Dr. Ivan Misner’s 8 Rules for Building a Global Networking Empire

Guest: Dr. Ivan Misner
WHY.os: Contribute – Simplify – Right Way

Dr. Ivan Misner is a titan of networking and a beacon of entrepreneurial success, renowned for founding BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. With a legacy that spans the creation of a global empire facilitating billions in business referrals, Dr. Misner’s insights are invaluable. His journey from humble beginnings to a New York Times bestselling author and a recognized authority in business networking makes him a pivotal figure for anyone looking to thrive in the interconnected world of business.

Three Major Takeaways from this Episode:

  • How a commitment to contributing to others’ success can be the cornerstone of a global enterprise, as demonstrated by Dr. Misner’s foundational philosophy for BNI.
  • The transformative power of education and mentorship in shaping a leader, illustrated by Dr. Misner’s personal academic journey and the influence of leadership experts like Warren Bennis.
  • The accidental origins of BNI and the importance of seizing opportunities, showcasing how Dr. Misner’s initial need for referrals led to the creation of an international networking behemoth.

Don’t miss out on the chance to gain wisdom from the master of networking himself. Listen to this episode to unlock the secrets of building a global network and the profound impact of finding your “why” in business and life. Tune in now to “Beyond Your WHY” and let Dr. Ivan Misner inspire your next big move.

Connect with Paul!


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00:02:50 Contribution leads to meaningful impact.
00:12:02 Overcoming adversity builds resilience.
00:18:23 BNI started for personal referrals.
00:18:25 Vision and trust drive growth.
00:24:14 Culture and systems drive success.
00:29:30 Cultivating relationships through helping others.
00:40:00 Hard work leads to success.
00:41:49 Hard work is essential for success.
00:48:14 Every generation has its differences.
00:53:37 Importance of handling challenges gracefully.


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Master Networking with Dr. Ivan Misner: Unveiling the Power of Purpose-Driven Business


In the latest riveting episode of “Beyond Your WHY,” host Dr. Gary Sanchez sits down with the legendary Dr. Ivan Misner, the visionary founder of BNI – the world’s premier business networking organization. This episode is a treasure trove of insights for entrepreneurs, business owners, and networking professionals. Dr. Misner, often hailed as the “father of modern networking” by Forbes and CNN, shares his profound journey and the pivotal moments that shaped his illustrious career.

Why Dr. Ivan Misner’s Insights Are Invaluable

Dr. Misner isn’t just a networking guru; he’s a strategic genius whose contributions have redefined the art of building professional relationships. His story is a testament to the power of understanding your “why” and leveraging it to create an international business phenomenon. With BNI’s staggering achievement of generating over $20.4 billion in business for its members, Dr. Misner’s episode is not just a podcast—it’s a masterclass in networking excellence.

The WHY of Contribute

Dr. Misner’s philosophy centers on the WHY of Contribute —how to add value and make a significant impact in the lives of others. This principle is the bedrock of BNI and has propelled the organization to dizzying heights of success.

The Role of Education and Mentorship

The episode delves into Dr. Misner’s educational journey, highlighting the transformative role of mentorship and continuous learning. His experiences at USC under the guidance of leadership expert Warren Bennis underscore the importance of great mentors in achieving business success.

Seizing Opportunities

Listeners will be captivated by the serendipitous origins of BNI. Dr. Misner’s candid recount of BNI’s accidental beginnings serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of seizing opportunities and the unexpected paths to success.

The Importance of Dr. Ivan Misner’s Journey

Dr. Misner’s journey is a blueprint for anyone looking to excel in their professional life. His strategic approach to networking and his commitment to providing value are what set him apart as a global business leader. His influence extends beyond BNI; he’s a bestselling author, a sought-after keynote speaker, and a thought leader whose opinions shape the future of business networking.

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a seasoned professional, “Beyond Your WHY” with Dr. Ivan Misner is an episode that promises to change the way you think about networking, leadership, and business growth. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from the master himself. Click here to listen to the full episode and transform your approach to business networking today!

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 Dr. Ivan Misner

Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. Founded in 1985, the organization now has over 11,000 chapters in 76 countries throughout every populated continent of the world. Last year alone, BNI generated 13.3 million referrals resulting in more than $20.4 billion dollars worth of business for its members.

Dr. Misner’s Ph.D. is from the University of Southern California. He is a New York Times Bestselling author who has written 29 books including his newest – The 3rd Paradigm, A Radical Shift to Greater Success. He is also a columnist for and has been a university professor as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of La Verne.  

Called the “Father of Modern Networking” by both Forbes and CNN, Dr. Misner is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on business networking and has been a keynote speaker for major corporations and associations throughout the world. He has been featured in the L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times, as well as numerous TV and radio shows including CNN, the BBC, and The Today Show on NBC.

He has traveled to all seven continents of the world, including Antarctica. Among his many awards, he has been named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Red Cross and has been the recipient of the John C. Maxwell Leadership Award. He is especially proud that he and his late wife, Elisabeth, are the Co-Founders of the BNI Charitable Foundation. Oh, and in his spare time!!!  he is also an amateur magician and a black belt in karate.

(Production notes for reference: his name is pronounced “m-ize-ner”.) 


Revolutionizing Success with the WHY of Contribute – The Power of Natalie Ledwell’s Mind Movies

BYW 50 | Contribute To A Cause


Contribution is the bridge that connects our individual purpose to the greater good, allowing us to create a profound impact on the world. In this episode, we delve into the profound essence of the WHY of Contribute with our special guest, Natalie Ledwell. As a bestselling author, host of the podcast “Not Over, Just Different,” and founder of Mind Movies, Natalie has empowered millions worldwide with her revolutionary personal development company. Today, Natalie discusses how embracing a cause bigger than ourselves allows us to make a meaningful difference and become part of something greater. She highlights the wonderful qualities of people who enjoy winning as a team and shows the pleasure of being the one who keeps everyone united. Natalie also acknowledges the challenge of over-commitment that often accompanies this WHY. She shares her insights on the tendency to say “yes” to every request, risking overwhelm and neglecting personal goals. Finally, Natalie explores the concept of visualization, how to do it, and how to pursue what we visualize. Join us and prepare to expand your life, experience fulfillment, and unleash your power to make a lasting difference in the world.

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Revolutionizing Success with the WHY of Contribute – The Power of Natalie Ledwell’s Mind Movies

In this episode, we are going to be talking about the Why of Contribute, to contribute to a greater cause, add value, and have an impact on the lives of others. 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 you relish successes that contribute to the greater good of the team. 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.

I have got a great guest for you. Her name is Natalie Ledwell. She is a bestselling author, host of the podcast, Not Over, Just Different, co-host of the cable TV show, Wake Up, and Founder of Mind Movies, the hugely successful revolutionary online personal development company that has reached over ten million people worldwide.

Now, she has launched her groundbreaking social and emotional learning curriculum entitled Personal Growth Studies into Schools Here in the US, which is designed to empower youth from ages 5 to 18 years to live fulfilling and successful lives with high self-esteem and a vision for a bright future. In October 2018, Natalie traveled to Liberia where she met with government officials and launched personal growth studies in a number of schools, which is now in its second year working with over 1,000 students.

In 2020, Natalie had the immense honor of being knighted by the Orthodox Order of Saint John, a humanitarian group recognizing individuals who are not only doing great work but who have a big vision of the work they want to complete in the world helping others. She has also been awarded one of the top 50 women leaders in Los Angeles. Natalie, welcome to the show.

It sounds like from my bio that is my why. It makes me like a dirty nose, as we say in Australia.

You contribute to a lot of areas but in a very meaningful way. That’s a very impressive bio, and we are going to jump into that here in a little bit. First, Natalie, tell everybody where you are from, where you grew up, and what you were like in high school.

I grew up in a country town in Australia. The town is called Orange. I’m one of eight kids from a big family. I had a fun upbringing in such a big family like that. All the way through school, I was always a top student. I was the star of the athletics team. I was on the debating team. I was in the school plays. I was choreographing the dance numbers and the plays and so forth.

I was an overachiever. I was good at a lot of different things and loved excelling. I loved being in that role. When I think about it, I would champion different causes as well. I remember the high school that I went to, our school uniform, because in Australia we all wear school uniforms, was this black box pleaded heavy tunic that we would have to wear. In summer, it was awful.

I remember starting a petition so we could change our school uniform. I remember also wanting to do one of those school sports. Elective sports were weight training, but it wasn’t available for the girls, only for boys. I was not having that. I started weight training at school for sport, which was interesting because that led to my first career because I ended up leaving school at fifteen.

My parents couldn’t afford to keep me at school to do my high school certificate. I left at the end of year ten. One of my first jobs and careers was working in the fitness industry. I always wanted to be a teacher, and so I became a ropes instructor and trainer. We started managing fitness clubs when I was 21 years old. That led to that.

I left home when I was seventeen. I left my hometown when I was eighteen and moved to Sydney, which was the big city near me. Like I said, I started managing clubs when I was 21 and met my husband around the age of 25, and then we had a whole series of businesses and we are still in business together now.

For those of you that are familiar with the nine whys, Natalie’s why is to contribute to a greater cause. Her how as you are reading is to challenge the status quo and think differently. Not to follow the rules, not to follow the typical and traditional. Her what is to bring solutions that make sense. Her why is to contribute to a greater cost. How she does that is by challenging the status quo, and what she brings are solutions that make sense. We already see that coming out in the way you went through high school. You took on so many things that people needed help with. You challenged how things were being done or said they had to be done, and you came up with better solutions that made sense.

I used to call it my stupid human trick. Now I call it a gift because I can look at something how I created my success or built my business or anything like that, and then be able to structure it in a very teachable way. When I started Mind Movies, I fell into that by accident. A friend approached my husband at the time and I with the idea of creating these little slideshows, affirmations, photos, and music. It’s like a slideshow of a vision board of what you want your future to look like.

At the time, we didn’t know anything about the internet. Glen could hardly turn on a computer. We already had four businesses. It was like, “I don’t know whether we can go into this,” and we are 40 years old. At that age, I’m having to learn how to write emails, set up order responders, edit videos, and all these skills that were outside of my comfort zone.

The gift or what has helped us in that is that we didn’t know what we were doing. We are figuring it out. We didn’t have a preconceived idea of how it should be done. We went, “This is our past business experience. These are some programs that are teaching us how to do this. We are going to do it in a way that we know well or that we will learn.” We were one of the first companies that had a personal development product online that had massive success. Our first launch of Mind Movies in 2008 was during the economic crisis in September of 2008, we did a $700,000 week. We were selling a little $97 product because we are bringing our flavor or our experience to these systems that exist, but we are doing it in a way that no one else has done it before.

Let’s talk about this for a minute. You two were struggling through four other businesses. What kind of business? How did you get into those? Out of school, you got into fitness. Out of that, you got into running gyms. What was the first business that you started?

The first business I had with my husband was a nightclub back in the ’90s. If you think about that nightclub life, that was the epitome of that. It was dance music, 6:00 AM license. It was crazy times. When I was working in fitness, I felt like I was making a difference. I felt like I was doing something positive. I was on stage lecturing club owners from all over Australia on how to systemize their businesses and manage their teams. That was my wheelhouse.

I was 24 years old. We then end the nightclub, and I’m like, “I don’t know if I’m meant to be here. What is this?” I had to wrap my head around it and go, “Everything I learned in this service industry of fitness, I can apply to this service industry of nightclub thing.” We had great success with that. We then went through what I call my beige years, which like a lot of different businesses, coffee franchises, advertising companies, and property development, we were going through the motions.

We were good at business, so it didn’t matter what type of business. Once we had our friend approach us with this idea of setting up the website for Mind Movies and we started getting all these emails from people going, “This is changing my life,” it lit that back up again in me. I’m like, “Now I feel like I’m making a difference again.” I go, “We need to put our effort into this. How do we figure out this internet thing? Let’s do this.” That was that journey into that. I had enough time where I’m like, “I don’t feel like I’m doing anything great,” to, “I feel like I can make a difference again. Let’s make sure we do this.”

That makes a lot more sense. You had these other businesses that were making money and some were not making money, but they weren’t making a difference.

They weren’t fulfilling.

What got you interested in doing your own vision board?

We had seen the movie, The Secret. We had seen it a little while before. We understood the importance of being able to visualize and be able to see and feel what it’s like to be in that future, but then The Secret was on Oprah. We had seen the movie six months before that, and then we are handing out this movie to all our friends and go, “You got to watch this. It’s amazing.” Everyone’s like, “I didn’t get it.” I’m like, “Seriously?”

It was on Oprah. Everyone’s like, “I get it.” I’m like, “Whatever.” Because there were this big wave and people all of a sudden were starting to understand, we were ahead of the curve on the understanding part of it. That’s why when this opportunity came along, even though we had no idea about the internet. The only reason I used a computer is for banking and bookkeeping. I spent no time online.

We understood how amazing an idea this was. Even though the beige years we were going through the motions, there was something that we picked up from every one of those businesses that we applied to Mind Movies so we were ready for it. Sometimes even though I felt like I wasn’t completely happy in those years and felt like I didn’t have any significance, meaning, or fulfillment, it was built so that I was prepared for this particular opportunity when I came along.

You took the concept of a vision board. I have seen the movie The Secret. In fact, John Assaraf was one of my coaches for a while. I’m very familiar with vision boards. You took it and then turned it into something that was a movie. Why was it important that it become a movie?

For a number of reasons. Number one, the affirmations are you being able to sit down and drill deep into what it is that you want your life to look like. It is the way that you are using the words around it, which are important because words carry energy. You are using positive language. You are describing it in the present tense, which makes it easier once you read those affirmations to see it as if it’s happening in your mind. That was important.

Words carry energy. Click To Tweet

Having the visuals meant that if you found it difficult to visualize a future like this, it gave your mind an image to start with and to build on, but the secret source is the music. It’s not just what you see when you visualize, you have to feel the emotions that you will feel when you experience that moment. You could be feeling joy, happiness, gratitude, relief, accomplishment, and whatever that is, but the music helps you to feel that emotion. It helps to get you there.

It is the combination of all three of those things and getting clear about what you want your future to look like. We can all say, “I want to be happy and wealthy,” but what helps you to crystallize that is, “What does wealth mean to me? What does my life look like when I have all the money that I want? When I’m truly happy, what does happiness mean to me? What does my life look like when that’s happening?” I also get people when they are making in Mind Movies go, “Why do you want this? What’s your why here?” For some people, especially people who have a why like me, if your why is something extrinsic outside of you, it motivates you a whole lot more than if it’s something that’s personally for you.

For those that are reading who are not familiar with a vision board, tell them what a vision board is. Maybe we should have probably started there.

You know John Assaraf. That was his part in the movie. A lot of people would cut out photos of the house they’d like to live in, the car that they want to drive, or the vacation they want to go on. When they looked at that board and looked at those pictures, it was easier for them to be able to see themselves on that beach or see themselves driving that car in their mind.

The reason it’s important that we see it in our mind and we are able to visualize this is because thoughts become things. What helps us to become a vibrational or frequency match to what we want are 1) Thoughts, 2) Emotions, and 3) Actions. When we can have this very clear vision in our mind, not necessarily seeing ourselves in a movie, but imagine yourself sitting in the car.

Feel the seat underneath your bum. See your hands on the steering wheel. What’s the logo that’s on the steering wheel? When you put your foot on the accelerator and feel the car take off, when you are creating and utilizing all of your senses as you are in that visualization and then you are feeling the thrill and the excitement of driving a car like that, that’s what you are going to be feeling, and that’s what you will be seeing when you are in that moment.

The more real you can make it, the subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference. It thinks it is something that’s happening now. What naturally happens is you start to create these new neural pathways in your brain and all our thoughts travel along these neural pathways. These new neural pathways have thoughts that are in alignment with this reality that the subconscious mind thinks is happening now.

These thoughts automatically positively influence your actions. Now you start to notice more of those cars. You start to take action. You go to a dealer, you sit in the car, you do the math to see whether it’s something that you could afford, and you figure it out. That’s why visualization is most important when it comes to manifesting what it is that we want.

Once you have a vision board, how does that change into a Mind Movie?

The Mind Movie is a step up from that. Now you may use the same images or the same photos that you would use on a vision board, but now you are adding your story and narrative, which is your affirmations, and then you are adding your music. For example, I met my partner during COVID. I had a Mind Movie about the type of person I wanted to make, the things that we do, what our relationship looks like, and how I felt in this relationship. I used a love song for that Mind Movie because that’s the emotion that I want to be feeling when I’m in this relationship.

I met him in August 2020. About three months later that I showed him my Mind Movie, he was like, “First of all, that’s creepy because that is us.” I’m like, “Exactly. I knew exactly what I was looking for.” On our first date, when we walked for an hour because it was COVID, I recognized him straight away. I knew it was him because I was very clear about what it is that I wanted, and that showed up on our first date.

Did he have a mask on at that time?

We were a little bit apart and we were walking outside in the sunshine.

The music plays a completely different role as far as the intensity of it. Is that what it is the music gives you the intensity or it gives you more of a feeling, or how does the music work?

It elicits an emotion. The emotion that you want it to elicit is the one that you are going to feel when you are experiencing that. That’s why I chose a love song for that particular Mind Movie. The Mind Movie that I have around the personal growth studies project is a song called Beautiful by Christina Aguilera.

When you listen to the lyrics of that song, it’s all about, “It doesn’t matter what people say. You are beautiful.” It’s talking about building the self-esteem of children and people. That’s what the program’s all about. I get goosebumps. We don’t even talk about that. That’s a perfect song for that Mind Movie. It’s like, “What’s a song that could be a theme that illustrates that?”

It doesn't matter what people say, you are beautiful. Click To Tweet

My original Mind Movie back in 2006, when I made my original Mind Movie, was a song called Clocks by Coldplay. It was all about the lyrics. Part of that song is about my part of the cure or if I am part of the disease. Am I making a difference? What am I doing in this world to make a different thing? I can’t hear that song and not be brought to tears because that Mind Movie was the beginning of everything that I have in my life now, which far exceeded anything I could possibly have dreamed of for myself.

Let’s go back to when you guys did your first Mind Movie. You said it was a friend that suggested it or gave you the PowerPoint, music, and whatnot, and then you were able to bring that to ten million people. How the heck did that happen? There are a lot of people reading this that have a great idea but can’t get it to 100 people. Much less ten million.

That was a twelve-year period. Like I said, we went, “How do you do this internet thing? If you have got a great idea like this, how do you get that out into the world?” The first thing we did was buy a program online that taught you how to do this marketing thing. We came across a guy called Frank Kern who lives in San Diego. He’s one of the legends.

He’s good at what he does because we found him online when we were searching. We implemented one idea from that program and made our money back that we paid for the program, which was $2,000, which at the time was a lot of money. He then announced he was doing a live event in San Diego in April 2008. We came across. We went to that event. We got accepted into his mastermind group. Now, we are sponges.

All the friends that we met, they are all internet marketers. We are in this marketing mastermind. We are getting access to Frank. We are meeting all of his mates, which are the Jeff Walkers and all the other big internet marketers as well. We were so intent and so focused. Again, we had a Mind Movie for the launch of our program as well.

It was what that looked like, how many people we were reaching, our monetary goal, and what life looked like on the other side of it. We were very clear about what it is that we wanted. We watched it every single day to keep us on track. We went, “This is a digital product. Let’s figure out how to blow it up,” which we did 6 months in with a $700,000 launch. When we went back to Australia, then we came back the next year. We were getting emails from Jack Canfield, John Assaraf, and Joe Vitale going, “We’d love to work with you guys.” We are like, “Okay.”

It sounds like you did a lot of joint ventures.

That’s how we got started. We got a couple of guys who came in as our JV managers. They reached out to anyone who had a program online or had an email list in the postal development space and a few outside of that. That’s how we got that first launch happening, that great success.

Your first launch earned $700,000 for that. It was $97 per person and has 70,000 people. It is something which is a huge number. How did you go from there to continually adding? Was it more launch-type things or did it happen organically? How did that take place? I know there are people that are reading this that’s in their mind. They are like, “Tell us what you did.”

Not only did we do it. A lot of people mail for us and promote us. We paid them a commission for that. Part of our offer to them is like, “If you mail for us, we will mail for you.” Now we have got this hot new 80,000 list. Our list went from 8,000 to 80,000 in that launch, and now we are all working together. We are collaborating. All boats are rising.

Also, part of that is because a lot of people will give out affiliate prizes. We had no money. Even in the JV managers, we had to promise them a percentage of the launch because we couldn’t pay them upfront. How did these guys believe in us? I don’t know, but we were convincing. Part of the affiliate prize was we are going to do a party because we were thinking, “What are we good at? What can we do that’s not going to cost a lot of money? We will throw a party.” We are good at that. A lot of our affiliates got to meet in person for the first time.

For the longest of years, we would make sure that, at least once a year, we’d all get together. We’d share all the latest stuff that was working for us. We know that in an environment like this, if my stuff is converting and we are getting to reach more people, and you are promoting me and we are serving your people and vice versa, then we all win. Everybody wins, the people that we are serving and each other as well. We were always very open and like, “This is what’s working for me. Make sure that you do that.” It was an amazing way to do business. To be honest with you, we love it to this day, and we still have affiliates that promoted us back in that original launch that we still do business with.

I can imagine that everybody that went through your program and did a Mind Movie saw some results and probably some pretty amazing results. What’s been your favorite story of somebody that you have worked with that has created a Mind Movie and seen it come to life?

We have hundreds of thousands, especially over the years. The ones that I love the most, especially from people who didn’t believe that this was going to work, came in pretty skeptical and went, “I’m going to do this.” It may be a little bit technically challenging and thought that maybe they wouldn’t be able to even create the Mind Movie in the beginning, but they went through that. They watched their Mind Movie. They send me these emails going, “You are not going to believe what happened.” I’m like, “I bet you I do.”

It’s not like they are asking for outrageous things. They are asking for a safe place for them and their family to live. They are asking for an environment where they can write a book or step up and serve in their own way. Those are the ones that make my heart sing because I comprehend the ripple effect of what that looks like, what that is, how when people make their own Mind Movie, and how that influences, not just immediate people around them, but the ripple effect out from that as well. It’s mind-blowing. When I think about ten million people who have made a mind movie and how that’s positively influenced them and the people that they love, that blows my mind.

I remember back when I was creating my vision board with John Assaraf. The hardest thing for me was to figure out what I want. How do you help people figure that out? There’s an unlimited menu of things you could pick. How do you decide, “This is what I want with my life?” Is there a way to narrow it in or focus it in to say, “Maybe it’s what I want a year from now, or maybe it’s what I want a year from now in this area of my life?” How does that work?

People get a little immobilized by that thought because we can manifest anything we want. I do break it down into areas of life. I always remind people, “This is what you want for now. That doesn’t mean that you are not going to create something else down the track. Let’s focus on this for now.” There are a lot of people who go, “I want to have a life where I have got my own business, I’m financially free, and I don’t have to worry about money, but I don’t know what that business is. I have no idea what that could be.” You go, “That’s fine. This is the perfect place to start.”

BYW 50 | Contribute To A Cause
Contribute To A Cause: This is what you want for now. That doesn’t mean that you are not going to create something else down the track.


When I get them to set an intention or to start to make a Mind Movie, I go, “You don’t know what the business is yet, but describe what your life looks like.” “I have an outrageously successful business. I get to help people all over the world. I work a certain amount of hours per day. I own a certain amount of money per month.” This enables me to travel and take my family on vacations and send my kids to college and do all these things. All you need to do is start from there. You feel what it’s like visualizing in your mind. You are waking up when you stop sleeping. You are having an easy morning, then you are doing some work.

What I often do, especially if people want to help others, is I sit because when you are visualizing, I go, “Don’t visualize a ton of different things. Just visualize one moment.” Sometimes that moment could be sitting across from somebody else, they have got tears down their face, they are holding your hand, and they are thanking you because what you taught or gave them or the program or whatever that you have changed their life and it changed the life of their children.

How are you going to feel at that moment? What does that feel like? When you can make that real, what happens is that the emotions and the thoughts that you are sending out are in alignment with that moment. What happens is that things that were going to help you to create that moment in the reality that we are living in now start to naturally gravitate towards you.

In the end, you are leaning into it like, “If it could be a business, what am I good at? What have I done in the past that I have liked? If it could be anything, what do I think I can do?” You then start to research, “What does that look like? How could I do that? Are there courses that teach me?” As you lean into it and take these little steps forward, and you keep seeing yourself at that moment with this person undyingly grateful for how you help them, then things start to fall into place. That’s how it works.

Is there a common theme that you see in Mind Movies? You have seen so many of them now. Is there a trend, theme, or something that you see over and over where you can help people at least get going or get on a road? Then once they have started, then, “You can’t steer a parked car.” You get them going and then you can steer it as they go. Does that how it works?

I normally break it down and go, “Choose a life area, one area of life to focus on.” When I’m teaching, not how to make a Mind Movie, but all the other mechanics of applying the Law of Attraction, releasing your limiting beliefs and working on who you are and how you show up. The common things that come up are wealth creation like, “How do I create more money? How do I create a business or a career that I feel passionate about and feel like is making a difference?”

Health is a big one as well because we have so many people that are suffering from pain, disease, different conditions, and love. They are the main common themes that come through. I know some people are like, “I want everything. I want to love. I want to feel good. I want some money. I want to start a new job.”

It’s like, “Let’s focus on one.” One of the foundations that I teach and how to be in this process of creating what you want in life is you have to be in a high frequency. It is our emotions and our thoughts of the frequency we send out into the universe, and so we want to be in high-frequency emotions.

Those are things like happiness, joy, gratitude, accomplishment, pride, willingness, courage, and those emotions. The more we hang out there, the easier it is for things that we need or things that we don’t realize we need to be attracted to us. If we are focusing on our debt, our pain, or our loneliness, then all we are doing is creating more of that. We need to consciously, purposefully, and intentionally step outside of that and get into that higher frequency.

The more we get into the higher frequency, the easier it is for things that we need or things that we don't realize we need to be attracted to us. Click To Tweet

By higher frequency, do you mean to set your focus or intention on positive things versus negative things?

It is being a state of gratitude. Do things that make you feel good. That could be playing music that helps you dance around the house a little bit. For me, it’s taking Bella out for a walk along the Marina. I will have a convertible. Sometimes it’s driving in the car with a roof down. Now I feel so grateful. The car that I drive here in the US, I could never afford in Australia.

I feel very affluent when I drive that car. Especially if I’m driving up PCH, that’s the road that you see in all the movies. I’m like, “I live here, I drive this car, this is my life, and I get to help these people.” I’m crying with gratitude and noticing all those things. If you can do these little activities throughout the day, then you are getting these little positive injections that are keeping you in that higher frequency.

Let’s talk about this for a minute because there is a lot of confusion and misconception about the Law of Attraction. A lot of people saw the movie The Secret. They got the feeling that, “I don’t need to do anything. I need to sit here and think about something positive and my mailbox going to fill up with chats.” Let’s talk about more of the reality of the Law of Attraction. What have you seen as far as the myths or the misconceptions versus the reality?

There are a couple of things. When I teach how to manifest the Law of Attraction formula for me is, number one, the foundation, which is being a happy place. It is being that high frequency as often as you can. You want to set an intention, which for me is like a line in the sand. I have an out outrageously successful business, whatever that is.

I say it with such conviction that I’m like, “No matter what this thing is going down, this is my intention,” which already is to get things to start moving. I then get clear about what I want, which is when I make my Mind Movie. I think about what it is I want. I think about what life looks like once I have it. I think about why I want to do this. I also think there are any actions or things I need to do and add that to my Mind Movie, and then I also think about how I need to change the way I think.

If our thoughts and emotions are the frequency that we send out, and we want that to be the same frequency as to create what we want, our thoughts have created the reality that we have now. It’s like, “If I’m not happy with my reality now, how do I need to change the way I think?” I become aware of any negative thoughts that come up, any old behavior patterns, and old limiting beliefs.

I go, “I’m going to replace those with these thoughts to remind myself of that.” Also, visualizing. I mentioned before. It is how you want to elicit all of your sensors when you are visualizing. Visualize one moment, one scene, and make it as real as possible. Action is the next one after that. You want to be taking as much consistent action as you can.

Every day, go, “What am I doing now to move forward? What phone calls do I need to make? Do I have to get my website built?” What is it that I need to do? Be conscious of always doing something that’s moving you forward. The last step is the hardest one, which a lot of people with The Secret miss the, “I have to do something to make it happen.” It was in there, but people were so smitten with the, “I just have to think,” and it happens. You have to let it go.

You have to get to a point where you can’t be married to what it’s going to look like when it shows up or how it’s going to happen because when you do that, you are shutting yourself to all these amazing different ways that you could never think of and how this is going to come to fruition. You have also got to not understand but live from a place where you know that everything is happening in divine timing exactly when it’s supposed to.

I’m a very impatient person. This has been a difficult thing for me to master because, like the kids’ program, I have been working on it for years. I was ready before COVID, and then COVID hit. I was like, “Seriously?” Now it’s the perfect time for a program like this. We have got a couple of big school districts in Texas that we are working with now, so it’s divine timing. You have to release that. If we are desperate and we are impatient and frustrated, these are low-frequency emotions. They are not moving us forward. You have got to do all of that and then go, “We will see how it happens,” and be open to the surprise.

You touched on the part that a lot of people missed when they watched the movie, which is you got to do something and you got to take some action. It’s not a matter of sitting under the tree with positive thoughts and waiting for someone to drop some money in your lap. I heard people say that type of stuff, which is possible that could happen, but the odds are that it’s not, and then they are frustrated. “This is a bunch of BS.”

Remember that the trifecta is your thoughts, actions, and emotions. If you have all three of those in alignment with what it is that you want, you can create anything you want.

BYW 50 | Contribute To A Cause
Contribute To A Cause: The trifecta is your thoughts, actions, and emotions. If you have all three of those in alignment with what it is that you want, you can create anything you want.


Let’s talk for a minute then about the kids’ program that you have. Did you get involved with that? How did that happen?

It was a download, an idea that came through to me and one of my meditations. I created a little twelve-lesson program, but I didn’t feel like I was qualified in a voice like, “Who are you? I don’t even have kids. Why am I doing this?” A couple of things happened. I had a colleague of mine who has two Master’s degrees. She’s worked with kids in trauma around the world. She approached me and said, “Come on. Let’s do this together.” I’m like, “Alright.”

I remember seeing a news article about a ten-year-old girl who had committed suicide because she was being bullied, and I’m like, “I know I can make a difference here. I know I can move the needle in this area.” Believe me. A couple of times, I have tried to walk away from this thing. At 40, I’m stepping so far out of my comfort zone. There was no comfort zone when we started Mind Movies. Now I’m doing it all over again. I’m like, “What are you doing?” That’s part of my magnet and who I am. I have been able to attract some incredible people to this project, to school districts in Texas with over 100,000 students that we get to impact, and this is the beginning.

What is the program mostly around?

It’s psychology-based and science-based. We do have things like meditation and yoga, and common things like gratitude, empathy, and self-love. We are also teaching kids how to self-regulate their emotions, tapping into what makes them feel good, setting their own personal standards, figuring out who they are, how they want the world to see them, and how to be part of the community, and understanding what their sense of belonging is in the world in which they are in.

I saw a 60 minutes story before, and there is a part of the challenge because of the pandemic that a lot of kids are facing now. We have eight-year-olds who have a suicide plan. This is outrageous. Part of it is because they don’t know how to control their emotions. They feel like they are alone. They don’t understand their sense of belonging, and they don’t feel good about themselves.

This program addresses all of that. When we talk about bullying and suicide prevention, we don’t specifically go, “We do have a lesson about bullying,” but it’s like, “What causes bullying? Where does that start?” That’s a lot of where we come in. We look at the foundation of where that begins and start to deal or work there. That’s where we work, so we can hopefully be preventative as well.

Last question, what’s the best piece of advice that you have ever gotten or the best piece of advice that you have ever given?

I make a point of surrounding myself with very intelligent people. Someone told me once that, “I want to strive to not be the smartest person in the room.” I am a member of several different masterminds and groups where I don’t feel like I’m the smartest person in the room. Yes, I feel like I can contribute, but if I’m the smartest person, then I’m not learning. That was one of the most memorable pieces of information which I have adopted and that I live my life by. COVID, it’s been an interesting two years, the longest and shortest two years of my life. Because I’m part of these groups, that helped me to get through as well. That would be the piece of information.

BYW 50 | Contribute To A Cause
Contribute To A Cause: Surround yourself with very intelligent people. Strive to not be the smartest person in the room. If you are the smartest, you’re not learning.


Masterminds have been a big part of your success.

Massively, because if I’m stuck, I have a network of people I can go to. If I can get great ideas, I can share different ideas. I can have fantastic collaborations. I’m always in an environment of learning. I don’t ever want to stop learning.

That’s the fun part. If somebody’s reading and they want to get ahold of you, they want to learn more about Mind Movies, and they want to learn more about the program you are doing with kids, what’s the best way for somebody to get ahold of you? is the main website. You can access the podcast there. We have got some free Mind Movies you can download there. You can find out all of our programs there as well. If you are interested in having a social-emotional learning curriculum at your school or your child’s school, please go to You can email me and connect with me there and we can have a chat and I can send you some information. It will be wonderful. Let’s help support your kids and the teachers.

Natalie, thank you so much for being here. I was looking forward to our conversation. I appreciate you taking the time to be here.

Thank you so much. It is always great chatting with you.

Thank you so much for reading. If you have not yet discovered your why, please go to You can use the code PODCAST50 to discover your why or your WHY.os at half price. If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review and rating on whatever platform you are using to read. Thank you so much. I will see you next episode.


Important Links


About Dame Natalie Ledwell

BYW 50 | Contribute To A CauseDame Natalie Ledwell is a bestselling author, host of the podcast, Not Over, Just Different, co-host of the cable TV show WAKE UP, and founder of Mind Movies, the hugely successful and revolutionary online Personal Development company that has reached over 10 million people worldwide.

Right now, she has launched her groundbreaking Social and Emotional Learning curriculum entitled, “Personal Growth Studies”, into schools here in the US, which is designed to empower youth from ages 5-18 years to live fulfilling and successful lives with high self-esteem and a vision for a bright future.

In October 2018, Natalie traveled to Liberia, where she met with government officials and launched Personal Growth Studies into a number of schools, which is now in its second year, working with over 1000 students.

In 2020, Natalie had the immense honor of being Knighted by the Orthodox Order of St John, a humanitarian group recognizing individuals who are not only doing great work but who have a big vision of the work they want to complete in the world helping others. And she has also been awarded one of the Top 50 Women Leaders of Los Angeles for 2022.



The WHY Of Contribute: Building Up Your Confidence With Brianne Ligori

BYW 27 Brianne | WHY Of Contribute


Do you want to be part of a greater cause – something that is bigger than yourself? Do you want to stand out and not just blend in with everyone else? Do you want to feel a part of and relish the success of your team? If you said yes to those, then you the WHY of Contribute just like your guest today, Brianne Ligori.

Join Dr. Gary Sanchez as he talks to Brianne about her WHY of Contribute. Brianne was always told that she was shy and quiet, but after she found her authentic self, she opened up. She is now the co-founder of Leader Coach Intensive and is the author of Claiming Your TGI Today. Learn how she found her passion in coaching and helping leaders improve. Find out how she found her true joy and how she defines true success. Find your life’s purpose by fully aligning with who you are!

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


The WHY Of Contribute: Building Up Your Confidence With Brianne Ligori

Welcome to the show where we go beyond talking about your why and helping you discover and then live your why. If you’re a regular audience, you know that every week, we talk about 1 of the 9 why’s, then we bring on somebody with that why so you can see how their why has played out in their life. In this episode, we’re going to be talking about the why of contribute, which is to contribute to a greater cause, add value, and have an impact on the lives of others. 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 successes that contribute to the greater good of the team. 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 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. Her name is Brianne Ligori. She lives and leads from the heart. She believes that everybody can and should live a life of purpose and joy. In her writing and coaching, Brianne is focused on a worldview of infinite possibilities and relentless pursuit of purpose. She sets an inspiring example by standing firmly for living according to her inner truth. Choosing joy, Brianne bravely set aside her dazzling corporate career to follow her bliss, sharing purpose-driven choices with the world.

Brianne worked in the corporate world for many years where she raised the bar in varying roles in sales, marketing, and training. Her desire to help people grow and learn led her to a professional coaching certification through ICF and certified training and development designation. Through coaching and training, Brianne has left an indelible mark on people by igniting their sense of purpose but her more significant legacies to build new coaches.

She put her designation to work in our corporate world by creating an internal coaching certification program, thereby empowering other leaders to leave their mark. Going even deeper, Brianna embraced her emerging passions to touch people more profoundly and launched two new businesses. Brianne cofounded The Leader Coach Intensive, a coach certification program, specifically targeting developing leaders of the future. Brianne is also poised to launch a comprehensive learning program to accompany her inspiring book Claiming Your TGIToday. You can be in awe of how Brianne lives her life with passion and joy, or you can jump into her safe hands and learn how to live yours that way. Brianne, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here, Gary.

That was a mouthful. We’ve got a lot to fall back. Tell everybody, where are you at now? Where did you grow up? Take us back into your childhood and give us a sense of what you were like when you were younger.

You're not shy. You just need to build your confidence. Click To Tweet

I am now in Paris, Ontario. For anybody who doesn’t know where that is. It’s about an hour outside of Toronto in Canada. I grew up in Brantford, so down the road from here. I had a great family, amazing parents, and a close bond with my mom, and still do now. I love athletics, which goes with a profile of contribute. I was a competitive swimmer up until university. I did racing but also did synchronized swimming later in high school. I had lots of fun with that.

As a child looking back, I was always labeled as that shy, quiet child. Looking at me now, I would never think of myself as that. It’s interesting how that path has unfolded from seeing myself as shy because that’s what I was told I was, so I started to become that to now, I’m living my true, authentic self, which is super far away from being shy and having lots of fun getting out there and speaking to people all over the world.

When did you have that revelation that, “Maybe I’m not shy. I am different than what I’ve been told I was?”

It’s quite interesting. It was one specific moment. This wasn’t until after I had my kids. I have twins. This goes back to when they were babies. I had a fantastic manager at the time. It was in the pharmaceutical industry. Her name was Mano. I remember coming back after maternity leave going, “I feel like there’s something else. I want to do something more than my current job.”

I remember approaching Mano and saying, “Mano, I want to try something different, but I’m too shy and quiet to do any of the leadership that is available.” She said, “Put the brakes on. You are not shy. You need to build confidence.” That is exactly what we did together. She supported me to build my confidence, so I was comfortable starting to step into some of those leadership roles. That is when I started to get my stride. I owe so much of where I am now to Mano. I’m so grateful, and I know she knows that. That was the moment. Sometimes these one moments can make such a difference in our lives.

You graduated high school and went off to university. What did you study at the university?

I ended up studying Kinesiology and Health Science. I am one of those girls that didn’t feel like I fit in any of the boxes. Back in the ’90s, it was like you went to school to be a lawyer, teacher, or doctor. For me, I had no clue what I wanted to do. I never felt like I fit into any of those things. Being a leader wasn’t on the list at all. I had no clue. That came later in life. I took something that looked like it looked good on paper. “Kinesiology and Health Science, that sounds cool. I think that might please people.”

BYW 27 Brianne | WHY Of Contribute
WHY Of Contribute: It’s okay to jump to new opportunities. Grab new skills then go to the next thing. Apply them there, learn some new things, make some things better, and go to the next.


I took that program, but it wasn’t in my heart, and because of that, I sucked at it. I got kicked out of my program first year and had to take the full rest of those four years to get back into the program with my cumulative average, so I could graduate from that program. I got that, which was great but it was a grind because it wasn’t who I was. I didn’t know that at the time to be able to label that. I just felt like something was off or wrong. I didn’t feel myself. I then learned a lot through that experience. That’s for sure.

For the regular audience that knows about the WHY.os, your why, how, and what. Right before we started, I had Brianne take her WHY.os, the full WHY.os, so we knew her why, how, and what. Brianne’s why is to contribute to a greater cause as we talked about. How she does that is by challenging the status quo and thinking outside the box, and ultimately, what she brings is a better way to move forward.

When you were talking about, “I don’t fit. I always felt like a fish out of water. I didn’t feel like I knew what direction to go,” that is so in line with the WHY of challenge, and in your case, the HOW of challenge. You don’t think the same as everybody else. You weren’t born to fit in. You were born to stand out and try to fit in. What was that like for you to try to be shy and be the one that fits in?

It was painful. I didn’t get to the place until I was in my late 30s now going into my 40s where I’m truly in myself. For so many years, I wasn’t sure what it was. Everything looked okay from the outside. I was in the cool crowd and got invited to parties and all those things, but when I was doing all of those things and the things that you’re supposed to do, like the rite of passage things, it felt almost sick to your stomach like, “What’s wrong with me?” You start thinking there’s something wrong with you. Knowing some of these deeper pieces around the why is so helpful. It’s putting a lot of the pieces of the puzzle together for me now.

You graduated with Kinesiology and Health Science. Where did you go from there?

I did what everyone you would think I would do coming into kinesiology. I became a gym manager. It was expected of me, and I hated every minute of it. It was terrible. Going around the club and talking to all these people I didn’t know was not for me. Through that, I met a great woman named Paula. She owned an insurance brokerage. She said, “Why are you doing this, Brianne? Come and work for me. Come and do sales.”

I ended up going to work for Paula at her insurance brokerage. I was a sales rep for a couple of years with her. I didn’t love insurance. It didn’t quite feel right there, but I love the connection with people that I was having, and starting to gain confidence in that area. Through that, I ended up getting an opportunity at a medical device company. It was Bayer at the time. I went and worked with them.

The leadership of the future is coaching. Click To Tweet

That was the start of my many years of a corporate career in pharmaceuticals and so many different roles. I had a blast. I had so much fun. I didn’t leave that because I hated it. I left it because I was being pulled towards something different. That’s where I started to get my stride because I was able to show up as who I was, try leadership roles, and back to my why, help people. I was leading teams. I was training coaches to be better at what they’re doing. It’s all making sense now.

Was it fun because you weren’t in a box? Was it fun because you weren’t told what you had to do? Was it because you could choose? What made it fun for you?

It was fun because it was always a challenge. I had ten different roles in those years, looking back at my career. I was jumping every year and a half to two years to a new opportunity so that I could learn something new and try new skills. I would grab those skills and then go to the next thing. I’d apply them there, learn some new stuff, make some things better, and go to the next.

You started coaching, then what called you?

What sparked me to leave the business is that I had this one particular role. It was a coach training role. I created a coach training program for the entire organization, all of the managers at one of the pharma companies that I was working with. Through that, I met my business partner in my coach training business, who is Belinda Clemmensen. I hired her to help me build this program. Sparks flew. We connected like there was no tomorrow.

We had fun because we were creating this amazing program that had never been created before. It was like unchartered territory. As we started to roll this out to the organization and the leadership team, people were like, “You folks are good at this. You should make a business out of this.” At the time, I was still very much in my ego where I was like, “I need to climb the corporate ladder. I need to go to the next role.” I wasn’t ready. I said, “Maybe one day,” but over maybe a 3 or 4-year period, it kept coming back.

People kept bringing this up and saying, “You need to start your own business.” The ultimate moment where I made the choice was when one of the Women’s Leadership groups that Belinda and I were leading at the time said, “We want to become certified coaches and learn from you.” They didn’t give us a choice. It was like, “This is happening.” Belinda and I looked at each other and said, “Okay.” We started building it. We started piloting the program while I was still at my full-time job as if I didn’t have enough to do with two kids. I’d started a couple of businesses on the side. We built that, and then I left my corporate job.

BYW 27 Brianne | WHY Of Contribute
WHY Of Contribute: Connection happens when it’s human-to-human level. It’s not going to happen when you’re up here and the other person is scared of you. It happens when you’re side by side walking together.


What’s the name of your company now?

One organization is called the Leader Coach Intensive. In that program, we train people to either become certified coaches or go into organizations to help their leaders become more coach-like because that’s the leadership of the future as coaching.

What type of coaching is involved in leader coaching? What do you do? What do you work with them on?

We develop their coaching skills. We don’t necessarily do a bunch of executive coaching with them. If they want that, we can. We pull in other people to do that work now. We’re training them to become coaches and build their coaching skills, so they can help their team to be better. It’s connected to my why of contribute. It’s supporting people to be better leaders and be more human in their leadership.

Rather than the old traditional hierarchy like, “If I’m the leader, I’m up here. You’re down here,” it’s helping bring them more to a human-to-human level because that’s where the connection is going to happen. It’s not going to happen when I’m up here and you’re here and I’m scared of you. It’s when I feel like we’re side by side walking this path together. We may have different roles. That’s okay but we’re humans in this together. That’s what we’re supporting people to do in that business.

On the note of what you were talking about there, as far as your why is concerned, another way that I’ve heard people talk about the why of contribute is to be that pebble that causes the wave or the ripple effect that goes on and on in the lives of others. You’re that little pebble that’s helping create this bigger impact. That’s how you maximize your impact.

That’s a great way to look at it.

You don't have to feel happy in a moment to feel joyous. Joy is about knowing who you are and being aligned with that. Click To Tweet

You developed the TGIToday.

My book is called Claiming your TGIToday. That’s my other business. What was I thinking about launching two businesses at once? For some reason, I thought I could do it. It’s a lot of fun. I ended up starting to write this book a few years ago. The way this happened is I was starting to see, myself included, the world in this state of what I call TGIF.

We live in a TGIF society where everybody’s wishing for the next thing. It’s cool to love Fridays. We all do, but it’s when it’s more than Fridays when we’re looking for that next promotion, house, or relationship. Sometimes people even say, “I can’t wait until retirement. I’ll be happy then.” Sometimes that’s 10 years or 20 years away. People are looking for happiness in the future. That’s what I was noticing rather than finding it now. My book is a journey to help people shift from trying to find joy in the future to finding it now because we never know if the future will be there for us.

How do you define joy?

Somebody asked me that. She said to me, “What do you think the difference between happiness and joy is?” I started to dive into that because I thought that was such a great question. Happiness is it’s in those small moments. If I get that promotion, I feel happy for a moment. I went out for a great meal with my family, and I feel happy at that moment, but joy is a deeper feeling. Joy is something where we don’t have to feel happy in a moment to feel joyous. Joy is about knowing who you are, what you want, and being able to live a life that is aligned with that. That is joy to me.

Living in alignment with what?

With who you are. It’s what matters to you at a core.

BYW 27 Brianne | WHY Of Contribute
WHY Of Contribute: To find joy, you need to find your purpose. Knowing what really lights a fire in your belly. You also need to surround yourself with the right people. Then you have to live at a pace that is right for you.


We talk a lot about living in alignment with your why because that’s when you have passion for what you do. In your case, you’re living now in alignment with your why of contributing to other people’s success, and that brings you joy. That’s the lane where you feel at your best, have the most energy, love it every day, do it for free, and probably have many times. I did thousands of why discoveries for free because it was a better way. I couldn’t stop myself. It’s what you can’t stop yourself from doing.

It’s those things. It’s almost like time stands still in those moments. It doesn’t feel like work because you have that passion for it.

How do you go about helping people to find their joy?

The journey in my book is all based on my TGIToday formula. The TGIToday formula is purpose plus people plus pace, and it sits on a foundation of the power of choice. When I was doing a lot of my discovery work around this and a lot of my pilot projects and all of this, we dove into the factors that came together to bring people joy. These were the main ones that kept coming up as a theme. Purpose, we know that. That’s pretty much connected with your why.

It’s, “What am I here on earth to achieve? What lights my fire in my belly?” It’s surrounding ourselves with people that are going to lift us up, support us to find joy, and support us to meet our goals, rather than dragging us down and draining our energy. Next is pace, living at a pace that is right for you. This is one that I’m finding is probably the biggest opportunity for most people. Our lives are busy. We are working often and caretaking for people. We will often have a partner that we’re supporting as well. Maybe aging parents. It’s all sorts of different things. In life, we feel like we have to be everything to everybody.

It can be hard to keep up with the pace and the demands. That’s another key factor that we look at in the book. All of that is dependent on the power of choice. If something in your purpose, your people, or your pace is not lining up with your joy, you have the power of choice to do something different so that you can design a life that you love.

Do you mean it’s up to me? I thought it was up to somebody else.

Success is about taking the time to dedicate yourself to self-reflection. Click To Tweet

It’s all in your control.

If you’re not getting the results that you thought you should, could, and would, you can change that?

You can. Use your power of choice. A lot of times, people don’t realize that. We didn’t get taught that in school. It was always somebody else’s model we were being taught in school. We didn’t grow up in that way. Things are changing now. I’m seeing that with my kids. It’s shifted to a lot more internal. The thing is when we chase this TGIF life, a lot of the things that we’re seeing as success is outside of ourselves, “What’s the next job title? How much money I’m going to have? What’s the relationship I might get? What do people think of me.” All of those things sit outside of ourselves. If we want to shift that inside, we need to relook at how we define success.

That was a huge eye-opening moment for me through this journey. For me, I was defining a lot of my success on all of those great jobs and titles that I had. It could have been part of the reason why I always move in and am shaken in the corporate world. I realized I needed to shift success to mean knowing myself, who I am, my why, my purpose, what I care about, and what lights my fire in my belly. When I know those things, then I can make choices to live by that. That, to me, is success.

How do you help someone define success? That seems like a challenging thing to do because we all have our experiences, parents, or what we thought it was. How do you go about taking somebody to help them define success? It sounds like that’s a very important starting point.

It is. I lead workshops to help teams and organizations to define this. I use the framework of my formula. I take a dive into each of the phases. Those are purpose, people, pace, and power of choice. We start to look at that for each individual and what that means. We use questions. I’m a coach, so you’re going to notice when you see my book. It is all reflection questions. It is a book that you do. Defining success is about taking the time to dedicate to self-reflection.

What I see in the world, and I see this myself when I get busy, is that we don’t take the time to self-reflect and pay attention to the things around us and our inner voice because we are so busy. There is so much noise in our lives. It is about dedicating time. It doesn’t need to be hours. It can be 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there, whatever works for that individual. That’s how I designed my book in small bite-size chunks because I found myself as a busy working mom that I didn’t have hours to devote. I know I needed to make a choice to invest and dive deep into what is success to me.

BYW 27 Brianne | WHY Of Contribute
WHY Of Contribute: You need to allow each step to unfold and trust that what’s meant to happen, will happen if you lean into what matters to you. Allow yourself not to get too attached to anything.


When you’re talking about taking time to dedicate to yourself, and it doesn’t have to be a lot of time, what do you do in that time? Let’s say I’ve dedicated the next ten minutes to myself. What do I do in those ten minutes?

There are different things you can do. One of the things that I do is get quiet because I believe that we can’t make room for new things to come through if our head is noisy with other things. It’s all of the things that we should do on our to-do lists and all of that. For me, when I go for walks, I don’t take music and podcasts. I’m just with myself. That’s where I get the most creative ideas and insights and, “I love doing that today. I should do more of that.”

It allows me to start paying attention to what I call in my book breadcrumbs. It’s those little tiny signs and clues, those gut feelings, and those things that keep happening like my journey with the coaching program. It allows us to tune into those. The first thing I would do is I would say tune in to almost that gap between the noise of your day because that is where the inspiration is going to come through.

It’s so easy to get schedule every minute of your day full. It’s funny. I even have scheduled thinking time, and half of the time, I still don’t even do it.

I know. It’s the first thing that goes when we get busy and overwhelmed. I hear you on that.

It’s like, “I’ll take the thinking time and do something during that.” Even for tomorrow, I’m looking at it now. Something’s gotten put on half of my thinking time. It’s easy to bypass it then get in the rat race and stay in the rat race.

It sure is. That’s what I recommend. Start with 5 or 10 minutes until people get into a habit of it because to block an hour or two sometimes can be overwhelming to think, “Where am I going to put all my meetings around that?” Starting small is, for me, always the best way as a coach that I would work with some people.

Know that you don't have to know it all now or that you have to have all the answers figured out. Click To Tweet

What has getting out of the corporate world and into the coaching world and the TGIToday brought for you? How has that changed the Brianne from ten years ago to the Brianne now?

My light is on. When I see myself speaking to you, I am overjoyed. You can’t take the smile off my face. I can speak freely, be myself, and feel like that is right, whereas when I was in my corporate job, I was often very prim, and proper, and felt like I had to impress the powers that be and maybe do things that didn’t feel 100% aligned with myself and deliver a message in a specific way that was more robotic because it wasn’t my true self. Now, I am able to fully let loose, be comfortable, and be in the moment. It’s a completely different feeling until you experience it. It’s hard to describe, and I’m sure you’re in this place as well doing the work that you love.

Maybe it would be interesting to see a video of you dancing fifteen years ago and dancing now.

It’s a totally different person. I wouldn’t be so square and awkward. Where now, I let it all hang out.

That’s awesome, Brianne. Here’s the last question for you. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given or the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

The one that’s coming up for me lately is around not feeling like you have to know it all now or that you have to have the answers figured out. There’s a lot of pressure on us in our younger years. I see it even with my kids. Coming out of high school, eventually, I remember feeling like I needed to know exactly what I was going to do. I realized that is not the case at all.

Would I have imagined that I was going to be an author back when I was eighteen years old? Not a chance. I believe that we need to allow each step to unfold and trust that what’s meant to happen will happen if we lean into what matters to us, to our passions, to allow that and not get too attached to anything, and following that success will naturally happen for us.

BYW 27 Brianne | WHY Of Contribute
Claiming Your TGI Today: A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding Joy Today Instead Of Waiting For Tomorrow

That’s awesome. Brianne, if there are people that are reading that loved your energy and loved what you’re doing and want to connect with you, what’s the best way for them to get in touch with you?

It’s my website,, or you can follow me on Instagram @BrianneLigori.

Thank you so much for taking the time to be here. I’ve enjoyed your energy. I’ve enjoyed learning about joy and how you’ve brought that to your life. That you so much for being here.

Thank you so much for having me, Gary.

It’s time for our new segment Guess Their WHY. For this segment, I want to use Johnny Depp. He’s been in the news. He’s got a big trial going on now. We’ve seen him in lots of different movies. I’m wondering what would be Johnny Depp’s why. What do you think his why is? I think his why is to challenge the status quo, think differently, not follow the rules, do it his own way, get outside the box, and not do what is typical.

You see that in his marriage and what’s coming out in the trial if you’ve read much about it. You see that in the movies and the parts that he’s taken. I believe his why is to challenge the status quo and think differently. I want to thank you for reading. If you’ve not yet discovered your why, you can do so at You can use the code PODCAST50 and get it at half price. If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe. Leave us a review and rating on whatever platform you are using so that we can bring the why and the WHY.os to more people. Thanks for being here. I look forward to seeing you on the next episode.


Important Links


About Brianne Ligori

BYW 27 Brianne | WHY Of ContributeBrianne Ligori lives and leads from the heart. She believes that everybody can—and should—live a life of purpose and joy. In her writing and coaching,Brianne is focused on a worldview of infinite possibilities and a relentless pursuit of purpose. She sets an inspiring example by standing firmly for living according to her inner truth.

Choosing joy, Brianne bravely set aside her dazzling corporate career to follow her bliss—sharing purpose-driven choices with the world.

Brianne worked in the corporate world for many years, where she raised the bar in varying roles in sales, marketing, and training. Her desire to help people grow and learn led her to a professional coaching certification through the International Coach Federation and certified training and development designation.

Through coaching and training, Brianne has left an indelible mark on people by igniting their sense of purpose, but her more significant legacy is to build new coaches. She put her designations to work in her corporate world by creating an internal coach certification program, there by empowering other leaders to leave their mark. Going ever deeper, Brianne embraced her emerging passions to touch people more profoundly and launched two new businesses.

Brianne co-founded the Leader Coach Intensive—a coach certification program specifically targeted to developing leaders of the future. Brianne is also poised to launch a comprehensive learning program to accompany her inspiring book, Claiming Your TGIToday.You can be in awe of how Brianne lives her life with passion and joy—or you can jump into her safe hands and learn how to live yours that way.





Business WHY.os Contribute WHY

So You Work With A Contribute…


Whether you work closely with a Contribute coworker or have a Contribute boss, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Not all of the WHYs are quite so kind, giving, and caring in the workplace. When it comes to having a Contribute in your professional life there are a few things you need to know:


They love to help


Contributes are there for you and they are there for the company. They want to feel like they are bringing as much to the table as possible so that their contributions are seen. Those with the WHY of Contribute find it thoroughly rewarding to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They love team interaction, collaboration, and uplifting the team. If you ask for their input  or their help – you will get a yes. 


Know when to not ask them for help


If you know anything about those with the WHY of Contribute, it is that they are all about adding value where they can. They want to be a part of the cause and they never want to let someone (or the team) down. This can be a downfall for Contributes as they aren’t the best at saying no. You can end up burdening them or overwhelming them with work if you’re not careful. Be sure if you are going to ask them for help that you make sure they have the capacity to do so first. 


Praise their Hard work 


As much as a Contribute will never ask for it, and may deny it for fear of drawing too much attention to them – let them know when they’ve done great work. If they helped you with something, thank them. If they kicked butt on a project, let them know. If they brought a smile to your work day, smile back. A little goes a long way with Contributes and they do more behind the scenes than people realize – just to help the team. 


If you are lucky enough to work side by side or in collaboration with a Contribute, let their hard work be noticed, don’t take advantage of their desire to give selflessly, and let them lead from time to time – they actually make great leaders!


–Shoutout to my own Contribute coworkers – you know who you are – thank you for always being willing to take on tasks, step up, step in, and do some amazing work! We couldn’t do what we love without you.–

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”

How The Why Of Contribute Bleeds Through Leadership That Rocks With Jim Knight

BYW S4 6 | Leadership That Rocks


Jim Knight has upheld a passion for contributing in any way he can, anywhere he can. How does that bleed through and influence his work? Jim is a keynote speaker, coach, and author of Leadership That Rocks: Take Your Brand’s Culture to Eleven and Amp Up Results. He spearheaded Global Training for Hard Rock International for two decades and now teaches organizations how to attain their own rockstar status. In this episode, he joins Dr. Gary Sanchez to share how he’s morphed his passion for serving with his experience in HR. Jim talks about leadership and its relation to culture in his latest work. Tune in as he gives tidbits of insights from his book and more on creating a culture that attracts rockstars!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

How The Why Of Contribute Bleeds Through Leadership That Rocks With Jim Knight

In this episode, 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 contributors make for the greater good of the team. You see group victories as personal victories. You are often found 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.

Now I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Jim Knight. He teaches organizations of all sizes how to attain their own rockstar status. Although his illustrious career started at Gatorland Zoo in Florida and he has the scars to prove it, he cut his teeth in the hospitality training industry and eventually led Global Training for Hard Rock International for decades. His customized programs show how to amp up organizational culture, deliver world-class differentiated service and build rockstar teams and leaders.

BYW S4 6 | Leadership That Rocks
Leadership That Rocks: Take Your Brand’s Culture to Eleven and Amp Up Results

He’s known for signature spiky hair. He is the bestselling author of Culture That Rocks: How to Revolutionize Your Company’s Culture. It was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the five books that will help you transform how you do business. His new book Leadership That Rocks: Take Your Brand’s Culture to Eleven and Amp Up Results launched in May of 2021. A portion of his book sales, podcast revenue, speaking fees, and training programs proceeds go to No Kid Hungry and Cannonball Kids’ Cancer. Jim, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much, Gary. I appreciate it. I don’t know that I gave you the long bio. That was quite an introduction, but you touched on a couple of things that are probably going to fit into our conversation. First and foremost, I’m thrilled to be here. Thank you.

First of all, you can’t see Jim’s hair so I’m going to try to describe it. It looks to be about 5 to 6 inches tall, perfectly straight up, and multi-level, multi-colors. How the heck did that come about and how do you do it?

I probably have always been known for my hair and since I’ve been an adult. Once I started to work on my music degree and for 21 years, I was at Hard Rock International. We had a chance to look, be, say and do whatever. I worked with The Island of Misfit Toys. Believe me, this hairstyle is safe compared to a lot of my rock and roll friends with piercings, colored hair, bollocks and the whole thing. I used to have long hair. I had a mullet and I could sit on my hair about 2.5 feet at one point, then I decided several years ago to grow up a little bit and started speaking professionally. I went up so it’s got some spikes in there.

To answer the second half of your question, it is multilayered. I have somebody who does the hair once a month. She uses razors instead of scissors and that’s the first secret. The second is I use this product called Got2b Glued. I’m sure a lot of people in your audience probably have seen this before at CVS, Walgreens or Walmart. It’s in a yellow tube. It’s the same look, smell, feel, and consistency as Elmer’s Glue. I throw that stuff in there a little dollop and 30 seconds later, this is what you get. It’s like Sonic The Hedgehog all day long. This thing is hurricane-proof in Florida.

You go to bed looking like this. What do you look like in the morning?

It’s almost the same. I took a shower in the morning but if I go to sleep like this and I was laying on one side, it might get a little bit matted. You can throw some water in there and it reconstitutes the glue. If I wanted to, I could not wash my hair for 3 to 4 days and it would still be spiky like this. I’ve lived pretty well on Survivor for about 3 to 4 days. After that, it’s sad and it gets weak and flat. Water is my nemesis. If I jump on a pool, it’s game over.

Take us back to when you were a kid. Where did you grow up? How did you get into hospitality? Take us through the quick version of your life back when you were in high school.

At the heart, culture is about people. Click To Tweet

My quick version is I wanted to be a musician. When I was in middle school and high school, I started thinking about wanting to perform. I did a bunch of community theater. I did go to school and have my Music Degree in Associate of Arts, Music, and Education. My first job was at Gatorland Zoo. I live in Central Florida so I live in the land of theme parks, Disney, Universal Studios and SeaWorld. There are like 27 theme parks here in Gatorland. It’s one of the best-kept secrets. That was my first job. While I was doing that in the summertime, I started to go to college. While I was at university to make a living, I found out that being a musician, you had to be good, so I changed careers.

They say those that can’t do, teach. I became a middle school teacher and did that for six years. I’m a product of public education and I’m happy to have taught in that. Eventually, I needed to make some money in the summertime. As you can imagine, teachers don’t make any money in the summer. I take a little summer gig at Hard Rock International. The Hard Rock Cafe at that time was the new thing in Orlando. It’s the busiest restaurant in the world. I was a host deceiving people. I did that for a year. I became a trainer. They paid me to start traveling and opening up Hard Rocks around the world, Madrid, Mexico City and Paris. I got to hang out in London.

I traveled the world as a kid. A couple of years later, I became a manager and was running shifts for that building, which does anywhere between $42 million and $45 million a year, which is unheard of in hospitality. Your skills get sharp. Your head and ego get big. You’re hanging out listening to 90 decibels of Zeppelin and meeting rockstars left and right. It was a gas to do that. Within a year, I went over to the Corporate Sports Center and ran training and development for them. That’s the long answer. The short answer was several years ago. I decided I wanted to have a little bit of a louder voice and I wanted to contribute more to society.

I still pull the levers of music, education and hospitality. I put all of that together to make this edutainment in the programs, whether it’s something as a writer, eLearning and certainly as a keynote speaker. Several years ago, I left. Instead of being in hospitality, I wanted to go vertical. Now I speak in front of bankers, insurance agents, clowns, and funeral directors. If there’s an association and they’re looking for a speaker, I want to go out there and talk about culture, service, building teams, and those types of things. Leadership is hot and heavy right now.

What did you notice that Hard Rock did better, different and unique that allowed them to scale to $40 million to $50 million per restaurant?

I would say that’s probably three. You usually would take New York and Los Angeles. Las Vegas was probably one of those, as well as Orlando. Those four would do those types of numbers. Everybody else is between $7 million and $20 million, depending on the market. You had to be in a big A-location. That was what Hard Rock started with. They’re now in a lot of C markets. They’ve decided that there’s a lot of earth where they can plant their flag.

They’ll bring the Hard Rock brand to a country or a market because some people in these countries aren’t ever going to travel to Western Europe or the US, which is predominantly where the Hard Rock is. Their future is all franchise cafes. Although a lot of people still go, “Hasn’t that thing been around for 50 years?” They have and they’re still opening up properties, but the future for that brand is hotels and casinos for sure. That’s where all the money is.

Particularly, a casino will do what ten hotels do. That’ll do what twenty cafes will do. You’re limited on where you can do that in the world. To answer your question, Hard Rock is cool as I thought it was. To me, it’s still one of the awesome, great brands in the world. The product is fantastic. I love the environment, the music, the memorabilia, the retail, all of that stuff is cool. None of the buildings are the same. There’s no cookie-cutter. They build pyramids, inherit castles, and they put a bar on the side. It’s crazy. It’s always about the people.

BYW S4 6 | Leadership That Rocks
Leadership That Rocks: If you were to keep all of your awesome people, but change everything, logo, font, corporate sports center, tools, process, employee handbook, e-learning, whatever it is. If you change all of that, but keep the people, you wouldn’t make a huge dent in the culture.


The silver bullet for them is, I’m going to find the most unique people I can find because unique people bring some unique experiences to the party. They’re also going to make sure that these people have tremendous work ethic. It’s not just because they’re freaky people and they look different, which by the way, you see more companies starting to do that now. I’m thankful that I worked for a company for two decades that was doing that before it was popular, allowing tattoos to be seen, crazy colored hair, being on a first-name base with the boss, pushing back, challenging the status quo, and not having any fear of something happening to them. All of that stuff mattered. When you can do that, do you know what you get with the team members? They stick around and that’s loyalty.

Hanging out with that interesting collection of humans, and the value orientation that the company had were the two things that kept me going. I’d say it’s a tag team. It’s the unique people they went and found, but also the values like save the planet, take time to be kind, and all as one. These were emblazoned on the walls for no other reason but to keep us all honest. That allowed me to want to stick around a little bit longer and invite my buddies to come and work with me.

How did they go about finding all these unique people? What was their process or thinking behind that? Was this something that came about randomly? Was it a strategic thing that they thought or you thought about? At one point, you were running one of them. How did you do it?

I was running shifts in the mid-‘90s but I ran global training for the whole brand. I wasn’t running all of the individual properties. I came in in the early ‘90s. The thing started in 1971. There were two Americans that were hanging out in Great Britain and they had two issues. They couldn’t find a great burger. They wanted to make sure they had a little bit of some of that greasy Tennessee Truck Stop, Southern-style food that you couldn’t get in the UK at that time.

There was also not a big middle-class in the United Kingdom. You were either very rich or very poor. The fact that there were two lines for people, if you were rich, you stood in this line, if you didn’t have any money, you stood over here this line, they didn’t like that. That was red meat for some civil rights activists people that were coming out of the ‘60s. You know what was going on in our country. Those were the two reasons I did it.

To answer your question, it was extremely strategic. They will have the best food, shakes, environment, they’re going to put music in there, but their real goal was, “Let’s go find some people that were unique.” Ironically, they didn’t go youthful. Every single 1 of the 42 original servers had to be over 30 years old and they had to be women. A lot of them were redheads. It was funny to think you got this group of older redheaded women who are slinging food around and they’re going to push back a little bit.

It was a little irreverent and unpredictable but then even as time went on, their goal was, “Where can we go find some rockstars? Maybe it’s outside of the usual. Maybe it isn’t going to be another restaurant. Maybe I will go find somebody in tattoo parlors or concert halls. Could I go and find some in a retail location that had no food and beverage background at all.” They wanted people to have some experience but they certainly wanted to populate it with unique humans that had killer personalities. I almost think of the old TV show, Alice. If you think about that and you think of flow, some of your audience members may be old enough to remember. It was chewing gum and pushing back on everybody.

If you could find that person somewhere in your sphere when you went out to eat, drink, shop, stay, play or do whatever, coerce them, convince them, and pay them probably a little bit more to come work for you. All of a sudden, you’ve got a rockstar. You got a diamond in the rough who is probably going to create some unforgettable memories. That was their goal. It was completely strategic. I hope the brand is still doing that. I haven’t been there for years. That would be a miss if they stopped hiring some interesting humans.

“You want to have a fantastic, awesome culture?” Number one, you got to go find some rock stars. That's got to be your absolute focus more than anything. Click To Tweet

It worked awfully well for them. You were there for two decades.

I started in April of 1991. I left in April of 2012.

What was it like for you to leave that comfort and start speaking? The middle school teacher gone culture, spiked-hair guy is now going to go speak to who?

I was crazy nervous. I had a little bit of some tricks up my sleeve. Part of it was the last several years before I left Hard Rock while I was the Senior Director for training and development, I had a great team of nine people. I started speaking on the side at that time. The very first one, like almost every speaker out there, we do it for free. Somebody asked me to come to do a little mini-orientation at Hard Rock. It had nothing to do with what I talk about now. No leadership, services or any of that stuff. They just wanted to have somebody do the Hard Rock story because they lived in a state in the US where there wasn’t property. I was like, “I’ll go do that. I’m not going to send my team.”

What happens is what happens with everybody. I went and spoke and somebody in the back of the room came up afterward and said, “That was awesome. Can you come to do it for my company? How much do you charge?” That’s when the light bulb went off. I started charging people, but here’s the cool part. I never took any money. I gave the brand. I gave Hard Rock all of the money because I wanted it to be above reproach. I never wanted my boss, the CEO or anybody to ever challenge me and say, “He’s having fun doing his side job than doing the regular day-to-day stuff.” It did allow me to feed the beast, get my sea legs, and get a lot better at platform speaking.

I was sharing stuff that I loved. I was impacting and influencing audiences to check out Hard Rock. Maybe they didn’t even know about the brand. Everybody wonders, don’t I actually get paid? I just put it into my budget. In training people, we spend money. To be a revenue-generating initiative was great. I never went over budget. My boss always loved it. What you probably would imagine did happen to me was I started loving that gig a lot more than the details of the day-to-day making the donuts.

I’ve decided to jump off since I was already doing it. I was doing about one a month. I had a couple that was ready to go when I jumped off. I was scared to death thinking, “I’ve got a cool job. I traveled the world. I’m getting paid well and looking at all the benefits. Am I going to leave all that because I think somebody will pay me maybe the same amount? I’d be happy if it would’ve been the same amount. Am I going to do that for a living?” It was crazy. I jumped off the deep end and I’ve never looked back. It’s been fantastic for me.

The platform that you started speaking on was culture.

It was the Hard Rock culture. If I got to be honest, I was pulling the lever of the brand. I tried to immerse people in the spirit of rock and roll. That’s where I probably got my focus more than anything else. It was on culture, which then led into some of those other things, service, leadership, building rockstar teams, that type of stuff. I’ll probably forever be known as the Culture Guy, and that’s cool.

What is it that makes a good culture and why is a good culture important?

We alluded to this already. If I was ever going to write or talk about it, I do define exactly what culture is right upfront. If you and I did a survey of your audience members or even if I asked you right now, “What do you think it is?” I will probably agree with you. I’m in the everything is culture camp. They can be all of the stuff that I mentioned before. At the heart, it is about the people.

Let’s say you’re a legacy brand. You’ve been around for 15, 20, 40 or 100 years. It doesn’t matter. If I were to have held on to the exact group of people that started the thing in the first place, you’re the founder, the president, the CEO, you’ve been doing it for 40 to 50 years, you could have held onto that group. You’d have the exact culture that you want. If you fast forward a couple of decades, it doesn’t work like that because people come and go.

BYW S4 6 | Leadership That Rocks
Leadership That Rocks: The more that you can be open-minded to change, and you can put more arrows in your quiver, you’re more likely to look somebody in the eye and go, “This is what it will take with this person right now to rock their face-off.”


I know that if I was to keep all of my awesome people but change everything like logo, font, corporate sports center, tools, process, employee handbook, eLearning or whatever it is, but I kept my people, I wouldn’t make a huge dent in the culture. I’d have exactly what I want. Let’s say that I love all of that infrastructure. I keep all of that stuff but I kick everybody out in the organization and replace them with a bunch of other people. I’ve completely revolutionized the culture

I will talk about a lot of nitty-gritty details but I can’t emphasize enough when I’m in front of an audience saying, “Do you want to have a fantastic, awesome culture? You got to go find some rockstars.” That’s got to be your absolute focus more than anything else because the rest of the stuff is you being a good manager but you’re not thinking like a business owner, entrepreneur, big brand. You’ve got to love on them. You’ve got to do everything in your power not to muscle the result and manage the threats, punishment and fear, which I still see out there in a couple of industries.

If you can throw your arm around people, teach them, and have a little bit of a heart-centered mindset, they stay with you longer. There’s a direct correlation between turnover and top-line sales. It’s not just in hospitality. I’m starting to see that in almost any industry. I know that’s a long answer but it’s always about the people. Do I want to focus on all the other stuff? Totally, but those are the little rocks. The big thing that makes a difference is I got to populate the thing with people who can slake it. They’re showing up going, “I’m in the memory-making business now.” They show up and do that every day, “I’m going to put Herculean results.”

When you’re leading the team and you’re trying to love on them, but you’re not getting the result you want. How do you handle that? I’m sure there are people reading that are dealing with this. Their key person isn’t quite doing it like they were, could or you wanted. How do you love on them yet get results?

First, I’d look in the mirror. Maybe the common denominator is the leader. Sometimes, I’ve got to change their tactics or they’ve been doing it the same way. They’re banging their head against the wall going, “How come they’re not responding to me?” This is why you go to conferences. You read books and listen to podcasts because the more that you can be open-minded to change and you can put more arrows in your quiver, you’re more likely to look somebody in the eye and go, “This is what it will take with this person right now that rock their face-off.” I would say that anyway from an end-user, a guest or a customer but we have to think the same way from an employee.

These associates and team members have different needs. For some of them, it might be a tiny little bit more money. Others need you to spend a little bit of time with them, look them in the eye, care about them, and ask them about their family and what did they do this weekend. Others want development. “Put me on a fast track. Give me a program so I can start hitting some things to ultimately become promotable.” It doesn’t guarantee me the job but it’s less likely that you’re going to go to the outside if I’ve been on the AAA Ball Club and I’m ready to be called up.

There are a variety of things. It could be surprising them with small little things, whether it’s buying sometimes a lot of tickets, stopping and getting an Icee or a Slurpee on the way. Sometimes it’s doing contests and having fun when you’re at work. Maybe it’s dressed down day. Maybe you’re allowed to have a company dog or you change the benefits in favor of them where it doesn’t cost you a lot of money. There are many things.

I have an entire chapter dedicated sometimes with all of these ideas bullet-pointed. I freely admit and go, “Please don’t do all of these. It’s ridiculous, but pick and choose the ones that would make sense from a tactical standpoint.” If leaders just sat back and thought, “I need to say thank you a little bit more. I need to tell people they rock. I need to care about them as a whole person and let them be seen.” Have discussions that if something is not working, don’t be freaked out about it. Come to me and let’s figure that stuff out.

It isn't about competence anymore. It's not just about character. You need all three Cs: competence, character, and culture fit. Click To Tweet

Sometimes it’s the easy and free things that would make a difference. This could be a whole episode discussion for me talking about how to keep employee engagement going and loving on people. When I say love on them, it isn’t just throwing your arms around them and going, “Come on, guy or girl.” It’s not about that. When people feel like this person does care about me, and there’s a relationship and trust factor, I’m willing to follow that leader off the edge of the cliff. When they do leave the company, I’m going with them.

What’s interesting is your perspective on this is right in line with the why of contribute. You look at it from the perspective of, how can I help you? How can I make your time here more fun, better and more productive? How can I be part of your success? Not every why sees it that way. It’s interesting to see leaders from how they think. It would make sense to somebody who’s why is contribute. Of course, I would do it that way but somebody else would look at it and say, “That seems like a lot of extra effort for trying to get them to do what I paid them to do.”

This is why your show is great because I love the idea that you take in these different tenets and you look at these and go, “Let’s dissect it. Let’s talk about each one.” If you take any of these personality assessments, DISC, Colors, Myers-Briggs, Franklin Covey, you name it. Everybody realizes there have to be different types of people on the team. If all of us were wise, there would be a lot of kumbaya and we’d be giving a lot, and nobody would get stuff done. I realized that but it’s been part of my DNA. I’ve always been like that because of my parents. Probably a little bit because of religion and going to church early on.

It’s certainly working for a brand that did not have a single marketing initiative that didn’t have some type of philanthropic charitable component. A lot of people don’t know that and they never wanted to scream from the top of their lungs but I knew. My Hard Rock buddies all knew and that’s part of the reason we stuck around. I love the idea of giving back if for no other reason but propping other people up because I know that it’s in my interest. Sometimes they’re not a part of my inner circle. It’s just I want people to succeed. By the way, I’m a consumer. I personally am an experiential starved consumer.

When I go out in shop land, I care about the store, the restaurant, the hotel or the place I’m going. It doesn’t matter. I want to be around awesome people. There are some small ways that I can give back, whether that’s a nugget of information, advice or some real mentorship. I’m all about that. Sometimes, it’s money too. I don’t mind helping people out. That’s how I’m wired and I get it. You’re right. There are going to be some that are like, “Not my bag. It’s not my gig.” That’s okay. I sign up for that. I’m the one who volunteered to say, “Put me in that role.”

It is what we were talking about the why of contribute. You use your time, your money, your energy, your connections to push other people forward. That’s the essence of how you view the world, which is awesome why for what you do. Let’s transition that a little bit into leadership. What is leadership from your perspective and what makes a great leader?

It’s probably like culture. These are both esoteric and nebulous words. Everybody’s got a different opinion about it. I’ve taken the slice of leadership from creating, maintaining or even completely changing and revolutionizing a culture. I had to start with that because that was a little bit of my background. I have been to many courses and I’ve seen many things. You talk about the difference between a manager and a leader. There are many important elements that come out of that.

Probably the number one characteristic that I see more than anything else is somebody who is trustworthy. If you trust that person, they’ve got a good shot of having some leadership. You’re trustworthy. Therefore, I trust you and all the other awesomeness in our relationships happens from there. The book that I wrote and the things I talk about are trying to dissect several of those. What does critical decision-making look like when you get to a point and you’ve got to make a decision?

BYW S4 6 | Leadership That Rocks
Leadership That Rocks: If you trust that person, they’ve got a good shot of having some leadership. You’re trustworthy. Therefore, I trust you. All the other awesomeness in our relationships happens from there.


Is it time for me to be quiet, subtle, cool and humble? Is it time for me to be loud, over the top, grandiose, and bring the thunder? It’s different for different moments. Can I be heart-centered? Can I still get things done? Could I still marshal the resources that I need but do it in a caring, loving and kind way where it’s the carrot versus the stick? I remember back in the ‘80s. You can push people uphill and you can muscle the result. Those days are long gone.

Gen Z or even if you still go back to the Millennials, they’ll laugh at you because a rockstar can always get another gig. As employers, we need them a whole lot more than they need us. Sometimes, the way that you treat people is the linchpin. They’ll go, “I’m out of here.” They’ll go right up the street and probably work for your competitor. I think about that from a leadership standpoint. I think about mentorship. I’ve gotten to the point that I almost dissect that into five different areas. You could be an internal, external, peer, public mentor. You could even be a reverse mentor. You can learn a lot from somebody that you’re mentoring. I have somebody who’s 25 years my younger and I learned from that person all the time.

Even having an unparalleled work ethic, which I know some people are going to throw certain generations under the bus. I don’t want to do that. I liked being extremely positive and also probably contribute to my contribute. I do think that there have been some things that have been lost. Sometimes, having a little bit of a pep in your step, a sense of urgency, attention to detail has been lost a little bit. I know it’s not always taught by parents. It isn’t being taught anymore in public education. If you’re not in charter, private school and in public school, I don’t know where you get that.

I used to think I was a good trainer. I cannot train people to have a personality and I can’t train you to smile. Either you have it or you don’t. If the juice isn’t running through your veins, you’re going to be impaired. You’re going to not be of use to me unless there’s a place for you in the back where no one will ever see you, which is highly unlikely. I need people to have a little bit of this work ethic mentality.

I have a good friend of mine who runs a frozen dessert concept in Chicago and it’s populated all with Gen Z employees. They’re young and they don’t have a lot of these skills. She has to make the decision to go, “There’s no way I’m going to hire you. I’ll move on to somebody else or I see something. I see the personality a little bit. They might be a diamond in the rough. Maybe I’m going to be their first and best job. Maybe they’re going to always think favorably. Maybe when they finish college, they want to come back to be a manager.” She’s made a cognizant decision from a work ethic standpoint. If they didn’t get to somewhere else, let me be that person. She almost probably has the same mentality. I bet her why might be contribute as well.

I think about those things, how can you be a catalyst for change? I talk a lot about change because times are changing. Changes are coming. You can either freak out about it. You can run away from it. You can lean into it. You can be a part of the change, or you can prepare the team for it. I spent a lot of time talking about that stuff. I don’t know if I rattled off 4, 5 or 6 things, but I try and chunk it down. If I’ve got time, an hour keynote, a three-hour workshop or somebody is flipping through the book, at the very least, they go, “I get it.” It’s in the sphere of culture but around work ethic, a heart-centered mindset, or critical decision-making. Could I be a catalyst for change? Can I enlist in some mentorship because maybe my company doesn’t have that? How can I go to the outside and make that happen? Can I think about everything that happens to me be a personal culture shift? Things are happening to me or things are happening for me.

You use the analogy of Shrek. Life is like an onion. There are layers in there and every time something happens to you, you can either be mad or you can be like, “This sucks but it’s okay. I’m going to use this to my advantage. How can I get better? How can I make sure I don’t make any more mistakes?” I ran off on a tangent there, but leadership is the number one characteristic. If I can trust you, then I’m willing to follow you. Now I’m more open-minded to doing the things you need that I might not have done on my own.

What part of being a great leader comes back to who you hire? Is it you can take anybody and lead well?

I’ve always been to the camp that there are three types of people. There are people who don’t know, can’t do, and don’t care. If it’s a don’t know, you can train about anybody. It’s a knowledge dump and there are many different ways to do that. Somebody might be visual versus auditory. Maybe they need a little bit more time, whatever it is. The don’t knows, I can deal with.

All the best training in the world isn't going to help a bad hire. Click To Tweet

The can’t dos is where leaders tend to get a little bit frustrated because you try. Maybe you are somebody who gives somebody 2, 3 or 4 opportunities but they can’t do the gig. A lot of them are willing to cut ties and move on. I would see if there’s a place for them somewhere on the bus. Do they maybe have a skill? It’s the old Marcus Buckingham Gallup approach. Can I focus only on their strengths instead of pointing out their weaknesses because everybody’s got strengths? Do I need that on the team?

The can’t dos is tough. You might have to cut ties with them, but there’s also a whole bunch of don’t cares out there. I have no love for them. As a leader, if somebody were smart enough to think, “I’m going to focus on every area of the employee life cycle but at the very least, I’m going to focus on the front end. How I recruit, interview, what’s my stereotypical employee, how do I hire, and how do I train? Before I step back and go, “They’re an employee. I don’t have to watch them anymore.”

There’s a lot of things that go into place from recruiting collateral, non-negotiable interviewing standards. Do you know what you’re looking for? Because it isn’t about competence anymore. It’s not about character, although those two C’s I care about a lot. Now, I didn’t think about culture fit. You need all three, competence, character, and culture fit. If the leader is smart enough that they’ll go and find great people, then all the other stuff falls into place.

If you’re asking me, could I be a great leader and still do it through the product being first to the market, keeping everything clean? Is it just a physical building? How do I handle stuff when it’s online or on the phone? Regardless of what the product or the industry is, there are certainly a lot of things that I would do. I do care about the 997 things that somebody should be focusing on if they’re in a position of power. If I can’t get some end-user to think about the last three questions that always show up on a survey, “Are you coming back? Are you spending more money? Are you going to talk about me positively?” If I can’t get them to say yes to those three, I haven’t created a memory. I haven’t created some incentive for them to come back.

That’s another long answer. There’s a lot that somebody could do. I am now a firm believer, and I study and love many brands that I have huge crushes on. I have fallen madly in love with some great cultures out there who now swear that the only reason they are the way they are and their cultures is because of their people. You can steal all the rest of this stuff but if you can’t get my people, you’re never going to be able to replicate what we do.

Here’s a great example, Southwest Airlines. I cannot understand why every airline has not copied their onboarding and their departure processes. How they bring people on because they’re still number one in departures, landings and arrival. They’re still the most profitable airline out there. They have some fun when they’re doing safety announcements in their uniforms and all that stuff. Just the fact that they have no fees for baggage and they can onboard everybody quickly. Nobody else can figure that out. I go, “Why haven’t they done that?”

Let’s say they did do all that. They can do every one of those. If they can’t take the Southwest employees, all you’re doing is moving the deck chairs around on the Titanic. All you’re doing is changing and swapping systems. You’re not focusing on human behaviors, which are all learned human behavior. They’ve done a fantastic job getting the right people and that’s why I’m a fan of their still.

The next question I was going to ask you led right into that. Do people have it or don’t have it? Maybe you answered that with the three types of people but I’m wandering back to training. How much training do these organizations do? Let’s take Southwest Airlines. How much training do their team go through before they meet a customer? Is it a little or a lot? Do they hire somebody who already got those skills? How does that work?

BYW S4 6 | Leadership That Rocks
Leadership That Rocks: If the leader is smart enough that they’ll go and find great people, then all the other stuff falls into place.


They do a lot. When you’re looking at travel, you’re going to spend a lot more time because of the safety requirements that are in there. It’s probably even more than whatever the stuff is. My knowledge base is way more around retail, hospitality and theme parks. That’s what I learned and I sat on the certification governing board of the National Restaurant Association. I have to say the long way because if I just say NRA, they’re thinking of the other NRA. When I think about the work that organization does and I’ve seen about all of these statistics, the average restaurant day one orientation is around two hours. The good ones are around three hours.

At Hard Rock, because we had much more, food, beverage, retail, local marketing, group sales, dealing with celebrities, live music and all this other stuff, we spend an entire day. I thought that was short. I wish we had two days, but it’s one-day orientation and then you started training the next day. When I hear most restaurants are doing two hours, it blows my mind. When I think about a company like Chick-fil-A, this is a fast-food chicken place. They do no training until day three. It is two days of orientation. Their story, values, vision, mission, they dunk you in the culture. When you come up out of it on day three, you’re either all in or you’re not. It starts to prove that the awesome companies out there are spending a little bit more time.

The first part of your question was, “Do you just have it?” I’m a firm believer now that you don’t. You learn everything. You and I and your entire audience are not the way we are because we were born that way. It’s the difference between us and the rest of the animal kingdom. You learn everything. You learn it from your parents, school, friends, playground, religion, lack of religion. By the time you come to me as some 18, 19 to 20-year-old kid, you either got it or you don’t. You either have the smile. You’ve got the amp to want to be around people or you don’t.

People can fake it for a while and then you become unmasked. You fall back into your natural disposition. Training and leadership help. There are some things that I can do not to fake and coerce people into doing the things I want because as a leader, most companies aren’t going to have the boss micromanaging over their shoulder. At some point, you’ve got to step away and hope that they know what they’re doing, and they can represent the company, the brand very well. I do think you ought to do all these things, train, develop, communicate, reward, recognize, and all of that stuff.

On the front end, if you don’t have people who are coming to the party with some of that oomph as you said, it’s going to be a slog. You’re going to be pushing people uphill. I still think there are people that just because of their environment, they have the ability to wing it. They can shoot from the hip. They certainly like to gab. Even those things, you got that from somebody from somewhere.

I do believe and I’m such a huge fan that everything is learned human behavior. When I’m in front of an audience, I have to go, “You’re all recruiters now. You’ve got to put on your human resources hat.” If I was honest with myself and I had a time machine, instead of being a training and development guy because I had no say in how people came onboard or how they left, I can train the best that I can with what you give me but all the best training in the world isn’t going to help a bad hire. I would push people.

I would go back in time to be a recruiter because, at the very least, I felt like I got my finger on the pulse of what I needed. I will hand them off to the training guy or girl and they’ll be in a much better place. If they don’t have that DNA, it’s going to be tough. I don’t believe that you’re naturally born with it because I’m sure it’s controversial for some people too.

I’ve got a baseball team for you to follow. Follow the Washington State baseball team. The coach, Brian Green, had taken over the worst team in the NCAA, which was the New Mexico State Aggies. He turned it around to being five winning seasons in a row. Multiple players picked it to the Major League Baseball and then he got hired away to Washington State. I’m not sure if this is correct but I think his first twelve days of practice, they don’t touch a ball. It’s all culture. That’ll be a perfect example for you as well because it’s all about the culture. That’s what’s changed the game for many of them. He speaks on that now. I’d be curious to hear what are some other good companies that you’ve fallen in love with that have a great culture. I heard Chick-fil-A, Hard Rock, Southwest Airlines. What are some others that you like?

A single person with a great idea can start a revolution. Click To Tweet

This is where I’m always stretching to do more outside of hospitality because I could probably name a lot of those. Your readers will probably know Zappos. They are amazing to me. They only sell shoes and do it online. They don’t even sell their own shoes. They don’t even have their own branded shoes. They sell other people’s shoes. When I see brand health studies, they’re always in the top ten. It blows my mind that their founder, the late Tony Hsieh, decided they’re going to have the best culture and customer service regardless of what they do. They sell online shoes. They get propped up quite a bit.

There’s a computer server company called Rackspace. A lot of people will not know who that is. These are tech people and IT people. They set up infrastructure companies, but yet they internally have one of the greatest cultures to the extent that some of their employees get the Rackspace tattoo on their shoulders and on their calf muscles. That blows my mind. Harley Davidson still does a great job out there. Some of my music roots, Fender and Gibson have their own unique cultures.

There are a couple of places that I love that are restaurants here locally in Central Florida. Yellow Dog Eats is one of those. I talk about them quite a bit. It’s mostly because of the executive chef, the founder. He is one wild, interesting guy. The food is great and the atmosphere is fantastic but this guy has no filter. Every time he’s in the building, he creates memories. People have discovered him when they’re out and about.

Hotel-wise, I know people will talk about the Ritz-Carlton, but I’m a fan of Kimpton Hotels. From a culture standpoint, they’re fantastic. I got to still prop up Hard Rock. A lot of people don’t even know there are Hard Rock Hotels and there’s something like 30 of those on the planet now. It’s got some of these unique people you don’t normally see in the hotel space. Those are ones that I think of right out of the gate.

I spent a lot of time with the US Air Force now. I do some stuff up at Andrews Air Force Base up in DC which is where the presidential aircraft go off. I spend time with the Brigadier Generals, all the new ones that come on board. They have a fantastic culture. If you’re probably in any of the Armed Forces in the US, they will say that there’s a distinct, specific culture. I’ve met a Colonel at that time. She’s a Brigadier General now who works over at the Pentagon Space Force. She was at Andrews and on her own started to change what was going on at that airlift because it was not top-down like, “You will do it this way or else.” We probably think about the military. It was like, “Let me love on you. Be a little bit more kind. I want to hear feedback from you.” They are very open-minded and they cared about what happens to you and your families. Realizing you’re not just serving but the whole family is serving. I love that approach.

I almost hate using the words kinder and gentler armed services. To some degree in our country, at least, when you’ve got an all-volunteer military, you have to go there now for some of these young kids that are going in. You can’t go out there and be wrapping knuckles. That doesn’t work anymore. That’s 5 or 6. I’m trying to think outside of hospitality but my book will certainly list a whole bunch more, especially in this last one because I’ve talked about leadership. My next one is Service That Rocks. I want to want to highlight that. I wonder if I could get Brian Green in there from an employee standpoint for my 2023. It’ll be Engagement That Rocks and that’s all about some of the discussions that we had upfront. Let me check out Washington State. I think that’d be cool.

You’re going to love him. Last question for you. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten or the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?

In my podcast, Thoughts That Rock, that’s the only question we ask on all of our people on there, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? You turn the tables on us a couple of times. I like it. I’ll give you two. My father who was instrumental for me passed away of cancer. He always said, “You need to start small and crush those things.” What happens is when you get the win, somebody recognizes that. They invite you to the party and you get promoted. You take on more responsibility. I probably needed a little bit of a refresher. My first real corporate boss when I got over to Hard Rock said the same thing. Between my first real good Hard Rock boss and my dad was a real big step for me.

BYW S4 6 | Leadership That Rocks
Leadership That Rocks: You still can make a difference. At some point, when you put your ideas on the table and you get recognized for that, you’re going to get more responsibilities


I teach people now my mantra. My main piece of advice is and I still believe this. I think a single person with a great idea can start a revolution. That’s how dictator-led countries were overthrown. That’s how philanthropic movements are started. That’s how cultures get perpetuated for all times. Even if you’re a new up and coming, maybe a middle manager and you think, “I don’t have a lot of responsibilities. I barely have a staff. I got a small budget,” I don’t care if you’re making widgets. You still can make a difference.

At some point, when you put your ideas on the table and you get recognized for that, you’re going to get more responsibilities. The things that used to be in your circle of concern that you cared about, but you couldn’t do anything about, now they’re in your circle of influence. Now you have a bigger influence, which is what my driving force has been forever. I want to allow their voice, “How can I contribute to the world a little bit more in my own unique way?”

If there are people that are reading, and they want to connect with you, follow you, and get your book, where do they go? What’s the best way to connect with you?

The best place is my website. All roads lead to that. It’s my last name You’ll see the podcast, my books, and the programs that I do. I’ve got a book marketing company and some fun little apps out there. We help people discover their next great read. There are a lot of things that I play in. I love the format of your show and I appreciate you having me on this. This meant a lot to me to be invited because I’ve seen some of the people that are on your show. It means a lot.

I am glad we got to talk and I’ve got three pages of notes here on what you talked about. Culture is something that I think about all the time. It’s something that we’re working on all the time and we’ll continue to work on it. That was helpful for me. I’m sure it was for the people that are reading. Thank you so much for being here. I look forward to staying in touch as we go on our journeys.

You got it. We’ll talk soon. Rock on.


It’s time for our new segment, Guess The Why. I want to do somebody that everybody knows, at least they think they do and that is Simon Cowell from American Idol. What do you think Simon’s why is? Let’s think about him for a minute. Every time you saw him on American Idol, what was he wearing? He was always wearing a white T-shirt and jeans and who knows, maybe tennis shoes. They weren’t perfectly starched, but he was always wearing a white T-shirt. I think at one point, he changed to a black T-shirt. Now everybody has a big to-do about he switched from a white T-shirt to a black T-shirt and what does it mean?

Every time he gives advice to people or has feedback, he is very direct to the point. Don’t give him the fluff, just tell him what it is. Based on that, I would say that Simon Cowell’s why is to simplify. To make things simple, direct to the point, and don’t give him the fluff. Tell it like it is and don’t beat around the bush. He simplifies things to the point where people can do them, use them, and be effective with them because it’s simple. I believe Simon Cowell’s why is to simplify.

What do you think? Let us know what you think. I want to thank you so much for reading. If you have not yet discovered your why, you can do so at Use the code Podcast50. You can get it at half price. All of our interviews will be much more valuable for you if you know your why. If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review and rating on whatever platform you’re using so that we can help spread the word. Thank you very much. I will see you next time.

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About Jim Knight

Jim Knight teaches organizations of all sizes how to attain their own “rock star” status. Although his illustrious career started at Gatorland Zoo in Florida (he has scars to prove it), Jim cut his teeth in the hospitality training industry and eventually led Global Training for Hard Rock International for two decades. His customized programs show how to amp up organizational culture, deliver world-class differentiated service, and build rockstar teams and leaders.

Known for his signature spikey hair, Jim is the best-selling author of Culture ThatRocks: How to Revolutionize Your Company’s Culture was featured in EntrepreneurMagazine as one of the “5 Books That Will Help You Transform How You DoBusiness”.

His new book, Leadership That Rocks: Take Your Brand’s Culture to Eleven and Amp Up Results, launched in May 2021. A portion of Jim’s book sales, podcast revenue, speaking fees, and training program proceeds goes to No Kid Hungry and Cannonball Kids’ Cancer.


Contributing To The World With The Leaders Of Tomorrow With Glen Campbell

Today’s episode is going to be about the why of contribution. Join your host, Dr. Gary Sanchez, as he talks to, who he believes to be the best example of this why. Contribute today with Glen Campbell as he creates the great leaders of tomorrow. Glen is the Chief Executive of Brandheart Method. Discover his long and impressive career before he found his own company. Know when to listen to your intuition and understand how when to leave your job. Glen spent all his life helping people find their who and why that he forgot about himself. Find out when he had an epiphany and how his business now, contributes to society. Learn how he is developing the leaders of tomorrow today!

Watch the episode here:

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Contributing To The World With The Leaders Of Tomorrow With Glen Campbell

We’re going to be talking about the why of contribute. To contribute to a greater cause, add value or have an impact in the lives of others. 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. You relish the success and contribute to the greater good of the team.

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. 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.

I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Glen Campbell. Glen started his career with degrees in commerce and psychology. He also has a master’s in NLP and hypnotherapy. For years, Glen has been a Director and Chief Executive of some of the world’s best and brightest brand strategy and communication companies like Clemenger BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett across four continents.

Twelve years ago, he created Brandheart and developed unrivaled methods for leaders, best self-identity and organizational brand identity. He has worked with over 500 business leaders and entrepreneurs from around the world in developing their personal and organizational brands. The results have been nothing less than transformational.

Glen’s unique and proven method is para-disciplinary in nature. It’s a harmonious fusion of his extensive experience, the latest in leadership research, unique brand identity model, neuroscience, quantum physics, Eastern and Western philosophy and spirituality. Glen is considered a world-leading authority in empowering people to profound higher self-realization in business and in life. Glen, welcome to the show.

I’m delighted to be here, Gary. I love that description of contribution.

Let’s start here, Glen. Let’s go back to even when you were in your teens. What were you like? Take us through your journey on how you got to where you are.

I went to a private boys’ boarding military school. I’m sure a lot of people can identify with that. I’m very disciplined, very exact in everything we did. We played a lot of rugby union. That was my sport. This is was in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. I played a little bit. It’s very much a sporting school, very big emphasis on the sport, academia, the military and discipline, all that sort of stuff. From a very early age, you could say that achievement, discipline, being scholarly and seeking answers were very important to us. That was part of the culture of the school. I was a part of that. That starts to forge the way you go through life.

From high school, you went off to get your degrees. Where did you go for that?

I stayed in Brisbane. I went to a university called the Queensland University of Technology. I did a commerce degree with a major in marketing. I was playing rugby at a representative level so I graduated playing for my state Queensland, which in those days was an amateur sport but it was pretty cool because we were probably one of the top five provincial rugby sides in the world. Queensland would play against Scotland and we’d beat them. It was a pretty impressive side I was a part of. I was playing rugby at that level, so I decided not to go into the workforce. I decided to do another degree and that was a psychology degree. I did that at University of Queensland.

If you're feeling like a hamster on a treadmill, it's time for you to find your own brand and what makes you happy. Click To Tweet

Why did you pick a psychology degree?

After I finished my commerce degree, I did a number of psychology electives. For some reason or other, I did particularly well in those subjects and I liked it. I remember the head of the faculty at the time said to me, “If you’re thinking about doing further study, you should do psychology because you’re pretty good at it. You’re bit of a natural at this stuff.”

I naturally went to the other university, which was not far away, that had a specialty in psychology. I went there. I had no problem getting in. The other thing was I’ve done so many subjects at that university, so I got a number of exemptions. Instead of doing a three-year degree, I ended up doing a two-year degree. That was good.

You’ve got your commerce degree and psychology degree. Glen’s off to do what now?

I got a job straight away in brand strategy and communications in the best agency in Brisbane at the time. It was called Clemenger. It was a part of the Clemenger BBDO Group. The BBDO Group is in America. They had offices in New York. I ended up getting a job straight into the business of brand strategy and communication development and execution.

How long did you do that?

I worked there for five years. It was a very small agency, only about 35 people. It’s a strategic and creative boutique. Amazing work considering it was a small agency in Brisbane, Australia. After five years there, I got headhunted. Things happened. I was asked to work for an agency called Saatchi & Saatchi in Sydney, which at the time, Sydney is the biggest city in Australia with the biggest population density. This agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, was one, if not the leading agency in Australia at the time. Certainly, one of the bright lights of Saatchi & Saatchi was it had a $6 billion global net worth at the time.

You were there for how long?

I was there for five years as well. My role there was to look after the Toyota Motor Vehicle business in Australia. That included the Hino trucks, the Lexus brand, which is the prestige brand and all the Toyota vehicles. It was a very big account for us at the time. In Australia, they were spending $75 million on advertising and brand strategy.

It was a big step up for me from Brisbane to work on such a major piece of business. I certainly learned a lot. They weren’t easy guys to work with the motor vehicle game. They want to see results. Interestingly enough, in that time, I wouldn’t say we did it all but we contributed a great deal to getting that brand from number 3 to number 1 in the Australian marketplace.

Contributing Leaders
Contributing Leaders: Ask yourself the two primordial questions that plague humanity for time immemorial – “Who am I” and “Why am I here?”

Keep us going. What happened to you next?

I got headhunted again to go and work for Leo Burnett, which I’m sure Americans if they knew anything about brand strategy and communication companies, they’ll know that Burnett is a Chicago based company. It’s another global powerhouse, about $7 billion or $8 billion company. I got headhunted to work with those guys. I spent quite a lot of time there.

I ended up going straight into the national board of directors. I was the National Business Development Director. I worked on a number of pieces of business that I led in terms of the strategy and the development of all the marketing and communications work. I’ve worked on brands like Woolworths Supermarkets, which in Australia is a 700-store supermarket brand.

I worked on Subaru, a number of alcohol brands and Gatorade. We introduced the Gatorade product into Australia, which I love working on. That business was a lot of fun. Big brands like that. I worked on our military over here. I worked on the army, the air force and the navy with their recruitment. There was lots of interesting stuff. It’s a lot of fun.

How long were you there? Then onto the next thing.

I was nine years there, then I went into my first chief executive role. I was the chief executive of a small agency that was only turning over about $30 million, $40 million. That was a creative boutique, the creative powerhouse in Australia at the time. It was a dream job for me. I ended up taking that company.

When I started with them, they were doing about $18 million. I got them up for about $42 million in the two years I was there. After that, another chief executive role in another agency called Ideaworks. That was a part of the WPP Global Group, a publicly listed company. That company was turning over about $400 million and I had about 120 people in my team working with me. I did a very successful couple of years there. Then I left the industry and started my own business, Brandheart.

Take us into that moment when you knew you needed to leave the industry and start your own. What happened?

Seriously, Gary, this was the turning point, the epiphany. This is where I started to think about this whole idea of why. I remember it like it was yesterday. There were two things that happened in a week. One, I was pitching a banking business. It was a second-tier bank but it was still a pretty big piece of business. Inside the context of that pitch, there were lots of things going on, which I didn’t like morally, ethically and professionally. That bothered me a lot.

In the same week, I was pitching a burgers, Coke and fries business. I thought to myself, “Is this what it’s come to burgers, Coke and fries, Glen? That’s not you. That’s not your thing.” I remember coming on to my wife and saying, “I’m not happy.” I’m working 60 hours a week on average. I feel like a hamster on a treadmill. It’s Groundhog Day. All I’m doing is all about money. This can’t be it for me. It’s got to be more to it than that. How did I get to this point? It’s like I blinked and 25 years have passed of 60-hour a week. I’m sitting there going, “What am I doing?”

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I asked myself those two primordial questions, Gary. “Who am I? Why am I here?” It bothered me a lot. The epiphany was this. I thought, “Hold on a minute. All I do for a living and all I’ve done for the last 25 years is help big organizations develop their why and who. That’s all I’ve done for a living.” I go in there and develop a strategic positioning or their brand identity. Those terms were interchangeable.

It’s like how are we going to position ourselves in the market. Then we do all this work around the personification of the brand, what’s the personality of the brand? How do they look? If this brand was a person, what would they look like? What would they be like? What kind of friends would they have? Where would they live? I thought, “I’m good at this stuff. Why don’t I do it for myself?”

That’s what started that journey of self-reflection contemplation. I took the strategic tools that I’d learned from some of the best and brightest brand strategy companies on the planet. I changed and modified them. Then I took myself through my exercise, which is not easy to do. When you try to do that yourself, it’s very difficult. You’re second guessing everything. I did that for a period of three months where I got to the point and I went, “This is Glen’s brand. This is my brand.” When I looked at it, I had this massive sense of relief. It’s like, “I know who I am. What I’m doing is not it. That’s not me and my passion. That’s not what’s going to make me happy.”

After doing all that work, I came home and sat down with my wife, Victoria and said, “I’m leaving.” She said, “What are you going to do?” I said, “I don’t know but it’s not that because that’s not what makes me happy.” She said, “You have no idea what you got to do?” I said, “No but I’m going to leave because this is not it for me. It’s not my why.” That’s what I was talking about. I can’t do that anymore. I’ve got to be true to my true highest self, my true higher why and purpose. I ended up leaving. What I did was I continued to develop that model. I started to work with business leaders and help them do the same thing.

What was it about what you were doing that you didn’t like or didn’t feel like you?

I was lacking meaning. I felt like this was meaningless to me. I tell you what the thing was. I wasn’t getting up in the morning and feeling enthusiastic about going to work. I was the chief executive. There are a lot of people look at you and take cues from you. I did a good job of masking that and not allowing people to see that. I thought I did a pretty good job but it was bothering me.

One of the other things that contributed to this was when I went into this chief executive role. The group CEO and the group CFO are upstairs and we’d have these quarterly meetings. We sit down and look at the numbers. I noticed they never talked to me about the people or any other kind of KPIs. They only ever sat down and said, “Let’s go through the numbers.” I was like, “Aren’t you interested in the health and wellbeing of my people? Aren’t you going to talk to me about my culture, how I’m improving productivity and all those other things?”

They didn’t want to know about it. They said, “We’re interested in what your EBITDA is, Earnings Before Income Tax and Depreciation Amortization.” “You’re just interested in my profit contribution. That’s all.” All the discussions were around that. The other thing that happened was we went from quarterly meetings to monthly meetings. There was a lot of pressure on the network that was all about contribution to the network. The monthly meetings went from weekly meetings. I go up, sit there and say, “What do you think has happened since last week? I’ve got to cut the biscuit budget or something?”

There are other two things here. There’s revenue. The two biggest costs I’ve got are people and rent. All the rest of it is inconsequential. They’re line items and not very big. I could go through all that stuff all day, cut them by 10%, be the head of the razor gang and cut this stuff. Everybody will know. It has massive confidence.

I’ll fix the confidence of people in a confidence business. Creativity is a high confidence business. When people are seeing little things change all the time, it’s like, “What’s going on here? What are we doing? What’s happening in our company? Why is Glen doing this?” I used to have these discussions since I’m not going to do that week by week. Why are we meeting week by week when the story is never any different?

It’s this constant pressure coming from the top down to achieve things that I wasn’t passionate about. I got into that industry because I was passionate about doing amazing creativity that impacts people in positive ways that can enhance their life and it wasn’t happening. I felt I was the head of the gang of people who was selling more consumables to people that they didn’t need or want. I thought, “This is not good for me. It’s not good for anybody. I don’t want to do this anymore.”

Contributing Leaders
Contributing Leaders: Don’t be a business that’s just all about money, that only goes over the numbers and not the culture and wellbeing of its people.

It’s interesting the way this happens. It was like a seismic event where all of these things happened at once all in a short timeframe. I remember talking to Victoria about it saying, “It’s fascinating the way this is happening. I can see it. I can see that’s happened.” It’s like, “I’m getting a message from the universe here to do and change something. I need to listen.”

The message from the universe from my perspective was manifesting itself through my intuition. My intuition is telling me, “This is wrong. I’ve got to change and do something.” I’ve got to trust that. I’m very connected to my intuitive powers. I trust my intuition. I thought, “You got to listen to this. It’s too overwhelming. There are too many signs. There are signs everywhere.” I’ve got to listen to this. I listened and I changed.

I resigned and they said, “Where are you going to? What other job are you going to in the industry?” I said, “I’m leaving the industry.” They were shocked. “How could you be doing this, Glen? This is you.” I said, “It’s not me.” I’ve discovered that. That was what I call the epiphany, that turning point that you were talking about, Gary.

You sat down and asked yourself those two questions, “Who am I? Why am I here?” How did you go about figuring out that answer? What was the answer?

My first answers were the standard answers. Who am I? I’m the Chief Executive of Ideaworks. I immediately went to my title. I thought, “Is my title my identity?” It’s not. Then I went, “It must be my CV, my experience. That must be my identity.” It’s not. The more I went through this, the more I thought, “My experience in my CV, my title, where I live, the car I drive and the brands I buy are not my identity. That’s not who I am. Certainly, that’s not why I’m here. That can’t be why I’m here to accumulate more stuff.”

In fact, I’d feel a whole lot better if I got rid of most of it. I defaulted like most people do who don’t get into this level of introspection and journey. They default to what people or the industry has told them or what we’ve been programmed to believe, all those other classic borrowed identities that don’t mean anything to us. They’re not real anyway. As you start this whole thing, don’t contribute to anything in a meaningful way. To me, it was like, “None of that is meaningful. None of that makes my heart beat stronger.” I’d feel passionate about it. That was what started the journey.

I’m at my best when I’m helping other people to realize who they are as well. In my work life, whenever I sat down, forced as a leader to do these quarterly reviews, HR would say, “You’ve got to do quarterly reviews or bi-annual reviews.” I always would find myself in those meetings, putting the checklist aside and saying, “How are you going? Why do you get out of bed every morning? What keeps you awake at night? What bothers you? What basic questions can’t you answer?” I would have these searching discussions. I never tell anybody anything. I’ll just ask these questions.

The questions I was asking were prompting them to think about it. I would leave the meetings like, “Go away and think about that. Think about why you’re doing this job, why you love it and what it means to you. Then come back and talk to me.” I was getting into these amazing conversations with people where they say, “I thought about what we last talked about. This is where I’m coming out on this stuff. I found that we were going on this journey of self-discover, which is what I did for myself.”

We’re going into this discovery. I had many people sitting in front of me going, “I’m doing this introspection work and I’m not liking it, Glen. I’m revealing things that I don’t like to see.” I was like, “It’s okay.” I’ve studied with psychology. I’ve studied Freud, Jung and all these guys. Jung used to call it The Shadow Personality. I was like, “You’re identifying your shadow. Do you know what the shadow is? It’s a part of you. It’s okay. You just got to know who it is. You’ve got to work to minimize that. Go back to the light side of who you are. What’s the light look like? How would you describe the light?” We’d had those yang-yin discussions.

I was doing that with myself as well. I’m aware of my dark and light side. I’ve got to continue to stay myself to that light side, work, build and define that. To me, it was about what does my source self look like? It is the why, Gary. You call it the why. I call it the why too. It’s the same thing. What’s that person here to do? Everybody’s here to do something. That contributes to the planet. All human beings are good people.

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They all want to do something that’s good and contribute to people. That’s what we’re here for. That’s when we’re at our best. How do I be my best self? It’s through contribution, which I loved what you started. Through contribution, it’s serving others. How can I help others to find their why, get a stronger understanding of who they are, why they’re here and then have the courage to pursue it?

There’s a basketball coach here in the US called John Calipari. He has your same why. He says, “I want to be the pebble that causes the ripple effect in the lives of those around me that goes on and on.” It keeps multiplying your ability to contribute to the world by the people that you help have a bigger impact.

He calls it the ripple effect. I call it the butterfly effect. I borrowed that from a movie. This butterfly effect is where the vibrational energy of you is going to affect the vibrational energy of somebody else, which is going to affect the vibrational energy of somebody else. You want that vibrational energy to be high vibrational energy like, love, wisdom, insight, acceptance, joy, bliss and peace. They’re the high vibrational energies that you want to have the effect on other people.

This was the quantum physics side of it when you talked about that at the front where I do quantum physics. It’s knowing and understanding energy. How can you energetically impact somebody in a way that’s positive? Daniel Goleman does this work. If you read any Daniel Goleman’s stuff like Emotional Intelligence and amazing best-selling books like this, he’s one of the US profound psychologists in leadership and EQ, understanding the role of EQ, what he calls emotional intelligence.

Emotions are energy. The quantum physicist and the neuroscientists have proven this. What kind of energetic or emotional level are you vibrating at? What energetic level you’re vibrating at? How does that impact others? We know from quantum physics that like attracts and impacts like. If I’m operating at a very high emotional level, those levels I was talking about of love, bliss, joy and harmony, that’s going to affect other people as well and infect in many ways. They start to feel it too.

Have you ever walked into a room and felt the vibe of a room? It’s the energy of the people in the room. Creating a vibe through your own energy is very important. You got to know what that is, your energy and so to your work. You wrap your energy around your why. Your why is a high vibrational energy. You can’t have a why that is around death and destruction like, “I want to go out and hurt people.” That is not why. It’s the antithesis of what a why is. Why is something that is positive, powerful and profound that enhances life and the planet that we live on.

Therefore, you wrap this high vibrational energy around it and it becomes massively contagious. That’s what creates the ripple effect. The ripple effect is another way of talking about quantum energy. The ripple is the energy that impacts everybody else. The butterfly effect is the energy that can impact 1 to 5 minutes.

Tell us about how those conversations then led to Brandheart. What is Brandheart?

Brandheart is all about working with leaders. All I’ve done from the beginning of Brandheart is work with leaders. Mostly it’s C-Suite leaders, chief executives, chief financial officers, chief technical officers and chief marketing officers. My rationale was always to influence the influences. If you can positively influence an influencer, then that influencer is going to have the butterfly effect to a lot of people. If you can get to one that’s an influencer, you’ll get too many. That was my rationale.

I want to work with the leaders of businesses that impact their clients, team and culture that has this profoundly positive impact on their business. Coming from a brand strategy background, I knew how to do that from a positioning point of view. What I did was escalate that up and say, “Before I do any work on the organization, I want to work on the leaders first.” Get them to know and understand what their role is as a leader. Unfortunately, the vast majority of leaders on this planet have been organically programmed to be command and control leaders. They command and control.

Contributing Leaders
Contributing Leaders: Be aware of your dark side and your light side. You have to continue to steer yourself to that light side so that you can work on that, build that, and define that.

That’s very low vibrational energy. That’s motivation through fear, coercion and negative persuasion. That doesn’t work. That creates destructive disharmonious cultures. That’s one of the reasons why 3 out of 5 businesses fail within the first two years. Why did they go broke? It’s because it’s a leadership problem. It’s not so much that they’ve got a bad product or whatever they’re doing.

The buck always stops with the leader. When we’re talking about leaders, we could talk about leaders of businesses, basketball teams, families or leaders of anything. You’re being a leader of your own life leading your own life in a way that’s positive. It doesn’t matter. Everybody has the opportunity to be a leader and should be a leader. At the end of the day, I went, “It’s not just leaders. It’s everybody.” I want to help everybody do this work like you do. We’re in the same game in many respects. That’s why in our first discussion we got on so well.

It’s like, “A kindred spirit here. This guy is great. I love his work.” I’m not competitive like that. I look at you and hope you’ll be immensely positive and influence a lot of people to do this work. It’s fundamental and essential, in fact. I’m doing the same thing in my small way. It is the same thing. When you asked me a question about, “Glen, what are you doing?” It’s like, “Pretty much the same as you, Gary. I want to help people to find their why. I want to help people to know and understand that deeply right into their DNA.” That’s neuroscience and quantum physics.

I go very deep into the journey of seeing and understand how this affects your neural pathways. How can you create new neural pathways? How can you create new belief systems that are held in your subconscious mind? How can you get this conscious and subconscious mind coherence where you’ve got this single-mindedness or whole mindedness? Every part of my conscious, non-conscious minds, every part of my body, my cells are in harmony around my why. I’m in harmony.

I’m a walking, talking and the epitome of my why inaction every minute of every day. I try to take people deeply on that journey. It doesn’t become something that it’s conscious. It becomes unconscious competency. I do this naturally. It’s me. It’s who I am. What happens in that process? It’s a similar process to what people go through when they get programmed to be somebody who they’re not, which most people are. We were mostly brought up to be programmed to be something that we’re not. It’s reprogramming into who you are.

Take us through somebody going through this process. What would they like to begin with? What would they like afterwards? What was the impact in their life? Give us an example of how this works.

I worked with a guy who was a group CFO of a big supermarket chain in this country. After seventeen years, he was sacked unceremoniously. He was referred to me by somebody I know who knew him very well. When he came to me, he was a basket case and a mess. He had attributed his identity to his title and job. What happens when you take the title and the job away? Identity gone. When this happens in their life through their work and they’ve attributed their identity to that, they feel this sense of helplessness, hopelessness and may go into, “I don’t even know who I am anymore because it’s been taken away from me.” I don’t what to do.

This guy put on a lot of weight. He was doing a lot of comfort eating. He was lying around the house. His relationship with his wife and family was badly affected. He stopped doing anything because he didn’t know what to do. He lost all sense of purpose and meaning. His life didn’t stand for anything anymore. This is a guy who got a couple of university degrees. He’s an accomplished leader in his field and worked with a very big company but they took that away from him. When they took that away, he had nothing left to deal with, hold onto and take forward.

When he came to me, we went through my methodology. I saw him straight away. He was a blubbering mess. A guy with his credentials couldn’t articulate what he was feeling and doing. He was having all sorts of problems. He had no idea what he wanted to go to either. In fact, when I said, “What do you want to do?” He said, “I need to get another job as a CFO of a supermarket chain.” I said, “You want to go back to doing exactly what you did before?” He said, “That’s all I know. I don’t know anything else. I’m good at that.” I said, “Let’s put that aside and talk. Let me take you through my methodology and we’ll go on this journey.”

We did that. Fast forward about two months later, we’ve discovered his why and who. We’ve been going about the reprogramming work to get that from the conscious that develop new neural pathways to get that from the conscious mind into the subconscious mind. We’d be doing that programming. We’ve been working hard. I must say he jumped in. He said, “I’m going to give you everything I’ve got.” He did the work.

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Everything changed quickly. His relationship with his wife is so much better. For the first time in several years, he was going out and having lunch with his daughter. He had no relationship with his daughter. He never had the time. He was spending time with his daughter. His daughter was saying, “Dad, what’s going on with you? Where’s your magic dust? I want some of that magic dust. It’s good. You’re so much nicer. We can sit down and talk. It’s lovely.” He was having those relationships as well.

He stopped talking about his previous employer. He wasn’t talking about that anymore. He looked at it and said, “I’ve got that in perspective. That was experienced. That’s a good thing.” He saw the positive in it. He started being very positive. He was back at the gym. He’d lost a lot of weight. He was eating well. His skin was glowing. He was smiling. I hadn’t seen him smile through my whole process. He was laughing and joking again. We’d finished our work.

He rang me one day and said, “Glen, I want to talk to you. I’m going for this dream job. Remember you told me I shouldn’t be a CFO anymore? I should be a CEO. I should be running the company. I’ve been going for CEO roles.” I went, “I didn’t know.” He said, “I wanted to sit down, talk to you about this role and what it’s all about. This is my dream job. It’s in an industry that’s very different to supermarkets, very socially focused, very positive and are good for people.” He’s landed there.

I said, “That’s okay. Let’s do a role play. I’ll interview you the way they would interview you.” I’m going to listen carefully to the way you talk about yourself. If it’s not around your why and who you are, I’m going to be pulling you up on that. If you default your CV all the time like everybody does, you don’t want to play that guy talking about CV. That’s not who you are. We did a couple of role play sessions and a bit of corrective work, also defaulting back a bit.

A week later, he rang me and said, “I need to talk to you. It’s important.” I said, “What’s happened?” He said, “I’m standing outside the building. I’ve finished the interview.” I said, “How did it go?” He said, “There was a panel of five people. They kept talking about my CV. I kept elevating the discussion up to what they were buying and that’s me. They’re buying my why and who I really am. I kept saying you can read my CV. I’m happy to talk about specific things but that’s not who I am. I am so much more than that. That’s history and I’m better than my history, a whole lot better.”

He was talking about that and kept going back to his why. “Let me explain to you why I’m here, who I am and what I’ve got to offer here.” The discussion was so unique to this panel. They said they’d never heard anybody talk like that in that way with such confidence, conviction and understanding of self-awareness. He finished the interview. He walked out to the elevator. One of the guys came out from the panel and said, “We’ve talked about it. We want to offer you the job now.”

He went, “Oh, really?” They said, “We don’t even need to think about it anymore. You are a standout candidate. We couldn’t believe the kind of conversation we had with you. It was extraordinary. Everybody was so focused on wanting to tell us about their experience and you didn’t do that at all. We were stunned.” He said, “Glen, I got the job and this is my dream job.” This was $500,000 a year salary, Gary.

It’s extraordinary. One interview, done. He said, “I talked about myself, who I am, what I’ve got to contribute and my passions. When I talked about being sacked from that job, I talked about it openly and honestly. How the experience has made me a better person and why I’ve gone through this journey. They went, ‘You’re in. We want you. You’re the guy who’s going to develop this business and this culture in a way that reflects you. That’s what we want.’”

Instead of what he’s done, he talked about why he does it and who he is.

He hardly talked about the what and the how at all. He talked about the why and who, Gary. Mostly, about the why. He got his narrative going around that. He changed the narrative of the discussion where they said, “Tell us more about this. We want to know more.” He was very clear on it. I had massive clarity and focus around his why and who.

Contributing Leaders
Contributing Leaders: Influence the influencers. If you can positively influence an influencer, then that influencer is going to have the butterfly effect on a lot of people.

Whenever they deferred back to the what and how, he kept saying, “You can read my CV for that. If there are specific things you want to talk about, I’m happy to talk about them. Quite frankly, that was who I was then. Now, I would probably do that a bit differently. My answer would be different because I am different. I’ve grown a lot since then.” They couldn’t believe how open, vulnerable, passionate and compassionate he was.

What would a statement, a sentence or an introduction sound like if he had started with his why and his who? I don’t know if you could give us that example or maybe your own why and who so that the audience can understand what that would sound like versus just, “I’m a coach. I can help you with your brand strategies.” What would it sound like from the perspective of, “This is why I do what I do and this is who I am?” How do you do that?

I’ll give you an example of mine. I’m happy to do that. This is through my own process and method. I always start with the two words I am. The power of those words is profound. My vision statement, which is my personal why is, “I am the light that awakens people to higher self-realization.” What’s light? Light is love and a very high vibrational energy. It’s not telling, persuading or influencing people. It’s helping them to wake up to who they really are. The waking up is to their higher self-realization.

Realization is, “I’m not thinking it. I’m doing it. It’s happening all around me.” Realization is the impact and influence I’m having on people, the butterfly effect, the results I’m getting in my personal life, relationships, through my reputation and revenue. It always comes back to revenue because I find leaders who do this always make more money. It shouldn’t even be a focus. It’s a natural outcome. They always make more money.

Why more? They attract people who want to be a part of that. They attract the best employees who want to do the best work. They attract the customers because the customers go, “There’s something about this company I like. Therefore, I’m not going to ask them for a discount. I’m not going to question them because this is the way they work.”

Leaders like that have a tendency to develop powerful leading brands to make a whole lot more money. Even if you take that thought away from it, these people are a whole lot better in their relationships, family life, friends, their associates, strategic alliance partners or whoever. They have better relationships. That doesn’t mean they’re passive or at walkover. It means I have better relationships. I know how to handle that stuff in a way that’s quite positive, as opposed to, “This is not working for me. I’m going to throw a tantrum, go into command and control and get aggressive.” It doesn’t work that way. People don’t do that once they get that.

My why statement is, “I am the light that awakens people to higher self-realization.” I have a purpose statement that sits underneath that as well. My particular model has the vision, the North star. My purpose statement is, “Why am I getting out of bed every morning to get me on the fastest possible track to that North Star? What’s my purpose?” My purpose is I am empowering people to be in heart lead conscious success flow.

What’s flow? It’s effortless. I don’t have to work at it. It’s not a struggle. There’s no frustration. There’s none of that stuff or those low vibrational energies. I am in flow. I know Americans call it in the zone. When I’m in the zone, I mean flow. I’m in this state of effortless flow. I talk a lot to the people I work with about the effortless flow of productivity. Don’t be busy. Be productive. How you be productive? Be in the state of flow. When you’re in flow, that’s when your creativity and imagination are working at its best. That’s when you’re problem solving. You’re getting solutions that come to you. You do your best work when your creativity and imagination are released.

What happens with most leaders is they’re suffering stress, anxiety and depression. They’re in fear. What happens when you’re in fear? You go into your reptilian brain, that primordial brain. What’s the primordial brain? Fight, freeze or flight. What happens when all the blood flows from your prefrontal cortex, your executive function to your primordial brain, your reptilian brain? All the creativity and imagination shuts down. You go into fear and protection.

That’s why you see a lot of intelligent people in this pandemic are in fear and doing crazy things. They’re in fight, freeze or flight. They can’t solve problems with their creative and imaginative mind. It’s shut down, so it’s not working. How do you make sure that you’re a great leader and you have great people working for you? You empowered them to their higher why. The higher why is not a state of fear. There’s no fear.

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This is the last question I got for you. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given or you’ve ever given?

The best piece of advice would be this. Stop spending money on personal development. Don’t go get another degree. Don’t do further training and coaching. Find your why first. It is essential and fundamental. There is nothing more important because everything else comes from that. Once you find your why, what happens is you then understand what further development work you need to do to take you on the direction of your why.

Then you can say, “This is the further training and education I need to do. This is the coach or the person I need to work with that’s going to help me most to go on that journey and that direction towards my why, my North star.” I’ve worked in Chicago and New York for twelve months on two separate occasions. I do know and understand in some respects the American culture, the American psyche and the American business because I’ve worked with a lot of leaders there. To me, save that money. Don’t spend any more money at all on that. Get to your why first.

Once you get to that why, what happens is clarity, focus and meaning, then what happens is this journey of fulfillment and joy because you’re doing what you love, which is right for you, which is around your why. That’s the best piece of advice I would give for you, Gary, which I already know you’ve done all this well. For anybody that reads or wants to work with you, it’s crucial. It doesn’t get any more important. This is my final statement if we had a planet that knew their why, we would have a planet in absolute productive, joyful harmony.

Glen, if there’s somebody reading this that would love to connect with you, wants to work with you, wants to hire you, any of those things, what’s the best way for them to get in touch with you?

They could find out more about me at my website. My website is simply You could go there and find how you can contact me. You can find out more about the work that I’m doing. By the way, it’s very simpatico with your work, Gary, which I loved. That’s why I wanted to talk to you. “I want to have a chat with Gary. It’s going to be great. I can’t wait. He’s a kindred spirit.” I love kindred spirits who are out there trying to help the world in a way that’s profoundly positive. You told me about your journey, which I loved. Your journey from being a dentist to where you are, which is an extraordinary shift. I want to say I love your work, Gary. You’re a treasure to the planet. Keep going.

I appreciate that, Glen. Thank you so much. Thank you for doing your best thinking with us. I look forward to staying in touch as we go on our journey because I know you take a lot of what we do and you go even deeper. You help people manifest that, bring it to their world and see it in the right light. Thank you for being that light that awakens the soul of the people around you.

Thank you, Gary. I appreciate the time. This is a great conversation.

It’s time for our new segment, which is Guess The Why. I want to pick somebody that I’m thinking most of you know. If you’ve seen the TV series Breaking Bad, it was filmed right here in Albuquerque. It’s funny driving around town. You see so many of the scenes and places that were in the TV series. The one I want you to think about is Walter White. What do you think Walter White’s why is?

Contributing Leaders: People have been programmed to be command-and-control leaders. That’s motivation through fear and coercion. That creates really destructive disharmonious cultures.

I’ll tell you what I think it is. Even though he did a lot of wrong stuff, I think his why is right way, to do things the right way in order to get results. At the beginning, he was appalled by the way things were being done and he was on the side of good but then he rationalized the right way and that it was the right thing to do to make meth in order to make money to pay for what he needed to pay for.

He got way too deep into it but he was always still about doing things right, doing them the right way, creating the structure and processes around getting a predictable result. That’s what I think his why is. What do you think it is? Thank you so much for reading. If you have not yet discovered your why, you could do so at You can use the code PODCAST50 and you can get it for half price. If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe below. Leave us a review and rating on whatever platform that you’re using. Thank you and have a great time.

Important Links:

About Glen Campbell

Contributing LeadersGlen started his career with degrees in Commerce and Psychology. He alsohas a Masters in NLP and Hypnotherapy.

Overa period of 27 years Glen has been a Director and Chief Executive of some ofthe world’s best and brightest brand strategy and communications companies likeClemenger BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett across four continents.
Twelveyears ago, he created Brandheart and developed unrivaled methods for Leader’sBest Self Identity and Organizational Brand Identity.
Inthis time, he has worked with over 500 business leaders and entrepreneurs from aroundthe world in developing their personal and organizational brands and the resultshave been nothing less than transformational.
Glen’s unique and proven method ispara-disciplinary in nature: it’s a harmonious fusion of his 30 years of extensiveexperience, the latest in leadership research, a unique brand identity model, Neuroscience,Quantum Physics, eastern and western philosophy and spirituality.
Glen is considered a worldleading authority in empowering people to profound higher self realization inthe business and life.


Contributing To The Success Of Others And Making A Positive Impact In The World With Dan Dominguez

BYW 3 | Contributing To Success

Dan Dominguez believes in the power of your why to make a difference in your organization. He exists to positively impact the lives of others. In this episode, he joins Dr. Gary Sanchez to share insights on contributing to other people’s success, making a positive impact in the world, thinking differently, and delivering solutions. Learn how you could change perspective, turn the complex and challenging into an opportunity to move forward and prosper in your organization.


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Contributing To The Success Of Others And Making A Positive Impact In The World With Dan Dominguez


If you’re a regular follower, you know that every episode, we talk about 1 of the 9 whys, and then we bring on somebody with that why, so you can see how their why has played out in their life. In this episode, 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 you relish the success that contributes to the greater good of the team.

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 are often acting 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.

I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Dan Dominguez. He exists to positively impact the lives of others. He does that by challenging the status quo and looking at things from a different perspective. What he brings is the ability to make sense of the complex and challenging to help others move forward faster.

Dan’s diverse background as an academic scholar, college mascot, Army Ranger, sales leader, marathon runner, track and field, cross-country coach, and Rotarian allows him to connect easily with almost anyone. He does that as the Chief Growth Officer here at the WHY Institute. Dan and his wife, Monica, are proud parents of their two daughters, Jazz and Sophia, along with 24 sheep, 4 dogs, and 3 chickens.

Welcome to the podcast, Dan.    

It’s great to be here, Gary.

This is going to be fun. I’ve been looking forward to this. Let’s start with telling everybody how you got to where you are now and how you got to the WHY Institute. Start back with your childhood because you’ve got a fascinating path that you took along the way.

It’s great to tell this story, Gary, especially from the perspective of my why, how and what. I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the South Valley. I went to Rio Grande High School. If you’re familiar with Albuquerque, the South Valley is more of the poor side of town. Even then, I remember always wanting to help people but always wanted to do things my own way. I was in the student council, but I was friends with all the game kids and I also played football. I wasn’t the kid that you could put into a group even in high school. I knew the football players and I knew the student council kids, but I also was an honor student. I graduated number nine in my class.

I was that kid that you couldn’t put in a box but I love to help. Where it comes from for me is I always had great teachers and mentors that took time to mentor me and help me. I grew up always wanting to give back. It led to me wanting to be in the Army. I remember when people said, “Why do you want to be in the Army? You have a full academic scholarship to the University of Mexico.” I said, “I feel like I want to give back because this country has been such a blessing for my family as immigrants. We’ve done so well to be able to do everything we’ve been able to do. I feel like I’ve got to give back.”

Here I was in the Army ROTC Program at the University of New Mexico, and then I had an extra semester that I had one class I had to take. I remember saying, “I’ve got to be here.” I tried out for the cheer team and I became the mascot. I am probably the only person in history to be the Commander of the ROTC unit at the university while at the same time being the college mascot.

There are many stories that make more sense now in my life since I know my why of contribute, my how of challenge, and my what of makes sense. Make sense gets me in trouble with my wife all the time because I want to solve problems. She’ll come to me with something and I say, “Here’s what you’ve got to do.” She says, “I don’t want a solution. I wanted you to listen.”

Take some time off to find something you really love whether you’re getting paid or not. Click To Tweet

It’s been a long journey. I went from graduating high school to going to the University of New Mexico and going into the Army. Even there, Gary, I was a Quartermaster Officer. The Quartermaster Officer in the Army is a logistician. There’s no reason for a logistician to go to Ranger School, except that it was offered and I did it. “Why do you want to go to Ranger School? You’re not in the Infantry and Combat Army.”

I was one of those rare people that was a Quartermaster and also an Airborne Ranger, which I had no use for those battle skills as a logistician, but it was nice for me to have that background because it gave me a great perspective of what the warriors on the ground were feeling when we weren’t getting supplies to them in time. I’ve always been an out-of-the-box thinker and wanting to contribute to people. It’s funny because when I have that introduction, people are like, “You did this but you did that also.” That happens all the time.

You left out a little piece in there, at least I think you did. Weren’t you more than just one mascot?

I did both, Gary. At the time, myself and a good friend, Raven Choni, were the mascots. We were Lucy and Louie Lobo, and we’re two guys. Usually, it was a guy and a girl, but there were both of us that did it. You never knew who was going to be in which costume. I did it for one semester. It was one of the best times I ever had being in that mascot costume with the little kids where they don’t know that there’s a teenage guy or a 22-year-old guy inside the suit. They think, “You’re Louie the Lobo.” They want to say hi, get your autograph, and take pictures with you. It was a blast.

I’ve been going to the Lobo basketball game since I was about four years old. When you were the mascot, I was back here watching the games. I had some good seats where Lobo Louie and Lucy used to come by all the time. I do specifically remember there was a time when all of a sudden, Lucy got taller. Now I know what happened. That was you.

That could have been, Gary. You never know.

You went from an interesting high school to going to UNM, leading the ROTC, being the mascot, going off to be in the Army, and then becoming a Ranger. How long were you in the service? What happened to you when you got out?

That was about an eleven-year journey between the ROTC time, and the time I was on active duty. I spent three years on active duty with the 3rd Armored Cav, and then I was in the Reserves again. It was a total of about eleven years. It was a time when junior military officers were valuable to Corporate America. I remember being in the Army, and coming from my background, I was making $34,000 a year. I thought I was the richest guy in the world. They were giving me all this money. After going through college and you’re poor all the time, I was like, “This is great.”

This was also 1993 when the job market wasn’t great. A lot of my friends are graduating and don’t have jobs. I had a job, I could buy a car and do all those things that you do when you get your first job. A recruiter comes talking to us and targets junior military officers and says, “We’ve got opportunities for junior military officers with your leadership to work in Corporate America.” I get recruited out of the Army. Immediately, they double your salary and you can make bonuses based on how much you sell as a salesperson. I’ve always loved sales.

It was almost a no-brainer because I remember talking to Monica about it and saying, “Here’s the decision we have to make. I can stay here for twenty years and I’ll have retirement and all this stuff. The travel is about 50%.” She said, “When you say 50%, will you be gone half the year?” I said, “No, maybe two overnights a week.”

She’s like, “That sounds a lot better than being gone half the year and deployed. When you travel, are you going to be sleeping on the ground outside?” I said, “They’re going to put us up in hotels.” She said, “That sounds better. Is anybody going to be shooting at you?” I said, “No, they won’t be shooting at me. What’s the decision here? It sounds like a good idea.”

I left active duty service and went to work for a pharmaceutical company. We launched a drug called Prilosec. At the time, it was new. Nobody knew about it, and it was dangerous because it had a black box warning. Now, it’s over the counter. It was cool to be with a company that launched a product that revolutionized the way people treated heartburn.

That led to me meeting people in the gastroenterology field and becoming a device sales rep. I started selling endoscopes to a gastroenterologist for a few years and then landed at Baxter Healthcare, where I stayed for seventeen years. I advanced there, leading small groups of salespeople, to leading an entire national sales force at a high level and meeting our numbers every year. I’m doing a job that I love because we are helping patients all the time.

BYW 3 | Contributing To Success
Contributing To Success: It’s not so much the challenges they’re having. It’s the contrast between knowing it now versus before they knew it. It’s a process.

How did you end up at the WHY Institute?

This is a lot of fun. I tell people these were the two things that changed my life. In 2019, you and I were at the Country Club right after the Ryder Cup and we were talking. It was in October and it was a Saturday. I had a toothache and I said, “Gary, can you get me in on Monday? I’ve got something wrong with one of my teeth.” You were nice and you said, “Yeah, Dan. Call the office, we’ll get you in, and we’ll get you looked at.”

At that time, I had also made a decision that I didn’t want to be at Baxter Healthcare anymore. I wanted to do something different. I didn’t know why, but I was no longer happy. I was about 30 pounds heavier than I am. I was stressed. My wife and my young daughter were stressed. I wasn’t enjoying work. I made a decision I was going to leave that.

You found out through the grapevine and through our friends. I sit down at the chair and you’re like, “Dan, I heard you’re leaving Baxter.” I said, “I left. I’m done. I’m not working there anymore.” You said, “What are you doing?” I said, “I don’t know. I’m going to take some time off to find something I love. Whatever I do next, it’s going to be something I would do whether I was getting paid or not.” You asked the question, which was great, “Dan, do you know your why?” I said, “No. What is that?”

You explained to me what the why was but more importantly, you sent it to my phone. You said, “Take five minutes.” I took five minutes and I discovered that my why was to contribute to the success of others. Back then, you were busy with dentistry, so you didn’t take me through my how and what. I went through your online course to discover my how and what. I even paid for it. I went on and did it. I said, “This is me. I’ve discovered my why, how and what.” All of a sudden, a lot of things made sense to me.

You asked me the question, “Dan, do you like to help people?” I said, “Yeah, doesn’t everybody?” Similar reaction to our friend, Jerry. You said, “No, not everyone does. There are eight other whys, and everybody is driven by their why and they do what they do.” Suddenly, I realized that’s why I was unhappy in my corporate role. I didn’t feel like I was making a difference in the lives of the people that I was leading because I didn’t have the freedom to do things my own way, and it didn’t make sense. When stuff doesn’t make sense to me, I’m not happy and I have dissonance. I decided to leave.

It’s funny, my friends were like, “You have no plan. You left.” I said, “I have a little bit of a plan.” I took my financial package, looked at it and said, “How long can I not work?” My financial advisor said, “You can do it for a couple of years, Dan, and then you’ve got to get back to work and start putting money back into your retirement.” That’s what I plan to do until I met with you. We went to lunch at the Chinese restaurant across the street from your old dental office and we talked about it.

You were smart. You used my wife to contribute to talk to me in my language. You didn’t say, “Dan, I’ve got this great opportunity for us to do amazing things that are better and different.” You said, “Dan, I need your help. We can use someone with your skills in sales at a high level to help us get the WHY Institute to where we want to go.” As soon as you said, “We need your help,” I raised my hand and I said, “What do I need to do? Let’s do it.” I showed up at your coach’s meeting that you had that same month at the Canyon Club. I get to meet a bunch of WHY coaches and I was bought in from then on.

For those of you that are reading, Dan’s why is contribute, which is what we’ve been talking about. He wants to help and he wants to be part of other people’s success. He wants to contribute in a meaningful way. His how is challenge, to do things differently, not follow the way everybody else goes, and beat to his own drum. His what is what he does has to make sense. You can hear his how of challenging the status quo and doing things his own way, coming through loud and clear. We had your why, how and what wrong first. Remember?

Yes. I wanted to be the right way. This was before we’ve done everything that we’ve done to make the WHY Discovery and the WHY.os more accurate. At that point, I did an online course where I listened to you and then I got to pick my how and what off a list. I said, “I’ve got to be a right way guy because I was in the military. Trust is important to me. I want to trust people.” That’s not how you pick your how and what.

You thought you were getting a Chief Growth Officer with a contribute right way of trust, which would have been a good fit for you because you’re a better way, clarify and simplify. When we started looking at it, the more you saw the way I worked, you were like, “There’s no way you’re right way. You don’t follow rules.”

We started even looking at the way we behave at the golf course. You said, “Dan, would you go to the golf course and play the holes randomly?” I’m like, “Yeah, I would. Why not? That’s fun. You don’t know which hole you’re going to.” We realized that my how was more challenging the status quo. There were many things in my life that pointed to, “Dan, you like to do things your own way. If it’s something people aren’t expecting it, you’re more than likely to do it because that’s how we get things done and that’s how we contribute.”

I remember specifically being on the tee box in the first hole and I’m like, “Dan, how are you going to play this hole?” You’re like, “I’m going to hit it over there.” I’m like, “What do you mean you’re going to hit it over there? Are you aiming somewhere?” You’re like, “No. I want to get there. Wherever it is, that’s where I’ll play it.” I’m like, “I never thought of that. That’s the right way?”

Ask the right questions and make wise decisions. Contribute to the success of others in the most meaningful way. Click To Tweet

I’ve done why interviews with hundreds of people. I’ve helped many people discover their why, how, and what, and there’s no way I could be right way. You hit it and then you will find it and then figure out what happens. Let’s have some fun with it. It’s fun to play completely differently every single time. That’s why I’ll never be a single-digit handicap or at least not consistently because I can go from a 73 one day to a 95 the next depending on the breaks I get because I’ll take chances that others probably wouldn’t.

It was interesting when we both realized that. I was buying into the whole right way thing because of your military and whatnot. As we started to look back, I said, “How did any of that path that you were on make any sense to a right way person?” Who’s going to go from boxer, to football, to ROTC, to mascot, to Army, to Ranger, to all the steps that you’ve done along the way? How does that fit together? When we realized it’s a different way to think, then it became so clear and you’ve gotten to live into that. Now, you have fun with it and you understand it. What was that like for you when you had it the way you wanted it versus when it was right?

The conflict, and you remember probably, was as a right way person, there were certain things you were expecting Dan to do. Then Dan probably showed up on time half of the time. He’s always running late because he’s doing something helping someone trying to do something extra. I wasn’t able to come up with the processes and systems and build them because that’s not my strength. I’ll be creative. I’m a connector. As a contributor challenge, I love to connect with people of all different walks of life. That’s why I talk in my bio about the fact that I’ve got such a diverse background. It’s hard for me to meet someone that I don’t have something in common with.

If you say college mascot, “He’s got nothing.” “By the way, I was in the military.” If you say, “You were in the military. What do you do?” “I was a Quartermaster.” “You don’t know anything about combat.” “By the way, I was a Ranger.” “How did you do that?” It always comes back to that. I was feeling like I was letting you down because you’d say, “Dan, did you get all that codified so we could repeat it?” I was like, “No, I didn’t do that. Let me try to work on it.” I’d sit down and five minutes later, something else would come up and I’d go work on that. You and I would meet a week later and that wasn’t done. I knew that I was in conflict trying to be right way.

Once you said, “Dan, your strong point is to do it your own way, be different, and bring us all those ideas.” I love our pairing because, as a challenge, I come up with lots of ideas. As a better way, you can call those down to the good ones. For a challenged person to have a better way around to help them get rid of those crazy ideas, the bad ones, and take the ones that are better and implement them. We’ve had a lot of fun with a lot of ideas that we’ve come up with within the nineteen months we’ve been working together.

You discovered your why, how and what, and then you had a revelation about why you left the corporate world. What was that revelation?

There were a couple of things, Gary. First, as a contributor, I want to help people. I was lucky that at Baxter where I spent the majority of my corporate career, I had bosses that were always good at allowing me to do my job my own way. It was always like, “Dan, here’s the quota. Here’s the timeline you’ve got to do. Lead your team. Don’t break the law. See you at the end of the year and let’s celebrate.” Those are good bumpers for me.

I then went into a situation where we changed leadership. There was nothing wrong with the new leader, he just had a different way that he wanted to do things. He was more of a, “Let’s do it my way. If you don’t do it my way, we’re not going to get along well.” When you put those barriers on a person who wants to help others at any cost, wants to do it his own way and it has to make sense, it was in conflict with my WHY.os. I suddenly started not having fun. I had the whole country. Where do you think I would want to have a meeting if it was December? I’d want to go to Florida, “Let’s go to Florida. Let’s go to Phoenix.” That’s where I bring my teams in, and we’d have our December or our January meeting.

Now, I was like, “We’re going to have our meetings in Chicago because that’s where our headquarters is. We save on hotel and flights.” Who wants to go to Chicago in December? Not me and neither do any of my team. All of a sudden, my autonomy and my ability to do things my own way were gone, and it didn’t make any sense. I’m like, “If you’re going to tell me exactly how to do everything, why don’t you tell the people that you’re telling me to tell how to do things and then you can get rid of the middleman?”

I took myself out of that loop and said, “I don’t want to do that again.” It was great that I met with you. I remember it was October 21st, 2019 that I discovered my why, and my official last day at Baxter was October 19. It was serendipitous and then we had those great conversations. I got to meet some of the coaches that we work with and learn from them. I still keep in touch with them.

Let’s talk about this concept of bumpers because that came from you when we talk about somebody that has a challenge in their WHY.os. For those of you that are not intimately familiar with it, Dan wants to help, but he wants to do it his own way. You can’t tell him how you want it done because he’s going to find his own way to do it anyways. Tell us about this concept of bumpers because this came from a conversation you and I were having when we were struggling a little bit with saying, “How do we keep you on course?” It dawned on me and I said, “He was in the military. How did they keep him on course?”

The concept of bumpers for anybody, if your child or somebody you work with has a challenge in their why, how or what, you’ve got to understand that for us, tell us where the boundaries are then give us room to play. Don’t tell us exactly how to do it. Tell us what needs to get done, what are the rules, and then let us play. Then we’ll have some fun.

BYW 3 | Contributing To Success

Contributing To Success: We don’t lie about what we do. We just highlight what appeals to you based on your why.I posted about my WHY.os day. My Friday was I woke up at 4:00 in the morning and I was on my computer answering emails. I set some appointments with clients. I work until 6:00 in the morning, then I had chaos going on because Sophia and Monica wake up. I have to get them out the door. They have from 6:00 to 7:00 to get ready. I spend family time with them from 6:00 to 7:00. I then had a golf tournament. I went and played golf tournament for about four hours and then I had some meetings.

I also had to meet with Sophia’s principal at school. I went to the school and I set up my computer at their school in a room that they allowed me to borrow. I did some appointments and I sent out some more emails. I did some more communication with clients. I then met with the principal. I had coffee with Monica. We picked up Sophia from test practice and then we went to dinner.

If you’re somebody who’s right way, that probably sounds like chaos to you. For me, it was so nice to say, “All I need is a flat surface and an internet connection. I can do my work from my car. I can do it from the office. We have a great office here at the WHY Institute, so I can go there and do it or I can do it from my home office.”

At the end of the day, what does Gary want? What do you want from your Chief Growth Officer? “Dan, let’s go make connections with people that want to join the WHY Institute. Let’s share our message. Let’s grow this business so we can help a billion people discover their why.” What does that feed? That feeds my why of contribute.

When I see what a difference knowing my WHY.os made for me, I want to give that to everyone I can. The best way we do that is to get amazing coaches like the ones we’ve got in our first 97 to 100 that we’re getting to help us get to 1,000 coaches and get us to thousands of coaches, so we can help the world know their why because it makes such a difference.

As you’re having the opportunity to talk to coaches around the world, what are some of the challenges that you’re seeing they’re having in helping people discover their why? They’re talking about the concept of why but what’s it like for them? What are you hearing when it comes to discovering somebody’s why?

It’s not so much the challenges they’re having. It’s the contrast between knowing it now versus before they knew it. I got off the phone with one of our newest coaches, Bill Summers, in Texas and he said, “Dan, I’m using the why, how and what as a framework for everything that I do.” He’s writing a new book and he’s organizing his chapters that way with his co-authors, “Tell us why you do what you do. Tell us how you do it and tell us what you bring.” That’s what’s nice about this process. What coaches tell me is when I know the why, how and what of my client, I can plan my coaching around their why, how and what.

For example, if you’re coaching Dan, you don’t want to give Dan a step-by-step, “This is what you’ve got to do every day,” plan. He’s probably not going to do it. If you tell Dan, “This is how you can help people. This is how you can do it your own way. These are the only rules you’ve got to follow. Do it your way. Does that make sense to you?” “Explain it to me.” Then you’re going to have a great client that’s going to be happy because you’re talking to me in my language. That’s what they find gratifying about learning their client’s why because they can talk to them in their language.

It’s what we call the platinum rule. Don’t talk to people the way you want to talk to them. You can talk to them about a better way, clarify and simplify. If their contribute challenge makes sense, you’re going to talk to them like you did to me, “Dan, I need your help.” “I’m not going to tell you how this is better. Let me tell you how this is going to help a billion people.” When you talk to me about that stuff, I was bought in. It’s the unfair advantage of helping people by talking to them. It’s not about lying about your product. We don’t lie about what we do. We highlight what appeals to you based on your why.

If they only spoke Spanish and you only spoke English, it would be tough to communicate. Imagine being in a country where you don’t speak the language, and maybe you had that experience when you were in the Army. You run into that one person that speaks English and you’re like, “It’s nice to talk to you. I can get something accomplished here because we speak the same language.” Has that ever happened to you?

That happens all the time. This is some stuff we talk about. I have found that when we share our top 3 of the 9 whys as our WHY.os, I have amazing conversations with people. For example, if I meet a fellow contribute, we talk the same language, so we tend to have a good conversation. If I meet a contribute challenge, then we have an even better conversation. It’s like we’ve been friends forever. If I meet somebody whose contribute challenge makes sense, we’re finishing each other’s sentences. It makes so much sense that we connect.

Alex, who’s a mutual friend of ours, got the same top three as me in a different order. I would have never thought that we would get along so great from looking at us. He’s an attorney and he’s a tall, athletic guy. He walks around like he owns the place. He’s different because his why is challenge. When I met him, I didn’t know what to think of him and I didn’t know that I would get along with him, but his contribute is strong. It shows in his work as a personal injury attorney.

When we worked with him to get to his WHY.os, I realized he cares about people, but because he leads with challenge, it doesn’t come across right away. The more I got to know him, the more we got along. When we figured out his entire WHY.os, we have the same top three in a different order. We clicked. We hang out and text each other all the time. We have a good time because we think alike. That’s a key factor that I’m sure our coaches are finding. When they talk to people who have similar whys, they get along great.

The challenge is to think differently and not to follow the way everybody else beats their drums. Click To Tweet

What was it like selling for seventeen years without knowing somebody’s WHY.os and now selling and connecting with people when you do know their WHY.os?

It is a completely different world, Gary. If I had this tool when I was in the Army to know my soldiers better, it would have been extremely helpful, but definitely in sales. It is nice to be able to present to someone in a language that they understand and they are listening for. In sales, especially working for a Fortune 100 company where we have a huge marketing program, everything we put out has to appeal to everyone. You’re throwing stuff against the wall and you hope something appeals to them.

When you know their WHY.os, you talk to them in what you know is going to appeal to them. This is what’s important to them. It doesn’t matter why it is. At WHY Institute, we found a better way to help people discover their why. It’s a clear way and it’s simple. We lead better, clearer and simpler. If I’m talking to someone whose why is mastery, I will spend time on the nuances. I will send them the full definitions of every single why because they’re going to want to know that.

Before we talk, they’ve already got their questions and they’ve done all the reading. I know that they’ve read our entire website and every link because that’s what they do. I’m concentrating on how this is going to help them learn at a deeper level and how to talk to their clients. The same goes for everyone in their whys. We adapt our presentation to that person because that’s what they’re listening for.

What’s it like for you to meet somebody now and not know their why or WHY.os?

It’s tough. I will give people the why even if I’m only going to work with them for a little bit because I want to know how they tick and what’s important to them. It’s interesting you say that because I’m working with Sophia’s school, and the principal is a nice lady. She was my oldest daughter’s third-grade teacher, so I’ve known her for a long time. I said, “Janice, I’m sorry but if you want me to help, I need to know your why.”

I had her take the WHY Discovery and we found her why is trust. All of a sudden, a lot of things make sense. Working with her, it’s trust, mastery, right way. It’s different from me. I needed to know that because now I know how I can help her. All this challenge stuff that Dan does, I have to tamp it down a little bit for her because trust is important. I can’t show up late.

Mastery is important. I can’t pretend I know stuff. I better know stuff before I show it to her in right way and follow the process. That’s how she runs a successful school and that’s what’s important to her. I know how I want to make sure I present myself to her, so she doesn’t say, “Get out of here, Mr. Dominguez. I don’t need you here.”

Let’s talk about relationships. How has knowing your WHY.os, your wife, Monica, and your daughter, Sophia and Jazz, helped you as a family to connect, work together, and understand each other in every aspect of the relationship?

Sophia knows her why, which is challenge. She’s an old soul. She’s read all the nine whys. She considers herself a pet why-ologist. She’s challenge, clarify and make sense. You’re thinking, “Why did you do this with your daughter?” She reads at a high level and we let her take the WHY Discovery. When we came out with our WHY.os, I said, “Let’s have her take it.” We had her WHY.os and it’s nice to understand why she always says, “Dad, why do I have to do it that way?” I’m that way and that’s okay. As somebody with the how of challenge, I don’t like it when other people do it to me. “I asked you to do it. That’s why you should do it.” “Why Dad? What if I can do it this way?”

Now, I understand both her and my oldest, who also had the why of challenge. I understand that they see the world differently. I understand I should allow them to and give them bumpers. As soon as you give them bumpers and let them run, “Don’t burn the house down.” That was simple, “Don’t break the law and we’re going to get along fine.”

With my wife being a why of clarify, I realized why it’s important for her to ask all the questions. When I left the Army, she’s like, “They’re not going to be shooting at you? You’re going to get to sleep in a hotel?” She asked all the questions to get me to come to my conclusion. She asked the right questions so that I understood the decision I was making but then she also understood. It used to drive me nuts how many questions she asked, but now I see it as a positive.

We bought a car, Gary. I knew that if we went to the dealership, she was going to take that poor salesman through a three-hour torture session. She has lots of questions about everything before we invested in that car. I did the smart thing. Knowing her why, I dropped her off with the dealer and I took Sophia, and we went and had lunch and did something else for a couple of hours.

BYW 3 | Contributing To Success
Contributing To Success: The key to overcoming this challenge is for you to identify where you will be able to make the greatest possible contributions, and then commit to focusing your efforts on those areas.

When we came back and we talked to the nice gentleman who was selling us the car and she had all her questions answered, I didn’t have to sit through it because I knew it was coming. She was satisfied. We were able to buy our vehicle and drive it home after she asked all her questions. Once she was clear, we were able to move forward but I needed to let her have time to do that. In the past, I might have said, “It’s blue and it runs. We have the money. Let’s buy it.” That would drive her nuts. Now, I allow her to ask the question she needs to ask so she can move forward.

There’s one flaw with that plan. The flaw is you need to send her in to ask all the questions to beat him down so that by the time you walk in, he’s like, “Take the car for free.”

Gary, the gentleman we bought the car from is a mutual friend. I’m not allowed to disclose the terms but I can tell you, she did a good job with it.

Dan, you’re right in the mix of everything. What do you see is the future for where we’re going, what we’re wanting to accomplish, and how quickly we’re going to get there?

What’s been exciting is I’ve been here for a while, and I knew nothing about the WHY Discovery. I knew nothing about executive coaching and this world. You introduced me to a whole new world. Going from absolute zero knowledge to now having done more Why Discoveries than anyone else other than you and Jerry, and having worked with many coaches and learn so much. I see the immense value that the WHY Discovery and the WHY.os Discovery have for the coaches that we talked to.

We went through an exercise where we took testimonials from coaches. To hear them talk about the difference that the WHY Discovery and the WHY.os have made in their lives and the lives of their clients, gives me tremendous confidence that we’re on the right track. We’ve got a tremendous team working on the backend to make sure that our website works, all our links work. Everything that we send out looks professional and good.

When I look at where we were in December of 2019 when I joined the team and where we are in September 2020, we’ve made leaps and bounds, and where we’re going and the people we’re working with. We’ve got coaches from ICF, John Maxwell and Marshall Goldsmith. We’ve got coaches from every major coaching organization in the world. We’ve got people that are certified in Kolbe, DiSC, StrengthsFinder, and all the assessments that are out there, and they all say one thing, “As long as I start with why, everything else falls into place.”

I can’t wait to see where we take this. I don’t see us being able to hold back. We’ve been careful about not launching something big that we couldn’t handle the growth and that we had the infrastructure. Now that we’re building that infrastructure, I can’t wait to present this to the world at large and get to a billion people knowing their why.

Dan, one last question, what is the best piece of advice you’ve received or you have ever given?

The easier question is probably the best piece of advice I’ve ever received, and that’s someone you talked to, Paul Allen. He talked about how important it is to take advice from people that think like you. I would have never thought of that without the why. Somebody with a why of clarify, for example, could have great advice on how to do something, but it’s not going to resonate with me because I want to contribute. However valuable that advice is, I may not be able to apply it because it doesn’t resonate with me.

Those people that we connect with, it’s more important that we connect and take advice from people that think like us because it’s going to be easier to implement. Not that I couldn’t implement clarify advice, better way advice, or advice from somebody whose why is mastery, but it will be simpler and easier because they’ve traveled that same path that I have. I love that.

Not that I don’t take advice from other people, but I listen intently when I do get that opportunity to talk to people with my why, how or what because they resonate with me. It’s a lot easier advice to implement. Mike Koenigs, who you’re working with, I listened to him. He’s a challenge guy. A lot of what he says, I can take and implement. I work closely with one of our coaches, Melahni Ake, whose why is also challenge. She and I clicked. I can take some of what she does, the hacks that she has created to get through and be productive with the why of challenge. The same thing that probably Mike has had to do. It’s helpful.

Dan, thanks so much for being here and taking the time. I’m going to see you every day. We’ve wanted to do this for a long time because you get to meet many people but now, even more people are going to get to know you. Everybody loves you. It’ll be fun to see how you progress as we progress on this journey. Thank you for being here.

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Thank you for having me, Gary.

It’s time for our new segment, Guess the Why. I thought we’d do something fun. If you’ve been watching TV, one of the great series that’s out there is one called Ted Lasso. My wife and I have been watching that and a lot of our friends have been watching that. It is so funny. If you haven’t seen it, start watching it. I’d love to know your perspective on what you think Ted Lasso’s why is. I know what it is and it’s similar to Dan’s why, which is contribute.

He wants to help. He sees the positive in everybody. He wants to uplift the team, individually and as a team. He always wants to make things better for people in any way that he can, whether that’s picking up a broom and sweeping or sitting and having a conversation with somebody. He loves to make the world a better place by helping each person get better. For me, his why would be contribute.

Thank you for reading. If you’ve not yet discovered your why, you can do so at with the code, PODCAST50. 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’re using so that you can help us bring this message to the world. Also, to help one billion people discover, make decisions, and live based on their why. Thank you for reading.

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About Dan Dominguez

Dan Dominguez exists to positively impact the lives of others. HOW he does that is by challenging the status quo and looking at things from a different perspective. WHAT he brings is the ability to make sense of the complex and challenging to help others move forward faster. Dan’s diverse background as an academic scholar, college mascot, Army Ranger, sales leader, marathon runner, track and cross-country coach, and Rotarian allows him to connect easily with almost anyone and he does that as the Chief Growth officer at the WHY Institute.
Dan and his wife Monica are proud parents of their two daughters Jaz 32 and Sofia 9 along with 24 sheep, 4 dogs and 3 chickens.

Uncategorized WHY

So You’re in a Relationship With a Contribute…

Well aren’t you one of the lucky ones! Being in a relationship with a Contribute is truly a blessing. They will give and give and still be ready to give more. They will pour their whole souls into the relationship and put the other person ahead of themselves at all times.

Contributes have a knack for nurturing a relationship. They want to help it grow and flourish and will do whatever it takes to ensure that you feel happy and are a priority.

If you are one of the lucky ones to be dating a Contribute, and if your WHY is not Contribute, make sure you are not just taking, but also giving back to them. While they may be uncomfortable in accepting gestures or accepting the contribution, they deserve it. Make sure that they are also taken care of and not being taken advantage of. They have the tendency to give until there’s nothing left in the tank – this can leave them exhausted and feeling under-appreciated.

It is important to note that even a small gesture can mean the world to them – something as small as leaving love note or their favorite snack on the table.

When in a relationship with a Contribute you will always have fun. As they are willing to do whatever and roll with the punches as long as everyone is having a good time. Cherish this relationship and don’t forget to give love to your Contribute today!