In this episode, I talk with mindfulness expert, Stuart Carter. In 2005, Stuart began his journey of “waking up” by re-examining every aspect of what it means to be alive, what it means to be happy, what it means to be fulfilled. He publishes a regular video series on YouTube offering tips on mindfulness, meditation, letting go, and living a happy and balanced life.
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Jason: All right. So why don’t we start with you introducing yourself and then we’ll move forward.
Stuart: Sure. Okay. So I’m Stuart Carter, I currently run simplymindfulness.com. I’ve been through a series of sort of business, what should we say, ideas over the years. It’s been a constant evolution really. I went self employed in 2009 when I was made redundant from my full time job, computer programming. Went into photography. Discovered… Because I liked business more than photography started helping other business owners [inaudible 00:00:45] in place. But I’ve always been sneaking mindfulness in through the back door and I’ve got a 15 years mindfulness practice of my own. And I went to Japan in the summer of 2018 and kind of, it was a bit rocky out there. It was very, very wet.
Stuart: I think some, was it 2 million or 8 million people were evacuated from their homes from where we were in the camper van getting lost in the mountains. So yeah, it’s not one of those life changing situations when you go… Actually, life’s a bit too short and not do the important stuff. And I’m sure your emails have had an influence in where I am now. And because I’ve done a lot of the inner work on myself, your daily general posts done regularly and your webinars and things like that. And I truly see the value in that stuff. And at the moment I’m kind of helping people to be more mindful. I’m helping people to get to know themselves better. We actually spoke a while ago and I tested the business or best part of your life. I don’t know if you remember that conversation.
Stuart: Well, that never quite sat right with me. I don’t know if it was the audience. I think it was the audience only, if it wasn’t the audience it was probably the men serving. So yeah, I’ve got this business, it’s doing okay. I’ve got two media platforms, with are my YouTube channel, which has a video twice a week, and my daily journal of kind of just wholesale copied your idea. So its a value add every day with lovely messages at the top, which I think you’ve taken those off actually, but also, the occasional, do you want some help? That kind of message. But I think the problem I have at the moment, which is I think why I’m on the call today is really, I heard it put beautifully the other day where there’s, a donkey and there’s some hay to side of it and some water to the other side of it. And it can’t decide which ones to go for so it ends up dying.
Jason: What a terrible play.
Stuart: Because if you just go for one, apparently you can do that. And then move to the next one. So I think it’s about clarity. I would really love now to master something. I’ve got the discipline in place to do that but I don’t know what I’m mastering and I think maybe I can use some help on the clarity of that.
Jason: Do you know what’s in your two buckets? The water and the food or, would you just know there two?
Stuart: I think there’s more than two. There is… I’ve been encouraged to sort of pull out the fragments of my life. The things that I think, [inaudible 00:03:52]. Particularly, on my YouTube channel, we have minimalism and we have mindfulness. But I think, mindfulness is such a broad spectrum. One of the messages I came up recently is, I can help people to look in the bathroom mirror and love and accept the person that’s looking back at them. You talk about before and after quite a lot and to me that’s one of the afters that that could it be quite compelling. The thing that I have on the YouTube channel is the minimalism stuff does much better.
Stuart: So in terms of views, in terms of engagement, in terms of what the audience is looking for, we have minimalism there. The mindfulness stuff is less popular but I believe is much more valuable. That’s the belief. So, who knows. But economically wise is it were actual value moves to the world. We can clear out all that stuff. Or we can go deeper we can change ourselves and to me that going deep and changing ourselves is… It’s kind of the mass audience versus the engaged value audience as it were and I know the audience will be smaller because most of them will never do the work.
Jason: Can you tell me who these people are that are coming?
Stuart: Yeah, I general generally can now, I did a collaboration with someone who had since like 22,000 subscribers on their channel and so about 500 of her audience came to me. My audience is now, 1.3k or something like that, but a large bulk of it is probably middle-aged. They’re mostly women, like 99.7% women. They are middle-aged, they are probably 40 plus with grown up or left home children and I think that, I don’t know if you’re aware of Wayne Dyer’s, The shift. They’re kind of making the shift into the meaning stage of life and realizing that maybe not all that stuff being sold wholesale is accurate, I would say.
Jason: Okay. What do you think is attractive to them about the mindfulness or the minimalist topic?
Stuart: What’s attractive to them about it?
Jason: What does that mean to them?
Stuart: I think it’s kind of, my gut wants to say freedom, but I don’t know why I’m saying that. The simplicity, the… I think it’s letting go of the lie almost then finding out it’s okay to not… Maybe they’ve built up all this stuff and found out that that hasn’t made them happy and generally they come to me at the stage where they’re not at the beginning stage of minimalism. But they’re doing that work already. I mean, the way it came through the collaboration was my video was about how to minimize not just your stuff, but sort of go inside, minimize your habits, your beliefs, those sorts of things. So I think that taking it to the next level.
Jason: Yeah. Okay. And tell me about what happens if I come to your YouTube channel? How you help me, what’s the rest of the business look like at the moment?
Stuart: As in what’s behind the YouTube channel?
Stuart: Yeah. Okay. So I have a daily journal, which it doesn’t attract a huge conversion rate, but it’s better now I actually mentioned that I got one. You might recognize some of this stuff. I have a personal guidance program, which is, send me an email, I’ll record your video. Because my system has video, if you’ve enjoyed my videos why not get customized ones. And apart from that, that’s really it. I mean, I’ve got a local audience as well where I’ve done classes, monthly and weekly classes locally. I’ve run a six week course locally. But the bulk of my audience isn’t local.
Jason: And is that mindfulness or is that minimalist or is that a combo?
Stuart: It’s mindfulness. All of the back end stuff is mindfulness really. It’s going through the physical world, mental world, emotional world, vibrational world. And, using that to get over specific problems like anxiety, stress and I’m kind of finding myself in the position where I think I’m attracting people who have sort the troubled upbringings. Troubled in that parents were emotionally unavailable to them. I don’t know if that’s seekers anyway, because people who have a well balanced upbringing don’t need to seek. I’m finding, sorry, go.
Jason: Does that mirror your experience or do these people… Or does that not mirror your experience.
Stuart: Yes, it mirrors my experience. So, but the work I’m doing on myself seems to be attracting the people who need to do that work. I seem to be the leading learner as it were. Keeping one step ahead of them.
Jason: Okay, and how do people go from discovering you on YouTube to sending you their email address?
Stuart: So that’s essentially a link in the description. I mention it when I remember, which is rarely. They go to a landing page, which just, a quite standard…
Jason: So even though the volume is different, the mailing list compared to the YouTube subscribers, which do you feel you connecting more deeply with people through? Is there an…
Stuart: I mean the mailing list is incredibly low volume. I would suggest that. I mean on YouTube, I get comments on almost every video. People regularly say, “Did you read my mind? Have you been watching me, before you recorded this video. This is exactly what I needed to hear today,” which I know I’m hitting the right subjects there. The emails, I’d say maybe once a week may be once every 10 to 20 emails, someone will email back, and say this is really, it’s a problem here.
Jason: Yeah. Okay. In terms of your comfort level and what flows naturally for you, do you feel better when it comes to recommending like a paid solution to a problem, a program or course, whatever it is, over video or using the written word or does it not matter?
Stuart: That’s a very interesting question actually. I notice actually whenever I do a call to action on video, I always notice a pause. I always notice that slight hint of discomfort, which we know we have to lead into discomfort. But with the written word, of course you can do that and you don’t spot the pause. Maybe vibrationally you don’t, no. But yeah, certainly in the written word I can, I’m happy copywriting if I know what I’m presenting. And just today I wrote quite an in depth email to my journal about looking in the mirror. This that I’ve kind of just come up with. And at the bottom it says do you want some help with that and it goes to a landing page for my advisory program, which basically says the same thing as the email. Then goes more into detail.
Jason: Okay. So have most of the sales that you’ve gotten to this point come from invitations that you’ve given over video or written.
Stuart: Okay, so this is the interesting thing. The digital world is not working for me at the moment. So the people on my PESTEL guidance program are actually local. So they know me through my classes, through my course. So I have quite a nice kind of funnel and ladder that is working really well. I guess I haven’t translated into…
Jason: So tell me about, tell me about your local classes. How often, how are they structured?
Stuart: So they are one hour classes. I’ve got two now running, but for the purposes of last year it was a monthly class.
Jason: Free or paid?
Stuart: It’s paid but I’ve been giving certain tickets to certain people. If they’re in a networking group or something like that. So they’ve come along to the class and the class has been, meditation, teaching and discussion and that sort of stuff. So they get quite a lot of contact with me directly. And then that led into my six week course which actually my classes have tended to have between two, I think the maximum I’ve had was 12 people there, the minimum was about two but I sold six places to my six week course, which was a really good conversion rate.
Jason: How was that done? Did you just tell them about it and say there are spaces available. Just give me a summary of how that was presented.
Stuart: Essentially, yes. So I’m just trying to think who signed up. So there were a bunch of people who came along from the monthly classes. I did run Paper Clip and got at least one sign up from that. I did a joint venture with a local shop, just sort of ethnic stuff. And then at least one signup came from that. So I’ve kind of spread the marketing around. One person, I personally knew. One person came from a networking group.
Jason: Okay, but in terms of the six week program, how did that get presented in the context of the class?
Stuart: What I would do is in the class generally do snippets from the program and then say we’re discussing this in detail week five of the course. So if you’re interested in the course, these are the details.
Jason: What’s the course called?
Stuart: It’s really called, bear with me. It’s Meditation and Mindfulness Course. So yeah.
Jason: And what do you, for the people that show up live, is there a difference in their affinity to those different words, meditation versus mindfulness. Why are the people that are showing up live, if you ask them, why would they say they’re coming?
Stuart: I would say mindfulness.
Jason: And what in your experience, again, I’m kind of looking for you to put words in their mouth a little bit as best you can. But what do they get from mindfulness?
Stuart: Okay. So on the whole, at the start of the course I said, “Why are you here? Because, that will help you to serve you best.” And it was essentially, there was crippling anxiety. There was a sense of overwhelm and stress with someone who’s kind of lost their identity, they don’t know who they are or what they want. Mainly those sorts of things because, that’s how it was presented is, this course will help these specific problems as well.
Jason: Would you say that’s a similar overlap in terms of the pain points for people who might be online searching for minimalism?
Stuart: Overwhelming certainly, certainly, I guess they have, yeah.
Jason: Losing your identity, they may not be aware of it perhaps.
Stuart: Yeah. That’s kind of what I was about to get into. They aren’t aware of it but I think that people who are minimizing, because, I’ve done it myself, I’ve been there, it’s really shedding the skins until you get to the point where you can stop to rebuild an identity where… I don’t know it’s… Yeah, it’s definitely, you know what you don’t want. You don’t know what you do want yet. But you know what you don’t want and you don’t want all this stuff.
Stuart: Yes, so it’s definitely something there.
Jason: So what if maybe instead of, going back to that donkey imagery where you have the food and the water, what if it was more about ordering them appropriately in both of them could be right in front of you?
Stuart: It could suddenly work.
Jason: To me, if I’m in the shoes of a 40 year old woman with all the perspectives that you listed. The bottom line is I’m looking for a change, right?
Jason: I’m looking to feel different than I feel right now.
Stuart: Yeah. There’s another thing they feel, I think they might not recognize, but they feel that they’re not good enough.
Jason: Yeah. So you’ve just summed up, like 6 billion of the people on the planet.
Stuart: Okay, true. Yeah.
Jason: Except you’re right. You have to be careful about when that idea gets introduced because except for the most purest, I’m going to endure untold amount of pain to grow type of people. It can scare people away who aren’t. They’re just not quite ready to look in that mirror. Right? They need something first.
Stuart: And that’s absolutely true. I had someone at one of my classes during one of the meditations, I just happen to say, you are good enough exactly as you are. She burst into tears. She was absolutely over the moon about doing more classes and hasn’t shown up again since. So you know, that absolutely scared her off.
Jason: Yeah. So I just wonder if there’s a way that you could more closely mirror what is happening naturally for you offline. Online. And much like if I did an advertisement or what I do to the world and said, “I’m paying for this ad. Come and hear about all the hard work that you have to do that will never end, that will most likely scare you to death and lead you into pain that you’ve never dealt with.” Like that’s a tough sell. So if I’m truly trying to serve people, it’s not the best outer wrapper for the package. Right? Because, you just have to meet them where they are. So minimalism, whether or not… I mean on one hand you could say, Stuart could say, “I’m not really into that as much. Like I really liked the meditation.”
Jason: On the other hand, you could go in there with a deep empathy for where they’re at and the understanding that this is their first step. I mean in one way you could describe the attraction to minimalism of like mindfulness of light. It’s something physical, tangible that I can begin to do to shift things around that changes how I feel at a certain level. And so you could just view it as part of the journey, which I’m saying that just so that you kind of get a renewed interest and understanding of why this is so valuable in the context of where you’re going to take them and so your weekly videos, you said twice a week?
Jason: So give me a specific, what might one be called or about?
Stuart: So today was about, how to say no. So why we see no, as a bad thing or you see yes is good. Potential problems in upbringing that’s… Parents have removed resources from us when we’ve said no as a child. And then sitting in that discomfort of saying no [inaudible 00:20:38], go on.
Jason: Are these delivered at a specific time every two days a week or?
Stuart: They’re not, I mean it’s Tuesday and Friday, at a certain point.
Jason: And when are your classes held? What does that schedule, what day?
Stuart: So there is one of them on Tuesday evenings, monthly and I’m now running a Friday evenings weekly but I’ve only had two people on that so far.
Jason: Okay, so how would you compare it? You said, people are more attracted to mindfulness online than meditation per se, or at least the people that are finding you. Can you give me a… How much of a difference is there? Or how did you come to think this?
Stuart: Okay, so meditation is a religious thing. It’s seen as Zen, it’s seen as religion, that sort of stuff. Mindfulness, it’s a growing trend. I think a lot of people are doing it very badly. I talk about the tight rope quite a lot, which you know. I’ve read all about tight rope walking, so I’ll teach you how to walk, a tight rope which is what a lot of the mindfulness teachers are doing. I say I’ve been on the rope for 15 years, I’ve fallen off a few times, I’ve hung by my little finger over a huge precipice. But I think, mindfulness is the attractive thing that people that are kind of seeing as an answer. One of my personal guidance program client says to me, “I’ve got this problem and I’m sure mindfulness is the answer. I’ve got this other problem, I’m sure mindfulness is the answer.”
Stuart: That’s probably partly what the media has been feeding and popular culture. So I think that’s probably where that’s coming from.
Jason: Yeah, so one way to go with that is to work with it. and just say you’re right that is. But the caveat is that Stuart in Stuart’s universe gets to define what mindfulness is. And that’s a definition that you can roll out over time. So that even the most scared of people on the edge, eventually end up doing meditation, transforming their life and going out and telling the world what a great mindfulness teacher Stuart is.
Stuart: And interestingly, I come across a lot of people at networking who come to mind courses and so on. And they say, which is a lot to do with your emails and stuff, they say you talk about this in a way that nobody else talks about it. That’s step one on the ladder of incomparable [inaudible 00:23:07].
Jason: Yeah. That’s view. I mean so you’re way ahead of a lot of people because most people have that covered up. So what happens if you keep doing your videos, you’re talk… You said that you rarely mentioned the email, right?
Jason: Okay. So it’s kind of hard to get someone excited about coming to get your newsletter but if you reconfigured things a little bit more closely to what you’re doing offline. And said at the end of each of your videos, if you want to attend the next monthly mindfulness class online. Get information about it and even watch a sample, go to this page. You’ll see the date for the next class. You can enter your email address and I’ll send you a link so that you can have a clue about not only what it’s going to feel like and be like, what’s the materials that I’ve prepared to I hope you get the most out of it should you decide to come. So we go from twice weekly videos or even once weekly video, whatever you want to do there to a monthly class that’s live. That then lead into the polar program.
Jason: And then email could be to me if, if I’m attracted by video, if that’s why I came to you, it totally makes sense like you were doing to keep that there. They develop an affinity for just the way they feel when you’re on the screen. And I think it’s challenging to build that twice. Once in video and then once in print. Just takes a lot longer and I mean look at the numbers. I know you hardly mention it but my guess would be that, that would continue right. There are way more people on the YouTube channel that are going to pay attention or take action to get the email.
Stuart: Yeah, I would say that’s absolutely true.
Jason: So with the class now moving as step two, we’re giving them more of what we already know they like and we’re going to get their email address in the process. And not only that, but you could use that opportunity. I want to make these classes as valuable as I can for you. Would you please just answer a few questions for me, and then I’ll send you all the information. So now you’re learning a little more than you know about these 1000 or soon to be more YouTube subscribers. And then what is your class… I know this won’t be a meditation class per se, although I’m sure maybe there’ll be some medication sometime, but how would you structure that? What comes to mind?
Stuart: I don’t know that bit yet. No, there certainly would be, I mean my real life we do a body scan meditation to get out of the head and get into the feelings.
Jason: Couldn’t we rename that a mindfulness practice and do the same thing?
Stuart: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Stuart: Yeah, and then we do, it’s actually a very short teaching discussion section. It’s very interactive. So I kind of have a bullet point thing, that I’d like to talk about but very much reliable contributing, which they do, which shows trust is nice. And then we tend to overrun that a little bit. So then we do a further mindfulness practice or further meditation at the end, which is essentially to digest what we’ve talked about during the session. So I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t do that in an online format.
Jason: And you could just to keep it simple and not demoralizing at the beginning because it takes a little while to get going. Just have a few people. That’s perfect. So 2000 YouTube subscribers to five people might be a good ratio. Like that’s realistic.
Stuart: Oh, for sure. Yeah. Yeah.
Jason: And see how that works. So then how would you present… So they like your videos, they trust you enough, they’ve spent an evening out of their life with you, an hour. Then what?
Stuart: Then, so that would be the general classes. The interesting thing then is, do I turn that into a six week course which is for them to want to take it deeper? Here’s the six week thing, which I guess would, to keep the value up, would have one to one time with me. Not one to one but group time with me.
Jason: Is the six week course in real life. Is that group?
Stuart: Yes, yeah.
Jason: Okay, and some on-on-one.
Stuart: There’s no on-on-one, other than I kind of invite them to email me questions that they don’t want to raise in class. They generally they don’t. But someone who’s been on my six week course then signed up my personal guidance program. So is continuing to come to the classes, but is also doing that one to one.
Jason: So is there a reason you would do it any differently?
Stuart: No, there isn’t a reason. I mean, I don’t see a good reason for on-on-one time because there is plenty of value in someone who is that early on the journey, plenty of value for them to receive still from you in a group setting because you’ve already proven that.
Jason: Yeah, sorry, when I said the on-on-one in the course. I meant live Q&A sort of. That can be in there but it can be mass.
Stuart: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. So if I’m watching your YouTube videos, I think I might take an hour out of my time and listen to one of your classes. It’s free. How am I going to learn about six week thing? Tell me the name again. What did you say it’s called?
Jason: It’s just called the Simply Mindfulness, Meditation and Mindfulness course.
Stuart: Okay, can you tell me your best client ever? Whoever that is in your mind and I mean best by the amount of transformation that transpired. How were they before they worked with you and how were they after?
Jason: Okay, so this is someone who’s come directly to one-on-one work. So hasn’t been through those processes. But Essentially, she was brought up by an abusive father and had carried that abuse through her life. She has been through two marriages, failed, and sort of came to me at the end of the second marriage.
Stuart: What was her emotional condition?
Jason: Seemingly very strong, but actually in a complete state, just carrying all of that baggage.
Stuart: Is it fear, is it anger, is it she feels like there’s weight on her shoulders or how would you describe it?
Jason: I’d say it’s essentially numb to be honest. Just from the overwhelming of stuff…
Stuart: Shut down not alive.
Jason: Yes, yeah, yeah, absolutely. Alive is definitely the thing and she now says to me that she feels alive every morning. She loves her life. There’s just all sorts of tiny little signs that she’s… What she’s done actually got in touch with her inner child and has started nurturing that in a child who was never natured during her upbringing. And has allowed that freedom, that playfulness, all of those things that were suppressed from a very young age. Kind of come out and be free.
Stuart: Is it fair to say that someone might experience something similar and or part of that journey through your six week class?
Jason: Certainly, we certainly talk about the inner child. We don’t go too deeply into it. And wondering if that is the follow on the course from the introduction course.
Stuart: But I mean that they could get to the end and say, I went to Stuart’s course, it’s called Wake Up and Love Your Life and after the six weeks I can say that that’s true for me.
Jason: Do you think that, that would be a believable promise that could it be made? This is goal that we are working towards together. This is the first step in the journey, we may not get there…
Stuart: What I would say is, given that promise. Yes, that’s what they’ll discover and that’s the interesting thing because with its current name, they kind of get a bit out of it. With an intent behind it they will get the intent that they’re looking for because the direction of where they’re looking would be in that direction.
Jason: So I think giving it a name that generates the response when they hear it, “I would love that,” because your name is just describing what it is, right? And so the next step is…
Stuart: And I cringed as I sort of put it on the front of the course…
Jason: You’ve got to start somewhere. So we have what it is, we have what they get, the benefit level. But even beyond that, they get the benefit so that what? So come to my meditation class, deal with your anxiety, fear and all that kind of stuff so that you can wake up in six weeks and love your life. And the journey never ends but we can take steps up to that goal in those six weeks. And that’s my promise to you. Like that’s believable. That’s real. That’s true.
Stuart: Yeah, and I believe that so I can present it. Yeah.
Jason: Yeah. Okay. So I think the on-on-one stuff, obviously we’ll probably take care of itself, as the right people present themselves to you. Let’s talk about what you… What do you charge for this, ballpark?
Stuart: So the course was £125 last time round. I’ve bumped it to £175 this time. There didn’t seem to be a lot of resistance there? My on-on-one work, I charge £97 a month, I’ve just bumped that to £250. I think if it’s compelling enough and the right reason, that will happen and I get the right…
Jason: I think the bigger reason to do that is not how much it makes you, but that you’re taking people on a journey where if there is not a certain level of commitment. It doesn’t work so…
Stuart: Absolutely, I saw a video a while ago and it said if you truly wish to help people, you have a duty to charge a lot.
Jason: It’s just the way human nature seems to work.
Stuart: And in fact, I remember seeing, a few years ago, a Dan Kennedy seminar and everyone was coming back slowly from lunch and he said, “If I was paying £10,000 for this seminar, I would come back quicker from lunch.” It’s just that amazing, as you say, human nature, isn’t it?
Jason: Yeah. I think like when I started learning about marketing, like I really thought that it just meant coming up with a good story in lying to people. There’s tons of examples of that. Like, the warehouse sprung a leak. We have 400 extra copies and we have to get rid of them.
Stuart: Yeah, we have a hundred copies of this PDF.
Jason: Yeah and that made it in the book of like the greatest ad campaigns, but it was just a lie. So you can say, with that type of intention, you have to charge a lot. You have to. It’s your duty and that can be a total lie. But you can flavor the exact same behavior, charging a lot with the purest of intentions, like what you just described. So you’re both doing the same things, but energetically you’re creating totally different creation.
Stuart: Absolutely, yeah.
Jason: Okay. So let’s…
Stuart: That’s one of the biggest problems I’ve had with marketing has been authenticity and actually, one of the biggest problems I’ve had is not having an identity. So I’ve always transfer it to other people and thought I should take on their identity. So I watched Dan Kennedy, I must be like him. I was in a mastermind group. If anyone suggested anything, I took their idea along with their energy and their identity and of course that never worked. So now I’m learning to filter this through my identity which is honest authentic, truly deciding to help.
Jason: Yeah, okay. Perfect. So let’s talk about, do you get people coming to you that other people have told about you?
Stuart: I’m not sure I’ve had any directly yet. The people I’m working with now are recommending me on but whether we’ve got any actual referrals coming [inaudible 00:37:50].
Jason: The only reason I ask it, it seems like it’s a unique situation in that no one’s going to climb on to the top of the mountain and shout about how Stuart helped me get over my inner child and terrible childhood, you know?
Stuart: Yeah, absolutely, yeah.
Jason: So one thing to just begin to think about is, how do you work into your conversation… Like you’ve got videos now that you start to make, you can work into that conversation. The next class is coming up, so it’s not like you’re doing a promotion per se. You’re telling the story of your universe kind of all the time and to get that to be your habit. So right now the journal, the email thing is not your habit and so people don’t sign up. So number one, you work that into the conversation, but how do we work in the idea that, dear clients, friends, whatever, however you view them, this work is deep and profound and it’s my greatest wish that if I walk with you on this journey in a way that radically shifts your future that you pay it forward for the sake of everyone.
Jason: Not that you’re commanding them, it’s not a requirement, but it’s just in your con… Like you believe that giving first or you wouldn’t do it. So you can put that in the story because that changes how people view when they receive, which is what they’re going to do with you. And it will be on their mind, “How can I give?” And so to figure out how the parts of business work in you wanting… How can you fit the fundamentals of business into the way you want to treat people? Right, so people can say, “Well, you need a referral system.” “Well, wait a minute. Well, how about if I just build my business by giving first, and making sure that the people that I help understand what a valuable principle that is in getting abundance in their life.”
Jason: It doesn’t sound like a referral program because that kind of belittles what’s actually happening. Okay, so let’s see…
Stuart: There’s something you talked about in one of your emails a while ago and it’s about getting deep into the emotions of your, the people you can help but you can’t call them out on that emotion.
Jason: Sometimes you should, yeah.
Stuart: Yeah. So I’ll often say, share this video with someone who, blah, blah, blah, but you have to be really careful who you’re asking them to share it with, because you can’t say, “Please share this with someone who seems a bit messed up.”
Jason: Yeah. You could always say if this video changed you, share it with someone who you feel could use a change too.
Stuart: Nice, yeah.
Jason: Because I want my life to be different. That’s a safe way to describe what a lot of these people are feeling. I would like to feel different. I would like it to look different. I would like it to be different and so that’s the promise that you make with a title, like Wake Up and Love Your Life, my class. Okay, so what areas of this or unclear or murky or still haven’t we discussed?
Stuart: An interesting thing there then is actually my daily journal, which, it sounds like letting that go is a great idea.
Jason: It could be possibly. I mean, I still think that you want the intimacy of what email allows you to have with someone, but maybe the email is a once a week or once every other week and it takes on a slightly different flavor. Like if they like watching your videos and they like the way that you deliver the information, then what type of an email could further demonstrate that. What would have to be in there?
Stuart: That’s an interesting one. I mean it could be kind of linked resources to the videos is something I could think of.
Jason: Well, you’re still on your own journey, right?
Stuart: Yes. Yeah, yeah for sure.
Jason: And if I’m doing your videos and came to your class, like you’re a very unassuming, gentle person. So you’re not standing up there playing the Godhead guru dude, I’m guessing.
Stuart: No, honestly, I play the anti guru, actually. So I talk about… I position myself away from the gurus.
Jason: Yeah, so one idea possibly for the weekly email or biweekly is taking you on my journey and it’s a written couple paragraphs about the stuff you’re working on and the goals of you telling your story are number one it clar… I mean, it’s not therapy, but it’s a practice for you, right? It’s self work. It allows them to see that no matter how they feel, how bad things are, how much change they want, they don’t have, everybody’s kind of the same. And so it’s kind of empowering without you having to say, “You don’t have it so bad.” It just lets people say that to themselves.
Jason: Like, “Oh, if he’s still dealing with this, I’m not so terrible.” And then you could just end it with however you kind of brought yourself back or what was the next step? Or how did you counsel yourself, I guess. So they’re your learning opportunities from your life events. You’re not really teaching them anything, you’re letting them watch and that would just keep the email channel like open.
Stuart: Yeah, that would be quite tough to open up and do I think.
Jason: Just gradually know.
Stuart: It’s again leading into that discomfort, which is where the growth comes from and building that intimacy and trust I guess with the people who, I’m expecting them to trust me with their stuff, so why don’t I trust them first?
Jason: Well, and ultimately I think it could end up being that somebody would say, “I love that guy’s videos by really… When he sends those emails, like they just really get me thinking.” I can totally see where that would end up being the most attractive thing. It’s the realist, it’s the truest.
Stuart: That’s interesting because some of the most popular videos I’ve done, have the heading Real Life Minimalist. Update or Real Life Minimalist vs. The GARAGE. And there seems to be a niche there for the real life person. Not the person who’s the fancy guru. I often talk about, the person who says they’ve got everything together is lying. So yeah, that’s a beautiful kind of segments.
Jason: So do you still feel like this big wall in between mindfulness and meditation, or how do you view those two topics now?
Stuart: I mean, I personally think they are the same thing. It’s just the way I think the nuance of it is the interesting thing.
Jason: What are the mindfulness people… If I came to you for mindfulness? Can you tell me from your anecdotal experience, how I know if I got it?
Stuart: Okay, it’s when you stop observing your own behavior and doing things differently. So, the guy who used to be really anxious and get angry easily, he was in one of my classes. After a couple of months of classes, he broke down in his car, the car broke down and he took it entirely in his stride. And you just sort of can’t believe how different it is for people who are stressed at work and they’re saying, “I can’t believe how much calmer I am at work.” That’s how they know that…
Jason: It’s almost like lucid dreaming. Like they’re popping out of their movie long enough to know that they’re in a movie and that they can actually exercise conscious control over their responses to the movie.
Stuart: Totally, I don’t know if you’ve come across Tim Freke’s stuff?
Stuart: He’s got a book called Lucid Living, it’s exactly that.
Jason: Yeah. So I don’t why in terms of how you talk about this. It’s like your mastery. You said you don’t know what you want to or you don’t know what you’re mastering, right?
Jason: Seems to me you are mastering a method of service that allows someone to benefit from a process after you have appropriately packaged that process so that they feel invited minus dogma, belief structure, religious affiliation to engage in it. So your mastery is to be able to facilitate this process minus the labels that close the doors to it for people.
Stuart: Sure and that’s one of the things on the top of my posters, my classes is, I can’t remember exactly, it’s like no pressure, no stress, no religious affiliation guarantee, which is still a bit old school copywriting to put a guarantee in there. But they should feel that from how I show up rather than reading it. But yeah, that definitely sounds like something to master, the closest I’ve got was I am mastering mindfulness and the communication of mindfulness but that’s a much more service based…
Jason: Take it one step further. What do people get because of mindfulness? What are the words that you would use?
Stuart: The three words that I’ve used for a long time, even before I went into this bit of business, was simplicity, clarity and freedom.
Jason: Simplicity, clarity and freedom.
Jason: Like transpose that onto somebody’s life for me.
Stuart: So simplicity is they let go of all the drama, the conflict, the mental gymnastics to sort out their life.
Stuart: Clarity is, they kind of know what they want, how to get it, where they’re going. They can see clearly, that lucid dreaming. They’re aware that they’re alive and what’s going on. And then the freedom is the freedom from all of that baggage. All the stuff that they’ve been carrying through their life. Just kind of putting some of that down and walking with a lighter step.
Jason: Okay, so I like those words better than simplicity… How you described it there brings images to somebody’s mind. Simplicity, there’s not a lot of context. And so you forced me to come up with that rather than you painting the picture so that I can say I love that picture.
Stuart: Okay, yeah.
Jason: So, your mastery, let me just think about this for a second. What you’re mastering is guiding people on a journey to live a life that is free of conflict, drama, emotional baggage, in a way that allows them to develop clarity, a purpose and direction, and embrace the freedom that is all around them.
Stuart: That sounds like a fair assessment of what I do.
Jason: Yeah, no meditation. The structure doesn’t matter. Like the destination matters and that’s when you know it’s true because it can appeal to everyone and yet it’s extremely specific. But who wouldn’t want that? So I would couple…
Stuart: What we would want is those who are scared of what might be involved.
Jason: Yeah, they’re not for you. That’s perfect.
Stuart: And all the people who’ve absolutely got it all together or are too egoic and think they have it all together. I guess that’s, to actually answer that question, you wouldn’t want that.
Jason: So I would couple those phrases with a result based name for the class. The six week class because they find your YouTube videos in like 4 million different ways, right?
Jason: So we don’t need the biggest of ideas for that because we want them to come through a narrow door because it’s the right thing for them, “Oh, this is real life mindfulness. That’s what I need.” Like that’s enough to watch a video. But the six week class needs something with the level of emotional content that really speaks to people.
Stuart: I’ve had my emotions shut down for 40 odd years. So I struggle to, almost empathize or figure out what that is. But yeah that’s definitely, you talk in your daily journal about it. That’s the hard work is to find the right package, to find that thing. And that’s really helped get some of that stuff going.
Jason: I mean, I think you can draw on the whole child idea because that’s who you’re dealing with. You’re dealing with children inside the bodies of adults, right?
Stuart: Absolutely, yeah.
Jason: So even when you’re trying to figure out how do I say it up there? For you to step back and say, well, how would a kids… Like that’s the pure message. Like how would a kid deliver something like that? What would get him excited or her excited? Because, we’re dealing with… We’re all children basically. Almost all of us and so that’s the emotional palette that the people certainly before they’ve come to you are dealing with. So, okay. What else? Any other parts of this process that seemed clunky?
Stuart: Just trying to sort of piece it all together in my mind now.
Jason: Keep two times a week videos, put into the conversation, “If you want information about the next class that’s upcoming. I do want every week.” It can be an evergreen video, no dates. You just say I do one every month, sorry, “Go to this page to get more information.” Then once you get their email, you start sending them the weekly, Growing Up With Stuart, Walking With Stuart, whatever you want to call it. And you can also send out your announcements about the next class. You have the materials to know if it’s right for them or prepare to get a lot out of it. And then also use that email opt-in page to learn more about them by saying like, “I want to make this class as good as I can for you. So tell me who you are.”
Stuart: Just the magic wand exercise, I’ve used it a couple of times and it’s always very telling. Which is now, if I waved a magic ones tonight and it solved all your problems, what would be the first things you notice in the morning that lets you know that magic’s occurred.
Jason: Yeah. What do they say?
Stuart: I actually haven’t done it recently enough to know the answer, but I even did it on myself this week and it’s incredible when we do that exercise. So yeah, I will kind of redo that sort of stuff.
Jason: I mean, I think the name for your six week class could be Wake Up and blank, blank, blank, whatever the answer to that magic wand question is for most of the people.
Jason: Okay, yeah. That’s a great idea yeah. But Love Your Life will do for now until I’ve got the answer.
Stuart: Yeah, awesome. Well, tell everybody where they can find you and should anyone want to, not meditate and get more mindful. Or whatever they want to do, how can they find you?
Jason: So they can find me at simplymindfulness.com or they can go to YouTube and search for Simply Mindfulness and they’ll see the logo with the little Zen stones and if you click on those, that’s me.
Stuart: Awesome. Thank you so much.
Jason: It was a great time.
Stuart: No, thank you. It’s been enlightening.
Jason: Yeah. Let me know how it goes. Best wishes.
Stuart: Sure will.