Interview Transcript

and we are on all right thank you so much for joining us here today mike on pivot me excited to be here april love your energy and your joy and excited to connect and dive in absolutely well before we get into it let’s read your impressive bio here real quick mike um mike zeller is a top entrepreneur mentor and business architect his businesses have generated more than nine figures in sales and he studied alongside leaders such as tony robbins russell brunson and jay abraham mike works across multiple industries including technology real estate fashion digital marketing and high level entrepreneur coaching is the creator of the zone of genius course and has been featured on business insider or fox radio multiple times he also has i just learned a couple of upcoming books um twice born how a crisis can remake you and i think what about find your genius we want to hear more about those upcoming books but thank you so much for joining us mike thanks for having me on and uh love how you show up in the world and you’re one of the few people in the world that i know that has been in more countries than i have we’re at 45 and counting them i don’t know i barely beat you mike barely yeah so um i’m uh i think i’m in my 30s still so on that so i also beat you on age though well maybe i lost i don’t know i’m a little bit older than you it sounds like i’m 41 so i don’t know okay i’m 41 as well so okay there we go now it’s a competition mike now it’s a competition how many can we get to before we reach 45 years of age that’s right you know what i’m going to jump right into this because everybody always asks this question now that you talked about the travel thing and i i love hate this question so i’m just going to lean right into this i’m going to ask you what’s your favorite country i always end up with three i’ll just let you know i can never spend a lot more i know all right i’ll go with my favorite city oh okay italy have you been to florence yet all right so we got married there my wife and i and we’ve been there and we had 70 friends there for the wedding and it was just epic and and i’ve been there seven times probably seven or eight times i love love florence because once you’re in that like little pocket it’s for me it’s the most interesting city in a small scale because it’s when you’re in the old city uh you don’t need a car you walk everywhere and you got such architectural the birth uh the birthplace of renaissance happened there from michelangelo to medici the modern banking system and and you look at you know we’re in a pandemic right now was interesting the renaissance was born after the black plague spread throughout europe wow so what’s what’s being shaken up right now and what’s going to be birthed in humanity and then the world as a result of this cobot situation that’s such a great analogy i’m so glad you pointed that out because and we’ve talked about this a lot on pivot me but people keep focusing on what has been lost or what has changed but amazing things are also getting birthed out of this and we’ve already seen change happening i’m really glad you made that connection because um that was a devastating time i mean it’s big you know and wonderful things came from it um not that we don’t struggle in this time but ultimately some really amazing things can come out of it if we choose to yeah i mean yeah you think that black plague is like 70 of some cities were just wiped like and the black plague went on for like 100 years in essence it was cycle after cycle after cycle you know marcus aurelius he died of of the black plague um but yeah 50 over 50 million people were lost in the black plague at a time where the world’s population was a mere fraction of what it is now it’s crazy yeah that’s amazing yeah i’m excited to see what ends up coming out of this um some great things are going to come out of this so mike tell me how you so i’m glad you had an answer to that because i end up saying three countries i’m like well for outdoors it’s this and for this person it’s this so i love that you like this i need to i need to strive to kill it down to one um how did you get into this kind of work like as i read your bio and the things that you’ve done how did you how did you start down this path yeah good question so uh first out i was the when i was 31 i wrote on my positive affirmations board that i’m mentoring lead some of the brightest and best people in the world and at the time i was just investing in real estate and selling real estate and i know you have a background as well so i was in that arena and i was like someday i’m going to be doing that i don’t know when don’t know how but i just had this like when i did this i actually did tony robbins personal power too wrote my first affirmations and i was like all right i think i’m supposed to do this at some point um and then at about age 35 36 i’d started like in a span of like two years that started like four or five different businesses and started getting more and more people reaching out to me um they were like hey mike can i have 30 minutes hey mike can we go to lunch coffee whatever soon enough like half my time was spent mentoring people mostly for free like honestly all for free at the beginning i’d walk away from a coffee and be like man i poured into this guy and guess what he wouldn’t take any action you know i was like i just gave him a thousand dollars of my time that lunch and the dude is not often gonna take action i’m gonna this is gonna then i was like i’m not i’m cutting that down and then i’m only and then i had uh my first coaching paid coaching client um really my second i guess actually he was running a 25 million a year e-commerce brand a co-founder of a brand called iheartdogs.com and and millions of followers and so i started mentoring my buddy marshall morris and charging a thousand bucks a phone call is what i would charge at the time and this was and then i i was like all right i i love doing this i get results and i was like i gotta come up with i didn’t like the one-on-one necessarily because it’s so energetically taxing and i was like i can’t steal that and and and so i started mastermind a high-level mastermind the next year and um heck i would call friends and say that i had mentored some and they’d say like mike if you think i uh uh i should be in it let me know um you know i’m in just let me know how much it is and we’ll get it taken care of and so that’s how i started my first mastermind at the time and then uh got rolling and uh had other people say you know i was their best mentor they’ve ever had and uh from actually age 22 was the first time someone told me that and then um i just love love the game of entrepreneurship but especially love the people that are in it i mean you’ve you’ve been in the trenches and you know it’s a beautiful thing and uh but it’s also a grueling painful thing in many moments so sure mike i love that story i want to ask a question about when you were meeting with the people and they weren’t taking action um would you say it’s one of two things is that you were meeting with the wrong people or is it because you were not charging and people who pay pay attention um which one of those or a third option i think it’s i think it would be both um and and i yeah because when you when you have some skin in the game or some sort of commitment and accountability then you know what you’re you listen up and you you shift um and then i didn’t have my standards high enough to have a filter at the time that these guys are the most committed he’s the most committed to get the most results um you can give someone the perfect road map i’m sure you’ve got had frustrating moments where you’re like i laid it all out for you it’s right there and now you’re blaming me what makes a great coach is a great student and that’s the piece that people always forget in fact our pivot me our tagline which is educate elevate execute and i’m like people are all about the education um they’re pretty good about the elevate but they’re they skip step three and i’m like you can’t have the result without step three and it’s it’s execution um so you’ve got to be a good student for a great coach yeah yeah exactly 100 and yeah and and it’s it’s powerful when you get that great student that is committed and then they execute the road map and and you learn from them along the way too so i love it so it’s just speaking of coaching so you’ve had some amazing coaches as well so when i look back at your history you’ve studied with some amazing people i mentioned in the bio um specifically i know that you’ve spent more than 1400 hours with tony robbins and his teaching so in that time give us some of the the highlights of what what you learned with them whether it’s through tony robbins or russell brunson but also um maybe what surprised you about it tony i’ll hit on what surprised me tony will go like 21 21-hour days the first time i took my wife to uh i took her an ultimate relationship event we had dinner that that first night it was our first ever uh tony robbins event um if i remember correctly and we had dinner that night and we had dinner at 2 p.m i mean 2 a.m 2 a.m she was so tired i literally had to spoon feed her like but the food up and she does not do well without food um and uh so tony goes hardcore um but he’s what i learned from tony is like you gotta manage your state and this is why like i just finished up a second mastermind in a row mastermind we can in person mastermind and what happens in these masterminds or experiences is or you know when you’re one-on-one coaching too like people are pinging off of each other in the energy and it’s actually on the quant i learned this uh from this book right here actually quantum success um i’m reading this for the second time it’s it has some layers of quantum physics in there there’s a thing called phase entanglement phase moment is when two atoms collide and they as they collide and connect they leave pieces or residue of each other as they bounce off right so if you think about a mastermind what’s beautiful and powerful about masterminds like at both weekends i just had one for my e-commerce guys and another one from my expert brand builders they left in a whole identity in a whole state because they’ve pinged and they’re taking residue off of one another and they’re leaving residue on one another because and you get yourself in a resourceful empowered generous visionary state then you then you think and feel differently and then and it carries with you like if you if like when i wasn’t with tony i i’d the energy and the momentum i’d have i would carry for like 30 days sure and then i was like that’s why i need to be at that time i was like i’m going to do tony for uh a year i did his platinum partnership program for two years that’s how i did 1447 hours with him and man it shifted my identity shifted my state like i wanted to anchor in that new way of being so that’s the beauty of masterminds and then secondly the power of proximity is like man you get yourself in those those environments it’s like the relationship lubrication is so much more powerful and things just come easier because you show up differently you show up more confidently you know lots of times we we know we have the potential but we don’t have the certainty so gap between the potential and the certainty yeah it certainly does it relationships really are an exchange of energy um and that can work to the benefit as you were just mentioning can also work to the negative um using some of his language or the five people you spend the most of your time with um sometimes that can sting a little bit when we say it we did a podcast a few weeks ago um on on that and you know essentially the premise was don’t just stick with your default peer group your default peer group or people that you work with people that you live next to let your kids play ball with a lot of us end up with this default peer group that we did not design and that’s fine you might have barbecues with them and you spend some time with them but you’ve got to feather in the right people that are elevating you too um we can’t just encourage all their open masterminds are a great way to do that just being intentional about hey who is who we call it the future friends list like making an actual list of hey who needs to be on my future friends list and being careful about developing those relationships they’re not always easy to have it might be him taking up mountain biking and i know a guy that’s an amazing mountain biker over to him um let me intentionally establish a relationship so wherever you’re headed make sure that your peer group is there to support it so whether that’s your mastermind environment or just you’re being intentional about i want to run a marathon i’ve never run a marathon before but sarah on the street i see her out running every morning at six a.m i should probably make friends with sarah exactly yeah and and what happens is you know your identity shifts one of the things i love to ask a lot of my clients and ask just friends um when you have a big vision then what does the environment need to be to support that goal to support your success like for what does my environment need to be for my success to be inevitable so you have to think about like uh you have to start thinking about yourself as an environmental designer and so i know and you know with your clients right like if you you’ve got your productivity course that’s out right you know if hey if i do these habits if i do these habits if i feed my mind this way if i put myself in relationship and proximity to these sorts of people every day and every or in in rhythms and consistency if i go to the gym four times a week at this hour and eat these things you’re gonna get more of the body and feeling that you want more of the energy more the health same thing in our in our businesses like hey what what’s our environment so like success becomes inevitable it’s almost like what if gravity could pull us up instead of pull us down and it can if we design the environment and that’s one of the things that tony didn’t exactly frame it that way but that’s that’s how i reinterpret it and and now teach it so yeah exactly i love the concept of success becomes inevitable because sometimes it feels like this like you know nebulous thing that people are like how do i crack the code to success and you know successfully lose but it’s like well you just repeatedly do habits even if it’s just one percent each day you repeatedly do habits that get you in the room of success and your group is a huge one of them but also just model after successful people it’s it’s so funny because people think that it’s so difficult but i’m like a lot of successful people write books start there read follow their habits one thing i’d love for you to talk about is um and then we’ll get into to your pivot point but um one of the things uh you mentioned that you talk on is overcoming business failure and i’m sure that some of those lessons would also apply for personal failure as well but talk to us about how you overcome business failures you’ve had a lot of them i’m sure you’ve had a lot of experience your clients have yeah so i was actually writing about that this morning and my uh find your find your genius book a little bit but you know i first i don’t look at them as failures as much as set ups um so and i really embraced that mindset in my early 20s and you know there’s two things that helped me embrace that um there’s the story you probably know the story of uh thomas watson senior he’s in the middle of the great depression he has a uh executive come to him that screwed up a million dollar deal so this is like you know equivalent of probably you know 200 million dollar deal today so he screws up a deal and it doesn’t go through doesn’t close and the executive comes to thomas watson senior the founder of ibm and hands him his resignation and mr watson says to let’s say his name steve says steve i just paid a million dollars for your education you’re not resigning so um and then sarah blakely um one of the most successful you know do you know what her uh her dad used to ask her every day at dinner no um so her dad would ask her and her brother if i remember correctly would ask what did you fail at today that’s good so then it became embedded in her psyche that this is progress success or failure is not failure it’s learning in fact one of the things i teach in my rewrite your money story process is that the middle class mindset versus abundance mindset middle class minds like avoid failure get a’s don’t do anything you can’t succeed at fail your mindset or not an abundance mindset wealthy mindset and it’s like we’re you know you’re gonna strike out and then but get in the game and then that’s why like most multi-millionaires um you know they’ve been bankrupt a couple of times oh yeah they usually lose their money twice self-made millionaires lose it all twice i lost mine once i didn’t lose it all but uh oh clear you don’t need the second one yeah yeah but what happens is and you know i lost about a million dollars of net worth personally between 2017 and january of 2020 and i got married and all these things and just stress all the a lot of a lot of things just imploded and but in that midst of that i knew all those stories now i it still wasn’t easy to navigate like i had to i kind of had in that mind every day i’m like i can handle i’m just going to handle one the fire i can handle the fires i can handle today i can’t handle them all so but i knew that it was gonna remake me and even now like this year last year was my most profitable year yet um this year probably will be triple that maybe 4x that you know made back what i accumulated or what i lost in a year i’ll made it back in essentially two years and then some um and then the next you know four or five years are gonna be gravy um so um and and it’s because of an identity you like you know the uh lottery winners oh yeah right like they when twenty million three and a half years later they’re back in the trailer park usually in more debt almost always yeah because they didn’t they their identity didn’t change same thing with like you know we just watched the super bowl last night most nfl players after they retire same with most other college or professional athletes they’re they’re you know destitute three and a half years after their career is over because their identity didn’t change sure absolutely it’s so important because um i was actually just talking to a friend of mine who um has has come into some money we’re having the same conversation of all right so let me tell you the statistics you’re not gonna be that statistic but it’s got to be because we put the right practices in place we change identity and things like that so you don’t become mistaken one thing you said um mike that was that was perfect so when you’re talking about failure and taking the shot so ironically just this morning i posted on social media um a quote essentially saying that missing the target is not the worst thing you can do it’s never taking the shot to begin with that quote i loved it because one of our principals so um pivot me is the podcast but um we’re owned by my consulting firm maven and one of our core principles is always take the shot and no matter if you miss it and that’s you know number one is doing good things with good people but number two is always take the shot if you take the shot and you miss and that’s true with my team too like yeah i had a great idea we took the shot didn’t work out all right you know i appreciate the courage that you shot um and those can be expensive too but always take the shot it’s it’s not about always hey it’s not always about hitting the target it’s having the courage to keep showing up and trying again 100 that’s beautiful april great great uh cultural value yeah yeah it’s huge for us so um i i really want to emphasize what we talked about um i think that we were both speaking the same language but i want to make sure that we really drive this home which is self-made very successful people usually lose it all on average twice sometimes it’s less sometimes it’s more but if you you know if you’re listening right now and things haven’t gone as planned maybe 2020 maybe the maybe covid has um really downsized your business you’re struggling some of the people we work with are in the entertainment business that has been um if you’re in the in-person entertainment business they’ve been hit pretty hard so if you’re in that place know that um there is an upside and if you if you chart a business’s trajectory and even personal trajectory as well if you look at the inflection points moments where everything sort of change your your real highs are often preceded by a low and you just give an example of that hey i bottomed out i lost a million bucks and now i’m having the biggest years i’ve ever had that isn’t coincidence so if you’re in the low moment just know you haven’t built if you haven’t quit you only fail if you give up if you throw in the towel and go ah screw it this isn’t for me all this you know playing big encourage thing didn’t work out for me that’s that’s when you fail as long as you keep showing up you might be three feet from gold so if you’re in one of those low moments don’t give up keep going keep showing up you know review what you’re doing for sure take a look and say hey does this still make sense is the latter i’m climbing does this is it still against the right wall does this still make sense but if the answer is yes you only lose if you give up yeah 100 so good and that’s and what if you know what if the things that you fell out or things that go wrong they’re just there to set set you up you know one of the i love to ask a question what if what if what if what if this is a gift what if this is a setup what if this is there to um like you know in terms of the pivot like we are constantly pivoting but the you know all these things are leading you if you’re attuned to yourself and attuned to the flow um man so many gifts are right there for you yeah you know what we just got a comment in from mike forrester and he said is the recovery due to the intense focus when you hit the bottom what would you say to that mike yeah often great question michael um so when we get our on our bottom what happens is we have to strip away things that weren’t exactly aligned so it’s almost like you get a little more precise you get a little more locked in on your bullseye um because you have to let go of things even if they were good even if you were like in your zone of excellence uh you now like i know when i started hitting my rock bottom i was like i got greater clarity on my zone of genius versus my zone of excellence there was a lot of things i could do but there’s some things that i could be one of the best in the world at um and so it’s pruning you know there’s that uh uh verse that story in the in john 15 in the bible about the vine gardener who prunes the vines if you go to a vineyard in italy and they in the in the winter months they prune the vines really far down like to where it looks really painful like you’re like hey how’s this fine gonna recover but it actually makes it even more fruitful um so the pruning is a as a fruit producing activity that is painful but it when you it becomes much more bearable when you know there’s purpose and meaning behind it and then you can embrace it instead of resisting it yeah what if when we’re in those moments we just go well i’m being pruned doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt um it reminds me of this quote about the um blows of the chisel um hammer that hurt us so much really is what shaping the form of man it doesn’t feel like that when you get hit with a chisel right you’re just like how’s it happening again um but ultimately you are focusing on the things that are so important talk to us about the zone of genius i i love this concept i’d love for you to explain what that is and even what you’re just saying about pruning away okay here a pivot me we say a lot about don’t say what you could do because the answer is you’re incredibly responsible you can do a lot of things i rephrase it as what should you do what’s the thing that only you can do because especially as entrepreneurs we’re incredibly responsible we’re like i can do that do that i can do that quote keith cunningham most entrepreneurs i have indigestion not starvation we just like are taking it all in and dial in on what makes the most sense so talk to us about the zone of genius yeah so back in 2018 when i was in my rock more of my rock bottom moments um you know like i had my real estate business that just crumbled two months before we got married and then my marketing agency and branding agency was it wasn’t doing that well like we had expanded a lot but then had a string of unsatisfied clients and a key staff member that wasn’t a good fit and and she eventually left um and like there was just so much so many things were going wrong and and then i had this time of um reflection actually right after we were married and we’re in florence italy my wife just and i just got in a fight a bed and she’s kind of intensely speaking to me about babe you’re you could do this like people are paying for this from you they want this like mainly my mind and my strategy and all those things and not all this other stuff and and and i kind of stormed out it was a sunday afternoon i stormed out of the hotel or airbnb we were staying in and went to a coffee cafe and just hung out there for two or three hours and journaled and wrote and thought about i’m like hey what what where is my area where i am a badass where i could actually really flourish and kind of landed on the mentoring and the coaching side because that was the piece that people love seemed to love the most um and basically it was helped me incubate and develop the next layer of my zoning genius process because i sort of started it the year before but it’s basically a combination of five different personality tests your colby index your strings finder your myers-briggs your disc and your wealth dynamics of course i do like than your gram as well you take this inventory and it’s think of it as like hey how do i accumulate all the clues that i can possibly find about who i am and what on earth i’m meant to do and where i’m a badass where i suck ass let me create the greatest accumulation of clues ever so you do all the unique abilities or unique talents then you go to the next piece the second piece your key relationships so where’s the natural proclivity like we were talking about rory baiden and brand builders group so i’ve been friends with a lot of these guys for like 15 years um and best-selling authors and all this and big personal brands i love connecting with them so i was like oh i have like 20 best-selling author friends maybe i’m supposed maybe that’s a clue um and i love being around them third your unique life experiences so you go back on your life like you know your bio you’ve got all these cool life experiences from habit habitat to immunity for real estate to 45 countries to a coup and all these things right so you got these things so what are the clues about those things um fourth thing is your values and passions it’s almost like those are like your last layer of filter um and then when you have when you have overlap or synergy between unique abilities key relationships unique life experiences and your values and passions that will tell you there’s hey there’s something right here for you there’s you’ll get more clarity doesn’t mean you’ll have hey exactly the right role but you’ll know i’m meant to be in this type of role and play this type of part like i know i’m one of the world’s best at um ideation strategic ideation for entrepreneurs um mentoring believing and reprogramming subconscious beliefs and starting businesses but i suck at managing a business i don’t leave me a project management honestly i don’t want to be ceo of most of my companies um you know like i know my lane much more clearly now and um and and so now i can describe myself position myself um for optimal success if you look at most people who experience extraordinary things they are usually an extraordinary extraordinarily right positions [Music] i love that what couple of things one is um what i love about this concept mike is that the evidence is already there so before you put a course on this you’ve got a tool to bring that out but what’s amazing is it’s not necessarily we have to go sit on the hilltop and and you know contemplate on it for 30 days the evidence is already there we’ve just got to get clarity we’ve usually got to get quiet enough we’ve got to get out of our business out of our head and just really go what’s the other life is the evidence if you just exercises we do um is we do uh inflection points right so we do them for a business and we do it for our lives there’s so much evidence in there the things that really shape us there’s so much evidence but none of us look back what what what did i experience what were my highs what did i really excel at when was [Music] really dialing into that and then you got to practice some ruthless prioritization like you just were talking about these these big hurdles proven us well then once we got clarity we then got to prune our business because okay this is supposed to do i could do all these other things but i’m so so good at these i love when you said what are you world class at what can you be the best in the world it’s great when you identify it and you’ve got to go through ruin all the other stuff can you talk about it that’s hard because you’ve been doing a lot of things and a lot of us are as entrepreneurs we’re inclined to be the jack of all trades so how do you go through and then prune that and practice that ruthless verification so you’re only focused on your genius good question so first couple of things that i like to think about when i consider that is like i can do almost everything i want in life i just can’t do it all at once i say the same thing i love it yeah so like it for me i’ve got i don’t know like i was telling you before we hopped on i’m gonna do two books a year probably for the next decade i’ve already got my two books for next year lined out and and um and then and then there’s books and or other businesses i want to start a sustainable wine company i want to start uh like i got some i’m not going to go down that path too much but um you think about the sequencing and then you think about all right um how how how do i stay in my lane that is most fulfilling and most impactful so part of the zoning genius like my book find your genius your natural pathway to wealth fulfillment and impact so that means i also have to say no you know the root ruthless priority of what is a hell yes you know all those things right yes and then but also looking at i’ve from the painful mistakes i looked at most of my mistakes were improperly designed businesses i didn’t design out the business enough on the front end and so that’s why like my sustainable wine company or my journal company that i want to launch or you know eventually in the restaurant space at some point as well i’m sequencing those things i’m not i’m making sure i have the right team and building and putting more effort on building the team so that i can say no to the parts that are not in my wheelhouse it’s the power of a positive no i’m saying no to this so i can say yes to that that that and there’s a book called power positive news that i got some of that concept from but um so that’s a big piece and and essentialism is another great book i’m sure you’ve read it but it’s like when when in the early stages of our success it’s more predicated on us saying yes but once we reach a certain point we got us it’s more based on what we say no to yeah and the trick is we don’t know when we get there sometimes this is why designing the right peer group is important or having a coach or a mentor that can clue you in because that’s something i see a lot it’s so last week this is what our podcast was on is saying no to clients hiring clients referring clients out or business opportunities out because we don’t a lot of entrepreneurs don’t recognize when they cross that threshold we’ve got this memory of oh man i remember when it was so hard to get clients i was hustling and i finally got one finally got two and then we kind of get in the scarcity mentality where at first when they start they may have been a little desperate for the business but then eventually you get translated eventually you hit this tipping point of now i’ve got to say no to business now i’ve got to say no to opportunities there’s there’s so much things that are now available to me and your no muscles gotta get really strong the whole concept of when you said that’s one thing you said no to another the trick is we’re not often aware of what we’re saying though yeah i’ll do the speaking engagement what did you just say no to because if you’re there then you said no to something else uh which is okay as long as you’ve taken inventory and you’re aware of what you’re saying no to yeah exactly you’re on it yes good point so um one of the things we talk about here at pivot me is the time when we did pivot so whether that’s um you know when you when you lost a lot of money when businesses went down it might be something else for some people it was um with ian koniaki got stuck at 18 stories on a um a roller coaster and disneyland or some some amusement park anyways he was stuck upside down for an hour it completely changed his life after that sometimes it’s a car accident sometimes it’s a you know an upset in business when was a time that everything changed for you or sometimes it’s not even a significant event it’s just i’m no longer willing to do this or i’m going to make this big change do you have a time where you kind of experience this pivot point hmm um yeah definitely um you know when my real estate business fell apart in uh i guess it was march of 2018 i was like my heart’s not in this to rebuild this even though it was my cash cow and i was making like a lot a good amount of money for five to ten hours a week i just had no desire to go back in that my heart it would’ve been in violation it felt like i would be violating my body if i went back into it um but at the same time i’m like all right how am i going to replace that income and um so i lean more deep i ended up leaning more deeply into coaching because that was as i was telling about the florence cafe story um but i i knew in that season and in other seasons where like when i shut down uh another pivot point was i was at uh abundance 360. peter the modest is mastermind that was in that for two years and we were talking about all these exponential technologies of the future and then i knew the organizational life cycle and the industry life cycle from dr ichakodesis where you go through there’s every industry every business like they start out as an infant then they go to like uh you know a toddler then they go to a little kid and they go to teenager then they go to young adult and they full-fledge prime you know and then they go to laggard and or like you know they’re they’re dying like they’re heading towards the end and i realized i was in a bunch of dying industries wow powerful yeah i was in real estate um which is you know people are always going to be buying homes but people are more and more buying them from zillow and other stuff and discount brokerage all that stuff and i was like yeah that didn’t inspire my soul um and there was a i had already reached the top there wasn’t a whole lot i mean yeah i could have had a bigger team and sold more homes but i was not inspired by that um second um my car i had a socially minded car dealership where every car we sold helped us give away cars to single mothers in need and all that and that was wonderful and that was one of my proudest things we gave away 300 000 worth of cars to single mothers in need well i had that um but i knew that industry was also in the midst of disruption and eventually there we’re all going to be like i at that time i had three cars now i have one car between my wife and i um and and people are using uber and lyft and all that more and more and that’s only going to improve then reigning agency i was like uh that’s that’s past its heyday the margins are slim and headaches are many so i i was like i’m i gotta get out of that and um but i saw the expert brand um that’s still fairly early um and then also ecom still early um so ecommerce has only been around 21 years um so it’s pretty crazy to think and it’s still last year it went from 16 percent of retail to probably about 30 percent by the end of the year but um you know it’s still very early and most people still don’t even i coach a lot of guys in that world that are seven to eight figure ecom there’s a lot of things there they could be doing better um and uh so it’s so i wanted to be in industries and i’m riding the wave because most of what i learned from stock investing is you know if you’re in uh if you invest when there’s a technology craze and you invest in any technology company like you remember the dot-com boom or the oil boom man you’re just it doesn’t matter if you’re in the best company or the worst company in that industry you’re going to be riding a wave i want to be on the right waves yeah that takes clarity i can’t imagine the day that you’re sitting there looking at all the businesses you’ve got and go crap they’re all in dying industries like i didn’t realize that i was investing in calculators and chimneys this whole time you know like but that was an eye-opening experience um what i’m curious mike um i love the giving the cars to single mothers what’d you pick that cost why is that near and dear to your heart yeah um so we had a goal that was twofold for our car dealership first have the highest rated carbine experience the most ethical most fair um car buying experience a partner with two other buddies and we honestly did we had the highest rated card buying experience straight up price like you know all inspected high quality vehicles something that we would our vision was hey if i see you in a restaurant and you bought a car from us two years ago we’re not going to want to duck our head we’re going to be like hey we’re proud like you got a good car for good value i mean no car is perfect but you know we’d be proud of that and secondly um inspired by tom’s shoes and also a cars ministry by a church in chicago called willow creek we wanted to we knew and in nashville uh man we almost every single person probably 75 percent of the people that we gave a car to they there would be single mothers with like two kids and they were she had been taking the bus for the whole time and what should take a normal person 30 minutes she would spend an hour and a half and because it’s not new york it’s not you know these other places with um great public transportation many of them did not even have a driver’s license because they were like i would never be able to afford a car was in their minds and they’d be like 25 26 years old 30 years old and and like how is that possible but that it shifts someone’s life and career and income trajectory when um they get a car and a leg up and and so that was our way of giving back and and one of the more unique elements of and we would invite the community in invite previous customers pr sometimes and and the nonprofit we would partner with nonprofits to find the most worthy recipient and it was an absolute joy it was when my favorite moments and i hope to be able to do stuff like that again in the future with my identity that’s what it’s all about right i mean as you get through that next level of success you open that door for you to turn back and open it for somebody else and that’s such an important piece and even when we talk about educate elevate execute we talk about educate yourself and then educate others elevate yourself and elevate others because we’re not meant to keep this all to ourselves like for especially for those who are ready and willing to improve their life in whatever regards whether that’s hey if i have a car it opens up possibilities and maybe i’ll get a better job instead of one that the bus might makes me um i just love that you did that work that is that is awesome mike thank you um one uh one of the questions that came in from mike forrester was with leaving those so back to when we were talking about the businesses in the uh markets that were shrinking with leaving those disruptive markets are you now entering ecom and branding on a typical pattern or as a destruct as a disruptor good question michael um big thing that i love working through is a blue ocean strategy i’m sure many of you guys have heard of that um great book highly highly recommend in fact i created a process uh for evaluating and creating my own blue ocean pathways and coaching a lot of my clients based on that book um but i highly uh you know i won’t go into an industry where i’m competing in had to add and there there’s six levers of blue ocean um first it’s uh i actually have it pulled up i think um yeah let’s see if i can find it here yep all right so the six levers of blue ocean that you want to look at on how how you avoid competing head to head which is that’s not where you want to be so um you want to obviously the mentality and if you are not familiar with blue ocean versus red ocean red ocean there’s sharks in the water there’s blood in the water if you throw fish uh like bloody fish in the in uh an ocean and there’s sharks nearby and boom like soon enough that whole area is just filled with its is red give us an example of one that’s in the red ocean um so car dealerships for example you know it’s a commoditized industry when you look at in any industry that is being commoditized that means the margins are going to shrink shrink shrink shrink shrink um you want to stay away from those versus because the your only main lever is of differentiation is price and that’s that’s not the right place to be in business yeah yeah so um versus uh let’s look at a blue ocean um arabian bees essentially a blue ocean um uh you know southwest airlines actually created their own blue ocean by having a radically different model on the back end and the front end than american airlines and delta and all the other airlines that have been around um even though they’re still somewhat competing head-to-head but they’re they’re working differently off of um actually let’s see if i can do you mind if i share the little worksheet i’ll show those lovers okay so let me um i’m just going to share this so you guys can see it um if i will i gotta find the right spot um stream yard so we’re gonna figure this out together yeah it’s fairly intuitive hopefully yes it’s i’ve done it before but um i can’t figure out how to get there but um okay basically i’ll i’ll give you guys the six levers of uh you can always put in the showed up too mike yeah so we’ve got a couple options yeah perfect so customer productivity does your offer your product or service radically change customer productivity so you think of you know apple creating icloud um you know things like that that yes there’s other other fish in the sea you know google calendars and things like that but there’s less and you’re and there’s ical the only one that’s naturally integrated with your iphone all right so that’s a little bit of a hits on the second one which is simplicity customer productivity simplicity you think of um just how do you make things easier um you know mo a lot of people make their businesses are too complex then the third is convenience dollar shave club sold a generic product but they revolutionized the convenience of delivery of razors and sold the company for 1.2 billion dollars risk do i reduce risk is the fourth area how do you radically reduce risk carnival cruise lines launch their whole company with a hundred and ten percent guarantee and meaning hey if they didn’t like the cruise they would refund their their whole cruise experience and paid for their flight back and they did they that was their main leverage point for an offer and they didn’t even have i don’t know if you know the story of april but they didn’t have enough money to paint both sides of their first boat so they would pull their cruise liner into the same side facing the beach every time for all their stops because they barely launched this company and because you know their patrons got back on the boat and then looked back i’m like wow this is an ugly freaking boat it’s not even uh you know homogenous and ain’t like they would have never never you know returned um so then uh so you gotta reduce risk um and you don’t have to have all six of these but these are just you know some of the leverage you can play on fun and image southwest uses fun and image right yeah um and then the sixth thing is environmental friendliness so and you look at um companies like tesla environmental friendliness fun and image ludicrous mode convenience uh you know tesla was working on that uh put a charger in your house now you don’t have to go to the gas station uh things like that now there’s other drawbacks but you focus on um in the more levers you can pull the better yeah that makes sense i love that you said you don’t need them all but and the examples are perfect because if you’re sitting in a round table and someone said we’re gonna we’re gonna open this cruise line right we don’t have the finance to paint the other side of the ship you’re like this is a terrible idea do not do this it’s going to fail and yet they didn’t um i love that story because it’s it’s a good reminder that well the rest was good enough to make up for the fact that half of the ship is exactly yeah right that’s great i love i love looking at um being aware of the industries that we get in um because we’re tempted to just do what we know and do what we’ve always done and so much of honestly of coaching and personal growth and development is just stopping and saying yeah i know you’ve done this always but is this still serving you this may have served 1.0 but now you’re you’re 2.0 does this still serve you and asking the question about our habits our business in our personal life does this serve me is this bringing out the best of me it’s such an incredible question i love that april and it’s very relevant to your you know your whole brand pivot me which is you look at all those companies if they stop innovating eventually a blue ocean becomes a red ocean all blue oceans if it’s a true blue ocean it becomes a red ocean look how many cars how many how many electric car ads did we see on the super bowl last night cadillac has one all-electric like that’s becoming a crowded marketplace even though tesla is the first major pioneer if they stop innovating all the other and now you’re back in the red ocean and eat your lunch and that’s true whatever it would with everything if we’re we may be the best but do not get comfortable do not sit back on your lunches because someone will come and eat your lunch because as your if you’re unless you’re working to get better get faster someone else is like someone’s chasing you someone’s right behind you and the second you start to slack off they’re gonna come up and take it over all right tesla um mike uh we talked a little bit about some of your success habits um and principles that you follow stress affirmations share with us a few we we talk a lot about um whether that’s morning routine affirmation um i would work out in the morning whatever that is i establish a one thing every day what are some of the things that you’ve done or continue to do that have helped make you successful that you’re you’re real intentional number one i’m always i’m always learning like i make it a goal i’ve had a goal since i was 20 years old to read a book a week now i haven’t done that but i’ve i’m not far off um and i’ve learned that like this guy during finals week my junior year in college first semester i went to a seminar by brian tracy and so i’m at this guy’s conference when i’m supposed to be studying for finals and uh and then i was eating it up it was way better than i would have than i would have gotten from being in the library yeah yeah but he said one thing he said guess what experts in any any industry are paid disproportionately more than non-experts or than people that are really knowledgeable so what’s it take to become an expert my years apart read one book a month in your chosen field for three years i’m like that’s 36 bucks i’m not waiting freaking one year or three years i’m gonna do it in one year so i just said i’m so then from then on i made a goal i even had a list on my laptop of like these are the books i read this year these are the books i’m going to read next year and um and so just continually getting smarter and wiser growth never stops and and when you it makes life it’s like six core human needs when we get when we keep growing we feel so fulfilled and and curious being curious so i’m like i’m learning from you this like you stretched my mind today um and re just reading your bio stretches my mind right and so um putting yourself in proximity to learn from others um and just graduate from this that’s the one thing i want to hear too is there is mike’s standing on you know quite a bit of success and he’s still talking about growth in education we don’t graduate from personal development we’re constant students we’ve got to show up and be like all right what am i learning today i hear what you’re saying right crazy if i can do anyone better that’s so important to keep you showing up and growing so please continue yeah and then the second one would go along with your execute part which is man get your most important thing done first like i i used to have a big massive two-hour morning routine and i still have a little bit of one because i want my mind to be in the right framework but i will jump right in and i got this from uh craig valentine um in this perfect week formula but i’ll jump right in after about 15 or 20 minutes to get my my day set a little light workout water tea whatever matcha and meditation visualization and a little bit of reading um about 20 minutes later i’m working on my biggest thing that’s how i wrote a book in november the month of november i wrote a uh my find your genius book because again you wrote a book in the month of november yeah wow that’s impressive mike because i i was up every morning now my wife was going my wife was in her like you know uh 12th through 16th week of pregnancy or whatever it was you know and she was going to bed at like 9 30 or 10 and i was like all right yes i’m going to bed early and getting up or at least i’d be getting up you know between four and six every day and just crank for two or three hours on my book that’s impressive and uh soon enough i had it done and i was letting go of perfection on it too so the third thing i would say is praise progress over perfection and you know like two things embrace the suck i love that yeah you’ve probably heard this quote and at the beginning you’ll suck and eventually you’ll a little bit less and eventually you’ll suck so little that you will actually be good i i heard a phrase that was chris hogan who said masterpieces aren’t written they are rewritten that’s good it’s so good you know and people i work with people that are um some are successful authors and struggling with their next book and some are first-time authors i always say right for the trash it’s not going to be good the second you start thinking oh it’s going to be great it’s got to be impactful no it doesn’t need to be working we’ll make it better afterwards yeah exactly love that and then the last last one i mean i could add probably another four or five but the last one i’ll mention today is man put yourself in environments on like again back to that environmental if i put myself in environments where my success is inevitable because i’m just surrounded do whatever it takes to put yourself in a higher level state higher level environments pay what you got to invest the time that you have to take time off whatever you will shift and it will shift by default like if it won’t be as much of an uphill struggle yeah yeah it’s and when you put yourself in those environments let me add to that when you put yourself in those environments talk to other people invest in them get to know them be interested in what they’re doing in their lives and their businesses and and share yours too be sure you state what you’re there to do and um when we’re honest about that then people kind of rally around us to help us i was i mentioned in the podcast last week i was talking about your attention and i said a gal that i know posted on facebook she said um she said someday i want to meet russell brunson or my dream is to meet russell brunson and imagine if instead she said who do i know that knows russell brunson she would have gotten instead of likes yeah and so when you show up in those environments invest in the people and truly not just show up and be self-serving of like hey what can i get of this and screw you all you know be very cognizant of how i want to invest in you and you know but also be clear about where you’re headed because people will rally around you the right people will want to see you get where you’re going but that doesn’t happen if we keep our vision and our you know tight because then people are like i don’t want to say it you’ve got to get it out there because people will help you succeed but that doesn’t happen unless you articulate with me exactly and that’s that’s why it’s so powerful to be in masterminds why i love masterminds that’s my single favorite i’ve spent half a million dollars to being masterminding myself and i’ve led a bunch you know you lead your own as well and it’s like man so yeah get yourself in those environments over and over and over again and your like your peer group shifts your identity shifts your confidence shifts um and things become easier they do they do and we need to see people doing the thing that we’re going after yeah because then it seems so crazy so if you’ve never written a best-selling book first thing meet someone who’s written a best-selling book don’t sit around and talk to other people that want to write a book because that’s not good it’s like saying you’re going to start a workout plan and you’re like i’m going to pick my most unfit friend and we’re going to be accountability buddies this is a terrible strategy like again go to sarah down the street runs every morning at 6 a.m so whatever it is whether you’re growing a business whether it’s fitness goals or relationship goals find someone who’s doing that thing well because then it doesn’t sound it doesn’t seem like such a unicorn like once you know once roger bannister hit that four minute mile then everybody else did it because it seemed possible well you’re gonna be a better runner if you know the roger bannisters of the world um i just have a couple more questions for you mike before we get into those last ones um where can people connect with you where do they find more of mike yeah so i’m on clubhouse is michael zeller um that’s right um uh instagram michael arzeller um and then of course um uh mikeziller.com and linkedin facebook is michael zeller as well and then um you know i also have secrets of clubhouse.com so if any of you guys are getting into clubhouse i just have a like five page little ebook that might be ideal for some of you guys um i think it clubhouse is an epic platform uh for connecting and uh anyway so those are those are some of the platforms right now and eventually you’ll be able to buy my books on amazon and barnes and noble later this year but not you can’t wait for that we’ll put all of uh mike’s links um in the show notes too so if you didn’t get them live we’ll definitely put them in and on the recorded audio um two follow-up questions so one is if you could tell the world anything what would it be mike if i could tell the world anything hmm man socrates said the beginning of all wisdom is to know thyself so that’s that’s ultimately it it all begins there dee hawk the founder of visa lesson visa credit cards um he in his research he retired in the 70s and still he’s still alive today and he said in his research and he’s written for harvard and saying that’s the very best leaders in the world spend more than 50 percent of their time leading themselves so for me and for you know anyone that i interact with whether friends like i i was mentoring the founders of uh goalcast you know the viral video company on facebook so i was mentoring them yeah back in 2018 they flew to nashville for my my wedding celebration and they’re like mike at the end of en end of the evening they’re like mike everyone here knows their knows their wealth dynamics knows their strengths finder knows their admirer’s breaks you have all your friends have taken all the personality tests like this is crazy i’ve never been in a room like this and and somehow like these conversations were happening over like our wedding uh you know celebration and they’re like all the kids over here at this table and all the d’s and the disney over here i love it yeah and it’s it’s because man uh you can live a very intentional life that leads to greater fulfillment greater joy and just not just professionally but personally like i my wife and i we would not have survived our daily uh months because we were so opposite even though we’re actually very complimentary we’re so opposite um she’s a high enfj and i’m a intp and i’m like she’s like she didn’t understand that i wanted alone time that i actually needed it sometimes and and to her it felt like a rejection and and all those things so um no to know thyself is the beginning of all wisdom so that’s why i love the zono genius process that’s why i’m writing a book on it um and and that’s why i think for all of you guys listen in be a student of yourself master yourself and you can master the game of life so good great words of wisdom thank you so much for your time um again we’ll put the links in can’t wait to read your books i love the topics i love the insight that goes into this and uh we’ll definitely share those when they come out as well thank you well been a pleasure connecting with you april and it’s been a beautiful phase entanglement of pinging off of each other and i’m going to take a little goodness uh from you uh for my rest of the day and the rest of the week so thank you mike i’m gonna hop off live here real  

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About Our Guest:

Known as a top Entrepreneur Mentor and Business Architect. His businesses have generated more than 9 figures in total sales. He’s also the author of the forthcoming book, Twiceborn: How a Crisis Can Remake You.



Connect with Mike Zeller

Interview Highlights:

Our guest on the show today is Top Entrepreneur Mentor and Business Architect, Mike Zeller, his businesses have generated more than 9 figures in sales. He is the creator of the Zone of Genius course and has been featured on Business Insider, Forbes, and Fox Radio multiple times. Mike has studied alongside leaders such as Tony Robbins, Russell Brunson, and Jay Abraham.

Mike has had to pivot and shift many times to overcome business failures and find success in the lessons.

In this episode, we talk about Mike’s journey of intentional goal setting and progression after every hurdle. Listen in to learn the importance of designing your environment by surrounding yourself with impactful relationships to achieve success.

Pivotal Questions Asked:

  • [5:23] How did you start down this path?
  • [9:51] Give us some of the highlights of what you learned studying with world leaders, and what surprised you about it?
  • [16:10] Talk to us about how you overcome business failure. You’ve had a lot of them.
  • [34:20] Do you have a time where you experienced this pivot point?
  • [41:07] With leaving those disrupted markets, are you now entering eCommerce and branding on a typical pattern or as a disruptor?
  • [46:21] What are some of the things that you’ve done that you will continue to do to help make you successful, and you’re really intentional about it?

In This Episode You Will Learn:

  • [5:31] Mike describes how and when he got into the business of entrepreneur mentoring and coaching.
  • [10:01] How learning with the world leaders helps you show up confidently in your relationships.
  • [14:10] How to be your environment designer for inevitable success.
  • [16:25] The value of viewing business failures as lessons and a chance for progress.
  • [23:25] How to position yourself in your business for optimal success- staying in your lane of genius.
  • [34:24] Mike describes his pivot moment as when he discovered he was investing in dying industries and had to change that quick.
  • [38:24] He explains how the cause of giving cars to single mothers came about.
  • [41:15] Why you should think about the blue ocean strategy when choosing an industry to invest in.
  • [46:29] 3 tips on how to be intentionally successful in your goals.
  • [53:38] The power of leading yourself first before leading others. 


  •  “You’ve got to be a good student for the right coach.”– April [9:22]
  • “If you look at most people who experience extraordinary things, they’re usually in extraordinarily right positions.”– Mike [29:31]
  • “Do whatever it takes to put yourself in higher levels states, higher levels environments, pay what you got to, invest the time that you have to, and you will shift by default.”– Mike [49:50]


Connect with Mike:

His Zone of Genius Course is here: https://www.zoneofgeniuscourse.com/
What I learned from spending 1447 Hours with Tony Robbins: https://go.mikezeller.com/1447hrs-with-tr
NLP Claim Your Power Meditation: https://go.mikezeller.com/nlp-meditation-order
Symposia Mastermind: https://www.symposiamastermind.com
Founders Mastery: https://apply.thefoundersmastery.com/optin1598201189453

Mike’s Social Handles:
Instragram: https://www.instagram.com/michaelrzeller/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelRZeller/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelrzeller/
FB Group Fast Track to Success: https://www.facebook.com/groups/6figurefasttrack


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