Ep306: Jonathan Palmar – The Reward of Seeking Approval Is Zero

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Jonathan Palmar makes videos.


“People will always disappoint you because your expectations will never match what they provide you with.”

Jonathan Palmar


Worst investment ever

Ever seeking approval

Like most people, Jonathan grew up believing that he needed to trust in the constant search for other people’s approval. As is human nature, Jonathan wanted to fit into the pack. He found himself often wanting people to give him the validation that he was going on the right path.

The nagging need to be validated

Jonathan’s need for approval sometimes got pretty dramatic. He would often put himself in gravely uncomfortable situations.

There was this one time that Jonathan wanted to complete this project so badly. He put his heart and soul into this project because he wanted his boss to be happy. When he finally went to present it, his boss responded nonchalantly and tossed it to the side.

Getting to his breaking point

Jonathan was devastated by the reaction he received from his boss so much that it threw him to his breaking point. He realized that he had put all this time into the project, and he ought to be proud of himself. Jonathan also admitted that he would always get disappointed if he kept trying to get people to validate him.

Adjusting his expectations of others

After this incident, Jonathan learned that he had wasted so much money and time searching for validation from people. Now he has stepped out of this kind of thinking. He lives his life without seeking approval from anyone, including his friends, family, coworkers, and audience.

Lessons learned

Outward approval brings you zero reward

There is no reward in searching for approval or doing things to get acceptance from other people. Stop seeking validation from others and be your number one cheerleader.

You need to invest more in yourself and not other people

We need to focus more on building ourselves up and investing in ourselves instead of on building others.

Partner with someone who gives as much as they take

Find somebody you can work with within a balanced partnership in which the give and take are equal. If you find yourself in a situation where the amount of effort that you are putting to get validation is not equal to the outcome that your partner provides you with, then you need to leave.

Andrew’s takeaways

What other people think of you is none of your business

Be comfortable with the fact that this is your life, your decision, and your thinking. Some people are going to like it, and some won’t. But that is their problem. So have the courage to live your life, and do your things without getting concerned with what people think about you.

Actionable advice

You have to polish your diamond. Nurture yourself as an investment. Take the time to look introspectively and figure out what is important to you, and then have the courage to act on it. You cannot start to love and care for people until you begin to love and care for yourself.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Jonathan’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to live a day at a time and not plan a single moment.

Parting words


“This wasn’t the worst podcast I’ve ever been on. So I consider this a success story.”

Jonathan Palmar


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:04
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community. We know that to win an investing, you must take risk but to win big, you've got to reduce it. This episode is sponsored by a Stotz Academy, which offers online courses that help investors, aspiring professionals, business leaders and even beginners to improve the finances of their lives and their businesses. Go to my worst investment ever.com right now to claim your discount on the course that excites you the most fellow risk takers. This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz. And I'm here with featured guests. Jonathan Palmer. Jonathan, are you ready to rock?

Jonathan Palmar 00:49
ready to roll? Let's go.

Andrew Stotz 00:51
So I want to introduce you to my audience. Ladies and gentlemen, listen up. Here is the bio of Jonathan Palmer, Jonathan Palmer, makes videos. JOHN, take a minute and Philly for the tidbits about your life.

Jonathan Palmar 01:09
I feel like that just encapsulates it perfectly. One of the challenges that we hear every day, because I am a digital marketer that works on LinkedIn. That's really the heart of everything if I had to expand it a little bit more. But if there's one pet peeve that I have, if there's one thing that I identify as we help clients market, their businesses on LinkedIn, is, it is so challenging for individuals to develop an effective elevator pitch. And on podcast, every day, we hear it, they'll go down this laundry list of different things. But trying to encapsulate it all or summarize it into a couple of words or a sentence can be very, very challenging. So I'm not just teaching people how to do it. I'm also living it. And the more that I could be concise and save people time, the more I feel like they'll Invest in me.

Andrew Stotz 02:04
You know, it's so fascinating, because I mean, I consider myself pretty good at writing and thinking about the listener and the audience and all that. But every time I go on LinkedIn and try to rewrite my, my, you know, bio, and all that I'm like, and I do this, and I do that, and I can do this, sometimes I've done that. And then you just realize that you just create this ocean of lack of focus, you know, and I recently focus my LinkedIn profile on one simple thing. And I believe it is literally an undisputed, unchallenged message. I am your worst podcast host for my worst investment ever. podcast. That's it. Nobody's challenged me on it yet. And everybody looks at it goes this guy's nuts. But they remember. What do you have any advice for me or other people out there on LinkedIn? When you think about kind of what is the message? And why would it have to be so simple, as you know, I make videos.

Jonathan Palmar 03:14
I think I think what it is, is we look at our work, we feel like, maybe it's just all of the way that marketing traditionally has been. And just like the way that we communicate, whenever we're trying to sell something, we always feel like we need to pack in as much as possible, like anytime that you've seen, like a sale in a store or an advertising, what do they do, like, you know, you could supersize your meal for 30 cents more, you know, you could get a drink size larger, buy one, get one free, like we're trying to stuff as much value in as possible. Where I see the challenge is in the fact that like, for example, a great piece of content for like social media or something like that, you would think like, let's say that, you know, I wanted to create an article or a video or something, a post for social media and it pertained to, you know, here is how to build a house. Now we can all agree that if I got into the step by step process of building a house, we can all understand how valuable that is that took somebody you know, 2030 years of experience to write it all out and go step by step, how many hours did they put into it. But if we were to present that as a piece of content, or if we were to present that as like our bio, or something like that provide somebody with an ebook that is incredibly overwhelming, that is just too much. And if I was consuming a piece of content that look like that, it would be such a turnoff, because I cannot envision myself, you know, building a house. It's too complex. But if I told you, Hey, I can show you how to organize your work from home desk. Now you're like, Wait a second. I could do that. Yeah, like I could actually take this one little thing that he said and put it into action. So if there's anything that I've learned about social media idea is, we need to provide actionable advice, we need to provide actionable BIOS, we need to keep it incredibly simple because if one, it's the power of the scroll, it's not like a commercial, where we're stuck there, and we have to watch it, people will tune out. So it's tension is such a sensitive thing. It has to be as simple as possible. You know,

Andrew Stotz 05:21
it reminds me of when I go to audible, and I look for my next book. And I look at one book, that's 12 hours in one book, that's four. And I think, I do not want to commit 12 hours, I just don't have it. But this four hour one could be interesting, oh, wait a minute, there's a two hour one. And sometimes in the world of business, I often tell people that, you know, if if you make it long, it means you're putting all the work on the person consuming it, rather than you figuring out how to narrow it down. And maybe you could just for the, for the audience out there. I know a lot of my listeners are on LinkedIn. And they kind of they see the, you know, they see the power of LinkedIn, and they understand it. But the truth is, they're sitting there, and they're going up, Andrew, I just don't know where to start. And it's overwhelming. When I look at some of these people, you know, just look at you, john, as an example, if I go to your, you know, LinkedIn and look at what you've produced, and all that, I just don't know where to start. And I just wonder if you could, you know, give them a little tidbit from all of your experience about where to start, and how to really do it right.

Jonathan Palmar 06:31
One of the biggest challenges that we have with our clients is, it's a confidence issue. So what will happen is, when you get started on LinkedIn, what do you immediately recognize you have professional individuals that have 30 years of experience that you're competing against for attention? You have individuals with years of experience with video that articulate incredibly well, maybe they have some acting experience? Maybe they're professional writers? Weak, it's very quick and easy for us to feel overwhelmed. So what do we do, we tend to focus on the work of others. What I noticed is very popular is sharing articles. It's rephrasing, paraphrasing other people's work, because we don't feel like we have enough authority in order to take control and write our own content. We're so concerned about what everybody else is going to think of us. It's very juvenile, when you break it down, right? These insecurities that's like, you know, it goes back to childhood, right. But here's the reality of the situation. We have played the tape to the end so many times in our own minds. And what I mean by that is, you've lived an incredible life, you've had some incredible experiences. But because you've played it in your head, like a VHS, rewinding it and playing it forward over and over and over again, it loses a lot of the sensationalism, it loses a lot of the special that it is. But for somebody that's hear your story, for the first time on social media that has never heard that story before that has never lived it, all of a sudden, it is brilliant. We've all had those experiences in our lives. So I think the first step is recognizing that we try to go on and exibit like, we go on an adventure trying to search for the diamond, which is that perfect article that's going to resonate with a bunch of people, when what you really need to do is you need to polish the rock within you and discover the diamond that's inside. Because when you kind of polish it and you find a diamond, people will come to you. You are the diamond that people are searching for. Right. So I think that it's just rephrasing that, reworking it and just polishing your diamond, creating a message that will resonate with people, but it is all within, you just have to do the work to polish it.

Andrew Stotz 08:45
A few quick things on that for the young listeners out there, the VHS was a method of creating and distributing video. But the other thing is, it reminded me of the Wizard of Oz, which is that at the end, I can't remember the exact wording of it, but that I realized that, you know, It was within me, you know, and that's the journey. And that's the search that we all go through. And we realize that you know, it was really within ourselves. And so the last part of that, that I'm thinking about is that so is what you're saying, to try to think about stories and experiences that relate to your products and services to say, Here's why I created this or this is the problem I face a god it was you know, that those types of things are the types of things that we should be doing videos on?

Jonathan Palmar 09:39
Yes, yes. I think it's good to be inspired by the work of others. I would never discredit that. So what I would do is step one, go to like a buzzsumo or YouTube type in a keyword related to your industry on YouTube filter by views Why? Because on Google, unfortunately Fortunately, you have a little thing called SEO. So you can use a bunch of keywords to boost you in your position on Google. But here's the secret on YouTube. It's the number two search engine, but you can filter by views, so you can identify exactly what people in your target market are actually searching for. So if you can develop a message around this thing that people are searching for, that you have experienced and authority with, but say it in your own words, you know, basically, if the challenge was I'm not a good closer, you know, just a, you know, crazy example, I would literally go to YouTube, put in how to be better closer, watch the piece of content, see how they approached it? How can I basically add some steps to that process? How would I approach it given the same situation, and then the next step would be, you know, how to start with a relatable subject, which is, you know, how many of us struggle with trying to gain gain new business or closing, that's step one, make it relatable, so that everybody cuz most of us have struggled with closing deals, or you know, negotiating whatever it may be? Right? Start it. So lead with that lead with something that everybody can relate with. And then from there, explain to people how you kind of approach that challenge, what you experienced, and how you overcame your fears of closing. And now that you are past this point, you've gone through the transformation, what are some actionable tips that you could give to your audience so that they can apply it to their own lives. And that is a perfect piece of content.

Andrew Stotz 11:40
Beautiful, and don't worry about what other people say about it, and all that, you know, so great steps there, go search for your keyword. And also remember, when you type in the, you know, think about what your, what your ideal client also is typing in, like, you know, improve my closing ratio. As an example, when you type that in, you also get a list of suggestions that come down, as a drop down, that I suppose are his YouTube saying gap, these are this is similar types of searches that have sent people. So if your search, and then you kind of be able to really narrow it in, and then filter by, by views, and then look at what other people are doing. And then think about how you face that challenge. And then think about how you can make it relatable. And then tell them, you know, how you went through them. And the beauty of what you're describing. And I think for the listeners out there. The beauty of this is that this is this brings us back to a word I just love, which is authenticity, when it's your struggle, and you could be 28 years old, and you're not 30 years experience, but there's a 28 year old out there that would love to hear how you overcame the same issue that they're overcoming. And that is the beauty of it is authenticity. So that if I if I summarize it, right,

Jonathan Palmar 13:06
you summarize the Right,


Andrew Stotz 13:08
Got it. Well, speaking of authenticity, now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one ever goes into their worst investment thinking it will be tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to and then tell us your story.

Jonathan Palmar 13:24
So we grew up with this belief that we need to trust in search for the approval of other people constantly. It's just human nature to want to fit into the pack. So we're constantly searching for that we constantly want people to give us the validation that we're going on the right path. And if you have any courage within yourself, there's always going to be that natural pole to go after what you really want, as opposed to what you know what like, you know, standards are said to be like what, you know, status quo is. So I would say that that was my worst investment ever, is the belief that I needed the approval of my friends, my family, my coworkers, anybody, even an audience. That was by far my worst investment, because the time it cost me the money that I wasted concerning myself with something like that. I did. I had no idea when I was going through it. But now that I've kind of stepped away from it. Yes. Like I recognize that my worst investment ever was searching for the approval and validation of others.

Andrew Stotz 14:36
And can you as you look back, when you're in the heat of that moment, at that time in your life, what's something that kind of makes you cringe to think, why was I doing that? Why was I saying that?

Jonathan Palmar 14:50
Yeah, no, it is sometimes it got pretty dramatic. I would put myself in some seriously uncomfortable situations. I remember there was one time that I wanted to complete this project so bad. And it wasn't even, oh, I'll get to that part soon. But I wanted to finish a project so bad. So I put my heart and soul into, we're talking about months upon months of 60 hour weeks working on this project, putting my heart and soul into it, because I just wanted my boss to be happy, I wanted my boss to pat me on the back and say, You did a great job with this project. Good, you know, good. So I worked and worked and worked hard on this project. When I finally went to present it, they responded, so nonchalantly just tossed it to the side, and told me that they'll get to it sometime next week. And that is when I recognize that was the breaking point where I realized like, it's, I put all this time into it, I should be proud of myself. But if I'm trying to get this person to validate me, I'm always going to be disappointed. And that's when I started to reframe that, you know, people will always disappoint you, because your expectations will never match. You know, what they provide you with Live Aid, they did not live it, they did not sit there 60 hours a week working on this project, like you did, not the way that you committed yourself to it. So that was the beginning of when I started to reframe my situation, and get away from this belief that I need the validation of others, and then it gets, it gets a lot deeper than it was like the herons, you know, parents like saying, you know, you need to go down this path, you need to do this thing, right. But it always leaves you feeling empty. Because more than anything else, even if you do accomplish whatever the said task is, if it's not in your heart to be, this is what I really want, you're never going to feel fulfilled, you're just going to feel like it's a cup with a hole in it. You're just always searching for more of it. And I feel like I didn't get to the point where I started to fix myself, I suppose or I didn't start to realize how bad of an investment it was until I started to build an audience. And then that's when the that's when the awareness really started to kick in.

Andrew Stotz 17:14
I can I say approval is like a cup with a hole in it, you know, searching for approval is like a cup with a hole in it. So tell me what lessons How would you summarize the lessons that you've learned from going through that experience of constantly searching for approval?

Jonathan Palmar 17:31
That it's, there's, there's no reward. At the end of he road, there was no reward. Damn, stop right

Andrew Stotz 17:39
there. I mean, that, that just like smacks you in the face. And ladies and gentlemen, think about that carefully. And I think John's already, you know, mentioned it that searching for approval or doing things for the purposes of getting approval is like, you know, getting a cup with a hole in it. And, and then to say that there's no return. It's shocking. I mean, how many people listening to this podcast right now. And people all around the world are literally working their asses off, to do something to get approval, and there is no return. Any other lessons?

Jonathan Palmar 18:18
I'd say that that was the biggest one. But I had enough of those experiences. I like because it was not one large investment necessarily. It was a lot of small, I diversified my investments,

Andrew Stotz 18:32
and investment.

Jonathan Palmar 18:34
Right, I diversified my words investment. So it was like partners and you know, friends, family, all of that stuff. And but it always led to the same return. until I started investing in myself. When I started investing in myself, and doing the work for myself, then I started to see a return. Because it's not so much you know, the micro successes that you create for yourself, lead up to the big successes that you start to experience. So when you kind of like cash out, you can kind of like search back and look at everything that you've done, and realize the fact that like I build something for me instead of, you know, sitting there and building, building up the net worth of all of these other people building up houses and castles for everybody else. When I started building my own home, when I started to build myself up, I realized, okay, I can live in this now, as opposed to trying to, you know, rent out space from everybody else. So that was very powerful. And I think that if there's anything to take away from the experiences that we need to focus more on how we're building ourselves up, how we're investing in ourselves, as opposed to how much we're trying to build others in spite of maybe how we feel if you can find somebody that you can work with and it's a partnership where it's balanced, and the give and take is equal then more power to you. But if you're if the amount of effort that you're putting to reach that validation is not equal to the outcome that they provide you with, then you will never you will never get the return that you want

Andrew Stotz 20:11
yet. So let me summarize what I took away from your story. I mean, the first thing is, you just flashed into my mind of a guy that I knew that said, I said, Hey, how are you doing today? And he was like, I just had a fight with my girlfriend. I don't know why she's, you know, so upset, I put in my 5% in the relationship. And you think about that's the way a person that you're trying to please is probably thinking about you that it's your responsibility to put in everything into this relationship. But the second thing, you reminded me of a time, I was about 18, maybe 19 years old, and I had had moved in with a guy that I knew from junior high in high school, who later became my best friend, and later became my business partner in one of my businesses, and he runs our coffee business here in Thailand. His name's Dale. And basically, we were having some we were out somewhere, and somebody was talking to him. And he was complaining about something that Dale said or did. And Dale said to him, because I was always a people pleaser, looking for approval. And Dale said, something that just like, blew me back really, really knocked me. And he said to the guy, um, if you have a problem with that, that's your problem. And I just never, I was like, wait a minute, you can say that. And you can think that. And Dale taught me a real lesson that started waking me up, you know, to that. So the idea being that, you know, this is my life, this is my decision, this is my thinking. And some people are gonna like it, and some people aren't. And you know, what, that's their problem. Now, it's not like you're saying, you know, I'm gonna punch you in the face. And it's your problem, you know, that's not what we're talking about. But I'm living my life, and I'm doing my things. And you know, there's gonna be people that don't like it. And that's their problem. So that's kind of my takeaway, anything you'd add to that?

Jonathan Palmar 22:11
No, I think that encapsulates it, I think it's just, it's recognizing, like, what other people think of us isn't none of our business. And if they're audacious enough to share something like that, typically, they're right. You know, like those uncomfortable conversations that we build up in our own minds like that. Like, sometimes that's exactly what we need to hear to just make a clip, click and recognize like, yeah, you know, you're creating, that's the thing, my boss, that did not give me the validation that I wanted. It's not It's not his fault. And that was the takeaway. When I left that room, I realized the mistake I made, he didn't make a mistake, he was actually really smart. He found somebody that was incredibly passionate that put a ton of time into the work. But the fact that he was unromantic about my journey, about what I went through, and he could completely separate himself from the like, he was only he only cared about the results. Yeah, you know, but we love to romanticize the process and say, we did this, that and the other. But at the end of the day, most clients, most people that we work with, what's the result? You know, if you had to go through X, Y, and Z, that's great. But the only people that are really going to understand or, you know, respect that are the ones that are experiencing it in that moment,

Andrew Stotz 23:22
at it. So based on what you learn from this experience, and what you continue to learn, what one action would you recommend our listeners to take to avoid suffering the same fate?

Jonathan Palmar 23:40
I think it goes back to what I was saying, you have to polish your own diamond, you know, you need to start looking introspectively and really begin to understand what is really important to me. Why is it that you know, whether it's self love, or maybe you haven't completely, because we talk to people in their 40s and 50s. And when you're having a conversation with them, you recognize, they still haven't found themselves. I know, it's super cliche to say, but we really can't start to love and care for people until we start to love and care for ourselves. You know, so I would say like, nurture yourself as an investment, really take the time to look introspectively figure out what you really want what's really important to you, and then have the courage to actually act on it. So many of us are feel like, okay, everything's good enough. But the reality is, if you could have it your way, what would that look like? Really take some time to write that down, figure out who you really want to be a place like LinkedIn right now is amazing for that because it is such a supportive community of individuals. And if you want to go out and try something, I came from a forensic accounting background, and that was less than two years ago. And I realized that that was not what was going to make me happy in life. I had another Calling, but I had to have the courage to recognize it to look introspectively to write down what I really want to do, and then actually take the steps to make that dream come true. But it started with that breaking point recognizing that if I keep searching for, you know, the validation of others, I'm never gonna find what, what really works best for me.

Andrew Stotz 25:21
Got it. All right, last question, what's your number one goal for the next 12 months?

Jonathan Palmar 25:27
I make videos. I'm not planning tomorrow. I'm not planning next week, I'm not planning next year. That's one of the things that I felt that challenged me the most, is I tried to plan things out too far ahead. Just like any other investment, they're volatile, they'll, they'll go up, they'll go down just like life. So you know, like Warren Buffett says, like, you know, just leave it alone. I'm not planning anything I plan on having, I'm keeping the investment there. And we'll see what happens. But right now, I'm not planning a single moment.

Andrew Stotz 26:01
I'm at listeners, that's a great way to think about it. You know, your objective really is today to be the best of you, right? You bring out the best of you and be authentic. Alright, listeners, there you have it. Another story of loss to keep you winning. Remember to go to my worst investment ever.com to claim your discount on the course that excites you the most. As we conclude, Jonathan, I want to thank you again for coming on the show. And on behalf of a Stotz Academy, I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience?

Jonathan Palmar 26:40
This wasn't the worst podcast I've ever been on. So I consider this a success story.

Andrew Stotz 26:46
A men and that's a wrap on another great story to help us create grow, and most importantly, protect our well fellow risk takers. This is your worst podcast hose Andrew Stotz saying that I'll see you on the upside.


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Dr. Andrew Stotz, CFA is the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research, a company that provides institutional and high net worth investors with ready-to-invest stock portfolios that aim to beat the benchmark through superior stock selection.

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