Welcome to another episode of Explode Your Expert Biz Show, brought to you by http://gtex.org.uk/,
I am your host, Simone Vincenzi, The Experts Strategist, and this is the podcast for experts who want to become the ultimate authority in their niche while making an impact in the world.
If you want to make 6 figures presentations and become awesome at Selling From The Stage without compromising your integrity I have created The Ultimate Selling From Stage Checklist.
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Today I have the pleasure to Interview Adam Anderson
Adam is a successful serial Entrepreneurial who recently sold his cybersecurity firm. He realized that while he was crushing it in business, he was doing it at the price of destroying everyone around him, particularly his wife. After 5 years of hard work, Adam and his Kerry changed their relationship from a source of pain and frustration to one of enrichment and a source of power.
With 19 companies (14 failures, 1 successful exit, and 5 current startups) Adam’s Businesses almost destroyed his marriage.
After almost losing it all, he discovered that business success without also success in the family was a hollow thing. With his wife Kerry, he founded “Whole Life Entrepreneurship” with the vision of creating a movement that supports Entrepreneurs and their families.
Through numerous conversations with other entrepreneurial families, they discovered that Business Running Families often feel Alone, Stressed, and Scared (A.S.S.) and that this leads to major issues in their relationships, their businesses, and their lives.
Adam’s wife developed the Three C’s (Chill, Communicate, and Community) to help address the epidemic that is going through our business communities and harming our friends.
Their mission at Whole Life Entrepreneurship is to provide tools, support, and community to Entrepreneurial Families that enrich their lives, businesses, and relationships.
In this episode, we talk about:
- Entrepreneurial Relationships can be a pain in the A.S.S.
- You build Healthy Relationships through the three Cs
- How you can create incredible relationships as an entrepreneur
Connect with Adam Anderson
WebSite – wlemission.com/gtex
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/wlemission/
Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamandersonceo/
Twitter – @AdamAndersonCEO
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– Hello ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to another episode of Explode Your Expert Biz Show. I’m here with my good friend Adam Anderson. How you doing, Adam?
– I am so good. I cannot even explain how good I am. This energy is going through the roof right now.
– That’s awesome. Well, you were definitely full of energy on the island where we met in Croatia.
– That was a month ago already. Jeez!
– Yep. Yeah, let’s go back.
– Let’s go back, exactly. For those of you guys listening, so I can give you some context, Adam and I met at I guess like it was an entrepreneurial holiday kind of?
– Like they got a bunch of really successful people on the island, having fun and learning and connecting, and supporting each other. Which it was a beautiful experience. It’s called Baby Bathwater, check it out. Definitely I can highly recommend it. By the way, Baby Bathwater is not a sponsor of the show, it’s just a good recommendation.
– It’s a great recommendation.
– It’s always good to put a disclaimer. So, Adam and I were chatting away over dinner and we immediately connected. And I said, okay Adam, I gotta have you on my show because people need to hear from you. So how did you, tell us a bit more about you, your crazy journeys in entrepreneur, what got you to the point where you are right now?
– So, I fell into entrepreneurship after kind of a dare where I got a dare to not wanna work for those people anymore. So, I’ve had 19 companies, 14 of them have failed. I call that my non-profit work. We have five that are currently running. I had one successful exit, and actually I’m about to close two of those down because I’m about $20, $30k into two startups and they’re just not panning out. So don’t throw good money after bad, right?
– Yep, absolutely. So tell me a bit more about the companies. Were all the companies that you started, were you there was an investor or?
– Yes I was either the primary founder who did all the work, or I was an investor in them. And I’ve had two companies now where I’ve tried to take outside funding. One of ’em, I deployed $650,000 of my own and raised $20k and then the whole thing collapsed, right? So I did that one wrong. That one was a giant dumpster fire of entrepreneurship. But, I still have all the intellectual property. I’m gonna salvage, eventually, but this new one that I’m doing. We’ve raised of a million right now and I’m only 150,000 of that, and we look like we’re going to get to 1.5 million on this raise. And I tell ya what, raising money versus doing it for yourself, it is a completely different ball game. It is just a different kind of entrepreneurship when one is your focused on the customer and the other one you’re focused on your investors. And I do not suggest raising money to anyone.
– Fun, my question was going to be which part do you enjoy the most. But I think you already answered that.
– Well here’s the thing is that there’s learning curves on both of ’em, and you have, not every company should raise money ’cause they’re not the right kind of company, right? And so you can be really, really frustrated and waste so much time where you go try to raise money, but you’re not a massively scalable, da-da-da-da-da, right? If you’re a lifestyle company trying to do a mission, and by the way, lifestyle companies can be $20 to $50 million, that’s fine. But those are not also applicable for funding. These guys that I’m talking to, all they really wanna do is know we’re building a billion dollar company because they have a responsibility to provide returns to their stakeholders, right? So they need home runs. They’re not interested in base hits.
– Yeah, absolutely. So I want to know, I want to explore a bit deeper here because 19 companies, man! Man, 19 freaking.
– They’re all in different industries or they were in the same one?
– Yeah. Well, so I had a problem. My very first company was successful, and I had just dropped out of college, I’d just quit with working with IBM, and so I started a cyber security company and it was absolutely crushing it. Eventually I got it up to three million in revenues with 20 nerds working for me, and I fired myself from it. I had a business that was running itself, giving me money, and that told me I was good.
– How old were you then?
– I started the company when I was 26 and I fired myself at 33.
– Right, right.
– Okay so here’s the problem, though. I wasn’t good, brother. I was lucky and I did So it took me 18 other tries to figure out all of the lessons learned. Like, I didn’t have an MBA, so I started an internet cafe, and we made $3,000 a month, but I was spending $14,000. I learned cash flow, that’s a thing, right? So each one of these little companies was an emotional scar on my heart that taught me a business lesson.
– And, there’s a statistic out there somewhere and I’ll butcher it, but basically an entrepreneur makes all of their money between ages 50 and 60 because they have learned all of these lessons and now they just make such really good plays. And I feel like I can feel that happening, right? I say no to so many things now, right? I’m like nah, no, we’re good. I don’t need to start a knife company. I have a buddy, he’s the drummer in the band Shinedown, right? And he’s like, I’m over 40 and rock-n-roll doesn’t treat 40 year olds well. I need a plan B. How about we come up with rock-n-roll themed cutlery. I’m like, yeah, no worries, I got you bro. I’ll be your entrepreneur in residence, right? So we get in there and I’m like, okay what’s the coolest way? Let’s hire the guy who designed the weapons for Lord of the Rings and have him design the custom knives?
– Right? And then so we get that guy and he makes these amazing things, like the knives have no guards on them so you might accidentally cut yourself because he wants them to be dangerous. I’m like, fine. You rock-n-roll, I get it. We’re about to order 60,000 knives from China, right? And I say wait, wait, wait. I don’t know how to sell knives, do you? I don’t have a distribution plan. We have a product we’re gonna be giving away for Christmas, right?
– Yep, yep, yeah, yeah. Your friends and family, they’re going to be having a lot of knives.
– For the next 24 years, everyone gets knives.
– Christmas, lunch, dinner, birthdays, bar mitzvahs.
– Yes, so you know, and it goes on and on, an online jewellery company, da-da-da-da. It eventually got to the point where my wife is like, “Adam, I love you so much, “but let’s look at your track record. “The only place you’ve ever made money is in cyber security, “That’s it.” So I’ve had three cyber security companies, I sold my cyber security company. And she’s like, “I love you dearly, “but I will get one of those stupid ass knives “and stab you if you start anything else “that’s not a cyber security company.”
– She’s like, okay, stop fucking about and playing around.
– Yes. Like, you know how to make money. Go make money, you know, yeah.
– Good, I like it.
– Get a hobby. Get a hobby, Adam.
– Yeah, yeah exactly. Don’t put $600 grand in there, just have a hobby and then make your own money. All right, that’s cool man. I mean that’s cool. I mean it is a, this must have aided your journey, love it. What I want to ask you is, which one is the company actually hurt the most when it went down? Because you know sometimes when you start companies there is not just, you see good business opportunity, there’s a way to make money. Some, they are way more than that. Do you have any one?
– Yeah, I think it was the internet cafe because it was my first time ever trying to do a brick and mortar, physical place and it was very public. Like with digital companies, you close one down, no one knows. Like the two companies I’m closing down right now, the only person who knows they’re in existence is really me and the people I’m working with. But when you have a shingle on a main street and you’ve got all your local friends and family know that it’s happening.
– Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
– Man, I felt so humiliated. I felt so much like a failure and I mean I’m still running a multimillion dollar company, but I got through this $250 crater that I just created with this year-long experiment and I couldn’t even drive down that street. I would drive around so I didn’t have to see that building again. It took me about a year and a half before I realised, oh this is kind of stupid, yeah.
– Let me take the main road again?
– I’m adding like 10 minutes to my commute. This is dumb. So I feel like that one probably hurt the most because that was my first real, it was my first six digit failure, and it was a very public failure, and my wife felt shame, right? Because her friends knew about it. And I really learned at that point that what I did in business impacted my life, impacted my friends, and all that. Where before I was winning, winning, winning no matter what, right? I was printing money and I thought I was untouchable. And this was my first experience going, oh crap, this is for real. If you don’t do this thing the right way, it has ripple effects the entire life.
– Did you find that you have the pressure from other people, like friends and family, because of your previous success to make this one a success?
– Yeah, everyone–
– It was that additional pressure in terms of–
– Well it was, so the way the pressure showed up is everyone just assumed it would work because I was involved, right? And I didn’t feel pressure from that because I also assumed it would work because I was involved, right? I had a bad, I had a blind spot because I had so much self confidence. And I love self confidence, you have to have it. But self confidence without stewarding awareness, right, without understanding how the big picture works is so super dangerous. And so, I began to feel pressure towards the end when I was like, I gotta shut this thing down, and then I felt like, well no. I need to really double down and try to make this a success. Because at this point I had created almost a community centre for young people to come as a refuge from, and learn how to use computers and things like that. So like oh, I have a calling. I need to help these folks. But yeah, it was a whole lot of pressure to succeed because I’ve done it before and I had my identity wrapped up with, I’m a guy who wins. I’m not a guy who loses. And well, we modified that, I believe.
– Thanks for sharing, man, I appreciate it, I appreciate it. ‘Cause it’s true that sometimes we have that external pressure because we make something work and think that because of that external pressure sometimes we can make decisions when we know we should close something or we should shut something down, because it’s not working.
– Yep. And it doesn’t mean that we are bad people or we are not good, it means that that thing didn’t work. But it takes a few of these experiences to really internalise it and to have that cold detachment from who you are and what you create.
– ‘Cause a business is like, for an artist, a painting. Like it’s not just a business. You put your creativity, you put your heart and soul and hopes and dreams and sweat and tears and experience, everything in there. And so for everyone who is listening, if there is something that you know in your heart it is not working, it doesn’t mean that you are not good or you are a bad person. It means that maybe that thing is not working and it’s time to move on. And that’s fine, and that’s fine, too. So before we go into another question, I want to ask you about the opposite side. Which one is the company that you are the most proud of at this stage, is it still the first one, or is it another one?
– I would say it’s probably still the first one because that one I started from zero, I took it to one, then I took it to 100. And I learned all of my lessons there, and it’s the company that really gave me the ability to of all the other things. So the reason I’m proud of it, the reason it gives me the most pleasure is I built like a family there, right? I have these employees, oh by the way, it’s a double edged sword. Never build a family business. That’s a mistake.
– So you built it with your family?
– I hired my older brother, and by the way, if you ever have a chance to make an older brother work for you, do it. You can level so much karma, right? You can be like, hey, move that computer. Why, there ain’t no reason. Move the computer, now move it back. Right, it’s so good, right? So the family business, and then this whole idea that you should take care of everybody in your company. You should, but I moved from being a family business, because everyone has that drunk uncle that you just have to take care of. No, in a company you gotta fire that drunk uncle, right? I like the professional sports team where everyone has a role, everyone knows exactly how they do. We all support and care for each other, but if you’re a skilled player not doing your job, the team requires you to move on so that we can put the right player in, right? So I learned all of those lessons in that company. I learned, and to me it’s like it’s a very, very special company to me because of everything I learned.
– But that’s still running, the company?
– It is, yeah. Someone else is running it.
– You still have family members working there or did they all move on?
– They all moved on. Actually, I had to give my brother permission. Eventually I got him to be the president of the company and I moved on and I’m doing my own thing, and he’s running my shop, and I say, you know you came in and you’ve been working with me for about, I guess, seven years now. And the reason you came to work with me is because you wanted to work with me, but now you’re running the show and I’m absentee. I’m not even there. I was gone for about three years at that point. I said, you’ve done your time. If you wanna move on and do something else, you absolutely can do that. And he’s like, “Oh thank god. “I’ve got so many job offers. “I’m on my way.” I’m like .
– Yeah, because it comes on top of the business relationship, now you’re the personal relationship that you don’t want to let your family down.
– Yeah, mm-hmm.
– That’s like 100 times more difficult. That’s already keeping up with the family. Like business is already stressful on its own. Family is, family.
– Yeah, yeah, this business pays my mortgage, and now it’s also gonna pay your mortgage, right? And your entire family is, yeah, the whole mounting pressure of responsibility on entrepreneur’s shoulders is devastating if you don’t do what you just said, where you move your identity away from your role. Like who I am is wrapping up in my art, but my art is not me. I can have a bad painting, that’s fine. I’ll paint another one.
– It doesn’t mean I’m a bad painter.
– So that was a great introduction into what we are going to talk about in a moment. When I asked you, what should we talk about? You mentioned that business relationships can be a pain in the ass.
– And as it was written in capital letters as well as three dots end.
– That’s fascinating. So a bit more about that?
– So inside of entrepreneur relationships, and mine is a marriage with my wife, but we, you know, whatever, right? Whatever your partnership is, whatever your relationship is, the people in that relationship are feeling the same thing. That’s alone, stressed, and scared at various degrees. All right, that was a big ah-ha moment for my wife and I where we both felt like we were drowning and I’m out there crushing it, building empires feeling like I’m doing a good job, but I’m absolutely alone because I can’t talk to my employees, I can’t talk to my friends. I can’t, so I’m by myself, off creating empires. And she’s at home and she is, in her role, she was taking care of the kids. We called her the CFO, the Chief Family Officer. Like she’s running the entire thing, right? And she can’t bitch to her friends because one day we lost $2 million. Who is she gonna complain to about that, right? Oh, it must be nice to be able to lose, right? So we were both completely isolated. We were alone, we were stressed, we couldn’t talk to anybody. And I began to develop an awful lot of fear. I was developing fear that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was and this whole thing’s gonna fall apart. And she was developing fear, I have no idea where the money is coming from, I have no security. And so, entrepreneur relationships can be a pain in the ass, alone, stressed, and scared.
– Was she working at the time? Or was she working in the business? Was she taking care of family at home?
– Yeah, she was a paediatric nurse for a while, but we took on a foster daughter. And when we did that, the time constraints were too much. And so family was so complicated and the schedule with two kids and a foster daughter and all this stuff, she quit her job and was a full-time CFO, full-time Chief Family Officer. And our lifestyle scaled, brother. We spent the money we made, and so her getting her job doing a paediatric nurse making $40,000 a year was absolutely inconsequential, right? It was like, okay, we’re gonna spend more for you to have this career than we would if you were home. And by the way, if she had a calling to be a nurse, if she was like, I love this more than anything, we would spend the extra money. ‘Cause the money is not the important part, it’s what’s fulfilling it, right? But she hated her job. So that makes sense, so now she’s a stay-at-home mom, running kids all over the place, keeping the property up, all the things. And I’m off travelling 100% of the time, and we both tried to protect each other from the chaos end of our individual worlds. So she didn’t wanna let me know that the kids were suffering or blah blah blah, and I didn’t want her to know that I’m having problem closing this big deal. And we had a marriage counsellor, and she’s like, oh sounds like you guys are protecting yourself right out of a marriage. ‘Cause like I don’t wanna put anything on her, she don’t wanna put anything on me, and we began to resent each other. We began to really dislike each other for about five years of our marriage. We got real close to divorce like almost every other month. And it was just by luck, or hard work, that we kept in the game until we learned what a healthy, good relationship looked like in balance with a healthy and good business. And it turns out–
– From your experience, ’cause there is one thing that I’ve seen. Starting my business, I started my first business at 22, so your peer group changes. So when you’re talking about alone, I had my peer group was in their 30s or 40s, it seems. I was 22 because there were not that many. Back when I started, it was like nine years ago, being an entrepreneur wasn’t as trendy as it is now. Now it’s trendy, with social media. Like if someone is 15 and is already an entrepreneur with 17 businesses already.
– But nine years ago it wasn’t that case. And I looked around and the majority of them, they were divorced. There majority of the male entrepreneurs that I was hanging around with, that they were successful.
– They all had at least the one divorce. At least, some people two or three.
– And I was like, for me, coming from Italy. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m Italian, but family is really important to me. And for me to deal with some successful entrepreneurs, someone that actually can have a great business and a great family life. Now I’ve realised being married for only two years how difficult that is and I see why a lot of people are divorced.
– It only gets easier. Yeah, two years is the hard part. You’re all good after that.
– Ah, that’s good, thanks. That makes me feel much better now. But I realised, okay, now I see why and in fact, even after the first year, ’cause she running her own business herself, and I’m running my own. And still we don’t have kids at this stage, but they will come into the equation at some point. So we are navigating our mine field here in that we decided to go and seek some help. And it was incredibly useful. I mean the level of relationship that we have right now is nothing compared to the one that we had before because of that support that we have. So the question I want to ask you is, for people that are going through something similar, or they might be seeing that something similar can happen, what happened to you, what is the biggest piece of advice you would give to prevent this to happen?
– Yeah, you need to change your mindset. For some reason, we feel like when we get into these marriages and into these relationships, we should intuitively know what to do, right? Whenever you learn anything new in your business, you go hire a coach. Whenever you new anything, you find a mentor. Whenever you da-da-da-da-da, but for some reason in these relationships we feel like we have all the answers, and we’ll figure it out, and it should be easy. This is the hardest thing you’re gonna do. That’s another human being, right? That’s a thing, and they are complex and they are difficult and it’s wonderful when it works and it’s like the highest highs you’ll ever have and the lowest lows you’ll ever have. So the biggest thing is, change your perspective that you should be able to handle this and understand that it’s completely okay to do what you did which is go get help. And help can be counselling, and help can be coaching, and help can just be whatever it looks like that fits your world. I mean, the way I tell folks is that my wife and I go to marriage counselling one a year, whether we need it or not. It’s a checkup because life changes. The last time we went in, we sat down in front of the counsellor and said, we’re gonna be here for six weeks and what I want is a new set of tools to communicate with each other because life has changed. Our kids are now older, our parenting strategies are different, da-da-da-da-da-da. I just use that to get on the same page. And it is completely okay to proactively go get help before it’s a dumpster fire. ‘Cause when you are in that conflict state when you can’t even stand to see each other, brother, it’s so much harder to have healthy, constructive conversations. So change your perspective, it’s okay to go get help and it’s okay to work on your relationships.
– Yeah, thanks for that piece of advice here for everyone who has a relationship. I mean we decided to go there not because the relationship was at a breaking point, but we could see that it could get there if we kept going that way. And so that was our call, and she said no, we need some help here because that’s not what I signed up for. And I was like, and you know at the time like all your man shit come up. And it’s like I got this fucking business to run and I gotta, I’m a figure as a man. All the fucking man shit that came up and it came up at that point. Which is another level of that journey. So now we talking about relationships can be a pain in the ass, you menton that there is the element of alone, stress, and scared and both parties feel those same emotions, just in a different experience.
– So communication is something crucial. So now you maintain and you also were mentioning the three C’s of a healthy relationship. So let’s start going through the three C’s that are mentioned there.
– Sure. So the three C’s are Chill, Communicate, and Community. So chill is how do you personally fill back up again. Most of us forgot what joy is, right? Most of us, after you’re doing this for a while, don’t know what makes you happy anymore. What fills you up? So chill is understanding what charges you up, what’s your identity, who are you, having your partner also go through that and then coming together and saying, by the way these are the things. And so my father has held the hands of over 400 people on their deathbeds. When he was in the military doing combat stressed at them dying. And he realised that there were two kinds of people. People who died with regret and people who didn’t. The people who didn’t lived their major themes. And the major themes are, I’ll give you some homework real quick. I’ll bust through it fast.
– Go for it.
– One column on a piece of paper, write down everything you can remember that’s ever brought you joy. And if you’re super depressed, you might only have two or three things. Go back as far in time as you need to, like back to high school or whatever, right? My wife came up with like 28 and I came up with like three because I was in a bad, it was a bad day. I put the paper down and tried again later. So one column, all the joys. The other column, times you felt successful. Oh I gave this talk and these guys came up afterwards and said they changed my life. Oh, I did it, right? And what you do is you draw lines and you create themes. And you wanna get between three or four, maybe five major themes. And those themes will find, when those show up in your life, you are filling yourself up with joy. So do that exercise, each of you solo, and then come together and find where your major themes come together. And guess what you just did? You got every date night for the rest of your life.
– I love it.
– Right? Because here’s the thing, is if you know what brings you joy and your partner knows what brings them joy, and then you do the things together, and by the way, they won’t be 100% compatible, but maybe 20%, and then do those things. And you will unlock joy in your relationship. So that’s what chill is all about. How do you show up as the best, most self aware person in your relationship so that you guys can empower each other to go out and get filled up.
– Oh, I’m going this exercise tonight with my wife. I’ve never done this one. I’ve never done this one. Go for it, thank you man. I appreciate it. I owe you one already.
– It’s all good brother, tell me how it goes. Send me your results.
– I’ll let you know.
– I wanna know what it looks like.
– I’ll let you know.
– So you’ve chilled, now you’ve figured out what brings you joy now, and you found out what beings joy to your relationship. Guess what? You’re gonna fail at that if you don’t do the next thing, learn how to communicate well, right? ‘Cause if you roll in and say, I love sky diving, we’re doing that, right? And you don’t have the ability to communicate, you’re absolutely out of luck. So communication comes in two different forms. One is successful conflict conversations. When things get tough, how do you have that conversation? Because you have two different normal states, normal social skills, that’s give and take, we’re talking, that’s fine. And then it escalates to you need a lawyer, right? Well in the middle there is conflict and if you can have that successful conflict conversation, you can do great things. The second one is how do you communicate regularly? ‘Cause it’s not that you don’t wanna share things. It’s just there’s never a good time. So we recommend everybody does a family business meeting. That’s a 15 minute scrum, that’s a 15 minute stand-up meeting. We review the calendar, hey what’s going on? When you get kids it gets so much more complicated. It’s like, all right, I gotta drop Eva off at drama camp, I gotta do that-that-that, right? We almost got divorced because we kept over booking each other. Because who is more important? Does my calendar entry win or does hers?
– Having a conversation before the week starts is a lot more healthy than yelling at each other on the phone. So that’s communication.
– And then finally it’s community, and you discovered this when you–
– Before we go to community.
– How often do you have your family meetings? Is that once a week?
– Once a week, every Sunday. And it’s a short, the week gets started for us on Monday, so we find that Sunday night after we put the kids to bed we take 15 minutes and we run through it. And I’ve for a template for all this stuff that I’ll share with you and you can distribute it out. And the idea here is, it should be a 15 minute meeting. If you come up with a fight, if there’s something in the middle, you say that’s important, but that deserves more time than we have for right now. We have to get through the meeting. So we’ll bring up our calendars, and we’ll out an hour, we’ll schedule the fight for later in the week when we have time.
– Oh man, that’s powerful. And it will piss one of them off. Somebody in the relationship won’t like that. Somebody wants to spend the next five hours hashing it out, and that’s fine. You deserve those five hours, but we’re gonna get to that on a schedule.
– Not during the family meeting.
– Because the family meeting has to get done. There’s so many important things that we have to touch on.
– And if I need to tell you that we just list $2 million, but we’re still arguing about who is taking the kid to school, I need to be able to get through the thing. And you use this an opportunity to have a safe place to have non-emotional conversation about data. This is just what you would do in any business, right?
– Yeah, yeah, yeah.
– So we take business practises and we bring them into the family. And then we apply family intelligence to business practises, right?
– Makes perfect sense. All right, let’s move to community.
– All right, community, that was the thing that I suffered the most for. You and I are lucky because we are intentional and you went out and found communities. There are a lot of entrepreneur communities. My wife said, where the hell is mine? Right, where is the community for the poor soul who is in a relationship with the entrepreneur, right? So, you go through and you have to be intentional with you community building. So what we did is we audited the thing and I say like you’ve got your personal community, that’s your friends and your family. Then you’ve got your business community, who am I networking with? And then your professional support community, who are your lawyers, boom, boom, boom, boom, CPA, ba-da-da, and how do you go about intentionally planning that? I listened to the self care podcast you had a couple of episodes back.
– And she nailed it, she nailed it.
– The one with Yvette?
– Yes, yes. She crushed it, right, because the whole, what is the purpose of that person in your life? What is the purpose for these communities? And they’re supposed to be scaffolding and support structures that help you manifest what you’re trying to get done. And so we take so much time in our companies with HR, right? We don’t just hire somebody. We have all these processes and procedures, da-da-da-da-da-da-da. But in our personal communities and in our family communities, we’re very passive. We just let it happen. I am suggesting that you take the exact same intentionality with community building for your personal life, for your family life, and for your support scaffolding, that you do inside your company. Because garbage in with people gets you garbage out with your joy.
– Yeah, yeah, wow that’s so powerful. So powerful, so chill, communication, community. Guys this is a podcast that I would recommend you to listen at least twice. Because of what we’ve talked about so far.
– Because it is the core, of everything, and maybe if you’re not married you have people in your life that you care about. Whether it’s your family, whether it’s friends, and you can apply the same rules whether it’s to your family, whether it’s to your spouse or partner, and because otherwise it’s so easy to get caught up in the doing and the thrill and the highs, the lows of business that it becomes only about that.
– And who is paying the price? Is other people around you, first, but then it’s yourself for when you will find that there’s no one else around you. And I got to be honest, I think I consider myself really lucky because I saw that from being surrounded by much older people at the beginning of my journey. I was like that’s not what I want my life to be. I mean, these people, they say they have everything on the outside, but man.
– It becomes a lonely life and that’s not a kind of life that I want to live. And of course there are sacrifices to be made. It’s not just saying, okay, now you’re forgetting about your business. Not having this kind of conversation, but it’s about that balance where you can keep both afloat. So I have another question, which is, how do you then deal? In particular in your family when, in any business, there are cycles. There are cycles where you have to put more in and there are cycles where the business gives you back a bit more and you can relax.
– So how do you then balance it when you have done cycles and maintaining that same level of joy and happiness with your family?
– Well, let’s dispel the illusion that you won’t maintain joy and happiness with your family 100% of the time. You are absolutely right that cycles are happening, we call them seasons, right? There’s seasons in a business where you gotta grind. There’s seasons in the business where you gotta do what you need to do. And if you don’t run your business well where you are going to become obsolete. Like if you are the product, if you are the person who is producing everything and you are a guy doing an hourly rate for 40 hour, blah, blah, blah. If you don’t show up, then you don’t make money, then it’s really difficult. So the first step is you gotta work on your business so that you can have freedom from that business. We want you to get to, I did a talk in Bangkok that’s on the four phases of business. I’ll give you the punchline, there’s this great consultant named Eric Cartman from Southpark, and he says, the four stages of business is, cash-in, sell-out, bro-down. I want you to get bro-down where your company is working for you, right?
– How you spend your time should not be directly related to how you generate your wealth. And when you can get your business to there, you have a whole lot more freedom. Now let’s say you’re not there already and you’re working towards it. By doing these family business meetings and by sitting down with your spouse or your partner and coming up with shared vision, mission, and values for your family, then you’re ready for the seasons, right? Like for example, I want to build 1,000 companies that are $1 million each and I wanna have #1 billion. That’s what I wanna do because I wanna build an engine that I can do philanthropy and I can build a space station, whatever, I want all the things, right? My wife doesn’t give a damn about that vision, right? So I’m sitting here saying, honey we’re gonna have to sacrifice because I’m launching this company and we gotta do the thing. And then it’s not aligned with her, oh son, that’s hard. But if we sat down and we came up with a shared vision for our family that includes the business and includes our family.
– Then when those seasons come we’re on the same page. And rather than going home and having a fight, I go home and I have a cheerleader. I have someone saying, oh I really am so thankful that you are doing this thing that’s gonna help us get our family vision. Now that’s super important because, I would be on the road crushing it and building empires feeling like I was sacrificing for our family and getting angry because I was being disrespected when I got home.
– Yep, yep, yep, yeah.
– And the reason that was happening was because she never had a voice in what I was building. So giving a voice and having a shared vision, shared values, shared goals means that as you start having these grindy times where you just have to pour it all out, you’re doing that together. You’re doing that as a team and it is just so much better. It’s still hard, right? You’ll still have conversations and conflict, but now you’ve got a, it’s not one plus one equals two. It’s one plus one equals 10, it’s unbelievable how much energy you have for these things.
– Absolutely. Well it’s been great so far. And as I said, everyone needs to relisten to this interview at least twice, at least twice. So now, Adam, we are at the stage where we are that we call lifting the veil.
– And so I ask all my guests to share a tool, resources, books, things that you use to make your life or your business better. What’s that for you?
– I got two things, I got two books.
– You’re a bloody over achiever. Yes, go for it.
– There is an amazing book called The Ideal Team Player and it talks about the kind of human beings you want inside your company and inside your life. And since it’s all about relationships and healthy community, you have to read this book. I’ll listen to it, because I love podcasts and I travel a lot, so it’s about an eight hour listen. It’s a narrative, it’s a real great book. It highlights humble, hungry, and smart. You want these kind of people in your life. Now the second one is–
– Do you remember the author by any chance? Or just type it in?
– It’s the guy who did the Four Dysfunctions of a Team, I can’t remember his name.
– All right, just type The Ideal Team Player and we’ll put the links in the show notes. So I’m taking notes about these resources.
– Cool, the second book was called Ready, Fire, Aim, from Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat. And this guy has the operating system to move from the four different stages, right? From zero to a million, a million to five million, five million to 25, and from 25 and beyond. And what you need to be worried about, and so wherever you are in your stage, you can flip to where he talks about it and he tells you the three things you need to worry about and the three numbers you need to track, and the three things you gotta do. And I’m like, oh, easy! And this is the operating system I use for all of my start-ups.
– Oh, that’s awesome! I actually heard about this book before and I think it was someone mentioning when we were on the island. I’m definitely going to read this one, and also The Ideal Team Player because I’ve never read, in this case I will listen, to I haven’t had them yet, so I will give it a go. Thank you, thank you. So The Ideal Team Player and then the other one, Ready, Fire, Aim.
– Adam, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you here today. If someone wants to get in touch with you, want to keep connecting with you, what do you have for our guys?
– Yeah, head over to wlemission.com/gtex and it’ll be a landing page there that’s gonna have all kinds of stuff. Like an assessment, a three C’s assessment that you can take to let you know how you’re doing with chill, communication, and community. And by the way, punchline, we’re usually good at two of those. One of them usually sucks. So you can go check out how that is. We have links to some of the free downloads for some of the tools we talked about, and also just all the good goodies are there, right? So head over to wlemission.com/gtex.
– Yeah, so wlemission.com/gtex. The link is in the show now, so you can just scroll down and get it straightaway. I’m definitely going to do my three C assessment. So do it, as well, and then let us know in the reviews, leave us a review on the podcast, and let us know how did that go. Or we’ll put also the contact details of Adam, and let Adam know, as well, how you found the assessment. It’s a lot of time, we put all this content out there, we do all these interviews, and people had great results and great breakthroughs and we don’t know.
– That’s right.
– So that’s actually why we do this for.
– It’s like I had people contacting me like three years later saying, oh that podcast that you did. Why didn’t you tell me?
– That’s why I do what I do. So let Adam know because he’s in here to help and he’s a definite great guy you want to connect with. It’s been a definite pleasure having our numerous conversations on the island and now here on the show, and then the ones that we will have in the future. So Adam, thanks again. Thanks for being part of the show.
– Hey, thank you for having me. This is awesome, you do great work.
– Thanks, man. And ladies and gentlemen, thank you for watching or listening. If you haven’t subscribed yet, click the juicy subscribe button right now. And until next time, remember that together we grow exponentially, cheers.