I used to be a struggling agency owner and confused student, desperately trying to make LinkedIn work for me. After a few months of trial and error I started having clients coming to me asking for help with their own profiles. Since then, and before the age of 21, I've gathered over half a million content views on LinkedIn and helped CEOs, founders and coaches build their personal brands. I now also contribute to Business2Community, one of the top 10 business blogs in the world and run my own podcast.
Josh Tapp 0:01
What is up everybody? Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan podcast today we've got Peter Peter cazador on the mic. Your name is pretty hard to say Peter, I'm sorry, you nailed it. Peter Gaza, do I so today we're gonna be talking about how to use brutal honesty to get over yourself limiting ball to find your success. So Peter, say what's up to everybody and tell us one thing about yourself that most people don't know.
Peter Kozodoy 0:25
Yeah, what's going on everyone? hope everyone's having a good day so far. One thing about me that most people don't know is that I am. I was a competitive figure skater. That's actually how I met my wife and how I spent the first 1520 years of my life training for an Olympic dream that never quite panned out to be honest.
Josh Tapp 0:42
See, but the drive panned out.
Peter Kozodoy 0:45
That's it? Yeah. I think
Josh Tapp 0:46
that happens a lot with pre Olympic athletes. You know, like, even if they don't make it to the Olympics, they end up accomplishing something great, because the discipline and the focus and everything but I did not know that about you. That's pretty awesome.
Peter Kozodoy 0:59
Well, I'll tell you what. to like, after falling on your ass in the middle of you know the ice with 2000 people watching wearing tights. Nothing is difficult after that.
Josh Tapp 1:08
That's awesome. So you were doing it wasn't like speed skating. I was figure skating.
Peter Kozodoy 1:13
I figure skating up triple axels and everything.
Josh Tapp 1:16
Yeah. Yeah. So you're you're one of those people have like, super ripped legs.
Peter Kozodoy 1:20
Yeah, actually, those are the one thing that stayed the rest of me is to come to too much ice cream. But yeah.
Josh Tapp 1:24
And being married, right? That's when you get a good chef. What can I say? Oh, yeah, that's awesome. Say you get the dad bod going on, even if you don't kids. Awesome. Pedro. Let's hop in today. So we're gonna be talking about really the the meat and the potatoes. And I loved your topic. You know, we're talking about your book and about honesty and I really want you to break down and give us just the meat of what you teach in that book.
Peter Kozodoy 1:50
Yep, happy to so let's first get one you know, honest thing out of the way which is, I never really set out to write about speak about or frankly, even care about honesty. This is something that came out of a decade of building a multimillion dollar marketing agency. And always struggling with the fact that some of our clients used our growth strategies to just crush it, while others blew up on the launch pad. I mean, these executive teams could not get out of their own way to save their lives. And so I you know, in the beginning, Josh, to be honest with you, I chalked it up to stupidity, right. But of course, they're not like that was my stupidity, right? executives don't get to where they are by being stupid. What I actually think now having studied this and written about it on TEDx talk about it, is that many leaders out there I use that term loosely, are fundamentally dishonest on some level. And I break that down into three parts in my book that we need to if we're going to be super successful, dominate our industries, be honest, at the level of community know what's going on in the world. How are trends shifting how our customers thought processes and desires changing, honest within about the others around us? You know what's going on with our executive team, with our frontline employees, even with our friends and family, and finally honest within about ourselves with our own biases and self limiting beliefs. And what I found Josh, whether it's Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway or CEOs at the Ritz Carlton, Domino's Pizza, Bridgewater associates, the largest hedge fund in the world, all of these organizations and leaders have one thing in common, which is that they've used honesty strategically on all three levels. And they end up you know, by the way, this book is not an ethics book, like touchy feely honesty, none of this is a book about making shit tons of money. And these folks end up just wiping the floor with their organization and dominating their competitors that so that's it's just been fascinating to me to end up in a place where I'm even talking about honesty. But if you look around the world today, Josh, I think you and I can both agree that we need probably a lot more honesty in the world.
Josh Tapp 3:53
Yeah. Well, and I love that you broke it down into those three because that really, like you said, it kind of encompasses everything. Right. And so, you know, when it when it comes to being honest on a corporate level, you said even so some of these larger companies, they're not being honest. So what level? Do you feel like they're not being honest on that is kind of killing their success?
Peter Kozodoy 4:15
Well, especially I would say, especially at the big, you know, in big corporations, I've worked with folks from startups and local car dealers to fortune 500 and Warren Buffett himself. And I'll tell you that one of the main ways that executives create spectacular results in their business is simply by shutting up, you know, by not being that typical top down hierarchy. I know all the answers, but instead flipping it over and saying, you know what, I'm not like, think about the Domino's Pizza CEO, how much do they really have in common with the 20? Something broke college student that owns Domino's, that orders Domino's three times a week. I mean, they could not be more opposite. So if you take industry, by industry and think about it that way, you realize that the folks in any order With the most insight into what customers want, are always the frontline employees. And yet, I have found consistently that those folks are the ones that aren't given a voice aren't given a platform. You know, by way of quick story. I don't know if you've ever heard of Rocket Mortgage, right? Get a mortgage on your phone. Pretty easy idea. Right? So the question is, why didn't the biggest mortgage providers in the market but several years ago, like Bank of America, Wells Fargo mean, those are publicly traded organizations? They have resources. Why didn't they do this? Well, because in their cultures, they have a no, I'm the boss. I'm a gatekeeper. That sounds expensive. We're not going to do that. Well, at Quicken Loans. They have a culture code around that. And what they say is it's not about who is right. It's about what is right. And let's say yes, before No. And so you can imagine someone came to them and said, Hey, why don't we have to kill a tree? Every time someone gets a mortgage? Why can't we just do it on our phone? Everyone has one, it's super simple. They probably looked at each other and they said, Well, we don't know if that's a good idea or not, but go do it, and then come back to us when it's done. See if it works or not? Well, in an environment like that, not only do people come up with those ideas and execute on them, but it attracts everyone else from organizations where their opinion doesn't matter, who have great ideas who want to go to a place where they can try them, try them out. But what's so funny, Josh is every organization wants entrepreneurial thinking, and then everyone blocks that with bullshit. It's it boggles my mind.
Josh Tapp 6:25
It's really interesting, you know, so in my MBA program we were so I took it from jack welch, right? He was talking about GE, and he said, he can directly attribute his success to exactly what you're talking about. He said, I just stopped I just shut up and let them talk. Right gave them that entrepreneurial freedom and said yes to more things. And he says more than more than people know you know, when you're when you're building especially a larger company, you you know, you're doing it trying to get yourself to be publicly traded or what have you. I mean, you do have to focus pretty heavily on on, you know, blowing money. When it comes down to it, and he would talk about, you know, he's like for every 20 projects, only two of them would really survive, but they pay off the rest of the other 20. I mean, it's an incredible thing to see. So I really do appreciate that point. And, and so, you know, a lot of our listeners are more in the, you know, they do a lot of contract work, for example, right? They're kind of that, quote, unquote, solopreneur, except most of them do have a small team, right? How does honesty apply in the sense of working with with contractors or consultants?
Peter Kozodoy 7:30
Yeah, what a great question because I spend a ton of my time now coaching other entrepreneurs to build their own multimillion dollar Inc 5000 company. And I think honesty for entrepreneurs is solopreneur. No matter what is one of the most important things you can undertake in your life to be a better entrepreneur, better communicator, better person, for a couple reasons. First, you get to when you're in charge of your own life, you get to make better more As choices about who you really are and what you really want, and what it's really going to take to get there. The other reason, Josh is because what I've found coaching is that 99% of business problems are personal problems in disguise. Let me give you an example. A couple nights ago, I'm coaching an entrepreneur, a minimum couple years ago, now he's just about to get over a million dollars. He built systems, his business is doing fantastic. And he says to me, I'm not sure how to reach bigger sales accounts. And you know, I'm a little bit afraid, I'm not sure I have the confidence to do that. And I said, Okay, well, let's unpack that a little bit. You know, are you a good salesperson? Oh, yeah, Peter, I'm the best salesperson in the company. I can sell anyone I know this product better than anyone else. That's not a promise. Okay. Interesting. Who do you know who to reach who these companies are? Yeah, no, I have a list of them. I know exactly who they are. And they could probably double my business tomorrow. And I know the people inside those companies, and I even know they would probably do business with me because I'm better doing this better doing that better doing this other thing. I said, Okay, well, earlier I heard you say that you're not competing. Going after big accounts, and then I heard you say that you are the best salesperson in the room, and that you know exactly who these people are not reached them. So where's the problem here? Well, it turned out he didn't trust his business partner, it came down to, I don't trust my business partner. So when I bring business in, I'm not sure whether we'll be able to handle it or not. Very different, okay. It's always a personal problem with entrepreneurs behind the business problem. And so a lot of what I what I do working with entrepreneurs, especially solopreneurs, is, what do you think it's going to take to make you successful? And invariably, they tell me bullshit, bullshit, but like, they have no idea, right? They've assumed that it's all these different things. And I'm like, Well, what if you could do none of those, and instead, sit back, build a better system, and be able to just sort of print money, right? Run your system systems run your people and your processes and new business development, operations and finance. They're like, yeah, I mean, that sounds good. But I don't know how to do that. It's like okay, well, but let's first have the right vision first, right First things first. So a lot of it Josh, the work that I do is just backing up and helping entrepreneurs understand what life they even want, and then helping them realize that it's even possible. I did a workshop this past weekend, and this is my, my favorite part of the workshop for entrepreneurs that I do I say, design your ideal life, and someone will design their ideal life and who wants to share and they'll raise their hand say, all right, tell me, you know, how much are you working every week? Well, Peter, I work 910 hours a day now, man, if I could work five hours a day, five days a week, my life would completely change. It'd be a whole whole new person. That would be amazing. So Oh, that's interesting. Tell me, why don't you want to work two hours a day, four days a week? And they're like, Well, I mean, yeah, I mean, everybody would want to do that. But I mean, that's not possible. So you know, I'm trying to be realistic. I'm like, Oh, really, it's not possible. I know, entrepreneurs that do that make millions of dollars. So what do you mean, it's not possible? Who told you that? Well, nobody told me that. Okay, well, then let's let's eliminate self limiting bullshit, and move forward from you know, understanding what's actually true, and how you know, it's true or not And that's a lot of the work I do, Josh.
Josh Tapp 11:02
It's really interesting. I love that concept too. Because, I mean, you're really coming down to the core problem that I think everybody's having, you know, as you're talking, I'm like, Man, I'm probably doing that I'm probably doing that. And so you have a quiz that you you refer people to to basically help them evaluate this right?
Peter Kozodoy 11:20
That's right. So I put out what's called the honesty quiz that Peter calls it away. KOZ Oh, do block kozodoy.com slash honesty. If you just go to honest to greatness, calm, honest to greatness calm. You'll, you can't miss it. And it's a 21 question quiz. And it will tell you which of four honesty profiles you fit into. And it will actually tell you, you know, where you may or may not be blocked, totally free, I highly recommend you check it out. I even have a video at the end will be dropped into your email inbox that walks you through why you may have gotten a certain result. But of course, only do that if you're brave enough to actually know how honest you are.
Josh Tapp 11:58
Well, I think it takes a level of honesty yourself to say I might need this right? Sure does. So take that first step, you know, be honest with yourself just for long enough to fill out the quiz. Maybe you'll get through it and say, Wow, I'm pretty honest. Or maybe you might come out the other end spec. Wow. I need to I need to work on some stuff. Yeah,
Peter Kozodoy 12:13
Josh Tapp 12:14
So where do you recommend people start? I mean, I know a lot of I mean, there's a lot of, I guess, theory out there, when it comes to you know, becoming successful. But where's the first place to start when you're, you're trying to become more honest with yourself to see that success?
Peter Kozodoy 12:29
You know, it's so funny. I mean, I'm, I'm such like, anti establishment in this way, because I hate podcasts like this. Let me finish. Because why? Because people listen to them. And they're like, Oh, this person successful and so the question comes, like, what made you successful? And then the person has to think back and pick you know, one thing or two things that quote unquote, made them successful and it's complete bullshit, right? Right. I'll tell you right now it made me successful. Number one, deciding not going to quit and number two, getting lucky That's it. I think we don't do enough good enough of a good job of showing people the truth, which is that at some point in time, if you want to become Elan Musk, or you want to become a multimillionaire, you have to get lucky in some way, shape or form. Now we can argue about can you create your own luck? Can you put your self in a position to make your own? Yes, I believe all those things are also true. But there is a sense of like time and timing and being in the right place at the right time. Right. Yeah. So that's one. Number two is there is there are two questions that I think everyone can start with, to help you understand how to use honesty, effectively to get what you really want in life. And it's this. Is that true? And how do I know? So back to you know, all the assumptions you make as an entrepreneur? How about this one that I love, I just need to work harder. Is that true? How do you know? And until you can answer those questions until you can know for sure whether it's true and that you have a reliable source to tell you whether it's true or not, then it's strictly a an inherent bias. That you believe. And I think we can all agree that the worst thing we want is to walk around with beliefs in our head that aren't true because they kill us every day. That is self limiting bullshit that gets in our way from achieving what we really want
Josh Tapp 14:13
is really cool. So the question is, is that true? And how do I know? So with that specific question, question that came to mind to me when you were talking about that is, you know, how do you stop to take the time to actually ask yourself and and in what situation should you be doing? I mean, do you have like a specific method you use
Peter Kozodoy 14:31
to ask yourself that what more important thing is there? Look, especially as an entrepreneur, we get the freedom to choose the lifestyle we want. And instead, what I find with many of my clients who end up on my doorstep is they've allowed life to happen to them. Their Aunt Betty told them they should go into business a so they went into business a and then their mom told them, well, they suck and I'll never succeed. So then they don't talk to mom anymore. And then there's conflict in that direction, then, like they allow life to guide them, and it's like, No, I want people to To take back control over what they can control, which are which is between their ears, which is their mindset, which is their belief system. It starts there, Josh, because I can tell you until you're blue in the face, here's the best marketing message for you. Here's the best sales outreach for you. Here's an operational protocol that will help you add a million dollars to your bottom line, you will not take action on it. Unless you know it's true. And what's interesting is this is how Warren Buffett became a billionaire. He realized that if he looked into the stock market, he could recognize that there's there are hundred dollar bills standing on the sidewalk that everyone's walking by, because they don't believe it can be $100 bill just waiting for them on the sidewalk. That's the whole idea behind value investing how he goes in and buys stock. When it's a depressed price. We studied this at Columbia Business School. And really that's all he did. He figured out like, Oh, well no one else is looking at this hundred dollar bill. I know it's $100 bill. I know that's true. So I'm gonna buy it. And then in a couple weeks, it's worth 200 bucks. That's how you become a billionaire. It's not You know, it's not that difficult.
Josh Tapp 16:01
Right? So that's really cool. And I do like that, you know, and Warren Buffett's in a fantastic example of that, you know, being awesome. So because he's, his methodology is really simple, right? A lot of people think it's this big complex methodology and he's like, I only invest in a business I know it's going to win
Peter Kozodoy 16:19
the end. And he doesn't do it that often. He doesn't like rats every eight years. Right? And, and he doesn't like Warren Buffett spends most of his time doing absolutely nothing like reading. talking to people. He like shaking hands writing is amazing shareholder letters, but like, as far as like, action, very little.
Josh Tapp 16:34
Yeah. Which is really? Yeah, you have to look at people like that and say, Hmm, what am I doing wrong? Well, right. Yeah. What am I doing? Right, so. So Peter, that's really awesome. I really do appreciate you bringing all of that to the table because I think that's really a core problem. I know for myself, even just as interview that's something I know I need to work on. You guys being honest with myself. And I think, you know, initially when I was going to interview I was thinking Oh, it's like you Be honest with yourself about the bad things that you're you're talking more about, like, be honest with yourself and truly honest with yourself of what your strengths are and what you know, what you shouldn't be doing and really being comfortable with with the direction you're going.
Peter Kozodoy 17:14
What you know, and what you don't know. I mean, so I run a forum group for entrepreneurs, we meet once a month, virtually on zoom. And we it's 100%, confidential and 100% vulnerable, and we share what's really, really going on in our lives, businesses, families, because unless we confront those things, they're just going to continue to drag us in directions that we are not choosing for ourselves. And that's what makes me most passionate about the entrepreneurial community.
Josh Tapp 17:41
Yeah, that's awesome. Well, Peter, you know, you gave us a lot of amazing stuff to go on. And I want to recommend that everybody goes and checks out on the honesty quiz and takes that because the 21 questions you said, I mean, that's, that's that is. So is there anywhere else you'd like people to connect with you before we hop
Peter Kozodoy 17:58
off here. Yeah, I mean, I'm the worst millennial ever. So I hate social media, but I'm on all the social media. So come hang out and I do get messages and try to respond to everyone. Check out my website, I have an entire bonus page, Joshua gave me that link. So it'll probably be on the show notes. Show Notes. So if you want to buy multiple copies, you can get a discount and I'm also giving away classes and membership to forum and tickets to my honesty summit and all kinds of things. So check it out and saving grab yourself some bonuses books out August 11 2020. Awesome.
Josh Tapp 18:30
I love that appear before we sign off is there Can you give us one last parting piece of guidance if you could say there's one big point from this interview that you would want people to take home with them? Oh, that be
Peter Kozodoy 18:42
it's your it's your fault. You know, leading yourself astray is your own fault. I think personal responsibility has fallen to the wayside as we look to everyone else to solve our problems. You are the boss of your own life. Take control.
Josh Tapp 18:59
I love that. Make sure to be honest with yourself. be brutally honest with yourself. And Peter, thanks again for coming on the show today and everybody go check out his website at Peter Kazuto comm slash bonus or slash honesty so that you can check out the quiz. And Peter, thanks again. We'll talk to you soon.