Join Dean and Dan as they talk about 'intellectual free zones' and procrastinating competition.
Transcript: The Joy of Procrastination Ep064
Dean: Mr. Sullivan.
Dan: I can tell by the voice, and I know this voice, that it's Mr. Jackson.
Dean: That is correct. Perfect record.
Dan: I have a thought for you.
Dean: Tell me.
Dan: And it was what we were talking about on Tuesday. The new concept that's emerged, I'm always fascinated how concepts emerge.
Dan: You know, they're like the first plants of spring. It's like a new flower that has popped its head through the ground.
Dan: At least, that's the way it happens in four-season climates. I don't know if that happens in Orlando. And I was thinking of the free zone frontier concept. Seems to me you know a game-changer, because a game-changer has created a new zone that's free to them because it's on the frontier. And for a period of time, and maybe for a long time, they actually have no competition.
Dan: That's my thought.
Dean: So the reason because-
Dan: And the reason I'm bringing this back to procrastination, I'm wondering if you, specifically you; and me, specifically me, are two individuals who, if something new we're doing, or we've got a bigger and better goal, and looks like there's going to be competition, takes the thrill out of it.
Dean: Well, yeah. I wonder. I mean, I've been thinking a lot. Like, literally, I just landed at midnight last night. From this time last week, I was in Chicago arriving at your house for-
Dan: Right. Yeah, dinner.
Dean: Yeah. Great. So much input this last week. Right? Like, we had a great dinner. Always have great discussions. Then two amazing days at Strategic Coach. 10x on Monday. Game Changer on Tuesday. Fly back to Phoenix. Had two great days at Genius Network, culminating in the world premiere of Joe's movie, Connected: The Joe Polish Story. Then Saturday, breakfast with Kevin Donahue, and Nick Sonnenberg, and all ideas, ideas, ideas, and so much input. And as an introvert, I haven't had time to think through how everything kind of fits. But I recognized immediately this free zone as a big idea. And I'm happy to talk about and work it through now, because I saw it immediately. What I thought about with this free zone. I think it would be valuable, actually, for you to explain a little bit about just the base concept of the free zone. Because as much as I'd love to just jump right into the conversations, and you and I just treat this like a conversation between the two of us, we have to realize there are other people listening. And it would be nice if they had the backstory, and then we can jump off.
Dan: Perhaps a little context would help.
Dean: Yeah. A little bit.
Dan: With understanding the content. Yeah.
Dan: Well, this is my notion. And I think that if we do a good job in the next few minutes on our podcast here, that people will get kind of a lens that they haven't had before, especially if they're entrepreneurs, that what a new concept actually does for you, it gives you a lens on the world that sees things. If you look through the lens, you see things that other people don't have that lens, and therefore they can't see it. And then the Game Changer workshop, I specifically asked you to explain how you had taken real estate, residential real estate neighborhoods.
Dan: And this goes back. How many years ago did you do that?
Dean: Yeah. 20 years ago. 21 years ago, now.
Dan: Yeah. Yeah. I'll see if I can be a good salesperson here for your concept.
Dean: Okay. Perfect.
Dan: That what Dean did, is he took, initially, all the residential neighborhoods in the city of Toronto, metropolitan Toronto. And these are more or less defined on maps. For example, the one I live in in Toronto is called The Beaches, or Beach. There's controversy about those. And your friends are either people who call it The Beaches, and the people who aren't your friends call it The Beach. So, all my friends call it Beaches. But quite apart from that, it's a very distinct neighborhood. And it's got a lot of interesting features about it. But one of them is that there's a tremendous diversity of different kinds of housing that would appeal to buyers at different stages and different ages of their life.
What Dean figured out is that he could figure out a number of different sales that the same couple, usually it's a couple, they would buy as their first house. And then if they, 10 years down the road, they buy a second house, and then a third house and each of these houses would be better on the way up. In other words, they would have greater capital in them. And that if a smart real estate agent identified these people, and then can build a plan for them that he would discover where in the neighborhood their next stage would be, he could keep them going for their entire lifetime. He could go 50 years with them, if it was possible.
And Dean had figured this out, identified the entire structure of the neighborhood, offered it as an online information platform. But only one real estate agent could actually purchase the rights to have this particular lens to look at The Beaches. The individual would buy the lens, and they'd pay for it on a subscription basis. I think it was an annual subscription.
Dean: $99 a month.
Dan: $99 a month.
Dan: And if they didn't pay one month, then he sold it to somebody else. He sold the rights to look through this lens. It just struck me that each of those descriptions of the neighborhoods and the exclusive rights given to one financial advisor. Dean, we have some sort of scratching going on in the background from your end.
Dean: I'm not sure. Oh, you know what it was? It might be the cord going up against my microphone. There you go. Okay. I think I solved it.
Dean: Thank you.
Dan: And so that's my read that you had created the free zone frontier by simply taking all the real estate map of, you know, the entire map of Toronto, and thinking about it from a different conceptual... In other words, you're talking a completely different context. And you had a totally different lens. You created a lens. And the lens was so valuable that you could sell this lens on a monthly subscription basis to the agents. And they had a free zone to themselves. No other agent could look at their territory the way they could.
Dan: Yeah. So, that was my read on it. And it really struck me that there's almost like an infinite number of different ways that people can look at the marketplace, that's different from conventional ways of look at marketplace. And anytime you see a convention, you go outside the convention and say, "Yeah. But if you look at from a different angle, there's a free zone here that nobody else is going to discover, either never discover, or for a long time."
Dean: Right. You can map something out, a territory, anything that you have. It's fresh snow kind of thing where, if you have something that can be exclusive to somebody, that's a big win. When you were sharing about this free zone, the example that you gave kind of was America, the land and the frontier.
Dan: Yeah. America compared to all the other countries in the world. And I think that that's ongoing. So I just pointed out that next year, 2020 represents the beginning of what is now the United States. And that's with the Jamestown, Virginia permanent settlement. They had tried in 1607 to get one going. Everybody either left and went back to England, or they starved to death, or they froze to death. And so attempts had been made for about a 13-year period to get communities going on the East Coast, on the Atlantic Coast of North America. And they had not succeeded. But the 1620 settlement actually stuck. And then it's been continuously lived in for 400 years, and expanded outward. So that, you could say, is the beginning. At that point, you can establish that the frontier, the American frontier is right as near to the Atlantic Ocean as possible.
And then over a period of 270 years, from 1620 to 1890, the frontier moved westward by jumps and starts over a period of time. And 1890, the superintendent of the Census Bureau said that the frontier was now completely exhausted in that every piece of land in the lower 48 states, they didn't have Alaska or Hawaii at that point, all that territory now that made up the 48 states was now surveyed. Which means that it was no longer wilderness frontier.
Dan: And the big question, and this is a book that was written by a man by the name of Frederick Jackson Turner in 1909. He said, "I wonder if what we consider the unique American character will now stop developing, because so much of it was created by the millions of people who were involved in pushing the frontier westward." Very hard work, oftentimes. And many died. But it was a big push. The reason this was such an unusual situation is, essentially it was free land. I mean, free by the standards of the world. One is that you could actually own your own land, which wasn't that easy in other parts of the world.
And the second thing is, it was ridiculously cheap by the standards of the world. And it was offered as an incentive to vast numbers of people, especially in Europe, that, look. If you leave where you are, where you're never going to make it because you're being pushed down, and you're never going to go upwards socially. You're never going to go up economically. You're never going to go up politically. If you're willing to take a risk, leave behind everything you had, cross the ocean, over here, we can show you where there's free land. And you get a chance to start an entirely new life.
So they put together free land, and multiplied it with free people. They had a really, really great billboard sign which said, "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It was one of those big billboards, you know? In America only. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Actually pretty good copywriting when you think about it.
Dean: Yeah. Right. Exactly.
Dan: And that became a free zone frontier. And there's no comparable human situation in the history of the world that can compare with that amount of free land being taken over and more or less civilized by such a huge number of free people.
Dean: Yeah. And so that, Dan, you've taken, then, that idea, and translated that to creating game-changer opportunities.
Dan: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And there was confusion, I think, just to finish off the historical model here, Dean. I think from around the late 1800s to probably around the 1970s, there really was a sense that there was no more frontier. And now it was about all the political structures, and economic structures, and big, industrial structures. Humans would not be frontiers people anymore. They would find a place in the establishment. And you would get a job, and you would get a career. There was no more talk about this frontier.
Until, I think, the microchip in the early '70s. All of a sudden there was a sense that there was something free out there. I think it gives me a reason to go back and look at the beginning of the Silicon Valley experiment, mostly in Silicon Valley, and other places too. But that you now had something that was made out of one of the freest elements on the planet, silicon, which is sand off any beach or any desert that they could turn silicon into a transformative form of productivity, which was the microchip. And all of a sudden, I think a whole new vast free space got developed. And all of a sudden, entrepreneurs, explorers, risk-takers, new map-makers all of a sudden now have this open space to go out and create free zone frontiers. Yeah. So I think entrepreneurism is now the new frontier, is actually entrepreneurism.
Dean: Yes. That's amazing. When you were talking about that, the thing that came to my mind was look at excess capacity as a form of free zone. In that, I thought about the gentleman, the 3D printing gentleman from Abundance that are the largest in the auto industry for 3D printing of replacement parts. And they don't own a single 3D printer. They just have a unique network that they've set up of excess capacity on other things. And I just think, man. When you start thinking in terms of looking and exploring the free zone for game-changer opportunities where you can catalyze things, where you can bring your unique ability, capabilities into a free zone that somebody else has, combined with maybe their capabilities, that's where the big hundred-times opportunity is.
Dan: Yeah. I mean, really, and all of us use it periodically, some more than others. But Uber owns no cars.
Dan: Uber owns no drivers. Uber has an app, essentially. They have an app that takes advantage of the fact that other people are trained drivers, other people own their cars. I mean, and it's a free zone frontier. Now, they're being competed with now. Because Lyft is becoming a serious competitor. Okay. And my feeling is that free zone frontiers don't last forever. As they become more and more well-known, they, to the degree that they become obvious and known, they lose their free zone frontier quality.
Dean: And then that could be. And so you look at-
Dan: And then competition comes in. And then I'm a free zone frontier guy from birth. Because I'm a fifth child. I have to tell you, all the conventional space was already used up by the time I was born.
Dean: That's funny.
Dan: No, no. I say that. I mean, these are big shapes I'm competing with. They got lots more experience.
Dan: Everything that's visible, they've already controlled. So I had to, as a young child, figure out, "Okay. Were there gaps here? Where are the seams that nobody seems to be paying attention to?" So anyway, I mean, it's interesting that entrepreneurs, I think, probably are born with a certain instinct about places where you can make great gains by not working too hard.
Dean: Do you know, Dan, the historical place or significance of... I've heard the words, "40 acres and a mule." Do you know the significance of that?
Dan: Well, the only thing I can say that I do know about that, that it might be a particular land grant formula for one of the new territories that was given out. But I believe it actually had something to do with the freeing of the slaves.
Dean: Yes. That's what I thought.
Dan: And that blacks were, in Reconstruction, were given 40 acres and a mule. That's the only thing. And I'm making this up.
Dean: No. That makes sense. Because that's what I suspected. Because Spike Lee's production company is called 40 Acres and a Mule. So that does make sense, now that you're saying that. That's what I thought.
Dan: Yeah. Because the grants, generally going west, Europeans took advantage.
Dean: Well, there was a whole movie.
Dan: It was actually a square mile. It was 640 acres. That's a square mile.
Dan: Yeah. But there are lots of square miles out there.
Dean: Yeah. Of course.
Dan: I mean, people say, "Wow. That's a lot of land." I said, "Yeah. Well, we're not talking downtown New York City, here. We're talking someplace that's just a swamp now, or it's all woodland. So you're going to have to do a lot of work to make those valuable."
Dean: There was a movie called Far And Away with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. And that was about that period of time. Because they were coming from Ireland for the Oklahoma, I don't know what they called it. But when everybody had to line up, but then you had to run and go stake your claim.
Dan: Well, it was the last stage. Oklahoma was the last of the 48 states. So I think that was 1922. That's the last stage.
Dan: Yeah. And what they had is a land rush. So you lined up at the border, and there was a rifle shot or something. And you-
Dean: Took off?
Dan: You know. Tens of thousands of people on horseback, and wagons, and everything else.
Dean: Stake your claim.
Dan: And by that point, it's staked out. They had it staked out beforehand. So this was actually, it wasn't complete chaos. It was organized chaos. They had already done the surveying. So Oklahoma had been a territory, and I don't know if they would call it governors they had for the territories. But they would petition to Washington that they now had enough people. Very interesting. I think right up until Oklahoma, the criteria was that your population was as big as Rhode Island.
Dean: Okay. Interesting.
Dan: Rhode Island was the smallest-population state. And so you had to have a population equal to Rhode Island before you would be granted the right to become a state, one of the 48 states.
Dan: Very interesting little rule.
Dean: It is fascinating. When we look at it now, I mean, you think about the building of America, you're talking about 1620. And that's a full, almost 150-plus years before 1776, where it actually became a nation. That's something that is, when you look at where we sit right now historically, at the birth of Cloudlandia as a place, and really, let's call that at the most 20 years in, we are 20 years in the making, probably really only 10 years of that as more modern Cloudlandia, that we have unlimited access, unlimited amount of land. Unlimited.
Dan: Territory, anyway.
Dan: Yeah. Whether it's land or not, I'm not quite sure.
Dean: Unlimited territory.
Dean: And without any geographic constrictions. Plus, we get a television station, and a radio station, and a printing press, you know? And free speech. The whole thing. And access to everybody who's in Cloudlandia. So amazing. I mean, it's just, it's amazing times. And so when you look at it, pointing out things like Uber and like Airbnb-
Dan: Airbnb. Airbnb. Yeah.
Dean: Yeah. And who are the companies that are really taking advantage of this. When you talk about, now, modern examples of taking advantage of the free zone, what other kind of things come to mind? Just so I can-
Dan: Well, one of the things that really struck me, Joe, I used Joe as example of creating just a super-deep marketing approach for carpet cleaners.
Dan: And I said that was a free zone for him because none of the people who might be coaches. Well, here's the thing. Carpet cleaners never thought in terms of marketing. They only thought in terms of selling.
Dan: And so Joe knows people like yourself, and he knows other really great marketers. There was the possibility that you could have a whole marketing universe that preceded an actual person-to-person sale, that no other organization of carpet cleaning would ever see it, because they just don't think in marketing terms. So for me, anything that you can create which immediately produces economic value, and then actually produces revenue and profit as a result of that, that your competitors looking at it in conventional ways can't see that, that's a free zone frontier.
Dean: Yes. That makes sense. And you know, when Joe and I met 25 years ago now, that was, the frontier was people staking claim to all of the different niche markets that were available. Like when you look at, we were all at the beginning of a new industry of providing marketing information to specific industries. So you look at what I was doing with real estate, Joe was doing with carpet cleaners. We had friends that were doing... Chiropractors, dentists.
Dan: Basically, and I was doing it with life insurance agents.
Dean: Life insurance. Exactly.
Dan: Yeah. And the reason is that it was pretty well a company-controlled industry when I came into it. In other words, they were roughly, I remember the number because it was about 1,100, were called captive agent companies, in just the United States. Captive agent was a life insurance agent could only represent the products, the insurance products of one company. One is, they didn't know about the products of other companies, because it was too hard to find out what they were. And when they were selling to their customers, the last thing in the world they wanted to tell their prospects was that another company had a comparable something that they could buy. I mean, and so they were very, very controlled. The information, they had very, very limited information. And their contract was essentially a lifetime contract with the company.
But they could form into study groups and other kinds of associations where they could compare practice notes. In other words, how I sell life insurance. How I want to other things. And so they were one of the most incredibly well and freely-giving business network in the world, the life insurers. I had a free zone there, because I went after them. And I said, "Well, you know, the best of them are really phenomenal salespeople." I mean, life insurance has always had a marginal reputation, you know? It's like Groundhog Day, you know, the character in Groundhog day. "Hey. You want to buy some life insurance?"
Dean: Right. Exactly.
Dan: Life insurance, you know, life insurance. Well, that was an image that had been established over many years. But actually, it's one of the most ingenious Life insurance, insurance period, but where you spread the risk. You get other people to share risk with you, is actually a genius-level idea in human history. The life insurance in itself is really quite an extraordinary mechanism. Because it's an agreement that upon your death, your death will trigger certain economic, what I would say transactions, whereby your family will be taken care of. And it's tax-free. The money will pass to them without any taxation. It's really quite a remarkable event. The really good ones are amazing salespersons, because you have to get someone excited about their own death.
Dean: Yeah. Everything is going to be so much better. Yeah. I get it.
Dan: Yeah. Yeah.
Dean: Rather than dreading it, you're-
Dan: Yeah. It's like my family's had to put up with me all these years. But believe me, the moment I die, their life's going to take a real jump up.
Dean: There'll be a big smile on their face. Yeah.
Dan: Yeah. And what I noticed, just in my early coaching days, I just noticed two things. Number one, that the best of them, and so it's right from the start, I picked five or six of them who were in the world where these things are recorded. Their sales could be recorded, and that. These were top-notch people. The other thing about them is, all of them had client bases. In other words, the people buying their insurance were all business owners. They weren't selling to people who worked in corporations. They weren't selling to people who worked in government. They weren't selling to blue collar workers. They were selling to entrepreneurial business owners.
So my thinking back then, and this is not telling the story afterwards. I had the story right from the front. I said, "If I get the best life insurance agents in the world, these people are going to bring in all the other entrepreneurs into my program." So two weeks ago, I started with a brand-new 10x class. I had 70 in. They were in from about 10 different countries around the world. And out of the 70, I had three financial services. I had one who was straight life insurance, and two others who were investments or different kind of thing. And the other 67 came from completely different industries. But among that 67 were 25 of them whose main referral to come into Strategic Coach was a financial advisor who had been in Strategic Coach for a long time.
Dean: Wow. And they were just other entrepreneurs?
Dan: So that, you can kind of look at that. Yeah. You can kind of look at that on my part over a 30 or 40 year period, of seeing a free zone frontier and a particular type of individual. And first of all, I make a lot of money out of them. They would tell comparable insurance agents, because they don't really see each other as competitors, because it's an intensely personal business, personal relationship business.
Dan: So I would have access to these others. And they would grow this one industry within Strategic Coach. And then a couple decades later, I'm going to start getting all of their business, the business entrepreneurial clients. And it's actually worked out that way. It's interesting. But I was the only one who was seeing this. I probably have, I would say this as someone who is not a life insurance agent, I probably have the greatest understanding of what life inside of a life insurance agent's world actually looks like. I've never met a life insurance agent, even a highly-skilled one, who can explain their world from the inside better than I can.
Dean: Yeah. Something that you've been saying a lot over the last little while, that I had this thought about the free zone. And I'm wondering if you can maybe elaborate on it. Because you've mentioned how, when things get global or things go, that it always comes back to local. And I remember years ago, you told, it was a joke story about the two competing restaurants. Or, I think it was restaurants. One's the best whatever it was on the-
Dan: I think they were actually furniture stores.
Dean: Furniture stores.
Dan: I'm pretty sure. Yeah.
Dean: And tell the joke. Because it was the-
Dan: Yeah, I mean, I don't want to have the middle of this story be real vague. You know?
Dan: So, but anyway, so they compete with each other, two furniture stores on the same street. And one of them says, "Well, the best furniture store on the street." And the other one looks up at the sign. And he says "Okay." He comes back with, "Best furniture store in town." And the other one comes back, "In the state." The other one comes back, "In America." The other one comes back, "In the Western Hemisphere." And then the other one comes back, "On the planet." And pretty soon, they're out into the Milky Way. The best furniture store in the Milky Way.
So as soon as one goes cosmic, I mean, he's galactic. Now he's galactic in his claims. The other one comes back and says, "Best furniture store on the street."
Dean: On the street.
Dan: So, sure. Best. But you want to go to the end of the galaxy to actually get a piece of furniture? Just come here on this street. I've got the best one on the street. Yeah.
Dan: But it shows you that if you're in competition, you're always busy spending a lot of time, a lot of money and effort just trying to show how you're different from someone else, rather than just being able to focus completely on the customer.
Dean: Yes. So a couple of things that really tied that together. I'm always observing. I'm always listening and seeing how things go. That when I look at that now, is this seduction of Cloudlandia as that we have access to a global marketplace. And that is very seductive, to just get out there and get all of those people. And everybody's kind of focused on the cloud. But the reality is that there's big opportunities right in the local market, too, for these things that people are hearing about in Cloudlandia to be the local place where they can actually get these things.
We had a conversation, I forget whether it was times 10 or Game Changer, about magnitudes. That no matter what, it's everybody's seduced by the opportunity of billions of people. This is what we said, is that moonshot things, that everybody's focused on affecting a billion people, or hundreds of millions of people, but they don't keep their eye on actually affecting one person, right here.
Dan: Yeah. Well, to prove that your model actually works-
Dan: Seems to me that you can learn more faster by focusing on one person than a billion people. It just seems, billion people just seem to be a lot of work for me.
Dean: It seems like it's the procrastination. It starts the procrastination.
Dean: That they're waiting to get all the ducks in a row to raise enough money to get the infrastructure in place, to be able to impact a billion people. Where, they really could immediately get doing something to impact one person, or 10 people.
Dan: Yeah. It's really interesting that the Peter Thiel book that I gave everybody in the Game Changer this time. And some had already read it. The big thing that he says, which I found very resonant, he said, "Start really small." And he said, "Prove it with a minimal investment. Prove that you've got something new with a minimal investment, with the minimum amount of time, and the minimum amount of work. And then see if you can reproduce that from 1, to 10, to 100. And see how long you can go where you're actually creating something entirely new in the marketplace. And it's already, you can already see that it's going to be profitable. But nobody can see you do it. You're invisible."
Dan: The longer you can grow successfully and at the same time, be invisible, he says, "That's just pure progress." Because there's no friction coming back the other way from competition.
Dean: Amazing, right?
Dan: And so all this notion of going big and announcing to the world, I mean, you're crazy.
Dean: I just listen to those things. And it's like, that was what freed me up mentally around my unique ability of creating scale-ready algorithms. That's the mindset of like, that's my thing, is to be able to prove something once, 10 times, 100. And beyond that, that now moves into scale-
Dan: You go automated with it. Yeah. But here's the thing that I've often noticed. If you, let's say take this as actually a framework for Singularity University. And Peter told me, I haven't been to Singularity.
Dean: I have not, either.
Dan: The model you work on is a new product or service that will affect a billion people. Okay?
Dan: And I said, "Well, it's a model. It's a model." And I said, "So I'm just going to compare that to where the model works with one person." In other words, you wouldn't know if it worked until you got to a billion people, or a model you know that works when you have one person. And I said, "Well, if I know it works at one, then I probably know maybe as much as 80% of what it would take for it to work for 10 people."
Dan: Okay? But there's nowhere in the movement from getting started to getting to a billion, that you would know more until you got to a billion, that what I know at 10.
Dan: And that's the thing. Then you play with them. And then you have to adjust your model, because the other nine people that you've added to the first person are going to throw little zingers at you that say, "Well, I kind of like that. But I was thinking of something else." And then you get the model for 10. My contention is, when you get a model that really works for 10 people, you now know basically 80% of what it would take to have 100.
Dean: Yes. And now, there's the thing, is now what you then, the next level of that is, now you need a way to find 100 people to get the result that you've gotten with the 10. And once you have a way to now find 100 people to do what you've recreated with the 10 people, and you're able to do it with the 100, you've solved, if we're three levels of 80% in, you're 96% of the way there, or whatever the three-sigma would be on that. And now, that's where it shifts to. It definitely then shifts to scaling. And that mindset now, because you use the same method that you used to find the 100 people, is just more of it. A disciplined execution of it is going to get you to 1,000 and 10,000, and on the way to the billion.
Dan: Yeah. So it's a fascinating thing. But here's something I've noticed. There are companies out there who, in fact, have created something very successful. Maybe not for a billion, but hundreds of millions. Let's say 100 million. And what they do, is then they rub out all records of how they got to there. You know?
Dan: And the really good ones actually did it the way that we just discussed over the last couple minutes. They did one, 10, 100, then they got to 1,000. But it's like kids who create a club for themselves, and then they decide they're going to have a tree house for club meetings. And they work together as a club, and they do the whole thing. And then they have a ladder to the clubhouse. Then the word goes out there's this really exclusive club. But nobody else can get to it, because they've pulled the ladder up, you know?
Dan: They pull the ladder up, so now the kids can't actually be part of the club. And I notice a lot of entrepreneurs who actually have corporations. They actually go through that one, 10, 100, 1,000 things. And then they tell a story about how they got there that in no way corresponds to how they actually did it, so that nobody else will follow their example.
Dean: Wow. That's interesting. Yeah. Because I'm fascinated by those genesis stories, myself. Like, when you think about Nike, Phil Knight, pouring rubber in a waffle maker to make the soles of the new shoes, and then sharing them with his track buddies, that to follow that all the way up to this behemoth of Nike.
Dan: Yeah. It's an interesting thing. My feeling is that the free zone frontier cannot even be established by announcing that you're going to create something for a billion people. Because immediately, the counter action from existing rivals starts setting in. And not only have that, but they immediately said, "Well, we're going to compete with you." So before you've created anything, the first thing you've created is your competition.
Dan: Whereas, if you do the one, 10, 100, 1,000 models, you could be at 10,000 before anybody knew anything out there was actually changed. You have that invisibility. Plus, your learning has been, you know, you've been on a very solid, very practical, very learning track right from the one. Because only the people who are actually involved with your new value creation were giving you the feedback. Nobody else was giving you feedback except check-writers who were interested in seeing where you were going with this.
Dean: That's something. When I hear these things, when we have these conversations, I just get so excited. Because it's really my preference, you know?
Dean: Starting out like this. I mean, it's just the-
Dan: Well, yeah. I mean, it was Clarissa Bell, the wording on the package that you came in, Dean, in third grade.
Dean: That's right. The wording on the package.
Dan: We already knew what kind of person this was going to be, you know?
Dean: Oh, man. That's so funny.
Dan: Yeah. I mean, I think you and I are just instantly discouraged and demoralized by the notion that we would have to compete with somebody over the execution of our new idea. I mean, that just puts a real damper on my motivation, when I think about it.
Dean: I get it. That's so amazing.
Dan: Yeah. You know, I mean, and it's interesting. Because then you have to really be observant. I mean, I was telling a group on Thursday at a workshop, when we have one, that group comes in. And there are four women entrepreneurs. And they're all great entrepreneurs, each in a different way. One is in publishing. Another one is janitorial services. The other one has a big plumbing company. And the other one has a big construction company. We just did the bother exercise, just like you did with your 10x workshop.
Dan: And then we were talking about bother at the end of the day. I said, "You know, I've been coaching entrepreneurs. And I've had women entrepreneurs for 45 years." And I said, "I don't want to get into political discussion here. But it strikes me that women always have two burdens that they have to deal with in becoming successful entrepreneurs, that male entrepreneurs don't have to do." And boy, the whole room just went on alert when I put that out. Because I mean, we're in such a good-
Dean: What's he going to say?
Dan: You know? I mean, the whole society is walking on eggshells around male/female stuff.
Dean: Me, too.
Dan: And I said, "Here's what I've noticed. That no male ever has to justify having greater ambition. But women are always required to justify why they want to be more ambitious." Okay? And what I mean by that, that women usually, if they do express greater ambition, they feel the need to say, "Well, you know, this is for my kid's education." So they have a practical reason for being so ambitious. Because just being ambitious for the sake of ambitious, either they've been told that's not acceptable, or they've kind of bought into a general feeling. So that's one.
And the other one is, when they use their earnings and their profits from their entrepreneurial business to make their life easier and more convenient at home, in other words they hire people to do everything at home, so they don't have to do it, that they're told they have to justify why they're not being a proper woman at home. You know? And everything like that. And all four, all four people said that what I was saying was true. But to a great degree, each of them had overcome that. They realized that that was a burden. But they said it's a very real burden for most entrepreneurs.
And it's very interesting. They said they don't like hanging out with other women entrepreneurs. They'd rather hang out with male entrepreneurs, because male entrepreneurs never ask a woman entrepreneur to justify their ambition. But other women entrepreneurs will ask other women to justify their ambition. So it seems to me it's something that's within the realm of women who force other women to justify why they're being more ambitious. Because men have to justify to me why they're not more ambitious.
Dean: Right. I get it.
Dan: I said, "Geez. I've got a dead one here," you know?
Dan: You know?
Dean: That is funny.
Dan: No, no. I mean, it's just a funny thing.
Dean: No, I get it. Because that's the thing. Where my sometimes-ability to achieve excellent results with what seems like little effort is often construed as a lack of ambition.
Dean: You know, in a way. And that's something. You're right. There's a definite sense of justification that I have to go through, in a lot of ways.
Dan: Yeah. And I mean, it's between women and women, and everything. But I also notice it in big families. Like, I'm one of seven. And here I am at 75. And I'm kind of looking at this next 25 years. You know? I've kind of been doing R&D for the first 75 years.
Dean: Right. And I love your idea of recalibrating because you're, what? You're five years into what was your 25-year.
Dean: But now to recalibrate, to conjoin it so that the last 25 years of your first century on the planet.
Dean: And to have it outperform the whole 75 leading up to it.
Dan: The whole 75. Yeah.
Dan: Yeah. So I think it's kind of interesting. But I'll just leave you with this thought, that there's actual enjoying entrepreneurism, your entrepreneurial activity. And we're all unique in what we've chosen to focus on. And really looking to check out that, more and more of what you were doing can actually be described as a free zone frontier. But there's the other thing, is to step back and say, "Well, how do I have to think about everything, so that the only thing that actually shows up is something that's a free zone frontier?" And I think that's going to be a really great discussion for us, on an ongoing basis on this.
Dean: I think so, too.
Dan: Because I feel it's directly connected, that the higher your sensitivity to free zone frontier goes up, the more likely you will procrastinate on anything that looks like it's going to have some competition.
Dean: Yeah. No, this is fascinating, that I'm looking at. Because part of that thinking has been all this culmination. You know, you were talking about the greatest furniture store in the galaxy. And I look at the thing of the greatest marketing in the galaxy. But to bring things back to really focusing on Winter Haven, Florida, I look at Winter Haven, Florida as a free zone frontier.
Dean: In the ways of going from zero to one with this. And that's just like, there's a lot of things that are clicking into place. And this trip this last week has really connected a lot of those things. And so I'm really looking forward to reflecting on that. And then I'll share with you the thoughts as it all falls into place.
Dan: I think we have a short jump to our next one. I think we're a week away from our-
Dan: Yeah. But I'm going to focus on this. And I'm going to test. Because there are a few workshops this week, three 10x workshops. And I'm going to explore this idea. One of them is a first-year workshop. Another one is about a six-year workshop. And the other one is where people are anywhere from 10 to 25 in the program. So it'll be interesting to test it on three completely different, as far as experience goes, entrepreneurs. And then see just by putting the idea out there in the space, to see if people can identify in their own lives, areas where they have free zones.
Dan: Yeah. So it would be fascinating. It gives me focus that I can explore, and then report to you next week.
Dean: I love it. Well, Mr. Sullivan, I always enjoy our conversations.
Dan: Yes. Yeah. Especially if it requires minimal effort, the conversation.
Dean: Right. Yeah.
Dean: As long as they're excellent results.
Dan: If we had to work at this, this would be-
Dan: This would be a bit of a burden on Sunday.
Dean: Oh, man. All right, Dan. Well, you have a great day. And I will talk to you next time.
Dan: And I'll talk to you soon.
Dean: Okay. Thanks, Dan.
Dan: Yeah. Bye.