Thirteen things you never knew about the Very Good Dr. Glenn Livingston:
- Money isn’t that important to me. I know that’s a strange thing to say for someone who focuses on business and helping others to earn it, but it’s true. I’ve never been very motivated by material things. Instead, I’m driven to educate the masses, and to, like…NOT be yelled at by people I owe money to. But as long as I have a roof over my head, Sharon to cuddle with, a computer with internet, some organic food to eat, a gym to exercise in, am close to the outdoors, and have some project to get all excited about, I’m happy. (Also, I must obsessively watch “Nathan for You.” I absolutely, positively, can not live without that show! Thank God it’s back tomorrow.)
- I regularly conduct upside-down business calls. That’s not a metaphor…literally, I’m upside down when I’m conducting them. I have an inversion table from Hang Ups which I love more than chocolate. It’s great for my sciatica so it’s not uncommon for me to grab my iPhone to make some calls and respond to emails while I’m almost completely inverted. I can now even attend a webinar (though not conduct one) in that position.
- I DESPISE appointments because they sap my productivity and creativity. I have a small circle of friends and colleagues for whom I’ll pick up the phone, but when I have to make appointments I try to ONLY schedule them for Mondays and Fridays. This isn’t always 100% possible, but when I can do it, it leaves me with long stretches of time to write, make products, THINK, and sometimes to get out in the woods for a day. (I’ve found if you only have one day in the week free the odds are about 50/50 the weather’s going to screw you over…but if you can leave three free at least one of them almost always works out, and the other two you can use for major projects)
- I was born in an army hospital during a hurricane. My Dad was an army psychologist who worked with PTSD in veterans returning from Viet Nam. He was a Captain at Walter Reed Hospital, and sometimes in charge of the whole psych ward when the General was away. My Mom was very worried they were going to ship him overseas in 1966 before my sister was born. I think this background drove me to be conflict averse and spend too much of my energy seeking stability and security… absolutely the wrong goals for an entrepreneur!
- I illegally bugged my father’s psychotherapy office when I was 9 years old. He had been on the radio a few times before that, and my mom explained it was because he was good at making people happy when they were sad. I was insatiably curios how he did that and decided I had a really good way to find out. OK, so that was WRONG. Thankfully later in life I channeled this drive into more professional aims! But whenever I’m listening to a research interview, sitting with a coaching client, or talking to a patient, I still go back to the exciting intrigue and “figuring out the puzzle” feeling I had when I was 9. (I hope the NYS statute of limitations is up on that or else now I’m screwed!)
- I have a small wart on my right hand pointer finger. It’s been there for at least 40 years. I’ve seriously thought about getting it removed, but in my childhood each time I removed a wart ONE popped up elsewhere. It’s like the wart-monster in my body says “just give me one and I’ll leave you alone!” So I’ve always been scared to remove it and have it end up god-knows where. There’s an analogy in business… sometimes there’s a small wart you decide to put up with. A less than perfect shopping cart. An A- employee. A merchant account which will process $200K/month but won’t let you do forced continuity. Lunch catered by Taco Bell… you know what I mean. Sometimes it’s just the right choice so you can focus on the rest.
- Neither Sharon or I like Lima Beans. We think they are totally disgusting. And since we are adults, doctors, and successful business people we have sworn a solemn oath to never eat them again. I hope if you’re reading this, you’re not part of the Lima Bean board or anything like that. Sigh.
- In my early 30s, I had a patient who told me she was going to get up from her chair and bitch slap me if I didn’t answer her question. After scrambling in my head to remember what the text books said I should do in that situation, I just went ahead and answered her question. She became one of the best patients I ever had. I remember this in business sometimes: You can’t plan for everything no matter how much research you do. At some point you’re gonna get bitch slapped if you don’t improvise. Live with it.
- When my dog gets tired he falls asleep with his tongue out. (Me too)
- Just after graduate school I seriously entertained the possibility of bolting from both my psychology and marketing research careers to compose jazz music for the piano. I actually submitted several tapes to Polygram and got all the way to a meeting with the President. Thank god I didn’t go through with it however, because although I was talented, I really didn’t have the training or experience to shape that talent into a professional career. Passion is a necessary but not sufficient reason to go into a business! Most people have multiple passions… the trick is coordinating with the ones that can actually produce money so you can support the rest. Anyway, here’s a little recording from about 10 years ago (when I was still fat!) with me playing something I wrote, just in case you feel like listening. (Plenty of mistakes in this – oh well)
- Once, when I was 7, I once punched a hole in my sister’s wall when I got really mad. Rather than getting upset, she asked me how come I never told her I was Superman. I just went with it. I think she still thinks that. (My sister is the blonde in the video above)
- I can’t get contact lenses in my eyes. Seriously, I’ve spent hours with very gentle eye professionals who swear they’re going to be the one to fix the problem… but whatever I do my eye closes when the stupid contact is at least an inch away. Oh well, I guess it’s good for us all to know our weaknesses. (If you spend too much time trying to strengthen your weaknesses you’ll wind up weakening your strengths!)
- This Friday, October 16th, 2015, Terry Dean and I are going to open up the Business Coaching Certification for just a few more enrollments before we plan to significantly raise the price. Click here to read all about it and get on the priority notifications list if you’re interested.