“Excellence is never static. It is about doing your absolute best within every changing moment, in every changing situation. No one is perfect. Anyone can be excellent. “
That’s some great wisdom from Natasha Miller, outgoing introvert, musician, Inc. 5000 entrepreneur, and my guest on today’s show. From being a classically trained violinist, she ended up building – as she says “on accident” – a multi-million dollar events company. Her memoir, Relentless: Homeless Teen to Achieving the Entrepreneur Dream is raw, vulnerable, honest, and a Wall Street Journal best seller. It’s a terrific read on leadership and business, but it’s also a blueprint for how to accept human limitations, deal with adversity, and overcome it in a really empowering way.
In today’s episode, Natasha shares her incredible story. She also delves a bit into her impressive 25-point book launch plan. We also discuss how she produces big, audacious corporate events that are immersive experiences worth remembering. It’s an episode chock-full of inspiring business (and life) advice, so now, without further ado, on with the show!
In This Episode
- [00:20] – Stephan welcomes Natasha Miller, CEO of Entire Productions Inc., to discuss her inspiration for writing her book, share her expertise in events production, and her 25-point book launch plan.
- [01:49] – Natasha discusses her visions and struggles while writing her book, Relentless.
- [05:34] – When Natasha thinks of her childhood, what springs to mind as a gift?
- [09:58] – Stephan and Natasha talk about the book written by Don Miguel Ruiz, The Fourth Agreements.
- [15:29] – Natasha shares what Entire Production offers their remarkable clients.
- [18:25] – How to make your event more memorable.
- [25:25] – What is a shock and awe box?
- [31:05] – Natasha explains the 25-Point Marketing Launch Checklist and how it can be obtained.
- [36:47] – Stephan recommends his favorite book trailers.
- [44:03] – Stephan and Natasha talk about TikTok.
- [45:50] – The importance of mastering short videos and snackable video-type campaigns to stay relevant on Instagram and YouTube.
- [50:04] – To learn more about Natasha, visit her website and her social media– Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
Natasha, it’s so great to have you on the show.
Hey, thank you. I felt like interrupting and saying, “but wait, there’s more.”
You have a book out, an amazing memoir about your story. Why don’t we start there? That is just an inspirational hero’s journey. I would love to start our episode that way.
Absolutely. It was a labor of love. It took a long time since I first had the ‘aha’ moment. Then, when it was time to write the book, I didn’t know how long it would take. It took about four or five years, and I’m glad I took that time to learn about writing a book, learning the industry, and what I wanted to put out in the world. It has exceeded any expectations and continues to do.
Let’s talk about the book’s main point, what you were hoping to achieve, and then what that story of struggle makes up the book’s meat.
If I had to sum it all up, the book teaches or shows people that it’s not enough to be resilient in trying to achieve your dreams and the things you want to accomplish. You have to be relentless. But, really, I came from a place down the tubes from the start, so I couldn’t even be resilient. I was thrown into a place of disarray upon being born.
What I wanted to do is I wanted to put my mark on the world. I wanted to say to everyone who ignored my situation as I was growing up—my family, my neighbors, and my teachers—I wanted to say, “Hey, I was worth it. I had a value, and I was worth being saved, and no one did that.” Then showing people, “yeah, no one is going to come to save you. No one’s coming to save you, but you will likely have it within yourself to get where you want to go.”
You know the story about the guy who’s stranded. It’s a hurricane, flood or something, and he’s sitting on the roof of his house. A rowboat guy comes and says, “Hey, I’m here to save you. You better get off that roof and get in my boat, or you’ll drown.” The guy said, “no, I got things covered. God’s going to save me.” He’s like, “I have a rowboat right here. Get on the boat.” He’s like, “no, God’s going to save me.” The guy finally gives up and leaves.
Then I think it’s a coast guard vessel that comes and tries to coax the guy off the roof. He says, “no, God’s going to save me.” Then the final one is the helicopter comes, and he won’t get in the helicopter either.
Of course, he dies, and he’s at the pearly gates, and he asks, “God, why didn’t you save me? I thought you were going to save me.” He was like, “I tried. First, I sent you a rowboat, then I sent you the coast guard, and then I sent you a helicopter.”
Oh my gosh. Well, I didn’t get any of those things, but I got people along the way who pushed me aside and ignored the situation I was enduring. On the other hand, they did help foster and support my creativity and potential success.
My wife has this expression. It’s a gift, but sometimes the bow is on the bottom. I’m curious what sticks out in your mind from your childhood, as a homeless teen, as a foster child, as a troubled teen, or as somebody that was really in need of assistance and not getting it? What stands out as an incredible gift now in hindsight that didn’t feel at all like that at the time?
If I could go back in time, I would choose to understand and know what it felt like to be loved, cherished, and taken care of and feel that safety.
It’s a gift that I’d give back, honestly. The gift is I have learned how to amplify every opportunity to its fullest capacity. I learned how to amplify challenges and turn them into opportunities. I learned a lot of scrappy ways of life, which is wonderful, but you hear people that have struggled or had challenges or whatever, and they’re like, “I wouldn’t change a thing.”
The truth is, I would have. I would have if I could go back in time, which I cannot. I would’ve chosen to understand and know what it felt like to be loved, cherished, and taken care of and feel that safety. If it meant not having written this book, creating the business that I did, or having the success I have today, there’s no way around it. You can’t go back, but I’d want that. I’d prefer that. I’d want that for my daughter.
I have a 27-year-old daughter, and she grew up with all the things that I didn’t, all that kindness and support and love, and would I have chosen the life I had for her? No way.
It’s a tough question to ask, and I realize that. From my experience as a foster child and as a child who experienced a lot of abuse, I have bounced around from home to home. I spent a few years in a foster home, but before that, I was living with my grandfather, who was abusive and very physically violent, and with an abusive aunt, let’s just say.
I didn’t feel safe throughout my childhood, and I didn’t feel like I belonged. Would I change it knowing it would have meant a different course in my life? Because frankly, I got married at 19 and had my first child at 20. No way would’ve happened if I didn’t have to grow up really fast and be mature for my age.
I wouldn’t have my three grown daughters now; no price’s worth giving them up. So it’s like, “Okay, if I’m going to get kicked in the shin with steel-toed shoes by my grandfather and have three amazing daughters, okay, I’m willing to do that.”
I can’t go back (of course) and change that. If I had that power, I wouldn’t change it because I know that it would change the trajectory of my life in a way that wasn’t giving me the outcome I was looking for. So anyway, that’s just my take.
We’re all punching through, proving our worth and trying to find value in ourselves and success.
I think that the generation of our parents, and even their parents, didn’t have the support mechanisms and the support systems, the research and the development of psychology, psychiatric help, drugs, and therapies. So many of us, I’m finding, especially successful people and entrepreneurs, have gone through such horrible situations. And I read there’s a study that 75% of successful entrepreneurs have had something very significant, something they had to deal with.
It makes perfect sense because we’re all punching through, proving our worth and trying to find value in ourselves and success. For those of us that grew up with no money, we’re striving. That’s all we can think about. That’s not where I’m at, but I greatly see it.
Then I look at someone like my daughter, and she doesn’t have to fight. She’s not super entrepreneurial-minded. She’s business-minded, but I can see the potential effects of that generation of our elders and what they did to us or for us.
I haven’t, but I have The Fifth Agreement.
I’ll give you points for having it.
This is The Fifth Agreement. I have not read either. Fun fact, I don’t know if you’ve read the book. Did you read the book? You see, I found out I had a sister after 50 years. She actually sent me that book.
You have to read it now.
Oh, that’s awesome. I interviewed Don Miguel Ruiz’s son for my other podcast, Get Yourself Optimized. One of the four agreements is not to take anything personally. Another one is always to do your best. Both of those relate to each other. They relate to what we’ve discussed in the last few minutes.
Suppose you were in the same position as that person, a caregiver, parent, or grandparent with the same upbringing, the same information available about parenting and child-rearing, and the same circumstances in life. In that case, you basically do the same thing.
That’s the argument made in that book. There are a lot. I’m just picking one little tiny piece out of the very profound teachings in that book. That’s true if we put ourselves in the position of that person who should have known better (supposedly), at least from our perspective. But then we imagine ourselves with just the information they had, that life experience, and all the trauma and so forth that they went through. Would I make such a vastly different life choice than they did? I don’t know.
I may have made the same choice or choices. So that takes some of the load off us. All right, that’s not fair what they did to us in our childhood, but it’s not really their fault. It’s just they’re a product of their upbringing, environment, and the social norms of the time. So therefore, I’m not going to take this personally, and I’m just going to take 100% responsibility for myself.
You can’t understand that, though, as a young child. You can reflect on that, and if you’re an adult experiencing that, you can think of it that way, but there’s no way you could explain that to a toddler, an eight-year-old, or a preteen. Once you get into the teenage years, there is probably some ability to understand, but when it comes to your situation, it still would be difficult to interpret.You have everything it takes to succeed within yourself to get to where you want to go. You just have to find who you are first. Click To Tweet
The expression that you can only connect the dots backward. I see how everything slotted into place to help me be the person I am now, and I am so grateful to have stepped into it. Who knows where that would’ve led if I had gone down different pathways? Instead, I’m happy with where I’m now, who I’ve become, and who I continue to be unfolding or stepping into.
It’s really important to cut our family some slack and forgive them because you know that expressing unforgiveness is like taking the poison you want to give them. I’m butchering the expression, but I don’t want to take that poison for myself, of unforgiveness. I want to forgive, move on, and not hold any grudges, even though it was terribly unfair, inappropriate, hurtful, and so forth. I have to let it go, and I have.
It doesn’t excuse how I was treated, but it explains why I was treated the way I was.
Yes, life is much better once you have reflected on it. Turn it all up, upside down inside out, and then you have some distance from it, and you can see.
I also learned some things about my mother after I published the book just a few months ago. That doesn’t excuse how I was treated, but it explains why I was treated the way I was. I didn’t know any of that beforehand. Write your book if you want to know your own story.
That’s really good advice. We all have a book in us, right? That’s what the experts say. I’m working on my memoir, too, Living in a Friendly Universe.
Anyway, let’s talk about some marketing stuff. You’ve built up quite a little empire there with Entire Productions. You put on amazing events for some fabulous blue-chip clients, and so forth.
They’re okay. We use this stuff every day.
Experiential in-person interaction with the brand is really powerful and valuable.
It’s all part of an integrated marketing plan these days, thankfully. Event production, and experience design, it’s very needed and very impactful actually for these brands. They’re integrating these events within their print, radio, TV, and digital marketing campaigns. They’re finding that experiential in-person interaction with their brand, even internally with their employees, is really powerful and valuable.
There’s an event that I forgot the name of. I think it’s in Las Vegas. It’s like a light show.
Is it not CES?
No, it’s an experience. So what’s the event the Burners go to every year?
Burning Man. Thank you. It’s like an installation.
Is it Meow Wolf?
Yes. That’s it.
I’ve been to the original Meow Wolf in New Mexico, and it’s fantastic. It’s otherworldly, and literally, you can be mesmerized as a small child, an 80-year-old human, and everywhere in between.
Did that inspire you to go the whole hog into these experiential events you put on?
I was already full in before I stepped foot in Meow Wolf. Meow Wolf is such a weird name, but totally normal.
That’s why I couldn’t remember it. It’s just so weird.
Somebody was taking some psychedelics when considering what to do with this space. It’s very creative, and in the interactions, I have photos and videos of my dad (who’s now 78) opening up a refrigerator, walking in, and coming out the other side in a tube or something. I can’t remember what it was.
It’s just so fabulous. You get to like when you’re a child. Now, could we replicate that for a corporate event? Absolutely. Would it be really expensive? Yeah, but that’s what we do. Some of the clients let us just carte blanche decide what will happen.
Entire Productions produces big audacious fun events with design, entertainment and interactive elements.
We’ve done Alice Wonderland Through The Looking Glass and Willy Wonka themes. And again, these are for corporate tech, mostly adult events. We’ve done Under The Sea and Out of This World for Google. We create these fully immersive themes for their guests to dive into and have an experience that attaches them to the brand. They become evangelists. And it’s so much fun.
Again, my company, Entire Productions, produces big audacious fun events with design, entertainment, and interactive elements. We’re not producing meetings and trade shows and conferences. Nothing wrong with those, by the way. That’s not our sweet spot.
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, people don’t remember what you tell them, but they remember how you make them feel.
And we want them to feel like, “wow.” You can say wow when you walk into a place, but you have to keep it going. You must keep going with programming, lighting cues, sound, smells, food, and drink. So there’s a way to keep everybody engaged with many different points during the event.
The details really matter, and that’s where you can make the real magic. It’s not just an incredible light show or something. I went to this event in the late 90s. It was Personify, and it probably doesn’t even exist anymore. I think they got acquired after that. It was personalization software for ecommerce, and I went to their party associated with a conference they were exhibiting at.
One of the little things, one of the little details that were so impressive and memorable to me, was they had these stickers. You picked surf or turf. That’s the sticker surf, the word on it, or the word turf on it. Another one is your place, and another sticker says ‘mine.’
There are these different stickers, and the idea was you’d pick which one out of the two other options for each sticker, build a little profile, and stick it on your shirt. It says your place, surf, et cetera, and you’d seek out people who had similar stickers as you or the opposite stickers and start rapport building or whatever with them because you either were very compatible or you had a lot in common, that sort of thing.
It was so clever, and it made sense, given what their technology was about. Have you heard of that before? Long story short, it’s either your place or mine, surf or turf. You’d put the stickers on. You’d pick the things that you were, and you’d seek out other people who had the same stickers as you or that were the complimentary opposite of you. You’d start conversations with these people, and it was really clever.
It was a clever icebreaker, and it showcased their technology. It was very relevant, and it was fun. It was memorable. Here 20 years later, I still remember that aspect.
And that interaction is so important. I was just recently at an event with 500 people. You get that many people together. Some people know each other. So you’re going to go into these little pods of comfort naturally, but having that sticker challenge mixes things up, and it does lend itself to a much better event, especially for people that aren’t super social or outgoing or confident.
If somebody comes up to them, it’s so much easier than if they have to come up to you. Even if they have to come up to you with a call-to-action or a plan, it’s much easier than saying ‘hi.’ Instead, I’d be like, “hi, your place or mine?” By the way, that’s a little—
Inappropriate these days.
I mean, I don’t know. Who knows.
They got away in the 90s. Now you’ve got a bunch of cool things on your shelf behind you. Our listeners who are only listening and not watching it don’t know what those things are. Let’s start with what looks like a cassette tape on the top. Is that like a mixtape?
That is a really cool tin that looks like a mixtape. That was Clicquot put out as a special edition. And I don’t drink. I don’t like it. I don’t like alcohol, but I bought a bottle of Clicquot to get that tin. I think I gave the bottle to my daughter.
That’s funny. Didn’t you have anything to do with that? That was just something you saw. You didn’t put the event on, and that was one of the tchotchkes or anything?
What would be something from the shelves that was part of the event that you put on and was something that was your brainchild?To become memorable, you have to give people something valuable to take away with them, and not information they're just going to throw away and forget the next day. Click To Tweet
Here, I’m going to pull it out. This was for a holiday event. Again, to hit on as many things as you can, you want someone to be able to hear something. A speech or music, then you want them to be able to do something like dance, or do a photo booth, or pose in a step and repeat.
It’s always great to give somebody something to take away with them, but not something they’re going to throw away. A tchotchke, something with somebody’s logo on it, is not a gift. This is actually a drawing of me, but we had a fashion sketch artist doing these sketches, and I put mine in a frame.
Oh wow. That’s cool.
She did one of these for every guest. It’s not a caricature like a comical comic book look, which is also something that people stand in line for. I was wearing a gold diamond necklace that you can see here. I was wearing this crystal here and these ridiculous earrings. It was just cool. This is on really nice watercolor paper. Its pen and ink and some gold really stand out. Anybody that got this drawing has it somewhere in their home.
They didn’t throw it.
It’s not in a waste or a garbage bag. And that is what we try to do. Not exactly this, but that kind of thing for all events.
Let’s say it’s a financial planning event, and you walk away as an attendee with a big oversized dollar bill, and it’s got you instead of a president.
That’s fun. What we do, though, is we try to do something opposite of what’s expected but that they would still like. So it’s that surprise and delight. However, yours is pretty cool to go home with a bill with your face on.
I just made that up on the fly, so it was pretty good.
That’s awesome. Surprise and delight. It reminds me of Dan Kennedy talking about shock and awe. The shock in a box that, let’s say you’re an author, it’s got your book in there. Maybe it’s a t-shirt, mug, or something in there too, but some stuff will blow your mind.
I did that, and I’m going to show you. I only have the box, but this is the box that was designed for my book release.
That’s a cool box. I like it.
The value of everything in it was $3500. It was a shocker. Yes, it included the ability to take my course, Memoir Sherpa, and it had this gold necklace in it with the word relentless engraved in my handwriting. It had a little bag of malted milk balls and some scratch-and-sniff popcorn stickers. It had two postcards with my book cover on it that was stamped said, “you’ve got to read this book so that the recipient could send it to their friends.”
I doubled down big time on this box. I’m so proud of it, I love looking at it, and people love getting it. It went out to a hundred people I chose from my community, and I loved the experience.
I bet people have taken some videos and posted those on social media— the unboxing and all of that.
They’re all on my social media, which is, I guess if you go to Instagram @natashamillersf, I’ve had people do it to music and voice-overs. I actually taped my daughter doing it, and we’re very close, but she is not one to mug for her mama. So if you want to see a funny video, you can see my daughter trying to amp up just a little enthusiasm for her mother’s boring book launch. It’s pretty funny.
That’s cute. Awesome. I remember interviewing Michael Bernoff, who wrote the book, Average Sucks. He created a shock and awe box for his book that got so much press and social coverage. Everybody wanted the box with all the cool stuff. So he started selling it.
That is something that is on the list to do. I did sell them. I sold them for $350 for my book launch. I did an in-person book launch at the San Francisco MoMA theater for about 200 people, where I performed on stage with a five-piece band because I have the soundtrack of my life created with all my recordings.
When you bought a ticket to that book launch, it included the performance and a big gala afterward in the museum’s atrium. Also, we did an upsell, and you could buy this box. It’s funny. The people who purchased the box had already received or had the book. By the way, the book was also in the box, but they wanted more. Some people bought two. I was like, “okay, you’re either supporting me or thinking this is cool.”
Or a stalker?
Oh, yeah. Yeah, that happens on occasion.
Okay, so you’re a violinist. What was your performance like at the museum?
I had created an experiential keynote, basically. Within that experiential keynote, I would set up maybe one of the chapters with a short read of the actual chapter, either while my band was playing a song that I had written that relates to that chapter or they would start it after I read the excerpt. Then I would pop in to perform or sing maybe a verse and a chorus, or even a shorter piece. So we did that throughout the entire thing.
I walked people through eight sections of my book. I can’t liken it to anything because I don’t want to call it a one-woman show. It wasn’t that. I had a band. It wasn’t cabaret because it’s not overly dramatic, like Patti LuPone. You can think of it this way. It was stories to go along with the music in a concert form. Or the music to go along with the stories in a book reading. And it was magical.
You must have had professional videographers and photographers capturing that event. What did you do with that? What did you do with the recordings?
I haven’t done what I’m going to do with it in the future. But so far, I have allowed the people that bought tickets to the event to watch it on YouTube. Oh, God, there are so many things I’m going to do with it. First, I’m going to run it through this program called lately.ai, which pulls out different clips and sprinkles them over social media on a cadence you decide.
The owner of that company is phenomenal, Kate Bradley Chernis. She and I work together on a bunch of projects. It changed my life on social media. I look amazing on social media because of lately.ai. Let’s just put it that way.
I was recommending lately.ai to one of my clients.
I may gate it for people to pay to watch it. I may use it for a first-anniversary relaunch of the book. There are so many things I can do with that. For example, I can pull excerpts from it into my speaking reel into a sizzle reel.
I had a 25-point marketing plan for my book, which was very overwhelming, a little bit crazy, and very effective, but it pushed my limits.
The thing is that I had a 25-point marketing plan for my book, which was very overwhelming, a little bit crazy, or let’s call it what it is, absolutely batshit crazy. Very effective, but it pushed my limits. So I had to give it some space by the time I got the video back from that performance.
Everything was being thrown at my community all at once, so I wanted to savor it. There were 200 people at that event. There are hundreds of thousands of people that could consume this in other various ways. So yeah, lots of potential things to happen with it.
Twenty-five–point marketing launch checklist for your book. Wow, what did you put into that? Did you start with something, or did you start with just a blank page and channel it?
I just do everything this way. I’m an all-out person. I have seven CDs of my own music and a few that I’ve produced for other people. Each CD was its own beautiful baby of a project, but none of them were like, “this is my one stamp on life that I want everyone to know.” So I think I knew I would continue to record different recordings throughout my lifetime.
With this book, this is my swan song. This is it. This is not necessarily the last book I’ll ever write, but this is the most important book I will ever write. I put all my weight, time, energy, and finances into creating the book, crafting the book, the book cover, and every element for the book launch. I wanted to go above and beyond.
I also knew when I was creating this plan. I already had this excitement of being able to teach other people, other entrepreneurs, thought leaders, industry tycoons, and titans, the importance of writing their own story and figuring out how to publish it and then how to market it. And if becoming a bestselling author is important to you, too, I want to help with that.
I knew that all of this experience would be translated into something that I would be able to deliver after the book. So that’s my excuse for going into crazy land with my marketing plan.
I knew that all of this experience would be translated into something that I would be able to deliver after the book. So that’s my excuse for going into crazy land with my marketing plan.
Is there a way that people end up seeing your 25-point marketing plan, or do they have to hire you to do their book launch? How does that work?
A few ways. I have done the overview masterclass of this plan. I’ve done it a couple of times. I’m going to tell you that my full-time job is not marketing, but I love it. I love branding and marketing. I was able to present this one-hour overview. I almost got to the end. Twenty-five points are hard to do in an hour for my entrepreneurs organization group, from people worldwide who were either an author or a speaker.
By the way, I created this presentation knowing I was presenting to my peers, and I had to knock it out of the park. I had to wow them. I wasn’t going to go in there and be conversational. I wanted to stand out in that group as something amazing they never expected. I think I did that because of the looks on everyone’s faces, some comments in the chat, and comments emailed to me.
I got comments like this. “My job is marketing. You blew my mind. Amazing.” So I thought, proof of concept. I’m good. I do present this marketing overview, and I’m doing it for the Forbes Business Council on October 12. I’ll create a masterclass that is a funnel into the Memoir Sherpa program. However, within the program, that marketing module, 25 lessons, is its own program. It can be standalone.
You can do many things, and you can translate that into almost anything.
Yeah. I didn’t know until I did the program and did the work. I should have known, but I didn’t pay attention that it can be its own segment and that somebody’s not writing a memoir but writing a business book, or even (honestly) anyone trying to promote anything if they do these things. Some things are a book launch, a book summit, a book trailer, an advanced reader program, and an influencer. I’ll use your term, shock and awe box. You can do many things, and you can translate that into almost anything.
You got me going.
The hardest part about something like a book trailer is finding a standout example to emulate. One that stands out for me is Jessica Simpson. She wrote a book called Open Book. Her book trailer is only maybe a minute and a half long, and it’s awesome. So we get a sense of her if you weren’t a fan.
You get to know what she’s about and what her story is. Just enough that it teases you, but it doesn’t give away the punchline. I love it. I love sending that to people. When I tell them, “hey, you need to do a book trailer for your book? Here’s a beautiful example of one done really well.”
I want to see it. I love mine. For mine, it’s cinematic. Honestly, I also spent more money on it than authors probably will and should. But this is a creative endeavor for me, fulfilling many different needs. Some people will write a book on a weekend or have a ghostwriter write it for them in 15 days, and they print it.
Why would you do something not excellent if it had to do with your brand?
They’re not putting a lot of attention into anything because it’s a calling card, or you think they would if it’s going to be a calling card or business card type thing. I’ve talked to many entrepreneurs with books, and they’re like, “yeah, I’m not going to spend any money on it. I just need it for proof of authority.” So I’m thinking, why would you do something not excellent if it had to do with your brand? But if it works for them, fine.
This is another great example of a book trailer I’ve found, it’s not my favorite, but it’s my second favorite. It’s by Eric Metaxas. It’s called Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life. He’s got this schtick for this trailer where he’s going through a slideshow presentation like it was the 1970s or something, like a Mad Men episode.
It’s just really, really well done. It’s theatrical, and it has great storytelling. He’s clever, funny, and witty. It’s very engaging. That was another great example. Most book trailers are trying to explain the book, and that doesn’t work, I don’t think. It defeats the purpose.
I think mine explains the book. It’s just an overview, and I narrate it. It doesn’t go into great detail. It’s a teaser, right? It’s something to get somebody’s attention. You want them to say, “whoa, what the heck was that? I want to know more.”
Instead of, “oh, now I understand what the book is.” It’s like a movie trailer that gives you the whole story arc. It won’t make me want to see the movie.
Yeah. Okay, cool. The book trailer is one of the 25. What would be another one that stands out for you?
How about the one that I decided not to do and why?
Okay, which was that?
Oh, my gosh. I got on the NFT roller coaster a couple of years ago. I own a couple. I have a GaryVee token. I wanted to understand and crack the code of what it was and to be in on that big, new thing. So I was like, “you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to do an NFT project for this book release.”
Thank God, I realized that that would be the tipping point of my mental health. Also, my audience isn’t there yet. It was difficult for me to figure out the intricacies of NFTs and get a Meta wallet.
Metamask, right. There are so many hoops to jump through. Why would you want to piss off your community and readers and frustrate them? Because my readers aren’t necessarily interested in crypto or NFTs right now. I’m ten years ahead of time. I had the wherewithal, and I had the whole plan. I had decided what was going to happen. It was so exciting.
In fact, I had the artist that did the artwork for this. This image is an artist’s rendering of a photo of me. We pushed up and off the page for the book. I had all the ideas for the variants. Anyway, I didn’t do it, and I’m so glad. That doesn’t mean I can’t do it in the future.
Of course. Do you know this funny NFT skit that was on Saturday Night Live? Have you seen that?
Okay, I’ll have to look it up.
What the hell is an NFT? It’s hilarious.
Also, what does non-fungible mean? Who knew what that word even was? It’s not a daily term.
Some people in crypto still don’t know what that means. The quick answer is it’s not swappable for something of the same value. So I can trade a $1 bill with another dollar bill, which makes no difference. Whereas if I had a collectible stamp and swapped it for a different collectible stamp, they’re different stamps.
I would love the idea of an NFT, for instance, if you bought my book. Let’s say you pay $19.99; I get whatever I will get from it. Then, you want to sell it to somebody at a garage sale, and they buy it as an NFT. That person that sold it gets some money, and then I get a cut.
That’s repeatable forever. That’s cool. That’s my win, but then the success actually continues. That’s another rabbit hole, but I didn’t do it. I don’t have plans to do it anytime soon, but that does not mean I will not do it.
It makes sense. The ability to have royalties on each sale transaction perpetually is a feature of NFTs because of smart contracts. You can code whatever parameters into the smart contract you want around royalties, transaction fees, etc.
Yeah, cool.It's everyone's responsibility to lift, spotlight, and highlight people’s strengths versus focusing on the flaws and weaknesses of others. Click To Tweet
Let’s change topics again here and talk about TikTok. What are you doing on TikTok, or what are your plans for TikTok? I personally am not on TikTok. I don’t even have the app installed on my phone. If I had to be on TikTok, I would get a separate burner phone that wouldn’t have any other apps on it or any of my personal information on it, so none of that personal data would get siphoned or sent over to China.
I got you. I consume on TikTok. I haven’t done a TikTok initiative. However, one of my students in the Memoir Sherpa program told me she’s been reading my book aloud on TikTok Live. And then she said, is that okay?
She’s not recording it, though. It’s going live, and she’s not recording it and then posting it again. That was cool. I was like, “yes. You can read my book on TikTok.” I mean, she reads excerpts from it or reads a chapter or something.
With TikTok, you have to have a plan. You have to have a plan of attack. Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are what I focus on. I was already on all those platforms before my book launch. I continued and just amped up my initiative for those platforms. I didn’t want to add TikTok until I had a specific thing I would focus on. I don’t even know what that thing is, but I know there needed to be a concerted plan.
Yeah, but now with platforms like Instagram and YouTube, their rip-offs of—
The shorts, the lives, and the reels.
Exactly. Suppose you’re not going to be on TikTok. In that case, you still need to master these short videos and snackable video-type campaigns to stay relevant on Instagram, YouTube, and probably other platforms in the future.
I have reels. I’m not pointing or dancing at anything, so that’s one thing I can tell you. I can’t do it.
No reaction videos with somebody else’s video about you, and you’re pointing up at the video?
I haven’t done a duet. I’m still basic reels. I mean, they do get pushed out more. But next week, it’ll be something else, and reels will be dead because it was stories before, and then it was live before they were pushing. So whatever their whim is, we have to follow suit.
Yeah, although the idea of doing reaction videos has a timeless aspect. Let’s say you’re a body language expert and deconstruct the Will Smith slap of Chris Rock. Was this stage, or was this real? Was it premeditated?
You could get a lot of views and watch time by deconstructing that and riding on the coattails of newsjacking or whatever you want to call it. Riding on the coattails of a trending topic has some potential.
I’ll consider that.
I wouldn’t want to capitalize on somebody else’s pain.
Right. There are other ways to do it.
Yeah. I always look for ways to reveal light in everything I do, including every podcast episode, speech on stage, and client deliverable I present. That’s my North Star. Am I going to be revealing light in this? That changes the outcome. It changes the output. That intention matters.
At this point in our lives, we realize that that is an important factor. Our responsibility is to lift people, spotlight and highlight them, and not pull them down. Because any human being can focus on one or the other, we all have it.
We have some negative things that somebody could focus on. But, even in focusing on negative things, I like to turn them around.
We have some negative things that somebody could focus on. But, even in focusing on negative things, I like to turn them around. I saw you doing that with me and my story and asking about the bow that might have been hidden at the bottom of the box.
Yeah, because in our shadow is the gold or the treasure. What was Joseph Campbell’s quote about the cave? I’m going to find that one second. This is a great quote.
I’m not great with quotes.
Okay, this is such a great quote. The short version is, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” Here’s the longer version. “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for. The damn thing in the cave that was so dreaded has become the center. You find the jewel, and it draws you off.” How beautiful is that?
Well, I definitely found my cave a few times.
And hopefully, the jewel, not just the cave.
I did, yes. I found the jewel in the cave. I entered the cave numerous times.
The cave sucks, but the jewel is pretty awesome.
All right. I know we’re out of time. So if our listener wants to learn from you, sign up for your Memoir Sherpa program, follow you on socials, get your book, and all that good stuff, where do they go?
Oh, that’s exciting. By the time this airs, I’m sure you’ll have it because we have a few more weeks before this airs. I have a very positive expectancy for you on that one because I know you’ve wanted that for a long time.
Yeah, 30 years.
Yeah, that’s all. Amazing. That’s exciting. Your firm that does amazing experiential events is entireproductions.com.
And if you’re on social media, it’s Natasha Miller SF. That’s for San Francisco.
Awesome. Natasha, this was such a great conversation. You’re so inspiring, so interesting, and so brilliant. Wow. I love it.
Oh, thank you. Thank you so much.
Thank you, listener. Now, do something extraordinary. Make yourself memorable by revealing light and not trying to do it for your ego. We’ll catch you in the next episode. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, signing off.
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Average Sucks and What To Do About It with Michael Bernoff – previous episode
Getting Into the A-Pile with Dan Kennedy – previous episode
Self Mastery, Unlocked with Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. – GYO episode
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
Don’t just live with resilience, live relentlessly. Living relentlessly will provide me with purpose and meaning in life and work. In addition, this will allow me to build strong relationships and take control of my success.
Amplify every opportunity to its fullest capacity. Turn every challenge or situation into an opportunity.
Don’t take things personally. Always remember that I’m not responsible for others’ actions; I’m only responsible for my own actions. This will help save me from the hurt of the words and actions of others.
Always do my best. It is not about meeting any expectations or professional success; it’s about living life to its fullest potential.
Take 100% accountability for my actions. Holding myself accountable will teach me the value of hard work. This is the basic building block of a responsible person.
Learn to forgive. Forgiveness can help to repair damaged relationships. It brings peace of mind to the forgiver. If I forgive others, it sets me free from stress and anger.
Reflect upon life. Reflecting will help me develop my skills and review their effectiveness, rather than carry on doing things as I have always done them. I need to question, in a positive way, what I do and why I do it and then decide whether there is a better or more efficient way of doing it in the future.
Try creating something that exceeds my audience’s expectations. When customers are delighted, it can help to create a powerful and long-lasting bond with my brand.
Check out and read Natasha Miller’s book, Relentless: Homeless Teen to Achieving the Entrepreneur Dream, which is her journey from living in a homeless shelter to making the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest-growing companies in America.
About Natasha Miller
Natasha Miller isn’t your average CEO. She sits at the helm of Entire Productions which has been an Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America for three years in a row. Natasha studied entrepreneurship at the Harvard Business School and MIT, and is a trained classical violinist and accomplished jazz vocalist. She now resides in San Francisco, CA where she is a member and is on the regional board of EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organization).