Stefan: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show. Respect the Grind with Stefan Aarnio. This is the show where we interview people who have achieved mastery and freedom through discipline. We interview entrepreneurs, athletes, authors, artists, real estate investors, anyone who’s achieved mastery and examined what it took to get there. Today on the show we have Paul David. He is the owner of Identified Talent Solutions, it’s a talent recruitment company and this company has grown to the point where it’s in the ink 500 of feet. Indeed Paul, welcome to the show. Respect the grind. Good to see you, my friend.
Paul: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me Stefan.
Stefan: Awesome. Yeah, I love having guys like you on the show because we got so many real estate people. I’m a real estate investor you know, I teach flipping houses and rental properties and stuff like that. And I love having someone from a different field and so for the people at home who don’t know you that well Paul, tell us how’d you get started in the talent recruitment business? That’s something that I’m sure is an awesome business. I’ve just never thought about it. So how did you get started?
Paul: Sure. It was about 15 years ago, right out of college. I got into a firm that does third party recruiting. So basically they provide candidates, they provide employees to other companies. I did that for about six months. Very salesy position. Didn’t think I was very good at it. I was really, really shy back then. But then I went into a mortgage company, they shot as a recruiter, mortgage was booming back then. I learned my whole entire trade from that particular point. After 10 years I decided, well it’s about time to go on my own, utilized a lot of the relationships that I had over my 10 year career and I built the business basically in my garage.
Stefan: Wow. I love stories where it starts in the garage. I think Apple started like that. All of these, I think Harley Davidson started in the garage. They all start in garages. I think Google started in a garage too.
Paul: Yeah. Amazon started in the garage.
Stefan: Yeah Bro. It’s great. So really pertinent topic I think is recruiting. And a lot of people listening to the show, maybe they’re solo preneurs or maybe they got like two employees or one employee or they want to recruit more. How does somebody effectively recruit? ‘Cause I’ll let the cat out of the bag here Paul. Every recruit I’ve done for my business has always been a referral. I’ve never done well with a head hunter. I’ve never done well with somebody recruiting for me it’s always been through someone I know and I’ve tried agencies before. I’ve spent money before for whatever reason they don’t stick. The talent is good if they don’t know my brand or they don’t know me in advance for whatever reason doesn’t go. So how do you effectively recruit talent for so many companies and how does that match really work?
Paul: Yeah, that’s a good question. I mean I think what they need and recruitment’s really tough because it’s not only a matter of just the skill set that they have, but it’s also how do you fit that person into a culture? Even if they have the incredible skillset. I mean that person might be really successful in one company, but then they go into a different culture and then they’re completely off. So it is a little bit of a difficult process, but you said that most of your hires have been referrals. That by far is the best way to hire people in your company. Is if somebody in your company or yourself or someone that you know and trust vouches for them then that’s fantastic. It’s almost kind of like dating. If you meet someone and they’re like, yeah, they are a great person, then generally you’re going to trust that.
Paul: But, if you don’t have that capability, it is really important to stream that person properly. Now there’s no silver bullet. So I mean you’ve kind of seen it. There’s no silver bullet in picking the right person off the bat. I mean employment’s like a dating process. So what we do is one, we’re very narrow in the things that we do. So we know the skill set. So if you’re a generalist and you’re trying to do everything for everyone, like the larger staffing firms, it’s really hard to understand what kind of skills are looking for cause you have to master one particular vertical. So what we do is we’re mastering one specific vertical and understanding the skillset so the candidate is an optimal candidate from a skillset perspective. Then what we need to do is really, really build that relationship with the client. What is their team like? I mean not only the culture of the company, but what’s the team like? How do they operate? What are they composed of? I mean what do they like to do? So you can look at the intangibles and the tangibles and place that candidate properly.
Paul: So that’s kind of how we do it. We really have to, I mean it’s like a dating process. We got to make sure that we know our client really well so we know exactly what kind of candidate put in there.
Stefan: I like what you say about the dating and I teach people real estate investing and they’ll say, “How do I get a good deal?” And I’m like, “Bro, you got a good deal in real estate just like dating.” You pick the most beautiful girl at the school, the Prom Queen. And if you go ask on stage wearing her sash that says homecoming and her tiara, you’re never going to get a date. But if you wait for her to break up with her boyfriend and she’s under the bleachers crying, wearing some dirty sweatpants with makeup running down her face, that’s the time where you go in there and go, “Hey baby, look, let’s grab a cheeseburger.” And she’s like, “I’ve been hungry for years. Let’s go.” And so it’s really interesting ’cause I think people always try to over complicate business.
Stefan: We always go, “Oh man, it’s different. My industry is different. This business is different. This time it’s different.” It never is. It really is just dating. It’s relationships. And I like what you said about, it’s almost like a marriage. These two people have to come together, the culture has to come in with the skill set and it has to fold together. What do you think when you’re out there recruiting people Paul, what’s the most important thing that you look for in any candidate? Maybe like is it grit? Is it drive? Is it just general intelligence? What’s something that when you’re just meeting talent that you want to see in just about everybody?
Paul: For me what I’m looking for is an intangible skillset. You can have someone that has the most impressive resume, the most impressive of education, but if they don’t have a personality where they can build relationships, well I mean, at the end of the day, the fundamentals of business is relationships. If you do not know how to build a relationship, then you’re just going to fail, period. I mean like, you know, I don’t care how much you automate things, all the click funnels I hear, if you do know how to shake hands, talk to somebody and really build that relationship, you’re not going to be successful, period. So I want to make sure that one of the things that we make sure it is how do we converse with this person? Will this person be able to influence other … I don’t care if it’s an individual contributor or a manager. They need to be able to interact with people regardless if they do software development or if they’re a nurse.
Paul: So relationship skills are very, very important. Communication skills are very, very important and that’s what we look for first and foremost. It’s not a complicated thing, but I think people would really want to work with other people and that they can kind of get along. And if that happens then what happens is you build trust, right? So once you build trust, because you [inaudible 00:06:37] then you can kind of work through anything else.
Stefan: I love that. So is it more, would you say, are you looking for more he EQ or IQ? I guess you’re more of an EQ guy. Emotional quotient.
Paul: I’m an EQ guy. I mean most of the people that I have, you know what I first did this, I was looking for skills, but when I started my company, I was looking for grit. I was looking for someone that had tenacity. Someone that wanted to improve, I can teach them the skills, I can’t teach them to drive.
Stefan: You just got to respect the grinding bro. Yeah there go. You’ve got a gong already. A gong’s been hit man. I like that. You know, grit is something that in the military academies, they noticed that that’s the number one thing that keeps people going. And one thing I say all the time is, I fail at 80% of the stuff I do. I’m failing all the fricking time, man. I’m an entrepreneur, so it’s constant failure. And then the 20% I win on is so big. It handles all the losses and then some. Now, how would you describe grit? What is grit? What is the ability to keep going? What is that?
Paul: You kind of hit it on the head. It’s like for me happens after my why. Why do I want to achieve something? Why do I want to, what is it that’s important to me? Once I fundamentally understand why something’s important to me, then it’s the dedication. What I’ve learned about grit is grit really is the ability to embrace failure, right? And really learn from that failure. ‘Cause here’s the deal. I don’t care what you do in life you’re going to fail. I don’t care if it’s walking down the street. One of these days you’re going to fail. ‘Cause I look at things this way, you’re going to fail or you’re going to succeed. And those two instances for failure, I’m going to learn something. I’m going to learn something really quick so it doesn’t happen again. And if I do that, then I’m going to succeed. So I try to rush into failure as much as I can.
Paul: I try to embrace it as much as I can and I look at it, I think being able to have grit is you can look at that failure not as a failure itself, but an opportunity to learn. Because all of us entrepreneurs, if we don’t know how to learn from our failures, we’re never going to be succeeding. So I’ve kind of looked at it in a different perspective. I actually enjoy failure because it’s like, “Oh crap, I didn’t do this right. Well let’s try to figure out something else.” So that’s how I see it. So I think grit is the ability to understand that failure is more of a learning opportunity and something that sets us back forever.
Stefan: I like what John Maxwell says. He says, “You either win or you learn.”
Paul: Yeah. That’s in his book Failing Forward.
Stefan: Yeah, you win and you learn. And that’s just something I started to do in my life. I had some pretty hardcore things happen to me this year is what’s the meaning of this? What’s the story? What am I learning here? And I don’t know if you ever read the book Man’s Search for Meaning. You ever read that Viktor Frankl? It’s one of Tony Robbin’s favorites, and it’s about a man who was thrown in the Nazi death camps in World War II. And he had a book manuscript, I guess he was like a scientist or something. A book manuscript he was going to publish and the Nazis took his book and they I don’t burn it or ripped it up. They took it away from him. And what he noticed when he was inside the death camps was the optimist died first. So the people who were “Oh, we’ll be out by Christmas, we’ll be out by Christmas, we’ll be out by Christmas.”
Stefan: Christmas comes, they die of a broken heart. But the people who lived through the death camps were the people who had meaning and they had a child to see. They had a book to write, they had a spouse to go find after the camp. And that to me when something bad happens to you in life, it’s so interesting because there’s two meanings. There’s the victim meaning you can have, and then there’s the, what am I learning meaning. Is that something you see in some of these very successful people where they have major setbacks and kind of the bigger the setback, the higher they climb?
Paul: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of people that have overcome tragedy, have been very, very successful because they know how to adapt to it and they know how to get over it. I think when we first started talking, I told you I never really wanted to be an entrepreneur. I was kind of forced at it where my wife died of cancer at 36 we went through a four and a half year battle with cancer. I was left with a four year old. I had $150,000 in debt. And it’s like I had to make a decision at that particular point. I had to look up my why, which was my daughter. What am I going to do? Am I going to crumble? Am I going to fall apart? I mean, that’s not an alternative that I want. So I did, and I had no idea how to start this company.
Paul: All I know was I needed to do it. So with that intensity and that drive, I said, I have to make this happen. And after that what’s all your focus is I think from tragedy, once all your focus is pointed to one direction, then you’ll start to see the opportunities that you’ve never seen before. So, I mean, I think people that have gone through tragedies and really decided to not let that tragedy define who they are, but let their choices make them who they are, that you see magic when that happens. Because intensity to succeeding and making sure that they’re never defined by what happened to them in life so.
Stefan: Bro I’m giving you a gong. I love you, man. Dude, I love you man. You know that story you have. I’m so sorry to hear your wife died. I mean that’s just the most brutal thing. But I love that you picked up the pieces and I love that you saw the why in your daughter. And I love that you were able to get that emotional charge ’cause so many people would have folded like a lawn chair. It’s so easy. Whenever you go downtown, you see a homeless guy on the side of the street. That’s someone who folded a lawn chair, but you said, “No, I’m going to use this. I’m going to use it as fuel.” And it’s tremendous to see what you built. Now shifting gears a little bit, Paul-
Paul: I actually wanted to kind of comment on that I don’t know it’s going to be … I have colleagues and friends that have children right? And every time I hear them they say like, “Well, I can’t do this. I can’t do that. I can’t do that because I have to take little Johnny or little Cathy or little whatever to the baseball game. I can’t do that.” I decided and I think people should decide that you know what? You don’t make your children your reason why you can’t do things. You make them your reason why you do, do things.
Stefan: Oh, another gong. Bro. We’re hitting today. Church of the grind is in session. Damn. Instant replay on that. I want you to say that again for the kids at home. Paul, one more time.
Paul: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, I have colleagues and I have friends that continuously tell me “I can’t do this because I have to take little Johnny, or they have to take their children or their little Kimmy to their basketball game. Their ballet practice.” But you know what? You have to be able, I mean, either you’re going to choose to have your children be the reasons why you can’t do something or you make them your reason why you can. So that’s the different mindset. I mean, you have to make your kids a reason why you can achieve your dreams. Because that’s the truth of the matter is if you don’t, they’re going to learn from that. Don’t ever make your children your reason why you can’t do something for yourself because that’s not their fault.
Stefan: You know, it’s like the old seminar story. I don’t know if you’ve heard this story, but there’s two brothers and they’re identical and they’re twins. And one brother says he’s living in cardboard box downtown and it’s raining on this cardboard box and he’s with the woman that’s ugly. And they fight and they hate each other and he doesn’t know where his kids and he can’t hold down a job. He’s got no money in his bank account. His creditors are coming after him all the time and life is horrible for this guy. And he says, “My life’s a failure ’cause my dad was a drunk who beat me and my mom was a prostitute, smoked weed.” And then I cross the tracks. And the nicest part of town is his identical twin brother who’s in a mansion, the gorgeous wife and they have great sex and they’ve got lots of kids and the kids love the dad and they love the mom and they’d go on four vacations a year and they got the dream car and money in the bank and they sleep well at night.
Stefan: And he says, “Man, I’m a success today ’cause my dad was a drunk who beat me. My mum was a prostitute who smoked weed every day.” You know that same thing happened to those two guys. But on one side, one guy says, “This is my fuel.” And the other guy says, “Oh man, this thing totally devastated me.” And I love your story, man. Massive, massive props to your story because I come from a family, my dad was the son of an alcoholic and he had the dad who beat him. He says “Oh, I can’t do this. I can’t do that. It totally froze him.” And with me, I use it as total motivation you know, my why. I think these interests are the whys, you’re talking about your why’s your little daughter. With whys I notice it’s either people’s parents that they want to save or it’s their kids.
Paul: Sure. Yeah.
Stefan: And it’s just either they want to help their parents who are screwed up or fix the parents or whatever, or they want to help their kids. And you know, how important do you think Paul to have a reason and a meaning outside of yourself to succeed? It can’t be all about you.
Paul: Oh, 1000%. I think if you don’t have a reason outside, I think as human beings we’re called to do something bigger than ourselves. And the reasons have to be more than ourselves. So I think innately, if you do not have a reason outside of your own personal gain, then it’s going to be futile at the end because the drive stops. The why stops. So it’s like when people are only motivated about money or cars or whatever, and they get that, then what happens after that? Right? If you have a purpose that’s intangible and that can create a change for everybody else and the reason outside of yourself needs to be there. I mean it just has to.
Stefan: I love that. We’re going back to the Viktor Frankl Search for Meaning. You know, Man’s Search for Meaning. What is the meaning of all this? And I think that one thing that’s common across all of our shows, you’re a very successful guy, especially in the space you’re in. Is that the darker people get, the more they go into the darkness, the more they’re in the light. And the worse it is and the deeper that pit of despair is, I call it the pit of despair. The deeper people go into that darkness, the higher they’re able to climb after. And I think there’s so many people at home that want to, they want to have it easy. They want to get a job, they don’t want to go through any of the risk or the pain, they don’t want to have their whys die, anything like that. But in some ways, Paul this is an interesting thing, like that event of losing your partner in some ways is that the best thing that ever happened to you?
Paul: Yeah. I mean it’s the worst and the best thing that happened to me. When I look back at it now, it’s been about five years since she’s passed away. But I look back at it now and even when we were struggling, right. And it was even before that, I mean we were homeless when my daughter was born and she was three months and we were sleeping out of our pathfinder and then a year later she got cancer. I mean we were going through a lot of crap, but I look back at it now and I think about it. If I didn’t go through any of those struggles, it wouldn’t have made me who I am today. Because I had to choose-
Stefan: I’m going that. I’m gonging that bro.
Paul: I had had to choose to be better. I had to choose. And I think seeing my wife pass away at an early age, that kind of pushed me too. ‘Cause I think what happens is people don’t realize how delicate their life is. Right. They can always wait until tomorrow. They can always wait till tomorrow. They can always wait till tomorrow. And you never know. You never know. Like my wife never knew she wasn’t supposed to die when she was 36 so.
Stefan: Right, right. Well that’s super young men and like most women live till like 86 or something. So it’s like 50 years too early.
Paul: Yeah really early.
Stefan: One word that you use and that I love those, the word choose. And the one thing that no one can ever take away from any of us, even if we’re thrown in a Nazi death camp, is the choice to choose.
Stefan: We can always choose the meaning of things. We can choose, what does this mean? This horrible thing. Is this going to be a wake up call? Is this going to be your fuel for the future? I had a big event in my life when I was younger and it was my parents’ divorce. And it’s interesting, my brother loved them to pieces. He uses it as a reason why he can’t do stuff. You know, he says, I remember once he was yelling at my mom, he said, “Mom, if you guys didn’t get divorced, I’d be in the NHL Right now.” I’m like “Really?” I’m like “Dude, I don’t know about that. You’re a December baby. December babies don’t make it in the NHL. You’ve got January, February, March, April go in.”
Paul: You’ve got a lot of Malcolm Gladwell.
Stefan: Yeah man. I’m a Malcolm Gladwell reader. But it’s so interesting ’cause I was with one of my girlfriends at the time and she said to me. I remember she came to one of my seminars and she said “All this stuff that you do and all this that you built, you do it for him.” And I said, “Who?” She didn’t know me that well and I didn’t know her that well but she in two seconds as a woman with her intuition knew that the education company I’ve built is for my father ’cause my father never had that. And that was, yeah, there’s such a deep meaning there and there’s such a big why and it’s so much fuel. ‘Cause in life you got so much shit thrown at you all the time. They just, it’s buckets and buckets of shit over and over again. And the people with a strong enough why can bear any how. What do you think about that famous quote? I think it’s a Nietzsche quote.
Paul: Yeah. No, I absolutely believe that. I absolutely believe that things that get you through the day. And the thing that gets you through life is why are you doing it? If you don’t know why you’re doing it, you’re like a sailboat without a rudder. I mean, you’re just kind of going endlessly through and through life, you know? And I think nowadays, I look at it nowadays with how instant everything is. Postmates, instant coffee instant, instant this, instant that. We’re forgetting that the true gift of success is actually the journey that you go on. It’s who you have to become, to become successful. That’s what the gift is, not the actual achievement. It’s who you have to become to achieve that. So like, yeah and to achieve that, you need to know your why and why you do it. I mean, so yeah, I absolutely believe in that quote.
Stefan: Wow. Yeah. Now, I love what you’re saying about the process and you know, this show’s called Respect the Grind, right? You’ve got to respect that 10 years, respect the 10,000 hours. You can’t cut the line. And we live in Instagram life, it’s Instagram, Insta popcorn, Insta sex, Insta phone, Insta everything. Right? And I wrote about my book here Hard Times Create Strong Men. It’s my fifth book I wrote. And it’s interesting, right now there’s like a porn and video game epidemic with young men. And I did the math. It’s 10,000 hours to master let’s say business or something, right? 10,000 hours. Well, you can master a video game in 500 hours. So where we give up our 10,000 hour endeavor, like maybe becoming an artist or a musician or an athlete or maybe starting a business.
Stefan: Those are all like really worthy things. We go play World of Warcraft for 500 hours and we’re at level 100 torrent shifting or something. What do you think about, does that translate into the workforce now with you recruiting young people? I mean, are there people out there who just don’t get it and they’re playing their world of Warcraft but they’re not willing to put in the 10,000 hours?
Paul: That’s funny that you’re saying that because I’ve visited Blizzard many times for one of our clients.
Stefan: Dude, I want to work for Blizzard when I was younger, they didn’t return my phone call though.
Paul: Oh man. They give away like swords and shields when you hit your five and 10 year anniversary. Quite an organization but to your question about the younger generation, you know we do a lot of work with this particular segment because they’re the incoming generation, they have to take over in the workforce. Right. You know what we are figuring out, it’s not that they’re not intelligent and it’s not that they’re not motivated or driven. They just want to get from A to B as fast as possible. And you and I both know it’s like that’s not going to work. You can’t master anything. I don’t know taking an online course or skipping out of school or whatever it is. You’ve got to learn the fundamentals and the basics. It’s like building a house, right? If you’re building a house and you decide that you don’t really want to do and you think that the foundation, you just build it on the rock side it came on, it’s got to fall down eventually.
Paul: So we forget that I need to build that. But yeah, I mean I think because of how society is propagating this instantness that we’re having, we’re not putting in the fundamental work to make sure that not only our minds are strong, but our characters are strong, our will is strong, our drive is strong, everything is strong. So it is getting a little bit harder to recruit the younger folks just because they want things more instantaneous than before. And what they do is if they don’t get it, they start moving to a different place of work or something else. I mean, I think the statistics were that the new grads, the last two years of college graduates, their average tenure at a company’s eight months. So after eight months they’re out. If they’re truly a millennial, the average tenure at a company is 18 months. So we’re seeing them just take off. So even if you get into a company, there’s no level of mastery yet in that.
Paul: And even if you’re an entrepreneur, because it seems like everyone wants to be an entrepreneur now, but it takes a lot more than 18 months or eight months to really master a craft. You can’t do that automatically. And if you do, you’re probably going to lose it in the end. If you get lucky, you’ll make a lot of money, but you lose it in the end because you don’t have the fundamental to see it through different types of market.
Stefan: Yeah. You know, those numbers are scary to me, man. I mean, I’m an employer and what happened to me last year, I came out of the jungle. I was fasting in the jungle for last year’s 18 days, I’m going on a 40 day water fast actually. Yeah bro. So I came out of the jungle last year and I wrote this book, Hard Times Create Strong Men because I came out of the jungle and my young 21 year old, 22 year old millennial employees were saying like, “You’re mean, I don’t like you. You make me feel like a piece of shit.” You know, they started complaining. And I was like “What’s wrong with these guys? What’s going on?” And you know it’s interesting ’cause their tenure, those young millennial boy’s wasn’t very long. Probably right in that timeframe that you mentioned. And what happened was I went home and … Well first I had to give these guys a talk. I gave two three hour talks one week in my office of how to be a man, which is like the most, that would never happen in the 50s. That would never happen in the 60s right?
Stefan: The sixties you’d like smoking a cigar and a scotch and everyone just knew how to be a man. That was a normal thing. But I give this like six hour how to be a man talk and do your work. Being a man is about your work and that’s what you do. We don’t have a uterus, we don’t have ovaries, we can’t bear children. You’re a dad by proxy, but you didn’t have that thing come out of you, man. I mean you planted some seeds and walked away right?
Paul: I didn’t do it. I did the fun work.
Stefan: You did the fun work yeah. It was like two minutes. So like-
Paul: One and a half. You’re being too generous to me.
Stefan: One and a half minutes yeah. And I’m going to give that a gong. Bang. So these young boys, they’re like, “Oh man, I want to be the leader of the company. I want this big salary. I want to make all this money.” And what I found that was really interesting was these boys who were complaining like teenage girls never had fathers. And it was so interesting because you know, look at the stats 50% of the couples are divorced now, the marriages fall apart. And then I don’t know what the status for dads sticking around, but dad’s typically don’t stick around ’cause either they don’t want to stick around or the laws are so bad, the guy isn’t around. And then you’ve got this entire generation of young men raised by young women and they don’t know how to be a man and show up to work.
Stefan: So I wrote this book Hard Times Create Strong Men and the cycles of history go hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times.
Paul: That’s absolutely right. Right.
Stefan: And we’re in this like weak man time and it’s so interesting, my sales manager Ian, he had a very strong relationship with his dad. And his dad has a farm, a goat farm out East and the we’re in Canada up here. And he had a great relationship with his dad and because he had a great wish up with his dad, he has a great relationship with work. And it’s so interesting cause the guy with the good dad, he’s a great worker, he does great work. And then the guys with problems still at my office guess what? Have daddy issues. You ever notice this where there’s like daddy issues on some of these men and then they creep in your workforce and now they’re bouncing after eight months. You ever notice that?
Paul: Yeah. I think there’s a strong linkage between how someone grew up and what their family structure was to whether it work [inaudible 00:26:14]. When people say that there’s a work life and then there’s a home life there’s no difference. You’re going to blend your personality with both. So yeah. I see there’s a strong linkage. And also there’s a strong link to you what you just said about your book where like, you know, when we’re looking at World War II where all these young kids were born in a battle, right? They’re after depression. There was a lot of adversity. But then you look at our times now we’ve been going through a lot of prosperity, especially in the last 10 years. I think we’re both old enough to understand. In 2007 2008 there was a crash. Nearly all of us were getting our house foreclosed on and everything.
Paul: So you’ve got these kids that have been going through this prosperity. I mean, you can throw anything at the wall and make money nowadays. And they haven’t seen that [inaudible 00:26:54] yet. And then I think it’s problematic in our domestic workforce too, because like especially in the technology field, because if you think about it, we’ve had all this prosperity and it’s been a little bit easy, but then you have these emerging countries, these emerging markets like India and China that were oppressed for a long time and they’re like, “Screw this shit.” You know, like I want to work. Right. They were what we were going through back in World War II and the depression and things like that. So now they’re becoming the very, very strong capitalistic societies that were a little bit more weak. So, I don’t know it just, you made a really good point about your book because I completely agree with you on that.
Stefan: Yeah. Well, they’re hungry. Right. And like immigrants in America are four times more likely to become millionaires than native born Americans.
Paul: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I know that ’cause I’m an immigrant, so I get it.
Stefan: Where were you from, man?
Paul: I’m from the Philippines. Yeah, my dad- from Manila.
Stefan: Okay. Awesome. Yeah, I’m up here in Winnipeg and we got, I think 16% of the population is from the Philippines. I would flip houses and I’d sell them to the new immigrants. So I’d give him the Canadian dream for like a 100 grand or 129 grand. These houses look like little mansions. Right? And I always have these customers from Manila and they’d see it and they go, “Oh man, I got to have that house.” And we actually just got a Jollibee bro.
Paul: Oh my God. That’s awesome.
Stefan: We got some spaghetti and like a chicken leg or like a mango pie. They’re pineapple pie or mango pie at Jollibee?
Paul: It’s a mango pie.
Stefan: Oh, a mango pie. I haven’t been there, dude, I haven’t been to Jollibee yet, but I heard they play the song, the Jollibee song and-
Paul: Yeah, you got to go, man.
Stefan: Man. I’m trying to look after my health here, man.
Paul: You can do it once.
Stefan: Yeah go try it once man. Do they have a hot dog spaghetti at Jollibee too?
Paul: Yeah they do. So the Spaghetti they put a little bit of sugar in there to sweeten it up.
Stefan: Oh, of course. Of course. My dad’s from Sweden, so I have an immigrant dad, and I remember going to Sweden when I was 12 and we’re sitting down at the table and like Sweden is like, it’s one of those countries, I looked it up, I was like, what’s a racial slur for a suite? They call the Spanish people spics and they call Italian people waps and I looked up the Swedish one there isn’t one because they’re tall and they’re beautiful and they’re smart. So nobody’s the Swedish people. But I’m over in Sweden and it’s such a developed place. And they had these like Woodfire pizzas back in the day and they had like nice little pastries, they’re so civilized.
Stefan: And then we sit down at the kitchen table at my aunts or great aunts, I don’t even know who these family members are. We’re sitting down at the kitchen table at their house and they’re making spaghetti. And I’m like, “Oh damn, I love Spaghetti.” You know, my mom makes a great spaghetti back in Canada. We sit down at the table and they give us these like white boiled noodles. So it’s like plain ass noodles and then you know what they do. And Paul you’re going to be horrified at this man. They put the ground beef like straight up on noodles. So you got just playing ground beef, not taco meat. It’s just like plain like gray brown ground beef on these plain white noodles. ‘Cause like in Sweden they’re not into spices. It’s like salt is the white band spice over there. Salt and bill pepper.
Stefan: So they put the ground beef down on the noodles and then I was horrified. They pull on a ketchup bottle and you cover it and ketchup. I know Bro. Ketchup spaghettis, you haven’t ground ketchup and it wasn’t just white noodles. I went to house to house to house. I was like “How are you guys eating this ketchup spaghetti ’cause you know we got like Oregano, we got basil, we’ve got garlic, we got all these great things written in the Ketchup Spaghetti.” But I digress. I digress Paul. Now, let me ask you this. A lot of young people listening to this show, 12 years old, 15 years old, 18 years old, different ages, younger people. Do you think in 2019, it’s going to be 2019 in like a week. Do you think that it’s still good to get a degree today? Or do you think that no degree is the way to go and just get some skills and figure it out?
Paul: That’s kind of a controversial topic, but I promote education. I think you should at least get your college degree. And the reason why you should do that is, and this is just what I truly believe is that college is an opportunity for you to, it’s kind of like a playground, right? You’re accomplishing something. A four year degree isn’t easy. So it’s the first step I’m trying to accomplish something before you do anything else from the studies. I got my degree in Kinesiology, which is exercise physiology. I obviously don’t use that, but what I learned from college is I communicated with a lot of people. I had to collaborate with my other students. I had to do projects with the other students. I had to get them to buy into a lot of things. I was part of a fraternity, so I understood that organization.
Paul: So it’s much more of an experience than anything else. And that’s what I grew out of. But I look back, I mean I even got my MBA, but a lot of the reasons why I did that was because of the networking progress and the ability to build relationships during that. So I was really active in college and that’s why I think it meant something to me. The stats don’t lie, I don’t know the stats exactly off the bat, but college graduates tend to earn twice as much as high school graduates. People with masters have by 40% more earning potential then that someone with just a high school degree. Now we have to understand that, okay, well don’t go to college and then start your own business. But the failure rate of business is 99%-
Stefan: I was going to say 99 bro. 90 in the first five, 90 in the second five but 99 yeah, you’re going to die man.
Paul: Right. So it’s like go ahead and not have any education and then you have nothing to really kind of I don’t know fall back on I guess. And not to say that a degree is going to help you out because I’m in recruitment, so you have a degree and you don’t have skills, it doesn’t really matter. But what I’ve noticed that every time I do interview someone, someone that has been active in college and has gotten through college, they will most all the time be better communicators and be better at being able to grip through their job. So I mean, that’s my opinion for whatever it’s worth, I still believe in it. I come from a very highly educated family. My Dad’s a physician, so I don’t know, look at the statistics. Most of the billionaires have a college degree, so I wouldn’t dash it I guess.
Stefan: Yeah. There’s a lot of BAs actually in the billionaire club, bachelor of arts, which is interesting. I got a degree in English. So I went to school, I went to music school ’cause I want to be a rock star. So my mom says, “Oh if you want to be a rock star, get a music degree.” Right? So I go and I’m studying jazz of all things, which jazz, it’s funny it’s all over here up in Canada, 2005 so like I don’t know what is this. Like 50 years after jazz is relevant. They opened this new music called Jazz [crosstalk 00:33:23] behind. So I went and got a … I was working in the jazz faculty there and I was a professional musician and then I realized I don’t want to be a jazz musician ’cause it’s a very hard and horrible life.
Stefan: And then I dropped out of that and I went to the business school and I dropped out of that. Then I went into computer science, I dropped out. I was very good at computer science. I wanted to work for Blizzard bro. That was actually … And then I ended up dropping out of computer science and I went to the registrar and I said, “Hey, can you recommend a way for me to get out of here without dropping out that won’t piss my parents off.” And she said, “Yeah, take two poetry class, you’re going to have an English degree.” So now I have an English degree with a minor in music. And I remember 2008 that was when I graduated, it was May 2008 and I went to go get a job. And the only thing I could get with an English, was a call center job in the middle of the night selling luxury hotel rooms to rich people, and you actually needed a degree.
Stefan: And it was, we were making minimum wage, it was just like hardcore minimum wage. And I remember having like a post grad depression about that cause I was like, “Man, I spent my whole life, I spent 12 years plus kindergarten or whatever, plus four years of university and that degree got me here to a call center job. I could have just painted houses.” But here’s the bittersweet flip side of it is I’m a resourceful person. So I’ve written five books now, I’m 32 I’ve written five books. I’m sure the English degree helped with that a bit.
Stefan: And then Mark Cuban, the billionaire in Texas, he says that today in today’s world, an English degree is suddenly one of the most powerful degrees to have because we live in the world of content. People need more and more content. All content comes from writing. And so it’s interesting, I used to totally bash on my degree. I used to totally beat on it. I still beat on it, but I kind of have to shut up about it now because I’ve published five books. By the end of this year I’ll be up to eight books. I’m an avid blogger. On the flip side though, I wrote my first book when I was 12 before I went to school. So it’s an interesting thing. I think it’s a catch 22. I throw out resumes with degrees in my office. When they come in, I got a stack a degrees and it’s actually kind of sad.
Stefan: I get guys with PhDs, they go in the garbage. I get guys with MBAs or master’s. It’s pretty sad man. ‘Cause a lot them are applying for entry level sales jobs. Now let me ask you this, Paul. I mean degree in school versus learning to sell. What do you think is more valuable? Someone who knows how to sell and make money on commission or somebody who has some sort of degree. We don’t even know what it is. Mystery box. It could just be a mystery degree. What would you say is more valuable?
Paul: Selling. Hands down. If you know how to sell, you’ll beat out a degree.
Stefan: So, okay. I love that answer man. I mean that’s powerful stuff and I think being good at sales, it’s funny like the Mormons in Utah, they all go on missions and they sell bibles door to door. So they have all these fantastic call centers up in Utah for these educated smart, street smart salespeople who speak two languages or more. With learning to sell, what are some of the best places that people can go to learn to sell? ‘Cause there really isn’t a degree in that there isn’t a school. Nobody teaches it. Where do you think people should go and learn to sell?
Paul: You know what? I’m kind of lost for like where people would want to sell. I mean, like when I’m talking to my sales guys I think the most important thing before any sales techniques is again, going back to the ability to build relationships. I don’t think anyone likes to be sold to, but I think in order to be an effective salesperson, you have to be in a relationship with somebody and understand what their problems are, what their needs are, right? You can’t just push it on them not knowing that there is a need. Right. I think the ability to be able to problem solve is one of the highest, well, one of the most critical abilities that there is. And the only way to do that is to be able to get into relationships.
Paul: So, I mean, as far as sales techniques, I mean I don’t know I guess I’m kind of lost as far as I think the best thing that you could possibly do in any kind of sales is really understand what the problem is. Or who you’re dealing with and get into a relationship with them and make sure that once you do it, you can understand what their problems are and then you can fix it.
Stefan: Right. Right, yeah. I love what you’re saying man. I got a book I wrote here about sales called The Close: 7 Level Selling. On the back I put stop selling, start serving. That’s just the main thing you said nobody wants to be sold these days. But it’s funny ’cause everybody wants to buy.
Paul: Yeah everybody wants to buy.
Stefan: And they want to buy but they don’t want to buy in some salesy way where they feel like you’re manipulating them. They want to buy on their own terms. So how do you make it so that they choose you? So they decide and they want you. Coming back to dating. It’s interesting like the man might choose the woman he wants to date, but he has to make the woman choose him.
Paul: Yeah, I mean it’s the same thing I think we’re talking about. If we understand what the wires. So like let’s take for instance our clients. If we get into a relationship and understand okay where their inefficiencies are, what’s happening, what their troubles are with their current staff, what we can do. Once we understand what’s keeping them up at night and what’s keeping them desperate and what’s keeping them in pain, people want to alleviate pain. So the minute you understand what their pain is and then you bring up a solution, you’re not selling, they’re going to be buying all day long.
Stefan: Bum. You know, I heard a great quote weeks ago, I was down in San Diego at a conference and one of the speakers said “All human beings, all purchases are either avoiding or alleviating pain or elevating status.”
Paul: Yeah, true. I would bet it’s more about pain. I think people are motivated by the carrot or the stick, but I think most people are motivated by pain. They don’t want it. Why do we follow rules? Well, I don’t want to get in trouble, right? Sometimes people don’t understand the pain. So you have to be like, “Hey, you know what? As an expert, here’s what’s going to happen if you don’t do that.” So you’ve got to sometimes the pain understanding that you got to do good for them. You can’t just create pain and just sell them crap. You’ve got to make sure that whatever you are doing is going to improve their situation. And I think that’s how you have long lifelines. I’m sure you see that all day long in the real estate industry.
Stefan: Yeah. Well one thing I say to my, and my sales guys, I say, “Look, do what’s right for the customer.: And that gets in the ethics. I think ethics is the base, then it goes the product, then it goes sales, marketing, brand. And if you do what’s right for the customer, whatever that is. If you go to chick fil a and you forget your credit card, the guy comes running out to get your credit card and hands you your food. If you do what’s right for the customer, if you take care of the customer, you’re always going to have food to eat. Right?
Paul: Absolutely. I think in dealing with business integrity is the most. I mean that’s the one thing that you cannot succeed without. You cannot succeed without integrity.
Stefan: Yeah, absolutely. Well, Paul, I’ve got some questions I’d like to ask everybody. Here’s one that I love just floating by you. Now, you see all sorts of people, man, you’re in the hardcore people business. You got employees, you’re recruiting, you’re matching with customers. You’re just like, your business is nothing but people. What do you think is the biggest cause of failure in people?
Paul: They lose reasons on why they’re doing it. It’s always going back to the why, the problems, the challenges, the obstacles, whatever they have become bigger than the reasons why they’re doing it. And once you start doing that, and a lot of it is perspective, if you start looking at, okay, I didn’t get this promotion, I didn’t to get this client, I didn’t get this. And they start looking at all those challenges and obstacles and setbacks, that starts to vary your why. And I think that’s one of the biggest reasons of failure. If you don’t hold onto the reasons why you’re doing things, you’re going to fail nine times out of 10. So you’ve got to want to embrace that. But if you can’t hold onto the reason why the heck you’re doing something like a fitness goal, right?
Paul: Like, okay, I want to lose 20 pounds. I lost 92 pounds. I was really heavy at one time and I wanted to do that because I wanted to be there for my daughter, right? And it got hard. I didn’t want to wake up in the middle of the morning. I mean, it’s not, the first thing that I want to do is wake up and be like, “Whoa, holy crap, I’m going to run like five miles.” It’s like I want to go to bed, but why am I doing that? Why am I doing this? And the reason why we fail is because we forget why we’re doing things. Why was it important to begin with? So that’s what I feel the biggest reason of failure is.
Stefan: So it’s really coming back to meaning, you know, when working out to be alive for your daughter or being healthy for your daughter’s there, that’s way bigger than you want to look sexy at the club and that mesh shirt you bought, right?
Paul: Yeah. I mean that can be motivating to people too-
Stefan: Oh yeah. Right. There’s, there’s some sex there, right?
Paul: Yeah. There’s always a why. If you don’t know your why, then you’re never going to be able to hold on to anything. You’ll feel at everything if you don’t know why you’re doing it.
Stefan: Right. I love that, man. I think we’ve had a really deep conversation here about the meaning and the why and it just translates everything. Now, Paul, if you go back in time, to let’s say 15 year old Paul. And you would give yourself a piece of advice time machine here, what would you say to a 15 year old Paul?
Paul: Do you. Don’t think about anybody else and their opinions. Whatever’s you feel is going to make you succeed, you do it. That would be my advice.
Stefan: Yeah. Well everybody else is taken. You might as well do you, right.
Stefan: Awesome. Top three books that changed your life.
Paul: Principles by Ray Dalio.
Stefan: Damn. I’m giving that a gong. Great book.
Paul: Awesome book. The Bible is one I mean just from a learning aspect and then Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell.
Stefan: Those are three tasty books. Let me ask you this, the Bible and organized religions have lost a lot of ground in the last 70, 80 years in the United States, why do you think the Bible is so important? Personally, I think it’s like I was born into a church and then I went to university, became an atheist communist as they manufacturer over there. And then now I’m back hardcore with the book of 5,000 years of human civilization and all the things that worked and didn’t. But why do you think the Bible is so important?
Paul: I think because there’s a lot of great fundamentals in there. I think success books have, I mean they’ve originated somewhere, right? Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich is to think is great right? But then if you look back at Proverbs, it says “As a man thinketh so he is. So if it’s like if you kind of go back to it, I’m not saying that I’m religious or anything, but I just actually like the content of the book. The story of Job where he was really depressed and he went through this whole entire depression and then what he did to come out of that. I mean those are all very applicable things for me in my life now. I’m not a big organized religion guy, but I mean if the Bible is the most read book in the entire world, there must be something coming out of it. So I wanted to try and get my bits and pieces out of it and I’ve just noticed after reading it, it’s very similar to a lot of the new things that we talk about. So that’s why I’m like it.
Stefan: Yeah, well it’s so interesting. It’s incredible. I did a bit of a study on it and my book Hard Times and what it is is it’s the base values of our civilization. Our laws come from those value. Our entire framework comes from there. So whether you’re religious or not, it’s super important. And you know what else I think is really cool about the Bible. I was lecturing my secretary the other day about how to live her life as old men like me do. And I said, “Look, the Bible, you got to study it because they’ve already tried everything. They tried it all for 5,000 years. ‘Cause there’s the Old Testament, there’s the New Testament. They tried it. They tried all the bullshit we’re doing now. If you look at Sodom and Gomorrah, the Tower of Babel, they already did this shit. They already did it, and they move on exactly how it happened or how things went down and they wrote down all the problems. So you know in advance, if you just read that thing, you can see the future because it’s 5,000 years.
Stefan: And I think it’s so interesting how every 70 or 80 years, we always think we’re smarter than the past. You know, oh, let’s try out communism this time, or let’s try out something that clearly does. Try socialism out I know. Yeah. Let’s try out socialism. And when you read back on that text, whether it’s history or not history, it’s amazing because all the answers are in there.
Paul: It is.
Stefan: And the Bible means the book. It’s the original book so.
Paul: It is, I mean, I think if we don’t learn from history, we’re destined to repeat it right? That’s the quote, right?
Stefan: Right. Yeah it’s money. All right, awesome. Well next question here, Paul. Talking about the young people again. This is one of my favorite questions I ask this absolutely everybody. 100% of the people on this show get this question. Come back to the young people, the millennials. What do think is the number one thing that the young people today need to succeed in this world?
Paul: We just talked about him. Grit. I mean you just need to, I mean there’s always going to be challenges. You need to be able to have heart and critic and desire and quite frankly you need balls man. This world is tough. So regardless if you want them to be successful, you’ve got to have balls.
Stefan: Big massive bowling ball balls.
Paul: I mean, yeah, absolutely. If you want to be anything you got to have balls ’cause the opposition to be successful is so, so stiff. I mean you just have to have the biggest pair of balls ever so.
Stefan: I’m giving you a gong for that one, boom. Yeah, some big balls, big ovaries, whatever you’re running with there. Awesome. Paul, how can people get in touch with you man, if they want to know more about you?
Paul: Sure. I have a personal website, paulmichaeldavid.com and my Instagram handle is Paul Michael David. Those are the two best ways you can reach out to me. Our company website is identifiedtalent.com.
Stefan: Awesome. Really appreciate having you in the show Paul. Respect the Grind, man. Yeah, we’ll have to have you on again. I thought we had a really great chat today and I really appreciate you and your story, man. Bless you.
Paul: Yeah, bless you too, man. Happy holidays brother.
Stefan: You too. Bye, bye.