“Understand the other person's path; where they want to go and what has meaning and fulfillment for them. Help them on that journey first before you even think about asking for anything.”
Do you dream of a bigger and better future? Have you ever been told to ‘get your head out of the clouds’ and ‘be more realistic’?
Well, you’re not crazy, and you’re not alone.
Every product, innovation social movement and major change in the world started off as one person’s dream – and they were called ‘crazy’ until they made their dream come true… and then they were called a ‘genius.’
The other day I was watching the brand new documentary, Dreamer created by Giovanni Marsico (which you can watch for free at DreamerDocumentary.com), and I absolutely loved it! It was filled with incredible stories of individuals who ignored those who told them to be more realistic, and instead turned their unrealistic dreams into their reality.
I enjoyed the film so much that I immediately reached out to Giovanni and asked him to be on the podcast to share what he’s learned from spending time with some of the world’s most prolific Dreamers. He explores the patterns that he sees in people who have had the power to pursue their vision even when up against crazy resistance, friction, and people telling them it’ll never work out.
Today, Giovanni joins the podcast to share the story behind Dreamer, why there’s a real-life superhero hiding inside of all of us, and his strategies for cultivating meaningful relationships with incredible people who have already achieved what you want to.
- Why Giovanni created the Dreamer documentary – and how he’s moving his annual Archangel Summit online this year.
- How to take the first step after watching Dreamer to start pursuing your unique vision – and why we all have a way to impact people.
- Why Giovanni wants to be a spark of inspiration in difficult times.
- How Giovanni successfully cold-pitched Seth Godin to speak at his conference – and why making someone feel understood is so priceless.
- And truly a lot more.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
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COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.
Hal Elrod: Goal achievers, welcome, members of the Miracle Morning Community. It’s Hal Elrod. And how you doing today? Hope you're well. Today, I'm going to talk to, well, I just finished talking to you but you're about to hear me talking to a friend of mine, Giovanni Marsico. And Giovanni if you don't know who he is, he's the founder of Archangel. In 2012, Giovanni had a dream to literally change the world by seeking out other mission-driven, what he calls superhero entrepreneurs who wanted to do the same. And the grand vision for Giovanni was to start a network, a community, a tribe of people that were like him, who wanted to create a massive impact and then Giovanni dedicated himself to kind of putting together providing them with the resources and the funding and the connections they needed to achieve their missions. And I met Gio when he brought me in to speak at, I think it was his second Archangel event and then I think I came back to the third one. He and I have been friends, I don't know, since 2014 and I should say, kind of acquaintances.
We're not friends where we talk all the time but he's one of those just good-hearted human beings where I cannot talk to him for three or four years but when I talk to him, I know his heart, I know who he is, and we just pick right up where we left off. And today, you're going to be the witness of us picking right up where we left off because this is not an interview so much as it is a conversation without really any preparation. As soon as we jumped on, we hadn't talked in years. I just texted him the other day and said, “Hey.” He has this new documentary out that you'll hear me talk with him about and I watched it and I was blown away. And I text him, I said, “Gio, this is incredible. Like every person on the planet needs to see this,” and he's like, “Wow, thanks. It means a lot.” And then like a few months later, I'm like, “Well, wait a minute, I should bring him on the podcast and introduce Gio and this film to you, guys.”
So, the film is called Dreamers. We talked a lot about it. I promise this isn't like supposed to be a commercial for the film. Although at the end I told him like, “I hope that didn't feel like a commercial because I know I was like really amped about the movie,” but you're going to hear a lot. You know, I asked Gio what's the best advice that he has for you? How does he connect with, you know, he’s friends with Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk and I'm missing about three dozen people probably but he's really well connected and people love Giovanni Marsico. Like anybody that knows Gio loves him. Again, he leads with his heart. He is here to make a difference in the world. And today we're going to talk about how do you make your dreams a reality. If you've got a big dream but you don't know what to do about it, you don't know where to get started, these are all questions I asked Gio. And one of my favorite questions and favorite answers from him is I asked him, "How do you connect with like-minded people or not even like-minded but people that their mind might be beyond yours, but how do you connect with people so you can surround yourself with folks and be influenced by individuals who are playing life at the highest level so that you can learn from them and let it rub off on you so you can do the same?”
So, I love this conversation with Giovanni. I hope you will too. And love you all. Talk to you soon. Enjoy. All right. That’s it. Here you go.
Hal Elrod: Gio, what's up, buddy?
Giovanni Marsico: Hal, how the heck are you?
Hal Elrod: Dude, it's been what? I was trying to remember a few minutes ago before we started chatting, I'm like how long has it been since we talked? And it's been like three. I mean, it doesn't feel like it but it's been a few years.
Giovanni Marsico: I have a distinct memory of us at dinner somewhere.
Hal Elrod: At Genius Network.
Giovanni Marsico: No, another dinner where you were rapping. I don't know if we can talk. And I may even…
Hal Elrod: I do rap on occasion so no, that's okay. I don't even remember that. That's funny.
Giovanni Marsico: Yeah. Awesome.
Hal Elrod: Was it Kevin Donahue’s dinner?
Giovanni Marsico: No. In Toronto. You were here for speaking I think and this is a while. I just had this funny memory. What song was it? I'm going to guess either The Fresh Prince or…
Hal Elrod: Like Humpty dance or Ice Ice Baby maybe?
Giovanni Marsico: Ice Ice Baby. Yeah.
Hal Elrod: I don't remember that. Why was I rapping? Why did that come up?
Giovanni Marsico: I have no idea.
Hal Elrod: All right, yeah. I'm going to say that someone forced me to do it and that I didn't do it on my own. That's my claim since I don't remember.
Giovanni Marsico: And then in Arizona again.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. I think it was right before I got cancer I think, right? I don't know that I'd seen you since then. No. So, here's the deal. By the way, if you're listening to this, Gio and I got on and go, "Hey, I want to catch up. On recording,” so he and I haven't like prepped. We're just chatting. I want to share with you though, this is why I reached out to you. I was watching. You have a new documentary that came out, Dreamer.
Giovanni Marsico: Yes.
Hal Elrod: Is it Dreamer or Dreamers?
Giovanni Marsico: Dreamer. Okay. Dreamer. I keep messing that up. So, Dreamer, and let me be very transparent here. We have a documentary. The Miracle Morning Documentary is coming out in December. So, while I wanted to watch your film anyway, there was a big like my mind was like, “Okay, I really want to see how this documentary, how Gio did this,” because we're actually in final edits right now. We still have time to make a few changes. So, I'm like I want to see the documentary and I want to study like how is he launching this to the world, right? I did not know that I was going to love, I mean, I love your work like I love your stuff but I think I was so much in the mindset of like we're launching a documentary and I'm like, “What can I learn from Gio?” I didn't realize I was going to get sucked in and love the film so much. And I just text you and I think there was some expletives in there like this is effin like great work, man. I am so proud of you. I said to you. I said, “Every human being on the planet needs to watch this film but specifically, every high school and especially high school and college student.” And I just text Jon Vroman. You know Jon Vroman?
Giovanni Marsico: Yes.
Hal Elrod: He's the founder of Front Row Dads. I said, “Hey, Jon, you need to watch this with your kids.” Actually, I talked to him today. I said we got to watch this. He goes, "Will you share it in the Front Row Dads group?” I said, “Absolutely.” I've shared it like a lot of places. So, anyway, I immediately said, “Will you come on the podcast? I want to talk about the film and I want to get everybody that's all my listeners to watch it.” So, let's start there, man. What is the Dreamer Documentary? And then we'll talk about who you are so people kind of get in context but I just want to start with the film itself like why did you create this? Who is it for? What's it about? Just riff, man.
Giovanni Marsico: Yeah, for sure. And thank you for giving me this chance to talk about it. I'll share the origin story. I was approached by the director of the film, Nick Nanton, who is incredible at what he does, and kudos to him and his team for the editing and the production of the film. It's way better than I could have ever imagined. He had created a film showcasing the story of human trafficking and he did it with Russell Brunson to raise money.
Hal Elrod: Real quick, I did not know about that film. What is that called?
Giovanni Marsico: I forgot. Operation Toussaint, I think it's called but it's about the underground railroad for human trafficking and it's an amazing film but it's dramatic. It's about human trafficking. He said they used the film to raise money for that charity to help that cause. And it happened because Russell has an awesome community and he said, “Well, Giovanni, you have the Archangel Community, would you be interested in doing something like this because it's awesome work and fun?” And I said, “Yes, absolutely.” But I don't want something dramatic. I want something positive, motivational, uplifting. And the thing, the idea and the storyline I came up with was showcasing people who have had giant dreams and have actually executed on them to make a big impact. It's in line with what we do but I didn't want to be self-promotional. I didn't want it to be like about me, really. I'm one of the stories in the movie but it's not about me. And the idea was to inspire people like us in our network to dream bigger and make a bigger change but then when I got the first cut, I cried like five times. And then I realized, this isn't just for us, this is for everybody and especially young people.
The people whose lights are dimmed because of their environments and being told stop, whatever, stop dreaming, stop being so loud, stop, get your head out of the clouds, whatever that messaging is that I think a lot of us have gone through, and my whole thing was imagine millions of younger people can see this. And we tested it with the adults who love it and younger people who love it. We did a premiere week to test and screen it to see what would happen in the 100,000 of people who watched it and people were saying, “I've seen it five times. I had to get my kids to watch it.” So, we knew we were onto something. And now people can watch like the film launches in the fall but you can watch it for free as a screening.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. And it's at DreamerDocumentary.com. I'll just put that out there, DreamerDocumentary.com. So, I watched it for the second time today. The first time I was by myself. Last week, my wife and kids were out of town and my wife today, her and I watched it together over lunch and she loved it. And then I told her, I said I want to watch this with our daughter, Sophie, who is 10 or just turned 11 yesterday. One of the things I loved and I think I told you this in text is that you addressed ADHD and not you specifically but there were I think at least two of the people featured in the film, two of the dreamers that were featured in the film addressed ADHD, and one of them I forget his name, talked about all three of my kids were diagnosed with ADHD and they’re all kicking butt. Like, they're all so successful in what they do. And that ADHD it's I think big pharma thought, “Hey, what's a way we could create a diagnosis for people that are…,” like they're always looking for ways to prescribe drugs. And I was diagnosed with ADHD but to me, the way I look at ADHD is you have a mind that raises and wanders and therefore stumbles upon great ideas.
And the more I've studied ADHD because my daughter was diagnosed too like, unofficially, by her teacher or something or another student or whatever and she's like, “Dad, I have ADHD.” I’m like congratulations like that's not a limitation and you will learn how to work with it. Kind of like if you're an introvert, right? You learn how to work with it. It doesn't mean that there's something wrong with you. So, I loved how that was really addressed as, "You know, you have ADHD?” “Yeah.” “Congrats like that's a stellar quality of some of the world's most successful most impactful people.” So, I love that. Well, actually, let's do this. How did you get into the work that you do? Because before I met you, you brought me in to speak at Archangel Academy, which is like your flagship event and I want to tell anyone that's not been to that event, Archangel Academy, are you going to run that anymore? I know you're doing the Dreamers Festival Online pretty soon.
Giovanni Marsico: Yeah. So, we scaled it up to an event called Archangel Summit, which had thousands of people every fall coming. And this year because of all this weirdness in the world, we thought we can't do an in-person event for 3,000 people. So, we thought let's do bigger and we're creating an event called Dreamer Festival that's connected to the film for 10,000 people who are going to log in all live, September 26. So, that's what's happening this year.
Hal Elrod: So, that's your event this year?
Giovanni Marsico: Yeah.
Hal Elrod: Got it. So, I met you. You brought me in to speak at Archangel and I think I've spoken twice now. And the second year I brought people with me because I was blown away and at the first event, I was texting my business partner, Jon Berghoff, because we put on events and I'm like, dude, what you do, you create this like multi-sensory experience with, you know, it opened up like an opera singer and there were like dancers. I mean, it was this amazing experience and most events are just, "Alright, everybody. We got a speaker. Listen up. Take notes. Great.” And like you just created this amazing event. And so, talk about how did you get into the work that you do now, that you've been doing for years, and that kind of led to Dreamer? How did you get into this work? Because I know real estate used to be your thing.
Giovanni Marsico: Yeah. So, thank you. The company is called Archangel and we've been doing events since 2014 but I've been doing events since I was 16 years old. So, I've had experienced design in my DNA forever. And during the real estate days, I started attending masterminds and joining groups and probably where I met you originally. I'm assuming actually I remember probably Joe Polish’s group.
Hal Elrod: Might have been a Genius Network, Joe Polish’s event. Yeah.
Giovanni Marsico: And I loved all the groups I was in but I always felt like a bit of an alien because the things I want to talk about were impact and mission. So, I started this during my real estate to have an event of people like me. It was business as entrepreneurial and was like, how do we scale the business but really, it was about how to scale the impact. And it took off to the point where I had to quit real estate and go all-in with the project. And that's what we've been doing for six years and building this global community of leaders and changemakers who want to make a big impact.
Hal Elrod: So, clarify and I think you just did in what you said but how do you define an Archangel, right? Like how do you define that?
Giovanni Marsico: It's a leader or entrepreneur who is led by mission to create some kind of change in the world and some kind of impact and also wants to make a lot of money to fuel that mission.
Hal Elrod: Beautiful. Okay. I love that. And its mission first, right? It's like, yeah, I want to change the world. I want to change lives and thus I've learned that, right? The more income you have, the more impact you can make whether it's just donating money to charity or expanding your reach so you can change more lives and impact more people. So, I love that about you. So, when did you start? So, Nick approached you about doing a documentary, right, Nick Nanton, who I also met I think at Joe Polish’s event. And when was that again? So, I kind of want to know the Dreamer like how this documentary played out.
Giovanni Marsico: That was two years ago when he approached me with the idea of doing something and then I said yes a couple of months later and I gave him the idea and the theme and then we started reaching out to people in our network who could be in the movie and we started planning the whole production.
Hal Elrod: Okay, got it. And so, Nick and his crew went and filmed. Did you go on location for him in the filmings or you were on location?
Giovanni Marsico: Yeah. It was so much fun.
Hal Elrod: Most of them? Were you on most of them?
Giovanni Marsico: Yeah. So, this is getting a bit strategic but, yeah, we filmed a lot at our last event. So, people who were speaking at my event because they were already in town, we leveraged that opportunity to get footage. And then we went to Dean Kamen’s house. So, Dean is in the movie. He's an inventor and a billionaire and like his house is 40,000 square feet.
Hal Elrod: Get out. Geez.
Giovanni Marsico: Insane. He's like a real-life Iron Man. He has like a workshop in his house where he builds things.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. He kind of looks a little Tony Stark-ish too like a little bit.
Giovanni Marsico: Yeah. He has a garage for his helicopter. Like it's just the most…
Hal Elrod: Wow. I would have definitely been on that shoot. Yeah, for sure.
Giovanni Marsico: And then we went to XPRIZE headquarters to film there. So, it was a lot of fun.
Hal Elrod: Nice. And, yeah, what's interesting, I just seen Peter Diamandis’ film that Nick Nanton did as well, Visioneer. I had just watched that I think for the second time on a flight a couple of weeks ago. And so, it was cool to see his story brought back into the film. In fact, my wife today she didn't know Peter’s story at all and we were watching and she was like, “What?” If you don't know, by the way, check out that film, Visioneer. Peter Diamandis wanted to go to space. That was his dream. He realized he couldn't be an astronaut so he decided to get creative and he modeled this thing where the strategy where they used a prize to fund innovation and he put up a $10 million prize for the first team that could create an aircraft that would fly to space orbit for, I don't know, three minutes, come back and land and do it a second time within two weeks. And I think like NASA has never done that, right? This was like…
Giovanni Marsico: Yeah. It was all private.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Like NASA had never, do you know if I'm correct in that they had never achieved that where they had used the same aircraft come back down? Because like normally don't they have a rocket that burns up and just falls into the atmosphere and cost millions?
Giovanni Marsico: From what I understand, yeah.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. I could be wrong. Don't quote me. I'm not an astronaut or anything in that realm but, yeah, so this is radical. And the funny part is he didn't have the $10 million prize when he promised it. It’s just a fascinating story and then he just went out on faith and was like, “Alright, I'll figure out how to get the 10 million,” but he'd already announced it and then pulled that off. That was really cool. So, now, I know you have the Dreamer, the film. What's the response been like, by the way? I know you said people said, “I've watched it five times,” like I'd love to know some more. What are you hearing?
Giovanni Marsico: It's been so blissful for me and heartwarming, like the people I don't know. That's the best part. So, when you build a community, you have relationships with people and they know who you are and there's a bond there. But I'm getting hundreds of emails from people we don't even know who've watched the film saying how it's changing their lives, and it's changing how they're thinking about things and it’s given them hope, and now they're believing in a new way and it's helped a family member, and all of this within a week of doing an online premiere. So, I feel like we haven't even scratched the surface yet and we're just getting started.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. And I don't know if you guys like the plan. Do you have a plan of like how do we get this in front of high school students, every high school student, and college student? I feel like both. In fact, they need to watch it every year of high school, and then like every year of college, because it's like most ideas for it to really sink in but I don't know. Is that something like is there an initiative because I'd love to put energy behind that?
Giovanni Marsico: That is like phase two. So, phase one is getting as much of the people in our networks to watch it and then be ambassadors for it. We're going to release it on Amazon Prime in the fall and then leveraging all of that to get to the next level of how do we get it into schools and shown as much as possible.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. I can relate as you're launching a movie. It's like there's a bazillion, you know, it's like you got to take it. Well, okay, first, let's focus on the premiere, and then we'll look at the other pieces of it. But in terms of the film, was there anything for you that was surprising either positive or negative like in terms of when the film - and I guess I would say it could be any part of it, I guess. It could be in the making of it or in how it came out. Because I know for me, I can look at there's aspects of like making the film. Certain things surprise me. And then when it, well, it's almost done but now that it's pretty much done looking back, so I'm wondering anything surprise you, good, bad or both?
I don't know if surprise is the right word. I think where I was the most wowed was in Nick's editing team to take like, I don't know, 40 hours of footage and narrow it down into one story arc that makes sense and that's powerful. And then the use of music, like the things that you don't realize are so powerful with the story like it's editing, it's music. Like imagine any movie in a theater, like any superhero movie, and took out the music. It would be just, God, boring. You know, understand the power of it until you see all these things coming together and then color editing, all these things that I knew nothing about.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. I can relate. Yeah, it is interesting because it's like when you make a film, when you make a documentary or maybe any film but for me, I'm only close to the documentary, it's the making of the documentary like the filming of it is one phase and then, yeah, that's not making a movie. That's collecting 40 hours of footage, which I think that the hardest, like, God bless the editors because that is the hardest part is watching 40 hours of footage, taking not only the best of the 40 hours down to like one hour to an hour-and-a-half but also making it all make sense together. Yeah. It's really wild and it's been amazing to see the different iterations too. Like our first cut, I was like, “Wow, that's great.” And then I'm like, "Ah but there's things that I feel like could be better,” and then cut number two, cut number three, cut number four, and just going on and on. If somebody is watching or listening to this, I guess, what's the biggest takeaway for you or not even the biggest takeaway, I guess. You could almost start with your intention making the film. If someone's watching, listening to this, they're not going to watch it. Well, we'll put it on YouTube. I don't know. I don't usually do video but I wanted to look at you.
But if somebody is listening and/or watching this right now and they have a dream, there's something inside of them, maybe they don't even know what the dream is but they're like, “I don't love my job. I want to do something more,” or with what your mission is like, “I want to change the world like I want to impact but I need to make money like I don't want to do both,” in terms of why you made the film and what it's going to do for people like what's something you could share with people right now? Like if you have a dream and you don't know what to do, other than watch Dreamer like, yeah, I'd recommend that but like what do you do? What's the first step? How do you go from I've just worked a 9-to-5 my whole life or maybe I’m there in college or just starting 9-to-5, whatever, how do you go from I don't know what step to take to that first step that actually opens up your world of possibilities?
Giovanni Marsico: Part of the making of this movie was to try to look for patterns to figure out what was it about the people featured in the film that allowed them to pursue what they were doing, even though they had crazy resistance, and friction, and people telling them that they're stupid or crazy. And what was it about people in our network who are “successful” and have also had? It's never come easy. There's always roadblocks and obstacles. And what I want to figure out is what pattern emerges that I can teach people and part of it for us like me and you is our community and network and relationship and to be around people who dream bigger than you and to lead by example. Because sometimes if you don't have that environment of people telling you what's possible, you assume that the limitation that's been placed on you is what's possible. And, I mean, the people in the movie like Naveen Jain that you talked about with his three kids, I met him at one of Joe's events and he's just Naveen. He's just a typical guy until you find out he's a billionaire. He’s the first private citizen to get permission to fly to the moon, and he has like three other companies that are doing crazy things.
And to be around inspiring people like that to realize there's nothing different genetically. We're all human. So, what is different about them? It's environment. And so, I thought, “How can I create the environment for people that don't have access to these networks?” and that's why the movie came out. It’s like if you can be inspired by the stories and realize that these people are actually real and exist, you know me, I love comic books and I love superheroes and all things Marvel and X-Men and all that but part of the intention was to make a real-life superhero movie with people who are alive, doing big, impactful things to inspire the next generation of superheroes. And understanding that a superhero can be real too. You don't have to be able to fly and defy gravity or whatever but we all have a gift. We all have a story. We all have a way of impacting other people. And to me, that is a superhero.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, it's true. Yeah. You can save someone's life with love. You can save someone's life with a few dollars. I mean, I love that takeaway or that lesson because it goes back to the Jim Rohn quote, right, the famous, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” and what I love that you said, in fact, as you were talking about that, I was in my head asking, "Well, but, gosh, what about someone that doesn't have access?” It's so funny. I go, “What about somebody they don't have people in their life that are dreamers that are thinking big that are like they're all limited?” What did you say?
Giovanni Marsico: They do and they're all behind me right now. So, if you're going to post this video, these are all my heroes, right? If you're listening, I'm in my library and there's probably 1,000 books behind me. Three of which are probably yours. See?
Hal Elrod: Nice. Miracle Morning. There you go. Gee, I have 12 books. You only have three of them. What? I'm so disappointed.
Giovanni Marsico: Right. So, growing up, the people, the books I read were my superheroes. I didn't know them and now I'm friends with a lot of these people but because I've read their books. And not only I think it's not just about reading. It’s about implementing and taking action. And that's where it starts.
Hal Elrod: It's so true. I think that I talk about I’ll talk about mentors how, obviously, it's important to have a mentor and I go, “But the mentor, you can get the greatest mentor in the world for $15 to $20 on Amazon, right?” And you think about it too, if you sat down like you think about what somebody what they would pay, what they would do, or just how much they would value to sit down with one of their heroes for like an hour, right? But you're not going to get one hour talking to somebody, you can't get nearly as much value as buying their book, I mean, very rarely because their book is not one hour of their knowledge. It's 40 years of their knowledge distilled and it took them a year to clarify kind of like editing a film from 40 hours down to 90 minutes. It's editing 40 years of your life down to 200 pages. And so, yeah, you're right. And on Amazon or not even Amazon, Google, right, you can find articles. You can find free books. I mean, there are so many options. So, I love that. I love that, A, books being the opportunity to surround yourself with people that are dreaming, thinking big, and I love that you made this film to introduce people to and I was inspired by these individuals and these are billionaires. These are people flying the moon. What's the gal’s name that she was the first armless pilot, no arms and she flies with her feet. A, how old is she, and what was her name?
Giovanni Marsico: Her name is Jessica Cox and I am not 100% sure what her age is and I don't like guessing people's ages. She's incredible. She does everything with her feet.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. She drives, flies planes. I mean, incredible, right? And to watch that, it's like you just kind of go, "Man, any excuses that I've been using to justify settling for less than I really want like they kind of go out the window.”
Giovanni Marsico: Back to the books too, there's a message in the film that people think there's an education crisis and it's not. It's a cultural crisis. And what Dean mentions is that most kids who are the role models and it's like athletes and models and magazine covers portray a very specific type of role model but what if people look up to entrepreneurs and inventors and scientists and authors in the way that we do, right? Because that's who we are. That's the world we've created and that's what I want for like for younger people to understand that there's options.
Hal Elrod: Do you feel like with what's going on in the world right now and that's a loaded question/statement, right? Are we talking about COVID? Are we talking about the riots? We talked, right, like there's a lot of chaos in the world right now. Do you think if someone, again, is listening right now and they've been fearful and stressed – I saw a poll the other day that like one in two Americans are describing it like they're having mental health issues like they've never had before like one in two, which is it's crazy. So, I mean, the mental health crisis right now, it's crazy. What are your thoughts on, I guess, navigating this environment in terms of, does that limit someone? Like do these crazy times that we're living in, does that limit someone? Does it create opportunities? Is it something that you just have to disregard because you go, "Look, it's out of my control. I got to just not put my energy into what I can't control and focus on what I can control, which is which books I read and which films I watch and what action I take?” So, I'm just wondering in the context of the pandemic and all the things going on in the world, all the challenges that the world is faced with, does that change how someone approaches going after their dreams?
Giovanni Marsico: I think there's always a crisis and there's always something going on, and there's always a thing to be afraid of. Right now we're in a time when all of the fear gets amplified by both media, social media, all these things and part of my personal mission is to be the first domino in the other direction to make people understand that everything starts internally first, and goes outward, not the other way around. So, if we can create a spark of hope for people in a positive way and realize there is always opportunity and there's always an opportunity to serve and help other people. And the more crisis there is, the more chaos there is, the bigger the opportunity to help. And I don't mean to be opportunistic and take advantage of people, I mean, to actually serve at a deeper level because more people need help right now. And if you can be centered and understand that things happen in cycles, always. So, right now, this is the current thing we're in and it's crazy and different, and different is a superpower. And you can leverage the difference to look for new opportunities to help people in a different way.
Like perfect example, TED people look at me and say, "You're in the event business. You're in the live event business,” and we can’t gather people. So, I could have said, "You know what, you're right. I'm going to quit,” or not make it about me and the thing I do but make it about the people I serve and how can I help them get to their bigger future in a different way. So, now we have this movie and now we have this Dreamer Festival, which is an online experience. It's live and people can connect with other people like them from around the world.
Hal Elrod: And you can reach more people, right? Because there's not the barrier of travel to Toronto or wherever. I think Long Beach was, didn't you have an Archangel Long Beach? That was one of the ones that I spoke in?
Giovanni Marsico: We've done a bunch in California, so Long Beach, LA, San Diego, and then we do our flagship one in Toronto, the big, big one.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. I haven't been to the big, big one. The two that I went to were in California. I love this man. I love the work that you're doing. Kind of switching gears a little bit, just in general, in terms of like some of the guiding philosophy for you that has allowed you to become successful, if you will, like sometimes I get asked like what's the best advice you were ever given that you live by and I go it was do the right thing, not the easy thing. It was so simple but it's like that was 20 years ago and rarely does a day go by where I'm not faced with a choice. I'm like, should I eat that or that? I'm like, "Well, do the right thing. Not the easy thing. Eat the healthy thing.” Alarm goes off. I kind of want to sleep late. Do the right thing. So, it's this guiding principle that keeps me doing what I perceive to do the right thing. So, I'm just wondering, like, what's your best piece of advice kind of question. Yeah.
Giovanni Marsico: Well, I love patterns. It's one of my gifts to spot them. And over the past 10 years, I've had the privilege and honor being around people like you and people who've done really big things and all in different niches and all in different fields and all across cultures, across everything. But I've always been trying to figure out what is the common pattern that's helped people grow, especially entrepreneurs. And I have this thing called the Four Currencies. I'll share it with you because I think it's super impactful. When anyone is starting off at the beginning of anything, the currency they have the most abundance is time. And they can trade that in for what I call your gift, which is the value that you create in the world. And you can then trade your gift for your relationships. And this is the key thing for people that we surround ourselves with that most people don't understand how important relationship capital is, as a currency, and then you can leverage and trade that currency for reputation and brand and platform. And it's an exponential curve. So, the first 20 iterations are grueling and slow, and most people give up but if you keep going and deepening your gift, and the value that you create in deepening your relationships, eventually, you become an overnight success after a few years.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. A decade, right? That's your overnight success.
Giovanni Marsico: Right.
Hal Elrod: So, I'm glad you talked about relationship capital. I want to touch on that with you because you're one of the most connected people that I know like you and Joe Polish but like the people that you have, Gary Vaynerchuk, and you're surrounded by people that are like-minded givers, changing the world, and they love you and, again, a lot of them were in this movie, right? So, talk about that. What are your strategies, I guess? You can include how you implemented them but like what are your strategies for how do you develop that relationship capital? How do you add value and connect with people that you feel are out of your league? Like you said, and I relate to that, where some of the people that are my friend like we're watching the Miracle Morning Movie the other day, and I'm like, "It's so crazy to think that these people I read their books, I used to like marvel at them, and now I text them. Now they’re in the movie that we made like it's so weird.” So, yeah, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what are some strategies that our listeners can take away to develop relationship capital that has worked?
Giovanni Marsico: I have this philosophy. I call it the aligned path. So, the idea is every human is walking their own path, their own journey, and they have a bigger future that they want to get to but in their context, in their definition. No matter how successful you are, no matter how old you are, everyone has that. And to me, it's about understanding the other person's path and where they want to go and how can you help them get there faster even if you don't benefit in any way. And to me, that's the biggest, most important relationship thing. Like you mentioned, the speakers at our events, I want to share how I invited Seth Godin to speak at our first summit, and I had no relationship with him. Usually, there's a connection. Someone can make an introduction. With Seth, I didn't have that.
Hal Elrod: I can't wait for the story. All right. Let's hear it.
Giovanni Marsico: I have to pitch him cold. So, I thought, "Well, what is Seth’s path, and what does he want?” He's written, whatever, 20 best-selling books. So, I emailed him and the only thing I knew was that he checks his email. And I emailed them and my pitch was, “I'm your biggest fan and I'm sure you've heard that a million times, and I've read every book and I'm sure you've heard that a million times, but here's the thing I know you haven't heard a million times. I've actually implemented the things from your book and I'm going to show you how I'm a case study for you.” And I walked him book-by-book like, “I read Purple Cow and then this is what I did and here are the results. I read Tribes. Here's what I did. Here are the results. And because of me being your student, I now have this successful business and I have actually this event that only exists because of you. So, I would love to make this come full circle and have you speak at this event.” And his response is like, "How do I say no to this?” So, the idea is someone like him what does he want? It's not necessarily about the money anymore. He's successful. He has all these things.
I think for me, someone like him is understood or feeling valued that all the pain and suffering and failures he's been through has meaning, and his work matters and understanding that someone's paying attention. And that's what I want to share. So, I think for anybody, it's understanding the other person's path and where they want to go and what has meaning and fulfillment for them and helping them on that journey first before you even think about asking for anything.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. I love both. So, two things that you shared. One is and I always shared a more of a dumbed-down version which is just find a way to add value for that person and you're giving a specific, well, add value by figuring out what's their path, what do they want, and looking to contribute in that way. So, that's great as a strategy and that can be universally applied for anybody. Like for me, I've done it. A big one is I committed when I wrote the Miracle Morning to donate 10% of the royalties to nonprofits. And I did not know the Miracle Morning would sell millions of copies or whatever, which has been a huge blessing. I've been able to donate so much more money than I ever imagined to charity but that's a way that I've been able to connect with someone. It's a win-win, right? If they've got a charity that they really believe in, I always save up every month like the Miracle Morning royalties that come in, they go into this donation account and then it'll sometimes get up to $5,000 or $10,000 and then I'll donate that to someone's charity if I believe in the charity, of course. I’m not just going to do it just because.
But that's finding something, someone really matters to them and then you're contributing in a big way. In fact, it was just the other day, Lewis Howes is in the Miracle Morning Movie and I was looking through my voicemails, and I had a folder where people that were in the movie that had left me a message when I had cancer saying like, “Hey, I hope you get better…” Why I donated $5,000 to Lewis’s charity, and he sent me a message and he’s like, “Hal, thank you so much for that. You are the number one donor of anyone that donated.” And then I think I text him back like, “Hey, want to be in my movie?” or something like that. It was something along those lines but anyway, so I love that general, that strategy, that philosophy. It’s just figure out what someone's path is, figure out what their mission is, figure out what's important to them, and then find a way to help them get there to contribute. But beyond that, the specific strategy that you just shared, what you did with Seth like, Gio, you're so frickin smart. I love that and I think that anybody listening, guys, that's gold like write that down because guess what, you can model that.
Every person that's out there that's written a book or multiple books, go read their book, go implement and reach out to them and do exactly what Gio did, right? I'm not surprised. If somebody reached out to me and said, "Hey, I've read all your books and here's how I implemented them,” like he said, like Seth said, “How can I say no to that?” And I think that for me when people reach out, fans or people reach out with something like part of it is just taking the time. Not just, “Hey, I'm really a huge fan. Will you do something for me?” Versus like I got in the mail one of those videos like Gaignard does those videos, right? It's a video player, a single-use video player that I don't know if it’s good for the environment and then they're recording a video and you open it up and you turn it on and you hit play and there's this video just for you, right? And it's like, of course, I'm going to reach out to that person and call him back because they went over and above to connect with me. So, anyway, anything else to share, man, before we wrap this up in terms of anything that could add value? Anything that people listening should know about you or about Dreamer or about themselves?
Giovanni Marsico: I have a feeling that once people see it, they're going to get it. And please reach out to me and tell me how the movie has impacted you. Maybe the one thing to leave people with is the idea that as we grow up, like I believe we're all born I'll use the word perfect and then the environment shapes us, our family, whatever, all the things around us and force us to stop standing out and start trying to fit in. And then it creates this like anxiety in a lot of people where they want to reveal their true selves but they're afraid that by doing so, it'll be painful in some way. I think understanding that the biggest gift you can share with people is yourself and you already have that. You already have that as a superpower. And the more you stand out, the more you can share your gifts, the more you can actually build the most thriving either career or business or whatever you're doing based on being yourself. It's the truth and it feels light. It's like easy once you're there. My entire company is based around me being a comic book nerd and like all these crazy things that if I had to try to explain this to myself 10 years ago, I would have thought I was crazy and now it all exists.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. So, be yourself is the takeaway. Yeah, you're right. We try to fit in and the best way to fit in I think is to be yourself and then you don't fit in by being like everybody else. You fit in because people like you for you. Yeah, man. That's beautiful. This film is beautiful. I'm so grateful that you put this out into the world. It's not very often that I just text and I'm like, "Dude, you got to come on the show like I have to share this with people,” and I really mean that and I think that everybody needs to watch this. So, DreamerDocumentary.com is the spot to go to. It's free right now and the way it works is you put in your email and then you actually get to pick what time you want to watch it out. It gives you like three or four choices or whatever. So, my wife and I watched it at noon today during lunch. Beautiful. Yeah. Well, Gio, I appreciate you, man. Thank you for the work that you have been doing ever since I've known you and you're one of those people that everybody I know says only good things about. I've never heard a negative word spoken about you and that is because you are true to yourself, you're true to your values, you're true to your mission. And, of course, you get to benefit from that but so do all of us. So, I appreciate you. I love you, man. Thank you so much.
Giovanni Marsico: Thank you so much, Hal. I love you too, buddy.
Hal Elrod: All right, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning community, thank you for tuning in. I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Giovanni as much as I did. Go watch the film, watch it. I'm telling you, watch it by yourself if you want but I would invite your family, your friends. I've shared this like crazy. I really, really, really believe in it. And again, this came out of nowhere. Gio didn't reach out to me like I haven't talked to him in three or four years and I just happened to see it on Facebook and I watched it and I was blown away. So, if you have a dream, this is for you. DreamerDocumentary.com. And goal achievers and members Miracle Morning community, I love you, I appreciate you, and I will talk to you all next week. Take care, everybody.