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How to Read Human Nature to Succeed in Life with Bestselling Author Robert Greene

The BiggerPockets Podcast
63 min read
How to Read Human Nature to Succeed in Life with Bestselling Author Robert Greene

Interested in learning techniques that will virtually guarantee you success, regardless of your field of interest? Of course you are!

On that front, today’s show will not disappoint! Brandon and David interview bestselling author Robert Greene, whose latest book is titled The Laws of Human Nature.

Robert discusses brilliant concepts regarding earning the trust of others, determining who you can trust in an interaction, and developing the super power of reading other people’s non-verbal cues. He also shares valuable insight that will help you positively impact the emotions of others around you, put yourself in a peak state of performance, and activate the power of your own emotional connection to things you are passionate about.

And do not miss Robert’s advice on making sure others cannot manipulate or deceive you, or what he’s learned studying Leonardo da Vinci and others who have mastered their crafts! If you want to become the investor who gets deals first, gets the best prices on rehabs, and is less likely to be fooled in a transaction, download this episode right now!

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Brandon: This is the BiggerPockets podcast show number 315. I had to look it up.

‘Robert: What I mean is your attitude and your energy, how you approach people, getting into their mindset and attending to them and confirming and validating their self-opinion. I think that is kind of a game-changer.’

You are listening to a BiggerPockets Radio. Simplifying real estate for investors large and small. If you are here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype, you are in the right place. Stay tuned and be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from BiggerPockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

Brandon: What is going on everyone? This is Brandon Turner, host of the BiggerPockets podcast. Here with my co-host, Mr. David Greene. What is up, Copper?

David: What is going on in partner? Everything is code four on this end. Actually this is better than code four.

Brandon: What is code four? Wait, what is…

David: We have one of the best podcast…

Brandon: What is code four?

David: Code four is like everything is fine, I do not need any backup, the situation is under control.

Brandon: Okay, right.

David: It is actually better than code four because we just interviewed Robert freaking Green. A stud author on some very very popular books regarding success, understanding people. I mean this is like an elite level person. One of the best podcasts we have ever done. My brain is still like kind of like throbbing with information that he just landed on us. A little known fact, he is actually my cousin. That is actually not true but we do talk about that a little bit.

Brandon: Robert Greene is a New York Times bestselling author, just a rock star. He has written a lot of books like the 48 Laws of Power, Mastery, The Art of Seduction, and there was a new book on the laws of human nature. It really is just a fantastic understanding of how people think. Now, why is it important for real estate investors? Again, this is not a real estate show today specifically, but this show might be more important for real estate investors than almost any show we have done because at the heart of success to becoming a real estate investor, at the hardest success to becoming a real estate agent.

The hardest success to becoming a plumber, like I mean anything, right? The business owner is understanding people and how human nature affects people. How do you get people to like you? How do you get them to sell you their house? How do you get them to want to work with you? These are all things we talk about today, it is fantastic. Make sure you pick up his book as well, Laws of Human Nature. But in addition, we will get to the interview here in a second. Before we do, let us get today’s Quick Tip.

Alright, today’s Quick Tip is a very simple. One of the laws of human nature we talked about today is something called, what is it, the appearance bias where people tend to see things that look good and assume that they are more professional, successful, correct, true, whatever. Like whether right or wrong, it does not matter. This is how people think, right? Which is why David, actually in the show, David will talk about like wearing a suit when he is meeting clients helps so much.

What I want to mention is this, when people go to your BiggerPockets, what do they see? Do you have a professional looking picture up there? If you are a pro member, do you have a video uploaded? Pro members going to a video to your profile? Why is that important? Because it adds that appearance of professionalism and you look good and they can connect with you. Do you have a your description filled out? Have you filled out what deals you are doing, what you have invested in? All of that stuff can be on your profile.

Your profile is not like your Twitter page or your Facebook page where you want to make people like, I do not know, see your political leanings. But this is like are you somebody worth doing business with? People will give you five seconds to look at your page and decide that they will make a snap judgment. Go to your page and tell me what you see and then make adjustments accordingly. That is today’s Quick Tip.

David: Brilliant.

Brandon: Brilliant, brilliant. Alright, now before we go to today’s show with Robert Greene, let us hear from today’s show sponsor.

Today’s support comes from Fundrise. Look, if you are listening to the podcast, you probably already know how tough it is to find truly exceptional real estate projects. You have also probably felt the pain of finding one of those projects but not having enough capital to get the deal done. That is where Fundrise comes in. Fundrise and enables you to invest in high quality, high potential private market real estate projects. Like I am talking to anything from high rises in DC to multifamily properties in LA, institutional quality stuff. Each project has carefully vetted an actively managed by Fundrise’s team of real estate pros. Their high tech, low cost online platform lets you track the progress of every single project and keep more of the money you make. By the way, you do not have to be accredited either. I am telling you, Fundrise really does feel like the future of real estate investing. Visit Fundrise.com/BiggerPockets to have your first three months of fees waived? That is Fundrise.com/BiggerPockets.

Brandon: Alright, alrighty right. Alright, alright, alright. Is not that what Matthew Mcconaughey says? Alright, alright, alright.

David: You sound and look just like him.

Brandon: Oh, good, good. Alright, well with that, I think we are pretty much ready to get to the episode.

David: Let us bring in the godfather.

Brandon: Alright, here we go. Again, today’s guest is Robert Greene. He is just fantastic, a very famous author. We are very lucky to have him today. In fact, actually, last fall Robert suffered a stroke and so he did very very few interviews for this book but we were lucky enough to get him. He is like a little bit will deal with that later in the episode. With that, let us get to the show.

Brandon: Robert, thank you so so much for joining us today in this interview. I have been really, really looking forward to this for quite a while. I actually learned about you, Robert, from Ryan Holiday who I know you have worked with in the past. Ryan Holiday, who is on episode 245 at the BiggerPockets podcast, BiggerPockets.com/show245. Ryan Holiday is I fantastic author. He has written some great books as well and he is a real estate investor and so we had him on the show here. He is fantastic. But I want to know how you actually connected originally with Ryan Holiday? Can you tell us kind of how that came about?

Robert: Well, Ryan was sort of my mentee or I was his mentor, however you want to put it. He came to me, I think it was in like ’05 or ’06. I was having lunch with him, it was quite a lunch with him, Tucker Max and Neil Strauss. Ryan sort of tagged along. He was about 19 at the time. He was a college student at Riverside, UC, Riverside. He was a fan of my books and he was sort of hinting that maybe he would like to do research for me. I have had the worst luck hiring researchers. People might be good looking in Los Angeles, but they are usually not very bright. I had really really bad luck with researchers. Spent loads of money and had no good results. I decided, alright, why not try it? This guy, he now understands my books, that is a good start. He did really good job, he was unusual.

First of all, he asked questions. He listened to me, which is quite a skill these days. Then he did the kind of work that would actually help me instead of just making me have to double over what he had already read. I go, wow, this is a rare find. Then I was at the time on the board of directors for American apparel and Ryan fixed my Wikipedia page, which as I said, I am kind of a techno moron. I was wow, that is amazing. I got the CEO of American Apparel, he fixed his Wikipedia page and then he hired him and he became the marketing director at American Apparel and the rest is history.

Brandon: That is awesome, that is awesome. Yes, I liked that story. I have heard little bits and pieces of it before, just on various interviews and times that I have talked to Ryan but I love the fact that like he talked to you, you became basically his mentor in a way and then he just did a really, really good job. I mean this is something we see in the industry all the time in the real estate space where people like they want a mentor, they want somebody to help them figure out what to do next. And so then they come to them. I mean, imagine if Ryan would have come to you and been like, ‘Robert, I really want you to teach me everything you know, go ahead. Go.’ Then just wait for you to just unload. Like, it is very different, is not it?

Robert: Yes. It is like when you are looking for… If you are in the inferior position and you are looking for a favor from someone who is powerful, you have to do a little mental Jujitsu and you have to think, it is not about me, it is about them. What can I do for them that will save them time, make them look better, help them in their work because everyone is so rushed these days, we do not have time. Instead of thinking about you and how brilliant you are and how much they can give you, you have to think about what you can give them. If you are not ready to give them because you are not skilled enough or you are just not prepared, then do not do it. You have to be offering something that is valuable to the other person. Ryan then ended up less…

David: I want to ask you, Ryan obviously knew what his strengths were. When he came to you and said, ‘Hey, I would like to help with researching.’ He knew what he would been doing. We know…  Brandon and I met Tucker. He is the author of, what was it, Brandon? I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell. Ryan had some experience as a research assistant so when he came to you, he knew what he was good at. He probably had a very clear and articulate value proposition that he brought. My guess would be that is one of the reasons you are like, okay, let us give him a shot and then he excelled at it. Do you have some advice for the people?

Like Brandon and I get this a lot, people reach out to us and say, oh I really want to learn everything you know, tell me what you need help with and we hate it cause they have now given us the job of trying to figure out what are you good at and how could you help me and how will I know if this is working? Like you said, that just makes it worse because now you got to go double up everything they did and tried to slow down and teach them when they were supposed to be helping you. For the people who want to establish that connection, can you share what it was about Ryan that made him stand out and how people can know what their strengths are so they know what to offer?

Robert: Well, he began with some knowledge and some intelligence. He understood my books. At the time, I was researching my war book. I think I was finishing it. He had read it, he had done his homework. A lot of people do not do basic homework and it is so easy on the internet now. When I was starting out, I had nothing like this, but you have to know the people that you are trying to ask favors for. Do some simple research, find out what they need, find out what is missing, what their weaknesses are, where you could really fit in and help. Already, I could see that there was this knowledge that he had. He knew my books, he understood my way of thinking. The problem I had been hiring researchers is they think they understood my books but they did not know how I thought.

They would read an entire book and it was like useless because they would highlight the things that were not necessarily are interesting to me. But Ryan really really understood what I was trying to say and how I actually researched the book. I could tell there was a level of seriousness. He was not putting all of the onus on me. Like you said, he was there to prove himself. What can I do to prove myself? When I have suggested researching, I tried a little experiment with him.

Normally, I gave people a lot of information about what I need for research and I thought I am not going to give Ryan any of that and let us see how he does sink or swim, whether he can figure it out on his own and he did. But the most important thing you are looking for is not a glittering resume, is not people’s charm, but their character, which is something I talk a lot about in The Laws of Human Nature. Are they someone who is conscientious, who is disciplined, who does not have a big ego, who is going to listen to you and puts the attention on you and your needs? Or is it all about them and their glittering future and all they think that they can offer you? That was sort of the key difference between Ryan and all the others.

Brandon: Yes, that is fantastic. I think anybody… That is probably the number one question we get. Probably number one is how do I get a mentor? For those people listening to the show right now that is asking that question in your head, go back and just rewind the last like two minutes and just listen to that whole thing again because that was so key to be able to find somebody that can help mentor you and to help push you along. You mentioned The Laws of Human Nature, your newest book. I want to know like why you have written a lot on a lot of different topics, but what made you want to write on human nature? Then can you just tell us a couple of minutes on like what is the book about? What is human nature, what do you mean?

Robert: Well, I am of the opinion that we are actually animals, which I do not think anybody would dispute. Just like your dog or your cat has a particular nature and certain patterns of behavior, so do we. We are a lot more complicated but our behavior fits into certain patterns because we evolved a particular way, going back hundreds of thousands of years ago. I am fascinated by these elements in our nature that have not changed since the beginning of time and I wanted to sort of explore that and illuminated for people out there because I think a lot of people… Look, the most important skill you can develop in life is understanding people.

We are a social animal, all the technical brains in the world will not get you very far if you are really inept in dealing with people. I am sure that is extremely important with real estate agents, right? It is a people business. I know because I have dealt with a several… We fired our first real estate agent because she did not understand our tastes. She did not listen to us. She started showing these houses. It had nothing to do with who we were. She was not attuned to us. My point in my book was this is the most important life skill you can develop. It is the ability to understand the people around you and to understand yourself and to know what motivates human behavior. It is not necessarily what you think.

A lot of our nature is slightly negative. We have certain faults and certain proclivities such as how emotions govern our behavior. If you understand something very basic like the fact that people are not really thinking animals, they are emotional animals. They feel before they think, that kind of alters how you will approach them. I wanted to completely alter your way of looking at the people around you and make them much more transparent.

David: Yes, that makes a lot of sense.

Brandon: Yes, I think people tend to focus, especially when they are getting into real estate or I mean really any business, right? Whether it is investing, agent, or they want to start a plumbing company, people focus really heavily on the tactics. Like, here is how I do this. I will focus as much on the here is how this, like here is how I have to interact with people. I mean like I will admit I am the worst at it. Like I am really good at some tactics about things but when it comes to like sending out and making people feel good or getting people to do things, I am not always the greatest at it. But in real estate, you have to be good at those things. What are some of your, I guess maybe, I do not want call it surprising but like… Or more more interesting pieces like maybe the chapters in the book that just stand out to you the most or what are some pieces of The Human Nature that just really stand out to you as interesting?

Robert: Well, I wanted to explore some of the dark side in human nature because I think it is very real and we have all dealt with people who are extremely difficult and have obviously some psychological problems and they can make our lives miserable because we get entangled in their emotional dramas, we do not have any distance. A lot of the book focuses on traits that are like that but we tend to see them as something that only other people have. I have a chapter on narcissism, and I want to make it clear to you out there, that you are a narcissist as well. It is not so important for you to be labeling other people, it is a human trait. We are all self-absorbed, you included. There is a scale some people are much more self-absorbed than others and they have a problem but you are the same way so let us be a little more realistic and a little more humble about it.

If you can come to terms with the fact that you are also very self-absorbed, you can begin to change that dynamic. You can begin to become more empathetic, more attuned to other people. Only once you realize that you are not really like that, and I did the same thing with a chapter on aggression, it is always the other person who is aggressive. I am always…

Brandon: I never…

Robert. I have always have the best intentions, I am an angel. It is not true, we all have aggressive tendencies. How do you channel your aggression? Do you turn it inward into kind of hating yourself and taking drugs and things to escape? Do you turn it into being vicious and pushing people around? Do you become passive aggressive or do you turn it into your work and make it something productive? Something that actually contributes to society. I can go on and on. There is a trait about what makes us a social animal and how a lot of our thoughts and feelings are not our own. They come from the people around us. We are extremely susceptible to the emotions of the people around us. I want to change your concept of who you are. You are not as much of an individual as you think you are, you are much more vulnerable to the influences of people.

Brandon: Let us talk about that for a minute. About we get our emotions from the people around us. Because I find that true. We oftentimes, we will cite like there is a famous quote, I do not know, I think Tim Ferriss made it famous but I do not know if he coined it, but you are the average of the five people you associate with the most. Like if you hang around five people who are overweight, you are probably overweight. If you hang around five people who are super fit, you are probably fit.

Robert: Right.

Brandon: How does that play into this idea that we are the people around us?

Robert: Well, this is part of the nature that I am going back to early early on in our evolution. When we were evolving well before the invention of language, we were very weak animal compared to all of the predators out there in east Africa. But what the one strength we had was our ability to function within a group and understand people before the invention of language. But part of that was we developed kind of complex emotions. We have a much greater range of emotions than other animals do. We feel pity, we feel shame, we feel gratitude and these emotions showed up on the face and we are a form of communication to other people. But what it meant was in the group setting of our earliest ancestors, part of our need to survive was being swept up in group emotions. If the group could feel anger or fear because there was a Predator in the environment, then the whole group could bond together.

We can do go into the neuroscience of this but we are, by our nature, extremely susceptible to the moods and emotions of the people around us. I talk in the book, if you go to like a rock concert or you hear some speech by somebody that you really love, some political candidate, you notice that the whole crowd gets swept up in a kind of viral emotion of enthusiasm and excitement and you feel differently. You feel like you are one with everyone else and it is the kind of emotion you do not feel when there is just three or four people around you. that is how these kind of viral emotions can sweep you up. I remember several years ago, I went to give a talk at Microsoft up in Seattle area.

Here is a place of 30,000 people and what struck me was how similar they all looked. They are dressed the same, they all got the same mannerisms. They were all kind of ordering the same food they had. I mean it was not so obvious but it was very much something noticeable. That is because there is a culture at Microsoft, it comes from Bill Gates, and everybody was following it. Everybody was swept up into this and felt the need to kind of present themselves as a mini Bill Gates. That goes on in your office or any culture that you are involved in. People feel the need to fit in, to look like other people, to have the same vocal patterns. You are not aware of this but unconsciously you are continually becoming infected by the moods and ideas and emotions of the people around you.

Brandon: Yes, that is so funny. That is so sure. I noticed all the time, I travel quite a bit, I am always like, I do not know, out somewhere else. But when I am in Denver, like everyone looks like they are just about ready to go on a hike. Like everyone’s got their like vest on, and they are like, I mean the mountain is right there, this is going to go up the mountain, even if that work, right? In Washington where I lived for the last decade, everybody looks like they are going to chop in the tree.

I mean everybody has a beard. Everyone has got a flannel shirt on, myself included, right? But then I just moved to Hawaii recently. Everybody out here, including myself, are in board shorts all the time.

Robert: You are now?

Brandon: Yes, yes. I am in Maui down in Kihei.

Robert: Wow, wow. Very Jealous.

David: Fancy little place.

Brandon: Yes, it is much warmer here than in a lot of the country right now but everybody out here is in board shorts. Everybody out here is… People move in group. Whether or not we think we do or not, like I never thought I looked like the rest of the people in the Pacific Northwest. When I look at myself a year ago, I looked like every single guy in the Pacific northwest. If you are in San Francisco, you just like wear garbage bags around all day.

David: Yes, while they are around all day. it is like no matter where you, you had to look like David here.

Robert: In Los Angeles, it looked like you are about to be discovered.

Brandon: Yes, exactly. yes. In LA, yes. It is like any minute that guy is going to walk in the door and he is going to be like, ‘You, you are the star of the next movie, come on over.

David: One of the things we learned as a police officer was when you get that gut feeling that something is wrong or you should look into something, you cannot detain someone to arrest someone based on a gut feeling. You have to be able to articulate facts that would say why a reasonable person would believe this person was going to commit a crime. They taught us is that gut feeling is really when your subconscious mind is recognizing something that is outside of the baseline behavior of an area, right?

Everybody else is in a busy area walking back and forth trying to go somewhere and there is this one guy standing on the corner and he is not doing what everyone else is doing. Your eyes honing on him and you wait to look for like a hand to hand transaction. Boom, you have the facts you need to go and attain them to investigate. I moved from a realist or a police officer into real estate, I was very out of place. I thought much differently. Police officers are negative people who are very blunt, who are very indirect. Now, I walked into this like Sissy LaLa world of everyone has like huge egos and their feelings get hurt so easily and you have to cater to other people. I just felt like, I do not know, like a power lifter in a yoga class. I just could not bend the way that these people could bend, right? I did not become successful until I developed those skills that we are talking about right now.

I had to learn to plug myself into that flow and operate within it to get trust from people. Then they would listen to what I had to say. Then they would see that I was sounding smart. I have noticed that people that are really successful can flow in and out of these different environments, pickup on the baseline behavior for that group and find their way inside of it. One of the problems we have here, Robert, is this podcast is for real estate investors that want to get deals and a lot of them are like where is the place I go to get that deal? They are looking for the tactic that will work when the people who are really good at this are the ones who established the relationships of the people that have the deal and they get it first, right? It is learning what that person wants. How do I get that agent to like me? How do I get that wholesaler to go to me first? What matters to them?

That is why I think that what you are teaching us today is so important because you are showing us this is how you fight your way to the top of the pecking order without anyone else knowing that they are even in a fight and get what you want by giving other people what they want and it sounds like what you are saying is you have got to recognize first that all the things you do not like about other people are in you as well. They are looking at you thinking the same thing.

Robert: That is right,. That is right. One of the things that I think is sort of really relevant to what you just said is I am really a big believer in nonverbal communication. I mean, as a police officer, you probably had to learn that that is what made you think certain people were standing out. We humans communicate an incredible percentage of our emotions and what is going on in our heads and non-verbally.

As a real estate agent, that can be a real mind opener for you. People may say something, they may verbalize certain desires or wishes, but that is not necessarily the truth. We all tend to wear a mask when we are in society, we try and present our best side to people. But beneath the mask we are giving off all kinds of signs of what is really going on. I am trying to ground you in this other language that humans speak which is not verbally, it is nonverbal. I want you to sort of… The reason I am emphasizing this is this as a way to kind of ground you in my book, I want you to be much more observant of people than you are.

Normally, you go through life and you are not observing anything. You are constantly listening to yourself. You are not paying attention to the tension in people’s faces, to the fake smiles they are giving you. The moments when their eyes really light up and the smile is genuine and describes real emotion that is going on and just the kind of body language that reveals that this person actually does not really like you. They feel kind of some negative energy. I want you to kind of master this nonverbal language and sort of teach yourself how to become a superior observer of people.

First, by kind of paying deep deep attention to their nonverbal behavior and then after that we can go deeper into other things that you can look at such as the patterns of behavior that people reveal and their actions and what that shows. But I want you to understand that in every detail of people’s lives, they are nonverbal stuff. The kind of people they choose for a spouse, how they treat other employees around them, how they treat those who work for them, their staff, how they treat their children. All of this are indications of who they really are. Do not get lost in people’s appearances in what they present to you as a client, but try and be attuned to what is going on behind the behind surface.

David: Yes, that is so good.

Brandon: Because, again, like you said, everyone wants to put on a mask. Everyone, myself included, David, you, I am sure we all put on masks that is like this is how we want the world to see us. But if you can get underneath that to find the true motivations. I mean the world becomes entirely different. A good examp… Like maybe not a good example, I think it is a good example that something that I read once in a book and I think it every day now this comes in my head and I am going to make everyone else think this too now, when you are talking with someone, you are standing up, whether it is at a bar, at church, on the street, does not matter, look what way their shoes are pointing. This is like fascinates me every time. If somebody’s feet are pointed directly towards you, they are engaged in the conversation, they want to be there. If they are not, if they are focused somewhere else, it means they do not really want to be in that conversation. What I look for is find ways to get them from not pointing at me to point it at me in the conversation. If I can get that, right? Is not that cool?

Robert: That is very good.

Brandon: Yes, I found out, myself included, like when I am talking to somebody and I realized I do not want to be in this conversation, I look at my feet and my feet are not in the direction of that person. it is just the weirdest little subtle thing.

Robert: That is definitely true. Another thing is I am really big believer, I read about micro expressions, I do not know if people have understand that concept but basically scientists discovered sometime in the 60’s that people give out an expression that only lasts for like a quarter of a second. A look of disgust, of look of excitement, and then they quickly hide it because they do not want people to realize what is going on. I want you to become aware of that.

Sometimes, when you come approach somebody that you were a stranger or someone who you have not seen for a while, and you come at them from an angle so that you sort of surprise them, you can catch in that instant a look, that micro expression of excitement, they are genuine, excited to see you or kind of like, get away, I do not really want to see. They quickly covered up with one of their fake smiles. Is there other kinds of things like where your shoes point, which is really an excellent observation.

Brandon: Hey, it is Brandon. I want to take a quick break from this podcast episode to invite you to this week’s upcoming Webinar, How To Really Invest In Rental Properties the Smart Way. SMART, that is an acronym, and you will find out what it stands for if you come to this Webinar. I am going to basically going through the things like how to identify the best type of rental property to buy, the four step daily process that all the top investors are using and that you can use as well. Even if you want to just one deal. I am going to show you how to run the numbers on a rental property in under five minutes.

We will even do a real life deal analysis and it is going to be breaking it down using the acronym SMART. I hope you can attend, it is going to be awesome. Do not waste years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars trying to figure out how to do it. Just come to this online class and see exactly how to get started the smart way. Just go to BiggerPockets.com/smartwebinar. Again, BiggerPockets.com/smartwebinar. I will see you there.

David: Let us say that somebody is at a meeting with other investors and they are trying to get people’s attention so that when someone has a deal, they bring it to them first. They do not really know exactly how to go about making these connections. They are talking to somebody and they are getting all these negative signs. They are recognizing his shoes are pointed the other way, I am getting a fake smile, their eyes are darting away from me. Like what is an escape route I could get away from here? Can you give us some ideas of what that person can do to turn that interaction around and make themselves more interesting or more valuable to the person that they are speaking too?

Robert: Well, it usually is something where you do not want to get in that position in the first place. You want understand that the energy that you present people is how they are going to see you. If you are feeling defensive and insecure, remember we were talking about how susceptible we are to the emotions of people around us? The approach that client initially and you are kind of feeling insecure and defensive, they are going to feel that. They may not consciously register but they are going to react in a way that makes them slightly defensive and slightly negative and slightly worried about you. We have all had an experience of being around insecure people. They make us feel insecure and nerves.

Brandon: Yes.

Robert: As when you are around somebody who is competent and open, it tends to communicate itself to us and we open ourselves up. You want to be able to understand that your attitude and your energy is going to infect the people that you approach and you want to approach them differently.

You do not want to be thinking of yourself and thinking do they like me? Do I look good? Am I going to say the right things? You want to be focusing your energy on them. Think of it yourself, how many times during a day do you ever feel that someone has come up to you and actually made you feel better about yourself? Validated some aspect of your character that needed that kind of validation?

Not just flattery, but that made you feel that you are actually an intelligent person, that you are actually a good person, that you actually had decent ideas. It is extremely rare. Most people are so self-absorbed they are not paying any attention to you. If you can give that client just a millisecond of the feeling that you are actually attuned to them, that you are actually seeking and noticing the good parts of their character and bringing it out. They will open up like a flower in front of you. I am sorry to be so new agey here. It is because you are giving them defensive, insecure, negative, neurotic, worried energy that they are going to react this way. I have a chapter about people’s self-opinion, which is probably the most important chapter for you real estate agent people out there.

It is really the chapter about how to have influence over people. It means the people you are dealing with have an opinion about themselves. They think that they are good and decent and moral. They think that they are intelligent about something, whatever that is. They feel that they have good ideas, that they are an independent person. You want to validate that, you want to make them feel stronger about these ideas about themselves. You do not want to challenge their self-opinion, you do not want to make them feel defensive or insecure. You want to confirm them, validate them, and give them the kind of attention that they are not getting from their spouse or their children or their boss. If you just put those three principles and practice that whole game alters. What I mean is your attitude and your energy, how you approach people, getting into their mindset and attending to them and confirming and validating their self-opinion, I think that is kind of a game-changer.

David: That is gold. I mean if you can do that well, what happens is people that you are interacting with them that way they do not necessarily cognitively realize that is what you just did. What they feel is this emotional experience of I like him, he makes me feel good, you are at top of mind. They naturally want to help you. They want to stay in communication. They want to bring you that deal because it is an excuse to talk to you and you make them feel good. This is something that I run into all the time, both with the agents on my team and the people who come to me and say, ‘David, how do I get the deal before the next guy does?’ They think they need to understand the contract better. They think they need to understand numbers and it just does not matter. You get the deal when people like you more.

You make them feel good. You fill them with confidence that when you say I will buy it, you are actually going to buy it now. They do not have to worry about looking like a butthead to the guy who they said, ‘Well, I will find a buyer for the deal.’ It is that ability to influence people’s emotions that really makes them make decisions. What you just said was so so good. I mean you have interviewed tons of people who are very very successful. You have studied success and you are confirming this is what successful people do better. They are not necessarily the smartest, They do not know the most, they know how to tune into other people and make it about them.

Robert: Right. You also do not want to make it all feel like it is about money, that it is all a mercenary. You want to make it seem like it is a relationship that you are building. It should not be fake. You actually do enjoy people. If you are a real estate agent and you do not like people, you are in trouble. You have to actually like people and even someone who is kind of miserable and who kind of has a negative energy. Find a way to see something that you can like and appreciate in them. The sense that you actually liked people that you want to develop these relationships is extremely important because if you are someone who feels kind of insecure and sort of does not like relationships and prefers playing video games, you are never going to develop these skills. You have to really love this, you really have to want it.

The person that we ended up selling our house some 15 years ago was really a master at this game. He was really kind and empathetic and when we just had to explain to him a few things about what we are looking for and we could tell immediately from the first houses he showed us that he understood our taste and our mindset. He was not focused on himself and making the deal. He was really attending to us and what we were thinking.

Brandon: Yes, that is fantastic. I think anybody, I mean anybody out there whether you are… Again, any business, right? Being a real estate agent, being a real estate investor, being a landlord, being a plumber or whatever, like understanding that how people feel about you is more important than or at least equally as important as the job that you do is so important. I am curious about like what is the difference though between flattery and recognizing somebody strengths or recognizing something that you can call out in there? Like how do you avoid just false flattery and only focused on building people up?

Robert: Well, I am not totally against flattery. Flattery has its place. We are all vulnerable to it. I just think you need to be very strategic when it comes to flattery. One thing that I talked about in the book is flatter people about the thing that no one else is flattering them about, what they feel genuinely insecure. You do not flatter Michael Jordan about what a great basketball player he is, you flatter him about what a smart business person he is, although he is not a very smart business person. Because that is what he needs validation from.

David: That is great great advice.

Brandon: That is so good.

Robert: But it does not have to be fake or insincere because it probably is an element where they are good at that or there is something real. Choose something that is real because then otherwise you are flattery will seem very insincere. But the thing I am talking about comes across not verbally so much. It is not like what you say directly to validate. You do not go up to them and say, ‘Damn it, Robert. I think you are a really moral, wonderful, nice person.’ It is fake, it is a feeling you give them. The feeling, because I said most of the communication between people is nonverbal. The sense that you feel comfortable in their presence and that you like them is enough. It speaks louder than any words. Imagine like your closest friend in the world, your best buddy.

When you meet that person, there is an instant connection. Your eyes lit up, you are happy to see each other, right? It is a nice feeling because it is sort of that narcissism thing I am talking about. Their smile on their face when they see you makes you feel like well I am a good person because they reacted to me positively. You can give that same feeling, it does not have to be so intense with the client. By the fact that you feel happy to be in their presence, they will feel that. That is much better than any kind of words that you could express.

Brandon: That is fantastic. To pull this into the real estate investing space, an example of this, a couple of years ago I was buying a house. Somebody contacted me. I cannot remember how they found me, maybe a sign or something like that, but they wanted to sell me their house and it was a woman who was just looking to sell quickly. She did not want to actually… She did not want to use a real estate agent. When I met with her, she had met with other people. She had talked with other people but the reason she wanted to sell it to me, I mean honestly, like we just built a really good relationship because I walked in, I smiled, I chatted with her about our house and the pictures on our wall and her kids’ art that was sitting there. Like the whole focus with, I do not even know if we talked about her house like, other than the very end of the conversation where we walked out with. Like okay, well this is what she wanted for it, this is what I can pay for it.

Okay, great, let us move on. Yes, they were definitely about me building the relationship with her. I think, yes, I think you are right on. I think everyone needs to read especially those chapters. But really, the whole book is fantastic. About moving slightly on from that building relationship thing, I want to think about biases for a minute because I find that fascinating. Like you talk about things like confirmation bias or appearance bias, group bias. Can you talk about what you mean by biases? Can we talk about each of those for a minute?

Robert: Well, it is in a chapter where I try and make the point that we are not rational animals. We think that we are this thinking rational kind of algorithmic animal, like a computer, but actually emotions govern us and we are very irrational and we have biases in our thinking patterns that reveal underlying emotions. Confirmation bias is obviously the most obvious one and the one that we all have and myself included. It means that when we look for evidence to support our ideas, we look for the evidence that will do that. We do not look for evidence or anecdotes that might disconfirm our ideas. We tend to look on those websites that we feel comfortable will confirm what we already believe.

On Facebook, we have an echo chamber where everybody has the same opinions that we do and that is because we do not want to actually confront the fact that maybe our ideas are wrong, we want to feel them confirmed. People will hold an idea and then what actually happens in the world will show that their idea was really wrong but they will still hold onto that initial idea because they do not want to feel like they were unintelligent or were stupid. We have definitely have a bias, a tendency to hold onto those ideas that were emotionally attached to. I talked about the conviction bias. We tend to feel that when somebody really expresses a strong opinion with lots of emotion and lots of sincerity, that they must be true to what they are saying.

We cannot imagine the fact that someone who uses a lot of conviction and emotion with a loud voice is actually a con artist, could actually be lying, could actually be deceiving, could actually be covering up all of their insecurities by trying to appear extremely strong with their opinions. When you see someone out there who is extremely vociferous and extremely certain about their ideas, you can be sure that the opposite is probably going on and you should be very dubious about them. There is the conviction bias. The appearance bias is that if someone appears to be a decent person, they must be so inside. If someone appears to be a little rough and aggressive, they could be a thug or a criminal. I did a book, my fourth book was with 50 cent.

I do not know if you knew about that, it is called the 50th law. His appearance, I was intimidated when I first met him. He is like a bad quintessential thug but it is all show, it is all theatre, it is all a mask. Behind that mask is actually a really sweet, gentle person, believe it or not. People’s appearances are very deceptive, but we tend to judge them by what we see. That is another bias. The group buys is that we tend to feel to entertain the same ideas, everybody else in our group. I mean you look at something like in politics and if you belong to the Democratic Party, which I happen to so let us just get that out of the way. You will notice that everybody who is a Democrat, go down to the line of 20 different ideas or think or policy issues, they all agree.

They all have the same opinion. They cannot disagree about one thing because then that might be they are not pure enough, they are not morally pure. They are not righteous. We are completely swept up in the ideas of the group, on and on and on. These biases exist in us unconsciously and they sway all of our emotions. They have a thing in marketing, they call it the affect heuristic. What that means is people buy things not based on rational thought processes but on purely emotion and they have done millions of studies about these emotional biases that make people choose certain products over others. I just wanted you to get you over the notion that people are these rational thinking animals whereas instead they are riddled with these biases. Once you know that you have this bias, you can begin to maybe work against it.

David: Yes. I think what you just mentioned is the key. Recognizing your own bias. Because it is very easy to be like, that guy’s bias, he is suffering from confirmation bias or group bias and totally missed that you are doing the same thing. What I want to ask you is let us say that you are a homeowner, you are an investor and you are meeting with a contractor who is going to fix your house up for you and you do not know much about construction so you are kind of relying on these other like non-technical trade type cues to make your decision on, what are some things somebody should look for to tell if someone’s being honest with them about the price of things or if they are going to do a good job or if they are more of a dishonest con artists that you should recognize like some of these cues that means you should run the other way?

Robert: The most important thing I think of all is I mean even in police officers and FBI agents who are masters at this make mistakes. The thing you want to look at is their track record. The track record never lies. If you see reviews or you hear from other people that they did a shoddy job on this one job, you can be sure that they have probably done it many times, several times. You want to do some research and find out their track record because what their actions in the past will speak more eloquently than anything you could judge on in the present.

David: That is so good. You mentioned in the book, I believe, nobody does something only once. Something close to that, right?

Robert: Right.

David: Because I feel like anyone can pull it together to act like someone they are not for a brief interaction in time when they are meeting with you but they cannot keep it together for 10 years of time over there work, right? It is much better to look at somebody’s track record and what they have done as an indication of their character. Then just how they portray themselves when you meet.

Brandon: This is also why like screening tenants. Like I am a landlord, I have a bunch of rental properties, why screening tenants is so important because how they have been is how they will be no matter what they say, no matter how many like, it was a rough time or I had a unique random thing happened.

Robert: No, no, no, no.

Brandon: If they had been evicted before, they will probably be evicted again. If they paid late in the past, they are probably going to pay late again.

Robert: You can find all these out?

Brandon: Yes, yes. You can research all this stuff and find out if they have been evicted before and you can contact their landlords and like this stuff is so important. There are so many landlords out there who will just rent to a tenant based on how they feel about that tenant. Based on the mask that that tenant is wearing, right?

David: Yes.

Robert: Always be charming and always try to present their angelic side to you.

Brandon: Yes, every time. I have let emotion override the logic or the…

Robert: Or the thing that happens quite frequently is you say, well, you were evicted from this apartment three years ago. Why did that happen? ‘Oh my God, this landlord was such a tyrant. I was a victim. I have Alzheimer’s… They are going to throw me out onto the street and I lost my job and my husband, blah blah blah.’ Put themselves as a victim. This was only an aberration. No, no, no, no, no.

Brandon: Yes, yes, yes. I always say nobody wants to be the villain in their own story. Like no matter what, people will always find a way to make somebody else the villain. Even if they did not pay rent or was because there was mold on their wall. If they trashed their apartment because the landlord did not fix something. They is just always a reason somebody else is the villain. It is, yes, I mean if there is like one, like the number one tip I give like any new person who owns rental property that is going to manage their own rental properties, it is like the way you screen your tenant is the most important thing. You can buy the best deal in the world, you get a free house from somebody and you rent it to the wrong person, you will go under. If you cannot manage it.

Robert: Well, it pertains to everything in life.

Brandon: Yes.

Robert: As they said, we are social animals. You picked the wrong business partner to your startup and you are doomed. They will steal it from you. You pick the wrong spouse just because they are pretty or whatever and they ended up being a gold digger or something else like that, your life can be ruined on and on and on. The people you choose to work with or live with, these are all critical decisions and you want to base it not on what you see, not on the front they present, but on their character and who they really are underneath the surface.

Brandon: Yes.

David: I have this analogy that when you go to a grocery store and you grab a shopping cart and they all look the same, you do not know one from the next, right? But if you get a cart that has one of like the wheels is pulling apart to the right, it is very hard to keep it on track, right? You can muscle your way through that for a period of time until you get tired and then that car is just going to run itself into one of the aisles and knock over the Captain Crunch and you make a big mess. I feel like people are that way. For a short period of time, they use that cart. I just made it up myself, that is probably why. I do not even know how accurate it is but it is the way I looked at it. Where I will trick myself into thinking I can handle this cart, I can control this person or I can control this part of my own nature and eventually I just wear out from trying to fight so hard to keep that thing going straight and I run into something and it makes a big mess.

The wiser I get, I start to get into like knowing, nope, I will not be good in this role because I cannot do this thing very well. Or this guy, he looks like all the other shopping carts, but no I can tell this is a problem. Would you agree, Robert, that like when you get that feeling you need to stop and slow down and say I need to re-evaluate if I should move forward?

Robert: Yes, I talked in the rationality chapter about increasing your reaction time. When you are coming up with an important decision, step back and do not hire that person, do not make that decision, do not buy that product. Sleep on it, wait another day or two and think and do not simply react. If you are about to take that person on as a tenant because this charming and they were smiling and they seem very pleasant and you are all you impetuous and great, let us do it. Train yourself. You are like an athlete, you train yourself slowly to never never react in the moment and always give yourself an extra day to think about it and try and assume am I attracted to this shopping cart because of certain external factors? Have I done my research? Have I actually looked at what they have done in the past? Do not react in the moment, but step back.

Brandon: That is really fantastic. I once heard this, I think Oprah said or somebody said Oprah said, who knows who said it? Like Abe Lincoln, right? She has got a million quotes attached to her but basically that every time she wants to buy something, no matter how big or small, she waits 24 hours before making the decision to just make sure she does not have that emotional trigger to buy something which I thought was smart. Right, yes, fantastic.

Alright, well David, I am impressed that you got in an analogy on shopping carts. I did not know that was a thing. Well done. That was good. Alright, I want to touch on a couple of quick things before we move on and begin to wrap things up. First of all, you talked about the appearance bias. I want to bring up something that I have noticed. You talked about appearance bias a few minutes ago in terms of people if they looked good, if they sound good. What I have also found, and I want to see if you found this too, it is like not only you as a person but the way you present things and I use an exact example.

When I used to pitch lenders funding my deals or when I would pitch my wife on a green to buy a real estate deal with me or when I would pitch a partner to do a deal together, right? When I would bring them a spreadsheet or a big mess of paperwork or a big white board full of numbers, people automatically would get fearful because they do not understand it. It does not look clean and organized. But we as soon as I started spending time like putting together like fancy like charts and graphs and pictures and a map on there, it is silly, right? Like why do people need charts and graphs and color to make them feel good? But the fact that I would do that, all of a sudden everybody started saying yes because it appeared to be good. The numbers could have been horrible. I mean they were not, but they could have been horrible. I think people would be like, yes, that is great. Is that the appearance bias as well?

Robert: Yes. We are visual animals, that is a known fact. Vision is like a primary sense. Life is very complicated and chaotic and messy and we are all kind of overwhelmed by information and that person who could present things clearly and simply with the graphic and make the idea very clear as to why you need to buy this has got a huge huge advantage. Yes, I definitely buy that. That is part of the appearance bias. I talk a lot about it in my other books, in The Art of Seduction and in The 48 Laws of Power.

The importance of creating the right kind of spectacle for people using the right colors, understand the Psychology of colors, understand the simplicity of your presentation and pay extremely important attention to any kind of visual and that includes like the clothes that you wear when you are interacting with your client. If you showed up, at least here in LA, wearing flip flops and shorts and to go look at her house, I might not be so impressed. I am sorry, I am just saying that.

Brandon: I mean I will not wear my board shorts to a meeting.

David: Well, there are some truth to that. What I have found is that if I did not dress up, I could eventually get the client to listen to me but it was a lot of work to convince them that I was worth listening to. Whereas when I show up in a suit, man, you just make it so much easier on yourself to get their attention and their respect and they hear what you are saying and that was one of the things I just gave up and said, I just need to play by the rules of the other person. If this is what they value then it helps my cause to go along with it and I got over my need to be an individual and I do not want to have to do that. Why should I have to dress up just for this? That is not who I am. I had to stop thinking about me and who I am and start thinking about them and I feel like that subconsciously gets conveyed to the other person that you are more trustworthy because they can tell you are operating in a way that makes them feel more comfortable and not yourself.

Robert: Yes. I mean of course if you are selling something in the Haight Ashbury, maybe wearing a suit would not be appropriate.

David: Right, right.

Robert: You have to kind of tailor it a little bit to the area that you are working in and maybe that day you wear some torn jeans or something but basically being attuned to the tastes and what will appeal to your client is extremely important. Your clothes and how you present yourself and then the visuals that you present them are extremely, extremely important.

David: We see this a lot on social media right now. You get to really control the way that you show yourself to the world and for people building a real estate business, they want to flip houses, they want to buy rentals, whatever. If your page does not look professional, if it looks like it is very shoddy or you have a lot of inappropriate stuff on there, it does not matter how smart you are, people are not going to trust you with the big investment.

Robert: Right. Because it is so easy nowadays to design something that is simple and pleasant to look at so we are obviously going to tune out those things that are messy mostly because, as I said, our lives are so complicated and we are so overwhelmed with things that just seeing something laid out pleasantly and well and well thought out, it is just a relief to our eyes and our senses.

David: Oren Klaff talks about that in his book Pitch Anything. How the brain is always afraid, it is always looking for how it is going to be taken advantage of or hurt in some way so you got to work really hard to show people that you are not going to hurt them and why you are actually looking to help them. For me, if I just see something that is not clearly articulated and you are making me work to figure out what you are even trying to say, I am done and I am onto the next thing. That is why a guy like Ryan Holiday stands out so much because he gives you this other feeling like he is not making life harder, he is making it easier.

How can I get him more involved in what I am doing. Then Ryan learns a ton from you and he learns a ton from Tucker and he becomes very very successful much faster than other people because he has endeared himself. I want to ask you one thing, Robert. I really really liked your book on mastery and the point you made in your speech at Oxford about Leonardo Da Vinci and how he was so committed to what he was passionate about and just threw himself into it. We get a lot of people who look to real estate to kind of become this, I would not say it get rich quick scheme, but they are definitely looking for it either way out of a situation they do not like. I do not like my job so I want to buy rental properties and live off the rent and they are hoping and three to five years they can accomplish that. With your study on mastery and how it works, what advice do you have for people who are under those kind of expectations?

Robert: Well, you can work for a while. You can kind of trick yourself. You go become a lawyer or a real estate agent for the money. I have nothing against money, it is very nice to have money, but the problem is that if you are not connected to it emotionally to your work, if you are just doing it for the money, then you are going to burn yourself out. You only really learn, you only really get better at something when you want to learn, when you feel connected to it emotionally. I always get the example of when I was in college, I learned French. I studied French for four years and then I went to Paris and I could not speak one word. Then I met a French girl and I wanted to have a relationship. In two weeks, I learned more than I ever learned in four years because I was motivated. I really wanted to learn. When you want to learn, you are going to learn a lot faster that if you are just doing it for other reasons.

Doing it just for the money is not exciting enough, it is not really going make you motivated, it is not going to make you get up in the morning for five or ten years and go, wow, I can get better at this because you always need to improve your skills. I do not care how long you have been doing something for. You need to be emotionally attached to what you are doing. In real estate, there are certain things that are extremely pleasurable and you have to be attracted. You have to emphasize those things. The idea that you are meeting and interacting with always a group of people, different people with different needs, I say in my new book, you have to alter your approach to people. Mostly you think you are self-absorbed because you think you are the most interesting person in the world and you only want to think about your own thoughts because what could be more interesting than my world? But I want you to change and think that the people you are dealing with are actually really really interesting. Even the most boring person that you have ever met in your life. They have some kind of experience, something in their childhood, something that is interesting, something you can learn from.

If you approach real estate as this is a people business and people are interesting and over the course of 10 years I am going to meet hundreds of really interesting, different, strange, weird people and man, I am going to learn from them. I am going to learn about psychology, that is an exciting way to approach it. Also, you have to have a love for architecture and homes. I happened to be, as a writer, I am very curious about people’s homes and how they live in their homes and their domestic situation and what goes on behind the door and the curtains.

That kind of voyeurism sort of makes me excited to, would make me, I think would fuel my interest to becoming a real estate agent. You actually have to love the idea of a home itself and what that means and what that represents to people on and on. You have to find emotional connections to your work. Otherwise, if it is purely mercenary, you are going to burn out, you are going to start becoming addicted to porn and taking drugs and everything. You will not be able to last in it.

Brandon: I love that point. I think a lot of people choose. I mean they choose jobs and careers but they also choose real estate because they think it is the fastest way to get rich and then they find they do not actually love real estate. I mean, me and David talk a lot about this. Real estate is great. I think that real estate is the best business out there for me, right? It works perfectly for me and I know a lot of people listening today, it works for them. But you got to do what you are going to love or at least have so much passion and interest in it, you are going to stick with it. Otherwise, it is like pushing that shopping cart, that I can steal that analogy from David here.

David: Yes and I think…

Brandon: You can always push us along.

David: Yes, the other side of that coin is being honest with yourself to recognize this is the part of the job that I like. I know from my personality, I love real estate, I bought a whole bunch of rental property, I flip houses and then I became an agent so I could share what I learned with people that mattered to me. But I know there is also parts of the job I do not love. I do not love the paperwork, I do not love when my clients just want to like ramble on and on for 45 minutes about what color they want to paint the wall in the kitchen, right? I have to do it but it does not energize me. I hired people that love that stuff and I have them do that part.

My assistant, Cris, is wonderful. She will listen to you talk about paint for 45 minutes and have you feeling like the best thing ever and it saves me from being drained from that. I like to focus on protecting people’s money. Like the police officer side of me wants to protect and serve your interest in a real estate transaction which is one of the reasons why I am excelling there is I just understood I like this and I do not like that. There is a lot of investors out there that they just do not have the courage or they do not understand that if you like to analyze properties but you do not love to meet people, find someone who does love to meet people or vice versa.

If you love people but you are just not comfortable with numbers, be honest with yourself and say I do not like this area. I am going to avoid it or I am not going to excel at it. Let me hire someone or let me partner with someone who is a really good analyst who is passionate about it, and then drill down on the thing you are really good at. I always point out our partner here, Brandon, is so good at marketing. The guy’s brain just sees angles to market something that mine would never ever see in a million years, and it comes to him naturally. He always gears his businesses…

Robert: Who is Brandon?

David: Yes, this is Brandon here. A brilliant marketer.

Brandon: This good looking guy. Thank you.

David: Yes, he is very humble so he does not put himself out there as a good marketer but he is really really good at it. Because he loves it, he is always excelling in that area. He is learning new stuff, he is getting it from other masters and he is teaching other people. He shy away from the stuff he is not as good at. When I read you, Robert, or when I hear you speaking about this, I noticed that theme comes up a lot. It is not just tactically what makes the most sense. You have to understand that emotions play a very big role in how successful you are going to be and the wiser you are at connecting, the better your business is going to be.

Robert: Yes, that is very well put in Mastery. I also have a chapter on this new book. I talked about understanding yourself and being aware of who you are and what makes you different and knowing your own tastes and inclinations and what excites you and what bores the hell out of you. A lot of people lose touch with that. It is not just simply that they try and excel at things that they are not good at. They do not really know what they like. They do not really know that this is what their strengths are. I want you to be more self-aware and to go look at yourself.

The first step towards becoming good at anything is to know who you are, what excites you, what you are attracted to and what you are repulsed about. I knew from early on when I was 22 or so, and I worked starting early on in like journalism, that I hated this job. I do not like working with people. I do not like political jobs where I am really… I am really an entrepreneur at heart. I like working for myself, I like to control what I do, you know? It is also knowing what you do not like and what you are not good at because you cannot be good at everything. We will come back to this one simple idea, when you love what you are doing, you are motivated to learn and to excel and to improve yourself. You will learn at a much higher rate than if you are just going through the motions.

If you understand that one basic principle that will change how you operate, you know you will try and gear yourself toward focusing on those skills and those things that genuinely connect to you as an individual. I mean within reason, you have to make a living and you have to make money and there are always going to be things and tasks that you do not like and maybe you can delegate them, then maybe you have to do them yourself. But generally if you do not feel emotionally connected to your work, you are going to face a lot of problems down the road.

Brandon: Yes, that is fantastic. Again, no lost points. People needs to hit that rewind button. Listen to the last two minutes over again because it is so good. But I want to start heading towards the end of the show, wrapping this thing up. I want to be respectful of your time. I got a couple of final questions in the next segment called our Famous Four. Before we get to the Famous Four, I want to hear a quick word from today’s is Deep Dive and Fire Round sponsor because we did not have a Deep Dive or Fire Round on today.

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Alright. You all know me. I love reading business books. I talk about them all the time here on the show but I get so many great recommendations now, it is really kind of hard to find time to read them all. This is where Blinkist comes in really handy. It is an app that takes the need to know information from thousands of non-fiction books and condense them down into just like 15 minutes of reading or audio. I love using Blinkist when I am on the go. Like I can visit some of my favorites like The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss or you can check out Seth Golden’s new book, all while I am working out or driving over to check on one of my rehabs. Hey, right now, for a limited time, Blinkist has a special offer for you. It is a free seven day trial. Just go to blinkist.com/pockets to start now. That is blinkist.com/pockets.

Brandon: Alright, thank you to our sponsor always. Now, let us get to the Famous Four. These is the same four questions we ask every guest every week. I am actually going to lower it down to three because this is not a real estate show. It is really the famous three today. The first one is… Do you have any… What is your favorite like book, the one that you have not written, but what is a book recommendation you would give? Maybe a favorite business book or something that would help people who are looking to improve their business?

Robert: I do not know. I love thinking in terms of strategy, sort of been something that has been a focus of a lot of my books.

Brandon: Yes.

Robert: I am really heavily into Asian strat books, Asian Strategy Books. I have an annotated version of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, which sort of explains in modern terms what he is talking about. I find that extremely brilliant and helpful in businesses. I know there is something else out there that I have not mentioned. In fact, you know there is something, a recent book. Is his is name Ray Dalio?

Brandon: Yes, principles.

David: Principles. Ray Dalio.

Robert: Dalio, sorry, thank you. That was a very good book, I liked that a lot.  I can recommend that. Brandon: Perfect. Okay. How about…

David: How about some of your hobbies?

Robert: Also Ryan Holiday’s books.

Brandon: Oh, yes. Ryan Holiday.

Robert: Obstacle is the way it would be excellent. Sorry, about my hobbies? Well, I am a exercise freak. Recently, I suffered a stroke about four and a half months ago so I am recovering from that. But prior to it, every day I would either swim or mountain bike or do kind of a Pilates routine. For my stressful life, just kind of constantly moving and not sitting around all the time but swimming, I find the most meditative thing that will get me out of my mind and kind of relax and calm me. I also meditate every morning for 35 minutes. I have been doing it for eight and a half years now.

I think…

Brandon: Do you any special app or anything like that or do just by yourself? Like how do you… What is your meditation practice look like?

Robert: I am heavily into Zen Buddhism. I try and be as technological as possible although I do use its insight timer. It is an app that has guided meditations. It has a timer and bells and connects you to other people that is meditating that find that helpful. But mostly my routine is definitely a routine. I sit on these cushions in a lotus position and it is all about emptying mind completely and just completely focusing on the present and kind of becoming more self-aware. Thoughts will intrude like, ‘Damn, why did not my agent not return my emails? What is going on here?’ I learned to like why am I… why is that thought occurring? Maybe because I do not need to be constantly worrying about things that are not present at the moment.

It makes me question my emotions and make me look at who I am and what is really going on. I use that as the morning ritual to kind of get my day off to the right start and kind of say, this is the morning and it is kind of got its own energy and I am kind of excited by the day that is ahead of me. If I do not start the day with that meditation because something happens and occasionally that is true, I feel totally out of whack. Those are two main hobbies of mine.

David: Alright, I like them. Number four…

Robert: That was number three.

Brandon: Yes. Well, I skipped one. We are going to go famous three, almost four.

David: Good catch though, good catch though, Robert. You are definitely on top of things today. Number two normally is what is your favorite real estate related book? I figured I would not throw that one at you. What do you think separates successful people from all those who give up, fail or just never get started even going after their goals?

Robert: Well, it is a combination of things but are you someone who is relatively flexible? Let us boil it down to that. By flexible, that means you are willing to learn from experience. You willing to admit your mistakes and challenge what you did in the past and adapt yourself to the present by saying I am not going to repeat that again. Are you fluid enough to get inside the spirit of every person that you deal with so that you are not treating them as if they were just a lot of all like all the other people you have dealt with or are you fluid enough to get into their individual spirit? Are you adapting? Are you moving? Are you nimble? Are you learning from the new things that are coming up in your field? Are you constantly reading and are you able to take criticism?

I would say it is being rigid and defensive and closed is the number one reason why people do not succeed in being open and fluid and willing to learn and adapt is the number one reason why people really succeed. Now, there is some people who are successful who can start off life being very rigid in one month, one track mind, and they can get pretty far. I know people like that. They started a business, they are not very fluid and they, and they do not take criticism well, and yet they seem to be successful. But inevitably, those people do not last. They burn themselves out. I saw that with American Apparel where I worked on the board of directors. If you want to last, if you want to constantly be on an upward trajectory, I would say that flexibility and that open learning spirit is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful.

David: That is fantastic. Yes, really good. I mean, I am sitting here thinking about all the ways I have seen that to be true and why we do not talk about that more, very good, that is gold, Robert.

Robert: Sorry, I do not have my favorite real estate book. I feel…

Brandon: That is okay. We will just pretend that you said it is my book.

David: Yes, that is right. Or you can tell people that I am your little brother and David Greene’s book.

Brandon: We are going to go with what Robert said the Book on Rental Property Investing. Thanks, Robert, that was very nice.

Robert: Amazing.

David: Wow, yes, I love this.

Robert: Page turner. Yes, that is why they actually named him, Turner, that is his last name.

Brandon: That is his last name. Modern Family of Page Turner, how they were named. David, we are… Tell us, where can people find out more about you?

Robert: I have a website called Power Seduction and war.com. Do not be intimidated by that, that was my first three books. Powerofseduction and spelled out war.com and there you will find links to the book I did with 50 cent. The 50th Law to Mastery, and a new book The Laws of Human Nature. If you are in the southern California area on February 11th, I am doing an event with Ryan Holiday. You can find links to that on that site as well.

David: Super Cool.

Brandon: Very, very good. Yes, everyone go there. Read all Robert’s books obviously, but that the newest one, like I am completely loving it. Also, I loved mastery and 40 Laws of Power. Anyway, you are fantastic. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Robert: Very very welcome. Thank you so much for having me. It was fun.

Brandon: Alright. That was our show with Robert Greene, New York Times bestselling author and just all around fantastic dude. That was one of my favorite shows because man, he understands people. He has done a lot of research and that is so important for real estate investors.

David: He did not disappoint. I could have kept that thing going for another two hours if you tell me.

Brandon: I know.

David: He just have so much information to share.

Brandon: I know. Whenever we get these like really like big shot authors and stuff, I am always like, man, I just want to keep them on the phone for like nine hours. It is just like I can learn everything from them because I am like this guy has done more study on human nature and on the laws of power and on mastering, on all these things. Seduction, right? Not just like seduction in the sexual term but like just like getting people to like you and to want to do what you want. Like he has done so much research, he is just a master at these things. I could talk to him forever, but of course, we can listen to his books. We can read this book. Go to Amazon, go to audible or whatever and pick up what you do not have.

David: Yes, absolutely. I mean I feel like if you master what he is teaching, you will become a Jedi.

They could just get people to think whatever you want. These are not droids. You are looking forward to it? Yes and you will be getting every deal that comes along. I just thought that was fantastic. I hope we get to interview him again later.

Brandon: Well, one thing David. I have told a lot other people, I do not know if I have ever said it to you, but one thing that makes David Greene here such an effective real estate agents and such an active real estate investors is that David, you are good at human nature. I do not know if you major in Psychology, you do almost everything Robert talked about today, you are really good at doing. Like I just want to say you are very good when I talked to you. Do you remember how he asked that question? He asked that question how often do you talk with someone where you get off the phone and you just know better?

You just have to built up and stronger. Every time I talk to you, David, that is how I feel. I know other people feel like they have said the same thing about you to me. Good job on you, keep doing that because you know it is working.

David: Thanks, Brandon. I did not expect you to say that but it actually feels really good. You just Robert Green me, did you? You just said something to make me feel good…

Brandon: Not on purpose.

David: Now, I want to buy you something or help you with something. You want to come babysit, Rosie? I got it, I will fly out to Maui, you and Heather can go have dinner.

Brandon: Alright. There you go. See how this works? No, but that was not my intention but now you feel good, I feel good, and we all feel good, right? I want to make more people feel good. Everyone, listen to this show. You guys are awesome. You listen to an hour and a half almost of just amazing content. You are still here, we love you. You guys are rock stars. Thank you for being a part of this show and let us know how we can help you. Follow us over on Instagram, shoot messages. Instagram is at DavidGreene24, correct?

David: Yes.

Brandon: Mine is at [email protected] Like shoot us messages, talk to us, let us know how we can help you out. If you have ideas for shows. If you have ideas for videos, you want us to pump out a topics, people you want us to interview, let us know a tag us and your Instagram stuff will get in there. We will comment like we want to be real with you all and just be a part of your community because that is what this is.

I say this on the webinars all the time, but I will say it again now. Like BiggerPockets is like a, is not… A real estate is not like a cliff, it is a hike, right? Real estate investing is a hike, it is up and down and this is sometimes tough but what BiggerPockets is… What this community is like a group of friends hiking together and that is what I love about this. It is like, ‘Hey, watch out for this pot hole back here,’ and hey, try this. There is little shortcut here. Hey, this is hard. It is tough, let us do it together. Let me give you a hand up, let me help you. Let me pull you up to where I am at or let me push you from behind. That is why this is the hike.

David: This is so good. It does not work unless you hike, but if we are all hiking together, amazing things can happen as a community and that is what BiggerPockets is. Thank you all for being a part of this. That is great. If you live anywhere near me in northern California, please look me up. I do monthly meet ups. I want to meet you. I want to hear about your goals. I want to help meet him. I want to help share my goals so you can help me meet those. We can work together like Brandon just said on this hike. With that being said, we are going to get out of here. Hope you guys like it. This is a podcast you should listen to at least twice. So go rewind and listen to it again. See what you, might not have picked up on the first go round with that. This is David Green for Brandon P. Turner because he is a page Turner signing off.

You are listening to a BiggerPockets Radio, simplifying real estate for investors large and small. If you are here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hike, you are in the right place. Be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from BiggerPockets.com. Your home for real estate investing online.

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Robert’s mentor-mentee relationship with Ryan Holiday
  • What a mentor is looking for a mentee
  • What are the laws of human nature
  • Understanding human nature and why it’s the most important skill
  • Seeing through people beyond the surface
  • Validating the good in people
  • Flattery vs. recognizing somebody’s strength
  • The different biases and how we’re governed by emotions
    – Conviction bias
    – Appearance bias
    – Group bias
  • Techniques to resist these biases
  • How to present yourself
  • Mastery and being emotionally connected to what you do
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “The most important thing you are looking for is not a glittering resume, it’s not charm, but their character.” (Tweet This!)
  • “The most important skill you can develop in life is understanding people.” (Tweet This!)
  • “The energy that you present people, is how they’re going to see you.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Robert

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.