What if you knew how to use the power of visualization to achieve every goal you set, the same way that Gold Medal-winning Olympic athletes use visualization to achieve their goals?
As the founder of the Flourishing Leadership Institute, one aspect of Jon Berghoff’s job is to use visualization as a tool to create high impact solutions for organizations seeking revolutionary change.
Why that is important for you today is that these same principles can be applied on an individual level to completely shift how you think about achieving success in your own life.
The conversation you’re about to hear (which originally aired on Rob Dial’s MWF Motivation Podcast) is a sneak peek into just how powerful visualization can be on achieving your goals.
It’s also worth noting that Jon was actually Rob Dial’s first ever mentor and coach. Rob has since gone on to build an incredibly successful business and personal brand with hundreds of thousands of followers. And guess what? Rob uses visualization too!
What’s even cooler, is that Jon will be teaching these visualization methodologies next month at this year’s Best Year Ever Blueprint [LIVE] experience. Click here to find out how you can join us and learn from Jon in-person!
Ready to learn Jon’s visualization process for achieving your goals more easily and consistently?
- How visualization increases your desire to achieve your goals and makes you more likely to follow through on them.
- The exact process Jon uses to get the most out of a visualization exercise.
- The neurological link between talking about your goals out loud with a friend and achieving them.
- Why an active learning environment is a critical aspect for creating transformation in your life.
- Learn what it means to be a successful coach to your kids—OR for any team that you manage.
- And much more!
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Rob: Welcome to today’s episode of the MWF Motivation Podcast. I’m your host, Rob Dial. I’m excited to have my very first mentor. When I was 19 years old I paid Jon Berghoff more money than I actually paid in rent, this is a true story, to be my mentor and it was the best decision I’ve ever made in my entire life. And the thing about me is that I grew up, my father was in and out of my life, passed away when I was 15 and I never really had a consistent figure that was a little bit older than me, much wiser than me that could help me along the way and it wasn’t until I got to 19 years old. And I worked with Jon for a few years, completely changed the course of my life, took me from a 19-year-old that partied way too much and was not on the right path into now doing what I’m doing now. So, Jon, I’m excited to have you on the MWF Motivation Podcast for the second time now. How’s everything going over where you are?
Jon: It’s really good, Rob. It’s good to be with you and it’s actually fun just to listen to me hear you reflect on our coaching. I actually remember like I remember very vividly. I don’t know about you. There are some experiences in my life where like I can go right back to everything that was going on and when you may have been one of my – I know you are one of the first. You could have been the first coaching client I had.
Rob: I think I might have been the first.
Jon: And I remember at that time I was living in a townhouse where I rented out four other bedrooms. I was just this bachelor dude and I had this teeny little like $50 desk. It was barely more than a box that it was in my bedroom and I actually remember sitting at that desk looking out the window, some of our conversations. And one of the things I remember about coaching with you is I remember you were like one part 19-year-old kid and you had one voice in your head. It’s just like you just said that was like, “Well, I think I need to be out partying.”
Jon: And I remember you had another voice in your head that said, “Well, maybe I should be doing something else,” and I don’t know what advice I gave you or if it was any good, but it’s been amazing to see what you’ve created. My answer today would be you should party and develop yourself. It’s been awesome, man.
Rob: Yeah. Well now 12 years later, I don’t like partying at all anymore because I am too driven for what I’m actually going towards and partying takes me off course of that. So, it’s interesting how it works out. But, yeah, I mean it was crazy because that’s why I had to ask you how old you are because at 24 years old you were the wisest 24-year-old I’ve ever spoken like I’ve ever met my entire life. I remember that. And I probably didn’t even know that you were 24. Because this is what happened, and this is why I think I might have been your first coaching client. I signed up for Hal to be my coach and then you called me the next morning and I was like, “Who the hell is this guy?” And I remember, I don’t know if you remember the conversation but you’re like, “So, tell me about yourself,” and I was telling you. I was like, “Well, I’m almost at something they call FSM. I don’t know if you know what FSM is in Cutco,” and you’re like, “Oh yeah, I sold a few hundred thousand dollars’ worth of knives.” I’m like, “Okay. I got it.”
But no, it’s amazing and I think that part of the reason, one of the main reasons actually why I am so obsessed with personal growth and why I got so into it is because I saw the growth that you had. I saw how successful you were at a young age. Then you recommended a lot of books to me. And the very first book that you ever recommended to me was the Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle by Jim Rohn. And it was short, it was the very first book I actually ever read outside of college or high school, any sort of schooling and I still have to this day and it’s completely marked up. All of these underlines, all of these highlights and so after that, I just went on a frenzy and I just started taking all of the personal growth that I possibly could because I saw that it helped you, it helped other people that were in the business, and I kind of ran with it. And so, the first question that I have for you is how did you initially get into personal development? Initially, when did it actually start? How did you get into it? But then also, when and why did you become obsessed with it? Because I feel like I’m obsessed with it, but your son’s name is Kaizen which is constant never-ending improvement in Japanese. And so that’s I think you might even be a level above me in that sense. When did you get into it? How did you get into it? And then also what made you obsessed with it?
Jon: Yeah. I think it was a few different things that happened all at once at a time of my life. I was 17. I was in high school and it was actually a low point for me and it was a low point socially. It was a low point physically. I was not healthy. It was a low point psychologically and I just had a culmination of events, Rob, whereas a high school student – and if anybody’s ever had major depression or really felt really lonely, yeah, I don’t know if I had those labels in my head at that time, but I was just in a really tough place and I had the good fortune and the good fortune was a friend of mine introduced me to this opportunity to sell Cutco knives. And sometimes when I told that story over the years, I give all the credit to the universe and say, you know, I don’t know how luck works and I feel like I got lucky, but I have learned over time that I actually need to give myself some credit because I had the courage to say yes to something that I had no business saying yes to selling knives.
And so that led to really my passion for personal development because here’s what happened. I walk into that office and I remember my first manager, Dan Casetta, who I consider what I would call an internal mentor to me which means no matter how we remain friends and no matter how much we connect or don’t connect, his lessons are with me every moment of every day forever and they’ll be passed on to my kids. When I was a young man, 17, I remember Dan saying at a meeting, it was the first sales meeting I was at. He said, “Life doesn’t get easier. Your skills will get better.” I remember, “Huh, that’s kind of interesting. I’m still learning about this knife thing.” And then he says, and I’m sitting there thinking, “Okay. So, life’s not going to get easier,” so I was at a tough place in life and I’m hearing, well, what needs to change is my skills. I have to create the capability to handle obstacles. And then the next thing that he said in this talk that he’s giving at this first team meeting I’ve ever been at is he said, “Your income,” I think it was probably a Jim Rohn quote. He said, “Your income will seldom exceed your level of personal development. And I remember sitting in the chair. I remember the chair I was sitting in and the zip up tie I had on. I’m sitting there thinking, “Well, that sounds like there’s some truth to that right there,” and I haven’t quite lived that truth but that idea that my life is going to be a reflection of who I become, there was a seed of truth that I believed in. I thought what if this guy is right? In my life at that point, in my mind at least, couldn’t have gotten a lot worse and I’m sure I would’ve been fine, but I look back and I realize that in that moment I thought, you know what, if this guy’s right then I should consider following along here for a bit.
And then the long story made a little longer is what really just happened there is what was born in me and Dan exemplified that skill, that today I think is a mark of an incredible leader, is he had a certain humility and the humility that he had was even though he at that time was already one of the most successful managers in the history of the company, he didn’t believe that he had all the answers for me. And so, what he told me to do at a very young age is he said, “Look, I’ll teach you what I can,” he said, “but you should learn something from everybody. Every person is a teacher in some way. Every obstacle could be your greatest gift in some way. And the obstacles and the people that give you the biggest challenges, they’re probably your biggest teachers.” And he told me that and he had me paying money to a coach. I had a Tony Robbins coach. I was paying $500 a month. I was 17 just like you hiring me.
Rob: Yeah. Yeah.
Jon: And so, that developed, Rob, what I would call an insatiable curiosity like a never-ending hunger to continue to ask why do things work, how do things work and how can I get better. And you mentioned I recommended a lot of books. Fortunately, I’ve always enjoyed reading and so that just carried me forward and that curiosity has become pervasive and never-ending for me. I mean, I could tell you right now, I’m curious about things that just, that drive me nuts. I’m so curious. But it’s that kind of curiosity that has – it’s helped me to get through a lot and get a lot done.
Rob: For sure. Yeah. I can completely attest to that being the same. I remember one, probably the second person in my life that I ever spoke to and this is actually in my notes to ask you about this. The second person I think that ever told me about visualization in my life was you and the first was my mom. When I was 13 years old I was going to go into a championship basketball game and I was so nervous because I was the captain and the captain of the other team was my very best friend. And so, it was literally like both of us against each other and I was so nervous and she’s like, “Why don’t you just go into your room and visualize it and visualize the game.” My mom listens to Tony Robbins all the time. I thought it was the stupidest thing ever when I was a kid. And so, I was like, “Okay. Let me go do it.” And so, I visualized for like 30 minutes and I went in and went to the whole place and saw I was much more comfortable. Well, for about six years later I never heard anybody talk about visualization. I remember you talking about being with Dan Casetta, your first manager, and how you were going to try to break the sales record. And it was this massive sales record that he had you every single day visualize what it would be like to be number one on stage. So, it’s like a 10-day push, is what we called a sales push, and for 10 days every single day he had you come into the office and do this visualization routine. And since then I’ve taken it and used it in my own life, but can you walk through the visualization routine, how that worked and how you think that you use that type of visualization in your life now?
Jon: Yeah. You know, it’s funny as you described that, I realize I’ve forgotten. I’ve even failed to remember that story until you bring it up. But yet, Dan taught me, and he didn’t teach me by sitting me down saying, “Here’s how visualization works.” The way that he taught me is we acted it out. And so, he was the person who introduced me to this and then I became a student of this concept but what we did is, yeah, there was a sales contest. It was a two-week contest and every single night at about 9:30 or so at about the point when every other rep left the office, what we did is we didn’t sit there, and I didn’t close my eyes and visualize winning the contest. We actually enacted. It’s not a reenactment. We enacted the future as though it was happening in the present. And the way we did it, you’d appreciate this is when you go to these big sales conferences the way they do these contests is there’s a countdown and as the number gets higher, you sold 5,000, 10,000, 12,000, as the number gets higher, people step down off the stage. So, as you know, there’s drama because nobody knows how much anybody had sold but you don’t know how high it’s going to go and who’s going to be the last one standing. Well, what Dan and I would do is every night after everyone left the office, he would actually lead the countdown and I would enact as though it’s two weeks from now or 10 days from now and as we get closer, it’s a few days from now. I would stand on the stage and as he would do the countdown, we took chairs and the chairs represented people and just to give it some drama, when it gets to another level, 15,000, 20,000, we would grab a chair and we’d throw it off the stage across the room and he and I are yelling and screaming and it’s just he and I.
And so, in that competition, we visualized every night me being the last person standing and what it ended up happening, I was the last person standing and then that happened quite a few times in that particular career. And then I went on to become a student. I was a student of Tony and a student of Steve Linder who’s really a guy that even Tony has turned to, to get NLP advice and I’ve been through all these different experiences where I’ve been introduced in different ways to visualize. And so, it plays a big role in my life today. One of my favorite books that we used to send to our first coaching client was it was by Wallace Wattles. It was written in like 1910 or something. It’s called the Science of Getting Rich which is just, I guess, that’s the title that got me to open that book at that stage in my life and I’ll never forget reading about that book that there are these scientific principles that help us to be successful. And one of them was we have to learn how to hold on into our minds the images of the world that we want to create. And we have to learn how to hold on in a way where it’s not an exercise or an activity that I do Tuesday in the morning or Thursday night but where we have to get to a point where we can’t even let go of that image. And I remember the first time I came across that idea thinking, “Huh, that makes sense.” So, I try and live with and constantly invite new images of the future all the time. One of the ways I do that like I’m just looking at our whiteboard over there is I ask myself, what are the questions that I want to be permanently asking? If I have a problem to solve or a product to design or a big opportunity, I think what’s the question that I’m trying to answer here? And I write down that question and I let that question sit in my head and ideas will pop up at random times. So, that’s how it still carries forward for me today.
Rob: See, I can attest that because at the very beginning of the year I said part of my morning routine that I’m going to add in is I’m going to have my three goals. So, most people when they go into New Year’s resolutions, they put down like 50 different goals and the three that I had were, number one, I wanted to be in Italy and living over in Italy by July 1. And so, every single morning I visualized what it would be like to wake up and go down and get a cappuccino at a café and all of these things. And I went over every single one of them every single morning, just three, and what happened was exactly like you said was I got so excited to be in Italy that I worked harder that I figured out ways to make more money. Another way, another thing was to get my business to $30,000 in profitability every single month. Those two things together I knew worked together. The more money I made, the easier it is for me to go to Italy, obviously. And I had both of those goals before July 1 because of the fact that I was so excited about them because I saw them every single morning. I saw the life that I could have every single morning before I did anything else, before I even had my coffee. And then what I thought to myself was, “What if I take this even further?” and I make my coffee but as I close my eyes and visualize it, what if in my eye, in my head go down to this café and then actually sip the coffee while I’m there. And so, by the time probably March rolled around, I was so excited for it, I was like I cannot wait until July 1 to get out there because I know I have – it’s just I’m so excited that being here is actually kind of depressing for me. It’s kind of the way that it felt. And we got…
Jon: You’ve already been there.
Rob: Right. And so, yeah, you’re already there every single morning. You wake up and you’re like, “Oh yeah, that’s right. I’m back in my house in Austin,” which is still a great place but it’s not Italy. And so, I can attest to what you said where the more that you visualize, the more that you see it, the more that you make it a practice, you actually start to yearn for it like you want it because you feel like you’ve already been there, it’s being pulled away from you if you’re not there. So, I love that. That’s great.
Jon: I’ll add one thing to this, Rob.
Jon: You and I got reacquainted when we met up again at our first ever Best Year Ever Blueprint where the idea for your podcast here, which now you’ve got 50 million video views and millions of downloads, was born at that event. One of the things that we do at that event and by the way if you’re listening, I don’t know when we’ll publish this but if it’s anytime soon, the event is coming up from today. It’s about a month, November 17, 18, 19 in San Diego, BestYearEverLive.com. It’s a three-day experiential event where all throughout it I lead visualizations and I’m going to share with everybody right now a tip on something that we do with 300, 400, 500 people in the room but you can do this on your own if you just have another person. And what we do is we lead a visualization which in and of itself there is an art and a science to that and I just delivered one. Hal interviewed me for our Achieve Your Goals Podcast a few weeks ago. I think the title of that podcast was something like The Four Questions That Will Change Your Life but anybody who listens to that and they fast forward, I’d love it if you listen to the whole thing, but I think somewhere around minute 35 or 45, I spontaneously lead a guided visualization and apparently it was pretty crazy for people based on what they were saying in real-time.
So, if anyone wants to go actually experience one, it was unplanned, they rarely are planned, but you can hear me leading through one. But when we do this, Rob, here’s a suggestion for everybody is I would add two steps to the process of visualizing that in my experience and we’ve done this now with thousands of people. It can absolutely, it cannot just incrementally but exponentially transform the power of the visualization. So, if I turn on some great music which you have to have great music. You find some incremental tunes, get us a movie soundtrack that really helps you to connect with your whole mind and your whole body and if I visualize a future that I want what I should do immediately after that is take a pen and a piece of paper and just write down everything that I saw. And as I’m writing, give myself permission to go beyond what I saw and what I felt. And then I’m going to add one more step and we facilitate this with hundreds of people and it’s magical and it’s irreplaceable when you have that many people, but you could do this with one other person where if you visualize and then you journal, and the journaling is a response to, hey, what kinds of images of the future? If you saw yourself, anything was possible, making an impact that you’ve never thought was possible and an impact going beyond people that you’ll even meet, your business growing not just successfully but in a way where you’re fulfilled and holistically your family and your friends and your health, everything in your life is clicking. And so, you have to spark what it is that you actually want to see. You gotta build that kind of visualizing vocabulary.
But after you do that, write down everything that you’ve seen then turn to a partner, find a friend or someone you work with and share with each other, talk out loud what you wrote down. It’s called a social constructionist theory and it’s a belief and a perspective and I fully buy into it that a lot of our world is created and co-created and re-created in real-time through our conversations with others. And things become real when we have to talk it out loud. There’s a neurological basis for this too because for something to go from just a fuzzy idea to have to actually sharpen it to be able to speak it, there’s something that happens in the brain where in the body where we actually have to own it a little bit more. So, that’s a suggestion. If anyone is visualizing, go two steps further with it. You might be surprised what can happen from that.
Rob: That was amazing.
Rob: Another thing and the best part about it is I went to the very first, since we’re on the topic, I went to the very first Best Year Ever Blueprint which I think it’s 2014, yeah, I think that’s when it was. December of 2014 I think it’s what it was, and I would say that it was way different than a lot of other events that I’ve been to because the thing I know about you, well, the thing about – I know Hal, you and Vroman very well. And the way you guys work, and I see you guys speak and all of those things is it’s not a typical just sit down and listen. It’s very I guess more than anything else, it’s more of a participatory like it’s all participation inside of it. The very first thing I remember is decorating the room to the way that we wanted it to look and putting up quotes and all of these different things. And then the thing that happened was it was a lot of talking all of this stuff out. And I remember this vividly and this is probably dealing exactly what you’re talking about. I would remember having the conversation with two people. One of them was Aaron Ludden and the other one is Dean Devries, where I said to them, “I miss the person that I used to be when I worked for Cutco.” And the reason why is because when I worked for Cutco I was on point like I was so passionate and so on fire with what I was doing.
And at the point in time when I went back to the Best Year Ever Blueprint, I felt like I had lost that person because I was an employee for four years. And I felt like I lost that person and I said that I don’t know what it is. I specifically like I vividly remember this conversation which deals directly to what you’re talking about and I was like, “I don’t know what it is, but I feel like I have to do something that impacts other people’s lives.” I feel like I know a lot about personal growth and I’ve read hundreds of books but I’m just sitting on it now. I’m not talking to people about it. I’m not bringing it up and I thought to myself, “What if I just start a podcast and just talking to them? I can see if people start listening to it.” And that is actually one of the most visual – the most vivid memories that I have from that was actually writing down what I wanted and then speaking it out to somebody else versus just writing it down. Because there are stuff that you write down that I’m sure if I look back I’d be like, “Oh yeah, I completely forgot about that.” But that one part of saying it out loud, I remember vividly because the fact that it was actually put into a conversation and we were able to talk through the whole thing.
Jon: Yeah. I’m just sitting here hearing you share this, Rob, and it warms my heart, man. It gets me totally jazzed because it’s nice to hear back an example where we believe in the science of how we facilitate and it’s great to see a real-world example. I was just in a conversation with Dana Malstaff who is also at that first Best Year Ever Event with you four years ago and she was just telling me two days ago, same thing. Her whole brand The Boss Mom brand was born at that event.
Rob: It’s awesome.
Jon: And as much as I’d like to take credit for it, all we do is we bring in lighting, music and a style of facilitation where people can tap into their own strengths. They can tap into their own purpose or elevate it and we just create the space for that. And I think there’s a good lesson here. For anyone who is listening, if you lead others and leading, it doesn’t matter your title or number of people, but I think there’s a big lesson. If you want to enable positive changes in others, the formula that we use again and again and again, and we teach this in our LEAF Certification. It’s a high-priced certification for leaders of large communities and large companies who learn how to facilitate conversations that are transformational in real-time with large groups. And the formula, one of the formulas we teach them is, look, anything that you want an audience of any size to really buy into or to really own or internalize, you have to move them through a process and the process that we use almost universally is they got to write something down first whether it’s a goal, a vision, an answer to why am I here or where am I going or what are my strengths or when have I been at my best? The fundamental questions we use that we think are important but we got to write those things down first. We can’t hold them in our head. And then after we write them down, turn and talk them out loud with somebody else. If you lead a team and you want people excited about their future, have them write about it and have them talk about it with each other. There’s some magic that happens there that your story is just an example of it so thanks for sharing that, man. That’s cool.
Rob: Well, it kind of goes back to, I guess, the phrase that I think of when you say that is if you want to learn something, the best way is to try to teach it. And the one thing that you said, you said a word that was really big, and I think that it is a difference. And that I didn’t even necessarily realize when I first said there was a different feeling like just the conference itself is different is that it’s not like you go to a conference, a bunch of people are just speaking at you and you’re taking notes. What you said was you facilitate. And so, what do you feel is the difference between going to a conference that supports anything? Even being a teacher where you’re just teaching. Let’s use that as an example. I’m a teacher. I’m a high school teacher. I could be sitting there and I could be teaching and just saying this is this, this, this, this but what’s the difference between just doing that versus facilitating, learning in conversation among the students that they had to learn something?
Jon: Oh man, well now you’re entering right into my zone of what I live in. I won’t shut up on this, man.
Jon: Well, I had a lot of stray thoughts that I’ll see if I can weave together here. So, since you started with the idea of a teacher, let’s start there and I think one of the things that there is a universal acceptance of is that the way that our education system has been built, it was built beautifully for another time in history. We should honor that, right? It was built beautifully for another time in history and it was built beautifully to be able to scale up education but based on people being prepared to work in a factory. And so, we’ve all recognized that, okay, what we really need to do is kind of reconnect with why are we educating and how do we educate to tap into our highest geniuses or intelligence as individuals. And there is a science to this and we’ve all known it but moving a whole global institution doesn’t happen overnight but the science to it, people call it experiential learning or accelerated learning and what is really, there’s no denying the truth to this. We all learn differently and we all learn a lot better when learning goes from being passive to active. Now we certify folks in how do you lead experientially and using positive psychology and neuroscience and accelerated learning. But I could tell you that the essence of it all is understanding that when people read, listen, see or hear something, that’s what we call passive learning. I don’t know about all of you or any of your listeners, but I could listen to the best speakers in the world and the really, really good ones they tap into me at an emotional level and maybe that can trigger some sort of permanent change but the probability of it triggering pervasive change across a large audience especially if you’re the ninth speaker we’ve heard from, it doesn’t line up with what we know about how people learn the best.
So, I’m a huge fan of bringing somebody like Jon Vroman in or Hal to give a speech. Those guys are the best in the world. They leave an emotional impact that creates transformation but very few speakers really do. And the other thing is it doesn’t really matter who is speaking, what we really learn when we design our events is that instead of spending 80%, 90%, 100% of the time having passive learning, we have to shift the ratio where maybe it’s 30%, 40%, 50% of the time there’s what we call insight being brought in from the stage but then the other 30%, 40%, 50% of the time the participants need to be experientially in an emerging type of way. They’ve got to be actively learning around that content. So, you ask what’s the difference between speaking and facilitating. If somebody wants to – and I feel like I’ve kind of discovered a secret and as others are being led in on this secret when we certify them, they’re like, “Oh my gosh, this is like an unlocking mechanism that could change the world,” and that is I think is actually a lot easier to be a great facilitator than it is to be a world-class speaker.
Rob: For sure.
Jon: And they’re very different. They’re very different. I’ll give you just one example and I gave you ten but here’s one. When you are a professional speaker, you are being paid in some ways to be a star of the show. I mean, sometimes you have to be – now, great speakers will tell you, “Well, the audience is the star of the show,” but yeah, you’re really there not just to educate but to entertain as much as anything. As a facilitator, I mean, I go into companies where they’re paying us $100,000 to facilitate 200, 300, 400, 500 people over three days coming up with a strategic plan. That’s complex stuff. As a facilitator in that environment, you want to hear how I’m usually introduced?
Jon: “Welcome to the stage. This is our facilitator, Jon Berghoff.” And you want to know what I tell them about me and how great I am and everything I’ve accomplished? Nothing.
Jon: Because what’s beautiful about facilitating is when you have a process that works, and see this is why this is my passion, is because a process is a lot more scalable than a personality. So, when we get brought into companies, I actually don’t want them to know anything about me because exceptional facilitation, the facilitator is almost invisible to the process. The facilitator is not bringing necessarily ideas in. They’re bringing a process to where ideas emerge from within the participants. Because I live with an assumption and the assumption that I live with is that, yes, the personal development industry it’s great. It changed my life. It changed yours. I also believe there’s a point at which we don’t need to hear another answer from somebody else and we need to push pause and look inward and realize, okay, I’ve actually got enough of the answers within me. I just need to align my highest strengths with some sense of purpose and continually ask what is that emergent purpose, the vision, and then keep moving forward and tap into what I’ve got inside of me.
And so, at our events, we design the whole thing to where we’ve got incredible speakers that present. I’m not very good at promoting them because I don’t even think about it. We’ve got incredible people coming. We got Joe Polish, David Osborn, Dana Malstaff, Julianna Raye. David Osborn is worth, I don’t know, 70 million, 80 million and the number goes up when I talk to him, but he wrote the book called Wealth Can’t Wait and he’s going to blow people’s minds at our Best Year Ever Event. Joe Polish, the guy went from an addicted drug addict teen to pulling himself out of the gutter. His marketing advice has generated billions of dollars of value for his clients. Dana Malstaff, just like you, she was at our Best Year Ever Event three years ago where an idea was born and now she’s got this incredible brand where women entrepreneurs are thriving because of her. So, we’ve got these amazing speakers. I know I’m forgetting two or three more of them right now but really that’s about half the event. The other half is experiential learning. So hopefully I answered some of your question about what’s the difference between speaking and facilitating. And if I did, happy to clear that up.
Rob: Well, I think that the thing that brings me back too is I know with my coaching clients but then also just with people in general, usually you start to notice stuff or as you say something there are so many times where people start to talk, and they go, “Oh, yeah, that’s the answer.” It’s like immediate. As something starts coming out of their mouth, they immediately go, “Oh wait, I don’t even need to ask for your advice. I already know exactly what it is,” and I think it’s just like you said it’s a part of your brain that clicks on that as you’re sitting there quietly doesn’t do it. And it’s actually something I think I’m going to take from it. Because one of the things that I love to do is I talk to people about journaling and how journaling at least for me it’s become an art form because I hated it so much and I was so bad at it first because I sat down, and I was just like, “Dear Diary, today blah, blah, blah,” but what it turned into is I started asking myself questions. And so, whenever I felt a certain way or whatever something wasn’t going right, I would just write questions down on a piece of paper. And when I would write the question down, my brain would immediately try to solve that problem. And then I would be like, “Oh man, so this is the answer to that.” I’ve been searching for such a long time but now I’m thinking to myself, “Well, as soon as I get done journaling, I need to call up a friend and start talking to him about what I just journaled and see if it starts to, I guess, get it more solid in my brain and in my thoughts and my actions of what I should do.”
So, with that being said, I’m curious how you use this as a husband and also as a father because that was the one thing. I love to read, I love human psychology, I love figuring, I love reading books about children psychology and all of the stuff they go through as their brain matures and all of these things, but I don’t have any kids. I’ve got nieces, nephews, cousins, and part of a massive family but I’m not there every single day raising somebody. So, I’m curious, how it works being a husband, how you and your wife use it. And then also the same time with your kids how you use that. Because I’m sure a ton of people that are listening here, they might not be teachers, but there’s a lot of them I know that are parents.
Jon: Yeah. Well, gosh, I think to be fair, if I give any advice I should have to equally share with you all of the disasters as a husband and as a dad because that’s a fact. You know, I’ll share with you a story about my experience as a coach of one of my kids’ sports because I think there’s a lot that has changed for me, from having kids. I’ve got a seven-year-old boy, Ace; our six-year-old daughter, Sierra; and our three-and-a-half-year-old boy, Kaizen. And Ace when he started getting into sports I realized, well, I want to be a coach. And at first the reasons why we’re well, because I just want to be around when my kids are playing sports and then I learned really quickly that being a coach at my kid’s sports is about way more than just being able to hang out with my son while he’s playing football or baseball or basketball, whatever the sport is. And so, my first year as a coach, there was kind of a defining moment for me when – it was flag football and this was first graders. If you ever coached first-grade flag football, they spend the first half of the season during practice just chewing on their mouth guards. It’s like they’re distracted and then they’re chasing the mosquitoes and pulling each other’s flags. It’s like herding rattlesnakes, right?
Jon: So, that whole year there was a pivotal moment. It was actually at our first or second practice where all the kids were out there and none of them are paying attention and I’m one of the coaches. And I’m looking around and I’m realizing about half of these kids’ parents are standing right there and they’re watching me right now. And it went from, “Hey, I’m just here to coach,” to, “Oh, this just got real.” Their parents are watching me parent their kids, basically. And it took me a year to find my voice as a kids’ coach. In fact, the first year I kind of let the kids walk all over me and here I am a leadership coach to huge corporations and with my kids, I’m just falling flat.
Rob: First graders are walking all over you.
Jon: First graders are walking all over me. So, what happened was I watched Ace’s hockey coach. He plays hockey and his hockey coach is a guy who I have so much respect for because what I came to learn about Coach Chris is Coach Chris has dedicated himself to studying what it means to be a successful coach of kids. I watched Coach Chris and I realize Coach Chris he was treating coaching these kids the way a professional coach would treat coaching a professional athlete and I immediately realized, “Oh my gosh, I had forgotten that how I do anything in life is how I do everything. Just because they’re in first grade, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t treat this like this practice or this next play could change the rest of their lives.” So, I watched Chris and I noticed a few things. One is every second of his hour-long practice was scripted. So, he knew exactly what was going to happen. So, I realized I’ve got to actually give this the respect it deserves. By the way, that’s just a rule for life like if I claimed that I do something professionally, I’d better be putting more time into practicing, rehearsing, preparing, getting ready than I am actually delivering. Other words, I’m just not being a professional.
The other thing I saw Chris doing is he was equally tough on the kids as he was encouraging. And that’s when I realized I’ve got to make a decision. I’m either going to be one of these parent coaches that just says, “Yeah. I don’t care about this and I’m just a volunteer and I’ll let the kids walk all over me.” Or I’m going to step in and I’m going to do everything I can to make a difference. It doesn’t mean I’m going to be perfect or right all the time but I’m going to commit to this. And so, Rob, what I decided to do is I decided to ask myself, “Well, what do I believe in?” Well, when I go to work every day, we’re borrowing from the leading science in the field of, you said this phrase earlier, positive psychology. We use work from the leading fields of neuroscience and emotional intelligence and we work with the top thought leaders in these areas and I’m thinking I could bring all of this into our football team. So, what we started to do is I started to bring it into every single practice. So, an example, we’d start the practice and what do you think I would ask the kids before we start the practice? I would say, “Hey, let’s set some goals,” and I ask the kids, “What’s your goal for this?” And they’d all be huddled around me. What’s your goal for this practice? And I had to coach them on how to answer that. That’s an important reminder in life that when we’re coaching others, when we’re asking a question, if we have a good answer doesn’t mean they have been taught how to answer it. So, the first time people are presented with certain types of questions, they have to be given help on how to answer it. So, guys, what are your goals? Here are some examples. And they eventually learn to set some simple goals. I want to pull more flags, I want to run faster, I want to score, I want to catch, I want to throw, I want to do a good job. And then later in the season, I got to the point where I’d say, “Guys, I want you to think about your goals, but I want you to close your eyes.” And I didn’t call it visualization, but it would take 10 seconds. I’d say, “Just see it happen.”
And then the next thing we do, Rob, is during practice I learned that every single play at the end of the play as the kids were running back to the huddle, I would try and give out two or three compliments, and I would try to find somebody who I could correct so they could improve. So, I got two eyes on like nine kids here and I’m trying to see one kid who I could improve and two or three compliments I could give out. And it’s fast, but what I’ve learned and was reminded of that I do at work is I got to catch them doing things right and I got to tell them even if it’s a quick compliment because now they know what to do more off and now all their friends who heard it know what to do more off. These are basics to somebody in sales management, but I had forgotten. So, give out a lot of compliments. And then at the end of practice one of the things we did, Rob, is, I believed that for them to learn how to succeed as a team which is a huge life lesson, they not only have to learn the fundamentals of the sport they’re playing but they have to learn how to actually create a bond together. And I as a coach have to facilitate that. I can’t assume it’s going to happen on its own. So, at the end of every practice, every game before we walk away, we sit everybody in a circle and I say, “Who wants to pay a compliment to somebody else?” And the kids raise their hand. And I say, “I want to compliment Joshua who ran really fast.” Ace will raise his hand, “I want to compliment Charlie who made a great catch.” And then AT will raise his hand, “I want to compliment Drew who did a great job at center today.” And the kids are learning how to acknowledge each other. I don’t have to tell them but what’s also happening is their bond with each other is really strengthening.
So, that’s an example where I’ve realized that things that I’ve always believed in professionally, I’ve got to figure out how to bring into my parenting. It’s tough because as a parent of three kids, I tell people who don’t have kids and if you do, you’ve all lived this that kids become a mirror, a reflection of everything that I am, the good and the bad. And I feel like my kids have become my greatest teacher in life because I see them reflecting back the deepest parts of who I am. Sometimes I see it and I go, “Oh my gosh, they’re reflecting back parts of me that I’m reflecting back from my parents,” like I’ll see my daughter and my son I go, “Oh my gosh, that’s grandpa Chuck right there.”
Rob: Oh my gosh. It’s crazy.
Jon: And all of a sudden, it’s like, “Oh, this is real.” Every single thing I do makes a difference. And then I remember that’s true everywhere I go in life. Anything I do, everything matters, everything makes a difference with every relationship I have. So, I could talk a lot about parenting but…
Rob: Man, that was – so now, see, I’ve never understood the phrase of my children are my greatest teachers until you just said that because now I understand you see your reflection of everything that you do great and everything that you do bad. And then you probably have seen parts of yourself you didn’t even actually realize you had or said or did or whatever they might be, just as a reflection of yourself through your kids.
Jon: Or that I was in denial about. Or that I didn’t want to address. It’s easy to see the great things and go, “That’s me right there.” But then you see them react and it’s like was that you or me? That’s me, right? And that’s an amazing self-awareness that’s forced upon me as a parent.
Rob: Wow. That’s amazing. Well, good. Man, this has been great. I’m excited that we got a chance to do this. So, we talked a little bit about the Best Year Ever Blueprint. So, for anybody who’s out there that doesn’t know anything about it or don’t know who you talk about it, tell me a little bit more where it’s going to be, when it’s going to be, how they can sign up if they want to and also a little bit about how it benefits the Front Row Foundation as well.
Jon: Oh yeah. Thank you for asking that because it’s a big, big deal and the event in and of itself, it’s quite an innovation on personal development events and so the event itself is November 17, 18, 19. If you’re interested, go to BestYearEverLive.com. Hal and I run this event as like a side hobby like he’s got things he does during the day and I do too. So, I always say that because yesterday we sold 12 seats. We sold 20 the day before. We think it’s going to sell out the next couple of weeks. We don’t track it very closely. At some point, someone will send us a note and say there are no more seats. So, I don’t know when this publishes but if you want to come, I really hope you join us, BestYearEverLive.com. It’s Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Friday is what we call Entrepreneur Day where we focus on bringing in insight and we have people coaching each other around their businesses. It doesn’t matter what stage they’re at. They just have an idea or a $20 million business, we got people there that run the whole gamut. And on Saturday and Sunday is the official Best Year Ever Blueprint. And we talked a lot about it today. It’s an experiential event where we use questions to facilitate discoveries that people make around what their highest strengths are, what their purpose is or could be, what their visions of the future are and then ultimately what actions and plans they need to put in place and commit to achieving those goals. And then interwoven throughout those experiences, we have a lot of fun. I really believe that, I mean, the whole thing is like a live concert because we have brotha James, our musician there. If you don’t know who brotha James, you have to become a brotha James fan. He has some new songs. I mean you literally will think, “I was just at the best concert I’ve been to for three days. Oh, and by the way, we got to change our lives at the same time.” I designed an event that I want to be at. In fact, I won’t design any event that’s not something I want to be at because it’s my life so I’m going to do that and Hal’s part of that.
The Front Row Foundation, one of the things that Hal and I are really passionate about, you mentioned Jon Vroman earlier, who is the founder of the Front Row 12 years ago. The Front Row is a wish organization that helps people to battle life-threatening conditions to go sit in the event or the front-row of an event of their dreams and they bring their family with them. And what’s really cool about the Front Row Foundation is it’s not the only a wish organization but it’s a life philosophy. In fact, if you go check out the Front Row Factor, the book that Jon published this year, it’s really a memoir and a tribute to not only the wish organization but as he puts it, it’s lessons learned about life from people who are fighting for it. If you want to learn the lessons that matter the most then go learn about life from people who are facing the end of their lives. And that’s what’s amazing about the Front Row is it’s become a philosophy. It’s become a way of living that reminds us that every moment matters, every person matters, and we got to make the most of every moment. So, we honor that by hosting a big fundraiser. In the middle of our event on Saturday night, Hal and I throw a huge party. It’s a big concert and we raise every year about $100,000 to support the Front Row Foundation.
Jon: It changes a lot of lives so, yes, that’s a really unique part of this event that’s a little different from most other personal development events but we love it. It’s our own flavor of how to do things.
Rob: It’s awesome. So, it’s BestYearEverBlueprintLive.com for people who are interested, correct?
Rob: BestYearEverLive.com. All right, man. Well, it’s been good. This is an unexpected conversation that kind of popped up so I’m super, super glad we’re able to do this. It’s enlightening. I learned a lot and I want to do it again. Which is I would 100% be at Best Year Ever if I was in the United States but I won’t be back until December 4.
Jon: You’ll be there in spirit, buddy. I just want to say to all your listeners too, Rob, that I commend the wisdom and the curiosity they have to be in the space that you have created because anyone who’s a regular listener of what you’re doing, it tells me that they’re on a path and they may not know where that path is going to go. You and I don’t know where it’s going to go but I would just encourage them to realize that if they stay curious and they stay hungry and they keep learning from you and anybody, that’s what the world needs. And there are some huge problems in this world and people love to talk about the problems but let’s not forget that every problem is an opportunity and I just want to honor you, Rob, for being someone who is impacting so many people, it’s really cool to see, man, so thanks for letting me be a small part of it.
Rob: Of course, man. Well, it’s been great talking with you, Jon.
Jon: See you, buddy. Enjoy Italy.
Rob: All right. Thanks, man.
Jon: Take care.
Rob: See you.
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