Michael: Hello and welcome to the HaBO Village Podcast. I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: And I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: And this is the podcast for you entrepreneurs and business owners who are just looking to build a company with great culture, great profit on the bottom line and we call that Passion and Provision. Hopefully, we're going to come up with some things that are going to encourage you, educate you and give you ideas that you can move closer and closer to that goal and build your dreams out. Today, we have a great interview. Kathryn, introduce our guest.
Kathryn: We want to welcome Corey Poirier. Corey, you hail from an island off Nova Scotia called Prince Edward Island. So you might hear a bit of accent from Corey. He is a seasoned speaker, he's been on lots of TEDx, keynotes, that kind of thing. Shared stages with people like John Maxwell and Steven M.R. Covey. He's an author, he write for Entrepreneur and Forbes. He's got a lot going on, Mr. Poirier. He's also written a bunch of books and trained speakers in how to be better speakers and I found the tagline that I love which is helping influencers share their story to leave a ripple. I love that, that made me smile. Throughout the course of his career, one of the things that's super intriguing for Michael and I is that Corey has interviewed, I think he said it's up to 6,500 different leaders. He can tell you about how that happened but the concept of interviewing so many people and gaining their wisdom and stuff is part of what we get to talk about today. So Corey, welcome to the show. We're very excited to have you.
Corey: Well first of all, thank you so much and the feeling is I'm going to call it even though it doesn't exist, a 1000% mutual. And I know there's really nothing more than a 100% but I'm going to go out on a limb and say a 1000% mutual. I have been looking forward to this most of the day. So much so that like I mentioned, we're in the tail end of a hurricane. We're not in the middle of a hurricane but we're in the tail end of it and this was still important enough to me that I had to trudge through the rain and get here and then make this happen. So yeah, I'm super stoked.
Michael: Well, we're really appreciative. Okay, the folks that are listening are not going to be able to see this but is that an old phonograph you have behind you?
Corey: Yeah. The old Gramophone, it's actually from the Gramophone Company. So I bought that at a pawn shop and the best part is they couldn't tell me if it worked or not. It was $200 and I was like, "Even if it doesn't work, this is a [inaudible 00:02:20] that I'm fine with." And the wild part if it is, it works, it spins, it does everything it's supposed to but the record needle, we can't see how to weight it properly so it shreds through the records even though [crosstalk 00:02:32]. So it does work but we need to find somebody and honestly, we haven't went out of our way but we need to find somebody that actually can weight the thing. I think the one that came with it was a replacement one, somebody just made their own. So either we have to buy the part or get somebody else to come weight it so it lands on the records.
Corey: But I have two gramophones at home as well and I have the floor model one and that one plays perfectly fine but you have to wind it, whereas this one you don't have to wind it and then it will play one song and then you have to wind it again to play one song. So you can't really have a house party because you'd have one arm that would be bigger than the other by the time you're done with the party. But at least I have multiple gramophones.
Michael: Hire one of the local teenage boys to just sit there all night.
Kathryn: Crank the gramophone. That's awesome.
Corey: That's not a bad idea. If we have a house party where we bring that bugger out because we can push it into the living room, I'm going to do that. You just gave me a great idea.
Kathryn: There you go. That one was free.
Michael: Okay. So let's set some stage because we've had this conversation before we were recording but those 6,500 people. People are wondering like you said, how is that even possible, how did you do that?
Corey: Yeah. So I shared that, a lot of people immediately think it must be the podcast. That's what a lot of people think because our podcast is 11 years, so it is conceivable that it was from there and that's where a lot of people think it's from. But where the biggest numbers happened was I had a small business newspaper, I would call it similar to Success Magazine or Entrepreneur Magazine but it was regional and for that publication, some issues were 64 pages, we had 70 some pages. And because of that of course, you have to do a lot of interviews. So I would average around 80 to a 100 interviews a month and that lasted for seven years.
Kathryn: And you were interviewing business owners, leaders, all of those were the kinds of interviews you were doing that whole time.
Corey: It was but admittedly, it built up. It started where I was interviewing local small businesses with a one person show, like a solopreneur. I would say the first 2,000 interviews, maybe 70% was small business owners. I was still learning what made them tick, they were still teaching me stuff about working on your business instead of in your business and hiring for your weaknesses. Things that I ultimately learned from people like Michael E. Gerber who was coined with working on your business, not in your business. The first time I ever heard it was from and I can even say his name, Henry is his name from the local print shop or copy store.
Kathryn: That's probably where Michael Gerber learned it too, he just didn't acknowledge him.
Corey: Yes, probably. Actually, it's funny because the guy Henry who told be about it told me about Michael's bookathon, that's how I discovered the email. And so I only say that because even though originally you can say a lot of these interviews were maybe a small business owner in a small town, they were still practicing the same stuff and that's one of the things I learned from that. But yeah, it was a mixture between that and then as the paper evolved, I started leveraging it to reach out and we interviewed people for the paper ultimately like Jack Canfield, Trish Stratus who is a female wrestler, Jake The Snake Roberts who's a male wrestler that mostly everybody from the 80s would know and a lot of thought leaders. T. Harv Eker who wrote the Secrets of the Millionaire Mindset.
Corey: And so what happened with the newspaper is I started leveraging it realizing even if it's a small paper, for most people, that's very powerful these days because this is when print is disappearing. So I can be on the front cover and of course the bigger names, we'd put them on the front cover. So I'm like, "We're going to put you on the front cover of our business publication." That sounded really nice. And so I did leverage it that way like I would interview people, I remember a guy called John DiJulius who wrote a bunch of customer service books, he's really niche in customer service but I was a big fan of his stuff. So I would reach out to people like that and I was like this is great, I get to interview people I'm a fan of and it was just the small, hometown newspaper.
Corey: I think our readership and I'll use that term loosely because we sent it into this many homes. What I would do is we sent through the postal service and they got it for free to their business or their home. We built up a really big audience that way because the business owner would get a business thing and see his friend on the front cover and go, "Oh, what's this?" And so we built a big following that way but we sent it to 10,000 total. So our readership had to be less than 10,000. So it was a small newspaper and like I said, we were able to leverage it near the end to interview the late Zig Ziglar for the newspaper. And he was I feel like 81 or 80 at the time, had lost his short term memory. He was in the tail end of his career and to get to interview an icon like that for your little newspaper, it just was staggering.
Kathryn: That's amazing.
Michael: So in the end days there, he had actually, an accident and fallen and hit his head which caused some of that brain damage but how was he in that interview. Was it still amazing?
Corey: So full disclosure, it was amazing and I built a fairly strong relationship with both his son and daughter, Julie and Tom and I've talked to Julie like three times perhaps. Tom I've interviewed like 10 times. So I've got to know Tom really well. Julie I got to know a little bit but it was more phone stuff. So to answer the question is Julie helped Zig with the interview.
Corey: But he's the interesting part, she also went on stages with him. So at the end of his career, he was still speaking because he was getting invited to speak for 15,000 people and they're like, "We still want them to have dad's wisdom energy." And he still wants to be there but he had that short term memory thing. So what she did which I'll share the story she shared with me which is so clever and she shared it while we were doing the interview.
Corey: She said what they do now is a duo going on the stage and she knows how to work with him but he still has the wit. So she said he would tell stories and because of the short term memory thing, he'd forget he already told the story so he'd start telling it again and she'd say, "Dad, I just want to let you, I think they already know this story." And that was her way of saying you've already told it and he would say, "Yeah, but that guy there in the third row wasn't listening and I was going to share it again for him." So he's totally like, "I knew I was sharing it again." He still had that humor and still had that-
Kathryn: That is brilliant.
Corey: Yeah. So it worked but it was more of a sit down Q&A, it was like a campfire thing versus him on the stage speaking.
Michael: I got to hear him at a regional event in Sacramento, California before the head injury. It was the only time I got to see him live and it was magic, it really was. The man just walked the stage and he told stories about redhead which is what he referred to his wife as, the redhead or something like that and he never used her name. He would say but that's my wife and he really did have a Southern charm and I don't even know if he was Southern.
Corey: I'm not sure either. I think they live in Texas now but I don't know where he was born or anything, I never looked that up. I probably did, I'm pretty sure he was Southern.
Michael: Yeah. Just an amazing guy, a way to take pieces of wisdom and give them out in nuggets with some entertainment that you could hold onto. What are some of the other interviews that you had that really stood out to you?
Corey: I'll add one thing to that just to give the Ziglar family an extra plug just because I thought of one quick thing and then I'll circle back to tell you a couple other people. But one of the things for me, this is my first sales training I ever had. I was sent into a room and I was given business cards but they said write your own name on them because we're not sure if you're going to survive so we're not going to pay for them. So my only training was the Zig Ziglar VHS for those who remember VHS.
Kathryn: Yeah, baby.
Corey: So I watched it and I still to this day and that had to be 26 years ago and I still remember the stories from that video, that's how powerful he was and he talked about the redhead and the story about how they wanted to buy a home and he said our limit is $200,000 which would've been a big limit in the 70s but he had a really strong career and he told her that and he said, that redhead figured out she found a house that was 300,000. So she figured out how to sell me on it and I might have the numbers wrong but what she did was she said he's already sold them the 200,000 I don't have to re-sell him on that, I just have to sell him on the difference.
Corey: So what she did was she took the difference, divided the amount of days over 25 years of owning the home let's say and it turned out to a $1.10 a day or something and she said, "Mr. Ziglar, are you meaning you're telling me you wouldn't buy your wife a coffee a day to keep her happy?" And then he said you better believe we were living in that house. So I remember the story of the redhead just as good as that but he's a story from Tom Ziglar and when you talk about Southern charm, I just want to back up that this was the real deal guy because Tom said every time they drove anywhere. What Tom remembers most and he does it now for his wife was Zig would get out of the car and open up the door for his wife and when she was going into the car, he'd open up the door for his wife. He said I don't remember a time ever traveling in the car where it didn't happen.
Corey: And then on top of that, he would be on the road for say 300 days a year and he said but we felt like he was home more than the guy next door that wasn't looking at his kids ever because Zig what he would do is he would leave and he said, "Dad get to a hotel and he would get on the phone, a payphone back then and call and talk to all of the kids. I want to talk to every one of them." And he had just left two hours before. So this guy was the real deal because that's the stuff you're doing when nobody is looking and nobody except for his kids were looking. He was the example for them.
Corey: But to segue into some of the other interviews that stood out. One of them that really stood out for multiple reasons was Robin Sharma who wrote, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and like 10 other international bestselling books. Robin is actually from the same neck of the woods as me, from Pictou, Nova Scotia. And I say from, again, I'll use the term loosely because he was born in South Africa but he moved when he was one years of age. So technically to me, he's from there but if you're from the island that I live on right now. If you're born and you move away at one day old, you're always an islander. If you move in as a one year old, you're never an islander. It's this weird, I love everybody but you're only an islander if you were born here but I don't think it's the same way in Nova Scotia.
Corey: So Robin, why the interview stood out, two reasons. One, from my side personally is I had a toothache like I've never had in my life before and if you've ever had a toothache where you can't concentrate on anything else, that was the toothache I had. And so it's hard to do this interview that you wanted to do forever with this person that you're a big fan of when you have a toothache and can't think. So I did the interview but the only thing that would get rid of the toothache was drinking water. By the time at the end of the interview, I think I drank the equivalent of four liters of water, needed the bathroom. It was how did I ever do this interview?
Corey: But here's the wild part, the interview was so memorable because I can still tell you almost everything he said. He was so good that with that toothache and needing the bathroom, I could still remember everything he said and he shared things like how to reverse engineer your life by saying where do I want to be when I'm 80 and then actually figuring out what you have to do every year from now till then and just this stuff that's super profound. He talked about how so many people walk around at age 20 and basically they're already dead and they're just waiting to bury the body. He calls them the Walking Dead, stuff like that and what he was talking about is walking through life without a purpose and just the way he framed it. Some people just have this ability to just share these soundbites I'll call them, that you just never forget. So Robin has those and that's why that interview is so memorable but again, the inside story, the behind the scenes he didn't know that is that toothache which was killing me.
Corey: And then because I mentioned two male interviews, I'll share a female one as well and there's so many to pull from but the one that jumps out to me right now is Chalene or Chalene Johnson. I don't know if you're familiar with that name but she wrote the book called PUSH. She created the craze called Turbo Jam which was the Beachbody workout program. Her and Shaun T. who is the Stop The Insanity guy and Tony Horton who is the P90X guy. The three of them, they're considered the people that built Beachbody. And so Chalene then went on to become an Instagram expert. So has I don't know what the numbers are now, probably two million followers on Instagram. She's not a named celebrity per se but she moved into the space of educating and she went from a fitness personality who sold I think it was six million DVDs and transitioned completely into teaching social media and I just love that story. But in the story itself, just some of the things she shared. She talked about how she went with Beachbody instead of Guthy-Renker if you guys remember them.
Michael: Oh yeah, yeah.
Corey: The big infomercial one. Everybody wanted to go with them, she chose to go with Beach Body, it was a tiny, little company because she said, "I just had the feeling these people get me, they're just going to run with me." And now Beachbody is huge and I don't know if Guthy-Renker is still going. It's interesting but she only went with her gut and she said it was against everything everybody told me. Everybody said go with Guthy-Renker, it's the safe bet, all this kind of stuff but the end result is she became a huge fish in a smaller pond and it was all from her gut. So anyway, that kind of stuff and then she shared what turned Beachbody around is her father said, "I don't think you're thinking big enough here. How are you going to get this out to the world?" And at the time, she had I think 200 locations where people were teaching her program, different gyms. I think the end result before she put out the program, I think she was up to 600 and then she put out this program that sold six million DVDs at the time.
Corey: And so just by this one thing where her father said I don't think you're thinking big enough and she said that was this ticking bomb that stuck on her head. What are you going to do, Charlene, to think bigger? Your dad said you need to get this message out to more people. And so just little soundbites, I'm all about things I remember from an interview because they were just things that I could [inaudible 00:15:48] back to them.
Michael: So let me ask you this. As you go through the interviews, this is a niche question but it just came to me. How many times did you hear people reference these leaders reference their parents?
Corey: Okay. So first of all, it's the first time I've ever had that question so that's pretty cool.
Michael: Yeah, great.
Corey: I'm always trying the same thing when I'm doing an interview. I interviewed Lisa Nichols a year and a half ago and she said I've shared two things with you I've never shared in interviews in my life before and I didn't do it physically but I'm thinking, "yes." Mark Victor Hansen who wrote Chicken Soup, how many interviews has he done? 5,000 and he goes, "That's an interesting question, Corey, I've never shared that before." And another one that happened recently was Stedman Graham and I asked him something and I remember the soundbite because he used it later. He said, "Where did you hear about that, how did you hear about that?" And again, as an interviewer, to do enough research that you have somebody like that saying how did you ever hear about that. That to me is what it's all about as an interview. So you asked a question that I've never been asked before and he's the interesting part, I'd love to because I think it would be a sexier answer to say a lot of them reference their parents but I'm going to say very few.
Michael: Very few.
Corey: I don't know the numbers, I'd have to actually go back and look at that but I would say it's less than a 100 out of 6,500.
Kathryn: That's not very many at all.
Corey: No. And interestingly enough, I won't go to too much detail because I call it the slightly secret project but I'm working on a documentary with a big author about his work and for that project, I've went out and talked to a lot of people. One of the questions is about synchronicity and interestingly enough, I just noted it in my head as you asked that question that out of those 100, I would say 20 of them were from when I asked about synchronicities. So these are things like people saying my mother died a number of years ago and she always collected butterflies and every day on the year of her death, I see a butterfly. It came in that context, it was more about their moments, a memorable moment versus us just talking because I do a coffee style interview so you would actually think it would come up more.
Corey: It's not like I'm only asking questions like how did you start your business. I'm asking people questions like if you jumped into a time machine and go back and talk to your younger self based on what you've learned on the years since, what would you tell them? You'd think the parents would come up in that thing but they don't.
Michael: Yeah, you would. Well that's interesting to me because it almost is even more profound of an answer that less than a 100 would say something because we do know that when things like that happen like that story you told about that woman with the Beachbody stuff and everything, how profound that was for her and how significant it was. We have a moment that we talked about coming out of the Great Recession. Actually, in the middle of the great Recession and we were struggling as a company. It wasn't horrible but at the same time, it was scary.
Michael: And there were moments-
Kathryn: We were talking about furloughing people and things like that.
Michael: Yeah. And my mother is an amazing woman. We live in a small town, it's bigger than Prince Edward. I remember when it was 18,000 people on the city limits sign when I was a little kid. Now it's about a 100,000. It's a university town so it's one of those places that's like a resort place except in the summer, everybody disappears and then they come back in the spring or in the fall. So my mom is well known because she does things like goes to people's funerals and cares about people and still takes casseroles and stuff like that to people who need it and she cleans houses for a living. That's been her gig for the last 40 years and she's 77 years old and still works full-time. So the idea of quitting, she's like, I would go bonkers.
Michael: Which is good because during COVID, she actually started watching the news at 9:00 in the morning because she couldn't go to work and she was calling us, telling us about things on the news and I'm like, "Please go back to work, please."
Kathryn: You're killing us, mom.
Corey: I tell people to go on a news detox because that changed my life. And not to interject but I was going to say what's interesting is I talk about my mother a lot. And so it's interesting now that you say that, I'm raised by a single mother and I'm an only child and she's an only child. So very close family and tiny, tiny family, my whole family. So because of that, I do tend to talk about my mother a lot but I didn't really think about it until you said it that I noticed a lot of people don't. But the segue for that was about when you talked about watching the news because this is the lesson I learned from my mother. I've actually done two talks where it's basically lessons I learned from my mother.
Corey: One of the things was about how she was diagnosed with cervical cancer almost 20 years ago. She's been in remission for quite a while now and it always manageable is the way I'll say it but what's wild about it is when I used to bring her over for appointments, bring her over to Nova Scotia. She had to go to Nova Scotia for appointments which is about three hours away. So I drive her to her appointment and I think it was the second appointment, it might have been the first. One of the two. And she came down to the car and she had this puzzled look on her face and she had this piece of paper open. So got in the car and it looked like a prescription thing that a doctor would write out and I could tell she had a unique look in her face and I'm like, "What do we got to go pick up? Is it expensive or something." I thought maybe she was bothered by the price.
Corey: Anyway, so she showed it to me and what it said was from the doctor and it said don't watch or read the news and the doctor wrote it on a prescription pad. That was his prescription he handed her. He folded it up just like he was giving her a prescription, she didn't know until she got to the car when she opened the door and of course then with the doctor, it's not like you can pick them up and call them on their cell. So she didn't know for nine months, what he meant by it. She knew what he meant not do but she was just puzzled, why would he say that to her. And so when she got back and she asked him, he said, "Sorry, I guess should've explained it to you." But he said my head elsewhere, I was thinking about the next patient or whatever.
Corey: But he said basically what I've discovered is the patients that I work with, the ones that conquer cancer typically are the people that either stop watching the beginning of the news or reading the front of the paper or the ones that just don't in the first place. But he said the people that read the news because of course let's be honest, there's a lot of negativity, especially front of the paper, first 10 minutes of the news tend to be the ones that struggle more. They come to me talking about I just saw this today, is this really going to happen? You can imagine what it would do to a person watching COVID news if they were just diagnosed with cancer. So anyway, I share that story a lot because that doctor taught me about a news detox because I was watching the news not as much as most people but I was still doing it while both my mom and I went on a news detox. To this day, my mother hasn't watched the news since.
Corey: Side note, my mother is bipolar. So you can imagine what watching the news does to her. I've seen a change overnight in my mother's energy and her positivity once she stopped watching the news and I've seen a dramatic change in mind as well. And so it's up to anybody else, I'm not going to start babysitting anybody else what they do but I will say it changed my life and I've shared it many times. Actually at events, I'll take the front of the newspaper and I'll say if you're going to read the news, if you feel you have to read it and I'll rip off the front page and I'll say start here, start at the business section and it's meant to be dramatic but the point is I've had so many people that have told me I stopped watching the news and it changed everything. So that's a mother story because I learned a lesson through her but also, a story about watching the news because you mentioned your mom watching the news.
Michael: Yeah, yeah. How did your mom influence your business career?
Corey: It's twofold because on one hand, she taught me lessons like that, that I carried into business because even to me, your business is effective is you're running the business by your energy. And so if you're not watching the news and you have a more positive energy, that affects your business. But also, I watched her when I was younger, another quick mom story. She bought me this great winter jacket that she worked two weeks overtime for. Again, single mother and she worked her butt off for it and I brought it to school and another kid had a similar one but it was older and beat up and ripped and when I went there at the end of the day to pick up my jacket, mine was gone and his was there and mine had the name on the inside and I noticed the next day, the name was scratched off.
Corey: And so I brought it home to my mom and I said, "We've got to go get my jacket back." And I was think 10 or 12 or something and she said, "Who took it?" And I knew, so I said his name. And she said, "I know his home life and what he's dealing with and he has it way worse than us. We'll find a way to get you another jacket." And that kind of stuff, I try to bring into my business. Compassion for instance. But then there's also the other side, how did she impact my business? Support. My mother never said to me, you're foolish. What are you doing going into business for yourself versus working for somebody else and in a lot of ways, it would've made sense probably in the real world that she had done it because I started out with my own business. That was pretty much my first full-time thing then I got into it working for a Fortune 500 company where I watched the Zig Ziglar VHS and I made a really good income every year.
Corey: My mother saw that and then I said yeah, you know what? And I did it for 10, 12 years so I'm not saying it was overnight but I said at my last job I had, I'll just put it this way. It was into the multiple six figures guaranteed income even if I didn't show up. Basically get out of bed money. As long as I got out of bed. In other words, I was sales but that was my guarantee and got commission on top of that. So that's a pretty solid income in Eastern Canada. By the way, the average income where I live right now is between 25 and $30,000 per person.
Michael: Is that Canadian dollars or U.S. dollars?
Corey: Canadian dollars.
Michael: Which is a lot less than U.S. dollars.
Corey: Yeah. So you can imagine what I was making and walking away from. And the thing is that people here live an amazing life even on that smaller income. In some ways, I was being pampered, I was doing well but it would be very natural for a parent to say, "How can you walk away from that?" Because I went into business myself as a speaker with zero clients from scratch after leaving that. And so what I'm getting at is my mom supported me, she never said you shouldn't do that. My grandfather who raised me, he was like my father.
Corey: He did something that was really wise and it was before that, I played music and I was working on a CD and I said to my grandfather, "I think I'm going to be a rockstar, that's the direction I'm going to go." And it was brilliant how he did it because he always was supportive but he wanted the best for me and he said, "I have no doubt you're going to become a rockstar because I know your personality, I know you're going to be able to do it." He said, "But in the interim, why don't you also do this just in case as a backup plan?"
Corey: And so he gave me support and made me feel like I could do it but also convinced me to have a backup plan which I'm glad he did. Years later, I played music, did the 35, 40 gigs in the summer. The last CD I put out was nominated for Rock Recording of the Year. So I had the taste of the rockstar lifestyle and I feel like I could've went that direction but my point is it was 10 years later and financially, I could take a month off if I wanted and go play gigs whereas when I was telling him I wanted to do it, it was sink or swim. So I had support from my family and I don't think all people have that. I think that on its own is a difference maker for some people. And so that's three ways I guess my mother helped me with business.
Michael: That's awesome. I love hearing that. Okay, so the word, wisdom keeps coming up. Obviously you're writing a book. I don't think it's out yet, right? The book on wisdom and ideas.
Corey: The Book of Why? That one.
Kathryn: That one is out.
Michael: It is out, I apologize.
Corey: Yeah, no worries.
Michael: So when you were writing that, what drove you to go why call it wise statements, why call it wise stories. What is it about that for you, that you thought was important.
Corey: So for me, it comes down to if I've experienced something and it changed my life, I want other people to experience that as well. And so one of the things that happened for me is that and this surprises a lot of people because I had success in sales while this was happening but I battled hypochondria and generalized anxiety for about four or five years in my early 20s. Now I will say it's probably not that surprising because my mother was bipolar and I'm sure some of that is hereditary. I probably received in a different way but still, mental illness I think is hereditary. And so it was my early 20s.
Corey: So hypochondria because I think everybody knows what generalized anxiety is or at least knows what anxiety is but hypochondria for those that don't know, really what it means in a nutshell is anytime I read about the symptoms of a disease, I literally developed the disease, all of the symptoms to the point where if you didn't know that I was just dreaming it, that you would think I had it. If I read about the symptoms, my body could mimic it. And so how it started is I read about Michael J. Fox having Parkinson's at a young age. Ironically, I was in the doctor's office for something serious just for a checkup but it was something I actually was there for and it wasn't nothing I was dreaming, it was a real thing and then I read this in the doctor's office and that's when it started. It was boom, it happened.
Corey: I think it was because I already anxious, I already had anxiety anyway and it was part of the fuel but what happened was then I was like to the doctor not that time but I went back a week later and I think something is going on and I have tremors. I had all the symptoms of Parkinson's and then as soon as they said no, you don't have that. Then all of a sudden a week later, it must've been MS, that's very similar. It was just every week and it's really wild when you're having this great success in sales, none of your co-workers or customers would ever know that you're in the office so much that you have a coffee cup with your name on it but that was me, I was in there all the time. So that part had a really big impact on my life. So what I found out from there is I don't believe that you can be somebody who's a super positive person, the glass is half full and also have hypochondria and think you're going to die every day.
Corey: I don't think the two of those can exist equally in the same body at the same time. So what that tells me is I was a pessimist. What that tells me is I wasn't a positive energy person even though I was having some success in sales. Having said that, the change happened when I hit 27 I believe it was and this is going to sound weird but I got tricked into performing standup comedy one night and I didn't want to be on the stage, I was not that guy and that basically ultimately, not right away but ultimately introduced me to the world of professional speaking. But when I did the stand up that one night, the very next day, I'll never forget it. I went into the office and the guy said, "Did you meet someone or something?" I said why did you say that? He said, "Because you've got an extra jump in your step. You just seem happier or chipper." And I was like, "I'm onto something."
Corey: And literally, you could see it almost not instantaneously but within months, you could see me go from that hypochondriac guy that was worried about everything to a guy that was full of energy and positive and it slowly changed over time, it slowly kept getting better and better, especially when I was doing comedy and speaking at the same time. It kept getting bigger, this energy ball I had, this positive energy thing. So that's where I realized, "Wow." Now I call it now, I say I took vitamin P which stands for purpose or passion and I say it's the only vitamin you can't buy in the store but it's the most important vitamin you'll ever take and that for me because it's what helped me basically ultimately I don't want to say cure but get rid of this anxiety that I was carrying around and this hypochondria. And so this was me finding my why.
Corey: So this circles back to the reason I want to put a book out about finding your why is because that's what did everything for me, it changed my whole life. All of a sudden, I got to interview these people that I've admired for years, I got to have these amazing experiences like I get to hold Bob Proctor's 57 year old copy of Think and Grow Rich. I got James Redfield who wrote Celestine Prophecy, I got to sleep over at the guest cabin where he wrote that book, this iconic 30 million copy selling book and build a friendship with him. All these things happen because I found my why. And so I wanted that for other people. So for me, the book was basically just an extension of here's what changed my life.
Corey: And so the book, how it's broken down is the first section is on how to find your why, the second section is on once you find it, what do you do? And these are by the way, the common secrets I've discovered with the high achievers. So you found your why but most people stop there. Okay, now I love doing this but how do I do anything with it? And so what I try to teach them is what the high achievers do you don't have to learn this over 20 years with your why like I did. For example, lifelong leaders, they read more, they're self-educators and it doesn't have to be reading but they fed their mind, they're life long learners for a reason. And so even understanding that, once you find your why, understanding that these lifelong leaders, they have a mobile library in their car as Brian Tracy used to say. They drive around and they fill their minds. And so we teach you what do with it once you find it in the second section.
Corey: And the third section is called enlightened and it's basically how do you now sleep at night when you're doing this? How do you become an enlightened high achiever. So somebody that actually is helping people up to the top of the mountain like Zig Ziglar did or pushing them up in front of them versus somebody who's trying to step over other people to get there. And so the book is basically how to find your why, what to do with it once you find it and how to make sure you're doing it in I'll call it an ethical way.
Kathryn: That's awesome.
Michael: I love it.
Michael: So we talk to our leaders all the time about why when we're coaching, when we're working with companies, finding their company why. Hopefully, it's an expression of their personal why if they're privately owned. If they're in a corporate situation, they can at leas buy into it, it matches and aligns the company in their purpose or they shouldn't even be there. Talk a little bit more about that because our listeners hear us yammer on about how important that is but describe a little bit about more, about why that's important and how would you define a why. Sometimes, people get confused. All right, I've heard this talked about but I really don't know what you mean.
Corey: I'm going to say this. The super short, succinct answer for me, your why is your calling, what you were put here to do. People say, "Why am I even here?" To me, it answers that. But I'll go a step further and say to me, passion is what you do. So for example, standup comedy, photography, playing guitar. Purpose is why you're doing it, create a positive ripple as we talked about earlier, to help change somebody else's life. If it's standup comedy, maybe you're trying to take people out of their crappy day by giving them a laugh at the comedy club. I don't know if all comics do it for that noble reason, maybe they just want to have that moment in the sun but I really think at the end of the day, that's the gift they're giving is you had a crappy day at work, you go to a comedy club. Even if it's a train wreck, even if they bomb horribly as we call it in the comedy world, you're still enjoying it. And so you're still taking out of your crappy day.
Corey: And so to me, passion is what you do, purpose is why you do it and finding your why is a matter of putting those two together.
Michael: I like that.
Corey: So that's how I summarize that. But I go a step further and this ties into another thing I teach which is the power of no. How to know what to say no to and to be focused on only the things that are going to move the needle. And so what I did there is I created a personal mission statement for myself and it's because I believe all companies that know what they're doing. You think of the Disney's, the Apples. Disney, I know their mission statement for crying out loud, so obviously their employees do. Their mission is to make everybody, especially children, happy. And by the way, it's evolved over the years to the point where it's now basically to make people happy because they realize that parents could be happy too while they're there.
Corey: And Steve Jobs, the mission for Apple for him was let's change the world one computer at a time, have it on one desktop at a time and I'm sure it evolved from there. But my point is if all these companies know their mission statement and have had success with it, shouldn't we have one? Aren't we as important as the company we work at. So I created a mission statement for myself and it's simple. It's to be the guy that motivates, donates, entertains, educates and inspires. And so why that's significant is because knowing that and it fuels my why but knowing that means that if you ask me to take something off and it's not aligned with any of those, it's the easiest no I'll ever say in my life without any regrets. If it's four of those, it's probably going to be the easiest yes I'll ever say in my life without any regrets.
Corey: I turned down a TV show opportunity that wasn't aligned that I know for a fact I would've jumped on three years earlier before I had a mission statement. I turned it down and never looked back and I did it within 10 minutes, something that would've taken me a year to turn down before because I wanted it so badly and mainly because I thought okay, TV is a great platform to get my message out but it was not aligned at all with me and I knew it once I went against that five part test.
Corey: So in a summary, that's to me your why is your calling, your passion is what you do, your purpose is why you do it. If you combine the two of those, you're probably on track to your why and then like I said, having your own personal mission statement, whatever it is, is going to help you determine what moves the needle for you and what doesn't. So you know what to say no to and yes to and when I do talks sometimes, I'll get people to come up with their personal mission statements and I only give them 15 minutes which is very unfair because this is a life thing for some people. But this one time, I had these hair stylists in a room. They were early 20s, late teens and this one group.
Corey: So I gave each group something pretty massive, something you shouldn't give people each to come up with in a couple of minutes basically, like 20 minutes but this group that focused on your mission statement, one of the girls, they worked on her. So five people helped her and at the end, she said, "Okay, I know what my mission statement is and the acronym for it is the word calm." And I said, "Okay, what's calm, what does that mean to you?" And this was in relation to when customers go to visit her and she said, "I want to be comforting, I want to be approachable, I want to be loving and I want to be motivated."
Corey: So my question to you is listening to that now, if you had a hair stylist that focused on those four things and delivered, what are the odds you would pay to go somewhere else, what are the odds you would leave that hairstylist? I'm going to say pretty low. What are the odds that hairstylist is going to be ever be out of work, is going to ever get less tips than somebody else. So that's the power of knowing your personal mission statement which to me is part of your bigger why.
Kathryn: That's really good, Corey.
Michael: And then on top of that, I'm already thinking all of those things she said and she can charge a premium.
Corey: 100%. That's the thing, even if she charged more, you're going to pay more or you're going to tip her more anyway. Either way, you're going to want to pay her more. That's just the natural thing. So yeah.
Michael: Absolutely, I love that. That's so cool. What's going on next? What is the next dream, the next frontier for Corey?
Corey: It's interesting because there's always something going on meaning whether it's related to a book. So for example, I mentioned that we've been on vacation the last couple of weeks and while we've been on vacation and tomorrow is my last day of working on this but I'm working on a book that's been in my head for like four years. It's a parable, it's a fictional book ala or similar to the One Minute Manager and it's been in my head for a long time. I don't want to say much about it but I know the whole story, I just need to get there with the characters. But I will say it's a swerve at the end. So I'm saying this now because the book won't be out for a while and people will forget but it's a swerve like Sixth Sense had in a book. So there's a swerve at the end, you're like, "Oh my God, it was this all along?"
Kathryn: Did not see that coming.
Michael: I see dead people.
Corey: Yeah, that Sixth Sense. And I haven't seen that in a parable book so I'm really stoked to get it out but that's one thing I'm working on. When that will be released, I'm not sure because I'm with Morgan James Publishing for the book of why and I feel like I haven't really properly finished that yet because COVID interfered. We had planned a lot of in person launches and that got thrown aside. I actually was supposed to fly to Nashville to do a red carpet launch for the book and it was March. I think we were flying in on March 9th and we decided not to go because we kept getting texts from the airline saying your flight's delayed, your flight's delayed. After the third one, I'm like, okay, the universe is telling us this is not the trip and my girlfriend was pregnant. At the time, COVID, there was only one case in all of Nashville. Our doctor was still saying it's okay to fly even though you're pregnant. Nobody was seeing where this was going perhaps.
Corey: And so we didn't go on the trip, we just came back to Charlottetown an hour away from our town because we still wanted to be away from the kid for a few days and we went there and while we were there on the fourth day which would've been the day I would've been doing the red carpet, they announced it was a pandemic and things were closing down. So that was the start of my book launch, that's how my book launch started. The book has sold 1000s of copies, it's hit a lot of the best sellers lists. It did okay but I still feel it never got its moment in the sun. So this next book I'm writing and as you know with a publisher, even the day you bring it to a traditional publisher, it's probably a year and a half later to get. So the book I'm telling you about is probably two and a half years out. So when you say what's on the go, that's a little future tense but it's what I'm working on.
Corey: But we also just launched a member site called the Influencer Vault where basically it's like a five delivery system and one of them is they actually provide leads and opportunities for you. So it's actually an ongoing list of summits, podcasts, speaking engagements that are looking for people and some of these are paid opportunities. So if you're a member, you go in and go, "I like that one and I'm going to apply, I like that one and I'm going to apply." You're going to be writing for a big magazine a week later. So I wanted to do that but then we also bring on big influencers. So we had Les Brown on a few weeks ago, Bob Proctor is coming up soon and we bring them on and you get to ask them questions in realtime. So anyway, that's a member site we have which is 44 bucks Canadian a month which is like 35 U.S. So that I've been building for a long time and that's on the go now.
Corey: And then we have a brand called bLU Talks which is podcast, virtual event, live event and book series. That's been going for about a year and a half. It's going really well and it's continuing to evolve. So that's future tense because it's still early on in my opinion. And I guess the only other thing is I'm working on that documentary I mentioned which again, it's the slightly secret project but I'll tell you, synchronicity is a big part of it and basically, the best way I can explain it without sharing what it is.
Corey: If you picture The Secret where I'm going around interviewing some of the same thought leaders and then some other thought leaders and basically putting a documentary out into the world similar to The Secret but around a different topic. That's basically what we're working on and if COVID wouldn't have happened, I think it would be out by now but I also interestingly enough, think that COVID actually stalled it for a reason because now we have so much more stuff to use because of COVID in the documentary because part of it is about consciousness and COVID's changed our consciousness, I think. And so long story short is that's another project. So future tense, that book I mentioned and this documentary would be the two big things coming up.
Kathryn: All right. As we come in for landing, it would be important for me because humor is one of my core values. I need to know your best standup joke. What do you launch with? People don't know who you are, you step on a stage. How do you suck me in? Go.
Corey: So I stepped away from standup quite a while ago. Last time, a performance at Second City and that was probably six years ago.
Kathryn: So you're rusty [crosstalk 00:42:19]. Okay.
Corey: Yeah. I'm going by memory on this joke from a long time ago but it was my lead in one usually. And basically, it was I used to do a lot of dating through online dating. So I tried to test the online dating thing out and I went on this blind date and I don't know if anybody's experienced this but I got on a date and she leaned over to me and about I don't know, five minutes into us playing a game of pool, she leaned over and said, "How would you feel if I told you that I had scurvy?" And I was like, "Scurvy, isn't that a pirates disease?" And so my first thought was Yarrr but you can't do that and I [inaudible 00:42:54] cry.
Corey: But I asked her about how she found out she had scurvy and she told me she noticed that her toenails had turned color and she touched one of them and it fell off. So I promptly ended the date because I realized I couldn't continue this date because the last thing this girl touched turned color and fell off. For the audience audio, I'm looking down now and that's just not a risk I'm prepared to take.
Kathryn: Okay, fair. That's pretty good.
Corey: That was one of my dating jokes.
Michael: I like that.
Kathryn: That's really funny.
Michael: So as a one more thing because you dropped something and I'm like, "What?" So you performed in Second City, how often did you perform at Second City?
Corey: One time.
Kathryn: One time.
Michael: Okay. And was it amazing?
Corey: Yeah. And by the way, it's the only time my girlfriend has ever seen me perform standup and that's going to be the only time.
Kathryn: Why not? Yeah, that's good.
Corey: So he's what happened. I performed 700 shows over nine years and a lot of those were at your local comedy clubs. In Canada, we have a whole circuit called Yuk Yuk's. So there were Yuk Yuk's and Jokers comedy club and all that stuff and then I took my "break" or hiatus or whatever you want to call it, retirement from comedy not planning to go back on but also not saying I wouldn't. And then what I decided ultimately is the only time I was going to perform again or jump into comedy is when it was going to be an epic thing. So since that time, I've only performed at The Improv in California, Groundling Studio. I don't know if you're familiar with Groundlings?
Michael: Uh-uh (negative).
Corey: It's an improv thing.
Corey: So I get to study at the Groundling school which is similar to Second City and that was on the Hollywood strip. That was pretty epic to me because I grew up as an 80s rock fan, Sunset Strip was all I heard about as a kid. And then the other one was Second City. So what happened was this was at the Toronto Second City which is actually where it all started because there is a Chicago Second City too.
Michael: no, but the Toronto one is the one I know about.
Corey: Yeah, it's the epic one. It's the one where Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase and all those guys went through. Even the [inaudible 00:44:44] TV show was from the Canadian one.
Kathryn: We walked by it, didn't we? When we were in Toronto, yeah.
Michael: Oh yeah, yeah. We did, yeah.
Corey: You might remember this if you were there, it's literally right in front of Wayne Gretzky's restaurant, it's the same block. I remember that because we went there afterwards. But anyway yeah, what happened was I had a friend who was going to do some writing with them. They were doing a class and he was teaching it and he said, "Dude, I don't know if you're interested," He said, "But I've got a spot at Second City if you want. I'd love to have you there." And my like, "Yeah, that's a hard yes."
Kathryn: That's a yes.
Corey: And then so my girlfriend filmed it. I have it somewhere, I don't even know where the video is and you know what? It was at Second City and it was more pressure because it was also the students that were there too. So the students that were writing and taking the courses were watching me. So they're just like-
Corey: Deer in the headlights and you know what? I got laughs. So it wasn't my best comedy night ever but it was way better than my worst.
Kathryn: Yeah. Well, there you go.
Corey: [crosstalk 00:45:36] I performed with the mic turned on and I told the same joke twice about the mic turned on and bombed horribly. So this was a far cry better than that, this kid from this small town performing at Second City and getting laughs on video in front of his girlfriend seeing him for the first time and we're still together. So that's a good sign too.
Kathryn: That is a good sign.
Corey: So yeah, that was what Second City was like, it was epic for me. It's a long time since the original so it wasn't like the same night I performed, Dan Aykroyd performed, it wasn't like that but it still-
Michael: It doesn't matter.
Corey: You're standing on the same stage. I probably walked on the same tiles or wood, I guess it was wood. The same board that Martin Short, Mike Myers, everybody stepped on. There's nothing like it.
Kathryn: That's cool, that's awesome. Thanks for sharing that, that was fun.
Michael: Corey, thank you so much for being with us, this has been great. I am looking forward to our next interview if that's possible, or at least connecting again. That will be fun.
Corey: Awesome stuff. It's been a pleasure.
Michael: Great. Ladies and gentlemen, the man who has met both Zig Ziglar and been at the greatest comedy shop in Toronto.
Kathryn: In the world.
Michael: Probably in the world, at least for a kid that grew up on SNL in the 70s and 80s. Thank you again. Folks, thank you for joining us. I hope you enjoyed today's conversation. Corey is a delight, he is a great guy. If there's anything you're interested in, please go to our podcast page on our website. We will put a link there to his stuff and he's just a fantastic guy. You can learn a lot from him and I think that you can't go wrong there. So blessings on you, thank you very much, Corey. Thank you everybody for listening and have a great day. I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: This is the HaBO Village Podcast, take care.