THE INSPIRATION PLACE PODCAST
John Assaraf: A genetic predisposition is not a belief. But if we think about it from a neuroscience perspective, we weren’t born with any beliefs, we weren’t born with any habits, we weren’t born with any fears, we weren’t born with a self-image or self-worth or self-esteem. We weren’t born with “How much can I earn?”, we were born with some character traits, yes, but we weren’t born with any beliefs. So if we take a look at it from a neuroscience perspective, strictly science, a belief is nothing more than a pattern. Right? Brain cells that created connections. Right. That were reinforced over time.
Speaker 2: It’s the Inspiration Place podcast with artist Miriam Schulman. Welcome to the Inspiration Place Podcast, an art world insider podcast for artists by an artist where each week we go behind the scenes to uncover the perspiration and inspiration behind the art. And now your host, Miriam Schulman.
Miriam Schulman: Well hey there, Artpreneur. Welcome to The Inspiration Place. This is Miriam Schulman. You’re curator of inspiration and you’re listening to episode number 265. I am so grateful that you’re here. So in my book Artpreneur, I talk about the psychology behind thoughts generating emotions, and those emotions are either going to inspire or inhibit your actions, which ultimately create the results that you have in your life. So to get any result you want, you need to start with managing your mind and creating new thoughts. To help me out, I’ve invited one of the world’s leading high-performance success coaches and behavioral neuroscience researchers. I’ll bring him on in just a moment. But I wanted you to know that as a special thank you for showing up here today. My guest has two gifts for you, a free gift that will complement today’s podcast, as well as free training on how to beat back procrastination. Now you can get these links in the show notes, and today’s episode is 265, or you can get the book that we’re giving away at SchulmanArt.com/Machine and the masterclass on beating back procrastination is SchulmanArt.com/JustDoIt. Don’t worry. At the end of today’s episode, we’ll share more details again about these freebies and what they are and how to get them and what they’ll do for you. Okay, now on with the show. Today’s guest has written four books, including two New York Times best sellers. He’s the CEO of a neuroscience-based company that helps individuals strengthen their mindset and skills so they can achieve their goals faster and easier than ever before. Please welcome to the Inspiration Place, John Assaraf. Well, hey there, John. Welcome to the show.
John Assaraf: Hey there, Miriam. So great to be with you and your audience.
Miriam Schulman: I’m so excited to have you. I love those purple glasses, by the way.
John Assaraf: Thank you.
Miriam Schulman: Are those new?
John Assaraf: They’re not new. But last year my wife was wearing them. My brother gave her a pair and she was wearing them and mine broke. So I wore hers on one of the live events that I was doing, and people liked them. So I just bought a couple of pairs and now I wear them.
Miriam Schulman: Because they match your branding. It’s awesome.
John Assaraf: They do.
Miriam Schulman: All right. So I read your book. The answer actually, I’m like three quarters of the way through and it really resonated with me. And so I’m just going to, like dive right in to some of these juicy takeaways that I got and see where the conversation goes. So the first thing that you said and I was like, ooh hoo hoo hoo hoo, I’m writing that the writing this down and that is achieving goals is a spiritual and non-conscious exercise. Ooh. Could you explain that?
John Assaraf: Sure. So, you know, when when we think about from where does everything emanate? Right. And we’re so used to living in this physical world where we can hear, see, smell, taste and touch, But there’s an entire unseen world that, you know, we use our brain to tap into no differently than, you know, we will change the radio station by turning the dial from jazz to rock and roll to punk rock to classical music. We can use our brain to tap into the field of all intelligence to be able to create this resonance field, to be able to create all everything that we need to achieve goals from there. That’s part one. But part two is we don’t behave based on how we want to behave. We don’t take action on the things that we say we’re going to take action on. We take action on the things that we have become conditioned to take action on. The habitual part of our psyche is the subconscious. So it’s beneath your awareness for most parts. And that’s why we automatically, you know, behave in ways that we’ve become accustomed to behave. And so we have automatic thought patterns that are either automatically negative or automatically positive. We have automatic emotional patterns, positive, negative, constructive, destructive. But then we take action all day long, every day based on the habitual patterns that have been ingrained in our subconscious mind from the time we were born, even though we weren’t born with any of those patterns. So setting a goal happens in the conscious part of the brain, our volitional part of the brain. But achieving goals doesn’t happen because we want to achieve them. It happens because we’re conditioned to achieve them.
Miriam Schulman: One thing that you said in the book, which I really love the way you put this because I had never thought of it this way before, is you said a belief is actually a habit of thought. So what you just said now is that we’re conditioned to think certain things. That becomes our belief. So we practice these thoughts over and over again, we don’t even have to practice them anymore. Now they’re a habit and now they’re a belief. So at the core, we have to figure out how to change these beliefs.
John Assaraf: Yeah. And if we take one step back for just a moment and I ask you and I’ll ask everybody, I said, “Were you born with any beliefs?”
Miriam Schulman: Okay. Is that a trick question? Because there is like like epigenetics.
John Assaraf: Right. But epigenetics is different than a belief.
Miriam Schulman: Mhm. Okay.
John Assaraf: Right. So a genetic predisposition is not a belief. But if we think about from a neuroscience perspective, we weren’t born with any beliefs. We weren’t born with any habits, we weren’t born with any fears. We weren’t born with a self-image or self-worth or self-esteem. We weren’t born with “How much can I earn?”. We were born with some character traits, yes, but we weren’t born with any beliefs so if we take a look at from a neuroscience perspective—strictly science, a belief is nothing more than a pattern. Brain cells that created connections were reinforced over time. The patterns that were reinforced over and over and over again became habitual patterns. Now, our brain, beliefs in our brain is the lens by which we see the world. It’s the lens by which we set expectations. It’s the lens by which emotions start to be created. Because if I believe something to be true, whether it’s real or imagined, whether it’s true or false, whether it’s constructive or destructive. The fact that the belief creates the expectation allows us to either move forward and find what we want that resonates with the belief. Which is what we’re doing all day long, every day. So our outside world always matches our internal map of reality.
Miriam Schulman: We get what we’re looking for.
John Assaraf: We get what we’re looking for. We get what we expect. Our stories, you know, that we tell ourselves. The rationalizations that we have all match the belief structure that we have.
Miriam Schulman: Now. How much is this? Because the brain hates to be wrong. Like, is it more because of we don’t like that cognitive dissonance of we see something that doesn’t match our belief? Or is it more because of that reticular function that we’re just always looking to reinforce what we already believe? Or is that one in the same thing? Could you explain that?
John Assaraf: Yeah. So we all have these cognitive biases, right? I have this belief and now my brain is looking for the evidence to validate that belief and to reinforce it. Anything that doesn’t match the current belief gets deleted or distorted. And the reason for all that, number one, is to not drive ourselves crazy with all the information that’s out there. But number two, and this is the third highest priority of the brain is to conserve energy. Once I have used energy to create a belief and now I am unconsciously reinforcing that belief, I’m doing it without any thought because the brain wants to conserve energy. Number one, is responsibility for safety. Number two is for the avoidance of pain or discomfort. And then number three is to conserve energy, which basically is a brain says “Don’t make me think.”
Miriam Schulman: Okay, let’s make this more specific, because right now I feel like we’re getting a little too intellectual about all these. And I want to make sure the artists like really see themselves in this. So one of the thought habits or beliefs that I know my audience struggles with and a lot of entrepreneurs in general struggle with is around raising prices. Can we talk about that for a moment? So it would be a thought might look something like, “Oh, no one’s going to pay that for my art/program/service/whatever it is.”
John Assaraf: Sure. So we know that art is subjective. And what I may find spectacular, you may not. What I think may be worth, you know, $1 million, you may not think it’s worth a dollar. So let’s back up for just a moment and say that there are plenty of people who buy beautiful art for millions of dollars and there’s plenty of people who buy ugly art for millions of dollars.
Miriam Schulman: Yeah, there’s a banana peel and a shark in formaldehyde that both sold for millions of dollars.
John Assaraf: Yeah. And so somebody might look at it and go, “Oh, my God, that speaks to my soul”. And they happen to have the money to be able to pay whatever they want for it. And they do. And other people say, “Oh my God, my three-year-old could do that better”. And if you go through enough museums in New York, you’ll see that to be true, which I have. So here’s the question. And again, I think that there has to be quality to some art. So don’t get me wrong. Right. So there is a difference between art that took three minutes to do and art that somebody, you know, invested, you know, more time that has the talent and the skill. But we will never charge more than our hidden self-image will allow us to charge.
Miriam Schulman: Okay. Record scratch. We can even play that again. Just say that one more time.
John Assaraf: We will never charge more than our hidden self-image will allow us to charge.
Miriam Schulman: Yes.
John Assaraf: Right. So whether you’re—this is slightly different when we’re talking about art. It’s very, very different than if you’re talking about a professional athlete. A professional athlete, the marketplace has a value. Let’s say, for example, right now, you know, value for a center in hockey or a center, you know, on a basketball team or a pitcher on a pitching team and there’s this range. With art, the range is all over the place. And when you are looking to charge more, whether you’re a coach, you know, an artist, a consultant, there are people willing to pay, you know, for the thing that you’re selling. Now, a lot of people think that they’re selling a piece of art and you’re not selling a piece of art. You’re selling how art makes the person who’s buying it feel.
Miriam Schulman: Yes, 100%.
John Assaraf: And so you think you’re selling a piece of art canvas like, I have some art on my wall over here. It’s called Flow Motion. I paid $10,000 for these brushes from a guy who charges, you know, a lot of money for his art. But if you look and you say, oh, you can probably get that for 500 bucks and I could get it for 500 bucks, but I couldn’t get it from this artist for 500 bucks.
Miriam Schulman: And then John, something I like to share with my listeners and I just want to see if you agree or disagree with this. And by the way, you’re totally allowed to argue with me. So what I like to tell them is that when you decided to buy that artwork, you weren’t trying to decide if that artist was worth $10,000. You were deciding whether you, John Assaraf, was worth spending $10,000 on something to get what you wanted. What do you think of that?
John Assaraf: Yeah, I totally agree with you because there has to be a resonance match. So the polar opposite. If somebody sees an art piece for $10,000 or $100,000 and either A, they don’t feel they’re worthy of it or they don’t feel they can afford it. And maybe that’s true, but somebody who feels that they’re worthy of it and they can afford it, they’ll just buy that piece of art. But let’s go to the artist side for just a moment. If the artist doesn’t feel that the value of their work is worth 500 or 5000 or $50,000, they will never resonate in a tract with the person who feels that art is worth that amount of money. And so are they.
So money has species recognition. So when we’re talking about species recognition, let’s say somebody can afford $20,000 for a piece of art. All they have to know is that I love that piece of art. Then the exchange is worth it for them. Because if we think about what is it that we’re actually doing with art and money, for example. What we’re doing is the money that I earned doing my business, my job, my investing, whatever it is, right? I did work for that. I’ve got this green paper with ink on it, or I’ve got this electronic thing that we call as money. Then somebody has, you know, a dress, a painting, a sculpture, something, and somebody just says, “For the money that I have in my bank account, okay. Or on my credit card, am I willing to make the exchange for this thing that makes me feel a certain way?”. Now, if they can afford it and they want it, there’s a match. But you know, if you, if you have a piece of art that’s $500 and somebody’s used to paying $5,000 for art, they’re not buying your $500 piece of art. But if you just raise that price to $5,000, then they see there’s a resonance match. But if you don’t feel that your art is worth $5,000, you will never charge $5,000 for it. Not because it’s not worth it. You don’t believe it’s worth it because you don’t believe you’re worth it.
Miriam Schulman: Yeah. And also, it’s not just putting that higher price tag because you will sabotage the sale if you don’t really believe it yourself. I’ve seen it. I’ve done it like I’m not enlightened. I’ve done things like that where I’ve sabotaged things because I didn’t believe in the customer’s vibration like that they were ready for it or, you know, I didn’t see that they were going to see the value in it or I didn’t believe it myself. Or there’s something missing there.
John Assaraf: It’s a double-binding message in the world of psychology. It’s kind of like, yeah, it’s $5,000 for the piece, and you’re not congruent with how you really feel with the value that you’re asking people to invest. See, when people buy a piece of art, they’re investing like, listen, there are people who buy art for an investment. So if you’re going to buy, you know, a Monet, if you’re going to buy a Picasso, the marketplace says this is the range of what this thing is worth. So the marketplace determines those. And even if you go to the auctions, you know, then the people who are bidding, you know, in the auctions, you know, they’re determining what the prices are worth. When we have the average artist or the above average artist, you know, that’s out there, which is the majority of artists, you can set your own value because you’re not talking about millions of dollars, you know, in the marketplace. You’re talking about 5000, 10,000, maybe up to $100,000. You set your own value.
Now, of course, you have to have the clientele that can afford it. So you have to make sure that there is a match between the value that you’re bringing to the table and your marketing to those people. Because regardless of what we’re selling, there’s got to be a match between what it is you’re selling and who you’re selling it to. There are people that buy art for $5 and there’s people that buy art for $500 million. So there’s a huge array of what we call our potential clients. Every single client that we work with and even in the book, the answer that you’re mentioning, the first thing you have to do is assume, let’s have a program, product or service. Let’s say in this case, I have a piece of art, okay? And you say, “Well, what I want to exchange my art for is this amount of money”. And the question I need to ask myself is, you know, who is the person that will derive that much value from this piece of art and where is he or she or where are they? So chances are if you’re selling $100,000 piece of art, they’re not on Etsy. They’re not there. That’s the wrong audience for the product.
It’s just like you’re not getting a Winston Diamond at Kmart. You’re just not getting it there. Right? So you have to make sure that once you set a value proposition that you market, you go to where those people are. And that’s why there’s so many different whether it’s grocery stores in your town, you know, whether it’s restaurants in your town, you can get Chinese food for $3 on the streets of New York, or you can get Chinese food for $300, you know, in a fancy restaurant if Chinese food. So it’s art. Well, somebody who’s buying $3 food–And that’s what their budget isn’t going to a $300 restaurant. And in some cases, as we all know, the street trucks have food that’s just as good as a $300 restaurant. But the ambiance may be different.
Miriam Schulman: I just want to kind of change gears a little bit. There was something that I really loved that you talk about in your book, and the way I interpret it is that there’s five musts for achieving your goals. So I’m going to gloss over them quickly and then we’re going to dive into the one key thing I want to hone in to. So you say find something that stirs your soul. Now we’re going to assume that my audience knows what that is, and the next is to become excellent at it. So we’re not going to we all recognize that you do have to be a master of your craft, whatever that is. Now, steps three, four and five. Three is you must believe. And that’s what I want to dive into. And we’re going to dive into that a little bit more. And I just want to share that. Step four is understand how to make money from it. That’s what I talk about in my book, on this podcast and in my programs. And then five is to take daily inspired action. But I love that you put believe a step three because you need to believe before you take the action.
John Assaraf: Yeah, if you don’t believe, it’s just so hard to be inspired. If you don’t believe, my question is like, why don’t you? Why don’t you believe? And if let’s say somebody is watching right now and says, “You know what, I believe I’m a good artist, but I don’t believe somebody will pay me for it or pay me a lot of money for it”. I’m going to ask you “Why?”. Like the belief is based on evidence, right? All beliefs are based on evidence that we have accumulated. Whether the evidence is right or wrong is different than evidence. We can have evidence that says money is hard to come by. We can have evidence as money is easy to come by, you know. So my question for everybody is like, “hat is it specifically that you don’t believe? Do you not believe that you are worthy of receiving the money that you want? Do you not believe that your quality of your art is like, really, really good?”/ Okay. Why? And then is it true or not? Like is the belief really, really true based on your evidence? And is it really true based on other evidence that you can find to the contrary?
Miriam Schulman: Yeah. And I want to give like a more specific example. So I have a client and I’m going to change some of the details just to protect her identity. So her artwork has been collected by celebrities. Her art has been featured in magazines, but she wants the validation of being in a gallery. So first of all, I asked her to question that thought “Maybe you don’t need a gallery”. But the point that I want to bring to you that I want to address is she doesn’t believe that galleries are going to work for her. I’m doing like little air quotes work for her because they’ve never worked for her in the past. So this is something that comes up a lot, just in many different flavors, where people are looking at their past to determine what is possible for them for their future. So can you address that? Like if you don’t have evidence, how do you look to your future self rather than just basing your beliefs on what your past is?
John Assaraf: Sure. So a lot of times the reason we use the past as a guide post is it’s familiar and we have some proof right now. What most people never do is like what happened in the past that may have caused the thing not to work. Was it the wrong, let’s say, gallery? Was it the wrong timing? Was it to the wrong audience? Like there’s so many reasons why things don’t work and the past does not equal the future. So the way I like to have them rethink that is what would have to happen this time. That takes advantage of the experience of the last time, but then adds a couple of new factors in it to give this time a better chance of working.
Miriam Schulman: That’s a good reframing because I know that my clients procrastinate and we’re going to talk about that a little bit more because they give up on their beliefs. They keep looking to the past for why something isn’t going to work. And so therefore they’re reluctant o taking action in the future. Is that one of the most common reasons people procrastinate? Are there other neuroscience that we need to dig into as well?
John Assaraf: Well, the big one that you’re referring to right now is disappointment avoidance.
Miriam Schulman: Okay.
John Assaraf: I want to avoid disappointment so then I just won’t take action. Now, here’s where this gets a little bit tricky. There’s something in the neuroscience field called the Law of Secondary Gain and the Law of Secondary Gain—I’m going to get a little intellectual on you for a moment, but it’ll make total sense. It says that when I don’t take action on something that I think I might fail at, something that I think I might lose time or money at, something I think, you know, may cause me or my significant other to be disappointed with, I actually get rewarded by staying safe. And doing the familiar. Yeah. So the trap is assuming that the past is evidence of present or future success or failure.
So what we want to do and you just made me think about, you know, some of the things we teach small business owners how to do is like advertise on Facebook or on Google. And I can tell you a thousand times a year, people tell me we tried that before. It didn’t work. And I say, “Well, what specifically didn’t work? Like which part of the process didn’t work? Was that in the creative? Was it in getting people to look at the ad, the video, the image, the copy? Was it the button to click to? Like which part didn’t work?”. Because we know that there’s artists that advertise on Facebook and on YouTube and on LinkedIn, and we know that they’re artists that are doing it. So which part of the failure are you referring to?
So people tend to lump. “It didn’t work”. In a very generic way versus saying like, which part? Like we know that gallery—-
Miriam Schulman: And then John, what I see happening, it’s just so we talk about taking inspired action. They just didn’t do it enough. So you don’t even have enough data points to even look at what went right and what went wrong. So besides Facebook ads—I don’t want to get too much on Facebook ads because that’s not something we talk about a lot. But like, you need to have an I run a lot of Facebook ads myself. You need to like spend a lot of money before you get enough results to really make any of those judgments you just talked about. But even let’s just simplify it a little bit. Let’s talk about getting into a gallery. And so like if an artist will say, “Well, that didn’t work”, I said, Well, how many did you approach? And like, if the answer is less than five, it’s like, well, you just didn’t go, you didn’t you didn’t believe that eventually a gallery was going to accept you. So you gave up too soon.
John Assaraf: Yes. And that’s because of a mismatched expectation.
Miriam Schulman: Hm, tell me more.
John Assaraf: Well, if you think about like, what is it that we want to avoid? Well, we want to avoid being embarrassed. We want to avoid being ashamed. We want to avoid being rejected. We want to avoid failing. We want to avoid not being loved. We want to avoid losing. We want to avoid we want to move away from those feelings. And so when we have a mismatched expectation and we give rejection the wrong meaning, then it puts the brakes on our motivational center. My motive for action is going to be determined by the vision that I have. My motive for action is going to be based on why I must do this versus why I should do this. And I guarantee you that if we took any artist, any artist, and we set this little experiment up and we said, okay, we take, let’s say, 50 artists and we move them, your group A and 50 artists, your group B, and we set to 50 artists group A go out there and see if you can get your art into a gallery. And when you feel like stopping, just stop. And then we take Group B, and we say to them, okay, we’re going to send you out there to get your art into a gallery, but if you don’t get into a gallery, you’ll never see your child or your spouse again.
Miriam Schulman: Oh, boy.
John Assaraf: Oh, now the motivation to get into a gallery just changed. And the rejection or the failure is not as big as the other consequence. So what happens with most people is they don’t understand how to frame things in a way that empowers them to take the inspired action. And they’re focusing on the failure side of it or the disappointment side of it or the rejection side of it. And part of what you have to learn how to do, number one, is master your self-talk. Number two is to learn how to manage your emotions, regulate your emotions and fear. Rejection is an emotion we want to move away from, so we prefer not to even do it than do it and experience it. And it’s not because of the emotion as we think that we can’t handle the emotion for too long.
Miriam Schulman: Yeah. One thing you said in the book, which I love and bears repeating right now here is you said that if you’re interested, you’ll do what’s convenient. That’s right. If you’re committed, you’ll do whatever it takes. And that’s why it’s all about relentless commitment.
John Assaraf: It’s relentless commitment. And let me show you something. Have you ever seen, you know, a Rubik’s Cube?
Miriam Schulman: Yeah, I’m terrible at it. I was just telling my nephew the other day, the only way I used to solve it was I would take a screwdriver and take the whole thing apart and put it back together. And my nephew said, Yeah. His brother takes the stickers off and puts them back on.
John Assaraf: So the irst question to ask is, “Is it solvable?”. Like, is the Rubik’s Cube solvable? Well, I can tell you, even the most complex Rubik’s cubes are solvable. Now, let’s say you’re an artist and what you’re really good at is painting or creating a sculpture. Let’s say that’s your skill. You’re really good at creating it. Now, the first question we have to ask ourselves is, you know, is this solvable? Yes. Is it making my art success possible?
Yes. Then we say, okay, well, there’s got to be like a sequence of things that I have to get better at other than painting or being a sculptor or being an artist. And if you’re an artist that wants to make money, then you’re either going to have to either A, find somebody to represent you and do all of the marketing and selling for you, or B, get better at it. So you can go to YouTube and learn how to solve these in less than five minutes. You can solve this in less than an hour. It’ll take about seven, eight hours to solve this if you have the right guidance.
Miriam Schulman: And I just want to interject something. Those artists who are listening right now who think that gallery representation is going to somehow save them, don’t forget, this is like in my example, you have to market yourself to the galleries to get them to want to represent you. That’s all about marketing and it’s all about having the right mindset and belief system before you get there. And I know that because I just went through that with publishing my book. I had to manage my mind like a ninja to keep taking that action, to get the rejections from agents and et cetera. Like to get there. All right, go ahead. I didn’t want to. I know you were in on something very juicy, but I just wanted to make sure my artists heard that.
John Assaraf: So the first thing that I want to come back to is, first, I have to believe that I can do it or get it done. Then I have to make the right moves in the right order at the right time. Because if I sit there and I try this and I try that, I can be sitting here for a thousand years trying to solve this three by three. But if I just say “Stop, what are the steps? What’s the blueprint that any artist can follow? What’s the blueprint for mindset? What’s the blueprint for the skill set? What’s the blueprint for the behaviors?”. Now, I got the blueprint. Now we have solutions instead of obstacles.
John Assaraf: They don’t know how to market or sell, and they don’t even know what questions to ask somebody to see if they know how to market or sell. So what really is holding them back is ignorance. They just don’t know. So guess what? If I don’t know how to solve this Rubik’s cube, I can go to YouTube right now and say, you know, easiest video explanation step by step to solve the Rubik’s cube. Now, if I really want to do it myself, I can do it. Or I can say I don’t want to solve the Rubik’s Cube, but I want to have a pretty one on my desk. So we all have weaknesses and that’s okay. That’s part of the human condition, but it’s what we do about the areas that we’re not strong in that will determine whether we really have a well-rounded ability, you know, to succeed in the vocation that we have chosen or that has chosen us.
Miriam Schulman: All right, John, So thank you so much for sharing all of these insights. Believe me, I could talk to you all day. I know you have a book for our listeners. Could you tell us a little bit about that book?
John Assaraf: So since we’ve been talking—about this has actually worked out perfectly, which I didn’t know if it would for your audience, but I wrote a I think it’s a 57-page book called The Art and Science of Neuromarketing, proven brain science and cutting edge strategies to create offers so powerful your art—anything that you’re offering so that you actually get people to pay attention to you. You actually are able to keep them engaged and you’re actually able to create offers for them that they’ll want to buy from you versus somebody else. So we’re going to give everybody The Art and Science of Neuromarketing. And this is all based on the latest neuroscience so that you can activate very, very key parts of people’s brains and really get them to pay attention. The biggest challenge we have today is entrepreneurs. If you’re an artist or entrepreneur is first, we have to get people’s attention. We have 6200 thoughts a day ourselves, and then there’s thousands of thoughts out there. So I’ll show you how to do that. And then I’ll show you a whole process of creating some really great marketing. You’ll get that for free.
Miriam Schulman: Okay. So if you want this book, go to SchulmanArt.com/Machine. Why ‘machine’? Because we’re going to turn you into a money-making machine. Cha-ching. Cha-ching. Cha-ching. Okay. And then for our friends who are having trouble taking action for whatever is getting in their way, we addressed a few of those things. I wrote one of them down like this. Disappointment, Avoidance. I love that phrase. Yes. Whether it’s disappointment, avoidance or you’re avoiding any other kinds of feelings, you’re trying to avoid or some other reason, you have a master class that addresses procrastination. Could you just share like a little bit about that and then I’ll tell them where they can sign up for that free master class?
John Assaraf: Sure. So when we think of why do I procrastinate, like I want to do the thing I want to get, I want to write that book. I want to get that in myself in the gallery. I want to make more money. I want to achieve this. Like, why do we really procrastinate? It must be something going on in my mind. And there’s really only three reasons we procrastinate. Number one is and this is very, very unusual, is there’s an arousal mechanism in the brain that for some people about 2% of the population, when they procrastinate to, let’s say, the last minute, they actually release a burst of dopamine, the feel-good neurochemicals. And then they feel they you know, they celebrate, they get the thing done. But the other two reasons are actually avoidance. Reasons. Number one is fear. I’m procrastinating because I fear that it may not be good enough. I may get rejected. I may be embarrassed, ashamed, ridiculed, judged. So they fear the consequence. And our brain always looks at if I take that action that I want to take or no, I should take. And there’s any possibility of being embarrassed, ashamed, ridiculed, judged, rejected or failing. We actually just put a kibosh on the behavior and we go and do something that’s easier than that. .
The other one is our hidden self-image so if I secretly don’t believe that I deserve to achieve the end result of what taking action will give me, I will self-sabotage. I will procrastinate taking action so my hidden self-image or my self-worth barometer will dictate my behavior. So even though I can consciously say I want to achieve this, I want to do this. If those things are in play and those circuits are turning on or off in the brain, we will either move towards or move away from, you know, the thing that we want to achieve. So we have to learn how to be aware of the pattern. We have to understand how to deactivate the circuit of procrastination. We have to deactivate the circuit of self-sabotage and we become creatures of the habit of procrastinating. So now it becomes a habit. And now I’m rewarded to take on more and more procrastination as a habit because I’m getting rewarded for not taking action.
Miriam Schulman: All right. And we’ve learned now that self-worth derives our prices and the self-worth drives our actions. So we have to clean that up. All right. To get your hands on that masterclass. And you can watch it any time I checked it out myself. Go to SchulmanArt.com/JustDoIt. We will put the links in the show notes. If you’re watching on YouTube, it’s right below. If you’re listening on your podcast app, you know where to find the show notes. And this is episode… I forget what episode.
John Assaraf: 265.
Miriam Schulman: Oh you wrote it down. This is SchulmanArt.com/265.
John Assaraf: I just remembered.
Miriam Schulman: My short-term memory is horrible. Schulmanart.com/265. Okay, John, do you have any last words for our listeners before we call this podcast complete?
John Assaraf: Yeah. I want everybody to write this down. I want you to look at this every single day. Ready? Price is only an issue when value is a mystery.
Miriam Schulman: Oh. That’s good.
John Assaraf: Price is only an issue and value is a mystery. So for all of you artists or entrepreneurs out there, ask yourself this question How do you create value that resonates with people at the price point that you want to be charging?
Miriam Schulman: Mike, drop. All right. Thank you, John, so much for being with me here today. And thank you, my friend, for joining us. I will see you the same time, same place next week. Until then, stay inspired.
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