Fernando is the Founder of mindfold where he educates people on marketing concepts backed by behavioural psychology. So think, marketing and mental models combined. On the show, we talk about his experience living in 6 countries and dive into other similar topics like languages and how much more you can immerse in different cultures by learning even just a bit of the local language. We also touch on writing and how much it contributes to clear thinking. Lastly, we cover marketing and how to simplify it by going back to the basics and applying timeless frameworks.
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You're going to ask somebody else, you're going to get their point of view. But their point of view is never going to be your experience necessarily. You're just at a different time in a different space, two different persons, you will react to the same thing differently. What is the use, you just need to go and find out for yourself.
It's kind of like, I think Hunter S. Thompson, when he was writing in the beginning, he took a book that he liked and grabbed the typewriter, and like was reading the book and typed everything in the book. So he could like feel it in his fingers. How it felt for I don't know, William Faulkner to write something. And he felt he wanted to feel it in his fingers and write it word by word, the whole book.
Hello, and welcome to the latest episode of out of curiosity. My name is Reza. And on this podcast, I speak with entrepreneurs and creators to learn about their mindsets, habits, and life philosophies. Together, we dive into timeless ideas to help answer what it means to live fulfilling lives and build meaningful careers. On the show with me today is Fernando nicolaj. Fernando is the founder of mindfold where he educates people on marketing concepts backed by behavioral psychology. So basically think marketing and mental models combined. Fernando and I have been having quite a few really good conversations lately that we get to the end up and think, wish we recorded this and share it publicly. So here we go, we're going to do that. Now. Fun fact, Fernando's lived in six countries, we're going to talk about that and his experience going through each of those countries. And we're also going to dive into other similar topics like languages and culture and how much more we can immerse yourself into different cultures by learning even just a bit of the local language. Lastly, we touched on writing and how much it contributes to better and more clear thinking. We also talked about marketing and being a good marketer as well, if you're interested in that. So enjoy, take notes, but more importantly, take action.
Fernando, you've lived in six countries and probably traveled to 10s of others. I'm curious, out of all of these experiences, what have you found to be identical across all of these cultures and people?
In terms of like human behavior, everything is pretty uniform. There's just these things like language and culture, like little nuts and bolts that you see in each that wires people differently, from like a cognitive perspective. But in terms of like instinct, and just gut feeling everybody's the same. And that's pretty much it. Maybe it sounds obvious, but it's actually one of the biggest learnings because you always before you go to a new country, or before you get exposed to a new culture that you think is like oh my god, it's this culture is so different compared to mine. You think you put all these like mental roadblocks, right, like thinking everybody's so much different. And then you end up getting surprised, like, Whoa, they're kind of saying we're, you know, there's so many things that you can connect on, whether it be you know, global pop culture things or sports or whatever, right music, you start to learn like a we're not that different anyway. So I think it's kind of one of my biggest takeaways, even though it sounds obvious, but you really got to like, go through it and learn it, because it really makes an impact on you.
Yeah, I actually don't think it's, it's kind of an obvious fact. Because, in my experience, too, I have felt very similarly in the sense that I thought people across different cultures are actually very different speaking different languages and different upbringings make them different people. But as you start talking to them, you realize we all have the same deep and basic needs when it comes to being a human. So we touched on two things, one being language and the other one culture how those two elements make us different as human beings.
One thing maybe just a disclaimer here, I'm by no means any, like linguistical fan or anything like that. Every every language that I speak I've learned it on the street almost just by being around the people who speak it. I've never picked up a French book or or Norwegian book. I just lived in France. I lived in Norway, and then it just came by itself. Actually, I was pretty I came to Norway pretty young. So I can't like learn the language through watching children's TV. This is weird ways of learning languages that is not like, you know, limited to just yeah, hit the books, crack the books, and remember and you know, do it do a test to see how much you remember. So it's been pretty, pretty weird like that.
And one thing that I learned through that type of language learning is how a language is such a direct mirror to the actual culture. Like you, like I'm from Argentina originally. So Spanish is my native language. And you know, Argentinians, Latin American culture, whatever you want to call it, you can, you know, when I say Latin American culture is starting to like get some images in your head, you get an idea of what it is, right? The stereotypical or not, but you get an idea. And I want to say Norwegian culture, you start to think about completely different things, maybe like the opposite, right. And I was like, thinking that when I speak Norwegian, I become Norwegian. It's weird. Like, it's kind of like when you learn the language, and you switch over. And you have like Norwegian friends in my case, and I speak Norwegian with them, I am not Argentinian with them, I become a Norwegian person. When I want to speak Norwegian, I was like, when I started finding that out, I was like, Whoa, these languages is like transforming me, you know, as creating these, like, multiple personalities in a way that is very much like that those personalities are really trying to connect with that culture. Now want to be Norwegian, I want to be German, I want to be French, when I speak these languages. So you act a certain way. Your, your gestures, your body language starts to change. And I was like, Damn, language is not only verbal, right? It's just so many ways to communicate and how, how it's placed within the culture and like the behavior of a society is so close. So I think, though, if that if that answers your question, that is kind of like the things between language and culture that I find myself so attracted to every time.
Can you tell me the order in which those moves happened? And then the follow up question to that would be, did you have to make those moves? Or did you just what are you just up for an adventure?
Well, well, being born in Argentina definitely wasn't voluntary. I was five years old when when my mom emigrated from Argentina and immigrated to Norway. So hadn't had no, no saying that neither. And then when I when I, when I started my internship, and in university, that's where I went to France to to live in Paris. And I guess that was I was in my 20s. And that was like my first like, foray into living living elsewhere. And then everything else. Living in Spain, I lived in Barcelona, I lived in Berlin, Germany, and now I live in Canada. All those have been very voluntary. ones, I regret more than others, perhaps, but all of them has been voluntary, at least.
Where are you seeking a specific experience as as a result of moving to these new countries and cultures?
Yes, it's funny that you asked that way. Because a lot of a lot of people probably think like, Oh, you you move somewhere, and you have a, you have a plan, or you have a desire to achieve something or get something but a lot of people. I don't know, like what the Venn diagram looks like. But I think a lot of people are just trying to go away from where they're currently at. And just, you know, instead of going to something specific, they want to go away from something specific, but they don't know. And I think that's a good mindset. Because you may think, some country or some cities a certain way based on your research, but all that research is just done from the outside looking in, and you will find it out, you will get a lot of things validated, but probably a majority debunks once you move there and you gotta like, switch your whole mindset all over again.
So no for me personally, I like the way I think I completely get happens. I think it happens a lot, though. Especially for like immigrants, like they don't they just know, they want to get out of that situation, that country, whatever, because it's bad for whatever reason, and they want to change. They know they need to change, but they can specifically pinpoint, okay, I want this life. And I can get in here. No, it's like, Where can I? Where can I get my foot in? I remember my passport. And I'm sorry to digress a little bit. But I remember finding my passport when I was like 13-14 years old, like my, the Argentinian passport that I had when we when we moved to Norway. And when I was going through the pages, and it was like stabs from like, the border check, right? Like, it was Copenhagen, it was Russia, it was Sweden, it was like all these. And I was looking at the dates. And it was like 24 hours in between almost like 48 hours here. 24 hours. So I was thinking man, it was just like, whatever you can fit in, get in where you fit. And you know that saying, and I think a lot of a lot of immigrants. They're kind of like, like that, like whoever wants to accept me, okay, I'm going to make it my bet. I'm going to you know, start the life there. All I know is I don't want to go back. I don't want to keep living the way I've been living. And I'm not comparing myself and in my 20s like, families of immigrants who have like real struggles. I was just, I was just a bored guy. I was bored with Norway and and the society and I I just wanted to go to somewhere spicy. So I went to Spain I speak the language manage to get a job, but it was it was like, you know, in seek of adventure. But without anything specific in mind.
Yeah, you're, the point you bring up in terms of you are probably looking for something to escape from as opposed to something to go to. I think that's such a such an important one. And then there are there are obviously things you hear or things you see. But specifically, when you get other people's opinions about a certain place, a lot of the times those opinions come from their perspective and how they see it, and they might like the cold weather or not enjoy or not enjoy the warm weather as much. So I think you're completely right, in my experience of having lived in a couple of countries not as not as diverse as you, I completely get that. And it, it very much reminds me of when someone asks me for a book recommendation, I'm like, I don't know, I like this book. This is a classic, I'm sure you will like it. But you might not. You might already know what this book has to offer, depending on your life experiences or the things you've read already. So it's that perspective element is very interesting.
Yeah, definitely. And that and that, that also begs to ask the question, like, Okay, how much research is actually necessary? how you're going to ask somebody else who's going to get their point of view, but their point of view is never going to be your experience, necessarily, you're just at a different time in a different space, you are two different persons, you will react to the same thing differently, like so what is the use, you just need to go and find out for yourself, it's kind of like, I think Hunter S Thompson, when he was writing in the beginning, he took a book that he liked, and grab the typewriter, and like, was reading the book and typed everything in the book. So he could like feel it in his fingers. How it felt for I don't know, will unfold in order to to write something. And he felt he wanted to feel it in his fingers and write it word by word, the whole book, oh, this is how you know Hemingway felt when he finished that book, boom, that's kind of like, you need to touch these things with your own fingers. Instead of just reading another book from somebody else who wrote it. No, you got to write it yourself. If that makes sense.
It does make sense. Sometimes you don't need to read more books, you just need to read what you've already read a few, a few more times. Yeah, the solution is the solution isn't to read more consumer, it's just maybe, maybe organize what you already know, maybe write more about them, maybe meditate on them or journal.
There's a lot of people who travel a lot of places and also live a lot of places and never learn anything. They just come back to whatever they're from, and they just like, have no idea like what the culture of that place or never made local friends. Or they were just living in an expat bubble. I mean, I don't know, specifically, I was living in Barcelona in Spain. I was living in Paris, in France, and I was living in Berlin and Germany, those are three big major European cities that has a lot of like traffic. So you meet a lot of people from all over the world. And you can get very hooked and addicted to that like bubble life, because oh, I can meet, I can go to party and I can meet a person from Slovakia, and then another American, whatever. And then you just completely forget about the actual locals who live there and their culture, right. So a lot of people they come back and they never had have that experience of like, having really gotten to know it you know.
Did you have to learn the language in these countries?
Yeah, so that's a that's a funny thing. Actually. I knew that I was going to Paris two weeks before I had to travel. I got the internship application confirmed. They sent me an email Can you be here into in two weeks? It was like, middle of July. I had to be there in August beginning Are you excited at this point?
I was like, yeah, running around. Yeah, I was like, first of all, it made it made what I call it my initial desire, my initial wish granted, like I wanted to get out of Norway. I wanted to go embark on an adventure. Never been to Paris before. Let's go. That was like yes. But then a forcing function came like you need to learn something in the next two weeks or else your survival is going to be very, you know, in jeopardy.
Did you need that for work or just for getting by?
For work, yeah, internship where everybody spoke French but also Yeah, getting by just being able to get food for yourself orders. I mean, Paris is a big city where a lot of international people, young people, you know, they speak English but you know, if you want to go to to a bar, you want to go to a restaurant, you want to go to the supermarket, you kind of like need to know the basics, at least. So I was like, Okay, what do I do? And I was like, and I knew myself like, I can't like read books like that. I can't join a class. I hate being in a class. I'm autodidact. I want to do it myself, stumbled over Michel Thomas. He's the OG of alternative ways of learning languages. And he used to I don't know, I read something about it. I don't know if this is like an urban myth was actually part of his biography. But he used to like to coach actors and actresses, when they needed to get an accent or learn a new language quickly. He was there, two weeks, boom, you got it. And he has a way of like, you can download his audio is an audio book or audio class, whatever you want to call it. And he has a very way, great way of like, you're not going to learn and you're not going to remember anything, I'm not going to put you through the test, you're not supposed to remember everything, you're just gonna learn by doing. And you're going to repeat some couple of like, hooks that can make you that can enable you to build more sophisticated sentences. So he goes and kind of like says, Okay, now you're going to learn the sentence. Excuse me, sir. But can you tell me if the new case from the parliamentary hasn't been passed this week. And your immediate reaction is like, Whoa, that's a heavy, long sentence. But then he gives you those little hooks. So if you know, like how to, you know, I don't want to go too specific, I really don't remember that much. But he has a great way of just giving you these main building blocks. And then when you when you learn what this week is, then you know where to put it. And that makes you just remember, that makes you just naturally organically structure sentences in such a beautiful way that I was like, okay, download them did it for two weeks, came to Paris two weeks after, and I was able to have a conversation like straight up, like sit down, have a beer with me, and we can converse it in French. I was at that level. And so that was that was cool.
So one thing is, is his like, his methodology, but then also the forcing function of like, you got two weeks to learn. Let's go that that also helped me put the fuel underneath that. Yeah, it really it really got me going. And then everything else Germany. Yeah. Knowing knowing Norwegian and Germany made me understand a lot of a lot of words pretty pretty quickly. But that's also another thing that's interesting, the attitude that I had when I when I lived there was like, No, this is not a place that I'm going to stay at for long, so since I didn't treat it as my new home. But more of a temporary like a Yeah, like an intercession place. I didn't really take it seriously. So I managed to learn something, but not really not really serious. But yeah, Norwegian, Spanish, they all I pretty much grew up with those languages.
I think the more the more languages that you start to learn, and you can No, I don't know, 40% of a new language, you don't need to know it fluently to start talking. But as soon as you just open your brain to a new language, and you surround yourself with that language, these like new words started just dropping inside your brain, you can just sit at a coffee shop by herself and I did it a lot. Just listening to people talk and you're like, oh, okay, you know, the context of of something, and then you hear new words and you're like, Okay, they use that word to explain something in that context. And then you start, you know, you start connecting the dots. And but you if you didn't know the 30% of French that that michelle obama's audio book taught me, those and everything that they would have said it would have been totally like foreign to me, I wouldn't have picked up anything. So I think as soon as you open your mind up and start learning new languages, and you're opening your mind to just more to learn more, and I think if you only know one language, and I think you can also probably agree with me on that. If you only know one language, you're so limited, it's so hard to learn a second language but if you know a second language and your own, learn that somewhat early, a third, fourth, fifth language, I mean, I don't know how long you can go but those become easier because you start understanding at least I don't know. One thing if you're I don't know, wanting to learn Dari and Hindu and Japanese, okay, they're totally separate, but the Latin languages, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, English, Norwegian and German. They got so much in common and when you know when you know English and Spanish or French becomes you know, 60% of French and you don't know it yet. You just need to recalibrate your mind I guess and opening open up for that to for that understanding. And you're going to be surprised like, Whoa, everything's interconnected makes it easier.
What role do personal deadlines play in, in your in your life? You talked about the forcing function of having to learn a language. But do you find you're more of a productive person when you set yourself deadlines? Or when you have forced deadlines like this?
Yes, I mean, we're both members of NeSS Lab community. And I think that was a topic recently. And I think a lot of interesting points being made there. And I think Ann-Laure said something about like a research where, you know, a lot of people love to say I perform best under pressure, but then that's not the reality at all, people actually don't like being pressured, and it affects the quality of their output. And I think, for me the same. But for me personally, in that, in that, in that example of me having to learn French, two weeks before moving, there was just the excitement of actually going to France. And that attitude that you that I think everybody should have, at least if you want to move to a new country is that you should be you should be loving that country, you should have made some connection before you set foot there, like, I mean, can be French film, French music, food, whatever, you should be excited about going there, right? And that kind of like makes it easier to even though you're pressured. And you have to, you know, learn it in two weeks. If you're excited about the prospect of learning or going there and meet new people meet French people, then I think that's, that's something that works for me. If I for example, pressure to do something that I don't really, I don't the end result of it is not like enticing for me. I struggle just getting started. I need to know like, oh, there's something nice on the other side. And I don't care how much pressure you put because I want to get there as bad as you right?
How do you think these experiences have changed you? Do you see that as a competitive advantage having lived in six countries across three continents? Do you, in your personal interactions, what do you think you do better than other people as a result of having gone through these, I guess exciting times, but in a lot of situations, probably difficult times too.
Yeah. I mean, it depends on how you see it, it could be a bad thing can be a good thing. I think one thing is I am very adaptable. So if I can read situations in the room pretty quickly, and I can adapt to that situation, or that vibe that energy pretty quickly. So if I, for example, I don't know, me and you we go out and you're a little bit down, I'm not going to be this obnoxious dude trying to like, you know, I want to be like, Hey, what's up, I'm going to, I'm going to go down with you. And then we take it from there. You know...
you sense that energy...
I can sense that energy, right. And I adapt pretty quickly. Now. It couldn't be, I'm not going to say like, it's going to be that I portray myself as something that I'm not. But I'm thinking I kind of like sacrifice my personality. for you. If you know what I mean. Like if I if I feel great before I see you, and you don't feel great before seeing me, I'm going to your level. Or if I'm down, and you're up there, by seeing you, I'm going to be up there with you. It's like energy, external energies, really, I adapt to that pretty quickly. So I don't know, like, does my personality suffer from it? That's kind of like, I don't know what the trade off is. I feel like I can go into any type of situation and talk with any type of person. And I think that is a great advantage. But with that other person see the real me? Oh, I don't know, I'm going to adapt to them. So maybe not, maybe it will take a longer time for them to get to know the real me. Does that make sense?
Yes. And this trade has kind of been evolving in you as a result of these experiences across multiple culture.
Yeah, yeah. I mean, it is definitely like translated into other scenarios, right? Not necessarily like language learning or culture, building understanding of cultures, it also goes into the work that I do, right? I'm not, I'm going to be adaptable to change. Like, that's why I love marketing so much, right? Because there's always progress. You think you know, something, one year, in two years, maybe even less than that, you're probably gonna throw that idea or that concept out of the window, because things are done differently. And I love that about marketing is fluid, it flows, it changes. It's never rigid, it's never static. And I love that. So I think that all those like, years of having to adapt to new cultures and learn new languages and meet new people, and also change schools, right, like, change all of those like environments, makes me for a very good marketer, I would consider myself a good marketer as a result of that. So you Yeah, it kind of trickles down to almost every aspect of my life.
How do you define marketing? Good, write it in your books good writing.
Good writing. Yeah, you gotta write good messages. It's all about the messages. So marketing is good writing. Yeah.
And you were telling me that you started writing more actively as well?
Yeah, yeah, for sure. I very much like, I can't, I can't like tell you like, what, what's the aha moment? It's a combination of people that I follow on Twitter, friends of mine who have started writing, and also like, looking back, and when I wasn't even looking at this this way. You know, many of my friends were like, writers or teachers, you know, they were very, you know, trying to write a novel and, and, and this movie scripts and stuff like that very creative that way. So I've been always been attracted to that, right? And rappers to like, in Norway, you know, all my friends were rappers, even I was writing raps. So writing has always been part of it. But it's like, now I'm understanding the real power, the impact of good writing. It's really, yeah, it's just man, when you speak right? Now, if I were to say what I'm what I'm saying to you in this podcast right now. And I would put that into writing, I would like think five times before I actually started writing. Whereas when you speak, it's more fluid, right? It's like, you're just, you're just release it. But I think writing more, structuring things and thinking about how you say certain things, it ultimately affects the way you speak. If you write long enough, I think so. That's kind of like the goal of me writing is, you know, cutting down my points, getting to the, you know, explaining complex things a little bit more simple. I don't know how much I'm succeeding in this podcast. With that, that's something that I really want to do. And I think it's a service for everybody else, right? You got to think about the people are actually listening to you speak or reading your stuff, right. Got to think about them make everything digestible and easy to understand. Yeah, language, going back to language, it all goes back to that.
So you mentioned something about the aha moment of writing. Yeah, that's interesting, because I always think of that, when it comes to the different products as I'm using them. And then there is a, there is a moment that I get the real value of that product. And that's how he defined the aha moment for the product. But I'd never heard of that term in the context of writing. So what was that thing for you? Because as I'm writing more and more as well, I find that personally is more of a meditative experience for me, as I forget the ideas out of my brain onto the paper or on to whoever I'm writing on. How would you How would you describe that for you
just think that I was always interested in reading my family reads a lot. And then starting, like I said, like I Oh, all my friends were like, in music and writing lyrics and writing text, and I was always surrounded by that. And then I started working in marketing, and then I started to see more and more like gay the importance of copywriting, you know, and then seeing the results, right, like, okay, you know, you run multivariate tests and check the conversion rates on on an email that is well thought of, and then another one that is just written in the moment and you start to see these, like, hard numbers, right? Like, this actually makes a difference, right, makes a difference. Yeah. And then all of that goes then deeper into like, my personal journey to kind of like get better at it. And then you come across the naturals like Tiago Forte, Daivd perell a lot of these people who are like, who writes all the time and promotes that too, right. And a buddy of mine that I also kind of like met through that is Gonz Sanchez, his, his newsletter, Seedtable. So very, like, interesting and, you know, in my, we've zoomed a couple of times, and he just, he just, you know, told me about, like, how many doors open for him through that newsletter, right? Like how many interesting people he got to got to know. And I was like, Hey, man, like from a totally selfish point of view, like you writing and publishing, it will open doors for you for your career, your network, or just make friends. Right? It's very, the, the ROI is super high. Right. And there's very, it's less, it's the most frictionless thing you can do. You can just grab your laptop and write on your own on a coffee shop and, you know, on on an airplane, whatever. So it's no friction, right? You just pop up the laptop and start typing. So I was like, wow, to see like these like real life examples as well, right? Apart from all the you know, how it all feels within yourself internally. I was like, Damn, this really powerful stuff. And that happens. Maybe like A year ago, that aha moment, as with any aha moment, as with any, like overnight success, it's years in the making, right? So it's just a lot of things that you hopefully organically are attracted to. And then the combination of those things that you're attracted to that you're naturally interested in.
And you mentioned books, do you, like take notes on books as you read them?
Yeah, that was one of my, my real, like, kicking myself moments of this year started to go like deep into books. As I told you, I've always had a, you know, close relationship with books. But then I was like, Okay, let me read this book. And it's, and it's related to my blog. So let me let me you know, make make a summary of this book. So I can have content for my site, right. So I got it on my Kindle, I bought a Kindle. So you can just take highlights faster and have been compiled in a in a in a fast way. And when I was done with the book, and I published the post, I was like, Oh, my God, here, I am doing this for the very first time. And it's just like, incredible, that I have spent all these years reading books and never taking notes. I was like, that's a missed opportunity. So yeah, that's definitely something that I that I'm going to do now. And just for the rest of my life, hopefully, every single book that I take will just have highlights, I will write about it as a summary to just really go deep into the topics that I thought was interesting during the reading. And so that so those learnings from the book stays with me. But also just just to keep that library right like that second brain of just, you know, what your reflections were from that book that you can in a year two five years from now go back and be like, Oh, that's what I thought about that book back in 2020.
And if it's a good book, like with any good art, it tells you something new every time you revisit it, if you're a person who you know, obviously all humans we progress we develop as time goes by some more than others. But me and you and people listening, five years from now is a lot of time, and you're going to be a totally different person in five years from now. But if a book or film or even music is has that depth, you will revisit it and seeing new things. And also, you know, sometimes I get this with films a lot, I look back at a film that I remember oh shit in my early 20s. I love that film, I look at it now is like this is not that this is actually very low quality, right? Your standard changes, maybe for the higher or you just care about different things, right? So but if it's a good movie that you revisit, you still you find like these new things that are still valuable to you. That's like the definition to me of like good art, or something that's a good art form.
Or maybe just a sign that those are your actual principles and values when it comes to like, they they never get outdated or expire.
Exactly. It's a great way to validate your beliefs, your thoughts systems. Yeah, you're right about that.
That's such a timely topic. Because I was I don't I usually journal in my day one app. But I was looking at some handwritten journaling from back in 2014. Yesterday, I just opened it up. Oh, kind of like halfway through that moleskin notebook. And I wanted to start using it again. So I went back to July or September 2014. Exactly what you said. It was such a time travel experience.
It told me everything I was back then. And just I realized the picture I had, in my mind from six years ago about me was entirely different. When I actually read that. If you asked me, How much did you know about that topic? I will tell you maybe not as much. But as soon as I read that, I'm like, Oh, actually, there I was. I was thinking about this very time. Yeah,
And that is a very, very interesting, I think that's actually a lot of people when they travel, they are obsessed with taking pictures, they should be obsessed with taking notes. Because that's such a more like, reflect, there's a deeper reflection of what you have seen, you know, if you go back to your hotel, or your Airbnb, whatever, at the end of the day, and you just write what your experience and like what you felt through it, that tells such a bigger, deeper story than than Instagram posts can do. I mean, do both of course not saying you know, all never take pictures, but no taking and when it comes to travels, or vacation, deeply underrated. I feel like thing, nobody very few people think about it. So that's a cool thing.
If you could sit down with an author and have a conversation with him or her about a book, or which book which author and can you think of a question you would you would ask them
I would go with Mikhail Bulgakov. I don't know if you know Master and Margarita, but is a hilarious like Russian novel or maybe some friends, maybe Franz Kafka? Maybe calco To be honest, these like, these, like, Eastern European Russian authors from like, the 19th 20th century are hilarious to me. And funny that I think, yeah, just sitting down with Kafka and like, take me through, take me through your, all your books, and I remember just growing up with them, you know, just I remember myself, like, just laughing out loud. And I think any, yeah, we'll go call for Kafka. And just like, not even, I wouldn't like ask a specific question. Just take me through your thought process. Like, how was it? Yeah, to just go through the whole thing. And I bet you, there's a bunch of funny stuff. It's a book that I always pick up, and you can just start at any anywhere, and it just gonna make you laugh.
Who's marketers work? Do you admire the most? And look up to?
I think the obvious. I mean, if you follow me on Twitter, I mean, you know, see what I retweet or the people that I reference, especially online fault. I think Julian Shapiro is one to, to really matter, right? demand curve, and the fact that he's Canadian doesn't hurt neither the just to just a whole approach to it as to growth. I think it's so
very, how would you How would you describe that what specifically about Julian's approach to growth and marketing interests you?
So I think the number one thing I would say that really puts him in a special place is him leaning on just these timeless thinking frameworks, right? Like, like 90%, of all marketing content agency out there is just a bunch of fluff simply for the fact that they focus entirely on tactics, right, says, we were talking about, like, what kind of what kind of advice you would get from somebody who's lived in a place and you want to go to travel there. And we were talking about how useless that type of advice is, because it's so subjective, and whatever, you know, happens to that person, that's not going to happen to you, right.
And I think all these marketing blogs, all the or the content that you find out there is pretty much the same thing. Like they tell you like, Oh, we did, I don't know, we crushed our, you know, MQLs through Facebook, you know, and, you know, they don't know anything about you, though. Facebook might not be where your audience lives at, you know, and it could be like terrible advice, you don't want to like, take that and then present it to your to your team or to your superior or whatever, and be like, okay, let's, let's try this out, and you're gonna have like, bad results.
And Julian, kind of like, circumvents that he he talks about, like more of a more like timeless thinking frameworks, and how you should, you know, construct a landing page thinking of like how we, as humans, digest content, digital content in a very specific way. And then what you actually write, that's up to you, right, he, he gives you the framework, and it's your responsibility to, like, translate that into you know, you, your own needs, your business needs your client needs. And it's up to you to know them and the audience thereafter and know where they live. But Julian is not going to spend time, you know, talking about like, Oh, they live in this channel, no, because he doesn't know you. So I'm trying to do the same thing with mindful too. It's all about like, timeless thinking frameworks, these, these, like, timeless truths that has been tested over and over again, but it's just part of humanity, the psychological aspect, like, you know, how you frame certain things, how you present it, and have the format in mind, right? Like, if it's an ad, if it's an email, if it's a landing page, it should be structured very certain way. Because all the successful emails in history has been structured a certain way. Now, how you write it, that's up to you, and I love that he gives that responsibility to and you know, 90% of the content that you see does not give you that responsibility. They actually give you a template, hey, copy this template and send this email. No, don't do that. You know what I mean? And yeah, this is bad, bad recommendations. So Julian is really one that I admire just because of that. And then, just to give you another example, Dave, David Gerhardt, I really love. He's just so simple. So human, when he posts on Twitter, when you post on LinkedIn is just incredibly human. And he's a b2b marketer. So I like him a lot because a lot of like, b2b marketing has such a boring reputation, right? Everybody thinks just because you do b2b, you should be so formal, you should do things a certain way. And he kind of breaks all of that and isn't you're still selling to human, you're still marketing to humans. Don't lose that human touch. And it's also it's crazy that people don't do that. More. b2b because used to it's easy to stand out in b2b because everybody else is so formal and boring. So it's incredible to me that not more people are actually thinking that way. But I can I guess Dave is trying to fix that. So really appreciate him for for doing that, too. So yeah, David Gerhart, and Julian Shapiro, I would, I would say.
You would think so simple yet so difficult to replicate this, this mindset of just cater to what people need and communicate that to them in a very effective manner. There is no need for I mean, you could use growth hacks and marketing hacks, occasionally, but at the end of the day, I like your point about going back to the first principles, just understanding even when it comes to marketing, at the end of the day, you are solving a need or creating a product for a specific audience.
Another another framework that's interesting is the jobs to be done framework as well. And there's like, you need to talk about what they can do what like what, what's the outcome of using your product, not talk about the features. And the awesomeness is, you know that a lot of product marketers, they love to just talk about the product. Yeah. But you should not talk about the product, in terms of features and how many niceness? How many shiny things it has. It's more about, like, what is the outcome of using the product, what is the jobs to be done, you need to know what your target audience wants to get done. And then you need to explain how they get there. Using your product, right? A lot of people don't understand that. They talk about themselves so much. We did this, these are our customers, these are our logos. This is what we do. And how do you on the other side, when you visit that landing page? How are you supposed to feel? Are you supposed to be like, Yeah, awesome. I want to be part of you know, what can you do for me? Right? Like, that's why you need to think about so yeah, all these frameworks, this thinking frameworks is so important for any marketer. So I really hope more people get on top of that.
And one thing that I that I wanted to talk about, is that back, linking it back to languages and stuff, right? Because we're talking marketing, we're talking about messaging, we're talking about copywriting, right. Like, I think you agree with me when the definition of good marketing is good writing, I have, you know, when looking back at different different countries that are live that and I think that complex, complex languages, makes complex societies. So if a language is easy to comprehend, usually the society is pretty simple, like, for very, like, you know, straightforward. But you go to any Spanish, Latin American country, and you know, Spanish, I promise, you take a book, the same book, one in English, and the other one translated to Spanish, the Spanish version is going to have a couple of extra pages. Just because Spanish is such a language that you can, it's so rich, right? But with richness comes a lot of complexity, because you can say the same thing in so many ways, and it becomes like this long thing, right? And then take a look at those societies. Heavy paperwork, bureaucracy, it's complicated to get things done, then you go to like, Norway, very simple way of speaking, very simple way of making getting to the point. It's a very straightforward country, everything is available, you want to do something, it's there. It's a straight line, right. And I think, for marketers, if the product is like complex and does a bunch of things, you get caught up in that complexity, and you want to talk about everything, you want to include absolutely everything and you get like lightning pages that are like this that nobody reads. But if you are able to take the things out of the complexity and kind of like, isolate them, that's how you count what you need to create this little sub continents have simplicity, in order to make the messaging. Right. So these, like, with a complex setup, or a complex structure, you create complex language. And that's, that's a that's a trap that we humans fall into. And I think it's, you know, a responsibility of a marketer to break down those barriers. I think Mark Twain had something like that. He said something like, I didn't have time to write your short letter. So I'm writing you a long one instead, you know, it's the easiest thing to just come up with a lot of things. So yeah, keeping it simple. Getting straight to the point, when you have a complex message, that's a that's an art form in itself.
And when you see something that's minimal, and simple and easy to understand, in most cases, that's actually something that's taken longer to produce because you've taken the time to cut out the fluff. And, like I said, do the thinking and it kind of gave the audience or the visitor The end result of what they should be seeing and should be expecting from your offering.
Exactly, man, go for simplicity, but don't Make it simple, right? It's the simplicity that you want, because you want to do things in a simple way. But you don't want the product to be super limited and super simple. So go for simplicity, but do not chase simple,
like how that reflects and both mindfold on the platform, as well as your personal blog as I was browsing. Speaking of time on site as a as a measure for marketers, when it comes to websites, I found myself wanting to explore the different sections of the website and spend more time on the website, because just because of the design and how easy it was to navigate, where else can people get in touch with you?
Oh, just I'm very active on Twitter, very active on LinkedIn, but also mindfold.co, if you're a marketer, looking for learning, or rehashing, practicing just simple thinking frameworks that are like timeless that if you learn it now, you can still use it in 10 years from now, go to mind email@example.com and go through the go through the resources, everything is free to sign up if you want to get the future ones. But there's a there's a backlog. It's not that much. I just started a couple of months ago, but every every 10 days, a new new addition is up. So yeah, go check it out.
And which country are you moving to next?
I think UK or Ireland. I really like the Brits.
That was meant to be a joke, but it sounds like you're actually making move to the seventh country. It's
already in the plasma and it's already in the plans thinking several years ahead. Nice. Nice.
This has been as good as all the conversations we've been having so far. Thank you so much. And we got to do this again.
Anytime you just let me know. I'm here.