Episode 113 Transcript

Heather (00:02.99)
Chris, my gosh, so excited you're on the show. Been following you for a while on Instagram. You have the best content ever. Welcome, how are you?

Chris Do (00:10.478)
Thank you, I'm doing great. Thanks for saying that. I appreciate it.

Heather (00:13.102)
You do though, you do, you're really good at what you do. And you guys are going to get to know Chris coming up. If you don't already know him, we'll talk about his businesses and his journey and what he does in the world. But I love to start with some tactics. And so we're going to start with the three tips, Chris, that you do personally to grow your brands and your business smarter, to stay away from that overwhelm and hustle culture.

Chris Do (00:25.134)
Let's do it.

Chris Do (00:29.294)
Okay, all right.

Chris Do (00:39.054)
Okay, when we talk about hustle culture, can you give me some definition or how you describe it so I can make sure I'm answering that question correctly?

Heather (00:48.302)
That's the best question ever. Thank you for asking. So when I say anti -hustle culture, I mean working, still working hard, but working smart. Understanding the balance that you define success that you have control over your life rather than letting your businesses control you.

Chris Do (01:04.206)

Okay, it's like you run your business, your business doesn't run to you. Okay, well, this is fantastic. This is something I love to talk about. And I have to be fully transparent and disclose a few things. I was part of that hustle culture. The first five to 10 years of my business, I worked all kinds of crazy hours. My wife and I we delayed our honeymoon because we worked for five years straight her and I on the business without taking any vacation, no holidays, we just kept working the entire time.

Heather (01:10.51)
You got it.

Heather (01:23.95)

Heather (01:36.59)

Chris Do (01:37.486)
Yes. And this is a, I guess, a manifestation of how I grew up. I'm a first generation immigrant refugee from Vietnam. My mom and dad worked their butts off to provide for us. And we just saw this kind of work ethic that I admired, respected, and it was expected of me. And I didn't do so well in high school, because I kind of just flicked off. I didn't really apply myself because I didn't feel compelled to do anything. So I made up for it.

Like once I got into college, I pulled all -nighters. That was a badge of courage for me. I did not respect you if you went through the program and didn't have at least one all -nighter. I had multiple all -nighters. Yeah. So that kind of work ethic and mentality was expected at a highly competitive prestigious art school. And that's what I was used to. I carried that on into my business life. And there's a word of warning here because every young person I think thinks the same thing. My sons are both like this. They work all the time, not because I tell them to.

Heather (02:14.638)

Heather (02:26.478)

Chris Do (02:33.806)
but because they have this unbound energy that seems bottomless. And it takes a toll on you. It takes a toll on you physically, mentally, creatively. And there's a very finite time that you can actually do this. And if we can just learn by just observing, I would say we should skip that part, learn to find a way of working that is long -term sustainable. And I've seen it happen too many times, Heather, where people who I taught, who are my former students, would graduate from school. And then five years out,

Heather (02:40.334)
It does.

Chris Do (03:02.478)
Completely burnt out. They're like walking zombies. Okay, now how? Go ahead. Yeah.

Heather (03:05.614)
Yeah, yeah, and it happened to me and that's why I've started this show and trying to get people like yourself to talk honestly about it. So thank you. Yes, so tips, please. Love it.

Chris Do (03:12.59)

Okay, so those are the full disclosure. And for 20 or so years, I ran this production company, I learned to find a balance and a rhythm. So we started to implement certain rules. For example, we really had a document that we we it was a mandate to our executive producer who handled new business and sales for us, such that he would not put us on a call if the clients did not meet these criteria. And let me tell you some of them, they're super basic. But after you hear them, you're like, well, are we implementing that or not? Rule number one.

If, and we worked in the commercial production and that meant that we had to pitch a lot for new business. And so if a agency calls us, our client on a Friday and expecting a pitch due by Monday, we would just say no. Because what, what we did when we said yes was we basically stole everyone's weekend. We stole their personal time, their family time, their resting and recuperation time. And we also learned something very valuable. When you're young, you chase every opportunity, every lead as if it's super real.

And it turns out it's not real at all. They had decided at the last minute somebody bailed or they just need another idea because they weren't feeling confident about what they had seen. And your last minute kind of last ditch effort for them to see another angle. And since it didn't cost them anything to have you pitch, because we pitch for free, they would just solicit bids at the last minute. And we would grind on this on the weekends. Every once in a while we would win, but it wasn't worth the toll on us emotionally, on the morale of the team and just...

Heather (04:36.526)

Chris Do (04:44.366)
It just didn't feel right. It felt like we were taking advantage of. So we would implement that policy. Call me on a Friday, pitch is due on Monday, we're out. Here's another one, because we are in that kind of creative industry where you're required to pitch. If you invite more than five people to your bidding process route, the odds were just not good.

Heather (04:53.422)

Heather (05:07.246)
Interesting. I like that. Yeah, okay. Keep going. Yep.

Chris Do (05:10.574)
Yes. So we basically had a flow chart. It was called a pitch decision flow chart because salespeople are very optimistic. They look at everything like, we can win this, everything we can win. And God bless them for thinking like that. But it was the creatives who were sitting there grinding on things, exhausted, going from job to job, pitch to pitch, leaving nothing left in the gas tank. So we had to implement this. There were the yes, the nos and the maybes. The yeses were easy. Single bid, pre -approved budget.

Heather (05:16.846)

Chris Do (05:40.206)
and the budget met a minimum. And there was a certain amount of time that we needed to work on developing ideas. Brands that we love, those are all yeses. The nos are really easy. I just gave you two examples of nos. The maybes is where it gets really difficult and it has to get really nuanced because if you leave room open for your new biz staff person, they're like, well, that kind of qualifies, right? I'm like, no, get on the phone. And my business coach helped me to realize this idea.

Heather (05:50.798)

Chris Do (06:09.39)
When we did a new business call, we had my executive producer, myself, a senior producer, my creative directors, plural, on the call. That was four or five of the most expensive people in the building on a new business call. There was prep time. There was the call time and there was potential discussions and then bidding process that we would have to go through. That was eating up thousands of dollars that we don't think about because oftentimes creatives think,

Heather (06:24.654)

Chris Do (06:38.862)
Well, we're not doing anything anyways. Well, sitting around doing nothing is not nothing. That's time to think. It's time to daydream. It's time to see something that might spark a future idea. We just don't know. We have to respect that creative process. So when my new biz executive producer person would come and I said, what are the specs? Nope. Cancel the call. Get back on the phone and talk to them and don't do that again because you're wasting all of our time.

And I remember when we did this initially, everyone in the room was shocked. First of all, my EP was like, that's going to make me look bad. And then I said, well, whose fault is that? You understood the parameters. I think there's a Nicki Minaj song. I think it's Nicki Minaj or it's somebody else who's like, you understood the assignment. Did you understand the assignment? And clearly they didn't. And what happened was a bond formed between the creative team.

Heather (07:10.35)

Heather (07:31.726)

Chris Do (07:35.182)
knowing that the boss, me, the owner of the company has their back. And that does a lot for building teamwork, camaraderie, so that when you need to, when you need to exercise that, can you give me a little bit more today, this week, because everything is riding on the line, you don't even have to ask, they'll just give it to you.

Heather (07:52.462)
That's what I'm hearing here is that you're really looking after your team. And I'm curious as well, when you started to change the way you worked with potential clients, did you command more respect? Did you feel like they were responsive in a good way?

Chris Do (08:07.086)
That's a very good question. I'm not sure I can speak to that in any real meaningful way. I demand respect of myself. So I walk in the room full of like, you know what? I'm here. I'm the prize, as some people would say, because I have more options to get money than you have options for solutions. But the problem was I was in person representing us at the first point of contact. So I would tell people,

Heather (08:15.982)

Chris Do (08:34.51)
You know, you may not believe in yourself, but right now you're representing me and the creative directors and we believe in ourselves. So when you agree to these terms and you, you don't ask for concessions to see if they really want to work with us, you're coming at a position of like lowering your head or grateful for the opportunity. thank you so much for considering us. We don't deserve this call. I'm like, no, we've earned this call. Look at our body of work. Look how we treat our clients when, when they give us the project.

We're really great at giving or taking feedback. We're open. We're collaborative. We're not a bunch of prima donnas like, you're just going to ruin my art today. We don't have any attitude or in it. So why are you kind of tiptoeing around this thing? You make us look weak and I'm not weak. So I would tell everybody, I think you think you represent you. You're representing us, this whole creative team that has been here for two decades. Please act accordingly. Hold yourself with some pride, please.

Heather (09:16.174)

Heather (09:30.798)

good themes coming out in this. Anything else, any other tips that you have utilized in your own businesses to grow smarter?

Chris Do (09:42.464)
Yes, well, I want to tell you something. I'm in the second iteration of my business life and my third act of a three act career. Okay. So there's a lot of information unpacked there. I have my freedom date and it's December, 2018. That's the last day or month that we decided to take on client work. We finished all of our professional client obligations, which bled into the following year. But that was the month that we all sat at a table.

Heather (09:44.558)

Heather (09:50.125)

Good, yeah.

Heather (09:59.47)

Chris Do (10:11.086)
my management team and said, what would the future look like if we didn't take on client work anymore? Can we make this a reality? There were a lot of variables like how the heck are we going to make money? What are we going to do with all these people that aren't actually working on this new idea? So I call that my freedom day. It's like my emancipation because I have not done client work since December of 2018.

And that's kind of freedom. I wish everyone has an opportunity to experience at least for some part of their life. And for me, I found that pretty late in life.

I was 46 years old when I found that date and I'm not going back. So now I align my entire life, my business around the things that give me joy, that filled me up with purpose and meaning. And I get to make content for whenever I want. If I don't want to make money, I just sit around. It's fine. There's no pressure.

Heather (10:47.342)

Heather (11:05.966)
What a... Okay, so what's changed for you with how you live your life after the Freedom Day?

Chris Do (11:12.622)
Okay. So we have two different companies. There's one called blind, which is a service design company. And then there's one called the future, which is an education company. Okay. So we moved the team slowly. We migrated from blind and the ones who wanted to make the jump with me moved from blind to the future. And then blind is just a website. We don't do any client work. It just sits there. It doesn't do anything. I'm a domain squatter. That's all it is. Just full disclosure. Okay. Now the future.

Heather (11:17.006)

Heather (11:30.862)

Heather (11:35.374)
Okay. Okay. Yeah, cool.

Chris Do (11:40.75)
is the thing where I get to sit around and like, what is it that we need to make today? Or this week? Is there a course that I feel like that's kind of that has to be just has to come from my soul? I feel so compelled if I don't, I don't do it. Is there a piece of content? Is there something that's hot in my mind that people are arguing about that I feel like I can add to the conversation in a meaningful, constructive way? So I make that if I don't want to do anything, I don't do anything.

So I just want to give you a sample of what today looked like for me. At 8 a I did a coaching call for my community. That call ran a little long. It ran until 1030. They're usually only an hour and a half, but this one went two and a half hours. Afterwards, I did a little bit of work on my computer, went up to have lunch. I was sleepy, so I took a nap and watched some TV. And you know what? It was around four o 'clock today. And I'm like, I want to work out a little bit before this call.

Heather (12:22.094)

Chris Do (12:36.91)
So I worked out, took a shower, and here I am. That's my day.

Heather (12:42.03)
That's amazing. Love that you have that control. You know what though? I think anyone can actually bring more of that in. If you, cause everyone I've spoken to in the past, no matter how huge their companies are, it's just a mindset shift. It's looking after yourself. It's scheduling in, you know, your own personal appointments with yourself as well. And remembering that you actually have the power to do that sort of stuff.

Chris Do (12:47.63)
Why not?

Chris Do (13:03.182)
Yeah, and I do want to say something in case this is making people have a triggered response to what I'm saying. I do want to say that I'm speaking from a place of privilege. I have plenty of money. I have a roof over my head. There's running water. Nobody's dropping bombs on top of my head right now. And we can't say that's true with everybody, especially with all the turmoil that's going on in the world. I have freedom to travel. I have a capitalistic society that lets me earn as much as I want if I want to work and it allows me to do nothing and make nothing.

Heather (13:09.422)
Yeah, sure.

Heather (13:16.11)

Chris Do (13:33.134)
So it works on both sides. But those early years when I would work like a dog was to build up to a point in which I didn't have to work like a dog anymore.

Heather (13:33.134)

Heather (13:43.662)
Yeah, yeah. Going back into working like a dog and thinking about who you were back in the day, because I know you're telling me what you would say yes and no and maybe to your clients for, are there things you would have told your younger self back then to do differently?

Chris Do (13:54.414)

Chris Do (14:01.422)
There are a couple of things I would have done differently. I can see some key mistakes, lost opportunities. I worked with a business coach and he says, Chris, I believe that everybody has seven opportunities in life that are going to be game changing for them. And he said that I'm not sure where you are on the opportunity scale, but I believe you've used some of them. I don't know if you've capitalized on all of them. So here's opportunity number one is in the early 2000s.

we were supernova hot. Meaning I think there were probably and I think I'm saying this objectively, 10 companies in the world who would be considered to do the kind of work we're doing in the world, not in California or Los Angeles, not in the United States, but in the world, because we're poised and we have so many job leads. It was ridiculous, Heather. It's hard to believe, but we had probably between three to seven new business calls a week.

And the jobs ranged from $30 ,000 at the low end to probably $200 ,000, $250 ,000 on the mid to high end. And they were just going through. It got so bad for us that I was like, I'm not getting on any more calls. I'm tired. I doubled the budget, make them go away. And my producer at the time would literally double the budget and they say they still want to get on a call. And then I would write treatments and just ridiculous treatments. It's like, this is the dumbest thing anybody's ever written. And they were like, yes.

Heather (15:04.366)

Chris Do (15:25.806)
We accidentally submitted a bid and added an extra zero in the bid and they approved it. I was embarrassed, but they approved it. I'm like, what is going on? So mistake number one is to think that the gravy train runs forever. It does not. So my business coach who I hired later on, he goes, we should have just ramped up, shouldn't we? We should have done everything we could to grab all that money on the table and just feasted while we could have.

Heather (15:31.214)
No way.

Chris Do (15:55.726)
But I got a little arrogant. I got a little too picky with what it is I was going to do or not do. Okay, that was mistake number one. Mistake number two. There is this thing, it's a play for talent. So in our industry, you are as good as the team you're able to assemble. And in LA, there's lots of competition for high quality talent and there weren't enough good people to go around. So it was always a battle between myself and a couple of other companies.

Heather (16:04.43)

Chris Do (16:23.47)
And so those companies sometimes had really sexy projects. So they would be a natural draw for the best people. And I tried to compete with them. So the mistake that I made was during a down economy, there was a recession, there was a 9 -11, there was all kinds of weird stuff that was going on there. In one of those down economies, I hired a whole bunch of people because they were available, they were desperate and I could have them. And so we hired up only to like six months later, like, I don't know what I was doing.

I just burned all the money we made this year. So I'm sorry, I got to let you go. And we had all these amazing talented people. And I had to let them go. And my business coach at that time said, those were strange decisions we made, weren't they? That the economy's down. There's not a great outlook and forecast, but we rolled the dice, we took a shot. Life is full of taking shots like that. And sometimes it doesn't work out. Mistake number three, and this is the last mistake I'll share. I mean, I can tell you mistakes until the end of days.

Heather (17:14.51)

Chris Do (17:20.206)
and it still not be out of mistakes. Mistake number three is we had a super, super talented art director and she was probably the most creative person, the most capable person I've ever hired in my life. And she worked so hard and she was productive. She had great vision and taste and artistic sensibilities, but she was a handful to deal with because she was a bit of a prima donna. I think in hindsight, I would have made different decisions.

to manage her a little bit differently such that it didn't kind of self terminate. So those are the things I regret because I think if we held onto a little bit longer, the company and the work that we would do would have skyrocketed. And I regret not having the skill at that time to figure that out because talented people who know they're talented can be hard to handle. And my business coach would say, you're not good enough to have an attitude.

Heather (17:53.902)

Heather (18:12.398)

Chris Do (18:17.134)
she was good enough to have an attitude.

Heather (18:20.206)
Interesting. Now you talk Chris about business coaches. How many business coaches have you had over your career?

Chris Do (18:27.47)
I've had exactly one and I worked with him for 13 years. Yeah.

Heather (18:29.486)
The whole time.

Okay, some key themes that he's told you because he sounds like he's definitely been a partner in your growth and your mindset and your shift and who you are as a human being. What are some of the most profound things he's told you over the years?

Chris Do (18:33.262)

Chris Do (18:40.366)

Chris Do (18:45.998)
Okay, I've written them down. I wish I had my notebook in front of me because I, I tell people think of your mentor and write down the headline to every lesson you've learned. And I thought I was going to get stuck at six or seven. I think I wrote like 23. And as you write them down, more ideas come. So I'm just going to shoot off the top of my head here. Okay. Number one is he said that you need, you need to say what you think, say what you think, whatever it is. And I'm not sure why I was stuck on this part.

Heather (18:49.166)
Heather (18:55.31)

Heather (19:03.822)
Please, yeah.

Chris Do (19:13.934)
He gave me permission to express my thoughts because I thought you could never ask the client, what is it that you want? Who else are you talking to? What is your budget? I didn't know I can ask any of these questions. So I kind of tiptoed around it. And it's why many of my role plays or my writing, you'll see I'm a very direct communicator. And for some people, it's very shocking, off -putting. And for some people, it's very refreshing. But today, I don't know how else to speak. I'm going to tell you what I think because it turns out...

Heather (19:31.31)

Heather (19:36.046)

Chris Do (19:42.574)
By holding on to stressful ideas, the stress grows and builds within you and it's not a good thing for your health and it's not a good thing for the relationship. I found that by saying what I think, being totally honest and being very frank, it has won me more trust and relationships and new business than tiptoeing around things. I'll give you one example. There was a tech like a telecoms client back East.

and they wanted us to redesign their logo. That's all they wanted us to do. There was more on the table, but they just wanted us to redesign the logo. And to date, it's the most expensive logo we've ever charged. I think it was north of $100 ,000 just for logo. No strategy, no identity system. So people are like, what? Okay. Now my operations officer, Ben, he was really prepared for this meeting. He has notes, he's done research on their website. He's done everything. He's read everything. And now I'm the kind of...

Heather (20:22.894)
Okay, well, yeah, right.


Chris Do (20:39.854)
new business salesperson, I just walk in like, okay, tell me what I need to know. Okay, let's get on the phone. I'm ready. Let's go. Right? So I just drill them. Tell me, tell me, tell me. Okay, I'm ready. Let's go. We get on the phone and his operations person has been talking to Ben for quite some time to organize a call between the two CEOs, me and the CEO of this company. I think they're doing $250 million a year, not a small company. We get on the phone, we're chatting a little bit and he says, Chris, have you checked out our website?

I said, no.

I took a long pause and Ben looks at me. His face is drained of blood. It's like white as a ghost. And he's like, my God, Chris, I'm so prepared. Why didn't you just pick me? I could just see the fear and the panic in his eyes, right? I said no. And I said, I'll tell you why.

Heather (21:13.678)
Let that go down.

Heather (21:28.608)
See ya.

Chris Do (21:34.254)
Oftentimes I find when I go do homework before we actually talk, I come in with all these different ideas instead of just listening to you.

Chris Do (21:44.558)
I don't want to take anything for granted.

Okay, so we got off the phone and Ben's like, my God, dude, I don't know how that call went. I'm like, no, the call went great, Ben. There was a lot of other things that we talked about, not just like the fact I didn't look at the site.

And then later on we get the gig and we're doing this job. And Ben's outlook was like, you f -ing bombed it, dude. I'm like, no, I read people for a living. Trust me, we got this. So we did get the job. And later on, guess what? The other guy told Ben, the CEO chose us because I was a straight shooter. And he was a straight shooter and he could respect that. So say what you think. Oftentimes we're afraid to ask questions like,

Heather (22:09.23)


Heather (22:21.806)


Chris Do (22:31.118)
What inspired this idea? And when you say you want a new and innovative idea, are you talking about 10 % different from the previous campaign or are you talking about 180 degrees? I need to kind of know. And can you give an example of that? And here's one that I'm thinking of that relates to what we just talked about. Is that what you're saying? no, that's not it. OK, let's continue exploring it because I want to be clear with you what it is that you have in your head. And it's my job to figure that out, to kind of surface it from you by just asking you questions. So say what you think.

Heather (22:58.67)
You're a good, yeah, you're a good question. Have good questions as well as you're a good listener. I can tell from what you're saying. You're a bit of a coach yourself, aren't you? Yeah. And saying what, you know, also dealing with these incredibly powerful people over the years too. I mean, the ones I've dealt with in the past too, they don't want to be yesed. They want it. They want to be held accountable. They want to be pull out the best of them. They want that, that straight conversation that you give them.

Chris Do (23:07.438)
I am. Yeah.

Chris Do (23:25.646)
Yes. And if they don't, it's just not right for you because I'm a straight shooter. I don't have time to dance around on this thing, right? I usually find this to be true, that people who dance around issues are really inexperienced. And at the price point in which we're playing at, I don't have time to work with inexperienced people. If you're too inexperienced, like you're going to waste somebody's time, it won't be mine. Yeah.

Heather (23:29.614)
Don't mess around. No, no, no. Yeah.

Heather (23:40.718)

Heather (23:49.326)
Yeah. And don't you find also people that are inexperienced, they waffle on and they just build a lot of double talk and stuff. I find the people that know what they're doing to have their shit together are simple. They can say things very concisely.

Chris Do (23:57.294)

Chris Do (24:01.966)
Yes. And you know, one of the things that we are, we're kind of notorious or famous for is our role place in sales conversations. People watch our videos like there's no way that works. No, this is scripted. This is such a setup to make Chris look great. I would never fold like this clients. You know, here's the truth. What we're hearing from is the peanut gallery. People who've actually never bid on jobs at the scale in which we're talking about. Right.

Heather (24:07.502)


Heather (24:29.678)

Chris Do (24:31.022)
They're dealing with small mom and pop businesses or internet brokers or somebody who doesn't really care about the outcome and they just want to get a good price. So they're used to a certain level of buyer. And I tell people this and it's really hard for them to believe this. I said that no client ever talks to me like that. No client. The way you guys role play with me, this is like the most horrendous people on earth. Like who are you selling to? And look at yourself in the mirror.

What are you doing to attract these types of clients? Or what are you not doing? Because our clients come in prepared. They've done their homework. They're informed buyers. They have good taste. They know that good work comes at a price and they're ready to pay. And when you ask them, what is the budget? Most of the clients that talk to me, just tell me. It's not even their money. They were given a budget to work with, so it doesn't behoove them to shortchange the vendor myself.

to then cripple us so that we can't deliver service or quality work. It's only going to come back to bite them in the butt. They know that, we know that. It's only the inexperienced producers on the other side who are like, well, I'm not at liberty to say. Well, I'm at liberty to guess. So do you have $250 ,000 to do this? Because that's kind of what it sounds like to me. They're like, no, no, no, no, we don't have that kind of money. so you do know the budget. You see, I'll get the number from you one way or the other.

And we can play a game or we can just be really straight. And I'll give you one example of this, okay? There's a general rule that I have, which is when you don't know what you're doing, ask them what their budget is. When you know what you're doing, you control the conversation on the budget. This is really critical. And it's backed up by Chris Voss's book, Never Split the Difference. He shares a story about Raymond Chandler, who is like a famous writer, comes to Hollywood and is like ready to negotiate with these Hollywood producers. And he goes, I want...

$20 ,000 and I will take not a penny less. And they're like, Raymond, you need to hire an agent and we're going to pay for one. Because they're fans of Raymond and they wanted to work with them in the future and they knew that his rate was too low. That had they paid him that and agreed to it, that later on he would find out what his real market value was and he would be resentful of them. So they did a thing that very few people do. They had integrity and they were looking out for their partner vendor.

Chris Do (26:53.198)
So I'll give you the example, okay? There was a large consumer electronic company who called us up and said, we want to sponsor some content with Chris. And I'm relatively new to this whole content influencer game where I'm like, I don't know what people charge for this. Right? And I'll just put this out there. So if you know who you are, I'm sorry. Thank you. Appreciate you. Love you. Okay. Here we go. So Amy says to me, Chris, what should we ask for?

Heather (27:01.582)

Heather (27:05.248)

Chris Do (27:22.382)
She's new to this too. And she's my business development person. She goes, should we ask for like 50? How about 70, Chris? $70 ,000, okay? For a social media post. Just everybody, just sit back down. Pull yourself up. Get back in the chair. I'm like, that sounds pretty good. But let me drive the conversation. So we get on the phone, we're talking, talking. I say, hey, look, I'd love to work with you. I'm a fan of your products. I'd love to work with you.

Heather (27:29.006)
Yep, yep. Wow.

Chris Do (27:50.702)
And we can play games, I can guess, you can guess, and we just bounce back with the numbers. But if you just tell me what you're working with, I'll do the best that I can.

She goes, okay. She goes, well, I don't wanna play games either. Does $120 ,000 work for you?

Heather (28:13.002)
my God.

Chris Do (28:15.31)
And I'm like, and I'm trying to, it's on zoom so she can see my face. I have to be like Joe Cool. I'm like, 120. I think within reason we can do whatever it is that you want within reason. And she goes, you know what, if you need more money, just let me know. Right. And she goes, you know what, it's not my money.

Heather (28:21.71)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hmm, let me think about that.

Heather (28:35.022)

Chris Do (28:41.326)
I want to work with people like you. I'm like, fantastic. Well, I'm going to, I'm going to go the extra mile for you. Okay. So there's a lot to unpack here. When you don't know what you're doing, don't try to negotiate because you don't know what you're doing. Just remember the Raymond Chandler story. Just remember the Christo story. Like don't go in there like, well, 60k and not a penny less. And they'll say, okay.

Heather (28:49.102)
Wow. Yes, there is.

Chris Do (29:07.726)
So she's like 120k and she's like, do you need more? I can ask for more. I'm like, no, I don't need more. That's plenty. Let's work with this. Inside, it's like fireworks are exploding my mind. I'm like, I don't even know what, what kind of world do we live in? Where somebody's going to pay me $120 ,000. And that's not the first and last time I got $120 ,000 for social media stuff. Just put it out there. Okay. And just put it out there. And I was like, okay, this is really super. Okay. And this point forward,

Heather (29:32.622)

Chris Do (29:37.92)
Whatever they ask for, like, can we see another version? I'm like, hell yeah. You want to see three more? What do you want from me? I got you. Now, here's what I tell people. When you say you have a bad client, just ask yourself why the client is bad. And if you got paid double, would you still describe them as a bad client? And sometimes they're like, well, yeah, this will be, how about three times? How about 10 times as much as what you got paid? Would they be bad client? Like, no.

I'm like, well, it's the same client. What's the difference? Well, you got paid what you were worth. You got paid a premium on top of that. So I always tell people this and they can't figure this part out. And my business coach didn't tell me this, but I've come to the conclusion. If you want better clients, charge more.

Heather (30:10.67)
That's it.

That's it.

Chris Do (30:23.406)
Higher quality clients have certain expectations. They respect the process. They're informed buyers. They're discerning buyers and have relatively good tastes. And they know to spend money, to make money, you have to spend money. They let you drive and you appreciate them more. I know it's a crazy concept. Yes.

Heather (30:41.422)
You know, this is a theme that comes up time and time and time again about positioning and pricing with the conversations I have on this podcast. And I love that you've just swung at home, brought it home and said that same thing. really fascinating. as we start to wrap up, I do want to bring it back to the future and what you do there. So you said that's your coaching community and you help people over there. I think I read somewhere that you have like a goal to support 1 billion people doing what they love. So.

Chris Do (30:55.15)

Chris Do (31:09.934)

Heather (31:10.894)
Can people sign up for this? Talk to me about the future. What is it?

Chris Do (31:13.806)
Yes. Okay. So now I'm post service work and I want to create educational products and I want to coach and I just want to teach. I want to make a ton of money teaching and I want to be the best teacher I can be and then hopefully the best teacher in my category in the world. I aspire to be that kind of person. So we developed this mission to teach building people how to make a living doing what they love without losing their soul. It's mostly for creative people. So there's a subtext that it's kind of think of us as private art school without the crippling debt.

Heather (31:31.254)

Heather (31:38.606)

Chris Do (31:43.15)
So I'm trying to leverage tools, technologies, teaching methodology to make education accessible for the widest range of people. So we have an international audience or coalition of people who consider themselves fans and followers of ours. And that's what we do. Now, most of them consume hundreds, if not thousands of our videos and pieces of content for free. And they can sign up on our website to say, well, I want to be one of those billion people.

Heather (31:43.182)

Chris Do (32:12.526)
So McDonald's has this counter and it used to be like, they'll never reach a billion and now they're just into some crazy like 10 billion hamburgers served. I don't even know what the number is anymore, but it's fascinating to see. And this is an idea from one of our fans that say like, how do we know Chris? Can you make a counter? I'm like, absolutely. So people sign up. I think we're north of 30 ,000, but I know the number is much bigger than that. It's just the number of people who've literally given us their email and say, count me in and they get a special number.

Heather (32:40.43)
Yeah, okay.

Chris Do (32:41.742)
And it's pretty cool. It took a little coding work to do that, but they have their number and we have a catalog of all those people. And the people who become interested in going deeper into the program can buy some resources that we have for $20. And the most expensive resource we have is $5 ,000. They can join a coaching community, which is based on a monthly subscription. We have two currently, one that's $100 a month and one that's $250 a month. And so those are the various ways in which they can support us so that we can support them.

Heather (32:57.934)

Heather (33:10.83)
Excellent and do they just go to the future website to sign up for all that? Excellent.

Chris Do (33:14.286)
Yes. Yeah, they go to the future .com. The future is spelled without an E. It's F -U -T -U -R, the future. Yeah, yeah, no E then.

Heather (33:20.622)
Thefuture .com with no E. And is it just for creatives?

Chris Do (33:26.67)
The Accelerator group, the $100 a month group is just for creatives. The pro group, which I run is for, I think the way I would describe it is anybody who identifies as creative entrepreneurs. So we have coaches, we have salespeople, we have, believe it or not, a couple of CPAs in there. Yeah, but they're very creative people.

Heather (33:30.702)

Heather (33:42.606)

Okay, okay. Yeah, excellent. I know a lot of our listeners are seeing it like going, man, this is so good. So get in there, you guys, go to the future with noe .com and go check it out. And then as we start to wrap up, Chris, are there any last words of wisdom that you would like to share with the listeners?

Chris Do (34:07.342)
Yeah, I want to share. I mean, you asked me like, what did I learn from my business coach? I shared one thing with you. There's another idea. And it's not a like a radically profound idea. But it's something that I found to be very empowering. And I find that a lot of things I've learned from my business coach are is like him giving me permission. permission to think and act the way that I do. So he has this expression. He says, Chris, you have the right to be wrong.

Heather (34:11.438)
I did.

Chris Do (34:37.07)
And I'll explain what that means, okay? So I run a company. At its largest, I think we're 20 people, two offices, one in New York and one in LA. And I'm an introvert. I'm very conflict diverse. I'm the middle child. So I'm very accommodating, people pleasing, all those kinds of things. Did I touch a nerve? Okay. Okay.

Heather (34:53.518)
Wow. No, no, I'm not the middle. I'm the older, but I'm blown away by the fact you said you're an introvert because you don't come across that way. Yeah, it's interesting. Yeah.

Chris Do (35:00.206)
I'm an introvert middle child and I don't want to argue with people. And what happens is the passive aggressive people that I hired in all different levels, they kind of feel that about me. And they're constantly pushing boundaries like, I'm going to leave or I'm going to book this trip. I'm going to do this and I'm not going to argue with them because I was like, I want to say something, but I don't. I'm like, your personal time is more important than my time.

Heather (35:22.318)

Chris Do (35:27.598)
I would do stuff like that. So I was like the first in, last out, last to get paid, all those kinds of things. And what Keir told me was you have the right to be wrong. Because we started talking about why I defer judgment to them when I know it's not going to work. So Keir, shoot, I don't know from God that it's not going to work. I just based on my experience, so shouldn't I give him a shot? He goes, as the person who signs the checks,

who stays up late at night worrying about whether or not you're going to have payroll for tomorrow, the person who eats last, the person who has to have the conversations with people that we don't have enough money so we have to let you go, gets the first right to be wrong. So if two people are going to be wrong, you should be the first person to be wrong. Why would you let them do this? And so I started to get permission from him. So when people say weird things to me, I'm like, you know what? I hear you. We're not going to do that.

We're gonna do this other thing, this thing that I want to do. And I'm gonna exercise my right to be wrong as the owner. Not in an egotistical way, but instead of always deferring that decision to other people, I'm gonna take some of that. Now, I don't do that all the time. Sometimes people are like, I wanna try this thing. I'm like, all right, go try it. Just make sure if it doesn't work out, you learn the lesson. Because we're allowed to have some failures. That's how we learn.

Heather (36:52.942)
What a beautiful way to end this episode. Thank you so much. You're the coolest person ever. I could just sit here and keep listening to you for hours. But guys, if you want more Chris, you're gonna have to go to the future and also follow him on Instagram. Like I said, at the start of this show, dude, your content's great. So you need to go follow Christo as well over there. Thank you so much for being here.

Chris Do (37:13.87)
Thank you.