Do you focus on the problems… or do you focus on the possibilities? The only difference between truly successful people and moderately successful people is the number of big risks they’re willing to take to make their dreams happen.
If you find yourself in meetings saying things like “That won’t work because…” or “I can’t do that because…” — then this is the session for you.
Successful people are successful mostly because they aren’t afraid to take the shots, low-stakes and high-stakes.
Sleep at a stranger’s house?? = Air BnB
Ride in a stranger’s car?? = Uber
Carry 1,000 songs in your pocket?? = iPod
Buy one, GIVE one away for free business model?? = TOMS
Go to Vegas to win your start-up capital?? = FedEx
Remember: You miss 💯% of the shots you don’t take.
Join retired Chairman of Microsoft Europe / Olympic mental coach Jan Mühlfeit and top-rated CEO / Executive Coach Lisa Christen as they share best practices and advice for getting past your fear to take on risks – and win!
For the full transcript:
Jan Muhlfeit 00:02
Okay, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends Good evening.
Lisa Christen 00:06
Jan Muhlfeit 00:08
If you can put in your comment line that you can hear us and see us, that will be great. We are broadcasting on LinkedIn and on YouTube. Ye ah will find this life on my check it on my phone. LinkedIn, you know, okay, perfect. Yeah, our friends, fellow mica is here Good evening from Finland Good Good evening to Finland. So there are people coming in, in, in LinkedIn. So if somebody from LinkedIn can put also in the comments that you can see us and hear us It looks like everything should be fine, because I see it on my phone. So first of all, thanks very much for being with us in such you know, tough time for the human, you know, kind, we were, you know, deeply thinking whether we should do it or not. But at the end of the day, we said because Lisa is Swiss American, I’m Czech origin, we help people who needed our, you know, help already. And you know, all people suffering from this, you know, big issue, and humanitarian catastrophe are all deeply in our hearts. But we think that we should, you know, continue to do what we do the best share with you some of our, you know, ideas and, you know, strengthening you and strengthening us in this, you know, tough time. So I don’t know what it is that you want to add some.
Lisa Christen 01:39
I think you summarize it so nicely. I mean, what’s so important to us is, this shows how much we need compassionate, kind leadership, the type of leadership where we can work together, where we learn how to communicate properly. I mean, this is what we stand for, right? This is what we’re trying to say, how would we be positive leaders? How do we have positive influences on people. And so for us to have this show is our way of contributing to creating the leadership and creating the world that we really want to see. And of course, our hearts go out there? To everyone who’s suffering on all, you know, an awesome, yet just everyone and knowing that the world is coming together in a way that for me, I’ve never seen it, right. I mean, we stand up strong, we’re there, how can we help immediate impact? We want to be there for each other, it’s actually beautiful. Yeah.
Jan Muhlfeit 02:35
All right. So Lisa picked up today interesting team, and it’s about taking risk, whether you are in sport business, our, I think this is, you know, really important, and I’ll kick it off and I will look into our, in the human, you know, history in the, in the past, you know, people didn’t have that many choices, right, even like hunting, they were eating during him in arrest, there are hunting, eating him and arrest. So there was not that much, you know, then obviously, as we develop, there was so many other things. And today, you have so many choices. So, as a matter of the fact our, you know, attention and our ability to decide, and also to take some pragmatic risk is lower than then before that’s quite, you know, clear, right? This is interesting, you know, study what Amy Cuddy did at Stanford, she figured out if you know you as a human being whether you are artists or you know, businessmen or you know, some athlete, if you stray, if you stay straight, you’re like it’s it’s called, you know, power posing your you know, testosterone goes up by 20% your cortisol which is the stress hormone, your amygdala goes down by 25% But what is most important relative to there is your ability to raise goes up by 33% so an ended why is that because obviously our ability to risk is influenced by our emotions, okay? If if you feel good if you are like curious that there can be some different you know, right, you put there like sleep at a stranger’s house or Airbnb arise in a stranger’s car Ebro, you know, right, those people are very curious. Because I mean, if you if you take a risk in your life, you always are taking this question, can we can I do it differently? Or can we do it you know, differently, right? This is it. And I and I think somehow, while do we are kids we risk a lot because you know, whenever you like, when you’re like falling down trying to walk it’s a huge race to fall. Now again and again and again. Yeah, but this is it. But once we are like getting you know it out, there’s a less and less ability to raise because we are less and less curious. Right? Yes.
Lisa Christen 05:11
And also, here’s the thing, and I mean, most of us don’t realize, so actually, I’m gonna tell everyone a secret, I hate the word risk, unless you are in compliance, or you’re really looking at finances. I don’t like the word risk. The the word that I actually use is Audacity. Audacity in English, it’s like, you have to, like, be a little bit adventurous and a little bit almost like cheeky, like, I can’t believe you did that, but in a positive way, not only in like a, you know, in a hurtful way, but in a way where you’re just very bold. And that’s what I think everybody should be doing. Because here’s the thing, I think we as adults, we just get scared we’ve been as a child, you don’t know, you don’t think about the repercussions of things you do as an adult, you know, oh, I’m gonna get drunk, or I’m gonna look stupid, oh, I’m gonna lose my money for my business, if I do that. So we can see what bad can happen. And we want to, you know, save ourselves from all of the harm hurtful emotions that we’re going to feel. And it’s just the opposite of what we actually need to feel alive. And for me, this is the biggest topic of all, no matter who I coach, no matter what we’re talking about, at some point, this level of Audacity, this willingness to take something big on has to come up because it is literally the thing that is the difference between successful people, and these superstars who are skyrocketing. I don’t know about you Jan when I’m coaching. I mean, you know, I met I’m here in Dubai, as I mentioned last week, I’m here in Dubai for five weeks, I took 10 weeks off, by the way, not off but just away from the home, took my kids out of school for 10 weeks, five weeks, Dubai, five weeks New York, I’m doing business development, meeting new people in these new locations, thinking about expanding the business. And everybody was like, Are you? Are you crazy? You can’t just like take your kids out of school. And it’s like, really, because I just filled out a piece of paper and asked and everyone said yes. And it was fine. And everybody’s fine, right? But we put these limitations on ourselves, we think I can’t or that’s not the way things are or isn’t it too hard? Or isn’t that just what if they fall behind? We’re always looking for risks, risks, risks, instead, open up to opportunities and possibilities.
Jan Muhlfeit 07:37
Yeah, and very often what what can help you? Because what Lisa was talking about, it’s called in psychology, negative bias, okay? Our brain tries to find out what can go wrong, basically, right? Because your amygdala, the emotional part of the brain is five to 10 times faster than your neocortex. But now Now, the question is, how can I overcome like the initial, you know, doubts, or whatever initial fear, okay? It is good to take a paper and say, hey, those are pros. And those are the cons, you know, and this is the risk, because once it’s on the paper, you know, right, you realize, hey, there is a there’s a great opportunity, maybe it’s challenging situation. But the opportunity is fascinating. I can I can tell I left Microsoft, when I was absolutely at the peak of my, you know, performance career where I was 53 years old. And a lot of journalists said, You are absolutely crazy. You’ve got very low paid job, you know, President of Microsoft, for Europe, whatever, But my heart was somewhere else already. This is it, I will say, hey, you know, you cannot play, you know, NHL or you know, Premier League in soccer for 30 years. So 25 years, that is the same in the in the business. And I it was a it was a little bit less risky for me because obviously, I’ve got you know, some savings, whatever, you know, right. But on the other hand, it wasn’t a huge race and what I do now, it’s like, 60% very new, I teach kids, I didn’t do that, you know, when I was in Microsoft, I’m like, coach, mental coach for the one of the best athletes in the world, you know, right. But it is about curiosity and taking the first step, there is another another study, which they did and Harvard if you are able, and if you’re like doubtful, right, full of the doubt. And if you are able to do at least four steps ahead, like physical steps ahead. Your level of stress goes down by 40%. Huge, you know, right, because you’re in physicality, your body is connected with your with your mind, right. So this is it, obviously, I mean, it needs to be calculated as you should not be crazy. But the issue is that our brain does As unlike changes, that’s why we hate risk, basically, unless your brain is trained, and the best training is to be curious, you know, to be like, Hey, can it be, as you said, can this, in this situation? It’s a very challenging situation. But Can Can there be some good, you know, positive message? What can I learn from the situation? And maybe there is some opportunity in Chinese, you know, challenge means opportunity, basically. Right. You know, that’s what I said always during the last financial crisis.
Lisa Christen 10:30
Yes. And this is, this is, again, what makes a difference between people who are very successful, and people who are, you know, doing all right. They’re playing not to lose, I want to keep what I have, I’ll go step by step, I’ll go very incremental. I’ll make sure it stays right. It’s like dipping your toes in the water. Exactly. But you got to see the opportunities, the people who really are here to change the world. And I’m in Dubai, where, you know, it’s very future oriented, they’re really trying
Jan Muhlfeit 11:01
money is not the issue in Dubai.
Lisa Christen 11:05
Well, look, they’re willing to invest it right. But they’re also
Jan Muhlfeit 11:08
I used to work when I was in Microsoft, I used to work as a great lady. She’s a part of the government in Dubai, Sheikh Alumina, she was a minister of economy. I don’t know if she’s still there. But But what she told me she said that already in 2007 2008, Dubai was only like nine to 10%, dependent on oil, that was the like long term vision. We want to be like internet city, and all our knowledge worker, you know, society, stuff like that, to be less dependent on natural resources, but that’s what I did. You know, to be fair,
Lisa Christen 11:43
that’s what they’re doing. So what they said is, we’re gonna look we’re gonna build to the future. So what’s our vision? What can we create the entire, like, Dubai’s, you know, area has been imagined. And then they’ve built it and created it, they’ve actually designed it. So this is what it means to say, don’t just sit back and take what you have, and then say, I have to protect, right could have done that with oil, we have oil we have, you know, but instead we’re going to be expansive. And here’s the biggest thing that people don’t get. We limit ourselves. We’re the ones who say, I can’t, I shouldn’t, couldn’t possibly, I could point out 1000 times, I’m a coach, right? I should know better. I can tell you 1000 times when I’ve limited myself and someone else has said to me, oh, you should do this. And I’m like, me couldn’t and then it’s like, Wait, why not? Right? We need to constantly be opening up the question, not why me? Why not me? Why shouldn’t I do that? Right? And so from that opportunity perspective, why wouldn’t I do this? Why not? Why shouldn’t I like, you know, go for the default of this could be fun and interesting and exciting. And I could learn a whole lot. This is something Jana also talks about very often with growth mindset, we have to not be set on it needs to be perfect, and I need to get the exact result I wanted. No, but you are curious. I’m here to learn. I’m here to develop my skills as an entrepreneur, as an athlete, as a whatever, as a business person. I’m here to learn, I’m here to explore I’m here to figure out something new, when you keep that mindset for every opportunity, the skills that you grow, right, if you’re stacking skills, you’re that much better than everyone else.
Jan Muhlfeit 13:40
And if you I was just coaching me, you know, before this, I’ve got like one football player, one kind of ink, you know, Guy and lady, she’s a swimmer, you know what I do athletes and it is clear that if you concentrate on the journey on your own performance, what you can influence, that’s what a stoic said, it’s cooling down also your amygdala so you are not that much nervous or stressful. You just concentrate one present moment after the other on your inner journey and you try to be the best version of yourself like every day every you know day that’s that’s what you do. What do you said Lisa? About You know, like good performers and some legends Okay, I think in the life It goes like hey, this is your you know, expectation this is your reality, okay. Those people who who got like fixed mindset, they are allowing if they are not succeeding, they are lowering the expectations. Okay. Good performance, they try to put the reality you know, in harmony with the expectations, the religions, like Michael Jordan, you know, right. And others they they do this, you know, they go you know what I mean? They go up there the reality but they are also hiring the expectations. That’s why Mike Phillips to under six, you know, golden medals at the Olympic Games, you know, right? And et cetera, this is it, they, they really try to push the limits. That’s why I mean, what whoever I work with, my slogan is always aim to the moon. If you miss the moon, you will still end up among the stars. This is this. This is the right mindset, because you never know how long you will you know, go on your you know, Journey how much you can you know, reach unless you try. The problem is Amygdala is don’t try well. It’s FOFO, feed of other people opinion, you know, right. And very often, like, in my case, I go to my my mother, she is great. You know, my father, unfortunately passed away. Several years ago, my mother, she is great. She’s 83 years old. But she was a teacher of wisdom. And she said, You guys, me and my sister, you need to have only best reading. Otherwise, what other people would say, and I’m like, 60. And still, in my mind is sometimes like, oh, I don’t want to disappoint my mother. But at least now I’m aware of that program. I’m like, Oh, shit, you know, no, no, this is not I go and I do it, you know, right.
Lisa Christen 16:12
We all still want to please our mothers. That’s how it works.
Jan Muhlfeit 16:16
That’s about that’s fine. You know, right. That’s what will be good dads, because there are many of you on the on the on the call on the live. If you can put in the comments, both candidly, major risk so far you did in your life, you know, and how it went, you know, how was it? You know? That would be that would be great, you know? Oh,
Lisa Christen 16:36
yeah. And on the flip side, I also want to know, What risks do you kind of want to take but you’re holding back for some reason not because here’s the big thing, we all need permission from each other. And this is why I said earlier, there are so many times in my life. Let me tell you, I wanted to start a business in coaching. I didn’t have a psychology degree, I studied political science. Do you know how many people supported me and said, Yes, that’s a great idea. You should definitely do that. It’s a big round zero. Everyone said, coaches, nobody takes them seriously. Oh, you’re you’re too young to be an executive coach. You’re too female. Everybody wants men like Jan to be their coach. You don’t have the psychology background or you don’t have a network in Switzerland. Every reason why I shouldn’t everybody was there to tell me those reasons.
Jan Muhlfeit 17:26
No, that’s great. Because to be honest, for me, because I was like traveling and I have a network, you know, abroad and in Czech, but for Lisa, it’s really pioneering because she came to Switzerland. She is originally from US, you know, coaching very new for her. And then there was like no network of data, but you go I guess you go like step step by step. And you apply because you are very communicative person. So you apply your best on this, you know, issue and this is you go like step by step.
Lisa Christen 17:58
But that’s it. I came to Dubai, right? And I just said, Okay, I want to meet people, how do I start meeting people I ask people hooked me up to tell me who’s in your network? Who should I know who should I know, I started reaching out to CEOs of major conglomerates organizations, you just send a message on LinkedIn guys, nothing bad will happen. The worst thing that happens is they don’t accept your LinkedIn request. Who cares? But now I have coffees with people who should have been unapproachable. But I had the audacity to reach out what’s the worst?
Jan Muhlfeit 18:27
I don’t want to push LinkedIn because LinkedIn isn’t my business, you know, social network, but, if you think about it, if you take if we talk about risk and like approaching unapproachable people, right. Thanks to the social networks today, you can basically cut the middleman, you know, right, the people who will be like holders, hey, no, no, you cannot talk to my boss or whatever, you can go like that. They say, Hey, Joe, you know, we may we may meet. And those people, I think majority of the bosses are quite approachable, you know, right. And, and they will do that, you know, as you said,
Lisa Christen 19:06
Absolutely. You just have to show up with the confidence in yourself to believe I belong there. This is what people don’t get. And other coaches always asked me like, Oh, my God, how did you build this business? How were you able to do it? And I said, I just go for it. Every time I go for it, I learned something new. I take a new course I read a new book, I coach a new person I you know, I’ll coach an athlete, I’ll coach a business person so that I have cross functionality, always learning always taking risks, always trying to think outside the comfort zone.
Jan Muhlfeit 19:39
You said you said one thing which I think it’s connected to, you know, our ability to take a risk. And that’s the sense of belonging there already. Okay. Because guys, this is something which is called impostor syndrome. That’s a very bad thing. It’s like we all suffer from suffering a bit. But listen, this is mind blowing number 60% of the students in the first, you know, year at Harvard, they think they don’t belong to the Harvard to get to Harvard. It’s very, very tough. You know, it’s really, you know, but if you feel like I had this, I got this t shirt two years ago, I address in, you know, San Francisco at NASDAQ. They go the enterpreneurship center, they’re like Innovation Center. And I address like, 300, you know, entrepreneurs, right. And I was like, Absolutely, it was a good presentation, I was fine. But, you know, the vice chair of NASDAQ came to me said Jan in the room, there was probably between three to 4 billion US dollars of the value already. And I was like, oh, man, oh, man. And I tell you what, guys, if I would know, upfront, I would be probably scared a little bit. But I will say hey, those are some, you know, people, but a very, like serial enterpreneurs already. Right. And they were quite, you know, rich, and they the companies there. Okay, let’s let’s go. Karen Isabel Canape: “What is said about all the things that Lisa shared about people trying to talk her out over possibilities that we are not only good at limiting ourselves by being risk averse, but also we want others to be risk averse. Perhaps it’s because when others take risk and succeed, they make us look bad”. I absolutely agree. I absolutely this is very good. Karen, this is this is very good point because we have something which is called mirror neurons, okay. And they mirror other people, but also other people are mirroring. That’s why like, all emotions and everything all behavior is you know, mirror of saloon. Yeah. And very often, it’s like, hey, if we are like risk averse, you know, other, we want other people like our you know, if like, if I’m the boss, who is really scared to take a risk, My people will probably be the same, because I will, you know, punish mistake, or you know what I mean? Right? So, that’s, that’s bad. Obviously, you need to take, like, reasonable risk. It should not be crazy. But this is it. This is absolutely right. I agree.
Lisa Christen 22:19
Yeah. And I see Karen, she’s actually an executive director over at Harvard. So she really knows what she’s talking about here. I see this a lot with leaders, we talked, Jan and I talked a lot about a players versus B players versus C players in organizations. I see this leadership style a lot when people are nervous, someone else is going to come and outshine them. But when we’re talking about friends and family, oftentimes it’s people who actually we know and believe they care about us. They’re trying to save us from being hurt, or you know, from being disappointed. They’re trying to be helpful. And we actually tend to believe them more because we believe their intentions are pure. So it’s actually just the opposite you need to know and be so grounded in yourself that you say I can do this, and then they’ll come around I promise you I promise you once you’re already successful, everybody says yeah, I knew it was going to happen that way I saw it. In hindsight they rewrite the story to know you were definitely always going to be successful. You know, have the courage to say okay, for one year or six months, whatever people are gonna say I don’t know I doubt it I’m not sure and then you they’ll all come around.
Jan Muhlfeit 23:38
Guys the wrong word wrong was not built in one day so it’s really like step by step you know, right and and build it and once you will build that confidence. I, for me, it was really when I realized hey, I should mind my own performance I don’t know what you know, Google Apple or other you know companies will do right but I can influence what I can do that’s what stoics were you know, saying that once I realized that I really switched from that fixed mindset to the growth mindset Hey, be more of who you are like every day you know, this is it and the same with like you know, my my teams I’m not saying that everything you know happened immediately but it’s like step by step and I think curiosity as such is helping a lot the issue with curiosity is we as a kids are very curious but once we are in the school, school is teaching you how to answer questions. School is not teaching you how to ask right questions, you know what I mean? And and risk and that view like the broader view is really in in the in the question Okay, let’s go Mica from from Finland “Main risk I took was leaving an office job to move abroad without preferred work position there with money for one month’s rent without proper skills. is the best decision I’ve done”. So, yeah, you’ll see this is it. But you know, I think Mica needed to believe in himself Hey, it can you know happen if it will be go down and say, Hey, I’d like one month you know or no, no English what I will do that now you think about what you can do, you know, think about what you cannot do. And then you you build on it, you know, right step by step. Absolutely. Exactly, just,
Lisa Christen 25:27
exactly. That’s the thing, but people don’t know is how to be so committed to a dream that they go all in to make it happen. When you can get yourself so excited. And you go all in, you will be amazed what you can actually do. Most of us do not use our full capacity physically, you know, mentally, emotionally, we cut ourselves short to try to minimize loss. But then at the end of our lives, we’re kind of unhappy because we didn’t really live our lives. And the reality is when you really, really give it your all I have seen so many amazing people do amazing things, fundraising, right for nongovernmental organizations, taking on new cars and leaving going to teach English abroad, whatever it is, when you commit after that the details can work themselves out, because that’s what they are. They’re just details. Oh,
Jan Muhlfeit 26:23
Absolutely. And guys, your if you think that your ability depends on whether you are, you know, introvert or extrovert, it’s absolutely bullshit. It’s a nonsense, you know, right. I tell you, I’ll give you a story of one great introvert. Okay. Steve Jobs was fired from, you know, Apple. When they asked him to arrive, Apple was absolutely in a bad, you know, conditions. Right. At that time. I remember Microsoft bought like, 30% the shares helping you know, Steve Jobs a little bit, it was year 2000. Okay, year 2000. Right. But he bailed on that. And, you know, in 10 years, so 11 years, he passed away, I think 2010. But now Apple and Microsoft are the biggest companies on the stock exchange, and the rest is story, right? And he was an intro, obviously, he needed if I compare some extrovert to Steve Jobs, there’s even book about it, how Steve Jobs was like preparing his speeches, okay? If you are introverted, you better prepare your speech ahead a little bit because it’s taking energy from you more than probably extra, but this is it other than that, like, if you take like risk taking the ability to communicate, whatever it is the same, maybe if you have a lot of people and you are introverted, you are, you know, more tired in the evening. If you are extrovert, you are alarmed, you are more tired in the evening, you know, because we are taking energy from the other people, but it has nothing to do with the fact whether you are an extrovert or introvert. This is also huge, because, you know, Jobs was quite successful and was a huge risk for him to go obviously, it was his, like, hard because he was one of the founders. On the other hand, it was relatively, you know, risky. And he did excellent job. I mean, and again, I, you, you need to take it, I was all my life, but competitive. I’m now I’m now like, I have still Microsoft software on all devices, but like, computer is Microsoft computer phone is at fault. So everything is you know, but this is not good. Good point Mika good point, you know, right. So Barbara, Barbara is saying “Thank you. That is really great and just to be bold, and contact the person straight away”. Yeah, I absolutely believe guys, what I did you know, right? Well, I give you one trick, okay. Whenever I spoke because I spoke to many politicians and kings, whatever, and even even at some, you know, conferences, I try because before the conference right before the speech, like, you know, some people around this, you know, key person, but not that many. So you go there and you talk to that you know, person and you try to figure out what are like common denominators. Maybe we have some friends together, okay, right. Or maybe they have some, you know, common agenda because after that, there’ll be a lot of you know, people and you you build contact like that, and you ask that person Hey, can we get in touch in on LinkedIn or whatever? And this is it you know, right. And you can build really like direct now you can it’s, you know, network is in your hands. And don’t wait because I had a lot of people who are like, hey, yeah, give us some good contacts because I just lost the job. It’s too late. And I’m like helping those people for sure. But it’s too late. You know what I have like 21,000 people on LinkedIn and and on the other like, very, very 1000 on Instagram, as well anyway, anyway. And it’s like not that I would say, if I’m losing the job, I need to know I’m building it because I’m interested in those people, some people who are interested in me, we are building those, you know, bonds. And today, this is great opportunity we have today to be really in touch with interesting, you know, we take just the Arab community on the Harvard to you know, the IOC, the international coaching institute, it’s absolutely fantastic.
Lisa Christen 30:23
Yeah annd the other thing that I would say is, don’t be afraid to ask for friends of friends. So a lot of the major contracts that I received in the beginning, was I asked a friend what you know, do you know someone at Siemens, could you introduce me to this person at Boston Consulting Group? Could you write and what what do they care? Right? No problem. So as you’re building your reputation, you’ve just asked, the worst that happens is they say, No, so many of us feel scared. So many of us want to say like, oh, I don’t want to put them out, or I’m not sure if my offerings good enough, or what would they want? You know, I’m young, why would they want me? All bullshit? Just go for it.
Jan Muhlfeit 31:04
I agree.Lisa, she, introduced me to Michelle. Michelle is Scottish live in its Switzerland, which is interesting combinations. But anyway, I did with Michelle, probably seven, eight speeches already for her clients and the good, you know, like, the financially and the good quality of the clients. And we still continue, you know, right. This is one good example. In fact, you know, right?
Lisa Christen 31:29
Exactly and, but don’t be afraid to ask for it. Don’t think, Oh, I have nothing to offer just the opposite. I know I want this person, I’m going to set the goal in mind. So I went to the Forbes list of business women in this region, and Dubai looked up the best ones in the UAE. And I said, that’s what I’m going for Go for the gold, right? And then I said, Okay, so if I’m not interesting to them, how do I make myself interesting to them? So it’s not about oh, I’m too scared. I’m not I couldn’t look at the problem clearly, and then solve for it. And then you use your influencing skills to make it so that they want to talk to you right, this is what I mean by have the audacity to show up to clearly and calmly think about, what do I need to do to show up at my best, what do I need to do to influence people to have them kind of say, Yes, right? You’re saying Steve Jobs. I mean, hey, he tried to get a Pepsi executive to come to Apple. And the guy was like, No, why would I leave this great job and take a risk on this apple startup? And he’s like, you want to sell sugar water the rest of your life? Or you want to make a difference in the world? Exactly. Exactly.
Jan Muhlfeit 32:41
You know, once you will start, you will help other people to start to think in a different way that was the same. What was that? John? What was the name of the Pepsi guy? John? I don’t remember. Yeah. But yeah, but this is a this is absolutely true. And guy remember one thing, I’m now six years old, so I have quite few, you know, good experiences and bad experience. And I made a lot of mistakes. Obviously, in my lab, I did a lot of the things well, but general common, we tend to underestimate ourselves, and we overestimate heavily the other people. This is it, you know, what I? So you may think, like, if you will try to approach us consumers, okay, he’s great and dead, they’re dead. But I’ll give you an example. Okay. Bill Gates was obviously a much better in technology than me, you know, I think in division and stuff like that. But when I was better than Gates was, you know, knowledge of the emerging markets, places like Central and Eastern Europe, what we should do in Brazil, China, you know, India, and stuff like that, because I opened so many new subsidiaries for Microsoft. So I think I was a better and I could, you know, contribute how to what to do in emerging markets, because it’s very different from United States Germany, or, or UK. And so that was exactly our you know, conversations like that. I was listening a lot around technology and stuff like that, and what is the future looks like, but then he was listening, Hey, what the company should do in those places, right? So perfect. We have Veronika. We cannot see you and my risk or you may read it.
Lisa Christen 34:25
“My Risk was I left my good paid job was not inspiring for me anymore. And now I have a new job, which is great. A challenge and I’m so happy about that risk. I also left Germany three years ago and came back to check I was afraid not sure if it’s a good idea. There’s less money. It’s a different school system for my kids. But I’m happy now and I’m around my friends and my Czech culture and tradition again. This is it. It feels scary, but I promise you there’s actually a brand new book out about regret. So I can say this, the newest latest greatest research says the top regret is that you didn’t do something it’s not that you did it right so just know if you’re worried this is going to mess up this is going to go badly this could have repercussions. Go for it. You will regret not having done it much more than you will regret having done it.”
Jan Muhlfeit 35:22
Yeah, that’s the this is the book from the guy who wrote a book about like, how technology is shaping the world in 2000. I don’t know. I’ll find it.
Lisa Christen 35:34
Ah Dan Pink.
Jan Muhlfeit 35:37
Danielle Pink, Danielle Pink I know him because we are in touch on the on LinkedIn. Danielle thing used to be speechwriter for Al Gore. I remember once we did something in United States like the big government you know for resig is a great guy you know is absolutely great God and and it is I’m like looking forward to read the book. Mica help us John Sculley sugar water book. Absolutely. must be said that scalli screwed up, you know, Apple in a bake, you know, way there was another I think Amelia was his successor that was even worse. And then the apple almost bankrupt, you know, right. And, and then then Steve Jobs came and he did an excellent job. And to be very honest, when Steve passed away, I was the guy who was saying, hey, now, I’m like doubtful, because the new CEO is a former finance guy. I don’t know how he’s gonna work. And he’s doing a great job, I must say, you know, it’s like, since Steve passed away, it’s like 2010, I believe, you know, 12 years ago. You know, what I so it is it is it is interesting.
Lisa Christen 36:52
And I want I want to make sure that we bring up a little bit more about this growth mindset and risk taking, and everybody needs to stop being so afraid of failing, because this is actually what you said, you’re on your mom’s a teacher. And she said, You have to get good grades. And what we actually learned in school is, here’s what you got wrong. And that’s bad, right? And here’s what you got, right? And that’s good. And if you follow the rules, and you, you know, tell us back what we want you to learn. That’s good.
Jan Muhlfeit 37:23
It is the trick, and innovation, you don’t follow the rules. We have rules, we have laws and so on. But if you want it to be innovative, you are not following the rules. I mean, as you said, if somebody would ask you 20 years ago, would you sleep in some stranger’s, you know, how you don’t know those people? is a huge business model that you’re changing. I go spit out the business, you know, right. I’d be an absolutely the same Uber, you know?
Lisa Christen 37:53
Yeah. And that’s exactly what innovation is. We look at the same things as everyone else. But we have the possibility to see it differently. That’s why we have to actually be open to seeing not just seeing what won’t work, but seeing what could work, why it could work, how we could get past the obstacles that would work. But I also want to tell you, there’s no innovation, that’s a guarantee right? Airbnb was turned down for funding at least 100 times before someone said, That’s just crazy enough to work. Yeah. But if you look at for example, Amazon, they literally plan on losing billions, because they know we’re going to try and innovation, some of it’s not going to work out. No problem. No problem. I mean, obviously we do the best we can we put it through a rigorous process, but then we assume still, it’s not going to work venture capital firms, they invest
Jan Muhlfeit 38:51
in venture capital,
Lisa Christen 38:54
they assume eight out of 10 of the companies that they you know, they see that 1000s of pitches they pick the ones they think are the most promising and they already know eight out of the 10 of these are gonna fail they know that they don’t care that’s
Jan Muhlfeit 39:08
it goes to goes to such you know big data like IP owed on us
Lisa Christen 39:16
know that without taking the risks.
Jan Muhlfeit 39:21
Let’s touch a little bit why sometimes if we take a risk, you know, and we are not successful, we don’t want to risk any more okay? And it has to do with like self pity you you try to victimize yourself you are like hey, or that it’s not me. I didn’t get it from the God and from the parents. You know, it’s bad. Come on, you know, if you would go like that you would not walk today, you know, right. Because walking is risky. You know, because as a child you can fall even if you are random now you get still. So self pity is not good. at all, because it’s victimizing you. So what is good how you can like kill your monkey in your brain is gratitude basically, because the monkey will still tell you even if 10 Things will go very well. And one thing, you will, you will not do very well, that day, your monkey will jump on that one thing and try to like, demonize that mistake, okay? Gratitude means that you can take three things every evening, hey, this was it can be very small, I, hey, I walk the dog today. And it was a great experience, because the dog was happy, I was happy, whatever, you know, like, these things, why you should feel you know, good. And thanks for them, you know, right. And if you do it, you will, you know, positivity, it works like compounded interest. And that’s the same with our emotions, okay, you know, more, we are pissed off more brps up, you know, more, we are positive. We are like, you know, putting that positivity in society, and the other way around, obviously, and it’s like, you know, positive snowball, and it’s not like, hey, you know, I’m grateful that you know, you can always say everyday you can say, Okay, this is what was going very, very well, this is what I should stop. This is not that mistake I should learn from and this is what should I start you know, right. And you can go and step by step. And if you will realize it has to do a lot with risk taking. Once you are ever there you are learning most from your mistakes. I hate mistakes. Don’t take me wrong, but I know it’s like balance, okay, I hate them. But I know that it’s necessary. If I want to learn it’s necessary to make some mistakes. And I’m making like coaching those athletes or even executed. I’m making some mistakes, and I’m very open with them. Hey, this is what we tried. And it didn’t work. You know, I’m like not, you know, God, right, obviously, well, once you you, you’re like fine with your mistakes. The nice pay peak of neuro accuracy generated in your brain and it says like, Hey, this is really important. I need to remember. And it has to do with your neuroplasticity. And that’s how you can you know, learn, learn, learn, let you know, right? Yes, this is the kind of, if I if I learn one thing very well, from Bill Gates, two things. He always said, Success is very lousy teacher. And he really meant that we learning mainly from our mistakes. And number two, never give up. Never ever, ever, ever give up. Because you don’t know that you may walk and you know, during the last quarter, there is something big for you. You don’t know unless you You try.
Lisa Christen 42:36
Yes. And I think what the entrepreneur community does so well, but that corporates and sports and nobody else’s, like we the entrepreneur community, for example, they have something called FuckUp Nights. Yeah, they literally have people give speeches about all the things that they’ve messed up. Because what we’re trying to do, everybody puts their best self forward, look how amazing I am looking at this accomplishment, I won this award. You know, I’m on social media looking my best. But the reality behind the scenes is always different, right? But people don’t talk about that enough. So FuckUp Nights are really all about what did I make mistakes on when
Jan Muhlfeit 43:16
we still have like, 15 minutes, let’s do small fuckup night here, okay, that’s what I wanted to get on. I fucked up big time. You know, 10 years ago, when I ended up in the mental hospital. It was a long term fuck up because I was like, recovering always my physical energy, but not necessarily my mental energy. I was working all the time, you know, like almost 24 by seven, I was not sleeping enough, you know, not having enough, you know, mental rest. And then I ended up in the hospital and costs that costs almost my you know, like, it was really really bad. It was a huge, huge you know, fuckup right So, Lisa, what did you fuck up?
Lisa Christen 43:59
Where do I start?
Jan Muhlfeit 44:00
We are all fuck up here you know. Don’t worry we are like small community
Lisa Christen 44:04
know, I’m, I’m so open and super happy to share the the one that so I have to admit this. I like basically blank out my bad ones. I learned what I need to learn. And then I’m just future focus and move on. But there’s one that I really still haunts me. And it was a potential client, we really connected it was a client that I really wanted to take on for. I loved what she was doing in business. She was quite successful and a really a role model and had quite a lot of influence and power. And I really fucked up on the negotiations on the pricing. Wow. And it came to a point where it was like let’s say I stood firm on the pricing that I felt was appropriate but with some flexibility on what could be included and stuff like that. And it came To the point where it was, it was basically like, No. And like, we won’t talk anymore, although I’m very friendly. And I was very nice about it, right. But the negotiation just did not go well. I still have not learned what cut what I could have done or should have done better. But I do know that to go from being super connected to basically being like, cut something happened went way wrong. Yeah. And so for me, obviously, this is something that I have to do on a regular basis as we’re taking on new clients and negotiating pricing and stuff. So it’s really present in my mind, whenever I’m with another future client. Don’t let that, you know, learn from that and figure out how to, I don’t know, make the client feel that they’re really getting value from it. So that was my recent fuckup. Because this would have been a really good client who could have introduced me into lots of places, but that weren’t that are important communities for me
Jan Muhlfeit 46:01
This is this is tough, because look, I have a strategy, and I don’t know whether this is the best strategy price wise. Okay. I think I have, you know, based on what I know, and so when I have some value, okay. And, and yeah, and that value is relatively, you know, high for like one hour of my, you know, time. Okay, so I do like this, is it, I do it full price. Or if it’s some charity, whatever school, I can do it for free. And I do I do a lot of things for free, right? There’s nothing in between, right? That’s usually saying, if I would go lower, it would not be fair to the other clients who pay my price, which I think if you if you don’t feel that Yan is the right person, that’s absolutely, you know, fine, but that’s how it works. Right? Again, I don’t know whether this is absolutely right or not. But interesting enough, I was trained on pricing when I was like 35 years old, I was saying on pricing by the guy who was a service origin, and he said yawns, you have some value, and you should not sell yourself for below your value. You can do some stuff like pro bono, that’s fine, but your value is your value. That’s, that’s what I like. Okay, so Mica, strongly believe the people who are not born with a silver spoon in their mouth can reach even more than those who got it all without going for a motivation to follow all dreams is way stronger. I agree. I think this is it because like, tougher, you know, conditions can like, look, I was born in it, we call it you know, check more Armenian Highlands, okay. And they are saying that people are because the weather is not good there, that people are very strong. Okay. And that’s one thing. I was living, like, for 20 years in the village on the countryside, whatever. And I and I think it has a lot of influence on you. It was kind of the I would say, you know, middle class, family, whatever, you know, but I think it has a lot of value. It has a lot of truth in it. Because I think if you have a hey, on the on the play, do you ever you getting everything from your parents or, or somebody else, this is not necessarily building strong, you know, mental toughness and strong grip.
Lisa Christen 48:28
So I, I feel like I have to speak up because many of my clients are like, let’s say, for example, here in the Gulf states, it’s a lot of family businesses. So the father was quite successful. And rather, unfortunately, I’ve only ever worked with the father who’s passing it down to sons. And it’s an immense pressure to be as good as
Jan Muhlfeit 48:55
Big time, big time
Lisa Christen 48:56
Even though they were handed everything, it’s not that they’re afraid to work, it’s that they’re afraid in comparison to not be good enough and then as a protection, we often say that I won’t try.
Jan Muhlfeit 49:09
Exactly guys, it is the point. As you know, I’m in the private residence at INSEAD. And there is a course for the family businesses. And it to qualify, there needs to be at least two generations, you know, right. Sometimes very often there are three generations. So very interesting dynamics, as you said, you know, that there is a there is a grandfather, very often its founder, you know, right. There’s another generation and then, you know, the kids, if you will, I was invited three years ago by Unicredit to Milan, and I was like coaching for four hours, the richest the kids of the richest clients of Unicredit. Okay. A couple of interesting observations. Number one, they were they behave quite normally Well, kind of the nice huge, but nothing special, right? So they They behave normally. Then I asked them, How many of you will continue exactly the same business as that? And Mara. And I would say, like 35 to 40% would say, Hey, this is it, right? I would say like 25 to 30% would say, hey, we will do something, but something different from an endurance, which was like, the person would say, Never ever, I’ll continue, we want to travel, whatever. So that’s, that’s quite, you know, interesting. And I have some, you know, friends with large businesses here in Czech, and they have also some issues with the next, you know, generation, because, as you said, the one thing is that, you know, young people now, they don’t want to be like, 24 by seven in those businesses, like no holidays, nothing, no travel, they want to have, you know, good travel. That’s number one. And number two, sometimes there are like big shoes to be fulfilled, you know, right. Yeah, I try to be to be like, fair, you know, so it is, it is interesting.
Lisa Christen 50:59
And comparison, this was what we started with in the beginning, oftentimes, we’re comparing ourselves and in saying, Yeah, but they’re better than I am, or this imposter syndrome. I’m not good enough. This, this is what holds us back from taking risks, I, or the big thing that I see is, I’ll be ready when Oh, I just have to take this other course or I have to get a certification or I need to have a certain job title before I can do X. Most of it is not true. So please take the risk. Go for it anyway. There’s only so much studying you need and then you need to learn in real life. Yeah,
Jan Muhlfeit 51:36
There is a great suggestion from Mikhail, we may do it, you know, we don’t have enough time to for the fuck up. And how about to our own fuckup night, let’s do it. Why not? We love when we do the book with Simon. It’s like
Lisa Christen 51:52
April I want to say I’m bad at remembering.
Jan Muhlfeit 51:55
We can do it. We can do it. We can talk about like, let’s talk about like mistakes and how mistakes are you know, playing a positive role in our lives. And then we’ll do the fuck ups whoever you know, wants to contain
Lisa Christen 52:08
Oh, man, I’m gonna prepare my list. It’ll be like a mile long. Even you this is the thing that people need to understand life, at least the way I look at it is like a dartboard. You got to just keep throwing darts, some hit the wall, some somehow fly backwards, and some are bull’s eyes. And you know what? People will remember only the bull’s eyes. No, go, Wow, you have amazing, you know, you have a hit, you have a boom, you have it, you had this job that they forget all the other stuff.
Jan Muhlfeit 52:38
So you know, Michael Jordan, he lost like, 30% of the matches where he could make, you know, decisive point he lost, you know, right. Or we don’t remember that we remember all of those, you know, grades like from the, from the, from the middle of the field, you know, right? Scoring? Exactly. You know, right. And this is it, you know, I think you make a mistake, you learn you move you learn, you know, you move right. And, and this is it, unfortunately, we are either like taught in the school because there is a thing, you know, right? This is the good rating, if you have like, you know, written feedback rating is okay. If provided that you can get written feedback kind of, hey, this is what you You’re doing very well. This is where you need to improve my daughter, she was always in the British system in Germany and hearing in Prague, you know, and, and I think it’s helping also to build stronger self confidence, because this is what what Carol Dweck talks about it some universities they drop fail, and I think F and they call it not yet, which is very interesting and different from your brain, not the end means okay, there are some progress, you know, there was some efforts, you are not there yet, you know, right? Or you continue.
Lisa Christen 53:56
Yeah, I will say with my girls, what you know, my daughter brings home a test. The very first thing I asked her is what are you most proud of? Okay, and then she can tell me I don’t say why did you get this wrong way that I said what are you most proud of talk me through it? What what are you curious about? What do you want to learn from looking at this right? We never talked about the actual results because that’s irrelevant. The whole point of the test was the learning. So focusing on the learning focusing on what you’re naturally curious about what you’re naturally proud of what you want to learn more about. And then we follow that
Jan Muhlfeit 54:32
By the way Mica is in in Finland, in Finland when I and when I was working with the with the team for you know Marty 100 who was a prime minister like 16 years ago, Finnish school system they took the whole pyramid of the kids okay. The best you know, the the middle and the and the bottom of the pyramid but what I what I have and this is the about growth mindset, they are saying they will move you on your best level On your vessel, it is about learning because, look, if I’m like Carpenter, whatever, I don’t need to know that much. You know, maths is the basic and to be honest, you know, like, I was running the business over 20 billion US dollars. And I was fine with the math from the first class when I was like, you know, right now thing, whatever I learned integration and all that fun differential equations. It’s great, right? Never use it, you know, right. It’s like, you know, it’s really like, you know, you can add, you can, you know, this distract? And you can, you know, divide and multiply, and is it perfect? Those things, but you know, absolutely, but to be curious,
Lisa Christen 55:47
and everybody needs to follow their curiosity. And that’s true for adults. So, obviously, today, we didn’t have enough time to do our fuck ups. But I hope everyone’s starting to get the sense for, don’t think about taking a risk, think about how you’re going to show up to your life and plan it and build it the way you want it. And to be really audacious and just ask for it, you will be amazed when you ask for something, you’re more likely to get it. And then when you get it, you go, Oh my God, how did I do that? Because you asked for it, keep stepping up,
Jan Muhlfeit 56:20
we have something for our friend, Edward. So you may take this one.
Lisa Christen 56:25
I always look at risks in a social context, social groups and individuals can act as amplifiers or dampeners. of risks. This goes so far that one becomes blind and takes risks and a group that one would never take outside this group or company. It was we could have a whole session just on this. where to even begin on that. I mean, we’re in the 30 seconds. Sometimes we are as humans, we are really concerned with the group. And sometimes we don’t stop stand back really assess what’s going on, we just kind of get in can get caught up in what’s happening. And risks are a social context, what we didn’t even talk about yet is how to make risks feel safe. So I want to share two things. One is I have a social safety net, I can take risks with my business or my career, whatever. Because I have a husband who loves me, I’ve had kids who love me, I have my family who loved me, I don’t have to doubt that. And so I know if I mess up as I’m the biggest fuckup of all time, who cares big scandal in the news, they’re still gonna love me, and I’ve got that safety net. And number two we didn’t talk about but I would love to share more with you is about fear planning. So you think about oh my god, what are people going to say about me? So go ahead and plan it. What are people going to say about you? If you do this? They’re gonna say this, okay? And then what? Oh, but then this, okay? And then what? What does that really mean? When you bring your fears out, and you actually put them in the light of day? You look at them, and you’re like, actually, I don’t really care what people would say, but you have to bring it out and look at it to know Wait, I don’t, that’s fine. I’m willing to take that risk. So start to plan out your fears. And then you’ll see
Jan Muhlfeit 58:20
Yeah, and then the other thing is Edward that I and you are absolutely spot on. I see it with some of my athletes they they get into the bubble before the Olympic Games For example, only talking to like, you know, coaches and maybe the family and so on. But nothing no media, nothing like Estella this guy, she’s a Olympic games come in at twice or three times, in fact, twice in, in pure chunk and now once you know, in China and Virgin, and she is a typical, like, hey, it’s individual, but she’s like really in the Bible, not taking account anybody else or whatever. And she performs, you know, wherever, because she’s saying, Hey, I concentrate absolutely on my you know, performance, and really, all other things does not, you know, matter, right? It really depends on what kind of situation you are, but sometimes we are overestimating what our people are saying that’s number one. Number two, your amygdala does done cannot distinguish whether this guy is really like, you know, professional and can give you really like some scientific driven feedback or whatever. Like the the feedback which is, you know, based on reality, right? That’s an or is it some you know, guy who never, you know, touch the ball and he’s just you know, saying you’re right, but your amygdala is taking in Hey, this is so many critical people, but you never know whether you’re on Instagram Hey, Oh, those are those are like real people. I they were tragic, or these, you know, people from the sport business or whatever, right? Okay, what What you can do once you are you can say, okay, let’s first figure out who are those people behind that, you know, feedback, that’s when your, you know, logical part of the brain is taking over. And then you can say, okay, that guy, maybe I’ll just talk to that guy, because he built like three Olympic Games winners, but not the rest, because it makes like, no sense. They have no proof. Right? So this is it is about like critical thinking, basically. Right? And in to me, critical thinking should be taught at the basic score, basically, right? The kid should, because we should not take like what is in the media and media are fortunately, they are a little bit, you know, like, I don’t want to use any bad word, but they’re like, there is a commentary and there are facts and they are mixing it very often. Okay. Commentary means, hey, this is my opinion. It’s absolutely fine. If you don’t say okay, this is comment, but this is my opinion, the good media, like Financial Times, wherever they still do it. Right. By like, the local media, like in my country, very often they mix it, you know, all right. This is like factual thing. And this is my comment, but they they mix it and then you’re like puzzled. Absolutely. Yes. Okay, guys, that’s it. I believe. Is it midnight now?
Lisa Christen 1:01:22
It’s midnight. Yes
Jan Muhlfeit 1:01:24
It is Friday in Lisa. Guys, thanks so much for being with us in this you know, quite tough time as we said, we were like wondering whether we should do it or not. But then we decided to do it. We help people who needed you know, our help before and you know, our hearts are with the with all you know, people who are like suffering these days and we pray that that conflict will be you know, over, hopefully soon. So thanks again. And we’ll see you in 14 days. Thank you.
Lisa Christen 1:02:02
Take care everyone. Bye