So many times over today, I actually feel like I’m in this completely elevated intellectual space where I can think in a different plane of possibility than was even available to me two hours ago. And that’s what entrepreneurship is all about.
When I consider mistakes in business, so many of them, I don’t look at them as mistakes anymore because. I’ve learned from them to find where I am now. I feel like almost every mistake, every huge challenge that I created has actually taught me something and moved me forward. And I think the one place where I would say that. There were actual mistakes that I regret. I don’t regret the learning from them, but the mistakes that I made were with people when I was younger, especially there was a tremendous amount of collateral damage and the businesses that I ran I was one of those people, not any more or not at all anymore, but I was one of those people that if I was going to separate with somebody, I actually had to break them, break the relations. I had to make it so that it was so horrible that like we can never talk again. And when I look back at some of the separations that I had where people were either terminated or left, the companies that I ran, I feel like those are some of the biggest, the mistakes I made.
If I could go back and do it over again? I would tell my younger self that you don’t have to completely destroy a relationship to put it on pause. And you don’t know, I have to completely demonize somebody to have them leave your company. Like those are all natural things that happened in the world.
And today with contrast, when somebody leaves our organization now, or when somebody decides to go to another opportunity, doesn’t happen often anymore. But when it does. It’s totally different. And so having that experience of being able to work with somebody and then continue the relationship, even though it’s no longer a working relationship, it has been extraordinary. And when I was young, I did not even allow space for that. And so having that experience of being able to work with somebody and then continue the relationship, even though it’s no longer a working relationship, it has been extraordinary. And when I was young, I did not even allow space for that.
We want things to be better, but I think what the razors edges or the tight rope that we like to ride a unicycle down from is to come from when we go down the middle. And there’s that part of us as entrepreneurs we’re down there, the middle, all the one side was insecurity ego. It doesn’t matter. It’s never enough I’ll sacrifice anything and then we’ve spent our life at this point, working towards self-awareness.
Navigating the reel
If you want to know how things are kept in motion now, I think we have to first draw, contrast as to how things were before. When I look at when I was younger and well into my twenties I experienced a tremendous amount of trauma. And I often tell our clients until you are ready to work through your trauma, you are destined to create, or, and you will only continue to create trauma. Because it’s a pattern for people, hurt people. And that’s really how it works.
When I look at somebody who’s causing havoc in the world, what I see is somebody who severely traumatized and is acting through those things. And so for me, when I was 26 years old, I went through a really severe breakup. I had definitely I, was no lack of time in bars or drinking and entertaining and doing those things. But I hit this period where it almost became a necessity and not almost it became a necessity and it was severely challenging to go through that. My mom was a therapist in California and I was talking to her about it. I had tried cognitive behavioural therapy. So for me that the growth process has been understanding my trauma. Understanding where so much of my reactivity and almost automatic behaviours came from and so much of processing, what had happened to me has now allowed me to become more present and aware.
I used to think that I was so present and so aware when I was in my twenties and now I look back and it’s like the funniest thing in the world because I was so detached and, not even feeling my feelings and understanding what was going on. I didn’t even know how to interpret what was happening. And then I thought I did so much better in my thirties and I’m like, you know, nailed it. I’ve gone into another year of really being able to release things and process things and, and work through things. And that’s been a combination of a ton of breathwork. Breathwork, I think has been one of the most effective things that I’ve done a tremendous amount of EMDR therapy. And then, really a lot of self-exploration and a lot of and if you wanted to put a layer on all of that, It’s process, structure, and routine. And it’s you say that this is what a day is like a process structure and routine that allows you to grow a business, grow your life, have what you want in your life. But for most of my life, I fought process, structure, and routine more than anything else.
What makes you successful is being whatever you want, anytime that you want. And so I held onto that myth, that illusion, that totally illusory place, it does not exist where you can be a successful entrepreneur and just wake up and do whatever the heck you want every day. I think the biggest shift for me has been committing to process, structure and routine, like up to and including even on a Sunday this morning, I got up, did my morning planning, went through my morning routine. Cause I know that’s where my strength. And really that’s where I be present and productive and persuasive and influential.
Success as an entrepreneur on the outside comes from the commitment to the work on the inside and it’s daily committed practice to come in. When we talk about this, the two things that being number one is this commitment to self. It’s the discipline, the intentionality, the process, the structure, everything that you’re doing, but also the awareness of what it really means to be an entrepreneur and what we’re doing. The faster we realized that we are for everything and we can take responsibility for everything. The faster we start to actually control our lives, create our destiny, and be able to go in the direction that we want.
And as entrepreneurs what we work with our members on is responsibility for blame. Like how do you live in a world where you take responsibility for everything that’s going on? Sure you can be responsible for your reactions. You can be responsible for how you show up. You can be responsible for what you’re going to allow and not allow into your mind. You can be responsible for how you lived through this situation. I always tell people the bigger, the crisis, the bigger, the opportunity there’s going to be more self-billionaires made in this timeframe that at any other timeframe in human history. One of the observations that finally got through I’ve learned so much of what I understand in business and so much of what I know about relationships and how to create momentum as an entrepreneur has been observational.
And one of the observations that have become crystal clear over time is that the more successful and entrepreneur. The more quickly, they turn every obstacle into an opportunity. The more quickly they turn every crisis into an opportunity. I’ve been around people that regardless of what’s going on, they’re just constantly shifting to housing and opportunity.
But then when I think about the compartment of entrepreneurship, what is anxiety, I’m like it’s stagnation in our biggest enemy, which is our brain. It knows our fears. It knows our insecurities. It knows our habits. It knows our addictions. And yet we think we can out convince it that somehow we’re going to feel better about it.
Entrepreneurship is basically guaranteed. It’s not going to look like you think it is every day of every moment for the rest of your life. One of the things that I’m now dealing with at 47 is that I’ve helped hundreds of entrepreneurs build businesses bigger than I have. And I hit the reset button, shut everything down, went down to no team members started from zero, and this is the business that we’re going to create the success out of that. And when you operate at the level that you and I operate as entrepreneurs, they’re maybe not the level, but when you operate at the level of awareness that we operate up. You often become, you often get invalidated because the other people around you don’t even understand the conversation.
Now, in retrospect, it’s only, you see this in retrospect, I was not in the pursuit of success for myself, cause I didn’t feel worthy. And I actually felt like the people around me were so much better than I was. I put all my energy into helping those people all my time in it. Other people get become far more successful than I was because in so many ways I still felt like I was short. I had a really challenging childhood. I wasn’t good at relationships and all of that carried forward to the business world to the point where. But, it made me an incredible consultant because I wanted to help everybody so bad so that I would get validation and be okay and be worthy and not be that kid that I was running away from.
As time went on what I am realizing is that I could honor that kid. And that I could actually love that child, and be okay with who I used to be and understand why I was the way I was and understand everything that I went through. And the more that I was able to process it and be aware of it. And the more I was able to let go of the common entrepreneurial belief that other people had it worse than I was. As soon as we claim any type of trauma, we almost, have to let out this relief valve. It wasn’t as bad for me, there were other people who had them and it wasn’t that bad for me and it, but I’m just going to claim a little bit of it.
And the reality is every entrepreneur I’ve ever worked with has trauma that needs to be explored and validated and understood so that they can show up in the world the way that they want to, and the excessive reactivity that we carry around with us and the feelings we carry around with us, it’s one of the things that drives us into pursuit because.
Here’s where I am today in my career. I understand that the goal is not the goal. The goal is the journey. It’s the process it’s going through it because here’s what I know as an entrepreneur, as I have this analogy or theory that we are evolutionary hunters and I call it an analogy. I really do think this is an evolutionary fact. We are that small percentage of the population that gets up every morning. Can’t turn the motor off. It’s always running we can’t relax. We don’t sit right. And we have this innate motivation to go into the future, create a new reality, and come back to the present and then demand. It becomes real, no matter what we put up with. But the reality is, is no matter what goal or outcome or whatever it is that we put out there, as we are crossing the finish line, it loses all important to us. As we’re approaching the finish line, we start going, does this really matter? And it’s because if you think about if we’re evolutionary hunters, The goal was never the hunt just keeps the tribe alive. The goal is you go back on the hunt. The goal is you stay hunting. The goal is to keep doing it over and over again. And there’s food for everybody for the whole time that we needed. I feel like we are programmed to be in pursuit, but not really finished. And so the whole goal is entrepreneurs is how you keep. How do you keep creating that future? That is compelling enough and bright enough and exciting enough and engaging enough that you do what it takes to put yourself through the crucible.
When you stop abdicating the responsibility, you have to create the life you want. And you start actually, cause man, George, when you were just talking about going to the meeting and doing this and doing that you just described like most of my thirties, if there’s, if there was attention, getting the opportunity, I was in that attention, getting an opportunity with a whole line of justification for it.
If there was a time and I got tons of opportunities if I could get up on it. Really important stage with famous people. Like I was there no matter what. And a lot of the time it was for nothing else than the ego hit. Like really, it didn’t even really build our business and build notoriety, but it was just building an ego hit. And I, when I look back at so much of that need for approval that needs for validation that needs for confirmation as an entrepreneur when you finally realized that is so much of the, almost the automatic programming that’s running, the decisions you’re making when you can start backing out of that and rising to a level of intention, everything changes.
There was a time, I have a reflection, a question that hit me so hard knocked me backward. And from that point forward, I started shifting and I started saying, I need to assign responsibility to the things that are important to me. needed to put more time into things that are important to me. I started building process, structure, and routine around what was important to me. It’s structured has spent time with the family structure to make sure I was connected with my daughter’s structure to make sure that Katie and I had the time that we needed, otherwise, everything else just competes and wins.
And here’s, what’s interesting. Ending the space and time for myself by making that the most important thing. Suddenly my decision making in business got infinitely better. And almost overnight, we started moving in the right direction rather than spinning our wheels and not having things happen. And this is the thing that always likes for most people feels like an oxymoron. When you first started doing this, I was putting less time in, but getting more results because when you start throwing up the constraints that are important, you look at time differently and you spend it differently. When you start allocating time to where you should be, not what you know to where you actually when I say should be when you started actually allocating time around.
What you want your life to look like your business will shift in a way that it actually gets to be the business that you want. You start building an organization that you really want. You start doing the things that you want. I built myself out of a lot of responsibilities. And today I have a business that I love working with people that are like incredibly fun people to work with. And I’m more focused on people’s development than anything else right now. Cause that’s where we’re going to grow the next time in our business. But what’s most important is I wake up every morning. I align with my kids. They hang out with me, they know what we do. We talk openly. There’s a completely different dialogue in our house. And all of that, I think makes me not think all of that I know. Makes me the entrepreneur I actually want to be, and it actually allows me to start making decisions for the person I’m becoming instead of the person I’m running away from.
That’s not how it works for entrepreneurs. We either make decisions for the person we’re becoming or the person we’re running away from. We don’t make decisions for the person. We never get to the place where you’re making decisions at the moment because we don’t live in the present.
So many entrepreneurs think that they’re doing this incredible thing, working out and getting themselves in shape. And then I watched the workouts on not online and I’m like, man why that might not be going in the right direction. Structure gives us the container because no matter what we do, we’re going to fill it. So if you give yourself a 24-hour container, you’re going to find ways to fill it. But if you give yourself a two-hour container, you’ll fill it, but you also have to fill it with the stuff that moves the needles, move the levers, and eliminates the bullshit. And that’s been one of those things for me that I think in what you do and there’s this belief like this paradigm around entrepreneurship. And you have to realize that the moment you start being that is you lose the thing that built it and you end up right back where you started.
The more leadership responsibility you have, the less freedom you have. And it’s this very confronting belief system that the more responsibility I take on as a leader the less freedom that you actually have. And what you’re doing is you’re exchanging that freedom for making a massive contribution.
I think the majority of the personal development industry is avoidance. when you look at so much of what personal development tells us like, and I don’t want to name any names, but it’s going to probably be obviously some of the people I’m talking about when you’re in a situation where you’re having a reaction when there’s an emotional reaction, somebody standing next to you and saying, Hey, change your state.
This is, you know, let it go. You just focus on what you’re reading you’re doing is you’re denying the feelings you’re experiencing yet again, for another point in time in your life. Now you’re just denying them to the power of a hundred because there’s this other human being telling you its okay. And now they’re giving you frameworks that allow you to back away from and deny what you’re actually saying.
Experiencing and just pretend as you can somehow go into the opposite direction permanently without dealing with what just happened. And there’s this atmosphere in so much personal development of time, oxide, positivity, and bypassing.
What authenticity has become is making up a story. That makes you sound and then I realized that authenticity was my new survival tool. And I would realize how protective I was still, but my new armor was authenticity. And so I’d worked on everything and I was like the armor that nobody can see as armor. And I had this thing in my life as an entrepreneur and a human that if I hit in plain sight. And we’re out there making the difference for other people and the difference that we really just need to turn towards ourselves. And so for me, there was this massive growth period.
So I spent most of my career trying to help other people with the struggles that I was experiencing and still had not helped myself. And there was some broken equation in my mind that the more I helped other people, eventually it would come around to me. And a few years ago, I remember this transit period. It wasn’t a day. It wasn’t a moment. It wasn’t time. It was a period where I started like actually putting the time into myself and I started. Taking my own advice. I started doing the things that I told other people to do. I actually started something that was profound. I stopped telling anyone to do anything I wasn’t doing much. And if I found myself in a situation where I was like, oh, here’s what you need to do. I doubled down and made a hundred percent certain that I was doing at first. And then I went back and told that person, and that has been the most profound shift in my life because I can’t hide from that.
And here’s what’s so fascinating. The results that we get today with other people are so hard off the charts compared to anything that I’ve ever been able to produce in my life. And they are so different and profound and so real. They’re not temporary, they’re not elusive. Like people were acting out and changing massive things in their lives. And I absolutely believe it’s because now I don’t just have the knowledge and the understanding of what should be happening.
I realized that energetically is as energy changes everything. It’s the energy behind what you’re saying is it’s the energy behind what you’re doing. I don’t argue with people anymore. I don’t have to sell people or persuade them anymore. I share my personal experience and I literally can watch them shifting in the moment and saying, this is what I’m going to do now. And it’s because it’s coming from a place of actually having done it. Not experimenting with other people, which is what I think a lot of the consultants and coaches and thought leaders. And that’s what we’re out there doing until we make this shift.
Afraid of letting people down
I’m so uncomfortable in the present-day interaction that I know was completely driven by me and who I was in the past. Be more committed and more grounded and more in a place where I won’t share anything that I’m not doing myself. And I always joke about the person in the room who is always the one that will most freely give advice and is the most enthusiastic of there, about their advice is usually the one who knows the most and is experienced. Sorry, who knows the least and has experienced the least because there’s no responsibility for the advice they give. Now given what I’ve been through and making that shift through, focusing on others, to make myself happy, then learning that the only way to really do it because he himself than taking that out to others that have really been the most profound learning experience. I want to write permission slips for entrepreneurs to be themselves.
I think as entrepreneurs, we spend so much time in the future that if we will just clarify one day. It becomes so much easier to see what you really want. Entrepreneurs are that small percentage of the population that goes out into the future creates a new reality, comes back to the present and demands. It becomes real and put-ups with puts up with whatever we need to do in order to make that happen.
This is not a game that’s supposed to be played alone. This is not a game that is a solo quest. There is no way to win this with me it’s about me. And it’s having a group of people, a community of people that know themselves and are loving you from a place of loving themselves that will hold you and allow you to be in this process. Because if somebody hands you a fish, you’re going to be hungry in a week. But if they bring you in a container and a community and you align with people. We are 100% responsible for where we get to go a hundred percent and if you set your game up to win.
One of the myths perpetuated in the entrepreneurial world is the solopreneur, the happy solopreneur, this successful solopreneur. Understand the words solo and entrepreneurship have nothing to do with each other. It has been made up its fake. It’s a joke act. Let’s go look at the people who are teaching people, how to become successful solopreneurs and talk to them teams because they’re not alone because there’s no way you can do this alone.
We are evolutionary hunters, pack hunters, hunt impacts of hunting is not a singular exercise. It is a team exercise. And one of the most important things for us as entrepreneurs is when we can let go of this myth of the solopreneur and admit to ourselves that. Our success is only partially ours with the people around us. It’s shared with our team. It’s shared with our network. It’s shared with the people who influence us and inspire us.
If there’s somebody who’s helping you, that invalidates you, they are not helping you. If there’s somebody who you are paying money to, but they’re making you feel less than what you are, that is not a healthy relationship. And if there’s a coaching or consulting relationship that you are in, where you don’t feel like you’re in momentum and you’re moving forward and you’re getting what you need. And there is any blame or shame being put back on you, that is a coach or consultant that doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing. And I say those things, but you’re noticing I’m not hedging. Like if you do this or if you do that or any of those things, because the reality is if you come into our program, Even if it doesn’t work out for you, we’re not going to send you away in pain.
We’re not gonna send you away with blame. We’re not gonna send you away with shame with any of those things. If there’s a reason why we didn’t work out, that’s okay, but this is not an indictment of who you are. And far too much of our world today has become a sink or swim indictment of who you are. If you get my space and that’s just totally unfair. And it comes from a thought leader or leader. Who just doesn’t have the right level of experience that I’m convinced of that?
What psychological addiction can we set up so that the people around us continue to see us as the only path for their success, which by the way, I don’t want that as an entrepreneur? I don’t want that responsibility. I don’t even want that feeling in my life that’s not a feeling of validation. That’s a feeling of impatience.
Beware of fake Shinning Pillars
There are two sides to it. Number one is people need to be held accountable, but number two, we all have to advocate. For ourselves and for the responsibility that comes with only accepting the things that are here, because hoarding it, buying it, or doing nothing as complicit and also not calling it out and allowing it to continue is complicit.
And I think it’s a really important thing because no matter who you are, what you’re investing in, who you’re doing business with, who you’re doing life with. At the end of the day, all you have is integrity, right? If people aren’t being shining pillars and examples, or at least saying, I realize I’m not as shiny as I want to be, but I’m doing the work with you. Then it should be an immediate cause for red flag and you, the ability to like, you know what, I need to trust myself. I’m not going to sacrifice myself. I’m not going to bow my morals or tilt my compass. So I can say just this one time because that is not a part of having a process structure routine that will get you to your success.
I think that in our industry and one of the things that far too few of us talk about is that there’s this complicit nature in allowing what happens. There’s like this almost consistent, like people borrowing from each other and taking from each other and turning the other cheek and not looking at it, not calling out, not saying anything that big a deal, but the reality is over time, it really is a big deal. And it’s gotten to the point where. We’re in an industry where influence it’s, Trump’s possibly Trump’s response, stability and experience, and likes and followers look more important than actual customer results and what you’ve done in your career. And I think that there’s this dynamic right now where far too many consumers are being taken advantage of and the way that you and I talked about where. They’re signing up for help from someone who has only gone as far as to learn how to sell the result, not create it.
Our job is to be aware and to be aware that it’s never the wrapping paper that we’re coming up against. If you pick a mentor, one that, isn’t involved in some crazy stuff in the world right now, but one that likes is a mentor and worth pursuing. You will find this exploration of self. Yeah, this commitment to self. And I think it’s probably the biggest quote, air quotes secret to success in this exploration of self and that having the people around you that allow you to get there that supports you and being there. And the one distinction that I will make is that you need to be around. People hold you to your greatness, not supporting mediocrity.
Gearing the momentum
As entrepreneurs for the first long period of our lives, we pursue success in order to validate ourselves so that we’ll feel better. And I think that. There’s this realization you get to where you realize that through validating yourself, you actually create success because I’ve created success on paper and I’ve created success financially.
I remember we were the 21st fastest growing and company United States, you know, that’s like one of the things four years after bankruptcy. So Katie and I went from the lowest low to being the 21st fastest growing company in nine States. And I don’t share this. I don’t think I’ve even shared this with people well, but the day that we were at the inc 500 event. I remember we were the 21st fastest growing and company United States, you know, that’s like one of the things four years after bankruptcy. So Katie and I went from the lowest low to being the 21st fastest growing company in nine States. And I don’t share this. I don’t think I’ve even shared this with people well, but the day that we were at the inc 500 event. And today when I look at it, it’s how do I improve myself? How do I get more in touch with myself? And then that creates my success.