Episode 210- Who Are You Repelling?

We are taught so much in this culture to think about what we attract and how to do all the things that we need to do to attract the things that we want in our life. A couple of years ago, if you remember there was the whole law of attraction thing that broke out. This was obviously a lot of talk about attracting the right things for your life. But I want to talk to you about the opposite of that, which is where I always tend to go when it comes to something of pop culture or popular opinion. So I don’t want to talk to you today about what you’re attracting. I want to talk to you today about what you’re repelling and I’ve come to pay attention to this more in my own life as the years go on. Cause I talked to somebody recently who was struggling in their business and in their personal life and in a moment of reflection and almost a bit of self pity, this person said, I always seem to attract the wrong people and that’s what it kinda hit me, that we’re kind of like magnets.

If you think of yourself like a magnet, if you constantly seem to be attracting the wrong people, if what you do or your vibe or the choices that you make, the places that you go, if they attract a certain type of people that you’re not really happy with and you think of yourself like a magnet, who brings these people in. The magnet not only attracts but it repels, but it does not repel the same thing. It repels the opposite. So I started talking to this person and I know that they’ve got a lot of great connections in their life. I know that they’ve got some smart, supportive family members and I wondered what those people thought about what she’s doing. And this thinking was kind of an experiment. So I didn’t let her in on what I was thinking about. I was just curious and asked these questions cause I know some really good quality people she’s been associated with and she kind of dismissed them, mentioned that she’d grown apart from a bunch of those people and they don’t get back to her as much.

And it was obviously there was a little bit of resentment there maybe a lot of resentment. And that’s when it hit me that she was kind of playing it for chance and just an oddball thing that she just seems to attract the wrong people. But it wasn’t a coincidence. I realized it was not by chance that she was not only attracting the wrong type of people, but she was repelling the right type of people. And they’re one in the same. So have you ever met that successful person that seems to know everybody has tons of great connections, is always being helped or propped up or supported by a network of generous people. But at the same time they had their haters and the people that grumble about them and talk about them. Oftentimes there are people from this person’s past and even though they were once good friends and they hung out all the time, not only do they not see each other as much anymore, but neither side really wants to hang out with the other one anymore.

And what this person has done is that they’ve learned to attract the person that they want to be around the person that’s going to lift them up and challenge them, not allow them to make excuses, not allow them to quote unquote do what they’ve always done. These people have higher standards for themselves and the people that they’re around. So by being in that company, it lifts everybody up. But again, that’s the attraction side. What’s the repelling side? The repelling side are the people that don’t want anything to do with the repelling side for this person. Are the people that still want to act like they’re still in high school or college. They’re the ones that don’t want to do the work or take the responsibility and they’re the ones that certainly don’t want your opinion on how they could do things better. And what happens so often in this situation is the person that’s being repelled against gets angry and get spiteful and all it does is prove this idea a little bit more because the more you disassociate with those people, the more attractive it’s going to be to the other side because those people don’t want to be around the complainer’s if they’re striving to be better and to not make excuses.

The more they do that, the more they’re going to want to be away from the people that do. And I truly think our childhood makes this so difficult for us as adults because a lot of times we think we don’t even have the choice to do this. Why? Because when you were in fourth grade, did you have any choice of who sat next to you? Did you have any choice about the people that were in your class? The only time you kind of saw it was during lunch or recess and it’s pretty interesting, at least from what I remember that I didn’t hang out with the same people at lunch that I hung out with in class. But school for me was the perfect example as well because I repelled a lot of people. I repelled people that tried in school because I didn’t and because of that I attracted a whole lot of people that didn’t care either.

And for lack of a better term, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, whether that’s financially, relationally or health wise, but for the most part we didn’t have a choice about who we can hang out with. So then we become adults and we still wind up hanging out with the same people that we’ve hung out with for 15 years. Even though we know they’re not good for our lives. When you are a knucklehead, you attract knuckleheads when you have very little ambition, but to go to work and to drink on the weekends, I can tell you that the person that wants to get up and go to the gym at 5:00 AM and then wants to work on their business and talk about ideas and things that they can grow from, does not want to hang out with the person that staying up till two 30 drinking.

Then watching TV the next day complaining about their kids and their spouse and just talking about how life sucks. It is not only not a coincidence, but it’s a fact that you’re going to repel from each other and this is why families struggle so much. Just because you were born into the same family does not mean you’re not going to repel each other. It’s easy to decide that I don’t want to hang out with that friend anymore or that group of people when you’re an adult because you know there are no good for you. Or if you’re on the opposite side that these people are no longer fun and you don’t like the conversations that they have, but when it’s family, it’s way more of a challenge and a whole different episode to talk about. But I really want you to think about this. I want you to think about not only the people that you are attracting in your life, the people that want to be around you, but who are the people that you’re repelling from your life are the people that you’re repelling successful, but you feel that they’re too good for you now, but at the same time, you’re attracting people that don’t have very much ambition and they’re kind of negative.

I hate to tell you this, but that’s not about those people. That’s about you. You are the magnet that is attracting these types of people and repelling those types of people. So we need to decide what kind of a magnet we’re going to be and realize what type of people we’re attracting, and just as importantly, what type of people are we repelling? I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 209- Are You Willing To Sacrifice Comfort For Change?

So I had a really funny conversation with my brother a few years back that wasn’t funny in terms of laughs and jokes, but it was funny in terms of how it turned out and how we differed in so many different opinions, but also having deep conversations where you can know each other a little bit better. Now, my brother Steve and I are 19 months apart. He’s 19 months older than me, so I always kind of had an inferiority complex. I always felt like I wasn’t good enough. I think that’s the second borns role because a lot of times the firstborn usually does everything before the second born. They walk first, they talk first, they go to school, they have certain experiences. I’m a second born. When they come and they watch and they see their older sibling doing all these things, and I’ve heard it said before that when the firstborn takes a role and often as the case, the firstborn is the one that’s going to be the good soldier is going to follow along is going to be the pleaser to the parents.

And the second born comes along and says, huh, well that role’s taken and I’m never going to be as good as that one because there are always going to be ahead of me. So I guess my way to find the attention is to go the opposite direction and cause more trouble. So if you’re a second born or you have a second born that’s like that. That’s part of the reason why and that’s who I am now. I didn’t have a third sibling, but as a parent we now have three. And what happened so often with the third is they go, okay, the rule followers taken, the troublemakers taken, I’m going to make everybody laugh and be the comedian. So whether it’s the third or the fourth, the youngest is generally, often the funny one of the group. Now obviously miles may vary. This is not set in stone, but it’s amazing as you talk to parents and to kids how often this is actually true.

So my brother growing up was very smart. He’s witty, he’s very talking about going. And I had to navigate my way through that cause I always felt like my comments and my opinion didn’t hold as much water because I wasn’t as experienced or smart as Steve was. And then I get embarrassed and I clam up and if I didn’t clam up I would act up because that’s what got me the attention. So it was a long time before I felt comfortable articulating my thoughts to my brother and getting a response back that was respected after awhile and learning how to not clam up in certain situations and learn how to stand up to my brother. Cause my brother is very opinionated and he’s smart so he can be very dominant in conversations. But there came a point where I finally felt like I held my own and I can articulate and I credit my debating abilities and my ability to have these conversations to how difficult it was to talk to him because without saying it this way, he challenged me to be better cause he wouldn’t accept my ramblings or just the silly things that I blurred out.

I love my brother, but he wasn’t the nurturing, you know, pull me under your wing and kind of say, listen man, you could do this a little bit like this or do it like that. It was done tough. Found myself a couple of years ago at his house and we were talking about a bunch of different social things, situations going on in the news in society and quite often politically we’re very different. Different ideologies and started talking about Amazon and I have no idea why we started this conversation, but he started railing about how these workers at Amazon, how they’re treated so poorly and how there needs to be regulations to get these workers to have better conditions is single. He has no kids. I’m married with three kids. He is way more up to date with the news than I am. And especially with pop culture. He knows the movies, the shows.

He’s a lighting tech on Broadway. So he gets a cool job and he gets to watch television all the time while he’s working. And I’m hardly ever watching television so he can talk for hours about things that I have no idea about. So we wind up in these interesting conversations and he’s telling me about Amazon, these workers and about how they have to wait 45 minutes before they can leave. So everything gets checked and it’s just not right cause they’re not getting paid for it. And I’m asking more, he gets the sources from where he’s watching this, where it’s reading about it, a citing all these examples and he’s talking about how he thinks government should step in and change this. And I disagreed because of the in facts. He gave me up. To me, it wasn’t the government’s place to come in. I am very much an advocate for personal responsibility.

And Steve flat out said he disagreed with that because in the world that I grew up in, if I didn’t like my job, I needed to go find another job and trust me, I’ve had my share of crappy jobs where I need to leave one minimum wage job for another. I understand, and I’d been in business long enough to know how businesses run and how businesses are affected and Steve’s been an employee, a successful employee for his entire life. So we come from two different worldviews on this. But it was great because we can have this really intense conversation, but it never got heated and never got angry. We never got mad at each other. We just debated. But I listened very intently to what he was saying and what his purpose of, of what he wanted. And you really want a government regulation to come in and corral these big businesses so that they treat their employees better, which is noble.

You want these people to be treated better, to have a better life. But I challenged back that you’re not going to change business that way very often because laws are often written by the business owners, right or wrong, and they will always find a way around it, some type of loophole. But what business owners care about is profit. How does it affect their bottom line, especially these big businesses. So my side of it was, if you feel this way, the best way to affect businesses and make them pay attention is by affecting their wallet. So I kind of saw what was going on. I sat back, I was one of the first times that I got to do this with my brother cause he always had the upper hand in these conversations. I sat back and I listened to him essentially how bad Amazon was, how they were doing all these things wrong, how it needs to be changed.

And I finally got him to see that. Really the only way it’s going to change is if people stopped buying from Amazon. So I asked him how struggle he felt about this and he said very strongly, and I asked him when was the last time you bought from Amazon? And he was in the kitchen and I was in the living room and I heard silence and then he peeked his head around the corner and he smiled. He said, today, I said, when was the last time before that? And he kind of nodded his head and he said, today it turns out that he buys from Amazon multiple times a day. So I said, that’s great that you want to change the world. I love your heart in this for these employees, but in my opinion, you’re going to make much more of a change if you are willing to give this up yourself.

If you’re willing to give up Amazon and make a difference one person at a time and create a movement, even a small one behind your own principles. Because to me that would be inspiring. Somebody willing to do that. Somebody’s willing to give up their own personal sacrifices, their own comfort for the betterment of others, because I can tell you, you’re much more likely to do something there. Then you aren’t getting the government to change their laws to affect Amazon, especially if you’re not willing to run for office. And in the end, he said he wasn’t willing to stop using Amazon and we had dinner. We laughed about the irony of the conversation, but it really made me think, not just about Steve, but about anybody that wants to make a change in this world. It’s easy to blame the government. It’s easy to blame politicians, and we all have beliefs and what we feel should be better and how things can be done better.

That conversation made me think, am I willing to give up the comforts in my life? If those comforts go against something that I believe in, and if I’m not or you’re not, that’s fine, but we gotta be okay saying it out loud and realize that there is a hypocrisy that comes with that because it’s easy to preach. It’s easy to talk. It’s easy to go on social media and say what you don’t like about something, but are you willing to give up the comfort to make that change? It is not always easy, but if you truly believe in it, if you truly think that something’s gotta be done and you mean it, it should be worth the sacrifice that you’ve got to go through. Just something to think about. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

January 30th Newsletter- Why Money Is Always Abundant

Last week, I had a conversation with a friend who has been struggling to earn more income. He said that no matter what he tried it wasn’t getting better. And with each opportunity that was presented on how he could get out of this hole, he mentioned the reasons why he either couldn’t do them or didn’t want to do them. 


I mentioned that he didn’t have a problem finding ways to make money. He had a problem choosing to the do the work that made the money. The money is there. The money is always there. 


I have a saying that I mention often to people in this situation. 


Do the work that you have to do, so that you can then do the work that you want to do. 


But so many people want to only do work they love- the work that they are passionate about- even when they are struggling. And if you know me, you know that doing the work that you love is so important to leading a happy life. But there are times when we just need to go make the money. And it’s not as difficult as so many make it out to be. 


That is because if you don’t have the money, there is always an opportunity for you to do what someone else doesn’t want to do. And for those who have the money, there are always things that they don’t want to do that they want to pay others to do for them. 


Courtney Wisley, an automation guru and a member of the Total Life Freedom Mastermind and Community, led a call to show the members of TLF how to automate much of their business to free up time and opportunities in their lives. It was a mind bending call for so many of us, and some of us that thought we were doing really well had our eyes opened to what we were missing. 


Wisley went through dozens of examples, but when my wife Elizabeth watched the replay, one really jumped out at her. When the conversation about Instacart took place, where they do your food shopping and deliver it to your door, Elizabeth got excited. At first, I thought, how lazy are we getting? We can’t buy our own food?


But Elizabeth convinced me quickly that her time was so much more valuable being with the kids or working on the business. And she was absolutely right. And four hours later, a nice woman showed up at our door with bags full of food that Elizabeth specifically chose online. It’s exactly what she would have gotten, and she didn’t need to drive there, lug the kids or buy any last second impulse items. 


As cool as that was, I thought about my friend who was struggling. And I thought about the woman that delivered the food. She was willing- and happy- to do the work that we didn’t want to do. And we were not only happy to pay her, but she got a really nice tip because she was that helpful to us. 


And that evening it was clear to me that money is always abundant. It’s free flowing through peoples hands and bank accounts. It’s always there. If you are into audio, someone has a podcast that they don’t want to edit. Someone doesn’t want to deal with their investments, or build the addition on their house, or clean their office. 


Remember- there’s always someone who wants to do what you don’t want to do, and you can always make money doing something for someone doing what they don’t want to do.

Episode 208- The Parasites

So our children, for whatever reason, love to study bugs, bugs and insects and animals. That’s when they love the outdoors and they really enjoy when we travel. So we’re clear to make that a part of our homeschool adventure because as we want for you, there is a benefit to living a life of time, freedom, money freedom and location freedom. So I haven’t talked about it much, but we are on a three month family road trip as we speak. We just wrapped up a month in st Augustine, Florida. They’re now exploring the Gulf shores of Alabama and orange beach, Alabama for a month. And then we’re heading over to Hilton head, South Carolina for a month there. So as you can imagine in those locations, there’s plenty of bugs, plenty of wildlife to explore and to learn from. And with those crazy little creatures come some good and some bad.

And as they learn and we learn about what these things eat about, what harms them, a word that comes up every once in awhile is a parasite. As soon as you hear that word, you go, Oh, that’s not a good thing. And I looked up the definition of a parasite. And is this an organism that lives in or on an organism of another species? It’s host and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense. And I realized that there are parasites, not just in the bug and insect world, but in the human world. But in the human world, they sometimes are not as easy to locate and define as they are in the bug world. And as some of you know, part of what I get to do in my career is run a community for entrepreneurs and freelancers, the community where we come together to help each other, to raise everybody up.

And the number one word that I use on purpose when I interview people for this community is generous. It’s not successful, it’s not driven. It’s not about people being rock stars before they come in. It’s about generous people that understand that by coming in and by helping other people and by being a supportive part of a community, one that’s going to lift the other people up, one that looking to help other people. That is how a strong community flourishes. But what’s essential when you’re building a community is to make sure that the parasites stay away. And if you’re not careful, you’re going to get some parasites that sneak in there just as they do in the world of insects and bugs. But if you are part of a community, which I’m sure you are or you want to run a community would you might be looking to do, it’s imperative that you’re able to identify who and what the parasites are as quickly as possible.

And that’s what I want to talk to you about today because sometimes we’re so interested in building that community and maybe building a bigger or stronger that we lose sight of the parameters of the type of people that we want in there and not just what we want in there, but the type of people that will engage and enhance and strengthen that community because it’s just like they say one bad Apple can spoil the whole bunch, just a few parasites can really disrupt and harm your community. I’m going to give you an example of this and one that I had to learn from within my own community. So I interview every person that comes in. Just because they’re paying doesn’t mean that they automatically get admission into our group, into our community. It’s a very delicate ecosystem. I’m very serious about it and the community is only as good as the people in it.

I lead it, but it’s about them. They make up what the group is about. We’ve had a great guy named Anthony will ever join the community and the mastermind recently, and he messaged me to tell me what a great community of people are, generous and supportive and how many people have reached out to them, how many phone calls he’s already had and he’s only been in for two weeks and he’s been in other business communities. He knows how important it is to have that and that’s what I value are people that value that because he notices the quality of the people around and it’s the old Jim Rome quote. You’re the average of the five people that you spend the most time with and it’s an older corporate. It becomes more and more important every day, but then you have the parasites and I had an example where I should have known better but I let charisma getting away.

But a little while back I had somebody who was joining total life freedom and they said something to me that should have been a red flag, but because this person had charisma and some success, I unintentionally overlooked it and they said this, when they join a new community or a mastermind, their purpose is to come in, extract as much information as they could possibly get and then leave and go on to the next one. And as I say that out loud, it makes me just shiver a little bit, but I didn’t pick up on it immediately cause they didn’t say my purpose is to come in to be supportive other people to try to be the best help that I could possibly be. Lift the community up because we all know when you do that it lifts you up and like we said before, helpful people want to help helpful people.

That is what I look for now because I’ll ask people how are you going to help the community before they join? And some people are like, wait, what do you mean I’m paying you? I want to get something out of this. I say, Oh yes you will. But if everybody here is just looking to figure out what they can get out of it and not what they can give, that is not a strong community and that’s what I’m building. If that’s not right for you, get a one on one coach to figure out what you need to do as quickly as possible. But that’s not a healthy member of the community. But this person that said that did just that they came in, they took what they needed, they made the connection they needed, they got the information that they needed and they left. And I don’t care if it’s an online business community, whether it’s something in school or if it’s just in your everyday real life community.

The only person that benefits from that type of a thing in the short term is the person coming in and taking. You come through town, you get as much as you can, you get what you want and then you leave and that’s being a parasite. So this is the lesson to learn here and it goes both ways to begin with. If you’re in a community or you’re running a community, you’ve got to be able to keep your eye out for the parasites to not allow them in. And if unfortunately you let them in, get them out before they cause more damage. But also if you’re a driven person that’s got goals for yourself, big dreams, big ambitions. The point here is to pay attention and don’t that parasite don’t be the one looking to come in and get what you need. Get out. Now, not all communities are going to be a fit.

Sometimes it’s just not going to be the right fit and you’re going to go. But if you’re in it, make it better. Contribute to the people in there, but don’t be the one that makes it worse. And it’s like the old saying, it’s what we say with our kids when we go somewhere, when we go for a hike on a nature trail. With that, we say, don’t leave a trace. Correct. But in any other venture, whenever you do this, whenever you’re involved in other people’s lives, other people’s communities, make sure it’s better because you’re in there and when you’re gonna leave, make sure it’s better than when you went into it. So the simplest message is, don’t be a parasite. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 207- My Opinion on the FIRE Movement

I had the absolute pleasure a few weeks ago to speak at a campfire event. It was the Southeast campfire event in Gainesville, Florida. Oh, camp fi is a three to four day event now they’re run by a great guy named Steven barrier. And with the recommendation of my friend Christine Wheatley, I got the opportunity to speak at this great event and I got to spend the weekend with 60 great people having intense fun conversations. And in the middle of it giving a presentation, which is the lead in for the book that I’m writing that will come out next. So we all have different opinions on what financial independence is. So if you read my book and know our story way back, we found Dave Ramsey, we decided to pay off our debt, follow his lead and pay off our house, get completely debt free. And that was all 12, 13 years ago.

But in recent times there’s been this fire movement, not just financial independence, but fire stands for financial independence, retire early. As much as I love the world of financial independence and I preach about it. I am not particularly a fan of the fire movement because I don’t believe in retirement, at least not for myself. And I don’t understand it for young people. Now, if you’ve been in a career for 40 years and you’re burnt out and you’re tired and you’re ready to stop because you’ve been working so hard for all those years, I understand that. But in this day and age, I’m seeing people in their thirties that are looking to retire and I asked them, what does that mean? It means they don’t want to work anymore. And I’m confused by that because I don’t understand. To me, I want to have purpose in my life beyond leisure and purpose comes from the work that we do and the people that we help with the work that we do.

So I try and understand more why people want to just stop working. Cause if you’ve ever stopped working for a month, which we’ve done and you stay at the beach for a month, which we’ve done, you’ll eventually get incredibly bored, especially at a young age when you still have so much to give and to add. So I’m really good at being the contrarian. I’m really good at asking questions that might annoy some people or might challenge some people. It doesn’t bother me at all because I really love deep conversations whether people agree with me or not, I’m not looking for people to agree with me. I’m looking to understand. So I want to ask people about the fire movement and retirement. I heard a lot of answers that sounded similar and I started to see a pattern. And then one day at lunch I got into a conversation with a great woman named Lauren Tang and she runs a podcast called in love and money.

And we started talking about the whole fire movement. And I told her my issues with the whole thing and she cited all these people that retired at whatever, 32 years old and they live on $22,000 a year. And I was like, okay. And, and one of them is this guy named mr money mustache. It’s a ridiculous sounding name, but he’s one of the financial gurus in this space. And she explained how he lives on 20 again $22,000 a year and he’s retired and he does what he wants. And I had heard of them, but I’ve never really followed him very much. So I asked them questions about them because he’s a leader in the retirement early movement and I kind of acted like a six year old like I do when I ask questions sometimes, I’m just curious. And I’m like, so he lives on $22,000 a year.

How do you know about him? And she’s like, well, he’s got a really successful blog. And I was like, Oh well does he write the blog? And she said, yeah, he writes the blog. So it’s obviously pretty well known since, you know of him and everybody knows of him. Oh yeah, it’s a huge blog. He does speaking and all this stuff. I said, does he make money off of this? I just say he means a lot of money. It’s a very profitable blog and platform. And I said, okay, well then he’s not retired. And she’s like, yeah, but he says he’s retired. And I’m like, well, he writes the blog and he speaks and he earns income from it. Correct. And she started laughing. She’s like, yeah, well he’s not retired so it doesn’t make very much sense. And she said, well, you know, he used to do something.

He had a job he didn’t like. He got out of it. So that’s where the retirement comes from. I’m like, that’s great. That’s a pivot. You went from one career to something different. But again, it’s not retirement. And we had a lot of laughs during discussion. That was not a heated discussion at all. We were having a great talk. It was mutually respectful, but I said, this is where I think the movement’s gotten wrong because so many people are looking to retire. But to me it’s a very selfish proposition. Retirement means I’m going to get as much as I can get for myself. I could take in as much money, I can put it in an account, it’ll make me my 4% that I could live off of and I never really have to do or produce anything any longer. And trust me, there are a lot of people in this movement that do not feel this way.

But the overriding theme is how do I get enough money so that I have what I need and that I’m good. So I told her and others my opinion of it, just my opinion is that it’s a very selfish way of looking at life and at money. My perspective on financial independence is this, I want to be financially secure. I want to have all my debts paid for. I want to have my money in my account, making me money, building us wealth so that not only don’t have to worry about money, but that I can be generous with my money and maybe most importantly it allows me to do the work that I want to do because I believe in work. I believe work helps other people and when you don’t need to do it for the money, you get to realize very quickly that all the selfish goals that we have that I’ve had are pretty empty and I’ve had them all and I’ve accomplished them a lot and my happiness doesn’t come from that.

My happiness surprisingly didn’t come from my achievements. My happiness at this stage in my life, not thinking about money is helping other people achieve their goals and their life that they want. That’s why I do all this. So if I was going to pick up my ball and go home and say, I’ve got what I need, let me figure out how I can live on a certain percentage of the money that I have and make sure that I hold onto that money. That to me is a giant wasted opportunities. And I learned some of this from Dan Miller who was a mentor of mine and he was talking to another wealthy person. I won’t name their name, but pretty much they were in that position. They made a lot of money. They were retired and he challenged them. He said, Oh good, you’ve got enough for you and now you’re going to stop.

And it stopped that person in their tracks because the way you said it in a smart but challenging way was you’ve made enough money for yourself. Your life is going to be good, your life and your family is going to be happy. You’re no longer going to use your skills and your talents, the gifts that you’ve been given to create more wealth, to build more money, to enrich your community and to use the things that you’ve learned to make yourself better, to make those people around you better. And I can tell you it had a profound effect on that person. So we’re all in different communities, different groups. But it doesn’t mean that we always have to agree with everything that’s said in that thing that’s more like a cult. And that’s what was so refreshing about this conversation this weekend where that people were open to being challenged on what the norm is.

And even to the point that Jonathan and Brad from choose FI, they don’t say fire in their name cause it’s about financial independence, not necessarily about financial independence, retire early. And what I told them in my own way is I think the acronym fires would hurt people because it was so catchy and it was so clean fir a fire that some people might’ve lost. Focus on what it really means to retire early because I don’t believe in retiring by, I believe in pivoting where if you don’t like what you’re doing, get yourself financial independence that you can pivot out of one thing into the other thing that you really want to do. Cause I told them when I’m 88 I’m still going to be creating, I’m still going to be making things and helping people and earning income. And I don’t plan on fading away.

I plan on keep doing this too. I’ll be making more money when I’m 75 than I am now. I’m not about to slow down because when you slow down, you start dying to so many of the people ask me, they want to hear my opinion on the fire movement. And it came together in this weekend that was packed full of awesome people, interesting conversations and wonderful friendships that had just started. So if you have a chance to ever go to one of these, I highly recommend it. Go to camp.org they’ve got events this year in Virginia, Colorado, Joshua tree, California, which I really would love to go to cause I love campfire. And I also love Joshua tree and in Texas and Minnesota. So check it out if you’re interested, campfire.org and until then, we’ll continue on a life of financial independence, but not retiring. Talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 206- Why Money Is Always Abundant

Just yesterday I had a long conversation with a friend who was telling me how much he was struggling financially. Now I’m not going to say his name because this show is not about him, but according to him, no matter how hard he tried, he was struggling to earn income. If you know me, I’m not a woe is me type of thing. I want to figure out solutions. I want to find out ways to make things better. And I kept running against a brick wall in terms of ideas and things that he wanted to do or things that he didn’t want to do. And I get it. I don’t want to do work that I don’t want to do any more. And fortunately for us, after years of struggle, we’ve had a nice run for a long period of time where we can do that. But when times were tough, I couldn’t say those things.

I couldn’t look my kids in the eye while I was struggling. And while I knew we had no money to even contemplate not doing work that would have made us money, even if I didn’t wanna do it. Plus you button, make the money, create the freedom and the time and then go do the things that you really want to do. But this wasn’t getting through in that conversation. And this wasn’t a paid coaching call. This is a friendship call because I cared and at times they’re in the conversation. I wonder why I was still on the call cause he wasn’t really listening and ironic because I have people willing to pay me and when I give suggestions or advice they go and do it. And I have somebody that’s not paying me. It’s a friendship call. He’s not taking any of it really serious. And you finally get to the point where you kind of realize maybe he just wants to live in this land of excuses.

I dunno. But I came back after that conversation and I was on a call and our total life freedom community and Courtney wisely was a mastermind member. I was leading a call about automation and she is a wizard in automation. She runs a service called rescue my maids and she helps cleaning business owners, automate their services, automate all the things in their world. And in their business that they shouldn’t be doing or they should be doing more efficient and she helps them optimize their business. And she’s amazing so much that a couple of months ago she wasn’t getting paid for any of this consulting. And we joke around because when we first interviewed her for the mastermind, she said, I’m not a consultant. But three months later she’s getting $1,500 per person for these 10 person retreats. She’s doing them once a month, almost instant six figure income and beyond.

And on top of that, she’s being told that she could charge at least three times more than this. And then her and I got off of a call and brainstorm and the potential is much higher than that. So I got on this call to facilitate with Courtney as she teaches our community how they can automate their business in their life. And she described and explained so many different examples, apps in businesses that we can use, including clickable, which we’ve dove into and what she’s a master of, to automate so many of our systems and processes. But the one that hit home in our house that day after Elizabeth watched the call was how she automates her grocery shopping. And to me this seemed like one of the most ridiculous things. I mean, you really can’t go to the grocery store and buy your own groceries. I mean, how lazy are we going to get?

But when I saw my wife’s eyes light up as she went through the website and started seeing the options that were there and how convenient it was and how the price was and how much more valuable our time would be if she didn’t have to lug the kids to the grocery store and spend all that time back and forth, or we could just pay somebody to do that for us, because Elizabeth is heavily involved in his business, she does a lot of the backend work of our business. So what’s more valuable in my life, her taking care of the kids or teaching them while we homeschool or building the backend of the business or dragging the kids to the grocery store or a couple of hours at a time and she moves quick. So by the time the evening was over, she had an order placed and she was able to do last minute changes on it.

So she was pretty excited about this. And then two hours later, a nice lady showed up at our place with all of our groceries and we paid her a fee and we gave her a nice tip, answer quickly unloading all the groceries. Our collective thoughts were, wow, what other things can we do to make our lives more efficient and to eliminate the things we shouldn’t be doing to do the things that we should be doing. So some of you might already be doing this, but this was new to us and we loved the breakthrough. But that night I went over to the pool. I was on the phone talking to my friend Ken, and I hung up. I started walking back and I thought about my friend that I had the conversation with earlier in the day about how he was struggling and he couldn’t find work and money was always so tight.

And then I thought about Instacart, I thought about this woman that pulled up and did our grocery shopping for us. This woman that, Oh by the way was deaf, but she was making it happen and it made me realize that money is abundant. It’s flowing in the hands between people all the time. And it made me realize why, and it was perfectly explained what this interaction between us and this nice woman delivering groceries for us and what makes the economy go around and why there’s always money to be made is that somebody somewhere wants to do what you don’t want to do. And if you could swallow your ego in your pride at certain times in your life when you need the money, there’s always an opportunity for you to do what somebody else doesn’t want to do. If you have a podcast and you like doing the podcast, but you don’t want to edit the podcast, somebody somewhere is really excited to do that and get paid for it.

When your tree needs to be cut down in your yard, you probably shouldn’t do that. But guess what? People build businesses to do those things that you don’t want to do. So if you’re in that spot where you’re struggling for money, realize that maybe it’s your pride in your ego that’s preventing you from getting that money because everybody has the skill and the ability to at the minimum do something for someone that doesn’t want to do that thing. And I’m not sure if my friends listening to this, this might not get through to him, but maybe it’s going to get through to you or somebody that you know, it’s just a matter of are they willing to do that work. Understand I’m not just talking about small tasks like delivering groceries. There very, very successful people doing things in business that require an expert touch, that required technical and mental knowhow that either they don’t want to do or they don’t know how to do and they are willing to pay for it because by allowing you to do that work so they could do what they’re really good at, it makes them even more successful, which in turn will make you even more successful.

So remember out there, there’s always someone who wants to do what you don’t want to do, and you can always make money doing something for someone doing what they don’t want to do. By the way, if you knew the show and you haven’t gotten it, if you’d like an audio version of my book, freelance to freedom, I’ve recorded it and made it for free for anyone. So if you go to our website, total life freedom.com/f two F book, you can go there to download. It’s the entire book. And I hope you do it and I hope you love it. And I’ll.

Episode 205- Sushi And Kombucha

Sushi and Kombucha. So I thought, what’s the most obscure title I can come up with for a podcast? And there you go. It seems like it’s meaningless, but it’s not. I titled it that because last summer I had one on one time with my son, Nolan, and it was fantastic. There is nothing that our kids appreciate more than one on one time with one of us and we love it just as much. It’s the time that we get one-on-one uninterrupted without any of their brothers, without any distractions, without conversations between me and Elizabeth. It’s just face to face and they often don’t even care what we do. They just want that time. So on that day, Nolan and I went to go get sushi and sushi is his favorite. If he ever has the opportunity to choose, we’re going out to lunch or going out to dinner.

It’s always sushi or seafood. That is his preference. So there’s a sushi restaurant in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, which we’d never been to and I’d wanted to try it. It was called itchy bond and it sounds like it would be terrible, but they’ve got all you can eat sushi. My first year that I think about a gas station sandwich, but a lot of friends of ours loved that restaurant, had raving reviews. So I trusted that it wouldn’t be just crappy sushi. So we went and we ordered the all you can eat sushi. But earlier in the day Elizabeth went shopping and she bought two giant things of the trilogy. Kombucha. It was kind of, we both enjoy and we generally get the smaller bottles. But this time she got these giant jugs of kombucha. So I was so excited to see the giant supply of kombucha, but not just for the amount.

It’s generally $4 a bottle. This was like $8 for this giant jug. It’s like what a score. So I learned something this day about sushi and about kombucha. Cause normally when I get sushi I generally get one or two rolls, maybe three but I savor every bite of it. And you do that because you know it’s running out and I’ll use like the right amount of wasabi. And the right amount of soy sauce and ginger and I’m very aware when I’m eating it. I know I’ve got a couple of pieces left and I’m really careful of not just scarfing it down and making sure I enjoy it. It’s the same thing with the kombucha. When I open up that 16 ounce bottle, I know there’s not that much in there and it’s like four bucks for that thing and I’m going to savor every sip. But what I noticed that day was completely different.

No one, I both ordered the all you can eat sushi and I didn’t think the same way cause normally there’s a scarcity of the sushi and I’m enjoying every morsel of it. But instead as I was eating, I was eating, thinking there’s no end to this. I can always have more. So I wound up not enjoying it nearly as much. I wound up eating it, but while I was eating it I was thinking about the next one that I’m going to order. So I kind of just rushed through one thinking, yeah that was pretty good. But I was wondering what this one was like. And then I ordered the next one and try some of that. And it was much more about, volume was definitely much more about getting as much as I possibly could instead of just enjoying exactly what I had. And the same thing happened with the kombucha and it was real interesting because I’d walk into the kitchen, I open up the fridge, I’d pour a big glass of kombucha.

I wouldn’t even think about it, but I noticed as I was drinking it, I wasn’t even enjoying it. I noticed the same thing with the sushi. I wasn’t enjoying that either. I was just consuming it and I was consuming it in that way because I knew that there was no end to it. I knew that there was another giant jug in the refrigerator. If I want some more and with sushi, I knew there was someone on the other side ready to make me another role if I didn’t like this one or if I wanted something different. And it became a thing of just about abundance. And I wrote it in my book. When I recorded the audio book, it hit me and I thought, and I wrote that you can abuse abundance but you can’t abuse scarcity. And I’ve thought about that with the sushi and the kombucha because I abused the abundance and not only did I abuse it because I wound up having more than I should have because that never turns out to be a good thing.

But the thing was, I didn’t even enjoy it while I had it. If there was less, I would have savored it more. But when you have too much, when there’s always more there, it’s very easy to not appreciate that. And I see that in this world and oftentimes the people we talk to and work with, you see people that make good money, who don’t appreciate it because the Bund and it’s always going to be coming. You see a lot of people with their health, people who don’t have health issues, take it for granted when nothing’s going wrong. You don’t even know where the pain would come from. So you wind up taking it for granted how good you feel. And I see it a lot often to be honest with employees, not as much with entrepreneurs because the money to the employees is supposed to be there every two weeks.

That checks can have a certain amount of money in it and you expect it. You know, if you make 130 grand, you’re expecting to get 130 grand and you’re going to spend that money and I’m going to spend it all on, still not going to be enough. Now I need to earn more and I need to work more as opposed to appreciating what we have. And I’m doing this as a warning to me and to you to not take for granted what you have now and to enjoy what you’ve got. Enjoy this time that you have with your kids, enjoy the money that you’re making, enjoy your health that you have and to use it wisely and appreciate it. Because what happened to me was with the sushi and kombucha, I wound up not appreciating it and I learned what the kombucha that I would have enjoyed that one 16 ounce bottle weigh more than that large 64 ounce bottle that I went up consuming and I’ll enjoy the sushi more if I have known it was just three rolls because I had a greater appreciation of the scarcity of it.

Now this isn’t against ambition. We’re always going to strive for more. We’re always going to look to get better. We’re always going to be pulled by the challenge of achieving and attaining what we haven’t done yet. But I want to warn against getting fat and lazy and ungrateful, and if we don’t appreciate what we have in front of us while pushing to get more and to get better, and I don’t know why, but I’ve got a sudden craving for sushi. So maybe some one on one time is in the cards coming up. I’ll be back with you tomorrow.

Episode 204- Where Are The Medals?

Back in November, I got to spend a couple of days in Lambertville, New Jersey doing some deep learning at the public, speaking with Michael and Amy port and 70 of my newest friends at heroic public speaking. And now I am set to kick off their grads program, which will be an intense six months. But I don’t want to talk about that today. I want to talk about somebody I met there and something she said in passing that really hit me at the end of the second day, about eight of us gathered for an amazing dinner at a New Orleans style restaurant called Marcia Brown. And we had a private room and we were so loud and boisterous even though there were only six or seven of us that we really needed it. Cause I’m sure the noise was blasting out to the main part of the restaurant. But one of the people, this woman named Indrani, I could see how much energy and passion she had during those two days at core.

And during that conversation she mentioned casually how she would be in Rome and a couple of weeks and meeting the Pope. And I was stunned by how casually she said this. I was like, really? You’re going to go meet the Pope? It jarred my memory. If you haven’t heard episode six of the total life freedom podcast, go back and listen to that. So of course I had to tell my story about wanting to shoot the Pope. And if you haven’t heard it, it’s not what you think. So when Johnny told us about the Pope and we’re all so intrigued and excited for the conversation, got really deep and we started talking about family and at times, politics, speaking business and everything else. And we’re talking about our kids and how we raised them. They were asking me questions about homeschooling and it was truly a special night. But I remember a conversation with Indrani that stuck in my head and she was talking about her and her husband and their relationship and how much better it is now.

But she talked and looked back on all the times when it wasn’t so great. And she talked about how much they fought and disagreed and how strong willed she was and she was going to have to fight and get her way. And they both did that and they argued back and forth and often it would happen in front of the kids and just how there was so much pride involved. And she looked back on that and she looked back on the arguments and the disagreements and the time and the frustration and she had a sense of anger inside of her. She said, we fought so much and we fought so hard and we always tried to win and she shook her head and her lip curled up and she said, we’re all the metals. And I kinda was like, what? What did she just say?

She looked in my eyes and the intensity was real and she said, where are all the metals? When you fight for something and you want to win, there should be a metal. But when we fought with each other, there were no metals, nobody won. And I had truly never thought of it that way. Where are the metals? It really made me think like what do you get out of fighting with the people that you love? And I think that’s what she was trying to say. There was no reward for it. And I thought about it later as I was going back to the hotel. When you fight with your spouse or somebody that you love, when you win, do you really win? And if so, what did you win? And as somebody who’s a notorious fighter, somebody that grew up battling, cause I didn’t feel like I got respect, I didn’t feel like people took me seriously and I felt like I had to prove somebody wrong.

So I fought at times physically, but most of the time, verbally and mentally and I think of all the fights and all the disagreements and all the heartache and all the hurt feelings and the damage or destroyed relationships. And I thought about what Indrani said. Yeah, I want a lot of those fights. But where are the metals? Where are the awards? I realized I got my way often, but not only did I not get any reward for it, I actually damaged something because of it. And it’s hard when you’re a fighter to just stop fighting. And I had to think about that a lot and I had to think about why I fought, why I felt the need to go into battle so often and to look back on some of the relationships that were damaged from it, including my parents. Which is interesting because in childhood and as an adult we’ve had our battles, but it really made me think as much as I thought I was right in so many of these situations, what metal was I winning?

That conversation truly had an effect on the way I approach something that generally was natural to me. And what it did was it allowed me to view my relationship with my parents and other people a whole lot differently. Because before that, when I would win those arguments, I would self righteously believe that I actually won something. And what I realized about myself in the short time from that dinner to now is that I had a really hard time giving in. I felt like when I give in, I’m being taken advantage of and that was within me for years, maybe for most of my life. So as I look back on it, it was either a habit or maybe some sort of defense mechanism where I felt like I needed to fight to win something in her statement. That night really made me think that I never really won anything during those fights aside from short term pride, but the collateral damage from that was it times devastating because it turns out that the more that you fight, the better you get at fighting.

And deep down I knew I’m going to win. And it’s kind of weird saying this right now because I’m recording a podcast and sometimes I forget I’m recording a podcast and that somebody is actually going to listen to this, but that’s what I know. I’ve got to put it out because what she did is allow me to realize that I wasn’t winning anything and I needed to change the way that I thought about fighting. It’s been only a little over a month since that dinner, and it’s allowed me to view it completely differently to where there’s already noticeable changes in my relationship with my parents and even Elizabeth and the boys, because I didn’t notice how much it could seep into every area of my life and even worse. So I started teaching these habits to my kids without even realizing it. So I know relationships can be tough, friendships can be tough. And if you’re a fighter like me, you’ve got to make sure for your own security and your own safety that you win. But I want you to think about that and try to rethink it and ask yourself, what exactly did I win? Where are the metals? Although in the short term and the adrenaline, it felt good to win those fights, but in reality it led to more damage than it did accolades. So Indrani thank you for the awesome message that you taught to me. I truly appreciate it. I’ll talk to all of you tomorrow.

Episode 203- Why I Want Certain People To Fail

It probably sounds pretty cruel when I say that I want people to fail. There are friends of mine that I want to fail. And when I say that in a variety of different ways, it might appear that I’m heartless or maybe I’m being jealous or vindictive, but it’s none of that. I want them to fail because what they’re doing isn’t working. Now, a lot of us have things that we’re working on that also aren’t working. So why do I want some of them to fail and others not to fail? And here’s why. These people that I want to fail, and as I’m talking about this, I can picture their face specifically and there’s more than one. But the reason why I want them to fail and why they need to fail is because they’re either too prideful or too arrogant to change. If you’re banging your head against the wall and you think that you’re so smart and this is the best idea to get to the other side and you are not willing to listen to other advice, you’re not willing to listen to the people that are going to tell you, stop banging your head against the wall and go around to the door on the other side or maybe ask and see if somebody has the key or possibly it’s not even the building that you want to get into.

But yet with all this information and all these people looking to help and all the history about how banging your head against the wall, it’s going to do nothing but cause you pain and you continue to do it. You’re going to have to have your head split open to understand. Now we’ve all met them. Maybe we’ve been that person, but there are people that need to bang their head against the wall again because they still don’t learn. And when you are this person, you’re generally too prideful to listen to advice. You’re often too cocky to seek out counsel and you’re probably too arrogant to change, so you need to fail. And that’s why I welcome that failure for me or for you when we’re that type of person. See all those years of school taught us incorrectly, that failure is a bad thing. The big F that came on top of that paper that I didn’t prepare for didn’t come in a happy color with glitter all around it and a smiley face.

It was a big red F and it was often written with very little compassion because failure was made out to be bad. So we did everything we could to avoid failure. Some people decided that memorizing everything and questioning, nothing would get us that grade that we desired, but realizing that we learned nothing in the process. Well nothing but memorization. Some of us didn’t even care about what we were studying, so we wound up getting poor marks, reprimanded and being meant to feel like we weren’t smart as the other ones. Some of us knowing that we were going to fail and be reprimanded for it cheated so we didn’t have to do the work or the punishment, but either way, the only thing we were trying to do was to avoid failure. But what if failure was looked at as a good thing? What if we embraced failure because it meant that we’re not there yet, but I absolutely believe that failure does way more positive things for us than success does.

Failure rarely makes you arrogant, but I can’t even tell you the amount of successful people that I know that have become arrogant and big headed with that success. These were people that were very hungry for knowledge. They were humble, they were curious, they truly were looking to help and be helped and the content failures and the uncertainty of it kept them on their toes and kept them relatable. But then success happened and now all those years of failure, they were able to push back against. They were able to use that success to try to prove other people wrong and show others that they really were smarter than everybody said they were. And with that came the arrogance and it set the scene and it’s something to protect yourself against if you’re going there because it’s absolutely true and proven over and over again that the pride comes before the fall.

So those people too, for their own sake, I root for failure because more success will not make them more humble, more success. It’s only going to fuel that arrogance. Failure I’ve learned brings humility. It brings perspective and it brings the understanding that something needs to change. Why is it so hard to repeat as a champion? Because the drive to succeed and to learn is so much greater when you’ve lost the previous time than when you just won. I’ve talked to a lot of people about this and maintaining and keeping what you have is less motivational than getting better from where you were. So these people that I was talking about earlier, the ones that I want to fail, I wanted the fail for their own good because it’s the best thing for them. Having fluke victories or getting ahead because somebody gives you something that you didn’t earn, that’s not success.

That’s a bandaid and it’s covering up the fact that you’re not learning or getting better. Failure will allow them to see differently. It will allow them to make adjustments and to pivot and to try different things they weren’t doing when they thought they were right. Subconsciously, I root for my own failure. There is no time that I’m less motivated than when everything’s going really well. It was a primary factor why we killed our photography business. I was bored and it was too easy to just do enough for everything we needed without a huge challenge. To me, that sounds like a job, a job where it’s guaranteed there’s little risk of failure and it’s simply just not inspiring to me, so I want failure for you as well because you’re going to learn more from it. You’re going to get better because of it, and it’s going to keep you humble and grounded so that when you do win, you can have pride that you earned it from the things that you learned and grew from.

And you get to realize that when you finally get there, it didn’t do what you thought it was going to do. And it allows you to just enjoy the journey so that you can keep taking small steps to consistently get better. But knowing that you always need a challenge ahead of you, one that is very likely to fail because certainty is nothing if not boring. Oh, by the way, I haven’t mentioned it in a while. For the new listeners, I wrote a book called freelance to freedom two years ago, and I recorded the audio book and I give it away for free. So if you’d like to head over to our website, total life freedom.com/ [inaudible] book, sign up, download the book, enjoy it. And if you do, please let me know what you think. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 202- A Bad Day For Your Ego Is A Good Day For Your Soul

Have you ever had one of those days where you’re just feeling pretty confident, you’ve got something important to do, but you’re really not stressed about it. You feel just fine and you have something important to do and people are counting on you and you know you need to prepare for it, but you really just don’t take it seriously enough. Now, I try my best to have as few of those days as possible, but they still happen. There are those days where your ego gets the best of you or hitting too close to home for when my ego gets the best of me. Now, last year, Elizabeth, me and the boys were strolling around Santa Fe, New Mexico, and we’re taking in all the play below buildings and site. It was something I’d never seen before. I’ve been to New Mexico, but we’ve never been to Santa Fe and I love the city. From the moment that we pulled up and we went and got a great lunch, we saw the history and the artifacts.

If you’ve been there, we went through the church with the famous staircase. That still isn’t explained of how it’s being held up. And we went to what I believe is the structure of the oldest home in the United States and outside of that home, I got a message on my phone from Jared easily. Now Jared and Dan Franks run the incredibly successful podcast movement conference. And I had been a couple years in a row and it’s one of my favorite conferences to go to and Jared asked if we could have a quick talk. So I said, sure. I scooted out of the old house while Elizabeth and the boys kept looking around and I gave Jared a quick call. He surprised me by telling me that he wanted me to be on a panel for podcast movement. Now Jared, I have gotten way back not way back a couple of years, but we’ve got to know each other pretty well.

And I was surprisingly, because at that point I didn’t have a podcast. Well, it’s not technically correct. I had a podcast for my mastermind. It was an inclusive podcast, very much like what you’re listening to today, but it was only to those people that were in the mastermind, so I was curious what I could add to a panel on podcast movement. He said to me, you’re great at networking, you’re great at connecting. I want you to lead the part on networking for the new attendees coming to the conference. I said, yeah, that’s beautiful. I’d love to do it, and I agreed to it on the spot. So with any other presentation, I would then start working down what am I going to talk about, figuring out what my role would be, putting all the pieces together to make sure it’s a great presentation. And I got together with Jen Bryony who was the host of the congressional dish podcast and Donald Kelly, who hosts the sales evangelist podcast.

Now they’re both veteran podcasts. They both been on the panel before and they knew what was going on. I went through a Jen and we went through my role, what I would talk about and after what I said, she seemed really confident in what I was going to talk about and I was confident as well. I talked on the subject before, I have teach on it. Part of it is content of my next book coming out that I’m writing now. So of all gigs I was going to go up on stage for. I was not stressed about this one and Jen and I connected a couple more times. We went over what our roles would be, we went over the details of everything, everything I needed to know and she had it all down. Having been through this before and I continue to be very confident on this, got the podcast movement and I did what I normally did.

I connected with my friends, I met new people, have lunch and coffee and conversations and all that and I roomed my friend Jordan Peterson the first night and I said, you know, I really should start preparing for this. And I took some notes but I didn’t do much more than that because I know there’s like the back of my hand. I showed up that morning. I still felt good. I met with Jen and met with Donald and we sat on stage and the room filled up. There was probably close to 300 people in there and I had the mic in my hand and Jen was ready and Donald’s ready and Donald goes up and with his charismatic personality just starts wowing the crowds. Got everybody going on, everybody engaged and he was no more than two minutes into his presentation. When I looked up at him and I realized I am not remotely prepared for this.

Do you ever have one of those moments where all of a sudden you feel your body temperature rise? Like immediately? That was one of those moments and there’s nowhere to hide. There’s 300 people in front of you and you’re about to start talking for 20 minutes. How they can network during this conference and really being the one that helped them out that they’re looking towards. And then Donald finished and Jen got on and she did just as a professional job as Donald did and she talked about all the technical aspects of the conference using the app, all the things that I’m glad I didn’t get that gig. And before I knew it, Donald took over, grabbed the mic, introduced me as this networking expert that I’m going to give them all this wisdom and knowledge. And he introduced me and when I went up on stage, it wasn’t 30 seconds in before I realized this might be a disaster because it’s plain as day.

It was obvious that I was not prepared and I couldn’t wing it and I did my best. I had certain lines and certain stories to tell and different tidbits, but I can tell I was on shaky ground the entire time. And there was one moment I looked out into the crowd, I saw my friend Ken Carfagna, I saw Jordan and I felt like a complete fraud and I put my head down and I stopped and I said out loud into the mic, just so you know, I’m totally bombing here. Nobody nodded their head in agreement and nobody laughed. And there was truly no embarrassment from the crowd to me with empathy. They just kind of looked on at me and waited for me to recover. I took a deep breath and fortunately Jen saw what was going on and she stepped in and she stood up and she made a couple of points.

She got it going again. Then she handed it back to me and I was able to finish relatively smoothly. And what I was amazed by that actually had a lot of people coming up to me, asking me questions, telling me that they liked it, but I did have a few people that came up to me and said, what was going on there? And I was shaking my head and not sure how to answer. I saw Ken Jordan right afterwards and I was like, man, that was brutal. And Cal was like, no, it wasn’t. He was very supportive. I told him what it felt like for me and he’s like, that was probably two or three seconds. And to me it felt like a minute. So as much as I thought I bombed, which I still think I did, the response wasn’t that terrible at least to my face.

But here’s the tricky part. I had a second panel in four hours. So guess what I did, I didn’t go out to lunch with everybody. I didn’t go for a drink and I didn’t network. I went back to my room with a pen and paper and I decided to take it seriously and I thought about what they needed to hear and I thought about what I knew that can help them. And for three hours I crafted what I was going to talk about and I rehearsed it and I didn’t talk to anybody between that time. And I walked into that room around two 45 and I wasn’t smiling and I wasn’t schmoozing. I went over my notes one last time and I took a deep breath and I walked up on stage and I knew that if I bombed again I will have let Jared down cause he came up to me after the first one.

He said, great job. And I really thought he was joking with me. And he could be sarcastic, but he didn’t seem sarcastic, so I’m like, okay, I dodged. I might’ve dodged the bullet here, but I’m not playing with fire twice. I walked up on stage after Donald announced me and I was prepared and I did 20 minutes straight through and I didn’t pause and I’m stuttering, I’m stop and I really didn’t even sweat and around three quarters into what I said something in the entire crowd laughed and I looked over at Jen and I looked over at Donald and I saw them both nodding and they both had their lips purse while they nodded their heads in agreement. It was a great feeling because I felt like maybe not totally, but at least partially I had earned their respect back. I got off on stage and I did some Q and A and I went back to my room for about an hour and just collapsed in the bed and I realized that I let my ego get the best of me.

I allowed my ego to let me walk up on stage unprepared because I thought that I could just wing it. It’s one thing to think you can do it, but it’s another thing to be prepared for whatever comes at you. And taking an ego hit is not fun. But every failure in life comes with a great lesson. If you listen in that day in Orlando was a bad day for my ego, but it was a really good day for my soul. And those blows to my ego are now welcomed because I know there’s something to learn from them. I’ve heard it said that pride comes before the fall. And my pride, my ego allowed me to go in unprepared and allowed me to go and thinking I could just handle it as it happens. And it’s not until you step out on that stage and you disappoint people, disappoint them simply by not being prepared to bring your best for them. Our egos need that kick in the pants to tell us you’re not as good as you think you are, but how good you think you are, you better come prepared. So that bad day for my ego was a good day for my soul. I will talk to you tomorrow.