Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today, we have Larry Sharpe. Larry, welcome.
Hey, how are you?
Marvellous. Happy to have you.
Glad to be here.
Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do?
I am not only as handsome as you can see, but also super smart and also very modest. So I think those are probably the most important things of all my great trace by modesty is my best, I think that’s kind of who I am, I’m teasing, I’m just, I’m just some guy who are former marine entrepreneur candidate for office who’s been trying to lead better and to make better leaders and to make life better in general, both in professional life and personal life. Well, I mentioned before we started recording that you’ve got a lot of stuff going on, so I would like to talk to you about productivity at some stage. The new book on Happiness is coming out soon, is that right? Trying to write a book is a whole lot harder than I thought it was gonna be.
So yes, it was supposed to come out about a month ago. It will probably come out in about two months so soon, it will be out if anyone’s interested. You can check out sharp way dot com. The book is right there. Well, in preparation for our conversation, I have some of the most popular questions unhappiness and they’re quite short and sharp, so I’m interested to know what your answers will be for the sake of definition of terms. Do you have a definition of happiness? Sure, Alright, happiness is how you feel about yourself and those around you. That’s really what it is. Right? Are you feeling good about yourself and those around you? And if you are feeling good about yourself and those around you then you’re usually gonna be okay. And a general rule with knowing if that’s true is, are you having good relationships? Those voices include personal family, professional, although even with yourself, so, which is why I build it the idea of happiness on three things for someone to be happy, they need to feel loved that it to feel respected.
You need to have purpose. If those three things are true. Generally speaking, the person is happy and that’s what the book is actually about also. So, and that’s all do with relationships with yourself, your family, all those types of things. Well, the next, the follow up question is how can I be happy? But I guess if you have those three, should we say building blocks, it gives you a clue. Do you go further into those three things in the book? Absolutely. And the reality is happiness is fleeting, right? Life is a series of both joy and pain, regardless of who you are, you have different types of joy, different types of pain, but everything is fleeting. Your pain will go away and your joy will go away. That’s how it works, right? Everything is fleeting. So it’s very hard to retain happiness. Generally speaking, we tend to have amount of those three. There’s zero of those 12 or three. If you have one, the problem with having only one is you can become almost maniacal on one thing, you can be super focused on love or super focused on getting respect or super focused on one purpose and you miss out any other things.
You can actually make yourself unhappy by only focusing on one. But if you have, when you’ve got a shot at getting the other one right, if you feel loved, you have a chance of going out and getting some respect or finding a purpose. If you’re respected or maybe you go find a purpose or go find some love. If you see where I’m going right? If you have a purpose. Often when you’re out there with that purpose, you will find others who will rather respect you and your ability to deal with your purpose or fall in love with you because of the same purpose as you. So, if you have one, you have a chance in the other two. If you’ve got two, you’re in a good spot, right? Because now I’ve got purpose and love, I can find respect, purpose and respect that can find love, right? I can do either of those. If I’ve got two of them, right? I’ve got three. I’m happy if I have none. I will become self-destructive. That’s how it works, right? If I have none, that means I don’t feel unworthy of love. I’m worthy of respect. I have no purpose. I will become self-destructive and probably hurt others while I’m doing that and that might be physically or mentally or both or whatever the case may be. The reason why I break it down is I want the individual to kind of understand where they are in life at this moment, right?
Do right now I’m doing stuff okay, great. I’ve got purpose but do I feel loved, I don’t okay, that’s my whole let me go try to find that or do I feel respected? Do I always feel angry and disrespected. Do I always feel upset like I’m not respected? Okay, that’s my whole is respect. So now I know where I can go with the other pieces. There are four different arenas to find it. You can find it in your family, find it professionally, find it in yourself right? Or find it socially. So you don’t have to have all four of those. But if you’re, if you don’t feel love than any of those four, you’re not going to be happy, meaning. You don’t have to have romantic love to be happy, but you can that that is a way to find love, right? You don’t have to have professional respect to be happy, but that’s a way that we find respect. You be respected in your family as an elder statesman or as a young entrepreneur or whatever? You don’t have to be respected in any of those arenas, but you need to be respected at least one of them. First time I’m asking this particular one, are you happy at this moment?
Yes, but that’s not always true. In fact, I start the book with me contemplating suicide and I do that on purpose because I figure if anyone buys a book on happiness, the odds are at the moment, they’re not happy. Otherwise. Why do you buy the book? Unhappiness? So I figured that the person who’s gonna grab that book is probably not happy at the moment. Well, that was my lowest time when I was feeling self-destructive and no matter how bad someone’s feeling, if I can show them that I was at that point, they can go, okay, I can, I can hear this guy at least, All right, he may be wrong, you may be right, but at least I can hear him because there are many times in my life when I’ve not been happy and I’ve strived to do other things and I kind of figured out, oh now I can be happy, but I’m sure that will be fleeting in at one point, I won’t be happy. I’m sorry to hear that you had to go through that. Is there anything that if you were able to talk to yourself in that moment of being in that, shall we say rock bottom place, what would you what would you say to yourself in terms of advice?
Well, there are things I did say to myself, but here’s what I would say to anyone who’s feeling that when anyone is contemplating suicide, almost there, the thing they will always tell themselves is it’s better off if I’m gone, that’s what everyone will tell themselves. That’s a guarantee. It’s better if I’m gone or from gone, the pain will go away. That’s what everyone tells themselves. That is a lie you tell yourself. That’s a fairy tale. It’s not better when you’re gone because people miss you. And it’s not the pain doesn’t go away. It gets transferred onto those who care about you. The pain doesn’t go away. You give it to others. It isn’t better. People miss you. So, that’s what I would tell myself. Or tell anyone. Because if you’re contemplating suicide, you’ve told yourself that otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it. And it’s a fairy tale that we tell ourselves. It doesn’t get better because you transfer to someone else. But something else if you want to take your own life would be self-destructive. Remember something? Your pain can be someone else’s purpose. There are people who want to help.
It may not be the people around you. Maybe you’re in a bad environment, the people around you don’t want to help you? But there’s someone who does? There’s lots of people who want to help. If you find the person who wants to help you can be their purpose, which means by you ending your own life, you’re being selfish. It’s not better give someone else a purpose be a centre for someone else’s purpose. Well, you mentioned it as being one of the three. So you say one of the three factors in happiness and also in your answer, how does one find a purpose if they don’t already have one? Oh, that’s a tough one, right? It can be difficult as a general rule I talk about in the book a bit, but as a general rule that there are easy ways in harder ways. The easiest way is. If you feel either loved or respected that I hope everyone watching listening does then see what those people are doing, What are they putting their time and energy into and purpose does not have to be like, I’m going to save the world. Doesn’t have to be that it could be something as simple as I want to build a house or I want to write a book or I want to get a cool job, whatever the thing it could be, I’m a part of a gaming group where we’re gonna get our video game team together and go play somewhere.
It doesn’t really matter what the purpose is it is a reason to get up in the morning and achieve things, right? That’s what the purpose is. It’s a reason to get up in the morning and achieve things and see what people who either you love or respect, what are they doing now and test those things and see if any stick and you’ll be surprised how often they will. And sometimes we push away and go, well, no, I don’t think I like that thing that he does or that she does well go try. I know it sounds silly, but it really is true. Try that. It’s the simplest way to see if you can find a purpose. But the other pieces, if you don’t find that the idea of trying to find a purpose is in itself a purpose. So you start doing things now, I have a reason to move forward. So that gets you in the mode. One of the most important things is taking action. The vast majority of humans just allow their lives to be run by inertia, whatever happens to be in front of them, okay, I’ll take this job, why it’s in front of me, I’ll date this person, why they’re in front of me, I’ll, you know, go to this college, why it’s in front of me, right?
That’s a that’s a common thing that humans do and you can look out and happen to hit wonderful things, but its luck, you would be better if you would be going after something you want. The challenge of pursuing happiness is a purpose in itself. The pursuit of happiness is also a part of happiness and the more you’re pursuing happiness, the more you’ll be happy because if you’re pursuing happiness, you’re not dwelling on the past and the bad things that happened, because there’s pain in everyone’s life and the less we dwell on the pain, the happier will be. Why did you choose this topic over any other? You might choose the topic of happiness. I mean, it’s the most important thing in the world, right? There’s nothing more important and there’s nothing I is there any one thing I can give anyone that would satisfy them in perpetuity? No, it’s impossible, right? If I give you money, you’ll spend it or maybe you’ll want more. But happiness is something everybody wants. And happy people tend to not commit crimes.
Happy people tend to not hurt others, right? Hurt people hurt. Happy people tend to not hurt others. Right? Generally speaking, happy people have better jobs. Happy people are better bosses. Happy people are better partners. Happy people are better friends. They’re better lovers. They’re better. You know, family members. So if you have happier people to look, I’m American, right? Our divorce papers from the UK said, pursuit of happiness on it. It was that important to us, right? That was 200 years ago, we were like, we’re going to go off and be happy. Sadly that hasn’t worked. But that was our plan, right? So we’re gonna go off and be happy. So, happiness has been important for a long time and still is if you have a happier population happier people, you’re just gonna have better things in general. Well the next one is about remaining happy. So how does someone remain happy? My thinking on this is that it’s maintenance of the things you already alluded to, Would you say that’s accurate? I would say don’t assume that you can stay happy, I don’t think it’s possible. I just think life is going to throw things at you that will not make you happy.
I think that’s what happens, right? the more people you have in your life and the more good relationships you have in your life, the more joy you’re going to share and the more pain you’re gonna share, right? Those things come hand in hand if you know lots of people and have good relationships, bad things are gonna happen to them and to you and you’re gonna share pain also, so I’m not sure you can stay happy. The point is to always be pursuing happiness. If you’re always pursuing happiness, here’s what I can guarantee you, I can’t guarantee you always be happy, but if you’re always pursuing happiness, you will never be depressed. That’s the difference, right? You won’t be depressed if you’re always pursuing happiness, but you won’t always be happy, but you’ll be on the pursuit, which is still good and here’s the best part about pursuing happiness when people know and understand your pursuing happiness, most people will want to get behind you and help you and in and in doing so, they’ll be pursuing their own happiness. Great answer. I think the context on this particular question is for those people who are single.
So the question is, can you be alone and happy? definition of alone is somewhat open to interpretation, but what your thoughts on that question generally speaking, no, you, as I say, there’s personal love and personal respect and personal purpose, but if you’re not able to share any of it, the odds of you being happy or slim now you don’t have to be, you don’t have to have a social connection in all three of those. In other words, you could have a purpose that is only yours, but then you got to have someone who loves care about it, or someone’s gotta respect that you’re doing it if that makes any sense right? You could have a whole lot of self-respect to others and respect you very much. But someone’s got to love you for trying or you’ve got to be with someone having that purpose. So of those three, at least one of them has to be with someone else. If all three by yourself. No, I don’t think you can be we are humans and we are social creatures, and at least one of those has to be with at least one other person.
It’s always best if you’ve got multiple levels of love and respect and that’s always a home run, I hope everybody does, but that may be asking too much for any individual, any one time life is just very complex and things happen that throw lots of curve balls at us and if when the curve ball comes at us we just collapsed, sadly most people do, then we’re not going to be able to find happiness. Were able to get back up and keep going and I think the ability to get back up the resilience that we get resilience is often through love, but it can also be the respect and purpose. In other words, if the purpose is so strong, you get back up, but you really don’t get back up. If there isn’t someone who loves you or you have respect. As a general rule, love is the idea of feeling worthy. You know, I’ve been bad, I’m not a good person, I’ve done these bad things, but I’m still worthy, right? That’s kind of love, respect is okay. Am I able, can I do it? I feel I can do it, I’m able I can do it, that’s kind of respect and love us and my worthy of it and if I don’t feel I can achieve happiness, that’s probably a respect issue.
If I don’t think I’m worthy of happiness, it’s probably a love issue. So I think you do have to have someone else in there at one point to say, yeah, you can do it. Think about how powerful it is. When someone you respect says well done for everybody, that’s powerful, right? If something that is just some random person, you may not care, but if you respect the person and they say well done, you’re like, wow, I can do this, I am a I can do it. And someone you love goes, you’re worthy of it. Well now you want to do it, you feel worthy of? I’m really proud of you is a good one, right? Yes, Absolutely. Well, the next one we’re going almost opposite. So have you got any thoughts on happiness and being a couple? Oh yes. The most, one of the most important things about romantic love, one of the most important things now, family love can be romantic or can be familiar, right? It doesn’t matter. But romantic love specifically, one of the most important thing to remember is love is not how you feel about someone love is how you feel about yourself when you’re with them?
It’s a whole different issue? Right. So when you are with people, do you feel valued, do you feel worthy? Do you feel important? Do you feel like you have a place here if you don’t and you’re striving to find a place or do something. I always make me happy. There’s no love there. There isn’t you think there is a facade of love, but it’s not really love and that’s the issue. How do you feel? Are you around someone you feel less than that’s not love? That’s desperation. So, if you’re a couple, do you feel valuable when you’re with your other person? Do you feel like together you make something bigger or do you feel like now? Do you feel without him or her? I’m nothing that’s not love, right? I need him or her to make me happy. That’s not love. But do I feel good when I’m around them? Ok, now we’re in love. That’s the most critical piece. You’ve got to be able to feel good about yourself when you’re with the other person. Quite a profound one, that 1 I think reflecting on for me anyway, I think you could probably, I don’t know everyday scenarios, there might be a little bit different if you thought that way?
Quite like it. Well done Mary, look at that, and I respect you, so I feel good. What made you happy recently? Probably my daughters. I’ve been very proud of my daughters recently. I have a daughter who’s 17 and who’s 11 and they’ve done some cool things. I don’t wanna be too much of a dad, but when they were doing cool things, my wife and I have been married for 20 years, my wife and I were talking about how proud we were of our daughter and I immediately told my wife I said look I know you’re proud of her and you tell her and so do I. I said but I’d like you to look in the mirror Because whatever she is you’re the main caretaker. You’re 90% of raising her. I’m 10%. I said whenever you’re proud of her you should part of yourself. Because this is it’s a mirror the decisions you’ve made. This is showing that they were the right decisions and it made her feel good which made me feel good. Which is why I knew we had love in the house. So that made me happy. And where does the it sounds very philosophical.
Where does this background come from for you? Is it life experience or is it education? What’s the deal there? I think it has to be life experience. I mean I think I spent most of my time last 20 years as a consultant actually mostly business sales and leadership. But most of the time that I spend their it’s all about emotional leadership. Today is about emotional intelligence, about emotional communication, management. Management is less valuable than ever. I mean computers do it right. Management is basically processes and resources and AI does it better than we do anyway. Leadership is about people. It’s about brains, right. I need your in today’s world particularly if in in more industrialised nations like America the U. K. I need your arms and legs less than ever, right? I’m gonna either automated or I’m gonna outsource it or whatever the case may be. I’m a I’m a buying overseas whatever. Generally speaking, I need your intellect, I need your initiative. I need those types of things more than anything else. And the way I get that is through buying that is through you wanting to achieve what I want to achieve.
That’s about me communicating a mission and not communicating how to get that necessarily necessary. Obviously are legal issues or laws or rules. But without that I’m not communicating the details I’m communicating where we have to go because things change things happen often I’m not around, right? We’re doing things remotely all the time. And good leaders have to make sure this is my military experience, good leaders. Their goal was to build more leaders, right? Because when the captain gets shot, the skill that the hill start to be taken. So we have to make sure that leaders underneath us to take charge and have to make sure you’re doing the right thing. When I’m not around all of that is through relationship building emotional communication and a form of professional love right? In my in my perfect world, I would like and I would hope everyone would have if you have a professional life or career. Two families, I would hope you have a family that she’s your family and a family, which is your business world. That that’s the perfect world. We don’t always get that obviously. But I’m talking Utopia perfect world, but we should be moving towards that. So I think through my emotional communication, understanding people being forgiving something failures.
I think that’s how I came to this. Well, I do want to ask you about your military experience because it’s on my list, but to close off happiness for a moment, which no one should do. Of course, the question is should you aspire to happiness in life and based on your answers? I think you’re your response would be yes because you’ve already kind of said that most people do. I think the context might be as opposed to something like meaning, Should you go for meaning or happiness? And I think the I think you always should be looking for your Utopia of happiness. And I think you find meaning through that, because I don’t think we know many people don’t even know what the meaning is. We’re trying to we’re trying to copy someone else’s because we saw it someplace or heard somewhere. But if you just start searching for your own, I think you do find meaning If you’re looking for happiness, I’m a big fan of talking about Utopia, right? My idea is if I if I look at Utopia, if I shoot for perfection, I’ll never get there.
But I’ll probably get excellence and I’m always pointing the right direction. And I’m walking towards my utopia, which I’ll get I’ll never get there. But if I’m always walking towards it, it’s harder for someone to knock me off track, right? If I’m always going for perfection, the world will, people will knock me off track, but I’ll get myself back in action. I get closer If I was going for that perfection. You mentioned your military experience. I wanted to ask, what was it like being a marine? And just for context, I always like to ask about military experience just because my perception is that it applies very nicely to the business world. It does. And it kind of goes back to what I just mentioned right, when you’re a marine. You are always taught that if there are two of you, one of you is in charge. So the idea of being irresponsible for someone or for something always And not just that you’re never to forget your marine. Ever. I haven’t been a marine in 30 years and I’m still marine Right now in 30 years, I have been right and I’m still marine.
It never goes away. And the idea is you’re supposed to the right thing. Even when no one’s there, You have to remember when your marine in combat, you could be 1920, years old. You’re in charge of life and death decisions. There’s no commander there to tell you, you’re right or wrong this is your choice and what you do will affect you and will affect the entire Marine corps will affect everything. So the idea is you have to be able to create a leadership model that allows people to do the right thing even under stress, right? The idea what the Marines Marine Corps does very well is what’s called scenario training and I do that in my leadership training and I do it as a leader is you want to make your training as close to reality as you can and you want to do it often to where when the bad stuff happens and stresses there, your training kicks in, you do the right thing and you can always be thinking keep your head. One of the things that people tease me about, one of things I’ve done in the past, people have asked me Larry, you’ve gone into businesses that are completely destroyed and you like it when they’re on fire.
I’m like yeah I love it is that’s broken like the partner who was you know the major, you know a breadwinner just left and is burning everything out and it’s still in customers and people are leaving I want in, let me in and people say why because that’s where I shine, that’s where I’m going to be best and I think it’s because my Marine Corps training, right? That’s kind of my personality. I like when things are on fire two reasons why Excuse ME, one is very easy to fix. That may seem crazy, but it actually is right. If I’m coming now, Thomas to your company and it’s on fire, everything is in trouble or everyone’s leaving and all I do is make sure that this week, hey, no one quit. No one quit. Larry. You’re a genius. That’s it. Nobody quit this week. See there we go, life is good. So I’m already making things better when things are terrible and the status quo was actually pretty easy. The lobotomy, it is a little bar status quo to good. That’s tough. Good to great. That’s tough.
Great to amazing. Oh my God, that’s tough, right? So people don’t want to touch it when it’s bad, but it’s actually easiest to fix. All you have to do is keep your head. If you just keep your head, you can fix the worst things. And that mindset right, is a very important mindset because often in our life we think the world’s ending. And very often it isn’t, it’s just our mindsets wrong. If you keep your head, you can often take your life from terrible, it’s just middle relatively easily. If you keep your head. I teach my kids this all the time. Keep your head, there’s never, never an advantage to panicking ever. Fear is a good thing, But fear is your brain telling you to think not to act. The problem is when we get afraid, we act from fear. we should think from fear and act from thinking. The example I give you is should I jump out of a plane? Well me jumping out of a plane you can be afraid so think right, Do I have a parachute on?
Is the place on fire? Well, if I have a parachute on the plane’s on fire, jumping is a smart move jump. If the plane is fine and no parachute, don’t jump. But either way I’m afraid so Fear is fine but use fear to think not to act. See this comes back to the philosopher in you. It’s a very, very good point but just coming back to the military for a second because it links in what I said initially about productivity and that is do you think that you’ve got your work ethic from being a marine or is it something that was that’s kind of inherent within you? It’s a good question. My work ethic. The way I get things done to be filled with you is I don’t do much. And the people who are the most successful actually don’t work that hard. They say they work hard. They don’t. I know I coach most of them, they don’t work that hard. They get others who work for them and that’s the key. Right? The most successful people tend to be centres of purpose. If you’re a centre of purpose, you’re the reason why people are doing things.
So the most successful people tend to be tend to be sent as a purpose, delegation is key. But the problem with delegation is delegation is giving out control. Giving out controls tough because of fear. Giving out controls tough because there will be failures. This goes back to my idea of emotional communication, getting everyone on board, not expecting perfection, but shooting for and allowing people to, you know, allow you to be a centre. Their purpose, the more you do that, the better. coming on this podcast, I didn’t set it up, right. I didn’t even know I was doing it until I was hit on my calendar there. About four or five people have access to my calendar and they put things on my calendar and they do things for me why? Because I asked them, I want to some of them, I also pay. So I mean that’s a part of it too, right? You should pay people that’s a good thing. But this does have a purpose. Paying people without a purpose actually makes people unhappy and resentful. Right? Then they always want more money or think you’re being mean. But paying people with purpose, Oh my God, that’s awesome. People love that. People love getting money to achieve their purpose. Oh my God, that’s awesome.
So if you can do that, that makes things even better. So delegation is key and trusting people is key, understand there will be failures. Any system that you put together as a leader has to assume that there will be failures. You should be very harsh on systems and very lenient on people and that’s the key right now. Some people don’t wanna be part of your system awesome, then they should leave your system. No worries. But if they like your system and they like your purpose, if you’re lenient they’ll tend to be more loyal to you right there tend to be more loyal when you want loyalty and good teamwork. The key is vulnerability. If you want to have a good team work with you, it’s not about successes, it’s about failures, you have to fail together, not succeed together. Doesn’t make everyone’s your teammate when you’re winning. It’s not impressive are they still there when you’re losing? If you look at military training, what’s all boot camp about a series of failures? They just break you down altogether and stay with you as your failing through everything as they’re calling you names and watching you fail and you’ll never make it.
Oh that’s what boot camp is all about. It’s about a series of failures altogether. But I’m still with you through your failures. You want to build the team failed together. You want to see who’s gonna be there fail together. When they fail, Don’t assign blame, assign responsibility, you failed. Great your job, fix it. In fact you next to you fix it too. But I didn’t do it boss, I know what the same team. Let’s all fix it. Come on. So I think the key to a good work ethic is others around you who want to get things done. We will very often fail ourselves hard to fail someone else. One of things I tell people often, if they want to achieve a goal, there is a simple tool that will help you. That doesn’t guarantee it will help you to achieve a goal. Whatever your goal is, I’m gonna run more. I want to quit smoking and I get a new job. I want to find a new girlfriend or boyfriend or maybe both. Whatever whoever you are do you think? But whatever I want to do the thing that I want to do, whatever that thing is. Find someone that you love and tell them. Find someone that you respect and tell them we don’t do that because I’m just gonna I’m gonna hide until I get it right and you never get it right because you’re hiding it.
Find someone you love and find somebody respect and they may not be the same person if you happen to love and respect somebody, they only count for one. You pick the one, but it must be two separate people, one who you love. One he respect. Tell them and then ask them at a certain time period to check in on you. That’s it doesn’t mean you’ll do it, but you’ve just increased the odds, right? So I don’t smoke, but I want to quit smoking, whatever, right? I do that. So I go to say, you know my sister who I love and that’s the basis. You know, I’m gonna quit smoking. Do you check on me like a month to see if I’m doing or not? She’ll go of course Larry, I love you. I’ll check it on you and I go to some respect. Maybe a former boss I had that I respect, you know jane you know when I work with you were amazing. I’m trying to quit smoking. Oh yeah, he’s just smoking. Used to work together, right? Yeah, that’s right. Can you to remember chicken in a month? I increased the odds of me quitting smoking. It’s me, I will with increased yards. I’ve actually heard that, but it’s using your enemies. So I had a guest on who said that you tell the people who basically the naysayers so that when they do check in and kind of do it in a disparaging way.
You can say, yeah, actually I did do that. You can but here’s the problem with that the that’s a that’s a high risk gamble, right? You can do it. That the person is correct that that’s a high risk and if you’re the kind of person who likes high risk, I do, I’m very optimistic. I like high risk, that would work for me. Most entrepreneurs who are higher risk, that would work for them if you’re not an entrepreneur, that’s very high risk because if you fail, you’ll be emotionally devastated. Right? So that’s the issue. If you are very resilient entrepreneur type, optimistic type totally works. If you’re not failure there can devastate you, it can make you feel like you’re not worthy and not able, you can lose to the love and respect if you’ve got no purpose, you’re finished. So I wanted to highlight something you said because I think I haven’t heard it before and I think that can be extremely beneficial for businesses, which was, it’s about processes. So you said to be very harsh is that you’re wording on processes and lenient on people.
I think, I think that’s a hidden gem because and what I tend to find with businesses is that they don’t process enough. I think that the more the bigger businesses, they tend to be very good at putting processes in place, but the smaller ones that are a bit, shall we say less organised, they don’t do that and then when something goes wrong, you know, they will very much blame the person, they won’t blame them, but I need to get towards that for a second with big business, Big business tend to do that, but they also tend to put in zero tolerance policies. zero tolerance policies are always a bad idea without exception and they’re all over the place. They’re everywhere. Like I’m the oddball on this, people love zero tolerance policies and they always fail every time and they always make things worse and it’s rare that you will hear me say, it’s 100% rule. Almost everything I say is a good general rule. This is 100% rule every single time, prohibition doesn’t work. When you demand perfection, you will get deception every single time, people are not perfect, they will make mistakes, systems will fail, stuff will happen and when you demand perfection, you will get deception.
People will simply lie to you and the people who are actually corrupt or crooked will find other ways and the people who are good will now be handcuffed. That’s how zero tolerance policies work. So while you’re right, big business often do have good policies. The problem is they sometimes shift into, well, now our procedure is so good that it can never fail, so if you’re out of it we will crush you. So I think you have to find that balance. You mentioned your leadership expertise and I guess, I think you said management is now basically obsolete. Would you like to go into what your leadership thoughts are? Because in preparation for our conversation today, actually haven’t heard, I mean, I know the knowledge is there, but I haven’t heard a lot of content from you from a leadership perspective. So what are your thoughts as I was talking about earlier, the goal of any good leader is to create more leaders. Right. And I’ll go back to what I said earlier right? If the best leaders don’t have to do much leading, right?
Because you’re able to create leaders around you that will do more and more and more autonomy is everything right in today’s world, particularly since the with the with the responses to covid and how people have been reacting towards that more and more people not being in offices and things of that sort autonomy is more and more important and people want more of it than they have in the past. There was a I mean there’s still there’s still a group people who still feel this way but there are some people who don’t want much autonomy and that’s okay too right for those people you will give them more check ins that kind of thing. But generally speaking more and more people want more autonomy. There is a there is a big difference between equal leadership and fair leadership. Equal leadership is what most people think is good actually everyone the same. I know everyone, I don’t I don’t see any differences in people. Right? I’m fair that’s not fair to the ship. Equal leadership is actually weak leadership, it’s lazy leadership, it’s not good leadership and people are women. It shouldn’t have one between equally of course in the eyes of your human resources, in the eyes of the law of course everyone is equal in that realm.
I’m talking in leadership, what I would want is fair leadership. Fair leadership is giving people what they want, what they need when they need it that’s not equal equals. Everyone is the same and I feel righteous because I’m being equal. Yeah but now people are being dealt with effectively and one of the best ways of being a leader is not giving orders. Its leadership through questions leadership through by in and the example is something like this as an example, one of my setting goals were the most common things that is when I set goals and say okay, here are goals, you can achieve X, Y and Z, is that okay? And the person goes yeah fine. Whatever great is your goal is good. A month goes by later two months goes by later. The goals aren’t met, the person goes well the goals are too hot hard. Well that’s our goals. What’s wrong with you? What can I do, how can I help you do what do I have to do to get you to make those goals happen? That’s what most leaders do. The reverse is what you should do. The issue is we have to achieve X Thomas, how do we achieve that? And now it’s a conversation I didn’t tell you, I said here’s what we have to get to, how do we do that and you can have a conversation and we talk about it and we come with the idea is to go there now.
What if I believe that whatever you say is not going to work. I believe that what in other words, you’re in this case you’re an account rap and you’ve got to close, you know, a million dollars in business in three months, whatever. That’s our that’s our goal. You go, Oh no problem. Larry I can take care of this. I’ll make 10 calls a day and we’ll do it and we go back and forth a bit and you’re adamant, okay great. What if I think you could never do it with 10 calls a day. Now when I think of myself as a leader, do I want to allow Thomas to fail? Maybe I do remember I told you about the failure thing failing together. Do I think that this is something that you know it’s not mission critical to my company but I’m not gonna go under if Thomas fails right at the end of the world. And do I see value in Thomas and I think he can really be good in this company that I let them fail. I let them go. We do 10 and I come back next week and guess what? Maybe I’m wrong? And Thomas is amazing and his tenant calls, he’s exactly on track. Which is I go Thomas well done, outstanding life is good, keep going man. You got it, we’re good to go, maybe I was right and you’re failing and it’s not working.
But now when I come to you, I go, oh, it’s not working. And you go, no, it’s not. But you don’t go, well, boss, you made me do 10. You don’t blame me. Now we talk about it and go, okay, so tends not working. What’s going to work? No, I didn’t say how what can I do? I’m putting on us on you again. This is all yours. This is your purpose, not mine as a leader. I’m not here to tell you what to do as a leader. I’m here to guide you on your purpose. So now, okay, so how can we do this? Well, maybe I’ll try 10 plus this other thing. Great, let’s do that. Okay. I check in a week now it’s working. You and I now have failed together. You are closer to me, you trust me. And now here’s the most important piece. Now, as you move up into into my company and we are doing more things, we put a plan to make a bigger, bigger expansion. And now since we had a conversation, it’s a month into the plan, it’s not working. If it’s my plan, you go whatever. Fine guess the Boston plan isn’t working and you keep working it and it fails. But if it’s our plan, you come to me, you don’t lie, you don’t hide.
You don’t obfuscate you come and go, boss. It’s not working, man. We’re gonna change this Larry, it’s not working. We gotta fix this. We’re not gonna hit our goal. I didn’t even say anything. You saw it before I saw it and now you come to me and we fix it. Leadership is about that. In all these cases I didn’t give one order, we had a conversation about everything and you came up with the answers and I’m just here to hold you to account and assist when you asked me to, I’ll go one step further. How do I know when to check in? Even in that? Well I do a weekly check in because I’m the boss that’s often or I do a daily check because I’m the boss. Whatever people think that’s good or that’s bad. It’s neither some people prefer check ins. Some people don’t often a personality or where you’ve been or also how familiar you are with, what material the job you’re doing. So if I want a bunch of chickens and I like that right for me. I like my boss to check in on me. So I feel good about what’s going on. So now Thomas you’re my junior now and my boss checks into me off and I love it. So I check in on you often because I’m giving you what you need right? Maybe not.
You might hate that. So I think I’m giving you what you need, what you see me now as a micromanager, but I’m not micromanaging. I’m getting what you need right or the reverse. I hate check ins. Just tell me what you do, I’ll be great. I got this, talk to me once a month boss. I’m fine. So I’m now you’re my junior. You’re saying to me, you look, I respect thomas’s professional. I’ll check in once a month. Well you like check ins so now you feel abandoned. You think I’m a boss who doesn’t care in both cases? Nothing went, we went past each other. Now if I’m lucky and I’m a micromanager and you like micromanaging, we’re lucky. I’m a great boss for you, right? But again, I don’t want to rely on luck. I instead want to ask you, I’m saying Thomas. So we’ve agreed to these things awesome when you want to check in, we think is good. Now again, what if I’m afraid in this case we’re talking about? It’s kind of mission critical. So I’m worried I don’t really want you to fail, right? I’m worried if that’s the case, I put the onus on me, not on you. I say Thomas, I’m worried this is a big deal for me. Is it okay if we check in more than once a week now you may not like it as much, but you don’t feel like the micromanaging you don’t feel like it’s an attack on you.
It’s I’m showing my own vulnerability saying I’m worried now that you’re not good Thomas, I have worries and report to my boss. Can we check a little more and you go fine. Now if we check in and you’re messing up, we’re good. Good. I’m so glad we checked in. Let’s fix this. But if I check it and you’re doing fine, maybe I feel oh and I walk away. And now you also realise that now I trust you more. All of these things have built up that better relationships within our business. None of them about me giving orders so we can have good control of what’s happening. We can have a good grasp on what’s going on and we can build our people up without being tyrants. That’s what I think leadership is all about great stuff. Larry, did you use some of these techniques or tactics in your trucking business all the time? I use them. I use them. I’ve learned these tactics by just doing more than anything else, right? And noticing that yelling and screaming doesn’t work. I mean that’s not true. That’s not true. Coercion is a good short term, you know, benefit.
It does work short term, right? I just want this thing done today yelling, screaming Thomas, he’s angry. I’m a shut up. It’s done, right? So you’ll do that. You want to shut me up. So you get the job done to give it to me. So I got a short term value. I need it done by five, you rushed because I yelled at you. But now you’re upset at me now you’re vindictive now we’ve broken trust. So long term that wasn’t good. And not just that if you didn’t like me yelling at you now you’re going to lie to me to avoid me yelling at you. I just encourage deception right? So now you’re going to lie to me and rob skate whatever it hides something because you get yelled at anymore. So yeah I got my short term and I felt good because I did that thing but long term it doesn’t work And the reality of it is many of us are gonna work into our 70s now. Many people are gonna be healthy enough. We’re gonna wanna work. Going to be able to work if you’re going to have a 30 40 50 60 year career. You don’t want to be 55 years old. With a resume in your hand, hoping someone will hire you. You don’t be 65 years old with a resume in your hand.
Opening song will hire you. You want to have built enough relationships over your professional career that your phone is ringing that when you send an email. So I was like yeah I can’t wait to have you aboard. Oh my God Thomas you’re available. Yeah that’s what you want. Not. Oh yeah Thomas. I don’t know if we have anything for someone like you send your resume to hr you don’t want that right? You want oh he’s available. Oh my God I can’t even get Thomas let’s grab him. So I think that’s what I’m when leadership should be about long term, not short term. Well the reason I bring that previous business up is because you, is it right that you exited? Yes. Oh my God. My trucking business was my MBA. I started that business knowing how to sell but not knowing how to run a business. And I thought they were the same thing and anyone who’s run a business knows they’re not. But at that point I did not know that. I thought well if I can just sell stuff then I can run a business that’s all it is. I didn’t realise at the end of the month that I’m making sales but I have no money.
Like it’s not working right? I basically could have been working at a fast-food joint and I have my own business because I didn’t understand simple things like you know marketing costs, pricing, ensuring all the other things that go into running a business. I was ignorant to them and so I make sales and then realise these aren’t good sales. My pricing is terrible, it’s not worth the time and energy to make the clothes, oh my God and so within the first year I was losing money, I figured things out by the second year of the business. So it was profitable when I sold it. But I had so much bad feeling from all the failures that I had. I don’t think I was mature enough to handle it. So I just didn’t want to get out of bed and I didn’t do the work anymore. I, the purpose was gone. I didn’t want to do it anymore even though I had a successful business, which is why somebody bought it right, they bought the business because it was working, it wasn’t working in the first year at all, nobody would have bought that thing. But at the end they did and this is a story I tell, but it’s the story tell us, show you my mental capacity at the time, the amount of money I wanted for the company the guy didn’t have.
So I said, well you know what divided by six pay me, You know one check a month for six months and we’ll call it even. And I did that on a handshake, I do not advise doing that kind of thing on a handshake. That is a terrible idea. But I did it because I just didn’t want to be in the business anymore and I didn’t care. I just didn’t want to do it at all. Just offloading. It was such a good thing for me emotionally and people tell me, you know, did he pay you? Yeah, he met me every month. I got a check every month. But if he didn’t, would I have chased him now where my head was then I would have taken the 1/6 and I would have walked away. I just wouldn’t have gone back at the time. But again I gave my business and I was I was a gentleman like when people would call me, my old cousin would call, I was in no it’s him go to him, like I was very good to him and I sent it over to him so it was great. So you know that that business was my MBA story coming back to my prep for the episode. I haven’t spoken to someone who has been on Joe Rogan before. So I wanted to ask you what your experience was like, how you felt it felt it went and what you think of it now. Yeah, well we are a two minute now. I ran for governor of New York in 2018, that’s my political career. So I decided I want to take my leadership to another level and run for governor of New York. Clearly I didn’t win. but if you saw how are disgraced governor just left recently. Some of you may have may not know, he left under some scandals. New Yorkers might have been looking back and saying we might have made a mistake with that with that vote. But anyway, so when I, when I ran for office I ran as a third party, which in obviously in America is very hard to do, The system is set up against us. So we basically have to use social media as our way of getting ahead. The mainstream media simply won’t cover us. It’s virtually impossible. Um, and mostly it’s an establishment issue or, or just a cash issue. I raised a half million dollars for my run, which is a substantial run for a third party, but my opponents raised both four million and 12 million, respectively.
So I was outgunned. So I had to use guerrilla warfare as a good marine would use, which was social media and that’s how I got on joe Rogan. I got on many podcasts and my most popular one was joe Rogan’s podcast and I thought it was, I made an error on the podcast and it was because me being the, the Gen X-er that I am, I didn’t realise how popular Joe Rogan was. So I didn’t prepare that much for, I had been doing so much campaigning, literally. I was crossing New York state, doing lots of events. I fly in, he was in California time. Now he’s in Texas. I flew into California that morning, went to his, went to his studio literally he walks in the door and says show up here, I said, yeah, I’m here, we walked in, sat down, started to view that’s how that’s how it started, just like that. His first words to me was something like, you know, I like you, that was his first words and then we start talking I was looking at him like a typical new yorker and our first interaction was about education.
And if you happen to have seen the interview, it was about education and he was talking about things that don’t make sense to me. For those of you don’t know in America, you know what your audiences but our states are very different how we treat our teachers. In certain states, teachers are in trouble. They make hardly any money. They don’t have, they don’t have many materials and they struggle in my state. The adversity makes $80,000 a year. We’re fine. Right? Unions are strong, genes don’t get fired, they’re fine. I mean, they could always use more help. She’s gonna always my help. But they’re not struggling in my state. That’s not a thing in my state. Right? So he was talking about, well, what about the teachers and getting in trouble? And I’m saying what? And I should have realised he’s not a new yorker. He’s thinking the country. So we talked past each other. The lesson for me to learn was I was so in my own world of campaigning day after day after day that I really should have taken a few minutes to think about where I was going and I tend to be better or now when I do any interview, even when you and I talked, the first thing I said is what we’re talking about, right?
I want to make sure we were open and I didn’t do that before. I would walk in and just start shooting. That’s what I used to do. And joe Rogan taught me, don’t just walk in and start shooting right? And we did and it did not go as well as I wanted to go. I was so happy with, it was still good interview. I’ve covered a lot of my issues. And if you’ve noticed, um, as the strange thing about me as a politician is I actually have policies and ways of fixing things and because of my business, right? I’m always about fixing things, making big better systems. I’m all about better systems, better environment, better systems. If you ask right now, the average democrat republican, how they’re gonna fix something or they’re gonna say in America is we’re going to support them and give them what they need. Okay. How, by supporting them and giving them need, how, by caring and needing and supporting. That’s all they say. They don’t give you an answer. If they’re Republican, they tend to use the word fund. If I’m sorry to use the word invest. If their democratic, use the word fund, what that means is more money from government.
That’s all they ever do. They don’t change the system at all. This is something the same. I’m the only politician that actually says, no, no, no, we can change the system. So it’s better for everybody and all my policies. I’ll be a little political. All my policies have four important criteria. One, no coercion of force to know new or, or added taxes or fees. Three, whenever they affect individual people, then it always should focus on helping the, the working poor and middle class for if it affects corporations, that should always focus on supporting the entrepreneur class. Why do I say that? Because the entrepreneur class, the working poor and the middle class are the most important classes in any nation. Any society. They’re the ones who run everything. They’re the ones are the most charitable. They’re the ones who, they work the soup kitchens to help the poor. They are the ones who support the wealthy. They’re the ones who do everything and the more they grow and the more vibrant, those three groups are, the more vibrant. Your economy will be, the more vibrant your society will be. Do you have any future political ambitions at all?
Maybe next year is another group, another gubernatorial race for New York state. Maybe they’ll ask me to come back in. I gotta come back into the ring again. But if I come back in, I won’t just stop fighting. I’ll be better. Maybe another visit to Rogan in Texas. Then there we go. I gotta go see him again. I’ll be nice this time. So what’s your other goals. Um, I think one of the things that we have to realise in today’s world is sadly popularity is more important than anything. It is more important to be popular than to be savvy. It’s more important popular than to be right. It’s more important to be popular than to be smart. Um, because of the mass amount of social media and the eyeballs that get on tv that get on the internet, that get on your phone, the more, the more people who think you’re cool or savvy or smart, the cooler or savvy or smarter you are, you will have more impact based on popularity. So my goal is always the same thing. Be more popular. So why I’m here Thomas, you gotta make you famous.
Yeah, I’ve never heard that answer before, but I kind of, I kind of get the logic behind it because if you can be more popular, you can make more impact. And my goal was to make more impact was a bit of a damning indictment of where we are as a, as a people unfortunately, but I get what you’re saying. Yes, absolutely, absolutely. Is there anything that you would like to add on any of the things I’ve asked you about today? Yes. One big key to happiness in every aspect of your life, family. Professional, romance, personal, whatever the case may be forgiveness. People don’t talk about this very important, forgiveness, forgiveness does not mean forgetting it doesn’t mean being stupid or ignorant doesn’t mean any of those things, but it means forgiving and I mean this in many different ways. Number one yourself, the two worst emotions any human can feel betrayal and regret to worst.
When your enemies screws you over there, your enemy, you’re angry. But they’re supposed to when your friend does, oh my God, does that sting? It hurts so much more. It’s why, you know, once when we find the enemy combatants on the battlefield, we don’t kill them. But your traitor, we shoot you, right? We kill the traitor. We don’t kill the enemy. We kill the traitor. So the issue is betrayal is a big deal. But regret as you portray yourself, you have to forgive yourself. You are going to make mistakes, you’re going to screw up. And the most important way best way easiest way to forgive yourself is when you have a failure that you regret, you’ve done something wrong. Something went the wrong way is to take that thing that happened. That failure and make it one thing an event. It’s an event. It’s not me. It’s not you. Yeah, Larry, you said that dumb thing and ruined that relationship. Yeah, Larry. You dropped the ball on that embarrassed everybody. You do this dumb thing. Yeah, that thing happened. It’s an event.
Now if I can look at a separate from me, forgive myself for making the error for being human and then look at that event for what it was. Now I can judge the event and learn and grow from it. Now the event can become a lesson. It can be an expensive lesson, but it’s still a lesson. If I don’t make it an event and make it an expensive lesson, it’s just a handicap for the rest of my life, I will keep that handicapped for the rest of my life and as I move forward and I should make the move, I won’t make it or I’ll hesitate or I’ll question someone or I’ll do something dumb again because of that handicap sitting there. I can’t do that. It’s an event it happened, but also for others. So now someone in my life, my family member, my romantic environment, they betrayed me. I have to forgive them and make it an event Larry. You’re gonna forget that. No, no, no, no, no, no. It goes from you, did this to me, I forgive that thing happened. That thing happened. So now I gotta take that aside and look at that and go, okay, that thing happened.
What can I learn from that? Maybe I shouldn’t be with this person. Maybe I shouldn’t do this thing with this person. Maybe I did the wrong thing, but it’s an event. I can learn from it. But if I don’t make an event, I don’t forgive that person and assume that they did what they thought was best or they did what was in their best interest. I’m not mad at them. It’s fine. I hold it not them. I hold it, it becomes a handicap for me for giving people is actually selfish in a way, forgive them so that you can move on because very often we don’t forgive people, they move on. You’re the one who doesn’t so forgive, forgive people who have wronged you forgive yourself for being human, take the bad things in your life and make them events and learn from them and make them all lessons for you to grow. If you don’t forgive you are handicapping yourself, forgive don’t forget learn they’re all lessons. Some are very expensive, but if they’re expensive lessons, get something out of it, get something out of an expensive lesson or you just handicapping yourself great message to end on.
I may have to reflect on that one myself. So thank you. I did feel like you were only talking to me there for a second just because I was Larry, we know some stuff about you Thomas. I know some stuff. Where’s the best place for people to find you? Larrythesharpeway.com. All the interweb things. I’m on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube all the things. I’m even, I’m like me, we and locals to him on everything. Just look for the sharp way or if you want to google Larry Sharpe. I’m everywhere and you’ve delegated all that responsibility, right? That is correct. I’m rarely on social media, but my team monitors, if you want to reach out to me, reach out to me as you did, please reach out to me. My team will absolutely respond. They will reach out. They’ll get to me everything that goes out there. Well, get to me brilliant.
Well, I think you’ve added a lot of value, so thank you very much for your time today.
Absolutely. Thanks for having me.