Business growth speaker and author David Meerman Scott kept every single ticket of the live shows he watched since he was a child. So far, he has collected 804 of them. David is credited to be the only person who was able to photograph Bob Marley’s last concert in Stanley Theater, Pittsburg in 1980, with his works featured in various documentaries and publications. With marketing as his main passion, he learned how to apply his love for live shows to his professional life. Sitting down with Adam Markel, he reminisces on his most memorable concerts and their lessons that elevated David’s marketing career.
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Marketing Lessons From Live Shows With David Meerman Scott
[0:00:57] I’m sitting in this seat feeling at peace. I’ve been working for a couple of hours doing some writing and working with a client. I have this peaceful feeling that I’m always tracking my own sense of peace. I don’t know if you ever do that yourself, whether you think about what creates peaceful moments and try to duplicate them. I’m at a stage of life where I try to do that as frequently as possible. I noticed that there are some things that I can do to make it force it and it’s more often the case that it comes out of nowhere. This is one of those moments where it popped in and feels great, which is terrific because I get a conversation with someone we have a mutual friend. This gentleman and I don’t know each other, but he’s got a similar background in simpatico in many ways to things that have been important to me and in my business pursuits.
[00:01:54] There’s a lot here that we have in common, which we’re going to explore. Let me jump right in. His name is David Meerman Scott. He spotted the real-time marketing revolution in its infancy and wrote five books about it, including The New Rules Of Marketing & PR, with more than 400,000 copies sold in English and available in 29 languages around the globe, from Albanian to Vietnamese. I’ve yet personally to see another author with an Albanian translation of a book.
[00:02:24] David says the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of superficial online communications, tech, weary and bought where people are hungry for true human connection. In the pandemic or in this pandemic pivot that we’re all living in, that couldn’t be any more true. Organizations have learned to win by developing what David calls Fanocracy, the subject of his Wall Street Journal bestseller. Tapping into the mindset that relationships with customers are more important than the products they sell to them. He is a massive live music fan, having been to 804 live shows. Since he was fifteen years old, he has been passionate about the Apollo Lunar Program. He loves to surf but isn’t good at it. That’s probably because he lives outside of Boston. We can talk about that more. David, welcome to the show. It’s great to have you as a guest.
[00:03:14] Thank you, Adam. I love your spiritual beginning to the program, thinking about what you’ve been thinking through. It’s great to be here. We do have a lot in common. We know one another. It feels like we’ve connected in some prior life or something like that. It’s good to be on.
[00:03:33] The bio is significant. You’ve done a lot of things in the world. What is one thing that’s not written in that bio that you would love for people to know about you?
[00:03:41] I lived for 10 years in Asia, 7 years in Tokyo, 2 in Hong Kong. I went to Tokyo when I was 26 with 2 suitcases. I returned from Asia when I came home from Hong Kong 10 years later, with 126 boxes, a wife and a daughter. It was a productive ten years in Asia.
[00:04:06] You’re a lover of music and live music, probably in particular. Were you able to continue the streak of going to live music events when you were in Asia?
[00:04:14] It was a little bit tougher. Tokyo did have live shows. Getting tickets was a hassle compared to what I’d been used to. It was much harder to get a decent ticket. I did go to shows when I was in Asia, but that was that one of the points where it wasn’t as strong as it had been otherwise. I know I’ve been to 804 live shows because I kept all my ticket stubs from when I was fifteen years old.
[00:04:43] Who doesn’t wish as you’re reading this that you hadn’t kept all the tickets stuff?
[00:04:50] Some of them are missing. For a variety of reasons, they’re missing, mainly because they’re gone and left. My first show was Aerosmith. My second show was when the Ramones played in my high school. My most epic experience was that I’m the only person known to have taken photographs at Bob Marley’s last concert on September 23, 1980 at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh. I was nineteen years old. I borrowed the yearbook photographer’s camera.
[00:05:20] I had never borrowed anyone’s camera or taken a camera to a show in the ever before that and I never did after. We have a camera once we have smartphones, but I didn’t ever photograph a show. The one show I photographed of hundreds when I was a teenager was Bob Marley’s last concert. Those photographs have become historic. I’m now working with the Stanley theater to put my photographs in their lobby because it’s their most famous show. The photographs were used for five minutes on the Bob Marley documentary that came out a couple of years ago. The Bob Marley family has copies of the photographs. It’s funny how karma takes you somewhere. As I’ve told so many people, I don’t know why I felt compelled to bring a nice camera with a good lens on it to that show.
[00:06:11] The reasons maybe we don’t quite get into now.
[00:06:14] The universe was telling me something. I don’t know what it’s about, but it was super cool. It was a great show. It’s the only known visual record of that historic show. I went to school at Kenyon College in Ohio. It is a four-hour drive to Pittsburgh. We’re partied the whole way. Getting prepared for a show is one does when you’re a teenager, especially get bidding prepared for Bob Marley’s show. I wonder I couldn’t even focus the damn camera, but that karma intervened there as well on a couple of the shots are epic.
[00:06:51] Are they black and white or colored?
[00:06:52] They’re colored.
[00:06:54] The use of the term prepared. We got prepared for a show or two back in the day. The being prepared part and what that involves and the taking a good photo might’ve seen mutual exterior.
[00:07:09] They are a bit incongruent, but the cosmic universe was helping there somehow because there are a couple of the shots that are super sharp and super interesting. I’m good buddies with Jay Blakesberg, who’s a famous rock photographer. He shot Rolling Stone covers. Jay says, “Dave, these photographs are great.” I was lucky. It was funny. Back then, if you brought a small camera, stood up in your seat and took a photo, they would tell you to stop shooting photographs. I had a camera with a long lens on it. I stood up from my seat, walked down front, was taking pictures and they assumed I belonged there.
[00:07:57] I’ve got a friend, Carl, who’s a wonderful photographer who has taken some pretty famous photographs of artists and musicians along the way. This stuff that you stage and set up and you’re going to get a great shot. There are things that just happen with God’s grace or however you want to define what it is.
[00:08:21] That’s what my buddy Jay says too. He went to the No Nukes Rally a long time ago. This is before he was getting press passes. He looked down on the ground and there was a press pass. He’s like, “A press pass on the ground waiting for me.” He put it around his head, walked in and the first person he ran into was Bob Weir. They started having a conversation. He asked if he could take a couple of photos. Those photos were great. They ended up being published in Rolling Stone and a bunch of other places. You’d never know what the universe will give you.
[00:08:59] One of the interesting things and we don’t know each other real well yet, but I’m sure you’ll appreciate this is that we have to be open to the cosmic aspect of the universe is giving. If you push back on it, those things don’t happen to you, but if you accept that this odd-ball thing that just happened to be coming is something that you should embrace, then go for it. See what direction it can take you. That’s an important thing that we should all be thinking about, especially now during this strange situation we’re in where everything is thrown topsy turvy with COVID. Where is the universe taking you personally or taking us as humans now with the fact that we shouldn’t be seeing one another in person at this point?
[00:11:35] You opened up a beautiful space there. Part of what you said, your friend that finds this pass on the ground, you could call that coincidence. I don’t personally believe in any such thing as a coincidence, and then he meets Bob Weir. What I was thinking when you were saying that was if you’ve ever been to a Dead show.
[00:11:53] I’ve been to 75 Grateful Dead shows.
[00:11:57] For folks that have, though, understand this and those that have not, maybe you’ve heard it or you haven’t, but there’s a thing called, “You need a miracle.” There are people that are walking around in a Dead show and don’t have tickets. They are people who’ve followed the Grateful Dead when it was with Jerry and the rest of the boys, Donna Jean and others in the band.
[00:12:13] They follow the Grateful Dead or the Dead around for years from show to show, living out a bit of a hippie lifestyle, but there’s something beautiful for them, not always having the money or having the wherewithal to get tickets. There were always people around who didn’t have tickets but would get a ticket. They needed to call, “I need a miracle.” This idea that all things are possible, then in the times that we’re living in, you might think, “I do need a miracle.”
[00:12:40] I’ve been on the delivering side of that. I remember distinctly I went to a show in 1984 in Hartford, Connecticut and I had an extra ticket. You can sell a ticket when you get to a show. The good karma is to figure out a way to provide it to the universe and have the universe give you something back to put it that way. There are a whole bunch of people selling tie-dye t-shirts or they had tie-dye t-shirts. I didn’t want to tie-dye t-shirt. I ran across this young woman and she was selling tie-dye socks. I thought, “That’s the coolest thing. I hadn’t seen that before.”
[00:13:25] It was a summer show and I was like, “I wish I had tie-dye socks on right now.” I said, “How much are your tie-dye socks?” I don’t remember how much they were. Probably, $5 back then. I said, “Do you have a ticket for tonight?” She said, “No. I’m looking for a ticket. I wish I had one.” “I’ll give you a ticket for that pair of socks,” which was completely not a valid trade because she would probably give me ten pairs of socks for a ticket. To her, it was like, “Holy cow. Look at that.” I still have those socks. I wear them to shows still. I remember that moment still, which is way more valuable to her and to me than if I had just purchased that pair of socks.
[00:14:08] The story of it alone. The resonance of how many things in our lives have we experienced, whether they were shows or other things that we don’t remember anymore? It’s not even the remembering of them, but we don’t have a resonance of feeling. You have a feeling from that. You have something you remember about it, and you also have an artifact. These socks still exist. You add all that up. You couldn’t have known at the time that the balance was so tilted in favor of giving a miracle.
[00:14:42] For many years later, I’m talking about it right now. How cool is that? It never would have happened if we hadn’t dump made that cosmic connection.
[00:14:57] It inspires the thing I’m about to say, which I wouldn’t say or have said, but for that fact, which is in the situation we all find ourselves in, there are things we would love to be different than they are. I believe in miracles. I was praying and meditating on that. To me, giving a miracle is something we can all think about. What’s the opportunity to give a miracle to someone, as opposed to even the, “I need a miracle,” way of thinking? Thank you for that, David. I’m going to ask you a near impossible question and I’m going to answer it myself, but I’ve got to think about it. Do you have a favorite show? Of the 804 live events, is there one single show that stands out in your memory as being epic?
[00:15:43] I would normally have answered that by saying the Bob Marley show just because it was so epic on so many levels and such a memorable show. It’s hard to identify one show that was super cool like that, but I’m going to answer with a show that if we were sitting here for 24 hours talking about music, you would never ever ask me about, I would never pick up on it. I’m going to mention this because I’ve got a group of buddies that I go to shows with all the time, including Brian Halligan, the CEO of HubSpot. He and I wrote a book called Marketing Lessons From The Grateful Dead together. I’ve been an advisor to HubSpot since 2007. We’re good buddies. We’ve probably been to 25 Dead and company shows or other Dead-related shows.
[00:16:31] That’s where we met. We met at his 50th birthday party.
[00:16:45] The cosmic world delivered. You may know Joe B and Meridith, who were at that party as well. Those were my buddies, who I go to shows with all the time in Boston. I always have more eclectic tastes than them. I find a show I want to go to and say, “Guys, we got to go to this.” I’m a huge fan of Mudcrutch. Mudcrutch is a super cool band. I said to my buddies, “They’re in a club. We have to go see this,” and we did. It was fabulous. I saw this show that sounded freaking cool. I said, “Guys, we should go to this.” It was Miley Cyrus backed by the Flaming Lips at the house. Miley Cyrus never does clubs shows. Miley Cyrus backed by the Flaming Lips.
[00:17:42] I was going to say the Flaming Lips would be my preference in that.
[00:17:45] Miley Cyrus’ voice is unbelievable. This was a couple of years ago. I said to my buddies, “I’m going to go to this. Do you guys want to go?” They all laughed at me. It’s like, “What are you, a teenager?” I said, “No, this is going to be good.” I loved it. None of my buddies went. That was memorable just because of the idea that even if my buddies don’t want to go many times, I’ll still go anyway.Be open to the cosmic aspect of what the universe is giving. If you push back on it, those things won't happen to you. Click To Tweet
[00:18:15] Mudcrutch, as you know, was Tom Petty’s first band. It’s an interesting story. They did one album in the ‘70s in Gainesville, Florida. The band broke up because the record label said, “We don’t want Mudcrutch. We want Tom Petty.” It became Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Years ago, they did the second Mudcrutch album. They did one small or maybe ten show tour to clubs. It was at the House of Blues in Boston, which is maybe 1,500 seats. Petty in a club is amazing. That was one that my buddies went to.
[00:19:00] There are memorable days when I learned of someone’s passing like a Tom Petty and it’s a sad day later. The day Jerry died, I’ll remember like it was yesterday.
[00:19:18] I’ve got one more I’m going to mention. In 1986, I saw Jerry Garcia and John Kahn, just the two of them together in Acoustic at the Ritz in New York City, a very small club, about 1,000 people. It was such a great show. Jerry Garcia’s family released it as a live album. I bought the album and it’s a well done high-quality recording that they then mixed. This is such a good show and I’d forgotten how great it was until I had a chance many years later to listen to this amazing show.
[00:20:07] I remember the show. I remember distinctly where my buddies and I were like this on the stage right in front and there was Jerry. You could touch him almost if you stuck your hand out. It was just the two of them. They were smoking cigarettes the whole time. Acoustic guitar with Jerry and acoustic standup bass with John Kahn the whole time. That was epic, but I’m interested to know your epic shows.
[00:20:33] I saw the Jerry Band once at the Garden with a buddy of mine named Jerry, which is classic. Jerry was a force of nature. The year that he died was 1995. I remember it was when we bought our first house in New Jersey right next to my in-laws about the house, if you could believe anybody strange enough to want to buy the house next door to your in-laws.
[00:20:33] That’s a little bit too close for my book.
[00:21:02] To this day, I remember our kids running across the lawn to get to their grandparents.
[00:21:07] That’s cool to have them be near the grandparents.
[00:21:10] There were many cool moments. It was a counterintuitive thing. I was sitting out in the backyard of this first house. I’m a kid from Queens, grew up in an apartment. I never had a house and I didn’t even know what crickets are. In the middle of the summer in Central Jersey is like fireflies everywhere. It was a magical night. I was just sitting out there thinking about this guy that had touched my life and the lives of so many people that had passed.
[00:21:37] It was poignant because earlier that summer, right before their summer tour was to begin, we saw a kickoff set of shows out in Runnin’ Rebels stadium in Las Vegas. It was my brother, I and a couple of his buddies. He was at the University of Michigan. He had a couple of his friends that came down with us. We prepared heartily for those shows. It was probably the first time I dabbled in a mushroom tea and some things. It was a zillion degrees out in the desert. Nobody knew who Dave Matthews was. It was hardly a person in the place. It’s Dave Matthews opening for the Grateful Dead.
[00:22:19] Jerry didn’t speak a lot. I don’t know if this was your experience. He hardly ever said a word. He’s a garrulous guy. He liked to talk, but just not while he was playing. We heard Jerry speaking in the middle of this show. It was so hot. They were shooting firehose water out to keep us cool. Jerry speaking, and I’m going like, “Is this the trip I’m on or is he really speaking?” It was stunning. That same weekend, we saw them three times and saw Hot Tuna. It was a memorable weekend just a couple of months before he passed. Your second show was the Ramones. Your first show was Aerosmith. Where’d you see Aerosmith?
[00:23:11] Madison Square Garden. I grew up in Connecticut and we would take the train down. That was the first show. I said to my parents, “I want to go do this with my buddies.” I was fifteen. They said yes. If my daughter asked me to take the train and with her friends to the city at the age of fifteen, I’m not sure I would have said yes, but my parents said yes.
[00:23:32] I was mesmerized, not so much by Aerosmith, but by the whole experience. My buddies at the time and I decided, “This is our thing.” About once a month on average, we would take the train to New York and almost always, it was a school night. The show started at 8:00. We’ll leave at whatever time when it finished and run back to Grand Central Station, hoping that we’d catch not the last train, which left at 2:30 in the morning, but the one before that. It was an amazing childhood.
[00:25:17] Nothing like being in the train station in Manhattan after a show at the Garden or somewhere else and making your way home, which to me would have been at one point living in Forest Hills, take the train there, heading on Metro-North or any of the other. When we lived in Jersey, we’d take the train South. There’s something about being in that city after hours, a little banged up with a bunch of other people. Talk about peaceful and safe. I always felt that was one of it. Your parents intuitively knew you’d be all right. This was a different world we’re living in now.
[00:25:52] New York City was more dangerous, whatever this means, because that was the mid-‘70s. My first show was 1975 and we would walk from Madison Square Garden back to Grand Central Station. There are homeless people pissing in the corner. It was different than it is now.
[00:26:17] It wasn’t a Disney version of the city.
[00:26:18] I never ever had a problem of any kind.
[00:26:23] The rock gods were taking care of everybody. Your first show was Aerosmith. I’m going to one up in you little bit here. I’m going to out myself too, not that this is a big deal anymore, but the first time I ever got high was that this show. I was at a summer camp in Connecticut. They day tripped us to an outdoor venue. Talk about a different world. We go to this outdoor venue to see Santana. I’m fourteen at this point. I make my way all the way up to the stage. Talk about literally elbows on the stage, Carlos standing there shredding and I got a speaker. I probably can’t hear well to this day from that one event. Some bearded guy next to me hands me what I thought was a cigarette. That was my first experience.
[00:27:22] Was that venue in Connecticut?
[00:27:24] Outdoors Connecticut, yeah.
[00:27:26] I went to the same venue and I remember there, almost in the woods, there were trees around. I saw all The Allman Brothers at that same venue.
[00:27:39] I’m going to pick one obscure concert that I went to that I was with my wife and my brother. It was just the three of us. We saw Ray Davies at the Living Room or someplace. I’m trying to remember where it was. Ray Davies, to me, was The Kinks. It was like seeing The Kinks concert with a couple of hundred people. He is ridiculously talented.
[00:28:10] I saw The Kinks in Madison Square Garden.
[00:28:15] It’s so funny that our common denominator here is Brian. I had Brian on the show talking about marketing and a ton of things. Your passion is marketing and you write about it.
[00:28:33] I was a marketing guy for corporations for many years. My corporate gig was with Thomson Reuters. They sacked me in 2002 because my ideas were a little bit too radical for them. I started doing my own thing. I recognized super early that marketing was changing. Everybody at that time was talking about marketing in the old way, which is advertising. It was very difficult to get attention in the offline world unless you paid money for advertising or figured out how to get the media to talk about you. It was virtually impossible to get attention outside of those ways. When the web started to emerge in, ironically, the same year as Jerry died, 1995, was when Netscape went public.
[00:29:26] That felt like the time when marketing was changing because of the ability to create content yourself. In the early days it was just websites, then it was blogs. YouTube and other social media, like Facebook and Twitter, came around. Brian’s vice president of marketing brought it on his honeymoon, believe it or not. Why would you bring a business book on your honeymoon is beyond me. He did. He read it and came back.
[00:29:59] At that point, only eight people were working at HubSpot. He said to Brian and his colleagues, “You guys all need to read this book.” Brian read it and they said, “Let’s get this guy in. Let’s get him on the phone. Where does he live? He lives in Boston, too. Let’s book a meeting.” They reached out to me and said, “We’ve started a company based on the same ideas that are in your book.” That’s pretty cool because there’s almost no one doing this at that point. I met them in their office and then I put down my notebook computer, Apple MacBook Pro, and opened up my computer.
[00:30:38] On the back of my computer was a Grateful Dead sticker. Brian says, “We can’t start this meeting until you tell me about that Grateful Dead sticker.” I said, “I love the Grateful Dead. I’ve been to 50 shows. My first show when I was seventeen.” He goes, “I’ve been to 100 Grateful Dead concerts.” He sees a couple of other stickers on my computer.
[00:31:05] He says, “Tell me about your Nantucket sticker.” I go, “I have a house there. I love Nantucket.” He goes, “I go to Nantucket every year. Tell me about that. Japan sticker. What’s that all about?” I said, “I lived in Japan for seven years. My wife is Japanese.” He said, “I lived in Japan too.” It turns out we overlapped. Although we didn’t know it at the time, we met each other in Japan. Brian says, “It’s like we’re long-lost brothers.” We’ve been buddies ever since but talk about the cosmic world bringing things together.
[00:31:36] Do you speak Japanese?
[00:31:38] I speak some Japanese, but I haven’t used it in many years since I’ve lived in this country. I’ve lost most of it. That idea was very early stage back in 2007. HubSpot didn’t even have any clients yet. My book had just come out that week or two weeks earlier. All of a sudden, it became the whole inbound marketing, social media marketing revolution that so many people are talking about nowadays.
[00:32:17] You and Brian not only become friends, but then you ultimately decide to collaborate on a book.
[00:32:27] He asked me to become the very first advisor to HubSpot. I joined his advisory board and have been on the advisory board ever since. We decided to do a webinar. Brian and I went to a bunch of shows together. Within two weeks, we went to a Phil Lesh show of meeting one another. We decided to do a webinar. We called it Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead for HubSpot. It turned out to be the most popular webinar they had ever done up to that point. We’re like, “There’s something going on here.” That’s when we decided to write the book. We got Bill Walton to do the foreword to the book. He’s a great guy. The book came out. It still sells well. People love it and it was fun to collaborate with that book because it was putting together the things that we love. It was marketing and the Grateful Dead.It was very difficult to get attention in the offline world unless you paid money for advertising or figured out how to get the media to talk about you. Click To Tweet
[00:33:21] It’d be fun to talk about 1 or 2 of those lessons. There is an Amazon documentary called Long Strange Trip. The Grateful Dead had a different philosophy about their fans and the ultimate value that they were contributing. They weren’t looking to become rock stars or a part of the music establishment. For that matter, I don’t think they were even looking to make a lot of money. For a long time, that wasn’t a driving force. When you are that good at what they were good at and that many people follow you, you’re going to make a lot of money.
[00:34:00] They ended up making a lot of money, but not in the beginning.
[00:34:05] Maybe share one significant lesson, for example. I was blown away by the idea that they spent so much money on the music and at their shows in a Wall Of Sound.
[00:34:18] Incidentally, I have two pairs of speakers that were originally in the Wall Of Sound. That’s a really important lesson. They spent a lot of money to make a quality product, but the lesson I find the most fascinating, and all of us can still use that lesson, is that the Grateful Dead allowed fans to record their concerts. Every other band said no. Every other band on the ticket said no recording allowed. If you tried to bring a recording device into the show, you would either get kicked out or they would tell you to put it away. The Grateful Dead said, “Sure, why not?” It got to be such a big deal that they created the taper seats that were right behind the mixing board, where people brought in the professional level sound gear, the band set up power strips for them.
[00:35:14] People had long poles with microphones on them to record the music. The band recognized that their concerts were something that people wanted to go see. Everyone is different. You never know what song they’re going to play next because every setlist is all improvisation. They’re all different. It’s not like they’re giving something away that becomes, in a sense, proprietary, although it is proprietary. Maybe you as well, but that’s how I was exposed to the band, was my buddies had these cassette tapes in the early days.
[00:35:52] Not a bootleg because they were permissible. They plug into the board to record the shows.
[00:36:00] They had a few rules. You can give them away and trade them, but you can’t sell them. That was a catalyst in getting people like me and perhaps you to be eager to spend money on concert tickets. They ended up making $1 billion in concert tickets over the course of their career because they did what every other band did. They allowed fans to freely record their music.
[00:36:30] That lesson applies even now because what I see is that so many organizations try to control their information. If you think about just one example, in the business-to-business world, a lot of companies create a piece of content, like a white paper they dangle that in front of people. They say, “Get our free white paper,” but it’s not free because they require you to give an email address to get it. It’s a coercive tactic. What I say is offer that white paper for sure, but make it totally free. Don’t put any roadblocks in front of it like The Grateful Dead did. It’s a cool lesson. It’s something valuable that we can all learn from even nowadays.
[00:37:12] I loved this conversation and didn’t anticipate that we’d go there.
[00:37:19] We got deep into music, which was fun.
[00:37:22] I was working as a waiter at this restaurant. I was eighteen-years-old or something. Somebody handed me a tape and said, “Have you ever heard the Grateful Dead before? Yeah. They’re playing at the Garden. I have an extra ticket if you want to come.”
[00:37:37] That’s the whole point. If you hadn’t listened to the cassette tape, you might not have been exposed to them.
[00:37:43] The minute I heard Eyes Of The World, I was done.
[00:37:47] How many tickets have you bought since then? How many albums have you bought then?
[00:37:51] Randi and I probably went to 60 or 70 shows.
[00:37:56] You spent thousands of dollars on the band because they allowed fans to record their concerts. Many people told me stories like that. It’s fabulous.
[00:38:08] David, we didn’t talk much about rituals. I end my shows in the same way. I’m going to ask you this question and then go ahead with that. Is there one thing that you do on a ritual basis daily to help you to feel better about your life, be more resilient and enjoy more?
[00:38:24] Many years ago was my 50th birthday and I weighed 60 pounds more than I do now. I wasn’t feeling good about myself and in a lot of things. I didn’t plan this. I don’t know where it came from. The universe gave it to me, but on my birthday, I said, “I’m going to get healthy.” On that day, I started exercising every day. For many years now, I’ve exercised every day. I’ll miss 1 or 2 days a month. If we weren’t in a pandemic, it might be 2 or 3 because of business travel, but there’s no excuse. If I’m in a hotel or if I’m at my vacation house, there’s no excuse. Every day I exercise.
[00:39:16] In the early days, I exercised with the TV on, but very quickly, I realized that that was distracting and I needed to really be more mindful of what my body and muscles were doing. For several years now, except for the first year, it’s all been about no distractions. I average an hour. I haven’t been doing swimming for six months because my pool is closed, but normally I’m swimming. I do mountain biking, yoga and weights. I have a home gym, which is awesome. I do Pilates. It’s been transformational for my life. I’m fitter and healthier than I was at any other time in my life. David now can do more pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups, swim faster and mountain bike faster than any other David that ever existed, whether I was 20, 30, 40 or 50. That’s my thing.
[00:40:18] At some point, if it’s East Coast or West Coast, I’ll get you out on a surfboard. I read in your bio that you like surfing and you’re not good at it.
[00:40:29] I have a ton of core. My core is strong. I’ve got a six-pack at age 60. I’ve got a great core, but I learned surfing as an older person. Anything like that, if you learn as a kid, you become way better than if you learn as an adult. I have that handicap. I also don’t surf year-round. In my place in Nantucket, I usually get five months out of the year of surfing. If I happen to have a business trip somewhere, I’ll maybe grab a surf if I’m in somewhere that has waves. These aren’t excuses. It’s just to say that I love it. It’s important to me. I’m not that great at it, but that doesn’t matter because the person who’s having the most fun is the best.
[00:41:16] To end the show, I’ll ask you this one question, which is, do you love your life, David?
[00:41:22] I do.
[00:41:24] To me, it’s a subject that’s been on our minds for a long time. I did a TED Talk about on it. We’ve got a new book that’s coming out in January 2022 called I Love My Life Challenge. To me, there are certain things you do consistently that you get to see a transformational dividend from. One of them for me is the way I wake up. It’s three simple steps to this waking ritual. One, wake up and that’s not something we take for granted because it’s not a guarantee. Two, when I’m waking up in the morning, I have this sense that it is special. It’s a holy moment because I realize somebody is not waking up at that same moment. I can feel gratitude.
[00:42:07] Thirdly, I say something out loud. I start the day with a statement that is speaking something I most wanted to existence. That is those four simple words, “I love my life.” It’s been a pleasure having this conversation. If you know somebody who would love to read some of the things you read, share it with a friend, especially someone who loves music. I can see somebody vibing this conversation. Thanks again, David.
[00:42:51] Thanks, Adam.
- David Meerman Scott
- The New Rules Of Marketing & PR
- Marketing Lessons From The Grateful Dead
About David Meerman Scott
I am a marketing strategist, entrepreneur, investor and advisor to emerging companies, and bestselling author of 12 books, including “Fanocracy” and “The New Rules of Marketing & PR”