David Osborn has had massive success in real estate, building one of the world’s top brokerages and founding over 50 companies in less than a decade.
However, what truly defines David isn’t just his professional achievements. It’s his dedication to personal growth—and being the best husband, father, businessman, and all-around human he can possibly be, no matter what life throws his way.
Today, I wanted to share a very special conversation that was recorded at this year’s Best Year Ever Blueprint event. David joins Jon Berghoff on stage to discuss his surprising journey and how inner change can reshape the world for the better.
Would you like to hang out with David to learn more about how he empowers people to build wealth, momentum, and happiness? If so, click HERE to find out how you can join David and many other high achieving entrepreneurs at the GoBundance 6th Annual Winter Adventure Mastermind (Jan 16th – 20th).
- The difference between Vicious Cycles and Virtuous Cycles—and David’s strategies for living a wonderful, magnificent, and abundant life.
- Why making mistakes and screwing up is completely okay, so long as you trust your inner voice, recover and re-center yourself.
- The importance of surrounding yourself with great people—and why they need to earn the right to be a part of your circle.
- How to tune out poisonous information and protect your mental health, especially when you have no control over the circumstances.
- How to use your personal & professional success to help others all over the world and solve serious problems for those most in need.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
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Jon: Achieve Your Goals Podcast listeners, Jon Berghoff. I brought another first to you. That’s right. Forgive me. You will while I’m doing this intro in the car and I promise I’m being safe. The reason I’m doing this intro is because how often are you in the car with the CEO of one of the coolest men’s mastermind communities on the planet, GoBundance, and that person is Mike McCarthy. What’s up, Mike?
Mike: Hey, Jon. How’s it going, buddy?
Jon: Pretty good, man. Pretty good. Hey, I just thought I’d spring this on you because this week’s episode is the recording from the Best Year Event of a conversation that we had with David Osborn and I thought we could take a minute and for our audience who whether or not they’re at the event, whether or not they’ve heard us talk before about GoBundance or David, maybe you could share with them a little bit about why learning from David has been so huge for you personally in your life.
Mike: Yeah. Awesome. And by spring this on me, you mean that two seconds ago we were riding in the car together and I just looked over at you and we are recording. And so, that’s how we got into this here but I’m happy to share with you a couple of things about GoBundance specifically I think as it relates to David. David really is sort of the Grand Poobah of GoBundance. He’s somebody who’s been a mentor to many, many individuals, leaders, salespeople throughout the years and GoBundance is a way that he’s scaled his own peer group. And so, if you attend a GoBundance event, what you’re really getting to do is to hang out with the people that David has handpicked and curated as his tribe.
And so, you’re going to hear on the podcast, release of the interview, a lot about David and what he stands for but he’s somebody who really believes in the association of who you’re hanging out with to be really important. And because of that, he’s created this space for people that want to get better in many areas of life to attend and through one of that to have a completely reshaped peer group or reshaped outlook on life and to be inspired to go out and what we say is grab life big at GoBundance.
Jon: That’s awesome. So, we hope you enjoy this conversation and we’ll post an outro of some sort or something in the show notes to learn more about how to hang out with David and Mike through their GoBundance tribe and they’ve got an event coming up actually in January, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, January 16th through the 19th. You have a division for families that you started in the last couple of years, but you guys I think have filled or sold-out that part of the event. Is that right?
Mike: Yeah. We have a family event for our members and their families leading up to that. Unfortunately, we had space for just 16 families and that sold out right away but it’s going to be a great event for the men’s portion and really looking forward to enjoying the family, the families that attend, as well as the guys who are coming back or who are there for the first time.
Jon: Should we tell everybody what we’re about to do right now?
Jon: Yeah. We’re on our way to go trail running at the Ledges Shelters in Cuyahoga National Park. So, in just a few minutes, Mike and I will be galloping through the woods through the rocks. These rocks are, according to all of the very smart people in the park system, 300 million to 400 million years old. So, while we run through these rocks, we get to think about the people in this community, ourselves, our families and the legacies that we leave and what kind of impact we’re going to leave 400 million years from now. What do you think of that, Mike?
Mike: Wow. That really brings new meaning to this trail run we’re about to go on.
Jon: Take care, everybody. Enjoy.
Male: A few months which was just phenomenal. So, just a sweet human being. One of the most brilliant minds I’ve ever tapped into and he’s really a friend and a mentor. I’ve learned so much from David and I treasure his friendship and I am so, so, so pumped for you’re going to experience what I experienced a couple of years ago when I saw him speak for the first time which I was blown away and I did take quite a few pages of notes. So, Mr. David Osborn. Come on, brother.
David: Thank you, sir. Hi, guys. It’s good to be with you, guys. Hey, I don’t know about you but if what Hal Elrod has is brain damage, where can I get some brain damage? Anybody else with me? Like if you guys have a seminar, do I got to run against the wall with my head? And then the second thing I wanted to bring up before we get started, is Ursula in the room? Hey, Ursula. Is Mara here?
Jon: No, apparently.
David: I just want to give huge props to you, Ursula and to Mara, for being so open-minded to accept this Brokeback Mountain thing we got going on with Hal and Jon. I mean, you guys, what a giving wife just to let that happen. It’s amazing. Not many women can do that so proud of you guys.
Jon: Thanks for the hall pass, Ursula. So great. Hey, this is a really good start.
David: Good. Thank, God, they laughed. I didn’t know for sure if they would. Brain damage is a touchy subject. Not to mention Brokeback Mountain.
Jon: Oh my gosh. Several boys are questioning being here right now. That’s okay. David, I know there’s a lot to share. I’ve also gotten to know you and your beautiful wife, Tracy, your daughter, Bella, your new boy, Luke. He’s a year old. Bella’s eight years old. And as I’ve gotten to know you, one of the things that have been cool is to hear more than just the guy that just became a New York Times best-selling author by the way. How awesome is that?
David: Thank you.
Jon: Wealth Can’t Wait. If you have it, pick it up. Wealth Can’t Wait, got to check it out. There are some fans in here, obviously.
David: Hal asked us to give away a copy, so I believe we’re emailing every one of you a Kindle version, so I think that’s going to happen after.
Jon: Awesome. Awesome.
David: My pleasure.
Jon: Thank you, David. I know that you’ve been very open with me that your childhood shaped you in a lot of ways. Some ways that I think would surprise people.
David: So, yeah, I’m going to do something that you guys have never done before. I’m going to talk a little bit about my childhood which I normally skip over and I think part of it is because of the conversation I have with Joe on the plane.
So, my dad was a Green Beret and my dad’s vision of how to raise a child would’ve been considered normal probably 150 years ago. So, I don’t want to sound like I had an abusive or some of the things Joe went through but my dad’s idea of raising a child was pretty much to keep the children in fear most of the time. So, I grew up pretty much in a household where there was a lot of fear. Children should be seen and not heard. Anyone else has that? I know millennials are going to be like, “What are you talking about?” because with my kid today if he’s crying, he’s like, “Can I buy you a car? What’s wrong?” But my dad had a different perspective sort of like, “If you hurt yourself, okay, you got one minute to cry or else I’ll give you something to cry about,” that kind of stuff, right? And the second thing my dad did, and I love my dad. I want to be very clear. I’ve nursed him as he died from cancer. I changed his diapers when he was really, really sick. The irony of life is that just as you get strong enough to stand up to your father, they get weak and soft and kind so that’s kind of like, “I want to fu– oh, you want me to hug you? Okay.”
So, you do what needs to be done, right? And the other thing is he was very stern with my mom too, so I would say that to this day I can’t watch any violence against women. So, I’m not saying my dad was abusive to my mom. He wasn’t but he would’ve crossed the line that most people wouldn’t cross in today’s age with yelling at my mom, treating even my sister with that same kind of violent personality he had. And let’s be fair, he was behind enemy lines in Vietnam. He was in charge of assassinating the second-in-command of Viet Cong. He was a warrior. That’s what he did. In fact, during Gulf War 1 he said to me, “Son, you ought to sign up.” I’m like, “Why?” He’s like, “There’s nothing like being on the battlefield. It’s the greatest thing.” I’m like, “Okay. Mom? Mom?” Hey, my mom was a realtor, so I got into real estate. So, my dad would be considered abusive by today’s terms but just a punch in the face if you’re speaking back and knock you around a little bit but the good thing about that is if anyone ever mess with me, you should’ve seen him, like if a teacher’s treated me in a way he didn’t think it was respectful, he just tear everybody up. Yeah. You know, that was him. He would tear up waiters, waitresses, and then he tells you he loves you, give you a bear hug so it was a complicated life.
But I grew up in a lot of fear so my point of all this is my brothers and sisters, we had quite a lot of fear and so a lot of what has driven me is to get away from fear or to have freedom. So, my whole drive in life is to never have to be in that environment again. And so, when you hear me talk because I’m going to share with you a lot of secrets today to success and what I’m going to share with you works. I guarantee it works like I know because I’ve studied it. I’ve done it. I’ve lived it. I’ve seen other people that have studied it, done it, and lived it. But what I don’t know is what your engine is, so I don’t know what your motivation is. I don’t know what your drive is. And keep in mind that the things I’ve gone through to get to be who I am, a lot of it comes from that beginning of trying to get away from the environment that I don’t want to be in.
The same thing about being a military son is you move all the time. So, I moved like ten times before I was 13 but my dad retired, and we got to Texas and I was about 14 years old and then I went to schools in Texas. I think because I moved so much, I just went ahead and got thrown out of multiple high schools because I was used to moving so I thought, “Well if I act up, they’ll throw me out. I’ll have to go to a new school.” That’s kind of my normal. My normal is to a new school every year. So, I’ve got thrown out to three high schools. I started doing drugs when I was about 15. So, I normally I don’t go into all this stuff because It’s way, way in my past but from 15 through about 20 I hit drugs pretty hard. And then at around 20, I just thought things were getting out of hand and I ought to stop and I did. I just stopped. But in the middle of all that, I still had some success. I had some wins. So, at 17 I started a lawn mowing company and I started making money and that was the beginning of my journey into success.
But then another problem I had as a child which Jon Vroman and I were talking about is I was a very little kid, so I was a little kid. My dad spent all his time with my older brother, teaching him athletics so my brother to this day is the president of the Rugby Club in Austin. He loves sports. He’s very athletic but he only needed one guy to work with. So, and I was always so grateful because he was not a fun coach. I mean it was like, “Whoa, thank God I’m not dealing with that.” But then I was slightly annoyed when people would go play soccer and I’d be like, “Pass me the ball,” and they would roll right by me and I’d be like, “This will shoot,” then I miss it. So, I wasn’t a great athlete either, but I had this sort of like, “Gosh, I wish I was a better athlete thing going.” And so, the one thing, the curdle I always kept alive as a kid was like, “Why not me?” Like I was a why not me like, “Why am I not the most popular kid? Why am I not the biggest, fastest kid? Why am I not a better athlete?” But I didn’t like go with that. I was always like well why not me?
I remember even doing a pickup game of American football. I was raised in England. I was kind of a military type school from 6 through 13, a boarding school with kept corporal punishment and I got to America and we’re playing a pickup game of football and all these guys running around and no one was covering me. I was a receiver and I went to the quarterback, I’m like, “No one is covering me.” I felt disrespected in my little unathletic body and the quarterback like I said, “Throw me the ball,” and the quarterback said, “You sure?” Right. These are all very intense people. This is like later on in high school, I’m like, “Yeah. Throw me the ball.” And so, you know what happens, right? I’m open. I turn around. He throws. It goes right through my hand, hits me in the face and he goes, “If I throw it to you, you got to catch it.” Because that’s what quarterbacks do, and he never threw it to me again.
So, I got these experiences and I remember when I was at that military school in England that the things I held on to were like I remember the story of the ugly duckling. You guys remember that story? Like the story of the ugly duckling and the idea that you’re rejected by many, many things and then you just keep true to yourself and you come back as a swan. So, I remember weirdly as a kid like that story, somebody probably framed it for me where it had meaning. I held onto that story and then, yeah, there was another story which was, oh yeah, the flower that blooms latest, blooms longest. You guys heard that one? So, little things I would hold on to, to own my journey. And I didn’t really have a role model at home that I wanted to emulate because I didn’t want to be that guy. In fact, I used to get kind of enraged internally the way my dad would treat people but not really be able to express it, but I wasn’t going to choose that.
So, I got all this trouble in high school and I’m getting thrown out of schools and stuff, but I started a lawn mowing company. I was always a pretty good worker. I like working. Working seemed to have meaning for me and I started cutting yards and I got money. I made $20,000 when I was 17 years old living at home and I was rich. I guess I was richer than a lot of kids and I noticed when I had a little money, hey, people seem to, you may not be able to kick the ball well or do other things well but it’s kind of cool to have some cash and then I hired a second truck, so I had two trucks off cutting yards. And then I graduated from college and my dad said like, “Marines, college, you’re out of the house, those are your choices.” And I should be clear. My dad was loving. He would embrace you. He wasn’t just an ogre. He was both sides like he would be the life of a party. He could be very funny. He could be very engaging, but he also had this temper that he didn’t really have a good handle on. So, then Marines, college, you’re out of the house. So, I said, “Well, out of the house doesn’t sound that good. I really just rather run my lawn mowing company. Marines definitely is out. So, I’ll just go to college, but I’ll show you, I’ll fail everything.”
So, I went to college, never went to a single class and got 0.2 my first semester. I got a C in PE or something. I don’t know. So, anyway, long story short, I start kind of pulling my threads together and I think around 19 I went to a Tony Robbins event. It was smaller than this right after he’d written Unlimited Power but before Awaken the Giant, and began this journey sort of like self-discovery like there were guys out there willing to share with you tricks and techniques that if you apply them could help you transform your life. And from that point forward even though I kind of barely got through college with a 2.3 degree and took me five years but I began to really study things outside of college like I really began to study life at a very high level. I read almost every book you could imagine. I read the Bible cover to cover. I read the Upanishads. I read the Mahabharata. I couldn’t make my way through all of the Koran, but I read some of it, and just started seeking like when you smoke weed it’s quite easy to be a seeker. You’re like, “Oh. What’s the meaning of life, man?” So, that was like the propellant behind my journey.
So, I’ve studied. I’ve applied. I’ve learned a tremendous. I’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on seminars and I’ve had some success. I make a lot of money more than a ridiculous amount of money really compared to 99.99% of the world and it’s been a long freaking journey to get there but it’s all because of this stuff that I’ve learned from other people. Great mentors have shown up, great teachers have shown up, great peers and comrades have shown up. And so, I can teach you exactly what to do but the part that I want to be clear about is I wouldn’t want any of my kids to go through what I went through to get where I am today, and I don’t know how that affects your ability to drive forward. I honestly think when I was selling real estate, I’d meet a client. It was like a blue-collar client and they seem so happy. I’d be like, “Man, they’re just happy.” They got their wife and their two kids, and they have a barbecue every weekend and they’re not that ambitious. And maybe that’s a better way to go. I don’t know. But I can definitely share with you how to win and how to succeed because that’s been my journey and success becomes a virtuous cycle. You’ve heard of what’s the bad cycle? Self-destructive?
Jon: Bad cycle?
David: Yeah. You’ve heard of vicious cycles. Thank you. So, vicious cycles are where things go bad and they go worse, worse, worse. There are also virtuous cycles. So, you can get on a virtuous treadmill and things get better and better and better and better and once I really applied myself with all the skills I learned from so many different seminars like this one, my life became a virtual cycle that’s just propelled me to where I am today. So, that’s really the first time I’ve given that background. Usually, I give stories of other people because I don’t want it to get confusing that I hated my dad, or it was near like what Joe dealt with. I just can’t even imagine. I had love. My dad loved me. He just had an anger problem and my mom loved me. So, I grew up in a loving environment with quite a bit of fear and pain in it.
Jon: Hey, thank you for sharing that with us, David. That’s awesome. Is that pretty cool? Awesome. So, you just mentioned the idea of how do you create an upward cycle versus that downward cycle. And you listened to Joe and even Pete yesterday and yourself, and a common theme there is you all went through something where I think we all recognize. It could’ve been a downward cycle. What was it that triggered that upward cycle?
David: Yeah. So, I think it’s hope. I think you have to believe in yourself fundamentally and I think the one thing I’m proud of myself is that little kid for is I never really quit on me. And I don’t blame people that do quit on them, honestly, because people have it way worse than me and I can get it like sometimes it’s just so damn hard. But you got to – I love one of my phrases, “Why not me?” Like I always carry that with me. Why not you? Why not you? Why not you? Why not you? Why not you? Why can’t you have a magnificent amazing life with love and abundance and great friends? And if you keep asking that question yourself, why not me, my experience is the questions lead you to outcomes. So, I didn’t quit on myself but then I was lucky enough to have amazing mentors and people around me, Tony Robbins that first time I saw him in the small room and we had a dialogue and Gary Keller the founder of Keller Williams, he was an amazing teacher who was around from age 16 forward. I was just lucky enough to see because I was seeking. Seek and you shall find, right?
So, I was seeking, and I found answers and by never, never quitting on me and opening my mind and looking around for a way, I began to find a way. And then when I applied the things that I’ve learned from a Tony Robbins in Unlimited Power or Gary Keller taught me ONE thing, I began to get positive results. And when you start getting positive results, you’re like, “Wow, if I apply that again, it’ll exceed my life further, expand my life further,” and then I had new saying that struck me which is, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” You all know that one, right? And I remember thinking, “Oh, I am so certain that I am the beginning of this journey.” I was like, “Oh,” I know I’m going to walk the path and I’m going to be committed to getting to the best possible outcome I can but right now I’m at the beginning stages and the beginning stages were tough because I look stupid and I would screw up and I would make mistakes and I had to just get back on the path but there is a path that every one of us can follow if we trust ourselves and trust our intuition and keep awareness and keep attuned to what your choices are that will never let you down. You cannot fail if you’ll trust that inner voice and follow that path.
Now it might occasionally mislead you. You’re going to fall in a lot of ditches. You’re going to make some wrong turns but if you’ll just kind of recenter yourself and ask, and I’m not a religious man but I’m certainly a faithful man if that makes any sense like I have a really great connection with something and I have no clue what the hell it is like I don’t know what it is at all. It may be just imagination but whatever it is, I surrender constantly to being the best, to getting to the best outcome I possibly can, to being a person of service and being a person of integrity. And by surrendering, continue to do that even if I screw up amazingly badly, drink too much or do something silly with my life, you can shake all that off and immediately reset just with the willingness to move forward in the right direction. So, I’ve never really quit on that piece, and then amazing resources came to my aid like training people, teaching, learning, friendships. And as I kept walking that a thousand-mile journey, just like Hal said, like suddenly you look back and you’re like, “Wow. Check this out. Like it is kind of like I thought it would be. It’s amazingly abundant and it took me a really long time to get here.” And every step was necessary like if it’d been shortcutted in any single way, it wouldn’t have been enabled me to learn, to know, and understand what I understand.
Jon: One of the things you shared with me at one point was that you believe that change we often think that change comes from the inside out and you also have another perspective on that so it’s something…
David: Yeah. So, there’s that song. If you want to change, start with the man in the mirror.
Jon: brotha James, right? Probably.
David: But I don’t believe that’s really true. I believe all change comes from the outside in. So, let me rephrase that. You have to have the choice internally to make change but after that, it’s where you put yourself that will determine how well you succeed way more than who you are. So, you should write that down. Change comes from the outside in. So, if you hang out with your five closest buddies and they’re extremely athletic, and they do runs all the time and they lift weights, the odds are you will be athletic. And in the same way, if your five closest buddies drink every day and do crack, cocaine every day, the odds are pretty high that you will drink and do crack, cocaine. That’s an extreme example but you must control your environment and set yourself up to win. So, the way you set yourself up to win is you have great people around you. It may be easier to me, for me, because I moved 10 times before I was 13 and then went to five high schools to change friends. I get that but once you realize you get to choose who you spend time with, it’s kind of liberating.
And it took me a long time to figure this out. I let a lot of people suck energy off of me for a long time before I finally said, “Look, you have to earn the right to be in my circle,” and it’s not because I’m arrogant. I work hard to be me. It’s not easy to choose the path of integrity and making a difference and impacting the world. And so, I choose who is going to be in my 5-foot circle and I’ll give time to everybody but the minute I see you’re wasting my time, I will not continue to give that time and the reason I meet a guy like Hal Elrod and then completely fall in love in with him. Don’t get jealous, Jon.
Jon: There’s room.
David: There’s room? Nice. I love that Brokeback stuff. Man, what a liberating. What I love about a guy like Hal is when you see people making a difference in the world in spite of what’s going on in their lives. When you see people that have overcome challenges to do what the difference is they make in their lives, I’m 100% in for that person. There is nothing I wouldn’t do within reason, Hal, for people that are like Hal said, “I’m going to make a difference while I’m on this planet. In a short time, I am part of the solution, not the problem. I am part of the light, not the darkness. I am here to be a person that changes lives and changes my own life,” and people like that I’m all in for and if I could find a person like that, I will stand for that person because every day I’m around Hal Elrod I become a better man and everyday he’s around me, I hope I influence him for the positive. And if you surround yourself with people like that, it’s so much easier to make a positive outcome in life.
And early on, I try to hold on to some friends from high school and college and I remember one guy he handed me a business card that said, “The little tree people,” and he said, “This is how you make me feel.” And I really felt terrible and I was like hurt. And what I realized was my friend was, you know, oh I forgot to tell you my favorite sports, right? I was really good at Dungeons & Dragons. Anybody else Dungeons & Dragons here? The chicks dig it, man. They love Dungeons & Dragons players. I was the dungeon master. Whoa. Anyway, that’s another story. So, the reason my friend was smoking weed every day, sitting on his couch, doing the minimum amount of work and still playing Dungeons & Dragons. I quit Dungeons & Dragons at 20 and I still have fond memories of it, but I realized that having the ability to catch a fireball on paper actually didn’t make any impact in the real world. Nobody took you seriously because, “I’m going to fireball you if you don’t treat me nicely.”
So, but my friend was stuck in that space and he didn’t went out. I was really sharing what I was excited about. I was sharing what I was doing that was like reading a book or going to a seminar and it was for whatever reason making him feel small. Maybe my delivery was poor. Maybe it might be my enthusiasm came out as arrogance, so I don’t really know. It’s very possible that’s the case. But at the end of the day, I had to move on from certain people, and so I did. And I still to this day like you got to earn the right to be in my life and I hopefully earn the right to be in your life not by being perfect, not by being the best but by being earnest and authentic in your effort to be the best version of you, you can be. And so, that’s what I learned and that’s why I love Hal and different people like that.
Jon: So, I know you’re conscious about who you’re around. I also have gotten to know that you’re really intentional about what information you allow into your space.
Jon: You even have mentioned a few times seeking, constantly curious, but I think there’s an interesting distinction that I think you could share about. You’re very open in seeking for information but you’re also very willing to close off things from getting to you. Talk about that.
David: Sure. Okay. So, there’s a lot of chatter about North Korea and they’re putting up a lot of things like maybe we’ll get nuked by North Korea tomorrow. Let me tell you something. I doubt any single person in this room can do anything about North Korea. My guess is there’s not a single – my wife is half Korean and she can’t even do anything about North Korea. So, why would you allow fear about things you cannot control come into your life? So, I have something I called being unhooked. So, everyone just stand up with me for a minute. Everybody stand up and imagine your arms are samurai blades and they’re super razor sharp here and I want you to run them around your body without hitting anybody. Wait. Wait. Wait. Watch me first like, “Shu, shu, shu, shu, shu, shu, shu, shu, shu, wushu, shu, shu, shu, shu.” All right. Don’t hit anybody. Go.
You guys are awesome. High five someone and sit down. So, what you just did with your samurai blades is you cut all the psychic hooks that are in your being because they are hooking you all the time. That’s their goal is to hook you in and make you give a crap about something you cannot control. So, whenever I watch the news, you should just mute it during the actual news and then turn on the advertisements because that’s really what they’re doing. They want you to watch the advertisements. That’s how they get paid. So, everything else is BS to get you to watch the advertisements. And when you get riled up about, I mean, this country is so divided right now, and it is so crazy like left, right, hate. None of it matters. What matters is how good are you as a neighbor, how good are you as a community member, how good are you as a parent, how good are you as a father, a husband, a wife, how good are you in the world you live in. Thank you.
So, when you allow that bullshit to get and permeate your life, really, you’re poisoning not only yourself but the world around you and you got to unhook from that and I fall victim to it all the time. I’m not saying I’m perfect. I want to be clear like just the other day I was like, “Well, could they just shoot that guy in North Korea already?” like they’re not thinking like why am I having that thought? Maybe he’s a nice guy. I got no idea. I’ve never met him. So, understanding that is going to happen to all of us that one of the resets is can you pull yourself out of that and get purposeful with your life? And what’s worked for me is having such a compelling vision for my future, such a driving, exciting, powerful vision that I’m excited about what I’ve got to work on like I’m excited about making a difference. I’d like to give away $100 million in my lifetime. I give away the most money this year I’ve ever given up, $350,000 when I think it’s chump change for what I should be doing.
Seven hundred million people in the world don’t have access to clean water, 700 million people in the world wake up every morning and their whole mission for the day is to get water. Just think about that. So, like how could I impact that? How could I make a difference there? And how could I run my businesses better? And how can I make my right-hand man Matt King, who’s left, be massively successful and help him be a better father? And how can I help my kids grow up to be amazing kids and help Hal’s kids grow up to be an amazing kid and how can I be the best husband I possibly can to my wife which honestly is one that I probably fall down on a little bit but I’m working on it. So, those are the questions I ask myself and either you can hear it over and over again. Joe said it yesterday, but you just got to ask yourself questions. How do you change the world? You ask yourself a question. The question is what can I do to fill in the blank? What do you want? Let’s play it along. Who wants something in here? Anybody? Yes, sir. What do you want?
Attendee 1: Oh my gosh.
David: One thing. I know that cycle.
Attendee 1: Peace and harmony with the family and then being able to create and do things that I want to do.
David: Which one of those is more important? Do you have strife in your family right now or do you want to talk about creation?
Attendee 1: Well, I have created my own and I need to…
David: What would you like to create?
Attendee 1: I’ve already created it.
David: What is it?
Attendee 1: All-weather precision guidance.
David: Okay. You got all-weather precision guidance. Wow. Smart guy. So, what needs to happen with that to go to the next level?
Attendee 1: Funny you ask that question. That’s why I’m here.
David: Okay. So, what do you think needs to happen?
Attendee 1: I need to put it in front of the people that can help me get to the next step because they are the ones that have the knowledge in order for me…
David: Do you need more customers? Or do you need more business skills?
Attendee 1: Business skills.
David: Okay. So, I need more business skills. So, if I were him I’d be saying, “How can I get more business skills?” And what do you think would answer him? Shout it out. Three things. What could he do to get more business skills? Anybody? Network. Yes. Go to join a great group like Joe Polish’s group or this group. Yeah.
Attendee 2: Research.
David: Research. Do research. Read the E-Myth, one of the business greatest business books of all time. What else?
Attendee 2: Coaching.
David: Coaching. Get a coach. Hire a coach, right? So, we have all the answers within us at all times, all around us with people. So, if you just ask the question for anything you want in life, you’ll get answers. The key is your write that stuff down and then take action on it and I’m extremely purposeful. I’m almost I want to say obsessive, but I don’t want to scare you guys off but I’m almost obsessive about my goals. These are my goals, and this is what I try to do every year. This is my eight areas of goals that I set up for myself every year. And this is my flight plan. Yeah. I’m lucky enough to have a plan. I guess Hal mentioned it. I normally don’t talk about it that much. It creates a weird reaction in people that I don’t mean it to create. But when I do fly a plane with a pilot, let me tell you what he does. He sets the flight plan and then he gets approval and then he takes off and he’s flying. And then a storm shows up, but he’s got to deviate to the right where there’s heavy traffic. He’s got to deviate to the left. That’s what my goals are. They’re my flight plan but they’re not embedded in stone. I change them as life changes with me.
So, if I said I want to run a marathon like I was going to run a marathon around 12 miles twice and I’m like, “Are you freaking kidding me? It’s like I feel sick. I am not running a marathon.” Like you can change your plans. You can change your goals. The third part of that is I also met a guy who runs all the time. I’m like, “You must be in great shape,” because actually, I got no cartilage in my knees and no cartilage in my ankles. I’m like, “Why do you do it?” He goes, “It just feels so good.” I’m like I don’t want to run a marathon. I’m out. So, it’s a flight path and it’s my goals and what I found is if you choose a purposeful outcome in your life, I also have a five-year vision and we teach a lot of this and we have packages for it, but I have a five-year vision back here that’s very compelling for me. I know exactly what my life is going to look like in 2022 and I’m not like it’s right in here it. It’s like four pages so that’s my vision of my life.
Jon: Can you share some of it with us?
David: Sure. Luke’s 6, Bella’s 13. My wife who I’m not going to fall for that one. I’m not going to tell you. My oldest daughter is 35. I work from our beautiful house and like awesome. The views are incredible. They calm the soul, stimulate the imagination. The layout is clever, takes full advantage of the sight. The team works here, and we crush it. Our new home is perfect for our family. The kids’ wing is great for the kids. They have their playroom. They have their bedroom. It’s all creating a perfect flow for their lives. Tracy loves the craft section where she and the kids can express their creativity. We have a workout room in my library. We have a movie room and an outdoor area that inspires. Acton Academy where my kids go to school continues to amaze us and it’s such a dynamic healthy place for Bella to explore her capabilities. Luke loves his school now that he has joined. So, I could go on and on, but you get it. Like it’s compelling. It’s really exciting to me to live this life and I craft my life all the time. I’m an active participant in my life and like I architect my life and I’m not arrogant enough to think that I’m in complete control of my life. It could change tomorrow.
Hal had a shocking call and I was like, I mean, I was so close to all that. It’s like, “Wow. Your life can change in an instant,” and then look at Hal, just powers through it, comes out the other side as heroic as ever, more so than almost anybody I could imagine dealing with that, but things can change in an instant. I get that but I’m fully participating as long as I can with all of the facilities I have to get the outcome that I want in my life while I’m living and breathing on this planet, fully aware that any moment something could change and put me off. And if it does, I’ll do my best to be half the man Hal Elrod was when he was going through his trial, his recent health opportunity. So, I’m fully participating. I’m all in.
Now, the other thing I want to share with you is this journey of goalsetting started 20, 30 years ago. Now I always forget like 10 years nowadays, so I guess it was 30. I wish it wasn’t. I wish it was only 20 but it was 30. And I was terrible at it. I want you to know I would write down six goals and I’d achieved two of them in a year. I’d forget about them like nine months later I pulled them out of a drawer and I’ve done nothing. So, don’t be intimidated by you see. What I did is I just journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I just kept choosing what I wanted to have in my future, choosing the outcomes that I wanted for my life and I kept walking stutteringly and staggeringly towards them.
And then the second thing I found to make myself get to the next level was peer partner. So, one is I’d write down, be purposeful with your life, be clear on what you want because if you don’t know what you want then you get what you get, and you don’t get to throw a fit. It’s like the Cheshire Cat said to Alice, “Where do you want to go?” She goes, “I don’t know.” She goes, “Well, it doesn’t matter which path you would take.” If you don’t know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which direction you go and that’s okay too. Like I said, I want to be clear there are probably these people sitting on a mountaintop somewhere and just going, “Ohumm. Aaahaaahaaa,” and having an incredible experience of life probably way, way better than my experience of life and that’s cool too. That’s just not what I know how to do. I know how to be purposeful, drive towards an outcome, be fully engaged in designing my life and sort of have a series of wins that reinforces my virtuous cycle towards getting more of what I choose and what I want. That’s what I know. It seems very Western to me. I’m pretty sure if there’s an Eastern way that is way different and maybe way better, but this is what I know.
So, the first one is to be purposeful and choice in what you want, know what you want, have goals, have a vision. You can create anything. The cool thing about a vision is you could write down whatever you want. Angelina Jolie could be your wife. Robert Redford could be your husband. In the world of the future, you could probably have both of them. Who knows? And secondly, surround yourself with people that are a stand for your greatness. Surround yourself. If you’re in that conversation, I still criticize stuff, but I used to do it a lot more and I didn’t like that part of me. If you’re in that conversation where somebody just talks about how bad everything is, “Oh, it’s too cold in there. Man, that guy just went on. He talked so much about his goals. He kept talking about his plane, what a freaking show-off.” If you’re in those conversations all the time, you got to step out of that.
You want to be around people that say, “What do you want in life? What do you choose? What outcome would you like? How can I help you get there?” Let’s be a stand for one another to do what we say, and we create a peer partnership, me and Tim Rhode and Pat Hiban. Anyone know Tim Rhode in the house? And we held each other accountable since 2004 with Tim and 1997 with Pat to where we would exchange our goals and we would exchange it. We get on a call on a regular basis and says, “How are you doing? Are you on track? Are you not on track? Are you being the best husband you can be? Are you making the money you want to do? Are you working out? Are you getting in your workouts?” So, you create a peer tribe around you that supports you in your goals. You have to hire coaches. Like I talked to people early. They’re like, “Well, what are you missing?” “I’m not working out enough.” “Well, go hire a personal trainer.” Have him show up to your house every day at 6 a.m. What are you going to do? Like, “Go, go, go away. I’m trying to sleep in here.” Like you have to create an environment that forces you to get the outcomes you want.
One of my environments in our house is we have a healthy chef cook meals. I want to eat healthy, but I have a very weak soul if there’s like ice cream and chocolate. Have you guys ever broken up chocolate on vanilla ice cream and put Baileys on it? I mean, gosh. How do you feel 15 minutes after is not so good but right where you’re eating it it’s like wow. That’s an orgasmic food right there. But if I don’t have ice cream in my house and I can’t do it, right? So, I try to minimize the amount of junk in my house. On my countertop, I have a bunch of nuts like walnuts and sunflower seeds. It’s like so when I’m snacking, I just go right, and I graze across. I get a little handful of each. So, I try to create an environment. I have a healthy chef come over and cook delicious vegan meals. I’m not vegan but delicious vegan meals because I know – you know what the number one killer in the world is? The SAD. Anyone know what the SAD is? Standard American diet. Standard American diet is the number one killer in the world. Now everybody’s copying our food. They’re all dying too. Everybody’s getting fat and dying. It is so hard to eat healthy in this country. It’s getting better. It’s way better. Gratitude Café. Yeah. Nice, huh?
But it is really hard to eat healthy in this country. I got trapped in Memphis at the airport one night for three hours. I thought I’m going to go to every restaurant in here and pick the healthiest thing I can. So, I went to every restaurant in the Memphis airport, the healthiest thing was a Cobb salad with blue cheese dressing. So, that’s not bad I guess but it’s not healthy. So, that’s the world we live in. Why? There’s not like some evil plan. It’s just convenient. That food doesn’t go bad so when you eat food that doesn’t go bad, you might go bad. So, I had this chef shows up and for $500 a week she cooks approximately 20 meals, about $25 a meal. We have to shove it up in our food that includes the food and then we just eat it and we throw some away. Sometimes it tastes awful honestly and we don’t eat any of it and sometimes it tastes great. Now I realize that’s a money thing but that goes full circle about whys you should be a better business person that actually make some money, so you can afford to like and that’s a whole different skill set.
Being a business person actually is the funnest journey I’ve ever been on in my life, but it isn’t easy. It requires a lot of different things. So, to create an environment to support your goals. That means the people, the food, the energy, everything, the books you read, the television you watch, and I’ll be completely honest, my weakness right now is my freaking telephone like I can be on that phone while I’m with my family and completely not attach to them. I’m like, “Yeah, sure. Bella, I’ll play Barbies with you,” and then I’ll set my phone behind her and hopefully she’s not looking and like she knows, man, like that’s bad energy, right? So, you’re going to constantly stumble and fall in like you just got to figure out a system, put an environment in place where I’ve told my wife is, and we did this once before and we got off it, put the chargers by the front door. When we walk in, we plug our phones in, and you never to get on your phone. You never get to unplug it from the charger.
So, I’m not looking for denial. You can go look at your phone. My wife says, “You’re like that crack addict when we had it. You’re standing in the corner like this like a smoker.” But I don’t let myself unplug it and it’s not a very comfortable place to hang out for like eight hours, so I just have to put it down and go back in. So, we’re going to restart up that environment. So, you get and you go, “How can I be more present to my family and be off the phone? How can I get off my phone? Put the charger by the front door.” The questions lead to the answers and then you write it down like right here. One of my goals this year is four 48-hour periods without electronics. I’ve done it once year-to-date. How many months are left? I don’t know. Not many. So, I’m going Thanksgiving weekend we’re going away for nine days. I’m going to try to kill it twice like I’m going to try the front end, back end, no phone.
Jon: Hey, I got an idea for you.
Jon: So, we learned this idea at one of Jonny V’s dad retreats. There was a guy who told us that the best investment he had made was gun safe and he said, “I don’t own a gun,” so when I get home because he had the same issue, he would let his kids turn his phone off and put it in the gun safe.
Jon: So, no phone.
David: I like that a lot.
David: We went on a trip once with some friends of ours and we said, “No phones,” and it was really great. We were more connected as friends with couples than we’ve ever been for like three or four days. And by the fifth day, we were all like hiding it behind the couch. “I got to go to the bathroom again,” and like running to the closet. But it was really for the three or four days, we were like connected like we’ve never had before.
Jon: Maybe one of my last questions. I know that you’ve done so well in your real estate business, in a lot of areas in your life, and yet one of the things that I think is admirable is that you continue to think big. You don’t rest on one success. You’re constantly expanding your thinking, a skill that I think we could all benefit from. What could you share with us about how you keep expanding your own thinking?
David: So, I’ve got a theory, a philosophy. You can write this down. You’re either expanding or contracting. And you’re either expanding in life or contracting in life and there is a time to contract. My mom is 82. It’s time for her to settle down, soften up, play bridge. There’s going to be a time for contracting. Unfortunately, there’s no stasis. You can’t just stay the same. If I could just stay the same, I would stay like five years ago, healthy, got money, life’s going good so maybe 10 years ago, but you can’t. There’s no stasis. There is either expansion or contraction so it’s your choice. So, I choose to contract, or I choose to expand. And if you choose to expand, you have to develop new resources, new facilities, new capabilities, new areas of growth. And if you choose to contract, you really don’t have to do anything because that’s what life does. Life naturally contracts. So, my choice has been to continue to expand in all and every way that I possibly can.
And so, the reason you see me now creating a private equity fund that I believe can be bigger than everything I’ve created up to this point is that for me, the journey is the destination and what I go through to become capable of doing the types of things I’m trying to do, that’s the reward to me like trying to work hard, be balanced, be a great father, be around with my kids right, build things that are amazingly massive and then figuring out how to give it all away and make a difference in different people’s lives. To me, that’s the essence of the journey. Joe Polish would just say I have an addictive personality and I’m addicted to success. That’s also possible. But here’s my real belief, and are we about done? Just good wrap?
Jon: Whatever you want to say.
David: Yeah. Well, it’s a good wrap. I got a good wrap.
Jon: Nail it.
David: Right. So, look, here’s my belief. Who wants to change the world in here? Raise your hand. All right. Okay. So, how about this? How about we change the world together by doing the following thing? Each one of us chooses an area that we love. We choose something we’re passionate about. We choose something we can do really well whether it’s an automatic unguided missile system. Is that what you said? Or whether it’s – what do you do, ma’am? What would you like to do or what you’re calling?
Attendee 3: That’s what I’m here to think.
David: Okay. All right. How about you?
Attendee 3: Staging.
David: Staging. So, if it’s staging houses to be the most beautiful houses so that people walk in and they fall in love with them and they want to buy them immediately or if it’s being a doctor and healing the world, whatever your calling is, you’d be the very best at your craft. You go out and you read the books, you go to the seminars, and you build a peer group around yourself and you become an expert at it. You become amazing at it. You achieve amazing success, whatever that success means to you and then you choose one other thing, you choose one cause. Maybe addiction. Maybe giving people that are unwell a front-row experience. Maybe bringing water to people that don’t have clean water in the world, something I’m involved in. You pick one corner of the world and then you pour the skills you’ve developed fixing your own life into that one corner of the world. And if every single person in this room took one thing after they’ve gotten in to master their own life and they fixed that one corner of the world, they make a difference in that one little corner of the world, what would the world look like together be? What would our world look like together?
So, that’s what I want you guys to do. My wish is you have the most amazing and phenomenal success in your personal lives and then you find your corner of the world and you pour into that world and we clean up the world together. What do you guys think? Anyone on board? Thank you.
Jon: Let’s give it up for David Osborn.
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