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You can have the right goals. The right daily tasks. You can even have your values dialled in. But if you’re in a bad environment, you’re sailing against the wind.

Family, friends, and even commercial radio can derail your progress so badly that you never reach your goals.

The right environment accelerates your journey towards healthy relationships, more money, and a stronger spiritual connection.

This episode teaches you all about how to shape your environment to your advantage.

Listen now and discover how to transform your environment into a powerful tailwind that gets you to a more fulfilled life, effortlessly, in half the time!

Show highlights include: 

  • How to eradicate the “crabs in the bucket” of your life and be around people who lift you up instead (3:00)
  • A zero-effort way to access an inspiring environment of people who are begging for you to win (5:35)
  • How to “guilt the business struggles away”… so you never face the same problem twice (7:05)
  • The quick switches that create exponential progress in your life without any extra effort (10:04)
  • Transform social media from a mindless time-sink into your personal growth hub (11:55)
  • Exactly what to say to your unavoidable negative family members… so they don’t drag you down at the next family reunion (16:24)
  • How to “network hop” your way to an army of people who send you opportunities first… even if they’ve never met you before! (19:05)
Read Full Transcript

In life, you have two choices. You can build a lifestyle or you can live a bullshit life, but you can't do both. Welcome to the “Freedom Lifestyle Experience”, where we focus on building the lifestyle you want—and now here's your host, Michael Burns.

Mike: Welcome to the Freedom Lifestyle Experience. I'm your host, Mike Burns. Appreciate you guys tuning into the show today.

Hey, just a reminder. If you like the show, if you're getting value from it, please like the show, share the show, and leave me a review. It's really the only way that I’m going to be able to grow this thing and get this lifestyle and personal accountability message out there to the world, which is the sole reason that I’m doing this show.

In building this lifestyle, it's like a recipe. You’ve got a bunch of different ingredients and you can be doing everything right. You can be on point. You’ve got your core values dialed in. You’ve got your daily tasks you're doing. You're writing down your goals, your dreams. You're going to the gym. You're having a date night with the relationship that you're in. You're doing everything right. But if you don't have the right environment around you, it’s going to fucking derail everything that you're doing. [01:05.6]

Today we're going to talk about your environment and, really, that's how you're going to set yourself up to win. Like I said, you can be doing everything else right, but if you don't have your environment and you're not in a positive environment that's supporting what it is you're trying to do, that's going to derail you overnight.

Really, your environment is going to be a positive environment that's supporting what you're wanting to do and it's in line with everything that you're working towards, or you're going to be in a negative environment, which is going to derail all of your efforts. It would be like going to the gym training two hours a day and then just eating McDonald’s and Burger King. You're just not going to get where you're wanting to go because it's like a gas and a brake at the same time.

I think the biggest thing with our environment, there are several pieces to the environment, but where I’m going to start with is the people that we are around, which really comes down to our family and our friends. You’ve got your working environment and your associates and coworkers and stuff, too, but your family and your friends are the foundation of our environment, the people who are spending our time around. [02:06.0]

This is probably the biggest roadblock challenge for most people starting on this entrepreneur path, or not even entrepreneurship, in general, but just you want to change your life and you want to start doing things differently, and as you change, the people around you aren't always going to like that. They like who you are now and you're going to have people in your life who are positive and supportive and encouraging, and want to see you change. They want to see you develop. They want to see you get better. They want to see you chase your dreams and your goals.

Then you're going to have other people who don't want to see you change, because as you're doing the work and they're not doing the work, it starts to bring out their bullshit to themselves, and then you start to have the smartass comments, like, Oh, you're too good for us now, or, Oh, Mike's going in big time, he wants to do this, he wants to do that, and you start hearing the smartass negative comments, and that's when the haterade starts coming out. [02:58.5]

Family and friends, it's the hardest piece I think because we love our family, we love our friends, and that's our sphere of influence. That's the people that we're spending our life around, so you just have to audit that. You have to audit your environment and who is positive and who’s negative, who is helping you propel forward and who is holding you back.

There's this saying, the crab in the bucket. If you're not familiar with the “crab in the bucket” phrase or story, I guess, I’ll go over that with you real quick, and this is a real thing, by the way.

If you put a bunch of crabs in a bucket and one crab starts crawling towards the top of the bucket and it's about to go over the top, and, essentially, escape or get out of the bucket, the other crabs will actually reach up and grab that crab and pull him back down.

They'll literally climb on top of each other if they need to to grab that crab and pull him back down into the bucket, so he's back down there in the bucket with the rest of the crabs—and you're going to experience that. Just part of the deal. When you start growing, you start changing, you start making moves, you're going to notice the crabs-in-the-bucket mentality from people in your life, and it's unfortunate, but it just is what it is. It's part of the deal. [04:06.0]

You just constantly have to be auditing your environment and the people that you're spending your time around with, and, like I said, if you're sitting here doing everything right and you're flowing over here—you're doing everything that you can do. You're putting in the work and controlling your controllables—but then the people that you're spending your time around with, they're the e-brake to all of those efforts and they're just negative, dead weight. You’ve got to drop them. You’ve got to cut them out.

I know that's hard to do. Especially when it comes to family and friends, it's like, I love them, they're family. They're my friends, we've been homies since we were 12 years old, whatever it might be. It doesn't have to be a negative thing. Maybe take those people on small doses or just eliminate them all together.

But this is going to be and I think it's one of the most challenging things that people deal with when growing and changing. It’s because not everyone is going to take that journey with you and that's just a reality of what it is and some people are going to come with you all the way. Other people are going to want to see you do good and do better, but as long as it's not better than them or as long as it's not too good or too much better. [05:07.5]

You really constantly need to be auditing and paying attention to the people in your life, and they're either a positive asset to you or they're a negative liability to you, and you need to address that seriously. There are both sides of that, positive and negative, so you’ve just got to add and remove, add things that are working and remove things that aren't working.

The biggest thing that I always try to do is I want to be around people who are doing what I want to do or I want to be around people who are what I want to aspire to be, and a hack that I do to do that is I join mastermind groups. For example, I’m in Mark Evans’ DM Family. It's a $35,000 annual commitment and there are about 35, 36 guys in the group led by Mark Evans.

I joined that group because I think Mark is just an absolute boss of a human being. He kills it in business. He makes a ton of money, but he's also a great dad. He's a great husband. He's very serious about his lifestyle and he doesn't waiver from his core values or the way he wants his life by design to be for money or for anything else. [06:14.8]

I want to be around a guy like that. I want to learn from him. I want to emulate him, and the guys in the group, too, not only this group, but just different environments, in general. I’m using this as an example, or like Arete Syndicate. I’m a part of Sean Whalen's Lions Not Sheep Group. I’m constantly trying to plug into groups of people that are doing the things that I want to do or that are the type of people that I want to be around, because as you upgrade your environment and as you're hanging around people who are doing better than you or that are doing good things, it's naturally going to lift you up because, energetically, that's the environment that you're in. [06:54.0]

For me, especially when I’m joining these masterminds, these higher-level masterminds, where I’m with guys that are much further down the road than I am in business and life, it makes me want to up my game, because if we're meeting every quarter and if we have a meeting and I’m talking about my issues, my problems, the things that I’m working on, if we come meet and the next meetup, I’m talking about the same shit, then I’m going to feel a little bitch because I didn’t do any work and I’m seeing everyone else elevate, and everyone else is doing what they said they're going to do and they're working on the game plan they put together, but I’m not. I’m just going to look like a little bitch and I’m not okay with that, so it's going to force me to level up.

Putting myself in environments and around people who are, like I said, doing what I want to do or just they're inspiring, and it's not just business either. For the longest time, I took this a little too seriously. I got in a position where I was earlier in business. I was very focused on business and making money and being successful and, like I said, I took this way too seriously. It was like, if you're not making moves and you're not successful and you're not making money, then I don't want to be around you and I can't spend any time with you, and I was pretty hardcore about it. [08:03.6]

But now I’m starting to realize, the more that I build this lifestyle, that I have different buckets. We all have different buckets and those different buckets are the different things in our lifestyle. For me, it's business and money. It's relationships and family. It's health and fitness. It's spiritual. It's just the fun and the experiences.

Different people are going to fill my buckets for different things. I might have people that I spend time around with who fill my business bucket. They're awesome and great at business, but I’m not going to be looking. It's not a one size fits all. Some people aren't going to fill all your buckets.

I’ve got my people that I hang out with that I’m getting my business stuff from and I’m getting stimulated there. I’ve got other people that I spend time around. I really like and respect what they're doing in the spiritual sense of things, so I spend time there to get my spiritual bucket filled. Kia and I have other couple friends that we like to go hang out with and have dinner with that are good friends. They have great relationships. [09:04.5]

Scott and Anne Travis are new friends of ours. They've been married for 35 years and you could just see them, they're head over heels in love with each other. They're awesome people and it's cool to be around them because it's a good example to us of what a healthy marriage looks like and what it looks like 35 years into the deal.

Whatever it is that you're looking to do, go spend time around those people who are doing what you want to do and plug into that environment, because, again, you could be doing in at all, but if you're not in the right environment, if you're sitting here reading the books and going to the gym, and just doing all the stuff, writing down your goals and your dreams, but then you're going and getting fucked up at the bar every weekend or you're going and hanging out with your friends that are talking about the football game and the weather, and can't wait for next Labor Day or whatever it is. Those things aren't line and it's going to be really hard to catch momentum towards your goals and what you're doing. [10:00.0]

That's covering the environment when it comes to the external. The other part of your environment is the internal piece and everything that you control, and that's what you're putting in, what you're taking in. Are you watching TV or are you changing your TV out for watching maybe documentaries or YouTube? I mean, YouTube is such a great tool. Any and everything you want to learn is on YouTube.

The radio, when you're driving in the car, are you listening to the radio? I mean, the radio is like chewing gum, but for your ears. You don't remember anything that you heard. It's mindless. Maybe you jam with a couple of the beats to the songs. You listen to a bunch of bullshit radio ads.

Instead of driving in the car, listening to your radio, or being at the gym, listening to music, swap that out for a podcast or for an audiobook. The amount of time that people spend driving in their car and at the gym, you hear the term “university on wheels”, the amount of time that it’s just dead time, wasted time. You can multiply that time when you're driving and doing other things that you're already doing if you add an audiobook or a podcast. [11:09.8]

What you're feeding into your brain and is what you're going to get out on the other side, so if you're sitting here learning stuff about sales or about marketing, or about mindset or spiritual stuff, or health and fitness, whatever it might be, if you're taking that in while you're doing other activities that you're doing either way, if you start compounding that over time, you're going to get a ton of results for that, because you're not getting anything from a song, you're not getting anything from the radio.

But if you smash an audiobook or two every month, at the end of a year, you've got 24 books that you just read. The amount of knowledge that you're taking in, that's going to start changing the way that you're thinking and the way that you're seeing things—and it's just all part of this momentum that we're talking about with this environment and getting everything in alignment with what it is you're wanting to do. [11:54.3]

Social media is huge. I think social media is one of the greatest tools and things that has ever been brought to people, but it can be extremely positive and it can also be very detrimental as well. What are you looking at when you're sitting there scrolling on Instagram and Facebook? Are you just looking at mindless dumb shit, memes and just random videos and whatever the algorithm feeds and serves up to you, or are you really conscious and auditing who you're following and who you're friends with?

I spend way too much time on social media. It's something I’m always working on. However I’m following people that I’m learning from. I’m following Andy Frisella, Ed Mylett, Grant Cardone, Mark Evans, Sean Whalen, Brad Lea, Danny Morel. I’m following people that I’m learning from or that I’m getting stimulation from, or I’m getting motivation from.

I’m following my friends that I’m supporting what they're doing. I'm following my friends that are just my friends in general, friends in business, people we do business with, guys that are in my mastermind groups, watching what they're doing, and I’m liking and supporting and commenting on their stuff because it's positive. It's upbeat. It's growth. It’s all growth-related and people who are working on living their lifestyle, building their lifestyle. [13:10.3]

Or, like I said, social media can be the total little opposite. You can be following people that post nothing but negative shit and it's just “Oh, poor me” this or negative stuff that, or everything is just anti-Trump this or fuck Biden that, and that's all it is.

If you follow me, I throw a lot of freedom stuff in there and I talk a fair amount about all the bullshit that's going on, and that's another piece that's coming in. What information are you allowing in? Are you following the mainstream media? Are you listening to this negative agenda and all the propaganda that's being fed 24/7?

And it doesn't matter if you're a CNN listener on the left or if you're a Fox listener on the right. You think that's left and right because we're literally trained and programed to think it's Republican and Democrat, but it's all equally the same propaganda. It's like CNN is talking shit about Fox and all the extreme right, and then Fox is doing the same thing, talking shit about CNN and everything that they perceive to be on the extreme left. [14:09.4]

But when you buy into these distractions, you allow the division to happen and, now, instead of being focused on the controllables and what you can control, now you're worried about shit that you have no control over. What did Biden do today or what did Trump say? Or this, that, the vaccine this, you get what I’m saying? You can be totally consumed by the information that you take in, and whether it's positive- or negative-based, is going to dictate the entire outcome of your life, so you’ve really, really got to constantly be monitoring your environment.

Another thing is your food. If you're going to the gym, if your goal is to get in shape and get jacked, you want to look good, you're going to the gym. You're drinking your water. You're doing all the stuff. But then you're eating like shit. Again, that's a gas-brake effect there. You're not going to get the results that you're looking for. [15:00.0]

Just to circle back on what I’m talking about, I think it's one thing to talk about it, but how do you actually implement this? I think the first thing to do is to write down the people that are [around you]—and I’m big on this. Every episode, I’m talking about writing things down and actually action steps and things that you can do, because way too many people listen to podcasts, they read a book, they go to a conference, they go to a seminar, and then they leave and that's it. It's like, okay, cool, check the box. I went. I went to the conference. I read the book. I got short-term motivation. Then you just put it on the shelf. Then you're not taking action. You're not doing anything with it.

We're talking about the environment that you're creating and building for yourself, and is it positive or is it negative? Let's do some auditing on that. Take out a piece of paper and write it down. Make a positive column and a negative column, or just make a list of all the closest people in your life and then go through each one of them. People you're spending the most time with, are they positive or are they negative? Are they supporting what you're trying to do or are they not so supportive, and, at best, I mean, not at best, but neutral people? Anything negative has to go immediately. [16:09.0]

There's no negotiating with negative. Maybe you can try and have a talk with someone. If it's someone in your family or a close friend that's important to you and you can see that they're negative, but you're a loyal person because loyalty is a part of your core values and you just don't want to cut this person out of your life, we can have the conversation like, Hey, Nathan, hey, bro, I’m sitting here, I’ve got these things I want to do. I’m really serious about making more money. I want to get in better shape. I love you, man. We've been homies forever, but I don't feel like you're supporting what I’m trying to do. I don't feel like you've been very supportive of these changes that I’m making, and I love you, bro, but this is the direction I’m going in my life. I’m serious about it. I’m committed to it. It's important to me and I need you to get on board with that, and if you're not on board with that, then we're going to have to take some time apart because either you're with it or you're not. I need people in my life that are going to support me, and if they're not going to support me, then I don't want them in my life. It's a hard conversation, but it's a conversation that has to happen. [17:03.5]

Like I said, at the very least, you need people who are neutral, but even then, why settle for neutral people when you can have positive people and people who are supporting what it is you want to do? Go through and audit that. Audit all the people that are in your life. Are they an asset and they're positive and encouraging and helping you in getting there, or are they a liability and they're negative and they're not helping you get there? Because either you want this or you don't, and not to harp on the family and friends piece, but I think it's the thing that people struggle with the most because as we love our family and we love our friends.
This isn't a onetime thing either as, as you constantly have to be auditing the people that are in your life, and the more that you grow and the different levels that you hit, some people are going to want to see you do good, but as long as it's not better than them, or they're only going to want to see you do so good and then it's going to become an issue for them. Just constantly be auditing that. [17:58.4]

But then also who can you add to your life? Be looking for new contacts and new relationships, and that's why I spend so much time networking, whether it's here locally and I do a lot of lunch meetings, meeting new people, building relationships, going to different networking things. I’m starting to do some speaking, the more that I can get invited to come speak to groups, I’m trying to do more of that.

But put yourself out there. Like I said, get around the places and the environment and the people that are doing things you want to do. Go join business networking groups. If you just look into wherever it is you live, there are all sorts of different business networking groups and people don't necessarily need to be doing what it is you're doing, but you want to go plug into a chamber of commerce or go plug into any sort of business networking group, because those are people that are with a like-mindedness that are trying to do better. They’re trying to network with other like-minded individuals and that's how you're going to build your network, because it's nice to have [contacts]. [18:55.0]

I’m a real estate guy, but I need tons of other contacts that aren't necessarily real estate people to be successful in my business, and then when you network more, not only are you building a relationship with the insurance guy, but now because you're connected with this insurance guy, now you have access to his entire network as well. When you're a real estate guy and you build a relationship with this insurance guy, now you're top of mind for real estate for this insurance dude and his entire network, and that's how it works. You want to really make a large effort to be adding positive people and positive groups of people to your life.
For example, you've got BNI, which is a business networking group, and what's cool about BNI is they'll allow one professional for each category to be in the group. You’ve got a real estate guy, a mortgage guy, an insurance guy, a health insurance guy, an electrician, a plumber, so on and so forth. But you’ve got people who are investing time and money to go invest into a group and to network, so you're around like-minded people who are wanting to grow their business or wanting to build relationships, and that's just an environment that you can plug into. [20:06.0]

Toastmasters would be another one. Toastmasters is a public speaking group. If you’ve got people that are willing to go join a group of people who don't know each other to learn how to public speaking together, that probably shows you that they're pretty serious about whatever it is they're doing if you're willing to go do public speaking with a bunch of strangers and learn that together. That's probably one of the hardest things that people do, public speaking.

You could join a Rotary group. You could join a chamber of commerce. Basically, any and all trades have their association. For example, I’m a real estate guy, so there are real estate investor associations. Just in the Salt Lake area, there are three of them. Go plug into groups where people are doing what you want to do or a similar environment and they're just trying to do better.

That's what I’ve got for you guys today. Again, take this seriously. Your environment is really going to make or break you, like I’ve said multiple times. [21:00.5]

I want to interact with you, so follow me on Instagram @Michael.Burnz, B-U-R-N-Z with a Z. I’m on Facebook at MrMichaelBurns. If you like the show, please like it. Share it. Tell a friend about it. Leave me a positive review, and I'd love to interact with you. Shoot me some messages. What do you like? What don't you like? What do you want to learn about? What do you want to talk about?

We'll see you guys next week.

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