Episode 159- Own Your Own Beach

So a few years ago we did our first month long venture as a family. We had always dreamed it and desired it, but we never had the opportunity to do it. And we’ve done it now for three years where we take the winter and we spend a month in a different state each time. Well, last year we were in Arizona for three months, but I have a goal and a dream if it’s possible to live in all 50 states for a month with the kids before they grow up. But that first trip to North Padre Island in Texas, outside of Corpus Christi, was an eye opener for us and it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t the smooth ride that we thought it might be. Everybody sees the pictures and they’re at work and they hear that we’re gone for month. It all seems glamorous. Rainbows and unicorns and it’s not a funny part of the story.

The first morning that we’re there, we got up bright and early. I mean it was probably like seven o’clock and the kids were ready to get out. There was a park right across from our place. We brought a soccer ball out and we never spent much time in Texas before and we’re playing soccer and there’s these burrs all over the field and they’re attaching to our leg into our arms and the kids are screaming because they’re getting cut and then we’re being swarmed by these mosquitoes. And we looked absolutely ridiculous. The five of us running around slapping mosquitoes off our body, screaming, not even knowing what’s going on and quite literally went running towards our place. We got into our house, we’re all bitten up and Elizabeth and I looked at each other and we’re like, what the heck did we do? We’re going to have a month of this?

And then we asked somebody, we were on a walk that day. They said no, just early in the morning it was terrible mosquitoes and then they’re gone. And we really thought we’re going to have to be locked up in our place for a month. We just wasted a ton of money and time but it eventually got better and we had a fantastic time there. But one day we were just sitting on the beach and it was 72 degrees and there was nobody on the beach. It was a Wednesday afternoon and the kids were catching crabs and we were just sitting there on the sand and I looked around, nod my head and I was like, we own this beach. And Elizabeth was like, yeah, it kind of seems like we do. And that’s when I go into daydreaming mode at a moment like that because I’m like, we could own our own beach for periods of time and why don’t more people do it?

Because I never enjoyed the beach as a kid because when we would go, there’d be thousands of people there. It’d be  getting sand kicked in my face. The lines with the bathroom are long. There were tons of people in the water. People blast their music or whatever they wanted to do and it wasn’t enjoyable. And we’re sitting here on this beautiful pristine beach and there’s nobody. And I was like, how do you own your own beach? And it hit me right then and there. It’s time freedom. And I talked so much about time freedom and so many people are focused on money and making more money and yes, money is a part of it. You cannot do that without money, but more importantly you can’t do it without the time freedom because you can make a lot of money, but if your schedule doesn’t allow you to do these things at times when other people aren’t doing them, it’s not possible.

But when you can create a business or a life where you can do it, when and where you want, you get to own the beach because you know when we plant and not go to the beach Saturdays and Sundays and the summertime, you have to envision this out. We want to build a life to where we can go to the beach when the weather great when it’s not crowded and crazy, so we’re doing that again this winter blitz, all intentional. It’s intentional because we set out to build businesses that support that type of lifestyle. We set out on purpose to turn down the work that is not going to support that and envision, create an implement the work that is now when you start thinking that way, you start thinking of different things than you normally would. You begin to not accept what you believe is normal and you start to see the strengths that you have that can be transferred to other areas that could earn income in different ways, in multiple ways, in ways that allow you to get paid while you’re sleeping instead of you having to be there to actually physically do the work at that time.

So when you realize you could take a bit of information that you have or some knowledge that you have and you can teach it to other people that need it. So a lot of us start by doing one on one coaching or teaching in a classroom. But when you can take that online and you can take that to creating, for instance, a membership site, take the information that you would teach one to one and put it into a format to teach people that want it in a different way. That’s another income stream that you can create. And once you see that you start seeing different worlds open up from that one thing or around that are multiple different income streams that you can build off of that or build as a complimentary thing. Affiliates, courses, masterminds, live events, and the beautiful thing in this day and age, it doesn’t require a huge following.

To do that. You just need the right people to truly want what you deliver. And that’s why the entrepreneurial world is so much fun. And I’m not sure how many employees listen to this, but I want them to start seeing that they have a marketable skill if somebody is employing them so often you can take that skill and you can use that skill in the open market to create other income streams. And I think we’ve been trained and brainwashed to think, get a job, stick with that job. Don’t rock the boat. Stay for the benefits, retire when you’re 65 and then enjoy life. And I’m like, forget that I’m going to do it now. Or at least I’m going to start figuring it out now. And the results might not be for three more years. I get so many people that tell me, Oh, I’d love to do what you do with your kids.

And I’m like, why don’t you do it? They have all the reasons why they can’t. It’s because they haven’t developed the mindset and the business to be able to create income streams. I give you that freedom to do what you want, where you want, when you want, and when you’re able to do that. You don’t need to physically purchase your own beach, but if you do it right, you could be in the right place at the right time consistently with the time freedom and the money freedom to feel like you own your own beach. And I will talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 158- But He Started It

So the month of December for us, it’s probably our most frustrating month as parents. Let me explain why. We’ve been homeschooling now for four years and all the preconceived notions about homeschooling, about socialization, how are they going to meet other kids? That all, just a crazy rumor perpetuated by, I don’t know who, because our kids are crazy social, there is so much stuff going on. So many different activities. Sports, they play with different kids outings at the museum or rollerskating, co-ops and just regular get-togethers. So trust me when I say that homeschooling is not sitting in our living room with desks lined up while they do traditional school every day. And we’ve been fortunate that after Christmas, every year we leave for a couple months and we go out West or we go South to explore the countryand get out of the cold to Pittsburgh. And we do a lot of the people like to call world schooling.

And to me that’s the best type of schooling- you’re learning outside with your hands in these places. Doing and seeing things instead of just reading it in a textbook. But December, I don’t know why actually I do, but December has been rough on us because not only are we preparing to leave, but it’s the first month where the kids are just jammed inside. That’s the month with the activities really slow down and we are home together in the house more than any other month. And for those of you with kids, as they get bigger, our house seems to be getting smaller. Our 14 year old almost doubled in size the last year and everybody’s getting a lot louder and December is the one month where we kind of start going stir crazy and when this starts happening there’s a lot more picking on each other. Arguing he said, he said, and just little problems that don’t happen when they’re outside in the yard or outside and open air and they’re running around a lot more.

And a few weeks ago, it was a Thursday afternoon, the kids got into an argument. It was our two oldest kids. They both came back to us. They said he started it, the other one said no, he started it and then one of them retaliates and gets in trouble and they go back to the argument of he started it and I tried to teach my kids even when we would watch sports, sometimes you look at hockey, the person that goes into the penalty box is not necessarily the person that started it, but they’re the person that retaliated. And to me that’s a life lesson. People are always going to start something, but how do you respond to it? That’s what really matters and that’s going to determine what are the things go well for you or they don’t. So that night I took our oldest son to go to a pet store to get a new scorpion.

Yes, I said scorpion. He’s got scorpions and tarantulas and that’s a whole different podcast. But on the way back, we remember that the Steelers were playing the Browns that night. It was a Thursday night game and we watched the first half. We got the kids ready for bed and we all went to sleep. And even though I’m a Steeler fan, I’m not going to stay up till 12 o’clock watching the game. So I went to sleep. It was probably at the end of the third quarter and I woke up to this crazy news that there was this big brawl in the game right near the end and one of the players on the Browns, miles Garrett ripped off the helmet from Steelers quarterback, Mason Rudolph and proceeded to take it and to swing it at his head and a huge brawl came from that. Garrett got kicked out of the game along with Maurcise Pouncey from the Steelers who then attacked Garrett and it was just a big giant mess.

So this dominated not only the sports headlines but the news headlines for a couple of days. It turned out that Garrett got suspended for the rest of the season and then indefinitely they had to reinstate him for next year for him to even play again because of what he did. And then something quite interesting happened. That was a great lesson to teach our kids fans of the Browns or people that don’t like the Steelers started saying, well they started it because as you watch the replays after Rudolph was tackled, him and Garrett started scuffling on the ground and Rudolph was pulling at Garrett’s helmet. And quite honestly, it’s a ridiculous defense and it truly is an awful lesson just for society to teach because what it’s basically saying is, well somebody started something so it’s okay for us to do something much worse. And there truly are people defending somebody who swung a helmet and another guy’s unprotected head that could have caused serious damage because they say that he started it.

And even though I’m a Steeler fan, this isn’t a Steelers-Browns thing. So then as it is with the news cycle, it never ends. And someone is always looking to make money off of something. A couple days later, t-shirts are printed in Cleveland saying Pittsburgh started it. And it was around the same time going on with our December craziness that the kids were going at it with each other again saying he started it and I got to sit them down and tell him the entire story and get to show him the video. And they were like, Whoa, that’s crazy. And I said, yeah, but can you believe there are people actually saying that that’s okay because this other person started it. And they were like, no. I’m like, truly, there’s always somebody looking to defend something and not take the blame. And I said to them, that’s what you sound like.

And when you leave this house, as you grow up, I want you to constantly take full responsibility for your actions. People that blame others never succeed. Now they feel good in the short term, but you know, nobody’s going to trust them because they’re never going to take responsibility for themselves. So after the years of trying to teach this whole, he started thing, that was the thing that finally got through to them. Seeing it like that and seeing the video of that. And the best part for me as a football fan is Steelers played the Browns about two weeks later and the Steelers won. So now guess what? There’s t-shirts being printed in Pittsburgh and people are already wearing it that says, Pittsburgh finished it. I’ll be back with you tomorrow.

Episode 157- 1000 True Fans

If you haven’t heard of it, I want to introduce you to the concept of a 1000 True Fans. And if you’re in business and you’re struggling or you’re uncertain, the idea behind Kevin Kelly’s article with that title might transform your business. 1000 true fans. When I first read it years ago, it validated the way that I wanted to do business, but it also went against what so many other people were teaching and talking about. And what he basically says is to be successful, you don’t need millions of customers. You don’t need millions of dollars and you don’t need millions of fans. But when you ask a lot of people, they will think that that’s absolutely necessary. And this is basically geared towards the freelancer, the craftsmen, people like authors, designers to musicians and the photographers. This is for them. And the way he describes it, he describes a true fan and what a true fan is, is somebody that will buy anything you produce.

They’re the ones that will drive a long distance to see you live. They’re the ones that when you come out with a book or a product that they’re going to buy it because they trust you. If you have a get together or some type of event, they’re going to show up. That’s a true fan and he says, if you are content to make a living but not necessarily a fortune, you will do just fine if you have a thousand true fans and here’s how he describes it and he brings two points into it. First, you have to create enough each year that you can earn $100 profit from each true fan basically on average, the second which so many people now have such a hard time with is to have a direct relationship with your fans monetarily describes it, is that they pay you directly because if you go through another label or an agency, even though you’re, even though you’re a fan, you’re going not going to get all of that money.

And this is a very basic premise and you could spread it out into different ways and different numbers, but we’re going to keep the symbol with a thousand fans. And what he’s saying is if each fan will pay $100 a year for what you do, all you need is a thousand of them, and that’s $100,000 a year. And for most people that’s a pretty good living. So immediately, instead of getting out of the overwhelm of I need millions of people to follow me, or hundreds of thousands of people on YouTube or Instagram, I need a thousand people that truly love what I do. And the ironic thing about this, he talks about is this is the way it used to be where we had direct contact with our customers and then for a long period of time, especially with artists and musicians, they lost contact with them because there were middlemen and there wasn’t as much of a direct relationship.

But now that’s changed. If you use the music world, there’s bands out there that don’t go through any of those channels anymore. They basically have their fans come directly to them. Pearl Jam was one of them that they’re still huge, even though you don’t hear them on the radio, they’ve got their fans that follow them anywhere that they go and they’re loyal and they’re faithful. A beautiful example of this from the past with the Grateful Dead, they didn’t have any radio airplay. They didn’t have any pop culture following, but they had one of the most loyal fan bases that traveled everywhere that they went. Those are true fans and there’s a lot more to this article and I don’t want to overcomplicate it, but if you want to read the whole thing, just google Kevin Kelly, a 1000 true fans and read the article and he had readily admits.

Cultivating a thousand true fans is not easy. It’s time consuming. It’s difficult and it’s not for everybody, but he says it a thousand true fans is an alternative path to success other than stardom because many of us want the success, but we’re not looking for the stardom. So that holds people back because they feel like I don’t want to be a public figure and I don’t want to be annoying and pitching myself all the time. I just want to do my art, and by building up true fans, little by little, you get to do it your way without looking for the stardom, and it’s truly the way we’ve built all of our businesses. For the most part, nobody knows who we are, aside from the people that really follow us and those people, those small number of people are really into the stuff that we do.

I don’t need everybody to know about it. I just need the right people. And the beautiful part about it, it doesn’t have to be a thousand people at $100 it could be 2000 people at $50 it could be 50 people at $2,000 when you start thinking about this, if you can create a product that’s worth $2,000 you only need 50 people to buy it, to make $100,000 or maybe this is even easier to grasp. If you have something that’s worth $1,000 and think in your mind what you can create that has so much value that you can sell for $1,000 you need 100 people in a year to buy it to earn $100,000 if you’re like me, you start getting excited. Well, well if we have a different product and they’re a raving fan, it’s very easy to add another option to that higher or lower and that number can double or more.

But the key to this, even starting with one person is start developing true fans. People as Seth Godin would say that would miss you when you’re gone and with not even talked about in this article is the fact that 87% of clients come from referrals. So you and I both know that when you’re a raving fan or something, you tell other people about it. So over time you don’t personally have to win over those true fans. Your true fans will do it for you. And that’s called compound growth. And when you start getting there, you start wondering, what did I even worry about in the first place? Just serve this group as well as I can. And that’s when the snowball starts rolling downhill. But the takeaway at the end that he talks about is, if you do this, you won’t be surrounded by faddish infatuation. But by genuine and true appreciation, Kelly finishes, it’s a much saner destiny to hope for, and you’re much more likely to actually arrive there. So if you want success, don’t focus on the masses. Focus on your true fans. It worked for us. It could work for YouTube. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 156- All You Need Is Confidence And Ignorance

Albert Einstein famously said, “in order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd. All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence. And then success is sure. Success is a science. If you have the conditions, you get the results,” Confidence and ignorance. And I have so many people that come up to me and tell me, you’ve done so many cool things in your life, like how did that happen? And I really chalk it up to having confidence and ignorance. I think three quarters of the great things, the best stories of my life would never have happened if I had more information about it beforehand. And once I knew what I wanted to do, I had confidence to go and do it. So bringing those together, it leads to results, but it also leads to some crazy stories. I’m going to tell you one today.

I talk often about how struggle and challenges lead to the things that we need to learn to get better. I truly learn more during those times that I do during what are considered the successful times. So you’ll notice that I will constantly go back to the beginnings of different things that I’ve done for the lessons that I’ve learned. And this is no different, a period of my life where so many of these stories and lessons come from for those years of my photography career. It was starting in the mid 90’s I finally landed a breakthrough gig. Now it was unpaid and it was an internship. So my nickname at this new job was the Vintern and the job, if you want to call it that, because I wasn’t being paid. But it was for Bruce Bennett Studios, which I became a researcher for their company. And their company was the photographers for the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders, the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia Flyers.

So for somebody wanting to become a sports photographer, it was the dream gig, even an unpaid one. So when Brian Winkler, who’s my boss, approved me for the internship, I was so excited that I needed to get started. So before he even started the job I saw on the schedule at the Philadelphia Flyers were playing a home game that Friday night. And I was so ambitious and excited that I drove from Long Island to Philadelphia to go photograph the game. Now keep in mind, I wasn’t credentialed to photograph this game, nobody but Brian even knew who I was and I spent two and a half hours, gas and tolls to get to Philadelphia to request a press pass and shoot the game. And as I say it out loud, knowing what I know now, it’s total ignorance and a bit of confidence. So the Flyers had a desk set up outside the arena for the press passes.

And I walked up and I said, I’m here to shoot the game for Bruce Bennett Studios. And she asked me my name and then she told me, well you guys already have a photographer here. And I was like, Oh, um, okay, well I’m here anyway, I like to shoot the game. And she proceeded to write out a press pass for me, which just so you know, we’ll never happen now. So she gives me the press pass and I go into the arena and I walked down to ice level. I grab a folding chair, I set up to start shooting the game. It really is that easy. So my career is about to start. I start looking around, I start taking it all in and then low and behold right next to, because of another photographer, a young guy, blonde hair, and he pulls up a seat next to me and nods at me and he gets his camera’s ready and he starts getting ready to shoot and I’m kind of sneakily trying to see what his press pass says so I know who it is.

And I always knew I wanted to meet as many photographers as I could. And I look at his press pass when he’s looking away and I noticed it says Jim McIsaac Bruce Bennett Studios. And it was at that moment that I was like, Oh no. So when he wasn’t looking, I turned my press pass around, I put my baseball cap on a little bit lower so we couldn’t really see my face as much because I couldn’t let him see that. I was also photographing for Bruce Bennett Studios because he’d be like, what are you doing here and who are you? And I also knew I’m probably going to be seeing him in the office. So I proceeded to shoot two periods of the game. I was pretty nervous. I was going to get found out and get in trouble. So after the second period I left and I drove home back to New York.

I just wanted to avoid trouble and I showed up for work that Monday morning and they introduced me to everybody and they showed me where to go and they give me my seat by the light box. I started editing slides for the different magazines and Brian came in around 9:30, said hello to me and I was like, wow, I think I got away with it. I won’t do that again. But I think I got away with it at the same time. Jim came in and sat right across from me and he looked at me and he nodded. He kind of smiled because he knew it was me, but he didn’t say anything. So everything’s lining up. I learned a major lesson of what to do and what not to do. And then around 10:30 or 11 o’clock, Bruce Bennett, the owner, comes in along with John Giamundo, who’s the lead photographer, and they had shot the Rangers game the night before at Madison Square Garden.

So they came in. Later that day, John walks in and he just looks at me as he’s coming through the door and there was music playing, but otherwise it seemed silent. And he said to me, “Are you the mysterious intern that showed up in Philly Friday night to photograph the game?” And I looked at Jim, I hadn’t even spoken a word to yet, and he’s just shaking his head with his head down, and I’m not sure what excuse I gave, but I said something and John just laughed, like a disappointing laugh, shook his head, walked in the other room, and Bruce made a joke like, “Hey man, it’s your world. It’s your business.” Then he walked by me and he said, “don’t ever do it again.” I said, “You got it.” He laughed and I laughed and I lived to tell about it. And to this day, they’re all still friends of mine. And John’s been the lead photographer for WWE traveling the world, photographing professional wrestling for the last 18 years. And whenever we’re in a city together, I’ll come by, hang out backstage. We tell old stories, but I think he might’ve forgotten that one. So if he listens to this, we’ll have another story to tell. But that was my unofficial first hockey game that I ever shot. And all it took was a little confidence and a little ignorance. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 155- How To Get A Shot At The Title

I’m going to start this by saying that I can’t remember the last time I watched a boxing match and if you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t know that tonight there’s a Heavyweight Championship fight happening in Saudi Arabia between the champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and the challenger former champion Anthony Joshua. Now, this podcast is not about boxing, but it’s a fantastic story about how somebody got a heavyweight championship fight. You see Andy Ruiz Jr. is the champion right now, but less than eight months ago, he was relatively unknown. Anthony Joshua though was the unified heavyweight champion back in April. Joshua was at the fight, Jarell Miller, he handpicked to fight for the championship, but not long before the fight Miller got disqualified for failing repeated drug tests. So this championship match, it’s supposed to be happening in seven weeks and Joshua doesn’t have an opponent. So Joshua’s manager, Eddie Hearn, starts looking to figure out who would be a good opponent for this fight.

And he didn’t have a tremendous amount of options that either were good enough or be in fighting shape to be ready for this bout. So my impression at this point is there’s a whole lot of managers and consultants and lawyers and they’re all sitting in a room, kind of like Rocky when Apollo creed meticulously picked out the Italian stallion to fight him for the championship match and it wouldn’t be something that the little people, the world, even the ham and egg fighters, the people with no clout, it wouldn’t be something where they would have an influence over, but fresh off of his fight and knowing he was in shape Ruiz with his old school mentality and his new school mindset wound up getting a shot to fight for the heavyweight championship. The way he went about getting that fight will spin your mind in terms of the complexity of it.

Actually, it’s nothing like that. He went on Instagram and he sent a message to Eddie Hearn. He didn’t have any middleman. He didn’t have lawyers or managers or hey, my people will call your people type of stuff. He got on Instagram. He sent direct message and he asked her to give him a chance, told him that he was better than any of the other options out there and that he’d earned it. And Hearn realizing that he not very many options and figuring the shorter overweight fighter with not much of a history that they can follow would be a pushover for Joshua before he’d move on to his big payday with contender Deonte Wilder. But what happened after that was historic. He immediately moved in with a chef, changed his diet completely eating chicken and fish and tons of greens, lost 30 pounds and attempted to get himself ready for this huge fight.

And on June 1st he stepped into the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City with his still seeming out of shape body facing against Joshua, who’s got the physique of a statue but Ruiz had a mission. He said when he stepped into that ring, when he looked into Joshua’s eyes, he basically looked at him and said, this guy is trying to take Cheerios out of my kid’s mouth. That’s what he kept telling himself before the fight started. And in the third round, Joshua connected with the right and sent Ruiz to the canvas, knocked him down and nobody would’ve been surprised if that was it, but always got back up and he got back up angry and later in that round he turned it all around and knocked Joshua down and he continued fighting and trying and knock Joshua down three more times until the seventh round where the fight was eventually stopped.

And Anthony Ruiz Jr. was named the Heavyweight Champion of the World. It was an upset that the boxing world hadn’t seen since Mike Tyson was stunningly knocked out by Buster Douglas back in 1990 and if it wasn’t stunning enough that he knocked him out to win the heavyweight championship. When you look at the history of Ruiz, you look at his childhood, it becomes even more intriguing and exciting to learn about. He was a kid that was always overweight, he was always picked on getting into tons of troubles joining gangs. He said that boxing was the thing that got him away from the streets and the corners in boxing took him from there to the center of the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He was crowned heavyweight champion of the world and it’s more than that to his family and his environment. He was crowned the first Mexican American heavyweight champion of the world.

And tonight win or lose as he has a rematch again with Anthony Joshua, he’ll be announced as the champion when that fight starts. And the reason why I’m telling this story is this never would’ve happened if he didn’t do something that most people are afraid to do, which is to reach out and take that chance. And this day and age, we’re old school meets new school, we’re having the guts to ask for something that you believe you’ve earned, but to ask it in a personal way goes so much farther than most people realize. I don’t know where he was that day that he picked up his phone, but he had built up the credibility to make the ask. And he got on his phone and he went to Instagram and he sent a message, one message, but it was the right message to the right person. And that message got on the shot for the heavyweight champion of the world.

I bet Eddie Hearn kind of regrets agreeing to it, but he needed somebody to fight Joshua and Ruiz not only put himself in the right spot, and he asked when he needed to ask, but he did all the work, not only in those seven weeks to lead up to that fight, but in that fight after he got knocked down and getting himself back up, knocking Joshua down and not stopping until he was the champion of the world. And I love that story because it eliminates the excuses. Oh, I can’t get my chance. Nobody gives me a shot. Nobody’s going to give you a shot. You’ve got to go out and take the shot. And Ruiz went and did it. Ruiz didn’t use the excuse of, Oh, I don’t know the right people. He went out and found the right people. And whether you want to become heavyweight champion or something else, you have the opportunity to do it yourself. So I’m kind of hoping he wins even though I won’t be watching the fight. I’d love to see him stay champion cause I love the story and by the time I come back with you tomorrow, we’ll know what happened. I’ll talk to you then.

Episode 154- The New Old Fashioned Way

So I go against the grain on this, but so many people in the world that I’m at swear by the morning routine. I’ve tried it so many times. I’ve read the miracle morning by Hal Elrod. I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed doing it for a while, but it never stuck and don’t feel really too guilty about it because I love the way my day starts and it’s not in a structured routine like that. But at the same time I’m fortunate I had the freedom. I pretty much can do what I want most of the day. So if I want to go to the gym later in the afternoon or mid morning, I have that option to do that and not miss it. But unfortunately, maybe because of this, I have not gone to the gym as much as I’d like to in the last month or two. So I’ve gotten back and I’m trying to ramp that back up.

And I went yesterday morning. I went early early for me, which is like 6:15am and I love that. I love getting out at the house was quiet, the kids were asleep, you know, we’re still here in Pittsburgh for another couple of weeks. So the snow was coming down and it was quiet and I just had some Christmas music on while I was driving to the gym and Rocking Around the Christmas Tree from Brenda Lee came on. It was the last song that was on the radio before I got to the gym and the song was nearing the end. I didn’t want to leave until the song was over. So I sat in the car getting into the spirit, watching the snow come down and the song came through the very end. And I’ve heard the song, you know, since I was a little kid, but I’m not sure I picked up the very last words until that moment.

And I must have heard it before obviously, but I didn’t listen to the words and what she said was ‘the new old fashioned way.’ I turned the car off and I went to the gym. I started working out and I kept thinking about that line over and over again, the new old fashioned way. And for a song that was written in 1958 I believe more than 60 years ago, it felt to me like such a modern statement cause I love to do business in the new old fashioned way. And let me explain what I mean by that. In the world of freelancing and solopreneur ship, it is a challenging time for so many people, a challenging time to get attention and to get business. You need attention. And I love the business world, but I hate the business world at the same time because there’s so many sleazy marketers, there’s so many people in it for the quick buck.

They just want to build a funnel. They want passive income, they want the quick money, they want the instant success and they want the hacks. And that’s what so many conferences and courses are built around. The problem is it works for a very few amount of people, but it doesn’t work for most. But there’s such an allure there because it seems so easy. And it seems so profitable, but I view business as how would I want to be treated? Do I want to be treated like just another number? So I mean it goes into a funnel, so maybe that gets checked off and then if I’m not going to buy their stuff, I’m never going to hear from again. Or do I want to live and work in a world where the people that work with me and the people that I work with are people that I actually enjoy being around and want to help and want to help me.

And again, that comes back to the new old fashioned way. And the old fashioned way is people did business with people in the past in the 1850s you needed to know who you were going to barter with in the 1920s you knew the different businesses that you’d associate with. You knew why you worked with these people and why you didn’t. And the people that were dishonest and the people that were scammers, they got figured out. It’s hard to be in business that way if you’re not trustful, but it’s a little different now. Everybody is selling something online. There are people quite literally that take courses, copy the information from the courses and then go and start their own course of the same thing. They’ve never done it before. There’s no experience there. They don’t have the relationships built, but they steal the information and then it’s so easy now to put that content on social media.

You put the quotes out there, you put the motivational stuff, but there’s no real world experience with any of it. And I hope, I don’t sound like an old curmudgeon with this because I truly love the world that we’re in right now. I think there’s opportunities abound for everybody. If you have a skill that you can take and you can help somebody else figure that out or create something for them that they really want. But the new old fashioned way to me is bringing the personal relationships back into the business world, the real ones. But while using social media and all of the modern advantage that we have, but so many people rely on staying inside and doing the social media stuff, but putting very little attention on actually building the relationships. And I will tell you, everybody says they do it, but I can tell you right now that most people don’t, and you’ve met or heard me say before, I have a consistent non-negotiable habit of reaching out to people in my circle, seeing how they’re doing, checking in, trying to connect them with no agenda.

And what happens over time with that is the people that are really interested in the things that I do. They wind up asking questions about it and then we wind up having conversations and that filters down. Then eventually there are people, they’re like, I really need you for this. I need coaching for this, or I need you to speak for this, or I need to be in your membership here. They know what they need over time as the relationship builds out. But that happens because it’s been years and years of reaching out with no expectation. But when everybody says, yeah, I know that’s, you know, that’s just the easy, but tell me the real hack to the whole thing. And I’m like, that’s a pretty big hack to the whole thing. 

But I can tell you this, when I had those days, when I go off the grid, but I have those couple times that I’m gone for three or four days cause I’m heavily into a project or I’m unplugged, my inbox goes kind of empty and it can feel kind of demoralizing. It’s like, do I always have to be the one that reaches out? And quite often, yes, that is the case because people aren’t trained thinking this way and I really want to start bringing that back. So when I tell you I start doing that again, when I get back into the groove and all of a sudden everything starts moving quickly again. Opportunities start coming up, opportunities to help other people start popping up, all the things that I want happen from that eventually. So I joke around a lot that it’s like the 1870s with the internet and to me that is the new old fashioned way, which is personal relationships, deep ties, powerful networks, people that trust you and people that you trust.

And when you can do that and work together with them, you don’t need all the noise. You don’t need 10 million followers because your network will make sure everything happens for you as you make sure everything happens for your network. And what’s funny is I’ve been trying to find a way to record this type of a message of an episode and there’s way more to it obviously. So there’ll be more. But being at the gym yesterday and hearing that song and being able to think about it while I worked out helped me really put this together. And the new part of the old fashioned ways. I get to record this and then within minutes it’s scheduled and it’s delivered to you. The new old fashioned way is such a beautiful combination and I will talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 153- Primetime Pain

So for those of you who are football fans, or at least know of football, the name Deon Sanders might ring a bell. Now, Sanders in his prime was one of the most dominant defensive backs that played the game. His nickname was Prime Time and he always had these flashy interceptions, punt returns, and he always found a way to stand out. Now, the fans of the teams that he played for loved him, but the other fans couldn’t stand them. He was an energetic, polarizing, controversial player. In early 1995 his team, the San Francisco 49ers, defeated the Dallas Cowboys to make it to the Super Bowl. Ironically, earlier that day, me and my brother and some friends were in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after driving in from New York to watch the Steelers lose the AFC championship game and stunning fashion to the San Diego Chargers. And to this day as a fan, that was probably the most difficult defeat that I ever watched.

But going back to Sanders, he finally did it. He finally made the Super Bowl. And in that Super Bowl, which was in Miami, Florida Sanders and the 49ers demolished the San Diego Chargers by the score 49-26 and it wasn’t even that close. The game was over essentially from the beginning. And Sanders and the Niners had a lot of time that evening to think about the accomplishment that they just achieved. And time went on and Sanders won another Super Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys. And life continued and football went on. And to the outsider, looking in those moments appear to be those incredible moments of glory. Those nights with a career and a life is defined. And we’d imagine that when they’re old and gray and those days are faint, distant memories, that that’s what they look back on with absolute fondness of their glory years. So years later, after Sanders had retired, I had the opportunity to be on a shoot with Sanders and a reporter as they interviewed him about his career.

And that was one of the really cool perks about the job that I had, was to really get a behind the scenes look of what people that were really great at, what they did were like, and Sanders was no different. I was young enough to still see him as almost this larger than life type of figure and in time, the more that I did, the more that I realized these are just regular people. They’ve all had their own problems, but when you’re younger, you have a tendency to idolize some of these people. But what happened that day and the words that Sanders said during that interview truly allowed me to see things that I never thought I would have seen or heard. Things I’d never thought I would hear. And I remember as a fan watching that Super Bowl, but then in the conversation, Sanders talked about that night and he described that winning the super bowl was always his biggest dream.

It was the thing that he put up on a pedestal. It was the thing that he always wanted to accomplish and his life would be complete if he got there. That’s not word for word because I didn’t write any of this down, but that’s the essence of what I heard him say. And he went on to describe that night of January 29th, 1995 and he talks about how the Super Bowl ended and they went into the locker room and it was the big celebration and the trophy and everything that came with it and his memory of that, his memory of that night completely floored me. He wasn’t, when he was talking about it, he wasn’t looking at it with this fondness like you think you would. He described sadness and confusion and here’s why. His entire life, he built that moment up as the moment that he was trying to get to everything else was a means of getting to that point.

And then after all that work and all that time, it finally happened and he’s in the locker room and he’s won the Super Bowl and he’s holding the trophy and now he’s sitting there thinking about it and the words that came to his mind while he was sitting there was this, this is it? This is all it is? He was absolutely taken aback by how empty it all felt to him. He thought it would be this glorious confirmation of what he always thought it would be. And it turned out for him in his mind to be nothing like that. And what happened is it sent him on a downward spiral and Sanders who used to play for the Cincinnati Reds went back to Cincinnati in the off season. He talked about how he was so depressed that he actually drove to one of the bridges in Cincinnati and he seriously contemplated suicide and described it in a way of like almost an emptiness of success because he had built this thing up to be the be all end all of what his career and his life was to be.

And it turned out that it wasn’t. And Sanders was forced to leave that off season with some soul searching and to understand why he’s doing the things that he’s doing. He wound up coming back the next year, go into Dallas, winning another super Bowl, and if there are a lot of personal life issues turning his life around. But that interview had an impact on me because up until that point I had a lot of big goals and a lot of big dreams and I strive for them. I worked for them hard. I would get blinded by the end goal so often. And when I heard a story and I thought about his big goal was getting to him winning the Super Bowl and he accomplished it and it still felt empty. That was a real moment for me because I realized even though I have these big goals and these big dreams, I don’t think any of them were as big as what he was going for.

And he got there and he found that that wasn’t what he thought it was going to be. And I tell this story because it really helped me shape out my goals and dreams and how I go about them ever since I listened to him talk about that. And from that point on, essentially the big goal wasn’t what it used to be anymore because I knew that if my heart’s not the right spot and my life’s not in the right spot and I make it all about this achievement, that when I do get there, it’s going to be empty. And I know myself, I’m driven. I will probably get there if I want it. But knowing that you do all that work and mental, you think that’s it and you get there and it’s not, that’s demoralizing. So listening to Sanders that they, it really saved me from some pain.

It saved me from losing things in my life that I found valuable. Because if I didn’t learn these lessons along the way from people that had already done what I want to do, I would have really believed that my way was the right way and I would have went after it that way. And whatever it was, I’d sit there when I achieved that goal. And by making it the be all end all of everything that I wanted, I would have felt the emptiness that Sanders did. So what I learned and what I took from it was the goal is just another step in the journey. It is not the end. It’s what I would call a checkpoint along the way. So as those things have happened in my life, as the book’s been written and the business accomplishments have happened, none of it has overtaken me.

Because from around that point on, I never allowed it to be the be all end all. No, I’ve heard it said often that pain is the best teacher. And then I’ve heard other people say, no, that’s not true. Other people’s pain should be your best teacher. And this is a situation where Deion Sanders pain was a great teacher for me, which I hope can be a great teacher to you to make sure your life is kept in balance while you are going for these dreams and never to let one thing take over so intensely that when you do achieve it, that it’s empty on the inside. And I will be back with you tomorrow.

Episode 152- How To Lose A Raving Fan

I want to talk to you today about how to lose a fan. Am I not talking about the type of fan that blows air around.  I’m talking about somebody who is really into your work, a fan of what you do, and this is about one of many ways how you can lose that fan. Here’s the story and it’s not a fictional story. This actually just happened and it’s fresh in my mind that I said, let’s just record this and get it out there. So for me, this time of the year, it starts getting cold. It starts getting dark and I can read a whole lot more than I did there in the summertime in the summer and the fall. Even in the spring, we’re outside so much with the kids, we’re doing a lot of activities, we’re doing a lot of work. It’s lighter later and I don’t have as much time to read, but as soon as Halloween comes and it gets darker earlier and it’s colder outside, I started diving into a lot more reading as well as creating content, writing my next book, all those things.

And when you combine that with my birthday just happened and my kids and Elizabeth get me books, they know I want books for my birthday. I really just enjoy curling up in my comfy couch or on the comfy chair and either early in the morning, sometime during the afternoon or during the longer darker color evenings, it’s my chance to dive into these books, get some insight, get some inspiration and soak it all in. So I got a book recently, and I’m not going to say the name and I’m not going to say the author. I had heard about this person over the last six months to a year. So I was really intrigued to read the book. So I got the book and it was a quick read. It wasn’t more than a couple hundred pages. I read it within a couple of days and I really enjoyed the book. I thought it had some great insights and whenever I read a book from an author that I’d like to potentially connect with, get to know more of a book that I really appreciated, I will reach out to that author if it’s possible.

And I’ll let him know how much I enjoyed the book. I’ll leave a review for them. I try to post on social media. I try to do everything I can with a book that I really enjoy to let other people know about it. So in this particular book, they didn’t have an email address or a mailing address, but I did some research online and I found the author’s website and their email. I sent a message to the author letting them know just how much I appreciated their book, how much I enjoyed it. I thanked him for writing it. Now when I do that, I never say anything about me. I never try to ask them for anything. I just want to do it as a token of gratitude because I know the effort that goes into actually writing a book and until a book becomes a really big hit.

Most authors don’t get messages like that enough, believe it or not. So I sent the message and I didn’t know if this person would respond back and if they did respond back. You don’t know if it’s something like, Oh, thanks a lot. And that’s it. Sometimes you’ll get responses back from authors and it’s really appreciative and it’s curious and the author wants to know about me and they have questions for me as well. And also what I liked about the book in more detail more specifically. And when I get messages like that, I know I can continue having a conversation with this person and they appreciate it. So I sent the message and I went a couple of days and didn’t get a response, which is no big deal, not expected at all. But then I got a message back, and I was excited to read it and it was a quick message and said, thanks so much.

Glad you enjoyed it. You should come out to my event that I’m having in the location that he was having it at. And immediately I was like, ah, like he pitched me something on my thank you. Like I wasn’t real thrilled by that. But hey, this person’s aggressive. That’s the way that they go about business. So, so be it. And I looked at the information because I was just curious and it was a very expensive event that they were pitching. And just so you know, I’m all about investing in myself, but I don’t generally just drop a couple of grand on somebody in something that I know nothing about. I mean I read your book, I liked it. I want them to say thank you and now I’m being pitched an expensive event. So I emailed back and I wasn’t able to go. Actually I’m going to be out of town that day so I’m not available, but I’ll keep up on what you’re doing and the email back within just a couple minutes. And they he said, well are you following us online, here, here and here and would you like to come to this event with us? And again, it was an immediate pitch to another high priced event. And at this point I was so turned off by it. I mean I don’t expect this person to have any interest in me or my life, but wow. To take a thank you note and to immediately pound that into two high price pitches. I mean, right off the bat it wasn’t a, Hey Vince and how are you doing? What’s going on in your life? What’d you like about the book? It was just an immediate hard sales pitch. And maybe because it’s so opposite of the way that I want to go about doing business, and I’m not saying it doesn’t work.

I’m sure there are a lot of people, when they get that from this person, we’ll sign up immediately. But boy did it turn me off and it turned me away. Now this person I’m sure does not need the money, so maybe that allows them to be a little bit bolder, a little more aggressive, a little bit like they don’t care if they piss some people off and that’s entirely up to them. But the problem is I see people doing this that don’t have the money and connections and fame like this person does, and they’re selling the same exact way. And to me, with this person, it seems arrogant with many others in that spot. It seems desperate. But here’s the interesting part that I want people like this author and anybody else going through this in the future to understand. I would say there would be a high probability that within the next 12 months I would’ve signed up for one of these events from this person.

Quite literally, as I’m reading the book, I’m thinking I might want to go to one of those things, but reading the book alone didn’t give me trust. Trust is built up over time. Trust is built up with relationships. Trust is built up with referrals and recommendations from friends who go to these events and say, you really need to go to one of these. So the entire situation just left a bad taste in my mouth and it was kind of sad because I really wanted to like this person. And when I got that first email with the pitch, I mean immediately the person lost trust with me. But with the second more deliberate, even more aggressive pitch, they lost the fan. I can tell you that I will not recommend this book because the way people do business and the way people care about their customers means way more me than the words that were actually written in the book.

So I want this to be a help to those of you that are building fan bases, that are gaining followers, that are looking to build trust over time with the people that care about you the most. Don’t lose your fans for the quick fix. The lifetime value of fans and not just fans, but raving fans is so much more valuable than trying to get quick fixed numbers. Because when you get raving fans, they talk about you. They spread the word. Not only will they go to events of yours, but they will bring other people with them because they like you that much. And when they bring other people with them, they also talk about you online and in their products and in their content. And when they talk about you in a good way, it’s not like this. So when somebody reaches out to you and tells you how much they enjoy your work, thank them, appreciate them, find out about them if you can, but don’t just do a series of heartless pitches because that’s exactly how you lose your fans. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 151- Is It A Business Or A Hobby?

I had a really awesome call with a guy named Ben Esteban a few weeks back and like so many people in this gig economy, we’re talking about how does he build the business on the side while taking care of his family while working in this job or overcoming whatever struggles come with the limiting beliefs, the fear, the doubt that goes with this when you’ve not done it before full time. These are conversations that I simply just love to have because I love pointing out a mindset and a map and a challenge on how to think differently about this journey. This is why as time goes on, to become less and less of a fan of school, even though I hated school when I was a kid, but now it’s almost worse because it’s just amazing how much the constraints of organized school puts on the creative mind of the people that want to become entrepreneurs and had that freedom of the work that they do and having the time to be able to spend with their families and do the work that they want at the same time.

And so much of the doubt comes in what was rooted from the past, from the process they need to follow in school. And then also their parents’ assumption that the way that public school taught us is the way that we need to live as adults. And to be really wary of taking chances, have to trust that this career where you essentially give up your freedom of time doing something that maybe you don’t love doing is the best option. And I just love that there’s an entrepreneurial vibe around young kids and seeing so many more people that want the control over their life and they get to decide what their income ceiling is. Not some boss in an office. So I was talking to Ben and he was talking about this business that he’s been doing and he’s really talented. He’s brilliant and building websites and on the tech side, but it hasn’t earned a whole lot of income yet.

And a friend of his mentioned, well, if it’s not making money, then it’s a hobby. And I’ve heard Dave Ramsey say the same thing and I couldn’t disagree more. The idea that if you’re not making money at the start of the business that you’re creating, then it’s a hobby to me is a short sighted employee type mindset because true artists and pioneers don’t think that way. And I’ll give you an example. I’ll give you a few examples. So I asked Ben, I said, what is your favorite band? And he said the Flaming Lips. So I asked him when the Flaming lips were recording their first album where they’re making money. He’s like, no, probably not. And when they were recording and they were doing their first tour and they were learning chords on their guitar and scales and they were learning how to create their crazy sound, experimenting and failing and trying, where they getting paid then for their music.

And the answer is no, but they were building something. They were building something that now has raving fans. So was that a hobby? I’d say no, it wasn’t a hobby. I’d say it was the foundation. It’s the foundation that we all need to build to grow that skyscraper of a business that we’re creating. And to view it just as a hobby is not taking it seriously to viewed as a hobbyist saying, Oh, this is something that’s a nice, cute little thing in the corner, patted on the head and say, do your, but it’s not real and it’s not serious and of course it’s real or serious. You want to take sports into this. That hockey player in juniors up in Northern Canada is busting his hump to get better, to skate just a little bit faster, to learn the angles to get just a little bit stronger.

Is that a hobby? Is that just a little joke of a thing that is never going to go anywhere? I guess it depends on how hard he works at it or how hard she works at it, but I would guarantee you that that person didn’t view it as a hobby and I think that person would probably be pretty pissed if somebody told them that the work that they’re putting in is just a hobby because it’s not making money right now. Not everything revolves around getting paid for it. Everything I’ve ever done in my career required me to do it for very little money or no money in the beginning. Let me give you another example. Very few people when they’re writing their first book are getting paid for it. They put in a year or two years of work, of solid work, of real work writing that book, blood, sweat and tears.

Maybe not blood but sweat and tears unless there’s a paper cut, then there might be some blood, but that is real work that is laying down that foundation for the future success. And then what happens is that author or that musician, that hockey player, when all of that work pays off and they keep going and they developed the habits and they develop the relationships and they’ve winning now and they’re making money, they’re making more money than they’ve ever made before, and then somebody will come up to them. Somebody that said it was a hobby in the past will come up and say, well, they’re lucky. And it had nothing to do with luck. It had to do with, they didn’t quit while they were building the foundation and they didn’t view their own work as a hobby. And I remember years ago I was listening to an interview with will, I am from the Black Eyed Peas and they were talking about their beginning and I always loved the stories of the beginning that’s so much more interesting to me than the major success.

But they were talking about the start of the Black Eyed Peas and they were working and they were trying and they weren’t getting paid and somebody said, you’re not getting paid for this. And he said, Oh yeah, we are just not yet. And that’s exactly how I want Ben, and I want you, if you’re in that spot to look at this, you’re getting paid just not yet. You keep doing this work and you will get paid handsomely. But it’s the people that quit because they think it’s a hobby that will never get paid. So Ben Esteban, thank you for our conversation. I’m so excited for where you’re going with this and you are getting paid just not yet. So continue to lay that foundation of your skyscraper, the future. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 150- Why I Just Invested $25,000 Into My Personal Growth

Why I just Invested $25,000 Into My Personal Growth

So last Tuesday I spent $25,000, actually a little bit more than $25,000. I’ve never made one single investment back into myself that big before. I’m recording this today putting it out there to let you know why. 

You hear me talking all the time about investing your money back into yourself, back into your growth and your progress and your development. Now traditionally we are trained that if you are going to invest money, you invest it for retirement and there are so many shows I want to do about this because I fight against that idea of retirement so passionately.

When I was an employee, I bought into that. I followed the lead. You know certain amount of my paycheck will go into my accounts, go into my investments, into the stock market and all that stuff, in compound growth and all that number have a couple million dollars when I retire. I will live frugally with what I do. I’m gonna go on a vacation or two about how it’s all said and done, I will amass a nice chunk of money then use that money to early bird dinners. give grandkids too many gifts. So, what I saw was a whole lot of people in their 30s and 40s and they barely really had money to invest on things that they really wanted to do. Entrepreneurs that really want to go to a great conference or get coaching on a certain area that would take them to the next level, training from a leader and their field of certain area. They could never afford it. But they made money. 

And it turned out it wasn’t that they can’t afford, it is just that they put their money in all these different areas and when they thought of investing they thought of retirement. Investing to them was putting money away now so that 30 or 40 years later, they’d have a bunch more money. then as I got in in this Entrepreneurial world and being around very successful entrepreneurs, I saw a way different approach. I saw some like Dan Miller from 48 days who was 70 years old, 71 years old and he invested heavily in himself. He wasn’t worried about retirement. At 70, he makes more money now than he ever did before and how did that happen? Because he kept investing in himself and his own growth that led to insane business success. It led to relationships and connections with other entrepreneurs that elevated and catapulted his existing business. Way more than the gains in the stock market were going to make 30 years down the road. 

Elizabeth and I talked about it. We said what do we trust more? The stock market or ourselves? And the answer was ourselves. So, we started taking some of the money that we would just blindly put into stocks and the stock market. We put that back into ourselves. We started hiring coaches, going to conferences, joining masterminds, connecting with entrepreneurs that we would never have been around if we weren’t in those situations. What we noticed was our business became more successful, much quicker. Not only that, we start to associate with some high rollers in the field. Some people that are really was doing some amazing stuff. And now because we invested in what they were doing, we were kind of on the inner circle. These people start endorsing our book, start talking about our business, start connecting us to the people and all the sudden you’re seeing it grow more and more. Then your income within a couple years starts exceeding the growth that you would’ve made in the stock market and now it’s all invested in yourself to grow even bigger and bigger. So, we thought, what do we need $4.8 million when we are 74 while we nickel and dime our way through our 30s, 40s and 50s. We need to keep investing in ourselves now. 

I’ve talked about it before that we want to invest at least 10% of our income back into ourselves for personal development and personal growth but each year we assess what’s the thing that that we’re going to do this year? What will we continue and what will we gonna add? Each year I try to find the next thing that were gonna grow, that I’m gonna focus on. And for me, for 2020 is public speaking. 

Each year I choose a new thing that we’re going to grow. It was the book one year, it was the mastermind. It was the membership, it was the podcast and you get all those things to the optimal level and then you choose the next one. We recently have a branding expert Mike Kim on the call for the Total Life Freedom mastermind and he told me a very similar in his career last five or six years. So, I decide public speaking is what I am really going to focus on. With everything built and in place, that is the logical next step to pay attention to. And I had signed up for Heroic Public Speaking, which just happened last Monday and Tuesday. It was Heroic Public Speaking course run by Michael Port and Amy Port. it was absolutely fantastic. 

Michael wrote the book Book Yourself Solid. He wrote the book Steal The Show. They are both trained actors. He is from NYU. Amy from Yale. I signed up earlier this year for a two-day intensive training called Heroic Public Speaking Course. It is the base thing that they offer. So, I traveled last Monday and Tuesday to Lambertville, New Jersey, with about 70 other incredible people that are all looking speak and Amy and Michael put on a clinic and I am not one that looks for the upsell. I am very careful. Everybody’s gonna upsell I’m always waiting for the angle of the hook on it. 

But the funny thing about this one as I knew the upsell was coming and I knew I was ready for it. I already talked to my friend Brad Ritter who just went through this as well and I knew what they are going to offer. Not only did I know what they are going to offer, I’ve already brought it up to Elizabeth and told her the price. I told the commitment and she understood where I’m coming from. She said to me if you like what you see over these two days and the dates for the live meetings lined up for us, let’s seriously consider it. And I went to day one and after day on, I am not a sucker, I’m really not a sucker for these things, but after day one, I saw the commitment and the professionalism and all the people they had helped. I’m friends with people like John Vroman who went through the sorority and raved about it. So, it is one of those things where almost like Here take my money. 

By day two, they offered it up and what it is is a seven-month immersive training into not just being a public speaker, but a performer like they talk about. And not to go too deep into details but the first three months is working with a writing coach and getting your keynote presentation just rock-solid. And then the next four months gets even more intense, which is where you go to the business side of speaking. You go through your live presentation. Every detail is gonna be worked on and I knew just watching them and seeing the result of the people that come out there, this is where I need to go. But man it’s $25,000. 

As I drove from Pittsburgh to Lambertville and I wasn’t that far out of New Hope, Pennsylvania. I drove past the car dealership and at that dealership I saw a bunch of people in there. A few of them probably buying cars and the price tag. I’m sure of many of those cars hovered around $25,000 if not a lot more. I thought about our culture and how buying a $25,000 car with all these payments and interest is just a given. It’s something that nobody would even bat an eye out when you told him that and it’s almost as if you don’t spend that much, that you are doing something wrong. You need a reliable car. I think of it this way that I want a reliable career. 

But after Michael and Amy gave the information about what they’re offering and they handed out the forms before they’ve even finished giving the final ending to the pitch, I handed them my application with all the information to sign me up. When I told a few friends later on, they seemed like wow they were just stunned it. Stunned in a good way, it’s just that they hadn’t done that before. I thought about the comparison between the car and Heroic Public Speaking Grads program. If I have taken that money and bought a car, I would have a lot of congratulations and “Oh it’s a beautiful car.” There will be no shock and there be no surprise. And three years later, that cars going to be worth around $10,000 or $11,000. It’s going to go down in value every minute that I own it. 

But this other thing that seems so crazy to people that most people probably haven’t done which taken $25,000 and investing it back in your own growth, in your own future and in your own career. I fully expect with my hard work and their teaching to at least 10X this investment. I have very little doubt that by doing this that it should get me in due time, $250,000 with paid speaking gigs because of it. I want to be clear I’m not making this about making money, about just having wealth or luxury. This is not what is about. It’s really about how we choose to use our money. 

So, I have a membership program within Total Life Freedom and it’s $50 a month at this moment. It’s interesting how many people will say to themselves I can’t afford $50 a month and I rarely have any conversation about that to try to talk to anybody out of that. I could debunk that for just about anybody in a minute. If somebody said they can’t afford $50 a month, if I want to challenge it I would say How many times have you been to Starbucks is month? How much did you spend eating out? Netflix, cable, beer whatever you want to go, it comes down to that money is hardly ever the issue. 

The real issue is where do you choose to put your money? Do you choose to put into things that gives you short term satisfaction? Or do you choose to put into things that give you long-term success? It really is quite ironic when you think about college that let’s give our kids $120,000 to spend on education when they’re 18 to 22 on things that they’re not even sure that they want to learn. But after we come out of college, we are never going to invest on the things that we want to do to grow that we do want to learn. So, I truly believe that we have a mindset shift that is a culture that needs to be twisted back. Because like Dan Miller, if I invested myself now and continue growing my thing, there’s going to be very little need for retirement money because I will be making more money when I’m 70 that I’ve ever done in my life because my business and myself kept getting better. 

So, I say all this as a challenge to myself to put in front of you because I want to take you on this journey with me. I start this program January 31st and I am recording as the very beginning where I just invested that money there’s been no return yet. And I want to do this periodically, time after time, I’m giving you updates. Not only on the progress of what we are doing but eventually on the progress of the business side of the speaking. Because I’d love to prove in real time how valuable this is. And if I can show you that when I can invest this money in myself at this point with no ROI, no real concrete numbers of what I will get out of this but the belief that this is where I need to go, the progress will be made in real time. So yeah, we are $25,000 lighter and I couldn’t be happier. I hope that you follow this journey along with me. I will talk to you tomorrow.