Wes Schaeffer: Johnny, king of "The Art of Charm" fame, all the way from Vegas, man.
Johnny Dzubak: Yes.
Wes Schaeffer: Welcome to The Sales Podcast. How the heck are you?
Johnny Dzubak: I'm doing great. Thank you for having me, Wes. I've been looking forward to this today, and we're going have some fun.
Wes Schaeffer: I know. Thanks for having me on your show. That was cool. And A.J. is on vacation. But I mean, look, look, everybody knows, you and I, we're the sexy ones. We're the ones people want to see anyway.
Johnny Dzubak: That's how it works. That works.
Wes Schaeffer: Just make sure A.J. doesn't hear that -- I might edit that out. All right. So. Well, I just hit the mute button, trying to move windows here.
"The Art of Charm," what the heck is this? Who are you? Who's A.J.? How can you help me start winning people over and grow my influence fast? Is that even possible? Is it --what are you selling me, man? What's happening?
Johnny Dzubak: Well, we're always selling. You know that as well as anybody.
Wes Schaeffer: Yes, we are.
Johnny Dzubak: And it's interesting, that idea of selling, because so many people go through life without ever realizing or opening the doors to their true potential. There's all these little things that you can do in life to enhance it, to maximize your efforts to build a life, as I call it, a life worth fighting for.
A life worth fighting for is one that you've meticulously put together, a life that you authored, that you designed. And of course, if you're going to put in this effort to build and design this life, well, yes, it's something that you want to protect. It is something that you want to defend because of the work that you've put in it to maximize to get out everything that you possibly can in this life.
I couldn't see going through life from one Netflix series to the next and one just consuming life. For myself, I want to engage in it. I'm a musician as well -- and I'll get to that in a moment -- but I'd rather be a contributor than a consumer because I love creating. And because of creating musically, I also like creating content for The Art of Charm. I also like contributing in the world and to my social peer groups as well to get those people fired up because consuming life is boring. You're not in it. You're outside of it. You're a spectator.
But when you're contributing, you're engaging with it. You're battling it. It's a full -- life's a full contact sport. We were just talking about BJJ, but you get the most out of it by engaging. That's the view of that. And certainly sales is one of those aspects of life where you enhances your life. It helps you build things. You're selling yourself, you're selling ideas; you're selling the way for people to follow as a as a contributor. You want people to be excited about the work that you're doing and that all takes sales.
Wes Schaeffer: So I agree 100 percent, but tie this together for me, because you talk about producing and don't just be a consumer, don't just be passive, don't just be force-fed whatever. How does this blend in? How does this get into The Art of Charm? Because you talk about discover how to easily captivate and connect with anyone. What does that have to do with producing?
Johnny Dzubak: Everyone gets to a point in their life -- or at least I hope -- where they have a choice in how they want to engage with it.
For instance, all of us have been eating since we've been alive, but yet I didn't learn how to eat until I was in my late 20s; meaning that I just grew up what was handed to me with my family, the way they eat. I just adopted these ideas -- adopting the way my family ate. My dad grew up on a farm. He experienced actual from farm-to-table sustenance of food. When in growing up, we always had Coca-Cola in the fridge. We've always had a ton of carbs in the fridge.
And then I -- what I actually learned, what a proper meal was and what it looked like, it was leaps and bounds from what I had grown up eating. So I had taken responsibility for what I was eating because it had a direct effect on my output, my energy, my well-being; how I felt engaging in the world. So I changed. And once you take responsibility for something such as your diet, all of a sudden you realize its benefits and you start looking to every other aspect in your life and seeing how you can enhance and maximize that. And eventually you're going to get to how you engage with the world, how you engage with yourself and your inner critic and what you tell yourself and how you engage with other people. And you realize that you can take responsibility for that and you can enhance that.
You can enhance your communication, which is going to allow you to access building a better life for yourself because you're able to communicate your wants and needs. So The Art of Charm is all about -- is another self-improvement company; however, we're focused around social skills, communication -- with yourself and to the people around you.
Wes Schaeffer: Okay. So somebody is listening to this and they're saying, hey, I'm a blue collar guy or I'm just a worker, I'm not in management, I'm just a teacher; whatever. Fill in the blank. This doesn't apply to me.
Johnny Dzubak: Oh, but it does. You can opt out or you can engage. I grew up in Pittsburgh. My dad grew up on a farm, but my dad worked in a factory. He worked at PPG. He made windshields for cars. He spent 10 hours a day in the furnace of that factory, where the presses would come down in that furnace and mowed those particular windshields to a specific model for whatever automobile they were pressing that day. My dad, because of that line of work, always seemed forever just pissed off.
And I could watch him and how he went in to work every day, and I realized I didn't want to do that. I didn't want to have to deal with what he was dealing with. And of course, I'm sure, any father wants to have the best for their children and wants their children to learn from their mistakes and have a better life. And for the blue collar guy, you have little ones watching you. You may have your friends watching you. You are a leader much like you're a salesman, whether you want to be or not. And so even if you have a blue collar job, how you engage with that job, how you engage with the other aspects of your life is going to dictate how much you're getting out of life.
I remember the time, the first time that it pierced my own arrogance, that my happiness was my responsibility. And I maybe had heard that several times in my 20s and I never sank in, until you much like sales, you hear it enough times where it does pierce. And then I realized just how many things I was doing in my life that weren't contributing to my well-being, that were making me miserable, that I had the ability to change once I had taken responsibility for those aspects.
So back to your question, to the blue collar guy or somebody they feels they didn't have a choice, you always have a choice. And how you engage in the world is completely up to you and how you view it -- your worldview, your perspective, how you're going to engage with it, what do you want to get out of it -- all of these things. That's all left up to you.
Wes Schaeffer: Amen. You know, I'm looking at your site and you talk about here, you spent long enough feeling like you're missing out on genuine connections, easy relationships and a fulfilling career path. Stop wishing for better and let us help transform you. Talk about that. My dad was a blue collar guy; I remember my uncle, blue collar guy and my dad not so much so, but my uncle, I kind of remember, pissed off at the world. He'd come home take his boots off, maybe take a quick shower, smoked two packs of filterless cigarettes a day; died of COPD and complications from that. He would sit in that chair and he would watch his show, smoke his cigarettes, drink his Budweiser, eat on a TV tray -- and hanging out with them, he was certainly jovial and cordial and always had a joke. But you could tell it was like him against the world. You could tell he was just carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. But it doesn't have to be that way, right?
Johnny Dzubak: It certainly doesn't. And the evidence is overwhelming about how being creative and building and contributing allows us to feel. And right now, we have all the distraction in the world for us to just consume, more so than our fathers and uncles did.
You were relegated to the shows that were on and you either like them or you didn't, and sometimes even watch them because nothing else was on and you might as well try to get into it; and now we're at a place where there's always something that you're going to be interested if you just look hard enough. Now, do we have to accept that and just start passively consuming when I realize biologically I'm going to get more out of life by building, by creating, by contributing, by helping others? The evidence is overwhelming.
So, again, it comes down to what I want to take responsibility for my own well-being, and I'm going to do the harder thing because in the end, that makes me happier.
Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. Cool. How did you and AJ get into this? I mean, I know you just moved recently from L.A. up to Vegas. You're a musician, entertainer. Y'all seem like you come from different backgrounds, but you're doing something very unique. How did that come about?
Johnny Dzubak: As I was mentioning, I grew up in a blue collar family. My mom was a hairdresser, dad was a factory worker, but my dad was always -- he was always a hustler, and one of his side hustles was playing in bands. This is back in the '70s and '80s, so bands back then got paid good money to be the local bar band. You learned a bunch of Top 40 tunes and you set up in the corner of the bar, you played up to three sets throughout the evening, and that was the gig.
So my father's band used to rehearse in our basement. So as a kid, I'm feeling the floorboards reverberate with all of those songs and music. I would hear the songs from the radio come blasting from downstairs from my dad's own band. I would see my mom and my dad getting dressed up and their friends coming over to pregame before the show. And as a young kid, you can imagine how that made me feel to see that, to want to be a part of that.
So, of course, I got into to music as well, and I set out to work in the music industry to be a performer, to engage in that sort of lifestyle and ideas and create; I'm an artist. But as I got into my later 20s, the world of music that I grew up wanting to be a part of was changing so rapidly that you could even make an argument that the world that I grew up wanting to be a part of didn't even exist anymore.
And I'm also looking into the world -- and this is even before social media was established -- at this time, Limewire was how people were trading music. Friendster was a thing, but MySpace was starting to take off. And I'm looking down the road and I'm like, I can't see us returning to what it was, and what's coming down the road doesn't interest me or have the same rituals and tradition that I grew up wanting to be a part of.
And because I wanted to be a musician from such an early part of my life, there was never any exploratory reflection about anything else. So I decided, moving into my 30s that I needed to ask myself some hard questions moving forward, and to deliver honest answers, I'm going to need to be very honest with myself. And that became a time of reflection and using self-development as a tool to reflect. And of course it was then I started implementing these ideas and I started learning in self-development that after implementing had such a radical change in my my own life, my wellbeing, how I view the world, how I engage with it, just one obsession rolled into the next, and that just became a new career path that I had had so much fun and I just decided to follow that out.
I ended up getting a job -- I was living in North Carolina at the time. I got a job in a small self-development company in D.C. where I'd go up on the weekends and teach some classes and talk about my experiences. And A.J. at that time, he had a business partner named Jordan at the time, we all had met in D.C. and then we had decided at that point to build The Art of Charm.
And Jordan went off to do his own thing. And when you meet people that young and you start to engage in this and it was a brand new world, A.J., and I decided that The Art of Charm was what we wanted to do and Jordan had other aspirations so he had left to go do those. And for the last 15 years, we had been building The Art of Charm, giving out free content, podcasts, the works, and engaging and helping people to make the world a better place from our own little corner of the Internet.
Wes Schaeffer: You've been doing how long? You say 15 years?
Johnny Dzubak: Close to it. Started in 2007.
Wes Schaeffer: That's awesome.
Johnny Dzubak: And then, of course, I've been involved in self-development for a good few years before that.
Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, yeah. Well, I think anybody in our space, people that are in sales, people that are in any kind of coaching, I think we have that in common. I mean, I was still in the Air Force dabbling in different network marketing. I was stationed out here actually at the end of '94. And a coworker, a civilian, retired Air Force, came back to work on base; he was introducing me to network marketing and I was reading How To Win Friends And Influence People." And then Tony Robbins and then -- I mean, all the guys. And it's it's an interesting journey.
But y'all took this another step. How did you go from just being practitioners and students of this to saying, hey, we can make money on this. I mean, just going back 15 years, I mean, it's 2006, things were kind of hard back then. I mean, building the website, yeah, WordPress was around, but it was pretty new; all the e-commerce things. I didn't get into Infusionsoft until 2008. I didn't have a merchant account until then. So, I mean, how did your crank that up?
Johnny Dzubak: Well, this is where The Art of Charm is a bit unique in its creation. So back then, if you remember in the self-development realm, there was a little corner of it that was basically dedicated to meeting the ladies. Now, you have to remember -- and look at the Internet for what it is when it was. In its early creation, who are going to be the first people who are going to conjugate and start chatting online then? The nerdiest guys on the planet because they are making use of all this new technology. Well, what are they going to talk about? They're talk about meeting ladies. That's what all young guys are going to talk about.
So there had been this online community that to me was the first online community that sort of spilled into mainstream culture. And there was Neil Strauss's book, "The Game" came out and everyone was talking about pick up and but it was also linked to men's rights activists and self-development. Self-development was a part of that. And for myself and those guys -- I won't speak for them -- for myself, I saw an opportunity to correct some of the myths and bullshit and garbage that I had seen in that community.
Now, at the time, I had been playing in bands, managing a bar, so I've been very social. What I had saw was more detrimental to young men enhancing their life than the quick fix tricks and hacks that they were implementing. So for us, it was an opportunity -- we started as a response to what we had seen in our community that we felt was harming young men. And so there was already that sort of community and coaching and boot camps and things that were going on, and we were a response to that and we started doing our own thing.
And as we had gotten older and the The Art of Charm in itself, we branched out into more so of just communication. Our audience, the podcasts, A.J. and Jordan had already started the podcast just a little bit before I had joined in and had exploded because podcasts weren't even really a thing yet. Joe Rogan wasn't even a podcast at the time. And because of that, the audience had grown, and much like -- think about Maxim magazine. It was a men's magazine, but do you know how many women bought that magazine and enjoyed peering into a guy's mind? It was very popular. And much like that, a lot of women were listening to the show.
We felt an obligation to, of course, correct a bit to make the show about communication, to be your best self, to contribute to the world, make yourself a better person. We don't need to talk about picking up ladies. If we are the best that we can be, you are going to be attracting opportunities just by being a high-value person, whether that's business opportunities, whether that's networking opportunities, whether that's ladies. You are an awesome person, you have a lot going on, you've built up your life, you are not chasing opportunities, networking ability and ladies. They now are attracted to you.
And so a few years getting into that, we started to create The Art of Charm around that idea more and more. And now we're so well into it. It's all about communication, your intent, building yourself up. And this is why you and I had got in touch, because sales is such a big part of that. And there is so many unique, interesting things within the sales process -- persuasion, communication, leadership -- that make you a better person, a better man.
Wes Schaeffer: You know, it's funny you mention Neil Strauss. Man, it was probably eight years ago -- I mean, it's been a while -- I sat down to write up a blog post and I started doing some research on sales books. I did a search for like "best sales books" or "top ten sales books," something like that. And I've run across all these various lists, and I'm like, okay, yep, I know that one; oh, I got that one; I got that one. And Neil Strauss, "The Game," popped up. I'm like, I've never frickin' heard of this thing; I've been in sales since 1997.
So at that point, right, 18 years roughly; won all kinds of awards; own The Sales Whisperer; I'm like, how come I haven't heard of this guy? And I look him up, like, oh, it's a pick up artist. So I go by his book and I tell my wife, I'm like, I'm ordering this book. It is research, but it's it's 100 percent sales. I mean, everything -- I pull so much -- I've bought other books of his and and emulated and pulled some things -- I need to have them on the show, because it's all sales. It's scripts. "I don't like a script," like, "Hi, how are you." "Oh, I'm good." "How are you?" "I'm good. Thanks for asking." "How's the weather" "Oh, it's kind of getting a little warm, how about you" -- I'm like, what are we doing? It's a script. Everything's a script, and it's just how good are you at letting it roll off your tongue and appear natural, you know? And once I internalize that, it's like, man, things took off.
Johnny Dzubak: Well, if you even broaden it out a bit, the philosophies that you follow or not follow, or think you don't follow and actually follow, are scripts. They've already been written out. And if you don't think they you're following a philosophy or a script, you will be given one. And you may not like the one that you've been given. The media has a world that they want you to buy into and follow. That's a script. That is an idea. That is a worldview that has been laid out. You don't to have to think about it. You could just follow that to its the conclusion that they want. Or you can decide for yourself. You can decide for yourself how you want to engage with the world.
Now, do you think the government wants you to figure it out for yourself, or do you think the government would just love for you just to follow their script? So it's not a hard question.
So there's a lot of things that are scripted out like that, frameworks that we use or that we follow in life, whether we know -- whether we are aware of it or not.
Wes Schaeffer: That's the old poker adage, right? If you don't know who the chump is at the table, it's you.
Johnny Dzubak: The one I used to hear was that's a beautiful one, my dad told me there's always one weirdo on the bus. I looked around; I couldn't find him.
Wes Schaeffer: [chuckles] Oh, man. People, they don't realize, like what I'm doing, training I'll pull their chain on their chain, show them how they're being manipulated. And it's -- I mean, I don't know if it's naiveté or lack of faith or -- I don't know, but the people -- like I'll present it and they still want to bury their head in the sand. I'm like, well, good luck with that.
Johnny Dzubak: Well, it's easier to just ignore the truth, because the truth means that you have to make harder decisions.
Wes Schaeffer: Even you have to make decisions. And if you've never made decisions, then the process of making decisions seems hard.
Johnny Dzubak: Right. The cognitive load is always going to be there and making those decisions. And what's interesting about this is I -- I laugh at this. I've talked so much about why everyone needs to take a marketing class, so they can understand when every time that they open up their laptop, what they're viewing and how it's messing with them and the images and the words that are used on that.
And what's interesting about this is we're used to only been marketing to from agencies in the past, and the government would market to us for ideas. But now everyone has the ability to market to everybody, and everyone is in varying degrees of how good they are at that marketing. So I have millions of people marketing to me every time I open up my computer.
And every time I talk about this, there's always inevitably somebody who says, oh, those things aren't going to work on me. And if you have that, you think that way, I got news for you. You've already been bought and sold. You have done this thing. You open up that computer, you see an image, you have an emotion that is invoked in you, and then you read the text to what that picture is, and now that that text has you clicking a button or or moving to the next -- this is now, you got invoked with emotion; you wonder why you're feeling this way, so now you read the message and now it just got you to comply with something, whether it was click to the next page or do this or if you want this, follow this.
So now you've already been bought and sold; it's just how far are you going down this rabbit hole? It's not a question of if or when. It's how far. And understanding that and accepting that is terrifying to most people, and they'd rather be blind to it. Now if I just come home from work and go on the Netflix and I start getting marketed to, I don't have to worry about it. I'm accepting whatever it is. But once you start building things and then you realize that you need to sell your ideas and you need to sell the things that you are creating, then you begin to start to see all the other marketing that is geared towards you.
Wes Schaeffer: Mm-hmm. And the people complain about it, they don't realize every time you take that survey on Facebook, I mean, you're just feeding the algorithms. You're feeding the machine. Yeah, if you log into Netflix, they know. They know what you've clicked on. They know what you've hovered over. They know what you've previewed. And it can be good; it can be bad. I mean, hey, I appreciate -- hey, show me some action movies, whatever, okay? It narrows down my choices. Cool.
Johnny Dzubak: Hey, I love when Facebook shows me something that I want to buy and of. And of course, I'm like, how'd they do that? Well, they did it because it's called predictive marketing and you are more predictive than you even know. And within seven clicks they know other things that you're going to be looking at it. This is predictive marketing is not only good, it's only going to continue to get better as we continue to feed these machines our information. It's hilarious to me.
And every time I bring this up and somebody goes, well, these things are just tools, it's just -- yeah, okay, tools. A hammer is a tool. And when I'm hanging a picture on my wall in my living room, I might use a little hammer to tap into the nail or or whatever I got to do. But this tool that I have, let's replace the hammer with a jackhammer and try to put the picture into that living room wall and see how that works. That's what we're dealing with. This is not a hammer. This is not a screwdriver. These are tools on steroids. It's hilarious to me.
Wes Schaeffer: It's crazy. So you've got your podcast, "The Art of Charm." Got your website, The Art of Charm. That's very ingenious, the way your name things the same. Did AJ come up with that?
Johnny Dzubak: You know, I don't remember even how that name had come up. And the thing that's interesting about this -- and if I could go back in history and think about what The Art of Charm was going to become or with the cultural feelings we're going to be and what culture was going to look like 10 years down the road, perhaps I wouldn't named it that, or perhaps I would have kept it that.
But we didn't know what we were doing. They were just out of college. Jordan was getting a job on Wall Street as a lawyer, and A.J. had just left medical school. Seeing that there was an opportunity with podcasting Art of Charm and the coaching company that we were building and and to to just jump in with that while there was -- we had this momentum and see what was going to happen. We didn't know about any of that, and the Internet was still rather young.
So, like, we were naming things because we felt it worked. During that, there was no thought about the future or any of that. So in a lot of ways, I tend to think that we were at least cognizant enough to be respectful that anything could happen in the future and we should at least keep it simple.
Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, yeah. That's smart. I mean, it's a great name, great program. I mean, y'all meeting in person because of COVID or you're doing things live again?
Johnny Dzubak: So we were in the middle of transitioning our business right before COVID so that we would be able to scale it easily. The company was built and the model that we had used for our programs was all live, and that also worked for where the technology was when we started as a company in 2007. Obviously, after 15 years, that technology has changed so drastically that the technology outgrew our our model. We had to then catch back up and realize that we had an antiquated model that wasn't as easily able to scale as other folks because they had built their businesses around the technology at the time.
So we had just begun doing our work to start transitioning a lot of our stuff online when COVID happened, which gave us the time to just focus on that, because we had -- I believe we had seven programs on the books at that time that we had to hold. Now, since COVID has opened up, there's been a lot of folks who want to do things in real life due to being cooped up for the last year. So we have some live programs coming up. I believe there's a couple seats left. Most of them are sold out.
But we also have now the ability to scale and do everything online, where the live programs now are going to be icing on the cake. Those are going to be special events that we're going to be doing. We still have a lot of folks who had purchased those programs that we're going to get off the books and we're going to keep those more sporadically than we used to due to the technology that we're able to use now.
Wes Schaeffer: Yep. Cool. Well, man, good luck with that continued growth. I'm glad you made the time. You know, now I'm going to have AJ on. I'm going to get his side of the story; you know? I see what y'all are doing. You're going to make me have you on twice. Your marketing -- this is part of your strategy, isn't it?
Johnny Dzubak: It's always part of the strategy.
Wes Schaeffer: [chuckles] Very nice. Well, I thought I was coming to Vegas this week, but one of the folks I was going to see came down with the 'Rona so I'm going to reschedule. I'll let you know and you'll have to show me the town.
Johnny Dzubak: Yes, please do. I moved here during the pandemic, so I'm learning it myself now that things are as wide open as they are. And I've never been much of a gambler; however, I have been messing with the video poker and I'm starting to figure it out a little bit. At least I learned drop in a $20; if you hit, that's when you get out of there. You don't hang out and start to think you it's your lucky day. [laughs]
Wes Schaeffer: [laughs] I'm not a big gambler. I just like the energy of the city.
Johnny Dzubak: Well, it's got that in spades.
Wes Schaeffer: I can people-watch and smoke a cigar and just have fun. Well, man, this has been great. Thanks for coming on the show.
Everybody visit TheArtofCharm.com and tell A.J. and Johnny that I sent you. Thanks for coming on, man. Have a great day.
Johnny Dzubak: Thank you, Wes.