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“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

It doesn’t matter how well you plan. Just like Tyson’s punch, you can’t avoid every business catastrophe, family dispute, or “shiny object” that tries to pull you away from your goals. But you can learn to minimize the damage

In this episode, you’ll discover how you can dust yourself off sooner so you can get back to focusing on building your freedom lifestyle.

Listen now and never get knocked down by problems again!

Show highlights include: 

  • The “shiny paper” pandemic that plagues masterminds and kills dreams of business success (8:48)
  • Why copying successful tactics is a terrible idea that only distracts you from your goals (9:07)
  • Instantly get clarity on your most anxiety-inducing problem by uttering 9 words (13:26)
  • The ten-second gut check you can use next time you’re faced with “shiny object syndrome” (15:07)
  • How to protect your energy so political debates, family drama and public health hysteria don’t consume you (15:35)
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: What's going on, guys? Welcome back to another episode of the Freedom Lifestyle Experience. I'm your host, Mike Burns. I appreciate you guys tuning in. Hope everyone's New Year is off to a good start and you're still stoked about the goals and everything you said you were going to do this year and actually doing it.

The last month has been a hell of a time for me. I’ve been swimming in bullshit pretty much full time and nothing but problems and distractions, and just everything that comes with life in business. Actually I’ve circled back to several years ago and as I was starting to scale my business and life was getting busier and the relationships, trying to keep on top of the health and fitness, and doing the travel stuff and all the different things that I talk about with lifestyle. [01:02.0]

But when I would get hit with distractions or major problems, one of the biggest things that I was working on and I'm always trying to work on is minimizing the downtime. Life is going to happen. Problems are going to happen. Bullshit is going to happen and that's just part of the deal of what we're doing.

Those things are always going to be there, but, really, the biggest thing that we can control on our end is minimizing the downtime. How quickly can I bounce back and how fast can I absorb the hit, process whatever it is that's going on and get back on track and get back on the rails, and really not waste time wallowing in our bullshit, wasting time getting caught up in the distractions or just focused on the problems? It's like, okay, cool, it is what it is. That's literally my life motto is—it is what it is. What are we going to do about it?

A couple of things I’ve got going on right now that are stories that I'm dealing with actively that will kind of help bring home the message that I'm talking about. I wanted to start with problems because I think, problems, as Mike Tyson says, everyone's got a plan until you get punched in the mouth and that's so true. [02:07.7]

Everything we've talked about in the first five or six episodes here, and you can be doing everything right, doing your part and being consistent, being disciplined and all the different things, but like Mike Tyson says, when you get hit in the mouth, then what are you going to do? Because that's when a distraction or a problem happens and it throws you off.

Right now, yesterday—so today is Wednesday, so last night—I haven't been feeling very good in the last few days and, last night, my assistant calls me and she's like, Hey, are we redoing the roof on a house that we’ve got going over in Salt Lake? If you guys follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I’ve made some posts about this, but I said, “No, we're definitely not doing a roof.” This is a house that we flipped. It's listed for sale on the market and it's under contract to be sold.

Anyway, she's like, There are guys down here tearing the fucking roof off, and I was like, What? Tell them they need to stop immediately, and I was like, Park behind them and block them in. Make sure they don't leave. Find out who they are and why they're there, and get their information and call the police, so we can just get a police report. I've been through a unique situation like this in the past that I’ll share with you here in a minute. [03:16.8]

Anyway, I jump in my car, jump in my truck. I drive down there. It's about 30 minutes, this house, from where I live, and on the way down there, my assistant was getting information from the roofer. Apparently, what happened was the buyer who is buying the house decided they wanted to get a couple of bids on having the roof redone or putting a new layer of shingles on it or whatever they were doing. Apparently, the roofer thought that the buyer had hired them to do the job, so they showed up and they started tearing the roof off. When I got on site, literally half of the roof was torn off the house, and trying to sort our way through this situation, but I get on the phone with the buyer's real estate agent, talking with her. [04:02.8]

She has no idea what's going on. She calls her client and that's a bunch of he-said, she-said with four people in between. The cops were actually irritated that we called them. They said it was a civil matter, not a criminal matter, and they didn't even know why they were there, so that was an interesting situation within itself.

But, anyway, this is a distraction. It's a problem. It could have set me off all last night and then today totally consumed me, but when you switch into solution mode, okay, this is what's happening, it is what it is, what can we do to handle it and move forward, keep the deal together make sure these guys stop tearing the roof off and just work through the situation? We're working through the situation. We'll see how things go. This all happened last night, but, hopefully, we can keep the deal together. Hopefully, this buyer can. I'm having my roofer go, take a look at the roof and give me a bid, and, hopefully, we can kind of resolve this situation, keep the deal together, get to the closing table and just get the deal done. [05:02.7]

Otherwise, I'm going to have to figure out how we get a new roof on the house, and then, if the buyer walks from the deal, we're going to have to go through the whole lawsuit claim, taking their earnest money and it will go sideways, but I guess we'll just see how that shakes out.

I posted about this on my Instagram and my social or my Facebook, and about two years ago, we had a property that had the same thing. It was listed for sale.

It was a flip and it was winter time, too, so I was cruising up. I was in the area. We had just gotten back from Hawaii or Mexico or something, and I was in the area and I just had this feeling, Oh, I'm in the area, I’ll cruise by the house over there in Millcreek, check it out, make sure everything is okay, and it was vacant sitting there for sale.

I'm pulling up. It was a corner lot, and I'm kind of turning the corner and I'm looking at the house and I'm like, Damn, the driveway is really muddy, looks like shit. I can't believe the guys left it that way. Then I get closer to the house and I realize the fucking driveway was gone. We're talking a 60-foot long by eight-foot wide concrete driveway that had been totally ripped up and it was gone. The driveway was just gone. [06:08.0]

To this day we don't know. We don't know how or we don't know why. The news ended up getting called. I was on the news. They did a story about it. The neighbors across the way said, “Yeah, guys were there for the last day or two tearing it out and we thought it was kind of interesting. You guys were redoing the driveway. It looked fine, and thought it was an interesting time for you to redo the driveway after you did the remodel and everything.

Anyway, we never found out what happened. I assume what happened was someone just hit the wrong house and then realized they fucked up, and they just didn't do the right thing and let us know what happened, so we ended up having to put a new driveway in on that house. But it was funny that I was posting about this, this situation with the roof, and everyone was pointing out the driveway scenario from a couple years ago.
But, anyway, what I'm talking about is problems and minimizing the downtime that you're sitting there focused on the problem and switching into solution mode, so you can deal with it and get back focused on the shit that you're supposed to be doing and working on moving you towards all your goals and your dreams, and all the different areas of the lifestyle that we talked about. [07:11.8]

Another problem that I shared with you guys last week with this is a situation I’ve got going on with this contractor who walked off these jobs and he has got 45 grand on one of them and he has been paid about 65,000 on the other job. Now that we're really digging into where we're at on that and getting new bids from other contractors to finish the jobs, it's going to be a huge hit. I don't know what it's going to end up being, but I bet it's a $60,000–80,000 swing on what we're dealing with.

We had to tear out all the shitty cabinets that he put in because they were some makeshift homebuilt bullshit and you couldn't even put standard-size doors and drawers in them, so they had to come out, which means the cabinets or the countertops that they had prefabbed on these cabinets, those have to come out. Now we have a brand new cabinet line item that's 7,500 bucks. Now we're going to have to put in brand new quartz countertops and that'll probably be $3,500–4,500, plus finishing the job, and that's just the house that he was semi close to done on. Then the other one, that's still pretty much in gut mode that he has the 45,000 on that. That one is going to be even worse. [08:21.7]

Anyway, I'm laughing about it because it truly is what it is and we’ve got to get the houses done. We've got hard money on these properties. The interest, just because I'm having issues, the interest doesn't take a time out. We're paying 12% interest, 10% interest on the money for these houses and that's stacking up every single day. It is what it is. We’ve just got to deal with it and move forward. Those are the problems that are going to happen in everyday life.

Other things that happen outside of problems are distractions. I think one of the biggest things for me and a lot of guys that I talk to in business or in my masterminds is the whole shiny paper syndrome, and that's that you're doing what you're doing, but there is all this shiny paper and all these other opportunities and things that you're looking at, or you could also look at the idea or the thought of the grass is greener on the other side. [09:11.7]

We're caught up and we're doing what we're doing and we have the distractions and we have the problems, and it's hard and it's not easy. It's really easy to look across the way and look at other things and it's like, Oh, fuck, they're making money doing that or that looks easy, or I'm doing this workout program, but maybe this other workout program is better, or I’ve got this relationship, it's all right, but you're checking out other people because they look attractive to you, or whatever it might be.

But it's the idea that, instead of focusing on what it is we're doing, we're always jumping to the next best thing because we think it's going to be better or we think it's going to be easier, or whatever story we're telling ourselves. But, really, it's just a distraction that's taking us away and keeping us from what it is we're committed to and what we're focused on. Shiny paper and grass is greener on the other side, that can really get in the way. [10:02.8]

I’ve struggled with that in my business. I'm a real estate guy, but within real estate, we've got our real estate brokerage. We've got the real estate agent clientele that we have our personal clients, so we're helping in buying and selling as an agent. We've got our brokerage where we're trying to recruit agents and have a cool environment and place where people can come, other realtors can come hang their license at our company and just be in a good environment, make a good commission, split on their deals and be around this lifestyle movement.

We have the same thing with the mortgage company. We've got our personal production and our business that we're doing with our clientele, but same thing, trying to recruit licensed loan officers to come hang their license at Lifestyle Lending and want to be part of our culture and the lifestyle brand that we're building, and just all the opportunities and all the cool things that are unique about us and what we're doing. [10:56.0]

Then I’ve got the flipping company where we're flipping houses within the investing thing. You can be wholesaling houses. Then there's a rental portfolio of having rental properties, and then we lend some hard money, so it's like we could put our money in and lend it to other people instead of putting it into our own deals.

Recently, I’ve gotten super-heavily into cryptocurrency and the stuff that you can do there. Now I'm trying to do my podcast and spread my lifestyle message and wanting to do some speaking and things. Just within the shit that I’ve got going on, I’ve got shiny paper going on all over the place.

When I'm working heavily on the investing stuff and we're doing these flips, and I’ve got fucking bullshit going on like this roof situation or this contractor situation, it's really easy to be like, Ugh, why am I doing these flips and why am I spending so much time and effort and headache on these flips? And I’ve got so much capital and it's high-risk, and it's just constant bullshit with contractors. It's always looking for the next deal. [11:55.7]

I can sit and get caught up in the distraction of all, all of the things that are problems or just distractions within that business and it's like, Oh, shit, I should just focus on instead of flipping homes, why don't we just wholesale homes? Or instead of taking, having all of this capital and credit and money into deal, why don't I just go do hard money lending and focus more on scaling our mortgage company and our real estate company, and recruiting loan officers and recruiting realtors and doing our own personal production? I don't have any money on the line. It's not always chasing the next deal. It's not high-risk. We just make commissions.

Then there are times where I 10X my money in crypto and I have 30 grand turned into 350,000 in the matter of two or three months, and it's like, why am I even fucking around with real estate and mortgage when I could just go do crypto full time all the time?

Just within what I’ve got going on, I'm constantly at this battle of looking at the shiny things and the grass being greener on the other side of my own business, let alone looking at what else is out there in the world. I think that's something we're all guilty of and something that affects all of us, whatever it is. [13:06.8]

We're always looking at the other thing because we see the sexiness and the shininess of that, but, really, when you go do that thing, you’ve still got to do the work. You’ve still got to be disciplined. You’ve still got to be committed and you’ve got to put in the work, no matter what you're doing, so it's just something that's really easy to get caught up in.

What I do to kind of try and minimize that and, like I said, minimize the downtime or minimize getting caught up in the negative thoughts or the distractions of things is—when I was doing sales, I was doing the outside sales scene. I was in Kelowna, British Columbia, and I was sitting down at Dogwood Nursery with the owner. His name was Robert and cool guy. I was talking with him.

It was in the middle of when my parents were going through their divorce, and this dude was just really cool and I connected with him, and we were just sitting down, talking one afternoon up there and he gave me a piece of advice and it has been some of the best advice that I’ve taken with me through life. [14:05.8]

He said, “Mike, whenever I'm dealing with a problem and just something is just really basically taking over and I'm all caught up in the problem or whatever it is, I ask myself, in six months, is this even going to matter?” and I thought about it and I was like, Fuck, man, what a great philosophy to use? When you're in the middle of dealing with something, asking yourself, and I don't even say six months. I ask myself now, is this even going to matter in two weeks?

In two weeks, what I'm dealing with, is it even going to matter? And if I feel like it's still going to matter, I’ll bump it out a little longer. Is this even going to matter in a month or two months or three months? And if it's not going to matter then, then I'm not going to let it consume me now and it is what it is. We're going to deal with it. We're going to move on. We're just going to do whatever we’ve got to do in the moment now and just realize that this is a short-term, temporary thing, and it's not going to matter in two weeks. It's not going to matter in three months or six months. That's some of the best advice that I ever received from this guy. [15:06.0]

Another thing. When I'm sitting there looking at the shiny paper, the different that I always circle back to, is this in alignment with what I'm doing? Is it an alignment with my goals and my targets? Is it in alignment with my core values and what it is I'm doing and my purpose? That's another thing to just kind of gut-check myself with really quickly. It’s easy to see these shiny paper things or have these distractions, but is it in alignment with what I'm doing?

Another huge distraction that we have, too, is just all the bullshit that's going on externally out there in the world. Whether it's drama with a family or a friend, right now politics is front and center stage, coronavirus, these vaccines and all the mandates, people are pretty much just passionate and divided as we've ever been, in modern-day times anyway. That can be really polarizing. It can absolutely consume you because it's a big, negative thing. People are passionate about their stance on it and it has caused a ton of division. If you allow it, it will absolutely consume you. [16:12.0]

I'm using the politics and the vaccine stuff right now because it's front and center stage and it's probably the biggest thing that's going on, but there are different distractions at all levels and we’ve really got to make sure that we're blocking that out. You’ve got to. You have to protect your energy. You have to protect your space and your environment, and we've talked about this our early in the show with taking personal accountability and protecting the environment that you're in.

If you've laid all the groundwork like we've talked in the first five episodes, and you're clear on your goals, you're clear on your core values, you're in alignment with everything you're doing, and you're in the right vehicle to get to where it is you want to go, that's what you need to a revert to and understand, I’ve gone through this whole process. I've mapped out and laid out everything that I'm doing, and I'm doing what I'm doing because it makes sense and I have a plan that I’ve put in place and I'm following it. [17:04.9]

If that's true, then it should be easy to minimize these distractions, and especially the shiny paper and the “grass is greener on the other side” type of things. If you haven't done that and you're consistently looking at other things that look like better opportunities, you need to gut-check yourself. “Am I really doing what I want to do, and is the vehicle that I'm in capable of getting me where it is I want to go?”

If the answer is yes, then you need discipline and just stay focused on what it is you're doing. If the answer is no, then you haven't laid your groundwork like we've been talking about and you probably need to revisit that. But once you're super-clear on “this is what it is that I'm doing and this is why I'm doing it” and you've got a plan that, if executed on, is going to produce the results that you want, then you just need to stay focused on that.

Then, as far as problems go, they're going to be there always, no matter what. Problems are never ever going away, so your ability to deal with a problem and quickly find a solution and minimize the downtime that you have is just going to get you to where you're wanting to go faster. [18:07.2]

We can really choose if we want to make it hard and focus on the problems and get mad about them and “fucking another problem with this roof and the damn driveway went away,” constant contractor issues, appraisal issues. If you're focused on the problems and you keep talking about the problems, you're going to keep speaking problems into existence. You’ve really got to, again, controlling the environment, moving from a negative into a positive and doing what you’ve got to do.

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