Many years ago, I introduced a new format that alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.”
Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life…. even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of Lessons for Hannah, I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.
Lessons for Hannah are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share it.
This Week's Lesson for Hannah
Hannah, I am excited to speak to you about one of my favorite topics, mental toughness. There are many takes on this subject and tons of books written on it. It seems there is a new book out on the subject every week. And I can understand why, achieving true mental toughness is personal to each person. How you find yours will be personal to you. I can only speak from my experience and how I have achieved my levels of mental toughness in my life – and I hope it inspires you to level up in yours.
First, what does it mean to be mentally tough? To me it is the ability to respond rather than react to hard circumstances in our lives. Notice I said respond. Most people react emotionally and let fear drive them when hard times come. They cede control of thought to the basic animal side of humanity and react in ways that are typically detrimental to themselves and their potential.
Being mentally tough is being prepared for the hard times because they will inevitably come, and then having the fortitude to say no to the emotional reaction and instead think logically and work through the challenge to reach the best outcome. Being mentally tough is keeping perspective as hard times come, and they go, and life goes on. You must never lose faith in yourself, but you must see reality for what it is.
To be mentally tough is to be able to endure and outlast. One of my favorite movie trilogies is the Batman Trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan. I like it for a lot of reasons. The series is a great set of lessons on good, evil, how fragile societies can be and of course, mental toughness. In one scene in the Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne and Alfred are talking about how in order to stop the Joker, he will have to turn himself in as the Joker has demanded it in order to stop his anarchy and crime spree. This was a moment of mental weakness for Bruce Wayne as he knew deep down that turning himself in would not stop the Joker and Batman was the only way. He asks Alfred what he should do, and Alfred says, “Endure, Master Wayne. Take it. They'll hate you for it, but that's the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.”
I’ve learned that mental toughness is making the right choice even when it is the hardest choice, even when it may bring pain. It is making the right choice knowing others may not understand why at the time or be angry at you for it. It is enduring through all the things, including your own thoughts, that tell you to stop or quit, or give in because you know what is on the other side. You know the ultimate prize is waiting.
I have found my mental toughness through sports and entrepreneurship. I played football from grade school through college and then after college started endurance racing and ultimately Ironman. Sports provide one of the ultimate battle fields for mental toughness. You will go through highs and lows. You will stretch yourself physically and mentally. You will experience fatigue, not just from the work you must do to compete, but also in the form of doing something for a long period of time. I played football for almost 15 years and there were times where I just got tired of it – after all, I had been doing it for so long.
But something I realized is that I spent all this time getting to where I could be my best at the sport and to quit would be to waste all of that hard work and effort. It is the same with Ironman racing. There are a lot of days where my training plan calls for me to train for 5, 6, 7, hours or more. This means, I need to be starting at 4 or 5am in the morning to get everything in alongside all the other things I do and commitments to our family. I would be lying if I didn’t state that there are days where I get up and just am not feeling it and don’t want to do it. I question why I am even doing it – after all I don’t have to…it is an elective sport for me at this point in my life. Those are all emotional reactions, and I have learned to respond logically. It is in these moments that I think of all the benefits of what I am doing and move forward. For example, I have done all the work to get into the best shape physically and mentally of my life and the training is the practice to keep it. After all, it is a lot easier to stay in shape than to get in shape. I also know that it helps me in my health and my ability to be able to do all the things I do with you and your mom. I also know that it helps me as an entrepreneur and in my life as it keeps me disciplined. It keeps me in a good routine and structure. Lastly, I am being rewarded for the work as I am now Top 10% for my age in the world in the sport. And I also know that I have not reached my full potential yet. So, this keeps me going.
Entrepreneurship is similar to sports in that you have to take a long-term view and have the endurance to keep going through the challenges that present themselves on almost a daily basis. I have learned that the more problems you can handle and the bigger ones that you can handle, the larger your business can grow. And this capability allows you to develop others and help them reach their potential, because you can show them through your experience that they are capable of so much more. And ultimately, as an entrepreneur, you want to develop your systems and people so that the business can continue to grow and thrive without you having to be there for it to do so. The only way you can get there is by being mentally tough and sticking it out until it happens.
Hannah, developing your mental toughness and learning to respond rather than react when challenges and hard times come is a lifelong journey. It is worth it. It is worth to push and stretch yourself. It is worth to live into your true potential and capabilities. It is worth it to endure and develop the fortitude needed to see things through. I’ll leave you with a secret and probably the most important advice I will give you on this topic. You don’t have to do it alone. In fact, you are not alone. While you can rely on others, like your mom and I, to help in tough times, there is something else that is always there for you and by your side and that is God. Knowing God and Jesus are walking with you on your journey will keep you going. In fact, one of the most important phrases I use late in Ironman races after swimming over 2 miles, biking over a hundred, and getting deep into my marathon is “God is with me.” When I am feeling like my muscles don’t want to move any more or that I am too tired physically and mentally to go on, I just say that to myself, “God is with me. God will help me finish.”
And it is in these moments that I truly understand what it means to be mentally tough and keep going, because that is what Jesus did for us. He endured more than any human being every could to sacrifice himself and take on the burdens of this world, and knowing this, knowing I have him by my side means I can see anything through. He is the greatest example of mental toughness there is. Hannah, develop your mental toughness and you will be amazed at how you can see anything through.
I love you,
Best Quote: Being mentally tough is being prepared for the hard times because they will inevitably come, and then having the fortitude to say no to the emotional reaction and instead think logically and work through the challenge to reach the best outcome.
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This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Alex Weber. Alex is a former American Ninja Warrior, Award-Winning Entertainer for NBC, and international keynote speaker on leadership and peak performance. If that is not enough, he’s also a world record holder and best-selling author of Fail Proof, Become the Unstoppable You.
Alex has proven that you can learn to consistently operate in a peak state and accomplish more than anyone thinks is possible. So, I’ve asked him on the show to teach you how to do it in your life and business.
Alex was a bullied, insecure, awkward kid until a leader came into his life. It was a high school lacrosse coach. He told Alex he could be good at the sport. This small vote of confidence spurred Alex to work as hard as he could and commit to it. The more he poured himself into it, the more he grew. He gained, friends, confidence, respect, etc. Alex learned that when find an outlet to be successful, it can make all the difference in your life. He went on to play in college and started every game as a freshman, but then got benched every game as a sophomore. This affected him negatively – so he worked hard and came back and was a player his junior and senior year, but he never forgot the way he felt and was affected when he was sidelined. His path was like many other at U of Penn – get a business degree and go to Wall Street. It wasn’t the path for him, but he followed the path “he was supposed to go down.” On evening, he was sitting around with friends talking and he asked the question, “What do you want for your moments on earth? He wrote down his answer. The next morning, he read what he wrote and started doing action and theatre. He did it quietly, but new it was right for him.
“People don’t see it until they see it.” Once those around him, saw him have success and be in commercials, etc. they can around and understood his path was to go that way.
He moved to Los Angeles for his career and start acting and doing comedy. In fact, he’s done stand up for many years.
During this time, he was also coaching Lacrosse for a prestigious High School. Right before the season started, the head coach quit and he was names interim head coach, so he gave it everything he had. He fell in love with it. The team had never won a playoff game and in that year, they won the LA championship and Alex was named Lacrosse coach of the year.
You have to notice when it is time for new chapters in your life. You have to move to next chapter with courage and grace. He wanted to fulfill his acting career and ended up getting hired as a host of American Ninja Warrior. Part of his job was also trying everything on the show, and he failed at it. But, after the end of the first season, his bosses said that he was crushing it at failing, but as a former athlete, he could be really good.
They gave him the opportunity to be an athlete again. He ended up winning an award for hosting, but also pursued being a contestant on the show. He also pursued his speaking career by blending his experience as a host, pro-athlete, coach, and comedian.
What does it mean to get into a peak performance state and stay there?
What is it that holds most people back?
What is the “Fail Proof system?”
How do people foster the ability to respond instead of reacting to emotion?
What are some of the best ways to translate the lessons you teach to entrepreneurship?
What have you learned from doing standup comedy that has helped you as an entrepreneur?
Best Quote: What do you want for your moments on earth?
Alex's Misfit 3:
Zoom out. You are a living creature on a planet. What do you want for your moments on earth?
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This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Mike Moll. Simply put, Mike is a marketing expert with a special focus on helping entrepreneurs build systems that create time freedom. He built a fully remote company in 2013 and then has replicated that in helping hundreds of other companies charge what they are worth and free up the entrepreneur in their business.
Through his company, MarketMe, he’s worked with everyone from Trends to AppSumo and regularly speaks on how to build effective and successful marketing systems. I’ve asked him to come on and share his best strategies and advice on how to create better marketing systems in your business.
@TheMikeMoll on Instagram
Mike was not a great student. He felt that everything he was doing was wrong and questioned if he was smart or not. He started making money early in life, working 25 hours a week even in high school. He went to college, and it didn’t last. He was on academic probation within a year and ultimately left. He did a bunch of odd jobs in things likes breakdancing, Bingo caller, and then did some sales roles. He felt he needed to grow up and get a real job, so he got into insurance and did it for 6 years.
In his 6th year, he had a complete nervous breakdown. He was doing well financial, had a company car, etc., but he was not happy. He knew things had to change. His family and life at the time told him he had to find something else. Two weeks later he left and was unemployed with no plan. He started a software company out of his house and as he says, “That caught him up on everything he had not learned and needed to learn about life and business.” He pivoted a year in and turned it into a marketing agency. That is where found his calling and groove to doing what he is today.
What is your business today?
What is the most important piece of a good marketing strategy?
What is the best way refine and state how you help clients?
Any other elements of a great marketing strategy?
What should we know about Google Ads?
At the 26 min mark, Mike answers the question, How do you generate high converting leads with one single message?
How does someone automate things to free themselves up in the business?
Best Quote: If you don’t know how to speak to the needs and challenges of your customer, you cannot succeed.
Mike's Misfit 3:
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This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Michael Juergens. Mike is a very interesting guy and a modern-day renaissance man. He runs the winery solutions practice for a Big Four firm. He founded the wine industry in the Kingdom of Bhutan. He owns the award-winning So-Cal Rum company that boasts the highest rated silver rum of all time. He runs the Drinking and Knowing Things newsletter and is the author of the best-selling book with the same name. And if that is not enough, he is an adventure race addict and candidate to become the 58th American to qualify as a Master of Wine. Oh, and he’s also a professor at the University of California Irvine.
Mike’s motto is “do epic stuff with awesome people,” And on this show, we have epic conversations with awesome people. So, I’ve asked Mike to come on today to share how he’s done all he’s done and what he’s learned along the way.
Mike got to where he through interesting experiences that he was not afraid to lean into. As he says, the universe is constantly presenting us with opportunities and we are often too caught up in our day to day to realize or, even if we do, we don’t lean in on it. So, Mike decided to lean in on everything that seems cool and that has lead him to where he is.
Explain more about we should and can lean into the opportunities in our lives…
With all that you do, you still choose to work and have a job. Why still do that when you have all your businesses?
Talk about how you created your role…
How do you keep up with everything? How do you schedule your life?
How did you create the wine industry in the Kingdom of Bhutan?
What did you have to do to get started?
At the 29 min mark, Mike talks about how he got into the rum business…
You’ve spent 25 years traveling the world meeting people, what are the most important things you’ve learned about life and business?
Advice for people that aren’t living the life they are capable of?
What does it mean to optimize the runner’s mindset?
We have a great conversation on racing and breaking through mental limitations…
Drinking and knowing things – what should they know about wine?
What’s your favorite wine?
Best Quote: Get outside your comfort zone. The people least like you are the ones you need to meet and learn from the most.
Mike's Misfit 3:
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This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Stephen Flood. Stephen is the founder and CEO of Goldcore, one of the oldest gold and silver dealers in the market today. The firm is responsible for over $1 billion in transactions and manages $300 million in assets for their clients.
Stephen has an incredible story. After graduating college in Ireland, he left for New York with just a few hundred dollars in his pocket and made his way into finance, eventually working with Goldman Sachs as a Trader in Equity Derivatives. After having a lot of success, he followed his entrepreneurial spirit back to Ireland starting Goldcore in 2003. The company has been featured on just about every financial medium there is from CNBC to Bloomberg.
But, what I love most about Stephen is that he’s an entrepreneur at his core and I’ve asked him to come on and share the wisdom he’s learned on his way to becoming a billion dollar CEO as well as his unique take on investing.
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Stephen’s father died when he was 11. He learned early on how to take care of himself. And after going to college he knew he needed to follow his instincts and decided to go to New York where he go into finance. He loved his time in New York, but was always fascinated with technology and finance together. This helped in New York, but it also helped in finding creative solutions like he and his team have done at Goldcore.
Everywhere Stephen has gone, he’s been a disruptor and is driven by creating efficiencies.
What made you leave Wall Street to start Goldcore?
What should people know about investing in gold and silver?
Inflation is at 40-year highs, why hasn’t made very large moves higher?
At the 18 min mark, Steven and I have a deeper discussion about central banking and about the monetary system in general.
Explain how gold gives personal sovereignty…
Thoughts on cryptocurrency?
What are the key elements needed to succeed as an entrepreneur?
Biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
What is the benefit of storing things offsite vs. a safe at home?
www.GoldintheUSA.com for some good basics on gold.
Main principles that you have used in building your business that have really stood out?
Where do you see the economy going over the next year?
Best Quote: It is better to find right, than to be right. Stephen's
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