Ted Bradshaw – The 6 Life Essentials (374)

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In the entrepreneur and personal development space, we often hear people talk about the importance of finding your true purpose and making sure your life is aligned with that. This has become such an important topic because for most of us, this is not something we learned about in school. Now that we have social media and people idolizing and wanting to model their life after an illusion of someone else’s life, this doesn’t set us up for a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. So how do you know if you are following your purpose? It can be a long journey, and that’s okay. Ted Bradshaw is here on the How’d It Happen podcast to share his journey and insight on how to find your purpose through the 6 life essentials: Mind, body, soul, nutrition, money, and relationships.

Ted Bradshaw served as an executive with Xerox and IBM, then left the Fortune 500 world to explore entrepreneurship. What he found was a long string of success that looked great on the surface. But underneath it all, he felt anxious, exhausted, and stressed, chasing money wherever it led and wondering why he never felt fulfilled. Along his journey, Ted gained valuable insight into how a person can achieve fulfillment in all aspects of life and he shares those insights with his best-selling book, Stop Chasing Squirrels. Ted now lives his passion in helping others find theirs. Ted is a speaker, author, Expert EOS Implementer™, and Community Leader for EOS Worldwide. 

In this episode, Ted shares why he built and left 7 businesses, and his belief that everything truly happens for a reason. Ted guides us through uncovering our purpose, and what needs to be aligned in order for us to understand that purpose and live a life that is fulfilled. With Ted’s passion for finances, he also shares strategies for re-evaluating your relationship with money to ease any stress you have surrounding the topic of money or budgets. Ted is full of wisdom and insight, and you don’t want to miss tuning in to this one.

Key highlights:

  • Why Ted spent 2 weeks selling alarms to people that didn’t want them

  • Ted’s humble beginnings and reconnecting with his dad after losing touch

  • How a short-lived sales job taught Ted to compel people to do something they didn’t want to do for their own benefit 

  • How Ted got started at Xerox

  • The serendipity of life and why everything happens for a reason

  • Why Ted started and left 7 businesses 

  • What is the hack to get started finding your purpose?

  • The 6 essentials to understand our purpose

  • Re-evaluating our relationship with money

Connect with Ted Bradshaw:

Website: TedBradshaw.com

LinkedIn: Ted Bradshaw



Check out the video version of this episode below:

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Episode transcript below:

Mike Malatesta  00:00


Today’s episode is with Ted Bradshaw, and a time entrepreneur whose life hasn’t always gone as planned. We talk about his broken home life, trying to sell alarm systems to people who didn’t want or need them. That’s a fun one. Why he’s a big believer in serendipity and why he’s so passionate about purpose.


Ted Bradshaw  00:18

I think there’s some core pieces to everybody’s purpose, we have to understand what are some of the unique talents that we’ve been blessed with just God given you’re born with these talents, and trying to spend time in those areas, because you’re gonna get that positive feedback that you’re having an impact.


Mike Malatesta  00:38

We also talk about his six essentials, Plato’s musings, and a ton more. This conversation is deep. It’s wide ranging, and it’s been a ton of fun. I hope it matters to you. By the way, make sure you stay till the end, because there’s a really cool discussion about his money mindset there. morning, or good afternoon, Ted, welcome to the podcast.


Ted Bradshaw  01:04

Good morning or afternoon? This morning for both of us. But who knows? When this airs, it might be afternoon or midnight? Yeah. Great to see you.


Mike Malatesta  01:15

Well, I’ve been looking forward to this for a while I think I can’t remember it was a strategic coaches type connection. I think that introduced us originally. Or maybe it was scribe I’m not sure. But anyway, I’ve read your book, liked the book a lot, and have been looking forward to this conversation so that we can talk about the book, but also talk about who TED is, was and will be in the future. So let me tell you a little bit about Ted. Before we get started, Ted Bradshaw served as an executive with Xerox and IBM then left a fortune 500 world to explore the thrills of entrepreneurship. What he found was a long string of success that looked great on the surface. But underneath it all, he felt anxious, exhausted, and stressed, chasing money wherever it led, and wondering why he never felt fulfilled. And along the journey, Ted gained valuable insight into how a person can achieve fulfillment in all aspects of life. And he shares those insights in his best selling book, stop chasing squirrels. That’s a fantastic title for a book Ted, here is the book if you’re watching on video, stop chasing squirrels, you should go out and buy that book right now on Amazon, or wherever you get your books today. Besides being an author, Ted lives, his passion and helping others find theirs. He’s a leading proponent of the Entrepreneurial Operating System, which is also known as EOS. And some people call it just traction. That’s kind of what a lot of people call it. I’m a fan. Ted is a speaker, author, as I said, an expert, EOS implementer, community leader and much more Ted, let’s get to get started here. How did it happen for you?


Ted Bradshaw  02:49

I had two degrees, Mike, and Dean’s List standing coming out of school and thought that it was going to be easy. And I was about to embark upon my adult life and could not get employed. That’s how it started for me.


Mike Malatesta  03:12

Okay, well, let’s dig a little deeper there. So you’ve you’ve got these degrees dean’s list, you can’t get a job. What is it economy related? Is it? Is it your interview skills? What’s going on?


Ted Bradshaw  03:24

Well, I’m gonna I’m gonna blame it on the economy. But maybe it was my interview skills. You know, no, it was it was rarely the economy early 90s 9394 And you could send out 100 resumes, you wouldn’t even get a response. So 180 degrees from what it is today. Right? Yeah, yeah, it was awful. It was awful. So Well, I tell you, looking back on it. Now I went into a pretty dark place because you have these ideas and you’re, you know, you’re you’re young and he and then all of a sudden you’re supposed to get on with life. And life isn’t quite. Life hadn’t gone according to plan until that point. And so I just thought, Okay, here’s another example of not quite gone the way that you envision it. So I ended up having to work I had no choice. I needed money. And so I took a commissioned 100% Commission job selling alarm systems. And if you if you recall the movie Glengarry Glen Ross I coffee’s for closers. That was the that was the type of environment it was crazy. I was in. It was a two week training program and I was a room I can remember it vividly to this day. There was about a dozen people in there. And as far as I could tell, if you could fog a mirror, you were invited into this room, and there was you know, they were they were decent enough people but there was somebody that it was so close to retirement or should have been retired. There was others that IT people that were had never worked before. And they’re 50 years old. And I thought, well, let’s go on and why am I in here? I have all this education, what what’s going on? And so I got trained it, the job entails basically going to someone’s home, getting the family together and trying to scare the crap out of them. That was basically it. And I didn’t sell one not lasted two weeks,


Mike Malatesta  05:25

to be honest, you couldn’t? What was what was the what was going on?


Ted Bradshaw  05:29

I think, first of all, there was a mis match on its, there wasn’t the right target market. These were these systems at the time, were probably the equivalent of what would be a 10 to $20,000 system today. And these homes, were these homeowners were not in a position to afford something like that. I don’t think anyone was breaking into their homes. You know, this wasn’t, you know, these beautiful neighborhoods. But I also didn’t feel right. I just this wasn’t the way to do it. You know, I felt like I was totally completely taking advantage of people not trying to help them. And so I just wasn’t aligned with who I am.


Mike Malatesta  06:07

Alright, so you waste two weeks of your life doing that? Yeah. Who was the what was the name of the the Alec Baldwin ish? Character at that firm?


Ted Bradshaw  06:18

Oh, I’ve got I won’t say the last name. But the first name was Jack. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. First name was Jack. And Jack was very similar to Alec Baldwin and Hardaway. Yeah. In the character anyway.


Mike Malatesta  06:33

Yeah, of course. The it’s funny that you mentioned that movie right away, because you’ve, you’ve mentioned office space in your book, which I thought was kind of, I mean, it was hilarious similarity of a place that you don’t want to work. So. So anyway, two weeks in, and you mentioned that as you were talking about that, like things just weren’t going right. What again, you I think you said, so what, what hadn’t been going right, for you up to up to then? I mean, when you answered how that happened, question, it was like two degrees dean’s list? I mean, that seems like things are going right, at least at least in the academic part of your world.


Ted Bradshaw  07:10

Yeah, it was the academic part was going really well. It was also hockey player played at a high level that was going pretty well, my relationships were decent, it was really more my I think my, my family life came from a broken family, where there’s some abuse, and, and so I think, for a long time, I just felt a little bit insecure of these, just this my surroundings, you know, being grounded. And I felt awfully alone sometimes. And even though I could be surrounded by a lot of people, and it’s not because I don’t think, you know, my I ended up living with my my mom, and we had to when they got when she got separated from my father, we had to get away from on basically is what it was. And and so I think it’s this impressionable, you know, what happens to you between the ages of sort of one and five, when you’re just sort of starting to become, you know, somewhat conscious of what’s going on around you. And then that period between six and 12, which you’re very aware of what’s going on around you. And what was kind of, I think, psychologically baked into me, is there was probably some disruption between one and five, I don’t remember it real well, but I certainly remember six to 12. And just the feeling of somewhat of a not full abandonment, but just instability. And a lot of I felt a need for a lot of I had to figure out a lot of things for myself, and I and when you have to do that, and you don’t have mentorship per se, then you sometimes aren’t sure if you’re making the right decisions. And so when you make the decision, and it doesn’t work out, and then that’s where the doubt creeps in. So I think that’s what was going on. Everything was going pretty good at that age and you know, coming out of school, as you say, but then bang, I was hit with this instability again. And I probably there’s some trauma


Mike Malatesta  09:19

can Yeah, okay. Yeah, sure. Sure. So yeah, it’s like your confidence. You’ve been building it up through school, maybe and maybe through hockey and stuff, and then you come out and and you get slapped down, basically, by not being able to get a job and then getting a job that you don’t like, and I think a lot of people can can definitely feel for that. Right. Like that’s kind of like every circumstance is different and abuse and stuff is a whole nother level. But every life sort of does that to you. Right? It’s sort of picks you up for a little while and then kind of slaps you with something you weren’t expecting and it’s very hard to keep coming back and use Did you mention you had a brother or no only only child so it’s just moving on? Mom after this, yep. Okay. Yeah,


Ted Bradshaw  10:02

yeah, just me and my mom, we moved to cities and we went to a city that her she had a brother in. And that’s the only reason and her company could transfer said, Here’s your, here’s your options, we have locations in these six cities. Pick one. So she picked one. And because her brother lived, lived there, and I had I didn’t, you know, I was 12 I didn’t know what the city was, I was leaving all my friends and all of everything that goes on with them. And when you know, of course, we didn’t have any money. You know, I remember we were, you know, basically living in a three story walk up apartment with no furniture. Yeah, we took a one bedroom apartment, you know, me and my mom and no furniture, she had to work full time, she was still relatively young, she’s passed, but she was relatively young at that time. So she wanted to get on with her life. And so she had to figure it out. I had to figure it out. In a way that we let


Mike Malatesta  10:58

in have you and your your dad ever come back into your, your life TED or


Ted Bradshaw  11:03

tau at the end, he passed away in 1996 97, the year that I was married, and we had a turbulent relationship when we left him, and it wasn’t very good. And he he was he was still of course, I loved them and had a lot you know, obviously wanted him in my life. But it wasn’t good. Towards the end, though. We did have a we reconciled and it was it was the strangest thing like I remember going to visit him when I was I think I was 18 or 19. And up until that time, of course, he was very imposing intimidating individual and he was to others as well. And I remember we were running down the street. I think we were at a bar. And so we had a couple of drinks and we’re going to the next place. And you know, he was we’re fooling around and he was body check to me, you know, a hockey movie body checks me as a running down the street. And I body check them back. And I sent him flying. And that was the moment I realized, okay, this man is not you know, he’s he’s actually quite fragile. Okay. And so I started to feel compassion for him at that moment. And then I started to forgive and, and, and allowed and created an opening where maybe, maybe we could connect even though as afraid of him for most of my life. Now all of a sudden I wasn’t. And that was that one instance, to see that you know what I just, I just knocked my dad on his butt. That’s pretty eye opening moment. And so he he was he attended my wedding. And we started to connect again. And then he you know, he passed away shortly thereafter, largely due to the lifestyle he was leading for the previous 30 years.


Mike Malatesta  12:55

Okay. Yeah, died young.


Ted Bradshaw  12:57

He did. Yeah, he did. And that was only next to kin. I had to get on a four hour flight and had to see him. And he they didn’t quite this was amazing. He he was in the hospital. I think it was ultimately it was a heart attack that did it. But he was still the you see you better get here. He’s going to sleep use some drug to keep them alive for a period of time. And then I went to the hospital. Okay, I’m here to see him. All right. He’s in that room. He’s still hooked up to all the all this stuff. So they had, you know, in the past in the past, so we have all right, yeah, yeah, it’s real. So put on a service for him. And the people that were at the services, you know, Mike, these are people I have no idea. I had no idea. And you know, the 50, or some people that came to pay their respects. I didn’t know any of them. It was the most interesting, like he had this other life, this underground type life going on. That was nothing I was used to


Mike Malatesta  13:56

that’s a real turn of events where you have this, I’m going to use the word tumultuous. Maybe it’s not the right word relationship with your dad all those years. And then you know, you’re you’re sort of rekindling it, he comes to your wedding and he passes away. And you you just, you basically get the responsibility at that point to make his passing, I guess celebrate his life with with these people that you don’t know. That’s


Ted Bradshaw  14:17

yeah, yeah. Yeah. And, and it was my mom, my mom’s family. They were they still live it they live in the city. So three or four of them were there, which they of course had no like you. They knew the damage. He did. Yeah. So they had no no reason to be there to celebrate him, but they were there for me. And so it was just interesting. Okay, you know, there are you can lean on people and you know, and regardless of the circumstances, but yeah, that was that that happened right in around this time that I was having this difficulty coming out of school, too. So it was all sort of coming to a head.


Mike Malatesta  14:57

So Well, thanks for taking us there. I think gets if I think it’s very instructive for people to hear, you know, the kinds of things that other people go through, especially people who end up on the other side, looking like they’ve been successful all their lives and everything’s been, you know, great. And you’re teaching people how to be great. And you know, all that stuff. It’s just, it’s not it’s for me, it’s just nice to know, people are everybody’s struggles. Everybody struggles sometimes. Well, I’ll


Ted Bradshaw  15:25

tell him, I wasn’t planning on going there, Mike. So there’s something you did that this was the moment to go there. So thank you for creating that opening.


Mike Malatesta  15:33

My pleasure. My pleasure. So two weeks, selling alarms on successfully you quit? Pick, let’s pick up the story there.


Ted Bradshaw  15:42

Yeah. So I, I took a job with Ford Ford Motor Company. So I did get hired, I got hired shortly thereafter, by Ford Motor Company, but the credit arm. And so that Job was basically to call people and ask them to start making their payments, again, was basically what it was. So it was a different kind of sales job, you know, I had to convince people that really were either fallen on tough times are just, you know, we’re thinking they’d get away with something. And it was a great experience, it only lasted 10 minutes, 1010 months there. But I learned how to compel people that didn’t really want to do something to do it for their own benefit. You know, and, and to do it over the phone was an interesting way to have to do it at that time. And I made a lot of great friends. And I actually started I got my first experience of what does it look like to work in an office, you know, kind of the office space environment. And the reason I laughed, I was doing really well and feeling really good. But then Xerox reached out to me, because they had, they had seen my resume. And from one of one of the hundreds, I guess, that I sent earlier in the year, and they asked me if I’d be interested in joining their company and go through their sales training program. And so that’s, that’s what I did. And then was five years there, great experience, technology.com boom was happening around that time, I thought I wanted to move into that. And so I joined a smaller company that was in technology. And I really enjoyed that. Then IBM bought them. And then I found myself back in the bureaucracy that I didn’t really enjoy at Xerox and, and that’s when I realized I needed to run my own business.


Mike Malatesta  17:36

Okay. So it was an intentional move from Xerox to this smaller company, I think you were thinking that might be a better fit for you or you think it was there like an opportunity to move up faster? What was it that drew you there?


Ted Bradshaw  17:48

The opportunity I had with the smaller company was they probably I don’t think I would have been able to make a lateral lateral move from what I was doing at Xerox, let’s say, right in IBM or another larger tech company, because I’d be competing with experience people in tech. Right. So this smaller company, they were willing to take a chance that they didn’t have the technology experience, but I have the business development experience. So that allowed me to get into technology and learn it and make a relatively lateral move. And so that’s why the smaller company


Mike Malatesta  18:23

and you were happy there. And then one day, the owner comes in and says, Hey, I’ve got great news for everybody. This is going to be so awesome for the future. I’m selling the business to IBM, did it go something like that? Or?


Ted Bradshaw  18:33

Yeah, I get kind of well, this was it was when I say small, I wasn’t too small. They still they were they were a was a publicly traded. So the smaller company was still public at the time, they probably had 1000 employees.


Mike Malatesta  18:48

Okay, so it was a big company, but on the scale of Xerox or IBM or Ford, it was small.


Ted Bradshaw  18:53

Who exactly, exactly, yeah. So you know, it was nice, I ended up getting some shares, right. So this is my first experience of what equity can do. So I think my shares vested at $10 a share. And then when we knew like, we had no idea the sale was coming, but IBM basically all of a sudden, paid $19 A share got the board of directors to agree to that. And then boom, next thing you know, no more publicly traded smaller company folded up in IBM at $19 a share. And so that was a nice, you know, I don’t know what I made on that it was $9 a share it was nice. And that’s but then again, I’ve rate back into this giant bureaucracy more so IBM was a notch above Xerox and their bureaucracy and rules and so forth.


Mike Malatesta  19:43

And at this point to have your you’re still in a sales type position, sales roles, sales leadership, what are you doing?


Ted Bradshaw  19:50

I was doing sales leadership at this point. So it was really more managing people and or managing kind of a product line, so that I had moved have, you know up steadily, quite quickly through both organizations. So I worked my way into kind of into that executive position. And I was I was gonna, I was on a good track. They certainly there was the I was definitely on that development track that both Xerox and IBM, you know, I very well, if I stayed there I, who knows could be in the C suite today. I don’t know that. But that was the trajectory it was on.


Mike Malatesta  20:27

I tell that story about myself similar that I was on the track to maybe be the CEO of this big company. But unfortunately, they fired me. And so my plan wasn’t there planned. But I like to, I like to believe that my plan could have been their plan. Just


Ted Bradshaw  20:40

yeah. Well, their plans. Their plans change, though, don’t they? Yeah.


Mike Malatesta  20:44

Yeah. Plans change. Oh, yeah. Yeah.


Ted Bradshaw  20:47

That’s it. That’s when I realized we’re not, you know, that’s not we have to rely on others, in that case, really relying on others, you know, to stay with larger organizations, and trust them, which can be tricky. Yeah. trusting


Mike Malatesta  21:02

anyone can be tricky. It’s true. Yeah. So at this point, if I’m doing my math, right, maybe you’re, I don’t know. 30 years old or


Ted Bradshaw  21:08

so. Pretty close. That’s right. That’s it. Yeah. Very, yeah. Pretty much read in that 3030. Yep.


Mike Malatesta  21:14

Okay. And you did you determine at this point that, you know, running starting a company or running a company is where you want to focus, but you’ve got, you know, a lot of I guess, inertia and probably some other things like a paycheck, and perks and benefits and stuff that are probably a little enticing. What’s going on? And what did you end up doing? And why?


Ted Bradshaw  21:33

Yeah, great question. Because you’re right, you do have mortgage. Now, you know, I have I have car payments, I life is started. And I think the pure entrepreneurs that don’t even bother with school and just go out there and do it, I have all kinds of respect, that really wasn’t me. You know, I was kind of methodical in the way I went about this. And so an opportunity came up. And I’m a big believer in serendipity, if there are experiences in our life that are occurring, we have to pay attention to them. But they’re not just going to necessarily, you know, punches in the face, we then might, it might be a feather on the cheek. And so we really have to pay attention to those. And an opportunity came up, I still I was now with IBM. And I still have lunch once a week or once every couple of weeks with with friends that were still at Xerox. And a serendipitous moment occurred where there was the owner of a Xerox agency. So Xerox would segment their channels. So they would go direct to large companies, and then they would kind of use dealerships or agencies to sell to small to medium markets. Okay. The owner of this particular agency, he phoned me up one day and asked if he could come in and meet me while I was at IBM. And he said, Sure, come on in. And so he sat down in front of me, and he said, Are you hiring? And I said, Yeah, we’re hiring. But don’t you have this business. And then he proceeded to tell me all of the challenges he was having with it. And that he was going out basically going out of business, he wasn’t going to be able to make it. And so I didn’t end up hiring him. But what I did do is really see all of the problems in this relationship that Xerox had, or at least I guess, the, the business model Xerox had created. So I mean, one of the lunches that I was having with my my Xerox colleague, I said, you know, I think this could be a good business if this this and this happens. And so we asked Xerox for a meeting. And we said, we were interested in taking over this agency, and if you know, for buying the rights to the agency, but this needs to change, this needs to change, this needs to change. And again, these forces were starting to come together. Mike Xerox was in trouble at this time. This was when they were running into some chapter 11 issues with some reporting, there was some accounting irregularities and it was not a it was not a good time for Xerox they were in trouble. So there was an opening they were they were willing to be, I guess, think outside of the box. And to our surprise, they came back with not only what we asked for, but even more in order to and so we so I have this opportunity to to kind of dip my toe in the pool of entrepreneurship with with two partners with a pretty ready made business model that oh, we had to do is execute on it. And I still kept my position with IBM because my role as I, as it turned out, was the visionary. I wasn’t going to be the using ELS Language. I had an integrator partner at his sales leader partner, I was the visionary. Okay. And my job was to diversify us because we didn’t think paper had a very long shelf life, you know, we didn’t think the printed page was going to continue for very long, very wrong, that company’s still going rate today. But it allowed us to, we pretty much were profitable from month one, all the way through for 17 years, and through two recessions until I sold my interest to my two partners. And one was, that’s how I got started.


Mike Malatesta  25:30

Okay, and when was it along that path that you committed to it full time or left IBM? Because that’s a very interesting straddle you’re doing there between Yeah, being the visionary for a company while holding a full time job for another that you don’t see that too often?


Ted Bradshaw  25:45

No. And I’ll give full credit to my two, my two business partners at the time, they were extremely flexible in allowing me to do this. And so I was basically what my my visionary work I was doing, you know, between 5pm and midnight. That’s so so that’s how I was juggling it. And I have the energy, I have the desire. So I was prepared to work. There’s a period there, I was probably working a 16 to 18 hours a day for a year or two. Okay, when I made the move, it’s when we created our first spin off business. And so the we started a software company called students achieved software. And, and we were the first in North America to connect Kindergarten to Grade 12 classrooms, to their homes over the internet. This was the early 2000s. Oh, is that? Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so we started create this system, and we had very good success with it. And we ended up there. So I was pretty much full on with that for seven years. And in 2007, we sold it to a private equity group. And it was great timing, because right after that, things crashed. So we hit we hit the top of the equity cycle, which raised about Now we might be at another one of those peaks, but that’s a different story. And, and then started after that. Another five companies started in an accident, which led me to my ELS work, so,


Mike Malatesta  27:20

so that’s six companies, or is it 767? sevens? Right? So the first two and then five others? And yeah, it that’s an amazing journey. And as I as I understand it, reading through some of the, your, your background information, you kind of were like a medical isotope company. I mean, you’re kind of all over the place. Ted, how do you get yourself into all these different things? Is it serendipity or every time or is it?


Ted Bradshaw  27:50

No, no, it was serendipity every time all right? No, no, it was my lack of fulfillment. It was my constant. Feeling like I haven’t achieved success at CI in literally chasing squirrels that it was I didn’t take me much to, to get myself excited about a business idea. And it didn’t matter if I knew anything about the industry, hence the isotope. It’s like, I have no business being in the medical isotope business like, none, yet, but there was there I was, yeah. So in I do this I, in my talk, I use these eight logos. And I in this part of my talk, I say, Okay, so here’s what’s on what you see. Now, these are the eight logos. These are the businesses I’ve started in an accident over the last 25 years. And then I proceed to say, I’m not sharing this as a badge of honor. I’m sharing this as you know, my name’s Ted Bradshaw, and I’m a serial entrepreneur. And I’ve been, you know, sober for seven years is sort of the because, in my case, serial entrepreneur, there’s another series, you know, what type of serial person that isn’t a good thing. Oh, yeah. And, and that’s, that’s, I, for me, as I look back on it, I was starting these businesses, because I just wasn’t satisfied. I didn’t know what I wanted, but I knew I wasn’t fulfilled. And was it was it that way to you?


Mike Malatesta  29:31

was, I mean, you mentioned, you know, chasing money. Or I may have mentioned that specifically in the bio, but yeah, was it like always, was it ego too, like, was it you know, I’m bullet proof sort of thing, or was it? I’ve got I still have capability that I haven’t used yet. What’s what’s because most people I think listening are kind of like, well, you know, seven, that’s weigh more than most and, and I’d be pretty happy after two, you know, especially if if they were successful and there was money, you know, that changes. You know the way you think about life day to day.


Ted Bradshaw  30:10

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I wasn’t made of the of the eight and I include, you know, my ELS business now is the eighth. Okay, yeah, six worked. Right, six of them were six of them made money. And so it wasn’t it wasn’t that they? Yeah, there was a couple of the, you know, the trying to swing for the fences. Those are the ones Alright, are we gonna, you know, just going to be private jet time if we can pull this on. So there was that? Yeah, that really realistically, there was more than even in the first business, there would have been enough to have a very comfortable living and a lot less stress. So I do, there’s a couple things I think at play ego was certainly one of them, you know that. Okay, you know, wanting to, hey, look, what I did was, that was definitely probably at play. But now that I understand where you are, in the book, I write about, you know, it centers around purpose and finding purpose. I think these were all necessary experiences for me, as I worked my way through to finding my purpose. And that’s why I think I kept jumping, because I just in my heart and soul, I knew I wasn’t yet doing what I was here to do. I thought I was there with the software. So that school software, I really felt we’re making a difference, we’re going to improve the lives of students, it’s going to improve their lives as adults, and then I by extension, it’s going to make this world better. So I really felt that but I also still the part of it that now looking back education wasn’t wasn’t the way I was going to do it. And now that so, so I just wasn’t quite right yet. So I think that was more I just wasn’t, wasn’t where I needed to be yet. So that’s why I did all these things.


Mike Malatesta  32:09

And what were you so you this purpose things really interesting to me to have, especially because it’s sort of in vogue, like serial entrepreneurs in vogue, it’s sort of in vogue for people to, to mentor or suggest to younger people, especially that, you know, you need really need to follow your purpose and find your purpose and you know, life will be you know, rosy and what you said, you know, took you seven different experiences and that’s not even counting, you know, selling alarms working at Xerox, Xerox, working at IBM working at Ford Motor collecting bad debts. Right, you know, and you are still in you to find your purpose and maybe it wasn’t even found then maybe it took you a little bit time away from it afterwards. I’d just like you to explore that a little bit. Do you believe that that’s necessary? Well, maybe not necessary but while he’s necessary Do you believe that that’s that journey is necessary in order for you to really understand purpose? Or do you think that what some people say like, Hey, you know, just find your purpose? And you know, take it from there is the is Is it doable strategy I guess


Ted Bradshaw  33:18

my experience Mike there’s some hacks that can be used to give us a head start and and right now the way that our education system is set up, at least in the west the way our political system is set up the the nature of those on social media that we worship, and that we aspire to, this is not set up for healthy, happy, fulfilling lives, you know, from the get go. So there is a there’s a hack to get to get started. Although it’s a lifelong journey. In its I won’t call it a pursuit, I like to use following purpose as your guide. And in the book I write about, there are some there are some drivers in our lives that are negative, and I’ve for a long time consider myself a driven per person. And just last week, I passed a group of high achievers 100 of them if they thought they were driven people and then every single person put their hand up and then I asked them the next question, okay, are you aware of what’s driving you and then we went into a whole different conversation. And and then so I some we’re, I see purpose is it’s something that we can start to glean at a very young age, I think high school. This should start where we we have a framework of What purpose could be, but then fully understanding that over the course of a lifetime experience says they’re going to happen, wisdom is going to start to creep in. And over time, if we stay on the path, we will get, as you know, and, you know, if we’re blessed with a long enough life, we’ll just continue to, to get that purpose more concentrated and actually become smaller and more concentrated, but the effect in the impact becomes much, much larger. Okay, so, so that’s how I see purpose, it’s not something you wake up in the morning, and it’s Oh, I found it, I’m good. It takes work, it takes work, to uncover it, and then to continue to try to focus on it.


Mike Malatesta  35:43

I feel like and I appreciate your opinion on this, I feel like there’s a little serendipity to it as well, or a little convergence, sort of thinking to it like so, you know, maybe you have this hack, and you, you know, it gets you started, but the experiences of life sharpen or dull, direct or indirect you, and you can often end up in a place that is nothing like where you started. And it’s like, this is exactly where I belong, where you never would have done that if you were just solely focused on only pursuing what you thought was your purpose. Do you? Does that resonate with you?


Ted Bradshaw  36:23

It really does. I think there’s some core pieces to everybody’s purpose. I think there is a, we have to understand what are some of the unique talents that we’ve been blessed with? So those are just God, given you’re born with these talents? And, and trying to spend time in those areas? Because you’re gonna get that positive feedback that you’re having an impact? And then there’s also what is, what are you standing for? I think there’s a fundamental from an early age, what you stand for, as an individual. And it’s not what you were taught necessarily. And then it’s Who are you going to help? What group or individual or type of individual, I think those three fundamentals of those those talents, what do you stand for? Who will you help? That’s very broad, Mike. And so I think if you if we embark upon the days of our lives, with those three in mind, and being aware of them, they will, the serendipity will happen. And it will start to take us in, but we will meet the people we need to meet. And they might pull us in a different direction that we never that we never planned on. Sure. But we’re we’re in a lot of ways. And we’re following that, you know, heart and soul. You know, I like the definition I use in the book, for soul, for example, is there’s the spirit, it’s Plato’s Plato’s musings on this, there’s the head, the heart and the stomach and heads rational or logical, the heart is spirited, and then the stomach is your appetites, you know, kind of the hunger that you have. And so that’s the definition I use for soul and how however we fulfill it, you know, I happen to be, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m a believer on Christianity. That’s my particular belief system. But I run it through the lens of my soul. And I think that’s something you know, the definition of that, is that the timeless essence of who we are. I think trying to put that in practical measures is just what I said your talents, what what do you stand for who you’re going to help? I think that’s the way we can kind of externalize the soul.


Mike Malatesta  38:47

Okay. And in the book, you refer to the soul, I think, as a propulsion system. And what does that mean?


Ted Bradshaw  38:55

So when when we the metaphors I use in the books, I call it the purpose platform and purpose is at the center, and you started off the podcast, there loved it, yours ever gonna talk about your past, you know where you are right now and where you’re going? That’s it. I mean, that’s, that’s really, those are the elements of our of our purpose. It’s past the present to us. And then, you know, where are we? Where are we going and surrounding that though, this is where life is gonna throw us some curveballs. And so I’ve identified six essentials of life, that if we tend to them, pay attention to them and nurture them, we have a better chance of realizing our purpose. And those six essentials are the mind, body, soul, nutrition, money and relationships, the propulsion propulsion system, mind is Mission Control. Right. So so our mind is where our thoughts are held. This is how we we we move to to action, this is this is also where some conscious thought of how we feel about the actions we’re taking. So it’s kind of pushing the buttons, right? It’s, I’m gonna go this direction, I’m going to think I’m going to feel this way, I’m going to say this thing. And so it’s kind of it’s at the controls, our body is the vessel, upon which we express those thoughts and those feelings or those actions, either physically or through voice, or however we create creation, right, the body enables us to do that. So it’s really that soul that is propelling us through the, the the adventure of life. And it’s, again, it’s, if we, if we have all of those essentials, we can define the mind and the brain and we can define the body. It’s very clear, it’s very physical. You know, clearly nutrition and food is a thing, and money is a thing in relationships in our life. So is that one? That is that kind of it’s that invisible? Essence. But if you ask somebody, if they have one, chances are they’ll say, Yes. Ask them to define it gets a little trickier. Yeah, they just, they just feel it, you know?


Mike Malatesta  41:10

Yeah. Well, you’ve never really been asked to, like, define what your soul is. It’s just sort of something that everyone is. Not everyone. But a lot of people were just grew up being told to have one.


Ted Bradshaw  41:24

Right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But we, I mean, we have to feel it. Yeah, it’s this is this is very challenging to describe as someone described it. It’s tricky.


Mike Malatesta  41:38

And where did this come from? Like this, the six essentials was because it didn’t sound like you were thinking about these things, as you were taking us through the seven logos, the first seven logos, because, you know, you were it didn’t sound like you really knew what you wanted, you just wanted more or wanted, different or whatever. So where did these come from?


Ted Bradshaw  41:57

How did you? Well, yeah, so I, when I was in preparation for the book I, I was I was borrowing from my experience with EOS. So I’ve seen I’ve seen the benefit that EOS has on businesses that implement it. And of course, you know, the, the equivalent of the purpose platform and EOS languages, the EOS model. And at the center is the, you know, the the the business itself. And then surrounding it is vision, people data, issues, process and traction, and they all have their various definitions. And I connected that with at my son’s high school graduation. One of the speakers, I think it was it was profound to me, and I wish I would have known it when I was in high school. And he said, you know, we don’t teach math for the sake of math, we don’t teach science for the, for the sake of science, or language arts for the sake of language arts, or social studies. All of these are designed to interact and work together to make you a more complete and rounded student. And so that was very helpful for me and understanding, well, it’s just not about having great people in your business, you also have to have your vision aligned, and so on and so forth. And it just, it just seemed common sense to me. For our personal lives, the same is true. And I thought what are the most important variables of our life. And that’s how I sort of defined it and tested it, and I think I’ve got it, you can put pretty much everything that’s important to us and one of those six essentials, but they work together, you know that obviously, that nutrition fuels the body. Physiologically, if we’re meditating with literally has a calming effect and can lower our blood pressure. So these are all connected. And I wasn’t thinking of these things in that way. When I was going through the seven startups, Mike, I was certainly thinking of money as an make it I was thinking of relationships as in who can I be connected to that can help me, you know, get where I want to go? Yeah, course, body I want to be healthy. But I also want to look good on the beach. So these were all very self centered, independent views of the six essentials. And as soon as I started to reframe it from a, these are the guide rails or guardrails that are going to keep me on track. It allowed me to start to ask the question about money and what is it about money and not the essential and it isn’t about the quantity or earning it? It’s your relationship with it that matters. And so that’s where I started to go deeper in these essentials, and what did they really mean? And, and so that’s, again, it was a confluence in my experience over over time that allowed me to land on those.


Mike Malatesta  44:56

So help me understand that part. Your it’s your relation with it when it comes to money, what what does that mean? What should somebody’s relationship with money be?


Ted Bradshaw  45:05

What should it be is up to the individual, but here’s where I would. So when I that first job, that board credit job and the mortgage that I had Mike, if that mortgage was $800, every two weeks, I think the house was worth $115,000 When I bought it, and I was making 24,000 a year. And somehow I found a way to pay the mortgage, go out for dinner, go to a movie once a week, and still save a little bit of money. 401k


Mike Malatesta  45:37

That seems pretty hard on 24 grand 800 Eric


Ted Bradshaw  45:41

J had 1600. Yeah.


Mike Malatesta  45:43

16. That’s like mostly almost all, when he


Ted Bradshaw  45:47

asked me was 26,000 it was like not whatever, right? Yeah, it was it was lean, it was lean. Or maybe more it was $800 that it was lead. And I fast forward. I think, you know, my next job will make $40,000 a year, what would I do with $40,000 a year and, and the life I would have, and you can multiply that by 10, almost all the way up. And I and I now have, you know, had enough time to spend with some people that are in that 10x category, no happier, necessarily no more fulfilled. And it I find that you ask somebody, what’s your number right now somebody’s you know, is it a million dollars? Is a 2 million? Is it 10 million? And if you ask them at various points through their life, you probably get different numbers all the way up, you know? And the relationship is, Are you are you comfortable? With the level you’re at with your income? Or with your let’s call it net worth? There are some practical terms here, of course, and does it define how you’re feeling about your life? Does it define what you’re going to choose to? Do? You know, and so are you are you comfortable at that, like I’ve talked to some people that they’ve they just very comfortable with, with with X amount, because for them their lifestyle is is is appropriate. I’ve talked to others, they’re they’re very driven to make more mostly because they want to give back more, which is which is which is wonderful. But again, money for the sake of money. It’s a very, very, it can be a very, very demotivating place.


Mike Malatesta  47:23

Yeah, I’ve called it you know, it can be a trap. It can be Yeah. When you said that, early on, in our conversation, when you said that you could feel alone, even when you’re around a bunch of people Money can make you can can have that effect on YouTube. Because if you’re always thinking about where you are in relation to everyone else, when it comes to money, and you can feel awful, you can feel awful, alone, and you’re sick. Sounds weird, but you can’t. But you can.


Ted Bradshaw  47:53

Yeah. And it can be it’s a construct as well, Mike, you know, if you think am I really what it does is it provides opportunities to experience things. Yeah. And we’re putting a heck of a lot of value on a piece of paper. Like, really, the value of it is is just what that paper is? Yeah, that’s a belief system? For sure. It is it believe it is? Yeah, and it could go away it can you governments can they’ve eroded our purchasing power overnight, with with their behaviors over the last couple of years. And so if we, if we assign too much of our value set to it, it can really be hit to our, our person. But yeah, you know, if it’s if our if, if, if we identify with the amount of money we have, or, or, or what our money portrays about us, it doesn’t if we have a healthy relationship with it, then we can manage, yeah, you know, then we can manage it. And then a lot of good can come from it. And I’m, uh, I’m as capitalistic as the next person, but not not at all costs.


Mike Malatesta  49:01

It’s just a very, it’s a weird thing. Like when you are, you know, at, say you have a net worth of 100,000. And you say, Man, if I only had a million dollar net worth, that would be awesome. And you get to a million dollars and you don’t, you don’t often be like, This is awesome. You’re like, Yeah, but I have a bigger house now. And I got kids and I got college and if I only had $5 million, that would be a so it can be a real Yeah. And yeah, it can be a real race and and you know what else you can do to you, it can mess you up. Instead of you thinking about what more can I do? What is my purpose you can also be easily fall into what do I have to do to keep this what if I were to lose this what would happen? All right. That’s that’s that happens. I mean, yes, I think that way, sometimes I go back and forth. Like I tried to stay on. There’s more to do there’s more impact to have there’s more of that. But sometimes you’re just like, wow, that’s I don’t want to I don’t want to go back to, you know, making an hourly wage, you know, or I don’t want to go back to some part in my past where I was, I may have been perfectly happy, but I just didn’t have, you know, the resources that perhaps I have today. So I can Yeah.


Ted Bradshaw  50:16

Yeah. And that’s, I think that’s very natural and normal. And like, I have those, I still have those thoughts. I find, though, that when I get when I can, can put it in the right compartment, and really understand what money is there to do it. It’s more of it comes, you know, it’s an interesting thing is you sort of let go and and you know, it kind of, nonetheless, it’s, it still seems to do have an attraction. Yeah. And but I also know, it’s a false sense of security that so this this past year, for example, I have a, I call it the silver bullet, and all of this, it’s just related to Yes, each of these, each of these essentials is important to attend to, it’s certain, there’s no question, you’re going to be happier, just given the nature of our society, you will be happier with more money than less. So that, you know, is definitely the case. And we’ve all experienced that. And so I call it the silver bullet and it took a whole bunch of stress out of my life, I was the person who will if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now, Mike, I’m very well, maybe a financial advisors, I really enjoy it. Okay, I do my own investments, because I enjoy it and follow the stock market because I enjoy it. But I was getting twisted up on her monthly budget, you know, I was getting twisted up with looking at with I was looking at the visa and pulling out the business expenses, or whatever I was telling this story last week, you know, my wife’s, you know, we’re attached, like, she has her own card, but we’re just joint account, right? So I get to see all of her transactions. And she’s buying the purchases for the groceries and all this stuff. So, I mean, I don’t look at it too closely. But every now and again, I’ll see like a store or whatever. I don’t I don’t recognize it.


Mike Malatesta  52:00

I’m feeling you. I’m feeling it. Yeah. Okay. So


Ted Bradshaw  52:03

so I can see what we need. Like what is that? It was really ups you know, she’d like, come on. She you know, she’d have an answer. And okay, fine. So I finally go, this is twisted me up. I can’t it’s crazy. I keep looking at this, these resist statements every month. So I came up with this silver bullet idea. I’ve so two to two numbers. So Fort Knox and silver bullet. Fort Knox is the kind of what’s your number? Okay, so set a date at some point in the future? And what is that amount of money or net worth that you want? Or need in order if you didn’t work anymore? And you could just be free to not work or not earned? I should say, what would that number be? So five years from now 10 years from now 2030 depending on the age, so get that number and then there’s you have to do a little bit of work here to calculate the the amount of money you’ll need to put away every year and the interest rate, you know, assuming interest rate, kind of basic financial one on one stuff if you’re saving for retirement. Yeah. So have your Fort Knox $2 million, whatever that number is, this silver bullet is the amount that if you can save it or invested every month, you have confidence that you’re gonna get to your Fort Knox and if that’s $100 a month, $500 a month 1000 Depending on the situation. 10,000 Whatever it is. So for me, Mike, it took all the stress away. So now i As long as we have our silver bullet, when all is said and done. Yeah, I don’t. I don’t worry about what what the rest of the family is spending money on. And it’s been a game changer. For me.


Mike Malatesta  53:44

That’s like reminds me of thank you for that reminds me of the book, The Richest Man in Babylon. I don’t know if you’ve ever read that book gas. Yeah. It’s it’s a similar mindset, like, save first and then basically, that’s what it is save first. Yeah. And you don’t have they’ll never have to worry if you save first because when you blast that you are always


Ted Bradshaw  54:08

it’s definitely pay yourself first. That’s definitely important. For me, there was another piece to it, though, as well is I started to get in my head that if I’m making an extra so the pay yourself first model is a little bit of maybe it’s like, put 10% of your pre tax income away no matter what. So I had this for a long time I did that. But as my income started to grow, it started put pressure on me to put more and more away. And so that’s where the silver bullet. Okay.


Mike Malatesta  54:39

Yeah, it doesn’t. It doesn’t necessarily keep creeping up. It’s


Ted Bradshaw  54:44

exactly Yeah, exactly. And as long as my Fort Knox is okay, like the only reason to creep up would be you’re not going to hit your your your Yeah, that makes sense. So if I’m if I’m comfortable, and this also counts Is the well now I have 500,000. So, boy, I should have a million I get counters that whole thing. So it gets just more and more and more and more, because that’s the way I know I’m wired that way. So this really takes that. All right, step back, chill out. Tomorrow is not assured a guaranteed so the Fort Knox is just a number. Let’s enjoy today, but still not at the expense of tomorrow.


Mike Malatesta  55:26

Glad we got to silver bullet and Fort Knox. That was really good stuff. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah. So we’re kind of at the end of our time, Ted, I, it’s been so fun talking to you. I want everybody to get his book, stop chasing squirrels. Learn about the six essentials that are in that book and a lot of other stuff. And connect with Ted, I know you’ve got your own website, Ted bradshaw.com, which is very, very simple. Are there other ways that you want people to connect with you?


Ted Bradshaw  55:56

That’s the best way Mike. But all my socials so you’ll find me on LinkedIn is Ted Bradshaw. Instagram is Ted Bradshaw Cole. So please feel free to reach at Facebook, Ted Bradshaw info at Ted bradshaw.com. If someone wants to have a direct conversation with me, I’d be happy to engage them. So thank you so much. You’re you’re you’re talented interviewer Mike, like I said, you really got me going some places that I wasn’t thinking, What did not have that on the radar this morning. So thank you very much.


Mike Malatesta  56:30

I appreciate the compliment. It’s the question really just how that happened. You just take it wherever it goes. And it just, that’s where it went. So I appreciate you sharing some things and getting into some things you weren’t maybe prepared to get into today or weren’t thinking you would, but it just made you a human. It was fantastic. So it’s been really great. Thank you so much, Ted.


Ted Bradshaw  56:51

Thank you, Mike. Appreciate you,


Mike Malatesta  56:53

everybody. Thanks for listening to the show. And before you go, I just have three requests for you one if you like what I’m doing please consider subscribing or following the podcast on whatever podcast platform you prefer. If you’re really into it, leave me a review write something nice about me Give me five stars or whatever you feel is most appropriate. Number two, I’ve got a book it’s called owner shift how getting selfish got me unstuck. It’s an Amazon bestseller, and I’d love for you to read it or listen to it on Audible or wherever else Barnes and Noble Amazon, you can get it everywhere. If you’re looking for inspiration that will help you unlock your greatness and potential order or download it today so that you can have your very own copy and if you get it please let me know what you think. Number three, my newsletter. I do a newsletter every Thursday and I talk about things that are interesting to me and or I give more information about the podcast and podcast guests that I’ve had and the experiences that I’ve had with them. You can sign up for the podcast today at my website, which is my name Mike malatesta.com. You do that right now put in your email address and you’ll get the very next issue. The newsletter is short, thoughtful and designed to inspire, activate and maximize the greatness in you

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Alexi Cortopassi

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