How to Optimize Success

February

18

0 comments

Have you ever thought about optimizing success? Our special guest Ruth Gotian today has done extensive research on what makes people very successful. Her new book, The Success Factor, digs into extreme high achievers and how you can become one too. She is going to share her experience and wisdom on how to optimize success.

Watch This Episode


Listen To The Podcast

Subscribe To The Podcast

Apple Podcasts
Spotify
Google Podcast
Stitcher
iHeart Radio

Read The Transcript Here


Podcast Transcription

How to Optimize Success



Tim Fitzpatrick
Have you ever thought about how to optimize success? Our special guest today has done extensive research on what makes people incredibly successful. Her new book, The Success Factor, digs into extreme high achievers to help you figure out the code so you can crack it. She's going to share her experience, her wisdom with us. I cannot wait to dig into this. So let's jump in. Hi, I'm Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the right plan. I am super excited to have with me, Dr. Ruth Gotian. She is an author, speaker, educator, coach. Ruth, thanks for taking the time to be here with me.

Ruth Gotian
Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. We were talking. One of the things I asked you off air about your book was there's a lot of books that have been written about success. And one of the things you touched on I said, look, how is your book different? And you said it's based on research. You said something that I think a lot of people don't think about. It is not based on habits.

Ruth Gotian
That's right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Because we can't recreate other people's habits, but we can emulate their mindset.

Ruth Gotian
Absolutely.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So my guess is in the book, you dig deep into their mindset.

Ruth Gotian
Oh, yes. And I've interviewed so many extreme high achievers in order to really uncover this. I've talked to Nobel Prize winners and astronauts and Olympic Champions and CEOs to figure out what has made them so successful, because I don't believe that people wake up in the morning saying, today, I think I'll be average. I think people want to be successful but just don't know how to do it. And they're trying all these random things. And as we chatted about earlier, throwing spaghetti at the wall, and then they get frustrated that nothing really works. So I said, if I'm going to figure this out, I need to talk to the best of the best. And that's why I started talking to these astronauts and Olympic Champions and Nobel Prize winners to figure out what made them so successful. And then once I figured out that the Nobel Prize winning scientist is just like an Olympic champion figure skater, that's when I realized that success is a learned skill. And if success is a learned skill, I'm an adult educator. I can teach it. So I reverse engineered the process, created the blueprint, and wrote my book, The Success Factor, about it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well, I can't wait to jump into this. Before we do that, I want to ask you a few rapid-fire questions to help us get to know you a little bit.

Ruth Gotian
Oh, boy.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You good to go?

Ruth Gotian
I don't know. We'll see.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay, so when you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

Ruth Gotian
Reading. I read 70 to 100 books a year, so I read a lot.

Tim Fitzpatrick
My God, you must read pretty fast.

Ruth Gotian
I read three books at a time simultaneously. One in print, one in Audible, and one on the Kindle.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Good for you. I don't read that fast, so it takes me a while. What's your hidden talent?

Ruth Gotian
So I don't know that I have one. I can do enough things that I'm dangerous, but I think my true hidden talent is unlocking somebody's potential, finding out their passion, and unlocking their potential. So when I wrote The Success Factor, I guess that's my hidden talent.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. There you go. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Ruth Gotian
Do something important, not just interesting.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Love it. What's one thing about you that surprises people?

Ruth Gotian
There are several things. I think one that's come up lately is my age. I'm older than I look.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I've made it a habit to not ask people their age.

Ruth Gotian
Let's put it this way. I just made it semi finalist on the Forbes 50 over 50 list.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay, well, there you go. Yeah. You certainly don't look over 50, I'll tell you that.

Ruth Gotian
Thank you.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What does success mean to you? This is a funny question, since we're digging into The Success Factor.

Ruth Gotian
Yeah. I actually researched this question, and I can tell you that no matter who you ask, success means something different to every person.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes, it does.

Ruth Gotian
And it actually changes based on rank and gender. But the definition that I used is people who create a paradigm shift in what they're doing in their field, in the way we do things, think about things, see things, process things, and they have a recognition for their work. And as they're becoming more successful, they are bringing other people up with them. So as they start to be successful, other people become successful as well. That's my definition of success.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Cool. Where's your happy place?

Ruth Gotian
By a body of water with a good book.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. What qualities do you value in the people you spend time with?

Ruth Gotian
Honesty. Grounded. Being grounded in who you are. I do not like laziness. That's nails on a blackboard to me. I like people who know what they want and they go after it. And a good sense of humor is critical.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Tell us more about you. You're an educator. Give us some background. And what types of people are you working with and helping?

Ruth Gotian
Well, I'm an adult educator who used to work in finance. My Bachelors and Masters were in business, and then I switched to Higher Ed. I ran what's called an MD PhD program. My students got the dual MD and PhD degree, did that for over 20 years at the age of 43, decided I was going to get my doctorate. I studied adult learning and leadership and studied success for my dissertation. And I did that while working full time and raising a family. And I have been doing different things around success. Became an Assistant Dean for mentoring and now I'm Chief Learning Officer. So I look at it as my job, my passion, and my volunteer work is all about making people successful.

Tim Fitzpatrick
And thus the book. The Success Factor.

Ruth Gotian
The Success Factor.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So let's start, what do all extreme high achievers have in common?

Ruth Gotian
So they actually have four things in common. And this is everyone from the astronaut to the Olympic rower, they all did the same four things. And the thing is that all four of these things have to be done together. So the first thing is this is what they were put on this Earth to do. They can't imagine doing anything else. This is what gets them out of bed in the morning. It's why they can't quiet their mind at night. They have tapped into what we call in adult learning, their intrinsic motivation, that fire in the belly. And you know what that's like, because when someone's talking about what they are intrinsically motivated to do, their whole face lights up. Now, this is different from extrinsic motivation, which is when other people judge us. That's for the diplomas, the promotions, the awards. I don't know about you, but if other people are going to judge me all day long, that is really not sustainable. And those people are usually the ones who burn out or fail out. So you want to tap into your intrinsic motivation. That's number one. Number two, when you have tapped into your intrinsic motivation, you are going to outwork everybody. And I don't mean that you're going to work 18 hours days. You are going to leverage your peak focus hours. You are not going to let those distractions distract you because you know it's going to help you if you stay focused, get closer to your goal. Third, you have to have that strong foundation which you are constantly reinforcing. Just because you've achieved something amazing does not mean that you ever forget the basics. That's why if you ask any NBA player and I have for the book, the warm-up that they do before any game are the same exact warmups you would see a twelve-year-old doing in the school gym. Exactly the same. You need to have the same basic drills, the layouts, the jump shots, all of that. Now, the last one, the fourth one is despite your Nobel Prize, your Olympic medal, your CEO, you realize that there is always more to learn. And these extreme high achievers are always learning. And it's not necessarily in the classroom, but they are learning in other ways. So, for example, and this is why I say we can't copy habits, but we can copy mindsets. You've all heard of the billionaires, the astronauts, the Olympic Champions, the Nobel Prize winner, the excuse me, the billionaires, Mark Cuban, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, they read three to 8 hours a day. Now, I told you I read 70 to 100 books a year. To me, that sounds like Nirvana. But for most people who don't like to read all that, what are other ways that they can get new knowledge because that's really what the billionaires are doing. It's not reading that made them billionaires. It's being open to new knowledge. So for them, it's reading books. But you can read articles, you can read blogs, you can listen to LinkedIn Live, such as this one, or Webinars or podcasts or YouTube or LinkedIn learning courses. I mean, it's endless ways that you can learn. Now, what made them billionaires is that they looked for gaps in the knowledge. They looked for gaps that other people haven't seen yet. They look for how things were done in an old way and are being innovative and using something old in a new way. That is what made them so successful, not the fact that they read 3 to 8 hours a day, constantly being open to new information. And it's that continuous learning. And one of the ways that they also learn is through mentors and not just one, they all have a team of mentors who believe in them more than they believe in themselves.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay, I want to run through this one more time to make sure everybody got these, because there's a lot of gold in here. First, they focus on what they were put on this Earth to do. Right. There's an intrinsic motivation. And one of the things I took from what you said about intrinsic motivation, tell me if I'm wrong here, that intrinsic motivation gets them to a headspace where they do not care what other people think.

Ruth Gotian
That's correct.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Super important, because there are too many of us that worry about what other people think, and that gets in the way of us getting to where we want to go.

Ruth Gotian
That's right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Two, they outwork everybody. That doesn't necessarily mean they do work hard, no doubt about that. But they have also found ways to leverage their time so that the time they put in is the right kind of time.

Ruth Gotian
That's right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Three, they have a strong foundation and they're constantly reinforcing it. So this goes back to it. They take the time to get the fundamentals in place.

Ruth Gotian
That's right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
One of my favorite quotes is from Michael Jordan, and he said, get the fundamentals down on the level of everything you do will rise.

Ruth Gotian
That's right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Before we jumped on you asked me what I did. And we focus on the marketing fundamentals because so many people skip them.

Ruth Gotian
That's right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Successful people make things look easy because they have the fundamentals. Absolutely nailed. So I love that one. It supports my way of thinking. So thank you for that, Ruth. Four, they're constant learners. They don't have it in their head. I've learned all I can. No. There is never a time where you can't learn something.

Ruth Gotian
That's right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. So how can the average person improve their success? We've got these four common elements for high achievers. What do we do?

Ruth Gotian
So that's actually the last third of the book really teaches the reader how to implement all of these success factors because I told you, I'm an adult educator, I can't just tell you what to do without teaching you how to do it. So I actually offer ways to tap into your intrinsic motivation for getting your focus, to nailing it, getting into what we call a flow state, how you can start building your strong foundation, what are the different ways and places that you can learn. And I actually offer a buffet of options in there because I know what works for you will likely not work for me because we're different people. And what works for me today may not work for me when I have a transition, a new job, a new house, a pandemic. Right. So all these transitions are forcing us to reimagine and refocus. And look again if our old passions are really valid anymore. And I think a lot of people started to do that during the pandemic. But that's why I needed to create a buffet of options for people so that you always have what you can choose from. And I'm an adult educator, which means I even created worksheets for everyone. So with the book, you can actually download worksheets from the website that gives you passion audits and goal audits, and how to create your own mentoring team and all of that. This is a lived experience, this book.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's interesting that you talk about having an option of a buffet of options, because I think a lot of times if we're taking courses or getting information about, hey, you need to do this to do this well, when the options to implement do not resonate with us or they don't click, then we don't get the end result that we want. And so it's really important to find the ways that work for us to get that end result.

Ruth Gotian
That's Adult Learning 101, actually.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Ruth Gotian
Malcolm Knowles, the pioneer of adult learning, said that the learning has to be relevant to the adult learner. If it's not relevant, it's not going to stick. It's not going to have meaning. So I understand adult learning principles very well. I needed to make sure that these things stick. And one of the things that I knew and Malcolm Knowles taught us this decades earlier is that we need options. We don't like to be told what to do because what works for you may not work for me. So I had to create options. And that's why literally the last third of the book is all about how to implement all the success factors.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So to be successful, we need to find the implementation tools that resonate with us that are easy for us to do rather than trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

Ruth Gotian
That's right. And every time you have a transition, new job, new home, new partner, new child, pandemic, whatever it is you want to check in to make sure that those implementation tactics are still working and if they're not working, don't worry. There's a whole bunch of others you can choose from.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. There's no one right way to get there.

Ruth Gotian
No, it's one right way for you right now.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. Awesome. So your book The Success Factor, when it comes out, did you say Tuesday? We're filming this on the 21st January.

Ruth Gotian
Yes. It's available in Europe and on Kindle already, but the print version comes out on Tuesday, North America.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. So that is January 25, correct?

Ruth Gotian
Yes. I got it right here.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay, awesome. So January 25, some people if you're watching this live, you're watching it before it comes out. Some people may be checking this out after January 25. People can obviously go by the book to get help in improving their success. Tell us more like what other info is out there to help us.

Ruth Gotian
So the book is chock full. And in fact, you don't even need to wait until the 25th because you can just preorder it from wherever you like to order books. But there's a lot there that you can choose from. And if you don't even want to wait, you want your appetite. Now I write about these topics all the time. I write about it in Forbes, in Psychology Today, in Harvard Business Review, because I want people to improve, because as I said, nobody wakes up in the morning aiming for average so so many ways that it can be done. And you can go to my website for a ton of that information and books and articles. And I have a LinkedIn learning course, all of that, all that can help you.

Tim Fitzpatrick
How many people did you interview for the book?

Ruth Gotian
Over 100 over many years. But there are over 60 that I talk about in the book. So if I am talking about intrinsic motivation, you're going to hear from the extreme high achievers, how they have tapped into their intrinsic motivation, the Nobel Prize winners and so on. You want to hear about a strong foundation. You will hear from Steve Kerr, the eight time NBA champion and coach of the warriors. You want to hear about continuous learning. You will hear from everyone from CEOs to scientists, how they're constantly learning. So it's stories and it's stories of people who you know, you've heard of these people, you've seen them on television, but it also has stories of those who you don't know. But I really think should be on your radar because they have pushed the needle so much. They just may not be in your sector, they may not be social media influencers, but they have really created a paradigm shift in the way we do things. So a lot of people in there.

Tim Fitzpatrick
One of the things you touched on earlier that I think a lot of people it's easy to overlook, is you talked about billionaires learning stuff. But there are so many different ways we can learn from people and a lot of stuff we learn is not necessarily new. It's been out there for a long time. It's just people taking it and repackaging it in a way that it makes sense to them and then applying it. But we also see in business people taking things that have been really successful in specific industries and then adapting them and applying them to their industry. So it's like we just have to be open minded to see these things and figure out how we can take advantage of these things.

Ruth Gotian
That's innovation. I mean, Tim, one of the people who I interviewed was the former Undersecretary of the US Navy. And he told me that if you take things that work for someone else and you use it in a new way, that's innovation. Yeah, that's innovation. And frankly, that's how we got the operating system for both Apple and Microsoft. They pilfered it off the Xerox, they used it in a new way. And that's what innovation is. It's taking something and seeing it in a different way, seeing the gaps between points that other people don't see. So Apple and Microsoft saw what Xerox didn't see yet.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Ruth, you touched on this a bit earlier about the importance of mentors. Touch on that a little bit more. Let's dig a little deeper there.

Ruth Gotian
Yeah. A mentor is someone who believes in you more than you believe in yourself. And they have two roles. They help you with your career, and they also help you with the psychosocial support. And all of these extreme high achievers, from the astronauts to the Olympians to the Nobel Prize winning scientists, they all had a team of mentors around them, not just one, a team of mentors. So these were really people at different levels. Some are senior to them, some are peer mentors, some are junior to them. But the important thing is that they always had them. And one of, you know, there's actually three chapters, I think, that are dedicated to mentors because it was such an impactful area that really helped move the needle. And one of the things that I teach in the book is how to develop your own mentoring team.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Do you feel like a mentor always has to be someone that you personally know, or can you follow somebody and consume their content and take that as a type of mentorship?

Ruth Gotian
Yeah. That's more passive, though. So that might be more of a role model, really. A mentor is someone that you have some sort of interaction with. It can be a virtual interaction, for sure, but you need to be able to interact them because they need to push you out of your comfort zone. They need to be able to tell you you're getting too comfortable, you're doing things same old, same old, and you need to do it differently. So that's why you need some sort of interaction. But that passive. What you're talking about, that's informal learning goes back to the fourth point.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You may or may not have gotten into this with the people you spoke to. But were some of them paying for mentorship or no?

Ruth Gotian
Mentorship is always free. Coaching you pay for, but mentorship is free. Mentorship is really more of the long haul. It's somebody who is your guide by your side. The coach is somebody who helps you fine tune certain things. And it's really more for a finite period of time.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What are some easy ways or tips that you have for somebody to help find that first mentor?

Ruth Gotian
How to find a mentor?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Ruth Gotian
So really, you need to have a goal in mind. And what is it that you want to do? What is it you want to obtain? What is it you want to achieve? Have some sort of goal in mind and let that be your guiding light. And then I also want you to interact and meet people from all kinds of backgrounds, because somehow you may have to tap into that later. Really what you want to do at the beginning, you never want to ask somebody you just met to be your mentor because that's asking us to take on another obligation and no one has time for that. Instead, you want to meet interesting people and start developing relationships with them, because if you can develop relationships with them over time, you can say, Tim, I really would love to get your perspective on something. I know you have experience in this. Can I just grab 15 minutes? I just want to know what you think. That will do. That doesn't sound like a big lift. So look for ways that you can be the least interesting person in the room where you can learn from other people. And that goes to virtual as well. For those of you who are watching on LinkedIn Live. Yeah. Contacting the speakers is always great. But also look at the people who are making comments because those are the virtual audience members. They're here for the same reason you are. They're interested in the topic, see what comments actually resonate with you, and then go reach out and connect with them and start developing and just building that professional relationship.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What is success? You touched on this a little bit. It's different for every person. So how do you answer this question?

Ruth Gotian
It's different for every person, and it'll change for you, because what was important before is not going to be important now. My goals to reach by 2025 fit on a three by three post it note. And it's a bullet list of four things that I want to do. And after I do that, I might want to do something else. And frankly, I scratch one of those things from the list because I don't want to do that anymore. So success is finding for me because I look at extreme success, but finding out what it is you want to do and then doing it and then surpassing that doing it a little bit better so that you're creating a shift in how we do things, think about things, process things. And as you start going up the ranks, as you start getting accolades for your work, bring other people up with you. Shining a light on them is not going to dim the light on you. The astronauts have told me with full certainty that the world is big enough for all of us to shine. So definitely bring people up. Be a mentor and a mentee. You can definitely and should be both.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Ruth, this has been fantastic. Any last minute thoughts you want to leave us with today?

Ruth Gotian
I really do believe that success is a learned skill. I just think we never had a lesson planned before and now we do.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. Where can people learn more about you?

Ruth Gotian
My website is ruthgotian.com. The book is called The Success Factor. And wherever you love buying books, It's there. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, independent booksellers. It's everywhere. You can also find links all over the world where you can get the book on my website ruthgotian.com/BOOK.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. I love it. The Success Factor and that's Ruth R-U-T-H Gotian G-O-T-I-A-N dot com. So she obviously knows what heck she's doing. She's been focusing on this for a long time, talking to tons of people. And actually, we didn't even talk about this before you interviewed people pre COVID and after the pandemic started, a lot of us probably would not have known Dr. Fauci prior to the pandemic. You interviewed him prior to and gosh long and behold, here we are.

Ruth Gotian
Yeah. That's why when COVID came, of course he was going to be the one who we hear talking about it because he's dealt with every major pandemic. HIV AIDS, Ebola, SARS. It was the natural choice. He's advised seven presidents. So for those of us who came from the scientific world, we knew of him long before COVID. And look, I'm hoping that you read the book. You'll hear how Fauci Dr. Fauci picks his projects. You'll also hear from the former chief astronaut of NASA and Olympic Champions, Scott Hamilton, Apollo, Anton Ono, the CEO of bills a bear workshop, the former CEO of the new Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 70 Sixers. I mean, it's all in there.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. Ruth, thanks so much for being here. I really do appreciate you taking the time. You saw me feverishly taking notes, so thank you for that. For those of you watching listening, hope you got a ton of value from this. If you're struggling with your marketing, you're not quite sure what that next right step is for you hop on over to our website. It's rialtomarketing.com that's R-I-A-L-T-O Marketing dot com.Just click on the get a free consult button guarantee you will get a ton of value. Walk away having some clarity on what your next step should be. Thanks so much. Till next time, take care.


Connect With Ruth Gotian


Links From The Episode


About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

Do you know you have an opportunity for revenue growth and are unsure how to make it happen? Do you lack someone with the time, skill set, and desire to take ownership of marketing to drive results?

When it comes to marketing, it's easy to fall prey to information overload. We understand how overwhelming and frustrating marketing your business can be. But, marketing shouldn't be difficult.

At Rialto Marketing, we work with B2B professional service firms that want to accelerate revenue growth and attract more ideal clients.

So, stop gambling with your marketing budget each month. Put an end to guessing what your next marketing step should be and hoping it works. It's time to remove your revenue roadblocks.

Wouldn't you like to reach your revenue goals faster? Let us run your marketing, so you don't have to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}