The Second Mix Podcast - Reflect, Revise, and Remix Your Life
March 27, 2023

How To Rescript Your Life with Guest Merit Kahn, Speaker, Comedian, and Coach.

How To Rescript Your Life with Guest Merit Kahn, Speaker, Comedian, and Coach.

Merit Kahn is...
CEO of SELLect Sales Development.
Sales & Business Development expert.
Certified Emotional Intelligence expert.
Certified Speaking Professional.
Entrepreneur since 1998.
Stand-up comedian.
Writer, producer and performer of a one-woman inspiring comedy show.
Single mom of a teen.

Find out more at

Merit Kahn is...
CEO of SELLect Sales Development.
Sales & Business Development expert.
Certified Emotional Intelligence expert.
Certified Speaking Professional.
Entrepreneur since 1998.
Stand-up comedian.
Writer, producer and performer of a one-woman inspiring comedy show.
Single mom of a teen.

Find out more at

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Welcome to the Second Mix Podcast - get ready to reflect, revise, and remix your life with personal development ideas and concepts for entrepreneurs.  At the root of all business development is personal development - your business gets better as YOU get better!

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Welcome to the second mixe podcast where we talk about things that matter with people who care. My name is Matt Bennett, and it's my mission to help make you better, stronger, and wiser with the old-school personal development that helped me become something new. If we were at a party and we were just chatting and I asked, what, what do you do?

How do you answer that? 

That changes so many times. I work with entrepreneurs and business owners, sales professionals and people who probably wouldn't consider themselves to be in sales. They're very good at what they do. They're experts in their field, but they have to go and get business.

And they're frustrated because it should be easier to get business than it is. And so I work with people to remove the blocks that are in their way. Sometimes it's a mindset, sometimes they just need to know what to say, and other times they need someone to hold 'em accountable and what to do. So that's the consulting and training side of my business.

Mostly what I really love is showing up at big conferences and sales kickoff meetings and corporate events, and inspiring people to see that more is possible.

So that's the, that's the public speaking part that you're talking about. Yeah. Just getting up there and being a speaker.

Yeah. Which you do very well at by the way. You, you're so comfortable and confident on the stage. I'm, I'm very impressed, . I appreciate that. 

It's definitely not as easy as it looks. There are a lot of coaches out there that will, try to sell you on how. Easy it is. I'm here to tell you that is a hundred percent not the case. . 

 So, you know, from being a perf a musician, the p the time that you're on the stage, that's, You'd do that for free.

Yes. Yes. It's all of the other shit that people pay you for . 

Absolutely. Trying to get up there, talking to the people that you have to talk to, trying to make things happen. 

 . So, , you coach entrepreneurs. and to just help people get through steps. How do you find clients? How do, how do people get attracted to you? What's that look like? 

Most of the time, my coaching training, consulting business grows from the stages that I'm on.

So, I generally will spend my time to look. For organizations, associations, companies that can bring me in to r really get people to see more possibilities for business growth. And then there's usually somebody in that audience that wants to go a lot deeper than what I'm able to do in a 60 or 90 minute keynote.

And that's where I, I do my consulting and, and coaching projects. I also do a lot with emotional intelligence, so, um, when you and I were chatting. , you know, the most important thing you can learn to grow your business is what you learn about yourself. And I think that that's really important piece of the puzzle because when you know more about how you're wired, what you are naturally good at or where you are, Inclined to play in terms like, let's, let's use prospecting as, as an example.

There's many different ways that you could prospect for new business, right? If you're a people person, you're probably better suited to go to networking events than sit behind technology and try to do some sort of social media campaign. But if you know you are, you need to prospect and you're very technological, uh, then maybe you want to write blog posts and optimize them for SEO and go that route if you're not feeling like you make such a good first impression, or, or that's just not your go-to strength or you're in a marketplace where that's not really a possibility. I think it's important to know a lot more about who you are and how you're wired, and then that really helps you build the right strategy to grow your business and, and make sure that you're in the right kind of business and all those sorts of things.


So when you actually decide to take on a client and they get into, uh, a coaching session with you, is that like one of the first things you go after is what? , well, obviously what they, what they need, right? What like why they approached you for coaching, but kind of trying to figure out what kind of person they are and what kind of things would help.

Yeah. So I, the first thing that I would do, let's say you were in my audience and you said, oh, I really liked what you were talking about in your keynote, you opened my eyes to some new possibilities. I, I just, I feel like there's more here. How do, what's next? In that case, I would send you to, uh, to do an online assessment.

To your point, it, it kind of lets me pull back a little bit, the curtain to, to ask you some questions that h help us have a deeper conversation about what's real and true for you and where the gaps really exist. And so I would ask questions about basically three areas. I'm gonna ask questions about your mindset.

I'm gonna ask question, you know, like to really understand what do you think about business money, your own self worth, self regard. Like I wanna really understand that. I'm gonna ask questions about your expertise in terms of the mechanics of selling, like what you say out there. And I'm gonna ask questions.

How you are in motion. Um, do you have systems to track your actions and behaviors? You know, the metrics that you need to grow your business, um, so that you know in advance if you're gonna make your numbers or you're not. Right? So, Do you have accountability structures? Lots of different things. So I'm gonna do this.

Essentially it's a SWOT analysis, right? Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. I didn't invent that. Been around for a while, but it's a good way. It's a good marker. And from there we would have a conversation to see if the things that are challenging you in terms of the gaps that are keeping you from creating the growth that you want are really how we would work together to, to bridge those gaps. And that's, that's basically what I do. So I think, uh, one of the other things that I am looking for in that assessment, because sometimes I'll assess people and I'll determine, you know, they have some gaps, but these are not things that are in my sweet spot to work on.

And so, and that could be just a function of what you sell or the way that you go about sales. Um, so for example, if you sell a product or a service and it's basically a click here by now. , I'm not your girl. Like my, my consulting and methodology is gonna be too much. Um, and just not appropriate. But if you sell something custom, creative, complex, and it requires a consultation type of a sales process, then that's what I've been training and coaching for more than 20 years, and I know my material will be a great fit.

Are there any problems that you see that are re reoccurring, like all the time with almost every client? Like just something where you can almost guess when you talk to a person, this is one of the things they're not doing right. 

That's a great question. Um, I would say first of all, my clients are always open, open-minded.

They're open to coaching, they're open to learning. Um, so that's something that I screen for and, you know, I just, I've done this too long to like sit through another, know-it-all, like why would you do that ? Um, right. So I would say that they're all coming to me with the foundation of that in terms of common.

Challenges or frustrations? I mean, the one thing that I would say is to the person, I mean, they all want more. They're, none of them are satisfied with where they're at, and it doesn't mean they're not happy. It just means. They are driven and hardwired for more. And so I'd say one of the first things that I really do , I strive to do with people is, um, to really help them just determine what is enough.

Because one of the things that I think is a plague of being in sales is there's always one more phone call, one more dollar, one more referral to ask for. It's very hard for us to feel like we've done enough. I do feel like that is an important thing to address early on when you're working with the coach is how do we know that we're doing enough? How would you know that the coaching is working? That you're progressing, um, that you are feeling more confident or comfortable, or whatever it is that you determine is your goal. And so I'm gonna always push back on my clients and say, okay, you want more sales? What does that specifically look like?

So that we know. We're building the right plan, we've got the right strategy we're working on, we're focused on the right, um, things in terms of coaching so that when you reach that you'll be able to go, yeah, I got it. That was enough. 

I guess that would be key performance indicators.

You kind of work with each client to say, what are the performance indicators that are gonna let us know that we're actually achieving something? 

 Yeah. You know, it's interesting, the thing about, um, key performance indicators, uh, you know, KPIs or Yes. Yeah. Any other sort of way that you might, you know, milestones along the way or whatever you wanna call them.

One of the things that I think is a little bit unique about the way that I coach is that some people are very . Attached to the outcome in terms of the goal that they set. So for example, let's. , um, let's use an obvious one. Let's say at the beginning of 2020, your goal was to, um, speak at 10 conferences, right?

Well, at, in January of 2020, that seemed like a very realistic goal, but by March of 2020, that was an impossible goal. And so there's two kinds of people in that situation. One is, I'm gonna, I'm gonna stick to my goal, no matter. And the other is, um, I am going to adjust my game plan. If I recognize that it's not getting me the result that I want, I'm not gonna adjust the result.

Right? So, in that situation. I mean, you know that maybe that's not the perfect example because 2020 was completely out of our control and there were no events. So even if you held onto that goal, like so sad, like that's not gonna happen. Yes. Um, but if you peel that away and say, okay, well what was it about that?

Is it. that you wanted to have a big impact with a large number of people. Is it that you wanted to get your message out there? Is it the money? You know? And so when we look at what was it about that goal and can we still achieve that, that outcome, but maybe not in that delivery model, right? Like maybe it's not speak at 10 conferences, maybe it's, you know, if it's the revenue, then okay, great, how else can we get to the revenue?

So all that to. One of my, key tenets of working is, , a term that I call "redecide". And I do think that it's a myth that we should stick to our goals no matter what, because sometimes new information comes into our experience and it makes sense for us to shift and re decide the goal. or re decide the actions and behaviors on the way to the goal.

So either of those are, are good outcomes, but I do think it's very different than changing your mind. And I like to give people the, the confidence and the permission to re decide in the face of new information, um, so that they can make powerful new decisions about actions that they're taking next. 

Yeah, that's, uh, that's pretty freeing actually, to be able to not be locked in and not, not be driving towards something that you might not even want Anyways. That's, uh, I was just listening to a Dan Kennedy seminar. Mm-hmm. , and he was, he was talking about that like, So many people have goals that they don't want.

They're working really hard for job to get into a position. Like some people would say, I wanna be a coach. I wanna be a coach, because before they're a coach, they think it's the greatest thing in the world. You know, I just sit and talk to people and I get paid for it. And then they become a coach and they're like, "I hate this."

And at that, at that point you say, you gotta just gotta say move on, right? Is what you're saying. Yeah. You gotta say, okay. Let's, uh, what did, what did you get outta coaching that brought you joy? and where else can you get that? 

Exactly. I think a lot of people say that. I know, I know. I've had many, many people come up to me after a keynote, at a big conference, at a big, glamorous, venue and people come up to me like, oh my God, that is so, you know, that was so great.

I loved your keynote. I wanna do that. I could see myself doing that. I'm like, Awesome. Um, then they get into it a little bit and they realize the amount of time that you spend on a stage at doing the keynote is such a small part of what it means to be a keynote speaker and run a keynote business that, they didn't really think about all the other things that were involved in that.

And so then I, that's a. opportunity to re decide. It's like, oh, okay. Um, what's the feeling that I'm after? What's the outcome that I'm after that has me think. I wanna do that thing. And what are all the different ways that I can do that? Like, if you want to be an influencer, there's a lot of ways, like, I, I love being an influencer in front of a live audience at a, in a big conference venue.

Um, I have no interest in being an influencer. in, you know, on TikTok, or Instagram. Like, that's not my thing. Now if somebody, maybe I'll hire somebody in my business to take the footage and then, you know, do what they do all there. But that is like I, you're never gonna see me like with my thing, like posting like crazy.

That's not my, my genre. Okay. 

That's awesome. It's interesting, and this is also, this is where I am. I don't know if I want to be a coach. 

 You know, there's a difference between doing something for your livelihood and doing something because it's more like your lovelihood, , right?

Right. That's, I love to do this versus I need to do this in order to live and. Uh, you know, my, my comedy is like that, you know, so I, that's, you know, another way that I answer the, what do I do in, in life and, and what is my business like? It's, it's the ABCs. I'm an author, I'm a business owner and I'm a comedian.

Um, sometimes not necessarily in that order. And, uh, I'm also a mom, but I file that under comedian and sales expert, so . My comedy started out as something. I did just for the, for love. It was a hobby, it was fun for me, it was my relaxation. I like to write, I, I, I'm very comfortable on stages.

And so it was another way to express and, and to be of value to an audience, um, by just helping them lighten their load. Right? Sometimes, you know, in my keynotes, I'm helping you learn something that'll help you grow your business. In my comedy, you know, club events, I'm, I'm. , uh, just helping you laugh so that you can hold more stress in your life because you can let go of some as you laugh and.

And then I, you know, started getting paid to do comedy and I thought, oh, this is interesting. And, and then I, you know, I toyed with the idea, can I, could I actually do this for my, for like a living? Like could I do that ? Um, then I wrote a one woman comedy show, and now the question is touring it. But, but who I am is, I can't just leave it at comedy.

Um, my show is all about, the journey back to who I've always been and it's, it's really the story of my life, but it's the story of everybody's lives, right? We all have ups and downs. I just rewrote my entire life story through the lens of a comedian. And so the things that I used to relate to as painful in my past, I rewrote the narrative so that my brain thinks of painful moments as hilarious, and I think I have something very powerful in that, you know, that's not unique to me, but I can teach you how to do that in your life. 

And so now, because I, I'm a trainer and in my heart, who I am in the, in the world is I am here to help you be inspired by yourself. And the tools that I have to teach people are not tools that I need any recognition. Like it's not because I'm this genius coach, it's that I am asking you questions so that you find the growth in yourself in your own story. So, So I come life from that trainer perspective. Then I go and do comedy and I can't just leave it at comedy. I have to add in, well, let me do a workshop for people.

So after they see my one woman comedy show, they can rewrite their own past. Because when you rewrite your past, you have a whole different future. It's just kind of an interesting dynamic, like once you really identify who you are and why you are here in this, in this experience, um, everything just kind of comes together.

I, I, the two are not separated. I'm funny in my keynotes and there's lessons in my comedy. It, I can't separate it. 

Right, right. No, that's really cool. That's also good. I mean, to go, to, go way. With, when I was asking you a question, you kind of, the answer was if it's something you love to do, you don't have to make money doing it.

You don't have to find a way to turn it into making money. You don't have to do that. Just like kind of be yourself and expand out there, which seems to be what you are doing with your comedy and your life and, uh, bringing that all back around. So the show, are you, are you currently performing it or are you working on it, or how's all this working right now for you?

Well, currently, uh, the last performances I did, uh, a couple of months ago, and now I am looking at, uh, I did the performances, I did two sold out shows in Denver. We sold out almost 400 tickets and. Now I'm looking to take the show on the road. So it's, it's a lot. You know, I've, I don't know what I don't know about that whole genre, right?

Like it's renting a theater and selling the tickets and doing the publicity. Like I'm just figuring it out. Right as a newbie. So, um, the show got great response and I, I know that it really does connect with audiences and I'm excited to bring the show out and tour it. But, you know, I , I, uh, I haven't quite figured out how to make a complete living or, you know, replace my income that I'm used to from doing that. But once I do I'll, that would be, that would be my, my gift. 

In the meantime, I've turned my basement into a comedy club. Okay. Yep. I, I have bistro tables and chairs. The tablecloths, the candles. I have a, a nine by nine stage. I mean, wow. It's 

legit . So, wait, now is that for, for practicing and bringing friends in?


that like, it's, it's a little bit of both. So I, I have a lot of comedian friends and, um, it's fun to practice and rehearse and workshop new material in a space that actually looks like a club. Um, and then also I am just starting to do some comedy nights. Now I have to be a little bit careful. I'm not sure if this is totally kosher with my HOA, but , um, But yeah, I mean, it's, it would be like having a party.

So I, I set it up. I can have about 60 people in my basement and Wow. Yeah, so we're, we're doing, we're starting to do some comedy nights, so that's new. 

That is admirable and fantastic. I love that you have a, a comedy club in the basement and we're hiding it from the HOA, 

So in all of this, you said that at the beginning when you wrote this show, you were, it, it was basically a way to change your mindset about painful past events. Yes. Do you find that it continues to do that? Like a as you go? Yeah. It helps to continue to do it? 

It's a great question, Matt, and, and I will tell you, so I, I took my, I did my first set in 2014, and it, I, I, it just changed my life forever because comedy, um, my coach that I started training with was very into personal comedy.

So she would have us write things that were personal to us, things that frustrated us, challenged us, confused us, and, and find the funny elements of it. I would say honestly, writing comedy was the best therapy I've ever experienced because you really do change your outlook on life. And I would say that, you know, so when I wrote the show, it was.

It was actually an expression of, of pure love, right? I wrote the show. I, the original idea was I was gonna do a 50 minute comedy set for my 50th birthday, and I was just gonna rent a bar and pack it with my friends and have a party. And, and at that point, the most comedy I'd done was about a 15, 18 minute set.

So 50 minutes was a big stretch. Well then as I started writing it took on a life of its own. And next thing I know, there's costume changes and a set and a whole storyline and lessons. And I was just like, like, it just, it, I would say, I mean, it was a lot of writing, but much of it literally wrote itself.

And then also I had a very talented, um, co-writer, uh, the very hilariously funny Karen Ruth White. So, okay. We wrote the, the show together and then I performed it. And it wasn't until after I heard the reactions of the audience because I had no idea if this was gonna be any good. Um, these were my friends basically, right?

And, but my friends brought other people who didn't know me, and that's when I realized, , I'm onto something because it's one thing for, the people who already know you and love you to be like, oh, that was adorable. Good job. Um, it's a totally different thing when people who have no connection with you at all feel like they could relate to your whole life story and laughed their asses off.

And that's when I thought, maybe I have something here. I think when something starts, because you love it and you'll hear entrepreneurs say like, why did you start your business? How'd you start your business? Oh, I just have a passion for it. Um, I'm doing a keynote next week in Florida for, uh, in the childcare industry, and these are not business owners at their core.

These are people who love kids. That's why they started this childcare. And so I'm gonna talk to them and tap into that passion. And now we just wanna teach them the skills so that their passion can really expand. 

One of the things about the, even at the beginning, you changing your own mindset, um, do you think that, that, that happens, you're not like obscuring a past painful event. You kind of indicated you're like rewriting it and is it like you are kind of changing now the emotion that's actually associated with it, like that painful event, always pulls up an emotion no matter what. But now when you go back to that painful event, you've got newer things attached to it to pull up different emotions. 

Yeah, I, I kind of think about it like, um, it's like a, like glasses, right?

You almost. , you know, there's the joke about having rose colored glasses, but there's something to that, you know, if you look at, if you have a, a memory and that memory is painful and it's coloring your future. When you look at that memory, you're looking at it through, let's say, green colored glasses.

But with that memory, when you're looking at it, then you take that same. That same vantage point towards your future, you haven't taken the glasses off. They're still green, so all you see in your future is green. But when you can take off the green glasses and then you look at your past through rose colored glasses, then that vision of your past,

all you need to do is take that into your future. I, I don't know if that exactly translates the way that I, I intend it, but 

I think it does. I can see it. 

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Good. . 

So when you, do you try to apply that kind of thinking to, when you were talking about this childcare industry speaking, that you're gonna be doing.

I mean, do you apply that kind of thing to pull out people's passion? 

Absolutely. So in my keynote, in my business keynotes, I actually use video clips from my comedy show because again, when you're laughing, you're learning. It's, it's a, it's a very different kind of a keynote experience, more like a keynote performance.

And I want people to really have permission to, uh, re decide how they look at their past events or it could be anything. It doesn't have to be the most traumatic thing in your life, right? Like, like let's not start with the most traumatic thing in your life and be like, oh, if I can, like there are certain things that are.

you know, let's not be in an argument with reality. They're incredibly painful and, and I, you know, you're not gonna just like flip a switch and be like, oh yeah, that terrible thing that happened, like all of a sudden I'm gonna see that as funny. Like, let's not be, you know, like I'm not talking about like the deepest, darkest things.

I'm right. But I'm saying that there are certain things that we can control the narrative of our past and that gives you a whole different future. So for example, I had a challenging marriage, we'll, we'll leave it at that. I had a challenging marriage with a very difficult personality style.

I could have taken that experience and it could have meant that. , all men are like this, or I can't trust any of them, or I'm never gonna open myself up again. Or like, right, like they're all gonna steal from me. Like there could have been a whole lot of, you know, drama that I could have drug along with me into my future, but instead I'm just like, wow, that's hilarious.

That. Confidence, successful, like, got your act together, person attracted this other type of person. And the more that I learned about it, the more I realized, oh, that's, that's a pattern. So then it was, you know, then you have to turn the lens on yourself and go, well, who was I being that that happened? And then what a com, you know, therapy might stop there.

A comedian takes it to the next level. Well, what's funny about that? What's funny about who I was being that I had tracked that into my life? What's embarrassing about that? Let's take that out like the next couple of layers. Imagine if I did that again and then, it just becomes a funny bit and then that, that bit actually has you look at that past experience, not as painful as it was, but as the , the thing that you needed to go through to get to where you are, to have that learning moment, right? 

Comedy does that faster and easier and in a such a much more fun way than anything I've ever experienced.

 That is a really powerful way of reflecting on your past life. I've never heard of it like that. There's something else that I wanna talk to you about then, because you seem to have, there's something that I, I always like to talk about.

So I'm gonna take like one minute and get there. , but, okay. Uh, so I. I was, uh, a magician for a long time, a performing magician, and I, I have this friend Brent Braun, who owns the Magic Firm in Louisville, Kentucky. And at times he'll write for me to check a script and make sure that the script is what it needs to be, what you need to be saying while you're performing certain magical things. So we worked together in that capacity. And, but way back then, before any of that happened, when we were just like two magicians walking around at restaurants doing card tricks for tips.

We'd go see a magic show and really, you've heard the joke. And for my next trick that came up, because that's all magicians knew how to say, like they didn't really have a show, they didn't know what to do next. So we started on this philosophy of we're gonna make everything we do, like a show, a cohesive, combined story that makes sense from beginning to end.

Every word you say has a reason to be there. and we've just moved that forward into our lives now. He's doing a lot with magic. I'm doing a lot with other stuff. But it seems like you're on that train too, maybe. Absolutely. Maybe even driving it, because you are doing this because you're d you, you started this comedy routine and you said it evolved, it turned into something and it, it feels like, yeah.

That you're, um, That seems to be your philosophy is to make it a cohesive 

unit. Absolutely. When I took the comedy class, it wasn't to be a comedian. It was actually to be more deliberately funny for my keynotes. Well, what I learned, what I took for granted in my business, speaking, was that, every word has to audition to be in that speech.

 Jerry Seinfeld is, is famous for talking about this in his, documentary I think it's just called The Comedian or something like that. Yeah. But he talks about it's not just every word, writing, comedy is more about editing than, I mean, you have to write a lot and then, You're trying to get to the joke in the fewest possible words, and honestly in his philosophy is in the fewest syllables.

In the syllables that are funniest in the, in the sounds that are funniest. Like we're really, I think that transformed my business keynotes by studying standup comedy because, I really started to appreciate the importance of every single word, every moment, every sound, every facial expression, every pause in ways that I had never been trained or coached as a professional speaker.

It, it's such a different level of mastery, and I think standup comedians are the most clever the best wordsmiths, the most intelligent. I mean, you could argue with me on some comedians, they don't, they don't appear to be a to lead with their intelligence. But man, the clever comedy is what really gets me the, the kind of comedy that makes me go, oh my gosh, that's genius.

That's what I love. And I don't think anybody does it better than standup comics. 

That actually, I mean, it leads me to think maybe I should study some comedy just to see where that could take me. Uh, as far as communicating, just communicating with people.

Because really, I mean, if you're saying that y you every syllable use the funny syllables. I mean, what if you are trying to have a sincere conversation with somebody and you can say, okay, I need to use some of these words and some of these syllable. That sounds like that, that back up the point that I'm trying to make if it's sincere or, not being hard on someone, it seems like that would be a, a wise study of language in general.

Words give you your world, right? So everything lives in language. And if you are very deliberate about your language, if you understand emotions and if you understand how other people are wired differently than you, and you can give language to that, the better you are at, which I'm not very, I'm not, I'm really aware that I'm not articulating this very well, and I'm talking about how important it is to articulate things well. Give me a pass on that. You got thinking about it, you got a pass. 


live. But when you can really be deliberate with your language, you have much more power to create the world that you live in. If you think about it from like a, as an emotional intelligence coach, if the only emotional language you have is, I feel happy, I feel sad, I feel good, I feel bad.

You are missing a, you're missing out on experiencing ecstasy. Agony. You know maybe you wanna miss out on agony, but, but you're missing all the shades of happiness. You might say you're upset, but are you really upset or are you frustrated? Or are you overwhelmed? Those are different things and you would deal with them in different ways.

It's a different strategy to, to not be frustrated versus to not feel overwhelmed. And so, as somebody who studies emotions and language. I think that adds to my depth in, in, even in my comedy, because I'm really aware of putting the right words together for the joke and getting the experience that I, I want to create for my audience.

And I think that's probably something you understand really well as a magician and with your script writing, and this is true for sales, right? If, if we're thinking from the perspective of what do I wanna sell you? What's the joke or the trick that I wanna share with you?

That is a very self-focused way to create something. And anytime I've done that, it has never worked out nearly as well as when I put myself in their perspective and I say, okay, the person sitting at this table while I'm doing this magic trick, which of course is not me, cuz I, I can't pull a quarter out of my ear but , when I do a keynote, I walk the floor of the room that I'm gonna be presenting in the next day. And I sit in a seat, I sit in several seats around the room, and I just sit there and I try to imagine the person in this seat and what is it they need? And I, and I psych myself up and I just sit there and I go, all right, I don't know who this person is, but whoever is sitting in this seat tomorrow.

They are here, they really needed this message, and I know that something is gonna connect with them because it's, it's supposed to. And I, I make sure that even in the moment when I'm presenting and I do this in my comedy, if there's something that I am drawn to, to share, I trust it.

Standup comedy is very scripted, but there's also, moments where you get to play because you know your materials so well, that you get to dance with it a little bit and, and when you trust that it's magical for the audience. Just magical. Wow. 

You sitting in, in those seats and, and imagining yourself that... really touching. It's a great, it's like you'll never forget if you do that all the time, you'll never forget what your purpose is up there. A hundred percent. Even if you go through one bad day or one whatever, to sit in that seat and say, somebody's gonna be sitting here tomorrow that needs something.

Yeah. Like, what do they need from me that could push 'em to the next level or help 'em not be depressed or make the money that they needed to support their family, like any of that stuff, um, that's just a, that's a beautiful way of doing it to you, for you not to lose touch and to keep providing value to all those people.

Thanks. I love that. 

It's never about us. Never ever about us. You know? I mean, every time somebody asks me to train them or you know, or I work with sales teams and we build strategies and we're doing all the stuff, but the number one thing is you just gotta remember. It's not about you selling your stuff, it's about you listening to the questions, to the challenges, to the the concerns that they have, and if your offer is appropriate to solve their problem, then you have the makings of an opportunity. But the moment you forget that, the moment you think your stuff is all that, as a speaker or a product or whatever. It's over.

It becomes you and it's about selling. It's about being pushy and aggressive . The name of my training company is Select Sales. We spell it s e l l e c T, not because we don't know how to spell the word Select , but because the philosophy is, is about, it's about being selected because it's appropriate.

It's about being the best choice. It's about mutual selection to do business together. It's not about being salesy. And I think about that in my business work with, with, companies and organizations and on the stages. And I think about that in my comedy. It's not about, I'm not gonna try to sell you the joke, , I'm gonna meet you where you are.

I'm gonna, I want you to select, to laugh, right? Like it's, everything I do is so interconnected, even though it seems like they're very different things. 

That makes complete sense. I mean, it, it, it is fitting and it's like one part of your life has to bleed into the next, otherwise you wouldn't be genuine.

Yeah. Exactly. So in fact, even the, the new book that I have coming out in about 60 days, oh, uh, , it's called Are You Open To, and, and the subtitle is, um, four Magic Words That Transform Sales and just about everything else. And so there you go. It's a little magic . 

Oh, okay. I love it. 

But yeah, even in that book, I, I have a whole section where I talk about the connection between what I, the lessons I learned in comedy and how that translates to the business world.

So it's kind of a fun read. 

Okay. Yeah, I'm looking forward to that. That comes out in 60 days ish. That ish. Don't quote me . I want, I want that. Well, it's gonna be a couple weeks before this goes live anyways, so people are still gonna have to figure stuff out. . Uh, so when is the expected release of that book?

Uh, should be in my hands end of March, maybe a little bit before. We're just going back and forth with final edits and some interior layout design work and all the fancy things you don't think about when you're writing a book. 

ab Yes, absolutely. Um, well, excellent. And where will people be able to get that?

Amazon or, yeah, it'll be on Amazon. It'll be on the, uh, the store at my website, which is and yeah, M E R I T K A H N. 

All right. Is that where people would also go to find you and, and ask about coaching and take that, uh, take that questionnaire that you were talking about? 

Yes, yes, yes. So if you go to that site, there'll be, I'll probably, I think there's a little popup that comes up if you wanna take the SWAT analysis.

And so I'm, I definitely encourage you to do. and, uh, there's a training link on that site as well. So that'll take you to the select sales content. And if you are running an event or a sales kickoff or a conference or you just wanna some ideas about how to help your sales team or you, your run your business and grow sales, Just, just click the Let's Talk button.

Get on my calendar. Let's just have a conversation. 

Outstanding. That is perfect. Well, I've got a couple questions to ask before we go. Hey, are there any books that you would recommend or that you do recommend often? 

Normally I have them right here on my desk. Yes. So my favorite, book in sales, the one that really shifted my mindset is called, Influence.

Not a brand new book, not a terribly old book, but, um, by Dr. Robert Cialdini, C I A L D I N I. And it's really about how there, there's principles of in influence at work to influence you in terms of being a consumer. And when you understand what those principles of influence are, you can choose, you can better be more in control of whether or not you're gonna go along for the ride.

And you can also use those things more deliberately. Not in a manipulative way. Please don't do that. But , as ways to help you grow business. So I do like the book Influence the Science and Practice of Influence or something 


that. Yes, he's awesome. I, I wanna get to the other book, but I do, I do want to say something about that book.

It was amazing except when I got to the part where he was talking about, uh, being a musician. I would go and set my tip jar out and throw like five or six $1 bills in. And he and he came out and basically said, that's manipulative in the book. And if he sees that he will not put money in the tip jar cuz he is like, that's manipulative.

That's in the book. He . 

I don't remember that part, but I hear, I hear why you would be upset about that . So at the 

end of each chapter, he's actually like, this is how people could influence you. This is how it works. And then he gives you like little advice, like, here's how to tell if somebody's doing it to you.

So, but I was like, I'm not filling it to be manipulative, I'm filling it so people know where to put the money. . Yeah, that 

feels a little bit, um, incongruent because he talks about social proof. So for me, the dollar bills that are already in the jar are social proof that other people already appreciated the music at the level of pulling out their wallet.

guess he would argue that that would be like creating your own social proof with fake people and fake 

quotes. Okay. That's. . Yeah, that's fair. Yeah. Don't do that. But . But 

anyway, . 

Interesting. All right. 

So what other books would you recommend? 

I love this. Well, the other book I would definitely recommend is the new book that I just wrote, but, um, , yes.

Of of 

course. We're 

all gonna get that. Yeah, I know, I know. The other one I really like is, um, the EQ Edge. It's by Steven Stein and Howard Book . Okay. If emotional intelligence is at all, interesting or intriguing to you, I feel like that was a, it's a good one because, well, first of all, I, I'm, I'm a little bit biased.

I do think people should get a scientifically validated assessment to circle back to what we started talking about at the beginning of this conversation. The more you know yourself and, and how you're wired, the better you are to make good business decisions that are congruent with who you are and what your strengths are.

And the more you understand about your own emotions and the impact you have on other people, the the better leader you will be. Um, all of those things make a difference. That's a good book to get a better understanding of, how emotional intelligence attributes are at play in all the relationships in your life.

And as long as you're a human being dealing with other human beings and not just bots on your screen, you, you cannot separate the fact that everybody has emotion and if you don't understand it, much like the social, you know, like the weapons of influence, if you don't understand them, they work against you and you'll never know why.

And if you do understand them, you have more, more control. Again, not to manipulate, but to make better choices. 

Well, yeah, that those both actually seem to be, it gives you power to influence people and that always then ends up being the person who is doing the influencing and their character as to whether they're manipulating or helping.

So I like that. Exactly. Well, thank you. I, I had not even heard of the EQ Edge, is that what it's called? EQ Edge. Yes. So I will be looking that up too. And I will be picking up a copy of your book because it sounds fascinating. 

You'll love it, . It's a good 

one. So the last question, and I don't know if you read any of the notes, because we've been trying to schedule this thing for.

Six months, I think . Um, but there is a question that I like to ask everybody. If you had 43 seconds and you had the entire world on the line, what would you 

tell them? I would tell them to always be open to new possibilities. The first step to a closed deal is always an open mind, and whether that closed deal, quote unquote, is, you know, encouraging somebody to take a job with you or marry you or, go on a date with you or eat at your restaurant or whatever it is, before they can receive your value.

They have to open their mind. And so the best question you can ask somebody is, are you open to? And I think those really, those four words really can change a lot because it's easy for somebody to say they're not interested in what you have to offer. It's very hard for people to admit that they're not open to it, cuz we don't wanna be seen as people who are close-minded.

So tap into that and. Remind yourself to always be open to what other people are saying and sharing with you, and help them open their minds before you try to cram your value down their throat. 


I love it that, that was 43 

seconds, or now that was good. I will time you and I'll send you an email, let you know how you did

Thank you . I really appreciate it. This has been, uh, an eye-opening and fascinating time here. So thank you for that. Thanks Matt. 

 I'm excited about publishing this episode. It's full of valuable information for everybody and it was also, just a fun conversation, so thank you. 

I appreciate that. Yeah, thank. 

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