Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a spy? I dreamed about being a spy growing up and have been fascinated by that world ever since.
How does that knowledge transfer over to the business world you might ask? It comes down to knowing your surroundings and doing your research.
The skills that you need to learn to be a spy will get you out of your comfort zone. They help teach you the subtle art of persuasion and deal-making. You learn how to take calculated risks, mitigate the fallout, and cut through everyday noise to focus intently.
Our guest today is Jason Hanson, a former CIA operative turned business entrepreneur. He founded Spy Escape & Evasion in 2010. Jason won a deal on ABC’s hit reality series, Shark Tank, and he’s a New York Times Best Selling Author with his book Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. He lives on “Spy Ranch,” a 320-acre facility where he teaches spy skills like Evasive Driving, Pistol, and Rifle Shooting, Intelligence Operations, Cyber Security, and more. Jason has a new book out called Survive Like a Spy. Jason has been featured on The NBC Today Show, Dateline, Rachael Ray, Fox & Friends, Forbes, NPR, and The Huffington Post among others.
Here are some of the intriguing topics we talk about:
- How to Build Rapport
- Benefits of Doing Deep Research
- The Art Of Persuasion
- The Entrepreneur Mindset
- The Hour Glass Conversation
- Strategic Alliances
- Mental Triggers
- Playing The Long Game
- SADR Cycle (Spotting Accessing Developing Recruiting)
- Cyber Security
Enjoy This Episode With Jason Hanson!
This transcription was made by using Otter.ai so it is not 100% accurate.
Krisstina Wise [0:00]
Welcome back. In this episode I interviewed Jason Hanson. Jason is the New York Times bestselling author of spy secrets that can save your life. An he just released his second book agent of influence. How do you spy skills to persuade anyone sell anything and build a successful business? As you might have guessed, Jason was a spy for the CIA. After realizing that the CIA was a single man’s job, he left the Central Intelligence Agency to become an entrepreneur and start his own business. Jason shares the top secret spy skills he learned in the CIA that he used to build his multimillion dollar business, especially the sad Dr. technique for spotting assessing, developing and recruiting. He talks about the importance of building a dossier for your target audience and the important skills of situational awareness and risk mitigation and approaching decisions in your business as life and death. If you’re enamored with the idea of being a spy like me and or you just wish to pick up several million dollar ideas, For your business you’ll wish to listen in. Please enjoy my conversation with Jason Hanson. Well, hello, I’m so glad I’m so excited to have this conversation today, we’re going to talk a little bit of spy that I’ve always been fascinated by spies, the CIA, I mean, who hasn’t, you know, with James Bond and, and all of that and, and so I’m really curious about you your work and how that with your book, like how you’ve converted the days of spy into business and money, which are my two favorite topics. So what I’d love to just introduce yourself to everybody listening, and really a little bit of story that brought you to where you are today.
Jason Hanson [1:44]
Sure, so my name is Jason Hanson. I am a former CIA officer. I was with the agency from 2003 to 2010 and 2010. I left the agency I started my own security and personal protection business and now we do all kinds of things for bodyguard work to celebrities, musicians, to teaching escape and evasion, anti kidnapping a base of driving. So it’s not a bad way to make a living.
Krisstina Wise [2:11]
Now kidding. So what drew you to the CIA and just tell us a little bit about that life, that part of your life experience.
Jason Hanson [2:19]
So I was born and raised in Northern Virginia, just a few miles outside of Washington, DC. And that means every government agencies in your backyard and so growing up, I was the guy in the woods, shooting BB guns, you know, camping out doing all that kind of stuff. I didn’t want a real job. And in college, I realized, you know, I’m gonna graduate one day and I’ve got to have a job kind of thing. So I applied to a bunch of government agencies was very fortunate to have the CIA offer me a job, great place to work, very wonderful. They treat you great, but it’s a single man’s game, meaning a lot of the guys I knew were divorced, or they didn’t have great relationships with their wife and kids. And I had some amazing mentors, but I also saw what life was going to look like 30 years down the road. So as I said, I stayed seven years I left one on my own. I ended up getting married and have five kids now. So it worked out pretty good for me.
Krisstina Wise [3:11]
All right, and there might be some spy skills to raising five kids.
Jason Hanson [3:16]
If there are I don’t know those ones.
Krisstina Wise [3:20]
Awesome. Well tell me let’s let’s just chat about that time before we convert it to money in business. But what were like what were the things you learned in that experience that you know, just like a different way of living or being or seeing the world or just different types of skills?
Jason Hanson [3:38]
Yeah, I mean, one of them is your very, very alert. So situational awareness, your burglar what’s going on around you? You’re paying attention to people and things. Obviously, I was fortunate to have some amazing training. So you know, we got to shoot guns and drive cars and do all that kind of stuff. But it really, you know, everybody thinks it is all shooting guns and all that. kind of stuff, which is not the truth. You know, you get that training. But you know, if you’re doing that type of stuff, that means something’s gone wrong. So it really is thinking using your brain. And you know, analyzing Hey, what’s going on? What makes sense? What are the risks? And what are the rewards?
Krisstina Wise [4:17]
Got it? Yeah, well, there we go. That translates to every day. Well, and I love the word situational awareness because I think for so many of us, probably myself included, it is it’s like the lack of awareness just going through day to day without any real thinking or observation or really any awareness of the situations and taking the situation looking at it, assessing it thinking about it making a decision or a choice or even if the choices to do nothing at all, but how what type of training or what was involved to actually kind of wake up the some of wake up of this. Hey, well, I wasn’t even aware that
Unknown Speaker [5:01]
Well, there’s separate happened around me.
Jason Hanson [5:03]
There’s a lot of scenarios. So you know, you do training where you’re getting followed. And obviously in the very beginning, you don’t know what you’re doing, you know, you’re brand new. So you know, if I’m had somebody taking me on training, and they’re like, hey, Jason, did you see that guy on the street corner who was following you? And because you’re brand new and don’t know what you’re doing, you’re like, no, I had no idea. But then once you develop the skills know what to look for, like when I’m being followed. Now I can tell when people are following me because this was a sixth sense because a car following you is almost too perfect. meaning they’re not speeding up or slowing down. They’re not doing what normal behavior is, from a car following you. There are most again to perfect in what they do. So after lots of training, you pick up these things, which is abnormal behavior. And you know, like, that guy isn’t, you know, the cliche is that guy isn’t really reading the newspaper, you know, he’s watching you. So you start to notice those little things.
Krisstina Wise [5:55]
Yeah, but I guess that requires like getting out of just the the sleepwalking just being unaware and being in just the the tunnel vision of what’s right in front of me to really open up and expand and really just pay more attention.
Jason Hanson [6:10]
Yeah, I mean what you there’s almost three circles if you will. So you’re looking Okay, what is right you know in front of me, you know what is right and then okay within 15 yards around me then if I’m let’s say I’m in a Home Depot or Walmart, you know, I live in small town USA. So those are the big stores I get to go to. So if you’re in a Home Depot or Walmart, okay, what’s outside of there? Like what is next to Walmart that could cause a problem what’s in the parking lot? And then you think okay, now the city I’m in whatever city it might be, what is going on in the city? Meaning are the riots are there looting? Are there wildfires, what events in this city could cause me serious problems where I need an escape route, so you, you start small of immediate vicinity, and then you kind of build out to you know, the big area which you’re in.
Krisstina Wise [6:56]
Got it. And then I guess there can be the opposite to Are there times where you’re Just want to shut it off where you’re like, Okay, I’m not in danger. I don’t need to notice every little thing that seems out of order.
Jason Hanson [7:07]
Well, it’s a lot easier than most people think. Like most people think, you know, I’m some crazy person with my head on a swivel, and I’m looking around, you know, like, you know, some, again, some crazy person all the time, but it’s just it’s keep my head up, like, I don’t sit. I’ve never sent a text message in my life. That’s the truth. So I don’t text I’m not looking down at my phone. You know, I have a flip phone. So I’m walking, how the majority of us walked 20 years ago before phones, you know, cell phones were invented. So it’s just scanning. It’s just observing, and it’s relatively easy.
Krisstina Wise [7:38]
Got it. All right, well, let’s flip this. So you’re the author of it. Let’s see if we can see this in my little background here. We’ll get it in. Ah, we have turned this off. Anyway,
Jason Hanson [7:51]
it’s invisible. The Invisible book.
Krisstina Wise [7:52]
It’s an investment book. It’s it’s got total clandestine. So it’s agent of influence how to use spy skills personally. Anyone sell anything and build a successful business. And I really like how you broke it down in the different chapters and a little bit of education where we’re starting right now is the the idea of just learning to be more an observer to observe and assess, and look at the situation and become aware of it. And then but really what I like here is persuasion. So tell me so that we’ve talked a little bit about, okay, we just need more maybe situational awareness. Looking around. Let’s talk about how does that apply to business? Like, how do you apply the skills you’ve learned from the CIA? Where does that fit into the business world? Well, I
Jason Hanson [8:37]
mean, there’s a million in one way so I did not have a you know, I didn’t go to Harvard and get a business degree or anything. You know, I worked for the government and then I started my own business. So I had to figure out along the way, but I was always say spies were the world’s best salesman, because a friend of mine likes to say, you know, the only difference is you sell vacuums we sell treason, and treason is a much harder thing to sell. So one of the Most important things that anybody could do is deep, deep research. So when you’re going after a target, you want to know what they eat, what they drink, where they go, you know, what their favorite gym is what their routine you want to know them better than they know themselves. So the way that applies to business is you know, I get emails that are clearly copy and paste generic emails that say, you know, Jason, you know, we offer Computer Services, would you like to sign up for our website, but you know, like the most boring email, if you are going after someone and you do some crazy deep research, which is not hard to do, then that’s how you win it. And I’ll tell you a very quick example. I was on the TV show Shark Tank, and I ended up getting a deal with daymond. JOHN. Well, I researched Damon, probably more than anybody ever has. I read every book, I’ve watched every video, every interview he’s ever done. And after watching, you know, I don’t know, 10s of hours, hundreds of hours of videos and interviews about Damon. I found in one little nugget about somebody he worked with who he and I had in common. I didn’t know he knew this person, but it was a person we had in common. I brought it up during Shark Tank. And I saw his eyes light up when I mentioned that and I ended up closing the deal. So had I not done that kind of deep research, watch hundreds of hours where the tape, then maybe I wouldn’t have gotten a deal. So long story short, most people are lazy these days. But it’s so easy because you have the internet at your hands. It’s not like you have to go do boots on the ground research like we used to have to do back in the day.
Krisstina Wise [10:28]
Wow, that’s so good. And it’s really true, because how many important people do we have the opportunity to meet or potentially have a deal to have that opportunity? And then, yeah, just more focused on the me, what am I going to say? What am I going to present? What’s the offer, as opposed to Hey, how we relate is, you know, when somebody else feels some type of connection, that’s, you know, usually that’s the draw in the pool, not so much just the deal itself. It’s like closing the deal,
Jason Hanson [10:56]
right? I mean, I’ll give you another quick another example. So everybody has hot sauce, everybody. Something that truly motivates them. So what do I got? I’ll ask you this question. What do you think is the number one reason that people spy for the United States? So if, if you’re spying, you’re going over to recruit Russia or China or whatever? What do you think the main reason you’re going to be able to recruit something? There’s someone what is their hot button?
Krisstina Wise [11:19]
Oh my gosh, I wouldn’t even know where to guess.
Jason Hanson [11:23]
So for Americans, meaning when an American you know, betrays our country commits treason, it’s often for money. So, you know, Americans want money. But interestingly enough for a lot of people overseas, it’s education for their children. So they live in some crappy, you know, country some dump, and they want their kids to have books to have a wonderful education to have the opportunity to come to United States and go to a real University. Well, if you’ve done your homework and you know that stuff, instead of going to, you know, Mr. Smith and trying to recruit them and say, Hey, Mr. Smith, here’s $50,000 you can say Hey, Mr. Smith, your kids Could have the opportunity to go to the finest universities to have a library full of books. And I can tell you for a fact without giving too much away, that deals have been closed using that exact way of, you know, promising kids a better education.
Krisstina Wise [12:15]
Wow. And it makes so much sense. I mean, absolutely. I mean, that’s, that’s what one would probably want for their children to break that cycle. Got it. So what you’re saying there then is how that can apply to business is to look at those What if in the art of the deal, so to speak, or making the deal is, how would you put How would you like, convert that to a business deal, for example?
Jason Hanson [12:38]
Right. And again, it goes, it goes back to the deep research, like, I get approached for deals all the time, and people are pitching me. And they you know, the ones who get the deals have clearly done the research. They know me they know, because I’m, I’m very transparent. I mean, I’ve told you stuff on this podcast of Hey, I have five kids. I’ve never texted in my life. You know, I can tell the people who do the research versus that you Eric thing, and you know, people know what motivates me. And these days, it’s spending more time with my kids spending more time with my wife. Um, you know, I’m happy to stroke a check to have somebody do something else for me and not have to waste my time doing it. Those are the things that motivate me. So once you find that, because so many people are lazy, it’s that much easier to close deals these days.
Krisstina Wise [13:21]
Wow. I love that. Thank you. So let’s talk about persuasion. Where is where does what is persuasion? And how did you learn persuasion? And again, how do you apply that today?
Jason Hanson [13:35]
So the best way to learn persuasion is go on the streets and do it. And most people you know, they’re afraid to they don’t want to get out of their comfort zone. But if you go in situations and you have to go elicit because it’s the art of elicitation. If you have to go elicit information from someone and say, Hey, see that waitress over there? I want you to get the last four of her social security number or see that guy over there a bar I want you to get his phone number. So that is honestly the best way to do it, if you really want to be a good salesperson is get out there and do it in person. But I’ll tell you one of the biggest mistakes people make is they just come out of the gate, and they don’t warm you up and they just, you know, come out and say, hey, I’ve got these knives I want to sell you 20 knives and it’s like, Whoa, maybe I don’t need knives. Maybe I don’t want knives. So, one of my favorite things to do is call the hourglass conversation. Because a lot of the stuff you do in the spy world is a cold meeting, meaning you’re going out of the blue it’s like trying to pick up a girl at the bar, you don’t know them. You’re You know, you’re seeing if they have information you want or need or have connections. So the hourglass conversation is very simply, you go to someone you start chatting about something boring and bland, meaning the weather or Hey, how’s the food here? How’s your day, something very non threatening. Then the middle of the conversation, the hourglass part, which kind of curves down is when you might mention something like oh man, you know, I’ve got to get to work tomorrow. I hate my boss. I work at this computer company. You’re trying to see if they say, Oh, well, hey, I work at a computer company too. And, you know, I hate my boss. So you know, if they work at a computer related company, or obviously you would set it up beforehand, then because in the spy world, you’ve got to be very careful. You don’t want it to be obvious, you are trying to find out about their work. You get back to the bottom part of the hourglass where you go broad again, and you say something like, hey, the Knicks are playing tomorrow night, you know, do you like basketball or Hey, football season starting? You know, what do you think of the, you know, the Patriots this year? So the whole point of the hourglass is broad, narrow, broad, because you usually remember the first part of the conversation and the last part, you’re not going to remember the middle where you are truly trying to elicit information. So in a spy world, if you screw it up, you can get out of an end up in a foreign prison and get killed. The stakes are a little less dangerous in the business world, but it still helps because you’re not coming off as a pushy person trying to close a sale.
Krisstina Wise [15:59]
Yeah, so share with me like how would you get somebody says security, their last four digits? Like how would you How would you approach the person and then just walk me through a little bit of that dialogue?
Jason Hanson [16:10]
Sure. So a lot of times, it’s you offering information. It’s the Aspire world that is give to get. So you might go up to someone, and let’s say you’re at a restaurant, you order your meal, and you get your bill at the end of the, at the end of the meal. So you’re looking at the bill, and maybe it’s $19 and 24 cents, and you’re like, Hey, 1924 those are the last for my show security number. And then you start going and a lot of times you’ve built a relationship ahead of time, meaning you’ve been talking to that waitress or waiter the entire time. You’ve been finding out about their family, friends, you be you’ve been very friendly. So by the time you’re like, Hey 1924 last four years social, you know, what are the last four years social? Where were you born? They’re like, Oh, mine’s just 6443. And when you ask him that, if you ask him that out of the blue, weird, but if you built that relationship and you’re like, Hey, what’s your last four mines? 1924 and they’re like, Well, wait a minute, if Jason just told me his last four, I’ll tell him my four You know, I’m not telling him my whole thing. So that’s in a nutshell the very quick way but again, there’s obviously more behind the scenes than that.
Krisstina Wise [17:17]
Right But that’s that’s really fun. How much was it when you’re in the CIA would you would when you would get the information? Was it like this feeling of Yeah, I did it that was that was hard information to get or is it just kind of part of the job and you almost expect to?
Jason Hanson [17:32]
Well, there’s usually there’s so much background work. You know, like, again, I had so many wonderful mentor but a mentor of mine who was able to this guy was one of the best extractors in the business this guy was amazing, is you know, he would tell somebody for weeks to know their every habit, their every move, you know, that kind of stuff. So, you know, when he ran into him at a bar and sat next to them and they order the same meal and it’s almost like hey, you like fish? I like fish you like right away. You know it’s like you know it’s it’s he knows him so well they become best friends he makes some you make them fall in love with you that it’s not weird again if you’re like hey what’s the last four years social or Hey, tell me what work because you’ve done such a good job building things beforehand so remember there are no coincidences in life
Krisstina Wise [18:21]
yeah that’s so good you know it’s it’s it makes me think that I I was in a relationship with somebody that was really good at this that I’d say in an unhealthy way meaning that I mean, after all this time I can say this publicly but I felt like I was a target and same thing like it It caused me like to fall fully like head over heels in love with this person because it seemed very quaint still, like whoa, you like the same food Whoa, you like the same everything and I just felt this like, well, I’ve actually met this person is so much like me. I mean, come to find out later, I was studied. I everything about Mi was like a research project where he knew every little inch degree. And I had no idea. So like on a on the other side of that in an unhealthy way, but it was very effective. No, but it caused these feelings in me of, oh my gosh, yeah, I can relate to this person and we have so much in common I feel I can contrast this and, and all my information then. Yeah, it was completely
Unknown Speaker [19:26]
right out there.
Jason Hanson [19:27]
Right. And obviously, you can use these skills for evil, which people do or you can use them for good. But I mean, one of the most important things again, as a spy world is you’re coming off, not needy. So you’re hanging out with this person. You’re not you’re not being like a stalker coming off super needy. So let’s say you’ve met him at the bar, you know, you’ve obviously target him, you’ve had this meal, you may walk away saying, alright, sorry, I got to go leave. You know, I’ve just bought a new boat, and I’ve got to go get a service as you’re walking out. Now, of course, you know, this guy loves boats and own boats. So he’ll jump up and say, Well, wait a minute. Don’t event you know, you just bought a boat so to die, so you do that kind of stuff. And again, you’re trying to recruit them to help the United States of America. So you’re doing it for good, intense, not, you know, not bad purposes.
Krisstina Wise [20:12]
Yeah, absolutely. But it’s just, I mean, it’s effective for good or evil, it doesn’t matter. It’s just that the techniques work and it’s just that when you said this, like, Oh, yeah, I can relate to that. And just the feeling does and how it just very easily I was I gave my information after feeling so known and, and relating. Wow. All right. So let’s talk about just business itself. So did I would imagine there’s a lot of those that are like in government, they probably maybe you’re staying in that position for you know, 20 3040 years get pensions and, and I don’t know if they’d be able to convert it necessarily to the entrepreneurial business world, what do you because they’re very different to, you know, be employed and paid. just you know, you do your job, as opposed to going out and creating a business and, and building it and you know, you kind of have to put all these pieces together. What is it? Do you think that you were really able to make the transition and have been able to turn those skills into a really successful business? Well, it’s
Jason Hanson [21:18]
it’s two things. One is, I love risk. So if you’re going to join the CIA, you obviously love risk, you love adventure, you know, none of us would do it if we didn’t. And the entrepreneurial world owning your own business is certainly risk in itself. You know, you’ve got to provide for your family, it’s 100% on your head. You know, if you screw up, it’s all on you. So you know, you’re you’re making money, it’s kind of do or die. So that is one of the things is, you know, I get enjoyment out of risk. It’s just a different type, obviously, in the business world. And the other thing is, I have the entrepreneurial bug. So to have to have the entrepreneurial bug where you want to go out there where you’re wanting to build something from scratch, because I do have many friends who are ex CIA who worked for me now, and they do an amazing job, but they just don’t have the entrepreneurial bug of starting their own business. So combined with the fact that, you know, I was fortunate to learn all the analytical skills, the deep research, the sales and persuasion skills, courtesy of the CIA, I have the risk taking factor that I love, but I also have that entrepreneurial bug that not everybody has. Got it.
Krisstina Wise [22:27]
Yeah, and that’s but the risk piece is a big piece. I mean, let’s talk a little bit about that. Because I think when I I’d say a good healthy portion of my listeners are what I call micro business owners or small business entrepreneurs. And I think you know, there’s a lot of, I don’t know, it’s almost there’s so much shame these days, if you’re not an entrepreneur versus really thinking that to fully embrace this, build your own business, take all the risk, there is a lot of risk associated. So talk a little bit about risk and and mitigating risk and how you looked at risk in the CIA and what you like, how you judge that is a means to Should we move forward with this or not?
Jason Hanson [23:10]
Yeah, I mean, you kind of hit it mitigating risks, so everything is a calculated risk. So even though I love risk, I’m not just going out there and going crazy and throwing caution to the wind, I am doing everything I can to lessen the risk in my business. I’m, you know, I’m doing things as simple as making a pros and cons list, you know, on a on a yellow legal pad, okay, pros and cons. Let’s look at the numbers. Okay, if we make it, we make this much money, but we only lose this much money. So the risk reward ratio is massive. So I’m not, you know, these days in my business, you know, we got many facets to it, as I said is, we know what works so well that we very rarely have a failure these days. Just because we’re able to plug and play our numbers. We know what to do. We know when we’re launching a product or taking on a client kind of thing. And, you know, but then at the same time we still there was I can’t remember which entrepreneurs said it, but he said something like, the more guarantee your income is, the less you’ll be successful and wealthy, because there’s no risk. So, and he was talking about making money in a business sense. So obviously when I work for the government, you know, you have a two weeks pay, you know, your paycheck every two weeks, you have your pension. There’s very little risk associated when you work for the CIA, money wise, because you’ve got your top secret security clearance, you’re set for life. Well, in the business world, when you have nothing guaranteed, that’s where you can make the huge bucks if that’s what motivates you. So again, going back is calculate everything, look at everything, analyze everything, so that’s why it really doesn’t bother me, because I’ve done so much. I’ve analyzed so much that I know the chance of likelihood of success is massive compared to the downfall
Krisstina Wise [24:55]
either type of personality type you are because what I found to that is Some of it is just probably laziness. One, maybe laziness combined with natural personality style, because a lot of those that are more entrepreneurial, they’re quickstarts meaning they they’re very they are very much risk takers but they’re kind of just throw it all in and just like take big risks and chances without calculating without doing the research without analyzing without very being very thoughtful with the, you know, with knowing this may be you know, there’s always inherent risk in this, but I’m gonna make I’m gonna mitigate that down as much as possible. So it’s his least risky as it can be. Are you a personality type that’s just naturally a researcher or is this like, No, I’m actually very entrepreneurial, fast paced, quick start, but I’ve learned that in order to do these things, I need to slow it down. I need to, you know, do my research. I need to make decisions with real data and information.
Jason Hanson [25:50]
I learned I had to learn how to do that because I am naturally like, Alright, let’s just go guns blazing. Let’s go 90 miles an hour and get this done. But one of the benefits To the agency and mentors teaching me is like, Listen, if you screw up here, you can get killed, people get killed. So it’s kind of a high risk, you know? Well, I took that to the business world where it’s like, okay, I do want to go 100 miles an hour be crazy. But I know that I’ve got to do that bit of research. So it’s, it’s kind of forced upon me. It’s obviously a good thing is helped me, but it was not something that I’ve always naturally done.
Krisstina Wise [26:25]
Yeah, I think that’s really important. That’s what I wanted to know. There’s really, I mean, there’s lots of personality types for just good. There’s really those that are more analytical and detailed and slow and methodical. They love being in the data, they love being in the numbers, they, you know, look at things 10 times and really get stuck many times like they can’t make a decision, because they just don’t they keep wanting that next piece of information then the others like, Oh my gosh, I just want to learn by trial and error and just go out there and do it. And, you know, so it sounds like you’re more of this true entrepreneurial, just go out there with the guns a blazing, but you’ve learned that No I need to pull the data so that I don’t kill people but I love that idea to that you know when it’s life and death like what you were, you know in the CIA if we approach that in a business like this could be the life and death of my business the life and death of the financial well being of my family, or if my you know all these different things that if it were maybe in business if we learned to treat it more like life and death, we would slow down a little bit we would be more methodical we would do the research, we would look at more data.
Jason Hanson [27:27]
Yeah, I love that because I am not a numbers guy, meaning I don’t love looking at the data. I don’t love doing the numbers. So I’ve kind of made myself in the middle Manning I again, I hate looking at the numbers, and I love going crazy, but I found that nice middle area where I know it’s necessary I forced myself to do it. I look at all the data before we launch a product or again take on a new client just because I know it you know like you said it could be the downfall the business it is worth it to invest that time and you know, spend that money to research it
Krisstina Wise [27:59]
all All right, well, let’s let’s look at another thing you talked about in your book, you talk about strategic alliances, like really building these relationships, developing them, and how that’s an important piece of what you learned in the CIA. And that that’s what you’ve learned is a very strategic important piece of your business. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
Jason Hanson [28:18]
Sure. So I’ll tell you a quick story. So we’ll go back to the spy worlds when you are trying to recruit someone, and lets us use a spy. If you’re going over to Russia, and you’re trying to recruit somebody to work for the CIA. You could obviously as we talked about, you know, watch that person go up to them recruit them. But that is harder to do. What is much easier to do is you find the best friends of the person you’re trying to recruit. So you actually go after them, so you know, where they go to the gym or where they go to Starbucks, and you become best friends with their friend, because then one day, they’re going to introduce you to the target, and that is called a warm introduction. So we all know that if somebody introduces us who is a good friend Yours you automatically trust that person you’re like, Okay, if Sally trusts her, then I trust her. So that’s why the warm introduction is so powerful. The spiralled? Well, it’s the same thing. I’m trying to get out there and make as many lines as I can. Because I know that just makes job a lot easier. And going back to the gift to get is in Aspire world, you’re going to give things to people like that person who’s the best friend of my target, you know, I may give them things I may take them out to dinner, we may be walking in the mall. And let’s say my cover was on such some rich American businessman. I may say to him, like, Hey, I’m going to buy a new suit. You know, my company gives me a massive stipend you want to sue to and so I buy them all these things. So they feel indebted to me. And it’s the law of reciprocity where they want to help me because I’ve helped them well, it’s the same thing build all these alliances, help people for a good way not because you’re trying to be you know, malicious, but do all these things. Find out who matters in your industry. So, in my niche, I know all the big players I’m willing to help them Do everything you know i can to help them because I know that it’s going to come back to me I know that if they need something you know they know that I can be trusted that our company can be counted on so you can’t live in your little bubble as a hermit go help as many people as you can go build as many alliances as you can and and give to get but give to get in a good way.
Krisstina Wise [30:20]
Yeah, that’s good you know what jumps out at me when you say that it’s taking time to that we’re in this rush rush world want the deal right now close it sales techniques, you know, pressure persuade, you know, whatever, whatever that is, like now now now now as opposed to No, this isn’t this takes time. I’m developing relationships. I’m looking at alliances I’m looking kind of this future. These are the people I would need and these are the people that can really I can serve and by virtue of my serving them, they help my business grow and and but yeah, it’s like what I’m listening to is you take time you’re very strategic, you’re thinking and you know, where do I want to be in this Future who’s part of that? Where do I need to start? You know, how many, you know? How long might it take to be able to have that type of warm introduction, but it’s very thoughtful, I guess is what I’m trying to say. very strategic.
Jason Hanson [31:13]
Yeah, I mean, the key is you’re playing the long game. So in the intelligence business, you’re not trying to recruit somebody overnight, you’re playing the long game, because it might take weeks, weeks, months, years, well, sending in business, I’m playing the long game. I’m very fortunate that this year we’re selling are celebrating our 10th anniversary of being in business since I left the agency. So you don’t want to be that one hit wonder you don’t want to be that person that’s, you know, ripping someone off and not building a relationship because you will never have a business in the long run. So I’m always paying the long game looking 30 years down the road. You know, I still want to be in business. 30 years down the road type of thing.
Krisstina Wise [31:50]
Yeah, and I’m with you. I you know, I say that all the time. It’s like, I’m not going anywhere. I’m in the long game. So my reputation, my ethics, my integrity, like all of that matters. It’s you know, it’s no shortcuts to try to get the sale or get the money today. And you know, just for the now mentality, but yeah, when you’re playing the long game, every move matters. every relationship matters. Like every decision really matters. And but thinking that way, I think to your point, it’s a very different way to approach this. So if I’m in this for the long game, I’m not going anywhere long term, this is who I am what I do my identity my business. So you know, I’m not shortcutting anything. I’m not trying to, you know, cut any corners to get to the numbers now.
Jason Hanson [32:35]
Absolutely. I totally agree with you.
Krisstina Wise [32:37]
All right. So I’m really curious about what is what is the Seder cycle and Is that how you say it?
Jason Hanson [32:43]
Yeah, I mean, you can say it that way. You say I say Dr. cycle, it doesn’t matter. So okay, well, you know, I’ll say sad are just so they understand that I’m saying four different letters, but it’s spawning, assessing, developing and recruiting. And what that means without you know, taking 10 years to tell you is It’s basically the recruitment cycle. So spotting is okay, I need something who is the person that has it? So let’s say we know that another country has some biological weapon they’re developing. Well, you need to see start spotting that people have access to that. So it’s going to be scientists, it’s going to be the research people. So you’re trying to spot you know, who could have what I need. So that’s spotting. Assessing is simply who truly has access, meaning, if I spot 10 scientists, only one of them might actually be doing worse. Rob, work on that biological weapon the other night might be doing work on something else. So you’ve got to truly see like, okay, I spotted these 10 guys who I think might have what I mean, I’m an assassin truly do research on them and see which ones actually have it. So spotting assessing developing is once you know somebody has what you need. Developing is where you’re making them fall in love with you. You’re building that relationship you’re knowing everything about about him, you’re making them become your best friend. Then recruiting is simply the day and obviously again, it’s more nuanced than this where you say, hey, Jim, I’m not really American businessman, I work for the CIA, how would you like to spy for us? So in the business world, recruiting is the day you close the deal. Such as you know, hey, Bob, I really think we can help your company. I love it. If we could offer you this or, you know, hey, Jim, you know, we’re the best personal protection people in the business. I know you need a bodyguard, how would you like to hire our company? So recruiting is when you close a deal. Now, the sad our cycle can take, you know, a week, a month, a year. I mean, it obviously depends on what you’re doing. But that is what the pros use, when you’re really trying to close a deal, whether it’s close a person, you know, in a foreign country, or again, just closer, traditional business deal.
Krisstina Wise [34:47]
So it’s really the cycle of everything we’ve talked about is just doing some research, you know, just really looking at the data spot in like, who, who, what, where, when, why and how, and then assessing The whole situation and yeah, so I love that that’s a really nice way to think about it. Like you call it the cycle of Hey, start here and do that and then just use that over and over and over again. And so you have here like putting it all together how I use the sad r cycle to create million dollar marketing campaigns. So,
Jason Hanson [35:24]
yeah, so yeah, I mean, I can share that, uh, you got to know your customer. I’m always amazed when I because I do a lot of marketing consulting these days to In addition, everything else I do. But I’m amazed when people come to me and they’re like, Hey, we’re gonna run this ad or we’re gonna launch this website or whatever. And they have no idea who their customer is. It’s just like, it you know, blows my mind. So, and the intelligence business your customer, the person you’re recruiting, you’re gonna overthink about them. You’re gonna know if they you know what they drink what they like. So, when people come to me, I asked them, What is the demographic of your customer I want to No, is it a 21 year old girl who loves Instagram? who watches or Gosh, obviously I’m not a 21 year girls, I’m trying to be good shows they watch, you know who watches this show? Who is are they a Republican or a Democrat? Are they conservative? Are they liberal? You know, do they wear t shirts? Do they work, you know? So I know that in my own business, I know my client to a tee. I know what TV shows they like I know what products they like. And so that’s the stuff which again, so many business owners, I’m like, tell me about your customer? How old are they? I don’t know. Well, you know, are they male between the ages of 40 and 50 are they and a lot of that is just ask them like so many people are afraid to get on the phone. Call up your customers. You’ll find out very quickly Hey every customer I talk to is made between age 50 and 55. every customer I talked to says their favorite new station is CNN or every customer I talk to says they love Fox News. That is critical information that can help you but people are afraid To pick up the phone and they’re lazy
Krisstina Wise [37:03]
that’s really good. You know I’m in the business and marketing side Yeah, we look at creating avatars like really creating what is what is that target customer that ideal or that you know the audience looks like but you know, it’s really more I think about still in marketing terms but I like the way you’re framing it and the way you’ve been trained, like know for spotting if we’re really targeting this person, we know everything about them. And we studied them for a long time that we sit down and know what meal they’re going to order and and we know what type of wine and we know what gym they go to, and we know how they vote and you know, it’s a whole different level of research of getting to know to like so that you can have that that real relatability as opposed to more superficial just marketing business. It’s like no, no, no, the more you can get under this and really know them. It’s well you can build develop That type of marketing campaign and strategy?
Jason Hanson [38:03]
Well, yeah, I mean, we talked about earlier about hot buttons. So if you’re recruiting somebody, and you’re asking them, obviously cleverly, you know, you’re not asking him out, right, but what really matters to them for spying. If they say, hey, I need some money, then you know, money is the hot button to go after that. But if they say, hey, it’s education for my children, then you know, to talk about that. So you find out this stuff talking to your customer. So one of the reasons that I’m so fortunate to be so successful in my company and people I help is we talk to their customers, they tell you exactly what they want. So on a website, if your customer tells you a million times, hey, I have back pain. I really wish there was this supplement for back pain. You use the exact same verbiage, because that’s what your product offers, assuming your product really does that. So it’s not rocket science, because people are going to tell you what they care about. They’re going to tell you what they motivate, and and then you just regurgitate it back to them. If you have a product or service that can solve that problem.
Krisstina Wise [39:01]
Yeah, right and why guess just use the exact same language? Yep. So and you say that your book you say, you know, some common sense approaches to building your business and, and you have some words in here that I really like that I’d love you to touch on, you know, something, a word that you use that is loyalty. And I don’t know, I just don’t see a lot of loyalty these days. You know, it’s just kind of everything’s short term. What can I get right now? And, and, you know, so there’s no real like you said, not the long game mentality not building real trust, relationships, integrity, loyalty. And so how, how important, like, how do you think about loyalty in your business? And how important do you think it is like these words like loyalty? integrity?
Unknown Speaker [39:48]
Jason Hanson [39:50]
Yeah, I mean, loyalty is huge. I mean, any intelligence business loyalty is everything because you’ve got partners you got people working with, you need to be able to depend on them. Same thing in the military loyalty is Because you’re depending on these people who could save your life or you may save their lives. So, when business is no difference, I mean, you’ve got to treat people well, you’ve got to be loyal to them if they help you out or you’ve helped them out or you just can’t churn and burn and I unfortunately do know people I’ve met through networking who do that and their business is not going to last long. They’re not going to be successful. So I think people forget you know, kind of the quote unquote 10 commandments those haven’t changed. You know, be loyal be kind treat people well Don’t you know, chew their head off. Don’t obviously be dishonest. So those morals and values are the long game and far too many people forget about them these days.
Krisstina Wise [40:43]
Yeah, and it’s it’s like a popularity contest is swaying any which way to, you know, to to for the popular opinion or whatever, as opposed to real relationship trust, stability, loyalty, we have each other’s backs and you building that type of very trusted, loyal network.
Jason Hanson [41:03]
And I think another thing is critical is you’ve got to stand by what you stand for, you’ve got to have conviction. So I’ll give you a very quick example because it recently happened to my cleaning company. So we do a lot of bodyguard work. But me personally, I don’t do drugs. I don’t believe in marijuana. I know obviously, it’s popular these days, because it’s illegal in a lot of states. But that is my personal preference. We’re just we’re never going to do anything drug related. So we had somebody want to hire us as bodyguards for a legal marijuana business. And this contract was going to be worth $535,000. So a good sum of money, you know, not not petty cash. But because I don’t want to be anything near anything drug related. That is not my morals and values. We turned it down and said, Hey, Thanks, but no thanks. So whatever somebody’s morals and values are, stick to it. Because once you start to stray, once you you know, start to try and be everything to anyone your business will grow. rumble. So you know, my business has a very certain niche of clientele. We don’t stray from that. People know that, you know, we don’t again, we’re not into drugs, we’re Christian, we’re religious, you know, we’re not doing any classes on Sundays, you can come and train with us on a Sunday because we can’t take Sunday off. So those things will never change. And I don’t care if it loses me money, because it’s more important than money. So I think that’s important too, is you’ve got to find out things personally, which are non negotiable in your business.
Krisstina Wise [42:28]
I love that. And I see that you’re a man of loyalty integrity, you have a stand, you take a stand you live by that stand, again, very rare these days.
Jason Hanson [42:38]
Well, I mean, I’m fortunate that I’m not homeless, I’m not poor. So when people come to me, and it doesn’t mean our morals or values, I can say no, thank you, you know, money. I like money just as much as everybody you know, I’m a business owner, but money is far down my list of important things. You know, my family, God, country, all those things are much much, much more important.
Krisstina Wise [43:00]
love that so in here you say eliminate don’t accumulate, which is something you know, I’m a, I teach money I teach wealth creation and you know, a big part of my message is less is more really that you know, there’s a lot more money when you need a lot less even so tell me your thoughts about don’t accumulate eliminate and probably something similar like less is more.
Jason Hanson [43:25]
Yeah, so in the intelligence business you don’t want to end up with a 10 million gadgets and all this crap going into an operation. You know, you want to be lean and mean. So it’s much much easier to operate lean and mean you’re more flexible, you get a lot more done. You don’t have a you know, 1000 pound backpack on your back. You know, you have a 25 pound backpack or whatever it really is. Well, same thing in business. I looked up really and me, no, I don’t have a gazillion employees. I don’t have a big fancy building. You know, I don’t have all that stuff because it’s unnecessary. And when you simplify life and run, lean and mean you can concentrating on what’s truly important so I have a daily to do list I’m old fashioned so it is written down on a yellow legal pad you know with a ballpoint pen and I know the critical things that I have to take care of every day you know I don’t text I don’t answer my phone most of the time during the day unless it’s you know, an important client calling. So I am very strict on myself that way. I’m not letting all that clutter get in there I can simplify. So I’m taking care of what we do best and then I can outsource everything else that is not what we do best.
Krisstina Wise [44:32]
Yeah, wow. That’s that’s really wonderful. You know the it’s I think we’ve a little bit we’ve been conditioned a little bit that we need the latest shiny Penny, you know, the latest technology, the latest the latest fad and and like you said, if I don’t have this, then I’m not going to succeed and, and I think you’re a really good example of running a multi million dollar business family values. Looks like you’re really great husband really good dad to five children. And you’re running this super Uber successful business with a ballpoint pen and a yellow legal pad but there’s a lot that can be said there.
Jason Hanson [45:15]
One of the things I’m fortunate to and as I don’t care when people criticize me, I don’t care if people don’t like it. So I’ve always I’ve always had this with me you know, some people have to develop it, but like if you criticize me if you don’t like something go on going on. I literally don’t care if I’m doing what I think is right, meaning if I was out robbing banks, then yes, I would care what you thought. But if I am doing the training, if I’m helping people, you know, my product and service have literally saved lives because I have those emails. I have those testimonials. So if I’m doing what is right, I really don’t care what other people think, though you know, I don’t go on Instagram. I have a Facebook page for the company, but I couldn’t even tell you what the URL is. Honestly, I don’t even know how to get there. So somebody is like bad mouthing me on Facebook. are, you know, whatever it may be, I literally don’t care. So I think a lot of business owners get in those, I’ll call it urinating contests and they worry about and they stress about it. Like, I never look at it. I don’t care if you are doing a good honest business providing a worthy product, then who cares? What the 5% thing we’re gonna hate you you’re always gonna have people hate you. Ignore them.
Krisstina Wise [46:24]
Yeah, exactly. It’s not you’re not doing this to be liked. You’re doing it to provide value and good service take care of lives and people and your family and, and yeah, outside of that, who cares? And you know, something else that makes me think of is that when we’re not distracted with all the social media and the text messages and the all this noise, it seems so important, like oh my God, if I miss something on Facebook or whatever, it sounds like you. There’s a lot of space you have for your wife, for your children. You know, being very succinct, with Your business and fitting that into the time that you offer it. But, again, when we simplify it down to just the few things in the backpack, that it offers a lot more space and time to live life and, you know, have have things to offer to, to life outside of just business.
Jason Hanson [47:17]
Yeah, I mean, when I’m making my to do list, I’ll write down like the three or four things that are crucial that I must get done today. And I don’t worry about anything else, because I’m looking at what are the three things that are the highest and best use of my time, which are going to provide the most value for people in the business long term. So of course, we can end up getting in the weeds and doing a million a little one things, but I’m looking at those high value activities. So I do get up early. I like get up at 4:30am I’m an early riser so I can get done. But no matter what I’m done at five o’clock. So if it’s a regular day when I’m in my office, you know not training or consulting. Then at 5pm I’m shutting down the laptop, it’s done. You know I’m not staring at my phone every 30 seconds doing that kind of stuff. Because, you know, I know that, you know, the world’s not going to end most likely. So, you know, I have those firm deadlines. Okay, five o’clock here, I’m done. I’m turning it off, you know, I’ve got other people that work for me or can handle things. So, you know, it’s also about those boundaries. I mean, I, I love what I do, and I love to work and I’m admittedly a workaholic. So if I was single, I would work 24 seven. But, you know, I like my kids. I like my wife. I’m not single. So you’ve got to stablish those boundaries.
Krisstina Wise [48:28]
Yeah, that’s a big thing as well. All right. Well, to wrap this up a little bit in the cyber security world. I’m just really curious. What should we be paying attention to? What’s going on that because we’re not aware we might be at more risk of danger then that we would have any awareness of?
Jason Hanson [48:48]
Well, that’s a loaded question that you gave me like 60 seconds to answer and can be a two hour answer, but the 62nd answer is on your computer. Make sure you have a VPN virtual private network. Way, anytime you’re on Wi Fi, your information is encrypted. You know, use common sense obvious. When your uncle from Nigeria wants your information for the $10 million. He promises you don’t click on those links. Something that not a lot of people do is freeze your credit, so called the major bureaus, you know, TransUnion, Experian, Equifax, and put a credit freeze. That means if anybody does hack you, they can go, you know, buy a car, they can go get a mortgage, it’s very easy to do. But when I’m teaching seminars, you know, maybe 15% of the class has a credit freeze. So do that, because that protects you cyber wise, you know, some other company, you know, like Target or whomever gets breached and takes your information. So those are just a few of the many things which people can do to protect themselves.
Krisstina Wise [49:46]
Yeah, that’s our two easy ones. I never even thought about freezing credit. I’m going to do that when we call so thank you. I would I would do that. Excellent. Excellent. Yeah. Because I, you know, have credit cards that if they got hacked, that wouldn’t be wouldn’t be good. All right. So just to wrap up, I like to ask a few final questions as we slide into home base here. And the first one is that I like to ask is, if, if I asked you if you said, Hey, Christina, if you really, really knew me, you would know that. So tell me something that most people don’t know about you.
Jason Hanson [50:22]
I’m introverts. I’m a hermit. We have 320 acres on near here where we do training. And my happy place is when I’m at that 320 acres all by myself, not being bothered by the world.
Krisstina Wise [50:35]
I love it. Yeah, it’s really funny. And it’s so it’s actually so many business owners have very successful businesses or even on stages consulting and have lots of people around them. They’re actually really serious hermit type introverts somehow, you know, like to go back in and after they’re all the way out. So that’s awesome. And how awesome these days to be on 300 acres and it’s beautiful, that type of this. Yes, yeah. I’m a little envious there. All right, so tell me something. Tell me a brag moment. What’s something you’re really proud of that the United States usually and the reason why I said it’s, I found it hard for a real business owner, she, we just do what we do. We don’t really brag about it. So but I think it’s important sometimes say, you know, I’m really proud of XYZ.
Jason Hanson [51:19]
Well, my first book was a New York Times bestseller. And so I was proud of that, because everybody was like, Nah, nobody wants to hear about that. Nobody’s gonna listen, you know, you don’t know what you’re, you’re not an author. And so that was nice. You know, that was a good, like, Hey, guys, obviously, this was a good book, and people liked it.
Krisstina Wise [51:38]
Oh, my God, that’s huge. Congratulations. All right. And then on the flip side, tell me just like an abysmal, abysmal failure, where you just like completely screwed it up. And at the time, it might have been really embarrassing and humiliating. But now you’re like, Well, that was a good lesson.
Jason Hanson [51:54]
Oh, of course, as a business owner, I have 1,000,001 failures. So you know, one time we did a study seminar which means a group came up with we thought it was going to be a brilliant seminar The audience was going to love it. Later I discovered it was another a little too CIA intensive lingo wise. And like the seminar ceased in sell, nobody wanted to come to it. It was a total product bomb. So that was a huge failure when you realizing like nobody’s interested in that. And that was very early on in the company when I didn’t do all the homework I should have done.
Krisstina Wise [52:27]
There you go. I love it. All right. And one final question that we wrap up with is do a little myth busting. Is there a big fat liar myth that you’d like to best publicly?
Jason Hanson [52:38]
Almost the CIA one we kind of talked about earlier is like everybody thinks you’re jumping out of planes like James Bond and you’re rolling down a European Street and a tank. If anybody in the agency is using their gun, that means something has gone wrong, and that’s not good. So you are supposed to blend in like a ghost. You’re supposed to be boring. You’re supposed to be the person walking down the street who looks so average that nobody will think you’re a spy.
Krisstina Wise [53:01]
I love it. Well, there you go. All right, Jason, thank you so much for your time you have so many nuggets in there and I love that you’re just bringing the CIA to the business world and congratulations on just being such a, you know, successful businessman with really great solid values. You’re, you’re certainly a really great example for all of us.
Jason Hanson [53:21]
Well, thank you. I appreciate that.
What We Covered
[1:30] Introduce yourself who is Jason Hanson?
[2:11] So what drew you to the CIA?
[3:32] What did you learn being in the CIA?
[4:20] What type of training was involved to become so aware of your surroundings and reading the situation?
[6:59] Are there times where you wish you weren’t so hyper-aware of your surroundings?
[7:55] Let’s talk about your new book Survive Like a Spy.
[8:30] So how do you apply your spy skills to the business world?
[12:25] So how do you covert your deep research to making a deal? What is the art of the deal for you?
[13:23] So tell me about persuasion.
[16:00] Share with me how would you get the last four of a person’s social security number?
[17:22] Did you celebrate your accomplishments?
[20:33] Lets talk about business itself.
[22:30] Lets talk about risk and your love of it. How do you mitigate risk?
[24:56] What personality type are you? Are you a fast start or more of the researcher type?
[28:04] In your book you talk about strategic alliances tell us about them.
[32:42] What is the SADR Cycle?
[35:05] So how do you use that to know your customer?
[39:15] How important is loyalty and integrity?
[43:00] Tell me about eliminate don’t accumulate.
[45:00] You so are effective and productive there is a lot to be said about that.
[48:30] Tell us what threats in the cybersecurity world we should be worried about.
[50:05] Hey Krisstina if you really really know me you would know that?
[51:02] Tell us a brag moment about you.
[51:40] Tell us an abysmal failure of yours.
[52:29] Bust a Myth for us
“Give to Get”
“You can’t Churn and Burn”
“You want to be Lean and Mean”
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