My next guest is Mitzi Perdue. She is the daughter of the person who founded the world-famous Sheraton Hotel Chain. She is also the widow of Frank Perdue of Perdue chickens. She founded Win This Fight, Stop Human Trafficking Now.
- If you want to follow up with her, text Mitzi @51555 with “WTF”
We Talked About
- Why she is still working hard and dedicating her life at 80 years old
- How to use wrongness to attract attention for the right cause
- A counterintuitive and brilliant way to combat human trafficking rings
- Why storytelling is her weapon of choice for the impact she wants to make in the world concrete tactics national speakers association use to teach powerful storytelling skills
- The #1 skill of success the founder of Sheraton passed down to his daughter
- The specific tactics the founder of the Sheraton hotel did to boost employee morale during the depression era
- How to cultivate grace and dignity as a mindset
Wisdom QuotesIf I have one chance of helping one person. I should get out of bed and keep doing what I'm doing Click To Tweet Mother Theresa said that it's immoral to be discouraged by the size of a problem. The good that you can do, you must do. Click To Tweet I have a purpose in life to increase happiness and decrease misery, and I'm unaware of any greater misery than human trafficking. Click To Tweet A really good thing if you're trying to get attention is to have some wrongness in it. Click To Tweet Storytelling is what we've been doing around the campfires for probably a hundred thousand years. Our minds have been wired to make use of stories. So stories are incredibly persuasive Click To Tweet The deeper it comes from you, the deeper reaches your audience. Click To Tweet You should probably have told a story at least 40 times before you're on the stage getting paid for it. Click To Tweet The more you tell it, the more you can live it, the more you can forget the words, you just come out with it because it's on the tip of your tongue. Click To Tweet Whatever sort of train of thought my father had, it always came back to, you want to be a success, you have to get along with people Click To Tweet You couldn't be a good salesman if you don't have a really good understanding of people Click To Tweet My father said, people have a compulsion to live up to or down to your expectations. And he wanted to show them by putting his first money into the locker room, showers, dining rooms, and so on how important they were and how much he… Click To Tweet A leader's job is to give people better visions of themselves Click To Tweet Money, power, and fame are no guarantee of happiness. In fact, I think they make you less happy. The problem with money, power and famous, you always want more and it just distorts everything. Click To Tweet if you want to be happy, think what you can do for somebody else. You really want to be miserable, think what's owed to you Click To Tweet Success is measured, not by what you can get, but by what you can give Click To Tweet To me, grace is maybe it's a state of mind rather than how your body moves. Click To Tweet
Transcript by AI
Thrive With Grace & Dignity During And After the Pandemic
Welcome to noble warrior. My name is CK. Linn noble warrior is what interview multi-dimensional entrepreneurs about their journey. What deconstruct a mindset, mental models, and actionable tactics. So you can take them and build your life in business with more impact and fulfillment. If you have any friends, we use better mindset.
[00:00:20] Go ahead and share this with them on social media. So they too can benefit from your discovery. My next guest is Missy Purdue. She was the daughter of the person who founded the world famous Sherton hotel chain. She was also the widow of Frank Purdue of Perdue chickens. She's the founder of when this fight stop human trafficking now.
[00:00:41] Our conversation was cut short, due to a technical glitch. If you want to follow up with her, go ahead and text Mitzi at five one five five five with the word w T F
[00:00:55] We talked about why she's still working hard and dedicating her life at 80 years old, we talked about how she use wrongness to attract attention for the right. Cause she talked about a counter-intuitive by a brilliant way to combat human trafficking rings.
[00:01:13] And why storytelling is our weapon of choice for the impact she wants to make in the world. She talked about the number one skill of success the founder of the Sheraton hotel passed down to his daughter was Mitzi. And she also talked about the specific tactics the founder of the Sheriff's 10 hotel did to boost employee morale during the great depression . Lastly, we talked about how to cultivate grace and presence as a mindset. Please enjoy my conversation with Mitzi Purdue. The founder of win this fight stopped human trafficking now.
[00:01:48] Please walk on Mitzi Purdue. Hi. What a joy to be here and hi everybody. So, thank you so much for being here. So excited to have you. When I first encounter you right away, I felt, wow.
[00:02:01] This woman is a woman of wisdom and joy and grace and dignity. So thank you for being here. I love what you just mentioned. All the things I'd like to be or aspire to be. So thank you. You're so welcome. So let's jump right into it. Cause I know that you have limited time. So, um, you were very blessed to be born into a legacy family.
[00:02:24] You had a career of 22 years. You have author eight books. You're about to turn 80. Why do you continue to do this type of work? And you could easily be vacationing somewhere else, nothing and relax for the rest of your life. Why do you continue to, um, you know, get up in the morning and do what we're doing right now?
[00:02:45] Okay. Improve the, ask myself that question too, because life would be just so much easier if I sat back and watched and binged on Netflix or whatever, but I'll tell you what keeps me going, the passion that I have for how I want to spend the rest of my years. And I hope there are quite a few is combating human trafficking.
[00:03:05] And what I think that if I have one chance of helping one person. I should get out of bed and keep doing what I'm doing, but the project that I'm working on, it has the capacity potentially collaborating with a great many others of saving millions of lives. And I'd make a guess about our audience, that a lot of people.
[00:03:30] Who are in the audience may not be totally familiar with what human trafficking is. I mean, some will, but can I take a moment to explain why, why it gets me out of bed in the morning? Please do. Okay. I got into this about roughly two years ago. I heard a lecture and before that time, the word human trafficking would just sort of glide by they didn't.
[00:03:53] Yeah, they're just words. But then I saw. In this lecture, photographs, little girls who, there, there might've been a dozen of them and they were probably 10 to 12 years old and the photographs were catching them just before they were rescued. Well, I got to see the look on their faces and their faces were sort of frozen in fear, terror, despair, and they're young girls like 10 to 12 years old.
[00:04:20] Well, the story has a happy ending because they were rescued, but those little girls for months or years before they had been raped, like 10, 20 times a night. And yeah, the amount of suffering that that must involve is just unthinkable. And, you know, there's a quote that. That I've memorized from mother Theresa mother Theresa said that it's immoral to be discouraged by the size of a problem.
[00:04:51] The good that you can do, you must do. And I kind of figured that I could do something, you know, even if it's small, but that I sh if I can do it, I should do it. Thank you for that. I really appreciate it. Um, what a contrast, right? The, the, the, how your background is a very, how do I say it? Very, uh, a very privileged, privileged background, and, and now you saw something of a tremendous human suffering want to devote your life to it.
[00:05:26] So I do have a question before we dive into it, deeper into this issue of human trafficking. There are a million other causes, though. There may. You know, maybe hunger issues or homelessness. How did this particular issue really, you know, like landed for you in the heart? All right. I have a purpose in life and that's to increase happiness and decrease misery, and I'm unaware of any greater misery than, than somebody.
[00:05:55] Well, slavery to begin with the United nations says there's more than 40 million people who are enslaved today. By the way, if you're in slavery, you never have a happy day. And then I think it's about 8 million who are sex trafficked. And by the way, it happens to men as well as women. But can you simply imagine.
[00:06:17] I mean, it's almost too dark, a place to go to and I'll tell you in, in great transparency. Oh, almost limit myself to the amount that I let myself think of how deep the suffering is, because I think I just go crazy. Yeah. But so I try to think of what I can, what I can do about it, as opposed to how huge the problem is.
[00:06:41] Yeah, it it's, it's a path, the path of a healer, the path of it's you you're carrying on. Yeah. Those people's burden from, from my point of view and, and for someone like you, who's full of light and enjoy it's it's. That's why I was curious to know why is it that you wanted to basically go through the opposite?
[00:07:00] I don't know if this continuum to basically to go. To the darkest place of majorly human suffering. Well, it's, it's so far beyond anything that I had ever heard of. I mean like, Oh, let's move on to happier things. As soon as I finished this part, but I'm aware of, of. Like snuff movies, where people will pay a great deal amount of money to see a two year old raped to death or put in a cage and set in fire.
[00:07:31] I mean the amount of evil and suffering it's I don't think that I don't think that at least somebody. Who has any caring. It's awful hard to turn your back on that, except you can turn your back on it. If you think there's nothing I can do, I've got waste, which I'm going to recommend to our friends, things that they can do that won't cost them a penny, but they will make a difference.
[00:07:58] Wow. That's that's intriguing. Uh, why don't you? Yeah. Let's yeah. Why don't we, why don't we go there? And then I have some follow-up questions for you as well. Perfect. We do a lot of speaking on this subject. Um, I mean, I bet, I bet in the last two years, I've given a hundred talks on it, and this was partly about fundraising, but it's also about awareness raising and.
[00:08:23] My particular approach is, I don't know anything about rescuing a child or frame somebody from slavery. Uh, I certainly don't know how to treat them. So I thought, you know, what can I bring? What can I bring in this struggle? And I thought, well, I've got a lifetime in communications. Um, I've had almost 40 years in, uh, in radio, television and newspapers.
[00:08:47] So I know a lot of people in media. From my point of view, what I can, what I can offer is I can offer awareness and I can offer fundraising. And those, that means that I'm that any anti-trafficking organization that exists, I'm here to help you raise money and help I'm here to help you raise awareness.
[00:09:09] So I don't compete with anybody else. I helped meet. Some of their needs. And even if it's in a small way, if you can, if a person can help an anti-trafficking organization now first through volunteering, which would be wonderful. And I recommend it to everybody. But it also accounts if it also counts, if you can raise funds for them.
[00:09:31] And that means you have the more funds they have, the less time they have to spend raising funds themselves. And the more time they can spend delivering services. And then finally I've done articles probably by now at a hundred different anti-trafficking organizations. Every one of them would like to have more awareness of the problem.
[00:09:51] Well, I, as somebody who is a professional writer and is spent know there, there was a period that where I was the most widely syndicated writer on the environment in the country. So I do have background in writing so I can, I can help spread the word, but when I can, but what I can do, most of all, where I would most like to involve our listeners or our viewers.
[00:10:15] Our audience is, I would love for them to offer. I don't particularly want their money, although it sure as heck not turn it down, but I would let them to volunteer. And right now they're the close to 500 volunteers and I make a pledge to anybody who wants to do something about human trafficking that I will never ask you for more time than you want to give or more money than you want to give, but should you choose to donate time?
[00:10:46] Here's a promise to you. I will do everything that I know how to match your interests and your skills and abilities and passions to the job that you get. And you'll be given a whole menu of things that you could volunteer for. And. And I know from the people who are working on it, they say some of the most satisfying work they ever do, because the very darkness of human trafficking means that if you can make any difference, you're making a huge difference.
[00:11:16] So I'm breaking it down for people. I'm giving people ways of helping to attack this problem. And my first recommendation is find an existing anti-trafficking organization to work for. But if you don't have one. Join me. And I'll give you jobs that will be very meaningful and exciting. And have some of the people who work with the organization is called win this fight.
[00:11:40] So the people who, who joined together, collaborating in this, saying that at some of the most satisfying work they've ever done. For those of you interested to follow with Mitzi, I'm gonna promote your, um, your, your newsletter again, tack text five one five five five with w T F. Okay. I bet you've got a slight curiosity fight.
[00:12:04] Sweet little old lady Mitzi would be using WTF in my text. Okay. I would love to I'm I'm eager to share this story because when I started, when, when I started. Getting involved in, in wanting to help combat human trafficking. I had a name for the organization. It was called the anti-trafficking auction.com a couple of weeks into it.
[00:12:29] I got, I got a phone call from a guy who's a neuroscientist. Uh, not only is he a neuroscientist, he's a neuro marketer. He studied, you know, everything you can think about why you make decisions and what your instincts and just, you know, he's got a whole host of knowledge about how people make decisions.
[00:12:47] And this gentlemen I've since become really good friends with him. He started out by telling me Mitzi your name, the anti-trafficking art sucks that because he explained why he said, first of all, it's not memorable. And I kind of have to agree with him. It's not memorable. He says, there's no call to action and take seven.
[00:13:14] A really good thing. If you're trying to get attention is to have some wrongness in it. You have something that sort of grates, or if I don't, I don't really want a great on anybody, but if you know, there's an incongruity between ladylike Mitzi using. The acronym WTF for when this fight. And he said, that's perfect because there's enough of a contrast between how you act and how you are and, you know, WTF.
[00:13:42] Uh, can we count in everybody know what WTF stands for when you're not thinking when this fight. I mean, that's the obvious, right? What the fuck? Yeah. You for saying it. I mean, I'd say it too. Anyway. You said that, that it was just straight out from heaven to have the name, win this fight because it's a call to action and who can forget WTF.
[00:14:08] Um, yeah, it's true. I mean, my natural reaction, hearing the stats around, um, human trafficking, the natural,
[00:14:21] uh, I'm still having trouble saying it, but I have no problem saying, come on. We're good. I'll say it for you. It's all good. I'm wondering whether I should work up my courage next. I don't know if I can do it.
[00:14:44] So you been studying this, uh, you know, a hundred different approaches to solve human trafficking. I'm curious to know, have you come across anyone that you're like. Really, really promising. So go ahead. Share with us. Okay. This to me, the most exciting one. And I actually had something to do with, I mean, if it gets put into practice, I had something to do with, with, if it works and I'll share with everybody what it is.
[00:15:12] It's it's, it isn't really public yet, but here it goes. I'm N I'm in favor and I endorsed any anti-trafficking activity. Yeah, whether it's rescue or prevention or rehabilitation. Yeah. They're all needed. And I think they'll be needed for years and years and years, but what if we could prevent it? And I had the huge honor and privilege earlier this well, late last year of addressing the international fraud group.
[00:15:43] And I have to tell a little side story and then just take it on faith that I will wrap it up and bring it back to human trafficking. Thank you. Somewhere around 20 or 30 years ago, one of the larger software companies, and I'm not supposed to say their names, so I won't, but just think large software company, they're having a terrible problem with counterfeiters because they might, you know, put hundreds.
[00:16:11] Millions of dollars into software and that sell it for a couple of hundred dollars, but a counterfeiter for the price of a disc, which might be 5 cents could sell. Yeah. It costs them 5 cents and they're making a couple of hundred dollars on it by just perfectly killed or fitting the software. Well, the company of course wanted to shut down the counterfeiters, but they kept finding that every time they.
[00:16:39] What puts somebody in jail, somebody else would quit, pop up and, and do the same thing because it was so profitable. And so they, they, they really weren't making a debt and in their counterfeiting or, or pirating problem until there's a group it's called the international fraud group. The international fraud group went to the software company and said, uh, there's a better way.
[00:17:08] We need to get at the incentives that make people want to do pirating. Let's take the incentives away. And by the way, I'll jump ahead and tell you that the same principle I'm about to describe now can apply to human traffickers. But the international fraud group went to the large software company and said, yeah, we have a lot of expertise and ability to look at the dark web.
[00:17:35] To look at use artificial intelligence to use covert activities in one way or another, we can track the bank accounts of the, of the pirates of the software counterfeiters and, you know, hire us to do this and let's see what happens. Well, here's what happened. They would get the software guys, the pirates who were.
[00:17:59] Yeah, making millions of dollars, but then locate their bank accounts. And frequently it took a lot to get to their bank accounts because it would be one shell company and I'm making this up, but maybe the Cayman islands or Lipskon Steiner Organo squat, but they have the ability to track the money until they could get to the bank where, where it was being hidden and that go to the bank and then show them just yet with.
[00:18:24] Enormous clarity, you know, total proof, this money that you're handling is hot, uh, freeze the guy's account and yeah, the threat underneath it was, if you don't freeze it, uh, you're going to get terrible publicity and maybe fines for money laundering. So the banks were always eager to cooperate because what bank wants to be accused publicly of money laundering.
[00:18:49] So the international fraud group would. Uh, freeze the account, seize the money, re give it back to the person. It really belonged to, which was the large software company. And in a fairly short time, the motivation for the, for the pirates was, was to make money and suddenly, yeah, they're making money, but it's going right back to the software company.
[00:19:13] They can't use it and they, they destroyed the. Uh, the incentive behind pirating and PR I mean, they effectively ended. Well, what if that same principle were applied to human trafficking, except it's a much bigger problem. Software piracy is in the millions human trafficking is in the billions. I mean, there there's, I've heard estimates that there are $150 billion made each year out of human trafficking.
[00:19:46] But that means that there are a lot of bank accounts that can be frozen. So I, I, I have the privilege of giving this keynote to the international fraud group and I asked, you know, might this be of interest to them? And how about yeah, it was okay. That's part one, part two. I don't want to name the, the, uh, The anti-trafficking organization yet, because we're still kind of figuring out how much we can work together.
[00:20:16] One of the very largest anti-trafficking organizations in the United States anyway, has a lot of, uh, the kind of database where it would make it really fast to find the traffickers. And the international fraud group has the dark web, the, uh, covered operations, just a whole lot of skill in finding bank accounts.
[00:20:38] And then there's one of the largest banks maybe in the world. And again, I don't want to mention the name yet because we're still in the discussion stage, but they're enthusiastic about it. So what if these, what if the international fraud group represents 76? 47 different countries. The huge American, uh, anti trafficking organization has possibly the largest database in the world.
[00:21:04] So what if you could put that together and then with a bank that's excited about this? I mean, maybe we could really make a difference in taking away some of the incentives for trafficking. I like that a lot. Yeah. I liked that a lot. I mean, when it comes down to it, Uh, I mean, I hate to say this. It is a business for the, the human traffickers, right.
[00:21:25] For them, you know, maybe their commodities are human beings, but it is for them. It's about revenue and profit generating. So if you go after directly, what they're interested in, um, it's going to hurt the most per se versus, you know, you do the rehabilitation or the rescue missions and so forth. To me.
[00:21:42] There's you go higher stream to actually address the source of the, the, the core of the problem rather than the symptoms? Yeah, I think most people would agree that what motivates the traffickers. I mean, they're probably psychopaths and they, yeah, they're just bad nasty people, but, but I think what they're in it for us money and what if we could block their accounts?
[00:22:03] Yeah. And, uh, yeah, I just said of what if, but there are a lot of people who are agreeing on this, that, and you know, I want to, I just want to say ahead of time that it won't be smooth sailing to get from here to there, but there's some really, really smart people working on how to do it. So I think. I'm I'm hopeful that it won't solve the problem, but it could make a huge step.
[00:22:28] I, I agree. A hundred percent. So if you don't mind kind of explain the economics of it a little bit, I'm a, I'm an entrepreneur. So I'm curious to know how to actually make this sustainable and per se. Right? So is the international frog group, a coalition, a non-profit or corporation and just. Uh, the, the group of volunteers, like how, absolutely.
[00:22:51] This is a professional organization of people who have some extraordinary specialized skills. Okay. I'm going to throw out a figure, which won't be completely accurate, but I'm sure it's directionally accurate. I believe I know some of the members of this who are making a quarter of a million dollars a year.
[00:23:09] And they, they can't do it for free because they've got kids to put through college and mortgages to pay. So they can't do it for free much as they'd like to. So they do need, well, I'll tell you what my dream is. They do need a backer and I think for $10 million, we could make an unbelievably huge impact on, on human trafficking.
[00:23:32] And. For what would keep it be sustainable is when you freeze those bank accounts, what if it were to stipulate stipulated ahead of time, 5% goes to the, the umbrella organization that pays the, the experts in this. So I, the business model is sound and you know, my prayer is that somebody listening to us today, maybe, maybe they're head of the large foundation may be there.
[00:24:03] Well, maybe there are a corporation that could really, really use some good PR Nike, are you listening to me? What, what big corporation or foundation? Wouldn't like to be the one that made the biggest stent of human trafficking for $10 million. Okay. That's the hope. And, uh, I don't know what will happen, but if you, if you don't try, you don't have a chance.
[00:24:32] You miss a hundred percent of the shots you don't take. I really love it. Thank you so much for sharing that idea. And I think that's a very scalable idea as well. So, um, and by the way, I mentioned that I'm looking for volunteers. You wouldn't believe the range of skills that we can make use of in this, in other writing press releases or I don't know, managing websites or.
[00:24:57] Uh, public speaking, just volunteering on a local level. There's the project is so big. It's $150 billion a year object that we're after. I pretty much think that almost any skill a person has, we will eagerly make use of. So, so change your topic a bit. If you don't mind, you've been an author, you've been a journalist, you are a thought leader in your, in, you know, in an, a rising thought leader in the human trafficker world.
[00:25:27] And then you've been on a podcast guest for Dinae something times last year. So what's your thought about the role of authors or storytellers in our social media world today as a way to solve problems? Right. Well, I'm as big a believer in that as, as a person can be, because first of all, you know, the essence of storytelling is what we've been doing around the campfires for probably a hundred thousand years.
[00:25:57] It is our minds have wired to make use of stories. So stories are incredibly persuasive and I bet you, that I could have given you a list of facts about human trafficking. They don't move you, but you hear stories and they do move you. So, uh, and by the way, I don't think I'd get invited on any podcasts if I didn't have stories to tell.
[00:26:22] Hmm. Well, I mean, so I'm as big a believer in stories as, as a tool for persuasion. I mean, there are others. I mean, maybe I could say, yeah, here's a hundred thousand dollars please. What I do, what I want you to do, but that doesn't take you very far. But a story can a story. You know, when we make decisions, I I've actually studied this in speech classes and I've even given speech classes, but what moves people to act.
[00:26:54] Is there a motion it's not, not their brains. I mean, maybe 1% of the people act because of, because of just being rational. But I think I, I do believe that people who study this say that for most people, it's, it's going after your heart, that moves people to actually act rather than just think about it.
[00:27:14] So, uh, I, I, as I'm repeating myself, but I'm as big a fan of storytelling, as you can find. So I'm, I'm curious cause I'm, uh, uh, uh, engineering, uh, engineer by trade. So I'm go round, right? I, I, as I'm learning the craft of telling stories and asking interesting questions, making you engaging content and so forth, but you hang out with the likes of Mark, Victor Hansen and, you know, professional storytellers, you know, the creator of chicken soup for the soul.
[00:27:47] So I'm curious to know from your perspective, Sort of what, what is, um, how do you go about making storytelling more effective in the social media world? Do you guys ever, uh, at the dinner table, like how do you actually be more impactful using all these mechanisms? You know, technology, social media, and so forth allows you to make the kind of impact that you want to make.
[00:28:12] I'm curious. Okay. If somebody really wants to develop that, I have recommendation. It's, it's a big, large scale investment in time and money, but the national speakers association, I think it has somewhere around 5,000 members. Give or take, they put a huge amount of effort into teaching people how to tell stories, how to be engaging, how do, and here's some of the things that I picked up from my membership up in a member for five years, but one of them is the deeper.
[00:28:42] It comes from you, the deeper reaches your audience. So tell something that, that, that moves you. Because if you're just like reading off a laundry list of facts, uh, somebody else's pro you know, your audience is probably thinking of their shopping list or something rather than really listening to you.
[00:29:00] Another, another thing that's really good and impactful be in the moment. And I'll explain what I mean by that. Eh, I have I've, I've a way of getting at what it means to be in the moment you've listened to improv. Yeah, people were just humorous. Like on-demand one of the things that makes that so impactful is because you see the person's mind at work.
[00:29:26] You're, you're, you're living through it. It's like walking on a higher wire without, without a net. It's, it's just so much more impactful than somebody who's reading a speech. So to the extent that you can be spontaneous and. Yeah. Be like an improv person, the better off you are. Other things that are just super.
[00:29:46] And again, I'm sharing things that I've learned as a member of the national speakers association, telling the story over and over again, improves it. And so one of the things that were recommended to us members of, of the NSA national speakers association is. You should probably have told a story at least 40 times before you're on the stage getting paid for it.
[00:30:10] And you start out with, you know, you're having coffee with your best friend, and you say, Hey, I had a funny thing happened. And then you tell the story and you see how much they like it. Well, after you've told it with a few friends, maybe you try your material out, um, rotary or, or the Elks or a surface club.
[00:30:30] And. Anyway, tell it 40 times before. It's the big, important audience that you really care about because the more you tell it. Yeah. There's a funny thing that happens. The more you tell it, the more you can live it, the more you can forget the words, you just come out with it because it's on the tip of your tongue.
[00:30:48] So practice, practice practices, one of the big secrets of storytelling and then, okay. And then let me give you the best. Yes, you're ready for the best. Let's go for it. All right. The essence of every story is you've got to have conflict. You've got to have a resolution, so here's a way that they express it.
[00:31:08] Whatever story you're trying to tell, check with yourself just in your own mind, is this carrying out the following like diagram and it's this, your hero is walking long, ordinary day. You've got to run up a tree, maybe dogs are chasing or something, so he's up a tree. And then you throw stones at him, you know, you make it worse and worse.
[00:31:34] What's going to happen to him. And then, uh, you've got them down from the tree and he goes on his way. Uh, but he's different in some way. And that's the essence of every story they, yeah, th there's the hero and it could be a woman, but let's for the sake of making it simple at say, it's a guy. And walking long, get scared up a tree.
[00:31:56] People are throwing stones at him. That's the conflict. And then the resolution is he comes down from the tree and continues his life. But in some way, wiser, smarter, better in some way, changed like explanation of what a story is. Absolutely. I love it. Essentially really summarized the hero's journey. Yeah.
[00:32:19] In, in three bullet points. So I'm actually curious you about to turn 80, by the way, you don't, you don't look 80 at all.
[00:32:29] I can tell you why. Yeah. Go for it. Please eat chicken,
[00:32:37] chicken business. So, so I'm curious, you know, reflecting upon your own life. Know your own life or your early husband's live, your father's life, right? What would you characterize as their ability or even your ability to. To be resilient, you know, when it comes to facing adversity, because a lot of people listening right now and probably facing some adversity, whether it's due to COVID or their psychological of staying at home or, or friction with their spouse or, you know, or business issues.
[00:33:12] So, so it's trying time for, for a lot of people. So how would you reflecting on. The hero's journey of yourself, your late husband and your father. What can you tell us a story about facing adversity? Yeah, I'd love to start off with my father. And by the way, I wrote a book with Mark Victor Hansen about this it's called how to be up and down times, but to, to quickly tell the story of my father.
[00:33:38] He was the co-founder of the Sheraton hotels, along with my uncle. And at the time of his death, the family owned 400 hotels and we did sell them. So I'm no longer connected with Sharon, but I did get to watch up close and personal what father was like and how he did it. And, and here's his story. And it is sort of the hero story.
[00:34:00] The adversity for him was when he was 26 years old. He just couldn't figure out what he wanted to do in life. Actually, I couldn't figure out, I mean, he hadn't been a success at anything. I had just moved from one thing to another and couldn't sick. And, uh, he finally kind of out of desperation because he's 26.
[00:34:19] He wanted to get married, start a family. And yet, if you can't hold a job that sends a problem. So he went to the yellow pages or whatever the equivalent was in 1923. Golly. That's almost a hundred years ago, 97 years ago. Anyway, he went to the yellow pages and he found a career guidance, counselor, counselor.
[00:34:42] The man's name was Johnson O'Connor and he went to Johnson. O'Connor saying, you know, what do I need to do? I, I, I can't stick with anything. I'm not holding a job. I'd like to. Get married and have kids, but you can't do that. If you can't hold a job, now what's wrong. So John Snow, Conard spent an entire day putting him through all sorts of tests.
[00:35:07] And at the end of that, John Snow Connor told my father, Ernest Henderson, you have the worst human relations skills I've ever come across. Now how's that for adversity? How's that for a kick in the door? I, I can relate to that. I can totally relate to that. I wonder how many, you know, his, his background by the way, was MIT in electrical engineering.
[00:35:31] So he had to be like the ultimate nerd, but with the worst human relation skills that Johnson O'Connor had ever come across. Well, I think, Oh, Oh, Johnson snow O'Connor, you know, since she's there for career guidance counseling, I told my father yet you're clearly a smart fellow, no ability to get along with people.
[00:35:55] I think what you should do for the rest of your life is find a job in a laboratory where you never have to interact with anybody else and just do your shiny thing and know father could have done that. I'm glad he didn't. Cause I wouldn't have had a really cool fun childhood, but here's what father did.
[00:36:15] And he told me about this. So, you know, I know firsthand father told me that when he looked around the world and. Yeah. He wanted to make something of himself. When he looked around the world, he kept coming up with the following conclusion, whatever. Yeah. Whatever sort of train of thought he had, it always came back to, you want to be a success.
[00:36:36] You have to get along with people. And if his people skills were so bad, well, he better do something about it. And as far as I can tell, the rest of his life was devoted to learning what makes people tick. And he started by studying psychology books, which he had never done before he had takes salesmanship courses with the idea that you can't be a good salesmanship because God couldn't salesmen.
[00:37:01] If you don't have a really good understanding of, of people. So public speaking, psychology, salesmanship, uh, Reading biographies just studying. And he told me that, you know, the book, Dale Carnegie, how to win friends and influence people. He not only took the Dale Carnegie course. He told me that he'd reread the book every 10 years because his goal was to overcome his deficit of having human relations skills that were the worst that John Snow Connor had ever seen.
[00:37:36] But where did that take him? Well, he was supposed to have a career as a scientist in a laboratory where he wouldn't interact with anybody and stead his greatest deficit, which is not being able to get along with people or understand them. He spot by sheer study and effort. It became his greatest asset.
[00:37:59] And so he ended up in the hospitality industry, hiring people, working with people, being a great host and. Yeah. I used to try to calculate that how many people, at least in the United States interact with as many people as the head of a major hotel company did, I mean, maybe a national politician, but the number of people that father like would speak with, or, you know, public speaking or glad-handing as a host, you know, it was just endless and he was, he was spectacular at it, but he overcame.
[00:38:33] Yeah, uh, really severe deficit to become outstanding at it. Hmm. Thank you for sharing that story. So if I'm hearing you right based on reflecting on your father's overcoming his, his adversity of not having people skills, his dedication studying it. And keep your rating. Is that what I'm hearing correctly?
[00:38:54] Exactly. And precisely. And Maggie give you an example of how this actually played out in real life and made money for him. Go for it. Okay. And it, and it's something that anybody else can copy. I mean, anybody can copy the principle anyway, and it's the following. I used to ask him as a little girl, it was just a really good way of getting parental attention.
[00:39:12] There were five of us and this was my way of getting attention. Uh, I'd ask him why he did things. You know, what made you a success study? And yeah, he'd give different answers because it wasn't just one answer. But one of them, he told me was what had do when he'd take over a hotel. And he began in the great depression where.
[00:39:32] Yeah, nobody was buying hotels and everybody was trying to unload them because you couldn't make money in the hotel business. If, if nobody came to the hotels, it was sort of like, it has a lot with coming with COVID-19 people just weren't coming to hotels and back then it wasn't because of disease. It was because of the economic, the economy was in shambles.
[00:39:53] So how could he make a hotel, a success when everybody else was. Failing. And here's a story that he told me. He said whenever he had takeover a hotel, that would usually be one that was close to bankruptcy. The day he took possession, hit, invited all the employees into the hotel ballroom and he knew ahead of time that every one of them was just totally demoralized because they're thinking I'm going to be fired and I'm not going to be able to find another job because there's 25% unemployment.
[00:40:22] And so he knew going in that the people that he's facing are just, as I said, as demoralized as possible. And he knew that he understood that because, you know, he had made it his business to try to figure out what people are thinking and feeling. And knowing that the first words out of his mouth, when he's addressing, you know, 400, 800 people was, I want every one of you to keep your jobs.
[00:40:49] And instantly that means that they've gone from just utter misery to, Oh, what a relief. You know, I don't have to face my, my spouse or worry about putting food on the table. I'm keeping my job, but that's the beginning father would go on to say, I want you to keep your job, because I know that, you know, your job better than anybody else in the whole world.
[00:41:11] And my job is to give you the resources. And the encouragement to show the world just how good you are. And you're going to see that, you know, in the next few months, we're going to be the most popular hotel in the whole city. And not only that, we're going to turn things around and we'll be an example for the rest of the city that terrible and toughest times are during the great depression, terrible things are, uh, Things can turn around and you'll see the is going to be financially stable and will be an example to the rest of the city.
[00:41:45] Well, imagine you're the people who are trooping in, you have to, at the beginning of this talk, you know, they're, they're miserable. And they walk out knowing that the big boss believes in them, but that's only the small part of the story, because the bigger part of the story that he told me was the next day, those same employees would see.
[00:42:06] Yeah. Dozens and dozens and dozens of like decorators or plumbers or electrician arts, you know, doing whatever it takes to refurbish the hotel. That's been on the verge of bankruptcy, but the good party of this, of what that'd be saying is those decorators, plumbers, electricians, whoever else. They didn't even go to the areas that the public would see that go to the areas that only the employees would see, like the employee lockers, showers, dining rooms.
[00:42:42] And so I asked father, why did you put so much money into areas that the public would never see? I mean, you wouldn't get your money back. This seems backwards to me. And he explained, he said that he always felt that the success of the hotels, where the, the people who worked there and he wanted to signal to them how important they were to him.
[00:43:05] And he said, people have a compulsion to live up to. Or down to your expectations. And he wanted to show them by putting his first money into the locker room, showers, dining rooms, and so on how important they were and how much he believed in them. I appreciate that so much. Your father was a very astute student of human nature.
[00:43:27] I don't think. Yeah. None of his competitors knew those new, those approaches. I think he only knew them because he had to work. To learn to understand other people, but he, you know, at the end of his life, he said, whatever success I've had at, at every level, it's the employees who may share it in a success.
[00:43:47] Not me. I love that. And in one of the, that, one of the key lesson that I actually learned from that story is you, you, you, you quoted in another podcast is your father said a leader's job is to give people better visions of themselves. Yeah. He used to say that with, yeah. With the attitude that he had. The, you know, I believe in you, uh, we're part of a team that's going to make this the best, uh, you know, the best hotel in the area.
[00:44:17] He said that is much better for everybody. If say the maid who's, who's making the bed or the bartender who's mixing drinks or the Porter who's carrying your bags, whatever. If they're working to make as a team to make the best hotel in the city, you know, everybody's excited to come to work. Everybody wants to go beyond, uh, you have to go above and beyond and go the extra mile.
[00:44:46] And it's that energy that makes the hotels a success. And he did this 400 different times. I mean, it works what I've just described. Or actually quoting you, who was quoting me a leader's job is to give people a better vision of themselves. Uh, it worked over and over and over and over and over again, it worked give people a better vision of themselves and do that by showing how important they are showing how you value them, giving them the resources to show the world just how good they are.
[00:45:19] Yeah. So, uh, let's segue for a bit, because I'm curious to know in that, just the part where your late husband, your father, and you being the shiny beacon of possibility for the people who are counting on than you, but also the sort of the burden as well. Right? Cause he's, he's responsible for employees of 400 hotels.
[00:45:41] I mean, God, that's, I one can imagine that like how much. Pressure that is. So can you share with us a little bit of maybe of that, the time where you may have witnessed your late husband, your, your, your father may have like, carried that burden as well as what did they do to tactically? Relief have like a relief valve.
[00:46:02] So then they can, you know, go back to being that shiny beacon as well. Does that make sense? But yeah, my late father had had many hobbies and he'd just throw himself into them. And I think that he did it partly because he enjoyed them. But I also think that you can't, you can't be at Def con, is it one the whole time?
[00:46:22] No, uh, You, you can't be at a high adrenaline level the whole time or you'll wear out. And so father was, was very good about, about half. I mean, he had hobbies like photography. He loved, you love to learn about ancestry. Uh, he liked history, fresh produce the same and. I used to think Frank Perdue at the end of his days had responsibility for 20,000 people.
[00:46:49] And I used to think, you know, when you make a decision or maybe you tick off the wrong politician or something you have on your shoulders, that, you know, if you got it wrong, people will lose their jobs. They won't be able to pay for their kids' college or their mortgages or whatever. I used to think that the pressure I knew he was under to, to get it right.
[00:47:10] That I couldn't, I couldn't. Personally. I mean, with my personality, I couldn't endure it for five minutes. And yet he had to like carry the responsibility for 20,000 people. And like my father, he had hobbies, like he left to, to read about the founding fathers to think towards the end of his days, there wasn't any major.
[00:47:35] Current book written on any of the funding fathers that Frank hadn't read USL. So interested in military history, he, one of his hobbies was, uh, treasure hunting and not in the sense that he himself would go out and dig up lost ships or something. But he would, he would finance director hunters and that's paid off because the sunken treasure ship a Tosha, uh, when it was found in today's dollars, it was worth a couple of billion dollars.
[00:48:04] And that was one of the major backers of that. And that surely was exciting stuff. So, you know, this is, this is something that I advise. Absolutely everybody, whether you've got 20,000 employees or just yourself, if the times are tough and I. Well COVID-19 how about they are tough just by definition. I mean, maybe somebody you love is ill.
[00:48:24] Maybe you're worrying about paying the rent. I don't know what your particular issue is, but to the extent that you possibly can give yourself respite, it's medically necessary. And I don't know what your respite would be, but yeah, maybe it's. And I'll tell you what mine is. I love watching baby funds on YouTube.
[00:48:43] I think they'd be deer. I mean, cause you're just so cute and you, but I'm not going to recommend that to everybody everybody's got his or her own. Um, I also like watching James Bond or, um, if you're watching a James Bond, even if you seen it four times, if you're really into watching James Bond, who's your favorite bond by the way.
[00:49:06] Favorite bond. Oh, Sean, Sean Connery. Connery. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, but remind me the name of the current one. I'm not thinking of it at the moment.
[00:49:18] Yeah. I could see his face. Daniel Craig, Daniel Craig. Oh, I think he's terrific too. But, but anything that gives you an escape so that while you're. Engaged in this escape activity. Uh, you're not chewing yourself up with nervousness and anxiety and, you know, where's the rent or whatever. It's. I have a niece who runs a nursing home and she says the people who are caregivers, who don't.
[00:49:46] Fit into their day, an hour or two of being removed from the stress of, of having somebodies life in their hands. They may die sooner than the person they're caring for. On the other hand, if they will deliberately and considering it medically necessary, give themselves an hour or two of maybe watching a movie, maybe having drinks with a friend.
[00:50:09] Yeah. Just something that gives you time to have your. Stress hormones go down. You'll live longer and you'll be able to cope with whatever it is. That's eating you alive. You'll you'll cope better if you give yourself. Uh, respite. Yeah, for sure. Uh, well, one thing on this podcast, we talk a lot about is not just a solo activity, but also doing the with friends, um, you know, using technology, like podcasts in your clubhouse as a way to.
[00:50:41] You know, find likeminded people. So you can not just being in one's head on day. So for sure, thank you so much for sharing. I'm also watching a time. Do you mind if I ask you some, some rapid fire questions? Is that cool by the way, can I ask, uh, our audience something about this, right? Yes. You want to tell this story, please?
[00:51:01] Do. Okay. Um, gosh, I think I have to take my head fun stuff for this. We'll find out what happens cause I'll put them right back on again. But I think you can hear me and I won't be able to hear you. Okay. Uh, what you see here is a bandana and it's taken from Rosie, the Riveter who was a character from, she was a real person back from world war II and Rosie.
[00:51:25] The Riveter did something extraordinary and Rosie, the Riveter really stands for. Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of women during world war II, who left their homes to work in the factories. And by working in the factories, they freed the men to go off and defeat Nazi-ism, which was at the time. The worst thing that could happen to the world, they helped win world war II.
[00:51:51] Well, in kind of admiration of Rosie, the Riveter, when this fight, one of the volunteers who works for when this fight, her name is Margot district house, she thought, wouldn't it be cool if sort of in remembrance and admiration of Rosie, the Riveter we created Rosie, the liberator. I will see the liberator.
[00:52:13] What she does is, uh, if, if you want to be part of this, not really love you too. Cause you're going to meet a group of fabulous, fabulous people who are all on the same page, Rosie, Rosie, the liberator, or if it's a guy it's going to be rusty, deliberate or deliberate, or let's see if I can get the camera angle right.
[00:52:31] For this, she makes a muscle. And then takes a selfie of herself and Rosie deliberate or posts it to her social media, along with the hashtag Rosie collaborator, and then come to win this fight.org and get us a picture of, of what you posted to social media. Uh, and you'll get to see what, what hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of other people who are raising awareness about human trafficking, what they're doing, and we'll get to vote on the funniest or the most appropriate, or we're even inviting graphic artists to paint Rosie deliberate or, or, or make a cartoon of her, but just in one way or another, come join this group that is raising awareness about human trafficking. And if you choose make a $5 donation to the anti-trafficking organization of your choice, and it's going to make a difference, Rosie, the Riveter left her home to fight.
[00:53:33] Nazi-ism I'm asking you right now. To join a fabulous group of people who are raising awareness about human trafficking because human trafficking sniff going to be really conquered and people until people rise up and say, no, this is awful. We're going to do something about it. So come join me. I'd love to have you.
[00:53:58]Yeah, absolutely join Mitzi too, with the fight. Text this number. If I want five, five with WTF to join the newsletter, join this, uh, uh, this contest to, to, um, to join this movement for sure. You have a few minutes, do some rapid fire still.
[00:54:17] Absolutely. Awesome. Thank you. So I'm actually very curious, this, this may or may not be a rapid fire. Uh, Jim Carrey has family famously said everyone wants millions of dollars in the bank, the fame, the power, and in his wishes for people to receive it such that they know that that's not it. And you also have shared in your, um, in your, in your podcasts somewhere that you share the three things I won't make you happy, money, power and fame.
[00:54:47] Uh, rather as truth, beauty and goodness, that's gonna make you happy. Now you're very, very fortunate to be born into a family of privilege. So you experienced firsthand, uh, money, power and fame. So I'm curious to know if you can being, having been that position shares the wisdom that adapt what Plato or Jim Carrey has share a bit.
[00:55:08] I think that would be very, very useful. All right. I did follow up with, uh, about as privileged as, I mean, to be filthy stinking. Rich does mean that you're privileged. Yeah. Uh, however, I grew up with a whole dozens and dozens of people who are in exactly my situation, who came from famous wealthy families and the number who did not end up happy is.
[00:55:33] Staggering, uh, money, power and fame are no guarantee of happiness. In fact, I think I don't, I'm trying to think if I really mean this and yeah, I do. I think, I think they make you less happy. Uh, and the problem with money, power and famous, you always want more and it just distorts everything. Unless you have some really raw.
[00:56:01] Rock bottom values. And I think my father was just, and my mother were just, you know, very, very strong on teaching us, like, to be honest, think of others, uh, be generous, get your identity, not from spending money, but by surfing. And I would say Frank Perdue was exactly the same. In fact, what a frat produced sayings that, that I cherish is if you want to be happy, think what you can do for somebody else.
[00:56:28] You really want to be miserable, think what's owed to you. And so I think both, both families put an enormous effort into getting your meaning out of life, uh, serving others. And my own motto is success is measured, not by what you can get, but by what you can give. And I've got, you'd be surprised if you saw how middle-class my life is in spite of my resources.
[00:56:54] Uh, I live in a building where, where my neighbor, like one of them runs the library, another, uh, he works in the hospital. Another is an, I'm not clear on what the term for it is, but like she, she would lack a career in the local police department. And. You, you aren't an intern, maybe you're on probation. I'm not sure what the term is, but if all goes, well, she will become a full-fledged police officer, but, but these are not a high society people.
[00:57:23] They're just people who haven't lived in the building that I'm in. And I love it. And I wouldn't, you know, I think I could live anywhere I wanted. This is where I choose because I don't need a great big, fancy McMansion to make me happy. I mean, I can jam on you for hours just on this. I think, I mean, having had friends who have millions in the bank yet still miserable and I witnessed it firsthand.
[00:57:48] I, I, I see the cost of not having a way to channel their resources to something that's meaningful for them. So for sure, thank you for sharing that. Well, back back to Frank saying, if you want to be happy, think what you can do for somebody else. You want to be miserable? Think what's owed to you. I am so happy not being burdened with loads of possessions.
[00:58:13] I don't own a house. I, this is rental and it's, and it's not huge, but that means that I can give a lot more resources to what I care about. When I, I, there was a period of 10 years where I would visit China every year. There was a family there that I became close to and really loved. And I'd get invited back year after year, but first class to China, at least when I was doing it was $12,000.
[00:58:42] The economy class was $1,000. First class. I never went, um, Business class. I always the economy, because that meant that there was $11,000 more that I could give to charity and gave me a lot more satisfaction than going first-class whatever. Mm Hmm. I appreciate that. Well, and that's again, on the theory that success is measured, not by what you can get, but by what you can give.
[00:59:08] Yeah. I mean, You're exuberant with joy and love for human beings for contribution. I mean, very palpable, right? Just, yeah. What's um, what's grace for you for someone who is full of grace, what's grace, how do you define grace? That's funny that you mentioned that because I have a list that's attached to the shelf behind my, my.
[00:59:38] Computer and one of them is, uh, be graceful. And that doesn't mean just, uh, let's see if I can get that doesn't mean, uh, graceful gestures. No, I think grace is. How about kindness? Consideration caring for others? To me, grace is maybe it's a state of mind rather than how your body moves.