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Embracing Simplicity: Ben Guttmann Shares Nuggets of Wisdom for Clear and Impactful Messaging

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the constant barrage of information and messages in today's world? Do you find yourself longing for simplicity and clarity? In this episode of Seek Go Create, join host Tim Winders as he sits down with Ben Guttmann, author of "Simply Put: Why Clear Messages Win and How to Design Them." They discuss the power of simplicity in communication, the impact of artificial intelligence, and how to effectively reach your audience in a noisy world. If you're searching for practical insights on cutting through the clutter and creating clear messages, you won't want to miss this conversation.

"Simplicity is not limited to marketing; it is an essential skill for leaders, parents, and anyone who wants to connect and influence others." - Ben Guttmann

Access all show and episode resources HERE

About Our Guest:

Ben Guttmann is a respected marketing consultant, speaker, teacher, and author known for his expertise in simplifying complex messages. With over a decade of experience in the marketing industry, Ben has worked with a diverse range of clients, from small businesses to major brands. He brings a deep understanding of the value of clear communication and the impact it can have on building trust with audiences. Ben's passion for simplicity extends beyond marketing, as he teaches and interacts with students at Baruch College in New York, guiding and inspiring them during their transition from college to adulthood. In his recently published book, "Simply Put: Why Clear Messages Win and How to Design Them," Ben shares valuable insights and practical strategies for crafting effective and impactful communication.

Reasons to Listen:

1. Discover the power of simplicity in communication and how it can transform your relationships, business, and personal life.

2. Gain insights from Ben Guttmann, a marketing expert with extensive experience and a passion for clear messaging.

3. Explore the impact of AI on simplicity and learn how to navigate the ever-growing influx of information in a cluttered digital world.

Episode Resources & Action Steps:

Resources mentioned in this episode:

1. Book: "Simply Put: Why Clear Messages Win and How to Design Them" by Ben Guttmann - Available on his website and platforms like Amazon.

2. App: Unroll.Me - An app mentioned by Tim Winders for managing subscription emails and saving time.

Action steps from this episode:

1. Simplify your messaging: Take the principles discussed in the episode and apply them to your communication. Whether you're a leader, marketer, teacher, or parent, focus on creating clear, concise, and relatable messages that resonate with your audience.

2. Design with readability in mind: Consider the visual layout and format of your communication. Use headlines, bullets, italics, and other design techniques to make your message easier to read and understand, particularly when communicating digitally. Take inspiration from well-designed magazines that invite readers and make information more accessible.

3. Evaluate your media consumption: Take a critical look at how much time you spend consuming media each day. Consider ways to reduce information overload and banner blindness by being mindful of the content you engage with. Seek simplicity in media consumption and be selective about the messages you allow into your life.

Resources for Leaders from Tim Winders & SGC:

🔹 Unlock Your Potential Today!

  • 🎙 Coaching with Tim: Elevate your leadership and align your work with your faith. Learn More
  • 📚 "Coach: A Story of Success Redefined": A transformative read that will challenge your views on success. Grab Your Copy
  • 📝 Faith Driven Leader Quiz: Discover how well you're aligning faith and work with our quick quiz. Take the Quiz

Key Lessons:

1. The Power of Essentialism: Tim Winders explores the concept of essentialism and its impact on his minimalist lifestyle.

2. Simplifying Email Management: Tim recommends using the app Unroll.Me to streamline and declutter subscription emails, saving valuable time.

3. Simplicity in Marketing: Ben Guttmann shares insights from his marketing agency experience, emphasizing the value of expertise and process in professional services. He explains that simplicity in messaging is crucial for effective communication.

4. Prioritizing Relationships in Business: Ben highlights the importance of building warm and intimate relationships with clients, and he shares how he values working with good people and maintaining moral comfort in his professional endeavors.

5. The Power of Simplicity in Communication: Ben and Tim discuss the significance of clear and concise messaging in various aspects of life, including personal relationships, marketing, education, and leadership. They explore how simplicity can cut through the noise and enhance understanding and trust.

(Listen to the episode for more insights, stories, and practical tips on how simplicity can positively impact different areas of life.)

Episode Highlights:

00:00 The author struggled to help clients articulate their ideas but found success in reframing them. After selling the business, they continued to ponder why some messages succeed while others fail, leading to their research for the book.

06:23 The speaker wants to focus on important things and wonders how things have become so complicated.

09:16 In a noisy environment, we quickly dismiss irrelevant stimuli and focus on what matters. Advertising is often ignored due to banner blindness. Communication must be tailored to a small window of opportunity.

11:41 Survey and usage data show widespread dislike of advertisements and increasing use of ad blockers and usage-restricting features on devices. Societal trend reflects overwhelm with notifications, emails, and phone usage.

15:05 The speaker discusses their view on minimalism in lifestyle and communication, emphasizing the concept of sparking joy and focusing on what is essential. They also mention their personal efforts to minimize marketing messaging in their life.

17:19 Few personal emails received, subscriptions ignored, saved an hour of time, no notifications on phone, irony of discussing simplicity while recording a 1-hour conversation for social media and podcast, acknowledgement of book on simplicity.

20:36 Selling high-value services requires expertise and reliability. People pay for the process, planning, and support that professionals offer. Cheap alternatives may not deliver the same quality or long-term value.

25:12 Avoid working with jerks. Surround yourself with good people to avoid becoming one yourself. Spending time with negative individuals can drain you and make the workplace toxic. It's important to take responsibility and say no to harmful opportunities, even if it means passing up a paycheck.

29:53 Big group: energy, small groups: relationships. Talking at Baruch College in New York as a hobby. Impacting seniors transitioning to adulthood. Using escalator analogy: students have more options than they realize.

34:12 Students had difficulty absorbing material during semesters after the pandemic, but now there is a slight improvement in engagement. It remains to be seen how the next generation will be affected.

38:29 AI tools like Grammarly can be helpful for improving grammar and spelling, but not for fully understanding or creating content.

42:20 Client used AI to edit his newsletter and saw 50% increase in click rates.

44:07 The content discusses the divide between our preference for simplicity and the difficulty of creating simple and understandable content due to internal and external factors. The text explores how this gap can be bridged using design principles.

49:47 Visual design principles bridge the gap in reading patterns on screens, as users do not read in a linear manner but instead jump around different elements until finding what's relevant.

51:43 Nostalgic about magazines and recommends a book on simplicity.

54:14 Genetics blamed for dental problems; dentist emphasizes importance of flossing.

Thank you for listening to Seek Go Create!

Our podcast is dedicated to empowering Christian leaders, entrepreneurs, and individuals looking to redefine success in their personal and professional lives. Through in-depth interviews, personal anecdotes, and expert advice, we offer valuable insights and actionable strategies for achieving your goals and living a life of purpose and fulfillment.

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Transcript
Ben Guttmann:

we want things that are coming into our minds to be

Ben Guttmann:

simple, to be easy, to be fluent.

Ben Guttmann:

But when we're in charge of sending, when we're the ones speaking or

Ben Guttmann:

writing or presenting, we have a really hard time doing that because

Ben Guttmann:

internally we're battling stuff

Tim Winders:

What if the Secret to standing out in a world

Tim Winders:

oversaturated with messages was embracing the power of simplicity?

Tim Winders:

Today on Seek Go Create, we meet Ben Gutman, a marketing entrepreneur,

Tim Winders:

educator, and author who's made it his life's work to unravel the

Tim Winders:

complexities of human decision making.

Tim Winders:

Ben has elevated brands such as Giants like the NFL and others with

Tim Winders:

the belief that the simplest ideas Resonate the loudest as he releases

Tim Winders:

his latest insights in a new book.

Tim Winders:

Simply put, we're here to dive into the philosophy that less is truly more.

Tim Winders:

Something that we love to discuss here

Tim Winders:

Ben, welcome to Seek, Go Create.

Ben Guttmann:

Thanks for having me, Tim.

Ben Guttmann:

Great to be here.

Tim Winders:

Glad you're here too, Ben.

Tim Winders:

Let me kick off with my icebreaker question.

Tim Winders:

Someone asked you what you do, what do you tell them?

Ben Guttmann:

that's a harder question than it sounds, right?

Ben Guttmann:

for a long time, the answer was that I ran a marketing agency

Ben Guttmann:

called Digital Natives Group.

Ben Guttmann:

we had a lot of fun.

Ben Guttmann:

You mentioned a couple of the clients there and, from the NFL

Ben Guttmann:

to I Love New York to Comcast.

Ben Guttmann:

And, it was, what a journey.

Ben Guttmann:

I started in an old professor's basement, working with the local ice cream shop

Ben Guttmann:

and Eventually, punched our way up to these bigger clients, got an office, got

Ben Guttmann:

employees, all this, all the trappings.

Ben Guttmann:

And then one day we decided to sell the business.

Ben Guttmann:

And so that was about a year ago, almost two years ago.

Ben Guttmann:

And it was, that was a journey in and of itself, the sale process.

Ben Guttmann:

But since then, I've, helped off board that business.

Ben Guttmann:

I've done a number of different kind of consulting projects.

Ben Guttmann:

I've done some speaking, I've done some teaching.

Ben Guttmann:

And what we're talking about a little bit today is I just wrote

Ben Guttmann:

my first book, simply put why clear messages win and how to design them.

Tim Winders:

And I want to talk, I want to do a deep dive into the book later,

Tim Winders:

but the reason I told you when we started, one of the reasons I was attracted to your

Tim Winders:

message was the message of simplicity.

Tim Winders:

And so like the big picture question I want to ask is, has

Tim Winders:

that always been something that's been important to you, or is that a

Tim Winders:

recent revelation that Simplicity is important in the world we're in today.

Ben Guttmann:

it's been a little bit of both.

Ben Guttmann:

in my experience working with clients, oftentimes I would come in.

Ben Guttmann:

And they would, I would ask them, okay, so like, what do you, what do you do?

Ben Guttmann:

And what are you selling?

Ben Guttmann:

What's your product or service or idea?

Ben Guttmann:

And they would have the hardest time articulating that things that people

Ben Guttmann:

worked all day, every day on, they'd have a hard time and so I would sit there and

Ben Guttmann:

I would just, I would be I use this term in the book later on, an enlightened

Ben Guttmann:

idiot, which is what do you mean?

Ben Guttmann:

Oh, what do you mean by this?

Ben Guttmann:

and eventually being able to reframe what they are saying or trying to

Ben Guttmann:

say in something that is clear.

Ben Guttmann:

And to the point, that often ended up being like one of our,

Ben Guttmann:

Like super powers a little bit in some of the work that we did.

Ben Guttmann:

And so later on, after I sold the business, you start to think

Ben Guttmann:

a little bit, that part of your brain rather, it doesn't turn off.

Ben Guttmann:

Like you, you don't have to work for the clients anymore, but the like

Ben Guttmann:

problem solving that you did for them is still the kind of is still running

Ben Guttmann:

in the back of your head all the time.

Ben Guttmann:

And so you're questioning why does some things work and other

Ben Guttmann:

things don't, why are some messages heard and understood and.

Ben Guttmann:

made use of when others fall flat and that's what led to the research

Ben Guttmann:

that ended up leading to the book.

Ben Guttmann:

And as it turned out, the answer was simple.

Ben Guttmann:

And so that was how we put them together.

Ben Guttmann:

So it was a little bit before that was the inkling to this, but

Ben Guttmann:

then it was only when I really.

Ben Guttmann:

Started interrogating, why does some marketing work?

Ben Guttmann:

Why does some, emails are proposals or recent patients?

Ben Guttmann:

Why are they effective and other ones aren't?

Ben Guttmann:

That's when I began to identify it with a little bit more concreteness around it.

Tim Winders:

have you always been one that looked at things that may be complicated,

Tim Winders:

complex, I know in the book, you break down the difference between complexity

Tim Winders:

and complicating, but have you been one that could look at things that were like.

Tim Winders:

there's a lot going on here and narrow down the reason why I bring it up is

Tim Winders:

that I do believe that's one of my superpowers is when I go in and work

Tim Winders:

with organizations as a coach, I can kind of, I don't even see all the

Tim Winders:

clutter and things, but I'm trying to narrow down on that one thing that can

Tim Winders:

have an impact or can make a change.

Tim Winders:

And it sounds like, have you always been that way?

Ben Guttmann:

Oh, in, in many ways, it sounds like we're cut from the same cloth

Ben Guttmann:

in terms of that with that, sometimes.

Ben Guttmann:

It's like you just, you talk to somebody and they have such

Ben Guttmann:

a, they have such a block about something and then you realize,

Ben Guttmann:

it's really just X or it's Y or Z.

Ben Guttmann:

And it's this one tiny piece that you can see from the outside and that's actually

Ben Guttmann:

when I looked at the research, that is one of the ways which people can get simple is

Ben Guttmann:

by, by taking that outsider perspective.

Ben Guttmann:

But that is definitely something that.

Ben Guttmann:

That would always, be present in stuff I did either at work or, volunteer and

Ben Guttmann:

community stuff that I've done or stuff in school would always be present of saying,

Ben Guttmann:

okay, let's, this is what matters and this is what doesn't and focus on what does.

Tim Winders:

I think you said you were married.

Tim Winders:

The only thing I've seen, and I've been married over 35 years, I'm not sure that

Tim Winders:

works well in marriage relationships.

Tim Winders:

Any thoughts on that real quick?

Tim Winders:

Tips before we tell people to all of a sudden go and tell

Tim Winders:

people, by the way, here's what's really important and what's not.

Tim Winders:

any thoughts come to mind?

Ben Guttmann:

Oh boy.

Ben Guttmann:

yeah, I've been, I've married a little bit less than 35 years, but the.

Ben Guttmann:

I think you're right.

Ben Guttmann:

I think you have any of these things that you look at from a business book.

Ben Guttmann:

if you ever try to apply them to a marriage, you're just going

Ben Guttmann:

to fail because it's completely different of a, of an arena.

Ben Guttmann:

And, you're probably just going to get in trouble for trying to

Ben Guttmann:

apply some of those things, in it.

Tim Winders:

Yeah, I could just picture myself.

Tim Winders:

Hey, listen, sweetie.

Tim Winders:

I just want you to know that most of what you just said is not important.

Tim Winders:

We need to really pair that back and let's get focused on a simple, yeah, no,

Tim Winders:

I could just see that's not a good thing.

Tim Winders:

that comes into though, having that EQ of knowing when to use

Tim Winders:

tools and when not to use tools.

Tim Winders:

let's, let's go into, what I'd love to know in the research that you've

Tim Winders:

done, especially in the background with working with huge brands, Obviously

Tim Winders:

our culture, we have gotten a lot of things that are coming in at us.

Tim Winders:

That may not be critical in our messaging or communicating or marketing or getting

Tim Winders:

word out, just all of those things.

Tim Winders:

How have we come to be where we're at?

Tim Winders:

What, why do we have such a, is it complicated or complex?

Tim Winders:

What's the right word we should be using here?

Tim Winders:

how has it gotten so convoluted?

Tim Winders:

Maybe that's a word to use too.

Ben Guttmann:

Oh, yeah.

Ben Guttmann:

so I, I do semantically break down the difference between complexity

Ben Guttmann:

and complication, complex is when something has a lot of pieces and

Ben Guttmann:

they're interconnected in a lot of intricate ways, and that's often

Ben Guttmann:

a benign state of nature, right?

Ben Guttmann:

Like things like international diplomacy is complex.

Ben Guttmann:

The human eyeball is complex.

Ben Guttmann:

But complicated is when something is complex, but really could be simple.

Ben Guttmann:

It's something that's artificially created complexity.

Ben Guttmann:

complicated is a verb, right?

Ben Guttmann:

And so you can complicate something and make it more difficult than it has to be.

Ben Guttmann:

So while international diplomacy is complex, like your bad self assembly

Ben Guttmann:

furniture instructions, those are.

Ben Guttmann:

And so the goal, there's no way we will put up of complexity when it's worth it.

Ben Guttmann:

but we will not put up with complicated when something.

Ben Guttmann:

it's something that isn't a motivating factor for us.

Ben Guttmann:

if we can avoid, if we can pull things towards the simple side, we're going to

Ben Guttmann:

match up a lot more with kind of what our, psychology wants in terms of a messaging.

Ben Guttmann:

But I'll back up to the other piece you said too, which is

Ben Guttmann:

about how did we get here?

Ben Guttmann:

it's not particularly insightful to say it's obvious that we are in this

Ben Guttmann:

environment that is louder and busier and more distracting than ever, right?

Ben Guttmann:

We, the average American spends 13 hours a day consuming some form of media.

Ben Guttmann:

it's a crazy amount of messaging.

Ben Guttmann:

Both stuff we seek out and stuff that's pushed towards us that is just

Ben Guttmann:

bombarding our brains all the time And what happens is our kind of natural?

Ben Guttmann:

Defense mechanisms kick in which is to say, okay.

Ben Guttmann:

there's lots of bits of stimuli that are out in the world A lot of them are

Ben Guttmann:

gonna hit our senses But most of them are going to be thrown away immediately.

Ben Guttmann:

we grew up as a species in this environment where a lot

Ben Guttmann:

of things wanted to eat us.

Ben Guttmann:

And we're looking around and we're saying, Is that rustling of a leaf over

Ben Guttmann:

there or that branch that just snapped?

Ben Guttmann:

Is that something that's important to us?

Ben Guttmann:

if it is, then I start to pay attention to it and I can...

Ben Guttmann:

And I can react to it, but if it's not, I quickly dispose of that stimulus

Ben Guttmann:

and I move on to, something else.

Ben Guttmann:

And so what's happening now is we do the same thing, right?

Ben Guttmann:

if I see, if there's an advertisement that pops up on, on a website that

Ben Guttmann:

I'm on, there's something known as banner blindness, which has

Ben Guttmann:

been documented for decades now, actually, where we don't even see it.

Ben Guttmann:

We didn't even say like our eyes just immediately in a subconscious way.

Ben Guttmann:

we recognize what looks like an ad and we say, this is not important to us.

Ben Guttmann:

And we immediately dispose of that visible stimulus and we move

Ben Guttmann:

on to other parts of the page.

Ben Guttmann:

And so that's the kind of thing that's happening over.

Ben Guttmann:

There's such a huge amount of stimulation, and just noise.

Ben Guttmann:

that the window, which we get to communicate with

Ben Guttmann:

anybody is incredibly small.

Ben Guttmann:

It's a small, and it's a small little like sliver of a window that gets cracked open.

Ben Guttmann:

And the more we can, understand that as a communicator, the, and the more

Ben Guttmann:

humble we can be as a communicator because of that, the better we're

Ben Guttmann:

going to be at making the most of it.

Tim Winders:

I think one of the things from my perspective, I just

Tim Winders:

turned 60 years old a couple days ago, so I'm looking back on a pre

Tim Winders:

digit, thanks, on a pre digital...

Tim Winders:

World and then moving into, the early internet and I wasn't around,

Tim Winders:

when they were carving things on stone or anything like that.

Tim Winders:

I know that some people are probably putting comments

Tim Winders:

down in the video I, I think.

Tim Winders:

It's interesting that I still do have a perspective on pre digital, whereas

Tim Winders:

like my children, younger generation and all that's everything's been

Tim Winders:

connected in that, you know, we had cookies and we were attached to things.

Tim Winders:

And so anywhere you went, they knew it digitally, you had this digital, trail.

Tim Winders:

And I think some of that's changing cause they're trying to break that up.

Tim Winders:

But I think there was this reward for just more stuff, it's let's just keep.

Tim Winders:

Creating stuff and the message that I'm getting from you is maybe

Tim Winders:

there's too much stuff out there.

Tim Winders:

Is that correct or incorrect?

Ben Guttmann:

it's not really even just for me.

Ben Guttmann:

if you look at.

Ben Guttmann:

the survey data, everybody says that they hate advertisements that

Ben Guttmann:

they don't want to see the ones that are the most distracting.

Ben Guttmann:

if you look at the usage data of like meditation apps or download data of,

Ben Guttmann:

of ad blockers, all these numbers point in the same direction, right?

Ben Guttmann:

Even the platforms themselves, even Google and Apple have been, who benefit

Ben Guttmann:

the most from us using more of these.

Ben Guttmann:

These devices and these technologies, they have been on uh, rolling out

Ben Guttmann:

software and features that enable us to restrict our usage on them.

Ben Guttmann:

So there is a general societal trend in terms of saying, ah, man, this is like.

Ben Guttmann:

this is too much.

Ben Guttmann:

This is a lot of notifications.

Ben Guttmann:

the average person gets like 160 some odd emails a day.

Ben Guttmann:

And that seems actually kind of low for a lot of people.

Ben Guttmann:

if, when I asked my students how much time they spend on their phones,

Ben Guttmann:

and then I asked them to actually go pull out their phones and show

Ben Guttmann:

me that and then yell out the data, the first number is already high.

Ben Guttmann:

They think they're using it a lot.

Ben Guttmann:

And then when they look at the data, that's even a higher number a lot of times

Ben Guttmann:

about how much we're using our stuff.

Ben Guttmann:

So it's just, it is a noisy, world.

Ben Guttmann:

and this is something, but the, here's the thing we've also, we've

Ben Guttmann:

been complaining about the ever, quickening and loudening noise of

Ben Guttmann:

the world for centuries, actually.

Ben Guttmann:

So this is something you can look back and you can find, writings, from people.

Ben Guttmann:

In the 1300s, the 1500s, 1800s that are complaining about, Oh my God,

Ben Guttmann:

there's so much, so many books these days and so many, and we can't, we

Ben Guttmann:

can't read everything and we have so many newspapers and we can't do it.

Ben Guttmann:

Oh my God, there's radio.

Ben Guttmann:

Oh my God, there's television.

Ben Guttmann:

So it's not particularly unique.

Ben Guttmann:

It is accelerating for sure.

Ben Guttmann:

We have always, we've always been.

Ben Guttmann:

in many ways, just tired of this level of stimulus.

Ben Guttmann:

And it goes to show that again, the idea of simplicity, as our

Ben Guttmann:

frame of reference for how we can.

Ben Guttmann:

interact in that environment as the, our kind of guiding principle for

Ben Guttmann:

it, is something that, that will work now and has worked for a long time.

Tim Winders:

Yeah, I agree with the history of it.

Tim Winders:

I was actually, I was reading some scriptures.

Tim Winders:

Yeah, I was reading the book of Acts and there was this comment

Tim Winders:

about the crowd getting all riled up when it was Paul that was arrested.

Tim Winders:

I'll get into details there.

Tim Winders:

And I actually underlined it.

Tim Winders:

And I said, This is like a social media thing.

Tim Winders:

This is like the crowd got all fired up because this, guy that was

Tim Winders:

coming out against their religion.

Tim Winders:

And then it made a comment and it said, but the crowd was not even sure why they

Tim Winders:

were there and why they were excited.

Tim Winders:

I'm going, that sounds like today.

Tim Winders:

That's exactly today.

Tim Winders:

so one thing that's interesting, and I'm just talking about this

Tim Winders:

big topic of just simplicity, and then we'll dive into more some.

Tim Winders:

Tips and techniques that, that you have in the book.

Tim Winders:

But one of the things that I've noticed with myself is that I've been on a

Tim Winders:

simplicity journey with everything in my life, not just messaging

Tim Winders:

and things like that is, is that.

Tim Winders:

You, or is this really just in the marketing realm or is this causing

Tim Winders:

you to spill over into other things?

Tim Winders:

what's been your journey, especially as you've gotten prepared and

Tim Winders:

written the book and moved into this and seeing how important it

Tim Winders:

is for just the marketing world.

Ben Guttmann:

Oh, I wouldn't, yeah, that's a good question.

Ben Guttmann:

I wouldn't say that I'm necessarily, a lifestyle minimalist.

Ben Guttmann:

I don't think that, like the Marie Kondo is the role I do reference,

Ben Guttmann:

her a few times because she actually.

Ben Guttmann:

I do like her attitude on things, which is, it's spark joy, right?

Ben Guttmann:

Like what, every item you own should serve a purpose to spark joy.

Ben Guttmann:

And I think that attitude really actually translates when I talk

Ben Guttmann:

about the more intangible aspects of simplicity and communication.

Ben Guttmann:

In marketing.

Ben Guttmann:

does it spark joy?

Ben Guttmann:

What's the, what's the translation of that?

Ben Guttmann:

does it, is it what, is it everything you need and only what you need, right?

Ben Guttmann:

That, that's what we're talking about.

Ben Guttmann:

It's not saying that every single word has to be cut in

Ben Guttmann:

your email and your presentations would only have three slides.

Ben Guttmann:

It's not saying that it's about saying, how do you, how do you create.

Ben Guttmann:

A piece of communication that has everything you need, but only what

Ben Guttmann:

you need is that you can get rid of the things that are distraction

Ben Guttmann:

and focus on the things that are actually conveying the message, the

Ben Guttmann:

core meaning of what you want to do.

Ben Guttmann:

I um, I've personally, I, even though I'm.

Ben Guttmann:

In marketing, I try to minimize the amount of marketing messaging that hits my brain

Ben Guttmann:

of the same, in my life, I try to put on ad blockers like all the people I just

Ben Guttmann:

quoted before, I try to unsubscribe from emails when I'm not enjoying the list.

Ben Guttmann:

So it's been something that, is also personal in addition to

Ben Guttmann:

being something that's on the, the business side of things.

Tim Winders:

The reason I bring it up is I don't think minimalism

Tim Winders:

is the right term for me.

Tim Winders:

I've read there's a guy named Josh Becker that writes about that.

Tim Winders:

And of course the Marie Kondo, does this bring you joy?

Tim Winders:

I don't necessarily think that way about things and stuff, but,

Tim Winders:

there's a book called by Greg McKeown called essentialism.

Tim Winders:

And that word seems to resonate with me a lot is what is essential?

Tim Winders:

For me to do what I need to do.

Tim Winders:

and it's fascinating that you bring it up.

Tim Winders:

I've actually, a couple of months ago took all of my subscription

Tim Winders:

emails and I rolled them up.

Tim Winders:

I think it's an app called unroll me.

Tim Winders:

I don't know much about them.

Tim Winders:

I'm not necessarily promoting them.

Tim Winders:

and so I'll wake up in the morning and I really have no emails in my inbox.

Tim Winders:

Because they're all subscriptions.

Tim Winders:

Now if, if you had been, if you had sent me an email, before we recorded

Tim Winders:

here, I would have seen that, but it's amazing how few I get that are personal.

Tim Winders:

I'm on subscriptions and they roll it up and I get it later in the day and I've

Tim Winders:

gotten to where I look through them.

Tim Winders:

And I don't do anything with them anymore.

Tim Winders:

So I've like freed up almost an hour of my day just by, and I've got no notification,

Tim Winders:

I've never had notifications on my phone.

Tim Winders:

I don't like things pinging and buzzing and all that, but I do want to say

Tim Winders:

here, I want to acknowledge the irony.

Tim Winders:

That we're talking about simplicity and less while we're recording

Tim Winders:

a one hour conversation, that's going to be on YouTube and put

Tim Winders:

all over the socials and podcasts.

Tim Winders:

And that you wrote a book called simply put this, I think a

Tim Winders:

200 and something page book.

Tim Winders:

I do.

Tim Winders:

Cause someone is going to say what they're talking about simplicity, man.

Tim Winders:

I've got an hour.

Tim Winders:

I've got to listen in on.

Tim Winders:

because it takes effort, right?

Tim Winders:

This is something that you have to go against the grain to think this way.

Tim Winders:

Correct.

Ben Guttmann:

Oh yeah.

Ben Guttmann:

I actually, I think that's like the first paragraph on page one there, which I

Ben Guttmann:

say, look, I understand the irony here.

Ben Guttmann:

It's a 208 page book about how to say things simply.

Ben Guttmann:

It seems like I didn't take my own advice.

Ben Guttmann:

And what I always say is if it's enough to hear.

Ben Guttmann:

Simple messages are more effective than complicated ones.

Ben Guttmann:

Then great.

Ben Guttmann:

Like you don't need the rest of the book.

Ben Guttmann:

You can, you don't have to buy it.

Ben Guttmann:

You don't have to read it.

Ben Guttmann:

You don't have to, you could turn off the show.

Ben Guttmann:

But if you're interested in the kind of why of that or of

Ben Guttmann:

the how behind connecting those pieces, that is surprisingly deep.

Ben Guttmann:

And that is something that Will take those other 200 and some

Ben Guttmann:

odd pages to, to tell that story.

Ben Guttmann:

I joke a little bit, and we were talking about this before, that

Ben Guttmann:

this is, certainly a book that used to judge by its cover, right?

Ben Guttmann:

it, if the title and the subtitle and the design and the back cover

Ben Guttmann:

copy, if that stuff doesn't clearly explain what's in it for you, then.

Ben Guttmann:

You know what?

Ben Guttmann:

I didn't do my job.

Ben Guttmann:

And so you should, and you should put it aside and do something else.

Ben Guttmann:

but the goal is uh, to not just give platitudes, but give people the real

Ben Guttmann:

understanding about how to put this type of, this type of practice into action.

Tim Winders:

Yeah, I think that's good.

Tim Winders:

And I want us to go into that.

Tim Winders:

More in depth here in just a few minutes, but before we leave your

Tim Winders:

background and history, and we've got probably, leader types, some people

Tim Winders:

in the faith world, some people in business world, entrepreneurs

Tim Winders:

and all that, I think it would be.

Tim Winders:

Kind of a poor host of me.

Tim Winders:

If I didn't ask a few other learning points, tips, things that you gained

Tim Winders:

from your marketing agency, things that you learn, things that you

Tim Winders:

would never do again, or things that boy, I really learned this

Tim Winders:

outside of the simplicity message.

Tim Winders:

We're about to really go into that even more.

Tim Winders:

working with the NFL.

Tim Winders:

I love New York.

Tim Winders:

those are some big ones, you know, local ice cream shops.

Tim Winders:

Which could be more exciting than those other two, by the way.

Tim Winders:

Just, I just want to put that out there.

Tim Winders:

what can you share just that might just be good ideas, good tips

Tim Winders:

that, that we all need to know.

Ben Guttmann:

Well, I'll tell you that, this is a tip and also a riff on that,

Ben Guttmann:

which is something like the local ice cream shop can be a harder client than

Ben Guttmann:

the national football league, right?

Ben Guttmann:

Like it is that's kind of actually a big lesson when I talk to my.

Ben Guttmann:

students in particular, a lot of them who are thinking about starting a

Ben Guttmann:

business at some point is it is like 90 percent as hard to sell something

Ben Guttmann:

for a hundred bucks as it is to sell something for a thousand dollars.

Ben Guttmann:

and that applies for a widget.

Ben Guttmann:

And that also applies for professional services to the work of making

Ben Guttmann:

that connection, convincing somebody that you're legit and

Ben Guttmann:

developing kind of a scope of services and then executing on it.

Ben Guttmann:

If I'm doing a website for somebody when we first started for a few

Ben Guttmann:

thousand dollars as opposed to something that was a 100, 000 plus

Ben Guttmann:

dollar project later on as we grew.

Ben Guttmann:

they're not super different in terms of the technical work

Ben Guttmann:

that goes into the end process.

Ben Guttmann:

What is different?

Ben Guttmann:

That's an end product.

Ben Guttmann:

What is different is the process that gets us there.

Ben Guttmann:

It is the discovery and the planning and the reliability that we have and

Ben Guttmann:

our expertise and our insight, all that stuff is what people pay for.

Ben Guttmann:

And that's the big difference is a lot of people get stuck thinking Well, you know,

Ben Guttmann:

I was talking to somebody recently who couldn't believe ever that we charged.

Ben Guttmann:

30 or 40, 000 for a relatively that wasn't our biggest project

Ben Guttmann:

to do a 30 or 40, 000 website.

Ben Guttmann:

they wouldn't believe it couldn't, how do you, how do you justify that in an

Ben Guttmann:

age where I can go get, somebody to do it for a couple of grand on fiber.

Ben Guttmann:

I was like, go ahead and do with them.

Ben Guttmann:

And honestly, if you're really good at your own stuff and you want to

Ben Guttmann:

babysit them, like the end product is not going to be 10 times better.

Ben Guttmann:

The PR, the people that are hiring us to do 30 or a hundred

Ben Guttmann:

thousand dollar projects.

Ben Guttmann:

are doing that because they want somebody who is a professional who they can,

Ben Guttmann:

they have a process, they can roll, they can call on them to fix things.

Ben Guttmann:

they don't have, they have somebody to maintain stuff later on.

Ben Guttmann:

They have somebody who asked the right questions.

Ben Guttmann:

They know people who can solve this problem.

Ben Guttmann:

They're charging for all their, they're paying for all of that.

Ben Guttmann:

They're not paying for the end process.

Ben Guttmann:

and so that's one of the parts of value on the, other kind of aspect of that

Ben Guttmann:

though, is if you are dealing with that ice cream shop and they are going to

Ben Guttmann:

pay you 1, 000 for something or 2, 000, that is money that is either going to

Ben Guttmann:

you or is like their next vacation.

Ben Guttmann:

And if you're dealing with the NFL or I live New York or Comcast

Ben Guttmann:

and these are the big brands, the 100, 000 they're paying you.

Ben Guttmann:

is just a lie.

Ben Guttmann:

It's a budget item.

Ben Guttmann:

it's part of their marketing budget.

Ben Guttmann:

It's nobody, it's no skin off anybody's back.

Ben Guttmann:

It's not somebody's bonus that they didn't get to take.

Ben Guttmann:

And so there's a, there's this kind of healthy remove that

Ben Guttmann:

allows for investment instead of thinking of it as just an expense.

Tim Winders:

What, this is a little bit of a trick question and you may not

Tim Winders:

be able to answer, but looking back, who do you enjoy working with more?

Tim Winders:

The big, we'll call them big operations where you may not be sitting down

Tim Winders:

with, the owners, you're with a group and things like that, or say smaller.

Tim Winders:

the reason I bring that up while you're thinking is that I've worked in large

Tim Winders:

corporations and I've also worked with some, what we'll call solopreneurs.

Tim Winders:

And I have found the sweet spot that I like is where I could sit

Tim Winders:

down with at least the leadership team and interact with them.

Tim Winders:

the paychecks may be a little bit smaller.

Tim Winders:

But the impact is different for me.

Tim Winders:

Looking back, is there one or the other that, you would go, you know, and if I had

Tim Winders:

to do it again, I think I would work with blank trick question I know, but go ahead.

Tim Winders:

That's why I'm here to ask these tough questions.

Ben Guttmann:

I love it.

Ben Guttmann:

I think that it's less so much kind of the scale as it is the individual.

Ben Guttmann:

I, there are people we worked with who we like went to their weddings, the people

Ben Guttmann:

who years later, I'm still, I still keep in touch with, there are people

Ben Guttmann:

who, you know, when people on my team have had kind of family emergencies,

Ben Guttmann:

I've called and checked in on them.

Ben Guttmann:

and it becomes this really warm kind of intimate relationship with some of the

Ben Guttmann:

folks that we worked with and that's who I try to seek out as much as I can.

Ben Guttmann:

and to the extent where sometimes I will do something my work now or before when

Ben Guttmann:

we had the agency, we will do something.

Ben Guttmann:

We have a good person for less money because it was just, it was

Ben Guttmann:

worth it for the relationship.

Ben Guttmann:

It was because they were almost our, you hesitate to use the word friend because

Ben Guttmann:

that implies that, Oh, you're doing it for your friend, but they became friends.

Ben Guttmann:

A lot of the people that, that, that's what I sought.

Ben Guttmann:

Out more what I would, what I'd recommend anybody seeking out is don't work of

Ben Guttmann:

assholes work of good people because if you work with jerks, you become a jerk.

Ben Guttmann:

Eventually you spent, you spend a lot of time with the people you

Ben Guttmann:

work with, whether that's your colleagues, whether that's your client

Ben Guttmann:

or customers or service providers.

Ben Guttmann:

You just spend a lot of time with them and if that is time that's draining

Ben Guttmann:

you and if they're being mean and they're, trying to use their resources

Ben Guttmann:

or powers or whatever for, for lack of a better term, evil, they're trying to

Ben Guttmann:

make the world a world, a worst place.

Ben Guttmann:

you know what, eventually you can't just say, Hey, it's a paycheck

Ben Guttmann:

and I'm getting out of there.

Ben Guttmann:

At some point it becomes your responsibility as well.

Ben Guttmann:

And so I'm proud mostly.

Ben Guttmann:

We were able to say no to when I look back on this after we sold the

Ben Guttmann:

business, I was like, I'm proud of a lot of the work that we did, but

Ben Guttmann:

I'm really proud of the moments where somebody who we thought was an unsavory

Ben Guttmann:

character came knocking on our door.

Ben Guttmann:

And even though it's a small business, you can always use the check.

Ben Guttmann:

We said, Hey, get out of here.

Ben Guttmann:

we don't want to work with this person.

Ben Guttmann:

We don't want to work with this brand.

Ben Guttmann:

and that is something that.

Ben Guttmann:

that I always try to advise people to, to maintain is that kind of like

Ben Guttmann:

for the more do work with people and with brands and organizations that you

Ben Guttmann:

can feel morally comfortable doing.

Tim Winders:

I love the moral because it sounds like you're a better guy than I am.

Tim Winders:

There were, I actually had two situations pop into my head

Tim Winders:

while you were saying that.

Tim Winders:

That I know that I added a zero or two on the end of the, proposal because

Tim Winders:

I knew it was going to be a hassle.

Tim Winders:

I knew it was going to be tough and my thought was if they

Tim Winders:

pay me enough it's worth it.

Tim Winders:

So you're obviously much more virtuous and, did you ever do that?

Tim Winders:

You never did that, did you?

Ben Guttmann:

it's easy to sound like that, but at the time you still think

Ben Guttmann:

about it a tiny bit, cause you're like, Hey, payroll's coming up again

Ben Guttmann:

and there's other client is late on their paycheck on their check.

Ben Guttmann:

And so you, it's a debate, some, sometimes it's so odorous that you immediately.

Ben Guttmann:

you can say no, but there's plenty of stuff in the gray area that, that

Ben Guttmann:

sometimes you go, Oh man, like we could do it, but like not put it on our

Ben Guttmann:

portfolio and think about it for a second.

Ben Guttmann:

Then you sleep on it and you're like, no.

Ben Guttmann:

It's, it's not something you want to do.

Ben Guttmann:

But, yeah, sometimes people would say, I had a couple of partners and

Ben Guttmann:

my partners would say, Yeah, everybody goes through these kind of highs

Ben Guttmann:

and lows where you have more money coming in and less money coming in.

Ben Guttmann:

And somebody can say, what if we added that zero as you're saying, and then we

Ben Guttmann:

didn't have to tell anybody about it.

Ben Guttmann:

I'm like, I don't want to have to do work.

Ben Guttmann:

I don't want to tell anybody about, right?

Ben Guttmann:

So ultimately we always came down to the side of saying, let's do the

Ben Guttmann:

thing that protects us morally and also selfishly protects our brand.

Ben Guttmann:

Is that not being a company that works with those type of characters?

Tim Winders:

I think something going back to that word I used earlier,

Tim Winders:

essentialism, something that we all go through is coming to terms with

Tim Winders:

what's important to us in life.

Tim Winders:

And it sounds to me just from reading some of your stuff and seeing it sounds to me

Tim Winders:

like teacher, educator, someone who shares information is Something that's core to

Tim Winders:

you at what point, and I didn't see this anywhere, so you could share the story.

Tim Winders:

At what point did you move, back to, I think it was your alma mater and

Tim Winders:

start teaching and become a professor.

Tim Winders:

And I don't know if that linked in with when you started writing the book and all

Tim Winders:

that, but get, give a little bit of that.

Tim Winders:

Because to me, that's part of what the journey we go through

Tim Winders:

in life is identifying, you know, what I kind of knew early on, I

Tim Winders:

was a coach, I was supposed to.

Tim Winders:

Coach, I avoided it, but then I migrated back to it.

Tim Winders:

So a professor, come on, that's unique.

Ben Guttmann:

I've been doing it for a while now.

Ben Guttmann:

I did it for, I started about 10 years ago, nine and nine and a half years ago.

Ben Guttmann:

I started, teaching, at Baruch college, which is where I also went to

Ben Guttmann:

school and it was on a, like a whim.

Ben Guttmann:

I was at, for lack of the abridged version of it, it was, I was at an alumni event.

Ben Guttmann:

I saw the department chair at the time and I basically said,

Ben Guttmann:

your shit stinks about something.

Ben Guttmann:

It was about like, what are their digital marketing things?

Ben Guttmann:

Cause it was a new track they just had and they didn't have any

Ben Guttmann:

like real good material for it.

Ben Guttmann:

cause I guess, but I guess spoke in somebody's class

Ben Guttmann:

like the previous semester.

Ben Guttmann:

And so I, they basically turn around and say, okay, why don't

Ben Guttmann:

you do something about it?

Ben Guttmann:

And I said, okay.

Ben Guttmann:

And I put together this course and I've been teaching it now for my 19th semester,

Ben Guttmann:

my 20th semesters coming up in the spring.

Ben Guttmann:

and I love it.

Ben Guttmann:

It's like the best thing.

Ben Guttmann:

It's so fun.

Ben Guttmann:

I go, sometimes I have a very large class.

Ben Guttmann:

I have 70 or 80 students.

Ben Guttmann:

Sometimes I have 20 students or so depending on kind of what the.

Ben Guttmann:

You know what the semester is.

Ben Guttmann:

And I like them both.

Ben Guttmann:

you get a lot of energy from the big group.

Ben Guttmann:

You get really good relationships from the small groups.

Ben Guttmann:

I will do it until they kick me out until they stop letting me

Ben Guttmann:

be there to talk about things.

Ben Guttmann:

it, it's not something I do in a full time basis.

Ben Guttmann:

It's not something that I probably would want to do on a full time

Ben Guttmann:

basis, but I've enjoyed it as I call it like my favorite hobby because.

Ben Guttmann:

it's the city university of new york.

Ben Guttmann:

It's a public institution.

Ben Guttmann:

you're not really making your money doing it But if you're able to make a positive

Ben Guttmann:

impact on somebody's life by being at the right place at the right time and these

Ben Guttmann:

students are seniors in college about to make the kind of biggest single change in

Ben Guttmann:

their life, which is going from student to Adult basically, it's a weird honor to

Ben Guttmann:

be there at that time and to try to nudge them in the right direction and to be

Ben Guttmann:

there as a resource and to see them come into them, into their selves at that time.

Ben Guttmann:

Because, the analogy I make at that moment for them every

Ben Guttmann:

semester and as we're talking.

Ben Guttmann:

I think this is my next class I have for them or in two weeks, is I

Ben Guttmann:

tell this analogy of the escalator, which is if you're a five year

Ben Guttmann:

old, 15 year old, 20 year old, at some point you're on an escalator.

Ben Guttmann:

as long as you don't really screw up, you're going from grade

Ben Guttmann:

one to two to three and you're going to high school to college.

Ben Guttmann:

And unless you jump off or get pushed off for the median person, you're just.

Ben Guttmann:

It's going to keep going.

Ben Guttmann:

Spring semester, summer, fall semester, spring semester,

Ben Guttmann:

summer, and it keeps on going up.

Ben Guttmann:

And at some point where these students are right then is that the escalator

Ben Guttmann:

stops and you have to figure out you, you get off and it's your

Ben Guttmann:

responsibility to figure out what it is that you want to do in your life.

Ben Guttmann:

and if that's to make a job, to get a job, to join a cause, whatever it is.

Ben Guttmann:

I just try to impress upon them that like this is an important moment and that

Ben Guttmann:

there's more opportunity than they think there is because a lot of folks think,

Ben Guttmann:

I just have to go continue on the next thing that looks like this escalator,

Ben Guttmann:

but in reality, they can go out and they can do a ton of different things.

Ben Guttmann:

And that's what I try to connect with.

Ben Guttmann:

what that's where I look as like my, like an unstated mission a little

Ben Guttmann:

bit in, in the teaching is to talk about the, uh, incredible expanse

Ben Guttmann:

of opportunity that's out there.

Ben Guttmann:

There's

Tim Winders:

So one of the things that kind of fascinated me in 10 years, and

Tim Winders:

I'm thinking back, I know where we are now recording in late 2023, go back

Tim Winders:

10 years, 2013, something like that.

Tim Winders:

And I'm thinking about all this happening.

Tim Winders:

Then have you noticed.

Tim Winders:

any trends or things that excite you or concern you or bother you

Tim Winders:

or anything about, I'm guessing most of them are young people.

Tim Winders:

It's not, if it's a city school, there's some adults older in there or most of them

Ben Guttmann:

a handful, but most of them are 20 or 21 years

Ben Guttmann:

old that I'm, that I have.

Ben Guttmann:

Yeah.

Tim Winders:

Perfect.

Tim Winders:

so just a couple, what are you observing?

Tim Winders:

what's going on with that generation that's coming along?

Ben Guttmann:

I think the kids are all right.

Ben Guttmann:

And I'll put it that way.

Ben Guttmann:

I think that the.

Ben Guttmann:

A few things.

Ben Guttmann:

A few things.

Ben Guttmann:

I'll tell you one broader piece is COVID was a complete, just

Ben Guttmann:

earthquake for this age cohort.

Ben Guttmann:

the students that I had are seniors, so they're usually in

Ben Guttmann:

their last one or two semesters.

Ben Guttmann:

The, three, two years that I was basically teaching remote, like one,

Ben Guttmann:

and I think it was three semesters or maybe four that I had that were, at least

Ben Guttmann:

partially, online, that was really tough.

Ben Guttmann:

It was really tough because, the class wasn't built for that.

Ben Guttmann:

These students didn't sign up for this.

Ben Guttmann:

people just weren't engaged.

Ben Guttmann:

I'm, I wasn't teaching at a hundred percent myself because I'm sitting here

Ben Guttmann:

at the same computer that I just spent eight hours working on for my agency.

Ben Guttmann:

And then.

Ben Guttmann:

At night, I have to just go stare at the computer again, looking at 40 gray

Ben Guttmann:

boxes because nobody had their camera on because, you can't, you could be

Ben Guttmann:

the policy was you couldn't even ask them to turn the camera on, which I

Ben Guttmann:

totally understand why it was because it was chaotic times, but it just didn't

Ben Guttmann:

lead to a good learning environment.

Ben Guttmann:

So I think there was a couple semesters.

Ben Guttmann:

There were people really had A hard time absorbing the material and then a

Ben Guttmann:

couple of semesters after people came back and it's really, it's only kind of

Ben Guttmann:

this semester that it's fully that it feels like we're like 95 percent back.

Ben Guttmann:

there just wasn't as much energy and engagement in the classroom.

Ben Guttmann:

and this is something I spoke to other people at my school, other

Ben Guttmann:

people across, across the country.

Ben Guttmann:

would be that they're just, I had to come like highly caffeinated.

Ben Guttmann:

I'll put it that way.

Ben Guttmann:

I had to come and bring a ton of energy every single night to get the same amount

Ben Guttmann:

of response that I would get back on like my bad nights, in previous years, only

Ben Guttmann:

now is it beginning to the students that I have now I've had enough like normal

Ben Guttmann:

life, since the pandemic has tapered out, that they're beginning to, to,

Ben Guttmann:

Act the way they did a few years ago.

Ben Guttmann:

So that's all to say, I wonder what's going to happen to this cohort.

Ben Guttmann:

As they progressed through their careers, there's going to be a good kind of

Ben Guttmann:

three or four or five years worth of students who at different points hit

Ben Guttmann:

them in high school or college when they're in that pivotal maturity stage

Ben Guttmann:

that I think it'll be, this will be a defining question for the next generation

Ben Guttmann:

is what's going to happen to that.

Ben Guttmann:

So that's the big piece.

Ben Guttmann:

And again, I'm not, again, I'm part time, I'm part time adjunct, so

Ben Guttmann:

this is not, this is not something that, you know, I did any sort of

Ben Guttmann:

empirical research on the other thing.

Ben Guttmann:

I will say I did add a, I did add a, uh, what's it called a focus group

Ben Guttmann:

class to my syllabus a couple of years ago, because I was curious.

Ben Guttmann:

I would always talk to them informally, but I wanted to

Ben Guttmann:

do it in a more formal way.

Ben Guttmann:

I was curious about how do they use technology?

Ben Guttmann:

How do they use social media?

Ben Guttmann:

How do they use their phones, websites, everything else?

Ben Guttmann:

and it's definitely changed a lot.

Ben Guttmann:

Instagram stays very popular.

Ben Guttmann:

Tick tock obviously rose a lot.

Ben Guttmann:

Snapchat's gone on this kind of wild ride.

Ben Guttmann:

a lot of them have a little bit of anxiety about how much they use their

Ben Guttmann:

devices now as I didn't see that same level of concern a few years ago.

Ben Guttmann:

and I write up a blog post about this most semesters.

Ben Guttmann:

And so I, I have a few of them you can dig through, but it's, it is interesting

Ben Guttmann:

now to see this is a generation that has Facebook, but doesn't really use Facebook.

Ben Guttmann:

Facebook is a utility to have.

Ben Guttmann:

And when I was in college, like Facebook was the coolest

Ben Guttmann:

thing on the planet, right?

Ben Guttmann:

Like it was brand new at the time.

Ben Guttmann:

It's a big, it's a big difference.

Ben Guttmann:

in terms of how social media is viewed.

Ben Guttmann:

and I think that is a big defining aspect of their technology.

Ben Guttmann:

Of their technological lives.

Tim Winders:

Facebook is where old people like me hang out, I think is the way

Tim Winders:

they perceive that, which probably pretty darn accurate, if they're pegging that.

Tim Winders:

One, one bridge question that I want to go from the teaching and

Tim Winders:

students to back to the simplicity discussion is, I want to bring up AI.

Tim Winders:

I want to ask in this, I know there's general stuff.

Tim Winders:

I know it's not necessarily expertise.

Tim Winders:

So this is observational from you.

Tim Winders:

What are you seeing the impact being of AI with maybe that generation?

Tim Winders:

And then we'll start merging into how AI might be impacting this.

Tim Winders:

Simply put message that you're attempting to get out to the world.

Tim Winders:

So let's bridge with AI.

Tim Winders:

How's that for a segue?

Ben Guttmann:

Oh, yeah.

Ben Guttmann:

So AI is the most, I guess revolutionary seems like a big puffy word, which the,

Ben Guttmann:

piece of technology since the iPhone.

Ben Guttmann:

And before that it was the internet.

Ben Guttmann:

And before that it was the personal computer, right?

Ben Guttmann:

it is.

Ben Guttmann:

It has every bit of app practical application that the hype around

Ben Guttmann:

something like web three or crypto or metaverse, had, but never materialized.

Ben Guttmann:

I never was a huge, believer in, in crypto and, and any other kind of metaverse type

Ben Guttmann:

stuff, just because, as somebody who works in that space and I would use it and I'd

Ben Guttmann:

always be, I would always be trying to figure out how to, stay on these trends.

Ben Guttmann:

I realized that a lot of that was hype and very little substance was there.

Ben Guttmann:

AI is one of those things where there is a lot of hype, but there is still a very

Ben Guttmann:

great deal amount of substance below.

Ben Guttmann:

I'll put it this way.

Ben Guttmann:

I don't ban the students from using it.

Ben Guttmann:

I don't, go out and encourage them to use it for things.

Ben Guttmann:

I say, if you want to go use it to augment the stuff that you do, it's great.

Ben Guttmann:

But using it to write a paper is not going to really help you, because it's

Ben Guttmann:

not going to fully understand things.

Ben Guttmann:

It'll make a bunch of fluff.

Ben Guttmann:

It'll make things that look like the right answer to something,

Ben Guttmann:

but it doesn't actually understand the material behind it.

Ben Guttmann:

So it's really good as a tool.

Ben Guttmann:

if Grammarly is a great example of this, run your writing through that

Ben Guttmann:

and say, okay, how can this improve?

Ben Guttmann:

Your grammar, your spelling, your syntax, all these different pieces,

Ben Guttmann:

but asking it to completely from whole cloth, write something is often at this

Ben Guttmann:

moment, whereas we're recording this in the fall of 2023, is not going to be

Ben Guttmann:

the right answer for most applications.

Ben Guttmann:

So look at it as the best framing I've heard about this has been look at AI,

Ben Guttmann:

not as having an, like a super genius.

Ben Guttmann:

At your disposal, but as having an unlimited number of stupid

Ben Guttmann:

people, at your disposal.

Ben Guttmann:

So I, and I think that's a great way of putting it is it can help you with things.

Ben Guttmann:

It can help with I have a paragraph and I need it to be two sentences, put

Ben Guttmann:

it in there, ask it to shorten it for you and then, tinker around a little

Ben Guttmann:

bit and you have a really good answer.

Ben Guttmann:

But if you're asking it to write that paragraph from scratch,

Ben Guttmann:

at this moment, that's not the.

Ben Guttmann:

Best use of it.

Tim Winders:

Is it messing with anybody in that education?

Tim Winders:

I was thinking back to had AI been around When I was, you know starting to write

Tim Winders:

i'm an engineer by training But so we didn't really have to write anything.

Tim Winders:

We didn't even have to know verbs But I was thinking about

Tim Winders:

what if AI had been around?

Tim Winders:

are you seeing is it messing with their heads at all?

Ben Guttmann:

a little bit.

Ben Guttmann:

they've used a little bit of the image stuff and some of

Ben Guttmann:

their presentations to me.

Ben Guttmann:

this, this past semester.

Ben Guttmann:

I just saw this study or this, survey.

Ben Guttmann:

I think it was a Pew survey that it was like one in five us teens have

Ben Guttmann:

used chat GPT for their homework.

Ben Guttmann:

And so there are professors, there are teachers at the kind of the

Ben Guttmann:

primary and secondary level who are very concerned about, about it.

Ben Guttmann:

And I think there's some validity to say, you know what, if, I want

Ben Guttmann:

somebody to read, the great Gatsby and write an essay about it.

Ben Guttmann:

if some kid comes back and just ask Chachi P to write an

Ben Guttmann:

essay about the great Gatsby.

Ben Guttmann:

Okay.

Ben Guttmann:

you're not really learning at that point.

Ben Guttmann:

For me, my, my class is not as theoretical.

Ben Guttmann:

it's a practical, it's a marketing class.

Ben Guttmann:

It's a lot of applied stuff.

Ben Guttmann:

And so I say, if you can figure out how to use for the projects that I'm giving,

Ben Guttmann:

if you can figure out how to use AI to, to get there, that's actually going to

Ben Guttmann:

replicate a lot of what, what working in marketing is going to be, because every

Ben Guttmann:

marketer I know is trying to figure out how do you use AI for their own purposes.

Ben Guttmann:

So I don't go out and ban it, but I think that, I think that it is

Ben Guttmann:

something that if you rely on it too much, instead of developing your own

Ben Guttmann:

understanding of kind of the world and of the subject you're talking about, then

Ben Guttmann:

you're going to be at a disadvantage.

Tim Winders:

So your book is simply put why clear messages,

Tim Winders:

when and how to design them.

Tim Winders:

And I want to give a full disclosure here.

Tim Winders:

I typically write out my introductions to a guest, like I did at the beginning,

Tim Winders:

when I introduced you, however, Ben, what I did was, is I took what I wrote

Tim Winders:

out and I put it through chat GPT and I said, I would like to make this simpler.

Tim Winders:

And more succinct.

Tim Winders:

now someone's trying to think through what was the intro and

Tim Winders:

it actually did pretty good.

Tim Winders:

I adjusted a couple of words and I had to know what to ask it and all that.

Tim Winders:

But, I guess it is it a tool that's going to help or hurt us with this

Tim Winders:

simple message that we're attempting to.

Tim Winders:

Train people.

Tim Winders:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tim Winders:

You're good.

Tim Winders:

You're thinking now, wait, what did he say at the beginning?

Ben Guttmann:

Well, it's fine.

Ben Guttmann:

So, um, I was just, emailing with an old, old client of mine who has habits of a

Ben Guttmann:

podcast, and he was saying that what he did was he took the lessons in the book.

Ben Guttmann:

He trained a AI, like one of the new GPT, custom ones that you can

Ben Guttmann:

build and he trained that on that.

Ben Guttmann:

And he asked it to edit his email that he was sending out like his

Ben Guttmann:

newsletter and the new, and he ran a test, he ran an AB test.

Ben Guttmann:

And the one that his original one, got X OOP click rates and the one

Ben Guttmann:

that he ran through the AI trained on the book, got 50 percent more clicks.

Ben Guttmann:

And I was like, that's pretty good.

Ben Guttmann:

I'm, I love that data.

Ben Guttmann:

I'm going to have to, I'm going to have to keep an eye on that

Ben Guttmann:

as you're putting it together.

Ben Guttmann:

so simply put, so the whole, I've alluded to this a little bit in

Ben Guttmann:

some of the stuff we talked about.

Ben Guttmann:

The entire thesis here comes down to this idea of fluency.

Ben Guttmann:

So fluent.

Ben Guttmann:

is a word that you and I know from, normal life, right?

Ben Guttmann:

You can be fluent in English or Spanish or Mandarin.

Ben Guttmann:

You can be fluent in cooking or chess or whatever it is

Ben Guttmann:

that you're passionate about.

Ben Guttmann:

You can be fluent.

Ben Guttmann:

it's where things are easy.

Ben Guttmann:

Things are fluent.

Ben Guttmann:

the Latin root is from the word that means flowing, which is what it feels like.

Ben Guttmann:

So that's how we understand.

Ben Guttmann:

But if you ask a cognitive scientist, About the word fluency.

Ben Guttmann:

that describes this whole suite of experiences that loosely translate

Ben Guttmann:

to how easy it is to take something from out in the world, stick it

Ben Guttmann:

in your head and make sense of it.

Ben Guttmann:

and so the things that are easier to see here.

Ben Guttmann:

And perceive in general as well as things that are easier to process.

Ben Guttmann:

all of those things that take less mental energy, we're more likely to buy them,

Ben Guttmann:

to like them, to trust them and all the good things that we want, what we're

Ben Guttmann:

informing or persuading or selling.

Ben Guttmann:

The inverse is also true, which is that the things that take more

Ben Guttmann:

work, things that are harder for us to stick in our heads and make

Ben Guttmann:

sense of, we don't like them.

Ben Guttmann:

We don't buy them.

Ben Guttmann:

We don't trust them.

Ben Guttmann:

And that's not where we want to be, obviously.

Ben Guttmann:

So there's this divide here where we want to be, we want things that

Ben Guttmann:

are coming into our minds to be simple, to be easy, to be fluent.

Ben Guttmann:

But when we're in charge of sending, when we're the ones speaking or writing

Ben Guttmann:

or presenting, we have a really hard time doing that because internally we're

Ben Guttmann:

battling stuff like, an additive bias, which we're more likely to add than

Ben Guttmann:

subtract when we're presented with a.

Ben Guttmann:

An option to change something as well as externally, we're being pressured

Ben Guttmann:

by our bosses, by the systems that we're in, by the media, whatever

Ben Guttmann:

it is to have more, more, right?

Ben Guttmann:

You get credit for more.

Ben Guttmann:

You don't really get credit for less in many arenas.

Ben Guttmann:

So there's internal and external kind of that are pulling us

Ben Guttmann:

in the opposite direction.

Ben Guttmann:

So there's this gap.

Ben Guttmann:

We want things one way we want things to be simple, but we are

Ben Guttmann:

built to send things another way.

Ben Guttmann:

And so how do you bridge that gap?

Ben Guttmann:

And that's what I try to answer with these different design

Ben Guttmann:

principles that, that kind of make up the second half of the book.

Tim Winders:

I was just actually just looking through, I actually was not,

Tim Winders:

I usually am able to preview books prior to conversations, but I figured,

Tim Winders:

Hey, it's a book on simplicity.

Tim Winders:

I could, no, I needed to have read this and I recommend people get this.

Tim Winders:

I'm looking at the, the index right now one of the things I've always

Tim Winders:

said is a confused mind does nothing.

Tim Winders:

I don't know if that's actually true, but it seems like it should be true.

Tim Winders:

Maybe that's the case.

Tim Winders:

And like we were talking about earlier, we built up this, we just added to attitude.

Tim Winders:

I was even thinking about some.

Tim Winders:

training that I went through.

Tim Winders:

I don't really consider myself a copywriter or a marketing person, but I've

Tim Winders:

done parts of it for some of my companies.

Tim Winders:

And I was just thinking about one of the phrases they taught was, and

Tim Winders:

in addition to that, you know, it's like you're writing all the benefits.

Tim Winders:

And in addition to that, and in addition to that, and, and I think

Tim Winders:

I've heard you say that just, and is something That we really can get

Tim Winders:

into a trap or it can cause issues.

Tim Winders:

But I guess one thing I'd love for you to tell us now is I know this is

Tim Winders:

geared towards the marketing person, but to me, this is communications.

Tim Winders:

this is for leaders and owners and heavens.

Tim Winders:

It'd be awesome if our politicians would get this a little bit better.

Tim Winders:

so talk a little bit about the.

Tim Winders:

audience for the book and the message that you're trying to get across.

Ben Guttmann:

this is a book that would live on the marketing shelf

Ben Guttmann:

of a bookstore that would sit next to other marketing books.

Ben Guttmann:

the library, I think you hit the nail on the head there, which is this is not

Ben Guttmann:

something that is strictly limited to if you work in an advertising agency,

Ben Guttmann:

this is something that if you're, if your responsibilities in the world

Ben Guttmann:

involve informing or persuading, you can be better at both of those.

Ben Guttmann:

by being simple, by getting to a message that resonates, that actually is built

Ben Guttmann:

for how a receiver wants to understand it.

Ben Guttmann:

So that applies to advocates and politicians, leaders, and parents

Ben Guttmann:

and teachers and all these other roles uh, just as much, if not

Ben Guttmann:

more so than if somebody is a copywriter at an ad agency somewhere.

Tim Winders:

I think back at people that have been elected, whether you

Tim Winders:

agree or disagree with what they say, let's take that off the table, they

Tim Winders:

did have an ability to cut through a lot of noise and say what they wanted

Tim Winders:

to say in a fairly succinct way.

Tim Winders:

And I'm thinking about.

Tim Winders:

American presidents on both sides of the aisle.

Tim Winders:

Bill Clinton could really get a message across, you know, Obama, Donald Trump.

Tim Winders:

Hate him or whatever, but he speaks to the people in a simple way.

Tim Winders:

And, anyway, I'm not saying we can learn from any of that.

Tim Winders:

That's not my message here, but I think to be able to communicate

Tim Winders:

in those ways are important.

Tim Winders:

What are some, one of the things I really loved is that you talk,

Tim Winders:

not just, this is not just about words, but it's also about design.

Tim Winders:

And the reason that speaks to me.

Tim Winders:

Is because I tell my wife all the time that I Read times new roman.

Tim Winders:

that's my font.

Tim Winders:

In fact, I joke.

Tim Winders:

It's tim's new roman And if you start doing a lot of fonts that have a lot

Tim Winders:

of curly cues and stuff like that I sometimes I literally Can't read it.

Tim Winders:

So this is not just about words, correct?

Tim Winders:

This is like the whole Design and messaging.

Ben Guttmann:

Yeah.

Ben Guttmann:

And there, there's, So the entire, the entire book, I put the word design in

Ben Guttmann:

the subtitle very intentionally because even though it's not about visual

Ben Guttmann:

design for most of the principles are here, I argue that design is not just

Ben Guttmann:

that design is about Arranging things in the world to achieve a goal and

Ben Guttmann:

that can be words as part of that.

Ben Guttmann:

And so it's about how do you design your messaging with intentionality

Ben Guttmann:

because it's design is an art.

Ben Guttmann:

It's business.

Ben Guttmann:

there's art that infiltrates it and informs it.

Ben Guttmann:

it is fundamentally a business function.

Ben Guttmann:

It's about arranging things to achieve a goal, to solve a problem.

Ben Guttmann:

And that's how I look at the different principles here about,

Ben Guttmann:

about how we can bridge that gap.

Ben Guttmann:

I talked about before one of them, which is visual design them.

Ben Guttmann:

So there's a number of, user experience studies that you can look at for across

Ben Guttmann:

the span of decades that show that we.

Ben Guttmann:

We don't read on a screen remotely the same in the way that we read

Ben Guttmann:

when we're looking at like a book.

Ben Guttmann:

We don't start in the top left corner and move down to the bottom right.

Ben Guttmann:

that's the dream.

Ben Guttmann:

Everybody who's made a website or made a written an email thinks

Ben Guttmann:

that's what people are doing.

Ben Guttmann:

But in reality, what people do is they start at the headline, they go to the

Ben Guttmann:

next headline, they go jump around a little bit, they go to something else,

Ben Guttmann:

they go to bullets, they go to boxes, they go to italics, they go to pull quotes.

Ben Guttmann:

They go to buttons and they, we do what's known as a layer cake pattern.

Ben Guttmann:

It looks like the letter F, right?

Ben Guttmann:

We go, when we go up and down and we read the different pieces until we

Ben Guttmann:

find what's relevant to us, what we're looking for, and then we go into it.

Ben Guttmann:

and we augment that a lot of times also with like a search strategy.

Ben Guttmann:

So if we're looking for a phone number or a name or an address,

Ben Guttmann:

something that's shaped differently.

Ben Guttmann:

we're going to hunt around for that.

Ben Guttmann:

And so the lesson there is when you're designing the physical or

Ben Guttmann:

the visual layout of your messaging, we'll make use of that understanding.

Ben Guttmann:

Use headlines, use bullets, use italics, use bold, use call out boxes,

Ben Guttmann:

make it look like a really great magazine more so than a giant essay.

Ben Guttmann:

and we would do this.

Ben Guttmann:

In our own work and our proposals, our goal of our proposals was to look like

Ben Guttmann:

a magazine because we wanted it to be something that was easy to read and

Ben Guttmann:

understand and that stood out in a pile of other things that were just top to bottom

Ben Guttmann:

Times New Roman instead of using those headlines and everything else that make.

Ben Guttmann:

What you're saying more, more easily, understood by our eyes and then more

Ben Guttmann:

easily understood by our brains,

Tim Winders:

I like the example of the magazine.

Tim Winders:

It's interesting.

Tim Winders:

It's been so long Since i've seen or held a magazine.

Tim Winders:

I was going to the airport a while back Went through the little bookstore

Tim Winders:

and I picked up two magazines and read those on the plane and there

Tim Winders:

was Such a comfort about it, Ben.

Tim Winders:

it felt well, it was inviting, the ads are there, the information's there.

Tim Winders:

It was, I think it was fast company or, some business type thing

Tim Winders:

that I used to read all the time.

Tim Winders:

And now I just go grab it digitally.

Tim Winders:

That, that was nice.

Tim Winders:

What about, and just, we've got a few minutes left here.

Tim Winders:

And the thing I'm going to highly recommend is people get the book because

Tim Winders:

I'm looking at the index and I'm going, this has a lot of great info in it.

Tim Winders:

And I love just the, I love the fluency of it.

Tim Winders:

I think we need to be able to speak.

Tim Winders:

The language of simplicity.

Tim Winders:

I think that's one of the things I'm hearing you say, but I'd love

Tim Winders:

for you, and I'm sure there's probably examples in the book.

Tim Winders:

What are some examples that you can share, either good or bad that

Tim Winders:

everybody will go, Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tim Winders:

Oh yeah, that's good.

Tim Winders:

any examples pop into your mind that you can share in the last

Tim Winders:

few minutes that we have here.

Ben Guttmann:

Oh yeah, certainly.

Ben Guttmann:

So what, if there's any regret I have with the book, by the way, it's, I

Ben Guttmann:

leaned a little bit too much into the like taglines and slogans and the

Ben Guttmann:

first, bit of the book is that's a quick way to understand it, but this

Ben Guttmann:

is so much more valuable for the higher frequency communications like emails and

Ben Guttmann:

presentations, those types of things.

Ben Guttmann:

That being said, I'll give you a couple of things that, that

Ben Guttmann:

have always resonated with me.

Ben Guttmann:

So one of the things I talk about is benefits and this is sales, one

Ben Guttmann:

on one features versus benefits.

Ben Guttmann:

We don't buy features, we buy benefits.

Ben Guttmann:

We don't want the thing.

Ben Guttmann:

We want what the thing does for us.

Ben Guttmann:

So the best example of this is if you go back about 20 years, Apple introduced

Ben Guttmann:

the iPod and they didn't go around saying it's got this many gigabytes

Ben Guttmann:

of space, this many pixels on the screen, this much processing power.

Ben Guttmann:

What they did was they said.

Ben Guttmann:

It's a thousand songs in your pocket.

Ben Guttmann:

It's a thousand songs.

Ben Guttmann:

But immediately you understand the benefit.

Ben Guttmann:

I don't care about the four gigabyte hard drive.

Ben Guttmann:

I care about there being a thousand songs in my pocket that's the feed.

Ben Guttmann:

That's the benefit, not the feature.

Ben Guttmann:

Eventually you get down to the details somewhere on their

Ben Guttmann:

website or their packaging.

Ben Guttmann:

They'll tell you about the features, but it's about investing proportionally.

Ben Guttmann:

In what level of benefit is going to resonate in that market.

Ben Guttmann:

And so that's a great example of that.

Ben Guttmann:

And I'll give you something else that is completely different.

Ben Guttmann:

I have, I've had bad luck with my teeth and I, I blame my genetics for it.

Ben Guttmann:

And so I'm at the dentist one day and he's digging in there doing

Ben Guttmann:

all sorts of terrible things.

Ben Guttmann:

And the, he says, you only have to floss the teeth you want to keep.

Ben Guttmann:

And I was like, ah, You got me.

Ben Guttmann:

you got that is exactly where I need, what I need to hear when I need to hear it.

Ben Guttmann:

And exactly in the language, which makes sense to me, it exhibits this

Ben Guttmann:

degree of empathy, which is one of the other principles, about,

Ben Guttmann:

okay, you're speaking the language, you're meeting me where I am.

Ben Guttmann:

and since that day I've lost every single night, right?

Ben Guttmann:

Like it's, so it works in a way that saying something like you should floss to

Ben Guttmann:

prevent plaque buildup below the gum line.

Ben Guttmann:

That's correct.

Ben Guttmann:

But that's not what I needed to hear.

Ben Guttmann:

What I needed to hear was you only have to floss the teeth you want to keep.

Ben Guttmann:

And all of a sudden that connects on a way that dozens of other similar

Ben Guttmann:

administrations before have not done so.

Tim Winders:

Yeah, those are, those good messages, I think,

Tim Winders:

are good and they stay with us.

Tim Winders:

sayings and things like that.

Tim Winders:

The book is simply put, Why Clear Messages Win and how to design them.

Tim Winders:

Ben, why don't you tell us where they could find it and how to connect with you.

Tim Winders:

And then I've got one more question before we finish up here.

Ben Guttmann:

Oh yeah.

Ben Guttmann:

Thank you, Tim.

Ben Guttmann:

It's been a blast.

Ben Guttmann:

yeah, you can, if you go to benguttmann.Com, two T's and

Ben Guttmann:

two ends, you can find all sorts of information about the book.

Ben Guttmann:

You can download a free chapter.

Ben Guttmann:

you can connect with me.

Ben Guttmann:

You can listen to other podcasts and.

Ben Guttmann:

If you go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, wherever books are

Ben Guttmann:

sold, you can grab a copy.

Ben Guttmann:

if you enjoy it, leave a review, let me know.

Ben Guttmann:

I'd love to hear from you.

Ben Guttmann:

or shoot me an email, connect on LinkedIn.

Ben Guttmann:

I'd love to, if there's something that resonated, if there's something

Ben Guttmann:

I could do to help you with a question, I'm all, all ears.

Tim Winders:

Thanks, Ben.

Tim Winders:

We'll include links so people can get that.

Tim Winders:

I love the cover that we've recently added some colors here that are that kind

Tim Winders:

of like that gold and stuff like that.

Tim Winders:

It's a really cool, simple, good font, by the way, good design cover.

Tim Winders:

I really appreciate that.

Tim Winders:

Ben, we're seek, go create those three words.

Tim Winders:

Last question.

Tim Winders:

I'm going to let you pick one of those over the other two.

Tim Winders:

I'm going to give you one choice.

Tim Winders:

Seek, go or create.

Tim Winders:

Which one do you choose and why?

Ben Guttmann:

Oh, I have to say create.

Ben Guttmann:

I think that, my background is in design, which you probably may have picked up

Ben Guttmann:

at some point in this conversation.

Ben Guttmann:

and I.

Ben Guttmann:

Think that I'm grateful that I have done that in my career, that I've had some

Ben Guttmann:

sort of natural aptitude for that because the ability to create something out in

Ben Guttmann:

the world, is such a magical experience and it makes you, aware of all the

Ben Guttmann:

possibilities that there are when you, you realize the world is more malleable,

Ben Guttmann:

that you think everything that's there was made by somebody and with some.

Ben Guttmann:

Inspiration and some work and some creativity.

Ben Guttmann:

And, and it makes you want to join that grand project of creating things.

Ben Guttmann:

So I'm going to go create.

Tim Winders:

Thanks, Ben.

Tim Winders:

I appreciate you being a guest here.

Tim Winders:

The book is simply put why clear messages win and how to design them.

Tim Winders:

I just recommend you get it, just get the book.

Tim Winders:

And one of the things I really loved was collect the premise,

Tim Winders:

which is the fluency of, my words, just the message of being simple.

Tim Winders:

We're seek, go create here.

Tim Winders:

Thanks for joining us.

Tim Winders:

We've got new episodes every Monday until next time, continue being

Tim Winders:

all that you were created to be.

About the Podcast

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Seek Go Create
Redefining Success in Leadership, Business & Ministry

About your host

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Tim Winders

Tim Winders is a faith driven executive coach and author with over 40 years of experience in leadership, business, and ministry. Through his personal journey of redefining success, he has gained valuable insights on how to align beliefs with work and lead with purpose. He is committed to helping others do the same, running a coaching business that helps leaders, leadership teams, business owners, and entrepreneurs to align their beliefs with their work and redefine success.

In addition to his coaching business, Tim is also the host of the SeekGoCreate podcast and author of the book Coach: A Story of Success Redefined, which provides guidance for those looking to redefine success and align their beliefs with their work. With his extensive background, unique perspective and strengths in strategic thinking, relationship building, and problem-solving, Tim is well-suited to help clients navigate through difficult times and achieve their goals.