Sometimes all it takes is a sudden pause to be able to see things from a different perspective and mindset. The three Unifying Principles in this episode will guide you moving forward once you decide to take a deep breath and pause. Coming directly from the mind of Buckminster Fuller, Alex Mandossian imparts how these powerful principles will help you attain success both personally and in your business. Alex brings clarity to the blurred line that separates passion and commitment and tackles the impact one person can significantly make in your lives, and on a grander scale, the lives of everyone you’re involved with.

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Bucky’s 3 Unifying Principles

In this episode, you’ll discover Buckminster Fuller’s Three Unifying Principles of making a human impact. If you want to make more impact, continue reading. He had Three Unifying Principles and he was a wise man. You’ll also learn how to spot and train others. Whether that’s an intern or a personal assistant if you can learn how to spot and train others to make your life easier in business and in your personal life.

Isn’t that worthwhile to read this episode? The third thing you’ll learn is why taking an informal genealogy to discover your root mentor could be the key that unlocks lots of doors for you. You probably have a mentor or people that you look up to, but who did they look up to? Who are the people they looked up to look up to? In other words, there’s a mentor and a grandparent mentor and a great grandparent mentor all the way to the root mentor where it started it all.

There’s the telephone game. You pass a message and the message passes on again and again. If you do this little informal genealogy as you would do with your family, I’ll bet you’ll find your root mentor. With an author, you can look at the bibliography and you’ll find where the information came from. If you study that information, your insight and your perspective may be different than the author’s. That right there is an important tip and I’ll call that as a bonus tip because I won’t be talking about that.

That’s how important doing this informal genealogy to discover your root mentor or coach could be. This episode could have a significant impact on how you can quickly and easily win the hearts of others. If English is your second language and I know half of my audience is outside North America. I hope you’ll decide to read this episode and other All Selling Aside Episodes not once, not twice, but three times.

Nothing empowers fluency in any language than learning how to make money and be ethically influential in that language. If you’re outside the US and Canada, then please use All Selling Aside as a no-cost way to learn English better and faster. You’ll have fun doing it if you involve friends, study buddies and colleagues. Get ready. We are about to begin with an important story.

One Winter In 1927

The story I am about to share with you is true. It’s one of my favorite stories I tell on stage. It was a dark and bitterly cold winter in 1927. One particular evening, a short man about 5’3’’ tall was standing on the shore of Lake Michigan in the United States. He was preparing to swim out into the icy waters. He was preparing to drown himself because this was a man who considers himself a total failure. Why? He had been expelled from Harvard University not once, but twice.

He was fired from more jobs than he could remember and he had a drinking problem. He didn’t think so, but his friends did. He had recently lost his infant daughter to a horrible disease. This man was in so much pain he took comfort in the thought of sinking through the icy waters into oblivion. Can you imagine?

I don’t know if you ever thought of the unthinkable or spoken the unspeakable. This man in 1927, bitterly cold night in winter on the shore of Lake Michigan was contemplating that moment of truth. It was a defining moment for him. Before he stepped into the freezing waters of the lake, he paused for a moment. Let me repeat, all it takes is a moment. He stopped for a moment to review his life.

As he thought back about his life he realized it was rich. It was robust with deep knowledge and meaningful experiences. Suddenly, an encouraging thought struck him that magically influenced him to delay taking his life that evening. He thought, “What if I did whatever it takes to use my deep and abundant storehouse of knowledge to bring more value to other people? If I can do whatever it takes to teach others what I know, what would I have to lose? After all, the lake is always going to be here.”

[bctt tweet=”Nothing empowers fluency in any language than learning how to make money and be ethically influential in that language.” username=”AlexMandossian”]

This man decided to see what would happen if he looked at his life differently as if it were an experiment. At that moment, he called it an experiment in making the world work. From that moment on, he committed to himself and to others in examining every aspect of his life and pledging it to the service of humankind. He called Earth Spaceship Earth. At his time, there were 366 nations, 366 sovereign nations at his time. There are fewer now, less than 200.

He believed that each one of those sovereign nations was led by admirals. He called Earth Spaceship Earth because it was hurling through the universe inside our solar system. If you know something about Earth scientists tell us that it’s leaning on its axis about 24 degrees. It is spinning at 1,000 miles an hour and it is rotating around this 11,000 degrees fireball. We can call it a giant campfire. That fireball is the Sun. It’s going around the Sun at 64,000 miles an hour. I would call that a spaceship, wouldn’t you?

He felt that we had 366 admirals because there were 366 sovereign nations. The reason I mentioned this is because this man was a unique thinker. He thought differently and I’m grateful he didn’t take his life that one evening in 1927. The man I’m speaking off, his experiment which started at the brink of suicide in the icy shores of Lake Michigan, resulted in some of the greatest achievements of the 20th century.

Whatever it takes an individualistic passion and commitment was genius, it was felt throughout the world for nearly half a century. Even Albert Einstein who passed by one time on the campus at Princeton University had stopped him and said, “Young man, you amaze me. You’re truly the only human who understands my theories and philosophies.” Think about that. Einstein comes up to you and says that. This guy is pretty smart.

The man I am speaking of is Buckminster Fuller or Bucky as his friends called him. Within his lifetime, he helped 27 patents. He received 47 honorary degrees and he wrote more than twenty books. One of my favorite books is one of those twenty. It’s the thinnest one he ever wrote called I Seem to Be a Verb.

From that book, I stumbled upon a philosophy of my own that everyone’s a verb and it is import for you to discover your verb. You can live your life as a verb, you can live your life as a noun or you can live your life as an adjective. In fact, in our next episode, Episode 30, we’ll be about discovering your verb.

If you’ve ever been to Disney World and you get to Epcot Center, the geodesic dome that you see there is one of Bucky’s inventions. Bucky was affectionately called by his students Bucky instead of Buckminster. He was a herald and a poet. He was an educator. One of my good friends, Bobbi DePorter, brought Bucky along with her partner Marshall Thurber and they went on the university scene.

They went from university to university. They went to Southern Illinois University and a 6’4” gentleman another good friend of mine walked up to him after he gave a lecture and he said, “Bucky, I want to carry your suitcases everywhere you go. I want to follow you. Can you do that?” Bucky’s 5’2” and my friend is 6’4” and Bucky said, “No.” My friend is very persistent. He’s a multimillionaire and a best-selling author and he said, “Bucky, come on.”

ASA 29 | Unifying Principles Of Success

I Seem To Be A Verb

In the end, my friend got his way. He got to hang out with Bucky Fuller on the university scene. Thanks to Bobbi DePorter and Marshall Thurber, two great giants in Thought Leadership. Bucky got to meet a lot more people. That man I’m talking about, the 6’4” friend is Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of The Chicken Soup for the Soul series along with Jack Canfield.

Bucky had a massive impact on many thought leaders. Many of the training nowadays, if you go to a personal development seminar, many of them take their roots from Money and You which Bucky influenced a lot and was co-written by Marshall Thurber and Bobbi DePorter.

Tony Robbins went through that. T. Harv Eker went through that. Blair Singer went through that. I went through that. Robert Kiyosaki went through Money and You. That’s the root course that many people went through. You can go back to Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People and his speaker training, which I’ve also been through and had been an instructor.

What I am trying to tell you is Bucky was not just an educator or a poet, an engineer, an artist, a mathematician. The man was an ethical influencer. He is regarded nowadays as the Leonardo da Vinci of the 20th century. It’s all due to one thing, his commitment. It’s the, “Whatever it takes,” commitment, the 100% commitment and his attitude. That goes back to one evening in winter 1927, on that icy Lake Michigan shore.

I am grateful to Bucky. If he hadn’t taken an about-face and come back onshore, if he’d taken his life I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be studying what I studied. I wouldn’t be in the business I’m in. Bucky is my root mentor. Everyone should have a root mentor in areas. I have root mentors in spirituality. I have a root mentor in Marketing. I have a root mentor in thought leadership.

Bucky is my root mentor in thought leadership. Above me is Harv then Blair then Bobbie and Marshall and then Bucky. That’s the lineage. That’s something I’m grateful for. You can find out who your root mentor is by going back and finding out who the people you learned from and so on and so forth. It’s a useful exercise that you can go through.

If you visit Buckminster Fuller’s grave, you’ll see four words, “Call Me Trim Tab.” You might be saying, “What?” That’s what it says, “Call Me Trim Tab.” The trim tab is something you would see on the end of a rudder of a giant boat. We’ll call it a steamship. The metaphor for the trim tab is about leadership and personal empowerment.

Before his death, Bucky thought about, “What would my life be looking back?” He died an actual death and he wandered to himself, “What could one little man do for humanity? What would that look like in the real world? What can I call myself?” He took the image of the Queen Mary which was one of the biggest ships of its time. It’s about three football fields, about 1,000 feet long. It’s in the harbor of Long Beach in California.

The Queen Mary or any giant luxury liner has a massive rudder and sometimes they have two. The Queen Mary has a massive rudder in the back and that massive rudder requires lots of energy to turn it on the water. Can you imagine? You have the admiral or whoever is steering the ship. He turns and that rudder and all that power and all that ocean are working against that rudder. It takes a lot of energy for that rudder to turn and affect the turn and steer the ship.

However, at the end of the rudder there is a trim tab that wobbles. That trim tab being at the trim at the end of the rudder. It helps the rudder move a lot easier, more effortlessly. It causes a chain reaction within the rudder and there is a lot less effort. That’s what Bucky stood for his students. He was a trim tab so they took less effort in learning what they had to learn. As the rudders to their ship, isn’t that a beautiful analogy?

[bctt tweet=”The more we make mistakes, the smarter we get. Normalize mistakes. Get excited about mistakes, do not let them disappoint you.” username=”AlexMandossian”]

You and I can be a trim tab for others as well. I am a trim tab. What a great epitaph to put on your grave. You can have a massive impact as a rudder to your business, like a rudder of your family. As a rudder to many friends or colleagues you may have.

Bucky’s Three Unifying Principles

I would rather you be a trim tab and let them be the rudder. The trim tab has no effort whatsoever and it assists the rudder in moving and as a result helping the ship to turn. Airplanes have trim tabs as well, but we use the ship metaphor because that’s the best one we work with. There are Three Unifying Principles that Bucky taught me and here they are.

Number one, we are all born geniuses. What do I mean by that? Think about it? You’ve won the ovarian lottery. You won against a billion other competitors after dad sent you and mom received you. I don’t think you were born in a petri dish, you were a competitor. Forty weeks later, you grew to 50,000 times the size you started and you were born a winner. He said, “We’re all born geniuses. It takes a genius to beat a billion other competitors.” I agree with him.

Unifying principle number two. He said, “Mistakes are great.” The more we make the smarter we get. He normalized mistakes. He made them as a fabric of learning. Thomas Edison knows that. Some of the great mistakes that turned into billions include the Post-it Notes. That was a mistake. It was supposed to be an adhesive that lasted forever. It is an adhesive that almost lasts forever, but not the intention the scientist had at 3M who invented it.

The microwave was a mistake. Penicillin was the result of a happy accident. It was a mistake. Mistakes are great. The more you make the smarter you get. Normalize mistakes. Get excited about mistakes do not let them disappoint you because it’s like breathing and eating of getting to the final result.

The third unifying principle is, “The only failure in life is the failure to participate.” What does this mean? Participation means commitment. It means you’re listening. You can be passionate about ethical influence. If you want to commit yourself to All Selling Aside and get others to commit and maybe even mentor them. That’s commitment.

As one of my root mentors, my root mentor to marketing, Roy H. Williams tells me. He says that, “Passion doesn’t produce commitment. Commitment produces passion.” My friend T. Harv Eker and colleague he says, “First you need the wood then you have the fire.” The wood is commitment and fire is the passion. Passion is overrated.

My son Gabriel, his first year of high school he wasn’t committed to the school. He was committed to rowing and his grades suffered. In the next couple of years, he did much better in school. Come senior year and he is going after some of the Ivy League schools and they all want him because of his rowing ability. He’s a national class rower.

The micro-decisions that he made and a lack of commitment in freshman year are hurting him because of his grade point average and it brought it down. He learned the power of commitment. He’s learned that passion is overrated. Commitment is the thing. I hope that makes sense to you.

ASA 29 | Unifying Principles Of Success

Unifying Principles Of Success: There is no such thing as a self-made success. If you are the rudder to your ship you need to find your trim tab.


Business Mistakes

Those are the Three Unifying Principles I promised you. We’re all born a genius. Mistakes are great. The more we make the smarter we get. The only failure in life is the failure to participate. Trim tab, I want you to know that there is no such thing as a self-made success. If you are the rudder to your ship you need to find your trim tab.

The second biggest mistake in business is doing it alone as the rudder. It takes a lot of effort to move that rudder like the Queen Mary when it was on the sea. A trim tab takes little effort and it can move that rudder. You need your trim tab. Whether that’s a personal assistant or an intern, it’s important to have one. It makes your life easier. The excuse I get is, “I can’t afford one.” That’s what I typically hear.

You can’t afford not to have one. An intern is free. That’s the biggest mistake is not having a personal assistant to be your trim tab. All great high achievers, all high performers have assistants, not only to do the dirty work but to be there as a sounding board or as support.

That’s the second biggest mistake is you being the rudder and not getting someone to support you. The way you find them is to give them at least the 30-day trial to see if it will work. There is a whole vetting process, which is the topic of another episode. How to ethically influence them and make sure you only talk to people who are committed to you.

For now, why be the rudder and not have a trim tab? Find your trim tab and that’s your assistant, your executive assistant or intern. My executive assistant, I didn’t have one for a few years. It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done. I can’t imagine not having one now.

The first biggest mistake you can make, as it relates to spotting and training and getting others to work for you so it makes your life easier. As your trim tab and you’re the rudder of the ship is not to train that person. If you don’t take time and commit time to train daily, then your ship will be rudderless.

My executive assistant, I took a few weeks to train her again and again. Daily I spent an hour a day. You have to take time to train because that trim tab on the rudder needs to make sure that they are fitted properly.

Alexism: There Is No Self-Made Success Story

The Alexism for this episode is there is no such thing as a self-made success story, nothing. No success that you know was self-made. If you go back to the spiritual leaders of antiquity, they had disciples. There is no such thing as a self-made success story. That’s in business and personal life. You can challenge that. That comes to looking at who gave you the root knowledge to what you know.

If you want clues to the future, if you’re unclear about what to do like many high schoolers don’t know what they want to do in college. If you don’t know what to do and you want to have a vocational change in your work. The easiest way to be clear on what to do is don’t go forward in the future, go back into the past. Do an informal genealogy for your root mentor. That’s in the family as well as business. I’m talking about business here.

[bctt tweet=”It’s better to find a trim tab to your rudder than be a rudder without a trim tab.” username=”AlexMandossian”]

People play the telephone game. The telephone game is one person whispers something in someone’s ear. That person takes what they heard and whispers it to someone else and then to a third to the fourth and the fifth. By the time it gets to the seventeenth person the message is completely changed because we are using our filter.

If you want to find the root of a bestselling author whom you love to read, look into the bibliography of where they got their data. When you get those books or articles or papers, look into the bibliography of where they got their stuff. Go as far as you can go that becomes the root of your learning.

For me, in advertising my root mentors are Claude Hopkins, Robert Collier David Ogilvy, Albert Lasker, Alvin Eicoff, Maxwell Sackhiem, Rosser Reeves, Fairfax Cone, Leo Burnett and it goes on. I am grateful to those men and women as well.

Find your root mentor and that brings us to the review. I hope you like this one. It’s a little longer than I’d like to go, but it was an important one especially in this story. That story always reaches me and inspires me because I am so grateful that Bucky did not keep walking into the icy waters of Lake Michigan.

Let’s do a quick review of the insights like we always do and maybe you rediscovered some to these ideas. The first is Bucky’s Three Unifying Principles and they apply when you’re making these little micro-decisions every day. You make about 150 to 200 little micro-decisions.

Remember you were born a genius. Your mistakes are great. The more you make the smarter you’ll get. Remember, the only failure in your life is the failure to participate and you’re here still. You’re participating. You’re a success in my eyes. We don’t even know each other most likely and if we do them I’m going to say if you’ll allow me to, “I’m proud of you.”

The second insight is, it’s better to find a trim tab to your rudder than be a rudder without a trim tab. Not all rudders have trim tabs. Look up what a trim tab is, lean into that analogy, enlist others to help you steer your ship in the form of a personal assistant, executive assistant even an intern which will cost you nothing. Remember, you have to train them.

Third, finding your root source, root mentor, root spiritual leader, root whatever it started. It’s the key to finding your direction in life, from mentors to authors to your own family. I hope that’s meaningful for you because remember these insights can only work if you work them and commit to work them.

Speaking of reviews, if you’ve been to All Selling Aside before you hear me say this and if you’ve already done it, please read carefully because I want you to do it in a different way. If you’ve already given me a review on iTunes then put your big takeaway or a-ha moment on an index card and save it so you can start stockpiling those cards and looking back on what you’ve learned and renewing your knowledge.

If I don’t have a review from you at iTunes then now is the time to commit to it. It would mean much to me. I hope it would mean much to you because I don’t want to review the entire podcast. That’s silly. I want you to go to You can go to iTunes and look for All Selling Aside from me Alex Mandossian.

I want you to type it in your biggest takeaway or your big a-ha moment from this episode. Type it into the review section when you find it. ITunes will automatically ask you to rate the episode after you write the review. I hope I’ve earned five stars. Please do it. It will take about three minutes. What you declare could provide you a lifetime of learning and it will benefit me too. It’s good karma.

As I say week after week, I hope our paths cross again for the next one for the show because this is dedicated to you and making you a better ethical influencer. Ethical influence is within your reach and you can achieve it even exceed what you believe is your sales potential. Everyone was born a salesperson.

Forget the myth that you were born a salesperson and some are and some aren’t. Everyone is born a salesperson. You don’t know how good you are. In fact, you are better than you think you are. Do whatever it takes to join me because our topic is going to be how to discover your verb. This is my TED Talk and it’s a unique approach to having a greater impact when talking networking and going to events.

Even if you are an emcee in an event you can utilize my Discover Your Verb speech, which is the public domain. I am going to give it to you in the next one. I encourage you to come to invite a friend, bring a study buddy and join me for All Selling Aside. I can’t wait to connect with you. It will be a fun one and I will talk to you then.

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