Daniel Gefen was fascinating to speak with. I knew he was in Israel and I had listened to a bit of one of his podcasts but that was some time back and so I had forgotten that he had a British accent. Thus, my gaffe in initially calling him an American.
I’ve gotten way overbooked in terms of lining up guests months ahead. I don’t like doing that because it seems to lead to a variety of mistakes of which that faux pas was one. However, I’m besieged by so many people who want to be guests and others who are being promoted by publicists. It can be hard to say no. In fact, that’s how Daniel and I got together for this interview. He’s the founder of a new company he’s calling the Gefen Media Group. He first reached out to me via email saying he’d listened to some episodes of Shrink Rap Radio and that he could book guests who would be a perfect fit for my show. I was somewhat intrigued but clearly am not hurting for a lack of guests. Nevertheless, we corresponded back and forth and at some point he suggested himself as a potential guest. I saw that he had an impressive list of personalities he’d interviewed on his show and had written a self-help book, so he seemed a good candidate. Plus, I’ve since realized there was a bit of a halo effect going on, because of his last name being Gefen. I thought this guy is really famous! Turns out I was thinking of David Geffen who is a big wig in the Disney corporation. Duh!
When much later I got around to his Self-Help Addict book, I discovered that it was strongly slanted toward helping people get past self-limiting beliefs and habits that get in the way of their financial success. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It’s just that there are tons of podcasts about that and it’s never been a focus of Shrink Rap Radio.
As we got into our conversation, I realized that I had stereotyped him and needed to shift levels. I found myself really admiring his ability to be self-examining, as well as to be open and self-disclosing about his human frailties. He shared that he was a big show-off and class clown in his early years of school. Some time later, he realized that people were laughing AT him rather than WITH him. He’s not blind to the dynamic that podcasting has offered him a healthier and more effective way to channel that same impulse. I like that self-awareness and quickly began to suspect that he had some personal therapy. Lots of therapy it turns out and that puts him dead center in being an appropriate guest for Shrink Rap Radio.
I’m sure it’s because of my own issues around money that I particularly appreciated his story about having been turned off to the pursuit of money by his father’s nervous obsession with it. Again, Daniel’s inner witness brought him to the awareness that he needed to transmute his out-of-control feelings about money, to tame them like taming a wild horse.
And, of course, the father and grandfather in me resonated to his story about writing his book as a gift for his son’s 10th birthday. Not only was that a self-motivational tool it also communicated a special caring to his son.
The book is also a gift to all of us. Once again, the title is The Self-Help Addict: Turn An Overdose of Information Into A Life of Transformation.