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  • Francisco Mahfuz

E11. Finding Insight After Tesla with Billy Samoa Saleebey



Below is an AI-generated transcript and therefore it may contain errors.


Francisco Mahfuz 0:00

Hi everyone, Francisco here. Just before we get started, I wanted to share something I'm really excited about. I recently launched the story powers bootcamp, a course that teaches you everything you need to know about how to find craft and tell stories that work. But it's not just an online course, because you get personalised feedback from me for all the practical activities in three hours of life coaching to work through any challenges, or focus on specific projects. So it's like if you bought a cookbook, but the chef came along with it. So go to story powers.com and click on Course, all the information you need will be there. So please check it out. And if you love the show, and would like to support us, you can go to buy me a coffee.com forward slash story powers. I drink about five coffees a day, so any support would be much appreciated. All right on with the show.


Welcome to the story powers podcast, a show about the power of stories that people who tell them and why you should be doing it too. I'm your host, Francisco first. My guest today is Billy Samoa Saleebey, Billy is a filmmaker, host of the Inside Out podcast and founder of insight media. And in 2009 teen he left the corporate world after a successful career at both Solar City and Tesla. On top of that, this is a man full of amazing stories. If you like the show, please subscribe enjoying my amazing community of listeners. They are the best seven people you'll ever meet. Ladies and gentlemen, very samosa Levy. vidit Welcome to the show.


Billy Samoa Saleebey 1:41

Francisco. Thank you for the warm introduction. And I'm just thrilled to be here and looking forward to our conversation. Thank you so much.


Francisco Mahfuz 1:49

It turns out that you and I have more in common than I first thought the symbol of your podcast is not to don my arm.


Billy Samoa Saleebey 1:58

Oh my goodness. No way. Oh, yeah, I could see that. Okay.


Francisco Mahfuz 2:01

And we both come from somewhat distant Lebanese families laundry.


Billy Samoa Saleebey 2:07

Yes, I my dad is full blooded Lebanese, both his parents were Lebanese and they actually were born here. But so we're third generation and meaning that my great grandparents came from Lebanon. And so we've we've been here a long time, but we still we still really appreciate the ancestry and the heritage and we have family reunion every other year where we eat Lebanese food and yeah, I mean, I don't speak Arabic. Do you speak Arabic yourself or


Francisco Mahfuz 2:37

no, we're the same, the same type, I think third generation as well because it was also my great grandparents. And there was all sorts of weird things with my Lebanese heritage because I ate Lebanese food every Sunday at my grandparents house. And I thought my my grandmother was an amazing cook. And then after she passed, and I was talking about it with my father and he said, what you're talking about she needed a cook that food she ordered it in. And she just didn't allow us to talk about it because you wanted people to think she was a great cook.


Billy Samoa Saleebey 3:09

Oh my god, I love that. I love that. That's hilarious. The fact that she kept it from you for that long is impressive in and of itself. But Isn't it delicious food at the very least you got to appreciate how amazing and it's healthy to that's what I love about it's not only delicious, but most of it's actually quite healthy. So yeah, I'm a huge fan and you're getting me hungry. I'm gonna go want to eat some Lebanese food after this.


Francisco Mahfuz 3:33

Well, as much as it is healthy and it is tasty. This thing I think will make my grandmother is making my grandmother turn in her grave because my grandfather sold the house that they lived in for most of their life after she passed in the House change owners a few times and it ended up with a Lebanese fast food chain called Habib's in and it was even more ironic because in that house my my grandfather had had at least two dogs called Habib.


Billy Samoa Saleebey 4:04

Know what, what, are you kidding me? What? That's insane that where is where is that where it was there?


Francisco Mahfuz 4:11

This is important agony, which is the southernmost capital of Brazil.


Billy Samoa Saleebey 4:15

Okay. Wow, man. Well, we I don't know if you know this or not. But we have other things in common as well. Being that if that's in Brazil, so I have a large part of my family that's from Brazil. My my uncle married a Brazilian woman. So all my cousins on that side of the family are Brazilian. In fact, my one of my cousin's lives in South Paulo currently. And so I've been there only once but uh, but yeah, have you know, I hear I hear Brazilian accent. So tell me, I know you're interviewing me. But it's like, there's obviously something there because I heard that from the beginning because it's very distinct to me. So where's the Brazilian part?


Francisco Mahfuz 4:56

Well, I grew up in Brazil. I tend to joke OLC that I'm like Jason Bourne, without any of the skills, just the passports, because I've got, I've got a bunch of nationalities. But effectively, I'm Brazilian. Yeah, my great. My parents were from Brazil and I grew up most of my life in Brazil, other than a very small stint in, in America in then. And I've been out of Brazil now for 17 years, 18 years, but effective and Brazilian. I just don't have a stronger Brazilian accent. Because I think I learned English from a very young age. And then I lived in the UK for five years. And I speak English every single day and have done so for the last sort of 20 years. Yeah, so it's gotten slightly softer.


Billy Samoa Saleebey 5:41

I feel heard it honestly, man, the first thing I thought, I know he's in Barcelona, but that's it. I hear the Brazilian when you speak, I just hear it. i It's very distinct to me. Because my family, I grew up being around them. And they would always speak Portuguese. And I picked up on it. You know, I speak limited, very limited Spanish. And obviously, there are some parallels. But more than that, it's the body language. It's the way they said it. I I was picking things up just by immersion and just being there and listening to them.


Francisco Mahfuz 6:12

Yeah, I mean, it's it's one of those things that you only learn as you grow, grow up, I tended to think that I had this flawless English accent. And, you know, if I hadn't learned that, that wasn't the case, podcasting, and having to listen to myself all the time has completed disabused me of that notion.


Billy Samoa Saleebey 6:31

That's hilarious. When you do listen to yourself, it's a whole nother world accent, no accent, heavy accent, just listening to yourself, is always an interesting thing to do, no matter what, no matter who you are, and what your what your accent is.


Francisco Mahfuz 6:45

And one thing I've had this experience now that I've been doing the podcast for not that long, but I'm a lot more aware of how I speak, at least in this type of context. Because as I'm editing the podcast, I realised that my tendency, for example, I don't earn very much, which a lot of people do, but I tend to jump into the answer before I figured it out what I'm saying, so I'll have false starts. And then I'll repeat the same thing two or three times before I actually get into my train of thought. So there is the habit or I'm trying to build this, someone asks you a question, just shut up for two extra seconds, and then figure out what the answer is,


Billy Samoa Saleebey 7:24

it's a great practice, I have the same thing. I say, ah, like, I start something, and you could hear me say it a word twice. And so I think if you take a pause, think, and then share what you're going to say it's a lot better than going into it too quickly. But of course, there's also the arms and the arms, it sounds like you've you don't have that problem as much I just did right there, you you don't have that problem as much. And everyone's gonna listen to me like, oh, there, he did it again. So I shouldn't told you. But yeah, you hear those things that you say all the time, you don't even notice. But when you record yourself, and then you listen back, then it becomes really clear that you say things in a certain way. It's just your speech pattern.


Francisco Mahfuz 8:06

The problem I have when I'm doing this, is that I'm not supposed to just be like a normal person talking on a podcast, I'm also supposed to be a professional speaker. And you know, I've written a book in public speaking, and part of part of practising public speaking is that you drum out of your normal speech patterns, things like that. But the reality is that, when I'm speaking, those things don't come out. Because I typically know very well what I'm saying. I'm not thinking of what I'm saying, Every time I say it. So although they doesn't really happen when I'm speaking in public, if I'm just having a normal conversation, then you're still just like a normal person, you might be slightly more eloquent when you get into the rhythm of what you're saying. But it still takes a while to figure it out. But you're gonna say, I make a fast thinker,


Billy Samoa Saleebey 8:59

I'm with you. And if you're thinking on your feet, and you're having to come up with what you're going to say, immediately, the way in which you operate that or say that is going to be different than if you've practised if you've polished. If you know very well, especially if it's a presentation or talk you've given multiple times, you're gonna own it, right? It's almost like you are on autopilot. You ever drive a car, and you get from point A to point B, without remembering driving? The reason why is your brain is your subconscious is doing and I think that happens sometimes when you're on stage or you're speaking at least for me, you've owned it, you've if you've done it enough times, either by practice or by literally having done it many, many times. It just comes so naturally to you. And so you're not thinking and speaking at the same time, which can cause some of those those things that you're mentioning,


Francisco Mahfuz 9:53

it's one of the biggest myths of public speaking that if you sound authentic, Throw for sound robotic is because you are too rehearsed. When the answer really and anyone that's ever done any acting would know is you just haven't rehearsed enough. Because once you know exactly what you're saying, You don't have to think about it. So you can interact with the audience better you can figure it out, you know, this type of humour is not lending very well, maybe I should adjust that other thing I was going to say, you get the vibe of the audience a lot more. Whereas if you're thinking of what's the next line again, oh, I'm supposed to move into a story now, but which is the story I was going to tell. If you're doing that, that's when you sound denotative. And not very convincing. Whereas if you if you know, you know that to write what the speech is, then you feel free to move around with it. So I guess with anything that has become automatic, that's just one of those that With practice, you get better. But improvising is not usually the way to, to go about it. Well, if


Billy Samoa Saleebey 10:53

you have to think of what the word is, or where you're gonna say next, yeah, you've missed the whole objective of what I call relentless practice, which is practising until you own it so much, that you're not thinking about what you're saying, you're thinking about how you're saying it? Meaning, are you going to have a pause, at a certain point to convey even more meaning and to draw their attention? Or are you going to sit down at a certain point? Or are you going to have a certain type of body language during a certain part of your speech? Those are the things that you should be thinking about, and to your other point, interaction or being able to read the audience and know if you need to make a slight change or do something else? That's the type of thing that you should be focused on? Not? Are you going to say the words, the words should just be there already. And again, you're right. It's got to be practised over and over again, you've under rehearsed.


Francisco Mahfuz 11:50

You had before the before the podcast, and before starting insight media, which we'll talk about a bit later on. But just help me understand how did it work from what seemed to be a very successful career in the sort of sales and training space with Solar City and Tesla, how do you go from that, to doing what you're doing now? Which is I understand on the podcast side, I'm not so clear on what else the inside media company entails?


Billy Samoa Saleebey 12:19

Yeah. Well, look, I never intended to get into corporate world at all my entire life. If you'd asked me as a kid, I always wanted to be a business owner and entrepreneur, I wanted to do amazing things. And what happened was I ended up doing amazing things with amazing companies. But it happened by accident. And when I say that, what I mean is I prior to working for Solar City, and Tesla, I'd made a movie. And so I spent seven years of my life, writing, directing, producing a feature film the film, it did well, it got picked up for distribution, it won multiple film festivals. And it was an amazing, amazing project. But as I said, it was seven years. And so anytime you spent seven years of your life on anything you got to ask yourself was what was the return on investment? I'll be honest, the return on investment was I didn't make seven years worth of income off of that film, despite its success, and it did have millions of viewers as on Netflix and Amazon. I mean, amazing things happen with that film. Flash forward to 2009. Now the film's just got distribution. And I found myself helping my brother with a promo video for his solar business. He was a sales consultant. And he told me about how you can help people go solar, put solar panels on their roof, they pay less for electricity, and it doesn't cost the homeowner anything. I'm like, wow, that's an amazing thing. And so I said, Maybe I should do this. And so I got started in sales, totally by accident, because I wanted to see if I could be good at it. Luckily, I was I was really good at it and moved up the corporate ladder. And I just I what I call it is the wave lasted a really long time. And so yeah, I went from being a salesperson to being a manager from a manager to being training, from being in training to being the head of training for being the head of training to be the head of sales. And then I left that company to I got recruited to go to solar city and had an amazing run at Solar City where I ended up running all of sales training for solar city that didn't lead to Tesla, and Tesla. I mean, who could imagine working for this company, right, I sort of backdoored my way into Tesla. It's harder to get in there than it is to Harvard. And so I was, of course, I'm not going to leave when I get a role at Tesla. And so I started my first role there was doing onboarding. So I created launch, which is the new hire training for anyone that starts at Tesla. And that then led to me leading all of sales training for Tesla, that's vehicle energy and everything. And all the product training was on my team as well. And so I said, Wow, this is an amazing opportunity. I have to take it. So I took that opportunity. But as things transpired last year, now, beginning of last year, Elon Musk is a visionary. And his vision, obviously, is to do some incredible, incredible things my boss reported to him. And so the decision was made that I had a global role, my global role. I lead a team in Europe, a team in Asia, a team in North America, he didn't want a global leader overseeing all of those people, because there was individual managers in each of those markets. And so I, I could have stayed at Tesla, I'm certain, but I couldn't have stayed at Tesla in that role. And so I felt my time was done. And I was using that as an opportunity. Because I, I like I said, I've always wanted to start my own thing. And so Flash forward to today, you asked about insight media. And so, you know, the story is being still being told. But what I realised at Tesla, is people learn when they have insights, when they have a moment where they have a light bulb go off, and something clicks for them. It's not when something clicks for the trainer, the trainer it's already clicked for. So how do we create insights in the people that are immersing themselves in training, who are listening to podcasts who are watching videos. And so you do that by entertaining, and educating. And so the blend of entertainment and education is what insight media is all about. I had the film background, I had the training background. And now I'm blending those two, to create experiences. So I'm building out two courses, one on podcasting one on LinkedIn, I have my podcast, I'm actually starting another podcast very soon, which I'll share some of the details on that very soon. And my vision for the company is to help people who are starting their journey, and who are starting their journey to make to make their mark on the world. And I just really fundamentally believe that true change comes when people who have heart and passion and an uncompromising to that desire to do something special. while they're here, those are the type of people that I want to surround myself with. And I want to give them as much as I could give them. From what I've learned from my experience and leadership, from my experience in podcasting, from my experience as a filmmaker, from my experience with being on LinkedIn and growing, what I've grown on LinkedIn. And so that's where we're at today with insight media,


Francisco Mahfuz 17:32

I have a couple of questions just to close the loop on on Tesla, the first one is that it must be a bit annoying to have Elon Musk as kind of your boss, because you can't really second guess him a great deal, right? You don't go home and say, Oh, my boss is an asshole. He doesn't know anything. I mean, he just doesn't know how these things work.


Billy Samoa Saleebey 17:54

That's funny, you can't go home and say that, but you also can't do what you just said, which is you, you can't second guess him and assume you'll still have a job. And that's just the reality of it. I don't share this often in public or on a on a show. So I will I will share a little bit, what I'll call more of the inner workings. And I had a very special role of being a director at the most disruptive company in modern times. And when I say being a director there why that's important is there's very few people at director and above level around 200 or so maybe 250 At the most talking at the time I was there as a 60,000 person organisation. So Elon believed in a very flat organisation, meaning not a whole lot of manager buffer. He'd rather have big teams of people and fewer managers. So you're right though. Second, guessing Elon is just not something you do. And it's not just you don't do it because he has the best ideas are he's the only one that's right. You don't do it because frankly, you don't want to lose your job. And and when I say that, I want to make clear that it's not that everybody who ever second guessed him lost their job. It's the type of second guessing that would potentially allow you to lose your job. What Elan doesn't like what he absolutely loves are excuses and making excuses for things that shouldn't be excused. An example if there is something like delivery was an important time of year delivery happened four times a year was the end of quarter and every time everyone and I mean everyone would go to the delivery hubs and delivery centres and help with getting cars into customers hands and so it was a very tense time because this is when we made or didn't make our quarter and this is quarterly earnings are a huge deal and so we wanted to get as much revenue realised as possible you get revenues realised when the cars in the in the customers hands. And so as an example if we go through and We would have conference calls and he'd be on the call. And he he would ask questions and to his credit, like lots of questions that people would answer answer. There were times when people would say, Oh, we couldn't do this, because of this specific reason, like we couldn't find parking spaces for the cars. Okay, well, why can't you find parking spaces for the cars, they didn't exist? Well, in Elance mind, that's simply not true. There always will be a way to find parking spaces for the vehicles, if you are resourceful if you work hard enough, if you if you're a badass, and when you don't do that, and when you make an excuse that could and in many cases did end up being the end of your, your journey. And so yeah, you have to be mindful of that. But I mean, I'm so honoured to have worked for him. Is he a perfect leader? No. But, and this is a huge, but you can't underestimate the vision that he has, where he's looking to 300 years in the future, maybe even further, he's not looking at next month. And that's why I think it's hard to be a leader of a publicly traded company that's constantly trying to show off quarterly earnings. To him, that's meaningless. He's looking at the bigger picture. He's thinking about colonising Mars and creating, you know, serious change to allow us to be sustainable. And so it's a, it was an interesting journey. Man, I'll tell you that.


Francisco Mahfuz 21:18

The second question I had, and I think that helps me bring it back from Tesla and Elon, back to back to you is, I've listened to him a couple of times at the Joe Rogan show. So these are very long interviews two or three hours in the drinking. So you know, inhibitions are down to to to down as the stockholders. But the thing that I found very, very interesting, and also very difficult for someone who was in your position is, it's not that he's just a very smart guy, it's not that his intelligence is, is above what a lot of us will deal with on a day to day basis, is that his brain just does not function. There doesn't seem to function from the outside the way most people's do. So when you were talking in your show, you're talking about finding those breakthrough moments in people's lives. And I have this thing, feeling that whatever people can learn from your show, and from studying breakthrough moments, I have my doubts about how much of that would apply to her to Elon, or how much the breakthrough moments in his life would be universal and universal lessons to everyone else. But then again, you know, I get perhaps you don't think two or 300 years ahead of time, if you just think like everyone else.


Billy Samoa Saleebey 22:39

Yeah, so here's the thing about him. Well, one, I think he is absolutely smarter than your average person. 100%. Like literally just intelligence, intellect, brain power, okay. But let's set that aside to your point like, it may or may, that may, that's probably not the only thing, there's got to be something else, because there's smart people out there. What I think Elon has, is, he has a perfect blend of understanding a lot of different things very well. For example, he's a big believer in something called first principles thinking. And what that effectively means is, most people, if they're going to design or build or create something, they look at something that already exists that similar to that. So let's take a car, for example, or rocket either one. Rockets existed before he started SpaceX, cars existed before he started Tesla. So he doesn't come in and say, I want to build a car, okay, then I'm gonna look at all the cars that exist, and I'm just gonna make them better. I'm going to take all the knowledge that exists currently, I'm going to make the better, no, he's going to deconstruct everything. He's going to boil them down to their fundamental truths. What are limiting factors and the only limiting factors that exist would be the laws of physics, things that, you know, you can't change, and he knows the laws of physics. He knows them very, very well. You know, he's got an engineering brain, but he's also got this brain that allows him to think about why do I need to build a car like Toyota built it, or whoever else, Ford, whoever else? And so the materials you use, how you put them together, all of the inter inner workings of the way the car is I mean, if you look at the Model X and you look at the the big, you know, front of the driver and the passengers, you know, the the window there the drawing a blank on what's that call, but


Francisco Mahfuz 24:34

whatever, whatever you call it, yeah, we'll just leave you. Yeah,


Billy Samoa Saleebey 24:38

no, I want to say windscreen but the in front of the vehicle, or the cockpit or whatever. Yeah, I mean, expands way further than any other car. And that's just one example. Because what he does is he says, What absolutely has to be and therefore we know we're going to do that. But other than that anything's on the table. And so we're not reasoning by analogy. By looking at other people or other things or other products, we are building from the ground up no matter what we're doing. So this mindset, I think, is a key factor in his success. Same thing happened with SpaceX, right? He went in, he looked and he said, well, people are trying to sell rockets. He was gonna buy a rocket, but it was too expensive. The rocket didn't make sense to buy. So he said, Okay, well, what are the supplies, you need to buy rockets. So without bought the supplies he needs, and he built his own rockets. And now, and now look at what he's done. I mean, that type of thinking, I think is truly key when we think about why Elon has had the success he's had remembering to break things down. And not just assume that everything that's existed before has been done the right way. That's just the way it's existed before.


Francisco Mahfuz 25:46

I got this thing on WhatsApp the other day, and I think that comes to prove your point that the things that were done before or perhaps not done, right, so this was trying to describe some problem that rockets seem to have of why they are a certain width, or or you know, some of them dimension of how we build a rocket. Why was it that way? Always. And they were saying? Well, it's that way always because the company that provides it is from Russia, in to get it out of where they make it to the rest of Europe, it needs to go through this tunnel in this tunnel has a certain width. So they can't make a rocket any bigger than that because you won't go through the tunnel. Why is the tunnel that that size? Well, because it was the trains used to go through that tunnel? Why are the trains that size and then it kept coming back to you know, the the asses of two horses being game back to this is what, you know, two horses asses set aside measured in that that was the trains on the cars. And now it's influencing how everyone perhaps except Elon Musk builds their space rockets. So


Billy Samoa Saleebey 26:51

it know what a perfect analogy though Francisco I'm telling you that that right there is the quintessential example of why we shouldn't assume if you just keep asking questions, why do you do it that way? Why do you do it that way? Why do you do that? When you get back to it's probably the dumbest reason ever? Why you do it that way. And so you shouldn't just assume you need to do it that way. Because your great, great, great, great, great grandmother, you know, had a, you know, she was missing a leg and therefore she had to stand a certain way like you, it's the most random things that make us do the things that we've done. And you know, I'll tell you a quick story. The Tesla factory is fantastic. It's one of the most incredible things to observe and witness, all of these orchestration of human beings and robotics, building these vehicles, like I had the opportunity to go on many, many tours, both private and part of group tours, I probably been on more tours than most people because of my role and and the different jobs that I had there. And it was an amazing, amazing time. One of the things that happened was when they built it, they knew they had to have this huge woods. Basically, it moulds the parts of the car, by its a press, and it's it presses them extremely high pressure to form the different pieces of the vehicle. And so this press was in Michigan, it was at another car car factory in Michigan, and they had to get it to California. And so he asked the company that built this. It's called the Schuler press, he has the company Schuler, it would cost for them to build to bring it out there. And they, it was gonna cost more to bring it from Michigan to California than to actually buy this this piece of equipment. I mean, we're talking huge, massive, massive, massive, like seven storeys, and just huge and they had to break it up. So what Elon did instead of hiring this company, is he tasked his engineers and his most bright problem solvers to come up with a solution, how will they get this piece of machinery from Michigan to California, and so they spent a fair amount of time figuring out how they would do it. Ultimately, what they realised is the reason why it was going to cost so much is there was no we're talking this was seven stories, there was probably about a call it a yard, maybe a metre, even less than a half a metre of this machinery that wouldn't fit on all of the transports, you know, the the vehicles and through like, like almost like what you said through the tunnel, it wouldn't fit. And so they actually, instead of like, kind of doing something revolutionary, they had to cut part of it off, and then they they put it back together. But this allowed them to get it from point A to point B at a fraction of the cost that it would have, they would have had to pay if they paid the company. And so these types of solutions. They can be found all around us if we just look for them. And if we don't make assumptions that things have to be a certain way. I think


Francisco Mahfuz 29:57

it's interesting that you use this analogy of getting from point On day two point being in an easier way and a faster way. Because that mean, that's an engineering approach. And it's very much not the approach you were taking with your podcast. So I've listened to a few episodes, including the one with your dad, who I'm still struggling to understand how that man was ever a hippie that gave you some hour. But you know, you've gone for sort of longer form style of podcasts, and you are in no hurry whatsoever to get people's story out of them. So when you were trying to decide, you know, coming from the background you've come from, it would have been, perhaps normal to assume that you'd ask, you know, 1010 questions, get to some major breakthrough moment, pick that one apart, and that would be the core of what you're doing. But you've done the opposite. So why was that?


Billy Samoa Saleebey 30:54

Yeah, that's a really good question. And I'm not I'm still not sure it's the right approach may or may not be, I believe in testing. And I believe in trying different things. I, I'm a curious person, I like to know why somebody is a certain way, not just that they had an insight or a moment in their life. But I want to understand why the person is who they are. And I think in order for that, to come through, you have to ask questions about their story about their past about their childhood about their career moments. And so that being said, you know, it may be better to do a short form, what I do fundamentally believe, is podcasting. And audio forms of communication are the future. Because people want something that they can listen to, while they're doing other things while they're walking, while they're working out while they're going to work, commuting, whatever. And so what's beautiful about having a long form podcast is you could then cut it up into smaller pieces. And so if you have that content, then you can use it to share in different ways either through video are shorter forms of audio. And so I I'm interested in knowing about the people. So I asked those questions. And so you know, I'm not Joe Logan, Joe Rogan length, but my show is longer, and some episodes are longer than others, I am working actually to keep episodes a little bit a little bit shorter, without compromising what I feel is the heart, which is understanding them as a human being


Francisco Mahfuz 32:33

something that I just thought about this I hadn't I hadn't really thought about this when I was listening to your show or preparing this. It's that it could be argued that your approach is significantly more like what a story does to our brain. Then, for example, my show when I'm talking about stories, I'm talking about storytelling. And the reason I say that is because one of the most interesting bits of science from storytelling, is that the brain doesn't do very well separating what's imagined or told or lift. So anyone that has ever looked into sports psychology will know that people like the Chicago Bulls 25 years ago, used to do visual visualisation exercises. To get better at the game. I think Phil Jackson brought that in. And the brain doesn't know the difference. If you practice free throws in your head. It's the brain is practising three free throws, it doesn't matter that you're not doing physically, in stories do the same thing. So there's this CO studies that have done where they plug the whole bunch of stuff to people's brains. And then they, they talked about the senses. So they talked about smells and tastes in the exact same area of your brain lights up. As if you were smelling something more as if you're listening to something or tasting something in it says Pacific that if I tell you about how I was playing football, and then someone stepped on my right foot, the part of your brain that controls the right foot will light up. So is this very immersive thing. And the reason I'm talking about this in relation to your podcast is because I think that long form podcasts when you are allowing someone to talk a lot, and to describe their life or parts of their life a lot makes us leave that to a certain degree. Whereas if it's just a given take, perhaps you don't have that as much. There's some parts of your father's story, for example, that I can relate to, but you just end up with a much bigger feel for the person and for the life they've led by having that much time with them. Yeah. And as you said, As soon as the two of you said that there was a focus conversation. We don't have those conversations. We don't talk to our friends or a family for an hour and a half. Almost ever. So I mean, I thought it was very interesting.


Billy Samoa Saleebey 34:58

Well first, thank you And what I'll say is, we ended that I don't know if you got to the end of that one yet. But the way that ends is my dad actually says that was one of the best conversations we've ever had. And what's fascinating about that is if you knew how strong the relationship is with my father, that would mean even more, it's not like this is a person I don't know very well, I know him very well, he knows me very well, we have a wonderful relationship and friendship, and have always had just a very tight relationship. But we did explore things and have a deep conversation for an extended period of time. And yeah, you do sort of live it when you have that amount of time to really talk about these things. And you really get to know people in a different way than if it is almost too fast. And so the other thing I'll comment on is this piece about visualisation, because I think it's really important to think about the power of our mind and how it really processes, ideas, thoughts, I was talking to my son yet, or my my wife and my son yesterday, who were talking about dreams. And my son had a dream, he goes, I can't remember if it is real or not. And my wife said, she also experienced that phenomenon recently as well, which is sometimes you have dreams that are so vivid, you can't actually remember if it was real life or not. And when you think about visualisation, the beautiful part about that is you can wire your brain to begin to think about things that are upcoming, and begin to manifest that this is why thoughts are things this is why the law of attraction is real. If you think about something enough, if your brain keeps playing through over and over and over again, something that you want something that you are going to live, you will in fact live it, and it's through your brain being conditioned, to make this a reality and to where it becomes real. I think the biggest gating issue we have as human beings is we we stop ourselves, we have fear. And it's that fear, it's that uncertainty, it's that doubt, that prevents us from doing what we want in life. And so part of my mission, and my goal when working with new people, is to help them rewire their brain to prevent themselves from stopping themselves because we all do it. And it's just a natural instinct, we stop ourselves because if you think evolutionarily speaking, we human beings, were here for a reason we lasted as long as we did, because we didn't take significant risks, we took calculated risks, and we put ourselves in safe places. And we avoided places that we were afraid of, that pretty much put us in danger. And so now we're in this world where there's not as many things that put us in danger. And we still have this natural instinct to prevent us from doing things we need to damp in that, that part of our brain to allow ourselves to expand and to shine.


Francisco Mahfuz 37:53

You talked about risks. Now you had talked about the wave of your career before. And what accusation that is often levelled at people that are sort of in the coaching space, is that there's a lot of theory, but not a great deal of practice. One thing I don't think anyone could accuse you of is not being someone who takes risks because after seven years of your life, not earning the as much money as perhaps you should that for the energy spent in a documentary about ecstasy, you entered the corporate world and then you decided to ditch that to go back on your own and do something which is you know, by any accounts a lot riskier, at least from a financial point of view, certainly a lot riskier. So you know, at least on that side, you you are walking the walk, nobody can accuse you of not doing the Machu Picchu preaching.


Billy Samoa Saleebey 38:42

i Well, I appreciate that. And you know, it's interesting, because when we think about risk in life, and you only have one life, and so everything you do to some degree is a risk. And when I left corporate life, yeah, it was comfortable. I'm not gonna lie, it was hard. It was challenging. I worked for Barry. I four years of my life felt like decades. I'm not kidding. That's how long it felt like I worked at Solar City and Tesla. And so probably that's one of the reasons I walked away from corporate life. And I've had lots of opportunities, lots of job offers lots of opportunities when you work at Tesla, it does open a lot of doors, I'm not gonna lie. But I realised that for me to be most happy. I wanted to have the most control over what I was doing, and what I was contributing to the world. And so to me, it doesn't feel like a risk, it feels like it would be more of a risk to go back and do something that I'm comfortable in and do something that I know I could do. I can I can lead sales organisation and training organisations and have a nice career and just have a you know, nine to have six nine to seven job where I'm going in and doing my thing, but the risk there is I look back and I say, why didn't I do something else? Why didn't I do what I always wanted to do? And so to me, I feel like I'm living what I meant to do right now at this point in my life, just like I felt like I was living to do what I did at Solar City at Tesla and making the film that was the right thing, then this is the right thing now. And so to me, the greater risk is doing something that you don't believe in and that you're not passionate about.


Francisco Mahfuz 40:24

You touched on the answer, I think. But let me just understand this a little bit better, because with your experience, where you were, and obviously what that adds to our curriculum, perhaps it's just how my brain works. But to me, one of the obvious approaches you could have taken to get your message out to have a lot more control of what you're doing was to become more of a speaker or this have the speaking side of whatever you do to be more the leading part in the podcast be more of a supporting part. And you did touch on earlier, you said that you think that audio and things like podcasts are the future. So just talking through when you decided to go down the route you're going down now? What made you think, okay, a podcast will be the, the driving vehicle of this fleet?


Billy Samoa Saleebey 41:06

Hmm. Yeah, you know, that's a really, really good question. And I think there are a few things that went into it. One, I believe that the speaking and I love, believe me, I love speaking. And so I want to rap with you more about that, because it's something that I'm passionate about. Current situation have made has made it near impossible to do that. So I actually, it's funny you say that, because I just took speaker off of my website, specifically not because I'm not a speaker, but because I'm not currently speaking. So I would say, even though podcast has been the driver, I think speaking is on par with that. And where I see long term where I see a good percentage of my time being I also recognise that speaking has its own share of demands travel, preparing, when I speak. And I've had several speaking engagements since I left Tesla, I don't take it lightly. I practice, I prepare, and it takes a long time. Now, once I have a few presentations done, then I could just recycle those. But as I built those, I have a few now that I built since since leaving Tesla, then I feel like I could do more and more of them. But I also recognise that the time commitment to do them is considerable. And so the driving force for the podcast now is that we live in a world where I not only think that the speaking part of what I want to do is is on hold, at least temporarily. I also believe that there are more people going into podcasting and using that as a medium than ever before, even though there's not people commuting, so there's maybe some reduction in overall listenership. I think there's a increase in people doing podcasts. And so I want to support those people. I don't claim to be a podcasting expert. I've been doing it since September of last year. But I've learned a lot. And I continue to learn. And so if somebody is just getting started, I'm happy to help them, I'm happy to give them at least some of the knowledge that I've gained in the time that I've been doing this. And so as my knowledge increases and expands and grows, I can only provide even more knowledge and experience to those that are interested in those that want to learn. And so I love learning, and I love helping other people learn. And so I think that's at the cornerstone of what I'm doing. Podcasting is the medium, but ultimately, I'm helping people learn and grow and enrich their lives.


Francisco Mahfuz 43:33

I obviously cannot knock that you're giving anyone advice having been podcasting since September, because I've been giving people advice, and I've been podcasting for a month. And my MO my main advice is, don't buy a Blue Yeti. That advice, because you don't realise how good those things are. And then your daughter will never shut up doesn't matter if she's 50 metres away in the house, you will hear her singing. So get something a little simpler and your problems are solved. At least my problems were solved by by a significantly simpler and less powerful mic than than what I went for originally,


Billy Samoa Saleebey 44:11

I totally relate. I had a condenser mic which picks up a lot of sound. And then I switched to this, the Shure SM seven B and not to get too technical, but it's a dynamic microphone. And one of the beautiful things about it is my studios near a somewhat busy street. And so the dynamic microphone, it doesn't pick up all that noise. And so having a microphone, understanding the environment you're in understanding the type of noises that could come into play should dictate the type of equipment you use and finding something that's going to give you the sound richness that you want while also not potentially getting too much background noise that causes things that you don't want in your show. So I love it man and teach, teach teach. The more you learn the more you can teach. The more you teach, the more you learn. It's such an interesting circle that is


Francisco Mahfuz 44:59

essential To the point that that has been raised now by your comments on speaking because you said, you know, the demands on time and travel and all of that. And I agree with you. And I also agree with you with the problems of being a speaker now, because I was at the point of launching sort of internationally as a speaker. And I had, I still had stuff to do, but it was all on its way. And now, obviously, that's on hold. And I'm still debating to some degree, how much do I want to go and invest to become a virtual speaker? And how much do I want to just bide my time, you know, brand build work on my material, so that when things start coming back, I can jump at it. But one thing that James Taylor, who has been on the podcast and someone I work with on the business side of the speaking mentioned is that he was very busy as a keynote speaker, I think last year, he had done 52 engagements, and he take keeps track of his miles. And he says, you know, the one thing I never wanted to think about was the impact on the planet of how much of this speaking, you know, other speaking does. And he's very happy with the fact that now things are now obviously almost all virtual, and are likely to remain a lot more virtual for the foreseeable future. Because it says, I can do the same number of engagements with a 10th of the travel. And I can do other things with my time, which means I'll probably end up earning the same. So this is something worth considering, perhaps for the two of us, which is a lot of the demands of speaking that perhaps will put people off from having that as the main thing in their career can now be eliminated, or at least reduced. If the virtual thing stays past the worst of the pandemic, which I think a lot of it will, because, you know, lower costs a lot easier. Yeah, no,


Billy Samoa Saleebey 46:45

and a great point. And it's gonna be a while before we get to a point where it's met on par with what existed prior to all this happening. So I think coming up with ways in which you can get your message out have more opportunities is always advisable. And so I'm speaking in a couple of weeks, and I think that will likely lead to other speaking engagements. And so virtually, of course, and yeah, I think you let's leverage technology, we shouldn't assume that you're not have opportunity, simply because it's, it's it's changed. And so I think you bring up a really, really good point, which is, the new world is here, we might as well embrace it instead of avoid it.


Francisco Mahfuz 47:24

Yes. And I very much agree with all of that. And I'm mindful of your time because we're coming up to two hard stops. So before we have to pull the plug, let me just ask where people can find more about you and the stuff you're doing. So the


Billy Samoa Saleebey 47:40

number one way to find me is to find me on LinkedIn. And the reason why I say LinkedIn is I want to connect with anyone that is interested in my story in the work that I do. And so send me a connection request. I'm happy to accept. And that's the first place. The second place is I have a couple websites, and of course, the podcast. So the podcast is anywhere. It's just called Inside Out. The podcast, website is inside out show.com. And then my personal website is just my first and middle name, Billy.


Francisco Mahfuz 48:11

I'll stick that all of that in the show notes.


Billy Samoa Saleebey 48:13

Really sumo calm. So yeah, so but yeah, so I mean, aside from that, just I love meeting people. I love learning about people. And so send me connection requests, put a note in there and let me know who you are.


Francisco Mahfuz 48:24

Perfect. Billy, this has been great fun. It was a very different conversation than I perhaps originally thought but but more for the better. I think you should we should go where the conversation leads?


Billy Samoa Saleebey 48:36

Absolutely. Well, no, it's been enjoyable having this opportunity. I want to learn more about you and about all the things that you're doing with speaking and just grateful for the opportunity to share my story and you're doing amazing work and I could tell you care deeply about people and their stories and I think that shines through on your show. So Francisco really appreciate it.


Francisco Mahfuz 48:54

Alright everybody, thanks for tuning in. Take care of yourselves. And until next time



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