Ever found inspiration in the William H. Murray quote: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it”? How about this one by Daniel Burnham: “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized”?
While these statements do seem to inspire action, perhaps boldness for its own sake is overrated . . . or a bit too, well, magical. Maybe there are other ways to stir men’s blood. Perhaps there is a balance of dreaming and pragmatism that in fact speeds up results by first slowing down to think accurately about our aims, our resources, and our plans.
Matthew Jackson is an Auckland entrepreneur and investor who makes no little plans. He’s created a wellness solution for corporate New Zealand to increase their wellness ROI with Telehealth, making GP consultations available online through Doctor2Go as an extension of their corporate wellness strategy. Matthew is one of those innovative entrepreneurs offering unique solutions to some of our most significant challenges in the healthcare sector. His study here taught him that boldness isn’t always magical.
Below you’ll find a transcript of this podcast episode that has been edited for your reading pleasure. You’ll also see links at the bottom of this post where you can find more information on the people and ideas mentioned in the episode.
by John Patterson
Produced by: John Patterson, Jason Kelley & Tyson Crandall
“Five years ago, I would have […] been doing a ton of work without really understanding what’s the objective.”
John Patterson: Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are in the world. I’m your host, John Patterson; the co-founder and CEO of Influence Ecology, the leading business education in transactional competence. Broadcasting from Ventura, California. This podcast features case studies, stories and lessons from business owners, executives and entrepreneurs who found real solutions, real results and real satisfaction. Not only with work, career, and money, but in every area of life.
You’ll hear how these ambitious professionals found that those who transact powerfully, thrive. Ever found inspiration in the William H. Murray quote, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” How about the quote by Daniel Burnham, “Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized.” While these statements do seem to inspire action, perhaps boldness for its own sake is overrated or a bit too well, magical.
Maybe there are other ways to stir men’s blood. Perhaps there is a balance of dreaming and pragmatism that in fact speeds up results by first slowing down to think accurately about our aims, our resources, and our plans. Matthew Jackson is an Auckland entrepreneur and investor who makes no little plans. He’s created a wellness solution for corporate New Zealand to increase their wellness ROI, making health consultations available online through Doctor2Go as an extension of their corporate wellness strategy.
Matthew is one of those innovative entrepreneurs offering unique solutions to some of our most significant challenges in the healthcare sector. His study at Influence Ecology taught him that boldness isn’t always magical. Here’s the interview. Welcome to the Influence Ecology podcast, pleasure to have you here.
Mathew: It’s an honor John, I’m looking forward to having this conversation with you.
John: Me too. Introduce yourself.
Mathew: My name is Matthew Jackson. I live in Auckland, New Zealand. I had a company called Doctor2Go that helps people get access to a medical team on their mobile phone. I am the co-founder of one of the co-founders of that company. We work with HR teams to enhance the employment brand of an organization.
John: Well said. What are some of the big results that have happened since you started participating?
Mathew: The first thing was I was employed. Now, I’m an entrepreneur and investor. I had a relationship or marriage that was breaking down and now I’m in a really positive, engaging, exciting relationship with a woman that I’m really enjoying. A really close relationship with my brothers and my daughter. I get to spend time with her that I choose to spend, rather than being restricted to a 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM job.
With the type of things that I’ve been able to achieve since I started Influence Ecology, I’ve been invited to speak at events around the world, in India and in Europe and had a significant impact on the amount of wealth that I had. Because of the fact that I don’t have a job anymore, I own startup companies.
John: That’s fantastic. One of the things I love about your notes is, you began your journey, talking a little bit about the thing that Kirkland says which is slow down to speed up. If there were anything that I love about what’s in your notes, it’s this whole notion of slow down to speed up. Because one of the things that you did and demonstrated throughout your journey was to think accurately about all of it. Think accurately about the job you had, or the kind of things you might want to do, or how you might want to put a company together or what that might look like.
There’s slow down to speed up throughout your entire journey, as far as I can tell. It just marks of somebody who’s really smart, really thoughtful, strategic, doesn’t just jump or leap, but in fact, rather meticulously and carefully crafts a well-structured life. Anything you’d like to say about that notion, slow down to speed up and that is a thread throughout your journey.
Mathew: When I first looked and first began started studying with the Fundamentals of Transaction program and working with Influence Ecology. I sat down with a group of people and we decided to start a company. The first thing I would have done without the study is, I would have just jumped in without a consideration, but I asked the question, hey, what’s in it for me and then how do we take care of the money.
With that, with a product that was really disruptive, it cost us between two and three cents to operate the underlying technology, but the value that it created for the market was a huge point of difference. It really was a game-changing product. If we had have priced it based on the cost to deliver versus the value that incurred, we wouldn’t have got through the first year because we wouldn’t have made enough money from it. Fast forward five years looking at what I want to do for 2018, rather than jumping into 2018 and undertaking lots of work in action, I entered into an inquiry to speak to the market about what is the current environment look like.
It was an amazing interaction that I was able to undertake and spoke with innovators in New Zealand and globally about where the breakdowns exist in the society at the moment. I’m still on an inquiry as to what it looks like to undertake and what type of work that will be because I don’t have an aim yet for that. Now, five years ago, I would have already created a company, I would have registered brand name, I would have built a team and we would have been doing a ton of work without really understanding what’s the objective.
What’s my objective, what are the aims of the people that I’m working with? Have we got the same philosophy for work? Are we working on something that we all believe will help me down into 2018 as well as those in the future? How does that represent us in the market and are we paid correctly so that we can be most effective?
John: It sounds like you discovered a lot of things in the last five years inquiry about your own personality, your role in the transactions that you’re constructing, perhaps the kinds of people that you may need in certain transactions, the kinds of teams that you need. What have you learned about you and your own strengths and liabilities in thinking about these transactions?
Mathew: I guess it starts with recognizing that you have a perspective and that you have bought an aspect of any transaction. When I first started this journey, I felt that I had a ceiling on income and I place blame on other people for not achieving my goals. I was looking around at other people saying, “How come you don’t recognize what I’m capable of doing?”
Whereas now, what I have is quite– I have a peace of mind about what it looks like to create a new transaction and recognizing that when you have a meeting of the minds that you are benefiting those people in that transaction and creating something that’s new. I tend not to go into a conversation with a predetermined outcome in mind. I look to figure out what is this person’s aims and what are my aims and is there something that we can do to work together and if there’s not, then that’s okay.
The opposite of that as if I’m not conscious and I’m really relying on my biology, that I walk into a meeting and I will kill the relationship because my ego comes out and I live in a space where I’m always thinking about what’s happening in the future. I just can’t understand why you don’t live there as well. Why do you not get what I can see is obvious but being a transactionist and being conscious of that core ship and now we’re talking about this last week it’s, “Hey look, it’s our responsibility to take you on that journey.”
John: That’s got to seem like a slow down to speed up thing. Most people want to just power through, bully their way through. “Come on, let’s get this thing done.” For anybody that has an ego, they have to check. Obviously, things are speeding up dramatically but do you feel like you sometimes have to manage your own, want to go faster even though you know that if you do you’re probably going to break things or start fires, or waste time. Anything you want to say about all that?
Mathew: Yes, I absolutely had to because if it wasn’t my idea then it wasn’t right. What I learned from that was that you’d put two of me in a room together, we both want to have the idea, we don’t end up either reaching what idea we’re going to work on let alone putting together a plan to undertake work or making an assessment about whether or not that’s the right work we should have been doing.
Yes, I still absolutely have to hold back on my biology, but to do that, what I find is more effective is to work with people where they can leverage their biology and mutually reach and create a transaction which means that it’s so much easier and then I can do what I do, use my ego to my advantage. For example, if I’m working with a performer in a sales role then we can use their relationship skills to our advantage and that’s a far more effective way of working and collaboration.
My mindset now is to, the sooner that I can give up the ego, the sooner that I recognize that mine is not the only perspective, the faster I can reach my personal goals and the sooner than I can understand a way of working with you that’s more aligned for us both moving forward.
John: I just love about that listening to you in the context of slowing down to speed up, for example, is that it’s so popular now to be concerned for one’s authentic self-expression. That I can say what I want to say in the moment as if I’m unfiltered as if I’m transparent. There’s some utility in that but at the same time, having to check that again knowing that that won’t speed up the transaction. Although it may speed up my expression, it may speed up my desire to go, “You’re an idiot.” [laughs]
It doesn’t speed up the transaction. It tends to halt it and now we got to go talk about our, do we still like each other because I’ve done something to the relationships or I’ve done something to the transaction to take it off course or back it up or something like that. That’s one of the things that comes to mind when I think about it in that context. Any comment about that?
Mathew: Yes, you can spend a lot of time trying to clean up a mess and time is one of our most valuable resources. I don’t know about you but it’s the one thing I don’t have enough of. I know we have exactly the same amount but I would do anything to get more of it. When you sit in a breakdown, because you haven’t aligned philosophies, you haven’t articulated clearly what your aims are, or would you just have a personality breakdown, you spend hours focused on resolving that versus in co-creation where you’re creating something new. It’s incredibly ineffective to work in that way.
John: You said that very, very well. It takes hours to clean up a mess. It takes a long time. During your journey, in the middle of your journey, geared influence colleges, all the kinds of things that you have learned, you’re now at work on a new project and the project is called Doctor2Go.
Mathew: That’s right.
John: Tell us about Doctor2Go and what’s happening with this and tell us about it.
Mathew: I guess my specialized knowledge is the ability to predict how an industry is going to be disrupted, and then put together a team to create a new market and capitalize on that change. One of the things that I recognized was that people aren’t taking care of their health because of barriers to time and travel. We live in this world where we have huge commitments to the work that we do, to our families. As a result, because you have to go and sit in the doctor’s waiting room and you can’t get in to see the doctor you want for a couple of days.
You go and sit there and it takes another hour and then you have to go to the pharmacist work and put together a team of commissions and technologists to build Doctor2Go. We provide a service which people can click via the internet and get immediate access to a medical team that’s nurses, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and they can do that wherever they are where they have an internet connection.
We will then send them a script to their location, whether that will be the office or home and the whole process can take just a few minutes, rather than taking half of the day.
John: Wow, is this available now?
Mathew: Sure is.
John: That’s great.
Mathew: Yes, what I recognized was that the disruption of an industry usually occurs to the industry rather than from within. Because you’ve got a lot of existing incumbent processes which have been created in order to drive efficiencies. The internet kind of shifted the game because it allowed us to organize resources more efficiently. Really simply, if you think about a traditional doctors surgery, it’s based in a physical location, and I will go and see the doctor where I live, but where I live has changed.
I have an office in my house and I have an office in the city and then on occasion, I’m in a different country. If my medical records are based in that physical location, why am I restricted to only working with that expert, that general practitioner based on where I live rather than what my philosophy is and what their background is in medicine. What I’m looking to do is be able to deliver this personalized medicine service to people so that they can manage themselves data.
We’re using things like biometrics to measure people’s blood pressure and by doing that we can proactively determine whether or not the actions that are taken, are helping them keep on trying to stay healthy.
John: In the construction of this offer, I would imagine that you dealt with an enormous amount of complexity in the industry and had to find ways around some of that complexity or connect resources to resources. Did you run into some overwhelming complexities that you had to mere through or are you still doing that? [laughs] Looks like you may.
Mathew: For those of you who that are listening, John and I are on a video conference, and I’m smiling and just laughing to myself and they occur daily. For example, I had a meeting with some people yesterday who are experts in their field and I said, “Look, we think your niche is this place and that you’re creating a new way of thinking and this is how you interact with this level of people.” It’s not something that I hadn’t uncovered but I had to be open to having that conversation. To look at whether we reshape our strategy and so we’re constantly learning.
The reason I smiled was that in the profession that I chose, and the personality and biology that I have, we’re constantly inventing a new way of doing things. While I can’t really avoid that situation of inventing because it’s just built into who I am. Ana Athanasiu who is within our group, she put it most elegantly. She said, “Look, Matthew, you live in the margin.”
When you are looking to create something new that truly is a deep change in the way things are done, you’re always on the discovery and you will pivot constantly based on understanding how this new way of thinking is perceived relative to those people you’re trying to work with. I have the privilege and the experience to be one of the first people in the country to have access to this type of technology.
When I show people what we’ve got they’re amazed. Often the first time they’ve either had a video conference with a physician online and they kind of go, “I can see how that can make my life easier.” We are in a space where we are looking to transition to using digital technology to help people take care of themselves because we have an overwhelming epidemic of obesity. We lock in patient information to clinicians systems rather than utilizing the data that sits on our mobile phones to be able to keep us healthy and then putting in place an accountability. Building those characteristics into an offer so that it can meet the needs of the customers that we’re working with.
John: That’s just fantastic. I was already impressed. I’m now more impressed with you. There are so many things that you’re saying that demonstrate what we teach and hope that people gain and embody by studying here. One of them is certainly that you are slowing down to speed up. You are dealing with the monster of complexity daily. When something comes along that’s innovative, that changes the game, that alters the way in which we do things; on the backside, hindsight, it always looks like such a simple and elegant solution.
People don’t often have the understanding of the kind of work, the kind of complexity that must be tackled to allow somebody to experience something that seems so elegant and effortless. I, first of all, acknowledge you for the work that you do and continue to do and the willingness, the adventure– you’re smiling again, the daily adventure of complexity, the daily adventure of that puzzle. Inventors, we just love that puzzle like, “Oh, how are we going to figure that one out?”
It’s fun for us, never stop thinking about it, but it really is something to acknowledge. I think if there’s a lesson here, a big, big lesson here, there are so many people who began ventures, businesses, offers, franchises, whatever the thing is, and they don’t want to deal with the complexity on the front end. They really do just want to go and then they spend a lifetime cleaning up mess after mess after mess. Never getting it to market, never providing the kind of solution that’s elegant and simple and the like. I really do congratulate you on that great work.
Mathew: Thanks, John. I haven’t always been successful. There are times where I have had some pretty big failures and some significant financial loss as a result of that by not thinking accurately. I tell people that I’ve probably shut down more businesses than they thought of starting. I would be presented with a new invitation or offer at least two or three times a month if not two or three times a week based on my identity in New Zealand as being somebody that creates innovative technology companies.
If I wasn’t able to decline those and think accurately about the maintenance that’s required in order to have an offer in the market then I would have been overwhelmed with the amount of work that I would need to do. Being in situations like that before where because I haven’t thought accurately about the kind of team we put together or the amount of work that’s involved because we haven’t done an accurate assessment. Because we haven’t had a judge involved or producer involved.
It really has been a difficult and costly project. Even now, when I look at our teams we are missing a couple of key personalities. We’ve got them but just in different roles. The next steps for those projects have the right personalities in the right places so that I can naturally move and we can move the company forward faster. One of the things that I think in the current is that we have taken on these buzzwords like digital transformation and innovation. I really like what you said before about what it looks like.
One of the most interesting people I’ve met on this journey because of Influence Ecology is a gentleman called Paul Berryman who is quite well-known in the technology sector. He invented engineer television. We were sitting there having a wine he said to me, “You can read the Harvard business issue.” I said, “Paul, why would I do that? I want to talk to you about what you did,” I said, “How did you create it?”
He goes, “Look, we flew to China. We took a DVD player and we plugged an ethernet cord in the back. We plugged it in and created a software fountain.” He was one of the first guys that figured out how to deliver content over the internet and now everybody uses Netflix. The very first company I started was literally three guys in a coffee shop going, “Can we make some money out of something because we know somebody that’s going to buy something and we can show them a prototype.” It does require you to think a little bit differently.
Today’s the current that we operate in, it leaves very little time for people to take a step back to think accurate about their aims. The thing I really like about Influence Ecology is it provides a structure to do that.
John: For our listeners, say what the current is. Because you’ve used the term waited and define it here. What is it, the current?
Mathew: The current is really the way that the market is operating. It’s the way people think and act.
John: At the moment, like the common popular idea of the moment or the current trend or whatever the case may be. All right, good.[unintelligible 00:23:59]
Mathew: I guess what I want to help people with is the fact that no matter who I talked to, the sooner that I can understand somebody else’s aims, the faster that it is that we can have a meeting of the minds. I encourage people to look at where they are engaging with others, and looking at whether they truly understand what their objective is and what the other person is and whether they’re aligned ethically.
That’s so important, but one of the things that I’m really conscious on at the moment is that when you start to utilize your resources and think accurately about your financial resources, you have tangible and intangible resources, slow down and take that assessment before you jump into action. You can speed up a transaction so significantly. I use a really simple example. I recently bought a new car and I asked the salesperson at the end of the process, how long it usually takes somebody to buy a car and he said three months.
I was able to purchase a car by starting the decision at nine o’clock in the morning and purchasing one by 4:30 PM. I took under a business day. It was because I started with an assessment of my resources. How much cash do I have available, and who are my experts that can help me with this decision. Fortunately, my brother is in the industry. He knows my personality, he was able to tell me the type of car I could purchase. I shortcut that decision pretty quickly.
I have a relationship with a great European car mechanic, Gallan and they were able to help me with assessing each car. I was able to use an agile methodology that I’ve learned from in work in a conference previously to really clearly articulate what are the important things in making a decision about that car. I was able to take 90 cars and whittle it down to four by twelve o’clock. At twelve o’clock, I went in cross them off and ended up purchasing the third one.
It’s a really simple example. You can see by getting clear about my aims, understanding what resources I have available both tangible and intangible and then undertaking the work and action that I created an outcome that I am very satisfied with. I have no post-purchase dissonance, really happy about the car that I’ve got and I hardly spent any time getting it. This is just a simple example of slowing down, looking at what resources you have available before taking action. I really encourage people to do that. To take a step back before they move forward, think accurately and then move into the transaction.
John: Well, Matthew, it’s been a pleasure to speak with you. This was wonderful. Thank you so much for being a guest on the Influence Ecology podcast today.
Mathew: It was my pleasure. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
John: In today’s guru talk, we’ll listen in on a fundamentalist of transaction program webinar where I candidly share my own journey to satisfy all the conditions of life and how slowing down to confront my dissatisfaction helped me speed up everything.
“If you’re going to construct the transactions, the primary transactions that satisfy your aims, you wouldn’t want to construct something that would be detrimental to your health. It would need to support your current health aims or your current health ethics. You wouldn’t want what you’re doing to threaten it.
You wouldn’t want what you’re doing to produce more stress, chronic stress. You wouldn’t want it to produce an inability to maintain your fitness or perhaps to threaten you in some other way. This is the big deal I want to make about this. A decade has gone by since this journey began for me. I used to weigh 70 pounds more than I did now. I used to be working under extreme stress. I used to not eat well. I did not have time for any kind of activity other than work and so for health, I was quite threatened but I wouldn’t have said so.
I would have just simply said, “Well, I don’t have time for any of that. Got a busy life, this is a big deal. It’s important.” But I wouldn’t have related to any of that as a threat. To think about what would satisfy my aims for health, wasn’t necessarily a conversation I wanted to have. It was something I didn’t want to deal with. I’ll say it that way. In terms of work, I was working typically 10-14 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. I was working in ways I didn’t want to work.
It wasn’t that I was doing enjoyable work, although there were parts of it that were extraordinarily fulfilling. I was also working way too much. I was working so many hours that I wasn’t able to balance out other things like relationship and perhaps some of the higher conditions of life. Where I might enjoy the aesthetics of a beautiful environment, or perhaps certain spiritual endeavors or ways in which I might travel or spend my time and leisure. In the domain of career, I didn’t even know what that was just simply meant my job, not my identity.
I was completely and utterly naive to the need to produce a consistent, coherent and focused identity in the mind of other people. In terms of money, my money was okay. It was okay. I certainly didn’t have any surplus, so the future was threatened. My present state wasn’t threatened. My future was threatened. There was a need to alter a great number of things and it was rather uncomfortable. Hence, I wanted to have this conversation with you, because some of you are working on or dealing with or struggling with certain parts of this part of the study.
I must say that going through this journey a decade ago was uncomfortable, but extraordinarily transformative. Again, I now weigh 70 pounds less. I work out daily. I eat well, healthy, healthy foods. I’m in excellent physical condition. If I go do my blood work, I just did my bloodwork recently. Everything is in normal levels. I’m very healthy. In terms of my work, I only work four days a week typically. I have three days off. I work from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. I don’t work outside of that. I go home at 5:00 routinely and religiously.
My identity, I have a very focused and specialized identity known in many, many places, known all over the world for transactional competence and what I do as a CEO and co-founder and faculty member of Influence Ecology. My money is fantastic. The world is a different world. What I had to deal with to move from where I was to where I am, took some courage. It took some willingness to alter certain things that were uncomfortable.
I didn’t know how it was going to turn out but because of this education and because of the people here, because of all the structures and support they are, I had the opportunity to utilize this structure to make sure that I’d lived a very satisfying life. I would like for you to consider that it is possible to construct a transaction that actually supports your health aims, that allows you to know how to organize some of the actions to support the aims that you’ve got, that allows you to participate in the activities that suit your skills and your ability.
The activity that you want and like to do, that it produces the income that you need to live as you want until you die. That it produces the identity that you seek to be known for amongst other people. That it allows you to move in line with your standards, your ethics, your own morals, and conduct. That it supports your aims for the people in your life, your spouse, your kids, your family, your friends. That it offers an opportunity to learn or expand your specialized knowledge. Finally, that it impacts your ability to function with other people in ways that are beneficial to you.
With all of that being said, what are you working on or dealing with about any of these particular conditions? I shared some of my own journey because I’m not some superhuman that’s had it all together my whole life. I went through stuff.”
In our next episode we interview Simon Chesney, an enterprise agile specialist working at Western Digital, with some lessons about moving from a talented generalist to an agile specialist.
The Influence Ecology Podcast is produced by Influence Ecology, LLC in Ventura, California. This episode was recorded April 8th, 2018 and was produced by John Patterson and Jason Kelly. This program is made possible through the assistance of the Influence Ecology faculty, mentors, and students around the world. We’re grateful for Co-founder Kirkland Tibbels and his 30+ years of specialized study in the philosophy of Transactionalism and the fundamentals of transactional competence.
This episode includes contributions by Karal Gregory and Tyson Crandall. For this episode, the sound design and editing are by Jason Kelley. The podcast theme is by Chris Standring and titled ‘Fast Train to Everywhere.’ You can subscribe to the Influence Ecology Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven’t yet offered a rating or review, I ask that you take a moment go to iTunes or your podcast app and let us know what you think. This helps us more than you know.
Influence Ecology is considered the leader in the field of Transactional Competence, having published and contributed to the only comprehensive text on the subject, Transactionalism: An Historic and Interpretive Study by Trevor J. Phillips. Co-Founder Kirkland Tibbels has authored more than 500 papers on the subject, study, and discipline of transactional competence and is a sought-after lecturer at universities, major corporations, and civic organizations around the world.
Influence Ecology’s curriculum includes conferences, webinars, online tools, podcasts, and mentorship utilized by men and women in over seventy countries around the world. Our membership includes an international assembly of accomplished professionals, faculty, and peers from a variety of countries, industries, and cultures.