In the modern age of social media, advanced technology, and Artificial Intelligence, people are becoming less comfortable with dealing with conflict. Technology continues to make it easier to become distracted by other people’s stories, and allow machines to do the work and thinking for us. While it may seem very convenient, it may not be the best thing for fostering a resilient and creative society. Although we might not have a say in the direction that technology and AI are headed, it is important to remember that conflict and struggle build character. Using your conflict in your story-telling around your business is an incredibly powerful tool to draw in your audience, and Michael Ashley is here to explain why conflict is everything.
Michael Ashley is a former Disney screenwriter, professional speaker, and the author of 50 books on numerous subjects. He serves as a columnist with Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Green Entrepreneur. Prior to starting his own creative content agency, he began his career as a playwright and a newspaper reporter. He has been featured in KTLA, Entertainment Weekly, The National Examiner, the United Nations’ ITU News, The Orange County Business Journal, Fox Sports Radio, and The Orange County Register. Michael is the co-host of Changing the Story Podcast and United Nations’ Artistic Intelligence series. He serves as a story consultant for companies on how to best convey their messaging.
In the episode of the How’d It Happen Podcast, Michael dives into the biggest thing he helps his clients with when it comes to writing their book, and that is to focus on the conflict of the story, and then go from there. Although as a society we are utilizing tech to decrease conflict and increase convenience, it is natural for us to be drawn to conflict, and that is why dramatic reality TV is so popular. Utilize the conflict in your life to really showcase your character and how you overcame it. Through this strategy, you can better draw your audience in and then explain how you can help them. It all comes down to great storytelling, and Michael Ashley does a tremendous job explaining exactly how you can do it too.
- How Michael got started with writing and storytelling
- Why pain and conflict are necessary for a great story
- How Michael wrote 50 books in 10 years
- Why being grounded for a year turned his life around
- Michael’s writing process
- What is technocracy?
- Does Michael think chatGPT will replace authors?
Connect with Michael Ashley:
LinkedIn: Michael Ashley
Podcast: Changing the Story
Check out the video version of this episode below:
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Episode transcript below:
Mike Malatesta 00:00
Hi everyone, Mike Malatesta here and welcome back to the how the How’d It Happen podcast. On this podcast I dig in deep with every guest to explore the roots of their success to discover not just how it happened, but why it matters. My mission is to find and share stories that inspire, activate and maximize the greatness in you. On today’s episode of the HOW’D IT HAPPEN show, I’m having a conversation with Michael Ashley. We talk about storytelling, why pain and conflict are necessary and related components of a good story how to write almost 50 books in less than 10 years and why being grounded for a year turned his life around.
Michael Ashley 00:36
The biggest problem that I see is that we don’t include enough conflict on the page conflict is everything. And the reason why is because conflict demonstrates character, but the way that you begin to connect with hearts and minds is that you tell a story using conflict to then get that exposition across.
Mike Malatesta 00:53
I think you’re going to love Michael’s story and this conversation as much as I did. Please listen, watch, share, and most of all, enjoy. Hey, Michael, welcome to the podcast.
Michael Ashley 01:09
Thank you. Thank you for having me today.
Mike Malatesta 01:11
Yeah, I’ve been looking forward to this. For those of you who’ve listened for a while you know that I’m part of a group called Vistage. It’s one of the groups that I’m a part of, and I was well, I was fortunate to run into to Michael at our last Vistage meeting where he was, he came to us as the expert on well on a lot of stuff that you’re gonna find out about as we go through the podcast, but I met him and I was like, Yeah, I think his story is something that you’d want to hear and that I would want to explore. So he’s here today and I’m so grateful. So let me tell you a little bit about Michael Ashley. Michael is a former Disney screenwriter and professional speaker. He’s not a former professional speaker, though. You are still a professional speaker. Correct? That’s right. I don’t want to mislead you there. Michael Ashley is is the author of over 25 books on numerous subjects, including for best sellers. He serves as a columnist with Forbes, entrepreneur and green entrepreneur magazine’s prior to starting his own Creative Content Agency. Michael began his career as a playwright and a newspaper reporter, a former screenwriting professor at Chapman University, he has been featured in KTLA what is
Michael Ashley 02:15
KTLA is the TV news network at Entertainment
Mike Malatesta 02:19
Weekly, the National examiner and the United Nations itu news, the Orange County Business Journal, Fox Sports Radio and the Orange County Register. He is a co host of a podcast called Changing the story and two podcasts right Michael changing the story and United Nations artistic intelligence series. That’s right. And he serves as a story consultant for companies on how to best convey their messaging, which is what we did a lot of talking about when he when he was with our Vistage group. You can learn more about Michael at his website, which is Michael Ashley a SHLEY publishing.com. So Michael, I start every podcast with the same simple question. And that is, how did it happen for you?
Michael Ashley 03:05
Absolutely. So I’d like to take you to the month of August in 2015. My son was born in March of 2015. And I had just finished writing my first novel for a client, it was actually two novels. And I was working as a magazine columnist at the time. Back then we were living in Marin County, my wife and my young son, Teddy and I, and I was contemplating what next to do with my career, when my wife said, we should start our own company. That was in 2015. But to understand how that company got started, I want to go back in time, so we’re gonna go back in time to when I was 10 years old. And when I was 10 years old, my parents were separated, and my mom was dating a guy, and he used to tell stories to my brother and me before we go to bed at night. And they these stories involve goblins and elves and dwarves and I love these stories. And so one day, his name was Richard. And one day Richard said to me, you know, these stories come from a book, they come from a book called The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. And once he told me that I went ahead and read the whole series and a month vector when I read the second book in one night, and when I was in fourth grade, my teacher gave us an assignment. It was the first assignment ever had like this. She said that we could write a creative story about anything that we wanted to write about. And so I wrote a story and I turned it in. And then immediately my teacher called my mom and she was very mad at my mom and very mad at me, and she asked my mom to come to school, and she said, Your son just plagiarize Tolkien. And my mom said he didn’t plagiarize Tolkien. He was inspired by Tolkien. But then he wrote he spent the whole weekend writing the story by himself. And Mrs. Jaworski was my teacher. And she said to my mom, well, in that case is really good. And I want to support him and help him become a writer. And so that’s how I got started on this writers journey, how I became a storyteller. When I was in elementary school, I would write stories about my friends in me. And when I was in college, I became a newspaper reporter and a playwright. And then I went on to transfer to Chapman University where I earned an MFA in Screenwriting. And immediately from there, I began working in Hollywood, I worked as I worked under the head of the literary department at Creative Artists Agency, it was my job to read screenplays for different actors and directors and to get my feedback to the agents, and even the president of CAA himself. And then as you mentioned earlier, I created that movie for for Disney, I wrote the treatment for grow vs monster, which allowed me to quit my day job allowed me to get an agent, and to begin working in Hollywood on different projects, before eventually getting into the publishing world, which is where the story comes full circle back to 2015, when we launched our company, so it’s crazy to think about it now. But my wife, who did not know what the outcome would be suggested that we go out on our own and create our own company. She’s also a screenwriter, who I met in film school. And since then, we launched our company. And I’m happy to tell you more about our company. But that’s how we got started.
Mike Malatesta 06:01
And what was it that she was seeing Michael, that made her make that suggestion, and sounds like give you the confidence to
Michael Ashley 06:15
start. What she was seeing back then was I had just come off of writing, it was actually two novels. So I was working for a very wealthy client and kind of a patron of mine, who really liked me and wanted to create a novel kind of similar to Harry Potter and length about 80,000 words, including the his scientific concepts that were embedded in the story. And so back then I was working as a columnist for The the energy sector, and I had a lot of successes with writing. And so she believed in my ability to turn this into a business back that had just come from living in Los Angeles. And then briefly in Orange County, we both met at Chapman, which is in Orange County. So we had connections in the bay, we have connections in LA, and we have connections in Orange County. And what she was thinking is she she knew me very well, that I don’t like working for other people. I don’t like authority. I like to make my own way. And so I think she suspected that I would do best if I were to strike out on my own and, and create this thing on my own, which is exactly what happened.
Mike Malatesta 07:15
And that authority thing not not liking authority, is that something that manifested as a kid or is this something that you grew into, because of working with someone where you were like, that’s not right sort of thing? Or how did it come to come to be? No, it
Michael Ashley 07:33
was always that was probably the first one. The first things I remember, as a kid, I was always the kid that was sent to the principal’s office. I wasn’t, I was a kid that didn’t listen to his teachers that was too busy goofing off and playing. Oh, really?
Mike Malatesta 07:45
I would not have pegged you for that.
Michael Ashley 07:48
Yeah. In fact, if you’re interested, I’ll give you a brief story about that, which is sure. Yeah, I was always in trouble in elementary school in junior high. And I was, you know, it was very likeable, popular kid, I was kind of like the class clown. But I didn’t focus on school and my parents would give me warnings and say, you know, you have D’s and F’s, and you’re not learning these things. But I didn’t take it seriously long before I knew the word autodidact. I was that kind of person. I was just reading on my own. So I was very interested in ideas. And I was the kind of kid who would be in junior high, I supposed to read the biology textbook. Instead, I was reading Catcher in the Rye. And so what happened was condensing a lot of history. But I got into enough trouble that when I was 15 years old, I was grounded for about a year. And so I decided to go back and relearn everything that I was supposed to have learned up to freshman year of high school, and I did it in one year. And then I turned my life around. And I was picked up as the number one all around student when I was graduating, and I was accepted into several different prestigious awards and designations like the Danforth award for turning now for turning it all around. But because I did so well academically, so it took me a little while to get there, because I wasn’t listening to anyone else. But when I finally turned it around, it was because of me because I was tired of being in trouble and not having the life I wanted.
Mike Malatesta 09:08
I can’t let that go by without asking what what do you have to do to get grounded for a year?
Michael Ashley 09:13
Good question. What had happened was my my dad had gone out of town, he’d gone to Malaysia, actually. And so I was 15. And my friends and I decided to have a party. And as I mentioned, my parents were divorced. So my mom didn’t really know what we’re doing. And we took out my dad’s car and we crashed it. Then we and then I couldn’t fix the car. So then we just decided to have a party for a few days. And one of my my dad returned, he had a meeting amongst all the families of the kids that I was hanging out with. And in that meeting, we discussed all the things that happened for the last three or four years all the times that we gotten in trouble. And it’s hard to to to talk your way out of it when you’ve been lying, but all the other stuff, they tend to not believe you about that. So I just took responsibility for everything that we did, because I didn’t have a choice And my parents were pretty upset about that. So I wasn’t allowed to use the phone is for anybody watch TV, I was allowed to do anything for a very long time, especially close to six months to nine months. But then I did something else that summer and I got in trouble one more time. So I kind of put brought those together. So about a year between both incidents, I broke curfew because I went to see girl and the cops chase me and I outrun the cops. But then they went to my house because they caught my friend. And my dad made me go surrender myself at age 15. And my parents who don’t talk to each other very much, decided to get together and figure out what to do about their son. And that point, it wasn’t because of them. I just decided I was sick of being in trouble. And I wanted to have a different life.
Mike Malatesta 10:42
So they collaborated. You were living with both of them at the time. Like were you switching back and forth or living with your dad? Okay. So you kind of just did like a Holden Caulfield meets Ferris Bueller sort of thing. neritic to get yourself.
Michael Ashley 10:58
Yeah, maybe sack Morris thrown in as well. Okay.
Mike Malatesta 11:02
Yeah, very nice. I did not see that coming. That’s really, before we get too far. i Well, the thing about Mr. Gorsky cracked me up because it was almost like she in the age of chat TPT and all that, you know, she basically thought you had, you know, plagiarize Lord of the Rings in order to write your paper or whatever. And it just made me think about how easy that might be now to actually pull that off. Yeah. But before we get too far, I do want to spend some time talking about this publishing company that that you and your wife have is I recall from from our meeting, you’ve I think I mentioned it in the bio, you’ve written 25 Plus books, which is an incredible, you’ve done that both on your own like for yourself and as a ghostwriter, or a surrogate writer for other people you’ve done, you know, screenplay, you’ve got managed content strategy or storyteller, you basically help people and companies design messaging. And I mean, it’s like, I know, I’m scratching the surface. I just wanted to sort of lay the groundwork on what Michael Ashley publishing is all about, and and why you do it? Sure.
Michael Ashley 12:07
Sure. Well, the number one thing that I do for my clients is I turn them into thought leaders through the power of storytelling through words. And so that can take on different iterations. Mostly it’s writing books for my clients. And so it’s actually it’s funny that listen to that bio, and it’s actually a little bit slightly out of date, I’d actually say it’s closer to 50 books at this point. Oh, gosh, okay. Yeah. And so they range, I’ve actually written five books on AI and big data. In fact, one of the new ones is coming out in July, July 25, through Fast Company press. And so I’ve written about leadership marketing, I’ve written about the space economy, telehealth, and I’ve also done very personal books, some about grief, wrote a book about a Christian men’s group, I’ve written a life stories as well, each time I begin the process with the question, how will this book help you in your life and or your career, and oftentimes, they’re the one in the same, but those books are the big bucket of what I do. The second big bucket I would say, is writing articles for my clients. So didn’t get a given point, we have about 10 different clients that we write for different businesses, different individuals, and they’re all different kinds of subjects. And I produce monthly articles for my clients, as well as I do web copy. I even create scripts. So we met because I was doing a presentation for Vistage while I read people’s presentations and their speeches for them. And then I help them with their messaging and their consulting on storytelling as well. Okay,
Mike Malatesta 13:33
so I wrote a book came out last year, or 2021, November of 2021. It took me about a year to write that and have it edited and ultimately published just shy of a year. And you’ve written about 50 books, and you are way younger than 50. So I’m wondering, and I think people that are listening to that are wondering how does a person write 50 books in a very compressed period of time? So what’s how’s it work?
Michael Ashley 14:02
Well, I haven’t slept in seven years.
Mike Malatesta 14:04
Is that right? Okay, so So now we have a whole nother thing we can talk about is how, how to be altered. What do they call that people who can’t sleep that’s called not insomniacs. There’s actual name for like the condition. Anyway, I think about that. But so yes, you have slept. So let’s talk about the rest. Yes.
Michael Ashley 14:24
So I have a way that explain how to do this. But I have to back up and explain why I did it this way. So I went quickly through my bio, but back in the days, which I was working for CA as an insurance broker, and it was right Screenwriting at night, when I eventually got into the Disney program. Back then I didn’t get into everything that I was doing, but I was also producing a web series, and I had a girlfriend, who’s now my wife, and I had a social life. I didn’t have kids though. So that that’s one thing that takes up a lot of time. But I had a lot going on in my life. And back then what I would do is I had the insurance job I was a pro I grew up in Los Angeles. So I’d read from eight. I mean, I worked from eight to five, and then I get home. And then I would write from 530 to nine. And I wrote, wrote on the weekends, as well, and did this for about five years. And that gave me a lot of practice about project management and writing. And in between that, as I mentioned, I was reading scripts for CA and doing coverage as well. And so I got to be very good at switching from project to project. And some people I know that it’s been said that, if you multitask, you switch from one thing, it takes you certain amount of minutes to get there, that may be true, but not really true for me. And so I’m able to jump from one thing into the next. And that’s because of the practice that I had. And really, it had to do with economic conditions. In fact, I was, my dad is a lawyer and told me not to be a writer. And that’s a whole story if you ever want to hear it. But I basically was proving to the world that I can do this, my dad wanted me to take over his law firm, which my brother eventually ended up doing. And so I had a fire within me to demonstrate that I could be successful in this way. And so I would stop at nothing to maximize every minute of my day. And I think that’s carried on until now. So you couple that kind of mentality and workflow system with what I’m gonna explain next. So people wonder how I can write so many different books in so many different subjects? Will I do it under a system? And so I begin every book with six questions. And the first question, as I mentioned earlier, is how will this book help you in your life or your career? And then I go to questions like, Who is your audience? What is their problem? How do you offer to fix it? And then I go to what is the thesis of your book. And then once we’re clear on that, and it’s typically one or two sentences, then we get to what the chapters would entail. And the way that I learned to write essays a little bit after Mr. Jaworski is through Mr. Singer, when I was in high school was like this, you begin with a thesis statement. And then every paragraph backs up the thesis statement. And within every paragraph, you have sentences, the backup paragraph, well, the same analogy is true when it comes to book writing. You have a thesis for your book, and every chapter backs up the thesis and within every chapter, the sentences in the stories backup the chapter, the chapter, so you have a comprehensive whole. Now that just gives you the overall framework, and then I add my own creativity. And we give an example. I’m writing a book on the future of the of the, what we call the orbital age, the future of the private space economy. I’m writing this book with Tom vice, the CEO of zero space. And so this has not come to fruition yet. I’m not writing about this in the past tense, its future, this stuff is coming online, as we speak. And so I wanted every chapter to be different. And so one chapter is called you will eat the best meal of your life in space, and imagines a business luncheon, but in orbital reef, which is the world’s first business park in space. And in order to do this, I had to bring on a very creative chef. And he was able to design a menu that you could prepare in microgravity and eat in microgravity. I’m mentioning this because every chapter is different like this, we have another chapter where I have I have created a comic book last year with an artist from Marvel. So we wanted to show not tell what orbital reef will look like, and that’s the private space station. So he imagined the whole chapter as a, as a comic book, one chapter of this whole book is a comic book. So if you take that, that basis, the six questions and then infuse it with creativity, you’re able to come up with a different product and something that’s unique. And then in addition to that, I have a team that are researching behind me. So in addition to me meeting with the clients, they’re backing me up getting me third party scholarship, getting me the references I need, so that I can move quickly. So between all those three things, and some, some helpful Time management is how I’m able to do it.
Mike Malatesta 18:43
So, so thank you for sharing that this. As you were talking through it, I was thinking okay, so you’re writing a book with co author, let’s say, how do you choose co authors choose to work with you or you with them? And then how’s the work on something like that typically distributed?
Michael Ashley 19:02
Sure. What’s so even though I often call it ghost writing, it’s a misnomer. It’s actually co writing. So all the books that I write is my clients name first, and my name is second. And
Mike Malatesta 19:13
so it is it’s a really, you’re always you’re always credited as the author. In other words,
Michael Ashley 19:17
yes, I am. And so it’s really a meeting of the minds. And what I like to say to people is that that’s really how it works in publishing world. It’s just that people don’t know it. Then I’ll give you an example. A lot of people think that Harper Lee didn’t really write To Kill a Mockingbird by herself. Truman Capote helped her out very much. And that’s the case with a lot of editors. So one of my favorite books is on the road. Well, Jack Kerouac, the version that he turned in, which was created with a lot of speed, a lot of coffee, maybe some cocaine, I don’t know, the version he turned into the so his editor is not the version that I know and love. They’ve since published it. And in fact, I haven’t read that new version, but the editor really is responsible for creating the version that we know We love in a similar fashion. Didi Allen is a very famous editor. And I believe she did the editing for the Godfather, but she definitely did it for a lot of movies. If you think about it, I read a book once, when I went to film school, we take a movie like Star Wars, if you were to take the raw footage of Star Wars, and put a different editor on there, you could have a very different movie. And so you can think about me as kind of like an editor in some ways, I’m also doing the majority of the writing, if not all of it, but I am translating my my client’s vision, and bringing it to life just like an editor would, but I’m also writing it too. So we are really meeting together or building something together. That’s the first part. And then the second thing that I would say is that, um, as, as this company has been around year after year, I tend to get a lot of referrals. That’s how I built my business. In the beginning, it was, I Sundays I met, I met eight different people. On one day, when I was building my business, I was doing a lot of networking in Orange County where we started it. And since then it’s gotten so in momentum, right. So I do a lot of speaking, which is how I met you. And I meet people. And so that’s a big conduit for more clients, but often it’s referrals, people that have worked with me in the past, or people that have had heard good things about me from the people that they know, that’s typically how it comes to fruition. And then I decide if it’s the right project for both of us, or they do too, but you know, when they bring it to me,
Mike Malatesta 21:23
and with, with the clients you work with is is a book often the starting, you know, the place where you start a relationship with a client? or can people jump on, you know, a different with you on different types of things, like some of the things I mentioned,
Michael Ashley 21:37
sure. It happens in many different ways. It has begun before where I was producing articles for a client or I came in and wrote their speech. And they said, You know what, this should be a book. In fact, that just happened with a new client. Other times, we will write a book together, and then I’ll end up doing articles. And I’ll give an example. So that book I mentioned, it’s actually called neuro mind. It’s about AI and big data, it’s about the dangers that we face under technocracy and Fast Company is publishing it, in order to get the word out, because it’s not coming out for a few more months, we created a sub stack to help get the build the awareness for the book. And so I am doing articles related to the book after we write it. And so they can kind of take on a different facets in terms of which one, they get the other.
Mike Malatesta 22:20
Okay, and those substack articles is that, are you taking like snippets out of the book and then just sort of building an article around it or a lesson from the book? Or what is or is it just? Yeah, tell me what it is. Okay, so
Michael Ashley 22:33
what this book is, it’s a unique, speaking about unique ways to write a book. So let us back up and explain the problem. And then they’ll inform why we wrote this way. So people are not aware of the problems that we face under technocracy. In fact, most people I would imagine, don’t know what technocracy even is. And so for those that, don’t, I want to explain it. And there are different definitions. But my definition would be that right now, the we have centralized control through a handful of monopolies. In fact, the the book proposal that I used to take this to the publisher used the analogy from the game Monopoly. And so what I was talking about was, you think about, I don’t know the 1950s and 1960s Main Street America enjoyed a lot of foot traffic, people will be walking by you walk into the store, you have a good experience, you buy something? Well, along came Amazon, and these days, many businesses have gone online, they use the Amazon store, and we saw this ratchet up even more under COVID When so many businesses had to close their doors. Well, okay, great. Amazon’s helping you sell things. But what if Amazon decides to delist you one day? What if it will become your competitor? What are you going to do then? This is the danger of technocracy, but it manifests in other forms. So right now we’re seeing things like deep platforming, deep banking. A good example is what happened in Canada with the freedom convoy, which I wrote about for that book, as well as reports, say what you will about what happened during the pandemic, but those people were fighting for our liberty. And the Canadian government under Justin Trudeau issued in a more an emergency order that took the money from the protesters banks, and just took it from their accounts, anyone there was even giving $15 to help them an example of a grandma giving somebody $15 They took the money from her account, and then they froze her credit card. And so the example that I give, and Robert give, as my client in the book, neuro mind is this. I wanted people to understand what a threat This is. And so, not every chapter is like this. In fact, it’s the only chapter this way but I wrote it in a show and tell format. The show is an emotionally visceral story. It’s something you might read in a novel, and the tell is the context. And in the show, what I did was I wanted people to imagine it with the Rosa Parks story. So I told this based on true events, but as we all know, Rosa Parks declined to give up her seat because, you know, back in those days, black people had to give up their seats to wipe you people. And then the other part of the story is Martin Luther King, Jr. Worked with Rosa Park and Rosa Parks and other people to boycott all the white establishments that were treating them as subhumans. And because of their economic power, they were able to achieve the civil rights, the date that they enjoy him and many other people enjoy today. And what I wanted people to understand is what if back then, when the people that the black people that weren’t giving their money to the white establishments, what if their money disappeared? What if they couldn’t spend any money? That’s what’s going on right now. So we don’t have the power under big tech anymore, or at least it’s being squeezed, where they can shut your bank account down, they can deep bank, you, you no longer have a bank account, you are an effect shut out of society. And in the story, the Sci Fi story that we use with Rosa Parks, that’s exactly what happens. It’s like magic realism. They go to give people money and their cash disappears in their hands. And I did this on purpose, so that we could understand that the liberty and the freedoms that we enjoy today, were built upon people that were fighting for them. And if you take away our ability to, to exchange goods and services in this economy, well, then you’re disenfranchising people, and that’s what the book is about. And so we found different creative ways to write every chapter in this fashion.
Mike Malatesta 26:18
That is awesome. Huh. technocracy? I don’t think I’ve I don’t think I was acquainted with that with that term. So I appreciate you saying it and explaining it. The example you were using there, I believe, was the I mean, the the truck, the truckers were protesting. The requirement that they have that they’d be vaccinated, I believe that’s what and and they weren’t leaving. And so that was sort of Troodos way of I guess, upping the ante, but it was it sort of went right to like, I want to say nuclear I went right to like a nuclear reaction to something that was just a civil well, and I think respectful protest on something they believed in. And, and especially at a time when truckers were the only way that stuff was moving. Yeah, you know, anywhere, during, you know, how we were getting stuff, right.
Michael Ashley 27:09
But you know, this isn’t, by the way, this isn’t a new thing. It’s just one of those glaring examples, but the United States government did this to Julian Assange back in 2011. WikiLeaks, what we were doing in this war, and the ways that the American government was mis misleading the people. And so you saw this example. They’re doing it to Kanye West right now they’re doing now obviously, they did it to Alex Jones. They’re doing it to journalists right now who are protesting the Ukraine war. And it doesn’t matter to me what side people do these problems, even though it’s been presented in left and right terms? I don’t I don’t agree with that. In fact, the first sub stack that I wrote with Robert about this says this is not a left to right issue. It’s a freedom issue. Today, it will be the people on the right tomorrow, the people on the left, I don’t care what side you are on, everyone should care about this. And this is the thrust of the book is that we’ve got to realize that we have more in common than we have apart.
Mike Malatesta 28:05
So true, the differences that we have, it’s sort of like genetics where 99.999, the same genetically and we’re just like that little bit different. But if you focus on that little bit of difference, you’ve it’s an easy way to just forget about how like we are. So I gotta ask, you know, with the with the book writing, you’re writing a lot of books about AI, big data, I mentioned chat GPT. There’s a lot of technologies that are developing that have the possibility to, you know, replace, or mimic what what humans have traditionally done with writing, writing books, writing articles, writing white papers, writing all of these things. How do you see this developing? And do you see it as good? Do you see it as bad? Do you see it as indifferent? Do you see it as a tool? That’s just like any computer tool, it could do more benefit than it does harm? Where do you see it?
Michael Ashley 29:03
Well, I’m probably gonna get out of the writing business the next few months. I’m just kidding.
Mike Malatesta 29:10
You start sleeping all day?
Michael Ashley 29:13
No, I have thought about it deeply. And I’ve used this. I’ve used chat, GBT have tested it out before I wrote about it for that substack recently, and so I think there is a danger, but it might not be what what people think the danger is, so I’m gonna go to the danger in a minute. There are many more dangers, but the one I want to talk about. From my experience using it so far, we have to remember that it’s a chatbot. It’s not as if it’s a individual with agency. And I would even I would even say thanks zactly AI in some sense, it’s it’s using its training to produce something. It’s not doing it in the moment. But let’s let’s not dwell on that for the moment. Let’s talk about what it produces. I think on on a superficial level, it is a problem going back to Mrs. Jaworski, where high school students college students, heck, I mean, even people that want to be authors can use this, use this tool to to produce the writing that they want. But it doesn’t produce what I would say nuanced or complex or creative writing. It’s very bare bones kind of stuff that you would get if you were a qualified eighth grader, to write something. Now, that’s not to say that it won’t get there. I just don’t believe it will. I think I’ve heard you don’t believe in ever Well, I don’t believe it ever will.
Mike Malatesta 30:31
You know, interesting, sorry to cut you off. But you’ll you’ll get there.
Michael Ashley 30:34
Let’s let’s back up. And for people that don’t know, the different parts of AI, there are three different parts of it, we have artificial, narrow, which is our phones, right? And so they just do one thing for us, okay, so that might take you from here to there give you directions, artificial general intelligence would be like you and me, and artificial intelligence is capable of doing the stuff that we take for granted. And then there’s artificial super intelligence, which is basically we’re talking about an IQ that’s in the, like, 1000, or more, right? Something that you and I can’t even imagine, for the longest time most people have suggested will never get to AGI that is a fully sentient beings, artificial intelligence, kinda like the Terminator, if you will, in those movies with the matrix. I don’t think we’re ever going to get there. Some people suggest we will, we’ll say, this is still artificial, Narrow Intelligence, we do not have a conscious agent that is creating something at this time. And so I don’t think that what I think it does well is it replicates it creates something that already exists, takes it and marries it with something else. Now, it’s based on the ground rules, someone programmed it, it was Microsoft, and it was led by more than a billion dollars cash infusion. To create this. It’s an I believe another iteration of its version of Tay that was very unsexy, unsuccessful several years ago, which is a funny story, not funny, but it’s a crazy story that’s in our book, the only revolution. Anyway, um, for those reasons, are not concerned about it. I think what’s actually going to do, and I wrote about this for my client recently, is that I think it’s going to really delineate between who’s a good writer and who’s a, an average or mediocre writer, if you want to use this, you know, it will produce, okay, articles, or whatever it is that you’re trying to create. But if you want something, like I mentioned earlier, if you want a book that is really creative, like I mentioned before, with that kind of space book, if you want something that’s going to emotionally grab people and compel them something that is great literature or something that really makes you think there’s no way that Chet GBT chat, GBT is going to do that, for us, at least in the current iteration, I could be wrong, there could be something down the road that is different. But from my vantage point, right now, I’m not seeing it. Before I give you the danger, but do
Mike Malatesta 32:52
you think that’s I think that’s fair. So I’ve, I’ve used it to create, like blog, white paper ish type content for a website, so that you’re at least getting some, you know, search engine optimization articles out there. And I feel like it does a pretty good job of doing that. Because it’s like technical writing sort of, you know, you give it a technical ish question, and it gives you a pretty decent technical answer. And then you just add in your, your stuff. So I see it as a tool to help with productivity, like to help a real writer with productivity, because like you said, you you have research team, you know, well, it can do research, they can pull stuff for you. And then you can actually dress it up and add the creativity that did that it doesn’t have. So that’s, that’s been my experience with it. So far. So the dangers
Michael Ashley 33:52
so dangerous. So to understand the danger, I want to go back a few years, when I first started my company, we weren’t doing everything that we’re doing now, at the beginning of my company, a big part of what I did was college essay coaching. So for about two years, I worked with about 50 to 100 different high school students in their families to create their high school their essays to get to a good college. And unfortunately, even though I worked with students in very good schools, typically private schools in California, most of them, if not all of them, could not write an essay. They just couldn’t they were very bad essays. And what was even more alarming was they couldn’t even think about what to write about. And I put the blame on two things. One are terrible education system, and to parents that aren’t emphasizing reading and writing. There is a very good book that came out just recently to talks about this. I called this called the dumbest generation grows up. And I’m not trying to impugn entire, an entire generation. That’s just the name of the book. But the point is, right, and that is this, the educators and the people that should have known better who allowed young people to just Do everything on their phones and throw away the Western canon of thought that had sustained Western civilization for the millennia, made a big mistake, the idea that this phone here will replace all of the knowledge, all the important reading and writing that we need to do to develop a capable human being a self actualized human being, this is wrong. And so when I came around to work with those high school students who were the product of this kind of mentality, they were not externalizing their thoughts through writing, they weren’t thinking deeply about things they weren’t writing and reading. More importantly, they weren’t developing the kind of empathy that occurs when you read really good novels. So Flash forward to today, right? This is only going to be worse. How many people do you know that can no longer do division or multiplication in their heads? Because the calculator does it right. Now? The same for writing and reading? What kind of students are we going to produce? What kind of adults are we going to produce? I mean, if you take Jack Jimmy T to its logical conclusion, as I said earlier, I turn people on the thought leaders to the power of their words, if you were being a fake, a phony and having a chat, GBT book added nothing. Because you can make up information and you seem to be an experts, an expert, and the eyes of the public will be your fraud. But what does that doing to our culture? Right now we have a culture where what we will have is a culture where people are fakes. We will mean we can talk about deep fakes if you want, because that’s, that’s related to this problem. But I would say that the deep fake problem will manifest in a different way we become deep fakes. We don’t have knowledge, we don’t have information. And I think the greater problem arises, when if and when our society begins to collapse. So right now, there are people that are saying that we don’t have enough population to sustain our country, they’re worried and countries around the world, they’re worried about supply chain issues. Okay. Well, we’ve, we’ve lived for the last 70 years of wonderful abundance, where people didn’t have to know things, that they could rely on their phone to get them where they need to go, they didn’t have to use a Thomas guide. They didn’t have to know how to do addition, or division or multiplication. They didn’t have to know, great books, or what it means to be learned or to have virtues, right. But those things are really, really important. And the more that we outsource them to computers, we are setting ourselves up for great risks to our society. And more importantly, we’re losing so much value as a civilization.
Mike Malatesta 37:27
No, as you were talking, I was thinking to myself that there’s a big difference between being able to access information and actually knowing something. There’s a big difference between being able to access information and being able to learn. And I’m all for I’m all for being able to access something that I need to know right away. And I don’t have time to learn, of course, but I see your point. It’s sort of like, I mean, tell me if this analogy works for you. Like if you were always treated like a baby all the time, whenever you needed something it was given to you it was right at your fingertips anytime, would you ever learn to be an adult? Exactly? Probably not. Or you’re a human who could survive for 10 seconds without, you know that thing or that resource right beside you? Right?
Michael Ashley 38:11
I’m sorry to cut you off. But I was saying I wrote a book called The Art of routine. And in the last chapter, this was before Shut up tube in the last chapter, we were talking with an expert on AI. And we were asking this expert, does it make sense? Or would it be good if human beings had an AI that they could turn to? There was always right, that never got anything wrong? And would this be a good thing? And it’s a really good thought exercise? My my answer to this is no. It goes back to what you said about being a baby actually goes back to how I met you. If you remember that one of the first things I said to your Vistage group is how important pain is pointed important pain is to our story. You don’t create a dynamic character in the story. You don’t have Ebenezer Scrooge deciding to be a good person at the end of Charles Dickens the story, unless he goes through pain, you don’t have a Luke Skywalker who rises to the occasion and defeats the evil Darth Vader unless he experiences pain. In a similar fashion, a baby is not the same as an adult, a baby hasn’t made mistakes, it hasn’t experienced pain. And when we take all these things away, when we outsource them to an AI thinking that this is some other heuristic that’s going to make life better and simpler and more convenient. There is some utility in that I’m not discounting that. But what are we doing big picture wise? What kind of people are we producing? What kind of civilization are we producing when we take this aspect of ourselves away?
Mike Malatesta 39:35
So let me follow up on that. The Elon Musk has a has a neural net company, right? And they basically want to put a computer interface into your skull right into your brain, since you seem to have pretty pretty strong opinions about this kind of thing that so I’ve heard people say, well, the neural nets gonna be great because it’s basically be like your full time concierge, kind of like what you were just saying somebody will Oh GIS has the answer whenever you want it, and then other people are like you. I don’t think I could ever Why would ever want someone interfacing with my brain in that in that way? And it is sort of the convergence of, you know, AI big, big data big techno Kratz, you know, all that stuff. Right? So how do you feel about that?
Michael Ashley 40:21
Well, I got my nose, that’s gonna make a joke about getting lost, I’d have to do that back up and say why? Why? Well, let’s talk about the public reason that Elon Musk says why we need neural link. So he has publicly said that he thinks that AI is is the devil or the demon and we don’t, it’s an evil that we cannot imagine. And so his his rationale for Neuro link, at least his public rationale is that if you can’t beat them, you got to join them. And this goes back to what I mentioned earlier, he is suggesting that our problem will soon be AGI or asi. More importantly, ASI, artificial super intelligence or intelligence, you know, if we create the machines, they will somehow take our place and will never be able to even understand how they work and what they’re suggesting. So we must merge with the machines. It seems like a good argument on his face. It maybe it is, but I don’t like this idea. And I And I’m concerned about what neural Link could do. If you think about the central problem that I’m trying to raise with that book, neural link. It’s centralization, we’re giving very, very powerful companies more powerful than most nations on the earth. Incredible power. You look at something like alphabet or meta in which billions of people use them every day, we’re talking about monopolies on the scales that dwarf anything that was going on during the Gilded Age. And so now you give them these godlike powers in a sense, what you’re doing is you’re allowing them to, if not controlled, and influence people’s brains. Well, then what should also understand this comes from insiders, like Yuval Harare, that he’s very much mentioned in our book here is that the new surveillance is not what you do on the surface, it’s under the skin, they can begin to detect different things based on your biometric readings, they can essentially begin to read your mind. And so if you go back to Chet GBT, a lot of the concerns that are raised about this is that it is not an objective AI. It just like human beings, because it was trained by human beings, it is subjective. And I don’t care what people’s political leanings are. But if you go to chat GBT today, and you can try it out for yourself, ask it to write you a paper about how good a President Donald Trump was, and then ask it to do the same thing for Joseph Biden, and you can see what the results are yourself. It is slanted. Now, that’s fine, if for whatever political party is in power, but let us remember that that same tool can be turned on you just as easily as it’s now turned on the person that is in power. And so what I would suggest is when we begin, like, once again, to outsource more of our thinking to machines, or whoever has the most control of those machines, then we are setting ourselves at at a big disadvantage. I would suggest if you take this to its logical conclusion, we would create a world not too long from now where people can no longer resist the things that they don’t like anymore, the government tells you to do something through these powerful corporations, and you physically cannot change you can’t do anything about it. And so I would encourage people to read up about neuro link, learn about these things, learn about how all of the monkeys that participated in the experiment died in quite horribly. And just try to imagine how frustrating it is when your computer or your phone needs an update a software update. Now imagine it’s your brain, right? There’s many more things that could bring up but those are just a few.
Mike Malatesta 43:46
Okay, well, I appreciate I appreciate you spending some time on that with me, because that’s, you know, all of these things. I love hearing both, you know, people who have a perspective on both sides of it, most people don’t have a perspective on any side of it yet, because they just sort of avoid it, you know, just kind of like, yeah, thank you for that. You know, let’s get back to the uniqueness of humans when it comes to storytelling. One of the things that, you know, we spent a lot of time when we were together, creating stories for our business and you started just the way you answered the how that happened. Question You laid down a lot of storytelling. Breadcrumbs there, so you used names, you use dates, you put people in, you put us in a particular spot, you did all of these sorts of things to you know, you could have told the same story say and not used any names, not used any places not used and the story would have been the same except the personal part of it, which is what I think most of us respond to the best would have been stripped out. So can you talk about thesis when you write a book, you know, thesis chapter sentence, but what about what about the arc of story, Michael? What is it like? If people are listening to this, and you’re thinking, How do I tell the best story about myself? Or about my business or about my passion or whatever? How do they go about that? What what is the arc?
Michael Ashley 45:12
Sure, well, I think the first thing you want to think about is pain, or conflict. And they’re they’re synonymous in this situation, but they’re not exactly the same thing. So let’s talk with let’s talk about conflict for just a moment. If you think back to why we are drawn to TV shows, like Keeping Up With The Kardashians, if you’ve ever thought about why, why people watched it so much, well, the people that create those shows are not stupid, we may think that the content is stupid, or beneath us to watch it, but they’re the people that are creating it are very, very intelligent. And what they’re doing is they’re, they’re using our natural curiosity, they’ll conflict. The biggest coach people on their writing, too. So that’s another thing I didn’t mention. But I coach people, people had to write their books and different kinds of things. And the biggest problem that I see is that we don’t include enough conflict on the page conflict is everything. And the reason why is because conflict demonstrates character, and we’ll go back to Luke Skywalker for just a moment. And so the reason why I use this story is because it’s pretty universally known. And the other reason is because George Lucas was actually friends with Joseph Campbell, who came up with the hero’s journey. And so it follows the 12 stages of the hero’s journey. And if we think about Luke, for a moment, another problem that people have is they use the information dump in their stories, they just give you a whole bunch of content, but you have no emotional response to it, right? But the way that you begin to connect with hearts and minds is that you tell a story, using conflict, to then get that x exposition across. So we think about the way that Luke is introduced in the movie Star Wars, we are seeing we see his life in tattooing. And for all intents and purposes, for someone saw that in 1977, it didn’t look so bad. But what is Luke’s conflict in the stories, he does not like the drudgery of being a farmer on this barren planet. And so the first time we meet him or the second time, he’s arguing with his uncle and his aunt about having the life that he wants to create for himself. And so the writer could simply have said, Luke doesn’t like this. He doesn’t want to be a farmer. But that would have connected with us on an emotional basis. Instead, we viscerally experienced it with Luke, we experienced the drudgery that he is experiencing. That’s a simple example. But a more interesting one would probably be the fear component, right? So when he’s going up against Darth Vader, in an Empire Strikes Back, and we just saw what Darth Vader is capable of doing how he was able to put Han Solo in carbonite, how he was able to control Lando, and really all the residents of Cloud City, he was able to exert so much power. And so Luke, who was one guy going up against the Empire, he’s an underdog and we see the conflict that he’s going up against, and we empathize with him. We want to see justice prevail, we want to see the good guys beat the bad guys. And so when I said, the biggest suggestion that I would make when it comes to storytelling is think about the conflict in your story, because conflict will not only get people’s attention, but it will help indicate people’s character. It’s how we respond in times of stress, and disharmony that demonstrate who we really are you and I could profess to be the nicest people on Earth. But when something really tragic or scary occurs, it’s how we respond to in that moment that demonstrates who we are.
Mike Malatesta 48:32
Yeah, and in conflict can be anything really right conflict can be a relationship. Conflict can be an illness or an injury, conflict can be an inadequacy of some kind. I mean, right. So when you say conflict in my, am I right on that, where there’s not one type of conflict, there’s all kinds of conflict.
Michael Ashley 48:55
There’s different kinds. I mean, there’s generally there’s four kinds, humans versus nature, humans versus humans and so on. There’s different kinds. But what I would like to say is very simple simplistically, when it comes to especially business, storytelling, conflict is can boiled down to one thing, someone wants something and they can’t get it. That’s all it is. And so it doesn’t have to necessarily be you fighting with lightsabers. It could be you want to get your mortgage loan approved, and the bank won’t let you that’s conflict. Now on the other side is pain. And that’s how you and I met, I was talking to your group about pain. And so pain to me, is another very important part of it. They’re related almost like brothers or sisters. And the idea is this if you think about why people change in stories, is through pain. And so the example that I gave to your group comes from the treatment I sold to Disney, and the story that I wrote for Disney, Olivia Holt, who plays Skyler begins as a stuck up selfish teenager who only thinks about herself. But when she introduces a bunch of scary monsters into her house, a slumber party, she has to rise to the occasion by becoming us. strong leader who protects all the other kids, what made her change, it was pain, the pain of being killed by monsters was worse, then facing her fears and becoming a hero. And when I say to people, when it comes to business storytelling is if it’s only when your prospect is experiencing pain or is threatened with the prospect of pain, that they’re willing to make a change that they’re willing to consider working with you. So when we’re thinking about the stories that we want to tell about our business, think about how to include as much conflict as possible to get people’s attention, but how to include the pain there, because the pain is what really unites us, which really brings us into the story.
Mike Malatesta 50:38
Got it? I was reading, I actually wrote this in the pages of notes that I took when, when you were talking to us, like the day after, I think I was reading something from Steven Pressfield. You’re familiar with Steven Pressfield, the author? Okay. Well, he, he wrote The Legend of Bagger Vance. And he’s written a number of books about the the art of you know, his his book is The War of Art, not the art of war, you know, he sort of did this Sunsoo thing and, but, but one of the things that he wrote in this Wednesday email that he sends out was the wilderness story is in all stories, like the person is lost. And then someone helps them become found sort of thing. And I wanted to get your perspective on that, because it seems similar to like the hero’s journey, like in the hero’s journey, that they need a guide, right? You’re something happens, and you need to step up, but you don’t know how to or you don’t know what to do, and someone comes along, or you don’t have the confidence or whatever, and someone comes along and as a guide, and they sort of convince you that you can do it or that you have to do it. What about wilderness? What about how do you feel about that?
Michael Ashley 51:50
Yeah, I completely agree. I mean, I think that it’s, it’s, um, reminds me of enlightenment, actually, too. If you think about it like this, we were talking about babies earlier. I mean, if you think about, or maybe maybe enlightenment can be substituted for self actualization. You know, we come into this world with really no knowledge, nothing, where we are at the mercy of our culture, or parents or society, or neighbors or friends. And so it’s up. And that’s a wilderness. I mean, you basically have a, a gulf between the knowledge that you need and who you’re going to become, that’s, in my mind. And so over time, through pain, through conflict, through struggle, you attain more knowledge, and hopefully you attain more wisdom. And so that wilderness stops being a wilderness anymore, right, it becomes something more familiar, perhaps something that you love. And that turns you into the more actualized or enlightened person that you are. And so, you know, if you return to the hero’s journey, the last stage is returned with the Elixir. And so the idea is, after you defeat the enemy, you slay the dragon. It’s not that you just, you know, take a break there, you come back to the tribe or the community, you’re in the village, and you share that knowledge with other people. And to me, you’re coming out of the wilderness, and you’re helping other people so that they’re not so stuck in the wilderness themselves. Right?
Mike Malatesta 53:10
Yeah. So you’re, you’re basically paying it forward, sort of, yeah. So with a couple of minutes we have left, I’d like to learn a little bit about your podcast. So changing the story, and United Nations artistic intelligence series, I was intrigued by one of the titles to your changing the story podcast, it said something like, do you want to drive a garbage truck that intrigued me, because I was driving a garbage truck when I was in college. That’s actually that was actually the thing that happened in my life that created a career trajectory for me, which we don’t need to get into now. But I just thought that was very interesting when I read that. So what’s it? What’s it about? What are you doing? What are you trying to accomplish with the podcast?
Michael Ashley 53:53
Sure. So I’ll give you some background, I created the podcast with nilsa Jota. He was the gentleman that wrote on the AI revolution with Neil is a subject matter expert on artificial intelligence for the United Nations, which is actually where we launched a book together. And so at the beginning of the pandemic, if you remember, that time, probably February of March of 2020, the amount of fear and just negativity that were going on in the world. I saw that around me and I wanted to take speaking of pain, I wanted to take all that pain, and try to find something worthwhile, something valuable out of it. And so I wrote an article for Forbes, I had not written in the show and tell format before, but it did this a unique kind of way, an article I wrote for them, where I created a little kind of vignette story. And it was it took place many, many years after COVID. And it was about how we use all the bad stuff from COVID to create a better society. And one of the things I talked about, was creating a more universal health care system in this country so that people wouldn’t needlessly die and get sick or they wouldn’t go were bankrupt if they had some health emergency. So I took all the bad stuff that was going on, and tried to use some sort of chemical reaction and create positivity in the world. And so after and it was very, it resonated with a lot of people in Forbes, especially so many people that were really sad and scared at that time. And so then I went to kneel right afterwards and I said, you know, I don’t know how long this this lockdowns are gonna go on. I don’t know what the world is going to look like, what since we’re, we’re at home on our computers. What if we just created a podcast, and we would interview all kinds of people, especially in tech, because a lot of people we know a lot of people in tech, and ask them to come on and talk about the story that they wanted to change, you know, things that they saw that weren’t going well? And how can we reimagine the story for good. So then we had about 200 people on it talking about various things, from education to even civil rights, different ways that we can make the world a better place. And it was a lot of fun. And then in a related fashion. Around that time, the UN, who were a big part of that book launch. And new Neil, they wanted us to interview people, because what happened was the the summit that was supposed to happen in person did not happen that year, obviously. And so they wondered if we could do something online. And so we can interview a lot of the people that were using AI for creative endeavors. And so we would have people on our show, and talk about different uses of artificial intelligence to be more creative.
Mike Malatesta 56:27
Got it? So you’ve done 200 episodes of changing the story. Is that what you said? 200? I don’t remember. It’s busy man. You You’ve been busy with that. Yeah, it’s
Michael Ashley 56:39
now just because, okay, we’re not doing it the moment but we did a lot of people.
Mike Malatesta 56:45
Okay. Nice. Well, Michael Ashley, I’m very, very grateful for having you on the show today. Before we leave, I just want to ask, is there anything that you want to share that I neglected to ask or anything you want to ask me before we go or just want to make sure I didn’t miss anything you want to cover?
Michael Ashley 57:07
No, I met once they want one quick thing. And I think it’s really important. And it kind of sums up my beliefs about this life, which is this. And I said something similar to your group, but I’ll say it in different way here. I think, too often this wife, we feel disempowered. And we feel like what we do doesn’t make a difference. And we just feel like cogs in the wheel. And we tend to watch, we tend to use movies, especially TV, all these mediated forms of reality, to kind of check out. And so we watch tick tock or YouTube or whatever, and we stop being drivers of our own lives. Instead, we watch other people’s stories. And what I would encourage people to do is to recognize that you are living in the story, yes, we get to watch stories and read about them. But you’re living in a story too. And you can change it at any time. That’s why I really wanted to use that title in the podcast, which is you can change the story of your life, whenever you want. It just comes down to your agency and your willingness to accept what is being given to you really to rise to the occasion, just like all those heroes we read about or we see on TV or in movies.
Mike Malatesta 58:12
You can change the story of your life if you want to. Yes, that’s awesome. Michael, thank you so much. It was really great to have you on the show.
Michael Ashley 58:20
Thank you very much,
Mike Malatesta 58:21
everybody. Thanks for listening to the show. And before you go, I just have three requests for you one if you like what I’m doing, please consider subscribing or following the podcast on whatever podcast platform you prefer. If you’re really into it, leave me a review, write something nice about me Give me five stars or whatever you feel is most appropriate. Number two, I’ve got a book called owner shift how getting selfish got me unstuck. It’s an Amazon bestseller, and I’d love for you to read it or listen to it on Audible or wherever else Barnes and Noble Amazon, you can get it everywhere if you’re looking for inspiration that will help you unlock your greatness and potential order or download it today so that you can have your very own copy. And if you get it please let me know what you think. Number three, my newsletter. I do a newsletter every Thursday and I talk about things that are interesting to me and or I give more information about the podcast and the podcast guests that I’ve had and the experiences that I’ve had with them. You can sign up for the podcast today at my website, which is my name Mike malatesta.com. You do that right now put in your email address and you’ll get the very next issue. The newsletter is short, thoughtful and designed to inspire, activate and maximize the greatness in you