Morris Morrison is the CEO of StoryMaker Brands and Windmill Park Media—whose purpose is to build stronger, smarter and kinder human beings. Morrison’s story began in the bright lights of New York City, before being orphaned… twice. His unforgettable message sounds like a Hollywood movie script and his energy on stage has uncovered a unique brand of engagement that explodes & connects with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. His primary goal onstage is to build fearless, focused leaders that drive uncomfortable change, growth and disruption.
Most importantly, Morris Morrison has a genuine desire to increase human connection, bring families & communities closer, and make organizations more impactful, through service and generosity. Morrison is the author of Overnight Success: An Inspiring Story About Culture, Results and The American Dream and Disrupt Yourself: Disrupting, Growing & Giving On Purpose.
In this podcast, Morris and Cindra talk:
· What it means to Disrupt Yourself
· The lessons “Coach COVID” taught him
· What to do when we experience fear
· Why is it important for leaders to “drive uncomfortable change”
· 7 steps to help you focus and achieve results
· Strategies to increase our conviction
[tweet_dis2]“To be a story maker you have to own every aspect of your journey, especially your mindset.”- @MorrisMorrison[/tweet_dis2]
[tweet_dis2] “Doing the work that scares us, helps us be at a better level when it comes to fear.”-@MorrisMorrison[/tweet_dis2]
[tweet_dis2]“I learn the most from others and with others.” -@MorrisMorrison[/tweet_dis2]
[tweet_dis2]”Empathy, honestly is just a feeling, it’s an emotion, but you have to let it in.”-@MorrisMorrison[/tweet_dis2]
[/tweet_dis2]“Nothing touches you like knowing that you’re growing your own mindset and your heart from within and you’re taking action in life, so keep doing it.” -@MorrisMorrison[/tweet_dis2]
Cindra: Morris. I’m so pumped to have you on the High-Performance mindset podcast. This week, you know, when I think about the last time I saw you was in Minneapolis. Where you were at your showcase and you crushed it, the audience was loving your energy. So I’m really excited to talk with you today.
Morris: I’m excited to be here and I love your energy. So this is, you know, so I’m excited to spend these next few minutes together to see what we can do. So for all your amazing listeners that are part of your family and part of your, your tribe that are out there and let’s do something really cool for them. Here’s to them. How about that.
Cindra: Here’s to them. It’s all about them always so to start us off more. So tell us a little bit about your passion and what you do now?
Morris: You know, it’s funny COVID, it’s given us a lot of time to think and redefine a lot of things. I was watching Cinderella this past weekend with my daughter. And there’s the there’s the point in the movie where the prince. He looks at Cinderella. And this is when he’s dancing with her and she’s wondering who he really is. She’s like, Oh my God, you’re a prince. And he said, No, I’m just an apprentice. I mean, learning stages and hopefully always be able to say that. And I said, Wow, there’s no other greater title apprentice student that I’ve ever fallen in love with because to be honest with you, you know, like a lot of speakers my speaking schedule was crushed this past year. And along with my ego and my pride and humility and everything else but I sat here one day and I was thinking to myself, I was asking you know what mindset, what growth mindset. Am I going to use not only through this, but how do I want to reestablish things after Cobra and start. I started thinking to myself, I said if I changed my title what, my title change because I have always I’ve never fully love the title speaker. Author teacher this that there’s all these different things that people call us when you and I know that we have such amazing clients and family and friends and such an amazing speakers’ community out there. The world recognizes that’s the speakers. But at the same time what we get to do with customers is so much more than speaking at an event. It’s like change and you will not know it’s life change. So I said at the say I had a bad day during Cobra and I sat here for hours thinking Okay, I don’t want to have a pity party. Today I want to figure out what new title would I give myself if I gave myself a title, what would it be and to be honest I could not come up with anything. And as you know, my new book disrupt yourself is getting ready to come out. A lot of people call me a disrupter, a lot of people tell me they love my energy. But the fact is, I could not come up with the title so that evening I was walking with my daughter Dory. She’s six years old. We were actually in our bikes and we went past the neighbor’s house, who’s out there playing his guitar and this guy’s name is Matthew and he can sing like Dave Matthews. He’s amazing. And my daughter hadn’t met him yet. And as we drove up to him, we were listening to some of his music. And I said, Hey, Mr. Matthew, I want you to meet my daughter Dory. This is Dory. And she looked up at him. And what she says shifted me forever to this day. What she said next changed me so much that I started to new companies this year and we changed my former company over to the new name of what she said a six-year-old girl rebranded my whole life. She looked at him. And she said, wow, you play the guitar. Do you play the guitar on stage. He said, Yeah, I do. And then she turned and looked at me because she knows that her dad. He lives on stage.
Morris: She turned and looked at me and she looked back at Mr. Matt, she said, Mr. Matt, do you want to know who my daddy is you want to know what he does. He lives on stage to do you want to know what he really does. And as soon as she said it. She had no idea that I sat all day trying to figure out just that day in the office. What do I do for people who am I really, how do I want to redefine this mindset moving forward. She looked at him and she said, Mr. Matthew my daddy’s a story maker.
Cindra: Oh, that’s awesome.
Morris: Any pause and he said, you mean storyteller. She goes, No, no, she said, My daddy’s a story maker and he teaches other people how to make their own stories. And I looked down at her and of course I’m fighting back to tears and her name is Dora, what I call a gummy bear so I looked down and I said gummy bear. I said she had no idea how much she blessed my heart I just gave me the biggest hug and. And I said, well, I guess I’m a story maker and I went to bed that night just, I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking, what’s the difference between a story maker and a storyteller and not to be critical of anyone out here, but I tell you something, we’re in an industry where we meet a lot of storytellers and storytelling is an essential component to reaching people and touching hearts, but to be a storyteller. You simply regurgitate facts stories and information. Some of us do it better than others. Some of you do it better than some of us. But to be a story maker, you have to own every aspect of your journey, especially your mindset.
I figured, there’s no better way to open up in that. That’s what I guess I’m a story maker according to my daughter, but I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
Cindra: Well, I have seen that Morris on your website and I was like a story maker. That’s really interesting. So I love that it came from your daughter. Yeah, you know, when I think about. There’s so many different ways that we’re going to go into in this interview, but one of the first questions I want to ask you is, like, what have you done to make sure your mindset is strong during COVID because, I mean, similar to me. You know, usually my August is I’m so busy. I don’t even know what day it is. And it was nice to not be so busy talk. Yes, but you know our work has changed. So how have you made sure to manage this mindset that you got
Morris: I’ll give you the simple answer. But I’ll make sure your listeners understand this clearly I don’t call this COVID I’ll call him coach COVID can see as an athlete. I see things as an athlete coach coven sat me on the bench and I have not got a chance to sit on the bench and pause and have solitude and truly reflect, I’m 41 years old. Let me give you perspective, I lost my parents in New York City as a baby. Then I lost my second set of parents as a team and I realized it’s a couple months ago that I have not stopped for, I’d say 2324 years and here’s why. In high school I had to do well in sports, because that was going to get me a scholarship and but also had to do well in class because I didn’t want to just be a black athlete. Just another black athlete who’s trying to go to the NBA, or something like that. So I took all AP classes. I was terribly busy with basketball and football and I executed. Well, and I got a chance to go to college and I played basketball and I started speaking in college and you know I was busy in college because I had to get a degree, right. I had to do well in college and of course if I really wanted to be successful I had to go to grad school, and I had to get a masters and then, you know, I started in HR and sales and once I started my corporate career. Well, I knew I was going to be a speaker. But I had to work really hard, right, because I’m just starting my new job. I just got out of grad school. So of course, I had to work really hard for those first eight years. And then, of course, almost 10 years ago it started when I started my company and I started speaking full time and God knows when you’re an entrepreneur you work three times as hard then you do when you’re working for somebody else. So for the past nine and a half years I’ve not had a chance to breathe. I’ve been married to my amazing wife Lisa, who I refer to as that’s my buki bear. Of course, we have Dory. That’s my gummy bear she’s six and we have a bonus daughter named Aleah, who we take care of. She’s seven. She’s my legally bear. So between my speaking schedule and between having these girls who I love, and by the way we just got a golden doodle dog.
Morris: God, and now we got a girl dog in the house name Harley. So I got all my girls in here who I love, watch this, that all sounds great doesn’t it sounds really good. But it’s not so good when you realize that you haven’t taken a break, literally for 25 years and coach COVID sat me on a bench and gave me the blessing and the opportunity he said most you’re going to sit down and you’re going to cheer for your teammates for a little while and you’re going to watch the game from the bench. And of course I was frustrated because all my events for 2020 were cancelled and I’m at the peak of my speaking career. Things are going great. Yeah. And I was frustrated at first, but can I tell you something. How have I balanced out my mindset. During this time, which is this question coach COVID gave me a chance to reflect for the first time of my life as an adult. I mean I that I’ve done it well and I teach people to do this, you and I, you know, we teach people to pause and have solitude and reflect, but I was forced to do it. And can I tell you something. I am not the same person that I was five months ago. And I would not. No amount of money can make me go back to change it. I’m sorry for the people that died during COVID I’m sorry for the traumatic stuff that has happened because God knows my heart is breaking, but as for me, I have never been healthier than I am now reflection.
Cindra: Reflection, and what are the things that you’re going to do differently, moving forward, because I feel, you know, Morris that you and I have kind of a similar story in terms of what’s happening with COVID, but I was so busy that it was like, and then I’ve learned a pivot and adjust my business right but there’s been these magical moments with my family that I was so busy. I didn’t know always know normally see them, you know and it’s like, my favorite story or my favorite moment of COVID was we are downstairs in my basement playing hide and go seek in the dark with an 11 and 13 year old. Like they’re way too cool for school to play like, you know, hide and go seek with their mom.
Morris: Yeah yeah yeah
Cindra: You know, so, um, what we do differently moving forward?
Morris: I’m embarrassed to answer this, but I’m going to because I need to be transparent so that your listeners. And so the people in your tribe can understand that the humanity that all of us have realized during COVID It is a beautiful thing. Most of us we don’t remember our humanity, in my opinion, until our late 60s or 70s when we need a first hip replacement or something happens when our body, we realize we probably got another 15 Christmases left right but at this stage we forget about our humanity. But for me, what am I going to do differently. First of all, I am going to start putting me first, before my family before my customers before everyone I’m going to develop the most selfless mentality by being selfish because I used to get from my cup and my cup is always been full but I’m never going to get from my cup ever again. I’m going to make sure that by putting me first that my cup is always overflowing. And I’m going to give from my overflow. I’m never going to give from what’s inside of my cup ever again. That’s mine. That’s mine. And that’s how God uses me to bless people. That’s how God uses me to be a better husband for Lisa a better dad, dad for during Aaliyah but I am going to protect what’s in that cup more than I ever have before. And if I don’t have enough overflow to give, I won’t give it and I’ll learn how to have healthy boundaries and how to say no. And that’s for my customers. That’s my community that’s everywhere I serve that’s the first thing I’m going to do. I’m not. I’m never going to not give outside of my overflow. Second, I realized I’ve been thinking really small and let me tell you, thinking small United States small, you know, I’ve been focusing on the digital transformation of the second company. We’ve been growing for a couple years now. I want to take over Abu Dhabi. I want to take over to buy. I want to take over India, which is the fastest emerging business climate in the world. And I want to take over Singapore in other parts of Asia. And I haven’t had time to really focus on that because I’ve been so content with the success that I have here in North America. And so, other than the fact that I’m never going to give him an overflow. I’m embarrassed at how small and thinking, and I’m not gonna think small anymore. But once again, Coach Kobe helped me realize this.
Cindra: I love the coach COVID analogy. And I think what you’re just really describing is the power of taking a step back and reflecting and thinking about how do you want to show up? Who do you want to be? And so Morris, I’m thinking about your book that is available for pre order that people can order now and it comes out late September, tell us about like what it means to disrupt yourself.
Morris: Well you disrupt to me by saying, September. Don’t do that to me, you’ll give me in trouble, it’s like late October, November, you get me in trouble, you are giving you trouble.
What do people do to disrupt yourself? What can people do to disrupt yourself? Well, I would have described this differently. Six months ago, six months ago that said something like, oh, it means you know proactively making sure you live in a state of uncommon for you know, while also being highly disagree. I would have said something like that in the book, focus on that. But right now I’m going to go back and tell you what this amazing one of the smartest marketers and brands that I’ve ever met my life she’s really gifted and everyone needs to hire her name is Dory and she’s my daughter. And as I said when she told me I was a story maker. I loved it and it sounded great. But I almost did not want to receive the compliment that she gave me because to be a story maker you own your disruption. You never let yourself get comfortable. And if I can be honest. What does it look like for us to own our disruptions. Well, here’s how we frame it in a book. It starts with the small things that we do because you’re all about growth. You’re all you’re all about mindset. And everyone listening to this podcast. This is about mindset, what to disrupt yourself means you got to be a story maker, you actually get uncomfortable if you realize you’re comfortable and you force things on yourself, whether it’s going vegan for a month. So you can learn the habit of understanding how to order food differently when you go out or how to purchase food differently when you go to the store, or whether it’s shifting your sugar intake or whether it’s becoming more of an active listener and actually shutting your mouth when other people are talking right there’s so many little things we can do to disrupt ourselves that will first change us, but then also change our impact on other people. I believe I believe it always starts with us, and I believe before we impact others. We got to know ourselves first which is getting back to the old age adage of emotional intelligence of EQ. That’s what it all comes down to the last thing I’ll say about disrupting yourself. I’m trying to be more honest with my customers. I’ve always been honest but I’m trying to be a lot more direct and saying as an artist. What’s the best gift that I could give the world and the best gift that I can give the world to be honest with you, is the fact that I was orphaned in New York City. I was orphaned a second time. And I’ve had horrible things happen to me. As many people who are listening to this have had many horrible things happen to them. I believe that if you haven’t gone through a storm, you’re either in the middle of a storm or you’re coming out of a student or you’re headed towards one we’re all somewhere on that cycle right the best gift I could give people is when I tell people that being orphan twice was the best thing that happened to me because I never ever had a chance to this life to get comfortable and as a result, I have high high expectations for myself, for my wife for my family and for my customers and that that’s something we don’t, we’re not hearing that as much anymore because they have high expectations. You have to have highly refined habits and discipline to go with those expectations. And that’s the best gift that I have to give to someone because it starts with me first.
Cindra: Oh, Morris a couple of things I want to ask you about, well, first of all, I think, to say that it was the best thing that ever happened to you and I know there are people that are listening, thinking about something they’ve struggled with. And maybe how that’s a gift. And I’m hearing that also pushed you to be uncomfortable. Like, why, why do you think it’s important that we don’t let ourselves to be comfortable that we’re continually pushing our own boundaries of uncomfortableness?
Morris: It’s a simple two line, question, answer because it’s not about us. Especially in this space that you and I are in, and I believe anyone who’s listening to this podcast right now the only people who are listening or watching this podcast right now are people who care about growth and people who care about living their best life so they can impact others.
Well, here’s the deal, because it’s not about you and it’s about us as servant leaders serving. Well, you can’t serve you can’t give something that you do not have. And so the more discipline, I, I am at home and in the work that I do over all of my habits and my thoughts the more gifts and the more I have to offer. That’s why I have to push myself and some people don’t like that. Some people don’t like holding themselves to a standard above and beyond the status quo.
Cindra: Well I think that I read this somewhere, it was a quote from you and you said you know it’s important for leaders to drive uncomfortable change. And when I read that Morris. I was like, Dr. Uncomfortable change. There’s a lot of leaders that would maybe say, oh, I don’t want to be uncomfortable or I don’t like change right and I think about all the stuff that’s happening with coven how coven can be a coach, but why do you think it’s important for leaders to drive uncomfortable change?
Morris: Well, let me be honest. I mean, I’m a capitalist in the heart. So I listen and the necklace that I, where is the necklace that has a dime on it and I wear this diamond necklace, because it’s 10% of $1 in the Bible that I read says we’re supposed to give 2% but really understanding generosity is what changed my life. So as you see, I have like nice curly hair. See my nice curly hair. It was the only problem with having nice curly hair right no one knew how to cut my hair when I was young, you want to talk about driving and comfortable change. You want to talk about uncomfortable. Every time my grandmother took me somewhere to get my haircut. The black barbers didn’t know how to cut it. The white barbers couldn’t cut it talk about uncomfortable. So, at age 10 or 11 she got me a pair of clippers and I started shaving my hair myself and of course it was horrible. I had no idea. It was it was as bad as you think it was, if you can imagine it being bad. That’s how bad it was, but see, here’s the thing. After about a year. I actually start to understand how to work the clippers and the guards and the attachments and and I wasn’t that much better. But I had a comfort level. So what was once uncomfortable, it transitioned to a comfort level, you know the worst part about cutting your hair that no one told me about was is the vibration of the clippers. So there’s the vibration when you like and then so that’s uncomfortable. Right. And as you start to get that close to your head. You’re thinking I so this is uncomfortable. But I’m about to cut my hair off after a year. It didn’t look any better than it did when I first started cutting it. But my comfort level with holding the clippers that changed. About a year later I got really, really good cutting my hair, what’s that have to do with this. I started making a lot of money, cutting here.
All my white friends because he, I didn’t know that curly hair was the hardest great of hair to cut. No one told me that I just knew that I had to cut my hair because I was in an uncomfortable situation that I had to own right, black barbers could not cut it white barbers couldn’t cut it. Uncomfortable. But once I learned how to cut my hair, every black friend that I had wanted me to cut the hair because I couldn’t really good because currently. Here’s the hardest hair cut all my white friends wanted me to cut it, because I can cook. There’s real go because curly hair was artists had to cut but it was that moment where having all of that money in my pocket because I started cutting hair. I started cutting the doctors here the attorneys here professionals here. So by the time I was 16 I was known as the guy that go to if you want a good haircut. So, and I was an entrepreneur, because I know in the wintertime. I also shoveled snow summertime out. I also cut grass. So during that period as I went to church and the collection plate, we get passed by me on Sundays. I started giving my money. And I want to connect something really important. This question you asked me, why is it important for us to drive them comfortable change. Watch this. Every CEO that I work with, every professional athlete that I work with every stay at home mom that I connect with you know they all know, every single one of them. They know exactly what they need to do to move the organization forward to move their relationship with their kids forward or to serve their customers, they know what they need to do, but to them just to even approach, it scares the heck out of them so much. It’s just like that when I was holding the clippers up to me. It was uncomfortable for a long time. Before I developed any proficiency or competency or actual skill and cutting here, but here’s why you have to drive the uncomfortable change. You got to face it. You got to be fearless. Because once you get through that awkward moment of how uncomfortable it is, it will slowly start to become comfortable and then you will develop a skill set that you will have something better to offer to your customers to your spouse, to your kids at home and it only starts with doing what’s uncomfortable because at the end of this whole process you have more to give and everything that I talked about comes back to how generous you’re being so if you don’t want to get uncomfortable. That’s okay if you want to be comfortable, that’s fine, but you won’t have as much to give. And if you do have a lot to give, but you’re not being uncomfortable. Let me be really clear to anyone listening. If you think you’re given a lot, but you’re not letting yourself get honest and real and uncomfortable. Then there is either an integrity issue and authenticity issue or possibly a credibility issue because you haven’t been tried. And, of course, that last part is my opinion. So I don’t want someone listening to feel like I just called them out by saying, if you’re not being uncomfortable you may not have integrity or authenticity. Your credibility. No, but what I know that works for me because I have customers who need me for stuff and they need me to help them have a better mindset. It starts with me at home and it starts with driving that uncomfortable stuff with Morris. Morris and first before Lisa Morrison before my customers or before my kids, it starts here and that’s a perfect picture of why we have to drop them comfortable change.
Cindra: Morris, you said so much there. But I think the thing that I really liked the most, was like when you are uncomfortable. You have more to give and you have the skill set and the tools to be able to give to more people. And you also said like you got to face it, and be fearless right to develop the tools and develop the skill set yourself. I had JF Menard on my podcast, maybe a year ago and he works with lead Olympians, elite athletes and Canada, and he says that the best are not best athletes are not fearless. They just fear less and I like that idea of, you know, just like fear will be there. I think when you’re trying something new and getting uncomfortable, but like when you keep the service front and center and makes it easy to be fearless or to fear less however we want to say it.Super good.
Morris: I wouldn’t even need to say that know that because you said it best. All I’m gonna say Amen sister. Amen. But here’s what you sparked in my mind know if I can be honest. Yeah, when I think of fear, I think there’s a graduate level to fear, I think the undergraduate level. Which is where most people are at. I’ve never even said this before, this is, this is what happens when I get around someone amazing like you. Okay. I think the undergraduate level to fear. For most people, is that you faced some outside or external circumstance or thing.
Morris: But I think the graduate level to fear is when you realize we find ourselves we’re scared of ourselves being inept or being incapable in a certain situation. And that’s why doing the work that scares us, helps us be at a better level when it comes to fear because we all have that little kid inside of us. And by the way, you know, psychologically, we all learned through counseling and therapy. It’s the little Morris inside of me that gets scared. Right. It’s the little Johnny did a little Susie. That’s the scary one inside of us. And I can tell you this, as a kid who was orphaned and who went through the foster care system and my wife knows this, because she’s been the one that helped me heal in this area, the most If we want to fear less we gotta be honest about that little kid that’s inside of us that. Good night. Get specific needs met. At an early age, and you’re listening and your wife and your for Minnesota, so I will go. I’m gonna talk to the white girl from Minnesota for a second. Watch this. So when I started speaking in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, which are my favorite places to be. By the way, everyone knows that I probably gonna won a second house, and own a house in Bloomington or Edina and then a thirD1in Sioux Falls either in Rapid City, South Dakota, because I love the Midwest. I started going crazy over all the white people in Minnesota who had these families with 13 people 12 kids, 11 sibling, blah, blah, blah. To what does the white families in Minnesota with 13 siblings have to do is fair and less because I would have these professionals who come up to me after events and they would talk to me about how much they did not feel loved because they were a middle child and then I would joke and say middle child. What number are you and they were like, Well, I’m number nine. I’m like out of what they would be like 14. I’m like, so that means if you’re number two. Or if you’re number 13 out of 14 anywhere on that spectrum. You’re a middle child right Right. But in seriousness, the amount of conversations, I would have with customers who would say they had a lot of self-work that they needed to do because their families were just so large that their parents didn’t have time for all of them that I realized, most of the fears that they had that they needed to overcome if they weren’t the fear less, It’s just more about self-love. Yeah, talking to that that little kid that’s inside of them.
Cindra: Yeah, well, and I Morris, I have I’m hearing you. I’ve been really doing a lot of work on myself. One of the ways I do that is a run every morning and I listened to a podcast. It’s usually just a podcast where, like, just for me right just and I’ve been thinking a lot about recently, like how I grew up and how it does impact my fears and so I think that’s a really powerful thing for people to stay here and that this idea of self-love so, I didn’t expect that we’re going to be talking about self-love, but I would love for you to describe like how do you, how have you worked on your own self love? I’m trying to work them behind a little bit more, So could you give me some advice Morris?
Morris: Well, I will tell you what if I was not a Christian, if I did not believe in God. And if I did not believe that Jesus actually died for me. Okay. So watch this. I wasn’t there when that happened, I didn’t see him on Calvary. I didn’t see what happened. I didn’t see him rise from the grave. Three days later, I didn’t see any of that. But the story is so amazing that that was a story. That helped me see beyond myself. Okay, so this self-love thing is interesting, it’s this thing where you got to be able to focus on you in order to care about you and to appreciate you. But in my opinion, you have to have something bigger that you believe in, and in my case it’s my faith and for most people. They say it’s your faith. Because having something bigger than you to believe in means there’s a different standard that you’re focused on that you’re marching to I tell you something. And I always like to say my wife Lisa. My wife Lisa has seen the worst parts of me. I’m 41 and we started dating when I was in my mid 20s. So she saw me transition from a young man in grad school, college basketball player you know this motivational speaker and I had all the ladies and unfortunately I slept with all the ladies. When I was in college. Why did I do that? And why can I talk about that so easily today? It’s because even then I was seeking intimacy. And I had such a small small shallow view of self love
that I was actually seeking connection and intimacy and even community through females and because they liked me and I liked them it was just this perfect match, but yet with every incidence of someone that I was intimate with I felt less and less and less about who I really was. I started dating my wife around age 25 the moment we started a I knew that was it. She was the kindest the sweetest she allowed me to be me. Imperfections and all. And now 16 years later. We dated for six years and we’ve been married for 10 years I’m embarrassed that parts about me that she seen, but I’m also tremendously humbled because nobody has seen the darker side of me than her. And I love saying that because she gave me space to be me. And can I tell you something. Do you know how many people out there, we would have better self love right now if they just surrounded them around other people who gave them space. To really be raw and to be real. I just so having that type of support system around me. And also having faith something bigger than me that I believe in what does it give me what is this all mean is this one big question that I’m asking for you about self love it equals humility. It equals humility, something that I’ve struggled with my whole life. And let me be clear.I did not have parents telling me I was great. I did not have a dancing, son. I believe in you. You can do it, you can make that team you can take that class or you should start that business because if anyone can be successful in businesses you I didn’t have that. So you know what I had to do. I had to fake it till I make it. That’s why I tell people my greatest Title I had to really give myself a title. I’m an actor. Actor, are because I started acting for the part that I wanted to play at an early age, and even at 41 I don’t think I’ve stopped acting, but so when I don’t really have the skills or the discipline or the behaviors are the habits. Sometimes I don’t even have the best intentions and I’m being really wrong vulnerable, so people can understand sometimes you just have to find a park or find someone out there who’s lived before you. Where were you admire who’s playing that part and you have that at the park, the best you can and let God bless you, so that you can get the skills in a discipline and fill in arrest along the way.
Cindra: So Morris, I know that you’re passionate about racial issues and our country and that I wanted to have a conversation with you about what’s happening right now and how it connects with disrupt yourself. I also live in Minnesota. And so, you know,I went through like this, Minnesota, a crisis identity, a little bit when all the stuff with George Floyd happening and happened. And it’s like, that’s not what Minnesota is about, you know, and so I was struggling with that and I was struggling with all the racial issues and just what happened with George Floyd. So how do you think it connects with disrupt yourself?
Morris: So in the book. I call them D1 principles. So there are three main D1 principles in a book. One is disrupt yourself around your diet the second D1 is disrupt yourself around your beliefs. And so, and within your beliefs, their thoughts those habits. Those mindsets. There’s your faith in God. Whether you believe in God or not, because all those things form your beliefs. So the first D1 principle is diet. The second tier one principles beliefs and the third principle is relationship. Someone asked me, they said, well, Morris. Which one are you going to talk about in a book first you know, the one about God and believes, or the one about diet and you know jokingly, I thought about it and I said, I got it. I said, I know exactly what you want to talk about first I’m talking about diet first and someone was like, you’re going to talk about diet before you talk about God in a little crazy. And I was like, nah, I was like, here’s the challenge, right, if you’re Christian if you believe in God. Go out there and go, let me see you go three or four days without praying. Okay, and then tell me what happens. Cool. Whatever. Then I want you to go three or four days without eating, eating food. And then you come back and tell me which one of those you serve. And it has the most control over your life right guide is eating central component and I use it because if you ever seen me speak and you have I use a lot of music when I speak so see me speak is more or less of a speech. It’s more of a show than anything. Why, why do I use a lot of music because music is something that you and I can both relate to. I’m talking about food and diet first in a book, because we all do it every single day. Right. We can all connect and relate around that, but the book is serving as an opportunity for us to talk about the most important thing around the aspects of disrupting ourselves that’s disrupting ourselves in our relationships because I don’t know about you see. Listen, I know you’re going to agree with me. I learned the most from others and with others, and I would like to say as human beings we all do. Now there’s some purely cerebral people out there who you can give them a book and data in research and making just oh they learn a lot from data they can extrapolate a lot just looking at data, when I’m doing what you and I are doing right now and it’s also the reason why listeners are listening or viewers are watching this video right now is because some of us, we learned that there’s something that happens in relationship that only happens in relationship and it’s irreplaceable. Nothing can substitute it so right now. You talk about what’s going on in our world, we have to disrupt ourselves. I tell my white friends is if you want to change your views, go find some black friends and I don’t mean people you just occasionally talk to you. I mean, people you actually live life, life with people who you really you really care about. And you know what all of a sudden when you hear someone say something absolutely crazy like well, all lives matter. Well, you’ll realize how to respond. Next time you hear that, yeah. And by the way, for the people out there who may be offended. And now I said that I’m neutral down the middle with everything. Yes, I do believe all lives matter. Yes, I do believe black lives matter. But I’m gonna tell you, like I just spoke at a big church out in Reno, Nevada last month. And I’ll tell you what Pastor Dan Frank said and he’s a white pastor and he’s older and he said this to all the white people in the church. He said, guys. You need to stop saying all lives matter. And of course, when he said that a lot of people got upset with them they kind of folded their arms and they said, well, you give us a reason to stop seeing it. He goes, Well, I’m going to give you a reason right now. Pastor Dan said, when I go home tonight, and I see it and I see my wife Judy, who I’ve been married to for almost 40 years and she comes up to me. She says Dan, I missed you so much today, honey. I just need to know, do you love me. How much do you really love me. Pastor Dan said in that moment, if he turns to his wife Judy says, Of course I love you, Judy. I love all people. He said that is not what my wife Judy wants to hear in that moment, she wants to know that I’m a priority for that matter to her and that above all else, there’s no one who has my heart like she doe Let me tell you something relationships matter because if you don’t have black friends. If I don’t have light friends if we don’t have Korean friends Asian friends Indian friends, then we will we will we will have these things and I had about people who are different than us. And they will stay there and we cannot achieve a growth mindset that can be disrupted without having those people present in our lives. And the last example I’ll give is this. I watched my wife, when she got pregnant with our daughter Dory. I saw her belly grow. I saw her hormones change. I literally saw physical change yet at the same time art therapist looked at me, and here’s what she said. She said, Morris, you know she’s pregnant. The doctor told you she was pregnant, and you see that her belly is growing, but Morris, you’re just like most stupid men out there and she laughed, and she said this, she said, You won’t actually believe she’s really pregnant until the day that baby comes out and they put Dory in your arms and you’re going to then look at your wife like oh my god, I mean, I knew you were pregnant, but Like this is a baby like he will really pregnant and what she was saying is Morris Lisa knew she was pregnant at the moment of conception because everything changed inside of her body and in her world and a man will never understand that. So this is what I do now when women talk about female issues, whether it’s how they see the world, whether it’s how they see parenthood, whether it’s how they see themselves running a business now when a woman talks I remind myself. I will never experience childbirth, I will never experience the amazing miracle of what it’s like to be a female. So now when a woman talks and it’s only now because I’m a father. Now, when a woman talks I remind myself to shut up and listen and trust the information you’re sharing with me. And that sounds really direct and it sounds bold, but I tell people if you’re a member of an opposite race and they’re describing to you what it’s like being a part of another race, you shouldn’t listen yeah, and then try to have empathy and compassion for the words that you’re here. And if you’re listening to someone and you don’t have empathy and compassion. That means, either you don’t believe in that person either you believe there’s an integrity issue or there’s a credibility issue and even in that case it’s okay because we do question the credibility of some people, but you need to get people around you who you don’t have credibility issues with and people who are different than you, because you will disrupt yourself if you actually listen to them and you took their words and your experiences. I think value face value.
Cindra: Morris, one of the reasons I always connecting or how is connecting all the stuff happening with race in our country to disrupt yourself. It’s like I think having these uncomfortable conversations is really hard. You know, and asking people about their experiences so that they can so you can learn more about what it’s like to be a different okay race or different gender whatever we’re talking about in our country. Like that’s really hard to open up to that and just to hear it. I also think when people say all lives matter. You know, I think it like discounts really what’s happening and like draws our attention away from racial issues when really, this is a time where we really need to be thinking about it and focusing on it and doing something about it?
Morris: I do. I agree. And here’s what’s on my heart and this is for anyone listening and watching this video. If there’s one thing they take away from this, I want them to understand and this is going to be what I spend the rest of my life doing this is my purpose my life’s work will center and evolve around D1 concepts is that I’m going to spend the rest of my life, even though I feel like an actor. And I feel like at times. I haven’t posture center, but yet, I am hired by some of the largest companies in the world to tell them what to do. And in that moment they need me to be a teacher. They need something from me. And in that moment, what am I going to spend the rest of my life giving them, I want to give people permission. To develop critical thinking skills and learn how to think for themselves, because when you do that. If you do that, and I have ways and we’ve got systems we’ve got courses we got programs, we’ve got things that that we’re promoting now to help people get back to well, on our iPhones, our computers, our TVs, every time we have issues on our phone if you call Apple and you say you have an issue, one of the first. What’s the first thing I’m not going to quiz you, but everyone out there listening knows this, if you call the Genius Bar at Apple, and you tell them you’re having a problem with your computer or your phone. The first thing they ask you
Morris: Is if you’ve backed up your phone or your system. And then if you reset it back to its default settings. All right, I believe one of the reasons that we don’t think critically for ourselves is at some point along the way we get an overabundance of information given to us by our parents, our grandparents by our siblings. So that’s when it first happens where our mind gets programmed with someone else’s thoughts and don’t get me wrong, as I’m saying this. I’m a father, and there are certain aspects that I value that I believe in living this life that I hope my daughter and her future husband and my future grandkids. I hope they adopt the same behaviors, but at the same time. I’m gonna have to detach away from the fact that my daughter does not belong to me. She’s a child of God. And my wife Lisa and I are entrusted to kind of be the bumper cars for her at the bowling alley, like we can’t throw the ball for her, but will be the bumper cars, the little bumpers at the bowling alley so that her ball doesn’t become a Gutter ball like we’re not gonna let her do crazy things in life. But we got to let her live on her own life. And I think you have listeners out there listening right now who have not given themselves permission to think for themselves in their whole life because their parents trust past them. And when I say trespassing, one of the best things that Walter bond, who you know is one of the greatest keynote speakers out here. I’ve got two heroes who are speakers. Want to Steve Gilliland. The other one is Walter, Walter Bond met with my wife and I, we were in lower Manhattan in Soho. This is seven years ago when my daughter Dory was in Lisa’s belly. We were at the Soho Grand Hotel and Walter Bond leaned over the table, and he said, Morris and Lisa. If you want to be great parents, you need to do one thing. Don’t trust past your kids. And we said, what you said, I know you’re confused because you think of the Lord’s Prayer, where it says, you know, forgive us for our trespasses and keep us from the no judgment. He goes, No, no, he said. Anytime you trust past your kids is where you overreach into their lives, and you do things for them that you should not be doing, what does this have to do with critical thinking skills I believe there are people listening to this right now who were raised a certain way. And they were so influenced by their family and their friends. That from an early age, they never gave themselves permission to think for themselves at all. And that’s just one example of something that happens in our lives that causes us to adopt other people’s thinking and I know. See, you’re all about having a growth mindset. And I know you’re listening is one a growth mindset. That’s why they listened to your podcast. That’s why they’re watching it. If you want to have a growth mindset and you haven’t learned critical thinking skills, which is a fancy way of saying, do you know how to think for yourselves. When you’re in specific situations, well, a lot of people listening right now they can go back and as I talked earlier about that little kid inside of me. Listen, I never had a chance to learn how to think like my parents or how to think like everyone expected me to, I had a blank slate my entire life. That was white. It was a white canvas and I got a chance to paint with any color that I wanted to. So what happened there, I made a bunch of mistakes, but those mistakes are why I’m dramatically successful today as an entrepreneur and business owner because I’m also not scared of taking risks because I’ve been poor. I was raised poor I made a bunch of mistakes early, but I had to take ownership of those mistakes at an early age I had to learn how to think critically for myself and I think right now. Yeah, there’s a lot of people listening right now. You know where they get their information from and I’m not dogging anyone they get their information from MSNBC from CNN from Fox News from Facebook from Instagram. See coach COVID it sat me on a bench and because coach COVID set me on a bench, I’ve just now had six months to really kind of reset. A lot of my thinking. And a lot of mindsets that I’ve been married for 41 years that have not been healthy and I had to challenge my own critical thinking skills.
Cindra: I think developing critical thinking skills can also be an example of disrupting yourself, you know, just getting uncomfortable and sometimes people are uncomfortable with speaking their opinion. One of the things I wanted to make sure we talked a little bit about is the book that you have right now. Morris, I read it this weekend.
Morris: No, you didn’t read it? You’re just trying to make me sound get all excited. You didn’t read my book in one weekend.
Cindra: I did. I did. I bought it on E book and I read it. You can ask my husband.
Morris: That’s pretty dope. Hey, yo, cuz my book is not a short book. I mean, it’s tied to overnight success and you want me to tell the world about the book. It’s real simple. There’s no such thing as overnight success. Okay, there’s no such thing yet a few years ago when I wrote the book, I had to argue with publishers and literary agents and they said, Moore’s your story is so unbelievable. And we’re trying to sell my story to someone in Hollywood. It may be a movie, one day, so it has that much traction to it. They said your story so unbelievable your first book needs to be your story and I disagree. I said, I do not want to write a book that’s about me because I live my life on stage, I talked about me enough. I said I want my first book to solve what I think is one of the major issues in the world.And they said, shut up. We don’t care what you think. Because your customers in Asia and Dubai. They don’t know you because your name is not LeBron James and you’re not Jay Z. So your first book has to have your story.
So the first book was longer than I wanted to be. Because as you now know it opens up with my story and the book closes with my story, but in the middle of the book. It’s the seven steps that we recommend to individuals teams and customers to overcoming they’re attracted their attraction to instant results because sometimes wanting things that happen overnight is the very reason why we don’t have successful marriages. It’s the reason why we don’t have good relationships with our kids. It’s the reasons why. If we would have just held on to that business for one more season that product would have finally taken off after five years of having nothing, but if you to hold on to it for one more year you could have sold your company for 280 million dollars but you wanted it instantly. That’s what the book is about.
Cindra: I love it. And so give us a little sense of what the seven steps are? And then I have a follow up question, which was my favorite part of the book.
Morris: So I’ll make it quick. I’ll make a quick since I know you have a follow up question. It’s real simple. The Seven Steps starts with number one, number one is all about culture. Right, I’m teeing up the idea that culture has more of an influence on you than you might realize. And we show culture as a triangle because you’re inside of that triangle, just like you’re inside of culture and you can’t get out of it. Unless you go live on an island by yourself, which, by the way, I don’t know. Nobody making islands nowadays. Unless you’re living on an island by yourself. You’re living somewhere amongst people when you live in amongst people with their habits norms, cultural expectations, the iPhone has a large contribution to our culture has changed everything right. So that’s step one. So culture. But you can’t do anything about culture, you’re in the middle of the triangle. And in the middle of the triangle are the six steps that you have that you can control and that’s number one. Your clarity. Which I’ve got to with the power of reflection and taking time for solitude and learn how to think for yourself. And number two is commitment because once you get clarity, you can then commit to your passion and then of course after commitment. You’ve got competence which you know once you commit to something you don’t know what you’re doing at first, no matter how clear you are you still suck at the beginning, but if you stay committed you’ll gain some competence, meaning some skill set at what you’re doing. And if you stay there long enough. And if you get some coaching along the way and some real feedback about just how much you suck. Right then eventually you will start to get a rhythm and you will develop real confidence and if you stay in that place of confidence and if you stay committed long enough. You will develop pure conviction for what you’re doing and every one of us, listening to this podcast or watching it right now. We know what conviction, looks like we know what he or she looks like when they walk into the room at one of our business meetings. Is that person who when they walk into the room. They don’t have to say anything. They don’t have to do anything but every one of us knows who the greatest person is in the room in that moment, she looks differently. She smells a little differently. She wears her hair little differently and when she speaks. She had the utmost credibility. She has certainty when she talks. She’s backing it up with facts and data and not all emotion and just his or her presence in a room changes everything. That’s what conviction looks like. And that’s what the that’s what the seven steps are all about.
Cindra: Love it. I love that they all start with C, super creative and my, my favorite book part besides like reading more about your story was this idea of conviction and I liked the, the, the conviction checklist you included, so like to help you think about your conviction and it’s like, what’s the boldest thing that you’ve ever done because you believe in it so strongly, what are you most passionate and convicted by what big step. Would you like to take in your personal life at home what area of your work life? Would you like to develop greater conviction and why? And I thought you just did a nice job of describing like how conviction is different than confidence which is really what I wanted you to talk a little bit about and, like, how do you think we can develop our conviction?
Morris: All right, well, I will make it about race relations in our country. Watch this. It’s real easy. One of the things that that I feel like God put on my heart. During this time period is the difference between empathy and compassion. Right, so I’ll look at compassion and kindness.
In the same category and put these different. Remember I told you when I listened to a female. Talk to me about what it’s like being a female and her experiences in this world. I should be smart enough to shut up. Step one. And then number two, have empathy for what she’s saying. But remember, empathy, honestly, it’s just a feeling it’s an emotion, but you have to let it in so if I listen to that female when she speaking about how amazing it was to break through several glass ceilings in her career to become a VP at 3am or to become a VP at Target right there in Minneapolis when she describes that I know that her experiences are very real. But when she describes that to a white male. He may not give as much credibility to what she said because he’s literally the guy that she had to beat to break through those glass ceilings. Yes, he may have had to beat a black male along the way but chances are he was a white male and his name is Paul or Peter or Jeff or David or something like that and that and she knew she had to be to become that VP at 3am or target, what’s my point. Step one. Listen. Step two is empathy, but empathy is just an emotion. So if you want to know what conviction is conviction, there’s a fine line between confidence and conviction. Just like there’s a fine line between empathy and compassion. The easy way to remember the difference between empathy and compassion is the action, the app that you hear in compassion because it sounds like action a little bit more compassion is empathy in action. Kindness is empathy in action. Empathy is a feeling, but actual compassion and kindness is something that you do okay competence is a feeling, but that’s really should translate into the form of conviction by saying these are bold audacious things that you’ve done as a result of that feeling that you have. So conviction and compassion. And by the way, compassion, conviction, all those new words, those are all action based. So if someone who’s listening to this right now. They’re like, Okay, this all sounds great. What can I do differently. It’s real simple. Go home and look at your kids. And if you just stand there.You’re going to get about seven things in your head right there that you can do differently, right, your for your kids today, go home and look at your husband. Go on, we’re looking at your, your wife and just stand there and look at them and your little mind is going to tell you, seven things you can do for them.Right there to show them how much you love them, where there’s wash the dishes. Take out the trash rub their feet or to go over to them and tell them why you love being. Mm hmm. It’s the action piece.
Cindra: Love it. Morris, you’re on fire today. I like it.
Morris: That’s all you need
Cindra: So your book Disrupt Yourself comes out in October, people can go and pre order it. Now tell us where we can find more information about the book.Where we can find you if people are listening or as they’re listening and they’re like, Yeah, I gotta have Morris. If it’s virtually or face to face? And have him speak at our event. How can people learn more from you or about you?
Morris: Here’s the deal. You got to remember my daughter Dory. She’s amazing. She’s so amazing. She rebranded our company. She rebranded our organization. So you can reach us a Storymakerbrands with an S. storymakerbrands.com or Morrismorrison.com. The best thing about this is we now have a new membership that just went live this past week where people who want to stay connected to this type of content can get exclusive content from me that they will not see anywhere else. I’m so different than other professional speakers. I’ve had a dramatically successful career. However, I do not do social media. I might post a few times a year. And when I do the world kind of stops and I’m saying that facetiously. Of course I’m not that important that the world stops, but people want so much access to me and they want information from me, but can I tell you something. I speak to a lot of kids in the U space. And I’ve just always intuitively. I’ve known for the past few years, how bad digital connection and social media is for youth and adults. That’s why today, I talked a lot about mental. Well, that’s one of the things I talked about, so as a result, I decided to be a guy who actually models that. So all you have to do is go check my Twitter timeline, go check my Instagram timeline, go check Facebook, go check link and you’ll see I hardly ever post. Now, I was doing it because I thought it was good leadership and plus I struggle with that. I never felt authentic when I was doing that I felt like I was doing it because the world said I needed to and I felt like when I was on social media. It made me feel the opposite of how I feel when I live on stage in front of customers so against the advice of all the top marketing and brand people in the world. I’ve stayed away from that I had no idea. I was setting myself up for success in another area and that’s now that our membership site has launched on story maker brands com we have people who understand that if they want more of me, they can pay 3999 a month. And here’s what we’re going to do for your listeners. Alright, so you’re going to let me know when this podcast drops, your listeners are going to have a specific promo code. And we’re going to make sure they can go to Morris morrison.com slash. Hold on. It’s gonna be a unique thing what title would you give for today’s session. I don’t know. Today we talked about a lot. What title?
Morris: Ok ok ok ok so what they’re gonna have their gonna have a 14 day period from the day this podcast launch where they can go to MorrisMorrison.com/disrupt. All right. And because I believe in tithing and because I do everything went to 10% Todd. My goal is to one day be able to live off of 10% of the money that I’m making given 90% away. So what I’m going to do for your listeners, for the people who want to join my membership site and get more access to this Morris Morrison comm slash disrupt because you said we’re going to knock 90% off and for $3 and 99 cents, they’re going to be able to sign up for less than the price of a cup of coffee, for one month and through throughout the month we’re going to give them access to specific posts and specific information that’s going to come directly to their phone and their email. And they’re going to have 14 days after this podcast goes live that’s how they can stay connected. And that’s what we’re going to go because I love you and I believe in what you’re doing and you are so DAG on authentic. And let me tell you something, you are teaching people how to go beyond grit your whole brand is about it, but you are living it and I’m just honored for the fact that you decided to feature me on your podcast. Listen, I know I’m a lawyer handsome. Okay, I’m not more handsome than the next guy, but outside of my handsome. This is also the most humblest individual you’ve ever met. I know you’re like had to be saved, handsome and humble at the same time. I’m not. That’s what you would call a paradox, right there. Okay. I’ve gotten working on my humility. But what I am saying is thank you because there’s a million people. You could have brought onto your show your podcast but you chose a little guy like me and for that Lisa husband and Dory and Aaliyah his dad are sick. Thank you. I appreciate it.
Cindra: Morris, that’s funny and awesome and I appreciate you saying thank you and I wanted an incredible offer that you’re giving people so you can scroll up wherever you’re listening on the podcast. Like if you listen to it on your phone, you can find the show notes by scrolling up and there’ll be a link there. But if not, just remember MorrisMorrison.com/disrupt, and Morris, I always do my best to summarize what we talked about. So, here I go. I love that you talked today about coach COVID and I like, I like that idea because that you made me think a lot about, like, what, what would a coach, tell me. During this time, and what has a coach told me and maybe that coaches really like my inner wisdom, but I love that idea of like coach COVID. And then we’re talking about disrupting yourself and just the importance of getting uncomfortable and you said we have to face it. And we talked about being fearless today and that helps you develop a new skill sets that you have more to give. And that was really meaningful to me because I think about as I try to get out there more with this podcast or other ways. It’s like I’m just able to serve and give more when they were listening. And then when we talked about these D1principles, you know, diet belief relationships we talked about racial issues today that I thought were really meaningful and important and just at the end when we were talking about conviction and how to develop it. And this idea of like empathy versus compassion, so
Thanks for bringing it on the podcast today. Thanks for giving to everybody, so much value and entertaining us and making us laugh as well so
Morris: And if I could close and say one thing I’ve gotten the habit of understanding how you closes important so we’re taught that as speakers. Right, so I’ll close by saying this for anyone listening to this, or watching this podcast. If you think you just happen to be listening to this today. If you think you just happen to stumble upon this video. There are absolutely no coincidences or like coincidences are God’s way of staying anonymous and I know you were created for a reason, but you can determine how deep that reason goes in his life. If you can develop some conviction and purpose in your life. You can understand how to disrupt yourself to keep growing while also finding ways to do it for others. Then we tell you something that dash and your tombstone, one day, it’s going to have a lot included in it, because that’s the type of life. I want to live. I’ve realized I’ve been poor. I’ve had a lot of money in life. I’ve experienced everything in between and have to have an a breath of experiences. I know this nothing touches you like knowing that you’re growing your own mindset and your heart from within, and you take an action in life. So keep doing it.