So comics think in reverse either naturally or they learn it on like day one of the day they decide to become a comic as a great way to create comedy. But thinking in reverse has all these other benefits.
So for example, in comedy, it may be the punchline to the joke or it may be a premise to a sketch or to a movie.
You have the street hustler and the Wall Street banker reverse roles and comedy ensues. More recently Trainwreck with Amy Schumer is a reverse romcom, right? Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. And so that serves as this very fun, refreshing repremise of an old idea. Well, in business, oftentimes thinking in reverse can be beneficial in part because it overcomes what we call the status quo bias, right? So this is one of those things that behavioral economists have studied for years. Why is it so difficult to think differently, think creatively? Well, one reason is creative thinking requires a change from the status quo, from the way we do things, right? For example, Tony Horton, the creator of P90X, at the time the P90X came along, it came at a time where the previous payday loans in sc 50 years of sort of health and wellness promises were about how easy it is to get short loan in shape, how easy it is to lose weight.
And then you get these really stupid products like the ThighMaster or the shake weight or toning shoes, right? But not Tony Horton who actually had done a little bit of a standup comedy when he was a younger man.
And one of the reasons that reverse has worked so well is that short loan almost no one thinks in them. And now I think for some of us, humor is a bit more innate than others. I mean, you talk about issues of using humor in the workplace. Are there any type of, I mean, should we go out and start literally practicing standup comedy? How do we get better at thinking in reverse or thinking in ways that will help us in the workplace? So shit storming is designed to fix the problems with brainstorming. So the problem with brainstorming is people hold back because the most revolutionary ideas often seem crazy at first.
So what happens when you brainstorm is people are reluctant to say something dumb. Well, who is worried about getting criticized for your idea being not bad enough? It also is a great warmup to a more traditional creative tasks because shit storming is so fun. People build on ideas, they lean into this kind of thing. And then it has this last I think powerful option, which is sometimes someone goes, You know, that might actually work. Tim Ferris, who people know from the 4-Hour Workweek. Carol:It sounds like so many of these principles are really extremely just building on that whole concept of reversing everything, right? What are some more tactical things we can do in addition to these practices, these principles?
As I say, in a world of people who want hot tea or ice tea, do not serve them warm tea, pick one or the other. And so I think that that is an incredibly important idea for people in business. But in general, most products, most services, most offerings start very niche. And so this idea of creating a chasm, because I think that it just does such a short loan good job of what could business is to do. Like all the blemishes are gone and all this kind of stuff, but it feels, honestly, it feels like a nightclub. I mean scantily clad people, loud club music, the whole thing, not my scene as you might imagine. Certainly we hear that in the business world all the time like just go try stuff, test stuff, do a quick test.
He has a new Netflix comedy special a couple months ago and I was watching it. So what a comic does is they tell a joke on a stage. One of the ways that they get there however, is that every good standup I know has a writing practice that is that they write their jokes on almost a daily basis. And I have a chapter in Shtick to Business called right it or regret it. And one of my early readers, she sent me a text message. And I argue that everybody should have a journal in the same way that every comic has sort of a notebook or some note keeping. So writing will help you record your ideas to keep them for prosperity. That is we too often forget the ideas that we have. Second, writing helps us clarify our ideas because it slows us down and putting words on paper requires precision. And then lastly, writing can be the basis for communicating ideas. And so as someone in business, you want to keep your ideas. You want to clarify your ideas and you want to be able to communicate your ideas and working on a writing practice can be a very useful way to go about doing that.
We talk a lot about communication verbally, but not enough about that slow, steady albeit sometimes painful process of putting pen to paper. Part of the reason I ended up studying humor was I was interested in engaging in the world with people like you and people like your listeners, but there was already a guy in my field named Dan Ariely who was writing popular press books about behavioral economics is one. And so you can have different types of cuisines on the same street and that that can co-exist.
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So when I was in college, I came home one summer and I was just broke. I was broke my whole life till I was in my mid thirties to be honest and I got a job. There was this guy who ran a business who was an engineer and he bought a farm and he hired me on the weekends to work on the farm. And I remember one of the more unpleasant tasks I had to do was, he had sheep and I would go into the barn and I had a pitchfork and I had top loans to jab the floor of the barn and pull out basically sheep poop that had been there for the whole summer and had dried.
And then I loaded it onto this cart and then I would drive it through payday loans advertised on tv the fields and it would shoot all of the … basically became fertilizer there. It was- Peter:So every time I put that pitchfork into the ground and pulled it up, there was this smell that would hit me. And this was like, it was just me alone in a hot barn. So I think one of the things is about this idea of saying, and this is related to what we just talked about saying no. In order to be successful, it becomes really incredibly important to figure out where are the absolute yeses, the maybe yeses, and then everything else you just have to let go. So Bill Murray, imagine being Bill Murray, hall of fame comedian. And then you hang up the phone and you wait and you hope.
Would you write up a one pager and mail it to this PO box, mail it to this- Peter:So Carol gets old Smith Corona, types out the one pager of this money advance idea, puts it into an envelope, drops it in mail and waits and hopes.
Can you beat him on in Dublin on Thursday to talk about it? You get into the car, you drive out to his house, you have dinner with him.
And anybody else does that and you probably end up in the back of a police car within an hour. No one gets upset with you for saying no because of your secret project.
You mentioned Daniel Kahneman, who as I said, has a book that I absolutely love, Thinking Fast And Slow. You mentioned Dan Ariely, who has another one of my favorite books, Predictably Irrational. So there are between you and Daniel Kahneman and Dan Ariely, we now have some of my favorite books of all time. What are one or two other books that you really love that we should all be reading? One of the books that I recommend to my MBA students all the time is by Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz, the big venture capital firm, and that book is called The Hard Thing About Hard Things.
So what is your greatest splurge along the way in your personal or your professional life that was totally and entirely worth it?
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If you buy Humor Code, Simon and Schuster gets the money. So you get to make your decision as to which one or both you want to purchase. Peter, thank you again so much for taking the time from your secret project to be with us. This was so much fun for me and I think I speak for Carol as well.
So making sure you are so hyper-focused on delivering the experience, the product, the overall goal that you have for your target audience, focusing on that and almost intentionally making sure that the people that do not fit into that audience are almost just like no way that would absolutely not work for me because it enables you to hyper focus on getting that amazing result. And I think one of the things I love the most is we got to talk about some of my favorite books. So I just want to give a quick recap because anybody out there listening, here are some awesome books to pick up. And like Peter said, Shtick To Business, he gets more money from that one.
But he also mentioned a couple other books in this episode that I think are just absolutely amazing. Daniel Kahneman, Nobel prize winning scientist wrote a book called Thinking Fast And Slow. Dan Ariely, Predictably Irrational, which is an amazing book. And then Peter mentioned a book called The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Harwich.
Anytime you can have a good book discussion, I like that because everybody knows I love books. J:Alrighty, everybody thank you for tuning in this fine February day. Try extreme reversing to make some great progress today. They have a network of lenders to assist with all forms of financing, including Self Directed IRA loans. NetSuite offers a full picture of all your finances all in one place, in real-time, right from your phone or your no fax loans desktop.
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