Have a podcast in 30 days

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Being an entrepreneur can be a grind. Mike Malatesta learned this the hard way. He endured tragedy and failure – then shifted. Now a best-selling author – he’s on a mission to help other business owners get unstuck

Show highlights include:

  • Why a soul-sucking boss is a blessing in disguise (6:26) 
  • How knowing the 4 phases of building a business fast tracks your results and shrinks your hiccups (12:02) 
  • The insidious “Valley of Uncertainty” which can bankrupt your construction business (and how to avoid this trap) (13:18) 
  • 2 simple ways to have a breakthrough in your business that lets you “print” money and freedom (16:21) 
  • Why ruthless selfishness helps you unstuck yourself with any business problem you’re facing (19:08) 
  • The sneaky way selflessness is an excuse to justify your business failures (19:49) 
  • Why burying yourself in your business without seeking outside help is a recipe for a premature death (24:44) 
  • The counterintuitive reason asking for help actually gives you more control over your future (29:49) 

You can grab Mike’s book, Owner Shift, and find more helpful content about building your business on his site https://mikemalatesta.com

To get the most out of this podcast, or connect with Duane and Dave, head over to https://buildernuggets.com and join our active community of like-minded builders and remodelers.

Read Full Transcript

So I sat there and I thought to myself, wow, what an impact, not smiling had

Welcome to builder nuggets hosted by Dwayne Johns and Dave young. Hey, our mission is simple, build freedom. We are a couple of entrepreneurs turned business coaches who have dedicated ourselves to helping our builder remodeler clients create the most rewarding businesses in the industry. My co-host Dwayne has been a successful builder and remodeler for over 30 years. He's seen the highs and the lows. From the beginning though, Dwayne has been on a quest to find a better way to run a contracting business. In 2016, he found that better way. That's how I met Dave, a lifelong entrepreneur and visionary who measures his success by the success of those around him. He reached out one day with a formula on how to transform my business and the rest is history. Since then, we've teamed up to help hundreds of contractors like you build better businesses and better lives. Now we've decided to open up our network and share our secrets so we can start moving the needle with you. It's collaboration over competition. Each week, we bring together industry peers and experts who share their stories so that we can all build freedom together.

(01:21): I don't think I know a single builder or remodeler that hasn't felt stuck at some point, either overwhelmed or frustrated or even depressed by the life that their business was creating for them. I know I've felt that way myself. And it's certainly the case with today's guest. We've gotten an amazing introduction to a story for you today. And I say introduction because it's way too long and way too powerful to do it justice. In an episode, plus

(01:33): He's written the best selling book on the topic, which we recommend you go out and get, right? So we can't spill all of the details here, but we'll definitely get things kicked off and we're bringing you real horsepower today. Our expert shifted himself from being an abused employee to a massive success. He went from being fired to starting his own waste management company. He subsequently swallowed up over 20 more companies and exited twice once for a high eight figure payout in the other, in the nine figure range

(02:03): Today, he's a business coach, podcaster, bestselling author of owner shift and investor in over 100 privately held companies. If anybody can help you get unstuck. It's Mike. Malla welcomes Mike.

(02:13): Oh, thank you, DJ. And Dave, thanks for having me on the show. It's exciting.

(02:16): First off, Mike, I loved your book. There were times in your introduction and your, and your lead up, it felt like you were talking to, to just me. I think any entrepreneur is going to feel like this. I mean, it's super relatable.

(02:33): Well, I, I, I appreciate you saying that. I, I you know, I was trying to, you know, when you go to, I don't know if either of you have written books sure. People in the audience have written books and when you go to write, I'm at least in my experience, you're kind of like, you know, trying to figure out not only who you're trying to write it for, but how you want it to sound and how you want the people to feel when they're reading it. And I think so many people, they don't always put that thing into it. Like how do I want people to feel? And I didn't either for a long time going through the process, but then as I got in here, the end, I, I started to really think about just trying to be like, you were taught sitting across the table or sitting on squad cast doing a, doing a podcast and just kind of really make it as conversational as I could so that I, you know, hopefully would have that kind of impact with at least some people Dave. So thank you for mentioning it.

(03:24): Yeah, you certainly did with me. I mean, sometimes you read a book and you feel like the writer or the author is, is trying to sound smart. You oh, sounded real. And it came across really genuine. And I think it's such a good fit for our audience because not unlike, you know, well, first of all, it's a raw business that we're in and you have a pretty raw story in, in, in a raw business as well. Yeah. But not unlike kids with in their sandbox with their ton backhoes and bulldozers, your entrepreneurial spirit was also sparked by trucks. So there's I, I think this is a good, a good point or a good time for you to just tell your story how'd to happen for you.

(04:08): Well, you threw my own podcast question back at me too. That's great. Well done. I think that when I was four years old, an entrepreneurial seed was planted in me on the curb sitting on the curb outside of house. And we lived on a street where there were residents, you know, homes on one side and there was commercial activity on the other side. And we lived directly across the street from a construction company called Rouse construction. And they were an excavator essentially. And I would sit on a curb in the summers, in the afternoons and I would watch the eyes, bring back their trucks. And I just soaked all of that in like the smoke and the, the, the, the dust and the smell of diesel and, and the guys, they would just, the whole thing was just really cool to me. And, and the guys would come over sometimes and they would give me like something left over from their lung box.

(05:01): They would gimme a quarter when, when well, and it wasn't really weird to do something like that. You know, when that stuff was still okay for people to do. And I just, you know, I just, I just fell in love with it. And then, you know, I went on with my life. The rest of my life sort of got in the way, and I ended up in high school and then I ended up in college. And when I was in college and the, in the mid eighties, at least in my fraternity and, and the friends that I had, nobody was talking about starting a business, the word entrepreneur wasn't even used, at least not in any circle that I was in. And, you know, I had one goal when I got outta college and that was to get a job and a job that I would keep for a really long time.

(05:40): And I did, I did get a job. And I, with a, with a waste management company, a big company as a management trainee. And I, I, I just loved it. And I was working really hard and I was getting promoted and I was moving around and I was saying yes to every opportunity that came my way. And when I was about five years into that journey, I got a call from my boss one morning. He said he wanted to come up and talk to me that afternoon. And that afternoon he came up and talked to me and he told me I was fired. And I was completely devastated because I thought I was doing great. And I thought, one day, you know, maybe I'd be the CEO of this, this company. And all of a sudden I was nothing, you know, I was, I was not needed. And so I, I, I went and got another job right away because I just thought, that's what I had to do. That's the way you do things. And, and that led to the experience that you referenced earlier, where, you know, I just ended up working with a real jerk of a guy and I couldn't do it for more than a month and I quit. So it was like in the course of, you know, whatever 60 days, I was less than 60 days I'd been fired and I quit. And I thought, oh my gosh and had your office ransacked by your own boss.

(06:56): Yeah, yeah, yeah. That too. Yes. Yeah. He's he was such a lovely person. His name was Don. I call him Don the Dick in the book, but Don did me a really great favor by being the way he was, because not long after I quit that job, I got approached by a fellow that I had worked with at the company I was fired from who I didn't know very well. And he said to me, Hey, if you're thinking about starting a business, I would love to be, be a partner with you. And I thought, what, you know, this is why would somebody do that? Right. I, I hadn't even been, I was in a new town, by the way. I I'd only been there a little over a year. So we, like I said, we didn't know each other very well. And I get walked out of the building and I'm thinking, why would this person do this?

(07:39): And ironically, and just to end the story for you, it turns out his name is Butch Weis, who, who did this for me. And but had been a farmer all his life. And he got into the waste business because his family farm, you know, went bankrupt and they had to sell it. And they sold it to a guy who built a landfill on it. But he was, you know, after this, the seed that was planted to me when I was four years old, you know, and sat there dormant for the next 20 some years, he come here, comes Butch along this farmer. And he knew just what to do to like fertilize and germinate that seed. And that's how our first business got conceived. And then ultimately started.

(08:18): That's an amazing what I, I don't know if you call that a lucky break, how was it that he selected you? Like when you spoke with him about it afterwards, what was this? Something we call it, the UN, we call it an undeni ability that some people have, but

(08:32): He told me that, you know, ever since he sold the farm, well, he sold the farm to a guy who built the landfall, as I mentioned, and his name was Gordy and Gordy treated Butch really, really well. And he loved that. And then he thought he was gonna stay there. And then Gordy sold the business to the company that I, he and I both ended up working at. And he told me that I was the first person that came along since that company had bought the, the business that cared about anything. He said, everybody else cared about themselves, making themselves look good. You always cared about what was right for the business. And he said, so I don't care what happened. I don't care why, you know, you got fired. I've seen you. And I know what you're like, and I wanna be around people like that.

(09:15): How did it feel to have somebody like that believe in you after? Yeah,

(09:19): It saved me Dave, because I, like I said, I, I was feeling terrible about myself. My self confidence was very, very, very low and I didn't have any idea what I was going to do. So it, it saved me. I mean, it put you on a track that, that I probably would not have gone on, on my own, given where I was at that time. And who knows, who knows where I'd be today? Sounds like there was a fair bit of comfort in doing it with somebody else too. And you guys just begin to cobble things together and embark out on, on doing this go and, you know, look for an investor to help you get a sort of investor to help you get started. Walk us through how you launch.

(09:59): It was kind of an, it was an interesting story because Butch was much older than I at the time. And he's passed. That's why I say at the time, but he you know, he had a house, he had a family, he had four kids. I was married, but that's it, you know, we had a dog. And so the so sort of respective risks were much higher on his side than they were on mine, but he wanted to do it anyway. So, and that, and that's what that was great. But we, we did it just like so many people did it. We cashed in everything that we had. We were fortunate enough to get a loan from a bank, which is very difficult to do when, when year startup. And we ended up $25,000 short on the equity that we needed in order for the bank to make the loan.

(10:44): And, and so I had to find $25,000 cuz we didn't have it. We had already put in everything we had and then some, and that's how we, I ended up with our, with the, the two additional partners that we did when we started Chuck and Larry, because I went to Chuck and I asked cuz he was the only person I knew. I didn't know very many people. He's the only person I knew that I thought might have $25,000. And turns out that he had it, but he didn't wanna put it all in himself. And so he, you know, he recruited his friend, Larry and, and he split it and that's what we needed to get going.

(11:15): I don't wanna tell your entire story it because I think, you know, it's so good. I loved I loved listening to it. It's the best seller on Amazon. It's called owner shift. So I encourage everybody to go out and, and get it. Absolutely. And, and listen to this full story, but it's not all rainbows and unicorns from there on you know, you guys have some success, you, you start going, you run into some trouble, you have some pretty tragic things happen to you along the way. And so walk us through what you think would be the most valuable highlights to hear without giving away the whole, the, the whole story here, because where we love to get to is you get yourself unstuck and you have a bit of an epiphany about what you need to do in order to do that. And your story changes dramatically, so right. Get us to your owner shift.

(12:06): Sure. Yeah. So I separate the book into four parts and I call those parts, the dream, I, the grind, the break and the breakthrough. And I, I did that because you know, the, the, as you know, Dave, the books, you know, I use my own examples as a way to take you through what I consider to be a typical entrepreneurial journey. And the dream phase is, you know, what, everybody, everybody can relate to all of these phases. The dream phase is when you're just so excited about your idea. And you think your business is, has only will only succeed. The question is how mu you know, how successful hugely successful will it be? And then you, you graduate from there into the grind stage and the grind stages like the holy. And like, I gotta do all these things in order to have a successful business, because when you're dreaming, you're not dreaming about all of those things.

(12:57): You're only dreaming about the things that you think, you know, are gonna be like the Hollywood things, the people that the things that people are gonna wanna, you know, write about. And the grind really starts to break down the dream in a lot of cases. And, and in the, in my case, and I think a lot of entrepreneurs' cases, you, you, you actually graduate from the grind into what I call the break stage. And in the break stage, I, I describe it as this place called the valley of uncertainty. And it's a place where you drop, at some point, you drop into that, that space. And it's, it's really a place where you wander around wondering what the hell you're gonna do, because you you've been worn down by the grind. You have been worn down, you know, all the, you know, mistakes you've made employee issues, regulatory issues, government, whatever it is. And you just think I can't take it anymore. And you wander around in there. If you're anything like me, when you're in there, you're kind of, you know, looking for someone to blame. You're like kind of wishing that, you know, your past could be different than it was. You're hoping that someone will reach down in there and, you know, pick you up and dust you off and bring you up out of there and, you know, show you the way to the promised land. And, and of course that never happens. And then the fourth, Dwayne

(14:10): Does any of this sound, sorry, I'll pause you there for a second. But yeah, you know, a large majority of our audience is probably just spends a lot of their time in the valley of uncertainty where there's doubt about circumstances. There's doubt about labor. There's doubt about the supply chain. There's doubt about, am I doing the right things? Do I have it figured out, where am I gonna find my next people? Those are all the things that we're weighing you down. And, you know, your risks were were different, but the businesses are fairly similar. There's a lot of moving parts in a construction.

(14:43): Yeah. I, I talk to a lot of builders. I talk to countless builders when we're trying to, you know, take a look at their businesses and where they are, and they're, you know, they're at that place, they're obviously in the break, they're thinking about what's next. And the last thing they wanna do is what they just did again. Right. and, but a lot of it is the exhaustion and I've, I've amazed how many people I've talked to, whether you talk about, Hey, there could be some changes. There could be some opportunities and, and, and some of 'em will even be like, well, I don't even know if I wanna be in the same industry.

(15:09): So it does it, it breaks you this industry, the construction industry, I think very well. So because, you know, we suffer with a lot of, a lot of people are trying to do all of this on their own. Yeah. All the time. And you internalize all of this and that's, that's becomes even more painful. Yeah.

(15:26): Well, and the grind, the grind it's in an odd way, the grind is admired. The, the fortitude that comes with that you know, the grit is something that the industry has come to accept and it's in some ways, even celebrate and foster and, you know, for, for anybody out there, it's like, okay, yeah, that may be good in a war or so thing like that. But, you know, in a, in a business where you're trying to create opportunity for others and growth and, and build freedom and abundance, you're stuck. So yeah.

(16:00): It's not sustainable. You probably have different moments. Yeah. You'll probably, you know, you need there's times where you need grit and it's totally called for you don't, you don't wanna be in that phase for the long haul.

(16:12): Let's get to the breakthrough. So yeah, the fourth stage is the breakthrough and that's where, you know, that's where freedom and abundance come to use your terms, Dave. So, but so many of us, you know, that we get to the break stage and we stop sort of like what DJ said, I don't even want to be in this industry anymore. I don't wanna do this anymore. You know, that's, that's not the that's person who sees a bigger future talking. That's a person who sees a future. That's no different than their past. And, and I think that's, that ultimately becomes a real obstacle to making breakthroughs, but I wanna encourage people to a couple things. One breakthroughs are really possible. And I can talk more about that if you like. But two, here's what I try to get people to think about, because this is what helped me get out of the valley. I hated being in the valley. I was looking for someone to blame for being in the valley. And it took me a long time being there before I could finally admit to myself that there was only one person that was responsible for me being where I was. And that was me. So that's the downside of that, that I created a system that was perfectly suited and designed to put me into the valley of uncertainty

(17:24): Now custom built for, custom built for me. Yes. To use it, to use the, the home builder thing. But so that's the downside. But the side, the catalyst side of that is if I was able to design a system so well that it put me exactly where I deserve to be, which is here. And I don't like this. I can certainly design a system that's different. That puts me where I want to be. And that's, I think the, the mindset change that needs to happen with people to get them back on track and to get them believing that breakthroughs are possible. And to get them to believ, they can create a future that's different and better than the past that they're, you know, lamenting or cursing or whatever wanting to get away from. And they just don't see that as soon as you take responsibility for like, here's what this is where I'm at. And the, the downside is that I'm here. But the good side is I design myself myself to be here. So if I was able to do that, I can design myself to be somewhere else. Once you get someone to understand that, at least this was my experience. You can be off to the races again, wanna level up, connect with us to share your stories, ideas, challenges, and successes.

(18:46): The builder nuggets community is built on your experiences. It takes less than a minute to connect with us@buildingnuggets.com, Facebook or Instagram. Want access to the resources that can take you and your team to the next level. One call could change everything.

(19:01): So share with everyone what that looked like for you, because you know, the subtitle of your book talks about out how you got unstuck by choosing to be selfish. What do you mean by that?

(19:16): Yeah. So selfish is, is I use the word very intentionally because I just think it's so, so important. So my, so here, here's what, here's what I think leads to the grind and the break to a large then most entrepreneurs and leaders think that their role is to be selfless, meaning that everybody's needs come before theirs. You've heard people say even things like, well, I pay everybody else before I pay myself. For example, that's, that's you practicing what you think is selfless. And what, what ended up happening for me is I use selflessness as an excuse to not do my job. I use selflessness to be the hero, right. I use the, I use being selfless as a way for me to, you know, kind of come in and save the day and make myself feel good and not move the needle on the company one bit.

(20:13): So when I say selfish, what I mean is when, if I want a different future and I want a different outcome, and I want to own something that I don't have now, I hate, I have to figure out what it is. And for me being selfless was getting in the way for years and years and years of me figuring out what I want it. And if I don't know what I want first of all, I can't get it, but second of all, I can't get other people to help me get what I want. And so for me, and I think this applies to a lot of folks that are, that, that were feeling similarly to me, or we're in the, the, the value of uncertainty or are stuck in some way. One of the big reasons is because they're not leading because they don't know what they want. They're not clear on it. And then, so they can't articulate it to anyone. And so they stay doing, you know, what they know how to do, because not because that's comfortable, but because it's the only thing they have. And I just feel like, and, and when I say selfish, I don't mean in a, like a super negative egotistical way. I mean, in a focused way, getting selfish with yourself focused way.

(21:21): Yeah. Focused way,

(21:22): Mike, you know, we, we had one of our best guests, you know, I mean, recurring Steve bark house. He's been on a few times with us. There's a line that he said, and I think was the very first podcast he did with us that says, you know, I'm putting myself first so that I can be there for other people. Yeah. You know, and I think that's, that's sort of what you're handing at with this, with the selfishness is that you've gotta get yourself to a good place. I mean, you're not gonna be good for your team for those around you, if you're not in a place, you know? So it's, it's gotta be you first, you gotta have your house in order. Yeah. Before you can be able to help other people. Is that, that, that true?

(21:55): Yeah. That's a great point, DJ. I mean, if I, if I am not being the best version of myself, how can I expect anyone else to be the best version of bears? So, yes. I, I, I agree with that. And that's what I'm talking about.

(22:06): I know a lot of listeners out there, I are probably stuck. I I've been there myself. Yeah. What do you think it is that, that keeps people stuck. Cause some people get stuck and they stay stuck, you know, maybe that's that break that you're talking about. Is it the fear of, of doing it again? Or maybe they just, like, as you said, they, they feel like they're just gonna repeat the past. I mean, what, there's a lot of people that stay stuck.

(22:26): Yeah. Why do

(22:27): They do not take action? I think they do take action. They just take the same action over and over again. So I think it, it, I, I think of it sometimes like a rut, right? So I'm driving along and I start to, I start to feel my wheels slipping a little bit and I, I gun the I gun, the, the, you know, the gas and I, and I, and I get myself out of it and I go, whew, okay, got out of that one. Right. And you keep doing that over time. Cuz that's the only thing, you know how to do. Like I'm, I'm a little bit stuck. I'm gonna, I'm gonna give it more because I gotta push through this. Right. And then over time, I like to think of it. Like the tires get a little balded, you know, and the mud gets a little deeper and the Ru gets a little deeper and you finally get yourself to his point and you gun it, you gun it as, as hard as you can. And all you do is, is bury the car. Then you're like, wow, that didn't work. That's always worked. And you just don't know where to turn at that point. You know, you're just like,

(23:22): Well, it only works if you're moving. Right. Which is interesting. It, it actually only works if you're moving forward. And I think Dwayne, that's why people stay stuck is they don't have inertia. They don't have momentum. They're not growing. They're not looking for the right things to do and they get stuck. And, and you have an interesting way. I think of looking at this too, Mike is they start looking around at things and see them as obligations. And instead of looking at what they can be doing as options and you, you create more freedom for yourself and more opportunity for your team and more freedom for everyone when you're able to get yourself in a P in a position and setting yourself up so that you do have choices, you have choices of which clients to work with or to which employees to high, which suppliers or architects to work with. And, and that's really a, a mindset and something that you're now coaching on as well.

(24:11): That's right. And you do. Yeah. I say often options, not obligations all the time, but you know, certainly when you are in the break stage or the grind stage, you're not feeling like options are, you know, for you. Right. You're thinking all you're thinking about is obligations. This obligation that obligation every obligation. And you have to have someone talking in your ear about that. I mean, ultimately that's what I needed when I got out. I think, I think it was, I think DJ said, you know, something that reminded me of isolation, you know, like you get into, so to the break stage of the grind stage and you feel like it's all on you and, and you, you, you essentially, you self isolate inside of your own miserableness and inside of your, your business. And you think that if, if the answer isn't inside of there, it's nowhere and you build up these wall.

(25:03): Like, I, I describe how I built these walls around me and they physical walls, but they were, they, they were physical to me because I thought, you know, if I buried myself in my business, that's all I would need. I don't need anything from the outside. And so when you're not looking for things they don't find you, you C you know, for, for me, at least. And I think for a lot of people, you can't be, you can't be isolated. You know, all the answers are not inside your company. All the answers are not with the people that you've worked with for a long time. They're just not. Yeah.

(25:34): And I think that is a great point right now because the housing industry is on fire. You know, builders, remodelers probably have more work than they've ever had. Demand is through the roof. They can't get enough trades and workers to keep up with it. So they, you know, there's that part of 'em, that's, they're buried in their business. So they're, they're not even seeing opportunities. They're not looking at anything out there as options. When in reality, this is, they probably have more opportunity right now than, than at any point in time, because they've got a little bit of the upper hand, but they just don't see it that way. They've buried themselves in their business. I love that line.

(26:06): You talked about, you have to go outside of what you already know. At what point did you do that? What did you find, or who did you find and what happened?

(26:16): Well, I had this is another reason I ended up where I did, but I had all kinds of fallacies that I thought were true. And one of the fallacies that I had was that, you know asking for help is like cheating. Yeah.

(26:31): Because when you go to school and you ask for help during a test, they call that cheating. And so I didn't wanna be a cheater. I, I just, so I wanted to figure everything out on my own. And so I didn't, so I didn't go out and seek things. But the first step that, that I remember taking was just a really, really simple one. I went to the local city chamber of commerce meeting. I went to a meeting, a breakfast meeting, and I was there just sort of kicking the tires on, you know, networking or meeting people out of my business. And there was a restaurant tour that talked to us that morning. His name was Johnny VAO and Johnny had one of the, still does one of the, the, you know, best state places in, in the city. And, and maybe some other cities too, by now.

(27:15): But so he is talking about his career and how he started and all that. And, and and that was fine, but, but, but then he, he sort of got really quiet and he sort of started whispering about to us about, you know, feelings, like some of the feelings that we're talking about right now. Like he didn't know what he was gonna do and the call he was, you know, burnt out and that kind of stuff. And then he said, a friend of mine told me about a program called the, the strategic coach and that program. He told me that if I joined that program and I did the work that I would have, I would have a very good chance of tripling my income and, and, and increasing my time off to whatever I wanted. You know, he said a little bit more about signing up for it and what it did for him.

(27:55): And when he started talking like that, I call him my messenger now, because when he started talking like that, I felt like I was the only person in the room. Then I felt like he was speaking directly to me. And I thought, that's exactly what I'm looking for. Right. So I'm gonna do that. So he took that first little meeting, had the messenger there because when your ears and eyes are open to something, you, you know, when your brain wants something, your ears and I eyes are, are open to it. And, you know, there's a convergence, right? The, the, the Messenger's there, your brain's open to it. And boom. And so I joined that program and that was, you know, one of the best things that I ever did now, it didn't walk me out of the valley right away. It took years, a couple years for that to happen. But that's an example of, you know, one, you know, one of the, the most, one of the, the first and most me things that happened to me to help me see that there was a way to break through and that getting help, wasn't cheating,

(28:51): It's collaborating. Right. And you know, you, you went from not seeking anything right. To a small step out and somebody saying, Hey, try this. And I'm in strategic code as well. And it's been amazing for me and how I change, how I, how I think about the business. In some ways it's got me unstuck from my old ways of thinking as well. But when you start to collaborate or listen or interact with other highly successful people, none of them got there on their own. They were a, all the seekers, they were all the people going out to try and figure out how can I do this better? And for a lot of people, that is the that is the breakthrough is to decide, Hey, this is how far I got on my own. There's nothing wrong with this. Like, you know, there's nothing wrong with asking how, where do I go from here, pulling over, getting directions and figuring out that there's an awesome life out there waiting for you. So,

(29:48): Yeah. So asking for help is actually taking control those things. Those things seem, seem to me like they were diametrically opposed to one another, but they're actually asking for help when you need it is taking control of your future. Right?

(30:02): Right. It's taking charge cuz you're, you're trying to find the path. And one of the ways to find the path is to take somebody who knows it or to talk to somebody who knows it already. And it's amazing how many times they will walk you down it with them. Like even look at when you ask for directions, people are dying to help you. Yeah. Especially if you want to fall, know what, they're what they're saying. So there's a whole universe or whole world of, you know, people out there who want to help you get to where you're going and there's abundance of those resources. So, okay. So, so that's pretty cool. So you said it took you a couple years. It's not like it's somebody that sprinkles, pixie dust on your business and, and right. You go, but it sounds like you were reinspired by this. And you got to, you, you got to spend some time with some other high level, you know, strategic thinkers and soak in their stories and hear what they were doing, get their advice. This is really where the shift is happening and, and that's right. What was, what, what was that period like for you?

(31:02): Well, while I was in it, like a lot of things when you're in, you're not actually seeing all this, you know, how all the shifts are, are changing you, but, and as I mentioned, it coup, it took me a couple of years. So in addition to, you know, my involvement in the strategic coach, which, which opened me up to, you know, the help thing, it opened me up the tools that I would never ever have thought about using, but it really got me thinking about myself. And I thought I mentioned these fallacies that I had. And then, and I, and you know, I started acknowledging that those were just stories. I was telling myself, but, you know, I believed those stories and I wouldn't move forward. Having those stories still be true. So trying to figure out how to get past these mental stories, FA these fallacies that I had was, was very important.

(31:54): And then I did this thing. I, I call it taking inventory and I started just taking all of the belief systems that I had and I wrote them all down. And then I was like, okay. So which of these belief systems are actually helping me, you know, get to the, the breakthrough that I'm looking for and which of them are keeping me here. And then I just started to try to attack those one at a time as I was getting this outside help because the outside help is great, but it doesn't do the work for you. You know, it shows you stuff and it tells you stuff and it puts you around people, but it doesn't do the work for you. And I had to get really good about doing the work for me. So that's how I used my inventory. You know, like I had a perfect problem and I had, you know, all these other kinds of problems that I thought, oh, these are keeping me from making progress, not helping me be better, which is what I thought they were. And so that's another example of sort of how I worked on myself in between getting help from other people.

(32:51): Yeah. You realize that, you know, there's the, the fog sort of starts to lift as you come through this and you realize that, you know, it wasn't all a cloud half the half the time, it was the fog machine that you created for yourself and that, you know, it's your own. Some people call it brain trash or, or, or, you know, whatever mine, trash, but it starts to clear for you talk about starting to come out the other side, some of the results that you saw that gave you the courage to put the pedal down again and, and, and, and speed up. And cuz you, you started to accomplish some amazing things quickly after that.

(33:25): So I was making progress and you know, I was doing okay, but I wasn't changing a lot. You know, I was, I was learning stuff that I wasn't changing a lot. So when I started to attack things on my, on my you know, my inventory that helped a bunch, but then something happened that really just made it all click for me. And I was you're, you know, in strategic coach. So you're, you're familiar with, you know, Dan Sullivan who, who, you know, thought up strategic coach or whatever he and his, and his wife Babs. But I was listening to a CD that he had put out. He was talking about a, a high school reunion that he had been to and, you know, just how different he was than the people that were there. And he said, you know, the, the thing that's different about the way I think versus the way these other people think is that I believe that my future is my property and it was just a line that he used, you know?

(34:18): And he, then he, he just went on and sort of, for me, the CD stopped right there when he said my future is my property, because I didn't feel like my future was my property. I didn't feel like you could create a future. I didn't think at the time that you could design a future because the future is just happens. Right. For most people, it just happens. And I was not a imagining a future that was any different than my past, you know, which had got me into the value of uncertainty in the first place. So I grabbed onto that. My future is my property and that became the belief system that guided me through all the rest of the things that, that I would do. And I'm still doing is I got selfish about really getting clear about making my future, my property, something that I created and I owned wasn't somebody else's, it wasn't just going to happen. That was, and has been just an amazing breakthrough and catalyst for me. And when I believe that my future is my property, that I can design it and own, own it and pay for it. It makes everything seem like it's just up to me. And I don't mean just me. Like I don't need help, but it's just up to what I want is up to me. I just then need to figure out, you know, how I want to, to design the way to get it.

(35:38): So you did that, you designed the way to work towards that future that you became committed to creating. And what were some of the things that happened next?

(35:47): Well, probably the biggest thing that happened was that I had, I had probably had a hundred, some people on my team at this point, you know, before I had this breakthrough, I had great people, very talented people, but I still had a system designed sort of like a pyramid where everything sort of ran up to me. That's how I wanted it. Right. And one of the biggest things that I was able to do after this realization, and for some people, this is gonna feel like a realization in other people. It's gonna feel like I'm, you know, tell me I'm stupid, but once I could get clear the future that I wanted to own and make my property, I could then go back and I could tell the team, this is what I would like to see happen. This is what I wanna see happen, but I, I can't get there by doing it the way that I have had this set up.

(36:30): So I'm gonna re restructure the company. I'm gonna empower people to, to deliver on the things that we need in order for this future to become, you know, our property. It's not just gonna be about me anymore. And what, you know, like I said, some people are gonna think that's a revelation. Some people are gonna think that's dumb or simplistic, but it was amazing for me because after that, I was able to really make a goal setting and goal achievement, culture and company out of everybody, because everybody had skin in the game that even though if they weren't an owner or anything, they all had skin in, in the game of achieving where before it was kind of like, oh, well, you, you did a good job. So I think you did a good job so

(37:11): Well, and you did it by changing one word just from my future is my property. That our future is our property. That's right. And, and defining the mission and create elevation opportunities for the rest of your, for the rest of your team, so that they saw it as you out blazing pathways of opportunity and growth for them, instead of everything, instead of their energy, being all funneled up to you, you were out creating the path that they could pour themselves into, and it would elevate them instead, it completely flip the flip, the circumstances there. So you were able to grow leaders that would then help you acquire other businesses and expand and, and take on more. You had a committed, you know, team of people who were like not vying for that one spot above of them. There was an abundance of spots and opportunity coming that they could see and visualize and go on the mission with you on.

(38:05): Yeah, yeah. So, so true. And, and, and just on top of that, I'll just add that it also gave me the opportunity and the, the, the freedom to do my job, to do the things that I'm actually good at, not the things that were, you know, sort of wearing me down and not the, I didn't need to be the hero of anything. I just needed to do my job. And now that I had the whole team engaged in what the future would be in making it our property, I was able to do the things that I needed to really move the needle where before I hadn't been doing that, as I explained, when I talked about selfless versus selfish,

(38:40): Well, we'll have to, we'll have to have you come on again here because we're, we're running out of, I, I, we know you've got another engagement to, to run to, and there's so much more that you're, that you've got going on before we, before we end this, though, we have, we always love to ask, tell us something that you're excited about. You've got a brand new coaching platform. You're, you're dealing with owners who have really you, who are on that path, or wanna go on that path. It's an elite level of coaching for business owners with a 10 million to $250 million company, much like what, you've, what you've built. Right. so tell us about that or anything else that you're excited about before we let you go today?

(39:19): Yeah, thanks. So I appreciate you mentioning that. And that came from the book from people contacting me after they read the book and asking me if I could help them, because I didn't write the book for that, for that purpose. I wrote it just to, to, to you know, my, my idea was to help on entrepreneurs think about going big and, and continuing to make breakthroughs, because I want that, that's what I want them doing. Not thinking small, I don't believe in the small thinking, but as people, you know, were kind enough to get the book and read it, and then they reached out to me and I thought, well, yeah, okay. Yeah, I can help. I can help with some people with what they need. And so that's how that got off the ground. Just very organically. So I'm excited about that. I, you know, I've got my podcast that's called how'd it happen that I do. I'm really into that. I get a lot of energy from that and have some great stories that I get an, an opportunity to share.

(40:09): You can see all this stuff@mikemea.com. We're happy to point people there encourage everyone to go. And like we said earlier, get this book. It's really so good. Reach out, check out Mike's stuff. There's so much valuable content on there between, between the stories where you're going with the coaching. We wish you tons of success with that. Been great having you on here today. Dwayne, any final comments?

(40:33): This was great. I mean, I'd love the whole concept of being stuck and getting yourself unstuck. So appreciate it, Mike. Thanks for, thanks for taking the time and my pleasure. Best of luck to you going forward, man. My pleasure. Thanks. Thanks Dwayne. Thanks Steve.

Hey, thanks for listening, Dwayne and I love hearing from you. Your stories are inspiring and your challenges can be overcome. Got a cool tip idea for a show problem that you haven't been able to solve, or maybe just struggling to figure out what you need next and where to get it. We can help hit us up@buildernuggets.com and start building freedom.

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