The WHY Of Make Sense: Unlocking Your Best Self By Finding Your Genius With Mike Zeller

BYW S4 8 | Find Your Genius

If you want to find your genius, you need to figure out who you are and what you’re amazing at. Once you find that you can put yourself in a position where you can succeed the most. Life gives you so many clues on how to find your genius, like a murder mystery, you just need to find and organize them. This is your zone of genius. Dr. Gary Sanchez’s guest, Mike Zeller exemplifies the WHY of make sense. Mike is a business architect and entrepreneur mentor who helps professionals find their zone of genius. He is the founder of Symposia Mastermind and is the author of “The Genius Within“. Learn how to find greater clarity in yourself so that you can be in your zone of genius. Learn what the WHY of make sense means for Mike today!

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The WHY Of Make Sense: Unlocking Your Best Self By Finding Your Genius With Mike Zeller

Welcome to the show where we go beyond just talking about your WHY, and helping you discover and live your WHY. If you’re a regular, you know that every week, we talk about one of the nine WHYs. We bring on somebody with that WHY so we can see how their WHY has played out in their life. In this episode, we’re going to be talking about the WHY of Make Sense or to make sense of the complex and challenging.

If this is your WHY then you are driven to solve problems and resolve challenging or complex situations. You have an uncanny ability to take in lots of data and information. You tend to observe situations and circumstances around you and sort through them quickly to create solutions that are sensible and easy to implement. Often, you are viewed as an expert because of your unique ability to find solutions quickly. You also have a gift for articulating solutions and summarizing them clearly in understandable language. You believe that many people are stuck and that if they could make sense out of their situation, they could develop simple solutions and move forward. In essence, you help people get unstuck and move forward by helping them solve their problems.

I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Mike Zeller. He is a business architect and entrepreneur mentor. He helps professionals find their zone of genius and rewrite their subconscious to fuel momentum towards life’s purpose. He has mentored over 200 high-level entrepreneurs from all over the world, helping add tens of millions in revenue to his clients. An entrepreneur himself, he has founded or partnered in over twenty ventures across multiple industries including technology, real estate, digital marketing and more.

Collectively, his businesses have achieved more than $100 million in sales in the last several years. He partners his business strategy with a heavy emphasis on social entrepreneurism, including one venture that gave away $300,000 in cars to single mothers in need. Mike has trained under masters of the industry such as Tony Robbins, Russell Brunson and Jay Abraham. As a master NLP practitioner, he uses his core methodology to help entrepreneurs and creatives get unstuck from emotional roadblocks to become more fully integrated and build unstoppable momentum. He has been featured in Business Insider, Forbes Coaches Council, Thrive Global, Huffington Post, and on Fox Radio. Mike, welcome to the show.

Gary, I’m excited to be here. After that intro, I sound a lot more impressive than I feel.

It sounds like you have done a lot of things. Where I think we should start is take us back through your life, maybe back to even when you were in high school. Where did you grow up? How did you get on this path of entrepreneurism and end up where you are now? Let’s start back there.

I was in love with baseball in high school. I was devoted to becoming a professional baseball player at one point. That’s where self-discipline, desire, hunger and that fuel to challenge myself grew. My dad was an immigrant from Germany with an eighth-grade education. He moved to America, not speaking a word of English during post World War II. He was born in 1940. His parents were anti-Hitler but they still had to have a picture of Hitler hanging in their house. Otherwise, they could be arrested by the Gestapo and a lot worse could happen to them. They had a picture of Hitler hanging in the back door in a closet. If someone came in, they could say, “We have our picture of Hitler in the back.” I learned this story from my dad.

BYW S4 8 | Find Your Genius
Find Your Genius: People need to find their genius. There are clues scattered throughout their lives. The challenge is most people haven’t organized and synthesized those clues yet.

If I go back to some of the roots and things that are imprinted upon us that you don’t even realize where they come from, my dad was eligible for nutrition deficient camps. Even though he was a German boy and his parents had a general store, which is a precursor to grocery stores. He came over to America with this hardiness and this resilience where they had one serving of meat a week. They would have potatoes, vegetables and things like that.

I’m not terribly old or anything like that but when I was growing up, he taught us a lot of that. He taught us to be resilient, disciplined, frugal, hardworking and industrious. I got a lot of that, but he was also self-employed at the time I was growing up. He owned and raised harness horses and was one of the best in the country, so I wanted to eventually be self-employed. Eventually, I knew I was meant to be an entrepreneur. I thought I was going to be in the restaurants. I got into real estate and started building a mini real estate empire.

At age 32, I listened to Tony Robbins’ Personal Power II. He talks about doing incantations and affirmations. My seventh affirmation was that I mentor and lead some of the brightest and best people in the world. I was like, “I don’t know how I’m going to do that. All I’m doing now is real estate.” I was like, “I’m supposed to write this down.”

Three years later, I had started at that point six more businesses. After a mini-sabbatical in Buenos Aires, Argentina that was inspired by The 4-Hour Workweek, I started getting tons of people reaching out for mentorship and coaching. My first paid client at the time was doing $25 million a year in eComm. He’s the cofounder of iHeartDogs. I loved it and felt like I need to figure out a way to make this viable and make sense in helping entrepreneurs grow. That’s a long story.

You were early on into sports. That was your thing. Did you go off to college or no college?

I went to college. I went to a private liberal arts school and played baseball in college for a bit. I am still very attuned to sports. I’m hosting a Clubhouse room called The Sons and Daughters of Hall of Famers. Jim Brown’s daughter is coming on, Gill Russell’s daughter, Sugar Ray Leonard’s son, Joe Montana’s son might come and share. I love the game of sports.

That will be interesting because the pressure that’s got to be on the son or daughter of a legend has got to be intense. I’m fortunate that I had two daughters and I didn’t get to put pressure on them to be these amazing athletes because that wasn’t in their makeup. I realized that quickly when I was coaching soccer to five-year-old girls. I turned to put my daughter in the game and she’s down at the end of the field chasing a butterfly. I realized all this pressure that I could apply to be a great athlete is not going to apply to them. What was the first business that you got into?

You can't find your genius without knowing your values and weaknesses. Click To Tweet

Besides a couple of network marketing businesses, I would say real estate investing. I’ve built on a little real estate portfolio.

Who got you into that? Why did you pick that of all the things that you could have picked why real estate investing?

One of my mentors at the time shared with me Carleton Sheets’ No Down Payment Program. It says, “97% of America’s millionaires made their millions in real estate.” It was one of his core premises. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know but I got in the game. I loved the power of leverage, the tax write-offs, and all the other things that come with real estate. I’m a big believer in real estate.

It was interesting when I listened to your story, the quick version of it. It’s very similar to my path. I did Tony Robbins’ Personal Power when I was in my twenties. I took the No Down Payment course. I took a lot of those same things. It’d be interesting to see if most entrepreneurs were on that same path. I saw some different multilevel marketing things way back in the day. I quickly learned that maybe that wasn’t the best way. You probably figured out it didn’t make much sense.

I didn’t want everyone that I talked to be a prospect of my downline.

You didn’t want them to scatter when you walked in?

Yeah, exactly.

BYW S4 8 | Find Your Genius
Find Your Genius: Your genius is where you can be one of the best in your marketplace. This has to be deeply aligned with your values, life experiences, relationships, and strengths.

What kind of real estate were you involved with?

It is mostly residential. We did a few flips but frankly, the flips were hard. Even though Nashville is a great market, it is still a very hard market to make good margins on. I eventually owned an office building. I had an office building that was sold in 2020. I loved investing and I still do. Besides cryptocurrency, that’s the thing I want to heavily invest in over the next twenty years, as well as other companies.

You jump in there, figure out the best way to do it, do that for a little while, and then onto the next.

One of the things that I started noticing, especially as I reflect back, is I have 4 or 5 friends that have $100 million-plus real estate portfolios. I didn’t love the game as they did, but I loved other things that they maybe don’t understand or get to. When we go into finding your genius, I think there are clues scattered throughout our lives. The challenge is most of us haven’t organized and synthesized the clues that, “You’re a genius over here and you’re not so much a genius over here. In fact, you suck over here.” We have some basic understanding of those things but you have to get even more precise. One of the fundamentals, as I look back at my entrepreneurial journey, is that I see over and over that those people who accomplish extraordinary things put themselves in extraordinarily right positions. I think there are clues in your life, my life, and everyone’s life as well.

I bet you see scenarios where they put themselves in situations where they weren’t living their genius. How long can somebody take that? You did real estate for a while and then jumped into it by accident. It sounds like personal growth, mentoring and helping other people achieve their success. In that area, is that where you learned about the zone of genius?

One of the businesses that I started when I came back from Buenos Aires was a socially-minded car dealership. We had a goal that was twofold. It’s to create the most ethical, honest, straightforward, and the best value car buying experience in the Southeast, which we did. Every car we sold helped us give away another car to a single mother in need. We gave away over $300,000 worth of cars. We started a digital marketing agency that was designed to help my businesses and other businesses grow and stretch. Another venture was the men’s fashion line, then a sustainable fashion line, and then an office/coworking space.

I started asking myself, “What parts of the business am I good at?” I also started getting clues about what parts of the business I’m not so good at, which are some operations, legal, administrative tax sides. I hate those things. It’s not in my wheelhouse. I can do them and I can discipline myself, but only for so long. I get bored and I want to go over here and create something else. I lost over $1 million as well.

To know thyself is the beginning of all wisdom. If you can master yourself, you can master the game of life. Click To Tweet

After I had all this growth, doing $30 million a year in revenue, I personally lost over $1 million in a pretty short time period in 2018. It sideswiped me because I was playing out of my position so much. I realized that my genius had gotten me to a certain level but I didn’t have the right partners, collaborators, etc. Now I had more people asking as well as I was getting more advice-seekers approaching me. I’m like, “I can’t tell you where and what you should do without knowing your values, strengths and weaknesses.” I thought, “All the personality tests gave us different clues.” I loosely created a process to organize and synthesize the clues.

You figured it out. You made sense of this complex thing called, “What’s my genius?”

I’ve got the most complete process ever created for someone who is hungry to figure out their genius more precisely. I’ve yet to find someone that doesn’t have a massive breakthrough when they do the whole thing.

How do you define your genius?

My genius is where I can be one of the best in the world or best in the marketplace that’s deeply aligned with my values, life experiences, relationships and my strengths. It’s those four pillars. We all have webs of relationships. Our network is our net worth, some might say. The third thing is our defining life experiences. Why does someone who goes through the same university or goes through the same experience in terms of the same education or whatever do something radically different?

If we look back at Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, why are they both in a race for space? They were fascinated with space in their teenage years and wanted to do something. They dreamed of going to outer space. One of my favorite stories is about Theodore Roosevelt. At the age of 22 or 23, unfortunately, his first wife dies giving birth and his mom dies 24 hours later. He’s like, “I can’t take it.” He was a politician at the time, a Congressman or something. He let his aunt raise his daughter for the next six months because he’s like, “What am I going to do with an infant? I’m a rough rider type personality.”

He goes out West to North Dakota and South Dakota. He camps, hunts and lives in the wilderness for months. Fast forward many years later, he becomes the President of the US. He preserves the national parks. He preserves more natural acreage and is a bigger advocate for wildlife than any other president we’ve ever had because of those types of experiences.

BYW S4 8 | Find Your Genius
Find Your Genius: The universe is made up of waves. The challenge is to create a new pattern or wave. You can do this by creating new perspectives and new perspectives create aha moments.

The first thing was unique talents, the second thing was your important relationships, and then the third was your life experiences. What was the fourth again?

It’s values and passions. What do I stand for and what do I stand against? What lights me up? What am I insatiably curious about? They all give clues. The goal is you synthesize and organize all the clues. They are scattered throughout. If you get them all on one table or one worksheet in my case, now you have all these clues organized and you can see patterns emerge. You’ve probably read Jim Collins’ Good to Great book, Built to Last and all that. What is it? Jim gathered a bunch of data and he didn’t go in assuming certain things. He had some guesses but he looked in and said, “What patterns are going to emerge from the data, about the companies when they went from good to great.” There were some patterns that he didn’t even expect.

What happens is you have greater certainty and greater clarity. One of my clients that I took through a whole day session on it is a former executive of the federal government. She’s retiring and she’s had as many as 80,000 employees underneath her. She said, “Mike, this is one of the biggest a-ha moments in my 34-year career. She went through the process even though she is pretty self-aware. She spent tens of thousands of dollars with coaching programs. She read countless books. She gets up at 4:30 AM. She does her disciplines and things like that. Socrates said, “To know thyself is the beginning of all wisdom.” If you can master yourself, you can master the game of life.

What was the turning point for you? Why did you decide to go on this path?

I remember when I first became a man of faith in college. I became a Christian in my junior year. I remember speaking and organizing an event. I was like, “I think my purpose in life is to unleash people’s God-given potential.” I did ministry for a while but I felt like, “I’m not supposed to be in ministry.”

What made you believe that?

It was almost like a divine download. I had a whisper. Sometimes in life, we get whispers and nudges. It doesn’t have to be audible. It’s just, “There was something meaningful here. I’m supposed to connect with this person.” When I was 21 years old, I was mentoring college students. One of the guys I was mentoring was two years younger than me. He says to me one day, “Mike, you’re the best mentor I’ve ever had.” I was like, “Wow.” His dad was a bestselling leadership author. His dad was pretty legit and way far ahead of me. I was like, “That’s pretty awesome.”

The phrase, 'I am' is very powerful because it's a declaration that moves your body to where you want to go. Click To Tweet

When you get connected to your heart and spirit, you get clarity if you’re willing to still yourself, still the outside noise and listen. Tune yourself and ask yourself. Your body doesn’t lie. If I take this pen right here and I put my hand down and I try to stab it, my body will not stab itself unless I’ve somehow bypassed it. A Navy SEAL might be able to bypass it but I can’t bypass that very easily because our body is designed not to harm itself. Our body is also very honest, but most of us are attuned to our mind more than our body. Our minds can lie and it lies all the time. We get all these word tracks, wounds, stories and false beliefs.

I have a Claim Your Power Meditation on YouTube that you go through and you get more connected to yourself, your weak-ass self and your most powerful self. You release the weak-ass version of you from controlling and guiding your life. It’s all about asking your heart and your body. What is the name of your badass self? I’ve got Magic Mike, and I’ve got Weak-ass Willie. Magic Mike is more powerful, I promise you that.

You create your own name for the badass version of yourself and then you put that one on your shoulder or what? How do you use your badass self?

We’re both sports fans. We know Kobe Bryant had Black Mamba. Bo Jackson had a guy named Jason from Friday the 13th. He’s a nice guy off the field but when he’s on the field, he’s going to run over and destroy people. It’s how he thinks. You flip into a different mentality. One of the early clients that I worked with on this was a big Instagram influencer. She had 600,000 followers on Instagram. We sat down for twenty minutes in our session. We were out in LA and she breaks down in tears. She said, “Mike, I’m completely stuck on my message.” I’m like, “What am I going to do? I got a crying girl in my hands.” I realized, “I can take her through this process.”

I took her through the process and I got her connected to Oprah Winfrey. I asked her, “Who do you admire who knows their message?” “Oprah Winfrey.” I had her visualize experiencing, being and delivering a message as Oprah. By the end of that, we go back to her. She’s created a whole new brainwave. We’ve got wavelengths. The universe is made up of waves, sound waves and light waves. As entrepreneurs, what are we? We’re up and down. It’s a roller coaster to some extent. Our women have a cycle and it’s a 30-day cycle. They’re up and down. There’s a time of the month they’re crazy and want chocolate. The universe is made up of waves.

The challenge is to create a new pattern or a new wave. In that Law of Physics, an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an outside source. We can create new patterns and new waves with new perspectives. New perspectives create a-has. Why did the founder of Red Bull discover Red Bull when he’s in Thailand? He’s tired and he has a big meeting. He asked the taxi driver to pull over so he could run in and get an energy drink. The taxi driver says, “Get this Red Bull. It’s good.” He goes down and gets a Red Bull can or whatever with a little Red Bull on it. It is something similar to what it is now. He was like, “This works.” He comes back and creates that brand. He was in a different brainwave, pattern and perspective. I help people create new patterns around finding their genius and anchoring to their most powerful identity.

When they have their most powerful identity, they can use that as a sounding board. How do they use it once they have their badass self?

BYW S4 8 | Find Your Genius
Find Your Genius: Don’t let a thought or pattern that doesn’t serve who you actually are, stay in your mind. You can let them come in, but do not let them build a nest.

I’ll give you an example. One of my clients is Renee Batten. She’s a former Army veteran or a Navy veteran. She’s a powerhouse woman who has written a bunch of books. Her alter ego is Barbuda. We were talking and in many parts of her business, she’s doubled and tripled her income since working together but she hadn’t made some leaps up in our marketing. I was like, “Renee, who’s leading your marketing department? Is it Barbuda or is it Renee?” She’s like, “It’s not Barbuda. It’s Renee.” Barbuda leads with power, magnificence, strength and courage. She doesn’t play small. You have different energy. It’s the beauty of the human mind that is different from the animal kingdom.

I remember when my dad made us watch animal shows. You see a wildebeest getting caught by some lions and then all of a sudden, it somehow escapes the jaws of the lion and runs off. The lion is too tired to chase it down. Two minutes later, it’s eating grass. You’re like, “Mr. Wildebeest, what the heck’s wrong with you? You were just in the jaws of a lion and now you’re eating grass.” We wouldn’t do that. If we almost die, we’re not eating a sandwich two minutes later because our minds are different.

In the animal kingdom, their minds are designed to release energy faster. I’m studying trauma a lot. Healing from Trauma is a great book that talks a little bit about this. As humans, we hold on to it. We also have the superpower of we can transport our minds into a different space with imagination and creativity. If we can do that, then we will lead and create from a radically different space.

Our marriages and relationships can be different. We unlock our divine human potential in a different way. That’s why I think this higher version of ourselves that’s within us is the real version. Sometimes we’re like, “If I step up here and I imagine myself there, that’s the imposter.” No, your current reality is most likely your imposter. What if we flip the perspective? What if my current reality or the one that wants to play small, the one that wants to hide, the one that wants to not go for it is the false version?

Once you have defined what the real version of you is and named, then you can step into that?

What I do is I have people write out, “How does this version of you walk and talk? What is this version of you wearing? Are they wearing hand-me-downs pre-owned clothes? Are they wearing Gucci or whatever they are wearing? What type of music does that version of you listen to?” Do you do affirmations?


Figure out who you are and where you're amazing at. Then you can put yourself in a position where you can succeed the most. Click To Tweet

I start my day off with, “I am Magic Mike. I am a wealth magnet. I am attracting, earning and saving millions of dollars. I am worthy of extraordinary.” I’ve got 2 minutes and 22 seconds of affirmations of declaring “I am,” even though some of those things have not happened fully yet, but I’m speaking where I want to go. Our words are our commands so I speak those into existence based on my zone of genius partly as well, then they are in alignment.

I’m designed to be a creator and not an accumulator like Warren Buffett. The Wealth Dynamics test is one of my favorite personality tests. It shows you your natural pathway to wealth. If I’m creating and building in alignment, the powerful phrase “I am” subtly commands your body to move in that direction with energy and music. I like energy and music. It changes our brain waves as well.

Tell us about Magic Mike versus Weak-ass Willie. When did that transition happen from Weak-ass Willie to Magic Mike? What was that like for you?

Both of them still show up. Weak-ass Willie is when I lost a lot of money and then I had all these people I had to pay and all these things. I had some significant shame around that. I had my tail between my legs. I’m not going to take care of what I need to take care of if Weak-ass Willie is leading my life. I started creating that alter ego of Magic Mike. I had a client call me Magic Mike because of the magic I was creating in her life. I said, “What does Magic Mike do? How does it lead? How can you show up more before I go into meetings or podcasts interviews, and before I do this or this?”

I’m like, “Do I want Magic Mike to lead or do I want Weak-ass Willie?” When Weak-ass Willie shows up, I’ll literally say, “Thank you for sharing your good desire.” It’s always for protection and wanting to keep me from harm. I’m like, “I see you and I hear you but I’ve got to advance. I’ve got to be on the offensive and lead. I can’t retreat. “Thank you. Magic Mike, you take the reins, drive the car, drive the bus in my life. Let’s roll.”

It is very much like sports.

It goes down into visualization, commanding, reinforcing and not letting a thought or pattern that doesn’t serve who you are and how you want to show up stay in your mind long. We all have them come in, but do we let them build a nest in a home?

BYW S4 8 | Find Your Genius
Find Your Genius: Greater clarity leads to greater confidence. Greater confidence leads to a greater conviction. Greater conviction leads to greater courage. Then you will have higher-level commitments to yourself and others.

It’s I can’t versus I can. I was a world champion in racquetball and at every level that I went through at every stage, I faced the “Am I really good enough?” You have to overcome that by believing it. What worked when you were at a lower level does not work when you get to the next level, which does not work when you get to the next level, so you’ve got to reinvent.

You’ve had to do that a few times in your career. I imagine you’ve gotten closer as well to your genius and to your purpose. There is always more to unpack using the lessons of our wins and failures.

What I like about what you’ve done is that you’ve figured it out. You’ve codified what people were doing that found success versus what people were doing that didn’t find success. You said, “This is what these people are doing. Let me show you what the heck they’re doing so it makes sense to you and then you can go do it.”

It’s do-it in your own unique way and your own unique path. The other thing that’s cool about this process is when you do it, now you’re going to have even more deep alignment. If you’re resolved and convicted in your spirit, you show up more courageously. You show up with greater confidence and greater commitment. It all starts with clarity. It’s the first of the five Cs. Greater clarity leads to greater confidence. Greater confidence leads to a greater conviction. With a greater conviction, we show up with more courage, then we make higher-level commitments to ourselves and others.

I’m sure there are a lot of people reading right now that are in that stage themselves where they are making that shift or the transition from what they were doing to what they wanted to do, and it’s scary. It’s sometimes easier to write it out and play small. If you’re talking to them right now, they’re reading and they’re teetering on, “Should I go for it? Should I not go for it?” What is the first step they should take?

Socrates is one of the wisest men who ever lived. He mentored Plato and Aristotle who gave us in essence, Western Civilization, the philosophy of democracy, and the capitalistic system as well, and human growth and human potential. He said, “To know thyself is the beginning of all wisdom.” King David said in Proverbs 16:32, “It’s better to have self-control than to conquer a city.” Another wise man, Dee Hock, the Founder of Visa. When he started writing for Harvard Business Review, he found the very best leaders in the world and did something that ordinary leaders did not. That was that they focused more than 50% of their leadership energy on leading themselves.

Back to what I said before, “Extraordinary results are predicated not necessarily by the most extraordinary people but people being in extraordinarily right positions.” You think of a great sports team. They are extraordinarily aligned. Why will the Brooklyn Nets probably never win an NBA championship with Kevin Durant and James Harden consistently? They don’t have a complementary team. They got two great stars but it’s not aligned with the rest of the team.

Spend 30 minutes a day reading. That way, you start your day off with some fuel in the tank. Click To Tweet

Extraordinary success comes down to people being in extraordinarily right positions. If you get yourself more in the right position, which I think that’s where I had another client go through the test and the course before I had the book out. She was like, “Mike, I would have doubled my salary if I had gone through this first because I would have had so much greater clarity around where I kicked butt and I would have asked for more.” She renegotiated her salary after being at the job for a month.

Figure out who you are and where you are amazing because you can put yourself in a position where you can succeed the most. I would say pick up the book because it guides you through the whole process but go through the personality tests. The reason I’d take people through five personality tests is they all give you different clues. They measure different behaviors and strengths. Doing the other inventories around relationships and defining life moments also give you other layers of clues. The more layers of clues, the more patterns you will see.

Once you know yourself, then making decisions is easier, and then you have clarity, confidence, conviction, courage and commitment. That’s exactly what we believe. The first step is self-awareness and the first step in self-awareness is knowing your WHY because once you know your WHY, all the rest makes sense and fits together. In your case, we know you are somebody who believes in making sense of complex and challenging things. You’ve done that in every area of your life all the way along, from being the guy that helped people through their problems when you were young, to the person that’s continually doing it now. You did it in real estate and you did it all the way along in your journey.

Knowing that, we could predict that you’re eventually going to figure something special out, and you did. You took something that is complex, challenging and overwhelming. I have no idea what to do and I don’t know where to turn,” and you said, “Let me hold your hand for a second. Here’s where you go. Here’s your step. Figure yourself out and then we’ll figure the rest out.” I got one last question for you before we go there. What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given or that you ever gave someone?

Something that changed my world was when I was nineteen years old. I went to Peter Lowe’s Success Seminar. I heard guys like Zig Ziglar, Colin Powell and all those legends of afar. One of them said, “Spend 30 minutes a day reading. Do it in the first part of your day. Do it in the morning. That way, you start your day off with some fuel in the tank. You put some deposits in your bank account.” I’ve done that in every season of life since then. I’ve read 1,500 books now. I love learning and growing. As a result, I can honestly say that I mastered a lot of different subjects.

There is another guy, Brian Tracy, when I was twenty years old in the middle of a finals week. He said at his seminar, “If you read a book a month in your chosen field, you’ll be an expert in three years. That’s 36 books.” I was like, “I don’t want to wait three years.” I’m a little more impatient. I was like, “I’m going to master a subject in one year.” The first one I mastered and worked on was leadership, sales and marketing, spirituality, relationships, human psychology and all those others.

Choosing a field and becoming a bonafide expert goes far. You want to learn, lean into that and become a master. Don’t be a dabbler. You can dabble in some things and that’s okay. That’s experimentation, but choose a handful of things to become a master at. Once you master something else and you want to explore and master something else, master that. The top one-percenters earn disproportionately more than everyone else. We all can be one-percenters. If that’s 36 books, you can read 36 books in a subject and not take yourself up but apply it. That’s was the best advice I’ve ever received.

BYW S4 8 | Find Your Genius
The Genius Within: Your Natural Pathway To Impact, Fulfillment, & Wealth

One of my mentors says it this way. He says, “Learn less and study more.” It’s pretty much what you said. You don’t need 500 books on 500 subjects, take one subject and go 500 books deep, and then you become the master. If there are people that are reading and they’re like, “I love what Mike had to say. How do I get ahold and work with him?” What’s the best way to connect with you? What would work best for you?

If you want a free Six-Step Guide To Finding Your Genius, I’ve got a free six-step guide. You can text Genius U to 474747. You’ll get a link to opt-in and get that PDF. Also, or it’s on Amazon. I’m @TheMikeZeller on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and as well. It’s a pleasure being on your show, Gary. I love your approach and am excited for this next chapter of your life as well.

I’m so glad you were here. Thank you for taking the time and I look forward to staying in touch. As you come through Albuquerque, look me up and we’ll go get some Mexican food here.

That would be great. I love it.


In our last segment of Guess the WHY, I want us to think about Patrick Mahomes. He is the quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs. They won the Super Bowl and had a great year in 2020, and not such a great year in 2021, but I’m sure it’s going to end better for him. What do you think Patrick Mahomes’ WHY is? He’s the guy that can throw the sidearms and can run and passes well. He seems to think faster than everybody else. He always seems one step ahead.

For me, his WHY is the same as our guest’s, Mike Zeller, which is to make sense of the complex and challenging. So much comes his way but he quickly synthesizes it. He quickly gets on the right path, makes a decision and makes it happen. That’s what people with the WHY of Makes Sense do. Thank you, all. If you’ve not yet discovered your WHY, you can do so at Use the code PODCAST50 and you can get it for half price. If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe, leave us a review and a rating on whatever platform you’re using. Thank you and I will see you next episode.

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About Mike Zeller

Mike Zeller is a business architect and entrepreneur mentor who helps professionals find their zone of genius and rewire their subconscious to fuel momentum toward their life’s purpose. He has mentored over two hundred high-level entrepreneurs from all over the world, helping add tens of millions in revenue to his clients.
An entrepreneur himself, Mike has founded or partnered in over 20 ventures across multiple industries, including technology, real estate, digital marketing, and more. Collectively, his businesses have achieved more than $100 million in sales in the last 10 years. He partners  his business strategy with a heavy emphasis on social entrepreneurism,  including one venture that gave away $300,000+ in cars to single  mothers in need.
Mike has trained under masters of the industry such as Tony Robbins,  Russell Brunson, and Jay Abraham. A master NLP practitioner, he uses  this core methodology to help entrepreneurs and creatives get unstuck  from emotional roadblocks to become more fully integrated and build  unstoppable momentum. Mike has been featured in Business Insider,  Forbes Coaches Council, Thrive Global, Huffington Post, and on Fox  Radio.

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