Vested Capital
Vested Capital

Episode 20 · 1 year ago

(EP20): Lee Zlotoff, Creator Of MacGyver, How He Became A Screenwriter, The Origin Of His Famous Show And How He Kept The Rights To It, 3 Steps To Tap Into Your Own ‘Inner MacGyver’


I'm resurfacing this interview from 2016 because recently (2021) the team at MacGyver HQ has been sharing this interview on their social media, so I thought it would be a great time to share it with those new to Vested Capital.

It was quite a thrill to see the actual MacGyver twitter account tweet out this podcast, especially as I was a kid who grew up watching the show on TV in Australia. Here's how it all came to happen...


When I received an email offering a chance to interview Lee Zlotoff, the creator of MacGyver for the my podcast, my initial reaction was mixed.

I was excited to speak to someone who created such an iconic show, yet I wasn’t sure if he would be a good fit for a podcast about online entrepreneurship.

As I investigated what Lee was up to currently, it became clear that although he was not an online entrepreneur, what he is teaching is so relevant for anyone building a business or trying to solve their financial problems.

The MacGyver Secret

Just as ‘Mac’ the lead character on MacGyver was able to solve problems using ingenious combinations of elements to get out of tricky situations, Lee explains that we all have access to the same ability to solve problems, if we can distract our conscious mind.

In this podcast interview we go back in time to the point where Lee was an upcoming screenwriter, writing for one of his first television shows. There were only three writers and as a result he was under a lot of pressure to produce entire episodes with short deadlines.

As you will hear Lee explain, he realized that his best ideas often came up during periods where his conscious mind was distracted, like while in the shower. He took this principle and formalized it, turning into a lifelong practice he tapped into whenever he needed to be creative (for example, when writing scripts) and to solve problems.

Towards the end of the interviews Lee breaks down the three steps he currently teaches to help anyone tap into their own ‘inner MacGyver’. You can also learn the steps at his website, .

The MacGyver Origin Story

I couldn’t interview the creator of MacGyver without learning how the show was created. In particular, I was curious what the process was to come up with all the unique situations and solutions that the show featured every episode.

You can listen in to the first half of the episode to hear how Lee first got his start as a screenwriter, how he wrote the pilot episode and also what’s coming up for MacGyver currently.

Enjoy the interview, and make sure to test out the three steps to tap your own inner MacGyver next time you face a challenging situation.

Yaro Starak

Blog: og/ 

Hello, this is Yarrow and welcome to vested capital, Episode Number Twenty, featuring my guest Lee slowtof, the creator of the mcguiver television show. Vested capital is a podcast about how people make money and put their capital to work. I need of you. Start up founders, Angel investors, venture capitalist, crypt and Stock Traders, real estate investors and leaders in technology. And in this case today I'm actually featuring the creator of a iconic television series and person who's developed a three step system that can be applied to basically anything in terms of solving problems using your subconscious. So, hello, this is yarrow. Thanks for downloading today's episode. I'm resurfacing my my interview with Lee's lowtof from a few years ago. This is still a fairly new interview, so it does feel quite fresh and I want to surface it for well, two reasons. One, Lee and his team have been promoting this episode. It just popped out out of the blue on my twitter and on my instagram. They must have got some new PR people going out there resharing some of Lee's content, Lee's interviews, and as exciting to see the official mcguiver twitter account resharing this interview. So I thought that would be a great reason to reshare it on the new vested capital version of my show as well. So, as always, I listened to this interview to make sure it was still relevant for you, because it is a few years old and this is a little bit of a different interview. It's not with a startup founder, it's not with an investor or, you know, venture capitalists. It's not really specifically about the aspect of making money, although it's very clear Lee as a person who succeeded financially in the world of entertainment. So that's why I love this episode. You're going to hear about Lee's early start phase of becoming a scriptwriter or screenwriter for television. We're going to connect the dots with all his sort of earlier projects that eventually led to the opportunity to basically turn someone else's idea into what became mcguiver. So you hear the origin story of the very first pilot of the mcguiver television series. Now, just in case, I'm very surprised if this is the case, but if you don't know what mciver actually is, I grew up watching this show. It was on in Australia or you know, during my teenage years, and it obviously has a bit of a reputation. In fact, as lead notes, it's kind of become like a verb. You can mcguiver something, which basically means you can solve a problem using a collection of tools or resources that might be in front of you that you might not otherwise think could be used to solve a problem, and that's what made the beguiver television series really cool. It was this guy who was able to take resources around him and diffuse bombs or unlocked doors. Are All kinds of stuff that you just wouldn't see by looking at the resources in the tools in front of you, and it became a huge shit and, as I said, it's very much a term we use to mcguiver or something. So, leaving the Creator, he talks about the origin of how that idea came to pass. Also some cool stuff like how they even came up with the different combinations of elements they would use in each episode, making sure it's scientifically accurate to then solve a problem in the show. We also then switch gears to talk about Lee and his new book. Well, it was new in this episode came out and the concept in particular, where he talks about these three steps that he use very much as his secret weapon for crafting scripts very quickly. So he became known as a very efficient and effective screenwriter able to put together episodes of shows very quickly, and he talks about how he discovered this unique but yet very simple we can certainly all do this. You probably do part of his system already, where you can basically distract your conscious brain your body and let your subconscious go to work to solve problems. He kind of calls this like the mcguiver technique. It's these three steps he goes through that he really made into a process, so it's not just, you know, something simple like having a shower and then you think about things and you solve problems. That is, however, how it started. So it's actually really fun story to hear how he so it, came up with it, but then he certainly made it more systematic. So you hear Lee explain the three steps to go through, and he also got some of that backed up with some academic research, so it's legit. This is something that you can actually apply to your own life, your own business when it comes to solving problems tapping into yourself conscious and I can certainly vouch for it myself. I've used it and it's worked for me. I love using the subconscious because it's like this sort of secret weapon you don't really know about, but it's inside your brain and you can tap into it using, for example, three steps that Lee outlines in this episode. Also, just because this is vested capital, I want to make sure this does tie into some kind of business or financial you know, capital, making cash flow, making money, and Lee doesn't talk specifics about how much money he made, but, like I said earlier, he very much became successful and, in a twist of...

...fate, was able to hold onto the rights of mcguiver, the brand, the name. So the very end of the episode he talks about what he's been doing with that in order to, you know, reboot mcguiver. There was talk about a movie. There's the book he's He was just written at the time this was recorded. So He's certainly taking his intellectual property and turning that into cash flow. So I think even if you're looking for the money side of interviews with experts, Lee will have that in there as well. Okay, going to wrap this up and press play on the interview in a second, but before I do that I have to mention the sponsor for the show, which is inbox done, my company, which provides an executive assistant for you or for your team that will specialize in helping you break free from email, maybe your calendar and other admin tasks that are related to basically all those silly things you tend to spend time on that are not highly productive, not highly leveraged uses of your time that you can pass on to someone else. So to break free, to simplify your life, to gain that freedom to focus on your creative tasks, you need to stop doing the low level activities, and for most of us that goes on in email. That being said, email is something people don't automatically think to hand over to someone else. We have a lot of resistance to doing that. We're not sure if you can trust anyone. It's very personal aspect of what we do, so having another human being step in and manage and replied your emails for you might be something confronting and challenging, but that's what we specialize in at the INBOX Donecom we've been doing this for four years now. We've come up with this system to take over your email and really become a double so we can act like you in your inbox, we can write messages as your email assistant, that we can provide almost even better information and replies than you do, because it's our job to do that. We're in your inbox every day. So we'll reply to your messages, will organize, will complete tasks that are triggered by an email coming in, like, for example, updating task management software or customer relationship software or just filling out some kind of spreadsheet somewhere. You might have that kind of task originate when you get certain types of emails. Will certainly keep you away from everyday update software emails, newsletter emails and maybe people requesting something from you who you don't know. So will be a gatekeeper or you and will also protect your calendar in the same way. So we'll manage your calendar and make sure only the really important things get on there and you don't have to worry about going back and forth sending emails to figure out a right time and day to do an interview or to talk to someone, a potential customer, a colleague, investor, and so on. Okay, that's enough about inbox done. You can certainly go to inboxed oncom look at all the things we do explain how we work. Everything's on our website. INBOX DONECOM. Now it's time for the interview with Lee Slowtof, the creator of mcguiver. Here we go. I've actually just recently found out that leaves behind the man from Snowy River lest the producer on that show. So I I watch that growing up in Australia. So there's a lot of interesting background I'd love to learn about with Lee, as well as talk about his new book, the mcguider's secret, and maybe break down a little bit about what he's teaching there, in particular regarding what entrepreneurs can take away in terms of being more creative solving problems in the way that mcguiver is very well known for solving problem. So, Lee, thank you for joining me today. My pleasure. Yet and normally on my show I do go back in time and look at the history of my guests. Now the first question I would ask you is, where there any business projects you know? Did you have a lemonade stand or some sort of trading card experience in your youth? I'm guessing that's not the case for you, but was there anything you know in terms of your youth that kind of led to your career? Do you have a normal career begin with going to university and, you know, becoming an accountant or a doctor or something like that? So I was a contractor when I was in college because I needed to find a way to support myself and I got married shortly after I started college. So I wanted to contracting and home repairs and that kind of stuff because I had learned that growing up from my father, and so I knew I could do it. But the college I went to, which is called St John's College, which actually has two campuses, one in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and one in Annapolis, Maryland, I went to the one in a Napolis Maryland, but when I was there I determined that it might be interesting to go into the entertainment this is I had some exposure to that when I was a kid, and so I decided after graduating from school that I would work part time as a contractor and part time as a screenwriter, and eventually I made my way to New York and was able to get a job writing for soap opera. Eventually I moved to Los Angeles and after a couple of years I broke in is a TV writer and the rest, as they say, is kind of there on IMDB. Okay, so you know, as a young man heading to New York to potentially become a screenwriter, you didn't have any writing experience before that.

Like was it trying to timestamp this as well? I'm assuming it's a different word, a little bit back then to become a screenwriter than it might be today. Do you just sort of write something and then show up at a studio or connect with someone? How does it work? Well, in that particular case, a friend of my parents was a business manager for people in the entertainment business and actually he was one of the people who said, you know, you've done some acting as a kid and you're doing photography, maybe you're interested in the entertainment business. And he said if you can write, that's a good way in, because writing you can do all by yourself. You know, if you're going to direct or produce or act, you got to have everybody else, but writing is a solitary activity. So I said, well, let me try writing and see how it goes. So I wrote a script and I sent it to him and he sent it to some agents and they when he's young and he's raw, but he has talent, he should keep writing. So that basically that's script, although it never got made, became kind of my calling card. And so when I got to New York, I managed to get a job as a secretary on a soap opera and after a couple months being a secretary there, I gave my script to the producer and had the audacity to say I think I can write the show better than it's being written. And he was, you know, sneering and dismissive and I figured look, the worst that happens is I get fired right because I didn't come here to be a secretary. So, you know, I was looking for a job and I found this one. Much to my surprise, he came in the next morning and he said I read your script last night. You're right, you got a job as a writer. That's how I got my first job. So how old are you then? Late I was, so maybe twenty two, okay, three, confident young man up and there was no signs before this that writing was your talent. You know, I would always write stories and stuff as a kid, but I never sort of thought about it in any kind of formal way. But when you think about it, really, in some sense we're all storytellers. It's just a question of what form you tell your stories in and whether you tell your stories effectively. Every business is a story. Okay, you get people to buy into the story or people go to I've heard that story before, I don't believe that story. So but really, when you think about it, they're all stories. So I realized that a certain point I had a facility for telling stories and I could do that in, you know, written form, and that really became the path that I started on. So take us forward. You went from New York to La which I assume was purely because there's more work available there. Yeah, well, it's a couple things. We were considering starting a family and I didn't really want to raise my family in New York City, so that would mean moving to a suburb and I thought, well, so long as we're moving to a suburb, we might as well move to California because, yes, there were more opportunities there than there were in New York. And it took me, I guess you know I had small writing jobs off and on and, to be honest, sometimes I had to do contracting work to pay the bills. But after about two or three years I broke through and suddenly there were several television shows that wanted to hire me on staff. So suddenly I went from making a couple hundred dollars a week to making a couple hundred, I mean a couple thousand dollars a week, and it was a big jump. What was the first big breakthrough? There what show they were believing or not? Two shows that wanted to hire me. One was a revival of the Brett Maverick show with James Garner and the other one was Hill Street Blues, and for reasons I am loath to go into, I made the wrong choice and I chose Brett Maverick instead of Hill street blue. Work out for a reason and in a certain way, writing on Brett Maverick, believe it or not, actually kind of led to the book the mcguibers secret, and so in many ways everything happens for a reason. So I didn't realize it was connected all the way back to the start of your career. Well, to kind of transition or fill in that gap. I came up with the Mungui ever secret because when I started writing on Brett Maverick, these days there are eight or nine riders on a staff of a typical hour show. Back then there were three of us, so I was responsible for every third, sometimes even every other script, which meant I had a crank out at an enormous amount of creative material under unbelievably tight deadlines. And I noticed that the best stuff came to me not when I was sitting in front of my, I'm really going to date myself now, selectric typewriter, because this was before people even use computers, okay, back when dinosaurs were on the earth. And I noticed that the best stuff came to me when I was either driving or taking a shower, not when I was racking my brain in front of my typewriter trying to come up with an idea, you know. And at first I thought, well, this was just a quirk, but it happened with such consistency that you know, when I get jammed up in the office, I'd run outside, jump in my car and go driving around Hollywood looking for a shower. Now it's solved the problem, it created certain other problems because at the office they went, okay, this guy's either a drug dealer or he's screwing everybody... town because he keeps disappearing for no apparent reason and showing up freshley show. The good news is in Hollywood, so long as the scripts were coming in on time and we're good, they didn't care. So it's like, look, whatever it is, just let him keep doing it. But I asked myself, why is it that the best stuff comes what I'm driving and showering and not when I'm supposedly supposed to be working? And the answer I came up with was when I'm driving and showering, my conscious mind, or what I call the Hamstein wheel of thoughts that start when we wake up in the morning and keep going until we go to sleep at night, was preoccupied so it couldn't get in the way. I had to pay attention to what I was doing when I was driving and showering, and that allowed the stuff from my, quote unquote, inner mcguiver, or subconscious if you want to call it that, to sort of bubble up and I went that stuff is great, and the stuff that I come up with when I'm racking my brain into typewriter. It's not so great. So then I said to myself, okay, is there a way to reproduce the results of driving and showering without having to drive for shower? So that took a couple of years and some other writing jobs, you know, and other staff jobs. I kept experimenting and trying things and practicing and it was when I was actually writing the pilot for mcguiver that I found the answer, and the answer was simply this. I put a Whiteboard in my office and I put a workbench in my office and the White Board was to write down my questions and my answers. The work bench was to build models. So you know those things you can buy, like build the Empire State building out of paper. I built every monument in the world that they had a kid for right. I built the Dojoll, I built the Vatican, I built the great spinks that these are. I built the Brooklyn Bridge. Now, listen, nobody needs a paper model of the Brooklyn Bridge, okay, but it wasn't because I needed the models. It was because working on the models serve the same purposes driving or showering, namely it's shut off. My conscious mind made me focus on something else so that my inner mcguiver or subconscious mind could solve the problem. So what I would do is I would go to the board and I would say I need a new idea for an episode, and I just write I need an idea for an episode, and then I'd say to my inner mcguiver, okay, you're the one with all the great ideas. You work on this. I'M gonna go focus on that model and I'll come back in half hour or forty five minutes, an hour and you're going to have something for me. And then I would simply go sit and work on the model and not think about it, really just let the problem go entirely and just do almost kind of idiot work, you know, just cut, pays blue, follow instructions, whatever. And then I come back and I'd say to my subconscious my inner mcguiver, I go okay, what are you got? And then I would simply start writing on the white board anything at all. I could write the Star spangled banner, I could write what I wanted to have for lunch, it didn't matter what I wrote. Within three thousand, two hundred and forty five seconds, those ideas would literally just flow out of me right onto the white board and five minutes later I'd have three killer ideas for an episode and I would just do that repeatedly. So it would typically take a writer anywhere from a week to two weeks to break a story, that is, lay it out seen by scene. On a day I could basically spend six, six and a half hours working on those goofy models, an hour an hour and a half at the white board, but at the end of the day, Yarrow, I had an entire story laid out, seeing for scene, and the next day I'd sit down and I type it up and I turn it into my boss and he go how the Hell did you break a story in two days, and I would say I just didn't think about it, and he'd laugh and go, I don't how you do it. Start on this script. This is great, and I moved from being literally a story editor to supervising producer to an executive producer in like two and a half years because I could write scripts in record time and they were all shootable and in Hollywood that meant I was worth my weight and Plat. So interesting. I'd love to ask You, as an entrepreneur and for the entrepreneurs listening how to solve some of the problems we face using this methodology. But before we do that I have to move forward to the point where you actually start working and writing for mcguiver, because there's obviously a very clear connection there between your methodology and the methodology that mcguiver, who you wrote, actually solves problems. So can you take us forward from this initial experience in La to when the M A guy over project came up? Was it shortly after that or for the down the track? Well, as I say, I kind of all the pieces of this method came together when I was writing the pilot for mcguiver. And you know, part of the thinking there was look for any you know show. You're going to go, what's the hook of this show?...

Why are people going to come back and watch it next week? And we did something very simple, which is supposed we have an action adventure hero and he doesn't use a gun. I mean you just take a gun away. It's like standard fare for every action adventure hero and we went supposed we just take that away. Now what? Now he has to find a way to solve the problem without a gun. And that opened up that whole idea of using whatever was at hand in creative ways. So it turned out his weapon was really his mind. His weapon wasn't a gun, and knowing chemistry and physics and all that stuff, he then could look at any situation and say, what do I have in front of me that I can use to solve this problem and combine things in creative and interesting and innovative ways and consequently, you know, that was the hook that brought people back. It was also one of those shows where the whole family could watch it together. You know, usually TV divided the family. Kids like cartoons. In the Sitcom's mom like the soap operas, Dad like to watch sports. And oversimplification, but you get the point. Where is mcgueira? Dad watched it because he liked to see what those engineering creative things were that he was going to come up with. Mom liked it because he was cute and he didn't use a gun, and the kids went and anything that mom and dad are going to watch together and let us watch, we're there. So it became a family experience and to this day, when I meet you know, but guy for fans, one of the things they talked about is how that really affected them watching the whole show to the watching the show together as a whole family, because that was rare for the most part. So that idea of just take the gun away, what does that do to the character? What does that do the show? Well, it gave us the hook. Every week you would turn in and say, well, what is this guy going to come up with this week? Because if he's not just going to shoot back, he's going to have to come up with something else. And then obviously you get to know the character. Richard Deine Anderson was just phenomenal in that role, you know. And so those when I now call the core attributes of Guiver, which is avoid conflict, figure out how to turn which what you have into what you need and do with a sense of humor and humility. I think those are the three things that made mcguiver basically a global phenomenon because, as you know, as popular it is in the United States, it's infinitely more popular all around the world, in the Far East, in the Middle East, in South America, in Europe, in Australia. So was it a hard like to get that pilot and get the show off the ground? Was that a hard pitch or did it actually end up being quite easy to convince people to take it on. Well. So this was unusual because I was actually hired to write a show. Henry Winkler Company had sold a concept to ABC called our glass. So they wanted to do a one hour show in one hour of time and they hired me to write it. And I said, Oh, so you want to do a serial like what twenty four became, and they said no, no, it can't be a serial. They have to be standalone episodes. Has To have a beginning, middle and end in each episode because in those days the feign distributors didn't want serials. And I went well, there's a reason it's never been done before and they said what's that and I said it's not going to work. They said what do you mean and I said will it sounded good in the room when you sold it, but that's because nobody in the room at actually build the house. I said what happens if the character has to travel? You're giving away the ability in film and television to jump space and time instantaneously. If it has to be literally one hour of ticking clock, he can't travel anywhere. You've got to start the episode where it ends. So you've got, you know, the bank vault, show, the sinking submarine, show, the stuck elevators, show the I said, you see where I'm going with this? Guys, you're kind of limiting yourselves here. I can write that pilot, but if you want a series, it's going to last five years or more. You're going to choke to death on this idea. Well, they got a little bad at me and I said, I understand. Nobody wants to be told their babies ugly, you know. So I said, you know, you want me to step away, I'll step away. They said no, we want you to solve the problem. I said okay. So then I started coming with ideas and eventually the idea that the network like was mcguiver. So I wrote it and they love the script and the next thing I knew they were making the pilot. And then it turns out you didn't actually have an issue with not serializing it and doing selfcontained episodes. Every episode. No, because it no longer had to conform to that one hour of real time is one hour of TV time because, Oh, here's a character and he's different and he's interesting and we know what the hook is. Every week people are going to tune back in to say, what is this guy going to come up with? Neck what kind of a situation can we throw them into? You know, what can you use? And that was fun. It still is fun. I mean, listen, it's the word mcguiver has become a verb right in the light. So I've got to ask them.

Given this methodology that you came up with, and then MC Ivor itself, I had this vision of you and the other writers sitting at a table around, you know, talking about the next coming episode and putting Mc Guiver into whatever, like a library. We're not allowed to be an elevator with a bomb in there, and he's all he's got is a packet of matches and a sewing needle or something like that. And I'm thinking you must have some engineers or people with some kind of scientific background as well for certain situations. Did you just sit there and all throw up through ideas at each other how to solve problems, or is it more structured like that? So, to be clear, I wrote the pilot. I did not stay with the series, so other writers really took it over from there. But what I did, and what ultimately they did, is I found consultants who knew physics and chemistry, and what we would do is work with the consultants and I'd say, look, I want to do something like this, and they would say, well, could he have this there or could he be here? Because then he would have this and then I could he could do this. And so basically, either they would have some ideas or I would have a desire for a certain kind of situation and we just kind of work it back and forth until we could make, you know, whatever made sense to be in the scene. So, for instance, in the pilot, you know it's kind of he's going down into this government lab that's super high tech and as gone hey wire. Okay, and he brings a pouch and somebody says, well, what's in the out Jesus, the pouch is not for what I bring the pouchers for. I find along the way. And along the way there's a candying machine in this complex and it's broken open because, you know, there was an explosion and that's why everything's Gone Hay wire, and he's got to go down and rescue scientists that are trapped to bottom and he takes a bunch of chocolate bars and he puts him in his bag and you think why is he taking chocolate bars? And then he gets down at the bottom and there's this sulfuric there's a big tank of solfuric acid and it's leaking. And that's because one of my experts said, Oh, the sugar in a chocolate bar will combine with the sefuric acid to create this gummy paste and he can seal the week with the chocolate bars. And I thought, man, that's just perfect, okay, and so that's exactly what we did. And of course, when the series got picked up, the writers started calling me going how did you come up with that stuff, because that's what they want. They want this chocolate bars stuff every week. We don't know how to come up with this stuff, and I said, relax, I gave him the name of all my consultants. They hired them all and that's how they did it. So right. I can imagine. The creativity required every single week is just incredible. Take us forward then, lie. So mcguy was a hit. Where do you go next? So I worked on a number of other series. Worked on a show called reman can steal. I worked on, Oh God, a whole bunch of other shows, did TV movies, ultimately did a future film called the Spitfire Grill, which one the audience to board at the Sundance Film Festival, has gone on to become, believe it or not, a incredibly successful musical. Again, nothing I ever saw happening. But seven years so muguiver ran for seven seasons and I discovered quite by accident that at the end of the seven seasons the studio had dropped the ball and all the rights to mcguiver ended up in my lap and I went huh, and I had at that point I had four grown children. Well, now, in addition to my four grown children, I have four grandchildren. And I looked at this and I realized that mcguiver had turned into this global mem this phenomenon, and I looked at this century and I said, you know, this is a critical century. We get this century right, civilization has the future. We don't get this century right. HMM. There may still be some human scratching around, but what you and I call civilization sitting here talking over computers, you know, and cell phones, I don't know. I mean, if the Earth has taught us anything, it's that civilizations come and civilizations go. So, for the sake of my children and my grandchildren and their children and everybody else's, I thought, you know, mcguiver is sort of the perfect character for this century. Why? Because the bottom line is, whether we care to face it or not, we're all in this together as a civilization. It's nice to say, let's make America great again and let's tell everybody else to go to hell, but we've been a global economy for almost seventy five years and we are a global civilization now. Yarrow, there's no country in the world anymore that can say we have all the resources we will ever need. We can close up our borders. The rest of you can go to hell and will be just fine. It doesn't exist anymore. Will like it or not, we're kind of all on this together. And since mcguiver was already embraced by literally billions of people, because the show has never stopped running around the world for thirty years.

So I thought, you know what, these are great management tools for this century. One avoid conflict. Yeah, I understand, sometimes conflict is inevitable, but unfortunately more often than not conflict just leads to more conflict and at the end of the day, even if you win. The House is still on fire. We haven't solved the global problems. The second thing is, you know that ingenuity, that resourcefulness, that creativity, or how do you turn what you have into what you need? Because that's what we're all going to have to do more and more, whether it's an individual community, for country or civilization? And the third thing was that mcguiver principle of no matter how life threatening or intractable the problem seems, try and approach it with a sense of humor and humility, because it turns out that mindset, a laughing and open mindset, is more likely to come up with an innovative a solution than a fearful, resentful or angry mindset, because then you're just overwhelmed by the emotion and chances are what you're going to want to come up with his conflict, and we've already decided conflict isn't really going to solve the problems. So I said, you know what, if I do nothing else with the rest of my life, I'm going to bring M Guiver back. Just remind everybody, mostly on entertainment platforms, that these are good management tools for this century. If you want to use them, great if you don't, don't, but whenever you confronted with a difficult situation, maybe the first question you should ask yourself is, let me take a step back, what would be Guiver do? And the MC guire's secret was part and parcel of that, which is this is a better technique for solving problems that anybody can use on any kind of problem and all you need is a pin and a piece of paper and it works. So I came up with it for my creating writing purposes, but literally it was an Internet entrepreneur who I taught this to and who used it to launch his company and came to me and said you got to put this out there because you can use this for any kind of problem solving and entrepreneurs would love this. And I said really, you think so? He said no, I know. So he said it's saved my business several times because I was confronted with the problem, I didn't know what to do. I wrote the problem down, I got on my bike and rode up down the Venice board walk and I came back and I said what do you got for me, and I always got a great answer. So he said you got to share this with the world. I'll help you. And so that was about four or five years ago. So first thing I did was I contacted some people in the cognitive science world and said, look, there must be some research around this stuff. Who Can I talk to? And I was referred to a woman who is then at the University of Michigan. She's a yeah, a graduate PhD from Yale in Psychology and her specialty is cognitive science and creativity and memory and now she holds the Arthur F foumin chair at the University of Michigan Psychology Department. And I wrote her an email and I said here's who I am and I have this kind of thing that I do for creativity. Will you talk to me about it? And so she wrote me back. Course, turned out she was a huge guy or fan and we started to have telephone conversations and she would really kind of interrogate me, you know, like how do you do this, and what happens when you do that and how does this work? And went through the whole thing with her and then I finally said, well, what do you think? And she said I think you just drove a truck through the literature, because we've never done anything like this. In the sciences we slice the whole creativity process into very tiny parts and we do these very controlled experiments and nobody's ever done it quite the way you've done it and I want to work with you on this because this is really interesting. And so we started to work together and I started to do some workshops and some presentation. is mostly to get feedback for the book so that, you know, I'd have more kind of people who would actually used it and tried it and worked with it to go. Okay, what refinements do we need? Are we communicating this properly? And now that's all been done. So her name is Collin seafert and she's written all the science pieces in the book, where I go here's the instruction part, here's a story about someone who's using it and how they use it, and here's the science that says why it works. So that's basically them guy's secret book, which is connect to your inner mcguy for and solve anything. Because the bottom line is everyone, everyone in the world, has an inner mcguy. They have a deeper, more powerful resource that they can use to solve problems and most of us have just never been taught how to use that. And so this is a very simple literally there are three steps to this process that anybody can use on any problem, and entrepreneurial problem, with technical problem, a creative problem, a personal problem, doesn't matter, any problem at all. You can use this to get a better answer.

Let let me ask you lead and for all the entrepreneurs listening in who are facing well, everyone faces some version of this problem, which is the I need more customers, I need to figure out a better way of marketing. Can you give us an example of implementing the three steps and or anything else that's part of this process, from either even the experience you had work with it, entrepreneur, way back when you start it, or anyone you've worked with since then. Just something practical and meety so I could take it away and go, Oh, I'm going to try this myself. I understand the idea of distracting the conscious mind, distracting the body and letting the subconscious work, but it sounds like there's more to it than just asking some questions and riding a bike or having a shower. Well, there really isn't much more to it, I mean. So here I will tell you the three steps right now. Okay, and anyone go to the mcguiber's secretcom website. You can download the free quick start guide. You can download we have a mini video course that teaches you how to do it. I mean it's like I just want people to try it. You know, if they want to buy the book, Great. We're working on a full online training course which will be, I think, available come around January. But the bottom line is I'm giving you everything you need to try this process for free, because I know if you start trying this sort of work. So here's the three steps. Yeah, incredibly simple. Step one, write the problem down and, believe it or not, it's better if you write it down in Longhand then if you type it. Now, exactly why that is is explained in the book by Colleen, because that's a science thing. I don't particularly understand exactly. You would think, what's the difference between Writing Longhand and typing? The bottom line is there is a difference. When you write longhand it's goes deeper into the neural pathways of your mind and if you just type it into computer it'll work. If you type up into computer, it works better. If you sit with the yellow pad or any any kind of paper and you simply write it longhand. So you write your problem down and you can write it down it as much or as little detail as you want. You can ask it in multiple different ways. You can write a paragraph, you can write a whole page, you can write a whole list of questions. I mean, you are not going to overwhelm your subconscious or your inner mcguiver with too much information. Not Possible. It's just massive in its processing power, okay, compared to your conscious mind. So you write the question down in as many forms as you want, you define it as clearly as possible and then, when you're done writing, you say to yourself, okay, I've written my problem down. I'm turning it over to you, by subconscious, my inner mcguiver. You can call it anything you want. You can call it your higher self, you can call it superman. It really doesn't matter what you're cold. It doesn't care what you call it. It knows you're talking to it. And you say here, I've written it down, I'm turning this over to you. You work on it and I'm going to come back after a certain amount of time. We can talk about that in a second, and you're going to have an answer for me, and that's it. You just instruct that inner mcguiver to work on the problem and tell it you need an answer and then you put the question down and you go do something else. Now that's something else we call an incubation activity. Why? Because your inner mcguiver is in fact incubating on the problem you just gave it. But the key is you want to find some activity that keeps that hamster wheel of your head, that conscious mind, preoccupied. That could be exercise of any form. Go for a walk, a jog, a swim, shoe baskets, any form of exercises. Fine. You can do cooking, gardening, you can clean the house, you can walk the dog. You can build with legos. I mean I built, you know, paper models and then I moved onto wooden models of planes and ships. You know. You can do a crossroad puzzle. You can do is to do go. There are only four activities that won't work as incubation activities. Okay, and their biggies. So hold your breath. You can't watch TV. It will not work as an incubation activity. Any kind of video or TV won't work. You can't read for the same reason. You can't watch TV, and I'll explain that in a second. You want to limit your amount of conversation. You don't whether it's texting or tweeting or emailing or facetoface conversation. You want to avoid conversation. And you can't play super intense interactive video games. So you can play angry birds, you can play Tetris, you can play candy crush, you can play pokemon go, but if you want to play world of warcraft or tour of duty, they will not work as incubation activities. And the reason none of those things will work his incubation activities is because they require an enormous amount of subconscious processing in order to create the world that you are experiencing. So when you sit and watch television, you think, well,...

...the show is on the screen. There is no show on the screen. It is a series of separate, discrete images, you know, flashed at thirty times a second, and a series of sounds, and you are the one who is assembling all those at phenomenal speeds in order for it to become a coherent world. So the world is not really on the television screen. The world is actually constructed in your mind. Okay. So if your mind, your subconscious is doing all that heavy lifting in order to create that world, it can't be solving your problem. So you want to find an activity that preferably enjoy doing. Again, any of those. You know. Practicing a musical instrument is good, but you want to keep it at unimaginative. You can do a cross room puzzle, is to do. Go word search puzzles are awesome. You know those ones where you get a grid of letters and you got to find the words in them and circle them. Yes, lots of experiments shows those are great as an incubation activity. And you do this activity, I usually recommend, if you're starting out, an hour to four hours. Okay. Now, I've been doing this for decades. So literally I can write question down and fifteen minutes later I got an answer. Okay, but that takes practice, like any other muscle. The more you exercise this particular process, the better the dialog between you and your inner mcgueiver, the fastest the answers come. So you write your question down and tell your inner mcguiver to work on it and then you get yourself out of the way and you do something else and then after that incubation activity, whether it's exercise or working with tools, fixing home repairs, cooking, whatever it is you want to do. You come back and you look at your question. You say to your inner mcgueiver, okay, what do you got for me? And then you simply start writing. It doesn't matter what you write. You can write your favorite song, you can write what you want for dinner, you can write while you love your boss or why you hate your boss. Just physically start writing and within thirty, forty seconds, a minute of that at the most, the answers will literally bubble up from inside you and flow out on the tip of your pen, and you simply keep writing until all those answers are out there on the page. Now sometimes you get, fact, more questions. That's cool. You can turn right around and ask those questions back of your inner mcgueiver. The reason it's giving you questions is kids says, I need more information. You got to focus this in a little bit for me, because I'm not exactly sure how to solve your problem based on what you've given and they because what you're really trying to do is established this dialog between Your Conscious Hamster Wheel head and your inner mcguiver or subconscious, and the more fluid and fluent that dialog becomes, easier the better and the faster the antils will common. anecdotally, so in the workshops and a presentations that we've done, usually somewhere between sixty five and seventy five percent of the time people get back answers that surprised them, where they go, wow, I would never have thought of that. You Go, well, you did just think of that. But what they're really saying is that was nowhere in my conscious mind when I was thinking about this problem. That's exactly right. That's exactly what you want, because your subconscious is unlimited, your inner mcguiver is incredibly resourceful and your conscious mind is good at defining problems and it's good at evaluating solutions. It turns out it's just not very good at coming up with solutions, because we're not taught to solve problems that way. So consequently, you know, we're not getting the best answers that are available to us because those are very deep inside you and all you have to know how to do is ask. But those are really the three steps of the process. Now there's lots of other things. Can you use taking a nap or sleeping as an incubation activity? Yes, you can, but that takes us, you know, you have to do a to extra other little things to make that work. Can you use this in the office? Can you use this with the team? All of that stuff is in the book. Oh and by the way, the book is in Amazon to and you can download for the rest of the month. The kindle version is two hundred and ninety nine. So through November thirty you can get the kindle version for just two hundred and ninety nine. But you could buy the book on Amazon. You could buy the book on the mcguyer's secretcom website. But, as I say, more the information about exactly how this works you can get free on the website. But really those are the only three steps you need. So it's remarkably simple. It's not complicated. The toughest part about this is believing it, because most people think, well, this is magic. How can it work? You Go, well, it just does. So every part...

...of the process except the final step, I feel I've experienced before, certainly having a shower and having, you know, some of my best ideas, but not the aspect of actually writing. I certainly doing this in such a proactive, constructive manner where I would stand at a whiteboard and write anything and then find myself writing answers to a question. That, to me, is something I never experienced. So I'd like to give that a that a go. It's interesting. First of all, thank you. I'm sure all the entrepreneurs, plus anyone listening to this, will appreciate that as a problem solving creativity tool, I think for my people as online entrepreneurs. Going back to that question I mentioned earlier about marketing and come up with ways to meet New People, that'd be one of the first things I'd actually tell my students and my members to use this method. So if you can come up with some unique ways to market what your business is about using this methodology. So thank you for that. Just to wrap up the interview, can we bring it up to today, because I know as we record this there's a whole resurgence, a reboot of mcguiver. You're talking about a movie coming out as well. So how much of that you involved with and where is this all going? I'm kind of involved with all of it. I mean I'm a executive producer on the new mcguiv TV series, in fact, that I'm about to start writing an episode for it. I'm a producer on the featured the lionsgate feature film with Neil Moritz of original film, who does all the fast and furious movies. Hopefully we're going to start preproduction on that in the first part of two thousand and seventeen. And then obviously there's the mcguira's secret book, and then I have more mcguiver projects, you know, coming down the turnpike after that. So this is all part of me being an entrepreneur, using the rights to mcguiver to really bring this character back as again, mostly on entertainment platforms, but here I had this mcguiverer's secret methodology and I thought well, so long as mcguiver was coming back, we might as well share this as well. And you know, think of it as the Swiss army knife of the mind, but it's a better way to solve problems. So if all this continues to flow the way it's flowing, you know, hopefully there will be a steady stream of mcguira projects. The TV series was initially ordered, they picked up in order of thirteen episodes and now they've just ordered the what they call the back nine. So they're going to do a full season in mcguiver and it seems to be doing very well. So we'll see if they want to pick up a second season and the movie and you know, we'll just keep well, just sort of keep marching. But is the mill moving completely new? Anything from the old series? How does that the mixt happen there? Oh, I think the movie will be pretty new. I mean there may be some references back to the original show, but right now we're kind of looking at sort of updating it, obviously just in a way that they sort of did in the TV series. But I can't release any more details about that because they'll track me down and they'll put tape over my mouth. So Fair enough, okay. Also, so the Guiver's secret on a guy for Secretcom to find out the book and obviously everyone knows how to go find information about the TV series and the movie. I mean the TV series is still playing all around the world on repeat, no doubt. So Lee, thank you for sharing the background story, your methodology and what's happening with MC guiver right now. Is anything else you'd like to throw in before we in the episode? I really just want to say this. We've obviously had a very sort of brutal election period here in the United States and a lot of people are feeling either disenfranchised or frightened, and I understand that. But at the end of the day, it's not about Washington solving our problems, it's about US solving our problems, and all I want to remind people is that they have the resources inside themselves to really solve almost all the problems they're facing. They just need to find a better way to get in there and figure out what the right answers are for them. And so if there was ever a time for MC guivrism or self reliance, this is that time, because now more than ever, we need to start coming up with really unique, innovative and creative solutions if we're going to get ourselves out of this mess. So, do you have the resources to do this? Don't be afraid. figure out how to solve the problems from where you are right now, and Washington'll catch up to you, not the other way around. I like that a lot. Individual responsibility very important. Lee, thank you again for sharing everything. Good luck with all the future mcguiver and also spreading the mcguiber's secret. I think, as you talked about, this could help a lot of people solve a lot of problems, from the smaller day to day problems all the way to potentially the big issue problem. So it's something worth practicing and yes, thank you for taking some time today to talk to me. Thanks for having me on Europe. That was such a fun interview, even for me to read listen to it as second time, a few years later after first hearing thee share his story. I'm a huge fan of the entertainmentdustry. I grew up watching Scifi and obviously all the show is like mcguiver that were on in the afternoons when I come home from school. I have... admit, maybe I shouldn't admit this, but I spent a lot of time on weekends also watching television. Being an introvert, I would often prefer to be at home then necessarily out socializing, you know, during the evenings and so on. So I watch a lot of television and shows like mcguiver and just a whole industry around television and movies was is, I'm still remain, something I'm really compelled by and love hearing behind the scene stories about. So just to hear Lee's own story how he got started, how mcguiver was created, when all the other shows he talked about. It was just so interesting to me. And what's something I never expected to do on this podcast. Obviously, even when it was first recorded, this was called the entrepreneurs journey podcast. When Lee came on the show and he came out of the blue like his PR person gone to touch. I'm not sure why. I guess it was about promoting his book, but also the fact that he chose to go on entrepreneurship podcast was a little surprising. That being said, after hearing about his three steps, I could understand why. It was very much something that could be applied to businesses and entrepreneurs. So it was an absolute blast to get to talk to the man himself. And you know, if you know anyone, this will be my last call to action for the end of today's episode. If you know anyone in the entertainment industry and maybe someone has just written a book and they're looking to get publicity, maybe doing something entrepreneurial or something to do with investing or startups in the entertainment industry, send them my way. I'd love to interview them on my show. I'll obviously be great if they had some kind of success story. Obviously, Lee mcguiver, I would not have interviewed him if he wasn't already a wellknown entity. So if you know anyone like that, please in reduce me. I'd love to interview them and maybe that you either way. As always, subscribe to Vesta capital. Go to whatever APP you're currently using to listen to this. It could be apple, could be spotify, could be google, could be Amazon, could be just using a web browser, in which case you can go to my blog, which is why a ro o thought blog, and as a podcast link there where you can find the episodes, all the subscribe links, everything about the best of capital show is there. And please do share if you think this Lee episode will be useful or interesting or compelling or motivating to anyone who might be perhaps trying to become a screenwriter at might be something that's your son or daughter or cousin or niece or nephew or mother or father, anyone maybe a colleague at work is interested in doing, perhaps as a side hustle. Send them to this episodes, Episode Number Twenty of vested capital and hopefully they'll get some great advice and feel inspired to go out there and chase their dreams as well. Okay, I'm going to call it the end of today's episode of best the capital number twenty. My name is yarrow and I will talk to again on the next episode. Bye. Bye.

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