In this episode of the Creating Wealth podcast, Jason Hartman mentioned upcoming talks on self-management, noting that a future episode will feature his mother and Drew Baker and their tips on how to self-manage investment properties.
He also discussed the new Fed chair, Jerome Powell, and how his lack of advanced economics degree might influence his chair decisions regarding the raise of inflation rates.
Then, in this 10th episode interview, returning guest and serial entrepreneur Peter Sage discussed his most recent adventure when he spent six months in jail. He explained how he was able to use that experience as a teaching and learning experience for himself, the other inmates, and the students who follow his teaching.
He and Hartman discussed dealing with adversity, the importance of identity, the difference between ego strength and ego drive, and primal features that drive humanity.
Self-Managing Doesn’t Have to Be Permanent
Hartman begins by stating that since this is a 10th episode, he is going to cover a topic of general interest. In a near-future episode, Hartman mentions that he plans to cover the topic of self-management in depth, including an interview with both his mother and his client Drew Baker. Both of his interviews will be conducted with people who are highly experienced in self-management, and there will be tips offered and questions answered.
Hartman states that he recommends a hybrid approach to management but reminds listeners that choosing to go with self-management doesn’t have to be permanent. It can be a process to try out, and if you don’t feel that it works for you, there’s the opportunity available to change your mind and hire a property manager.
New Fed Chair: Jerome Powell
Hartman mentions that a new Fed chairman is starting on February 4th, 2018, by the name of Jerome Powell. He reminds listeners that being a Fed chair is one of the most powerful economic positions in the world, so Powell’s replacement of Janet Yellen is noteworthy.
Jerome Powell has served on the Federal Board for five and a half years. He’s a lawyer, as well as the first Fed chair in recent history without an advanced economics degree.
Hartman likens Powell to President Trump, stating that both are practical people versus being ivory tower intellectuals.
It’s important to note that Wall Street says that if inflation stays under 2%, Powell’s Fed might skip a raise in rates. The Fed is supposed to raise rates three or four times this year and two times next year.
Peter Sage’s Latest Adventure
Returning guest Peter Sage joins the podcast to discuss dealing with adversity. He is a serial entrepreneur: business owner, author, public speaker, educator, trainer, and philosopher. He has started over twenty companies in the last twenty-five years and has led an amazing life.
Sage explains that he has had a recent adventure that some would consider a negative experience. He was in a typical legal dispute with Hewlett Packard. He reminds listeners that litigation has nothing to do with who is right and who is wrong. It’s a legal formality.
Sage states that he found himself in a dispute with the HP company, and they put a freezing order on him because they wanted to claim entitlements to liberties from a business deal Sage conducted with them six years ago. Hewlett Packard initiated the freezing order in an effort to back Sage into a settlement.
Sage states that he resold goods that HP claimed he was not entitled to resell, even though there was no contract stating this. Hewlett Packard simply wanted more profit. Sage explains that he kicked back and when he went to court he expected that the case would be thrown out.
Unfortunately, Sage states that he was held in contempt of court and served six months in jail.
Hartman explains to the listeners that contempt of court means that the defendant didn’t participate in some part of the litigation. Hartman refers to his own experience, stating that he went to court with an insurance company in the past and was found in contempt of court for something that was his attorney’s fault. The attorney disappeared, and Hartman filed a Bar complaint against him. He recalls that in those situations, judges tend to place blame on the parties rather than the attorneys at fault. He had to pay a sanction because of this attorney.
Sage explains that during the freezing order, he was supposed to provide bank statements. He states that he signed the authorities for Hewlett Packard to retrieve his bank statements, but two of the banks didn’t respond to the letters and because of this he was held in contempt.
He was sentenced to jail time, and was put into a jail that housed terrorists, murderers, rapists, and the like.
Identity and How We Deal
Sage explains that he should have been held at that jail for a week before being transferred to an open facility, but he was there for just under five months. He only served his last few weeks in an open facility. Despite this, Sage claims that he had an amazing time in jail because he went into the experience without the identity of a prisoner.
He states that identity plays an important part of how we deal with our lives and deal with adversity. He chose to be a secret agent of change, rather than crying about what happened. He told himself, “Okay, I’m here. What am I going to do about it?” Sage explains that he focused his energy on helping people. He went on a mission of change and took advantage of an incredible opportunity.
Hartman agrees that the way we look at things is important. He recalls a saying,
“Everything in life is what you make it. It’s not what it is that counts, it’s how you take it.”
Sage notes that it’s important to understand that stress only lives in one place in the Universe, our minds. Everything else just is. A tree deals with whatever happens to it, rather than worrying about wind blowing it down. Life is growth-centric, Sage says. The only way we can grow is by adapting to change.
When adversity approaches, because we’ve been conditioned, we feel like we have the right to be comfortable. Sage explains that things are going to happen, and we can’t control it. Life is our personal trainer. It’s going to throw curveballs.
He gives an example by saying that there might be an important real estate deal to look forward to. We need the deal to close because we have to pay our mortgages, but the deal falls through. What do we do? We can either treat the situation as something to learn from, or we can reach for a drink. At that point, you’re done, Sage says. All you can do is experience the outer world through the inner world.
“Two men sit behind bars; one saw dirt and the other saw stars.”
The environment isn’t the important factor. How one deals with issues is important, and identity plays a part in that. Do you see yourself as an entrepreneur or someone who is doing their best against a bad world?
Hartman points out that in life, some people are discouraged by tiny things. He recalls seeing the movie Gladiator with Russell Crowe. A friend of his, upon leaving the movie reveled at what those people went through, essentially putting their lives on the line for a cause, when his sales people couldn’t pick up the phone and make a cold call.
He presents another example in one of his companies. He helps people buy real estate and build their real estate portfolios, and notices when people are discouraged by small bumps in the road. The investor could have big plans, wanting to be a landlord to over 200 units, but at the first sign of a problem with the tenant or property manager, they’re willing to drop it and hang up their dreams. It’s shocking, Hartman says.
Sage mentions contrast frames, something he wrote about from jail for the people he was coaching. He had his partner send in five copies of Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. He donated the copies to the prison library, stating that everyone in prison, or everyone in general, should read it. He had other inmates read it and feel grateful to be in prison rather than in Auschwitz.
Hartman mentions one of his popular sayings, “compared to what?” People complain about things and it’s fair to make observations, but we need to compare it to something. That question inspires gratitude. What are we mad about? Compared to what? Our lives aren’t that bad. We still have gourmet coffee every day.
Sage uses “compared to what” in health examples. People ask if they should drink coffee every morning, but compared to what? If they’re comparing the coffee to a McDonald’s shake, drink the coffee. If they’re comparing it to pure cucumber juice, drink the juice. We have to compare what we’re complaining about to see that it isn’t so bad sometimes.
The Difference Between Ego Strength and Ego Drive
Sage states that sales people sometimes fall out of bed on their dreams due to not having a balance in ego strength and ego drive. The key to this balance is understanding personal and conceptual rejection. Being told no to a deal isn’t saying no to us personally. Sometimes people don’t realize this because they put their identity into what they do. Ego strength is needed for that rejection. Ego drive is the power to get out of bed every morning and knock on fifty doors. If you have the strength but no drive, you can handle rejection, but you aren’t motivated. If you have drive but no strength, you fold after being rejected twice.
Having a balance is healthy and critical. You’ll be out of the game if someone tells you no and you take it personally. Sage mentions that he likes hiring Jehovah’s Witnesses for sales people, because they handle being told “no” very well. They’re used to having doors slammed in their faces.
Hartman mentions that Mormons do this as well, visiting people in their homes and being rejected without dropping their motivation.
People Driven by G.O.O.P.
Sage asks listeners how they see themselves in terms of their identities. Do you see yourself as an entrepreneur? He recalls that he lost everything going to jail but he still had his identity.
He mentions that a lot of people are driven by G.O.O.P, meaning the good opinion of other people. It’s hard to live that way, because you constantly need validation. We have to deal with adversity, as we are all learning. We are here to grow, and life is our gym.
Hartman mentions that spoiled children who have never had adversity can’t do anything later in life. They’re like adult babies. He asks listeners to give their children adversity. Don’t make everything too easy for them.
He asks Sage about a point in his book, where he hit on Napoleon Hill’s term of sexual transmutation.
Sage states that it’s important to realize that sex hormones are the strongest drivers of behavior in the human physiology. We have urges, desires, and primal instincts. These urges can be responsible for conflicts, though, so it’s important to channel it. It can’t be compressed, because it’s like a water balloon, and it presses out somewhere else if you try to squeeze it in. Sage notes that it’s important to channel your drives somewhere else. Consciously take charge, because we cannot be at the mercy of our own emotions.
We Need to Love More
Hartman asks how to go about channeling our drives. Right after food, water, clothes, and shelter, the sex drive is what’s next and it’s important that it’s managed.
He refers to conservatives and their insistence on trying to regulate people based on their preferences and lifestyles, and it just isn’t doable. It’s better to be a libertarian and allow people to be themselves.
Sage agrees that people can be educated, not legislated. We are here to learn and grow up and it’s important to choose love instead of fear. We need to learn to love more. We need to understand that if men and women don’t cooperate with each other, people will eventually die off. The sex drive in people on low levels of consciousness express their drive through lust, but on a higher level of consciousness it is expressed as unconditional love, unity, and oneness.
Sage mentions that schools are not designed to teach emotional maturity, which is why we have so many children walking around in adult bodies. Not everyone is playing the personal evolution game. To control your level of emotional maturity and your sexuality, you’re starting mastery. If you can’t control that, you can’t control anything.
Hartman explains that sometimes there is no solution for a problem, we just have to find ways to manage things. Every little thing in life, we have to manage. He refers to a quote by Earl Nightingale:
“A gentleman is someone who has the advantage and does not take it.”
He mentions that a mature person looks at the long game. Mature people are not victims to instant gratification. He asks, do you want to win the battle or the war? Not intended in a violent way, but would you prefer small game or big game. It’s a choice we face every day.
Sage notes that there is no end game. There is no destination on the dance floor, you’re just there to enjoy your dance. There’s a constant sense of relation to health. The goal is to manage better than yesterday. You don’t just drop your health. It’s the same with your spiritual health, you’re not just done one day. You experience growth and don’t beat yourself up or take things too seriously. Just manage your journey and your adversities.
In wrapping up the episode, Peter Sage offers his website for listeners to visit, where they can download a copy of Inside Tracks, what he wrote in jail. He breaks down the things he did to use his situation to his advantage and won national awards for his adventures in jail. For more information, visit www.petersage.com.