The hidden power of gratitude and hacking your brain. EP #160 - Den Lennie


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Today, Den drops science on something almost every single business owner needs to hear. And that is this: how to keep calm, cool, and collected when all hell breaks loose. 
Here's a sneak peek at what you'll hear:
  • Two words that release a feel-good chemical in your body. Sadly, most people only use these two words when they feel obliged to. What are these two words? Hear them at 1:10


  • How your nose can destress you within 10 to 20 seconds. And, no, this does not involve "nose candy", alright? - 3:00
  • 2 questions to ask when you're stressed outta your brain. (Not only does asking these two questions instantly start to calm you down, but they can also cause you to have less stress in the future. - 3:20)
  • An unusual (and very counterintuitive) thing to say when you're getting put through the wringer. (Admittedly, this is not easy to do, but if you can make a habit of saying this when you're backed against the wall, then don't be surprised when you find yourself become as peaceful as a sleeping baby. - 4:00)
  • How to use an ordinary pen and a blank piece of paper to improve your inner wellbeing. - 5:00
  • The difference between “righteous selling” and “douchebaggery selling”. - 10:00
  • An almost foolproof way to spot a deadbeat prospect. (If the first thing a prospect asks you is what's mentioned at 12:00, then politely inform them that they are a moron and send them packing!)
  • The single most powerful word in all of sales and negotiation. - 12:35
  • The tale of the Mexican fisher. (This story provokes a serious soul-searching question that only you can answer. As profound and thought-provoking this story is, it's also kinda humorous. Hear this story at 16:00)
  • How to find your business/life "sweet spot". -18:00
  • The case study all drinkers and smokers would love to hear. - 20:00


  • How playing chess and reading books can potentially extend your life expectancy. - 21:00
  • An Aboriginal term every Australian knows but very few understand its real meaning. Hear Den (a Scotsman) break it down. Typical, huh? - 22:35


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Episode Transcription

Den Lennie (2s):
Good day, guys! Den here with another episode of the how to scale a video business podcast, episode number one, six oh 160 episodes at this week, I'm talking about the power of gratitude. I want to be exploring some topics with you, my dear listeners of this show, and I think you are going to like this. There's not going to be what you expect. I don't think, but thank you for being here. I appreciate you being here. I appreciate your listening and I hope that this can be of value to you today.

Den Lennie (48s):
So thank you. This is about the hidden power of gratitude and appreciation. Thank you for being a subscriber of this podcast. I appreciate you have committed to listening on whatever platform your on and are willing to invest the time to land and expand your knowledge around growing Video business. I'm really grateful for that commitment. And I hope that you see great value from being a subscriber. There is a hidden power in saying thank you and appreciating everything in your life. When you say thank you for your body, produces a chemical called D H EA it's dehydro dehydroepiandrosterone.

Den Lennie (1m 35s):
I was like, I've said that, write the hide through a peon, the dos there own it's an adrenal steroid hormone in the body and it's made by the adrenal glands. And that is converted to androgens, estrogens and other hormones. D H E A is also thought to contribute to a sense of wellbeing. D H E A also has a positive effect on cognitive function and Mudd. And most importantly, it counters the action of cortisol, which is the hormone produced. When you get stressed some back in the room, no books. So, you know, when you get stressed, what happens?

Den Lennie (2m 16s):
You kind of start to lose your shit, right? It's like you start thinking logically and rationally. And so I want to start by giving you a very, very quick hack for when you feel stressed out. Okay? Right. You have to take three to five Deep, deep breaths. Okay? If you take three to five deep breaths In, from the nose and out from the mouth, I'd say five, you are going to feel radically different. It will be stress.

Den Lennie (2m 57s):
Your immediate response. That is because when you get stressed, your crock brain just in, it kicks off the fight or flight response and all of the blood rushes to Vite log-ins to push mussels, to be ready, to take action, to run or fight. And that is the fight or flight response and the soul to regulate that. Simply take some deep breaths, some conscious deep breaths. And once you've come to yourself, don't ask yourself, what's going on here? Why am I responding? Like This or reacting like this? What can I alarm from this? Is there a lesson for me in this situation that I can apply?

Den Lennie (3m 41s):
And, and as a result, not make this mistake again, because when we feel stressed, it's because we were reacting to something, something is triggered us. And when you ask the question, what is it that triggered us and why is it triggering us? And then see, thank you literally just say, thank you. So, so rather than waiting to get stressed and managing it, you know which L though this is a great antidote to that. How about if you started your day by hacking your DHE levels by heightening them by saying thank you for all of the great things in your life. Now, one way to do that is the journal.

Den Lennie (4m 21s):
Now I am not a big journaler. I'll have to be honest. My wife journals. I'm not a big journal. I have friends who have journal. I think part of that is cause I, I my writings, not very good. And I'm very impatient when writing. So when I, when I tend to write things, I tend to dictate them and have them transcribed. But one way is the journal. And, and I did journal for a while, but when I do do I see great benefits? And I think what's happened is when I was going through a lot of turmoil, when we first moved to Australia, there was a lot of things to deal with. And I journaled a lot to try and process some of that. I think since moving to Queensland where the sun shines alone and we lived near the beach, its kind of, you know, I got a lot to be grateful for.

Den Lennie (5m 2s):
I wake up pretty grateful every day, but, but you, you can try journaling if, if you want to give it a gourd, you know, its worth testing, different mechanisms too, to kickstart you're the law of the, you know, heightening you're D a G M E a D levels. So my simply write it down three things that you are grateful for each day before you do anything else has a really profound effect on your mindset for the rest of the day. And the funny is that, as I'm saying this, I'm thinking, why am I not journaling? Maybe that's just a kind of a bullshit story that I needed to overcome. You know, we were always being faced with storeys. So, you know, there was a period where I had was growing the business and there was one period where I was at a 25 days straight without a day off.

Den Lennie (5m 47s):
It was just one of those PDs where I had a number of back-to-back foreign trips back in the days where you could travel and commitments in the office. And I tried to maintain my energies by first of all, is staying off of the wine and beer for a star and meditating daily. And this was back when I was just starting to meditate. So I was using the Headspace app and I was really grateful for the opportunity to speak to so many aspiring filmmakers or at the time it was doing a lot of soft stuff in the area for YouTube and Sony uninspiring them, how to increase that production values. And it it's a great honor to have been that person at Sony asked to hold that Baton for them. And I'd never ever taken it for granted, but I'm so grateful for that privilege to serve and be part of that ecosystem.

Den Lennie (6m 30s):
And it is completely in alignment with most of my personal and business purpose. And then, you know, when I started creating this podcast back in 2018, I simply had the idea of wanting to connect business owners who were running video production companies and share some of my journey and speak to interesting people to end the hope that my mistakes could help you avoid them and help you grow your business faster than you would simply on your own. And my reward really comes from hearing success. Stories are people who drop the messages and say, Oh, this and this has really helped me. Or I get to work with, you know, a client who joins the mastermind or on the basis of the, of the coaching program.

Den Lennie (7m 12s):
And you know, when I am, when I hear people having great success, it, it really fills my cup. And the key is always implimentation, you know, there was a client of mine a while ago, Clint and, and he said, you know, we've been exceptionally growing with your help over the last five years. And now we reached a place where are we comfortable with the pace on the lifestyle? He said, I feel like I'm the Mexican Fisher fishermen, or have you heard of that story? If not read the law. One of my biggest appreciations for your counselor over the years, there's been the fine tuning, have my filming skills. So this was back when we were doing more filling training, but also developing my own niche and brought to market strategies.

Den Lennie (7m 55s):
I'm very thankful for a discussion and new pressing me to make the decision, the next steps then in terms of what I'm going with it with my company. One of the reasons why we moved to California a year and a half ago was to be able to spend quality time with each other, our kids in our future grandchildren and in the corporate world, I spent many of my years just traveling away from my family over 3 million miles with American airlines, a law firm, I left the corporate world and I had to have the freedom that we know enjoy and having the time of my life. And I really enjoy what I'm doing. Thanks again, for all your support is greatly appreciated and that it was from Clinton. And, you know, clinics are just one story. And, and I love hearing stories like that, that we're able to impact people's so positively.

Den Lennie (8m 38s):
And this was a conversation that I'd had with, with Clint about him and joining my, at the time it was called the Effie elite mastermind program. He was in my inner circle at the time. And he, he said, you know, actually he didn't want to scale this business up. He was actually pretty happy when he was, and he says, you know, in terms of accountability, I've been under these kind of weekly status reports, weekly global forecast for 30 plus years. And I know the advantage of having this kind of approach and structure are invaluable to someone's who's in the process of expanding, growing the business, but I'm in a different points in my journey. At the time when you wrote the CBS 62, he says, I'm really enjoying what I do just know.

Den Lennie (9m 19s):
And I'm quite happy to just continue at this pace, enjoy my time with my wife and family. And it was a great observation and I was thrilled for him. And you might be thinking, but that's, that's a lost opportunity. Here's the way it was a lot of sales. And here's the thing. I just don't think like that. Yes, of course you need to be commercial. But my purpose in life is to help video producers succeed. And that's what just happened. And if Clinton had been 20 years younger, he almost certainly would have joined my program, but he is doing well. He loved the work he's doing. And Joe is a great lifestyle when he works two weeks out, three months. And I have always talked about being willing to walk away from a deal if it isn't right. Well, the flip side of that is that you only want to serve clients who have a genuine need for what it is you are providing.

Den Lennie (10m 6s):
I'm not in the business of trying to sell somebody something. And as many places they can just to make money. You won't find me putting on some, some kind of, you know, low-cost course to try and win people in an upsell them and kind of, you know, bait and switch them in to kind of buying something more expensive. And, you know, I live my values publicly and transparently, and I encourage you to do this. You know, we, we, we, you had an inner circle that ran for a while. We had a 180 members giving us a a hundred dollars a month for a while, but then it started with the client that drops down to 75 members. And then over the years, it drops down to 50 and 25. And then we, we, we, we had dropped it up last year, but you know, we, we, we are always looking at it.

Den Lennie (10m 49s):
You know, where is our energy going out? And is it in the right space? And now I have two products. I have my video business accelerator mastermind. And if you are doing 10 to 15,000 a month already, you ask and you want to double or triple that, then I'm happy to talk to you. But under the thought we have the video business exploded to a course, which has an eight part program, which you buy into and you learn at your own pace, you know, are still support for me, but it's not live coaching. And the ideas that acts as the undergrad course for any business is doing two to 3000 a month. Want's to get to 10. Once you get to a 10, then it's, then once you got clients, you got to set and processes in place and set and foundations its much easier to get up to a higher level.

Den Lennie (11m 32s):
And so that as our two products You know, and we don't advertise it and we don't talk about pricing, we want to understand who you are and where you're at in your journey. And then we'll figure out the best way to serve you and support you and walk out a way that works for you to be able to afford, to take the action, right? Quiet that some of the other day, right. Message to be going, how much of your course? And I'm like, well, I'm not, I'm not gonna start throwing money at if it goes around, when we got no idea, if we can help you. And I think that's very important advice for you, with your clients. They go, how much of a video or just say, well, look, it's very difficult to answer that question without knowing exactly what it is you want and what you're trying to achieve.

Den Lennie (12m 14s):
If you are open to a 10 minute call, we can start that process and they can have a bet understanding and give me some guidance. If they are not willing to do that, then fuck them off. Or do you not even deal with them? You know, you don't need to deal with that. Like you have a process, you have value. You don't want to work with people who are just asking you about price are people who are trying to negotiate with you saying, well, I'll tell you what we'll do it this week. It's like, no, you got, you got the power to say no and saying, Oh, it was very important. If you value yourself, don't be pressurized by anyone to do anything you don't want to do. And so, you know, my philosophy is always to serve and deliver more value than we expected.

Den Lennie (12m 55s):
And in turn in my business would grow. So I just wanna ask you a favor and you know, I, I get a lot of feedback from people saying they love the podcast and the support that it gives them and, and, and the value they get. So say, if you can think of two people, you could mention this podcast too, and say, Hey, you check out this podcast. Someone who runs a video business is looking to grow. I would, I would be so appreciative. I really would be so grateful because this podcast has grown from, you know, five and a half thousand downloads last year to over 30,000 downloads. This year is a 600% increase in, in listenership. And it only happens organically. We don't do any advertising.

Den Lennie (13m 38s):
And you know, if, if you get a chance to go on to your platform of choice and leave us a review, or that would be super helpful, I'd be so grateful. I would love more reviews, you know, or it's not something we really asked a lot from me. She'll be, should ask a bit more 'cause I think we give it a lot of value in the show. And a, if you've been listening to her up for a while and you haven't let us a review of a five star review and, and, and, and a few kind words would be really grateful to help us kind of rank a bit better. And, you know, I want it, I want to scale this show up to help reach more people. The way we do that is through literally reaching out and asking, you know, people to, to, to listen. And so I just wanna kind of share the Mexican fishermen or the story of that clinic shared with me.

Den Lennie (14m 21s):
And, and there's a few versions of this, but I just love this story. And it's absolutely, it's absolutely true what, what it represents. So in an American investment banker, is that the period of a small coastal Mexican village, when a small board with just one fisherman dot inside the small board, or several large Yellowfin Shinar and the American compliment of the Mexican on the quality of is fish ask how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, Oh, only a little while the American then asked why he didn't stay out longer and catch more fish.

Den Lennie (15m 2s):
And the Mexican said you had enough to support his family. His immediate needs the American then as well. But what do you do with the rest of your time and the Mexican fishermen replied. He said, while I sleep late in my official little I play with my children, I take CS as with my wife, Maria, a stroll into the village each evening, when I sip wine and play guitar with my Amigos, I have a full and busy life and the American scoffed, I'm a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds by a bigger board. And when the proceeds from the bigger boat you could by several boats, eventually you could have a fleet of fishing boats instead of just selling your cat to middlemen, you would sell directly to the processors, eventually opening your own cannery.

Den Lennie (15m 49s):
You would control the product, the processing and the distribution, and you'd have to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico city, and then LA, and eventually in New York city, where we will run your expanding enterprise and the Mexican fishermen asked, but how long will this all take two, which the American applied Oh probably 15 to 20 years, but what then as the Mexican fishermen, the American laughed and said, but that's the best part is when the time is right, you had an eye on, is an IPO and cellular companies stopped to the public and become a very, very rich, she would make millions, millions than what, as the fishermen, the American said, then you would retire, move to a small coastal, a fishing village where you can sleep late fish, a little play with your kids', take CSS with the wife stroll done at the village.

Den Lennie (16m 38s):
And the evening's where you can sip wine and play the guitar with your Amigos. And that is the moral of the story of the Mexican fishermen. So I think about this, are you already in a Mexican fishermen or do you need to grow a little, or do you want to grow a lot or is there somewhere in between? Because if you are genuinely contempt with what you're doing, then keep doing it. But if you want a little bit more, there is a process that we can help you implement to help you get to that point where you got consistency, predictability, and you got a business that, and that helps you to achieve everything you could possibly want.

Den Lennie (17m 21s):
And. And that is really where structure and discipline come in. So you want to be focused on the right activities and not the wrong activities, because while the Mexican fishermen story is, is a lovely, romantic story. If you are genuinely living somewhere where you've got enough to look after your family, then great. Not every video business wants to be huge. In fact, I argue the very few video business's want to become a cooperations. We own video businesses because we love video, but there there's a middle ground between the Mexican fishermen and the co-operation, which is, you know, how would your business, Luke, if you can generate a two to 500,000 a year and take 30 or 40% of that for yourself, you know, how would your life look if you had excess cash coming in to your business each month with that allow you to live in a nicer house, would it allow you to put your kids through school?

Den Lennie (18m 23s):
Would it allow you to have spare cash with LOE to teach you a family on a holiday? So we know there's, there's a balance between all of this, the Mexican fishermen, parable. I love it, but it, but we have to be realistic as well, which is if you are 62 and you got your mortgage paid off, fine, if you are a Clint, that's great, good on you. But there's a lot of businesses who are 30, 40, mid thirties, mid forties, who are realizing that things haven't quite worked out and to get for the Mexican, fishermen's sort of, you know, status. You need to add some more money. So the key is to make sure you are walking with the right clients in the right way, and that done correctly can generate all the income you want without killing yourself.

Den Lennie (19m 11s):
And it's just a process. It's a process. You know, there's something called neuroplasticity, which is how you can rewire the brain with meditation, exercise, diet, and routine habits and setting daily rhythms around what time do you go to bed? What time do you wake up? It all assist with reprogramming the brain. And so the same is true of daily and weekly processes and running your business. You know, the mind hasn't been way more power than we realize. And you know, like Winston Churchill, who is outspoken on the sacred rates of smoking cigars and drinking alcohol before and after and during meals and the end it was in between, but he was also exceptionally active mentally.

Den Lennie (19m 54s):
And, and as historians have noted, Churchill went on to live until 90. And that speaks volumes about the information. That's no coming out to lay about how the brain can effect the body. Now, a few people would be willing to follow Churchill's example, and I'm certainly not advocating that have taking such poor care, have the physical health, but as life expectancy continues to rise, people are doing more and more to ensure the lives if long are going to be healthy. And in until recently they seem to be no guidelines for efforts around mental health. There were no brain exercises, no mental push-ups that you can do to stave off the loss of memory, an analytic acuity that comes up as you grow older, in the worst case scenario, you could end up with Alzheimer's for which there are no proven treatments, but then there's no reason why our brain at 60 can't be as competent.

Den Lennie (20m 47s):
It was at 25. And you know, that we do have not been used to think of such as Socrates, kinetic, co Copernicus and Galileo, who are all still at the peak of their intellectual power in the sixties and seventies, nor would it surprise business leaders, such as Warren buffet and Richard Brunson, these icons and others like them to have it intuitively understood that the brain's alumnus is the result of what we call cognitive fitness and that state of optimized ability to reason. Remember Laura and plan to adapt. That's an enhanced by a certain attitudes, lifestyle choice, and exercises. So the more fit you are mentally, the better you are to make decisions and solve problems, deal with stress and change.

Den Lennie (21m 32s):
So cognitive fitness will allow you to be more open to new ideas and alternate perspectives, and it will give you a capacity to change your behavior is and forecast their outcomes, an order to realize your goals. So you can pay that it can be, can become the kind of person who your company values the most, maybe more importantly, it can help you, you know, enjoy your work in whatever capacity of that is. And so it's important that you, you, you were aware of this, you know, I'll just finish with talking about that. Do you have gone walkabout, you know, going walk a boat is an Australian right of passage in which Aboriginal adolescents, undertaker, a prolonged and challenging physical journey sometimes for several months and such of psychological and spiritual self-definition and maturity.

Den Lennie (22m 18s):
And the timing is just right since it's during adolescence that the brain establishes and integrate is the neural networks and the prefrontal core flax free, free frontal cortex, that in cords, a sense of self-identity as well as a moral and social conduct in this process, culminates in the late adolescence, when the brain's neurons are fully myelinated, it would be cool to have an instillation and interconnect to the networks. They helped the brain function and in an efficient organize manner. So the walkway that isn't just, of course, the right of passage retro, it is quite remarkable. How many similar rituals occur in different cultures at precisely the same stage in people's lives? There's a generally accepted understanding that adolescents need to such peak experience is to consolidate their personal histories.

Den Lennie (23m 6s):
And that takes a physical development to a new viable in more advanced identity. So as sort of Germany, more broadly speaking, you can also have a strong influence in any career, particularly if the timing was right or in Buffett's as a leader who realizes this wen and the multi ke the CEO of Xerox Saw has advice about how to help the company or a match from a fairly major financial crisis. It was rapidly pushing them toward a bankruptcy. He charged the two engaged in a Walker boat. I did a trip last year or two years ago where I did a lot of the month on the road and just draw from Sydney to Melbourne and back up to Brisbane and back again on my own, just to have some space and time.

Den Lennie (23m 47s):
So, you know, it has advice was that she should learn what Xerox employees and customers were thinking and worry less about what financial analysts and so on and shareholders were seeing. And it made excellent sense from a neurological standpoint, from a lucky to acquire at the beginning of a ten-year or a CEO or a deeper understanding of the people who had been following her. Cause the neural network that would enable her decision-making as a leader, we wouldn't be fully phone. And if you'd stayed at isolated in the corner off as those neural networks with a Sadly ended up looking different than they do today. So, so how can you apply these principles in your small video production business? You know, before you put your hiking boots on and start heading for the Hills as a simpler solution.

Den Lennie (24m 31s):
What about if being ultra clear about where you want to get to in your business and spending time creating a set of tangible and measurable targets that can be laid out and acted on every week or what if that could help you? Cause that is the process of strategic planning. And we've talked about that often in this podcast, but we're at a time for today, guys. So I will talk to you again next weekend. You've been listening to the How to scale a Video business podcast with me, your host, Den Lennie. If you're a Video business owner, it's hit a ceiling we'd benefit from mentorship support and coaching and check out how you can work with me over at Don't forget to subscribe and rate the short over on iTunes.

Den Lennie (25m 11s):
I really appreciate you taking a few minutes to leave a review and don't forget to share if you feel you've gotten value from this episode, if you think it would be useful for other filmmakers, you know, and please do me a massive favor and share it on social media and ingroups that you might be in. So thanks for listening. See you in the next episode.



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