Baby Boomers Retirement Club

Use Your Head To Get Your Foot In The Door: Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You

Richard Roll Interviews Harvey Mackay


Richard: Hi everybody its Richard Roll of the Baby Boomer’s Retirement Club the BBRC and it is my great pleasure today to have as my guest Mr. Harvey MacKay.  Harvey MacKay is known to the world as one of the leading motivational authors and inspirations to entrepreneurial and business that there’s ever been.  Harvey is the author of the mega bestselling book which all of our listeners are certainly familiar with “Swim with the Sharks Without Getting Eaten Alive” and a brand new book that we’re going to talk about today.  The new book is called “Use Your Head to Get Your Foot In The Door”.  Harvey MacKay welcome.  And how are you today?

Harvey:  Richard I’ve been looking forward to this and thank you for having me on.  This will be exciting.

Richard:  It’s going to be terrific.  You know Harvey your book “Swim with the Sharks” was not just a huge bestseller but continues to be a huge bestseller and moderately known to everybody that I’ve mentioned this interview to but it’s really a beloved book.  It’s a beloved book that everyone remembers because of its humor, its humanity and also the story of your success in growing with tremendous innovation and creativity an envelope company in the Midwest.  Wasn’t that right?

Harvey:  I certainly appreciate those kind words.  Yes it was my first book, the latest is my sixth book and “Sharks” has sold $5 million copies worldwide in 80 countries and 40 different languages and was picked as one of the Top 15 books in the last 100 years by the New York Times.  So I’m very proud of that.  One thing you should know about the book, the new book Richard, which is subtitled “Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You” is that I argued for three solid weeks with my publisher to let me guarantee people their money back on “Swim with the Sharks.”  They finally put it in the back page 5 million copies were sold, 17 people asked for their money back eight of them were my best friends.  So on this book “Use Your Head to Get Your Foot In The Door” on the back it says, and I think every listener should know this, “Do Not Read This Book it’s says on the back cover.  Study it, underline it, highlight it, post-it-note, and if you don’t have a job after six months using these principles then I personally, you know, Harvey MacKay will give you your money back.”  So that’s on the back cover.

Richard:  So it’s not only motivational but the psychology is you got to do it and it tells you exactly what to do.  One of the things that make this book timely today Harvey is that you really with “Swim with the Sharks” you set the pace.  I think that that was one of the things most distinctive about the book.  If there’s an excuse for not making a business that’s successful as you can because it’s not high tech or because there’s a new tech or what have you.  How do you explain being able to make an envelope company of which there are hundreds, and probably at the time there were thousands, into an enormous success other than being able to have the right mindset, the right approach to people, the right approach to winning, the right approach to creative strategies and so forth?  And today we’re faced with an economic climate in which exactly those skills are needed from people and from baby boomers in order for it to make the most of the opportunity ahead.

Harvey:  There certainly isn’t a lot of glamour of course in envelopes.  But that’s correct I started at the age of 26 always wanted to be an entrepreneur, still have trouble spelling the word but that’s exactly what I wanted to be.  We today manufacture 25 million envelopes every day, that means you have to sell Richard 25 million envelopes everyday and redistribute them in 15 countries around the world, I got about 600 employees.  But one of the ways we built our business which is the same way that I just written this latest book of mine and that is this we call it “TGIM” Thank God It’s Monday, about 600 employees in Minneapolis at my company MacKay Mitchell Envelope Company and we want to make sure that everybody has fun.  Now five letters determine whether you’re going to be a success in life, relationships, whatever, networking, those five letters are T-R-U-S-T, if you don’t have trust you don’t have anything. But after trust - and I’ve hired all of our people I hire the switchboard operators, I hire the truck drivers, and I hire virtually everybody because every human being is very valuable.  That’s how you build a world class envelope company or any company.  But once I established that I could trust the person that I’m interviewing, and this will go for all the people that we’re talking here to, the majority of them, once you can trust them and then I’m looking for humor.  I’m looking for someone that can really get up there, okay and radiate a sense of energy about change and challenge, which is so very, very important.  It’s impossible to beat rejection and come across as resigned and defeated.  Your posture when you walk into my office and handshake should beam confidence no matter what the job employers want people ambitious to do it well and with excitement.  And of course that’s what’s facing, that’s one of many, many problems that I talk about in the book that are facing our people born from 1946 to ’64, 46 years of age to 64 years of age, of course known as Baby Boomers.
So that’s what we’re going to address today but I appreciate those comments about the company.  Yeah we think we’re Number 1 in the country and I think most people acknowledge we’re Number 1 in the country certainly on return on investments.  So my whole philosophy has been this ever since I went in the business practice makes perfect.  That’s not true you got to add one word, perfect practice makes perfect.  If you’re a golfer and you play eight days a week and you got a loop in your swing you practice eight days a week, what are you doing, you’re perfecting an error.  You put a ceiling on how good you can become and I believe there are tens and hundreds of thousands of people out there that are practicing the wrong concepts including the baby boomers, okay, that if they just got on board with the right concepts then they’re probability of getting a job just goes up 100%.

Richard:  Harvey tells us the story behind this book.  What gave you the ah-ha, that this was the theme, this was the subject, and that his was going to be the most timely book you could do?

Harvey:  Surely.  And no question about it, it came from my prior book - two books ago “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty:  The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need” but my father headed the Associated Press for 40 years in the Twin Cities and he taught me a lot of lessons, and of course Number 1 was networking.  So I built a network of doctors and lawyers and accountants and friends and volunteerism.  I’ve been in many, many, volunteer activities where I’ve kept track sense age 18 in a rolodex book.  And incidentally that’s one of the things they’re going to get a free rolodex book $12.95 book free if they want to download it, assuming they want to purchase the book.  So anyway he’s taught me the networking and I happen to have also then financial advisors.  Well I’ve got about four or five of them they’re personal friends.  And three of them, and I don’t go by majority rule, but three of them said “Hey, look what’s happening to our country.  Our houses have doubled in six months up 50% in 90 days, obnoxious obscene salaries being paid to CEOs, arrogance running amuck all over the country, Wall Street going ballistic, just a mirrored of things going wrong with this country two years ago.  And so I ceased upon the opportunity and figured we’re in for a stiff recession like ’82 and ’83. Now there are 7.4 billion people in the world very few people, if not only none, predicted that we’d have a 9/11 economic Tsunami which is what we have.  And so therefore I wrote this book and it’s kind of an A to Z Career Resource Book.  It’s for anyone that has a job as well as anyone that’s looking for a job, not just a job’s book Richard.  So I got lucky and I started writing it two years ago but I made the decision that this was coming and of course it’s been a disaster.  I’d like to set the table for you if I may which is right up to the day as of yesterday and that is as follow, I think that every listener has to at least get the stats and here they are from the Federal Bureau Labor Statistics.  There are 14.8 million people looking for jobs today as we speak.  There are 6.3 million of those 14.8 that have been looking more than six months.  And now here’s the sad stat there are 6.3 of the 6.3 million that have been looking for six months that number is up to 5 million to 6.3 million on declaring this as of five years ago.  Five years ago there were 1 million people looking for six months or more, today 6.3 million six months or more. Now one more stat which sounds like a typo but it’s not and here we go, average college graduate today, he or she, will have 10 to 14 different job changes in his or her career and three to five different career changes.  All right.  Now those are startling numbers.  So also you send out 100 resumes the average is you get one interview for about 100 resumes.  That’s what’s going on in the country today.  Seventy percent of the people dislike their boss, don’t like them, hate him or her and that’s right from Time Magazine and the Gallup Poll and 30% of the people don’t like their job.  So when you know what’s going on in the country you have to say “Wait a minute, I’ve got to take some inventory here.”  And you can’t solve a problem unless you first admit that you have one.  And so therefore you got to go back and take inventory and practice proper principles.

Richard:  Well it’s not just a question of taking your life steps and taking the inventory there’s probably a handful of ingredients one of which is mindset.  Obviously you can’t succeed in this environment doing the same old things and you can’t succeed by quitting.  One of the things that’s so wonderful about the book “Use Your Head to Get Your Foot In The Door” is the perspective in terms of your own psychology, your own mindset.  One of the things I’m looking at in the book right now it says “MacKay’s Moral You aren’t finished when you are defeated you are finished when you quit.”

Harvey:  You picked out one of the most beautiful morals in the book yet.  The end of every story there’s a moral 75, 80 and 90 of them.  Another way of saying it is the 10 Most Powerful Two Letter Words in the English Language are “If it is to be, it is up to me.”  You have to ignite your own passion.  You have to deal with rejection.  You’re not being singled out as victim job and career changes are now routine its how you deal with the change that will influence your ability to find the job.  Failure or rejection is not permanent it’s absolutely temporary.  And then what you have to learn after you get one or two or three or four no’s, or if you’ve been fired or terminated downsized or restructured or right sized out of your job, you have to learn something from it.  And then the most important probably sentence in the entire book is “Do not take it personally that rejection.”  You cannot under any set of circumstances take it personally.  It’s easy to get down on yourself, very, very easy to get discouraged.  And discouragement what does it do?  It hurts our self image.  Discouragement causes us to see ourselves as less than we really are.  It causes to blame others for our predicament.  Discouragement causes us to blur the facts.

Richard:  It even changes your physiology.

Harvey:  Absolutely.  So there are all kinds of things that our listeners can do out there to absolutely turn this temporary setback into a positive.  If I could just bullet Richard very briefly without expanding on it and then you can pick up on any of them.

Richard:  Yes.

Harvey:  There’s many, many things you have to do and I’ve got 100 of them in the book there, they’re prioritized to some degree, but just a bullet of them quickly.  Sixty-seven percent of them all jobs found through networking.  You have to network aggressively and explain how to do that.  You have to present an up-to-date resume where your terminology and concise writing and language, okay, especially about your recent successes is just absolutely perfect.  The T’s are crossed the I’s are dotted you have to tune up your certification and seek retraining, which is so very important as you know.  You have to demonstrate team leadership skills.  These companies are becoming leaner and leaner and their staff sizes reduced, so teamwork grows important.  You have to show how flexible this is triple key and up-to-date.  Flexible and up-to-date you have to keep yourself.  Younger people, Richard, are assumed to be comfortable of high technology.  Older people need to go the extra mile to show they’re comfortable with changes of all sorts. You have to stay physically fit and active and companies want people that are healthy, energized and alert and you have to radiate that sense.  Again I said earlier energy about change and challenge.  You have to strengthen your internet presence, you know, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google colleagues comparable ages and professional levels.  You have to find out at what recognition they have, what social Web sites are they members of.  And then if they have ePublish or can you also write blogs or articles, that’s so very important.  And then here’s another real good move you have to willing, tough for me to  talk about these thing but we must be realist, you have to in some cases going to take a cut in title and salary.  You have to be prepared to detail your personal plan.  You know if people don’t want to hire us then you think you’re over qualified, especially baby boomers.  How will you curve spending and change your life working plan?  Demonstrate that you’re serious in that interview.  In fact you may really want to a less pressured career, who knows.  Are you willing to give up that second car or possibly that cabin at the lake temporarily?  So therefore all these things will dramatically change the probability you will get that job.  And I’ve been doing this for 40 plus years and I’ve had 500 people through my revolving door at work one-on-one and I can tell you virtually all of them over 45 years ultimately, ultimately got what they wanted.  Why, because they all understood one sentence in the book “Getting the job is a job.”

Richard:  Getting the job is a job and keeping the job is a job.  And really whether you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, whether you are a craftsperson who are involved in the trade you are your own brand and your work is the kind of job that Harvey MacKay is giving inspiration to do in a winning way and keeping a job is another job.  Isn’t that right Harvey?

Harvey:  I’ll tell you I should be interviewing you, you’re terrific.  No you nailed it again.  And let me just expand on your point which is so very right on, if you are out of work or if you have a job immediately you should, especially if you’re out of work but also throughout your whole life, you should take a look at volunteerism.  Take a look at your heart.  What are you passionate about?  I happen to ring the little bells and I got my tin cup of Salvation Army when it’s 720 below in Minneapolis I’ve been doing that for many years.  United Way is one of my favorite charities.  A Fresh Start in Phoenix where I live part-time is one of my favorite charities helping women get back on their feet.  But anyway here’s what happens now every charitable organization, every non-profit has three problems in the United States, especially today and in the world.  Number 1 money, Number 2 money and Number 3 money.  And that means when you volunteer you have to immediately start raising money, you have to ring doorbells sometimes, you have to make presentations, you have to get on the phone.  And what happens is you’re going to get a lot of no’s, a lot of rejections. Success is yes but also rejection that helps you when you go out and get the no’s in the marketplace looking for a job you can accept rejection a lot better.  You become better salespersons; you become a better leader, and a better communicator without question all of these things are happening.  A better organizer, a better public speaker because now you’re talking all the time making presentations look what that does for your career.  So that’s why I say volunteer.  Now there’s the P.S., if you’re unemployed what’s happening out there you’re with an organization, you’re networking.  All those people know you’re out of work and so all of a sudden they have their antenna up for you if you’re performing and doing a good job.  So those are some of the things, that’s just the volunteerism aspect of the book which I so strongly believe in.  I’ve spent a quarter of my life, 25% of my life is now in networking, but I’m involved in about 29 profit organizations over a lifetime.  And I wouldn’t be talking to you today; I would never be speaking once a week to a Fortune 1000 company in the last 23 years somewhere in the world if I weren’t a good speaker.  How did that happen?  Well I was the American Cancer Chairman, American Cancer Society State of Minnesota and I put on cancer clinics when I graduated from the University of Minnesota and became a good speaker.  So that can happen to the listeners.

Richard:  Harvey, not to mention it’s engaging, it’s polishing your skills, it’s stimulating, it’s forcing you to get out and be someone who you really can be and it keeps you polished in terms of your attitude.  I mean it’s not just one thing that you need to do in order to get the job that you want it is a collection of things and Harvey MacKay has really nailed all of them in this terrific book.

Harvey:  Richard I’d liked on other quickie if I could, do we have another minute?

Richard:  Absolutely.

Harvey:  Okay.  I’d like to just say another thing that’ll really help all of the listeners out there is you have to expose out most of the chapters in the book, and I’ll explain you have to expose yourself in the privacy of your own home.  What do I mean by that?  Well everyone should have a kitchen cabinet.  What’s a kitchen cabinet?  That’s two or three or four close friends that really care about you.  And what you do if you’re unemployed, but also even if you’re employed.  Let’s talk about the unemployed now, you’re looking for a job, you’re nervous, you have butterflies in your stomach, you don’t have confidence, you go out and buy a recorder, a camcorder; you buy just a little camera.  What do you do?  Give it to your friends.  Let them interview you put it up on the screen let them critique your performance over and over and over.  The tough questions that they’re going to ask you that you don’t even know are coming and eventually in your own living room you’ll be coming now a better interviewer for sure.  And so that’s just one critical key and one of the many, many hundreds of suggestions, of course, that you can do right there in your home is to enhance your skills and that’ll help you keep the job and it’ll help you get a job.

Richard:  Well these are really very practical hands-on suggestions.  This just isn’t any kind of pie in the sky or Pollyanna kind of motivation.  You know we are talking to Harvey MacKay he is a very successful entrepreneur and motivational speaker.  But I think the biggest takeaway that I got from the book is the wisdom of how to deal successfully with life’s experiences the things that life dulls out sometimes unexpectedly and Harvey really recommends a whole series of steps, attitudes, techniques, strategies, psychologies for yourself and your personal that enable you to reconstruct your attitude.  Listen, everybody’s taking it for - most people in one fashion or another will always talk about this with the Baby Boomers Retirement Club.  Things were a little dicey a few years ago but once we had an economic meltdown, the stock market melted down, some 401Ks shrunk, housing market declined, the longevity that we’re facing and so forth you really got to reconstruct your attitude and that’s why it’s so fortunate to have Harvey MacKay with us today.

Harvey:  I’ll give you one moral in one of the chapters which just describes what you just said again so accurately and so well spoken, but your attitude determines your altitude.  That’s one of the morals.

Richard:  Exactly.  Exactly.  And going back to something you were talking about earlier, Harvey about getting that kitchen cabinet to, not only support you in terms of seeing how you can polish, because everybody can be more polished for the workplace, everybody can be more of a winning performer in the workplace.  And obviously that’s what employers are looking for.  They need it it’s not an option.  Not that much slack available anymore as we compete globally and against all of these high cost conditions.  So we’ve got to adjust to what we aren’t.  Harvey, can you talk about that a little bit?

Harvey:  Well the - yes and I think again there’s a little theme running through here in our conversation here, and that is let’s take some people - first of all let’s start with my father.  My father headed the Associated Press for 35 years these kinds of years don’t happen anymore.  Everyone use to back in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, even in the 80s stick around for 20, 25, 30 years and collect the gold watch.  Those days are over with and you just have to accept the change.  And what I’m talking about here again is one of the themes is so important that if you were working at a pharmaceutical company, if you’re working for one of the hundreds of envelope companies it doesn’t matter what, an advertising agency, a public relations firm, it just doesn’t matter and you develop a skill you can’t then once be terminated or fired or downsized and then go five miles the other side of the city and go apply at a competitor’s place. And the reason why is that kind of person was also downsized because of your industry.  And so we really truly - again you can’t solve a problem unless you know that you have it - we have to understand that we may have to start over and retrain ourselves or become an entrepreneur.  And if you go back to 1929, ’30, ’31, ’32, ’33, and during the Depression I can’t tell you how many people are forced out in the street, but then they found something they loved and they became entrepreneurs.  Entrepreneurs flourished in the late ‘20s and early ‘30s and they will continue to flourish right now in this down cycle.  So you have to understand the rules of the game.  They have changed it’s a whole new world out there.  It’s like 9/11 changed our world.  I mentioned at the top of this conversation this is a 9/11 economic Tsunami, it’s not going to go away but with the right attitude, and I’ll repeat it again your attitude determines your altitude, the right attitude you can conquer all of the problems out there.

Richard:  Harvey thanks so much.  We’ve been talking with Harvey MacKay.  He is the bestselling author of a number of beloved books, one of which is “Swim with the Sharks Without Getting Eaten Alive” and his new book “Use Your Head to Get Your Foot In The Door” and I love that title.  “Use Your Head to Get Your Foot In The Door”, “Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You.”  And you know Harvey I believe that no one else will tell you.  Harvey Mackay and his book…

Harvey:  The definition of a secret is when one person knows they’re no longer secrets as soon as they’re released.

Richard:  Exactly.  Exactly.  I’d highly recommend the book.  Harvey thanks again so much for being with us.

Harvey:  I just love chatting with you.  Thank you, Richard.  Bye-bye.

Richard:  Bye-bye.

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