You can listen to the podcast and read the show notes here.
In this interview, I spoke with Till Carlos.
Till: Any time I hear you posting something on a forum or just writing messages sometimes about difficult topics where something needs to be done, you write WWIT. Tell me what it is and educate me on the importance of this mantra or whatever it is.
Michael: First of all, what does it stand for? It's What Would It Take.
Michael: OK? You were saying that you were at another meeting and you were saying, “Hey, maybe we can't get together for this interview today.” I asked you, “What would it take to get together today?” Would be the full version of what I asked you. Then you came up with a solution.
Till: Yeah, I cut the last minute in half and went here by taxi.
Michael: Yeah. It all worked out perfect. When we're in business, we often have challenges and problems. It's easy to focus on the problem, to worry about things. That's something I used to do in my business. I just worry, “What happens if the money doesn't come in? What am I going to do?”
Till: Everyone focuses on that.
Michael: It focuses me. It focuses the brain on the problem, not on the solutions. Energetically, Law of Attraction, if you're focusing on worry about the bad things will happen, it tends to attract bad things. Asking “What will it take,” flips that around. It focuses on solutions and not on the problem. Energetically, it tends to attract solutions. When you put something in Google and Google gives you all these results back, when you go ask, “What will it take,” to your own brain, it's like you're sending off your own brain.
As soon as you ask the question to your own brain, it wants to find answers. It's gone off on it's own little search. It's now searching the solutions space. What would work here? The way that it's phrased, “What will it take,” there is an implied thing there that it's actually going to happen. It's also saying, “Hey, do take some action.” What tends to happen is you come up within, what I called “inspired actions”. “Oh, I could take a taxi” or what will it take to get 10 more clients this month? I could do this or that or this. You come up with inspired actions to do.
Till: Because there no limits? No boundaries could be possible so you're just dreaming, brainstorming and then …
Michael: Right. That's the basics of what will it take. You have a problem, you ask “What will it take to get what I want?” You might need to reframe it a bit, the wording.
Michael: To say what you actually want, as opposed to focusing on the problem. If your problem is you don't have enough money, you say, “What will it take to get a certain amount of money?” You can play around with that. With the money thing, suppose you need $10,000 in your business, you could say, “What will it take to have $10,000 by this Friday?” It's good to put a time period in there because otherwise, your brain is not necessarily searching for the right solutions, right.
If you say, “What will it take to get $10,000 by 2020?” That's a little different from $10,000 by next Friday. It's good to be specific. You can also play around with that because you can ask that question but you can also say, “What will it take to get $1,000 by this Friday?” If that's too overwhelming, say, “What will it take to get $3 by this Friday?” Hopefully, you can find $3 in your business.
Till: Then you would step it up.
Michael: You can just play around. Why don't you just play around with different amounts? You can just play around with all the different amounts because maybe you get different answers to different levels and they're all possibly useful answers.
Till: What was the biggest thing you have ever come up with by asking this?
Michael: Is it OK to tell dangerous stories in this channel? I didn't know.
Till: We already said “Fuck” a couple of times. We talked about penis and vagina.
Michael: We did? I wasn't counting. OK.
Till: I think this video will be excavated but we'll be all right.
Michael: OK. Good. I was on the [va-til 00:04:07] X Channel. I mean, I've used it for a lot of things. I've used it for business things, I've used it to get big deals, like that 80,000-deal I told you about, I used it in that to help get that. The thing that first came to my mind was I was in Saigon in Vietnam and I wanted to get a regular massage. I go to this massage parlor down the street from hotel. It looks OK. I must admit, I wasn't really paying attention to my intuition because they take me up to the fourth floor for the massage.
I'm like, “That's a bit weird. Why do we have to go up so high?” Anyway, she wanted to give me a happy ending. I just wanted a regular massage. She stopped trying to give me a happy ending. She gave me the regular massage. Then the guy, her manager comes in, and does this whole emotional scene to try and shake me down for as many Vietnamese dong as they could. They had a bill that said they had extra things that they hadn't done. They had given me some things I had not … They put a face mask me which I hadn't asked for. They slapped it on before I could get if off. Then she wanted a tip, right. First of all, she wanted half a million Vietnamese dong for a tip. She was crying. It was like …
Till: Is that $25?
Michael: There is three other guys in the room, one of who, had some scars on his face, looked like he might beat me up. Someone else just looked a bit confused. Someone else was supposed to be her brother. Obviously, they practiced. I could tell on my level, this was a little game they play on tourists. On the other hand, you don't know quite how it's going down. I am on the fourth floor of this house. I can't just walk out and walk easily. I kept asking. I did the line, I sent love and light to all of them. I kept asking, “What will it take to get what I want,” which was to leave safely at a reasonable price.
Till: What happened?
Michael: She did her crying play. I ended up giving her 100,000 dong, she left the scene. Then there was the tough guy and the dumb guy. I kept … I think the thing that really got to them is I kept being nice and smiling. They're threatening me indirectly. Then he gets his boss on the phone, who is obviously in the room downstairs. Anyway, we negotiated a thing. I didn't pay that much more than the massage was. I think the massage was supposed to be 300,000 dong. I ended up paying 400 and something. That was quite exciting because …
Till: The “What will it take” really changed the situation for you?
Michael: Yeah, I used the connecting to light, connecting to their hearts. I also … I mean, I'm a bit … I don't know what the right word is here. I used to be nice about using my spiritual gifts. Now, I'm like, fuck it. If someone is going to come into my reality and fuck with me, they're going to get every spiritual tool I know how to do, which often, the ultimate thing I can do is upgrade their vibration.
You know how people go through life and they hopefully grow and become more conscious? If I am feeling pissed off about something, I will just zap them with so much light that they are going to upgrade now. I don't know what happened. I didn't go back to check on that Vietnamese group of people.
Till: Maybe they all died by now.
Michael: They might have died, and I'm OK. If they died, sometimes people can't take being more conscious and they do die. That's fine. We all incarnate. We all have these adventures. If someone dies due to getting too much light, tough tits, they shouldn't have come into my reality. I don't think they die that often. I mean, I'm not concerned whether they choose to die or not because they just go to heaven or wherever they go. It's no big deal. More likely, they're just going to have something disrupt … What happens typically when someone is upgraded in a … Maybe violence is the wrong word, but in an extreme way, is that they have a crisis in their life.
If they're running a pimp parlor and screwing over tourists, maybe they have a health challenge, maybe they have a sudden insight that, “Perhaps this isn't the best thing for me to be doing.” Maybe they find out that doing this is a spiritual practice. I don't know. But I think they change. They often don't know what to do with that.
Till: What is the question that no one asks you that you would like to be asked?
Michael: That's a great question. You haven't asked me where I'm from. That's a pretty easy one, that's always being asked.
Till: But that no one asks.
Michael: Yeah. I can't think of a question that no one asks. I'll have to think about that.
Till: OK. If it comes up, post it in the comments.
Michael: Sure. Happy to do that man.
Michael: Great interview.
Till: Thanks, mate. Thanks for the time.
Michael: Yeah. You're welcome.
Till: Shall we switch seats?
Michael: Yeah. Let's switch.
Till: We'll just keep it going, man.
Michael: Yeah. We can keep going and switch seats. Do you need to move your body?
Till: No. I just want to see their ceiling.
Till: I think we had almost one hour now.
Michael: Of course. You had a very good interview.
Till: Yeah. Do you know what time is it?
Michael: Yeah, it's … Here, I have a one bit, it's 5:25.
Till: Actually, it should be somewhere at 6.
Michael: Well, then you have 35 minutes minus whatever time it takes to get that, plus any time you want to freshen up.
Till: I think it will probably take 20 minutes to go there. Shall we just …
Michael: No. We can do it quick. We can always do Skype.
Till: Yes, we can use the Skype. OK. Ask me whatever it takes.
Michael: Great to meet you, Till. I know you're from Germany and you have some kind of business there. What exactly is it you do?
Till: I'm running a consulting company. We consult software companies to help them with marketing. My background is IT, like yours. I learned how to talk to IT people. With that knowledge or with that sensing of IT people, I thought I could help them with marketing because that's what I learned to do three years ago. I had a career transition from IT to marketing.
Till: That's where …
Michael: I know one of the spiritual tools you've been using. I've been sharing with people is the “What will it take?”
Michael: Can you just share how that's changed your business?
Till: It definitely changed my perspective on how I approach growth. Right now, we are building a software service tool. Normally, with software service, it has some sudden growth curve. We're not really in the growth phase now. We're doing outside the product phase. Just by thinking about this, what is the product I can make? Basically, I ask myself, “What will it take in order to build a scalable business?” I just cleared out certain ideas for our product that weren't even relevant, that would never scale. I got to something that could really work.
Michael: That's great. You got clear about what you wanted. Then you said, “What will it take to get what I wanted?”
Till: Exactly, yeah. I really asked myself, “What will it take in order to make $1,000 per month in revenue?” I then asked myself, “What will it take to get 10,000 per month,” and then 100,000, and then a million. Of course, we're not there yet but it definitely opened me to the perspective that it could be possible. We had the talk yesterday, the one guy who made 800,000 per month in revenue.
Michael: Yes, and in 20 months growth.
Till: Within less than two years, yeah, it's crazy. If you run a software business or if you start a software business like this and you would ask that question, you would see how you could rule out certain business types that have worked. For example, if you have a service business, it wouldn't work like that because you would add too much cost. Then your business would be 200 people in order to reach this revenue. With the software business, you could reach it with 20 people.
Michael: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Till: This definitely changed my perspective from what I am building.
Michael: That's great. One of the things I teach people is to use nested, “What will it take?” You ask the, “What will it take? What will it take to have $10,000 a month?” You come back with whatever it is. I don't know whether it was content margin or outreach or … Then if you're not sure how to do that one, you ask, “What will it take” again. What will it take to do content marketing to generate 10,000?
Till: Yeah. That is something that you actually told me. We had one session together, I think, almost a year ago, a bit more. You told me this concept. I'm grateful for having received that because what I did, asking reverse. I asked, “What will it take to make a really scalable software business?” Then I ask, “What will it take in order to reach that level?” Basically, asked, nested down what other marketing channels would I need in order to reach that. I noticed, OK, I will need to start with direct sales.
Michael: You could ask, “What will it take to know what marketing channels I need to have $10,000 a month?”
Till: Yeah, basically reverse engineer from the back. I did that before.
Michael: Then keep drilling down until you get to what you know how to do.
Till: Yeah. For me, it's still only a word but it has attached a limitless perspective on these things. That's what changed me. I still have it in my trailer board.
Michael: You went from a closed mindset of limited possibilities and by using What will it take, you opened up to unlimited possibilities, opportunities.
Till: Yeah, it's like a framework to asking. Yes. I still have it in my trailer board, it says, “What will it take to reach the next level?” Then in the card, it actually asks, “What will it take to get 100,000 and to 10,000 and to 2,000?”
Michael: That's great.
Till: Now, I know exactly what's the next level to get to 1,000.
Michael: That's a great thing because with sales numbers, you've got an actual number. I've got 9,000 coming in this month, you can tell how you're doing and you can say what would it take to get 10,000.
Michael: I don't know if we shared this before, but you can use this with other things, like if you've got an employee or a vendor and you rate them on a scale of 0 to 10, so this employee is currently on an 8 out of 10 for me. You can ask, “What will it take to be a 9 out of 10? What would it take to be a 10 out of 10?” Vice versa, you could ask the employee to rate the company, “How much do you enjoy working here? How much do you value this that and the other?” Then you can make then …
Till: I really like that.
Michael: You can go up one level at time. It's usually better if they were a 5 out of 10 on something, then what would it take to get them to a 6?
Till: Yes. Jack Canfield was interviewed in a podcast and he said specifically that because he is doing this with his family. Every evening, he sits down, “How was your day? Rate it from 0 to 10. If it's not a 10, what would you have needed to change in order to reach a 10? What do you want to do different tomorrow? That's what I do every evening. I bought an app which is called Day 1 App. It's a journal, do you know?
Till: It's like an iPhone app where you can put in your journal. Then I copy a certain text, which I call the gratitude log.
Till: List three things I'm grateful for but then it goes into more detail of what would I have needed to do in order to make it much better, how could I made the day much better. Just by asking that, basically, it is kind of a What will it take. For me, it's phrased differently.
Michael: Phrased differently.
Till: Yeah. I may need to adjust that.
Michael: Yeah, play around with it. They all have different words, have different energies.
Michael: I think What will it take has a very expansive, open solution-orientated energy.
Till: Yeah, I like it, definitely.
Michael: Yeah. How much do you use intuition in your business these days?
Till: The word intuition is still a bit difficult for me to grasp. OK. I'm still not really good at that, I'll be honest. What I learned was when my body responds definitely than what I've expected, there is something wrong. There is a disconnect the mind and …
Michael: Can you give an example of your body responding differently?
Till: OK. Specific example, I was in San Francisco. I had a software business in Germany. We were developing software for startups and for our businesses. I was in San Francisco, at a client's office. The client was obviously just swapped. My then business partner, he called me up and asked me what am I actually doing because I was basically going on coffee meetings everyday, two or three coffee meetings and then networking in the evening because we wanted to get more clients.
Eventually, it worked out like that. Just me receiving this phone call and receiving e-mails as well, I noticed specifically with this e-mail, I can still recall the situation where I had this tiny San Francisco apartment. This e-mail coming in and it was push notification. I hadn't switched the push notification off because it's a bad thing to do anyway. At that point, I wasn't that conscious. I had the push notification, the e-mail came in. It was him asking me, “What are you doing? We have X, Y, and Z.” I noticed how I was cringing. My body was getting stiff.
I noticed this is not the right thing to do. For once, it's a wrong business model. Second, the partner consultation, it's a really good friend of mine, a really good business partner, I can only recommend him, but at that point, it wasn't the right thing for me because he had too much power. I wanted to have the power myself. My body was stiffing. That's weird because normally, you should be able to ask that, right. If you got a business partner, you should be able to ask what you're doing.
Till: My mind said that but my gut and my heart are cringed.
Michael: That was a clue to you that you needed to change situation.
Till: I had to change something, yeah. Around a year later, I changed it, yeah.
Till: That was, I would say, intuition. For me, the intuition is sometimes hard to access.
Michael: Body is a great way to get it.
Till: It fits to the body, yeah.
Michael: A lot of people get messages from their body.
Till: Yeah. I think everyone does.
Michael: I know billionaire George Soros knows when he should get out of a big money investment position because he starts getting a back ache. That's his clue to sell.
Till: Also, another thing I know, this is more on the brain said. Let's say if you were the person watching this video, knows that you're more brain-sided. I can tell you what helps for me, right, which is the principle of excitement. If you're excited about something, it is probably the wrong thing to do.
Till: Excitement normally means, “I want to have it right now. I want to work through the next day and don't sleep and just get it and just set everything up that it runs automatically.” Then I got to make money everyday hence after, which is a dream that will never come true. When I am too excited about things, I take a step back and take it slow. For example, right now, we are recording this with my camera because I'm starting my blog. I am super excited about this. What I said was I'm too excited about it. I need to even it out. I need to make one video per week.
Michael: You want to make three a day, will you?
Till: I would. I would if I could but it would be the wrong thing to do. It would burn me out. My intuition to that is, “OK, you're too excited. That doesn't make any sense,” so keep it slow, take your time. Does it make sense?
Michael: Yeah. When you're having sex and you don't want to ejaculate prematurely.
Michael: Got to take it back a bit and enjoy the sensation, spread it out. Yeah, that makes sense. I get what you're saying. You're picking up message from your emotional state there and it's clue to you that there is something not quite right.
Till: Yeah, especially as entrepreneurs. I think we are very very brain-driven, very data-driven. Intuition, it's hard to get to.
Michael: Only through all the training we've gone through to hammer into us that we're supposed to be data-drive.
Till: Yeah, because they were our [tel-teacher 00:22:00]
Michael: I think children, yeah, I think young children who are less than three years old are not data-driven. They follow their creativity and their intuition. They're full of joy and wonder. That's why you like children so much.
Till: That is true.
Michael: Then they socialize in school to follow the data.
Till: That is true. However, intuition is not what you naturally, I would say.
Michael: It's not what you …?
Till: It's not what you would naturally do. If you would naturally …
Michael: It's not what we naturally do as adults but it is what we naturally do as young children.
Till: Yes, but let's say you want to reach certain things in business. Let's say you want to … I can only speak for myself. If I acted as a small child, I would never bring out a product because I would only build the process all the time and never bring it out to the market.
Michael: It's helpful to have both, both data driven and the intuition. You have the patience and the dedication to follow a goal-driven path but you also have the joy and wonder and creativity to make that a wonderful business creation.
Till: Yes, it's like a combination of things and somewhat …
Michael: I mean, I know when I'm investing in businesses that … I'm in a private investment group. They bring companies onto present. I just get a feeling that this a bad investment. There was some group that came on and all the numbers were right, all the logic is right, all the protections were in there to say, “If this doesn't happen, they can make it up this way.” They totally screwed it over. I mean, I didn't invest in them, I'm glad to say. The people who did lost all their money. I just knew there was something off.
Till: Then you didn't get in?
Michael: I didn't invest. I didn't get in. Yeah.
Till: Yeah, you know this thing when you would buy something on E-bay and you get excited, “I want to have this thing,” and then it maybe too much, maybe also with investment, “Yeah, let's do it.” [crosstalk 00:23:59] we're going to be rich.
Michael: Yeah, sometimes there is too much greed that goes on, instead of seeing, “Is there a real generative business here? Is there passion and excitement for what they're doing?”
Michael: I mean, that's one of the things I look for in other businesses. Are they passionate about it? They've got to have a good plan but they want to be doing it. It's almost like … The way I think it is, have you ever written a book or …
Till: I did, yeah.
Michael: Did you feel that you wrote the book or that the book wrote you? Were there moments were you felt this book has to come out and it's going to come out through me?
Till: That's a good question. I spent some time. I felt like it's a system that I work through. I do it regardless. It was me controlling the book.
Michael: You controlled the book?
Michael: If talk to one of the authors, you will find … I did an interview with Diane Norris. He has had that experience but he just wrote a book called “Create or Hate” about creating or criticizing yourself.
Michael: He felt that that book needed to come out.
Till: That's good. That's how it should it be. That's how it should it be, yeah.
Michael: He felt that with some of his other books too.
Till: That's great, yeah. His books are much better than mine.
Michael: Well, that's nice for you to say.
Till: His books are great.
Michael: My point is that's a common experience with authors. If you pay attention, it's like, yes, I am writing the book. I'm doing it consciously. Sure, I'm following steps and having a plan. This thing wants to come out through me. The same thing with business. If you're doing the business right, it just feels like it's flowing. This business just wants to grow and create through me and my team.
Michael: When I'm doing it not good, I'm trying to follow logical steps. I'm hiring what appears to be the right person but they're not really a good fit.
Michael: Then things don't go easily. It's a struggle or it doesn't really get the market share it deserves.
Till: What I found, my intuition really was at work, was when I delegated things to my employees. It was just lately where I delegated the goal setting to them. It was brilliant.
Till: I showed them, “OK, you know that it's a principle by Google, objective and key results.” It's like a SMART goal setting.
Till: OKR, yeah.
Michael: Can you explain what that means then?
Till: Objectives and Key Results. You set objectives which are the carried goals.
Michael: Where you want to get to, yes. Then key results to measure how you're getting there.
Till: For example, one-third more of social engagement. The key result would be increase to the following by 50%, publish formal Youtube videos and something else. These are the key results that are really measurable. Once you get to these results, it's likely that objective is met.
Till: You should not get to everything because then the key results are not ambitious enough.
Michael: Instead of you micro-managing them, you were saying, “Here is where we want to go. You figure out how you're going to get there.
Till: Yeah. I told them, “Hey, guys. It would be nice if we could all switch to a product.” What would it take for us to make that? We wrote on the cost. OK, that's the revenue that we need to achieve in order to make up for that. Then we set the objectives and key results for the company but then also for each individual team member. Of course, they are connected because one person works with something, then the company is affected. In a way, there is a great article by Steven Moody, the Beachhead Marketing and Medium. He says these goals should be actually KPIs.
Every team member should have a KPI attached. This is the same principle. Every team member has these key results. They have KPIs in them. We don't say, “Improve communication.” You say, “Have fewer meetings and more time spent on the important things by X number,” so you have a KPI on it. Yeah. When I gave that, I only told my … I have a lead manager. I gave it to him. I just gave him, “Look into OKR and see what we're doing.” Then he was talking to another employee. They were figuring it out themselves. That was beautiful. Just by stepping back and it felt right.
Michael: Holding the space for them.
Till: Yes, it totally felt right.
Michael: You held the space for them to help co-create this business.
Michael: You gave them some instruction and then you're letting the business flow into where it needs to go.
Till: I think especially in goal setting, you cannot force that.
Michael: Yeah. I'll give you a little add-on that you can do to this. They've come up with this plan, objective, key steps. Now, have them write a letter from their future self, this is goal is from a year … Is it a year's annual goal?
Michael: Quarterly, OK. Have them write a letter from their self in three months' time saying, “Here is what I achieved. Here is the steps I took to achieve it.” You write it all in the past tense.
Till: Yeah. Yeah.
Michael: OK? Because …
Till: That is a good idea.
Michael: Energetically, there is a big difference from saying “I will do something.”
Michael: Because energetically, there is a big difference between saying “I will do something” versus “I have done something” or “I am doing something.” It's much more powerful putting it in the past because when you say, “I've done something,” you totally have certainty that it has been done. When you say you will do something, there is this uncertainty with you. Is it going to happen, isn't it?
Till: I have a suggestion.
Till: We stop at this point.
Michael: Yup, absolutely.
Till: I'm going to ask my employees to do that.
Michael: OK. Come back.
Till: Then we hook up on Skype in three months from now and see how it went.
Michael: Love to.
Till: Is that good?
Michael: Well, we can hook up next week and see how it went too.
Till: How the letters were?
Michael: Yeah. How they felt about it.
Till: If you're here?
Michael: I'm in [Shanghai 00:30:15].
Till: Then we can do Skype, yeah?
Till: Let's do that.
Michael: Where are you? Germany?
Till: No, I'll go to Saigon.
Michael: You're going to Saigon. You're based in Saigon now?
Till: I will be, yes.
Till: Awesome, Michael.
Michael: Excellent. Thank you, Mr. Till. Great interview.
Till: Cool. Then we can directly switch the next time we go in Skype. Then the picture will be different.
Michael: Yeah, that's right.
Till: Awesome. That's great.