#ReboundThis – How to Rebound from COVID-19 with Best Selling Author & Marketer, Tim Ash

Leslie Carruthers
So today we have Tim Ash with us. He is a best selling author, a keynote speaker and a marketing practitioner for about 150 years. Really great for his age. You’ve been around for forever. I mean, digital marketing old guard here.

Tim Ash
Yeah. Al Gore invented the interwebs. Yeah, well, actually, right. The 90s Yes. Oh, yeah. The dinosaurs? Well, you know, in a good way, not a boomer. Okay, um, despite what my kids call me,

Leslie Carruthers
haha, it’s all good. So he wrote the best selling book on landing page optimization. And he’s got a new book that just dropped super exciting. It’s called the primal unleashing the primal brain, oh, there we are, the essential Field Guide for modern marketers, and we love you know, marketers, we love any way that we can get into the back into the back door of the brain, and, and serve like, in a way that’s super effective, like help people get to the solutions that they need faster, quicker, easier, and support our clients in that way and their clients. So really excited to hear about that in the context of how we can prepare for the rebound of Coronavirus, COVID-19. And, and in the bigger arc of the story, because at some point, this won’t be the pandemic won’t be the narrative of our life, presumably, and we will be left with that base conversation of Okay, how do we train ourselves for resiliency? So no matter what happens, we bounce back. We all know people who make lemonade from lemons every day, no matter the situation, and we want that to be us.

Tim Ash
Yeah, well, I think, by the way, the books of all the little since that early manuscript they sent you so it’s not necessarily focused on neuro marketing. It’s more of a girl book about how your brain works. It’s about the evolutionary psychology party, just too much information packed into it already to be quiet anything like we’re

Leslie Carruthers
sure it’s a series. Well, I’m gonna get my audible copy today. And thank you all. So for the early access, that was brilliant. And I’m looking forward to my autographed copy. Thank you for mailing that. Yeah, I love it on Audible. So go get Timmy recorded your own.

Tim Ash
Yeah, I narrated myself. Speaker it’s not exactly a stretch for me to record my own book. And I understand people prefer that anyway, for the nonfiction titles. Mm hmm.

Leslie Carruthers
Got it. No, that’s wonderful. What was that experience? Like?

Tim Ash
Wow, I learned a lot. I basically build my own home sound isolation booth. And it’s not a soundproofing. That’s one of the things that people don’t understand. It’s really just the cancel out the room echo off of the hard surfaces, like floors, walls, ceilings, and Windows. So I actually built it out of PVC tubing, the stuff you used for making your sprinkler systems, like Tinkertoys, and then hung moving blankets around it on curtain rods, and that absorbs the echo. And it gives a very intimate relationship between you and the microphone. So there you go.

Leslie Carruthers
Awesome. Oh, great. I can’t wait to get to listen. So Tim, Oh, and one more thing, what we’ll end up doing is, it’s easier for my folks to do the editing and to grab snippets to put out on LinkedIn or whatever if we do a little extra pause in between. So if it seems like I’m waiting a little too long, I’m just trying to remember to do that for Aria. Okay. So, Tim, what are you seeing are the positives of this experience of COVID-19? I know you yourself were impacted in a big way you just pivoted, and we’re gearing up and had several international speaking keynote gigs booked, which, which went away as events.

Tim Ash
Yes, yes, I was definitely not a positive.

Leslie Carruthers
Got that. What are you seeing that in the clients that you are working with? The HVAC? Well, it’s been a positive for the client. So you get to work with now because you wouldn’t have had time for that. If the keynote had a query gotten to really ramp up the way you had intended and and had it all lined up? So I would say that, but what do you see as possible for you for for your career for your clients? or other things, other businesses, peers that you’ve seen? Because of COVID-19 and wouldn’t have been otherwise?

Tim Ash
Well, I actually, it’s a patchy thing, obviously, overall, you know, hundreds of thousands of people have died in our country alone. Because there’s no positive response. Yeah, that’s not about but and people’s lives have been devastated. There’s a mental health crisis. There’s more domestic violence, I mean, not a good scene all around. But there are some kind of silver linings to me about it on a personal level, I would say that I’m getting much deeper connections with people everyone was too busy before I’m doing whatever I’m doing. I’m, you know, pivoting and growing my next unicorn and you know, using all the buzzwords that I need to and I’m just too busy to talk to you and now people have time to just work Live life at a more normal pace. And that I found that they’re willing to go deeper. And conversations, even when you’re talking to business people, a lot more personal stuff enters into it when their dog jumps into the background or their kid, you know, talking to them, if people are more real, and they’re willing to be more open and vulnerable to me, that’s one of the gifts of this time.

Leslie Carruthers
Got it? For sure. Authenticity, it’s right there.

Tim Ash
Yeah.

Leslie Carruthers
Great. And what have you or your peers or teams or clients? What have you seen that folks have learned that they wouldn’t have learned if not for this experience?

Tim Ash
But I think that we’re lacking in some new habits regarding how we shop and how we buy. And, for example, I never did online grocery shopping, and no, and then I think, why am I getting in my car, driving to the grocery store, and possibly risking infections, spending the money on gas, when I could just have somebody drop it off and deliver it for me. So I think buying patterns are happening, I saw somewhere stat that said, For e commerce, the growth and the percentage of the economy that’s done through e commerce, for the last for the preceding 12 years has been the same as the 12 weeks of the lockdown. So basically, e commerce growth has doubled in 12 weeks, from what it had done in the previous 12 years. So I think that those habits once you do them for weeks or months at a time get ingrained, and those are accelerating the shift towards online shopping, for example.

Leslie Carruthers
Sure. Okay. And how are you preparing for the rebound? What are you doing? What are you not doing?

Tim Ash
Well, I think the best answer to that is over assumptions are out the window, and certain things are not possible. So to me the question and everyone I’ve talked to is, how to productively use this time. As you mentioned, I’ve lost at seven speaking engagements from Italy, to Moscow, Russia, Argentina, to Sao Paulo, Brazil. In fact, this week, I was supposed to be in front of 17,000 on a live stage in Sao Paulo, not happening till next year. I mean, they pushed it off, and I get to come back next year. So I did the virtual version of it. So. But in terms of preparing for the rebound, I think you have to stay productive. So if you can’t do certain things, all of those other things you didn’t do are the things you should be doing now. The things that don’t require travel that that require focus and concentration. In my case, I’m very proud to say, I gave birth to the book. I mean, with my crazy travel schedule, I don’t know when I would have finally finished it. But having three uninterrupted months, led to it being published right now, instead of maybe a year from now. So basically, what can you do is what you should be doing? Don’t waste time upgrade your skills, do you learn things, focus on the parts of the business that are going to diversify and give you new income streams. So think of all of your resources, which include time mental effort and ability to learn not just trying to sell more into an environment is not accepting what you’re selling.

Leslie Carruthers
Got it. Great.

Tim Ash
Yeah, in fact, a lot of my speaking engagements had book sales built in where they would either buy copies of the book for me to do a signing or have a book sponsorship from one of the conference sponsors, that sort of thing. So that’s obviously not available right now. But the way that I’m, I’m focusing my promotion, mainly on podcasts. And the reason is, I think that if you have a relationship with a podcast host, then you’re spending a lot of time listening to them, you let them into kind of your intimate circle. And I’m pretty good. I feel on air, including, let’s say, this discussion with you. And so people get a sense for me. And that’s quite a bit of time to invest, spend a half hour an hour, listening to a conversation with somebody and kind of eavesdropping on it. So it gives you a sense of intimacy. And I believe that being a guest on a lot of podcasts does, you know, I used to run my own, I had about 130 episodes in the can of my landing page optimization. But being a guest on podcast is my primary strategy in addition to webinars and virtual events, where I, of course, mentioned the book. So obviously, you can’t do the in person stuff anymore.

Leslie Carruthers
So what’s changed about your job?

Tim Ash
Um, the excitement for me it was a lot of it involve traveling and meeting new people, there’s really, no matter how wonderful your internet connection is, or how high resolution your your webcam is, you know, sorry, zoom meetings, just not the same. So to be able to meet new people to interact with them to have unforced time with people, all that casual stuff, even to set up a casual conversation, we have to say, hey, let’s schedule a zoom meeting. Okay, so that’s not that casual anymore. It’s kind of like, okay, it’s on my calendar now. So all of that is what I missed the travel. Definitely, I’m a bit of a travel photographer as well. So all the places in the world that I would have been this year, and all the opportunities of not exploring them as a tourist. Yeah, I missed that stuff.

Leslie Carruthers
so Tim, this is this is an opportunity for people to really flex and develop their resiliency muscle. And that will serve us now it will serve us in the future, no matter what happens. How do you develop and build your resiliency muscle?

Tim Ash
Hmm It’s a great question. I, I’ve been spending a lot of time making sure I have the proper self care. I think it’s foundational exists, especially in times of stress. And I wouldn’t say this is extreme stress. I mean, people live through wars and car accidents, and you know, all kinds of stuff, right? or major health problems, I don’t have any of those. So I can’t complain, you know, my, my biggest problems are, you know, raising teenagers in the house, and they’re going a little stir crazy and that sort of thing, or not being able to do keynote speaking of, like, they say, first world problems, right.

But in general, I think when you’re under stress, you need to make sure that the foundational stuff is taken care of. And so for me, that means a number of things. One is that I have to get proper sleep. That’s something else I talked about in my book. Sleep is foundational to all life on the planet. It’s just not optional. I don’t care about the how unproductive you think it is, or why you’re binge watching Netflix and 2am. That’s, but I sleep is sacred for me. My kids are on the vampire schedule, and we come out at night. 10 o’clock, I’m out because I’m also doing grounding and earthing electrical connection and neutralizing that. And so I’m waking up but first light between six and 630. So if I don’t go to sleep by 10, I’m not getting my eight hours and I’m not going to cheat myself. So that’s foundational exercise, doing Tai Chi by the ocean for in my case only about a mile away. So that’s great. And also getting emotional support. That’s really important. But a year and a half ago, I went through an initiation or retreat through this wonderful organization called the mankind project. And as after that, you get to sit in weekly men’s circles with other people that have gone through it. And so I find that touching base with other authentic men and being able to complete confidentiality. Share and spill and do whatever work I need to do is critical also to that balance. So a lot of time making sure that my gas tank is full before I give others.

Leslie Carruthers
Yeah, that’s very wise. Very wise and it works. Got it? So, what has surprised you about this time period with the pandemic?

Tim Ash
Hmm. What’s really surprised me about it has been just how interdependent we all are. And I feel like right now politically, I’ve become much more, I guess you could say, you know, a progressive justice warrior, because this pandemic has laid bare the unfairness of our society, the people that are getting hit are the ones that are economically disadvantaged, there are huge structural problems in this country, we expect the people we rely on the frontline workers and the essential workers of this pandemic, to keep doing their job, even though they’re in the crappiest conditions. There’s no security financially, there’s no security from a health standpoint, there’s no one to take care of kids. It just kind of shows the brutality of the American system to me, and I mean, it can’t say it’s a surprise, but it’s really brought it into stark relief and made me want to do something meaningful about it, I guess.

Leslie Carruthers
Got it. Kind of great. Okay. So, Tim, I’m curious, why did you write this book? And did it help you to be writing this book? Prior to and during a pandemic? Yeah,

Tim Ash
okay. So why did I write the book? Well, I’ve kind of come full circle, when I came out to Cal University of California, San Diego, my undergraduate majors were computer engineering and cognitive science. So I’ve always been interested in the brain and cognition. And I stayed there for graduate school. And what would these days be called neural networks, or machine learning or artificial intelligence. So I’ve always been interested in the brain, then I went off and had my career running marketing agencies and from the Googles of the world on down or our clients and created 1.2 billion and documented value. So but I was applying cognition and behavioral economics and neuro marketing to marketing. And now I’ve kind of come full circle, and I realized that only helped the specific clients, my agencies to work with. And what I really want to do is tell the world about this stuff. And so I’ve come back to my first love, which is, you know, cognition and persuasion and psychology. And now I’m just in my keynote, speaking, and in the book, I’m trying to kind of spread the word so more people know what, how their brain really works. And the way we labor under this delusion, that being rational is some kind of thing to aspire to. And that’s not how our brain works at all that lie of rationality is, is a big lie. And it’s really our primal brain that runs the show. And I want to kind of tell people about that.

Leslie Carruthers
And we’re all going to go pick it up and read it. And what are some of the things that I’m just imagining that this is a great time to read this book?

Tim Ash
Yes. So with the way that if we’re going to understand how our brain works, you have to kind of trace the whole evolutionary arc. So from the earliest life on Earth, things we share with insects and reptiles to mammals and the herd instinct stuff we picked up there. And then two, very bizarre recent evolutionary adaptations that allowed us to over run the whole planet. And so I cover everything from the neuro chemistry of happiness, the memory and learning to gender differences, our social natures culture, language, everything’s in there. And it’s kind of art that that traces human evolution. And I’ve done it in a non scientific ways. There’s not a lot of jargon in there, no studies, no footnotes, it’s just designed to be really accessible in a straight read and give you the essentials. And I think if you read it, you can apply it to certainly business, marketing, leadership, things like that, but also personal relationships, culture, society, how we learn, whether we mentor other people, intimate relationships. And finally, personal development. If you really want to understand why you do a lot of things you do, you really need to understand how we got here. So that’s who it’s for is kind of those three groups business relationships and personal growth. I would say something there for everybody.

Leslie Carruthers
Great, great, and I can hear what you’re saying that this would support building resiliency. Because when you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, the self talk probably takes a different context. Yeah, you understand, automated

Tim Ash
in the in the kind of happiness chemicals that fire, what triggers them, what causes stress, what causes pain, how we can avoid situations, you know, things like addiction and how that acts on us as well. So yeah, a lot there to help you through difficult times and understanding why you do things that are actually counterproductive to your well being.

Leslie Carruthers
yeah. So, Tim, for you, what’s on the other side of this pandemic? What’s, uh, what do you see your resiliency muscle carrying the third to?

Tim Ash
Hmm, well,

I think it’s a combination of both optimism and pessimism. What I mean by that is, on the one hand, I know we’re gonna get through this, and I’m optimistic that some new sense of community some new world order, if you will, is emerging from this that’ll hopefully be fairer, and more compassionate. On the other hand, I think I saw this editorial cartoon, I was like, okay, is the guy standing on the beach, and there’s a big wave about the him called the pandemic. And then behind, it’s another wave that says, economic recession. And behind it, another wave that says, climate extinction, and it’s this hundred and 20 foot wall tsunami, right. And so in a way, I think, get used to this, folks, in some sense, the world’s not going to get better. So the time to think about resiliency, and how to optimize for that is now because this is just the dry room. This is just the dress rehearsal, and in our lifetime, certainly in my kid’s lifetimes, things are going to geta lot freakier.

Leslie Carruthers
And that was circling back to understanding how your brain works and self care.

Tim Ash
Absolutely.

Self Care is. Yeah, number one, two, and three on my list of be able to function under stress.

Leslie Carruthers
Definitely, maybe that’s the next book you can write for marketers. is a primer on self care.

Tim Ash
Well, I have some ideas in the very end of the book, that talk about how to be more primal. If anyone’s interested in this, please go to primal brain calm. It’s got information about the book, complete table of contents and all of that and where to get it of course.

Leslie Carruthers
Awesome. primal brain calm. Excellent. Thank you so much for your time today, Tim, and for your service for all of us to have a better understanding of why we’re doing what we’re doing and how the brain works so we can set ourselves up for the life we want.

Tim Ash
Yeah, it’s it’s been my absolute pleasure, Leslie.

2020-10-01T14:04:53+00:00October 1st, 2020|Comments Off on #ReboundThis – How to Rebound from COVID-19 with Best Selling Author & Marketer, Tim Ash