The four types of intuition
Updated: Mar 1, 2022
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"And he walked into that tiny bankrupt little restaurant. That restaurant was East Side Mario's location number one. And over the next 20 years, he grew that to over a thousand locations, $2 billion in revenues before he retired just after I had the interview with him, all because it felt right. That's the power of intuition." — Sunil Godse
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Curt Mercadante interviews Sunil Godse, who helps business owners create trusted brands by implementing a process he developed called intuitive branding that helps them unleash the power of intuition to make decisions that earns the trust of their employees and customers in under 14 seconds.
"So the way that I look at how intuition works is that it's like driving a car. And so we talked about the signals," said Godse. "So you get in the car, you push a button, turn the ignition and you listen to the engine roar and you keep running. You don't need to be a mechanic to drive a car. You don't need to know about compression ratios, gears, all that stuff. What I wanted to do is take a peek at what's under the hood of this thing called intuition."
Godse has identified four types of intuition:
In this episode, he explains the four types by sharing the case study of an investor who used his intuition to take a small, bankrupt restaurant to a pizza restaurant chain (East Side Mario's) with more than 1,000 locations and $2 billion in revenue.
Sunil is also the author of the books, Gut! What it is. How to trust it. How to use it, and Fail Fast, Succeed Faster.
As an entrepreneur, Sunil generated more than $20 million in revenues before moving on to helping a significant number of businesses go from 6 to 7 figures in revenues as well as being trusted to help major companies such as Citibank, SAP, Rogers Wireless and Western Digital, his advice simply works.
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF THIS EPISODE:
So the way that I look at how intuition works is that it's like driving a car. And so we talked about the signals. So you get in the car, you push a button, turn the [inaudible 00:32:28] and you listen to the engine roar and you keep running. You don't need to be a mechanic to drive a car. You don't need to know about compression ratios, gears, all that stuff. What I wanted to do is take a peek at what's under the hood of this thing called intuition. And what I noticed is after doing some research with the academic research and interviewing these over 5,000 people was I noticed that there were four types of intuition. The best way I can explain the four types of intuition is actually through a case study of a non-believer. One of my friends was a fellow by the name of John Rothschild and this fellow was an investment banker. So this guy, data, spreadsheets, everything, ruled his world. Because he was a friend of mine, he was one of my very first interviews. I said, "John, would you mind talking about intuition?"
Now at that time, intuition was seen as coming from the cosmos, voices from God. That's fine if that's how you define intuition. To me, it doesn't really matter what your definition is. I'm here to say you've got some signals; where they come from is up to you to define that. But for him, he's like, "This thing does not exist. Come on. What are you talking about?" So I said, "Okay, John, do you mind? [inaudible 00:33:44]" He said, "Yeah, I haven't seen you for a while. Let's just talk about this thing you want to talk about for intuition for five minutes and we'll grab a coffee and we'll catch up." So I'm driving down to see John and I'm thinking, "Okay. I wonder how this interview is going to go." It's one of my first ones. So we sit down, I actually turn on the camera and I start telling him about these signals. And I told him about the CEO that sees the omens on his right shoulder whose now run two multimillion dollar companies on that signal.
I also tell him about another entrepreneur whose left earlobe gets hot whenever he is about to make his bad decision which is his positive or negative intuitive signal. And he's saying, saying, "Yeah, omens and these, I would really like to shake their hands. But any decision you make in life is about your learning and experience." So this is when I start telling him about experiential intuition. And I told him about what experiential intuition is. And I said, "In some cases, John, your intuition actually has you go against the data." And he goes, "That's really funny, Sunil, you mentioned that. I actually have something like that, that happened." And I said, "Okay, please tell me." So he said that was a time when he was looking to put a franchise location in; that's what his business was in. So if you put in a McDonald's or Wendy's or Burger King, there would be a team in place that would look at whether that franchise is going to be successful by looking at traffic patterns, demographics, and develop into the areas as examples.
And his team would use a benchmarking system out of 10. So a 9 or a 9.5 out of 10 meant that this is a great place for a franchise. So he walks into this area of Toronto which is a crappy area of Toronto. And now we've moved on from experiential intuition to now situational intuition which is the second one. And we've all been to that situation where we walked into a room and say, "Huh, something's off here." And that's your situational intuition saying something in this environment is not right. So John and his business partner walked into this area of Toronto where his team said, "This is a 5.5 out of 10." And he goes, "Huh." And now he's telling me, "Perhaps it's my intuition, I'm not sure. But something saying that, no, you know what? It is going to be successful here." And he goes against his team's advice and he puts a location there. That ended up being something called the Beer Market, which was the most profitable franchise brand under his whole portfolio of brands ever in the history of his company. Then at some point, his purpose changes.
This is now we're going to get into the third of the four called relational intuition. What relational intuition does is it only allows people through a thick intuitive filter that gets you to listen to those people that you absolutely trust. You know that they're going to be there for you through thick and thin. They aren't yes people, they will give you constructive criticism but their intention is to lift you up. You and I have met hundreds of thousands of people, I'm sure between the both of us through our lives. I've got two, two people out of all those hundreds of thousands of people I've ever come across who I intimately trust. And it doesn't mean that they're static. They can move. Their lives will change. Their values have changed. Mind may change. That is an ongoing; some people come in and out. But that's how really strong your relational intuition is. So in John's case, he wanted to move away from our three to 4 million a year career to run a business.
So all the people he surrounded himself who were full of ego, money, fame, high end restaurants, that loving lifestyle said, "You're an idiot." But only one person actually to find out why. And that was his wife. And his wife asked "John, why? Why do you want to do that? You're so successful here and you want to just start from ground zero?" And he goes, "Because this just feels right." That was his intuitive signal. And then you would think that when you look at creative intuition which is the fourth, this gives you the risk level of the decision that you're going for and which you should be able to tolerate. So if you're turning at the left lights left or you're eating a sandwich, it's not a very risky decision, your creative intuition's pretty low. But in John's case, you would think that intuition would hand him a business to run that's has healthy cashflow, strong balance sheet, good profits. Nope. His intuition says, "John, you're going to run this tiny bankrupt little restaurant." And this is exactly what I'm going to paraphrase what John is telling me.
So an hour before this particular statement, he says, "Intuition doesn't exist," half an hour before he says, "Perhaps intuition, I'm not sure." Now when describing his decision to run this tiny bankrupt little restaurant, he looks at me and says, "Sunil, you can have all the data in the world but you have to trust your intuition." And he walked into that tiny bankrupt little restaurant. That restaurant was East Side Mario's location number one. And over the next 20 years, he grew that to over a thousand locations, $2 billion in revenues before he retired just after I had the interview with him, all because it felt right. That's the power of intuition.