Chapter 25 – The 5 Words (#228)

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In this final episode of the 4-part series of me, Dave, and Richie discussing a chapter of my book: Owner Shift, we talk about chapter 25 called The Five Words. We talked about how “my future is my property” helped me understand how I can get the things or results that I want. Those five words changed the trajectory of my life and business.

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

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.


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Full transcript below

Episode timestamps:

[1:40] What chapter 25 is all about
[6:30] Why Dave was happy about Dan Sullivan getting a chapter in my book and his takeaway
[11:38] Richie getting surprised finding Mike at that point in his life despite his massive success
[14:35] The dream
[18:05] Outro

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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 49:51
Hey, everybody, welcome back to the HOW’D IT HAPPEN Podcast. I am very happy that you’re joining me for the fourth in our series of special and different podcasts with my friends, Richie Burke, and Dave welcome. We are talking about my book, ÓwnerShift – How getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck, which is coming out on November 30, 2021. You can buy it on Amazon. Or anywhere you get your books. You can also buy it on my website at Today, we are here to talk about a chapter out of Part Four of the book, which is called Breakthrough.

This Chapter is called The Five Words. And this chapter is about my experience with a guy named Dan Sullivan, who is the founder — sometimes he calls himself a co-founder of the Strategic Coach program, which is an entrepreneurial coaching program that is exceptional. And I was in it for six or seven years. And while I was in it, I joined it a year, a little over a little over a year after Butch passed away. I was in the Valley and I was looking for a way out of the valley. It had been referred to me by a messenger [there’s another chapter on the Messenger] which is just one of these fortuitous sort of convergences, but I was in the program. And every time we would go to a workshop, we would get a bunch of CDs from Dan, when they still made CDs, and I would listen to the CDs on the way back home. So it was about a 90-minute drive home. And he was talking about this high school reunion that he went to. Dan was probably 70 or late 60s at the time. Maybe it was his 50th high school reunion or something like that. And he was talking about the crowd and the people and how he felt so different than his classmates. Like he felt like he had still had something to live, and the people around him were sort of figuring out how to wind it down. And he said something that really just smacked me right in the face almost to the point where I felt like I needed to pull over and sort of soak it in. And he was describing some of the things that his classmates were saying and he said you know, I determined a long time ago that my future is my property. It’s not my mom’s; it’s not my dad’s; it’s not my sibling’s. It’s not my wife’s, not the people I work with, it’s mine. And I’ve accepted that. And it’s helped me to realize that I’m the one as the entrepreneur who needs to create the future that I want for myself so that I can figure out how to get everybody to help me achieve that future and make it real. And it was just a point of a time in my life where I didn’t, as I’ve explained in earlier episodes of our special and different episodes that I didn’t know what a future I had; I didn’t have any goals anymore. I thought that the future was only going to be like the past so far, grind, grind, grind, grind, grind. I wasn’t accepting responsibility for what my future would be like, I wasn’t doing my job properly as a leader and an entrepreneur, and I wanted somebody to just come along and make it feel right to just tell me what to do. And Dan said, My Future is My Property. And I said, damn it. That’s what I’ve been missing. Like, it seems so simple, right? Your future is your property. You know, go ahead and make it what you want it to be. But I didn’t see it. And when he said it, I thought, you’re right. And I’m not going to say I immediately got to work on it. Because that would sound like I was better than I am. But I was thinking about it all the time. And ultimately, those five words made me understand that it’s up to me to design the things that I want. And then once I know what I want, I need to design the things that are going to get me there. And it’s just had a tremendous transformational impact on me, both as a leader and as an entrepreneur. And I think, you know, I don’t think it’s too big of a leap to say that those five words really changed the trajectory of my life and my business. And I know, some of you may be thinking, Well, you can’t make your future your property. I mean, there’s so many things you can’t control. This can happen, and that can happen. And yeah, those thoughts all went through my mind. But what I can make happen is the things that I can control. And if I can put them out there, and I can decide what those are, then I can work really hard to make them reality. And that’s ultimately what I what I ended up doing. So Dave, what do you think?

Dave Will 57:43
Well, I was really happy to see that Dan Sullivan got a chapter in your book because he is in one of the previous episodes, I mentioned. A Sherpa or guide, and there’s no better guide in my book than Dan Sullivan. The Strategic Coach is just this amazing program. I think it’s under-rated. I don’t think it gets as much popularity as some of the some of the people that are really going for that popularity rating. Like there’s a lot of coaches out there with a lot of pizzazz. Right. Dan Sullivan is not pizzazz. Here. You got an older gentleman with amazing stories. He’s like, Gandalf. Did you know Dan is planning to live to 160? I think it is. Yeah. 156 156? Yeah.

Mike Malatesta 58:40
I did know that. Yes. Totally.

Dave Will 58:43
perspective of the world, right. And he’s a bit of a weirdo. Now, that’s not the right word. He’s um, he’s an intellect. Right. Even as a kid, he talks. So I had him on my podcast as well. The eo 360. Podcast, a little plug. But Dan Sullivan was on. And he tells these stories of Yeah, growing up on the farm, and imagining and dreaming. That’s how he played, right? Imagined and dreamed. And anyway, so I’m glad he and I’m not surprised to hear those five words. My future is my property. So what this made me think of aside from just glowing and basking in the thought of like, all things, Dan Sullivan. That sounds little creepy, doesn’t it? Maybe we should cut that part. Now. Don’t cut anything. So, but that got me thinking about was there was a time when I was a young chap, a young strapping buck, and I was told I was 20. I was 26 and I was an intern working for SAP huge multibillion dollar Our German ERP system software company and my my manager, I was an intern, a business school intern. And my manager put his arm around me and encouraged me, as on my last day, he walked me out, put his arm around me that’s like 1996 or something like that, puts his arm around me and says, you know, David, good job this summer. Most harmful word words in the, in the English language a good job. So good job, Dave, this summer. Listen, I encourage you to when you’re walking through the halls, walk a little faster. And, and smile less, because perception is reality. So translation, people don’t think you’re very busy, because you’re having too good a time here. And so fix that. And you’re in a good place. In fact, if you can see over my shoulder, I think this is an audio. But if you look over my shoulder here, I have a sign that says walk slow, smile more. That’s a sign my son just made me this past year, even though I’ve been preaching that since since I was coached, to walk fast and smile less. So I built a company on the antithesis of that advice, which brought me to success. Now the reason walk slow smile more brought me to success is because I don’t know how to do it. Otherwise, there’s a little window in there where I did try to do it. And I got fired from my job. I was a chameleon, I tried to do it in a way that somebody else wanted or suggest that I do it, I was trying to live my future, like it was somebody else’s property. And so what I did, instead, was embraced the fact that this is my property. And I’m going to put a big phallic statue out in the garden if I want to, because that’s what’s important to me. Now, I do not have a big phallic stack, you know, that was just an example. But, but what I did do is I built a company on the antithesis of the culture that you would find at SAP. And it worked. For me, it worked because it gave me an environment where I could thrive and build a great organism, that we ended up turning into something valuable. So that was my takeaway from from specifically chapter 24. The five words, my future is my property. Well, thanks for showing your way. Man. It’s

Mike Malatesta 1:02:28
really interesting that you the way you said that, because it’s so true, right? He wasn’t saying, you know, my, your future is my property or my future is your property. He wasn’t telling me in this thing, what it should be, he was just saying, whatever you want it to be, start making it that which is what you did based on words everybody hates to hear for exactly this reason. The phrase, you know what you should do? Anything that starts with the, you know, what you should do is like, instantly, just everybody shuts down. Because you know what, that’s not my future. Maybe I’m just close to the world. I don’t know, what do you think Richie?

Richie Burke 1:03:06
One of my first thoughts and we talked about this in the intro segment that we did as well, but just how entrepreneurship can be over-glamorized and things like that. And my first thing was, I was, I was a little surprised that how hard this hit might get that point in his career, because Mike, let me know if I’m wrong. But at this time, your company’s probably doing, you know, maybe 20-ish million in revenue. I mean, you’re probably above the 10. Mark, you’re you’re running this company, I think most people from the outside would have looked at you and been like, Oh, this guy’s doing really well. I mean, statistically, you were doing really well. And you probably put that persona out there to an extent, but just showing that, you know, not not everyone has it figured out and everyone has their own struggles. So I mean, the first thing that hit me was I was I was a little surprised that how profound that a guy like you would have found that at that point. Okay, I see that for someone starting off, but no, I mean, I, I think it just shows how open you were in this book, too. And I’m sure a lot of other people at that point, you know, felt that way. Because really, who who does have things figured out but I think another thing and a, you know, a sad thing as a way as a lot of people, they have dreams and Dave, you were touching on like, I’m blanking on the guy’s name, the guy who is in the chapter right now, what was his name? Solomon, yeah, Sullivan about Yeah, how he used to dream and dream big. And I think a lot of people start off on that initially. And then you know, the those dreams don’t happen or people tell them they can’t happen or they get discouraged in one way or another and then they just kind of stopped dreaming and they coast through life a little bit. And I think it’s important that people keep dreaming and those dreams should change and evolve over time. But that’s important because you can create your own future and I was Googling this statistically When you guys were talking because I’ve known these stats, I just forgot what they were. But it’s like only 3% of the population set specific goals and only 1% writes them down. And there’s psych psychology that when you write stuff down, it’s it’s really good for the brain that wires your brain towards achieving those things in. That means 97% of people are essentially just kind of coasting with no goals. And it’s really sad that that’s what happens to people. So I don’t know what the main takeaway is other than the fact that yeah, I would encourage people to to set goals and know that yeah, you know, who you are today and what you’re doing today. It doesn’t have to be the the future state you and you can go out and create that.

Mike Malatesta 1:05:46
I like that, Richie. I like how you brought the dream thing into it, because it made me think about that first chapter in the book called The seed where I had this dream when I was a four year old write about what it would, what it would be like to own a construction business. And of course, I had no idea as Dave mentioned in that episode, you know, I thought everything just went to sleep at night, and you woke up the next day, and it just all started all over again. And but you know, I had that dream. And then I and then as I got into when I finally realized it and started the company, and then you know, got to this point where I was in the valley, and all of a sudden that dream was like a nightmare. It was gone. And, and, and you’re right, you know, these, those five words probably aren’t that remarkable. But when I was just in the right spot at the right time to hear them and get me back on track to understand that what I’m here for I you know, I like I said in the beginning, I think entrepreneurs need to go big, you know, as big as you can go. And I knew that I was not going as big as I could go, I did not know how big I could go. But I knew I was not going as big as I could go. And when I heard him say that I thought to myself, there’s my permission, or my more than a permission, maybe that’s my, my, my real purpose. I have to you know, if I want something different, I have to make it my own. I have to own it. It has to be my property. And yeah, that just really changed me a bunch.

Yeah, and I mean, having big dreams that you’re excited about it makes going through all the shit you have to go through a lot easier. If it’s pushing you towards that, I think if the excitement outweighs the shit you go through, you’re gonna be you’re gonna be fine in a way and I know a lot of joy people say you know, it’s very cliche to say it’s about the you know, the journey not the destination or whatever, whatever that thing is, but you know, we get we get a lot of dopamine releases when when we’re chasing something in when we’re receiving those small wins. It’s not really after that big accomplishment you get a big rush and then there’s usually come down in a hangover like not very long after that when you realize your life’s not completely different but a lot of yeah, a lot of joy is come from you know, chasing things in those small wins. It’s important and those will change over time. And some dreams aren’t super practical like my dreams of playing in the NBA growing up is a six one white guy who can move very fast but you know, there’s a lot of other dreams that are extremely attainable, and those should evolve over over time.

Mike Malatesta 1:08:14
But can still dunk? I can

thanks for bringing that up. Thanks for the plug.

Captain iron chest man Oh

Mike Malatesta 1:08:25
yeah, well, Richie. Dave, thank you so much for joining me on this special and different episode of the HOW’D IT HAPPEN Podcast to talk about my book, OwnerShift – How getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck available on Amazon or wherever you buy books or on my website Check out Richie Burke’s podcast, Go Getters Podcast. You can find out more about Richie at, and of course, Dave Will’s fabulous podcast EO360. You can find out more about Dave at Guys, so it’s been so much fun. Thank you for joining me for these four special episodes and I appreciate you helping me understand my book better through your experiences as well. Thanks, man.

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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