Episode 169- Q&A With Bob Burg

I have a special treat for you today. We’re going to do something that we have not done before, but we will do more in the future in our Total Life Freedom Community. Every month we have guests, experts come on for question answered, calls with members of the community, and I was so excited when Bob Burg, the author from the Go-Giver and the Go-Giver series of books got on a call with us and for an hour he knocked it out of the park answering questions from members of the group. So today I’m going to give you a clip from that call and in this clip, Andrew Mundy, who is starting to build a coaching business, had a few questions for Bob. So here you go. Here’s a little bit of the awesome Bob Berg and the question from Andrew Monday.

Andrew Mundy:My question is regards to the law of value. How do you determine what your services are actually worth? For example, I started a new coaching business and I know that there is huge value in how I’ve helped people so far, but it’s hard to quantify when it comes to understanding what I should charge moving forward. So where is that balancing point between giving value and taking payment, which I’ve gotten some of that information so far already. Um, but yeah, that was my question.

Bob Burg: So, so what you see is there really isn’t a balancing point between giving value and and receiving because you know, they’re both important. Just like breathing out and breathing in. Uh, I think the question is what do I charge and how do I communicate my value and how do I justify that, that price? So the first thing we have to understand is, is that price and value are two different things where we, so we talk about law number one, uh, the, the law of value that says your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment, not when you first hear that. It sounds counterintuitive, it sounds like, yeah, give more in value than I take in payment. That sounds like a recipe for bankruptcy, right? So we simply have to understand the difference between price and value.

Price is a dollar figure. It’s a dollar amount. It’s finite. It simply is what it is. That’s the price. Value is the relative worth or desirability of a thing, of some thing to the end user or beholder. In other words, what is it about this thing, this product, service concept, idea, this wisdom coaching, what have you, that brings so much worth to another person that they will willingly again, free market. They will willingly exchange their money for it and be ecstatic that they did while you make a very healthy profit. So let me give you an example. I often, I often give, because I think it’s just a very concrete one. You hire an accountant to do your taxes. She charges you a thousand dollars. That’s her price, her fear, her price. But she saves you $5,000. Uh, she saves you countless hours of time. She provides you with the security and the peace of mind of knowing that it was done correctly.

So first we see here that again, while price is finite, value can be both concrete in terms of that $5,000. That’s pretty easy to get our arms around, but it can also be conceptual in terms of the peace of mind, right? Which you, how can you put a price on that? So what the accountant did is give you, she gave you well over $5,000 in value in exchange for $1,000 payment or price. She gave you more in value than she took in payments. So you feel great about it, but she made a very, very healthy profit because it is worth it for her to lease out her time and her wisdom and her knowledge for $1,000. Okay. Uh, in fact, the, one of my great mentors, Harry Brown used to say in a free market based transaction, there are always two profits, the buyer profits and the seller profits because each of them come away better off afterwards than they were before.

Okay. Now, so, so that’s the basis. But remember that accountant, um, while she provided a wonderful service, she’s not the only accountant in town and pretty much every other accountant can do the same thing. So what separates her and her services from someone else’s? Because let’s face it, it just like what separates you in your coaching, uh, from any other coach because, um, unless and until the prospective customer, uh, is able to distinguish between any two or more providers, whether it’s an accountant, a coach, a dentist, a, an electrician or anyone else, they’re always on until they know the difference. They don’t know the difference. And then if not, it’s always going to come down to who has the lowest price. And you know, unless your last name is a Walmart, I guess, or, or amazon.com trying to make low price, your unique selling proposition is not a good way to do business.

It’s not productive, it’s not fun, it’s not profitable, and it’s certainly not sustainable. So there’s gotta be a way to be able to, to communicate additional value over and above the intrinsic value of the product or service itself. Well, the good news is there are dozens if not hundreds of ways to do this, but they tend to come down to five what we call elements of value. And those five are excellence, consistency, attention, empathy and appreciation. And to the degree that you’re able to, to communicate one or more, hopefully all five of those at every single touch point with this person from the time you first meet them, whether it’s an inbound, a request or an outbound connection, uh, through the relationship building process, the followup and follow through the sales process, the referral process to the degree you’re able to communicate those additional assets of value, that’s the degree that you separate yourself and distinguish yourself from the competition and you take price and the competition out of the equation.

Now, so what do you set as a a fee? I, I can’t answer that because I don’t know your marketplace. I don’t know what you do. I don’t know your level of expertise. There’s, there’s too much, I don’t know. But what I would do is as you’re researching this kind of discover and determine what basically the going rate or fee is and make it a little higher. Okay. Because you want to position yourself as the, the higher fee, you want to position yourself as the value based person. Remember when you try to sit, when you sell on price, you’re a commodity. When you sell on value you are a resource and so you want to do those things that position you as a trusted resource, not as a commodity. Does that make sense?

Andrew Mundy:
Yeah, absolutely. I think just my followup to that would be, so when, when say you’re looking at one of your products or services that you’re looking to sell, do you, do you kind of go to somebody in your network and kind of get their feedback or like what’s sort of your process for, for, you know, to turn up determining that selling point?

Bob Burg: Well, I think that is it. I think you have to research it. You ask different people, you look at what the market’s doing and you, you know, and remember the, the, the eventual fee is what someone else is willing to pay and what you’re willing to accept. Yeah. And what you’re willing to walk away from, I guess you could, you could say so, um, you want to be doing it at a high enough fee that first of all, you still feel as though you’re providing immensely more value than what you’re taking in payment. Okay. But you also want it to be profitable enough that you feel good about it, that you’re stepping into your value, that you’re not underpricing yourself because then you’re going to feel good about it. And you know, it’s difficult to, I always love when I, one of the things I speak when I speak at a sales conference, one of the things I talk about is, um, communicating your value in such a way that you don’t have to, uh, lower your price.

And so it’s always really interesting when a, when a, the client wants me to lower my speaking fee, which I know I don’t, but you know, one of the things I, you know, we’ll joke about is as you can well imagine is, you know, could you imagine me, you know, speaking to your team on maintaining their fee integrity, what if I were to lower my price? You know? And, um, so, uh, you know, I think that’s where you’ve got to go with it. So it’s not necessarily a silver bullet, easy answer. I think you do have to do your research and you’ve got to determine, you know, what’s gonna work for you and what’s gonna work for them.

So there you go. The awesome generous Bob Burg doing what he does so wonderfully. If you have not heard of Bob but you have not read his books, head over to the Go-Giver.com pick up the go giver that go give her leader the go giver influencer or the go giver sells more and check out the Go-Giver podcast, which you can find on his site as well. So thanks to Bob, thanks to our awesome community. I’ll be back with you tomorrow.

Episode 168- How You Do One Thing

So my love/hate relationship with the internet continues because everybody’s being told to put as much content as you possibly can. Gary Vaynerchuk, as much as I love him, says to put out 60 pieces of content a day and I can’t stand that advice as much as I’d love so much of what he does. Because just because you put out content doesn’t mean that it’s good content or even accurate content. It reminds me of the news business a lot. I came from the news business and accuracy used to be a big deal and somewhere along the way, and I remember when it first started happening, but being first became more important than being accurate and all of a sudden it didn’t matter if all the facts were there. It didn’t matter if it was verified or if it was backed up, but it needed to get out there to beat the competition.

And to me, that’s when the downward spiral of journalism really started to go from downhill to the poor. I don’t even recognize the world of journalism to be the one that I was in for all those years. But it’s the same thing with the internet. There’s tons of great information, but there’s tons of bad information. And the problem is the bad information spreads. Like the good stuff does. And there’s one thing I wanted to bring up today and I was planning on doing this as a podcast anyway, but was spurned on recently because a friend of mine, a very good friend of mine who we will be doing a conference together in September in Pittsburgh, which I will give you details on when it’s done, but my good friend Andy Storch did a post on social media and the post was, do you believe the notion that how you do one thing is how you do everything.

And I see a lot of gurus say how you do one thing is how you do everything. So if you don’t give it your full effort here, you’re not going to give your full effort in these other places and you need to do it all the same. And that to me is such a bunch of crap. And I think those people that say that and that are putting that out there, I think they should have somebody follow them around with a camera for 24 hours a day so they can prove that they do the same stuff because I think it’s dangerous advice. I think it’s  inaccurate advice. I think it’s especially dangerous for the younger people that are just getting into this and they’re just learning how to do this entrepreneurial rollercoaster that the advice is just not true and here’s why. I know fantastic business people that are inattentive to their family. I know great family people that are dedicated and devoted, but they have a hard time consistently earning income. I personally can make sure a podcast gets recorded every day, so it’s out to you at 4:00 AM but I am terrible at keeping up with writing emails for the email list to give a blanket statement like that. There are some things that we’re really motivated to do. Some of us are motivated to go to the gym and give it our best effort and to make sure that no matter what, we’re not going to miss a day. Andy does that himself with meditation because that is a huge thing for him. I believe he’s meditated 800 days in a row or something like that, but it’s impossible and ridiculous to think that we’re going to have that type of motivation and effort into everything we do and what that basically says when they’re, that statement is, well, if you’re going to cut corners on some things, you’re going to cut corners on everything and it’s just absolutely untrue.

I cut corners on a lot of things because by cutting corners on those things, by not spending time to make those things that are unimportant to me, perfect, and allowing them to be imperfect, allowing them to be just enough to get by, it allows me to put that time and that energy and that focus into the very few things that I really want to be great at because the mental energy that it takes to do everything to that level will essentially drive me crazy my life. I can tell you personally that I would be a wreck if I had to live that way and to believe that that was true. I think it’s essential to be indifferent on so many things in your life. I’m indifferent on how the floor gets swept. Let’s just make sure it gets swept. I’m in. The more that I talk about it and speak it out, it becomes even more ridiculous.

I am not a great cook, a great chef at all according to this. Should I be spending more time making sure that I am the best chef possible, that every ingredient has done the right exact perfect way and and I’m just absolutely excellent at it. To me, absolutely not because that’s not where I need to be spending my time. It’s not expected of me. It’s not demanded of me. It’s not something that I find is a high priority. But what if I took that time on cutting corners on the food or allowing my awesome wife who’s much better at an I am to do more of it. That allows me to be a better dad, which is what I really want to be. It allows me to play more games with the kids where I’m not absent minded. Thinking about getting the next best recipe.

It allows me to put that time into running my business better and more efficient and creating a better podcast and a better community around me. So I’ll go on and on. Maybe I have already, but I want to be absolutely clear of how I feel about this because I do think it’s dangerous. I do think if people believe this from the gurus that they’re following and they live by it, it’s going to lead to so much anxiety and perfectionism and unrealistic expectations that the things that really need to get done, the things that really matter won’t be done. Or if they are done, those few things that matter won’t be done as well as they should. So I am now going to step down from my soapbox and I’ll be back with you tomorrow.

Episode 167- Sixteen Years And Counting

So before I even started writing my first book, I was thinking about writing a book and I was writing a blog at the same time. So I started going to some local book clubs to meet other authors to bounce different ideas off of people, hopefully help some people out and to get some inspiration for myself cause I had no idea what I was going into. I was pretty amazed how many of these people had already written a book or were in the process of writing a book. So it’d be twice a month I’d go to this meeting. We talk about different ideas, we’d share our work, we’d have each other critique them, we would give suggestions, we would give out other books and articles to read and at times we’d sit down and just brainstorm ideas. And it was in one of those sessions that a guy in the group let on that he was struggling with the first chapter of his book.

So I’m usually pretty curious. I love to ask questions. So I asked what he was struggling with and he told me that he’s having a really hard time finishing up the first chapter and being that as the first chapter and it’s essential to where the book is going to go. He just keeps going back and forth on different things and we gave him some suggestions that we helped him out and he came back the next time. And even though we got that part figured out, it was a different part of the chapter that he wanted to change around a little bit. So I just started noticing how much time we were talking about his book and he took some of those suggestions and he went back and it took some time and he wrote about it. He came back again.

He said, I think I’ve got the first chapter done, but it’s the last chapter, this last chapter that’s really getting me because I don’t think it’s just right. And now the cynical part of me is start to be like, what is going on here? Because it feels like we’re playing whack-a-mole with this book. Like one problem arises, we hit it down, another one shows up, we’re going to hit that one down. I felt like it’s going to keep happening. So I started asking him some more questions, but they weren’t about the book anymore because everybody else was just sitting there  offering more advice and just being more helpful. But I was kind of getting annoyed and as he was describing what the process was, I started noticing other people kind of doing the same thing and then it kind of hit me where I thought was happening.

Cause I looked around, I saw at least three or four people that were writing books, but there was no idea of when it was going to finish. There was no deadline to it. And I said to him, how long have you been writing this book? And he looked at me and he nodded his head and very calmly said 12 years and I almost fell out of my chair. I said, 12 years. I said, when are you going to publish this? He said, I don’t know- when it’s right. And you might’ve heard my episode titled Vinny the Jerk. And I can most certainly be the jerk, and I challenged them where nobody else was really challenging them. I said, what are you afraid of? He said, what do you mean? I said, you’re afraid of something. He said, well, I’m afraid it’s just not going to be perfect at the same time, those other authors, a few of them were nodding their heads.  I left that day and I knew that I was never coming back and I knew that because there wasn’t a push to get these books out.

It almost was a support group for procrastination by doing this and not challenging and saying, this needs to be done by this time, perfect or not, which will never be perfect, but they just enabled each other to keep procrastinating, to keep delaying and to keep avoiding facing their fear. And I knew if I stayed in this group, first off, they weren’t going to listen to me because I was going to be a challenge to their entire mindset because even me asking that question was uncomfortable to them and nobody else was asking that question, but I knew there was an incredible danger of me slipping into their mindset as well if I stayed there. So I knew that in there that I needed to get out. But I’m recording this today so that you don’t become that guy and this isn’t about a book. This is about anything that you’re working on that you need to get out.

That guy, and I don’t even remember his name, he truly believed that he needed to make something absolutely perfect before we could put it out in the world and there are so many damaging aspects to doing what he did because by doing that, it delays creativity. I know he has other books that he wants to write, but you can’t write that next one until you finish this one. And I learned that when there is no deadline, there’s no incentive to get it put out there. As much as I hate in the business world, the sleazy, oh you have to buy by 11:59 PM tonight, otherwise the offer goes off the table. I’m not a fan of that because it quite often is preying on people’s fears. The truth is that when people buy, they buy because they feel like they’re going to lose out on something if they don’t and when you don’t have a deadline and when you don’t have a time when you absolutely have to ship and send it out.

Our natural tendencies can be to just wait a little bit longer to perfect it and to procrastinate. I can tell you as disappointing as it was, that lesson was inspiring because within six months I started writing my first book, but I started writing it on purpose with a deadline and that deadline forced me to do the work. It forced me to get things done and say it’s good enough to go and it will never be perfect and it wasn’t long after that the book was finished. Then it went through the editing process, got the book deal with the publisher, and then one day me and my kids walked into Barnes and Noble and there was my book on the bookshelf printed and published, and as much as I was disappointed for those authors because they weren’t facing their challenges, the lessons I learned from them unintentionally spurred me to take action and create those deadlines and get the work done. Because unfortunately, if history is repeating itself, that guy is still in the same book club being supported by the same authors perfecting that last chapter for a book he’s been working on for sixteen years. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 166- Do Your Excuses Make You Better?

I’ve got a question to start you off today. Are you looking to succeed or are you looking for an excuse? And the reason why I ask is because I talk to and hear from so many people who make excuses. And not only do they seem to not have a problem with it, but they actually go out of their way to defend it. And I personally simply do not have time to listen to anybody make excuses anymore. And that goes for myself as well. So I really do want the people in my life to call me out when I make an excuse for myself. And by doing things like recording this podcast and actually makes it much harder on myself to make those excuses because it’s going to be really easy for you to say, you just made an excuse there. That was an excuse. If I get defensive, they could be like, I’m just pointing back.

That episode you did about making excuses. So then I gotta go, all right? Okay. And then I have to stop myself. And what I found is I really stop making as many excuses as I used to make because I know that somebody is going to hold me accountable to that and what it’s done to made me have to take action, do the things follow through. So I try to pay attention to why we make so many excuses. Is this something we’re taught? Is it something we develop on our own as a defense mechanism from criticism of the past. And I think back on all the awful excuses I used to make and I still make hopefully to a lesser degree now, but I really was the king of excuse making. But I had a friend who I used to watch sports with all the time and I remembered excuse he made one day we were watching a game together.

Now I had made excuses for everything you could imagine up until that point. So I don’t know why this particular excuse stood out, but it really did, and I won’t say his name, but him and I were watching a Steeler game and we were both Steeler fans and into this game. And near the end, the Steelers got called for a penalty. A touchdown got taken back and then about a minute later, and I can’t remember what team they were playing, but the Steelers wound up losing the game right after that call. But I looked at my friend, he had a smile on his face and he almost had a look of satisfaction on his face. And I said to him, I said, “What are you smiling about?” And he said, “Don’t you see? At least we have an excuse now why they lost.” And that reminds me so much of what I see when I talk to people that go through the same thing today.

They’re more concerned with actually having an excuse, having something to pin it on somebody or something to blame it on. They’re more interested in that than actually succeeding in what they’re trying to do. And as long as you have someone or something to blame, you never really have to take responsibility for anything you’re doing. And my friend’s situation with the game was extreme because it wasn’t even him doing it. He was now looking for excuses for a group of football players that he’d never even met before. The excuse gave him a way out. But we do this all the time to ourselves. And if excuses give you, if they give you a place to hide, you will always find a way to make another excuse and it will prevent you from finding a way to win. And I get it. That changing a bad habit is difficult to do.

It’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror and take accountability and say, this is on me. It’s not my parents’ fault. Why I don’t have enough money right now. It’s not my boss’s fault. Why they didn’t get the promotion or the raise. It’s not my client’s fault. Why they’re so demanding. Because if you blame your mother, you’re going to eventually blame your boss. If you blame your boss, you’re gonna eventually blame your clients. And when that habit continues, you’re going to blame your spouse and you’re going to blame your kids and you’ll blame the weather and you’ll blame your dog if you have to. The problem with making excuses is the more that you do it, the better you get at it and the better you get at it, the more you rely on it. And before you know it, you’re sitting in front of a television and you are quite literally looking for ways to make an excuse for people you don’t even know.

And if you’re willing to make excuses for people you don’t even know, can you imagine the length that you will go to? Make excuses for yourself to think long and hard about things that you’re making excuses for, that you’re actually justifying to yourself. And I’ll give you mine. I had not been to the gym in a few weeks and I’ve got all the reasons that I can say why I didn’t go. We were out of town a couple of times. We have three kids and you know how it is, you know the weather’s starting to get cold. I could think of a million reasons, a million excuses, why haven’t gone to the gym? But the truth is they’re all excuses. Because if you said to me, if your life depended on it, if your kid’s life depended on it, would you have been at the gym at six o’clock this morning?

And the answer is- hopefully- of course! But excuses aren’t going to get me into shape. Excuses aren’t going to make me feel better, and excuses certainly are never going to bring me success. And they won’t help somebody else win a football game either. So think of an excuse you made today excuse that you justify that made you feel better because you didn’t get something done and start today by admitting it was just an excuse. It could have gotten done. And I, and the reason why it didn’t get done. And now that this is done, I have absolutely no excuse for not publishing a podcast for tomorrow and tomorrow I’ll be back with you.

Episode 165- Why You Need To Sleep Smarter

We are going to talk about sleep today and man in the entrepreneurial and freelance world, this is a hot button topic because even though we know all about it, we know we need it. Quite honestly, it’s just something that’s not being taken seriously until often it’s too late. And I’ve told you about my sleep issues in the past, the adrenal failure in the past, so I won’t go deep into that, but there was a book and a podcast, but I got deep into, while I was deep into that and now three or four years later, it has transformed my sleep and my health has systematically flip things around where I am on the opposite side of the recovery that I was going through. And that book is called sleep smarter by a guy named Shawn Stevenson and is the host of the Model Health Show, which was my go to health podcast while I was going through all those issues.

And this book came out quite literally, well had been averaging two to three hours of sleep a night, not by choice for months at a time. And even in my bleary state, when Shawn announced that he was doing a book launch party in St. Louis, Elizabeth and I decided that we were going to take the kids and go on a little road trip of 10 hours to be there for his party. So we supported his launch. Now he had no idea who we were, but we showed up and his wife Anne was there and she said, are you the ones that drove out from Pittsburgh? And then a few minutes later we got to meet Shawn and thank him and we got to introduce him to our kids. And our kids had heard his voice so much that Dylan was four years old. And I looked up at Shawn and I said to Dylan, I said, who is that?

And his cute little squeaky voice, “He was like Shawn Stevenson!” And Shawn put his hands over his heart and he was like, “you just made my night.” And I just said, it was the least that we can do for everything he’d done for us and what he did for us with his teachings and his book was revitalize our sleep. And our evenings because until the adrenal issue hit, I was just your constant staying up late, watching shows, watching sports, on the computer at night, you know, 11:30, 12 one o’clock was not uncommon to go to sleep. I’d wake up at five or six, I’d feel groggy, I drink coffee and it was just normal. Man. I read this book and I’m going through all the chapters and I’m like, I’m doing everything wrong and no wonder I’m feeling the way that I’m feeling. It’s finally caught up with me and quite often we don’t make a change until it catches up to us.

We always say we’re doing fine and we feel like we’re doing fine, but internally if you pay attention to signs are showing that it’s wearing down, that’s going to hit you. I’m going to tell you that if it hits you in the form of a severe adrenal fatigue like I went through, you will make the hard changes that you need to make and there’s a lot of great tips in this book. I mean, we could do a series of podcasts on it, but our talk to you about one specific one, one of the ones that has stuck, most of them have stuck. But this one I love telling people about because it’s that important. And the thing is that the most important time to be sleeping is between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM I know right now a lot of you are groaning like that’s not even possible.

And trust me, I’ve heard all of it, but hear me out on this between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM is when your body heals itself the best with your natural circadian rhythm, that is when our body heals, regenerate cells recovers from everything it’s went through. And when we don’t get that over time, we begin to break down. The problem is you don’t feel it breaking down because it creeps in slowly. But if you find yourself tired with less energy than used to have more irritable than you just used to be and less excited without a spring in your step, your sleep patterns could be a reason why. The first argument that you always hear is, but I’m a night owl and for the most part that’s a bunch of crap. You’ve trained yourself to be a night owl. You’ve created those habits. And why has this happened because of the modern pace of this world?

I’d be willing to bet that 150 years ago there weren’t a whole lot of night owls because they didn’t have electricity. So when the sun went down and they lit their candles, they started winding down and they started calming their minds. And as the world worked, as it got darker, they went to sleep. And when the sun Rose, they woke up refreshed, ready to go. But now the world is lit up 24 seven and if you’re old enough to remember a world before the internet, you didn’t have much more besides late night television to keep you engaged. But now in the business world and Netflix and live streaming in 24 hours on demand, it never ends. But what happens when you’re on screens late at night, the blue light and the overstimulation doesn’t allow your body to relax, to be able to sleep. So not only are you staying up later because you’re more engaged and more active online in front of a screen, but your mind keeps going, which oftentimes can lead to not such great results as anxiety and stress.

You’re not calming down and you’re missing out on the best part of recovery for your body, which is between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM you’re just losing that. And when you read more into this with Shawn talked about and now there’s been a lot of studies in books on this, is that people working night shifts have a 38% higher risk of dying from heart disease than those who worked in the day. And one of the main culprits is changing the body’s natural rhythms by being active at night and asleep during the day. That has such harmful consequences. And technically what happens is that by doing this, we alter our melatonin levels, which doesn’t allow us to get into restoring mode, which is where the repairs to our cells and our tissues happen. And it leads to a much higher level of inflammation and weight gain as well, which leads to all these health problems.

So even though you’re not actively taking a night shift by staying up late and being on screens either working or through entertainment, you are doing all this damage to your body. And like I said earlier, it creeps up on you so you don’t feel it immediately. But I’m telling you from firsthand experience, when it hits, it hits hard and it changes your life. I can tell you that if we did not have the freedom that we have, the time freedom, the money freedom, it would have destroyed our business. And if I had a job look out, it would have been done. I quite literally could barely function for months. So I consider it my job here to bring these things to you because I don’t think they’re being talked about enough, especially in the freelance and entrepreneurial world where it’s so easy to never shut off.

You know, when I had a job I couldn’t stand it and I hated my boss and the only thing I did when I came back was complain. But I wasn’t excited to keep doing work with our business and for so many entrepreneurs and freelancers, we really love what we do. So we could become almost workaholic because the next thing is just another good thing to do or something that we need or want. But if you want to do this successfully over the long term, it’s imperative to get your sleep in order, get your body rested and recovered. So you can do this for a really long time. So remember, do the best you can, 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM. That is the time when your body recovers the most to give you the most sleep, to give me the bus energy and to allow you to live a long, healthy, successful life. And I will get back to you tomorrow, or hopefully we all have a good night’s sleep. I’ll talk to you then.

Episode 164- The Wise, The Foolish And The Evil

If you’ve listened to this podcast in a little bit, you know that I love books. I love talking about great books, I love promoting great books. And so much of what I’ve learned and grown from has been from reading these books. But occasionally, not only do you come upon a great book, but you come upon an incredible chapter. And I want to talk to you today about one of the most incredible chapters of a book that I’ve ever read. And the book is called necessary endings by Dr. Henry Cloud. And the chapter is chapter seven of that book. It’s called The Wise,The Foolish and The Evil. Identifying which kinds of people deserve your trust. No, I’m telling you, if you’re struggling with any relationships in your life, especially if they’re in your own family or close friends, you need to pick up this book and read this chapter.

And in this chapter he simplifies humans to three types of people. One, there’s wise people too. There’s foolish people, and three, there’s evil people. And what he tries to understand is we try to deal with people in a certain way, but you can’t deal with people in the same way. Evil people respond differently than wise people. Wise people or spend differently than foolish people. And when you can understand this and you could put them into their categories, it’s going to make your life and your relationships so much better. It’s also going to cause you to end some relationships. So let’s start with the why’s and the example that Cloud states in this is a CEO that was being challenged by one of his employees on things that he knew he needed to do differently and it’s cloud observed this, he was ready for this person to get fired and here was the CEO’s response.

“You’ve just given a great list of the things that I need to learn how to do to be a great CEO. Those are definitely my opportunities to grow. I’d like to get better in those areas. Can you guys help me?”  The CEO heard honest feedback on how he can do better, received it and wanted to grow. When people are willing to receive feedback he talked about and take ownership of where they need to grow. There’s hope because he was so open and honest. They all discussed the different things that could be done better. They came up with a structure and ideas. The CEO applied it and he’s now thriving in the role. Cloud says that’s because he’s wise, wise people learn from experience and make adjustments. He also says the person who ultimately does well is the one who can learn from his own experience or the experience of others.

Make that learning a part of himself and then deliver results from that experience base. To do that you have to be open to feedback and when they do this they learn and they actually get better from the feedback. The wise people in your life are always looking to grow and get better and they don’t run away from the truth. He also explains that why is does it mean the most talented, the brightest, the smartest or the most gifted? It also doesn’t mean the most charming or charismatic. As Cloud says, the mature meets the demands of life or the immature person demands that life meets her demands. And when you have a friendship with a wise person and they’re willing to do these things, your friendship actually gets stronger because you know they’re going to grow and get better and they trust you more because they know that they can count on you to tell them the truth.

Now let’s go to the foolish person. The foolish, Cloud says, rejects the feedback, resist it, explains it away, and does nothing to adjust to meet the requirements or assembly. The foolish tries to adjust the truth so he or she doesn’t have to adjust to it. The foolish person is never wrong. Someone else always is. So when you have a foolish person, you try to give feedback. It’s hopeless. So it makes no sense to keep giving it. And what happened when you have a person that will not take responsibility or have ownership of the feedback is that not only do they do harm to the cause, but everybody, but that person feels the effects of it. So everybody in their life will get frustrated and just like the wise aren’t always the smartest. Being foolish doesn’t mean they’re dumb. Often it’s the opposite, they’re very smart. They’re very good at being charming or manipulation and as you’ll see often with foolish people, they will consistently shift the blame to you or to somebody else instead of taking on themselves as their own fault.

Oftentimes also they’ll minimize it. They’ll say it’s not that bad, or it’s really not that big of a deal and the foolish are the kings of excuses. The other thing that was stunning as I read this and I’m telling you, reading this book helped me eliminate some relationships in my life, but when there are emotional responses, they weren’t about remorse at all. They weren’t about feeling bad. Instead they would get angry and they give responses like, “Oh, I guess I can do nothing right?” The foolish also don’t recognize the pain that you’re going through while you’re trying to bring this to them. These are the people that constantly view themselves as a victim. And the people who confront them are not helpful, but they’re persecutors and as Cloud said, their world is divided into the good guys and the bad guys. But the good ones are the ones who agree with them and see them as good.

And the bad ones are the ones who don’t see them as perfect. And the problem is the wise people that deal with foolish people think that foolish people think the same way they do. So they try to talk to them and they try to explain it to them and rationalize it, but there’s a disconnect because they’re not willing to change and they’re not willing to listen. So the hard thing to do is what he suggests to do, which is to stop talking. At least stop talking about the problem. And now what can we do about it? Basically, how can I give you feedback so that you’ll listen and do something about? And just so you know, the chances are that they’re going to respond exactly the same way. And if they’re unwilling to change, you’ve got to set your boundaries.

So if it’s something that you’re giving responsibility to, you’ve got to let them know that you’ve tried and they don’t change and it’s causing pain and problems. So we need to take that responsibility away. Or if what they’re doing is hurting you physically or emotionally, letting them know, I can’t do this anymore and if this happens, I’m going to leave. Or by telling them, if it’s in an environment with other people that if it continues that they’re going to have to leave. At this point, you simply need to protect what’s valuable to you. And often we’ll get to the point where you need to give consequences that will cause them to feel the pain of their choice to not listen. And what it really comes down to is you need to end the pattern. How many times have we all been through it where it’s the same cycle of the same conversation.

That was like having the conversation with the foolish person and all of us might’ve been there at some point. Maybe some of us are that person now, but if you’re dealing with that person, you have to end the pattern. The problem often when the fool is one of our kids that there will be consequences, but often the parent will suffer the consequences and the foolish person doesn’t feel a pain. So what has to happen is the consequences have to be shifted towards on them to feel the pain of the consequence. And as we’ve seen many times with foolish people, the only time they get it is when it starts to cost them something. When people start to feel the consequences of their actions, that’s when they realize that they need to perform. But as long as we feel the brunt of the consequences, they’re not going to change.

And then we’ve got the evil person. So too back to the wise people, we talk to them, we give them the resources and then you get a return. When you go to the foolish people. Cloud says we need to stop talking to them because they’re not listening and stop supplying resources because they’re squandering them. What they need are limits and consequences. And now with the evil people it’s a lot different. He said what we needed with them is lawyers, guns and money. Because when you’re dealing with the evil, you need to go into protection mode. And it sounds funny, but it’s not a joke that when it comes to the evil, that’s what you need are the lawyers, the guns and the money. Cause these are the people that are out to cause other people harm. And that’s where I learned a lot when I read this years and years ago.

It’s people that I thought were evil or actually foolish. The evil people are easier to recognize. They’re dangerous and destructive and they’re looking to cause harm. These are the people that want to destroy what you’ve built. They want to bring you down. So most simply the bottom line, he says, but the evil people, we need to stay away from them. We need to create the firmest protective ending that you can and get real help to do it. That could be from law enforcement, from lawyers, and whatever money you have to ensure that you stay safe. So that is an overview of this incredible chapter that taught me so much, and it really shaped me to want to look, to be with the wise people of the world, to avoid and eliminate the relationships with the foolish and to stay as far away as possible from the evil. And I highly encourage you to pick up this book necessary endings, Dr. Henry Cloud. It’s an amazing book and I know it’s going to help you and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 163- The Night The Lights Went Out In San Francisco

I want to give you a fun little story this morning that has no lessons, another edition of empty calories. I haven’t done one of these in a while and for some reason lately I’ve been doing a bunch of sports analogies or stories. I don’t know why. I haven’t even been watching sports, but we’re going to do it anyway because it’s a great story. It’s about eight years ago, we had just moved to Pittsburgh probably a year earlier, and back then I really was into sports a ton being a huge Steelers fan and I was trying to get my kids to be Steelers fans too, so we’d watch the games and Andrew was the oldest at that point. He was six. So because I watched it, he watched it and I talked to him about it, but he didn’t really understand what was going on, at least the details of it.

But for some reason he took a liking to San Francisco and the San Francisco 49ers and their helmets, I’m not sure what it was, but he really liked them. So the football schedule came out for that year and the Steelers were scheduled to play in San Francisco that year on Monday Night Football. So I brought it up cautiously to Elizabeth. That was like, what do you think about the idea of me taking Andrew to San Francisco for the Steelers- 49ers game? Oh, by the way, it’ll be Monday night football, so it’ll be a late night and a long trip. And she wasn’t particularly thrilled with the idea at all, but I pushed and pressed and I, I got my way. So I bought the game tickets and I bought the plane tickets and I booked the hotel and the rent a car. And all of a sudden on a snowy December morning, Elizabeth was sitting there in tears as me and Andrew are about to go on.

Our first one on one trip. And Nolan was about three and Dylan was just a little baby. And I remember Elizabeth holding him in her arms and she’s crying and I’m like, we’re going to be fine. And we head to the airport and I still remember Andrew’s face as we lifted off and his eyes widening by the feeling of going into the air. And the trip was just fantastic. He remembers going to Denny’s and getting the chocolate chip pancakes. I mean he still remembers a ton of details from that trip. We got to go into San Francisco and Ghirardelli Square, we ran down Lombard street, got on the trolley. We got to do all that stuff before the game. And then we headed over to Candlestick Park that night because it was in the final year or maybe the second to last year of Candlestick Park in San Francisco. And it was such a fun, exciting night. 

And I smile just thinking about it, but Candlestick Park, to be honest with you, if you’re a sports fan, it was an absolute dump and I’d watched so many games on television. I was like disappointed by how rundown it was, but it was such an experience to be there. And we walked through the parking lot and Andrew had his terrible towel and the 49er fans were, you know, giving us a hard time. And then all of a sudden Andrew sees that somebody is selling something and they’ve got this pastry, this treat. It’s like a long stick and he’s looking at it and he says, what is that? And I said, Oh, that’s a churro. So I explained to him what a churro is and he’s fascinated by it. So he’s like, can I have one? I said, how about we get that at halftime? Let’s get something real to eat first and we’ll get that after halftime.

So he agrees and the players on the field and they’re getting ready to start the game and then all of a sudden, boom, the power goes out. I mean the entire stadium, the power just went out. No lights anywhere. Except we were fortunate we were underneath the press box. So eventually the auxiliary lights came on, but it was crazy being in a stadium with like 60,000 people and all the lights are out and nobody knows what to do. You hear the murmur and you’re looking on the field and the players are walking around in shadows just confused. They don’t know where to go. So of course we’re in San Francisco and you think, Oh was there an earthquake? And we’re at Candlestick Park where historically there was an earthquake during the World Series between the Giants and the A’s years back.

So I think people start to get little bit nervous and my phone starts blowing up. My wife, my brother, my friends, they’re watching on TV and they tell me a transformer blew and that’s why the power went out because we had no idea. And what I remember is the big 49ers helmet that was blown up. I remember just deflating to the ground and being like this isn’t really a good situation. But eventually it didn’t take that long. But the power came back on. They started the game up, everything went fine. Andrew’s asking me when is it half time I want to get a churro and I’m like, I’ll get you one. But you’ll know when it’s half time. The players will stop playing, they’ll go off the field. I said, you’ll know. So a minute or two into the second quarter, the Steelers had the ball.

We’re watching the game and then boom, power goes out again. All the lights are off once again and everybody just starts groaning. Nobody’s scared this time. They’re almost just more annoyed. And I look at Andrew and he’s got a big smile on his face and I was like, what? And he says, “Is it half time? Can I have a churro?” I said, no, it’s still not halftime. That’s the power went out again. I’m try to explain it to them. I’m going. Eventually the power came back on and the game never got any better for the Steelers. The 49ers absolutely demolish them. I think it was 20-3 and it was a couple of minutes into the fourth quarter and I knew we had to drive back to the hotel and it was late. So I did what I was hating other people doing. I was like, do you want to leave early?

We’ll get outta here. Because the parking lot’s terrible. There’s one road out. He didn’t want to leave. Finally, I convinced him, let’s just get out a little bit early. I’m so glad we did. We walked across the long parking lot. There’s only really one or two ways to get out of that stadium and we beat a couple of hours of traffic leaving there as we’re leaving Candlestick and we’re heading back to our hotel he said, the words to me that I totally didn’t want to hear, which were dad. I said, yeah, Andrew, “I think I want to be a 49ers fan”. And I said, no, that wasn’t the point of this trip. I didn’t come out here so you could become a 49ers fan~ I wanted you to become a Steelers fan. He said, no, I really liked their team and I liked the colors. I’m going to be 49ers fan and as parents, we want our kids to be their own individuals.

So I took a deep breath and I was like, all right, do what you gotta do. And he became a 49ers fan. So a couple of weeks later for Christmas, he got a 49ers helmet and a little jersey and wouldn’t you know it, they go on to make it to the Super Bowl that year and he watches every game and he’s every single week they’re getting better and better. I’m like, I’m losing him. He’s always going to be a 49ers fan they lost the Ravens in the Super Bowl. They made it back to the NFC championship in the following year and that solidified it. So for years he was a 49ers fan and never converted and turned around to being a Steelers fan even to this day. So that’s my story about the night the lights went out in San Francisco and to the parents out there, be careful for what you wish for because it might go the exact opposite of what you expected to do. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 162- Hold Your Own

Having hecklers in life is part of this. And we’re in such a woke culture now where you know, if somebody doesn’t believe in you, they’re a hater and you ignore them. And I don’t know, I’ll learn more from the haters than I do from the people that totally agree with me. And that’s why in business I kind of like flying under the radar. I like not promoting myself. I love building things grassroots. Where a small select few people love it and the rest of the people have no idea about it because it gives me a hidden advantage of seeing really where people are coming from because I’ve been around a lot of celebrities and I can tell you there’s a ton of false praise and people kissing their butt just because of their name and what they think this person could do to them or they’re afraid of possibly offending the person.

So I love personally walking into a situation where I’m leading something and the people in it really get it and I walk somewhere else and nobody knows who I am and I see the way I’m treated differently. And I liked that because it makes you realize, don’t take the praise seriously and don’t take the complaints seriously either. There’s a great line from one of the Billy Joel’s songs called The Entertainer and he’s talking about the life of a musician on the road and playing and making success. He’s talking about all the highs of it, but then he says, “but if I go cold, I won’t get sold, I’ll get put in the back in the discount rack, like another can of beans.”  So I don’t know, maybe since I was little, I’ve enjoyed the lessons of adversity and when I was about 15 I landed the job as a counter waiter at the Howard Johnson’s restaurant that was walking distance from my house.

It was the perfect job for me. I could walk to it. I had long hair and they didn’t make me cut my hair. I got to hang out with a bunch of girls. I got all the ice cream that I wanted and I got to make tips and cash. It’s pretty much the perfect job for a 15 year old. So one night I’m working at the counter. It’s a Friday night and these four guys come in, they’re the business type, they’re dressed up in a suit and ties, their jackets and they came in for a quick bite and they were pretty sarcastic, which I am prone to be often. And they pretty much took it out on me. So they got their meal, they got their coffee, they got the dessert, there were no rush, but any chance they could, they took a shot at me.

And I remember at one point I kind of gave it back to them a little bit, but I couldn’t go very far. You know, I’m 15 at a job and I’ve gotta be real careful about what I say. But they were really kind of pushing. And then I asked, are you done yet? And one of the guys looked at me and he goes, “What are you in a rush for? You have to go home and watch the Golden Girls or something? I mean, what else could you have going on?” I smiled and nodded and he asked for another cup of coffee and I went and I got it and I brought it back to him and everything that I wanted to do, I held back. I gave him the coffee and I smiled and I gave some type of good nature joke back to him and I remember it wasn’t rude, but it was witty and I smiled, I held my composure and all the other guys laughed.

I saw the guy nod and put his chin up, almost like an approval for standing up for myself and handling it without me being a jerk. So finally, eventually they got up to go and I’m not sure where they were going, but a few of the guys  are walking out. And that one guy though, when I was going back and forth with, he just looked at me and smiled and he said, have fun watching the Golden Girls tonight. The smile was more than, it wasn’t a mean smile. It was a nice smile. And I remember thinking to myself, I’m not sure what just happened there, but it felt like a growing into an adult type of moment. Like I know that’s going to happen a lot in my life going forward. I know there’s going to be a lot of people that give me crap and I know that I can’t just shut them all out and call them haters.

I’ve gotta be able to figure out how to deal with it. I think the more that you deal with that, the more that you create wit within you. You learn how to have banter and conversations and hold up your own end of the bargain and be able to give it back. But I have too much emotion tied to it and I remember thinking that I’m glad that they’re gone, but I was also glad that it happened and I walked over to where they were sitting. I started clearing off the plates to bring it back to the sink and the kitchen and underneath that guy’s coffee mug was a $50 bill. I just sat there staring at it thinking this is some mistake and you’ve got to remember this is 1987. $50 was a lot of money, especially then for a 15 year old, I mean their entire bill between the four of them couldn’t have been $25 maybe a little bit more, and the guy gave me a $50 tip and I sat there all night trying to figure out why because a normal tip in a situation like that would have been a couple of dollars.

There’s no reason to ever give anybody a $50 tip in a Howard Johnson’s restaurant, so I never got an answer from these guys. They never came back in that I know about. It was pretty obvious to me why he went and did that and I think it was a test. I think they were trying to get a rise out of me. Some people just like to push buttons and they were pushing buttons and I held my own with them. I wasn’t a pushover. I gave it back at times. For some reason I was polite but firm at the same time not trying to take myself too seriously and it was kind of an uncommon night for me at 15 years old. I was more mature then than I usually was and I realized that night what I needed to be more of to be successful going forward because the knee jerk reaction that I normally would have done, which is ignoring them or talking back to them or doing something worse would have made me feel good in the moment.

But it would, it probably got me in trouble in my job and I wouldn’t have learned anything but by a transpiring the way it did, I was rewarded in the short term and the long term in the short term because I had 50 bucks and 50 bucks cash to a 15 year old in 1987 when a long way. But also I got to go toe to toe with a group of guys that were obviously successful. Obviously smart, the guy was willing to give me a challenge, and not only did I get to go toe to toe with them and hold my own, but I didn’t know way that must’ve impressed them. And when that happened, it gave me confidence. It gave me a different kind of confidence than I had before that Friday night. And I think it’s adversities like that, those challenges that are brought to us, those are the ones that will help determine who we are. Not putting ourselves in some type of a bubble where we can’t be challenged by other people’s thoughts and disagreements or prejudices. That doesn’t make us better. That just makes us more inclusive and less likely to be able to hold our own. And I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 161- Become A Noticer

So a question that I’m getting a lot now is how do you come up with so much content? You know, doing a daily short form podcast forces you to think and do differently than if you’re not doing it. If I decided to do a weekly interview show, I would need to come up with the content for that weekly show or even a weekly solo show would have to be for that one show. But when you force yourself, you box yourself into a corner to do this on a daily basis, well you better come up with good or great content every day and I personally wanted that challenge. I actually needed that challenge because it’s actually more relaxing for me now than it was before I did it and I’m going to explain that I am an idea guy. I’m one of those people that has so many ideas running through my head.

My mind is going a lot and at times it’s hard to keep track. And when I didn’t have the show I would pile up all these ideas and these thoughts and they would go nowhere and it would feel like a bottleneck and I would actually get really frustrated because I had all these different things I wanted to talk about or do or create and I had no outlet, very little outlet for it. So doing the podcast clears my thoughts, it frees up my brain, it gets things out of my brain, written down, recorded, published and out there. So from a mental standpoint, it’s been really a relief for me. But I have a lot of people that talk to me and they struggle coming up with ideas for content. So they wound up either having what they would call writer’s block or ideas that they’re not happy with or just kind of copying in some ways other people’s stuff because they don’t have it on their own.

So I record this to give some tips and some ideas on coming up with content so you could do this in whatever way you see fit. And what I want to bring to you is an idea from an author who’s had a big influence on me most especially five or six years ago from his books and his content. His name is Andy Andrews, and he wrote a book called The Traveler’s Gift and about 12 other books. But one book he wrote was called The Noticer. And Andrew’s story is really compelling because when he was a teenager, both of his parents died and he found himself living underneath the pier in Orange Beach, Alabama. And he tells a story of this man named Jones who showed up at the pier and guided him and helped him to think differently and think to get himself out of that situation and with the lessons that he learned turned his life around.

And now as a bestselling author many times over. So The Noticer is about Jones. And from what I can recall from the stories, Andrews only met Jones a couple of times, but he created the character for his books to teach it to us. And Jones’ strength he explains is having the gift of noticing things about life that others miss. And Jones seems to always be everywhere and he knows a bit about everybody. He says that he notices things that other people overlook. And most of these things are in plain sight. So this theory of being a noticer is what I’ve used to constantly create content for the podcast, for books and to the groups that I run. When Jones says most people overlook it. I completely agree. It’s amazing how many times as I think like Jones and I become a noticer that I point things out that I see.

And so many people will say to me, you know, that’s so true, but I never thought about that. And that’s the sure sign of somebody who’s not paying attention to notice things. So be careful when you hang around with me cause I’m constantly looking for little things. I’m always paying attention for quotes or stories or lines, inspiration, problems, solutions and just little things that are real that most people overlook. And the thing about it is it never goes out of style and it never gets stale because you keep doing it every day that it stays modern, it stays to the point. And it stays relevant. So a lot of my stories come from my childhood and that’s where I’d encourage you to start because so many of the things that we believe are shaped from our childhood, but at the same time, often they’d let us down a path that isn’t beneficial to us.

So we learn from them and then when we think about it, we learn from it. We change the way that we think, we come up with the lessons that we learned without even having to think about it from the past. There are so many times I’ll think of a story or a conversation or interaction. I never thought that there was a story attached to it, but as I write it down, I think about it. I realize, Oh, that was the lesson that I learned from that. So I’m always trying to match up a story that’s intriguing, that has some type of a storyline to it that is entertaining and it has a lesson at the same time. Now what I know if I can get those three things as a basic, I’ve got a podcast episode or I’ve got a part of my next book, but it can’t just be a story for the most part.

So many people tell me, Oh, that’s a good podcast right there. And I’ll say, what was the struggle? Or what was the lesson learned? And they won’t have one and that never cuts it for me because it’s got to have all those variables to size up to be a good episode. So I am constantly taking notes. I’ve got my pad with me and when I was on a flight to Orlando recently to go to Podcast Movement, I wrote down what could be a hundred different podcast episodes just on a flight. Now all of them won’t be because it’s not going to have all the things together to make it a great episode. But as you keep writing down these ideas and then you keep thinking about the lesson or the takeaway and the lessons don’t have to be deep, they could be just something that make you think a little bit.

That’s a really basic framework to how I go about creating content for the podcast and what I also do, if you read my book Freelance to Freedom, I wrote the book similar to the way that I record these podcasts, so I want to keep it to the standard that these podcasts could be inserted into that book or even into a future book. And to me, I like to challenge myself with new ideas and new thoughts. That’s why I never wanted this to be just a podcast about business or freelancing or money or family. I never want it to be that narrow because I knew that the niche was me in this podcast and it wasn’t something like finance.


My friend Brad Barrett for the podcast choose FI who I talked about in a past recently we were talking about my podcast and I was so honored. He’s like, I listened to it every morning and even though the subhead is time and money freedom for freelancers, entrepreneurs, he said he looks at it differently. For him, it’s just life lessons from Vincent. I was like, I’m not changing anything right now, but I can see that being the case the way it’s shaped out. And by doing that, that gives me the flexibility as long as the integrity and the authenticity is there to go with it, whatever way I choose. And knowing that that’s the path that gives me carte blanche to create this the way that I want to create it. So my tip for you in terms of creating content is go become a noticer. Notice the things in your life, in the people’s lives around you that other people aren’t paying attention to, but that are right in front of your face. And then very importantly, start writing these things down.

Start keeping a log of these different ideas. And as you start doing it, you’re going to come up with more ideas. And it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be the best stories and the best content, but you need to get started putting something out there. So not only will your content be better by becoming a noticer, but you’ll also be a way more instinct person to be around because your observations are going to pique the interest of other people. And conversations will be a lot more fun and a lot more engaging because you’re curious and you’re looking to learn from people. But so often, so many people go into a conversation with wanting to tell instead of learn. So that’s just the tip for today on how I create content and I’ll be back with you tomorrow.

Episode 160- Helpful People Want To Help Helpful People

One of the amazing things that I’m fortunate to be a part of in this podcast world, in this personal development world, is the new people that I get to meet on a consistent basis that are doing awesome things. I mean in some ways it doesn’t even seem like the same world as what I grew up in because of the opportunities that are right in front of all of us. That’s why I love doing a show like this because I can continually put out episodes about stories or different people and it never has to end because there’s so much content that can be put out and so many people that I can talk about. A couple of years ago I met a guy named Brad Barrett and it was when I was writing my book and he was int0 personal finance and personal development and I had asked if anybody wanted to read the early version of my book, Freelance to Freedom and he volunteered to be one of the people to read it and he got back to me months later.

He told me how much he enjoyed the book and we kept in touch and he also told me, Oh, we started a podcast, me and this guy Jonathan, started a podcast and it’s kind of blowing up. It’s called choose FI. It’s about financial independence. It’s just growing and it’s downloading like crazy. And about a month or two later at a conference called Fincon, a financial independence conference, it was in Dallas that year. I got to meet in person, Brad and Jonathan Mendonza who were the co-hosts. We had a fantastic 45 minute conversation talking about family, about business, about life, about money, just hit it off. And then they invited me to be a guest on the podcast for my book launch and we recorded that episode in December. It published sometime in January, a few weeks after the book launched. And it was a fantastic episode for me personally.

I mean they help get the word out of my book to so many people. I was honored and humbled that they would keep giving my book away on their Friday episodes. So we’d keep in touch here and there and me and Jonathan talked a bunch for a while talking about different projects and Brad and I would touch base here and there. So we just talked about a month or two ago. It had been a while since we caught up. And let me just say what’s happened to their podcast is absolutely remarkable. The Choose FI podcast has become one of the biggest podcasts in the world. Their download numbers are astonishing. Their influence, the things they’re building, the things they’re doing to help financial literacy in schools, what they’re passionate about. It’s so inspiring and I’m so excited because they’re great guys. They’re just down to earth real people and you love seeing people like that succeed.

So Brad and I got on a call together and it was kinda like, you know, we hadn’t missed a beat since we talked last. Just got right into all different deep, meaningful conversations. And I praised him for the way that they’re doing things. Because a lot of people, I can tell you when the amount of success comes to them, the way that the success is coming to them, it goes to their head. Unfortunately, I see it so often and it’s a fear of mine. It’s a fear of mine, of success continues to happen of having that lose who I really am and why we did this in the first place. So integrity and authenticity are such high values for me. But what’s also a high value for me is being around people like that. So when you see other people doing that, but doing it with a high level of integrity, these are the people that you want to scream from the rooftops about because they’re doing it the right way.

And I’ll tell you, it’s so disappointing when you see people that have a public persona of being a good person and being helpful. And then you see the behind the scenes stuff and you hear the stories and not just rumors but innuendos over and over again when you realize they’re not who they’re portraying themselves to be. That’s why I love the conversation with Brad because he’s no different than he was when we talked years ago. And I really believe it’s because they have a heart for helping. And we talked about a lot of the people that are struggling in this are having a hard time getting the word out. And I brought up how so often you see that is because they want the success for themselves, but often it’s not truly about making other people better. It’s about getting the numbers that they want and the notoriety that they want for themselves, but using the guise of being helpful to get there.

But then you see these people that are doing well and other people are lifting them up. And I said something during the course of the conversation and Brad’s like, that could be a podcast episode for you. And I was like, what did I say? Because I don’t remember what I said. And he recited it back to me. He said, your words were helpful. People want to help helpful people and sometimes I get so into the conversation and talking that I don’t even realize what I say sometimes. My friend David Rhodes does it to me a lot and they’re like, what did you just say? I’m like, I have no idea. I was just talking and he laughs like, no, no. Let’s rewind for a second cause I need to hear what you just said. And just the simple idea of helpful people want to help other helpful people.

That I believe is a core component to why they’ve become so successful. Because they do that with their podcast. They bring on great guests that help their audience. They talk about their audience on their show and they bring them up. They make it so that other people’s lives are better from their work. And he said to me, I’m not looking to get filthy rich from this. Although when you see their numbers and their influence, it’ll be easy to do that if that’s what they want. But that’s truly not their goal. Their goal is to spread the word about financial literacy and financial independence or people have a better life from it. That’s why they’re so focused on bringing this into schools and into different organizations. And when you find organizations and people that you believe in that you want to bring up and you’re not keeping score on it, that’s where the higher level of success comes from.

Because I think there’s so many people scrambling looking to get money and they realize they need that in the moment. But if you talk to enough rich people, the motivation for the money goes away after a while for themselves, at least the ones that aren’t narcissists. But there comes a point where it’s a higher purpose than just making the money for yourself. And when successful, helpful people meet other people like that, not only is it not a burden to help them, but they truly want to because they know that’s their purpose. So the key to me is to find people like Brad to have in your life and to support because it will come back to you because it goes both ways. Helpful. People want to help helpful people, and that turns out to not be a one way street in a winds up bringing success to everybody and most importantly to the people around them to make those people better as well. So shout out to Brad Barrett, Jonathan Mendonza, good friends of mine who I’m so excited for. Make sure you check out their podcast. Go download it, subscribe to it. It’s the choose FI podcast. You can find it anywhere, iTunes, Stitcher, everything and go support what they’re doing. And I will talk to you tomorrow.