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This episode really struck a chord with me, and it will very likely strike a chord with you as well. This is about what happens after you’ve reached the top of the ladder and the pinnacle of achievements in your work, in your life. Because before you celebrate, Brandon Steiner, the author of Living on Purpose, believes you need to take a second look around.
You might not be defining your triumph in the most stable or sustainable way. Because even though success is rewarding, you might be on the wrong ladder or the ladder that you’re climbing up might be on the wrong building.
Brandon is the CEO of Steiner Sports, which is the country’s leading sports collectible and athlete marketing business. In this episode, we talk about the pillars of a satisfying and fulfilling existence. Brandon shares some really valuable lessons and some really great stories from his own life.
I took a ton of notes while I was speaking with Brandon. If you’ve ever experienced success or being rich but you felt bankrupt emotionally or spiritually or you knew that you weren’t the partner or the parent or the friend that you wanted to be. Well, this episode is definitely for you.
Get Brandon’s new book Living on Purpose on Amazon.
Find out more at Brandon Steiner.
Brandon Steiner: People always ask me, how did you start Steiner Sports? I hear the word purpose or finding your why. I find that everybody’s throwing those things around, but I think that sometimes people make that a lot more complicated than what it really is. For me, everything I’ve done that’s been good, great, and extraordinary has usually started with a purpose.
Sometimes, that purpose is not always the biggest one. I’m on the train, and my mom had just passed away in 1994, June 17th. It was a very tough day for me. It was one of my first days going back to work and the Rangers had just won the Stanley Cup, and they hadn’t won a cup in 54 years.
I’m a huge New York Ranger fan. I mean, I bleed Ranger blue, so it was very mixed emotions. I was trying to enjoy the fact that finally my team won, and on the other hand, I just lost one of the most pivotal people in my life, period.
The main thing that was really bothering me on this particular morning was the fact that I was on this metro north train. One guy had his shoes off, another person talking on the phone, another person eating. Train was overcrowded. On the way to work, one of the people in the car that we shared took over the train, was having a fight with her spouse, she was crying because they were about to get divorced.
It wasn’t working out for me. I just had to get off this train. I just can’t go to work every day on this train. It’s just not for me, from the scheduling standpoint, the crowdedness standpoint.
I looked down at this person’s newspaper, on the back page of the Daily News, it was Mark Messier. It was the captain of the Rangers, just won the cup and had the big Stanley cup in his hand. He had this incredible grin on his face. I’m just thinking, man, God, look how happy he is and look how unhappy I am. Boy, would I be happy if I can just get off this train.
And I said to myself, Well, in order to get off this train, I got to buy a car. I just got to figure out how I can make a lot of money. I go home and tell my wife, “I got this extra money I’ve made, and I’m going to buy a car and commute to work.”
My brain just started going a million miles an hour trying to figure out all these schemes and dreams, how I can make some money. I look back on that daily news page, as it was incredible. I could sell 15,000 of those.
At the time I had a marketing company, I just marketed athletes. I didn’t do anything with autographs our collectibles.
It took me about two, three months. I tracked Mark Messier down, convinced him to sign a contract, he’s going to sign these photos, we did it.
Sure enough, it was a home run.
He was my first guy, started my second company which is Steiner Collectibles which I started with 10,000 bucks and ended up being a pretty big company.
Most importantly, at the time, I signed Mark. We did really well with that photo, and I bought a blue Lexus SE400 and didn’t have to take the train.
A lot of times, people ask me, how did you start Steiner Sports? I’m like, I just want to get off the goddamn train.
Brandon Steiner: That was the photo that hit me, and I thought man, that’s a money grab. That’s an opportunity to make a lot of money.
One of the things I’ve learned is that listen, I think it’s great to have a purpose that’s much more worldly and much more fulfilling as far as the serving and helping of others. But it’s okay sometimes just to a purpose for the money grab or something you want selfishly.
You could build off that, obviously I’ve helped a lot of people along the way since I started that second company. But it started with a purpose, which was I want to get off that train like there’s no tomorrow.
I think that the most important thing for me is that I’ve learned that when you have a purpose and you start dreaming a little, you quickly move to try to come up with an understanding and an agreement of what needs to take place for that purpose to really happen.
Then once you do that, you get committed and once you’re committed, you know, all kinds of things, imagination and diligence and creativity—there’s so many things that spark when you have a purpose. When you want something, even if it is something materialistic or a money grab, it’s tough to get in the way.
What people don’t realize is what is the initiator of that purpose. A lot of times it’s just dreaming big and something that you really want to have happen. I think for me, it’s always been about wanting to do good, but sometimes, some of my purposes have been about doing well and about just getting into a car as opposed to taking the train.
Paper Route Principles
Brandon Steiner: Another quick story. I was literally 10 years old and got called to the front of my class in school. They gave me an envelope of money, my 5th grade teacher, and said, “We put a collection for you to buy some clothes.”
I said, “Why do you think I need clothes?”
He says, “Well, you’ve been wearing the same pants for three weeks in a row. There’s a rip in the right knee.”
I went home, I was really upset, told my mom. Of course my mom, you know, the pillar of my life. “You’re in between sizes, of course we’re going to get you more clothes.”
But I went to bed that night, it’s the first I realized we were really poor. You’re a kid, you don’t really don’t know better, and especially when nobody tells you how poor you are. Later on as I got older, people reminded me how poor we were.
At that point, nobody had really woken me up to it, and I said, “Mom, you don’t have to worry about me anymore. I’m 10, I can handle myself, and I’m going to get a job.”
I went up and down the King’s Highway and found a job.
A couple of years later, I said, “Mom, I need a career change,” and she said, “I think you should go get a paper route.”
I was like 12 or 13. I wanted to have more free time after school, as I was working after school, giving out circulars, delivering fruit and vegetables. My why and my purpose was I wanted to play with my friends. I know I needed to make money to help support the house and buy food and buy clothes.
The paper route was a great solution. When I got to the paper route stand, you could win a box of candy bars if you sold the most amount of paper and increased the size of your route.
At the time, the route I took over was 29 dailies, 24 Sundays.
My mother’s like, “Listen, if you want to expand that route, you got to go knock on doors and you got to get people to sign up.” So I’m knocking on doors, I got nothing, zero, nobody’s buying.
I go to this older woman, she’s probably way in her 70s, and back in 1969, that was old. She’s like, “Son, I don’t want the paper delivered, I get it from the corner, and it’s the same price as the corner store but then I got to tip you.”
I go home, I said, “Mom, can you believe? We’ve got to move out of this neighborhood, the people in this neighborhood are so cheap that they don’t even want to tip me.”
I would bring that newspaper every day, and the lady didn’t want it.
My mother said, “Listen, I’m going to teach you a valuable lesson, I want you to listen to this, I want you to listen to it carefully. You got to stop selling, you got to start solving. You got to start serving. You’re selling something that everyone else is selling, and people can get the same item somewhere else, you got to figure out how to differentiate yourself. The best way to start by doing that is to serve people and help them solve a problem.”
I’m really starting to get my arms around that. I’m going out and knocking on doors, and I want that box of candy bars. I always tell people I saw the light at an early age—unfortunately, it was the refrigerator light because I was starving. We had no food and to bring home a box of candy bars was like a home run, it was like winning the lottery.
I’m knocking on doors, I got nothing. It’s like a Thursday night at 10:30 at night. I’m that desperate, I go back and knock on the lady’s door. I said, “Ma’am, I know you’re thinking about getting the paper delivered. You know something? If it’s torrential downpour, heatwave, snow storm, ice on the ground, it’s not safe for a woman of your age to be outside. If I bring you milk and bagels on Wednesday and Sunday mornings and if you need something else, I’ll get it. If the weather’s really bad, you shouldn’t be outside, you need stuff from the store, I’ll pick it up on the way while I’m delivering the papers. I’ll never be late with that paper by your doorstep by 7:30 AM.”
“You would do that for me, sonny?”
I said, “Yeah, 100%.”
Not only did that lady change her mind to deliver the paper—and sometimes it pays to go back a second time and ask, you never know you could always change someone’s mind even though they said no the first time—but she charmed me out to everyone in the neighborhood.
I went to 199 dailies and 234 Sundays.
I learned about serving and selling, and I learned about service. I learned also that if you want to fill yourself, you got to forget yourself. You go to be consumed about what the other person needs, more than consumed about what you need. That’s a little bit of an underlying theory about what Living On Purpose is about.
You want to do good, and doing good will lead you to doing well.
Most people want to do well and they figure, one day after I do well, I’ll do some good. I think when you think initially and first off and foremost about doing good, the byproduct of doing good will enable you to do well. That’s exactly what happened that day when I was delivering newspapers.
By the way, I won two boxes of candy bars. I just lit it up. I will swagger, you know? When you got 199 dailies and 234 Sundays. The moral of that lesson for me was just about serving people, and it’s really been a corner stone for me in everything I do in life and business, thinking about servicing people and solving people’s problems really leads you to great relationships that will be long lasting.
Nobody wants to get rid of someone that’s helping them with a problem or is willing to serve.
Charlie Hoehn: Can you explain your process?
Brandon Steiner: I think the process that I’ve grown especially started back then even when I was 12 man, was you kind of put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Whenever I would make a sales call, even when I started Steiner, I would try to picture and imagine where the other person was, what it would be like to be in her office, what they’re going through, what’s happening for them.
In order to know that, you got to ask questions that aren’t about making a sale and aren’t about you.
General questions, because the person you’re dealing with, in their mindset and what they’re going through certainly is going to have an effect on what’s going on for them and whether they can make a decision, whether they can buy something from you or use your services.
It’s the stuff that happens outside the lines that usually creeps up inside the lines. My mindset always is to think about the other person, even negotiating as much as I’m thinking about myself.
Because most people are most self-absorbed and are worrying about their sale, their situation, their quota, what they need, what they want. It’s a road to mediocracy, frankly.
When you can get self-absorbed on what the other person wants, more than even what you want yourself, you’re on the road to doing something extraordinary. People always laugh, when somebody calls me up for a favor, I’m following up with them as if I was asking them for a favor.
I take the favor that they’re asking me as seriously, as if I was asking them for a favor.
That’s the difference, that’s an opportunity. My wife always says, “Well you’re doing that for that person?” Because it’s an opportunity to serve. Helping people is not a burden, it’s an opportunity. It’s a joy.
That’s what I’m hoping to get through with the book, is that that helping one another is why we’re here and true joy that should be an underlying common denominator in everything you do.
What I have found and have been lucky enough to do it and was grateful that my mom made this a very strong point in raising me, is the joy is in helping others. There is tremendous opportunity in doing so if you have the faith to let it play out.
I know people are going to say, “Brandon, you have a big company, it’s easy for you to say that now.”
But I’ve been playing this game since I was 12. I’ve been playing the long game when I had nothing. It’s the only way to play if you want to go play at a high level, it’s the only way to play. It’s not because you’re small.
Don’t play small.
That’s a big underlying tone in the book, which is we are here not to fill our pockets and fill our needs but we’re here for each other. We’re here to help each other. My hope is that I could change a few people’s minds in this book to understand what that means, and there’s a lot of ways to go about it.
Here for Each Other
Charlie Hoehn: I think you hit it right on the head that serving others that we’re here for each other, and the more you do that, the more joy you’re experiencing and the more you’re able to take care of others and yourself.
Brandon Steiner: I certainly think so. I think there’s strength in joy. There’s a movie, Oh God, with George Burns. I talk about it in my book, and John Denver is this stock boy. Obviously a guy comes down and he’s having conversations with him, and at some point, John Denver says to him, “Hey, I don’t understand, we have all these problems you know? Hurricanes and disasters and all these travesties and what are you doing about all this?”
And he basically says, “Listen, I don’t know if I have necessarily the solutions, but what I’ve given you is each other.”
I think that these two things that I think about. One is that God is listening and we should talk to God more.
Not to give out tremendous religious direction, because the book is not that, but it does have a spiritual and faithful side, which will lead you to extraordinary results. You have to have faith, and you have to have a spiritual connection.
You can’t ignore it. You need to find it. I’m not here to dictate one way or the other.
And you do have to respect the fact that a big part of great success is your ability to share and care with others.
A Pitcher’s Faith
Charlie Hoehn: Yeah, let’s dive into faith, that’s the first part of your book. How did you discover your faith, and did you ever go through a period where you didn’t have any?
Brandon Steiner: Yeah, my whole life. I mean, I had no idea what the hell faith was. I mean, I had to go to synagogue because my grandfather paid for after schools in spiritual school. The only reason I went to temple on Saturdays was that food afterwards that they gave you for free.
Charlie Hoehn: Right. What kind of food did they give you?
Brandon Steiner: You know, they had all kinds of pastries and tuna and egg salad. Any food in those days was good food. I was starving, you know? I was a kid, didn’t have a lot of food, and there’s something about being hungry when you’re a kid. It’s not something I’d promote. But when you are, you never lose that hunger.
My faith was funny, how it comes about, because I really never had a lot of faith other than kind of rooting for Derek Jeter to maybe get a hit in the big World Series game or for my team to win. I said, “Please God, give him a hit.”
Then you know, in 1998, I ran into a skinny little kid from Panama, Mariano Rivera. I got up to go see him because we needed some balls signed right before the World Series.
I had no idea about faith, and he says, “Do you believe in God?”
I said, “Yeah, I believe in God.”
I didn’t think much about it, and then he asked me if I believe in Jesus Christ and a couple of other quick little sentences, and I was like, “Can I get back to you on that?”
From that day on, we’ve become good friends, and we’ve had so many discussions about religion and God and faith and what faith means. How important having faith is, how important it is to pray. I never knew anything until I ran into a skinny little kid from Panama. And we go and do all these appearances and all these signings and different things, we’d have these spiritual and religious discussions.
And the two are different, you know, spiritual and religion.
That was the beginning for me where I started thinking, I do need to improve my faith. I think it is important. He always talked about his faith being such a big part of being able to throw the cutter and being able to do all the things that he would be able to do on the field in front of 60,000 in the Yankee stadium.
I started developing more faith.
I started watching more spiritual and faithful programs.
Not obsessed with it, but it really did help me build confidence and find strength. Sometimes, when things get a little rough, everybody has their own spiritual boundaries and their way to go, but zero spiritual, zero faith in something bigger than yourself, something that you can’t see… faith is something maybe you can’t touch but you believe in.
You know it’s there and the right thing will happen.
You know that when you do good, you get back good, when you put out good, and those are all faithful things that you can put into play. Those are the things that I’ve learned in the last fifteen, twenty years that have definitely helped me to live a much more extraordinary life.
Love and Serve
Charlie Hoehn: That was so fun for me to hear, thank you for sharing that. I’ll tell you why. I was a pitcher for 12 years, and Mariano Rivera was my favorite pitcher. I loved his style. Like many others I was just blown away by how cool he was under pressure and how effective he was and that’s amazing.
Brandon Steiner: I mean, there’s a couple of stories about Mariano and I in the book and there’s some really great videos I’ve done on my social with Mariano, about the glove he used when he was a kid and about how he found his cutter and how important faith was.
It’s one thing to talk about faith, it’s another thing to break it down and try and check your soul, try to check where your head’s at and really put it into play and have the confidence to put in the play.
For me, it took a little while. I definitely wasn’t thinking much about it for quite some time, and then it really came into gear. Another time that faith came into play when I was back in the Hard Rock when I was younger. A lot of people don’t realize, I opened up a Hard Rock in 1984.
New York was the second Hard Rock, and it was huge. I had this God wall, and that was the first time “love all, serve all” was our mantra there.
Most people think that Hard Rock was a rock and roll restaurant, but it was really a spiritual, religious restaurant about serving people and about making people feel comfortable with feel good food, feel good music.
I understood it but I didn’t agree with it. There’s a big difference. I think to get to real, full commitment on something, it’s not only when you understand something but you have to agree with it. A lot of people either don’t understand it or they don’t agree.
In order to get to commitment, you need understanding and agreement, and then you get the commitment. Then you become passionate about it. That was my first introduction to Sai Baba, which was Isaac Tigrett, the owner of the Hard Rock. That was his guru that taught him all about love and about faith and about doing good, and there was a lot of things that happened at the Hard Rock that when I look back on it now were great learning lessons about doing the right thing and treating people right and giving people the benefit of the doubt. Not being so hard.
Lessons from the Hard Rock
Charlie Hoehn: What story comes to mind?
Brandon Steiner: I remember one night where there was a person that came in and they ordered a bottle of Dom Pérignon and ordered a swordfish. Sure enough, he claimed there’s a piece of glass in the swordfish, but ultimately he didn’t have any money to pay for it.
I was having none of it.
So I called the police, and because he wouldn’t pay his bill, it was 200 bucks, the police didn’t know what to do with him and just put him in jail. He had a really nice watch on.
So I made him take off the watch. I put the watch in the safe, and apparently he was somewhat influential kind of kid. He had just a little lost his way and maybe he’s drunk or whatever, and Isaac the next day was in the restaurant. Apparently somebody had called him to explain what had happened, and he pulled me aside.
He said, “I don’t understand.” Obviously this person was a little distressed, and you really didn’t see that maybe he needed some help. He said, “We really have to take his watch?”
I said, “Well, he the ordered the food, he can’t pay for it. I need a collateral, and that’s my job to make sure that he pays.”
He said, “You know, not everything has to match up. Not everything has to be a dollar for a dollar, an eye for an eye.”
“Sometimes you’ve got to give people the benefit of the doubt.”
And it was a really valuable lesson there. I am not sure at that time I agreed with him because here I am running a restaurant that was very busy and big. The guy couldn’t pay.
But when I look back on it, it was a valuable lesson which is not everything has to be reoccurring revenue driven. Not everything that you do, do you have to get paid for, do you have to get reciprocation.
I always say that what would you do for somebody that you know could never do anything back for you? And the answer to that question is the true joy. You being able to do something for someone with no – they’re definitely not going to give anything back. It’s not like “I’ll do this favor for you, you do it back for me.”
A big underlying tone of Living On Purpose is try to help as many people as you can as often as you can and expect nothing back. That’s the joy of it.
Do I do favors for people knowing they’re going to do something back for me? Yes, it’s in business you are going to do that. But the real joy is when I am able to do stuff for people that never could do these things for themselves. I enjoy what I am able to do for them. It’s kickass, it’s amazing.
Listen Charlie, I am the biggest money grabber, and I know about it. I like making money. I enjoy making money. I think you can make a lot of money, and I am not going to be bashful or shy about it.
But I think that most people don’t really see that side of it that you can be somebody who likes to make money, and it’s cool. You don’t have to give it back and feel guilty. But there is so much good you could do in the process as you are making it.
You get so caught up with that money as opposed to getting caught up with the whole process of all the things that money can bring that isn’t just money driven.
You can do a lot of good and a lot of really cool things around the influence and the success you have with it, and that’s what I wanted to translate.
I work with a lot of big name athletes and a lot of big name teams, The Yankees, Steiner, working with the Garden, Rangers, Knicks, Messier, Eli Manning, Derek Jeter, Mariano… but a lot of people don’t realize that it is not what happens to you. It is what do you do with what happens.
How can you pay that forward? How can you share that with the most amount of people, is the true joy of it.
Charlie Hoehn: Yeah, absolutely and that brings us into the second part of your book which is on fortune. Talk to me about why this is in the book. What the overview is.
Brandon Steiner: Because it’s real. I think making the money and developing whatever your view on having a fortune or making a lot of money is it varies with people. It is an important part of how we live. What I try to do in the fortune part of the book and why it is such an important element to leading an extraordinary life is that most people look at the fortune part of it. They don’t look at the road to getting to the fortune.
They like the view on what’s going on at top of the mountain, but they don’t really know about all the details in climbing up that mountain and all the kind of stuff you have to go through, and the trials and tribulations.
There is no question the most enjoyable part of it all is the whole process and the trials and tribulations and even the anxiety and the failures.
In this particular part of my book, what I would try to do is be as transparent as I could about the failures and those trials and tribulations. Not just, “Oh look at me, I did this, I did that.”
I’m like, “No look at me at how stupid I was. Look at me at how idiotic this particular sector in my life was, or look at how much time I wasted.”
And one of the emphasis in the book, in this part of the book is it is about time management and how serious you need to take the relationship with time.
Time can be misunderstood, because you have so much of it, and then when you realize you don’t have a lot left, you get all crazy about it. But the reality is whether you have an hour or a day, a year or a hundred years to live, you should take it with the same level of seriousness. There is an approach and there are some systems to put into play for you to maximize your most important asset, which is time.
Changing Your Mindset
Charlie Hoehn: Could you talk about a little bit what you do to put yourself in the right state about this stuff?
Brandon Steiner: Well it goes back to are you doing good to do well or are you doing well to do good and most people when I say, “Why aren’t you working out more? Why aren’t you doing this and that?” And they say, “Well I just got to get through this month. I got to get to this quarter. When the kids graduate and then I am going to lose the weight, I’ll have more time.”
But the reality is, all you have is time.
It’s amazing, if I said to you, you mean to tell me eating better and you were in better shape and you are exercising off you wouldn’t be more productive at work? And you wouldn’t be even selling and making even more money?
So what I say is you’ve got to make your most important thing your favorite thing.
My wife is not a sports fan, and obviously I am a sports lunatic. And obviously we can get pretty carried away with the games, the big game, watching the game, going to the game ,and everything else. But that is not what my wife is about, and if my wife is important to me, then I’ve got to figure out how to make what’s important to her important to me.
So I make what’s important to her my favorite thing.
I was never much on going to Broadway shows or whatever, but that is her favorite thing. She likes going to concerts, she likes going to plays and those kinds of things. I read up a lot more of it and I keep an eye on those sorts of things, and I definitely go there with her regardless whether there is a big game or not. Because in my mind, I now made that my favorite thing. I look forward to now doing that because that is something she likes to do.
I made her most important thing my favorite thing.
I never really like lifting weights and working out. I have always been somewhat of an athlete, not anything spectacular or anything, but I like playing sports. But as I am getting older, it becomes harder and harder to play sports. I found a great machine in my home that I like to work out in and that every day, I mean 365 days a year, I like to do 45 minutes to 60 minutes of rigorous exercise.
Meaning getting my heart rate up somewhere between 130 and 160 and making sure I do some stretching.
Now, I do workout with a trainer, I do some other things, but seven days a week, I am always going to do that cardio.
I have a lot of ADHD, so I need to work off that layer of anxiety and everything I have that goes into the day, and I never thought that I would have an hour, somewhere between an hour and two hours every morning to workout. But now I would not think of it any other way.
In fact, I can’t live without it, and it has made me ten times more productive. I am so much clearer, so much more efficient and effective, all day. I do twice as much as I do in a day than I used to do in a day. Because I am starting my day off so much clearer. I have my favorite music. So I am talking about having my favorite, my most important thing, my favorite thing.
I got my best music, my best songs, I put a great sound system in my little gym that I have in my house. I have a nice little flat screen that’s got a DVR, it’s got all of my favorite movies and shows I want to watch. So I look forward to waking up to either watching the game that I taped or a movie or a show. I got my favorite songs, and that’s where I get myself together. I think about what is important, and I get my game plan for the day together, and I look forward to doing that.
So it is not like, “Oh God, I got to exercise again!”
I can’t believe how much more productive I am on a day to day basis because of that initial early morning game plan. Which is taking my most important thing which is getting rigorous exercise in, and then I made it my favorite thing, and it’s become an extremely productive thing.
The Negative Energy Trap
Charlie Hoehn: You talk about in the book the negative energy trap in the fitness section. Is that an anxiety and pent up energy or is it something else?
Brandon Steiner: It’s something else. You know the negative energy trap is I look at everybody here and I guess the question you’ve got to ask yourself, are we born a genius? Are we all geniuses? Can be developed? And I think the answer probably is a little bit of both, but the one thing is that I think we are all supermen, superwomen. Kryptonite is disappointment and everybody faces it and disappointment is just simple.
It is what you think, it’s what you forecasted or what you deserve or what you thought was going to happen. You see that happen on Wall Street, they forecast earnings of a billion dollars and they make only 800 million, and it’s disappointment. Now all of a sudden people are questioning the stock. They question the stock? They made $800 million. You know, “I thought we are going to get this $20,000 bonus and all I get is 18.” That’s what you thought, and then that is what the world in what your company or whatever it is gave you, and the gap is disappointment.
The problem is those disappointments start to linger.
They become trapped, and that is the negative energy trap.
The negative energy trap is disappointment. It’s your boss firing you that you didn’t see coming. It’s the girl dumping you or the guy dumping you that you didn’t understand why. But when you really look back at all those situations of disappointments, those are probably the best learning experiences. Those are the things you’ve probably grown the most from and they’re the best learning lessons you can ask for.
I say you’ve got to take your disappointments and you got to turn them into gratitude. You’ve got to turn them into appreciation.
Your disappointments have to be resolved. You have to settle up the score, otherwise that negative energy trap that is down inside you, if you have a boss that fired you that you thought was unfair, you will never trust another boss because you will think every time, “No this guy is just going to fire me just like all the other bosses.”
“This woman, she’s going to dump me at some point because this other woman I know has dumped me.”
And you got to get back into owning up what really happened. If need be, even going back to the person and asking why you got fired or why you got dumped or even going back to a parent and asking why you were left or why you didn’t get the attention you deserved or why you had that conflict. Because there may not be a story.
It may be a story you’re thinking that is true just may not be true.
So it is so important to resolve disappointment and not let disappointment linger. Because when disappointments linger, it becomes this energy trap of all kinds of things going on. And it does not enable you to bring in other, more positive growing experiences. It gets in the way.
You’re a Whole Person
Charlie Hoehn: How have you seen these principles ripple out into the people who have taken these principles and made then their own?
Brandon Steiner: Well it is a work in progress. Frankly the book is really not about me telling you what to do, what you should do. I was standing in front of 437 Madison Avenue in the year 2000. My goal was to be an independently wealthy, never have to work a day for the rest of my life, and I thought I hit the motherlode. I was in front of this building with my wife who have helped me with the transaction with a check bigger than anything I ever imagined.
I was rich financially, and I was bankrupt emotionally, spiritually, and certainly health wise.
I just wasn’t feeling what I thought I was going to feel, because I thought I hit the motherlode and everything was going to be easy peasy, and it wasn’t.
The question is what I was going to do about it? You have to recognize the situation you’re in and then realize whether you are going to accept it or whether you are going to be accountable for changing it.
So I decided that the money was going to be the root of my happiness here, and then I realized that I climbed up the ladder and unfortunately that ground underneath the ladder was a little wobbly.
I am not even sure the ladder was against the right building.
But I realizes I wasn’t a husband, a father, the friend that I wanted to be and I also thought I had learned a lot of different things along the way that maybe I hadn’t put into play, and that is when I ended up putting a blog together. I ended up doing a podcast.
I dug in and went to conferences, read sales books, sales conferences to become a really good sales person, entrepreneur, business person. I want to learn about nutrition, I want to learn about health, I want to go to the best sexologist, maybe I am not having the best sex I can have. I don’t know. I mean maybe I could have a better relationship with my wife, maybe I can be a better father.
And what I decided was I was able to call the people that where on top of their games in all of those areas and interview them for my podcast and my blog. If I wouldn’t have gotten to see them and ask for the help, it probably would have costs me thousands of dollars each time. Instead, some of these people came to New York. I took them to the game, I spent full days with them.
I spent a full day with John Gray who wrote Men are from Mars, a whole day. I learned everything there is about relationships and nutrition. It was unbelievable.
I did it because I wanted to be better.
I wanted to do more good with my life, and at the same time I was sharing all of these incredible tips from these incredible widespread people, especially people in sports they tend to be a little narrow focused. And I wanted to share all of these great tips about parenting and about being a better friend, being a better, healthier person. So I have done 2,000 blogs so far—and I’m like half illiterate by the way—I have done 175 pods.
I’ve completely gone through a complete different level of education, and what I learned was that if you spend 90% of your time between when you are younger and between the age of 40 figuring out how to do the money grab and learning how to make more money and learning how to sell and learning about your product and learning about your business and everything else, and probably less than 10% of your physical health, nutrition, how to be a better husband, how to have a better faith, how to be a better husband, everything—it’s no wonder why all of a sudden you’re in your early 40s and you’re lost.
Because the business thing is rolling along. You have probably done better than you thought, and then everything else is somewhat suffering, you are not healthy. You are looking at your wife you are not sure where that relationship is going, and maybe you are not the father or you are not the mom that you’re hoping you’d be. What I am saying is forget about work life balance.
I am all about the money grabbing and getting it down and deep into something you love doing and going all the way, but you’ve got to respect the other parts.
You can’t ignore them.
I don’t know, show me somebody working nine to five, they’re probably suicidal, God knows. But you can’t ignore wanting to get better at being a better parent. You can’t ignore learning more about your healthy and working in a specific time where you don’t have your cellphone on, where you’re not distracted when you are with your kids.
I think what I learned is that I could dig down deep into my business, still making the money. But there are times when this stuff has got to shut down and when I got to dig in deep, the same way I would by making the money.
The Right Kind of Change
Charlie Hoehn: I just want to say I appreciate so much that you wrote this book and that you are sharing your story. I think this will make a really big impact in a lot of people’s lives who end up reading it. So thank you.
Brandon Steiner: Well thank you. So I mean I think this is my third book, but I feel like this is a book that could probably help the widest amount of people.
When I got that check, I was outside 437, I wasn’t afraid to go ask for the help. I wasn’t afraid to admit and I wasn’t really living up to what I thought I was going to be. I wasn’t afraid to admit that I was obese and fatter and I wasn’t that skinny kid that I used to be.
I was going to do something about it, and I was going to do it the right way.
If you want to lose weight really quick, just cut off a limb. I mean it is not a smart way to go, just like dieting isn’t. Change your lifestyle.
All the great advice I learned about taking care of this most important asset, which is your body, and really respecting the time and just being and overall better person—it is doable. You don’t have to be born with it.
You may not have grown up in a house with it, but you can teach yourself and learn to be a better person, a more effective and efficient person.
Connect with Brandon Steiner
Charlie Hoehn: Absolutely and I’ve got two more questions for you. The first one is, what is the best way for our listeners to connect with you, follow you?
Brandon Steiner: I’ve got a bunch of kids that are mentoring me. I mean, I mentor a lot of people, and I’ve got some young teenagers mentoring me about social media. So I am all over the social media.
I respond to everything on LinkedIn, Facebook, particularly those are my two favorites, and my blog. So if you go to my website I will answer all of those.
There’s some really good valuable nuggets on brandonsteiner.com that you get for free.
There are some different teaching tools and stuff if you want, and I think social media is amazing because you can really communicate with a lot of people on different levels and share a lot of information with a lot of people and learn a lot of information from other people if you use it right.
Charlie Hoehn: What is the one thing from your book that they can do this week that will have a positive impact? You have about 15 seconds or so for the challenge.
Brandon Steiner: The next time you are on your date night or you’re with your kids, leave your cellphone at home. Don’t take it with you, don’t say you are not going to look at it because I know you’re going to.
Look at your wife or look at your husband and say, “I am leaving my phone home. I am paying attention to you tonight.”
And see how that works out for you.
Don’t live through your phone. If you really want to be the husband and wife you want to be, or the parent, leave your cellphone at home next time you do something with your kids or your wife or your spouse.
Don’t pay attention to your cell and just pay attention to each other and watch. You don’t have to do that every day, but do that on your date night and watch everything change.
Get Brandon’s new book Living on Purpose on Amazon.
Find out more at Brandon Steiner.
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