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Steven Kuhn: Identity, Purpose & The Humble Alpha Leader

Conversation With The H.I.T. Man

My guest is a decorated US military combat veteran who now turns failing businesses into success, not just in the US but across Europe.

He is a bestselling author, a multi-country startup and turnaround specialist as well as a political consultant.

His name is Steven Kuhn and you are going to discover a lot.

This is a power-packed episode where we talk about identity. We talk about the Humble Alpha Leader and we talk about how to listen to use that as a powerful strategy in building rapport and influence. Hold on because you are going to get the most information we've ever packed into a show and that's thanks to our special guest, Steven Kuhn.

With that said, let's get to it.

Dustin
It’s 1993 and you're exiting the military hovering operated tanks, serving in operation Desert Storm and earning a bronze star. While most would return home to the US, you take a European out. Why and what did that transition look like from the military into the civilian working world?
Steven
I have to tell you that the transition was dirty, horrible and really difficult, but it was exactly what I needed. I got out of the military in Europe because I didn't want to go back to the States with my tail between my legs. If I'm honest, number one. Number two, I always felt more at home in Europe than I did in the States for some strange reason. I decided to get out and the transition was difficult. First of all, because I got out in a country, in Germany where I didn't speak the language. I spoke a bit from my times on the border patrol in the inner German border between East and West Germany, but what can a guy do who learned how to drive tanks? I ended up being a security guard. What happens when you're a security guard? You get challenged constantly. I was a doorman for a club and a bar and this kind of stuff. It turned into this constant battle of trying to control myself. I was in Iraq in 1990 and 1991. I had some pretty heavy duty fighting. I had PTSD. I didn't know it at the time. That was always creeping up for me. I had a massive challenge. It took about three years to catch my footing. When you're in an aggressive, depressed state, three years is a long time.
Dustin
Do you ever think about coming back to the States? I would've left if I were in your shoes.
Steven
No, I don't give up. For me, it's not a proximity thing. It's not a location thing. It's more of what's my identity? What's my purpose? Those are the things that I focus on the most because I know that once I find my identity, which I was looking for at the time, because until then, my only identity was being a soldier. That was who I was. I wore my uniform, you could see my name, you can see my awards and you see which campaigns I was in. You can see if I was in combat and how many years I was in just by looking at my uniform so no one ever had to talk to me. Suddenly, I take the uniform off and I'm standing at the door of a club, 28 years old and a 14-year-old kid tells me to go screw myself, that I'm a loser and I should get a real job. It forces one into a search, a lifelong search. I never contemplated going back and to this day, I don't contemplate going back.
Dustin
I'm curious as to the transition points. You're fumbling around. It's tough, you're depressed. What's that turning point for you now into the working world?
Steven
The turning point was that I decided that the only talent that I have is to make people feel good. I would add value wherever I could. Whatever I did, I did it the best I could do. I was the best doorman in Berlin. I was the best bartender in Berlin. It was the best way to in Berlin. I was always a guy doing the most revenue. I'm having the most fans or followers back then. Back then, we called them opinion leaders and not influencers. I knew that I could do that. What happens was I impressed so many people. I kept getting job offers and moving up the ladder.
I ended up opening up three of my own cocktail bars in a nightclub as a partner. I treated people so well in there. Someone asked me if I would help him set up a health club chain from South Africa, which has nothing to do with the restaurant business, but it has to do with hospitality. I did that and I absolutely massacred every record they ever had for sales. I ended up being the country manager and then the crisis manager. I got headhunted by another corporation, a PLC from the UK, which is a publicly listed company. They brought me on and I'll never forget it when they asked me what I wanted to earn, as I was tempting myself, I tripled my salary. They said, "That's a little low, we'll make it more."
It ended up being four times my salary plus a bonus. Suddenly there I was, 32-years-old, the director operations and development in Europe for a PLC making $300,000 a year and it was out of the blue. It all came from one thing. That’s what I call investing in relational capital. The more you invest in the people around you, the more return you're going to have. I saw that very early on that if I got into a conversation about technical things or politics or whatever, I couldn't hold my own. I didn't know what the heck I was talking about, but I could make you feel good by actively listening to you, by returning answers that are fed on what you said. I didn't have an agenda. I didn't try to get my point across. I didn't try to prove a point or sell myself and that works well.
What I found out in the later years is that it was actually a process that I've now honed and trained called creating space. Creating space means when I meet somebody, when I go anywhere, I go to a meeting, I stand in front of a stage and speak to people, I have one intention only. I don't have any cookie-cutter solutions and nothing that is specific that I want to say unless it's an outline. I'm going to hold to that outline and I don't have any preconceived notions. I only want to add value.
What that does is it gets you into a space between us that's neutral. I'm not pulling, I'm not pushing, I'm not prodding and you feel very comfortable. Of course, the result is the mastermind, which everybody talks about. The mastermind is actually at least two brains that get together and a third entity is formed that comes up with ideas and solutions that you otherwise would never, ever come up with. I became a master at that. I was solving problems for politicians later in life. They're calling me about, "What's Obama going to do with the debt ceiling?" I had no idea what you're talking about. I went in, sit and listened and asked questions about what they were saying and then I came up with my conclusions. Funny enough, I was always very close or exactly spot on to what was going to happen. That got me into politics. It’s a crazy life, but it's all based on investing in relational capital and creating space. Of course, I have my personal values, which is HIT. Some people call me the HIT Man. HIT stands for Honesty, Integrity and Transparency.
Dustin
I want to ask you about detaching. Some people need this deal, they need this connection, they need a foot in the door, add them all up. What's your advice for folks that maybe are struggling a little bit? They need cashflow. They need to enter into a situation but in the back of their head they're like, "I need this deal to close. How can I add value if I'm focusing on a little bit myself?"
Steven
First of all, wealth, money, revenue and cash. That's the result of living a life of purpose. When you're living a life of purpose, it automatically comes. If you're in a situation where you're not sure what your purpose is because you're not sure of your identity and your identity is actually your title or your position, then you're going to have a difficult, you're always going to be finding yourself in that position. What I say is pan out and let go. You cannot force someone to take what you have. Salespeople of the old school are over. That doesn't work in the big world anymore. What does work is simply one thing and that is solving their biggest problem. It's not what you think their problem is. It's their biggest problem. Typically, unfortunately, they don't know what it is. They have a perceived problem and you can take care of that by addressing that. To find their actual problem, it takes a lot of listening. When I go into these meetings where maybe I need it, I never think of that word need because need is the perpetual situation of not having. It's a mindset thing. If you look at quantum physics, words are things. When you say to yourself, "I need this." you're basically saying I'm going to stay in limbo. You can say, "I desire this. This is what I wish."
You work on actively listening, investing in and creating massive value for the person in front of you. We're talking about targeting, ads and split testing and all these things to get your clients. You just find your niche exactly who they are and find their biggest problem and say, "This is the problem that you have. This is the product to solve that problem and this is what your life looks like afterwards." We call it PPR: Problem, Product, Resolution. Donald Miller, created that, but I use it all the time. That's also how you make your pitch. When someone asks you, "What do you do?" Instead of waffling on about family business and all this stuff, you simply say, "Do you know the problem that CEOs have when they work so much that they ended up not having a balanced life and they forget about their family?” Everyone goes, "I get that." We have a program called The Humble Alpha Leader program that addresses the entire thing so that the CEOs end up with a balanced life, living a better quality of life.
I just told you PPR right there, that's all I need to say. That's my entire pitch, what I just told you. That's the entire thing. That's all I need to say and then I listen again. You get feedback according to those things. Everyone wants to talk about themselves. Don't be that person. Let everybody else do it. It's magical. I've literally been striking up conversations with everybody on the planet, from Bill Clinton to George Bush to world leaders. I've worked for Andrea Bocelli. I've worked for Mick Jagger. I've worked for Olivia Newton-John by investing relation capital, creating space and listening to solve their biggest problem.
Dustin
Steven, I love this conversation already. You planted the seed of being a HIT Man, it's time. Let's get into that, Mr. HIT Man. Will you break it down?
Steven
HIT stands for Honesty, Integrity and Transparency. Honesty is being true to who you are and how you live. Transparency is communicating your honesty for everyone to reserve to the outside world. Integrity is obviously the result of those two. It's your ongoing reputation. When you operate under HIT, you get an authentic connection and if significance and true happiness. You also show up wholly and fully present for whoever comes. Like I said, no agenda and not trying to solve anything. You're simply there to provide value and to elevate others.
When I tell you about elevation, I have the life enterprise concept. The life enterprise is we are all CEOs of our own life enterprise. Like a CEO of a business enterprise, they answer only to one person and that is a stakeholder. We answer to the stakeholders in our lives, which is your family, your friends and anyone you meet anywhere around. Your only job with your life enterprise stakeholders is to ensure that when you leave them, no matter if it's a five-minute conversation or a year, that you leave them in a better place than when you met them. If you live by those rules, my friend, life is amazing. HIT doesn't change who you are. It literally reveals the most authentic version of yourself.
It's an incredible system that bases everything on who you literally are as an identity, as a person and what you care about. Let's break it down some more honesty begins internally and then it moves its way outward into the external world. You have to be honest with yourself first. It's vital to growth. Without honesty, you'll never grow. On top of that, when we're dishonest, we literally put blinders on and only see what we want to see. Honesty isn't only expressed in what you say, but with your actions, of course. The need for precise language is important, which is why I speak the way I do. People always laugh and say, "You never have any in between your languages. It's just always straight forward." That's because I know who I am and I know what I want to get across. Being honest actually motivates us to become the best version of ourselves for real and not pretending. By being honest with others, we bring to light the bad and only then can we change it to become our best selves. It also equals reliability because you're always known to be the honest one. You never have to explain yourself because everyone knows what you say is your word.
Dustin
In your world, do white lies exist?
Steven
I don't want to say white lies, but what we say is being honest to the degree that the situation dictates that you have a win-win for both parties. When someone says, "How honest do you have to be? I don't want to show my entire books.” “Of course not.” You don't go down that road. You are honest to the degree that the situation dictates that everyone has a win-win coming out of it.
Dustin
Why don't you think more people are honest or are afraid to be more honest/transparent?
Steven
One word is going to freak you out, expectations. We have expectations of everyone around us. Every time when someone does something, they have an expectation. I'm going to do this and that person's going to do that. The problem with that is it's not verbalized. Typically, when I do something for my wife and I expect a return or something in return, I will verbalize it, "I'm doing this now, I'd appreciate if this and this could happen." If I don't do that, then I cannot have an expectation. Why? Because I'm going to be disappointed at 100%. People have expectations of, “If I do this, this is going to happen.” When it doesn't happen, they get upset. They start saying, "I'm not going to say this anymore. I'm going to say this instead, maybe that'll help."
They start getting into the lies, the white lies. It gets into a big problem because what happens is the brain gets used to lying, like we get used to any other habit, and then you don't even notice the lies anymore because you're justifying them with a result or with an expectation. A lot of people constantly lie to themselves, which automatically means they're lying to the outside world. It's all tied to expectations. Expectations of what you want to life, expectations you want in your partners, your business partners and things like that. Either you have an expectation and you verbalize it or you don't have an expectation. I can tell you this, a third of your day will suddenly be freed up because you're not worrying about what the wife's thinking. You don't worry about what the mother-in-law is thinking and what the boss is thinking. Like someone says, "The boss wants to see you," and you're like, "I better do this or he's thinking that last time he said this." No, walking in there creates some space and add value. Done.
Dustin
I love the simplicity of it.
Steven
Life is very simple.
Dustin
Give us some clarity because I can see people saying, "No expectation, I got it. I'm a goal setter. I'm a goal set and machine." Can you give us the nuance here of expectation versus goal or intention?
Steven
Of course, you are setting goals and targets. Targets fall, goals don't. You set your targets on and some people call them benchmarks. I'm always in the military, so called them targets. When you set benchmarks up until your goal and of course you have to do that. You said detachment before and that's why I said a wonderful word because setting your goals according to what you need will leave you in a place of not reaching those goals or only half reaching those goals. If you find your identity, find your purpose, when you find your identity, your purpose usually crystallizes by itself. You set goals according to your purpose in a way that creates the lifestyle that you want to live and not the thing that you want to have.
I'll give you an example. If you want a Bentley, you don't focus on the Bentley because what happens when you get to Bentley, then you've got to afford the insurance, a garage. You’ve got to pay for the repairs. Maybe you can't afford that. What one does is sets goals for the lifestyle that someone who owns a Bentley would lead. What that does is it breaks away all expectations because you're creating certainty. With certainty, you can detach from how you're going to get there. That alleviates all expectations because you know it's going to happen because you are certain because it's tied to your purpose and your identity.
Dustin
Steven, you are quite a noticeable guy. In the first few minutes you stick out and I've heard you say, “Wherever I go, I find a way to stick out, be unique and noticeable.” Why have that thinking? Why do you operate that way?
Steven
That's the investing and relational capital part. Genuine relationships are created and cultivated by living this way. When you invest in relational capital, people invest back into you. The whole point of it for me is called radian value. I love giving value to those around me because I know the radian value will spread even further. It’s a ripple effect. Put it this way, “Do you want to walk through life being pissed off with people or are you going to be happy? It is as simple as that. Do you want to be happy? Invest in relational capital. Elevate all those around you and your life enterprise and your life will change forever, for the best, for the good. It's not going to happen overnight because we have residuals or residue from not so good things that we've done in the past.
It takes a while to spill over into your current life, but it changes everything to the point where you're like, “I cannot believe this is my life.” Everywhere you go, people like you. I have a client here right now with me in Budapest. He came over for a six-day intensive where people fly over and we drive to Austria. We go to a Lake where a friend of mine lives. We went to Bratislava and we create space with each other the entire time. We're driving down the road, we're talking, listening and looking at things and going to a little bit sightseeing. I take him to some business meetings so they can see how I do business. This whole time, I'm talking to everybody, whether it's the gas station guy or whoever. My client's like, "Everybody smiles when they talk to you." Who doesn't want that? Let me call myself a little bit of selfishness because here it makes me feel good. I want to feel good. If helping people feel good makes me feel good, it's a win-win. There we go again.
Dustin
Steven, you've got this confidence. What do you say to this person that maybe is timid or shy? Maybe they feel a little awkward being out there so forward? What do you say to that? How do you coach a person and get that confidence up a level or two?
Steven
I ask myself first why are they shy. “That's my personality,” or maybe it's not your personality. Maybe that's what people have been telling you your whole life. Maybe that's how you grew up. You haven't broken any shoulders or there are a million reasons some people are timid. It's as simple as that. That doesn't mean you can't do business, you can't be fantastic and you can't invest in relational capital. You don't have to talk like me, walk like me, be 6'4", 240 pounds like I am to be impressive. I have a client in San Diego. He's 5'6" or something. He is a small guy. He has cauliflower ear because he was a wrestler. He's this powerful entity because he knows who he is. He knows his identity. Having your identity present in your life is the most powerful thing that you can do. Your purpose literally crystallizes itself right in front of you. When identity and your purpose are tied together, you don't have to worry about how you're going to do anything because you know it's going to happen. It is as simple as that.
Dustin
How do you find it?
Steven
How do you find identity? While there are many processes out there that we use. We use an interview process and we work with goal-setting. When you start setting goals, you say, "I want this," and you're like, "Why do you want that?" They go, "Why I want it because of this." I said, "Why do you want that?" We go through this whole process of finding your identity. Suddenly you're like, "I knew who I am." Through this process of literally setting goals for yourself. There are other processes out there too, which would take an hour to explain. It's through that personal coaching. It's through that personal consulting, I call it consulting coaching because typically someone comes to us with a business problem. It's typically leaders, CEOs, business leaders, managing directors and they have a perceived problem as I spoke about at the beginning where they say, "This is my sales team or my team is arguing." That always boils down to one thing and that's leadership. We need to find out, first of all, who are you? What do you stand for? Where are you going in life? Do you even want to go that way? We find their purpose and their position or their job now magnifies or amplifies their identity.
I'll give you an example. When Steve Jobs got fired from Apple, he was the CEO of Apple. No one knew who he was, “This guy who made this thing.” He's a CEO. They fired their CEO. When he came back, he came back as Steve Jobs. He knew who he was and look at the difference in the company. He went through a process of finding, who he was. His identity, what he stood for, why he does what he does. He created that purpose. That purpose led to certainty that he was going to crush the world of handheld devices and he did it.
Dustin
You've mentioned you’ve worked with Olivia Newton-John, Mick Jagger and Andrea Bocelli. I'm curious, what did they teach you? What did you
Steven
I was Mick Jagger’s bodyguard for three weeks when he was in Germany. I drove a little bit for him too. It was one of those chance things I heard on the radio that he was coming to Berlin where I was living at the time and they talked about how he was coming and doing a tour in Germany, Austria and whatever. In the end, they said his bodyguard is staying in London because he hurt his back. Most people wouldn't have heard that. I heard it. I went to the hotel, waited for him to come down and I approached him and said, "Hello, Mick Jagger. I'm your new body guard.” He's like, "Who are you? Who sent you?" I said, "I sent me," and he's like, "Why?" I said, "I'm American. I know the city. I speak German and I can carry." He said, "Talk to my assistant, CJ."
I talked to CJ and he said, "I have one question, then you have the job." I was like, "What was that?" He goes, "Do you know where to get the best German sausage?" I said, "I do," and he goes, "How's $400 a day?" We started and I started. What I did is I created space. I had zero expectations. At least I got to meet Mick Jagger. You heard what I said. I didn't say, “Mr. Jagger, Mick.” I said, “Mick Jagger.” I used his entire name. When you speak to somebody of fame, you speak to somebody of importance, use their entire name. Like when I met Bill Clinton, I said, "William Jefferson Clinton, how are you doing this evening?" He turned to me and said, "Wonderful, how are you doing?" It was like he knew me. If I said, “Bill or Willie,” or whatever, he had been like, "Who the heck is this guy? I don't know this guy." If I said, “President Clinton,” he’d be like, "It’s another fan." You use his full name and that's what I do. I did the same thing to Andrea Bocelli and Olivia Newton-John.
Dustin
The one thing that I thought I picked up in the research on you is that you understand this idea of attitude in the presence and you say it's critical to success. I'm curious as to what you mean by having a great attitude, but also have a presence as well.
Steven
I touched on it in the beginning is that many leaders dominate only in their positions or in their job is what they say. True leaders dominate in every arena of life because they know who they are. Their identity is clear to them. This is why having that go-getter, go get it done attitude means there's never an option to fail. You don't even think about it. It doesn't even come up. If someone says, "Can you do this?" "Yeah, I can do it." "Get it done." I don't ever think, “What happens?” You don't even think about that, because I know I can create space. I can invest in relational capital. I can use HIT. I can use the life enterprise model. There are so many things we can do to ensure that everyone around us is onboard because you're all reading them. Who doesn't want to be onboard with someone who makes them feel great? That attitude of, I know that when I walk into a networking room, the first thing I do is I stand there and I assess the room. I start to look at it, I assess the room. By standing they're not hiding at the bar or running in the corner, people are looking at you like, "Who is this guy or gal?" I go around. If it's a smaller room up to 100 people, I will handshake every single person in that room, "How are you doing? Steven Kuhn. Nice to see you." 
I will make a compliment about something that I truly find interesting. If someone has a nice pair of glasses or a nice tie or they just look good. I've told men before, "Your dress is spot on." I’ll tell you a true story. I’m at the airport in the lounge. This guy walks in looking like Sir Peter Ustinov. This guy was amazing. He had every single detail. He had the bespoke suit with the first button undone. He had the Wall Street cleavage on his tie. He had the pocket square perfectly aligned. I said, "Immaculate dress. You look fantastic." That was years ago. This guy has since hired me once and now I'm speaking at his event with 500 hotel investors and owners just because I made a compliment that was true about how he dresses. That's an example of how you never know who's standing in front of you. You don't do it with an expectation, but you do it with true care and adding true value.
If I walk into a bar and I see a good-looking guy or a good-looking girl, I'm going to go and say, "You look fantastic." I'll walk away or say, "Have a great night," and that's it. There's no reason behind it. I do it because it's real. My grandfather told me back in 1985, “You can walk out in the street right now. Stand on the sidewalk and someone's going to go up and say, "Get it out of my way, asshole.” They're going to call you a name immediately, but no one's going to come up to you and offer you help or say, "You look great." He said, "Be that guy. Be the guy that makes other people feel good. At the time I was like, "Whatever, give me the car keys." Later in life, it hit me hard when I was thinking about him. It was one of the most powerful lessons I ever learned from anybody was from my grandfather. It was amazing.
Dustin
I'm curious, you have this swagger. You have this confidence. You can feel it. You have developed this over the years. Did you come out of the gate like this, Steven? That’s what I think people would want to know.
Steven
To touch on something here, I grew up in Pennsylvania, Central Pennsylvania. I'm bringing a mobile home, a few stepfathers before time I was eighteen, couple of boyfriends of my mom's, gun in my mouth, just the whole typical American nightmare that everybody has. I hated myself. I tried every sport I could try in high school and I sucked at everyone worse than the next one. I had zero self-confidence. I played football. I was the guy that lost every game. I was the guy that, we were winning, I screwed it up every single time. I was earmarked for that to be that loser. That's one of the reasons I joined the Army is, “I’ve got to get out of here because I know I can be different. This can't be my life.” I went into the military. I got into boot camp and it was killing me and it was tough. I said, "This is the new me. I'm going to do whatever I can do." I knew back home I couldn't change because people had already had their all expectations and they knew who I was and they thought I had to stay that way. When your surroundings are like that, you typically do stay that way.
This is one of my famous stories. One day, I was at the obstacle course and there was a wall leaning toward me about fifteen degrees with no rope on and about seven feet high. I couldn't get over this wall to save my life. Everybody else was, but I couldn't get over this wall. I'm like, "What do people get over this wall?" The drill Sergeant threw me in the mud, put his boot in the back of my neck and started insulting me, to the point where it was like my mother and it was really bad. I got so upset that I jumped up and literally sprang over the wall. It was incredible. I sprang over like a gazelle and on the other side when I landed, the world stopped literally. It dawned on me immediately. It came to me like a punch in the face. That was me holding me back the whole time.
My whole life before that flash in front of me was like, “I was a loser at football, I was a loser at baseball, I was a loser in wrestling because I didn't believe.” Suddenly I knew from that point on, whatever I wanted to do, it only depended on me. There were no handouts in life. Life's a bitch. It can be hard. It can be difficult. It's never easy, but don't look at the hard parts. Look at the good parts. There's a saying from my favorite book, The Inside-Out Revolution, from Michael Neill. He says, "We don't react to what happens to us in life. We react to the thoughts that we have about what's happening to us in life." When you realize that our thoughts are the things that dictate our actions and our moods, you get rid of that thought.
Dustin
Steven, I want to ask you about The Humble Alpha Leader Program. My immediate reaction, you've got humble and then you've got alpha. They seem diametrically opposed because an alpha is like a go-getter. Generally, a humble person is maybe somewhat inward, a little quiet about it, maybe not out in front as an alpha. Please explain
Steven
The Humble Alpha Leader Program, it's a way of living mythology designed to improve the entire quality of life, build an empowered team and increase the profits of your company as well. Let me tell you where it comes from. I do a retreat every year with business leaders to Peru, to Cusco and we work with the plant medicine Ayahuasca in San Pedro. We work through the identity, purpose and certainty phases. Some people think psychedelics and this and the other and hippies. It is not at all. We work very structured and we work very prepared. We show up prepared with their intentions to move forward.
In my first session before I had any of these retreats, I've been doing Ayahuasca for fifteen years and working with Ayahuasca for fifteen years. I had my first session with San Pedro and I'm sitting at the top of the mountain 14,000 feet overlooking the ruins of the Temple of the Moon from the Incas. After I took the medicine, I was sitting there, I grew roots. This massive, I call it my nuclear power plant within me, started churning. I felt more powerful than I've ever felt in my life. I was so grateful for my life and everything around me and everyone around me. It came out. A humble man came out.
I met a guy, Lane Belone, who is my business partner. He had the same experience, but he had the authentic alpha experience. I had the humble man. He had the authentic alpha. We met in Peru at one of the retreats where he came and we sat there and we just blended together and now we have The Humble Alpha Program. The humble part is knowing what you're capable of, but not screaming it from the rooftop. Knowing that you're a powerful person, a powerful entity, a powerful being, but not showing it. Doing the things that are right living by HIT, investing in relational capital, elevating those in your life enterprise. That's all part of being a humble alpha. The program goes through five stages.
The first stage is called Activate and we basically start activating your humble alpha. We find your identity and we need to find the identity of yourself and the needs of your company. It's a two-pronged program. We want to make you money, but we can only make you true money when we know who you are and your position ends up amplifying or your business ends up amplifying who you are. That's where the real strength comes from. Like I said, Steve Jobs, that's why he was so successful. We define what winning means to you and things like that.
Stage two is Unleash. This is where we unleash your true purpose that's aligned with your identity. We create habits that turn your new identity from the stage, the new identity into a daily reality. This is what we call unleashing your true purpose. The clarity strength is your focus to put more effort into what matters to you. Like I said, wealth success is a result of what matters to you, not you chasing the money. It goes to Empower. This is where we've identified the HIT core essentials to them and we pass it on through them to their team. We have the guiding principles, the team building activities, elevating trust and leadership best practices, creating an enhanced team leadership model. It's always based upon internal leadership systems, the processes of the person who's leading the company. It's very key that it's all based on the identity and the purpose of the leader.
People are saying, "I work for a corporation." It doesn't matter because employees want to work with people who inspire them, empower them and make them a part of the vision. If I know as pencil pusher number 1662 that every time I pushed that pencil that I have a direct impact on the vision of the company, I know how valuable I am. Most people will talk about that. We have stage four, which is momentum. This is where we accelerate the impact and empower the team to make more and more. You rapidly achieve more and more results. Working with the Humble Alpha Leaders, we have a mastermind where we bring all of them together at once and they start collaborating. We start collaborating, “How do we find more ideas or more deals?” We have in-person retreats three a year.
Stage five is Lebensqualität. That's a German word for the quality of life. Our business is called quality of life enterprises. We use Lebensqualität because I speak German and I love that word. It has the umlaut and it looks cool. Basically, you can measure your growth by the quality of life assessment that we have. You have your quality of life at the forefront and it's your priority now. It's not your job anymore. It's your quality of life. It's priority. You're maintaining a dynamic balance with your mind, your body and relationships and your business and then you move onward and upward in life enterprise. We take a lot of focus into the family, into the ties to the emotional side of the leaders. It makes a difference in life when I know that my wife, who was here in Hungary. My wife stands behind every decision I make because she knows I'm honest, I have integrity and I'm transparent with everything I do and why I do what I do. 
Without that connection of her, I could never excel as I excel. That's the only part of this. Your body, mind, relationships and business. The body is nutrition and fitness. Mind is learning and spirituality. Relationships are partner and family, whatever family you have and businesses, leadership and revenue. We go through all of those steps and it's always tied to your identity. We don't do anything that's not tied to your identity, your purpose. Otherwise, it's fake. You're going to end up going through another program as everyone else does. It fades away. I worked for a company one time and every year they had a new book that we had to change our whole life about. This is what we're going to do this year. It’s like, "Here we go." That's what The Humble Alpha Leadership Program is. It's a year-long program. We take you through the five stages. We help make you money.
The collaborations are very powerful. Obviously through the few words that I've spoken here, you might reckon that my network is very big. I belong to quite a few groups of people. One of them being Baby Bathwater, which is a group of dynamic, amazing entrepreneurs worldwide that are all about creating value. I've found that a group like that was just incredible to me. Since I've found that, I've gone to two of their events in Croatia on a private island. It literally made me realize how many more people are out there like me. It's so satisfying to see that as a group of people, how we can change the world without massive action but only with care and investing and the other people around you and elevating them. It's amazing. 
Dustin
I've been waiting to ask you this one. In a world driven by data, you get all these media, everything's data, the cloud, you’re big and perhaps bullish on intuition. Why do you not account for data as part of it? Why are you so big on intuition? 
Steven
Data is static. Every time you take a data reading, it's static, it stops. It's not continuous. It's dead. Whatever number you look at, it goes to your head. It stops there. It doesn't keep moving. Intuition is a constant process and inside of you. It is tied to everything, who you are, everything you are, everything you do, everything you see, feel, touch and smell. Intuition is the only real truth. Everything else is a thought that's feeding off your intuition, but then you change it to fit your expectations or you change it to fit the world around you. You change it to fit the situation you're in.
Intuition is non-biased. This is what you’ve got to do. It doesn't matter what situation you're in, where you are, who you are, who you are and that kind of thing. That's why I'm keen on intuition. Your intuition is never, ever wrong. The big point is distinguishing between intuition, emotion and thought. That's the hard part. For me, intuition is a feeling. I train myself to feel it and in my solar plexus and when I feel that my breath is a little bit taken away, I know it's full on intuition. I'm doing this right now. There's no question about it. Finding that signal in your body that signals you, “This is your intuition speaking,” is key and the way that I do that is meditate. I journal things like that.
Dustin
The intuition in terms of like acting on something, it seems pretty straight forward. You feel it, you've recognized how to do it. What about the intuition that tells you to stop? Are you able to determine that?
Steven
Of course. For me, it's more signs. I will feel like doing something, I'll do something and it won't work out or something will break or the car will break or whatever, something happens. I'm like, "That's a sign. I'm done. I'm not doing it.” If I feel that breath thing, I don't even continue on. I just stop. On the flip side, I love fear. Fear for me is growth. Fear is learning. The more fear I have, the harder the headlong I run into it. I know it's going to be massive growth. It's going to be massive learning. Fear, what is it? False Evidence Appearing Real. It's a mix between knowing when you're getting a signal from your intuition and knowing when fear is about being worried if you can compete or perform or survive those kinds of things. That's a difference between fear and that intuition saying stop.
Dustin
I noticed a Baby Cradle on your CV. It blew me away from what I read. I wanted you to share a little bit more about it because I think it’s incredibly powerful, that experience in your life. Will you share?
Steven
It was one of the hardest times in my life. As usual, I was at one of my businesses and I was investing relational capital. I met a woman from Romania and she said, “You're powerful. Can you help me with this new project that I have? It's called Baby Cradle.” It is a building. They're all over Germany, by the way. There's a building with a box and the outside with like a big handle on it and it's heated and it's got a little cradle inside of it. What it's for is for women who have babies who have that momentary shock of wanting to get rid of it. Typically, they'll throw them in a dumpster or put them in a trash can or something like that. They can go to this clinic, put it in the box. As soon as they close it, it locks. They can't open it again. An alarm goes off in the inside. A nurse comes and takes this baby and cares for it for two weeks. The mother has time to overcome this depression that she has, post-pregnancy depression, and come back and reclaim the baby without any charges. It's all over Germany. We decided to do this in Hungary and Romania.
It was 2000 or 2001. At the time, there were 60,000 abandoned babies in Romania. I was like, "This can't be." There was an article in Germany and it showed pictures of hundreds of babies in these long barrack-like rooms chained to beds. What happened was back in the communist days, the dictator pushed everybody to have babies because they wanted to grow the nation. They never talked about safe sex and that kind of stuff. It was a cultural thing that they had babies and they got rid of them. I went to Romania to check it out and I went with this woman who we went to a hospital and the doctors were all mean, but the nurses are like, "Wait until the doctor goes away."
They took us to a broom closet and they had these shelves, like six shelves high on both sides where all of the cleaning equipment supposed to be. They were filled with babies. They were hidden there because the mother left the hospital right after birth without the baby. They're supposed to go to an orphanage and they know that in the orphanage they die or they get chained and that stuff. They have all these nurses and all these hospitals trying to save these babies on their own dime and they're only making $200 a month anyway. We decided we're going to open up a Baby Cradle there. 
We started opening up, we had real estate, we had investors and all kinds of things. Of course, at this exact time, the European Union, they applied to be in the European Union. One of the mandates for them to become a part of Europe was that they had to fix their homeless children and abandoned children's problem. They shut down. There was a lot of Christian-American orphanages. There are a lot of other Americans there. They shut down every orphanage, every help. Every person was over there helping babies, they kicked them out of the country.
They called us into the office, the European director or whatever she was and literally cussed us out, "How dare you come to our country and tell everybody we have a problem like this. It's not true. This is a lie." It was crazy. Of course, my partner was crying because we had come from the hospital and saw all these babies. We had to shut the whole thing down. As a matter of fact, they took everything and they kicked us out. Not having babies at the time or having kids at the time, it was very difficult. Now that I have kids, it chills down my spine when I hear about that. It was horrible. It was the most horrible thing I've ever seen. That was in a country that still to this day is almost third world and everywhere but Bucharest. Pirelli Tires is there and things like that. Other than that, they live on $500 a month.
Dustin
Steven, I appreciate your sharing and bringing awareness to that and for doing what you did and continue to do. I’m curious, what are you working on that you’re most excited about right now?
Steven
The Humble Alpha Leader Program is pretty exciting because it's not your typical let's do a training program and we're going to change your businesses. We're going to align you with your identity and your purpose. Once you have done your purpose, you don't have to worry about how you're going to do anything because it just clicks. It happens by itself. You literally detach yourself from the how. You detach yourself from how is it going to get done. Along with that program is a book. That book is The Five Steps to a Humble Alpha Leader. That book should be coming out in the middle or the end of November. It's tied to the program. That's going to be great because we're lining up TV and news and things like that. We've tested this program, by the way, with very high-level CEOs, leaders, entrepreneurs who make hundreds of millions of dollars a year. They all agreed on one thing. This is the most important thing they've ever read about, how they're going to find their next level. We truly believe this is going to change the paradigm of leadership.
Dustin
I'm excited to get the book to go down the rabbit trail. It's hitting me at the right time in many of the folks reading. I encourage everyone reading into check out Steven Kuhn at
Steven
I do a daily video in the morning called The Daily Purge. Every morning I get up, I come down the stairs and I meditate a little bit, then I journal and then I listen to about ten minutes of one of my favorite audio books. I take my kids to school with my wife. We go to the gym and workout. After the gym, I purge. All of those processes in the morning get my mind going and whatever is in my mind after I leave gym, I purge for a minute or two on a video every morning on Facebook. I'm in episode 168 or something. I do it only on weekdays. It's been awhile. That's a two-minute blast every morning if they want to check that out on my Facebook page, Steven Kuhn Official. Other than that, Google me, you'll find me. I have a YouTube channel. I don't promote that stuff, but go check it out. The Daily Purge is on YouTube. You can look at them all in a row if you want that kind of stuff. 
Dustin
I appreciate what you're up to in the world. I appreciate you giving people awareness, detachment alignments and helping them find that passion and step into their identity.
Steven
If there's one thing that I can reiterate for your readers, entrepreneurs and wealth managers alike and people think, "You're hokey." This is BS. Wealth is literally the result of you having your identity clear and your purpose. Wealth comes then as a result of that. Wealth is a result of doing what's right for you. Some people might say that hokey, but my background, I worked in the corporate world. I ran companies with 3,500 people. I traveled the globe. I worked in nine countries. I worked and I still coach politicians and I was a party head. I was suggested by the German Parliament as a delegate for the Trump transition team when he got elected. There's a lot of things out there that I do that I can only do because I know my identity and my purpose. People say, "You're a consultant, you're doing politics. You're coaching a politician, but you're also coaching like construction guy. You’re consulting a company where they did $1 billion in ad spend last month. How do they all connect together?” It's one thing. We are all humans. Everyone wants to feel good by receiving and by giving.
A lot of people have a problem with giving because they don't realize that when you give, you feel good. If we take care of each other and look at how we work with each other and invest in that relational capital and constantly elevate those around you with truth, not with fake, disingenuous, “Beautiful dress, beautiful eyes, nice hair.” I'm not talking about that. Something that sticks out and makes it happen and that will change your life forever and create what we call like I always say, quality of life.
Dustin
I love it. Thank you.
Steven
Thank you so much for having me. It was a true honor.

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