If you’re going to dream … dream BIG. It’s a shame, but so many people don’t allow themselves to go after what they really want. So they keep their dreams small and “realistic.” That’s why I’ve brought on today’s special guest – Christian Mickelsen. Starting from humble beginnings, he’s now the CEO of a multimillion-dollar coaching business. It’s won Inc. 5,000’s fastest growing companies in America for 4 years in a row! Listen in, as Christian shares key insights that can help you dream big again and achieve whatever level of success you want.
In today’s episode:
- The one thing that’s better than willpower and motivation (this is what took Christian to a whole new level of success) …
- What “no man’s land” is – and why it’s a dangerous place to be in if you want to achieve your dreams …
- How to create the “power” you need to transform your life …
- One skill that everyone needs to practice (and can help you “organize” your thinking) …
- Why Christian believes THIS is responsible for more than 90% of your success …
- A “secret formula” that everyone can apply to achieve BIG dreams …
- A simple-but-powerful habit you can get into – starting immediately – that can dramatically accelerate your achievement …
- And much more …
- Opportunity Gift:
- Free Book: Get Clients Today: www.GetClientsTodayBook.com
- Free Book: Abundance Unleashed www.MyAbundanceBook.com
James Mel: Hey everybody, welcome to the Get Ahead podcast, I’m James Mel. On this podcast, what I do is I find successful entrepreneurs and I dig deep to uncover the strategies, the mindsets, the techniques, and other things they’ve done to get ahead in their life and their business so you can do the same. I know if you’re here, you’re a high achiever. I know you want to get ahead. That’s a topic I’ve been obsessed with my entire life and that’s what I want to help you do, is uncover the different strategies and the techniques you need to be able to do that to get ahead in your own life. Make sure to grab a pen, a paper, or something to take notes with, because as we uncover these gold nuggets, you’re going to want to write them down.
Now, before we jump into today’s episode, I have something really special to give you as a free gift. Like any successful person, I’ve got a mentor and I’ve had one for over 10 years, and it turns out that he’s also my business partner. His name’s Eben Pagan, and he’s written a book on opportunity. Now, if you want to get ahead in your life and your business, it’s super important that you not only know how to spot opportunity, but you know how to take advantage of it, and that’s what this entire book is about. I’d like to give you a free copy. Not only that, I’d like to ship it to you absolutely free. You get a free copy and get it shipped to you absolutely free. The way you can get this is, go to www.jamesmel.com/opportunity, and it’s all on me. Go there now grab your copy. You’ll be glad you did. All right, without further ado, let’s jump into today’s episode.
Okay, really excited for today’s episode. I’ve got my dear friend, Christian Mickelsen, who I’ve known for a bunch of years now, and Christian is a leading authority on personal development and coaching, and is the author of five, yes, five best selling books, including Abundance Unleashed, and Get Clients Today. One of the best people I know when it comes to getting clients. He’s also the founder and CEO of a multimillion dollar coaching business. It’s won Inc. 5,000’s fastest growing companies in America not one, not two, but four years in a row. He’s also a personal coach for 20 years, and has helped hundreds of thousands of people around the world, experience the life changing power of coaching, and he’s on a mission to get the whole world coached. I have a coach, I get coached, I really believe in this, really excited Christian to have you here today and figure out how you’ve been able to go from the very beginning to now getting ahead where you are now and having achieved all those amazing things. Welcome.
Christian: Thank you. So happy to be here.
James Mel: Yeah. Let’s start at the very beginning though, because you got all this success now and I really consider you as somebody who’s figured out how to get ahead in life and business. But do you remember back to when you weren’t ahead and when you were just getting started, and what that looked like in your life?
Christian: Yeah. I mean normally, I mean, it depends on how far [inaudible 00:03:02] getting started, because I got started in other things before I got started in this. My first ever getting started, or do you want to go back to just the beginning of this thing?
James Mel: Yeah, no. More so when you might have felt like you were behind in life and you were struggling and you just weren’t so sure how… What that felt like, and…
Christian: Yes, I’ll tell you what that felt like. It felt like absolute misery. Yeah. My last job I ever had, that was it right there. My last job I ever had… I came up with an idea to start a business while I was in between jobs, and I came with this idea that I thought was going to be this big hit. It was a gift card, gift certificate business where people could buy gift cards or gift certificates online or over the phone. That was a new thing back over 20 years ago before my current business. My idea was, I would take a little piece of the transaction. I’d be the middleman where people could get all the gift cards in one place. Now you can go to grocery stores and just go pick out a bunch at a time.
Back in the day I got the idea because my girlfriend at the time she wanted something that would be a meaningful present, so if I just got her a gift card, I knew she wouldn’t appreciate it. But I thought, “Well, what if I get her a gift card to her three favorite places? That would be something she would appreciate.” I was like, “All right, I’ll just run to the store and be back in 15 minutes with all these gift cards.” Well, it was Christmas time, and I used to live in Chicago suburbs so driving, traffic, parking terrible. Go in, wait in line forever and get a gift card, and then do it again to get another one, and then do it again to get another one. I was like, “Holy cow, this is not easy.” I thought, “There’s got to be a better way.”
I came up with my business idea, which was, my company was called GiftTastic, and the tagline was ‘send the love, save the hassle’. I came up with the idea and I thought, “Oh, I got to build a website and all this stuff,” and this is when websites were not super easy to build, and so I hired somebody to do that and stuff. I was in between jobs, and so I knew I needed to get another job to be able to fund my business. I finally got hired, and on my first day I was like, “Oh my God, this is terrible. This is going to be the worst job I’ve ever had, or one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had,” just because of what I was doing was not something that I would enjoy. But I thought, “All right, if I just stick it out for four months I’ll get my company off the ground, and leave this behind.”
Well, four months turned into a year. All the stuff I was doing to get things started in my business, I would stop doing. Then all of a sudden this guy started publicly harassing me and humiliating me at work. He would basically just go like this and do the loser sign, call me a loser in front of the entire office almost every day. It was terrible. I’m this loving, kind guy that… I don’t want to fight with somebody. It would hurt me to have to insult him back, right? But then not insulting, I didn’t know what to do. We’re adults, what the hell is happening here? This is like junior high all over again. I was miserable at work. I hated the work that I was doing. I hated the people. The culture was terrible, and I like, “I got to do something.”
I didn’t know what to do. I knew what to do, because I had this business idea that I wasn’t taking action on. I don’t know what I needed, but I ended up hiring a coach actually, and that was my first coach I ever had. Nine months later I was out of that job. I was working for myself, getting the company going, but partly it was like I couldn’t stay working there any longer. I couldn’t stay another… I couldn’t take it anymore. That’s one of the things I remember in one of Tony Robbins’ infomercials, we both just met Tony. I’ve met him many times, but we both met them again together just a couple of days ago, so that’s awesome. Or was that your first time meeting Tony?
James Mel: It was, yeah.
Christian: Yeah. One of the things in one of his infomercials many years ago was he’s like, “If you’re happy then awesome,” right? “If you’re having a great life, loving life, or you’re happy, fantastic. If you’re miserable, then that’s terrible, but at least you’re going to be willing to do something about it.” He’s like, the worst is in between. You’re in no man’s land where you’re like, you’re not super happy, you’re comfortable, but not really comfortable, and you’re not in enough pain to do anything about it. I remember thinking like, “Wow, that’s…” I was definitely in the, finally in enough pain to do something about it stage. I think, for a lot of people, that might be the thing. It’s a bummer. I wish I was more… I got the idea and was proactive to begin with, but eventually things get hard. I had to cold call companies to see if they would let me sell their gift cards. Cold calling big companies and not knowing who to talk about, about this whole new idea. It wasn’t easy and I wasn’t doing it.
James Mel: You said you experienced a lot of pain when you had that, you weren’t in a good situation, you didn’t like it, you know it wasn’t for you. What were you telling yourself? What was the mindset or what was that self conversation?
Christian: How did I get here is the thought. I was like, “How did I get here?” My relationship, I was in, the girl that I was dating that I got the idea to start that company, that relationship wasn’t working. I was out of shape, I wasn’t exercising consistently anymore. I just like, “How did I end up in this? How did I get here?” When I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be a teacher and I went to college. I graduated with a degree in elementary ed, but when I graduated my student teaching was this terrible experience. That was horrible. Now all of a sudden I’m like, “Well, I don’t want to do teaching.” Even though inside me it was like, I knew I needed to teach and I’m like, how do I? My whole time from elementary school all the way through until right before I graduated college, I was like, “I’m going to be a teacher.” That’s what I knew it, like, “That’s what I’m going to do.”
Then to not end up teaching in school I’m like, “I don’t know how I got there.” Then I started this business, and then I had this… There were times where I felt like I had a promising future ahead of myself. When my relationship was fresh, I was like, “Oh, I got a great relationship with a great girl.” I had started this business idea. I’m like, “That’s great.” Then here I was just, everything was miserable. I didn’t know what to do. I mean, I was just like, “How did I get here? How do I get out of this?” It just felt like every area of my life was bad, and I knew it was all up to me. I got myself there. I don’t know how I got there, but it was, I was the one who wasn’t working out anymore. I was the one who was maybe settling for a relationship that was less than optimal. I was the one who wasn’t taking action on my business, and I felt like I needed a coach to get more out of me because I definitely wasn’t getting enough out of myself.
James Mel: Interesting. Although it seems like you’re in a bad place, it sounds like you, even back then, took responsibility, and you’re like, “I got here, that’s pretty unfortunate, but I’m going to get my way out of it.” Because I find a lot of people, they might just be like, “Well those are the cards I was dealt. I guess I’ll just stick with this job for the next five, 10, 20 years.”
Christian: Yeah. I’ve been into personal growth since I was 12 and I’ve been reading tons of [inaudible 00:11:13] books. The idea of taking responsibility, yeah. I think that’s something I learned, I don’t know, either in all those books. Somewhere I learned that along the way. I don’t think I necessarily learned it from the other people in my family. Yeah, I mean, I think that’s a foundational thing. Taking responsibility for where you’re at is absolutely critical to being able to change it, because if you think, “Oh it’s not my fault. It’s somebody else’s responsibility.” If you can’t put the fault at your own feet, then that means you have no power to change it, right? If you blame other people, “Oh, it’s this other guy who’s harassing me. Yeah, and he’s [inaudible 00:11:51] harassing me.” I’m letting it happen. I’m the one whose not quitting, I’m the one who’s whatever, right? I’m the one who’s not going and talking to my boss about it and whatever.
If I say I don’t have any… Well, if I blame outside myself, then that means I have no control, and that means that there’s nothing I can do. But if you blame yourself or at least take responsibility for yourself, then that means you have power and you can actually change it, so, yeah.
James Mel: Got it. Then you mentioned you hired a coach, and it sounds like that was a pivotal moment for you, because here you were in this situation, you want to get out of it. Talk a little bit about what was… I mean, could you afford this coach? How did that happen, what came out of it?
Christian: Yeah, I started… I mean, coaching was new. I mean, there weren’t necessarily tons of coaches out there. I didn’t know who to hire. I just started thinking, “I need to hire a coach,” and so I started looking around. I was in Toastmasters. I met somebody who I potentially was going to hire through Toastmasters, and I met someone else somewhere else that I did hire that I feel like I could afford it. I think partly I’d put enough money into building the website and other stuff, I had business cards printed, I had brochures printed up. I’d put enough money into it, but I felt like, “If I don’t hire a coach, then all of that’s for nothing. If I hire a coach and I get this figured out, or I don’t hire the coach and then life sucks, and I waste all this money on this business. If I hire the coach, then maybe there’s hope.” Whether I could afford it or not afford it, it wasn’t really even an issue. It was like, “I have to do it.” I mean, that’s all there was to it.
James Mel: You did it, and then what was the big insight you had from hiring this coach? What did they help you really bring out?
Christian: So many things. Well, the first thing was just like, okay, “Christian, now that you have just hired me, what are you going to do this week to grow your business and move your goals forward?” It’s like, all the things that I knew I should be doing all that time. It’s like, “Okay, I’m going to do this stuff,” and then, I have somebody to talk to the next week to see if I actually did it or not. I’m paying somebody, not necessarily to tell me what to do, but somewhat to just make sure I’m doing what I say I’m going to do. Just that act of paying for coaching helps your commitment to your results. All of the stuff I hadn’t been doing now I hire a coach, I’m like, “Okay, now I’m going to go do all that stuff.” That was helpful. Having somebody that believed in me and believed in the idea, thought I could do it.
One of the biggest things was, my business wasn’t making any money yet. It was still far from that stage. But I remember thinking, “Man, I’d love to quit my job. I could have more time to spend on my business.” I remember talking to my coach, and I kept feeling like my coach was going to talk me out of quitting because it wouldn’t be the prudent thing to do. “If you quit, how are you going to make money? What about your mortgage and your house?” And all that stuff. She was surprisingly like, “Oh, you should quit.” She’s like, “You hate that job, right?” I’m like, “Yeah.” She’s like, “Well you should quit.” I was like, “But, what about money?” And she’s like, “You’ll figure it out.”
It’s like, “Whoa, snap.” I didn’t have any excuse to not quit and now I could be free of this job that was not energetically… Even though I was… I went from being at my worst to now, after working with a coach for a while, starting to feel more confident and strong again, and being back in shape and all that stuff. But still, just being in the environment of that place was an energy drag, and letting that go as was huge.
James Mel: Yeah. It sounds like the coach really helped you out. Do you think that’s really important to get ahead? Is having that built in… I mean, do you think that’s a necessary part? Did you think you should rely on your own willpower and motivation? What’s your thoughts on that?
Christian: There’s a lot of very successful people that don’t have coaches, so it’s totally possible to be as successful as you could ever want to be without hiring a coach. It’s totally possible. But just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s likely for most people. I don’t know where I’d be today without all the coaches I’ve hired over the years. That first one was huge, and then after I got out of that relationship, I was dating a lot for the next four years and nothing was really clicking. I hired a coach to help me with relationship stuff, and I met my wife four months later. We’ve been together for 15 years. I’m a huge believer in the power of coaching. I think it would be, I don’t want to say silly, to try to do things without one.
It’s okay to try to do stuff without a coach, but it’s just so much better with a coach. I believe coaching is the most powerful force for change on earth. You could try to read a book on how to do something, you could go to a seminar, you can take an online training program, and all of those things are valuable, right? I’m not knocking books. I’m not knocking online… I have five bestselling books, I’ve got 40 plus online training programs, lead lots of live events, they’re all great. But then, on top of that, if you could also have somebody holding your hand and helping you every step of the way towards your goals, it’s just, yeah, I mean, it’s way better. It’s powerful, and I highly recommend it to everybody.
James Mel: Yeah. Got it. Now, I mean, fast forward a little bit, and you’ve been blessed to have a lot of success in your life, in your business, this type of thing. Can you think of a big break that you had along the way that stands out as like, “Oh, wow. I had this big break and that really set off a chain of events that everything fell into place.”
Christian: So many. Yeah, I mean, I don’t know if there’s any like, the one big… Like I got one big break, but one… I’ll share a few, and one of them is getting a lot of feedback from friends that I was making a big impact on their lives, and having a friend who was… We were attending a personal growth seminar together and he’s like, “You could do that.” I was like, “Oh my God, I could never do that.” Then I was like, “Could I do that? Maybe I could do that.” I was like, “Wow.” Then I had somebody ask me if I could coach them. We were hanging out in a lot of personal growth seminar. Somebody that I met because I was attending lots of personal growth seminars and the person was like, “Oh my gosh. I’d like for you to coach me.” I was like, “All right.” I’m like, “I don’t know, I’ll coach you for free.” Which, I didn’t know any better at the time.
The luck is where the coaching industry was at the time, and the fact that this career thing or business called coaching was emerging is so lucky. If you go back in time, if I was born in the 1950s, maybe I could still be doing it really late in my life, but I got started in coaching in my early twenties. I’ve been coaching for 20 years, which is insane. The timing of that and then the friends and the environment, the people I was surrounded with, encouraging me to lead seminars and to do coaching. That was a huge break. I just remember thinking, when I first heard about coaching, I was like, “That’s a job every single human being on earth would want to do, so who the hell would I be? Why would anybody hire me?” That’s what I felt like. Now I realize not everybody would want to be a coach. Some people like being an accountant, some people like being a librarian, some people like being an interior decorator.
Not everybody necessarily wants to be a coach, but it just felt like, “Oh my gosh, you could get paid to do this kind of stuff?” The big break of the timing of this as a profession or a business was a possibility is a huge break. The fact that I had friends encourage me to do it was a huge break. The fact that the internet, and that you could start marketing and reaching people all over the world, that, that became available as a big break.
Other big breaks or other mentors that were teaching sales and marketing over the years that I could learn from them. I’m a big… A lot of times people get jaded about online training programs that are promoted, and everybody’s promoting different things and stuff like that. I’m like, “God, that’s how I got rich studying all those programs.” I’m so happy that I get to tell people about my programs, about other people’s programs. I mean, people think, “Oh, those people just want to sell stuff to make money.” While the person selling the program certainly makes money, but the person who buys the program can be the person who makes the money, and that definitely was the case for me.
I can’t necessarily identify like, “Oh…” There’s actually one other thing that happened early in my coaching career as I… Not super early, but maybe about four, five years in, I got interviewed by Forbes Magazine. Not because I was famous or anything. I don’t know how they heard about me. I mean, I know they heard about me through the internet, but I don’t know what they were searching for. They were interviewing me about coaching as a career. There is an article called Surprising Six Figure Careers or something like that. They were talking, “Well, is coaching a six figure career?” And all this stuff. I was actually having a terrible day. They left a message on my voicemail. I was like, “Oh man, I’ll just call them tomorrow when I’m feeling better or something.” At that time I started, I’m like, “If I wait until tomorrow, they’re not trying to interview me for me. They’re just trying to get some expert to give some credence to this article that they’re writing.” I’m like, “They’re just going to keep calling until they talk to somebody.” I’m like, “I better call them back right away.”
I did, and then I asked them to put a link to my website in the article, and they said they couldn’t do that. I’m like, “Well, could you at least put my website name in the article even if you can’t have a link to it,” because it was going to be published on the web. They said, “I don’t know.” Then I said, “Well, why don’t you… I’m going to send you some backup information. Corroborate the things I shared. What’s your best email?” They gave me my email, I sent them the stuff, I asked them a third time if they would put my website in there, my website wasn’t even built yet. In fact, the URL wasn’t working. If they typed it in or clicked it, it wouldn’t have worked, but it was close.
Then I got it up, and many of the pages said, “Coming soon.” I asked again, “When the article comes out, will you let me know, so I can tell other people in the industry about it, we can get more attention to your article?” He’s like, “Yeah, that sounds great.” Well, he didn’t do that. All of a sudden people I knew… I used to live in Chicago, then I was living in San Diego and people from, that [inaudible 00:23:25] gold clients, and people I knew from back in Chicago all of a sudden were emailing me like, “Oh my God, I saw this article. You’re mentioned in this article on whatever.” I was like, “What?” They said, “It’s in Yahoo.” I’m like, “Well it was Forbes,” and Yahoo picked it up, and MSN picked it up, and so then all of these people got me a bunch of buzz for like two weeks. Helped me grow my email list in the early days. That was a break. Yeah, I mean. There’s so many… But none of that was like, somebody just gave me a million clients or something.
James Mel: Yeah. Wow. Then when you decide to become a coach and start this coaching business, I mean there’s a lot of coaches and that sort of stuff. What did you do to really get ahead and set yourself apart and really start getting the success that you’ve got?
Christian: One thing was, because I’m a teacher-oriented thinking kind of person, I decided to go to Toastmasters and learn public speaking. That was even before I started this. I mean, I remember I was going to do real estate investing like you when I was like 20. I took a home study course for real estate and I was like, “I’m going to figure this thing out.” I joined Toastmasters back then, before even starting GiftTastic, before even starting my coaching business. I think Toastmasters was something that really helped me get ahead and learning to… Because what’s great about Toastmasters, it’s a nonprofit, speaker training program. You get to go live and practice live in person anywhere. There’s chapters all over the world and you get to go live in person and you get to practice.
Well it’s not just being able to practice speaking, which is really important skill, but it helps you organize your thinking. One of the things you have to do is something called Table Topics. You get a piece of paper and then you look at it and it tells you what you’re going to talk about as you’re walking up on stage, talk about it. It’s like, gives you a chance to think on your feet, and then also when you’re organizing a talk that’s not a table topic where you’d actually have time to do a five or 10 or 15-minute speech or something. Gives you a chance to organize your ideas, organize your thinking. I think that really helped. By the time I got to coaching and learning how to market myself as a coach, I felt really comfortable public speaking, I felt very comfortable teaching.
I think that helped me to be able to attract clients. Although it was not easy the first couple of years, I still had to figure out so much about how to get clients and grow my business and all that stuff. But I was able to get six clients in my first month as a coach, so, and I got all those clients from public speaking. I spoke at a Chamber of Commerce and coincidentally I spoke at a Toastmasters’ annual conference, got invited to give a workshop. In both talks, people just invited I didn’t even seek them out, but because people knew I spoke and stuff like that, people asked me to give a talk at these things and I gave a very generic talk, it’s called Motivation from Within. It was okay, it was decent. I had good energy. I had some good ideas, but very general, and I got clients from those two speeches, and that was the start of my business.
James Mel: Wow. That’s amazing. It sounds like Toastmasters had a profound impact on you, and it’s interesting, Christian, because a lot of people are deathly afraid of public speaking. Here you are. You did that, and I mean, and it really seems like it set up the start of your business and the rest of your career so to speak.
Christian: It really did. I mean, it really did. I took speech class in community college, and I just remember so hating to… I have a prepared speech, I got to memorize all of it and all this stuff. I don’t remember how many speeches, at least three speeches, but it was the last speech I had to give. Instead of trying to memorize it, I just memorized the bullet points, and then instead of me trying to give a speech, I just was teaching. That was a huge breakthrough for me to where I was like, “Oh, giving a speech doesn’t have to be this, got to remember every word or you got to hold the whatever cards they are.” What are those called cards? Index cards. You got to hold… It’s not like, “Oh, I’m going to hold the index cards and I’m going to bore people.” No, you just connect with people and you start teaching. That’s the way I look at it. I don’t see it.
Even though I’ve been paid to speak, and I get asked to speak a lot of places, I honestly see myself as a speaker, I see myself more as a teacher. If I can share ideas and I have a intuitive ability to really pick up from the audience whether they’re really getting what I’m teaching, then yeah. That made it feel like I wasn’t scared of it, and then Toastmasters helped too.
James Mel: Yeah. When you say it’s interesting too, because you develop those skills and probably some confidence from speaking and then because you made that decision to go to Toastmasters and work on that, then it led to other opportunities that you didn’t even plan or expect, getting [inaudible 00:29:09]. Would you say that’s an important part of getting ahead too? Have you had other situations like that where you did one thing and then it led to a whole bunch of other stuff you didn’t even expect?
Christian: Well, just getting started. I mean, starting my GiftTastic business somehow leading me to my coaching business. I started a business when I was in college that probably prepared me for so many of these things too. I had a couple of jobs at the same time. I had one job where I worked at comic book store, and I had one job where I worked at a hotel. There was an annual… In San Diego they have the San Diego Comic-Con, which is big news, most everybody knows about that. They used to have the Chicago Comic-Con every year as well. I don’t know if they still have that anymore, which is still was kind of a big deal. But then they also would have these small baseball card shows, but they didn’t really have many comic book shows. I just remember thinking, “Wow, maybe I could create a comic book show, and get people to sell their comic books, and get people to come to the comic book show. Maybe I could have my own table there and sell…” I had my own comic book collection and maybe I could sell some of those things and make some money that way.
I asked the hotel that I worked at if I could get a good deal on the conference room, and I asked the comic book store that I worked for, if they would tell people about the comic book show I was going to do, and I would give them a free table where they could sell stuff and be there. That worked out, then I went to these other comic book stores and I said, “Hey, I’m doing this comic book show. Would you like a free table there? If so, then can you just leave these flyers here, maybe put one in everybody’s bag and stuff like that, and help me tell people about it.” Had it listed in the newspaper [inaudible 00:31:03] and stuff like that.
That was some entrepreneurial. But I also would get on the microphone and make announcements. I would have comic book. In order to drop people in, I was giving away, raffling off, some of the hottest comic books that there were that were highly valuable. People would want to come and they’d want to stay throughout the day because I would be raffling them off, one every hour or something like that. I would get on the mic. I remember one year there was a… Gosh, where was… There was some big flooding somewhere in the US, I don’t even remember where it was. I was like, “Well, I’m going to do a fundraiser at my comic book show where people could bring in canned goods and they can get a free pass to come in, and we’ll save all this money.” I did a little talk about the charity thing.
It gave me a chance to do a little more public speaking, and also gave me a chance to organize an event, even though it wasn’t a seminar. But now I do seminar stuff. Just little things that have… [inaudible 00:32:03] that led me here. Then for sure, developing skills, speaking skills, that was helpful. I went to school as a teacher, so I learned teaching skills and how to organize and teach information, so that’s helpful for me as a… Because not only do I do coaching one-on-one, but create all these online training programs, writing books and all that stuff. It’s helped me to be able to teach and share ideas.
James Mel: Yeah, that’s… You mentioned skills. In terms of helping you get ahead, what would you say is the number one skill that you had to develop that you think really sets you apart from everybody else?
Christian: I will tell you several skills that are really important. I don’t know if any of them are the one skill that sets me apart, but learning… One of the biggest struggles I had in the beginning of my coaching business was, how do you get a paying client? I heard that we should give away free sessions as a way to get people to become paying client, so I was giving away a lot of free sessions, but I didn’t know how to do these free sessions that sell, which is one of my number one program that I sell right now, which is called Free Sessions that Sell: The Client Sign Up System. I had to learn. I did so many sessions so badly, but I would get some clients, and eventually over time I just really developed a system for how to start a free session and how to finish it so that at the end of it, pretty much everybody you have a session with wants to hire you.
That was huge. Then I had to learn writing. I learned how to market, write marketing, write articles. I could speak, but I hated writing. It’s funny, because if I would start it… If technology back then was where it is now, I don’t think I ever would have written articles and sales letters maybe… I would maybe would have never written a sales letter. I would’ve just gone straight to shooting videos and stuff like that. Now I’m like, because my time is so precious, I don’t love doing lots of videos and Facebook Lives and Instagram Lives and all that stuff. I’ve written a lot of articles, I’ve written sales letters and all that stuff. But a huge breakthrough I had to have was being able to write and learning how to write effectively, writing marketing materials.
Sales and marketing are two… I mean, if you want to have a business of your own now, I don’t know if you need those as an investor, right? If you’re going to do real estate investing, maybe you don’t need sales and marketing. Maybe when it comes to selling your house, maybe they’ll write a good ad or something, but not as important as if you have your own business of some other sort. But I’d say those two skills are so important. Public speaking, sales, marketing, leadership, I think is really important and underrated. I used to think I had natural leadership abilities, and I still think that I have some, and I had some back then too. But now as I’ve become more sophisticated in understanding leadership, I realized, wow, how big of mistakes I used to make all the time just being oblivious because I didn’t understand some leadership dynamics. I think that helps.
I think the healing work that I do for myself and others, the peace process and instant miracle technique, those maybe, in terms of the unique stuff. People have other tools for working through their stuff. But I know being able to let go of my fears, doubts, my limiting beliefs quickly, I’d say that’s priceless. Because, I think over 90% of our success is the inner stuff. 10% is the how to… Most people know what to do, they’re just not doing what they know. Why don’t we do what we know? Why do we procrastinate? Why do we not take action? Because we’re scared. We’re afraid to fail. We’re afraid of rejection. If you have ways to work through those fears and let them go, if you have a fear of public speaking and you’re like, [inaudible 00:36:15] that fear of public speaking, now you could do it. All that stuff.
Some people have fear. I just worked with a client earlier today, and she’s a coach and she wants to coach people, but she’s afraid to get paid. She’s afraid to charge money for it because somehow… right? But I just worked with her, we did some miracle peace process. Bam gone, feels totally comfortable having people hire her now. Then we started working on, “All right, great. Why don’t you shoot a lot of videos, tell people your story. You have a great story. Tell people your story. Start building an audience that way.” I’m like, “How do you feel about that?” She’s like, “Terrified.” “Okay, let’s work on that one.” If we can let go of those fears and doubts so that we can take action consistently, that’s the secret sauce, I think, that most people overlook. Not only do I realize it’s important, but I have some tools and super powers for helping make those shifts happen faster for myself and my clients.
James Mel: Interesting. Yeah, that’s awesome. Now, you’ve worked with hundreds, thousands of your clients, and gone to become successful coaches. What do you find is the thing that really sets those apart that do well and go on and get the results they want? What allows them to get ahead?
Christian: I’d say, I’ve come up with a secret formula and it’s not that I invented the secret formula, but I think it’s a secret formula that everybody could apply, and probably many people who are successful either innately apply or could apply to a certain extent. Which is, the recipe for success and happiness are one part surrender and one part tenacity. Surrender is, if something… I just had a vacation I went on, I was telling you about this the other day. Three week European vacation. We get to Paris and we’re going to take a 13-day cruise. We get to Paris, we were going to spend a little bit of time there, and then we were going to fly to Rome, and then get on this Mediterranean cruise for 13 days, and then finish up a couple of days in Europe and then come home. When we get to Paris, we’re there for two days and we get the text that our cruise was canceled. It’s, how would most people react? “This is terrible. I can’t believe this. Call up the company.” You got to yell and scream at somebody.
I’m like, if you are surrendered, then you don’t need to do all that stuff. You know, “Okay. The cruise is canceled, I have zero control over that. I can’t uncancel the cruise. There’s nothing I can do about that cruise being canceled. Me being freaked out about it, me being upset about it.” I mean, it was surprising. It was like, “Oh my gosh, now what are we going to do? I don’t know.” But it wasn’t like… I didn’t push my buttons in a big way. Then, a couple days later we’re flying to Rome, which was where the cruise was going to pick up. But we’re like, “Well, we’re not going to be on the cruise, but we’re still going to Rome.”
We go to Rome, we get to the airport and it turns out we have no plane tickets. Yes, we have a reservation number. Yes, we have everything. But no, they don’t have any record of it in the system, and now they don’t have any other planes for… Everything’s booked, there’s nothing, we can’t fly out of there. We’re not going to Rome, and we don’t have plane tickets. Having one of those things happen is crazy. Having two of those things happen in the same trip is… But did I yell and scream at the people at the ticket counter? No. I was just like, “They don’t have a ticket. They don’t have our tickets. We have the printout. We have the…” I don’t know, they don’t know. Go talk to the customer support people and they say, “Well, it looks like, for whatever reason, you never got charged for the tickets. We don’t know why. We don’t know what happened. It’s a weird anomaly and we’d love to book you on another flight, but we don’t have any other flights today, so if you want to come back in a couple of…” Whatever.
We just figured out, “All right, well, we’re not going to Rome today. What are we going to do?” We decided to get a rental car and drive to the South of France. Surrender is like, you don’t argue with reality. This is what it is. This is how it is. You go with the flow. That’s what surrendering is all about.
Then the other part is tenacity, right? One of the things I love is hearing of stories from comedians, or actors, or even successful business people for sure. But comedians and actors have a more visceral thing to their failures. I was watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld, and he did one with Eddie Murphy just recently, and they were talking about the early days. They actually played the same show together in the early days and they were talking about each other, and how they both seemed like they had [inaudible 00:41:36]. Jerry Seinfeld was like, “Oh my God, you were absolutely fearless,” and Eddie Murphy was like, “No, I was not fearless.” Eddie Murphy was like, “Oh my God, you were so… I just remember thinking you were so confident.” Jerry was like, “I was being the confident guy because I knew that’s what I needed to be, but I wasn’t necessarily all that confident.”
They were talking about having a joke that bombs, and then having a whole set that bombs. Eddie Murphy, in the early days, he played a set, completely bombed. His dad dropped him off there, so he couldn’t leave. Had to wait for his dad to come back, and he actually had to sit there through dinner with all the people he just bombed with, and he was supposed to play a second set after dinner and the place said, “No we’re not going to bring you back up.” Then his dad came to pick him up and he was supposed to get paid $50 for the show. The guy was like, “Hell no, you were terrible. We’re not paying [crosstalk 00:42:28]. Get the hell out of here kid.”
Then his dad’s driving him home and he’s like, “You are not going to be a comedian. Let’s figure out a job for you, but this isn’t it.” Just hearing about how tough it is to fail so hard, to have people around you saying that, “You can’t do this, you’re not going win, you’re not going to succeed. This is terrible,” and to still get back up there and try it again. Most people give up on their dreams. Most people won’t even let themselves dream big because they’ve so conditioned themselves to like, “This is the limit of what I can have. I can have a little house, and a little TV, and a little car, and a modest life.” Most people won’t even let themselves dream big.
Those who do dream big usually won’t even take action on anything because it’s like, “Oh my gosh, what if I fail? At least I can have the dream if I don’t do anything and fail, I can… Oh, what it would be like if I could be a comedian. One day… I was really funny in school and people loved it back then. Maybe I have it in me, but I’ll just keep the dream as something that maybe I could do.” Versus actually going and trying and failing, and picking yourself back up and trying and failing, and picking yourself back up, and doing a little bit better and getting the hang of things over time.
James Mel: Yeah, that’s so important. I love that. How you simplified that, because so many of us, I think, try and focus on things that we have no control over. Just how you put it there, being able to surrender. I remember reading, The Surrender Experiment. I know we’ve talked about that before and just how, when you do really surrender, then it almost is like other opportunities come up. Like for you, how you’re like, wow, now you go to the South of France. That’s pretty cool. Other opportunities can emerge if you just go with the flow. Then the tenacity is so, so important. I really relate to that, especially, as you know, with the real estate investing I do, and how a lot of the times my offers don’t get accepted. It’s [inaudible 00:44:30], “Oh, that’s unfortunate,” but I keep making offers, keep making offers, and then all it takes is one to make it all worthwhile. Yeah. I like how you simplified that.
What would you say, Christian, are your… Do you have any success rituals or things that you do right now that keep you ahead, that you’re like, “Man, I’ve done this for 10, 20 years now. I’ve dialed in. This is what really helps me get ahead.” Any sort of habits or rituals?
Christian: Yeah. I’m not the biggest habit ritual kind of guy. I mean, I must have some, and I think a lot of my habits and rituals are just habitual ways of thinking about things, which I can share some of those with you. But the one thing that I am habitually, that I do, do habitually is I’m constantly letting go of fears and doubts and insecurities. When something comes up, I don’t like to feel bad. If I’m feeling bad, I’m going to work on it, and I’m going to let it go. I want to let go of those buttons. I want to just keep… I’m addicted to feeling good, I want to keep feeling good, and so if something’s bringing me down, something’s pushing my buttons… If I have something that I realize, “Okay, this is triggering me, I need” That’s another thing too, is like people in society now, it’s like, “Oh, this is a potential trigger situation. You could get triggered by this.”
Somehow if something makes you feel not happy, like, “Oh, I need to put myself in a little closet so I’m safe.” No, no, no. You need to work on yourself so you’re strong. It’s not like, “Oh, these emotions, something’s making me… I’m getting triggered by things. I can’t believe somebody said that.” No. If that pushed your buttons, you heal that. Somebody saying something bad about this race or that race, or somebody saying something bad about you personally. None of that has anything… Other people’s opinions have nothing to do with you. If they’re pushing your buttons, that’s your stuff. That’s where…
In relationships, if your spouse pushes your buttons, it’s like, “Oh, you made me feel this. You made me feel that.” No, you did something, and I made me feel how I felt as a… I take responsibility for my emotions, and I work on. That’s my number one biggest ritual is letting go of the upsets, the fears, the insecurities as they come up, and they come up a lot. I mean, they come up, [inaudible 00:47:09] new ones not… Let them go, and then a new one like, “Oh, hey, I got a little something about this thing. Oh, I got a little something about that thing.” Just keep working through stuff. That’s my number one ritual for success.
Other ritual ways of thinking is… This is a new one that I just became aware of recently because I have a Mastermind group of other coaches and other business owners that are wanting to get to the next level. A lot of times they’re not sure what they should be doing to grow their business. I remember I was talking to my wife about something too. She’s a new author and she writes fiction books. I just remember, she wasn’t sure, here’s all these things do which one to do first, which one to do next?
I just thought, “Oh man, I must have an innate ability to prioritize,” and I just thought maybe it was innate, and then I realized that back in the early days of trying to start businesses and stuff, I remember learning two really important things that I think are really helpful, and probably can help a lot of your people, which number one is, you make a to-do list, and then you prioritize. You put an A next to the most important things, a B next to the second most important things, and a C next to the third most important things. Then if you’re starting off, you do the A’s first because those are the things that make the biggest difference. If you only end up getting three things done today, but they’re all As, that’s going to be better than getting 10 Cs done.
I naturally trained my brain to prioritize in that way. Then the other thing is, and I don’t necessarily make a lot of to-do lists anymore. I know what I need to do most of the time, and I’m working on the things that are most important, or I’m actively procrastinating some of the things that I need to do and I know that, and I’m going to work on healing my fear of whatever’s keeping you from doing it. I’m naturally clear, so I don’t necessarily make a lot of to-do lists anymore. But that helped, that helped a lot.
Then the other way of thinking is the 80/20 rule, just constantly thinking beyond ABC. 80/20 rules that 20% of our actions produce 80% of the results, and 80% of our actions produce 20% of the results. If you’re going to be even more focused, maybe doing the eight plus activities right, or even 90/10 rule or 99/1, right? [inaudible 00:49:42] 1% that makes the biggest amount of difference. The more you can really focus in that way, then it’s a lot easier to be effective without being scattered and distracted. I think that’s one of the biggest things that people have is distraction, today more than ever before, because [crosstalk 00:50:05] you want to be distracted, you can be. Then even if you aren’t seeking distraction, there’s alerts coming on your computer, alerts coming on your phone, people coming into your office, whatever. There’s plenty of room to be interrupted and distracted. If you know what you need to do and you’re like, “I got to get this thing done,” it’s easier to push all the little distractions out.
James Mel: What action steps or advice would you give them to start getting ahead? People who might be a little behind where they want to be in their life, their business, their relationships right now.
Christian: Number one, start dreaming big. Sometimes the idea of making 10% more money, it’s like, “I could get a 3% raise. Or if I switch from this job here and I go get hired somewhere else, maybe I’d make 10% more. That’s good, I can make an extra little bit of money.” But if you start dreaming big, I believe success is inevitable. Whatever goal you set for yourself, you will achieve it if you’re willing to do the work, right? Most people aren’t willing to do the work. Half the work might be the inner work and half the work might be the actual work you need to do, but you got to do the work on yourself, and you got to do the work out in the world. You’ve got to go do both of those things. If you consistently do the actions you need to do, and you never give up, you’re going to achieve whatever it is that you want.
Now, if you’re 60 years old and you want to become an NBA star, maybe that’s not possible. That success maybe is not inevitable, but for most things that you… If you’re not crazy specific, if you want to be rich, if you want to have a great relationship, if you want to be healthy, if you want to have good friends, those are all things that are within the scope of reality for most… I think it’s achievable for anybody who’s really committed to it. If you want to be rich, if you want to be a millionaire. I heard many years ago that, if you want to become a millionaire, you don’t hope to be a millionaire, you don’t just dream to be a millionaire, but you decide to be a millionaire. Then by deciding, right? Then you are going to go do the things. I’m going to go do the things that are going to turn me into a millionaire, right?
If you want to be a millionaire, well, here’s a little secret, trying to save a little bit of money by not buying Starbucks coffee every day is probably not the fastest way to get there, although some people do. I think the best way to get rich is by enriching the lives of other people as an entrepreneur or a real estate investor, and then you get rich. The best way to get rich is by increasing your income, right? You can increase your monthly income by having rental properties. You can increase your income by starting a business, and getting customers and creating value. That’s the secret. It’s like, how do you make a difference in the world or make a difference in people’s lives?
James Mel: So important. One of my favorite quotes is by Zig Ziglar, “Help enough people get what they want, and you’ll get what you want.” I see that’s true in how you’ve approached life and business, so that’s awesome. Now, I know you’ve got a bunch of books. You want to talk about one that you’re going to generously give away here?
Christian: Yeah. Well, I was thinking… I think I’m going to give away two books because if people are intrigued by this whole coaching thing, you can get my book, it’s Get Clients Today. That’s going to help you get started in coaching and start getting clients right out of the gate. You can get that book for free. It’s a PDF download. Just go to getclientstodaybook.com. Then I’m also going to give everybody a free physical copy of my book, Abundance Unleashed that was published by Hay House. People will need to cover their own shipping for that to get it shipped out to them, but I’ll pay for the book. I need you guys to go to myabundancebook.com and you can get a free copy of that as well. Both those books I think could be really helpful for your people. If you’re not interested in being a coach, just skip that one and just go get Abundance Unleashed, because it’s all about the mindsets.
A lot of stuff I’ve shared with you here today, like success is inevitable, I have a time abundance, it’s all about abundance. Some people have money, some people have time, a lot of people don’t have both, and then even if you have both of those, you might have an abundance of love, an abundance of health. That’s what I teach in the book Abundance Unleashed, and it’s at myabundancebook.com.
James Mel: Love it. I’ve learned so much about abundance simply being around you, Christian. I mean for the past, several years and how you think about things in business, and with the programs and the things that you put together. It’s blown my mind and it’s part of what inspired me to create the business I’m doing now with teaching real estate. Thank you for that, and check out these books. I believe, it’s really important too. 90% of the game is played above the shoulders so you got to get that mindset right. Christian, this has been awesome. Thank you so much for joining us here, sharing your wisdom, sharing your insights, and helping us get ahead.
Christian: My pleasure. Yeah, thanks for having me here. I’m excited for everybody wherever you are on the journey, if you’re just starting out, and you’re trying to figure out how to get ahead, I’m excited that you’re here with James, he’s going to guide you on all of the episodes, and all the guests that he’s bringing in are amazing. I’m excited for everybody on their journey wherever you’re at. If we end up meeting in person one day, I hope we do, I’ll give you a big hug.
James Mel: Thanks for that. Bye. Talk to you soon.
Christian: Take care.
James Mel: Well, I hope you loved this week’s episode. If you did, tell your friends that would be a huge favor for me, and it can help build this community, we can all get ahead. Something I’d like to do is give you a special gift. It turns out that one of the ways to get ahead is to be able to find, spot, and then take advantage of opportunity. We all know this, and it turns out that my business partner and mentor, Eben Pagan, has written a book on this very topic. I’d like to give you that book and ship it to you absolutely free. The book is called Opportunity:How to Win in Business and Create the Life you Love. All you got to do is go to www.jamesmel/opportunity. Enter your details and I’m going to send you the book free. You’re going to get the book for free, and I know you’re going to love it.
I have learned so much from Eben Pagan over the 10 years we’ve known each other, and it’s truly been one of the ways I’ve been able to get ahead in my life, in my business. I know what you learn inside of this book is going to help you do the same. Go there now, www.jamesmel/opportunity and grab your copy while you can. I’ve got 4,000 copies that I’m doing this for, and sending absolutely free. Shipping is on me, the book is on me. Grab one while you can. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for joining here. Thank you so much for investing in yourself to get ahead. By you getting ahead, it’s going to inspire other people and then we’re all going to get ahead. Have an amazing week, and I look forward to talking to you on the next episode.