mean outside the window, I mean, inside the house. There were a lot of really challenging emotions that I learned how to navigate more effectively because at the beginning of this experience, I was not effective at managing that unhappiness, uncertainty that pressure. It was really grading on me. It was making it hard to focus, hard to perform in all sorts of areas of my life. And I find often when I speak people come up and speak with me after the program and they share a similar experience. It may not be losing their voice, but everyone's had some experience or will have an experience in their life that creates a tremendous amount of uncertainty, a tremendous amount of pressure, and many will be facing that event without their greatest asset, their greatest resource, whatever that may be. So it took a lot of work. I did a lot of research. I said, what are other people doing who have been through difficult circumstances? And as they mentioned, books, or courses or resources in the work that they've put out there, I start to read those books. I start to go through those courses.
I got certified in positive psychology and certified in organizational leadership. I started building myself into the type of person that I would be proud to be. And in that process who I became along the way was someone that could create value for others and help them build those cultures that I mentioned of high-performing highly fulfilled people, but it wasn't an easy shift.
It all started with positive psychology. It started with a book called the Happiness Hypothesis by an author named Jonathan Haidt. That book really took me out of those dark places and gave me a path forward. And that book led to another book, which led to another book. And in the last two years, I don't know how many books it is. Maybe it's 100 books. It's a lot more than I read in the 10 years prior to any of this happening, which was probably like 5, 5 books. So even just changing what I was consuming, created that change in my mindset that enabled me to get through that challenging circumstance.
[00:07:40] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow. And you know, as you're talking about that, I'm just sensing just the emotionality that's coming through. And in my mind, I'm just seeing you go through that struggle. And it sounds so cliche to say, but it's so true. And I'll just throw this out there. I mean, at the time, this was the worst thing that could have happened to you.
But looking back all these years now, not to in any way, take away from the challenge that you went through. One could say that this really helped sculpt you and form you into the incredible leader and person that you are today. And in other words, if it wasn't for what at the time was this horrific event, you wouldn't be where you are today, stronger and better, and just doing what you're doing.
I love your thoughts on that.
[00:08:21] Gregory Offner: It's a topic that I'm exploring right now in some of the research and the work that I'm doing currently, and it relates to fear, it relates to lose and it relates to crisis. And if you look at some of the most magical seeming transformations out there, they often come as a result of loss and will include lack in there.
Yeah. Not just losing something, but maybe never having had it in the first place. So loss or lack, fear. So that is uncertainty. Fears is truly an uncertainty.
And for me, the crisis part is so pression to, so right now, because the world's been through a crisis. So in many ways now is the best time for me to be doing what I'm doing. At the time when I was told I was going to lose my voice in 2015, it was to me catastrophic. You may as well have walked in and said, Greg, you're dying because I, my voice is me.
And for a lot of people, I'd push and say, your voice is you. If you woke up tomorrow and didn't sound like you probably confused the heck out of you, we're still, if you woke up and couldn't sound like anything, couldn't talk at all. You'd have to navigate the world in a very different way. And for me financially and everything else, my GPS system was my voice.
That's how I navigated this world. So the world has been through a crisis. I went through a crisis a couple of years before it, I feel I was uniquely positioned in this moment to stop talking about disruption, which is what I used to do with organizations. I work on making and managing change effectively. But as the pandemic happened, I saw that this was the moment.
This is the moment that every person in the audience has been through a crisis. They're ready. They're ready to think about how they work, why they work, what they do for work in a new way. Because prior to 2015, I was comfortable. I made a really good living in a job that I didn't particularly like, but I made a really good living.
How do you walk away from that? How do you walk away from a job that people look at and go, oh I'd killed to have that job? Wow. That's a tough pill to swallow to say, I don't like this job. I'm going to walk away from it. At least it was for me at the time I was comfortable. And in my performance career at night, I really enjoyed what I was doing, but it wasn't very lucrative.
If I had stretched myself, pushed myself, I could have made that a more lucrative I could have potentially made that my only career could have moved to Las Vegas and gotten a job on the strip, but a casino, something much more stable, higher paying. But what I did was comfortable, I was satisfied. It was just enough.
Good enough. And there are so many people out there listening to this, that sit out there in my audiences that, that listen to me speak. And when they hear me talk about satisfied, good enough. I see their heads nod because so many of us fell into a routine that became comfortable. And we worked at it enough to be satisfied that the thought of moving the thought of changing the thought of doing it differently.
Sparks those same emotions in us that create fear that come as a result of crisis. So I think now because an external event created those emotions, the pandemic created that fear, it created that crisis. It created that uncertainty. It created that pressure. I think now is the time to have the conversation about the way that we work.
And I hope in some small way to be able to take the irk out of work. I just love that analogy. Take the irk out of work.
[00:12:20] Jeffrey Feldberg: Yeah, I love that. Take the irk out of work in.
[00:12:24] Gregory Offner: Because business is not bad. I know it gets a bad rap out there. I mean, you open up any song catalog and there's any number of popular songs about how much work sucks. Dolly Parton 9 to 5, I think it's George Strait as a song called shift work.
If you get his drift. So there's lots of songs about work, not being desirable, but yet the product of work when it's done consciously when it's done ethically that changes the world unlike any other. Business has the power to make massive important changes in the world that government's just not going to do.
NGO is just aren't going to accomplish. Nonprofits are well-meaning, but they can't create the kind of momentum and the velocity. That a well-run business with people who are fully engaged in deeply committed to the mission are able to accomplish. And that's what I help leaders build and create.
[00:13:17] Jeffrey Feldberg: So let's talk about that now, in terms of really catapulting your experiences and now on to the business scene and with leaders. And there's a lot to unpack there that you shared with us. You talked about fear and loss and crisis and good enough and really the status quo and on the one hand, How often do we take for granted the most precious things to us?
We don't even think twice about that. As an example, back in 2015, before you lost your voice, probably wasn't a thought crossing your mind of what happens if I can't talk anymore. I can't sing anymore. What would that look like? And then to the point of well, you know, I was good enough, I'm okay.
So let's deal with the leader first and specifically business owners who on the one hand. Its changes can be scary. There's fear to your word there, to change while that geez, that's the unknown. I don't know. How's that going to be? What am I going to do? And then on the flip side, being appreciative for where we are yet, maybe it's not the top of the mountain of where we want to be, but maybe it's exactly where we should be right now because we're learning and we're building, we're growing.
We're becoming stronger to be able to get there. But what would you have to say to leaders, the business owners out there of where they are today and how they can just rethink from their position of where they are? And internally that change within some of the strategies that they should be considering to help get their performance to the next level.
[00:14:43] Gregory Offner: Yeah, you bring up an important, a really important topic there. And that's that being grateful and appreciative of where we are is not the same thing as being content or being satisfied in too often, they get lumped into the same group. And so folks push gratitude off to the side, but the studies show us that gratitude when practiced, and it is a practice folks when practice regularly extends our lives, makes us more successful, makes us more likable. And yet it's something that was missing from my life before my experience. And when I added it into the mix, it changed everything. So the first thing anyone who's looking to make a change.
In their life and their organization and their professional status, their personal status anywhere. The first thing I encourage them to do is a gratitude inventory. We've got lots to be grateful for. And that old saying familiarity breeds contempt. I think familiarity breeds complacency. When you drive a $200,000 sports car every day, give it two years.
That won't be a $200,000 sports car to you. That'll just be a car. It's just car. It's my car, driving it for two years. It's no big deal. Are you living in a home? And when you buy your first home, There's a lot of pomp and circumstance. First of all, your hands exhausted from signing 55 bajillion pieces of paper. You're signing your name over and over again at the closing, but you get those keys, whether they're dropped into your hand or whether they're ceremoniously presented to you while taking a photo and shaking that realtor's hand, like you just graduated college, you unlock the door for the first time.
You step across the threshold and you can't replicate that feeling, but everybody who's done it knows what I'm saying. And yet 3, 4, 5 months, years later at his house we have this attitude because we don't practice gratitude and it gets in our way, it gets in our way of succeeding at the big things because we don't take time to appreciate the success we've had at the small things.
And people to cultivate this practice of gratitude by doing an exercise from positive psychology, it's called the three blessings. And it's really simple. That's what makes it really powerful each night. I do this each night before I go to bed. I have a note pad and I write down three things that I'm grateful for.
These are not three mind-blowing things. In fact, I'll open it up and I'll just share what I wrote last night.
[00:17:21] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Gregory, while you're doing that, you read my mind because I was going to ask, can you give us an example of what that would be like for you? What was it like the last time that you did that? And here we are so terrific.
[00:17:31] Gregory Offner: Yeah. So, get really vulnerable here looking at this third one. Number one, I enjoyed being outside, walking in the sun today, walking to and from the store to grab a soda. Is that something that we would generally think of? As something to go in a gratitude journal. Is that an activity? No, but that's the beauty of it is that I look back at this and I feel the sunshine again, I'm in that moment ever.
So small number two, I'm grateful for daycare. Our daughter was there all day and it created the space for us to get important work done. And it's such a blessing to have it. Parents know that's actually kind of a big thing for parents, the daycare, but it's a small thing. Because I bet when I started talking about gratitude, the mind automatically goes to a vacation, a transformational once-in-a-lifetime experience that exquisite meal, that delicious bottle of wine we popped open some time ago.
These are everyday occurrences. Number three, I'm grateful for snuggling with my wife. I just love it. I get that opportunity to be close with her. We chat a little bit. Again, an everyday occurrence that for many of us, I would wager I would bet taken for granted. My voice I took for granted.
I'm grateful every day that I'm able to speak now. And that's why I want to use my voice to create change, to really make an impact in the world more than I thought I would ever be able to do with a professional sales career. To really change the way people think. I took it for granted this incredible tool that the universe gave me when I was born.
Just some of us take time with our loved ones for granted again until they're not there. And then that mindset shift happens. Yeah. That's that crisis. That's that uncertainty we get really comfortable. We get really complacent until our world is rocked.
[00:19:20] Jeffrey Feldberg: Some terrific insights there. And Gregory, you really hit upon something that for myself. I being open with you sometimes we'll struggle with as well with gratitude. And sometimes it'll be even something like you're sharing a myocyte, something as mundane as a family meal, but I'll stop myself in the middle of the meal.
And I say, okay, Jeffrey, if you took a picture today of whether it's my immediate family or the extended family, wherever I am, whatever I'm doing if you took a picture today and you fast forward to 20 years, And you looked back at that picture 20 years from now, what would you be saying? Thoughts like, wow, look how young everybody was in that picture or look so-and-so is no longer there with us.
I really miss that person. And then I come right back to present day and say, okay, I'm going to just make the most of this moment because it's just so easy to get lost. And deliberately, I'm asking this question for our listeners, because some of them I'm sure are saying, okay. Yeah, Gregory Jeffrey, wonderful to hear this gratitude thing and what you're doing at night, but come on gratitude business.
What does one have to do with the other? I'm so busy, you know, by the time I get to bed, I can't think another thought and to start writing down some thoughts and I just want to crank my business out. I'm crushing it. What does gratitude have to do with anything with anything?
[00:20:34] Gregory Offner: Nobody dies and says, oh, I wish I'd been busier. love the opportunity to work with people in that predicament because they're the ones who need it most. If you don't have 10 minutes, you need an hour.
I love that thought. I have a friend who worked as a hospice aid, and so he would spend time sitting with people who were dying and I asked him what they would talk about. And to your last point, Nobody said they wished they were busier. No one said they wished they'd spent more time at the office. In fact, what people often regret at their end of life is what they didn't do.
Not what they did do. So folks who say, oh, I'm so busy, I've got things going on. What does gratitude have to do with business? Everything. Everything. When I work with executives, we start with the question. What is the purpose of this business? Whatever their answer is, tells a lot about the culture that they're creating.
And it yields a follow-up question. And let's say that the purpose of the business is to produce the best widgets in the world. Then the next question is really a statement that I have them fill out. I'm passionate about producing the best widgets in the world so that I can blank. That blank is really important.
Filling in that blank is a critical step that most of us never even take because we get so caught up in producing the widgets that we forget what that's allowing us to do next. And often there's a third and a fourth iteration of that question.
So for the individual, who's saying, I don't know what gratitude has to do with business. You're missing opportunities to not only grow and develop your people, your customer but yourself by failing to stop and look at what you are grateful for, because what comes to mind when you do that gratitude exercise?
It's going to tell you a lot about what you really value. And the scary thing is if you're a bit like me, the first time you do that exercise, you may discover that you have been pursuing things you don't care about for a really long time. If you're a bit like me, you're going to do that exercise. And like I did go, oh my God, I've been chasing things that don't matter.
Not to me. I said they mattered to me, but they don't.
But the good news is that once we're there, we can make new choices. We can start to identify what does matter. That doesn't mean we abandoned business. We abandoned our career. It doesn't mean we change everything for everything to change. Your voice, physiologically I'm speaking. Your voice is tiny. It's a tiny part of your body and the damage that was done to my voice, the nearly silenced it forever is smaller than your pinky fingernail, significantly smaller than your pinky fingernail.
I would say maybe the size of a match head that had the power to silence a voice that could fill a 3000-person auditorium without a microphone, think about that. Think about the disparity in size versus impact. Now tell me gratitude doesn't matter what you're able to identify, be it ever so small, the size of that impact is immeasurable.
[00:24:06] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Gregory, when you think about this, what you're sharing and for our listeners specifically, I really hope you were listening because gratitude, that's just one concept and Gregory, I'm sure that's one tool in a toolbox that has many tools and we're barely scratching the surface. But from that gratitude, And understanding where you are and your purpose, and perhaps you're now confusing activity with progress.
We all do that from time to time, but from that gratitude and that understanding, whoever said that business wasn't personal, never had a business before, because business is personal. Everything in business is personal. And if we take that gratitude now and we tie that into even something like a liquidity event.
And people may be saying Jeffrey, what does gratitude have to do with liquidity event? You had me thinking well, gratitude and business now gratitude, and a liquidity event, but Gregory, why don't you share with us when you're working with leaders and whether it be gratitude as an example or some of the other strategies and toolsets that you're using.
I'm just a big proponent that as the business owner, we created the business, the vision came from within if we did things right. And we usually do things right. We equate market disruptions. But to your point that you're driving that $200,000 car, and he said, two years later, I'm going to say maybe for some people is two weeks later or two months later, it's oh, ho-hum yeah, whatever.
I just, yeah, I drive this car. We lose that ignition that we had in us that sparked that fire, and we just get Dahl dealt or maybe our success. We lament in her success. And within our success are the seeds of a future failure. So someone who's coming to you as a business leader, who's saying, okay, look Gregory.
You know this is not my first rodeo. I've been around the block a few times here, businesses successful, but I don't think it's doing as well as it can. And I want to start the next chapter of my life in the next two years, five years. And that's what we're all about here with Deep Wealth at our 90-day Deep Wealth Experience of how you do that.
But from a mindset shift, from an internal perspective, what would be some of the other things that you're doing with a business leader when you're coaching them and helping them to take them to the next level?
[00:26:15] Gregory Offner: It really starts with the questions that we asked. So another question that I ask executives is why are you here?
And this isn't necessarily if you're the business owner, a lot of times it's if you're a hired CEO, COO, Senior Vice President. I've interviewed over a thousand senior leaders. And I don't know if I was surprised or frustrated or certainly intrigued to find that 75% of the people that I interviewed when I asked why do you work here looked at me with this deer in the headlights. Do I have three heads type of look at first it made me uncomfortable? And then I just started to expect it. I was actually surprised when I didn't get that look. And the general tone of the answer that I got, they were different words were used, but the general tone was I needed a job.
They had a job need posted I applied got introduced, whatever I got connected with them and I got hired. And yet this is where we spend at least if you're an executive, I'm going to say it's more, at least one third of our life. We spend more time with our work colleagues than our family, especially if you're an executive, sadly, sometimes we're putting more energy and thought into how our business runs. Then we do how our family runs come on, sitting at the dinner table, thinking about business problems. I know I've done that. So it starts with questions. It starts with getting really clear on what that goal is. So in our scenario, okay. The business isn't doing well, but I'm preparing for the next stage.
Okay. I've got a lot of questions. And those questions lead to activities that we can complete together. Like we talked about one earlier with that so that I can, and then fill in the blank statement. That's a process that I have called the root goal analysis and I walk executives. I walk entry-level people.
I walk everybody that I can through that because in my life looking back, I was unclear about my real goals and frequently led with what I call surface goals, superficial, like when you're at the bar with friends or you're out to dinner with colleagues and you're talking about things going on in your personal life and everybody's maybe sharing something and we start to hear what the other person's sharing and we're thinking, oh my God, that sounds great.
That sounds awesome. Yeah. You're going to buy a beach house. Wow. That's really cool. And then it comes to us and we go, we don't wanna sound like an idiot. We want to say something that sounds like a good goal that they're going to go. Oh, that's great. Yeah. Good for you, Jeffrey, you should pursue that.
Sometimes our goals are Idiotic, that's, okay. If I were to tell people I wanted to be a Vegas-known dueling piano bar player, a lot of my business colleagues would think that's an idiotic goal, but that's what I want. But it's not what I said. How often at work are we having authentic conversations with the people that we lead?
Not because we are authentic, but because they don't trust us enough to tell us the truth. So they tell us what I call the business. When you're sitting in an interview and the HR person says, Hey, Jeffrey, where do you see yourself in three years? And you're probably thinking, I don't know, maybe not here.
It's been a rough week. I don't know if I'm basing it off of that. But the business truth is I'd like to senior management, that seems to be a really good opportunity. And I've solved a lot of business issues right now. And so I think a senior management role of one opens up would be appropriate.
That's a business truth. If we're really going to help guide the people we lead and guide the businesses we either own or shepherd it's through real truth in these conversations. And that's what I try to get at when I work with executives, try to get at the real truth and then help them move forward.
[00:29:54] Jeffrey Feldberg: And let's talk about that for just a moment, because that's an episode in and of itself just what you shared with us. And one of the things in our nine-step roadmap, Gregory, we call it step number two. X-Factors that insanely increase the value of your business. And at the heart of the X-Factors at the heart of any business, it's really culture where you're transparent and you can really have vulnerable kinds of conversations.
So from a leader perspective where you have a cultural, like you're saying where people are giving you the business truth, but maybe not the honest-to-goodness truth of what's really on their mind and what's really happening. And in today's politically correct society for better or worse, it is what it is.
And what we say in public may be very different than what we're saying to ourselves or with our family or with our friends. How do we deal with that from a leadership perspective of really getting a culture where people do feel safe to share what's on their minds?
[00:30:51] Gregory Offner: With some exceptions of who you are in public is different from who you are in business. You've got a real problem. You've got a real problem because it we're never going back to the days when we clock out, take off the shirt and tie in, or just someone totally different. When we get home between Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok name, all the other platforms you're going to get found out.
When I worked in insurance, they had a saying I'll clean up the language. If you're a jerk at home people, aren't going to do business with you because it's going to show through in the work you do at the office, you spend so much time with our clients. If you're a jerk at home, it's going to come out, they're going to figure it out.
So I would also say this C-level executive have a pretty big dropper. I said they have a dropper. Yes. What do you mean? You said something about culture earlier and I don't believe that organizations have culture. I believe that the individuals within the organization bring a culture. And if you'd imagine a vase, a big glass vase, Each individual in that organization has an eyedropper.
It's got their own little unique culture, their own little unique let's call it a color to keep it simple. Every person in that organization puts a drop from their dropper into that vase. The bigger your title, the bigger your dropper, the more impact your drop has. C levels have the biggest droppers.
They carry the biggest droppers, your culture doesn't belong to your company. It belongs to your people. You're renting it from them. If you will. And the color of that vase after everybody's put their dropper in that's your culture, a liquidity event happens. Pour some water in there. We're going to dilute it.
Everything's going to change. Maybe the vase breaks and we get a new one but culture doesn't belong to an organization. So I get a little chuckle, but then I know there's work to be done. When someone tells me they want to change the culture of their company, what they're really saying is they want to transform the individuals within it because that's the only way you accomplish cultural change, true cultural change.
As you transform the individuals.
[00:33:09] Jeffrey Feldberg: And in doing that with a business owner coming to you now and being open,, being vulnerable with your experience with your system, Gregory. What does that look like with your methodology of how to begin that process? I'll often hear when I'm speaking to business owners, sometimes I'll hear the word toxic, which is obviously not great.
Where do you begin with what we're talking about on the leadership side herein, in some of the strategies that you've been sharing and with what you just said is, hey, you can't change a culture. You have to start with the people. So what would that look like?
[00:33:43] Gregory Offner: Yeah I mean that word toxic is interesting. Cause I just tweeted something the other day. I said hustle culture is hurry culture. Yeah. If you're on the football field and somebody says, yo hustle up. Sorry. The hurry culture is worry culture. Cause if you're hurrying, when you do everything, you're going to estuary, you might make mistakes.
If you're hurrying to get the train, maybe not looking across the street, you get hit by a car. Hurrying is worrying. So hustle culture is hurry culture. Hurry culture is worry, culture, and worry. Culture is toxic. So if you have this culture that promotes hustle, hustle, What you're really promoting is hurry.
And what your employees are doing is worry, worry, that's toxic. So yes, how we start, how we start to transform the individual. And I want to share an observation because I travel a lot for work. Even during the pandemic, I was traveling to places who felt capable, confident in having events. I interact with airline staff a lot.
I see interactions with airline staff, with gate agents, with flight attendants a lot. And each of us, when we go out into the world, we see interactions with people. They may be government representatives, they may be civil servants. Whenever something goes wrong. I see in the airport, a flight's canceled.
There's a massive line of people waiting to rebook. Invariably, one hothead is going to tell the gate agent, they don't know how to do their job. And then they'll grumble, grumble as they walk away under their breath, you can hear something like they need to learn how to do their job better. And in the crises that unfortunately in the US we're seeing from time to time in the news that involves public servants, there's often a lot of finger-pointing about on-the-job training. They need more training how to do that job better. I want to share a statistic real quick before I finish this observation.
The business community spends $300 billion every year on training and development. And 98% of that is spent on job development. How to do your job better, your specific job, the job you're in now, not even the job you'd want how to get good at that, how to do the one you have better. Now, here's the end of that observation.
And here's what I'd like you and your listeners to consider. How open-minded are you to the possibility that person doesn't need to know how to do their job better? It's not about job-related training. It's that the person who's wearing the uniform, that gate agent, that civil servant, that person isn't fully developed, they haven't fully developed skills of gratitude, of curiosity of empathy.
Their resilience may be low.
So when organizations, when leaders tell me that they want to start to transform their people, they want to transform their culture. The first place to start is by making your people better, not just better employees, better people, because if you've got two resumes in front of you, identical person A, person B identical criteria. You'd almost think they were photocopied except for one thing, you know, that one of these people has a very high EQ they're very emotionally intelligent. And the other one kind of a blockhead when it comes to understanding emotional cues, body language. You're very likely going to hire the person.
I'd say, if you don't, we should have a serious conversation about whether or not you should be in hiring or recruiting. You're going to hire the person with the high EQ. Cause they're just better. If we make our people better, they step into whatever role they fill as better. Then the bonus, the bonuses that then they go home and they're a better father.
They're a better community member. They're a better partner to their spouse. They're just better. If business really wants to change the world, it just start by changing its people because we wheeled the largest training and development budget. We have the most amount of time with these people, a third of their life, most of their waking hours, and adulthood.
We've got the time also in workday. The survey of 2000 employees found that they self-reported working actually working only about three and a half hours a day. That's their productive work time, which to me says less about them and says more about the employer. It tells me this employer sees three and a half hours of work as eight hours of value that's bananas.
If employees were really paying what the work was worth. They'd cut everybody's pay by half. Now, I think that most people are paid too little right now. It's a different conversation. A whole other episode. Maybe that's a series of episodes, but my point is, if they're truly only taking three and a half hours a day to get their work done, we've got time.
Sure. One solution. Let him go home. Come in and get the work done. Let them go home, but let's face it. Most bosses aren't very good at articulating exactly what it is they expect you to do each day. They just expect you to be there. And as long as things aren't going wrong, they assume you're doing your job, many.
But what if we took some of that time and started to develop these skills, started to develop our people? We'd see the contents of their droppers change. The contents of that vase, our corporate culture vase would then change. And when I start with the top, remember, they've got the biggest droppers. We start to impact that change more quickly.
[00:39:19] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow. There was a lock lot there Gregory so much there to unpack and a lot of terrific insights. And it's really some thought-provoking questions for us to think about. And as you said, some of those aren't just an episode. It could be an entire series, which I couldn't agree more with having settled that we're starting to bump into some time here and we're going to transition.
I reluctantly transitioned into wrapping up the episode. And again, So much a value that you've been sharing with us. And thank you for that. So let's do a quick thought experiment, Gregory and I want you to think about the movie Back to the Future, and in the movie you have that magical DeLorean car that can take you to any point in time.
So in our thought experiment is tomorrow morning and you look outside your window and there it is. The DeLorean car. Not only is it there, but it's waiting for you with a door open for you to hop on in. So you hop in and you now go back to any point in your life Gregory as a child or a teenager, whatever point in time it would be.
And you're going to tell your younger self, perhaps life wisdom or lessons learned, or hey, Gregory, do this, but don't do that. What is that sound like?
[00:40:28] Gregory Offner: So I'm torn by the way you finished asking the question because as you were asking the question, I was already picturing the date in my mind that I would go back to, I would go back to a date in 2009 when I was boarding a plane in Buffalo was a God on this tiny plane squished in there next to my seatmate.
Oh, I didn't know. I looked over and on his lap was a computer typing away. I looked them up and down. He seemed a well-dressed bald headed dude. So I struck up a conversation. I said, hey, I'm Greg, who are you? Told me his name I said, what do you do? And he proceeded to tell me that he flew around the country, giving speeches to college graduates about how to make an impact in the world, how to choose a career, and how to find something to do that they were passionate about.
And I was fascinated because I didn't know that was a job, the whole ride. I talked this man's ear off asking him questions, and listening to his answers. He probably wanted to do whatever he had pulled that laptop out to do, but I didn't give him space to do it. He gave me his card on the way out. And if I'm honest, I emailed him.
I never heard a response. I'd go back in time and I would pursue that relentlessly because that was about the point in time when I started thinking to myself, I don't like what I do now, but I'm too comfortable to leave. And if I had pursued what that man was doing then who knows how much more impact I would have already been able to create in the world.
But that to me stands out as a point in time that I'd like to go back to and live over again and change. So I think your question was if I could go back and give any piece of advice, what would it be? I would go back to myself in sixth or fifth or sixth grade. And that's when I think all of us experienced puberty and all of those hormonal changes start to ramp up, where do I fit in? Uncertainty creeps into life and I'd tell myself nobody else has it figured out. For the longest time, I was intimidated by people who are masquerading as if they'd figured it out as if they knew what tomorrow holds when the truth is no matter who you are, how much money you have, how old you are you ain't got no clue. We're all gonna figure out tomorrow. All of us at the same time, unless you're in Australia, because they do it a little sooner, but all of us are going to figure it out at about the same time. And I think that piece of advice would be valuable for any young person right now.
[00:43:16] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific insight. And again, another Pearl of wisdom of many pros of wisdom that you've been sharing with us, Gregory. And let me ask you this. I will put this in the show notes. So for our listeners, it'll be easy. It will be a point-and-click. If somebody would like to reach out to you, where's the best place online?
[00:43:33] Gregory Offner: Yeah I'll do them better. Cause you know, we talked a little bit about these skills to develop and what I'd like to share with your listeners is a list of the seven key skills. That they would want to start considering right now if they're not already developing these in their people to integrate this into their learning and development program.
So what I'd like them to do is to pull out their cell phone and text the word keys. K E Y S to 33777. So they text the word keys to 3, 3, 7, 7, 7, I think it asks for their email and then they get the list. It doesn't go to a mailing list to get spammed. It just the most efficient way to get you a PDF.
But I'm on all the major socials at Gregory Offner Jr. You know, Instagram, Twitter I'm on LinkedIn. Or they can go to my website, gregoryoffner.com
[00:44:21] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific. We will have all that. There we'll also have the keys that you can text 3377. And we'll put all that in the show notes so it will be a point-and-click. Gregory reluctantly, we're going to wrap up this episode so much more to talk about so much to do, but all that said a heartfelt thank you for taking part of your day and spending it with us here on the Deep Wealth Sell My Business Podcast.
And as always, please say healthy and safe.
[00:44:42] Gregory Offner: Thanks. Jeffrey, it's been a pleasure.
[00:44:43] Sharon S.: The Deep Wealth Experience was definitely a game-changer for me.
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[00:46:09] Kam H.: I've done an executive MBA. I've worked for billion-dollar companies before. I've worked for smaller companies before I started my business. I've been running my business successfully now for getting close to a decade. We're on a growth trajectory. Reflecting back on the Deep Wealth, I knew less than 10% what I know now, maybe close to 1% even.
[00:46:28] Sharon S.: Hands down the best program in which I've ever participated. And we've done a lot of different things over the years. We've been in other mastermind groups, gone to many seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats, read books. This was so different. I haven't had an experience that's anything close to this in all the years that we've been at this.
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[00:46:54] Kam H.: I would highly recommend it to any super busy business owner out there.
Deep Wealth is an accurate name for it. This program leads to deeper wealth and happier wealth, not just deeper wealth. I don't think there's a dollar value that could be associated with such an experience and knowledge that could be applied today and forever.
[00:47:13] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?
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Enjoy the interview!