Celebrity brain coach Jim Kwik is world famous for his incredible techniques which help his army of fans to improve their reading speeds and learn faster. As a freelancer and entrepreneur, I’ve been listening to his Kwik Learning Podcasts, following along with his Facebook group and reading his book recommendations check here for my review of Simon Sinek’s Start With Why. When I revealed on my Instagram page how much Jim had been helping me from afar with his techniques, I was super surprised when I received a DM from him telling me that he was visiting the UK on Thursday that week and looking to organise a London meet-up.
With JUST 48 hours to arrange a meet-up, I used my Time Out London Tastemaker network where my friend Michael Ratcliffe (check out his blog here) hooked me up with the fantastic team at Funzing WHO FOUND us a venue at the incredible Beach Blanket Babylon in Shoreditch! So I have to say, it was high praise indeed when Jim said; “Wow, you’re quick and connected.” Sooooo here we are, there is the background and that’s why I ended up hosting Jim Kwik’s London meet-up and on stage interviewing him last week. Here’s a snippet from the interview:
NakedPRGirl: How did you take it from learning brain training techniques to being a proper career?
Jim Kwik: I learned how to fix myself when I was 18 years old and I couldn’t help but want to help other people. I started tutoring people but I didn’t know how to get more students. When I was at university, I saw a classroom that wasn’t being used and I thought I would start a club. I thought next Thursday, I’ll just put five or ten people in a room and just teach them. I thought if I could find one or two people, I would be set and make some money.
I go back to my room and here’s my first piece of marketing ever so I took out this piece of paper and I wrote: ‘Free speed reading memory tips, get better grades in less time classroom 7 o clock next Thursday.’
The next day I make some photocopies and I just hope five people turn up. Fast forward to Thursday, I turn the corner and there’s a crowd of people outside the classroom. I kid you not, this is how slow I am, I think ‘wow whatever is happening in there ends soon so I can get in’. I can’t get in and this really tall guy is like; “there’s a speed reading class.” And I’m like, ‘wow what a coincidence, the same day and same time, there’s another speed reading class’. So I push my way in and this room is packed, but low and behold no one is teaching. This is how slow I am because seeing is believing right? It’s not like you’ll believe it when you see it, it’s like, you’ll see it and you’ll believe it, and I didn’t believe it.
Why are these people here? They’re here for me. I do a headcount and instead of five or ten people, there’s 120 people.
I have a phobia of public speaking because I am the boy with the broken brain. I would do a school book report but when the teacher would ask me to talk about it I would lie and say I hadn’t done it and throw it out after two months work. That’s how terrified I was of public speaking. I associated the fear of public speaking so I was freaking out in that class. So I would love to say I stepped up but I didn’t.
I have a phobia of public speaking because I am the boy with the broken brain.
I started doing a walking meditating back to my dorm room and I hear my mum’s voice talking to me and in essence she said: “It’s a 100 people. You promised you were going to help them. You’re disappointing people, you’re disappointing me.” I never want to disappoint my parents. I’m back at my dorm and I stop and I put one step back to the classroom.
Isn’t it interesting that one step in another direction can completely change your destination or your destiny?
I went back to the classroom and I said “I will be in the student centre tomorrow if you’re interested at 12 o clock. I swear to you guys, 100 people got up and they left. Nobody engaged with me, nothing. I feel two things, totally confused, like what just happened, and totally spent, meaning exhausted. You know whenever you have a fear like sky diving and it builds up for your whole life and then you do it? I was emotionally and mentally spent. I was so tired I fell asleep right on the floor and I have the worst sleep issues ever but I had the deepest sleep ever.
I was woken up by the class the next morning so I freak out. I run back, I shower, have breakfast, get dressed and go to class, then 12 o clock comes and I realise I need to go to the student centre to answer questions. I hope one person shows up but I get there and that same group of people are there.
In an hour 71 of the 100 people signed up for a programme that didn’t even exist. At $300 per person, I’m not even 19 years old, and I’ve got $21,000 cash in my bag.
Now that’s a lot of money, and it’s a lot of money when you’ve not even seen $200 and you’re 18 years old. Back to one of my mentors used the Mark Twain quote, ‘Don’t let school get in the way of an education,’ and I used the money to feed my body as I was underweight, but I used the money to re-invest in a real education, I would buy every book, cassette, I travelled the world to learn my craft. Figuring out this riddle.
Quincy Jones once came to an event and I asked him: “Everyone always talks about their successes but I want to know about your problems?” Quincy says; “I didn’t have problems, I had puzzles.” He looked at every single one of his problems as a puzzle. Every puzzle has a solution, it’s fun, its a game.
My whole life since then I’ve been figure out this puzzle, this riddle, about how our brains work.
People tell us it’s a super computer, but why can’t you find your phone or your remote control or your keys? You go to the store for that one thing and you come back with two bags of stuff, apart from the one thing you went for. How can you reconcile the two? My theory is that we just weren’t taught how to use the super computer. It doesn’t come with instruction manuel.
That’s what I want to build with this Podcast, I want to give people really easy tips and usable tricks that are fun, that you can use to impress yourselves and impress other people. And mostly get a result and make your life easier. Because I don’t want you to suffer and struggle the way I did. Whether it’s a book or a Podcast, no and make that transformation.
Our job is really about transcending – ending the trance by media and marketing that we’re not good enough. We just weren’t shown how to use this incredible gift that’s inside of us.
So then it took off with these kids, and then I started in universities where these students started getting straight A’s and after that I went into companies after that.