Find out why Donald Miller of StoryBrand called Shelle a ‘freak of nature’

Listen to the podcast here  or simply read the transcript below


Donald Miller (01:15):

Welcome to the building of StoryBrand podcast where we believe if you confuse, you’ll lose, noise is the enemy, and creating a clear message is the best way to grow your business. I’m your host Donald Miller. I’m joined by my co-host Dr. JJ Peterson. Hi JJ.

JJ Peterson (01:28):

Hi Don.

Donald Miller (01:29):

JJ, question for you.

JJ Peterson (01:30):



Donald Miller (01:31):


What is your favorite color and why?

JJ Peterson (01:34):

Ooh, my newest favorite color is Green.

Donald Miller (01:37):


JJ Peterson (01:38):


Donald Miller (01:40):

JJ, because you used the word newest. Let me tell you some things about you.

JJ Peterson (01:45):

Okay, go.

Donald Miller (01:45):

You identify with new things. Life when it’s made new meets your childhood, and you’re buying habits, you like new things over used things. JJ, am I correct?

JJ Peterson (01:59):

All but the last. I’m a big antique guy, but other than that, yes.

Donald Miller (02:03):

You’re wrong.

JJ Peterson (02:09):

I am fascinated right now by where this is headed.

Donald Miller (02:13):

Well basically I interview on this week’s podcast, Shelle Rose Charvet who wrote a book “Words That Change Minds”, and she is a freak of nature in her ability to psychoanalyze you in the moment.

JJ Peterson (02:26):


Donald Miller (02:27):

Which I just tried to do for you.

JJ Peterson (02:28):


Donald Miller (02:29):

And it was bull crap.

JJ Peterson (02:32):

I saw my diary being read by the public. I was like, yes, I do like new things. Oh my gosh, I do recognize and connect with my childhood.

Donald Miller (02:41):

No, I was just making stuff up.

JJ Peterson (02:43):

Oh, well I was sweating.

Donald Miller (02:43):

So basically she’s got this book, “Words That Change Minds”, and it’s a 14 part framework that in the moment she’s always listening for 14 different cues that tells her how to lead you where she wants you to go next.

JJ Peterson (02:58):


Donald Miller (02:59):

And she really can only handle about six or seven at a time, but there are 14 in play and they’re each contextual. So in other words, like in one context, you could be a person who tries to avoid trouble, but in another context, you’re a person who just wants to have fun and you can’t label a person. You only have to figure out what that person is doing in the moment in 14 different criteria.

JJ Peterson (03:20):

And is this just for like one-on-one or is this for emails?

Donald Miller (03:23):

She uses it for one-on-one. She uses it to train salespeople. She uses it to write emails. She uses it to AB test advertising. She uses it to manipulate the world.

JJ Peterson (03:33):

Well, I heard part of your conversation with her and you actually talk about that.

Donald Miller (03:37):

Yeah and she doesn’t.

JJ Peterson (03:39):

Yeah, she does. But it that it’s really is interesting about how you can understand how people think and how they’re going to act based on the words that they’re using.

Donald Miller (03:46):

That’s right. She kept doing to me what I was just doing you.

JJ Peterson (03:49):

Oh, that’s amazing.

Donald Miller (03:49):



But she was doing it for real.

JJ Peterson (03:52):



That’s amazing.

Donald Miller (03:52):

It was kind of freaky. But it really is all about reading, customers, listening, understanding what they want, understanding what the basic motivations of human beings and customers are. She actually has an app that she talks about and it’s something like How to Train Your Husband based on listening to him.

JJ Peterson (04:07):

Hide that app.

Donald Miller (04:09):

And she’s fascinating. I read this book a year and a half, maybe two years ago. Do you remember me walking around the office going, we have to read this.

JJ Peterson (04:15):


Donald Miller (04:15):

It’s really amazing. We finally got her on the podcast. Her name is Shelle Rose Charvet. She lives in Canada, but she lives a bunch of the time in Mexico. And so she connected with us from Mexico and I’m grateful that she took time to talk to me. You and I will talk about this a little bit later, but again, the book is “Words that Change Minds.”

JJ Peterson (04:33):


Donald Miller (04:34):

And it’s really about how to read people and understand them so you can guide them where you want to take them. I think if you get good at this, you’re the most dangerous person in the world. I mean, it’s just crazy. It’s just crazy. Anyway, here’s my conversation with the savant, Shelle Rose Charvet.


I have wanted to talk to you for over a year, possibly two years. I can’t remember when I bought “Words that Change Minds”. It was a long time ago. I buy a lot of books and I get usually one or two chapters in and then they kind of fizzle and I go to the next book. I’m fine with that because if a book doesn’t keep my interest, it’s not going to keep my interest. But your book, I think I read once then I believe, if I’m not mistaken, I read it again and then I started looking for how I could take a course from you. It was that good. The book is “Words that Change Minds.” You just came out with a new edition of the book. It’s doing extremely well. But let me just set the tone of what the book is about and then you correct me if you will, Shelly.

Shelle Rose Charvet (05:34):


Donald Miller (05:35):

This book is basically, you would think of it as kind of how to read minds, except you’re not reading minds, you’re reading the words that people are saying their body language but you’re reading 14 different “characteristics” that they are presenting. And you are navigating your conversation based on how they’re reacting to certain stimuli so that you can actually influence them in a way that is wise, in a way that is hopefully kind. But the downside is, or whatever you want to call it, I think you’ve presented something that could make a person the most manipulative person in the world if they want it to be. It just feels that way as you read it. It is not anecdotal, it is not subjective. I mean, you guys have spent a lot of time researching human psychology and the criteria that you come up with is actually been really surprising. Is my assessment fair, before we dive into what we’re actually talking about?

Shelle Rose Charvet (06:35):

So Don, I want to thank you for everything you said about the book and yes, a hundred percent, it’s really fair. When someone is asking a question and they ask a couple questions, another person usually only responds to the last thing they said, which is the downside in your case. You know what, you can be manipulative with this stuff because it’s incredibly powerful.

Donald Miller (06:56):

It feels like a superpower. It feels like if you understood this, you are understanding a language that is a subtext of the language that whatever the person you’re talking to is actually speaking.

Shelle Rose Charvet (07:06):

It is a superpower. It is exactly a subtext. You know, you’ve heard, I’m sure you’ve interviewed tons of people and you’ve talked to tons of people who tell you how important it is to listen. These people don’t tell you is what to listen for and that’s what I’ve concentrated on. You don’t just sort of open your ears and get this fire hose of information. You need to kind of triage what’s important and what’s not. How is this person expressing things so that you know what’s motivating them and what turns them off so that you can actually communicate better with them. But of course this can be used to become a manipulative person. I just think that’s a short term strategy and that’s why I think that doesn’t work over the long term.

Donald Miller (07:49):

It’s a quick way to help people understand how powerful it actually is. But let’s give it a context. Let’s say that you are talking to somebody who maybe is a bit hostile and you know, it’s a negotiation as innocent as where the property line is between you and your neighbor. You want to put up a fence. They don’t want you to put up a fence and so they’re clearly playing kind of hardball. Within the context of the initial conversation. One of the things that you say that we should be assessing is this person a do it now person or a let’s think about it person. Because after you assess that, you can move on with the conversation in such a way that they’re going to feel more disarmed and more comfortable. That is one of the criteria that nobody would’ve ever thought of outside of a lab and a bunch of research to actually decide how to move forward. And there are 13 more, right? But as a case study or as an example, can you just tell me about why are we listening for is this a do it now or a let’s think about it kind of person as an example for one of the 14 criteria?

Shelle Rose Charvet (08:50):

Okay, do it now or let’s think about it. Would you let me step back for one moment?

Donald Miller (08:55):


Shelle Rose Charvet (08:55):

And analyze your question before I answer it.

Donald Miller (08:58):

I have no doubt you want to analyze my question. Hundred percent.

Shelle Rose Charvet (09:02):

I just thought you might find that amusing.

Donald Miller (09:04):

I would very much find that amusing.

Shelle Rose Charvet (09:05):

You asked me why should we do this?

Donald Miller (09:08):


Shelle Rose Charvet (09:08):



The word why is an indicator of a certain kind of thinking. And for me to answer your question properly, not only do I need to answer the question, I need to answer it in the motivation in the way you were thinking about it.

Donald Miller (09:25):

Okay, so what did that say about me though? When you heard that what did it say about the way I think and the way that you need to move forward?

Shelle Rose Charvet (09:31):

It tells me you need a bunch of alternative options. You didn’t say, how do I deal with this conversation? Which would’ve been what we call a procedures trigger and it would’ve meant you wanted like a step-by-step first do this and then do this, then do that. You didn’t do that. You said, why should we do this?

Donald Miller (09:51):

I need to know why we’re doing this.

Shelle Rose Charvet (09:53):

Why? What are the alternative ways of looking at this? Well, for me to answer you, instead of answering you in a step-by-step manner, I now need to give you a series of ways of thinking about it. So I’ll say, well one reason that it’s important is so that you know how to go to what I call the other person’s bus stop. Because I view all communication as a journey. So if you want someone to go on the journey with you first, you have to go to them and pick it up. So one reason why it’s important. Another reason why it’s important is if you don’t match their need to either do it now or let’s think about it, they’re not going cooperate with you even if you end up getting something that’s agreeable to them because you’re not phrasing it in a way they can get on board with it. If you’re in a do it now mode and the other person’s in a let’s think about it mode, they’re going to perceive you as a bulldozer and think you’re just trying to get your own way. And contrary, if you’re in a let’s think about it mode, they’re going to think you’re a wimp and you can’t make up your mind

Donald Miller (10:56):

You know what’s so funny? I am a do it now person. My wife is a let’s think about it person. We’ve had to learn to interact and talk to each other in such a way that tension isn’t created. We have a great marriage. But I know, maybe intuitively over time, that this is not a do it now person, this is a let’s think about a person and so I speak very differently to her than I do with other people.

Shelle Rose Charvet (11:18):

Sure, and I bet you there are times and places where that’s reversed because we’ve all learned about personality profiles. You’re a this, you’re an introvert, you’re a driver, you’re a this, you’re that. When we work with this profile, which by the way is called the Language and Behavior Profile, it’s about language is an indicator of your behavior and vice versa. We recognize that the things that motivate us and how we think and how we make decisions, it’s all contextual. So you may be a let’s do it now person at work and on vacation or when you’re at home in the evening, you might be, ah let’s just let it slide and let’s have some relaxed moments. We don’t have to be out there at the coal phase. So it’s very contextual. So I love this.

Donald Miller (12:00):

What’s another thing I loved about your book is it didn’t pigeonhole people.

Shelle Rose Charvet (12:04):


Donald Miller (12:05):

It didn’t label them. They’re very fluid, which means you have to actually understand the hidden language in every context. At work somebody can be this way and then they get home and they’re completely different. Or when they’re talking about food, they can be this way but when they’re talking about movies, they’re completely different. So you actually can’t say this person is a do it now person the way I did earlier.

Shelle Rose Charvet (12:25):


Donald Miller (12:26):

Because there are certain things where I would say with financial investments, I’m not a do it now person. I’m a let’s think about it person. That’s another thing that’s really beautiful about your book is you let people be human and not robots. But it also made the mastering of what you call the patterns of language or the language of influence, mastering that must be very, very difficult because it’s always changing.

Shelle Rose Charvet (12:47):

If I can phrase it another way is it’s not a simple, put this person in this box. Yeah, for sure. The big disadvantage of the LAB profile is because people change what motivates them and how they behave by different contexts,itt means you have to just keep paying attention. But that’s also an advantage because the moment you stop paying attention, you’re just on your own trip and the other person may or may not even be on your bus. So it’s both an advantage and a disadvantage because it means that once you learn the patterns you like have a button on your brain and say, okay, turn it on. Now I’m listening.

Donald Miller (13:26):

Let’s talk about this in the context of sales. Most of our listeners, there’s about 90,000 listeners, they are business owners or business leaders in some way, usually managing a group of people. Some of them are sales executives. All of us probably have to influence people to buy our products. Can we talk about this, and I know you do it in the book, in the context of sales? So in a sales conversation, I’m making a sales call, maybe it’s my third interaction with this person. We’re finally going out to lunch. What are some of the ways that I can use the 14 patterns of mastering the language of influence in the context of that lunch? What is the council that you would give me walking into that lunch?

Shelle Rose Charvet (14:03):

Okay, may I analyze your question before I answer?

Donald Miller (14:06):

A hundred percent. I think that’s what making it so fun. I love it.

Shelle Rose Charvet (14:10):

I just can’t help it. So I listen to you say, what are some of the ways, right? Again, you want options. You did not say Shelle, how do you manage this?.

Donald Miller (14:18):

What does it mean though?

Shelle Rose Charvet (14:20):

It means that you don’t want just one right way to do stuff. You want to have many different ways. There’s a couple things I want to explain. My brother came up with this amazing example to explain this to people in the context of sales. So if everybody that’s listening, imagine just for a moment that you’re on the internet and you are Googling rain boots because you really need a pair of rain boots. The question is, which ad from these ads would you click on? So the first one is keep your feet dry and then the ad is for Bob’s Rain Boots. Would you click on keep your feet dry? Ad number two, would you click on avoid getting wet feet?


Bob’s Rain Boots. Ad number three, do you want to keep your feet dry? Bob’s Rain Boots. Number four, you have to keep your feet dry. Bob’s Rain Boots. Number five ways, that one might be yours in this context but who knows, ways to keep your feet dry. Bob’s rain boots. And the last one, how to keep your feet dry. Bob’s Rain Boots. You can see there’s six different out of the 14. I just picked six. Well different people will click on different things and it means they’re thinking about rain boots in a number of different ways. So for example, the first one is towards. This is when your customer wants to get something, they’re moving towards their goal. In this case they want to keep their feet dry. But a lot of people in the context of sales need a pain or a problem. You’ve heard that before.


Pain or gain, they want to move away from sets. And in fact, in sales, if nothing is urgent, there’s no urgent reason to buy. So the second pattern, motivation trigger, is called away from. Is there something your client wants to move away from? And that ad was avoid getting wet feet. So like if your feet are soaked, it’s an emergency, right? The flood is rising. The next one, and this is for anyone who you find difficult to persuade like your spouse or some of your harder customers, the pattern is called internal. And that’s all about someone who wants to decide for themselves based on what’s important to them. And anytime you use command language or you should, or the call to action on a website, it turns these people off because they don’t want to be told what to do. So this ad that attracts them wasn’t a statement, it was a question.


Want to keep your feet dry? That’s an invitation. So if your audience members, your typical customers are people that are hard to convince because they want to decide for themselves, they’re probably in internal mode. It’s better to use what I call the language of suggestion and invite or ask. You need to sound credible, you need to sound like you believe in what you’ve got. But the approach there would be to offer and ask. Whereas someone who you can say you have to keep your feet dry, it means they’re in external mode. They’re looking for guidance and appreciation and support and feedback from the outside. Then there’s the options people that want many ways and choices. And then there’s the procedures pattern where someone wants a step by step process. One of the things that I teach people is the step by step process of how to ask these questions in a sales conversation so that you can find out not only what does the person want or not want to move away from, what language you need to have so that it fits how they’re thinking about this thing.

Donald Miller (18:09):

How does this work in the context of marketing? You brought up the idea of ads, rain boot ads. Do I need to know though what this demographic is? Because let’s say I’m selling rainbow boots, they’re pink rain boots, so it’s mostly women or there’s yellow butterflies on them, mostly little girls or something like that. I would imagine you can’t pick that demographic and say that they’re all avoiders or they’re all toward thinking or do I have to just say, well I’m just going to try to sell rain boots to the people who think toward or I’m going to try to sell the rain boots for the people who are trying to avoid. Is that how you go about it? Or do you actually do some demographic study on? Well most people are actually wired like this when it comes to rain boots so we’re going to use that kind of ad. I would also imagine as a politician, you’re trying to get all of America to vote for you. So do mostly old people who are afraid we’re going to take away their social security and their Medicare, they mostly avoid people. Do you see what I’m saying? How do you actually take this and generalize it outside the context of a 1:1 reading cues conversation.

Shelle Rose Charvet (19:09):

Right. Can I analyze your question before I answer?

Donald Miller (19:12):

I would expect nothing less.

Shelle Rose Charvet (19:15):

Okay. So this time.

Donald Miller (19:16):

I want options.

Shelle Rose Charvet (19:17):

No, you did not want options.

Donald Miller (19:18):

Oh, in this context, I don’t.

Shelle Rose Charvet (19:20):

Three times you asked me a question that started with the word how, and that means now you want the procedure. How do you go about doing this? Okay.

Donald Miller (19:29):

Right. How do I use it?

Shelle Rose Charvet (19:30):

Okay, how do you use it? There’s four. Okay. So now in order to answer your question properly, I’m going to put it in steps. I’m not going to say you could do this or you could do that cuz that’s an options answer.

Donald Miller (19:41):

Now, have I changed context?

Shelle Rose Charvet (19:44):

No, you just changed how you’re thinking about it and you went from what are all the possibilities to now what are the steps? So if I’m going to answer you properly, I have to start with step one.

Donald Miller (19:55):

And metaphorically you’re almost like reading emotions. This person is very tense. Okay, now this person is actually calmed down. Now they’re very inviting. You have to be able to read those in 14 different categories.

Shelle Rose Charvet (20:06):

Well I only pick a few because who has the attention they can spend on 14 different categories. I mean really.

Donald Miller (20:11):

Thank you for saying that. That frees me.

Shelle Rose Charvet (20:12):

Okay, I’m a genius and I still can’t do it.

Donald Miller (20:16):

Very good.

Shelle Rose Charvet (20:17):

So first step, now I’m really answering your question. So the first step is you take a guess at what patterns might be driving your audience. And with the internet you can AB test anything. So let’s say beyond demographics, you want to know what is the driving thing that’s going to make somebody buy this stuff. Well maybe it’s because they want to avoid something or maybe it’s because they want to get something toward or away from. I’ll give you an example. One of my neighbors who I have coffee with in the morning, he is an owner of a very small company that they design sunrooms for people and this is Canada. It’s dark and cold in the wintertime. I said to him, have you checked out your ads for what language you’re using? So he’d been using all away from ads.


So are you tired of the dark in the wintertime? And the problem with most of us, pretty much all of us, until you’re aware of these patterns, you may think you’re doing a variety of ads but you’re not in terms of these patterns. So he had a big variety but they were all away from. So I said let’s do an AB test and he set it up his Google thing and I said let’s try out toward and away from with equal opportunity for people to click in terms of times of day and everything else. So the toward ads was do you want more light in your apartment in the wintertime? Would you love to have more flowers and more space and more light in your house? Like all toward ads rather than avoid the dark, tired of not having enough space?


And that’s all stuff you don’t want. Interestingly, and this is only in his case becasue you’ve have to do the research, it turned out that he got almost half and half clicks on both the toward and away from ads which meant up until that time he’d only been reaching half the audience. Now people are going say, oh, you should always use all the language from all the pattern, no you have to test, right? So first step, figure out what language you want to test, try it out, compare it to the opposite pattern in the same group, like towards and away from or internal and external, et cetera. Or what you said, do it now or think about it and that’s called proactive or reactive. Again, it has language that goes with it. You try it out and you notice what works. And often you’ll find it’s one pattern over another, not both.

Donald Miller (22:36):

One will work better than another.

Shelle Rose Charvet (22:38):

Correct. Now that’s in the context of marketing. In the context of sales. And I’ve been doing this kind of work as a consultant for companies. One of the things that we do is we analyze the buying cycle for products by a typical group of customers. Because, as you know when you are looking at marketing sales, everybody goes through a number of steps when they’re going to buy something. Well, each of those steps may have LAB Profile patterns. Can I give you an example?

Donald Miller (23:05):


Shelle Rose Charvet (23:06):

I worked for an ERP software company and they were active in a number of different areas, food and beverage, fashion, et cetera. And they had quite a complex, although much simpler than SAP software. What I did with their marketing and business development team is we mapped out what they knew to be the buying process. So when a company is getting ready to think about buying a new enterprise software, the first thing that happens is all of the key people notice everything that’s wrong with their current software.


They go, oh, I hate this. It doesn’t let us do this. Or That’s too complicated or these don’t work. Well that’s two LAB Profile, Language and Behavior Profile, motivation triggers. They’re away from, that means they notice problems. They don’t notice what they want, they just notice what’s going wrong nd what they don’t want and they’re internal. They decide they don’t like it. So then they go to phase two in the buying process. They go, oh well I wonder what else is available out there? And you heard what else. That’s your pattern from a couple minutes ago. That’s, what options are out there? But they don’t have expertise so they go external. What are experts recommending for these options? So you can see if you encounter your customer in the marketing phase when they’re in phase one, you need to use the language that is suitable for decision makers who are in away from and internal mode.


But if you’re going to target them when they’re out there looking for what else is available then you need to use language that is motivating for somebody in an options mode and someone who’s external wants some guidance, wants to know what the experts think. You can take this all the way through the buying cycle to help them go through the buying process. And as a small business you can talk to a few of your customers and find out how they went through that process. And that’s actually what I do for customers. So this example of the software company, they were able to increase the number of leads that they got to the salespeople. Then I taught the salespeople the sales process to use with their customers and they did gangbusters because now the salespeople weren’t just using the language that motivated them. They were able to go to the bus stop, find out what the bus stop was in terms of these patterns and go to that bus stop and use the correct influencing language to get people on the bus.

Donald Miller (25:48):

I’ll be right back with the rest of my conversation with Shelle Rose Charvet in just a moment. My friend Amy Lacey started a company and in the first year she ran the company, she lost a quarter million dollars. She has a company called Cauliflower Food. She lost a quarter million dollars, but she knew she had a cauliflower pizza crust that people were loving. She knew she could scale it up. A marketing agency came to her and said, look, for $25,000 a month we’ll help you do this and she said, boy, you know, I am already down quarter million. I know we can scope, $25,000 a month is a lot of money. I’ve just heard about this company called StoryBrand. I think I want to investigate that first and then I’ll get back to you. She came to us. She realized she really just needed to clarify her message and she could probably run most of her marketing by herself as long as her message was clear.


She did clarify her message. She did run her marketing by herself and she did make $6 million the first year. The first year after the quarter million dollar loss, she made $6 million. The second year, which was last year, she made $20 million. That company is booming. She never hired that marketing agency for $25,000 a month. She does buy a lot of marketing. She handles it in-house. $20 million, that’s the difference. Here’s what Amy did. She showed up at a live workshop, she clarified her message, then she actually hired one of our private workshop facilitators and got her entire team around a table to clarify the message, understand it, and then develop a plan to execute it. You need a private workshop for your company. Before you go spend a ton of money on marketing, you need a private workshop, just go to Hire one of our facilitators. Don’t go wasting a ton of money on marketing. Clarify your message. It worked for Amy, it has worked for hundreds and hundreds of other companies. It will work for you. Go to, hire one of our facilitators today.


Shelle, would it be possible, you know, again at a 50,000 foot level to actually list the 14 patterns and people need to read your book in order to understand it. They probably need to go through some sort of training. We’ll talk later about what else you’ve got out there that would help people take a deeper dive into this. You’ve probably covered half of them just in these conversations, but they’ve been here and there.

Shelle Rose Charvet (28:09):

Yeah, I’ve covered a bunch of them, but there’s some that are more important.

Donald Miller (28:11):

What’s the first one that you talk about in the book?

Shelle Rose Charvet (28:13):

Right. So the first one we talk about in the book is the proactive versus reactive. And the definition of those terms is not like we normally have in business. In business, you have to be proactive. But our definition is a little bit different. It means you are motivated to do and not to think. A lot of us make mistakes because we just did stuff without thinking it through. And reactive is when you’re not motivated to do as such. You’re motivated to understand and think things through thoroughly. Now in the context of work, most people are right in the middle so it’s very hard to notice. You tend to only notice the bulldozers who have to do it now or the people who think endlessly and don’t get off their butt. Most people are somewhere in the middle on that particular one. About 60% in the context of work are mainly in the middle on that one. It’s a continuum.

Donald Miller (29:04):

Okay, so proactive versus reactive. What’s number two?

Shelle Rose Charvet (29:08):

Oh, so the second thing, at least in the order of the book, although I kind of think this is number one, is called criteria. Criteria are all about the words people use that indicate what’s important to them. Let me give you an example for a moment. Most salespeople assume they get the words and phrases that’s important to their clients and so they paraphrase back to them. But when you paraphrase, you’re not using the other person’s words. After my kids grew up and left home and I decided to get rid of the rusty old mommy mobile that had carried hockey bags around, stinky, stinky hockey bags, for years. I wanted a luxury car and my hubby is a German computer science engineer. So of course we went to all the German dealerships and then we went to all the other luxury dealerships and out of the seven dealerships we went to, only one person said Shelle, what do you want in this car?


What’s important to you? The rest of them asked me, what car are you currently driving? So I said, I’ve hidden it at the back of the parking lot and I never want to see it again and let’s not talk about it. But only one actually asked me what I want and repeated back what I want. The BMW guy said to me, well I’d like you to understand the philosophy of the BMW, it’s feel the road. And I said, are you looking at me? I’m a woman in her fifties, that was at the time, do I look like I wanna feel the road. My criteria for the car was it has to drive like honey. That’s kind of the opposite of feels the road, but he didn’t ask me. And I don’t know, I can’t say for sure that I bought my car because of that person that went to the trouble to then show me something that matched my criteria. But what most people do is they don’t note the words that the person uses. People use words because they’re important to them. Iif you hear someone mark out words or repeat them, like if you’re on a phone call with somebody and you think you’ve answered their question but they keep going around around again in circles, it’s probably because they haven’t heard their words coming out of your mouth. So criteria is very important. It’s what is important to a person, what do they want?

Donald Miller (31:26):

That’s fantastic. I mean that’s so practical. What about number three? And we may not be able to get it through all 14. People are going to have to buy your book.

Shelle Rose Charvet (31:33):

Let’s just do some of the motivation triggers because they’re the ones that are most important. So there’s towards or away from. Does a person want something? They want to move towards them? I want to be more efficient, I want to get better at something. Or do they want to stop having this problem? Most people only go to the doctor to fix a problem. I don’t feel well and you know most doctors are in away from mode too. You hardly ever go to your doctor and have her or him say to you what are your goals for your health? What are you trying to achieve? No, that never happens. They say tell me what’s wrong. Let’s see if we can fix it. It’s an away from profession. So that’s towards a goal or away from a problem. And there’s three kinds of away from, wouldn’t you know it. There’s avoiding, preventing and solving. All those are three different kinds, but it’s the same thing.

Donald Miller (32:19):

Does that mean more people are motivated by a way than toward if there’s three kinds of away?

Shelle Rose Charvet (32:23):

It doesn’t mean that but you get quicker action. Urgent always trumps important.

Donald Miller (32:27):

Got it, got it.

Shelle Rose Charvet (32:28):

Although I have a client right now that they want to work with me cuz they’ve got all these options, these ways of how I can help them meet their goals faster. And I went, whoa, that’s different because usually I get called in when there’s a problem that needs fixing.

Donald Miller (32:42):

That’s toward. They’re toward.

Shelle Rose Charvet (32:43):

Yeah, but they’re toward. I went, holy moly, the whole company is working like this. So it was very interesting.

Donald Miller (32:50):

Let’s do a couple more.

Shelle Rose Charvet (32:51):

Okay then there’s internal. These are people who want to decide for themselves and don’t want to be told what to do. And there’s a free resource. Oh, I forgot to tell you this. I created an app. And the app, some of you are not going to like the name of this app. It’s called HusbandMotivator, all one word.

Donald Miller (33:09):

Does it work to motivate wives?

Shelle Rose Charvet (33:11):

No, you can use it on wives as well as husbands. But it enables you to pick a context in which you’re working with your husband or your wife or something like relationship, family, work, health, et cetera. And a sub context because we know these patterns change by context. It’s a free app. It’s on Android and it’s on iOS. You can download it and you can use it over and over again. Like I wanto motivate my husband to do the X or Y.

Donald Miller (33:37):

I’m kinda curious, is it helpful to sort of indoctrinate you in the words that change minds patterns?

Shelle Rose Charvet (33:43):

It teaches you how the patterns work and what the patterns are and it’s got six of the main patterns. It’s got towards and away from. It’s got criteria. Sorry, that makes seven. Internal external, which we just we’re talking about. I want to make my own decisions or I need some external guidance and feedback and then options. Do I want lots of choices or procedures? Do I want a step by step how to method? So it’s got those six patterns plus criteria.

Donald Miller (34:08):

Options or procedures. Yeah, that’s another. Options or procedures. We snuck one in there on everybody.

Shelle Rose Charvet (34:14):

So those are the main patterns in it. Now it automatically gives that to me. Now the other thing, I’ve got too many options going on, you can hear this now too. A few years ago we developed software and we have two United States patents on it. It’s a piece of software that automatically detects in email what are the patterns of the person who sent you an email.

Donald Miller (34:37):


Shelle Rose Charvet (34:38):

And it detects towards, away from, internal, external and options and procedures. Then in phase two, it explains it to you like there’s a quick and dirty, here’s the pattern, this is what it means. Here’s the suggestion.

Donald Miller (34:50):

This person is motivated by this right now or whatever.

Shelle Rose Charvet (34:52):

Yeah, exactly. And it’s about what they’re motivated by right now. Then there’s the more information tab. Let’s say it’s your boss or a very important prospect and you want to make sure you absolutely don’t make a mistake then it’ll give you more information with suggested phrases to use. So then you type your answer and then it evaluates your answer against the incoming email and gives you a fit score. How well does it fit? And anything over 50% is good to go and it’ll give you advice on what to improve.

Donald Miller (35:20):

Well even just a piece of software that stops you for a second says, let’s think about how you’re responding to this.

Shelle Rose Charvet (35:24):

Oh absolutely.

Donald Miller (35:25):

It’s valuable in itself.

Shelle Rose Charvet (35:26):

Very, very valuable. I use it about 25 times a day and I’m the queen of this stuff and I still use it.

Donald Miller (35:32):

The HusbandMotivator, which I’m going to use on my wife, and the software. Where do we get those two things? The HusbandMotivator is on iOS or Android. The software is where?

Shelle Rose Charvet (35:40):

The software at the moment it works in Windows. We’re working with Microsoft to get it into Office 365 so you could use it in a Mac as well. The name of the software is called Libretta. L I B R E T T A. And we invented this name because a Libretto is the story behind an opera. Well Libretta is the story behind what people are writing to you in email. So Libretta and I can give you the website. We have a strange name of our software company. It’s called Weongozi. W E O N G O Z. See I can speak American. Sorry, I’m from Canada, we say Zed, but

Donald Miller (36:23):

But there’s no “y” at the end. It’s just Z.

Shelle Rose Charvet (36:25):

Z I.

Donald Miller (36:26):

Oh, “ZI.” Got it.

Shelle Rose Charvet (36:28):

If you go there, you get all the information on where you can buy Libretta.

Donald Miller (36:32):

Unfortunately, we could talk for days because I have so many questions about how politicians are messing up, how we’re misunderstanding each other at home. There are so many really amazing applications to what you’ve created here. And I’m telling you, my listeners, the most fascinating book I read, I think it was 2017, but it might have been 2018, might have been early 2019, I’m not sure. But the most fascinating book I’ve read in a very, very, very long time. Shelle, where can more people find out just about you and let’s say I’m going to show up at a course that you’re delivering at some point, how do people interact with you personally and get training? Do you do workshops or what do you do?

Shelle Rose Charvet (37:08):

If you go to, two “s” in success strategies, that’s my training consulting company. So So it’s like the word success and strategies stuck together and one of the middle “s” is taken out. You can contact me there. I’d be happy to talk to anybody and I want to give your listeners a gift. So this is free. Go to this website, it’s called and you can get for free your very own lab profile done in the context of work. So you can find out your own patterns, your own triggers. The complete set of 14 patterns for free at

Donald Miller (37:55):

That’s fantastic because I could actually have my entire team do it, post the results and it would give me a baptism of education into understanding what the patterns actually are.

Shelle Rose Charvet (38:05):

That’s right and each of them that will get not only an interpretation that then you evaluate, you decide whether you think it’s accurate or not and, that’s what gave us feedback to continually improve that, you get an understanding of each one of the patterns. So people can learn it immediately and you know what that means? You can start listening for it in other people’s conversations right away.

Donald Miller (38:27):

Well if anything, the brilliance and the gift of what you’ve created is that it actually gives us some criteria to do a better job listening and understanding people.

Shelle Rose Charvet (38:35):

Oh, thank you so much.

Donald Miller (38:36):

And that fosters connection. You’re brilliant. I told Steve before we got on this call, she’s a savant. I can’t wait to talk to her. You were not disappointing.

Shelle Rose Charvet (38:45):

Oh, thank you so much.

Donald Miller (38:46):

Unlike many savants, you’re also very entertaining. So grateful to talk to you.

Shelle Rose Charvet (38:50):

It has been a pleasure.

Donald Miller (39:00):

So now we have these superpowers. We do.

JJ Peterson (39:01):

You and I are gonna use these all the time. All the time now.

Donald Miller (39:05):

Well, you know, I read the book a year and a half ago and I’ve done this podcast. I’m actually fascinated by this. But it literally is kind of like, you have to learn Latin.

JJ Peterson (39:13):


Donald Miller (39:14):

I mean, in my opinion. So I haven’t taken a course yet. I haven’t gone further much into it. It’s the sort of thing, it would be like exploring how to do magic.

JJ Peterson (39:24):


Donald Miller (39:24):

I’ve not gotten fully immersed into it yet. But I know that we’ve got a bunch of listeners who geek out on this stuff like I do.

JJ Peterson (39:30):

Yeah. Get that book.

Donald Miller (39:31):

I want to know if you do a deep dive. I’m just curious, what did you get out of it and all that kinda stuff.


What I’m amazed is that Shelle spent that much time and this many years being obsessed with this stuff.

JJ Peterson (39:42):


Donald Miller (39:42):

It’s really fascinating to me. It reminds me of me and StoryStructure, right? I mean, I just can’t stop thinking about in years and years and decades in, so when I meet somebody who did that about anything, about whatever it is, quantum physics, you kind of just go, oh yeah, I get that.

JJ Peterson (39:55):

Yeah, yeah.

Donald Miller (39:56):

There’s an obsessive compulsive gene. But to me it was just really, really, really fascinating. So Shel, thanks so much for coming on the program today. JJ, another great podcast. Music from this episode is by Andrew Bell. You can listen to Andrew’s latest record, Dive Deep Hush on Spotify, iTunes, or Apple Music. Thanks as always for listening to the Building a StoryBrand podcast, where we believe if you confuse, you’ll lose, noise is the enemy, and creating a clear message to the best way to grow your business.