Chapter 20 – A Truth Punch (#225)

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Welcome to another special and different episode of the How’d It Happen Podcast. I am still joined by Richard Burke and Dave Will. In this episode, we are going to talk about Chapter 20 of my book “OWNER SHIFT – How Getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck.” I talk about the premise of why I wrote this chapter and what Richard and Dave think about it. Stay tuned for the 2nd to the last episode of this 4-part series.

If you want to learn more about Dave and Richard, please check their corresponding websites below:

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.


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.


Grab the book here!

Full transcript below

Episode timestamps:

[1:00] What Chapter 20 is about
[4:36] Dave’s takeaway and how he and Mike have something in common
[6:58] The lightbulb moment and how Mike felt
[7:52] Richard’s takeaway
[8:58] “Nothing happens to you, everything happens because of you.”
[11:52] 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!

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Mike Malatesta 37:44
Hey, everybody. Welcome back to another special and different episode about my book owner shift, subtitle, how getting selfish got me unstuck. And I’m joined again by Dave will and Richie Burke. Dave, Richie. Thanks so much for joining me to talk about the book and your experiences today.

Richie Burke 38:47
Thanks for having us. Glad to be here.

Mike Malatesta 38:49
All right. So this this episode, we’re going to talk about chapter 20 in the book, which comes from part three, which is called Break, and chapter 20, is called A Truth Punch. And this chapter was inspired by the fact that I was still in the valley of uncertainty, which we talked about in our last episode. And I was really feeling entitled and feeling like the world and the company owed me something different. And I was on the phone with my partner, Larry, one morning on Saturday morning, and I was kind of complaining. I was definitely complaining. And we had a really strong relationship, Larry and I, for more than 20 years. So it’s one of those partner relationships where you’re like, Oh, my God, this is too good to be true. But we did have our challenges from time to time. And one of the challenges that I had with Larry as I was always trying to compare myself to him; he was 15 years older or so than I, much more accomplished than I was in life and we had become partners almost accidentally, because a friend of mine, who was Larry’s friend, I had approached for some money. And ultimately, he didn’t want to do the whole deal. So he brought Larry in to be partner. So I met Larry and we became partners really, really quickly. But despite that, it turned out fantastic as a partnership, but from time to time, I was comparing myself to him. And we got into like a little competition from time to time. And we had a lot of skill sets that were similar — again, he was much more accomplished — and the skill sets for similar approach to work with similar grinding was similar. And sometimes we just, we pushed each other off. And this morning, I was, you know, I was in the Valley, and I was just thinking, I was pissed off, and I was complaining. And he basically told me, I was a bitch. And I was like, what? He’s like, Yeah, you sound like a bitch, man. He’s like, you run the company, if you want something different, do something different, you know, don’t call me up about, you know, what you should have? Or what are you, you have what you’ve got, you’ve got the autonomy, do what you will do, what you want. So, you know, make it happen. And I was really, guys, I was really mad about that, but after I thought about it for that sad rest of that Saturday and Sunday, I thought, You know what, right? I was being that person, that I never wanted to be; the person who thought, you know, I deserve something better than what I’ve been able to create for myself. And I took that lesson to heart. And I think I’ve actually taken that to heart for the rest of my life so far, where I’ve made it a point never to complain. And if I do complain, I stop myself right away. And I say, there’s no point in complaining here. What’s happening is what I have is what I’ve invited into my life. So I just need to if I if I don’t like it, I need to change it. So it was one of those conversations, and I’m sure you guys have had conversations like this and listeners, if at conversations like this, where you’re like, I do not like what that person just said to me and that person is wrong. And then after thinking about it for a while. You say they would do me a favor by telling me that. So anyway, that’s, uh, that’s, that’s the inspiration for the chapter. Dave, what do you have to what do you have to ask me about it?

Dave Will 42:37
Well, you and I have something in common in that is we’re lovers. You know, Richie, here, he’s a fighter man. Even me, brother, we’re lovers man. And part of being a lover, is you want to be liked. And you want to get along with everybody. So what I some of my greatest stripes in my life, for better or for worse, you know, people can judge me for this, I guess if they want. But some of the greatest stripes come from relationships, where there’s some butting heads, you know, and so I can think of a handful of people in my life that I feel very competitive with. And I don’t know why. And although I don’t necessarily feel competitive with my partner at prop fuel, I, we have a similar relationship that you had with Larry. And the relationship is one where we’re different personalities, right? Like, my partner is super smart and analytical. And he says very few words, and I’m quite the opposite in all those ways. And, and so sometimes we don’t communicate well together. And so I read this chapter, I thought, Man, that sounds a lot like cam and me. And I cam and I’ve had this conversation many times I think we are great partners. I would not want anyone else and that’s the yin and the yang that makes us work so well together. To be honest, my wife and I were yin and yang to it’s like we couldn’t be more opposite. And in some times you kind of be like you kind of like I just wish I had someone like me to hang out with but most of the time it’s the Yin in the Yang that create the strength in the bond between a couple and I can’t really explain that. So that was one observation the hearing things you don’t want to hear i Is it first of all kudos to you for not wanting to fight or let me ask you this. Did you want to fight it at all? Or was it like a light bulb for you? Where when Larry said, you know, you’re you stop bitching and moaning? Make the change. Did you want to fight that? Do you really well, I’m trying and I can’t make the change because of this or that. Or was it just like a light bulb where all of a sudden you’re like, oh, yeah, no shit.

Mike Malatesta 45:15
I wish I could say I was enlightened enough for it to be a light bulb. Yeah, rarely is that the case? I fought with it for the weekend. I kept going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

Dave Will 45:25
Well, that for me that was the that was the key takeaway. And I think the back and forth in the fighting when you hear feedback like that it’s stews on your special when your lover like us, man, Richie, he can take it he just he takes feedback like that he just you can see it physically bounced off of his iron like chest.

Richie Burke 45:49
Dave and I know we I know we just met and I appreciate you complimenting me on my iron legs just up in the gym recently, but I am. I’m an extremely non non confrontational want to be liked by everyone person. So I’d probably skew more on on you. And Mike’s the than the wanting to fight anyone kind of bent. In luckily, I hired an operations person a few years ago, which is the yin to my Yang. And we bumped heads a little bit at the beginning, because I think it’s hard for that visionary and integrator roles to mash. But now, she definitely not that she fights anyone. But she definitely complements my skill set in that manner. Other things? So, yeah, Mike, I liked how you talked about just moving beyond the past and creating a new model. And so many people get so fixated on the past, and that naturally, we’re wired to focus on the past and also focus on negative things. And a lot of our thoughts just as human beings go towards that. And I wanted to I early on, when I was reading this, this quote popped in my mind early on, I read a book called The compound effect by Darren Hardy, which is a, it’s a good book, it’s essentially it’s kind of like atomic habits, by James clear came out with it recently, but just how the tiny things on a daily basis, just compound over time, and you can really change as a person for the better. And I believe this was his quote, yeah, he said something along the lines of like, nothing happens to you, everything happens because of you. And I read the first time I read that I was just like, you’re better off when you almost take responsibility for everything good and bad. And you know, of course, you’re gonna fuck up and make mistakes. And of course, things aren’t, aren’t going to be fair. And when you’re running a business, a lot of the times, the amount of work you put in is going to be disproportionate to the return that you get a lot of times for worse, sometimes for better if you have, you know, some good breaks, but sometimes you’re just grinding and grinding and your friends who may be working half the hours, you do have a nice job. You know, bringing in a decent amount more money like that, that stuff happens. So anyway, I think as an entrepreneur, you need to be willing to endure that kind of stuff, and just the ability to step back and take responsibility and know that hey, yeah, this should happen. But I’m in control, I can change I can be a different person tomorrow, and especially six months or a year or two years from now. And it could be a completely different company at that point to like is, is valuable for anyone to hear. Because you know, you have you have to be changing that you put something out there the market usually punches you in the mouth a little bit and you change and you adapt and use you move forward.

Mike Malatesta 48:32
I’m glad you mentioned the model thing, Rich because I do go later in the chapter like I’ve been modeling myself after Larry all this time, you know, and I think that led to the competitiveness maybe more prompted by me then prompted by him, you know, so yeah dawned on me after he told me this. And after I sort of acknowledged that, I need a different model in my life I need I need a model of someone who’s, you know, further ahead than I am or someone who just has a different outlook on life than then I do or than he did, you know, I have to I have to do some work. I have to do some work to find the people. He’s a great partner, but I need other people, you know, to support and help me see what’s possible. And that’s what we get into in the, in the fourth part of the book, which is break through. So, Richie, Dave, thank you so much for joining me again for another different and special episode about my book ownership. How getting unstuck or how getting selfish, excuse me, got me unstuck. It’s available on Amazon. Anywhere you buy books, and it’s also available on my website, Mike Malatesta, calm. Pick it up. See what you think. Thanks, guys.

Thank you, Mike.

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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