In this episode of the How’d It Happen Podcast, Mike Malatesta shares the inspiring story of Joe Polish, a recovering addict turned marketing genius. Mike discusses four key takeaways from Joe’s book, “What’s In It for Them,” that can benefit leaders and entrepreneurs alike.
Despite a challenging start as a carpet cleaner with no money or experience, Joe’s commitment to learning and connecting with others led him to become a successful entrepreneur and super-connector. Mike’s takeaways from this book will help listeners build valuable relationships and achieve success.
Mike delves into Joe’s unique approach to relationships and how he emphasizes the importance of helping others without expecting anything in return. Joe categorizes relationships as either ELF: easy, lucrative, and fun, or HALF: hard, annoying, lame, and frustrating.
Join Mike as he explores Joe’ Polish’s journey of resilience and determination and his insight on how to build meaningful relationships beyond just networking.
Check out the video version of this episode below:
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Episode transcript below:
Speaker Mike Malatesta: Hey everybody. It’s Mike, and welcome back to the How they happen podcast. This is a solo episode that I’m doing today. It was inspired by this book, what’s in it for them, book is by Joe Polish. So there are a couple of neat things in this book. I think the neatest thing about this book is just Joe polish himself. Now I have met Joe a couple times, but I don’t know him at all. He doesn’t know me at all. You know, meetings sort of like shake hands. I ran into him in the bathroom one time at an event, but I don’t know. I’ve listened to Joe a lot, and I’ve listened to his podcast. I I did read his book. I’ve heard him on many other podcasts, but I just but I don’t know him. But here’s what I know about him, and here’s what impressed me or what impresses me about Joe. Well, first of all, Joe is a recovering addict. So he’s been well, he’s he has had drug addictions from when he was younger, much then he started very young and he tells the whole the whole story. You can read about it in this book, and you can also he’s got a movie called Genius what’s it called? The Joe Polish story. The Joe Powers story well, it’s the Joe Powers story, but presses me about Joe is that he what he has overcome. I guess, so many of us overcome so many things. But Joe’s really overcome a couple of things. And I think they’re important for leaders and and entrepreneurs. First, He had boy, he he was abused as a kid. He that led him to drugs and alcohol, and he was addicted for some time, school was a a challenge for him as a result of that. And well, he’s become not only an author, but he’s also a marketing, I guess, genius. And he runs a he runs an organization or a program called Genius Network, which is about marketing, and it’s also about a lot of other things I’ve never been to it, but he’s done really well. He is a super connector of people. He’s, like, He’s got a fabulous network, and he has really committed his whole life to making connections with people that can help them. And, of course, that that end up helping helping him as well. But the thing that really impresses me about Joe is that he started as his career really as a carpet cleaner. And not only did he start as a carpet cleaner, but he started as a carpet cleaner who had no money and didn’t know how to clean carpets. And he, you know, parlayed that start, and it was a very difficult start. It wasn’t easy. And and, you know, coming from the like, I I relate to that because I started a waste business when I was twenty six, and I I didn’t really know much about running I didn’t know anything about running a business. And so I relate to Joe’s story about becoming a carpet cleaner. Really strikes me about him is not that he became a carpet cleaner, but the but he he recognized as a carpet cleaner that he didn’t know all the stuff they didn’t know, and he went out and he met people and asked them for help, asked them to teach him, basically, mentor him. And over time, he became not only a successful carpet cleaner, but he also figured out how to market, to grow his business, and then he sort of took all that knowledge and became a resource to all the carpet cleaners for for marketing. And then he became what is essentially, I guess, some people call them a marketing genius. And maybe he is. But the reason I’m talking to you about Joe is because I wanted to not only share why he impresses me, but also four things about that I got from his book now. His book is about nine genius networking principles to get what you want by helping others get what they want, and I’m not gonna go through all nine of them because you can do that on your own. But there were four things that I took away from reading this book. The first one was This mantra that he has is to to be the person someone always answers the phone for. Be the person that someone always answers the phone And I was I think I’ve heard him say that before, but it really made me think. Like, you know, when somebody calls and you look and you see who it is, are you excited about answering that call? Or are you frustrated about answering that call? Or are you feeling different about answering that call? How do you feel about when you see someone’s name come up on your phone whether you’re going to answer that call or not. It made me think, you know, that’s a really good thing to strive for to be the type of person that everyone wants to answer the phone for. And why do people wanna answer the phone for you? Right? Because they like you, because they trust you, because they wanna help you because you’ve helped them. There are all kinds of reasons, but it just made me think that sharing that would be valuable to you because if you think about always you know, you think about just picking up your phone and seeing your name on it. Do I wanna pick out do I wanna answer that call? And if the answer is no, why not? And if the answer is yes, then how do you do more of that? So be the person that people always wanna answer the phone for. Second one was treat others the way that they want to be treated. I see that the accent is sort of, like, treat others the way you wanna be treated. And and Joe takes it a step further, treat others the way they wanna be treated. It’s much harder than treating people the way you wanna be treated because you already know how you wanna treated, and that doesn’t does not mean you know how they wanna be treated. So when you when you turn it to treat others the way they wanna be treated, it basically makes you do some work to discover who that person is, what makes them tick, what you can do to actually be meaningful and important to them. And how you can adapt to them in order for you to have the best relationship possible or be the most valuable that you can to the other person. So treat others the way that they wanna be treated rather than the way you wanna be treated. Number three is give value on the spot. And This is something that Joe talks about in the book, and I believe in hundred percent. If someone is asking me for something, whether that’s by email, in person, on the on a on a phone call, on a Zoom call, whatever. And I can do that thing for that person. Well, first of all, I wanna do that thing for that person. I can do that thing for that person. In just a couple of minutes without much effort, I am going to do that right now. I am going to try to help person right now, whether that’s sending a text, whether that is sharing a contact, whether that is making a call for for that person, whether it’s stopping and helping them for the couple of minutes that they need me, or whether it’s just making sure that I make a note if I can’t do it right away, then I make a note right away so that I don’t forget. So my what I took away from that is and what I wanna share with you if you can do something for someone very quickly and do it right now. And then the fourth thing is don’t expect reciprocation. So there’s a lot of Joe tells some great stories in this book about how he has worked with and helped people with no expectation of reciprocation, and then it almost oh, put it this way. It almost always comes back to benefit him at some point in his life because when you help someone without the expectation of reciprocation, it doesn’t feel like a transaction. It doesn’t feel like quid pro quo. It doesn’t feel like you’re trying to get something from someone. But what it does do, is it leave something very indelible with the person that you are helping where they feel like they have a responsibility or commitment to you at some point in the future to return it. It’s not something you plant in them that person plants it themselves. And I can tell you that that’s how I feel all the time. Somebody does something for me. Without asking or what or or with refusing to accept something in return, and I bank that. I put that up in my memory and I try. I feel like that could that creates not a commitment, not an obligation, but a sense of wanting to return the value to person. And, unfortunately, it’s not always you know, you you’re going to help people and you’re not going to get something in return for helping that person. And you know what? That’s okay because that’s not the reason you’re supposed to be helping that person in the first place. So if you come at it, no expectation of reciprocation, no expectation of creating an obligation for someone, no expectation that you’re going to get something in return, helping people is, you know, and then like a very liberating thing because you can’t go wrong. You can’t go wrong. And I wanna leave you with two other Joeisms that I think are really fun. One is he approaches he approaches relationships with people and business relationships. One of two ways. The first one is elf, e l, Afie calls it. That’s easy, lucrative, and fun. Those are the types of of opportunities, business opportunities, and personal relationship opportunities that Joe is looking to maximize. And then the other is called half, h a l f. That is hard annoying, frustrating, and lame. And those are the those are the types of relationships, business, personal, whatever. That he is trying to avoid or that he goes out of his way to avoid. So elf, easy lucrative, and fun, and half, hard annoying, frustrating. You know, if you’re interested in finding out more about Joe, buy his book, check it out. I’m not endorsing him or this, except that that inspired me to do this podcast, and I think you will definitely get value from checking Joe Polish out. So you can look them, you know, you can find them anywhere. His program is called Genius Network, as I mentioned, he’s got the Joe Polish story, which is a book about him. Joe’s free books dot com is a place where you can get some of I don’t know if you can get this book there, but you can get some of the things that he has published and put out in the world. And maybe but heck, maybe it’ll be you’ll find some value in it. And fun fact, He recently, with a couple of friends, bought a town, a ghost town in Cleeter, Arizona. I believe it’s c l e a t o r, Arizona. Might be fun to check that out because Joe also has a really good sense of humor and they’re they’re going to revitalize this town somehow. So stay tuned for that. I do thank you for joining me on the podcast and investing your time in me. I hope that the investment was worthwhile for you today and that you got a little bit of value from this episode. And if you did, please share the episode. Follow the podcast if you’re not following the podcast, reach out to me and give me some feedback if you’d like. You can go to my website, which is my name, mike malatesta dot com. And until next time, maximize your greatness and make your future your property something that you are very proud to own. Thanks for listening to this 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. It’s called Owners Shift. How Getting Selfish got me unstuck. It’s an Amazon best seller. 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