Joe Sanok on Slowing Down to Get More Done | Episode 12

Joe Sanok on Slowing Down to Get More Done | Episode 12

Are you hustling through 40-hour work weeks? Do you want to be able to spend more quality time with family and friends? How can cutting down your work hours actually increase your productivity?

In this podcast episode, Billy and Brandy Eldridge talk to Joe Sanok about slowing down to get more done.

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Meet Joe Sanok

Joe SanokJoe Sanok is a keyword and TEDx speaker, business consultant, and podcaster. He has the number one podcast for counselors – the Practice of the Practice Podcast. Joe is a rising star in the speaking world. Joe Sanok has successfully helped counselors grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world.

Visit Joe’s website, Practice of the Practice, or follow him on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • Following opportunities
  • When things go wrong
  • Thursday is the New Friday
  • Giving information away for free
  • Curiosity
  • Where to start in order to slow down a bit

Following opportunities

The idea of stepping into business opportunities was a really hard thing for Joe but one that came up was talking on a local radio station about the therapy and sailing project that he helped start. After the show, Joe told the host that if she ever needed a local psychologist or counselor to weigh in on topics, he’d love to come back and talk about other issues. She told him to email her some topics and sort of blew him off. He sent her three to five captivating ideas and she said she wanted to do all of them. Joe went on the show every week which led into other radio shows, it fed into his private practice, and it became a huge marketing asset. When you’re given an opportunity by someone you have to ask yourself how you can make the most out of it.

When things go wrong

Fall in love with the pain in the people before you pitch the product, then you can have your audience actually tell you what they want next.

If something “fails” now or doesn’t launch as well as he thought, Joe views it less as a failure and more as information. When Joe is launching something new, he goes through a very clear system to test out whether or not there is interest before he invests time and money into it. Once he started doing that, the failures really disappeared because if something isn’t clicking with his audience then he can get rid of the idea early on. When Joe didn’t do it that way he ended up with something that didn’t scale at all and was a complete waste of time and money. He learned a lot about putting the product first compared to falling in love with the pain of the people.

Thursday is the New Friday

Joe has another side project in the form of a book with HarperCollins. The working title is “Thursday is the New Friday”. Just over a year ago, Joe asked himself the same question of what’s the one thing that will take him to the next level. It was a published book that is a New York Times Bestseller. Joe started asking every podcast guest if they would introduce him to their agent, saying he was shopping around for a new agent even though he didn’t have one. Within two months, he had five strong leads, met his agent, signed with him, and ended up working with a former HarperCollins editor as his book writing coach for his proposal. He worked on the proposal from June 2019 until March 2020, submitted it to a few publishers right when the pandemic hit so he refused to fly to New York and Nashville, two days later they were on lockdown and they signed a book deal in the midst of it.

Giving information away for free

This is something that Joe has always done and it’s never slowed him down. He’s not really sure how that mindset developed but he was really influenced by people like Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, and Chris Ducker whose podcasts he listened to early on. There’s more than enough information out there, you can Google and watch a YouTube video on just about anything. The information gap is not the problem, the implementation gap is.

Curiosity

There’s a real problem in the work world where we can pay people’s salaries, and they work a specific number of hours but that stops creativity and innovation and increases the waste of time. Or, we can do project-based payments, but then people often speed through it. We need to look at going back to curiosity. There are three main thoughts:

  1. The idea that curiosity is a drive similar to hunger – In the same way we need a glass of water, we need creativity and we need curiosity.
  2. The idea that people crave mastery and growing – There’s a huge research report that looked at how to keep people satisfied in their jobs. One of the largest things is ongoing education to grow within a role.
  3. The gap – When we feel the gap in our beliefs and what’s reality, that’s when we get more curious.

Where to start in order to slow down a bit

“A lot of people fear failure, they fear looking dumb in front of their staff, they fear all these different things. And the reality is, if I can drop the ball, that means that that wasn’t a priority, I’m going to make the best things top. So, if I have 50 things I need to do in a typical five day work week and really only 30 of those are the top priorities for Joe Sanok, that means the other 20 I need to outsource to someone else. I need to eliminate it, get rid of it, figure out why I’m even spending my time on that. So, aggressive boundaries really make you systematize things to do what you do best and outsource the rest.”

Books mentioned in this episode

Are you ready to find the freedom to be yourself as a beta male? Do you want permission and tools to be your best beta? Are you ready to join the revolution to find strength as a beta? If you want to be comfortable in your skin and be the most authentic beta male, then our free beta revolution course is for you. Sign up for free.

Useful links:

Meet Billy Eldridge

billy-eldridge

Meet Billy, the resident beta male. For Billy, this is a place to hang out with other beta males and the people who love them. We’re redefining what beta males look like in the world. I have learned to embrace my best beta self, and I can help you to do the same. As a therapist, I understand the need to belong. You belong here. Join the REVOLUTION.

 

Meet Brandy Eldridge

brandy-eldridge

Hello, Beta friends. I am an alpha personality who is embracing the beta way of life. I feel alive when connected with people, whether that is listening to their stories or learning about their passions. Forget small talk, let’s go deep together. Come to the table and let’s have some life-changing conversations.

 

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Beta Male Revolution Podcast on iTunes and subscribe!

Beta Male Revolution is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.-

Podcast Transcription

[BILLY]:
Hey guys. I am a therapist and between writing notes, filing insurance claims, and scheduling with clients, it can be hard to stay organized. That’s why I recommend TherapyNotes. This easy to use platform lets you manage your practice securely and efficiently. Visit therapynotes.com. To get two free months of TherapyNotes today, just use the promo code JOE, capital J-O-E when you sign up for a free trial at therapynotes.com.

Hey, Brandy.

[BRANDY]:
Hey, Boo.

[BILLY]:
Today on Beta Male Revolution we have Joe Sanok. We’re sitting up here in our podcast room. There’s some folks outside power washing, so if there’s some background noise that’s what that’s from. Its life. We have three kids. We have jobs. We’re busy.

[BRANDY]:
We have algae on our house.

[BILLY]:
We have algae on our house. We love getting together and doing podcasts and today, Joe Sanok; he has been a friend and a mentor and a consultant to us. This podcast really was born out of a conversation with him in Estes Park, Colorado. He’s helped us flesh out the ideas for this podcast. He’s such a creative force. It takes guys like him for guys like me because I’m not really a self-starter. I kind of fall back and let life unfold before me. But he’s really taught me how to be intentional about the life I want. And in creating that I’m able to be my best Beta self because I can step into a life where I’m an emotionally available parent and husband. And that’s really what I want at the end of the day; that creates the most excitement piece for me. Brandy really got to nerd out on some topics because he has a book coming out. Brandy?

[BRANDY]:
Yeah, I could have talked to him for hours. But I’m excited about his book, Thursday’s are the new Fridays.

[BILLY]:
Through HarperCollins. It’s a working title, it may change.

[BRANDY]:
But it’s basically how to shorten your workweek and be more productive and intentional, and he’ll talk a lot about that, but he’s just so full of free and good information, and just his beautiful mind, on how it thinks. So, I’m excited about this podcast. I’m excited to talk to him. I’m always inspired, and I always feel like I’ve taken energy drinks when I’m talking to him.

[BILLY]:
Yeah. There’s few people in this world that when you walk away, you feel energized. You feel like you’ve gained something of worth, and of value, and I always walk away from conversations with Joe with that feeling. I hope you guys get that same feeling. Feel the energy. Embrace the ideas. I’m telling you, slowing down and becoming more productive in the process is like a love language for a Beta like me. I want to know how to slow down in the world. I want to know how to be more intentional, and how to have more peace and joy in my life.

[BRANDY]:
Let’s get into it.

[BILLY]:
With that, let’s get into it.

Hey, Beta Male Revolution. This is Billy Eldridge and today I have with me the always talented and lovely Brandy Eldridge and we’re so excited about our guest today. We’ve got Joe Sanok.

[BRANDY]:
Yay.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, he has Practice of the Practice podcast, the podcast I’ve listened to for a long time. I’ve known him a lot longer than he’s known me.

[BRANDY]:
I was just thinking that that, well, first of all, welcome, Joe.

[JOE]:
Hello. I’m so glad to be here.

[BRANDY]:
I was just thinking that, you know, when you listen to podcasts for a long time you feel… well, at least I do; I feel like I know these people that I’ve been listening to. And so when we met you, it was like, I knew who you were. We were already friends.

[JOE]:
I agree. I remember I was listening to Pat Flynn’s podcast for a long time. And I started having dreams about Pat Flynn. And I’m like, how weird would it be if like, I’ve had dreams about you?

[BILLY]:
Yeah, that’s the introduction. Hey, Pat Flynn. I’ve had dreams about you.

[BRANDY]:
We listened to this one podcast with you a long time ago because Billy has listened to you from the beginning. And there was one that he made me listen to, and I can’t remember the content of it; all I can remember is that you had this Northern accent and you would say khakis.

[BILLY]:
You spilled coffee on your khakis.

[BRANDY]:
On your khakis, and I laughed so hard.

[JOE]:
How do you say khakis?

[BILLY]:
Khakis. It’s similar, but we’re East Texas, Southern drawl.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah, so everything’s, like…

[JOE]:
You don’t have an accent at all.

[BILLY]:
Hey, we’re fine, Joe. We’re kind of picking at you. But it’s so funny because we listen to Rob Bell, someone that you interviewed for a long time. And he would always say certain words like ‘fidelity’, he would say ‘fidelity’.

[JOE]:
Yeah. He has things that are not Michigan, like, he says ‘meracle’ instead of ‘miracle’.

[BILLY]:
That is not a Michigan thing. So, you had this one word, khakis, that like our kids, when I’m looking for my khakis now, I say, hey, honey, where are my khakis? And we refer back to Joe.

[JOE]:
Oh man, great, khaki is the word that I’m known for. Awesome. So glad to be on your podcast now.

[BRANDY]:
No, no. You are known for a lot. Well, I was saying that I thought we were friends. Like when I met you, I was like, oh, I already know Joe. We’ve been friends for years now. But to have you on our podcast today is actually really, really special for us, because you are the one that helped us get here, helped inspire this. You are part of the Beta Male Revolution. So, we’re just honored to have you here today. And our first question is, you were a therapist, and now you are a brand. Like, this is a big deal. How did you start off as a therapist and move into this whole world of things that are not therapist-like?

[JOE]:
Yeah, you know, I mean, I never had any sort of business sense on my mind. The summer going into college, so I was 18, I sold vacuum cleaners door to door and it was the worst business experience ever. They taught me how to like teach people in trailer parks how this vacuum cleaner that was $2,000 would actually save and make them money. And it was just the slimiest… it was so slimy. And then I had a roommate in college that was in business and his big project was defining whether a can of soup or just add water soup was a better deal for the business, and I’m like, this is the business world? This sucks. This has no heart to it. So, for me, business was the farthest thing from my brain. But then as a therapist, I was enjoying my work. I did a lot of really experiential approaches to therapy. So, I took kids out sailing, and we had some great outcomes and was really involved in the foster care world and runaway shelters and community mental health. And for a long time, I thought I was gonna be a therapist that did backpacking therapy with students. But then I had kids and realize that to leave for a month to go backpacking with teenagers probably wasn’t gonna fit within the world that I was in.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah you might not be married now if you had chosen that.

[JOE]:
Yeah, and it was one of those things where I had this side private practice where it was literally just to pay off student loans. I still remember we had our thousand dollar list, like, the next time we get $1,000 we’re gonna renovate the closet and then the next thousand dollars, we’re gonna get a new mattress and then the next thousand dollars, we’re gonna… we just have this list of things that, every few months, maybe I would get up to $1,000 that we could finally buy this next thing. And then I just started following opportunities. And so, I was supervising someone, and he said, you know, I want to do counseling, would you bring me into your practice? So, he was working full time in an addiction center, and he worked a couple evenings. So, I had my first 10-99. And then I had my second and my third. And I remember when I knew I had to upgrade an office, and I upgraded from a single office suite that I shared with somebody else and I had four clinicians, to a four office suite, corner view of the water. It was $2,000 a month, so it was more than what I was paying on my mortgage, for a side private practice. And I went back to my job at the community college, I had done a lunch session at this corner view of the bay office and I go back to my basement office there. And I’m just like, I am making more money off of my side gig counseling practice and this podcast – I’d just started, you know, talking about what I was learning in business – than I’m making in the community college, which is supposed to be the best counseling job here.

And typical, I would say beta male… I don’t fully identify as a beta male. But I would, like you kind of said in the intro, but I definitely have strong beta tendencies where I’m risk averse in a lot of areas, like, I want to be smart with my family, I don’t want to take risks where all of a sudden, we don’t have enough money. It took me a good year to really sort through leaving that job. And I had very clear kind of financial indicators. But as I grew Practice of the Practice, and realized that business is just helping people do what they love, if you do it right, that’s where I felt like I could jump into that business world and really enjoy it. And then I mean, we can talk how deep that’s gone. But I ended up leaving that community college job. I ended up doing the private practice; sold the private practice last year and now totally just do the consulting and podcasting.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, well, I’m so glad you went into this and the way you do your work in the world makes it palatable for a guy like me, who fled construction and business, and was done with the ickiness of it and the uncomfortableness, that it didn’t fit well, but then I get into private practice. And then I’m lost because I have a private practice and I’m doing counseling, I enjoy that. But I’ve also got a business, and I thought I was getting away from that. And then I find your podcast and it begins to teach me easy ways, usable ways in how to grow and scale the business to my personality and my liking. So, you know, thank you for breaking that down for us.

[BRANDY]:
I love that you said, following opportunities. You just followed opportunities. That seems so simple, but what were those opportunities? What did it look like? Were you scared? Was it something you were seeking out?

[JOE]:
Yeah, I mean, I think… I’ve always had a bit of a punk rock side. I mean, I was in an emo screamo band throughout college and…

[BILLY]:
Oh, my gosh. Is there a picture somewhere?

[JOE]:
Oh, it is, I’m sure. You have to go in Myspace and find the old Yahoo login on Myspace.

[BRANDY]:
Oh, my gosh.

[BILLY]:
We’ll have to track down Tom and find that out.

[JOE]:
But it’s like, I had a car in college that I hand painted and it had this kind of hippie, punk rock, like anti-conformity side and to me, the frat boys, the Friday Night Lights, Catholic football type school I went to, all those alpha males, they were all the business students. And so, for me, even the idea of stepping into those opportunities was a really hard thing. But just a couple of them that came up was, you know, when I started my counseling private practice, I was asked to be on local radio to promote a sailing program I had helped start, where we took these adverse kids sailing, it was a 50 foot wooden Concordia cutter sailboat, looked like a pirate ship. We’d go sail for a whole week with them during the day and I’d do therapy on the sailboat. So many of my summers from 2010 until 2015 were spent on this boat doing therapy and sailing.

So, I went to a local radio and was talking about this. And then after that was done, I said to Mary, it was the Mary in the Morning show. I said to her, you know, if you don’t have a local psychologist or counselor that weighs in on things, I’d love to come back and talk about other issues. And she said, well, email me some topic ideas. We’ll see, we get a lot of people. It was sort of like she blew me off. And then I sent her probably three to five ideas, and they were all captivating. Like, the three things your teenager is doing that you have no clue about, or like the five ways to screw up your kid before age 18. She’s like, I want to do all of these shows. I’m like, well, I’ll come in weekly if you want me to. And so, I did. I came in every week before my foster care supervisor job. I had to be at my job at eight. So, I had to be at the studio at 6:45, which now to me is mind blowing that I ever woke up that early and had that much hustle. And so that led into other radio shows, it led into my private practice. It became a huge marketing asset and Mary, actually… I have been on her podcast and she’s done kind of her own thing now; she’s now a friend.

So those kind of things where you’re given an opportunity by someone else to be on local radio, but then you say, well, how do I make the most out of this? So even just, you know, with help a reporter out, it’s a great kind of national website where reporters will say, hey, I need a quote about, I don’t know, couples, and you’re a couples therapist, you give them a quote, it ends up in cosmopolitan, you know, whoa, that’s amazing. It could end there. Or I give my cell phone number to those writers and say, if you’re ever in a pinch, just, you know, drop me a text and if you need a quote, and you’re on a deadline, I will make you a priority. And I say…

[BRANDY]:
Most people don’t think like you though, Joe. Like, you’re an entrepreneur and you’re a go getter. Most people don’t do that.

[BILLY]:
Because let’s talk about it. There’s a big leap from a morning radio show when you’re working in a foster care system, to now having the number one downloaded private practice building podcast on iTunes. I mean, there’s a big space in there. How do you go from that to that?

[JOE]:
Yeah. So, let me give you a structure that I’ve used for probably six or seven years. This was even back when I was at the community college. So, when I was in the community college, if we say, you know, a lot of people are maybe still in a full-time job, and they say, I want to leave, and I have this side gig. Every year, I would say, what’s one thing that if this happened, it would make things easier. So that’s a line that I got from the book, The One Thing. And so, back then, it was if I had more clinicians that were bringing in income to me while I’m working at the community college, that would make it easier to leave this job. So then, when that happened, then the next year it was okay, so now that money’s clicking along, if I had more consulting clients that were paying two to three times what my billable is for counseling, and I think at that time, I was at $150 for counseling, so if I could get $300 to $400 per hour for my consulting work, that would be a big game changer. So then how do I do that? Well, I gotta get the right people that are listening to the podcast. I have to find people that aren’t just in the startup phase, so I need to start creating more content around growing a group practice and I need to do more episodes about that. So then that year, I achieved that.

So, then it was, okay, so now people are paying more for consulting. What’s something else that needs to be scalable? Well, now my consulting maybe was at $400 an hour, but that’s still based on my time. So if I can go from one on one to one to many, the next year was, if I can launch three mastermind groups that have six or seven people in them, and then they’re each paying $400 a month and we meet once or twice a month. Now I’m making even more money because I’m going one to many. And then the next year, it was okay, if I start a membership community where there’s a monthly fee. So, I started Next Level Practice. And so Next Level Practice, we have over 400 people that are paying anywhere between $55 and $100 a month. Our first cohort paid $55, now we’re at $100 a month. And so, to have 400 people paying say 80 bucks a month, that’s a stream of income of eighteen grand a month, that I don’t have the pressure of my time being connected to my income anymore. And so, if each year you’re saying, what’s that reasonable next step? Because when you hear right now eighteen grand a month off of probably three hours a month, that’s like, holy crap. But if you go back and you look at how systemically, every single year, I said, okay, what’s that reasonable next step that pushes me? It’s getting, you know, some 10-99s. It’s then getting higher paying consulting clients, it’s then getting mastermind clients, it’s then getting a membership community, it’s then… so at each step, it’s a big step, but it’s reasonable. And so, then you look at how much you can get done in a decade, and you get a lot more done than you would have expected.

[BILLY]:
Well, yeah, and the result I see from this is, you know, we got to spend time with you and your family up in Estes Park, your wife, and from watching your Facebook Live videos and spending time with your family, you’ve built a system where you’re more readily available to your family now than you ever have been. And, you know, that’s what’s appealing to me, the beta side of me. But guys like me, need guys like you in the world. Because to be honest, I would not have the forethought or the drive to push myself. So I know that I need coaches, I know that I need consultants, to help bring me to the place that I want to get to and be more intentional about my life, because I’ll just kind of let my life unfold before me. And it’ll end up being something I’m resentful towards and I don’t want, but when I bring people like you in my life, you help me grow and push to a level that I could never get to. So, I’m so grateful for our relationship and the one we built over the time we’ve got to spend time together,

[BRANDY]:
You keep going and going, and you move from project to project, or you increase it. I want to know about your failures, like where in this did you see it didn’t work, if at all?

[JOE]:
Yeah, I mean, one of the biggest wastes of time… actually, let me just say, I don’t really believe in failure. And that’s changed for me; in the past I really personalized it. So, what I’ve noticed with really top achievers is that they view nothing as pass-fail, that it’s not pass-fail. It’s an experiment, no matter what. And so, if something fails now, or it doesn’t launch as well as I thought, I view it less as a failure and more as information. Okay, my audience isn’t where I thought they were. And so, we do a lot of things when we’re launching something new. So even the Done for You podcasting; we went through a very clear system to test out whether or not there was interest in that before I invested a bunch of time and money into something. And so, once we started doing that, failures really kind of disappeared, because if something’s not clicking with my audience, I can kill that idea really early on. But when I didn’t do that, was I launched this whole podcast that you can still listen to, it’s the How to become a consultant podcast. We bought BecomeAConsultantToday.com, built out this whole website, interviewed people like Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Chris Ducker, all these really top experts. It was a daily podcast for 80 episodes. And so, I would interview a Pat Flynn. On Monday I would ask him, so I did all one interview and chopped it all up, and would ask him, how did you, you know, build your focus area? How did you build your audience? How did you build an income? And then the fourth day was, you know, just random questions for them. And then on Friday, I would do my own show. So, did this over probably a year and a half period of time to launch this thing with the idea of, if I get these big names, oh, my word like this is going to be a game changer. I’m going to be able to sell so many of my eCourse on how to become a consultant. And when I went to sell it, I think I sold five… crickets, I mean, so much wasted time and money and effort that went into this course. And then to have five people buy it and have committed to that, and then it took me, you know, six months of the mastermind group to work through that and help them become a consultant. But it didn’t scale at all. And so, I learned a lot about kind of putting the product first, compared to falling in love with the pain and the people. So frequently you’ll hear me say, fall in love with the pain and the people before you pitch the product. And then you can have your audience actually tell you what they want next.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, man. What was your pain, Joe?

[JOE]:
What was my pain, for which product, or for myself?

[BILLY]:
Yeah, for yourself and making these changes? You know, what was the pain that motivated you to step out into the world and allow yourself to be vulnerable? One of the most amazing things I watched you do early on is you posted your income. And I watched it go up over the years and you know, that lended credibility. But God, that’s really opening yourself up.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah, that’s scary.

[BILLY]:
What was the thing that motivated you?

[JOE]:
You know, I think when I realized… so for me, I had a mindset that if you worked hard enough, then you would get hired by good people. And you know, my dad’s a school psychologist, my mom was a school nurse, my in-laws, my wife’s parents, were a special ed teacher and a computer aided design teacher, so all four of them were in education. And the message I received over and over was, do really well, get into the Honors College, you know, double masters degree, just do it all and someone will hire you and life will be great. And I realized through the 2008 economic crisis, through working at the community college, that the only way I was going to be able to make more money was to get a job as a supervisor, to work more hours. And that sounded stressful, that sounded like not what I wanted it to be; being an executive director was not at all what I wanted. Brandy, I’m glad there’s people like you in the world. But I had applied for a Student Life Director position and my favorite boss in the world ended up getting it instead of me. And I was actually a reference for her in the job I was applying for. And I said, if I don’t get this, you’re the person I want to get it. And if I had got that job, my life would be so much different, because I would have been handcuffed to that income and wouldn’t have been able to stretch in the way that I did. And so, I think for me, it’s really kind of figuring out that direction and allowing yourself to challenge those assumptions.

I’ve been working on this chapter right now for my book on curiosity. And as I read a bunch of research on it, one of the leading theories around curiosity is when there’s incongruence within the way that you believe, so they call it incongruent beliefs. And so when you have a belief like, you work hard, and you get a good education, and then you get a good job and life is good, and then you run up against, wait a second, at this community college, I’m going to make less every year because of inflation and not getting a raise and healthcare costs. Like, every year I stay here, I’m losing money – that’s incongruent in my belief system. And so, curiosity emerges out of that because we want to have our belief system be congruent as much as possible, if we’re open to that, if we notice it and then, if we take action.

[BILLY]:
Yeah. Well, you just mentioned a chapter in your book. And I want to go there because this is beta gold. Well, we’ll get into the topic, and what you talk about in your book, it’s another one of your side projects; you’re now contracted with HarperCollins, correct, to write a book and…

[JOE]:
Yep.

[BRANDY]:
Yay, congratulations.

[BILLY]:
The working title resonated so well with me. Do you want to tell us what that is, and what it’s about?

[JOE]:
Yeah, the working title right now, and as you know, when you have a publisher, there’s many things that can change. And that’s okay; I’m open to that. The working title is Thursday is the new Friday. And the idea, there’s a bunch of kind of ideas within it. But the thing I said, it was just over a year ago, that same question of what’s that next level up that’s going to change things. If I have a traditionally published book that is a New York Times bestseller, that would make a lot of things easier for me. And so, I started asking every podcast guest, would you introduce me to your agent? I actually said, I’m shopping around for a new agent, would you introduce me? Not having an agent that I was leaving. If you said, you know, I’m looking for a brand new agent, aka an agent… Within two months, I think I had five really strong leads for agents. And then, you know, met my agent, and signed with him and then ended up working with a former HarperCollins editor to be a book writing coach for my proposal and worked on that from June 2019 until March 2020. And we submitted that proposal to a bunch of publishers, right when the pandemic hit. I was the first person from all of the team that said, I’m not gonna fly to New York and Nashville, and they were like, what? And I was like, no. And two days later, everyone was on lockdown. And we sold a book in the midst of it.

[JOE]:
That’s amazing. With that being said, Brandy and I are looking for a new agent.

[JOE]:
I love it.

[BILLY]:
We’ll talk after the podcast. Brandy?

[BRANDY]:
I wanted to kind of talk to you because this mindset of giving things away for free, and that is something you’ve always done. You’ve always given your information away for free, and it’s never slowed you down. Where did this come from? Why did you do it? And how did you have that mindset so early on?

[JOE]:
Yeah, you know, I’m not really sure how it developed. I’m sure it was a lot of people like Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Chris Ducker that I listened to early on, really influential through their podcasts. But I think what I’ve discovered is that people… there’s more than enough information out there. You can google anything. You can watch a YouTube video on just about anything. My wife fixed our dryer using YouTube, like, she is amazing. It’s something I would never want to do. But she totally wanted to take apart the dryer and see if it would work to save money. And so, information gap is not the problem. Implementation gap is, because you two have experienced that it’s not so much just having the information of say how to launch a podcast. It’s actually speeding up that process for people. People will pay for speed way more than they’ll pay for information. And so, when I realized that a couple years ago, it was just like, I will give you as much information as possible. And then you’ll say wow, your free stuff is better than all the paid stuff everyone else is doing. What’s your paid stuff like? And then I can say, you know, if you want to bootstrap it, here’s a bunch of free stuff, go use it or super low-cost things. But if you want to move fast and you value your time and you’re a therapist charging, you know $150 to $200 an hour; if you spend five hours on something, that’s a grand in lost time, and that’s where then people say, oh, yeah, of course, I’ll pay these higher prices, because I know that it’s the implementation I’m paying for.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, man, so many of your ideas, you flip life on its head, and they’re, you know, what I would consider counterintuitive. Give away a lot of information for free to become more profitable; slow down to become more productive. But the way in which you’ve modeled it for us, and you’re going to in your book and the world, really taps into a beta idea is being around more and being more emotionally available for your family. I talked to a guy the other day and he said, you know, when you have two working spouses, you know, in the old days, a wife needed a financial provider, it’s not so much anymore. We need emotional providers. And when we’re working 80 hours a week and we don’t have any bandwidth left and we’re burning at both ends and we come home and we have nothing left to offer, that’s not very conducive to a happy, healthy household. And so, I love your idea of slowing down, becoming more productive, and having more time and energy to give to your family and the things that you love.

[JOE]:
Well, yeah, I mean, it’s been so fun to dig into this as I work on the book. One of the kind of central premises is talking about the five-day work week, compared to the research on a four-day work week. And I’m always interested in, like, what’s the history of how we got here? Can I give a little history on the…? Okay. It’s kind of crazy. So, the only reason we have a seven-day week is because the Babylonians thought that the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were the only celestial beings out there. So, there were seven that were the brightest in the sky. They said, well, if there’s seven of these, we should probably have a seven-day week.

[BRANDY]:
Oh, because that makes sense.

[JOE]:
Yeah. I mean, the Romans, they had a ten-day week. The Egyptians had an eight-day week. I mean, there’s 365 days in the year. So, we should have a five-day week if we just want to, like match up. And so, so even just a week… when we look at a day, that makes sense that it’s the length of time because it’s exactly when the sun comes up and down and all that. There’s even some adjustments around that. A year makes sense because of the seasons. But the seven-day week is completely arbitrary. We made it up. So, then we look at some of the history of how people worked. People didn’t even start getting weekends off, really, until the seventeen and eighteen hundreds. There was a factory on the east coast, and there were some Jewish individuals that they wanted to have Saturday off on a regular basis. And then there were some Christians that wanted Sunday off and there was this feud that just kept brewing. And at this factory, they finally just said, screw it, everybody gets Saturday and Sunday off. In England at that same time, they gave Sunday off and people worked until late on Saturday. But they would end up skipping church and drinking and partying so much on Sunday. But there is this term that they used in the 1800s, called St Monday, which basically meant you don’t show up to work until noon on Monday because you have such a hangover from your one day off.

[BILLY]:
I’ve had some days like that, Joe. In another life.

[JOE]:
So, I mean, the basic premise is we made all this crap up. So why would we continue to do something that we find unhealthy for ourselves? So, May 1886 this crazy thing happens in Chicago, where all of these people for the last ten years, these immigrants, have been moving to Chicago. They come to help rebuild after the great fire, and they’re put in these conditions that are worse than their home country. And so, May 1, 1886, there’s this massive protest, like 300,000 people in Chicago. It’s like, how did they even get the info out without social media back then? You know, just a bunch of posters saying we’re going to protest. This protest goes on for four days and continues to grow in a lot of ways. There ends up being a bombing that happens where all of these police are killed. And this was all because they were protesting that they wanted an eight-hour day. And so, this bombing that happened ended up leading to a full day of martial law nationwide. And so, the idea of the eight-hour workday is a dangerous idea. And at that time, it challenged what in the book I talk about as the industrialist mindset, this mindset of factories, machines, key performance indicators, top productivity, and then, in May of 1926, exactly 40 years later, and it’s like it was totally planned out, Henry Ford announces that throughout Ford, that they’re going to switch to an eight hour day. So, the only reason we have a 40-hour week is that Henry Ford decided 40 years later after these protests and this martial law, these bombings in Chicago, that it should be an eight-hour day. So, we have a 40-hour week because he said, eight-hour day, for five days a week. It could have been a seven-hour day, it could have been a nine day. It’s all made up.

And so then let’s fast forward to where we are now. Do we still believe in the industrialist mindset? Well, we can say, okay, our kids go to school and most schools are still run with the industrialist mindset that it’s, you know, churn out the most number of educated kids without any sense of heart behind it. That’s why we see a rise in homeschooling, we see a rise in alternative schools, we see a rise in public schools. Even as we look at this gig economy that we’re in right now, people are saying, especially during this pandemic, why am I spending so much time at work? I love being with my kids, for the most part. And we’re challenging these ideas. And so, this disruption is happening where we’re saying, we all made this up; the 40-hour workweek, it’s less than 100 years old, and maybe we have a chance to change it now.

[BRANDY]:
So how are you going to reform education and the 40-hour work week? And what do you advocate for? Because I know that it’s not… I don’t think it’s the 4-10, the four days of 10 hour a day.

[JOE]:
No, no, I mean, I’m really digging into the research right now, to look at companies that have done this well. Like WordPress, for example, they do more project-based work. I do think there’s an inherent issue that I’m still sorting out for the book. I mean, just let’s make it micro; if I had, say, 10 loads of laundry that we had cleaned, but we hadn’t folded, and I was going to hire someone, obviously, post pandemic, so that I’m not getting sick from it, hire someone to come in and fold this laundry. So, I could say to them, I’ll pay you $15 an hour to fold the laundry. So, their incentive then is to take as long as possible to fold the laundry if they need the money, right? And so, they may take a long time, but they’re gonna probably do it pretty perfect. Or I could say, you know what, this 10 loads of laundry, it should just take a couple hours to do so I’m gonna pay you $50 to complete all of this laundry and put it away, now I’m going to then get a quality that’s probably subpar if I don’t set up some very clear measures as to what good folded laundry looks like, because it may be folded, and it may have taken them an hour, and then they made 50 bucks an hour. And so, it’s sorting through that… that’s a real problem in the work world where we can pay people salaries, and they work a specific number of hours, but that stops creativity. That stops innovation. It increases the waste of time. Or we can do project-based payments, but then people often speed through it.

So, I think that what we need to look at is going back to curiosity; there’s kind of three main camps that kind of fought with each other for a while that I actually think have reconciled; people want these three things. So, there’s the idea that curiosity is a drive similar to hunger and that we need to kind of just, in the same way we need a glass of water, we need creativity and we need curiosity. A second idea is that people crave mastery and growing. There’s a huge research report that looked at how to keep people satisfied in their jobs. And one of the largest things is ongoing education to grow within my role. And then the third thing is that gap that we talked about, in regards to when we feel that gap in our beliefs, and what’s the reality, that’s when we get more curious. And so, I think that that’s going to be a key part of it. I’m still really kind of digging into the research and figuring out how I’m going to frame that out to change the entire work world in education.

[BRANDY]:
I could talk about this with you for hours, and we may have to nerd out on this offline because you saying those three things, I’m thinking I’ve got six things that could go along with those three things, but I’m not going to do that right now, right here.

[BILLY]:
Yeah. Man, I can’t wait till your book comes out. You’ve got fire there. It taps into our heart and our message to the world of, you know, just creating the life you want and being intentional about it. Joe, you’re a friend, a consultant, a mentor to us, we’re grateful for your presence in our life. As we begin to wrap things up, could you give the folks a couple of ways… they’re wanting to kind of downshift, prioritize their life in more intentional way, slow down a little bit. Where do you even start?

[BRANDY]:
What’s your nugget?

[JOE]:
My nugget would be, set aggressive boundaries. So, I did an experiment a couple summers ago, where I said to my wife, Christina, I want to take Friday’s off this summer and just enjoy it. Let’s try it for the summer. I’m probably not going to lose enough money that it’s going to really hurt us if this is a failure. Let’s do it as an experiment. So, we set an aggressive boundary where I no longer did any work on Friday. At the end of that summer, I had made more money per day and per month, working four days than I had five days. So, then we kept that going. Then the next summer I said, well, let’s push this a little more. Like, what if I took off Mondays this summer to just see. At the end of the Summer, I had made more money. But why had I made more money? Why did I make more money in three days than I had working five days? Well, it forced me to drop the ball. I think a lot of people fear failure, they fear looking dumb in front of their staff, they fear all these different things. And the reality is, if I can drop the ball, that means that that wasn’t a priority. I’m going to make the best things top. So, if I have 50 things I need to do in a typical five-day workweek, and really only 30 of those are the top priorities for Joe Sanok, that means the other 20 I need to outsource to someone else. I need to eliminate it, get rid of it, figure out why I’m even spending my time on them. So aggressive boundaries really make you systematize things to do what you do best and outsource the rest.

[BRANDY]:
Dang.

[BILLY]:
Inspired, Joe. Good stuff. Well, how can people get ahold of you? How can people find you if they want to reach out to you, if they have a private practice, if they want to start a podcast, if they want to come to Killin’It Camp? Oh, such fun. Let us know.

[JOE]:
Yeah, so practiceofthepractice.com is the website that’s for counselors, coaches, influencers. We have podcasts there. We have blog posts; we have all sorts of courses and ways that we can support you. If you are looking to start a podcast, you can go over to podcastlaunchschool.com and you can get access to our nine-part email series that will walk you through the basics of starting a podcast. And then from there, if you want to join the full course we have a bunch of options; we have, I think, 19 modules that will walk you step by step through how to start your own podcast, and we’d love to connect with you.

[BILLY]:
Thanks so much, Joe. Thank you for spending time with us today. We look forward to ongoing conversations as the years go by. And we’ll talk to you soon.

[BRANDY]:
Thanks, Joe.

[JOE]:
Thank you so much.

[BILLY]:
Are you ready to find freedom to be yourself as a Beta male? Do you want permission and tools to be your best Beta? Are you ready to join the revolution to find your strength as a Beta? If you want to be comfortable in your own skin and be the most authentic Beta male, then our free Beta Male Revolution course is for you. Sign up for free at betamalerevolution.com/course.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guest are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

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