Straight Talk Radio – an interview with Peter Fogel.
Tired of traditional talk? People pontificating about this or that? The left or the right? Sometimes the truth is just off lost in the noise. Having learned life lessons the hard way, Chuck Gallagher, international speaker and author, cuts through the noise to share truth through transparency!
Now, here’s your host, Chuck Gallagher.
CHUCK: And this is Chuck Gallagher and thanks for joining us. It’s always exciting to come to the show each week with things that are new and exciting and this particular show, I think is going to be a blast because two things are going to take place. Most of you probably will end up having a good laugh out of this show. I have got a great guest, an absolutely classic humorous, but as part of that, we’re also going to discuss some things that, let’s put it this way, how some of us, at least I’m a baby boomer and, Peter, if you’re not, you’re edging toward that–
PETER: Trust me. I am a baby boomer. I just look very well preserved.
CHUCK: [chuckles] Well, we’re talking about well preserved, Keith Richards is well preserved. I don’t know how the guy is still alive, but anyway, that’s a–
CHUCK: Yeah, different issue for a different day. But on Straight Talk Radio we talk about a lot of things so we not only will talk about some fun things that are relevant to our lives today and have some fun with it, get a few laughs out of it, but we’re also going to talk about how people get scammed and kind of what that process is and how to be on alert for it because what actually brought Peter and I together is the fact that both of us have had experience with a very similar scam artist who happens to work in the industry that we’re both professionals in and that’s the speaking industry. But that’s not what the whole show is about!
Peter Fogel is my guest. He is the employee re-engagement expert. Now, Peter has been seen and heard in a number of places; he’s been on PBS, MTV, HBO, CBS, NBC, A&E, Fox News and Comedy Central. He is an absolutely classically funny gentleman who is currently touring on a show called “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m Therapy”. Peter, thanks for joining us on the show today. This is great!
PETER: My pleasure, Chuck. I wish we could have been brought together under nicer circumstances, but nevertheless I am blessed to be on your show. Thank you and I’m thrilled to be talking to your audience about what we’re going to discuss today.
CHUCK: Let me ask you a question. Before we get into what actually did bring us together, tell me a little bit about the show. I mean, I’ve seen some clips from it.
PETER: Oh, you did?
CHUCK: Yeah, and it’s classically funny. You’ve got this cool show that you’re doing, “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m in Therapy”, and I’ve seen some clips of it and it’s hysterically funny so I know you do a lot of other things, but how did that take place and give us a little idea about that.
PETER: Well, Steve Solomon wrote this one-man show 12 years ago. He was an older comedian, he didn’t want to do comedy clubs, he was always [03:39] dialects and accents and he was a funny guy. He grew up in a multicultural diverse household. His mother is Italian, his father is Jewish and it drove him crazy because he had both sets of grandparents and basically he wrote a play. That’s a million-dollar title. If you want an example of a million-dollar title that brings people into shows and starts laughing, that’s a perfect example. Just like when you’re writing books, it’s the title that gets them in, unless you’re a brand name or a star.
So he came up with this title, wrote the show around it and really based on him going to a therapist, his parents are getting old and he’s a baby boomer and as you know all baby boomers are stressed out when they become the primary care provider of their parents. The parents are harder hearing, he’s got different relatives on each side.
So Steve basically does performer a show around the country, but he licenses the show to different countries. It’s been done in Australia, it’s about to be going in Australia. It’s been outsourced to South Africa, believe it or not, and he licensed it to a producer out of Philadelphia who brings it around the country and I’m the only national Touring Star. He auditioned 55 people on Broadway. They couldn’t do all the voices and the dialects. I do over 25 different characters with “The Italian Mother and the Jewish Father”, but I’m doing the characters on stage and that was why he hired me. I’m the only one other than him that can do the show. I do it around the country, in fact, I’ll be in Fort Worth Monday for a month. Google me, just say “Fort Worth Peter Fogel Fort Worth, Texas, Peter Fogel, My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, I’m in Therapy”. It pops up on Group On, LivingSocial, The Theater and everything. So I go for a month’s time and I do the show as [05:25] to sit down. It’s a 500-seat theater and it’s 7 shows a week and that’s what I do when I’m not speaking basically.
CHUCK: Wow, so you actually are speaking, but in a somewhat different environment.
CHUCK: You know, Peter, the thing that strikes me about that and I think that’s rare in the speaking world because most of us, myself included, professional speakers and yes, we work with associations and we work with corporations and we have a particular genre so to speak that we talk about. In my case, that typically is the ethics presentations, but the classic thing is if you’ve got all of these characters and you’re able to transform yourself on the stage, how engaging that would be to someone who is there participating and especially when you’re focusing as a corporate trainer or as someone outside of the stage, so to speak, that ability to bring in those different characters and pull people together in a story has to be very powerful for you.
PETER: Yes! When it comes to speaking, the most powerful, and I think you’ll agree with me, the most powerful ammo you can have to engage with your speakers is strong content, humor interspersed throughout it, but become a story teller. When it comes down to it, you know it and I know it, since caveman days people have engaged with stories so this is a 2-hour show I do with a 15-minute intermission so when you engage your audiences with a story that has a point of view, you’re not just telling a story for the sake of telling a story or telling a joke for the sake of telling a joke, but an engaging story that has a beginning, a middle and an end, like this play that I’m doing, this one-man show, that is one of the most powerful techniques you should learn as a public speaker. Learn how to tell stories that engage your audience but focusing on their wants, needs and desires so there’s a reason for telling a story. Do you agree? I’m sure when you talk about ethics, there’s always a story behind every example you’re giving.
CHUCK: Oh, absolutely. And I think for people who are listening to the show, because let’s keep in mind, the show is not about professional speakers by any stretch of imagination, but all of us at some level as human beings in our work and the things that we do professionally, ultimately have to engage other people, we have to speak to other people and, frankly, most of us have to ultimately get the point across so that people will want to subscribe to or buy the products that we have. Now, I was speaking of the funeral group, yesterday in fact, and one of the people was sitting there and saying, “You know, I’m just not a sales person,” and there was a mentality of sales was bad, but the reality is there is a contract and there is always an engagement that takes place between the service provider and the person that needs that service and the ability to communicate that well so people can be comfortable as incredibly powerful.
PETER: Yes, but beneath the story, beneath dealing with the prospect, who by the way, is a suspect before they become a prospect and then a customer, then you want them to be a lifetime customer, is the art of persuasion. Correct?
CHUCK: Yes. Correct.
PETER: Every [09:00] should learn the art of persuasion. He’s thinking of sales that funeral director or, what was he?
CHUCK: Funeral director, yes.
PETER: They think it’s a dirty word. It’s not. We use persuasion in every day of our lives from getting our kids, our parents, our loved ones, our wife, our significant other, to see our point of view. There’s no way of getting about it. If you don’t learn that, you’re going to be a funeral director out of business. Honestly.
CHUCK: Right. Peter, let me ask you a question because although, and I started with this, although you’ve got this great performance, and by the way since you’re going to be in Fort Worth on Monday and that would be Monday the… What is that?
PETER: The 13th.
CHUCK: Yes, the 13th of October.
PETER: I fly in the 13th and then I start on Wednesday the 15th.
CHUCK: Okay, got it, and this show was going to air on the 13th so for those folks that are listening in the Fort Worth market and I’ve got a lot of friends in Dallas, Fort Worth I’ll try to drive a few people to see the show. I am sure they would love it.
PETER: My pleasure.
CHUCK: But let me ask you this, you are obviously actively involved in reinvention.
CHUCK: So, if I heard correctly you said at a certain point in time you reinvented yourself. Tell us about the process of that took place with it. And, Peter, before we do that, I hate to interrupt, but I’m hearing the music in the background that says we’re already to our first break, which is amazing to me.
CHUCK: So stick with us. Peter Fogel is my guest. He is the reinvention guy. I mean, he absolutely is going to take us on a journey of how is it in life when a twister turn takes place that we can reinvent ourselves. So hang with us in the break. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio and we’ll be back with Peter Fogel in just a minute.[Commercial break]
CHUCK: This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio and my guest is Peter Fogel. Peter is an expert at reinvention. He is the employee re-engagement and reinvention expert. He is a humorous author, corporate trainer. He also happens to be the star of a great show that’s starting in Fort Worth this next week, the week of October 13, “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m In Therapy”.
CHUCK: So having the background of performance, Peter, you said that in your midlife you actually reinvented yourself. Tell us about what took place that led you to that and how that process started.
PETER: A great part of my adult professional life since I was in my twenties, I was a stand-up comic. I came up in the comedy ranks with Ray Romanos, the Jon Stewarts, Dennis Miller, Jerry Seinfeld was a little ahead of me, and I was a stand-up comic during the comedy boom and for every Ray Romano that lucks out, there are guys like me. I mean, I’ve been on stage with Ray Romano, I’ve been reviewed with Ray Romano. I’ve always been a very good funny comic, but again in life and especially show business, there’s a lot of luck.
I was getting to the point where I was approaching 40, which is that kind of mid way part of your life where you go, “Okay, I’ve done this. What is my future?” I was getting older, I was a clean comic, audiences were getting younger, I was getting older. I realized that you’re at the mercy of other people’s perceptions of you because their perception of you is their reality. I said, “I need to change something and get another skill that I can have a future career where I’m in control of my future, my financial future.”
I saw this years ago. I knew that comedy club will not pay as much and how long can you keep touring around country playing comedy clubs being paid from 1982 prices when it’s in the 1990s and 2000. So I became a direct mail copywriter. I took my writing skill. I was a sitcom writer on an international sitcom. I’ve always written. I said, “You know, I’m going to become a direct response copywriter and if people want to know what that is, every time you go to a website, every time you get a direct mail, every time you listen to a commercial or an infomercial, a copywriter, a sales writer creates that script, that piece of salesmanship in print to persuade someone to buy a product or service.” So I got that skill. I became a copywriter. I had as much of a commitment to that as a ninja does to learning how to do nunchucks so I really focused on that, became a working copywriter, got a lot of work. I wrote a book on reinvention If Not Now… Then When? about people who were going through that transition so you know to reinvent yourself is when either it’s an aha moment. Something comes to you and you go, “Hey,” an opportunity that you weren’t looking for, that presented itself and you grabbed. You go, “Okay, that’s a sign. I have to do something different.”
Now, there’s also a sign where your health is in jeopardy. People I interviewed in that book, If Not Now… Then When?, had mental breakdowns at their jobs, they had health concerns, they were allergic to their jobs and they realized they had to make a life change. It’s like choosing your mate. You know when something’s right, you know when something’s wrong, you know when something completes you and being that with work and work defines us, you know when it’s time to make a change.
PETER: You want to do something that completes you, just like your mate, that makes you feel good and excited in the morning. I just was starting to interview people finding out that’s not a life well lived if you get up in the morning, “Ah, got to go to the job. Got to get in the car. I’m being overworked, underpaid.” It’s always something that’s not clicking with you, and that’s when I decided to reinvent myself and then I became a corporate trainer teaching people copywriting and so it just snowballed into taking my past skills and just transforming it into another career. I was doing Reinvention Guy. When I was doing corporations, I got coached by another speaker. He says, “You know what? If you talk to people that just want to reinvent their careers, that’s one thing, but if you want to talk to corporations, they don’t want to hear reinvention. They get scared. They want their employees to be re-engaged,” so I had to actually rebrand myself. Does that make sense?
CHUCK: Yeah, it absolutely does and, Peter, I think you hit on two things that are really critical for the people that are listening on the show, because you’re absolutely right. Number one, there are times in life when things happen or we just know that it’s time for something different, otherwise we become very stagnant and very unhappy.
CHUCK: Quite respectfully I said, I was speaking to a funeral group yesterday, the reality is life is far too short to live it unhappy.
CHUCK: If it’s not working, do something else or find out how you can re-engage, but to your point about redefining yourself or re-engaging yourself, I wrote a book called Second Chances.
CHUCK: Transforming Adversity Into Opportunity, and it was kind of funny because I was talking with a gentleman and he said, “How is the book going?” and I said, “Well, it’s going okay.” I was honest. It wasn’t like flying off of the shelf and he said, “It’s because of the title,” and I was like, “I don’t understand.” He said, “What corporate CEO would be sitting in the first class of an airplane reading a book called Second Chances? They don’t want their employees to have to have a second chance because it infers they screwed up something to begin with. They want to make good first choices.”
PETER: Right, right.
CHUCK: So to rebrand yourself as the employee re-engagement expert makes perfect sense for that corporate audience because they want their people to re-engage, to plug back in and to capture that same spirit they had when they first got the job and walked in day 1 saying, “I can conquer the world.”
PETER: I talk about that in the book actually. I teach them actually the new book, Reboot Your Career: 27 Ways to Reinvent Yourself in the Workplace. The basis of it is not telling people to lead. “I’m going to show you how to regain that spark where you are because making a [17:31] is not going to make any difference in your life.” Correct?
CHUCK: That’s right.
PETER: It’s basically– I give people the skill to become intrepreneur and you and I are entrepreneurs but having an intrepreneur mindset where they are right now to reach their goals, their financial goals, their career fulfillment in their present career and job. That’s why I want them to be re-engaged.
CHUCK: Now, let me ask you this question, and not to take anything away from the book, but you have 27 ways to reinvent yourself in the workplace so if you don’t mind, share with our audience maybe two or three of those that really strike you as something that’s an interesting tangible way to be able to reconnect and reboot yourself within your organization.
PETER: Okay. Quickly, if you want to stand out, be noticed by your colleagues and actually have them on your side, and you want senior people in the company, your supervisors, everyone above the pecking order, you have to create your own USP, unique selling proposition; what you bring to the table, what makes you unique that what you have no one else has so you are the go-to person really in that particular division. Maybe you, like I said, when I was hired as an in-house copywriter, he looked at my whole background and he realized my boss, who was hiring as an in-house copywriter, noted that I was freelancing for many years. To go in-house was new and exciting. “Hey, I’m going to go to a 9-to-5 job! This is exciting! I want to see what other people have to go with.” He saw that I could write scripts, he knew I was a voice actor for many years. By the way, he didn’t know that. I was the Ring around the Collar man for Wisk detergent.
CHUCK: No way!
CHUCK: Oh, my goodness.
PETER: Well, you go on my website, peterfogel.com, you will see the commercials, so he says, “Oh, this guy can do in-house radio spots. I don’t have to hire an outside person. He could write scripts because he was a Hollywood script writer,” so I had certain skills that other people didn’t have so people should do that while they’re listening. Make a list of your weaknesses and your strengths. Be honest with yourself, then find a good friend of yourself, a good friend and say, “What are my strengths and weaknesses that you see I have?” and ask two other people and compare notes. If they keep hitting the same notes and you keep comparing them, “Oh, wow, I’m on to something.” It’s like you’re taking a mini survey of yourself with other people. That’s number one.
Number two, get into a mastermind group of likeminded people that are at your level or more importantly a little above you that can help you reach your goals because people like Tony Robbins, I don’t know if you know this, as much money as he makes and he’s a very wealthy spiritually fulfilled man, I mean, he owns islands, he’s in a mastermind group with billionaires and they’re all helping each other. I mean, Tony probably helps these guys to get through barriers and they help him get through barriers. A mastermind group, that’s important. You can do that within your industry, an association and it’s good to get into a mastermind group of people that are not necessarily your profession but likeminded in that business arena. Does that make sense?
CHUCK: Yes, it does.
PETER: You want to get, we can do a whole show on that. And number three, find yourself a mentor, someone who is really on top of the food chain that can take you under their wing and if you want to get on to another level in the company or you want to learn another skill or craft that will set you apart, find someone who has done what you’ve done and has a lot of experience at it and it’ll help you whether you pay him or you give sweat equity in return. I did that with copywriters. Master copywriters always help up-and-coming copywriters to show them the pitfalls and the landmines and little shortcuts because to learn a new skill it takes about a thousand hours to learn a new skill to become proficient. If you have a mentor, you can cut that in half. How’s that?
CHUCK: You know, number one, I think those are three great suggestions for people to be able to listen to it and think about and I don’t know what your experience is, but some people that I find, how do I want to put this, I guess they get into a little bit of a victim mentality, they become somewhat down on themselves. The reality is we all have a unique selling proposition. There is something about all of us that is unique and it gives us the opportunity to create for ourselves some new, for example, and I think most of the people who have listened to the show on a regular basis know I was a CPA for a number of years, quite successful, made some stupid, stupid choices which ended me up in federal prison. So when I re-emerged in 1996, of course nobody wanted to hire a convicted felon, that was typical, so I did what other people were unwilling to do. I sold cemetery property door to door.
PETER: Door to door?
CHUCK: Door to door, yeah.[Peter laughs]
CHUCK: It might not be the sexiest job in the world, Peter.
PETER: You ran out of encyclopedias?
CHUCK: Well, no, by that point in time encyclopedias were not being sold and before we go to break, I’ll just quickly say, obviously there’s two things I knew. One, if you were breathing, you were a potential customer and at some point in time, you would have to have what we had. So my choice was, was I going to do and say, “Oh, [22:58] is me,” or was I going to be the best at it? And all of us as human beings have the ability to be the best, so if you’re going to reboot your career, sometimes you have to make a commitment to fully engage so that reboot can really take place.
Here we are at another break. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio. My guest is Peter Fogel and Peter is the man, not only is he an awesome corporate trainer, speaker and employee re-engagement expert, someone that associations and corporations hire across the country, but he also happens to have a quite proficient acting career and will be on stage in Fort Worth, Texas, the week of October 13.
PETER: For a month.
CHUCK: For a month, yeah! He’ll be featured in “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m in Therapy”. We’ll be back after these words.[Commercial break]
CHUCK: Well, welcome back. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio and this has been a whole lot of fun. First, my guest is Peter Fogel. He is the employee re-engagement expert. He has written a number of books If Not Now… Then When?, Reboot Your Career: 27 Ways to Reinvent Yourself in the Workplace, if you still have a job, and he has a Boomer Humor Radio. Peter is really a multitalented individual, but I’ll have to say, when we first started off, I said, you know, Peter and I came together in somewhat an odd way. In that, Peter reached out to me like a lot of people that find ourselves successful in what we do. There is a challenge and, Peter, I think you would agree with this, that if you’re kind of the one-man show, if you are the speaker, in your case the employee re-engagement expert and you’re out talking with associations and corporations and so forth, every time you have a microphone in your hand, you are providing information, but you are unable to connect with other people directly to advance your business.
CHUCK: Most of the time some of us decide, “Gosh, wouldn’t it be great if we had some support, some people that could help us move our business forward so while we’re doing what we do,” while you’re in Fort Worth for a month for example, “somebody could be promoting you to help you advance your career?” and I think that’s kind of how it started.
PETER: Yes, solopreneurs outsource. We should be busy speaking, writing, creating content and we all have limited bandwidth and most successful solopreneurs have companies, agents, managers and marketing companies that market their [25:54] and I got involved in a company, do we discuss it now?
CHUCK: Oh, yeah, sure. Let’s do it.
PETER: Called ISN Works, or the Innovators Group or a subsidiary. ISN Works, formerly known as the Innovators Group, they’re a company out of Tennessee that markets, unscrupulously markets to newbie speakers and veteran speakers who want to get more work for themselves and unfortunately, it’s smoking mirrors. They take your money and don’t do the job at hand. They tell you what you want to hear on the phone so you will engage with them and they tell you exactly what they’re going to do for you, they get you excited, knowing about the money you’re going to make, and they don’t do the job! I was angry at myself because I usually do my due diligence when I do anything, checking out with other speakers, but I didn’t do Google. Google is such a very important tool these days, especially if you go to the RipOff. If you go to the RipOff website and you can go, “Oh-oh, where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire,” and when you come across what this company and other speakers are saying about it, you say, “Oh-oh, this is not going to turn out really well.”
They took my money. She promised to me, they promised me [27:09] that they were going to do X, Y, Z, and basically, if you’re going to do X, Y, Z, there has to be accountability. Everything, and I’m sure you talk about ethics, is accountability. Show me the Excel sheet, show me who you talked to, show me the spreadsheet, who you contacted, prove to me that you mailed the postcards, and show me the phone logs and the contact person. If you tell me you sent it to me by email and I haven’t gotten it, you can’t say that anymore. It just doesn’t hold. It’s nonsense. So, basically, when I talked to another speaker about it, the NSA goes, “Yeah, you should have asked me first. You’re not going to see a dime.” But they promised me! “You’re not going to get your money back and you’re not going to get any work from them,” and then when I went online, I came across you and I contacted you saying, “What do you think?” and you said, “Well, we decided, I got a nice tax write-off.” [chuckles]
CHUCK: [chuckles] Right.
PETER: “For a few bucks,” and you told me, “and I did write to the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Better Business Bureau and the State Attorney’s Office in Tennessee,” and you told me they don’t care, and you were right and you were going to explain that why that doesn’t help.
CHUCK: Yeah, for people that are listening on the call, just so that you get a little bit of a picture of this, this is, by the way, not about Chuck and it’s not about Peter. It’s about what happens as human beings and how do we get caught up in scams? Now, I want to go back just a little bit, Peter. There was a lady by the name Brenda Keefer with a company called Willow Mist.
PETER: Yes, I got her first. I didn’t tell you about that because I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed.
CHUCK: You got her first, I got her first, but Brenda was one of these people who’s just a sweetheart with a nice Southern accent.
CHUCK: And she would absolutely tell you that she just wants to promote your career. Now, let me say this so that everybody–
PETER: She’s [29:08] again very much.
CHUCK: [29:10], but here’s the thing, and it does not make any difference whether it’s this because for the radio listening audience somebody’s going to say, “Well, I’m not a speaker so what difference does it make?” so let’s take it in a broader form. If you’re going to be scammed, there is a pattern of deception that takes place and I’m going to explain it and it’s what I refer to as the P.I.T. In the first place, P, there is a promise that’s made. Now, Peter, for you or Chuck for me, here’s what happened. We wanted someone to promote us.
CHUCK: We felt like that as solopreneurs we needed to have support. We wanted someone to help sell the product, not that we couldn’t, but we needed to, as you said, be creating content, so we really, really, really wanted that. Now, for somebody else listening on the radio, they might want a great return on their money. “Gosh, if I’ve got money in savings, it’s only earning a quarter or half of per cent. I’m a little scared of the stock market, but I need to get a better investment. Gosh, I want to be able to comfortably retire,” and someone makes you a promise. Most of the time the promise does two things; it is almost too good to be true, but it really, really, really appeals to you and it falls directly if they’re good, it falls directly in line with what you’re looking for. So, for you, Peter, and for me, because both of us got scammed by this company, we found someone that really met our needs and as we said, “Here’s what we want,” they talked the talk. No different, by the way, than someone who finds out they have cancer and gets sucked into the snake oil salesperson that says, “Well, the FDA hasn’t approved this, but this has been working in Mexico or the Dominican Republic for years. It’s big government that doesn’t want you to know it because they make too much money,” and they suck you in to the purported cure that doesn’t work.
CHUCK: That’s the promise. Okay, so if I’ve got the promise, then there is going to be something. The last part of the P.I.T., I’m going to kind of break it up just a little bit, is trust. In most cases what happens is the scammer is really good at creating trust. Now, in Brenda’s case or the folks’ at ISN, which, Peter, you said, became the Innovators Group, by the way, I think, Peter, you’ll agree with this, most scammers tend to reinvent themselves, no pun intended with that, but they do because they get found out. People report them so they need to change their image so that they’re able to continue the scam, but slightly different so that people purportedly won’t know them. I think you found that with ISN becoming the Innovators Group, didn’t you?
PETER: Yeah. Well, when I brought Brenda Keefer up to ISN, because I [32:28] Brenda to Jean, who was the marketing manager, director of Marketing. Brenda Keefer, I go, “Why am I seeing all this negative information?” “Oh, that’s not from us. That was Brenda who worked for us. We’ve cleaned house. We didn’t know what she did.” And it’s birds of a feather flock together. Brenda learned to do what she did at ISN Works, basically, I believe. Then she went on her own. “Why do I have to… I can scam people. I don’t need to work with ISN to scam people. I can go on my own and scam people!” and that’s what I think she did, I mean if I’m wrong.
CHUCK: I think you’re absolutely right.
PETER: I mean, it’s amazing to be a scammer and go, “I’m going to fly on my own now. I’m going to go on my own instead of being under ISN Works,” but surprisingly enough, they’re still in business! I mean, I don’t know, obviously they’re providing some services because they’re still open. If it was a boiler room, they would have been closed.
CHUCK: You know, Peter, we assume that– I can’t say I know what service they actually provide, but what I have found is, up to this point and I think you’ve seen this now enough in doing the research that you’ve done, is there’s a whole litany of people. You and I happen to be too, but there’s a whole litany of people who provided money who got no service.
CHUCK: Or in David Wright’s case, who was the guy that’s behind this, the other scam that they have is, “We’ve recognized, Peter, that you are a great speaker and we’d love you to be part of our book with Ken Blanchard and Deepak Chopra.”
PETER: Yeah, yeah.
CHUCK: It was interesting. For those people who think, “Oh, Gosh, I want to be published!”
PETER: Oh, please, that’s even more than speaking.
CHUCK: “Oh, I want to be published.” Well, they pitched me on wanting to be published. Now, by this point in time, I had already been burned by Brenda so that told me what I needed to know, which then took me to ISN and I got the same pitch you did, which is a crock.
CHUCK: But I’m sitting there and it’s like, “You could be–
PETER: Here’s the one thing. They were easy to get on the phone. It wasn’t like she was ignoring calls. That’s the beauty of their scam. They will talk to you. You will sure pick up the phone, “Hi, how are you? What’s going on?” “Well, we did this, this and this,” so they’re accessible, which continues the scam.
PETER: It’s one think when you’re calling someone and they ignore your calls, they owe you money, they’re very hard, it always goes to voice mail. The beauty of their business model is they will pick up the phone and talk to you!
PETER: So at the end of the second, third conversation you go, “Okay, I guess I rattled the cage a little bit. Now they’re going to do something.” No! They just scammed you to believe that they’re still going to do work for you, correct?
PETER: You can get them on the phone!
CHUCK: Exactly, absolutely correct. It’s the same thing that happened with Bernie Madoff, in a sense. In that, Madoff continued to create false statements and so forth and was available to people. So, you know, if I make a promise, if I create the illusion, that’s the I, that this is happening and if I endear trust with you, well, then you’re in the P.I.T. and that happens with any scam. It’s not just this for the people that are listening on the radio.
Now, I’m hearing the music that says it’s time to go to a break, so when we get back from the break, we will give you some practical suggestions as to how to avoid being scammed and then I want to go back, Peter, to re-engagement because I think that is so important for people who are moving into their forties or in their forties or like me, a baby boomer, thinking about how does engagement take place and what are the things that we can do. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio. Join us, my guest is the wonderful, absolutely wonderful Peter Fogel. Thank you so much and we’ll be back in just a minute.[Commercial break]
CHUCK: Thanks for sticking with us. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio. My guest is Peter Fogel, the employee re-engagement expert. Peter is an awesome humorist, author, corporate trainer, and also he happens to be the star of the show “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m in Therapy” which will be playing in Fort Worth, Texas in the month of October into early November, so if you happen to be in the DFW Market, you might want to go and take a gander at the show. I have seen some clips from it, it is absolutely wonderful.
Now, the funny part about this is Peter or what brought Peter and I together was the fact that we both happened to be scammed.
PETER: And we hate being burned, don’t we?
CHUCK: Yes, we hate being burned, it really stinks to be scammed and you know what? If it can happen to people who at least, I’m going to say for both of us, are reasonably intelligent and fairly successful in our careers, it can happen to anybody.
I said in our last segment, there’s three segments, three things that come together. I call it the P.I.T. Number one, there is a promise that the scammer will make. Number two, there is some sort of illusion they create to give you the belief that whatever they’re supposed to be doing is happening, and lastly, they instill in you trust because scammers most easily are successful when they can scan people that trust them. And I will say, Peter, that I think most solopreneurs, those of us that are entrepreneurs, pretty optimistic people, we really see where our career can go so if you tend to be optimistic, you also probably tend to be a bit more trusting.
PETER: Correct. Especially when I talked to someone at ISN Works. They’ve gone to one of their workshops and he [38:38] nothing but great things about them. “I was there, I got more work, blah, blah, blah, blah. They did my video.” They get people to fly in and they do a video. It’s just about them making money and churning out stuff. You know how you get recommendations or referrals. Let me talk to someone who’s done business with them, and of course they’re going to connect you with somebody who’s in their little network. “Just tell them what you got, blah, blah, blah, blah,” and he was in the same town, I believe, and he told me what I wanted to hear also.
CHUCK: Absolutely, absolutely. The funny part about it is that this whole outfit, it’s almost like a little hornet’s nest, it’s in Sevierville, Tennessee. Not that there’s something bad about Sevierville, but boy, this little group is something to avoid. It was interesting, I have to say that one of the scams I have is, “Don’t you want to be a published author?”
PETER: Yeah, exactly.
CHUCK: So they had a book that Ken Blanchard was supposedly one of the co-authors on. Well, by this point in time, I decided, I need to dig a little deeper so I called Ken Blanchard’s office. Ended up talking to some of the folks in his Legal Department, come to find out here’s how the scam worked, which also happened to scam Mr. Blanchard, and that is they called and they said, “We’d like you to submit an article,” let me quote that, “an article for one of our publications. Would you be willing?” Well, Peter, you and I both know if somebody called me one day and said, “Hey, could you submit an article for a publication?” the answer generally would be, “Yes, sure. I’d be happy to do that.” The more we’re out, the more we’re, you know, people can connect with us. So he wrote the article according to the terms that they had. It was like 1,300 words. Turns out the article is a, quote, “chapter in the book and without his permission they’re using his name and his image.”
CHUCK: And basically they’re saying, “Well, you can be a co-author with Ken Blanchard.” A) Ken Blanchard doesn’t know Chuck Gallagher from Adam’s House Cat. That’s issue number one. Number two, he didn’t even authorize this, and ultimately there was a lot of legal action that took place to get Ken off of that book and the way they were [40:52] and promoting things. So I say this because this is how you and I connect. It’s worth doing your homework and I believe you would agree, Peter, if you had started with a little healthy skepticism and a Google search, it wouldn’t have taken long to find out that the people you were talking with were noted scam artists.
PETER: Correct. If I just did that RipOff site is a really good place because that’s where a lot of speakers– If you read what I put on recently, if you go back, it’s every few years. You see the same story and you go, “Oh, my.” It’s like déjà vu all over again.
PETER: You go, “It’s the same thing happening to me.” I went, “Oh-oh,” and then your name popped up and then I went to your other website that you have particularly to help people such as myself and newbies that are really fresh into the world and I’ve been around the block a few times. You and I both have. Again, hey, you got to do your due diligence whether you go to a–
Oh, by the way, after making the complaints with the Department of Consumer Affairs, they were called. They ignored the Department of Consumer Affairs. Now the Department of Consumer Affairs says, “They’ve ignored us. They’re now put on the “do not do business” list on our website.” Now, that’s a good way to start going doing your due diligence. Go to the Department of Consumer Affairs, go to the Better Business Bureau, look at all the complaints there. Again, go on, you can tell us what you think of BBB because that’s another story that the BBB… You know, there are good members of the Business Bureau, but they’re paying to be a part of the Better Business Bureau, correct?
CHUCK: Right, that’s absolutely correct. And here’s the thing. We don’t have a lot of time and I really do want to get back to what you’re great at because we don’t want to make this a [42:47] down kind of show–
PETER: Yeah, do your homework.
CHUCK: But it is important, it is important, that’s right, to do your homework and just check things out with the world being at your fingertips today, whenever someone approaches you or you think about, “I need help with X,” just do some research because it’s far too easy for someone like you or I to tell people, to tell the world through our blogs and our communication, “Don’t do business with these folks,” and yet people do it because they’re so interested in getting the help they want that they sometimes look past the intelligence they have to be able to figure out how to reinvent themselves or how to really truly make sure that they’re doing the right thing for themselves.
CHUCK: Now, Peter, let me ask you this question. You know, as the employee re-engagement expert, we don’t have a lot of time, but what are you seeing out there in terms of since we’ve passed the great recession, and I say ‘passed it’, I mean that with love, there are a lot of people that still have not recovered well from that, but what do you see happening with employees who have been either laid off and need to reinvent themselves or those that are employed and need to re-engage so that they become more vital to the organization?
PETER: Again, it goes back to doing your homework and looking into your present industry, see where it’s going, what is the future? Again, you have it at your fingertips. If you’re thinking of switching careers, look at something, this is an example, healthcare. We have an aging boomer population. Healthcare is never going out of business.
PETER: There are people– You just have to see where is your industry? Is it being downsized? Outsourced to India? You have to do your homework to find out where it’s going. Unfortunately, you know it and I know it, Chuck, we’re solopreneurs. We’re taking our background and our expertise on our life and our life’s work in helping others, but if you’re over 50, it’s going to be tough to get work in your chosen field. They’re outsourcing it or they’re giving it to younger people, so again, you have to decide. You want to go in on your own? Do you want to make a change? Do you want to up your skill level and revamp yourself, reinvent what you’re knowing to get best practices within your industry? You can find a career counselor. There’s so many people that can get out there to help you. Finding a mentor, a life coach, somebody that can put you on the right… Let’s say you’re a CPA and you need more clients and you’re going out on your own, you’re starting your own business. You may want to learn to art of public speaking. You may want to get a book. You have to decide really what you want to do. Do you want to be on your own, be your own boss? More risk, high reward or do you want to work for another company? You have to really take in everything where you are, what your skill level is, how old you are, because as you get older, do you agree, Chuck, it’s tougher to get work in corporations and corporate America. They are just downsizing people, certain positions and they’re going with younger people that can do your job. I can’t sugarcoat it any other way.
CHUCK: Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. They are either going with younger people that can do the job for a lower pay or they recognize, let’s call it as it is, they recognize that if you hire Chuck, the 57-year old, my cost of healthcare to that company is far greater than the cost for a 28-year old so if I want to keep my healthcare cost minimized, I need to have a younger workforce, which just naturally are going to need it.
Peter, I’m hearing the music again. It says, “Gosh, the show is over.” We have so much to talk about. But let me do this, two things real quick. I know you help people learn how to speak better so tell us a little bit about how people can get your book or get your coaching on Public Speak Like a Pro.
PETER: Yes, if you want to learn the art of public speaking go to and get signed up to my 7-day free public speaking course, go to publicspeaklikeapro.com, that’s publicspeaklikeapro.com. If you’re interested in getting an autographed copy of my book in over $200 worth of free bonuses, go to rebootyourcareernow.com. That’s rebootyourcareernow.com.
CHUCK: Peter, thank you. It’s been great to have you on the show. And for those who listen on a regular basis, of course, if you want to hear this show again outside of the date that it’s going to be aired, you can go to iTunes, search ‘Chuck Gallagher’ or ‘Straight Talk Radio’ and all of our shows are there in podcast form or go to Transformation Talk Radio and you’ll be able to see all of the shows, and of course, this show happens to be recorded on video as well, so soon we’ll have this up on YouTube and people can see Peter and see this conversation has taken place.
Peter, thank you. The employee re-engagement expert Peter Fogel has been my guest and we’re honored to have you on Straight Talk Radio with Chuck Gallagher. Tune in next week and we’ll be back with more pertinent information for you. Remember, every choice has a consequence.
You’ve been listening to Straight Talk with Chuck Gallagher. Tune in each week on transformationtalkradio.com, each Monday at 2 p.m. Pacific, 5 p.m. Eastern, as Chuck Gallagher, international speaker and author, cuts through the noise to share truth through transparency. Nationally-known guests talk about what’s important to you – your life, your concerns, and your success. Visit gallagher.pcgdev.com for more information and turn on to Straight Talk with Chuck Gallagher.