The 4 Fallacies That Put Me Into The Valley Of Uncertainty (#243)

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Welcome to another solo and special episode of the How’d It Happen Podcast. Today I’m talking about a concept that came from my book: OWNER SHIFT – How Getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck, which by the way, is still available. As people started reading my book, it became apparent that the concepts I wrote, particularly the topic that I will talk about in this episode, can be seen from different angles. When I was writing the book, I wrote it for entrepreneurs, but I’m glad that it resonates with non-entrepreneurs as well. So tune in to the podcast and let me know how it came about for you.

The 4 Fallacies:

  • I can handle anything.
  • I’m responsible for everything.
  • I didn’t think my future could be any different than my past.
  • I thought those walls would protect me.

Full transcript below

Episode timestamps:

[2:02] What is The Valley of Uncertainty from an entrepreneur’s perspective
[3:42] What you need to know about the Valley
[6:18] How I dropped into my valley
[7:26] “I can handle anything.”
[8:23] “I’m responsible for everything.”
[9:25] “I didn’t think my future could be any different than my past.”
[10:15] “I thought those walls would protect me.”
[12:40] Outro

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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.

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Hey, everybody, welcome back to that it happened podcast, I am so happy to have you here as I am with every episode. And today I’ve got something a little bit special, it comes to an idea that comes from my book, Owner Shift, How Getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck. And I’ve been talking about this a lot with people on their other podcasts. And it’s an at first I thought, this is an idea that really is just something that entrepreneurs deal with. But as people have been reading the book and giving me feedback, it’s become more apparent to me that this, this concept that I’m going to share with you today is something that isn’t just unique to entrepreneurs, it’s probably something that all of us has to deal with at one time or another. I focused on entrepreneurs with the story in the book, because that’s what I am. And that’s what I think put me in the place that I’m going to talk about. But it’s just been very interesting to me how sort of wide the the appeal and understanding of this concept is, so hopefully, no matter where you are in your life or your career, what I’m going to talk about today, it will resonate with you. And the thing I’m going to talk about today I call the Valley of Uncertainty.

So what is the Valley of Uncertainty. And I’m going to take an entrepreneurial perspective on this because again, that’s where I come from, but you take yours, because I’m sure that things will come up, you know, in your own mind with your own experiences. So for me, the Valley of Uncertainty is the place where an entrepreneur ends up when the weight of your responsibility, the weight of your confidence, the weight of the grind of being an entrepreneur, the weight of bad outcomes, and who knows what else gets so heavy, that you become you well, you become worn down and stuck. And you know, it’s really a place where entrepreneurs go to expire, or to give up or to slow down. Or to think about getting small again, or to think that going forward is just too hard. You get into you get into, you know, being an entrepreneur with this big dream. And you know, the world is going to be completely impacted by what you do, are you going to have all this freedom or you’re going to make all kinds of money or you’re going to just have a great life. And sometimes that happens, it definitely can happen. It should be the reason you become an entrepreneur. But a lot of times things like the Valley get a hold of you and things change a bit.

So what do you need to know about the Valley — the Valley of Uncertainty is deep and patient, it waits for you. It knows you’re coming. That’s the thing and knows you’re coming. And once it has you, it does not want to let you go does not want to let you go. And the Valley of Uncertainty loves long -term guests. It’s like a long-term Airbnb rental, it really loves people to stay for a long time. And it makes it hard for you to leave because the Valley of Uncertainty makes you feel comfortable. Lets you believe that it’s not your fault that you’re there. And it helps you look for someone or something to blame for why you’re you’re there. I like to say that it specializes in “it’s not your fault.” And it loves putting questions in your mind that you can’t answer. And it’s a terrible feeling to have questions in your mind that you know you should be able to answer but that you can’t answer, and the Valley loves to put those questions out there. But it doesn’t love to give you the answers. So once you’re there, it becomes kind of , and this is gonna sound bad but even though it’s super uncomfortable, it becomes kind of a comfortable place to be because when you’re expiring or when you’re giving up or when you’re doing all other kinds of things that you might do in the Valley, you aren’t asking yourself the right questions, and you’re not looking for the right help. And the Valley isn’t giving you any direction. All it is, is keeping you stuck back, I like to think that, you know, a lot of times as entrepreneurs, when a problem comes along, we just hit the gas and go faster, and we end up like, you know, sort of whipping our way through the problem. But over time, the tires get worn down, right, and the mud gets higher. And, you know, we try to, we try to do what we’ve always done, and we try to hit the gas and get through it. And instead of, you know, instead of making it through to the other side, and been like, Ah, got it, you get stuck, you know, and you’re buried up to the up to the, you know, the doors of the car, or the SUV or a truck or whatever you’ve got, and, and there’s no getting out of all of that. So that’s what the Valley’s like at the bottom, you follow a long way and then you get stuck in that muck.

I dropped into my own Valley. When my partner Bush passed away, about 11 years after we started the business — he was burned badly in a fire and at one of our facilities, and he died a few days later. And that came on the heels of several other things, we had a team member named Billy who passed away in an accident at work, we had been indicted, and I had been convicted of crimes and had to pay my dues for that. And there were a lot of other things and but there were also a lot of good things that were happening too; I just ignored them because I was only focused on what I’m going to describe to you as “the four fallacies that led me into the Valley. And there were probably more than four. But here are the top four fallacies that that that I think dropped me into the into the Valley, and maybe you can relate to these.

The first one is that was that I can handle anything. So I had this belief system that I could outwork anyone, that I was exceptional, and notin a conceited way, but in a natural way, like a confident way. I’d proven that I could get through a lot. Definitely a lot that other people couldn’t get through. And I prided myself on the on the fact that I could or at least it looked like I could. And it felt like I could. And I also thought that asking for help was like cheating. You know, you go through school. And if you ask people for help on a test, that’s cheating, how you get in trouble. So I just, you know, the combination of me being so focused on being right and figuring out the answers and not getting help with them — it’s definitely a fallacy of mine. And I call that my number one fallacy.

Number two, is I’m responsible for everything. And, you know, I shared with you a few things. I was definitely responsible for, for the indictment, but I just felt like, you know what, with Butch and with Billy, and with all the other things that didn’t go right in the business, I was responsible for them. And you know, now it occurs to me, and this is one of the ways I got out of the Valley, but it occurs to me that I can’t be responsible for everything; I can have the responsibility for everything, but I can’t be responsible for everything, it’s just not possible. And if you internalize, you know, being responsible, or you confuse it, being responsible with having the responsibility for, it can really weigh heavily on you. And that was certainly a fallacy of mine.

Number three is I didn’t think my future could be any different than my past. And, you know, why would it? You know, these things are happening in the business and again, focused on the negative things. And, you know, I’m in this Valley, and I’m looking, I can’t even see the future, let alone think about it. And in the end, even if I could, why would I think that it would be any different than what it had been? Or, you know, what my what my past had been and what my present was? And why would I want to put in 10 or 11 more years or however many years it would take of that. That’s what I was telling myself. That’s the fallacy that that I had. I had no idea that I could have a future that was brighter than my past.

The fourth fallacy relates to these invisible walls that I built around me and around the business and I thought those walls would protect me. I just felt like I needed to do was focus myself inside of the business and everything outside of the walls of the business was something that I just didn’t need, didn’t want and wasn’t willing to look for. And, you know, I just thought that, you know, having those walls around me, protected me. But they didn’t protect me. And it’s ironic because I didn’t end up going to prison. But I sort of built my own prison with these walls around me, and I didn’t know how to climb over them, because they were very tall. And I didn’t know how to, you know, dig under them, because they were very deep.

So those are the four fallacies that that dumped me into the Valley of Uncertainty. You know, I can handle anything. I’m responsible for everything. I don’t have a future that’s better than my past. And my walls will protect me. So that’s how I got there. I hated being in the Valley. But the Valley did me a big favor. And on the next solo episode ,next Friday, I’ll talk about the favor that the Valley did me and how I ended up getting started on my way out of there. And if you want to read more about this, pick up the book, you can get it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or wherever you get your books. Owner Shift – How Getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck. So until the next solo, enjoy the guest episodes that are coming up, and I will talk to you then. Thanks for listening. Thanks for watching, and thanks for subscribing and sharing.

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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I help entrepreneurs get unstuck, take back their power, achieve their life objectives, and create the futures they want.

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