Today on the Listing Agent Lifestyle podcast we've got a special treat. I just got back from Toronto where we had our first GoGoAgent summit.
We had a great two days with Brendon Burchard, JP Sears, Arlene Dickinson, and our second day was our real estate summit, where we had Dan Sullivan join us and Sally Hogshead. So what you're going to listen to today, is a conversation with Dan Sullivan that's very similar to the podcasts that we do called the Joy of Procrastination.
Dan has a wonderful way of reframing procrastination as a super-power which it really is, and we've been having a great conversation about it for almost two years.
I think you're going to enjoy this and if you're one of the approximately 7 billion procrastinators on the planet... you can go to JoyofProcrastination.com to find out more.
But this is all part of our Listing Agent Lifestyle, the experience of abundant time, and we have a really great conversation with some great feedback from some of the people in the audience, all real estate agents.
So don't procrastinate, and enjoy this episode.
Transcript: Listing Agent Lifestyle Ep042
Dean: Hello, Mr. Sullivan?
Dan: Mr. Jackson?
Dean: That's how it starts out. Just like that. So for people listening and normally listen to us on the-
Dan: Mr. Jackson.
Dean: And it depends who's on first. We have a little competition sometimes to see who's ... But we always know that the other person's going to be there right at the appointed hour. And we've been having these wonderful conversations for-
Dan: July, two years. Two years.
Dean: Two years now.
Dan: Two years in July. Yeah.
Dean: And the focus of our conversation is always around the grand context of the joy of procrastination. And I remember when we started this conversation, Dan and I were having lunch at Le Select Bistro, and the conversation turned to Dan saying, "I think I've discovered that procrastination is actually a super power." And you shared with me this idea, and I very rarely get where my jaw kind of drops. And I was like, "How long have you known this?" I was accusing him of holding out on me of something.
And so we had this conversation, and I just thought of it and I said, "This needs to be a podcast." And literally 24 hours after we had the thought, we had recorded the first episode of the podcast. And we've been going ever since. I forget how many episodes we have now, but-
Dan: Yeah, it's about 40. I think we're about 40. Yeah.
Dean: 40 something? About two a month.
So we're live in Toronto today. And we've just been at the Archangel Academy.
Dean: Yes, with Giovanni Marsico. Wonderful event. And we're in a room right now. We have about 40 real estate agent, real estate professionals, and we've been having a conversation about daily joy, and now moving into abundant time.
And as I've been thinking about this, your influence on my thinking about things starts at the top level of your lifetime extender concept of thinking about really adding time to your life. Can you maybe share a little bit about that?
Dan: Yeah, Glen Mcqueeney was in on Friday for the workshop.
So when I was 70, which was 2014, I did a goal, and that is in the next hundred quarters, I'm going to write 100 books. Okay. And it seemed like a project that would keep me scared and excited. So I feel that if you have equal measures of fear and excitement in your life, that's the right octane mix to keep going.
So I was born in 1944, just before D-Day. And I'm from Northern Ohio, and those of you who kind of know Western Ontario, if you just go south of Lake Erie, there's a big amusement park called Cedar Point. I don't know if any of you know Cedar Point. And I grew up about eight miles south of Cedar Point, farm country. It's a lot like Southwestern Ontario. It's great soil; you can grow anything. And I grew up on a produce farm.
So and just by who I am in my family, I'm the fifth child in a family of seven, but I have a birth order where there was four real fast, and then there was six years and there's me, and then there's seven years and there's two more. So I have six years on side and seven ... So when I was a child-
Dean: Give me room.
Dan: By the time I came along, my parents were just really worn out. So very, very loose supervision. And I had a whole farm to wander on. And at a very early age, I got a handle that I could think about my thinking. And so long story short, I'm thinking about my thinking for 43 years.
And we get to 1987, and we're getting close to the end of the century, and we're getting close to the end of a millennium. So this is about a once in a thousand year event coming up, and I'm noticing that people are talking about this. And one of the things I've noticed is that people kind of talk themselves into the grave.
So right now 78 for men in both Canada and the United States is sort of the expected life expectancy. And it always struck me as strange that people would buy into this: you'll live till about 78, and then ... And so I noticed that people start talking about this in their 40s. "I'm only going to live to 78," and everything like that. And I said, "Boy, talk about a propaganda campaign."
And so anyway, but what they were doing, they were interviewing people at that time, Dean, who had been born in the year 1900. And they were talking about people who, when 2000 hit, they were actually still going to be alive. And I said, "Boy, that'd be really neat to live a complete century, from the very first year of an actual calendar century to the hundredth year." And I said, "I miss the 20th century." Because I was born in '44, so I missed the first 44 years. So I said, "It's going to have to be the 21st century." So I'll take the 56 that I get in the 20th century, and I'll just add another 100, and so it would be 156, which just happens to be twice the expected life. 56 is twice 78.
And I started thinking this; I said, "I wonder if I thought that thought, living to 156, just a secret to myself, I wonder what it would do to my thinking, because I noticed that people who are in their 60s, and they think they're going to die at 78, really feel that time is flying by." Two things I noticed: they thought that time was really flying by, like the ears are just going like this; and the other thing is that they're running out of time. They don't have much time left, and it's too late to really start something new.
Dean: Wind down.
Dan: They kind of missed the window, and now winding down. And I said, "How much of their feelings about today are really a function of just how long they think they're going to last? And if I just thought this other thought, would I reach a point where all of a sudden those three things, I wasn't feeling that thing, that time wasn't flying by. Secondly, I wasn't running out of time, and it's a good time to start something new."
And so I was five years into it, and I reached the point where every time I thought about my lifetime, I thought 156. And I said, "Wow. Gee, I've just got an incredible amount of time left." And the other thing I've noticed, and I've really noticed it because I'm 31 years into this now, so at 87, it's 2018, that last year was the slowest year of my lifetime. I was very conscious of day by day. And the other thing, that I'm starting some of the biggest projects of my life right now at 74, and certainly the biggest one right now. So that was it.
And then five years into this, we actually introduced it into the Strategic Coach program. And, Dean, I'll ask you a question, when you hit that concept for you ... We have an exercise. And can we send the book out to everybody?
Dean: I would love that, yeah.
Dan: Because the book just came out. I have a book called My Plan for Living to 156. Would you like to get that?
Dean: Yeah, perfect.
Dan: Yeah, and I actually have the exercise. I actually have the exercise that you could do. You can download a writeable PDF, and I talk you through the whole thing. And then I have a complete audio; it's about two hours of audio that's a duplicate of the book. And then I have cartoons, if you're not a reader, and you're just-
Dean: Make it easy to consume. That's all you need. Yeah.
Dan: Kind of a cartoon guy. Yeah. And then I have a video that goes along with it.
Dean: I love it.
Dan: And then I have a little site you can go to, and I just share with you some of the health and fitness, the medical technology stuff that I'm doing, which I wouldn't be doing if I didn't have a goal of 156. I wouldn't be doing any of these things if I thought I was going to die at 78. And that's the big shift; basically this thought that you have in your mind basically determines how you're living today. And that's really been my-
Dean: What I've found-
Dan: And by the way, it only takes an hour to read my books.
Dean: That's the best.
Dan: Yeah. You take off, and we're going to Chicago this afternoon. And it's a takeoff. You're taking off Toronto and you're landing in Chicago. If you start the book when you're taking off, by the time you land, you've read the book.
Dean: That's the truth.
Dan: Otherwise, you're dead in the water-
Dean: That's it.
Dan: ... as a writer. If it takes more than an hour, you're dead.
Dean: Yeah. This thought, how many people think that that's a far out thought to live to 156?
Dan: Who's in the program? Well, what did it do to you? Let's just get some feedback here. Yeah?
Speaker 4: Well, I know that your goal was 124 when I did the exercise a month ago. That's what I remember. And now you're saying that it's actually 156. And mine is 150, and I'm thinking I should do this exercise again. 150 is just way to short.
Dan: So far, everybody I do it with, I'm going to their funeral.
Dean: That's the best.
Dan: I'm looking for pallbearers. I'm looking for people who would show up at my funeral.
Dean: They're going to hang out there. That's so funny.
Speaker 4: Yeah, but just the fact that you started thinking about like, "What am I going to do with all this time that I have left?" And the goals just get so much bigger now. And then there's a certain level of my mind kind of quiets down, and I'm like, "I'm okay. I'm okay. I just have to get more excitement into my life every day, live with excitement." And it's good.
Dean: I think what it does is it changes the trajectory of your thinking. Rather than thinking about peaking up and then kind of winding down, and kind of counting out going in for your victory lap at the end kind of the thing, it's just constantly moving yourself forward, which is keeping you excited, and motivated, and moving forward on everything you love.
Speaker 5: I was going through the exercise, as you were talking, to myself, and I also noticed, doing that, it changed the now, the present.
Dan: Yeah. The payoff for thinking this way, I have people where I tell them what I just told you. And people will say, "Well, I think you're just setting yourself up for disappointment."
Dean: That's my favorite.
Dan: And I said, "Well, not me. I'm out of here. I'm out of here." But the eight projects I left unfinished, my team, they grieve for two days and then they're pissed off for two weeks, because I left them such a mess. But it's their problem.
Dean: But if you think about that, even that, when you said that about them saying you're setting yourself up for disappointment, what you're doing is you're live, live, live, live, test pattern.
Dean: And as long as you're living like you're going to live to a 156, that's the mental construct of this. It's not the reality that you're going to live to 156, even though there's the possibility of that now, with all the things. And that's what your book is about, all the things that you're actually doing to make that a reality.
Speaker 4: And, Dan, is it altering your decisions that you're making?
Dan: Oh, yeah. Huge. And I'll just give you the logic of the exercise, because it only takes you about 15 to 20 minutes to do the exercise. But what I do, so I'll have a brand new group who comes in in October, and I have 75 ... This is the all time big for 10 times. So we have a program that has three levels. One's called the signature level. And I have 15 other coaches, who coach that, and we have about 2,000, maybe 2,200 entrepreneurs. Everybody in our program is an entrepreneur, but it's not corporate people, it's not government people, it's not academic people, it's just people who have an unusually intimate relationship with the 31st of the month.
How many of you have an unusually intimate relationship with the 31st of the month? Yeah. And you can think you had a good month, but your banker doesn't think so.
So, anyway, we only deal with people who can actually create their own future by selling basically. Everybody sells. And so I'll have 75 of them, and right off the bat, I say, "We're just going to get started here, and I have this form. I just want you to write down a number, and the number is the age at which you're going to die." Okay. And everything goes like this. And I say, "It's really interesting, ever since I was a kid, people have told me nobody knows when they're going to die. And yes I've done this with 30,000 people, and everybody knows when they're going to die."
And so I'll pick one person. Okay. Let's say it's Glen. And I say, "Glen, do you remember your first number, when you first did it?"
Dan: Okay. So, Glen, when are you going to die?
Glen: So I think when I first set it up, it was 78 or 79.
Glen: And now I think I'm 121.
Dan: Yeah. I'm going to mention and I'm going to really talk about that 121 number, but the 78 ... So I'll say, "Glen, any idea why your number is ... Let's say it's 79. Any idea why your number is 79?"
Glen: Well, I picked it based on what the average was.
Dan: Yeah, and I have to tell you-
Glen: My goal was to be average.
Dan: Yeah, yeah.
Dean: Above average. 79? Above average. Yeah. Plus one. See that?
Dan: And how is that being average working for you, especially in your business? Yeah. So if 79 is your number, I'm not going to talk about 79. I'm going to talk about 78. And, Glen, when you're 78, how do you want to be physically? We're reproducing the-
Glen: Oh, we're reproducing it?
Glen: Well, I think when I first did it, I think I was just about to go. And now, I think at 78, you want to be the exact same way I am now. Probably I want to look like Tom Cook, yeah.
Dan: Okay, he's too clever. Glen is being too clever here. But I have to tell you, this is not what Glen actually said. Okay? So and this is uniform, and I'll go through the routine. I'll say, "How do you want to be physically?" And they say, "Oh, really great, feeling good." And I said, "Good. How about mentally how do you want to be?" "Well, sharp." Sharp?
Dean: Mentally sharp.
Dan: "Yeah, really sharp mentally." "What about financially?" "No problems, independent. Anything I want to do, I can do." "Relationships?" "Really, lots of close, warm, supportive relationships." "And what about your assessment of how you've done so far since you were born?" They say, "Ah, made the most of it. Made massive contribution to everybody I met."
And I say, "Okay, let's just play that back." And it's everybody in the room. So I'm doing it with Glen, but I've got everybody else in the room is going through and filling this in. And I said, "You're 78. Physically, you're in great shape. You've got lots of energy. Mentally, you're sharp as a tack. Financially, just completely independent. Relationship, warm, supportive. And you've lived a terrific life, and you feel good about it. So if those five things are true when you're 78, what are the chances you're going to die at 79?" And they said, "Well, I wouldn't die at 79." And I said, "So you would live beyond 79?" And they say, "Yeah." And I said, "Well, how many extra years beyond 79?" And they said, "Oh, 10 or 15." I say, "Well, which? 10 or 15?" "Oh, 15." I said, "Well, that takes us to 90 ..." What is that, Dan?
Dan: 94. "Okay." So there's a box there and they write down 94. And I said, "Okay, so here's the deal. All the time that you've been spending, maybe for the last 20 or 30 years, your number was 79, but I'm telling you, after this next hour and for the rest of your life, it's now 94. And you're going to go back in the next 90 days, and that 94 number changes every other thought in your brain, because everything you've been thinking up until now is geared to 79, and you're here a half hour, and I just gave you another 15 years. How much are you paying for this program?"
And it's true. It's true. And people will come back 90 days later and they said, "Wow. Wow. It's really amazing, all the new things I thought I could do, because I've got an extra 15 years."
Now here's the thing: the 79 Glen had when he started was just a thought that he had picked up from other people. He didn't come up with that. He didn't come up. He heard it. He read it.
We find that insurance agents tend to die a lot earlier than their policyholders.
Dean: For accuracy.
Dan: Because insurance agents actually believe in actuarial tables.
Dean: Full immersion in their everyday-
Dan: Oh, yeah. There you go. Thank you for that. They're not only selling the Kool-Aid, they're drinking it and everything. And so what happens is that there's this enormous shift. And I've been doing this with roughly 19,000 entrepreneurs since we came up with the concept, and we're going to need about 50 years to really tell whether actually, in calendar years, we've really extended people's lifetime. But I will tell you this, we already have the proof we've extended careers by another 10 years.
Dean: Well, say about that specifically? How many retirement parties have we gone to with Strategic Coach members?
Dan: And I tell you-
Dean: HHHHas their retirement parties.
Dan: And I'll tell you, given the numbers that we're dealing with, not many deaths.
Dan: Not many deaths. I've coached 6,000 people, and I can think of 10 that have died in the last 25 years.
Dean: Yeah, isn't that-
Dan: There's some I don't know about, but the ones I do know about, there are not very many. And the vast majority of them, and I had this one particular person, he was 65 and ... Well, I'll give you two examples, both of them 65. And the first one was 65, and he said, "I'm ready to pack it in now." And so I got his whole team together, and this moves on to joyous living. I'll tell you the real payoff for this is that I brought the team out, and I said, "Why do you want to retire?" He says, "All that crap I have to put up with."
Okay, so I got two flip-charts, and on one side: "All the crap I have to deal with." Okay, I said, "Tell me all the crap you have to deal with." "It's this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this." I said, "Let's go over to the other flip-charta. I just want you to write down what you would actually do if all the crap was taken care of by other people." And he said, "I'd just do cold calls and sell."
And I said to his team, "Would it be okay if you took all the crap, and you did the crap, so that he could just do cold call?" He was 65 and he loved cold calls. Loved cold calls, but he hated driving. So we got him a driver and everything else, and he went till 86.
Dean: That's so great.
Dan: He went another 21 years, and they were the best 21 years financially of his entire life.
Dean: Isn't that amazing? This whole thinking-
Dan: How many of you, if somebody else did all the crap and you were just freed up to do the thing you'd love, you probably wouldn't think about retirement?
Dean: We had a great experience with that in June. I did one of my Breakthrough Blueprint events. So Tommy, and Davel, and Tador were there, and we had Frank Kree.
Dan: Well, that's Frank.
Dean: Oh, he was still-
Dan: Frank is 89. Frank is 89.
Dean: And it was just such an inspiring thing to see the guy, who had his assistant that with him taking the notes, and he's excited about moving forward.
Dan: Yeah, his best part of his career-
Dean: Each year better than the last.
Dan: The best part of his career has been since he was 65 and we had that meeting.
The other one was Paul, who was in-
Glen: Yeah, Friday.
Dan: Yeah, on Friday. And Paul runs a big engineering company in the United States. They do hospitals all over the world. And he was the 12th largest engineering firm, engineering and construction firm in the United States. And he came in through someone else. A lot of people just come in to coach because they've heard about it. And his first workshop, so this is five years ago.
He said, "I'm just going to use these three years to kind of pack it in, package my company, and get it into other people's hands." And I said, "Well, what are you going to do then? After three years, what are you going to do, because usually people don't come into Strategic Coach to plan their retirement? So this is kind of new for me." And he said, "Well, my wife and I are thinking about having a sort of specialty coffee shop." Okay. I said, "Well, that's good. Let's just go through the exercise."
And he comes back after 90 days. First of all, he looks better because if you projected how he looked at 65, and his first number was kind of like yours. It was 78. And he was on the road to dying at 78. You could kind of project. It's like real estate prices in a really bad place, you could kind of project downward. And he came back and he said, "I've rethought that, and I've decided, we're number 12, in the next 10 years, I'd like to be the number one engineering construction company in the United States."
And I said, "Well, coffee shop, number one. Well, what's got the most juice?" But he said, "I'm not doing it the way I did it. I'm going to go." And he's now number four. He's gone from number 12 to number four in five years. And he'll be number one well before the 10 year mark. And he's in phenomenal physical shape. I know the program he's in, because Babs and I are in the same program that Paul is in. And I've sent about two dozen, three dozen people. Babs and I together have sent about three dozen. And the doctor who runs this program out of Dallas, he's in my very top program, so why shouldn't I send him to the doctor who want's to live forever?
Dean: Why not? Exactly. Yeah.
Dean: Is that insight-changer for you, just even thinking that kind of a way? I was sharing with Tom Cook yesterday. This is what I was talking about with you, is this thing. Tom is 70 years old. Look at him. He's a good looking guy. And I was saying coming in here that the thing I love about being around Dan is here's this 74 year old guy with a 25 year plan at the peak of his career, moving forward, writing a book every quarter, and the vision's getting bigger and bigger and bigger. The outcomes are getting bigger and bigger and bigger. It's inspiring to be around.
I couldn't remember your very articulate definition of retirement, of what that's the onset for. It was like a sudden and permanent ...
Dan: Yeah. Yeah. My definition for entrepreneurs of retirement, it's a sudden and permanent loss of capability the moment you retire. And my dad is a good example. So my dad was a farmer. We had a produce farm, and the farm went bankrupt when he was 60 years old. And it went bankrupt, and they didn't have any money. My parents didn't have any money. And within about a nine month period, he re-engineered himself as a landscaper and he had the best 23 years of his life. And his last year, when he was 83, he had the best year of his life. Okay.
And then on his 83rd birthday, he decided that he had had enough. He quit nine months later. Well, first of all, he went in for a physical, and he had some issues, but they were under control. And nine months later, he died of prostate cancer. And the reason is because the day after my father stopped work, he didn't know who he was. And to be on planet Earth at 83 and not know who you are, you want to get out of here really fast. Okay.
And I watched him. One trip home, when he was in his 70s, I went around with him. And first of all, all his clients were women because all their husbands had died when they were in their 60s. So he'd go around, and from morning till night, we saw six clients. And this is how the conversation went: "Dan, I'll tell you, your father is one of the most amazing people in the world. We talk about Mr. Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan is just an amazing ..." He was really strong, really strong. And when he was 75, he weighed 145 and he could pick up 120 pound tree and walk over, drop it in a hole, and do that ten times in the morning. He was just incredibly strong, and driving, and sociable. Man, was he a schmoozer? An incredible schmoozer.
And, "Mr. Sullivan, I baked some cookies for you. Mr. Sullivan, can you have some coffee and tea?" And nonstop I said, "My mother doesn't know what he actually does out here." But from morning till night, it was just applause. When the applause stopped, your reason for living ... Money keeps us alive, but I'll tell you, applause is just as important. Being the hero to somebody else is what keeps us alive, and getting applause for it. And his stopping and dying nine months later, I said, "Never let the applause stop. Never let the ..."
Dean: I love that kind of thought of extending that time, which then sets up this idea, that's been another concept from you that's really helped me wrap my mind around things, is the context of a 25 year framework.
Dan: Yeah, yeah.
Dean: Instead of where there's a lot of people in this room, if we were going to retire at 65 or whatever, you do the math real quick and we don't have time to do a 25 year plan going forward. But 25 years, when you really think about that amount of time, it's 100 quarters-
Dean: ... in a 25 year time frame. Just think about what you could accomplish in that moving forward. I want to talk about that, but I want to talk about it in the context of we were talking earlier before you got here about this immigrant mindset. Arlene Dickinson spoke yesterday about their family coming to Canada, and she told an amazing story of that, but they came with $50, couldn't bring more than $50 out of the country. And she would joke with Robert Herjavec, who his Croatian family came with $25, so she said they came with twice as much money to Canada looking for this brighter, bigger future.
And I think how that immigrant thinking of cutting off, what's really going on there is they're cutting themselves off from their past. Everything in their life has been up to that point ... She talked about it as generations growing up in South Africa, all the cumulative point of getting to there, and then just making a conscious decision to cut that off. And the world was very ... Geography was important, and it wasn't like this global cloud that it really doesn't matter where you live now, you still stay connected to everybody in your past.
But immigrating to a new country was really cutting things off, and you're coming often on a boat or something to get there. And taking that mindset, how we can do it for domestic and intellectual kind of immigration, taking that immigrant mindset.
Dan: Yeah. Babs said ... And I should tell you that I have two parts to my life. And the first part of my life is called B.B., and the second part of my life is called A.B. And I met Babs 36 years ago. It was August 13th, 1982 at 7:00 in the evening approximately. And I met Babs, and all my life, there's my life before Babs, and then there's my life after Babs.
And Babs is seven years younger, so her number is 149. I'm sorry, Babs, but, yeah. And we're going to beam up together on the same day, everything like that.
But, Babs, can you just say a few words about what this has done, because we've talked this through? I kept it quiet from the Strategic Coach clients for five years, but I was talking to you about it. And Babs is the person who really has the great insight into health and fitness.
Babs: So should I talk?
Dan: Yeah, grab that. That would be perfect.
Dean: I think you just need to turn it on.
Dan: Is it on? Just tap it. Yeah.
Babs: Yeah. So before Dan came up with his strategy, the 156 concept, and I think you were noodling it for a while before you shared it with me, because it came out really fully formed, which was amazing and awesome. But when I met Dan, there was a lot of things, like hadn't taken a free day in a really long time. Our concept of free day is 24 hours, midnight to midnight, no business related activities.
And I was into going away, going hiking in the mountains, or going to the beach, or cutting off. I had my own business at the time, and cutting off and coming back fresher and stuff like that, because we had that kind of in our family growing up. So some of the things that we did together were new for Dan, and when he got it, about three days he just turned it, he shifted. He's really good at shifting. And then health, and working out, and fitness, and stuff like that.
But this whole concept of living a whole century, and living to 156, really was a mindset shift for me, and obviously for Dan. But it really changes the way that you think about your goals and your future. I know you probably, with different people in coach, have had that for a while now.
So it's just different in the way that you're thinking about the road ahead. And you have to make different choices if you really want to get there. And it's all about living energetically, and continuing to be healthy, and be able to be creative, and excited about life as long as possible. And that always starts with right now. So that was a real shift on our lives and everything. And we have a lot of habits built up that really support that, so it's cool.
Dan: Yeah. So back to the question, because I-
Dean: That's okay. No, this-
Dan: I live in the moment, so I don't remember what you said. Has everybody done the Kolbe profile, where you do the Kolbe profile? So Dean and I are both 10 quick starts. I was clinically diagnosed as ADD, and then I clinically diagnosed him as ADD.
Dean: In the presence of doctor. We actually had the ... Yeah.
Dan: And shared my medication.
Dan: And sometimes I carry extra, just because Dean will forget his medication.
Dean: That's true. Oh, that's funny. Yeah, but I think this idea of taking this longer vision, once you have that, I think it feels like it's almost your immigrant decision, that you've made that decision that, "I'm going to change the trajectory of my life. I'm going to change. I'm not going to look at now winding down or having that traditional arc to what everybody else is participating in."
And sometimes just my observation of the way that immigrants that are coming from afar physically cut themselves off from there, of all their stuff, all the environment, all the people, just the whole of the people. And you had this great concept of choosing, you make that decision mentally, and then you get to choose the things and the people that you want to bring forward with you into the next 25 years. And that mindset is so amazing when you can make that conscious choice to be an immigrant in your own life kind of thing.
Dan: Yeah, and you can see it here in Toronto. And I've heard that the percentage of the population, if you take GTA, I think it's about six million now, the GTA. But I've heard that it's as much as 60% of the population was not born in Canada. Okay. And you just feel this energy in the city, because everybody has chosen to leave something else behind and come here. And when you get here, your past doesn't matter because nobody cares, unless you bring too much of it with you. And-
Dean: Is anybody in here from first or second generation, like immigrant? Okay, wow. Look at that.
Dan: Yeah. Well, Babs and I are immigrants. We're immigrants.
And the thing is that you leave behind physically. Obviously you leave behind physically, but you have to leave behind mentally, and psychologically, and emotionally too. And the reason is because you arrive and you've got no reputation, you've got no connections, and you just have to sort yourself out really fast. How can I be useful to someone here to actually create a new life here?
So it's all about the future. It's all about the future. Nothing you did back then: your family was famous, or wealthy, or whatever back then, it doesn't matter because nobody really cares. And you've got to sort things out in an entirely new way.
And the power of that means that since people are creating new things, they also want to be respectable, and they still want want to show success in the new thing. It just happens to be owning a detached house is one of the things that you want to do as fast as possible. If there's one thing I know, to get yourself settled in Canada, own real estate, residential real estate. And I think that's a real power.
But there's a lot of real estate in addition to the formal real estate. There's creating success for yourself, creating a new moneymaking system. Well, you can choose to do that at any time. You don't have to be an immigrant to do this, but you have to have an immigrant attitude that what happened up until now ...
Is Joseph ... Joe? The person who's 70?
Dean: Tom, yeah.
Dan: I'm sorry, Tom. Tom, so the way I would look at it, your life is stage one and stage two. And stage one is ending during this hour. And it's just R&D up until now. Everything you've done is just R&D. Now, you really get to put it together now. Yeah.
Does that make sense?
Tom: That's a great way to look at it.
Dan: Yeah, yeah. We have about 130 team members in our company. We started real small in the '80s with this, but we're up to 130. We're in three countries, and we do our program in eight different cities. And so we're in U.S., Canada, and the UK.
And when I was 70, which was in 2014, we had a team meeting. Our fiscal year is March 31st/April 1st. And so I said, "I just want to talk to you, to the team. First of all, I'm 70 years old, and I don't know if any of you even know a 70 year old," because a lot of our team members are 20s and 30s. And I said, "You may not be saying this openly, but you may be thinking, 'I wonder how long the old guy is going to stay around.' So I just want to tell you, when I'm 95-"
Dean: Old man Sullivan.
Dan: "... 25 years from now, I'm going to be coaching workshops. And I'll be a lot better than I am today. Don't know what the fee structure is for how much I'm charging, but it tends to escalate over time. And I just want to tell you some of the projects that I'm going to work on." And that's when I established the goal of writing 100 books in 100 quarters.
So it just came out this week. And this is My Plan for Living to 156 is the number 15 in 15 quarters. We've got a whole team. And we've talked about this, and we used Dean's 90 minute book process for the first one, just to get it going, because I scared the daylights out of me. I made this public commitment, and I thought, "Oh, geez." I do this frequently. I do this frequently. And I was really scared. That first quarter, I was just really scared.
But we've done it, and I've started eight podcast series since then, including this one. And people who know, love this one best.
Dean: That's right. That's right.
Dan: The one that we do with you, because it's totally unpredictable.
Dan: And it's going to get talked about.
Dean: Yeah, and it's conversational. That's-
Dan: It's conversational.
Dan: Yeah, but tell me, Dean, what's it done for you?
Dean: Well, I'll tell you-
Dan: Because you've been part of this.
Dean: This whole thing of taking this 25 year framework, one of the things that really blew my mind, you ever have those moments where you hear something and you just know that, "I've never thought about anything like that before?"
So we were in one of our workshops, and Dan was asking people, "Think about who's been influential in your thinking in your life here." And everybody's going down, and we're all thinking the modern day people. Somebody in marketing might say, "Well, Seth Godin's been influential, or Jay Abraham, or Stephen Covey, or-"
Dean: Tony Robbins. Thinking all these current people, and Dan breaks out his list of people. And it's Bach, and it's Euclid-
Dean: ... and Shakespeare, and James-
Dan: Madison and Thomas Edison.
Dean: ... and Thomas Edison. And I'm thinking, "There's not one of them that's been alive even this whole century," and it struck me immediately, because I had been reading some of the old philosophers. Who's the stoic?
Dean: Seneca, I was reading, yeah. That Seneca was reading then, looking back. These guys are having letters from a stoic that was written in 35 B.C. So these guys are having philosophical conversations back then, ruminating and thinking about the same things that we're thinking about now. And I realized that what these guys have done, like Bach and Euclid, all these people that are doing things that have been impactful 400 years later.
Dan: 2,000 in some cases.
Dean: And some of them in cases of 2,000. And as you started to think that ... I wrote in my journal, when having a conversation with myself, about this, is what am I working right now that's going to matter 400 years from now? And you start to think. It's such a perspective changer on things when you start to really think about, "Is it meaningful?" Or when you start to think, "What would I do," and bring it down to, for most people, a 25 year time frame is a long time.
I remember even just my ability to think those thoughts .. When I first came into Strategic Coach, I was 30 years old, and I remember thinking, going through that exercise and doing five year thinking, and even then it was a long time. It was hard to get a crystal clear vision of thinking even five years ahead, because when you're 30, you're shifting, you're kind of unsettled in where it's going to be.
And I noticed that the big difference now, at 52, but I had this thought a while ago, at 50, whenever I Dan brought this idea of the 25 year framework, that my ability to see and think 25 years is crystal clear, because now I've had a context of what 25 years of adult life actually looks like. When I had that vista at 30, my adult life was really only 10 years. And so I find that has an advantage of getting that, and if you can wrap your mind around that at 30, what 25 years really means ... If you think that way at 30, at the end of 25 years, you're still young.
We were joking about that, waiting for the switch to flip on, the adult switch. And I haven't found anybody that tells me when it comes on. So this whole idea then: "Imagine what you could accomplish in that 25 years," it gives you a sense of abundant time. Yeah.
Dan: Yeah. But there's actually a way of doing this for you. Some of you may have a hard time, because I'm just looking at the age levels in the room here. But if you go back to ... I'll take Tom, because, Tom, yours was 45. Okay. So if I go back 25 years with you, and you're real clear about where you are right now, and I could take you back 25 years, and I could say, "So what you thought was real and what you thought was important 25 years ago that you worked on, and that was really valuable because that's the way things turned out, but there was a lot of stuff that you could have just bypassed over the last 25 years. So if you go back and say, 'What was I doing at 45 that has a clear connection with what I'm doing now? And if I knew where I was going to be now 25 years ago, how would I rethink what represented opportunity, what didn't represent an opportunity, what was my best ability that if I just kept focusing on it for 25 years,' you'd probably be 10 times where you are right now if you had started that 25 years ago? Ten times."
And that brings up our 10 times thing, because one of the big things that I say, that it's actually a lot easier to go 10 times than it is to go two times. Okay. The reason being, if you're going 10 times, there isn't much you're doing right now that you can take over the next 25 years, but there are some things. Okay? And your best ability you can take, like what Sally was talking about previously. There's a uniqueness that you have. It doesn't matter what age you are. When you're operating at your best, people just notice you.
How many of you, when you're at your best? Okay. And I just zero-in on people: "Tell me the best day you ever had from a professional standpoint. What were you doing? And who were you doing it with? And what was the magic of that day?" And I said, "I can guarantee you 25 years ago it will be the same magic. The only question is, how much time will you give to it? Okay, how much time will you give to the magic?" Okay?
And so what I say to people, "Whatever your best income has been up for a year, up until now, just multiply it by 10." Okay. And everybody said, "Well, you can't do that."
Dan: "You can't do that in the residential real estate in Toronto. Do you know ..." Yeah, I said, "What I know about the residential real estate market in Toronto, since 1989, there really hasn't been a downturn. That's what I know about the residential real estate. So that's not 25 years. That's 29 years. And there's nothing that indicates to me that it's going to go anywhere else but up. It's the sweet spot of the universe." I look around the globe every day and I said, "This is the sweet spot of the universe, Toronto."
Probably 10 million. In 25 years, Toronto will be just right where Los Angeles is right now size-wise, because they keep on coming. People just keep wanting to come here and they want to live here. It's safe. I tell you it's safe, because when we have a U.S. style murder here, it's 10 pages in the news. In the U.S., it's not even in the front section.
Dean: Yeah, that's true, isn't it? Yeah.
Dan: Yeah. Chicago; a person killed in South Chicago, you have to go searching in the paper to find it.
Dean: We had that-
Dan: That's like the sun came up this morning. That's the kind of news it is. Well, Babs and I live in Chicago as well. We have a home in Chicago, and it's a different place. Yeah.
Dean: Many of us in this room had ... Our friend Simon Janeeny was the gentleman that was shot in the restaurant last year.
Dan: Yeah, and it was news.
Dean: Yeah. Worldwide news. I saw it in the U.S. too. It was really shocking when something like that happens in Canada.
Dan: So I give them this goal, 10 times. And they say, "10 times? I just can't do it." But I said, "Here's the thing: I'm going to give you 25 years to do it." And they said, "25 years? I can do 10 times in 25 years."
Dean: Yeah. It feels relaxing.
Dan: And I said, "Well, how soon can you get it?" "Well, I could do it in 15." I said, "Isn't that interesting? You can get 10 times and you get 10 years change. What are you going to do with the extra 10 years?" And they say, "Well, I'll go 10 times again." And I said, "Well, there you go."
Dean: Isn't that amazing?
Dan: But you have to realize that this is just perspective. Instead of saying, "What am I going to do tomorrow? What am I going to do next week? What am I going to do the next month," just extend it outward, and then accept the fact that maybe the trick going forward is you not doing the how, but getting other who's to do the how for you. There's a how-
Dean: There's a thought.
Dan: And that's your thought. And I should say this; this is the probably one of the greatest thoughts.
Dean: It's pretty good.
Dan: ... that we've had. This is our 30th year. We're just going into our 30th year of Strategic Coach. But how many of you could really have a lot of bigger and better goal, that you really got excited about if you didn't have to do the how to achieve the goal? You can find other who's.
Dean: That's it. That's so good.
Dan: Billionaires don't do how.
Dean: That was my realization.
Dan: Billionaires are who-ers.
Dean: Richard Branson's the biggest who-er there is. That's right.
Dan: He's company.
Dean: We've had him on I Love Marketing. When you see these things now, do you start to see that these are things that are in play, it's all around us, that there's been clues of it? This 25 year time frame, and not doing any of the stuff yourself ... It was funny with Richard, when Yannick Silver .. This was filmed on Necker Island, that Yannick asked him, "How do you manage and run 300 companies with billions of dollars in revenue?" And he said, "Well," he thought for a second, but it was really quick. The answer was, "You can't actually do anything. I don't do anything. And you have to get out of the way. You can set the direction and the vision and point it in the right way, but you have to find the right people, and get out of their way, and let them run it, empower them to grow."
And that's really kind of that first thing. And you look at these secrets to that 25 year time frame, when you look at it, Warren Buffett, that's been a secret of him. His whole decision-making process is he does ... The reason he wasn't investing in technology companies was because he couldn't see who the clear winner was going to be 20 years from now. That's why he was investing in Coca-Cola, and American Express, and companies that you could see they had a sustainable, durable advantage that's going to go on for 20 or 25 years, as far as you could see. And it makes such a big difference when you start thinking that way.
Even Jeff Bezos. Jeff Bezos feels on the cutting edge of everything. And people always ask him, "What's coming? What's the big change coming in the next five or 10 years?" And he says, "I don't know what's coming, but nobody ever asks me what's not going to change in the next 10 years, because that's what we're building the company around. I don't know what technologies are going to exist 10 years from now, but I know that consumers, people are going to want as wide a selection of products as they can get. They're going to want to get them at the lowest price they can get them, and they're going to want to get them as fast as they can."
Dan: And have the best experience doing it.
Dean: "And have the best experience." And everything that they do in the company is only to drive that forward. And that's what's going to last for the next 25 years.
Dean: I remember thinking 25 years ago, when I was starting in real estate, that people were already predicting the decline of the real estate profession as a thing. The FSBOs were coming, and as the Internet came, we don't need any real realtors. There's not going to be a need for them; they're just middle men. And it got louder and louder, and still 30 years later, here we are. And I'm so bullish now on the real estate. I think the future of the real estate business is better than it's ever been, but to really embrace it and lean into it with that idea that 30 years from now it's still going to be a thriving ongoing industry. Yeah.
Dan: Can I just ask you to experiment with something? When you're dealing with prospects, whether they're selling prospects or they're buying prospects, have a conversation with them that, "If you do this now, what's the 25 year impact of what you're doing? In other words, how do you see this developing over the next 25 years? Because you're not buying it today; you're buying it as the first step of a new future. When you move into a new house, or you sell a house, or you move up, it's not a house. It's actually a future."
See, people don't buy houses. They buy futures. And they want the next future to have bigger and better qualities about them. And it's not the size of the house; it's the size of the experience that they're really buying into. And most people buy it for a combination of freedom from something, and a combination of freedom to something. So what we're buying is the future, and we're buying the future for an improvement in freedom.
And then you say, "Well, how are you freer? What are you freed up from, and what are you freed up to do as a result of this?" And I have to tell you, nobody else who's trying to get them as a customer is going to be asking them that question. And they'll remember you for the next 25 years for a half hour conversation. They'll say, "Geez, what are we doing for the next 25 years?" Because nobody asked this question.
Dean: What a great context for a lifetime relationship with your clients.
Dean: Imagine if you're working with first-time buyers and you're laying out this 25 year plan for them of: "This is going to be where it starts. And then moving up into here, and maybe buying some investment properties here. What's your dream? Where are we going to go?" Do they want to live in this particular neighborhood or build a house in the country?
But to establish your relationship as the person who's with them for the 25 year journey of all the real estate that's going to be in their lives, that's ...
How many people are having that conversation with realtors among your competitors? No, they're saying, "Are you pre-approved? Are you working with a realtor?" They're more worried about the next 25 days of your plan. That's all it is. If I could just tie you down for that 25 days with a buyer agency agreement so you don't go sneak off and buy one at an open house or something. That's the way the industry is thinking about this. Nobody's sitting down thinking about the 25 year context of your relationship with them. That's game-changing ways to think about this stuff.
Dan: And it's available. This is free, by the way.
Dan: The use of 25 years, it's actually free. You don't have to pay anybody for it.
Dan: But you've got to be a good role model for it to be believable. If you have a 25 year plan, you can sell a 25 year plan.
Dean: That's amazing. Doug?
Doug: Sometimes you hear a business person be, "Well, how's business?" And they may be in their 50s, and they go, "Oh, it's okay. Not as good as before. Not well. I can't do the things-"
Dean: Starting to wind down?
Doug: Yeah. It's an energy type of thing like, "I can't do what I could do in my 30s." And I'm wondering now how it's psychological and not physical. It might be a conversation.
Dan: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I only deal with people who essentially own their own business. So they've got quite a bit of freedom, if they re-contextualize how they're thinking about it. But I'll tell you something, I've got a phrase that, "Your eyes only see and your ears only hear what your brain is looking for."
And so just to give an example, because I'm thinking about 156, every day on the internet I'm looking for breakthroughs in this, breakthroughs in this, breakthroughs in this, a new technological exercise for this. And there's just millions of things out there, which have absolutely no interest to people who think they're going to die at 78. So all this help is out there. Stem cell. Stem cell. Within 10 years-
Dean: Dave Asprey.
Dan: 10 years you'll be able to rejuvenate every cell in your body using stem cells from other people.
Dean: Dave Asprey is doing it next week. He just spoke yesterday, and he's going in and he's getting a $140,000 worth of body work, all this stuff done, stem cells, and like a whole oil change. But he could get a Tesla or get a new body, get all new cells at the mitochondrial level. What's going to be more useful in the next 25 years?
Dan: Yeah. Yeah. And so I just wanted to go back to finish up here my thing. Glen talked about 121 as his goal. The world's record is 122 and a half, where we actually have actual records.
Dean: Documented, yeah.
Dan: We hear about people in the Himalayas living to 300, but there's a shortage of documents to actually say that. But a woman in France, she died about nine years ago, she was 122 and a half. And she lived in the same village in France for 100 ... They got her baptismal certificates. She's been entered into the national census in France for a 122 and a half, but she was the first person to 122. She was also the first and only person to 121. And she's the first and only person to 120, but there's a lot of people who got to 118, 119.
So right now, it seems that the upper limit seems to be right around 120, but that's based on us not knowing anything. In other words, as we kept records and everything else ... But there's 80,000 Americans over 100, and the average 100 year old American is a lot healthier than the average 90 year old American, because most of the 90 year olds aren't going to make it to 100. And so we've got critical mass now of proof of people living long.
And the big thing is there's a thing called telomeres, and that's how many times your cells reproduce. And the number is 46 right now. It seems to me that the cell that will reproduce itself in the body is 46, and the breakthrough on this will be that they can get the-
Dean: Extending the telomeres, yeah.
Dan: ... copying period longer, or you can do more than 46. And that's the four minute mile for longevity. But now that they know what it has, there's vast amounts of research, and it's all funded by wealthy people who want another five years.
If you asked Warren Buffett now ... He's over 90 now, I think. There was actually a neat thing. He went to Columbia University, where he graduated his business school at Columbia University. So he was talking, and a student got up and said, "Mr. Buffett, is there anything you'd give your entire fortune for?" And Warren Buffett said, "How old are you?" And he says, "21, sir." He says, "I'd give my entire fortune for 21, knowing what I know now, knowing what I know now."
So I'm 74. That's 26 plus 20. I've got 46 years for them to come up with a solution.
Dean: Right. No, that's-
Dan: But that's the way you think. How many of you find this is just a really interesting discussion?
Dean: Yeah, absolutely.
Dan: How many of you have gone to really boring parties? This lifetime extender, the whole crowd will be around you. And just ask them, "When are you going to die? When are you going to die?" Do the thing I did with Glen. You'd say, "So how are you going to be the year before, and everything else?" The most boring people in the world come alive on this discussion-
Dean: That's amazing.
Dan: ... because that's the number one issue in our life. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. It's the number one issue in our life.
Dean: That's great. That's awesome.
Doug: If I can just add something, that the two biggest things that I got out of this was, one thing you said, that people tend to overestimate how much money they can make in a year and underestimate what they can make in a lifetime, which was a huge insight. But more importantly, I think it's the mindset. The biggest shift for me has been when you talk about always making your future bigger than your past. And I wonder if you could just maybe talk on that some?
Dan: Yeah. And what I notice in most people's lives, there's a date in their life. So they're born. Let's say they go ... Kids think they're immortal. All children think they're immortal. So do teenagers. They wouldn't take the risk they took if they didn't think that they were immortal.
And you have to understand that society, in our neck of the woods here in Canada and the U.S., gives people an enormous amount of support until they're age 30. And after 30, you're on your own. And nature gives you a lot of support till 30, because by 30, you're supposed to have done what you're supposed to do. In other words, we're only here to reproduce, and if you haven't done it by 30, forget it.
So our muscles grow until 30, and then start declining at the rate of about 1% of muscle mass per year, if you don't do muscle building. So right now, I'm about 95% of where I was when I was 18 years old, because I really work at it. For the last year and a half, I do 1,000 calories of exercise before breakfast every day, except for three days. I've done it for 18 months. And I'm blowing the charts away. So at any time in your life when you decide to really get serious about your health, it'll get serious and you'll do better.
So what was the question again?
Doug: Your future bigger than your past.
Dan: Oh, the future better than your past. So there's a point in your life, and I've noticed with people it could be at 20, it could be at 35, it could be at 50. There's a point where they say, "My future is really smaller than my past. I'm not going to have anything ahead of me that's as big as what I've done." And if you believe that, that's true.
But if you flip it and say like, "You're at 70, Tom, and the first 70 years was just R&D," now it really, really gets interesting. If you believe that, that'll be true. All of a sudden, you'll say, "Well, what do I take from the first 70 years that will still be valuable? And now start utilizing it, and I'll leave everything behind. It was just raw material, and it's not useful anymore." Your mind flips, and if you believe your future is bigger than your past, then it is. And if you believe that it's not, it isn't. Our brain will simply do what you tell it to do.
So when I started hearing entrepreneurs talking about, "Well, it's time to leave a legacy now," I said, "A radio signal just went to the center of the universe, and death said, 'Oh, collection time. Got to go collect them.'" So we should all wear T-shirts that say, "Death is coming. Look ambitious."
Dean: I love that. That's perfect.
Dan: Yeah, is that good?
Dean: Actually we need to get some merch.
Dan: No, it's a cartoon.
Dean: We need merch.
Dan: No, I have a cartoon in the book.
Dean: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Dan: Yeah, yeah. So it's a pleasure to talk to you.
Dean: I love it.
Dan: But this thing about thinking of a house as a 25 year growth period for greater freedom-
Dean: Yes, that's amazing.
Dan: ... it might be an interesting discussion that you have.
Dan: People don't feel confident about doing something in the future unless they're confident about that they've already kind of done that in the past. So just take them back 25 years: "Okay, you're here. Can you tell me the history of the last 25 years, how you got here?" And they talk, and they'll get excited about their past. You can only get people excited about their future if you can get them excited about their past.
So the house they have is a huge accomplishment that started 25 years ago, and this is where they are now. So I would get them involved in their discussion about their past first 25 years, and then you say, "Okay, well, that's your last 25 years. So now here we are. Now what does this look like? This is a jumping off point for another 25 years." So that's how I would soften it. Yeah.
Dean: That's awesome.
Dan: You kind of look like the guy from the Mexican beer commercial, doesn't he?
Doug: Drink that.
Doug: I have one in my car.
Dean: That's awesome.
Dan: Well, maybe you should take it with you on the calls.
Doug: I don't think it would be good.
Dean: Well, Mr. Sullivan?
Dan: Mr. Jackson. This has been fun.
Dean: This has been a very successful, fun conversation. It's nice to look at you while we're doing this. And I have the whole thing-
Dan: Yeah. Well, let's have them back for all the future ones.
Dean: Yeah, are you guys busy every other Sunday at 12:30? Half of you go to Dan's house; half come to my house. Yeah, fantastic.
Speaker 5: It's next to that beach that we spoke about this morning, because everybody will be there.
Dean: Perfect. I love it. Awesome. So I enjoyed that. That was great.
Dan: That was fantastic, yeah.
Dean: I hope everybody listening, it was a different live experience for our Joy of Procrastination Podcast. And I'm just so thankful that you were able to come. Thank you so much.
Dan: Thank you very much.
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