If you work with someone with the WHY of Make Sense you know that they are quick as all heck to getting issues solved. They are so quick at problem solving that sometimes they can leave the rest of us in the dust with little explanation as to their quickly systematized plan. Someone with the WHY of Make Sense is great to have on a team because even if they don’t know how to use your new platform, design a website, use photoshop, or anything, they WILL figure it out and they will have it mastered in the blink of an eye.
If you find yourself working in close quarters with someone with the WHY of Make Sense, as either a coworker or a boss, make sure you let them know that you may need a little bit more information (especially if your WHY.os does not include Make Sense) than they may originally tend to give. I have often found they are so quick to understand situations or a task that they end up giving minimal instructions. Sometimes they may send you a task that make complete sense to them but upon not having the WHY of Make Sense, you may find yourself thinking “I have no idea what this means”. If you find yourself in one of those situations, let them know that you require a bit more of an explanation for a task and that although they’ve made sense of it in their mind, you may not work that way.
Use Their Strengths To Your Advantage
Those with the WHY of Make Sense make both a great coworker and leader. If you are having trouble coming up with a plan of action, you can take your ideas or thoughts to them and they can immediately tell you what you need to do. Often I find if I am struggling with the order of operations for a project they can easily and quickly see it from a bird’s eye view and come up with a step by step process. If they are a leader within your organization they are great at seeing the overarching picture, how to execute the fastest, and can easily spot gaps. They are excellent problem solvers and you can always count on them.
When working with someone with the WHY of Make Sense you have to understand that they are extremely quick witted and may be 20 steps ahead. Use this strength of theirs to your advantage. Go to them for help, go to them for direction, and go to them for their ability to make sense. They are great achievers, doers, and problem solvers. You are sure to succeed with those with the WHY of Make Sense on your team.
When we don’t question things because things are going right, that’s when we miss micro-issues. In this episode, you’ll witness how the WHY of Make Sense works. Dr. Gary Sanchez welcomes Len Herstein, the CEO and President of Lead ManageCamp Inc. Len displays his uncanny ability to make sense of data and use that to solve problems. When COVID hit, he immediately pivoted from live events to virtual events. How did he make such a successful move? By gathering feedback to create a great learning experience. Len continued to bring his WHY as he went on to work for other companies. Learn how he makes sense and solves problems throughout his journey. Tune in!
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The WHY Of Make Sense: Cracking Data And Solving Problems With Len Herstein
In this episode, we’re going to be talking about the why of making sense, to make sense of the complex and challenging. If this is your why then you are driven to solve problems and resolve challenging or complex situations. You have an uncanny ability to take in lots of data and information. You tend to observe situations and circumstances around you and then sort through them quickly to create solutions that are sensible and easy to implement. Often you are viewed as an expert because of your ability to find solutions quickly.
You also have a gift for articulating solutions and summarizing them clearly in understandable language. You believe that many people are stuck and that if they could make sense out of their situation, they could develop simple solutions and move forward. In essence, you help people get unstuck and move forward.
I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Len Herstein. He has years of experience in business and brand marketing. Prior to founding his marketing and events company, ManageCamp Inc., Len innovated, managed, and grew brands for major consumer packaged good marketers, including Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, Nabisco, and others. Since 2015, Len has served as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado.
Thank you. It’s great to be here, Gary. Thanks for having me.
This is going to be fun. It’s a very interesting background and what you’re doing right now. Take us through your history a little bit. Take us back to where did you grow up? Where did you go to high school? What were you like in high school? How did you progress to where you are now?
We’re going way back. I grew up in the Westernmost part of Long Island, New York. My family is from Brooklyn. A bunch of people moved from Brooklyn out to this area where I went to high school in Valley Stream. What was I like in high school? I wish I could say I was like the coolest kid, but I don’t think I was. I straddled this weird line because I was an athlete. I played soccer, baseball, basketball, and stuff, but I was also a student in the AP classes and stuff like that.
I walk this fine line between athlete and academic. I learned how to get along with a lot of different people and play a lot of different roles in friendships and stuff. That’s where I came. I went to college at Cornell University in New York and studied Marketing. I came out of there and went to work in consulting. I was one of those guys who didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I consulted. That helped me figure it out.
I worked for Anderson Consulting, which is now called Accenture. Basically, in the first year or two, I figured out what I got hired for was computer programming. They take you out of college at that point and send you to this university that they built for themselves in St. Charles, Illinois. They taught us how to program in COBOL II, which is an old mythic language. It didn’t take me long to figure out that was not what I wanted to do. I was not good at it. I did not enjoy it.
I made the switch over to what was called Change Management. I worked on the teams that helped organizations go through the changes that these new systems that we were building made for them. I did that for a couple of years and went back, got my MBA back at Cornell in Marketing, and made that switch over to consumer-packaged goods marketing.
I went to work for Nabisco, Coca-Cola, and Campbell Soup before I realized that I was going to a lot of conferences. I found myself coming home early from a lot of them back in the days when we had travel agents that we would call and stuff. I decided to put together the conference that I would want to do. I was having a hard time finding it. That’s what my conference was called brand managed camp became. We did our 19th Annual back in May 2021. This one was virtual, so we did that. Several years ago, I became a volunteer police officer basically. I’m the Sheriff’s Deputy here in Douglas County, Colorado, which was a whole new path for me.
I’m sure we’ll talk about that. I was looking for a way to give back and do something different, and this came up. I went through a whole academy, a long field training process, and became a deputy. I was learning some things that were surprising to me and I could bring them back to my business and personal life. That’s where this concept of complacency is. I learned about how complacency kills. We fight it with vigilance and law enforcement.
Let’s dive into that a little bit. When you were in high school, you were the athlete and the student. Were you the guy that people would go to if they had problems or issues and say, “Len, can you help me? I got something going on. Can I tell you what’s going on?” Were you the guy that would help them?
I’d like to say I was, but I think the honest truth would be no. I don’t think that happened back then. I don’t think I have gotten into that role yet. We were more about, “Where can we find some beers and get down to the boardwalk?” It was a simpler life back then, Gary. They didn’t seem like there were many problems to solve.
Everything was easy to figure out, but getting into programming was not the direction you thought you were going to go. Were you forced in that direction?
I wouldn’t say I was forced in that direction, but we’re talking 1991 at this point. At that time, those gigs out of college were pretty high, relatively paying. I think the number was $33,000. It was the starting salary. That was huge, enormous. It was one of those things where I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do. I figured I probably wanted to go back to grad school at some point, but I needed some years to figure out what that was going to be about.
I took that job, and that initial thing in terms of programming turned out not my thing. It was good because it helped me figure that out. I went down this path of change management, which is helping people solve problems brought on by change. During those jobs, I ended up doing some consulting work. Some of our clients were marketing companies per se like Pepsi and AT&T. That’s when I started getting excited about marketing. That then gave me the confidence that I knew what I wanted to do. That’s when I went back for my MBA.
As a change management agent, what did you do? What was that?
A lot of the time I spent working in the government sector. We were coming into the state tax department, state DMV, stuff like that, mostly tax stuff. Putting together new computer systems for them to help them manage the flow of information and data they have basically do the things they had to do. When those new systems would come in, there would be enormous changes to workflows, jobs, and what was required of people.
The change management job was about mapping out where are we now? Where are we going to be in the future? How do we get people between there with the least amount of pain? It was a lot of reorganization, re-engineering of jobs and processes, and training to help people get the skills and the knowledge they needed to move forward.
That sounds like it fits you pretty well.
It did. That was right up my alley. Now that you told me I’m a make sense guy, it makes all sense to me.
It’d be interesting when you go back to one of your high school reunions to find out if your classmates felt that way about you, like, “Len was somebody that I could talk to. Len was somebody that if I had a problem, that’s where I would go because he’d helped me figure it out.” It’d be interesting to ask your classmates that question. I bet you. They’re going to tell you, “Yeah, you were that guy. You were partying, an athlete, and all that, but if I had someone I needed to talk to, I was going to talk to you.”
Based on your why, I would bet that’s the way it is. You were in change management, and then you decided to go to Cornell. Why did you switch from change management to marketing? Why did you feel you needed an MBA?
I started doing some work within companies that I would consider marketing-driven companies. It’s a certain type of marketing. Everybody has a different definition of marketing. I talk more about brand management. To me, brand management is running many businesses. When you would run a brand for Campbell Soup or Coca-Cola, or something like that, you would touch everything, P&L, sales, manufacturing, research and development, advertising, which would be the traditional way people would think about marketing.
There are all these other elements that go into what I would consider marketing or brand management. That started to excite me, being at the hub of this wheel, influencing everything, and driving this business forward towards a more profitable, innovative, and successful future. Once I saw that I started thinking about how do I get there? I started processing the information and said, “Here’s where I want to be. What’s the way to get there?”
It became fairly evident to me that if I was going to do that type of job at the type of company that I wanted to do, which was like a Coca-Cola, those types of things, I did need to go back to school. I did need to get my MBA. It was going to get hard. If I wanted to come in through, like maybe a sales role or something, and then work my way over into marketing, I could have certainly done that, I’m sure. The quickest way for me to get to where I wanted to be was to use that advanced degree as my pivot point and move into a new area.
You did that and through that, you learn that the type of education you’re going to get at these events didn’t make sense. You’re bored to death and wanted to leave, so you created your own.
As a brand marketer, I’d go to a lot of conferences. When I was at Campbell Soup and working on suits that we were marketing to kids, I would go to kid’s marketing conferences. They’re all very niche and specific. They would look great on paper, and I would get there. They would serve me a cold bagel for breakfast. You’d show up and be sitting there. Maybe a bunch of people trying to sell me things as opposed to telling me anything useful. This was back in the days where if someone showed up with a Mac and nobody had a dangle, and everything broke down.
The execution wasn’t great. The content wasn’t great. I wasn’t getting anything actionable. I was walking away with. In general, I felt like they were a big waste of time. Literally, it’s a cliche, but it’s 100% true. This will date me and tell you how old it is. I was on a US Air flight from New Orleans back to Philly and started writing down on a cocktail napkin what the next conference I was going to go to had to offer me. I couldn’t find anything that matched those requirements. My wife got tired of hearing me talk about it until they did something about it. I generally do what she tells me. That’s how we made it this long.
What is it you want at a conference? What did you write down?
I wanted something that was going to deliver actionable insights that I could use. I wanted something that was going to be a broad look at brand management. It wasn’t going to be so narrow that every topic overlapped and was repetitive with each other. It had to have speakers who needed to be keynote quality. I didn’t want one great speaker and then a bunch of people from the industry who look good on paper.
The thing I started to see at least in the conferences I was going to. This is not a broad thing. In the conferences that I was going to, there was this move towards multi-track events. There’s a lot of panel discussions. A lot of it was built around getting a lot of speakers in there, who had big titles and big companies, that they can then use to pad their attendance list with like, “Look at all these great companies that are going to be here,” and then they could sell sponsorships.
It was all about the sponsorship money, the sponsorships. What I was looking to do is I was looking to create a conference that was simpler and easier to go to that delivered actionable insights, a single-track conference where there were no choices to make. It wasn’t super complicated to figure out what I was going to go to. I wanted it to be attendee-focused, not sponsor-focused. I wanted to be focused on delivering actionable insights that people could use right away, along with a broad range of topics. It had to have great food and be executed flawlessly. Other than that, it was pretty simple things.
It’s hard to find one like that even now. It sounds like you created that. Is that what your events are like now?
That’s exactly what it is. We focus heavily on execution and making sure everything runs smoothly. We value the fact that people are taking money and, more importantly, time away from their families and offices and stuff like that to come to spend it with us. We value that a lot. We want to make sure that not only do they get a great learning experience, but that seating is comfortable. Everybody can hear everything. When they break for lunch, there’s hot food, great choices, and healthy food available.
A lot of people, especially in marketing, talk about the experience. We have a lot of great speakers who have spoken about customer experience and things of that sort. What I found was the conferences weren’t living that. They would bring in speakers to talk about it, but they weren’t living it themselves. They weren’t creating a great experience. That’s what we set out to do.
Tell us about the first conference you threw.
The first one we threw was in Philly in 2003. We’re in this post 9/11 timeframe where the travel industry had been decimated. Hotels and everything was hurting. We were able to come in and get this sweetheart deal on a contract with a hotel, which was a big deal. In the conference industry, you have to put a lot of money upfront. You’ve got to guarantee a lot of things in order to get space and hope people come. We were able to get this great deal so that our risk was low.
I was still working for Campbell Soup at that time. For the first four years of starting my business, I still worked full-time for Campbell Soup. I was trying to build the proof of concept here. It was in Philly. I think 90 people showed up is what happened. It was in this small ballroom. We had great food, sushi, and all these things. We thought we had a great experience. Several years ago, we looked back at how different it was in terms of what the AV capabilities are now and the things we can do with the stage, the slides, and everything going on. It was pretty interesting.
We were able to succeed early as we were able to get speakers at our event that were well beyond our budget. Somehow, I was able to negotiate it. We have Seth Godin, who’s written a ton of marketing books and a huge deal. We had a guy named Malcolm Gladwell, who probably doesn’t speak for less than $75,000 to $100,000 now. We got him for next to nothing back. Those types of things upfront help us get started down this path. There’s a lot of things lined up for us that went in our favor back in those early years. It helped us learn quickly and cheaply.
What was the title and topic of your first event?
As we moved on, we stopped having topics. The first event was marketing in turbulent times. It was something about marketing in turbulent times. I started to realize what happened because the first 2 or 3 years, we changed our theme every year. It was always a marketing conference, but we call it marketing in turbulent times or something else. Because of that, we have to rebrand every year. We have to convince people that this is the topic they need to hear more about. The more you focus on a specific topic, the more you have that problem, where you have overlapping things and people talking about the same things and maybe contradicting each other and all this.
After a few years, we moved away from coming up with a new topic every year. The tagline for the event has been and still is fresh thinking starts here. For brand marketers looking for fresh thinking for their brands and organizations, this is the destination each year. It made it a lot easier for us. We didn’t have to brainstorm a whole new thing, like, “What would it be in 2021?” It would be like “Marketing in turbulent times.” Every year is marketing in turbulent times. It’s never not turbulent. Nobody ever wakes on me, like, “Marketing is easy in 2021. It’s easier.” They’re giving us more money to do less. It’s fantastic.
You got out of working with Campbell Soup, and the event was your business or was there a different business besides the event?
We also did consulting work, but the event was the main part.
We move forward to COVID and no events.
Things got shut down pretty quick there. The end of 2019 is when this all started coming. We’re like, “This is no big deal. This is a China thing. This is not a US thing.” It was back when people were thinking back then. It came in, and we had our 2020 event planned for September. We would generally start promoting that in January. We did and started promoting it. January and February 2020, we’re promoting it, and things are starting to get a little bit dicey, and some people are signing up, but we can see that things are slowing down.
March 2020 hit and everything shut down. We’re like, “I don’t think we can do a lot of events.” It was back before that realization had settled in. Quickly we realized, “We’ve got to pivot to something different. This is going to move to virtual somehow.” We don’t know how to do virtual because we’ve been complacent. Several years of doing it live, it was always going to be that way. We never built our virtual capabilities. We had to do that real quick, pivot around, and create our first-ever virtual conference.
From 90 people in 2003, how did it grow? What was it like before the pandemic? What is it like now?
It was always, what I would consider, an intimate conference because we’re not focused on sponsorship. We’re focused on attendees. We didn’t have hundreds of sponsors and speakers. We would only have 12 or 13 speakers. We’d have maybe two sponsors, and then everybody else was attendees. We were in the 400s. We’re able to deliver a good experience to everybody that way. It was fine for us. When COVID hits, all that’s out the window. Now we’re in this whole brand-new world of virtual, and everybody is giving it away for free, and nobody wants to pay for the virtual stuff anymore.
The whole value proposition has changed. You can’t even compare it. It’s like apples to oranges. Our goal in this virtual timeframe is to continue our relationships with people and stay out there with content. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the book. We did our 2021 Brand Manage Camp back in May. Generally, we do one a year. We’re sitting back on that side and waiting to see what happens. We’ve learned that we can’t predict what’s going on. We have these ebbs and flows in terms of events. Quite honestly, my event and our event are probably among the last types of events to come back.
There are trade shows, industry, and association events. Those things where people need to get out and sell to each other are different than my event, which is a learning event. It was probably going to be among the last ones to come back to the live forum. Because so much goes into planning a live event and financial commitment, we’re waiting to see how these next few months play out before planning our next one. I took that opportunity throughout that time to write my book. I’ve been spending a lot of time doing the law enforcement stuff as well. That’s been keeping me busy.
There are going to be people reading this that have their events and have been doing them like you have and had to switch to virtual. What was it like for you to go from live to virtual? How do you think the effectiveness is virtual versus live?
There are pros and cons. I think in terms of the convenience of it, the cost of it to the end-user, and the ability to have stuff on demand and see it on your own timeframe, there’s a lot of positives there. The inability to get together in person, I think a lot is lost there. The inability to carve out your time when you’re in a live event, you put your phone on mute and out of office email answer. You sit there, listen and learn. When you’re sitting in your home or office, and you’re watching a virtual thing, there are a million other things competing for your time and attention.
It’s by nature. It’s not anybody’s fault. It’s nearly impossible to put the same amount of attention into one of those things as you do in live events. I’m still a big believer in live events. I think they’ll be back, but the way we approached it makes sense within this make sense thing. We took a step back and said, “We’re going to approach our pivot into virtual the same way we did when we first started our live conference. It was to take a look at things and figure out what’s missing. What are people getting wrong?” We sat back for a little bit and saw that a lot of people were trying to take their live events and turn them into virtual as if there was no difference other than the delivery mechanism.
The reality is that’s not true. People learn differently. People have different attention spans and do things differently. The other thing is that people were diving into this virtual world, and they did not understand the tools they were using and the best way to use them. The way that manifested itself for us is that we looked at it, and I said, “We’re going to do this virtual and have all these speakers.” We don’t typically do Q&A in the middle of a speaker session. Our speakers get up and speak for, in a live event, 50 minutes.
The first thing we said is 50 minutes is way too long. We can’t do that in a virtual world. We’re looking at 20 to 30 minutes. What I saw was that there were a lot of these people calling things in conferences that ended up looking a lot like webinars. Someone with a talking head in the corner and the whole screen was a slide, and you’re looking at the slides the whole time. We hire our speakers because they’re engaging, entertaining, and energetic. We don’t hire them for their slides. We hire them for them.
If I were doing a live event, I would never have them sit off in a corner somewhere and have everybody stare at the screen. What we did is we spent a lot of time and energy working with every one of our speakers. We prerecorded all of the sessions, but we did it with professional production. Slides coming in and out, only being shown when they needed to be shown. Having our speakers stand up, move around, be active, and do all these things that are not someone sitting in front of a webcam.
What we did is our conference platform allowed us to then have our speakers attend while we were airing their session. They could interact with attendees in the chat room and answer questions in real-time. We would bring them in on a live stream as soon as their session ended to do a live-action Q&A. This hybrid of why not prerecord so that we could guarantee the quality, everybody could hear, didn’t crap out because their internet went or something like that.
We had that guaranteed quality of the session. You have this other thing that we’ve never been able to have before live, which is a live Q&A with the speaker as the session is happening. They could clarify, expand on stories, and hear from the audience. We would carry that over, basically what you and I are doing now, into a live conversation and an interview afterward. That was pretty cool. We took this and said, “We’re going to take a look at all the information, come up with our best solution, not take what we did before and do it virtually.”
It’s a great way you did that. We had to do our annual event 2021 as well and I learned a whole lot along the way. Obviously, I saw some things that we could do better. That being one of them, that was great to hear. How did you prerecord the sessions? Did you have him show up and do it live on a stage with no audience, or was it a Zoom thing that was recorded? How did you do that?
It depended on the speaker because we only had twelve speakers or whatever speakers we had. Part of our brand is I formed my personal relationship with every one of our speakers. We don’t hire 100 speakers, and I don’t know who they are, and they do their own thing. We were able to work individually with each speaker. A couple of speakers were here in Colorado, so they were able to come over to our offices and we shot it in our studio.
Most of our speakers are all professionals, so they have their own studios and stuff. Some were able to produce themselves. We had a couple that needed a little bit more help that was more remote. We set them up with equipment. We walk them through it. We gave them all sorts of tutorials and instructions, and some of them, we had to do a couple of times to get it right. It was a mix depending on their experience level, comfort, capabilities were in terms of lighting, sound, video, and all that stuff.
I can see how you helped them make sense of this different way to do it and created an experience that was better than expected. I’m sure you’ve allowed them beyond what they thought they were going to get in a virtual seminar or workshop.
That’s the feedback we got from folks, which was like, “This is the best virtual event we’ve been to so far.” We got a lot of that. It’s interesting because at the beginning, my immediate thought, as we were thinking this through, was, “How do we prerecord this without letting people know it’s been prerecorded?” We were going to have the speakers wear the same things when they recorded, as they did on the day they came. It took me two minutes to then figure out, “That is so disingenuine.” It’s basically a lie. I don’t want to ever lie to my customers. That was a terrible idea.
We very quickly said, “No, we’re going to be totally upfront about this, be honest, and let people know.” There were some people afterward who were like, “I was like very skeptical of this prerecorded thing. I wasn’t going to get value from it, or I should watch it later or whatever.” The way that happened, where I was able to have a conversation with the speaker and the live Q&A afterward was so much more valuable than they expected.
Tell us about your book, Be Vigilant! How did that come about? What is it? What prompted you to write it?
I’ve been working with the bestselling author for several years. I always thought I would write a book at some point, but I never had an idea that I felt was good enough or book-worthy. I didn’t want it to be a me-too book. I never did it. When I had this opportunity to become a Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy, which basically means that I’m a full-fledged police officer, I do it for free and go out on patrol. It sounds crazy.
I’m not going to let you get off the hook with this one. Why did you do that? Were you drunk one night and said, “I think I’m going to be a cop for free?”
I was trying to keep up with my wife, who’s been heavily involved in Girl Scouts. We have two daughters. For several years, she has been heavily involved in Girl Scouts beyond being a troop leader for both of my daughters and all sorts of volunteer stuff. I never had this volunteerism going on in my life. I felt like it was something that I wanted to add. I was looking for something to do. I didn’t grow up wanting to be a cop or thinking that I wanted to do that or anything like that. Honestly, it was around December of 2014 Facebook post.
We’ve got a big county. The sheriff’s office runs most of the law enforcement within this county. They put out a Facebook ad saying, “We’re looking for people to go through the Reserve Academy to become reserve sheriff’s deputies.” I was like, “That looks pretty interesting and sounds cool.” We have a unique department. This is not paraded duty or something like that. You go out and work. You do everything that a full-timer does. You do it for free. I was like, “That sounds cool.” I asked my wife, and she didn’t understand it, so she said, “Yes.”
She didn’t know what she was getting herself into at the time. I went off to this informational meeting. There were 120 people in the room. There were ex-military, ex-cops, and all these people, and most of them younger than me. I remember walking away from that and being like, “They’re never going to pick me. Why would they pick me?” I filled out the application and I got chosen, which was crazy. I had to go through all this stuff. I had to go through the same psych evaluation, physical testing, and all that stuff.
I got accepted and had to go through an academy that ran from May to November. After that, I had to do 440 hours of field training out on the road with a field training officer before I got certified to do patrol. That’s why I wanted to do it. Honestly, the other piece of this is that everybody is aware of the difficulties we’ve been having in terms of the relationship between community and law enforcement in the last couple of years. This is not new.
Back then, it was like Ferguson. That was going on. I got tired of seeing friends and acquaintances argue and complain on Facebook or whatever social media they’re on. I wanted to be part of the solution. The best way that I could see to be part of creating a great relationship between the community and law enforcement was to get involved and to do it. That’s my purpose. It’s to protect, serve and help people be safer, but also help strengthen our relationship in my little piece of the world that I can do it.
Two obvious questions that the readers are thinking about right now, and the first one being, what did your partner think when they first met you and thought you did what? You’re doing this for how much? Why the heck are you doing this? The second question is, what’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you out there so far?
When you say partner, do you mean one of the other cops?
You get into a car or whatever with your partner for the day or one that you’re doing all your hours with. They are talking to you, and they’re like, “You’re a marketer. It makes a lot of sense that you’d be in here with me. How much are they paying you for this? You’re doing it for free.”
The interesting thing is for the first six years of this, and I patrolled solo. I didn’t have a partner. I would go out and do it by myself. I would work in a district. We have eleven districts in our county. I would fill in for people who were going on vacation or short staff. We’ve started going to two-man cars for that. Before that, it was all solo stuff, but I get your question. We’re in briefing or whatever. The great thing is I spent so many hours doing it. I would spend most of my hours working on a specific team called the Swings B Team. It’s a swing shift and on the B side of the week.
In fact, the publishing company that I created for the book is Swings B Publishing because that’s my team. I got very close with those people. They consider me part of the team, but I get all the time, like, “Why are you doing this for free?” I barely want to do this for money. People get it, but they don’t get it. There’s a lot of respect. They appreciate the help are always short-staffed. They appreciate the fact that I’m there. I think they’re coming in assumption before they met me in the way that a lot of people look at it, “Here’s a guy who wants to run around with a badge, a gun and have some power,” and stuff like that.
Like anything in life, the only way to prove people wrong is to prove people wrong on it, do the job and do it as good as anybody else does it. That was always my goal. My goal was always not to be treated differently because I’m doing it for free. If I mess up, I want you to come down on me the same way you would come down on someone who’s getting paid.
At the end of the day, we’re talking about life and death on a lot of these things. There’s no benefit to being treated differently. I think that earns a lot of respect. People look at me as a regular deputy. They don’t look at me any different, but every now and then, I still get, especially on a rough day, like, “Why are you here? What are you doing? Why are you doing this?”
What’s the craziest thing that’s happened so far?
There’s been so much bad and good. Everybody has a different definition of crazy. I think the funniest thing was when I was in-field training. We got a call about a chicken crossing the road. I thought it was a joke. While part of our county is rural, the part that I work in is not rural. It’s a typical suburb. You don’t have chickens running around. We got this call about a chicken crossing the road. We were like, “This is not happening. Somebody is playing with us obviously,” but we still got to go check it out and whatever.
I get there, and lo and behold, and there’s that chicken. We were looking around for a little while, and I had to call out on the radio, “If you’re unable to locate, you’d call out UTL.” My computer started to lighten up with all the chat messages that everybody was laughing and stuff. Literally, ten seconds later, this chicken saunters across the road in front of my car. I caught that chicken and returned it to his owner. It’s not easy to catch a chicken. They’re ornery.
Hopefully, nobody had a video going while you were out there chasing a chicken.
My field training officer got a good picture of it. I didn’t take any video, but I got a good picture and some good ribbon. It was fun.
Tell us about your book.
Basically, I started this thing thinking it was going to be completely different than anything I’d done before, which it was because I was coming in with this lens, that’s different. I’m not a 21-year-old whose this is their first work experience or something like that. I’m a 45-year-old at that point in time who’s had 25 plus years of work experience. I can’t leave that at home. I’m definitely coming with that point of view. We started learning from the very first day how complacency kills. This is something we talk a lot about in law enforcement because 95% to 98% of our day is pretty standard and uneventful, and then things can go wrong quickly.
If you allow yourself to become comfortable, you can be in some pretty big trouble. We talk about it complacently and what it is, and how to combat it. I started thinking about how there were things that we were doing every day that we didn’t talk about in those words. There are things that we’re doing in law enforcement, too. I started making that connection. We’re doing this to keep us present and from getting complacent.
I started paying attention to the fact that complacency as a word is used a lot in culture, but it’s a throwaway word. People use it thinking that, “Let’s not get complacent out there,” or like, “They’re getting complacent to see headlines during COVID.” Nobody ever talks about what it is like, “What is it? How do you fight it?” As opposed to saying, “I’m not going to be complacent,” as if it’s that easy, but it’s not that easy.
That last piece of it, I started thinking, “Complacency in law enforcement kills businesses, brands, and personal relationships.” I saw an opportunity where I can write this book that brings some of these lessons learned and translate them into the personal and the business world to say, “What are some things that we can do every day to help us fight complacency?” The idea is that complacency is not laziness. Complacency is overconfidence, self-satisfaction, and smugness that makes us unaware of dangers and threats.
The opposite of complacency is not paranoia. A lot of people think that. I have to be looking over my shoulder all the time. No, because the opposite is not paranoia. It’s vigilance. The difference is that paranoia is based on fear, the fear of potential threats, and vigilance is based on their awareness. This book then is about how do we remain vigilant? What are specific strategies can we use to help us fight complacency every day in business and at home?
Give us an example of one.
There are ten different ones. Each one has a chapter in the book. One of the simplest ones is this idea of threat awareness, understanding where your threats could come from. One of the things that I talk about in the book is law enforcement or the military. If you’ve got anybody like that in your family or friends, we are notoriously difficult to go out to eat with because we are very specific about where we want to sit. We want to have our eyes on where the potential threats could be. Not because we’re paranoid, but because we want to be able to see what’s coming if we have to.
The parallel to that in business in life is how do you get a 360-degree view of your threats? How do you look beyond the overconfidence that you have in terms of what your threats are? A lot of times in business, someone was asking you who your competitors are, and you can rattle off 2 or 3 right away and what your strategies are against them. I would start to think maybe you’re a little bit complacent because you’re getting that tunnel vision. You’re focusing and becoming what I would call the roadrunner effect.
Wile E. Coyote becomes so focused on the Road Runner, but what gets Wile E. Coyote every time is never the Road Runner. It’s always something else. That can happen to us. We can become so focused on the competition as we’ve defined it that we miss the new competition. We miss different industries coming into our industry. The same thing can happen at home.
We could become overconfident that we understand what’s happening in our life, that things blindside us. They feel like they blindsided us, but they haven’t. They’ve been coming for a long time. We didn’t have eyes on them. I have a whole chapter where I talk about threat awareness and how do you build that threat awareness. How do you do it not in a paranoid way, but in an awareness way?
I’ll give you one more. Another one that I talk a lot about is debriefing. We all know the brief and the debrief. We all do some level of the briefing, whether it be weekly meetings or one-on-ones, or whatever it is. If you talk to most people in business and you ask them, “Do you guys do debriefs now?” They might say yes, but the reality is they’re debriefing things when things go wrong, there’s blame to find, or some disasters happen. We got to figure out why.
What we do in law enforcement that doesn’t happen a lot in the business or personal life is we debrief big things, whether they were successful or a failure. At the end of a mission or something of importance, we’ll sit down and say, “What went right? What went wrong? What went right? What went right by accident, because our competition or whoever we’re against made a mistake and we benefited from it?” When we don’t question things because things are going right, that’s when we miss these little micro issues that are coming up.
That’s where we miss these things that we have the ability to fix early before they become something bigger. I talk a lot about the value of debriefing in terms of fighting complacency because the biggest thing that leads to vulnerability from complacency is a success, ironically. The more successful we are, the more complacent we become. We start believing the hype. We are successful because of everything that we’ve done. All of our actions have led to that.
When the reality is, that’s not always true. In Denver, I would tell people, “Be a Peyton Manning. He got the Ring of Fame in the Bronco Stadium,” or anywhere else in the rollout, I’ll tell you to be a Tom Brady. Neither one of those guys, at the end of a win, sit back and say, “We’re going to party until next week.” Every one of them immediately will start thinking about what could we have done differently? What could we have done better? What are some vulnerabilities that maybe our competition didn’t take advantage of because they didn’t see them, but the next time somebody will see them?
Debriefing is a great way. You can do it with your family too and at home. How many times do you only talk to your kids when things go wrong? They get a bad grade, stay out too late, get into an accident with the car. How many times do we sit down and say, “What went right? You got a B+ on a test. That’s awesome. How can we get it to an A? What can we emulate? What can we build on?” We don’t do enough of that. Talk about our successes and try and find learnings in them. That’s another way to fight complacency with vigilance.
The last question I always ask people is what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received or the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?
I’ll give you two pieces of advice. One of them is from a guy by the name of Bruce Turkel. He is a speaker I’ve worked with. He’s written a couple of different books and wrote a cool book that came out called Is That All There Is?, which is pretty awesome. The thing was from a previous book and it was this idea that it’s all about them. The concept that I think a lot of us mess up with both in life and business is making it about us when it should be about them, our customers, our constituents, our vendors, and our employees. When we’re marketing our products and services, are we telling people what we want them to hear? Are we telling them what they want to hear and what they need to hear?
It’s that nuance in terms of making sure you’re always thinking about things in terms of making it all about them and not all about me. It’s something I think has been great for me. I come back to it a lot. In terms of whenever I’m putting together materials for people to read, or writing my book, or whatever, how has this for them, as opposed to what I want people to hear? It’s the difference between doing a presentation at work filled with 100 slides of all the work you did because you need everybody to know all the work you did as opposed to the two slides of the conclusions because that’s what the people in the room need.
If they want to hear about all the work that he did, they can come to get that later. That, to me, is a great mantra for a lot of different things in life. The other one was when I was back working at Coca-Cola, there was a guy named Steven Boyd. He told me this thing, “One is a dot, two is a line, three is a trend.” It’s something I go back to a lot in terms of making sure I don’t read too much into one-off events, and when I’m making decisions is based on an actual pattern and not based on something that’s an anomaly or something like that. In life, especially in this world that we live in now, people are way too quick to react to things without understanding. Is it a dot, line, or trend?
I’m going to ask you, people who are reading this say, “I like Len. I like what he’s about. I totally agree with his book, and how do I get ahold of him? How can I work with him? How can I go to his event?” What’s the best way to connect with you?
The best way is to go to my website, LenHerstein.com. It’s got everything about me and my book. If you’re interested in a conference, you can go to BrandManageCamp.com. That’s the conference. If you’re interested in the book and where you can buy it, you can get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, anywhere you buy books online. You can get it there, but if you want to learn more about me, what the book is about, and get some free swag, too, go over to LenHerstein.com.
Len, thank you so much for taking the time to be here. I enjoyed our conversation. Hopefully, I don’t see you in your sheriff’s gear anytime soon because I do go by you all the time.
I don’t work the highways a lot, so if you’re staying on a highway, you should be good. I appreciate you having me on. The other thing I forgot to mention is that I encourage anybody out there to reach out and connect with me on LinkedIn. I love connecting with people on LinkedIn. We can have one-on-one conversations there. Thanks for having me, Gary. This is awesome. Thanks for letting me go through the process of figuring out what my why is. I have a whole chapter in my book about why, purpose, and all this stuff. It’s such a great connection for me. This is a different use of it, but I love it. It’s spot on.
Thanks, Len. I appreciate you.
It’s time for our segment, Guess their WHY. Instead of using Walt Disney, I’m going to use his brother, Roy. If you know anything about Disneyland and Disney World and Disney, Walt was the visionary. He was the why guy, but if he didn’t have his brother, Roy, nothing would have gotten done. You have a guy with a lot of ideas but not the ability to implement them. He brought along with him his brother, Roy, who wasn’t an idea guy, but he was an implementer. He took all of the ideas, concepts, and thoughts that Walt came up with and made them happen, creating structure, processes, and systems around getting things done.
What would you guess, Roy Disney’s why is? Think about that for a minute. For me, I believe that Roy’s why was to do things the right way in order to get results. People with that why are structure, process, systems people. They take ideas and build a structure around them, making them happen predictably and consistently so that people have a predictable, consistent experience. That’s what’s so great about Disney World and Disneyland is you get a consistent, predictable experience every time you go there.
It’s done around vision and the thinking of Walt Disney but done in the way that Roy created so that people love the experience they have. That’s what I think. Let me know what you think. Thank you so much for reading. If you’ve not yet discovered your why, you can go to WHYInstitute.com, use the code PODCAST 50, and you can get it for half price. We do that to thank you for reading. If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe, leave us a review, and rating on whatever platform you’re using. Thank you so much. I will see you next episode. Have a great week.
Len Herstein has over 30 years of experience in business and brand marketing. Prior to founding his marketing and events company (ManageCamp Inc.), Len innovated, managed,and grew brands for major consumer packaged goods marketers, including Campbell SoupCompany, Coca-Cola, and Nabisco.Since 2015, Len has served as a reserve deputy sheriff with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado
If you want to find your genius, you need to figure out who you are and what you’re amazing at. Once you find that you can put yourself in a position where you can succeed the most. Life gives you so many clues on how to find your genius, like a murder mystery, you just need to find and organize them. This is your zone of genius. Dr. Gary Sanchez’s guest, Mike Zeller exemplifies the WHY of make sense. Mike is a business architect and entrepreneur mentor who helps professionals find their zone of genius. He is the founder of Symposia Mastermind and is the author of “The Genius Within“. Learn how to find greater clarity in yourself so that you can be in your zone of genius. Learn what the WHY of make sense means for Mike today!
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The WHY Of Make Sense: Unlocking Your Best Self By Finding Your Genius With Mike Zeller
Welcome to the show where we go beyond just talking about your WHY, andhelping youdiscover and live your WHY. If you’re a regular, you know that every week, we talk about one of the nine WHYs.We bring on somebody with that WHY so we can see how their WHY has played out in their life. In this episode, we’re going to be talking about the WHY of Make Sense or to make sense of the complex and challenging.
If this is your WHY then you are driven to solve problems and resolve challenging or complex situations. You have an uncanny ability to take in lots of data and information. You tend to observe situations and circumstances around you and sort through them quickly to create solutions that are sensible and easy to implement. Often, you are viewed as an expert because of your unique ability to find solutions quickly. You also have a gift for articulating solutions and summarizing them clearly in understandable language.You believe that many people are stuck and that if they could make sense out of their situation, they could develop simple solutions and move forward. In essence, you help people get unstuck and move forward by helping them solve their problems.
I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Mike Zeller. He is a business architect and entrepreneur mentor. He helps professionals find their zone of genius and rewrite their subconscious to fuel momentum towards life’s purpose.He has mentored over 200 high-level entrepreneurs from all over the world, helping add tens of millions in revenue to his clients. An entrepreneur himself, he has founded or partnered in over twenty ventures across multiple industries including technology, real estate, digital marketing and more.
Collectively, his businesses have achieved more than $100 million in sales in the last several years. He partners his business strategy with a heavy emphasis on social entrepreneurism, including one venture that gave away $300,000 in cars to single mothers in need. Mike has trained under masters of the industry such as Tony Robbins, Russell Brunson and Jay Abraham. As a master NLP practitioner, he uses his core methodology to help entrepreneurs and creatives get unstuck from emotional roadblocks to become more fully integrated and build unstoppable momentum. He has been featured in Business Insider, Forbes Coaches Council, Thrive Global, Huffington Post, and on Fox Radio. Mike, welcome to the show.
Gary, I’m excited to be here. After that intro, I sound a lot more impressive than I feel.
It sounds like you have done a lot of things. Where I think we should start is take us back through your life, maybe back to even when you were in high school. Where did you grow up? How did you get on this path of entrepreneurism and end up where you are now? Let’s start back there.
I was in love with baseball in high school. I was devoted to becoming a professional baseball player at one point. That’s where self-discipline, desire, hunger and that fuel to challenge myself grew. My dad was an immigrant from Germany with an eighth-grade education. He moved to America, not speaking a word of English during post World War II. He was born in 1940. His parents were anti-Hitler but they still had to have a picture of Hitler hanging in their house. Otherwise, they could be arrested by the Gestapo and a lot worse could happen to them. They had a picture of Hitler hanging in the back door in a closet. If someone came in, they could say, “We have our picture of Hitler in the back.” I learned this story from my dad.
If I go back to some of the roots and things that are imprinted upon us that you don’t even realize where they come from, my dad was eligible for nutrition deficient camps. Even though he was a German boy and his parents had a general store, which is a precursor to grocery stores. He came over to America with this hardiness and this resilience where they had one serving of meat a week. They would have potatoes, vegetables and things like that.
I’m not terribly old or anything like that but when I was growing up, he taught us a lot of that. He taught us to be resilient, disciplined, frugal, hardworking and industrious. I got a lot of that, but he was also self-employed at the time I was growing up. He owned and raised harness horses and was one of the best in the country, so I wanted to eventually be self-employed. Eventually, I knew I was meant to be an entrepreneur. I thought I was going to be in the restaurants. I got into real estate and started building a mini real estate empire.
At age 32, I listened to Tony Robbins’ Personal Power II. He talks about doing incantations and affirmations. My seventh affirmation was that I mentor and lead some of the brightest and best people in the world. I was like, “I don’t know how I’m going to do that. All I’m doing now is real estate.” I was like, “I’m supposed to write this down.”
Three years later, I had started at that point six more businesses. After a mini-sabbatical in Buenos Aires, Argentina that was inspired by The 4-Hour Workweek, I started getting tons of people reaching out for mentorship and coaching. My first paid client at the time was doing $25 million a year in eComm. He’s the cofounder of iHeartDogs. I loved it and felt like I need to figure out a way to make this viable and make sense in helping entrepreneurs grow. That’s a long story.
You were early on into sports. That was your thing. Did you go off to college or no college?
I went to college. I went to a private liberal arts school and played baseball in college for a bit. I am still very attuned to sports. I’m hosting a Clubhouse room called The Sons and Daughters of Hall of Famers. Jim Brown’s daughter is coming on, Gill Russell’s daughter, Sugar Ray Leonard’s son, Joe Montana’s son might come and share. I love the game of sports.
That will be interesting because the pressure that’s got to be on the son or daughter of a legend has got to be intense. I’m fortunate that I had two daughters and I didn’t get to put pressure on them to be these amazing athletes because that wasn’t in their makeup. I realized that quickly when I was coaching soccer to five-year-old girls. I turned to put my daughter in the game and she’s down at the end of the field chasing a butterfly. I realized all this pressure that I could apply to be a great athlete is not going to apply to them. What was the first business that you got into?
Besides a couple of network marketing businesses, I would say real estate investing. I’ve built on a little real estate portfolio.
Who got you into that? Why did you pick that of all the things that you could have picked why real estate investing?
One of my mentors at the time shared with me Carleton Sheets’ No Down Payment Program. It says, “97% of America’s millionaires made their millions in real estate.” It was one of his core premises. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know but I got in the game. I loved the power of leverage, the tax write-offs, and all the other things that come with real estate. I’m a big believer in real estate.
It was interesting when I listened to your story, the quick version of it. It’s very similar to my path. I did Tony Robbins’ Personal Power when I was in my twenties. I took the No Down Payment course. I took a lot of those same things. It’d be interesting to see if most entrepreneurs were on that same path. I saw some different multilevel marketing things way back in the day. I quickly learned that maybe that wasn’t the best way. You probably figured out it didn’t make much sense.
I didn’t want everyone that I talked to be a prospect of my downline.
You didn’t want them to scatter when you walked in?
What kind of real estate were you involved with?
It is mostly residential. We did a few flips but frankly, the flips were hard. Even though Nashville is a great market, it is still a very hard market to make good margins on. I eventually owned an office building. I had an office building that was sold in 2020. I loved investing and I still do. Besides cryptocurrency, that’s the thing I want to heavily invest in over the next twenty years, as well as other companies.
You jump in there, figure out the best way to do it, do that for a little while, and then onto the next.
One of the things that I started noticing, especially as I reflect back, is I have 4 or 5 friends that have $100 million-plus real estate portfolios. I didn’t love the game as they did, but I loved other things that they maybe don’t understand or get to. When we go into finding your genius, I think there are clues scattered throughout our lives. The challenge is most of us haven’t organized and synthesized the clues that, “You’re a genius over here and you’re not so much a genius over here. In fact, you suck over here.” We have some basic understanding of those things but you have to get even more precise. One of the fundamentals, as I look back at my entrepreneurial journey, is that I see over and over that those people who accomplish extraordinary things put themselves in extraordinarily right positions. I think there are clues in your life, my life, and everyone’s life as well.
I bet you see scenarios where they put themselves in situations where they weren’t living their genius.How long can somebody take that? You did real estate for a while and then jumped into it by accident. It sounds like personal growth, mentoring and helping other people achieve their success. In that area, is thatwhere you learned about the zone of genius?
One of the businesses that I started when I came back from Buenos Aires was a socially-minded car dealership. We had a goal that was twofold. It’s to create the most ethical, honest, straightforward, and the best value car buying experience in the Southeast, which we did. Every car we sold helped us give away another car to a single mother in need. We gave away over $300,000 worth of cars. We started a digital marketing agency that was designed to help my businesses and other businesses grow and stretch. Another venture was the men’s fashion line, then a sustainable fashion line, and then an office/coworking space.
I started asking myself, “What parts of the business am I good at?” I also started getting clues about what parts of the business I’m not so good at, which are some operations, legal, administrative tax sides. I hate those things. It’s not in my wheelhouse. I can do them and I can discipline myself, but only for so long. I get bored and I want to go over here and create something else. I lost over $1 million as well.
After I had all this growth, doing $30 million a year in revenue, I personally lost over $1 million in a pretty short time period in 2018. It sideswiped me because I was playing out of my position so much. I realized that my genius had gotten me to a certain level but I didn’t have the right partners, collaborators, etc. Now I had more people asking as well as I was getting more advice-seekers approaching me. I’m like, “I can’t tell you where and what you should do without knowing your values, strengths and weaknesses.” I thought, “All the personality tests gave us different clues.” I loosely created a process to organize and synthesize the clues.
You figured it out. You made sense of this complex thing called, “What’s my genius?”
I’ve got the most complete process ever created for someone who is hungry to figure out their genius more precisely. I’ve yet to find someone that doesn’t have a massive breakthrough when they do the whole thing.
How do you define your genius?
My genius is where I can be one of the best in the world or best in the marketplace that’s deeply aligned with my values, life experiences, relationships and my strengths. It’s those four pillars. We all have webs of relationships. Our network is our net worth, some might say. The third thing is our defining life experiences. Why does someone who goes through the same university or goes through the same experience in terms of the same education or whatever do something radically different?
If we look back at Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, why are they both in a race for space? They were fascinated with space in their teenage years and wanted to do something. They dreamed of going to outer space. One of my favorite stories is about Theodore Roosevelt. At the age of 22 or 23, unfortunately, his first wife dies giving birth and his mom dies 24 hours later. He’s like, “I can’t take it.” He was a politician at the time, a Congressman or something. He let his aunt raise his daughter for the next six months because he’s like, “What am I going to do with an infant? I’m a rough rider type personality.”
He goes out West to North Dakota and South Dakota. He camps, hunts and lives in the wilderness for months. Fast forward many years later, he becomes the President of the US. He preserves the national parks. He preserves more natural acreage and is a bigger advocate for wildlife than any other president we’ve ever had because of those types of experiences.
The first thing was unique talents, the second thing was your important relationships, and then the third was your life experiences. What was the fourth again?
It’s values and passions. What do I stand for and what do I stand against? What lights me up? What am I insatiably curious about? They all give clues. The goal is you synthesize and organize all the clues. They are scattered throughout. If you get them all on one table or one worksheet in my case, now you have all these clues organized and you can see patterns emerge. You’ve probably read Jim Collins’ Good to Great book, Built to Last and all that. What is it? Jim gathered a bunch of data and he didn’t go in assuming certain things. He had some guesses but he looked in and said, “What patterns are going to emerge from the data, about the companies when they went from good to great.” There were some patterns that he didn’t even expect.
What happens is you have greater certainty and greater clarity. One of my clients that I took through a whole day session on it is a former executive of the federal government. She’s retiring and she’s had as many as 80,000 employees underneath her. She said, “Mike, this is one of the biggest a-ha moments in my 34-year career. She went through the process even though she is pretty self-aware. She spent tens of thousands of dollars with coaching programs. She read countless books. She gets up at 4:30 AM. She does her disciplines and things like that. Socrates said, “To know thyself is the beginning of all wisdom.” If you can master yourself, you can master the game of life.
What was the turning point for you? Why did you decide to go on this path?
I remember when I first became a man of faith in college. I became a Christian in my junior year. I remember speaking and organizing an event. I was like, “I think my purpose in life is to unleash people’s God-given potential.” I did ministry for a while but I felt like, “I’m not supposed to be in ministry.”
What made you believe that?
It was almost like a divine download. I had a whisper. Sometimes in life, we get whispers and nudges. It doesn’t have to be audible. It’s just, “There was something meaningful here. I’m supposed to connect with this person.” When I was 21 years old, I was mentoring college students. One of the guys I was mentoring was two years younger than me. He says to me one day, “Mike, you’re the best mentor I’ve ever had.” I was like, “Wow.” His dad was a bestselling leadership author. His dad was pretty legit and way far ahead of me. I was like, “That’s pretty awesome.”
When you get connected to your heart and spirit, you get clarity if you’re willing to still yourself, still the outside noise and listen. Tune yourself and ask yourself. Your body doesn’t lie. If I take this pen right here and I put my hand down and I try to stab it, my body will not stab itself unless I’ve somehow bypassed it. A Navy SEAL might be able to bypass it but I can’t bypass that very easily because our body is designed not to harm itself. Our body is also very honest, but most of us are attuned to our mind more than our body. Our minds can lie and it lies all the time. We get all these word tracks, wounds, stories and false beliefs.
I have a Claim Your Power Meditation on YouTube that you go through and you get more connected to yourself, your weak-ass self and your most powerful self. You release the weak-ass version of you from controlling and guiding your life. It’s all about asking your heart and your body. What is the name of your badass self? I’ve got Magic Mike, and I’ve got Weak-ass Willie. Magic Mike is more powerful, I promise you that.
You create your own name for the badass version of yourself and then you put that one on your shoulder or what? How do you use your badass self?
We’re both sports fans. We know Kobe Bryant had Black Mamba. Bo Jackson had a guy named Jason from Friday the 13th. He’s a nice guy off the field but when he’s on the field, he’s going to run over and destroy people. It’s how he thinks. You flip into a different mentality. One of the early clients that I worked with on this was a big Instagram influencer. She had 600,000 followers on Instagram. We sat down for twenty minutes in our session. We were out in LA and she breaks down in tears. She said, “Mike, I’m completely stuck on my message.” I’m like, “What am I going to do? I got a crying girl in my hands.” I realized, “I can take her through this process.”
I took her through the process and I got her connected to Oprah Winfrey. I asked her, “Who do you admire who knows their message?” “Oprah Winfrey.” I had her visualize experiencing, being and delivering a message as Oprah. By the end of that, we go back to her. She’s created a whole new brainwave. We’ve got wavelengths. The universe is made up of waves, sound waves and light waves. As entrepreneurs, what are we? We’re up and down. It’s a roller coaster to some extent. Our women have a cycle and it’s a 30-day cycle. They’re up and down. There’s a time of the month they’re crazy and want chocolate. The universe is made up of waves.
The challenge is to create a new pattern or a new wave. In that Law of Physics, an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an outside source. We can create new patterns and new waves with new perspectives. New perspectives create a-has. Why did the founder of Red Bull discover Red Bull when he’s in Thailand? He’s tired and he has a big meeting. He asked the taxi driver to pull over so he could run in and get an energy drink. The taxi driver says, “Get this Red Bull. It’s good.” He goes down and gets a Red Bull can or whatever with a little Red Bull on it. It is something similar to what it is now. He was like, “This works.” He comes back and creates that brand. He was in a different brainwave, pattern and perspective. I help people create new patterns around finding their genius and anchoring to their most powerful identity.
When they have their most powerful identity, they can use that as a sounding board. How do they use it once they have their badass self?
I’ll give you an example. One of my clients is Renee Batten. She’s a former Army veteran or a Navy veteran. She’s a powerhouse woman who has written a bunch of books. Her alter ego is Barbuda. We were talking and in many parts of her business, she’s doubled and tripled her income since working together but she hadn’t made some leaps up in our marketing. I was like, “Renee, who’s leading your marketing department? Is it Barbuda or is it Renee?” She’s like, “It’s not Barbuda. It’s Renee.” Barbuda leads with power, magnificence, strength and courage. She doesn’t play small. You have different energy. It’s the beauty of the human mind that is different from the animal kingdom.
I remember when my dad made us watch animal shows. You see a wildebeest getting caught by some lions and then all of a sudden, it somehow escapes the jaws of the lion and runs off. The lion is too tired to chase it down. Two minutes later, it’s eating grass. You’re like, “Mr. Wildebeest, what the heck’s wrong with you? You were just in the jaws of a lion and now you’re eating grass.” We wouldn’t do that. If we almost die, we’re not eating a sandwich two minutes later because our minds are different.
In the animal kingdom, their minds are designed to release energy faster. I’m studying trauma a lot. Healing from Trauma is a great book that talks a little bit about this. As humans, we hold on to it. We also have the superpower of we can transport our minds into a different space with imagination and creativity. If we can do that, then we will lead and create from a radically different space.
Our marriages and relationships can be different. We unlock our divine human potential in a different way. That’s why I think this higher version of ourselves that’s within us is the real version. Sometimes we’re like, “If I step up here and I imagine myself there, that’s the imposter.” No, your current reality is most likely your imposter. What if we flip the perspective? What if my current reality or the one that wants to play small, the one that wants to hide, the one that wants to not go for it is the false version?
Once you have definedwhat the real version of you is and named, then you can step into that?
What I do is I have people write out, “How does this version of you walk and talk? What is this version of you wearing? Are they wearing hand-me-downs pre-owned clothes? Are they wearing Gucci or whatever they are wearing? What type of music does that version of you listen to?” Do you do affirmations?
I start my day off with, “I am Magic Mike. I am a wealth magnet. I am attracting, earning and saving millions of dollars. I am worthy of extraordinary.” I’ve got 2 minutes and 22 seconds of affirmations of declaring “I am,” even though some of those things have not happened fully yet, but I’m speaking where I want to go. Our words are our commands so I speak those into existence based on my zone of genius partly as well, then they are in alignment.
I’m designed to be a creator and not an accumulator like Warren Buffett. The Wealth Dynamics test is one of my favorite personality tests. It shows you your natural pathway to wealth. If I’m creating and building in alignment, the powerful phrase “I am” subtly commands your body to move in that direction with energy and music. I like energy and music. It changes our brain waves as well.
Tell us about Magic Mike versus Weak-ass Willie. When did that transition happen from Weak-ass Willie to Magic Mike? What was that like for you?
Both of them still show up. Weak-ass Willie is when I lost a lot of money and then I had all these people I had to pay and all these things. I had some significant shame around that. I had my tail between my legs. I’m not going to take care of what I need to take care of if Weak-ass Willie is leading my life. I started creating that alter ego of Magic Mike. I had a client call me Magic Mike because of the magic I was creating in her life. I said, “What does Magic Mike do? How does it lead? How can you show up more before I go into meetings or podcasts interviews, and before I do this or this?”
I’m like, “Do I want Magic Mike to lead or do I want Weak-ass Willie?” When Weak-ass Willie shows up, I’ll literally say, “Thank you for sharing your good desire.” It’s always for protection and wanting to keep me from harm. I’m like, “I see you and I hear you but I’ve got to advance. I’ve got to be on the offensive and lead. I can’t retreat. “Thank you. Magic Mike, you take the reins, drive the car, drive the bus in my life. Let’s roll.”
It is very much like sports.
It goes down into visualization, commanding, reinforcing and not letting a thought or pattern that doesn’t serve who you are and how you want to show up stay in your mind long. We all have them come in, but do we let them build a nest in a home?
It’s “I can’t” versus “I can.” I was a world champion in racquetball and at every level that I went through at every stage, I faced the “Am I really good enough?” You have to overcome that by believing it. What worked when you were at a lower level does not work when you get to the next level, which does not work when you get to the next level, so you’ve got to reinvent.
You’ve had to do that a few times in your career. I imagine you’ve gotten closer as well to your genius and to your purpose. There is always more to unpack using the lessons of our wins and failures.
What I like about what you’ve done is that you’ve figured it out. You’ve codified what people were doing that found success versus what people were doing that didn’t find success. You said, “This is what these people are doing. Let me show you what the heck they’re doing so it makes sense to you and then you can go do it.”
It’s do-it in your own unique way and your own unique path. The other thing that’s cool about this process is when you do it, now you’re going to have even more deep alignment. If you’re resolved and convicted in your spirit, you show up more courageously. You show up with greater confidence and greater commitment. It all starts with clarity. It’s the first of the five Cs. Greater clarity leads to greater confidence. Greater confidence leads to a greater conviction. With a greater conviction, we show up with more courage, then we make higher-level commitments to ourselves and others.
I’m sure there are a lot of people reading right now that are in that stage themselves where they are making that shift or the transition from what they were doing to what they wanted to do, and it’s scary. It’s sometimes easier to write it out and play small. If you’re talking to them right now, they’re reading and they’re teetering on, “Should I go for it? Should I not go for it?” What is the first step they should take?
Socrates is one of the wisest men who ever lived. He mentored Plato and Aristotle who gave us in essence, Western Civilization, the philosophy of democracy, and the capitalistic system as well, and human growth and human potential. He said, “To know thyself is the beginning of all wisdom.” King David said in Proverbs 16:32, “It’s better to have self-control than to conquer a city.” Another wise man, Dee Hock, the Founder of Visa. When he started writing for Harvard Business Review, he found the very best leaders in the world and did something that ordinary leaders did not. That was that they focused more than 50% of their leadership energy on leading themselves.
Back to what I said before, “Extraordinary results are predicated not necessarily by the most extraordinary people but people being in extraordinarily right positions.” You think of a great sports team. They are extraordinarily aligned. Why will the Brooklyn Nets probably never win an NBA championship with Kevin Durant and James Harden consistently? They don’t have a complementary team. They got two great stars but it’s not aligned with the rest of the team.
Extraordinary success comes down to people being in extraordinarily right positions. If you get yourself more in the right position, which I think that’s where I had another client go through the test and the course before I had the book out. She was like, “Mike, I would have doubled my salary if I had gone through this first because I would have had so much greater clarity around where I kicked butt and I would have asked for more.” She renegotiated her salary after being at the job for a month.
Figure out who you are and where you are amazing because you can put yourself in a position where you can succeed the most. I would say pick up the book because it guides you through the whole process but go through the personality tests. The reason I’d take people through five personality tests is they all give you different clues. They measure different behaviors and strengths. Doing the other inventories around relationships and defining life moments also give you other layers of clues. The more layers of clues, the more patterns you will see.
Once you know yourself, then making decisions is easier, and then you have clarity, confidence, conviction, courage and commitment. That’s exactly what we believe. The first step is self-awareness and the first step in self-awareness is knowing your WHY because once you know your WHY, all the rest makes sense and fits together. In your case, we know you are somebody who believes in making sense of complex and challenging things. You’ve done that in every area of your life all the way along, from being the guy that helped people through their problems when you were young, to the person that’s continually doing it now. You did it in real estate and you did it all the way along in your journey.
Knowing that, we could predict that you’re eventually going to figure something special out, and you did. You took something that is complex, challenging and overwhelming. “I have no idea what to do and I don’t know where to turn,” and you said, “Let me hold your hand for a second. Here’s where you go. Here’s your step. Figure yourself out and then we’ll figure the rest out.” I got one last question for you before we go there. What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given or that you ever gave someone?
Something that changed my world was when I was nineteen years old. I went to Peter Lowe’s Success Seminar. I heard guys like Zig Ziglar, Colin Powell and all those legends of afar. One of them said, “Spend 30 minutes a day reading. Do it in the first part of your day. Do it in the morning. That way, you start your day off with some fuel in the tank. You put some deposits in your bank account.” I’ve done that in every season of life since then. I’ve read 1,500 books now. I love learning and growing. As a result, I can honestly say that I mastered a lot of different subjects.
There is another guy, Brian Tracy, when I was twenty years old in the middle of a finals week. He said at his seminar, “If you read a book a month in your chosen field, you’ll be an expert in three years. That’s 36 books.” I was like, “I don’t want to wait three years.” I’m a little more impatient. I was like, “I’m going to master a subject in one year.” The first one I mastered and worked on was leadership, sales and marketing, spirituality, relationships, human psychology and all those others.
Choosing a field and becoming a bonafide expert goes far. You want to learn, lean into that and become a master. Don’t be a dabbler. You can dabble in some things and that’s okay. That’s experimentation, but choose a handful of things to become a master at. Once you master something else and you want to explore and master something else, master that. The top one-percenters earn disproportionately more than everyone else. We all can be one-percenters. If that’s 36 books, you can read 36 books in a subject and not take yourself up but apply it. That’s was the best advice I’ve ever received.
One of my mentors says it this way. He says, “Learn less and study more.” It’s pretty much what you said. You don’t need 500 books on 500 subjects, take one subject and go 500 books deep, and then you become the master. If there are people that are reading and they’re like, “I love what Mike had to say. How do I get ahold and work with him?” What’s the best way to connect with you? What would work best for you?
If you want a free Six-Step Guide To Finding Your Genius, I’ve got a free six-step guide. You can text Genius U to 474747. You’ll get a link to opt-in and get that PDF. Also, GeniusWithinBook.com or it’s on Amazon. I’m @TheMikeZeller on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and MikeZeller.com as well. It’s a pleasure being on your show, Gary. I love your approach and am excited for this next chapter of your life as well.
I’m so glad you were here. Thank you for taking the time and I look forward to staying in touch. As you come through Albuquerque, look me up and we’ll go get some Mexican food here.
That would be great. I love it.
In our last segment of Guess the WHY, I want us to think about Patrick Mahomes. He is the quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs. They won the Super Bowl and had a great year in 2020, and not such a great year in 2021, but I’m sure it’s going to end better for him. What do you think Patrick Mahomes’ WHY is? He’s the guy that can throw the sidearms and can run and passes well. He seems to think faster than everybody else. He always seems one step ahead.
For me, his WHY is the same as our guest’s, Mike Zeller, which is to make sense of the complex and challenging. So much comes his waybut he quickly synthesizes it. He quickly gets on the right path, makes a decision and makes it happen. That’s what people with the WHY of Makes Sense do. Thank you, all. If you’ve not yet discovered your WHY, you can do so at WHYInstitute.com. Use the code PODCAST50 and you can get it for half price. If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe, leave us a review and a rating on whatever platform you’re using. Thank you and I will see you next episode.
Mike Zeller is a business architect and entrepreneur mentor who helps professionals find their zone of genius and rewire their subconscious to fuel momentum toward their life’s purpose. He has mentored over two hundred high-level entrepreneurs from all over the world, helping add tens of millions in revenue to his clients.
An entrepreneur himself, Mike has founded or partnered in over 20 ventures across multiple industries, including technology, real estate, digital marketing, and more. Collectively, his businesses have achieved more than $100 million in sales in the last 10 years. He partners his business strategy with a heavy emphasis on social entrepreneurism, including one venture that gave away $300,000+ in cars to single mothers in need.
Mike has trained under masters of the industry such as Tony Robbins, Russell Brunson, and Jay Abraham. A master NLP practitioner, he uses this core methodology to help entrepreneurs and creatives get unstuck from emotional roadblocks to become more fully integrated and build unstoppable momentum. Mike has been featured in Business Insider, Forbes Coaches Council, Thrive Global, Huffington Post, and on Fox Radio.
So there we were. Me, a Trust, just wanting to be heard and listened to while sharing what happened during my day. However, what he heard, was an opportunity to try and solve the problem. I was only sharing my frustration with a coworker and he immediately began to divulge routes I could take to solve this. The desire to solve problems is compulsive for someone with the WHY of Make Sense. It is their gift to the world, and is important to understand that, even though this may not be what you are asking for in that moment.
Sometimes all you need is a little support
At times they may seem a little bit more rigid than they mean to be. Because Make Sense people are so intelligent they may not understand why someone else isn’t “getting it” when it came so easy for them. This can cause some friction in relationships when they are spelling out something for you and you may not be understanding or asking for a quick fix, but rather were looking for support. You will need to let them know ahead of time whether what you are telling them requires their help or if this is a venting session – as they simply can’t help themselves from trying to solve. Make sure to remember they aren’t belittling what you are saying or don’t think you can figure it out on your own, they are just trying to help you.
What they provide
In a relationship a Make Sense person does bring a lot to the table. They bring the ability to help, not in a Contribute way, but in their own way. When you and your significant other are planning a vacation, a dinner date, or a concert, be thankful you are in a relationship with a Make Sense. They can quickly come up with a game plan for travel, driving, hotel, put it in a spreadsheet and set it up quickly. The rest of us know this would’ve taken us weeks, 3 liters of tears, and 10 travel agent live chats to complete. But for a Make Sense they do their research, understand it, and map out what needs to happen – badda bing badda boom – done!
I think the most important thing to know when in a relationship with a Make Sense is that they can’t help themselves but try and help you. It is their way of nurturing the relationship, and they aren’t trying to make you feel less than when they’ve solved it before you were even done fully explaining the situation. You will be thankful for this ability many, many times over the course of your relationship. You will be thankful you have them to lean on and that they will do all the hard thinking for you. Make Sense people make a great life partners, taking down one obstacle at a time for the both of you.
Dr. Matt Chalmers has been fixing and aligning spines for a long time. He is the owner of Chalmers Wellness and believes that if there is a problem in your body, you need to understand it before you can fix it. Being a chiropractor has helped him in making sense of the complex and challenging. By making sense of these, he is able to live a purpose-driven life. Join Dr. Matt Chalmers sit down with host Dr. Gary Sanchez to talk about his Why of Making Sense of the Complex and Challenging. Learn how to relieve stress because that is the most unhealthy thing a person can do to themselves. Understand how to fix your physical and mental problems. Also, find out what drives you because only then will you find your purpose.
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Finding What Drives You: Making Sense Of Your Problems With Dr. Matt Chalmers
In this episode, we’re going to be talking about the why of making sense, to make sense of the complex and challenging. If this is your why, then you are driven to solve problems and resolve challenging or complex situations. You have an uncanny ability to take in lots of data and information. You tend to observe situations and circumstances around you and then sort through them quickly to create solutions that are sensible and easy to implement.
Often, you are viewed as an expert because of your unique ability to find solutions quickly. You also have a gift for articulating solutions and summarizing them clearly in understandable language. You believe that many people are stuck and that if they could make sense out of their situation, they could develop simple solutions and move forward. In essence, you help people get unstuck and move forward.
I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Dr. Matt Chalmers. He received his Degree of Doctor of Chiropractic from Parker Chiropractic College in Dallas. Shortly after graduation, he started postgraduate and work in the field of neurology and is now a Certified Clinical Chiropractic Neurologist. Dr. Chalmers also received Certification in Spinal Decompression for the Management of Disc Pain, making him one of only a handful of doctors in the Dallas Metroplex to have such a certification.
Dr. Chalmers has been an athlete all his life and enjoys working with athletes and their families. Nutrition is a large part of a healthy lifestyle. As such, Chalmers Wellness offers a wide range of dietary counseling for weight loss to weight gain. Chalmers Wellness also offers a large variety of nutritional supplements to help improve the overall wellness of the entire family.
Tell us a little bit about how you got into chiropractic in the first place. Give us a little bit of your history. What were you like in high school, got into college, and then ended up going into chiropractic? How did you pick that?
My whole family is engineers. The whole take data and solve problems is in my genetics. I didn’t want to be an engineer. My whole family is in the oil field business. I saw that and I was like, “That’s not for me.” I was going to be a medical doctor. I wanted to either be an internist or a surgeon or something like that. When I was in high school, I played football. I hurt my back and I couldn’t walk, so I went and saw orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain specialists, and radiologists. If you had a license to look at people, I saw you. At the end of the day, they see this 155-pound kid that looked like he’d never seen the sun. They tell me that there’s nothing wrong with me and I was making it up because I didn’t want to play football anymore.
At that time, I was bench pressing 400 pounds and squatting about 600 pounds. I remember looking at the guy and be like, “If I can reach you, I’ll break you in half.” He was astounded that calling me a liar and a fraud would somehow make me a little upset. I called my football coach and I’m like, “I can’t walk and play ball.” He’s like, “Go and see our team chiropractor.” Because of the way faith works, I remember to this day telling him, “I need a doctor and not a massage.” He was like, “Go see him.” I was like, “Fine.”
My parents carried me in. He takes the same X-rays the MDs had for an hour or so. He clips it on the board and goes, “It’s right there.” He put me on my side, adjust me, I got up, I hobbled out, and I could practice three days later. I was like, “Maybe there’s something else to this whole world than what I thought.” The cool thing is about two weeks after that, I asked him a question about the body and he goes, “I don’t know the answer to that but I’ll find out.”
It took about another ten days and I go back in, and he’s like, “Remember that question you asked me last time? I researched and figured out the answer. Here’s your answer.” I was like, “All of those surgeons and medical guys couldn’t figure that problem out and so they said it was my fault.” These guys didn’t know the answer to something, so they went and researched it and looked it up. I was like, “This is the path I want to go down.” That’s why I became a chiropractor.
That was my whole deal, which is funny because when we got to chiropractic school, Dr. Stern comes up and he’s like, “Who here has a family who is chiropractors?” People raised their hands. He said, “Who’s here has his life radically altered for the better because of chiropractic?” We raised our hands and he’s like, “If your hand didn’t go up, you should drop out now. You’re not going to make it. This is too hard.” There were about 2/3 of the people who raise their hands and when we graduated, a whole 1/3 of us were gone. Chiropractic is a calling. It’s not necessarily, to me, you get into it for fun. It’s been really helpful for a lot of the stuff we do, so it’s been great.
Do you find people either believe it or they don’t?
It’s funny because we’ve been working with many people and I have many medical doctors as patients either for the nutrition piece or for the chiropractic piece. I get a lot of people who come in and tell me, “I don’t understand what you do. I don’t see why it works but this person sent me in. My wife told me I needed to come in.” 3 or 4 visits later, they’re like, “I still don’t understand how this popping thing works but I feel a lot better. Obviously, what you’re doing does something.”
It’s hard because even a lot of the standard medical doctors don’t have the education in neurology to understand muscle spindle fiber, Golgi tendon function, how the change in tone happens and the pressure on nerves goes away. It’s quite involved but it’s one of those things that people are starting to come around because they’ve seen the evidence in their friends and themselves, and they’re like, “I can’t tell you how it works but it does, so I’m going to come and do it.” That’s been helpful.
I’m a big believer in chiropractic because I had years and years of back pain. I did a similar path to what you were talking about, I went to every other kind of doctor you could imagine and nothing worked but chiropractic did. That was a godsend for me. When I have a problem with my back, that’s where I go because it’s fast too. It’s not years of talking about it, X-rays, medications, muscle relaxers, and all of the rest. It’s like, “Let’s get it figured out now,” which I like.
When I did my why with your testing, I was like, “This is 100% me.” If I do something and it works, that’s great but I have to know why. I have to figure out what was it that the real problem was. How do I fix this? The thing is that if I understand why then when somebody else comes, I can be like, “I know what’s wrong with you but I have to attack it from a different angle.” That’s the way that we solve things. If you do something and it works but you don’t know, how are you going to replicate that if it doesn’t work the same way next time? It was funny when I read that from all the nutrition we do and for all the physiology work or even in chiropractic that we do, it was like, “This is the first time I’ve taken any type of tests like this and it’s nailed down exactly the things that drive me like this.” I’ve never done anything that was even remotely close but this was 100% on.
The great thing about what you do is it’s in line with why you do what you do. You’re that person that is great at solving problems and you love to solve them. The more challenging, the better. If what you choose to do with your life is in line with your why, you will have passion for what you do. That’s where passion comes from. You’re the perfect example of that.
We talk about purpose and people ask me all the time, “How do you wake up at 4:00 AM every day and research and read for two hours before you get to work? Doesn’t that get boring?” I’m like, “No. I love what I do.” There’s a lot of times where I’ll be reading a research article and be irritated that I have to quit reading it so I can get ready for work. I remember the first time I did this, somebody asked me a question about testosterone, steroids, and that type of thing and I had no idea. This is the day that I started chiropractic school, so I didn’t have any real education. I remember this day, he was like, “I thought you’re going to be a doctor. You don’t know any of this stuff.” I was like, “I can’t be that guy.” I went and bought a medical textbook and read it cover-to-cover because I had to be able to solve these problems. If someone comes to me with an issue like this, I have to be able to fix it. It was telling and, in my opinion, humorous how much this test nailed who I was.
Something that you can think about is that is why I would choose you. How many chiropractors are there in your area? Probably plenty, right?
There are lots. In the gas stations, there’s one in every corner up here.
The question for the general public would be, “I need a chiropractor. Where should I go? Who should I choose?” The question is, “Why would I choose Dr. Chalmers?” From now knowing your why, when it comes to your message to what you articulate to the public, it’s all about making sense of the complex and challenging so that you can help people solve their problems and move forward faster. You do that now by knowing so much. You dive deep into the different subjects that you are the expert. You know as much if not more than the medical doctor, probably more because you’ve had time to look into it and that’s why I would choose you.
That’s oftentimes the big thing is because I care. It’s why did this thing happen? When we talk about how gallstones don’t exist, you have to understand what happened. It’s a liver issue. You had to do the research. You have to care enough to always have to know what’s the next step. Talk about making complex things into integrated plans. When we look at IBS and celiac and stuff like that, it’s like, “We have to clean the liver first for these reasons and the kidneys for these reasons. We have to clean the gut and kill the parasites, kill the yeast, bring the probiotics back up, and repair the gut lining.” All the stuff in the body, we have to do it in this order for these reasons in this way. As I said, that’s me. I take something complex and I crunch it down into specific, easy-to-do steps. I’ve never seen anything that came back and was able to explain how I do things like this.
Take us back now. When you were in high school, you got injured, you couldn’t play, went to the chiropractor, and got healthy. Did you get to continue to play? Did you play after high school or did you go off more into the medical realm?
What ended up happening was I got offers from all over the place to play but I knew that I couldn’t study the way I needed to, play the way I wanted to, and do all the things that are in college life and play football. I was like, “One of these has got to give. I know I’m not going pro, so I’m going to let the football thing go because I’m going to be the doctor. I got to go do that.” That’s what I end up doing. I decided to focus down on that. I kept taking physiology classes and that was my big thing because that’s how the engine works or the machine works. That was obviously why that appealed to me so much. It’s because I had to know how the system worked if I was going to be able to sit down and take it apart and put it back together. I had way more physiology classes than I had to but that was the big piece.
As we started going through, people started coming up to me and they’re like, “I’ve got fibromyalgia. How do we fix that?” “I don’t know.” I started going to the seminars and support groups figuring out what worked and what didn’t work. Now, that’s how I figured out how to fix fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. When we went through with the neurology and I started working with all my athletes, that’s how I figured out how to fix carpal tunnel and plantar fasciitis. There’s a lot of these things that if you sit down and understand how the system works and ask questions like, “How did it break?” Break it down into like a system, “Where does this thing go wrong? Why does it go wrong like that?” You can easily go like, “This is the point that broke. Fix that and everything after fixes itself.” That’s how everything has gone for us as far as the direction that we’ve taken to the practices.
You can tell me, “Vitamin C does this.” “Great. Why does it do that?” “You should take D3.” “Why?” It’s one of those things where not a lot of people understand that D3 works as a hormone helping absorb nutrients and then directing them where they need to go in the body, which it’s why if you get sick, you instantly run out of D3. Your body is saying, “Absorb all those chloride ions and bring them up here. We need to make more white blood cells.” As soon as you run out of D3, the messenger that’s telling the body what to do is gone. If you don’t keep your D3 up, that’s why. It’s those little things. That’s who I am and that’s what keeps driving this forward of like, “You bring me a new issue. I have to figure out what’s wrong.”
When we went to COVID, this is one of the few extra plural problems, which is why venting doesn’t do any good, you have to use hyperbaric, and you also see the breakdown of red blood cells. The other thing that we had like that is malaria, which is why quinine helps so much. It’s little things like that. As we go through, we take a problem and we pick it apart. Where did the system break? How’s this chain work? How do we build a process to repair it? That’s how we’ve done everything.
For those of you that are reading, Dr. Chalmers looks like he’s a football player still. He’s got 28-inch biceps but I don’t even know how big of a chest he has. The question that comes to mind for me is you went into chiropractic and from the outside perspective, chiropractic is all adjusting the spine, crack, pop, get everything lined up, get all the nerves, and all that working. How do you then take that? You’re one of the chiropractors I can tell already that’s gone to a completely different level than a typical chiropractor. Why did chiropractic then start to incorporate nutrition, stem cells, and all the other things that you guys are doing from traditional crack and pop?
As an athlete, I’ve always been looking at what supplements are going to improve my functionality. What do I need to eat? How does biochemistry work? I’m 6 or 8 hours short of a Chemistry Degree. I’ve had lots and lots of chemistry. That’s been one of the big pieces of how’s this works. I have that entrepreneur style of mind. When I see a market niche that’s completely open, I have to be like, “No one is playing here. I got to go figure this out.” It’s for nobody else but me and my family. Why are we taking the supplements we’re taking? What’s going on? How do I make my body work better?
Anyone in the bodybuilding and athletic community understands how critical diet is. As an athlete, it’s one of those things that you cannot be talking about diet if you’re in the healthcare field and you’re an athlete because that’s all it is. A lot of my medical doctor friends come over and work with me for themselves and they send their patients over to get that piece to reset because if you don’t know the chemicals that the body needs to run, it isn’t run right. That’s a big piece.
That’s evolved, at least for me, in the natural space of, “If I don’t feel good or if I want to have great health when I’m 75 or 80, what do I have to do now to make sure that I’m on the right path?” That has a ton to do with nutrition. That’s where this is all coming together. I have this end goal of being active when I’m 80. How do I get there? I had to build a system to get there and biochemistry was the system that I’m using. That’s where a lot of that came from.
You said way back that you were going to become a doctor. I’m sure at that point, you thought the medical doctor. You were then exposed to chiropractic and you went that route. It seems like you’re now going back towards chiropractic and where you do more than to adjust the spine.
I have a bunch of Eastern and Western medicine guys and they both make fun of me. They’re like, “You’re the only guy on Earth that’s going to talk about coffee enemas and injectable medical testosterone in the same visit.” I’m like, “We need them both.” You got to clean the liver. Your heart, brain, and bones need to function. At a certain point, we’re all going to have at least this conversation. I’ll have that conversation because it’s what the body needs. I tell people, “I’m more of a physiologist than I am anything else.” If it helps the body get better, it gets to play.
If you come in with a herniated disk, we’re going to talk about pain injections because those pain injections decrease inflammation and spasm and allowing me to do the physical work that’s required to keep you off the surgeon’s table. You integrate these things and you use the greatness of everything that’s around you to fix them. We do tons of medical testing like MRIs, calcium CTs, sleep studies, and all those things. At the same time, we’re resting metabolic rates. We always go back through it after the medical steps. What do we need to do to your chemistry to get you where you need to go? How do we make all of these things fit together into a nice little box where everything is set up and ready to go? The core of the piece is you can make an argument that I’m mixed.
I own a hormone therapy company so you can easily say that I’ve incorporated a lot of medicine. I have but it’s whatever works to get us from point A to point B. How do we get to our goal? What’s the fastest and easiest way to get to our goal? We’re then going to design a system that takes us from here to there in the cheapest, best, fastest and safest possible path. That’s how we set it up. A lot of times, if you come in and you got a yeast overgrowth, we can do Biocidin, black cumin seed oil, and all sorts of things. You can spend a couple of hundred bucks over a couple of months or you can take Diflucan or nystatin for $10 with insurance and the next month, we’re good to go and we can repopulate the gut with probiotics. You can use both. It’s just what’s the best thing for your specific program?
I’m going to ask you what I think is a tough question. If you could only pick one thing that makes the biggest difference in achieving health or being healthy, what would that one thing be? Is it nutrition, fitness, blood chemistry, supplements, sunlight, or sleep? What do you think is the one thing that makes the biggest difference in health versus non-health?
That’s pretty easy. It’s offsetting or eliminating your stress. Psychological stress changes the body unbelievably. We have sympathetic and parasympathetic. One is fight-or-flight and one is rest and digest. If you can figure out how to get your stress managed, so your sympathetic nervous system is not always dominant, parasympathetic is a massive benefit. You see those guys who smoke, drink, and eat bad food but they lived to their 90 because they don’t give a damn. They’re like, “I’m going to me. I’m going to live my life. Things are going to happen the way I’m going to let them happen.” They’re like, “How are they healthy? This guy exercises and eats right.” He’s also stressed out. He’s type A and freaking out about everything every day, watching every single calorie and doing everything. He’s super high-strung but this guy is not so much. That’s probably the biggest thing.
For a lot of us who have owned multiple businesses, get six hours of sleep a night, and they’re crushing it all day long, how do you offset that? You go work out in the middle of the day. You meditate at the end of the day. You set your life up so that you don’t wake up to an alarm. You just wake up when you’re supposed to. Those types of things. How do you balance that? The biggest thing is how do I eliminate the stress damage to the body?
It sounds good but what’s the best way to do that?
If you’re going to get six hours of sleep, start by going to bed in the time that you can get full six hours before you want to wake up. I get up at 4:00. I’m in bed and asleep by 10:00. I used to set an alarm but now my body is used to it, so I wake up naturally about 5 or 10 minutes before my alarm goes off, so I’m good and then I can do that whole thing. I research and I do everything all day long. I then go to the gym right about 1:00. My stress level comes up and up during the day. I’m going to work out and it crashes because there’s nothing better than the kinetic motion to decrease neurologic stress.
Now my stress goes way back down and then I eat. I then go back to work and I work for the rest day until 6:30. I go home and that’s when I do my meditation and my breathing stuff. That’s where I calm down and do that type of thing for about 20 to 30 minutes. That crashes my stress again, I can play with my kids, and do all that type of stuff at the end of the day. I do that as a daily habit. Coffee enemas are a big deal because the cleaner you get your liver and your colon, the cleaner your liver and your colon can get the rest of your body.
All that oxidative stress that you’re dealing with is supposed to be pulled out of your body through the blood via the liver. If your liver is congested and it can’t pull the waste out, you’re sitting in waste all the time. That gives us cholesterol problems or plaquing problems. That gives us all sorts of oxidative issues, cancer issues, and things like that. Cleaning that liver is probably going to be the second-best thing but setting your life up so that you can avoid or balance that stress. It’s going to be the number one most important thing. Schedule your day with little breaks in it to de-stress yourself.
I work out at 6:00 AM but I might consider changing that to the middle of the day. When you come back from a workout in the middle of the day, you feel like the day started over. It’s way fresher.
Getting a workout at 6:00 AM is better than no workout at all but you can change it and tell that you’re going to do it right before you eat. The cool thing is if you do that right before you eat, you knock out that sympathetic portion and now you’re in parasympathetic, which is resting digesting. Now, that food you ate has the proper hydrochloric acid to kill all the bugs, viruses, and parasites. It’s got the digestive enzymes from the liver and the pancreas. You’re going to digest and absorb more of the nutrients from that food than you would have beforehand. That’s the other big piece to crashing your stress and getting it down as low as possible before you eat. That’s the other little piece that’s cool plus, you’re going to get that little extra window of food and nutrition absorption from that workout. That’s the other fun thing.
What are you seeing in the future? What have you figured out and made sense of what’s coming down the pipe for the rest of us that took some breakthrough in staying healthy, living longer, and living a better life?
The Millennials are picking up on this and as older guys, you got to have to recognize why they’re doing it. I was talking to a bunch of business owners and they were all irritated because they’re like, “I keep offering these Millennials more money and they don’t want it.” I’m like, “That’s because they care about the quality of life more than they care about money.” What I’m starting to see is people starting to wake up and be like, “I’m not going to crush myself with stress for 80 hours a week just for money. I want to have a life, live and de-stress.” That’s a good one.
I’m seeing lots of CEOs that I do a lot of work with and corporations specifically for health and wellness, getting hyperbaric chambers in their office, getting exercise studios in there, and getting nutritional stuff in there. Also, making sure that their HSA covers supplementation and helping them get the right nutrition. A lot of people are starting to recognize that while Western medicine is amazing, personally, it saved my life more than twice because of car wrecks. It has a specific place. We need to worry about our daily lives, our daily supplementation, and our daily nutrition. A lot of people are starting to wake up to that idea of what we are doing for wellness and not for medical care.
We’re seeing a lot more concierge work. When COVID happened, everybody went virtual. My concierge piece and my practice blew up. We go 2 or 3 a month and it went to 3 or 4 a week. People are calling me, “I need you to take control of my entire healthcare. This is an issue now. I realize how critical and how fragile my health is. You got to help me.” That’s when we started seeing everything. You’re going to see a lot more concierge, people who are taking an active role in their health and who are deciding they’re not going to let the world beat them into a pulp. I think we’re going to see a lot healthier people as we go through. Things are going to get a little bit better.
You mentioned something there about a hyperbaric chamber. For those who are reading that are not familiar with that, what is it and what is it used for?
There’s a lot of different uses. People are most familiar with seeing them around dive shops. If you get bent or if you get too many air bubbles in your blood, you can use hyperbaric to push those back out. The way we use it for health is when your body is under pressure. It’s usually 1.4 ATA or atmospheric pressure. Through Boyle’s Law, you can force gas into a liquid, so what ends up happening is that when you’re sitting at room pressure and you’re breathing normal air, that’s roughly 28% oxygen at sea level. That’s how much oxygen you’re getting in. You breathe either reconstituted oxygen to 95% or pure oxygen at 100% under pressure.
Now, instead of your red blood cells carrying the oxygen, your plasma carries the oxygen as well, so you can get 1,000% more oxygen to the tissues. We’re talking ankles, feet, hands, brain, heart, and all those things. When you get that oxygen in, the first thing it does is it eradicates free radicals. It’s one of the more powerful antioxidants. Now, the pH changes. It gives even more alkaline, so it gets a little bit better. The other thing is that all those little blood vessels that were starved for oxygen now get to breathe on their own. If you had damaged red blood cells due to sickle cell anemia, COVID, carbon monoxide poisoning, or anything like that, all of a sudden, we can get the oxygen where it needs to go. That’s a big piece of what we do.
All of my pro athletes would come in and I’ll have them go work out hard one day. They jump in the chamber as soon as they get done working out and I’ll have them come in the next day after the workout. Every single one of them is like, “How do I get one of these my house?” He’s a big NFL defensive guy and he comes in, and he was like, “Yesterday, you almost killed me in my workout. Now, I could have kept going and do the same workout. Is that because of the chamber?” I said, “That’s 100% because of this.” He bought one and he kept calling me, “This is the difference in this year.” Towards the end of the season, he didn’t fall off as much as everybody else did because he was constantly regenerating himself throughout the year. I probably got 20 or 30 of those guys’ chambers because they would all see him and be like, “What’s going on?” They call him up and he’d have them call me. It’s a big deal.
When we talk about how are we going to be in 30 years? It’s one of the things I tell everybody, “This is one of those things you should invest in.” If you wake up for an hour, do your emails, read your book, or watch a movie while you’re in the chamber for an hour every day, the chances are that your oxidative stress is going to become a problem. It’s either plaquing your blood vessels or anything else is going to be small. You’re going to get a lot more benefit out of doing those emails if you’re in that hyperbaric function.
There was a study I heard about hyperbaric chambers that were done in Israel where they increase the length of the telomeres using the hyperbaric chamber for 25 years. What that means long-term, I’m not sure. Maybe you have a perspective on that.
This is a paraphrase of what’s going on. The length of your telomere is the length of your life expectancy. As your DNA replicates, the telomeres break off. It’s like if you tie your shoes for too much and they start to fray at the end, that’s the same idea. You got to cut the shoelace or get rid of it but you can’t do that with DNA. By keeping the telomeres healthy, keeping them oxygenated, keeping them in the right pH balance, keeping the nutrition back to them, they can repair a little bit and they can stay longer.
The chances that they can replicate more often are higher. That goes back to the quality of life long term and, more or less, how long you’re going to live. Telomere length is a big deal. There are hundreds of millions of dollars being spent trying to figure out supplements, drugs, and everything to increase telomere length. This deal with oxygen is one of the reasons that people are extending their life by using hyperbaric on a more regular basis.
Would you recommend that everybody have a hyperbaric chamber?
There’s going to be that weird thing where you got a pressure issue. Across the board, almost everybody can do this. I’ve never met anybody who shouldn’t be doing it. Yes, I would recommend it to everybody.
I know you live right outside of Dallas. Are you insinuating that the Cowboys are going to be good in 2021?
The problem I have with my Cowboys is that they can always be good but we find a way to not. There are games that we’re going to win this by 55 points. The Cardiac Cowboys, at the end of the game, we’re up for up seven points and they’ve got the ball. You’ve got to stand there and shake until the game is finally over. I’d love to say we’re going to do great things. I like a lot of the guys on the team. I met most of them and they’re all good guys. “We’re just getting every Sunday. We’re going to figure out where we’re at. It’s going to be a fun season. We got a good shot, so we’ll see where we go.”
You also wrote a book, is that right?
I did. It’s called Pillars of Wellness. I don’t sit well, so during COVID, we didn’t fully shut down in Texas but we slowed down. When we did that, I was like, “I got to do something.” One of my buddies, Ryan Steven, who’s written a lot of books and does a lot of motivational stuff was like, “Write a book.” I was like, “That’s something to do.” I did it and I put a lot of little things in there that people don’t know once you get deep in physiology about testosterone, gallstones don’t exist, and how to make the body healthier.
One of the big ones is finding your purpose and living a purpose-driven life. It’s funny because people ask me, “You’ve been married for over twelve years. You have a phenomenal relationship. Give us some advice.” I’m like, “Unfortunately, the reason that works well is that I knew my purpose. I knew my why and so did my wife. We figured out that they aligned. We’re a team.” When I do something to benefit my why, it benefits her. We work together all the time and that’s one of the big pieces.
In the book, I talk about biochemical, biomechanical, spiritual, and psychological health, the pillars that hold you together and make you healthy. Those are the big ones. Now that I’ve got a hold of your tests, I’ve been telling everybody, “Read The 5 Love Languages so that you can understand how to deal with your spouse and take this test because if you don’t know who you are and you don’t know what drives you, you’re always going to be miserable.”
As soon as you figure it out, “This is who I am,” and you lean into that, that’s why I’ve been doing this for many years. I’m excited for Monday. We take four-day vacations and I’m always irritated because I’d be away from the office for four days. I don’t get to do what I do. I don’t get to live my purpose. I’m going to make all of my concierges and I’m going to tell as many of my patients to take this test so that they know who they are and they can start pointing themselves in the right direction.
You’re speaking my language. We talk about it as being the start-here button. When you’re trying to figure out who you are, “Where am I supposed to start? Should I take this?” Discovering your why is the essential first step in self-awareness and all the rest will make a lot more sense once you know your why. In your case, your why of making sense of the complex and challenging. That’s why you do everything. You take that everywhere you go with you including in your marriage. Now, any of the other assessments you take will fit within that why of making sense of the complex and challenging as will your message for your business. The Pillars, what is your book about? Is it making sense of health?
It’s funny because when you people come, they’re like, “I want to lose weight.” I’m like, “First of all, we’re not going to work on weight. We’re going to work on your fat. I don’t want you to gain two pounds of muscle and lose two pounds of fat. You’d lost no weight and you’re upset but you’ve made good strides.” They’re like, “That’s easy,” I’m like, “How is it easy?” I can do this with anybody. Get your resting metabolic rate, find out your somatotype, put your somatotype diet macros set and your RMR, check your hormones, and that’s it. It has worked for every single person we’ve gone through. Again, it’s a system. We’re making the complex easy through systematology, which is 100% what my thing is.
I can’t wait until my kids get a little older so they can take this test so I can be like, “I’m not going to tell you what to do in your life but I want you to explore these 3 or 4 careers before you decide what you’re going to be.” If we can figure out what their why is, I don’t care if they’re underwater basket weavers as long as that’s their thing. That’s all they talk about. That’s all they want to do. They’re 100% committed to it. I don’t care about how much money they make. I want them to be on fire for what they are and what they do. This is one of those tests that will help weed through all the noise of where they should be pointing themselves.
Do you feel more successful when you’re able to simplify things to the point where other people can do it or when you’re able to create processes that other people can follow? This is why I’m asking you this, just so you know. I haven’t shared anything with you yet and that is that there’s your why, how, and what. We already know your why is to make sense of the complex and challenging. I’m sure I know what your how is. I’m a little torn between a couple of things for what it is people can count on from you. Can they count on a simple solution that they’re able to follow or can they count on a structured process that they can stick with?
The reason that it’s hard is that I want to make sure that we structure the program but I also want to make sure that you fully understand where we’re at. I will sit there and be like, “We’re going to do it this way and this is why.” People look at me and I’m like, “You didn’t get that. Let’s go back over this and we’ll explain this in a different way.” I want you to make your own decisions. I’m not your dictator. I’m your guide. I want you to make your own decisions. I want you to understand the reason you’re making the choices you’re making because I can set it out.
If you’re like, “I don’t know why I’m doing this so I’m not going to do it.” I’ve not helped anybody. If you can understand it, if I can explain it in a way where you’re like, “Now I understand the importance. Now I understand why I need to do it.” That’s important but I also have to make sure that the structure is there so that you go, “I did part A. I do part B and part C,” so that you get that little fulfillment of, “I have finished something and I can move on to the next piece.” That’s a difficult question. I don’t know which one I put more. Probably explaining it to people if I had to because they can do it when I tell them.
Making it simplifying for them or giving them structure.
I’m going to take a stab at what your why, how, and what are. This would be your personal message and your personal brand. If you’ve got up to speak to an audience and they introduce you, “This is Dr. Matt Chalmers.” If you started your presentation by saying, “My why is to make sense of the complex and challenging, how I do that is by seeking mastery and understanding, diving in deep looking for the nuances looking for all the depth, breadth, and detail. Ultimately, what I bring is a simple solution so you can move forward and you’re able to do it and use it.”
That’s 100% my goal. I’ve got to break this down for laypeople and I’ve got to break it down a lot of times for my MDs who are like, “I thought we’re about this is how the world works.” “No. This is how it is.” You’ve got to make it simple so people can grasp onto it. In my nutshell, you nailed it.
I also assume that is what your practice, your marriage, and everything that you do everywhere you go are all about, making sense of it, diving in and getting all the details, seeking mastery of what you’re talking about, and bringing something simple and easy to understand. It’s like you did when you talked about your marriage. I’m sure you studied marriage and relationships. You probably have 50 books on it and you’ve done the same thing. You’re a chiropractor.
Maybe not 50. The thing is, I have to recognize that there are people who are not like me because if I go through it, I’m like, “How did you guys not come to the same conclusion I did? How did you not do this?” They don’t think the way you do. They have other gifts. That’s 100% how it all happened. It’s obtaining mastery and bringing order to chaos.
We call that your Why Operating System. Your why, how, and what. That’s the system that drives you. That’s how Dr. Chalmers makes decisions. It has to make sense, have depth and meaning but it has to be simple. If it’s not those three things, how do you feel about it?
It’s not going to work. The goal is to get you better. If I explain it to you and you don’t get it, you’re not going to get any better. If I don’t understand the problem, I can’t fix it. That’s the thing. If I went and saw this guy, and I’m like, “They don’t understand how the body works. Why did you even tell him to do that if you don’t know what’s going on?” That’s 100% of who I am with those things.
That’s where the messaging, the marketing, and the branding all come from for your practice. Your practice is a reflection of you. Your practice is all about making sense of the challenges that your clients and customers are facing, diving in deep so that you know what’s going on, and bringing it to them in a simple way where they can get it done and do something with it. Make sense?
Yeah. That’s funny because we’re releasing two videos on how to fix carpal tunnel and one on how to fix plantar fasciitis at home for $20 without going to the doctor. That was the whole thing. I show people and they’re like, “This is so simple. How come no one’s ever said this?” I’m like, “I don’t know. I’ll make videos and put them out on the internet. You guys make sure everybody sees it.” It’s called neurology. It’s super simple. If you understand neurology, which I understand is not super simple. That’s the thing, I’ve got to explain it in a way that you understand. I’ve taken something complex like clinical neurology and functional neurology and explain it in a way that a ten-year-old can understand.
If there are people who are reading and they love what they know about you, they’re looking for somebody in the Dallas area, probably it doesn’t even have to be the Dallas area, that’s going to help them make sense of their challenge, know that there’s a person who knows their stuff, and can bring it to them in a simple way, how and what’s the best way to get ahold of you?
ChalmersWellness.com is good. I’ve been doing a good job with messengers and stuff like that. It’s @DrChalmers1 on any of the social media. You get a hold of me that way and CWellStore.com has got a bunch of stuff on it as well. If you follow us on social, we’re trying to get out. We’re going to launch those videos. If you’re on socials and you see those videos, share them with all your friends because you might not have plantar fasciitis, you might not have carpal tunnel, but I bet your friends do know that your friends know somebody that does.
I appreciate you spending this time with me. It’s been fascinating. We’re speaking the same language. I love what you’re all about. Those are the same things that I find a lot of interest in, so I look forward to staying in touch as we move forward.
That sounds great.
It’s time for our new segment Guess the Why of somebody famous. We are going to pick a famous person. He’s a famous golfer, especially if you follow golf. His name is Bryson DeChambeau. If you know anything about Bryson, he is known as the professor. He is somebody who created his way to play golf completely different from everybody else. If you’re a golfer, you know that each one of your clubs is a different length. Your sandwich is a different length than your driver, your nine iron. They’re all different length clubs.
He decided that it would be right to have every club be the same length and change the head on him so that every time you could have the same swing, it would be the same length and give him the best chance of being predictable and consistent in his shots so that he could plan what was going to happen better than if the clubs were different lengths. I believe that Bryson DeChambeau’s why is mastery because he is so intricate and meticulous about every aspect of his swing and the course. He has percentages for types of grass. Everything is down to a number.
It’s fascinating to learn about him and see what he’s done. His why is mastery. Thank you for reading. If you have not yet discovered your why you can do so at WHYInstitute.com. You can use the code Podcast50 and get it for half price. If you love the Beyond Your Why Show, please don’t forget to subscribe below or leave us a review and rating on whatever platform you are using. Have a great one. I will look forward to seeing you. Thank you.
Dr. Matt Chalmers received his degree of Doctor of Chiropractic from Parker Chiropractic College in Dallas. Shortly after graduation he started postgraduate work in the field of Neurology and is now a Certified Clinical Chiropractic Neurologist. Dr. Chalmers also received certification in Spinal Decompression, for the management of disc pain, making him one of only a handful of doctors in the Dallas Metroplex to have such a certification.
Dr. Chalmers has been an athlete all his life and really enjoys working with athletes and their families. Nutrition is a very large part of a healthy lifestyle and as such Chalmers Wellness offers a wide range of dietary counseling from weight loss to weight gain. Chalmers Wellness also offers a large variety of nutritional supplements to help improve the overall wellness of the whole family.
Jamy Bechler believes that it is a coach’s responsibility to help and inspire their people to be the best they can be. They can only do that when they learn how to step outside of themselves and see where others are coming from. This separates the good coach and leader from the rest. An author, motivational speaker, leadership consultant, and host of the popular “Success is a Choice” podcast, Jamy fulfills his why of “makes sense” by seeking to find better ways to solve problems and get something that makes sense and useful.
With a background as a championship athletic director, award-winning college basketball coach, and business consultant, he works with high-level sports teams and businesses helping them maximize results. In this episode, he joins Dr. Gary Sanchez to discuss what he sees are the differences between winning and losing programs. He shares his understanding of what a good coach and leader are, all the while highlighting the importance of leadership, culture, and teamwork.
If you’re looking to step up your game as a coach as well as uplift others and build that bond with them, then join in on this conversation and allow Jamy’s insights and process to guide you.
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What It Takes To Be A Good Coach: On Leadership And Culture With Jamy Bechler
If you’re a regular reader, you know that we talk about 1 of the 9 why’s and then we bring on somebody with that why so we can see how their why has played out in their life. We are going to be talking about the why of makes sense. If this is your why, you are driven to solve problems and resolve challenging or complex situations, you have an uncanny ability to take in lots of data and information, observe situations and circumstances around you, and sort through them in order to create order. You consider factors, problems, concepts, and organize them into solutions that are sensible and easy to implement.
It is not even that you enjoy problem-solving necessarily. You simply can’t help yourself. It is the lens through which you view the world. Interestingly, it is not necessary for you to share your solutions on a continuous basis. It is sufficient that you yourself have solved the problem or resolve the complexity of the situation. Often you are viewed as an expert because of your unique ability to find solutions quickly. You also have a gift for articulating a solution and summarizing it clearly in understandable language for your benefit and the benefit of others. You believe that many people are stuck. If they could make sense out of their situation, they could find a simple solution and move forward. You help them understand and see their way through.
I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Jamy Bechler. He is an author, motivational speaker, leadership consultant, and host of the popular Success is a Choice podcast. With a background as a championship athletic director, award-winning college basketball coach, and business consultant, he works with high-level sports teams and businesses helping them maximize results. He is recognized as an expert in leadership, culture, and teamwork.
That was a mouthful. I appreciate the great introduction, Gary. Thanks for having me. I listened to that why and I’m like, “That’s a lot to live up to. Someone that’s solving stuff or make sense of the world that we live in sometimes.” As a motivational speaker, I’m not sure I motivate all the time. Saying a motivational speaker, that’s like someone introducing you as a comedian. “Say something funny, funny guy.”
Jamy, take us through your life. How did you get into coaching? Were you an athlete yourself? Did you play sports? Give us a little bit of a tour of your life.
I was a stereotypical kid athlete that played every sport. I went to camps. I did every sport possible because we didn’t have iPhones. We had a black and white TV until probably I was in high school, which is crazy with the three channels and then PBS. Younger people don’t even know what I’m talking about. We had to stay outside, so we played sports all the time.
I grew up in Michigan. Even in the wintertime, we’re shoveling snow off the cement in front of our house to shoot hoops. Eventually, my dad built this pole barn and he put this basketball rim in there. It was a little bit shorter. It was only 9’6”. A lot of us were able to dunk on that. All winter long, we’d be inside with this little space heater but it was great. We’d shoot. You had to know the right angle to shoot the ball, so it didn’t get stuck in the rafters. It wasn’t a big enough barn where you could put a lot of arc on it. The point is, we were always playing sports. We were always doing something. I’ve read this book in seventh grade.
Before getting into high school, at seventh grade, I’m in English class and my dreaded English teacher, Mrs. Shannon, who I thought was the devil, did one good thing in my life. She had this library in the corner of her room and we could check out books. There was a John Wooden book, the great legendary basketball coach from UCLA. There was this book called They Call Me Coach. I read this book as a seventh-grader. I would love to say that I was this mature seventh-grader that said, “One day, I want to be a coach like John Wooden. I want to be the guy that helps people. It doesn’t matter if you’re a benchwarmer or you’re a star player. I’m going to be the coach that loves you.”
I wasn’t that mature but I read it. I was like, “I want to have a coach like that.” I recognize that there are good coaches and there are bad coaches. I want a coach like John Wooden that loves me, even if I make a turnover or a shot. That was the first time I thought that there was a difference between coaches that there was good coaches and bad coaches, good qualities and bad qualities. I got a little bit older. I realized I probably wasn’t going to go to the NBA. I started thinking more about coaching.
As I got into college, I went from being a star athlete in high school to my best friend who was the water cooler and the athletic trainer. I started to look at basketball a little bit differently. I started to look at the whole forest and not just my tree because I wasn’t playing very much. A lot of people will be bitter, be mad, or be a victim. I started looking at it from the perspective of, “I’m not playing much but I want to be a coach. I know my career is not to play, so I want to be a coach. I want to soak in as much of this as possible.” I was a good athlete and a bad athlete at times.
I became a coach for about twenty years. I was Coach of the Year. I was a good coach. I was also fired. I also had losing seasons. I also have some players that hate my guts. I also have players that we still keep in touch with. I had some ups and downs as a coach is. We’ll get into what I’m doing in a little bit. That’s helped me because I’ve traveled by plane. I’ve traveled first class. I’ve had programs with big budgets. I’ve coached at all different levels. I’ve also driven fifteen-passenger vans after losses where you eat sack lunches from the cafeteria. You put your own peanut butter and jelly on. You put your ham and mustard on.
I’ve seen all these different perspectives, which has helped me in my consulting with sports teams because I’ve been where they’ve been at, whether they’ve been successful or terrible. Knowing what it’s like to struggle through a season, whether it’s your fault or not, you’ve struggled through that season. I’ve lived it all and been an athletic director as well. For years, I’ve been on my own. I’ve been self-employed or unemployed depending on the day as an entrepreneur.
Where did you play basketball? Where did you coach basketball?
I played basketball in college at a place called Hiram College in Ohio. I was the epitome of mediocrity. Not only did I play basketball, I went to play basketball there but I also played some football and ran track. There are only two types of people that play multiple sports in college. One is the absolute maniac people that are amazing, the Bo Jacksons, the Deion Sanders. The other is the people that aren’t any good at any of the sports. The coaches are okay with sharing you because you don’t help them out anyways. I was fell in that category where the coaches didn’t care about me as much.
Where did you coach?
I coached a lot of schools, mainly in the South but I did start off at Kent State University in Ohio as a graduate assistant. I went to Anderson University in Indiana, LeTourneau University in Texas, Newberry College in South Carolina, Tennessee Temple in Chattanooga, Bryan College in Tennessee, and then Martin Methodist College in Tennessee was my last coaching stop. I was an Athletic Director at Marion High School in Indiana. The fifth largest gym in the world for high school. Nobody’s won more boys basketball state titles than that school had. That was a fun place to go to be an Athletic Director since I was a basketball guy.
That is a lot of interesting experience that you had. You didn’t just stay at one system and saw one thing. You got to see a whole lot of different organizations and leadership styles. What did you see was the difference between the winning programs and the losing programs?
Certainly, there’s always a baseline talent. No matter what we’re talking about, there’s always a baseline of competence in talent. Putting that to the side, the number one thing was the buy-in, the ownership of the players, and the coaches for a common goal. Are we bought-in to what we’re trying to accomplish? We can call this culture. Culture is a buzzword. Culture is something I talk about all the time. Ultimately, that culture is a buy-in tour. We’re all going to try to get to the same place together and in the same way. Sometimes we want to get to the same place but we don’t all want to go the same way or the same route. It’s having buy-in from, if not everybody, most of the people. That’s coaches and players.
Sometimes, the players and the coaches are on different pages. They’re not even in the same book. They have completely different agendas and selfish motives. You see this in businesses too, a lot. When I’ve consulted with a lot of businesses and I’m sure you’ve seen this as well, it’s the upper management, CEO level, or supervisory level. They’ll be like, “Come in and fix these.” We’re all part of the problem and the solution at the same time. It’s not us versus them.
I get that a lot with coaching. Coaches think, “It’s not my fault. Jamy is doing this, Jamy missed that shot, or Jamie didn’t know what he was doing.” It might not be your fault but it’s 100% your responsibility to help Jamy to know what he’s supposed to do, to help make Jamy the best he possibly can be, or to help have Jamy be inspired. That’s a big thing. We see this all the time with coaches. “These players are this. These players are that. They’re bored in practice or they don’t pay attention.” You don’t give them a reason because you don’t engage with them. You don’t inspire them.
It’s the same with businesses. “Our employees don’t want to be here.” It’s because you don’t make it fun. “I pay them a lot.” That doesn’t matter. How much you pay them doesn’t matter when they’re in that job doing it. That only matters on Saturday and Sunday, the days off, or on their vacation. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter how much you’re paying them. You have to inspire them in other ways if you want more out of them. Everybody being on the same page going together, it’s our team. It’s our goals. It’s not, “Gary is the boss, so it’s Gary’s team. It’s Gary’s goals. We’re trying to accomplish what Gary wants.” It’s not that. It’s, “We’re all going together. We’re all going to celebrate success together. We’re all going to overcome challenges together. We’re going to win and lose together.”
How do you teach somebody to get buy-in?
It’s a two-prong approach. In my case, I work primarily with sports teams. I certainly work with businesses but sport is my bread and butter. That’s my lane for the most part. You’re working with students but you’re also working with the coaches at the same time. With the students, you’re trying to find out what makes them tick. You’re trying to find out what their hopes and dreams are, what some of their challenges are, and understanding them. Also, trying to get them to understand the coaches, what the coaches are going through, and what the coaches are trying to get at. All of this comes back to trying to get everybody to see the whole forest and not just see their own tree. We’re trying to get them to understand as much as possible not to be understood.
A Stephen Covey’s great book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, one of those habits is seek first to understand then to be understood. A lot of us don’t ever do that. We want to be understood. “You’re not seeing where I’m coming from.” That might be true but you haven’t even seen where I’m coming from. It’s one of these things. As coaches, we don’t understand what a sixteen-year-old is going through or what a sophomore in college is going through. We can’t understand that as a 40-year-old, as a 50-year-old, we don’t understand them and they certainly don’t understand us. The thing is our sixteen-year-old self probably wouldn’t understand the sixteen-year-olds now in a lot of ways.
We don’t step out of ourselves sometimes, see where other people are coming from and see their perspectives. That’s one of the very first things we will do when we work with any team. It’s gotten them to see other perspectives. We have a lot of little activities we’ll do that are fun that blows people’s minds and different things like that of understanding in perspective. We talk a lot about seeing things from a different viewpoint, from a different lens because you’re never going to get common ground. It can’t be, “Gary disagrees with me on this. Gary has this opinion. I have my opinion and so we’re done.” You got to work with each other. We’ve got to figure out a way to how can, “I can do what Gary can’t do. Gary can do what I can’t do.” Together we’re going to fill in gaps. Together we’re going to complement one another. We’re going to play our roles to the best of our ability.
One of the things I talk about a lot is cars. I don’t know much about cars but with teamwork, with filling gaps and stuff, we’ll talk to kids, “What’s your favorite kind of car?” They’ll give this expensive $100,000 car. I’ll show them this little $5 spark plug. First of all, most kids don’t even know what this is but I’ll show them this spark plug. I’ll be like, “This $5, $10 spark plug can keep your $100,000 car from driving. It can sideline your car. This $5 spark plug can also make your car be $100,000, be cool, and work effectively.” Roles are important. Every role and person has value. We need to see the value and see what other people can bring to the table, whatever that is. Understanding in perspective is one of the very first things needed in order for everybody to come together.
What popped into my mind when you were saying that is tell us how you felt about that kind of a conversation when you were sitting on the bench as the player in college wanting to be the star but finding yourself next to the water cooler.
Most players that are in my situation would have hated it. I hated it because you’re embarrassed. As a college athlete, maybe you spent 18, 19 years of your life, depending on what the sport is preparing to be a college athlete and then you’re a failure. Your whole life, you’ve been successful. Your whole life, you’ve got up at 4:00 in the morning. You’ve grinded, rise, and grind type of stuff. You sacrifice. How many tens of thousands of dollars have you paid out or your parents have paid out to go to travel ball? You don’t expect to sit. It’s embarrassing, especially in a team sport.
Team sport is a little bit different than individual. In team sport, there’s a difference of opinion. There’s interpretation. It’s not just that, “I’m better than Gary.” We can’t prove that. Maybe I’m better than Gary at one-on-one or a better shooter but the team needs what Gary can offer more. In track, if I’m not on that four-person relay, it’s because I’m slower than those other four people. There’s some objective. Not that makes it easier but it’s less blame. There are more things that I can do personally to make myself better or to change the situation. In a team sport, most people sitting at the end of the bench are most people that don’t have a role that they don’t like. They’re not going to act the right way about that. They’re sometimes going to make the problem worse.
I love a quote from one of the greatest literary scholars of all time, Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. He talks about the problems not the problem. The problem is your attitude toward the problem. The problem is not that I’m sitting on the bench. The problem is my attitude towards sitting on the bench. Coming back around to answering your question specifically, what you have to do with a young person or with anyone, an employee. You have to connect with them and you have to develop a strong connection, a strong bond that you can have some difficult conversations with them.
We try to have tough love. “I’m keeping it real with you, Jamy. I’m telling you what you need to improve on.” We have these tough conversations but we don’t have a strong bond. “I don’t trust that person. I don’t trust Coach Sanchez when he’s trying to tell me something because we haven’t developed this bond. I don’t trust him that he has my best interest. I don’t care if he has the other people’s best interests. I want him to have my best interest. If he’s looking at me as a commodity or this is a transactional relationship, I’m not going to believe in what he’s saying.” As managers, as leaders, or anyone in a position of leadership, we do that all the time.
We try to have a conversation with someone without having a bond or any kind of connection. You have to have that so you can figure out what makes me as the athlete tick, what’s important to me. You also have to ask a lot of questions. Ask me questions. Find out where I’m at. Find out what’s important to me. Find out as much as you can about me as the person so that you know what buttons to push as well. There’s also one major thing that leaders don’t do very well is they don’t find a way to utilize me as an employee, to utilize my strengths, to add value to me, or to catch me being good. However, that is, they don’t utilize me. Going back to the basketball analogy, how many times is there a blowout in a game? “Maybe you leave the starters in an extra five minutes longer than maybe you should have. You could have utilized me in that game a little bit more. Maybe I’m a great shooter and the team was playing a zone. You could have used me to shoot the ball a little bit more.”
Have you always been a good problem solver?
I don’t know. I understand that why and I understand I do like making things better. Saying I’m a good problem solver, I don’t know that. My wife might say I’m not a very good problem solver sometimes. I like making things better, whatever that is. I will go into a fast-food restaurant. I can’t help it. I will see ways that they could be better at things, especially if I’ve gone into a Chick-fil-A and then I go somewhere. I’m like, “Why can’t everybody copy the way Chick-fil-A does their drive-through?” I’ll fly a different airline in Southwest. I tend to be a Southwest snob. I’ll fly Southwest Airlines all the time.
It’s only a problem when there’s a problem. If there’s a problem with your airline or with your flight, Southwest will try to work with you a lot more than another airline will. When you have a customer support issue or customer service, you see the culture of an organization. I do see things like that. How can we make things better? You always want to be improving. Probably the answer would be yes. I’ve always tried to make things better. I’ve always tried to make myself better in whatever way I can. You call it problem-solving. That’s great.
My wife, that’s one of her strengths. When she’s interviewed for jobs and stuff, she says, “I love to solve problems.” She comes at it from more of a puzzle standpoint. She’s also a person on our Kindle or on our tablet who’ll do puzzles. She loves to solve those kinds of problems. I never do any of those things. Life has enough issues and problems to solve. She likes it from almost a game standpoint. I see it as how we can always get better.
You’re the head coach. You’ve got a lot of pieces moving. You’ve got a lot of challenges that you’re looking at. Are you somebody that enjoys having a lot of things coming at you at once and trying to figure out what to do?
I wouldn’t say I enjoy it but it doesn’t intimidate me. It’s not something that I get stressed about it. I understand I’m juggling a lot of balls. If something’s going to mess up and I’m going to lose those 3, 4, or 5 balls, I’m going to make sure I catch 1 or 2 of those balls. 1 or 2 of those is more important than the others. You’re always going to focus a little bit more on a couple of things. I wouldn’t say I enjoy it but I certainly don’t have a problem with it. It’s something that I can take in multiple information. Let’s see a lot of different perspectives. One of the problems with that is sometimes I would be a little slower with making a decision. I have an athletic director who is one of the best athletic directors I’ve ever worked for. He would be somebody that says, “We may not make the best decision but we’re going to make a quick, good decision.” I’m not saying that was good or bad but it worked for him. I thought he was a great athletic director.
I tend not necessarily to be paralyzed, paralysis by analysis but I do tend to, “Can we find a better solution? We come up with this one but can we come up with a little bit better?” It’s one of those tinkering type of things where I tinker a little bit too much sometimes. Not necessarily drag my feet or that could be looked at. I’m not a procrastinator but sometimes I will wait a little bit longer to make a decision because I want to get a little bit, “Can we see this perspective a little bit differently? How can we look at this problem a little bit more so that we’re making the right decision as opposed to a good decision?”
When you walk into a sandwich shop that you’ve never been before and there are 30 choices of sandwiches on the menu, is it easy for you to figure out which one you want to order or does it take you a while to make a decision? If it does, how do you then make a decision?
Did my wife tell you to ask me that? I tend to go last, all under the disguise of, “I’ve got to pay for it,” so I’ll go last. Everyone can go before me. If I go into a new sandwich shop, it would be because I’ve heard that they make this good sandwich or they have this reputation for something. If it’s one of those, Gary that you’re like, “Let’s go to this shop,” I’m going to ask you, first of all, what are they known for? I’m probably going to look for do they have that little icon or little logo next to one of their sandwiches that’s the chef’s special or this thing that they’re known for? I know I’m going too deep into the details.
A hole in a wall sandwich shop, they’re known for something. That grandpa started that shop many years ago because he made one sandwich good for the family and then it became something else. I want to do what they’re known for. I want to experience that. If that’s not the issue, then I’m going to go with it. “I love Reuben’s. Do they have a Reuben something like that?” I’m going to try to find what do they have and then compare it to other sandwiches that I’ve had in the past. If none of that works, I’m going with, “I’ll take the club. Do you have a club?”
Here’s a question I have for you. Do you feel more successful when you’re able to make things understandable or when you’re able to find a better way?
I love the process part of it. I love working through the process. That’s not 100% answering your question. I would rather be having a good process and the result wasn’t quite what we wanted. The result will be there but the process wasn’t good. It’s not repeatable. It’s not something that we can rely on. I love process type of stuff. I love knowing that what we did was probably the right thing. I don’t know if that answers your question.
Here’s why I’m asking you this. I’m sure the readers that read a lot will know. As you’re answering questions, it sounds like your why might be to find a better way versus to make sense of the complex and challenging. However, what I’m thinking is your why is to make sense of the complex and challenging. How you do that is by looking for better ways. Your process is about finding better ways but your ultimate result is to get something that makes sense, useful, usable, and we can do something with it.
I want actionable. I want things, “How is this practical? What can we do with this information?” I wouldn’t call myself the best student ever. I was a good student but not a great student. I don’t want just academic stuff or theory. What can we do with the practicalness of it? What you say makes sense. Isn’t that the why part of what makes sense? We’re back to that.
That’s what I think your why is make sense but your how is a better way. How you do it as you’re in search of a better way? Ultimately, what you bring is something we can still explore so that we know, “What is that thing that Jamy brings?” Every time he speaks, coaches, and interacts with people, there’s something that you bring that you deliver. We can continue to work on that. While we’re thinking about that, Jamy, what is culture? How do you define culture?
Culture is the identity that your group takes on, to put it in the simplest way. I also think that identity is intentional. A lot of people will argue with that, they’ll debate that, or they’ll disagree with that saying, “The culture that we have isn’t what I wanted.” That might be true but you were very intentional about allowing your culture to be what it is. “I didn’t want it to be like this.” We make choices every day and you make choices, maybe as a leader. Your group made choices along the way to choose to do or to prioritize something over here, as opposed to something here. This got you to where you are. We’re always intentional about, “I’m choosing something over something else.”
Those choices don’t happen accidentally. What happens is the result ends up being something that we didn’t want sometimes. The culture is the identity of your group. I do believe it’s intentional because the choices we make every day lead into that. Our actions, our behaviors, and our thoughts that become actions, the standards, and the things that we allow or emphasized will end up being our culture. Sometimes as leaders, we don’t like that. We’ll say, “We don’t have a culture.” It’s like, “You do have a culture. You just might not like it.” If you don’t know what your culture is, then it’s probably not a healthy, strong culture.
Everything that you do should be geared toward where you do want to end up. Almost reverse engineer it backwards. How are we going to get there? What are the day-to-day things that we can do to help in that culture? When I was an Athletic Director, I was tasked with changing the culture. If I had $1 for every time somebody said change the culture, we’d be rich. Everybody talks about changing the culture and they don’t even know what they’re talking about half the time. I was tasked with changing the culture.
One of the first things I did is not necessarily to change the culture but we redid our whole athletic department offices. We put on fresh new paint, put new posters up, and did all this stuff. We also changed stationary, all this trivial skin deep type of stuff. None of that came close to mattering as much as how I treated my secretary. I could put out the best emails, put up the best posters on the wall, and have the best staff meetings but if I treated my secretary poorly and our interactions that caused her to maybe not be happy or inspired, she’s going to interact with hundreds of people that one day, either on the phone or the people that come into the office. She’s going to be the first face that they see.
I can do more for our culture, good or bad, based on one interaction with my secretary each morning. With your salesmen, with your HR people, or your billing people, you can do more for your culture than any memo you’re going to send out. Your culture isn’t your posters on the wall, your fancy slogans, your billboards, or your website. Your culture is what’s going on around the water cooler. When Gary and Jamy are talking at the water cooler or in the break room at 9:15 break in the morning, that’s your culture. If you want to know what your culture is, it’s what those employees or your team members are doing when you’re not around. That’s your true culture. That’s either by what you emphasize, what you reinforce, or what you allow.
Businesses are so different. For example, our company got team members in Austin, Denver, New York, India, and all over the place. How do you build a culture with more of the virtual type of companies?
It’s even more intentional at that point. COVID has introduced us to Zoom. It introduced us to a virtual type of stuff. Not working at the office, not having touchpoints, and not being in-person. That means that you have to be even more intentional about, “How I’m going to reinforce and emphasize the certain culture that we want. I don’t see Gary every day. We can’t high-five each other. We can’t hang out and watch the game together as easily. We can’t have casual Fridays.” Every Friday could be casual because we’re at home. We have to be more intentional about it. Some businesses have fallen way behind in their culture because they haven’t been intentional and proactive. They’ve been reactive.
They’ve been reacting to everything that happens. They’ve almost been shaking their head saying, “We can’t do this.” Instead of saying, “What can we do?” Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do like some of the best companies, best teams, even. I work with sports teams a lot. I’ve had a lot of sports teams that I’ve been consulting with that have been in quarantine. I’ll give you one example. There are countless of these that I’ve dealt with. You’re in quarantine, whatever that reason is. One of your kids tested positive or you played a team that tested positive. You’re in fourteen-day quarantine.
You’re in a basketball team and the coach says, “What do I do? I don’t know what to do.” I’m like, “Have you had Zoom meetings?” “They’re all zoomed out.” I’m like, “What would you be doing every day with practice? What we’d have in practice? What time would you be having practice?” “3:00.” “You don’t think they’re all practiced out. You don’t think they hate to practice. They don’t like practice. You still do it, though. You need to do Zoom meetings.” “I know but they’re so boring. What do we do?” I say, “You don’t have to do it for your two hours but every day at 3:00, you need to touch base with them on Zoom or whatever platform you use. Don’t call it a Zoom meeting.”
Put lipstick on a pig. Call it something different like motivational Monday. “We’re going to have Monday Motivation at 3:00. We’re going to have a guest speaker. We’re going to talk about something inspirational. On Wednesday, we’re going to have Wacky Wednesday and we’re going to have fun. We’re going to have Tuesday Chalk Talk.” I know that’s not alliteration. It’s going to be X’s and O’s. Every single day of your fourteen weeks, you’re still going to have practice. You’re going to have it for 30 minutes at the normal time so you can touch base with them but you’re going to do something different every single day. You’re getting on Zoom but you’re never going to call it a Zoom meeting. You’re going to call it something different.
You’ve got three assistant coaches. They can come up with stuff and idea but you’re going to do something every day and you’re going to touch base with some of your athletes and some of your team members. You’re going to have them come up with some ideas as well. It’s not going to be all Jamy Bechler because Jamy Bechler is not smart enough. It’s not going to be all Gary Sanchez. Even though we’re smart as coaches, we’re not smart enough to come up with something creative every day for 16-year-olds or 21-year-olds.
We’re going to talk to some of our key leaders. Get them to come up with some ideas and have them have ownership in what we’re going to do. That’s one specific example. We walked through a lot of ways that they could execute that effectively. Essentially, what it’s doing is not looking at what you can’t do but what we can do. You can have Wacky Wednesday, karaoke night. They’re all there. They’re all singing the same song on Zoom being stupid. They can all have their phones go on and making social media of that. We’re all seeing the screen. We’re all having fun. You can watch a movie together. There are so many things that you can do.
The internet is full of Google, what you can do during COVID on Zoom calls. As a coach or as an employer, you’re not going to do quite that much as an employer but you’re going to figure out, “What can we do to make it a little bit more creative?” Gary, you as the leader, “What can I do to bring Jamy into this where Jamy’s all the way across the country? We can connect on Zoom but how can I make him want to be more engaged and want to make sure that he’s not checking his phone so often or not disengaged from this Zoom call?” It’s no different than when we have in-person meetings. If you have a boring in-person meeting, then your people are going to be disengaged. You’re not going to inspire them. You’re not going to have the culture that you want, ultimately. It’s finding solutions. How can you put lipstick on a pig?
Last question I got for you, Jamy. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received or the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received I wished that I had always lived up to is, take care of people the way they want to be taken care of. We can get into nuances about different things but we talk sometimes about, treat people the way you want to be treated. Sometimes we project. I don’t like birthdays at all. I’m not a birthday guy or whatsoever. If nobody wished me a happy birthday ever, I would be fine with that. I project that onto others. I forget people’s birthdays or I don’t make it a big deal but it might be a huge deal to you, Gary.
Saying take care of people the way you want to be taken care of or treat people the way you want to be treated sometimes doesn’t go far enough. I 100% get the sentiment. It’s better than treating people terribly. Ultimately, you want to treat people the way they want to be treated. You want to find a way to inspire them. It’s about them. You need to understand them. No matter what business we’re in, we’re in the people business, ultimately. We need to treat people the way that they want to be treated whenever possible. There are some nuances to that and there are some dynamics. You can’t 100% do that in every situation but if you follow that road, it’s going to get you to a good place eventually.
Jamy, thank you so much for taking time out to be here. I appreciate it. If people are reading and they say, “I would love to have Jamy come talk to our group. I’d love to meet with him,” how can people get ahold of you?
The best way is if they’re on Twitter, they can follow me. My direct messages are open. That’s, @CoachBechler. In my website, they can get ahold of me, see my books, the podcast, and all the free stuff that we have. That’s at, CoachBechler.com. Those are the two best places. I’m on the other social media platforms as well but Twitter is the best place to get me if you’re on social media.
Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate it.
I appreciate the work you’re doing as well. This is a great show. Keep it up. Thanks for having me.
It’s time again for our new segment, which is Guess the Why. We’re going to look at the why of Kanye West. If you had to take a stab at it knowing the nine whys, what do you think Kanye why is? I think his why is to challenge the status quo and think differently, think outside the box, do things differently, not follow a traditional path, and do it his own way. He’s done that in the way he does his music. He’s done that in the way that he’s changed the direction of his life. He’s still married. I don’t know if that’s going to be the same thing when this show comes out.
I would guess that his why is to challenge the status quo. What do you think it is? Put it in wherever on your social media. Thank you so much for reading. If you have not yet discovered your why, you can do so at WhyInstitute.com. You can use the code Podcast50 and you’ll get it at half price. If you love the Beyond Your Why show, please don’t forget to subscribe and rate us. It helps us gain more readers so that we can bring the why to the world and reach our goal of helping one billion people discover, make choices, and live based on their why. Have a great week. We’ll talk to you next time.
Jamy Bechler is an author, motivational speaker, leadership consultant, and host of the popular “Success is a Choice” podcast. With a background as a championship athletic director, award-winning college basketball coach, and business consultant, he works with high-level sports teams and businesses helping them maximize results. He is recognized as an expert in leadership, culture, and teamwork.
“All things make sense; you just have to fathom how they make sense.”
– Piers Anthony
When we meet someone with the WHY of Make Sense, it’s easy to realize they see the world a bit differently than we do, a bit quicker than most of us. What may take us hours or days to figure out, they can interpret, understand, and articulate in a matter of minutes.
In a world where the rest of us can be completely paralyzed trying to solve a problem, whether it be in business, relationships, life, or even a math problem, people with the WHY of Make Sense have the gift to quickly take in information and make it usable. If you were lucky enough to sit next to a classmate with the WHY of Make Sense, they were easily able to help you pass calculus by making the teacher’s explanation understandable and useful!
Often times an individual with the WHY of Make Sense can come off as a “smarty pants” or a “know-it-all” but once you begin to understand how they think, how they see the world, how it is their way of helping you, you begin to really respect them rather than feel minimized by their knowledge. Their brain works at a million miles an hour to fully take in all of the information being thrown at them and sort through it. They are quick on their feet, quick to understand information and quick to utilize it.
The WHY of Make Sense is a great WHY to have. The rest of us count on you to help us make sense of the complicated or confusing. You make great study buddies, coworkers, and great sponges of knowledge!