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IAM101 – Award-Winning Author & Speaker Shows People How to Use Positive Thinking & Humor Through Difficult Stuff

Podcast Interview with Allen Klein

Comedian Jerry Lewis has said that Allen Klein is “a noble and vital force watching over the human condition.” Klein is an award-winning author and speaker who shows audience’s worldwide how to use positive thinking and humor to deal with life’s not-so-funny stuff. He is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. He is also a TEDx presenter and the author of 26 books including The Healing Power of Humor, You Can’t Ruin My Day, and, Secrets Kids Know.

  • CEO Hack: Mindfulness Bell
  • CEO Nugget: Keep it light
  • CEO Defined: Total freedom

Website: http://www.allenklein.com

Books: http://www.allenklein.com/books.htm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allen.klein
Twitter: http://twitter.com/allenklein
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/allenklein/


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Transcription:

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:28

Hello, Hello, Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today Allen Klein of allenklein.com. Allen, It's awesome to have you on the show.

Allen Klein 0:42

It's double awesome to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:45

Perfect, perfect, perfect, even better. So what I wanted to do is just read a little bit more about Allen so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing, he's been able to accomplish. Comedian Jerry Lewis has said that Allen Klein is “a noble and vital force watching over the human condition.” Klein is an award-winning author and speaker who shows audiences worldwide how to use positive thinking and humor to deal with life’s not-so-funny stuff. He is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. He is also a TEDx presenter and the author of 26 books including The Healing Power of Humor, You Can’t Ruin My Day, and, Secrets Kids Know., Alan, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Allen Klein 1:28

I'm ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:29

Awesome. Let's do it. So the first question I had is I want to hear a little bit more about your CEO story. And what led you to start your businesses?

Allen Klein 1:35

Well, started over 40 years ago, my wife had a rare liver disease and terminal illness, and she passed away at the age of 34, the difficult time I had a silk screen business with a partner and I thought I am not supposed to do that in my life. I don't know what it was I was supposed to do but I sold the business to my partner hung out for a while registered or signed up for a school that was giving classes in death and dying, and became a hospice volunteer. And through the course of all of that, working with people that were dying and grieving, I saw how they use humor, often sarcastic cynical humor, but it was humor to help them get through that difficult time.

So I went back to school, got a master's degree in Human Development, and wrote my first book, which was The Healing Power of Humor. So since then, I've been teaching people about humor, therapeutic humor, and its value both in healing and in the workplace. And now I've broadened that out to include a more positive attitude, not only humor, which gives us a different perspective and gives us a positive attitude, but just a positive attitude in general, and how that could help us get through the day.

Gresham Harkless 3:11

Awesome. Well, obviously, I'm sorry to hear about your wife. And I know, that's definitely a very traumatic experience and I appreciate you for First of all, telling that story. But also, and talking about what you were going through during that time. And then also sounds like finding an outlet, but also hoping to help other people that are going through either serious issues that they're going through, or just anything and how they can get through it.

Allen Klein 3:34

Exactly. Right. One of my books is You Can't Ruin My Day. I got a traffic ticket and I was still happy singing, I was at the gym and talking about my traffic ticket and people are saying, Allen, how come you just You're so happy, you just got a ticket for speeding. And I said out of my mouth game, I'm not gonna let that ticket or that cop ruin my day and I realized how often, and particularly people that are running companies or their own company, they let other people or other situations ruin their day. And I believe we do not have to do that so that book has a number of techniques of how to take control and rise to and top of any situation.

Gresham Harkless 4:22

No, that's definitely a talent within itself, because I've gotten a few traffic tickets, and I was not singing. So I definitely make sure that I pick that up so that I can change my perspective. So it's great that you're able to do that. So I wanted to drill down a little, I know you touched on a couple of the things that you have in pleasure, you are a TEDx presenter, and you are the author of numerous books. So could you tell us how would you define how you serve and how you help out the clients or the business owners or whoever you work with?

Allen Klein 4:48

Well, first of all, when I do the humor programs, and I have one coming up in Canada in a week, it's for hospice, so it's all these hospice workers. They're working with people who are very ill dying or grieving and they get burnt out and stressed out, so I show them some humor techniques, they all get a clown nose to use when they leave the meeting. But that's one aspect.

The other aspect is what my TED talk is about and what I got really interested in lately is, particularly for CEOs the power of intention, like, when you get up or when you get to the office, what do you intend to happen? Or what is your intention for your life? what are your goals? what are your dreams? So I totally believe in the power of attention, because our thoughts, our words, we use our affirmations to help us not only get through the day but help achieve all of those dreams that we have for ourselves or our company.

Gresham Harkless 5:49

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And sometimes we often forget how much power we do have. So that's definitely a good reminder and how you're able to shape your day, so to speak, where if you have that different perspective like you mentioned, if you are using humor as a technique, then you obviously will have a different day as a result of. Is that accurate?

Allen Klein 6:05

Yeah. I'll give you one example, you talked about the TEDx talk that I did on the power of intention. Two years ago, in January, I always do or add or alter my bucket list. And so one thing I wrote down, this was January, two years ago, I wrote down I would like to do a TED Talk. Almost a month to the date later, I get an unsolicited email from a group in Cupertino, California doing TEDx talks, wanting to know if I would like to do one.

Gresham Harkless 6:38

That's awesome.

Allen Klein 6:39

A couple of months later, in April, there I was on the red round rug of Ted doing the talk. Power of intention, I mean, sometimes it blows me away. I was in New York a couple of weeks ago, middle of summer, usually very hot. It's my hometown, but I had to be there and on a little poster note, I put I want the weather when I'm there for that week to be anywhere from 75 to no higher than 85, and low humidity. On six of the days that I was there, the temperature was under 85 with low humidity. One day was hot and the next day I left.

See also  IAM076 – Best-Selling Author & Speaker Helps Entrepreneurs Write, Self-Publish & Tell Their Stories

Gresham Harkless 7:19

Wow, that's an awesome tool in your belt, I guess you could say. If you could definitely be intentional about what it is you're thinking you're putting out. You have to be careful what you're saying and not saying because it can manifest itself.

Allen Klein 7:33

Exactly. So important for CEOs to do that every single day.

Gresham Harkless 7:39

Yeah, exactly. And now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this might be something that you feel like it distinguishes you or sets you apart. So do you have an example you can share with us?

Allen Klein 7:49

Well, I tried to walk my talk. So I always collect carrier red clown nose. Not all most of the time. And so just at the right moment, sometimes in a traffic jam that comes in handy to help other people lighten up, delayed flight once I asked the flight attendant if I could stand next to her as people enter the plane engagement clown nose, and people just lightened up most of them, not all of them, but most. So just try to spread a little joy and happiness around.

Gresham Harkless 8:24

Yeah, that's awesome. Yeah, that's definitely we all could use that red clown nose in our pocket, so to speak. Because bad things happen, good things happen but you want to make sure that you're looking at it from a positive standpoint, and you're being intentional like we already spoke about.

Allen Klein 8:38

Right. Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 8:40

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So now I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this could be an app or book or habit that you have or something maybe even from your books, one of your books that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Allen Klein 8:53

Well, one thing I've been using lately, is it's called let me look, it's an app that lets me get the right name. It's called Mindfulness Bell and I have it set. So every hour during the day on the hour, this little chime rings and it just gives me this little moment to stop and take awareness of what I'm doing what I'm feeling, maybe I need a couple of more deep breaths, maybe I need a little relaxation.

So I might meditate and breathe deeply for a couple of minutes, or maybe I might stand up and walk around the room. It's just a reminder to not get so caught up in everyday stuff that we get caught up. So I like it, it's simple enough. If I want to ignore it, it's easy to ignore, but most of the time it's just a reminder to be here now and also reminds me of how grateful I am for all the wonderful stuff in my life and to be thankful for that and Gresh, the more I'm grateful for stuff, the more I find that more things to be grateful for comes into my life. So that little bell on the hour is like a little knock on the head. To say, just stop, enjoy the moment, take a breather, and be thankful just for being alive, if nothing else.

Gresham Harkless 10:24

There you go. Yeah, for every breath, that we are able to breathe, you should definitely be thankful. So I think that's a phenomenal CEO hack. Because a lot of times, you get stuck in the minutiae of the day today and you get maybe stressed out and things like that. But if you had that subtle reminder to let you know that, hey, be thankful, be appreciative, be present. And I think that's a phenomenal CEO hack.

Allen Klein 10:43

Right. And then several apps you can get mine is Mindfulness Bell, but there are others that you can get also.

Gresham Harkless 10:51

Absolutely, absolutely. So um, now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this might be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice or if you can hop in a time machine and go back and talk to your younger business self, what would you say?

Allen Klein 11:03

Keep it light. Maybe have a feather around to remind you to keep it light. Because as someone once said, You're not gonna get out of this room to live. And if you're not enjoying yourself, what are you doing? why are you here? why are you doing it? Maybe that's not what you're supposed to be doing. So I guess, three words, keep it light.

Gresham Harkless 11:27

I love that great reminder. And a lot of times, if you ask yourself, will this matter to me an hour from now or a week from now, or a year from now? A lot of times that answer is no. So you can definitely keep it light as you said.

Allen Klein 11:39

You got it. Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 11:41

Awesome. And now I wanted to ask you my favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote unquote, CEOs on the show. So I wanted to ask you, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Allen Klein 11:51

Well, mostly because I used to work for CBS television. So I know what nine-to-five jobs are like mostly. To me, it means total freedom, I don't have to ask anyone else, how to run my business, what to do, what steps to take, what risks to take, when I could take a week off, I don't have to ask a boss or any of that. I am in complete control of my success or my failure. And to me, that is such a great thing. Because there's no one else to blame, it's all up to me and I find that so rewarding. And so even when things aren't going well, I realized maybe, I made the mistake, I didn't do the right thing, or I needed to do something else. But it's all on my shoulders and all the success I've had is there too so I love patting myself on the back for that. And I think being a CEO is, is a great way to not have to answer to other people and create the life you want and that's what I've done.

Gresham Harkless 13:01

Awesome, awesome, awesome. It's all about as you said attention and the buck stopping with you so you can direct and create your life. So Allen, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. What I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know and also how best people can get a hold of you to hear about your TEDx and also all the awesome books you have in place.

Allen Klein 13:24

So last words, I think I've given you my advice. My best advice people can read my books and get even more lighthearted stories. The Healing Power of Humor, You Can't Ruin My Day, and a number of other books. And go online, look me up at www.allenklein.com

Gresham Harkless 13:51

Awesome. Thank you so much, Allen, and we'll have those links in the show notes just so that anybody can follow up. But I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Allen Klein 13:58

Thank you. You too. Gresh

Outro 14:00

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co

I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Intro 0:02

See also  IAM216- Business Coach and Speaker Helps Entrepreneurs Position Themselves To Be Part of The Conversation

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:28

Hello, Hello, Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today Allen Klein of allenklein.com. Allen, It's awesome to have you on the show.

Allen Klein 0:42

It's double awesome to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:45

Perfect, perfect perfect, even better. So what I wanted to do is just read a little bit more about Allen so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing, he's been able to accomplish. Comedian Jerry Lewis has said that Allen Klein is “a noble and vital force watching over the human condition.” Klein is an award-winning author and speaker who shows audience’s worldwide how to use positive thinking and humor to deal with life’s not-so-funny stuff. He is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. He is also a TEDx presenter and the author of 26 books including The Healing Power of Humor, You Can’t Ruin My Day, and, Secrets Kids Know., Alan, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Allen Klein 1:28

I'm ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:29

Awesome. Let's do it. So the first question I had is I want to hear a little bit more about your CEO story. And what led you to start your businesses?

Allen Klein 1:35

Well, started over 40 years ago, my wife had a rare liver disease and terminal illness, and she passed away at the age of 34, difficult time I had a silk screen business with a partner and I thought I am not supposed to do that in my life. I don't know what it was I was supposed to do but I sold the business to my partner hung out for a while registered or signed up for a school that was giving classes in death and dying, and I became a hospice volunteer. And through the course of all of that, working with people that were dying and grieving, I saw how they use humor, often sarcastic cynical humor, but it was humor to help them get through that difficult time. So I went back to school, got a master's degree in Human development, and wrote my first book, which was The Healing Power of Humor. So since then, I've been teaching people about humor, therapeutic humor, and the value both in healing and in the workplace. And now I've broaden that out to include more positive attitude, not only humor, which gives us a different perspective, and gives us a positive attitude, but just positive attitude in general, and how that could help us get through the day.

Gresham Harkless 3:11

Awesome. Well, obviously, I'm sorry to hear about your wife. And I know, that's definitely a very traumatic experience and I appreciate you for First of all, telling that story. But also, and taking about what you were going through during that time. And then also sounds like finding an outlet, but also hoping to help other people that are going through either serious issues that they're going through, or just anything and how they can get through it.

Allen Klein 3:34

Exactly. Right. One of my books is You Can't Ruin My Day. I got a traffic ticket and I was still happy singing, I was at the gym and talking about my traffic ticket and people are saying, Allen, how come you just You're so happy, you just got a ticket for speeding. And I said out of my mouth game, I'm not gonna let that ticket or that cop ruin my day and I realized how often and particularly people that are running companies or their own company, they let other people or other situations ruin their day. And I believe we do not have to do that so that book has a number of techniques of how to take control and rise and top with any situation.

Gresham Harkless 4:22

No, that's definitely a talent within itself, because I've gotten a few traffic tickets, and I was not singing. So I definitely make sure that I pick that up so that I can change my perspective. So it's great that you're able to do that. So I wanted to drill down a little, I know you touched on a couple of the things that you have in pleasure, you are TEDx presenter, you are author of numerous books. So could you tell us how would you define how you serve and how you help out the clients or the business owners or whoever you work with?

Allen Klein 4:48

Well, first of all, when I do the humor programs, and I have one coming up in Canada in a week, it's for hospice, so it's all these hospice workers. They're working with people who are very ill dying or grieving and they get burnt out, stressed out, so I show them some humor techniques, they all get a clown nose to use when they leave the meeting. But that's one aspect. The other aspect is what my TED talk is about and what I got really interested lately is, particularly for CEOs is the power of intention, like, when you get up or when you get to the office, what do you intend to happen? Or what is your intention for your life? what are your goals? what are your dreams? So I totally believe in the power of attention, because our thoughts, our words, we use our affirmations to help us not only get through the day, but help us achieve all of those dreams that we have for ourselves or our company.

Gresham Harkless 5:49

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And sometimes we often forget how much power we do have. So that's definitely a good reminder and how you're able to shape your day, so to speak, where if you have that different perspective, like you mentioned, if you are using humor as a technique, then you obviously will have a different day as a result of. Is that accurate?

Allen Klein 6:05

Yeah. I'll give you one example, you talked about the TEDx talk that I did on the power of intention. Two years ago, January, I always do or add or alter my bucket list. And so one thing I wrote down, this was January, two years ago, I wrote down I would like to do a TED Talk. Almost a month to the date later, I get an unsolicited email from a group in Cupertino, California doing TEDx talks, wanting to know if I would like to do one.

Gresham Harkless 6:38

That's awesome.

Allen Klein 6:39

A couple months later, April, there I was on the red round rug of Ted doing the talk. Power of intention, I mean, sometimes it blows me away. I was in New York a couple of weeks ago, middle of summer, usually very hot. It's my hometown, but I had to be there and on a little poster note, I put I want the weather when I'm there for that week to be anywhere from 75 no higher than 85 and low humidity. Six of the days that I was there, the temperature was under 85 with low humidity. One day was hot and the next day I left.

Gresham Harkless 7:19

Wow, that's an awesome tool in your belt, I guess you could say. If you could definitely be intentional about what it is you're thinking you're putting out. You have to be careful what you're saying and not saying because it can manifest itself.

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Allen Klein 7:33

Exactly. So important for CEOs to do that every single day.

Gresham Harkless 7:39

Yeah, exactly. And now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this might be something that you feel like it distinguishes you or sets you apart. So do you have an example you can share with us?

Allen Klein 7:49

Well, I tried to walk my talk. So I always collect carrier red clown nose. Not all most of the time. And so just at the right moment, sometimes in a traffic jams that comes in handy to help other people lighten up, delayed flight once I asked the flight attendant if I could stand next to her as people enter the plane engagement clown nose, and people just lightened up most of them, not all of them, but most. So just try to spread a little joy and happiness around.

Gresham Harkless 8:24

Yeah, that's awesome. Yeah, that's definitely we all could use that red clown nose in our pocket, so to speak. Because bad things happen, good things happen but you want to make sure that you're looking at it from a positive standpoint, and you're being intentional, like we already spoke about.

Allen Klein 8:38

Right. Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 8:40

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So now I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this could be an app or book or habit that you have or something maybe even from your books, one of your books that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Allen Klein 8:53

Well, one thing I've been using lately, it's called let me look, it's an app and let me get the right name. It's called Mindfulness Bell and I have it set. So every hour during the day on the hour, this little chime rings and it just gives me this little moment to stop and take awareness of what I'm doing what I'm feeling, maybe I need a couple of more deep breaths, maybe I need a little relaxation. So I might meditate and breathe deeply for a couple of minutes, maybe I might stand up and walk around the room. It's just a reminder to not get so caught up in every day stuff that we get caught up in. So I like it, it's simple enough. If I want to ignore it, it's easy to ignore, but most of the time it's just a reminder to be here now and also reminds me of how grateful I am for all the wonderful stuff in my life and to be thankful for that and Gresh, the more I'm grateful for stuff, the more I find that more things to be grateful for comes into my life. So that little bell on the hour is like a little knock on the head. To say, just stop, enjoy the moment, take a breather, and be thankful just for being alive, if nothing else.

Gresham Harkless 10:24

There you go. Yeah, for every breath, that we are able to breathe, you should definitely be thankful. So I think that's a phenomenal CEO hack. Because a lot of times, you get stuck in the minutiae of the day to day and you get maybe stressed out and things like that. But if you had that subtle reminder to let you know that, hey, be thankful, be appreciative, be present. And I think that's a phenomenal CEO hack.

Allen Klein 10:43

Right. And then several apps you can get mine is Mindfulness Bell, but there are others that you can get also.

Gresham Harkless 10:51

Absolutely, absolutely. So um, now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this might be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice or if you can hop in a time machine and go back and talk to your younger business self, what would you say?

Allen Klein 11:03

Keep it light. Maybe have a feather around to remind you to keep it light. Because as someone once said, You're not gonna get out of this room to live. And if you're not enjoying yourself, what are you doing? why are you here? why are you doing it? Maybe that's not what you're supposed to be doing. So I guess, three words, keep it light.

Gresham Harkless 11:27

I love that great reminder. And a lot of times, if you ask yourself, will this matter to me an hour from now or a week from now or a year from now? A lot of times that answer is no. So you can definitely keep it light as you said.

Allen Klein 11:39

You got it. Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 11:41

Awesome. And now I wanted to ask you my favorite question, which is the definition for what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote unquote, CEOs on the show. So I wanted to ask you, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Allen Klein 11:51

Well, mostly because I used to work for CBS television. So I know what nine to five jobs are like mostly. To me, it means total freedom, I don't have to ask anyone else, how to run my business, what to do, what steps to take, what risks to take, when I could take a week off, I don't have to ask a boss or any of that. I am in complete control of my success or my failure. And to me, that is such a great thing. Because there's no one else to blam, it's all up to me and I find that so rewarding. And so even when things aren't going well, I realized maybe, I made the mistake, I didn't do the right thing, I needed to do something else. But it's all on my shoulders and all the success I've had is there too so I love patting myself on the back for that. And I think being a CEO is, is a great way to not have to answer to other people and and create the life you want and that's what I've done.

Gresham Harkless 13:01

Awesome, awesome, awesome. It's all about as you said attention and the buck stops with you so you can direct and create your life. So Allen, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. What I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know and also how best people can get a hold of you hear about your TEDx and also all the awesome books you have in place.

Allen Klein 13:24

So last words, I think I've given you my advice. My best advice people can read my books and get even more and lighthearted stories. The Healing Power of Humor, You Can't Ruin My Day and number of other books. And go online, look me up www.allenklein.com

Gresham Harkless 13:51

Awesome. Thank you so much, Allen, and we'll have those links in the show notes just so that anybody can follow up. But I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Allen Klein 13:58

Thank you. You too. Gresh

Outro 14:00

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

[/restrict]

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