Episode 50 – Unstoppable Brand Marketer with Ben Baker

 In Podcast

I love being inspired by guests on Unstoppable Mindset. Ben Baker, our episode visitor today, is one of the most inspirational people I have had the honor to meet and interview.
 
First, you get to hear how Ben worked in the corporate world and transitioned to a career in market branding when he realized that he was, at heart, a storyteller. Over the years, he not only told stories to help business executives become better marketers, but he also taught them how to advance their own careers and promote better marketing efforts by learning to become storytellers as well.
 
Ben is an accomplished public speaker, something near and dear to me. We spend time during this episode talking about what makes a good inspirational speaker and why truly personally connecting with an audience is so meaningful and important. What Ben discusses is important for any speaker to hear. He also has written and published two books.
 
By any definition, this episode is fun, and engaging and the lessons Ben Baker teaches us will be invaluable to you. Please let me know what you think, and I hope you give this episode a 5-star rating. Thanks.
 
About the Guest:
Ben has been helping companies, and the people within them understand, codify, and communicate their unique value to others for more than a quarter of a century.
 
He is the president of Your Brand Marketing, an Employee Engagement Consultancy specializing in helping companies communicate more effectively inside their organizations. 
 
He is the author of two books: “Powerful Personal Brands: a hands-on guide to understanding yours,” and “Leading Beyond a Crisis: a conversation about what’s next,” and the host of IHEART and Spotify syndicated YourLIVINGBrand.live show with more than 300 episodes behind him.
 
 
 
 
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
 
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is an Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
 
https://michaelhingson.com
https://www.facebook.com/michael.hingson.author.speaker/
https://twitter.com/mhingson
https://www.youtube.com/user/mhingson
https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelhingson/
 
accessiBe Links
https://accessibe.com/
https://www.youtube.com/c/accessiBe
https://www.linkedin.com/company/accessibe/mycompany/ https://www.facebook.com/accessibe/
 
 
 
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Transcription Notes

UM Intro/Outro  00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i  capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
 
Michael Hingson  01:21
Welcome to unstoppable mindset. Here we are once again. And I’m glad that you joined us wherever you happen to be, if you’re driving, pay attention to the road. But we’re glad you’re listening anyway. We hope that she’ll like what we have to do today and have to say today and that she’ll give us a five star rating later. But we’ll get to that in the future. Right now I’d like you to meet Ben Baker, who is very much involved in a lot of things relating to company’s branding. And I’m not going to say a whole lot about it. Because I think Ben’s going to do a much better job than I ever could. So Ben, welcome.
 
Ben Baker  01:54
Hey, Michael is great being on the mic with you. This is a real pleasure.
 
Michael Hingson  01:59
Gee, I didn’t know that we can fit on the mic.
 
Ben Baker  02:00
We could work. I got a big microphone. Me too.
 
Michael Hingson  02:06
It could even be comfortable, I suppose. Well, well tell us about kind of maybe the early band, and you know, how you got where you were and where you are, and all that.
 
Ben Baker  02:15
Yeah, I will skip my childhood. You know, just you know, just because it really wasn’t that exciting. I got into, well, let’s, let’s put this way I started in high tech, probably about 35 plus years ago, spent about 10 years in the high tech industry. And the last job I had, I was responsible for $100 million client and I spent my life in the air I was 200 days in a plane, probably 250 days away from home. And I was the guy that woke up in the morning and called down to the concierge and said, What city am I in? And literally if my wife wants to know where I was, she called my secretary. And to find out what city I was in, it was it was it was that bad. And she and I looked at each other and said, This is a divorce waiting to happen. And I went up to my boss and said you have two things we can do. You can double my salary to pay for the divorce. Or you can cut my travel days in half. They said well, we’re not willing to do either. How about we buy you out? I said perfect. And the one thing I got out of this besides, you know, a nice healthy severance package was what do you want to be when you grow up tech training. And I got a buddy of mine who is industrial psychologist sat me down for a week ran me through a battery of tests. We had a series of conversations, and waste has been Your storyteller. You always have been a storyteller, you’re always probably going to be a storyteller. Communications is really where you need to be. And I went, Okay, what do we do with that? And I was out playing golf, and I met a person who was in the direct mail business, and they were looking for someone to handle casinos and the grocery chance. And I did that for a number of years and loved it. You know, we did hundreds of millions of pieces of direct mail, you know, created some really phenomenal campaigns, told some great stories, built brands, and do and then 911 happened. And the business changed and we ended up having to refocus. And that was that was okay. But it was it was a lot of fun during the time. And over the time, what I realized is that I tell great stories, and I love helping other people tell great stories. And it’s led to branding and promotional marketing is led to trade show development. But over the last 10 years, what we’ve realized is that most companies are not bad at telling their story outside their company. They’re horrific and telling the story inside their own company. And that’s really the pocket where I sit. It’s internal communications. How do we align people with your purpose, your vision, your mission, your goals? How do we build cultures how How do we enable leaders to be able to communicate effectively, to get everybody barking in the same direction, to get people to understand the purpose and the value and, and what’s important, and be able to get people aligned with it and see why it’s important to them. So that’s really where I am. And that’s where I’m going. And we do a bunch of things. We do messaging audits, we do deal breaker internal brand development. We do internal podcasts for large enterprise level companies. But it’s all focused on how do we help companies communicate more effectively, first of all, understand where they’re where the issues are, and then help them fix it.
 
Michael Hingson  05:40
Do you find that also, because you help companies become more intelligent and more aware, internally of messaging to each other and themselves? That that helps them on the outside as well? Absolutely.
 
Ben Baker  05:59
I mean, your employees are your best form of marketing and branding. They really are. When your people know your story, they listen to it, they internalize it, they retell it, they become better advocates for your brand. They build better customer relationships, they build better and more loyal customers, they build a more profitable business. Everything starts internally, but focus is externally. And if you realize it, if you can get a team of people within your company that can tell your story effectively for you, all of a sudden, do those social media posts, and all those all that marketing and all those ads that you buy, diminish dramatically, because your best advocates are out there telling your story. And you’re not paying for that social media marketing.
 
Michael Hingson  06:49
You really can’t pay for that it is so incredibly much more powerful.
 
Ben Baker  06:55
Absolutely.
 
Michael Hingson  06:57
Well, the the other part about it, it seems to me that most companies internally and maybe to a good degree externally, because they’re in very much not strategic, are much more reactive and not nearly as proactive as they ought to be about their messaging, which also has to affect every other thing about their mindset and what they do.
 
Ben Baker  07:18
Yeah, I mean, that was my big learn, when I started working with grocery stores and casinos, is everybody’s reactive. Everybody says, Oh, my God, my competitor, put a coupon out, I need to put a coupon out, oh, my competitor, put this this program in place, I need to put a program like that into place. And he’ll, what it is, is you’re sitting there going from a position of me to, yeah, I need to do this as well, instead of focusing on who you are, who your customers are, what differentiates you and leading the pack, you’re chasing somebody else. So my goal is to help people to stop chasing other people, embrace who they really are, and go after the people that care about them and see the value in what they do.
 
Michael Hingson  08:04
How do you do that?
 
Ben Baker  08:06
It’s a long process, you know, it’s not, it’s not simple. You’re gonna break some things, you’re gonna make a mess before you before you clean it up. The first thing is to sit there and say, Who are you really, and actually putting people’s feet to the fire, to go and sit there and go. This is what I believe as a CEO, as a leader, as an owner of a company. This is what I believe this is the vision that I have for the company. This is what I think our culture is this is what I think our mission vision and values are great. Do your people think the same thing? And nine times out of 10? The answer is usually no. There is usually a disconnect somewhere, you know that there isn’t true alignment between what the C suite thinks that the company is all about, and what the people who actually work for the company believe. And until you can get that group of alignment. First of all, you need to understand that there is the disconnect. And once you understand there’s a disconnect, then it’s a built in the processes and and the story and the you know, the process, the ways the procedures in order to be able to get everybody back onto on singing from the same song sheet.
 
Michael Hingson  09:21
Is is it more of at the beginning? No, they they’re not the same as me or? I don’t know.
 
Ben Baker  09:29
A lot of times it’s both. Yeah, yeah. A lot of times it’s both you have leaders that absolutely, definitively believe that everybody believes exactly the same way they do. And then you have leaders that don’t know. And either way we need to prove it.
 
Michael Hingson  09:48
And it’s not that people have to think exactly alike, but they have to be all on the same page when it comes to the mission, the product the way we deal with the product. What are you Future is in so on, and everyone has to be engaged.
 
Ben Baker  10:03
Exactly. Because there’s so many people that out there, here’s a perfect example, a guy that I interviewed on my podcast sold his company to a fairly large fortune 500 company. You know, he had 250 300 employees, a reasonable sized Corporation. And when this company came along and bottom, the first thing they did is they sent somebody in to talk to 70 of his employees, and say, Tell me, what differentiates you in the marketplace? Who are your top customers? What do you guys do? What makes you valuable in the marketplace? And they got 60 or 70? different answers, you know, the answers buried all over the place, and there were some connections, but there was a lot of disconnect. And with that disconnect, they realized that they had a major problem. And that affected the buy price that if that affected work that had to be done before that merger and acquisition could actually happen. And, you know, it led to a lot of brand confusion. So there was there was a lot of work that needed to happen. Before this company actually was willing to buy the mat after those those, those initial interviews,
 
Michael Hingson  11:14
did they get it all addressed? And
 
Ben Baker  11:19
they absolutely did, they got it together. But it took probably nine months longer than they actually thought it would, based on the fact that instead of them walking in and say, Okay, here we are, as a company, this is what we can do for you. And this is how we’re going to fit into your your organization. They had to figure out who they were first, before they could go ahead and do that. That’s why a lot of mergers and acquisitions fail, is because there is a disconnect between what is perceived the value of the merger, and what really actually happens.
 
Michael Hingson  11:55
So how were you involved in all of that, were you just the interviewer on the podcast, you weren’t involved in actually making those changes, or
 
Ben Baker  12:02
you know what, I worked with them very superficially, because I just I met this person that very late in the process, but you know, being able to have some initial conversations with them to point them in the right direction. You know, I wasn’t involved with this. But in other companies, some things that we’ve done is we’ll sit down with, say, you’ve got 15 different branch offices, will go into the 15 branch offices, and not only myself, but I bring a graphic recorder with me, those are the people that stand behind you, and do graphic representation of the conversation as it’s happening, you’ll get a big, large piece of paper. And we’ll have the same conversation within each of the same 15 with asking the same questions, having the same things about purpose and culture and vision, and who are the clients tell me the story of the organization, etc. And we’ll create a dozen vision boards for each for each office dealing with various parts of the conversation. Now, when you take all these things, and compare them office to office, and branch office versus main, your main office, you can see immediately the disconnect. In fact, the further you are away from head office, you know, both physically and it tends to be mentally as well. So you get the people that are further away, tend to be the ones that don’t get enough of the information, or they tend to be forgotten about when when key, you know, key messaging is being made. So there’s that out of sight, out of mind situation, which leads to all sorts of
 
Michael Hingson  13:42
havoc. This may be a little bit of a challenge for you. But I’d love to know more about the graphic representations not being graphic oriented. But how does how does all that work? What what actually gets drawn on the paper? And how do you see the disconnects? And so on,
 
Ben Baker  13:55
you know, it’s a it’s a cartoon representation of, of a process and trying to explain to somebody that’s blind, it’s, it’s a, it’s a serious challenge is because it’s, it’s, it’s almost like taking somebody on a graphical journey. Are you drawing people and they’re drawing people and actions, and there’s words that will come with it? And you know, and what it is, it’s a representation in a graphical form of the ideas that are being mentioned by the data different by the different people. So, you know, I can send you a graphic, a short video, I think it’s about a 32nd video, from one of the keynotes that I’ve done where I actually had a graphic artists do this for me. So I could do that. And that can be part of the show notes if people want to see it.
 
Michael Hingson  14:45
You’re welcome to do that. Sure. Of course, if if you were dealing with a company owned by a blind person or you had a blind person working in one of the branch offices and so on, I suppose in one sense, it might be viewed as a major A challenge to deal with the fact that you’re creating graphic representations. But ultimately, you can describe it, right? So it is possible to verbalize what the graphic artist is seeing, and then use that to point out where the graphs and the cartoons are showing the disconnects and the connections.
 
Ben Baker  15:24
And as well, if I knew that I had people within the company that were, you know, visually challenged, for example, I would also have the the actual talks recorded and be able to create a transcript as
 
Michael Hingson  15:37
well. Yeah. And again, you could put in the issues about where the connects and disconnects are.
 
Ben Baker  15:43
Exactly, absolutely. So it’s a matter of looking at who’s the audience, you know, who are the people that we need to be aware of? Because it’s important to make sure that you’re being able to be as inclusive as humanly possible. Is it possible to be 100%? Inclusive? 100% of the time? No, but the more we can be, the better off it is.
 
Michael Hingson  16:05
You’ve been doing this, I think you said like about 10 years did something happened in 2013, that made you go this way or changed your world?
 
Ben Baker  16:12
Well, in 2013, I had I don’t know if it was a direct result or an indirect result, I was in a bad car accident. And it it what it is, it focused me in a different ways. Because what I what ended up being is I got I got rear ended, I didn’t see it coming, I didn’t hear it coming and I hit by two cars behind me the third, the middle car ended up looking like an accordion. And what happened was, is that I had a mild traumatic brain injury. And also I have what’s known as hyperacusis, which means I have way too much sound that goes into my ears, and the eardrum doesn’t do it. So I hear cacophony of sound if I go into a room, I need to be wearing special hearing aids that act as white noise machines to be able to focus me when I talk, we’re always like, just hear every sound in the room, and I can’t concentrate. So I started taking a look and saying, Alright, I need to refocus my business, I need to take a look and say how can I refocus my business in ways where I can be more successful? And the internal communication was probably something I had already been thinking about something that I’ve been working on. But I think by actively looking at how do I, how do I run my business? What are the things that need to change in my business to be able to make it more successful? What do I need to do to augment my policies and procedures, in order to make my life better, it made me far more cognizant of how this could be utilized in other people’s companies.
 
Michael Hingson  17:54
And what you’re doing, I assume has been well received,
 
Ben Baker  17:58
it is extremely well received, it’s you know, it’s not for everybody, you know, it’s, you know, I tend to work with companies that are mid to large sized companies, because they end up having the budget to be able to do this. They also have, you know, they have the bigger needs, the bigger challenges, and therefore, they can see where the ROI is, you know, the smaller organizations, the one to $10 million companies tend not to see the ROI, because there’s still all within one building. And there tends to be 25 or 30 employees. And you can you can handle, you can huddle them up, and be able to have quicker, you know, changes the conversation. And you know, what I’ll do, I’ll do consulting and smaller companies to basically say, look, here are the challenges. Here’s some things you need to be thinking about, here’s some different ways of doing things. But it’s not the long protracted conversations and consulting projects that I’m doing with larger organizations that tend to be more spread out, you know, bigger issues, more departments feel more more moving parts. And I find that that for me, that’s the more interesting stuff.
 
Michael Hingson  19:09
Well, going back to your initial process, graphically speaking, it’s got to be more difficult to deal with a small company and showing this connects when you’re just dealing with different personalities within the same small company, although they’re still there, and it’s something to be dealt with. But it’s got to be a lot harder to make real comparisons and show some of the real challenges that you are able to, I would believe are much easier to show when you’re dealing with a diverse company with a lot of different offices and as you said a lot of different departments and so on.
 
Ben Baker  19:44
Well, in the smaller companies, you tend to have CEOs that our How can I say this are their accidental CEOs because I’m one of them myself. You start with an idea. You You were really good at We X, and you decide to start a company. And as that company grew and you became a little bit more successful, you decided I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this. So you’ll hire a few people. And the company grows, and it gets to a certain point. But you really are still that entrepreneur, with without the training, and without the thought processes of what it takes to really take you from that one to $5 million company to take you to that 50 to $100 million, because it’s a very different thought process, you run your company differently, you tend to be a lot more hands on, you tend to be a lot more critical of how other people do things. And you tend to micromanage a lot more. Because, you know, you look at this and say, Well, I wouldn’t do it that way. Instead of saying, Okay, I don’t do it that way. But maybe they’re doing it better. And as you grow as an organization, you can’t, you have to be able to give up control to different departments, and you have to trust a lot more. Because if you don’t have that level of trust, if you don’t empower teams to do to a certain level, you’re never going to grow. So there’s a psychological change that happens, as companies get over a certain certain dollar amount of a certain size.
 
Michael Hingson  21:20
The the issue, in part also is that your role as the CEO, and I think this is what you’re saying, really needs to change, because rather than being as much hands on, you, as you said, need to trust to allow people in departments that are being created to do their jobs. And you need to become more of the visionary in the true overall leader rather than micromanaging everything.
 
Ben Baker  21:47
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, as far as the job goes, is the CEO that got you to 25 million won’t get you to 250 million. You know, because it’s a different philosophy. It’s a different philosophy on leadership, it’s a different vision, it’s different risk level. It’s it’s, it’s you have to think differently, as your company gets larger, and you need to be able to sit there and say, You know what, my job is not to know everything, my job is not to be smarter than everybody, my job is not to do anything. My job is to hire really good people, and let them do what they do best. And that, you know, once a month shifts, that’s a mind shifts switch.
 
Michael Hingson  22:24
It is it’s an absolute shift in the whole mindset of what you do. I know, one of the things that I learned, I took a Dale Carnegie sales course when I was suddenly confronted with the opportunity. And I put it that way in need to go into sales from what I had been doing before. And I learned early on about not only setting goals, but a couple of principles that I learned in the Dale Carnegie sales course, which one of which was turn liabilities into perceived liabilities into assets, which is a very powerful tool. And that is something that I deal a lot with when it comes to discussing blindness. But the other thing that I realized is as a salesperson, whether it’s dealing with a customer, or later when I started managing, dealing with people inside the company is my job really is to add value to make other people successful. And so when I started the process of hiring salespeople, one of the things that I started to do was to tell each of them, I’m not here to boss you around, you have sold me on the fact that you can sell someone people did a better job than others are doing that. And some of them were successful, and some weren’t. But that’s beside the point, you sold me on the fact that you can sell and I’m going to hire you because you can do it. What you and I need to do is to now see how I can work with you as a second member of your team to add value to what you do. And the people who were the most successful at doing that. Were the people who ended up being the most successful at sales because they figured out how I sold and what I did, which was usually different than they I tend to listen a lot more I tend to ask open ended questions I hate closed in questions I don’t like yes and no questions anytime. And so I would do that when working with people. And some of the more successful people would invite me to go along on sales calls and so on because I also had a technical knowledge. And one person asked me after a meeting one day, how can you know so much about the product? And I don’t know all that and I just said, do you read the product briefings that come out? Well, I’ve been pretty busy. And I said There you go. But you know, but it’s about
 
Ben Baker  24:47
people look up RTFM read the blank manual.
 
Michael Hingson  24:53
Yeah. Read the full manual. Very full manual. That’s manual. Yeah. Yeah, that’s it full manual. But but the thing is that what what I learned is that in what the brightest sales guy I ever knew, learned was that I had added a lot of value and had advantages that he didn’t have. And one of the biggest advantages and I was blind, we went into a sales meeting one day, and a meeting with one of his customers. And he didn’t tell them that I was blind. And he told me he didn’t. And I understood that that wasn’t a slur or a slam or anything that he’s he because he said, we’re going to hit him with it. And they want to what to do with you. So they’re going to listen to us what a concept. And that’s exactly what happened. We went into the room, people stopped talking, we actually arrived a minute late deliberately so that everyone would be there. And they stopped talking. And we went up to the front and plugged in the PowerPoint, projector and all that. And as we were doing all that I turned and said to the first guy in the well, as you’re coming up the the be the upper right row, and I said, my name is Mike, what’s your name? And it took me a couple of times to get him to say his name. And I finally had to say, look, I can hear you as I go by, you know, I know you’re there. So don’t Don’t tell me you’re not, you know, so what’s your name? And we we ended up having a conversation and I asked him some questions. And then I went around the room. And by the time we were done going around the room, and asking people about themselves and why we were there and so on, it was very obvious our product wasn’t what they needed. But we went ahead and did the demonstration because I was going to do the whole PowerPoint show. Blind guys can do that. And a guy came up to me afterward. And he said, you know, we’re ticked at you. And I said, why? Well, we keep forgetting that you’re blind. And you never looked away to go see what was on the screen. And we didn’t dare fall asleep, because you would have caught us. And it was those kinds of things that this particular sales guy saw, that caused him to realize there’s a lot of value to be added, as I said, and that I could help him and he was by far the most successful sales guy I ever had, because he was very creative. And he learned that he could ask more open ended questions. So it also improved his sales skills and what he did.
 
Ben Baker  27:17
Yeah, there’s two thoughts that come out of that. And I love I love that is the first is understand your superpower, we all have a superpower. And too many of us focus on the things that we can’t do, instead of doubling down on the stuff that we can do. And I think that that is that is a hindrance of most people, whether they’re sitting down at their first job or their last job, it doesn’t matter where you are in the organization. Too many people say, Well, I can’t do this, and I can’t do that, or I’m not as good as this person, or I’m not as good as that person. It doesn’t matter. You know, we all have something that makes us valuable. And the more we can sit there and say, This is what I do, well, this is my jam. This is where I shine, and be willing to say, All right, I am lousy at accounting, I cannot paint a house, I cannot, you know weed a garden, hire people, find people that that’s their superpower. And bring them in, because everybody’s who has their own superpower is going to bring a fresh perspective to your life in your business doing showing you things that you don’t know how to do, and let them shine and do the things they want to do. I think that that’s, that’s a big thing. And the other thing that I came out of that is expectations versus accountability. You know, when we hire salespeople, when we hire anybody, and we lead them, it’s not about expectations and accountability, you work for me, and this is what I expected, you’re gonna be held accountable. It has to go both ways. As a leader, I need to know that my team needs to know that I that they have expectations of me. And I should be held as accountable as they are for those expectations. Because if we all sit there and go, You know what, I want to make more money, great. This is what you can expect from me, this is what I need from you. And if we do that we’re all going to make money together, then we can hold each other accountable.
 
Michael Hingson  29:19
And if as a team, you get buy in from each other, you may have to go through conflict to get there. But if as a team, you get buy in, and you work toward getting agreement of what the team is supposed to do. And then you make it clear that accountability is part of it. It makes you a stronger team because people also realize, well, you’re telling me I’m not doing something, oh, you’re not doing that because you’re being mean or obnoxious. You’re doing that because you want to know that I’m doing the things that I committed to do. And when teams get to realize that concept, then you have a much more powerful world you live in.
 
Ben Baker  29:59
Absolutely The and you said something, you know, it says conflict. Everybody’s afraid of conflict today. Yeah. And conflict is not a bad thing. Conflict is not a four letter word. You know, we all need healthy conflict in our lives. If we’re if we live in a world with no conflict, all we have is groupthink. All we have is people that are afraid to speak up people that are afraid to think people that are afraid to voice a different opinion. And we keep going the way that those so and so says we should do it. And companies end up becoming commodities, they end up being the low value, low price easily forgotten, and they go out of business,
 
Michael Hingson  30:40
low morale? Absolutely. I think we read the same books, my when I think I actually told me once one of my favorite books is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and Patrick Lencioni talks about all these sorts of things in there. Absolutely. And it’s an it’s so important. There’s, there’s always or should always be room for discussion, and disagreement. As long as you’re doing it for the right reason, and that the outcome has to be that you collectively find a way to find agreement to move forward and that you all settle on a plan.
 
Ben Baker  31:16
But it’s getting people to focus on the ideas and the concepts, and not each other. Yeah. And that’s the big thing. That’s what I love about doing the graphical representation, because you have a roomful of people that have some level of conflict amongst them, either there’s a hierarchy thing, or there’s an ego thing or whatever, within the room. As soon as they’re all sitting there focused on that person drawing that piece of paper, they start focusing on the problem and the issue instead of each other’s egos. And it’s amazing how that that transformation occurs.
 
Michael Hingson  31:53
I love to tell people that I’ve learned more about management and team building from working with eight guide dogs than I’ve ever learned from Ken Blanchard, even pat Lencioni, and so on, because dogs, although they, I really believe love unconditionally, they don’t trust unconditionally. But the difference between a dog and a person is that unless you have just really encountered a dog with major abuse in their lives, or you abuse a dog, they’re open a lot more to trust than we are, which gives you the opportunity to build trust both ways.
 
Ben Baker  32:32
Yeah, and trust trust is, is a delicate thing. Mostly, as I say, what was the best thing that somebody told me says, Trust and verify? You trust and verify. But the problem is, is that you trust but trust to be broken easily. And it is almost impossible to repair? What’s it once it’s been broken?
 
Michael Hingson  32:53
Right. And we have had an environment, collectively in the country or in with each other where we’ve learned about humans, oh, that person says they want to trust me and all that. But they’ve got a hidden agenda. And I’ve got to really watch out for that. And so we’ve learned not to trust we’ve learned not to be open to trust anyway.
 
Ben Baker  33:19
Well look at social media. I mean, social media is what we see is the waxed veneer of human beings. Very few people actually show themselves for who they really are. Warts and all on social media every everybody has as whitewashed and cleaned up their persona for social media. So therefore, you sit there and go, okay, is this somebody’s life? Or? Or is this the, you know, the highlight reel of who they truly are. And for most people, what you see on social media is people’s highlight reels, you know that they’ve cleaned it up, they’ve they’ve, they’ve pressed their suits, they’ve, they’ve combed their hair, and they’ve straighten their teeth, but you’re not actually getting who they are, when you go up and shake them up on the hand and you have to deal with them day in and day out. Yeah.
 
Michael Hingson  34:12
And, and even zoom, if you have real meetings with people, you get closer to the connection. For me, it doesn’t matter whether mostly anyway, I’m in a Zoom meeting or I’m in a meeting face to face with someone that one differences at least I can shake hands and I draw a lot of conclusions about people by handshakes. Because is it a firm handshake? Are they just trying to squeeze your fingers and break them or are they just a limp handshake and people talk about handshakes all the time, but it’s true. On the other hand, I can get a lot out of listening to a person on Zoom. My first job in sales will actually not my first job but one of my later jobs and say I was I worked for a company that was based out here in Carlsbad, California. And I was assigned to sell to the mid atlantic arena, from Washington up to in Virginia, up through New York. And we were selling high end products. So it wasn’t like telemarketing or anything like that. And I learned pretty quickly that the very same sales processes that I would use in talking to someone in person applied to talking with them on the phone. And it also meant that I needed to be as open with them on the phone as I would be in person, because they can tell if I’m hiding or just faking a persona or not. Oh,
 
Ben Baker  35:51
absolutely. I mean, it’s interesting, because over the last two years, I’ve done 75 or 80, keynotes, virtually, no, unfortunately, march 2020, my life change the keynotes that I delivered around the world ended. Yeah, they just ended the meeting to 72 hours a year to a year and a half’s worth of keynote speaking, was gone in 72 hours. Yeah. And I’ve come to the realization that truthfully, honestly, I really don’t like delivering keynotes virtually. Yeah, cuz I feel people, you don’t hear them, you don’t, you don’t see them. You don’t get the facial expressions, you don’t get the shifting in people’s seats. You don’t you don’t get that those, those comments under people’s breaths. There isn’t that slight chuckle. You don’t get any of the humaneness that a live presentation gives you in the spontaneity, because in terms of most things, most people turn off put on the mute button, they turn off their monitor, and they’re sitting there reading their email while you’re talking. Right. And you don’t get to see the full human being that what you’re speaking to, and I find that very challenging. And sometimes a little disconcerting, especially when you’re dealing with 500 people on a zoom call. And all you see is mostly blank screens.
 
Michael Hingson  37:16
So needless to say, not seeing the blank screens, but I miss a lot of the other stuff when I’m delivering a talk. And I’m doing it in person, I get to listen to all the different kinds of reactions. And I know absolutely, categorically, when I’m connecting with an audience, because I’ve learned that based on different remarks and comments and tonal issues that I display. I know what to expect if an audience is connected or not. And I don’t get any of that on a zoom call. So kind of just have to plow ahead on a zoom call, as opposed to being in a room and talking to people and knowing you’re connected. Including along the way, somebody’s cell phone rings, and I’ll stop and go Hello. And expecting to get a laugh if they’re connected. And usually do you know and if I don’t get a laugh, then I’m looking immediately for what other ways do I need to connect so that there is drawn in as I want them to be? And I can’t possibly get that in a virtual call?
 
Ben Baker  38:29
Oh, absolutely. I literally had somebody in the front row I talk I was giving and their cell phone went off. And I walked off the stage and I grabbed the phone. It says they’ll call you back during the middle of my keynote. I put their phone in my pocket says you can have that after the show. And the entire room. Burst out stood up. Yeah. First out laughing because they’re gonna say, I can’t believe he just did that. But it was it was one of those spontaneous things. I hadn’t planned it, I hadn’t thought about it. It just I just went ahead and did it. But it’s those little magical things that get an audience talking about you for months, if not years ahead of time. From then,
 
Michael Hingson  39:12
I still remember reading an article about Sandy Duncan when she was playing Peter Pan on Broadway. And she was flying and went out over the audience and somebody’s cell phone rang and he answered the call and she just flew over him and kicked the phone out of his hand. And and I guess people loved it but there was already at that time something that’s notification don’t use cell phones in the audience when course you’re gonna live performance which was appropriate. But yeah, it’s it’s those kinds of things that also, as you said, make people remember you and that says it should be and they’ll talk about you and not in a negative way, generally speaking, as well. Actually, if they’re drawn into what you’re saying,
 
Ben Baker  40:02
well, the person whose cell phone uh, came up to me afterwards goes, goes, I can’t believe you did it. But that was funny.
 
Michael Hingson  40:08
Yeah.
 
Ben Baker  40:11
He knew he was in the wrong. Yeah, absolutely knew he was in the wrong, you know, but he just said there was, what am I going to do the phone rings against you silence it fast enough. And so I by the time I had the phone in my hand, you know, he thought it was funny. Everybody round him thought it was funny. But you could have absolutely had somebody who was very arrogant to go, how dare you take the phone out of my hand could have. Either way, you’re still they’re still going to talk about you.
 
Michael Hingson  40:38
I’ve been in audiences where I forgot to put my cell phone on mute. And it rings and I will get it out as fast as I can and mute it. I mean, that’s the best thing I can do. Because I don’t want to answer it. But yeah, and it is appropriate for people when you’re a speaker to expect that people aren’t going to have their cell phones or they’re going to have a not have them on or at least they’re going to mute them. Because they’re supposed to be there to value you. I actually heard something last Friday. I was in a meeting. It’s called PATA Palooza, which is a program where podcasters would be podcasters. And people who want to be interviewed by podcasters get together. It’s a quarterly thing. And one of the things that one of the people said near the beginning was I’m talking, I can see the chat room, I would really appreciate it unless you have a specific question. Don’t just sit there and chat in the chat room. Because it takes away from you listening to speakers, whether it’s me or anyone else. And I see that all the time that people are chatting in the chat room, they’re clearly not as focused on the speaker, as they should be, because they’re doing everything but listening to the speaker. They’re reading chats, they’re chatting, oh, that was great what that person said, and they’re spending all this time doing everything except listening to the
 
Ben Baker  41:58
speaker. But you can also have fun with it. I mean, two things I usually have. If I’m in a great big keynote online, I have somebody who’s in the chat room. And I get them to sit there and go, Oh, that was a great question. But hang on a second, before you go into your next talk, you got to answer this question. And I always breathe, because then you’re bringing a human element into it. That’s okay. And that’s fun. You know, it’s fun, it’s a matter of sit there going, Look, humans are human beings. We all have a need to, you know, to voice our opinion, to think to be engaged, but you want to be able to make people engage. I remember when Twitter walls were the big thing, where you had a big deal. 20 foot screen beside you as you were doing a keynote, and they were doing the Twitter feed while you’re talking. And I used to, you know, halfway through my keynote, go and look at the Twitter wall and pick up a few tweets and start talking about them. Because then people sit there going, Wait a second, they’re paying attention to me. Yeah, this is a human being on stage talking to human beings. And we all are, we’re all human beings, and we all want to be listened to understood and valued. And the more it is not the Oracle from up high, you know, extolling the virtues. And actually being a human being talking to human being, helping them be better human beings, the more exciting to talk at tends to be
 
Michael Hingson  43:22
one of the things that I do again, when speaking, especially when I know their screens, and especially when I know that people are listening virtually, is to say, I gotta tell you, I’m not gonna be paying attention to you in the chat room, not because I have anything against chats and all that, but rather, because I can’t chat and talk at the same time. But we do have somebody who will take questions and we will get to you. So if you really have an urgent question, then indicate that and I will make sure that I hear about it and and try to answer it immediately. Because I love answering questions, but mostly chats, and I don’t necessarily interact well together.
 
Ben Baker  44:07
Well, it was just, it’s distracting. I mean, think about it. From a keynote speakers point of view, when you’re online. When you’re online, you have a chat going on the background, you try to get all the technical things going on, you’re trying to speak while at the same time, you’re doing your own PowerPoint. And also you’re you’re working both hands with both Mycenae and keyboard while you’re trying to deliver a seamless conversation. It’s tougher to bid at the best of times. Yeah, and then trying to watch the chat room at the same time. It’s impossible isn’t gonna lead to we need to realize that people want to chat. People want to be part of that they want to be engaged in the conversation. So how do we facilitate that we have somebody whose job it is right to be to be that intermediary between the chat and us on stage to be able to To be able to bring everybody together. And I think that that’s, that’s a part of online presentations that most people are missing.
 
Michael Hingson  45:08
Yeah. And I find that that tends to work very well. And I will make clear to people upfront love to answer questions. And if there’s a way to make that happen, then we do it. The other thing I love to do, and of course, a lot of the speeches that I do, I want to educate people a little bit about blindness and the fact that we’re really not different than you guys. Sure. And so I will start off, I’m going to give my secret away. But I start off the presentations by saying when asked you a few questions, and mostly I don’t get caught with this? I’ll I’ll say something like, did everybody hear the about the Supreme Court decision yesterday? Or did you did you happen to see that movie last night that was on TV? Or or, you know, how many of you know a person who happens to be blind, and I’ll do a few of those. And if I’m fortunate, which most of the time I am, this is probably going to change now. But if I’m fortunate, people will raise their hands, they won’t apply? Because they don’t get it. Right. Right. And the last question I ask is, how many of you think it’s a bright idea that when a blind lecturer is speaking to you that you respond by raising your hands. And it’s fun, and it is always it’s fun to do that. But people do take that sort of thing to heart. As I said, Now, I’m going to be in trouble, because everybody’s going to applaud. So I’m gonna have to find a different way to do it, because they’re gonna listen to this podcast. He said, hoping. But But speeches, I find in dealing with customers and dealing with employees in all that I do, it isn’t talking to I talk about it with prayer, even it’s not talking to God, it’s talking with God. It’s talking with your audience, and making them part of the the whole experience that you’re all involved in involved in. And as I tell people, If I don’t go away learning more than you learn, then I’m not doing my job well. Well, it’s
 
Ben Baker  47:11
speaking to people in language that resonates with them, using analogies that resonate with them. Because I’m going to speak to steel workers a lot differently than I’m going to speak to accountants. Yeah, the same concepts will come into play, the same ideas will come into play, but I’ll use different analogies. And I’ll use different frames of reference because you need to be able to make people sit there go, I get that. Okay. Yeah, I understand. And it’s not about you. It’s about the audience that you’re speaking to. And how do you get them on board? How do you get them to sit there and go? Yeah, all right. Now I understand what they’re talking about. Okay, I’m bought in now, I’m going to really listen.
 
Michael Hingson  47:57
Have you ever given a speech where you were given a series of expectations of what was to happen and what the speech was to bid God about in the audience, and so on, whether it’s a speaker’s bureau that did it or from somewhere, and you got there and found out that you were totally given the wrong information and had to recraft the speech
 
Ben Baker  48:19
that happened to me just before COVID. That happened to me just before COVID, I was the last speaker, in our speakers evening. And I was given some information. And my understanding was, it was going to be a very corporate evening. And listen to speaker after speaker after speaker. It was very personal. It was extremely personal. And the audience was buying into this. And if I had delivered the speech that I had to give it, first of all, it would have landed flat. And second of all, it never would have resonated with anybody. Yeah. And I said to these guys, I said, luck. You have to, we have two choices. Either you can take me off the ticket, or I’m going or I’m going to do a 20 minute talk off the top of my head. I’m happy to do it. I can do it. I’ve done it before. But realize that the talk that I told you I was going to give I’m not going to because it’s totally an absolutely irrelevant, based on the evening that we’ve just we’ve just done and I ended up sitting there talking for 20 minutes. And other people told me I nailed it. That’s that’s other people’s choices, whether whether I did or I didn’t Sure. But if if if I hadn’t changed my topic right then and there. It would have almost been an embarrassment for me because it was I would have been totally an absolutely tone deaf to what the evening ended up being
 
Michael Hingson  50:00
I had a situation many years ago where a speaker’s bureau said, We want you to come and speak to the national Property Managers Association. And I said, What are they? Oh, they’re the people that rent apartments and stuff like that. And we want you to come. And it was a very relevant speech to give because we had just moved from an apartment, or a house that we had to another house elsewhere for a job. And so we gave our house to a property manager to manage until we could get it sold. So I went off, and I got down there, but I got there very late at night, before I was to give a breakfast speech. And I got up that morning and went down. And there was this really great breakfast, actually. And I was sitting there listening to people and I went, Wait a minute, this doesn’t sound like what I was told. And so I said to somebody, you don’t just help me out. I’d like to, and I don’t even know for sure whether they knew I was the speaker or not. But they probably did. And I said, What is the national Property Managers Association, a worthy organization in the Federal Government that manages anything physical that the government owns? Oh, my God, totally different, needless to say, as diametrically opposed as they could be. But I had done various things like created GSA schedules for companies and I had been involved in government contracts, especially the fun part is with organizations that if I told you anything about them, even today, you would be the late Ben Baker, and you would disappear and nobody would know about you anymore. But I literally, as they would say, pivoted on a dime. And it went very well. And I got to talk about other kinds of things. And fortunately, I had the experience to do that. And I think that as speakers, we should be able to do that.
 
Ben Baker  52:00
I agree. But also, we it is, in our best interest as speakers to sit down a couple of weeks ahead of time, with not with the speaker’s bureau that’s high for you. But with the actual event organizer, right and sit there and say, How can I help you shine to your audience? Exactly. Well, how can we make this relevant to the people that are in the room? Tell me who’s in the room. Tell me about the conference. Tell me about what your goals of the conference are? What do you want people to walk away knowing? Why do you want them to come back next year, and be able to have all that information at your fingertips. So you can craft a talk, that not only is as relevant to the people in the audience, but it also makes the organizers who hire you and are paying you, you know, a lot of money, make sure that they shine. And that and that, to me is a critical part of being a great keynote speaker.
 
Michael Hingson  52:59
And the other thing that I love to do is to say I if if I’m not the first person on the agenda, I’d like to come in a day early and listen to some of the other speakers and so on, because I’ll learn a lot from them. And invariably, if that’s the case, or if I’m not the first speaker of the day, I will listen to speakers before me who have said things that allowed me to add more value into the presentation that I’m going to give.
 
Ben Baker  53:28
Absolutely. My attitude is I tell this to organizations hire me, I said, Look, you’re hiring me for the weekend. You’re hiring me for three days, right? I am happy to come in, I will do a keynote. I will do a meet and greets we can we get at your VIPs come in. And we can do you know we could do a book signing with my book if you want. And I’m also willing to do a workshop. Why don’t we Why don’t you bring me in for three or four events, we’ll we’ll get you a group price for everything. And therefore we can make sure that you get the best value out of this as possible.
 
Michael Hingson  54:01
I can absolutely do the same thing.
 
Ben Baker  54:04
Yeah. And that way you can be integral to that you’re not just somebody that arrives 15 minutes before you’re you know, they do a slight you’ll do a slipshod soundcheck, you’ll jump on stage, do your thing and then be in a cab heading to the airport as soon as the events over. Yeah, and there’s a lot of keynotes to do that.
 
Michael Hingson  54:24
I know. I just don’t like to do that. I like to as I said, I learned I get to learn. And I’ve also said if you know of other people, a lot of times we will do keynote speeches, inspirational speeches, and I’ve said look if you know other people that need a speaker, cuz sometimes people will say, well, we can’t afford your price. I said well, and let’s figure out how we add somebody else into the mix. If you’ve got donors or if you know of a school or whatever that might need a speaker. Let’s figure out other things that I can do while I’m there because I come I want to come and spend whatever time you need me to do that. also helps a lot.
 
Ben Baker  55:01
Oh, exactly. It’s about finding ways, whether this is a keynote, whether it’s being a leader, whether it’s being somebody who works in an organization, understanding how to help other people succeed. Because when you can sit there and say, How can I make you succeed, they’re going to help you succeed.
 
Michael Hingson  55:20
Tell me about your books, if you would
 
Ben Baker  55:22
share, I’ve written two books, and they couldn’t be more diametrically opposed. The first book I wrote was called powerful personal brands, a hands on Guide to Understanding yours. And I wrote that in 2018. And it really, truly is a workbook for personal branding. What I found is I do volunteer at a couple of the major universities, and I teach people personal branding, networking skills, and also how to interview and I sit there he says, okay, so what are you guys doing in order to build your own personal brand, because a lot of these kids are extremely smart, and they’re horrible at articulating their own value. It’s part of being young, you know, it just I’m sure I was nowhere near as good as 2530 years ago, as I am doing it today. It’s experience. And none of them had a book that they really liked. And I said, All right, I’m going to try to find new one. I couldn’t find one. So I wrote it. And it was it was a wonderful experience. The book, not only does it tell stories from my life lessons that I learned, but at the end of every chapter, what I do is I ask a question, and I leave two pages of blank lines for people to write their own ideas. And that was what the book is about. During COVID. I ended up doing 16 part, podcast series with a friend of mine, by the name of Claire Chandler. And it was all we were lamenting about the fact that nobody was thinking about what’s next. Everybody was sitting there at the beginning of COVID, with their hands on their knees, rocking back and forth and says, Don’t, don’t look at me, don’t talk to me, because I just don’t know what I’m doing. And I’m, I’m terrified to death. And I can’t make a decision. Fine. I understand all that. But people in leadership need to be able to sit there and say, Okay, here’s where we are, this is where we need to go. It may change, but give people the confidence to know that there’s there is light at the end of the tunnel. So we wrote a book called leading beyond the crisis. And actually what it was it was the podcast. And what we did is we took that podcast interviews, we transcribed them, edited them and turn them into a he said she said type book. And it really is not written for COVID. But it’s sit there going Listen, throughout our lives, we’re going to have crisis’s. Whether it’s your building, burning down, whether it’s a financial crisis, whether it’s, you know, whether it’s it’s COVID, or some other type of medical emergency, we’re all going to run into situations within our businesses that are going to be a crisis. The question is, how do you deal with it? And how do you instill the confidence in people to sit there and say, Look, I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know exactly where we’re going. But this is the direction we’re gonna go tomorrow. And if tomorrow comes and we go, well, we didn’t make it. We didn’t go exactly where we want to go. Let’s reevaluate, figure out what we did wrong, figure out what we did, right? And then move forward from there. So those are what my books tend to be about.
 
Michael Hingson  58:31
Did you self publish? Or
 
Ben Baker  58:33
what I did I self published both of them. Cool. Yeah. Amazon is my friend.
 
Michael Hingson  58:39
Yes. Kindle Direct Publishing these days, Kindle Direct
 
Ben Baker  58:43
Publishing my book is available through Ingram Spark and Amazon. And with that is pretty much available in every every bookstore in the world, we
 
Michael Hingson  58:53
bookstore in the world. Yeah, that anybody can order, which is all that that really matters. And they do. Well, and what more can you ask for? Exactly. So change is is all around us is that the only true constant in the world? That’s my
 
Ben Baker  59:09
attitude. My attitude is that change is truly the only constant. It doesn’t matter where we are, things are going to change. They’re gonna get better, they may get worse. They may go, the sky may go from blue to black to gray. But it’s it’s going to the sun’s going to come out again. And we all need to realize that the world is in flux. There’s, there’s all sorts of things we can control. Most things we can’t. And we have to sit there and say, Okay, these are the things I can control. These are the things I can’t, how do we how do we mitigate or risk based on that? And how do we move forward and how do we be successful based on the situations we find ourselves in today? And knowing that tomorrow with different information with this different circumstances, we may have to change. And we have to be ready to embrace that.
 
Michael Hingson  1:00:06
Well, we know the sun is going to come out tomorrow, except there is such a thing as the day that we have a supernova. So just saying
 
Ben Baker  1:00:17
the world Sunday, the world will implode.
 
Michael Hingson  1:00:19
And you know, we don’t have control over that. So why worry about it?
 
Ben Baker  1:00:22
I can’t control it. So why worry about it?
 
Michael Hingson  1:00:26
Exactly right. We I was having a discussion with a colleague this morning, we’re writing a book, I may have mentioned it called a guide dogs Guide to Being brave, talking about fear, and so on. And we were talking about normal this morning, and how everyone wants to always get back to normal. With COVID, we have got with COVID, we want to get back to normal. For me, I really started getting frustrated with that after September 11, when people started saying we want to get back to and we got to get back to normal. And it took me a little while to realize why I reacted so vehemently to that. Normal would never be the same again, we can’t get back to normal, there is something to be said for entropy, right? Once you open a can of worms, you can only put the worms back in a bigger can. And and normal would never be the same again.
 
Ben Baker  1:01:19
Well, I look at this as I remember when we when we bought this house 20 years ago. And we you know, my wife said, Okay, I want to do this renovation, I want to do this renovation, okay. And she This is why I want to renovate the master bathroom because the master bathroom had carpet all the way up to the top and carpet, your carpet in the bathroom. Whew, wow. Okay, and the people in front before us owned a dog. They owned a very large dog. And supposedly they paid the dog in that tub. I told my wife, I said, Look, I can tell you that this is going to cost you this, this is going to cost you this. This is going to cost you this. When it comes to the bathroom. I have not a clue. It says until we tear up the carpet. And we expect the floor. I have no idea if this is a $10,000 fix or a $30,000 fix. Because you don’t know until you start banging walls and stuff. And ripping, ripping off drywall. You have no idea what’s behind what’s behind those closed those closed walls, right? And you have to be prepared to sit there go, okay. We’re in it. We’re in the fire store. We’ve we’ve we’ve destroyed the drywall and we’ve we’ve put it in a dumpster and we’ve sent it away. We have bare walls. Okay, we’re dealing with some wood rot. Okay, what do we do now? It’s not like, it’s not like they can go back, get that old drywall, put it back up on the wall and forget about it. We have to deal with what’s in front of you. And you have to sit there and say, You know what, one way or the other, we’ll figure it out. And we’ll and we will survive and we will thrive. And I think maybe what we need to be as a society.
 
Michael Hingson  1:03:08
It may affect your budget, but I’m gonna fix it. So what did you do with the carpet? Oh, the
 
Ben Baker  1:03:13
carpet blue carpet went in the garbage. You know, the carpet went in the garbage. We you know, we tiled the entire thing and luckily enough, the Tongue Groove floor underneath was was still good. Good. You know, I didn’t I didn’t have to pull out all the tongue and groove. I didn’t have I didn’t have wood rod I didn’t have you know, that’s floor joists that needed to be replaced. You know, it was it was a $12,000 fix. It wasn’t a $30,000 fix. It was within tolerances of budget.
 
Michael Hingson  1:03:42
I’m actually very surprised because the floor being carpeted, and they bathing a dog and then bringing the dog out over carpeted floor where there’s a lot of splashing, you would think it would could have been a lot worse. You were very fortunate.
 
Ben Baker  1:03:55
We were extremely fortunate. And I looked at it and said okay, but we have the attitude going in that it’s going to be what it’s going to be we’re tearing up the carpet regardless. Yeah. And the worst it’s going to do is it’s going to cost us a little extra money and a little bit more time. So where do you guys live? We live in Richmond BC up in Canada. We are. It’s a suburb of Vancouver, just so the airport.
 
Michael Hingson  1:04:24
So floors can be a little cold on the feet in the winter, but you know, that’s fine. Exactly. But we built this house back in 2016. And we just use luxury vinyl tile. All of it is floating so it’s not glued down. My wife in her wheelchair, rollover it very well. We haven’t broken any tiles, but it makes for a much more convenient environment because if there is liquid spills or dog or whatever, we deal with it very quickly and so for us, we found it to be a very worthwhile Way to go. And it certainly didn’t cost a lot more than carpeting.
 
Ben Baker  1:05:05
No. And how do you go ahead? Go
 
Michael Hingson  1:05:08
ahead. No, go ahead.
 
Ben Baker  1:05:09
No, it’s just a matter of being adaptable. And it’s a matter of sit there going, how do you become a problem solver instead of somebody that is hamstrung every single time, something different or unique is thrown at
 
Michael Hingson  1:05:22
you? How do you define success?
 
Ben Baker  1:05:25
To me success is not a personal thing. It’s it’s how have I impacted other people? How have I enabled other people to live their lives better? How have I enabled people to be better versions of themselves, and giving them the tools to pay things forward? You know, that, to me is true success. It’s not about money. It’s not about the house. It’s not about the car drive, or the size of the flat screen TV that I have. It’s how have I impacted people, and how have I given people the tools, they need to be successful on their terms.
 
Michael Hingson  1:06:03
And that’s as good as it gets, it’s sort of like Gandhi is saying Be the change you want to see in the world.
 
Ben Baker  1:06:09
Pretty much, I’m a big believer of make the world a little bit better off than where I found it.
 
Michael Hingson  1:06:15
And if I can do that, if you can do that we’ve, we’ve done good,
 
Ben Baker  1:06:20
true, I can’t solve the world’s problems. I’m never going to be the president united states, I’m never going to run a multibillion dollar organization. I can influence things in my little corner of the world. And I’m okay with that.
 
Michael Hingson  1:06:36
I’m perfectly capable talking to the president of the United States, or people with billion dollar companies and so on. And maybe I can inspire them. And that’s fine. But I don’t need to be them. No,
 
Ben Baker  1:06:48
I like to be the person in the background, making things happen or actually influencing people to enable them to make things happen.
 
Michael Hingson  1:06:57
Yeah. Well, Ben, this has been a lot of fun. And I think we went off in directions. We didn’t think glad we spent a lot of time talking about speaking it’s a lot of fun to do that. But I really enjoyed having you on unstoppable mindset, we need to do it again.
 
Ben Baker  1:07:13
I am always open for a repeat of conversation. And I hope your audience found this valuable.
 
Michael Hingson  1:07:19
My hope so and I think we have a date for me to come on your podcast, as I recall.
 
Ben Baker  1:07:23
You bet you’re gonna be on my show sometime in the fall. I’m not sure the exact date yet. But we’re definitely gonna have you on in the fall.
 
Michael Hingson  1:07:30
I know we’ve been been exchanging emails about it, and I’m looking forward to that as well. It will be a lot of fun.
 
Ben Baker  1:07:36
Yeah. So thank you for having me.
 
Michael Hingson  1:07:39
Well, thanks for being here. And I want to thank all of you who who are out there listening. Thank you for being here yourselves. You are the important part of this. And although we didn’t get to listen to your questions, we hope that you will send them to me via email. You can reach me at Michaelhi at accessibe.com M I C H A E L H I at A C C E S S I B E.com. Or go to Michael hingson.com/podcast. hingson is h i n g s o n. But if you’re listening to the podcast somewhere else, that’s okay, too. We do ask that you give us a five star rating. We hope that you enjoy this and you feel strongly enough to do that a five star rating is always appreciated. But your feedback and questions are always welcome. How can people reach out to you Ben,
 
Ben Baker  1:08:27
you know what the best way to get in touch with me is through my website. It’s your brand marketing.com That’s your brand marketing.com Just how it sounds is just how it’s spelt.
 
Michael Hingson  1:08:40
It doesn’t get easier than that. Well, thanks again. And we hope that we’ll get you back on the podcast soon. And I again, I had a lot of fun and learned a lot and I hope you did too.
 
Ben Baker  1:08:53
Absolutely. Thanks for having me, Michael.
 
Michael Hingson  1:08:55
Thanks very much.
 
UM Intro/Outro  1:09:01
 
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.

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