In this episode, the amazing Greg S. Reid shares how to get what you want in business and in life, the secret to getting even the most sought-after influencers in your field to talk to you, the mistake most entrepreneurs make that lead to failure, and how to think to succeed!
Stickability, The Power to Persevere
3 Feet From Gold
Wealth Made Easy, Millionaires and Billionaires Help You Crack the Code to Getting Rich
Success & Something Greater
Think and Grow Rich, Thoughts Are Things
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Wish Man Movie (Netflix)
Secret Knock (invitation only exclusive event and professional collaboration community)
3 Key Points
Work your strengths and hire your weaknesses
Seek Counsel not opinions
Stop looking at the obstacles and look at the solutions by looking for a way out and asking the right questions.
Ellen: Hi everybody, and welcome to episode 34. Today, my guest is Greg Reid. Greg is an action-taking phenomenon. For over twenty-five years, he has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to take personal responsibility to step into the potential of their greatness and, as such, his life of contribution has been recognized by government leaders, a foreign Princess as well as luminaries in education, business, and industry.
He’s an authority on the subjects of perseverance, success, adaptability, and transforming ideas into reality. He is also a prolific, bestselling author, and his best-known book is Three Feet From Gold, Turn Your Obstacles into Opportunities, based on the work of Napoleon Hill.
He was hand-selected by the Napoleon Hill Foundation to author and propagate the Think and Grow Rich series, and since 2007 where he has produced 6 major, bestsellers and sold-out events.
Greg is known best for being Founder and CEO of the Secret Knock, an exclusive event and professional collaboration community focused on partnership, networking, and business development. Secret Knock is strictly invite-only and includes well-known executives, entrepreneurs, artists, and professional athletes.
Greg has been ranked as one of the top speakers worldwide by Forbes, Inc., and Entrepreneur Magazines. He appears regularly at national conferences, on television and in the media, including Fox Business News, Bloomberg, NBC, CBS, and Microsoft Presents.
Greg has addressed audiences at such prestigious organizations as Harvard University, the United Nations, the Pentagon, TEDx, and moderated the 2017 City Gala presented by Entrepreneur Magazine where he interviewed movie stars John Travolta and Halle Berry live on stage.
He has also been honored by the White House under Bill Clinton for his work in mentoring youth in his hometown of San Diego, for his work, working with youth through a mentorship program.
And I’m so honored to have him on the call today. But before we get started, I want to tell you how we met. I have known Greg since the beginning. We met in 2004, and it was my very first book; it was a collaboration book; and it was called, Wake Up Live the Life You Love, Finding Freedom. Do you remember that?
Greg: What it says the throwback.
Ellen: Yeah. Yeah. And I didn’t know whether I should get involved in the project or not. And so, I had asked Steven E for references, and he had given me your name. So, that was how we met. Yeah. So, I have followed you for years and love what you do, and I’m so excited to have you on the call. So, I know that you are an author, and I would love to talk about that today. The one thing, I’m very familiar with the Three Feet From Gold and that has been an awesome project. And I would love to know how that came about.
Greg: Well, first of all, thank you for having me on. It’s great to hear from you and talk to you again. Yeah, we go way back, and you have a little bit of an author. So I’ve been published now in, I think it’s ninety-six books, forty-five different languages. I have an honorary Ph.D in literature, and they just gave me a star on the walk of fame in Las Vegas for being an author. So, yeah, it’s been a fun ride.
[4:21] Ellen: That is amazing. So, ninety-six books- are most of them collaborative or are you writing them yourself?
[4:23] Greg: All over the place , but no, I’ve never written a word myself. I can’t write for anything. So, remember good authors, the guys whose name goes on the book and our writers, the person who writes it, and there’s usually two different people. So, for example, Wealth Made Easy one of my biggest mega-bestselling books right now, Gary Krebs, and I did it together, and he’s the former publisher of McGraw Hill Publishing Corporation. So who can write a better book, him or me? Right?
[4:49] Ellen: Right.
[4:49] Greg: I learned to work your strengths and hire your weaknesses.
[4:52] Ellen: That is fabulous advice for people. And it’s taken me a long time to kind of get that through my head. I think it’s the perfectionist thing like I can do it better. Or, I would hire it out, and then I wouldn’t be happy with I’d end up redoing it, and then I would want to redo it anyway. So, do you suffer from any of that or is it really easy for you to just….
[5:21] Greg: Absolutely not. In fact, I think I’m one of only a handful in the entire world of authors that has five bestsellers at Barnes and Noble at any given time. And the reason and how that happens is because of the antithesis of what you just said. So, I’m fully free to let go and let the experts work their strengths. And so for me, I realized that my gift is getting out there and telling the story, but to let other people craft it in a way that people would actually want to sit down and read next to a fireplace.
[5:51] Ellen: That’s awesome. So, how do you work when you work with people?
[5:56] Greg: Well, everyone’s different. So, I’ve got four or five amazing ghost-writers right now. Usually, I will come up with the concept, the overview, the plan, the strategy, and then I get out of the way and let them do their magic. Then they send a chapter or three chapters at a time. (They’ll say,) “So, what do you think of this?” And we liked the direction, and then they run with it and go from there. But it’s overall my message; it’s my words; it’s my thing. But I would sit there and say, “A boy has the entrepreneurial spirit, gets off his ass, mows lawns, makes money, buys a bike.” And they’d take it and say, “It was a glorious Sunday afternoon when a young bright-eyes lad met the new day as he took his best friend’s spot who has got the entrepreneurial spirit…” and you know, and they make it sound.
[6:37] Ellen: Yeah, right, right. Yeah. So how do you find your ghostwriters?
[6:41] Greg: Well, that’s many different ways. I surround myself with the very best that you could possibly get ahold of. So, for example, when I did Stickability, the person who wrote that one with me is the guy who writes a curriculum for Princeton University. When we did Three Feet From Gold, it was Sharon Lechter who wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad with Kiyosaki. And then, Greg T is another guy who helped rewrite that book with us, and he’s the CEO of a giant mega, a nonprofit. So, the whole idea is I surround myself with the very best and let them work at something that, or play at something I would work at.
[7:19] Ellen: So, how did you get started meeting these people?
[7:25] Greg: Well, whatever you seek is seeking you. It’s not rocket science; you throw it out there and all of a sudden you started seeing it. If I said, “red cars”, you see red cars. So, I say looking for ghostwriters and editors and start asking. Plus, remember this I’ve got one of the top agents in the entire planet, Bill Gladstone, from Waterside. So, he also gives recommendations and hooks me up to the amazing people. All right, enough of that.
I want to move onto another topic. Let’s talk about Wish Man. So, what happened with that is I was interviewing Frank Shankwitz, he’s the founder of a real nonprofit called Make-A-Wish foundation. And at the end of the interview I said, “Frank, I got to know, what was your wish? And he goes, “What do you mean?” I said, “Well, you’re the founder of Make-A-Wish. What did you wish for?” And he said, “No one ever asked me.” And I said, “Well, I’m going to grant your wish whether you want a Lamborghini, a new house, I’m going to give it to you.” And he says,” I just want my story to be told so my grandkids will know I did something.” So, he signed over his life rights.
Again, I’ve never made a movie, but he trusted me. And it took six years, millions of dollars, and we made the final ballot for the Oscars this year. We just found out today that we didn’t make the nomination, but we actually got on the ballot for the Oscars, and we’re viewed worldwide on Netflix trending right now.
[8:40] Ellen: That is amazing. That’s so sweet. I almost started to cry when you said that too. That was his wish.
[8:48] Greg: Yeah. So, a lot of people just don’t ask the right questions. And I realized that the one thing about… I guess my gift or talent is asking these questions, and by doing that and sitting back and listening, you can grant some of these things and this amazing opportunity. For example, Bob Proctor, he was a big fan of Think And Grow Rich. He walks around everywhere with his six-year-old Bible, personal development. I wrote Think and Grow Rich, Thoughts Are Things; I decided to co-author with him so that he could have his name attached to the actual Think And Grow Rich publication. And that went on to become a worldwide phenomenon as well.
[9:24] Ellen: It’s interesting when you say it’s like you get an idea, and you run with it. And so many times that happens to people and they don’t run with it; they just don’t do anything. I just had a situation a couple of days ago where I watched a video that somebody had made and I was so excited by it because it was so brilliant, and I thought to myself, “This would be great if this guy took this piece and sold these templates and took this piece and turned that into a product.” And my mind just started going because it was something that I wanted; it was something I wanted to have that he wasn’t offering yet.
And so, I reached out to him, and I didn’t think anything of it at the time. But then I realized afterward it’s like I don’t even I don’t think about it, but I know somebody else would have not done it because the guy makes like a ton of money. I don’t know him from Adam. We had never talked. It wasn’t like I had a relationship with the guy yet or anything, none of that. But I did it anyway. And, what do you say to people about that? Have you ever been in a situation where it was uncomfortable or what do you say when people say, is anyone ever say no or you know, what’s your take about that if you don’t know them at all?
[10:44] Greg: Yeah. So, we’ll go back from the very beginning. So, my full-time job is I travel around the world to meet the most powerful and influential humans that are alive today. And then, I tell their stories in books and films. So, what you’re talking about is my daily activity, and I just expect everyone to say yes. That’s my attitude.
So, I reach out to people with very specificity, and you’d be amazed how many people come through. So for example, I’ve had everything from a private Skype with Edward Snowden while he’s hiding in Russia to you know, to Tonino Lamborghini to any human alive from Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, the Presidents, whatever. And I just expect them to say yes. And the way that I do it is by my specific answers and questions in which I asked.
So for example, if I’m working on a book, again, use Stickability or Three Feet From Gold, I would contact them and say, “Listen, I’m working on a project called, Stickability, The Power to Persevere. I need 12.5 minutes of your time from the moment I walk into your office, I will leave in 12.5 minutes with my answer or you can kick me out. And I’m going to ask you one specific thing on this. The chance of them giving me that time is pretty much in 99.9%.
But unfortunately, a lot of people waste time. They sit there going, “I want to pick your brain or take you to lunch or do this up.” No one gives a crap. No one wants to spend their whole day with someone they don’t know. But for 12.5 minutes talking about this one topic, it’s easy for them to prepare and schedule.
Ellen: Right. That’s a great tip. And one of the things I wanted to say too, I hate it when somebody says, “I want to pick your brain.” So yeah, don’t say that to people, guys. So, let me ask you, I want to talk about Three Feet from Gold. Can you tell us the premise behind that?
[12:31] Greg: Yeah. There’s a twentieth bestselling book in history of the world called Think And Grow Rich by the late, great Napoleon Hill. And the very first chapter he talks about “three feet from gold” about how easy it is for people to give up before the miracle happens. So about twelve years ago, I went on a mission, actually, fifteen years ago, the book came out twelve. And I went around the world, and I interviewed the most successful people to find out how they didn’t quit when the going got tough. And Sharon Lechter and I collaborated and wrote Three Feet From Gold. And again, that went down, I think forty different languages the first six months and it has become a phenomenon to the point they’re rereleasing it in March to a brand new audience. So, we’re very excited for them.
[13:14] Ellen: Wow. So that’s in March of 2020.
[13:18] Greg: Yeah. Coming out in a couple of months. First, there’s a dream, then there’s a challenge, and then there’s victory. Unfortunately, almost everyone quits in the challenging times. They quit one class short from a degree or sales or marketing. And it’s the people that persevere and go that extra three feet. They’re the ones that come out on top that we tell the stories about today.
[13:37] Ellen: So, if you had to give somebody a tip on how to get from the obstacle to staying in the game, what would you say?
[13:46] Greg: Seek counsel and not opinions. So, successful people seek counsel. Failures listen to opinions. Opinion is based on ignorance. Lack of knowledge, inexperience, like all your family friends who’ve never done what you want to do. Council’s based on wisdom, knowledge, mentorship. If I go to a family friend and tell them I’m going to write a book, they’re going to talk me out of it because not only have they never written a book themselves, but they know I got a “D” in English.
But if I went to Jack Canfield who wrote Chicken Soup and say, Jack, I want to write a book, he’ll sit me down and say, “Greg, before you get started, here’s what you need to know,” and give me counsel. If we would spend our activity only seeking counsel in our life and ignoring people’s opinion, that’s the single day that your life will change.
[14:31] Ellen: That’s awesome. Okay, so let me ask you this. What other tips do you have for people who are getting started? How did you start? How did you get on this journey in the first place?
[14:45] Greg: Well, I guess it depends on which journey we’re speaking about. You know what the goal lies. So if it’s the movie industry, if it’s the television industry, if it’s book writing, speaking or six other corporations, I run.
They’re all different, right? And the way that I did it is by seeking people that were getting the results I want. Look, it’s back to being an author. Just as an example, to be a bestselling author, I went to Barnes and Noble. I bought every bestselling book. Now I didn’t want to be a great writing author. I didn’t give a shit. I didn’t care about that thing. I hired those people. So, I went to the bestseller section, and I asked those authors, how did you do it? What’s the secret sauce? And I followed their counsel. And here we are today.
Same thing. A few years ago when I went to Africa, and I climb Mount Kilimanjaro, I did not ask some dope-smoking surfer here in California to take me up to the roof of Africa. I found the Sherpa, the porters that have climbed it 900 times; wherever they put their blueprint, I put my blueprint, it folds successful actions and we can have anything we want in life as long as we follow that simple path.
[15:51] Ellen: I love that because that’s also exactly what Canfield said when he and Mark Victor Hansen were doing Chicken Soup for the Soul, they went and they interviewed successful authors. That’s what they did.
[16:04] Greg: Yeah, and when I want to make a movie, what do I know about it? I don’t know anything about making a movie. I said, “All right, well, who’s won Oscars? Who’s won all these different awards? Who’s done these things?” And I reached out to them, and I said, “Hey, I need 12.5 minutes of your time. I’m making a movie on the Make-A-Wish foundation guy, and I just need to ask you one simple question about marketing,” or whatever. And I went to them, and you’d be amazed again with that specificity, how they open up the doors.
[16:31] Ellen: Did you turn that into a book too, or no?
[16:34] Greg: Ah, Frank wrote it into a book, and it’s out, called Wish Man. The movie is called Wish Man again, watch it tonight on Netflix. I guarantee you’ll love it, but keep some Kleenex nearby because you’re going to cry.
[16:48] Ellen: I was going to ask you something about, Oh, I know, I was going to say, yeah, I just did a book for an author that was tied to a movie and that was my first one doing that where the promotions had to go together.
[17:04] Greg: Yeah, that’s pretty cool. So, it’s a fun journey. And the promotions were great. We just got done doing The Doctors TV show; we did, Inside Edition; we did Entertainment Tonight; we did The Hallmark Channel, all that different stuff. And now, it’s like I said, going pretty crazy. But again, so that’s the movie industry. That’s the book industry. It’s been an amazing ride.
[17:27] Ellen: It sounds like it, I mean, a long way from when we first talked.
[17:32] Greg: Well, absolutely. But people that understand everything that you originally mentioned are what I’m talking about. So when we began, we surrounded ourselves with Steven E who was the guy putting out these bestselling collaborative books, and we hitched a ride and found out what they did and started duplicating those actions for ourselves. So sometimes, we have to invest in ourselves to put ourselves in the circumstance that we can learn from the people that are doing.
[17:59] Ellen: Is he still around? What happened to him?
[18:02] Greg: Yeah, I texted him the other day; he said, “Peace.”
[18:05] Ellen: So, what did you do before this ride? Like after you got out of school?
[18:14] Greg: So, I barely graduated from high school. I never went to college yet. I’ve got a couple honorary Ph.D’s and I get to speak at universities like Harvard and some of the things around the world. And the whole thing for myself is that I went into sales and marketing. So, I own an advertising company, retired when I was thirty-nine. I sold it for my first millions, and then that’s where I met you.
And then, I got into this industry and are down this road.
[18:40] Ellen: Wow. I’m blown away by how I talked to so many people, and I’ve done so many masterminds, and people have so many obstacles to doing what they want. And you don’t live like that at all.
[18:54] Greg: Oh, awesome.
[18:55] Ellen: I know.
[18:56] Greg: I’m looking at the obstacles. We don’t see the solution. So to me, I’m always looking for a way out. It’s the questions in which we ask. Look, unfortunately, or fortunately, I guess I should say, everything is energy, universe, energy. And so you tune into that energy by the questions in which we put out there.
So a lot of people will say, “You know, God, why does this always happen to me? And energy’s exact, and it gives you that answer like Google. And it says, “Well, this is why you dumb ass,” and gives you more.
We sit there and say, “What’s the solution and a challenge I’m not seeing?” Or, “How do I make the best opportunity of a situation I’m going into?” All of the sudden those answers start magically appearing. So I’m very careful of the questions which we ask.
[19:41] Ellen: That’s a great way for people to start changing what they’re doing… is to ask better questions
[19:47] Greg: And then be careful what we ask for. Cause we might get it. Because what if God in the universe granted every wish and every prayer we ever asked for, only we didn’t like the packaging so we sent it away. So if you prayed last night for $100, and said, “God please $100, I need $100, and a guy pulls up in a truck with aluminum cans and says, “Take these off my hands; they are worth 100 bucks.” And you say, “I don’t want those stinky things.” Well, you asked, you prayed, it was delivered, but you didn’t like the packaging, so you sent it away. The chances are next time you asked and prayed, it might not get answered the same way. So, I say you put it out there, and you ask the right questions, and then don’t get caught up exactly how the delivery comes to you.
[29:29] Ellen: Right. There’s a parable about that. Have you ever heard that one where the guy is standing on the roof and it’s raining? It’s raining and it’s pouring, and he’s stuck (there), and he’s asking God to help him and God sends the boat, and he sends it away. (Then God sends a helicopter and he sends it away. Then God sends a raft and he sends it away).He goes, “Why isn’t God helping me?” He says, “I sent you a boat and a helicopter and a raft and you sent it away.”)
[20:53] Greg: That’s right. So, I’m very cautious of that. And I realized that the most successful people are very attuned to those things. Next question.
[21:02] Ellen: Well you said, Stickability. What’s that about?
[21:05] Greg: Well, it’s the power to persevere. Like I said, there’s a dream, there’s a challenge, and then comes victory. Most people understand that Stickability has to be parallel with another word called “flexibility”. You have to be willing to adapt and adjust.
And there’s a story about a spider monkey in the rainforest is so quick and nimble, they can’t catch it. But one hunter, named San Juan, drilled a tiny hole, left it at the base of the jungle, and put a peanut inside the hole. The monkey would smell the nut, reach his hand inside the tiny hole, grab a hold of it, and his fist becomes so big he can’t pull it back out and becomes anchored to the log. Now he’s got to do is let go. But he’s holding on for dear life, thinking that nut is nutrition and saving him. The hunter comes by an hour later captures the Solus spider monkey cause it’s trapped to this log. And the big question is, are you holding onto our own nut in life? But it could be in the form of a job, or a deal, or a relationship, or a car, or a house, or remorse, or guilt and what we think we’re holding onto because it’s saving us could also be the thing that’s leading to our own demise. Sometimes, we have to have the fortitude to simply let go so we can live to fight another day.
[22:18] Ellen: Wow. Is that in the book?
[22:19] Greg: Yeah. It’s Stickability.
[22:01] Ellen: Oh, nice. So, are all these books on Amazon or where can they find them?
[22:26] Greg: Absolutely. Amazon. You can go into Barnes and Noble. Go in there and give them my name, and they can pop up all the different titles. So like I said, Bob Proctor and I did a book called Think And Grow Rich, Thoughts Are Things that are available there right now. Sharon Lechter and I, right now, if you go to Barnes and Noble or any bookstore that’s at the airports in the country, you can find, it’s called Success In Something Greater is the very last title that Napoleon Hill was going to use before he passed and never got a chance. So the foundation granted us those rights to do the follow-up from Three Feet From Gold and that book is absolutely phenomenal. Again, because I didn’t write it, but we reviewed some amazing people that gave us insights that completely transformed the way we look at life and business.
[23:08] Ellen: Well, I’m looking forward to reading them myself. So, how can people reach you?
[23:13] Greg: Well, you can go anywhere in the Google world out there, but the main thing is Instagram. So if you go to Greg S. Reid, follow me, direct message. Here’s my only request. Same thing as we’re talking. I don’t like to talk about the weather or what we had for dinner. But if you sit there and say, “Hey, I’m working on this project, what do you think of this?” Or, do you have a recommendation or contact? I’d be glad to personally respond to get back to you. So Greg S. Reid on Instagram.
[23:38] Ellen: Well, thank you so much. This has been so great catching up.
[23:41]: Absolutely. And anything at any time I can be of contribution to value, just let me know.
[23:46] Ellen: I will do that.
[23:48] Greg: See you later, alligator.
[23:49] Ellen: Okay. Thank you. So, that’s it for today.
To get the transcript, go to www.booksbusinessabundance.com/podcast
If you’re interested in becoming a #1 bestselling author, you can pick up a copy of my Book-Writing Blueprint, How to Create a Fast and Easy Roadmap to Success to get you started when you’re there www.booksbusinessabundance.com/podcast
And to continue the conversation, be sure to join us in the Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/booksbusinessabundance. That’s where you can ask questions, delve deeper into today’s topic, share comments and takeaways. And if you have any questions for Greg, I can always get them to him from there. So, that’s it for today.
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