Jeffrey Slayter is one of the world’s leading social forecasters, International Best-Selling Author, International Speaker, Philanthropist, Thought Leader and Social Entrepreneur. He has worked with over 3 million people in 12 different countries and is the global thought leader for top executives, CEOs, businesses, and change makers.
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Worst Entrepreneur Moment
- There is no such thing as a SURE THING, Fire Nation. Jeffrey was trying to hit a home-run when he should have been trying to hit singles.
Entrepreneur AH-HA Moment
- Time around a fire, great food, good friends, surfing every day, a nice view… these are Jeffrey’s favorite things. Do you know what your favorite things are, Fire Nation?
Jeffrey: I am prepared and ready.
Interviewer: Yes, Jeffrey is one of the world's leading social forecasters, international best-selling author, international speaker, philanthropist, thought leader, and social entrepreneur. He has worked with over 3,000,000 people in 12 different countries and is the global leading thought leader for top executives, CEOs, businesses and change makers. Jeffrey, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse in your personal life.
Jeffrey: Well, included in all that, yes, there's been some success but at the same time, there's also been massive mistakes as well. I've learned a lot. You know, in the last ten years I've probably made more mistakes than most people have in their entire lives and it's those mistakes that actually have been catalyst for my own growth and for my own lessons. So, it's been a journey. It's been a journey. I don't think anybody has pure success all the way through and think – I consider some of my failures as actually success.
Interviewer: Well, Jeffrey, in 1,048 prior episodes of EOFire, we have always had our guests share in an amazing worst entrepreneurial moment. You're about to as well, my man, but before we get there, we're about creating businesses. We're about creating viable businesses that generate revenue, so break it down for our listeners. How do you, Jeffrey Slater, generate dollars?
Jeffrey: I was on a plane with my dad and we were having this conversation about if my dad could redo his path, what has he learned from me? Now, one thing I haven't shared on this show is my father – I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, so my father is the first CEO and co-founder of a company called oDesk, which is now merged with Elance, which is the biggest in the industry. He started it on our kitchen table. So, he's had some, you know, he had other companies before that but that's the one that the majority of the public would know.
When we were on the plane – you know, I've learned so much from him and I asked him – I said what have you learned from me because I've learned so much about building businesses from you just by being around it? He said well, son, he goes what I've learned from you is if I could redo things, I would have started with what lifestyle I want first. Then I would have built a business around it versus what I did is I just wanted to get into business. Then I tried to jam my lifestyle into it. So, what the big takeaway was that start with lifestyle first. What's the life you want? Where do you want to live? How do you want to live? Who do you want to spend time with? What types of customers do you want? What are their personalities? What do you want to do in the world? Don't start a business – start a movement. Then all of a sudden, then build a business to support doing that all the time. Instead of – most people just want to start a business.
Interviewer: Love all of that. So, how do you today, Jeffrey, make dollars?
Jeffrey: Investing, which is quite nice because then the dollars create dollars for me. Then the other way I make revenue is by consulting high-end clients, so I work with executives on their leadership, their ability to formulate their companies and close the gap to do what they want and actually having that. I also do real estate – all kinds of different domains – business investing, things of that nature. But my main favorite thing to do is to train and work with entrepreneurs all over the world – speak and work with mass leverage amounts of people and that's what I love.
So, that's it. Those are the ways I generate revenue. In the beginning, it was only real estate and now it's kind of – it has expanded to other domains.
Interviewer: So, Jeffrey, you've alluded to the fact that you haven't always been a success. You haven't gone from success to success. In fact, you've had some struggles and some failures. That's what I want to move into next. But not just any failure. I want you to take us to your worst entrepreneurial moment to date and, Jeffrey, really bring us to that moment in time. Tell us that story.
Jeffrey: Oh, wow, okay. It’s always a little bit emotional. I was 26 ½, I think, yeah, 26 ½ or so. I bought my first house when I was 21 and it was an investment property. I had been investing in real estate, playing the real estate game and really got into it and I invested in a supposedly sure thing project, which was in Florida. It was supposed to be a sure thing and it was a development project all over The Keys and other parts of Florida. The thing just bombed. The banks pulled the loan on the project, so now we got stuck with this three-star resort that was supposed to become a five-star midway through construction.
It was just a mess. I was always building wealth and base hits but this was supposed to be – I was trying to make a homerun and sure enough, you know, in building wealth, you build mostly base hits. This was – I was trying to do a homerun and I was by that time made millions and millions of dollars. When the banks pulled the loan, everything got really messy and I was laying on the floor just completely wiped out because my financials were getting wiped out and I was exhausted from fighting this and trying to make this work and I really was wondering what was it all for because I had identified myself with my net worth. I really wanted to kill myself actually because of all the pressure. Not only that, you know, some other people were involved in it and it was just really messy.
So, other than my [inaudible] [00:05:25] I thought about doing that and luckily I didn’t because in the background I had read a lot of books on spirituality and meditation and I just realized I'm just going to have to come back and deal with it again. So, I didn’t do that and that's why I'm still here obviously. But then the next morning, I picked myself back up and it was kind of like I had to hit rock bottom and I grabbed one of those flip charts and I started writing down everything I love again in my life and I got a call from a buddy of mine and he said come out to a seminar.
I said I don't want to go. I'm too busy being miserable but he dragged me out. I went and then he put me on stage and he told me – made me tell my story and also made me work with this particular woman around her relationship with money. Suddenly, he was like come back and then suddenly I was making money doing something that I just absolutely love. Then it turned into the biggest stages in the world, all over the world, and working with executives, investing in businesses, the whole thing – I lost like I think Tony Robbins says you lose your dream, you get your destiny.
So, that's what happened. That's a short version. I wish I had more time on it but there it is.
Interviewer: Wow! I mean, No. 1, I just want to say, FireNation, there is no sure thing so whenever you think there is a hypothetical sure thing, you're going down the wrong path, and a phrase that you love, Jeffrey – that you use, Jeffrey, that I loved is I was trying to hit a homerun when I should have been trying to hit singles. FireNation, don't go for the fences – go for those singles. That's the step of the journey along the process. I love how you said that you thought that your value was tied to your net worth and, FireNation, it never will be. So, Jeffrey, that was a powerful story and that's exactly what we're looking for here, are these stories, so I want to shift now and I want you to tell another story. This one is a completely different genre, different vibe. It's an "aha" moment, an epiphany that you've had at some point in your journey and you've had a lot of these. But listen, our listeners, FireNation, are entrepreneurs or small business owners, so go to one of your "aha" moments that you know is going to resonate with our listeners. Tell us that story.
Jeffrey: My mom's mom was an alcoholic and my mom's dad was an alcoholic, and so I never drank in my life. It wasn't my thing. It just was what it was, so we didn’t have much alcohol in the family and if people drink, that's fine. It just wasn't my thing and also drugs were not my thing either. I was around it through parties, things like that but it wasn't my thing. And I had started early, at 20, with a meditation practice, so I was meditating every day. I was trying to find who I am – what am I?
What's my place in this universe? I had been meditating for, you know, years and years and I still couldn't – I had been going to Ashrams and spending time in retreats and I still couldn't crack for myself – what is my relationship with this planet? Who am I in this place? Still no matter how many years and I was doing what I loved and I had the money and the resources but still this deep question. I get this – my friend goes have you ever heard of San Pedro or Ayahuasca, which is the stuff they do in the jungles. I said no, I haven't – I don't do that stuff.
Then I would meditate. I would meditate and it was like a knock from within and I kept getting these knocks and to go study the stuff that these – these medicine men work in the jungles. So, I went and I remember the moment – I was standing in front of the medicine person and I was about to drink this tea. This particular medicine was Ayahuasca – terrified of the unknown – of what would happen. But I had to fight the whole cultural programming of this is wrong, don't do this, and I had to go back to kind of the original premise of what it is to be human.
This has been done for thousands and thousands of years and when I did that, I saw all the cultural programming that I had installed about what success is, who I am, or the definition of happiness, what foods I eat, everything went into question. I thought that when I stand there near naked – but I was actually naked – but really I was filled with cultural programming. A culture that I didn't even know if I wanted to be a part of – mainstream culture. And what the medicine intended to do was start to have me look at and reflect at myself and realize that my – redefine what actually has me have the experience of gratitude in my life. So, you know, I used to think big house, fancy car, which I've had all that – lots of like parties and everything else. I realized immensely that what actually makes me have the most gratitude for life is time around a fire, good friends, incredible food, a garden, surf every day, and yet I do love a nice house that has a beautiful view. But I'm not any of that and I realize that my life and what's important to me is No. 1 is increasing the vibration of myself and the planet and conscientiousness and the expansion of my heart and my connection to all things.
It wasn't until I went into the fringes and did something that really scared me that broke supposedly all the rules for myself and everything around me that I finally got that answer. It was a real gift.
Interviewer: FireNation, people spend their whole lives not really knowing what makes them happy, never taking a step back, never giving themselves space or the ability to take a breath and say what do I actually enjoy and want to do – not what the outside influences think I should do – not what my parents or my friends or whoever think I should do. What do I think I should do? I love how you broke that down, Jeffrey. Time around a fire, great food, good friends, surfing every day, a nice view – I mean, these are things that really at the core do make you happy and it's great to recognize that on a lot of levels.
What's the one thing, Jeffrey, from that experience – from that understanding that you want to make sure FireNation gets. Just keep it to one sentence. No more than 20 seconds. What's the one thing that you want our listeners to understand from that epiphany moment?
Jeffrey: Awaken to your true nature. Go back to the original premise of being human.
Interviewer: Jeffrey, you have a lot of strengths as an entrepreneur and we're going to talk about one in a second but first, what is your biggest weakness as an entrepreneur?
Jeffrey: That I think I have lot of strengths.
Interviewer: What is your biggest strength?
Jeffrey: Identifying my weaknesses.
Interviewer: Identify a weakness of yours.
Jeffrey: That I think I'm successful.
Interviewer: So, do you not think you are successful?
Jeffrey: I need to have my founded eye think I'm successful and that I think I've married it as I'm on my way down but not as if there is a ladder to climb but I have actually stopped learning.
Interviewer: Jeffrey, you have a lot of things going on right now. What's the one thing that has you more fired up than anything else today?
Jeffrey: A project called the grand initiative and people can go to that website if they want. But my focus is the leadership on the planet. I was sitting around the fire with my buddy and he goes what do you want to do? I was like, man, I've done so much and, you know. He goes what would just be awesome for you that you would just get so fired up about? I said you know what I want to do? I want to take millionaires and billionaires –
I'm sorry – billionaires – there's 1,645 among the planet – I want to take billionaires and I want to take A-list celebrities and I want to put them in the medicine jar – I want to put them in the jungles with the top medicine men and women in the jungles and I want to spend 15 days in the jungle turning them inside out. I want to hear their conversations that go on. That's the project I want to do. So, I started the project and started making some invitations. It's been a serious experience.
Interviewer: The Grand Initiative – what's the website?
Jeffrey: Thegrandinitiative.com. On that website, there's over 60 videos of research and the science behind it too, so go to town.
Interviewer: Fascinating! Well, FireNation, you're going to go to town and you're going to hit the lightning round in just a couple of minutes, but first let's thank our sponsors. Jeffrey, are you prepared for the lightning rounds?
Jeffrey: The experience of preparation is more important than preparation itself, so I experience preparation.
Interviewer: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Jeffrey: Holding myself.
Interviewer: What is the best advice you've ever received?
Jeffrey: It's held in silence actually. The best advice is not in language.
Interviewer: What's a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Jeffrey: Feet on the earth – daily meditation – organic food.
Interviewer: Share one internet resource, like in Evernotes with FireNation.
Jeffrey: My website – over 1,000 documentaries documented to think differently – under the Resource Section – jeffreyslater.com.
Interviewer: If you could recommend one book for our listeners, what would it be and why?
Jeffrey: A blank book. Stop being a character in someone else's book. Become the author.
Interviewer: Well, FireNation, I know you love audio, so I teamed up with audiobooks and if you hvaen't already, you can get an amazing audiobook for free at eofire.com and I think Jeffrey would probably recommend pressing play on white noise and being your own –
Interviewer: Jeffrey, this is the last question on the lightning rounds but it’s a doozy. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world identical to earth but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have. Your food and shelter is taken care of but all you have is a laptop and $500.00. What would you do in the next seven days?
Jeffrey: First day, I'd spend probably in silence with myself. Next day, I'm contemplating within myself what I need to do next and allow it to show up and bubble within and an answer would show up. Then most likely the answer that would show up would be to start connecting with the other leaders – oh, wait, there's no one there?
Interviewer: No, it's identical to earth.
Interviewer: Oh, it's identical to – oh, yeah, I would just identify who the leaders are in the community. Then I would start – I would spend some money on some lunches. Then in those lunches, I would probably start discovering what their values are and I'd communicate in the highest values and then I would find a way to work myself into what they're looking for. Then I would probably ask them a very simple question – what do I have to create in your life or in your business for you to pay me $1,000,000? I'd start with that.
Interviewer: Wow! I'd say $2,000,000 in revenue but that's just me, Jeffrey.
Jeffrey: Then I would just change my question - $2,000,000 in revenue.
Interviewer: Jeffrey, let's end today OnFire, brother, with you sharing a parting piece of guidance - the best way that we can connect with you and then we'll say goodbye.
Jeffrey: Stop seeking answers and start asking questions. So, if you go to Jeffreyslater.com (J-E-F-F-R-E-Y S-L-A-Y-T-E-R), you're going to find free seven-day video in there and thousands of documentaries and all kinds of resources to support you on your growth as an entrepreneur and keep listening to John because he's got thousands and thousands of these amazing thought leaders. Just keep plugging in to the guys and ladies because there's so much information out there. This is our time – this is our time to take our lives back.
Interviewer: FireNation, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with Jeffrey S. and JLD today, so keep up the heat and get on over to EOFire.com and just type in Jeffrey in the search bar. His Show Notes Page will pop up with everything that we've been talking about today. Of course, go directly to thegrandinitiative.com and check out what he has going on over there – some cool stuff. Jeffreyslater.com – another great resource we'll have linked up on the Show Notes Page and, Jeffrey, I want to thank you, brother, for sharing your journey with FireNation today.
For that, we solute you and we'll catch you on the flipside.
Jeffrey: Thanks, John.
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