#BeBetter Podcast with Michael Kurland

Gratitude and a Side of Pasta with Chris Schembra

Being vulnerable with others creates meaningful connections.

Chris Schembra is the bestselling author of “Gratitude and Pasta: The Secret Sauce for Human Connection,” which chronicles his adventures as one of the most sought-after dinner hosts in the world. Chris shares his passion for helping people to be grateful through his evidence-based proven framework that guarantees positive emotional transformation.

Portrait of Chris Schembra

“Gratitude is a universal human attribute.”

—Chris Schembra

7:47 Gratitude Experience

25. Gratitude and a Side of Pasta with Chris Schembra

Key Takeaways

  • Gratitude is not a flaky thing. There’s evidence to prove its benefits.
  • Gratitude and mindfulness are the only two things that can have a lasting benefit.
  • An attitude of gratitude creates the best servant leaders.

Social Links


Chris Schembra is the bestselling author of “Gratitude and Pasta: The Secret Sauce for Human Connection.” Forbes ranks his book as the #2 book of 2020 to create Human Connection, USA Today calls him their “Gratitude Guru,” and he’s a Founding Member of Rolling Stone Magazine’s Culture Council.

He is the Founder of the 7:47 Gratitude Experience — an evidence-based framework used to strengthen client and team relationships in profound ways. He’s used the principles of gratitude to spark over 500,000 relationships around the dinner table, serving Fortune 50 CEO’s, Olympians, Academy Award Winners, Chart-Topping #1 Recording Artists, Super Bowl Champions, and more.

As a Viral Marketer, his gratitude campaign giving tribute and thanks to Veterans earned over 36 million views, 1.2 million shares, and 2 Emmy Awards.

“Gratitude helps you find serendipitous moments of connection.”

—Chris Schembra

7:47 Gratitude Experience

Podcast Transcription

Hello, I’m Michael Kurland, CEO and Co-Founder of Branded Group. Welcome to the #BeBetter Podcast. To me, our company’s mantra to “Be Better” is more than a tagline; it’s a culture that permeates our organization, propelling our team to Be Better to each other, our customers and our communities as well as to ourselves. Each week on the #BeBetter podcast, I interview leaders who authentically exemplify how they are being better in their professional and personal lives.

The #BeBetter team is thankful to Pegnato Roof Intelligence Network who partnered with us in 2020 on our first-ever #BeBetterTogether Virtual 5K. The event raised $1,500 for our non-profit partner, Second Harvest Food Pantry of Orange County, enabling them to provide nutritious meals to our Orange County friends and neighbors. Learn more about Pegnato Roof Intelligence Network at pegnato.com

Michael Kurland (00:01):

Welcome to another episode of the BeBetter podcast. I’m your host, Michael Kurland and I’m very excited today. We’ve got someone who sparked my interest in podcasting, so it is great to be giving him some gratitude and having him on the season of gratitude. You’re about to find out why. We’ve got Chris Schembra, Founder and Chief Question Asker at 7:47, USA Today’s Gratitude Guru, Founding Member of Rolling Stones Culture Council, the author of Forbes number two book for 2020 for Human Connection and responsible for over 500,000 relationships through his experiences that he creates that I’ve actually personally been a part of. That was a lot and that’s a lot of gratitude right there. Chris, welcome to the show. Tell everybody a little bit more about everything we just talked about.

Chris Schembra (00:56):

Thanks for having me. It’s always a pleasure to be with you. I remember when we first met. You came on my podcast in a conference room here in the middle of New York City and it was unbelievable. I’m a pretty simple guy. I’m a former lonely guy, uneducated college dropout with suicide, jail, depression, and rehab on the resume. I happen to find the principles of gratitude a couple of years ago and blessed to devote the rest of my life to it. My story in gratitude starts in July of 2015. I had just come back from Italy after producing a Broadway play over there. When I was in Italy, boy, everything came alive. It is the way they walked, talked, dressed, love, language, learned, all that kind of good stuff. When I got back to America, I realized that I wasn’t happy. This wasn’t it.

Chris Schembra (01:58):

Just because life looked good on paper didn’t mean it felt good in the heart. At the time I was running another company in a different industry – show business. Our shows had won 14 Tony’s, seven Emmys, and a Grammy. I just produced a 36 million person campaign giving credit and thanks to veterans with PTSD to lower the suicide and depression rate. But none of it meant anything. I felt lonely, disconnected, unfulfilled, and insecure. What was it about Italy that changed all this about me? Well, it was a food come to find. So back home in my kitchen here in beautiful New York City, I accidentally created a pasta sauce recipe, which you’ve had. I figured I should probably feed it to people to see if it was good or not good. Thus began a ritual around the dinner table night after night, week after week, month after month, we just started gathering people.

Chris Schembra (02:55):

You just showed up with your own bottle of wine, we work together to create the meal. We had some really good pasta sauce and some pretty deep conversations. We’d use that dinner table to spark over 500,000 relationships. In the last five years, I realized the dinner table had saved my life, but upon further inspection, I realized it wasn’t that pasta sauce at all that was doing all the heavy lifting. It’s what we talked about at every dinner. That’s the gratitude part. At the very first experience we asked the simple question: if you could give credit or thanks to one person in your life that you don’t give enough credit or thanks to who would that be? If you never thought to thank and we saw people come alive from that gratitude question. Well, we fell in love.

Michael Kurland (03:49):

That’s a great story. I will say from personal experience, the pasta sauce is great. I was actually hoping to get a second bottle at some point in time.

Chris Schembra (04:00):

I’ll ship you one. Absolutely, absolutely.

Michael Kurland (04:04):

Appreciate it. I was lucky enough to come on one of your experiences and I think we had a packed house. This was pre COVID, 20, 25 people.

Chris Schembra (04:16):

It was at Tom Jones’ old house way up in the Hollywood Hills. We had about 20, 22 founders all sitting around a table. I think Ron Carson was there. I think Ryan was there. Just a lot, a lot, a lot. Cam Fordham was there, Zach Zellner, Ali Mirza. These are people that are running great companies, such as yourself who just realized there’s more to life than just what you do or the products you sell or how you’re better than the competition when you can really connect with other people based on this kind of stuff in here. You feel so good, you feel so good.

Michael Kurland (05:00):

This is great for our season that we’re focused on gratitude. It’s been eye-opening for me to learn how other people are giving gratitude back out to the world. Yours is such a unique and great way to practice. When I was able to join you, I didn’t even know it was Tom Jones’ house. So, pretty awesome. I remember the view. I’ll never forget that view, but it makes sense. I’m like somebody famous had to live here, but just that night that sitting around that table and being able to talk and answer that question and have some wine and meat, it was like 19 different people and you made sure everyone talked to everyone. So I definitely talked to everyone that night. There was no hiding, which is kind of a tough one when you don’t know anyone. Nineteen people can be intimidating, but you take the intimidation out of it.

Chris Schembra (05:58):

Gratitude does that hard work for us. Gratitude is a universal human attribute. Many people call it the moral memory of mankind. The parent of all virtues and gratitude knows no boundaries or barriers. You could have someone that’s a different race, gender, belief, country, whatever, sitting across the table from you and if we ask this gratitude question, you’re likely going to talk about pretty similar things, right? In a room of 20, for instance, or a room of 45,000, we’ve done them all. If you are answering this gratitude question and if you could give credit and thanks to someone that you’ve never thought to thank, you’d likely just going to talk about a mom, a dad, a dog, a grandparent, a friend, a teacher, a stranger, someone who hurt you, someone who helped you and everything in between. Well, regardless of race, gender beliefs, or whatever, everybody’s got a mom, whether she loved them or didn’t, everybody has a stranger who either helped them or hurt them. These are all universal things and so you can use it to bridge divides. You can use it to connect people that God, I don’t know what to talk to with the guy next to me, but gratitude helps you find serendipitous moments of connection. That’s how you build long lasting, loyal relationships.

Michael Kurland (07:22):

I agree. I agree. Ever since I’ve moved out here, I practice of gratitude. It just changes your perspective for what you may or may not be going through, right? You can either be a victim or a victor to your circumstances. If you can see things through the lens of gratitude, you will certainly be looking at things, glass half full, if you will.

Chris Schembra (07:46):

You bring up a great point and I’ve never actually made it the victim, the victor, I’m going to have to use that. Michael, I’m sorry. That’s a genius way of putting it. Gratitude is not this woo woo floaty thingy. It’s actually, evidence-based. Science shows that get this, the grateful processing of unpleasant memories from our past actually helps broaden and build your brains thought action repertoire needed for positive affect. So when you have negative things happen to you in your past, you bring them forth to the present, you talk them out, you write it down, that destigmatizes the negative. You actively cope and process with that open crazy memory. You communicate it to others. You realize you have more in common than you think. Everybody else has been through trauma and then you get to turn that into hope, pride, optimism, self-confidence, the resilience needed to get through your next tough times. It’s resilience. It’s grit. It’s enduring personal resources that’s built from that victim to victor mentality.

Michael Kurland (09:00):

I think that night at that dinner table, I said I would give thanks to my ex-wife because I wouldn’t have moved to California and started this company and be on this journey that I’m at if she hadn’t done whatever she did and led to us getting divorced. I wouldn’t be here. So how could I not be thankful in a roundabout way for that? Right? Like you said, bringing that to the forefront. I think a lot of people feel alone and ashamed in the stuff that has happened in their past and knowing that there’s other people out there that are relating to what they like, for example, getting deep here and it’s not.  I have gratitude for where I’m about to go with this, but my Dad was an alcoholic for my entire life and to meet younger me when I was growing up 12, 13, 14, 15, I thought I was the only kid in the world that had an alcoholic father.

Michael Kurland (09:58):

I didn’t want anyone to know him. I was ashamed that my Dad was an alcoholic, so I didn’t tell anyone. As I got older, I was starting to develop some of the side effects of being the child of an alcoholic, which was a lot of anger towards everything. I was about in my early, late teens, early twenties, and I found this group called Al-Anon and I started going to Al-non and I realized there’s other people out there just like me. There’s other kids, there’s other wives, there’s other, spouses that are dealing with alcoholism in their lives. It made me feel not alone. I was very grateful for that because I felt so alone and so ashamed for so long. Now I can obviously openly talk about it on a podcast. So I’m grateful for that and grateful for bringing those bad memories to the forefront and in being a victor instead of a victim.

Chris Schembra (11:00):

Thank you for sharing that.

Michael Kurland (11:02):

I thank you for listening and you bring up these stories. You’re easy to talk to them.

Chris Schembra (11:08):

It’s also good for your listeners to know that part of your story, right? Kurt Vonnegut, a writer, a science writer from many years ago, the fifties and sixties were his heyday, he actually found that in narrative storytelling, it’s actually great to reveal the protagonist’s vulnerabilities early in the story arc so that they can build the protagonist up to be the hero at the end. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating that we make you the hero. I’d rather you be the guide. That’s a whole other thing, but there is truth to revealing your vulnerabilities in this podcast makes your audience want to listen more and see more of themselves in you.

Michael Kurland (12:03):

All right. I thank you for that insight. I will say you’re one of the first people who sparked my interest in this. I remember coming on your show. It was probably three years ago, like you said, maybe even longer, maybe four years ago in Manhattan, in that conference room and you know Jennifer, my public relations lady,had me so prepped up for your podcast and I walked in with this stack of notes. You were like put those in the garbage man and you’re not using those. So I was like, all right, this is cool. This is just be free, fun. But anyway, I digress. The point of what I was saying is I decided when we thought, hey, we can, we can do a podcast. I decided I have to do it from a, a vulnerable point of view. I have to be authentic and vulnerable or what’s the point, man. What’s the point of just being a guy, just talking, nobody’s going to listen.

Chris Schembra (13:00):

That vulnerability invites others to create an emotional attachment. When you can help others emotionally connect with something, they feel less alone, but you have to go there yourself, which you just did, which I completely applaud. That took a lot of courage to get vulnerable when you’re the one who’s supposed to say, no, I got this. Let me, let me be the question asker, let me do this thing. You just brought so much connection to your audience. And if you’re listening or watching this this is Michael. What you see right here. He’s a man. He’s not a man behind a curtain. He’s not a product or some industry leading service. This is the guy and we know that people buy from people, not from companies.

Michael Kurland (13:48):

Agreed, agreed. I’ve been asked that question so many times. What’s Branded Group’s secret sauce? Not to get off topic, but I always tell them, it’s me. People want to buy from me. In sales, you want to buy from who you like. We all sell the same thing for pretty much the same price. So what’s the difference? You want to buy from me, or you want to buy from my sales team.

Chris Schembra (14:13):

That’s the next part of it is when you can have your sales team feel as emotionally and psychologically safe as you feel right now revealing their vulnerabilities and they create that type of emotional attachment to your customers on behalf of you. Look, Google found in their promotion to emotion study, customers with a strong emotional tie to your brand buy more, promote more, and demonstrate more loyalty. I mean they are literally five times more likely to consider purchasing, thirteen times more likely to purchase and thirty times more likely to pay a premium. You just admitted pretty much everybody in your space is selling the same thing, doing the same thing across the board. Wow! What if you could make them want to pay more? Because you’ve created that type of emotional attachment. I mean, Michael, you’re not the only person in the world that had a troubling childhood.

Chris Schembra (15:22):

Eric Erickson, who came out with a wonderful seven stage psycho-social model of human development in 1958 and then again in 1963 showed that the things that happened to us, whether we’re 18 months old, two to five years old, five, 12, those kinds of things, they’re so common that you could build an entire model about it. Most people have gone through some kind of trauma in those years, but gratitude and mindfulness in the world of positive psychology are the only two things that can have a lasting benefit after a positive psychology, micro intervention, to overcome that malnourishment from your youth. When you Michael can create that type of healing and growth through community with your clients, that’s it. Everybody wins in that situation.

Michael Kurland (16:10):

I feel like I am taking a crash course in gratitude right now. All your numbers and your stats. It’s very informative.

Chris Schembra (16:21):

For better or for worse, I’m a focus equals growth kind of guy. I’m an aim small, miss small kind of guy. I wear the same pants with the same shirt. I mean not the exact same. I own 30 of the same shirts, 10 of the same pants. I’m a pretty simple dude. I just have this North Star that I aim for and that’s gratitude. It’s not like the rosie, rosie, woowoo gratitude is all this positive. It’s like this other hidden shadow aspect of gratitude and doing that in community, I don’t know nothing about bits and qualms and tech language, but I know gratitude. That’s all I got.

Michael Kurland (17:07):

I’m with you, man. I would fail miserably as an IT guy.

Chris Schembra (17:12):

That’s all right. You know what you do, here’s what you do. You are so good at hiring the best people for the job around you. Even if they’ve voted against you and empowering their success, that’s what makes a good servant leader. And gratitude is what makes the best of servant leaders, right? Gratitude makes you humble. It’s acknowledging the benefits and the value you’ve received from others and that humility isn’t that you think less of yourself, it’s that you think less about yourself. Or not that you think about yourselves less. It’s that you think less about yourselves. So when you can do that and hire the best people around you, you grow things.

Michael Kurland (17:54):

I learned that lesson early on. We’ve all got egos, especially when we’re trying to run a company.

Chris Schembra (18:00):

I think in your first podcast, you give credit and thanks to like an ex business partner or something that you were supposed to go into business with maybe?

Michael Kurland (18:09):

On your podcast? Yes, my ex-boss because he taught me everything I know about this business and without his help, learning and growing, I would never be here. I never thought I was going to be an entrepreneur. The Mike Kurland of 2007 I guess, was on this different trajectory. I was going to work for someone. I was going to be a company man. I was going to gain the little extra puffy weight. I was going to have the dad bottle, I guess the two kids. I was okay with all that. Then a lot of things happened and this guy shaped me. Moses Carrasco, you shaped me to understand business a little bit more and understand our business. I guess he saw what I didn’t see, which was people wanting to buy from me, people like me. So he helped instill that in me and it took seven years for me to realize it. But, that is who I gave thanks to on your podcast.

Chris Schembra (19:18):

I hope you’ve also given credit and thanks to the first people that bought from you. Even if they’re no longer customers, the first people that believed in you. That’s what I challenge you to go on and do next.

Michael Kurland (19:29):

Well, funny story. The first work order we ever received was from a person that ended up working for us. She had a job for us. So I’ve thanked Emily Alcantara numerous times for that first work order.

Chris Schembra (19:48):

There’s an interesting model to that when you’re so good as a vendor that the client ends up wanting to work for you. My friend Kerry Siggins has a phrase for the opposite of that. She calls it “pay to quit.” If someone is unhappy in her organization, she’s the CEO of a great group out of Denver, out of Colorado called Stone-age Tools with a couple of hundred employees. Does a great thing. Has a great podcast. She says, if someone’s unhappy, she will literally pay for them to quit. She will literally pay and help them in their recruitment and their LinkedIn search and their resume, writing everything in order to quit. My friend Claude Silver does the same thing at Vayner Media with Gary Vaynerchuk. My friend, Dwayne J. Clark does it in Seattle.

Chris Schembra (20:44):

Dwayne’s got about 2,600 employees. He’s a great client of ours. We produced a three-day conference for him a couple of weeks ago and an entire three-day gratitude conference with the Amal Clooney and Abby Wambach and Whoopi Goldberg and all these great things. At the start of his conference, he’s been doing a conference for a number of years, he stood up in front of his executive team. He invited 150 of his executive leaders out of the 2,500 person organization and he looked at them and he said, my goal of this conference is for you to be so epically inspired, so empowered, so courageous that you want to quit this company. If you wake up so much that you say, “my God, I shouldn’t be here anymore. I’ve got to go out and do my own thing,” he, Dwayne J Clark will personally pay for or connect or whatever the resource they need for their next opportunity, he will provide it. First time he did the conference, five of his executives quit. He was happy about it. He was happy about it. But he wants to make sure that the people who work for him want to be there, that know they belong, which is why gratitude helps us realize the values that we also care about and it helps connect people through those values, that community

Michael Kurland (22:01):

That’s super inspiring and also very outside of the box thinking. I would have never have thought even to do that.

Chris Schembra (22:10):

Even if nobody takes you up on it, just communicating it is ridiculous. It’ll instill greater loyalty for those who stay and it’ll instill that boomerang effect and those who leave for instance, people will either leave or know they got it so good here, they want to come back. Or when that person leaves, they’re the greatest referral source possible, right? Someone who leaves an agency and goes onto the brand or goes into a new brand that doesn’t use the agency, then advocates for the brand to use the agent. It’s that kind of effect. So when someone turns their back on you, when a client cancels, when a teammate fails to meet a deadline, when a teammate scruffs off and quits and goes off, give them gratitude. The gratitude you show through those disconnected hard times will ultimately bring them back into the fold like you’ve never even seen it.

Chris Schembra (23:03):

My good buddy, Chris Voss wrote a book called “Never Split the Difference, How to Negotiate As If Your Life Depends on It.” If you do the numbers, it’s one of the top five best-selling business books in the last four years. It’s a cult phenomenon. The whole thing is about tactical empathy. Mirroring, labeling, listening, question- asking. We call that tactical gratitude. When someone fails, you give them thanks. When someone hurts you give them thanks. When you do that, you’ll build bonds that, I mean, you’ll learn to appreciate those tough times.

Michael Kurland (23:40):

Again, I feel like I’m just listening. I’m taking notes here. I agree with you though. I haven’t read that book. I will definitely be getting that book. It’s something right up my wheel.

Chris Schembra (23:55):

I think like the night after the dinner we did together, I did a dinner at the AKA in West Hollywood. We all these fancy people, number one recording artists, Grammy award winners, Academy award, all these fancy people.

Chris Schembra (24:16):

In walks this old guy with a beard kind of scraggly like yours. The purpose of the dinner is to get everybody to work together, to create the meal and all this kind of stuff. So, I looked at this old guy and he said, “Hey, here’s some forks. Hey Bob, or Sarah, come on over, have you met Chris here? Y’all worked together to set up the table.” I think people thought he just worked for me or something. Or he was like the homeless dude attending the dinner. But during the dinner, I put him sitting next to my client, Zach, who had scaled his company from zero to $40 million in online sales in 18 months. Zach’s just talking and talking and talking and Chris is just mirroring and labeling, listening and asking good questions. We get around to the gratitude moment and a guy that I’m sitting next to, Matt Stafford, who had a big TV show in Australia, he’s a global DJ and all that kind of funky stuff. He says, I’d like to give credit and thanks to the whole table he says, I like to give credit and thanks to this. I don’t know this book that I read the other week. I mean, it really changed my perspective on everything. It’s all about negotiation, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, boom, boom, boom. Never split difference. I’m looking at him like, wait, does he realize he’s sitting 32 inches away from the author? He doesn’t, does he? I said, what was that author’s name? He said, I think it was a Chris guy. I said was it Chris Voss?  He said, yeah, yeah, that’s him. I said, he’s sitting right across the table from you. Life changes. I look around, everybody sits forward and I say, raise your hand. If you’ve read “Never Split the Difference,” and every hand went up. That’s how good the book is.

Michael Kurland (25:53):

Well, that’s I have my audible credit the other day, so we know what we’re getting now. I think the sales team will also be reading it.

Chris Schembra (26:01):

Take his masterclass, the like masterclass.com. He does. He does a whole masterclass on there about negotiations. It’s phenomenal. Old New York FBI dude.

Michael Kurland (26:15):

I have masterclass. I’ve been working through the chess guy. I can’t remember. I’ve been trying to get better at chess. That’s been part of my pandemic education. I’ve worked my way up to not terrible, not too terrible. So I’ll check Chris Voss out. That’s awesome. I’m excited about that. So this has been amazing, Chris, and you’re just so easy to talk to. I haven’t even asked you a question. We’re just free flowing.

Chris Schembra (26:46):

You’re doing your thing. We’re connecting. That means a very good thing. Anybody can write down 10 questions and answer and hire an intern to an ask it. Anybody can do that. You know how to connect. That’s what makes you so successful and relatable. Is that you know how to connect to people and roll with the flow.

Michael Kurland (27:04):

Thank you. I will let the audience know though. We usually have a four or five questions, pre prepped so that we can keep the show flowing and the guest usually picks those questions. Chris told me on the prep call, I’m not picking any questions. You’re going to try and do one free flow. I was like I don’t know if I’m ready to do that. He didn’t pick any questions. So here we are 30 minutes later. It’s awesome.

Chris Schembra (27:33):

I learned that from my buddy Cal Fussman. I’ll tell you a brief two minute story if you’ve got the time.  I first met Cal I remember the day it was November of 2017. I’m sitting in the audience of a conference room in a hotel in downtown LA. To my left floating around is Jeff Bezos, to my right is Novak Djokovich and right in front of me is Kobe Bryant. He’s talking about creativity. He had just written and then produced and animated his now Oscar or Academy award-winning film, Dear Basketball, his love letter after he retired. Everybody’s enthralled by Kobe Bryant, absolutely changing everybody’s life. I’m not. I’m looking at the short fat little dude with a shirt that kind of looks like, with the bowler cap on interviewing Kobe Bryant.

Chris Schembra (28:33):

He’s got 80 post-it notes floating around his brain. Every time Kobe says something, he programmatically inserts one of those post-it notes and keeps the thread going along down the lines of creativity. He didn’t know where they were going, but he knew how to keep it on topic. That was Cal Fussman. Cal Fussman was Editor in Chief at Esquire magazine. New York Times bestselling author, spent a week with Muhammad Ali, fought Julio Cesar Chavez, spent 10 years traveling around the world with no money, living on people’s couches. The dude is a legend and I got to meet him after that conference. He flew to New York, spent eight hours with me for a day. We got woo woo like this and he used to have breakfast every day with David Letterman, Larry King. Breakfast every day with Larry King, every morning in Hollywood.

Chris Schembra (29:39):

Larry would just eat Cheerios and everybody would come to his table and they’d listen and learn from Cal and Larry. They just held court every day for seven years. One of the biggest things Cal taught me over the years and I even read about it in Alex Banayan’s book, “The Third Door.” He said when Alex was writing that book and he was interviewing Jessica Alba, Cal said, don’t take your notebook, go in there and just connect. The first thing that Alex and Jessica connected on was that she had just lost her mother. He had just lost his father and boom, off started a great interview that changed Jessica’s life. You’re not going to change people’s lives by asking pre-programmed questions. You’re going to change people’s lives by hearing what they’re talking about and either diving deeper into that or presenting some contrarian inversion contrastive question to make them go what?

Chris Schembra (30:43):

Our favorite technique we do is this inversion technique is when someone says, you know, I’d like to give, for our gratitude question. I’d like to give credit, thanks to my mom. Or I’d like to give credit and thanks to my older sister. I always looked up to her. I always was inspired in her. She always believed in me. Well, then you see what my body language is doing. I always looked up to my older sister. Well, we’d flip that script and change the body language and say, when do you think your older sister looked up to you? You can’t do that on a notebook. You’ve got to do that from the heart and the soul. So and you’re very good at it.

Michael Kurland (31:26):

Thank you. I appreciate that. I’m learning on the fly that I don’t need pre-programed questions.

Chris Schembra (31:32):

No, just be you dude, be you.

Michael Kurland (31:35):

I do want to ask you this question though. You did write the book, the number two book for 2020 for human connection. I think that’s important to touch on because I’ve read the book and it was fabulous, but I think the audience needs to know a little bit about it, because I think it’s important for people to read this book.

Chris Schembra (31:54):

We know that systems are the solution. Michael Gerber proved that in the number one book recommended by Inc, 500 CEOs, the E-Myth Revisited.

Michael Kurland (32:10):

You said it earlier. You hire people and let it grow. That’s where I learned early on.

Chris Schembra (32:14):

Systems are the solution. Well, we just happen to have invented an evidence-based proven framework that guarantees positive emotional transformation within a positive psychology micro intervention. That was before the pandemic. That was around the dinner table. We had a proof that at our 18 person dinners, if less than six people cried, 33%, less than six people cried, we considered the night a failure. You say why would you want them to cry? Well, those are tears of transformation, overcoming limiting beliefs, overcoming guilt, shame, regret, fear, whatever. I don’t have to wonder if someone had a transformational moment if I actually see them cry. Now look at our clients, by the way, our chair, men and women of fortune 10 companies, global CEOs, CMOs, CTOs, CEOs, everything down to mom and pop shop owners. These are high powered people that just feel like they got too many decisions to make, and they just need a good hug and a good cry and someone to let them know you belong.

Chris Schembra (33:39):

Everything’s going to be all right. So we took that whole system and we put it into a book and we started selling it. If you like reading, go to Amazon or whatever, just type in Gratitude and Pasta, The Secret Sauce for Human Connection and read that book and then do something about it. The first thing we say is pick a date, pick a date, work backwards, invite people, and then show them an experience they’ll never forget. Obviously, if you have trouble doing that, reach out to us and we’ll work you through the process, but no, it’s there for you. It’s a proven framework. We’ve used it to spark over 500,000 relationships around the dinner table. It’s guaranteed to provide a positive emotional transformation.

Chris Schembra (34:35):

Through the pandemic, the dinner table’s ripped away from us. So we had to focus deeper on gratitude as the star of the experience. What we do now in our virtual gratitude experiences looks a little bit different, but the impact is the same. I mean it’s guaranteed. 99.998% of the people we served virtually in 2020 reported some form of positive emotional transformation. The only 17 people that didn’t, their words, I keep using these words or guilt shame, regret. How have I never thought, thank my mom? How have I never thought to thank my dad? It’s too late now. Well, they had to acknowledge those emotions and then they get to go do something about that because gratitude isn’t just about paying it back. It’s about paying it forward as well. That upstream reciprocity of gratitude, it’s contagious. It’s giving. It’s literally rewiring your brain and will help you, guaranteed, build better relationships, feel more humble and honored inside, not happy, happiness. We are not in the business of helping people become happy. There’s too much that goes bad in life. But humility and feeling honored and developing resilience and grit. That’s what’s for sale.

Michael Kurland (35:56):

I like it. I like everything you just said. Happiness. You can’t control that. Right? You can only make yourself happy first. Then until you can make yourself happy, you can’t make anybody else happy. That’s my motto. But I like that, Chris. This has been great. I really appreciate you taking the time to come on the show. I feel like I just, like I said, I thought I was pretty adept to being in the business of gratitude and you just took, so thank you. Thank you for the masterclass on gratitude. Of course, if the audience wants to get ahold of you, how can they do so?

Chris Schembra (36:36):

They can email info@747club.org. Michael will put that email address in the show notes. If you have heard anything that you agree with today, we encourage you to reach out. If you feel lonely, hungry, starving for some type of connection in this crazy world that we’re living in, reach out. On top of the virtual gratitude experiences we produce for our clients. We also host a virtual gratitude experience for our community, our friends, our family, once a month. So reach out, we’ll invite you to the next one as our guest. You’re just gonna meet amazing people. Literally you’ll just meet great people. So reach out. We can’t wait to get to know ya.

Michael Kurland (37:40):

I can attest from my own experiences. That’s great. So audience, please reach out. Well, thank you so much, Chris, for coming on the show and audience until next time.

I’d like to take a minute to thank you, our valued listeners. My intention is for this podcast to inspire you, in some way, to be better. Change starts from within and radiates outward. Therefore, start with being better to yourself and only then will you recognize how to be better others and your community. Thank you for joining us today! If you want to learn more about Branded Group, then visit us at www.branded-group.com. From our website you can follow us on social media. Also, always feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. Until next time, Be Better.

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