RIK ASSFALG: So this is RIK.live with another episode of Karma Fucks Best to the place where there’s no right and no wrong and here I invite amazing people to share their view on things as life’s purpose, spirituality and of course karma. And here we also talk unfilteredly about the truth behind success, abundance and we listen carefully and respect each philosophy and we use what works and lovably let go what doesn’t.
Today’s episode is going to be another highlight because we have a true legend in the house known as the Godfather of Internet Marketing. He’s been selling online figure that and mentoring since the early 90s that is like forever. He’s a wizard, creating email list faster than anybody else and I would be stupid not to ask him how he does that at least you know with the hint for everybody who’s interested in that. He’s also the cause for let’s say 40, 974 spam emails in my Inbox. Maybe not the reason but he’s maybe the richer cause because he invented the squeeze page.
He’s a consultant for Intel, for Microsoft and Disney to name just a few and because we’re friends, I may add, he’s super giving, caring, crazily handsome as you will see in a second and chick magnet. I guarantee he’s a lot of good fun to be around with. Brother, aloha and good morning. Thank you for being with us. Hello to the other side of the world from Switzerland to Maui, Hawaii. Here is ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Jonathan Levi Mizel.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Thank you so much RIK. Yeah. It is early here and it’s late where you are yes?
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah. It was. We’re 12 hours apart so your 8 hours in the morning is my 8 hours in the evening.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Well I’m glad we could come up with the perfect time for us to get together before you start drinking and before I start thinking.
RIK ASSFALG: Like Steve Sims always says, there’s an 11 P.M. somewhere in the world so there’s always a cause for drinking. It’s 11 P.M. somewhere in the world all the time.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Nice man. Nice.
RIK ASSFALG: Haven’t figured that out. You’re looking good. Thanks for being here. Thank you for spending time for us. You know my brother. We’re very happy to have you. How are you doing in Hawaii right now? Give us a little you know because you said it’s still dark there right? Give us a little bit of insight. What do you see? How do you feel? What’s your view? What’s the weather in Hawaii?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: The sun just came out. It’s been very blustery and cold and by cold I mean, Fahrenheit like 75-80. Very warm actually according to people who live in the Mainland but cool for us. It’s a perfect day to do this because it’s all windy, I think the farmer’s market is either being cancelled or maybe they moved it around so I’ve got nothing else to do and I think it’s even too rough and too windy to go in the water today. It’s a perfect timing to get together with RIK from Switzerland my friend.
RIK ASSFALG: That’s perfect and you just toured Europe right, I saw you on Facebook, we interacted a little bit. You’ve been to, where?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah, just Spain. My wife and I have planned to trip to Spain since our very first date and so 10 years later… We’ve done a lot, don’t get us wrong but we just never got to Spain. Finally we did a nice month-long trip in Spain and it was really, really nice.
RIK ASSFALG: Enjoyed it?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah. Beautiful. Wonderful food. You know I mean come on, you live over there in the continent. It’s like…
RIK ASSFALG: I used to live in Barcelona. I told you, you know that right.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yes. It’s awesome, it’s just awesome and I love Hawaii, don’t get me wrong but it’s… We don’t have culture and we don’t have the long time culture that you find… You don’t find 5,000 year old buildings in Hawaii.
RIK ASSFALG: Right.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Or 3,000. The Romans didn’t invade you know back before Jesus.
RIK ASSFALG: Or we hadn’t found out then. Where’s your origin? Where were you born?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I was born in Bay Area in Marin County.
RIK ASSFALG: Okay.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I just recently did the 23andMe test, I was adopted. If you have people who are watching this and don’t know what that is, it’s a DNA test and it gives you all kinds of information about yourself and it turns out that my family is Northern European.
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah. Wow.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: That was you know a lot it.
RIK ASSFALG: Like what, Irish or Scandinavian?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I think Latvian and Lithuanian.
RIK ASSFALG: Nice.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Possibly a little bit of Dutch and then another part is from the British Isles but where I’m from before that I have absolutely no idea. We don’t need to go back so far, right.
RIK ASSFALG: Man, it’s really cool to have you here like I mentioned. People who watch me are into self-improvement and scaling life for the right reasons and I invited you to talk about Karma first of all because we had a little conversation on Facebook and you had a very cool like statement. You wrote something like… Correct me if I’m wrong but like Karma… I wear a Karma cape for that so that’s stuff doesn’t get me or something and I said you know I need to invite my brother to talk about this.
But you know as I’d set you up so beautifully and there’s a lot of people now who are watching who are into internet marketing or are entrepreneurs and it would be a shame if I wouldn’t ask you what have you been working on lately and how did you invent the squeeze page and number 3, how do you build lists so quickly. If you want to go over with one sentence over that and then let us know where we can something about you in more profound detail. That would be amazing.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Right now I’m working on the latest build of our email traffic academy which is of course it teaches people how to get traffic. We also promote our Traffic Evolution Course, this is about non-Google paid media, basically how to be a media buyer, how to get massive traffic to your website without SEO or any of those other, any of those… Those other ways that people think you get traffic but actually does not get you traffic unless you’re very, very lucky.
I think I’ll answer the squeeze page then were first and I have to say that it was kind of an accident. It was back in I think it was co-developed by a friend of mine in a way the concept. Although other people say they’ve been using it sooner, I can’t verify that. I just know that in 1998, a friend of mine Scott and I were working on… We have a common client and we’re working on helping this client buy traffic.
RIK ASSFALG: Okay.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: This was back when you would go buy traffic, you know and buy better ad and not every ad worked. Some ads would generate good leads and some ads would generate nothing at all. So I said it would be nice if there were a way to test the traffic, and he said, what do you mean and I said why don’t we put an Opt-in form at the bottom of the page and see if they opt-in. In that way at least you’ll know whether there’s any potential because if they don’t opt-in and give you their name and email, they’re probably aren’t going to give you their credit card and other information.
We use this as a way to test traffic sources to see whether there was any life or action to the traffic source. From there we just started… We started out with the sales pages that had a little opt-in form at the bottom and then over time we just eliminated the sales page and we ended up with just the headline and the form. I said it’s almost like we’re putting traffic into it and squeezing the names out of it and so that’s where the term squeeze page came from.
RIK ASSFALG: Hence the name.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Then the way we build our list is we just buy a lot of traffic and we send that traffic into a squeeze page and we typically will sell something inexpensive on the backend and then we’ll pay a very big commission like a 100% commission or even more than a 100% commissions.
RIK ASSFALG: To affiliates.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah to affiliates and then we’ll basically use this funnel to build up a lot of people on our list who are into squeeze page and then we also build the buyer’s list on the backend and like I said we pay the affiliates a big commission and then we own the data and we can promote whatever we want to. That works with every niche by the way, I don’t care whatever what you’re selling. It works with every niche, if you have a way to monetize traffic, if you have something worth selling, that’s the thing. You sell something that people want and provides value and that you could build a funnel around then you build a very simple funnel and that funnel takes people to… From interest to purchase and that builds up both prospect and a buyer’s list.
RIK ASSFALG: Very cool. Thank you so much. What you’re building is asset really right? I love the BMW cup you’re having, very nice.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Oh god. I didn’t even realize that. Yup, that’s the BMW cup. They give you one of those when you buy a BMW, you get a cup which like… You think it’s really cool but then you realize it’s like an 8-dollar cup or something and it’s an ad for BMW but you feel good about it.
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah. It looks cool. Enjoy. That’s very cool. What do you do in this like just to repeat for those who are not so deeply into the whole system yet or just starting out. What you’re doing is like you’re putting baits out with the niche and with the cool offer that people could react to, that they would love to have. You make this for free or inexpensively so they would give you the name and the address, you do the whole thing with affiliates which you would give 100% of the commission.
Why would you do that, not because you’re stupid but because you’re clever because you would keep the asset of the name and the email when you can do whatever you want with that and build bigger funnels for that, is that correct?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah. That’s it and the idea of the affiliate program that’s so interesting because the way I like to setup my offers is I like the affiliates to be worried about me. I’ve had affiliates call me and say, “Are you… I mean we’re making good money, are you making any money?”
RIK ASSFALG: That’s nice.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I will just say, you know a little, I’m doing okay but you keep promoting and I’ll keep paying you this ridiculously high commission. Because for any affiliate or a publisher or a network or anyone who has a list or has a website, they want to make a certain amount of money you off of that click. We’ll say because that’s kind of where we are come down to clicks so I’ll just help them make the money they want off of the clicks and target the people in the right way and then make an offer the people actually want.
RIK ASSFALG: Very cool. Where can people find more about this offer, what is the website? Can you give a link that we can put under this video?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Sure. People can just go to trafficevolution.com if you know. That’ll take you to our first product in our funnel where people can get an idea of what we do and what it’s all about. I think that’s even a dollar trial, very low, low cost frontend that gets people an indication and feel for who we are and what we sell and also how we teach.
RIK ASSFALG: Very cool. I can just you know totally recommend whatever you say is like so valuable. I saw you live in Boulder not so long ago when we met and I was like… Really amazing speech that you delivered there and people were like really sucking in all the information that you had. It was really cool.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Back at you, I just want you to know, I mean the most exciting time for me was being able to spend the time after I did that presentation with not just people like you but you specifically. Because I have heard about you… My friend had told me about this guy RIK and I’m like, oh my god, like she was making you sound incredible. And then okay. Then the next day I met you, I didn’t even realize it was you and then she came up to me and she said, that’s the guy I told you about. I’m like, oh my god, I think we must have sat around I don’t know how many hours we sat around.
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah. Long. Whole night.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: All night, anyway it was a good chat with you too. Oh my god, it did even got better.
RIK ASSFALG: And a good breakfast before. It was beautiful. You had a beautiful restaurant where we got some, that was very good. Very cool. Thank you so much. I appreciate that a lot.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Thank you.
RIK ASSFALG: When Googling your name and checking around you, everybody’s emphasizing that you’re like so passionate about the shift gear you know to entrepreneurs towards growth. That’s like your big thing that you have on your flag right. That’s a passion of yours right?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yes growth. Because growth overcomes many other problems that you have, I have to admit I’m not a great manager, I’m not really good at hiring people.
RIK ASSFALG: Okay.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I’m not really… I have superpowers and then I have my Kryptonite. I always align myself in businesses with great managers, with great people who are very organized. I’m really more of a creative and what I found is in my own experience is when you have growth, when any business has growth it means that, let’s define that more and more people are buying their products.
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: That’s what it means, more and more people when your cash is coming in very, very quickly. Even if you’re not so great at managing that cash or allocating it or knowing where it goes, that’s the job of the manager, you know that’s the job of someone, with the C-level, the CEO, and the CFO. I’ve always called myself and I’ve always taken the title in my organization as Marketing Director because that’s what I’m excited to do. Even though I own the company, I always want to make someone else the CEO, someone else the President because you know I’ll set the marketing direction and the growth.
The growth for me like how you said that’s one of the things on my flag, growth overcomes other issues and it allows you to manage around other deficiencies that you might have as an entrepreneur because we all have strengths and weaknesses. There are people out there who can’t write a lick of copy but they know how to hire people, they know how to…
RIK ASSFALG: How to run a business. Right.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: That’s right.
RIK ASSFALG: Like to repeat the task.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I’m okay at running a business, but I’d like… I don’t want to do that. That’s not my focus. I want to write a copy, I want to create offers, I want to build funnels, I want to market to people and get down and dirty and figure out what people are interested in that I can make them the offer and then we’ll let other people do that more boring stuff.
RIK ASSFALG: I can totally relate to that it resonates totally with me because I think people like you and I we’re blessed to keep the momentum a little bit longer than everybody else would. As I would estimate you’re not a person either who likes repeated tasks too much.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I don’t.
RIK ASSFALG: Right. Same here. There’s people who are more skilled at that. It’s a great idea to leverage somebody’s you know CEO skills or CFO skills and let them do the repeated stuff and keep the momentum for the whole thing you know to let the company to grow to where it belongs.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Right. That’s right and so as someone who’s driving forth for the growth and you have… Our whole financial department is in a different State, not even in Hawaii. Never meet with those people, I mean I meet with them on the phone, I get reports from them but you know they keep that part running and I keep the money flowing into the business.
RIK ASSFALG: That’s perfect.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah. I think that’s and it doesn’t, everyone watching this has a different skill set, you know just because I like to write copy you might be good with spreadsheets, you might be good with managing, you might be good at org charts. And org charts to me are like the most stupid, ridiculous thing in the world but I know how important they are. Even if you only have 4-5 people, you still need to have the org chart to figure out who’s going to do what until you can actually hire someone into the position.
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah. We recently hired another financial director and you know what made him stand out from everybody else applying, he said like, “I’m in love with excel sheets.” I was like, you know what, you got the job, that’s so weird but I don’t need to know more. I mean that’s it. If that’s true that you say I’m in love with that come on become our rock star and finances, that’s perfect. Find your super powers, define them and stand with them, that’s perfect and be proud of that.
You and I and many of our viewers, we’ve done pretty well, we’ve been very blessed in life and then you see I’m going toward our other topic right now. What I’m… Why? Why do you think why are we more blessed than probably other people? What do you think why are we doing good?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Well I think part of it is something I didn’t realize until I got older, is you know I mean… I don’t want to talk about it too much because it can like compress the conversation but I think that we’re lucky. So there’s a degree of luck, I don’t know what was the Malcolm Gladwell book where he talked about how some people are just in the right place at the right time. You know Bill Gates was a smart guy but there were a lot of smart guys in school at the time, he just happened to have a computer programming lab at his disposal you know 8 – 10 hours a day and learn about this stuff beforehand.
I think that there’s something about a lot of people in business who I see they’re lucky, I mean I have to admit, I was born a white guy, an upper middle class white guy at a time when upper middle class white guys have a lot of influence and power and control. We also have this level of and I want to be careful because language really matters we also have this level of entitlement and even though I know that people can break through that, I also know that people who feel a level of entitlement are able to accomplish things because they just try more stuff, they’re not afraid of failure.
I think it was Jack Canfield or some great marketer or person that I had heard of many years ago said, if you’re playing poker and you have 3 chips, you better be really lucky. But if you have a whole stack of chips, you can just keep playing and you can take bigger risk and you can be stupid sometimes. So I think there’s a degree in that a lot of us are just lucky we’ve fallen into the place that we fallen into regardless of our race or religion or our nationality. Then I think that there’s another degree of just say luck that has happened that’s the best word that has happened for some of us.
I know for me, I was and a lot of my contemporaries, I mean I’m 53, 54. Sorry.
RIK ASSFALG: You look like 54. That’s why I said wow. No, you look amazing man.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: It’s supposed to be younger than that.
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah, I didn’t think you’ve surpassed to 50 yet. No, seriously.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: We’re born in the 60s you know, my contemporaries late 50s, and early 60s. It was a time when there was just a lot of opportunity for people who were intelligent, who came from good families, who came from like that’s only something that’s been a European thing. For me, which is in America I always assumed it didn’t matter what your last name was, we all have this shot at success, whereas in Europe there is this legacy that people want to go back from like I mean which king were you related to, which royalty or prince.
But there is a little of that over here too and so I was born in the West Coast and I was around the internet when it was being born, I think that I… I felt lucky enough to take a shot because I could’ve gone into real estate, I could’ve gone into finance, I could’ve gone into insurance, I could’ve gone… There was a lot of things I could’ve done but I saw this internet thing and I said and this was like 1992, 1993. I mean there wasn’t a hundred websites back then, Yahoo didn’t even their own domain.
RIK ASSFALG: That was shortly after the fax right. That was like nothing was there. That’s crazy.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah. I mean you know, fax was like… People had fax, nobody had email and I said I think this might be big and people thought I was dumb. Well I thought I was dumb. I mean I look really smart now.
RIK ASSFALG: Wow. That’s the reaction you got actually right. That’s the reaction you got?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah because, they’re… Nobody knew what Internet was, nobody had email. Everything was memorandums and faxes and you know voicemails were just starting, no one had cellphones. I mean this was a different world and I felt like I could take a leap and if it didn’t work out I would still have enough time to get back into… I started out as Insurance broker. I thought it was still…
RIK ASSFALG: Oh you did.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah for 12 years and I thought I would still have enough time to get back to insurance or I can go into real estate later in life or I could go into banking or MNA or something like that. But the Internet thing worked out you know thankfully because the Internet thing grew and… But I think that that’s because, so I want to go back to my luck, I had a big stack of chips and I could say I’m going quit this job that I’m making a hundred thousand dollars a year, selling insurance and I’m going to this thing that nobody even knows what that is.
My income, my first year of income was like I think I made a few thousands of dollars. My accountant thought it was stupid.
RIK ASSFALG: Nobody was on the net with the registered credit card, there was no PayPal, there nothing. What was the first thing that you saw actually, like what did you envision? What was the first product that you made? Or your first action to generate money back then.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: The very first thing that I did was I found the people. When you get to the Internet that’s where you have people who care about the Internet and at that time it wasn’t even the Internet, it was CompuServe and America Online. The only way on to the Internet, Mosaic had just started.
RIK ASSFALG: Alta Vista and stuff.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Even before that Alta Vista right. Actually, no I take that back. Alta Vista was a project put out by Digital Equipment like Digital Corp because they wanted to show how fast their servers were so they made one of the first search engines and then Yahoo was a link’s list. It was just a place to go Internet that were fun. I found people online, the very first thing I did is I had a course on direct mail actually I will go back. And so, I started to sell the course on direct mail that would generate leads and people would give me their name and email and then I would send a piece of a direct mail.
RIK ASSFALG: We’re talking offline direct mail.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Offline. Yeah.
RIK ASSFALG: Oh. Right.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I’d say, before your report reveals have your direct mail to promote your business because I had come from a direct mail background.
RIK ASSFALG: You put your classified ads like online, that’s what it is.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: AOL, CompuServe, Genie, Prodigy, and I think that’s where we started and then… and we did not have a web page yet but the guys said the web was there but nobody knew how to use it or access it. And you could not access it through AOL or CompuServe in ’92, ’93 yet. And so I started generating offline leads and then mailing them a deal and then overtime, what happened is some of these leads asked me if I could help them set up a world wide website, that’s what they were called. So people would be like can you help me get a world wide website? I did not know what a worldwide website was so I started to look and figure that out and what ended up happening that was so great was I ended up finding people who would build website and my friend Declan Dunn who… Do you know Declan?
So Declan was one of the first guys who could build them and so we were building these websites for 2-3,000 dollars each and these were just like a one or2-page website. Very, very simple structure and so we started out selling the course we ended up going into services and from there it was a natural video consulting and then once the internet itself hit, we started to work in the realm of internet marketing training and direct marketing training. There was a subculture of people – Gary Halbert, Dan Kennedy, Myers, Dan Reynolds, a lot of these guys Joe Cossman, a lot of these guys Ted Nicholas I think was another one either. And I think sometimes. And a lot of these guys had kind of, I will say, they paved the way for us because they were having marketing seminars and they were doing consulting, and they were writing books, they were just doing everything offline. And so, around 1994-1995, we realized, we can just take that model… that business model and we can move it online and as soon as people got browsers and we learned how to build basic web pages, we did not even need the direct mail stuff anymore.
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah, exactly.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I just found an old backup drive with… I was going through the backup drive and I was like, “Oh I wonder what’s on there?” And what was on there was my old direct mail database from 20 year ago. Which I mean I don’t know if any of those addresses work.
RIK ASSFALG: Still alive. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I just dumped it but you know it was fascinating to like look back. It was like going on an archeological dig.
RIK ASSFALG: That’s so fascinating. That’s so fascinating. So, I’m going into that because you know you say like you’re lucky. I think there’s so much more than lucky or maybe redefining lucky because I like your picture with the stack of chips that you have which is kind of the luck that you describe. So what is your… because there is no right and wrong here, right? So it’s just… for me, it’s just fascinating to learn about your view of things, it’s amazing and you know having that from somebody who has really seen a lot and has been really successful. That is what we’re sharing here with the people out there. So because everybody’s interested in that. So what do you think, what is the… what is the… What is your goal?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: What’s my goal?
RIK ASSFALG: Your ultimate goal.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: My ultimate goal, I am not too far from my ultimate goal. Which is to just live a good life. To have time for… I recently saw a Kevin Nations talk about balance. And I agree with him. He said, there is no balance. It’s impossible because as soon as you have balance, something happens, you get bored. You want something and that something requires money so you do some work or you want something and you want to learn how to surf so you take the time away from work and you do the surf. So, it’s… when you’re like this, there’s a big giant chasm between the 2. That’s not necessarily good. You want to keep the… You want to keep it close, the walls close to the center. Because whenever you get too involved with work, if you get way over here with work, you just forget about surfing, travel and that’s not healthy and when you go and you take a surf camp and then you work… Even if you’re making money, I have investments and you have investments and you know, I am not… But there’s something I am not growing. And remember my idea of growth and the other thing is I’m not contributing, I’m not helping anybody and so I think that for me the goal is to keep the walls narrow to go over there and to start serving, to go over there and to start surfing.
Serving and surfing. But then you realize, totally works as a little like a metaphor there. Serve and Surf. But it does not matter that’s for me. For me, that’s paddle boarding right? But for someone else it might be working with animals, or taking a hike or things that are important. I have also never been if I was a money guy and I really cared about money, I would have stayed working for my dad in the insurance business. I would be probably worth more money. But I would have lived in San Francisco and I would have had to follow this somebody else’s path and so that was unimportant to me so what’s important to me is time of freedom, assets that provide enough money for my… The income for my life and what I want to do, my family, my pets, my wife, my parents for as long as they are around and are still around, thank, God. And just being able to wake up.
I tell you, I was just working on something and so, this is like a sales page but I am not just going to give you the pitch of the page because I really realize this, I love waking up with an empty schedule. Now you know Jeanie, right? Jeanie hates to wake up with an empty schedule and Jeanie hates me to wake up with an empty schedule. Jeanie and I work together and she’s like my operations person for people. I would know, right? And so for me, when I wake up in the morning, I love an empty schedule. I love to say, “Oh, I have nothing to do.”
RIK ASSFALG: Same here.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I can take a walk, I think I’ll go… I’ll start planning dinner. I’m a cook too. I love to cook.
RIK ASSFALG: Really, in the morning?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah, I’ll say,”Uhm. What will I cook for dinner and then I’ll think of which farmer’s markets are open and then maybe I can go to a shop and then I’d jump in the ocean.”
So that to me is the goal. So the goal for me is not far from where I actually am but I still have this need to serve and that need to serve brings it back to me and there was another great quote I learned, this was from Earl Nightingale and he said “you don’t look at the stove and say give me heat, and then I would give you some wood.”
RIK ASSFALG: I love it. That’s a very good one.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: And taking it… Let’s reverse it, if you have a stove, and you put wood in it and you light that wood on fire, if you don’t want heat, you got heat. So I learned long ago from one of my mentors was a guy named Mike Enlow, most people have never heard of him. He came in when… Pretty quickly, yeah. He’s a great, great marketer. But he said; “you know, whenever you’re feeling bad or feeling sorry for yourself, whenever you’re feeling broke, or tired, or beaten down.” He said that “I want you to pick up the phone and call your very best costumers and just ask them, how I can help you?”
RIK ASSFALG: Love that. Beautiful.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: And I said, “Okay. So what happens?” he said “Magic happens.” I say, “Well, will they give you money?” He said, “Don’t care about the money. Just ask them, how you can help them. And they would tell you how you can help them.” And sometimes, they will want to hire you and sometimes, they’ll want to buy something and sometimes, they’ll want to be your partner and sometimes, they just want you to help, they just want to talk about something that happened to them. Something with their kids or you know… I have done so much consulting and it’s interesting and coaching, how often we get down to the personal with people. And I know you probably end up with the same thing. You know we’re supposed to be talking about your sales funnel but what we are talking about is your daughter or your relationship with your mother-in-law or something and yeah, those are like, those are things that if you don’t get those things handled, you’re not going to build your funnel.
RIK ASSFALG: That’s true. One of my favorite quotes is like; money does not make you happy. Happy makes you money.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Oh god. I love that. And here’s that other one too that we came up with years ago, you know that old saying do what you love and the money will follow? I don’t believe that. No. But do what you love and the money does not matter.
RIK ASSFALG: Exactly. You’re going to be ahead of… Like do what you love and you have got to be ahead of what make you scared of money, right? That’s the Swiss translation but yeah. It’s so accurate.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Bill Myers… I had a consultation with him when I was just starting. Maybe ’94, ’95? Maybe? And I called Bill Myers and I had this idea because the internet was just starting and I was just coming or of insurance and I wanted to build like a training program for insurance agents on the internet. And I remember calling him and so he was my coach for an hour or 2 hours and I said; “Bill, I want to build this thing and it’s going to be an insurance thing and I’ll be going to have seminars and we’re going to have a course and we’re going to do coaching, we’re going to do calls, and we’re going to do this, and we’re going to have a metrics thing and a mastermind and all these stuff.” And I was like; “what do you think?” and he said, “I don’t know.” He said, “Do you like insurance? I said, “Oh, I hate insurance it’s the worst business in the world.” And he said, “I don’t think you should do that.” And I sad, “well I have got this good opportunity to do it.” And he said; “why would you do it?” I said, “Well I can make a lot of money. Millions of dollars.” And he said, “Well, if you had millions of dollars, right now, what would you do?” I said; “That’s easy, I’d go fishing.” And he said, “Son, it does not take a million dollars to go fishing. Just go.” And I was like; “but…but…but I need…no… hang…” and so it was this big realization and so that realization has driven me today.
If I was Bill Gates and a billionaire, and all I would do is go fishing then I could just pretend I am a billionaire and go fishing and I have the same life. And it would have otherwise. So you know that’s a… If you don’t have… We made a piece of art awhile back because we are being frank right? And the piece of art says; “Be my bitch.” And the title of the piece is “I have a Dream for You.” And the point of the piece is if you don’t have a dream for yourself, someone else has one for you. And most of us, I mean including you and me to some certain extent, we live other people’s dreams to a certain extent with the way that things that are deeply embedded from parents and spouses and siblings and things like that.
RIK ASSFALG: Ego.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: But ultimately… That’s right, of course, right and not wanting to disappoint and wanting to play by the rules and all that other stuff. But ultimately the big decisions in your life have to be your decisions. They have to be the things that you want to do because there is actually, look at this, there is an almost no evidence that anyone in the world exist outside of you. There is almost no evidence. You say, “oh well I can touch them.” But you are not touching them, you touched and that sends a chemical to the nerve and then that creates a thing that goes to the brain and the brain thinks I am touching. And then you look and you think, “I saw that with my own 2 eyes.” But you did not see it, you did not see anything. You saw a light reflecting off a thing which hits your rods and cones. And that turned it into chemicals and then sent it there.
And we know that this is a fact because people are colorblind and so someone will swear, I mean they will swear that it’s blue and another one will swear that it’s green and another will… So there’s almost no evidence that anyone outside of even you exists.
RIK ASSFALG: Talking about matrix, right? About the projection of your own visualization of things.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah. Well there is probably there is a matrix and we probably have to live in it and there are some rules to the matrix and there’s things like the law of gravity and other things that I don’t know how absolute they are but they are pretty absolute. 99% sure when I drop this, it’s going to fall, it’s down, right? And so, there might be a situation where it does not happen like that but there are… We have agreements, we have agreements in this world that within the matrix, that we are going to agree about things that we would behave or there’s things like the law of gravity and most people see this as red. Now, some people don’t say it is red but the fact that 95% of people will be going to call it red.
RIK ASSFALG: Some kind of red, Colors are very subjective. Subjective are red, right?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Otherwise, my wife’s in interior designing. Otherwise, we are going to sit around and we are going to fight all day what color that is, so we are just going to agree that’s red. Just going to have to agree. So there are certain things that we are just going to agree on but those big things like the goal, the goal of what we want to do, what we want to accomplish, for me, time freedom for you, what you have, it’s all individual, that’s where we not only get to make those decisions but we have to make those decisions because otherwise we find ourselves following someone who might not even be real.
RIK ASSFALG: I love that idea. It sounds like almost we are compromising with many things to not struggling all the time with whatever surrounds us but I hear you saying like … And that’s like a success secret, like a success recipe, right? Like if you don’t grab your own… Well, how does destiny… I don’t want to say destiny in that because does destiny fit in your philosophy there?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: No.
RIK ASSFALG: So then grab your opportunity.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I mean maybe. Maybe but I don’t see it as an absolute, I see it as a possibility kind of like karma.
Oh, look the sun’s coming out. Hang on.
RIK ASSFALG: Beautiful, yeah.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Oh my god. Okay, I am going to adjust the light a little bit here.
RIK ASSFALG. Beautiful. I love that picture at your wall it looks even better with the light.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Does it?
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: We’ve got… A lot of people have books all over their office and I assume it’s just to show how smart they are.
RIK ASSFALG: or aren’t.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I don’t know… I mean I have few books. I have a bookshelf over there but my office is filled with art and you know…
RIK ASSFALG: Did you do any of those? Are you doing paintings or you’re doing like…
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: My wife and I make art together.
RIK ASSFALG: Like artworks like these framed artwork or sculpture?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah. We do some framed stuff, we do some sculptures. I will at the end… Right before we are done, I will give you a little tour. I will take you out and show you some stuff we did. Okay.
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah. Thank you. Beautiful.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: We’ve got some really front pieces.
RIK ASSFALG: So how does destiny and karma fit into what you just said?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I don’t really know how to reconcile it myself like I… Once I realize that the whole world might be an illusion, that there’s a good possibility that it’s an illusion. I mean, it’s at least as likely as you know, Christianity. You know, I don’t want to piss all off of the Christians but you know, let’s look at it on a global sense, right? Like it’s at least as likely as any major religion being true. So, once I look at the fact that everything’s kind of on the table in terms of what’s real and what’s not, I don’t know if there is destiny and I don’t know if karma…
I had to do a little work with karma right? I had to like Wikipedia karma because I have my own theory of karma. And then I am like, “Oh my God.” Well so what karma is according to Wikipedia is this; you ask a hundred people and you get a hundred answers is it is most people I think, think that if you do a good, then the good thing will happen to you and if you do a bad thing, then a bad thing will happen to you and on Maui, sometimes we see at least the illusion of karma. We can see that at play if people joke that it happens really fast here on Maui. It does not take multiple lives. Someone cuts you off, 3 minutes later you will see them get pulled over by a cop. Someone bumps into you in the store and…
RIK ASSFALG: An instant karma, right?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: If they don’t say, “Excuse me.” And then the minute later they trip and they sprain their arm. I don’t know maybe that’s the case. But according to Wikipedia, karma is this long series of past lives and future lives and I don’t know if there’s a timeframe established with that. Maybe your passed life you’re still going to live in your future and maybe your future lives, you’ve already have in the past and I don’t really know. I know that…
And also, I have to say that I object a little bit to the good and bad because whenever one person is good… Right now we have an election going on in our country. I don’t want to date this but we just have an election and it’s a very, very divisive. People think that if you don’t support their candidate that you are bad. And the other side thinks that if you don’t support their candidate that the other side is bad.
Well guess what I learned, nobody wakes up in the morning thinking that they’re the bad guy. Like, I mean Genghis Khan and Hitler and you know everyone who we call evil and pretty evil. Think Hitler, okay. He’s pretty evil but he is done. But he did not wake up in the morning and look at the mirror and say, “I’m pretty evil.” He thought, he was doing in his mindset, he thought he was doing the right thing or a good thing.
So it’s very hard for people to be objective. All good and bad is very subjective. I was joking with my wife and she said… She did not say this but we were talking about good and bad and I wanted to give her an example and I said, “You know, if you’re sitting, or you’re in a dungeon, getting beat on by someone that seems pretty bad but on the other hand, there’s people that pay good money for that, right? So you know, like one person’s fantasy is one person’s torture.
I had a friend who… I want to read this actually. She said something years ago to me that really stuck with me and she was really very much into passed lives and future lives and I don’t know what her feelings on destiny were but she said; “we’ve all been kings and we’ve all been peasants, we’ve all been killed, and we’ve all been killers, we’ve all died of starvation, and we’ve all died of consumption.” Right, you know? Like we’ve all had all those experiences and so sometimes maybe the experiences we’re having now are just the experiences we wanted to have. I don’t know if this is true but it’s possible… Again, this is possible as some of the other beliefs out there that we get to this place where we are technically dead and we get to choose this next life that we have.
Well, after you’ve been a king and a prince, maybe you want to try the dying of typhoid you know, 6 months thing. Maybe you want to figure out what the pain is like and the suffering is like.
I used to have a really good friend. I mean we’re still friends but I remember she used to say these thing, she used to go for the extremes. She used to want to have big wins and big losses. She wanted to feel… She felt that when she felt really, really bad it would enable her to feel really good later. There was a line from Vanilla Sky, you know that movie?
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah, yeah.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Or the Spanish version; Abre Los Ojos. There’s 2 versions but the line is; “the sweet is never so sweet without a taste of the bitter.” And so maybe I am wrong to keep things in this little range. Maybe I should go out but I actually have this and I don’t like it.
For me, my goal is to keep the range a little bit but maybe in her life, she needs that that big range, she needs to feel those things and maybe it’s because we want to learn something or maybe because we have some lesson or maybe it’s just because we want to experience something. We want to be a king this time and we want to be a peasant that time and to figure that out and so… I mean, when we are in this life right now, living in the matrix, who does not want to be a king who would choose peasant but if you know that if you’ve done the king thing 10,000 times…
RIK ASSFALG: Maybe you need something, yeah.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Maybe you try peasant.
RIK ASSFALG: So do you believe in reincarnation per se?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I don’t really know. Like I said a lot of the words… One thing I have… It’s not a problem with… One thing I have a problem with, one thing I think we need to be careful of is language because we’re speaking English right here. You speak how many languages?
RIK ASSFALG: None so proper but English, German and some French. Kind of 4 or 5-ish, yeah…
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I saw something great the other day, it was movie posters that had been translated into other languages and then they get translated back into English and it’s almost it’s that game of telephone. So we have to be careful because with different sects, different groups, different religions think of reincarnation in a different way.
Personally, I don’t think that there’s just one shot. I don’t know if you come back with the same life again and again and like if I was born. I was born in 1962 maybe I will just keep coming back born in 1962.
RIK ASSFALG: Truman Show, right?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Right, exactly. You know. Although he did break free at the end. He found the end of the matrix but all he discovered at the end of that matrix was a new matrix.
RIK ASSFALG: What’s the one called by Billy Murray where he experiences the same day everyday again?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Oh God that was so…
RIK ASSFALG: With the song of Cher it’s called (foreign language) I don’t know how it’s called in… That same day everyday where he weighs the reporter and…
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Oh it’s Bill Murray. It’s call Groundhog Day. Yeah.
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah. Exactly it’s like this.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah. That was a great one. And so, I don’t know maybe is that it? You know. And in that case, look at Groundhog Day so those were those characters in his movie where they carry that fort because the next day if you are him, he did not… So I don’t know maybe I will go back in 1962, maybe we skip around or maybe this other planets that we go to. What’s that other movie I need to watch, it’s Slaughter House 5 by Kurt Vonnegut where…
RIK ASSFALG: Haven’t seen that.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: it’s a great movie. He basically wakes up every day he wakes up he’s in a different point of his life. Baby, dying person, wedding day, birth of first child. And then sometimes he ends up on this other planet looking back at earth or looking out at the cosmos.
And so I am not entirely sure… What’s nice about all out of this science fiction stuff is that we get to kind of crowd source beliefs. We get to crowd source what other people believe and how things might actually be because I do believe that there’s a divinity. You know. There’s something that I came up with yesterday it’s called divine equalization so rather than calling something karmic… I don’t even like divine equalization, how about DIVINE OPTIMIZATION?
Because you know maybe it does not all come out at the end, maybe you decide… Maybe you get 10,000 lives and it’s always peasant. Because when you get good at being a peasant, I don’t know.
I don’t really understand but I do believe there is a divinity to things and the only reason that I think there might be a divinity that there probably is because there is order in their structure to things. There is structure on an anatomic level, and it probably below and there’s probably order on a big level. If we look and say the cosmos. Whereas sun goes what is around the sun, what’s the next layer of things around there so there seems like there is a big order and there’s a little order and then there’s a lot of orders in between, I am looking for a flower or something like it show where there’s some order too but you understand, yes?
RIK ASSFALG: That’s interesting. Do you want to know my perception of that because I am not sure either so I have, I don’t know. The word karma for me is not really defined either right? It’s not something I’m very stuck to. I use Karma Fucks Best because first of all the domain was free. I loved it so I thought that’s something to provoke a little bit.
What I believe in is like ultimately like the divine optimization that you say, I love that. The ultimate goal is like eternal love, right? That is what we are striving for at the end everybody. Like when you mentioned like Hitler and all – everybody like you, I Hitler you know which is not a group I would like to meet in a dinner right? You and I yes but let’s exclude Mr. Hitler, but everybody in the end is…
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: And Mr. Mousseline. You know there’s a whole bunch of notorious characters that we would want to exclude. You know… At this dinner. Let’s start with you and I.
RIK ASSFALG: We would opt them out right?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Opt them out. Well the dinner we need to be in otherwise. Yeah go ahead.
RIK ASSFALG: What I think is like that is the ultimate goal for everybody. And we kind of get a sensation. I mean you know, if you are very much in love with your partner or something, one day you might fall out of that and things look very different so you get to a certain degree of that love that you can experience and that you feel and I believe in a soulistic plan which I think is a synonym for what you said with the divine optimization. I believe in a soulistic plan.
I don’t know if that plan is pre-defined when destiny comes in I think we can and I loved when you said that we should decide for something when you had the balance thing the one you said earlier, we must decide on our goals and our things. I think that plan and that destiny can be influenced heavily by us because we are living in our own perception like you said. I totally see the same thing and I have a definition for karma where I think it’s like stacked learning situations during… I don’t know if it’s incarnations like I totally can relate to what you said like jumping in parallel worlds or parallel time, things, whatever but I think it’s stacked learning situations that condition and in a way influence our soulistic developments towards this ultimate fulfillment which is eternal love or whatever it is so I believe you know, there’s this other theory that we are all one right? Like you are I and I am you and we are everything right? Which also relates to that.
So, I mean it’s a huge thing. The more we think about it the more we experience, the more we come back and stuff but there must be something because going back to our discussion about karma started like when we said like we feel blessed. Many of our viewers now feel blessed. We are blessed we feel lucky, blessed, you know. Why are we so blessed and others are not? And it makes still sense and if we are so blessed, why one day we will become unimportant because when we leave, you and I will replace so quick you can’t even…No, it’s true.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I totally agree. Yeah. Totally agree. Right.
RIK ASSFALG: It’s always that ego thing that’s coming into that whole thing. And that makes it really interesting to living but there must be a reason why you and I and so many others try to serve on a level because you and I, we are smart marketers. We could market anything also stupid stuff. Things that harm people. We could market atomic bombs or stupid ideas or demagogic stuff or whatever that’s also marketing. So we decide to do it for a good cause why is that? So I think that learning, stacking. I totally also understand you and agreed like what is good, what is bad is very subjective and it’s a… I also, I think evolution never stops which is an estimated stuff. I think we are in a stupid evolution right now.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: That’s so funny you would say that because people like thing the way they are they think that evolution got to the place where they are and then they don’t want it to keep going. But you know, like that mountain range over there like well I don’t want that mountain range to go, well that mountain range was not there 10 million years ago and it’s going to keep going or unless it’s going down.
RIK ASSFALG: And we are and also the way of our developments are so within this incarnation that we perceive as the reality. So all these things together, I don’t have an answer for it either but it’s a great thing to talk about and it’s a great pleasure to talk with you about that and thank you for your insights on that and I have learned a lot and it was really, really nice to talk to you about that. Thank so much.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Thank you. It was really fun. We better start talking more often too. I mean look at this, I can see you so clear and we are half way around the world. Can I say officially, I have missed you?
RIK ASSFALG: Thank you. I have missed you too. Thank you. I can see us you know still at the breakfast you know? That was a special day. That was a special 2 or 3 days there. A lot of good people surrounding us it was really cool.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Seminars are like that. I want to encourage everybody. People think they go to seminars to learn stuff and they do but for me it’s learning stuff about myself. I usually get the tapes because quite often there’s some famous seminars I have been to that I have never actually set foot in the seminar room. Yeah, I won’t say what because I would embarrass myself and then the people who invited me for many years in a row. I tend to work outside of the seminar you will find me in the bar well not always drinking but I’ll be with a group of people. People like you or John Benson or some of the smart people or everybody is smart. But you know, there’s multiple seminars going on and that’s where I always learn so much about myself, about the other people and then the knowledge I mean, yeah built the funnel this way, that’s something you can get from a piece of paper, right? A schematic sketch pad or something. What’s important is that you can really learn about people so it was just wonderful I remember that breakfast, I would love to go back to that breakfast right now. We don’t have anywhere near our, my house that has good breakfast.
RIK ASSFALG: That was good. And I think you’re right like certain events or like seminars or gatherings attract the right people because it has an energy. The vibes are in a certain way what attracts you attracts the right people that you want to meet to the same thing. So I totally understand when you’re not in the room but in the surrounding. That makes total sense.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Right. This conversation we are having, I went to a seminar about 10 years ago, 11 years ago and I remember I thought we were going to talk about marketing and we were down on the bar and we ended up talking about spirituality, and we ended up talking about love and we ended up talking about like kind of a spiritual equality and I don’t think and we have this like 2-3 hour conversation with like Mike Philsane. I mean these are people who are marketers. We did not talk about marketing once in this conversation. We did in the weekend and that was the memory I have of that seminar. I remember that conversation that had nothing to do with marketing way more than what funnel or whatever. We don’t even talk about funnels back then.
RIK ASSFALG: Advanced marketing is really when you can read and meet the emotions of people and it’s not always about just the technique. The technique everybody can do it. A product is a product is a product. The way you approach the emotions of people is what really is the art form of marketing isn’t it?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah. We talked about and you probably… I know you do this in your business. We talk about the avatar a lot and figuring out who. And a lot of people don’t get that but we create an avatar, a fake person who would be our costumer. There are the right gender, they are the right age, they have the right mindset, they are the right marital status, they are the right economic status and if we can we can find real people and we interview them and we find out, would you buy this? What do you think of this? Is this important to you? And then we market to that avatar, to that person.
And what’s interesting about that is you really get into the mind of that particular person and also if you are marketing, I do a lot of marketing to 45 year old women, right? You also probably market to that audience a lot so that particular audience is a great, very wonderful audience to market to and I feel that I understand that audience. But 80 year old women also buy my product and 25 year old women also buy my product, and men sometimes buy my product even though I am talking about her, and you, and picking pictures of women there and so you can get outside, you can market outside but you know, know who you are talking to and know who you are marketing to, create that avatar or multiple avatars in different channels but the point is not that how many upsells you have or whether there’s a back end or I mean that stuff is important but that’s important to the business. The important part is know that costumer, know what they want. Reach them on a deep emotional level, find out why they want them. If you’re selling a cosmetic product and they don’t want wrinkles, find out how they feel about wrinkles.
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah. And I love the differentiation about what they need and what they want. That is something… We should talk and we should do a webinar together for that to maybe go deeper. I would love to do that. Maybe we can serve people with that. I would love to have it in another conversation that’s beautiful.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: People don’t buy… My first sales trainer’s said people don’t buy what they need, they buy what they want and I said no, no they buy what they need and you have to look at their needs and he said you know, sometimes they do but he said people need insurance and we are selling insurance at that time right? He said people need insurance right? And I said yeah. And he said well how many people don’t have insurance and I am like oh a lot. And he said so what do they buy? I am like, I don’t know, big screen TV, he said so maybe we should be selling big screen TV’s.
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah. Exactly. Or when they want insurance, are you still with me? It gives me the error already.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah.
RIK ASSFALG: Okay, Cool. If they want insurance. They need insurance but they want that somebody pays their house once it catches fire, right? That’s what they really want.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Right. Marlon Sanders used to say they don’t want a drill, and I’d say, no they want the hole. He said, no, they don’t want the hole. They want the doghouse, they want the happy dog, that lives in the doghouse that you built after you drilled the hole and you bolted the thing together. So they want the dog to come up to them and be like my owner loves me so you know, you follow the benefit chain and that’s what people want.
Now they might need a drill to get there but it’s when you sell the happy puppy, when we selling to our market, we sell some health stuff and we also sell some opportunity stuff like “Be a Social Media Manager”, things of that nature. We are not selling the “Be a Social Media Manager” Hey, you can get to play around on Facebook. Yeah. We are going to go ahead and we are going to play that up but there is other things that we can play which is there is the time with your family, there’s the waking up late, there’s the yeah. You can get to play around on Facebook and have fun and find cool things but it’s more about taking your kids to school, it’s more about being able to spend time with your spouse. It’s all about these other important things that this thing gives you so follow the benefit chain and that is really, really far more powerful.
RIK ASSFALG: 100% agree. Jonathan, thank you so much what a beautiful…
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: RIK, what a delight. Look we’re going to both do the Namaste.
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah. Namaste.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: My Indian friend has a joke with Namaste.
RIK ASSFALG: What is that?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: He says when he has to go, he says, “no more stay.”
RIK ASSFALG: No more stay, I like that.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: No more stay and then he leaves then he hurries home. Okay, it was really a delight. We will have to talk more often, we should do another webinar. I don’t know what we will talk about. It will be something fun, and something that helps a lot of people and probably about what our super powers are.
RIK ASSFALG: Amazing. Love that.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Are we good? Okay. So let’s see. Here’s one of our first pieces. My wife and I make art together. This was a… Kind of hard to see. This was kind of a sarcastic thing during the gulf war and…
RIK ASSFALG: Right. My daddy went to Baghdad and all is this lousy t-shirt.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: And all I got what this stupid body bag. You know, it’s a deeply offensive piece. And we wanted to be deeply, deeply offensive. We want people to be very offended by war and deeply offended by people’s parents… By someone making a decision that they are going to have a war and somebody’s daddy is going to go home or mommy now in a body bag.
Now this is a piece…
RIK ASSFALG: Love it. Appreciate that piece.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I know. It’s like one of our first pieces. It was a really powerful one. Now I live in Maui and in Maui we have a lot of development and we also have a surf company called Maui Built. Which is like for people who are surfers and Maui Built means that you were born on Maui and so we decided to have fun with their logo and I don’t think they are happy with this but it does not matter. So this is a Maui Over Built. And so we took their logo and we have a plot made from one of the big developments that’s here in Maui and our next door neighbor is the guy that runs all the things so…
RIK ASSFALG: Does he still greet you?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yes. We are friends, we love him very much and then we don’t hate developers or development. Again, we’re just trying to have fun. We’re just trying to play with it and we want people to think. We just want people to think before they do stupid things like build a development on a Hawaiian burial ground or start a war.
Yeah. Let’s see.
I got a couple of pieces here. So this is one of my favorite pieces here. This is… My wife mostly did this not me.
RIK ASSFALG: That’s trust? Trust pearls?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: It’s actually a skateboard and it’s the Virgin Mary and it’s…
RIK ASSFALG: Oh it’s a skateboard, I did not see that. That’s beautiful. Cool.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah. It’s a total skateboard show. Now there is another great one right here. It’s a toilet seat. And it says; “look inside.” So then you open it up and it’s a mirror.
RIK ASSFALG: You are what… Oh my god! That’s the one for me yeah.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I know. It’s really powerful.
RIK ASSFALG: That is powerful. Oh my god.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: It’s like you’re looking back out of the crap that you are what you eat. I know, it was a pretty good one. Here’s a big one that we just did. Let’s see if I can. So this is a piece. It’s 12 feet long and it’s yeah, it’s a trip deck and it took us… We did it in oil which is a very long time to do like it took us years to get that damn thing down.
RIK ASSFALG: Is it on canvas or is that on wood? Is that wood or canvas?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: It’s canvas. Yeah. We’ll probably if we can… It’s a little big to show but if there’s a show that comes up that will take a 12 foot long piece, we’ll probably put in there. And then this is just a gold piece that we did. It’s kind of hard to see… Oh. This is a great one. So my wife’s a… She’s an interior designer right? And so we have this piece up here and this is all the rejected paint colors for our house but all these paint colors…
RIK ASSFALG: The rejected that you didn’t choose? The one that you didn’t choose.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah. We chose different ones and I didn’t like it and I thought it looks like the T-Mobile logo but then we found this little guy in the yard and we just called it “Leap of Faith” which I thought was good.
RIK ASSFALG: That’s cool. That’s very creative.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: And then this last one which I really like. This is let’s see if we can see it. So this is a piece… let’s see. It might be a little dark. This is another oil and it’s called Loihi and so Loihi is a Hawaiian island that is being born right now. It already has a name. And it won’t be… I think it hid maybe 19,000 years. I think it’s going to hit the… You know, it will break the ocean and then in about 300,000, or 200,000 years maybe someone could live on it. So it’s just bubbling up from the ground. And then we have a little more…
RIK ASSFALG: Loihi?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: L-O-I-H-I. Loihi.
RIK ASSFALG: Cool. And what is the myth behind that? Where does it… Is it like Atlantis? Something that sank and coming up or?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: It’s a good question. I don’t really know what the myth is behind Loihi. God. I don’t know.
RIK ASSFALG: It does not matter. We are going to postpone that question too for the next time. But it’s very interesting. Loihi.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: I am sure there’s a Wiki entry in it. But what a pleasure being with you and being able to show you. You could… I don’t know if you’ll cut that last part out but maybe it was just for the 2 of us but if you could share if you want or edit it however you want to do it, we are really proud of our art and we love to work on stuff together. That is again one more passion that’s so much more passionate that we’re working on sales funnel.
RIK ASSFALG: Very cool. Jonathan, when did you decide to put in the Levin in your name because when I Googled you back it’s not until recently that this showed up right?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: That’s right. So when we started making art, my wife and I, we wanted a good name for us as a team and her name is Lisa and I was calling her Lisalicious. So I shortened it to Lish and she said, you need a 4 letter L name.
RIK ASSFALG: Oh. That’s not a birth given name, you chose that.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: And I am like… Okay. So it took us a few months and then one day it just came out and she said, oh that’s it. She said that’s it. Lish and Levi. Lish and Levi and so that’s our artist name, L plus L and I thought it was a particularly appropriate name and pretty good. I think it’s a strong name. I like it.
And you know one thing I also realized after I pulled that name and I started to just call myself that, people say that I legally changed it and I am like; well on Facebook.
RIK ASSFALG: Yeah. That’s the only document you need, right?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: But you know think about this, all names are made up. All names because someone said, you made that up, and I say well your name is made up and they said well no, no that’s the name I was born with and I say, well someone still made it up.
RIK ASSFALG: Sure. Sure. Totally.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: And they were like, oh.
RIK ASSFALG: I think it’s a great addition. I love it. It’s a great addition.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Yeah. Thanks, RIK.
RIK ASSFALG: Enjoy your day. Thank you so much. I will keep you posted.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Thank you my friend.
RIK ASSFALG: And yeah. Let’s talk very soon, huh?
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: Aloha!
RIK ASSFALG: My brother.
JONATHAN LEVI MIZEL: See yah.
RIK ASSFALG: Thank you.