In the podcast:
00:56 – Can I sleep on the couch?
02:42 – An unusual guest
03:51 – Where the balance comes from
06:13 – A spell of recovery
07:37 – How Guy makes a living
09:43 – Sound journeys and caravans
11:56 – What indigenous folks have to teach
13:20 – The outcomes of opening up
16:21 – Creating more joy
18:49 – Negative feelings versus love
20:34 – How do you keep fun in the picture?
22:20 – Artistic inclinations
24:55 – For someone wanting to awaken…
James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness. This is Episode 698. And this might be one of the weirdest episodes I’ve recorded for a very long time. And today, I brought my guest, Guy Sohm. How are you, Guy?
Guy: Good day, mate, how are you doing?
Can I sleep on the couch?
James: I’m doing great. You have a particularly fond place in my heart. We have a long history. I remember you came to one of my very first online events, it was over a decade ago. And after the event, you were sort of hanging out with me and a few other people. And then we asked if you wanted a lift, and you said, Sure. Now for overseas listeners, that means a ride. And then I said while we were driving, Where do you want to go? And you said, Well, I don’t have anywhere to go, so if it’s okay if I could just sleep on the couch tonight, that would be great. I’m like, I don’t know who this guy is. He looks kind of hippie, shall I say? And you were like my pre-Ezra exposure to people of a more gentle nature. And you had dreadlocks and cool threads, and I think you’d been doing music gigs for soul festivals. And you had art, and I think you showed me some prototype fins that one of your friends was working on at the event. So you had a really interesting style. And anyway, you did stay the night and nothing bad happened, which was great. And we’ve stayed in touch ever since.
We’ve had some fascinating conversations. Sometimes when I speak to you, you tell me that your face is hurting so much because you’ve been smiling that much, that your face is literally hurting. And I’m going to be really good to talk about some of the things that you’ve become an expert in over the last decades, and that is, it seems to be around topics related to joy, and peace, and love, and fun and art. You go out into these little retreats, you go wandering off into the bush, you meet complete strangers, you open yourself to dramatically different experiences to the average person. And I think we could learn a lot from some of the insights you have.
Guy: Thanks. That’s quite an introduction.
An unusual guest
James: Well, it’s certainly a unique introduction. I haven’t had a guest just like you. We’ve had some people closer to your circle, and you’ve always commented on those. You’re the first one to put a comment on the blog and you really dig it. That’s why it’s been encouraging. But I’d love to see where you can take this and what sort of things do you think people in our community could learn from. Because you know the people in our community; you’ve helped me at my live events each year as part of the team. You’re running the tracks, you select the music tracks that we play during the event and during dinner. You go to the meetups. So you know our community quite well. What sort of things do you reflect on when you merge with our digital people? And also, it’s worth noting, sometimes when you send me messages, you say, you know, let’s arrange a time to chat, because I’ll have to go where there’s coverage. Because you don’t spend a lot of time on social media, for example, compared to the average online marketer.
Guy: Yeah, it can be seven months sometimes between checking out Facebook. And I find the community, like you’re saying, is just so incredible. Like, this coming to your gatherings and the people I’ve met, and they’re just so genuine and wholesome and driven and motivated and, yeah, I’ve really enjoyed being a part of what you’ve created. You’re amazing.
Where the balance comes from
James: You’ve noticed that within yourself, you’re actually finding that balance of it being okay for you to have commercial motivation. Like, you’re getting to an age now where you have real needs, and it’s good for you to have some financial means to be able to facilitate life. And I think at times also, you host visitors in your own treehouse there. You’re recording this from a treehouse, I gather.
Guy: Yeah, yeah. It’s a dream that I’ve always had. And so I built this treehouse, which has six levels, and every level represents the chakra, and it’s all made from local and recycled materials, which I think is super cool. And on the top level, your eyes at eight meters high, it’s all mountain range and ocean.
James: Wow. And the birds are chirping as they’re flying past. And you can just see the ocean from there, up there in Queensland.
Guy: Yeah, I’m looking at the ocean now. I’m halfway up a tree sitting on ropes.
James: When I go up there and visit, we go and have a surf. And you body surf, you’re like a fish. And then you just go in there and lie on the beach. And we decided I’ll meet you near the flag, and I go and find you there and you’re just chilled. I’m quite sure you would be able to stay there for eight or nine hours if I left you there, and it wouldn’t faze you at all. How have you developed that level of patience?
Guy: This meditation, which I’ve been doing since I was young, probably 30 years now. And it just brought me really into the moment, and I find when I focus on my breath, when I come back to my heart, I feel so good. And the more I do this, like lately, I’ve been having the most profound meditations, like such feelings of peace and contentment and feeling so powerful. Really cool.
James: Do you think this is something anyone can do?
“Discipline creates freedom.”
Guy: Yeah, yeah. It just takes the discipline. I think discipline creates freedom.
James: Right. So that’s really interesting, because I’d say some of the people in the circles you move in strike me as being less on the discipline side, sort of more on the unstructured side of things. But am I viewing that incorrectly?
Guy: Definitely. Some of my friends are quite loose. And yeah, so I just like works that have not too many hours a week, and then focus – my wellbeing is my main focus. So I’m meditating, doing Qi Gong, praying, doing, like, exercise, strengthening, stretching, probably focusing like, three to four hours a day on my wellbeing.
A spell of recovery
James: You had a period there where it was harder for you to do normal work. I think you had some physical lethargy or something to that effect, and you went down to Tasmania, to get some fresh air and recover. How important do you think that is in terms of general society? Do you think a lot of people are sort of a little bit too stressed out, and it could have long-term impact with their health?
Guy: Definitely, yeah. Well, I got to the point where I was promoting all the major alternative festivals in eastern Queensland. So I had all the best sort of festivals that I was the promotion person for. And then my mom got cancer and I looked after her. And then I did a blockade to stop the fracking, and then pretty much couldn’t walk for about seven months, I had to use crutches, because I had severe adrenal fatigue and post-traumatic stress. I kind of burnt myself to the ground, hit the wall running, so to say. And yeah, I had to just flip the coin and just, like, heal pretty hard to recover from that. But I’m on the tail end of that, which is cool. And I do think people in today, it’s normal to be stressed. If you go get a test from a doctor, they’ll only look at you within the means of the general population, which is generally stressed. So I think you can do a saliva test to see where your cortisol is at to really get an idea of your stress levels.
James: Oh, wow. So you can spit and get detected.
How Guy makes a living
Now, how do you actually make a living? You do have an online business helping people who are starting out with their online journey, which is certainly an area that I don’t focus on these days. So it’s a good fit for people who come along to my environment and have started like, haven’t really started, they’re at Ground Zero. It’s probably good for you to mention the course that you’ve put up there.
Guy: Yeah, so through connecting with you and Steve Ovens, I’ve filmed this seminar, which we’ve then turned into modules around design, what are some basic design elements, how do you do your basic SEO, working with WordPress, and then just ideas around marketing with what you recommend. So created that, then also with Charlotte, who’s my stepmother, who’s a keynote mindfulness speaker. And we’ve got some models around her bringing mindfulness into business.
James: Right. And what whereabouts is that site?
Guy: This is InternetMarketingStart.com
James: There you go. And so you’ve been able to set up a digital course using some of the principles that we’ve shared in our events and in our community. And that’s been able to supplement your income while you’ve been looking after your property and doing festivals and running workshops, etc. How good is it for you to have that leveraged income coming in from time to time?
Guy: Well, it’s made all the difference. So yeah, since connecting with you, then I’ve been able to then work abroad. So I’ve done a lot of stuff overseas just from my phone. I haven’t even taken my laptop, sometimes eight months between opening up my laptop, even. So it’s created a lot of freedom. And then also the leverage. I’m very passionate about sharing information, so I’ve created like, five blogs and I just share lots of knowledge. And some people write on there that this is like the best blog they’ve ever seen, and other people like, you’re going to become famous. Hasn’t quite happened yet. And I’m pretty happy being low-key, but yeah, I just love sharing.
James: Is that blog a different website address?
Guy: Yeah, Great Awakening.
James: Is that Great Awakening?
Guy: Yeah, with a dash or hyphen in between and then .org.
Sound journeys and caravans
James: Okay, check it out.
Tell us about the workshops you do in the local regions, where you go and visit people and you set up little workshops. I think this is really fascinating.
Guy: We’ve been doing sound journeys and meditation, and I share with people about introducing them to Tantra. So another thing that I’m really passionate about. And people sometimes get around Tantra, and think that it’s sexual, but this is actually the Red Hat. So if you go into the White Hat of Tantra, this is the purest form. This is the top levels of Buddhism. So I like to explain sort of the fundamentals, the different paths within Tantra. Because it’s the oldest spiritual tradition in the world. And there’s still a lot of people who teach Tantric workshops. And you ask them what path you’re on, and they don’t even know. That’s sort of a bit ambiguous.
James: Right. I love your viewpoints on this. You sent me a wonderful book about sacred geometry, which often finds its way into surfboard shapes, especially up your part of the world. Some of the surf craft that I have have been created with sacred geometry in mind. And I don’t know, it’s hard to explain, but it’s really nice to zip along the wave in perfect harmony with nature on my sacred geometry surfboard. And these days, they’re even making them out of more bio-sustainable materials, which I’m sure you’re interested in, having seen your caravan, which is a work of art. This is a beautiful old caravan, what year would that have been from?
Guy: It’s a 1950s replica, the guards on it are from a 34 Ford. It’s all Tasmanian oak. It’s pretty nice, actually, I like it.
James: And you tow it around, and then when you feel like it, you just pull up and have a little rest.
Guy: It’s our little house on the road, so we were traveling Straddie and then just all around. It’s parked up in the backyard at the moment. And we’re about to go to Straddie tomorrow, and then just go four-wheel driving and camp in the remote wilderness.
James: And you’re taking your four-wheel drive?
Guy: Yeah, yeah.
James: So just for those overseas listeners, what’s Straddie?
Guy: It’s a little island in between the Gold Coast and Brisbane. And you get on a ferry at Cleveland and it’s the most beautiful island. It’s so pristine and the surf is just pumping, and really, really beautiful place with a lot of indigenous culture there.
What indigenous folks have to teach
James: Nice. You’ve interacted quite a lot with indigenous people in different parts of Australia. What can you learn from them that you’re not seeing in Western society?
Guy: Well, the biggest thing is the connection to nature and each other. Like, the guys I’ve met that haven’t been tainted by the Western society are the most beautiful people I think I’ve ever met in my life. They’re so deep and wholesome. And just that feeling of presence, like it really touches you when you meet someone, it’s that connected. And I think you look at their culture and they looked after Australia so well. Like as far as environmental conservation, like, they just really get it. Like all the back burning, and like, it’s one thing to do conservation and plant trees, but it’s another thing to stop the fires. So it’s like, just trying to look at different ways to preserve this beautiful land we live on.
James: How would you recognize someone who’s wholesome and a beautiful person? Like, what sort of behaviors would they exhibit?
Guy: I guess, yeah, you’d feel it, to start with. You can sort of see it in someone; you feel their presence. They really listen to you. There’s a sign that they care, so you can feel the kindness, the compassion. And these are qualities that really strike me. And when someone speaks from the heart, I really feel it too. It’s like, it’s one thing for people to be very sort of analytical, but it’s another when someone speaks from their heart; you really feel it. And I think they’ve talked about that in advertising. If you can move someone with the emotion, I mean, that’s going to create something to happen.
The outcomes of opening up
James: It’s quite interesting to me, because in the time I’ve known you, I think I was probably quite analytical 10 years ago, and, you know, very pragmatic, systemized, machine-like and precise. And I think over the last 10 years, I’ve actually moved more towards the heartfelt, emotional, loving side where I’ve been a little more vulnerable and opened up to my community and my audience. Would you say that that’s your observation of me as well?
Guy: Yeah, totally. And that’s the real richness. Have you found that, that your life has become more through that?
James: Definitely. Life now is absolutely the very best it’s ever been in my life. And yeah, it’s, you know, I definitely went through that change. I think this is really what I’m trying to bring to this podcast. It sounds selfish talking about me, but I think I’m a good example, where I got into online business because I needed to make money. I was under the pump financially; I had a lot of pressure to provide for family; I had a big, serious job, and I needed to find a way to make it work. But at no time did I ever lose sight of what was important to me in terms of values, and that’s always helping someone be better off. I always had a customer focus, which is what I did in my career. I still brought that online. And that’s the thing that befuddled me when I came online. A lot of those early online marketers did not care about the customer. And they would slash and burn and push and push to these poor prospects and wear them out. And over time, a lot of them have fallen by the wayside.
And as I’ve gotten more confidence, I’ve built up a time and a financial surplus, and a relationship surplus now of my peers and family and friends. Life is just so much easier. It’s more enjoyable, it’s better. And I’ve done that by having good values the whole time, but also opening up more.
“People resonate with real.”
I don’t think I would have spoken to Guy about joy, peace, love or fun. Ten years ago, it would have been a very serious conversation about pay per click marketing or conversion rate optimization. And some people listening to this episode might still be thinking, well, this is a bit weird for a business podcast. However, if you look at the trends, if you look at the people who are really cutting through now, whether it’s Gary Vee or Brendan Bouchard or Grant Cardone, a lot of these people are bringing their personality to the table; they’re putting their heart out there; they’re standing for something. A little bit like Guy, you know, in the stockade, or you know, putting up a protest against people who are trying to rip down native landscapes, etc. I think if you bring your human front to the game, if you’re prepared to tell stories or open up a little bit, it’s actually liberating to let it all off your chest and you don’t build up that stress and pressure because you’re not bottling it up anymore, trying to pretend with your rented Lamborghini and your big rented house that you’re something you’re not, instead of just being real. And I think people resonate with real.
Guy: That did, aye? And it’s that, like you said, helping people. Like, if you can help someone else, that’s such a beautiful gift, the greatest gift you could give. And like you’re saying, by helping others and you’re creating community, you’ve created something that’ll stand.
Creating more joy
James: So let’s talk about, how can we create more joy in our life?
Guy: Well, I mean, the thing that gets me is nature. So the more time I spend in nature, the better I feel. So I find that even just walking on the beach, I notice the shift in my mood. Walking on the beach, generally, it’ll always make me smile, sometimes laugh, sometimes giggle. But just being with the primal ocean and being next to her and then jumping in her and swimming with her, like, it’s such a mood shifter. But I think the water and being in nature is a big one.
James: And there’s a lot of science to that. There’s science showing if you watch the water every day, if you watch the ocean, you actually can elevate your mood. Definitely science around surfing. They take people who have temper and anger problems or depression, surfing, and it can lift their mood. For me, being in the water is an absolute leveler. It balances me out whether I’m jet lagged or tired or irritated. The water will balance me on this. It’s hard to explain the feeling when you’re surfing with a pod of dolphins, for example, that’s just like, I challenge someone not to smile when that happens. It’s just, like, remarkable. Or I see these birds just flying straight across in front of my face, with their wings spanned wide. They’re not even flapping them. They’re just gliding, just slowly across in front of me like a slow motion movie, and I think that is remarkable. Like, that is truly amazing.
So that’s a joy thing you can derive by tapping into environment. It doesn’t even cost you anything. You don’t have to put a magazine cutout of a Versace handbag on the cupboard door and obsess about it. It’s not a materialistic way of deriving joy.
“Less is more in a lot of ways.”
Guy: That’s like that old saying goes, the simple things in life. And that’s what I keep finding. The older I get, it’s the more that I get, well, what do I really need? Like, I’ve got pretty much everything. And it’s like, now I just want to come back and have less. I feel like less is more in a lot of ways. Like, I’ve still got to maintain two, three cars, two caravans, a house. Like, I’ve still got a bit of work ahead of me. But the less I have…
James: Is that where we get to the gratitude thing, where we just get this little circle of fulfillment by just being really happy with the things we’ve already got, and then relaxing about that, because we’ve already got them and then being happy about them again, and like, we can stay in this loop of happiness? I will confess, I often dream about a surfboard that I already have in my rack at home; I dream about surfing it, like I mind surf; but I already own it. So like, I don’t have to go and buy another one, because I already have it. And I just keep enjoying it over and over again.
Guy: Oh yeah, living the dream.
Negative feelings versus love
James: And what about love? That’s an interesting one. How can the average person turn off some of this hate they’re feeling, or the jealousy of when people have great Instagram lives or when their competitor puts out a new product that’s going to intimidate them or threaten them? Or when one of their customers is getting angry with them for no reason, and they feel his negative feelings? What sort of things would you prescribe to them to start tapping back into love?
Guy: Well, the first and the thing that I always do is just put my hand on my heart, smile, and relax. And this is a winning formula that I’ve got from the Open Heart Meditation guys, and it’s just something that changed my life so much. And then I find my mind, like you’re saying, can get caught up in, oh, that person didn’t do this, or you can have problems with people outside of you, but ultimately, if you can come back to yourself, and just give yourself love, and just really feel your heart and just keep coming back to smiling, it’s amazing what happens. Like, you do this for 20 minutes, you get heart from it.
James: Wow. So put your hand on your heart, smile and relax for 20 minutes.
James: Nice. I’ve heard someone, say a technique of thinking about three things you’re grateful for before you launch into your critique. And it’s pretty hard to after that, you know? Because there’s other factors too. Like, people don’t really know you and they’re criticizing you there on, you know, that little slice of what they think they see. And often it’s not even about you, it’s usually about them, right? They’ve got their own thing going on. Everyone’s got their private pain or challenge that they’re dealing with. Even me, and I’m sure you have them as well. You know, always, there’s always something in the background people don’t know about that would mitigate their feelings if they knew the full picture, but they often don’t. Most people don’t have a full picture of you. Even people close to you don’t have a full picture of you. And I think Gary Vee talks about that, so I want to credit him for that idea.
“Most people don’t have a full picture of you.”
How do you keep fun in the picture?
What about fun? You’ve incorporated fun into your life. You love music, especially, and you’ve gravitated towards it. Do you delineate between what’s going to be commercially viable versus what’s just going to put a smile on your face? Like, have you engineered a way to combine them? Or did it just naturally happen?
Guy: Yeah, just in the flow, but I just sort of let things evolve. And I find that, like, when I was traveling with Sarah, my last long-term partner, she’d want to organize everything. And I found that that took away from the fun of it, that for myself, personally; like, some people need to be structured and organized, but for myself, the other character side, I find that I get into design when I’m just totally open and I don’t have any limitations. That’s when I really step into the flow. And that’s where the magic happens. And I showed Sarah when we were traveling through Asia that when she could let go, I would line us up the most amazing places, like we would just end up in the coolest environment. Like, just, the best stuff happens when you really let go and you just open up to what could happen.
James: I guess that’s how we met, when you got a lift back to my place. And there’s a decade-long relationship has come from that. I don’t recommend other people try that at the next SuperFastBusiness Live, because I’ll be staying at the hotel where the venue is. I just want to put that out there. That’s in March. You’re coming up for that, to Sydney in March, to hang out and help us with the music and pick the right grooves for the fully catered dinner and drinks session, right?
Guy: Yeah, so if anyone has any requests, please feel free to send them my way. And yeah, luckily my stepmom’s got a place in Elizabeth Bay. Got a house around the corner now, which is handy.
James: You might find yourself some extra passengers on the way home.
So what about art? That’s the last thing I want to touch on here. You paint quite a lot. You’ve given me some inspired paintings over the years, which have meant something. Sometimes, you just feel a certain feeling and you just paint it and it comes to you. And you’ve produced some really interesting stuff. And just before we decided to hit record, you were telling me about a new surfboard that you’ve acquired and I’d strongly recommend that you paint it, which I love doing on mine. I’m just not a very good artist, but I actually find the process really fun. I mean, I actually like to modify or update things, you know, from what they were standard. A lot of surfboards are usually just white, right? So it’s such a great process to strip them back and put something new on it and then seal it and then go out and surf it. And to, you know, see that functional art, I guess I would call it, because you can hang it on a wall and you can also ride it. How important is art to you in your life?
Guy: It’s pretty much, like, my go-to; so fundamental. I studied transpersonal art therapy, so that’s where I sort of got my style from. And I also studied design at uni, with product design as a major. But I just find that, yeah, I just feel the colors and I just sort of sit in the moment and it’s a bit of a meditation to just express. And the work that I create is very full of color or very deep or cosmic. There’s a lot of planetary work or stuff of sacred geometry. So yeah, it’s like that I’ve just gone to town on, because I just love being creative. And one of my favorite pieces is when we went for a surf at Burleigh, and I was so inspired from that, I painted one of the biggest art pieces I’ve created.
James: Oh, that’s epic. I was inspired too, because the last time I surfed at Burleigh, I was surfing on my own prototype surfboard that came from a friend of mine, Federico, and he runs a surf brand called Yugen. And he sat down with me and we modeled all the elements of the board from scratch on his computer, and then he had it printed out and got it shaped by the machine and then hand finished it. And it was in custom materials like carbon fiber and Kevlar. And then we got it painted, and then I surfed it. And surfing your own craft is super satisfying. And I don’t know if there’s a placebo effect, but they definitely feel faster. And I took four boards to the Maldives, and of the four boards, this one I rode the most, because it was the most effective. I designed and ended up with something that was just perfect for me. So I was really, really stoked about that. So the art side of it, is definitely important to me as well.
For someone wanting to awaken…
Guy, just in closing, what advice would you have for someone listening to this podcast, who wants to make a little bit of a move more towards the sort of things you’re talking about? You got any good resources for them other than your website, which you mentioned before, Great-Awakening.org? What else would you recommend they do?
Guy: Well, it’s on my personal blog, just my name, GuySohm.com. It has a lot of posts around all of these different sorts of things. And I’m happy to, if anyone has any questions, always happy to sort of have a chat. And we’ll be on Straddie for a few weeks and then we’re heading down to Tassie. For people wanting to get more into this stuff, I reckon, just don’t take it seriously. So, I think we can get caught up in, oh, I’ve got to do something for art and make it look really good, but just play. Like, you’re just sort of just throwing paint around, just use your fingers. Don’t be serious, but just feel and let that just flow and do a few pieces that you’re not taking seriously at all. And it’s more then about coming into your emotions through your art, and it’s a very healing process.
James: That’s great advice. Well, thank you so much, Guy. It’s always a pleasure, and I look forward to seeing you at SuperFastBusiness Live.
Guy: I have so much love and respect for you, James, you’re such a legend. You’ve inspired me so much. You’ve changed my life, and yeah, just big love for you, mate. Thank you so much.
James: Straight back at you, Guy. Thank you
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