Be More Podcast: Mentoring Thousands with Dave Crane

Dave Crane, virtual broadcaster, speaker, and mentor at Speak Onstage, talks about what mentorship means to him, his creative views on the topic, and how we can look at mentoring differently.

Be More is a weekly one-on-one podcast about how everyone can thrive in the new world of work, hosted by Workday’s Patrick Cournoyer. This week we’re joined by Dave Crane, virtual broadcaster, speaker, and mentor at Speak Onstage, to speak about what mentorship means to him, his creative views on the topic, and how we can look at mentoring differently. 

What is mentoring? How do you become an effective mentor? And what skills does it require? These are not easy questions. Mentoring requires in-depth topic knowledge as much as it requires great interpersonal skills—and that means there’s always room to learn. The best place to start? Specialists that have deep experience: mentors of thousands of people. One of them is Dave Crane.

Dave has had a dynamic career over the past twenty years, from being a BBC-trained journalist to working with the world’s most influential leaders throughout their development journeys. He is the author of multiple books, a hypnotherapist, a stress management expert, and a fantastic storyteller. His work today is focused on how to build your brand, and how any effective business requires effective mentoring.

"When I have any interaction with anyone, I have one rule, which is that I’ve got to leave them better off than they were when I first met them. That makes it easy to be a mentor."

Dave Crane

Learn more about improving your mentoring skills by reading the key takeaways of this episode or the transcript below.

Key Takeaways

  • Starting as a DJ—Becoming a World-Class Mentor.
    Dave begins the conversation by describing his background and the road toward becoming a mentor. He lived in Dubai for thirty years and worked in the media industry as a DJ in nightclubs, radio, and TV. He was also involved in hosting premium world events. At this specific stage of his life, Dave decided to become a stage hypnotist, where he developed the skill to motivate people through his speeches. He then switched to mentoring entrepreneurs and people who want to build their brand and business.

  • “Tell Me, What Do You Truly Desire?”
    Dave speaks about his experience being a mentor and views on mentorship. He believes that mentorship means using lessons, stories, coaching techniques, and questions to get a person to where they want to be. When Dave is mentoring people, his job involves throwing questions at them and interpreting what they want as a result.

    Dave also admits that mentoring involves constant change, and that we need to learn from the people around us to be in line with the changes. However, Dave believes there is a certain age where people should stop being the hero and become the mentor.

  • “I Never Had a Mentor. But Now I’ve Got One.”
    Dave reveals that he never had a mentor. He had to learn the hard way. He was never accepted and had to take the journey by himself. Dave looked at historical figures he admired and used them as role models instead. Now, Dave has a mentor who is a best-selling author.


​​Patrick: We have been talking a lot about mentorship in this season of Be More. I love the stories, the perspectives, and most importantly, the personal connection that these conversations have created. On a recent, early morning in Los Angeles and late afternoon in Dubai, I had the opportunity to speak with Dave Crane. We talked about mentorship, what it means to him and his creative views on what mentorship is and how we can look at mentoring in a different way.

Dave has had a dynamic career over the past 20 years from being a BBC-trained journalists, to working with the world’s most influential leaders through their individual personal development journey. He is the author of multiple books. He’s a hypnotherapist, a stress management expert and he’s just an all-around amazing storyteller. His work today is focused on how to build your personal brand. Let’s jump into the conversation with Dave.

Thank you so much for joining the conversation today. We are on opposite sides of the world and opposite sides of our day. I appreciate you joining the conversation.

Dave: Very kind, Patrick. It’s a pleasure to be here. I hope I don’t fall asleep, but hopefully, you won’t fall asleep, which is even more important, as I’m talking.

Patrick: It’s true. I’m in Los Angeles and Dave is in Dubai and is early morning for me and ending day for Dave. Thank you again for spending some time today.

Dave: Isn’t that great? Isn’t it fantastic? We’re in different parts of the world and we’re connected and having a conversation. We’d never have that if it was two years ago, it would just never have happened, so it’s interesting.

Patrick: Well, you’re absolutely right. It’s very much the way of the future in so many ways, because our lives and our home experiences, obviously, I’m at home right now recording this podcast, and the availability to speak to and interact with people around the world is much easier now than it was two years ago. I personally love it as well.

Dave: Definitely.

Patrick: Dave, we are talking about the idea of mentorship and today’s conversation is going to be a bit different. I love that because I want to hear about your personal thoughts, experiences, and a bit of your perspective on the future. First, let’s introduce the audience to you in a couple of minutes. Tell us a bit about who you are, your career journey, and specifically, what you’re passionate about, why you’re doing the work that you’re doing today

Dave: In a couple of minutes, wonderful.

Patrick: [unintelligible 00:03:17] stuff.

Dave: No pressure then. Well, I’ve been in Dubai for 30 years. I’m a Brit. My background is working in media, so TV and radio and the magazines as well, claims to fame the journey from basically being a DJ in nightclubs to radio, to TV and so on. Along the way, I’ve worked with James Brown, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Jack Canfield, pretty much everybody who came along my way. I mean, based in Dubai, it’s a hub, a huge event. I was blessed enough to be involved in everything from training the Olympics and seat seeing, so hosting the Dubai Rugby 7 for 20 years, which means going out in front of 50,000 people with a microphone for three days, and just basically making it up as you go along. That had an imprint of maybe, say, about 2 billion people where about 200 million people also watch every single year.

That’s three days of rugby. In that, I work in the corporate world as a combination of hosting huge events, premium, world premium events, training people, and also mentoring. Now, mentoring is something that’s relatively new to me in the fact that I made the decision about three or four years ago that I didn’t want to be the star anymore. Over the years, I just qualified myself in everything I wanted to do. Settling down with a family changes your perspective. You’re not that interested in spending late nights being out just to get some photos with some important people.

What you do realize is that the journey that you’ve been on means that you’ve got a lot to share with other people. With that, I found that there was a real gap in the fact that most people who want to get to a really high level of what they do have to basically trailblaze on their own. The stuff I’ve done, especially the stuff relating to media, put me in a very unique position in the fact that when I decided not to be a DJ anymore many years ago, when I left the radio, I decided I wanted to become a stage hypnotist.

When I decided to become a stage hypnotist, the way that you start doing a session is you talk to the audience about how your mind works and then get some volunteers and you can hypnotize them. That bit where you’re first talking to our audience, which is a pre-talk turned into motivational speaking, people would say to me, “Dave, you know that bit when you talk to the audience, can you actually just do that without the show?” I said, “Well, will you pay me the same money?” He said, “Yes.” I went, “100%.”

That’s– it’s motivational speaking. What I found was the things that I’d been through, the choices I’d made had given me a very unique perspective on how people could get to a really high level. Now, we’re in a world where you see the likes of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Even looking at right now, the battle of the spaceman, the billionaire spaceman, all trying to get there, put this stump into outer space to say, “Look at my brand, it’s better.” That’s all done to personality.

What you’ve got is this corporate world where everybody works really hard to be one day, but decision-maker over decision makers work really hard on not being corporate. What I found was there’s a gap between where people want to be when they decide to start their side hustle or leave their corporate job. I was well ahead in the branding and helping people to understand the mindset you need to get there. That’s why I do, I work with people who then look at their industry, whatever it is, it doesn’t matter what it is, and we position them as a Zuckerberg, as a Steve Jobs or Richard Branson. That’s what we work on. That’s where my mentoring is.

Patrick: How did you come to this passion to help entrepreneurs and people that are building their personal brand and their personal business? How did you find this passion to focus in this area? I know you said that you had a natural skill of doing motivational speaking and that sparked some interest, but just curious. Everybody has some an internal passion to do the work that they’re doing. Is there something beyond having the skill to be a motivational speaker and to motivate people that drives you to do this work? Dave

Dave: Great question. I think it’s a combination of things. There’s a thing called the hedgehog concept, which Jim Collins talked about in his amazing books, Good to Great and Built to Last. I had trunk concepts as three circles. It’s basically, they interlock in a Venn diagram and it talks about what makes a business last for a hundred years because it’s a natural thing. That’s what careers can be, a natural thing, so you don’t feel like you go into work, you’re doing what you actually do very well. Each circle has a different title. One is what’s potentially the best in the world that you could be.

This next one is what are you passionate about and the third one is your business model. What can you make profit from? What will people pay for? What do they want to pay for? In the center of that is your hedgehog, a really boring creature that nature has made it really impervious to all predators, but doesn’t make it very easy for it to cross the road. You have to work out what you do really well. For me, it’s very simple. What do I do really well, potentially best in the world that, well, not the best necessarily, but very good at holding an audience of any size, anywhere in any country? I’ve done it for many years, for 50 plus years.

What am I passionate about? Helping people, coaching people to get better. What will they pay for? Engaging audiences, learning to speak, learning to grow their relationship with a live audience and on social. Therefore, it was actually much easier for me to take that step and say, “Well, maybe I shouldn’t be the star. Maybe I should then find my hedgehog, which I can do for the rest of my life, which is growing other success stories, which means that I don’t have the focus on me. I can just travel along, making other people bigger and better, but their very own success stories means that people go looking for me because they say, “How did he get there?” and they say, “Well, I worked with Dave.”

It’s actually quite amazing, the amount of people, which are– I don’t mention my clients because I think it’s unfair, but how many people would be recognized on LinkedIn who actually are my clients because I’m working with them or I’ve worked with them to help reposition them to be more successful at growing their own personal brands.

Patrick: Thank you for sharing that with us, because this concept of being passionate about the work that you do. You said just now about the fact that when people go to work and they’re doing the work and their career is not work, it’s something that they’re passionate about doing, that’s very important. That’s something that we’ve been talking about for the past few weeks, which is around people identifying their passion areas, their focus areas, where they want to grow and develop. It’s a big challenge right now in business, but I also just think generally. People need to feel that they have a path, that they have something that they’re working towards. With that a sense of personal reward, recognition and a feeling of being able to move forward. We’ve been focused around mentorship. As you said your perspective and experience with mentorship is maybe a bit different than a classic corporate mentorship perspective. Tell us a bit about your experience with mentorship and how you view mentorship?

Dave: Well, I’ll just backtrack before I go to that if that’s okay. When you talk about people finding hard to make their way forward and wondering where that position is. That’s because if you’ve got an average job then if you’re really, really, really, really lucky, 60% of it you really enjoy, and the rest of it is doing stuff that you really hate, but you’re getting paid to take on all those different roles. When you use the hedgehog, when you actually work out what it is that you love and you’re good at, and what people will pay for, you don’t spend a second doing stuff you hate. You farm it out to other people, so you only do what you love.

That’s the key to being happy and successful, because you’ll never retire. Why would you retire? You love doing what you do. That was what I wanted to say, but I didn’t want to interrupt you because you’re doing so well, and your voice sounds amazing. I’m jealous. With that point about getting into what, say, mentorship is, I think in my case mentorship is very much about using life lessons, stories, coaching techniques, and questioning to get the very best and fastest journey for the person to get to where they want to be. For instance, my program is called The Industry Icon Program, so people can become an industry icon.

I’ve got a roadmap of things that you should be doing algorithms, formulas, systems and all this, but ultimately, everyone’s got their own journey, so no one size fits all. You get to where you need to be. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get to the same level as everybody else is getting to, because it’s going to be you-shaped. The world has to be you-shaped. For instance, if broadening your own corner shop in the street where you grow up is something you’ve always had in ambition and you’ve managed to do it, then you’ve won the lottery.

Why should you not be happy with that? If you then are being persuaded to why do you start a multinational where you can have corner shops everywhere, that’s great if that’s what you want. If you don’t want that, then what you’re doing means that you’re actually happy, so it’s a combination of those things. I think right now we’ve got a real challenge in the perception of happy, because the idea of the celebrities on the red carpets with all the Oscar winners and all the Grammy awards suddenly evaporated when nobody went out their house.

You realize that having three meals a day, and if you can get in your car for the occasional stream of going around and seeing people in masks, and you’ve got a reasonably nice house and you’ve got a nice family life and all of rest of it, you don’t actually need 20 different suits and all the different things. You probably could be wearing your pajamas or at least a shirt above the waist when you’re going on zoom calls.

The perception and the concept of what really matters about life has changed considerably. When I’m mentoring people in many cases my job involves throwing questions at them and interpreting what it is that they really want. As a hypnotherapist, my role is understanding sometimes what people are saying when they don’t say it and pick it. It’s almost like picking it subtitles underneath every conversation with somebody.

They may say one thing, but their body language, their tone of voice, rather than attention tells you that that’s not the true story. Being able to pick up on that is important. I think making the fast track towards getting there. For instance, one of my clients is a guy who’s responsible for building some of the biggest buildings in the world.

If you look at Dubai and you look at Atlantis, and your look at all these incredible– Burj Khalifa and all these different buildings, he’s been one of the top people decision makers or director of construction for many of those buildings. When we were working together, he wasn’t sure where he wanted to go. He just wanted more, so we started looking at what he could produce. The journey was, he wanted to take his son, he wanted to travel quite a bit around the world and then just start writing some books and making some videos.

We suggested a TV show and all the rest of it, which is very exciting. Also, along the way, because he’s decided that he wants to just cherry pick his options on projects, we also looked at it and said, “Well, why don’t you run an agency for construction directors? Rather than turning down all the big gigs, why do you have them all and have a people working under you that you can cherry pick and mentor, and create an academy around you, so you’re then creating something that one day your son can inherit, but it means that you don’t have to get bricks and mortar on your hands.

You can then be what you want to be which is having this very helicopter view of the industry.” Some of the insights I get with working with every client, and every client is completely different, I find that with each session sometimes I’m pulling them back on truck. Sometimes I’m slowing them down so they haven’t dropped anything, and sometimes I’m showing them the possibilities are open to them, because they spent so much time in corporate land, they really didn’t think they could do anything if it’s not in front of them or nobody in front of them has already done it. What we’ve got right now is this incredible world and opportunity where anything is possible.

You’re connected to everybody around the world. We’re talking on opposite ends of the world, and there’s no reason why we couldn’t have an incredible relationship and do business for the next 20 years which would never have happened before. If we could do that, why couldn’t everybody do it. I found it really fascinating, so my mentoring is almost like opening– It’s like Willy Wonka saying, “What’s your favorite type of sweets?” It’s not even a case of this is what I do, this is my program, it’s what would you like to happen, and then let’s work out how to get you there.

Patrick: That’s a great point around the fact that there’s no set road absolutely, especially with mentorship and the world has changed significantly over the past two years. How we interact with people, how we do business, how we see the future, it is all significantly changed, been turned upside down in many ways. When you open these conversations with people that you work with and that you spend time helping them figure out what their futures are going to be for themselves, how do you peel back the onion a bit and help them?

As you said some may be slowing some people down, so they reset and look at what their future is, some may be speeding people up, how do you approach really getting down to what people really want? Are there any skills or abilities or techniques that you approach those conversations with? The question behind the question is that a common theme that I have been hearing is people really want to have a mentor. They want to have somebody to help them for their futures.

On the flip side, mentors or people that have a passion for helping to develop people and help guide people for the future also struggle a bit with how do I effectively do this? How can I effectively be a mentor? I’ve been asking people for their perspective on their success.

Dave: I don’t struggle. [laughs]

Patrick: That’s good, that is good. What are maybe one or two things that work for you to be able to help people peel back that onion

Dave: Well, I suppose I had a slight advantage, and that’s one of the reasons I’ve chosen to be in this particular part of the industry, i the fact that growing up as a mixed-race person in Scotland, and then in England, you have to learn to profile and understand and read people very, very quickly as part of your cuttings survival technique. That turned into my entertainment ability, is that such a factor like a superpower

I can walk into a room of people or walk into a stadium of many tens of thousands of people and read their Wi-Fi code instantly. I know exactly what to say at any given time to get the best results and take them on a journey. That gives me a plus with a hypnosis background and NLP and all the rest of it. It gives me a huge advantage of being able to read somebody and profile them as they go. Listening to what they say, seeing what they do and what comes out to it is very easy.

It is for me, and the hardest bit for me as I’m writing a book right now, which is I Can Teach you to Speak on Stage in Seven Seconds, which is true. With that I’m breaking down what I know naturally, after many years working with audiences, into steps that other people can use so they can do what I do. The challenge of exactly that is where does that go when you’re trying to show people what it is. Now, to answer your question about how do I come up with it and how do I find what they need, well, the biggest way to do it is if you live your life with one question, then you’ll find it much easier than anything else. That question is always asking what’s in it for them, not finding out what I want.

If you’re interested in a cadence of finding people’s Wi-Fi code and then ask what’s in it for them, then you’ll suddenly have a better relationship with your kids, with your boss, with your employees, with your partner, with everybody you meet, because you stop trying to do what you want and you start giving people what they want. It doesn’t mean rolling over on your back with your hands and legs in the air and saying, “Help yourself.” It means that you work out in a very sober and also fun, but also business way the best way to give them what it is they need to move forward. Now people hire me as a mentor because in many cases, they’ve hit a brick wall. If they could do it on their own, they wouldn’t need me. The reason they come to me is because they see what I’ve done, they know why I did reputation. I must say, right, come on. I’m all yours. I’ve got to ask a lot of questions. Every session is started with, “What you want to do with this, where you want to go today?” Sometimes they say, “I want to work on this.” Sometimes they say, “I’ve no idea. Can you just take me on a trip?”

It’s different for every client. It’s different for every session. I find it really invigorating and exciting, but when I have any interaction with everybody, I have one rule, which is that I’ve got to leave them better off than they were when I first met them. That makes it easy to be a mentor. It also means in a very simple way, that if you’re going to a petrol station and getting some gasoline put in your car, you must [unintelligible 00:20:54] the people working in the petrol station. If you go into McDonald’s and getting a meal, thank everybody for the hard work they’re doing there.

Now, it seemed like, well, why would they do that? If you have that buzz where you giving gratitude and love and care of the people, then people gravitate towards because you seem like somebody like a beacon, your frequency, is something that they feel attracted to. Whereas if you’re grumpy and negative and you want the world to go away, people can tell that. I’ve got two huge dogs in my house and they read me like a book. They can tell when it’s time to come up and say hello to daddy or not.

They are watching me and the eye contact is phenomenal. With every client, I can tell within a very short amount of time about what they say or what they don’t say where they need to go. For instance, one of my clients, we started and I said, “How’s it been?” First thing she said was, “Well, I didn’t get a lot done.” I said, “Okay, let’s concentrate on that.” The whole session was based on the fact that she wanted to get herself to being a really high level in her industry, that her natural thing is a pleaser.

She’s a researcher, but she wants to be a researcher of Hollywood movies, sitcoms TV shows, to show people what makes a global hit. Why does Friends, for instance, have a hundred billion views? Why is that such a big show? What did they do right that How I Met Your Mother didn’t? She can analyze that, but her nature is very much about listening to the clients, and do what the client wants. Now, you can’t become that level of influencer if that’s all you do because you get sidetracked.

We spent the– we reverse engineered where she was to where she wants to be. What happened was because she’s got so much ambition, she is now you still doing what you did before, which is helping people projects that don’t get closer to where she needs to be. I said, “Cut it out, stop doing that. Well, can I? Yes. You just say, ‘No,’ or you say, ‘I’ll charge you for that.’” It’s amazing how quickly they find alternatives to using your expertise. By the end of the session, she was back on track.

She was re-invigorated. If I hadn’t gone down that level, we would have papered over everything, we wouldn’t have a whole session and she would have done nothing about it leaving two sessions so we come back again, and then she would have felt twice as rotten. A lot of the time it’s reading what’s in front of you, a lot of the time it’s done the bigger landscape picture. I think also it’s important to understand people, because I think in the corporate world for mentors, I think mentors shouldn’t be necessarily managers.

I think there’s a lot to be said for mentors being managers, but I think that being a mentor, is a perfect job for anybody who doesn’t want the role of running a team. Just give them to the elder in the group, let them mentor one person like in Star Wars, where they’ve got the padawan or the jedi, and you’ve got one person with you for that journey, but you can specialize it. It can be grumpy, it can be horrible, and they learn the bits they need to learn from you. I think mentorship is a really powerful thing.

I think it should be a mentor and every group and everybody should be trained at some point, if it’s in their skillset, especially if they don’t want to be– If you’re a top sales person, why would you want to be a sales manager? You stop selling and you start managing. That’s not what you did in the first place, but you can take on a padawan or a junior and teach them what you know. I think mentorship is still a work in progress, but when you find the one that fits you and the beat that suits you, it’s important to get it right.

I think the key to it is to stop being the hero in the story, and start being the mentor. For instance, 99% of Hollywood movies have a thing called the hero’s journey. Are you aware of that? The hero’s journey is the theme for 99% of Hollywood movies. When I share with you exactly what it needs, you’ll go, “Oh, my goodness.” Let’s do a little test, Patrick. Here’s the hero. The hero is like a fish out of water. He’s very good or she’s very good in what we do, but then, they’re laughed at by people, not taken seriously until they do that special thing. Then you’ve got something they’ve got to do, whether it’s meeting the girl, taking the girl to the prom nights, it’s fighting off the aliens, it’s going to college and getting the grades, it could be anything.

They’re not very good at doing it and they crash and burn badly. At that point, the mentor steps up, the guy been there, done it, shows them a way. Start showing them and they hate it. They had to be persuaded to join, and then the mentor takes like a fish out of water, so a completely different world, but they’ve got to go through a different load of experiences, learning curve, things go right, things go wrong. Eventually, they find their beat, it’s finally getting better and the original task jumps up again. It’s exam time.

They’ve got to score a goal, the aliens that landed in their village, wherever it is and just as that’s about to happen, they step up to the mark and something tragic happens. Somebody dies, somebody close to them. There’s something terrible. They’ve got to dig extra deep inside, lift themselves up and go and take on the big thing. They take on the big thing, they win, and then we decide afterwards, am I going to go back to where I was or I’m going to ride off into the sunset without my new found skills. Now, as I mentioned this, Patrick, I’m going to put you on the spot. Which movie am I talking about?

Patrick: Karate Kid. If there’s any, if I think of as you’ve been talking about this, it’s very, the movie that pops to my mind is Karate Kid.

Dave: Okay. Great answer, but also it could be Star Wars, it would be any Marvel movie, the origin stories. What did I watch? Every movie you can think of that that happens. What was I watching on the weekend? What was something that was released over the weekend? The same thing happens. There’s a tragedy. Black Widow, there you go. Another one, same thing. It’s the same story. Now here’s the key, at a certain age and at a certain time, you have to stop being the hero, you become the mentor. The mentors in movies are always Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, you know who they are going to be, but that’s the role that they take on and they’re brilliant at it.

That’s the way to think of it. You’ve been there, you’ve done it and your job is to then get the next generation to move forward. What I find fascinating about where we are right now, because you’re talking about a change in the industries, is now what I do, yes, that’s great. I can mentor the generations before me, but I’m actually being mentored by my 10-year-old daughter, Maya, because reverse mentoring, to take on tech, to understand internet marketing, YouTube, viral videos, TikTok, our generation are now on the back foo.

The only generation born into it, they’re so savvy and smart. In many ways, we have to pay them. Luckily, I don’t pay my daughter, she has mentioned it yet. She doesn’t know where I keep my credit cards either, but in many ways, we have to pay them to teach us to get up to speed. In the last two years, digitization has meant that, if you will old-school bricks and mortar, traditional direction, you are now late to the game.

The fascinating group are being left behind, who are also the most powerful group, are the mentors, the older people, the people who over 40 were losing their jobs because of the cost of insurance, the cost of keeping them in their position. We could get two young people, four young people at the price of what we pay you without baggage. We can bring them on ha-ha. Supposing what you did, which you then took your skills online across the world, you could earn so much more. You can help people everywhere and there’s space for you and your wisdom to do that until the very end of days. I find it fascinating the way the world’s opening up into a mentorship world.

Patrick: Thank you, Dave, for that. The hero storylines-

Dave: Hero’s journey.

Patrick: -hero’s journey in a movie is a really interesting correlation between the two because as you were telling that story and I was thinking, as I said around this movie that comes to mind is really relevant about thinking about stepping aside and taking a new perspective on becoming the mentor, and sharing your knowledge and wisdom skills, abilities. We’re getting close to the end of the conversation but I’m curious, do you have a mentor or have you had a mentor in your career success? Have you had a mentor?

Dave: This fascinating question because the first answer is no and the second answer is yes, I have now got a mentor. I’ll tell you about in a moment, but my first answer was nobody would help. I had to learn the hard way, school of hard knocks, whatever you want to call it, but there was no template for who I was, the way I am and how I get to where I want to be. I was always a fish out of water. I was always never accepted. I had to go my own journey, and then when I found that I did get accepted, it wasn’t good enough for me, because I just felt that everybody was treading water. I wanted to be everywhere. I walked away from radio because I felt radio was rubbish, which I was right and it was. The very fact that we’re in a podcast now shows that the radio business model was wrong, and it just didn’t work anymore. I walked away before I knew where it was going to go. What I had instead was almost like shadow mentors. I would look at people who I admired from history or admired, and I would read their biographies. I would ask myself, because you can do this, and it’s a very good way of actually dealing with loss if you’ve lost a loved one, you can still ask them questions, and your brain is a supercomputer that’s programmed to answer in their voice. You can get an answer from the people that aren’t really there because your brain knows what they would say based on the algorithm of their personality

I was able to be tutored by people that I thought were incredible. At certain stages, I would pull different characters out from history who are able to give me the advice I needed at that point. One person, for instance, who’ll remain nameless I worked with and thought was a real hero of mine, I wanted to work with him and he said no. I always ask myself, what would he say in that situation? I’ve built my career around about that.

I’m happy to say that I didn’t need his advice, and so on, and that’s just the way it goes. As for right now, I’ve got a mentor who’s also a friend that I’m working with, and I find it fascinating. For instance, I mentioned earlier, I’m writing a book. I’ve written many books, I’ve got about four different books. When I started talking to him, he’s the best-selling author, maybe £5, £6 million from selling his books.

Now, most people who write books end up with books in boxes in their garage and everybody knows what they’re going to get for Christmas because they had this happening last year. Signed personally, here’s my journey. Nobody cares. “Have you read the book?” “Oh, yes, I read it.” “What do you like about it?” “No, I didn’t read it. I just feel guilty.” What he said to me was fascinating. He said, “You’re writing a book?” I said, “I’ve got loads of books.” He said, “You haven’t sold that many, have you?” I said, “Well, not really, sold quite a few.” He said, “Do you know why?” I said, “No.”

He said, “Because of the fact that most people write a book and then they try and work out how to market it, and they’ve got the wrong angle. What you need to do is work out who is your client or your potential audience, what do they want, and make it for them.” I said, “Okay, let’s put that theory into test.” I’m writing a book called Speak on Stage. It is all about the fact that I want to write books for CEOs. CEOs are terrible speakers. Nobody will tell them because obviously they’re getting paid wages, but nobody will say “Boss, you’re rubbish.” Everyone listens to what they say, but they mumble, they can’t hold the microphone properly.

I started writing a book so CEOs can then be a Zuckerberg and a Jobs, go out on stage, and in fact, Richard Branson’s got a massive fear of public speaking that people will know about. He only has questions and answers sessions. Anyway, rather than the challenge of what do I do as a CEO, they can read this book, and then they’ll be brilliant, they can get onto speaking circuits, they can go on to any stage, promote their stuff at conferences, fantastic. My mentor turned around said, “No.” I was, “What do you mean no?” He said, “That’s not going to work.” I said, “Why do you say that? It’s perfect for CEOs.” He said, “They don’t want to learn to be a speaker, they want to learn how to speak very quickly then go back to being a CEO. They don’t want to be a speaker, [unintelligible 00:33:15] better at doing that.”

Therefore, I started redoing the book, all about if you can pick it up, and in a very short amount of time, that time could be seven seconds, you can walk into an audience and go bang and deliver what you need to with pre-made scripts, with explanations if you need it, but it’s like a reference book. It’s perfect for my target audience because that’s what they’re going to want, not a long-winded book all about speaking the speaker circuit, how to close deals. Forget that, the CEOs, they ain’t got time. With that, I’m learning so much from my mentor. I think that the danger is sometimes that you can outgrow what you think you need.

When you look at the likes of Tiger Woods and many of the top performers on the planet, when they walked away from their coach, from their mentor, and they tried to do on their own, that’s when we started finding that things went wrong because you’re like a fish looking for water. Where’s this water thing that everyone’s talking about? You sometimes need somebody to say you’re in it so you can see what the truth truly is. That’s what I do and that’s what mentors should be doing.

Patrick: Dave, we are at the end of the conversation but I have very much enjoyed this time with you. Thank you for your passion, your perspective, your stories. They’re incredibly beneficial to understand and to see different perspectives. I can see why you’ve had as much success as you have with speaking because you’re very compelling in how you speak. Thank you for spending some time with me. I know the audience is definitely going to enjoy hearing your perspective, and also, hopefully, be able to have people take a little bit of a different look and take a minute to really think about the conversations that they’re having right now.

This last part particularly– I like your statement around, sometimes it just takes somebody to say you’re in the water, look at the water around you. That’s a very helpful perspective. Dave, honestly, thank you so much for joining me, for your passion in the work that you do. How can the audience find you, find out more information about the work that you’re doing, the books that you’re writing? What’s the easiest way for the audience to find you?

Dave: The easiest way to find me is to go to That’s where all my stuff happens. Connect with me on LinkedIn, It’s Dave Crane Dubai. If you want to connect with me further and find out my background, then go to I would say is a way to connect with me easiest.

Patrick: Perfect.

Dave: I look forward to sharing with you as much as I can. It’s been an honor, Patrick, I really do appreciate you inviting me onto this show.

Patrick: I appreciate it.

Dave: I know that it’s growing and people are loving what you do and you’re fantastic. All the best and more power to you as well.

Patrick: Thank you very much, Dave. I appreciate it. Cheers.

Dave: Cheers.

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