Overcoming the Plateau: Simple Strategies for Stagnant Coaching Practices

Hitting a plateau in your coaching practice feels like running headfirst into an invisible wall. It’s that moment when you realize your practice isn’t growing, every session starts to blend into the next, and the fiery excitement that once fueled your passion and got you jumping out of bed in the morning just doesn’t burn as brightly anymore. It’s a tough and disheartening spot to find yourself in, but it’s also a chance to pause, reflect, and pivot towards something new and exciting. The secret ingredient to breaking through this standstill? Delving deep to uncover what truly drives your clients – their WHY.

Spotting What’s Got You Stuck

The first step to overcoming this hurdle is to recognize the tell-tale signs that your coaching practice has hit a plateau. Maybe you’ve noticed that your list of new clients has dried up, or that the buzz and satisfaction you used to feel during and after coaching sessions have dwindled to a faint hum. Perhaps the strategies and approaches that once brought breakthroughs for your clients now seem to barely scratch the surface. These signs are like big, flashing neon arrows pointing to the need for a serious shake-up. They’re telling us loud and clear that it’s time to dig deeper into our foundational motivations for coaching and to explore fresh, innovative ways to connect with and empower our clients.

Why WHY Matters

At the core of every significant transformation, whether personal or professional, lies a potent motivator—a WHY. This WHY isn’t just a surface-level explanation of the tasks we perform; it’s a deep, resonant understanding of our most profound motivations and the driving forces behind our actions. This concept doesn’t just apply to us as coaches; it’s equally vital for understanding the deep-down aspirations, fears, and dreams of our clients. When we successfully tap into this, we unlock the potential to make our coaching sessions exponentially more meaningful, personalized, and impactful. This profound connection can reignite the spark in our coaching practice and guide our clients toward the real, lasting breakthroughs they seek.

Mixing WHY into Your Coaching

Revisit Your Roots: Every great journey begins with a single step, and the first step here is to take a thoughtful step back and reflect on why you started coaching in the first place. What was it that drew you to this profession? Was it the joy of seeing someone achieve their potential, or perhaps the satisfaction of helping others navigate their path to success? Reminding yourself of your own WHY can breathe new life into your approach, rekindling your passion and infusing each coaching session with a renewed sense of purpose and energy.

Go Deeper with Clients: It’s time to enhance the way we listen and interact with our clients, to move beyond the surface and delve into the essence of their goals and aspirations. This means refining our questioning techniques, dedicating entire sessions to active listening, or even integrating new tools and exercises designed specifically to unearth deeper motivations. The goal here is to foster an environment where clients feel safe, seen, and understood, creating the perfect conditions for them to open up about the real WHYs behind their ambitions.

Keep Learning: The landscape of coaching is dynamic and ever-evolving, with new theories, methodologies, and insights emerging all the time. Commit to staying informed about the latest trends, innovations, and tools that can help you integrate the concept of WHY into your coaching practice. This commitment to continuous learning and adaptation not only enriches your toolbox but ensures that your approach remains fresh, relevant, and impactful, capable of meeting the changing needs and challenges of your clients.

Putting WHY to Work

Make It Personal: With a clear and profound understanding of your clients’ WHYs at your fingertips, you’re now in a prime position to develop highly personalized, resonant growth plans. These tailored plans speak directly to the unique motivations, challenges, and dreams of each client, ensuring a coaching experience that is not only more effective but also deeply satisfying for both parties involved.

Boost Engagement: Leveraging the deep insights gained into your clients’ WHYs can transform the way you connect and engage with them. This deeper level of understanding fosters a stronger, more meaningful connection, making clients more invested in their coaching journey. It’s this investment and commitment that often leads to the most profound and impactful breakthroughs.

Track and Tweak: As you weave these WHY-focused strategies into the fabric of your coaching practice, it’s essential to keep a close eye on their effectiveness. Be open to feedback, both from your own observations and directly from your clients, and be prepared to adjust and adapt your methods as needed. This flexible, responsive approach is key to refining your coaching practice and ensuring that it consistently delivers the profound, meaningful transformations your clients are seeking.

Finding yourself in a state of stagnation isn’t a sign to pack up and call it quits; it’s a clarion call to dive deeper, to explore the rich, fertile ground of understanding and leveraging our clients’ WHYs. By adopting this strategy, we move beyond just getting by; we launch our coaching into new heights of success, happiness, and powerful change.

coaching-presentationWhat’s Next?

If the idea of stagnation strikes a chord with you, or if you’re simply seeking a deeper, more meaningful connection with your clients, then here are you next steps. Take the time to reflect on your own WHY, explore the motivations that drive your clients, and share your experiences, insights, and successes.

We’re hosting a free presentation that’ll show you exactly how to to start. You’ll learn how to spot when you and your clients are just going through the motions, and how getting to the core of their goals can reignite your passion and theirs. This isn’t about overhauling everything you do; it’s about adding that missing piece that can make all the difference.

Our talk is packed with real advice that you can start using right away. Whether you’re feeling stuck yourself or you’re just keen on building stronger connections with your clients, this presentation has got you covered.

So, if you’re ready to shake things up and see real growth in your coaching practice, join us. Let’s make those moments of feeling stuck a thing of the past and move towards truly impactful coaching together.


Practical Tools for Immediate Impact: Quick Wins to Implement into Your Coaching Practice

You’re a dedicated coach, passionate about helping your clients achieve their goals and making their dreams a reality. However, you’ve noticed a recurring challenge – it often takes several sessions to truly connect with your clients and start making a meaningful impact. This delay not only tests your patience but also hinders the transformative progress that both you and your clients want, potentially costing valuable time, resources, and opportunities. Your clients may start out full of hope and motivation, however, as sessions unfold with slow progress, their motivation dwindles, replaced by frustration and dissatisfaction. Without wins, clients may start questioning the value of your coaching, potentially leading to disengagement, lost trust, and ultimately, the loss of valuable client relationships. Moreover, the inability to make an immediate impact can have significant repercussions for your business, as negative word-of-mouth from dissatisfied clients can hurt your brand and potential referrals.

Additionally, the time and energy spent navigating these initial hurdles detract from your ability to focus on guiding clients towards meaningful breakthroughs. Ultimately, the cost of not being able to make an impact quickly and effectively extends beyond individual coaching sessions, affecting the heart of your coaching practice and the lives of your clients. However, within this challenge lies an opportunity for growth and innovation. By embracing practical tools tailored to build connections and facilitate immediate impact, you can reduce risks and find new pathways to success. This allows for you to win, your clients to win, and your business to win.

We’ll get to the bottom of it by exploring practical tools that can help you make an immediate impact in your coaching sessions.


The Challenge: Building Rapport and Making an Impact

Building rapport and making a meaningful impact with clients can be challenging, particularly in the early stages of the coaching relationship. Clients may be hesitant to open up, and it can take time to establish trust and mutual understanding. As a coach, you want to make a positive impression and demonstrate value from the very first session. However, without the right tools and techniques, it can feel like an uphill battle to truly connect with your clients and help them achieve their goals.

Sometimes it can feel like…


So What Tools Can Actually Help?

First: Assessments

When it comes to assessment tools, there are plenty of options to choose from, and everyone says ‘Start with WHY’, so maybe we should start there too. The WHY Institute’s WHY.os Discovery is a great option, offering a quick assessment that can uncover a client’s WHY, HOW, and WHAT (what they call the WHY.os) in less than 10 minutes. It’s like having a secret client decoder that reveals the core motivations driving your clients’ actions and decisions. Of course, there are other tried-and-true assessments out there, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), DISC assessment, and StrengthsFinder. Each of these tools provides valuable insights into different aspects of personality, behavior, and strengths, helping coaches tailor their approach to meet the unique needs of their clients. So whether you’re delving into the depths of WHY or exploring the intricacies of personality types, there’s no shortage of assessment tools to choose from. You just have to decide what’s best for you and your clients. 


Second: Visualization Exercises

Visualization exercises are powerful tools for coaches looking to inspire and motivate their clients from the very beginning. By guiding clients through visualization techniques, coaches can help them clarify their goals, envision success, and overcome limiting beliefs or obstacles. Whether it’s creating a vision board, practicing guided imagery, or visualizing future achievements, these exercises tap into the power of the mind to ignite passion, focus, and determination in clients, setting the stage for meaningful progress in their coaching journey. These may seem silly at first, but they are known to be very effective for long term goal setting and belief building. 



Third: Active Listening Techniques

Active listening is a fundamental skill for coaches seeking to connect with their clients on a deeper level and truly understand their needs and perspectives. By practicing active listening techniques such as reflective listening, paraphrasing, and summarizing, coaches can demonstrate empathy, validation, and genuine interest in their clients’ experiences. This fosters trust and rapport, creating a safe and supportive environment where clients feel heard, understood, and valued. Active listening lays the foundation for effective communication and collaboration, enabling coaches to tailor their approach and interventions to meet their clients’ unique needs and goals.  


Fourth: Action-Oriented Strategies

Action-oriented coaching strategies focus on setting clear goals, developing actionable plans, and tracking progress towards desired outcomes. By helping clients identify specific actions, milestones, and deadlines, coaches can empower them to take ownership of their goals and commit to concrete steps towards success. Action-oriented coaching emphasizes accountability, momentum, and results, driving clients to take immediate action and make meaningful progress in their personal or professional lives. Whether it’s setting SMART goals, creating action plans, or implementing accountability measures, these strategies provide a structured framework for coaching sessions and ensure that clients leave each session with a clear sense of direction and purpose.


Implementing These Tools Into Your Practice

Practical Tips for Integration

Integrating immediate impact tools into your coaching practice requires intentionality, creativity, and adaptability. Start by familiarizing yourself with the different tools and techniques available, and consider how they align with your coaching style and clients’ needs. Experiment with incorporating one or two tools into your sessions and observe the impact on client engagement, progress, and satisfaction. Be open to feedback from your clients and be willing to adjust your approach as needed to optimize results. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and mastery of these tools takes time and practice. Stay committed to continuous learning and improvement, and you’ll soon reap the rewards of your efforts in the form of enhanced coaching effectiveness and client outcomes.

Test it Out With a Few Clients

You can put these tools into practice right away by trying it out with a small group of clients or friends who are open to it. Let them know that you’re eager to experiment with some fresh coaching techniques and ask if they’d be down to give them a try. It’s a fun way to learn together and get some valuable feedback. By being upfront about your intentions and getting their consent, you’re showing respect for their input while also diving into an exciting learning adventure. As you get more comfortable with these tools and gather insights, you can start incorporating them into your coaching sessions with a broader range of clients, making adjustments based on the feedback you receive.


What Does This All Mean?

Making an immediate impact in coaching sessions requires the use of practical tools and techniques that facilitate connection, understanding, and progress from the start. By incorporating assessment tools, visualization exercises, active listening techniques, and action-oriented strategies into your coaching practice, you can elevate your sessions, build stronger relationships with your clients, and accelerate their journey towards success.

As you continue on your journey to enhance your coaching effectiveness, I encourage you to explore and implement these immediate impact tools in your coaching practice. Experiment with different tools and techniques, and observe the impact on client engagement, progress, and satisfaction. Remember that every coach-client relationship is unique, so be flexible and adaptable in your approach. By prioritizing the use of immediate impact tools, you can make a lasting difference in the lives of your clients and establish yourself as a trusted and effective coach in your field.


Challenge Accepted: Breaking Boundaries in Coaching and Leadership

Brandon Mergard


Embark on an extraordinary journey of personal and professional growth in the latest episode of the podcast series. Join us as we delve into the inspiring story of Brandon Mergard, a trailblazing leader in the coaching industry. From humble beginnings in customer support to assuming the role of CEO, Brandon shares his remarkable path and the transformative power of stakeholder-centered coaching.

In this captivating conversation, Brandon unveils the evolution of coaching, highlighting the pivotal role it plays in leadership development. Discover how he revolutionized the traditional coaching model by integrating innovative strategies and implementing a culture of continuous improvement. With a keen focus on building a community of coaches, Brandon envisions a future where collaboration, research, and data-driven insights revolutionize the coaching landscape.

Gain invaluable insights as Brandon explains how Stakeholder-Centered Coaching drives impactful results. Explore the profound connection between effective leadership and the perception of others, challenging the conventional norms of coaching. Uncover the fascinating research and methodology behind Stakeholder Center Coaching and how it transforms leaders, their organizations, and their stakeholders.

Whether you’re a coach, a leader, or someone seeking personal growth, this episode is a must-listen. Brandon’s expertise and passion shine through as he shares practical advice, personal anecdotes, and a compelling vision for the future of coaching. Prepare to be inspired, empowered, and motivated to unlock your full potential and make a lasting impact in your personal and professional life.

Don’t miss this captivating episode filled with actionable insights, thought-provoking discussions, and a deep dive into the world of coaching. Tune in now to discover the keys to unleashing your potential and embark on a transformational journey of self-discovery and growth.


Connect with Brandon Mergard!

Twitter :


Watch the episode here

[00:01:41] Brandon’s WHY

[00:03:53] Living in the Pacific Northwest.

[00:08:00] Thinking Outside the Box.

[00:11:44] High school guitar obsession.

[00:17:19] Life as a session musician.

[00:19:05] Falling backwards into opportunities.

[00:24:32] Stakeholder centered coaching.

[00:26:06] Leadership perception changes.

[00:30:10] Job hunting struggles.

[00:33:21] Leadership improving family interactions.

[00:39:19] Building a culture of failure.

[00:41:03] Stakeholder-centered coaching.

[00:44:21] Generalists vs Specialists.

[00:47:58] Community coaching.

[00:51:38] Follow-up and Leadership Efficacy.

[00:56:04] Improvements of using WHY.os.

[00:58:21] Knowing your “WHY”.

Listen to the podcast here

Challenge Accepted: Breaking Boundaries in Coaching and Leadership

In the fast-paced world of professional coaching, standing out from the crowd requires a unique blend of skills, adaptability, and a commitment to continuous improvement. In a recent episode of the Beyond Your Why podcast, we had the opportunity to delve into the journey of Brandon Mergard, a coaching industry leader who has transformed the way coaching is perceived and implemented. This blog post uncovers the key takeaways from the episode, revealing valuable insights that can empower individuals to unlock their full potential and drive success in both their personal and professional lives.

Embrace Growth Mindset: Journey towards Continuous Growth

Brandon’s story exemplifies the power of embracing a growth mindset. By constantly seeking new challenges and expanding his skill set, he elevated his career from coaching support to leading an entire certification business. This highlights the importance of ongoing learning and development to achieve personal and professional growth.

Streamlining Processes for Enhanced Efficiency

Within the coaching industry, identifying areas for improvement is crucial. Brandon’s focus on streamlining procedures and codifying processes not only improved internal efficiency but also led to the development of a systemized approach with guaranteed and measurable results. This commitment to efficiency can significantly enhance the client experience.

Stakeholder-Centered Coaching: Driving Real Results

One of the significant contributions Brandon made was introducing stakeholder-centered coaching. This approach involves involving stakeholders in the coaching process, ensuring the leaders’ growth is aligned with the perceptions of those around them. This collaborative approach leads to tangible and impactful results.

Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Experimentation
Brandon advocates for fostering a culture that embraces failure as an opportunity for growth. By encouraging experimentation and learning from mistakes, organizations and individuals can drive innovation, continuous improvement, and resilience in the face of challenges.

Authentic Leadership: Defying Expectations

Despite initial perceptions, leaders should feel empowered to lead authentically, embracing their unique qualities and approaches. Brandon’s journey highlights the importance of defying expectations and finding a leadership style that aligns with one’s true self.

Building a Community of Coaches

Collaboration and community-building are essential in the coaching industry. Brandon emphasizes the power of creating a network of coaches, fostering knowledge sharing, and mutual support. This sense of community not only benefits individual coaches but also elevates the coaching profession as a whole.
Research-Driven Approaches: Enhancing Effectiveness
Investing in research and evidence-based practices is paramount to deliver impactful coaching results. Brandon emphasizes the need for ongoing research to understand desired coaching outcomes and the active ingredients that drive success. This commitment to evidence-based coaching ensures clients receive the most effective and tailored support.

The Holistic Approach to Leadership

Leadership effectiveness extends beyond individual traits and behaviors. Brandon’s insights shed light on the importance of stakeholder perception and how it influences leadership effectiveness. A holistic approach that considers the entire ecosystem of leadership is crucial for long-term success.
Applying Personal Insights to All Aspects of Life
Discovering one’s “why” and gaining self-awareness doesn’t only benefit professional endeavors but also enriches personal relationships and overall well-being. Brandon’s personal experience highlights how understanding oneself can lead to a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life.

Brandon Mergard’s journey in the coaching industry offers a wealth of insights for aspiring coaches, leaders, and individuals looking to unlock their potential. By embracing growth, fostering a culture of learning, and focusing on stakeholder-centered approaches, one can achieve remarkable results. As the coaching industry continues to evolve, it is essential to prioritize research, authenticity, and collaboration to drive positive change and make a lasting impact. By applying these lessons to both personal and professional aspects of life, individuals can unlock their full potential and embark on a transformative journey of growth and success.

Discover your WHY.os now for 50% off! Click here to purchase today or visit to learn more!

If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review and rating on whatever platform you are using. Thank you so much for being here. I will see you in the next episode.

About Brandon Mergard

Brandon James Mergard is an internationally acclaimed business executive and leadership coach. Currently serving as the CEO to Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching®, Mergard has spent the past decade taking bold steps to drive business performance.

Since its founding in 1987, Stakeholder Centered Coaching (SCC) has focused primarily on the US market. In the early 2010’s Mergard was brought into the then-nascent firm to establish a sustainable international business arm in 18 months. Within five years of rapid success, he grew the team of FTE’s six-fold while increasing revenue per person by 3 digits, new customers per annum from 45 to 700, and tripled his vertical’s profit margins. During the same time, his training curriculum earned the company multiple international awards for training excellence and thought leadership. He subsequently installed new teams on 5 continents to accommodate an expanding customer base in 110+ countries.

Spending so much of his career working in the field has taught him that coaching is an indispensable partnership specifically for high performers who want to fortify their competitive edge, regardless of their domain. To enact such a change, Mergard uses the Stakeholder Centered Coaching® methodology. The coaching approach leverages key stakeholders in making meaningful, sustainable changes in leadership behavior while quantifying the results. The powerful process was designed by his business partners Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, the world’s #1 leadership coach, Dr. Frank Wagner, and Christopher Coffey. The profound impact of the process is now so widespread that it has won nearly every industry award and is used by executives at 1 in 3 Fortune500 organizations. Mergard’s business acumen and domain expertise is exceeded only by his range of ambitions. He spent his early career studying guitar performance in Southern California and working as a professional musician, touring North America and Asia to perform for audiences exceeding 50k. He would later move to East Asia for a decade to study language, culture, and cooking at a half dozen universities while leading SCC’s APAC & EMEA business units. While establishing himself as the firm’s youngest executive he gained recognition as an academic researcher graduating summa cum laude with his MBA from the prestigious, triple-accredited Aston University in the UK where he would later go on to earn his Doctorate of Business Administration. For extracurriculars, Mergard is a former mixed martial artist and bodybuilder who now enjoys participating in international triathlons as well as kettlebell and steel mace competitions. The breadth of his pursuits and experiences give Mergard a uniquely competitive perspective on global business and leadership.

Beyond driving exceptional business performance, Mergard’s unique contribution to the 5,000-person team is to establish an active community for coaches to connect, collaborate, and co-create. He does this through routine member gatherings to offer a shared vision of the future and plan community initiatives which are executed under the appointed local leadership. These initiatives include upskilling the coaches through targeted skills-training, co-creating business systems for coaches, and publishing public research reports to enhance leadership intelligence without barriers to access.

Brandon James Mergard was recently recognized in the Top 200 Power List of “Biggest Voices in Leadership” by LeadersHum 2022 and is a published author with Worldwide Coaching Magazine.

“Coaching is much more than simply improving one’s work performance. It’s about intentionally designing a better human being by shaping behavior. That’s where the magic happens. Yes, teams become more cohesive and we’ll see increases in organizational performance, but we’ll also see happier, healthier individuals who have more engaged families, better relationships,
and who become more influential community leaders. It’s about making the world a better place for us all.”



The WHY Of Trust: The Value Of Trust In Your Career With Michael Chu

BYW 44 | The Value Of Trust


When trust is the foundation of your relationship, you will go to great lengths to demonstrate your trustworthiness. Trust is valuable in many aspects of life. In this episode, Michael Chu, the founder of Champion Development Inc., shows the value of trust in his career as a coach and how it helps build the relationship between him and his clients. Michael’s success in still having Health and Wealth Academy is his track record and how he built his trustworthiness. He also invested in mentors to bring value to his career and clients. If trust means everything to you, then you have the WHY of Trust. Find out more and tune in to this episode now!

Do you want to connect with Michael Chu? You can connect with him on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Are you a coach, an expert, or a consultant? If so, get access to Michael’s free giveaway by clicking here!

Free Giveaway:

Watch the episode here

Listen to the podcast here


The WHY Of Trust: The Value Of Trust In Your Career With Michael Chu

In this episode, we’re going to be talking about the Why of Trust. If this is your why, then trust means everything to you. You believe that when relationships are based on trust, the sky is the limit. You will go to great lengths to demonstrate that you are trustworthy and do things such as become an expert in a given field so that you can establish that you can be trusted. You look to do things correctly because that is what a trusted person would do.

People with your why often enjoy numbers because numbers don’t lie. If someone breaks your trust, it feels like a knife in the gut and you find it almost impossible to have a relationship with them after this loss of trust. Although you tend to have fewer friends, you build loyal and lasting relationships with those people you can trust.

I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Michael Chu. He is the Creator and Founder of Champion Development Inc., the premier coaching and support program for executives, fit pros, and entrepreneurs. His background started in direct sales leadership. For years, he has been the CEO of 5 separate businesses that have generated over 7 figures in revenue.

Michael is also one of the only coaching mentors who still has an active and thriving health coaching business in conjunction with his business coaching programs. Mike uses somatic therapy and other mindset techniques to stay in a champion mindset while he runs his companies. He’s very passionate about helping other coaches avoid the burnout that often stops them from serving their clients.

He’s dedicated to helping entrepreneurs scale their business and marketing efforts. Whether you’re starting from scratch or going from 6 figures to 7 figures, Michael teaches his clients how to run their passion into profits and generate massive impact and profit using the maximization model and the LTV method. Michael, welcome to the show.

I’m excited to be here. It’s been a long time coming.

I know. We were talking about that before we started. It’s been quite a while that we’ve been trying to get this to happen. Now we’re here. Tell us, where are you right now? What city are you in and is that where you were born?

I’m in Austin, Texas. I was born in New Jersey, so I’m a tri-state East Coast guy, but I’ve been in Austin now for years.

Let’s go back to when you were growing up. What were you like as a kid? What were you like in high school?

It’s fun to think back to those days. Sometimes I feel like I was still the identity of my version of myself as a high schooler up until I started doing more of the inner work and stuff like that. Nonetheless, to answer your question, growing up, I was pretty serious, even as a kid. My parents even used to joke that I had like worry lines on my forehead as early as 4, 5, 6, or 7 years old because I was the oldest son of an Asian family. I was always trying to be a good kid, get good grades, and achieve. I was naturally a worrier, but also a high achiever and that caused me to be shocked because I was always scared of messing up and scared of not getting things perfect and things like that.

In high school, the achiever side played out. I ended up doing all the things you would want to do in high school that they say you’re supposed to do to get in college grades and academics and athletics and all that type of stuff. Deep down inside, I still had tons of insecurities about where I was meant for the world and things like that. That’s the 1 or 2-minute version, but that was the childhood version of me.

In high school, were you involved in sports? What things did you like in high school?

I started karate when I was three years old. I ended up competing nationally and internationally. I won over ten different national karate championships through my teens and twenties. I also loved basketball. I played basketball throughout high school. Those were my main activities. I was introduced post-high school to entrepreneurship and that’s where I got exposed to sales, entrepreneurship, and things like that, which we can go to if that’s relevant.

Specifically, what you’re asking, in high school, it was mainly sports. Probably partying. I started getting exposed to partying a little too much as early as 15 or 16 years old. I was one of the youngest cousins of almost two dozen cousins who were all already 20, 30, etc. I got introduced to that a little bit too early, but that was me in high school.

The shyness started to go away and you started to develop into a competitor, obviously.

The shyness was still there. I started developing confidence within myself a bit, but in hindsight, it was a bit of false confidence because it was all based on external accolades. The more I won, the more confident I was in myself. The better grades I got and the more I achieved, the more I thought I was confident. There’s a whole story to tell if we get there. As I turned close to 30, I realized how fragile that type of confidence is and was once I hit some low points in my life. To answer your question, yes, there was some confidence there and the shyness went away, but I don’t think it was the most genuine confidence per se.

You graduated from high school and went off to college. Where’d you go to college?

In DC, George Washington University.

What did you study there? Why’d you pick George Washington?

I wanted to go to Georgetown. That was a dream school of mine. I loved basketball so I loved college basketball, the Allen Iverson and Patrick Ewing days. I had a Hoya right above my door in my childhood bedroom. We were at Georgetown touring and I was like, “I don’t know if I like it here. It’s a little uppity for me. It was a little tight.” This was pre-GPS days and everything like that.

My mom and I were driving through DC to try and get back on the highway to go back to Jersey and we ended up lost at a gas station. We stopped and we were like, “Where are we?” They’re like, “You’re on a college campus.” I was like, “What college?” They’re like, “George Washington, GW.” I have never heard of it before. I’d heard of Georgetown in American and Catholic, but I’d never heard of GW.

My mom and I came down here to tour DC schools, so we might as well check it out. I fell in love with it as I was self-touring. I decided I was going to apply early and ended up going to GW. That’s how I ended up there. What did I major in? Sports Event Management and Marketing and probably a little bit of drinking.

Drinking seems to be a common theme here.

Through high school and college. It’s funny. I haven’t touched alcohol in years. My dad was an alcoholic. I grew up in a family with alcoholism, but I tie that in and I’m willing to talk about that openly because it was a part of my identity through high school and college in most of my twenties. I got clear on how it was part of my identity and how it was not part of the identity that I wanted to be stepping into moving forward for the rest of my life. That’s why I haven’t touched alcohol since. Because I haven’t touched alcohol since, I jokingly talk about how much I majored in it during those years.

You finished college and what was your first job right out of school?

I was waitering at Pizza Hut, eating all the free breadsticks that I could possibly get my hands on while in college. It wasn’t paying the beer and gas money here. Drinking comes up again. It wasn’t paying the beer and gas money. In a newspaper, I found an ad for a sales job. This was when I started to realize my shyness was a real thing still. Sales was the first thing that I had found at that point in my life that I admittedly could say I sucked at.

School came naturally. I started karate when I was three and developed. I worked hard at to get good at basketball. Sales was the first thing that I felt like, “I don’t know where to start. I’m not good at this and I stink at it.” The competitor in me was like, “This is exactly why I’m going to get good at it.” I stunk at it, but I stuck with it and I ended up choosing to stay with that company in that role when I graduated college.

It was direct sales, in-home sales, and kitchen products. If you’ve ever heard of Cutco Knives before, I did that through college and I chose to manage a sales organization post-college. I ended up staying with Cutco for eleven years, where some people do that job for one summer but it forced me to grow it exposed me to entrepreneurship, personal growth, sales, and all those things at a young age. I paired that with my college degree of Sports Event Marketing and Management. It didn’t have anything to do with it, but I stayed in business and that was the first thing I did post-college.

I have a whole set of Cutco knives still. My sister did Cutco exactly like you said, for a summer. Of course, you call every family member and your parents’ friends, and do the pitch.

You cut the penny and all the things if you’ve seen it before and they are incredible knives. I always share that I was there for a decade because most people do stay for 10 weeks, not 10 years.

What kept you there?

Two things. The competitiveness in wanting to get good at something.

You could have picked anything. Why that?

The second piece to it is I saw a vision for a life for myself that I don’t think I was exposed to growing up. I grew up with both grandparents on both sides of my family were farmers from China. I did grow up seeing hard work instilled within me, but it was very manual labor, hard work. A lot of my family, my mom, my brother, my sister, and half a dozen of my aunts and uncles are teachers and I love teachers. I think I have a teacher bone within me because of that in my heart.

At the same time, I don’t think it exposed me to the lifestyle that I knew I wanted, especially when I went to college in DC. At the time, GW is one of the top five most expensive colleges to attend. By nature, I was surrounded by a lot of kids whose parents were business owners, in finance, I bankers, experts, CEOs, and entrepreneurs.

I was exposed to a level of wealth at GW that I was not exposed to since then. As I was doing Cutco while in college, it paired with what I was being exposed to and showed me an opportunity to create a higher level of income and lifestyle that I had not been exposed to at that point. Pair the vision with my competitiveness and I was like, “I’m going to figure this out and I’m going to get good at it.”

As I was there, I didn’t fall in love with sales per se. I fell in love with the development of other people because I was developed from someone who had never sold into somebody who was pretty good. The ability to do the same for other people, recruit, train, and them, I fell in love with that process. That was my first exposure to coaching, even though it was a sales role.

What about that did you like?

What part? The coaching others?


As I said, I was around teachers most of my life. I started teaching karate classes at the karate school. As early as like 10 and 11 years old, it tapped into the teacher side that maybe was within me while also pairing to a higher income opportunity than being a traditional school teacher. The thing that I loved still to this day is building tribes. I love building organizations.

As you develop people on your team, they stick with you, and you start building a team, an army, and an organization, I love two things. I love building tribe teams, but I also love building people. People start to tell stories like, “Mike, I wouldn’t be where I am now without you. I showed up ‘at your doorstep,’ hopeless, broke, lost. Here I am now, debt-free, a millionaire, happy, and in a great relationship,” whatever it is.

It’s to be even the smallest catalyst to people discovering the best within them. I was working with a Tony Robbins coach at one point and he helped me develop in my early twenties that my purpose on earth is to develop champions to know their greatest glory and abundance. It doesn’t matter if I’m teaching someone how to sell knives, do a karate kick, lose weight, or whatever it is. To me, all of those things are a vehicle to help somebody else discover within them the greatest glory, abundance, and love that they were put on this earth for. That’s why I fell in love with it.

BYW 44 | The Value Of Trust
The Value Of Trust: Coaching is a vehicle to help somebody else discover within them the greatest glory, abundance, and love they are placed for on this earth.


When I was talking at the beginning about the Why of Trust, a big part of that is being the trusted source. Being the one that others can count on. They believe in you. They know if you tell them something it’s going to be true. It’s going to work. You grab their hand and lead them along their journey and that’s an amazing quality to have. You were with Cutco for eleven years. What happened after that?

I love the trust thing when you were talking about that at the beginning. I smiled as you talked about that because you didn’t tell me that was going to be the one of the nine that you were going to pick, but there’s so much stuff we could talk about there and I aligned with that. From there, I left Cutco to challenge myself to apply all the things that I learned in a bigger vehicle. I ended up going to a smart home company that was owned by Blackstone. It’s a billion-dollar company. That gave me an opportunity to take a lot of the skills that I had already practiced up until that point on a bigger playing field.

During that time, I was also introduced to the world of online marketing. I took all the in-person door-to-door sales worlds. I got intrigued and interested about what it would look like to be able to generate business without having to go to people’s homes or having to knock on doors. That’s what the next five years of my career became about. I was still doing the direct sales role, but I was starting to become very intrigued by this ability to build a personal brand online, create revenue, and tribes through social media and the internet. That’s what happened post-Cutco.

You moved in that direction and into creating businesses in that area.

I had turned 30 years old and I had an early midlife crisis, so to speak, but I made decent money through my twenties. I had bought a house by the time I was 24 or 25 years old. I felt like I was one of the youngest promotions to an executive role at the first company I was at and all these things. I woke up at 30 having this, “What is the point of it all?” type of moment. This is a real story. This isn’t theoretical or metaphorical. I found myself on my bathroom floor, unable to get myself up out the door into my office. I’m normally a pretty disciplined, motivated type of guy for martial arts and all that type of stuff. Even when I don’t feel like doing something, I show the F up normally.

It was a weird moment for me to feel no drive or purpose and feel a lot of resistance to showing up. I had a mentor early on when I was still in college who used the phrase oftentimes. He would say, “When you lack it, give it. If you lack money, give money. If you feel like you’re lacking love, give love. If you’re lacking energy, give energy.”

When you lack it, give it. If you lack money, give money. If you feel like you're lacking love, give love. If you lack energy, give energy. Click To Tweet

That quote kept resonating in my mind during this low point. I was lacking passion and purpose. I put a post up on social media that said, “In the last fifteen years, if I have impacted your world or life in any way, shape or form, the way you think, the way you act financially, whatever, could you share in the comments section how that might have been?” It reminded me. I got all these comments and all these stories that reminded me of the impact that I had on people when I was focused on others, not myself.

From that low place, I decided to launch the Health and Wealth Academy, my first online coaching business. It was designed for direct sales leaders and entrepreneurs to stay in the best shape of their lives while working 50, 60, 70 hours a week. I had to figure that balance out myself. Being a national champion, then becoming an 80-hour-a-week entrepreneur, I got out of shape for a while there. I had to learn how to take all the things I knew from being an athlete and pair them together while building seven-figure organizations.

I built three different seven-figure organizations over that span while staying in great shape, 10% body fat, and all that type of stuff. It led to launching the Health and Wealth Academy, which has now helped hundreds of busy executives and entrepreneurs get into great shape physically, mentally, and emotionally while leveling up their confidence, income, and energy as well. That was the root of how to build something online.

How long ago was that you had the Health and Wealth Academy and do you still have it?

Yes, I still do. In my intro, you said I’m one of the few people who coaches other online coaches how to build a business but has my own successful coaching business within itself. That’s what that was referring to. The Health and Wealth Academy started in 2016-ish. That was when I was launching the passion side of that. It was in 2018 I went all in on the business.

What do you think was the key to that business becoming so successful?

The key is to why that business is so successful is three things. Number 1) I’ve been in the coaching world long enough now to see so many people who want to be a coach because they see the possible lifestyle but they’re missing one thing. That is a track record of having created the results that they’re coaching other people to have. The easy one to point to why the Health and Wealth Academy was so successful is what I chose to coach on. I have 10 to 20 years of personal experience myself around. I wasn’t preaching from a soapbox like how to. I was sharing how I went through this and the journey and the struggles that I went through. That’s the foundational piece to it.

Number 2) I invested in a ton of mentors because all my businesses up until that point had been in person. I knew that if I wanted to learn how to grow online, that was a skill that I would have to learn. I could either take ten years and try and figure it out on my own or I could invest dollars to save time and figure that out. That’s the second reason.

BYW 44 | The Value Of Trust
The Value Of Trust: Either you take ten years and try and figure it out on your own, or you could invest dollars to save time and figure that out.


Number 3) Fortunately, I had a level of residual income and finances from the other businesses that I had built up until that point. There truly was like, “I want to serve.” I’m doing this from a point of my life where I want to give back. I was growing a business like I want to be paid for it, but I didn’t need the money. There’s something to be said about that, “I don’t need you,” energy but not faked or forced, but true. I truly don’t need this energy. I don’t say that arrogantly. That’s the place I was at and I largely think that’s what allowed that business to grow so quickly early on, a combination of those three things.

Speak to the power of a mentor because you are a mentor for a lot of people and what was it like for you to have those mentors?

It’s funny, I jokingly say, “Growing up Asian, I can naturally be a little stingy, cheap, or frugal.” I can find myself falling into my more scarcity mindset of, “Why would I spend all that money on something that I can learn myself or figure out?” What I’m speaking to first are a lot of my own natural resistance to investing in mentors and coaches. I believe we were connected through my people who, funny enough, I had invested in for mentorship and coaching.

I take action to do so. I have my own resistance almost every time I do. I’ve found that it’s less about what you’re going to learn from a mentor particularly. A lot of times, for me, it’s forced focus. What I mean by forced focus is that if someone’s trying to lose weight, but they’re trying to do it on their own, they’re like, “I could try keto and maybe I should try macros. Maybe I should do 75 Hard.”

They all could work, but the fact that the person’s considering so many different things, they don’t ever commit fully with focus to one thing over a long enough period of time. I find the same thing. Whether it’s losing weight or whether it’s business, there are a dozen different ways you can get an outcome. There are hundreds of different ways you can get a result, but when you invest in a mentor, they say, “This is how it worked for me.”

I also do think that’s the difference between mentorship and coaching. There are a lot of times that debate of, “Do you have to have done the thing that you’re coaching other people on?” Mentorship is, “Watch how I did it.” Coaching is, ‘”Let me ask you the right questions, support, and guide you to figure it out as well.” It’s important if people are investing in something that they know which one they want.

Are they wanting a coach that can guide and direct and help you with the bumpers for them and facilitate or are they not looking for a coach like Phil Jackson, a la Michael Jordan, or are they looking for a mentor a la Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant? Michael Jordan said, “This is how I built my career.” Kobe Bryant to Michael Jordan is more mentorship. Phil Jackson to Michael Jordan, to me, is more coaching. It’s important to understand the distinction of the two.

Both being valuable.

I don’t think one’s less important. It’s when people think they’re getting a mentor, but they’ve hired a coach and people think they’re getting a coach, but they’ve hired a mentor and you might end up with a disconnect of what you were looking for.

Back in 2018, then you started the Health and Wealth Academy. Since then, you’ve added some other businesses along the journey in tech. What came next?

Health and Wealth Academy with a small social media following because remember, I had no social media presence or expertise. Everything was in person before that. With a small social media following, I grew Health and Wealth Academy from zero to $80,000 a month, the seven-figure run rate in 9 months and to $200,000 a month in 18 months.

By the way, this is all with organic, not paid ads and stuff like that with a small following and in the fitness and health space. A lot of people say like, “You can make that money with business consulting, but not with like fitness, weight loss, etc.” I had a lot of people starting to ask me like, “Mike, what are you doing?” Admittedly I was like, “I’m not coaching coaches. That’s a BS industry.”

It’s a money grab. People who do that couldn’t figure out how to build their own business. Now they’re helping other people grow a business. That’s what I told myself. I was in Beverly Hills, California with two mentors and I was sharing with them how I had built the Health and Wealth Academy and they said, “Mike, we’ve been in this online coaching industry for a decade and the way you’re growing your business fast, but also sustainably built to last. It’s different than anything else that’s out there.”

They said this phrase to me that changed a lot. They said, “If you were to get into coaching coaches, it wouldn’t be about you. It would be about the people you serve and the industry that you can make a difference for.” When they simply said that one small quote and it took my frame off of me and onto others or it got me off self and on a purpose, I was like, “Let me do this.”

I beta-tested my strategies with ten people. All ten had extraordinary success, whether it was $0 to $10,000 a month, or whether it was $50,000 to $100,000 a month or whatever it was. At that point, I decided to launch Passion to Profits, which we were ranked one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing companies in America. We’ve grown tremendously fast with that business.

Tell us more about what Passion to Profits does.

There are two levels of support that our students get when they come to us. Number one, there’s the type of person that knows they’re an expert at something. They’re passionate about something, whether it’s sales coaching, weight loss, nutrition, or something like that. They don’t have the system, the blueprint and the tools to turn it into a highly profitable either side income or a full-time business.

Passion to Profit specifically is the launching pad to growing their business, taking something they’re passionate about and turning it into a $10,000, $30,000, or $50,000 a month business online. We’d specialize specifically in online marketing and online coaching. For students that are already running a successful or established coaching business but they’re probably stuck around that $20,000 to $30,000 to $50,000 a month mark, maybe they’ve even broken through seven figures because they have a huge following or they grind and work their tail off, but they don’t know how to build a business that’s built to last or sustainable.

At that level, we work with them on the LTV method. The LTV method is most people in the online coaching industry will keep clients for maybe 3 to 6 months. We show them how to keep clients for on average 3 to 6 years in a way that it builds a base of monthly recurring revenue in their company. When they start every month, they already have $30,000, $50,000, and $100,000 a month in monthly recurring revenue before they even sell something new.

We teach them how to build the team, the systems, etc., the offerings to do that because as Jay Abraham says, “There are three ways to grow revenue. Get more front-end clients, increase how much those people pay, and get them to pay more often.” I found, at least in my circle of the industry, most people were teaching you how to get more front-end clients. Maybe they were telling you to raise your prices. We, at that point, specialize on the third one. That is how to get existing clients to stay and pay more often enthusiastically in a way that gets them incredible results. That’s what we do with our higher-level students that already have established businesses.

Jay Abraham says, There are three ways to grow revenue. Get more front-end clients, increase how much those people pay, and get them to pay more often. Click To Tweet

What does LTV stand for?

The lifetime value of a customer. If they buy one time for $5,000, the lifetime value is $5,000. If they buy again for $15,000, and again for $75,000, that one customer lifetime value, how long they stay, and the lifetime value, that’s what we’re looking to extend. If you think about it, most highly valuable companies at first have to figure out how to get a lot of clients. The highest-valuation companies out there figure out how to minimize churn and increase lifetime value.

Netflix, Amazon, cell phone companies, and some of the most valuable companies find a way to minimize churn turnover of clients and increase the lifetime value of a client. Look at subscription companies, software companies, etc. That’s why the multipliers on the valuation of those companies are so ridiculously high compared to the valuation of other types of businesses.

How did you learn all this stuff? How did you, a Cutco knife salesman, get to talking about LTV, minimizing churn, and all these things that you’re doing now? It’s a mind-boggling path that you’ve been on and where you’re now. It’s pretty darn impressive. What are some of those secrets?

It’s interesting. How did this Pizza Hut breadstick-eating knife salesman understand how to do this thing? You asked me earlier what I fall in love with at that first business. I said I didn’t fall in love with sales per se. I got good at it. I have a massive respect for sales. What I had to figure out at Cutco if I was going to be successful there long-term is they have a ridiculous turnover of their reps.

Turnover in the sense that, like we already said, most people do it for a summer. Most people do it for a month. Most people do it for a week. I said to myself, “If I’m going to stay and do this thing after college, I want to have a consistent income. If I’m constantly needing to hire and recruit new reps and they’re all leaving the next month, how long could I do this thing for without burning out or getting exhausted myself?”

What I had to almost or what I intentionally chose to get good at in that business is how to develop and retain those sales reps. In that business in particular, this isn’t an exactly real stat, but in some regards, the average reps at that company will stay for 1 to 2 months, maybe 3 to 4 months. I’ve gotten to the point where reps were staying for 1 to 2 years, 3 to 4 years.

I haven’t been at that company since 2014 and there are sales reps that are still the top sales reps in the company right now that started with me in 2008 or 2009. People oftentimes stay there for 1 or 2 months and here, I have some reps there for 1 to 2 decades. That’s how I got good at the whole minimizing churn, extending LTV because I had to figure it out and I had to figure out what causes people to commit fully and see a vision for themselves and stick with something more long-term.

Let’s hear an answer to that question. What is it that causes people to stick with it and stay with long-term?

I wasn’t sure if this would come full circle during your introduction when you’re talking about trust and because you shared that as part of the introduction, I found myself asking, “Is there a way to tie in whatever questions you wanted to ask into that theme?” I wasn’t sure if it would come up naturally, but the first answer is trust.

People join companies, but they quit relationships. People join Google. People get a job at Amazon. They get a job at Verizon, but then why does someone quit that job in six months sometimes? They say things like, “They weren’t following through with the things they told me. I can’t trust my direct report. I don’t think my leader has my best interest in mind.”

People join organizations and join companies, but they quit people. That’s a byproduct of leadership, relationship building, and most importantly, trust. If we were to boil it all down, I believe that a lot of retention or churn is a byproduct of a gap in expectations. If someone’s expectations are blank and you continuously are meeting them or exceeding them, the person not only trusts but surrenders in a safe way and goes, “I’m in.”

BYW 44 | The Value Of Trust
The Value Of Trust: People join organizations and join companies, but they quit people. That’s a byproduct of leadership, relationship building, and, most importantly, trust.


However, if their expectations are here and you’re only meeting them or falling short of them most of the time, they continue to put their guard up. They’re always questioning, “Is this the place for me?” They’re looking for outs. They’re looking for escape routes. There are a lot of other things that go into retention, don’t get me wrong, but at the foundational piece, it’s trust.

You brought up trust. I assume you maybe have heard of the book or anyone reading has heard of the book by Stephen Covey, The Speed of Trust. Trust is the foundation of so much of what happens when it comes to a client or employee retention or turnover. Retention or churn is a foundation of trust and expectations.

When you work with new sales reps back in the day, did you sit down and set out the expectations very clearly, simplify them so that they knew exactly where you guys were at and then keep revisiting that? How did you go about doing it? What’s the process that you use?

I have a couple of mechanisms that help people understand this concept better, but it breaks down like this. Most people, when you’re first starting something at something, you’re naturally wanting to tell them how awesome it is. If you’re a coach, for example, you’re wanting to tell them all of your best client results. Let’s use weight loss as an example. “Gary, I’m so excited you finally joined my program. We have Johnny who started with us a month ago. He’s already down 15 pounds. We got Sally. She’s been with us for six months, she’s down 60 pounds.”

We naturally want to tell people. We oftentimes don’t mean anything malicious by it, but we naturally want to tell people out of enthusiasm and excitement the great results that we can get people. I believe creating expectations for people is threefold. Number one, telling people what the top-tier results are. What are not typical results, but they’re top.

There’s nothing wrong with telling somebody, “Johnny started with me 30 days ago. He’s already down 16 pounds.” Do you back that up with, “Now, to be clear, Gary, that’s top 5% results. He had 100 pounds to lose. To give you an idea, you only have 30 pounds to lose. He had 100 pounds to lose. He has been the perfect student. He hasn’t missed a single workout and meal we’ve asked of him. I want to be clear while I’m sharing that with you so you know what’s possible, it is a top 1% type of result.”

The other side of that is, are you willing to tell people the bottom 10% of results? If you go on any of my content, one of the things I learned at Cutco was called 10/80/10. That is what’s the top 10% results, the bottom 10% results, and 80% results. The bottom 10% is, “Johnny, I want to be clear. One of my students, Michael lost zero pounds in his first four months with me.” You might be like, “Mike, I invested in your program and you’re telling me somebody lost no weight with you?”

He could have easily told me like, “Mike, your program’s a scam. It didn’t work.” Do you know what Mike recognized? He had developed better habits and routines in the last 100 days than he had in the last 10 years since he had left the Army. He was proud of the traction and the ups and downs that he worked through and he saw the vision of where we were still taking it.

He ended up losing 30-plus pounds in the next nine months and has continued working with us from there. I’m glad he didn’t give up. Here’s what you can expect as a norm. The 80% average results are that most of our clients, as long as they’re following the program, even if they’re not perfect, will lose about 1 pound per week.

Maybe a little bit more, maybe a little bit less, but 1 pound per week. If you’re in a 24-week program, losing 15 to 25 pounds is not out of the question. Yes, Johnny lost 16 in his first 30. Mike lost it in a year. That’s an example of establishing expectations is not telling people the top end results, but telling them all the different tiers of what one could expect because there’s a great quote.

Point number two here, people don’t care what could happen to them. They care more that you told them it could happen to them. There’s something about trust when you told them, “By the way, this is possible. Here’s what we’ll do if that happens. When that happens, I want you to schedule an extra call with me and say, ‘Mike, I thought after 90 days. I’d be making $10,000 already. I’m only making $3,000 a month.’”

BYW 44 | The Value Of Trust
The Value Of Trust: People don’t care what could happen to them. They care more that you told them it could happen to them.


Here’s what I want you to do. I want you to schedule a call and we’ll assess what’s going on and we’ll tweak the small things. If that’s you, you’ll be the next Adrian. Adrian was underperforming in his first four months. He went on to make $100,000 in his first 12 months with us, but it took him a little while to get going. Have we had students that made $20,000 in their first month with us? Yes. Imagine if that’s all I told people, $20,000 a month right out the gate, and then they only do $4,000.

For some people, Gary, $4,000 in extra income could be life-changing, debt-free, paying their mortgage, whatever. Now they’re sitting there thinking they’re a failure, I let them down, or I lied to them because I only told them about the $20,000 results. There are proper expectations. People don’t care what can happen to them as long as you told them it could happen to them.

Lastly, number three is expectations on relationships. I love, in any new working relationship, having the what you can expect from me, but what I expect from you conversation. This is what you can expect from me, but I also want you to know what I expect from you. As part of that conversation of what you can expect from me, I oftentimes share the good and the bad about my personality.

Just so you know, I can be very serious and all go business and sometimes forget to slow down and say, “Gary, how are you doing?” I want you to know that’s my nature. I care immensely about the people around me, but I sometimes forget to show it because I’m so intense about let’s get people results. I’ll tell people that. Your more relationship-building type of personality doesn’t go, “Mike’s an a******. He doesn’t care.” I set up expectations that way, 10/80/10. Tell people what could happen to them and what to expect and build expectations on relationships.

Michael, when you took the WHY.os discovery, your why was to create relationships based upon trust, like we talked about. How you do that is by making things clear and understandable first for yourself and then for others. Ultimately what you bring are simple solutions. You simplify it down to a couple of points. You have done exactly that during our conversation. You’ve created trust by clarifying what’s going on and then simplifying it down to 2 to 3 points. Every time I ask you a question, you say, “I got two things to that. I got three things.”

That’s the teacher within me.

It’s a great example of your WHY.os and how you live it because that’s very powerful the way that you do that. If trust is the most important things, being clear and being simple are important for that.

You said something during your introduction that I thought was interesting. I forget exactly how you said it, but you said trust is built when we are the living example of what we’re asking other people to do. That’s why I said earlier, expectations, relationships, and leadership. I love John Maxwell’s concept of the Law of the Mirror. People won’t follow what you tell them to do. They’ll follow what they see you do. That’s part of relationship building and setting proper expectations and trust as well.

People won't follow what you tell them to do. They'll follow what they see you do. I think that's part of relationship building and setting proper expectations and trust. Click To Tweet

One of the things that I talked about in the intro to the Why of Trust, which is your why, was educating yourself to a very high level so that you can be the trusted source. For those of you that are reading, Michael, what is in the background behind you?

It’s a bookshelf. Everybody has a bookshelf. My fiancée gets credit to what you’re referencing. It’s a color-coded, size-ordered bookshelf. It’s color-coded from tallest to smallest book and then back to small. Kayla, my fiancée, said it’s aesthetically pleasing to the eye as well.

How many books are there?

I have another couple dozen on the floor over here and hundreds over here. I don’t know the number, but it’s a good amount.

How many have you read?

I don’t know a real number, but I’ll answer that question with this because I don’t have a real answer. Through my twenties, I was obsessed with the quantity of books I was reading. I studied books a lot. My life changed more in my 30s, though. That’s when I started studying books for quality instead of quantity. I’ll skim books. I’ll Audible the first five chapters and go, “This is good, but not for me.” Once I find a book back to the whole, become an expert at a subject and that’s how you become trusted. Once I find a subject that I’m like, “I want to live this or implement this in my life,” I’ll listen to that book or read that book a couple of dozen times.

In one year, maybe I only read ten books the whole year, but the book Scaling Up, for example, I read it 16 to 25 times over and over again. I probably have listened to Think and Grow Rich three times every year. I know that’s not what you’re asking. How many books? I don’t know the number, but through most of my twenties, it was a bragging game of how many books I read this year. Now it’s much more about what book did I study, implement, and become an expert of.

That’s another aspect of the Why of Trust. You’re not going to answer because you don’t have an actual answer. I’m not going to answer. You’re not going to answer me because I can’t tell you the truth. I can’t tell you a number so I’m not going to say it. Take us through a day in the life of Michael Chu.

I’ll answer that question by bringing you back years ago and we referenced the whole, “I haven’t drank alcohol in years.” I had a dark point in my life. I had made all this money and I was in my early 30s. I told you I was questioning what’s it all for and I decided I had to reinvent myself. It’s funny that you’re talking about trust and here it comes back again because the password to my phone has been Integrity15. How that ties back into the routine is I’m not a big fan of long morning and evening routines, but I do believe that routines or rituals dictate the results we create in our life. A lot of the routines I’m talking about, I do day in, day out and make sure it’s grounded in me.

Routines or rituals dictate the results we create in our life. Click To Tweet

It’s pretty simple. I’m a night out by nature, so I’m not the up at 4:00 or 5:00 AM type. I oftentimes get up and like to get to work pretty quickly. I do something either called a power walk or a power shower. I do my morning routine while walking or showering and I can get it done in 10 or 15 minutes, which is three segments.

It is gratitude. I’ll take 2 to 5 minutes and address some gratitude. I’ll then remind myself what my goals are for the year and then I’ll set my intentions on who I’m committed to being for the day. I can do that in 5 to 15 minutes. I dive right into spending a little bit of time with my daughter and my fiancée before they head off to school. I get into anywhere from 2 to 4 hours or maybe 5 hours of deep work.

At least 4 days a week, maybe 3 at a minimum, 5 at a max, I’m starting off my day with no meetings and deep work, a big project that’s going to move the needle. I oftentimes take a break to reset. I’m a big Brendon Burchard fan. High Performance Habits talks about the first habit is high performers stop to recreate clarity often. I’ll stop and reset in the middle of the day to set my intention for the second half of the day. What are my biggest priorities and things like that?

At that point, I normally dive into either leading my team, coaching clients, or catching up on any other last projects. I try and work out. I either do martial arts or lift weights. During the summer, I like to go out and surf. I like to try and get active most days and then spend time with the family before heading to bed at night. Sometimes I’m at night owl and Kayla will go to bed early and I’ll get some projects done.

I think because of karate when I was like a young age, I wasn’t the kid in bed at 8:30. I sometimes wasn’t out of class at seven years old until 9:00. Sometimes I’m used to everyone goes to bed and from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM are sometimes my most productive hours. I’d say maybe 1 or 2 days a week, I’ll put it in late night session to finish up some night stuff. Weekends are chilling with family. Sundays are completely disconnected and off and we’ve got a date night every week and things like that in there. That’s the daily or weekly routines in there.

I got about five pages of notes now from our conversation, so that is awesome. Michael, if there are people reading that want to get ahold of you, follow you, or work with you, what’s the best way for them to get in touch with you?

There are a couple of different ways. Instagram’s the easiest way to follow me and all the things going on in my world and my handle there is @Mike__Chu. However, if you are a coach, an expert or a consultant, we have a free resource for people who are in that industry and you could go to and there’s a free three-part training on how to reduce churn, increase retention, and extend client LTV.

There’s a high value no fluff three-part training that people could get for free there at Instagram’s the best way to follow me and be in my world. If you want to get a resource and check out more what we do, you could go to that website and check out the free resource that we have.

Michael, thank you so much for being here. I’m glad we finally got to do this. I know this was way more than I expected and I don’t know why I didn’t expect it, but it was valuable stuff that you talked about. Thank you so much for sharing.

It’s my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.


Important Links


About Michael Chu

BYW 44 | The Value Of TrustMichael Chu is the creator and founder of Champion Development Inc., the premier coaching and support program for executives, fit pros, and entrepreneurs.His background started in direct sales leadership and over the last 15 years, he has been the CEO for 5 separate businesses that have generated over 7-figures in revenue.

Michael is also one of the only coaching mentors who still has an active and thriving health coaching business in conjunction with his business coaching programs.Mike uses Somatic Therapy and other mindset techniques to stay in a champion mindset while he runs his companies. He is very passionate about helping other coaches avoid the burnout that often stops them from serving their clients.

He is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs scale their business and marketing efforts – whether you’re starting from scratch or from going from six figures to seven figures.

Michael teaches his clients how to turn their Passion into Profits and generate massive impact and profit using the Maximization Model and the The LTV Method.


Coach Elevation And The WHY Of Better Way With Mitch Russo

BYW S4 34 | Coach Elevation


Do you want to take your coaching program to the next level? Mitch Russo joins us again with his latest book, Coach Elevation: The Step-by-Step Guide to Elevating Coaching Sessions To Improve Results, Elevate Your Brand and Create Prosperity. Mitch is responsible for the SaaS platform, designed to manage your entire coaching company as a single or group of coaches. In this episode, he chats with Dr. Gary Sanchez about how you can use these tools to elevate and improve your program. Beyond that, the two also discuss Mitch’s WHY of Better Way and the importance of understanding your purpose before pursuing any venture. Tune in for more meaningful lessons and practical insights.

Watch the episode here

Listen to the podcast here

Coach Elevation And The WHY Of Better Way With Mitch Russo

In this episode, we’re going to be talking about the why in a better way, to find a better way in sharing. If this is your WHY, then you are the ultimate innovator. You are constantly seeking better ways to do everything. You find yourself wanting to improve virtually anything by finding a way to make it. You also desire to share your improvement with the world. You constantly ask yourself questions like, “What if we tried this differently? What if we did this another way? How can we make this better?” You contribute to the world with better processes and systems while operating under the motto. I’m often pleased but never satisfied.

You are excellent at associating, which means that you are adept at always taking ideas or systems from one industry or discipline and applying them to another with the ultimate goal of improving something. In this episode, I’ve got a great guess for you. I’ve had Mitch on before and the last time we talked, he was in the process of making some cool software and writing a book and so I thought it would be perfect for our audience. Here is Mitch’s bio.

Mitch Russo started a software company in his garage, sold it for eight figures, then went on to build a company to over $25 million with Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes, nominated twice for Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur of the Year. Mitch’s book, Power Tribes: How Certification Can Explode Your Business, helps readers create new business divisions using high-performance certification programs. His software for coaches,, fills a void in the coaching software marketplace by helping coaches make their clients more productive with goal tracking and accountability. Mitch’s newest book, Coach Elevation, blueprints his process for helping clients find their true purpose and connect that to their true mission, which accelerates progress in both business and life. Mitch, welcome back to the show.

Thank you, Gary. It’s great to be back. I love continued conversations.

The last time we left off, you’d already done a whole heck of a lot of stuff, and we could go on and on about your bio, which we did last time. Since then, you’ve now launched a software program. You’ve written another book. Dive in. Which one would you like to talk about first?

I’ll talk about the origin and why I decided to create this software product. What was happening is after my Power Tribes book came out in 2018, my life got very busy. I started building a lot of certification programs. People read the book. They got excited about building their own and I started creating more programs for people, which is always fun to do. What started to also happen is that my coaching business started to grow. What I found is that it was time for me to put my big boy pants on and buy some software that manages a coaching business.

I basically went around and I did surveys to see what products were out there. I tried five different products, each with big promises. I found them to be woefully inadequate for my needs. I’m sure they’re good products in every other way but for my needs, which was basically easy to learn, easy to use, low cost but still very powerful around goal setting and accountability tracking. A lot of my success with my clients comes from holding them accountable.

Instead of saying, “Accountability could be easy. Let’s ask them how they’re doing.” That’s not accountability. We get very granular. In fact, we set numeric goals with every client, usually up to six. We track those goals sometimes every day. We put them into a dashboard and then we create graphs and chart to show people the progress they’re making. In fact, this became so popular that we extended the software and created a portal for our clients to log in, enter their own data and see their own graphics and charts so they could see what was going on all at once.

I started this project in 2019. It came to life with its very first version in 2021. Since then, it’s had two major revisions. In the last revision, I started to realize that I was using a process. Almost unconsciously, I’ve been using the same process for the last five or six years. I’ve refined it since I discovered the WHY Discovery. The WHY Discovery, for me, was the missing component to make this whole thing work.

It started to become such a big part of what I did with the client that I decided to explain everything in a book. I wrote a new book. It’s called Coach Elevation. The book itself is a blueprint about how to successfully run a coaching session with the purpose of discovering a client’s true purpose, connecting that through their WHY Discovery to their true mission. Now, what does this do? What this does is it changes the nature of the engagement.

BYW S4 34 | Coach Elevation
Coach Elevation: The Step-by-Step Guide to Elevating Coaching Sessions To Improve Results, Elevate Your Brand and Create Prosperity


Number one, it emotionally opens a person very quickly. I did the first session with a new certification client. She broke into tears 25-30 minutes into the session because, for the first time, she felt what her true mission was. Later, as we took this a little bit further and she told me what her why was because I had her take the discovery before. Now all of a sudden, it was very clear what her entire business was dedicated to doing. Before that, it was an enterprise. Now it is a life mission. It changes everything. She’ll move faster, work harder, be more successful and be more motivated to finally get that done. That’s what I’ve been up to, Gary.

Let’s go back for a minute. When you say your coaching business took off, who do you coach? Who’s your ideal coaching client? What clients are you talking about?

With certification, I coach SaaS companies. I coach training companies and other coaching companies as well. The whole idea is they have intellectual property that they are able to create a transformation in others. The thing is that if you could show someone else how to create that same transformation, then in effect, what you’re doing is you’re creating a scalable license model that will allow somebody to take this information, teach it to others and help them get clients and hare in the upside or the revenue that comes from those clients. We certify them in that process.

What that means is that when I work with the certification client, what I’m doing is I start with the process I described earlier, which makes everything go much easier. At that point, we’re building a business plan around the idea that we’re going to have a certified coach or a certified consultant network. From there, we build out the marketing system for that, then the sales system for that. We start to create the infrastructure on how we bring through students, if you will, into the system, into the pilot. We call it a pilot, the very first one.

We train them and we get them to be successful. We work with them one on one. We even engage with them while they’re working with clients to make sure that that first batch of graduates has business success and rapidly. The reason we do that is because what we want to do is we want to take those testimonials and we want to bring the next group through. That’s how we do it. It’s the early adopter rule. The tip of the triangle, tip of the pyramid. The early adopters go first and then once they get results and those results can be shown to others, now everybody wants to do it. That’s the theory behind the way we do this.

Your ideal client will be a coach or coach organization that has a process that they want to help other coaches use to better serve their clients.

Right, but there’s a wrinkle here. The wrinkle is what we want to do is we want to create a recurring revenue model on several levels. Before, you could buy coach certification from one of many very smart famous coaches and you’ll pay anywhere from $5,000 to $18,000 for that certification. What you generally get is a beautiful 8×10 certificate that’s suitable for framing right behind you on your Zoom window but generates no money.

Here’s what we know about coaches. We know coaches love to coach. They’re smart people, empathetic people, but they’re lousy salespeople. They’re sometimes not very good at marketing themselves. They may be good at helping others market, but they’re not very good at marketing themselves. We take over. When I say we, I mean the company that I’m consulting with. We build a marketing and selling system for the people that they certify. Now, what does that do? Number one, it puts enough revenue in their pocket, so we’re usually delivering between a 6X and 12X ROI on what they paid for certification year after year. That’s one stream of recurring revenue.

We know coaches love to coach. They're smart people, they're empathetic people, but they're lousy sales people. Click To Tweet

How do you build a marketing and selling system? What does that look like? Give us an example of something what that would be like.

Let’s take the average company and we’ll use your company, for example. Let’s say that you have a database of email addresses and names. Let’s say a percentage of those people are actual customers who paid you money. I’m going to guess it’s somewhere hovering between 5% and 8% of your database has paid you money, which means somewhere between 95% and 92% of those folks have not paid you money. Nonetheless, they seem to be resistive to all your charms and all your wonderful emails and all your videos.

What do we have? We have people who know you, who probably like you and even trust you but they still haven’t made a decision to work with you. Now what we do is we train people to do what you do, to duplicate your transformation, the ability that you have to transform another human being or particularly a corporation in this case. Once we teach them how to do that, we then build a business model that says, “We’re going to share our prospects with you. We’re going to put that inside of a CRM system and we’re going to give you access to that CRM system. In fact, we’re even going to create all the emails for you. All you got to do is sit down every morning and basically run the system with the new leads that you received.”

If you do this, then the system will start to make offers to the prospects, but a better offer than before. Here’s what the better offer looks like. Bob, you probably remember when Gary offered you the WHY Discovery and you loved it. You thought it was great, but for some reason, you didn’t pull the trigger. I am a WHY Discovery coach. My job is to make sure that when you take your WHY Discovery, I work with you one-on-one for free to see and make sure that you implement this into your life and get everything that we intended when we created this amazing tool.

If you like, we can offer you a small discount or we could set you up with a free call after you take the discovery. We could explore how this can benefit you, build your business, and grow your relationships in ways you never thought possible. That’s better than the offer you made over the past several years. Why? It’s because a live coach is willing to do this for free. Why would the coach be willing to do that for free? I think it’s an obvious answer. They’re looking to build relationships. They want to start working with people they haven’t worked with before so that they can help them in their lives.

Our statistics show that about 25% of the people who get a free or a few free coaching sessions will then go on to buy coaching because they found it to be so valuable that they don’t want to give up their coach. If that coach has any form of a personality at all and has a lot more to offer than what was offered for free, there’s a good chance that business relationships can go on for many years. It can involve the base company too. Meaning they can involve you are the WHY Institute and why? There are so many other things WHY Institute offers.

That coach can also have those as part of what they offer so they can get a commission. That’s another recurring revenue stream on whatever they sell their coaching client. They can earn money on the coaching itself and they can even share that money with the company because the company gets to set this up. The third thing is that in 2023, we bring them into a big room called the Symposium and we do a three-day rah-rah event and we reveal some new tools and get them all excited.

When they go out for the next 90 days, you’re going to see a huge bump in revenue coming from new sales and they pay for that as well. All of these recurring revenue streams start to stack up. By the end of the third year, you’re typically dealing with several million dollars of profits from a certification program if it’s done right and if it’s done with the proper scale. That is what my book is about. That is what I consult on.

That is why I needed software to help me make sure that when somebody engages with me. I’ll be honest, Gary, it’s not cheap. When someone engages with me, I have to make sure that they get the ROI on what they paid me. The only way I can do that is if I hold them accountable. I don’t mean casual accountability. As I said earlier, I want numeric accountability. I want to know how many prospects came in this week. I want to know what they did specifically to cause that and can we duplicate that next week? That’s what my goal is. That’s the software I could not find. That’s why I had to build it.

You went out, tried out five or so different other software looking for what you needed to be able to get that accountability. It didn’t exist, said, “I’m going to make my own something that I would do as I’ve done myself. It’s a better way thing.” For those people that are reading that are trying to do something similar. How the heck did you go do it yourself? What was that like for you?

For me, it’s something I always do. Gary, you’re the same way. I start things all the time and I get excited about things. My challenge sometimes is staying focused long enough to see it through to fruition. When I started this project, it was back in 2019 and I had a serviceable beta about a year later. At that point, I showed it to some people. I gave away a few seats for them to try. The enthusiasm was so dramatic that I was motivated to keep going.

I started by building a great team. That was step one for me. I needed a great team in order to create the product. I already knew the right people and I was able to put this team together. I put this team together for the long haul. This wasn’t like a contract job you pick up on or something. This was a real team that I knew I would be able to stay with or they would be able to stay with me over the long run and bring this product to fruition and so far, we’re our third year together. We’re doing great.

The team is incredibly brilliant. Part of what I offer is I want them to participate. I build participation and for them as well. What that does is it energizes them to want to do better. My job at this point is to use my network organically to market the product first while improving it. It took months to get it to the point where it is now. As it improves, as it gets better, I use my organic network to do that. We’re about to launch a fairly sizable paid ad program because now I think we have traction at this point. It’s time to start taking advantage of that. You don’t want to let that slip away when you hit that inflection point.

Tell everybody again the name of the software and what it does differently than everybody else.

The name of the product is called I was trying to be cool like the cool kids. I said, “That’s why I picked the IO extension.” You could also go to if you forget the IO thing. There are two URLs. Either one works and takes you to the same place. When I looked at all the other products, what I discovered is I started by watching hours of training videos.

I don’t think of myself as having a super long attention span doing things I don’t like. I have a good attention span doing things I love, but when it comes to things I don’t like, not so much. I was sitting there trying to s slug through these videos and I couldn’t handle it. I hated it. Here I am trying to figure this out and I finally power up the software after studying videos for two or three days. I load my client list.

The first thing it did, which was super embarrassing and difficult for me, was it started sending emails to my clients without me authorizing that. Immediately, I completely shut the thing down. I said, “This got to go. I can’t deal with this.” I tried another one. The other one I tried was what I would call a kitchen sink product. It had every possible imaginable component that someday you ever might want. It was like $395 a month to use, which I thought was outrageous. Even though I could afford it, that’s not the problem. I also now realize that I’m going to have to learn all of this stuff that I probably won’t need or want. I put that one aside.

I tried one of these other very low-cost ones that were even cheaper than what we were offering our product for. We only sell it for $29.97 per month. I found products that were cheaper than that. When I powered them up and started to use them, what I noticed was that they were what I would call lead magnets. You would start using it and as soon as you got the three clients, it would want to hit you up another $30 or $40 a month. When you got the seven clients, it wanted another $20 or $30 a month. I realized from the beginning that we needed to create a model that was unlimited clients.

Anybody who signs up for $29.97 a month, if they’re a coach, they get unlimited clients. We don’t work along those lines. We have optional added functionality that costs extra if you need it. If you don’t need it, you don’t pay for it. The bottom line is you don’t need it if you’re a coach. If you’re coaching clients one on one, then everything you need is right there. What we believe is the distinctive and discerning factor is the fact that it’s easy to use.

BYW S4 34 | Coach Elevation
Coach Elevation: If you’re a coach, if you’re coaching clients one on one, then everything you need is right on


It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to learn the system, number one. Number two, once you start using it, it contains everything. All of your homework information is in there. All your notes and your Zoom links are there. All of your Q&A with clients is there. The client portal, which is an extension of the software, allows your clients to log in and get their own homework.

Answer their own accountability questions, fill in their goals and stats and even ask their coach questions, which I found to be powerful. Why? It’s because otherwise, it would go through email. If I wait for the weekend, I’m coming home to 300 or 400 emails and might lose an important question from a client. I don’t want that to happen. We built an internal communication system right into the software that has worked well for my clients.

The ultimate goal here is to have an amazing client interaction and experience accountability. Keep it all in one place so that you, as the coach because there are a lot of coaches that read this. The coach can perform at the highest level.

Yes, we’re elevating the session. We’re taking what used to be sometimes a relatively scrappy session. Even though the coach might be amazing, they have a notepad open here. They have a spreadsheet open there. If they use spreadsheets, they have another browser open for something else or maybe they’re trying to figure out how to get their next appointment from another browser window. Who knows? Another popup of sorts.

What we tried to do is we tried to put everything into one browser window so that the coach can focus only on their client during their session and take casual notes while they’re talking. At the same time, as soon as the session is over, they get to touch up those notes. Maybe make them more attractive with underlying and numbering and bullet points. Whatever they want. When they’re done, they click send homework now, save the session and they’re done until the next week or the next time they meet with that client.

Sounds like a better way.

I think you’re right.

If you’re reading and you know that Mitch’s why is to find a better way, then you know what he’s come up with has to be better. If something’s not better, Mitch, can you talk about it?

I sure can.

If someone wants you to sell a product for them and it’s not better than what’s already there. Are you able to talk about it? Do you want to sell something like that?

I don’t. It doesn’t interest me at all. That’s part of what I went through when I was doing my own exploration into trying to find a coaching tool for my own business. I couldn’t stand using inferior products, no matter how much they cost. Even if it was free, I couldn’t deal with it because I knew it was not good enough. As you said in the intro, I needed at least good enough and I wanted better.

It’s not that you set out to say, “I’ve got to make some software. I’ve got to go spend the next three years figuring out how to do this.” That probably was not high on your list, but when you can’t find it and know you can make it better, it’s almost like you’re compelled to do that.

Yes. Now, this might be a form of mental illness, Gary. I admit to that, but yet, here I am. I get obsessed with stuff once I realize I’m on the right path and I see it working. That’s what I saw with this very early framework of a first edition. I saw it working. I immediately noticed I was saving about sixteen minutes per session. I’m doing two or three sessions per day, four days a week and I’m doing admin during what I would call my peak cognitive period of the day. If I’m sitting here doing $10 an hour work during $1,000 an hour time, I know I’m getting an ROI right away, even if no one else ever wanted to use my product. I know I was getting an ROI.

What was the motivation to write the book?

What started to happen years ago, I stumbled across this process. In the middle of one session, in particular, I started asking a series of questions that appeared to change the person’s viewpoint very quickly. It appeared to get them past the casual nonsense and go right to the heart of the matter that we were trying to figure out or discuss. I made a note of those questions. This next session I had, I said, “What the heck? I might pull those questions out and try it again,” and then I did.

What I noticed is that I had more or less the same result. What I noticed is that was a huge improvement in the ability to cut through the wasted time and non-essential information and get right to the heart of the matter. This started to happen more until I started to refine the process over time. A few years ago when we worked together and you uncovered my WHY for me in a van on the way to a hotel room or to somebody’s house. It was like a mule kick in the head for me. It was such a major shift in the way I now saw things.

I started to use the process even before you had your wide discovery itself. I started to use the process to help people identify where they were in terms of their why. Now what I was able to do was, once I understood or at least zeroed in. Maybe if it wasn’t exact, I could figure out a little bit better who they are, given their WHY. I was then able to couple that with the true purpose discovery process that I had built.

Now, at this point, we were then going to look at the business completely differently. Instead of this business being a way to make money, we now saw the business as a way to fulfill a lifelong true purpose and mission. This changes everything. On either end of the stick, sometimes, Gary, we throw the business away and start over. Other times we go into the business that it’s not ideal and we change the attitudes around what we’re doing. Maybe some of the functional activities of what we’re doing and that aligns it with our true purpose.

Once you do this, it makes everything smoother, faster and I would say, more profitable. Everything works better once people are aligned. When I worked with one organization, I did this with the CEO. He said, “You got to do this now with my team.” We did each one of them separately. They all did the WHY Discovery. They all got their results then when we aligned the group, it was hard to believe the results would happen.

It took a couple of weeks to get everything done. Once the group was aligned, there was harmony. There were no more fights, no more disagreements. Everybody realized what the goals were and the true purpose was of the entire company. Now, as you and I have talked about before, a company needs a code of ethics. It needs culture. In order to create that culture, we must basically know the why and the how of the CEO.

A company needs a code of ethics. It needs a culture. In order to create that culture, we must basically know the why and the how of the CEO. Click To Tweet

We need to know the CEO because the CEO started the company. Let’s call that person the founder. If we know what the CEO’s mission and values, goals and why are, that’s when we can align the team to that. Once that alignment is done, now everything works like a well-oiled machine and allows us to get a lot more done.

How do you contrast why versus purpose?

I’m going to tell you the secret that is not a secret at all. It’s right in the book. Everybody’s true purpose is basically the same. The true purpose of most individuals is to help others. Now there may be people who say, “That’s not my purpose.” If we did the discovery process, you’d find that it is. The reason I say that is because it’s the way we’re built. It’s the human structure. The way the human mind is created is that it generates the highest level of serotonin from helping other people.

When we help others, the greatest high you could ever achieve comes from that feeling. At the highest levels of helping others, there is no better feeling. Money cannot buy a better feeling than that. If we know that in advance, what good is it? It’s no good at all. Do you know why? It’s because we didn’t emotionally connect with it. The goal of the book and the goal of the process is to connect you to this true purpose, which is to help others.

I don’t tell people in advance when I start working with them. By the way, before we get started, let me tell you a true purpose. It’s more important that they go through this process of finding it in themselves. Once they find it in themselves and they go, “Yes.” As I said, this woman broke down in tears. She’s a lifelong entrepreneur. She’s had four businesses. The reason that she became so emotional was because this was the first time. She says, “I’ve done this for 4,000 people. I’ve never done it on myself or something like it.”

She had a different process, but the whole point was that, now that she finally gets this, it truly connected who she was as having a true purpose to her mission. Which, in her case, was to help others through her. I would call her mechanism. Everybody has a mechanism for how they do this. We may have the same true purpose, but we don’t have the same mechanism. You do it your way, I do it my way, but the goal is the same.

BYW S4 34 | Coach Elevation
Coach Elevation: We may have the same true purpose, but we don’t have the same mechanism. You do it your way, I do it my way. But the goal is the same.


When you were to compare why versus purpose, how do you see them as being different?

Why is the component of how you get the realization of your true purpose. Whereas your true purpose is something that you must emotionally connect to first. Feel that it is real and is real to you, as real as anything else and then we use the WHY Discovery to uncover the most powerful mechanism and process that you could have to find the true mission of yourself or your company.

I love it. In your book, you outline the process for helping coaches become more successful. It’s more about coaches, hosting or working with clients. Is that more what it’s about?

It is. The book is written for coaches to work with their clients. No matter what type of clients they have, whether they’re meditation clients, business clients, it doesn’t matter. If you go through the process in the book and align your client before you start using your mechanism with them to get them to have the realization or transformation that you want them to have. They will get there faster, it will be more powerful and they will be more successful because they’re aligned, but they can’t get there truthfully.

This was the missing piece. As I said, the missing piece was the WHY Discovery. Once I got the WHY Discovery and I embedded that into this process. Now finding A, the personal mechanism every person is what their why is. That’s what my mechanism is to find a better way. It’s languaged a little differently, but without it, I can’t get to their true mission effectively.

It shortcuts everything, doesn’t it?

It does.

What’s the fun part?

What it comes down to is this, when you have an emotional experience. You connect it to something that you care deeply about, then that is something you never forget like the woman that I worked with and all the people I’ve done this with over the years. They will never forget the moment when they uncovered what their true purpose was to them and to who they were. That’s the part that makes all the difference in the world. As I said, I could tell you, “Your true purpose is you like to help people. That’s your true purpose.” It doesn’t do anything. You got to discover it.

When you have an emotional experience and you connect it to something that you care deeply about, then that is something you never forget. Click To Tweet

Is true purpose different than purpose? Here are the reasons I’m asking you because, on the show, I’ve had some guests that their lifelong study is purpose. They have companies like PurposePoint and different organizations like that. When I ask them the same question I asked you, the answer that they give is interesting, which is similar but different. Maybe it is the same. I’m not quite sure but what they’ll say is that your purpose is where you live your WHY, how you choose the action that you choose to use your why to deliver.

They’re right, except the difference is that your action changes. Under that definition, my purpose can change every few years. “My purpose is to build and sell a software company for $10 million. My purpose is to build a company with Tony Robbins and sell it for $25 million.” In other words, I can have purposes all throughout my life, but the true underlying purpose is the same from the beginning of time to the end.

BYW S4 34 | Coach Elevation
Coach Elevation: You can have purposes all throughout your life, but the underlying true purpose is the same from the beginning of time to the end.


Perfect. That’s the distinction I wanted to make because that’s what they would say as well, which is, “You have multiple purposes. You have a purpose as a parent. Purpose as a business owner.” There’s more than one purpose, but then you are talking about your true purpose, which is overarching. Everything falls under this.

As I said, and not to repeat myself over and over again but knowing someone telling you, “Everybody’s true purpose is the same. It’s to help others,” means nothing. It doesn’t help at all. It has no meaning to most people because most people will say, “That’s not my true purpose. I know that I,” but if I took them through this process, which only takes 20 to 30 minutes to do and they connect with it, it changes everything.

It’s to be a self-discovery, say, “That is it.”

That’s right. I don’t lead them to it. Sometimes, I’m sitting there like, “You’re so close. If I give you two words, you’ll get there.” I never led them to it because that would be stealing the power of the process from them.

I love that. Mitch, if there are people that are reading now and want to learn more about what you’re doing, follow what you’re doing and connect with you, what’s the best way for them to do that?

To connect with me directly, they can go to All of my properties, if you will, are on that particular page. If they’d like the book, Gary, is it okay if I give your audience the book for free?

Yes. That would be great.

They can go to and get a free copy of this book. They could download a PDF of the book or they can go on Amazon. They could get it on their Kindle or if they want a hard copy like I have, they can buy it on Amazon as well.

That book is specifically for coaches that are looking for a process to help move their clients forward faster.

They use this process and it will help transform their entire business. Here’s why and this is what I teach in my program. Once you help somebody at a higher level, then what’s going to happen is your results will improve. If your results improve, you’re going to get better, stronger, more emotional testimonials. If you’re getting better, stronger emotional testimonials like you’ve never had before, you’re going to raise your prices. Once you raise your prices, you’re going to start attracting a higher-level client who’s going to pay you what you’re worth for the work that you’re doing. That’s what the book is about. It’s that entire sequence of processes that gets someone to that point.

Mitch, what’s next for you? Building the software company, is that the biggest thing on the horizon for you now?

By popular request, I’ve started a coaching cohort to take people through the process and help elevate them. My coaching cohort is starting up. It’s relatively low cost. It’s designed. It’s a short program. It’s an eight-week program. I’m going to take coaches and I’m going to elevate them. I’m going to get them to the point where they can duplicate what I do throughout my process.

Now, what I described is the first hour, a half hour or so, of my process. Honestly, it’s fantastic, but there’s so much more. What I teach in this cohort is I take them through the entire process, which you’ve seen some of with the mind mapping and with the structuring of the entire sequence of what happens after an engagement starts. That’s where the power of an organization is and that’s what I teach.

It’s funny. I’ll end it with this. I ran into somebody who knows Mitch, a mutual friend. The way that they described you cracked me up, which was, “Mitch and I had dinner one evening about something. We talked about this project that we wanted to create. That night, Mitch stayed up all night, designed it, built it, and had it ready the next day. If Mitch says he is going to do something, he’s going to do something.” That’s who you’ll get if you guys end up working with Mitch in some capacity. Mitch, thank you so much for being here. It’s great to catch up again. I’m going to follow what you’re doing. I’m excited for what you got in the horizon.

Thank you, Gary. It was a pleasure. As always, you and I have a long runway ahead of us as well, with so many great things that we can both do together.

Thanks, Mitch.

You got it. Thank you, Gary.


Important Links


About Mitch Russo

BYW S4 34 | Coach ElevationMitch Russo started a software company in his garage, sold it for 8 figures and then went on to build a company to over $25M with Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes. Nominated twice for Inc Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year.
Mitch’s book: Power Tribes – How Certification Can Explode Your Business helps readers create new business divisions using high performance certification programs.
His software for coaches; fills a void in the coaching software marketplace by helping coaches make their clients more productive with goal tracking and accountability. Mitch’s newest book: Coach Elevation blueprints his process for helping clients find their true purpose and connect that to their true mission which accelerates progress in both business and life.


Contributing Through A Mindset Of Abundance And Customer-Centric Real Estate With Brandon Brittingham

BYW 12 | Customer Centric


Bringing value to your business could simply mean giving value to others. Brandon Brittingham, recognized as one of the best real estate agents in America, credits a customer-centric approach as the driver of his success in the field. For him, it’s about clients over commission. He says once you provide the best value and service, the commission will work itself out. Together with Dr. Gary Sanchez, they explore Brandon’s WHY of Contribute and how he’s achieved success while positively impacting the world. Brandon also shares his mission to coach and train new real estate agents and change the industry for the better. Stay tuned to get to know more about Brandon’s purpose and vision, as well as his means in serving others.

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Contributing Through A Mindset Of Abundance And Customer-Centric Real Estate With Brandon Brittingham

Welcome to the show. We go beyond just talking about your why and helping you discover and then live your why. If you’re a regular audience, you know that every episode, we talk about one of the nine why’s and then bring on somebody with that why so we can see how their why has played out in their lives. We’re going to be talking about the Why of Contribute. If this is your why then you want to be part of a greater cause something that is bigger than yourself.

You don’t necessarily want to be the face of the cause but you want to contribute to it in a meaningful way. You love to support others and relish the success that contributes to the team’s greater good. You see group victories as personal victories. You are often behind the scenes looking for ways to make the world better. You make a reliable and committed teammate and you often act as the glue that holds everyone else together. You use your time, money, energy, resources and connections to add value to other people and organizations.

In this episode, I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Brandon Brittingham. He is one of the foremost experts on the shore in a short sale, foreclosure, investment real estate and has been recognized nationally for his achievements. Having lived on the Eastern Shore for most of his life, he is familiar with every aspect of the local communities and properties within them.

He is considered one of the leading real estate agents in the country and has won many awards for his success in real estate including Eastern Shore of Maryland’s Top Agent, 2012 NAR Class of 30 under 30 and was featured on the cover of NAR Magazine. He was named by Real Trends as one of the best real estate agents in America.

Brandon, welcome to the show.

Thank you.

For those people that are on the West or Midwest, where is Eastern Shores? What part of the Eastern Shore are you?

I’m in Maryland. I’m in between the Maryland and Delaware border. If you don’t know Maryland, that’s where Baltimore is. Washington DC is technically in Maryland. Although it’s not considered in Maryland, that’s the part of the map I’m on and then I’m on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, which is on the Coast. We’re famous for the Maryland crabs. That’s where all the good crabs come from the United States.

How close are you to Baltimore?

Clients over commission. Click To Tweet

From where I live, it is about two hours.

Take us through where did you grow up? How did you get on the path that you’re on? How did you get into real estate?

I lived in Maryland my entire life. I have moved around. I’ve lived in a couple of different cities like New York, Philadelphia and Florida. I have always had an interest in real estate. When I was younger, my father told me I should get into real estate because he had a construction background. When you’re younger, anything your dad tells you to do, you do the opposite. I got into real estate from wanting to invest in real estate and that’s what led me to get into it. I bought a couple of investment properties. I didn’t have the best experience and that led me to want to get my license only, honestly, to buy and represent myself and then I quickly found my calling in real estate that my purpose was to be in this business.

What about that business feels right to you? How do you view your business?

One of the things that I saw that was a challenge was when you came in as a new agent. It was like, “Go figure it out.” It’s a tough business to be in especially if you’re new so early, I figured it out that I had a different way of doing it. I was very customer-centric. I cared about my clients. I wanted to go above and beyond so I started to do well.

I then wanted to teach that method to other people because I saw that eventually, there was going to be a ceiling, then I switched my business model from being a single agent to building a team. That led us to 2020 where we were the number one team in the entire state of Maryland and we’re number five in the United States as far as homes sold. It has been a pretty cool journey. It has been pretty cool to bring people into my environment, watch them succeed and do well.

What do you mean by customer-centric versus what were other people doing? How was customer-centric any different than what everybody else says?

I can tell you from my experience when I bought a house or the first investment property. I didn’t have great communication with my agent. I almost felt like a commodity. Investment property aside, when someone buys or sells us a house, it’s a huge emotional attachment that they have. It could be their first house. It’s their dream. They saved money for it or whatever the case is.

They may have come from another country where laws are different, homeownership was out of reach, maybe or something they never thought that they could achieve. On the other side of that, people have kids. Their kids grew up there and they have all kinds of memories. This is a huge emotional attachment to purchasing and selling a house.

BYW 12 | Customer Centric
Customer Centric: Investment property aside, when someone buys or sells us a house, it’s a huge emotional attachment that they have.


Honestly, it’s a stressful process, especially nowadays. A lot of different industries have accelerated through tech where there’s a lot of archaic methods still used in a real estate transaction. I felt that from a customer service standpoint, my experience wasn’t the greatest and I didn’t want my customers to feel that. I wanted to be able to solve every problem I possibly could and give them the peace of mind that they didn’t have to worry or stress. That’s how I approach my business model. By doing that, we started to see tremendous growth.

You’re primarily residential real estate, right?

Yeah. I have done some commercials. I’m in property management and a couple of other verticals but I would say I spend the most time in residential.

When did you get into residential real estate?

What I’ll tell you is why I think I got a different view of it is because, in 2008, we went through a recession. From 2008 to about 2010, I spent the majority of my time trying to help people not lose their house to foreclosure so I got a different emotional attachment to doing business with people because I was helping them fight for their lives and not get put out on the street.

Prior to even that happening, I had a different model of customer service in my head and I felt like a lot of the agents that I had experienced back then didn’t have that customer-centric model. I took that and then we went into recession. I was making sure I took care of people when a lot of people ran away from foreclosures and short sales at that time. I didn’t and I helped a lot of people. On the other side of that, when the market turned, all those people that I helped became customers for life.

Take us through what that is now. What does a customer-centric real estate agent or real estate company look like? What do I get for that? What does that feel like to me?

It’s a couple of things. Number one, if you’re hiring me to sell your house, it is providing the best value I can. By that, what I mean is the best photography, best marketing, best systems, best process, best CRMs and the best team that I can put behind you. Unfortunately, there are still people in our business that do take cellphone photos and do limited marketing for your most expensive asset.

Aside from that, we’ve scaled our operation to figure out any problem. A prime example is you’re in the middle of a house transaction and home inspection comes back. There are nine things wrong with their house. Maybe, we negotiate it down to six but with the six you’re going to have to deal with whether this person buys it or another person buys it. I got a team of contractors and I’ll dispatch it. It’s a company that I own. We’ll take care of it and you won’t have any headaches.

If you’re the best at the process and you provide the best level of service, the commission will work itself out. Click To Tweet

I have a mini-storage/pads business because I’ve had situations where a moving company doesn’t show up or settlement day gets pushed or whatever the case is so we’ll dispatch our team to do that. We’re in the construction business so we can build people’s houses and again, do repairs or if anything like that comes up.

We try to take every single piece of the home transaction and control it because another thing that was a big deal to me was there were times in my real estate career where there was a part of the transaction that I couldn’t control went wrong and I couldn’t fix it. You, as a consumer, that’s all you remembered. You knew it wasn’t my fault but that was the pain that you felt. When you went to go buy or sell again, you had this nightmare or still to this pain. What I tried to do was get rid of the pain in every transaction.

A lot of that has to do with communication too and being in constant communication with you as to what’s going on throughout the transaction then ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s about looking out for your best interest where I would be like, “You’re the customer. It’s your choice but in my opinion, I don’t think this is the best offer. I think we can get a better offer.” On the flip side, “I think this is a good offer and if you let this one go, I don’t know that I’ll get you one as good.”

One of the core values in my business is clients over a commission. To sum all that up, it is how I can provide you the best value and give you the best service that’s not attached to the outcome of my commission because if I’m the best of the process and I provide you the best level of service, the commission will work itself out. If I do a good job for you, you’re going to tell people. I don’t want to paint everybody with the same brush but you probably didn’t have the same experience that you’ll have with us with other people.

I can tell you from my own experiences that that’s a different process. You’re covering all the bases that could come up to make sure that the transaction goes through, which is what both you and I want.

You as a homeowner and especially in these times, there are so many companies that are out there that control the ecosystem in products. There are so many things you have to think about when you have to buy and sell a house. Frankly, it’s stressful. You have a life and you don’t do this all the time so then you’re like, “I got to figure out a mortgage, this title, insurance, and moving. What if something goes wrong?” all those kinds of things. We tried to figure out how to take the pain away from you and give you peace of mind and we built companies around doing that.

For those of you that are reading, before we started the show, I had Brandon go through and discover his how and his what. He’s got his why, how and what. Brandon’s why is what we talked about. It was to contribute. You can hear it in everything that he says. He wants to have an impact. He wants to make a difference for people. How he does that was finding better ways and then his what was simplify. His why is to contribute to a greater cause. How he does that is by finding better ways to help them move forward and ultimately, what he brings is a simple solution where he makes it easier for them to get things done.

That comes out loud and clear when we learn your story. You want to be the one that makes a difference for them and helps them have an impact. Now, you found so many better ways to do it that other people didn’t think about or maybe they did but didn’t take the initiative to and then you simplified the whole process so that if anything goes wrong, you’ll have an answer.

I think at our core, we crave human connection. Look at what we went through with COVID. I don’t know about you but the first time I was around people again, I think the first thing I said for about 45 minutes was, “It’s good to be around people again.” For me, I don’t look at a customer as a transaction. I look at that as a relationship and what kind of deposits I am making for this long-term relationship.

BYW 12 | Customer Centric
Customer Centric: To sum all that up, it is how to provide the best value and give the best service that’s not attached to the outcome of a commission.


I’ll tell you another thing we do that’s very different. Every single person that we’ve ever sold a house to, we send them four gifts outside of holiday gifts. We send them four kinds of personalized, curated gifts every year to try to stay and have that connection with them because it is a big deal to me. The thing about it is when you come to m and you want to buy and sell a house, it’s typically because of a life event. It’s not a transaction.

“My wife got a job, my wife is pregnant or I got a job out of town.” On the flip side, mom and dad passed away. Whatever it is, there’s a life event. For me, I want to know why you’re selling because it gives me the ability to figure out how I can help you best and then I want to understand the pain that I got to move you away from.

For me, I get close with my clients and I have a real connection with my clients. I think that that’s why we’ve grown. I’ve ingrained that into my team because I think depositing into relationships long-term makes a huge difference. I’ve had several clients of mine end up coming to work for me or become really close friends of mine so we look at it differently that way. The most rewarding thing for me that I can’t put value or money on is when you impact someone’s life in a positive way.

A case in point, I hear in a transaction something like, “I’ve never been to a Baltimore Ravens game. I’d always want to do that,” and at settlement, I give them tickets to the Baltimore Ravens game. It’s not wonky or because I want them to refer me business. I want to make an impact on your life and I want to create a memory point for you. Real estate is just the vehicle and I’ve been fortunate enough to get those connections over the years because of my real estate business.

I know you’ve been in this business since 2007 and you’ve built it quite significantly so what’s next for you? Where do you want to go next? What are some of the things that are on the horizon for you?

COVID put a damper on this but I had started to speak nationally and on stages, not just real estate but business building, inspiration and getting people to find their true greatness and the true champion that’s inside them. Because of what I’ve done in real estate, I’ve gotten into coaching, masterminds and things of that nature. I got a book coming out end of 2021 or the first quarter of 2022. My goal is to impact as many people’s lives as I can and it’s easier to do that when you get on stage or through the internet now, where we can do a group coaching session with several hundred people. To me, that’s pretty cool.

It’s pretty cool when you get people that after something you said, a coaching session or speaking on stage saying, “This part of your presentation or this thing that you said changed the trajectory.” Not to get super negative but I’ve had a couple of people tell me, “I watched your presentation when I was contemplating suicide and this one specific thing that you said or how you said it changed my mind.” I’ve connected with people that way.

One of the best feelings in the world is when I’m speaking on stage and I can see the change in somebody. I can see it in their face and their eyes and then getting that connection afterward. That’s another cool thing that I’m working on aside from building all the companies continually through customer experience and bringing people into my environment and changing their lives.

Do you take people that are not in real estate and teach them how to do real estate?

The most rewarding thing that you can’t put value or money on is when you impact someone’s life in a positive way. Click To Tweet

That’s 100% what we love to do because I can come in and teach them and train them my way, which is very different than the industry. They’re easier to mold because we do things a lot differently and even people without sales experience. We bring them into our environment and it works out really well.

Do you think that people at the top of the real estate industry do things similarly?

Yes, I do.

I’ve had two other top-of-the-industry residential realtors on the show and you three sound similar. You’re in different parts of the country and do your own few things but maybe 90% of you all do the same and 10% you have your special sauce.

What’s cool about that is we’re all friends too. There’s a conglomerate of us that are at our perspective production and typically, we’re all friends and hanging out in the same rooms.

I could see that because, in order to get there, you had to do a certain amount of things really well and then you got your other little local flavor things that maybe somebody here couldn’t do. That’s neat. If you had to narrow it to one thing that has been the secret to your success from going in and from starting to the top of the food chain, what’s that one thing been?

It’s thinking in abundance.

What do you mean?

We are trained over time to think in scarcity and think about ourselves and not think in abundance. I’ll give you an anecdote from our industry. A lot of people won’t go to the stage and tell people their playbook of how they run their business. I will because I think in abundance. I don’t think of scarcity. If I think in scarcity or if I give away my secrets someone is going to compete with me. I think of it the opposite way. I’ve spoken before and someone in that stage came to work for me or by putting that message out, I found another customer or someone found me through something I did on the internet by giving out free information.

BYW 12 | Customer Centric
Customer Centric: Don’t look at a customer as a transaction. Look at that as a relationship.


Leading with value is thinking in abundance. Thinking in scarcity is I have to get something and I’m transactional. When I stopped thinking about myself and when I started thinking globally of how I could help more people, that’s when a lot of things changed. The other thing too is when you think of scarcity, everything is a destination. What I mean by that is when you think in scarcity, you think that a certain amount of money is enough or a certain status or thing is your destination.

When you think in abundance, your destination is being the best version of yourself at all times and that is I’m always thinking of abundance because I know that I can get better and I can make people’s lives around me better. When you think of scarcity, you think that if I have this amount of money or if I have these things, I’ll be happy. When I thought of scarcity and I achieved certain things, I still had a hole so then I’m trying to chase the next thing. When I switched to if I could concentrate on being the best version of myself every day and then implementing that on the people around me and stay in that abundance mindset, that’s when a lot of things changed for me.

How did you come to that realization? What happened that said, “Maybe you’re on the wrong path. Maybe this other path is better.” What was that moment?

I think a big influence on me was my grandparents. My grandfather, who’s now passed away and my grandmother is still alive. My grandparents didn’t have very much and were very poor. I was very fortunate and lucky enough to buy them a house and put them in a new house before my grandfather passed away. My grandfather had a heart attack in his mid-30s and he was told that if he lived to 50, it would be a miracle. He lived until 83 or 84 and they said the whole time he was a medical mystery because I can’t tell you how many open-heart surgeries and strokes he had. He had a pacemaker and he was diabetic. Whatever you can imagine, he had wrong with him.

He always had this mindset of doing for others. It’s always this positive mindset. As I got older and I understood what was keeping him alive, it was by far his mind because he had lost control of physically where he was. I remember that my grandparents were super poor and if they had $20 in their pocket, they would give it to somebody off the street. His happiness and will to live kept him alive for so long. My grandfather’s quality of life is 100% based on how he thinks and that kept him alive for so long. That was one of the things that changed for me.

Early in my career, my main goal was to put my grandparents in a house so that he could enjoy the rest of his life in a brand-new house. I can’t tell you memory-wise what exact year that was but I think that was the connection of, “You have this guy who’s been through it but he can’t get beat down mentally. He’s living the best life he can because that’s where he’s at mentally.” That was the connection that I made.

Did that allow you to see from scarcity into abundance?


I work out a couple of days a week with a friend of mine who’s the top commercial real estate guy here in New Mexico and almost to a word, he said exactly what you said there. It’s really interesting. He said, “I used to be upset when I would bring somebody in and train them and then they would leave and go start their own and compete with me. That upset me to no end. I gave him all my secrets. I gave him all my stuff.” When he switched it to abundance and continued to help them, mentor them, teach them and show them because there’s enough for all of us. He said it brought him so much joy and happiness that it was worth more than anything that he could have ever made off of them monetarily.

Leading with value is thinking in abundance. Click To Tweet

The pie is always bigger. If you think in scarcity, you think that if you give up a piece, you’re giving up something when the pie is bigger than we all really think it is.

You are already coaching and mentoring masterminds with other real estate agents. Where would you like to take that? What do you see coming for you in that area? It seems like everything you’re touching now is going great for you and you’re going to expand out and show other people what you did. Where would you like that to go?

If we could impact a couple of thousand real estate agents and show them how we’ve done it and there’s a better way. Also, impart on them how we do it so that it changes the consumer’s mindset of our real estate agents’ value as well. I want to put a dent in the industry and make our industry better. It’s to teach people how to do the transaction better but also help fulfill their lives by teaching them how to do everything the right way. I’d like to impact as many people as I can doing that.

One of the things that Paul Allen, who started, told me one day, I asked him, “What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?” He said, “The best piece of advice I was ever given was to not take advice from people that don’t think as I do.”

That’s a good one.

That popped into my head as you and I have been talking here because what you say would resonate well with somebody who has your why but it may not resonate very well with somebody who doesn’t. Somebody who has the why of contribute will listen to you and say, “That’s exactly what I’ve been looking for and what I want. Give me more,” but some of the other whys might listen and say, “That sounds good but that’s not me. That’s not what I’m trying to do.” It’ll be interesting as you go along to see which ones take off with your advice and which ones say, “That was nice but I’m doing my own thing.” That makes a lot of sense to me. I’m wondering if that is something I would have energy for like you do.

I can tell you that I’ve brought some nonbelievers and converted them.

That’s awesome. If people that are reading this, real estate agents or not, want to connect with you to go through your course or work with you, be mentored by you or have you come to speak at their event, what’s the best way for them to get ahold of you?

The best way is honestly Facebook Messenger because I get so many emails, phone calls and all that crazy stuff. Rather than send people to the website, I really like to connect with people and I don’t mind it. I have a whole team that helps me in case I can’t get to somebody. It’s Brandon Brittingham. Find me on Facebook. Shoot me a message. You’ll find all my stuff from there but whatever specifically we can connect you with or help you with, that’s the easiest way to get to me.

BYW 12 | Customer Centric
Customer Centric: The pie is always bigger. If you think in scarcity, you think that if you give up a piece, you’re giving up something when the pie is bigger than we all really think it is.


Brandon, it has been awesome having you on. Thanks for taking the time away from you. I’m sure you have a busy day every day. I’ve enjoyed our conversation.

Thank you for having me.

It’s time for our new segment, which is Guess The WHY. I’m going to go with somebody I’m not sure about this one and I would love your help with it. I’m going to talk about Bruno Mars. I love Bruno Mars. I love his music, his energy, his story, where he came from and how far he has come. Many of his songs are hits. What do you think his why is?

I’m going to take a stab at his why. I think it’s going to end up being trust. Creating relationships based upon trust is Bruno Mars’ why and that’s just a total feeling. I don’t know for sure. If you know Bruno Mars, connect him with me but I have that feeling that he’s somebody that when he was really young had his trust broken and some of his songs are about that. The feeling that I get when I see him leads me towards trust. What do you think his why is? That’s where I’m at.

Thank you for reading. If you have not yet discovered your why, you can do so at You can use the code PODCAST50 and discover your why at half the price. If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe below and leave us a review and rating on whatever platform you’re using to tune it to our show because our vision is to be the first step that people take when they’re trying to figure out who they are. Like the start here button and we want to be able to impact a billion people in the next five years so giving us a great rating would sure help out. I will see you in the next episode. Have a great week.

Important Links:

About Brandon Brittingham

BYW 12 | Customer CentricBrandon is one of the foremost experts on the shore in Short sale/Foreclosure and investment real estate, and has been recognized nationally for his acheivements. Having lived on the Eastern Shore for most of his life, he is familiar with every aspect of the local communities and the properties within them.
He is considered one of the leading real estate agents in the Country and has one many awards for his success in real estate including :
-Eastern shore of Maryland’s Top Agent units Sold 4 years in a row
-2012 NAR class of 30 under 30, was on the Cover of NAR Magazine.
-Named by Real Trends as one of the “best real estate agents in America for 2013”

Ignite The Hunger In You: How To Develop Your Greatness And Ignite Humanity With Les Brown!

BYW S4 11 | Developing Greatness

Every single one of us holds unfathomable greatness waiting to be unleashed. It all comes down to igniting the hunger within you to develop that greatness. Who better to teach you how than the Great, Les Brown himself! Les is one of the world’s most renowned motivational speakers and a sought-after coach, personality, and resource. He chats with Dr. Gary Sanchez for a deep dive on the inspiration of his latest book, Ignite the Hunger in You: How to Develop Your Greatness and Ignite Humanity. In their talk, Les discusses his anecdotes of people and events that helped ignite the hunger in him and how he aims to inspire personal growth to many more. Listen to their moving discussion on achieving that greatness and passing it forward to ignite humanity.

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Ignite The Hunger In You: How To Develop Your Greatness And Ignite Humanity With Les Brown!

Welcome to the show, where we go beyond talking about your why and helping you discover and live your why. If you’re a regular reader, you know that every week we talk about 1 of the 9 whys and bring on somebody with that why so you can see how their why has played out in their life. We are going to do something different and something that we have never done before. Usually, what we do is we reveal our guest’s why before the interview, and then you get to hear their stories about how their why has played out in their life. We are going to do the reverse. The reason we’re doing that is so many of you already know our guest.

You have heard him for many years and experienced his presence and talks. I will be interviewing him. I want you to read and figure out what his why is from the stories that he tells. We will reveal his why online to see how you did. Read and try to decipher his why. We have a very special guest for you. I have been looking forward to interviewing this guest for many years. I have been trying to get him on the show but things didn’t work out at certain times.

For a man who needs little to no introduction as one of the world’s most renowned motivational speakers, and one of the most highly sought-after resources in business and professional circles for Fortune 500 CEOs, small business owners, nonprofits and community leaders looking to expand opportunity. His charisma, warmth and humor have transformed ordinary people into extraordinary achievers by using his own life and in-depth study of others’ challenges to build an understanding of what works, what doesn’t work and why.

He never tires from energizing people to meet the challenges of the world around them. He has a way of turning what he touches into gold. He is here to talk about the book he co-wrote with JB Owen called Ignite the Hunger in You: How to Develop Your Greatness and Ignite Humanity. Les Brown, welcome to the show.

Thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity to be here and spend some time with you. I want to congratulate you on the work you’re doing, helping people to discover their why, and giving enlightenment on what can help to sustain people in very challenging times. Nietzsche said, “If you know the why for living, you can endure almost anyhow.”

As we are going through this pandemic, we felt that it was about to be something of the past, and now there’s a new one out there. People need something that can sustain them. Their why will be their rod and staff to comfort them, to give them the wherewithal, the perseverance, and the courage to keep moving forward and do the things that they are called to do. What you’re doing and the work that you have is a calling. It’s needed now more than ever before in this place where we are.

Thank you, Les. I appreciate that. There are very few readers who don’t know you or your story, but for those that don’t, could you take us back in your life? Where were you born? What was it like when you grew up? How did you transition from where you were to where you are now, speaking all over the world to millions of people? Take us through the quick version of Les Brown’s life.

We learn from our conversations, observations, experiences, and circumstances. Click To Tweet

I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version. I was born in a poor section of Miami, Florida called Liberty City, with a twin brother. We were born in an abandoned building on a floor. We were taken in as foster kids by Mamie Brown. I feel like Abraham Lincoln who said, “All that I have and all that I ever hoped to be, I owe to my mother.” I constantly say that God took me out of my biological mother’s womb and placed me in the heart of my adopted mother. I saw a picture of my birth mother and father, and connected with the birth family that I had no idea. I’m in Atlanta and they live in Gainesville, Georgia, and here I am an hour away. I always felt a connection with Atlanta.

I know the moment that my birth mother, Dorothy Rucker, came to see me. I remember I was on a book tour and this lady was watching me very intensely. It was her and a guy. She came forward and said, “Hold your hand out, son.” I held my hand out and she put a picture, closed my hand and walked away. I put the picture in my pocket and then something said, “Take it out.” I looked at it and it was a picture of my brother and me. I said, “Lady, where did you get this from?” She just turned around, waved and kept walking. That was a brief moment, and then here we are. My son did a search. He went on to find and locate my birth family. It has been a process. I’m just now discovering my roots.

What has got me here? I always say, “I’ve got a new narrative.” My birth mother gave me life. My adopted mother taught me how to live life. When I was in the 5th grade, I was labeled educable mentally retarded. I was put back from the 5th grade to the 4th grade, and failed again when I was in the 8th grade. I had a high school teacher like you in my junior year. He’s very much like your personality. He was the kind of person who always look for the good and bring out the best in people. That’s who you are and how you show up.

He said, “Young man, go to the board and work this problem out for me.” I said, “Sir, I can’t do that.” He said, “Why not?” I said, “I’m not one of your students.” He said, “Do what I’m asking you to do anyhow.” The other students started laughing and saying, “He’s Leslie. He’s got a twin brother, Wesley. Wesley is smart. He’s DT.” He asked, “What’s DT?” “He’s the Dumb Twin.” I said, “I am, sir.” As they laughed at me, he came from behind his desk and looked at me. He said, “Don’t you ever say that again. Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality. Do you hear me?” I said, “Yes, sir.”

The program that you host does something for people. How people live their lives is a result of the story they believe about themselves. What you do in promoting people discovering their why, you distract, dispute and inspire. You distract them from their current self-explanatory style as psychologists would call. Through your guests and conversations, you dismantle their belief system on how they see themselves and how they are showing up in life. You give them the courage to ignite a spirit of becoming an active force in their lives, to take their lives in another direction, to live a life that has meaning and purpose, and a life that will outlive them. Thank you for how you show up.

Thank you. When you were in high school, you had a label. How did you remove that label from yourself? How long did that take? What was that like for you?

It’s an ongoing process. Even now, I don’t think that you just have a moment, and you’re able to disrupt the things that you have embraced about yourself. As you are aware, we learn from conversations, observations, experiences and circumstances that we have. I came along during a time when they had signs on Miami Beach, “Jews, dogs and coloreds, not allowed.” There were places on Miami Beach where I couldn’t go that a dog could go. That’s a dominant culture that’s designed to destroy a person’s sense of self.

BYW S4 11 | Developing Greatness
Ignite the Hunger in You: How to Develop Your Greatness and Ignite Humanity

That’s an ongoing process. What I learned from going to work with my mother, and she worked for wealthy families on Miami Beach is what you listen to, you turn into. She worked for this wealthy family, the Swiderski family. Mr. Swiderski, I had to clean his office. He listened to motivational messages regularly. Zig Ziglar, “If you give enough people what they want, they will give you what you want.” Earl Nightingale, “You don’t get in life what you want. You get in life what you are.” Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, “You have something special. Don’t allow negative thoughts to dominate your life. You must think positively.” By listening to those messages regularly, unbeknownst to me, it was interrupting my vision of myself. It gave me a vision of myself beyond my mental conditioning and circumstances. It created a hunger for more and to live a greater life outside of what society said that was available to me.

As you speak around the world and meet people that have transformed their lives, what part does personal growth play in the changes that you have seen in people around the world?

Personal growth is everything. There’s a quote that Bishop TD Jakes says, “Lord, don’t let my talents take me where my character can’t keep me.” It’s self-awareness, knowing who you are, and being willing to work on yourself continuously. That discovery process empowers you because life is full of disruptions. Things are going to happen that you never saw coming as what happened with the pandemic. We never saw this coming. It’s to be able to define yourself and don’t allow the disruptions of life and the things that happen to you to disrupt how you feel about yourself and how you see life.

There’s something that LC Robinson said, “Things may happen around you, and things may happen to you but the only things that count are the things that happen in you.” It’s being anchored in a mindset of mental resolve that, “This will not define me. It will refine me but it’s not going to define me.” I’m looking at this from the perspective of not, “Why did this happen to me?” but from the perspective of, “What do I do with this? Now the power is in my hands. How am I going to handle this?”

The self-awareness and the ongoing process of working on yourself are meaningful. Abraham Lincoln said, “If I had six hours to chop a tree down, I’ll spend four hours sharpening my ax.” That’s what people have to do. The divorce rate is up 40%. The suicide rate has increased dramatically. Unexplained violence is taking place all over the country. Millions of people have been told, “You don’t have to come to work. You can do it from home.” They then say, “It’s safe now. You can come to work.” People say, “I don’t know if I want to do that anymore,” because they had time to rethink their lives.

We’re going through a place where people are reflecting and making decisions. We make decisions and our decisions make us. That’s different from what we have been able to see in the past. We have a culture that trains and educates people to be employees. Now, there are people saying, “I want to be my own boss, control my destiny, and live life on my terms.” This place where we are is very special.

That’s a good way to put it. Let’s keep going. You are now a young boy, and you have learned about personal growth. How did that translate into the changes that you made in your life? How did that take place?

Define yourself and don't allow the disruptions of life and the things that happen to you to disrupt how you feel about yourself and how you see life. Click To Tweet

What it caused me to do is to continue to pursue listening to messages that would empower me and inspire me, that expand my vision of what’s possible in my life in spite of being in a culture that demonizes you, works to destroy your sense of self, and dismiss you. It helped to fortify my drive and hunger to want to live a larger life beyond my mental conditioning, and the circumstances where I found myself. It’s that process and I’m still engaged in it. I believe you’re never too old to learn and you’re never too young to teach. I’m always learning and studying.

I left on my telephone a message for people who call me. There are people who call to hear what the message will be and it’s, “Most people have dreams and goals that die between two thieves, regret of the past and fear of the future.” You have a gift. Don’t let the regrets of the past, the mistakes that you have made in the past, the things that you have gone through, the fear of failure, and the fear of what’s going on rob you of why you were here and the work that you are supposed to do.

What were you like in high school? Where did that take you in your life to get into speaking? You have been speaking for how many years?

Fifty-two years. That’s before you were born. I thought of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Abbott, Malcolm X, and Billy Graham speaking to people in a big stadium. I was fascinated with their oratorical skills. My high school teacher, Mr. LeRoy Washington, was a Speech and Drama teacher and he was awesome, “You have something special. You have greatness in you. You have the ability to do more than you can even begin to imagine. You can make your school proud. Booker T Washington High School is not the largest but the best. You can make your family proud.”

I remember following him after school after he gave a speech and I said, “Mr. Washington, I heard your speech.” He said, “Aren’t you in the eleventh grade? I said, “Yes, sir.” “That was for the seniors.” I said, “I know but I heard your voice and I felt like you were talking to me. I came and stood in the back and listened. You said that we have something special and great in us. Do I have greatness in me?” He said, “Yes.” I say, “How do you explain the fact that I have to go to summer school every year, that I have been labeled educable mentally retarded, and my twin brother gets As and Bs. I have never gotten that. He has been on the honor roll. That has never happened for me.”

He said, “Mr. Brown, your grades don’t determine who you are. It just means that you have to work harder.” When he turned to walk away, I said, “Sir, I want to make my mother proud. I want to buy my mother a home. You said that if one person heard you that you’re being brought here from Stuart, Florida to Miami in Liberty City, you being brought here would not have been in vain.” He said, “Yes.” I said, “I’m the one, sir. I heard you. I’m going to use what you said.” He said, “It’s possible, young man.” He turned to walk away.

I said, “Don’t forget me. My name is Leslie Brown. I’m Mamie’s boy. One day, you’re going to hear my name. I’m the one. You touched me. When you spoke, you spoke to my heart.” That journey and that transformative experience created an opening in my mind that it was possible, that I didn’t have to die on the streets of Liberty City in Overtown in a violent and drug-infested poverty area. I can see the world before I leave the world, and that I can make some choices that will liberate me to become a person of substance and live a life of impact and live a life that’s counted.

BYW S4 11 | Developing Greatness
Developing Greatness: The self-awareness and the ongoing process of working on yourself are meaningful.

Do you have any idea of how many speeches and presentations you have given?

No. I gave a speech that a lot of people love called It’s Not Over Until You Win in the Georgia Dome, which no longer exists. It was before 80,000 people. I don’t even remember giving the speech because I was so afraid. I went to the bathroom about 6 to 7 times. They had to get me out of there. I said, “Have you looked out there?” No, I don’t. I have been doing it for so long. I enjoy doing it virtually now. We have gone from brick-and-mortar to click-and-order. I’m training people how to take their story, knowledge, and skills, and how to train others and do it virtually in front of the computer like how we’re speaking now.

I do miss speaking on stage but not that much. I enjoy speaking in front of the computer because I know how to connect with people in front of them or in front of the computer. That’s what I now specialize in. I don’t have to get on an airplane and fly from city to city or country to country, and be able to create an experience. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Once a man’s mind has been expanded with an idea of concept or experience, it can never be satisfied to going back to where it was.”

I have listened to many of your speeches and worked out many times listening to you. I am enthralled with the way you tell stories and speak. How did you learn to do that? When did you learn to do that? What is it that you’re actually doing so that I know what it is?

Let me say how I learned. I had a coach. Mike Williams wrote a book called The Road to Your Best Stuff. He has an addition to that, The Road to Your Best Stuff 2.0. I saw him speak and I admired his style of speaking, how he had the audience on the edge of their seats, and how to have them laughing and the next moment crying. I went to him and said, “Can you teach me how to do that?” He said, “I could teach you how to do better than that.” That’s how I got here. He’s still my coach to this day. The other thing is that when you love something and see it as your calling, a job is what you get paid for. A calling is what you’re made for.

I talked to a young man and I said, “What are you doing?” He told me that he was in IT. I asked him, “What are you living to do?” He thought for a moment and said, “I love to help people.” I said, “Do you find yourself doing that in what you are now doing?” He said, “Not to the extent that I want.” I said, “You ought to create that for yourself before you leave here. We don’t know how much time we have left.” He said, “I got to pay the bills.” I said, “We’ll figure out how you can pay the bills and build a life that’s you. Life is short and unpredictable.”

If there’s anything we learned from this pandemic, people are rethinking their lives. Life is fragile. Over 700,000 people are out of here. You owe it to yourself and your family to do something that’s you and that you love so much that you do it for nothing, but you do it so well that people will pay you to do it. I said, “That’s how I got into this.” I volunteered. I gave free speeches for a long time to learn how to do what I was doing. I invested in myself. Warren Buffett said, “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.” Here’s a guy who has billions of dollars in real estate and the stock market but he said, “In yourself.”

Most people have dreams and goals that die between two thieves - regret of the past and fear of the future. Click To Tweet

He said, “The most important tool that you need if you’re going to build a business or be a voice of influence who could make an impact on the planet, you got to be a communicator. If you can’t communicate, that is like being in a dark room with a beautiful woman and wink, nothing happens.” Steve Jobs said, “The storyteller is the most powerful person in the world.” It sets the agenda. The storyteller creates the vision, determines how people see themselves, and creates the thirst for what you want to do.

When I came into the industry, for the most part, everybody was giving information from Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I believe that if the information could change people, everybody would be skinny, rich and happy. Studies indicate that when you give information, that impacts two areas of the brain. When you provide a story, and I use stories, that impact five areas of the brain. That expands a person’s vision of themselves, touch their hearts because we are emotional people, and ignite their courage in them to do something different with their lives.

I was going to ask you this question. Do you consider yourself a speaker, a motivator, a storyteller, or all of those? How would you define if you could what you do?

I aspire to inspire until I expire. I told my kids, “If they told you that I die, tell them don’t embalm me for three days, and then sneak down to the bog and put a microphone in my hand. If I don’t grab it and say, ‘You got to be hungry,’ you say, ‘Dad’s gone now.’” I’m Mrs. Mamie Brown’s baby boy but I got a new narrative. I sing this song, “I’ve got two mothers and I’m not ashamed. I’ve got two mothers and I love them just the same.”

What’s the secret to telling a good story? That is your specialty, for sure. I listened to you waiting for the story. I have even heard this story before and I still enjoy the story more the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th time. How do you do that?

You experience the story continuously. Ladies and gentlemen, I was on a program with a gentleman who has committed his life to helping people to change their lives. His name is Gary, and his name in itself conjures some thoughts about this thing called life. Number one, you got to have a goal-centered life. People who aim at nothing in life end up hitting nothing dead on the head. He has a goal of helping people to discover their why. When the tough times come, and they’re going to come, their why and reason for being will be their rod and staff to comfort them.

The A in his name is for accountability partners. You got to have some people around you that are going in your direction and people that have goals and dreams that they’re working on and will hold you accountable. People who have accountability partners have a 40% greater chance of reaching their goals than people who don’t. The next thing about his name is the R stands for Relationships. You don’t want to do this thing called life by yourself.

BYW S4 11 | Developing Greatness
Developing Greatness: You’ve got to have a goal to light people who aim at nothing in life and end up hitting nothing dead on the head.

As the Academy Award-Winner Sidney Poitier said, “When you go for a walk with someone, something happens. Either you adjust to their pace or they adjust to your pace.” Whose pace have you adjusted to? Look at the relationships in your life. As Jim Rohn said, “Ask yourself the question, ‘What am I becoming because of this relationship?’” Am I growing? Am I becoming a better person and a better father? Am I growing mentally, spiritually, and financially? What kind of impact that to some people, if you never saw again, it would be too soon?

The Y in his name stands for Yes. Eighty-five percent of people look at their goals and dreams that will allow them to live a different kind of life. They say no to themselves because they have been conditioned to suffer from the possibility-blindness. For Gary, the reason that he does this program is to inspire you to say yes, to encourage you to believe in the possibilities that you can do it, and know that you will have to fail your way through success but you have it within you. Say yes to your dream, to your life, and to a brighter future. I call it the Gary factor. He’s a bad boy up in here.

I know you used my name but take us through what you did there so that we can understand how you did that. What was that? You used my name but what were you thinking about as you were off the cuff?

The speakers speak. When you get coaching on how to do anything, it creates and develops your intuitive skill and gift that’s lying dormant within you. It takes you to a place in yourself where most people who won’t put in the time, focus and effort will never discover that part of themselves. It’s lying there dormant. I’ve got three brothers. They don’t live like I live because they haven’t put in the focus, time, and effort to develop this part of themselves.

I was shocked to find out that my birth mother was a motivational speaker. My grandmother, Beulah Rucker, have the Beulah Rucker Museum in Gainesville, Georgia. She was a motivational speaker but I didn’t know them but because I put in the time, I was willing to invest in myself, because I saw something that caught my eye like this program that you are doing. You could have done a lot of programs but there was something about this and knowing your why.

I think about Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. He talked about the Jews that survived the inexpressible cruelties of slavery. Either they had some loved one that they were determined to see, or they had some cause that they believed in or some spiritual commitment and level of reason that fortified their resolve to survive. When we find something that resonates with who we are and something that we love, it’s just you.

When I think about speaking I have the, “Can’t help it.” I can’t help it. I talk in my sleep. You do this problem. You have a lot of other choices. It’s you. Most people die an unlived life. Most people who die at age 25, don’t get better at 65. They are living a misplaced life that’s not them just to pay the bills and survive. What it takes to survive and what it takes to thrive are two different things.

When you get coaching on how to do anything, it creates and develops your intuitive skill and gift that’s lying dormant within you. Click To Tweet

You have said, “I’m getting out of line. I’m not following the followers. I want to do something different with my life. I want my life to count. I want to make an impact.” I believe what Horace Mann said, “We should be ashamed to die until we’ve made some major contribution to humankind.” I’m going to have a program that will allow me to make a major contribution. You have studied. You are willing to learn. If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you’re willing to learn, no one can stop you.

I’m with you. I did thousands of why discoveries for free before I started to see what I see now.

You can see things that other people can’t see.

When you talk about connecting, you said, “I can connect to people, whether it’s on stage, on the phone, or on Zoom online.” How do you connect to people? What is that secret you have? I don’t know what it is but I feel it. How do you do that?

You do know what it is. I speak from my heart. Stories touch the heart. Information fills the brain. When you have a heart-centered message, people experience that. You create an experience. Words that are spoken from the heart enter the heart. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Once a man or woman’s mind has been expanded with an idea, concept or experience, it can never be satisfied to going back to where it was.” When you tell a story about something that touched your heart, something that you’ve experienced, or something that you saw or heard, get them out. I heard a young man say on the elevator. He looked at a lady that was being wheeled in a wheelchair and said to her, “Happy Thanksgiving.”

He didn’t know her or me. He was pushing the wheelchair to a gate. That touched me. It’s a random act of kindness. He could have stood there silently like the rest of us but he said, “Have a nice Thanksgiving.” She smiled. I’m reminded of a man who jumped off the San Francisco Bridge but he survived. They asked him, “Why did you want to kill yourself?” He said, “I didn’t want to kill myself but I was going through so much pain in life. I went out for a walk and said that if anybody looks at me and says something kind or smiles, I won’t kill myself. No one did. The moment I let go, I knew I had made a mistake.”

Had that gentleman who stood by me had seen that young guy that day, he would have seen a smile and said, “It’s good to see you.” When he asked the lady how her Thanksgiving was going to be, I chimed in too. We have to create not just viruses of fear but also viruses of love, peace and harmony where we recognize our humanity, connectedness and being willing to, “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand. Make the world a better place if you can.”

BYW S4 11 | Developing Greatness
Developing Greatness: 85% of people look at their goals and dreams that will allow them to live a different kind of life. They say no to themselves because they’ve been conditioned to suffer from possibility blindness.

I have heard you say that many times but tell us about being hungry, “You got to be hungry.” Your book is about that.

Ignite the Hunger is about people who have gone through things, people who had major setbacks, abused, denied, stepped on, and treated unfairly. It’s about the power of the human spirit. Something happens at a defining moment that they came to know that what they were going through, they would get through. In each chapter and each author, when people read the book, it’s not just a read. It’s an experience and it’s needed now more than ever before because people are going through a tough time. I have a son who is bipolar and has schizophrenia. He’s out of control. He hasn’t taken this medication. That’s a challenging experience.

You realize that there are some things you can control and can’t control. There are some people, even your grown children. You have to love from a distance. I have received the first Cancer Centers’ Award of Excellence of Perseverance. I received that award as if life says, “Mr. Perseverance, here’s something that you can’t control. How are you going to handle this? You motivate people around the world but you can’t control and make your son take his medication.” Has it been challenging? Yes, absolutely. I don’t care how old your children become. They’re still your children. You have to learn how to handle that, how to process that, and how to discipline and manage your thinking around that.

Shakespeare said, “Nothing is neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so.” I had to put myself back as an observer. I don’t get to weigh in on telling a grown person, “You need to do this.” If they choose not to do it, there’s nothing I can do about that. What I can do so that I don’t deplete the white blood cells that are available to protect my immune system and continue to beat stage-4 cancer is to find a sense of peace within and say, “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, I can change how I respond to this, and the wisdom to know the difference as opposed to being stressed out of my mind.” That does not serve me and that does not help him.

Does that create a hunger in you?

Yes. We are going to experience challenges in life. My favorite book says, “Think it not strange that you have faced the fiery furnaces of this world.” You will, not might. You will have tribulations. Forrest Gump had a point, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” What we know is that we have built-in power, authority, and dominion to handle whatever life throws at us. I have an affirmation that I read every morning, “Lord, whatever I face today, together, you and I can handle it.”

All things work together for good for those who love God and for those who are called according to his purpose. They say, “All things will be good or all things will feel good but it will work together for good.” I say, “Lord, help me to hold on so I can find the good.” I feel like Mother Teresa who said, “Lord, I know you know how much I can bear. I just wish you didn’t have so much confidence in me.”

Once a man’s or a woman's mind has been expanded with an idea, a concept, or an experience, it can never be satisfied to going back to where it was. Click To Tweet

What is next for you? You’ve got your book coming out. You’re working with people to help them tell their stories online and in person. You’re very young. For those of you that can’t see Les and you’re just reading, he looks about 45 years old. This 77, I’m not sure if I’m buying that. You’ve got a lot left to give.

It’s coaching people and teaching them what I have learned. Being on the planet for 77 years, I feel like I served at the Lord’s Supper. I used to think people in their 40s were old, then I woke up one morning and said, “I’m 77. Who does this?” I would like people to reach out to me at and also go to It’s teaching people how to live a life of meaning and significance. Your life is a gift and how to develop that gift. We have talents, abilities, skills and ideas in us to help people rob the cemetery of their gifts, live full and die empty. That’s what I want to do. I don’t want to work with everybody, just a few people.

They say I have the Midas touch because I don’t touch everything. It’s about working with people who want to invest in themselves and bring out the greatness in them in 2022. People have a story that they want to tell you. Maya Angelou said, “There’s nothing as painful as an untold story buried in your soul.” Help people to tell that story because that story that you’re sitting on, somebody is waiting on. Help them get it out and be able to make an impact, to be a voice of influence, to promote their business or to help them live a life that they can feel proud of. That’s what I’m about. That’s where my focus is, and that keeps me young.

When you talked about telling a story, you said that you’ve got to speak from the heart. How do you teach people to speak from the heart? What does that mean?

I want to ask you a question. When you were coming up, there’s somebody you saw when you’re around 5 or 6 that you admire and wanted to be like. They made you feel safe and good about yourself, who is that person?

It would have to be my dad.

What’s your father’s name?

BYW S4 11 | Developing Greatness
Developing Greatness: We have the talents, abilities, skills, and ideas to help people rob the cemetery of their gifts, live full, and die empty.

Robert or Bob.

What’s the first quality that you liked about Bob and admired about him?

I’m going to say resolve.

Give me an example.

What he wanted to do, he would stick with it until he accomplished it.

“Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Gary. We’re living in a time where lives have been disrupted. I want to share with you my hero, Bob. Bob to me, stands for Believe in yourself, being Open to the possibilities, and be Bold about life. My father is a man that had deep resolve. If there’s something that he wanted to do, he set out to do it. When I think about me, I realize how much he influenced me. I remember as a kid as I watched him, he was my hero. We had Batman, Superman, and everybody else but my hero’s name is Bob. He’s a man’s man and I want to be like him.”

That’s something from your heart. That’s not something you read in Think and Grow Rich. When you talk about Bob, you went to your heart, you got still, you had that faith. Who is that person? Bob is the person that’s special to you. When you tell a story from your heart about Bob and the other things that you learn from him, people can tell if it’s from your head or some script that you had memorized, and you’re coming in to do an information dump. They can tell if this is a person that means something to you and the story that you’re sharing. They can tell and feel it. People will feel your energy. That’s how I teach people to speak. You have to have a heart-centered speech. It’s something that’s in your heart.

It’s very important to have people around you that will believe in you until your belief kicks in. Click To Tweet

I think about myself when I speak at events. There’s a bit of fear in speaking from the heart because it gets too emotional and uncomfortable. It gets to where you almost feel like you’re going to have tears or something like that. It’s a fear to go there.

You pull yourself back because the microphone on the stage is not a place for therapy. I have made the mistake of doing that and I learned. You always want to know where you can go with a story. It’s not about you. It’s about the audience. The audience is asking three questions when you give a speech, “Who are you, Gary? What do you have for me? Why should I care?”

When you give a speech from that place, “I’m sharing with you about my father, Bob and his resolve. Do you know what I know? For us to make it in and out of the pandemic, it requires a level of mental resolve and faith. Faith not tested can’t be trusted. I know that you must believe in yourself. My father was an example of that. Here’s what I know. As you look at yourself and at that man or woman in the mirror when you get up in the morning, I want you to know you’ve got greatness looking back at you. I want you to know that when you believe in yourself, when you’re open to the possibilities, and when you believe that I have the faith that I’m going to make it no matter what I’m saying to you, ‘Life is on your side.’ Angels are activated and saying, ‘We got to go down there and help this one here. They got that energy of Bob. This one here won’t stop.’”

I noticed that you add a lot of humor when you speak.

When people laugh, that shuts the mind down. I use laughter and teach my speakers how to use laughter so that when people laugh, their minds close down but their hearts open up. You then come back with a powerful statement. When you get in the heart, they can’t get you out of there. Now you can work on it. Humor is very important. It’s a lubricant that allows you to handle this thing called life. It’s medicine for the soul.

This crossed my mind when you were talking earlier, and I would love to know what this felt like. You have spoken at many different size events, right now to 80,000 people. What was that like? How was it different to speak in front of 80,000 people? Was it any different?

It was very different. It was frightening but you allow your fear to drive you. It’s very important to have somebody around you who believes in you until your belief kicks in. I was frightened up to the moment they handed me the microphone. My mentor, Mike Williams said, “Brownie, you got this. I said, “Do I, Mike?” “Everything that you have gone through has prepared you for this, Brownie. Make your mother proud. She will get a chance to see this. Make her proud today.” “Thank you, Mike. Give me the microphone, sir.”

BYW S4 11 | Developing Greatness
Developing Greatness: You don’t want to be just a presenter because it goes in one ear and out of the other. You want people to experience what you’re saying to them.

It’s very important to have people around you that will believe in you until your belief kicks in. Fortunately, for me, Mike Williams spoke to me. I believe him and I went out there. If people watch Les Brown speaking in the Georgia Dome, they will say, “He has made me Brown’s boy. He’s got it good up in here.” I don’t remember giving the speech. I have only watched about 5 or 10 minutes of it because I’m very critical of myself. People say that it has been viewed by millions of people around the world and it has changed their lives.

When you are getting ready to go on stage and speak to an audience, how do you prepare yourself?

I have a needs assessment that I sent out to clients. That’s what separates me from other speakers. I train speakers and say to them, “Don’t let what you want to say get in the way of what your audience needs to hear.” I ask them a series of questions, “Who have you had in the past? What worked? What did not work? What’s the unspoken conversation? What is it that you want me to provide so that when they leave here, it will make you look good? They will feel better about themselves. They will be motivated and inspired to take their performance to the next level.”

I conduct communications intelligence, asking them questions, and then I incorporate that in the experience that I create on the stage, having in there the things they told me that they want and the reason they brought me in. It’s not just a presentation to entertain them but to empower them, to impact their bottom line, to increase their sales, and to cause them to say to themselves, “I can do more, “Simba, you are more than that which you have become.” They know that to be so.

I hear you say this word a lot and it’s making me think. You talk a lot about the experience. It’s not the presentation or the story. It’s the experience. Tell us what that means to you.

You don’t want to be just a presenter because it goes in one ear and out of the other. You want to experience what you’re saying to them. Each time you tell the story, you want to tell it with the same passion, power and energy. That gets fresh like you’re telling it for the first time. There are people who have heard me tell the story about how I became a disc jockey. They brought me in and said, “Don’t forget to tell the story of how you became a disc jockey.” Why? It’s because they love that story. It took them to a place in themselves that they could not go by themselves. They want to hear that story again, so I tell that story each time like I’m telling it for the first time.

I’m experiencing rejection. I’m experiencing walking back and forth, looking at Rockin’ Roger who was drinking and could not complete his show. I’m saying, “Drink, Rock, drink.” I go there with the power of telling the story and experiencing the story. You cause the audience to take imaginative leaps. They come into the story. You created an opening so that your story becomes their story. You take them on the journey to another place within themselves that they have not figured out how to get there. The story provides the key to unlock and release what Elizabeth Browning would say, “The imprisoned splendor.” I encourage people to study. I study and read constantly even now.

Don’t let what you want to say get in the way of what your audience needs to hear. Click To Tweet

Have you got time to tell us that story?

No. I can’t go there. Let them go to the web. I’m going to send them the story because I have to get into that mindset.

I have heard it many times and I love it.

Reach out to me at I will send them a motivational message that will have that story. They can see it in action and love it.

I love this because you have shared with us what’s happening behind the scenes of what we’re experiencing upfront, which is super helpful for those of us that want to make a bigger impact and connect at a deeper and heartfelt level. It sounds good to say those things, but until we know what it is, how to do it, and see an example of it, it’s just another thing that we’re trying to do that we don’t know how to do.

It’s caring about the audience. Who you are behind the words is far more important than the words that you speak. Zig Ziglar said for years, “If you give enough people what they want, they will give you what you want.” That to me meant that if you give people your best, if you give from your heart, if you hold yourself to a higher standard, if you create an unforgettable experience and have people know that you care about them and you’re not treating them like a transaction, Theodore Roosevelt said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” they will give you what you want, referrals and business. You will have an incredible time in eCommerce in this time where we’ve gone from brick-and-mortar to click-and-order.

Les, if people want to connect with you, they want coaching from you and want more, what’s the best way for them to connect with you and buy your book? How can they do that?

They can get the book on Amazon. That’s number one. If they want one-on-one coaching, they can go to In our training program, we have They can go there and we have an ongoing process and a holistic approach of helping people get out of their heads and get into their greatness.

I have been looking forward to this for a long time. I’m so glad this finally came about because I wanted to connect. I know so many of your stories but I look forward to listening to them every single time. Thank you so much for being here. It has been a pleasure having you on.

Thank you for having me. I still feel a special connection with you. You’re my brother from another mother.

Thanks, Les.

I’ll give you a virtual hug.

It’s time for our last segment, and that is the Guess Their WHY. I want to pick somebody that everybody is familiar with from the Olympics, and that would be Simone Biles. If you’re a member, she lost her confidence. She did her routine and lost confidence in the middle of the air, and came down luckily on her feet. From then on, she decided she could not participate in the Olympics because something wasn’t right in her head. What do you think Simone Biles’ why is? I’ll tell you what it is. Her why is trust. It’s to create relationships based upon trust, to be the trusted source, and to be the one that others can count on.

People with the why of trust educate or develop themselves to extremely high levels quite often so that they can be the trusted source so that they can be the expert, so they can be the one. In her case, she lost trust in herself that she could find herself in the middle of the air and come down safely. I believe that her why is to create relationships based on trust. What do you think her why is? Let us know. If you have an opportunity, let us know what you think her why is.

I want to thank you for reading. This has been an awesome episode. I loved having Les Brown here. He’s one of my idols as far as a speaker. If you have not yet discovered your why, we have a special for those of you that read Les Brown’s episode. Go to You can take the WHY Discovery for free. You can discover your why for free in this episode only. If you love the Beyond Your WHY show, please don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review and rating on whatever platform you are using. Thank you so much. I will see you and be with you next episode.

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About Les Brown

We’ve all been through a lot recently and for most of us, it’s been hard to catch our breath before something else comes along. The one thing I know is that we are all more than what we’ve been through- but it can be tough to realize that truth in the midst of chaos.

If you are looking for solutions to quiet the noise in your mind and focus on improving your life on every level, you need coaching… and you need a community.

I’ve created the Coach Me, Les Brown community to help transform and elevate the individual and collective consciousness of those who are serious about living a life of purpose and passion- while making profits!

If you are hungry to live out your dreams- both in and out of the pandemic, I invite you to join our community as we do a deep dive into the actionable solutions needed for you to win now and in the future.