Cultivate New-Found Happiness

Cultivate New-Found Happiness

Check out the latest episode below. Mr.Biz Radio provides business owners with the knowledge and insights needed to drive their companies forward.

Mr. Biz Radio: Cultivate New-Found Happiness by "Doing Something Wonderful"

Unedited transcription of the show is included below:


Welcome to Mr. Biz radio, Biz. Talk for Biz owners. If you're ready to stop faking the funk and take your business onward and upward, this show is for you. And now here's Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth.


Alright, welcome to another episode of Mr. Biz Radio with me, Mr. Biz Ken Wentworth. And we are going to talk about something this week that is critically important,in everyday life, not just as an entrepreneur, not just as a business owner. You could have a corporate job, you could be a stay-at-home mom or dad. You could be, you could be anything. This is critically important. Uand we're gonna talk about,I don't want to give away too much of it,but, but I will introduce our guest. Uwe have this week I have Mr. Gene Pranger. He's a successful entrepreneur. He's done a whole lot of stuff, and I won't, I've got a whole laundry list of things. Honestly, I'm not gonna read 'em off because I wanna talk through some of these amazing things that he's accomplished in his career,when we talk about his entrepreneurial journey, et cetera. But he's written a book recently called "The Do Something Wonderful Protocol". That's what we're gonna be talking about, being happy, being grateful,you know, helping people, having a, giving mindset, things like that. Gene has done so many amazing things. The one thing I will tell you about his history before we, we, I, I introduce him officially and bring him on, is that Gene currently holds more than 31 US patents and trademarks for his inventions. This guy's amazing Gene, welcome to Mr. Biz Radio.


Thank you very much. It's wonderful to be with you today, Ken.


Yeah, well, I appreciate you coming on. And as I mentioned, you know, as I was doing preparation for the show, and I'm looking back and I know you, you sent us some things and I was going through some of those things and I was just blown away. I'm like, holy crap, this guy's just, I was, when we booked you on the show, and then as I was doing the show prep, I'm like, oh my gosh, this is gonna be an amazing show, <laugh>. So without further ado on that, Gene, if you would walk us through a bit of your, your journey, your career journey, your entrepreneur journey that you've had, because you've had, you've done so many amazing things.


Yeah, no, I'm, I'd be happy to. I, I have been greatly blessed in my career. I have to admit that I know I'm at the tail end of my professional career and contributions. But I, if I look back on it, it is been just so extraordinarily rewarding. I started out my career in the advertising business. I was recruited by B D O,to work on a number of different,brand goods,and product introductions. I worked on Hormel, general Mills, ConAgra. In fact,one of the products I worked on to help introduce was,Healthy Choice. UI, I launched that. In fact, I was the guy that did all the number crunching to figure out if there was room in the frozen food case for a healthy food product. And that ended up being healthy choice. Uand actually when I had that experience, to be honest with you, I mean, I was kind of a grunt in the back of the room doing all the number crunching.


And I thought to myself, well, a lot of people are getting accolades and success for this, but the only person that really didn't get acknowledged was me <laugh>. So I thought at that point is that, you know what, I need to just do my own thing at some point in my life. And that led me to actually starting my own business. Back in 1995. I concentrated on developing and working with financial institutions of creating more retail centers for their branch bank locations, as well as for credit unions as well. And so what I would go in is I would go in, look at their branches, redesign, create a whole new retail type of environment. And we did that for about 500 different financial institutions. So I worked on Wells Fargo, what was Bank One, now Chase and, and a number of different other financial institutions across the country.


And many hundreds literally of of credit unions throughout the United States. And then through that whole process of creating bank branches, I saw a technology requirement that needed to be addressed. And that was that if you could consolidate tellers into what I call a video call center you can be able to handle multiple locations simultaneously and create incredible efficiency and keep your branch hours open even longer for consumers. And so I created the concept of taking an a t m like device and then putting a video component on it. So, so that when a person walked up to it, they can see and talk to a teller. The teller would have control of the cash dispenser, the check accepter, the coin dispenser, and so they would be able to handle any type of transaction transaction as if they were meeting face-to-face over a teller line.


And that business got, it was very, very slow in the beginning. But it ended up building up momentum. And then 2008, 2009 hit, and that's where our business just exploded in terms of growth, because everybody was looking for more efficiencies inside their bank branches. I sold that business in 2010 to N C R. And then in 2012, I started a new business taking what I call video banking. I created the concept of video banking to a mobile handset. And so you can see and talk to a teller right over your mobile handset. Uand that ended up being very successful. And we sold that to a venture capital group out of Los Angeles just over a year ago.


So I gotta ask, when was, you said it was slow in the beginning with the sort of the video teller thing. When did you, when did you come up with that? When did you kind of, sort of launch that, come up with that?


Well, it's interesting because one of the very first series of branches I designed was on the campus of U C L A. And I was looking at these machines about, I, you know, I had an A T M, and then I had the very first video conferencing terminal inside of a branch. This is in 1998, so we're talking 25 years ago. It was a long time ago. And I thought, well, you know, all I need to do are to combine these two technologies together. And then you would have video components over an a tmm like device, and then you wouldn't need both devices and you create more efficiencies on the part of the teller. So that's, that's, and so it goes all the way back to 1998. Now, I think your listeners would enjoy this. There was one major issue that I had, and that issue was money.


I just didn't have any money to pull it off. And so as time went on, I started collecting, you know, our revenue, as every entrepreneur probably knows, you have two options. You can take the money out of the business and spend it on yourself, or you can take the money and you can reinvest it. And the smart strategy is keep on reinvesting it, because that's where you build extremely extreme amount of value in your enterprise, especially if you can take your ideas and make them a reality. And so that's what I did. Every single year. We lived on a modest income. Every year I would take our net profits, roll it back into the company and after three or four years, I had enough money to begin the development process. But it wasn't until I created a partner in this case with Coastal Federal Credit Union out of North Carolina, and then with Mid-Hudson Valley Credit Union out of New York, where they believed in my concept.


And I did. And so having those partnerships of creating this video banking terminal really took off, you know, because I had, I had people that were willing to buy it if I created it. And that's where I started spending millions of dollars in the development of the technology. So you would've to go back 25 years, believe it or not, but it took another five years before I started developing it in earnest. And it took another two or three years to have something in the marketplace that was actually practical. And there was a lot of, in any type of industry, especially in tech industry is not what it is today. You didn't have bandwidth like you have today. You didn't have technology, you didn't have efficiency in the system. So terminals were, and video in particular was extremely difficult to create in these types of environments.


Well, it's interesting. And the reason I asked when it was, I, I was trying to, honestly, and I'm not saying this to be patronizing, I was trying to determine how far a ahead of the curve you were, gene. I mean, honestly, yeah, if you think about that in 98, the, the internet was essentially still in its infancy stages. I mean, it was just a, it was a toddler just learning to walk at that point and to have that foresight and think about that, you know, and then I, I fast forward to how many companies scrambled just of three years ago when Covid hit on how to do more things like that. Here you were, you know, 25 years ago, already had this in your mind. So again, this week as we're talking with Gene Pranger, we're gonna find out more specifically in the second segment about developing a giving mindset, going around the, some of the protocols in his book, "The Do Something Wonderful Protocol". You can find out more at


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Alright, welcome back to the show. It's time for the Mr. Biz tip of the week. And this one is about cashflow. We talk about cash flow all the time, how critically important it is. And Gene actually even mentioned this a little bit, alluded to this somewhat with with his business of, of being, having video tellers and having that cash flow and, you know, reinvesting those net profits back in the business and having the money to be able to develop those things. So this one is a simple one. It's a very practical tip though, and a lot of, a lot of small businesses, not, not your medium size, but a lot of the small businesses don't take advantage of this enough. And that is as much as you can automate your cashflow, one really easy way to do that, and it's super inexpensive, is to get yourself a software package to where you do your invoicing through the software package.


And the way you automate it is that you can, you can have send reminders, so, right, it'll send your, your invoices, it'll look, have your logo, it looks really cool, all that good stuff. But it'll also send reminders. So if you haven't received payment yet, it'll, you can send reminders that whatever intervals you want, you can send a bazillion reminders. And what that does is it helps you get to the top. I talk about this all the time to the top of the Paypile. That's not pay pal, it's p i l e, the pile. So when someone gets the end of the end of the month and they have bills to pay and they don't have enough money to pay all the bills, they start to prioritize which ones am I going to pay? Well, if they've been getting reminders, friendly reminders via email, not anything heavy handed, they know you're paying attention, you're gonna get to the top of that Paypile where, as opposed to another business that sends out invoices and just lets it go.


And then, you know, two months later they follow up and you know, they, they're not on top of the, their game as far as cash flow goes. They're not gonna be at the top of that Paypile. They're not gonna get paid until later. So that's just, just really simple tip, very easy. I, I know a lot of these softwares I mean they're like, I don't know. I wanna say, I think you can even do something for maybe 10 bucks a month, 15 bucks a month, something like that. If you have more clients and things like that, obviously it becomes a little bit more. But even at 50 or $75 a month, the, the amount it saves you and how much it cuts down and shrinks that payable receivable cycle is worth itself like 10 times over every single month easily.


So that is the Mr. Biz tip of the week. Again, we're talking with Gene Pranger. So Gene, so I mean, I could probably do about three shows delving into your different business successes that you've had. But I want to talk a little bit more and start talking about your book, "The Do Something Wonderful Protocol". And specifically I wanted to talk have you walk us through a little bit about developing a giving mindset. I know you talk about that in the book, and I know it's something that's really a foundation of, of what, what your, your do something wonderful protocol.


Yeah. Well, thank you for asking that question. Is that, you know, one of the things I struggled with as an entrepreneur is you're so focused, as everybody knows on your business and the development of something that's gonna be successful, that sometimes there's a lot of issues that just kind of go by the wayside. And that's taking care of yourself as well as appropriately recognizing the team members that are around you, that are supporting you in that process, let alone the larger community that you're a party to. And so, really the issue that I found myself going into was this kind of, I was so myopic, so driven down in terms of our day-to-day type of business enterprise. I, I started getting lost. And that whole lost feeling was, is that I'm going here, I'm trying to accomplish my objectives. Everybody come around me, surround me to help me accomplish my objectives.


Well, the issue was, is I, I started figuring out that I was, I was internalizing, I was, that things had to come to me as opposed to me giving something to somebody else. And so what I created was this whole concept of doing something wonderful. And this, I, I started formalizing this after we sold our last business. And the whole protocol is this, it's about doing four to five positive things for others. Anybody that you come in contact could be family members, it could be members of the community, it could be restaurant workers during the course of the week, four or five times positive things for people during the course of the week. And then focusing ourselves once or twice each week. And in that process, you'll find that your mind shifts back to its normal or childlike presence, if you want to call it that, of being able to think each think about others in a very productive and healthy way.


What happens to people is just absolutely extraordinary. Lemme just give you a quick example of what I mean by this. So I was at a sushi restaurant and this waiter we were getting, finishing with our meal, and I had just a small amount of leftovers. Some ahi tuna was leftover. I wanted to take it home. And I said to the waiter, Oscar, and I said, could you bring me the smallest container, doggy bag that you would have so I can take this home with me? And he brought out a little soy sauce cup, and I had a little illustration made of this. And he set it on the table. And this little soy sauce was so small, I thought it was so humorous that he would bring this take home cup for me to take up, take my ahi tuna away from the restaurant that I went back The next day, I went to our graphic artist and he said, could you draw a picture of this gentleman?


And the next night I delivered that very picture that I just showed you to him. Now, unfortunately, he wasn't working that night night. But the west, the rest of the waiter staff and the chefs were all interested in seeing this picture. And to find out later, the waiter came back to the restaurant later that night to pick it up. Well, two months go by. I never really heard exactly what happened to him. And I went back to the same sushi restaurant and there was, there was Oscar. And I said, Oscar, did you get my picture? And he said, that was you. And I said, yeah. And he said, I, well, I have to tell you, I put this up by my dresser. I look at it every night and everybody's so excited. I'm really, I mean, it was a really touching moment for me.


And it ended up being a really memorable and magical experience for him. I didn't know about it until I asked him about it, obviously, and it ended up being a very positive experience for me. And so, if you can shift your thinking in terms of just having those experiences day in and day out, whether it's in your family, whether it's in your work, or whether it's in your community, it begins allowing you to think outward. Now, a part of this protocol that's very critical and important for people to understand is just as important for you to spend one or two activities just on you. It can be anything. It can be on a hike. You can go up to, you can go fishing, you can just sit on the sun for 20 minutes, you can read a book. But that me time is absolutely critical to development this healthy balance that people are needing.


And I think among entrepreneur and business owners, this is even more critical because sometimes it's so easy to get sucked into our everyday business life and or into our family activities for that matter that we, for, we forget about the opportunity of extending ourselves to everybody that we might be surrounding. Now today, I went through the 100 day challenge that I go through and I document that in my book. And in today, there's, there's really not a day that goes by that I'm not doing two or three different activities for other people, it might just be opening a door. It might be saying, you're looking nice today. And or it might be something more spectacular like doing an illustration for somebody. But if I can do that, it means that I'm making a meaningful difference in a person's life, and it comes right back to me in a very positive reinforcement


Gene, I gotta tell you, I love it because, you know, as you say, and I think we lose sight of this so often, that's why one of the reasons why I wanted to have you on to talk through some of these things in the day, the hustle bustle day-today, we lose this. We all have this in us, and we all wanna do good things for other people. But I think it oftentimes you almost have to make it it like your own homework, right? Or make it part of your normal routine. Because I think it's so easy to forget. There's things, and as you mentioned, what better feeling is there when you, you know, you've made a positive impact on someone else. It could be, I mean, I, I'll use a really simple example is, you know, walking down the street, so many people now have their ear head headphones in, their earbuds in, and they're just, you know, as just saying, smiling and saying, hi someone might be having a really, really bad day. And that little tiny little thing could make a difference and a positive impact in that person's, you know, that their day, their week, that could change things around. They start to look for positive things instead of negative things. You get those paradigms in your head, right? You start down the, the bad path. Really cool stuff here. We're gonna hit a break guys. We're out of time again. We're gonna talk about the state happiness and opportunity analysis that Gene talks about in his book.


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Alright, welcome back to the show. And again, this week we're talking with Mr. Gene Pranger. You can find out more on his website, Easy to remember. Love it. And we're talking about a lot of things that are in his most recent book, "The Do Something Wonderful Protocol". We just talked about developing that giving mindset and some of the benefits that has, obviously on people external to you, but also benefits yourself. And I, I think it's very important. I love that you mentioned Gene is doing some of those things for yourself, because I think that's really important. I, Jesse Itzler, I follow him on social media and he talks about, you know, when you're feeling down, you know, think about three things that make you happy. And it could be, I I love coffee, I don't know whatever it is, right?


And he said, go do at least two of the three things really quick that come to your mind that make you happy. As you mentioned, you gave the example sitting in the sun for 20 minutes, maybe, you know, getting a Starbucks or something. You know, whatever those things are, it could be something super small. But go do those things right now to change your mindset and get more, make yourself happy. Get yourself in that giving mindset. But I wanna talk a little bit, I know you talked about this in a book, but the state happiness and opportunity analysis, and even more specifically for our viewers and listeners, the impact it has on work morale. So talk us through a little bit around your thoughts around that, if you would. Gene.


You bet. You know, one of the things that we look at is by country and by state here in the States, exactly what is the happiness and economic opportunity. And there are two states that are really struggling with this. And I'm not sure this, these are some interesting statistics, is that one 71% of people feel trapped in the United States at some point. And, and that's staggering statistic. If you also look at the optimistic, pessimistic for the very first time this year, the pessimism is higher than the optimism among people. 51%, 49%. That pendulum has actually shifted. How does that play out from a state by state perspective? You have some states that are just blowing it away. Massachusetts, one of the states that Utah is a really high performing state as well. If you go to the lower performing states, you're looking at West Virginia and Louisiana and you look at kind of why all those issues might be, well, in my mind is that it's probably not the people.


Obviously it's not the people, but it's our mindset how we can engage with our everyday life and make a meaningful difference. And so how do we pull ourselves out of that trap? How do we pull out, pull ourselves out of this pessimism? How do we pull ourselves out of this loneliness in my way of thinking that if we can get in our, our minds to think appropriately, meaning thinking outwardly more than internally, that we'll automatically have this ability to have this effusive sense of optimism that will permeate our everyday life. I found that in my 100 day journey that I chose to do this, this protocol for 100 days. That's completely documented in the book. And I show people my experience as well as we have an illustration for each one of those days so they can see visually, kind of what I was up to.


And it was remarkable to see what impact that it had that potentially also has that same impact on a state by state basis. For example, one of the things that I experienced was increased peace. And that was important to me. Having more meaningful social connections that was meaningful to me, having greater productivity, it actually translated into more productivity and and greater creativity for me. I felt like I was rejuvenated in many ways. There was less negative self-talk. And I think many of those listeners on today's program will deal with this. 'cause I know it's not unique. It's hardwired into ourselves system to be critical of ourselves and then figure out ways around it. But sometimes negative self-talk can be so overwhelming that it, it de it, it's a disability in terms of our performance in multiple areas of our lives. And I found less negative self-talk being part of my lifestyle.


I didn't feel as lonely as a result. I felt like I was engaged with life. And so I didn't feel like I was isolated by any stretch. And the most important thing that I think that's really important to mention is I felt like I had what I call spiritual independence. And I don't mean this from a religious standpoint. I mean like, I didn't have to let anybody, no one externally had to tell me about the way I should live or the way I should be. I knew how to live and I knew how to be because it was all internal. It was this wellspring of optimism that I previously described. Now this can be easily trance translated into the business environment. And I think this is the important part of our discussion today, is that many times people think, well, you know, that sounds good, but how does it apply to business?


Let me give you two examples. One is de insurance. There are large burial insurance company out of the Netherlands and they also have Belgium as their marketplace. They decided, well, lemme just begin this by saying, you know, your burial insurance is not the sexiest, most fascinating type of insurance you can buy. It's kind of a downer. But they created this campaign, which was why wait, say something wonderful today before it's too late. And so they had this campaign that went nationally and then they, they would go to these soccer matches and other venues and they would have a son or daughter talk to about their parents in this setting of why their parent was so special to them. So instead of being saying something wonderful about their parent during their funeral service, they're seeing it live in front of a care in front of a crowd.


And what Dela did is they taped all of those little presentations, not all of 'em, but many of them. And they created this advertising campaign and they started sharing their stories with their employees. In essence, what they were doing, they were doing something wonderful for the community and for the nation of the Netherlands and for Belgium, but they were also doing something wonderful for their employees because they were giving them positive reinforcement about their workplace and about their involvement in the business. And so instead of getting around the dinner table and saying, well, what do you do for your job? Well, I sell very own trance, it's not a very healthy thing to say in many, in many quadrants. But now they were talking about, I saw your, your campaign. He said, yeah, I'm really proud of that. Right? It made a huge difference in terms of the growth of this firm.


They grew three times over five years between the time they started the campaign and five years later that just shows you the financial success that they had with that business model. So it's not only good from a personal level standpoint, it is good business to be able to deploy these types of techniques. Now I have yet to find a business that doesn't do something wonderful, to be honest with you. I can craft a messaging in a way that's meaningful to everybody that has uplifting, is inspirational, and that can be translated in how we terms use it with our consumers and our employees as well. I also did this with our video banking company where I would go out and have our clients tell their stories about how video and banking impacted their their business. And I was hearing about shut-ins that could no longer go into the branch, and now we're able to actually conduct their, their banking live over a mobile handset.


I was hearing about people that were hospitalized or closed to death now had the opportunity of closing out their accounts or restructuring their accounts for the benefit of the beneficiaries. I was hearing accounts of abused women that were shut, that were literally shut out in the middle of the evening with only the clothes on their back without their id. And because they were verified internally and they had video, we could, we could actually create an identity for them. They had access to their banking account. And we started sharing those stories internally and it had that same type of effect. And I would encourage all the listeners today to think similarly about their business on a personal level as well as how they can apply this same standard in their business.


Yeah, I love it. I look, I, you know, I'd mentioned last segment about Jesse had started talking about doing things. You know, when you get in a kind of a bummed out state, you know, one of the primary things he talked about is he said, it's almost impossible. And this ties right into what you're talking about, Gene. It's almost impossible to do something nice for someone else and not feel better afterwards. Yes. So he said, use that as one of the one or two things you do. If nothing else, forget the Starbucks and the sun and whatever, but think of what you can do right then that's nice for someone else. Do something wonderful in your terms. And it almost every time changes your mindset, makes you feel better. I've implemented a couple times myself and I've been having crappy days, and it's just amazing, the almost immediate change in your mindset. Gosh, this is fascinating, Gene. I I really we're out of time here, but I really appreciate you coming on the show. Again, Gene Pranger, His book is "The Do Something Wonderful Protocol" . Gene, thank you so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate it.


Thank you very much.


Yep. Thanks, God. So guys, thanks for watching. Thanks for listening. Have a great rest of your week. And don't forget, as always, cashflow is king


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