Join Samuel P.N. Cook as he interviews Peter Sage about his journey in becoming a business and personal development coach. Peter Sage has worked directly with Tony Robbins and is now the founder and director of the Sage Business School. In this podcast episode Peter explains the importance of mindset in your life and how changing your mentality can completely revolutionise your life. Even through hardships, Peter explains how attitude is everything as you grow as a human throughout your life.
Guest: Peter Sage
Date Added: Mar 21, 2018 1:34:54 PM
Length: 60 min
Podcast moments that will matter to you:
Introduction to Peter Sage
Background into “Change Your Story, Change Your Life”
Importance of mindset in life
The connection and similarities we have as human beings
Changing your life’s narrative. The difference between victimhood and the mindset of learning
Attracting the right kind of customers to your business
Explanation of Peter Sage’s legal troubles and the shock that came along with it
The pain that comes resistance and how to have a more positive outlook
Putting aside ego
Importance of reflection time with moving forward in life
The problem with having regrets in life and the importance of taking lessons from experiences
The hardwiring in humans to respond to stories
Sam Cook: [00:00:19] Hello again, podcast listener, this is Sam Cook, your host, and I'm back for another episode of StoryMatters podcast. The mentor I'm going to talk about today is actually one that I followed from afar: a man named Tony Robbins who I think has been mentored to millions of people throughout the world. But what I'm going to do is actually bring someone on the show, who I know personally, who worked for Tony Robbins as a senior trainer. His name is actually Peter Sage and you may have heard of Peter who is a prominent business and personal development coach based in United Kingdom. And he is the founder and the main instructor at the Sage Business School as well as working on an upcoming book about some of his recent experiences.
[00:01:10] What I'd like to do when I bring Peter on is there's an interesting backstory with Peter and I. We worked together a couple of years ago. In fact, our agency really got its start doing work for Peter.
[00:01:24] So Peter, welcome to the show.
Peter Sage: [00:01:27] Thank you, Sam. Great to be here. Thank you for the invite. I think it was always going to happen.
Sam Cook: [00:01:32] Well, it's certainly has been a long time since we reconnected and it's great to chat with you. And one of the things that I would like to share with the listener actually is I first started working with Peter. We developed this marketing material about two, three months after we'd started working together. And it's one of the first videos we did. I'm very proud of the way it came out. And I learned all about your mindset and thoughts on personal development business coaching, Peter, but just listening to interviews of you on various podcasts and shows of London Real at the time and all kinds of other places.
[00:02:12] You are quite prolific in speaking to a lot of people and spreading the message. So thank you for may hours of research I was able to do in order to come up with that video. It is quite powerful for me, though, to hear it again because it really encapsulates something that I learned from Tony Robbins and go into his whole conference. I went to Unleash the Power Within. I went to his Mastery University which included Date With Destiny and a health retreat, the Fiji, and his business school. And, that was his idea about "Change your story, change your life."
[00:02:51] And Peter, talk about what were you trying to get across on that video and how was that so powerful to watch Tony do that work that day?
Peter Sage: [00:03:00] A lot of people come from an intellectual level of knowing what to do. I mean, we're all over 21. We've all had some experience and, yeah, we see life the way we see it. But most people require a strong emotional experience in order to make change to get out of their comfort zone.
[00:03:18] And so, the 9/11 experience did was provide a huge context, a backstory, if you like, or a backdrop to allowing people to be able to shift themselves emotionally into a different place because we live from our emotions. We live through all our emotions all of the time. So if we are emotionally directed into a new challenge or a new trajectory, a new pathway of life, then it has lasting impact as opposed to just talking about it with your friends down at the bar.
[00:03:50] And so really, what it did, it allowed myself and as I said nearly two thousand other people that all went through that experience together to have a massive shift and really understand that, again, it's never what happens to you in life, it's what you do with what happens. And what you do with what happens, it's always directed by the story you tell yourself about what happens.
[00:04:12] And so, yeah, really that's what the message. It was a case of, you know, as you said "Change your story, change your life." The difference between a life of happiness or a life of antidepressants could be simply the story about you telling yourself what you've learned versus what you've lost.
[00:04:29] For some people, divorce is traumatic. For others it's the epitome of freedom from a repressive or unloving relationship. For others, it's really scary because they're going to be alone. For others, they finally have the chance to choose for themselves. They wind up. Some people complain. Some people go skiing. Your entire story is directed by your model of the world, your belief system, your relationship to life, and a lot of that is all shaped by your significant emotional event.
[00:04:58] And that's really what I was trying to get across in that story that no matter what happens to you and what happens to you more than once, it's never a death sentence, it's never a curse of victimhood; unless you choose it to be. And it's that choice, really, that is the level of empowerment whether you're going to live a life of growth and fulfillment or a life of being miserable, unfulfillment, and constant pain.
[00:05:26] So that's pretty much the general aspect of what the message is because it's inspiring. You see somebody go through that and you think, "Wow. If they're doing that by contrast, my problems don't look as bad." That makes sense?
Sam Cook: [00:05:37] Yeah. Where this really hit home for me was I've had some experiences just like everyone. I think in life we've had some experiences. But I felt like I had been prepared for what life would have to throw at me.
[00:05:51] I was in the army. I'd been to Iraq and seen some tough situations there and seen people deal with life and death literally and go through that. And as close as I was to that, in watching people deal with that, commanders who'd lost soldiers for whom they were responsible which basically feels like a loss of child or people who'd lost very close friends. Actually, I lost some friends who weren't extremely close to the people I've been or knew quite well.
[00:06:26] But all those different things to me had I thought it could mean for the worst life had to offer. But it really hit home after my little brother passed away, James, who I, basically third out of four children, spent quite a bit of time. I felt like raising him and kind of being a mentor for him in a very proud and busy family.
[00:06:53] When I came to you, Peter, I had actually been two years beyond that. I think two and a half years beyond that. But I realized that I had not quite dealt with that fully. And one of the things that you help me see was that I had... We had a very interesting moment in the business where it was completely unrelated to my brother's death, except that everything was related to my brother's death. And you help me see that - the way I was energetically dealing with things and the way that I was stuck on certain things or holding on to anger and resentment.
[00:07:32] In one area it was actually symptomatic of some anger and resentment I was holding onto relating to my brother's death - whether that was with what I believe was the fault of some medical authorities or the drug companies in the United States that I felt messed up on that or whatever it was, I'd assigned a lot of blame and anger and held on to a lot of things.
[00:07:57] One of the things that you help me with which I will remain forever grateful for to you is dealing with that and processing that and learning how to let go. And it didn't happen overnight. Well, actually, a lot of it did but the process is almost never ending. I'm still applying some lessons you've helped me learn in that respect on a personal level to processing that. Another instance is which regard some of that we'll talk about a little while.
[00:08:27] That was an extraordinary moment for me to see that, as you say, something about price of the mission or the price of experience. I don't know. You must've sing it but I can't but your phrase around us escapes me but all the theory in the world, all the understanding, and even coaching other people and helping people through it didn't prepare me for that moment as I thought I was.
Peter Sage: [00:08:51] Yeah. The theory doesn't cover the price of admission to the higher levels of awareness.
Sam Cook: [00:08:55] Yeah, exactly. Sorry for butchering that a few times. So, yeah, and that was really powerful. I think death... We've all somewhat probably experienced it - some at closer levels of loved ones or friends or family than others - but I think that's a common experience that binds us all. And, I, looking back, was not that well-prepared personally in my level of awareness to deal with it and that's one of the things you helped me realize.
Peter Sage: [00:09:22] Thank you, Sam. It demonstrates the fact that, yeah, we're all made of the same stuff. [00:09:27] We're all on our own journey but also that how we do anything is how we do everything. It is connected. [5.0] That's the natural expression of who we are as human beings. You know, we may think we've got our act together. We may think we're different people and different scenarios but our fundamental beliefs and patterns express themselves unconsciously through just about everything we do.
[00:09:46] Now, if you're angry at one thing, you're angry at other things. If you're happy at one thing, you're happy with everything. It's a natural human condition to express our underlying levels of emotion. And unless they are resolved or unless they are sort of transcended, they're always going to be there repeating at some level and because they're under the radar, we may not know the cause or see the links or connections.
Sam Cook: [00:10:10] Yeah, and I think that was really powerful for me and something that I will always remember and take away from that experience is how releasing in one area completely unrelated. It was literally the same morning I decided it was time to stop being angry for the rest of my life about what had happened to my brother and just be grateful, you know, for the time I had with him. That was a really powerful experience for me. It was understanding that just flipping that switch wasn't easy to do but emotionally once you did it, it was very cathartic and something that, you know, moment, I'll always remember.
[00:10:55] It's switched something off in me that helped fix another situation. I think that all of those things will continue to flow from that and it was a very powerful lesson from me that I'll never forget and you helped me see that.
Peter Sage: [00:11:11] Thank you. It's... You know, part of the work that I do is being able to say that because I think we've all gone through as you say similar experiences. Everybody has their story and they can either be a warning or it can be an example. And it is possible to change.
[00:11:26] But, the question one has to ask themselves now is, "What is my story? Am I here as a victim? Am I here blaming the world? Am I here pointing fingers? Or am I writing the script as I go to be something more empowering? Am I going to understand that life is a growth centric experience and therefore, the things that do happen in my experience of that are here to serve me at some level? Or am I just going to sit there and complain that life owes me a living or if it's meant to be fair and now it isn't?"
[00:11:54] And we see these choices in how we approach our story play out in billions of people's lives. And it's literally the most empowering or disempowering decision you can make, you know - "What is your story?"
Sam Cook: [00:12:08] Yeah. And this brings me back to another episode I just recorded with my mentor Yanni Katsonis. And I remember, the night before we were recording this video, we were sitting, talking about it, and batting around ideas. And my mentor in graduate school had said history is simply fact-based fiction. Meaning, the fact may be true but the fiction around the story in which you organizes facts and privileged certain facts and omit others and emphasize others and placing them in a certain order is entirely up to you, your creative energy, and your decisions. You respond them with even pithier line which I haven't heard before even as a history teacher was Napoleon's dictum that history is a set of lies agreed upon.
Peter Sage: [00:13:00] So when you put it in that context, it's quite an entertaining in a way even though it's pretty much true. And I think the greatest lesson of history is that we never learn the lessons of history.
Sam Cook: [00:13:11] Saying definitely can pride be set for a life. We learn something and then a new situation comes up and it's almost like we're starting again. So, that was definitely something I learned from you and I really appreciate that lesson. So, thanks again for that, Peter.
Peter Sage: [00:13:30] Cool. You're very welcome.
Sam Cook: [00:13:33] So, Peter, we work together for a good ten months and built up the Sage Business School together which had previously called the millionaire business school and developed this video that we just shared earlier for your masters circle and the daily mentorship forum and your other products.
[00:13:55] And, one of things that was really interesting for me going through that experience was watching the community around you form. And talk a little bit about the people that you attracted into community with the message that you do. I was always quite impressed and kind of loved those people - my friends - and actually many of them sought me out of the Sage Business School I've rise but there and joined my coaching marketing group and became clients.
[00:14:26] But, talk through a little bit about your community and the type of people that you've attracted in the past and type of people you're attracting right now and who you like to work with.
Peter Sage: [00:14:35] Well, it's a real privilege because the work that I teach is essentially about showing people how great they are. It's holding up a mirror for people to discover their own strengths. [00:14:47] The last thing that all I want to be is a guru that's put on top of a pedestal because then by definition, you separate yourself from the potential of that guru. So, now, if I am just a guy, but then I've been lucky enough to spend most of my adult life in a pursuit of personal growth, knowledge, and self realization and be able to link different aspects of that in a way that makes sense to people.
[00:15:11] Yeah, I said earlier people are made of the same stuff. So, the people that resonate with my work really, I think, are people who have come to the conclusion that they are on their own journey, that life doesn't owe them a living, they're looking for a better way. It's not about trying to fight the current or a sort of a "carve out with your elbows in a crowd" what it is that you need out of life.
[00:15:31] But there's something more. There's something deeper. There's something more meaning than that. And, being able to have a situation where you can articulate different metaphors for people to have context and understanding I think is what resonates.
[00:15:44] So, I have said my average audience is people that have probably been in personal growth and development for a while, probably been disillusioned with a typical message which is, teach you different ways on how to get more stuff so you can be even more under the illusion of thinking you'll be fulfilled then. And just looking to add value, looking to seek an expression of themselves and contribute something to the world, to the greater good.
[00:16:08] So, I've been very blessed to be able to say "Hold up a mirror" for the people to be able to see that for themselves. Probably one of the most humbling parts about what I do is being able to connect or see the growth and the breakthroughs in the amazing transitions that people make through getting access to just some fundamental basic levels of understanding about how to hold life, how to see life, how to interact with life, how to understand value and value proposition business - all that stuff as well. But ultimately they're only doing that as a vehicle so they can feel good or better about themselves.
[00:16:40] So, being able to make that happen means that you can feel good about yourself now and then go build a business with that feeling because you can enjoy it rather than thinking you're trying to do it as a vehicle to get somewhere. And that's really the key.
[00:16:51] So, for me, personally, it was... One of the greatest things about what I do is being able to connect with the type of people that are attracted to my work and I'm very blessed that that's growing in number all the time.
Sam Cook: [00:17:04] Yeah. And I really enjoyed coming into contact with the people who are looking for more, who want to see a higher purpose of business and connecting. It's not just all about the money, it's connecting with their purpose and their spiritual God-given purpose in life and their best way to realize that. I was, you know, always quite blown away with the type of people that I got to interact within your community and they give you a lot of credit for building that.
[00:17:37] I really learned a lot, watching you do that and for that, I'm quite grateful for that experience both observing professionally but I've also come into contact with these people.
Peter Sage: [00:17:50] All right. So, well, one of the plus sides of what we do, I think.
Sam Cook: [00:17:55] Well, Peter, one of the things that was quite interesting for me was... And this is, I think, the story you've told many times. And, I'm sure you'll have to retell it again many times. But, I do have some people in my audience who know that I did some work with you and they're quite... They really enjoyed watching the videos and the examples of the work that we did with you. And also, they're quite curious as to why it all ended based on how successful you were.
[00:18:28] And one of the things that I would just like to have you share a little bit because I know that this is quite powerful for the audience. It's you've had a situation where you had some... Well, you tell it in your own way but you had some challenges from the past which made our cooperation, well, something we couldn't continue that was completely unrelated to the bench that we were working on together.
[00:18:52] It was quite an interesting moment for you and for our agency and why don't I let you talk about the situation that had arisen. And I'll also talk about, after that, a little bit how it felt on our side and some of the understanding I actually gained from the situation based on your teachings.
Peter Sage: [00:19:12] Sure. Well, yes, I-- you know, we were doing really good work. We'd build up for a very successful Sage Business School. We got another one just about to happen. And, in the background, I got this civil court case that was ongoing and something I, being honest, hadn't given much thought to because I didn't think for a second it actually had much much merit. And, I ended up going to court and on a charge of being in contempt for breaching a freezing order over a business deal that I'd done with Hewlett Packard several years before. And which, you know, they're happy with it at the time and then came back and wanted some more profit. And I felt that I was being financially bullied and I kick back.
[00:19:58] And, you know, when I went to court, I wasn't there to apologize for inadvertently breaching a freezing order which was pretty much intelligently designed to trip me up. I was there to essentially prove them wrong. And that was a lesson because, you know, my ego got involved and I just really had contempt for them - not contempt for the court. But, as a result of all of that, I ended up going away for six months and serving four and a half of that in one of Britain's toughest jails. And, of course, everything stopped.
[00:20:28] So, you know, one day it's you wake up and you go to the bathroom and you're about to have a seminar and the next minute the judge says you're going away for a holiday. And, now, I've got no phone, no business, no of air, no staff, no nothing.
[00:20:42] And yeah, that does kind of put a bit of a stop on things to be fair. And, you know, it was definitely a direction of the river bending that I didn't see coming. It was definitely something I wasn't prepared for. And, one of the unintended consequences of that was obviously the knock-on effect you had on all of the people that were part of the sort of train that was moving at the time - that was yourself and your agency and my staff and all of the fanbase - and everybody was sort of a banner shocked as I was to be fair.
[00:21:13] And, you know in the absence of information usually depending on where people are, if there's uncertainty, fear tends to fill the gap and then stories get made up and so there's a lot of conjecture flying around. There was a lot of lack of information. And, it was a very tumultuous time I know, not just obviously for me going inside, but for a lot of the people that were left in the wake of that like yourself and the agency who also, you know, metaphorically, let me say God got dragged along to the gym.
[00:21:44] I saw this as simply a workout for me. I saw this as me being able to go into an environment I wouldn't normally have the opportunity to go and experience, to be able to help people that wouldn't normally have the opportunity to be helped by the work that I do. And I went in with that mindset. And, I'm very happy to say that that's how it transpired.
[00:22:01] But I had no control over what happened outside of that and that's really where everybody else is on their own journey. And I felt bad about obviously some of the initial fall out, [00:22:14] but at the end of the day, everybody gets what they need not what they want. [3.6] And I think you can probably be a testament to that, Sam.
Sam Cook: [00:22:27] Yeah, Peter, I would just say from, you know, just for the listener who's listening to this and was curious about these great stories about what had happened with Peter Sage and then, obviously, seeing them go away.
[00:22:43] We were dealing with this on our side. And I remember very specifically watching as there's-- and I've been through my own business' failure in the past and there's this initial bit of hopefulness - "We're going to make it. We'll figure out a way through."
[00:23:01] And then there's a bit of a rally around the flag but very quickly, those kind of things dissipate when the hard reality of basic needs are getting ready to be met. And people had very different needs for survival and had to go find another work and obviously the business at that point from.
[00:23:25] From USC who was flying in territory to very tough situations and one of things the media doesn't learn how to these basic life as well. I mean you getting that you a choice. We had a fine day this day that we'd been doing since the first approach we'd done by hooches was for some other business coaches.
[00:23:48] I had to put myself out there because I was running a coaching group and actually coaching group of people who'd attended your Sage Business School. I was very thankful for the opportunity to speak at Sage Business School and got some people who would approach me - enough actually to approach me - to form a coaching a group out of it and really decided, "Wow. This is the time to put something out there and see if it works."
[00:24:12] And we launched our online funnel a little over a year ago. Right now, it's March of 2018 as this podcast was released and literally about 18, 12 months ago until we launched our own online funnel and didn't have time to think about it, didn't have time to over-complicate it or overthink it and it worked! And it worked quite well to the point where we ended up getting new clients consistently repeatedly off of a funnel.
[00:24:40] And, we formed a business off of that that was managed to make up for the financial impact of basically having your one main client as an agency go away and the financial difficulties that came up with that 'cause I've built a staff around managing your project, Peter.
[00:24:58] And I remember I wasn't happy. I was actually as hard as I was trying to be loyal to you based on what I had felt you've done for me personally and from the business side reputation. You helped me built up an agency but still didn't help pay the bills at that point. And it became more and more painful as the situation progressed until we were able to, let's say, transition out of it and there was quite a bit of heartache on the way but we got through it.
[00:25:29] And I remember, three, four, five months later, I was actually finally getting to the point where I was looking back on it, putting it in perspective of applying some of the things that you've showed me about the story around that event that I was telling myself. I think I wrote you an e-mail actually when you're still in prison saying, "Thank you for your spectacular disappearance." And it certainly forced me to think differently and up my game for myself and for my business. I remember that. It was quite a process to get from that point to the point where I was actually thanking you for that event because it wasn't easy for sure on our side 'cause I'm sure it wasn't too on your side.
Peter Sage: [00:26:16] Yeah. Nobody likes going to the gym when they weren't expecting a workout. And the amount of resistance initially is really where the pain is.
[00:26:26] If you see it as an unexpected event where the milk gets spilt, then, you know, it's a new carpet and you can get upset or you can start to say, "Okay, how do we deal with this and move forward and fix the shelf so it doesn't fall off again."
[00:26:40] And that's really the-- that's everybody's life. That's the growth centric experience that we're here with and I grew tremendously out of the experience. I'm sure you grew out of the experience and that's part of the journey. Everything else outside of that context is noise - whether it's "he said", "she said", whether it's pointing fingers on a balance of what we project to be fairness or not. It's irrelevant.
[00:27:06] Yet none of that is going to go with us when we exit this game at some point. The only thing that's going to go with us is how much did we grow. And really, that's where we're at. So, other than the story we tell ourselves around that, there's not much more that can happen other than sometimes to see it in an empowered context and say that "I can't put the milk back in the bottle. I can only deal with how it's on the carpet. So, you know, let's figure out a plan."
[00:27:32] And you did that and you did that really well. And I'm really pleased and proud of you to be able to come through that in a way that you did because some people would accomplish and some people did. Some people that were part of the team are on my side, yeah, went into... did the usual emotional route whether it was initial shock denial or then blame and then use it to this day to, you know, change their movie into one of a victim story rather than a warning, rather than an example, like you did.
Sam Cook: [00:28:02] Yeah. And Peter, one of the things I was extraordinarily grateful for even as I look back on this is just the example of the success that we had - working for you - and I think the way in which we communicated to your audience through using stories rather than the hard edge sales tactics and I could always point to that and lift my head up with pride that I felt we'd done it right by you and your audience and...
[00:28:30] So, for us, it was tough because, you know, sometimes people end up doubting the whole thing - what they did and the work - and try to discount the great work that they did for themselves. One of the challenges I had on our team internally was letting them keep their work in perspective and, obviously, the way things have worked out. They've seen it. The more perspective has come from hindsights in that event. And it's been quite interesting for us to see that evolve and move forward.
[00:29:02] So, yeah, and actually Rory Kilmartin who's been one of our best case studies actually from one of our coaching clients. You know, I met him through you and I not only met him and had the privilege of working on his work, his class, with you but actually learning from them personally.
[00:29:20] This is again another insight from him on relationships that I learned from you about a better way to think about it that I never would have come in contact without. Well, I can say, I never would have made it, probably would take me a lot longer to come into contact with someone like Rory who could just lay it out for me. And I remember you've gotten out of prison and you were back and you were actually working with us.
[00:29:47] Or actually, you were getting back ready for the Sage Business School which is about to come up. And, contractually, we had an agreement where I owned intellectual property and could basically hold your work hostage until things were done by the contract.
[00:30:06] And I remember I was sitting in the car with the Rory. And Rory said to me, he said, "Sam, I know what legally you can do or think you should do or maybe you don't but," energetically, "I think it'd be just great to let this go. That the relationship's over as it was. Your agency's moved on to some different places and Peter's in a different place." I remember when he told me that, it was kind of the final... Everything came full circle where I said, "Yeah, that feels right. I'm going to do that. I'd rather just let Peter and the business restart itself on hundred percent. You know, use what we did, our footage, and allow you to go back and, you know, relaunch in a new way."
[00:30:50] And actually, as it worked out, working with some of my coaching students who originally came to me through you. So, I'd coach in students who came into my coaching group were great students. Then I ended up loving marketing so much as well as my coaching them. They wanted to work on something and I remember saying, "I have a great project for you."
[00:31:12] It's just a really cool way to kind of square the whole circle as it were something that I never wouldn't have gotten without you which is these coaching students got to take over the work that I've done and work with you, go in forward, and help you reimagine the new direction you're going to take with your work which I know is the fall. It changed quite a bit since we worked together.
[00:31:34] So it's just really cool to see that and applying your teachings from a friend of mine, who I met through you, who helped me very much personally in creating a very professional case study. It was just really cool to see how that all can go together. It was nice to connect on that and, you know, see how that worked.
Peter Sage: [00:31:58] Yeah, as I say, Steve Jobs said, "You can't join the dots going forward and then looking back." When you see the perfection and the majesty and the genius of how the river widens, then the only variable is what choices do we make. Rory told me a lot over the years. There's a lot of questions. He constantly asks me, "What would love to do right now?" And it's because anything other than that is ego. And that is our own sense of needing to be right. And when we can put that aside and we chunk up, then everything starts to flow.
Sam Cook: [00:32:32] Yeah. I remember thinking or hearing - there's an old saying I developed from my time in the army was there are only two emotions allowed and that's anger and righteous anger. And righteous anger sure feels great, doesn't it? But, it's certainly not that productive. It's actually more harmful for you than anyone for whom you harbor that - self-righteous anger or that resentment for - it really doesn't serve you.
Peter Sage: [00:33:04] Yeah, no, a hundred percent agreed. Yeah.
Sam Cook: [00:33:18] And Peter, how did you as you were on the other side of it? Just quickly share with us. I know that you definitely had a lot of teaching out there and I obviously followed your stuff as I got you launched for the Sage Business School in your masters circle in the elite mentorship forum. What changed as a result to that experience? I'd like to say that there's not many experiences out of prison or war that can create massive change in a short period of time. What changed as a result to that and in you and your mindset and what you're doing now in your teaching?
Peter Sage: [00:33:51] It is certainly allowed me to have some self-reflection which was good and part of that was seeing that ego did play a part in me ending up in there, and also knowing that, can I trust myself in terms of being able to walk my talk at the level that I am? It's a real environment. It is just like war. You know, there's a big difference between training and actually being deployed.
[00:34:13] And, for me it was a case of, I never saw myself as a prisoner. That was a huge part of it. I saw myself as a secret agent of change. I saw myself as being on location for six months, filming the prison scene in my movie and because, you know, chunking up I want an exciting movie and every exciting movie has all sorts of drama, intrigue, plot twists, and everything else.
[00:34:33] So, I accepted the place but it did give me that time which I haven't had before to be able to look at myself in deeper ways, be able to reconnect with different parts of myself, but being busy, being busy, in the outer world. Sometimes you just don't get a chance to do. And, you know, being in a little microcosm like that where, you know, it's for some people it's day-to-day survival. It was a really empowering way of being able to relate to life for a while.
[00:35:00] So, for me there was a lot of humility there because, again, you're in an environment where most people just have had no opportunities like you and I have had. You say they're for the grace of God go on. It makes you realise how grateful you are for but what it is that you do have rather than complaining about what you think you danced.
[00:35:18] So, there's a lot of-- there is a deeper level of being real, you know, 'cause there's a lot of other masks in there but underneath it's all the same. And, coming out, it reconnected me a lot more with my passion for writing and I've got a whole series of books that I'm putting together right now based upon different ideas, lessons, metaphors, and thinking that channeled through at the time. And, I'm passionate about that because yeah, we can reach maybe a couple of thousand people on a livestream and a few hundred people in the room but now I can reach several million people with books and videos.
[00:35:54] So, I really think that it was a great way to sort of halt the trajectory that I was on at that time and broaden it to a different aspect to make me sit down and say, you know, something - What am I really here for? I don't really want to be in the marketing and promotions business. That was never the business I wanted to be in. I wanted to be in the content creation and delivery business, not mechanic marketing to be able to do that, but it was distracting me at some point because we are building a bit of a vehicle that for me was massively successful and complete genius but ultimately life was probably trying to tell me it was taking me away from my next part of my path which is why, you know, "throw a spanner in the works".
[00:36:31] So coming out, there's definitely a deeper level of appreciation, understanding of various different aspects. I'm meditating a lot more because I had a lot more chance to do it while I was in there.
Sam Cook: [00:36:42] Lots of quiet time.
Peter Sage: [00:36:45] Yeah, and that I'm really enjoying. Everything's flowing. There's no resentment or guilt or issues or anything like that. Yeah. It was a very calming kind of detox in all fairness both mentally and physically.
[00:37:00] So, yeah, for me right now, my focus is still what it was always down to which was how do I help raise the global consciousness of humanity, how do I add value to people, how do I hold up a mirror for them to be able to see their own greatness, and do that in ways that have been impacted through my experience to those last six months in a much deeper way.
Sam Cook: [00:37:19] Yeah, and Peter, one of the things that I thought was quite interesting and I remember hearing this from you was "Imagine you get to go away and do a digital detox, not have to answer phone or email," something like that. And I remember, you remarking you're someone that remarked that you told them on the phone, you know, "A lot of people who make a lot of money when paying good money for this kind of detox."
Peter Sage: [00:37:45] Yeah. Yeah absolutely. And again, it's we don't get what we want in life, we get what we need. And the reason for that is because we don't get to choose the lessons ourselves because we choose the easy ones. And that's just your nature.
[00:38:01] So, you know, the lessons are chosen for us based upon what's ideal for where we are at the time and that could be an end of your exam. It could be a mid-term test. It could be just the fact that we're learning a new part of the syllabus in life and it's a little uncomfortable and awkward to start with. But, everything has a plan and I'm a great believer in the fact that, you know, the intelligence behind what sets this universe up is older and smarter than we are. And therefore, there has to be some level of a higher level of order to the game.
[00:38:33] And you know, if the game master wanted a label you want to use to size that this is the next part of the process for me - you either learn some stuff I need to learn or to experience some stuff I need to experience or to demonstrate the consequences of actions, decisions, and choices. Then, yeah, I'm okay with that. That's why the system works. That's why it's set up.
Sam Cook: [00:38:53] Yeah. And I think that's been very powerful for me to watch - use this whole thing. And I remember, alternating between a detached observer watching the lessons I've learned from you and someone who is very much in the mix - you had to pay people, you have to deal with some of the emotions of people involved in it who, you know, both people in your staff and people who'd invest in your training which we had helped sell, which we have half-felt responsible for in some way.
[00:39:27] And it was really interesting to navigate that and I could imagine the perspective. Well, I can. I mean I've been in different situations not in prison but in combat. It's quite amazing to see when you're putting a life and death situation which basically prison can be you tell some fascinating stories about it.
[00:39:47] It really cuts down a lot of that stuff, the masks, and the things that we put on in our lives. I'd like to say that our life is a continuous process which is trying to peel off the mask we've been putting on ourselves since we were small. I'm sure you had a few taken off. Talk a little bit about those masks and the clarifying impact of that environment.
Peter Sage: [00:40:12] Well, from a mass perspective, it's usually always driven by the same few patterns: All roads lead to run. [00:40:21] Everybody is trying to fit in. Be liked. Be good enough so that ultimately they'll be loved. And, you know, we spend the first part of our life essentially trying to fit in and then project that through the rest of our relationships to the outer world and people.
[00:40:35] And for me, again, I'm lucky that I cottoned on to some of that game quite early on - having probably crammed as much of the inauthenticity in mask and insecurity aspect into the first part of my life, for the rest-- for a whole lifetime. So it was actually not as if I skip class but I sort of accelerated through it.
[00:40:55] But getting to a point where I realized not all of that mattered. The good opinion of other people is not something that drives me. Never has. Well, it used to, massively, but never has in terms of phase two, shall we call it, of life where, you know, you're dealing with and say, "How do you take the masks off now and how do you put them on?"
[00:41:11] And so, for me, going in a prison, you've got to be real. Otherwise, people will and can see straight through you. And there's a lot of masks being worn in there - superior bravado, their significance, there's anger, there's all this other stuff that gets dragged in through the lower levels of consciousness and it's a real melting pot of emotions. And, as you say, it's a very dangerous place. After three deaths in one week, it was the worst week I was there.
[00:41:36] And from my perspective, I never felt in danger. I really didn't. Not once because I was there for a different purpose. People would start to see that. And one of the things that they respected was you being real. Why? Because I could see everybody else not be. And when I'm there to help and I'm really there to help - not pretending there to help or trying to help so that I can get on somebody's good side so I don't get stabbed. Then, if you're there and you're showing up authentically, I get a lot of stuff from a lot of the prisoners in there that helped change their life.
[00:42:08] Not once did I ask for anything in return because that's not why I was there. And don't get me wrong, there are currencies big in jail, you know, whether it's tins of tuna, whether it's a phone credit, whether it's, you know, whatever it is, or drugs. Yeah, nothing's done for free.
[00:42:21] And so for someone to show up and actually come from a place of "Yeah sure. I'll help you write the letter to your wife so that she visits you," or "Let me take care of that. And here's some advice on how to deal with this aspect and be able to walk people through different areas of guidance and walk away not needing a tin of tuna to be able to make it happen."
[00:42:40] It was refreshing for somebody else because it showed them a beacon of hope - the fact that somebody could do that and they didn't have it. And so, that was good.
[00:42:48] But masks are just inherent in the human condition. If we didn't wear masks and we were all enlightened, we wouldn't need to come to Earth school in order to learn those lessons. They had already be done. But until that point, you know, we're here to progressively make better choices so that our direction of travel is a little better each day. And that's all that counts, just like going through a normal school. And you're not going to get all the answers right. You're not meant to. And if you get 100 percent on an exam, you're in the wrong class. That's not the objective. But each lesson gets a little harder and each year the questions are a little tougher and it's meant to be like that.
[00:43:20] But if you don't know you're in school, you're going to start bitching and complaining about every time you think you've got an exam or somebody gives you a test or even forced to sit in the classroom for an hour. And so, knowing that the whole thing is a growth centric experience, it allows you to let go of the masks a lot easier because you're not trying to pretend you've got your shit together, because you're not meant to have your shit together. This is Earth school. Not "Look at me. I'm better because I've got my shit together" school. If that makes sense.
Sam Cook: [00:43:47] Yeah, I know and it's really powerful to see the ability to apply the lessons. I'm sure and I think I've seen some of your letters. It wasn't easy at times and I think you definitely had your moments but you know it's definitely what I've always seen in business and life is like you said, this innate in-- or a higher intelligence that gives you what you're ready for, gives you that thing that you need at that moment to move to the next level and progress.
[00:44:21] It's amazing to see that in my own life and do some things that I learned working with you. And it's good to hear that you're able to use the same in your own journey because it could've been tough, I'm sure, for you and a lot tougher if you wouldn't have applied a lot of these lessons and life principles.
Peter Sage: [00:44:42] Yeah. A hundred percent. And again, remember here, the Olympics is every four years with the World Championships is every 12 months. It doesn't stop just because we've gone through some level of perceived adversity. Life will carry on and whatever the next lesson is will present itself. And if I haven't learned the lessons from previously, maybe I have to go back, or maybe it's a different type of graduation event that presents itself next time but they'll certainly be there because that's the nature of the environment we're in.
[00:45:09] And, once we start to understand that and once we demonstrate that we can do that, next time it may not have to be a main climb and your business going away and it may be something else. Maybe it's a test next time the lesson we need to learn is something to do with relationships or do with letting go or doing with not having to hold on to stuff and passing those tests and exams. And it's a really great crucible of experience - this whole game we're playing called life.
[00:45:37] So, yeah, I'm excited. I'm glad that I went through the experience. Again, hindsight is everything. I'm glad that, you know, you and I still connected and still good friends and still can look back and see the lessons and the results in there because sometimes experiences like this can pull people apart and you invalidate, you know, a year or two of friendship over rules, over why we think things should or shouldn't have happened and that's just sad. That's just-- that's the warning, not the example, of how to move things forward.
[00:46:06] And yeah. Now we're both on different paths and different agendas and both becoming very successful on those in our own fields and moving forward in a way that makes us be very grateful for what happened.
Sam Cook: [00:46:18] Yeah. And I'll always take that learning experience with me and understand one of the reasons I wanted to do is podcast. It's just, you know, this as a moment in time, in life, in perspective, that we both had that I think change is worthwhile. And, we're definitely both moving forward from an impulsive way and I certainly wouldn't go back and change anything. In fact, that's the question I'm sure you get a lot - would you change anything looking back?
Peter Sage: [00:46:48] Of course not! And again, this is something people need to understand: regrets or what-ifs are cancer to the human psyche. There's absolutely no benefit that's set to that whatsoever. And if you come from a place of really seeing that if it happened again, then I could make different choices. That's different. But to sit and think, "Oh well, if I was to do it all over again previously." No. Everything happened perfectly the way it did to give me the experience I needed to have to learn the lessons I wanted to muster and needed to learn. And now, I'll embrace the next part of the journey or chapter or whatever it brings forward. But to say, "Oh, wish I'd have done this or that." That's just wasting energy on stuff that you can never change.
Sam Cook: [00:47:32] And how do you balance that, Peter, when some people say, "Well that's easy for you to say. You didn't have to deal with the fallout of that." And I think you've sort of addressed that but--
Peter Sage: [00:47:42] Well, would they want to swap lessons in classrooms?
Sam Cook: [00:47:46] Yeah. But they could also say, "Well, you're the one that created the classroom." So, I know you have to had some of those conversations with customers and former employees or team members. How did you deal with that with them? And how is that going in terms of helping people see your perspective in the bigger picture?
Peter Sage: [00:48:05] The foundation of my message from day one is that life starts to work the moment you start to take responsibility for everything that happens in your life. It doesn't take courage to point fingers and blame other people. It doesn't take courage to start writing things or saying things and slagging other people off because you think it's their fault rather than your fault. Everybody attracts perfectly what they need now and most people, unfortunately, are at that level of awareness to appreciate that. But that's their journey. The intention behind everything is exceptionally important. I didn't intend for this to happen. I didn't intend to drag anybody to the gym. I didn't intend to ruin anybody's event or cancel their travel plans or tickets. But that happens. And it happened at a far smaller level for them than it did for me.
[00:48:55] And if they are still struggling to be able to see that, then I mean that's okay. I have no judgment or a sort of resentment or any projection around on that. I see it for what it is. But my only invitation is that if they don't learn the lesson around that when it's potentially that small, maybe the next lesson will be a little bit bigger in connection with something else and if they blame that then maybe something else.
[00:49:19] And so, yeah, again, I can apologize because my intent was never to drag people to the gym or to hurt people or to cause disruption. But, you know, we're in school here. We're not in Pandora's Pollyanna box. Stuff happens and I believe everybody attracts perfectly what they need no matter how it comes into their experience, no matter how it's fed into their data stream of consciousness or whatever level. And to say to sit there and point-blame fingers, whether it's people, me, the government, life, interest rates - all of that stuff is just a game that hopefully, this lifetime at some point they'll only grow out of.
[00:49:56] And, if it's malicious intent where I deliberately or somebody deliberately tries to rip people off, again, you still can't blame. Yeah? That's a reflection of whoever was trying to rip you off on their level of consciousness on their journey and I'm sure their lessons all start to accelerate as well. Everything is an opportunity to check in with where you're at. And, that may seem a little cursed and it's not. I have more empathy for other people because I see the pain that they go through and I also see a far easier way out of it than most people tend to take.
[00:50:30] Most people lock themselves in a room of pain and bang their head against the door. And that was a situation that their dish don't either don't know they're aware of or it's a pan that they run. It's what happened with you and your little brother for a while. And to be able to unlock that door and show people that, you know, there are no justified resentments.
[00:50:50] Now, when you get to that level of awareness and understanding at that level of consciousness, life changes dramatically. There are no justified resentments. And when you can really embody that rather than pay it lip service, you'll start to see a whole lot of other things show up in your life because a lot of lessons you just won't need anymore.
Sam Cook: [00:51:09] Yeah. And I think that was the biggest breakthrough for me, you know that A-ha! moment was personally like going of not even any resent resentment because I think I kind of banished most of it but the, let's say, the even opportunity to go back into that. 'Cause you can slip into something here and there. And now that's what was really powerful about when Rory said even though I kind of thanked you for your spectacular disappearance and come to terms with it not getting any ability to reconnect with that. It was really powerful and again that was the lesson I learned from someone I met through you. It was really powerful for me to see that.
[00:51:52] And, you know, I brought that question up, Peter, because I know there are some people like you said who still like to make this define their story. I think that that's now serving them. You know we all have to make the right story out of this and create something that serve this: No story is true but least it's useful.
Peter Sage: [00:52:21] Hmm. Cool.
Sam Cook: [00:52:22] All right, so Peter, from a final word standpoint, listeners listening to this who believe in the power of storytelling in marketing, what are your thoughts for a business owner or a marketer who's interested in telling better stories in order to inspire their ideal customer or their clients versus traditional tricks and tactics and things that other people are using? What advice do you have for the listeners of podcast going forward?
Peter Sage: [00:52:55] There's an easy way and a hard way to do everything in life. And, you really want to have things on your side. If you're going to be getting into a business, get into a business where that industry is on an upswing in a way. If you don't want to be getting into manufacturing stuff right now that was going to be obsolete in 12 months with 3D printing for example, so stack the deck in your favor.
[00:53:19] Now when it comes to communicating in business, the ultimate debt to stack in your favor is the entire two million years of evolution of human existence and how have we passed down all of that knowledge traditionally through stories.
[00:53:36] We are hard wired in our DNA to respond to stories, to listen to stories, to be moved emotionally by stories, to be open to stories. And so, if you want to write some sales copy where you're focused on features and benefits, well, good luck. But, bear in mind, owning up until a hundred years ago, reading and writing was the privilege of the top one percent of the global population - whether it was the royalty, the political elite, the scholars, the religious teachers and students. Vast majority of humanity couldn't read or write.
[00:54:09] So where did the knowledge come from? Where did they get passed down? Go back to the campfires. Go back to the tribal level of existence. It was the stories around the campfire, that's how the kids learn. That's how we grew up. It's resonant as part of us.
[00:54:21] If you want to stack the deck in your favor, new stories. If you want to go on, take some marketing course, and learn how to be clever with words to try to sell your product, then you may be able to trick the left brain at some level but you're never going to be capturing the heart. People make decisions with their heart and then justify, not the other way around.
[00:54:41] So if you're not mastering storytelling, then you're missing out on stacking the deck in your favor. And that's what I think made our partnership so successful, Sam.
[00:54:50] You know, I have a lot of stories to tell. Yeah, and you're a very great director when it comes to being able to hone people's stories into a message that can communicate in a way that touches that part of them that resonates. And, you know, it was a pleasure to work with you. We had a lot of fun. We changed a lot of lives. And who knows? I'm sure at some point our paths are going to cross again in a way where we can tell some more stories.
Sam Cook: [00:55:14] Yeah, Peter, I really had a lot of fun directing your videos. You were, yes, you had a lot of stories and it was a lot of fun getting them out. And, looking back, it's really fascinating to see that the story we had start and stop at exactly the right time. And, it helped both the listener of the journey at that point. It helped a lot of other people who were traveling through life and came across it.
[00:55:43] Yeah, there are other some challenges in there. I think everyone when they look back and get perspective and see the way you've bounced back and worked on so hard to deliver what you promised and what you started for these people who had to wait on that, it's good to see that everyone's going to get a positive outcome out of this as they choose to see it. And, it's been really great watching that and see good friends of mine from your community benefit from this whole situation with the opportunities that this created. And then none of that ever would have happened if it weren't for when you said that graduation event in the middle of there so...
Peter Sage: [00:56:31] Yeah. No coincidences, my friend.
Sam Cook: [00:56:32] Well, Peter, thank you so much for joining us. I know that you're very busy getting ready for the upcoming Sage Business School in March of 2018. If you've already past March of 2018, or sorry, February of 2018, Sage Business School's going next week. This podcast won't be out by the time the school starts but it's an event that I helped Peter launched and he's fulfilling to the people who he said he was going to fulfill it to before everything stopped. And I really respect you for making good on that with a team he has and happy to, in some small way, support that and look and helped, you know, what we built and the people we helped in that community continue to get benefit from those events and information we've put out.
[00:57:23] So it's been great reconnecting with you, Peter. It's been too long. And I really look forward to see how your journey continues to evolve through this crazy exciting period in history.
Peter Sage: [00:57:35] Very well said. Thank you, though.
Sam Cook: [00:57:36] And thanks Peter. And thank you finally, podcast listener, for joining us for another episode of the StoryMatters podcast. Absolutely thrilled to get your feedback as always on this episode. If you enjoyed this episode, please comment reviews on iTunes. If you have some feedback, please do send it to us. And please do subscribe on your iPhone or your entering device to iTunes, or situation or whatever you need to get notified of the next podcast episode as it comes out so you can have it in our inbox when you wake up, when this is released. So thanks again for joining us and I look forward to seeing you on the next episode.
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