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Unlock The Power of Conversation & Coaching – Peter Marcus


This week’s episode features global entrepreneur and business coach, Peter Marcus. In this segment, Peter Marcus and Ja’dan Johnson explore the power of conversations and techniques for having challenging conversations. 



  • How to gauge and have honest conversations with yourself. 
  • Having difficult conversations with others.
  • Being vulnerable.


Peter Marcus

Founding Partner Peter Marcus is dedicated to the cause of Social Entrepreneurship, and bringing forth business benefits by helping the implementation of Effective and Strategic methodologies through BudinessLife Global platform with certified professional coaches and trainers in Europe and USA- The BusinessLife Methodology is designed specifically for Business Owners, Founders, Entrepreneurs and Partners in all areas of business or commerce.

For more than 30 years Peter has been helping business leaders navigate their way through the many day to day challenges that do exsist, and with that, implement effective strategies, so that, they play a bigger game, and realise their true potential.


Ja'dan Johnson 0:00
This is conversations worth having a weekly podcast exploring transformative ideas about how we live, work and play

posted by entrepreneur and designer Ja'dan Johnson. Hi, guys, thank you for tuning in to this week's episode of conversations worth having. I'm really excited to share more about this week's guest, my mentor, business coach and friend, Peter Marcus. Peter has been in the coaching business for quite a number of years and has worked with talented entrepreneurs across North America and Europe, Peter has been an emergent technology developer and won the 1997 Product of the Year award from Popular Science Qf TV and the flat screen TV the world's first plasma TV today we'll be talking about Peters journey as a business coach and unlocking the power of conversations. Let's get right to it.

Peter Marcus 0:48
Thank you, gentlemen, good to have a time to, to talk with you. And to greet your audience and to say that conversations are really important thing. And I know clearly, that I've always said, hey, I've always got something to say. So to me, that's the the starter attitude I have towards conversation.

Ja'dan Johnson 1:12
Always got something to say. So Peter, if you don't mind, if you can just like take us back to that moment for you when you decided to get into to coaching and not just almost, uh, you know, start exploring this, this phase where you've decided that you know, you, you have something to say, we also want to start listening, I love that you talk about something to say with the word of listening.

Peter Marcus 1:39
As I that that's huge. There's no rule out there that says, You talk 20% of the time you listen 80% of the time. So as a as a as a person who's always got something to say that's kind of difficult for me, because you know, I'm always like wanting to talk. But what I did is I took that 8020 rule, and I turned it around towards me. And I said, well, as long as I'm listening to myself 80% of the time, then working the 8020 rule doesn't mean that I'm not listening to other people just means that I am also listening to myself. And I think that that's a vital asset and having conversation. I've been lucky through the years, earlier years, I was involved in a couple of what are ubiquitous technologies, the large handle display billboard that we see out there, and the origins of the first of those matrix building exercises, and further the introduction of what is called flat screen TV. Now, I'm not the inventor of that. That was way before my time. However, my particular flat screen TVs were called flat screen TV. So that's where the the name actually came from, that we utilize today. So a couple of ubiquitous technologies based in display. So I reckon I came to the end of a period of time in my life, which was about emerging tech based upon display and based upon information, receiving information, how we actually obtain information, and it wasn't an age that we were moving into receiving information digitally. So that was the focus of it. But I've come to the end of the period of time. And you know, I made myself put up periods like dinosaur, okay, the new texts are gonna come along the Mayans

Peter Marcus 3:39
is the, you know, I'm a dinosaur. I've had, you know, pretty interesting career within tech, but it's time to move away. So I did just that I looked around what else appeal to me. And things that have appealed to me have always been based upon emergent technology, new technology, than how can we display could be a an anything else. And I also found that that time that you know, to be in the product product game was kind of a difficult one when the other guys in the product game called Sony or Mitsubishi or Panasonic, or pioneer or you know, so so you know, the product game wasn't where I wanted to go, and I wasn't sure what to do. I was lucky enough at that time to actually have an old friend of mine who had become a life coach and in conversation with him. And then ongoing conversations. He He eventually said to me said, you know, Peter, he said, you should be doing the job I'm doing you should be coaching people. And I said But Bob, I don't want to be a consultant. I don't want to do that consultancy kind of thing. And he said it's different. It isn't consultancy. So I thought about it and thought about it and actually I went up and took a life coaching course one of the earlier ones Coaching courses. And I learned a lot. But I learned a lot and not to meet to say I don't want to do this, don't be a life coach came back to, to where I was living, and then thought about it and thought, I really liked the idea of what coaches do, but I really didn't want to be a life coach. So I then took another course on business coaching, and came away from that with even more of a kind of not, I'm gonna do this job attitude, which was because it was just too too formal for me, now I've been an entrepreneur, you might stay, you know, an own business, build a leader in areas working in emerging tech, you better be leading in it, or you're not in emerging tech. So I got to this point that our ideas, coaching budget is the ideal business coach looking at the numbers all the time and making the focus, studying markets and being assistant. And I didn't like the the other lightweight approach that I considered being a life coach. So this business coaching course, I, again, was speaking to Bob, and he said, well, so you know, if you like it, then what are you going to do about and I came up with the idea that what I should do is actually make my own course called business life, which included business coaching, and life coaching, because I'm believe you bring in the coaching man, but to make the focus that a business owner or a founder, that I had always been, throughout my career, I'd always been the founder, I'd always been the owner, I'd always been, you know, the guy who thought of the ideas and managed to build the teams and, and connect with people. And I'd learned to do that internationally, globally, over many, many years. And that's what I'd actually been accomplishing all the time, I wasn't sitting in the back room, you know, soldering wires, or putting, you know, a new display together. So I actually wrote a kind of do it yourself, coaching program, or go so to this day, that's exactly the formula that I work with. In my business, we carry this formula, business life, which is coaching for people in ownership, whether it be sports, or theater, or business, from startups to fortune 100, whether it be for owners who grow produce, or people who, you know, sell and service, medical imaging equipment, they're all business owners within that. And that has been the focus that I bring as a coach, the area and the demographic I used to work in.

Ja'dan Johnson 7:48
So as individuals, you know, going through lives and we injury and come to these experiences, sometimes it becomes increasingly difficult to gauge what is for me or what is not for me, but to have these honest conversations with ourselves, eventually allows us to set ourselves up for success. So how do you navigate those internal conversations?

Unknown Speaker 8:09
Yeah, well, I think you gave was the clue. When you said eventually, you know, you eventually get it that it's worth having the conversation, right. And I love the way you said, eventually just kind of stroke it to be at that moment in time. That's what happens, the way to accomplish that eventual eventuality is to arrange a time to have the conversation with yourself. That's typical. Now, I may sound like, wow, what was he talking about? But the reality is, is if I had an important conversation with you to set up something that we were intending to do together, and I called you on the spur of the moment, and on we have that conversation, or I put into my calendar, I'm going to call you then I'm going to send him a message I'm going to call him on Thursday. And this is the topic I want to speak about which one of those two things would eventually bring the result that I'm looking to achieve? So the difficult conversation may come up in the spur of the moment, right? Something happened in life, you know, the office printer went offline, okay, we might need an emergency conversation. It could be a difficult one, because we don't have money to pay for a new one. But actually, that's a rarity that you need that emergency conversation. But the reality is that, most times, we don't actually set up appointments with ourselves to have an important conversation. We take it down at the moment it occurs, and we're probably not at our best time. So I always suggest that hooked on to calendar, the way you would put any other important event, the content of what it is that you want to talk about. About with yourself, put it on calendar and associate when you're going to put it on calendar for what time you're going to put it on calendar, and how much time you're going to spend on it. This starts to kind of associate with, oh, it's important for me to have this conversation come might have to have an hour in 15 minutes, hold on, I'm going to put it on calendar for 15 minutes from now, I'm going to finish what I'm doing so that I can really bring full concentration and focus to it. And that's what I'm going to do. It's a calendar event becomes an ability to have a difficult conversation, especially if it's with yourself, and the impact of this with anybody who make a calendar event of something you've already added importance to it and high value to it instead of the knee jerk reaction. Oh, I gotta call up. Now spend five minutes think when do you have to when you know, when's this problem, occurrence or situation really best dealt with? It's best dealt with right now. Okay, put things aside, let me deal with it right now, this is what I'm going to do. having the conversation with yourself is the foundation to having a conversation with anybody else. And it's often difficult to set yourself up to have a conversation with because we're Stillman. But if you do that, you can have the hard conversation. Now, I've not spoken there about the content of what that conversation may be. But if we were to talk about content of conversation, what a difficult subject matter to be, in today's day and age, what do you think it would be? Um, well,

Ja'dan Johnson 11:36
I mean, for just just just kind of bringing this full circle, I feel like I feel like having these conversations with with your with ourselves, because like, for me personally, when I whenever like, you know, with, even though in the United States is just these heightened discourse on on race, I've had to take deliberate time to really process how is it that I am feeling about everything that's happening at this moment, or what other people might call you to just kind of clearing your head in your head are bringing these things into focus. But I feel like we have a recording pressure. And I know, the current climate might might be one of those things, but I feel like, you know, for most people, you know, from the lens of a student, we have these conversations that we want to be doing in the future, or how's it not where we are knowledge is really setting us up to get to where we want to be in the future. And that becomes a very challenging thing to navigate. Because we have so many expectations being pushed at us from from so many different directions.

Unknown Speaker 12:37
That's the truth. And that's the reality. And we either accept the position and say, well, it's beyond our capability, perhaps the the reasoning as to why and, you know, one is I'm sorry, it's too to walk has occurred is less important than having a conversation about it. So, you know, the difficulty is that the conversations, we make them difficult, because we're not close enough in relationship, enable an easy conversation. I've said to you, I trust the relationship I have with my clients is strong enough for me to say exactly what I think now that's, that's a rarity. Because really, you want to hold on to your client, you want to be you know, you want to make sure that you know that feeling good about the relationship, but, but my job is really to be not confrontational, but be supportive and bring another point of view at times if it was if I felt important, and have the difficult conversation. That's my job as a coach, one of my jobs. Yeah, but we're not going to do it alone. You know, luckily, the universe stepped in and gave us you know, the the Coronavirus that closed us all in our homes for a while and told us to stop looking at ourselves. And I'm certainly not supportive of Coronavirus. Don't get me wrong. But, you know, we as humans probably wouldn't have done that we all had to take the same pill on the same day. You know, I mean, of course, it and a great way of looking at it over, you know, through the period, we all kind of got in the game, right? You know, you know, maybe 5 billion people total. We don't really know, do we? Yeah. So but people's games changed because of it. And the conversations were our own personal conversations. Primarily, all we're doing is taking data and it was all new. And it was a very difficult conversation with ourselves to say, I'm going to close the door, put a mask on, and I'm not going out kind of a difficult conversation. We wouldn't have chosen to do that as humans. Now we're faced with an ongoing problem of race. It's ongoing, you know, as an immigrant, I have some understanding of it, but there's no way I can know about it from anybody else's point of view, except for the fact that I'm close enough perhaps in relationships and I have a bit of a bit of an understand You know, we as humans don't share very much either. So perhaps this is an opportunity for the human race to really kind of understand that it is one, it isn't any different. It has some, you know, physical kind of differences, and, certainly certainly has a lot of language differences. It has a lot of food preferences, primarily because of where those humans come from. But, you know, we have two legs, two arms, if we're lucky, you know, we're born with what form standard form is, and that's who we are. So that's a difficult conversation for a lot of people. Because it's made difficult to keep us divided, you know, divided, we're very weak, when we're in unison, we're very strong. So we're not, we're not in the game of practice of being in difficult conversations, perhaps now we've opened a couple of doors, and we'll both start to take on these capabilities as humans to have some difficult conversations, and learn from the Hard Knocks, how to navigate those.

Ja'dan Johnson 16:12
Yeah, and I do think you've brought such a valuable insight. You know, I, for me, one of the most frustrating parts about what what, what has been happening currently is just the failure of the people. To entertain the next perspective, I feel like most people don't give it like documents thing of making compensations difficult, because it might not feel the way we want it to work, or it might not sound the way we want it to. So we shut down that aspect of truly opening ourselves and creating that vulnerability for us to have conversations within the first place. And it almost ease into this hub about it, too. It is challenging enough to have hard conversations with yourself, because we've created this image of it being challenging, but stepping into a smaller space, and having a challenging conversation with somebody else, you know, how do we like what what is your mindset as a coach in really tactically hard conversations with other people, or tackling conversations that might, that they might find it challenging, because even as you know, as a mentor, as a coach, there have been times when situations were less than ideal, or I did not give something my 100%. And one thing I have counted, one thing I've been able to come to is the fact that I knew that you would keep me in check, or you know, you check on me at least which was which was valuable enough to provide that space for me to be open about what exactly is really putting me in that position in the first place.

Unknown Speaker 17:51
He just brought into point here something, which is a very unusual situation, what you've spoken about is the fact that you notice that I've kind of been supportive of achieving things that we've established together or set out to do together. And I've also inspected that we are doing thing, both of those are kind of difficult conversations to have, as an example, right? You know, so that's what we're really talking about. So to actually get to be able to ask those questions and call up and say, Hey, what's going on? Where are we up to? This is what you said, requires more or less than agreement to the engage with between people. And it requires being confrontational with yourself. Because when you're going to have a confrontation with another person, a confrontational question with another person, like, you know, what's going on here? You said, you get this done last week. Okay, so that's quite a conversation to bring to another person, because the other person is going to go, Well, I, you know, I didn't take care of it, it wasn't quite done, or, you know, I've got to come back to it and finish it, or, oh, it totally dropped off, and I had something else came up. So you know that I know that that's the confrontation that's going to come about, right. So if I make the statement towards somebody else, first thing I've got to do is understand that it is going to be confrontation, and I have to compromise myself to get over my own stuff. So that I can have that conversation in a way that is meaningful. And that's part of how I model so I model change and result by implementing ways that clients can get a slightly different point of view or a or have a look at something that might be very difficult for them, and it's confrontational, so you have to confront yourself. I say to people look, I'm gonna say Something that was really confrontational for me to have to say, you know, I mean, confrontational might be that it involves something personal or it might be involved with involves something financial or expectation wise, you know, it's confrontational to say, Hey, you know, I'm going to do this, you know, we've got this bill in here, and we're going to make sure we get paid or, you know, what happened to this work I was expecting, and I've got other people that it's, it's confrontational, but the confrontation is really with oneself. I believe that confrontational languaging has to be respectful. So it's not like, Hey, you didn't do this, it's Look, the results shows that this wasn't done, you know, you know, what your proposed we can do about it. We've got to accept the reality, you know, we got to accept that what's gone has gone, it didn't work, what are we going to do about it, we're going to continue and didn't work, or we're going to go full. Now, that's a learned way of being I would suggest, but it's a good way of dealing to deal with the confrontation that, you know, my you know, this conversation is really important to have, in this instance, there's more of this conversation racially, or on diversity and inclusion than we've had for a long time. But diversity, inclusion, race, racism, in eligibility, on qualification or on quality. I mean, all of these things are kind of thrown confrontational for us to take on. But we have to take them on otherwise, what are we here for, if it happens around is what we're here for? We're here to handle. Let it go on. Now. I think that there was a question that Pope is asked that sometime just before the gray smoke goes up the chimney. You know, I don't know how correct I am in this statement. But I know there is some semblance of reality in it. And you know, just before the pope is fully ordained, and the world has a new pope, and the Pope, you know, is responsible for probably 2 billion people around I mean, so. So pretty big time job to be the Pope. Right? So is it very kind of typical question asked of the Pope, and that is one of the of the personal COVID, the personal person, and the question goes something like, Are you willing to bring change for good to the world? Now? That's a bit of a personal question, right? Because here I am. I've got 2 billion people who are going to be listening to me, you know, and now how do I feel about asking that question? It's not like if I say to you, hey, john, you go out tomorrow, to talk to five people, you know, what can you bring that can change the way that they live? But there are things that you could do. But when you're the Pope, you got to believe, you know, you're bringing change to it. That's quite a big deal. So it is, you know, an example of a difficult conversation or a hard conversation, and how do we navigate those conversations? starts with being confrontational with ourselves instead of the other person? Yeah,

Ja'dan Johnson 22:59
I think you know, that that's, that's, that's head on, and hits the nail right on the end. And I think this is a perfect note for us to end this conversation on. But I mean, the conversations will continue. And I completely respect that. In reality, it does boil it down to being confrontational with yourself. And you have to be willing to come from your own ideas, your own opinions, or just how difficult you might find these things to be before you can take the step to have a conversation with somebody as if it might be confrontational. And there you have it. Thank you so much, Peter, always dropping words of wisdom.

Unknown Speaker 23:40
Welcome. Thank you.

Ja'dan Johnson 23:41
Thanks for listening to this week's episode of conversations worth having. I'm your host, Ja'dan Johnson, and my special guests this week was Peter Marcus, I hope you enjoyed our deep dive into unlocking the power of coaching and conversations. If you enjoyed this week's episode and you'd like to help support the podcast, please share it with others post about it on social media, or leave a rating and review on your favorite platforms. To catch all the latest for me. You can follow me by visiting Ja'dan forward slash podcast and that's a wrap. See you next time.



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