Kevin Hogan

International Speaker

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I was helping a division of a Fortune 500 company this week. (OK, a Fortune 20 company…) Lots of fun and filled with some real aha experiences…and some that were almost “aha’s”.

It generated more fresh ideas in my mind than I’ve had in a long time. In just a moment I’m going to show you how to motivate people. Today will be about the very first thing you must do, or fail. Very few people have the ability to motivate others to do anything because people who have evolved to becoming agents of change haven’t discovered the lens with which you MUST view each person.

As you read the story, don’t forget the message…and then…record the analysis for your every day reminder…

The Hamster and the Wheel


Someone goes to work five days per week. They “punch in” at 9 and “out” at “5.” By an entrepreneur’s standards, those are pretty wimpy hours…OK, really wimpy hours. Then it dawned on me that most people who do the “punch in” and “9-5” have to punch in because otherwise no one would know they were there. In other words, it’s sort of like wearing an ankle bracelet when you are released from jail and required to be at a certain place at a certain time and no where else.

As time passes, the individual becomes like the hamster in the wheel. Each day like the last and very predictive of the future.

When you say “job”, the person immediately thinks of THEIR experience. When you say “work” they think of THEIR OWN “work” or place of employment. After a few months, and then a few years, the person becomes dependent on the job, the company,

…the wheel. They almost become a hamster….

Take away the wheel, and the hamster freaks out. “I lost MY job.” (Yes the unconscious mind says, “the job that I hate”… the one where they watch the clock to track how many seconds there are until the end of “the day.”)

Now, let’s move away from this hamster for a moment. Move up a level in thought…

Try and imagine someone coaching the hamster to try a new life. A new way to create a dream life.

It’s almost impossible for the hamster to see anything but the wheel. The wheel is there in the cage and it spins with relative ease. The hamster KNOWS how to do it and doesn’t have to THINK …at all.

The coach starts to work with his hamster client…, “…there is NO hamster wheel over here in this opportunity.”

The unconscious mind of the hamster… freaks out!

“What! No wheel?! That’s the only thing I know! It’s my LIFE! It’s what I know how to do and it is what I have mastered…and you want me to go into what looks like a mine field where I will get blown up?!?!?! Someone will come along and TAKE my wheel. They might even ship the wheel to China or Mexico and let another hamster use the wheel and then I will not be able to support my hamsterlets.”

(Author’s note: I don’t know what little hamsters are called and am not interested enough in hamsters to find out today…back to our story.)

Now, the hamster returns to the wheel Monday. Leaving one part of the cage, he hops up onto the wheel and spins for another 8 hours. NOTHING will pry him away from the wheel. NOTHING!

The hamster is annoyed now that there are hamsters in China and Mexico that work the same hours for less money and that they are a threat to stealing his wheel. The hamster of course hasn’t gone to “Hamster Jobs R Us” which is where there are thousands of wheels in all shapes and sizes. In fact, only about 5 out of every 100 hamsters ever goes to Hamsters Jobs R Us. When they do, they get nervous too.

There are SO MANY different wheels to choose from.

Right there, that freaks out even the five brave hamsters. But then something might happen to a couple of the hamsters…They think…that they don’t want ANY wheel. Or if they do, they want one that is really cool, provides some value but then look at all the other ways they could use those hours.

These hamsters are a bit different from other hamsters. They decide that they are going to (for some significant time), affiliate with a wheel or two, they are going to go out there and make wheels, mazes, hamster food and all kinds of other things that they will sell to Hamster Jobs R Us… instead of punching in and running the wheel for 8 hours.

Of course making wheels and mazes and growing hamster food takes more time, but it is SO MUCH FUN! Hard work? You bet. But those little hamsters work from 9-9 because the line between fun, excitement, adventure and “work” blurs. It’s all sort of one thing. Pretty soon they have Mrs. Hamster and their hamsterlets helping with making mazes and wheels and growing hamster food and so on.

The hamsterlets think this is NORMAL….that this life which is SO different from all the other hamsters in the world is so cool. They get to go to Hamster Vegas, where there are lots of Hamster Elvis’s and other cute hamsters all around that hang out entertaining them. They think: “Isn’t that how it is for all hamsters?”

When they go back to their home in Hamster City they find out from their little hamster friends back home that this is not the norm.

“Are you kidding Hamita? My Daddy Hamster is at the wheel all day long and he hates his wheel.”

“Why doesn’t he just go get a new wheel?” (She doesn’t know any different. Everything is evolving in her Hamster Home.)

“It’s not that easy, I guess. They get lots of benefits from the wheel.”

“What’s a benefit?” Hamita retorts.

“I have no idea. I mean, I’ve never actually seen one. But I’m told that they are really good and VERY important.”

“And how long has your Daddy Hamster been there?”

“Since before I was born I think.”

“And you have never seen a Hamster Benefit?”

“Well….not really but I am positive that they are important.”

…Meanwhile back at Hamster Jobs ‘R’ Us there are a whole bunch of hamsters outside looking in. The doors are wide open. A few hamsters are actually going in, the doors but most would rather watch with the security of knowing that their wheel is safe and secure. They are curious to be sure. They really admire those that go into Hamster Jobs R Us. They wish they could. But they can’t …because…

So Coach, the question becomes, how do you get the hamster off the wheel and choose a life that would be rich and fulfilling? Something the hamster could enjoy and meet all of those life needs and hamster dreams at the same time…or maybe even the dream would be the daily life that the hamster would live. Wouldn’t that be cool?

But you can forget it.

It’s not going to happen by you telling them anything.

You can tell the hamster that you have a great idea for them but the fact is that they almost certainly will not get off of their safe, secure, familiar, comfortable yet debilitating wheel. There is too much uncertainty out there in Hamster World.

There is no script to run life off the wheel. Too many variables in the life you suggest to your Hamster Client…, the ideas you propose the concepts you describe…unless…

Unless you get the hamster to voice for himself the reasons, and more importantly, the feelings of why he absolutely must get off the wheel.

What happens then is something incredible. An epiphany. When was the last time you suggested something out loud, then verbally said, “No, I can’t right now, but I’ll think about it for the future.”

Schizophrenics aside, probably never. After all, it is rare to verbally and overtly tell yourself off. You typically don’t firmly but politely say, “No thanks, I’m not interested.”


…leaving Hamster World and coming back to our world….

Ownership of Ideas

You must get the person with whom you are communicating to take possession or some ownership of any idea you want them to act upon.

There are three basic way with lots of subsets that you can accomplish this outcome.

  1. You can ask them to tell you what is important or why they should do what you are proposing.
  2. You can ask them to tick off the positive and negative aspects of the proposal and it’s counter.
  3. You can ask them to literally and physically do something as a favor or simply try something, in order to get them to take an action and test the idea.

One way or another it comes down to asking…questions. Discovery. Finding out. Being interested, having empathy.

When you can completely understand what is inside of your hamsters (I mean client’s) head…then there will be the epiphany. They see a different world than you do. And there is absolutely nothing “bad” about thinking like a hamster…after all what else would they think like?

They are told that once they get out of Hamster School they must go get a good wheel.

And THAT is the point. In order to have a different, or dream-life, the hamster must tell you all the reasons that they MUST get rid of the wheel. They must tell you what they want to find and do out in Hamster World. They must tell you WHY they MUST fill their life with what will make them feel like it all had meaning and purpose.

After all, if you tell them…they will simply jump into their wheel and look over their shoulder to make sure no one takes their wheel and sends it to Mexico.

If they tell you, they’ll ship the wheel to Mexico themselves.

How You Can Get More of the Persuasion Code

The ability to influence is the single most important element in communication in business, selling, a professional practice, intimate relationships and obviously in selling.

Every useful communication involves persuasion. You want people to believe what you say. You want them to understand what you say. You want your message to be accepted and acted upon. Period. Without effective persuasion and influence, none of this is possible.

The Science of Influence is the master’s home study course. What makes the Science of Influence different from every other program about persuasion is that this material is fresh, potent, tested, and has nearly all of what you will discover is new! There is no rehash of past salespeople or scholars.

The Science of Influence is the place to begin. What makes the Science of Influence different from every other program about persuasion? This material is fresh, potent, tested, and has nearly all of what you will discover is new! There is no rehash of past salespeople or scholars.

Science of Influence Master’s Home Study Course (12 CDs)
with Kevin Hogan, Psy.D.

This program is the culmination of years of selling synthesized with the last five years of academic research into compliance gaining, persuasion and influence. You won’t find a program like this, designed for you, anywhere else.

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Author of The Psychology of Persuasion, Irresistible Attraction, and The Science of Influence, Dr. Kevin Hogan is trusted by organizations, both large and small, to help them help their people reach their personal peak performance and maximize influence in selling and marketing. Kevin is an internationally admired keynote speaker and corporate thought leader. In Coffee with Kevin Hogan, he shares his research, observations, and how you can apply them in your life – both in business and at home.

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