1. What is a Cerebral Sanitation Engineer?
I’ve spent years trying to figure out what to call myself, because my clients primarily hire me because they want to do better in their business, but if I call myself a business coach then that clumps me with business coaches who are working on strategies and tactics which is important but that’s not what I do. I work on the mindset, the beliefs and the attitudes that make it all possible. One day that term just came to me, Cerebral Sanitation Engineer, “Hey that’s perfect and it actually describes what I do”. That’s also memorable and it’s funny, taking out the head trash, taking out the limiting beliefs that sabotage people. Henri Ford said it well: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you’re right.” People have all kinds of things like that: “Oh this is gonna be hard” or “I can’t do this” or “I don’t deserve to succeed” or “I can’t sell” and on and on and on. And that’s stuff, when it’s going on up here, it totally sabotages whatever activity we’re in. And that’s the stuff I help people change, that’s my gift. I can see what people believe about themselves and about the world and about their businesses. And when we shift that we free them up to do better, and that’s really my passion, to help people to do better so they can live better.
2. What Have You Been Doing With Businesses in the Last Years?
Entrepreneurs, business owners, sales people come to me because they’re not doing as well as they would like to. Typically, when that’s going on, one of two things is happening: either they know what they should be doing and they just can’t bring themselves to do it. “I should be making more phone calls but I can’t.”, or they’re doing the right things but it isn’t producing the traction that they want. “My gosh, I’m doing all the right things but I’m not growing, I’m not doing better, what’s going on?” So typically there is an element of frustration and they want to do better and that could “I’m doing good but I hit a plateau and I want to do great.” They want to do better and it’s not happening so they come to me and we explore “What do you believe about yourself? What do you believe about the world? What do you believe about business? What’s possible for you?” All of this stuff is running outside of people’s awareness but it’s in here (their head). Once we see what that stuff is, then we can do better. In the example of clients I was talking to last week, it just wasn’t ok for her to receive. So if you can’t receive, how is money, clients and stuff supposed to show up in your life? They’re two contradictory things there, and everyone’s got that sort of stuff. That’s what I do, we figure out that stuff and we get rid of it or we upgrade it and it freezes up people to do better.
3. What Are the Top 3 Qualities that an Entrepreneur Should Have?
Passion has got to be my number one, because there’s certainly successful entrepreneurs who don’t love what they do, it just makes sense on paper and they’re good at it. But then, they still got a gap of creating happiness and joy and fulfillment. Versus an entrepreneur who’s doing something that they got a passion for, then you make a living and you make a life, versus making a living and also having to go out and making a life. There’s a saying: “A man who loves what he does never works a day in his life.” So passion, definitely.
Tenacity. It’s not easy sometimes. Oftentimes, I’ll try something and it doesn’t work. It’s the willingness to go back and stick with it and keep hammering until you have that breakthrough.
Willingness is a huge one. Occasionally I run into somebody and they can see what’s going on but they’re not willing to do about it. They aren’t willing to stretch themselves, they aren’t willing to get out of their comfort zone and out on the skinny branches. They aren’t willing to even perceive themselves differently. And if we aren’t willing, nothing happens.
So those are my top three.
4. Who Are Some of the Successful Entrepreneurs that You Learned From?
I love that question. The most famous would be Richard Branson. I actually wrote down a quote from him: “Don’t think about fun as reward, think of it as a responsibility. Fun should not just be reserved for special occasions. If you find time for it in everyday life you will be rewarded every day.” So here’s this fabulously successful entrepreneur and he built his empire on having fun. You know, we’re all gonna die, so between now and then we might as well enjoy our lives and have some fun and do some good and make a difference. And that’s definitely what Richard Branson represents to me. He’s playing, he’s having fun. And if we get into the science behind that, our brains work better when we’re having fun. Shawn Achor (The Happiness Advantage) and other research like that. We’re more creative, we’re more effective, we’re more productive when we’re having fun. And if we’re having fun we’re enjoying life. If we aren’t having fun, we aren’t. So what Richard Branson said vitality, that aliveness, that fun to the entrepreneurial arena makes him one of my heroes.
Another hero of mine is a gentleman by the name of Dr. James Jackson. And he’s the founder of a really amazing non-profit organization called Project Cure. They’re the biggest distributor of donated medical supplies in the world. He’s delivered hope and health and wellness to literally millions of people around the world. But before he got into the non-profit world, he and his brothers developed a lot of the land in Veil and Winter Park here in Colorado. So he was an extremely wealthy man. And then one day, him and his wife had a conversation: “You know, we’re addicted to accumulation and finding the next deal, and we’re on that rat race and we’re actually not that happy” so they re-prioritized and said “That’s been about us, what if we turn our attention towards service and contribution and making a difference?” So they moved out of that arena and he did some economic consulting and some other things and he accidently founded Project Cure when he was doing economic consulting in Brazil. He went to the slum with a doctor and saw this clinic with a line of people going around the block with very little supplies. “How in the hell are you supposed to help these people? You don’t have anything. I bet you I could go to Colorado and get some supplies together and get them shipped to you.” That was 25 years ago and that’s still what they’re doing. He’s a brilliant entrepreneur, so he built Project Cure like a business as well. The foundation of all his businesses, from the investments in real estate all the way to Project Cure, is to make sure that everyone is better off. If we do a business and someone is not better off then there’s a part of us that’s going to feel bad about ourselves and be disappointed in ourselves. Joy and happiness come from being of service, so if we do a business deal and I make a killing but you feel bad about it, there’s a part of my conscience that’s gonna be bothered by that. That’s going to be a ceiling on how happy and fulfilled I can be because I didn’t make your life better.
He’s actually a good friend of mine, we get to talk fairly often so that’s a blessing in my life. He said that when they were doing their real estate deals, every time that that a deal started to bog down, him and his brothers who were his business partners would sit down and they would make a list of all the people who were involved and they would just go through one by one. “Is this person better off?” And sure enough, they’d see that someone wasn’t better off. And they’d say “What can we do to restructure this deal so that person is better off too?” As soon as they did that, the on switch turned on again and the deals went through. So extremely successful by making other people better off.
There’s that old mindset of “to be a successful entrepreneur you have to be ruthless and cruel.” That’s one model but that’s not a model I’m interested in. That’s not my people. How about we do really good and make a difference in the world and make people’s lives better, and serve and contribute and fill our hearts while we fill our wallets. And these are superstars at that, so definitely one of my entrepreneurial heroes.
I have a friend, Chris Falten, who’s with Trans America Financials. He’s a personal growth superstar, a personal growth ninja. He’s really a role model for me to see where he is now and where he came, and the work he’s done to upgrade his mindsets, his beliefs, his attitudes, to expand what’s possible for him. He’s just a rockstar at what he does. He created so much value for people around the nation through training other representatives. Hero of mine by the way he attacks personal growth and development.
5. What Are Your Top 3 Pieces of Advice for Entrepreneurs?
Number one is, 100% of success if in our heads. That might seem like a crazy statement because obviously action is important, but what determines action? Up here. If I’ve got a story that nobody wants to hear from me, I’m not going to be making very many phone calls. And that’s very often the last place people look when things aren’t going the way they want. They look at strategies and tactics, and I’m not saying strategies and tactics aren’t important, they are, but we gotta have the right mindset. So “Who am I being?” not “What is it that I’m doing?” is oftentimes where the adjustment needs to take place. So again, if I think it’s not possible for me to do this, I’m going to be right. And whatever actions I take are going to be ineffective and then I’m gonna be frustrated and disappointed.
One of my favourite questions, Matt, is “Based on these results, what must I believe?”. “Based on what’s going on in my life and business, what must I believe?”. And if we ask that question and we sit by quietly, usually an answer bubbles up. Then we see our limiting beliefs, how we’re sabotaging ourselves: “People don’t really wanna buy from me. Business is hard.” Then when we see it we can do something about it. Or so many people are stressed about time, “there’s not enough time.” And so if I’ve got that story going on in my head “There’s not enough time” then it doesn’t matter which time management strategies and time blocking and priority management. All that is going to underperform, because I’m coming from scarcity and panic. We gotta change that story to “What if there is enough time?” Then let’s all those strategies and tactics work the way they’re supposed to.
So, peace of advice number one, check up here first, “what do I believe about myself” and then change what you’re doing.
Similar to that, piece of advice number two, is people are always trying to change their behaviors. “I need to eat more healthy” or “I need to make more phone calls”, “I need to get up early”, and most of the time people fail when they try to change their behaviors, and that’s because they don’t understand that the stories that we’re telling ourselves up here drive our behaviors. So even our weirdest defectess behavior totally make sense when we understand the story in our heads. Phone calls are an easy example. If I’ve got a story that making phone calls is bothering people or nobody wants to hear from me or something lousy like that, it totally makes sense that I’m gonna procrastinate about my phone calls, because why would I call somebody who doesn’t want to hear from me? Why would I want to call somebody and bother them? So, I can use willpower or effort to try to force myself to make more phone calls but that’s not sustainable, that’s just not going to work. Or I can change the story that making phone calls is an opportunity to contribute and make a difference, making phone calls is fun, I love finding out about people, I change my story and the behavior will change on its own.
Second piece of advice, is personal growth gym. If you wanna do better, you’ve gotta change what’s going up here, and that doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by you spending time, reading, plugging in, listening to podcasts like that, using personal tools to change what’s possible for you. If I told you, Matt: “I’ve been exercising once a week for two months now and nothing’s changing”, it’d be pretty simple to solve: “Hey Jonathan, you need to exercise more often if you want your body to change.” If we want to change what’s possible for us, we gotta go to the personal gym on a daily basis, spend some time on yourself.
And my third piece of advice is enjoy the journey. You and I are both going to die, so between now and then we can either enjoy our lives or not, we can either move our businesses forward and have fun and enjoy our lives or not, enjoy the journey. I saw a video clip recently, David Ortiz the baseball player is retiring after this season, and he seems to be a lot more playful than he has been in the rest of his career. There’s a video of him, he got on base, and he’s giving the first baseman a back massage during the middle of a baseball game. He’s enjoying the ride, but guess what, he could have been doing that his whole career and you and I could be doing that our whole career, laughing and enjoying the ride.
So those are my top three pieces of advice.
It’s easy to fall in that seriousness trap, if we’re being all serious then we aren’t enjoying life. If we aren’t enjoying life, then what’s the point?