With the presidential inauguration upon us, among other significant social shifts, it seems that a “season of reinvention” is upon us with a vengeance. In this podcast, I talk with Joel Roberts about this current age of disruption, his own personal pivot story, and how he employed the pivot principles for his own successful reinvention. Joel Roberts is a former, prime-time, KABC radio talk show host in the #1 radio market in the world – Los Angeles. After an accident that ended his prestigious career and life-long dream, he embarked on a journey of reinvention that resulted in a life he never dreamed he could have. Today, Joel is President of his own media and communications consulting firm based in LA and New York. His clients range from major publishers and best-selling authors to Fortune 500 corporations. He also coaches many prominent politicians, CEOs, entrepreneurs. In the publishing world, Joel is widely considered to be one of the top media consultants in the business.
I am so blessed to be here with you. Beyond my own blessing to spend time with you, I get to spend time with a dear friend, someone that I truly admire and love. He is one of these very rare individuals that has a great talent for teaching, but also has this incredible gift for sharing his special talents in a very real way, in a way that helps to draw the best out of other people. For me, we’re really connected at the heart level. I love this man. I admire this man, and I’m not just bringing him on the show simply because I love and admire him, so much as he has a story that’s going to resonate with you guys. He has a story that is so relevant today. In fact, we were talking about how right now is one of the most profound times of change that our world has known.
I’m a big fan of music. I love rock, I love folk. I grew up listening to Bob Dylan with my dad. The first Bob Dylan that I ever heard was Highway 61 Revisited, and this other amazing album that had Lay, Lady, Lay. The first the first Dylan song that I can remember impacting me from a standpoint of just hearing the words and having the words wash over my soul, was The Times They Are A-Changing. When Dylan wrote those words and whenever it was in the early 60s, they were very profound. They were poignant. They were relevant. Here it is some 50 plus years later, no truer words could be sung or said than those words right now.
One of the most challenging parts about the world, as we’re experiencing it together right now, is the fact that there is this ever present change. There’s a battle between those that are yearning for change and those that are resisting change. The only thing that I know is that change is here to stay. How you deal with it, how you embrace it, how you utilize it, is really the subject of this podcast, the Conscious Pivot. Do you allow fear to get in the way of your being able to work with change as it shows up or to be able to see change ahead of it showing up for you? There are so many facets to that, and clearly what we’ve seen even recently with the elections in North America, was, if anything, a referendum on this season of change, this season of reinvention is so upon us.
I couldn’t think of anybody to be able to share something with our audience that was more skilled and would be a better person to convey this message than the gentleman that I get to share with you right now. His name is Joel Roberts. He is a very special human. He spent many years behind the mic, 10,000 hours behind the microphone either on radio and TV. He’s probably best known in the radio world for being a talk show host with KABC Radio in Los Angeles. He has an incredible story of reinvention, a pivot story as we call it. What he’s been able to do now after adjusting to change is truly remarkable. It’s inspiring but it’s so much more than inspiring.
I’m going to let him share that story with you. We’re going to have a conversation, it’s going to actually rock your world. That is my firm intention, that people’s lives today will be changed because they’ve been able to hear your story, Joel, and can also hear some of the wisdom that you’ve shared with companies like Lockheed Martin. You’ve been a media coach for some of the books, authors of the biggest bestselling books including Chicken Soup for the Soul. You’ve done remarkable work all over the world, globally, corporations, and individuals. I feel so lucky to call you friend and also to be able to share you with our audience.
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Age of Disruption with Media & Communications Guru Joel Roberts
Without further ado, Joel Roberts, welcome.
Thank you, Adam. What you were saying about Bob Dylan, I just want to tell people I don’t have it in front of me on the internet, but, “Come gather round people wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown, and accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone. If your time were fading, then you better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone, because the times they are a-changing.” I guess that was ‘65, you were for being born and I was just a little bit older than being born, but right on. This is a season like that.
You have an incredibly moving story. Since I’m a broadcaster, I’m going to insist you tell your story too. We’ll trade for it. I come from LA. I live in Nashville now. For the moment, let’s pan back just for a little bit. I want to tell everybody that if you’re worried about your future, if you’re thinking you’ve got to reinvent yourself, if you thinking that you’re going to have to pivot, if you’re not sure how to do it, if you’re not even certain whether you’ll have to do it, let alone how to do it, I want to establish one bit of news right away. You are not alone. I’m going to pan back a little bit so that you can feel like you’re in a larger context.
In a way that’s challenging news, the work that Adam and I do together will make it good news. What am I talking about? I’m talking about global trends. I’m talking about the fact that in the last ten, fifteen years, and God knows the last five, there has been tremendous outsourcing, tremendous job displacement. The digital economy is changing everything under the sun. Maybe we love it, maybe we don’t. Maybe we love the age of disruption. Maybe you can get a ride for cheaper than a taxi by going on Lyft, great. Maybe you can order on Amazon and you get a discount over bookstores. Maybe cars are going to be driverless. Maybe a lot more seminars are delivered via technology like this instead of having to fly there and stay in a hotel. Maybe all that’s cool.
There’s something else that needs to be said, which is there are a lot of people in our country, especially who live in areas that were big in manufacturing and that have seen that sector of the economy either dwindle or die out altogether. They are in large part people who voted for President-elect Donald Trump. Whatever we may think about Donald Trump, this much we know. A lot of people feel dislocated. A lot of people are in pain. A lot of people don’t know where their next job is going to be. A lot of people don’t know how to translate their current skill set in some other arena. Things are changing. I’ll be open about one thing. An issue that I take with Donald Trump’s promises to bring jobs back to America is I’m not so sure a lot of those jobs are coming back. I’ll give you a couple of examples. Maybe they’ll come back, and if they come back, I will be the first to stand up and go tell it on a mountain and sing hallelujah in every language that I can.
I’ll tell you what, two interesting things. When you and I are done today, where am I going? I’m going to the Apple Store. Here’s a little secret. I got two new MacBook Pros recently to compare models. During the Christmas season, Apple let you them have longer than they usually do. I got two new, and I’m keeping one and bringing one back today. Why am I bringing this up? On those boxes, they say “Designed in Cupertino, California,” which is fifteen to twenty minutes from where I grew up. I grew up near Stanford. Those things weren’t made in Cupertino California. In my garage is a beautiful mountain hybrid Trek bike, and it says right on it “Designed in Waterloo, Wisconsin.” It wasn’t made in Waterloo Wisconsin.
Those computers for the most part are made in China, although the components come from all over the place. Those bike frames were made in Taiwan. Here’s the deal, where I take issue with Donald Trump is are those jobs coming back? He’s supposed to have done something with Carrier Air Conditioning in Indiana. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe Ford’s not going to move a big plant to Mexico, which could be great. Maybe, maybe not. It’s complicated because consumers are going to be paying more for goods. We’ll leave that debate aside, but here is what we know for sure. He’s right about one thing. This was a referendum on change.
This was the people of America saying, “We’re afraid.” It’s taken off without us, and a lot of people are left behind. I got left behind. You got left behind. We both recover. What did I get left behind from? I got left behind from a job that I had wanted. When I was five growing up in the Bay Area and I’m listening to the San Francisco Giants broadcasts on my transistor radio, literally under my quilt at 11:00 PM because I don’t want my parents to know I’m awake. When the game was over, I would broadcast it to myself. It’s not a big accident that I got into radio and that I became a talk show host in LA, the radio capital of planet Earth.
Then I had an accident. I worked all through the ranks and I went into primetime, Afternoon Drive, talking to a quarter of a million people with a partner that I loved working with. It was exciting. I never would have left it. That’s NEVER. I was at an event standing in front of a big bank of loudspeakers, the audio engineer hit the wrong button. I lost 50% of my hearing in ten seconds. It’s gone. It has not returned. I developed a very severe condition called tinnitus fortunitus, which is noise in your head, and there’s no cure for that. The best ear doctors in the world told me, “We can’t help you. You can’t go back to wearing headphones 30 hours a week. It’s going to make this worse.” I was 40.
You are at an event, you’re there for your own personal development. At this point you’re a KABC Radio talk show host, you’re at the top of the game. You don’t have any trouble getting into the best restaurants. They know who you are. There are tables waiting. There are people that want to spend their time with you, schmooze you, use you, everything. You’re at that place that most people work their entire lives aspiring to get to, and you’re on your own time at an event, and you walk past a bank of speakers. What happens, Joel?
Everything you’ve said is almost entirely accurate. In fact, the show that I had done on KABC had just been replaced by a sports talk show, but that was fine with us. I had one of the best credits in America and I had authors coming in from all over the place. I was staying in radio. I probably could have stayed in Los Angeles because this sports talk incarnation that the radio station went through was not long lived. I could have gone back. At that very moment I had a very substantial buy it out, enough for me to live for a couple of years without working, which is not my style to not work. I was doing great. I got to continue in radio, no doubt, whether in LA, maybe New York, maybe Chicago. I had my agent call me all time. Then I’m at an event as an invited media guest. The audio engineer hits the wrong button. I get blasted. I’m just precisely in the wrong effing place. Literally, I was in a ten foot area that was just the wrong freaking place. I knew something was wrong.
This was down in Palm Desert. My mom lived at a retirement community in Palm Desert at that time and I was staying with her. The next morning I woke up and I heard a helicopter overhead. I thought, “I haven’t heard that around here before.” I’m on the sofa bed in her den and I’m thinking, “What is up? There’s this helicopter overhead and it’s been hovering over us for like twenty minutes. Is it a police helicopter? Is it a media helicopter? Is there some crime scene going on?”I got up put, my shorts on, went outside looked up, no helicopter. Cloudless sky. It was the most dramatic moment of my life. I looked up and I thought, “I don’t understand this. What am I hearing?” What I was hearing was the beginning of a season in purgatory that I cannot describe. I had a severe condition called tinnitus. They brought me to a place in Los Angeles called the House Ear Clinic, which is like the Mayo Clinic of ears.
For those that don’t know what tinnitus is, this is ringing in the ear.
I had a jet engine. It can be pitches. Within four days I could no longer hear human speech unless you were really shouting at me. My doctors who ironically were listeners of mine from the radio said to me, “There’s nothing we can do for you. We’re going to put you on steroids because maybe it will reduce the inflammation in your middle ear, but that’s not even the issue. Thank you for all the great years of listening that you gave us. We wish there was something we could do for you. Good luck.”
In essence, the doctors were saying to you, “You’re done, your profession, as you know it, how you earn a living, your identity, without getting into the more ego-based things of it. What you’ve been doing, not just for money, but to create a fulfilling career, is over as you know it in that moment.
Completely. It’s everything you just said. You did a very good job of covering the bases. Number one, first of all I have no problem with ego gratification. My philosophy about ego is put your ego in the service of something higher and let the good times roll. I have talked on your stage more times than either one of us can count. I enjoy the heck out of it. I have no problem enjoying it. I have no problem if the crowds love me, I love them. I don’t have stage fright, I have stage release. I don’t have a problem with ego. Yes, it was my identity. I had this four letter appendage after my name, KABC, and you do get the table in the restaurant, and you do get buckets of mail, and you do get women expressing an interest in you. It’s true, I was a radio star, and it ended in ten seconds at an event in Palm Springs. It was over.
The immediate thing is not what do I do next for my career, but do I ever recover from this? Some people don’t. I have a very good friend who owned a restaurant on Maui called Stella Blues, if you’ve ever heard of Stella Blues Maui. His name was Ray Enis. Ray suffered from the same condition and took his own life. It breaks me up to think about him. When I heard that he had taken his own life, I don’t necessarily disagree with what he did. For four months, I’m in this acoustic freaking hell. There’s no promise whatsoever that I’ll ever get out of it. I’m not even thinking about what’s my next career move, I’m thinking about do I survive this? Do I off myself? After four months it began to subside. After about half a year, it was within a range. On one to ten, it was two or three. I could live with it. Then I’m saying to myself, “Now what? I can’t go back on the air and wear headphones. It would irritate my auditory nerves.”I loved being a broadcaster. I love the studio. I love the audience. I’ll tell you something that may seem bizarre, when you turn on a microphone, it emits a smell.
No one else can smell it, but I could smell the difference between a hot mic and a not hot mic. That studio, with that acoustic class and the screener behind it and the engineer behind the other one, and that sign that says “On Air,” it was me and I was good at it. You don’t get to primetime in Los Angeles by accident. I hope people will just allow that little bit of ego. I was good at it. It was over. When this finally went down, they said, “We don’t have to tell you this but we’re just going on record. We’d love to be listening to you again but don’t do that. Do something else.” ”What?” Here’s what I want to share with people. This is probably the most important thing that I can share in terms of mindset. I had to say to myself, “My job is over. That career is over. If I’m not my job, I can get that. If I’m not my career, what am I? Who am I?” I had a struggle with this. Finally I realized there was good news. I’m not a job. I’m not a career. I’m a talent.
We will hear stories that are inspiring. We can YouTube and you’ll find them. You go to events and you find them. You hear them and all that’s incredible, but it is so condensed. There’s this moment where the rug gets pulled out from under you, and then the next moment you’ve discovered the wisdom of the ages. You found yourself, you found what you needed to, and then you can go forward. I’d like to pull the accordion back for just a second and give our folks a little bit of a sense of the time period.
Without getting into the great detail of it, stretch it out to say when you go from that moment where the doctors are telling you, that ten seconds of “The ringing isn’t going to stop, it’s not going to stop tomorrow. You’d be lucky if it stopped because there’s not much we can do about it if it doesn’t stop.”All the prayers and everything else, and three or four months later it subsides. Meanwhile, you now have to change your career. Your identity is tied to that as well and a lot of other things. Give us a sense of what was the process that you went through, even if that process was nothing more than walking around in circles, riding your bike, talking to your wife. What was it that helped you to go from the rug getting pulled out from under you to that moment where you have some new clarity.
The book that you and I have talked about which is the subject of this podcast which is this book Pivot, the Conscious Pivot is divided up into three pieces. One is the clarity piece which is about the things that we believe about ourselves. The second is about momentum and what is it that we do? What are our behaviors that help us to create results in our life? The third is about our conscious practices which I call rituals. I want to get to the point where you got some clarity because that’s where I think we’re going to meet people. We’re talking about the times they are a-changing. Right now what’s happening in the world is there’s this change that’s upon us. There are jobs that are going away. There are jobs that are never going to come back. There are people’s lives that are changing in ways that they couldn’t predict, just like you couldn’t predict when you walked past that bank of speakers that your life was about to change ten seconds later. If you could, unpack that for us a bit more.
I felt like it was the most unfair, unjust thing that had ever happened to me. I felt like it challenged my experience of God. I felt like I was being tortured. I felt like I was being tormented for some sin that I had no idea what it could have been. I felt that even if I had committed some sin, there was no way the punishment fit the crime. People off themselves from this. In the beginning, I went online and then I stopped going online because you don’t want to know the stories. I joined a tinnitus support group. I went once and I thought, “Screw this, this is not my identity. I’m not some condition.” I screamed to God a lot. I’m Jewish. The word Israel in Hebrew means “he shall struggle with God.” I guess I was fitting the vocation. I could not possibly explain or account for a blow like this. You have no idea if it’s going to end. The best in the world cannot help you. They throw their hands up. They wished you good luck. You’re on your own. I’m 40.
Did people in your profession, people that are colleagues or friends, did people stop being so friendly? Did the phone ring a little less or the mail pile shrink a bit?
Of course. I had recently gone off year due to this sports talk thing, but like I said, I had no idea whatsoever I’d be back. It was fine with me to move to New York or Chicago. I thought that would be fun. I was not of any use to anyone any more. I was barely of any use to myself. Here’s an image. Have you ever had your cable go out on your TV and you get white noise? Turn it all the way up to the maximum volume that your speakers can generate. Sit across from that and don’t move for four months. That was it. I couldn’t hear human speech. I’d be walking my dog at 3:00 AM because I never slept very much anyway. The cops in West LA got to know me, “That’s the guy who was walking his dog at 3:00 AM. He’s not a burglar. He’s cool, he’s okay.” I don’t even know how I survived. I’ll tell you one thing where people may not find very satisfying. Do you want to know why I survived? Curiosity. Curiosity about what my life would be like if I ever recovered. I didn’t know that I would.
I know you’re a spiritual person. My spiritual practice is very important to me. I read and I think about it quite a lot. One of the things that I’ve been looking at in one of the books I started diving into in the last few months again, because I read it before, is a book called The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer. What’s really interesting in that book is that he talks about how it is that we can observe ourselves, and in being in the seat of observing ourselves, in all states especially when our mind is reacting from a place of fear. We all know what that feels like.
That word curiosity is really important. What I wanted for us to do with our time is not only to unpack the process that you used to reinvent, but then to also talk about on a macro level how it is that people that are facing the challenges that they are right now, both the ones that are on them and the ones that are yet to show up, that they can be better prepared to deal with what they’ve got on their plate. Equally as important, they can be that much more prepared to deal with the stuff that’s going to show up on their plate in an hour, in ten seconds, or in ten weeks, whatever it is.
Curiosity is a great word because it describes part of your process which was that you were developing some objectivity or at least some distance to observe. What you were curious about was, “How am I going to handle this? Will I survive or will this kill me?” It was Nietzsche that said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”Aren’t you a little curious how it is that you’re going to handle what’s coming or what’s already shown up? It’s a great drama. What’s more dramatic than our own lives? Think about it. It’s interesting that we are, in many ways, voyeur.
There are so many people who are observing others in life through Facebook and through other social channels, YouTube, whatever it is. They’re in observation of others living, failing, succeeding, doing all kinds of stuff. What you’re describing on some level is it you were curious about observing your own drama as it was unfolded. Give us a sense of what was the process that you used from that point where the ringing died down enough for you to no longer be in fight or flight mode, and you were able to have that curiosity take you forward.
At a certain point, I did get some clarity which was the good news. It appeared that this hideous thing was decreasing. For the first time I began to say to myself, “I may have a life after this.” I didn’t know what the life would be, I didn’t know what the career would be, I didn’t know anything, but I’m going to survive this sucker.
First of all, “I’m not in mortal danger.” This is big. I want to try to dive into it each piece. “I’m not going to die.”
This won’t kill you, but a lot of people kill themselves. I was never there. For whatever reason, I just wasn’t. Clarity. I started to actually get excited about a realization. It was what I started to tell you before that I would love to expand on. When I said to myself, “I’m not a job. I’m not that particular job. I’m not even that particular career, radio broadcaster, talk show host. What am I?” I thought, “I’m a talent. I’m a very unique constellation of talents.” I’m not being spiritually correct when I say that I think all human beings are unique constellations of talents. I’m going to be straight with people. I knew that I was a talented guy and that I had gotten where I had gotten by virtue of that talent. It’s not like you have a degree in broadcasting or whatever, and that never does you any good. First of all, my degree was not in broadcasting.
Second of all, most people with degrees in broadcasting never go anywhere in broadcasting. I hope that people feel the same way about themselves, but I knew I was a talented guy. At a certain point, even though I didn’t know where it would plug in, I knew it would plug in somewhere, that the world would find a use for me, or that I find a problem that I could solve uniquely. I want people to look at themselves that way, because they may think, “I’m a job.”You were a hot shot attorney, you’re a shark, and you’re a tough dude. People who know you now and love you now will probably have a hell of a hard time recognizing you if they saw a video of you then.
They’d think this is not the same person. They could be right. You’re not. In addition to having a command of the law, in addition to being able to argue a case, in addition to being able to do all those things which you and I associate with the career called lawyer, you also, whether you knew it or not, had simultaneously acquired a skill set that could be plugged into a different arena. You might not have even known it until you went home and said to your wife, “If I don’t get out of this career, that’d be my spiritual death.” Maybe she was the one who said to you, “If you don’t get out of this career, it’s going to be all of our spiritual death.”
I came home and I told her, “If I don’t stop doing this, you’re going to be a widow.”
You said to yourself, “I can do something else.” I knew that I had a talent in the communications field, speaking, writing. I didn’t know where it would end up, but then an event changed my life. Mark Victor Hansen of Chicken Soup for the Soul thing, his office called me up because I had had them on my airwaves like six or seven times. I had Mark and Jack Canfield on my airwaves before they were huge. They were always great. He called me up and he said, “We’re doing this seminar down in Anaheim. You ought to come down just to hang out for a few hours.” I said, “What’s the seminar?”They said it’s called, “How to Build Your Speaking and Writing Empire. Why don’t you come this Sunday?” I said, “Maybe, I can’t promise.” I had just recovered. I’m in my fifth month from the accident. I had a girlfriend at the time, not my wife, and I said, “I don’t know if I’m going to go.”She said, “Maybe you should go,” so I went.
I’m sitting with 300 people and they’re talking about how we attract media. Suddenly, truly in the middle of a sentence, this is not a figure of speech, Mark stops in the middle of a sense and he says, “I’m up here talking about media, and now we’ve got a guy sitting in the audience who just left prime time on KABC Radio. Joel, you come up and talk about media.” I said, “When?” He said, “Now.” I literally took a Marriot hotel napkin and a hotel pen, and I wrote as quickly as I could eight words on that napkin. Those were my notes. Everybody’s applauding, they don’t even know me. I haven’t had a chance to think about any of this. I go up on the stage and I start to talk just from my heart from my experience, about A, what it takes to get invited onto a high-level talk show, and B, how to deliver a killer interview when you get there. Suddenly I experienced what I would call this bifurcated consciousness. There’s a part of me that’s still talking and there’s a part of me that’s looking down on the whole scene and saying, “This is a business.”
I’m still talking, and suddenly there’s a part of me that’s looking at me that’s talking and saying, “Don’t miss this.”I saw these 300 people and they’re furiously scribbling. I’m vamping it from stuff that’s been in my DNA since I don’t know when. Then I heard myself say something, and I thought, “Who’s saying that?” Here’s what I said, “Therefore, I have decided to do a seminar of my own called Excellence in Media.” I had never done a freaking seminar in my life. Somebody raised his hand and said, “How much?” Whatever they were charging, I just named that number because I figured that these people have already paid that, they can’t consider that outrageous. Everybody said, “When?” I said, “I need to confirm with the hotel seminar space. I’m going to give out my phone number, and I’ll be in touch.” Then I left. I drove to my girlfriend’s house and we’re having dinner. I said, “I did a really weird thing today.” She said, “What?”
In a big freaking way. She said, “What did you do?” I said, “I announced I’m going to do seminar of my own.” She puts down her fork and says, “On what?” I said, “Media.” “You do know a lot about media.” I said, “Yes, but I’ve never done a seminar in my whole life.” Here’s the staple line she said, “Don’t worry, probably nobody will come.”
That’s why she’s your ex-girlfriend.
That’s why I’m married to the woman over there instead of her.
The first step we talked about is creating clarity. You had this accident that took you out. It’s months later and you’re lucky to be alive. You’re just doing everything you can to survive at that point. Working, managing your own mind and your thoughts, and all the rest of it. At a certain point, you have an even more conscious moment. The a-ha one where you say to yourself, “I’m not my job.” The identity you assigned to yourself as the KABC Radio talk show host is not who you are. It’s what you did, it’s not who you are.
What you are is a talent. Your personal belief, your spiritual belief is that everybody is a talent. That’s just something we all have to own. You, at that moment, were able to own the fact that you are a talent. Clarity is about beliefs. Much of why we’re unclear in our lives is that we believe things about ourselves that are based on what people have taught us, or the people that share their beliefs that became our beliefs, it’s our programming, it’s all of those things. Ultimately, many of those things we believe are not who we really are.
My own thing was I believed that I was a lawyer because I went into the into the phone booth as a twenty-something year old, and I got out of the phone booth three years after law school, passing the bar. I walked out of the phone booth with a suit and tie, and voila, I was lawyer. That became my identity for almost twenty years. What I realized through my own process, which is different than yours, my process was instead of it being ten seconds to having that that pivotal moment, where the rug gets pulled out, for me it was more like ten years of feeling like I was dying on the inside, that my spirit and my soul were shriveling up. That prolonged period of pain led to one of those pivotal moments where I came home and I said to Randi, “If don’t stop doing what I’m doing, you’re going to be a widow.”
A few weeks later, I had what I felt was a near death experience in the hospital, thinking I’m having a heart attack. I’m really just having an anxiety attack. Ultimately, it was getting my attention in a different way than the universe chose to get your attention. Through a process which started with getting clarity on what I believed about myself, I came to understand that my true belief is that I’m a teacher, that I love to be teaching people, to counsel. That was the part about law that I actually love.
In my late 40s, I go back into the phone booth, just as Clark Kent emerged as Superman, I go in us Adam Markel the lawyer or soon-to-be former lawyer, and I walk out of that phone booth as a teacher, somebody that wanted to teach in the space that you actually teach. That’s how we’ve become friends and colleagues. The first piece of this that I’m getting from you was that your clarity came in the form of a belief, and that belief that you adopted was that you are not a job, you are not a thing you were doing, the identity you assigned to it, but you are the talent. I got that right?Beautifully said.
You get called up on stage out of nowhere. You get to see yourself in this new light. Give us the next order of events, because we go from having some clarity to obviously putting that clarity into action. It’s the momentum piece.
This was on a Sunday and I’d given out my phone number. I’m having dinner with my girlfriend and she says, “Don’t worry. Probably nobody will call.” The next morning, I had a prearranged breakfast with a friend of mine in West LA at a great pancake place called John O’Groats. I got home at 11:00 AM for some breakfast and my voicemail was full. I thought, “People are coming to my seminar. I’d better do a seminar.” I had driven by this hotel in Los Angeles and it looked nice so I called them up, the Hotel Nikko on La Cienega Boulevard, and I said, “My name is Joel. Do you have any seminar space for 25 people or so?” They said, “Yes, we’ll send you a list.” I said, “I’ve never done this. What do you need from me? You want a credit card?”
Now here’s the fun part. Initially it was not a large group, twenty people, 25. I made course books. It all started at 9:00 AM Saturday morning. They sit down and I have written on the board, “Do not open your course book until I ask you to, please.”They’ve got the course books in front of them. I go up in front of the room and I said, “Everybody please open to page one.”Some guy said, “I think mine must be defective. I have a blank sheet of paper.” Somebody says, “Mine’s blank too.” I said, “I’m terribly sorry, please go to the next page.” A guy raises hand, “I don’t know what’s up, but it’s all blank.” I looked at the room and I said, “There is no curriculum. You’re the curriculum.”
You want to learn how to do media? Come up, sit in the stool opposite me, and I’m going to interview you and we’re going to generate this course. I don’t have a lecture about this stuff, but I do know how to be it. Who’s first?” By noon, I had to say to them, “Go to lunch already.” We were addicted. This was fun. I mean it was fun. I’m a conversational choreographer. I’m an artist. I’m showing them how to do it. I’m listening to them talk about their book, their concept, their cause, their creed, their candidate or their whatever, and it’s not yet what it could be. I take it and give it back to them and they’re like, “I’ve been trying to say that for five years,” and I’m like “Have fun.” It just took off.
You started down this path. You had this fundamental belief that you’re a talent, and that God’s spirit, the universe, would put your talent to use. That kept you going long enough for there to be this intervention, this thing to happen. Serendipity, coincidence, whatever you want to call it. I don’t believe in accidents. You show up, you end up doing something crazy which is to declare out loud, “I’m going to do a program. I’m going to teach people. I’m going to share what I know.” You knew how to be that. Then you book a room, people show up. The curriculum you had planned does not exist now, throw it out the window, it’s all blank pages. You got a pivot yet again. You’ve got to adjust your course, correct your course, and keep going forward. Now you have more beliefs. This is fun, you’re doing exactly what you want to be doing. You’re adding to those beliefs. Is that correct?
Yes. It’s like a ladder. You get some objective evidence with your right foot, and you get confirmed by universe, like people show up or they pay you, and then that enables you to say to yourself, “I’m going to take a risk with my left foot.” You take a risk, and you go up one more rung on the ladder, and then you say, “I’m alive, I’m still here.” Then you go, “Okay.” That risk pays off and that confirms your beliefs, and now you’re here. Then you take another and you go up there. I was reinventing myself within reinventing myself. Suddenly I’m a media coach. I have a true confession. I didn’t want to be a media coach. I really didn’t. It’s a reductive part of me. I could do it, but there’s so much more to me.
I had never really worked in the corporate arena before. I got a call from Novartis Pharmaceuticals that they had invented a drug that had not even been approved by the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration. One of the inventors was a real introvert, and ABC News had informed Novartis that they were going to do a twenty-minute segment on this breakthrough cancer drug, whether Novartis liked it or not. They thought, “We are in trouble. We don’t even want this coverage.” They didn’t have a choice. They got my name through a guy named Rick Grifman that we both know. I got a call. This lady says, “I am Gloria Stone from Novartis Pharmaceuticals,” and she waits like I’m supposed to know who they are. They’re huge. They’re the third biggest in the world. She said, “We’ve got this guy, we need to prepare him. We hear you’re the best media coach in America.” I’m like, “Thank you. Where is he?” I did this one thing, it went well.
Five months later, I got a call from that lady. I had forgotten all about it. She doesn’t even say hello, she said, “We got approved.” I’m thinking, “Who got approved?” I didn’t know what to say to you got approved. What do I say, “Congratulations on your self-esteem?” I didn’t know who got approved for what. Then I realize it’s that lady from the drug company. She said, “I want to send you on a tour to talk to about 35 different spokespersons all over the country.” Here was one of the big mistakes I ever made. I thought, “I’m a hot shot now.” I said, “That’s going to cost you.” She said, “How much?” I thought and I said, “$100,000.” Then she said, “For Christ’s sake, fine.” Their budget was half a million. I didn’t know. I run around, I came back. Here comes another pivot. I come back to their campus in New Jersey and the next day, there’s a guy that’s going to be on the Today Show. I’ve just trained him, my limo’s waiting to take me back to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The following day I’m going to go home. I’m done. It’s 5:00 PM, I’m zipping up my Tumi briefcase.
The door opens and in walks this lady with twelve people behind her. I’m looking at my watch and I’m saying, “My limo’s outside, I’m done. This guy’s ready. He’s cooked. We don’t want to train him anymore.” She said, “No.” She’s got twelve people behind her. I said, “Who are these people? Are they going to be on the air tomorrow? She said, “Trust me, they’ll never be on the air as long as they live.” I said, “Then who are they?” She said, “Our brand managers of our twelve biggest brands. By God, if they can articulate our selling propositions the way you do, we’d be a better company. Sit down.” I sat down. One hour later, I had a different business. I literally was dizzy. It’s not a figure of speech.
I’m in the back of a limousine after I’d worked with these twelve brand managers who will never be in the media as long as they live, and suddenly I say to myself, “I know something that is useful beyond the media. I know something that’s useful in sales, in marketing, in print, in speaking.” This whole thing of media consulting is a tiny fraction of what I know or the usefulness of what I know. I would never realize this on my own. She taught me this. I’m sitting in the back of the limo, going back to Manhattan, and I’m literally nauseated, dizzy, because I’m thinking, “Holy moly. I’m sitting on a big freaking thing here.” She changed my life. She changed my business.
You never would have seen, had it not been for everything. All the pivots that led to that point. You get this more expansive view of the world. It was the end result of how these things are playing out for you.
I worked in pharma for a number of years. They bought our home. Whatever you may think, I worked in areas of it that I thought were very ethical. Sometimes I had some conflicted feelings about it. One day I’m sitting at this big conference in Denver, and there are four or five media consultants training hundreds of doctors. The word has come down from the federal government that the regulations on pharmaceutical companies are going to get a lot stricter and that we’re not going to be able to coach these people the way we’ve been coaching them. Everybody is crying into their beers, because they have all defined themselves as pharmaceutical media and communications consultants.
I’m not crying into my beer. I’m thinking, that’s not me. That’s not what I do. What I do is I take people who speak technical language and I translate it into plain English. I’ll just do it someplace else. How about Lockheed? They got technical people called aeronautical engineers who need to speak to people called senators and congressmen and generals of the Pentagon, who only understand plain English. I’ll go there. I’m not a pharmaceutical consultant. I’m not a media consultant. My skill set is to translate anything and it cooks out in English.
At the beginning, the initial thing that caused you to have to pivot change your career and all that was fairly devastating. It took some time, took some processing for you to gain clarity, started with a new belief. Ultimately, it seems as though one pivot led to the next, almost the way dominoes tip into other dominoes, to the point where you were no longer surprised. It didn’t come as any great surprise that when another pivot or another change was going to manifest itself, you immediately knew that there was another opportunity. You went right to curiosity, and then curiosity immediately opened up a new vista that said, “This is not the end of something. This is actually the beginning of something new.” Is that right?
Yes. This is what I want our viewers to get. I wish I could reach out and grab every one of them by heart. Don’t think of yourselves as a job. Don’t think of yourselves as a career. Think of yourselves as a constellation of talents. It can be plugged in here, it can be plugged in there. Constantly look for new problems to solve. The definition of an entrepreneur is somebody who looks at some small corner or some big corner of the universe and says, “There’s got to be a better way.”
Here’s the distinction. You put your finger right on it. For people right now, people are trained to want to find opportunities, to look for opportunities. In essence, the main objective of a business owner or an entrepreneur is somebody who can solve problems profitably. Instead of looking for opportunities, what you’re doing is looking for problems. You’re looking for something to solve for which you are the solution. You seek out to see where is there pain, where is there a problem, and ask the question which you always ask, “How am I or in what way am I the solution to that problem or that page.” Yes?
Right on. When I realized that pharma was going to dry up due to the regulatory constraints, and all these other people at that conference in Denver are weeping into their beers, I’m thinking, “I know how to translate technical language into plain English. Who else needs that? I’m going there. I’m the son of a famous rocket scientist. I learned how to translate technical language into plain English, so that my father could talk to my mother my whole life.” This was it. You talk about the dominoes. The momentum comes from the dominoes.
You can’t predict the dominoes, but you’ve got to have your lenses focused. You’ve got to be light on your feet. There is no problem on earth that only incarnates in one place. People being not able to speak plain English, that problem existed more than one place. If there’s a problem of people wanting media attention for their work, more than one type of person has that problem. Then I got discovered by some very big seminar promoters who said to me, “We’re going to put you on a stage and see if you’re any good in front of an audience.” And the rest, you know.
That’s the part of the story that most people here where they see, and that’s why this piece in-between was so important. We went from clarity, to taking that new clear view of yourself as a talent, to then doing something, learning something, changing again, continuing to pivot, taking whatever feedback you got. I’m sure that the next time you delivered a seminar, the workbooks didn’t show up blank. Am I correct in that? I want to throw your own words back at you if I can, because you said this and I wrote it down. You said, “People are in despair.” This is talking about today, not yesterday or last year, today. “People are in despair because they don’t know how to reinvent. This is a season of reinvention ‘with a vengeance.’” Share what you meant by that. What is it that you would really advise?
I can give it to you in one word that you and I are now accustomed to hearing. Where hear it so much it’s become a cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason and the word is disruption. If you were a taxi driver, your life has been disrupted by Uber and by Lyft. If you were a brick and mortar bookstore, your life was disrupted by Amazon. If you’re an automobile manufacturer, there may not be drivers behind those automobiles anymore. If you are someone who, like us, has conducted in-person seminars and we’re still conducting in-person seminars, but let’s be honest, that market has shifted to delivering content via technology like this more and more exposed. There is disruption everywhere. Disruption equals despair temporarily. That is freaking opportunity.
Disruption equals despair, we all get that. That’s not the end of the story because the next thing that shows up from that is opportunity. If you’re a problem solver, if you see yourself, if you believe, if you have the clarity to understand that you are a constellation of talents that are on this earth, now my own belief system, in order to serve. Your function, your job, your number one focus must be to identify what your constellation of talents is and to be able to utilize them or repurpose them. Reinvent the purpose of putting them to some use to serve others. That is not only how you feel fulfilled, but how you also have an endeavor that produces financial results, wealth, success, everything that we say we’re looking for.
This mindset, this mentality, I’ll tell you something. I don’t think any of us will ever have a greater enemy than the one that we see in the mirror. I don’t mean to make a cynical or a despairing statement. Let’s be honest, all of us struggle with self-loathing sometimes or self-doubt. We’ve all gone through things where somebody leaves us that we love, a job dries up or whatever. You’ve got to be in the habit of saying, “I still have tinnitus and it comes up, but it doesn’t go up that high very often. I know it’s going to go down.”The season of reinvention that we’re talking about, not everybody is an entrepreneur, but you and I do work in the area of entrepreneurs.
Here’s something that I love about your company and what you do. Being an entrepreneur is lonely, especially in the beginning. All the business schools in the world may not necessarily teach you what it’s really like out there, to create value, to offer it to the world, to do all that in a way that’s sexy and compelling. Being an entrepreneur is lonely. You can go alone but, why go alone? To me that’s what defeats was all about. Why not have community? Why not have like-minded support? Why not have people who can shorten the learning curve for you? Why not have people with whom you can synergize? That’s where it’s at.
Look at my story. Mark Victor Hansen stuck me someplace, I can’t take any credit for that. I can take credit for seeing the opportunity. Gloria Stone from Novartis put me in front of a bunch of corporate people. I didn’t say to myself I’ve got some broader agenda. No. I was smart enough to know when they’d pointed it out that they had really pointed out something important, but I didn’t know. Where would I be if I were holed up by myself all the time? You need community. You need other people. You need synergy. This is what’s so great about what you do.
This is probably a great place to enter that discussion of what are our rituals. One of the things that you’re identifying right now is a ritual for me. It sounds like it’s a ritual for you. When I started my own pivot, I wrote this book because it was in essence in the beginning a way to share it with our kids. I was approaching a midlife crisis in my life, and I figured at some point with four kids, one if not more of them would approach that place at some point. I was asking questions that were tough for me to answer, “Is this really why I was born? Is this what I’m supposed to be doing? Is this how I’m going to die? Is this going to be my legacy?” When I couldn’t answer those questions, I began. I’ll share a little bit about my own ritual, a part of it.
One of those rituals is reading. I wanted to write a book because I figured my kids at some point might want to read that book. As it turns out, there were other people that wanted to fortunately read this book which is great. It started out as an idea and three years later it turns into something tangible. It’s the way it happens. Reading is a ritual. I read the Bible almost every day, not because I’m religious or religiously inclined, but because there’s wisdom in those words. When you spoke about our enemy, I think it’s the 23rd Psalm where there’s a line that says, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” How I’ve learned to have come to understand what those words mean, is that the only enemies we can have are in our own household, meaning they’re the enemies within us, inside of our own mind.
Every time we tell ourselves a story, that’s limiting our own divinity, limiting what’s possible for us, or in some way putting more faith in our obstacles, more faith in the people who don’t believe in us, more faith in the situations, or the problems, or the difficulties, more faith in fear than in the love of ourselves, the understanding of the constellation of our talents. When we put more faith in those other things, were denying the truth of ourselves. That whole concept of what we are talking about is the training or the retraining of our own minds. When we’re talking about ritual, it sounds like part of your reinvention is where you’ve made it an art form. Now you’ve helped so many other people, thousands of people all over the world in business, people who are in careers, people who are entrepreneurs. All that is because you’ve been able to get leverage over your own mind. Is that correct?
I’m like anybody else. I struggle. I would not put myself forward as necessarily the most enlightened human being I’ve ever met. I’m curious and in a good way, I’m stubborn.
Here’s the linchpin. I was counting on you to do this because you have humility. This is not a situation where you or I figure out how to think, and then we’re good. This is daily, it’s a vigilance. I woke up this morning and I had to start from ground zero. That’s the purpose of rituals. When we talk about what it takes to pivot, and I know because you and I have had this, we’ve met, we’ve been in our backyard, we sat around a fire pit to discuss this, how important it is that we are helping people right now deal with that despair, deal with disruption in a creative way, in a way that allows them to have their hearts open, and just as you, their hearts are singing not because they’re perfect or because they wake up every morning happy, but because they have some process. Pivoting is not a plan, even though planning is great. It’s a process. Part of that process is how you deal with yourself? How do you deal with your mind on a day-to-day, on a minute-to-minute, a second-to-second basis?
Pivoting is a lifestyle. It’s a way of being. It’s like dance. Keep dancing. It’s like if you go to see a dance performance, there are times when there are tremendous leaps, and there are times when they’re within a fairly small space, and there are times when it’s very stable and predictable, and there are times when it breaks out. , and What makes the art form interesting, when you’re sitting there in the audience is that you can’t predict that. Pivoting’s a lifestyle. I’m pivoting again right now. If you and I had gotten complacent, forgive the arrogance of this, but we had reason to be complacent.
Neither one of us is without some accomplishment. We had reason to be complacent. I’m reinventing myself right now. I’m pivoting right now these days, as we speak. I just wrote 70,000 words in a month. That’s my all-time record so far. I don’t even know what my second place is. I’m stepping into a different career, a different contribution, a different way of being. I’m not even going to share what it is right here and now, but it’s completely different. It came from what I was doing. It came by accident while I was abroad. It showed up, it took my heart, and now I have zero doubt. I’m moving in into something different.
How are you supporting yourself? Assuming the process is similar. I’m saying clarity. You’ve gotten clarity. The clearest sign is always from the heart. You got a confirmation from your heart. Now you’re going to be in that stage of tipping over maybe the first domino. Ultimately, to me the container of it, the thing that supports the pivot is the daily practices, the rituals. What are three examples of rituals or daily practice that helps to keep you on track? In this case, we’re talking about keeping the clarity, keeping the dominoes tipping forward. Now that you’re moving into something brand new, what are some rituals that you know you that you already have or that you’re going to create to support you?
I’ll give you one of mine, which is, “Be it ever so humble. I write something every day. I now go around saying to myself I’m a writer. I already know that I’m an international seminar leader and that I love the stage. I’m a writer. I got my thirteen-inch MacBook Pro, and there are days when I don’t feel like writing. One of my rituals, the most important one right now is, “Be it ever so humble.” I don’t care if it’s a sentence. It’s never only a sentence. By the time I get myself up there onto that iMac to write my one sentence begrudgingly because I forced myself to do it. I have to keep my word with myself. It’s never only a sentence.
At a certain point, my story to myself began to change. In the last month, I’m a writer. I’m going to do something that is beyond anything I ever imagined, not only in terms of what I’m writing, you know the work that I’m doing abroad in Europe and everything. I can’t tell you the energy that’s coming to me around this work. In the beginning I’m like, “Who am I to be doing this?” It’s the cliché, “Who am I not to be doing it?” We thank whoever it was that originally said that, whether it was Marianne Williamson or Nelson Mandela Nelson, nobody knows anymore. All I know is this, rituals make things real.
I’ve got this law, “Be it ever so humble,” if it’s one freaking word gets up there, I’m being it. Thanks God a million times, I have enough money that I can transition into something else without financial panic. My heart goes out to people who are in that place. All I can say is do whatever you got to do. I’m not saying I can retire now and sit on a beach. I have enough that I can transition. I’m still doing the work that I’ve been doing. I’m actually happier doing the work that I’ve been doing, because my new thing is balancing it. There is a new calling. This is the thing, “Be it ever so humble.” Write one word every day if that’s all it is, and I did. Now I’m looking at three documents that have 70,000 words. I don’t even know how I did it. I don’t even know who it was that did that. I barely have a memory of it.
I don’t want to repeat your ritual. I’m using a similar ritual right now myself, but I’m also doing something else differently. In the midst of my own transition, my own pivot right now, one of the things I realized was that I really want to get more things done earlier in the day. I’m not a lover of the word productivity. I don’t want to be a producer, I’m not a product, but that’s quibbling. I want to get more stuff done that’s meaningful. The critical things to me, the most important things, I want to get them done earlier in the day, even though I love to hang out at night and whatever it is, lounge around, maybe read, watch TV, take a walk, or just hang out with the kids and Randi, and all that kind of thing. Randi said to me long ago, when I travel she goes to bed at 9:00. When I’m home, we stay up till 11:00 or 11:30.
My new ritual is that I’m going to sleep, I’m upstairs and in bed at 9:00, with the stated goal of being sleeping by 10:00 so that I can get up earlier in the morning and use my morning rituals, which are a combination of prayer and meditation, a walk, as well food. My rituals are mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical. This green drink for example is something that’s staple, just for physical health and energy. To be able to do all that takes a bit of time. It’s at least an hour. I want to have that hour even before the kids get up to go to school. That’s my goal because there is more that I want to do, and there’s only so many hours in the day as we all understand. Now that I’m in this place of transition, I asked this question and I was curious, “What new rituals could I create to support what I want to go in for?” You asked the same question, “What new ritual?” Your new ritual is just write a word, which you know it never is just one word. Every single day, no matter what, you’re putting yourself on the keyboard to write, and that’s your ritual. I truly believe that rituals achieve results.
Interestingly enough, it’s a working title for a new book that I’m working on. Rituals achieve results. Rituals are sacred and they’re conscious, versus something that we do just habitually because we’ve either always done it that way or we watch other people do it that way or we just don’t even know how we got to be that way, but we are creatures of habit. I’m thinking let’s be more purposeful. I want to be more purposeful. Everybody right now, whether you’re in a state of reinvention or transition, or you’re thinking ahead of the curve, disruption is everywhere. To paraphrase what you said earlier, Joel, the world is in a state of disruption. Our elections in the United States are clear indicator of that, and it’s caused a lot of pain. People are in despair in some ways because they don’t know what’s next or what they should do next. Certain jobs are never going to come back. Certain situations, opportunities will change, and change forever.
For example, in our space it’s not that people won’t attend live workshops and trainings, it’s just that for the most part it’s more convenient, it’s more realistic for technology to bridge, to bring us together. That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing. Quite frankly, pivoting is a process that you cannot live without. To take it right out of your mouth, pivoting is a lifestyle. With the last few seconds that we’ve got right here, given the fact that it is so important as a lifestyle that people can continue to take in the feedback that’s all around us and then rearticulate themselves, reinvent themselves, change in some ways to move with what’s happening in their business, in their career, in their personal lives. What’s the best piece of advice that you can leave folks with in regard to either the art and science of pivoting, the lifestyle of pivoting? What’s the best thing you can leave people with in that area?
I can tell you what’s really worked for me, chuck it down. It doesn’t sound too sexy. It doesn’t sound like something that would be uttered by a guru in some Himalayan cave. All I know is this. If I had said to myself, “I’m writing 70,000 words in a month,” I would’ve been so intimidated by that goal, I’m quite sure I would have produced next to nothing. I didn’t say I’m going to write 70,000 words in a month. I said I’m going to write something every day. The more I did something small every day, the bigger it became. In reality I’m 5’6” and 135 pounds, but I feel like I’m 6’2”and I’m an Olympic freaking athlete. I look at those 70,000 words, that’s it. That’s my big wisdom.
It may not sound sexy, but I can go up there and I look at that document and I go, “I did this,70,000 freaking words, and I’m just getting warmed up.” I’m attracting all kinds of stuff and I’m not some Law of Attraction guy, I’m not an Airy theory guy. I’m opposed to the Santa Barbara Syndrome. I may not be a New Yorker, but everybody thinks I am. If I had said to myself, “I’m going to write 70,000 words in a month,” I can pretty much bet that I would not have done it. What I did say is, “I’m going to write something every day.” A month later, my own sense of my capacity, my own productivity, or my own potential, I’m walking around with a different story in here. Baby steps.
Your beliefs create clarity. You believe something new and different about yourself, Joel. That’s what I’ve been hearing consistently since the time that speaker went off in your ear. From those beliefs and that clarity come the things you do, the behaviors that you’ve got. That’s just the equivalent of those dominoes tipping over. You know there’s a great story about the dominoes. I think that the record is something like 8 million dominoes. People set up 8 million dominoes to tip over. I read that you could start out with a domino that’s three-eighths of an inch high, a very tiny little domino. The thing about this tiny three-eighths of an inch high domino is that if you push it over it will tip over another domino that’s one and a half times its size.
That domino will tip over yet another domino that is one half times its size. By the time you get to the 28th, that domino will be large enough to topple the Empire State Building. That sounds like inspiration, motivational mumbo jumbo, but the truth of the matter is that’s just physics, starting with something that’s three-eighths of inch high. That is the equivalent of that of what you described as writing one word, taking that smallest of small steps but doing it every single day consistently, baby steps every day. One domino. Wherever you are, wherever we’re meeting you, it could be that you’re riding high, it could be that you’re feeling low, whatever that looks like for you, my call and my wish for you is that you tip over one domino today in the direction of something truly that your heart calls you to do. That’s a lifestyle. Thank you so much for being with us, Joel Roberts. You are a pivot master.
I’m a pivot student. I’m a consistent student.
That rings true for me as well. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, I would love it if you got additional questions or comments, things that you’d like for us to do. You can go to AdamMarkel.com, that’s the perfect place for you to leave your comments and questions for Joel. I’ll get those questions to Joel as well. Joel, with your upcoming pivot, your transition as well as mine, we know it’s an unfolding and beautiful process. Thank you.
About Joel Roberts
Joel Roberts is a former, prime-time, KABC radio talk show host in the #1 radio market in the world – Los Angeles. Today he is President of his own media and communications consulting firm based in LA and New York. His clients range from major publishers and best-selling authors to Fortune 500 corporations such as Lockheed-Martin, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Novartis, Wal-Mart and Target. He also coaches many prominent politicians, CEOs, entrepreneurs like Kinkos founder, Paul Orfalae, and celebrities, including rock star Kenny Loggins.
In the publishing world, Joel is widely considered to be one of the top media consultants in the business. He is the official media coach for the #1 best-selling franchise, Chicken Soup for the Soul. Other best-selling author clients include Stephen Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Successful People), Jack Canfield (The Success Principle), Marci Shimoff (Happy For No Reason), Lisa Lillien (Hungry Girl), marketing guru Jay Abraham, #1 best-seller Harv Eker (Secrets of the Millionaire Mind), 5 of the authors featured in the mega-hit The Secret, and many, many others. Joel’s clients have been on Oprah!, The Today Show, CNN, and every major television and radio talk show as well as on the cover of virtually every magazine and newspaper across the country.