David Laroche: Hello, Achievers! Today I am with a new, amazing expert. He’s the Habits Coach, Erik Swanson, and he’s with me to answer my questions. So, follow this interview. Hello, Erik!
Erik Swanson: Hello, David! Good to see you.
David Laroche: How are you today?
Erik Swanson: I’m doing fantastic, man! Always awesome!
David Laroche: I have a question for you. You are a speaker and an expert, also. According to you, what could be the key factors of success?
Erik Swanson: That’s a loaded question, David. Let me give it to you all-in-one little area.
David Laroche: Yes, what advice can we use now?
Erik Swanson: Sure. You know, I come from a school of success where I’ve surrounded myself with so many different types of people that have been there, they failed and, yet, they’ve succeeded in many, many different ways. And surrounding myself with all these people has taught me a lot of different things. So, what I’m doing now is I’m working on something called “Habitudes” and it’s all about your habits and your attitude put together. I have a system—it’s “Secret Habitudes.” I actually called it “Secret Habitudes” because not many people know these very easy habits to follow throughout the footsteps of their journey of their life. It seems to be so common for myself, but not as common for other people. The secret to success in my opinion is following systems that actually work and following other people’s ideas as well, but expanding on your own. Does that make sense?
David Laroche: Yes.
Erik Swanson: Can I share a few different habitudes?
David Laroche: Yes, I would love to.
Erik Swanson: Okay, let me give you a few. (We have a beautiful airplane above us in beautiful California here.) What I found in my journey is this—a lot of people want to make a lot of money; they want to have a lot of success, yet they still want to sleep till noon, if that makes sense. They want the success out there, yet they’re not willing to really dive in and make mistakes, and fail. I just got off stage right now in front of a crowd where I was teaching them the importance of failure and learning from those failures, and learning to never ever give up. So, I’ve designed 50 different training habits called “Habitudes.” One of them — I’ll just explain — is the “Power of the 60 Second Morning Mirror.” “60 Second Morning Mirror” is very simple in the fact that one day I woke up and I looked in the mirror, and I don’t know about your audience here, but sometimes you look in the mirror and you say, “What did I do?” Just physically, I wasn’t really happy with the way I looked—I was overweight. I looked in the mirror and I was like, “This has got to change! It has, totally, got to change. I’ve got to get rid of this.” So, I got rid of the mirror first; that’s what I first did. Then, I realized, “I’ve got to change internally.” When I worked with my friend Jim Rohn (he passed away a few years back) — He teaches the value of “working on your own habits internally and making yourself better, and then you can help the world.” You know what I mean? The “power of the 60 second morning mirror”—I literally take 60 seconds to look in the mirror, and the mirror never lies. And I look straight back at myself, in my eyes, and I talk to myself. It’s the power of self-talk; it’s the power of pumping yourself up.
David Laroche: So, you build your self-esteem.
Erik Swanson: Exactly. Brian Tracy taught us years back, “Pump yourself up like a bicycle tire” and we all need this. There are so many people walking around the parts of the world that are like, “Too many taxes, too many problems; my kids did this or that…” and so forth. Just get a hold of your own habits and your attitude, and things start working out perfectly. It’s amazing how it just starts coming into what’s called “flow.” What I like to do is to have congruency between your mindsets. I was speaking to my friend Sharon Lechter the other day about how your subconscious mind needs to be in congruence with your conscious mind, as well, and that’s where the success starts the journey. Does that make sense?
David Laroche: Yes. So, 60 seconds…
Erik Swanson: Sixty seconds, and you’re serious with yourself; there’s no kidding around. You talk to yourself and you say, “I’m going to have a great day today. This is going to be amazing.”
David Laroche: You say “I” and not “you”?
Erik Swanson: Exactly, in the personal, yourself. You talk to yourself about it, “I am the best. I am focused. I will succeed…” These are the eight or nine things that I say to myself. Oh, you have it with you! Good!
David Laroche: Yes, I have some of your sentences.
Erik Swanson: Good, I can read it there. [laughing] “I am focused. I will succeed. I believe in myself. I set high expectations. I don’t let others bring me down. I will learn and grow every day…” just one of those areas. “I don’t let others bring me down”—how many of you or your audience have people that allow other people to determine your outcome and your mindset. Our friend Deepak Chopra — I’m sure everyone knows Deepak — he says, “How many of you are allowing other people to rent space in your mind and not pay rent for it?” So, it’s very interesting, and that’s one of the habitudes. Can I share another one?
David Laroche: Yes, you can share.
Erik Swanson: Good. The second one, which everyone loves it — I guess it’s just such an energy builder — it’s a secret habitude, and I teach people to high-five five strangers by 12 o’clock in the afternoon, five strangers by noon, every day. You have to high-five them. So, you go up to people in parking lots; you are at Starbuck’s; you are at a coffee place; you are at a restaurant; you’re anywhere—you high-five five people. And by noon is vey important because it gets you out of the house; it gets you over there. There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there and they need to get out and meet people. To be able to meet people and take a different route—that’s another habitude by the way. I’m going to give tons right now. “Take a different route”—a lot of people go to the same places. They go to the same places; they see the same people; they don’t grow this way. I teach my clients, “Don’t go to the same place for restaurants for lunch every day; you’ve got to go to different spots.” Dry cleaners—I live in San Diego, as well as in New York City and Austin, Texas. I’m all over the place right now and I’m looking to move to Toronto, as well. Are you in France?
David Laroche: Yes, in Paris.
Erik Swanson: In Paris, okay. Yes, it’s a cool city. So, what I do is I have three dry cleaners in my hometown of San Diego… three different dry cleaners. So, it’s very inconvenient to go to three different ones. What’s inconvenient for is to meet different people; to take a different route; to meet people like yourself. I just met you through another client, a contact. So, I went to different places and it’s very, very important to do so. Another one is—“Never give up”… never, ever give up. Try a different path but never give up. A lot of people let their dreams go and they say, “I should do this. I should do that.” Tony Robbins says, “You’re ‘shoulding’ all over yourself”; it’s what he says about that. You can’t do that; you have to stick to the plan. “Set a goal”—we have a whole system of writing down goals. Do you know how many people don’t actually write down their goals?
David Laroche: Yes, a lot of people.
Erik Swanson: A lot! It’s a huge population. They’re saying about 4-5% or 6% of the populations write down their goals, and about 94-95% don’t. What I’m also learning is that about 94-95% work for the top 4 or 5%. It’s interesting, and I wonder if there is a big correlation there.
David Laroche: And you know that 95% of the people, just one week before they die, they say, “I regret…”
Erik Swanson: “I regret not doing this.”
David Laroche: Yes, the same percentage.
Erik Swanson: That’s interesting. I wonder if there is a way that we could fast-forward to a system to say “Instead of regret, let’s do it now” and you transform that. I call it “TOMA” and it’s top-of-mind awareness. You want to keep things in front of you—what are the things that you want to accomplish in the time period that you want to accomplish it in and what is it going to cost? You have to go and do the things. A lot of people want that magic. For instance, this session right here — can I talk to the crowd for a second? — this session is not going to be a magic answer to everything. You need to use this in conjunction with our other friends, other trainers, and constantly use it. It’s not going to be a magic pill. Does that make sense?
David Laroche: Yes, it does. I believe that.
Erik Swanson: I do, too, and I live by it.
David Laroche: You worked with a lot of big names in this industry. So, according to you, what could be the keys to building a network with big names, like Brian Tracy? How did you do that?
Erik Swanson: That’s a great question, David! In fact, I love your accent. You just taught me something right now because of your accent, and you, probably, didn’t even realize you did. I thought you said “You have WALKED with a lot of great names.” I think you meant “You have WORKED with a lot of them” which I have, but I love the mistake of me thinking you said, “You have walked”… absolutely. I think that’s the better term to use—I have walked with all of these people… I’ve walked hand in hand; I’ve taken them out to lunch, meeting them.
If I could be honest with you and your crowd, I call my first year in sales — I was in sales and I wasn’t all that great — but I call my first year in sales “my RND” because I don’t want to tell people I was in sales. So, I call it “RND” like “Research and Development.” That’s what it was supposed to be; that’s what people thought and they’re like, “Oh, ’RND’. That’s cool.” They didn’t know it really meant “Ramen Noodle Days.” And if you don’t know what “ramen noodles” are—they are the six flavor packets that you get for $1. I lived on this stuff; I was broke and I didn’t know what I was doing. So, I was eating the cheapest things because I couldn’t afford anything when I was in sales and I first started off. Then, I got fired. Have you ever got fired from a commission-only job… job you don’t get paid for in the first place? They had to kick me out; they wanted my space. So, I had to change some things around and I decided right then to follow in the footsteps of the greats. Then, I came across some little book called “Think and Grow Rich” and I’m sure a lot of your audience members know this book. I said to myself, “Someday I’m going to be speaking on these stages with these people.” And then — to answer your question — I’ve walked with a lot of these “thinkers” and now they are my friends, my peers. I share stages with them; they share stages with me. The reason why I actually started and founded my company “Universal Seminars” is to surround myself with these speakers so I would invite them to my platform and then they would invite me to theirs. It’s called “leveling up.”
David Laroche: So, your first step was to build an event and invite them to it.
Erik Swanson: Exactly.
David Laroche: To build an event, add value and also to meet them not only “Oh, I would like to talk to you” but “I can give you something and, so I invited you.”
Erik Swanson: Precisely. And then I use my technique, “Plus One” theory, which is doing something just a little bit extra for everyone… just a little bit extra making sure that you’re not only picking up that person from the airport, but you pick them up in a limousine, just for the heck of it. One of my speaker friends likes cigars, really nice cigars, and I send them to the room.
David Laroche: It’s a kind of “four-seasons” mindset.
Erik Swanson: Correct. It’s actually five seasons. It’s just that little extra… “Plus One” theory. It’s interesting that I started surrounding myself with them because I invited them to my party — if that makes sense — not party, but seminars, events and then I had to do something different than everyone else was doing. So, you always want to make sure that you are the only person able to do that whatever that is.
David Laroche: And you find that and do it.
Erik Swanson: Correct, yes. And that, for me, as a promoter in the world of seminars was when Les Brown gets a call or Brian Tracy or — who else was I sharing stages with today? — Bob Proctor, Sharon Lechter… all these people. When they hear my name, Erik Swanson, they know me as a speaker, but they also know me as “That guy puts a lot of people in the seats. Anytime you get a call from this organization, make sure you’re there because he does something different that other people don’t do”. You know what I mean?
David Laroche: Yes.
Erik Swanson: So, always have that whatever that is.
David Laroche: How can I get people to my events in the USA, if I want to organize events?
Erik Swanson: Call my office; buy my coaching program. [laughing] I have something called a “Cash Cow Marketing” system. It’s a “Secret Blueprint Cash Cow Marketing” and what it is—I take people who want to organize events and I show them what to do and what not to do; I bring them through a whole system. And it’s, literally, a Power Point presentation, with PDFs, with our people in Atlanta office, in Houston offices that are there for resources for you—how to get sponsorships, how to get the people in the seats. I’m getting calls from so many people who are trying to organize events and, yet, they don’t know what to do. They know “Okay, I need a hotel” and then they don’t know what goes into planning the event, having the people show the tickets, the ticket pricing… “Is it a free event? Do I have multiple speakers or a few speakers?” There is a whole system to go through with it. The first step, though, is — what you’re doing — deciding to do it and if you’ve decided to do it, it’s phenomenal. Pick the date; pick the location; build it around that. And then what I do is I level up. What this means is — Let me interrupt myself by saying this—I’ve been doing this for 15 years (I started in ’97) and working in this industry I built up alliances. There are never competitors; there are only alliances. If you think that way, then you will realize that with another speaker or another promoter, let’s say, you can combine efforts and make alliances with them, and learn from them. So, that’s a very key point I think everyone needs to remember when they get into this event coordination.
David Laroche: Great. And how can people follow you? Can you give your website?
Erik Swanson: Follow me right now. I’m going up to my room right now. [laughing] My website www.speakererik.com You can misspell it; you can spell it correctly, it doesn’t matter—I’ve got all the domains. I spell my name with a “K” so, it’s E-R-I-K, www.speakererik.com, and you can follow me there.
David Laroche: Perfect. Thank you.
Erik Swanson: Great seeing you, David!
David Laroche: Thank you very much.
Erik Swanson: My pleasure, man. It’s always a pleasure.