Chapter 1 – The Seed (#219)

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Welcome to another episode of the How’d It Happen Podcast. Today is not only a special episode but also a very different one. Today, I have two guests with me, Richard Burke and Dave Will; they will talk about my book, which just launched recently. This four-part series explores and discusses specific topics and chapters of the “OWNER SHIFT – How Getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck.” In this particular episode, we talk about Chapter 1, The Seed. I hope you enjoy this episode and my book. 

Make sure to check out Richard and Dave’s account to get to them more!

Richard Burke is the founder and CEO of GGMM, which is Go Getters Marketing and Media, a Milwaukee-based company that does marketing and media. And he specializes, or he’s got a unique specialization in podcast development, production, and creation.


Dave Will is the co-founder and CEO of Prop Fuel, which is his second software venture. Dave is also the host of The EO360 Podcast, where he explores entrepreneurship with a broad perspective, moving beyond business to those insights not often shared by high-profile thought leaders.


Grab the book here!

Full transcript below

Episode timestamps:

[1:18] Who are our guests today?
[3:20] What my guests think about the book
[7:31] Dave’s key takeaway from the Introduction and what stood out for him
[10:30] Why do people stop in their entrepreneurial journey?
[13:38] Richard’s thoughts and compliments
[17:33] On anxiety issues
[20:06] Outro

Watch this episode on video format:

You Too Can Get Unstuck

My new book, OWNER SHIFT – How Getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck is a philosophical memoir that reveals the secret to why so many entrepreneurs get stuck and how they can SHIFT to get free once again.

It tells the story of how I found myself in the Valley of Uncertainty, a place where many entrepreneurs end up stuck, confused and feeling sorry for themselves, like I did.

It was a place I hated but didn’t know how to climb out of.

Until a messenger that I barely knew and wasn’t looking for showed up and put me on the path that eventually led me out of that Valley and into a future that I owned and made my property.

Grab the book here!

Get Motivation, Inspiration, and Ideas to Level Up Your Life.

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Hey, everybody, welcome back to the HOW’D IT HAPPEN Podcast, I am so happy that you’re here and I have something for you today that’s both special and different. Special because I have two guests with me today. I have Richard Burke with me and I have Dave will with me. And different because we are going to talk about my new book called OwnerShift – How Getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck, which is coming out on November 30. And it’ll be available on Amazon and on my website at and wherever you get books. So first off, I want to say, Richie, Dave, thank you so much for helping me to, to explore the book and provide your own unique experiences as we talk through it. Let me tell you a little bit about Richie first and then I’ll get to Dave. So Richie is the founder and CEO of GGMM, which is Go Getters Marketing and Media, which is a Milwaukee-based company that does marketing and media. And he specializes or he’s got a unique specialization in podcast development, production and creation. And I’ve worked with Richie on podcasts that I had at ERC Midwest, and he does a phenomenal job. He’s also got an awesome podcast, Go Getters Podcast, which I’ve which I listened to religiously. And I’ve learned a ton from him; he’s very, very, very connected. And very entrepreneurial. So Richie, thank you so much for joining me today.

Richie Burke 01:41
I agreed. See you Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for having me on.

Mike Malatesta 01:45
Okay, and his website is So let me move to Dave. Well, Dave is the co-founder and CEO of Prop Fuel, which is his second software venture. Dave is also the host of The EO360 Podcast where he interviews — do you interview or have conversations? I think you’d like to say you have conversations.with that’s what I like to say is that right?

Dave Will 02:10
Yeah, that works. I I talk with I converse with people.

Mike Malatesta 02:14
Really, he talks to a lot of heavy-hitters from the EO network and from outside the network. And again, a podcast that’s well worth your investment of an hour or so because Dave had I tell him this all the time. He’s just got this really unique way of talking to people. And I was on his podcast, had a great experience.

So would that make me the special one or the different one? This podcast being special and different? I’m assuming those adjectives are describe Richie and me which one of us is special?

Mike Malatesta 02:48
Yes, that’s the answer.

Dave Will 02:52
The above did. I’m really flattered to be here. And that flattered that that my opinion means something to you. And I’m telling you right now, like the book is just awesome. It’s so readable. You know what I mean? Like some books you read. And for me being a little add, you know, page turning as a struggle with you is just like I was talking to a buddy over beer at a bar. It’s fantastic.

Mike Malatesta 03:17
Well, thank you. So that’s, if you want to learn more about Dave and what he’s up to. So what we’re going to do today is we’re going to talk about the Introduction and Chapter One of the book I’m going to talk about, just give you an idea of what was in my head when I when I did this, and then these guys are going to are going to basically have a conversation with me about it. So the introduction. So first off, I’ve wanted to write a book for a really, really long time. And I’ve started and stopped and started and stopped and started and stopped. And then last year, I made a goal to finish to start and finish a book. And I didn’t know what it was going to be about. Exactly. I didn’t know how to lay it out. I didn’t know any of that stuff. And so I worked with a company called Scribe, and Scribe really helped me put the organization behind this book, they helped me through the challenges that I had, you know, with, with with bots and putting things together and editing and coming up with a name and all that. So stride media is a fantastic company that you should check out if you and you should, if you want to write a book and you should write a second. As I went through the process, the book turned out to be what I call a philosophical philosophical memoir that’s not meant to be autobiographical or something that’s just about me, but it’s meant to really help. What I want to do is help entrepreneurs think big about their journey. And I found that because I do as well I found I find that a lot of a lot of us. We get to a point where we just get grounded. So far that we start thinking small, we may not be thinking big at the beginning, but we end up thinking small. And then we think about quitting. And then we think about stopping. And then we think about all the other things that we could be doing. And we lose focus on really what we have inside of us already. Which is the ability to create a big and when I mean, when I say big, I don’t mean necessarily a size or $1 amount, but you know, something big, that that aligns with our capabilities as entrepreneurs. And instead, we retreat. And I don’t want that I want, I think entrepreneurs have huge impacts on the world, and I want them to give it all they have. So that’s kind of where I ended up with the book. And then my story is basically broken into four parts. So there’s the dream, the grind, the break, and then ultimately, the breakthrough is part four of the book. So these guys have read these chapters, these, the intro, and the chapter that we’re going to talk about today. So I talked about the intro, here’s the here’s in chapter one is called The Seed and the seed is really me. You know, it’s in the dream section of the book. And it’s really that part, that point where you look back as an entrepreneur, and you go, where the hell did this come from. And, for me, it came from, you know, sitting outside of my parents house when I was four years old, and sitting on the curb, and looking across the street at a construction company, and just admiring the trucks and the men and the dirt and the smell and the dust in the air horns and all of the stuff that went with trucks, and it just stuck with me. And ultimately, when I had the chance to become an entrepreneur, it was there. And I met a person who sort of germinated that seed. And, you know, that’s how we got our start. So with that sort of intro chapter one lay down, I’ll go to Dave first, and he can engage me on something that he is on his mind about it.

Yeah, so I’ll start with the introduction. In the in the key takeaway, man, I wrote down all kinds of things, because a because I knew we’re going to talk about this. But there were a lot of things that just sparked or triggered an emotion or a thought for me even just in the introduction. But the one thing that I think I want to focus on and believe me, I could talk for probably an hour about the three minute read any introduction, but the thing that I really want to focus on is your first sentence in that is overnight, entrepreneurial success sells, right and so So, we have this dream, my son is 21 at the University, Connecticut, and He’s, um, he’s he wants to be an entrepreneur, I think he’s smart enough to know that it’s, it’s not like that, where you’re, you kind of come up with an idea. Next thing, you know, you’re Elon Musk. But there’s that perception, right that Elon came out of nowhere, or that Zuckerberg comes out of nowhere, and boom, he’s from Harvard to a billion dollar company. Not to say that it doesn’t happen. But like, it’s, I would equate it to that of liking basketball, and playing in the NBA. And it’s, it’s probably the same likelihood for entrepreneurs to be that billionaire unicorn founder. So I thought that was really interesting. The thing that stood out to me though, was your story is much. It’s really the true entrepreneur story. It’s not the princess and prince story of this unicorn thing. But your story is one of a grind. Right? And it’s one of ups and downs. It’s a roller coaster. I mean, you had some real downs in here. I mean, it was just an absolutely fascinating, heartbreaking story at times. But the what really stands out to me is this idea of it being on grind to continuously build towards the vision of building something big that journey. Another word you used a few minutes ago. The journey is what you focus on, not the night, not the billion. It’s the journey. And so that was a big takeaway for me. I have a question for you, Mike. Why do you think it is why and I know there’s a lot of reasons but why do you think so many people stop. Like to me that journey is I’m with you. i For me, entrepreneurship is the journey more than it is selling the company for a lot of money, which I know you’ve done you oh my god, what you’ve done is amazing. So you’ve got that, you know, the pot of gold. But that’s not why you did it. I think you did it for the journey. So why is it that why people stop?

Mike Malatesta 10:10
I think? Well, there are I think there are many reasons to it. But I’ll highlight two of them. One, I think, is entitlement. I think that after you’re doing this for a certain period of time, a lot of people, and I was one of them, I feel like I’m entitled to more than I have. Like, you know, I’ve been doing this journey, I’m doing everything right, and working my butt off. And the things just keep coming. Like why can’t these things just, you know, stop? And why can’t it just be easy, because I’ve put in 10 years, or I put in eight years, or I put in nine years? I should have something better. So I think entitlement is one and I actually speak to that later in the book about why I don’t think you get what you design. So that was my experience, at least. So when it came to entitlement, I thought that I was owed something different than what I had designed. I got exactly what I had designed, in other words, so I think entitlement is one thing. And then I think people start to forget about their future, they start to think that their future is no not going to be any bigger or any different than their past data. And I think that, you know, when you start thinking like that, you know, you kind of like, well, why should I put any more effort into this or why? You know, why keep repeating what I don’t want, you know, it’s I don’t know how to change it, and I don’t and so I think those are two things that that in my experience and I me personally experiencing I’ve seen

Yeah, I think there’s a my answer is a little simpler in the way that I I think people that have this idea I think that the idea is the magic wand actually is the idea to be honest, I don’t know how much the idea matters because it’s going to evolve into something of value over time. What matters more than anything is your ability to endure grit you know, it’s it’s there’s lots of names for that same thing so anyway, that that that’s what your introduction got me thinking about and then I don’t have a lot of thoughts and your story other than it was very very entertaining chapter one the seed where you talk about the I mean you can feel it I I’m sitting on that curve with you when when you’re watching these trucks and and I can hear them and I can smell them I can taste the grit of the dust in my mouth and so I thought that was awesome my my my one thought at the very end of the of the first chapter was when you said at night, I would look out my window at the construction yard it was locked up in quiet like everything was asleep and resting for the next day. Yeah, and what we know is that nothing was fucking asleep like the rouse guy. He was not he was awake he was worried about that business was wide awake in his head, you know so like, it’s interesting reading that perspective of as a kid you like go everything’s tucked away for the night? Bullshit. Yeah, good. Anyway, Auntie Richie,

Mike Malatesta 13:15
Richie. Let’s go.

Yeah, well first off, I really enjoyed the book as well. I do want to compliment Dave I know he’s a fellow podcast host and I just learned something from him he he really focused on the first sentence and turn that into like five minutes so that guy might save a lot of time on my best research forward if I could just read you know, if you could sentences from my guest book and then just like fill it on that so did that was just I was taking notes on you over here personally. I’ve got my money’s worth from from hopping on this but anyway, my mic I I really really enjoyed reading this it’s it’s not like other books. It’s just a very kind of real brutal picture of what entrepreneurship actually is. And there’s a lot of good takeaways that went with it as well as far as the as far as the intro goes, I mean, you’re you’re spot on the media paints a picture of overnight success and how sexy entrepreneurship isn’t it’s far from the truth I have not achieved the level of success that you guys have had a much earlier in my journey. I hope to do that someday. But I don’t know what that that seller that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is at this point, but I do know the struggles, the highs and the lows, the stress, the sleepless nights, everything that comes along with it and a lot of that it’s talked about to an extent but it’s not what most people are seeing especially on social media, things like that. So I appreciated that but one one quote that really hit me hard in that I could relate to to a tee especially with some things I went through a couple years ago. I’ll read it. It was not the first sentence I got slightly farther than that, but it was it was made You look successful, everyone keeps congratulating you about whatever it is you’ve got going on, you probably accept the compliment. But in your own mind, you know the truth. And that that hit me hard. So when we pivoted into podcasting in 2018, because I saw what my show did for our business, and I thought every branch should be podcasting. I thought it was going to blow up right away. And I launched that service. And we were getting a bunch of press and things looked good on the outside, and I had a lot of people reaching out and we didn’t get a single customer for six months, and we were just, I was losing more money than I’ve ever lost. before. We were over staffed, we had some infrastructure problems. The company was completely mismanaged by me before ops person came on, it was just like that quote, and I’m sure a lot of entrepreneurs can relate to that, where people think, oh, it’s cool. You own a company, you’re doing so well. And then it’s like, you don’t you don’t know what’s going on. So, I mean, that was that was the quote that hit me the hardest from those first couple chapters. And it was very well articulated, I thought,

Mike Malatesta 16:05
yeah, thanks, Richie. Cuz I, you know, that’s, it’s one of those things where, you know, if you can lease the nice car, people automatically think, ah, you know, you’re an overnight success. You’re doing great, right? And and they don’t see inside of you like Dave, you said, the rouse guy. Like when I was a kid, you know, I didn’t, I thought everything was just tucked away. And it’s just started off again, magically the next day, and it was me. But there’s never

any problems overnight. There’s there’s nothing never anything you have to do after you shut the gate.

Mike Malatesta 16:35
Yeah, and you’d all be well served to by listening to some, some Ritchie’s podcasts about himself, you know, he’s anxiety and some other things that he’s dealt with, as you know, that maybe weren’t, maybe weren’t 100% from, you know, the business, but they were certainly exasperated by, you know, what he was trying to deal with what he was trying to accomplish, and maybe like, like, like he said, you know, maybe not getting where he wanted to be, but you still have to, you know, you still have to have the face up, right? You have to look

is that the go getters podcast?

Yes, G O G, D, D ers for anyone listening. And if you had to GG, m You can see that but Mike, it’s interesting, you bring up anxiety issues as well, which I’ve spoke on, I had a I won’t go into too much detail on this show. I had a bad panic attack, probably about four, four years ago, now four and a half. And a lot of it was on an airplane and a lot of just the anxiety issues that I hadn’t had to deal with before after that. And I remember being in therapy after that. And at one point, the therapist was like, Oh, you Yeah, I mean, you’ve just been in a, almost a perpetual state of stress and anxiety for almost your whole life to an extent who’s kind of like, looked back at it, I look back at her and I was like, is, isn’t everyone? Or isn’t that kind of normal? Like putting, putting all that stress and pressure on yourself and stuff like that, and being hard on yourself? And it was, I know, other people have that problem. But yeah, I mean, entrepreneurship plays a role and it wears on you. And I think if you’re not taking care of yourself physically and mentally at the same time, like you can, you’re you’re definitely more prone to anxiety issues, mental health issues, things like that. Because it is it is tough. It’s tough.

Mike Malatesta 18:21
Yeah. And we’ll get more into that in, in future episodes, my own experience, and we can maybe expound on on that as well. So So yeah, so for this first special and different episode, you know, talk about the intro talk about chapter one, the seed the book, his owner, shift, how getting selfish got me unstuck, which I know is, you know, kind of, you could look at that subtitle and be like, Ooh, you know, but, but it’s good selfish, just sort of, sort of putting that out there. For people. It’s a there’s a good lesson in this book. And, and I just want to say to that, here’s what here’s what my book is not. I’m no guru. I, you know, I’m no self help. Expert. I’m not trying to sell somebody, anything. I’m not giving you a secret formula about how to be successful. I’m really just encouraging entrepreneurs, or would be entrepreneurs to understand what you’re getting into. And, and also to understand what’s possible, because as I mentioned earlier, along, you know, along the journey, you’re going to run into times, you run into walls, or valleys, or whatever they might be, and you’re gonna say, I don’t think it’s possible anymore. And I’m here to tell you that it is possible. So, OwnersShift is the book. You can get it on Amazon or anywhere books are sold or on my website at Dave, Richie, thanks so much for joining me for this episode. I’d say it’s been a lot of fun. You guys are great.

Thank you.

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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