For many thought leaders, the transition to owning their own business doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slower process where working as an expert is more like freelancing, at least until that work can support a full-time salary.
So how do you speed this process up? How do you make the jump from part-time to full-time thought leadership?
Answering this is marketing expert, business coach, agency owner, and speaker Alex Schlinsky.
Also known as the “Iron Man of Marketing,” Alex has sold $15 million worth of products and has worked with over 700 clients in 50 different markets including some of the world’s greatest brands, like the Miami Dolphins and the UFC.
As a coach, his entire focus is getting business owners from “just doing okay” to “knocking it out of the park.” To do this, you need systems and processes in place, and you need to delegate.
In short, you need to stop thinking like a freelancer, working part-time on your thought leadership business, and think like a full-time entrepreneur instead. In this episode, Alex outlines this path and the systems you’ll need to make it happen.
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Intro: You know those moments when you’re doing what you love in your business, maybe it’s standing onstage or creating content, whatever it is, you’re totally immersed, and time just seems to slip by? This is called the Flow State. At Speaker Flow, we’re obsessed with how to get you there more often. Each week we’re joined by a new expert where we share stories, strategies, and systems to help craft a business you love. Welcome to Technically Speaking.
Taylorr: And we did it. Alex, welcome to the show, man. Super pumped to have you here today.
Alex: Taylorr, thank you so much for having me. What’s up Austin? Good to see you, man.
Austin: What’s up, man? So great to have you. Also, we’ve been having some great conversations behind the scenes, so the bar is high for me. I hope the conversation goes as fun as it’s been so far.
Taylorr: Yeah, so no pressure, Alex.
Austin: No pressure, guys.
Alex: I’ll bring the heat.
Austin: Just stoic now.
Taylorr: Oh, man, there’s going to be a jam-packed episode. I think this topic is really, it’s important for this industry. I think especially as experts, speakers, coaches, consultants, we tend to think of ourselves as solopreneurs a lot of the time. And the segueing of functionally being a freelancer to an entrepreneur is a methodical one. And so, it’s going to be super exciting to unpack your thoughts around this topic. But before we do, you have worked with some massive brands. Notably one of the ones that stood out to us is UFC. And so, I’m curious, like what’s been your most challenging project given all of the work you’ve done and why? What comes top of mind for you?
Alex: Oh, man. I have to go meta for this. It’s just kind of who I am. So, I did work with the UFC, I was doing media for the UFC, then I did the opportunity to work with the DraftKings, basically a competitor for the UFC called Counter Move, which ended up getting acquired by DraftKings. And I got to write articles about MMA, auctions for DraftKings and stuff, which was a lot of fun. I worked with the Miami Dolphins which was an amazing experience. I love the Dolphins. I’m a big Miami Dolphins fan. Hopefully, they win Super Bowl. One of my life goals, I’m constantly manifesting it, is the Dolphins go to the Super Bowl and going with my dad.
One of the biggest things in my life; unfortunately, goals that you don’t have control over, probably not the most healthy thing. We’ll probably talk about that.
Taylorr: I’m from Minnesota, man. I get you.
Alex: Oh, boy. They find amazing ways to lose.
Taylorr: Yeah, for sure.
Alex: Yeah. In terms of the hardest thing, I’m going to go meta, but it’s just the truth. It’s backing up what I say, in terms of coaching and following through on that, right? So, I think the reality is you hear the mantra or mindset a lot that the cobblers have the worst shoes or that housekeepers have the most unclean house, right? And I think for me, one of the things that I’m constantly coaching is making sure that you’re not overworked, you’re not burnt out, that you have very clear goals and you’re defined and you have clarity on things, and it’s all really easy to coach and I’m great at it. But that doesn’t mean I execute it perfectly always.
And I’m always teaching people that I’m working with that I never want to come off as sanctimonious, because sometimes the coaching that I’m providing really feels sanctimonious in a way that it’s like this is the right way. And one of the things that I think in the thought leader space, coaches, consultants, agencies, business coaching, anything of that nature, there’s this weird mantra of its kind of my way or the highway. And I really never want that to be the case with the way that I run my business or coach the people I work with. I don’t believe at all that it’s my way or the highway. I believe this is the method that I’ve found has worked really effectively for me and the people that I work with.
So, the most important thing is integrity is super easy in words. It’s like the easiest thing in the world. In actions, it’s infinitely more challenging, right? So, when I coach people on sales and I tell them don’t sell a square peg into a round hole, right? Don’t force someone to buy something that you know isn’t a good fit just because you can, that’s a lot easier said than it is done, right? If I’m capable of selling anyone anything, well, then in words, it’s easy in actions, you have to back it up. You have to make sure that you know that the person making the decision on the other end of the phone, their life matters more than their credit card does. And so, that’s a really important thing to me.
So, I’d say that’s the most constant battle, making sure that I back up what I say on a consistent basis. And so, I’m always public about this type of accountability so that I know that there’s a threat of being called out if I don’t do it. And so, constantly I’m working to be the best version of myself, not in business, though; that’s the third most important thing to me. Number one is myself, being the best version of myself in order to fill the cup of other people, which is inherently my job title, right? Cup filler. In order to do that, I have to have my cup full. I have to be a very good husband to my wife.
In order to be a great husband to my wife, I have to make sure that I provide appropriate time and never prioritize business over her, which I do all of the time, right? It’s true. It would be a lie if I say I didn’t, but I need to do that more and hold myself publicly accountable to do that. And then lastly, but frankly, for me, personally, as it’s new, most important for me is being a great father. I have a two year old son, it’s the best thing in the whole world, truly is the most incredible thing that there is in this world. And I wish anyone that wants the opportunity to be a parent, that you get that chance, I really hope so for you.
It’s most important to me that now I have the ability to mold someone in my own image. It’s totally different than when coaching people, the impact I make on people’s lives is amazing and I’m super grateful for it and I try to never lose sight of that. But the impact that I make on my son is infinitely more important to me than anything else, and that’s not demeaning anyone that I work with in any way. Just for quick clarity, Taylorr and Austin, I had a client name their child after me, which is insane. They named their child after me.
Taylorr: That’s a milestone.
Alex: Craziest thing ever, right? It’s literally insane. But the idea of me being a good person, me being a good husband, me being a great father, that’s really the toughest challenge. And I know it’s very meta, but it’s true. Business challenges are pretty rare for me, business challenges are me making sure that I’m not prioritizing the business over those other three things which I constantly do. That is the truth, that is the reality and thus, that is why that is always the hardest challenge.
Taylorr: Wow, I love that answer.
Austin: Amen. Seriously. Well, the thing that gets so missed with entrepreneurialism is that it’s not just about the work, you just said that way more beautifully than I ever could. But we can’t be effective running businesses if we are not happy, I guess, or we don’t feel like our life is meaningful beyond just the work that we’re doing every day. Taylorr and I have just gone through an experience together where we realized that just that balance was out of whack with Speaker Flow, and so we deliberately cut hours and spend more time doing other things. And it’s amazing how much more effective our business is because of that, less work being put in way more output. Because we’re in a better mindset, and so I personally connect to that.
Alex: So, there’s actually a law related to that called Parkinson’s Law, where it’s like you will fill the work with the time allotted. So, it’s why commonly in high school you’ll have people that will have a project that’s due three months, but they really only work on the project the week before. Or as a joke, right? You wake up on the day of the project, oh, no, like, uh-oh didn’t start the project. Have to do it right now, three hours before, you had three months to work on it. It’s because you fill the space that’s allotted.
So, what I found for me as a commitment, again, being publicly vulnerable and transparent and also holding myself accountable; for 2023, my commitment to myself is stopping work at noon on Fridays because as the entrepreneur, as the business owner, I get that choice. I don’t have any scapegoat to tell my boss that I don’t have or my manager that I don’t have that, hey, that guy sucks because he won’t let me take off the time. I’m the boss, I’m the manager. I have to do it in my own image; meaning now that I have roughly five hours less per week to work, because if I would suggest I would work from 12 to five on Fridays normally, or longer, frankly, truthfully, which sucks, but it’s true.
That means I have to fill the allotted time I do have, nine to five on Monday through Thursday really effectively. Because at 12 I’m done, period, end of story done, done, done and done. So, that I can either go do things for myself, like play disc golf or play video games without the society saying that that’s a waste of your time. It’s a bad thing to do, which is insane, but it’s things that people do. Or to pick up my son earlier from daycare so I can have a longer day with him and a longer weekend with him, which this past weekend I did, I went to go play 18 holes of disc golf. I crushed, by the way, after not playing in six months was one under.
I was so freaking proud of myself. It was awesome. And then I went to go pick up my son at three and got to spend what would consider extra credit, two hours. So, I’m a big believer of that. That’s definitely the hardest thing, though; for me right now.
Austin: Wow. So badass, man. I love the way you think. All right. Let’s segue into the topic of today’s conversation, which is actually just more about the way that you look at things. One of the principles that it seems you really stand behind is this sense of getting entrepreneurs to go from this freelancer mindset into an entrepreneurial mindset. I want to talk about the specifics there, but we have to talk about labels first so that we’re all talking about the same thing. Can you define those two things for us?
Alex: Yeah, you nailed it. First of all, I’m a big believer in labels. Clarity is the most important thing for definition. People a lot of times want to be like, I want to be successful. And then they never identify or determine what success is. And naturally, as human beings, particularly entrepreneurs, most people, unfortunately, I don’t really understand the human psyche enough to really understand why this is the case. But most people are really harsh with themselves, and so they really rarely feel successful.
Even if you determine what success is and you achieve it, then you still don’t feel successful, which is a whole prominent of itself, especially if you don’t determine it, which I would guess the majority of people listening to this podcast, the majority of people you guys talk to, they really don’t even know what success means. It’s just a undetermined idea of more money, more time growth, acquisition, imperialist capitalist mindset. More, more, more, more, more, only more, and which is a never ending loss. We talked about the Dolphins and Vikings, it’s like in football, imagine if you get into the end zone, but automatically you don’t score, you’re right back at the 50, no matter what you do, every time you’re like, it doesn’t make any sense, which is what viewers do a lot of the time.
So, the labels for me, particularly on freelancer versus business owner, right? Is a freelancer doesn’t have the capability to use the most valuable tool that we have as agency owners, as entrepreneurs, as coaches, as business owners, which is our agency. And I don’t mean marketing agency, I mean our ability to choose, right? Everyone inherently, everyone is probably a pretty sweeping statement, but I feel comfortable with the hyperbole here. Everyone that starts a business inherently wants two non-defined things and then they define it in their own way.
And the non-defined two things is time freedom and financial freedom. Those are pretty much the two main things. Some people also say that they want impact, but I have a hard time parsing, Taylorr and Austin, if that’s because they feel that society would look down upon them if they don’t say impact. I think some people really do give a shit about impact. Other people say it because they, it’s like, what do you want to do with your money? I want to help the homeless, right? They feel bad if they don’t say that. I know that’s not everyone, but I definitely know that’s some people for sure.
I would say everyone feels confident in saying they start a business for wanting financial freedom and wanting time freedom. The obstacle that we see, though; so often with freelancers is you remove the opportunity of having agency to have time freedom or revenue freedom, mostly because your revenue, your money is tied up in freelance contracted work that is not consistent, not repeatable, not replicable, not predictable. It’s what people call the revenue roller coaster. You’re either on tools like Upwork, or FreeUp or having random contracted deals from referrals. Everything you do, you’re kind of chasing a dollar.
You’re getting paid per hour instead of for your expertise. These are common freelancer traits. And inherently what we see is these freelancers end up getting pretty burnt out over time. Some really fast, like in three months, some really slow, like in 10 years. I’ve seen people that have been freelancing for 10 years and feel like, oh, this is wrong, it feels fine for me and if it feels fine for you, that’s good, that’s all good with me. But if you recognize listening to this and you’re like, I don’t really get to have choice of my time, I don’t get to really decide how I spend my money because it’s not consistent.
I would urge you to consider changing your business to being a business instead of being a freelancer because that’s the great value of being an entrepreneur, you have no one to blame, right? So, I think the biggest thing that I say with freelancers, that’s an easy way to compartmentalize it, is as a freelancer you don’t have a boss per se, but your boss really is your clients. And that’s kind of messed up. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s kind of a skewed way of looking at it. And as a business owner, you have a repeatable, consistent process for lead generation, for sales and for fulfillment, three core elements of the business.
So, you can generate leads consistently, you can convert those leads into sales when you want to, and you can deliver on the fulfillment side without you having to do all of the work. That is essentially the idea. So, my version of this is I have a business called Sky Social Media. It’s a personal injury marketing attorney agency. I definitely didn’t say that well, but you get the point, right? We run ads for PI attorneys and the business is completely delegated. It’s the same offer every single time. It’s a $5,000 a month offer for Google ads with a 10% additional cost for anything above $10,000 in ad spend. That’s the only offer, we don’t offer anything else. No matter what referrals are brought to us, we don’t offer it. So, it’s consistent.
The team does all of the fulfillment, I don’t do anything. I don’t even know how to run Google ads. They do everything, they do all of the client success management, we have all of the automations in place, and if we want to do sales, which I don’t have any interest in doing, we know how to run ads to get sales. And that is a business, that’s a business that I don’t have to be a part of so that I can choose to be a part of the business I really care about, which is this one, my mastermind prospecting on demand, which I think if I was looking at a third-person view of it, in many ways, I’m freelancing on POD.
Which, again, is why I’m saying the hardest challenge of doing this is I know how to coach it really well, it doesn’t mean I’m executing it great, mostly because of the same things as anyone else, which is when you’re really passionate about something, which I’m not very passionate about advertising for attorneys, but I am really, really passionate about coaching entrepreneurs, it’s really hard to say I’m going to delegate all of it. So, the thing is why I would still consider myself a business owner for POD is I do have a team of 12. We do have other coaches. If I need to take time off, I can, if I need to not be working for X amount of time, I can, that agency is key for me. So, those are the labels and definitions that I would be considering.
Taylorr: Yeah, man. Well, beautifully said. Yeah. All round of applause over there at Austin’s end. Yeah. So, what about this problem makes you obsessed, passionate, let’s say; about solving it for people?
Alex: Yeah. Such a good question.
Taylorr: Where does that fire come from?
Alex: Yeah, I think the fire comes from a deep amount of empathy. You probably can contend this, right? We got on the call and we were friends immediately. That’s a pretty common thing for me. I just love the human experience. I love meeting new people. I love the camaraderie of it all. That’s why I’m a really, really big sports fan. An absolute diehard Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins fan to an nth degree that’s definitely unhealthy and totally immature, but I don’t care. It is what it is. And when you have something in common with another person which we all inherently have a lot of things in common, but the more deep in common you come into, namely entrepreneurs in this scenario.
And then for me to go further would be either coaches or agency owners. You just really understand the battle, right? It’s just kind of a battle, that’s really what it comes down to. And the amount of people that I’ve spoken to as an empath myself that have expressed dissatisfaction, frustration, lack of fulfillment, burnout over the 10 years that I’ve been doing this, it weighs on me very heavily to, again, transparently a very unhealthy degree just because of who I am, the clot that I’m cut from. I really just care about a fellow human being. I’m the person that just gets incredibly emotional about reading someone else’s obituary of a person that I’ve never met before. Because I can step into those shoes, I can understand what that’s like.
Not everyone feels that way, but that’s why I’m very obsessed about it. Because to me, one of the things that I challenge my clients on, and for anyone listening, I just want you to know what you’re about to hear is extremely challenging and it will shake you, but it’s meant to cause a stir enough that will make you do something that will change, and that’s really the key. If you were to journal every single day that you work, which roughly, let’s say it’s 300 days a year, probably more, but let’s just say for the sake of this, it’s 300 days. If you were to journal the one main emotion that you felt at the end of every single day, just one, what do you think those experiences would be?
Now, I used to actually have my new clients journal this for 30 days straight. And the results were incredibly alarming that we stopped doing it because of how clearly negative it is. And so, what most people realize is they don’t have to do the journal to realize maybe 70 to 80% of the days would be some negative emotion connotated as frustrated, upset, irritated, annoyed, sad, burnt out, lack of fulfillment, angry, any of those, right? The amount of joy, happy, fulfilled, excited, thrilled, it’s so rare. It’s insane. It’s like how is that not even 50/50, but how is the joy terms, right?
The joy feelings, the positive emotions. How is that a 10% factor? How is that possible? You chose this? You’re the one that’s doing it. If you don’t like the systems you have, you change them, that’s unfathomable, but that’s what it is. That’s the truth. And so, that’s why I’m obsessed by it, because I can’t possibly fathom that this very precious life and time that we have, we choose, we are literally choosing to hate it. It’s a very strong word. It’s probably not that much. It’s we’re choosing to be depressed or sad or sullen or frustrated or tired or irritated or burnt out. What? How is that possible?
No one starts their business with that intention. No one’s like, I really want time and financial freedom and to be really fucking burnt out, spread like paste, man. Just spread all the way to the ground, man. Just nothing left. I want to have zero energy left at the end of the day because I gave everything and I feel like dogshit, that’s what I want. No one ever says that.
Austin: That’s rough.
Alex: No one says that.
Austin: Of course not.
Alex: Everyone resonates with it. They resonate with it. So, that’s why I’m obsessed. I’m just so dedicated to that. And that’s why I struggle most with it because when I bring my clients into my community, it’s like, man, I want to fight this with you. I want to go to war with you on it every day, but the reality is you can’t, you can’t do that because then I’m going against what I’m saying. So, that’s why I’m obsessed.
Austin: So, do you think that this has anything to do with the hustle culture that we, sort of, exist in? Because it seems like a reason why people would choose misery over joy, let’s say, and maybe that’s more exaggerated than it needs to be.
Alex: I think that’s a good exaggeration, though. I feel like that’s a good exaggeration to have.
Austin: Well, and I think that it’s because I think some people feel like it has to be that way. If you’re going to be successful, you have to invest all that you have to give to get there. It seems like you don’t agree with that.
Alex: Definitely the emphasis of the hustle culture. So, for those of you that have never heard me before or watched me speak or any of my content, just a quick anecdote about me that probably you might not know. So, I’m 31 years old. When I was 29 years old, I was told that I had to have open heart surgery to replace my aortic valve, which is the most important valve in your heart and the largest blood vessel in your body. They told me when I was 18 that I had this birth defect that they didn’t find out until I was 18.
And they told me when I was 18 that for sure I would have to have surgery pretty much 99%, but probably when you’re 50 or 60 or maybe even 70, fast forward 10 years later after doing tests every single year, my heart got enlarged because since the valve doesn’t work appropriately, just like any muscle that overworks, it gets larger. And so, they said basically you have two options; you wait and you have to either die from a heart attack, God forbid, or you have to have a heart transplant, which is significantly more dangerous than this surgery.
So, we want to intervene now and as a preventative measure, which is a weird way to say you have heart surgery, preventative measure, we will replace your heart valve with either a cow valve or a mechanical valve. And I have a mechanical valve, so I’m basically iron man which is cool. But when you’re 29 years old and faced with that, the doctor said something, I remember the first time he is like, we try to do the surgery as fast as possible, so you just get it over with. The surgery was scheduled for March, 2020, if anyone remembers what happened on March, 2020, that was Covid.
So, they pushed it to June and then from June to October. So, I had to wait 10 months, which was terrible. Definitely the worst 10 months of my life; in the 10 months of my life, the best thing ever happened. In May, my wife told me that she was pregnant with our first child and I really wanted to be a dad more than anything in the whole world, because when I was younger, my dad almost died from a stroke, completely randomly, when I was a freshman in high school. And I know a lot of people that I’ve met, unfortunately, don’t have my ending of my story, which is I live through the heart surgery and my child is great and my dad is fine and he gets to see his grandson and son be alive.
But I know a lot of people’s stories are, my dad died from a car accident when I was 15 or my mom died from cancer when I was 8. And it’s heart-wrenching, it’s horrible, because there’s nothing you can do to change that. And if you have both your parents, please call them, give them love. They want it, they need it, they deserve it. When I was wheeled into the operating room in October 15th, 2020, the last thing the surgeon said to me, he said, I promise you’re going to meet your son. That’s what he said before he wheeled me in. And he was right, I did get to meet him 117 days after my surgery. When I asked the doctors why did my surgery get accelerated by 25 or 30 years? Why?
Obviously, they can’t tell you because they only do empirical science, they won’t do any contextual things like, and I’m a very aggressive human being, just all of the emotions, all of them, I’m just a super emotional human being in general. My cup was overflowing all of the time on the positives and the negatives, right? Anxiety and stress, frustration, happiness, anger, joy, exclamation. People tell me they’re Dolphins fans, I’m like, well, maybe you shouldn’t watch a game with me because I’m kind of a psycho. I go crazy, I’m a crazy person. So, it’s like, I get really animated, it’s just who I am.
So, I’m getting very animated with the doctor. I’m like, could it be because I’ve been working too hard, that I bought into hustle culture, that I’ve been stressed and anxious all of the time and just kind of beat down the doctor to the point of him saying like, it’s possible. Meaning he can’t say that it is what it was, but it doesn’t matter if he could say it or not. It was evident enough to me to know that the 10 years of finding out when I was 18 years old that I had to have this surgery to 29 having it, my mindset when I was 18 was, well, now I’m pretty much guaranteed to have a shorter lifespan than anticipated, right?
I don’t think at that time at 18 really people think like, oh, I have a hundred years left. I don’t think most people think that way or I have 80 years left. But now I was forced to position myself in that way and I think my brain was like, I definitely have 40 years left, I think that was kind of how my, and it’s fucked up to say, but it’s true. It’s just like, oh, I have 40 years left. Everyone else I know has probably 60, 70 years left, so I have to really put this nose to the grindstone and man, I’m a good hustler, there’s no doubt.
I’m an excellent salesperson, I’m very capable, a hard worker, I make anything that I want happen pretty much at any time; that is something I really hang my hat on. I believe in my capabilities and I believe in the belief of if you put your mind to it, you can get it done. And so, I was super bought into David Goggins and Jocko Willink and Gary Vaynerchuk, that your side hustle has to have a hustle, and that if you’re not waking up at 5:00 AM you’re a loser and you’re a piece of shit and you have to work harder and you have to go faster and you have to Grant Cardone 10 x and I was living that shit.
I was so down for it and I didn’t have a son, I didn’t have many responsibilities outside of work. My wife was going to school at the time, so it was easy to just go from seven in the morning to seven at night and I was down for it. Was there clearly effects that I didn’t recognize that were happening? For sure. I didn’t realize it because you become immune to it. And then as soon as the surgery happened, I quickly realized that most people only hear this lesson from people that are really old. 75, 85, 90 years old.
My dad was a funeral director for 20 years. And he would always tell me that no one wants to be the richest man in the graveyard. No one wants to be the richest man in the graveyard. He did a lot of palliative care because of our religious affiliations and basically helping people prep for death is what it is. That’s the truth. He told me that he’d never ever heard one person ever say, and I’m sure people have heard this, I wish I spent another day in the office, you know? And so, when I had the surgery and when my son was born, I had made this mission to ensure that what I was teaching in my community and to the people I cared about was like, please define what you want in your life.
Don’t allow David Goggins or Gary Vaynerchuk or Alex Schlinsky or anyone to tell you what success is; only you can define it because you’re only going to get one shot at this and maybe one day someone’s going to tell you you’re going to have to have open heart surgery. I didn’t think that was going to be me. I guarantee you the people listening right now are like, no fucking way, that won’t be happening to me. Well, chances are some fucking, unfortunate, catastrophic event is going to happen to you or someone you love. I apologize, but this is the facts, that’s unfortunate, but it is true.
People want to just sit aside and forget that we’re born with a guaranteed death diagnosis. It’s shitty, it’s not fun. We have ideally a lot of time, a hundred years, hopefully; but it’s guaranteed period. Guaranteed. And so, we wait until something tragic happens to be like, oh my God, I’m working way too fucking hard. And so, when you combine the journal session I’m talking about of 300 of your 365 you’re feeling shitty. You have a job that’s not a job that you made and you hate it. What the hell is going on? Right? And so, the idea of hustle culture, to me, is just so cancerous.
We live in an imperial, entrepreneur, capitalist world where it’s like, if you’re not acquiring more money, then you are less than and you compare yourself to other people that you don’t know and you don’t even know what’s real or fake. You don’t know what stripe screenshot is real, people share revenue numbers, you have no idea what profits they’re bringing on. As a coach, I see businesses that come in, they’re making $200,000 a month in revenue, but they’re making $5,000 in profit, but they’re posting on social media that we’re fucking crushing. We’re making 200. It’s like, what the hell is going on? When did you give a shit about whatever else someone is making? When did you start counting other people’s pockets? Why is that relevant?
And if it’s making you upset or feeling less than or you don’t feel like you’re progressing, then get off that shit. It’s dangerous. And I recognize that as a person who I genuinely believe I’m a good person. I care about other people. I would see other people’s wins and be jealous of that. That is not who I am. That’s antithetical to me. That’s a cognitive dissonance to a feeling that I have, an emotional reaction, that I don’t control of jealousy. That’s not who I am, though; as a human being, I would never feel jealous for someone, I would be proud of them and happy for them.
And yet, I still felt that way. And so, that means I need to do something about it. And that’s either withhold myself from seeing it, which is what I do now, and then teach people about this hustle mindset. And it’s all about definition of the labels you mentioned earlier of what is my happiness or joy and what is my success? And building milestones toward achieving it so you don’t feel like every mountain you climb immediately thereafter, well, I’m just going to climb this next mountain. Because that’s the mindset of entrepreneurs.
It’s just no matter what you do, do more. It doesn’t matter what you did, it’s just more all of the time. And so, I’ll finish with this concept. I like to think that before my surgery I was a wolf. And the truth is, guys, real talk man to man, a hundred percent. I still am a wolf, but I’m trying to be a puppy dog. And it’s really hard to shed wolf skin, it’s very challenging because this is what it was for 10 years, I would go out and acquire, I would hunt and I would gather and I would acquire and I would come back to my she wolf, right?
And before I could finish dropping all of the shit that I acquired on the table, whatever the acquirements are, whether it’s assets, money, opportunity, growth, whatever it is, relationship, whatever it is, whatever I was acquiring, right? Before she could even scream across the room, we have enough, I’m already out hunting again. Because the hunt is what actually mattered. And then you realize how dangerous that is. Now, it may not be dangerous for everyone. Some people that listen to this are like, no, I’m good.
If it’s good for you, keep doing it. I’m not saying it’s bad for every person. I’m saying it’s bad for the select few, the people that feel like there is no alternative. And the weird thing to me, Taylorr and Austin, is that there just seemingly is no alternative. There’s no alternative. Every thought leader in the entrepreneur space, at least to my knowledge, is like more, more, more, more, more, more, more wake up earlier, do more later, work at night. Do this, sacrifice this. If you’re not obsessed, they use that word obsessed, it’s like what the fuck is going on?
So, yes, definitely not a fan of the hustle culture whatsoever because of what it did to me personally and what I see it do to other people so much so that I’m, literally, writing the book on it called The Anti-Hustler’s Handbook, A Guide to Working Less and Achieving More in Your Life. And that is really important to me and I hope to have it done by the end of March, but I’m not going to hustle my way to finishing the book. I have to do it in the appropriate time, which is annoying frankly, because it’s taking a long time, but it will be worth it. So, that’s my Ted Talk. Thank you for joining me.
Taylorr: Oh, man. Woo. Geez. Oh.
Austin: What do you think, Taylorr? Was that the best soapbox we’ve seen in the entire 150 episodes of doing the show?
Taylorr: Yeah, for sure. Alex, you could tell you’re passionate about this shit.
Austin: Dude, I feel like running a marathon.
Taylorr: I know, right? Well,
Alex: I’m sweating like I just ran a marathon, so I’m with you.
Taylorr: Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Okay, so we’re kind of near the end of this and so I want your final take on this concept, right? When you’re stuck in the weeds, right? You feel like you’re not earning enough business to what you define as success, let’s assume that prerequisite is done. So, you don’t know how to acquire that business, you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, you feel a little lost kind of, in that mix. It seems easy to resort to I need tactics and this magic potion or sauce that will help me accomplish this versus I need to change my mindset about this. And so much of what you’ve outlined over the last 30 minutes, to me, seems like mindset, like making a decision. Even though that decision may feel counterintuitive to the actions you feel like you need to take to make it happen. Would you summarize that as true?
Alex: Yeah. So, I actually have an easy journal prompt as a tactic for everyone. So, I call it the defined, design, and do journal. So, what you just identified is that a lot of people in the hustle mindset that are down on their luck, that have their back against the wall, that feel like, oh my god, there’s so much weighing on me, they just jump to do. They just take aimless action. And I equate it similar to like, if you have a very defined goal for a gym, right? But you don’t diet appropriately and you don’t know what it takes to get to that goal and you just do a bunch of workouts and you just eat randomly, there’s 0% chance you’re going to get the goal. Impossible.
It’s impossible. You won’t get it. If you have a treasure map and you’re in a Amazon forest, okay, not Amazon like Jeff Bezos, like the Brazilian Amazon Forest, just for clarity. It’s weird that, that had to be framed.
Taylorr: You have to clarify that.
Alex: Yeah. Yeah. It’s kind of weird. But if you’re in the Amazon forest, right? You’re lost in the jungle and you don’t have a map and you’re like, you have to get out of the jungle. What are the chances? If you’re just like, no, I’m just going to do it, I’m just going to figure it out. You’re going to get lost; you’re probably going to die. It’s just not going to happen. And it’s the same thing as entrepreneurs. It seems counterintuitive to not just do. So, what I do is just have a simple three step process. First, define your labels.
So, what is success to me and why? Not just success, right? What are you going to do with that money? What are you going to do with that time? How does that work? And I have a thing called a success calculator that if anyone reaches out to me, I’ll share it because that’s part of the book and it’s really important. So, you define success, you define satisfaction, happiness or fulfillment. Any of those terms are analogous in my opinion. If they’re not to you, change that. That’s important. Okay? Then you design a plan for it. So, you identify milestones that have to happen to get there, and then actions that are needed to get to that milestone.
Now, if you don’t know what those actions and milestones are, that’s where coaching comes in, that’s where courses come in. That’s where reading up on subjects come in, there’s a lot, we live in the information age, you can really gather almost any intel without even paying for it, which is pretty incredible. You just have to be able to source through some, not some, lots of really bad garbage, but just for clarity, that’s part of it if you can’t afford coaching or helping to circumvent the garbage, right?
So, once you have the design, then you do, right? This is just a strategic plan. That’s what it is. You define what you want, you strategically design how you’re going to make it happen, and then you’re going to do, instead of just skipping to the do, and that is how I frame this effective method of being successful. That’s what it’s going to take versus just doing, which I think most people resonate with pretty strongly.