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Mike Handcock: How To Decide On (& Manage) Opportunities

This is an incredibly special show. It is with a good friend and an amazing person that you would definitely want to learn from.

He is the author of thirteen books with international bestsellers and Amazon bestsellers in the business and personal development categories.

He is a musician with thirteen albums to his name and a number one on iTunes in 2013.

He serves as the Chairman and Founder of The Circle of Excellence and has built five companies in Events, Business Intelligence, Licensing, Investments and Experts Institute which operate regularly in over twenty countries.

He is also the producer and director of the film Dreamcatcher and is a recipient of numerous awards including Speaker of the Year and Business Person of the Year twice. He's also been nominated for three extra ordinary life awards.

He is the Co-Founder of the Conscious Leadership Movement and he is my special guest and friend, Mike Handcock.

Dustin
You've walked into what most would consider a dream scenario. After giving a presentation to the leadership team of a rather large organization, you have them salivating, wanting you to further train their 40,000 salespeople. They tell you quickly to put something together so you guys can get started. This deal is in your wheelhouse and easily worth $1 million, possibly up to $3 million to you and to your company. After some consideration, you feel something is off. You tell them, “I don't think we're the right fit for each other.” Mike, how are you able to walk away from possibly multiple seven-figure deals? What did you realize at that moment?
Mike
Dreams turn into nightmares.
Dustin
What do you mean?
Mike
Sometimes they do. Sometimes you go and have this nice dream and then somebody stabs you in the dream. Many people are out there chasing the money and they don't look at what they have to do to earn that money or who they have to do it with. I'm a great believer in values and one of my strongest values is freedom. Freedom to me is having the freedom to do what I want, when I want, where I want, with whom I want. When this person brought this deal to us because they'd seen us speak on stage and then they came and said, “This is what we want you to do,” at first I found myself getting sucked into the vibe, “We can do that.” As they kept talking, I'm doing the numbers in my head, “This could be $1 million-plus. I have $40,000 now. It’s going to be more. It could be up to $3 million.”
I could picture it to $3 million. I could do it for multiple years. They'd have to do it for multiple years, maybe three years. That could be a $9 million deal. I realized I don't even like this person sitting in front of me. They value systems different than mine. When Landi, my partner, and I talked about it and when you set off some consideration, that some consideration was about six seconds. We got into the car and she said, “What do you think?” I said, “What do you think?” She said, “I don't like him.” I said, “Neither do I.” She said, “Are you going to ring him and tell him?” I said, “Yes.” That was literally it because it wasn't a values match for us.
I find that many people do many things that put them in a situation where they think that it's the right thing at first. When it turns out that dreams turned into a nightmare for them and now they're stuck. They've got to deliver. They are on Friday nights at 10:00 doing things instead of being with their family. They're getting angry calls, “You should have been here. You should have done this,” and all of that stuff because they haven't made the right selection of what they want to do and the right selection of clients. That comes down to understanding your personal values and boundaries. That's something that we're strong about. It's something that most entrepreneurs haven't given a lot of thought to.
Dustin
I definitely want to talk about values. I want to give people a little bit of context because it's easy for people to say, reading into our little conversation here, “Mike must have been doing $10 million deals or maybe his company didn't need the money, so he's in a position of power.” Was that the case where you didn't have to take the deal because of financial concerns? Would that have made a difference in your company and life at that time?
Mike
Definitely. In fact, it’s when we were coming to the end of a partnership with my business partner of many years. We knew there was going to be a parting of the ways. We knew there were going to be payouts and all sorts of numbers stuff that happens when you do those things. Quite frankly, we'd come off an eight-month sabbatical.
Dustin
Was it hard?
Mike
It was immensely hard. We weren't doing $10 million a year in total revenues. This was a massive chunk of revenue. Something that I think a lot of people that do what we do would have seen as their A-list star. This would have been the big movie that they were starring in.
Dustin
The thing that you said that I want to highlight and invest time into is values. I think back to when I started my first business. I was in it for the money. I wanted to provide for myself. I didn't have a family yet. I had never considered values. Why is this important? Why is this critical? Especially to that guy or girl or early-stage entrepreneurs who are trying to validate this business and trying to get that first client or customer.
Mike
When getting the first client or customer, people are a little stuck because they need to get started as well. Hospice is a crazy place. I don't know if you've ever visited a hospice, Dustin. It's the last place people go before they die and very few people come out of that’s alive. If you talk to a hospice worker, they'll say that they don't see people sitting in hospice saying, “Did you know I had a Mercedes Benz and a beach house on Hawaii?” They don't say that. They say, “I should have spent more time with my family. I wish I had played more golf. I should have written that book.” All those things that come from the heart, yet we're conditioned by the media, society and everything like that to chase money.
If you honestly believe in things like the Law of Attraction, which has been around forever, you don't have to chase money. You have to attract the right things. I realized at that point in time that we were attracting the best potential people with money, but we weren't attracting quite the right type at that stage. Therefore, we had be a bit more focused and pull back. That was several years ago that that had happened. We've had the most extraordinary, amazing and wonderful life for several years. I think it wouldn't have been anything like that if we'd taken that deal.
Dustin
It would be interesting to know your values so people can get to understand, what does he exactly mean by values? How can values help me decide if I should do this deal or take this partnership or work with this client?
Mike
We look at it as a GPS system. You know how a GPS system works. It triangulates. Most people we suggest should have three values. When Landi and I first met and we sat down, we weren't young kids meeting up. We were adults. We'd had life experience. We sat down and we said, “We need to get on the same page quickly.” We talked about our mutual and shared values. We came up with five of them, which were love, fun, travel, freedom and beauty. They're simple words, but those words became a guide to us. When we said, “Will we take this client on or not?” It was a matter of, “Will they allow us to be free? Will they allow us to travel? Will they be fun? Are they beautiful of heart? Are we going to love working with them?” The answer didn't tick any box. To go against that is to go against the fundamentals of where our hearts worked, which didn't seem right to us. After making the phone call, I hung up and went, “Let's see how that one goes.” The fact of the matter was it was perfect.
Dustin
For someone saying, “I like this idea,” is there ever a scenario where you go against that value because you want to take that deal? Are there any experiences that you've had in life where you're like, “I'm going to look the other way on this one. I need this one,” and has come back to bite you?
Mike
All the time. I can remember as a young salesperson, I sold financial services when I was 21 or 22. We used to have a thing in our office that at the end of the week, the person with the least number of sales had to buy the first round of drinks on a Friday night. There was one Friday night that I had the least sales coming up and I thought, “I don't want to buy the drinks.” I'd never had to do it. I quickly ran out to one person who I was dealing with that day. I talked them into buying from me so that I wouldn't have to buy the round of drinks. I've never had more problems with any client in any business in all of my life. It took eight months to untie from that one. The real question behind the question is, is there any circumstance in which you would go against a value? The answer is no. Not for somebody who's got the life experience. When you're young, you make those mistakes and you say, “I'll fix it later.” Truly, I would counsel anybody not to go against your core values, the things that make you tick, your boundaries. Don't do it.
Dustin
What's your advice on how to come up with these?
Mike
Firstly, to sit down and think, what punches I might dial? What excites me? What makes me angry? These good things. One of travel came from the fact that we’re extensive travelers. We couldn't imagine a life without travel. A life without travel for us would be like putting us in jail. That one was a very obvious one because that's an exciting one and fun. Why would you do anything if it wasn't fun? Why would you start a business that wasn't fun? Why would you stay in a business if it wasn't fun? That became a real yardstick. Beauty is an interesting one because people think, “Do you want to deal with beautiful people?”
We want to be in beautiful situations. We want to work with people who have beautiful hearts. We want our customers to be beautiful people and heartfelt people. We want to be in a world surrounded by beauty because so much the media tells us the world isn't surrounded by beauty. I find what you focus on is genuinely what you have. If you don't have much beauty in your life, you maybe should look at what you're focusing on. For us, we started focusing on beauty. We live near the ocean. We make sure that we spend enough time in forests, nature and things like that with great-hearted people. The answer to your question is to keep it simple, fundamental for you as an individual and try and keep to three words.
Dustin
That's critical, especially as we talk about how do you vet deals? How do you decide on it? Having values defined before you enter in is a great a GPS or a North Star, a guiding star. I know we're going to talk about two of your loves during this interview. Your partner, Landi, and business and entrepreneurship. Before we do it, I want to talk about your other love, which is music. Thirteen albums to your name, a number one on iTunes in 2013. I don't know that I've ever dove into this with you. I want you to tell us about your other love, music.
Mike
It came from watching The Monkees on TV as a kid. The Monkees is a show that most Americans are very familiar with, but it's not big anywhere else in the world apart from Australia, New Zealand and maybe the UK. Ever since then I wanted to be a musician. I realize it's because I wanted to transform people. Music is a great transformer. As you sit there and reading this, if you think back in your life to signature songs, maybe they were played when you met the first love of your life, when you broke up from the first love of your life, at the passing of a relative or your graduation from high school. I wanted to write those songs. I wanted to write that California Dreaming, With or Without You or that song Yesterday. That's what inspired me. I realize as a writer and a speaker that writing a book is a song in itself. Writing an event is a song in itself. This show is a song in itself. You can attain that in many different ways without having to spend a few years learning the guitar or piano.
Dustin
That's an interesting viewpoint. I never considered that. I know you're big on passion and doing things that are beautiful in your life. Have you pivoted? Your songs that you sing now are the seminars that you put on, the courses that you make, the articles and the books that you write. Do you still find some way despite all the traveling you do to incorporate playing music? How do you do that, especially with your travel routine?
Mike
We found a phenomenal studio in the foothills of Stellenbosch, South Africa. That is the wine district. Think Napa Valley, Barossa Valley and Provence in France. It was settled by the French. It's very similar to the Winelands of France, mountains that have snow caps on them in winter, running crystal clear streams, wine grapes. Everything is fantastic. We found a studio there on a farm, which is amazing. There are chalets that you can stay in. I'm halfway through doing my next album and back there recording as well. I think entrepreneurs do this. They take the parts of them that they love like their dance, martial arts, baseball or whatever it is. They put them aside because they've got this business and its serious business that they've got to run, but you shouldn't do that.
                  In fact, you should integrate all parts of you. I don't get up on stage and necessarily play the guitar and sing songs. There are enough speakers that do that. Most people don't even know that when they come to one of our two-day events, most of the music that I listened to, I've written. It's very subliminal in the way that we do it and we use it as anchors because I know the tracks as well. If we want to take the audience down into an emotion, we'll use a couple of tracks that will bring them down. If we want to bring them up, we'll use a couple of tracks that bring them up.
Dustin
I'm curious about the creative process because I've never been in the music writing world. To write a song, how do you do that? Is it very similar to how you write a book? Are you getting up every morning and writing some stuff down and then when you go record, you'll transform it into a song or does it download to you when you're in the studio? How does it work for you?
Mike
Every songwriter will tell you it's something different. To give you an example, I always wanted to write that With or Without You, Yesterday or something like that, something that would be iconic and go to number one. In fact, my number one hit was a joke that I and my friend wrote when the mayor of Oakland slept with his 21-year-old Chinese secretary. We wrote a song called Pants Down Brown and it went to number one in New Zealand. Be careful what you wish for, people. You may just get it.
Dustin
Mike, I'm excited that you and your partner Landi have created courses with us at WealthFit, especially the one that we're going to talk about which is deciding and managing your opportunities and priorities. I want to start with something that you said that struck me, which was 93% of people are doing the wrong things right and 93% of people were entrepreneurs. What do you mean we're doing the wrong things right?
Mike
I'm going to back it up a little bit. This comes from deep spiritual law called the Law of Learning. It's the development of the soul as it goes through its transgression in the universe. I'm going to give you the seven phases of that. The first phase is that there are people on earth that are literally in the safety zone. They don't know where they're going to sleep or what they're going to eat. The second stage is people that are thinking all the time, “How am I going to make an extra $50 a week? How am I going to get a better job? How am I going to get a better house? How am I going to get a spouse?” The third level is self-definition, which is who am I and why am I here? A lot of reason that people are reading your blog is that they're starting to play the who am I and why am I here?
The fourth area is giving and love. You realize that life's not about yourself. It's about who you can give to and what you can love. The fifth area is the flow. This is where everything starts to get attracted to you and you have to do very little effort for it. The sixth area is consciousness, which very few people attain. The last area is the source, the seventh area, which only about three people in history have attained. According to the gurus in the earth, 93% of people sit in the first two areas. They're either struggling to know where they're going to sleep and what they're going to eat or how they're going to make that extra $50 a week. They're so in their heads that they can't break out of that. The 7% of other people are only in self-definition and so on and so forth.
If we bring that back to the entrepreneur space, I started to realize I've worked with 300,000 entrepreneurs. That's a lot of people and there are a lot of commonalities and things that stick out from that after you've done it a long time. We started to measure this and we realized that it was the same number, 93% of people are doing the wrong things right. They focused on the wrong stuff like the spiritual law. Don't be focused on the extra $50 a week. Be focused on something like, who am I and why am I here? The extra $50 a week will start arriving. These things are happening in business as well.
People are focused on, “I did this. I have to do 28 blogs a week” or “I've got to build an amazing backend system for my administration because it won't work.” You ask them, “How many sales calls have you made?” They go, “I haven't had time.” You go, “How's your bank account?” They go, “It's not very good. I may have to close this business in six months, but I have a fantastic blog site.” It's about understanding. If you're a blogger, you should be blogging. If you're a green grocer selling vegetables, maybe a blog is not the right way to go for you as it could be in the 93%. We want to get people focused on the 7% that's right for them.
Dustin
How do you couple what you shared with the person that doesn't take action? I relate to this as I love to do the two. In the past, I've been addicted to how can I do this? The stage-two thinking. What actions can I take? That's addicting because I'm in the process of doing something. However, you're talking about defining who I am, being in a place of giving and love. That seems less action taking but more soul searching and defining. How do you differentiate that?
Mike
Firstly, you used a question which is, “How?” I don’t like how questions. I’m going to share some ancient wisdom with you. It comes from the Chinese and is 5,000 years old. Emperor Fuxi sent his scholars or observers out to check out the world because he realized that society was a microcosm of the macrocosm that was presented in the world. Through that they found the five elements of water, wood, fire, earth and metal. They realized that each of those elements related to a question. Water was the why question. Wood was the what question. Fire was the who question. Earth was the when and metal was the how. If you think about that, every time you come up with a good idea and somebody asks you, “How are you going to do that?” it's like a big ax coming in and chopping you down.
Whereas what you want to do is you want to change the question. When I have a harebrained scheme or a new idea, I always think to myself, “Why would I want to do that? Why is that driving me?” If I solve that why, then I ask the next question. What three things could I do in the next day, week or month that could get me closer to that goal? The best question of all, who's already done this that I could model off? That's why we have these courses because we've done this and people can model off it. Who can I model off? Who's already done this? When's the best time? You never need to answer the how question because out of all of those five elements, there's one of them that destroys metal and that's fire. Fire always melts metal. You never need to know how if you know who, because who always knows how.
Dustin
I'm a little self-conscious because my next follow-up question is, in this world, there's no shortage of things to do. When people get to a certain level, there's no shortage of opportunities. Opportunities can come in and I realized some people aren't at that stage yet, but that is the case. How do we know which one is the right one for us?
Mike
All of us have this inherent thing where we want to jump from one thing to another. I don't know what it is with human beings, whether it's been programmed into us or not. We call it Bright Shiny Object Syndrome. Naturally, before we finish something, we want to jump to another thing. We have a six-step formula that we share with people. I used to keep it in my wallet before I knew them in my head and every time I got offered a new opportunity or came across one. The more you travel in, the more successful you are. The downside is the more opportunities you get. You've got to become an expert at saying no to things. We would simply pull this out. What I did when I first realized this was golden genius information that I first gleaned the idea from somebody else and then developed it, was when I looked at all the things that I had done that hadn't worked out.
I realized that they didn't tick some of these boxes. I realized that these six things are like your roadmap to choosing an opportunity. Number one is does this opportunity that's presenting itself to you fit your passion and your purpose? You might need to do a bit of work on purpose. Can you be passionate about it? If somebody asks and says, “I've got a business for sale and it's in changing tires on cars,” is that going to be something you're going to be passionate about or not?
Number two, can I add value in my natural way? We all have a natural way. We'll have natural skills and unique abilities that we love and we can use. We have other learned skills that we might be good at, but we don’t like them. I used to be a corporate general manager so all that paperwork and everything that came with that I’m good at, but I don’t enjoy doing it. If I can add value in a natural way by speaking about it, by writing, by creating, by being innovative, that stokes my fire. If I find an idea that I'm passionate about, it’s aligned to my purpose and I can use some of my skills and abilities and it's good.
Number three, can you leverage it? Many people end up in boxes where they get stuck at income levels or in a community so that they can't travel or can't even take their kids away on holidays. Can I get it to a point where I can load it off so other people can do it? Can I make it bigger than Texas? Number four is if it fails, will it sink me? There are so many ideas that you don't need to invest your heart and soul, and things that are going to take all of your life savings and make your wife or your husband angry with you and all of those things. We don't need to do that. Even though we've heard the stories of people who have spent their last dollar and made a billion.
Number five, does it motivate me? Meaning if I have to get up at 5:00 in the morning a few days from time to time, will I be jumping out of bed or dragging my sorry butt out of bed. The answer is if I'm going to be jumping off the bed and excited about the day, then I'm going to be motivated by this thing. That doesn't matter whether it's changing people's tires on their cars. If that's what motivates you, that's cool. The last one, number six, is there a return that inspires me? The return could be financial. In other words, it could be a property deal that has a 100% return or the return could be nonfinancial. In other words, you might learn a skill.
You might learn French by doing this and you've always wanted to learn French. You might be able to give back to the community and you've always wanted to find a way to give back to the community. It could be some other return on this thing that inspires you. Those six things, if you get an opportunity and you run it past those, does it fit my passion and purpose? Can I add value in my natural way? Can I leverage it? If it fails, will it sink me? Does it motivate me? Is there a return that inspires me and it ticks all those boxes? I would say 100%, you've got to go for it.
Dustin
You've mentored me and you've taught me throughout the years and I wish I had recalled this by default. I was thinking of WealthFit. When I had to reinvent myself from my prior business, looking at all this stuff, it lights my fire. I know it's validation. Knowing there's a formula for the next opportunity or for someone reading who's like, “What do I do?” Knowing there's something like this that exists is so powerful.
Mike
It's so easy because once you do this for a while and once you make this part of who you are along with your values, then somebody says something to you, “How about we go do this?” in an instant, you can go, “No, it’s not going to work for me.” You can bow out or you can say, “I love that idea. Let's go and make magic.”
Dustin
After you run your idea through this, you have prioritization. Let's say, I'm excited about something. I settle in and I use this as my checklist. I want to go and I want to execute and moving us to how do we take that and manifest this idea or this opportunity and get some results out of it? What is that formula?
Mike
We call it the Four G's because it's Get, Groom, Grow and Going for gold. It's a way of life that keeps you focused on the 7% and not on the 93% of doing the wrong things right. This is the beauty of this formula. Imagine if you could achieve all that you're achieving in 7% of your time. It might be an unrealistic promise for me to say that, but what I will promise you is that you can achieve everything you're achieving and more in a lot less time by using the Four Gs. It gets of all that superfluous stuff that we get bogged down with as entrepreneurs that takes our time and takes our focus away from what we truly want to achieve.
We have a very simple exercise and in nutshell, people can write down everything they want to do, “I need a new website. I want to go networking. I want to develop a new program. I want to learn how to speak. I need to do some client interviews.” All that stuff that we do in a day-to-day basis. They can write it down and then literally take each one of those things like, “I need to go networking,” and place it in one of these areas in the Four G’s. All we do is get people to spend 80% of their time on the stuff and get them groom.
Dustin
You got to break this. At least give us a little taste of the Four G’s. Taking this to-do list, which I would definitely want to ask you about why the to-do list is evil? Taking these things and putting them into the Four G’s, will you give us a little context on that?
Mike
I’ll give you Walt Disney’s context on it. He never knew about it. He would definitely be somebody who used it because he was an alchemist. He created something out of nothing. What Walt Disney did is that one day he went to his brother and he said to him, “I want you to take this drawing I've made of a castle and go and find me at least $5 million to build this thing because I've got 47 of the media outlets in Los Angeles coming and we're going to be launching this thing I’ve called Disneyland.” That was in 1952. His brother looked at him and said, “You've got to be joking.”
If you wondered if he did it or not. If you go to Disneyland, the oldest ride is called It’s a Small World. As you go through there, it's sponsored by the Ford Motor Company, which was a deal that they did in 1952 to have eternal rights and sponsorship within Disneyland and they got the money overnight. Here is the point when it comes down to Four G’s. Entrepreneurs doing the wrong things right, working in the 93% will spend all of their time perfecting their program and then go out in the world and try and sell it. An entrepreneur who's done the Four G’s will go, “Why don't I sell this program and see if people will buy it, then I'd be able to create it and deliver it before they expect it to be delivered?” All great entrepreneurs create things after they've sold them.
If you haven't got that, I'm going to make it clear. One little example of Four Gs. One change in mindset is what I'm sharing with you here. When you do the Four G’s, and I did it with a program that we're bringing out, I thought to myself, “I better run some webinars and sell this program before I develop it or I'm going to spend a lot of time developing this and I don't know whether the market wants it or not.” Whereas otherwise, if I didn't know that I'd be spending 93% of my time doing the wrong things right and developing a program then going out and running a webinar and having zero sales coming in perhaps. Maybe it'll be a gangbuster, who knows? Nine times out of ten you've got a lot more refinement to do. Change the way you see the world. That's what the Four Gs does.
Dustin
How many stories do you hear of people building something and taking years to build it? They take it to market and the market is either left them behind or there never was a market. I'm grateful that you brought that up because I was fortunate to come from a world where that was taught. Many people don't do that. I think it's that fear of sales in there too which you talk about for sure, but it is the way. You have to put products in people's hands and they have to buy it from you at the end of the day.
Mike
One of the big ones that came in to give you another feel for Four G’s is what people often have with social media or it’s the thing they have to do. Is your social media going to get you business? They say, “Yeah, of course it is.” We say, “Why don't you show us the statistical data that proves that your social media posts have brought you in business? If it has, I need to take it to Forbes Magazine because Forbes Magazine’s 2019 study says that 78% of Fortune 500 companies cannot get a viable financial return on social media. If you can, tell me how.” The fact of the point being, if it's a social media ad like Facebook ad, that's trackable. People will spend all day on Facebook posting photos of their dog, their frog, their food thinking that's part of a work attraction strategy to themselves. That needs to be in the third area of the Four G’s, which is grow. That grow needs to come into what we call 20% of your time that you're not doing income or relationship-generating activities. Can you build relationships over social media? Sort of, but you can build them a lot stronger and a lot faster in a face-to-face basis initially.
Dustin
Mike, what do you say to that skeptical reading who says, “That works for Mike. My stuff is two steps removed or I'm building equity in a company?” What do you say to that person that says, “I can't do an activity that's going to generate income. There are two steps in between or I'm not trying to get short-term income, I'm trying to build the Facebook and build up for a billion?”
Mike
Honestly, if you're building the next Facebook and you're only focused on the equity value, then that's what you want to get. That's what you need to be doing 80% of the time. This is why the Four G’s is fantastic because we can utilize it. The first column is get and the second column is groom. Most people want to get money, which is an immediate income and most people want to groom relationships, but occasionally people want to get equity. It's, “That's fine.” Other people want to get their time back. When we look at all of their activities, which of the activities is going to give you your time back that should end up in the get column? It's transferrable. To the other person, the question says, “That's okay for Mike.” All I'd say is, “How's your bank account going?” If it’s going great, keep doing it. If it's not, listen up.
Dustin
One of the things that you talk about is grooming. I know you have a great deal of relationships. I love relationships and I feel like one of my challenges or opportunities of growth is figuring out effective ways to groom and maintain relationships. I'm curious as to what you do with some of your higher level partners or clients. What do you do to stay in contact and keep that relationship alive?
Mike
We don't treat them like a business relationship. If you think about your or my relationship over the years, you probably remember those times you've woken up in the morning and there'll be a message from me, a voice note or something, “Dustin, Landi and I were thinking about you. How's it going? What's been happening in your world? Drop us a note, we'd love to hear from you.” We do that naturally. That's not necessarily part of that grooming strategy, but it becomes part of a grooming strategy with high level partners as well. “Do you guys want to go to a ball game together? Do you guys want to have a barbecue together? How about we go and hang out or how was your week?”
Many people are not focused on that question, but it can get so far in a relationship. If you see something, if you're dealing with a corporate and you see something in the media, picking up the phone and going, “I saw this article in the media. How are you guys feeling about that? Do you feel it portrayed you well or not? I was curious and I wanted to touch base and make sure you guys are okay.” It doesn't matter how much social media posting you do. I'm not against it because I do a lot of social media posting. It doesn't replace that.
Dustin
I had a big a-ha and I want to thank you for it. Oftentimes, I don't do that enough where I reach out to people and I asked the question, “Why?” like you just taught me. Why don't I do that? What I accessed in my brain was, in the past I haven't wanted to reach out to people unless they have something of value. I guess I was thinking about it in a business sense, but with your friends, I don't do that. I say, “I was thinking about you.” That’s a big a-ha. There's some stuff for me to explore. For those who are reading that are that way too, it's like, “I don't want to bother the person.” What am I going to say to them? What can I give to be a value? It's not about that is what you're saying.
Mike
It’s definitely not. It also comes back to values as well. The very first discussion we had on our talk is that if you're scared of talking to somebody because you normally talk to them about business, are they really in your values system? Even if there's some big wig or high level person. I remember the first time I met this billionaire in India. In fact, he's in the top 100 in the world and a lovely guy. I had a reason to talk to him about this film we were doing. I rang him up and he got on the phone. I said, “How's it going? It's Mike. We met at such and such.” He goes, “How are you doing?”
I said, “I’m great, thanks. I'm sorry to bother you because I know how busy you are.” He said, “Stop right there. I'm not busy at all. I have 200 CEOs running my 200 companies. I've been to the gym and done meditation, so I'm happy to talk to somebody at the moment. What do you want?” I learned about that. The higher you go up the value chain, if you like, the more open and nicer people are. If they're not, then you don't need them in your life. If they breach your value system, what have they got to add to your life? There's a million Facebook's because there is WhatsApp, there is LinkedIn. You don't need all of them. You can move onto the next one. You should do that. Protect your boundaries.
Dustin
I want to talk about growth. The thing that was on my mind was making things simple. I believe that is what you and Landi’s gift. You take complex ideas and you make them simple, understandable and actionable, which is key and which is why I'm fired up about the courses you've created with us. Part of the Four G’s is the growth side of things, when you want to grow something or you want to grow your business. You've boiled it down to three words that you recommend people should be thinking about and get really clear on that. How do we arrive at that? Especially in startup mode, your customer service person, your salesperson, your marketing person or your accountant, some things I don't love in business.
Mike
You’ve got to take yourself out of that to a large extent. You've got to become Dustin Mathews, the person, and forget about WealthFit. That was the question that Landi originally asked me. She said, “Mike, if you could do anything on a day-to-day basis but could only do three things, what would those three things be?” I thought for a minute and I said, “I'd love to speak. I enjoy writing, but I want to create.” That creation could be a course, a song, a new book or an idea. It could be helping a customer. I made it very simple. Does Mike have to do some marketing? Of course. Does he like marketing? Most of the time. He doesn't mind it. Does he have to do some coaching? Yes, of course. Does he like doing coaching? Not really, but he does it. That's all part of the game. Does Mike like doing the set of accounts? No. Does he do them? Absolutely not because he's not an expert at it. Does he know all the numbers in his business? Yes.
There are certain things that you have to have to know, which are just part of it. If you can do what you love 90% of the time or 80% of the time, then the other stuff doesn't make too much difference. I love what my friend Glen said ages ago and he taught me this. He said he hated doing these accounts, but he worked a way around it. He said he would go and buy $100 bottle of wine that he loved on the month day that he would do his accounts. As he would pull the wine, he would be doing these tax returns and stuff like that. He would look forward to that time in the month where he's doing his tax because he could drink his bottle of wine. It's a fantastic idea.
Dustin
Part of this conversation is recognizing what you love to do and getting to the point where you can outsource it. Many people trip up when it comes to outsourcing because they don't fully understand the process. What is your advice around outsourcing and how does one know if now is the time to hand something off to somebody?
Mike
This comes into the grow section as well because once you look at the column of things that you want to grow, most of those can be outsourced. Whether it's outsourced to somebody in your team in-house, meaning not you or whether it's outsourced to somebody in the Philippines or Thailand, that's fine. You know when you should outsource things because of two things. Number one is you're not passionate about doing them. Number two is you know how to do them. That way you can train that outsourcer. Outsources are set up to fail because we expect them to know everything that's going on in our mind and yet they don't. We have to brief them in our way, the way we like to do things, our speak, our culture, our terminology.
I look at it as a pilot learning to fly a plane. When you learn to fly a plane, they take you up the first time. They show you all the controls, but they don’t let you touch the plane. When they take you up the second time, they allow you to fly a bit and you touch a few things. When you take up the third time, they allow you to land the plane and then they throw you the keys and you're by yourself. I look at outsourcing the same. Hold their hand, then give them some ability to do some of the work the next time, then give them more ability and now you know, they can do it. Throw them the keys and let them do it and you'll never have to worry about them after that.
Dustin
I'm curious because I hate documenting stuff. I love the idea of somebody taking it off my plate. That's how stuff gets done because I see that future of like, “I don't have to do this anymore.” I'm curious as to your tips and strategies. Do you record a video? If it's desktop, do you literally write out the SOP line by line? What is your way of getting the knowledge out of your head and to the person that you're going to hand it off to?
Mike
Mark Victor Hansen wrote the foreword to one of my books. When I asked him to do it, he said, “I can't do it.” I said, “Why not?” He said, “I've never written a word in my life.” I said, “You sold 140 million books.” He said, “Yes, but I didn't write them.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “I just dictate them. I don't like writing, so I talk and then somebody copyedit it and knocks it into shape.” I thought. “That's fantastic.” It depends on the outsourcer. Landi likes to brief our designers in written terms and then she gives them samples of things that are very similar.
I like to brief by video or audio. I often brief by audio because we travel so much. We're here in San Diego with you. We're nowhere near our staff. We send them WhatsApps, “Nicola, do this on this campaign. How's it going?” I find WhatsApp as some of the best ways to brief. For the people that like to read the written stuff, we can put it into Temi or one of those programs and then gives them a written brief so they can read that. It's a great way of doing it. If you video it, then you've got the people who like video. You can take the audio off it, MP3 it for the MP3-ers. If people like it to be written, then you can have it translated for them as well. You can do it in any way you want to cut it with your team.
Dustin
I don't think we've ever communicated about the process. When we were going through the process of working together and creating the courses for WealthFit, Lisa, our amazing project manager and specialist here, she had to download WhatsApp, unless you have people outside. I think in the States, it's not as widely accepted. She told me one night because you guys are international. She's like, “I got twenty audio notes. I've got to figure out how to download them and transcribe them.” It's funny because this is your system, this is your way. We wanted the content. We wanted you to create courses here and so we met you where you are at and it was interesting.
It was a new process and a new system. I thought when that came through, I'm like, “That's crafty,” because you’re giving us what we want in a different way. You're in the position of power essentially. We want to have your information. We're going to take this. We're going to work with it and do it. Once we figured out the second time, then I was like, “This is simple. We download it and then we send it into our transcription stuff and then we take it from there.”
Mike
Lisa came back and she said, “I liked the way you guys do things because we can be more thorough doing it that way as well.” It's a little learning curve, but I think you'll find that you'll do more stuff like that yourself in the future because it works. You can be in your Uber going home and you can do a quick voice note and brief somebody a whole project.
Dustin
I've done that one time. I needed to do more of that. I'm a voice/video in terms of doing it that way. A lot of people get opportunities. Let's say you're subscribing to the Four G’s model and you get an opportunity in front of you and you like it, but it's a long-term project. A lot of people will drop the ball and go pursue this. You have a system or a methodology of doing it. Will you share a little bit about that?
Mike
We have a very simple system. We do get and groom 80% of the time and grow and gold, and this is gold you're talking about 20% of the time. We break it down into Monday to Thursday, we're getting grooming. Friday, we're growing and golding. If it was exciting for gold, I guess we'd work on it over the weekend, but we don't tend to do that anymore. The other thing is that you have to automate more stuff in your own system. I'm not an advocate of people dropping what they're doing if it's working because you need to lock in your baseline. You can work on the most exciting project. You can create a film bigger than Avatar or a seminar bigger than Tony Robbins if you want to. Make sure the bills are paid along the way or else it's not going to be fun for you.
Dustin
You’re working on a movie.
Mike
Yes, we're working on a movie. In fact, we start shooting. The movie is called Harmony. It's about the spiritual laws of harmony and how it relates to the workplace.
Dustin
You said, “We're going to tackle this project.” You only worked on this on Fridays or on the weekend. You ran the many businesses that you guys are running, but you saved this. How do you have that discipline of, “This is something new. It's exciting. It's a movie?” How do you not let it seep into those other days?
Mike
You can't stop your mind. You have thoughts. I've voiced note myself. If I say I’m waiting to do this show with you and I'm sitting out there and going, “We could do this,” I quickly voice note it to myself and then I'll listen to those voice notes on Friday and start to plan it out and think it out from there.
Dustin
You get it out of your head. I find when I write things down it helps me do that. I want to talk about your partner, Landi. She said she was on a mission against the to-do list.
Mike
She's going to kill that to-do list.
Dustin
I know you guys teach on the same stuff and you guys are incredibly close. Why is this to-do list such a bad thing?
Mike
Because it sets you up to fail every single day of your life. Can you imagine that you fail at doing something every day of your life? Imagine after a year of failure, 2, 5, 10 years, this is emotionally devastating for people. This is how the average to-do lists work. Some people sell journals and diaries for the year with to-do on every page. It looks to be 40 spaces on there. You think, “What have I got to do? I've got to walk the dog. I've got to put out the rubbish. I've got to do this. I've got to create my new course. I've got to shake hands with my ex-mother-in-law,” or whatever it is. You write all those things down.
As you go through your day, you tick them off and then you get to the end of the day go, “I only did 8 of the 40 things on my to-do list.” I didn't do the most important one. I'll put that to the top of the list. I've now thought of four other things I’ve got to do. Every single day you're missing the goal. Every single day you’re not making the cut. If any of you out there have played sports, it's like every single day you've got to get twenty shots in the basket one after the other. What's the chance of that? It's not going to happen. We're much more focused on doing one thing in a day and getting that right. If you're working 220 days a year, if you get one thing right every day, then you've got 220 things right for the year. If you do that, that's going to be a phenomenal year. It's going to knock it out of the park for you.
Dustin
You reminded me of something that I heard you talk about in one of the courses, which is this idea of time blocking. You say 220 days, that's because you removed the weekend, you removed holidays and vacations that people want. You’re roughly in that range. Will you give a little peak into this time blocking in figuring out the best activities?
Mike
We start with the year blocking, so we look at a year in advance. We do it every October and we'll put in our holidays first. The dog's birthday and grandma's birthday and all these other important things and we decide. Landi’s birthday, for her 40th, I said, “Where do you want to go for your 40th?” She said, “I want to go to New York. I want to sit in Central Park and I want to eat hot dogs.” Guess what we did for her 40th birthday? That takes some planning. We don't live in America. We had to do that. All that fun stuff goes in first. We then look at all the projects we want to do. We're doing a Conscious Leadership Movement launch. Where do we want to have that? We looked at Cambodia, no. We decided on India. We're having that in Mumbai. We've got those dates in. We then put dates before and after. What else can we do in the region? That's how we build it out.
When you get more practical, which is I think where your question was going, we look at what we call the perfect week or the average week, depending on what you like. Get a weekly plan and put it in front of you, and then blocking is your friend. Block out the times you want to go to the gym, the times you want to tuck the kids into bed, the mid-week sleep in that you're going to have, because Wednesday mornings you're tired. You want to sleep until 9:30, Block all of that out and then look at the available times you've got left to work and go, “Where are the hot spots? Where am I going to make the money here?”
When do people buy my target market? If you're an accountant and you're selling financial advice and tax, when do people want to do that? They don't want to do it in the afternoon or at night. You’re selling it to them in the morning when they're fresh but probably not Monday morning because they're overwhelmed from the weekend. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday mornings, they are your peak times if you're an accountant to sell your stuff. Look at that and then build the rest around it. When we look at the year, those 220 days or let's make it 200 because people will understand it better, I’d say 20% of those days you've got to hide, turn your phone off.
Be in your own space, work on your thoughts. That's 40 days, approximately a year. It sounds like a lot. You've got to run hard, back to back meetings. Go and try and break your record for the number of meetings you had in a day. I had nine in one day. One of them was three hours long. It was a crazy day, but that's a run day. The other 60% or the other 120 odd days a year, they're just general days. You do a bit of admin, you create a new course or you brush down the shop front in your shop. Maybe you ring some of your customers and say hi. All the things you do on your normal days, that makes it nice for you.
Dustin
How do you deal with something that disrupts your calendar? How do you accommodate that?
Mike
There are two ways your calendar can be disrupted. One is by things that just disrupt it. People come and go, “We should do this.” I think ‘no’ is your friend and you've got to be brutal with it. There are other things you want to do, but you've got to look at the reason behind it. For instance, if your partner comes to you and says, “I've found this cruise of a lifetime that we've always wanted to do and we can get a 2 for 1 deal, but we have to do it in April. It's going to be fantastic.” You need to change your calendar because it's in your value system to do something with your partner and it's been a dream of yours.
The one I relate to in the course is I was invited to speak on stage with Barack Obama and the Pope. It didn't fit my schedule. I looked in and said, “That would be great,” but all it's going to do is put a nice photo on my CV. I'm going to shake their hand, maybe get a photo, but what's it going to do for my life? What's it going to do for my business? What's it going to do for anything? I couldn't justify a reason apart from my own ego. I turned it down. Previously I'd turned down speaking on the same stage with Bill Clinton for exactly the same reason. I was in the middle of a tour. We would be in Mexico at the time. I had the opportunity to fly to New York to speak on stage with Bill, which would have been fantastic. What was I going to do? Drop everybody in Mexico that was with me and say, “I'm going to feed my own ego by doing this.” You've got to differentiate between what's real and what's stroking your own ego, but actually has no real resonance.
Dustin
Mike, I could go on and on. I want to ask you, what are you most excited about? What are you working on? What's that gold project that lights your fire?
Mike
I'm excited about two things. I'm excited about a film because I think we're going to be bringing some information to the world that's not there. Nobody's talking about the stuff that we're talking about in the film. I'm going to be talking about the 1936 Tuning Conference they had in Copenhagen and why they changed the Tuning, what role the Nazis had to play and why that's affecting us in business. I'm excited about sharing that stuff with the world. I'm excited about Landi and I going for the first time and seeing, visiting, doing some tours and also running some workshops in the five stans, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and whatever the fifth one is, which are all part of Russia until the breakdown.
This is a new and developing part of the world. Cities there like Astana have come on the grid in many years. It’s phenomenal, amazing modern cities that most of us in what we call the West don't know about. They're aggressive young, hip people there. I think it's going to be fantastic to share some of our content with them to not only hear back from them, but also to go visit. We're going to spend three weeks in the area.
Dustin
Mike, I want to thank you big time for making the time, putting the block in the calendar and for what you're up to in the world, bringing your wisdom, business insights and doing it in an interesting way. We didn't get into a lot of ancient wisdom. You seeped it in a little bit, but there's a lot more there. With the movie coming out, the adventures around the world that people can join you and for people that want to keep tabs on what you're up to and see what you're about, checking out the WealthFit courses that are coming soon in the library, what is the other best way to continue that conversation with people that want to?
Mike
It's perfect for you to connect with us on LinkedIn. It's both of us, Mike Handcock and Landi Jac. That's the best way to find us. Dustin, I want to thank both you and the WealthFit people on what they do here. What this man has got in his heart, you don't find anywhere else in the world. I want to thank you for your time.
Dustin
Thanks Mike. I appreciate you being on the show.
Mike
Cheers.

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