Jacob Morgan: The Future Leader & The Skills & Mindset They Need Today

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What does the future of work looks like and what are the critical skills and mindset leaders need to succeed today? We spoke to entrepreneur and 4-time best selling author, Jacob Morgan to find out.

Jacob Morgan is a four time best-selling author, keynote speaker and futurist who explores leadership, employee experience, and the future of work. He is the founder of FutureofWorkUniversity.com, an online education and training platform that helps future proof individuals and organizations by teaching them the skills they need to succeed in the future of work. He’s also the founder of “The Future If,” a global community of business leaders, authors, and futurists who explore what our future can look like IF certain technologies, ideas, approaches and trends actually happen. In addition, Jacob hosts The Future of Work Podcast a weekly show where he speaks with senior executives, authors, and business leaders about how the world of work is changing. His YouTube channel explores the latest concepts and ideas around the future of work with inspiring and educational 2-3 minute videos.

Learn more about Jacob and his work here: https://thefutureorganization.com/

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Transcription of Interview

(Transcribed by Otter.ai, there may be errors)

Adam G. Force 00:11

Hey, what’s going on everybody? Welcome back to the Change Creator podcast show. This is your host, Adam force. And if you missed the last episode Oh is with Jim lawless, overcoming fear and operating with risk. Okay, so really good insights or Jamie’s got incredible background and experience. I think we get a lot of good nuggets out of that one. So if you missed it, go back, check it out. I think you guys are going to enjoy that one. This week, we’re going to be talking to someone by the name of Jacob Morgan. And he is a four time best selling author. He’s a keynote speaker and a futurist who really digs into leadership employee experience and really, and what the future of work looks like. So he’s the founder of a company called the future of work University. And and you know, it’s an online education and training platform. We’ve had all kinds of good stuff and he’s just been in this space for a long time. So he’s got a lot of interesting insights that we wanted to get into about the future of work and, and hearing about all the ideas he did these interviews with, I think like 140 CEOs and just, you know, really dug into all these ideas from different people getting different perspective. So there’s a lot to learn and extract from it. And that’s what we’re going to dig into in this conversation. So hang tight, and we’re gonna jump into that in just a minute. We’ve been having a lot of conversations with people, such as you who are listening, just entrepreneurs out there, you know, really trying to do something that matters to them. You know, we all have these moments in our life where we’re trying to help others you want to do something meaningful. You know, we spoke to someone recently and they said that, you know, they became the number one salesperson in their company and all this stuff was happening at a college that was super exciting. And, you know, he got all this money and he kept buying y’all let me get the next car. Let me get the house and it was it was fun, right. And oddly enough, like over time, he just kept saying no matter what he bought, you know, you I’ve heard this before, right? He said, it just wasn’t fulfilling. It just was like there was this void like something was missing. And he wasn’t really happy doing what he was doing. And he had this other like incredible story just kind of like percolating in the back of his mind. And he just started like, once he had that epiphany, he started living this other story. And today, he is a coach for meditation. And he’s doing amazing work, he actually joined our program, the captivate method, and he’s been crushing it out of the gate since the first first week with just like very light coaching and stuff. He’s already had seven big wins in a row. And it’s been really exciting. But the most exciting part is that he turned things around, started living his own story, something that was meaningful to him something that was important to his life that he could share with others and help them have that same experience. And we would love you know, I’m sure that’s something that you guys would like to do as well and what you’re trying to do, and that’s what the captivate method is all About is really harnessing the power of not just storytelling for sales stories but also your primary core story that we put together and it helps you make decisions live according to your values so that you are waking up excited. So if that sounds like something you’re interested in we’d love to see you on the other side but first go to our website Change Creator calm you’ll see down there you can get on the waitlist for the captivate method, we’re going to start sending you some information and then you’ll get a chance to join us for a masterclass where it will show you how we how the program can help you and you can make a really good decision if it’s the right tribe for you, right. So check that out guys when you get a chance we got we got other fresh content on the site as well as always, and without further ado, we’re gonna dive into this conversation and see what Jacob has to say from all his experience about the future of work. Okay, show me that he Hey, Jacob, welcome to the Change Creator podcast show how you doing today, man?

Jacob Morgan 03:59

I’m doing well. Thank you for having me. Awesome.

Adam G. Force 04:01

Yeah, I appreciate you taking the time. Pretty impressive to have four best selling books have, you know, everybody I talked to that writes books, I, I find that it’s a pretty painful process. So how do you get through it all?

Jacob Morgan 04:17

Well, how do you do which part because there are a lot of different painful process. It could be the writing the selling part.

Adam G. Force 04:25

I was focused on the actual writing of the book, and I’m always interested in that process. But why don’t you just give people a little background just about the four books and your experience running your own business and stuff like that, just so we know where you’re coming from?

Jacob Morgan 04:39

Sure. Well, so I guess to the first part of the question, when you quickly look at the the book stuff for me, honestly, writing the book pieces always been the easiest part. I mean, let’s be honest, right? I mean, how hard is it to just sit down and write? Yeah, you put on some music. You open up a Google doc and you write, anybody can write That, to me is not the hard part. The hard part is actually selling the book with a little bit of seriously, I mean with a little bit of discipline, there are people out there building rockets, curing disease, you know, construct like they’re, they’re legitimate jobs out there that are hard to do. writing a book is not hard. You’re sitting in front of a keyboard, you can be in an air conditioned room. And you’re you’re just typing today you can have a glass of wine. The simple act of just getting words on paper is not hard. Now, of course, it’s a little bit more challenging to write a good book to write, you know, to pick a topic that hasn’t been explored. But by and large, the hardest part of writing a book is to get people to buy the book to sell the book. That to me, is where the real hard stuff comes into play. So I guess that answers that part of the question and getting back to your your other question about the four books. They’re on, somewhat related, but slightly different topics. So the first book I wrote was about collaboration in 2012. It was basically how to use these digital technologies to get employees to work together. You know, things like workplace by Facebook, Salesforce Chatter, Yammer, like all these different platforms out there. How do we use them to get people to work together effectively? The book after that looked at what is the future of work going to look like? So how is leadership changing? How are employees changing? How are companies changing? The book after that specifically looked at employee experience, which is creating a place where employees actually want to show up to work. And the last book, which just came out, is looking at what are the most crucial skills and mindsets that we need to possess to be successful in this new world of work? And that was based on interviewing 140 CEOs and serving 14,000 employees.

Adam G. Force 06:50

That’s crazy. And how long did that take?

Jacob Morgan 06:53

Well, the survey piece I did in partnership with LinkedIn, so serving people is not hard. interviewing 140 CEOs is hard, because you deal with legal teams with PR teams with rescheduling with hosting with doing these interviews a weird hours of the night. Because, you know, international groups. And then after you do the interviews, you need to get permission even be able to use the interviews in the book. So that process probably took around a year.

Adam G. Force 07:22

Okay. I mean, that’s a pretty good chunk of time. And I know your pain of getting these people locked in and all the barriers and stuff like that it is it is cumbersome.

Jacob Morgan 07:33

Oh, yeah, it is. I mean, fortunately, you know, when you have a couple books under your belt, or a couple good endorsements, it becomes easier. I’ve also worked with some of these organizations by speaking at their conferences or, you know, giving some advisory work to them. So some of these CEOs I had a good relationship with, but it’s one of those things where once you get a couple people who vouch for you and are willing to participate, it becomes easier to then get others because they see the their peers are involved.

Adam G. Force 08:01

Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. And I know definitely when you have a couple under your belt, people won’t see you as like, like, you’re just gonna be someone that’s here for a minute and gone. So it’s like you have some kind of consistency to.

Jacob Morgan 08:17

Yes, you absolutely need to have consistency. I mean, it’s, you know, kind of related to this, but it’s one of the most important things in building a personal brand is having that that consistency that’s there.

Adam G. Force 08:29

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So you said you manage a team and have business and so what’s the focus there?

Jacob Morgan 08:36

I have a team of 10 people that I work with spread all over the world. And I’ve only met one of them ever in person, the rest we never met. And they help you with all sorts of things. So like you I also create content. You know, I have a podcast I have courses that I create. I have a lot of content that goes out on social media. So I have a team of people That helps me with everything from podcast editing, to video editing, to website design to image quotes to social media to writing, of advertising. I mean, you name it. I have somebody on my team who helps me with those things. So it’s, you know, I used to do this all myself, and it was very overwhelming. So, as the business grew, I was able to get some help.

Adam G. Force 09:23

Yeah, that’s the way to do it, for sure. Because those operations can get very tedious after a while.

Jacob Morgan 09:30

Yeah, and quite honestly, I’m really bad at all those things.

Adam G. Force 09:34

That That doesn’t help either. makes it more useful, right.

Jacob Morgan 09:38


Adam G. Force 09:39

all important stuff, though. And what I’m really curious about is the leadership insights. I mean, so you talk to these hundred and 40 CEOs, and I mean, I’m like what stands out to you like, let’s just get a real big picture view of the experience itself. They spoke to 140 CEOs. Tell me just about that experience and what? what came out of it for you personally?

Jacob Morgan 10:07

Well, I mean, of course, there’s a lot that you learn because collectively, I mean, these are CEOs from companies like Best Buy Audi, Verizon, Oracle, Iser. So collectively, the CEOs are responsible for the lives of millions of employees, in many, many hundreds of billions, if not more dollars, collectively. So you’re talking to some of the world’s most powerful business leaders. And for me, it was just very interesting to get their perspectives on how they think about people and leadership and the challenges that they’re faced with in just how they think from a from a macro level, about their business in the future. Yeah. And that to me was very, very fascinating because I got very, very different responses. They have different personalities, different ways that they view things, get, they’re all very, very successful at what they do. And you just really go To show that there is no such thing as a single path to take to success. Yeah. Because I, you know, I had some CEOs I interviewed who were like all about people first and, you know, you talk to them and they kind of sound like they’re part monk, part philosopher part, you know, just genuine caring person. And then you have other CEOs that you talk to, and they’re like, No, no, the mission of the organization comes first. Everything else comes second. But they’re both running multi billion dollar companies with hundreds of thousands of people. So yeah, that to me was very, very fascinating,

Adam G. Force 11:35

huh? And I wonder did anything start? I guess, did you start seeing anything? It sounds like they have very different perspectives yet they were still running very successful companies. So there was no you weren’t seeing a better or worse based on the philosophy that they had.

Jacob Morgan 11:55

See the beginning, I was seeing one

Adam G. Force 11:57

so you weren’t seeing like a better result or worse results based on the philosophy that they had? Um,

Jacob Morgan 12:06

no. I mean, it’s kind of hard to say, right? Because I suppose it would depend depend depend on how you define better or worse. Right? I mean, it’s hard to compare better or worse, all the companies are doing well, right on most of them. So, you know, it’s hard because you can’t just look at profit or revenue, because the companies are in different industries, they’re different sizes, you know, there’s a lot of differences going on. But I can say that they are all doing well, I mean, they’re all you know, like Verizon, you know, I talked to Verizon, and I also talked to the CEO of T Mobile. So how do you compare, you know which one’s doing better? Well, Verizon is just genuinely a much bigger company. But they’re doing well. And t mobile’s also doing very well. Sure.

Adam G. Force 12:49

Sure. Well, I guess I’d be curious then, you know, like when it comes to the phone, because I’m always interested in the philosophy of different leaders and how they operate and and what happens because of their philosophy. Right, because it should, it should be the ethos, I guess of the company in some sense. And so if some are saying mission first, some are saying, people first Well, I wonder what it means for their I mean, they’re all big companies, but I wonder what their like, employee happiness is. I wonder what customer satisfaction is like? Did you come across anything interesting along those lines of in variation with companies or anything? And when you mentioned the difference between those like perspectives, yet they both have big companies, it’s like, that kind of like, triggered me in a sense, like, Oh, that’s, that’s really interesting, you know, that it’s not making a difference at some level.

Jacob Morgan 13:41

Yeah, no, I didn’t look at things like customer satisfaction or employee satisfaction. I mean, really, the whole point of the book in the interviews was to understand how is the world of leadership changing and what do we as individuals and as organizations need to do to make sure that we have the right leaders in place over the next decade. So I would ask them things like, what are the greatest challenges that you’re that you believe are gonna come along over the next decade? What are the biggest trends you’re paying attention to? What are the most important skills and mindsets that you think we need to have to be successful over the next decade? So stuff like that. And so I look for these common responses, like what is it that the CEOs keep pointing out and keep identifying? And that’s really what I made the book about, what are these key things that the CEOs keep bringing up?

Adam G. Force 14:30

That makes sense? I love that and and so what were some of the interesting thoughts on the mindsets and stuff that they believe are required as we move forward in the future?

Jacob Morgan 14:41

So we can look at it into a couple different areas, you let me know which one is most interesting to you. So I can talk about a couple different things. One is what are the greatest challenges for future leaders? What are the biggest trends, shaping leadership? What are the most important mindsets that future leaders need to have? What are the most important skills, things that we actually need to be able to know how to do as leaders and as individuals. So I can talk about any one of those, you let me know which one’s most interesting. Let’s just

Adam G. Force 15:08

say two of those trends and mindsets.

Jacob Morgan 15:11

Okay, cool. So the biggest trends, and this is around what is going to be most disruptive for us as individuals and organizations as far as how we need to change the way that we lead and run our businesses. And this could be whether these are big businesses, small businesses, whether you’re an entrepreneur, you know, none of these things play a role here. This is something that’s relevant for everyone. And so some of the biggest trends that were identified were so first around technology, automation, artificial intelligence, that was a massive trend. Another one identified was around changing demographics, the changing nature of talent, just the actual physical workforce, what we care about what we value our expectations of work. The pace of change was Another big trend, just how quickly things are changing in general, in technology and business just all across the board. Yeah, globalization was another big trend, which basically means that the barriers to doing business anywhere in the world are decreasing and crumbling. Another one was around a big shift towards purpose and meaning. So that’s something that a lot of people are asking about. And again, this is true whether you have a small business or a big company, people want to know, you know, purpose, meaning what, how am I going to make an impact and make a difference. And another one was really around ethics and transparency, just being open and honest and upfront around the organization and what it stands for, and that you’re doing the right thing. So those are some big trends that leaders need to pay attention to as far as how they run and lead businesses. Ah,

Adam G. Force 16:48

yeah, I mean, that’s interesting. And I love obviously, they talked about the purpose and meaning there’s definitely been a pretty big shift in that space. For Big and small companies, you know, people want to know, you know, Bruno’s would say it’s all about the customer, and they want to know what’s in it for me. But I think more and more today we’re seeing Well, I want to know what’s in it for me, but I also want to know what’s in it for you. Right? Like, what do you stand for? Like, what are you doing? And and it’s nice to hear that some of these bigger CEOs are acknowledging that shift towards that. And did they talk about things that they see larger corporations are doing in order to lean into purpose and meaning is anything come out of there?

Jacob Morgan 17:32

Well, so there are a few things that I think are important for people to pay attention to. The first is that purpose and meaning are not the same thing, although they oftentimes get us together. And I think it’s very, very important for us to differentiate the difference between purpose and meaning. Purpose is more along the lines of Do you know what you are doing at the company, like, you know, what do you get hired for what is your job? What is it that you know, what are the options comes that are expected you that’s your purpose right that your your your usefulness your your why you are at the company. And so that is something that more people usually have some clarity on, right? I mean, if you get hired in marketing or sales, you know that your job is to close deals. You know, maybe hear customer stories about how you’ve impacted or change their lives. If you are designing code for example. Your purpose is to create great products that make the lives of your customers easier, maybe easier to transact, send money to friends and family, whatever it is, I mean, your purpose is basically why you’re at the company. Yeah. Meaning on the other hand is very subjective and it is what you personally get out of something. So if I look at myself as an example, my purpose is to provide educational content on leadership, the future of work and employee experience, you know, and I do that through a lot of different ways. Speaking books, content, etc. Um, so that’s that’s my purpose. That’s why I am doing what I’m doing but It’s not the meaning that I get out of it, the meaning that I get out of it is to build relationships with people. It’s to work on things that I’m passionate about. It’s to be able to shape my own career path. It’s to be able to spend time with friends and family members, right, shaping kind of the life that I want to be able to live. Right. That’s the meaning that I personally get out of it. Yeah, so meaning and purpose are not the same thing. So for example, if you’re in sales, as I mentioned, your purpose might be to, to close deals, bring in revenue, stuff like that. But the meaning might be that you again, you build these relationships, you create meaningful connections, you get meaning from tough challenges, you get meaning, right? It’s very, very subjective. And I really think that organizations small and large, need to take a step back and understand that when they talk about these things, they’re not the same. So one is understanding what you do. And another one is what you personally get out of what it is that you Doing. So that’s kind of the key distinction that I that I learned from all of this. Interesting.

Adam G. Force 20:05

Yeah. No, it’s good to kind of be clear on people’s definitions for these types of things and how they’re how they’re referencing them. And I’d be curious, how did you based on these conversations around leadership and we’re here we are talking about different trends and things. Anything that you feel was very applicable? Like, if you were starting a new business today? Were there takeaways that you feel would be smart to, to apply to your business?

Jacob Morgan 20:38

Yes, so quite a few. So first, is if you are starting in business, if you’re starting a business and you’re by yourself, or if you have a small team,

Adam G. Force 20:49

I would probably say most people end up starting by themselves. So let’s do that.

Jacob Morgan 20:54

Okay. So if you’re starting off by yourself, I think probably the most important thing for you as an individual To think about the skills and mindsets that a lot of these CEOs identified, and I’ll give you some of the most crucial ones. So as far as a mindset, some of the mindsets go. And if you’re starting off on your own, one of the most crucial mindsets that you can have, as I call it, the mindset of the Explorer, is you need to have curiosity. You need to have a growth mindset. You need to be agile and nimble in your thinking. So if you are a solopreneur, or an entrepreneur, and you sort of assume that you’re gonna have one path, and that’s gonna be it, and whatever, you know, you know, you’re gonna have a hard time. You know, I’ll give you a very classic example, when I went off on my own. I was very good at the marketing stuff. Yeah. And so I thought that if I’m good at something that I should be able to be able to generate a business out of it. But what you don’t know when you become an entrepreneur is that there’s a lot of stuff outside of your comfort zone that you need to learn how to do you You need to learn how to create proposals, how to create contracts, you need to build a website, you need to start to build a personal brand for yourself, you need to learn about paying quarterly taxes, you need to learn about all this stuff that is beyond anything to do with your core skill set. And so you need to have that mindset of being able to learn about new things that are outside of your wheelhouse. I think that’s very, very important. Another one, I think that is very important, as far as a mindset goes, is this concept of lifelong learning. So I have a sort of a personal kind of you would call a policy but as a personal goal that I do for myself every year, and that is each year I do something that I didn’t do the year before. And this is part of my way of doing perpetual or lifelong learning. So for example, when I first went off on my own, I had a blog, and I had a social media presence. And then each year, I started doing Do something new one year, I created a podcast. One year I created a video series. Another year, I started to create online courses, right? So each year I do something big that I didn’t do the year before. And it forces me to do a few things AI learn about something completely new. And be at the same time I’m also growing and expanding my business. So you need to have that mindset of being a perpetual learner and having that bit of curiosity. Yeah, yeah. Another important thing that I think is essential is having humility and vulnerability. Because if you assume that you are the smartest person out there, that you know everything, people are not going to want to work with you. You’re going to lose deals that you know, and I’ve experienced this as well when I first started out, so you need to have that bit of humility and vulnerability. I think that’s a very, very important mindset for you to have. So I think those are some of the most essential ones. Maybe one more, just embrace the technology aspect. You know, there are some people out there who assume that you don’t need technology to be to be successful in what you’re doing. But you need these these new tools that are out there, right? They’re efficient, they help you. So don’t be scared of technology. Use it as a way to grow your business, and to spend time doing the things that you need to do instead of, you know, drone work.

Adam G. Force 24:23

Hey, yeah, exactly. No, it’s true. And the vulnerability factor is pretty big. putting yourself out there and not being afraid to ask questions that you I mean, I had somebody in our membership, the captain method, they were like, you know, I know this is a really stupid question. I feel really dumb asking. No, it was 100% a smart question very specific, but they’re afraid to expose certain things that they don’t know about, like, Oh, I have to be a certain, you know, level entrepreneur and otherwise, I look stupid, but being vulnerable and telling your stories and asking the right questions I think is just so important, too. People’s progress. So I love that you called that out. And that stood out. Yeah,

Jacob Morgan 25:03

yeah. Yeah. Well, and this is, again, one of the most important mindsets that the CEOs identified. Because you need to be able to show it’s not weakness, right? I mean, you need to be able to show that you are vulnerable, that you are human, that you’re not some kind of a robot, because nobody nobody wants to work with or for those types of people. So I think now we’re really starting to see that humility and vulnerability is much more of a strength and a weakness. And there are a couple skills Can I touch on some skills that I think are important? Of course, yeah. So probably the one of the most important skills for you as an entrepreneur or solopreneur. And this again, was identified by the CEOs for leaders but also relevant for just us as humans is emotional intelligence, specifically, empathy and self awareness. Self Awareness is crucial because as an entrepreneur, you need to understand what are you Good at what are you not good at? What burns you out versus what motivates you and excites you and gives you energy. If you don’t know these things, you’re gonna have a very hard time growing and succeeding, and also empathy, right? If you are selling to a client you need to be, you need to be able to see things from their perspective so that you can negotiate deals. So the emotional intelligence piece around just knowing yourself. And also being able to take the perspective of other people I think is really, really important. And maybe the other one other really crucial skill here. And this has been a timeless skill, but also wants changing the most is around listening and communication. If you ask any leader, what’s one of the most important skills they’re always going to say listening and communication so this isn’t new, but think about how this is changing. Now, look at all the different tools we have at our disposal. All the different channels that we’re using. I mean, me personally, I’m trying to communicate on Twitter, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, I’m using audio, I’m using video, I’m using image quotes, like I’m communicating in so many different ways. Yeah. And so as an individual, building a business, you need to make sure that you can get your message across regardless of the channel that you’re using. And the listening piece is also crucial because when you again are negotiating a deal, and by the way, there’s a difference between listening and hearing. Hearing is the unconscious act of letting sound enter your ear. It doesn’t require no attention, no focus nothing. Listening is conscious. It requires effort. It’s looking at you know, paying attention to your body language if you’re in person, asking follow up questions, making it feel like a collaborative discussion. This is crucial to understand what it is that your customers want to be able to use. Create a product or service that they’re looking for, to create trust and psychological safety to be able to get deals to close. So this is really essential if you’re an entrepreneur or solopreneur.

Adam G. Force 28:12

Yeah, I agree. I love that. I mean, you know, building trust today is so important and being able to communicate and empathize all these characteristics. I mean, I literally wrote down self awareness and empathy, and we talk about them a lot. Mostly empathy, especially today, right? So you have to empathize as entrepreneurs, we’re problem solvers. So we have to empathize with our customer, and really get in and become part of that conversation going on in their heads so that we can relate to them and connect them and best serve them. But the thing that I don’t and you know, and that’s even more important today with the pandemic, right, because they have a new set, they have a whole new set of problems. And everybody’s panicking like, well, I don’t want to sell during the pandemic. And we’re like, No, you definitely want to because this is how you help people but you need to empathize towards their needs. Now, and And you might have to make some adjustments, right? Oh, for sure.

Jacob Morgan 29:03

Yeah. And I mean, I have lots of stories of all these different types of things, and how I’ve lost big deals for projects from not doing these things. So I mean, I don’t know how much time we have left. I’m also happy to share lots of stories of what happens when you you don’t do some of these.

Adam G. Force 29:22

Yeah, we’re all about storytelling here. That’s our whole program, the captivate methods. So let’s hear a story about one of these examples that demonstrates this type of value. That’s when it’s missed or skill when it’s missed.

Jacob Morgan 29:35

Yeah, so there was what I mean I won’t name the organization. So I, I mentioned that one of the things that I do a lot of is I give a lot of talks, and I’ll usually not during pandemic time, obviously I do around, you know, 40, maybe 50 talks a year. And there was one organization I was working with very, very large company, hundreds of thousands of people. I did a series of events for them, they loved it got great endorsements, wonderful reviews, and Then another division of this organization, another country was like, Hey, you know, we we want to talk to you about our event because we hear that you did a good job for our United States based counterparts. And we want to talk to you. Yeah. And so I jumped on the phone with them kind of thinking, you know, maybe it was a little bit arrogant, maybe it was a little bit just like not wanting to put the time or the effort or the energy. I don’t know what it was, but I was, I just kind of assumed that the deal was going to be closed because I have these great reviews. And so I get on the phone with the CEO and and with a couple other people. And, you know, I charge 10s of thousands of dollars for speaking engagements. And so we get on the phone with them, you know, we do a call and then I find out that they didn’t book me. And I was totally shocked. And I asked somebody that I knew at the company, I’m like, what, what’s the deal? How could they not have given me this project? And they said, Well, you know, on the phone, you just, you didn’t sound the same way that you do in your videos or in your talks. You just sounded a little bit tired or bored, and you didn’t have that same energy? And it really just sunk in my I was in Hawaii vacation with my wife at the time. And I was just like, I don’t know, I was just pissed off. Yeah, you think something’s gonna be a done deal. And, and then you find out that you lose it. And it’s because I didn’t have that humility. I didn’t. I didn’t go into this thinking that this was a new project, a new deal that I needed to earn the business that I needed to be on my game that I needed to be sharp, I needed to sound excited, like, I just thought that it was going to be a done deal. And because I let my guard down for a little bit, I lost this massive, massive project. Right? And, you know, that was a very, very important lesson for me. And this has happened time and time again, right? I mean, as a solopreneur. One of the things that you need to learn, as I mentioned, self awareness, and even not taking things personally like there have been other times where I would, organizations would reject To me, and they would want these big proposals, you know, I’d send it to them, you know, $150,000 proposal and this was, you know, many years ago. Yeah. And they tell me Oh yeah, it’s done deal we’re gonna move ahead and I’m already telling my wife like holy shit I don’t know if I’m allowed to curse on this show, by the way, not I apologize. So I’m telling my wife like oh my god, you know, I got this huge deal is huge project. And, but the contract wasn’t officially signed. And you know, I follow up with them, no response. I’ll open them again. No response. A week later, they’re like, Oh, yeah, you know, the person in charge of marketing left. This whole project is on hold. And I almost lost my my dad. frickin mind right. So this is where this concept of self awareness and managing your emotions comes into play. And one of the things that I always talk about when I talk to entrepreneurs is you have to be able to manage your emotions because as an entrepreneur You’re you’re gonna have highs and you’re gonna have lows. And when you have highs, for example, let’s say you have a quarter where you make a lot of money, it’s very tempting for you to say, Oh my god, I made a ton of money, I’m gonna spend it. And I’m gonna go get a car or you know, you’re gonna go do something nuts. And then you spend the money that you made, and then the following quarter is not good. And you don’t have the money that you need. And the flip side, the the other side of this is also true, you might have a quarter, or a couple months, for example, for me right now with a pandemic, totally sucks. All my speaking gigs got canceled or postponed. My revenue, like plummeted completely right. And so you also need to be able to manage your emotions when things are not going well. Right. Not to panic, not to freak out not to think that oh, you know, maybe I shouldn’t be doing this. So managing your emotions means that when things are going well, you know, maybe take yourself out to a nice day. Right, you know, don’t go nuts. And when things are not going well, you also don’t panic. And so you need to close up shop. But you need to just pay attention to what’s going on understand that business is oftentimes cyclical. This is why this self awareness comes into play. How do you react when things are going well? And how do you react and respond when things are not going? Well, because it’s very important to be kind of like level headed and cool headed during times of ups and downs. So I have lots of these types of experiences and stories of losing massive projects and big deals and people who have ignored emails after wanting these massive projects. It’s, you know, it’s gonna happen.

Adam G. Force 34:41

Yeah, hundred percent. Happens all the time. Right. So it’s just part of the process. And I guess the learning curve.

Jacob Morgan 34:49

Yeah, I mean, for me, and I was talking about this with my we have a podcast called BYOB podcast that we just started, where we share some of our entrepreneurial successes and failures. And I think it was a week ago, we were talking about just, we have a Google Sheet where we keep track of, and my wife is also a speaker, where we keep track of how many requests we get for projects versus how many of them actually come through. And looking at my Google Sheet, and this was over the past, I don’t know, maybe three years or so. I have around 700 in the no column, okay. 700 projects that are in the no column, which is massive amount. Yeah, it’s a lot. So people, you know, as an entrepreneur as a solopreneur, you need to be aware that you are likely going to get told no, far more than you get told. Yes. And that’s okay. It’s how you respond to those noes and how you make and take advantage of those yeses that’s ultimately going to determine the success and the failure that you have.

Adam G. Force 35:56

Yeah, yeah, for sure. And I love that because one of the The biggest lessons we’ve learned as an entrepreneur from our mentors is all entrepreneurs as we’re in, you know, we’re learning these things, we’re running our businesses, we all come across the same challenges. The only difference is how one entrepreneur versus another responds to those challenges. And I think you’re kind of getting to that as well. And the way we respond, it could be emotionally with panic, doubt and all those types of feelings, which creates terrible decision making. Or you could be the person who stays calm diagnosis the problem and takes the next step, right. So it really comes down to how do we respond. So you can look at this list of 700 How do you respond to that? You know, so to me, that’s like, Great, that’s 700 that I reached out which How many do you get like there’s a it’s a number everything becomes this like numbers game if you’re patient and you’re smart about what you’re doing, right?

Jacob Morgan 36:53

Yeah, I mean, it’s okay to be upset and it’s okay to be frustrated. But you can’t take things personally. Right. So exactly, like I mentioned, the one project that I had where I thought it was going to come through for, like 150,000. And they bailed. You know, you can respond to that email and say, you know, I was counting on this, like, you probably like, you can’t do that, though. No, you so instead just got to respond back and say, Hey, you know, you know, no worries, I appreciate it. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to work in the future. Right. That’s, that’s how you have to respond. And same thing when I lost that speaking gig that that I was a shoo in for Yeah. You know, I’m not going to respond and say, What are you nuts? Like, you know, the US side of your business is way bigger. And your CEO, they’re giving you a wonderful quote, like, how could you like, you’re not gonna say that stuff? No. You just have to say, you know what I understand. I’m sorry, you feel that way. And hopefully we get a chance to work together again in the future. That’s it.

Adam G. Force 37:48

I mean, that’s 100% a right. So

Jacob Morgan 37:51

yeah, it’s a relationship business. And response

Adam G. Force 37:54

to is not just like, Okay, I’m responding and I’m getting back. It’s also your response as an attribute. To say, you could be crushed by this and say, Oh my god, like, they don’t want me to talk like maybe I’m not good enough like you can start having that response or you start, you know, pulling yourself back from this idea that you’re a great speaker, it could, it could distill doubt in your mind. So like, you don’t want to respond that way, either where now the next steps you take are going to be like to let’s do less speaking engagements. Let’s do this other stuff and you start changing your business model. And you know what I mean? Like, there’s that kind of emotional response that will will can deteriorate what you’re doing because now you don’t believe in yourself as much or something.

Jacob Morgan 38:37

Yeah, that is the classic imposter syndrome scenario.


Yes, yes.

Jacob Morgan 38:42

And everybody’s had to deal with it. I’ve had to deal with it many times. You know, as a speaker, when you get on a stage, it’s something that you might experience more so than others because you’re in front of hundreds, you know, thousands of people sometimes, and they remember some of the very first talks that Gave I oftentimes, you know, I had to deal with imposter syndrome. And sometimes you still do. And, you know, I’ve come up with, I don’t know how much of this you want me to share. But I have, over the years been able to put together kind of a series of, I guess you’d call them steps and strategies that have allowed me to overcome this. I mean, I’m happy to share them if you want to get into it.

Adam G. Force 39:22

I can’t go too deep, because we’re already at 35 minutes here for this. But I appreciate if there’s things we want to maybe highlight, we can if you want to share them over we can put them in the show notes for people to have. But yeah, we’re gonna have to wrap this one up. I’ve been meaning to but I didn’t want to interrupt our flow. But I do want to give you a chance, Jacob to just give a shout out How do people learn more about what you’re doing? Like your books and stuff like that? Like Where can they connect with you?

Jacob Morgan 39:53

I’m super easy to find my website is the future organization COMM And then you’ll find a link to my LinkedIn profile where I’ve been sharing a lot of articles as part of my LinkedIn newsletter. And very recently we put up I did a video where I talked about what these skills and mindsets are. So if anybody’s interested in learning all of them you can go to future leader masterclass calm. And then you can watch the full I think it’s like 50 or 60 minutes, where I talk about all of these in more detail. Awesome. Well, thanks

Adam G. Force 40:23

so much for your time, Jacob really appreciate all your insights and the work that you’re doing.

Jacob Morgan 40:28

Oh, my pleasure. Thank you for having me. All right, take care.

Adam G. Force 40:30

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