The Value Creators Podcast Episode #18. Anthony Iannarino on The Negativity Fast

We all suffer from negativity. That’s a business risk for entrepreneurs, since we are in the business of running lots of experiments, some of which will work and some of which won’t. If we process the learning negatively (“I should never have tried that” versus “One more useful piece of knowledge”) we open ourselves up to unproductive disappointment instead of the energizing excitement of discovery.

Anthony Iannariono knows the problem, and knows the solution: take a negativity fast. Just like cutting bad food choices from your diet to improve your metabolic health, you can cut negative thinking to improve your emotional health. He discussed his book, titled The Negativity Fast, and shared his insights with The Value Creators podcast.

Show Notes:

0:00 | Intro

02:30 | Dangers of Negativity in Entrepreneurship and Evolutionary Biology 

07:06 | Major Triggers: Stress and Optimism Bias

10:44 | Exploring Internal Dialogue in Anthony Iannarino’s ‘Negativity Fast’ 

14:09 | Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

16:28 | Empathy as a Key Exit from Negativity 

19:35 | Detailed Insights on Empathy by Anthony Iannarino

23:44 | Idea of Radical Acceptance

27:04 | Value of Feedback and Solutions in Entrepreneurship

30:47 | Practice Gratitude in detail by Anthony

34:25 | Emotional and Metabolic Health: Keys to Overcoming Negativity

37:38 Positivity and Negativity: A Matter of Choice

39:26 | Does Positive and Optimistic Approach Link to Better Performance?

41:36| Wrap up: Practical Advice and Mind Hack by Anthony Lannarino 


The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques To Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear And Boost Success.

Knowledge Capsule

Human beings are hard-wired for negativity.

  • Our negative emotions are stronger than our positive ones.
  • It’s a result of evolutionary biology: fear and the flight instinct have evolutionary value in keeping us alive.
  • Everyone has negative feelings at some point – positivity is about balance, not elimination.

Stress and change are triggers.

  • Entrepreneurs must embrace and pursue change – recognizing that change can be a major source of stress.
  • Anthony christened entrepreneurial change ACDC: Accelerating, Constant Disruptive Change.
  • If we allow it to stress us, we risk lower productivity and efficiency in all parts of our life.

We can talk ourselves into a negative state – and out of it.

  • There’s a voice in your head that takes the negative point of view.
  • It may not be your own – it’s a composite voice of the rules you’ve been told to follow and the expectations set for you by others.
  • There’s the voice of the worrier, the critic, the victim, the perfectionist and others.
  • CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) guides us to talking ourself out of a negative state with positive affirmation.

The entrepreneur’s number one tool – empathy – is the best weapon against negativity.

  • At The Value Creators, we always emphasize the power of empathy in identifying others’ needs we can meet with innovative value propositions.
  • Other people often bring negativity into our lives; empathy helps us regulate our own emotions while compassionately dealing with theirs.
  • You may believe others are pushing your buttons, but often you are pushing these buttons yourself.

Stop complaining.

  • Complaining can cause us to adopt a negative mindset, even if we didn’t have one before.
  • We adopt a victim mentality, which is a forfeiture of freedom and autonomy.
  • Complaining can harm our relationships – and all value comes from relationships.

Focus on solutions, practice gratitude, and learn reframing.

  • Positivity is a choice. If we focus on designing solutions rather than identifying problems, we choose positivity.
  • Gratitude can help us be more positive. It focuses us on positives, and it can be practiced.
  • Anthony recommends The Three Blessings: write down three successes or three good things from your day, including why they went well. Keep this up.
  • Reframe all adverse events positively as your chance to improve and do better.

Eliminate the negativity of politics and social media from your environment.

  • It doesn’t help us to mindlessly engage in politics or social media controversies.
  • We sell our attention, and it has a high cost – fewer conversations and poorer relationships.
  • Don’t get sucked in.

Anthony’s book provides a lot of specific techniques for practicing these principles, and a list of resources for learning more about them and about yourself.

Individualism Is Good Business.

There are many areas of economic activity where we seem to have lost sight of the purpose of improving individual lives because we’re immersed in the math of averages and total populations and their data. The human being – the customer – is sometimes out of sight to these statistical analyses.

One such field is health care. It’s a forest of collectivism where we can’t see the trees. We have corporate healthcare programs designed as coverage for all employees, and Medicare and other government programs for populations not covered by employer plans. We have hospital systems and insurance systems and HMOs and PPOs and networks from which we’re instructed not to stray. Pharmaceutical companies are focused on drugs that can be dispensed to millions of patients, and they assess effectiveness via percentages rather than individual cases. 

There’s an economic distortion of major proportions and significant impact: the price signals that moderate markets to align supply with demand are obliterated because individual buyers are not making purchases on the basis of their willingness to pay. They are not choosing between suppliers for each individual purchase and making dynamic comparisons of relative value. They are not free to apply their evaluations of their experience by switching to alternatives in an unhampered market when they are not fully satisfied. The market isn’t allowed to work.

Another way in which individuals get lost is in cases of one-size-fits-all all treatments. You know the standard: if you’re diabetic, take insulin. High cholesterol? Take a statin. There are endless rivers of data to support these patterned treatments, but distressingly little customization or personalization to individual histories, circumstances, and dispositions. It’s not that personalization doesn’t exist in doctor-patient relationships, but that the overall system is geared towards averages and optima rather than to singular analytics and singular treatments for singular cases.

There’s a company that’s dedicated to reversing the trend towards medical collectivism and reinvigorating personalized medicine in a way that can operate within the current framework of corporate healthcare plans and regulated availability of treatment regimens. Curally brings an economic solution to individuals’ needs – the essence of entrepreneurship. It’s a service to corporate clients to improve the productivity and health of an employee population, by identifying and focusing on the individuals within the corporate context who need the most care. Curally identifies high-risk individuals who are suffering from chronic conditions or major cases, where extra attention and support can make the biggest difference. Applying the economic principles of individual exchange and value at the margin, Curally brings individualism to bear to help the whole population by helping those most in need, thereby raising team performance and team outcomes.

Curally’s particular solution is highly innovative: nurse-led coaching. Nurse-led care coaching is a relationship-driven approach to health led by experienced nurses and medical professionals. Curally partners with companies to provide employees with the support they need to achieve transformational health results, from chronic conditions and major health problems. Curally’s nurses work one-on-one with individuals to create personalized health plans, coordinate care with doctors, and offer advice and motivation every step of the way. 

This is individualism with collaboration, empathy, and compassion. Everyone can do more when there’s someone helping alongside us. Individualism is not the hard, cold anti-social approach it’s depicted to be. It’s the caring recognition that each individual is different, that all value is subjective, and that customized and personalized attention is the better route to value than the mathematically optimized efficient large-scale system. Individualism is good business.

The Value Creators Podcast Episode #17. Jeremy Vesta: Curally, Nurse-Coaching, and Medicine 3.0

Jeremy Vesta is a Value Creator in a field where value creation is intensely focused on the experiences of individual consumers: health care. He’s CFO of Curally, an innovative services company designed to help individuals in a highly distinctive and intensely focused manner: helping every individual to be healthier today than they were yesterday. Curally is bringing a fresh new kind of innovation to an industry with a traditionally closed structure.

Show Notes:

0:00 | Intro

02:14 | A Conversation with Jeremy Vashta: How He Surveyed the Healthcare Field

06:00 | Discussing Healthcare Economics in Detail

10:22 | Defining Nurse Coaching

12:31 | Initiating Relationships with High-Risk Individuals

14:35 | Training Nurses as Coaches

16:24 | The Key Variable in Engagement

18:08 | Jeremy’s Unique Corporate Value Proposition: Promoting Wellness and Building a Cohesive Culture

21:57 | Discussing Measurable ROI in Detail

23:53 | Sedentary Lifestyles and Obesity: Discussing the Biggest Healthcare Problem

26:40 | Embracing Long-Term Health and Behavior Modification

31:34 | Creating a Hospitable Environment Can Prevent Diseases

36:12 | Coaching Definition Beyond the Medical Field By Jeremy

39:01 | Can AI Help With Coaching in the Future?

41:30 | Wrap Up: Reach out to Jeremy at


Knowledge Capsule

The healthcare ecosystem can appear to be intimidatingly closed to entrepreneurial insurgency.

  • It’s a field populated with large, inflexible, highly regulated entities: hospital chains, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies.
  • They’re all intertwined in a structure that defends against innovation from outside the system..
  • The economic signals to the industry are obscured by the third party payment mechanism and the insurers’ and employers’ drive to reduce costs.

Yet there are significant innovation opportunities if the industry were more hospitable to them.

  • An entrepreneurial focus on improving the end-user (patient) experience quickly identifies gaps to be addressed.
  • The gaps are fundamental: understanding the root causes of many long term health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and lost stability and movement.
  • A new focus on behavioral change and individual responsibility for prevention can lead to long term health improvements for individuals and populations.
  • Behavior from twenty years ago affects current health problems.
  • Insight comes from recognizing the long-term impact of past behaviors.

Curally offers a new Value Proposition to Corporations who provide healthcare programs to employees.:

  • Providing real wellness, not just a healthcare insurance program.
  • Improving employee well-being and productivity and reducing losses of workdays for health reasons.
  • Creating a positive cultural impact within the company.
  • With a calculable ROI.

The innovation is delivered through a creative, human interpersonal medium: Nurse-Coaching.

  • Nurse-coaching offers an innovative approach to healthcare, with a focus on behavior modification.
  • It involves building a strong relationship with patients to help them make healthier choices.
  • It’s both human and scalable – there’s the capability to train and equip a large number of nurse-coaches.

Combination of Digital and Human Delivery in Nurse-Coaching:

  • Authenticity in Coaching is of critical importance in human relationships.
  • But there’s a role for digitally delivered information, expert input and digital behavior tracking, too.
  • There is potential for AI to play a role in coaching but challenging due to the need for authenticity.
  • Balancing the human touch with technological efficiency.

Relationships and Engagement are important.

  • Viewing medicine as a holistic approach beyond just science.
  • Addressing the mental, emotional, and relational aspects.
  • Building trust and authentic relationships with individuals.

Solving the Problem of Sedentariness, Lack of Physical Activity, and Obesity:

  • The need for a more individualized and relationship-based approach.
  • Addressing behavior modification rather than relying solely on prescriptions.
  • The challenge of making the long-term costs of unhealthy behaviors more immediate.

Curally is contributing to the emergence of Medicine 3.0:

  • Shift from the goal of lifespan to the goal of healthspan: longer quality of life, not just duration.
  • Recognizing the contribution of behavior to overall health.
  • Shifting from medicine 2.0, which identifies and addresses critical events, to medicine 3.0, focusing on healthspan.
  • Intervening earlier and understanding the long-term impact of current actions on future health.

A new worldview for economics and business.

It’s exciting to live through a time of changing worldviews – when what we used to believe is shown to be wrong, and is replaced by new beliefs that are often still emerging and therefore somewhat open-ended. New doors open, new possibilities present themselves, there’s new energy.

The science of physics experienced this change of worldview in the later parts of the twentieth century and is still exploring new worlds in the twenty-first. The old worldview was Newton’s: that the universe was a machine, its motion and planetary interactions governed by unbreakable mathematical laws. This mechanistic view extended to all of natural and human life – whatever we examine, we look at it as a machine and try to figure out how it “works”, how the parts into which we can reduce the machine function together, and how it can be tuned for better performance. This mechanistic view extended to people and organizations, where we called it “management”.

Fritjof Capra, in The Tao Of Physics, writes about “the fundamental change of worldview that is now occurring in science and society…..the unfolding of a new vision of reality”. The change stems from the discoveries of quantum physics, where the traditional idea of a material substance is replaced, and concepts of space, time and cause-and-effect are radically transformed. The machine-like image of how the world works is replaced by an image of dynamic flow; the world is forever in motion, time and change are essential features, and all phenomena are interrelated rather than separate, so that a change in one component affects all others, and hence affects the whole, which in turn re-affects the components through never-ending recursion of feedback loops. Quantum theory and relativity theory forced the world to change its worldview. There are no “basic building blocks” of matter that we can isolate, just a complicated web of waves and patterns of energy. The new world is not precise or predictable or measurable. it’s a world where opposites we don’t understand and can’t conceive of co-existing nevertheless apply. It’s a world of probabilities where there are multiple possible futures at any point, and therefore the possibility of many presents. It’s a bit spooky, as Einstein put it.

The world of economics and business is on the threshold of such a change in worldview. The same Newtonian mechanistic and mathematical approach that was applied in physics has been adopted in economics. The economy was viewed as a machine, churning out a numerical output identified as GDP. The efficiency of this machine could be calculated using algebra and equations. A certain amount of capital combined with a certain amount of labor and a factor that represents technological progress became the “model” for how the economy works. Within this larger machine were smaller component machines called firms, which combined capital and labor and technology in smaller and distinctive ways to contribute to total output. These machines were “managed” for high performance – organized as hierarchical command-and-control structures where the managers at the top who had all the equations and plans and visions instructed and directed the lower orders on how they should act. The worldview was quantitative and positivist, a word which we can translate as “there’s an equation that explains everything”.

The quantum equivalent in economics and business is the growing recognition that numbers and equations and top-down command and control management have no place in a system composed of human factors not machine parts. The economy is just such a system and firms are such systems. The appropriate worldview is the opposite of quantitative and positivist: it’s qualitative and subjectivist. Physicist Richard Feynman captured the difference in a well-turned phrase: “Imagine how much harder physics would be if electrons had feelings.” There could be no laws of physics, no continuity of data streams, no capturing of behavior in equations and algebraic symbols. 

Economics and business concern humans. They are artifacts of human action and cultures of human feelings and emotions. The basic unit of analysis is the individual, both as worker and producer and as end-user, consumer and evaluator. Individuals are guided by their feelings, which change over time, and as context changes, and as they interact with others whose feelings are in play. The purpose of the economy is not to produce GDP, but to produce well-being, that feeling among individuals that they are better off compared to previous time periods and compared to alternatives. The economy gives individuals choices rather than giving them output. Firms are collections of individuals doing the same for customers – presenting them with choices and the proposition that making the choice will enhance their well-being – and for each other. The firm is a collaboration of people with aligned mindsets and shared assumptions and values engaged in offering well-being to others. There are no equations to help, and no hard-number metrics. There is subjective calculation – that well-being can be assessed, and can be monitored for its direction (getting better or worse) and its intensity (deeply felt as satisfaction or softly felt as contentment). There’s also the opposite assessment of unease or disquiet, which is the signal to the entrepreneurial firm that there’s the opportunity to generate new well-being that’s currently missing. There’s a market reward for getting this right, when satisfaction turns into willingness to pay and cash flows to the firm that makes well-being more possible and accessible for its customers.

These market rewards are flows, not to be measured by looking back over time at the end of the quarter or the year, but by looking forward to the future satisfactions that will keep the cash flowing, or sensing some fade in satisfaction which calls for innovation and an improved value proposition. Management is caring – caring about the customer experiencing value and feeling satisfaction and being confident in their choices. This is the new worldview. The old one brought with it the perception of capitalism as extractive and exploitative because there was no caring there, just numbers and equations. We are happy to move on.

The Value Creators Podcast Episode #16. Beverlee Rasmussen On Systems For Organized And Profitable Small Business

A breakthrough technique for Small Business: Don’t manage, build systems. 

Many small business owners experience frustration in trying to manage their businesses. So many things can get in the way of organized and profitable implementation. Management is hard, especially when it involves managing other people. Beverlee Rasmussen has interviewed and coached thousands of small business owners all over the world, and spent 10,000 hours developing her small business system of systems.

Systems are how things get done. If you build systems, you don’t have to manage people. Beverlee offers systems for every facet of small business: Leadership Systems, Operations Systems, Financial Systems, Team Systems, and Marketing Systems. Those titles might seem like something for big businesses only. But they’re not. Every business owner can design and implement their own systems – and doing so will bring back all the joy and freedom and success that you expected from becoming an entrepreneur.

Don’t manage, build systems.


Beverlee’s latest book: Small Business, Big Opportunity: Systematize Your Business.

Small Business Coach Training

Small Business Field Guide: Organized and Profitable

The Small Business Coach Gameboard

Knowledge Capsule:

Leadership Systems:

  • Leadership systems are essential for maintaining consistency and stability in a small business.
  • Having a leadership system means paying attention to what you measure, control, how you allocate resources, and how you react to incidents.
  • Leaders need to ensure they don’t favor certain employees over others and maintain fairness.
  • Leadership systems are about creating a consistent experience for employees and customers.

Financial Systems:

  • Understanding financial concepts like cash flow, profitability, debt, P&L (Profit and Loss), and balance sheets is crucial for entrepreneurs.
  • Entrepreneurs often struggle to differentiate between cash flow and profitability, which can lead to financial problems.
  • Borrowing money for a small business is acceptable but comes with rules; avoid high-interest traps.
  • Tracking real expenses accurately is vital for borrowing and financial stability.

Operations Systems:

  • Effective operational systems enable a business to run efficiently and independently of its owner.
  • Having documented processes and checklists for various operations ensures consistency and reduces errors.
  • Adaptation and change are part of small businesses, so having systems in place can help pivot and respond effectively.
  • Operational systems are crucial for scaling and maintaining high-quality service.

Organization Systems:

  • Organizational systems include structure, job roles, and defining how things are done within a business.
  • Position agreements and clear expectations for employees help in reducing frustrations and improving productivity.
  • A system for compensation is essential for profitability and stability.
  • Understanding your target market and catering marketing efforts to specific customer segments is part of organization systems.

Marketing Systems:

  • Effective marketing systems require a deep understanding of your target market and consistent messaging.
  • Avoid falling into the trap of chasing the latest marketing trends without understanding your customers.
  • Making and consistently keeping promises to customers is crucial; going above and beyond creates a memorable experience.
  • Marketing should be based on a value proposition and understanding customers’ emotional and product needs.

In summary, Beverlee emphasizes the importance of systems thinking in leadership, finance, operations, organization, and marketing for small business success. Systems provide consistency, stability, and adaptability, allowing entrepreneurs to achieve prosperity and freedom in their businesses.