739: Greater Happiness and Success through the Principles of Influence with Brian Ahearn

By January 31, 2022Podcasts

 

 

Brian discusses how influence really boils down to investing in people.

You’ll Learn:

  1. The secret to liking and being liked 
  2. How to use contrast to be more persuasive
  3. How to use LinkedIn to create real-life connections 

About Brian

Brian Ahearn is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE. An international trainer and consultant, he specializes in applying the science of influence in everyday situations. He is one of only a dozen individuals in the world who holds the Cialdini Method Certified Trainer designation. 

Brian’s first book, Influence PEOPLE: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical, was named one of the Top 100 Influence Books of All Time by BookAuthority. His LinkedIn courses have been viewed by more than 400,000 people around the world.  

Resources Mentioned

Brian Ahearn Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Brian, welcome back to How to be Awesome at Your Job.

Brian Ahearn
Thank you for having me on, Pete. I appreciate it.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, I’m excited to hear some more wisdom about influence coming out of your book, The Influencer: Secrets to Success and Happiness. But, first, I think we need to hear a little bit about for your wife’s 52nd birthday, you had quite…you orchestrated quite the gifting situation. Tell us the story.

Brian Ahearn
I did. I like to give unique gifts to my wife. And when she turned 52, I thought, “What can I do?” It’s not a birthday that people typically celebrate. And when I asked people, “What do you think of with the number 52?” most often I hear them say, “That’s the number of cards in a deck of cards.” True. But there’s also 52 weeks in a year. So, my gift to her was a gift a week for the entire year. So, every weekend, whether on Saturday or Sunday, I had a gift for her to open up.

Pete Mockaitis
So, we’re talking about a physical item?

Brian Ahearn
Yes.

Pete Mockaitis
Hotdog.

Brian Ahearn
Every week there was something that was wrapped that she got an opportunity to unwrap, and it was a surprise.

Pete Mockaitis
How do you even think of 52 relevant…? Give us some examples. Well, it’s tricky, my anniversary, wife’s birthday, and Christmas come all in the month of December, so I’ve really got to be thinking ahead of the game, like, “Okay, which gifts for which occasion?” And I find it challenging. So, you’ve done 52 of them. What’s the trick?

Brian Ahearn
Yeah. Well, the trick was, one, I was a good listener, paid attention to the things that she was saying. And then, two, I incorporated the help of a daughter because sometimes we’d go to the mall, and she might say, “Oh, mom wants eyeshadow but she just didn’t want to get it for herself. She thought it was a little bit expensive,” so I would pick it up.

And what I did, Pete, was I always had anywhere from five to eight gifts at the ready. So, I kept them in a bin and I would bring them upstairs from the basement, and then she could shake the boxes and choose the one that she wanted. So, I was never under pressure, like, “Oh, my gosh, what am I going to get her this week?” So, my daughter was a huge help. And between that, we just got some momentum. And the more I did it, actually the easier it got.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, I imagine, with any skill, there is building and development. It kind of reminds me of doing a podcast. You’ve got to be a few episodes ahead, and then it just flows. Like, new people booked, and then we just keep that chain moving, 700 plus episodes in.

Brian Ahearn
And you don’t have to spend a lot. It really becomes the thought that counts and the uniqueness of things. So, as an example, my wife is the handyman around the house. She does almost all of the repairs. She enjoys that challenge. One time, I got her a hanging light so that if she was under the sink or somewhere, that she could just bring that light and she could hang it. And she thought, “That is so cool. I wouldn’t have gotten that for myself.”

So, there was really odd and unique things, but it was every week. It was fun when I would bring that bin up, and I will say on the positive side, as a husband, you’ll relate to this, if you’re having a bad week, you could always say, “Hey, I got you a gift.” It made everything better.

Pete Mockaitis
I’ll keep that in mind. All right. Well, you’ve got another book here, The Influencer: Secrets to Success and Happiness. You went with a parable style this time. What’s your thinking there?

Brian Ahearn
Well, I love teaching people about the psychology of persuasion, the science of influence, and I was well aware, after having written my first two books, that there are some people who will not pick up a heavy business/psychology book, which my first book Influence PEOPLE was. And then there are some people will never pick up the sales book, because they’ll say, “Well, I’m not in sales so I’m not going to pick that book up.”

And I wanted to reach a wider audience, and I thought, “Well, most people like stories, and the business parable seems to be a very popular genre,” so I decided I would give my hand a try at writing that. And I had extra time, we were all locked down for quite a while, and so I used that time productively to write in a story format.

Pete Mockaitis
All right. Well, so tell us, for diehard fans of How to be Awesome at Your Job, who have heard you here three times, I think you’re the only one who’s been here four times, so kudos. I just love influence and I love the way you talk about it, so here we are. What’s something you can share about influence that we haven’t heard in the first three occasions? And, yeah, lay it on us.

Brian Ahearn
Okay. Well, one story that really stands out to me is around a character named Al Harris. So, let me back up and say that the lead character in the book, John Andrews, you meet him when he’s born, you learn a little about his family, he was off to college, learns a little bit about influence in a Psych 101 class, but doesn’t really get it until he gets out in the work world. And when he gets his job, he starts learning from coaches, mentors, and clients, and really begins to see the application of influence.

And one of the people that he meets is Al Harris. Now, Al was based on a real person, Al Janette that I have known for more than 30 years. And almost every character in the book has its basis in somebody who had an impact on my life. So, in the story, our lead character, John, meets Al. He’s at his medical facility, and when they go to lunch, he’s courting him as a prospective client.

He says, “Al, I got to ask you something because I’ve been to a lot of medical facilities before, but yours really has a family atmosphere. What is it? What’s different about your office?” And Al says, “Well, I’m going to let you in on something I don’t tell everybody. I’m alcoholic and I try to hire people who are on the path to recovery.” And, of course, John is a little bit shocked because this guy doesn’t seem he’d be alcoholic, and so they start to have this conversation.

And what Al explains to him is that people, if they can overcome the disease, he feels like working in the medical facility will be easy for them, and he wants to give them a sense of purpose, and give them some feelings that maybe they hadn’t had before, and so he brings them in. And what John learns is the principle of unity because Al lets him know that, “When I’m helping another alcoholic, it’s almost like I’m helping myself. And when that other alcoholic succeeds, or helps me, it’s almost like I’m succeeding and they’re helping themselves. So, we have this unity.”

And it goes from his head to his heart, that is John, he really, all of a sudden, is like, “I get it now that this deep, deep connection that you have with other people,” which Cialdini calls the principle of unity, and I really learned that from my friend Al because, about three years ago, when I was getting ready to speak at his insurance agency, we were driving into the office, and he said, “Oh, so and so that you’re bowling with last night, he’s a recovering alcoholic.” And we had a conversation very similar to what the characters in the book had. And it was really wonderful to be able to honor Al and teach the world what Al taught me.

Pete Mockaitis
Yes, and it’s beautiful, the unity notion, and I’m thinking about our conversation with Bob Cialdini. Thanks for introducing us.

Brian Ahearn
You’re welcome.

Pete Mockaitis
About how, I think it was, “I’m a student here, too,” like doubled the response rate associated with asking for something. So, unity is so powerful. And that’s a cool way to think about it. It’s like in helping them, it’s like you’re helping yourself but it’s also not selfish at the same time. So, unity – cool.

Brian Ahearn
Exactly. Now, something that was really cool, later in the book, as John is mentoring somebody, he thinks this person has a drinking problem, and he confronts him about it, and, ultimately, he hooks him up with Al, and Al spent some time with him, and I won’t say what happens. I’ll let readers read about that. But what was really cool, Pete, was I was in Grand Rapids at the end of September to speak at an insurance conference, and I randomly sat down at the bar for dinner one night when I didn’t have plans, and the person who was next to me was really drunk.

And we ended up having a conversation for a couple of hours, and I gave him my business…

Pete Mockaitis
Hours?

Brian Ahearn
Yeah.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay.

Brian Ahearn
And I gave him my business card, and I said, “I really enjoyed speaking with you tonight, and I’d like to stay in touch. Now, you’ve got my number and my email.” Well, he connected with me and, ultimately, I connected him with my friend Al. My wife was like, “Oh, my gosh, it’s like your book is playing out in real life.” So, that was really cool.

Pete Mockaitis
That is cool. And I don’t know if I’ve ever had a conversation with a really drunk person for two hours, so that’s noteworthy in and of itself in terms of what gets shared.

Brian Ahearn
It’s a God thing.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, what gets shared and what you cover.

Brian Ahearn
And I’m still in touch with him. He sent me a text yesterday and said he had gotten my book, and so who knows? That conversation and my connecting him with Al, just like in the book, may set him on a path that changes the course of his life, and that feels good.

Pete Mockaitis
Indeed. And so, actually, that’s the perfect segue, Brian, because that’s where we want to go next in terms of so, influence, you say it’s not just about getting what you want, or hitting a sales quota, or achieving some career objective but it plays a role in our broader success and happiness. Can you expand upon that?

Brian Ahearn
Sure. I know that your listeners, they want to be the best they can be at work but they also want to have a positive impact, positively influence other people, and I think this book, the narrative really shows them how, through the arc of their life, influence, not only helps them succeed the office but can help them succeed at home, whether it’s their relationship with their spouse, with their kids, their neighbors, and every one of those is a part of this book.

John has an interaction with a neighbor whose nickname is Bud, and he’s based on a real person that I know whose nickname is Bud. And what I saw with Bud was, four or five years ago, I went out to San Diego to go to his daughter’s wedding, and my wife was with me, and we were in San Diego, and she said, “Oh, I want to play Torrey Pines, the world-famous golf course where they played the US Open many times.”

So, my friend, even though his daughter is getting married and he’s busy, he said, “What time do you need to be at the golf course?” because he had a car. And she said, “I need to be there by 6:30,” and he’s like, “I’ll be downstairs at 6:00 o’clock.” And true to his words, he was. We went to the golf course, she got on at like 7:00 a.m. tee time. And I tell you, Pete, I think he was happier for her than even how happy she was. And it just hit me, he has this rare quality of more joy in his friends’ happiness than his own good fortune.

So, the character Bud in the book is that comes forth as John interacts with him as a neighbor, and you get to see that giving isn’t about what you’re going to get from the other person. Most of the time, it’s just about the feeling that you get in knowing that you’ve helped somebody. And then you start to realize your joy is almost unlimited because there’s always opportunity to help others.

Pete Mockaitis
That is so beautiful. And then, as we think about influence principles, like reciprocity, it’s true that that person, the golf example, well, now, she really wants to…if that guy wants favor, she’s going to hook him up because that was huge, so there’s reciprocity in action as an influence principle. But in terms of the joy from the giving and serving, it’s like I’m thinking of Charlie Sheen and bi-winning, “You’re winning twice.” You’re winning because you’re serving someone and feeling the joy in serving them, and you’re winning because you’re building reciprocity so you’ve got some trust and relationship capital there that may very well be helpful when you need to make a request in the future.

Brian Ahearn
Yeah. And I hope that people who would read the book would really start to lay hold of that, in that, yes, reciprocity is a natural human tendency to feel an obligation to give back when someone first gives to you. And so, we do try to engage that to help people and to maybe make a sale or whatever the things are. But I want people to start getting deeper and start to realize that even though I might get something from that other person, the truth is I will always get something. If I do it in the right spirit, I will get that feeling of joy knowing that I’ve helped make somebody else’s life better.

And my purpose, with my business, Influence PEOPLE, I always say is professional success and personal happiness, and I want people to start going, “Hey, a lot of my happiness is going to come when I get to know and like these people, and then I genuinely want to help them, and I can just step back and feel that joy that comes with that.”

Pete Mockaitis
That’s awesome. Thank you. Cool. Well, then so tell us, what might be some of the, if we think about John, the protagonist, learning some things in the book and having them hit not just the head but the heart, what are some other top lessons learned that you think have the capacity to both improve our persuasiveness as well as our happiness and success?

Brian Ahearn
Well, in one section, as he is being mentored as a newbie at his role at a medical supply company, he is doing a ride-along with Ben Blackstone. Now, Ben Blackstone is based on a person I knew, Ben Blackman, who was a Cialdini student and very good at utilizing all of the principles. And during this ride-along, he notices that Ben’s customers love him. They really, really like this guy.

So, of course, John is this young trainee, and he says, “What’s the secret? Your customers clearly like you. What do you do to get them to like you?” And Ben kind of slyly says, “I don’t do anything to get them to like me.” Of course, John presses, he’s like, “You must do something because it’s so apparent how much they like you,” and he keeps kind of like playing with him and putting him off, like, “No, I don’t do anything to get them to like me.” And then, finally, John says, “Well, then I give up. I’m missing something.” And then Ben reveals the secret, and he says, “I never do anything to get people to like me. I do everything I can to like the people I’m with.”

And, to me, that’s the gamechanger with the principle of liking. It’s not about me doing what I can, Pete, to get you to think, “Oh, I’m so cool and you ought to hang out with me.” It’s me doing everything I can to get to know you and like you, and to find joy in our interaction. And I think that’s where people, when they sense that, and we all have pretty good BS meters, but when we really believe somebody truly likes us, we become so much more open to the interactions that we have with that person. But the good news is the more I get to know and like you, then I really, really want your best. And that way, whatever I’m putting on the table is received differently to you, and we really create that win-win.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, that’s powerful. And tell us, then, what are some of the best ways that we can get ourselves to like someone else? So, one is that curiosity, learning and asking questions. Any particular questions or other ways that we can develop some more liking for somebody?

Brian Ahearn
Well, it’s interesting, Pete, that two people can do the same things. So, we know what the principle of liking, for example, we find what we have in common. If we learn that we went to the same university, had the same pet, grew up in the same hometown, any of those things that we find we have in common, you naturally like me more, and I naturally like you more.

Or, if I pay you a genuine compliment. Now, one person can do it with an intent just to get something. And if there’s any used car salesmen out there, I’m sorry, that’s quite often what we think about used car salesmen will say and do anything to get you to buy a car, and we can usually sniff that out a mile away.

So, the difference, I think, is the mindset that we go in. We still want to connect and what we have in common, we want to pay the genuine compliments, we want to look for ways to work together that will lead to success, but I’m not doing it to get you to like me. I’m doing it because deep down I’m saying, “I want to enjoy the people that I work with, the customers that I serve, the vendors that I deal with, and so I will choose to do this in order to have that enjoyment.” And, to me, that’s the difference-maker because it comes across differently at that point.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s cool. Thank you. So, that’s huge in terms of it comes across differently when you do genuinely like them. And so, totally, a hundred percent, that makes sense. I guess I’m thinking about maybe if there are people or people at certain times that you find hard to like. I think about, it’s funny, holidays that seems to be a thing with regards to, “Uh-oh, Thanksgiving. Oh, Christmas dinner with the crazy uncle who has the completely different political or whatever belief that just makes you or everybody else upset.” Okay, so I guess that’s a trope but it’s the trope we’re in during this time of year.

So, yeah, when liking is hard to come by, how do we, as authentically as possible, access more of it for somebody?

Brian Ahearn
Well, there is a character in the book and based on somebody that I really had difficulty with getting connected to, and his name is Braden. And when John moves into a new team and he begins to interact with that guy, he feels like everything that I do with other people that seems to foster relationship and help to have good working environment is not working with this guy. So, there ends up being an opportunity for him to kind of confront that, and he did so in a soft way but by asking a question.

And he just really says, “Look, I really try to like the people that I work with but you seem to be very hard to get to know. What gives? What’s up?” And he prefaces it with, “I’m going to ask you something and if you’re not comfortable, please then you don’t have to answer, but I’m doing what I can to really try to get to know you and foster this working relationship. It’s not getting anywhere. Is there something I’m missing?”

And then the guy opens up and he begins to share something. It’s almost like the air is let out of a balloon, somebody is finally showing interest in him, and he opens up. And that opening up really begins to foster a relationship with him. So, I share that to say when there are people who are difficult, first of all, always know they’re probably difficult for a lot of other people so don’t take it personally. But I really believe if you can break through with those people, that you will find that there’s somebody on the other side who is really an awesome person to know but they’re not letting it out.

And that can be a self-defense mechanism. It could be that, well, because people don’t respond well to them, they just put up this wall and then they can justify to themselves, “Well, I don’t need somebody to pat me on the back,” or, “I don’t need someone to like me. I’m okay just the way I am.” But, really, inside, they’re desperate for wanting people to connect with them.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s powerful. Thank you. Well, I don’t think we talked much in our previous conversations about how to use the contrast principle to be all the more persuasive. Can you speak to that?

Brian Ahearn
Sure. Well, contrast tells us that two things can appear more different depending on how they’re presented. An example that I used with my other books is, Pete, if you walked into a store, and let’s say you’re looking at a couch, and I’m the salesperson, and you’re looking at it, and you asked how much the couch is, and if I say $799, and then moments later, I come back and I say, “I’m sorry, I made a mistake. It’s $999.” Suddenly, you don’t feel very good about that couch.

But if you’re looking at that same couch and I had told you $799, and then I come back and I say, “Oh, I’m sorry. It’s actually $599.” So, what I say first dramatically impacts how you experience what comes next. That very same couch can be looked at entirely differently based on what it is that I did beforehand. And I think people need to always be aware of this because something that we emphasize when we do in-depth training with people is this.

The principles that we talk about may not always be available. You may not have, for example, scarcity, or you might not be able to tap into social proof. But contrast is always available because human beings are always making comparisons to things. We talk about, “Is that car expensive or inexpensive?” “Is he tall or short?” Those are comparative statements.

And once we realized that, we need to step back and say, “Whatever it is that I’m off or whatever it is that I might ask, how can I put something out that becomes the comparison point so I don’t leave it to chance as to what that person may be thinking? I kind of set the comparison point so that what I present next looks most favorable.” Does that make sense?

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, it is. And it’s funny, I recently purchased a newer vehicle. It’s the Mazda CX5, and I love it. And it’s funny, we’ve operated at zero cars for a very, very long time at our household. And then with toddlers and COVID, and then moving from Chicago to Tennessee, it’s just like sort of changed the game, and so now we have two cars after so long with zero cars, and that’s been fine for my Chicago lifestyle.

And it’s so funny because it felt kind of pricey but then it’s so relative in terms of it’s like, “Well, it feels pricey compared to a Chevy Aveo or similar,” via economy class, the thing that they put forward in rental cars, but if I look at this relative to some Teslas, Genesis, BMW, I feel like I got quite a bargain. And so, you’re right, like it completely changes the way you think about it in terms of like, “Am I being irresponsible in splurging too much?” versus, “Wow, I am such a prudent steward of finances and value-seeker.” That really resonates.

Brian Ahearn
Yeah. And so, again, if you’re the person who’s trying to influence another, what is a legitimate comparison point that you might present that could make whatever it is that you’re offering look more valuable? Like you, I got a new car last year so I’ve had it for like 15 months now, and it was a really nice car. I’d never been a car guy, and so I never thought I would buy a Lexus, but my wife’s father always drove them, and she’s like, “These are beautiful cars.” Once I drove it, I fell in love with it.

But what I realized, too, that even though I was paying a good bit more for that car than I had ever for a car, I also started saying, “You know what, if this car operates like his have, I’ll have this car for at least 10 years because they are so reliable as long as you maintain them.” And my wife had had one for a long time and it was a phenomenal car. So, that became my comparison point. If I have this thing for 10 years, what I spent on that car is nothing for what I’ll get over the life of that car.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s right, yeah. So, the contrast is really…it’s kind of like framing or contextualizing in terms of like how do we frame it in terms of the lifetime. And it’s funny, we talk about cars, like Tesla does that with that too, like, “Oh, well, when you take into account the savings you’re going to get from governmental electric vehicle support and not gas,” it’s like plain on their website and maybe they’ve updated it. It’s kind of funky, like, “Wait a minute. How much money am I really giving you right now because of how you’ve presented these figures?” So, very cool. Thank you.

Well, Brian, you tell me, anything else you really want to make sure to mention before we hear about a few more of your favorite things?

Brian Ahearn
Well, I think we’ve talked a lot about relationship, and I think that’s the foundation of John Andrews and his success and his happiness. Now, all the principles are certainly talked about throughout the book, but what I would encourage people is, when we talked about the principle of liking and how important it is to come to like the other person. If you really think about it, Pete, how that informs the other principles because, once I really get to know and like you, I probably understand how to give better, I understand how to engage reciprocity in a much more meaningful way.

If the more I get to know, if I want to engage social proof by talking about similar others, well, I know you so I know people who, then, are similar. If I am utilizing the principle of consistency, what have you said or done or believed, well, I found that out by getting to know you. So, for me, it is the foundation that the house is built on is the principle of liking and, even deeper than that, if you want to say the basement would be unity if you can really find genuine unity with somebody. But I think everything else gets built from that.

And I think, in this time where we are so divided in so many ways, if more people would say, “Every interaction I want to go into, I want to get to know and like these people, even if they look vastly different than me on the surface in terms of their beliefs and their values and things, there have to be things that we also share in common.” And can we focus on those to say, “Even though we’re different, I really do like you”? I think our workplaces, I think our society, I think our world will be much better off.

Pete Mockaitis
I like that so much in terms of like the relationship and the liking. And I’m thinking in our own podcast operations, when we invite guests, so sometimes we have incoming pitches, but more and more lately we’ve been seeking out people proactively based on listener requests for certain topic areas, which is like 10 times, 20 times as hard, like generating names out of thin air and research, research, research. But I think it results in a finer product that listeners love all the more, I hope.

And so, I think we used to, in our “Come on down. Be on the show” email, just sort of say, “Hey, we’ve interviewed some impressive people, like…” big name, big name, big name. And so, that has some power associated with it, like, “Oh, those guys are a big deal. And if they said yes, maybe I should say yes too,” like social proof.

But I think what we’ve done is make it a little bit more customized in terms of we now say “…and we’ve interviewed people you know such as…” person, person, person “…based upon our mutual shared connections on LinkedIn. And even more so…” ideally, if it’s someone who has endorsed their book, “This is someone you look up to and admire if you request that they endorse your book, and we happen to have them, which, after 700 interviews and plus, that’s semi-frequent nowadays,” as well as sort of like the closer they are to their field. Like, “Oh, this person is an academic versus a business leader versus a bestselling author kind of vibes.”

And I haven’t done a hard AB comparative test but we have seen our rates of acceptance rise. And so, I think that’s beautiful in terms of, okay, yes, okay, we’re talking about social proof and social proof, but it’s like social proof plus because it’s based on doing some extra time and effort and energy associated with, “Who is this person? Who do they know? And who might they admire?”

Brian Ahearn
Yup, I think the extra time and energy is always worth it because people pick up on that. A very common one is, you mentioned LinkedIn, if I send a request to somebody, I always have a personal message in it. Now, if I’m sending out a lot, I might do a copy and paste, so it might be, “Pete, I know you were at the conference, yadda, yadda, yadda,” “Joe, I know you were at the conference,” but every person gets a personal email, and I’m very diligent about that.

I mention the conference I spoke at in Grand Rapids. There were about 400 insurance agents there. Every one of them that I could find on LinkedIn, I send a personal request. And I had hundreds that connected with me. Those are my potential customers. Those are the people that I could help the most given my background in insurance, so it was totally worth the extra time and effort to go and do that.

Pete Mockaitis
Absolutely. Brian, you know, it’s funny, I’ve hung around a lot of speakers who are all interested in growing their businesses, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone mentioned doing that, which makes total sense because they already know you, a little bit, and they may not have spoken to you but they heard you talk for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, so like, “Oh, Brian, I recognize that name and that face, and I heard him say some things. And I thought he was at least moderately entertaining and insightful, if not epically unforgettably entertaining and insightful,” which I imagine is the latter in your performances.

So, it’s a far cry from a total cold random LinkedIn message, and now you’re connected, and then that’s like, “Oh, I know a guy. I know a guy who does this stuff.” It’s like we’ve gone from, “I saw a guy speak once. What was his name?” to, “I know a guy, and he’s in my connections. And even if I can’t remember your name three years from now from that LinkedIn connection, I know where to dig it up pretty quick.”

Brian Ahearn
Yeah. Well, I tell you, Pete, I’m heading to Santa Fe next week to work with a small insurance operation, and it’s because I reached out and connected with somebody at a conference I spoke at four years ago. And when this person reached back, I honestly didn’t remember the name, but I looked and I had sent him a personal, and we just didn’t have any other interaction beyond that, but he remembered that he liked the talk. And because he was connected, he was able to find me, and that’s what led to this great opportunity to go to Santa Fe.

So, it works but you can’t just look at it and say, “Well, gosh, I don’t have an hour to do this, or two hours, or whatever.” You do. If it’s important enough, you have the time to do it, and you have to believe that you’re putting in, you’re investing at this point but it will pay dividends down the road.

Pete Mockaitis
Beautiful. Thanks. Well, now, let’s hear, do you have another favorite quote that you might want to share with us?

Brian Ahearn
The favorite quote that I share a lot, and this is top of mind right now because I just had coffee with my old high school football coach, and it was 40 years ago now that I played my last game and played under him, and we have stayed in contact since then because he truly cares about his players more than winning games. It’s the men we become, the husbands, the fathers, the businesspeople, productive people in society.

And he always told us that opportunity, or luck was where preparation and opportunity met. Now, I mistakenly thought he’s the one who came up with the quote. Somebody told me it was Seneca, the Roman philosopher, but, still, my coach is the one who imparted it. And because he had such an influence on my life, and I think about that all the time, that whenever an opportunity arises, I need to be ready for that.

And so, I stay sharp on all the things that I do. If somebody called me tomorrow, and said, “Brian, could you get on a plane and go here and give a one-hour talk?” Boom, I’m there because I’m always ready to do those things because of what he impressed upon me.

Pete Mockaitis
Lovely. And a recent favorite book?

Brian Ahearn
A recent favorite, other than my book?

Pete Mockaitis
Mm-hmm, “The Influencer: Secrets to Success and Happiness.”

Brian Ahearn
I just finished a book called You Have More Influence Than You Think.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, yeah.

Brian Ahearn
And I heard Vanessa on the Behavioral Grooves podcast, and it sounded really interesting so I connected with her on LinkedIn, and said, “Hey, I’ve been on the podcast like you,” and so it’s a very natural connection. Picked up the book and it was just a different angle of looking at influence, and I found it really, really interesting and the research that she shared. So, I would say that’s the most recent one but, really, I’ve read a lot of books over the year but that one really, really stood out for me.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s right. We had her on the show, and it was thought-provoking in all the best ways. And if folks want to learn more or get in touch, where would you point them?

Brian Ahearn
Well, I’d say connect with me on LinkedIn. And as I did probably the first three times, I promised anybody who reaches out, if you don’t tell me how you found me, you will get a reply back to say, “How did you find me?” I just like to know why people are reaching out, but it’s that opportunity to start some dialogue. If they say, “Hey, I heard you on Pete’s podcast,” I’m still going to reply back and say, “I love Pete and his show, and thank you for reaching out.” So, there will be personal interaction if you do. And then the other place, too, is my website InfluencePEOPLE.biz. You’ll be able to find my email, my number if you want to connect with me through that, plus, all the resources that are available there.

Pete Mockaitis
And do you have a final challenge or call to action for folks looking to be awesome at their jobs?

Brian Ahearn
My call to action would go back to what we’ve already talked about a lot, that the principle of liking is the foundation that everything else is built upon. And I would just challenge people, if nothing else, that tomorrow, when you go to work, or whatever it is that you’re going to do, that you pause and tell yourself, “I want to like this person that I’m going to interact with. What can I do to connect with them, to compliment them, to get myself to really like them because, if nothing else, I will enjoy that interaction more?” And I think people will be very pleasantly surprised at how people respond when you go in with that attitude.

Pete Mockaitis
Brian, thank you. This has been a treat. And I wish you more success and adventures and fun in your influencing.

Brian Ahearn
Thank you, Pete. I really appreciate it.

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