Michel Fortin: Well, it's the same idea. Jim Rohn said, “Don't become wealthy at the expense of others. Become wealthy in the service of others.” Every person who is happiest in this world serves others.
Whether you've built wealth because you produce a product or provided a service that was at the service of others or you gave value to other people's lives or you gave your life to charity serving others, to me that is so important.
By doing that it is like forgiveness in a sense, where you can get out of that this huge feeling in yourself that you've accomplished something that is true to you, not something that is going to be a goal that you reach in the future, not something that is going to be true to the other people around you who you're serving and you're thinking that you're just doing this for other people.
No, you're doing it for yourself. Gosh, you know, it's so important for you to understand and I'm speaking to the people listening to this call. It's so important for you to understand that when you give of yourself, the law of karma is there.
You get back, and sometimes ten times more, what you give out. It's the same thing in a bad way. If you are bad to the world, if you don't serve others, if you withhold the goodness that you can put out in the world, it will come back and bite you in the butt. So yeah, I believe in being at the service of others, absolutely.
Ralph Zuranski: How important is it to maintain a sense of humor in the face of adversity?
Michel Fortin: The greatest cure for pretty much all disease that has actually been scientifically proven. Although it's premature now, but there are more and more tests proving that laughter is the greatest immune system kicker.
I don't know where these tests are, This is anecdotal so I can't back this up. I read so much about it, but there are tests that have proven in the moment of laughter that your endorphins get kicked in. The dopamine in your brain and your body gets kicked in.
Your hormone levels get kicked up a notch and those things in turn increase the immune system. Those things help to fight off disease. I'm not saying that that's true in every case. I mean, I don't want to say a person who has cancer should laugh their way until they're healthy again.
Michel Fortin: That's not my point. But, maybe if they're hurting while they have cancer, laughter is a good way to take their mind off of it. Michel Fortin: It is basic and fundamental to being able to help cure yourself. Laughter is the source of goodness in the world but it is also the source of goodness in your own self, body-wise as much as mind-wise.
Ralph Zuranski: Yeah. Other than Jim Rohn, who are the other heroes in your life?
Michel Fortin: Oh, my goodness, do you have a couple of hours?
Ralph Zuranski: Sure.
Michel Fortin: I have a lot of mentors in my life but I think there's quite a few of them. I'm not a religious person. I am a very spiritual person. I read a lot of spiritual leaders because I believe they have a lot to teach us… whether it's Jesus or the person actually I'm really referring to is the Buddha.
I'm not a Buddhist, but I enjoy reading a lot about the Buddha. I've read the Dharmapadda and the Bodghivad Gita, for example, and other books of other spiritual leaders. They're mentors to me because they show and they lead by example.
They're the perfect example of love and goodness in this world. What they teach is important.
Now, I'm not going to say that you should not believe in the virgin birth and the crucifixion and all that stuff in Jesus' life but, did you actually take the chance to stop and just read the words that Jesus uttered, for example, on the Mount?
The lives that they led were inspirational and I don't mean to say that from a religious perspective. I'm just saying, “Listen to what people teach you. Listen! You want people to realize you are saying, “Yes, I hear what you're saying.”
Those are the mentors that mean a lot to me. Another few mentors, modern-age mentors… I'm a big fan of Brian Tracy. I'm a big fan of Jim Rohn, of course Tony Alessandra. And, the funny part about it is I have learned a lot of things from current spiritual leaders. I do believe that Joseph Campbell, who is probably one of my biggest mentors in that realm, has taught me so much about the power of the inner self. Joseph Campbell is the one who uttered those famous words, “Follow your bliss.”, He is one of them.
Michel Fortin: Florence Scovel Shinn is another and John Randolph Price. Those are more of the spiritual kind of guys, but also Louise Hay. I read a lot about that stuff. Now, you can say it's all “metaphysical mumbo-jumbo.” The point is not to believe in whether it's metaphysical or not.
The fact is I just listened and learned to apply whatever I learned in the way I want my life to go. That's the whole point of any religious, philosophical and thinking process. It is not to believe in what people tell you. It is to make use of it.
Ralph Zuranski: Do you feel that there are any real heroes in our society today that aren't getting the recognition that they deserve?
Michel Fortin: Absolutely, but you know, those who are the real heroes are people who don't seek recognition in the first place. They're not heroes for the sake of recognition. They're heroes because they're heroes.
To answer your question with a very blunt answer, “Yes of course there are heroes out there today in the world that do deserve more recognition!” But when you ask them that question, what do you think they'll say? “I don't care. I do what I feel is right, point, period.” And that's the more important thing about that.
Ralph Zuranski: Why are heroes so important in the lives of young people?
Michel Fortin: Everything that's going to happen in this world, even today, is molded, created, prepared by, built on by first of all people. And people were once children.
They were once kids. Their lives today very often are molded by the things and the people and the instances and the events and the circumstances of their childhood as much as what is going on in their lives today.
I was lucky. Well, I guess I'm not lucky because I believe everybody has that capacity. It's not luck. But I was lucky. I guess a better way to say it is, “I was fortunate to look at my lessons in my life and look at them as the most beautiful gifts in the world, and to have mentors and heroes in my life that have helped me.”
But there are so many kids out there that fail to go through this “fortunate” process that I went through. So if they have an opportunity to have heroes in their lives, boy oh boy, can you imagine the goodness that we can unleash in this world? They will be molded. Their future will be molded so that they will be the molders of the future.
Michel Fortin: So today the people that make differences in people's lives is because they had differences made to them in their own lives when they were young. It is when you are young that your entire life is almost dictated. Now, good or bad, you can have bad stuff happen to you and it dictates your life in a good way.
You know, there's an old story about the two sons of an alcoholic father who grew up. One became an alcoholic and one became a very successful businessman. When an interviewer asked them the question “why are you who you are today?” and they both answered the same answer, “Well, I didn't have any choice; look at my father.”
One blamed his father for being the way he is. The other one looked at his father and used that as a springboard for not being like him. So fortunately, they might have had heroes in their lives that made them go that way, especially the one that's positive, but the thing is whether it's true or false. The thing is we all need heroes but the kids need them the most because they are the molders of the future.
Ralph Zuranski: How does it feel to be recognized as an Internet hero?
Michel Fortin: I would be very misleading if I said it didn't feel good, because it does feel good. I think that's the ego part of me. But what I feel best about is I have testimonials on my website about the lives that I've changed. And that makes me feel good. But what I put on my website, what I put out in the world as a way to prop my own self up is just the tip of the iceberg of what I get every single day.
We talked at the beginning of this call about all these emails I get every day. A good percentage of those emails are just tiny little words from somebody who I made a difference to in their lives. It doesn't have to be this huge thing that I can actually use as a testimonial.
It doesn't have to be an actual business or a success or whatever. I had people who emailed me after the big seminar and said, “Michel Fortin Fortin, you're a person that I've been following for so many years and it was such a huge honor and pleasure to have met you.”
Michel Fortin: That brightened up my day. To me I don't need to have recognition in the other way where I actually have to put out stuff in the world to get recognized. One tiny little email made the difference in my life just as much as what we were talking at the beginning.
About spending just five minutes with somebody at a seminar somewhere, how much of a difference you made in that person's day. And that's the kind of recognition I enjoy, even more than the actual pats on the back that I get in the public way. I prefer the small private little ones because they put a smile on my face.
Ralph Zuranski: How are you personally making the world a better place?
Michel Fortin: By being me. That's probably the best answer I can give you. I follow what I believe in. I am true to myself and most important, I do what I love to do. When you do what you love to do, we were talking about giving good service or being at the service of others.If you love doing what you do, how much better are you going to serve the people around you?
How much more passion and zest will you have for not only what you do but what you expresses about service to others. If you had a choice to buy a product from two different service providers or two different stores and one person hates their job and the other one absolutely loves their job, how much more willing will that second person be to help you.
How much more in service of you will that person be? Of course, a lot more. So, how do I expect to make a change in the world just by being me? Just by being Michel Fortin! Just by being the person who loves to do what he does because that will give all these byproducts of everything we just talked about on this call.
Ralph Zuranski: There's a lot of problems facing societies all over the world today, like racism, child and spousal abuse and violence among young people. Do you have any good solutions for those problems?
Michel Fortin: Education! Education. We cannot change the world by forcing it but we can change the world by educating it. I was once a college teacher. There's such a great sense of fulfillment that one gets when they teach other people.
Michel Fortin is a senior marketing specialist, renowned copywriter, and digital marketing expert. For the better part of 30 years, he's produced countless successful marketing communications and profitable campaigns that generated in excess of $300 million in sales. He's broken many industry sales records, including being instrumental behind the first ever “million-dollar day” online marketing campaign in 2004. He's worked with thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs around the world in a wide variety of industries on building their businesses, improving their marketing, and increasing their profits. He's a published author and often speaks at industry events. To connect with him, visit his LinkedIn profile where he is most active.