Success Podcast Post

Unlock your Potential with Jeff Lerner

George Grombacher July 28, 2022

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Unlock your Potential with Jeff Lerner

LifeBlood: We talked about how to unlock your potential, doing hard things, the challenges of modern living, breaking free of the inertia of unfairness, and how to become successful, with Jeff Lerner, entrepreneur, Founder of Entre Institute, and author of Unlock Your Potential. 

Listen to learn why entrepreneurship could be your path to the life you truly want!

You can learn more about Jeff at,, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

jeff 2

Jeff Lerner

Episode Transcript

eorge grombacher 0:00
Come on let’s go. This is George G. And the time is right. Welcome. Today’s guest strong, powerful. Jeff Lerner. Jeff, are you ready to do this?

Unknown Speaker 0:18
I am ready. Thank you, sir. All right, let’s

george grombacher 0:19
go. Jeff is striving to be the first billionaire founder who deadlift three times his body weight performance at Carnegie Hall. He went from being a broke jazz musician to $100 million in online sales. He’s the founder of entre Institute’s an organization helping entrepreneurs build successful businesses in the modern world. And he is his newest book is unlock your potential, The Ultimate Guide for creating your dream life in the modern world. Jeff, excited to have you on tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work and why you do what you do.

Unknown Speaker 0:51
I’m, I’m I’m grateful. And I’m honored to get to do that. Thank you, I have to say every time somebody reads that, that line about the deadlifting, Carnegie Hall, Mike, who, who actually wrote that and put it on LinkedIn, I think that was me. And it must have been on something that day. But but it’s true. I, I am really passionate about what I do as an entrepreneur and as an entrepreneurial evangelist and advocate and really an advocate. It’s more of a hue, it’s more of an advocacy for human beings than entrepreneurship per se. I just think entrepreneurship is a vehicle to get a lot of human beings where they want to go, that maybe they weren’t taught about properly in school, but But anyway, you know, I love fitness. I love doing hard things. I love music. So that’s where that other stuff comes from. But yeah, as far as my personal life, I am married, I’ve been married for actually just celebrated my 10 year anniversary. I’m 43. It’s not my first marriage, but it’s my best marriage. And it’s the one I’m going to end on. So I have four kids, I love being a dad, you know, there’s a lot of cliches around being a dad and being a family man. Like I deeply, passionately love being a dad to the point where being a dad actually saved me and made me who I am. And there’s more to that statement. But so that’s really my my passion. First and foremost. And I think a lot about why I do what I do is, is I think that we’re heading into an a changing world. And every generation probably says that, but I think there’s a, you know, I think what was it the the show Highlander that talked about the quickening, how time is changing, the pace of change is accelerating. And I think we’re in a time where there’s this quickening happening. And, you know, it used to be that civilization fundamentally shifted in maybe increments of centuries. Now, I think it shifts generationally. And that creates a really different dynamic, where like, the wisdom of your grandparents, there’s a certain amount of it that was timeless, and there was a certain other amount of it that’s just completely wrong and irrelevant now. And even your parents, and even me, and even for me to my kids. And so it’s like trying to really understand what it’s like to be, you know, sort of a beginner in the world of today and not carry a bunch of baggage and assumptions from when I was a beginner, even 30 or 40 years ago, much less when my parents were 60 or 70 years ago. And like, you know, I just think what we are most of us are walking around under the burden of about 95% irrelevance, or outright mis directing information in terms of trying to figure out how to navigate the world we’re in today. And that’s what I’m all about. That’s what my book is about. I was fortunate that in an early age, I cast off the the shackles and the the trappings of the mainstream system, I dropped out of high school, I rejected the conventional indoctrination and training and to some degree guidance and stewardship of what the world was trying to do with me. And for reasons that perhaps, you know, don’t matter. Or maybe, you know, we can talk about in a longer conversation sometime. I just wanted to go my own way. And as it turned out, it was a gamble. And everybody said that, you know, you’re gonna end up working flipping burgers or whatever. And but you know, sometimes you gamble and you lose in my case, I gambled, and I won. It was the right call at the right time in the world, in you know, I got it right. And so I just went my own way. And I’ve had this amazing journey and this amazing story that’s unfolded of, you know, whether it was being a piano player that getting to play in the homes of billionaires and pick their brains about how they became billionaires and what, what is entrepreneurship really about from people that have really done it not from people that just teach it academically, which is kind of a joke that we can get into if you want and starting my own businesses and building this life. I mean, I haven’t had a job since I was 16 years old. And I was retired at 39. And the book really strives to encapsulate a how that happened for me be what I learned along the way that anyone can apply and see what it is about the world and sort of the macro forces in the words that make this the time to do all that and a time when if you don’t, frankly, you’re going to be sorry. Did I did I remotely answer the question? That was you?

george grombacher 5:13
You nailed it? Can anyone apply it?

Unknown Speaker 5:17
Yes, yes. A profound three capital letter? Yes. So,

george grombacher 5:26
I was I was checking out, just in prep for our interview. And on the on the entre site, they were talking about personal motivation, personal responsibility, these are things that are required, at least from my perspective of entrepreneurship. Can anybody do those things as well?

Unknown Speaker 5:47
Yes, I think that, you know, just like, musculature just like neurology, I mean, people have different aptitudes and proclivities and levels of native ability in different areas of life. But I mean, you know, I think saying, can anybody be, you know, self determined, and personally responsible and entrepreneurial is kind of like saying, can anybody be flexible? Yeah, but you gotta stretch, and there’s going to be natural capacities for different people are going to differ, but like, everybody could be a lot more flexible than they are, everybody could probably be a lot more entrepreneurial than they are. And my premise is that we’ll have a lot more more joy, fulfillment, richness, impact and short term self interested upside in the state of the world today, if we will lean into that truth.

george grombacher 6:40
Yeah. What are your thoughts on hard work?

Unknown Speaker 6:45
Yes, please. No, I mean, that’s the thing, you know, so much like, like, I feel like my job in this world to the extent that I have a job, having steadfastly avoided that my whole life, is to stand in opposition to the status quo that robs most people of most of the great things that they could have, if they maybe approach things a different way. I don’t know that’s not a very, that’s kind of a clumsy way of saying it. But like, I have found that how do I say this? You know, there’s a there’s a concept in economics around like, marginal utility, right. And I compare it a lot to oil prices. This is actually strangely the most apt metaphor I have found. So oil production is like 80 million barrels a day, right. And oil consumption is like 80 million barrels a day. And as long as oil consumption runs at about 80 million barrels a day and oil production is about 80 billion barrels a day, the price of oil stays solid. But if the if OPEC says you know what, we’re going to cut production down to 79 million barrels a day? Well, they’ve only cut production by what’s that like 1.2%. But the price literally could go up 50% Because of of the principle of marginal utility and economics where like, all the value swings, all the leverage is at the margins of the production consumption equation. That is how life works. You know, what isn’t gonna give you an awesome life is working 40 hours a week, you know, what isn’t going to give you an awesome life is doing what everybody else does. Everybody like, like, life is hard. And everybody thinks their life is hard. And everybody that’s not dead, is not dead, because they’re working hard to not be dead. And so then we all think we deserve something. But it’s that extra, it’s that marginal utility, it’s that extra million barrels of oil, it’s an extra five hours a week that we put in, it’s that extra little nudge of value, or that extra little bit of polish that we put on the project, or that extra 30 minutes that we get up early to feed our mind and develop ourselves to be a little bit better than our competition. That’s where all the value swings happen. And so the, you know, when you get from hard into harder, you’re getting from what everyone else is doing, into what fewer people are doing, and that’s where all the rewards are found.

george grombacher 9:10
I love it. All right. So, the modern world how are we doing as as human beings in in the modern world on average?

Unknown Speaker 9:23
You know, I don’t I mean, here’s the thing, I’ve only lived in one era. So, you know, my basis for comparison, shows that most of what plagues us plagues, you know, has always plagued us right. But I think that the difference now is by living an unspectacular life, we are we are experiencing a much greater opportunity cost than living an unspectacular life at any other time in history. Like most in most of human history. For most people, there was relativity relatively little cultural or socio economic mobility. So they kind of got a pass. It’s like, Well, I’m a, I’m a, I’m a lowly peasant in a field because I’m a lowly peasant in a field. And there’s no other alternative. Now, it’s like, it’s kind of on you. So even though I don’t know that we’re fundamentally doing that much better or worse than in any other given time, I think you can say we’re actually doing much worse because we’re not doing nearly so well of availing ourselves of opportunities, because for most of the generations, we would compare ourselves to those opportunities didn’t exist. And I think that in the future, they will look back at our generation and realize this was a transitional time, when the great meritocracy and the great, you know, egalitarian concept that we’ve all wanted deeply as humans for 1000s of years, it was actually realized, and it was actually upon us. But we had this inertia of unfairness that we like, are so hung over with, that it might be another 100 years, before we actually start taking advantage of it. And that is literally my mission on earth is like don’t let it be your grandkids that realize the opportunities that you had all along.

george grombacher 11:15
And inertia of unfairness I love that. I think I think that that it’s so true. I think about it in terms of agency, if if I’m blaming somebody else for why I’m not where I’m at, well, I’m giving my power away. Yeah. Is it similar?

Unknown Speaker 11:34
Oh, 100% 100%. And, and again, you know, positive mindset and metaphysics and you know, the so called woowoo way of thinking, that admittedly didn’t get you very far in like, colonial like, let’s say, like, 300 years ago, in the caste system in India, you couldn’t think your way out of being in the lower caste? You can now you really can’t take it from the high school dropout broke nearly homeless jazz musician, whose sense generated $150 million through internet based businesses that I bootstrapped and never borrowed money to start, you got it, you can think your way out of out of a hole now.

george grombacher 12:16
So is it like this perfect storm of all the BS that we’re walking into it with? And then there’s probably a lot of people who do recognize that, like, all these tools are at my disposal, I see people like Jeff making this happen. Yet I am not. And it’s almost maybe demotivating, even or just exacerbates it.

Unknown Speaker 12:41
Yeah, this is the hard thing you asked about hard things, the hardest thing for human beings is to just be different. That’s actually the thing we struggle with the most. In fact, we, we actually define hard whether we do it overtly, or subconsciously, we tend to define hard based on how uncommon something is, in fact, if we see everybody else doing it, it becomes easier. I mean, the four minute mile is a classic example. Right? It was impossible until it was done. And then it was doable if you train for it, right. And so we, we struggle to be different. And I think that you know, when I talk about the hangover, that we have the residue that we carry from our or our ancestral origins, this fear of being different is a huge problem for us. It is it is a genetic, and I would say it’s an epigenetic handicap that we were all born with. And it is our calling to, to shed and heal from over the course of our life. And when you realize that, like being a standout is a choice. And actually only standouts get to typically have really great lives, and you’ve basically been choosing not to choose to be a standout. And thus not to have a great life for most of your life. And by the time that dawns on most people, it’s at the end, and it’s too late. And they’re just full of regret. Like this is a tragic state of affairs. But like I said, the hardest thing for most people is to just be different. And you know, when they say I’m not doing it, it’s the reason you’re not doing it is because for most of us, our lives are filled with, you know, there’s that saying Good is the enemy of great, right. Our lives are filled with seemingly good things that you know, we’re doing what our friends do. We’re doing what our coworkers doing, we’re doing what our neighbors do. We’re doing what our parents did, we’re doing what we were told to do by our teachers who hadn’t good intentions and like, there’s all this goodness that we’re so caught up in, that we don’t realize that the precondition of greatness is to exclude to reject goodness. And people are scared to do that because it’ll make them different.

george grombacher 14:50
Love it. precondition of greatness is to exclude the good, good. Yeah. So what are you hoping thing that people get out of reading your book.

Unknown Speaker 15:03
The empowerment, the inspiration, the belief that life is a game of fiable and winnable thing. And that you can, you are you are re given permission to dream and to dream in much more concrete ways than we did as kids when we when we didn’t understand the parameters of the world nearly as well as we do now. Like it’s it’s actually ironic we were we, we were sanctioned to dream at a time when we didn’t really know how things worked. And now that we’ve learned how things worked, we’re essentially told not to dream anymore. Imagine if, imagine how how clear and practical a dream could be now that you’re an adult, you know how things work? So why aren’t why aren’t we like doing that? Why are we watching the fictionalization of other people’s dreams? Why are we playing video games and inhabiting fantasy worlds and watching shows like Game of Thrones, and like, you know, it’s only the artists and the weirdos that like actually create dreams and they create them for everybody else, and they do it fantastically, so that so that they spare people the shame of having it be like, Oh, this is a dream that I could have. Now, as long as there’s dragons flying around and breathing fire, nobody thinks oh, that’s what my life could be like. Right. But the reality is you can create achievable, realizable, very practical dreams in your mind now that you know how the world works. But but you’re not going to do that because doing it is, is self defeating and disheartening, if you don’t actually know that the tools are out there to achieve those dreams. And so this book by showing you that those tools exist, and show and giving you some examples of people that have achieved dreams with these tools should I believe inspire people to believe that it’s okay for them to dream again, and hopefully to actually do it and go after it? I love it.

george grombacher 16:56
Powerful stuff. Jeff Lerner, love. Thank you. Well, the people are ready for that difference making tip even though you’ve given us a lot, what do you have for them?

Unknown Speaker 17:06
I think that, you know, I’ll give it in two parts, I really do believe that entrepreneurship is the, the life raft in the modern world. There, you know, if you do the math, get a job, you know, take on debt, get a job work for decades tried to retire, that equation doesn’t really work anymore. And it’s only getting worse times not on your side entrepreneurship because it has, you know, you’re 11 times more likely to become a millionaire as an entrepreneur. Fact, that’s just data, right? Like it’s the life raft for most people, you have to be really good. And so anything less than being really good is really bad. So that’s the hard part for people to swallow. But if you accept it entrepreneurship, is, is the life raft in the modern world to have, you know, an above average life and I do kind of believe is although it may be tough to hear than an average life is kind of a crappy life. In the modern world. If you accept that entrepreneurship is that life raft, then you have to fundamentally understand what it is. And what it is not is how to get for me. What it is, is how to give, it’s a way to serve, it’s a way to create more value than you were then you ask for in return. So that’s that’s my I don’t know if that’s a tip. That’s a paradigm. Entrepreneurship is the life raft. And giving more than you asked for is how you you start becoming an effective entrepreneur.

george grombacher 18:30
Well, I think that is great stuff that definitely gets a come on the first difference making paradigm on the show, I’d love it. But Jeff, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they pick up a copy of The Ultimate Guide of of working, they pick up a copy of unlock your potential, The Ultimate Guide for creating your dream life in the modern world?

Unknown Speaker 18:55
Well, it’s wherever books are sold. Jeff Lerner has, you know, links out to all such platforms. And if you want to get sort of tactical and really unpack a lot of the mechanics of what’s in the book, you know, the book should inspire you and it’ll it’ll kind of orient you in in some directions but if you want to go deeper with that, I give a ton away for free on my YouTube channel. I have almost 1000 video training videos on my YouTube channel and I honestly sometimes I think I don’t know why anybody ever buys anything from me because I give it all away for free on YouTube. But you know, people like to pay for help and community and support and all that stuff. But yeah, check me out on YouTube, you know, get the book and then check me out on YouTube.

george grombacher 19:39
If you enjoyed as much as I did, so if your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to Jeff Lerner It’s g f f L e r n e r and pick up a copy of unlock your potential and go and check out his YouTube channel as well for all the value that he has Writing for free and I’ll obviously link all those in the notes of the show thanks good Jeff thank you and until next time keep fighting the good fight we’re all in this together

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