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EP 88 – Time, Effort, and Money: The 3 Investments For Your Success

Welcome back to another episode of the Bullpen Sessions! We’re going to dive into a very important topic today — we’ll be talking about the ultimate secret to creating a successful business and life!

If you ever wondered what the secret ingredients for a successful life are, you don’t have to wonder anymore! These three secret ingredients aren’t much of a jaw-dropping revelation, but the real magic is in HOW you execute them in your life and work. When you master that, you can launch the business of your dreams and live a wonderful life in the process.

Before we get into the details though, here’s one really important thing you must understand. In order to have a successful life, you have to invest in yourself

Ten years ago, I had no clue what investing in yourself actually meant. Quite frankly, I was just looking for the cheap way out of everything. I wanted to climb that success ladder as fast as I could. I surrounded myself with successful people and tried to understand what they did in order to become successful. If I could just get enough information, I would be successful, right? 

Not exactly. You see, there isn’t a fast track to success. At the end of the day, if you truly want to live out your full potential and meet lofty goals in 2021, you have to invest in yourself. In this episode, I share three ways you can invest in yourself and start seeing results in your business and life. Let’s get into it! 

#1: Invest in Yourself Through Time

What goals have you set for yourself in 2021? Are they huge, out-of-this-world goals? Or are they little, inconsequential goals?

Guys, I want you to set HUGE goals for yourself this year. One of the biggest failures you can make in life is setting a goal so low that it’s easy to achieve. I see a lot of insurance and business professionals just setting these really easy goals, and while there’s nothing wrong with celebrating small wins, if you really want to reach your full potential, you have to set big goals. 

To achieve those huge goals, you have to invest time

Ask yourself, “What am I even doing with my time? Am I spending time on pursuing my goals? Am I allotting time to hone my craft?” 

For example, maybe you want to become an influencer. In order to be a successful influencer, you need to be proficient at public speaking, right? In fact, public speaking skills are essential in any sort of business that you’re in. So, instead of just hoping that you’ll “get better in front of crowds,” designate time blocks throughout your week to practice public speaking. By investing time in yourself, you’re unlocking your potential, and you’ll achieve greater things than you thought possible! 

You also need to invest time in your business — I know this goes without saying, but you’d be surprised. Some people idly wait for a sale to pop up. When you are doing nothing, do something! Find partnerships, build your network, enhance your social presence, etc! These things take time, but they give your business the upper advantage! 

Lastly, make sure you take time to rest — overworking can lead to burnout and exhaustion. I am all about being productive, but when it starts to wear on you, take a break so that you can fill yourself up. 

#2: Invest in Yourself Through Effort

Friends, do not expect a successful business or a happy life if you’re not even trying.

Back in 2014, my career and life drastically changed. Amy and I decided to move to Colorado and I began my career as a salesman in an insurance agency. At that time, I had no idea how to grow a personal brand. I didn’t know a thing about marketing. 

In this day and age, if you don’t know how to do something, it’s easier than ever to learn how. You just have to put in effort. My favorite way to do this was by reading books, which didn’t require a huge monetary investment on my part! 

Self-education is a great way to invest in yourself and your business. If you don’t know something or want to improve a skill, there’s a book on how you can do just that. By reading books from thought leaders, business executives, and other successful individuals, Amy and I have taken our careers and lives to the next level. 

If you’re not an avid reader, you can try listening to podcasts or audiobooks! The point is, you want to consume information that will increase your knowledge and give you perspective about your career and life. 

It’s great to invest in some books that relate to your job or work, but don’t forget to also read books on spirituality, health, fitness, and lifestyle. If you want to live a truly great life, you have to consume knowledge on different areas of your life — outside of your business. Yes, consuming information requires effort, but it is effort well spent. 

#3: Invest in Yourself Through Money

Let’s be honest — you’ve gotta spend money to make money.  

About two years ago, I was listening to the For the Love of Money podcast by Chris Harder — an amazing human who has been a mentor, coach, and friend of mine. The episode was about money mindset and dismantling limiting beliefs around money. After listening to the episode, I checked out his Fast Foundations Mastermind — a six-month Mastermind dedicated for startup entrepreneurs. 

I’ll never forget when I made that call to Chris. It was a $6,000 investment, and it was scary as hell to invest in something that I wasn’t sure would bring me results. But I ended up laying down the $6,000 and trusted in Chris’ process. 

Ever since that day, I’ve never looked back. I’ve made so many more monetary investments in my own growth, and they’ve all yielded amazing results. After the first Mastermind ended, I quickly enrolled in the second one, excited to keep pursuing my dream as an entrepreneur, and I plan to do so for years to come.

Here’s the lesson here — if you want to be successful, you’ll have to spend money on yourself. I don’t regret a penny that I’ve spent on self-development. In fact, I recently re-enrolled to the Fast Foundations Mastermind, and I invested some money into Kyle Depiesse’s Reach Beyond Experience. In a matter of two days, I invested between $15,000 to $20,000 in my own personal growth. 

Don’t get me wrong — I experienced a fair amount of doubt and anxiety after laying down the money. But the next day, I woke up and made a commitment to myself and the universe. I’ve invested this money to become a better entrepreneur and version of myself, and that’s what’s going to happen. 

And guess what? It did. I’ve made so many valuable connections which have led to more business opportunities, and I’ve learned essential skills that I’m applying to my business coaching program. Back in November, I made the decision to stop working in insurance entirely and become a full-time entrepreneur. And as soon as I made that decision, it was like the flood gates opened wide, bringing in so many coaching opportunities and business. Looking back, I couldn’t be more grateful.

Invest in Yourself Today!

There you have it, folks! The three ways you need to invest in yourself this year — time, effort, and money. 

Where can you start investing in yourself? Do you need to spend some time and effort in listening to podcasts or reading self-development books? Should you make a financial investment in a Mastermind or business coaching program? I know that decision can be a scary one, but I promise you, it’s worth doing.

If you’re looking to invest in the growth of your business and life, I want to tell you a little bit about my new coaching program: The Broker Branding Academy! This Academy is for insurance professionals who are focused on HYPER GROWTH! If you want to blow your 2021 sales out of the water, you MUST have a personal brand. Your prospects are buying you — not the logon on your business card. I’ve designed the Broker Branding Academy to teach you, step-by-step, EXACTLY what I’ve done to build a personal brand my prospects and clients KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST. It took me six years … but we’ll get you there in four months! Ready to enroll? Click here

And if you felt inspired by this article, make sure to check out the full podcast episode! Also, if you would subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts and leave me a 5-star rating, I would be incredibly grateful! And don’t forget to share this episode with someone who needs to hear it! Tag me, @andy_neary, on Instagram and let me know about your greatest takeaways!

Until next time — go out there and start investing time, effort, and money in yourself. 

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EP 86 – Get Back To The Basics

Hey, hey! Welcome back to Friday Bullpen Sessions. Have you set some huge and inspiring goals for 2021? If so, you’re in the right place! Today, I’m sharing my number one exercise to achieve audacious goals without being intimidated by them. 

What I’m going to share with you today is actually how I came up with the name for my podcast, the Bullpen Sessions. Every week during baseball season, I went to the bullpen to work with my pitching coach. We took that time to get back to the basics. I didn’t have any batters to face, and the game wasn’t on the line. I could screw up, try new things, and fail. It was my chance to work on my follow-through, delivery, and pitch selection. 

Looking back, I’m confident that if it weren’t for my weekly bullpen sessions of going back to the basics, I would not have been the successful pitcher I was. And, I can guarantee you that anyone you admire and look up to in business, relationships, or sports has developed a habit of going back to the basics. 

Today, I’m going to help you put together a game plan to achieve your big goal by going back to the basics. This tool has helped me stay motivated, avoid discouragement, and absolutely crush my goals. It can do the same for you. So, let’s jump in!

Leave Your Ego at the Door

I don’t care how successful you are, the first step is to check your ego at the door. You are never too good for the basics. Ego can be our best friend. It also can be our worst enemy. And if you think you’re too good to get back to the basic drills — what, in sports, we call the blocking and tackling that makes you successful — you need to do it even more.

Probably the greatest college basketball coach in history won by this principle of going back to the basics. So, I’m going to tell you his story. John Wooden won ten national titles in 12 years at UCLA. Think about that — ten national championships in 12 years means that he won 80% of the games. 

It is almost impossible for a college basketball team to go undefeated. I know some of the Yukon teams and the women’s basketball teams have gone undefeated, but a winning streak in college basketball is almost never done over a 40 game season. And, John Wooden did it FOUR times!

Now, why do I share this? Because this man is possibly the most successful college basketball coach — every single year, no matter how successful his team was the previous year, they spent the first few practices working on the basics.

He literally had his players relearn how to put their socks and shoes on. Guys like Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton — some of the greatest college basketball players we’ve ever seen at UCLA — spent their first few practices every season learning how to put their socks and shoes on. And here’s why. Because John wanted to send this message, “I don’t care how successful we were as a team last year, we are not too good to get back to where we started. We are not too good to get back to the foundational principles that have made us so successful.”

So, I’m asking you the same thing in the first month of 2021. Are you willing to go back to the basics? You might be happy as hell that 2020 is over, and you get a fresh start. Maybe you’re trying to keep the momentum going because you had an extremely successful 2020. Either way, can you check your ego at the door and go back to the basics with me so that you can get hyper-focused and outperform your competition?

Reverse Engineer

There’s a huge difference between being productive and being busy. The most important thing you can do at any moment is to make sure you’re taking appropriate action every single day. You very rarely need to do a LOT of things. More than likely, you need to take massive action in one specific way. So, the second step to this process is clarifying what your goals are. 

What I want you to do right now is grab a piece of paper and a pen. Now, write down your goal for this year. I’m talking about your big, hairy, audacious goal. In my coaching community, we call it the B-hag. What is the number one goal you want to accomplish this year? Imagine it’s December 31st of 2021, and you’re looking back over your year. If you only get one thing done this year, what do you hope it is? That’s the goal I want you to write down. 

It can be a sales goal, relationship goal, or weight-loss goal. Whatever it is, write it down! 

Now that you’ve got the goal written down, I want you to reverse engineer it. For example, let’s say your goal this year is to sell $500,000 in new revenue. The next step is to break your goals down into quarterly goals. In other words, where do you need to be on March 31st so that you can say to yourself, “I am absolutely on track to meet my 2021 goal”? Whatever your answer was, write it down, too. Do that again for June 30th and September 30th. 

This isn’t rocket science, but so few people do it. They create this lofty goal, and they do nothing to figure out what they need to be doing every single week to hit it. They set it, forget it. Three months into the year, they look up at this huge goal and think, “Oh my God, I’m never going to hit it!” They end up feeling behind before the first quarter is even over. That’s why going back to the basics of reverse engineering your goal is the most important thing you can do. 

Let’s go back to the analogy I shared a little earlier. If your 2021 goal is half a million dollars in sales by June 30th, you need to be at $250,000 in sales, right? Come March 31st, you need to be at $125,000 in sales. It’s simple math, but whatever your goal is, reverse engineer it back to where you need to be on March 31st. 

Once you have reverse engineered your goal by setting quarterly goals, you need to do it again for weekly and monthly goals. So, if you need to be at $125,000 by the end of March, you need to be at $42,000 sales by the end of January. And weekly, you need to hit $10,500 in sales. Do you see how we broke down half a million dollars into $10,500 goals? That’s much more manageable, right?

Guys, I used a financial goal because I come from the health insurance industry, so that’s really relatable for me. But maybe you’re a college athlete, and you want to make the starting team. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur who wants to book their first speaking gig. Maybe you work for a corporation and want a promotion. Reverse engineer the steps to getting where you want to be so that instead of feeling intimidated by your B-hag, you can be inspired and motivated to use your days well. 

Get Clear on One Thing

If you’ve read the book, The One Thing, this next step may sound familiar to you. Decide on the ONE thing you need to do daily to reach your quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals. What is the one thing that is going to move the needle towards your goal the most? Pro tip: It’s usually the most basic task and thing you least want to do!

In his book, The One Thing, Gary Keller talks about the power of focus, managing your willpower, and what it takes to truly succeed. I love what he said about how some people get more done in their day than others: 

“If everyone has the same number of hours in the day, why do some people seem to get so much more done than others? How do they do more, achieve more, earn more, have more? If time is the currency of achievement, then why are some able to cash in their allotment for more chips than others? The answer is they make getting to the heart of things the heart of their approach. They go small. Going small is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do.” – Gary Keller

This book is absolutely a must-read, especially at the beginning of the year. It’s a powerful reminder that we’re human and have a limited amount of hours, but if we use those hours well, we can accomplish near-impossible things. So, what is the one thing you need to do each day to move you closest to your goal? Write it down. 

You have to reverse engineer those big lofty goals all the way back to the basics — exactly what you need to be doing each today. Because big goals are great, but when there’s no game plan, there’s no action. You don’t need to get to the end of this quarter and feel behind and defeated. So, figure out what your priorities are and start taking action. You are capable of having your biggest, most audacious goals yet! Don’t let it slip away from you because you didn’t make yourself a gameplan!

Why You Need to Go Back to the Basics

Going back to the basics, reverse engineering goals, and setting hyper-focused priorities is what all the greats do. The ones you want to be like who are having massive success in business and life get back to the basics every year. That’s why, in baseball, they call it spring training. You have to get back and do the basics. 

But my point is this: If you want to have massive success this year, and I hope you do, whether you had it last year or 2020 was an absolute struggle for you. You need to get back to the basics and figure out what you have to do every single day to create that success you want.

The more you level-set you are, the better your results will be year in and year out. So my advice is to get back to the basics and do the boring, monotonous stuff your competitors don’t want to do because they want quick wins. While they’re busy, you are going to be productive. Be patient, get consistent, invest in the basics, and you, my friend, will have massive success! 

Before you go, if you’re an insurance professional who wants to crush your 2021 sales goals, I have something for you. The Broker Branding Academy! This is my new coaching program for insurance professionals who know it’s important to show up online but don’t want to waste their time trying to figure out what works. In this program, I’m going to teach you, step-by-step, EXACTLY what I’ve done to build a personal brand my prospects and clients KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST. It took me six years…but we’ll get you there in four months! Ready to enroll? Click here!  

Thank you for taking the time to read this Friday Bullpen Session. If you know anyone in your family or personal life that might benefit from this, please take a screenshot of this and post it on Instagram. Tag me, @andy_neary, and let me know what your B-hag is! If you have three minutes, could you do me a favor? Go over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe, and give Bullpen Sessions a five-star rating. I’d be extremely grateful if you did. 

Last thing, do you know what happens when clarity and confidence collide? Massive action. Now, go make it happen today! I’ll catch up with you next week. 

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EP 79 – Michael Dash: Chasing The High, A Story of Addiction and Triumph

Hey hey! Welcome back to the Bullpen Sessions! I’ve got an amazing guest for you all today, so put a smile on and get ready to take tons of notes because you, my friend, are about to go on a wild ride!

Today I’m joined by Michael Dash, a man I am excited to call a friend and colleague. We met last year in the Fast Foundations Mastermind, and I can’t wait for you to be inspired by him. When I heard his story of going from addiction and building a multi-million dollar company to following his intuition and helping entrepreneurs create fulfilling lives, I knew I wanted to have him on the podcast. 

In this interview, we’re diving into how addictions — even seemingly benign addictions — can rob us of true joy and fulfillment and how to steer clear of them. We will also discuss how to trust your intuition and live a life you’re proud of. I think you’re going to be really encouraged by Michael’s perspective and inspired to live a more balanced life. 

Let’s get started!

Who Is Michael Dash?

Michael grew up on the East Coast in a family that was constantly striving for more. At an early age, Michael developed an addiction for achieving, which eventually turned into an addiction to gambling, alcohol, drugs, and, finally, money. He was always chasing the next high — anything that would give him a shot of adrenaline. 

This led him down a path of unhappiness and feeling unfulfilled, even though his financial score said he was winning. After spending some time behind bars, Michael knew something had to change. About that time, he took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Bali, where he learned about manifesting and synchronicities for the first time. Shortly after, he decided to make the rest of his life about accumulating happiness instead of wealth. 

Since then, he’s started MD mentoring and coaching, where he helps highly-successful entrepreneurs double their revenue while reclaiming their sense of joy and connection in life. He recently published his first book, Chasing the Highs, chronicling his experience from addiction and transformation to living in true freedom. 

I think today’s message will be super valuable to you because I believe we all struggle with addiction in one way or another. But the good news is that we all have the power to overcome addiction, and that’s exactly what Michael shares today — how to overcome addiction and live your most epic life!

Michael’s Story: Trapped in Addiction to Following Intuition

For as long as Michael can remember, he focused on accumulating money. As the son of an entrepreneur in New York, he grew up thinking that if you worked harder and longer, you could outwork your competition and succeed. He believed that happiness meant being rich, owning a company, driving a fancy car, and living in an epic house. That’s what he thought would attract women and applause and make him feel like a real man. 

“I convinced myself that in order to be established, looked up to, respected, and successful, I needed all those things. … But eventually, when I had them all, I was miserable. I was not happy whatsoever.” – Michael Dash

Even though Michael experienced success at a young age, it took him a while to realize that there was something more for him in life than accumulating wealth and accolades. Michael’s first adventure into the entrepreneur world was as a bookie — someone who facilitates gambling and pays out winnings on other people’s behalf. Since being introduced to gambling at age 11, he quickly noticed that the bookies always won. So he decided to do the same.

He began experimenting with drugs in college, and it wasn’t long before he became a drug dealer. After graduating college in New York City, he started selling sports advertising to companies who wanted to be featured in game-day football and basketball publications. He did this for 500 universities around the country. All the guys he worked with gambled, did drugs, and partied, which exacerbated his addiction. He continued in this lifestyle until his early 30s.

Michael didn’t have a typical rock-bottom moment like a lot of people in addiction do. In retrospect, Michael said he probably hit it several times, but it never registered with him. He was arrested twice — once for a DUI and once for possession of a substance called GHB. Both times he bailed himself out, hired high-priced attorneys to plead down his case, and did his 100 hours of community service. 

“[Both of these experiences] were completely humiliating and embarrassing for me — but only to me because nobody found out about them. … I still was not in tune that that was my rock bottom. I still was not in tune that feeding my ego was more important to me than actually being honest.” – Michael Dash

Michael said it wasn’t until almost four years ago that he knew something had to change: 

“I had just bought my business partner out of the business that we built together. [It was] doing about five million in revenue a year. We got into a lawsuit right after … because she violated the agreement. … So [I ended up] in a five-year lawsuit at the time, running a business … that was running me. … I came to hate the very business I [had] built. I resented my employees.” – Michael Dash

Around this time, he saw an invitation on Facebook to attend an event in Bali. Since visiting Bali was on his bucket list, he jumped at the opportunity.   

At the retreat, two people talked about living in a state of flow and making decisions by listening to your intuition instead of your conscious mind. Growing up in a family who lived by the mantra “outwork your competition,” Michael chalked it all up to a bunch of BS. 

But when he got home, he said he kept asking himself, “Could it really be that bad to try to live differently — by intuition instead of my conscious mind?” The more he thought about it, the lighter he felt physically. So, he spent $1200 on the course he learned about at the retreat, and it changed the trajectory of his life. 

Why Being Laser-Focused Might Not Be a Good Business Strategy

The word “addiction” typically comes with a negative connotation because people tend to talk about being addicted to alcohol, drugs, or sex. But I think we can get addicted to things that make a positive impact or even seem healthy — things like work, making the next sale, or being that master networker. Just because an addition may seem healthy doesn’t mean it is. 

Michael pointed out that addiction, by definition, is an unbalanced passion, which means any addiction is eventually unhealthy. 

“I feel like obsessive behavior to the degree of addiction is unhealthy in any manner. It’s not sustainable, right? If you took the word ‘addiction’ out and you just say, ‘Wow, he’s got an unhealthy passion for building a business.’ [That means] it’s really detrimental to your life, to your growth, to your sanity, to your health, to your wealth.” – Michael Dash

Michael noted that even if you’re addicted to something like having a healthy body, you’re still spending a lopsided amount of time in that area, which means another area in your life will suffer.  

“If you’re not taking care of yourself physically and emotionally on a daily basis, then it’s going to catch up to you in some aspect of your life. And you’re going to end up being an unbalanced person.” – Michael Dash

In other words, you have to be at your best to bring your best. You can only cover up and hide your not-best-self for so long. Many people go into business with the mentality of being laser-focused to get their business off the ground. It takes a lot of work to have a successful business, but in more cases than not, it takes a lot of time, too — sometimes years!

If you’re going into business or building a business right now with a laser-focused perspective, here’s a thought Michael said you need to consider:

“Most people talk about, ‘[If] you want to build a successful business, you’ve got to be laser-focused.’ But if you take the flip side of that, [and say], ‘Okay, what are you not focusing on because you’re so laser-focused? [How is that] detrimental to your wellbeing?’ Like you have to incorporate that into your life because the business will break down when you break down if you’re building it without the key components of fulfillment.” – Michael Dash

An unbalanced life will catch up with you eventually. It could be before you reach success, or worse yet, you could wake up one day, like Michael, literally living your dream, but being unable to enjoy it because you resent everything.

Michael pursues being the best version of himself and caring for his fulfillment levels by taking time to fill several different “buckets” each week. Each “bucket” contributes to his sense of fulfillment. These buckets are things like community, being in nature, creativity, making money, and taking care of his physical health.

“For me, [those key components of fulfillment] fall into buckets. I believe fulfillment is made up of all these [different] buckets. And I try to fill half of them on a weekly basis. [That’s how] I have fulfillment — they’re all filled to a certain extent.” – Michael Dash

If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your life, it’s probably not because your life is miserable. You’re probably just not taking time to give yourself a sense of fulfillment. In the next three days, sit down with a piece of paper and write down five areas in your life that make you feel alive. Now schedule an activity for at least three of those areas in the next seven days. I think you’ll be surprised by how much you enjoy your life and feel excited to work after participating in those activities!

How to Live from Your Intuition

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a highly driven person, a go-getter. This means that living from your intuition might feel as bizarre and impractical as it initially did to Michael. Since Michael has transitioned to following his intuition he believes that it is one of the most important skills to master if you want to live a life of success and fulfillment:

“There’s nothing that will serve you more in your life than following and trusting your intuition. … Intuition is a powerful force. It’s an energetic field that will pull you into the direction that you’re meant to go. It might not actually make logical sense at the time — the reason might not appear right then to you — but when you are able to tap into it and trust it and follow it, everything unveils itself at the right time. … And then it all makes sense.” – Michael Dash

Michael explained that following your intuition should just happen. If you’re second-guessing yourself, you’re not following your intuition. 

“Don’t think about it. … Just take action. Quit contemplating, quit pondering. Just take action on whatever your gut is telling you. Go do it, and it’ll lead you in the right direction.” – Michael Dash

If following your intuition feels scary, that’s most likely an indication that you’re on the right track because following your intuition requires trust. You don’t always know where your intuition is leading you, but as you practice, you get better at it and begin to see that it’s pointing you in the right direction!

Why You Should Listen to This Michael Dash Podcast Episode Right Now…

Guys, you need to start following this man if you’re not already. This interview was enlightening and motivating. The best part is that this just touched the tip of the iceberg of what Michael has to offer. So, make sure to buy his book, Chasing the High, for more in-depth advice on everything we discussed today. And don’t forget to connect with him on Instagram and learn more about the work he does on his website

If you learned something today, please pass this along to someone you know! Just take a screenshot of this and share it on Instagram. Tag us both — Michael Dash, @mdash1, and me, @andy_neary — and let us know what your biggest takeaway was. And, if you have three extra minutes, please leave a review and rating on Apple Podcasts — I’d be extremely grateful! 

Before I go, I want to tell you a little bit about my new coaching program: The Broker Branding Academy! This Academy is for insurance professionals who are focused on HYPER GROWTH! If you want to blow your 2021 sales out of the water, you MUST have a personal brand. Your prospects are buying you — not the logon on your business card. I’ve designed the Broker Branding Academy to teach you, step-by-step, EXACTLY what I’ve done to build a personal brand my prospects and clients KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST. It took me six years … but we’ll get you there in four months! Ready to enroll? Click here

Before I sign off, let me remind you that you are capable of living an incredibly successful life that makes you feel fulfilled. If you feel out of balance or lack joy in your life, take a step back and invest a few hours of your week into the things that make you happy. There’s more to life than money and accolades, my friend. Now, go make good things happen today! 

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EP 78 – The One Career Decision I Regret The Most

Hey hey! Welcome back to The Bullpen Sessions! Each week, I deconstruct my journey and struggles through my professional baseball career. I take the lessons that I learned and help you apply them in your work and business so that you can live a life of purpose! 

This week I am going to get really vulnerable with you, guys. I’m going to share a moment in my life that I really regret. So grab your glove, hold your ball, get ready to take the mound — this is going to be interesting. 

Make sure to keep reading throughout this whole post because this story has a twist. It’s about a decision I made in my pro baseball career that had a much bigger impact on my life than I realized. With that, let’s get started.  

Spring Training 2001

Let me take you back to my spring training in 2001 when I was playing with the Milwaukee Brewers. Each day I got to the spring training complex before sunrise and kept my stuff in the locker. Your locker could be next to someone playing AA or AAA who is just one step away from making it to the Major Leagues. It’s a great way to learn from guys who have been where you are and beyond!

Although, the thing about spring training is that it is very monotonous. Each day you go down for breakfast alongside the rest of the Minor League camp, you come back, relax, put on your uniform and head out for stretching and calisthenics, followed by eight-nine hours of practice. And if you don’t enjoy the entire process, it is going to get to you quickly. 

And I admit that I probably did not enjoy the process as much as I could have. I allowed myself to view the game more as a job than a hobby or a passion. Yes, it is a business at that point, but you can still give yourself space to really enjoy the process of getting up every morning to play ball while getting paid for it. 

But that year, I knew that if I stuck around spring training long enough and if I didn’t get cut, I had a chance to go break camp and pitch for the Beloit Snappers. The Beloit Snappers is a single A team in the Milwaukee Brewers organization located in Beloit, Wisconsin. And Beloit was just 50 miles away from where I grew up, which is why it was such a big deal to me! If I spent the summer pitching in Beloit, my friends and family could come and watch every single game that I played, and boy, was I excited about that! 

So every day, I got up and worked on my mechanics. I might not have enjoyed the process much, but I did not take anything for granted. And I remember entering into the last week of the spring training, days away from breaking camp, and I felt good. 

Two-three weeks into the spring training camp, you start playing games in the afternoon (sometimes teams will come to your spring training complex or vice versa). And on this particular day, we were heading over to the Scottsdale area to take on the Oakland Athletics. It was a beautiful complex, and I was pitching that day and had a really good outing. I didn’t give up any runs in the one or two innings that I played, and that made me feel really confident about what that summer was going to look like. I was excited about the possibility of my friends and family watching me play professional baseball consistently. 

After the game, I headed over to the practice field, ran my sprints, and did my cool-down workout with the trainer. On the bus back to our spring training facility, I was sitting next to Billy Hall who at that time was playing AA or AAA, and we had an inspiring conversation. Everything was looking good for me, but then that all changed.

The Pink Slip

When I woke up the next morning,  it was like any other day. But when I reached the spring training facility that day, there was something different. As I walked into the locker room, hanging on my locker was a pink slip. It was a very awkward moment. When you’re given a pink slip, everybody knows that you are being cut and let go, and so they tiptoe around you, pat you on the back trying not to offend you, and tell you how it has been a joy playing beside you.

I grabbed my playbook and took a walk of shame down to the Director of Personnel’s office. And here’s what was interesting — when I entered his office, I wasn’t just talking to the Director but also to two Minor League coaches who were sitting on either side of him. What were they doing there? And then it struck me — when some people are cut, they absolutely freak out. Those coaches were there for the Director’s protection. 

They thanked me for my time and service, passed over a list of independent teams to me, and asked me to pick a team that I wanted to play for. They would make a call and refer me to that team.  These independent teams are professional baseball teams but are not affiliated to any Minor League or Major League baseball teams. I could have spent the next summer playing in the independent leagues, and who knows another major league team might have shown interest and signed up a contract with me. 

And so at that moment, I made a terrible decision. I told them that I was glad that I got the chance to play professional ball, but I already had my finance degree, so it was time for me to move on with the rest of my life. It was not this decision that I regretted the most, but it was a bad one nevertheless. I was 22-23 years old at the time, and I could have taken a year or two to play independent ball, enjoyed the travel, and had fun since I did not have too many responsibilities at that age. But my pride was hurt, so I wasted that opportunity.  

If you are a young athlete reading this, then I have a piece of advice for you: Savour the joy that your sport brings you, regardless of whether you’re the MVP or not. If you have a chance to continue playing in independent leagues or have any other opportunity to pursue your sport, then don’t be so quick to end your career so abruptly as I did! 

The Decision I Regret the Most: Letting That Experience Impact My Business Career 

Now, this is where we get to the lesson that I want to teach you with this episode today. Here’s what I did regret the most. When somebody had literally fired me and told me that I was no longer good enough to play a sport that I had been playing since age four, that message impacted my business career for well over ten years. But how?

  • Reason #1: I struggled with feeling good enough about myself. My self-worth was rock bottom for a long time. This definitely impacted my early career when I was selling financial planning or insurance. Am I good enough to win at this new game I’m playing? For a long time, I didn’t think so.  
  • Reason #2: I was never satisfied. Instead of looking back and seeing what I had accomplished as a 5’9” pitcher in professional baseball, I looked at myself as a failure. And again, this transitioned into my business career. I was never satisfied with my work. This is something I still struggle with today. Recently, I’ve really been trying to take the time to reflect and celebrate my progress about how far I have come in life! 
  • Reason #3: I know one of the reasons I was let go was because of my stats, or lack thereof. I also was considered “old” for the level I was in at the Minor Leagues. My stats the previous year were good, and so were my stats on the mound and the spring training, but they weren’t great. And I allowed that judgment of my abilities (based on some stats) to impact my business career. I was always tempted to compare my own stats to others, and I had this constant feeling like other people were judging me. Of course, now it was not about run averages or strike-outs, but about sales numbers, pipeline opportunities, or the amount of revenue I was bringing in. It was just a different type of stat.

Let’s face it —it stings when someone tells you that you are not good enough to play something that you have played all your life. It sucked. But what I really regret is letting that experience destroy my mindset. And as a result, for ten years, my business career suffered. 

I also regret not taking the moment to celebrate victories. It’s good to be ambitious, but if you never reflect on everything you’ve accomplished, you’ll eventually burn out.  And lastly, I  regret the fact that I allowed myself to be judged because at the end of the day the only person that impacted my happiness and my success was me

If you’re a young athlete, I gotta speak straight with you. At some point, your sports career is going to end, and you will have to move on to Chapter Two. You’ll have to start something new. And the advice that I want to give you is never to doubt your own abilities. Know that you are good at what you do but that your work doesn’t define you as a person. Be happy, find something that fulfills you, and enjoy the process. Celebrate your victories and the progress that you are making. 

And what’s more, don’t let other people’s judgments impact you. Don’t get caught up in the comparison because at the end of the day, this is what kept my business away from success for far too long. And I don’t want you to make the same mistake.

Why You Should Listen to This Episode Right Now…

Guys, I leave this with you today — whenever a transition comes in your life, have faith in yourself. Enjoy the process and the journey to whatever your next chapter in life looks like. And most of all don’t let other people’s opinions determine your self-worth. Just stay in your lane, and know that success is coming just around the corner. 

My man, thank you for taking the time to read this Friday Bullpen Sessions post, and don’t forget to listen to the episode as well. If you are enjoying these episodes,  please go over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe, and give me a five-star rating — I’d be really grateful. Also, share this episode with a family member, friend, or coworker who needs to hear it, and tag me on Instagram, @andy_neary, with a screenshot of the episode and your greatest takeaways!

Thanks so much for joining me today, guys! Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: First, I want to invite you to join my Complete Game Mastermind. This is my coaching program, and it starts in just a few days! Masterminds are a great way to get coaching and put yourself in rooms with other entrepreneurs just like you. You can start building your community and gathering people around you who will support you and your growth.

You can also join my FREE text community! Just text the word “Mindset” to 414-622-1462, and I’ll give you access to a TON of free weekly coaching. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and join the Complete Game Mastermind, this text community is a great way to see if my coaching might be right for you.

Remember — when clarity and confidence collide, action happens. Go out and make it happen today!

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EP 77 – Chris Ross: Million-dollar Sales Secrets

Hey hey! Welcome back to the amazing Bullpen Sessions! Today’s episode is incredible — I’m bringing you a  special guest who will rock your world with great insights, value, and game-changing directions for your life. So, sit back, relax, and don’t forget to take down notes as we unveil the million-dollar sales secrets our special guest will be sharing in this session.

Today, I’m excited to introduce to you Chris Ross — he’s the popular podcast host of the Win-Win Effect (check out Episode #72 with yours truly!). During that interview, Chris told me about his life’s journey from childhood. Early on, he was faced with financial and family problems, but now, he’s earning a strong income while making an impact in other people’s lives. His life story is too inspiring enough not to share, and I knew then that I needed to have Chris on the Bullpen Sessions to personally share his expertise in the exciting world of sales with all of you. 

In this interview, we talked about what it will take to excel in sales in 2020 and beyond. We also discussed how we can become 1% better every single day. Right now, Chris Ross is one of the sought-after motivational speakers, helping salespersons and sales teams how to reach the top 1% in sales. If you’re someone struggling with poor sales numbers, you’ll be astounded by what Chris has to share to get to the top.

So, let’s get the ball rolling!

Who Is Chris Ross?

Chris Ross is the founder and creator of TCR Consulting Agency, or TCR Education, whose educational TCR programs are used by more than 60 trade schools in the United States of America. Graduates of their programs have excelled in their respective careers when it comes to driving revenues and increasing sales. 

As a host of the top-rated podcast, the Win-Win Effect, Chris Ross is instrumental in preparing top corporate executives for the radical transformation of the business development process, benefiting both sides of the seller and buyer relationship. It’s a “win-win effect” — both parties experience exponential revenue growth! 

After assuming the board’s Chairman role of TCR, Chris further ventured to the podcasting powerhouse business, creating Winject Radio, which gained more than a million downloads in the first year. As a CEO and co-founder of Winject, Chris continues to add more shows to the network to sustain its growth by injecting a winning mindset into corporations, into their sales, their marketing, and their operations.

Despite all his success today, Chris didn’t start at the top. He experienced an extremely hard childhood, and his family constantly battled with financial insecurity, but through all those challenges, Chris was molded into a great man. Keep reading to learn how!  

How Great People Are Molded from Challenges

To put it simply, the early days of Chris Ross were not lived in luxury. But all those challenges tested his limits and molded him into the man he is today. 

“We were not in a good financial situation. But all the things that I learned throughout my younger years were molding me for my future success. And [I] went into the military after my older sister passed away. … She passed away when I was 16. She was born handicapped, and she had a lot of complications. …My parents … could not afford [her care], and [we] didn’t have a really good health care back then in those days. So, [my dad]had to work two to three jobs sometimes to provide for his family. And that’s where I get my crazy work [ethic]. …I’m not scared of hard work.” – Chris Ross

As Chris Ross said, his life was full of struggles. His family was poor, and his sister experienced several health problems due to her disability. When she died, the family was devastated, but Chris did not let that terrible situation determine the course of his life. . Instead, he fought back with a positive mindset. After running away from the pain for a while, Chris decided to move on — he joined the military, took other jobs, and took a great leap forward, knowing that every difficult experience was molding him to become successful.

“I picked the job that my grandfather, my mom’s dad, had, .. and I drove a SEAL boat … before 9-11 happened. … So I learned from great leaders. … [Joining the military] was probably the best decision I ever made because it got me away from my surroundings. And I was exposed to a lot of cultures from there. … [I also] made a sacrifice to be able to go to college. Back in those days, you had to get at least a four-year degree to make something of your life.”- Chris Ross

As new opportunities unravel before him, Chris took every chance to meet with people and learn from their expertise. His exposure to different cultures, traditions, organizations, and corporations molded him to become great. If you find yourself stuck in your current career (or want to start a new one), the key to moving forward is networking — when you meet new people and experience new things, you open up the door for endless opportunities to come your way! 

“If you’re great at what you do, you don’t have to tell people you’re great.” – Chris Ross

Despite his massive exposure to different types of jobs, Chris knew that he needed to polish the fundamentals — the knowledge and skills to succeed. He made a lot of sacrifices to complete his bachelor’s degree, which later served as his ticket to the corporate world.

Eventually, Chris ended up in sales (which many of us can relate to!). He took several sales gigs, and he viewed each as an opportunity to meet new people and practice his communication skills.  Chris also spent time studying the traditional sales techniques and adapted them to applicable strategies that work today! 

Chris was fortunate enough to get proper sales education in 2008, and since then, he was involved in education sales, achieving small successes. But this wasn’t a stopping place for Chris — he did not stop learning but continued to hone in his skills to achieve greater heights in his career. From starting as a missions rep to becoming a regional director, Chris collaborated and connected with top executives and popular personalities in lead generation. And what’s truly amazing is that all of this happened BEFORE the social media boom.

Creating an Impact in the Sales Landscape 

It’s no secret —  the internet and social media have completely changed the sales and marketing landscape. When this change started happening, Chris adapted to the evolution by going online, which expanded the global footprint of his business. He taught people how to enroll in coaching programs that will teach them how to succeed, making an impact in their lives. 

“I was good at what I did, but I knew that I could be great. And I had to put myself in a situation where I was forced to be great. … I’m a guy that makes an impact on companies, corporations, or individuals. That’s what I do for a living. … I’m there to make an impact and a lifelong impact if they’re willing and be receptive to what I have to say.”- Chris Ross

If you’re looking to have a career in sales, you may be wondering, “How can I keep the focus on impact while also making a steady income?” It’s easy to get focused on the monetary compensation side of sales and ignore the impact, but Chris believes that focusing on impact is the way to go: 

“Whatever the [sales] situation is, … I’m going to ask [the client] really detailed questions. And I’m going to ask a lot of other questions [that] 99.9% of salespeople aren’t going to ask. Why? It’s because I’m looking for the barriers to entry. I’m looking for information, and sometimes maybe, they’re not telling me. And I’m going to ask ‘who, what, when, why, how’ questions. And these questions lead me to diagnostic questions. … ‘Why do you feel that you need that product?’ … Nine times out of ten, it’s not even that product they actually need. They want the product. They don’t need that product just yet because there are different levels to this. I reverse the table. I take it away from them. You no longer have the ability or the freedom to buy what I’m selling you because it’s not available yet.”- Chris Ross

While the majority of the salespeople are focused on commissions (how much earnings they will get from an account), Chris focuses more on providing value and making an impact in their lives. He sets him apart from the rest by taking a different approach. He flips the tables on the customers by checking their fit for the valuable services he’s offering. This helps not only the company he’s working for but also the customers themselves! It ensures that they are getting the service they truly NEED.

“Have them beg you. I’m telling you, man, there are times I’ve had people get on the phone with me, and then I completely flip it in about 15 seconds, and they’ll go, ‘Whoa, I didn’t expect this conversation to happen.’ I’m like, ‘Well, the reason why we’re having this conversation is because I’m looking for X, Y, Z. Can you fit these requirements? If you can. Great! I’m not saying you have to meet or exceed these requirements. I’m saying this is my standard. In order for you to get this, you’re going to have to come up to my standards. … If you want my help, I will help you. But you’re going to have to put forth the effort and have the right attitude.’”– Chris Ross

So there you go! Chris just spilled the secrets you need to be successful in sales. Hard work and a positive mindset will get you to your goal. You have to be willing to be taught and not just understand the lessons but turn them into actions with a winning attitude. This goes for both the seller and the client! If you’re trying to sell a product, ask the client questions to really gauge if that product is for them. And if you’re looking to invest in a coaching program or purchase, do your research to know if that product is really for you. Will it be a waste of money? Or will it help you reach your goals? 

Applying an Athlete’s Mindset to Business Values

Since I love hearing life stories of successful people, I shifted the conversation back to the days of Chris Ross’ life when he joined the Navy. He actually was offered a  baseball scholarship with Charleston Southern University, but he didn’t take it. While he was good at baseball, Chris was also an avid fan of football. However, he lost interest in sports when his sister passed away. After finishing his stint in the Navy, he attended Clemson University of South Carolina.

Since he is a huge football fan, I asked Chris if he thought Clemson is going to be successful this season. Chris said that he is CERTAIN that Clemson will not lose a game, and he is 100% confident in this because they are true to who they are and their core values.

“You have to have a 100%live and die by your choices and decisions; a 100%! And take full accountability of your life.”– Chris Ross

He further added that no one in this life can save you. And it’s going to become way easier for you when you realize that. Whether good or bad, you have to live with the repercussions of your actions. Taking full responsibility for your actions is the first step to future growth. Once you have set your mind on your goals, you can start connecting with people and align them with your goals.

“I’m just all about connecting with others. And if you connect with others, you can drive people to do anything you want them to do.”– Chris Ross

As you connect with people you want to impact, you also need to train their mindset to match yours. His entrepreneurial mindset and firm belief in abundance made a huge shift in this life, allowing him to build the corporations and the businesses he is doing right now. While most people shy away from challenges due to fear of losing, Chris loves challenges as they allow him to grow and improve his skills. His winning formula is 80% mindset and 20% skills

While skills are important, it’s more important to prioritize your mindset to manifest success.  It can be hard to change your mindset at first, but when you slowly take away the negativity, you will start experiencing positive changes in your life. But first, you must determine your desired outcome before you can manifest those changes.

“ You can create and manifest a beautiful life, hundreds of million dollars of whatever success [means] to you. And if I told you that I could help you, get you there quicker, you would pay me anything”– Chris Ross

What’s your desired outcome? What goals do you want to meet this year? Due to COVID-19, many of our goals have been set aside or even forgotten as we try to navigate this pandemic. However, Chris had some amazing advice on how we can still make positive changes in the middle of this chaos! 

Getting to Know your Desired Outcome During the COVID-19 Pandemic

I asked Chris how sales professionals, who are way behind their sales goals due to the effect of the COVID pandemic, can prepare themselves for 2021 and get their momentum back.

“One — get organized.”– Chris Ross

You have to get organized with your daily routine and operations and remain focused on the tasks at hand. Even if these things don’t excite you, you will learn to love the process because it is the pathway to your success. Instead of complaining about the mundane tasks, try to make a challenge out of them by finding ways to make an impact on whatever tasks you are doing. Ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing, and start peeling back the layers. In the end, it will still bring you back to the primary question — what is the outcome you are seeking? It should be your genuine outcome and not the desired outcome of your boss or superiors. 

“What is your outcome? And then you start peeling back the layers on how you’re going to get to that outcome from your daily task. And that’s what you focus on. When you start seeing some type of growth, and you move that needle a little bit, then it’s going to motivate you.”– Chris Ross

According to Chris, most people spend their time the whole day doing things that they don’t like to do. However, Chris doesn’t do that because he knows his worth and value. He is getting paid for his value — not by his time. One of the reasons why many people fail is because they cannot handle the monotony of success. But if you keep track of your desired outcome, you will learn to love what you are doing. 

So, instead of complaining about why things are happening this way or why sales are low this year, make a complete shift in mindset by learning from the experience. Get back to your desired outcome and start working on the action plans that will get you there. When you know what you are doing and why you are doing it, no one can beat you!. 

“When God’s behind me, there’s nothing going to stop me, if I’m in my right frame of mind.”– Chris Ross

Do you love what you do? Are you focusing on the end results? Do you have goals in mind as you work toward the finish line? If you’re not clear on these things, your work will be much less enjoyable and less impactful as a result. Today, I want to encourage you to take some time to get clear on your goals (either for this year or the years to come). COVID-19 has definitely thrown a wrench in things, but we don’t have to let it stop us. 

Why You Should Listen to This Chris Ross Podcast Episode Right Now…

Before we ended the interview, I asked Chris one more question about sales — “What advice would you give to somebody today about how to gain the attention of your target audience?” Here was his answer: 

“[The secret] comes from your heart. If there is one thing in life, you can never fake, it is passion. If you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll eventually find the answers.”– Chris Ross

If you have a passion, you can develop skills and eventually become good at it. And what’s more, people notice passionate people and are attracted to them. If you’re passionate about what you’re selling, you are so much more likely to sell more of it. You don’t have to be perfect. You just need to be you.

“Don’t be me. Don’t be Andy. Don’t be someone named Steve. Don’t be them. Don’t try to do what they’re doing. Do what you want to do. And eventually, you’ll find the answers. But it’s going to take some time for you to really sit down and really go into your core values. But once you’re plugged-in to that energy source, man, it’s not going to stop you.”– Chris Ross

If you want to learn more wisdom from Chris, make sure to listen to the full interview to hear all of his sales secrets! I know that I learned so much from our conversation that I’m going to start using it in my own business, and I hope you did too! You can also catch episodes from Chris Ross on the Win-Win Effect. He also has live Q&A sessions from the show on YouTube. And if you wish to meet him personally for a life-changing session, you may contact Chris Ross through his official website!

And if you enjoyed the interview, be sure to let us know! You can tag Chris, @thewinwineffect, and me, @andy_neary, on Instagram with a screenshot of the episode and your greatest takeaways! We’d love to hear from you!

Thanks so much for joining me today, guys! Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: First, I want to invite you to join my Complete Game Mastermind. This is my coaching program, and it starts in just a few days! Masterminds are a great way to get coaching and put yourself in rooms with other entrepreneurs just like you. You can start building your community and gathering people around you who will support you and your growth.

You can also join my FREE text community! Just text the word “Mindset” to 414-622-1462, and I’ll give you access to a TON of free weekly coaching. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and join the Complete Game Mastermind, this text community is a great way to see if my coaching might be right for you.

To reach your goals in 2020 and beyond, you need to first determine your desired outcome and put forth actions to achieve those expected results. But this must be also coupled with the right mindset and attitude. So, friends, don’t give up 2020 just yet. As long as there is a day left in a year, you still have a chance of ending the year at a respectable level while also gaining the necessary momentum to start the next year with a big bang. 

I believe in you! Until next time —

Andy Neary Signature

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