Thu, 29 August 2013
CW 335: Financial Planing with Michael Kitces Publisher of ‘The Nerd's Eye View’ & Director of Research for the Pinnacle Advisory Group
Jason talks with Michael Kitces, who is a financial planner and runs the blog Nerds Eye View.
Mon, 26 August 2013
CW 334: Little Rock Arkansas Real Estate Investment Market Profile with Local Market Specialist Jeremy
Jason Hartman talks about rent increases exceeding inflation, Fed tapering off on mortgage backed securities buying and the possible end of the government's role in the secondary mortgage market (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). After a quick announcement about the Austin, Texas property tour http://www.jasonhartman.com/events/ Jason discusses Little Rock, Arkansas with our Local Market Specialist (LMS).
From Wikipedia: Little Rock is the capital and the largest city of the U.S. state ofArkansas. The Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had a population of 717,666 people in the 2012 census estimate. The MSA is included in the Little Rock−North Little Rock, AR Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 893,610 in the 2012 census estimate. As of the 2010 US Census, Little Rock had a city proper population of 193,524. It is the county seat of Pulaski County.
Located near the geographic center of Arkansas, Little Rock derives its name from a small rock formation on the south bank of theArkansas River called la Petite Roche (French: "the little rock"). The "little rock" was used by early river traffic as a landmark and became a well-known river crossing. The "little rock" is across the river from "big rock," a large bluff at the edge of the river, which was once used as a rock quarry. There have been two ships of the United States Navy named after the city, including USS Little Rock (LCS-9).
Sat, 24 August 2013
CW 333: Low-Income Apartment Investing with Al Goldstein Founder of AvantCredit and President of Pangea Properties
Al Goldstein is the President of Pangea Properties and founder of AvantCredit. He was recently given an award for reviving neighborhoods in inner city Chicago. In this interview, Goldstein discusses his real estate investment strategy and why he focuses so much on the low-income demographic.
Goldstein was also named as a Top 40 under 40 entrepreneur in Chicago. He gives his tips on how to become more entrepreneurial.
Growing up in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, Al Goldstein used to watch government-sponsored cartoons "teaching you to be a good little communist." But the message never rubbed off on Mr. Goldstein, the main character in a capitalist success story. By age 28, he had built and cashed out of his first entrepreneurial venture: CashNet USA, an online payday loan company he sold for $265 million, just two years after starting it. Now he's well on his way to building his second business, Pangea Properties, a real estate investment trust that owns 7,000 apartments in Chicago, Indianapolis and Baltimore. Pangea mainly buys properties in lower-income neighborhoods, catering to the same kind of customer whom CashNet targeted.
Sun, 11 August 2013
Jason talks with Les Leopold on his new book: "How to Make a Million Dollars an Hour: Why Financial Elites get away with siphoning off America's Wealth." In the interview, Les details just how hedge funds are making unthinkable amounts of money.
Les Leopold co-founded and currently directs two nonprofit organizations, the Labor Institute of New York and the Public Health Institute. He designs research and educational programs on occupational safety and health, the environment and economics. He also serves as a strategic consultant to the Blue-Green Alliance which brings together trade unions and environmental organizations. Leopold designs research and educational programs on occupational safety and health, the environment, and economics and helped form an alliance between the United Steel Workers Union and the Sierra Club. He is a proud graduate of Oberlin College and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (MPA 1975).
Leopold also authored several other books about "The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor: The Life and Times of Tony Mazzocchi," (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2006.) If you'd like to read more by Les, you can take a look at his articles published by AlterNet at http://www.alternet.org/authors/les-leopold-0
Tue, 6 August 2013
CW 331: State of the States with Meredith Whitney Author of ‘Fate of The States: The New Geography of American Prosperity’
Meredith Whitney is the founder of Meredith Whitney Advisory Group and author of, "FATE OF THE STATES: The New Geography of American Prosperity."
Whitney believes "interior" states like North Dakota, Indiana and Texas are doing a lot better than "coastal" states like California, New York and Florida. She thinks the coastal states continue to struggle long after the recession, while the middle of the country will continue to thrive.
Keeping these in mind, she discusses the outlook for the following areas:
- Housing prices
- Quality of schools
She also shares her advice to help troubled municipal and state governments.
Visit the Meredith Whitney Advisory Group at www.meredithwhitneyllc.com.
Fri, 2 August 2013
CW 330: Power & Strategy with Robert Greene Best-Selling Author of ‘Mastery, Power & Seduction’ & ‘The 48 Laws of Power’
Robert Greene, best-selling author of such books as The 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, The Art of Seduction, The 50th Law (with rapper 50 Cent), and Mastery, joins Jason to talk about his wheelhouse topics – power and strategy.
· Jason’s take on the current state of European real estate investing – are there any likely prospects?
Best-selling author, Robert Greene, is known for a series of books powered by a broad range of research and sources, synthesized for the masses. His life has been a drastic departure from writers’ who never stray from the hallowed halls of academia. After attending UC Berkeley and graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Classical Studies, Greene worked his way through 80 different jobs before settling into his current writing career (by his recollection), some of which included construction worker, translator, magazine editor, and even a stint as a Hollywood screenwriter. Robert’s first book was 48 Laws of Power, which became a runaway hit and has sold more than 1.2 million copies. Numbered among its devotees are such celebrities as 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Chris Bosh, and Will Smith. Greene speaks five languages and is a student of Zen Buddhism, as well as an avid swimmer and mountain biker.
· [1:15] Jason’s monologue includes a reflection on his recent European trip. Has his opinion on investing there changed?
ANNOUNCER 1: Welcome to Creating Wealth with Jason Hartman! During this program, Jason is going to tell you some really exciting things that you probably haven’t thought of before and a new slant on investing. Fresh new approaches to America’s best investment that will enable you to create more wealth and happiness than you ever thought possible. Jason is a genuine self-made multimillionaire who not only talks the talk but walks the walk. He’s been a successful investor for 20 years and currently owns properties in 11 states and 17 cities. This program will help you follow in Jason’s footsteps on the road to financial freedom. You really can do it! And now, here’s your host, Jason Hartman, with the Complete Solution for Real Estate Investors. Jason’s Back from Europe and Hanging in Iceland
JASON HARTMAN: Welcome to the Creating Wealth show. This is your host, Jason Hartman. This is episode #330 and I am talking to you today from Reykjavik, Iceland. I’m in a quaint, little café, a little coffee shop here, so pardon the background noise. I think you probably hear a little bit of it, but the intro portion won’t be too long before we get to our 10th show guest. And today, that will be the very famous Robert Greene, author of many, many books on Power, Seduction, The 50th Law, The 48 Laws of Power, just a whole bunch of things. He’s got a lot of interesting stuff to share with us today and you know, on every 10th show, we go off the strict financial or real state investing topic and we talk about something that just relates to personal interest and personal success and more effective living.
Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about my European real estate tour here before we get to our guest today and I am in Reykjavik, Iceland now, as I mentioned. Iceland is a beautiful country, a small country and yesterday, I toured around, went to on what they call the Golden Circle tour and saw the geysers, waterfalls, and the tectonic plates where you can actually see rifts in the ground or big, very large cracks where the tectonic plates separated, and that’s quite interesting. Some people go diving in there and it’s just crazy to imagine that that’s literally where the earth has come apart [LAUGHING], creating totally different continents.
Anyway, I was in Spain before this. I toured and looked at quite a few properties. I was in Barcelona and then to the south of that, I was in Malaga and Marbella and, you know, I’ve been reading a lot in the past few years about Croatia, about Spain, in the real estate markets there based on their very different economic situations and Europe’s economic problems in general, and it’s just really inspired me to come out and take another look at some of the European properties. I was pleasantly impressed, actually very impressed, with Malaga and just what a high-end area it is and how much Middle Eastern money and really money from all over the world is flowing into that market. You see Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Rolls-Royces, a lot of Saudi money in that market, very high-end stores and shops, and expensive real estate even though Spain is in a tremendous crisis and unemployment is very high especially among the under 30-age group. I’m not sure, really, how the market will go here. I’m gonna continue to research it when I get back. We have a potential local market specialist here and we may actually have them on a future episode. If not on this show, I’ll do it on my JetSetter Show. So, we’ll see about that, but it has been an interesting trip.
Before Spain, I was in Croatia and I was very, very impressed on the last episode. I talked a little bit about Croatia. I went there and Montenegro as well and what a beautiful, beautiful coastline, really, really amazing. Yeah, it’s been an interesting tour. Before that, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and I’m on my way back home after Iceland here today.
I’ve got a helicopter tour and I’m actually gonna take a flying lesson here as well. I’m not a private pilot yet, but I’m pretty close to it. My mom said something very wise to me several years ago when I was about to finish and get my private pilot’s license. She said, “Jason, you don’t have enough time to get good at this.” [LAUGHING] And I thought, you know, those are probably some words of wisdom, so I listened to my mom and I really didn’t pursue getting my license, but I do take lessons here and there and I find it particularly interesting when you can take a lesson on a trip, maybe in a different state or in a foreign country and get some sightseeing at the same time, so pretty interesting.
That’s what I’m off to do now and then I’ll be back home and next week when I talk to you, we will be doing our more regular broadcasting, and I’ve got some of the investment counselors and local market specialists that I want to get on to talk about their markets, some different markets we’re looking at and some current events as well. So we will definitely do that and get back to more regular guests. Of course, this is a 10th show. We’re talking to Robert Greene today. So without further adieu, we will be back with Robert Greene in just a moment.
ANNOUNCER 2: You know, sometimes I think of Jason Hartman as a walking encyclopedia on the subject of creating wealth.
ANNOUNCER 3: Well, you’re probably not far off from the truth, Penny, because Jason actually has a three-book set on creating wealth that comes with 60 digital download audios.
ANNOUNCER 2: Yes, Jason has that unique ability to make you understand investing the way it should be. It’s a world where anything less than 26% annual return is disappointing.
ANNOUNCER 3: I love how he actually shows us how we can be excited about these scary times and exploit the incredible opportunities this present economy has afforded us.
ANNOUNCER 2: We can pick local markets untouched by the economic downturn, exploit package commodities investing, and achieve exceptional returns, safely and securely.
ANNOUNCER 3: I also like how he teaches you to protect the equity in your home before it disappears and how to outsource your debt obligations to the government.
ANNOUNCER 2: And the entire set of advanced strategies for wealth creation is being offered at a savings of $94.
ANNOUNCER 3: That’s right and to get your Creating Wealth Encyclopedia Series complete with over 60 hours audio and three books, just to go to jasonhartman.com/store.
ANNOUNCER 2: If you want to be able to sit back and collect checks every month just like a banker, Jason’s Creating Wealth Encyclopedia Series is for you.
Introducing Robert Greene, Best-Selling Author
JASON HARTMAN: It’s my pleasure to welcome Robert Greene to the show. He is a famous author on Power and Strategy. He’s the author of several books including his latest book entitled Master. The 48 Laws of Power is another great one, The Art of Seduction, The 50th Law, 33 Strategies of War, and he’s just got a prolific amount of work on the subject, and covers a lot of controversial areas that other authors just don’t really touch, and it’s great to have him here. Robert, welcome! How are you?
ROBERT GREENE: I’m fine. Thank you very much for having me on your show.
JASON HARTMAN: Well, the pleasure is all mine and I like to give my listeners a sense of geography. Are you located, by any chance, in Los Angeles today?
ROBERT GREENE: Good guess. Yes, I am. It’s where I was born and raised and that’s where I live right now, yeah.
JASON HARTMAN: Fantastic! Well, that’s where I grew up too, so we’re both Los Angelinos [LAUGHING].
ROBERT GREENE: Oh, cool. “Mastery” is His New Book
JASON HARTMAN: Well, yeah. So, tell us a little bit about your latest book, Mastery, and then I want to touch on some of the other books as well.
ROBERT GREENE: Well, Mastery is basically a book about what I consider to be the ultimate form of power that a person can have in this world. I think we’re in an environment that’s incredibly competitive and difficult. Very few people have any sort of job security anymore. The competition out there is globalized. It’s intense. It’s everyday. You can’t let up your guard ever and I noticed that in all my years of researching very powerful people, they reach this level of intelligence. It’s not an intellectual intelligence, it’s a practical intelligence. They reach this high level where they’ve mastered their field. Um, you can visualize it in a way where, let’s say, you’re professional with chess, it’s just a metaphor. But after 10, 15 years of playing chess, you’re now like a grandmaster and you’re no longer thinking about the chessboard. It’s internalized. You have a feel for it.
JASON HARTMAN: Right.
ROBERT GREENE: Being something in larger dimensions, what they call chunks, and I believe that happens in any profession and once you reach that point, you’re on a whole other plane. You’re so creative that nobody’s gonna replace you, that you’re able to see trends and answers to problems that just are invisible to others, and so you’re gonna be continually in demand. You’re like Steve Jobs or whoever it is. It’s not that you have to ignore being good at politics, being a social person is a component of mastery, but once you get to that point, you’ve got command and you’re in demand, and I wanted to show the reader that it’s not a matter of your brain size, what college you went to. It’s a matter of going through a process with a lot of effort and intensity and you will get there, and it’s an incredible feeling, and it’s in all professions. The book covers everything from science to sports, to working with your hands, to the arts. So, it encompasses everything.
JASON HARTMAN: Well, I think you laid out a few steps. Maybe there are four major steps if I’m remembering correctly in the book, find the thing that is your passion, your great area of interest. What are those if you’d go over with them?
The Process of Becoming a Master
ROBERT GREENE: Well, the first step is the most important. If you don’t follow the first step, you’ll never gonna get there and it’s not me just saying that, it’s the pattern of all highly successful people, and for this book I’ve researched a lot of very powerful figures in history and also interviewed nine contemporary masters to show that it’s a very modern thing. But in all of the stories, everybody starts out with step one and what I call it is discovering your calling or your life’s path and the idea is simple. You’re born with a unique set of DNA. Your brain is wired in a totally different way. There’s something unique about you and what separates very powerful successful people from others is that they are very clear early on in their life about that quality in them that makes them unique. It could be a subject that fascinates them, a problem, an activity, or whatever it is and that clarity carries on into their adolescence and then when it comes time for choosing their profession or career, they have much more clarity. There might be a bit of exploring trying to figure out exactly how to apply their interests but there is a higher degree of clarity than what most people have and because they’re so clear about it and they focus so intensely on something that is emotionally engaging to them, they learn much faster, more intensely than other people. That’s the key to everything in life.
JASON HARTMAN: Sure.
ROBERT GREENE: And so you need to be following that path and I show you very clearly in this chapter that you can discover what these inclinations are that you have and carve out a career path that will set you more in that direction than you might be going. A lot of people choose careers because there’s money involved or because their parents said this is what you should do and they do alright in their 20s because they’re young, etc. but then they hit a wall in their 30s because they’re not engaged emotionally, personally with what they’re doing and disaster ensues, and you’re not aware of where the disaster comes from. It is because you’re tuning out. You’re not fully engaged. And so this is such a critical step. I can’t emphasize it enough and I show you how at any point in your life, you can take this step. You can review and figure out what it is and head in that direction.
JASON HARTMAN: Okay. So, Robert I’ve got to ask you because I’m sure there are people listening that are thinking. That’s just never been clear to me. Some people—
ROBERT GREENE: Right.
JASON HARTMAN: You know, they knew as a kid what they wanted to do. Certainly, what you say makes absolute sense. We all know that the subjects we liked in school, we did well at those usually. Whether it’s, you know, liking the subject or even liking the teacher or professor because you relate to them better or relate to the subject matter better. So, you just pick it up naturally because it’s your area of interest, but just maybe one tip on how someone can discover what their main area is.
ROBERT GREENE: The point of mastery is to slow yourself down. There’s no short cut. There’s no one week suddenly or one year plan. It takes time and so discovering your life path also takes time and a lot of people are not very in tune with themselves. They’ve been listening for too long to what other people have to say. They’re not aware of what their actual interests are, of who they are. So, it’s going to take a couple of, for people like that, it’s gonna take a couple of months, but I’d say something for, a simple banal example will be when you open a newspaper or you check something out online, you’re surfing a site that you like, what is that subject that when you see in the headline, you go, “God! I have to read that. That just fascinates the hell out of me.” I know for myself if I’ve cracked open the New York Times and there’s an article about some discovery about our earliest ancestors, I can’t explain to you why but I am so excited by that. I will read every single article on that subject. Well, there’s something like that for you. There’s always something that lights up your eyes like when you were a kid where you wanna read about it. These are signs. I give you in the book many other signs, but this is a sign of something that excites you in a primal way, that probably dates back to your childhood and you should follow these indications. You should also follow things that you hate in your career path and you hate working for other people. You hate the politicking and all of the gamesmanship involved. Look at that sign. It’s a sign that you are probably an entrepreneur. You probably are meant to be working for yourself. You probably have that individual risk-taking cavalier spirit that is not comfortable working for other people. These are signs and you’ve got to start becoming aware of them.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, makes sense, makes sense. Talk to us a little bit more about the mastery subject and I love how, in your books, you tie in so much history and so many historical figures. Every person in business likes to quote and talk about power and talk about the Art of War. Some like to relate to Napoleon. Thoughts there on some of the historical tie-ins and maybe some examples?
Masters’ throughout History – Da Vinci and Darwin
ROBERT GREENE: Well, the icon of this book is Leonardo Da Vinci, you know, like my War book was Napoleon, the Power book was like Louis XIV, Seduction, Cleopatra, The 50th Law was 50 Cent. But here, Da Vinci is sort of the icon in that he is not as mythical as people make him out to be. He’s somebody who came from a rather disadvantaged background. He was an illegitimate son. He was kept out of all of the noble professions and so, the only really avenue for him was to pursue art which actually was something the he deeply, deeply loved and I show clearly in the book that what makes Da Vinci so absolutely astounding was an unbelievable work ethic. His motto was “ostinato rigore” which means obstinate rigor, persistent rigor. He said, “I’ll figure something out just by sheer persistence and work.” That’s a lot of love and I have all sorts of examples.
He’s a young man who doesn’t really know exactly where he sits in this world. He’s not good in school, his father thinks that he’s kind of a loser, he just likes to go hunting and observing things in nature and collecting specimens, and finally, he gets this chance to go on a voyage around the globe on the ship, the HMS Beagle. His father said, “You’re a fool to go on that. Why would you think of something like that? There’s no money. You have no training in it.” And he grabbed it. There’s something inside of him that tells him this is it, and in the process of going on this voyage, he transformed himself from the sort of naïve, inexperienced young man to someone who becomes the greatest observer of nature that we’ve ever had in history and transformed himself into a scientist. And I take this as a metaphor for the transformation that could happen to any person who goes through what I call a rigorous apprenticeship phase like Darwin went through. So these are some of the historical figures that I have in the book from all different fields and as I said, I have nine contemporary figures like great architect, Santiago Calatrava, or the scientist, Temple Grandin, or the great entrepreneur, Paul Graham who started the company, Y Combinator. So, there are lots of stories in it.
JASON HARTMAN: Well, how did you get into it? What is your background? I mean, were you a history professor or just a student of it [LAUGHING]?
ROBERT GREENE: No, I mean, the part of the reason why I’m able to do what I do is I don’t have any traditional background. So, if I were a history professor, I couldn’t write the kind of books that I write because academia kinda forces you into a certain mold.
JASON HARTMAN: Puts you in a box, yeah.
Screenwriter to Philosopher
ROBERT GREENE: Yeah, and my background was I studied, in college, Greek and Latin, Classics, very interested in History and Literature, and then I went out in the work world, and I worked in journalism, and I worked in film and Hollywood, and I had many different jobs, but I was always reading a lot of history and observing people very closely. And so, I like to write books that are incredibly practical because I’m a very practical person. I don’t like reading academic books on a subject that have no relationship to my life but on the other hand, I like to relate it to history and I like to make the readers think very deeply about their lives. So because I don’t fit into these categories, I’m able to kind of be my own self, so to speak.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, yeah, very interesting. So, manipulation, it’s a controversial subject, but there are many books and writings on how people can manipulate others to get the result they want out of them, you know, how to change people, how to get your kids to do what you want, how to [LAUGHING] get your dog to do want you want, how to get your spouse or significant other. Can people be manipulated? I think you’re going to say yes to that [LAUGHING] from knowing your work, but tell us uh, if so, how?
It’s all About Manipulation
ROBERT GREENE: Well, you know, you’re referring to my earlier books. It’s just sort of a subject uh, theme in all of them. It’s not so much a question. Manipulation is a loaded word. You can also use the word influence, persuasion. Can we convince other people? Can we get them to do what we want them to do or can we get them to do something that won’t hurt us? And of course we can. If not, we would be miserable, powerless creatures.
JASON HARTMAN: Well, and not only that, you know. I know it’s a loaded word and that’s why I used it but to inspire some or instill some controversy into the discussion but the old saying is nothing happens until somebody sells something and whether it’s selling an idea or a product, that’s where a lot of progress comes from.
ROBERT GREENE: Yeah and so, I’m trying to make you focus very deeply on the other person that you’re dealing with. The greatest problem that everybody faces in this realm of persuasion or manipulation is that they’re self-centered. The focus of their attention is inward so I need to sell this product. I need to make money for my family. This is what I like. The other person must like that as well. That said, are you projecting other than something from inside yourself and you’re not focused on the social environment, on what people are thinking, on their needs, etc. All of my books are simply a way to twist you like a yoga pose out of that constant self-centeredness and get you to focus so that you really, really, really understand where that other person is coming from. Once you have that understanding, you can begin to lower their defenses. You can begin to make them move in your direction whatever that might be. At the furthest extreme, you can manipulate them and I show in “The 48 Laws of Power” that extreme. I go into it and I show you that very powerful people are often, can be often very manipulative and here are some of the laws that they use in that realm. You can either take that knowledge to help defend yourself or if you really need to, you can use this. Uh, and that would be sort of the extreme but the tie that connects all of these stuff together is your ability to get out of yourself and focus deeply on the other person. Once you do that, a weird kind of magic can start happening. You can start figuring out other people. You’re never gonna totally understand that person you’re trying to sell to. There’s always an element of mystery. It’s a margin game. If you’re able to increase your margin of intelligence and knowing about them from 5% to 20%, suddenly a kind of magic happens where you’re able to align your interests and figure out what it is that’s gonna seal the deal or whatever it is you need and that’s, that’s really, really what my books are about.
Writin’ with 50 Cent
JASON HARTMAN: Robert, when you wrote about the, the book about “The 50th Law” you talked about 50 Cent, the rapper. What could 50 Cent teach us? [LAUGHING] you know, it’s uh -
ROBERT GREENE: Well actually it’s the book that is co-written with 50 Cent.
JASON HARTMAN: Oh, okay.
ROBERT GREENE: Uh, and basically that was an interesting process in which we spent about five or six months together and I interviewed him intensely and together we kind of shaped the book and so the uh, more or less collaborative process and it’s an amazing story. I’m not a celebrity person. I could really care less about Leonardo DiCaprio. I’m more interested in everyday people and how they get by in their lives but 50 is an amazing story, he’s a very real person. He doesn’t have all this celebrity crap around him and there are a couple of things that we can learn from him. First, the total American rags to riches story of someone who come from the absolute worst environment and how he’s then able to raise himself up from this bottom to be a very wealthy, very powerful individual. It’s an amazing story and it has incredible lessons.
The other element of it is I determined that there’s a quality about him, that is the source of his power and it’s what I call, what we call fearlessness but it’s not a fearlessness of taking, being ah, beating people up or being aggressive or for guns or anything. It’s a kind of philosophical fearlessness in front of anything that happens in life. He’s not afraid of failing. He’s not afraid of what other people think of him. He’s not afraid of being alone. He’s not afraid of being different and when you have that kind of fearless attitude, you are going to get somewhere in this world in whatever you do and so in this book, we have 10 chapters. Each chapter is about a kind of fear that you have. It’s very primal and very human and here’s how you confront that fear and how you overcome it, uh, it’s all of course illustrated. Each chapter begins with a story from his life illustrated and then we go into history about other great Americans and people around the world who have used uh, a, a similar idea and one of the chapters for instance, just to give you an example, is a fear that a person might have in business is a fear of other people. I know that sounds a little bit counterintuitive but a lot of people in business don’t really want to know too much about their customers, about their audience.
JASON HARTMAN: Very interesting, you know, with, with all of your books, it begs the question do you have a favorite?
Robert’s Favorite Book is…
ROBERT GREENE: Well, it’s, you know, they’re like children and it’s sort of hard –
JASON HARTMAN: [LAUGHING]
ROBERT GREENE: To choose –
JASON HARTMAN: You can’t pick a favorite, right?
ROBERT GREENE: Yeah. Well, you can, I mean, the 48 Laws of Power was my first one and it made me – it transformed me from an unhappy person writing in Hollywood to having this great life so it’s always a love of that. The Art of Seduction was my – it is the most fun to write as you can probably imagine by the title and then uh, the Mastery is the newest one so it’s closest to me so maybe right now, that’s my favorite child, but The 50th Law was a lot of fun to write. I can’t say that the Book on Warfare was not fun because it was a very tough subject but even that book, you know, had some closeness to my heart so it’s hard really to say.
JASON HARTMAN: Um-hum. Yeah. I, I knew that would be impossible to pick – like asking a parent to pick their favorite child.
ROBERT GREENE: Yeah.
JASON HARTMAN: But, interesting. Well, you mentioned about the, the Seduction book and –
ROBERT GREENE: Yeah.
JASON HARTMAN: I mean, wow, what an amazing compilation in the Art of Seduction of these different, these different personas that people can exhibit and, and you give examples of people throughout history that have done this. How about if you take a few of those and then, I would be remiss not mention that this isn’t just about seduction in a romantic or a sexual sense but at the end, you talk about self-seduction and how to sell anything to the masses.
And Along Came Seduction
ROBERT GREENE: Yeah, I mean, uh, I’m trying to write a book about the psychology of seduction which I say permeates us as human beings. We are continually vulnerable to being seduced so certainly, we think of sexual seduction and there’s a lot of that in this book but it is also social seduction, how you can charm and get people around you to like you. It’s also political seduction. John F. Kennedy seduced the Americans in 1960 and won an election. It’s clearly marketing and I go into, as you say, the soft sell. So, I’m interested in what ties all of that together.
What ties Cleopatra to John F. Kennedy or, or whomever and there are ties to it. It always involving the same seduction, the same psychology which is how do you lower people’s resistance so they do more or less what you would like them to do and in seduction, you’re creating a kind of pleasurable environment where it’s not about overt manipulation. It’s about what you’re getting people to do is something that they actually want to do or will like and I’m gonna show you how you can have that power.
The beginning of the book, the first half, I, I identified nine types of seducers and you’re probably gonna have the, hopefully, at least one of these types and maybe a combination of two, possibly three and the idea is to be a seducer, you can’t just be reading a book and following certain strategies. You’re gonna seem cold-hearted, particularly, a woman will see right through you and you won’t get very far and it’s not fun. So, the trick is to discover what is naturally seductive about yourself as an individual. So, I identified these types and I make you more aware of what makes you a
The second half of the book I go into various strategies that people typically use in the seduction. Um, and, all of these chapters have application to marketing, to politics, to selling anything as well and, and in there, it’s clear when you read them. But the second half of the book, I kinda show you starting from the beginning, with knowing who it is that you’re trying to seduce, to the last strategy, which is sort of consummating the deal whatever that might be. And along the way, I give you stories from the greatest seducers who had ever lived in all of these different fields.
JASON HARTMAN: What book took you the longest to write?
The Art of War Revisited
ROBERT GREENE: Well, uh, the War book is sort of my version of Sun Tzu’s Art of War and in, for business people, it’s maybe in some ways, the most applicable, but it was a very difficult subject because first, there are so many books written on warfare. The subject is so big. And what I wanted to do is take all of the most classic strategies that exist in the history of warfare. And identify this and then show you the psychology behind them and how they’re applicable to everyday situations, to business, to dealing with people. Uh, and that is not easy. It’s not really been done before to show you on the pulley and the use of the flanking maneuver. It’s actually a strategy that has incredible application to running a business. So it took a lot of thinking on my part and a lot of work, a lot of hard work. So that book was the longest and hardest to produce.
JASON HARTMAN: I would agree that when you read The Art of War and try to relate it to modern times I don’t think that’s very easy to do. People talk about it, maybe [LAUGHING] in an attempt to sound intellectual or something but if you ask me, I didn’t find that much relation to business. Maybe I’m missing something but [LAUGHING] or my attention span is too short. I don’t know.
ROBERT GREENE: Well the Sun Tzu is an amazing book, I used it very much in my book on war, but you’re right. I understand exactly what you’re saying but let’s say a scene in Sun Tzu is all about not going to war unless you have to and using your resources, marshaling them to the best possible usage, so you’re not wasting life and you’re not just ruining your country in the process. Well, I created a chapter out of that which I called First Economy and that means using your resources, who you are, your business, your army to the absolute maximum economical usage. So you’re not wasting anything and basically the idea is your reliance on money or technology is making you probably less creative than you want to be. You can be incredibly creative with less actual material resources and do better in your business than you are if you’re so addicted to spending a lot of money and buying things that you think are gonna improve your productivity, etc. That’s an idea of Sun Tzu that you can take as metaphor and apply to sports, to business, to life in general, and that’s sort of what my approach was.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, very interesting. Well, of course your books are available at the bookstores and on Amazon.com and the web site is powerseductionandwar.com, all written out and anything else you’d like to people to know in closing Robert?
ROBERT GREENE: No. Yes, you say powerseductionandwar.com. There will be links there to Mastery, etc. Now, I guess it’s just that these are books that are meant, you know, they are longer. They’re not a simple read like a lot of self-help books but if you take the time, they’re all very practically oriented and reading them, you don’t have to read them [INDISCERNIBLE]. You can skip the chapters that seem more irrelevant but it kinda gets under your skin. I’m trying to alter your way of thinking, your life and about success. I’m trying, we discussed a little earlier about making you less self-centered. It’s a process and I’m trying to change how you think and I think reading the book in that spirit, it, it has incredible practical value if you give it a time. So that’s sort of the [INDISCERNIBLE]
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, what I, what I love about your work is just all that historical ties and I, I feel like –
ROBERT GREENE: Yeah.
JASON HARTMAN: I learn so much about history, reading a book about power or seduction which I would never think you know, [LAUGHING] that would come out on that’s why your work is a just very interesting, very well thought out. I’ve got to ask you, do you have another book in your sights? The recent release of Mastery but what’s next?
ROBERT GREENE: Well, a lot of my books kinda come out of an idea in another book uh, in those that I’ve written and so with Mastery, I have a chapter on what I called Social Intelligence and the idea in that chapter is to say, it’s not just enough to master your field and be technically brilliant at it. You also have to be really good with people and intelligence, intellectual intelligence actually goes hand-and-hand with people intelligence, the social intelligence. I’m gonna write a book that expands that idea into something much larger. I’m gonna give you what I called a deep, deep understanding of the elements of human nature that go back thousands of years, that are embedded in each person. So that when you read this book, you’re gonna have a much better sense of what is motivating the people around you. You’re gonna be able to read them a lot better than just of kinda go operating blindly. And I’m gonna show you how you can develop this kind of reading ability and I’m gonna give you, as I said, this kind of encyclopedia about human nature so you’ll have a much better knowledge of what motivates people.
JASON HARTMAN: That sounds fascinating and I really, really look forward to that book. We will definitely have you back on to talk about –
ROBERT GREENE: Okay.
JASON HARTMAN: Social intelligence and Robert Greene, thank you so much for joining us today.
ROBERT GREENE: Oh well, thank you so much for having me. It was fun.
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Transcribed by Joseph