Life is short. Too short to allow negativity to guide your life.
That’s why comedy magician and motivational speaker Jonas Cain is all about helping people stay inspired, motivated, and, of course, positive in their business and personal lives.
That’s what inspired him to start Positivity Magic and why he helps groups around the country manage change and overcome the things they struggle with most.
We talk about what magic really is and how everybody can experience it in their own lives.
Tune in to discover…
- The 8 steps to staying positive – that actually work
- The danger you don’t expect from past success
- How to make networking events worthwhile
- Why great is the enemy of good
- And more
David Elmasian: Welcome to the Hub of Success. I’m your host, Dave Elmasian. Today, I’m with Jonas Cain, president and founder of Positivity Magic. Positivity Magic provides engaging, empowering, and highly encouraging customized presentations to corporations, organizations, and individuals looking to achieve the next level of excellence and enjoyment at work, home, and beyond.
Jonas combines his two-decade career as a comedy magician with his public speaking and facilitation skills to help clients experience increased enjoyment and excellence in life. He’s presented to organizations all across the United States and Canada, and what makes his program so popular is he doesn’t just deliver a message; rather, he actively engages audiences in mind-blowing demonstrations of magic. Conferences, workshops, and meetings are often run-of-the-mill for attendees, so by getting everyone involved in an interactive comedy magic show, this approach creates a valuable experience that equally performs, informs, and transforms.
Welcome to the podcast, Jonas.
Jonas Cain: Thank you, it’s a pleasure to be here.
David Elmasian: Well, so Jonas, what exactly is a facilitator of fascination?
Jonas Cain: Well, I have to say everything you just said describes me to a T, but if I were to put it in more words, I would say that a facilitator of fascination, the ground floor of what I’m doing, really the reason why I’m doing this will inform what a facilitator of fascination is. I’m trying to help people manage change, manage surprises. Everyone has a reason to suffer, but they don’t have to. They really don’t have to. What I’m working towards is helping to give people principles and practices, these strategies that they can employ to manage change, manage whatever crazy things are going on in their lives, whether they’re happening in the moment or give them these tools before it happens so they could be more proactive about it.
So really what I’m doing is I’m trying to facilitate a place where people can have that curious mindset. Fascination’s all about curiosity.
David Elmasian: Right.
Jonas Cain: When we’re fascinated, we’re curious. When we’re curious, we ask questions. We don’t just fester in frustration, but we try and find ways to stay inspired and motivated.
David Elmasian: Okay. So how did you come up with the concept of using a magic show or entertainment to turn that into a corporate event? I mean, the two don’t usually go together. Usually they’re completely separate and distinct. There may be some “entertainment” factor, but it’s usually dry speakers up there, maybe it’s a motivation speaker, but it’s not usually entertainment or perceived as such.
Jonas Cain: That’s a very good question, and I came at it in sort of a roundabout way. I’ve been doing magic for years, since I was a little kid. My first part-time job in high school was doing magic shows, and I did that for years just as entertainment for corporate events, for private events all over the place. But what I eventually came to really embrace was something a little more, because ever since the beginning, I’ve always been looking for the greatest magic trick of all.
David Elmasian: Which is?
Jonas Cain: Well, at the time, I thought it was making something disappear …
David Elmasian: A jet disappear?
Jonas Cain: Yeah, you know? When I was in high school, I fantasized making the school disappear. I thought that would make a great-
David Elmasian: Well, we all fantasized that, didn’t we?
Jonas Cain: Yeah. Yeah.
David Elmasian: Or a few people.
Jonas Cain: Yeah, maybe a few teachers, a principal or something.
David Elmasian: Sure.
Jonas Cain: So I thought it would be something to do with that, because that’s what I was seeing on TV, these magicians doing literally the impossible and they’re making it possible, which sort of gave a hint as to what it is that I’m doing now, making the impossible appear possible.
What I eventually came to understand is real magic really has nothing to do with these illusions, with these tricks. The real magic is about being a positive influence in our world, because as I said, everyone has a reason for suffering, but they don’t have to. So being that positive force to help people get through whatever it is they’re struggling with, I have seen that magic in their eyes, the transformations in the moment. That … Oh, that gives me a high.
David Elmasian: Sure. So I would imagine there’s kind of a fine line you have to walk if you’re in a corporate setting, a corporate event, between entertainment, education, role playing. How do you kind of bridge that fine line? Because you don’t want to make it awkward for people, like it’s like a transformational session. I think you kind of do, but you also don’t want to make people … because they’re kind of, they’re still with coworkers, right?
Jonas Cain: Absolutely.
David Elmasian: Maybe you don’t want … You don’t want to share too much, I guess is what I’m getting at. So how do you kind of bridge that? Or do you?
Jonas Cain: Yeah, you bring up another very good point. You have a lot of good points.
David Elmasian: Well, you know, I do my homework occasionally.
Jonas Cain: Well, it was something that I had a lot of missteps at first, because at first, I didn’t want to do magic at all. Once I realized what I was really passionate about, I dropped the magic, I was all about the message, I was all about the transformation, but the problem that I ran into, I ended up creating this class, I wrote a book as a textbook for this class, and I had like three people show up to this workshop. No one cared. I had this amazing thing to share, but no one was listening.
So I went back to the drawing board and I said, “Well, maybe if I incorporate some magic, if I make it more fun, if I include this engagement piece,” and that’s where I started to create this, I have this five-step process called The Five E’s of Positive Influence, and I stumbled upon this. It’s not like created it, but I just sort of stumbled upon it, and it starts with engagement. I want to help people to excel and enjoy in life, but to do that, I have to encourage them. That’s really where I’m at. I’m like a cheerleader. But I can’t do that unless they’re engaged first. So that’s when I started putting the magic back into my presentations.
David Elmasian: Sure. Well, let me share a little something for the people that are listening. Jonas and I first met just recently at a networking event, and for those of you that have attended business networking events, they tend to be … they fall into, I usually see one of two categories. The awkward, “Hey, we’re here to generate business, here’s my card,” and you shove it in somebody’s face and you can tell they’re not interested. Or you have one that some, pardon the pun, magic happens where you see connections being made. So Jonas walked in shortly after I did, and my observation was people quickly just were drawn to you, some more so than others, and we won’t go into that, but really just drawn to you, and even before you really had a lot to say.
So I think that’s a big testament to your personality and living what you’re saying, and it’s not just what you’re saying, you actually live this way and you put out this vibe of positivity and I just find … I stepped back and I observed, people were smiling in the room. People never smile at networking events unless they feel like, “Hey, I’ve got to give my perfect pitch,” and it has on notes there, “Smile.” You know? So that was really unique, and I can imagine at your events, I’m sure that happens quite a bit as well, too, because it is infectious, in a good way.
Jonas Cain: I really appreciate you sharing that, because that’s really, that’s the type of magic that I’m talking about. It’s not I’m trying to pull the wool over someone’s eyes and fool someone. I’m trying to share something that … I’m trying to share in words this unspeakable thing, and you just put it into words. So that’s wonderful. Yeah, it’s very much an allowing thing, it’s this positive presence that again, we all have a reason to suffer, but if we can take it as our responsibility to be that positive force, regardless of what’s going on, to light up the whole room? Oh my goodness.
David Elmasian: And I think the other thing that stood out about your demeanor and what you said and how you said it was in today’s world, there’s so much negativity, and it’s not that there’s more negativity than there used to be, it’s that the availability of all that negativity is so reachable in so many different ways, through computers, smartphones, the internet, whatever term you want to use. You hear all this stuff, and it gets people down. And most people that I talk to, you mention like the evening news, if people still watch the evening news, and they’re like, “I don’t want to watch that. I just get depressed,” myself included. So I think your message is a really, really relevant one in today’s society and you’re fighting the good fight, as far as I’m concerned, so keep it up, all right?
Jonas Cain: Thank you. Thank you.
David Elmasian: So you’re a big word guy, as well, too. In doing my research on you … I found a lot of stuff about, we talked about facilitator of fascination, there’s a whole bunch. I’m sure you could add more. But one of them that stood out as well, too, was an acronym that you came up with or that you … actually in the book that you shared with me, which again, very generous of you, POSITIVE, and it stands for something. I’m going to put you on the spot if you can remember it all. It’s a big word.
Jonas Cain: Yes, please do, and the reason … I’m glad you brought this up, because the reason that I wrote this book is one, again, trying to find different ways to be a positive force in this world. You also touched on it about the social media and the phones and the TV. People consume things in so many different ways. There’s the one-on-one, which has been traditionally the way I have done it with magic shows all my life, but people also consume by listening to a podcast. People do it by reading a book. People do it by reading a Kindle book or all the different, watching videos.
So I wrote this book as a way to appeal to people who maybe aren’t technologically savvy, but also do communicate these positive principles in a memorable and meaningful way. And memorable, making an acronym, and these steps that I’ve identified for thinking, being, and staying positive, they’re not just arbitrary steps. They actually mean something and within each step, it contains so much more. So once you dive into the book, you realize, “Oh, it’s not just this,” because a lot of people think it’s all about putting on rose-colored glasses, thinking everything’s fine and dandy, even when it’s not.
David Elmasian: Right.
Jonas Cain: And I think one of the first stories I tell in that book is about a time when I did put on rose-colored glasses and I ended up in the hospital.
David Elmasian: Yeah, that wasn’t good. Yeah, and again, that’s totally relatable to a lot of people, and I think it also hits upon a thing that a lot of people have a belief in, in that what you’re preaching … I’m using preaching in a positive sense, like you said, it’s just that you’re just an overly optimistic for no good reason, and that’s totally not the case. There’s more to it than that.
Before we get too far into it, share with everybody listening, what is the name of the book and how can they get it?
Jonas Cain: Okay, so the book is called Are You P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E.? Rethinking Positive
Thinking, and it’s available on my website, positivitymagic.com. It’s also available on amazon.com, both in paperback and for Kindle.
David Elmasian: Right. Oh, so it’s just that little place Amazon, too, huh?
Jonas Cain: Yeah.
David Elmasian: Okay.
Jonas Cain: You’ve heard of it?
David Elmasian: Yeah, once or twice. So I’m going to put you on the spot. What does P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E. stand for? Come on now, Jonas. I have my cheat sheet right here. I’m hoping you forget one so I can bring it up myself.
Jonas Cain: All right, so the first step in thinking, being, and staying positive is to plan, play, and pursue, which is basically plan as if you’re going to live forever, play like you’re going to die tomorrow, and pursue each day for the amazing gifts that they hold. There’s a lot we can talk about that, but let’s go to step number two, open your heart, open your mind, open your world up to a world of possibilities. So often in life, we get so stuck in just seeing things just for how we want them to be or how we think that they should be and we forget that there’s other perspectives out there. So that’s an important one.
S, oh, stimulate your passions.
David Elmasian: There you go.
Jonas Cain: Now, I define passions as you taking your natural talents and your natural interests, so these are the things that you do better than most people with little to no practice, and the things that you think about even when you should be thinking about something else. I think we’ve all had those experiences.
David Elmasian: For example, give me an example of that, then, if one comes to mind.
Jonas Cain: So for me, just in my own life, music just always came naturally to me. I picked up the saxophone early on. It’s a family thing, a lot of people in my family play musical instruments, so it was very easy for me to learn to play the saxophone. Then as far as interests, I become very interested in playing music, so even when I was in school, I’d be in other classrooms thinking about band. So that’s sort of a basic example of that.
David Elmasian: Okay. All right. So what’s the I?
Jonas Cain: So I is identify your responsibilities. Now, there’s two Is in positive, but the first one is identify your responsibilities, and there’s two things about this. One is a lot of negative experiences happen when we skirt responsibility, when we try to pass the responsibility on to others. Now, one of the problems with that is it puts them in full control of your life, of your attitude, of your emotions, of your experiences, whereas by identifying our responsibilities and taking control of the things that we can control … Now, there’s another couple things about this. There are many things we can control, and there’s many things that we can’t control. Sometimes, negativity creeps into our life when we try and control the things that we can’t control. We can’t control the thoughts, the emotions, the words and actions of others. We can’t control the weather. We can’t control our DNA … Well, scientists are trying to. But we’re going to be … We could fight gravity if we wanted to, but we’re going to get hurt every time.
David Elmasian: Right. Yeah.
Jonas Cain: So that’s the idea behind that one.
David Elmasian: Okay. All right, so the T?
Jonas Cain: T, take consistent action.
David Elmasian: You’re doing really good on this. You really kind of know this stuff.
Jonas Cain: I’ve thought about this. Again, this was one of the reasons why I made this an acronym. That way, you can … these little memory hooks.
David Elmasian: Sure, absolutely.
Jonas Cain: So T, take consistent action. Some of the saddest things in life is when we start something but we never finish it, and we don’t finish it … Maybe we in our minds were fully committed to it, but our actions speak otherwise. So the idea of taking consistent … I have a lot of friends. I won’t name names, but I have a lot of friends, we’ll call them acquaintances. I don’t want anybody to think that I’m talking about them. I’ve heard of people-
David Elmasian: Joe, if you’re listening, it’s not about you. No, I’m joking.
Jonas Cain: But they talk about all these grand plans, these ideas that they have, these dreams, and then years later, they’re still talking about them and they haven’t done anything.
David Elmasian: Yeah, I think we’ve all experienced that. I see that a lot in business, too, and myself included. You say, “Hey, I have the great idea for,” you know, fill in the blank, “This thing … This,” and then nothing ever happens with it and a day turns into a week, a week turns into a month, a month a year, a year a decade, and it’s sad, you’re right.
Jonas Cain: That does bring up a good point, though. There’s only so many hours in the day. We could have all these plans in the world, but we don’t have time to do them all. So that’s where identify your responsibilities, what ties into what I’m most responsible for now, and sometimes that means putting some things aside so you can take on other things.
David Elmasian: Sure. Okay, so let’s move on. I, the second I.
Jonas Cain: I, oh, this is one of my favorites.
David Elmasian: All right.
Jonas Cain: Invest in worthy guides.
David Elmasian: Ah, all right. Okay.
Jonas Cain: This is one that I had a personal experience with. I was at a lake in Wisconsin a number of years ago, and I went to go for a swim in the lake.
David Elmasian: Now, was any alcohol involved in this?
Jonas Cain: There was no alcohol involved.
David Elmasian: All right. Because usually when you say a lake in Wisconsin, usually alcohol’s involved, but that’s okay.
Jonas Cain: No.
David Elmasian: I’m joking.
Jonas Cain: Good question. No, but so when I jumped in-
David Elmasian: Now, you’re sure you want to share this, now? No, I’m joking. I’m joking. Go ahead.
Jonas Cain: Oh, I have plenty of those stories, too.
David Elmasian: That’s for the other podcast.
Jonas Cain: Yes, that’s for the Are You Negative book.
David Elmasian: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly.
Jonas Cain: But I decided to swim out to this flocking dock, like this floating platform that was in the middle of the lake. So I started swimming out to it, but then I immediately turned around, and I turned around to sit on the shore instead of even swimming, like I stopped even swimming, because it occurred to me that I was alone, and if there should be some medical emergency …
David Elmasian: So basically you got scared.
Jonas Cain: Well, here’s the thing. This was the fascinating thing, again going back to fascination. This was the curious thing. It wasn’t out of a fear of death. It was a thought of death, but it wasn’t out of a fear of dying. This place that I was at, a place called Canoe Bay in Chetek, Wisconsin, is a beautiful place and a dead body can be bad for business.
David Elmasian: Yeah, I’d imagine.
Jonas Cain: So I didn’t want to inconvenience them-
David Elmasian: Wow.
Jonas Cain: … and all at once, all of these thoughts came to mind, like one, my younger self wouldn’t have had those sort of outer body thoughts to consider other people, but my younger self … So my younger self would’ve gone to that dock. But my younger self wouldn’t have wanted to go swimming.
David Elmasian: Right. Okay, all right. There you go.
Jonas Cain: So then, this other thought came to mind. This is the real epiphany. As I was sitting on the shore, I said to myself, “What else am I sitting on the shore of because I don’t have someone there with me?”
David Elmasian: Wow, that’s deep. That’s very deep, yeah. That’s a good one.
Jonas Cain: So this idea of guides and mentors and having people with you really came home for me that day.
David Elmasian: Right. Okay. So let’s move on. We’ve got two left, V and E.
Jonas Cain: Okay, V and E. So V, this is an important one, which is volunteer your gifts. It’s a simple idea. It sort of goes back to having a mentor. You could volunteer your gifts by being a mentor to someone. You can volunteer your gifts by donating money to charity, donating your time to an event. It could be … There are so many different ways to volunteer your gifts, not just within your core passions but with all of our periphery skills that we have, that we can find ways and meaningful ways to share our gifts so that others can be benefit from it, because the more everyone benefits, the more we all do.
David Elmasian: Yeah. Pay it forward, there’s other terms for it, but yeah.
Jonas Cain: And science has shown … I mean, there’s not a bone in my body that’s …
David Elmasian: Scientific?
Jonas Cain: … that’s scientific, but the research that I’ve read, there’s scientific evidence that shows that when we help others, we get these happy, feel-good feelings, as well, so it’s a positive experience for the person being served, for the person serving, but also for anyone who happens to be observing. We’re not doing this to say, “Oh, look at me, I’m a good person,” but inevitably, people are watching, and when people see other people doing good deeds, like maybe someone sees someone else holding the door open for someone, maybe down the street, they’re going to do the same thing. Something as simple as that.
David Elmasian: Yeah, no, I totally get that, and I think it is kind of infectious in the right setting for the right people, and it definitely is a very positive thing, not to use your acronym, I promise.
So last one, the last E.
Jonas Cain: Okay, this is an important one, expect surprises along the way, because we could have the best made plans, we could have all the best intentions of what we’re trying to do, but nothing is ever what we think it’s going to be. Just to give you a very simple example of this, I’ve never been here before, in this studio. Never been here. So in my mind, I had this idea of a recording studio, I had this idea of how this session would go, but when I got here … because I’ve never been here, it painted this whole new picture, like, “Oh, okay, this is what it’s going to be.” That’s a very simple example, but this happens in business, it happens in relationships, it happens so many different things. So expecting to be surprised along the way and having to be fluid, to change as things change, so that you don’t have to give up. Just because this place looked different than it was in my mind, that doesn’t mean, “Oh, I have to leave.” It means I just … go with the flow.
David Elmasian: Right, okay. So I’m going to read another quote of yours, okay?
Jonas Cain: Oh boy.
David Elmasian: So you once said in an interview years ago, “Choosing to live with positivity isn’t just about not letting past failures keep us from trying to do better today. It’s also about not letting past successes keeping us from aiming even higher today. Positivity is about ignoring the failures and successes of yesterday in order to allow each new day the opportunity to reveal its own awesome surprises.” So-
Jonas Cain: That’s amazing.
David Elmasian: Yeah, whoever came up with that was great, huh?
Jonas Cain: Yeah.
David Elmasian: But so I picked that one because you have a lot of quotes out there, and a lot of really good ones, seriously. I picked that for my own reasons, but I really want to hear, as you as the author of that quote, how you saw that and what meaning that has to you.
Jonas Cain: So I have several things that I could talk about, but there’s this one that really comes to mind as to what was in my head space when I would say such a thing, and it goes back to a number of years ago when I was just starting out in magic, doing it full-time as a career. I had what could be best called like a version of a magic mentor, it wasn’t like a formal mentor, but it was someone who would share his expertise and guide me, and one day we went to this show in New York City. I think I was probably late teens, early 20s. We went to a show in New York called Monday Night Magic, it’s a different magic show every Monday night. They have several different performers, and there was this one performer there that night who I’d never heard of, never seen him before, but he rocked my world. His name was Levent. I thought he was French, I thought it was Lavant. He was American, it was Levent. But he was … He was a master technician, flawless sleight of hand, a master performer, a master comedian. I was sore from laughing so hard, like my gut hurt and my face hurt.
So after the show, this mentor of mine, he pulled me aside afterwards, because he was seeing how much I had just been totally entertained and taken in by this performer, but also knowing my own dreams of being a great performing, but knowing I’m not quite there yet. He said, “Jonas,” I’m going to paraphrase, but it was something to this effect. He said, “Jonas, don’t let the great be the enemy of the good,” which means just because someone somewhere is better than you at something, that doesn’t mean that it’s any less of a worthy endeavor for you to try.
Now, this was great for getting us started because we could easily see people who are great at what they do and use it as an excuse to not even try. So this was paramount, this was very important. However, it does have a dark side, because I had embraced this. I embraced this fully. For years, I embraced this. I was so happy being good, I didn’t even try to be better, let alone great. I was just like, “Well, I know I’m good,” and I was good for years. Eventually, I had all these little clues from my friends. There was this one particular business partner I had and one day, we were preparing for a show and he said, “You know, Jonas, you’ve got to go big or go home,” and you know what I said to him?
David Elmasian: Uh-uh
Jonas Cain: I said, “I’m going to go home.”
David Elmasian: All right, well. At least you were being honest, right?
Jonas Cain: Yeah, but then I realized, “Wow, I think maybe he’s trying to tell me something.”
David Elmasian: Right. Yeah, well, like I said, I think there’s a lot of lessons in that story. I think part of it, how I interpret that, too, is we tend to reach a level of success, whatever that level is, and either because of fear or whatever, we don’t want to rock the boat too much. We don’t want to go back, but maybe we also don’t want to go forward, and if you don’t go forward, you kind of are going back, right?
Jonas Cain: Absolutely.
David Elmasian: Or it makes you say, “Hey, maybe it’s time for a change,” and I think that’s a lesson all of us painful more than others at times, that we all have to go through, sometimes more than one time.
So you also wrote another book, I think it was your first book. It was called It Just Happened the Other Day: A True Story?
Jonas Cain: Yes.
David Elmasian: So kind of switching gears a little bit, tell me a little bit about that, if you don’t mind sharing why you wrote that book and what the thought behind it was, and what the premise of it was.
Jonas Cain: So this is a book that had a very different ending than it was supposed to have, than I had originally intended. It was a book that my friend Stephanie and I were going to write together. You know how you have these longtime friends, you all have these silly stories and one day, we said, “Okay, well, why don’t we put all of these silly stories into a book?” And we decided to call it It Just Happened the Other Day: A True Story, because anytime Stephanie told a story, she would say, “Oh, it just happened the other day.” Even if it had happened months or years earlier, she’d say, “Oh, it just happened the other day.” And whenever I tell a joke, because I think I’m hilarious, other people might disagree, I think I’m hilarious, but when I tell a joke, I’m like, “Oh, it’s a true story, it’s a true story.” So that’s where the title came from. Unfortunately, it was, oh, it was less than a month after we had decided to write this book, she randomly passed away very suddenly, unexpectedly. It’s not like she was sick, it was just one of those random flukes that can totally rock someone’s world.
David Elmasian: Sure. So you felt … I don’t want to use compelled, because that maybe is not the right term, but you wanted to share that as somewhat of a lesson learned, that life is short and hey, sometimes you’ve just got to do what you’ve got to do.
Jonas Cain: Yeah, and there were many things that came out of writing that book. It was very therapeutic, because when you get thrown into the throes of grief, it can be … it can really destroy you, which is one of the reasons why I’m so driven and passionate about what I do today, because I didn’t have me back then. Everything that I do today, I’m trying to help out that younger version of me because there’s other people out there going through … whether it’s something as severe as losing a loved one or losing a job, even stubbing a toe, some people, that’s the end of their world, so I’m really driven from that experience. So writing that book was therapeutic to me, to also offer hope to others who were experiencing their own struggles, whatever they happen to be.
David Elmasian: Right. Yeah, well, that makes a lot of sense. I don’t know why, but I’ve known a lot of people with psychology degrees. That could maybe say something about me, okay?
Jonas Cain: Do you have a psychology degree?
David Elmasian: I don’t. Maybe I should, you know? But what I’ve discovered is they did it for a reason, and it started with themselves, that they wanted to learn more about why they did what they did and how and how they reacted and how do they grow. So I think in your case, like you said, it makes a lot of sense that you’re really improving your own life by helping others and vice-versa, but it really is that process that you go through and the different stages that you progress and you make positive movement on them.
So that also brings up another thing that I discovered, which doesn’t surprise me at all, but I love the term that you used, and I honestly don’t remember where I saw a reference to this from you, but it was to you. You said you work with a lot of emerging adults, okay? And so explain to everybody listening what an emerging adult is and a little bit about what you do in those areas.
Jonas Cain: Emerging adults, I … Oh yes, I’m very excited about working with this group. Emerging adults, they’re not exactly kids anymore, but they’re not exactly adults anymore. I kind of define them loosely between 16 and 20-year-olds, somewhere within that range.
David Elmasian: I don’t know, I’ve got a 23-year-old and I think he still fits into that emerging adult category.
Jonas Cain: I’ve met some 50-year-olds who would argue the same thing about themselves.
David Elmasian: Okay, yeah. All right, but I digress. Go ahead.
Jonas Cain: Yeah, so I think for me, why I got so drawn to this group is I’ve been exposed to working with this age group from a very young age. It was when I was a junior in high school, I was sent to a camp called Boys State. It’s run by the American Legion. The whole idea is to learn about state and local government, but there’s lots of other things. There’s a band, there’s sports, there’s classes in all sorts of different things. It’s held on a college campus, so for me, it was the first taste of college life. It’s this week-long thing. It was such a transformative experience for me, so every year since … I mean, I was a student in the program in the year 2000, I’ve been a counselor every year since.
David Elmasian: Wow.
Jonas Cain: I’ve been going back every single year, working in different capacities. So every year, I get to work with a new set of 16, 17-year-olds who are just on that cusp of going into adulthood. So I found that in my own work, in my own professional work as a magician facilitator of fascination, purveyor of positivity-
David Elmasian: Here we go. Here we go. No, I’m joking. I love these. These are great.
Jonas Cain: But so I take this work, I take these programs, the content from my books and my workshops, and I work with my students on these. I actually have a formal class that I teach there, but I also, when I’m in charge of like 20, 30 kids, so I’m working with them throughout the whole week, listening to them, hearing their stories, being that example and planting these little seeds of something at the beginning of the week that blossoms at the end of the week. So I get very excited working for this age group, because they’re at this time when they’re questioning things, they’re trying to figure out what are they going to do with their life moving forward and they think they have to have it all figured out. Again, I know 50-year-olds who still don’t know what they want to do. They have three master’s degrees and they come up to me after a presentation and they say, “Thank you.”
David Elmasian: Sure. Yeah. Yeah, and I think like you said, it’s nice to see … One of the things that I enjoyed the most in my professional career, and I still enjoy it, is mentoring and teaching others, and I actually had a position once where I was a technical trainer. That sounds very dry and boring, but the part that appealed the most to me is just I think a little bit what you were describing, I’m standing in front of a group of people and I’m talking about a concept and the light bulbs go off, you know? That’s just so cool, and that’s so gratifying because you feel like, “Hey, I have a little bit of an impact on this person’s life,” and seeing that discovery, it just makes it all so worthwhile. So I can imagine that’s … You probably experience that dozens and dozens of times a day in groups like that.
Jonas Cain: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, that alone is a huge driving force, to know that what we’re doing is being of immediate value to people.
David Elmasian: Right. Right, and I think even though that age group can be seen as … I don’t know, there’s a lot of negatives associated with like teenagers and all that, they’re also very open and honest and if they see or hear something that resonates with them, you can see that impact on them and I think that’s kind of cool, because as adults, we learn to put up guards and nothing affects me and the whole bit, and I think that also could be part of what makes you enjoy it so much as well, too. Am I right or am I wrong, yeah?
Jonas Cain: Yeah, a lot of times they just want to feel heard, and a lot of times they don’t feel heard, and giving them that space … A lot of times, it takes just sharing one little story, it doesn’t even matter what it is, but it’s something that resonates with them and it gives them that chance to open up about whatever it is that they’re going through and that can help them with moving forward. It’s so valuable.
David Elmasian: Sure. So you do a lot of stuff. One of the things, again, that I noticed about you, which kind of ties in, but a lot of people I don’t think are familiar with, or maybe they are, DISC behavior. You’re kind of a, I don’t want to use the word consultant, but tell people that aren’t familiar with DISC and what it’s all about and how it applies with what you do.
Jonas Cain: Yes, I’m very excited about this because this is the newest tool that I’ve started using, and I discovered this not that long ago. It was something that I’d been … I didn’t know the term for it, but 20 years as a performer working intimately with people, I knew inherently that there were different types of behaviors and personality types. I knew that there were some people that Oh, they just don’t want to see magic, or this person needs to be the one who’s the center of attention, this person needs to examine the props. So I had observed this empirically for years, and as I was diving into being able to communicate these positivity principles more effectively, I decided, okay, I need to really unpack this so that I can translate this content the right way for this person and for that personality type and that personality type. And that’s where I discovered DISC behaviors.
It breaks down into four basic categories. D is for dominant. This is where someone who is very outgoing, they need to get things done, and they say, I think it’s about 3% of the population is this dominating force. The I is, you are an influencer, you have a lot of influence. This is someone who’s very outgoing, someone who’s very bubbly, someone like a game show host, imagine as like an extreme example.
David Elmasian: Wink Martindale, right. Yeah. All right, go ahead.
Jonas Cain: And that’s I think right something around like 17% of the population is there. I might have these numbers slightly …
David Elmasian: That’s okay.
Jonas Cain: And then the S is for submissive, not in a negative way, but it’s more …
David Elmasian: Open?
Jonas Cain: What they’re looking for is … you know another word is stability.
David Elmasian: Oh, okay.
Jonas Cain: Stability.
David Elmasian: All right.
Jonas Cain: So this is the majority of the population, I think it’s something like 60-something percent is, they’re looking for stability and they’re very people oriented. And then the C is for correct. They’re looking for things, they want to know the facts and figures, they want all the charts, they want all the scientific research.
David Elmasian: Analytical type thinker.
Jonas Cain: Yeah. So what I have found, when I first started doing this whole motivational inspirational presentations where I had taken the magic out, I was doing the more inspiration and storytelling to let them come to their own conclusions, that was great for the S’s. The S’s loved that, because they live in their heads a lot. They can be inspired but this. But the C’s, they want to see the research behind this, and the I’s want to be more involved, and the D’s, well, they don’t care.
David Elmasian: Right. So it allowed you to tailor some of your messaging in a way that people would be more open and receptive and hopefully learn more from it. Is that really what-
Jonas Cain: Yeah, yeah. So there’s three basic ways … well, really four, if you count my books and my online courses, but there’s three basic ways that I work with people. Either one-on-one, in like a one-on-one coaching consulting. I also work in workshops of small groups, 10, 20, 30, 50 people. And I also do keynote speaking, so that’s large groups. The biggest group I had was 3,000 people, which was crazy.
David Elmasian: Wow.
Jonas Cain: And then there’s everywhere in between. So being able to study and really come to understand these four basic behaviors that I’ve been looking at, that I’ve been understanding more on like an emotional level, but now understanding it on an intellectual level, as well, it’s going to help me and my clients to be able to work with each other better, because then I understand myself more and they understand themselves, so I can cater the material in a way that they can understand. But then in group settings, I make sure that different segments of the presentation caters to each personality type.
David Elmasian: Yup. And so when I read about this, when I first met you and started doing my research on you, one of the first questions I had was, “Well, how does this apply to business?” Right? Because that’s kind of the slant of our podcast. But then the more that I read and the more that I’ve talked to you, this totally applies to business, because all the things that you mention, almost verbatim, are things that we see, I see commonly in coaches, in business coaches, and fill-in-the-blank type of coach, whatever that may be. And so the things that you point out and that you deliver and that you talk about, either like you said in groups or through your books or whatever, are all totally applicable in how to perform the best in terms of how it can improve your business or your position within a business, if you work for another company, how you interact with others, what values you have, what outlook you have. Because we’ve all been there, right? Your outlook plays such a huge difference in how your day, your week, your month, your year goes, doesn’t it? I mean …
Jonas Cain: It absolutely does, and if we have this … the very basic, the very, very core, if I were to describe this in a very simple sense, in any situation, we can choose to be frustrated or fascinated, and I think we all have examples in our day-to-day work life where we’re working with coworkers or maybe we’re working with family or friends or just out on the streets, of all the people who are frustrated the negativity that can breed.
David Elmasian: Social media, perfect example of that. I mean how-
Jonas Cain: That is a perfect example.
David Elmasian: How is that not a perfect example? Exactly, how you see the same thing and how people react to that and how that can influence you in a positive or negative way, as well. So I think yeah, it’s totally relatable and it’s totally, again, fill in the blank.
But so you and I could talk about this for hours. However-
Jonas Cain: I could talk about this for years.
David Elmasian: I know you could, and I actually would like to listen. But we do have a time frame that we have to kind of cover, because although it’s fascinating, but people only have a certain amount of time that they have. So let’s wrap things up with a little, even though I’m in a tech-related business, I’m not a techie guy, but I have to bring a little technology into this. So I’m going to ask you some questions.
Jonas Cain: All right, on the hot seat?
David Elmasian: Well, don’t sweat it. This is easy stuff. There’s no wrong answers in this case. I’m being truthful.
Jonas Cain: Okay.
David Elmasian: So we call it Check Your Tech, all right?
Jonas Cain: Okay.
David Elmasian: So it’s either/or, and sometimes it can be all of the above. So are you a Mac or PC person?
Jonas Cain: I am a Mac person.
David Elmasian: All right. Okay. How about iPhone or Android? I know where this is going, but that’s okay.
Jonas Cain: I’m an iPhone guy.
David Elmasian: All right. Now, this one might be a little tricky. Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or LinkedIn? See, I told you it would be tricky.
Jonas Cain: Yeah, that one’s a little tricky, yeah. I use them all, but I think the one-
David Elmasian: Which one do you check first?
Jonas Cain: Facebook.
David Elmasian: All right, there you go. See? All right, now, this might be a little too old for you, but I’m going to ask it anyway. Alexa or Google Home?
Jonas Cain: You know, I don’t use either.
David Elmasian: See? All right, it is definitely an age thing with that. That’s why I bring it up. Netflix or Hulu or some other streaming service?
Jonas Cain: Netflix.
David Elmasian: Okay. Again, we’re getting a little techie here. Roku, Apple TV, or Chromecast?
Jonas Cain: I don’t use either, any of them.
David Elmasian: All right, no Apple TV?
Jonas Cain: No, I don’t even own a TV.
David Elmasian: Wow. Jeez. Tim Cook is looking for you. You’ve got the iPhone and all the other stuff.
Jonas Cain: That’s why I have Netflix-
David Elmasian: There you go.
Jonas Cain: … because I can just watch it on the computer.
David Elmasian: All right. Okay. Gmail or Outlook?
Jonas Cain: Gmail.
David Elmasian: All right. And then, your all-time favorite magic trick?
Jonas Cain: Oh, that is a good one. That is a good question. I can tell you about an experience that I had with a magic trick.
David Elmasian: That’s fine. Yeah.
Jonas Cain: It’s a magic trick that many magicians perform, but that day, it wasn’t a trick, it was a miracle.
David Elmasian: Okay.
Jonas Cain: I met a man on the street-
David Elmasian: That’s not setting the expectations very high, you know? Really. You’ve really got to bump it up a little bit, but go ahead. I’m sorry.
Jonas Cain: I met a man on a street. He was looking for money, as many street folks are wont to do, so I wanted to help him so I gave him all the money that I had in my wallet, which wasn’t much. He was telling me this story about wanting to get his wife home to Hartford. This was in Springfield, Mass, and he was out of gas. I was like, “Well, you know, this’ll get you some gas,” and I said, “In fact …” And then, when he saw that I had no money left in my wallet, he had compassion for me. He was like, “Are you going to be okay?” I was like, “Oh yeah, I’m fine. In fact, I wish I could do more,” and then I said, “In fact, I can do more,” because I had a moment of inspiration. I said, “I’m a magician. I can do a miracle.” So I asked for one of the dollars back, and I folded up the dollar bill, and then when I opened it up … it wasn’t a dollar bill anymore. Can you guess what it was?
David Elmasian: A hundred dollar bill?
Jonas Cain: It was a hundred dollar bill.
David Elmasian: Here, I’ve got like five ones on me right now, if you want to show me the trick.
Jonas Cain: Well, I’m sorry, I think we’re all out of time, right?
David Elmasian: That is a good one.
Jonas Cain: But again, every magician has the capability to do this trick. But for this man, it wasn’t a trick. For this man, it was a miracle. He found this man on the street, he needed money, here’s this man turning dollar bills into hundred dollar bills. Making a steak appear is a neat trick, but when you’re starving, that’s a miracle.
David Elmasian: Of course. Yeah, no, totally. That’s a good one.
Jonas Cain: So that’s my favorite magic trick, because of that story.
David Elmasian: Yeah, I agree with you. That is a good one, and like I said, not just magic, but miracle. That’s really bumping it up a notch.
So, well, Jonas, what a story. I feel we could talk more for hours. Unfortunately, we’re out of time. But before we finish up, tell everybody listening how they can book an event for you how do they reach you, become a customer, whatever you feel is appropriate. How can they do that?
Jonas Cain: A perfect place to go is positivitymagic.com. That’s all one word, positivitymagic.com. You can check out all the different types of programs and services I have, check out reviews from my past and current clients, check out videos of my presentations, and you can go onto the contact page there and book a session with me right from there.
David Elmasian: Well great. It was a pleasure having you on, and-
Jonas Cain: It was great to be here.
David Elmasian: Oh good.
Jonas Cain: Thank you so much. This has been great.
David Elmasian: Well good, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Well, thank you. I’m Dave Elmasian, the host of Hub of Success. That’s all we have for today.