Janet Attwood: This month, we’re honored and privileged to be talking with a great friend and mentor; a man who many top business people consider the world’s preeminent business growth advisor.
Jay Abraham is definitely a Real Life Legend.
He’s been featured in magazines and newspapers like USA Today, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Entrepreneur, Incorporated, Success Magazine, and now, Healthy Wealthy nWise. He is acknowledged as a unique and distinctive authority in the area of optimal business performance and maximizing and multiplying business assets.
Jay has led an entire generation of marketing consultants and experts who credit him as their primary mentor. Thousands of business people attribute much of their success to Jay. He’s made billions of dollars for others, while making millions for himself, usually earning his wealth by taking a share of profits.
Jay, we are so excited to have you with us, and I want to jump right in to the interview here.
Just a few weeks ago, you went through The Passion Test, so would you begin by sharing with our readers, the thing you identified as your top passion?
Jay Abraham: I’d be happy to, Janet. First of all, I think the test is very provocative and very revealing, and it’s unlike anything else anyone has ever exposed me to.
You challenged me in a very revealing way.
The number one passion in my life is daily having an extraordinarily fluid relationship with my wife and children in all aspects of our lives together. That is the number one, triple most important area in my life.
Janet Attwood: That is so great. Have you found your passions are changing, as you grow older?
Jay Abraham: Yes, they are. I’m sure your readers represent a broad spectrum of ages, socio-economic representations, and goals – but for those of you who haven’t achieved all your goals yet, irrespective of your age, one of the most wonderful realities is that material goals by themselves, when and if you achieve them, are not, by themselves, going to transform your life.
It’s certainly nice to have enough economic security to be able to live where you want and eat what you want, and have some of the trappings you want, but once you get the stuff you want, you realize that there’s a lot more to life than just things, status and stature.
I’ve been fortunate, or unfortunate, however you look at it.
I’ve done a lot, Janet, I’ve had a lot, and I’ve experienced a lot, and I really subordinated factors in my life that, as I’ve gotten older, as my health has become more of a concern to me, and I’ve watched children grow and loved ones die, and seen the ones most important to me not be as close as I would have liked – I’ve slowed down and re-calibrated what’s relevant. It’s relevant to me in a different level than it might be to somebody else.
Janet Attwood: So you’ve achieved your financial success and the fame that you’d wanted in the past, yes?
Jay Abraham: I have achieved a nice degree of it. We always aspire for more, but yes, I’m very happy, I’ve made a lot of money and I’ve become known around the world by millions and millions of people, and I don’t know if most people could ask for more than that.
Janet Attwood: What are your other passions that you wrote down? The first one was having an extraordinary, fluid relationship with your wife and children. What’s number two?
Jay Abraham: Having balance in my life. Same thing, I used to be a workaholic and monstrously committed. I had a tremendous capacity to accomplish work, I’d work 18 hours a day, seven days a week, and have meetings at two in the morning.
Now, though, if my wife calls and says, Let’s go to lunch, unless I have a very, very important meeting, I’ll stop and do that, because in the scope of forever, that’s more important. I want balance – economic, intellectual, spiritual, physical, sexual – all kinds of balanced stimulation at a level that’s very healthy.
Janet Attwood: Let me ask you, because this whole conversation is about passion, is being passionate about what you’re doing important to you?
Jay Abraham: It’s everything to me. I think if you can’t be passionate about something or someone, you shouldn’t even have that in your life because you’re stealing the experience from them and from you. Why do anything half invested? Why do anything and accept half of the outcome, half the result, half of the pay off?
There is a great pay off from being passionate. Passionate is probably the most selfish thing you can be because you get so much more out of it.
Janet Attwood: What role has passion played in your success in life?
Jay Abraham: I will tell you the role it’s played in the positive and the role it’s played in the negative. In the positive, my passion for wanting to see a business owner be so much more than they are, my passion for knowing how much more was possible from the day, from the investment, from the opportunity, from an advertisement, from a competitive environment.
My passion for having a vision for somebody that was greater than they even had for themselves because I knew what they could do, my passion for having enough faith in a client or a business that I knew how much more they could contribute to their community, and their marketplace, and their prospective client, was what drove billions and billions of dollars to be created, because I believed in them and ultimately they believed higher and deeper in themselves.
In my personal life I haven’t been as passionate. I put too much of my time in my business and I’ve lost relationships. I can say it goes both ways. Lack of passion costs you dearly and sometimes you don’t know the cost because it’s a compound bill that when it comes due is very painful. I think that passion needs to be balanced and passion needs to be universal.
If you can’t be passionate, if you can’t really fall in love with what you’re doing, who you’re doing it for or with, and the result of it, shame on you. Do it full out. That’s my opinion.
Janet Attwood: What can our readers learn from your experience?
Jay Abraham: If I were you, each and every one of you reading this, I would try this Passion Test. Tomorrow morning, start looking at the people you interact with in your life, if you have a wife or a husband, or a significant other, if you have children, family members, that you normally are frustrated with, tired of, not appreciative of, don’t get what you think you want from, feel choked or, claustrophobic about – start looking at what’s great about them.
Find something that’s really neat about them. Find the one thing about them that’s really cool, really interesting, really impressive, really amazing, really wonderful, really remarkable and keep doing that every day. Think about the thing about them that you love amongst everything else. Think about what is the most impressive thing. Think about their greatest attribute, whether you admire it or not, whether it’s their work ethic or their discipline or their joy of living, or whatever it is, and start appreciating and understanding them.
The next thing I would say is that its your job in life is to try to observe, examine, appreciate, understand and respect how many different ways everyone else sees the same thing you’re going through.
Maybe you don’t agree one hundred percent, but if you appreciate it, if you respect it, if you examine it, if you observe it objectively and without pre-judgment, it just makes life so much more dimensional, fascinating, fun, educational, informative. I don’t know if that helps you, but that has helped me a lot.
Janet Attwood: It does, and how can our listeners enjoy great success at the same time as that?
Jay Abraham: The key of all life is value. Value is not what you get it’s what you give. It’s figuring out what’s important to other people, not just to you. Now how do I think I’m going to have an extraordinary, fluid relationship with my wife and children? Do you think it will work if I yell, Hey you guys, I want to be connected!
Do you think that’s going to do it? Or am I going to have a higher probability of having success with them by first figuring out what’s important to them, what they like, what they enjoy, what rings their bell, what rocks their boat, what brings them happiness – and trying to connect with them on that level, first and foremost?
I always made a fortune when I put the businesses that I was serving and my client’s needs, ahead of mine. I always had a great relationship, a great romance, great sex, whatever you want, when I put my spouse’s needs, interests and, goals ahead of mine. I mean, it’s real simple.
It’s very elegant in its purity. Think about what’s important to them, whoever they are, whether it’s business, whether it’s your employer. Most people don’t understand that.
If you work for somebody else, figure out what problems they’re struggling with, figure out what’s going to make them more secure, what’s going to make them more successful. Somebody above you, what’s going to get them a raise, what’s going to get them a promotion, what’s going to get them acknowledgement, and that will get you what you want.
It’s pretty simple really, but we’re so consumed about us, us, us. The real fast track path to getting everything, anything and more than everything you want is putting others ahead of what you want and focusing on their needs, their wants, their desires and fulfilling them.
Janet Attwood: Is it fair to say that one of your passions has been to figure out what others want?
Jay Abraham: Yes. It’s not manipulative, it’s great joy. I am lucky, I don’t have everything I want but I have more than most people have. I have got exotic cars, I’ve got a huge home, I’ve got a beach house, I’ve traveled around the world twenty times. I’ve got people always offering me free first class tickets. I have a lot of stuff, don’t you think?
Janet Attwood: Yes, absolutely, more than almost anyone I know.
Jay Abraham: You know I’m more interested in figuring out what turns other people on than me. It’s greatly fulfilling and it’s much more fun to help them grow, develop, gain fulfillment and enrichment. I get more out of it, frankly.
I don’t believe there is such a thing as altruism. I think we get back massively from everything we do.
Janet Attwood: Can you remember a time when you weren’t living your passion and how that impacted your life? What showed up for you? How was your success?
Jay Abraham: My business almost collapsed, my marriage almost collapsed and my health almost collapsed. Oh, and I lost most of my money. Other than that it was okay….
Janet Attwood: Then how did you get back on track?
Jay Abraham: Well, I hit rock bottom emotionally and I went and looked around my life, figuratively speaking, and I thought, Wow I have a chance to influence a ton of people in my business. Wow, I have this lovely, beautiful, loving, dimensional wife. Wow, I’ve got these gorgeous kids. Wow, I have these really wonderful and dimensional friends.
Wow, I live in this wonderful part of the world where I can be free. Wow, when I think, my brain functions. When I’ve got an itch, my fingers all work and I can scratch my nose. I’m a pretty lucky fellow.
Janet Attwood: Why do you think most people give up on their dreams? What is your advice to those who have?
Jay Abraham: Three things.
People give up on their dreams because they don’t have a clear path to follow.
Everyone reading this probably has some level of interest or hobby. It may be tennis, it may be gardening, it may be sailing, it may be you name it. The odds are exceedingly high, and in fact, almost certainly probable, that the first time you each tried it you weren’t masterful at it. You had to keep refining it and improving it, in fact it might have even been laughable. It might have been a joke.
I can remember, whether it be my business acumen, my athletic capability, just about everything I was a joke at, and if I’d stopped there and not gotten back on the horse and recommitted to it, I probably would have never enjoyed all the joy and the wonderment. Most people set high lofty aspirations for themselves. They don’t understand that little steps of progress are profound.
Let me give you a firsthand experience, which may help.
I used to be very frustrated when I did seminars. I would bring someone to a seminar who was at, let’s say, base level zero. I would stretch them to as high as my arm could reach in the course of three or five days.
Then they’d go back and they’d drop down to maybe just ten percent of where they were and I’d be heart broken. One time I was talking to colleague of mine who was a psychologist and he said, Jay, you’re focusing on the wrong stat. You’re looking at how high you got them and how far they fell, instead of looking at where they started and how high they got after that.
I think we all set for ourselves such a lofty and probably unrealistic time line and achievemental objective, that when we don’t achieve it instantly, we get heart broken, we get frustrated, we get embittered, we feel impotent mentally or capability wise.
I think when we don’t get the response, the result, the feedback, we’re looking for, we recoil back to the sanctity and certainty of our mundane, mediocre, unfulfilled life, and we resign ourselves to that being our fatalistic destiny instead of saying, I executed wrong, let’s try again, I’ve got to adjust and recalibrate.
Even an airplane flying across country, if you let it to its own devices, would go off track. There’s no one and nothing I’ve ever seen be great or be monstrously successful the first time at bat. But most people want to be Casey at the bat. When they strike out they basically want to take their ball and go home, and it’s tragic really because so many people who could enjoy such a richer, happier, and more successful life; such a greater body, such a greater marriage, such a greater sexual life, such a greater self esteem, drop out the first time it doesn’t feel good or the first time it doesn’t look good or the first time they don’t get the feedback they want or the first time they feel awkward. That’s what I think, does that make sense?
Janet Attwood: Absolutely.
Jay, I keep thinking of this question, if you imagine that our readers are your biggest client and they’ve hired you to make their life the most successful it can be, what questions would ask them to ask themselves to realize their dream?
Jay Abraham: The first is I want to know why they have the dream. Sometimes I’ll see somebody who’s got the desire to have the fastest growing business in the world. I’ll say, Why do you have that desire? They’ll say, I don’t know. Then I’ll ask, Is it because you need acknowledgement, because you have a weak ego, because you have a low self esteem, or because you want that business to create great wealth or great income?
They probably hadn’t thought about it. If they did answer, the former, I’ll say, Well, what would get you that acknowledgement easier, faster, with less effort? Let’s examine the options and the opportunities and the alternatives. Most people don’t have a clue about how many easier, faster, safer, more enjoyable ways there are to get to their goal, because they don’t know what their goal really is and they don’t know why they have it.
A lot of people that want to have a big company only want to do it because they want to make a million dollars. If I can show you easier, faster, safer, less stressful ways to make the million dollars with ten people instead of a hundred and ten maybe it’s not what you want, but you should get clear on why you want something.
What is it you want, why do you want it, what alternatives can give you the same thing or better, easier, faster, safer and more enjoyably? That’s the first thing I would ask. That goes to career also.
Next, is what are you willing to give to the marketplace in order to get it, because there is compensation for everything. You don’t get unless you give. Most people don’t realize it – you want to be massively successful, what are you going to give to the world, what are you going to give to your employer, what are you going to give to your wife, to your husband, to your children, in order to get it? That’s a really profound and very provocative question. Does that make sense?
Janet Attwood: Absolutely.
You have a reputation Jay, of helping people create phenomenal results, we all know that. Yet, the advice you’re giving doesn’t sound like hard, practical results or even steps, so how do you get from all of this attitude stuff to results?
Jay Abraham: Well, when you get into the business-building dynamic, it’s surprisingly simple. There are a couple of realizations that if you’ll make that, everything else will fall in line. Here’s something that’s tangible and specific. There are three ways, and only three ways, to grow any business and really any career.
In the business, you add more buyers – more clients, you get them to spend more money or buy more things, and you get them to come back more often or get more utilization or utility or repurchase value out of them.
In your job, you get more admirers or more devotees or more fans or more influence or more points of influence, you get people to turn to you to do more things that they’re dependent on. That will always produce greater income.
In making money, most people have only one approach that they depend on, and it’s very limited and very linear. I try to build multiple pillars of income for people – multiple streams of income. In the business arena for example, most people have one revenue or income-generating or buyer-generating process. I have most people get eight or nine and they multiply radically the success.
There is a concept called the strategy of preeminence that I teach. It takes about two hours but I will give you the ninety-second version.
First, you establish yourself and your relationship with everybody as their most trusted advisor. As their advisor, your job is to give them the best reason, most heartfelt external perspective on what’s best for them. You have a you attitude, you meaning them and not yourself. Always focus on them.
Number two, you try to put into words the gnawing feelings, the desires, the frustrations they feel that are never verbalized.
Number three, you tell them the truth as you see it.
Number four, never let them do things that are not in their best interest.
Number five, you tell them what you see life to be in your own words, and you don’t hold back even if they won’t like you for it, because you see yourself as their most trusted advisor.
Number six, I told you, you fall in love with them, not your business or your product.
Number seven, realize that it’s not what you say that makes people buy from you, that makes people hire you, that makes people give you raises, it’s how much more value you can give them that they desire, prize, and really want.
Number eight, you make yourself stand out as the only viable solution that they’ve got, to a problem that you alone understand and verbalize, or an opportunity that you alone see and can really put words to.
In addition to that, you stop working harder for your business or your job than you let the business and the job work for you. You do that by understanding how to harness the power of geometry. Geometry is harnessed when you let multiple activities work together to product a geometric or exponential result. It will take me too long to explain it.
You will find that in order to be successful you have to first want to make other people successful, in order to be loved, you have to first love, in order to be interesting you have to first be interested. The mere opposite of what you want is what you have to give first and then you will get back the desired result or outcome in droves, does that help?
Janet Attwood: Yes, thank you Jay.
What other advice can you give our readers to help them find their passions and create balance in their lives today?
Jay Abraham: Stretch, ask a lot of questions, examine a lot of different realities. We used to do seminars where we’d have five, six or seven hundred people there, and they would pay me $5,000 to $25,000 apiece.
The first thing I would do on the second day is go around the room and ask them what they absolutely love. Usually people love something, they love to eat, they love to watch sports, they love to have sex, they love to do something, maybe they had a hobby.
Whatever they loved I’d make them do something polar opposite. If somebody liked macramé I’d give them a book on wrestling or on tattooing or on fly fishing, or I’d give them a magazine about it and make them read two chapters or two articles and come back and report to the rest of the room something absolutely fascinating and remarkably interesting about that. This would help them to see how much more there is to life, how many more facets and elements and possibilities.
I would say to everybody, experience a lot more of life, observe a lot more facets, examine how many different ways or facets of fun, of happiness, of purpose, of enrichment there are, other than the one’s or the two’s or the three’s that you have allowed yourself so far. Don’t be judgmental, be observational, be clinical, just observe for a while, and it is impossible not to have it penetrate your soul and your heart. It can’t not work.
Janet Attwood: You know we believe strongly in intention to manifest outcomes, so what is your most current, most important project, Jay? And what intention would like us here at Healthy Wealthy nWise, as well as our readers, to hold for you?
Jay Abraham: I have three intentions. First of all, I have not been as wonderful a husband and father as I could have been, and I would really like to be world class at that. My idea of world class is moot and irrelevant, it’s what world class translates to for the ones that I want to do it for, so I have to be able to be externally focused.
Number two is, I want to basically make everybody in the world see how much more is possible for them and from their efforts and their opportunities and their daily expenditures of energy and effort. The tragedy in life is how little they accept.
I think you had Bob Proctor on – I saw his picture on one of your magazine covers. I like when he said, Most people in life struggle, totally and obsessively, with the wrong non-verbalized questions.
They’re constantly challenging and questioning themselves on the issue,
‘Am I really worthy of the goal that I set? Can I really be more successful? Can I really be happy? Can I really be a good husband, a good father, a good friend, a good lover?
Can I really have a business that’s successful? Can I really expect to gain financial security? Can I really ever hope to live in a bigger house? Can I ever hope to get rid of this weight? Can I ever hope to be loved by somebody?’
He said that’s absolutely the wrong question to ask.
The right questions is not, ‘Am I worthy of the goal,’ but, ‘Is the goal worthy of me?’
When you realize how much more you can do, how much more you can impact, how much more you can contribute, how much more you can achieve, how much more you can enrich people at all levels – tangibly, intangibly, spiritually, emotionally, physically – by your body of work, by being on this planet, by interacting, you are going to raise the bar, you’re going to knock out all the false ceilings. My goal is to do that for a lot of people, so you want to wish that for me, you want to manifest that? That’s cool.
My third goal is absolutely to manifest in this intention, I want this expenditure, this contribution, this commitment, and this transference of an hour and a half of my life to some number of thousands of people to have made a difference. I want it not to have them feel good or warm or fuzzy or smile, I want them to do something, I want them to transform themselves, I want them to forever be haunted by my message and have it compel them to take the continuous little, easy steps forward.
When they have a little setback or a big one, to dust themselves off and go back in the ring and keep pursuing their goal and not have it be self consumed but have it be externally focused because that’s the greatest accelerator and enhancer of achievement, of fulfillment, of enrichment you’ll ever get.
Janet Attwood: Jay, it’s so clearly easy to see why you are such a giant in your field by the degree of heart that you put into this hour that we’ve had together. Let me ask you one last question, what is the single most important idea you would like to leave our readers with that we haven’t yet discussed this evening?
Jay Abraham: That the biggest reason most people don’t achieve the enrichment on both financial and emotional levels is their self-focus. It isn’t about you, it’s about everyone else, and when you make everyone else’s life better, your life automatically opens up and expands monstrously. It’s about falling in love with other people and what you’re doing for them, and about getting clear about what your life is all about.
How in the name of whomever you hold dear can you expect to get anything more if you’re not clear about what it is? It’s like saying, I’m sitting here, Janet, and I’m trying to go to some place in Northern North America. It’s like saying, I don’t know where I am now, I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t know how I’m going to get there.
As opposed to saying, Janet, I’m in Los Angeles. I want to be in Chicago and I want to be there in five hours. I know that there are a lot of options. I could drive, I could take the train, I could take a jet, I could take a private plane or I could take a helicopter. With all these options, nobody on this call has the right to be disappointed with anything in their life, if they haven’t first and foremost gone through this process.
It’s audacious and ludicrous to flagellate yourself for what you haven’t achieved if you don’t first go through this very clarifying, expedient and absolutely immutable and unerring process that will get you whatever it is you want faster, easier; and you will not, I can promise this, because it’s happened in my life and everybody’s life I’ve ever been able to do variants of this, you won’t just achieve it, you will easily and profoundly exceed whatever you set for yourself if you turn your attention outward.
Janet Attwood: Jay, thank you so much.
Jay Abraham: You’re welcome. You do know this is not what I usually do and this is not the topic that I usually talk about.
Janet Attwood: I know, and it was so fun to talk to you about this, I tell you, and it was very, very interesting to see where it would go. So thank you so much for playing with us this evening.
Jay Abraham: You’re welcome. I hope I took some topics on a different perspective or plane of reflective consideration. Everyone all says the same thing the same way. I hope that I have said it a little differently.
Janet Attwood: Oh absolutely, thank you again too, for sharing with everyone.
Jay Abraham: You’re welcome.
This cover story is an abridged version of the full 1 hour plus interview with Jay Abraham conducted in front of a live Tele-Audience.
For details on how you can get the complete interview, including a transcript, recording, and a special gift from Jay… Click Here