Vested Capital
Vested Capital

Episode 20 · 3 weeks 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 Yaro and welcome tovested Capital Episode Number Twenty featuring my guest Lee slow togh. Thecreator of the macgyver television show Vesta capital is a podcast about howpeople make money and put their capital to work in if you start up founders,Angel investors, venture capitalist Crypton, stock traders, real asiteinvestors and leaders in technology, and in this case today, I'm actuallyfeaturing the creator of a iconic television series and a person who'sdeveloped, a three step system that can be applied to basically anything interms of solving problems using your subconscious so hello. This is Yarothanks for downloading today's episode, I'm resurfacing my interview with LeesLoto from a few years ago. This is still a fairly new interview, so itdoes feel quite fresh and I want to surface it for well two reasons. OneLee and his team have been promoting this episode. It just popped out out ofthe blue on my twitter and on my instagram. They must have got some newPR people going out there. Re sharing some of Lee's content leaves interviewsand it's exciting to see. The official macgyver twitter account re sharingthis interview, so I thought that would be a great reason to re share it on thenew vested capital version of my show as well. So as always, I listen to thisinterview to make sure it was still relevant for you, because it is a fewyears old, and this is a little bit of a different interview. It's not with astartup founder, it's not with an investor or you know, venturecapitalists. It's not really specifically about the aspect of makingmoney, although it's very clear, leaves a person who succeeded financially inthe world of entertainment. So that's why I love this episode. You're goingto hear about Lee's early, stark phase of becoming a script writer or screenwriter for television, we're going to connect the dots with all his sort ofearlier projects that eventually led to the opportunity to basically turnsomeone else's idea into what became magies. You hear the origin story ofthe very first pilot of the macgyver television series now just in case, I'mvery surprised if this is the case. But if you don't know what mciver actuallyis, I grew up watching the show it was on in Australia, where you know duringmy teenage years, and it obviously has a bit of a reputation. In fact, as Leenotes, it's kind of become like a verb. You can mcgivern something whichbasically means you can solve a problem using a collection of tools andresources that might be in front of you that you might not otherwise thinkcould be used to solve a problem. And that's what made the Bagier televisionseries really cool. It was this guy who was able to take resources around himand diffuse bombs or unlocked doors or all kinds of stuff that you justwouldn't see by looking at the resources and the tools in front of youand it became a huge hit and, as I said, it's very much a term we use to magidor something so Lee being the creator. He talks about the origin of how thatidea came to pass. Also some cool stuff like how they even came up with thedifferent combinations of elements they would use in each episode making sureit's scientifically accurate to then solve a problem in the show. We alsothen switch gears to talk about Lee and his new book. Well, it was new and thisepisode came out and the concept in particular where he talks about thesethree steps that he used very much as his secret weapon for crafting scriptsvery quickly, so he became known as a very efficient and effective screenwriter able to put together episodes of shows very quickly and he talks abouthow he discovered this unique, but yet very simple. We can certainly all dothis. You probably do part of his system already where you can basicallydistract your conscious brain your body and let your subconscious go to work tosolve problems. He kind of calls us like the mcgivern technique. It's thesethree steps. He goes through that he really made into a process. So it's notjust you know something simple like having a shower and then you thinkabout things, and you saw a problem that is, however, how it started. Soit's actually really fun story to hear how he sort of came up with it, butthen he certainly made it more systematic. So you hear Lee explain thethree steps to go through and he also got some of that backed up with someacademic research, so it's legit. This is something that you can actuallyapply to your own life, your own business, when it comes to solvingproblems, tapping into yourself conscious- and I can certainly vouchfor it myself- I've used it and it's worked for me. I love using thesubconscious because it's like this sort of secret weapon- you don't reallyknow about, but it's inside your brain and you can tap into it using, forexample, three steps that Le Outlines in this episode, also just because thisis vested capital. I want to make sure this does tie into some kind ofbusiness or financial. You know capital making cashel making money and Leedoesn'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 on tothe rights of MC giver, the brand and name so the very end of the episode hetalks about what he's been doing with that. In order to you know, rebootmacgyver, that was talk about a movie. There's the book he's a he was justwritten at the time this was recorded, so he's certainly taking hisintellectual property and turning that into cash flow. So I think, even ifyou're looking for the money side of interviews with experts, Lee will havethat in there as well. Okay, going to wrap this up and press play on theinterview in a second, but before I do that, I have to mention the sponsor forthe show which is in box done, my company, which provides an executiveassistant for you or for your team that will specialize in helping you breakfree from email, maybe your calendar and other admint that are related tobasically all those silly things you tend to spend time on that are nothighly productive, not highly leveraged uses of your time that you can pass onto someone else so to break free to simplify your life, to gain thatfreedom, to focus on your creative tasks. You need to stop doing the Lololevel activities and for most of us that goes on an email. That being said,email is something people don't automatically think to hand over tosomeone else. We have a lot of resistance to doing that. We're notsure if you can trust anyone. It's very personal aspect of what we do so havinganother human being step in and manage and replied your emails for. You mightbe something confronting and challenging, but that's what wespecialize in Appin Buck. Oncome we've been doing this for four years now.We've come up with the system to take over your email and really become adouble, so we can act like you in your inbox. We can write messages as youremail assistant, though we can provide almost even better information andreplies than you do, because it's our job to do that wearing your in boxevery day. So we'll reply to your messages will organize, will completetasks that are triggered by an email coming in like, for example, updating,test management, software or customer relationship software or just fillingout some kind of spreadsheets somewhere. You might have that kind of taskoriginate when you get certain types of emails will certainly keep you awayfrom every day. Update software emails newsletter emails. Maybe peoplerequesting something from you who you don't know so will be a gate keeper foryou and also protect your calendar in the same way. So we'll manage yourcalendar and make sure only the really important things get on there and youdon't have to worry about going back and forth, sending emails to figure outa right time and day to do an interview or to talk to someone, a potentialcustomer, a colleague investor and so on. Okay, that's enough about in boxdone, you can certainly go to inbox on Com. Look at all the things we doexplain how we work everything's on our website in box done com. Now it's timefor the interview with Lee Zotof, the creator of MC iver. Here we go. I'veactually just recently found out that leave behind the man from story riverlast a producer on that show, so I watched that growing up in Australia.So there's a lot of interesting background. I'd love to learn aboutwith Lee, as well as talk about his new book, the Maguida secret and maybebreak down a little bit about what he's teaching there, in particular,regarding what entrepreneurs can take away in terms of being more creativesolving problems in the way that Magie is very well known for solving problems.So Lee thank you for joining me today. My pleasure, you normally on my show. Ido go back in time and look at the history of my guest. Now. The firstquestion I would ask you is: Were there any business projects you know? Did youhave 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 interms of your youth, that kind of led to your career? Do you have a normalcareer beginning with going to university and you know becoming anaccountant O or a doctor, or something like that, so I was a contractor when Iwas in college because I needed to find a way to support myself and I gotmarried shortly after I started college. So I wanted to contracting and homerepairs and that kind of stuff, because I had learned that growing up from myfather, and so I knew I could do it, but the college I went to which iscalled Saint John's College, which actually has two campuses, one in SantaFe, New Mexico and one in Annapolis. Maryland I went to the one in AnapolisMaryland, but when I was there, I determined that it might be interestingto go into the entertainment this, as I had some exposure to that when I was akid, and so I decided after graduating from school that I would work part timeas a contractor and part time is a screenwriter, and eventually I made myway to New York and was able to get a job writing for a soap opera.Eventually, I moved to Los Angeles and after a couple of years I broke in as aTV writer and the rest, as they say, is a there on IMDB. Okay, so you know, as a young manheading to New York, to o to potentially become a screenwriter a youdidn't have any writing experience...

...before that like was it trying to timestamp this as well? I'm assuming it's a different world a little bit back thento become a screen writer than it might be today. Do you just sort of writesomething and then show up at a studio or connect with some one? How does itwork? Well, in that particular case, a friend of my parents was a businessmanager for people in the entertainment business, and actually he was one ofthe people who said you know you've done some acting as a kid and you'redoing photography, maybe you're interested in the entertainmentbusiness, and he said if you can write, that's a good way in because writingyou can do all by yourself. You know if you're going to direct to produce oract. You got to have everybody else, but writing is solitary activity, so Isaid well, let me try right again see how it goes. So I wrote a script and Isent it to him and he sent it to some agents and they when he's young andhe's raw, but he has down it. He should keep writing so that, basically thatscript, although it never got made- became kind of my calling card, and sowhen I got to New York, I managed to get a job as a secretary on a soapopera and after a couple months being a secretary there, I gave my script tothe producer and had the audacity to say. I think I can write the showbetter than it's being written and he was you know, sneering and dismissive,and I figured look the worst that happen is I get fired right because Ididn't come here to be a secretary, so you know I was looking for a job when Ifound this one much to my surprise, he came in the next morning and he said Iread your script last right, you're right, you got a job as a writer andthat's how I got my first job. So how old were you then Lee? I was so maybetwenty two okay, three confident young ran up, and there was no signs beforethis. That writing was your talent. You know I would always write stories andstuff as a kid, but I never sort of thought about it in any kind of formalway, 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 andwhether you tell your stories effectively. Every business is a story.Okay, do you get people to buy into the story or to people? Go have heard thatstory before. I don't believe that story so, but really, when you thinkabout it, they're all stories, so I realized at a certain point. I had afacility for telling stories and I could do that in you know written formand that really became the path. But I started on so take us forward. You wentfrom New York to La which I assume was purely because there's more workavailable there yeah. Well, it's a couple things. We were consideringstarting a family and I didn't really want to raise my family in New YorkCity, so that would mean moving to a suburb, and I thought well so long aswe're moving to a suburb. We might as well move to California, because, yes,there were more opportunities there than to were in New York, and it tookme 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 twoor three years I broke through and suddenly there were several televisionshows that wanted to hire me on staff. So suddenly I went from making a couplehundred dollar a week to making a couple hundred. I mean a couplethousand dollars a week and it was a big jump. What was the first big breakthrough there? What show they would believe it or not? Two shows thatwanted to hire me. One was a revival of the Brett Maverick show with JamesGarner and the other one was hill street blues and for reasons I am loathto go into. I made the wrong choice and I chose Brett Maverick instead of HillStreet blue work out for reason and in a certainway, writing on Brett Maverick, believe it or not, actually kind of led to thebook, the Magiar 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 yourcareer, well to kind of transition or feeling that a I came up with sevengode secret, because when I started writing on breath maverick these days,there are eight or nine writers on a staff of a typical hour show back. Thenthere were three of us, so I was responsible for every third, sometimeseven every other script, which meant I had to crank out at a enormous amountof creative material under unbelievably tight deadlines, and I noticed that thebest stuff came to me not when I was sitting in front of my I'm really goingto date, myself now, electric typewriter, because this was beforepeople even use computers, okay, back when dinosaurs wrong the earth- and Inoticed that the best stuff came to me when I was either driving or taking ashower. Not when I was racking my brain in front of my typewriter trying tocome up with an idea. You know, and at first I thought well. This was just aquirk, but it happened with such consistency that you know when I getchammed up in the office. I'd run outside jump in my car and go drivingaround Hollywood. Looking for a shower now it solved the problem. It createdcertain other problems because at the office they went okay, this guy'sneither a drug dealer or he's screwing...

...everybody in town, because he keepsdisappearing for no apparent reason and showing up freshly show. The good news is in Hollywood, so longas the scripts were coming in on time and were good, they didn't care. So itwas like look whatever. It is just let him keep doing it. But I asked myself:Why is it that the best stuff comes when I'm driving and showering and notwhen I am supposedly supposed to be working? And the answer I came up withwas when I'm driving and showering my conscious mind or what I call thehamster wheel of thoughts. That start when we wake up in the morning and keepgoing until we go to sleep at night was preoccupied, so it couldn't get in theway I had to pay attention to what I was doing when I was driving andshowering and that allowed the stuff from my quote: Unquote: Inner Magie orsubconscious. If you want to call it that to sort of bubble up- and I wentthat stuff is great and this stuff that I come up with when I'm racking mybrain in the 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 havingto drive a shower, so that took a couple of years in some other writingjobs? You know and other staff jobs. I kept experimenting and trying thingsand practicing and it was when I was actually writing the pilot from a giverthat I found the answer, and the answer was simply this. I put a White Board inmy office and I put a work bench in my off and the white board was to writedown my questions and my answers. The work bench was to build models, so youknow those things you can buy like build the Empire State building out ofpaper, and I built every monument in the worldthat they had a kid for right. I built the Tash I built the Vatican, I builtthe Great Sphinx that Jesu I built the Brooklyn Bridge. Now: listen, nobodyneeds a paper model of the Brooklyn Bridge, okay, but it wasn't because Ineeded the models. It was because working on the models serve the samepurpose as driving or showering, namely it shut off. My conscious mind made mea focus on something else, so that my inner Magie or subconscious mind couldsolve the problem. So what I would do is, I would go to the Ford and I wouldsay I need a new idea for an episode and I just write. I need an idea for anepisode and then I'd say to my INA Magi Ver: okay, you're, the one with all thegreat ideas you work on this I'm going to go, focus on that model and I'llcome back in half hour. Forty five minutes an hour and you're going tohave something for me and then I would simply go sit and work on the model andnot think about it. Really just let the problem go entirely and just do almostkind of idiot work. You know just cut paste blue, follow instructionswhatever, and then I come back and I'd say to my subconscious, my innermacgyver. I go okay. What do you got and then I would simply start writingon the white wood. Anything at all. I could write the Star spangled banner. Icould write what I wanted to have for lunch. It didn't matter what I wrotewithin thirty to forty five seconds. Those ideas would literally just flowout of me right on to the white board and five minutes later. I'd have threekiller ideas for an episode, and I would just do that repeatedly, so itwould typically take a writer anywhere from a week to two weeks to break astory that is lay it out seeing by scene on a day. I could basically spendsix six and a half hours working on those goofy models, an hour an hour anda half at the white board, but at the end of the day Yaro I had an entirestory laid out seeing for Sen and the next day I sit down and I type it upand I turn it into my boss and he go how the Hell did you break a story intwo days and I would say I just didn't think about it. I need laugh and go. Idon't keep how you do it start on this script. This is great and I moved frombeing literally a story editor to supervising producer to an executiveproducer in like two and a half years, because I could write scripts in recordtime and they were all soutable and in Hollywood that man, I was worth myweight in plate. So interesting, I'd, love to ask you as an entreprend forthe entrepreneurs listening how to solve some of the problems we faceusing this methodology. But before we do that, I have to move forward to thepoint where you actually start working and writing from a giver, becausethere's obviously a very clear connection there between yourmethodology and methodology that macgyver who you wrote, actually solvesproblems. So can you take us forward from this initial experience in La towhen the Magi over project came up? Was it shortly after that or for the downthe track? Well, as I say, I kind of all the pieces of this method cametogether when I was writing the pilot for MC giver, and you know part of thethinking there was look for any you know s show you're going to go. What'sthe hook of this show, why are people...

...going to come back and watch it nextweek and we did something very simple which is suppose we have an actionadventure hero and he doesn't use a gun. I mean you just take a gun away. It'slike standard far for every action venture hero and we went suppose wejust take that away now. What now he has to find a way to solve the problemwithout a gun and that opened up that whole idea of using whatever was athand in creative ways, so it turned out his weapon was really his mind. Hisweapon wasn't a gun and knowing chemistry and physics and all thatstuff. He then could look at any situation and say what do I have infront of me that I can use to solve this problem and combine things increative and interesting and innovative ways, and consequently you know thatwas the hook that brought people back. It was also one of those shows wherethe whole family could watch it together. You know usually TV divided,the family, kids, like cartoons and the sitcoms mom, like the soap operas dadlike to watch sports and over simplification, but you get the pointwhere, as McGuire dad watched it because he liked to see what thoseengineering creative things were, that he was going to come up with mom likedit because he was tot and he didn't use a gun and the kids went and anythingthat 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 begierfans. One of the things they talk about is how that really affected themwatching the whole show 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 with the show? Well,it gave us the hook every week. You would turn in and say well what is thisguy going to come up with this week? Because if he's not just going to shootback he's going to have to come up with something else, and then obviously youget to know the character, Richard Anderson was just phenomenal in thatrole you know, and so those what I now call the core attributes of giver,which is avoid conflict figure out how to turn which, what you have and towhat you need and do with a sense of humor in humility. I think those arethe three things that made macgyver, basically a global phenomenon, because,as you know as popular it is in the United States, it's infinitely morepopular all around the world in the Far East, in the Middle East, in SouthAmerica, in Europe in Australia. So was it a hard like to get that pilot andget the show off the ground? Was that a hard pitch? Or did it actually end upbeing quite easy to convince people to take it on well? So this was unusualbecause I was actually hired to write a show. Henry Winkler. Company had sold aconcept to ABC called our glass, so they wanted to do a one hour show inone hour of time and they hired me to write it, and I said, oh so you want todo a serial like what twenty four became and they said. No, no, it can'tbe a cereal, they have to be stand alone. Episodes has to have a beginningmiddle and end in each episode, because in those days the foreign distributorsdidn't want serious, and I went well there's a reason. It's never been donebefore and they said. What's that and I said it's not going to work, they saidwhat do you mean and I said: Well, it sounded good in the room when you soldit, but that's because nobody in the room had to actually build a house. Isaid what happens if the character has to travel you're, giving away theability in film and television to jump space and time instantaneously. If ithas to be literally one hour of ticking clock, he can't travel anywhere. You'vegot to start the episode where it ends so you've got. You know the bank vaultshow the sinking submarine show the stuck elevator showed that I said yousee 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 yearsor more you're going to choke to death on this idea. Well, they got a littlebad at me and I said I understand nobody wants to be told their babiesugly. 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 startedcoming with ideas and eventually the idea that the network liked was mciver,so I wrote it and they loved the script and the next thing I knew they weremaking the pilot, and then it turns out. You didn't actually have an issue withnot serializing it and doing self contained episodes every episode, no because it no longer had to conformto that one hour of real time is one hour of TV time, because Oh here's, acharacter, he's different and he's interesting, and we know what the hookis every week. People are going to tune back in to say what is this guy goingto come up with neck right? What kind of a situation can we throw him into?You know what can he use, and that was fun? It still is fun. I mean listen,it's the word. Macgyver has become a verb right in the Lifei, so I've got toask them. Given this methodology that... came up with and then mcgivern Ihad this vision of you and the other writers sitting at a table around. Youknow talking about the next coming episode and putting MC giver intowhatever, like a library, we're not allowed to be an elevator with a bombin there and he'd all has got, is a packet of matches and a sewing needleor something like that, and I'm thinking you must have some engineersor people with some kind of scientific background as well. For certainsituations did you just sit there and all throw it throw ideas at each otherhow to solve problems, or is it more structured like that? So to be clear, Iwrote the pilot. I did not stay with the series, so other writers reallytook it over from there, but what I did and what ultimately they did is I foundconsultants who knew physics and chemistry and what we would do is workwith the consultants and I'd say: Look I want to do something like this andthey would say well, could he have this there, or could he be here because thenhe would have this and then I could he could do this, and so basically eitherthey would have some ideas or I would have a desire for a certain kind ofsituation and we just kind of work it back and forth until we could make youknow whatever made sense to be in the scene, so, for instance, in the pilotyou know it's kind of he's going down into this government lab that's SuperHigh Tech and as Gone Hay, wire, okay and he brings a pouch and somebody sayswell: what's in the pack out Jesus, the Pouch is not for what I bring thepouches fort. I find along the way and along the way, there's a candyingmachine in this complex and it's broken open because you know there was anexplosion and that's why everything's Gone Hey wired and he's got to go downand rescue scientists that are trapped at the bottom and he takes a bunch ofchocolate bars and he puts him in his bag and you think why is he takingchocolate bars and then he gets down at the bottom and there's this sulphuricthere's a big tank of sulphur acid and it's leaky, and that's because one ofmy experts said: Oh, the sugar in a chocolate bar will combine with thesaphiric acid to create this gummy paste and he can seal the leak with thechocolate bars and I thought man, that's just perfect, okay, and sothat'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 stuffbecause that's what they want? They want this chocolate part stuff. Everyweek we don't know how to come up with this stuff and, I said, relax. I gavehim the name of all my consultants, they hired them all and that's how theydid it so right, I can imagine the creativity required every single weekis just incredible. Take US forward, then Lee so mcgirr's a hit. Where didyou go next? So I worked on a number of other series work on a show calledRumiko steel. I worked on, Oh God, a whole bunch of other shows. Did TVmovies ultimately did a feature. Film called the Spitfire Grill, which wonthe audience award at the Sunday Ane Film Festival has gone on to becomebelieve it or not, a incredibly successful musical again, nothing Iever saw happening, but seven years so Magebe ran for seven seasons and Idiscovered quite by accident that at the end of the seven seasons the studiohad dropped, the ball and all the rights to MC giver ended up in my lapand I went huh and I had at that point. I had four grown children. Well now, inaddition to my four grown children, I have four grandchildren- and I lookedat this and I realized that MC GIBER had turned into this global men. Thisphenomenon- and I looked at this century- and I said you know this is acritical century. We get this century right, civilization has the future. Wedon't get this sentry right. 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 usanything. It's said, civilizations come and civilizations go so for the sake ofmy children and my grandchildren and their children and everybody else's. Ithought you know mcgivern 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 inthis together as a civilization, it's nice to say: Let's make America greatagain and let's tell everybody else, to go to hell, but we've been a globaleconomy for almost seventy five years and we are a global civilization. NowYe Aro there's no country in the world, any more that can say we have all theresources we will ever need. We can close up our borders. The rest of youcan go to Helen will be just fine, it doesn't exist any more like it or not.We're kind of all in this together and since mcgivern was already embraced byliterally billions of people, because the show has never stopped runningaround the world for thirty years. So I...

...thought you know what these are greatmanagement tools for this century. One avoid conflict, yeah, I understand.Sometimes conflict is inevitable, but unfortunately, more often than notconflict just leads to more conflict and at the end of the day, even if youwin the house is still on fire, we haven't solved the global problems. Thesecond thing is: You know that ingenuity that resourcefulness, thatcreativity or how do you turn what you have into what you need, because that'swhat we're all going to have to do more and more, whether it's an individualcommunity or country or a civilization? And the third thing was that macgyverprinciple of no matter how life, threatening or intractable the problemseems try and approach it with a sense of humor and humility, because it turnsout that mindset a laughing and open mindset is more likely to come up withan innovative solution than a fearful resentful or angry mindset, becausethen you're just overwhelmed by the emotion and chances are what you'regoing to want to come up with his conflict and we've already decidedconflict isn't really going to solve the problems. So I said you know what, if I do nothingelse with the rest of my life, I'm going to bring the giver back. Justremind everybody, mostly on entertainment platforms, that these aregood management tools for this century. If you want to use them great, if youdon'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 we guide her to and the McGuire secret was part and parcel ofthat, which is? This is a better technique for solving problems thatanybody can use on any kind of problem, and all you need is a pen and a pieceof paper and it works. So I came up with it for my creating rining purposes,but literally it was an Internet entrepreneur who I taught this to andwho used it to launch his company and came to me and said you got to put thisout there because you can use this for any kind of problem. Solving and auntpreneurs would love this, and I said really you think so he said no, I knowso. He said it's saved my business several times because I was confrontedwith the problem. I didn't know what to do. I wrote the problem down. I got onmy bike and rode up down to Venice Boardwalk and I came back and I saidwhat a you got for me and I always got a great answer. So he said you got toshare 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 scienceworld and said: Look there must be some research around this stuff. Who Can Italk to, and I was referred to a woman who is then at the University ofMichigan she's a year a graduate PhD from Yale in Psychology and herspecialty is cognitive, science and creativity and memory, and now sheholds the Arthur F Salman Chair at the University of Michigan PsychologyDepartment and I wrote an email and I said, here's who I am- and I have thiskind of thing that I do for creativity. Will you talk to me about it, and soshe wrote me back of course turned out. She was a huge guy were fan and westarted to have telephone conversations and she would really kind ofinterrogate me. You know like how do you do this and what happens when youdo that and how does this work and went through the whole thing with her andthen I finally said well, what do you think, and she said I think you justdrove a truck through the literature, because we've never done anything likethis in the sciences, we slice the whole creativity process into very tinyparts, and we do these very controlled experiments and nobody's ever done itquite the way. You've done it, and I want to work with you on this, becausethis is really interesting, and so we started to work together and I startedto do some workshops and some presentations mostly to get feedbackfor the book, so that you know I have more kind of people who had actuallyused it and tried it and worked with it to go. Okay. What refinements do weneed? Are we communicating this properly and now? That's all been done,so her name is Carlin Seffert and she's written all the science pieces in thebook where I go, here's the instruction part, here's a story about someonewho's using it and how they use it, and here's the science that says why itworks. So that's basically the guy we secret book, which is connect to yourinner macgyver and solve anything because the bottom line is everyone.Everyone in the world has an inner Magi. They have a deeper, more powerfulresource that they can use to solve problems, and most of us have justnever 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 anda tre preneur AL problem, a technical problem, creative problem, a personalproblems, doesn't matter any problem at...

...all. You can use this to get a betteranswer. Let let me ask you leave then for all the entrepreneurs listening inwho are facing. Well, everyone places some version of this problem, which isthe 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 oranything else? That's part of this process from either even the experienceyou had working with an entrepreneur way back when you started or anyoneyou've worked with since then, just something practical and meety. So I cantake it away and go. Oh I'm going to try this myself. I understand the ideaof distracting the conscious mind, distracting the body and letting thesubconscious work, but it sounds like there's more to it than just askingsome questions and writing a bike or having a shower. Well, there reallyisn't much more to it. I mean so here I will tell you the three steps right now:Okay and anyone go to the macgyver Secreto website, you can download thefree, quick start guide. You can download. We have a mini video coursethat 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 onlinetraining course, which will be, I think, available. Come around January, but thebottom line is I'm giving you everything you need to try this processfor free, because I know if you start trying this it'll work. So here thethree steps, you incredibly simple step, one write the problem down and believeit or not it's better. If you write it down in long hand than if you type itnow exactly why that is is explained in the book by Callin, because that's ascience thing, I don't particularly understand exactly it. You would think,what's the difference between writing long hand and typing the bottom line isthere is a difference when you write longhand, it goes deeper into theneural pathways of your mind and if you just type it into computer it'll workif you type into computer, it works better if you sit with the yellow pador any any kind of paper, and you simply write it long hand. So you writeyour problem down and you can write it down in as much as little detail as youwant. You can ask it in multiple different ways. You can write aparagraph. 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 innermacgyver with too much information not possible. It's just massive in itsprocessing power. Okay, compared to your conscious mind, so you write thequestion down in as many forms as you want. You define it as clearly aspossible and then, when you're done writing you say to yourself. Okay, I'vewritten my problem down, I'm turning it over to you by subconscious my innermacgyver. You can call anything you want, you can call it your higher self.You can call it superman. It really doesn't matter what you call it. Itdoesn'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'mgoing to come back after a certain amount of time. We can talk about thatin a second and you're going to have an answer for me and that's it. You justinstruct that inner macgyver to work on the problem and tell it you need ananswer, 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 yourinner macgyver is in fact incubating on the problem. You just gave it, but thekey is you want to find some activity that keeps that hamster wheel of yourhead, that conscious mind preoccupied that can be exercise of any form, gofor a walk, a jog, a swim shoot baskets. Any form of exercise is fine. You cando cooking gardening, you can clean thehouse, you can walk the dog, you can build with legos. I mean I built, youknow paper models and then I moved on to wooden bottles of planes and ships.You know you can do a crossword puzzle you cando is Saduko. There are only four activities that won't work asincubation activities. Okay and they're biggies so hold your breath. You can'twatch TV, it will not work as an incubation activity. Any kind of videoor TV won't work. You can't read for the same reason: You can't watch TV andI'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 face to faceconversation. You want to avoid conversation, and you can't play superintense, interactive video game, so you can play angry birds. You can playTetris, you can play candy crush, you can play Fokin go, but if you want toplay world of warcraft or tour of duty, they will not work as intubationactivities and the reason none of those things will work as incubationactivities is because they require an enormous amount of subconsciousprocessing in order to create the world...

...that you are experiencing. So when yousit and watch television you think well, the show is on the screen. There is noshow on the screen. It is a series of separate, discreet images. You knowflashed at thirty times a second and a series of sounds, and you are the onewho is assembling all those at phenomenal speeds in order for it tobecome 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 you'resubconscious 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 thatpreferably enjoy doing again. Any of those you know practicing a musicalinstrument is good, but you want to keep it at unimaginative. You can do across her puzzle, a Saduko, word search, puzzles are awesome. You know thoseones where you get a grit of letters and you got to find the words in himand circle them. Yes, lots of experiments shows those are great. Asan incubation activity and you do this activity, I usually recommend, ifyou're starting out an hour to four hours. Okay, now I've been doing thisfor decades. So literally, I can write a question down and fifteen minuteslater I got an answer. Okay, but that takes practice like any other muscle,the more you exercise this particular process, the better the dialoguebetween you and your inner macgyver, the faster the answers come. So youwrite your question down, tell your inner magi or to work on it, and thenyou get yourself out of the way and you do something else, and then after thatincubation activity, whether it's exercise or working with tools, fixing home repairs, cooking whatever it is, you want to doyou come back and you look at your question. You say to your Inner Ma,giver. 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 writewhat you want for dinner. You can write while you love your boss or why youhate your boss, just physically start writing and within thirty forty seconds,a minute of that at the most. The answers will literally bubble up frominside you and flow out on the tip of your pen, and you simply keep ridinguntil all those answers are out there on the page. Now, sometimes you getback Bot questions, that's cool! You can turn right around and ask thosequestions back of your inner macgyver. The reason it's giving you questions iskid says I need more information. You got to focus this in a little bit forme because I'm not exactly sure how to solve your problem, based on whatyou've given me, because what you're really trying to do is establish thisdialogue between your conscious hamster wheel, head and your inner lagier orsubconscious, and the more fluid and fluent that dialogue becomes the easier,the better and the faster the angels will come and anecdotally. So in theworkshops and the presentations that we've done usually somewhere betweensixty five and seventy five percent of the time, people get back answers thatsurprise them where they go wow. I would never have thought of that andyou go well. You did just think of that, but what they're really saying is thatwas nowhere in my conscious mind when I was thinking about this problem. That'sexactly right! That's exactly what you want, because you're subconscious isunlimited. Your inner macgyver is incredibly resourceful and yourconscious mind is good at the finding problems and it's good at evaluatingsolutions. 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 dancers that are available to us,because those are very deep inside you and all you have to know how to do isask. But those are really three steps of the process. Now, there's lots ofother 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 few extra otherlittle things to make that work. Can you use this in the office? Can you usethis with the team? All of that stuff is in the book. Oh, and by the way, thebook is an Amazon too, and you can download for the rest of the month. Thekindl version is Ude N. ninety nine. So, though November thirtieth you can getthe kindle version for just O hude and ninety nine, but you can buy the bookon Amazon. You can buy the book on the McGory Secret Com website but, as I say,more the information about exactly how this works, you can get free on thewebsite, but really those are the only three steps you need. So it'sremarkably simple, it's not complicated the toughest part about this isbelieving it because most people think well. This is magic. I, how could itwork you go well, it just does so every...

...part of the process except the finalstep I feel I've experienced before, certainly having a shower and havingyou know some of my best ideas, but not the aspect of actually writing. Likecertainly doing this in such a proactive, constructed manner where Iwould stand at a white board and write anything and then find myself writinganswers to a question that to me is something I never experienced. So I'dlike to give that give that I go it's interesting. First of all, thank you,I'm sure all the entrepreneurs plus anyone listening to this willappreciate that as a problem solving creativity tool, I think for my peopleas online entrepreneurs going back to that question. I mentioned earlierabout marketing and coming up with ways to meet New People. That would be oneof the first things. I'd actually tell my students and my members to use thismethod see if you can come up with some unique ways to market what yourbusiness 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 mcgivern you're,talking about a movie coming out as well, so how much of that are youinvolved with, and where is this all going? I'm kind of involved with all ofit I mean I'm a executive producer on the new McGovern, in fact about tostart writing an episode for it. I'm a producer on the feature. The lines gatefeature film, with the NEL Maritz of original film, who does all the fastand furious movies. Hopefully we're going to start preproduction on that inthe first part of two thousand and seventeen and then obviously there'sthe Magia secret book, and then I have more macgyver projects. You know comingdown the turnpike after that, so this is all part of me being an entrepreneurusing the rights to MC giver to really bring this character back as again,mostly on entertainment platforms. But here I had this macgyver secretmethodology and I thought well so long as my guide was coming back. We mightas well share this as well, and you know think of it is the Swiss armyknife of the mind, but it's a better way to solve problems. So if all thiscontinues to flow the way it's flowing, you know, hopefully there will be asteady stream of Magyar projects. The TV series was initially ordered theypicked up in order of thirteen episodes and now they've just ordered the whatthey call the back nine, so they're going to do a full season in macgyver,and it seems to be doing very well so we'll see if they want to pick up asecond season and the movie- and you know we'll just keep just sort of keepmarching, but is the no movie completely knew anything from the oldseries? How does that the mix happen there? Oh, I think the movie will bepretty 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 ina way that they sort of did in the TV series, but I can't release any moredetails about that, because they'll track me down and they'll put tape overmy mouth so fair enough. Okay, Awesome! So mcgivern, I'M A GIVER SECRET COM tofind out the book, and obviously everyone knows how to go. Findinformation about the TV series in the movie I mean the TV series is stillplaying all around the world on repeat no doubt so Lee. Thank you for sharingthe background story, your methodology and what's happening with mangier rightnow, is anything else you'd like to throw in before we end the episode. Ireally just want to say this. We've obviously had a very sort of brutalelection period here in the United States, and a lot of people are feelingeither disenfranchised or frightened, and I understand that, but at the endof the day, it's not about Washington sobbing, our problems, it's about USsolving our problems, and all I want to remind people is that they have theresources inside themselves to really solve almost all the problems they'refacing. They just need to find a better way to get in there and figure out whatthe right answers are for them, and so, if there was ever a time for Maghibi orself reliance. This is that time, because now, more than ever, we need tostart coming up with really unique, innovative and creative solutions. Youwe're going to get ourselves out of this mess. So do you have the resourcesto do this, don't be afraid, figure out how to solve the problems from whereyou are right now and Washington will catch up to you not the other wayaround. I like that, a lot of individual responsibility veryimportant ly. Thank you again for sharing everything, good luck with allthe future macgyver and also spreading them a giber secret. I think, as youtalked about this, could help a lot of people solve a lot of problems from thesmaller day to day problems all the way to potentially the the big issueproblem. So it's something worth practicing and yes thank you for takingsome time today to talk to me thanks for having me on Europe that was such afun interview even for me to re. Listen to it a second time, a few years later,after first hearing Lee shares story, I'm a huge fan of the entertainmentdusty. I grew up watching Scifi and obviously all the shows like MC giber,O that were on in the afternoons. When...

I come home from school, I have toadmit- 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 beat home, then necessarily out socializing. You know during theevenings and so on. So I watch a lot of television and shows like macgyver andjust the whole industry around television and movies was, is and stillremain, something I'm really compelled by and love hearing behind the samestories about so just to hear Lee's own story how he got started, how macgyverwas created when all the other shows he talked about was just so interesting tome and was something I never expected to do on this podcast, obviously, evenwhen it was first recorded, this was called the entrepreneurs journeypodcast when, when Lee came on the show- and he came out of the blue, like his pperson- got a touch, I'm not sure why. I guess it was about promoting thisbook, but also the fact that he chose to go on entrepreneurship. Podcast wasa little surprising. That being said, after hearing about his three steps, Icould understand why it was very much something that could be applied tobusinesses and entrepreneurs, so it was an absolute blast to get to talk to theman himself, and you know if you know anyone. This will be my last calledaction for the end of today's episode. If you know anyone in the entertainmentindustry- and maybe someone has just written a book and they're looking toget publicity, maybe they're doing something entrepreneurial or somethingto do with investing or start ups in the entertainment industry send them myway. I'd love to interview them on my show will obviously be great if theyhad some kind of success story. Obviously Ali macgyver. I would nothave interviewed him if he wasn't already a well known entity. So if youknow anyone like that, please introduce me I'd love to interview them and maybethat you either way as always subscribe to invest a capital go to whateverappere. Currently using to listen to this, it could be apple, could bespotify could be. Google could be. Amazon could be just using a webbrowser, in which case you can go to my blog, which is why a ro dot B, l o gand is a podcast link there. We can find the episodes all the subscribelinks. Everything about the bete capital show is there and please doshare it. If you think this Lee episode will be useful or interesting orcompelling or motivating to anyone who might be perhaps trying to become ascreenwriter, that might be something: that's your son or daughter, or cousin,or niece, or nephew, or mother or father anyone. Maybe a colleague atwork is interested in doing perhaps as a side. Hussle send them to thisepisode. Episode, Number Twenty of invested capital and hopefully they'llget some great advice and feel inspired to go out there and chase their dreamsas well. Okay, I'm going to call at the end of today's episode, invest acapital number twenty. My name is Yaro and I will talk to again on the nextepisode by by a.

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