Michael Bernoff – President & Founder of Human Communications Institute and Author of Average Sucks

Episode 67

My guest, Michael Bernoff, is an incredible speaker and the President & Founder of Human Communications Institute. Michael is a leader in the personal and professional development industry. He works directly with individuals and corporate executives who want to change their corporate culture for the better. On this episode of Unstoppable we do a deep dive into his new book, *Average Sucks: Why You Don't Get What You Want (And What to Do About It)*. Michael shares his entrepreneurial journey, how to develop the average you want in your life, how to use the pain of obstacles, his secret to his success (and yours), and much more.

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Kara Goldin: Hi, everybody. It’s Kara Goldin from Unstoppable, and I’m so excited to have my friend and author, coauthor, Michael Bernoff, on the show today. I’m very, very excited, and I wish you guys… Some of you guys can see me, but I actually just posted this on Twitter. Average Sucks is his book, and it is so good. I was just saying to Michael, what is so… I love books that actually, you can get through pretty quickly, but actually have kind of aha moments in them where you want to reopen it up, and it will stay on the shelf with you, and you’ll give it to your friends, and there’s lots of learnings in there.
I would say that it’s not just for entrepreneurs either. I think it’s for everybody to really say, “How can I ultimately be more than average?” and maybe even at some times be average and be okay with sort of where you’re at. I mean, that was kind of the feeling that I got a little bit, but let me tell you about Michael in case you guys don’t know who he is, but Michael Bernoff is the president and founder of the Human Communications Institute, a leader in the personal professional development industry. I’ve heard Michael speaks at so many conferences. Our mutual friend, JJ Virgin, and I’m part of a group called The Unicorn Club that Michael was so kind to come and speak to that, but he’s really dedicated to just really helping people just be better, I think more than anything.
We actually went to the same university, but didn’t know each other back then, but had a lot of mutual friends, and then the more I got to know him and sort of hear what he had to say, it was one of these fast friendships, and just overall, I’ve just been so impressed with what you’ve built, not only for yourself, but also in helping entrepreneurs and athletes and executives, and really helping them be better. So, we’re going to talk about his new book, Average Sucks: Why You Don’t Get What You Want (And What to Do About It), and then like the rest of our shows, just talk about all kinds of other stuff. Michael and I were on the phone the other day. We were joking for two hours. It was supposed to be a 10-minute call, so we’re good at sort of chitchatting. So, anyway, take us back to the beginning. Welcome, and all that stuff. What inspired you to really want to… First of all, your personal development stuff that you do, what inspired you to do that? Then we’ll hop into the book later.
Michael Bernoff: I could jump everywhere. Kara, I really appreciate you having me on this show, and those of you listening, taking the time out of your day to be here and work on yourself, because that’s the people that would listen to a podcast like this, or people that want to improve and better themselves. So, my personal development journey, it’s an interesting one. This is interesting because you talked about Arizona State. Here’s where personal development began. I was an entrepreneur since birth because I watched my mom and dad… My dad drove back and forth every day from Rockaway, New Jersey, where he lived, to Teterboro, which is right outside of New York, back and forth every day, never loved his job, but he supported our family.
I’m one of those people. I got to tell you, my parents worked hard. They put away money so I could go to college, and I went to Arizona State, and I had a blast. So, I had so much fun. I had a little business at the time when I was there, a little direct sales business I was doing, and I was so good at not going to school and partying that literally, after about two years, I got invited nicely by ASU to say, “Hey, maybe take a break.” I checked out Mesa Community College for about a semester, and-
Kara Goldin: Wait. So, what was your business? Hold on. Go back.
Michael Bernoff: I was in direct sales. This is crazy. So, I got introduced by one of… You want to know a crazy story? One of the founders later of Under Armour, he was a college football player. Ryan, his name was. He introduced me to selling these phone cards, and I was selling these phone cards. It was direct sales.
Kara Goldin: Wow.
Michael Bernoff: I was selling these phone cards, because remember, phone cards was a big deal when we were younger. Right?
Kara Goldin: Yeah.
Michael Bernoff: You needed a phone card to call home. You need it to dial… Remember, you dialed the 1-800 number and blah, blah, blah? So, they were discount phone cards. I pitched them to other kids. I had this little business going, making an extra 500 bucks a week on the side. I was a hustler since I was a kid. I wasn’t paying attention to school, and I had a landscaping business when I was younger, which you didn’t really need in Arizona because there’s no grass, when I finally moved out there. But I went to community college, and while I was there, I never got into the business school at ASU because I guess I wasn’t smart enough to go to business school, but there was a teacher that said, “Do you want to read any of these books, and you can get ahead?” I never really liked reading, and there was a list. It was like the gold standard. There was Lee Iacocca’s book. All these books seemed boring, and one was How to Win Friends and Influence People.
So, I’m 19 years old. I’m going to Arizona State. I’m a party kid. I want to meet girls, blah, blah, blah. Winning friends and influencing people? So, I don’t even know if I read it or not, but it was that book that really woke me up to the idea that you could learn yourself better. I was told my whole life, “Work hard and be a good person,” and I had no idea that who you were and who you were born, you could be better. My parents always said, “Hey, Michael…” I’d say, “Mom, where do these people get these fancy cars from?” She said, “Work hard and be a good person.” I never knew that you could actually learn yourself better. So, that book opened up a door to me, a window in my heart, in my soul, that said, “Wait a second. Michael’s not stuck being Michael his whole life. He could be anyone he wants.”
Kara Goldin: That’s awesome. I love it. So, did you end up going back to Arizona State?
Michael Bernoff: Yeah, I could’ve stayed, but my parents sat me down, had the economic conversation. They said it’s… Remember, it used to be, what, five grand a year to go to ASU, or three grand?
Kara Goldin: Yeah, yeah.
Michael Bernoff: In-state tuition, whatever, it was like nothing. After a couple years, they were like, “Mesa Community College is 900 bucks a year. ASU’s five grand. Screw up and learn over here,” and I got a job parking cars at… Remember Mancuso’s at the Borgata?
Kara Goldin: Yeah, yeah.
Michael Bernoff: Do you remember that place?
Kara Goldin: Yeah.
Michael Bernoff: That was my job. I parked cars, pitched the phone card thing until that company went under, and then that was how I… Then I graduated from ASU after five-and-a-half years.
Kara Goldin: But that’s a great story, though. I mean, that really scared you straight. Right?
Michael Bernoff: It was great. It really straightened me out. I mean, I got the letter, because back in the day, the letter was different. Now kids, my daughter can opt out whether her parents can see her grades. I don’t know if your kids have that, but my daughter can opt out at her school whether we get the grades. Back then, the letters went to the person paying the bill, so my parents would get the grades, and they got the letters, so I’d get the, “Michael, I want to talk to you about this,” and then I learned the hard way, and I worked my butt off. I learned very simply that that was not going to work for me, working for someone else. It just wasn’t my thing, and I became an entrepreneur, basically, from that. So, that’s the beginnings of it. That’s not the final product, but that was the beginnings of the personal development journey.
Kara Goldin: Do you look back on it like that was really… I mean, like you said, you had a landscaping business. You had all these kind of things, but do you think that that was the time when you really said, “Wow. I can go and make a living for myself doing something that seems good for me. I can…”
Michael Bernoff: Yeah.
Kara Goldin: So, that’s interesting. You can actually pinpoint.
Michael Bernoff: Yeah. The next thing I did, I was selling these insurance products. I was selling these direct sales insurance products. They were to underwrite somebody’s deductible. So, people would have these HSA plans, and I would offer a… I’d cover the first five grand. You know how you have a $5,000 deductible? I would come in and sell you this thing that would underwrite that, and then make that all go away. So, at dollar one, you would do it. So, I was doing presentations and speaking and pitching and doing all that, so I was slowly learning how to become Michael Bernoff selling someone else’s product. So, that was my learning part.
Kara Goldin: Interesting. So, I always ask that question because it’s funny. People have asked me all the time, “Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?” and my answer was, “No.” I mean, I grew up in a house where my dad founded this sort of mini company inside of a larger company, founded Healthy Choice inside of… He didn’t call it… He wasn’t an entrepreneur. I mean, today, he was a product manager, and so he wasn’t a traditional entrepreneur, but he did everything that an entrepreneur would do, but he had a lot of resources. Right?
Michael Bernoff: Yes.
Kara Goldin: So, I always tell people-
Michael Bernoff: Big corporations.
Kara Goldin: He didn’t know how to sort of go in and hustle with Safeway to get your product in, because they had a giant multiyear deal where he just placed it in there. He was fighting internally with the right space. So, anyway, really different. So, I’d always been exposed to it, and then ended up working in media, and very early at CNN, and then very early working for a spin-out of Apple, and then AOL, but it was… So, my path was always kind of like yours, watching other entrepreneurs, and sort of how they functioned.
Then all of a sudden I had this idea, and I’m like, I don’t know. If they can do it, I guess I can do it too. Why don’t I just go try and see, and if I fail, then I can just go back to working for entrepreneurs? Heck, I still say that today. If things don’t work out at Hint, and I doubt that’s going to happen, but I can still go do that. So, I think every entrepreneur kind of finds this different path, and it doesn’t mean just because you weren’t thinking about it since age eight, that you wanted to be an entrepreneur, that you can’t be.
Michael Bernoff: Yeah. I didn’t grow up with it. I never thought about it. There was one moment that changed everything. I don’t know if I mentioned it in the book. I had a college roommate, and I’m from Jersey. He’s from South Dakota. This was like, couldn’t be any different. His dad owned a company called Super 8 Developers. He owned 100-and-something Super 8 hotels. I would never stay at a Super 8, but when Harvey looked me in the eyes, and he gave me that look, he goes, “Michael, you should go into business for yourself,” he literally looked at me and said that, and I didn’t know what that meant, so I went down to the registrar at ASU and said, “Can I get into business?” and they looked at my grades, and they’re like, “No.”
Kara Goldin: That’s so funny.
Michael Bernoff: “You can’t.” But it was that moment. I got out of the box that I was in, and I… What’s interesting, it takes an interview like this, and I wish this to anyone listening to this right now, if you ever get interviewed like this or have a chance to get with your team and interview you, you learn a lot about yourself. My background actually is in beverage. I don’t know if I told you.
Kara Goldin: Yeah.
Michael Bernoff: I worked for Hornell Brewing Co., which is Arizona Iced Tea. I literally… That was my college internship, was a very large small beverage company, and I watched how they did it with zero marketing budget. They spent nothing on marketing. They made beautiful bottles, and they pitched their sugar water, and that’s… I mean, I don’t think it was that healthy of a product, not to knock them, but I watched them work, and I learned a lot about distribution going in and hustling convenience stores.
Kara Goldin: Yeah. Well, and I think that’s just another great example where the best entrepreneurs are okay with learning from other people for a while, especially if they don’t have the right idea, or if they just, for whatever reason, just don’t have the money to go and start with. Just go and work, and go work for people that you think are doing cool stuff. So, let’s get into the book.
Michael Bernoff: Yeah, let’s do it.
Kara Goldin: So, what do you mean by Average Sucks?
Michael Bernoff: Well, two things to two different people. A guy said to me the other day, “Who are you targeting?” I said, “There’s two groups. There’s one group that’s going to get it that goes, ‘You’re right. Damn straight. I don’t want to be average,’ and that’s your high-ego people that go, ‘I don’t want to be average.'” That may be originally why I thought the term was great. I own the term. I own the words. I own everything that looks like average sucks. It is part of our brand. It’s a statement for life. What I really mean by deep at the core is that every human being has an average. Hint has an average. You have an average. Your bank account, your kids scholastically have an average. Everyone has what they do regularly, and if you’re not getting what you want in life from the way that you live your life, then your current average sucks.
So, our unconscious minds desire us to make life easy and create an average, and what that average is is that… There’s a daily balance in your bank account. If you look at a stock report, there’s an average of the stock. There’s an average amount of Hint you drink in a year, hint, hint. There’s an average amount of everything that we do, and it lines up every single year about the same, and the reason I say average sucks is that if you want any more than you currently do, you cannot be okay with your current average. You have to develop the average you want. So, I just look at everything in life as we all have an average, and if your average is okay, congratulations. The book’s not right for you right now. But if you have more that you want in this world, the book basically screams, “Don’t be okay with what you have. Be okay with what you want, but you’re always going to be developing a new average.” So, it’s a really deep meaning.
Kara Goldin: So, one thing I grabbed out of the book was this… I mean, you talk about people who are getting stuck, but it’s kind of… You’re making the same mistake over and over and over again. Right?
Michael Bernoff: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep.
Kara Goldin: So, tell me a little bit about that. What was sort of… as you were thinking more and more about this?
Michael Bernoff: Yeah. I mean, when I looked at the average concept, first, it took me forever to write the book because I had no references points. No one ever wrote a book like this. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. So, I had to really figure out… I was also battling my own average of being a non-author trying to act like an author. That was a tough thing that I was dealing with, which is a lot of people when you want to create change. So, we all have this unconscious programming inside of ourselves of our average, this thing that we do on a regular basis. So, when you mentioned the word stuck a couple of minutes ago, or a couple of seconds ago, we all get stuck, but the mistake that we make over and over again is we think we’re going to do things different, but we have an automatic programming to do what it is we do. So, if who you are is what you do, even if you try to do something different, your identity is going to bring you back.
So, I’ll give you a prime example. I was sitting in front of a group of very high-level doctors, and I said, “Do you know what your challenge is?” and they said, “What do you mean?” I said, “All of you, your average is your problem,” and they thought I called them average, and really, what I was saying was, “You have an average. Your average is you,” meaning that we all have this… If you ever had this feeling, whether you’re about to ask someone out, you’re about to hire somebody, fire someone, you have this wall, this emotional thing in front of you, and that is your average getting in your way. So, I believe that answers your question, what you were asking me, and if not, I’ll answer a different question. But it’s that feeling you get when you don’t do the thing that you want to do. It’s the part that holds you back. So, that is what I claim to be your average, that invisible force.
Kara Goldin: I mean, you mentioned just doctors as an example. Do you think that they have the story written out, sort of what it looks like, and they’re not really happy with it, or what do you think stops them?
Michael Bernoff: This is what stops everybody, and most people don’t know this. This is why I wrote the book. So, everyone has a day in their life, and I know you had it, you were working in corporate, you had a day where you said, “Never again.” Correct?
Kara Goldin: Totally.
Michael Bernoff: Everyone has a never again day. You have a never again in relationships. You’ve got a guy you dated, somebody you know, a girl you dated, somebody’s got something, and you say, “Never again,” and in a moment, emotionally, all human beings, this is psychology, you say, “Never again.” You don’t really plan out what you want alternatively, but you just say, “Never again,” and you mean it. So, you build a wall behind you saying, “Never again,” and you build this goal, this thing in front of you. So, it’s the day that you accept I don’t want to be there anymore, and then you build this dream of what you want. You don’t actually build how you’re going to get it. You just know what you want now.
So, you spend your whole life going, “I want that. I don’t want this. I want that. I don’t want this,” and this is most people’s dinner conversations, is what they don’t want and what they do want, what they don’t want, what they do want, not actually how you’re going to get it, but you got dreams of things you want, and what you won’t settle for anymore in life. I don’t think most people really thought out their real plan, so the book is really about, now that you know this, are you willing to accept your current average? If you are, congratulations. You’re doing great, and I’m really proud of you. If you’re not, let’s start from here. What do you want your life to look like? So, it’s not about a dream day. It’s not about a dream life. It’s, if you don’t want your current circumstance, that’s great. What do you want, and how do we start living into that now?
Kara Goldin: Definitely. You talked too about the pain of obstacles, and how that’s actually making you better. I mean, that’s one thing that when my book comes out in October you’ll see. I mean, I talk about that, that there are so many examples in my life where I actually… I’m actually really good at figuring out what the goal is, but along the way, I was able to look at things that were happening and change quickly, and then decide, actually, that this is a much better path, and again, when you’re going through something, you may think that there’s obstacles, failures, whatever you want to call it, but those may actually be… It’s part of your journey, and ultimately, that’s what’s going to take you to the place, I’m a huge believer, where you’re supposed to be. Anyway, I think it’s along the same theory, but I’d love to hear you elaborate a little bit more on that.
Michael Bernoff: Yeah. So, when I was writing the book, I realized I could’ve wrote 50 books. I’m sure you had the same thing. It was like, wow, there’s 80 books here. So, I grew up very, very middle class, right down the middle, so most speakers, the story you hear is the tragedy and the overcome, or the, “My dad’s rich and everything’s great,” or, “My mom’s rich, and everything’s wonderful.” I grew up right down the middle, so I didn’t have built-in motivation. So, the big issue is, I truly believe, for most people why success is so hard, and we got to watch this for our children, is that life has gotten very easy. Now, I don’t want to be one of these people that everyone judged me, “But no, it’s not easy for me.” Folks, it’s easier. Even if you live in a bad neighborhood, there is a store where you can buy water. You do not have to dig a well anymore. My daughter, she earned some stuff. We made her work hard. She walked over… I think it was like a… Did you go through the America Girl Dolls phase? Did you go through that phase?
Kara Goldin: Yep, yep.
Michael Bernoff: Oh, my god. When that ends, I’m going to be happy. Right?
Kara Goldin: Yeah.
Michael Bernoff: But good for her, and she earned one, and she did all these things to get it. We pushed go on the site, and she runs to the front door looking for the product, because wondering why it’s not there. Adversity has been stripped from society over the last 20 to 30 years. When we watched Little House on the Prairie when we were kids, it was rich or poor, and that was it. Now it’s like this… Life has gotten really easy. So, nobody recognized that natural adversity has went away for people, so we need to actually seek out adversity right now because the natural adversity is gone. You don’t have to walk places. You don’t have to go places. You pick up the phone, especially with COVID right now, everything now is even more coming to you, so you have to move less. So, if you don’t find a way to move, you will gain weight. Do you know what I’m saying?
Kara Goldin: Yeah. Yep.
Michael Bernoff: When we were kids, you at least walked the mall. Now we don’t walk the mall. We go to Amazon. There was built-in adversity. You remember waiting when we were kids for photographs at the shop? I forget you’re not from Jersey. We used to go to ShopRite, this store we used to go get-
Kara Goldin: We’re in ShopRite. Hint is in ShopRite.
Michael Bernoff: I was going to say, you better in Pathmark and ShopRite. Right?
Kara Goldin: Totally.
Michael Bernoff: But I used to go there and wait for my pictures to get developed. So, we had adversity as kids based on life, but now we have to seek out adversity. So, I always tell everyone all growth comes through adversity. That’s why entrepreneurs get a chance to grow mentally, because it is adversity 101. You’re going to deal with it. So, it’s why Spartan Races and being an entrepreneur, and I’ve been telling everybody, based on COVID right now and everything going on, is that if you didn’t get the wake-up call that you need entrepreneurial skills in your life, that you have to control your economic destiny, then you need to just maybe watch the films over and over with the unemployment and everything. You need street skills. You need to be able to deal with stuff, to deal with objections, rejections, how to deal with your kids and issues and problems, and the better you are at dealing with adversity, the better entrepreneur you’re going to be, and I know a lot of your audience is entrepreneurs.
Kara Goldin: Yeah, totally. No, I 1,000% agree. It’s funny. Both of my daughters are camp counselors up in Maine.
Michael Bernoff: I used to be one of those kids, so God speed for them. Yes.
Kara Goldin: Yeah. So, anyway, a bunch of the campers are coming tomorrow on the buses, and they’ve all been tested for COVID, and we all-
Michael Bernoff: Oh, jeez.
Kara Goldin: … hope for the best through this whole thing, but anyway, my daughter was looking at the sheet that she was given on the kids that are going to be in her cabin, and it was like… I said, “So, what is the sheet that you’re looking at?” and she said, “Oh, I was wondering how you filled this out,” because she used to go to this camp. “I was wondering how you filled this out for me,” and the questions that were on the sheet were unbelievable.
It was like, “Are there any problems that we should be aware of? How do they relate to friends?” and all this stuff, and I was just like, you know what? I mean, I get it, why potentially people do it, but I think summer camp for so many kids is a time of reinvention, where it’s like they may have this sort of opinion, or people have this opinion about them in regular school, and then they go off to camp and let everybody else figure it out. Why have the counselor of the camp ultimately have this idea about this person? Instead, just let them be free to kind of do this. So, anyway-
Michael Bernoff: Did you have that sheet when they were kids? Because I can’t imagine… I went to camp. My parents might’ve said I had an allergy, but did they have your psychoanalysis?
Kara Goldin: No. It has gotten so much more, and I was just like… So, I was saying to my daughter, I was just like, “No. I mean, there might’ve been some allergies and things like that on there, but not to this extent.” I think it’s definitely-
Michael Bernoff: That’s the average issue.
Kara Goldin: Yeah, it’s the average issue, and of course, you have somebody… I mean, you and I both have kids in college, and we’ve had… Even the dormitory, it’s the same kind of thing. You’ve got to fill out exactly what kind of room you want, who do you… I mean, that’s great and everything, but actually, if you were with somebody that you didn’t know, who was quieter or louder than you, maybe you would grow even more by being around the adversity. To your point, it’s just-
Michael Bernoff: Yes. We’ve stripped it from our kids. I mean, they don’t have adversity, so they have no coping mechanisms.
Kara Goldin: Yeah. So, anyway, I think I totally agree with you, and I definitely think that it’s something that we as parents definitely need to be aware of, but also, if you’ve grown up in that, where you sort of are thinking that this is the way things need to be and very predictable, and that was another thing that I really, really appreciated about your book too. So, what are you most excited for going forward? I mean, obviously, you mentioned we’re recording this during COVID time, and how are you doing?
Michael Bernoff: Which is going on forever. I’m doing well. I got to tell you, I’m frustrated, excited, happy, burned out, excited, not burned out, elevated. I’m a little bit of everything during all this because it’s challenging whenever you’ve been doing something your whole life, and then it changes. I own a two-million-dollar building that we could do events in that we cannot do events right now. Imagine they banned water. Do you know what I’m saying? It’s crazy what’s going on, but we’ve pivoted, and we’ve figured out how to help as many people as possible, and we’ve been giving away courses, doing what we can, and we’ve actually been helping more people.
Here’s what I’m very excited about, what’s going on right now. This is helping me facilitate my mission on Earth because for years, when I first got into personal development, I found out that 3% of the world, and this is really sad, has great marriages. 3% of the world has a great relationship with their kids. They enjoy their life. They take care of their body, and it’s a really, really small number. I found that out 20-something years ago, 25 years ago. Then I realized after Google and everything came out, I found out that the number is still is 3% or less. Wait a second. It used to be you have to go to a library, check out the book, learn how to be successful. Now you could download a masterclass and be Steven Spielberg if you want to by the end of the afternoon.
So, what I recognized is that my goal was to get the number to be 4% by the time I die, to get to where 4% of the population lives well. I think that’ll be my impact in the world. This COVID thing has woken up, I would say, about 10% of the population right now to going, “You know what? I got to figure my shit out,” and they’re looking for a guy like me, where before, everybody’s too cool. So, first, I’m thinking, oh, my god, launching a book like you are in the middle of this is crazy. Now I’m like, people are reading. They want to learn. They’re excited. They want to grow. They want to be an entrepreneur. They want to be a business owner. They’re willing to look inside. Maybe they’re going to get sober now, whatever it is.
So, I’m excited that more people than ever are more open to listening to what we have to say because they have to. So, the biggest reason I had an issue with the middle class, I didn’t bring this up earlier, is we were comfortable as a world. Middle class is gone, dead now. So, it’s either rich or poor again, figure it out, and I think more people want to be rich financially, relationship-wise, health-wise, because there’s no middle ground anymore. There’s no time to sit and wait for somebody to give you a handout. It’s not going to happen.
Kara Goldin: That’s so true.
Michael Bernoff: So, I am so excited that the world is screaming. I wear my shirt, average sucks, all the time, and people stop me and go, “Damn straight, that’s true.”
Kara Goldin: That’s awesome. So, the Circle of Influence Mastermind group, talk just a little bit about that.
Michael Bernoff: That’s our people that have been through our Human Interaction Technology. It’s our superhuman people. It’s a group of people that have been through our programs on human psychology that makes people do what they do, so that’s our… I don’t say our highest level, but that’s our group of people that truly are committed to the quality of their lives and the quality of the lives of the people around them that want to learn ridiculous skills. My background is the highest-level intervention work on the planet, so I’m the guy that talks to a UCF fighter 15 minutes before they go in the ring. I’m the last person they talk to. I’m a guy that works with people in the movie business. I had Tony Orlando, of all people, asking me to work with his family members. Remember Tony?
Kara Goldin: Yeah.
Michael Bernoff: I’m working with people that he asked me to connect with.
Kara Goldin: That’s awesome.
Michael Bernoff: Do you know what I’m saying?
Kara Goldin: Yeah.
Michael Bernoff: Over stuff. So, I work with people in the movie business, and I work with people and entrepreneurs. One of JJ’s partners is a part of that community. So, the reason I’m bringing this up is it’s human beings that want to learn the most elevated influence and communication tactics on the planet, that want to help other people, everything from kids with meltdowns to people that have major childhood trauma that they’re dealing with. I have big corporate executives that I work with that are doing $400 million a year, and they have to figure out how to communicate with their team that they know they have the wrong team. They know that they will never get to a billion with their team. How do we either figure it out or get out of our current situation? So, that that’s group of people. It’s awesome.
Kara Goldin: I love it. Then the Facebook group too that is just like… I mean, every time I go on there, there’s more… I mean, it’s getting bigger and bigger, everything you’re doing. So, tell people about that.
Michael Bernoff: Yeah. That’s the Average Sucks community, and we’ve been… If you just look it up online, if you’re right for it, answer four questions. Please, no politics. Please, no corona conversation. It’s the only place on the web, no politics, no corona, just be a human.
Kara Goldin: I love it.
Michael Bernoff: That’s the only place, but it’s… We’ve been giving away, Kara, our class. We’ve been giving away our call-to-action program for people for the last… My wife and I sat down when this whole corona thing hit, and we said, “How do we help people?” We’re like, “We can either do nothing for 10 years,” because we have enough money to not do anything, because in ’08 and ’09, I said, “Never again.” So, we built a life that I don’t have to do anything for a decade, and don’t have to budge my lifestyle, which I’m excited about, or we can help as many people as possible.
So, we’ve literally been giving away to well-meaning people live with me, we’ve given away three million dollars worth of our program over the last 111 days, and this we recorded later, so it’ll be 120, 130 days, and anybody that joins that community or goes to calltoactiontime.com can take our class with me, and I kick your butt, hold your hand. You get me live, and it’s been my way of giving back and helping, and we’ve helped probably 10,000 people during this get their shit straight, which has been really, really great during this tough time right now. So, if anybody’s interested, there’s nothing to buy because I’m not selling it. You can go to calltoactiontime.com and check out working with me for five days. It’ll get you above average, for sure.
Kara Goldin: That’s awesome. Well, no, I love the community. It’s super, super great. So, I think you’ve answered a lot of this, but I always ask my guests, actually, two questions. Your favorite Hint flavor?
Michael Bernoff: Well, it’s a battle. So, I love crisp apple. Here it is. I have a case of it here. I love it, and I love honey crisp. Those are my two. So, I can’t do it. I don’t know. Are they brother and sister to each other? What is the deal?
Kara Goldin: Yeah, they’re slightly… They’re just different types of apples, and so-
Michael Bernoff: I know, but I guess I must be an apple guy. I had a real good watermelon fascination for a while, but I will tell you, the one that I love just the aroma of it and the taste of it, is either of those two, crisp apple or honey crisp, and I just got to tell you, I can’t decide.
Kara Goldin: Did you ever go to apple farms when you were and New Jersey or [crosstalk 00:30:24]
Michael Bernoff: Yeah. I used to pick apple trees.
Kara Goldin: There you go.
Michael Bernoff: It was one of my jobs. Is that what it is?
Kara Goldin: Yeah, it takes you back.
Michael Bernoff: Is it nostalgia? Is it built into my psyche, my average?
Kara Goldin: It is. It is. So, there’s a story in my book about… There’s an apple farmer just outside of San Francisco that was really our first bottler that we worked with, and it was-
Michael Bernoff: Really?
Kara Goldin: Yeah, and salt of the earth guy. We still go back there and do some small runs with them, but he’s… That’s what he does. I mean, it’s been in his family for, I don’t know, maybe close to 100 years, this apple orchard. So, anyway…
Michael Bernoff: I love it. It’s my favorite, and my daughter yesterday had two of them, and she’s eight, and she loves it. She’s a big fan, and she loves it, and she tried to feed it to the dog yesterday, and she thought… I don’t know if you’ve done that yet, but she did.
Kara Goldin: Oh, every day, every day on my hikes. Yeah. I take pictures of it, and my dogs are so funny. I mean, they have favorite flavors. They love-
Michael Bernoff: Which one? Because my dog liked the watermelon.
Kara Goldin: Yeah. Well, they like watermelon. They like cherry. They like blackberry. They don’t love lemon. They’re fine. I mean, I take them hiking every morning, and they’ll drink it, but they can’t see color. Right?
Michael Bernoff: Yep.
Kara Goldin: So, I’m always like, “Okay, it’s the lemon. I’m sorry. I grabbed it,” and then they’re like, “Okay, okay. We’ll only have two sips of water instead of five along the way.” So, it’s always-
Michael Bernoff: Classic.
Kara Goldin: I know. I thought I was grabbing pineapple, and that didn’t happen. So, then the other one is what makes you unstoppable.
Michael Bernoff: Makes me unstoppable? Communication. That’s the big thing. So, I believe that communication is the most underdeveloped and underutilized strategy that we have, and I have dedicated my life to recognizing that I can handle almost any conversation on Earth with anybody based on my ability to influence myself or influence them to get it back on track. I know you’re going to say, “Hey, go into politics.” I don’t mean that kind of communication. Do you know what I’m saying? But that is what makes me unstoppable, is my ability to use words as a mechanism to help me get what I want.
Kara Goldin: I love it. I love it. So, where can people find you? I know you’re active on social, obviously Facebook, and you’re on Twitter.
Michael Bernoff: I’m all over Facebook, Instagram. I hang out with you on Twitter from time to time. I still haven’t figured that one out, but you could find me… I recommend get the book. I mean, you’ll get to know me. It’s almost like I’m going to hang out with you. You can go to averagesucks.com. I own the website. I’m giving away a bunch of audios with it. Get the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target. You can get it anywhere, the book. Get the book. Find me online. Get to know what we’re up to, but our biggest thing is we want to help people. If there is a thought in your soul, a feeling in your heart that you want, we want to help you get it, if it’s us. If not, we’ll show you someone else that can. I mean, you’re here. You’re listening. Take the next step. I mean, do something. Check me out online. Get the book. I can guarantee you, you will finish it, and afterwards you’re going to go, “God. All books should be written this easy.”
Kara Goldin: Yeah. No, and I really mean it. I mean, it makes you feel like it’s the friend that actually gives you the honest opinions about you can actually go do this, and I think especially the groups and some of the chatter that I’m seeing in the group of Facebook in particular, it’s just you’re helping a ton of people, but this is a book that… Yeah. Like I said, it’s a fast read. It’s one that you’re going to want to keep on your bookshelf and give it to other people too, but it’s really a… It’s just motivational, and it’s super great. So, it’s available everywhere, Average Sucks. Go online. Thank you so much. Thank you for your time.
Michael Bernoff: Thank you for having me. This is an honor.
Kara Goldin: Yeah. Super, super fun, and yeah. So, we’ll see you soon. Bye, everybody.
Michael Bernoff: Bye, everyone. Thank you.