—Systemic change begins with personal change—

607: Mike Michalowicz, part 2: Being the Icebreaker


Mike committed to a year-long task. Few guests go for so long. Since we're in a writing group together, I've seen him in between, but since I want you, the listeners, to hear guests' results first, I didn't ask him if he stayed on track. To be candid, I suspected he didn't because of the year length. Regular listeners know I bring some guests on for episode 1.5s, where I help bring them back on track. Usually it happens because I didn't connect them enough to their intrinsic motivation. I can't stand about our culture, including environmentalists: everyone uses extrinsic motivation, coercing, cajoling, convincing, and seeking compliance. All these techniques promote resistance. Even if the person complies on the action you bludgeon them into, you reinforce that they don't want to do it. So some guests, even when I do my best to make sure they're acting for their intrinsic reasons, not something abstract like to save the world or think of the children, choose something extrinsic. Not Mike! As you'll hear, he went to town on picking up litter while running. He accidentally made up a new term for it and influenced people he knew and even people he didn't. First we talked about my disconnecting my apartment from the electric grid, a bit over a month when we recorded. He loved my activity. I loved his. A love-fest all around. Plus he felt that story should be out there so much, he put me in touch with another New York Times bestselling author I've since scheduled recording.

527: Mike Michalowicz, part 1: Entrepreneurship, stewardship, and engaging, compelling writing


Mike and I are in an online writing group together. For a while I knew him as the funny and diligent guy whose books have thousands of reviews online. Then I read his big one, Profit First. I know entrepreneurship from living it, so I expected to skim it, but two things. His writing is as funny and engaging as he is and what he wrote was new and valuable. Those who have read it know what I mean when I share that I set up my five accounts right after finishing it. Next I read Fix This Next and loved it too. I couldn't skim it because it also contained richness that I couldn't just gloss over. Plus it's fun, funny, and vulnerable. Both books covered values and acting on them. I invited him to the podcast and he loved the idea. I don't know if he realizes how relevant his approach to entrepreneurship is to sustainability. Like previous guest Steven Pressfield's, The War of Art,  I could copy Mike's books switching entrepreneurial things like profligate polluting for sustainability things lik profligate spending and humanity suffering for just family suffering. Other areas with parallels: Chasing growth mindlessly Ignoring costs Shame keeping you from change (also hopelessness, futility, community) Imbalance, not knowing or prioritizing values Unthinkingly applying old way that seems like it should work but it worsens Delaying what you really want, never getting it (profit / clean air) Desperation Monster destroys family and community Denial Since I see him often online, I've heard little clues that his commitment from this episode is creating meaning for him. Listen to hear it. I wonder if it will lead him to apply his approach to sustainability.

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