Curt Mercadante interviews Bob Burg as part of the "Fear, Love, & Creativity" Podcast series.

How can we remain above the fray and be the calm in the storm in turbulent times?

How can we tune out the "fear pornography" that's omnipresent in our society?

You can listen to the full podcast on Apple or Spotify or at this audio player:

For over 30 years Bob Burg has been successfully showing entrepreneurs, leaders, and sales professionals how to communicate their value and accelerate their referral business.

Although for years he was best known for his sales classic, Endless Referrals, it’s his business parable, The Go-Giver, coauthored with John David Mann that has created a worldwide movement. While part of a four-book series, The Go-Giver itself has sold more than one million copies and been translated into 30 languages. It was rated #10 on Inc. Magazine’s list of The Most Motivational Books Ever Written, and was on HubSpot’s 20 Most Highly Rated Sales Books of All Time.

Bob is an advocate, supporter and defender of the Free Enterprise system, believing that the amount of money one makes is directly proportional to how many people they serve.

He is also an unapologetic animal fanatic and served on the Board of Directors of Furry Friends Adoption & Clinic in his town of Jupiter, Florida.

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You can listen to this podcast on Apple, Spotify, or the audio player here:

"Chronic" fear isn't a weakness. It's not innate. It's not something with which you were born.

It's malware.

It's was programmed into you somewhere during your life.

For example, for most of my life, I've believed that I've had a fear of heights. This might be because my dad had a fear of heights about which he and my mom would talk when we crossed bridges, etc. I actually remember my dad once saying that whenever we drove over a tall bridge, he'd have these visions of losing control of the car and driving right off the bridge.

That was somehow programmed into him.

And it was programmed into me.

Maybe it's a fear of heights. Perhaps it's a fear of spiders. Or any number of fears that grips many in our society today — causing us to live in collective state of hyper-cortisol.

Yes, fear is a survival mechanism. But chronic fear is a killer.

The good news is that you can reprogram yourself. Here are three actionable tips to do so...

Ask "How Will I Feel When I Succeed" Instead of "What if I Fail?"

When you live in a chronic "worst case scenario" mindset, your mind remains focused on failure.

For example, if I come upon a high ridge on a hike, my "default" programming causes my mind to ask, "what if I fall and die/break a leg?"

So, on my hike yesterday, I came upon a climb on a bridge and instead envisioned how I would feel when I got to the top of the vista. I envisioned the view from the top, what it would feel like, and what it would look like.

When I climbed and got to the top of the vista, I felt like I already had been there. Because when you pair a vision with a strong emotion, your brain doesn't know the difference between your future vision and an actual memory. If you constantly envision failure, your brain thinks you've already been there, and it continues to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When I deliver keynotes, I try to get a picture of the stage and room beforehand, so that when I practice, I envision that I'm delivering the speech in the actual room. After days and weeks of practicing with that vision, I regularly get on the actual stage, feeling like I've already been there.

Start putting yourself in the emotion of "how will I feel when I succeed" instead of the emotion of "what if I fail?"

Be Aware, Not Afraid

"Be careful!"

"Be safe!"

These phrases are all-too-common from a parent to their child, whether they're going off to school or to the park with their friends.

During the COVID era, it was so common for people to sign off their emails and phone calls with, "Stay safe!"

Don't get me wrong — it's all well-meaning, but that type of constant hyper-safety programming can have a drastic impact.

A society that is in a constant "be careful!" collective consciousness is one that desires to be enveloped in bubble wrap. City pools closing due to safety and liability issues. Parents no longer allowing their kids to go out and player in the neighborhood.

A few years ago, my wife let our kids climb trees in a city park in Charleston, SC. A city worker appeared to tell her that climbing trees isn't allowed.

"Somebody could get hurt!"

And I won't even get into wrongheaded COVID lockdowns that may destroy more lives than they save.

My wife and I both realized we were saying "be careful" too much. So we try to replace it with:

"Be aware" or "pay attention."

To be sure, situational awareness is key. A few years ago, in my concealed carry permit course, the instructor shared a video with several scenes of people staring at their cell phone screens while they walked into walls, other people, and even into a fountain.

Not being aware puts you at risk.

When my son and I were hiking a few weeks ago, I urged him to "be aware but not afraid." If we added up all the dangers in the world that exist, we would never leave the house.

Be aware. But don't be afraid.

There is a big difference.

Turn Off the News

In my recent interview with Randy Gage, he made the assertion (as he does in his book, Radical Rebirth) that human evolution is now impacted more by memetics (mind viruses) than genetics.

I couldn't agree more.

As he writes in Radical Rebirth...

You can watch Fox News because you desire a conservative viewpoint, or MSNBC because you desire a liberal viewpoint, yet still recognize you’re being exposed to a level of propaganda that Joseph Goebbels could only dream of.

Yes, the mind viruses are swirling around us.

I call it "Fear Pornography."

And the fear pornographers profit when we are fearful, because that fear makes us click and makes us stare at the screens longer. When that happens, they sell ads. Then they deliver more fear porn, and we stare longer.

Turn off the fucking news.

"But, Curt, how will I remain informed?"

There's a big difference between being informed and being obsessed.

We have a "no news" policy in our home, and yet I know everything I need to know about what's going on in the world. Because people tell me. It's hard not to absorb information through osmosis with the sheer amount of information that comes from everywhere.

Turn off the news.

Tune out the noise.

Focus on your signal.

Yes, fear is a natural, innate survival mechanism.

But "chronic" fear is malware. You can begin to reprogram with some of the tips listed above.

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  • Curt Mercadante

You can listen to the podcast version of this post on Apple, Spotify, or right here:

You might be a Scarcity Pimp if you were vocally critical of Richard Branson yesterday, because you feel that his investment in Virgin Galactic somehow diverts money away from other pressing needs in the world.

That's not how prosperity works.

Richard Branson has spent his career investing his time & treasure to create value and impact for others.

An airline. A music company. Media companies. Lifting up countless entrepreneurs.

He's created value and impact for others. That's how he became a billionaire.

And his funding of Virgin Galactic no more diverts money away from other pressing needs than does your purchase of your expensive latte from Starbucks, or your latest purchase of your iPhone, iPad, MacBook, or other gadgets and gizmos.

Criticizing Brandon might make you feel better for a minute or two, but does nothing to help you lift yourself up...or lift up those around you.

Start creating value. Starting creating impact.

Transform your scarcity mindset into an abundance mindset.

That's when you'll begin to unleash your inner prosperity.

Which will help you, and those around you.



So the scarcity pins were out in full effect this weekend,

you know, ripping on Sir, Richard Branson for going into space.

He funded it by spending his career,

risking to create value and impact

for others and creating an airline record label lifting entrepreneurs up.

But to them that's not good enough. You see if a billionaire Like Richard,

Branson spends money to get into space.

That is somehow taking money away from them or taking money away from other causes that need it.

Listen, if you sit around just worrying about other people,

Adding and ripping on Sir, Richard Branson

for creating value and impact for leashing his Prosperity.

Are you in any way shape, or form lifting yourself up or lifting those around?

You know, you're venting you might make yourself feel better for like a minute or two,

but you're not helping yourself in no way shape or form.

Are you creating value and impact? That's how you Unleash Your Prosperity?

That's how you build a business. You create value and impact for other people.

So, Richard Branson has spent his entire career doing that

and this this scarcity notion that Richard Branson,

spending money to get into space. Somehow takes away from everyone else.

Let me ask you. When you go to Starbucks and buy that expensive latte,

are you taking money away from the poor?

When you go buy your iPhone pay your monthly bill for your iPhone?

When you go by your MacBook, are you taking away from other people?

You probably haven't thought about that. Right?

What are you also criticizing government

when they suck up tax money

and spend billions on infrastructure projects that aren't really infrastructure?

Of course not. You see a scarcity mindset looks at World looks at life,

like a finite pie. And if I eat a piece of pie,

I'm somehow taking away from the scarcity pins when we know,

thanks to human creativity and Innovation.

It's always been this way. We just bake more pies or make bigger pies.

See, that's an abundance mindset. If you are a scarcity pimp,

if you do have a scarcity mindset, here's the great news.

You can reprogram, but it takes every day instead of waking up and saying,

there's all these things that are wrong with the world, the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

It's waking up and saying what's awesome about this world is

realizing that we live in amazing times.

You set a baseline of awesome and then he go from there.

What will make today even more? Awesome. That second question.

What will make today even more awesome? It acknowledges that there are things that could be better,

but you said a baseline of awesome. You start with gratitude,

right? You don't spend your time tearing others down,

you focus on how you can create value and impact and when you start to do that consistently,

you build an abundance mindset. You start to Unleash Your prosperity.

And get Prosperity into circulation and that's how you normally lift yourself up,

you lift up those around you.

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