Getting a Job, Is a Job – Job Search Secrets

Use your headWe are really happy today to have Harvey Mackay. He is the author of the book, Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door: Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You.  Harvey is going to talk about this book and also about some free offerings at

Many of you know, Harvey is the author of five New York Times Bestsellers. His first two books, Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and Beware Of The Naked Man who Offers You His Shirt, have been translated into 37 languages and distributed in 80 countries. Both books were on the New York Times #1 Best Seller List and are also listed by Times among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time.

Harvey’s other books have included, Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty and Pushing The Envelope, both which cracked the New York Times Best Seller list also. We Got Fired and It’s the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Us, in 2004, became his third New York Times Best Seller. His books have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. He has also won America’s Most Popular Entertaining Business Speakers, speaking on the average of once a week to Fortune 500 companies and associations.

Toastmasters International named him one of the top five speakers in the world. He is a member of the National Speaker Association and  also the chairman of Mackay Mitchell Envelope Company, a $100 million company that he founded at the age of 26. He now has 500 employees and manufactures 25 million envelopes a day. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Executive Program. He is an avid runner and marathoner having run 10 marathons and a is a former #1 senior tennis player in Minnesota.

Dr. Relly Nadler: What we always like to start off with is if you could give us a little background on who are some of your greatest influences?

Harvey Mackay:  I think when it comes to some greatest influences for being leader; what comes to mind, and I have to just speak in the last 24 hours, John Wooden was a friend who almost reached the age of 100. I think everybody listening to this broadcast, of course, knows that name. He was a famed UCLA basketball coach. There are a couple of things in his book and I have written columns on them before, regarding discipline. Leaders have to be forceful. They have a point of view and they express it clearly. You don’t have to guess where they stand. Wooden once was coaching Bill Walton, one of the greatest players that ever played college basketball. There was this incident in the 60’s when the people were growing their hair way too much for someone conservative like Wooden; he told him to cut his hair. Walton went to the barber, got his hair cut, and came back. Wooden took a look at it and he said, I’m sorry, that’s not good enough; we are really going to miss you around here. Walton tells the story of how he got on his bicycle and went right back to the barber and came back and he stayed on the team and the rest is history.

That’s one cute little story about Wooden. You have to know leaders absolutely have to tell people where they stand; where they are. They concentrate on a couple of big themes. Leaders are of course truthful even when it hurts. Of course leaders are consistent. So when I look for these people, it’s the same thing. Margaret Thatcher is one of my hero’s. She did take on a very unpopular theme and that was the Unions in the UK. I just might add that she stayed with it, stayed with her program, boom, people knew where she stood. They did respect her; even the people that did not agree with her respected her. Which, again, I think is a huge philosophy. Of course, people can identify with President Reagan. This one is pretty close to home because I’m in the envelope business you mentioned just a few minutes ago. President Reagan had a tremendous problem. He decided to solve it with flight controllers by staying very calm, very collected, very precise, and very demanding and he was not going to change because he felt in his heart that this would cripple the country. So, the flight controllers capitulated almost over night. Here’s what happened; it kept a snowball from happening. I’m in the envelope business and the post office was going on strike the next week. That would have crippled my industry and the entire USA had he not again cut it off at the pass and been consistent with the flight controllers.

So those are some just real quickies that I happen to believe in. It doesn’t matter what your political preference is, I’m just stating what leadership is.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Harvey, tell us a little bit about the “why” of your book and then maybe we will talk about some of the specifics of getting a job.

Harvey Mackay: Surely. I’m a lucky guy. I’ve written six books and each one is about 80,000 words. For the past 40 years I have had, in the offices I’m calling from right now in Minneapolis, my company that I founded. I had always wanted to be an entrepreneur, although I still have trouble spelling the word, but it is exactly what I wanted to be. I have 500 people come through here the last 40 plus years, one at a time.

If you turn over to the back of the book you’ll see that there is a guarantee on the back of the book. It says, “Do not read this book. Study it, underline it, highlight it, use post it notes, and after six months if you don’t have a job, I personally will give you your money back.”

I just came off of a 30-city book tour and every interviewer said, “how can you make a statement like that?” Well, the 500 people that came through my front door; about 90% have found what they wanted. In Swim With The Sharks I guaranteed they would get their money back. 5 million people bought the book, 18 people asked for their money back. Seven of them were my best friends.

I’m confident in the material inside the book, having done it over 500 times, that is the reason for the book.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: So what do you mean by “getting a job, is a job?”

Harvey Mackay: I might also add if I can, just a little PR. Not to be self-serving but before I did make that offer it rose to #4 in the New York Times, which I’m very, very proud of, so I’m confident, again, in the material. Back to “getting a job is a job.” What do I mean by that? You have to get a routine and stick to it. It’s a 16-hour a day proposition. You have to work harder, smarter than when you were employed, believe it or not. You have to get back in shape. You have to read and surf business sites on the web. You have to network.

Just an aside, very briefly, a quick little vignette; “Getting a Job is a Job” was the title of this book for one whole year. Then I sat down with my publisher and about 15 or 20 thirty-something’s, if you know what I’m talking about.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Yah, the Millennials.

Harvey Mackay: The Millennials, they are out there in force. Anyway, we had a big in-depth substantive discussion and none of them liked the title. I researched it for a whole year, but I was asking 40, 50 and 60 year olds. You know what they said? Don’t put that title on the book. Why? Young people don’t want to work. They will think it’s hard work and won’t buy the book. How do you like that?

So my subtitle was Using Your Head to Get Your Foot In The Door, so that became the title of the book. Boy, am I ever glad. We’ve gone back to press eight times in 35 days, so I’m a happy camper.

Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s great. I think you more so than almost anybody knows that the titles of your book have been huge in attracting readership.

Harvey Mackay: Well I’ve written, again, 480,000 words and here’s what the theme is throughout all six books; are you ready? “Prepare to win.” Boring. Nobody is going to buy that book “Prepare to Win.” That is the theme throughout all of the books and if you do that you dramatically increase the probability that you will be successful, you will get the job you want, and I might add, and this is critical, this is an A-Z career research book. It’s not just for people that are looking for a job. I would heartily make a suggestion that everyone have a pen and paper in their hand when they are listening because we forget 50% of what we hear in 4 hours. Another way of saying it is, pale ink is better than the most retentive memory. I’m going to repeat that, “pale ink is better than the most retentive memory.” What do I mean by that? I mean, again, that you will forget 50% of what you hear and what this broadcast is in exactly 4 hours.

Therefore, when you come out of an interview, write it all down. Okay, it’s what we call the post interview.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Harvey, I’m very excited about something that you have said. Tell me about this Mackay 66 as it relates to business. What is that?

Harvey Mackay: Sure. Mackay 66 is kind of the entire thesis, I guess my whole being. It’s in Swim With The Sharks. If they hit my website they’ll get that free $12.95 book on networking which will help them. They can download it in a matter of minutes, but the Mackay 66 is something that I developed when I was 21 years of age as a salesperson. Again, I became an entrepreneur at age 26, but you wouldn’t believe how much we know about our customers. The IRS wouldn’t believe how much we know about our customers. I’m not talking about their taste in envelopes, either. We want to know based on routine conversation and observation, what a customer is like as a human being. What he or she feels strongly about. What he’s most proud of having achieved. Any status symbols in his or her offices. So when you are out there looking for a job, you have to use the Mackay 66, which again is on the website, no charge. I sell nothing on my website. They have to read the reception room; the waiting room. They have to read the walls and read the desks. Again, Relly, if you or Cathy were interviewing me I would want to see the books behind you in case I’ve read any of them and I’d want to comment on those book. I say jokingly you can’t work at our company unless you can read upside down. Just kidding, but these are some of the things that you have to do. You have to, in other words, humanize your job search.

Want to hear more from Harvey Mackay? Listen to the complete interview above, without commercials.



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