When you go to Wil Reynolds’ site the tagline says, We Don’t Trust Our Gut—and that’s because Seer Interactive is a digital marketing agency powered by big data. After all, you don’t want to hire folks that are guessing when it comes to your bottom line. Wil is a former teacher with a knack for advising. He’s been helping Fortune 500 companies develop SEO strategies since 1999. In recent years, Wil has been leading the charge to leverage big data to break down silos between SEO, PPC, and traditional marketing — pulling together data from various sources to see the big picture.
In today’s episode, we get into what it’s like leading a team and caring about your team and your clients, beyond just business dealings. We talk about imposter syndrome, comparative success syndrome, and the importance of pursuing balance in your life. When is enough enough? We talk about managing your schedule so that it’s not so tight that you’re left with no time to strategize. Wil is a deep thinker–he’s one of those people who has found great success with a people-first, human approach, and I’m so glad to have his smart perspective here today on a great episode of Marketing Speak.
In this Episode
- [00:29] – Stephan introduces Wil Reynolds, founder of Seer Interactive. He’s been helping Fortune 500 companies develop SEO strategies since 1999 and leading the charge to leverage big data to break down silos between SEO PPC and traditional marketing.
- [05:47] – Wil explains why he never went down the path of getting his company acquired.
- [10:40] – Wil elaborates on why you should not compare your success to others and how people have different rules for success.
- [15:22] – Wil and Stephan talk about being open to whatever life gives you and Stephan’s spiritual awakening.
- [20:58] – Stephan explains why you shouldn’t discount spiritual experiences and why nothing’s a coincidence
- [26:32] – What intuitive hits are and how we should treat it as a divine message from your higher self or higher beings.
- [32:04] – Stephan shares a story of how a person delivered a miracle to a waitress by giving her a huge tip.
- [36:28] – What a Mitzvah is and the right way to do it.
- [43:30] – Wil and Stephan discuss why it’s important to take time to sit around and think.
- [48:28] – Visit Seerinteractive.com or follow @wilreynolds on Twitter to know more about his end-to-end real estate platform.
Wil, it’s so great to have you on the show.
Thank you for having me.
I want to bring up something that I found really touching, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. It was a Facebook post that you had written not too long ago about being enough like you have enough. I know this has nothing to do with marketing, but maybe it does, that you don’t feel the need to have another vacation home or a boat or whatever, the stuff doesn’t feed you, it doesn’t fuel you. It’s enough. You’re focusing on giving back and not taking any more from the agency coffers and all that. I’m paraphrasing because it was a couple months ago that I read that post, but that struck me and I wanted to maybe lead with that.
What’s funny is I think when you really are content, you get to a point where you probably—I never really bought into it. I think the thing for me is, I went to school to be a teacher. I never thought that I would run an agency. I never had these ideas of someday working for myself and building a company and having it grow. I thought I was going to be a teacher making teacher-salary. That’s where my mind was.
For me, everything’s been a bonus anyway. It’s like, oh, my God, look at this thing, it turned into something. I think that ultimately, I realized that there’s just a rat race to life. Unless you’re at the Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates level, you’re pretty much looking at what those people can do, and saying, “Oh, maybe it’d be nice to fly in a private plane whenever I have to fly anywhere, instead of waiting for the TSA.” You just keep trying to level up your life. For me, I’ve never bought into that.When you know what fills up your bucket, life becomes easier. Click To Tweet
I think what that’s going to enable me to do in the future is really take care of my team. I also looked at my community, and I just looked at, where do I get joy, man? It’s like, okay, cool, I can buy a first class seat, or I can fly private to somewhere or some crazy stuff like that. Or I can invest that in watching my team members, or helping my team members pay off their student loans. For me, where do I get more joy? It’s like, yeah, I’d rather help somebody pay off their student loans, help them to have their kids college paid for by the time the kid is six. I would get more joy from that than anything that I could still acquire in life. Coming to that epiphany has been very, very, very freeing.
When and how did you come to that epiphany and how?
It started about four years ago. I started realizing I was on a trajectory, where it was like, honestly, stuff and people don’t—it’s so cliche to say, but you start realizing, I’m not doing anything with my money. Money in bank accounts can start to become a scoreboard in the same way that I’m constantly trying to run a faster mile. I think that money, awards, accolades, all the stuff that comes externally, it can start to become your scoreboard, and then there’s never an end to that. I’m like, what’s my end state? Well, I want to own my own house. I did that, six years ago, I paid for my house.
You start being like, okay, well, then I could get a bigger house, but for what? What is that going to actually do? Am I going to get that much happier from that? No. I just started thinking of what I could actually do if I kept getting more? I couldn’t think of anything that wasn’t completely disgusting. The one thing was to fly private. I was like, “Oh, I probably would fly private a couple times a year when I have to do long flights.” My wife was like, “We’re not doing that.“
I don’t want to raise my kids to be sitting on a private plane somewhere. The first time they got to take a school trip and go into TSA, they’re sitting there like, “What is this thing?” I don’t want to raise my kids that way either. I literally can’t think of anything that I could do. I’ve had some people interested in acquiring our company. You go, what do you think it could get? Then somebody tells you, and then you’re sitting there looking at a number like that, and you’re going, what do I do with that money? What would I do with it? You literally are like, what would I do with it?
What am I getting back to the people who helped to create this business?
For me, I couldn’t come up with anything that I was proud of. Then as a result, it was like, what am I getting back to the people who helped to create this business? Obviously, I just set up a nice nest egg for myself, but that’s already covered. It’s like, all right, let’s just give it back out to the people and the communities in which we live, and that was a pretty simple decision.
Did you end up going down that path of getting acquired?
No. People are still knocking on our doors, but now I’m starting to look at—so I’ve got a number next to people’s names. If I could ever get them that much, then I would feel like I’ve done right by them. For me, if somebody were to ever be interested, one, I still got to like my job. I would only have the seller’s remorse because I’m not going to do anything with that money. There’s no like, oh, my God, if I sold the business, I could—I could what?
I’m not going to buy anything with that money. I’m not going to start another business, because I don’t think I was that smart at business. I went to school to be a teacher and I surrounded myself with some really smart people. I don’t want to start a new business. I like this business. The last thing I want to do is sell my business to somebody not enjoy working there, quit, and be sitting around at 47, 48 years old and like, “What am I going to do today? What am I going to do?”
I’m not going to spend money on this. For me, not that it’s going to take a lot of money, but it’s going to take something more than just money for me. But I also have numbers next to a bunch of people’s names. I’m like, if I could ever get them that number, I’d have to consider something because of what it could do for them, not for what it does for me.
Do you have any aspirations to start a foundation or create some big movement and help save the world or anything like that?
It’s always a balance of time and money.
Nope. I’ll just do it my own way. For me, it’s always a balance of time and money. I like to spend time with people whom I donate to. I’m trying to spend a little more time understanding certain things about the prison population. I can just write checks to different organizations, but I need to hear more from those people and put the time in, trying to understand what it’s actually like for them, what their stories are, and whatnot. It usually gives me more motivation to write bigger checks.
To start a foundation, if anything—I’ve read something recently from—I think it’s called The Millionaire Next Door, it was the book. The more you build a foundation and be out there with it, the more people you attract. I would prefer to just do most of my stuff in my own way, and not overly have people go, “Oh, that guy’s got a foundation, let’s get our fundraising people to call them,” and it’s like, I don’t want your calls. Let me self-discover things that I care about solving, and then I’ll go to those folks, and see how I can help their organizations hit their goals and objectives.
Got it. There’s a book called The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. What would be the dysfunctions of an agency?
Do you mean from a business model standpoint, the things that fundamentally are the business model? You mean more like the people’s side, like how Lencioni talked about it in the book?
All of it. Whatever comes to you.
Honestly, one of the hardest things, when you’re an agency of our size, is not being able to make a decision that works for everybody anymore, and then having people judge the decisions you make without the context in which you make them. Then it just leads to, “Oh, they’re doing this,” and it’s like, well come and ask me why we’re doing it. I’m an open book. I’ll tell you why we’re making the decisions we’re making and help you to understand. There’s tension and there’s skepticism, but I understand the skepticism.
A lot of people have worked at places where if they didn’t take care of themselves, nobody else would. It’s like, they were seen just as a resource to cost X and get a Y-margin back. There’s just a lot of skepticism. I don’t think it’s an agency-only thing. It’s just a way that people work-thing. The pandemic and whatnot has just exacerbated that feeling of mistrust and lack of transparency. It’s like, what’s the company going to do? Are they going to make us come back? Are they going to do this, are they going to do that?
We’re trying to lean into transparency really hard to give people more information so they don’t have to try to make it up themselves and try to connect the dots themselves. I would say that’s one of them. I think this is not agency-only. People like to compare themselves to other people’s career trajectories without knowing what those people did. I find a lot of times people are like, why haven’t I been promoted to X or Y? It’s person X has. It’s like, well, do you know what person X has done? Have you been there for all their deliverables? Have you been there for the meetings where they turned around X,Y, Z clients? Well, I was.
We try to compare ourselves to other people’s lives with very little information on how they got there. For instance, if you think of successful entrepreneurs, people want to say, “Oh, you run a successful company.” It’s like, you don’t know if my kids don’t even recognize me, because I’m on the road so much, or that my life is in shambles, or that I missed spending the last days with my uncle X, because I had to close this deal. Then they passed away before I could get there. Like, that’s not successful, at least not to me.
I feel like there’s just a comparison thing and people don’t know. I was recently asked a question about success and I was going on that tangent of like, you have no idea if I’m successful or not, because my rules of success aren’t what you could ever see. Like, oh, how big is the company? How many people do they have, 200 people? Oh, that’s success. Oh, how long have you been doing it, 18 years? Oh, that’s success. No.
Making sure that I can spend the time that fills up my heart with my kids, my wife, giving my mom a call, spending time with her, those are the things that make me feel like I haven’t allowed this business to swallow me up for what you or someone else out there might see as successful. Instead, I know I’m still spending time with my mom, because she’s old. My mom’s almost 80. She has limited time on this earth. Should I close that next deal or maybe go watch the Sixers game with my mom? Stuff like that, to me, is just really important when you look at success.
Right. Also to look at what you could have done or who you could have been if you had made some different choices, that’s actually a syndrome. I had no idea. It’s like a sister disorder to imposter syndrome. It’s called comparative success syndrome.
I had that. Not only did I have imposter syndrome, I had comparative success syndrome, because I looked at who I could have been if I had stayed the path of going through graduate school, because I was a graduate student, studying biochemistry. I wanted to cure cancer. I dropped out. I was going to be a PhD in biochemistry, I was going to study viruses, I was going to be a professor, and do research. I dropped out and then I joined the internet bandwagon back in 1995. For the longest time, I thought I gave something up that was important. In actuality, I did exactly what I needed to do. The timing is divine, the choices I made, it’s all perfect. It’s all meant to be but the self-doubting was there for a number of years.
Really? I’m really surprised to hear that you would have imposter syndrome because you’re the person that when I would see you present, the things that you would show were so—such a different view on how to solve the same problem everybody else in the room was trying to solve. I just remember being like, “Damn, wow, that guy’s really looking at this problem through a new lens.” I’m surprised. I’m just so surprised to hear you say that. I really am. Where does that come from for you?
Probably past lives, I would guess. We’re all works in progress. Who knows how many millennia it took to get to where we’re at now? Anyways, I’m working on myself, and this is no longer an issue for me. It’s more about just showing up in a more intentional and thoughtful way, not judging people, because I’m big with judgment and not making surface-level decisions, being more thoughtful. There’s a lot to it, and I had a big spiritual epiphany and stuff over the last few months. That’s for another time.
The idea here is that we’re all works in progress, and we learn stuff through our business life, we learn stuff from health challenges, we learn stuff from relationship challenges and family challenges, et cetera. Hopefully, we all grow from it spiritually.
How to be open to all of it and learn from everything. I just recently interviewed someone, and they were like, “Oh, I can’t do an interview for the next two weeks, I’m going to the hospital for a little thing.” Finds out, the dude is having brain cancer, and he’s going to die in nine months. You’re like, wow, you’re interviewing for a job thinking everything’s fine. You go in and say, oh, I got to put this on hold and go in, and then they find out, you’ve gosh a brain tumor. Holy sh*t.
You have to be open to whatever life gives you.
You have to be open to whatever life gives you that day. I’m a very in-the-moment person. Not a YOLO way, but more like—because that to me is bullsh*t, because life is long. The news stories only highlight people that died young. We read the news, so therefore, oh, this guy died at 40, oh, my God. But they’re not like this, many people live to 100 years old. Life generally is long and YOLO is just a surefire way to end up with a lot of credit card debt and unhappiness.
It’s not even true in so many different ways. Not just life is usually long for us, but how many times have we been here on this planet? Probably hundreds.
How did you come to that? I never really dug into that part of spirituality of that concept. Tell me about that.
Okay. We’re getting a little off topic, but I’m happy to give a short answer in preparation for an interview on my other show, Get Yourself Optimized, which has some spirituality episodes, biohacking episodes, et cetera. I was prepping for an interview with Sheila Gillette, who is a medium, and she channels 12 archangels. They go by the name of THEO as a collective. She’s the real deal, by the way.
I was preparing for the interview. I watched a video of her saying that—on her deathbed. This was back in 1969. She had some complications from childbirth, and she was on her way out. She was praying, God, please let me raise my kids, let me stay on the planet, please give me a job. That really stuck with me.
A few months later, it was January of this year. I was just inspired to start praying, please give me a job. The veils thinned, I was able to see the matrix, I was able to see times where angels intervened and saved my life. I totaled my car when I was 23 years old, fell asleep behind the wheel, and I walked away without a scratch.
Angels saved my wife’s life just last year from a head-on collision. There are so many things that we just have no clue. That’s been quite a rabbit hole. Very exciting one, because life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you, but there’s another level that happens by you. You’re co-creating your reality.
Absolutely, yeah. It’s an area that I’ve never really dug into that deep, to be honest with you. I just haven’t dug in that deep. Maybe I’ll have to listen to that podcast when that one comes out. Is that already out?
Yeah, that was out in November, and then I had an episode 300, just a few weeks ago, where I talked about this spiritual awakening and some of the implications, some of the opportunities that have presented themselves. I get messages daily. We are all psychic. We just shut ourselves off because we don’t believe it.
You know what, I’ll say this. One of the most weird things for me is, once every two to three months, I will be in a situation that is familiar to me. Because it freaks me out so much, I’ll say to myself, this person is going to do this thing in about two minutes. I just sit there and let them go and whatnot, and then I’m like, oh, my God, they just did it. It’s not like, oh, they’re going to be breathing in two minutes.
They’re going to say a word like this, or they’re going to do this or that. Because I’m literally like, I’ve been here. I’ve seen this thing before. I know that in two minutes, they’re going to do X or Y. I’m probably right 75% of the time. It’s just so weird, because you’re like, yeah, so I won’t get on that either.
It’s not weird. This is how we’re supposed to be. This is how life is supposed to work. We are psychic. We are not human beings having a spiritual existence or experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. That’s from Wayne Dyer, and it is so true.You risk not being your authentic self when you are trying to turn around the frowny faces. You start trying to become unnatural. Click To Tweet
Once you crack open that door, things start happening. The door opens wider and wider and it’s amazing. It all started for me in June of last year when I was interviewing for another medium. I don’t know why. I felt so compelled to have this guy on my podcast, but I just knew I needed to have him on. I met him in a Zoom breakout room in a METAL meeting. Metal is a mastermind I’m in, a great group. There’s a lot of really cool guys in that group.
He’s like, “I’m an advertising guy, copywriter, and I’m also medium.” I’m like, “What? A medium? What do you mean?” He explained some things like he was one of 700 psychics on this Fox show called The Gifted or something like that, for the most gifted. Out of the 700, he was one of the 10 that was selected to be on the show, and then he won.
There’s a clip on his website on marknelsonmedium.com, where you can watch him talking to these three people who are roughly the same age. He had no information about them. He was just channeling from the beyond. He’s like, “You guys went to high school together. I’m seeing army boots. It’s not a military school. They’re regular classrooms. You guys went to Columbine.”
It’s like, whoa. “You escaped through the back door. You were hiding in the library.” He got it all right. The only slight misconception out was the person he said was hiding in the library was hiding under the library. He just nailed it.
This guy won that show back in the day. He saved a family member’s life of mine while I was interviewing him. What are the odds? Zero, essentially. There’s 0% chance that he would save a family member. My family members didn’t do any interviews except for him. It was a three week time period.
At that moment in time, while I was interviewing him, my family member was having a stroke. She didn’t believe it. She wasn’t going to go to the hospital. He said, “No, she absolutely is.” He saved her life. That opened the door. That was my first experience of like, wow, this is the thing. I really shouldn’t be discounting it.
What’s so interesting is the things we discount. The things we discount that someday you see through a different lens, to me, is always really interesting, because you want to go out into the world and be like, I’m not the person that believed in this. I’m not that guy, I’m not that girl. I didn’t believe in this thing, but how else could this outcome have happened? How else could that have happened?
I’ve had one or two small things in my life that were similar. We’re like, I’m not that guy, so when you hear me talking about this, don’t think that I’m some person that believes in all this stuff, but I’m a believer now in whatever that thing is. I too have not that level. There are things that I was like, yeah, sure, you can do it, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and then you find out it did at the same time. It’s something and you’re like, that could be coincidence still, but like, how could it be coincidence that just this time, this thing, that this happened. Do you know what I mean?
There are no coincidences, there’s nothing random. That’s part of my new clear seeing, clairvoyance from having been given this job. Running an agency is not the job I was given because I remember, I prayed for a job. Part of the gift that I’ve been given is this clear seeing.
It’s amazing when these things start happening. They’ve been happening all along, we just didn’t see them through the lens of like, wow, that chance meeting with somebody who became my business partner or who became my spouse or became my best friend was not a chance. It was actually predestined. We made that soul contractor, that decision, before even incarnating. To preface this all by saying I was agnostic my whole life up until age 42. I was one of those people who discounted all of it. I was the skeptic skeptic.
How is it talking to people about it? Because people are going to probably like—-you up until this point, if somebody had to talk to you at age 39, 38, or 37, you would have had a certain type of reaction that I imagine people may have when they talk with you. How do you try to help people to see, there might be something there on something that they’re so skeptical about? Are you like, I don’t do it, I don’t try to convince the unconvinced?You have to be open with your time to receive signals from above. Click To Tweet
I’m not trying to convince anybody, I’m calibrating. I let things go the way that they’re going to go. I didn’t know we’d be talking about this on the podcast, on this episode, no idea. I’m being led by my intuition, and I’m willing to take the risks. If it feels right, it probably is right. Sometimes, people are so closed off, they don’t want to hear it.
The people who are listening to this podcast, even though it’s a Marketing show, and it’s not my other show that gets pretty woo-woo, there’s something about me and about my message and about how I show up in the world that resonates so they continue to listen to the show. They’re probably not haters listening to this episode. If they don’t really like me that much, they’re probably not listening to this part of the episode, they probably turned it off already. That’s cool. I’m not here for the frowny faces. I learned this from Bob Allen who’s written many New York Times bestsellers, millions of copies of books sold.
He said, you’re not here for the frowny faces, you’re only here for the smiley faces. Stop trying to convince or win over the frowny faces. Whether it’s an audience in a conference, and you’re the keynote speaker, or it’s a book that you’re writing and you’re trying to please everybody with it to not create polarity or any hate mail or anything, just serve the smiley faces. You’re there for them, they’re there for you. The frowny faces, they’re going to do what they’re going to do.
I think also, you risk not being your authentic self when you are trying to turn around the frowny faces. You start trying to become something that is either unnatural or not who you really are to try to say like, oh, can I turn around a couple of those? Then maybe you miss opportunities to connect with people. I think broadly, I’m with you. I let life take me where it goes.
You get these intuitive hits. I recently learned that an intuitive hit is one that comes in unexpected, it’s charged neutral, there’s no anxiety or fear or any negative or even positive emotion associated with it, like excitement or anything. It doesn’t lead anywhere else, it just sits there. It just simply is. It’s not going to jump to the next thought, and then the next thought, and the next thought.
Typically our subconscious mind is just at work all the time, just ricocheting from one place to another. It just sits there. When you get an intuitive hit that fits those criteria, treat it as if it’s a divine message, because it is. It’s either from your higher self, it’s from angels, it’s from God. It’s not just another synapse firing from your subconscious mind.
If you take that perspective, and somebody comes to your mind, and you’re like, wow, I haven’t thought of that person or talked to that person for years. Reach out. Oh, my goodness, I’ve never thought that X, Y, and Z would make that big of a difference, but then that person that I called, they were about to commit suicide, and I interrupted them. Then they were like, what the hell am I even doing this for? Or whatever. There are no coincidences.
Oh, my God. If I listened to everything I thought of that way, I’d be literally on the phone calling my friends or old people in my life all the time—because you do. You have these thoughts. You’re like, why am I even thinking about that, and then you just get back to work and move on.
You should totally try this, even if it’s just for a week. Take this as an experiment. Those people that pop into my mind—it’s like, that person popped in my mind, and then it led to another person or another thought or whatever, you can let those go. But if somebody just stays there in your mind, just for a week, humor me and follow those intuitive hits.
People like to compare themselves to other people’s career trajectories without knowing what those people did.
You know what’s funny? I had something like that a little bit yesterday, where I went to the doctor, and I got a clean bill of health. It made me think of someone that I work with. I was like, let me check in on them and see how their health is. Just one of those things.
I think about my own health, but then maybe I think about the health of other people. I’m like, let me just ping this person and obviously, things are all good, and they’re doing fine. But I am already starting to try to listen to that part of me that’s like, why am I sitting here thinking about this? Instead of just saying like, hey, I’m thinking of you.
Here’s the thing. You didn’t think of just random people on the team, you thought of that person. That person says, “I’m fine.” Does that mean they’re truly fine? That was an intuitive hit. Probably, unless it just led to something else, and then something else and something else. Probably it was an intuitive hit.
You could encourage them to go see a doctor and get their checkup or whatever. If they have their annual physical, if they’re past due on that, you could invite them to try some medical modality that they have not tried before. I’ve done a health nucleus, which is a full body MRI scan, and a whole battery of blood tests and everything rich people do. I learned about it from Peter Diamandis. They do it every year, and it saves a lot of people’s lives, but it’s never covered under insurance, so it’s just right out of pocket.
I’ve done that a couple of years in a row so far. Nothing concerning so far, thank God. Imagine if somebody got a scan that was just out of the blue, there wasn’t some symptom that caused them to be concerned, but somebody said, you know what, you should try this.
You’re co-creating your reality.
How do you do that without feeling like you’re putting someone off or being a little bit pushy about it?
You just be honest, and say like, “This probably sounds a little crazy, or at least pretty woowoo, but I’m starting to pay attention to my intuitive messages and sense it. I have this intuitive sense that it’d be good for you to go get a scan or some checkup or something,” because it was that person who came to your mind. It wasn’t like, oh, yeah, I should totally offer free MRI scans every year to my entire team or whatever. That could be an intuitive hit too if it just comes to your mind, but this was specific to one person. I wouldn’t discount it.
I would listen to that.
A lot of times, what happens is I’ll just reach out to somebody and I’ll say, I was thinking about you and like, wow, that’s weird because I was just thinking about you, and it was years of no contact or whatever. That happens. We are all connected. Then I find out that somebody needed something right at that moment, that was so profound and powerful or whatever, and I’m just the messenger. I’m just the delivery person. I’m not creating this miracle for this person.
In fact, I’m in a group of people that’s a mastermind of Seven Guys who are reading a book together called, You Were Born For This. It’s all about delivering miracles to people on an everyday basis. One of the meetings, one of the guys said, “I felt compelled to give a big tip to this waitress. Something spoke to me, and I offered her. I said, ‘how would a $107 tip sound to you?’ She started sobbing, and she showed a text message to him and his family.”
Her mom had asked earlier in the day, “Do you have $107? I can’t afford this medication.” The daughter was like, “I can’t, I’m sorry. I’m not even making enough to cover my own bills.” This stuff is so part of our experience and yet we pretend that it doesn’t exist, that we’re just human beings having a spiritual experience, but we’re spiritual beings.
It’s wild, and the fact that I’m in that mastermind is also a miracle. That happened shortly after I was given the job, which is still being revealed to me, I remember the aspects of it are still unfolding. This guy said, I’m putting this mastermind together. We’re starting in a week, do you want to be in it? That happened.
This guy, we’re having a conversation on Zoom, because I met him at a Zoom Meeting with Joe Polish that has this podcast called I Love Marketing, a monthly Zoom meeting. He reached out to me on Zoom chat. We hadn’t even spoken. He’s like, “I want to have a call with you.” I just felt compelled in the middle of our conversation and said, “You know what, there’s this book that I feel like I need to tell you about, it’s called My Utmost for His Highest. I haven’t even read it, but I think this is a book that’s going to be good for you.”
He’s like, “Wow, that’s weird, because that’s one of my favorite books.” This is a book from the 1920s. It’s not a new bestseller or something. He’s like, I have it on my bookshelf right there, I’ve read it four times, and then later on in that conversation, he’s like, “I’m putting this mastermind together. We’re reading this book, it’s all about delivering God’s miracles in everyday life. I feel like I need to invite you to it, that you’re supposed to be in it.” I’m like, “I’m in.” I knew that that was not just random. That was meant for me.
Stephan, do you think that the state of the world, people are sometimes too busy to listen to those signals? That they’re like, let them pass through because we have to be open with our time enough to—it’s like, you know what, let me join this thing. Let me not reach out because reaching out is relatively easy. To put an hour block on your schedule sometimes, to just see what might come up, for some people is just like, well, I could have done all these other things in that hour, maybe this is worth it, maybe it’s not. How do you advise people on that?
The first step is the willing suspension of disbelief. If you set that aside, and you just say, you know what, I’m going to be open. Maybe I don’t have the time to respond to every call, or every calling that’s given to me from above, but I’m going to be open to at least receiving it. You can ask, you can even ask and say, I need to see without a doubt sign.
This will freak some of my listeners out. One of my team asked her mom who had passed without a sign, and then five seconds later, there’s an owl sitting in the street right when she turned. It was blocking her path in the car, and it stared her down for five minutes, and she knew that was her mom.
It’s funny. I get intuitions about people asking me for this or that, and I’m always like—sometimes I’ve had random meetings that have gone in a very different direction and they were very valuable. Then I’ve had times where I’m like, man, what I wouldn’t do to get that hour back? Because I could have spent that hour with my kids, I could have spent that hour doing something else and I’m trying to figure out, this is what you’re saying. How many of those things do you listen to, or how do you get stronger at determining where you put that timing.
It’s attention, it’s not time. Time is an illusion. It’s our attention. We’re in the ever present now. If I’m feeling called to spend time with my son, who’s a toddler right now and he needs me, then I will do that. If I’m feeling called to just drop everything and make a phone call to somebody who I hadn’t thought of for several months, I’ll do that.
A mitzvah is a good thing, a good deed that earns you brownie points in heaven. If you harm somebody in the process, that defeats the whole purpose. Don’t do it. You’re like, okay, I need to carve out this amount of time to pray, and then I’m going to leave my wife with her crying baby in order to take that time and do the prayer. That’s no bueno.
You’re taking time away, like you have this magic moment with your child and you’re saying, you know what, I actually need to drop everything and make this phone call. That’s probably not the right thing to do. Don’t do a mitzvah if it’s going to cause harm to others.
It’s just one of those things, because it’s weird. I’ve had some random really good conversations, but then I always tend to think of this concept of—you’re right, it’s attention. It’s just wow, man. It’s definitely one of those, where I just look at everything that doesn’t have a cause. There is a cause to be putting my attention into something that comes at the expense of something else.
There are no coincidences, there’s nothing random.
What I think you’re saying is—and it’s something that I’ve had to learn in my work. I know what fills up my bucket. When you know what fills up your bucket, it’s easier to be like, yes. If I can get home every night and put my kid to bed, and you spend 15 minutes with him talking about Pokemon, if that fills my bucket, then I’m good. If my bucket gets filled by four hours of that time, then I need to adjust my life to fill that bucket up in the way that—do you know what I’m saying?
You almost have to listen to yourself. At least for me, I’m realizing, people will say, “Oh, Wil, if you sold your business, you do this or that. Think about how much more you could do for the things that you’re concerned about in the world.”I’m like, I feel like I’m doing enough. My bucket is full with what I’m currently doing, because if it wasn’t, I would move my life around to fill that bucket up more than I currently am. I feel like trying to be in tune with that has been helpful at least for me.
You can fill your bucket up with sand, or pebbles, or rocks, or boulders. If you put in the boulders first then the rocks, and then the pebbles, and then the sand, it makes everything work much better. If I start my day by doing a meditation, by doing prayer connecting and asking to be a delivery agent for miracles and my daily practice, I’m asking God, I’m here, here I am, please send me.
We don’t get sent to do things that are super easy and just within our comfort zone. We are challenged to stretch but it’s never more than we can handle. If we don’t ask for it, well, probably, I’m not going to get it, but I go out of my way by asking for it. I’d say, I want this and boy, do I get them. When my friend said I’m going to put some money aside and that’s not even going to be considered mine, it’s called, “having a God pocket.” You have a pocket with some cash in it that you’re just holding to—it’s meant for others. It’s not even yours, you’re just holding on to it.
Handing over $107 out of his God pocket was what he was called to do that day. Boy, did he make a difference in that person, in their life? You let the miracle happen because it’s not you, you’re just delivering it. You make sure that you give the credit, they transfer the credit over to your higher power instead of saying, well, that’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? Now, you say, this is all God.
You have to listen to yourself.
It’s always interesting to think if it isn’t not for you. It’s interesting to think that I’m holding this for somebody else. Conceptually, it’s a different thought process. I’m holding this for somebody else. That’s interesting.
Imagine how much you can do with your God pocket if you have more resources. You have been blessed with so many resources that not everybody else gets. It’s great that you’re feeling fulfillment and full bucket and everything, but there is more. There is more that you can do, there is more joy to be had, there’s more impact to be had. Not that you have to drop everything you’re doing and go climb a mountain and hangout in the cave for 20 years or become the next Mother Theresa.
It does give you a lot more opportunity to step up though with the resources that you have and that I have. The more you stretch, the more you’re going to benefit. Ultimately, karma isn’t just about not doing harm to others because you’re going to get it back 10 times. It’s about the beautiful good works that you do and even better the miracles that you’ll deliver. Those get 10x and come right back to you too. It’s fun.
The funny thing is this concept of holding on to somebody else will stick with me. That’s going to stick with me for sure, because that is just a totally different way of looking at the impact that happens in the world.
I’ll read it.
Thank you for that. Oh, we were all over the place. You know what though, I’ll tell you this. Like you, I’m just open to where life takes me. It’s interesting.
Recently, I’ve had some constraints on my schedule that I chose to allow to be there. I made the decision and I said, “Yeah, I will add this.” Before that, I never would book meetings back to back because I always wanted to leave time for something that could just continue. Sometimes, you want that time to be like, I don’t want to rush this. So I always used to never have back-to-backs, because sometimes it was that extra 5 or 10 minutes that came after or something, that created all the difference.
You don’t want to feel like you’re rushing through that. I’m looking forward to getting back to that, because I’ve always just believed in the fact of life, no rush through life, man. It fits sometimes with something. Even if it’s a matter of 15 minutes, sit with that.
So true, and this reminds me of a quote from Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach, which is an incredible mastermind I’ve been in for several years now. He says that those entrepreneurs who work too tightly scheduled cannot transform.
100%. It’s funny. When we were chatting before, you’re like, “Oh, Wil, you’re the founder.” I’m like, “Yeah, kind of. The real role that I play is I’m our VP of Innovation and it’s like, I need time to play.” I’ve been able to transform the way that certain things are done, but if you’re so tightly scheduled—I think the hard part is, it’s one of those things that people look at from a distance and it’s like, I would like to do that too. I’d like to sit around and just have time to think. It’s like, yeah, but you got to be able to say, with time to think, I’ve created something of value in the marketplace.
It’s one of the things I always talk to people about and they’re like, man, I wish I just had another 20% of my time. I’m like, well, at some point, that actual 20% of time has to pay dividends somewhere, or companies wouldn’t have our margin. You have to find a way to take that extra time and turn it into a value or find someone else who can turn that 20% of time into value. In an organization that might be able to take advantage of that thing. It’s always one of those interesting things that I told you about my job, that they’re like, oh, that would be great to sit around and think. It’s like, wow, it’s not just that I sit around and think.
It’s part of your job, though, to sit around and think. If you don’t do that, then you’re not stepping into your greatness. The book, The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham. He’s a funny guy. He’s so smart. A very down-to-earth guy.
He talks about having a thinking-chair that he only sits in when he’s going to sit to think. That thinking is some of the most important stuff that he does in the week. He schedules time to do it. The Road Less Stupid. Great book and what a great concept to have a thinking-chair that you only sit in when you’re going to think and you don’t do anything else in that chair, you don’t bring your cellphone and start flipping through Instagram or anything like that. You’re only thinking and he schedules it.
It’s smart because it is a physical thing that snaps you into where you should be mentally. Oh, when I sit in this chair, I’m thinking about all kinds of places. There’s one thing to be like, I’m going to go sit in the place. That’s interesting. That’s another one I’m going to take. It’s an anchor, exactly. Anything else you got for me? I’ve taken really interesting concepts from our chat today.
I think our listener has to and I know we’re at a time here that I want to be respectful of your schedule. I think the world of you will and I’m happy to know you.
Likewise, and it’s funny. I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time. Again, with you, it’s always been the way that you taught. I saw things that you were doing when I was early in my search career that I was like, everything this guy is showing makes sense. I think at times, you would look at the audience, with the crowd and you’ll be like, some people see this as a threat.
Upton Sinclair’s got a quote that’s something like, It’s hard to convince a man of something if his job depends on it, or his salary depends on it. I remember being like—but that’s separate from whether or not that risks— the work that I’m doing today from whether or not this guy is right. Whenever I saw you present on stage, there were things that I was like, oh, that’s a little uncomfortable given how I see value and how I create value.
It’s obviously the right thing.
Stop trying to convince or win over the frowny faces.
I’ve always really respected the way that you’ve taught and the way that you’ve brought solutions. Two things and ways that a lot of other folks have just accepted as the way it’s done and you’ve always found a different way to look at it. Maybe one of these other days, we could chat about what’s on your mind. If you got anything like that, brilliant. Because sitting in the audience and watching you present definitely gave me a sense of like, damn.
It almost became like, if you were presenting somewhere, I didn’t even really care about the title so much. I was like, there’s a good chance that this guy is going to make me think differently than I walked in thinking. Today’s just another freaking example of that.
Thank you for that, Wil.
I appreciate you, brother.
I appreciate you too. Let’s send our listeners to whatever websites, resources that you want to send them to. Of course, seerinteractive.com and where else?
Follow me on Twitter and you can go from there, @wilreynolds.
Awesome. Thank you, Wil and thank you, listeners.
You got it, brother. Have a great day, man.
- Wil Reynolds
- Twitter – Wil Reynolds
- LinkedIn – Wil Reynolds
- Seer Interactive – Wil Reynolds
- Facebook – Seer Interactive
- Instagram – Seer Interactive
- Twitter – Seer Interactive
- LinkedIn – Seer Interactive
- My Utmost for His Highest
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
- The God Pocket
- The Millionaire Next Door
- The Road Less Stupid
- You Were Born for This
- Sheila Gillette – GYO previous episode
- Episode 300 – GYO previous episode
- Bob Allen
- Bruce Wilkinson
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
Search for what brings me joy in life. Finding what brings me bliss allows me to be more content with what I have.
Take time to discover what or who I care about in making a better world. Instead of focusing on attracting people, I should spend more time on what I care about solving. Only then can I truly help people hit their goals and objectives.
Stop comparing myself to others. I know little about the lives of other people and everybody has a different definition of success.
Spend time with the people and things that fill my heart with joy. I should not let myself get too swallowed up by my business or work. I only have a limited amount of time with the people I love.
Be open to changing old habits or views that I discount. I still have a lot of things to experience and learn about in life. I should be open to different views that may change my life for the better.
Be authentic with my intentions. I’m not going to please everybody. So, I should focus more on those who are rooting for me.
Try reaching out to the people I randomly think of. We don’t just accidentally think of people. Most of the time, this is an intuitive hit we’re supposed to receive.
Give myself some time to breathe and be open to whatever possibilities that arise. I do not have to respond to every call that I receive, but I can be open to receiving it.
Help people by delivering miracles and blessings to their lives. I can be called to do things for others because I’m blessed with so many resources. I may need to deliver miracles from a higher power or may be holding blessings for someone else.
Find a place where I can focus and think. By allowing myself to think, I create more value, allow myself to step into greatness, and avoid rushing through life.
Visit Wil Reynolds’ website and follow him on Twitter to learn more about how I can find more joy in my life.
About Wil Reynolds
Wil likes helping people and businesses grow. A former teacher with a knack for advising, he’s been helping Fortune 500 companies develop SEO strategies since 1999. In recent years, Wil has been leading the charge to leverage “Big Data” to break down silos between SEO, PPC, and traditional marketing — pulling together data from various sources to see the big picture. Wil’s data-driven approach to consulting helps clients and teams make better, more strategic, cross-channel decisions and hit the ground running with actionable insights to start generating results and revenue.