You're listening to the Uncommon Life Podcast. Whether you're a startup or you've been in business for 10 years, this show is for you. Each week, you'll get mentored by business leaders who deliver valuable strategies, tactics and tips on how you can pursue your passion without compromise. We’ll show you how to achieve balance while sticking to your core values, so you can have an uncommon life.
Now, here's your host, Jimmy Fullerton.
Jimmy: Okay, as promised, here's the grand finale of my three-part series with Sammy Ortiz. Stay tuned.
I actually would like to talk a little bit about what you’re doing right now, some things you're doing to sustain your own personal growth. What are some books you're reading or what are you doing right now to kind of help yourself grow? I know reading the Bible. That's one, obviously.
Jimmy: Listening to your sermons. I'm sure it's another one.
Sammy: Yeah. I am. I'm actually reading a lot of books or listening to a lot of books on audible, but I do read. I do read both. I mean, I'm a pastor, so I probably read more books that feed my spirit than I do business books, although I do listen to business books.
Let me look at the book that I'm listening to right now and I've got to look at it only because I can't remember the name of it per se. It is Strategic Doing by Edward Morrison and Scott Hutcheson, and it's a book that deals with strategy, about how do we get people across multiple organizations to work together in a community to help solve problems? So, that's one of the books that I'm reading right now that deals with business.
A book that I'm reading for my spirit is Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You, only because it just deals with maturity and I'm almost 50. I'm finally becoming mature or beginning to mature. I've come to the conclusion that I've figured out that I don't know what I don't know.
And then I get with other people that know more than I do, especially when it comes to this entrepreneurial ecosystem building, just like I would with folks that have been walking with Jesus longer. I learn. I learn from others. I learn from young people. I don't know everything, and so I'm okay not knowing.
“I don't know” has become one of my favorite phrases because, one, I really don't, and, two, it puts me in a teachable moment with whoever it is that I'm speaking with and I get to expand my abilities to know something based on what somebody else does.
Jimmy: Yeah. You have a lot going on with being a pastor, a solopreneur pastor at that, and with Y.E.S. and your involvement there. So, how do you manage to [03:00.0] maintain balance? I know that with me and my wife, and being an entrepreneur as well, when you start a business and pour your heart and soul into it, it can end up being this huge monster that just devours your life and you end up sacrificing relationships, health, all kinds of different things.
One of the basic things, I guess tenets of my life is about having balance and what we call it the four Fs—faith, family, fitness and finances—because really if any one of those areas is that a whack, you can't really be your best self.
If your business is great, it's thriving, you're making money, but your marriage is on the rocks, that's no good. If you’ve got both of those working good, your marriage is good, your business is good, but you had no time to take care of yourself, self-care, as a result, your health is not good, you can't really be your best self there. So, financially if you don't have that aspect, then that's not going to be acceptable either.
I don't want any of that. I like to be able to have balance in all those areas. It is hard to do that. It's very hard to do that and, in fact, I've pretty much come to realize that there's really no way to maintain balance all the time. There's going to be an ebb and flow and I might go through periods of time, like if you have a newborn baby, you have to devote more time to that aspect of your life and something else has got to take a back seat for a season. And sometimes there'll be times where you're getting your business launched and you're a spending an unusual amount of time in that area, but over time you’ve got to be able to work that back into balance, so that you don't end up sacrificing relationships and you don't let your health go to pot and stuff like that.
So, what are some things that you have done to…? First of all, do you feel like you have a pretty good balance right now?
Sammy: I do. I probably was guilty neglecting my family, my marriage, my health and all that.
Jimmy: I've been there, absolutely.
Sammy: Especially as a pastor, I will say that as a pastor in my early years, I would say that I sacrificed my family on the altar of ministerial success for a season and almost lost my marriage because of that as a minister, so I learned. I learned by the mistakes that I made in ministry to not carry that over. Even with starting Y.E.S., I worked with Y.E.S. on top of being a pastor four days a week, Monday through Thursday. Friday is my rest day from both the church and Y.E.S., but for both.
Jesus is the builder of the church, so I'm not here to build the church. I'm here to love on people. Even my sermon prep these days, I don't take a long time. I've been preaching now for almost 29 years, you know what I'm saying? And especially now you don't need to razzle-dazzle anybody. We've all come to that conclusion here lately with churches being unable to be used or buildings. Let me put it that way. [06:00.0]
Jimmy: Since you were talking about they don't need razzle-dazzle, [what is] the best way for you to connect with people? What's your core strength to connecting with people? How do you do that?
Sammy: I'm a one-to-one guy or, even if I'm in a group of people, I do have a gregarious personality. I'm a sanguine personality, so I don't meet strangers. That's just something that God has given me, and so connecting is my thing. Right now I'm dying because we have to stay home. I go to a coffee shop not because of the coffee. I go to the coffee shop because I get to say hi to people and watch them. And that may sound a little weird to people, but I'm an extrovert, and so when it comes to connecting with people, relationship building for me is key. And so like that whole a Zig Ziglar quote, people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Sammy: And so, for me, my job is to love people. That's my job. My job is to love. My job is not to point out people's faults. They already know what those are themselves. My job is to love them and, hopefully, in my loving them, they’ll go, Why didn't you love me this way? I’m up for loving.
Jimmy: You mean your job is not to call people out?
Sammy: Oh no, man. Listen, that’s the point.
Jimmy: The magnifying glass on their flaws, you don't do that?
Sammy: Brother, listen, I'm going to tell you a quick story. When that woman got caught in adultery and they brought her to Jesus, here's what Jesus said. “Woman, where are your accusers?”
Now, they told Jesus, “Look, she's been caught in adultery. She needs to be stoned to death.” He tells them, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” All you could hear, and if we were there, we would have heard thumps from all the stones dropping.
And then, he looks at the woman and says, “Woman, where are your accusers?” She says, “There are none.” He goes, “I don't accuse you either, but go and sin no more.” So, he dealt with her as a person before he dealt with her sin. My job is to deal with people as people and I'll let God deal with their sin.
Jimmy: I'm still surprised in that story that people actually didn't cast a stone because you know how people I have blinders on. They think that they are without sin, so I'm going to go ahead and start casting my stone. I've seen so many people like that, but thankfully in that case it wasn't the case.
Sammy: Brother, listen, I'm a mess, and my mess is just aged and that's it. I have a message because my mess is aged.
Jimmy: I think the first step is realizing you're … There's a quote in … Did you ever see the movie, Rudy?
Jimmy: Rudy is going through this battle as it’s his last year of eligibility to get into Notre Dame and he's praying. He has kind of befriended this priest and the priest, he tells him, “Son,” and I forget how many years he'd been a priest, but “in 30, 40 years of being a priest, I've come to two irrefutable facts. There is a God and I ain't him.”
Sammy: That’s right.
Jimmy: And that is appropriate for me. I definitely have learned over the course of time that I need help. I definitely need help. I definitely [09:00.0] believe in the value of mentors. That was another reason why I did the podcast. It was because I wanted to be able to connect with people and learn from them, but also be able to provide some content that would help other people in the same boat that wanted to learn as well. So, I think if you start out with the recognition that you need help, that's the first big step you can take, whether it's as an entrepreneur or any other venture of yours.
Sammy: And there's never a time that we don't need help. Jimmy, I don't know how old you are, but I've passed that 40-year mark, so I get to live to be 80, 85, I'm way past that now. So, I'm going to need help again. My kids are probably going to take care of me a little bit, take care of me and my wife. And so, we never enter a phase in life where we don't need help, even as young people. Young people need help. They don't know what they don't know. And so, to ever think that we are beyond needing help, it’s probably one of the biggest delusions we could ever have.
Hey, guys and gals! My apologies for interrupting, but I have something I want to share with you.
If you want to recession-proof your life and be able to thrive financially in any environment, then I have something for you. It's a blueprint I use for business and life. It's a combination of what I've learned from my mentors, and through my own blood, sweat and tears over the course of 20 years. It contains five key principles that will transform and elevate your life and business, if you apply them consistently.
Believe me, if I had this blueprint 20 years ago, I could have saved myself a lot of time and money, but I'm sharing it with you now for free. When you go to www.UncommonLifePodcast.com, you can get yours for free today.
Jimmy: Which brings me to another key trait for entrepreneurs that I've seen, humility, a recognition that you don't have all the answers. I've heard stories and read, and also seen firsthand businesses that have failed because their leaders refuse to listen to their employees. They just didn't think their opinions were viable and that arrogance is really the first step and it will lead you. Your arrogance really will get you to failure a lot quicker than any other weakness being arrogant.
So, once you see that, then you realize that this company is on a fast track to failure if they continue to be arrogant. Yeah, having humility and recognizing your own limitations is huge in my opinion.
What would you say your biggest strength is if you had to identify it? I think I know the answer, but …
Sammy: My biggest strength is I'm just here to serve. With YE.S., I'm a door-opener. I'm not the one that makes anything happen. I'm just here to open doors.
Jimmy: You’re a relationship-builder, though. [12:00.0] That’s huge.
Sammy: I do. I do value relationships, reciprocal relationships. I don't believe in disposable ones, and so no one is a throwaway. But I value. I value image bearers. I value them. So, I would say that the biggest thing. If anything, it’s really wanting to serve people without the need to be served in return.
Jimmy: How did you develop your value system? Who were some of your mentors?
Sammy: Gosh, unfortunately, Jimmy, I had a lot of what I would call insecure mentors, who were probably intimidated by my strengths. I'm pretty hard-headed when I put my mind to something. Church-planning is not for the weak nor for the faint-hearted, and so, unfortunately, in the church world there are a lot of insecure leaders. I can point back to a lot of the things that I saw that I didn't like, and so I learned a lot from that.
But I've read a lot of books. I read a lot of books as far as mentors are concerned now, not to say that there weren't mentors there that were really good, but were all jaded in some, some way. And so, the things that I did not get as I was growing, whether it was in my faith walk, or in how to be a good husband or how to be a good dad, I had to learn by making mistakes. And so, now I have made a personal vow to share my mistakes with others, so that they don't make the same mistakes.
Jimmy: Sharing your scars is a recurring theme I have noticed in almost every podcast that I've done, people using their mistakes to help others kind of elevate themselves. Why let your pain go to waste? What's the point in that?
Sammy: It's never wasted. Pain is never wasted pain. Pain has a purpose. And rather than step off with my delusional points of success—because we can make ourselves sound successful, anybody—I'd rather start from my weaknesses. I'd rather start from my weaknesses, only because people can really identify with weakness. We all have them and not many people feel successful.
Jimmy: It's another recurring theme I have seen. I keep hearing that about making yourself … the best way to connect with other people is to share your flaws, expose your vulnerabilities and who you are, and let people see that, Hey, they're just like me. They don't have it all figured out. They're not perfect in all these areas, but they're trying. They're on the right path.
That's something I've noticed in the small group of teenagers that I work with. When you're in the age, when you're working with kids in the age range of 14 to 17 years old, getting them to open up about anything is like getting water from a rock. And I was the same way. I did [15:00.0] not want to reveal anything and I didn’t have any needs. I mean, I'm cool. I’m too cool for that. Just don't bother me with this nonsense. And that's the way they are naturally now, but there was a time, one time I actually revealed something that I had struggled with.
I let my guard down a little bit and they could see where I was vulnerable, and that completely changed the whole attitude at least during that meeting. And it's not like it's problem solved, but I know whenever I share some personal struggles or some mistakes that I've made, which is really what I revealed to them, some mistakes that I'd made in the past and how it affected me, they could really relate to that. They could see how that could happen and they appreciated me being willing to let my guard down. It made them trust me more.
Building trust is a big part of connecting with anybody, and whether you're in business or whatever you're doing, you have to be able to connect with people, and that's one way I have seen to be able to do it and it's just being your authentic self, because ultimately if you're not being authentic, people are going to catch on to that. They're going to sniff you out and, also, you're not going to be as confident. If you know you're not being real, you're not being yourself, whatever you're doing, you can't sustain it and it'll all come crumbling down.
Sammy: I think that even in wanting to be authentic, though, we can put on a front, and so rather than do that, just be you. Just be you. And sometimes people don't like you. I'll tell you what, there are some times that I don't like myself either, but the moment that I can admit that, and sometimes I have to admit that to my wife a lot—hey, babe, I'm sorry. I was being a jerk and please forgive me—all right, man. I'll probably ask for forgiveness, I don't know, at least 10 times a day, if not more.
Jimmy: I think that's one of the most admirable traits you can have. Before I got married in some other relationships I was in, I remember telling my wife that, because she is not like this at all, but I've been with people that would just refuse to apologize and it used to infuriate me. So, I got to the point where even if I was wrong about something or knew I was wrong about something, or even felt like I might be wrong, I wouldn’t go to apologize to them anymore because I was sick of being the one that had to apologize because they never would.
My wife is not like that at all. Sometimes she over-apologizes and does it when she doesn't need to. But I appreciate that trait so much because it just makes for a better relationship when you know you're with somebody that if they feel like they're wrong, they're going to apologize. But if you're with somebody that just refused to do it, it makes it hard to have a really good, healthy relationship.
Jimmy: I really love what you're doing, Sammy, and I can see us having another round of interviews. I just really appreciate the impact you're having. And I guess the main thing right now I'd [18:00.0] like to know is what's the best way for people to reach you.
Sammy: We have a little site. It's a long one. Maybe you could post it somewhere. We do have a shorter created, a Bitly address, so that it's a little bit shorter, but it's YoungEntrepreneurialStudents.org. That's our website. There is a way to contact us on the website. Our phone number is on there, in the sense that you can send us a text message, and email. You can call the office, although the offices right now are closed. My office is closed. But you can get ahold of us that way. When I say us, I do have volunteer staff. I'm the only person from Y.E.S. that's employed by Y.E.S. and the funds from my employment are very low. Again, this is a mission. This is not the get-rich-quick scheme or anything like that. But the answer to the question is via our website.
Jimmy: Okay, so YoungEntrepreneurialStudents.org. Facebook. How can they follow you on Facebook or Instagram?
Sammy: All of our handles on all of our social media are @YESCohort.
Jimmy: Okay. All right, man, I really appreciate you taking time out of your very busy schedule to talk to me. I know we've been talking for about an hour and a half maybe. Sammy, thanks again and I'll be talking to you soon. Take care, buddy.
Sammy: Sounds good. Thanks for having me on. Have a great day.
Jimmy: All right. You too, man. Bye.
This is ThePodcastFactory.com.