IM 043: Why Not Now? Take Your Idea From Dreaming to Doing | Amy Jo Martin
June 12th, 2018
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Andy Wang: [00:00:00] Today on Inspired Money.
Amy Jo Martin: [0:00:03.3] [background music] …and so that was my Why Not Now? moment and I call it the Why Not Now? moment because they’re these moments where we get kind of a feeling of bravery when we know we wanna do something and where we've built up just enough confidence to where it could change in 10 minutes. If I had waited to land in L.A. and thought about this for an hour on the plane I probably would have talked myself out of it, but it's a moment where you just hold yourself accountable and you do something, put something in place to where you can't back out. And I knew if I told him, that was my mechanism for doing that my back is gonna be against the wall in a good way to follow through. So, that was a big Why Not Now? moment and then I felt like, you know, the doors were open.
Andy Wang: [0:00:54.8] This is Episode 43 with New York Times bestselling author, speaker and host of the “Why Not Now?” podcast, Amy Jo Martin. [background music]
Welcome to Inspired Money. My name is Andy Wang, a Managing Partner at Runnymede Capital Management. Each week we bring you an interesting person to help you get inspired, shift your perspectives on money and achieve incredible things. From making it to giving it away, Inspired Money means making a difference, creating something bigger than oneself and maybe, just maybe, making the world a better place. Thank you for joining me.
Andy Wang: [00:01:38] Hey, Inspired Moneymaker, what is it that you're working on right now? I'm really excited to have Amy Jo Martin on the show today. She's the author of The New York Times bestseller, “Renegades Write the Rules.” She has a social media following of more than 1.1 million people. Yup, you heard that right. That's million. And she was named the third most powerful woman on Twitter by Forbes. To know Amy Jo is to know people like Shaquille O'Neal and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, not by six degrees of separation but by only one. Her mission is to elevate technology to do good in the world. In this episode, you'll learn why sometimes we need to make big changes in our lives and that could even mean reinventing ourselves. What we can learn from the over 100 wildly successful people that Amy Jo has interviewed and some ideas on how you can best define wealth and happiness. Now, let's get inspired with Amy Jo Martin.
Andy Wang: [00:02:51] [background music] Amy Jo, welcome to Inspired Money. I'm so excited to have you on the show.
Amy Jo Martin: [00:02:56] Thank you for having me. I'm excited to chat with you.
Andy Wang: [00:03:00] Yeah, let's jump right in. What's your earliest childhood memory of money?
Amy Jo Martin: [00:03:06] Wow. That's really a great question. You know what, it just popped into mind was there is this photo of me and I was probably… I don't know. Maybe, five or six but it was my birthday and I remember this – I’d have to track it down and really judge kind of the age, but I think I had been given like, 10 $1 bills by someone, my grandmother or something and I kind of spread them out like a fan and I don't know why that popped into mind but it's the first thing that kind of – it came to me so I was proud to have those 10, $1 bills.
Andy Wang: [00:03:48] That's really cool. We’ll, visual when you fan it out like that. [laughter]
Amy Jo Martin: Yeah! I just thought I was just beyond wealthy with those $10 bills. And then another story that pops into mind is my mom would drop me off at the mall with my cousin and I think we have $5 for several hours, and we would get to just decide how we wanted to allocate those $5. And it was this is full on, you know, strategy and very thoughtful process of, well, do we want something to eat? Do we want to go buy, you know, a toy? It was – this thought just came to mind, too.
Andy Wang: [00:04:29] That's a great idea. So, I should send my kids when they are little bit older I'll give them $5. Maybe, I’ll have to up it to $10 now and then let them work it out.
Amy Jo Martin: [00:04:39] Yeah! It's fun to see – I've done that with my nephews before where I'll take them – I took them to Toys R Us a couple years ago and said, “Now, you have X amount of money,” and I'd give it to them and then they’d get to go choose and we have to kind of do the math and add up, hey, you can't have this third toy because you know, you only have $25 and that would take you to $30 so yeah, and then get them to go through the cash register line where they actually pay themselves and it’s… I don't know. It's just kind of fun to see what their decision-making process looks like.
Andy Wang: [00:05:15] Yeah, that's real world valuable experiences. I love that idea.
Amy Jo Martin: [0:05:18.7] Uhm. Yeah.
Andy Wang: [0:05:20.8] So, Amy Jo I am a huge fan of your “Why Not Now?” podcast. In fact, your show gave me the extra push that I needed to launch the Inspired Money show so thank you for that.
Amy Jo Martin: 00:05:31] I love to hear that. I mean, you’ve shared that with me before and that's just awesome because that’s exactly why I do the podcast and as for, you know, that hope that people will take action on their ideas and you did it. So, thank you for doing that.
Andy Wang: [0:05:49.6] Did it and still going, trying to do my best. You know, some weeks are easier than others, but you just keep hitting record.
Amy Jo Martin: [0:05:56.6] Right, exactly. I know that feeling.
Andy Wang: [00:06:00] So, I'm fascinated by your story because you've had such diverse and amazing experiences. Is that because when you're faced with something big, like something so big that you feel you might be in over your head? You seem comfortable running toward it rather than running away.
Amy Jo Martin: [00:06:18] Well, yeah. It’s an interesting takeaway because even, you know, the individuals that I've worked with and studied in my own path and journey it seems the more we can get comfortable with being uncomfortable then the more opportunities open up to us and that concept in that bar is always being raised so, you know, you start to get more comfortable in a certain situation and then you kind of find yourself one upping herself down the road because it's like a muscle that you continue to need to work out and it's a practice. So, I try to live that way for sure and it's a way to keep life interesting.
Andy Wang: [0:07:05.0] Since the bar is moving you always have to be moving.
Amy Jo Martin: [00:07:09] Yeah, it is a constant very fluid practice. You're, exactly right.
Andy Wang: [00:07:17] Amy Jo, what was your childhood like because I don't think that you grew up with a silver spoon in your mouth.
Amy Jo Martin: [00:07:23] I did not. No, I did not. My childhood in general, it was just very lovely and I'm grateful to have an amazing family. We moved around often to different small towns. So, my father worked in construction, in heavy highway construction and so we would move our trailer home. We lived in a trailer that was mobile, and we take it to the next town with us. And I think, reflecting back on that, it's really given me a lot of adaptability that I might not have had otherwise and just, I think, the curiosity factor has really stemmed from constantly kind of moving and getting comfortable with that change and half-craving the change. We lived in Wyoming and these are small towns, too but Wyoming, and Kansas, and Arizona and when you change schools at a young age I know at times and I've spoken to parents who are maybe getting ready to move their kids into a different city which means changing friends, and schools, and stuff and it feels so negative at the time but looking back I'm really grateful for that because you learn to adapt to make friends and it's actually a huge asset.
Andy Wang: [00:08:48] Yes. So, you see the silver lining. Now, you started your career in an advertising and PR agency, but you're perhaps best known for your work at the Phoenix Suns. Can you tell us why you had to pitch the franchise to create a position for you?
Amy Jo Martin: [00:09:04] Sure. So, I was working for the Phoenix Suns. I started in the ‘05-06 season and had a couple different roles working in marketing partnerships and there became kind of, just obvious void and opportunity in my mind to have someone that was dedicated to really investigating and leveraging what we called New Media at the time. So, this was mobile marketing and not traditional digital like, websites and eblast but now social media and you know, having big marketing partners like Verrizon and big huge beverage companies they always wanted an innovative way to connect to the fans and to kind of get between that affinity that fans had for the athletes and for the team so, I thought social media is a great way and this was like 2007, 2008. And it was so new at the time that there was a lot of fear around it, but I did convince them to creating a position, It was the Director of New Media and Research. I think is what we called it and it's funny that we called it New Media and the rest just kind of started to unfold after experimenting more and more with these communication channels. And it was like the Wild, Wild, West. There weren't any rules. In fact, there were points in time when I was told, hold up. We need to create some rules before you continue to plow down that road that we haven't been down before. So, that was the genesis of my, the kind of the opening door into my experience with Social Media.
Andy Wang: [00:11:02] I love that you had “research” in your title. It's so appropriate because it was so new and you were testing. It’s like everything that you were doing was a new experiment.
Amy Jo Martin: [00:11:14] Yeah. You know, the research is kind of funny because it wouldn't necessarily intuitively go in to that type of position, but I think I was one of the only people on my internal team that really enjoyed diving into their research and info that Scarborough had, a big research entity to where we could tell our brands, our marketing partners what the index looked like between our fans, and their consumers, and their targets, and who was listening and watching, and attending the games based on the overlap of their fans, and I just love the numbers. And I've always loved numbers because they seem so black and white and you can really backup your opinions when you have those numbers. So, it was easier to sell, you know, when we had that. And the same goes, you know, for today with social media. There's still some gray areas on really how to measure the impact.
Andy Wang: [00:12:23] Right, but the fact that you have analytics it's much easier to measure. It's clearer than with some print media or other forms of advertising where sometimes it's really hard to track, like, you can attach a dollar number to specific campaigns sometimes.
Amy Jo Martin: [0:12:41.6] Right, and sometimes we have to let go of the numbers, too and just base our decisions on what we feel is working and so there's a constant kind of groove in between – a toggle between creative intuition and resonance, and black and white, you know, numbers. So, I love the mix of the two.
Andy Wang: [00:13:08] Now, you were in a super unique position to be conducting this research because not only were you experimenting with your own Twitter account, but you were working with some superstar athletes. Can you can you tell us a little bit about some of those adventures?
Amy Jo Martin: [00:13:26] Yeah, absolutely and this was a new world for me, you know, coming from – I’m a small town girl that grew up in Wyoming and Kansas and all these random places. I had never really met these really high-profile people before. So, there was one specific day that really marks a turning point for me and my career and that was, I was sitting at my desk and I got a call from basketball operations which was unusual. In fact, I haven’t heard of for someone in marketing to get a call from a locker room. And they said, “You need to come down to the locker room right now. Shaquille O'Neal wants to learn how to tweet and you're the only one in this building that knows what that means so get down here.” And it was a moment of wow, you know. Of course, this is exciting because I can go show him and I knew the potential but at this point, I had already had my hand slapped a couple of times because we didn't have rules yet. So, I was kind of told, hey. Just slow down and pause on this Twitter stuff for now until we get some regulations in place. And I thought I wonder if I should talk to my bosses before I go down to the locker room. This was just like a quick, you know, thought that goes through my mind and you're not really allowed to work directly with the players unless you have really specific roles. And I thought, geez. I'm gonna ask forgiveness instead of permission on this one because I knew it could be a really neat opportunity.
Andy Wang: [0:15:03.6] Yeah, Shaq's calling.
Amy Jo Martin: [0:15:04.5] …and I did. Yup. I did. I went down and I met 7-foot tall Shaquille O’Neal and looked up at him and he handed me his SHAQberry. He called it at the time, his BlackBerry. This was before he had an iPhone and before most of us had iPhones and the rest is history. I taught him what I knew and then we started to really connect and get creative. And the next thing you know we're bridging the virtual world with the physical world and doing these stunts and you know, it is making headline news and all of a sudden you were showing up on ESPN at night with some of these things that we're doing using social communication and it just kind of took off and opened so many doors for me. And I eventually started my own company to do more of that and work with a lot of other high-profile people and brands.
Andy Wang: [0:16:06.5] Did you come up with acts of Shaqness?
Amy Jo Martin: [0:16:09.8] Yeah. It's Random Acts of Shaqness. It was just a concept that was completely just kind of – it was really made from nowhere. It wasn't like I mapped out this masterplan, but Shaquille O'Neal loves to make people laugh and he's a really nice guy. He’s very accessible so we thought we'd take a spinoff of random acts of kindness and we created Random Acts of Shaqness and did these things that we termed Twitter tag and “hide and tweets” where he would stand on a street corner at a really popular intersection, the first one was in Phoenix and he would tweet his exact whereabouts and he'd tell fans the first person to touch him, to tag him gets tickets to the game the next night. And this was just a pure experiment. There was no security or anything and the team didn't know. Nobody really knew and it was amazing how this resonated with the world. People showed up and do it again, and again, and then media would show up. And eventually, in Boston when he played for the Celtics there was one time where the authorities showed up because so many people came. So, it was really fascinating to see what can happen when you start to bridge the virtual world and physical world because that's like having kind of lightning in a bottle from an affinity and just a connection standpoint.
Andy Wang: [00:17:45] Yeah. You're making very real connections and I would assume legitimizing the, “new media” like, very quickly.
Amy Jo Martin: [0:17:55.9] Exactly and a lot of people were watching because they were trying to figure it out too. And everyone was in the same boat. It just happened that we had some really fun creative ways to test these channels and everybody was going through it at the same time. So, there was a news article it seemed like every day about what we were doing.
Andy Wang: [0:18:21.2] Was that just crazy? Did that just feel crazy, going to work and doing like, all these things and having it show up on ESPN Sports Center that night?
Amy Jo Martin: [00:18:31] Yeah. It was a bizarre kind of situation. There are so many different dynamics. I remember walking into or just before the day started when I got to work early one day and Rick Welts, the President of the team at the time was in his office and I would never just go into Rick's office but I felt like I had to because I had heard The New York Times had done an article on what we were doing with Shaquille and like, I don't think, you know, he should just find out by picking up the newspaper and seen it there the first time. So, it was just the most kind of fun innovative time because everything was new and there weren't any rules.
Andy Wang: [00:19:19] Did it feel surreal or once Shaq is calling you down to the locker room it’s like reality just shifted. [laughter]
Amy Jo Martin: [00:19:28] You know, there were so many other things going on too because when anytime innovation happens adversity follows. It's like they're cousins, right? There's always that shadow and we can look at anything in history and it's there. So, there was a lot of resistance internally I was feeling from the different departments. It was like where is social media? You cannot live on that org(-anization) chart. Who owns it? What department? Is it PR? Is it creative? Is it marketing? Is it marketing partnerships and so, there was a lot of healthy tension going on. And I was doing a lot of things without asking permission because I knew either A, you take too long to get the green light and opportunity would pass or B, I probably wouldn't get a green light. [laughter] So, I wasn't the most popular person at times and felt pretty isolated so on one hand it was just incredible, you know. The opportunity in my own following started to build and eventually, reaching over a million people following me. You know, this girl from Wyoming who would have never imagined having that type of a voice and platform and…
Andy Wang: [0:20:41.0] Yeah. That's amazing.
Amy Jo Martin: [0:20:42.1] …or megaphone.
Andy Wang: [0:20:43.2] Plus with your verified blue Twitter badge which I understand you had a role in establishing.
Amy Jo Martin: [0:20:51.5] Well, yeah. What happened was Shaquille’s Twitter presence was being questioned by fans on whether or not it was real. If it was really him because he had had a lot of imposters some of which were really funny and pretty good, but he really wanted to make sure the fans knew his account was real. And I remember calling Twitter. At that time there were 11 people that worked in the office in San Francisco and explaining our situation and they had had this happen with a couple of other people, too and they had, I think, the blue checkmark in the works but they rolled it out. And Shaquille, I think, was the very first one to have that blue checkmark, if not, one of the very first and because I was working with him so closely and I was constantly bantering with him on Twitter we would be talking, you know, they gave me a blue checkmark, too. So, that just increased visibility even more because it was such a new thing. And when you would sign up to join Twitter one of the questions they'd ask you was would you like to follow some of these accounts that we think you'd be interested in and they called it the suggested users list and I was in there and so, that just really grew the following. So, they gave me the blue checkmark and I remember at the time just being like, hmm, okay. But it's amazing how the little blue checkmark can be such an asset at the time at least.
Andy Wang: [0:22:29.4] Yeah. What an adventure. Now, the resistance that you talked about that you were feeling sort of within the organization and from the higher ups, is that why you went on to become a first time Founder and CEO of your company?
Amy Jo Martin: [00:22:47] It wasn't just the resistance. I think it was more of realizing there's an opportunity here. You know, nobody is really a voice of authority yet on this space and if anything I felt like I had been experimenting enough to at least help, guide other people and brands so, I just saw this as, you know, this is a big opportunity but also there was enough, I call it, healthy tension that it definitely helps kind of prod the decision. A little bit of both, but I wouldn't have done it if I didn't think there was a pretty amazing opportunity in front of me.
Andy Wang: [00:23:35] Yes. So, tell us about this as a Why Not Now? moment in your life.
Amy Jo Martin: [0:23:41.2] Yeah it really came down to the specific situation where I was on the team plane with my boss who was not a big fan of mine at the time because I had been doing all these things and not asking a lot of permission. We hadn't left yet. It was the team plane and my boss and I were joining this trip to go – the team was going to play the Lakers. We were headed to L.A. The plane hadn't taken off, yet and we were in the way back of the plane with our marketing partners. The reason we were going was to entertain them and take them on this trip. It's like a perk. Sometimes when you – our sponsors have of a big sports team like that you get to travel with a team and go. And I got this text message from Shaquille and he was sitting at the front of the plane or near the front and he said, “Can you come up here? I need help. I have a question about Twitter.“ Or something and I thought, no way. I can't go up there because I'm on thin ice as it is and if my boss sees this and there are other executives on the plane, too. This is not gonna go well. I’d probably get fired. So, I sat down in my chair and just pretended to ignore the text message. Well, he's a pretty persistent guy and so he stands up at the front of the plane and literally, looks back at me and waves get up here. And I thought, oh my gosh. I don't think I'm gonna be headed back on the team plane from L.A. I’m gonna probably have to take a Southwest flight home because I'm getting canned today. And so I climb over my boss and walked up to help Shaquille. I walked up the aisle and he had some simple question that I answered, and he gives me a big high five as if I had done something huge and it wasn't that big of a deal, but he then proceeded to tell all the players around him, his teammates, you should hire her. She'll help you with your personal brand online and look at this amazing Twitter stuff. And he knew the potential for it, too with endorsement deals and building his brand. And I said, “Shaquille, they can't hire me. I worked for the team.” And he just kind of looked at me like, so? And then I walked back, climbed back over my boss, sit down and as soon as my butt hits the seat my boss turned and looked at me and she said, “You know what Amy Jo? You’re a renegade.” And I kind of like the sound of it to be completely honest with you. And I knew that moment that I needed to go, and do this, and explore this new space and world. And I texted Shaquille right then and there and I said, “I'm in. I'm going to start my own company.” He wrote back and said, “I'll be your first client.” So that was my Why Not Now? moment. And I call it the, Why Not Now? moment because there are these moments where we get kind of a feeling of bravery when we know we wanna do something and where we built up just enough confidence to where it could change in 10 minutes. If I had waited to land in LA and thought about this for an hour on the plane I probably would have talked myself out but it's a moment where you just hold yourself accountable and you do something. You put something in place to where you can't backout. And I knew if I told him that was my mechanism for doing that my back was gonna be against the wall in a good way to follow through. So, that was a big Why Not Now? moment and then I felt like, you know, the doors were open.
Andy Wang: [00:27:31] What a beautifully huge Why Not Now? moment. There are so many things that took place in that, I don't know, few minutes.
Amy Jo Martin: [00:27:40] Yeah! It was bizarre. We hadn't even left, yet. You know, we hadn’t taken off and this all went down. And I think that, you know, when we look at these things that we wanna do, or these ideas, or these dreams that we have it’s really important to understand how to get to the action. So, from idea to action or from dreaming to doing. And it's not so much about decision-making as it is taking action because the decision really had already been made. I'd been thinking about it and we can think all we want but it's all about how can we green light, you know, this to where it moves from the category of an idea to something that's real and that day was, yeah, a pretty big one. [background music]
Andy Wang: [00:28:32] Coming up Amy Jo talks about her podcast, wealth, health and more. But first, some important advice from the CEO of Zappos.com.
Amy Jo Martin: [0:28:42.7] Most of the time, we're just thinking through scenarios and 90% of the time what we think might happen doesn't and so, it's just the getting started, you know. Something that Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos who mentored me for a while. He was one of my investors and he's just such an innovator and has such a visionary, just persona. He said, “Just get started.” One day when I was talking about doing something and trying to map it out perfectly and he just said, “You know, getting feedback after you put something out there is the most valuable thing because then you just iterate, iterate but you call it beta and you just get started.” It's really a valuable advice, not just for launching something online but anything in life. Just take the first step.
Andy Wang: [00:29:38] [background music] The show notes for this episode can be found at inspiredmoney.fm/043.
Andy Wang: [00:29:45] It's time for the Runnymede money tip of the week. This week it's actually more of an exercise than a tip. I'd like for you to define what true wealth means to you. In the dictionary the definition of wealth is an abundance of valuable possessions or money but on the Inspired Money podcast when we've asked guests who are truly wealthy, we often get a very different answer. Our guests have mentioned words like freedom, purpose, family, health, experiences and other things that mean much more than just money. Money is an important tool, no doubt, that makes all of these other things much easier, but money doesn't necessarily have to be the goal in and of itself. Try picking three words that are most significant to you in your definition of wealth. Write them down. Share them with a friend or someone for accountability. I'd love to hear from you and our Facebook group at inspiredmoney.fm/facebook and let's see if this can help you to create your dream life much sooner. That's the Runnymede money tip of the week.
Andy Wang: [00:31:02] [background music] Inspired Money is brought to you by Runnymede Capital Management. We help you to plan, invest and worry less. Get to know us better and educate yourself for free by subscribing to our blog at inspiredmoney.fm. You're listening to Inspired Money. I'm Andy Wang.
Andy Wang: [00:31:28] I know that you're a big Tony Robbins fan and have had him on your show as a guest. I recall him talking about you have to practice making those decisions whether it's yea or nay but get into the practice of making those decisions as quickly as possible because again it's like a muscle and the more you do it the quicker you are and the better you are to say yes and just go.
Amy Jo Martin: [00:31:57] Yeah. It's definitely like a daily practice that you get better and better at. So, you know, when I speak with these people on my podcast who are wildly successful in their own ways and highly effective people they don't even think about their Why Not Now? process so I really have to dive in, and dig in, and dissect and kind of reverse engineer it out of them because it's just part of their mentality in their daily life. But yeah, it's funny because I wasn't always a Tony Robbins fan, and I realized how much I used to categorize intuition and a lot of the self-help type of stuff that we are all surrounded by as kind of that woo-woo fluffy stuff because back to the number, I like to be analytical. I'm pretty numbers driven, so on and so forth and now I realized, gosh, you know, there's so much more to it and you're right though. It's a practice for sure.
Andy Wang: [00:33:06] So you bootstrapped your company. You had huge clients from big companies to celebrities. I see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on the roster. What was it like building this company and brand?
Amy Jo Martin: [00:33:24] Well, it was a really organic process because I didn't intend to go build an agency. I really thought I was going to go consult and just me. And I had never hear about entrepreneurs who, you know, from day one they were creating businesses as kids and lemonade stands and stuff like that and I have maybe a couple of those stories but nothing… I never really set out or had this big dream of being a business owner. And I'm so glad that I ended up taking that path because now, I realized how much it is in my blood, but it was an incredible ride to experience just getting one client and having a little home office to hiring an intern to then getting your first employee and then, you know, having 30 people. And at one point, you know, 10 people were in 10 different countries. We were servicing one of our biggest clients Hilton Worldwide. So, they had properties all over the globe and it was learn as you go, you know. I was cutting my teeth and first-time entrepreneur, first rodeo, lots of ups and downs like, everybody, you know, would tell you. But it was also done under a spotlight because people were watching, wanting to see what is she gonna do next? What’s, you know, what is The Rock doing? And everybody uses the space differently so one case study can't necessarily apply just to any brand. Whether it's a personal brand or a corporate entity there really isn't a template per se and so, you know, anytime you have that type of momentum it's really exciting and really intense, too. Lots of adrenaline.
Andy Wang: [0:35:24.3] And you were very much the renegade still because I was reading in your book that you were often advising your clients to do things that their agent and publicist were telling them not to do.
Amy Jo Martin: [00:35:39] [laughter] Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. This new, you know, cog in the wheel of social media and someone to help these celebrities with social media it was a new person at the table and so once again, anytime you have that change in some cases, you know, agents felt threatened. In some cases, other agencies felt threatened if we’re working with a big corporate brand and like, we should be taking on social media. So, you know, there is a lot of healthy tension at times because the relationship that I have and my company has with the client is direct. And I always made sure we worked directly with the talent whether it's the CEO of Hilton Worldwide or Fox Sports or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson because if we had to go through a filter of someone that maybe didn't quite understand the benefit and opportunity of this space then I think it would've been really difficult and watered down.
Andy Wang: [0:36:47.8] So, it’s good to be early and defining the space as you go?
Amy Jo Martin: [00:36:52] Yeah. First, to experiment and if things don't work then you're the first to learn how to do it differently the next time and it's just get back on that bandwagon and everybody was just trying things.
Andy Wang: [00:37:07] What did you learn?
Amy Jo Martin: [00:37:08] I learned a lot about human connection when I look back at it because this was now – it's now been about 10 years and it's amazing when I think about this space as it started; meaning, social communication tools because it's really not media. It's just communication and how we interact with each other in the physical world versus the virtual world and you start to kind of look at that, view from 30,000 feet and also, look at the evolution of how humans have decided to use these tools and the new platforms that have come on the scene, of course. It says a lot about, you know, ourselves as individuals and human beings, you know, how we choose to take it. A lot of people are negative about social media when they see some of the dissonance and just negativity and there's bullying and you name it, but there's just as much positive benefit. So, we decide it's not the technology or these platforms that are evil or negative. It's how we decide to use them. And you know, there are no geographic barriers. We're only bound by the speed of technology so, you can spread really good things really fast as well as bad and negative things. It's just everything is kind of accelerated. It’s fascinating for like, a sociologist or psychologist to kind of look at this space, too.
Andy Wang: [0:38:55.8] Yeah, let’s dig into that a little bit because today, you're doing different things. You closed Digital Royalty and I'm curious how have your priorities changed?
Amy Jo Martin: [00:39:09] Yeah. I mean in a nutshell, we grew so fast so quickly and there were a lot of things that I personally wasn't necessarily doing to be able to scale beyond just the human beings, especially, myself. When you have high-profile clients like we did and even on the corporate side they want you in the room to help and be there if they're there. And so, I think I was on 210 flights in one year and averaging about four hours of sleep at night and when you do that it's just, you know, it's a disaster waiting to happen because the self-care wasn't there. I wasn't taking care of myself and I really burned out. You know, the company thrived in terms of the financials and profitable from day one and hit seven figures the second year and just skyrocketed but I really fell out of love for the work that I was doing, A, because I was exhausted and it was – you can't run off of adrenaline for that long of time. The fuels tends to evaporate after a while and also, I wasn’t seeing a ton of purpose’s involved in it and so to answer your question I kind of skipped forward, I did wind up the company which is really bizarre to a lot of people. And I'm working on my next book and I'll share more of that in this book, but it was absolutely necessary for me personally. And after a lot of reflection I realized why I really fell in love with social communication and that was because of the positive potential with it like, what I was just saying. So, I started doing some research and started to kind of, this is all, while I'm catching up on sleep and learning a lot about life and myself because I really put myself on the shelf [laughter] and everything was business for so long. So, I was catching up on that front but just really taking a different look at social and what it can do and why we're kind of using it the way we use it. Did some research. I did a clinical study with a guy by the name of Dr. Zeak Cain and we started to look at whether or not our behavior and what we consume online impacts our behavior offline.
Andy Wang: [00:41:51] Yeah. What do you learn there?
Amy Jo Martin: [0:41:53.1] And we learned that – this was just an initial study that yes, it does in fact, have an impact. So, it's not how we feel offline. It's what we do. And when you think about that and intuitively it makes sense but if you really start to think about what you share every day whether it's a photo you post, or a comment, or a Tweet, or post on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, if you know that that impacts behavior offline in the real physical world, I think, I would hope that people would have more of a feeling of responsibility of what they decide to share because there's so much time that we spend in the virtual world, especially on social media. We wouldn't, you know, pollute our physical world. Why would we do that in the virtual world? And you know, there's a lot happening and day by day these platforms unfold, and evolve more and more so it's constantly changing but it's a real interesting area. And I'm really focused on this concept of Why Not Now? and understanding how we get from idea to action. So, that's been a huge focus of mine and starting to really study all these people I've worked with who are just masters at getting things done, and all these interviews and hundreds of hours of talking to some of the most successful business individuals, and athletes and you name it.
Andy Wang: [0:43:42.1] Your “Why Not Now?” podcast is so amazing. I mean, your roster of guests, it really is a who's who of people at the top of their game and I'll just list the top three episodes instead of listing every single one but Mark Cuban, Simon Sinek, Troy Aikman. Your guests are incredible. When I grow up I want to be like you except that you're younger than me so, I don't know how that's going to work out. [laughter]
Amy Jo Martin: [00:44:11] Well, thank you. You know, it really is interesting because I found that there are some specific things that all these people do and why not share those. These are tangible tactical things that don't fall under the category of inspirational quotes that are being shared on Instagram. No, this is… but that's great. We need that, too but I like to know the details and get down into it, dissecting. So, it's a fun, just concept in general to look at.
Andy Wang: [0:44:49.5] You’re trying to focus – with your show focusing on more tactical and dissecting the moments, thoughts, motivations and steps for taking action. I mean, you talk to such a diverse group of guests from athletes to successful business people to artists. When you dissect is it all the same or is each one very different?
Amy Jo Martin: [00:45:14] There are often a similar through lines kind of connective tissue but they don't explain it the same way but when you take a step back and analyze it, they're actually doing similar things. And for example, you know, most of these people are calculated in their minds what the worst thing that could happen would be if they took action on idea XYZ and they do that by first saying, you know, what if this doesn't work and then they say to themselves, then what? They answer that question. And then they say again, then what? And they follow it through all the way to the worst-case scenario and it gives them the, you know, the driving seat. They put themselves in the driver's seat instead of the fear of whatever that worst case scenario is because they realize the amount of time usually it takes to get from greenlighting their idea to worst case scenario is a lot longer than you would think if you didn't really go through that process. And you have opportunities along the way to pivot, create stop gap, you know, situations and kind of take out some insurance. And it's neat to see that this is a trend because anybody can do that. Whether it's a small decision or a big decision you can go through that process and all of a sudden you have a more logical approach. And it's analytical versus just letting that fear stop you from even trying.
Andy Wang: [00:46:50] It's funny because I think, when you take the time to really think that thoroughly about possible worst-case scenarios and outcomes, I think, typically you realize that what's the worst that can happen? It's really not that bad. And then you come to realization that so often it's our mind that can be like, we're our own worst enemy until you start thinking about it and then you put it into perspective and say, oh, it's really not that bad. I'm gonna go for it.
Amy Jo Martin: [0:47:25.4] Exactly and it's safe enough to try, right? It becomes so much more accessible. And yeah, if we get out of our head and we actually map out. The other thing is a lot of times I'll hear these people – they run the numbers. Of course, they do, but you know, a lot of cases I hear people say, just, you know, people – maybe who are listening to the “Why Not Now?” podcast or they're wanting to share their why not now idea with me but then they say, no. I can't do that because I can't afford to either read my job or I can't afford to buy XYZ equipment. And I ask them, how do you work the numbers out to see what it would take to match what you're making now or what it would take to actually do XYZ and if the answer is no then usually, I say, well, do that because you might be surprised. It's such a simple logical thing but we stop ourselves from even taking that first step. What's the worst thing that can happen if you work the numbers? You decide you aren't going to do it? So, some of this stuff just feels really obvious but we don't do these tactics oftentimes.
Andy Wang: [00:48:41] So are these the ingredients to book number two or book number three? [laughter]
Amy Jo Martin: [00:48:47] Book number two [laughter]. Some of these things for sure are the ingredients and you’re sharing more of my story and journey when we just first started talking on just now at this show and you're asking me about how I've made some pretty big changes along the way. You know, one of the things that I really wanna talk about is this concept of define this rule that we tend to set in society and that's you put your ladder up against the wall and you climb. You go to college and figure out what you wanna do and you just keep working your way up step by step climbing that ladder. Well, with me I've found a couple of times, shoot! I have my ladder against the wrong wall, like, I wanna change walls and that's okay. And you know, I've heard people say to me, well, you've really reinvented yourself over the last few years doing XYZ and that's different from your swim lane of marketing or whatever it is I've done in the past and it's really not reinventing. It's just doing what you want to do and why wouldn't we do that? We have so many tools now available to us with technology and the Internet that there's a democracy of anybody can do anything really. You can turn your side hustle into your main hustle pretty darn quickly if you want. So, it's exciting to talk about because I think we have a lot of people out there that aren't happy with where they're spending their 8, 10, 12 hours a day.
Andy Wang: [00:50:33] Yeah, and the opportunities really are there for people to seize. How does one define which wall they lean their ladder against?
Amy Jo Martin: [0:50:45.7] That’s a great question and something that I've learned through trial and error and making some mistakes on my end is that where purpose, passion and skill collide, bliss resides and if I would have heard that five years ago I would say that sounds so fluffy and what do you mean? But what I mean is there is an intersection where if you look at what gives you purpose, what you're passionate about and what you're good at skill-wise there's a sweet spot there. And if we can kind of live and reside in that intersection why wouldn't we? And we can now and it's even more so now than ever. And that's where I like to be and that's where I like to help people and ask them Why Not Now? Figure that out and spend your time in that spot doing that thing. And you know, how you arrive there and identify it, it's a process and there's a lot of trial and error and you just have to kind of get started and make a list of those three buckets and start to see where they might intersect and try things. But it's worth the investigation because with those three components you're set up for, you know, a lot of happiness, joy, success, impact, being able to help other people.
Andy Wang: [0:52:17.7] I love that. I love the quote where passion, skill and purpose collide, bliss resides. I noticed that money is not in that sentence because so many bright college students or recent graduates they’re always being pushed toward what should you study because it will then translate into a well-paying job.
Amy Jo Martin: [00:52:44] Exactly. I mean, if you are in that intersection of those three things, if your purpose, and your passion, and skill are all aligned in what you're doing for your, you know, livelihood the money is there. Like, I've never even thought about that because I guess I just know from experience that that's the most kind of rich, and wealthy, and healthy kind of intersection you could ever find because you're doing what matters to you. You're doing what you're good at and you're doing what you enjoy. And if you look at money as just being energy and if, you know, energy is really the currency, that combination, that intersection is going to give you a lot of energy. And yeah, it's a great point, I guess, and I just assume that people know that and that's not a good thing to assume. So, I think, I'm gonna give that some more thought but it's an interesting point you make there.
Andy Wang: [00:53:58] Yeah. Well, I think that's the focus of my show. It's talking to all kinds of different people and getting different perspectives on money. And I think that that is often a common thread that money is the byproduct of doing the things that you enjoy and love. Your quote sums it up perfectly. It's the passion, skill and purpose. If you can put those three things together you can be happy and the money will come. It's not the priority, but it sort of takes care of itself if you put those other three things together.
Amy Jo Martin: [00:54:39] Exactly. And it takes Messina's believing, too so, it's helpful that you have these stories on this show because it sounds, you know, it's like, okay. I can kind of buy into that but when times are tough or when you're looking at your finances or feeling some pain it's not too easy to you just lean on this concept that you've heard. So, it's good that you're really pointing out these examples.
Andy Wang: [00:55:09] Well, as you've reinvented yourself several times over and changed your priorities it sounds like purpose has really come to the forefront and taking care of your health, getting sleep. [laughter]
Amy Jo Martin: [00:55:26] Yeah. Imagine that, right? [laughter]
Andy Wang: [0:55:27.8] I did see one quote from I think, you were quoting your dad, telling you that you cannot bank your sleep. [laughter] That's great advice.
Amy Jo Martin: [0:55:36.4] Isn't that funny? I thought I'll catch up on the weekend and it doesn't really work that way. [laughter]
Andy Wang: [00:55:41] Right but given all the amazing people that you've worked with, all the incredible things that you've done, now, that you boil it down to I think, some simple priorities how do you define success?
Amy Jo Martin: [00:55:59] It's a great question. I think, you know, I keep going back to that intersection that we just talked about where purpose, passion and skill collide because, you know, if I look at my journey in 2011 or 12, when I had my New York Times bestselling book coming out I'm flying private with these fancy people and doing national interviews on TV and it looks like I was so successful but behind the scenes I actually was not happy. A lot of things were falling apart in my personal world so that is not success to me anymore. You know, it's always an inside job usually, right? So, success is an inside feeling. I don't think it has much to do with, you know, money or accolades or status. It sounds so cliché, but I guess I've lived it so I feel like, I can say that but it's a feeling.
Andy Wang: [0:57:12.4] Yeah and it sounds like outward success, what people see, may have no bearing on what you're feeling internally.
Amy Jo Martin: [00:57:22] Oh, exactly. And that's why I wish that we could even had another word or something where when we refer to people as being wildly successful, it’s like, what does that even mean because everybody's definition is different. And there's so much comparison that goes on especially, in the world of social media. We just show our highlight reels, right? Most people do. I try to keep it real. That's something I've really changed over the last couple of years is being real and it's showing what's really going on versus just the highlight polished filtered story because that's never the full story. We know that, but sometimes it's hard to remember when you're scrolling down seeing everybody's magical lives.
Andy Wang: [0:58:08.6] Totally.
Amy Jo Martin: [0:58:09.8] With social media we often tend to build an image and it's just kind of a tendency especially, as marketers, brand and images are static. They don't move, they don't change and evolve and grow, and when you create that kind of perfect picture it doesn't – and you're out of alignment with the real you. That image can start to elbow out the real you. And it's almost like, a really interesting identity crisis that I think people are going through right now especially, with Instagram where it's like, okay. Am I trying to be and becoming more of something I think people want me to be because it's a good story and it resonates. I think it resonates with people when really it doesn't or am I being real. And what does that even mean to be authentic and transparent, like, what do those words mean? So, whole rabbit hole we could go down with that, but I think it's relevant.
Andy Wang: [0:59:13.8] Well, thank you for being very human and authentic on today’s Inspired Money. Can you tell the Inspired Money listener where they can find and follow you online and find out more about you?
Amy Jo Martin: [0:59:28.0] Sure! amyjomartin.com is my website and you can find me on social media, I’m @amyjomartin pretty much everywhere from Instagram to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. And the “Why Not Now?” podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio. It's also accessible from my website. So, wherever you like to enjoy podcasts, you'll probably find it there.
Andy Wang: [00:59:56] I love it. I'm a fan.
Amy Jo Martin: [0:59:58.8] Wonderful. Well, thank you for having me on the show.
Andy Wang: [01:00:04] [background music] So, what was your favorite Inspired Money moment? In my opinion, Amy Jo shared a ton of gems and great stories. Her phrase, where purpose, passion and skill collide, bliss resides. That was the one that really hit home for me. If you had a different favorite Inspired Money moment, please visit inspiredmoney.fm/facebook and let me know what yours was in the Facebook group. Get articles and a peek behind the scenes. Please join the conversation there.
Andy Wang: [01:00:40] All the music on today's show is by Jim Kimo West. Aloha, Kimo!
Thank you so much for tuning in. Have an inspired week and please do something that scares you.
- Why Not Now? Podcast with Amy Jo Martin
- #WhyNotNowReadABook (Club)
Mentioned in this episode:
- The Real O’Neal Puts His Cyber Foot Down
- Amy Jo Martin blazes trails with Shaq
- Nielsen Scarborough Local Insights
- Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos