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

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

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

Three Major Takeaways from this Episode:

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

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

Connect with Paul!


Watch the episode here

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


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


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

Why Dr. Ivan Misner’s Insights Are Invaluable

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

The WHY of Contribute

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

The Role of Education and Mentorship

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

Seizing Opportunities

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

The Importance of Dr. Ivan Misner’s Journey

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

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

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

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


About Dr. Ivan Misner

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

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

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

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

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


The Power of Mentorship: 3 Key Takeaways from Paul Martinelli’s Rise to Success


Guest: Paul Martinelli
WHY: Mastery

Paul Martinelli is an internationally acclaimed speaker, mentor, and coach who has transformed from a high school dropout with a stuttering problem to sharing stages with some of the biggest names in leadership and personal development. His journey, marked by challenges, resilience, and the transformative power of mentorship, makes him a beacon of hope and a testament to the fact that with the right mindset and guidance, anyone can achieve greatness.

  • Discover Paul’s early life challenges and how they shaped his beliefs and self-concept, leading him to drop out of high school.
  • Uncover the pivotal role of the book “Think and Grow Rich” in Paul’s life, and how mentorship from Patrick Hayes changed his thinking patterns and set him on a path to success.
  • Learn about Paul’s commitment to empowering others, drawing from his own experiences to awaken and uplift individuals with low self-esteem or self-belief.

Don’t miss out on this inspiring episode filled with valuable life lessons and transformative insights. Dive in and listen now!


Connect with Paul!


Watch the episode here

00:17:25: Reading “Think and Grow Rich” – Paul’s expanded thinking.
00:27:49: Success of Paul’s Cleaning Company – Loyalty of employees with an average tenure of 11 years. 2
00:29:22: Importance of Awareness – Recognizing opportunities and being in the right place at the right time.
00:30:06: Growth of Cleaning Company – Amazement at the scale of Paul’s business.
00:59:29: Understanding Customer Inquiries – Parallels between Paul’s approach and the dental industry.
01:21:41: Influencing People – Importance of guiding people to the next step in one’s work.
01:32:28: Recognizing Value – Transformation people undergo once they understand their worth.
01:33:15: Levels of Service – Different services based on customer needs.
01:34:05: Value of Coaching – Impact on teams and their performance.
01:40:22: Not Giving Up Territory – Long-term effects of preserving one’s beliefs and values.

Listen to the podcast here

Unlocking Success with Paul Martinelli on Beyond Your WHY Podcast


In the latest episode of the Beyond Your WHY Podcast, we had the privilege of hosting Paul Martinelli, an internationally acclaimed speaker, mentor, and coach. From facing challenges as a stuttering high school dropout to sharing stages with global leaders in personal development, Paul’s journey is nothing short of inspirational. This episode dives deep into the transformative power of mindset, mentorship, and the principles that have guided Paul’s remarkable success.

The Power of Self-Concept and Self-Esteem One of the most profound takeaways from the episode is the emphasis Paul places on self-concept and self-esteem. He believes that our self-concept, which is influenced by the image we hold of ourselves and how we believe others perceive us, plays a pivotal role in our life outcomes. Our self-esteem, or how we value ourselves, can either propel us forward or hold us back. In Paul’s early life, challenges like stuttering and a stressful home environment shaped his self-concept, but with time, mentorship, and personal development, he learned to redefine his self-worth and potential.

The Transformative Impact of “Think and Grow Rich” Another major highlight of the episode is Paul’s introduction to the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. This book, based on interviews with successful individuals like Edison, Ford, and Rockefeller, presents 13 principles that guide thinking and behavior. Paul credits much of his success to the insights and principles he gleaned from this book. It not only rekindled his ability to dream but also equipped him with the tools to turn those dreams into reality. For anyone seeking personal or professional growth, understanding and applying the teachings of this book can be a game-changer.

The Role of Mentorship in Personal Growth Paul’s life took a significant turn when he met Patrick Hayes, a retired bond trader who became his mentor. Patrick introduced Paul to “Think and Grow Rich” and more importantly, challenged Paul’s limiting beliefs about himself. This mentorship was instrumental in Paul’s personal and professional growth. The episode underscores the importance of having mentors who can provide guidance, challenge our beliefs, and help us see beyond our current circumstances. As Paul’s story demonstrates, the right mentor can unlock doors we never even knew existed.

Paul Martinelli’s journey from facing adversities to achieving global acclaim is a testament to the power of mindset, the right guidance, and unwavering determination. His insights on self-concept, the transformative principles from “Think and Grow Rich”, and the pivotal role of mentorship offer invaluable lessons for anyone on a journey of personal or professional growth. Dive into the Beyond Your WHY Podcast episode to discover these insights and more, and let Paul Martinelli’s story inspire you to unlock your own potential.

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

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


About Paul Martinelli


Paul Martinelli is an internationally acclaimed speaker, trainer, mentor, and coach who truly believes that if you can dream it, you can do it.

While many people know Paul as the Founding President of The John Maxwell Team and Co-Founder of the Cialdini Institute, what they may not know is that he is a high school dropout who overcame a stuttering disability to share the stage with some of the biggest names in leadership and personal development – names such as John C. Maxwell, Seth Godin, Dr. Robert Cialdini, Jack Canfield, Wayne Dyer, Brian Tracy, Denis Waitley, Zig Ziglar, Les Brown, Nick Vujicic and Mark Victor Hansen.

Paul was raised by a single mother in a Pittsburgh lower class family.

In the late 1980’s, with just $200.00, a used vacuum, and a dream, he founded a small commercial cleaning company in South Florida.  

He combined smart sales tactics with personal development teachings and propelled his business to unbelievable heights. Just 15 years later, he sold his commercial cleaning company to pursue his passion and purpose of teaching people how to achieve success in their own lives. 

His awareness and ability to apply the success strategies and principles that he has learned and taught to others, led to Paul’s success in life and business, including building 6 multi-million-dollar companies.

He now leads the Empowered Living community, a global platform of more than 2.3 million followers, providing personal and professional development training and education to help individuals and businesses build and grow beyond their current results.

Alongside of this, his most recent endeavor has him positioned as Founding Partner and Vice-President of the Cialdini Institute, a training and education enterprise that is dedicated to bringing the influential work of Dr. Robert Cialdini to individuals and organizations alike.

Paul Martinelli may not have a wall of diplomas, but you can’t argue with his PhD in results.

Having worked his way up from mop bucket to multi-millionaire, Paul has practiced and proven what he preaches.


Three Key Contributors to Success: MGM Exec Secrets to Win Big

Chris Baldizan is an influential figure in the entertainment industry, boasting a successful career with MGM Resorts International. In this enlightening episode, Chris shares his captivating journey from humble beginnings to becoming an executive vice president in one of the world’s leading entertainment companies. His insights into mentorship, the art of listening, and the evolving entertainment landscape make him a compelling voice in the field.

Major Takeaways:

  • The Power of Mentorship: Chris attributes much of his success to the guidance of mentors who have shaped his career and decision-making.
  • The Importance of Listening: Discover how active listening has played a pivotal role in Chris’s personal and professional relationships, offering valuable lessons for all.
  • Evolution of the Entertainment Industry: Gain insights into the transformative journey of the entertainment industry, from traditional shows to innovative live experiences.

Chris Baldizan’s remarkable career journey unveils the profound impact of mentorship, the significance of being a good listener, and the ever-changing world of live entertainment. Tune in to uncover the secrets behind his success and explore the dynamic evolution of the entertainment industry. Listen now for an inspiring conversation that may change how you view the world of entertainment.

Connect with Chris!


Watch the episode here

00:00:33 Embrace challenge, think differently.
00:05:33 Opportunities and diverse experiences matter.
00:12:03 Embrace diversity and push boundaries.
00:20:33 Importance of building relationships
00:26:19 Diverse career in entertainment industry.
00:31:04 Las Vegas entertainment industry diversifies.
00:39:42 Importance of mentorship and listening.
00:41:43 Importance of relationships and listening.

Listen to the podcast here

Navigating the Entertainment Industry Through Mentorship, Listening, and Collaboration


In the dynamic and ever-evolving world of entertainment, there are a few guiding principles that can make all the difference. In a recent episode of the Beyond Your WHY Podcast, hosted by Dr. Gary Sanchez, we had the privilege of exploring the incredible journey of Chris Baldizan, an influential figure who has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. While Chris’s career is a treasure trove of experiences and insights, this blog post will hone in on three fundamental themes that have played a pivotal role in his success: the power of mentorship, the art of listening, and the role of collaboration.

The Power of Mentorship:

Mentorship has been a cornerstone of Chris Baldizan’s career. He credits much of his success to the guidance and wisdom of mentors who have been instrumental in shaping his career and mindset. A mentor, in Chris’s words, is not just someone who offers advice but someone who is willing to share the hard truths we need to hear. These hard truths, though often uncomfortable, are the stepping stones to growth and personal development.

One key takeaway from Chris’s journey is the importance of seeking out mentors who align with your values and aspirations. These mentors serve as beacons of knowledge and experience, helping you navigate the complexities of your chosen path. They provide a unique perspective and can prevent you from making costly mistakes. Chris’s story reminds us that behind every successful individual, there is often a mentor who played a significant role in their journey.

The Art of Listening:

In an era where everyone seems eager to have their voices heard, Chris Baldizan highlights the profound importance of listening. To him, listening is not just a passive act but an active engagement with others. It’s about genuinely absorbing what others have to say and learning from their experiences. Listening, according to Chris, broadens your horizons and enriches your understanding of the world around you.

Moreover, listening is the foundation of meaningful relationships. In the entertainment industry, where collaboration and connection are paramount, the ability to listen becomes a superpower. Chris’s career is a testament to the fact that by actively listening to colleagues, partners, and stakeholders, you can forge stronger bonds and create more impactful outcomes.

The Role of Collaboration:

Collaboration lies at the heart of success in the entertainment world, and Chris Baldizan knows this better than most. His career has been marked by seamless collaboration between different departments and teams to ensure the success of every event. Whether it’s coordinating with artists, production teams, marketing experts, or venue managers, Chris emphasizes that no single entity can do it all.

Collaboration involves recognizing and leveraging the unique strengths of each team member to create something greater than the sum of its parts. It’s about fostering an environment where diverse perspectives and talents can come together to deliver exceptional entertainment experiences. Chris’s career trajectory underscores that in the world of entertainment, collaboration is not just a strategy; it’s a necessity.

Chris Baldizan’s remarkable journey in the entertainment industry teaches us that mentorship, listening, and collaboration are more than just buzzwords—they are guiding principles that can lead to extraordinary success. By seeking out mentors, actively listening to others, and embracing collaboration, you can navigate the complexities of any industry and leave your mark on the world, just as Chris has in the world of entertainment.

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

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


About Chris Baldazin

Executive Vice President of Entertainment

MGM Resorts International

As Executive Vice President of Entertainment for MGM Resorts International, Chris Baldizan oversees programming, ticketing and operations for one of the world’s leading hospitality and entertainment companies.  Baldizan leads the portfolio’s entertainment and sports initiatives for more than 35 venues and is instrumental in developing many of Las Vegas’ high-profile entertainment projects.  He attracts the biggest names and events in music and sports to MGM Resorts’ properties including the GRAMMYs, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, UFC and championship boxing, among others.

After being selected to participate in the Walt Disney World College Program in the summer of 1989, he transferred to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) where he received his BS in Hotel Administration. While attending UNLV, Baldizan worked full-time as an Event Coordinator at the Thomas and Mack Center. Upon graduation, he accepted the position of Event Manager for the MGM Grand Garden Arena and has been in the entertainment industry since.

After two years as Event Manager at MGM Grand, Baldizan moved to Lexington, Ky. where he served as an assistant trainer for Thoroughbred Race Horses. Upon returning to Las Vegas three years later, he served in several management positions with the Primadonna Company and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. From January 2000 through December 2004, Baldizan held the position of Assistant Vice President for MGM MIRAGE Entertainment & Sports. He was then promoted to Vice President of Booking and subsequently joined Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino as Vice President of Entertainment.

Baldizan currently serves on the MGM Resorts/AEG arena joint venture board.  He also serves on the Las Vegas Events (LVE) board, the organization representing the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), as well as on the board of the Las Vegas Business Academy.  Baldizan formerly served on the board for the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) and the Country Music Association (CMA).


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

BYW 44 | The Value Of Trust


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

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

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

Free Giveaway:

Watch the episode here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In DC, George Washington University.

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

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

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

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

Drinking seems to be a common theme here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What kept you there?

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

You could have picked anything. Why that?

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

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

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

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

What about that did you like?

What part? The coaching others?


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Both being valuable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tell us more about what Passion to Profits does.

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

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

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

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

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

What does LTV stand for?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

That’s the teacher within me.

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

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

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

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

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

How many books are there?

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

How many have you read?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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About Michael Chu

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

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

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

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


Finding A Better Way: Joe Maez Discusses Leadership, Mentoring And Mindset For Success

BYW S4 7 | Better Way

Finding a better way is what drives human success. To be able to find a better way, we need leadership, mentoring and the right mindset. In this episode, Dr. Gary Sanchez sits down for an insightful discussion with Joe Maez, real estate agent and founder of The Maez Group. Joe is an armed forces combat veteran who has leveraged the training, mindset and mentoring of many to get to where he is today, despite coming from a challenged community. Learn great insights from Joe and Dr. Sanchez by tuning in to this episode.

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Finding A Better Way: Joe Maez Discusses Leadership, Mentoring And Mindset For Success

Welcome to the show, where we go beyond just talking about your why and actually helping you discover and live your why. If you’re a regular reader, you know that every week, we talk about one of the nine why’s and then bring on somebody with that why so you can see how their why has played out in their life. In this episode, we’re going to be talking about the why of a better way.

If this is your why, then you are the ultimate innovator. You are constantly seeking better ways to do everything. You find yourself wanting to improve virtually anything by finding a way to make it better. You also desire to share your improvement with the world. You constantly ask yourself questions like “What if we tried this differently? What if we did this another way? How can we make this better?”

You contribute to the world with better processes and systems while operating under the motto, “I’m often pleased but never satisfied.” You were excellent at associating, which means that you are adept at taking ideas or systems from one industry or discipline and applying them to another always with the ultimate goal of improving something.

I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Joseph Maez. He was born and raised in Northern New Mexico. Joe is not afraid to go the extra mile. He’s a graduate of UNM Anderson School of Management, a US Army combat veteran and the first New Mexico broker on record to close over 100 million in residential real estate in a single year.

He’s recognized as being amongst the leading real estate professionals in the country selling thousands of homes in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho metro areas. Armed with a unique and extensive knowledge of local markets coupled with unparalleled marketing and negotiation skills and discipline, Joe brings a true passion to every real estate transaction. Joe is a sales coach and consultant to many public and private companies. Joe, welcome to the show.

It's not about what you say. It's about what you do. People can say things, but it's about what they do that is worth more. Click To Tweet

Thanks for having me, Gary.

This is going to be fun. I’m looking forward to this. Tell everybody a little bit about your background. Take us back to where were you born? When you went to UNM, how did you get into the military and then how did you get into real estate? Let’s go down that path.

I was born in Española, New Mexico, a little Northern New Mexico town up in Rio Arriba County. I went to school in Cuba, New Mexico, until I was in third grade. At that point, my father got a job up in Chama, so he moved us up to Abiquiu. That’s pretty much where I grew up. My graduating class was eighteen people, Gary, in Coronado High School.

Most people reading this will not know what Española is like, what kind of reputation it has and what it is known for. Give people a sense of where that is and what that is like.

To me, it’s a beautiful place. It doesn’t have the best of reputations. It was known as being the low rider capital of the world and the heroin capital of the world which we’re trying to change. There’s a lot of amazing people that come out of the Española Valley area. It’s a beautiful country, too. For people that are reading that never experienced it, it’s a challenging location. It’s a challenging community. More specifically, where I graduated from was a place called Gallina, New Mexico, which is where the Coronado Leopards are. It was a consolidated school.

I rode the bus for 45 minutes in the morning to get to school. It was neat because I took my daughter on a little trip and I hadn’t been back to that school in twenty years. The campus gates happened to be open on a Sunday afternoon and I took my daughter through there. I said, “That’s where your daddy went to school.” She’s like, “No way.” My kids are going to some great schools. I want them to go to school where it’s cool to be smart because when I was growing up, it wasn’t cool to be smart. MPC had to do things a little bit differently. I graduated from that school.

I did the delayed entry program for the Army Reserves. Both my grandfathers are Vietnam veterans. I always wanted to be like those guys. Those are my gold standard. That’s what a man should be. Just studying what you’re studying and doing what you’re doing. A lot of things are learned. We want to be like the people before us. I have great mentors. I was the only person from my generation to go and join the military. As soon as I possibly could, I even told my recruiter, “I was laid down.” Normally people just hold out for a bonus or something like that, but I joined up right away.

BYW S4 7 | Better Way
Better Way: Going to war is super humbling because you never realize how good you have it until you don’t have it.


I was a combat engineer. The good thing that my parents did is they always programmed us. They said, “You’re going to college.” That was awesome. My first major was sports medicine because I was super into sports and always liked to run, lift weights and do all that stuff. We didn’t have enough kids for the football team at the school that I went to, so that was a bummer. If you’re going to play basketball, you have to run fast. You had to be faster than everybody else, which helps me out in my industry right now. You have to be faster than everybody else.

You got to be resourceful.

I joined the Reserves and then I got a business degree. When I was going to college, mom and dad said, “You got to go to college.” I was going to NMSU down at New Mexico State and then one day I woke up, I said, “What’s going on with you?” I used to sell my artwork in the old town. I did stuff for the Spanish market when I was growing up. My father-in-law taught me how to carve crosses in Spanish colonial furniture and things like that.

One day, I was like, “I’m not going to be in people’s feet for the rest of my life,” and then I said, “I’m going to business school.” I left NMSU and went back to Anderson because I have a strong business school and that was that. Halfway through my graduating semester, I was deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division. That was in 2003 when we invaded Iraq. That was an eye-opener.

Both my grandfathers were war vets. My dad’s a war vet. This was part of me going into that role. When you’re in your twenties, you don’t think that war is a bad thing. As sick as it sounds, you’re excited to go to war. When you get around that in my life, there’s not a lot of good that comes from war but I can tell you that great experience came to me from war.

Going to war is humbling because you never realize how good you have it until you don’t have it. That’s always been a saying. Sometimes people get tired and they don’t know what that means until they experience it. Even going to school, certain relationships that you’ve had, advice that your father or your mother and advice that mentors gave you, a lot of times, we take that for granted. Taking running water for granted and taking a shower in cold water or things like that. What was supposed to be a four-month deployment turned into thirteen months, so that changes your perspective on life.

What was that like?

Nobody ever likes to admit their shortcomings but I was the kid growing up that going to college was checking the box for me because if you didn’t go to college in our family, everybody gave you the guilt trip because all our fathers and mothers had done it. My grandmother was the first valedictorian in the family line, which was great to move the needle forward. I didn’t even buy books in college. I just went, listened, and passed every test with A’s, B’s, and the occasional C.

When I got back from Iraq, I got straight A’s because, unfortunately, Anderson didn’t give me any credit, not even a partial credit, but it was fine. I got down into it. I finished off when I graduated with straight As in my last semester, which never happened. I was in the books and I was reading, and I was like, “I’ll never take education for granted like that,” or opportunities for that matter. That was neat. I needed that.

10% of what you're going to learn is in the classroom. The other 10% is reading in a book, but 80% is actually rolling up your sleeves and doing it. Click To Tweet

Going to war for me was an eye-opener. I was a hell of a soldier. When you’re in your twenties, that’s a great time to be a soldier when you don’t need to have any kids or worry back at home. In my 40s, I’d probably be a different soldier than when I was then because I was one of the youngest NCOs, which is a Non-Commissioned Officer. I got out as an E-6 after eight years of being in which I was always a fast tracker. I always max my PT test and all the educational stuff. I was good at it. I always excelled.

I had soldiers that reported to me that were twice my age which was another learning lesson because I didn’t have enough miles to empathize with them about what was going on back at home because it was hard for some of these guys to be far away from their families. I couldn’t empathize. It takes time to get that kind of experience.

Now, I’m a pretty decent communicator because people always say, “You’re only 40 years old,” and I’ll tell them, “I’m 40 years old, but I got a lot of miles on me.” Sometimes I feel like Forrest Gump because there are many things. Forty is young and I still had a lot of life experience. When I was coming back from Iraq, my wife started looking for homes for us because where I come from, everybody does.

That’s the way a lot of people think about things. They say, “This is the path of life that people need to take.” It’s like, “You go to school, then you go to college. After you go to college, you get a job. You worked that job for as long as it takes to retire. You contribute to whatever your retirement account it is. When you retire, you get a hobby.” The way that you throw and get married, have kids and buy a house. There are these paint-by-numbers things for your life and that’s all learned.

When I came back from Iraq, I told my wife, “I had some good money saved because number one, when I was there, there wasn’t anywhere to spend that money.” These poor guys come back in debt because they have access to the internet. I did not touch that money, so I had a pretty good amount of money saved when I came back. I said, “Time to check that box and buy a house.”

Rosie started looking around for a house and then when I finally was able to talk to her when I came back into town, she’s like, “You would be a good real estate agent.” I said, “What’s a real estate agent?” She’s like, “They help people find houses. They make a lot of money, too.” I was like, “I like money.” At that time, I was bartending at my family’s bar in college and I did pretty good bartending.

Bartending is listening to people and making sure their drinks are full. They’re not waiting on you for that matter. Being a good listening ear but also remembering them, knowing what they like when they show back up again. I was a great bartender. She said, “You love helping and listening to people.” I said, “Real estate. How’s that work?” She said, “It’s a 100% commission paid.” Where I come from, you get a paycheck on the 1st and the 15th. I said, “I will listen.”

I went to career night with her and I listened to the guys that were putting on the career night. They are super awesome guys. They totally put on a good show and sold me on it, but when they told me 100% commission paid, I still had those limiting beliefs in my mind about, “Could I do it?” We both agreed that we’re going to get our licenses. Rosie got her license and went with the brokerage here in town.

At that time, Pulte Homes was doing a lot of college recruiting. They’re on campus and it was in real estate. They advertise a $55,000 a year salary with benefits. I was like, “Great. There’s the security.” I went with it. I interviewed and I got the job. It was a fun process. There’s a lot of time we probably don’t have to talk about that but it was neat. My military service got me in the door there. I would have never gotten in the door if I didn’t have my degree because they’re only looking for college grads.

BYW S4 7 | Better Way
Better Way: When any company rolls out a CRM, they lose so many people because people just don’t like change.


Number two, it was when war veterans were coming back from Iraq. I was one of the first people to come back and that was exciting. They hired me pretty quickly, which was great. I started with this company and it was awesome. Their sales training program was phenomenal. I didn’t know that at the time but my mentor’s name is Brian Fink and he used to tell me, “If you want, I’ll give you extra training. Meet me in my office at 5:00 AM.” He offered that to the whole sales staff. I was one of the only ones that showed up and he took a major liking to me.

Before that, this is where I got recognized. The company had rolled out a CRM. It was a national initiative. Pulte is a Fortune 147 company. You know how that is, Gary. We’re both better way guys. Sometimes when any company rolls out a CRM, you lose so many people because people don’t like change. I’m like, “Give me change. I love change.” That’s what I realized about myself. I’m an intern at this time. I’m low on the totem pole, which is great. I’m learning.

All of a sudden, corporate flies into town. Nobody even knows who I am. They said, “We’re looking for a Joseph Maez.” That’s before I started going by Joe. I remember my VP’s assistant was like, “That’s our young guy. He’s working down in the South Valley.” My VP says, “If he did something wrong, we could assure you he’s new,” or whatever. They said, “No. He’s the number one user of SalesLogix in the country. We want to talk to him because we noticed the sales in his community have gone through the roof.”

This was a platform at that time in 2004, 2005. That was the first year I started to see mass emails and things like that were going out. I was using it because I had to network with the brokers in the community. The rest was history, Gary. I used that system and then they had me teach it. For seven years, I was with Pulte. In my last two years with that company, I was the number one salesperson in the entire nation, which was awesome. It all came with great training. Pulte had an amazing training program.

Ryan did a good job of investing in me and he’s an integral part and mentor. He was inspirational to me. I’ll go cool stuff development-wise, so I learned a lot about construction and finance. There’s so much that goes into it. It was like a Master’s degree in real estate. Towards the end, they started laying off people. Pulte changed in general because it was in the downturn. A lot of the people that I looked up to were getting cut and let go for the right reasons. The company could not sustain that type of overhead anymore.

To me, I’ve never seen anything like that so it was hard for me to take even though I was a great revenue generator. At that point, I was untouchable. You got a 25, 26-year-old guy making $500,000 a year. It was amazing. I was at the top of my game. My wife was on the resale side and I’m on the new construction side. We’re doing great.

My little boy was two at the time and Rosie was pregnant with our little girl and then this lady came into town. She was from Pulte corporate. After they started laying off the executives, they came to depend on me. I knew I wasn’t going to get touched because I was a revenue generator. The last person you’re going to touch is the revenue generator.

When she came to town, she’s like, “You’re Joe Maez?” I said, “Yes.” She’s like, “I hear you get whatever you want around here.” I was like, “Where’s this coming from?” She said, “Starting next year, we’re going to cut your commission. The reason we’re going to do that is because we know you’re used to making a certain amount of money and you’ll work harder to make that same amount of money.” I was like, “It’s the cold-blooded killer.”

Nothing replaces experience. You have to have good quality experience. You have to get somebody to mentor you. Click To Tweet

She was hired to do that. She’s honestly one of the best things that ever happened to me because I had been toying about going out on my own for a couple of years at that point but I didn’t do it. I have second-level limiting beliefs. I knew I could do it. A lot of agents and marquee brokers in town were like, “Joe, you got to make people just come to you.”

I didn’t have anything to do with the sale. I was an order taker. I’m listening to that and I’m like, “All this stuff is adding up,” but I knew I was an X-factor. I always make things happen. It’s funny when I was younger, I never thought algebra would come in handy. I solve for X every day. I’m always solving for X, whether it’s figuring out a problem or finding out a better way to do things.

At this point, I’m on the top of my career. One day, I was at a company picnic and our new division president was there. He and I got along well. Six months had passed since that lady had that conversation with me and I’m forever grateful for her. She said, “What’s going on, Joe?” I said, “I’ve never done this before. I’m going to give you guys my two weeks.” I don’t have anything lined up, Gary. He’s like, “What is it? Is it about that conversation you had with someone?” I said, “No, it’s not that.”

In fact, I’m glad that happened because this company is amazing. Up to this day, it is one of the best companies out there because they always stood behind its product. It didn’t matter how much it costs. They always warrantied stuff. It’s seriously a great place to learn. I got to prove to myself that I’m not what they say, that I’m not just an order taker out there. They’re like, “If you ever want to come back, the door’s always open.” I appreciate that but I told them that I wouldn’t be back.

In my first year, I went to the same brokerage that my wife was with because the owners and I are good friends. Out of 550 brokers, I’ve placed number four in my first year. That was awesome. I knew I always wanted to be number one. Meaning, top in units and volume. The only way I could do that was by having a team because I was doing it all by myself.

At this point, my wife was taking care of the kids and taking care of me full-time, which is a hard job and taking care of our household. I would not want that job. Supporting us is the hardest job in the Maez family. That was good that she got to stay at home and she got to do all that. Here, I hit the ground. At this point, I started shopping for companies that I could have a team. They had teams here in Albuquerque, but they weren’t a real team. I would kill myself from stress and exhaustion if I was going to work as hard as I was my first year in residential resale.

I looked at RE/MAX and Keller Williams. I went with Keller Williams because they have a great philosophy in how they approach doing business with people, win-win or no deal, which I love. It’s got to be a win-win. By the way, financially, it made a lot of sense from a team perspective. That way, my team members can make decent money as well because I can’t be making all the money. We did that and grew that company. Keller Williams blew up. That was when I broke the $100 million mark and took the number one spot in Albuquerque. It’s been a documented thing for years.

A few years ago, I left Keller Williams and said, “At this point, the buck stops with me.” I started The Maez Group. We closed $149 million in production for 425 units, which is my all-time best. It’s a small brokerage. We have about eight brokers here. Most of them are new, so I specialize in training newer agents. The only difference was when I was with Keller Williams, I would lose my experienced brokers to the company. You got to get it. People want to make more money. Who am I to tell a broker that’s been with me for a certain amount of time like, “I can’t give you a raise.”

BYW S4 7 | Better Way
Better Way: Never take education for granted, or opportunities for that matter.


The Maez Group is like the boot camp for newer brokers and if they want to stay long term, they can. The Maez Group is a training ground. It’s where you learn how the real world in real estate works. Everybody has all these cool classes but the real world is a real world. What I provide is real-world experience. There’s a separate brokerage that I own which is called AI, which stands for All In.

These are people that are all-in. They’re not doing this. They’re not doing that. They don’t have one foot over here. They don’t have one foot there. They’re all-in in real estate and they’ve been vetted by me. They’ve been trained by me. They have no criminal record. These are people that you can trust in your home with your family and stuff like that. That’s a new launch.

There’s OP which stands for On Purpose. OP is for people that went through The Maez Group and couldn’t do AI because it’s a lot of work. Now they realize that real estate isn’t as easy as everybody says it is. They worked hard for their license and they still have a lot of contacts. Through OP, they don’t have to be members of the board of realtors with all the fees, but they can refer people to The Maez Group and they can get paid a referral fee on that.

It’s like a triangle of companies. I own a title company as well called Signature Title and it’s been years since we’ve opened it. It’s super successful. It’s doing good business. It’s great. That’s where we’re at. I have an amazing staff. We discovered our why’s with you, but as a better way person, it’s nice to see that because The Maez Group does what it does because we did find a better way.

A little flashback that I had when Gary was when my mentor was around telling him, “We’d sell away more houses if we had somebody to do our paperwork. It seems like every time I’m writing up a contract in the sales office, somebody is coming in wanting to buy, but I’m face to face with somebody writing him up on a deal.” He’s like, “When you’re the boss one day, you could do things how you want to do.” I said, “Noted.”

Now, you do.

My salespeople do not write their own purchase agreements. We have an experienced contract writer that writes all of our contracts. My claim to fame is over 3,000 transactions, Gary, and I’ve never been in a courtroom. The money is great, but having a great reputation is even better. If an attorney would go and say, “You have a pattern of behavior,” the pattern of behavior would be a success and doing things right. Also, creating a business model that people know that when they’re doing business with us, it’s getting done right. We spend money on the processes to make sure that they don’t have to worry about. That’s why people hire brokers to give themselves some insulation from liability.

Question for you then, you said that you’re the guy that makes things happen, what do you attribute to your ability to make things happen?

A lot of that is a combination of a lot of things. Number one, my mom. I’d always say, “I can’t do that.” She would quickly say, “You can and you will.” That was instilled in us at such a young age. My parents were always the candid type of people. In the military, I remember it’s been ingrained in you over time. One of the things that I always would remember was no excuse. If a drill sergeant or a higher up came up to you and say, “What’s this all about?” I’d say, “No excuse and we’d fix it.” We never make excuses and we always would complete the mission. Thinking back, we never had a failed mission because we always never gave up. Looking at things differently, there’s a lot of tenacity that goes into it and the can and the mindset.

Enjoy the process of learning and learn well, because if you skip a step, you might not be able to survive if something really serious. Click To Tweet

One of my favorite sayings was by Henry Ford, “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right.” That is a huge mindset. There were things that we’ve done here that everybody said, “You can never do that,” but we did it. It’s a mindset that if we know that we can do things, we can get it done. That’s the answer to your question. It’s a mindset more than anything.

When you work with new brokers, what are some of the things that you work with them on so that they can get over these fears? There’s a lot of fear jumping into a commission-only kind of situation.

I learned from these guys, too. I’m a mentor and I’ve mentored some great people in fact, but they mentored me, too. They didn’t even know it but they’ve been helping me out as well. I’m putting myself in their shoes. One thing that I know that we do differently is a real-life experience. I’m an audiobook type of guy, so this show is great. I’ve listened to some of the podcasts and it’s great for a guy like me because I’m not a pick-up-a-book-and-read type of guy.

One of the things I listened to in a book was, “10% of what you’re going to learn is in the classroom. The other 10% is reading in a book, but the 80% is rolling up your sleeves and doing it.” That’s the approach that I love for the newer agents. For me, it’s maybe not the best analogy, but as a wolf would teach the pups how to hunt, that’s how I teach people how to do things. It’s roll with me. We do it, they do it, so do it. If you’re watching me do it, you’re going to be way more comfortable than if you read it in a book or some guy that was teaching in class that’s never even done it. He’s just qualified to do teach the class. This is a real-world experience.

When any of my brokers come out of my camp, if they give me two years, I would put them up against any seasoned broker out there, just from how to get things done. They’re hearing that a seller calls me upset about a low offer or me negotiating that. They hear firsthand the negotiations on offer and how you get the highest price for a seller. They hear firsthand deals are going to miss closing and both the buyer and seller have scheduled moving trucks and everybody’s up in arms about that.

That’s a real-life experience you will not learn in a book or any class by somebody that’s teaching a class that’s probably not even qualified to teach a class. This is real-world stuff, so they’re seeing it for real. You’d be surprised, Gary, some agents will never sell a house because they don’t know how to write the contract. They’ve never made a single contract but once they’ve made that first contract, it’s all good. Now, they did it.

It’s almost like rites of passage. It’s like, “I’ve done that. I’m not afraid of it anymore.” Like a lot of things in our life. The first time somebody skydives, they’re probably freaked out. The second time, probably not so much. If they come back, then they’re probably not afraid of it. It’s the same deal. What I do is get people past that threshold sooner.

I remember there was a broker that I used to see in the office all the time when I was back at Keller Williams. I always remember these stories. Keller Williams is one of the best training companies there is. They do a lot of classroom training. She was going to those classes. I have probably been there for about eight months. I saw her in the hallway and said, “You sold anything yet?” She says, “No, I haven’t sold anything yet.” I said, “I’m going on a listing appointment. Come with me.”

She jumped in the car with me and she watched me list the house. When I was driving back with her to the office, I got a call from one of my buyers. There was a house that we emailed them because we have automatic trips and they wanted to see it. I said, “I’ll have one of my brokers open the house for you.” I said, “You’re going to go open the house and after you go open the house, we’re going to write it up.” She said, “Really?” I said, “Yup.”

BYW S4 7 | Better Way
Better Way: If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, try hiring an amateur.


That was her first transaction. I said, “Have the buyers call me from the house.” They called me from the house. I ran payments with them over the phone. I told them about how the process works. She’s listening and watching it. It’s probably something that she had been in those classes for sixteen months and never even experienced. I had her write up the deal for me. I showed her how to write up the deal. She’s not on my team, but she’s a producing broker out in society right now. I know that was the spark that lit the flame. That’s what I do.

The other thing about me is that I’m a man of abundance. I never think about, “That’s my competition,” because it’s not. There’s so much business, Gary. For me, I noticed that it changed her life. It changed my life, too because it reinforced my beliefs that I love helping people. As Rosie said years ago, “You’d be a good real estate agent. You like helping people.” Why would I be good at anything? Because I love helping people.

What was the spark that set you from the guy who didn’t know anything to off and running?

This is going to sound pretty weird, but I grew up doing hard labor and doing stuff where I was even thinking back about my military careers. I was an NCO, but I had all the credits to be an officer. I always did things the hard way. When I realized how much I could do and what a living I could make with using this, that’s where things took off. It was a dream come true. A lot of people will say, “Joe got lucky.” I got lucky to find my niche and my niche is I can take things that are in bad shape and I can make them shine.

One of the hardest things for me, Gary was when I reached what I felt was the pinnacle of my career. A lot of people will probably never reach that spot but I was fortunate to reach it. It’s a breaking point. I don’t know if you can identify with this. I’m pretty sure you can because you’re a winner. I reached a point where I’m like, “I’m the number one guy. I’m selling all this stuff. I’m selling all these houses,” and then you’re like, “I’ve climbed to the top of this mountain. Now what?”

It seemed like I’ve always been in the military, I climbed that mountain. I did that. I went to Pulte, I climbed that mountain. I was done there. It seems like a seven-year cycle. It’s eight years in the military and 7 or 8 years in new home sales. Now I’m at this 7 and 8-year mark in residential resale and I’m at the top of my game, and then you started thinking, “What now?” It’s like the Rocky series. He was like, “Now, what?”

I took a year off and I let the company do its own thing. It still did well, but I realized how much I missed the interaction of being with people. It’s crazy but saving people’s lives. When you sell sometimes, there are situations where you’re saving somebody’s life in this. I’m able to help people in situations where I know another broker might not be able to do it.

For instance, I got a deal that’s closing. We sold their house. Everybody sees my sales and they see this one that’s sold for $2.7 million. They see all these big deals that close, but we sell everything. This house that I am selling on the outskirts of Los Lunas is a $149,000 property. We get it under contract and the seller doesn’t have the money to make all the repairs that have come upon this house. They’re already under contract in another property, so they have to close.

Sales is not a bad word. Sales is helping people. It's getting people to decide on something that's good for them. Click To Tweet

There’s the foundation on this mobile home that needs repairs but they don’t have it. There’s the septic that failed on this house and needs to be replaced but they don’t have the money. The neighbor next door has been living in this house and four people are using this well. The neighbor refuses to sign a Shared Well Agreement, even though these people have been living there for eight years and they’ve been paying the electricity down as well. She won’t sign a Shared Well Agreement. The buyer’s lender will not sell that property unless there’s a Shared Well Agreement or they have their own well.

Guess who drilled the well? I drilled the well for $20,000. I replaced the septic for $55,000 and I did the foundation for probably about $1,500. I don’t have to tell you but the commissionable event in that was maybe $5,100, but I can’t. They have enough proceeds coming out of the sale to where they signed something saying they’ll pay me back at closing. I’m able to do that. I know I can get it done. It’s neat to be in a position like that where you can bridge the gap. There was like, “How did you sell 425 homes?” I found a way to get it done because I’ve been fortunate to be good at what I’m doing. I’m able to help way more people because I’m able to bridge the gap.

There’s a lot of great real estate agents out there and we both know a lot of them. What is it that makes you good? What is the mindset? What is that X factor? What is that thing that somebody who’s reading to this who are thinking, “I’m considering getting into real estate. I am in real estate and I’m trying to figure out how do I go from beginner to expert? How do I go from survival to abundance?” What is it?

The answer to that for me is nothing replaces experience. You have to have a good quality experience. You have to get a great mentor, somebody to mentor you. It’s crazy to see real estate agents coming out and they get into it because they say, “There’s this guy and he’s got this and he’s got that. He doesn’t even speak good English.” The truth is if I can do it, they can do it. What they’re missing is the years of failure that come in there and learning the hard way, too.

When I mentor people, my goal is to save them like my dad and my mom used to give me all this great advice that I never took. My goal is that I get them to take my advice and save them some steps that I had to take that they shouldn’t have to take. That’s where it’s at. It’s been mentored. There are many agents coming into any industry. I know that when you’re a dentist, you don’t just start working on people’s teeth. It took time. You had to watch somebody that had crazy experience perform things and that made you a better person.

There are people in this industry and I have my qualms with this industry because number one, they just let anybody get into it, which is sad. If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, try hiring an amateur. A lot of people don’t realize that until they have to call me up. They’ve spent double or whatever.

Electricians have an apprentice and journeyman program. That’s what people need to do. They need not to cheat the system. I mentor young ones at a couple of colleges in the summer. They said, “What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to somebody younger like me?” I said, “Enjoy the process of learning and learn well because if you skip a step, you might not be able to survive something serious.”

I deal with millions of dollars of production. What happens if you make a mistake? Are you able to make it right? If you’re a true professional, you have to be able to make it right. That’s why to work with a true professional costs money, but a true professional should pay for themselves. I always tell myself, “You want to get to the point where your experiences were so much that when people hire me, it’s almost like getting me for free because I pay for myself during the transaction.” From the advice that I’m able to give people. I always say it’s experience.

BYW S4 7 | Better Way
Better Way: It’s not just about the real estate process. It’s about knowing your product too.


I have an autographed picture here in my office of Nolan Ryan and Robin Ventura. Nolan Ryan has Robin Ventura in a headlock. I have a signed copy of that picture right here. I have it in my office for a reason and I named that picture, Experience, because Nolan Ryan was at the end of his career and probably one of the best pitchers of all time. He’s a Hall of Famer. There’s this young guy who steps up to the plate. Robin Ventura was a pretty big guy and a hotshot back then and Nolan beat him.

Nobody knew that Robin was going to charge. Robin acts like he’s taking the basics and watching them on YouTube and all that stuff, and then halfway, he decides he wants to charge Nolan. Everybody thinks, “Nolan wasn’t afraid.” “You’re talking about a veteran pitcher. Do you think he’s been charged before?” “Maybe once or twice.” He walked towards Robin Ventura and not one bit of fright, he went for it. What that all went down to me was an experience. The man had been in his fair share of scraps. He knew how it was going to turn out. He knew how to handle the situation. That’s what happened but he couldn’t have done that.

Having your mentor when you first started, how much of a benefit was that

It was a huge benefit. I didn’t know that at the time because I was young. You don’t have to be young. I’m talking about being young in the profession. When you’re learning a new trade, so to speak, you don’t know it at the time but you realize later down the road how valuable certain mentors were. My mentor, Brian, taught me the critical path of sales and we never skipped a step. I have my way of doing things right now but my way couldn’t have been my way without his way. Everything from how you greet somebody to how you get a commitment.

Sales is not a bad word. To me, sales are helping people. It’s getting people to decide on something good for them, not what’s good for me. I approached sales in a way that I’m helping somebody and I’m solving a problem. He went a lot deeper. A lot of real estate brokers help people find houses. He taught me how to know money well. Knowing the mortgage side, knowing the different programs and being knowledgeable about all the ways.

If somebody’s a doctor, a lot of people don’t know that there are zero-down programs for physicians with no mortgage insurance. They’ll say, “Call this lender and get back to me.” I’m like, “Nobody’s ever going to call that thing.” They’re almost afraid of going to a lender as much as they’re afraid of going to the dentist. That’s the reality. That’s human psychology and human nature. I always knew the money side. He taught me the value of learning the money side. It’s not just about the real estate process. It’s about knowing your product, too. That’s where the construction knowledge came into play. How does that work?

I remember one of the first things when I was selling houses in the southwest, a guy came in and he was on Sandi Pressley’s team. He was the buyer’s agent for Sandi Pressley, Arny Katz. He is one of the better buyer brokers out there and I’m brand new. I’m the new kid on the block. Arny wants to show his client a spec on a standing piece of inventory out there and the guy comes in and said, “What kind of roof is this?” This was years ago. I said, “I don’t know but I’ll get that answer for you.” He says, “What kind of windows are these?” “I don’t know but I’ll get that answer for you.” “What kind of air conditioning is this?” “I don’t know.” “What the hell do you know?” “I don’t know but I’ll get that answer for you.”

The cheap way of doing things ends up costing you the most. You get what you pay for. Never go to the lowest bidder. Click To Tweet

That was one of those defining moments in my life where I said, “I will never be in that position again.” I pulled Antonio, who was our project manager at the time out there. I said, “Antonio, I want to learn everything about construction, from permitting to the CO. Use me,” and they did. Antonio and his team taught me well about how the construction process works. When I show up to an appointment, I’m not just some other realtor.

I know about PSI in slabs. I know about the different types of slabs. I know about windows. I know more about somebody’s house than they know about their house when I show up and that’s great because I’m an expert. I’m not just anybody else. We are experts. On the money side, if I’m representing a buyer or seller, they can get their mortgage lender on the phone.

They call me the lender’s broker because I’m super low maintenance and by the time I give them somebody to talk to, they’re already qualified. I just need them to pull credit. I’ve already talked to the people about it. I already run numbers. I have already set expectations. It’s pretty easy for them. I know how to ask the questions. I know about the different programs and the reality of all that. That came with time and experience and being a student of the craft.

You said something important there that I wanted to touch on. You said you helped people make a decision. That seems like a big difference between helping them buy a house or helping them in the other areas. When I’m trying to buy something, that’s the hardest part. How do I make a decision? If you can help me do that, you’re my guy.

Here’s the thing about you, Gary, you do what you do, which is what you do and that’s great. You stay in your lane and that’s all fine and good. When you come into my domain and into my universe, that’s my universe, so my job is to be of value to you. You don’t know the market the way I do. Chances are, if you’d give me 5 to 10 minutes to talk with you and you casually tell me because I’m going to be asking you a lot of great open-ended questions to have you open up to me, I’m going to know where that property is. It might not even be on the market but I’m going to know where it’s at. I’m going to know that financially it meets your needs, it’s not going to put you in hardship and it’s going to meet a timeframe that’s comfortable for you.

By the way, unless you’re paying cash, I probably know about a program that you don’t know about that’s going to put a smile on your face. That’s what it is. I’ve seen people that have told me while we’re looking within the next twelve months to move, but after maybe a 30-minute conversation with me, they’re moving and it’s for the better. It’s not that I sold them something. I just showed them something that they didn’t know about.

I always tell my brokers, “Tell our clients something that they don’t already know.” There’s a reason why Zillow, and those types of platforms exist. They are a disruption. The disruption is the fact that people aren’t creating the value that they should. When Zillow is doing the job for you, if the buyer or the seller knows more than you do, then he fails. That’s the way I see it. Technology shouldn’t replace brokers like me because we’re valuable. Anybody else that I train, I want them to build in their value that they never have to be intimidated by some app that’s going to be created. People will always do business when they know there’s value.

BYW S4 7 | Better Way
Better Way: People will always do business when they know there’s value.


The last question and I know you’ve talked about a lot of great advice and given a lot of great advice. What would you say is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received or you’ve ever given?

I receive a lot of great advice. There was a Spanish saying, and it says, “Lo barato cuesta caro,” which means the cheap will end up cost. The cheap way of doing things ends up costing you the most. I’ve learned that you get what you pay for in most cases. Never go to the lowest bidder. That’s one of the better advice and that’s in everything, too.

It goes all the way around. If you’re going to go about something the easy way, it doesn’t have to be about money. It could be about taking the easy way out versus putting in the work. That saying can mean so much on many different levels. Don’t ever cheat yourself. You got to put in the work to get what you deserve if you want it.

As far as advice that I give, that’s a tough question, Gary. I give a lot of advice but the advice that I give is by my actions and watching what I do and that’s how I do things right. Having kids, I’ve learned that it’s not about what you say, it’s about what you do. People are watching you and they’re watching how you deliver. That’s the best example because a lot of people can say things but it’s about what they do that is worth more.

Joe, I appreciate you taking the time. I know you’re busy. Thank you for being here. I’m glad we got a chance to do this finally. I know we get to see each other from time to time, but we haven’t had a chance to sit down and learn about you. It’s fascinating how you’ve gone from where you came from to where you are now. There are a lot of great lessons there. Thank you so much for spending the time. If there are people that are reading that want to connect with you, want to learn more about you and maybe want to work with you in buying or selling a house or being mentored by you, how should they get ahold of you?

The best way to do it is to go to my website. It’s and they can inquire. They could fill in an inquiry and we’ll get with them.

Joe, Thanks again. I’ll see you on the golf course.

Thank you.

I want to wrap it up with our Guess Their Why. I want us to use somebody popular and that would be from the TV series, Ted Lasso. What do you think Roy Kent’s why is? If you watch Ted Lasso, you know exactly who Roy Kent is. He’s one of the favorite characters. He says whatever he wants to say whenever he wants to say it and the way he wants to say it. He’s serious, direct and to the point, no fluff, just right at it.

I’m going to guess that Roy Kent’s why is to simplify because he doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t worry if he hurt your feelings. He says it how it is. He’s nothing fancy. Just right to it. If you like that, you know what you’re getting. There is no extra fluff or candy that goes with it, then that is Roy Kent. What do you think Roy Kent’s why is?

I want to thank you for reading. If you have not yet discovered your why, you can do so at You can use the code PODCAST50 and get it for half price. If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe or leave us a review and a rating on whatever platform you’re using so that you can help us impact one billion people in the next few years by helping them discover their why, how and what. It’s what we call your Why.os. Thanks, everybody. I’ll see you next episode.


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