Lead on Purpose – w/James Laughlin

Speaker 1 00:00:21 All right, everybody. Thanks for joining man. Grind Sell elevate. This is Ty, your host. I’m here with James Laughlin out of New Zealand. James. Thanks for joining me.

Speaker 2 00:00:28 Hey, Ty, it’s so good to be here, man. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 1 00:00:32 Um, I was stoked to get an opportunity to talk with you, obviously seven time world champion. I want to talk about that, but your high-performance leadership coach. Uh, you’ve got your life on purpose podcast and you’ve got a mastermind group. You mean you’re a busy guy.

Speaker 2 00:00:45 Yeah, life was full on, but it said it’s very purposeful. It’s it’s stuff that I love doing. It fills me up. So I get up in the morning and I don’t feel like it’s work. I felt like it said joy and it’s a privilege.

Speaker 1 00:00:55 Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Well, let’s just stay on that topic. I mean, go ahead. And maybe for better context, introduce yourself, um, and kind of how you’ve decided to live your life, you know, with a purpose filled mission. Yeah.

Speaker 2 00:01:06 Yeah. Well, I go back to Northern Ireland, you know, I grew up and I’ve got a beautiful family, their, a mom and dad and a couple of siblings and very humble beginnings, a small kind of working class village that we grew up in called Bali. Claire, uh, went to school and I did okay at school. I got by, I wasn’t the smartest kid class. Wasn’t the worst kid in class, but I was easily distracted, very easily distracted. And in Northern Ireland, if you’re easily distracted, there’s a few different things that different paths that you can go down. And when you get into your teenage stage, there’s the opportunity to go down to some pretty dark paths there. Um, Northern, Ireland’s got a history of, uh, violence and sectarianism, and it’s very easy to get caught up in that. So when I was a bit nine or 10, so just before that kinda, that puberty kicks in, uh, I got into a bit of a scuffle at school and ended up in the headmaster’s office.

Speaker 2 00:01:54 Headmaster was a badass guy, like just a great guy. It’s scary as hell when you’re nine. So Mr. Pollock, big, deep voice got me in, sat me down on the chair and went through the whole thing that had happened. And he said, look, you got two options. You’ve got detention. Or here’s some drumsticks. I was like, is this a prime? Like, am I being punked right now? Where’s the cameras. It’s not ticket drumsticks. And um, every Tuesday after school, you’re going to see Mr. Lee. So Mr. Lee was like a grandfather figure who taught drums, so, okay. Sounds good. So first session I went and I loved it. Second session, third session, Mr. Lee was like, Hey, you’ve got a better potential. I was like, oh, this is nice. Getting me a bit of positive feedback here rather than, you know, getting a good old, uh, ear Lincoln.

Speaker 2 00:02:40 So I started practicing, um, realized that this is actually a competitive hobby. And so you can go to Irish championships, Scottish championships, world championships. So I started a real practice and I had the, my competitive nature came. I, I dropped all my other things. There was a TaeKwonDo, it got dropped. And I was like this drumming thing. I’m all in on this. So I started really focusing on that. My mum and dad gave me incredible support, drew my siblings, credit toughing and practicing all day long. And by the age of 13, my dad was like, okay, let’s, you know, let’s look at what you want to do. So I said, well, I want to compete. I want to go to the world, solo drumming championships. He goes, cool. Let’s do it. So we got on the boat and headed across the Scotland and, um, went, just experienced it.

Speaker 2 00:03:23 It was the juvenile section on ended up performing, getting into the finals while I’m in the top 24. This is awesome. Went to the finals, played end of the day, results came. I kind of won. And I was like, what the hell? This is insane. Like I can this happen. So I had all this like self-belief and excitement and all these visions of where I could take it. So I went back and practiced twice as hard for the next year. Went back again and was fortunate enough to win it again. The next year at that point, I’m like, I don’t want to live in Northern Ireland forever. I’m 14. Now I want to, I want to be traveling a lot. I’d love to go to north America. I’d love to travel to South Africa, New Zealand, and all of a sudden these calls and emails started coming in and offers to go play drums in those parts of the world.

Speaker 2 00:04:09 So I was about 17, 18 headed to Vancouver, Canada, the Simon Fraser university of a world-class band there. Um, so I went and joined them for the summer, uh, bit, a lot of partying that a lot of drumming, a lot of fun and ended up in 2004, going to the world championships and winning with them. And at that point that I got an offer to New Zealand and I was like, well, that’s on my bucket list. Like I want to go to New Zealand just in for six weeks and check it out. No 16 years later, I’m still here. It’s a pretty special player. So I came here and, uh, started, uh, teaching at a private school. And the whole goal there was to try and help this private school become the very first band from New Zealand, the first drum line to win the world championships. It never happened.

Speaker 2 00:04:53 So I committed to go about 8, 7, 8 years. And they ended up becoming the very first world champions. So for me, it was a bit taken all what I have learned technically musically psychologically, and taking that, passing out onto a group of Kiwis to see if they could go and become world-class and they did. So at that point, I was like, okay, uh, I’m really interested in what happens up here. Uh, I believe that died here from a musician, said, anybody can play an instrument if they’re given the right instruction and they’ve got the right commitment, they can do the same with the sport. People can learn to kick a ball, but what separates Rinaldo from me, you know, is that he’s, um, thousands of hours of practicing kicking up the ball and he’s got the grit coaching me. I can barely kick a ball, but this is the thing that separates the best of the best. And it’s what happens under pressure. So I find, you know, cause I, I definitely lost more than I one time and I find that it was this thing that helped me perform better. And it was also this thing that would hold me back if I started to create narrative. So that’s what, um, kind of transitioned me from drumming and teaching drums, playing drums, and I’m competing to coach coaching. There was the whole understanding of psychology. So that was kind of my bridging point going from drumming the coaching.

Speaker 1 00:06:10 Well, thanks for the background. That’s awesome. Um, I’m glad that I waited until we got on air for you to tell me the story. Uh, that was great. So I, you know, I’m curious with, uh, Mr. Lee, was it right? Was the, um, what, cause obviously I, I get how, you know, why you do what you do now from a leadership perspective, because it, obviously it worked with your team in New Zealand taking that school to become world champions. Were there any big takeaways from Mr. Lee that you learned about becoming a leader or about work ethic that you know, were really pivotable at a young age?

Speaker 2 00:06:45 Yeah, yeah, totally. Um, so when I teach nicer, you know, I don’t teach much one-to-one stuff anymore, but I have a group of about 150 50 drummers that I mentor. And what happens is that we talk about, you know, kids that are learning nowadays and essentially they want the pipe and running app that download to their mum and dad’s iPod and it uploads all of the skills to them as a drummer. And they’re done that doesn’t work that way. Right. So Mr. Lee taught me like, Hey, here’s one thing. And it was called a double. I was like, great, I’m going to work on that. I came back the next week and I’d worked on it. That’d be 10 hours of work. And I was like, cool, what’s next? They went the double play. We did that last week. He says, you’ve got to hone it.

Speaker 2 00:07:26 You got to refine it. You still haven’t got it. Right. So, okay, I’ll do it again this week. Another week later, what’s what what’s next. The double, I sat on the double for like five months. And so he really instilled in me that patience is incredibly important when it comes to trying to achieve excellence. I wanted to move on. I wanted to have that variety and ensure that progress. But actually the double is the foundational rudiment of the drumming world. If you can get the double, right. The drumming, world’s your oyster. So for me, it reminded me like when you’re looking at business, when you’re looking at sport, it’s often the simple things, you know, in business, it’s understanding that the balance sheet and it’s understanding how your marketing’s working. Do you have a funnel? That’s getting you the leads and when they get in, why they’re coming out the other end.

Speaker 2 00:08:14 So for me, he really instilled patience as being a critical element of achieving excellence and then sustaining that. And when it comes to leadership, it’s about going, okay, I learned these basic fundamentals about business sport or music, and now I’m a leader. Okay. I got to get back down here and I got to be making sure I reinforce these and embrace these and essentially get grade level grassroots. I meant him that stuff not get to this point and be like, yeah, yeah, cool. That’s stuff for beginners. So for me, he really helped me realize, never get too big. Your books always go back to the basics, always, you know, put your socks up, take your shoelaces. And that applies to business or music, whatever you want. I love

Speaker 1 00:08:56 That a great life lesson about just having patients in, you know, mastering something. Uh, right. So I think there’s a, the Alabama football coach, he says, we don’t do it until we get it right. We do it until we get it. Perfect. You know? And so, uh, I think a lot of, that’s a lot to say about your success with that, but also helping other people as a leader. Now, I’m curious when it comes to leadership, how do you think that people could get a buy-in from a team easier? You know, cause I’ve, I’ve, I’ve managed, I think seven or eight sales teams, and I’ve seen a lot of people come and go over the years and I want to get your perspective on what’s the right way for taking over a sales team or you’re starting a new business to kind of start on your leadership journey.

Speaker 2 00:09:41 Look, I, I think leadership is influenced, you know, people have these big definitions and like five paragraphs of the definition of leadership leadership basically as is influenced and learning how to influence other people. And it’s not a persuasion. It’s not, um, you know, you’re not kind of forcing people, a course and people it’s influenced. So the first step actually was chatting with a client about this yesterday morning. The first step is that you’ve got to figure out what influences the people you’re trying to influence. I say, people, if you’ve got a team of 10, you need to figure out what influences each and every one of them, some of them that may be significant. Some of them, it may be financial certainty. Some of them may be growth and progress. Some of them, it may be time. I want time. I want to be able to just work an eight hour day, go home, forget about it and be with my family.

Speaker 2 00:10:24 So learn what influences each individual. And then you leverage that. So you learn how you can actually lead them through what influences them. Cause what influences you today will be totally different than the, what influences me and influences everyone else. So I think it’s understanding deeply what influences the individual and if you want buy-in, um, there’s a term called sweep, the sheds. So the all blacks are new Zealand’s national rugby team and they’re arguably the world’s best ever rugby team, right? The world champions, they’re phenomenal. Um, they give, given us a little black book, they become an old block and in there is like the way the old blacks way. And it’s not a rule book, but it’s kind of like a cultural ethos book in there that they talk about sweep the sheds. And so what that means is when the all blacks go to like Ireland, let’s say they go to Ireland on the plan, the Irish rugby team, and they go to the big stadium and they’ve got their changing rooms.

Speaker 2 00:11:21 So they’re in the changing rooms. They go, they play Ireland, the games over there and having a few beers in the changing room. No, what generally happens is most teams leave after they’ve had their beers and sort of beers and, and the change rooms are mass with mud and grass and everything everywhere. What the all blacks do is they bring their own brushes and rubbish bags. And the senior leaders get the, all the captains and vice captains and they get the brushes open, the sweeper sheds, right? So they are telling the younger team never ever think because you’re the world’s best that you’re too good to, to not do these basic things. So when the Irish caretaker comes joined to the all blacks, uh, changing rooms that the sheds have been swept. And so it’s about getting back down to that level. So yeah, you’re the captain of the all blacks, but you can still get a brumate brilliant.

Speaker 2 00:12:10 So you’re getting done to the, the level of the rookies, the new people, the new people on your team and new salespeople. So whatever it is in a sales turnips, you’re not sweeping the sheds, but you know, think about what are the basics that often we go, that’s a rookie duty. I remember as a young drummer in Vancouver, Canada, we had these rookie duties and you always have to do these rookie duties until a new rookie came in. So if there was no new rookies look, couple of years, you have to Polish the drum. You had to carry these big enough, 15, 16 K drums, 10 at a time. Like it was horrible and you have all these duties. So think of it, those duties, I do them with the rookies. There’s so much bonding, respect and loyalty that’s formed right at the start. So figure out what your sweep, the sheds is in your industry and get in as the leader and dealt with them.

Speaker 1 00:12:58 Yeah, no, I love that. Uh, I’ll tell you for most sales teams I’ve ever taken over where I spend the first three months doing the selling and, and it really kind of trips people out because they think that I’m gonna come in and, you know, just try to tell them what to do. And I just get down and start doing it with them. One, because I’ve worked in all different parts of the country here. And so when you take over a new team, usually the team’s perspective is always like, well, you’ve never sold in this market before, you know, well, you don’t know how hard it is. We have rate issues here. You know, it’s always an excuse. So I just eliminate the excuse. I go do it myself. And I go, shit, the guy’s the real deal. You know, it always, it always help. How, how important is it when you’re coaching people are, how frequently do you think that a leader needs to meet with their team? You know, because you see people that do a meeting once a month, people once a week, is there any cadence to that you think that works better than others?

Speaker 2 00:13:50 You know what? I spent the last five or so years interviewing incredible leaders, presidents, prime, ministers, CEOs, all different types of people. And everyone’s got a different view on this. But I think if we look at the size of the team to start with, so if you’ve got 3000 employees, you’re not meeting with them individually, right? So your direct reports, so let’s say you’ve got 10 direct report ports. I firmly believe you need to be seeing them as a team once a week. And you need to be seeing them. One-to-one at least once a fortnight. So every two weeks you want to be set in one to one 30 minutes to 60 minutes, how’s life what’s going on. Here’s a box of tissues right here. Let’s chat about what’s going on, you know, because what happens off field is going to directly impact what’s happening on fields.

Speaker 2 00:14:32 So I think, you know, you should be meeting your direct reports at least twice a month. And then as a team, whoever, you know, as part of that team, or at least once a week, you have a team meeting or not meeting for meeting sick. But I had a great conversation with a friend who he was the global marketing director with apple for about eight years. And he said, look, we would have this concept of simplify, simplify, simplify, and that applied to everything. We did, product marketing, sales, web design, everything. But when it came to meetings, same concept, they should be very simple. It should be no complex or there are no surprises. The meetings should be structured and they should reinforce our vision, our mission and our purpose. And just keep it simple, but have, have structured your meetings, not meeting for meeting sick.

Speaker 1 00:15:22 I love that. And I, and I, especially, that’s what I put in my, my now I jotted down was mission driven. Right. And that’s where I feel like a lot of leaders miss is cause they’re like, oh, we got to have our weekly Tuesday meeting. And it’s just a bunch of bullshit. Um, as opposed to like, what are we really trying to reinforce? Where are we at on our mission? What is the mission? Does everybody understand how they play a role in the mission? And I think that that’s how a lot of people get sideways with their teams quickly. So I love that you brought that up. One of the things that you said, um, that I jotted down here was, you know, off field situations and, you know, as a leader, you know, you’re, you’re a part-time therapist, whether you, you know, yeah. You like it or not. And so how do you help maybe coach people or how do you evaluate what’s enough support versus, you know, too much where you get too involved in somebody’s personal life and kind of talk us about talk to us about that fine line.

Speaker 2 00:16:17 Yeah. So it’s very interesting. So I think there is always room for therapists. Um, obviously as a coach, I’m not a therapist. So I think that there’s a line when, as a leader, when you get to a certain point, it’s like, you’re, you’re encouraging some therapy rather than being, trying to be a therapist. So, you know, having that empathy is important. And I always feel like as a male leader and I work with male and female leaders, but male leaders, we tend to want to just like fix and move forward, fix and move forward. So the person comes to you with an issue. I’ll have so much trouble at home, you know, someone’s ill or I’m having a relationship issue. Okay, cool. Let’s fix it. Let’s get it fixed. That’s how conversation let’s move forward forward. Well, to me that doesn’t actually empower them at all.

Speaker 2 00:16:56 So as a leader effectively, I look at you as a coach. So, you know, leading is coaching and so great coaches, what do they do? They ask questions that empowers the individual to figure the problem themselves, because we’re not coach leaves or that leader leaves. You want to make sure that you can run yourself. You know, you, you can, you’ve got a nap to catch the fish rather than continually going on about how can you get the fish from me, I’m having a challenge. Yeah. So I really think that asking great questions is the way forward. When you hit a brick wall and emotions are really high and you can’t help them through that. That’s when you’ve got to be getting an outside, extra support in whether it’s therapy, psychologist, whatever you want to call it.

Speaker 1 00:17:39 Well, that’s just great. In general, I think asking questions is powerful. You know, just like I, when somebody would come to me with like a, what I’d call a basic question, I would usually just, well, how do you think it should be handled? And, you know, flipping it back on them. And then they like give you the answer. Like, okay, well, there you go. You didn’t need me, you know? Um, no. So a hundred percent on, um, you know, I know one of the things too, that you’re great at. Um, and what’s, your podcast is based on, you know, life on purpose podcast is James’ podcast, which I recommend everybody to check out. This is a serious problem is trying to find some type of purpose fulfillment in life. And I think, you know, especially here, I’ve talked about it before on here. One of the things I’m deeply concerned about the states is the, the, I wouldn’t say the abuse, but the, the need or compulsories to have pharmaceuticals, you know? And, and I, and again, I, and I’ve said this, uh, Hey, kudos to you if you need them, you know, uh, support that. But I think there’s a lot of people that use it as a bandaid or a crutch that could, you know, if I had more purpose or more fulfillment in their life, they wouldn’t need it as much. So kind of walk us through some of the exercises maybe you help clients with and why you even started the podcast in general.

Speaker 2 00:18:52 Yeah, absolutely. Well, look, I think that there’s a lack of purpose. Pandemic, and people are searching for this overarching purpose and they want this one big thing to die for. They want that like mother Teresa moment, that Mahatma Gandhi, right? Like, Hey, I’m going to be doing this one thing for life, but actually that’s not how life works. You have these many purposes throughout different stages. So like for me, I’ve got a five-year-old son right now in my life. That’s my major purpose is being there for him being present, helping guide him, learning about myself through him no seven years ago that wasn’t my purpose. My purpose was building business and helping clients and, you know, get getting ahead and having luxury holidays. My things have changed a lot. So knowing that you don’t have to have one overarching life purpose, I think takes a lot of pressure off and your, your purpose right now, it could be doing your best in your team is for three and a sales team.

Speaker 2 00:19:47 That’s my purpose is to show up and just rock today. That’s a worthy purpose. Now I think we need a personal and a professional purpose. So they could be the same thing, but often they’re different. So when you’re looking at your personal purpose, you want to be asking questions like what keeps me up at night? What makes me sad? What makes me angry? Um, you know, there’s a saying, you know, your, why should make you cry? You know, so what are things when you see it or you read about it. So for me in New Zealand here, believe it or not has the highest teen suicide rate on the planet and has the highest child mortality rate in the planet. And when I look at those things and read some of the horrific stories for an hour, I’m a mess. I get really impacted. I’m like, okay, that’s important to me.

Speaker 2 00:20:34 That’s I need to park that side. And remember when I’m sitting to do my purpose work, that there’s gotta be something that ties into that. That’s, that’s important. So think about things that upset you. They’re not, it could be a family illness, someone, your family, you love got really ill with maybe cancer. Well, think about that and go, could I make a difference and do research and raise money and, you know, ask yourself w what those trigger points are, and that helps you to identify your purpose. And when you talk about, say, pharmaceuticals, I’m with you on this, like, if you need them, take them, but help yourself first set a bit higher standards. Right? What I mean by that is, you know, if, if you’re really struggling and you get the pharmaceuticals and they level your weight, you start moment. Once you’re at that level to go, what could I improve?

Speaker 2 00:21:22 What could I set as a higher standard? You know, am I drinking enough water? Am I getting enough sleep? Am I in my body? Am I meditating? Am I reading good books? Am I hanging out with great people? Like these all sound like basic things that your parents and grandparents told you to do, right? Get more water and your love. You wanna make sure you get your, your veggies and you all, all these things, but we neglect them and we reach for processed crap. We reach for alcohol. When we feel a little bit, like I was a tough day, I deserve a beer. I deserve a wine. We justify these things. We have a vet because it’s healthy compared to smoking, right? We come up with all these justifications. So do yourself a favor. Once you get to this point where you are at that kind of line of say sanity, and you’ve got a bit of joy in your life, make some decisions to care for yourself better because that’s going to help you feel better, look better, live longer.

Speaker 2 00:22:14 All these things, a pill is not going to do that for you. A pill will numb the pin for sure. And there’s some people that, you know, you do need medication or not at all saying, get rid of that stuff. Your doctor can decide that, but you can be doing things to help yourself. And too few people do that. They take the easy route. They lay in bed too long. They go to bed too late. They reach for the cupboard rather than the fridge. So what’s like, let’s look at what our habits are. And then just make minor adjustments.

Speaker 1 00:22:45 You nailed that. Uh, James, I am in agreeance with everything. And I, and I think for me, you know, um, the biggest thing that we’re lacking, uh, around that to me is discipline and, and accountability. You know, it’s just like, man, it’s like, if you’re fat, like it just, I just say what it is, you know, you’re overweight, whatever you want to call it, whatever politically correct term there is nowadays, you know, it’s just because you can control what you put in your fucking mouth. And you know, you know, you control. If you go work out, it’s, you know, all these things you can do to help yourself. Um, but I think, you know, we we’ve become one, a society, a conditioned with instant gratification, and we’re able to validate our excuses and our cultural norms now, uh, validate our inadequacies, our excuses as well. It makes you feel that it’s okay. And it’s a real problem. So, you know, being on that, I know you hadn’t been a disciplined guy to be a, a world champion. Uh, what are some of the things that you helped structure you to continue to

Speaker 2 00:23:45 Disciplined? Yeah, it’s just think so. Some people who knew me well, or like Jesus James, like, come on, you’ve got it. You’ve got to just these up on this or that. But to me, I look at them as excellence is the destination. Discipline is the journey, right? You’re never going to get close to the destination. Everyone just wants the destination. I want to go to the gym January 1st and let’s do it. We’re done for the rest of the year. It’s going to be, we’re going to be there. No, no, no. You sat there. You, your destination, that is the excellence and discipline is the journey. It’s, that’s the way the vehicle that gets you there. And so I think a Serina Williams, right? Fricking amazing athlete, phenomenal athlete, like the best tennis player of all time arguing for 23 grand slam titles, uh, you know, the oldest player to one, so many continue to play that girl, how to baby had major complications, had a pulmonary embolism, had major surgery, nearly died.

Speaker 2 00:24:41 She lost her sister and a gun and shooting her mom and dad got divorced in 2002 she’s back on the court, winning grand slams. Why not? Because she’s special. Not because she was born with talent because she had hunger and discipline. She got to the court, she had great coaches, but she got to the court. He worked out, she did the work. You know what? She’s stronger than most men, her, her coach said her, her physical training coach. He said, um, I worked with Peyton Manning, how the peak of his career on over 30 years, he said, I’ve worked with some of the most mentally tough men and women, but none of Kim close the Serina Williams. So to me, she gets that from discipline. You get, you know, you get success from discipline. You get results from discipline. You get the sale from discipline.

Speaker 2 00:25:28 You don’t lift the phone and go through the script and sat with passion and learn from your mistakes. Well, you don’t get the result. You’ve got to get disciplined at the basics. You got to lift the down phone and make the call or the zoom or whatever it might be or get in front of the client. So for me, discipline is everything. And I often check myself and go, that was a slob kind of behavior there. Cut that out. Right? So I’ll check myself once a week and say, you know, on a scale of one to 10, how committed to my self-discipline am I, that to me is a major pillar of my life. So discipline to me is this discipline is when the alarm goes off, I get out of the damn bed. It’s not snooze snooze. That’s a slob mentality, right? That’s like a telling myself conscious mind, Hey, that’s hit snooze on your life.

Speaker 2 00:26:14 Let’s hit snooze on our dreams. Sleep is more important. So getting out of bed, that’s discipline meditating in the morning. That’s discipline. Why just focuses my mind. And I’m not sitting on a mountain top as a monthly massage. It’s very practical visualizations. It’s drinking the water. It’s eating a really great breakfast. It’s looking at my son’s eyes and being like, what are you excited for today? Did it’s driving into school that 30 minutes and letting him be their DJ and singing along with all of his songs. That’s discipline. It’s when he goes to bed at night, it’s getting my laptop or my iPad or my journal and finishing off stuff that didn’t get done during the day I’m preparing for tomorrow. It’s eight o’clock at night. When I want some pretzels that I go have a glass of peppermint tea first, then see how you feel about the pretzels. It’s the basics. And do I do all the time? Hell no. Sometimes I screw up. Yes. Where my stress levels alphabet. Am I a little weaker? Yes. And that’s stuff that I continually work on. That’s why I do evaluate myself constantly because I know I’m going to slip up. I’m a bloody human, so it’s about going, okay. You’re slipping up. Get back to the basics, get that discipline up. And to me when I’ve been more disciplined, I’ve been more successful in all areas of my life. Yeah.

Speaker 1 00:27:33 All right. No, I agree with that sediment. And I love that you take some time to reevaluate, you know, how you’ve been throughout the week and to recognize that, you know, I wasn’t a hundred percent here. I didn’t give a hundred percent, you know, you know, if you eat pretzels, it’s in pretzels, you know? Uh, but it, but it is good to look at those little things and that’s, for me, why meditation people always start, same thing. I’m like, obviously, while you can’t see I’m wearing a hoodie, I’m a, you know, I’m a big tatted guy. You know, you don’t think of me is like getting up and meditating every day. But I do it because it allows me more in the moment to recognize that like, yeah, dude, this is, this is not going to serve your higher purpose. Like, you know, this is not what you’re here for and I can catch it more frequently. Um, in a moment, how long have you been meditating for

Speaker 2 00:28:19 Probably about six years. That’s awesome. I would say it’s 90% hit rate, you know, it’s five, six days a week. Sometimes it’s twice a day, but it depends if I’m in a stage where I’m really trying to focus on a big goal and I’m feeling frustrated on meditate morning on night, 40, 30 to 40 minutes at a time, if I’m in a really good flow state and I’m not really stressing, should it just be once in the morning,

Speaker 1 00:28:44 That’s excess and excellent routine. And isn’t that amazing. I heard a sod sod guru talking about not necessarily meditation, but he was talking about how, like you were saying earlier, sometimes we’ll reach for the glass of wine or the beer or here, you know, some people cannabis or you know, their, their, their vape or whatnot. And, and he goes, why would you want to dull your mind? You know, why would you want to Dole yourself? That’s not how you were intended to be. I could see maybe, you know, if you’re like chilling with a shaman or something and you wanna, you know, go see little green elves and I get it. But, um, you know, but to do it on the regular, that’s when you should, Hey, I’m feeling something anxious, go sit for 20 minutes, go sit for 30 minutes. Be with that thought, be with that feeling I think is powerful. As opposed to, like, you’re saying, just nominate what the glass of wine. Cause guess what? When the buzz wears off, the fucking problem is still there. Yeah.

Speaker 2 00:29:34 Right. Your ability to dig with it is diminished because you’re hung over and your energy levels are lower,

Speaker 1 00:29:39 Right. Inflammation of the body, but all kinds of stuff going on, James. Um, so talk to us a little bit about your mastermind group. What do you guys do in that?

Speaker 2 00:29:49 Yeah, so a mastermind for this past year kicked off and January, and so brought together just 10, 10 individuals. So it’s a small, small mastermind and all different backgrounds that said diverse industry, diverse mastermind. So I had the captain of the all blacks, uh, soundbite lock. I had someone who ran a top finance company, uh, someone who’s in real estate, someone who’s got attack companies, all different people, bring them together. And essentially it’s about using the power of the mastermind to help each individual lead better and support the communities, build their businesses. So we meet once a month and this first mastermind was in person. Everyone was based here in New Zealand. So we’ll get together in person. And each time that we meet there’s a hot seat. And so the individual will show up and be like, Hey, I’m trying to go from this to this.

Speaker 2 00:30:38 Here’s my biggest problem. Not sure what to do. And the part of the mastermind is that people can then ask clarifying questions, deepening questions, acknowledgement, then share experiences. So it’s not necessarily, Hey, you need to do this. It’s Hey, here’s what I’ve done. And here’s how it worked in my industry. And here’s some contacts, but here’s some resources. And if you want any support with it, you let me know. So building up power base, they’re getting great results for the individuals. And at the end of the mastermind, we flew down to Queenstown, which is probably the equivalent of Las Vegas, uh, um, combined with like a Yellowstone. It’s kind of like incredible.

Speaker 1 00:31:20 That is a wild image. I’m picturing right now.

Speaker 2 00:31:25 That’s phenomenal. So the 10 of us went down there and I invited in our former prime minister, which is the equivalent of the president of the United States or by him. And he came in for the day and we had lots of fun. We did an official kind of podcast. Then we had a very informal Q and a, then we all got on yachts and helicopters and up into the snow and had a great time. Just guys bonding, having fun. Next one, what will be for men and women? It’s not necessarily just for guys, but we got together and essentially just getting together to brainstorm and mastermind, to help each other level up, help each other, hold each other accountable. I’m bringing someone in like John Key. I mean, he started off before they get prime minister. He, uh, said to his mom when he was seven years old, I want to become a millionaire.

Speaker 2 00:32:11 And they were from a very poor family, single mother. Um, she escaped Austria, um, during that whole incredible Hoff, awful time of OSHA visits. And so she, she got out and started by herself here in Christchurch, raise these three kids. He says, I’m going to become a millionaire. And then I’m going to be prime minister. And she went good on your son. You know, I’ve got golf before. And what does he do? He gets into investment banking, ends up on wall street that heads, the London makes mega millions learns how the works learns, how business works, comes back and runs the country like a legend. So it’s not bringing someone like him in is so valuable because he’s walked the path that many other people want to walk, not necessarily a big prime minister, but in terms of running business and running a successful life and being a good present father. So it’s just that it’s a great way to bring people together, either get huge value for them and lifelong connection. Yeah.

Speaker 1 00:33:02 I love it. I think it’s a great, uh, something that I’ve not been great at doing myself, um, is just having that, that kind of go-to group. Uh, but it’s one of the, one of the big takeaways, you know, think and grow rich, um, that Napoleon hill talks about is having that mastermind group. So I just, I love that you’re doing that. Um, that’s fantastic. One of the keywords you just hit on this a second ago is father. And I just curious, what’s been your biggest lesson and takeaway as a father,

Speaker 2 00:33:30 As a dad, um, just look it up. And right now I’m a little boy or, um, it’s just presence being incredibly present and you know, the word gratitude. Sometimes I hear it and I roll my eyes and everyone talks a big gratitude hashtag blast. But when you look at your son, it’s like, shit, I’m grateful. I’m still grateful. And sometimes I’ll be sleeping and I’ll go in and just look and be like, hi, amazing is this, I get to be a dad in this lifetime. So there’s just a real, a deep set sense of gratitude and you’ll laugh, but he knows how to push my buttons better than anyone. And I’m learning a lot about patience. I’m learning a lot of mental mastery, emotional mastery, the stuff that I work on with my clients, I get to like work on with myself because of my son.

Speaker 2 00:34:24 So, you know, I think it’s just a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation of my dad, appreciation of my granddad. You know, what they’ve done to help raise me how they were patient with me, how they disciplined me, you know, back then I, I remember getting a smack on the ass right now. If I did that, I’d be in big trouble, but I got many smacks on the ass and didn’t do me good. Hell yes. I knew that. So there’s gratitude, there’s appreciation joy and there’s challenge. You know, that there’s so many things when I think of father.

Speaker 1 00:34:56 Yeah, no I, no, I love it. It’s uh, I think you’re definitely right. I, I, especially with my, my youngest, I have two boys that are five and seven and, um, my, my younger one is five and my wife says he’s like a mirror image of me. Right. But he’s the one that frustrates me. It frustrates me the most that I have to like have the most patients with. But I think it’s more of like, it’s a mere reflection of the things I don’t like within myself that I’m trying to help him fix and overcome. So he’s been like such a blessing in a sense. He has been probably one of my greatest teachers of the shit that I need to, I need to look at and, and BICS were my, my other guy’s kinda like, he’s my, uh, he’s my ride or die. My seven-year-old, he’s constantly by my side, but we’re very different. And a lot of ways he’s very stoic. He’s not, he’s not a emotional or sensitive like me and my younger one is he’s a lot more like my wife. And so it’s an interesting dynamic, but they both have taught me. Yeah. Well, thank you for sharing that. Um, to kind of wrap it up here, James, you know, one of the things I wanted to ask you is of course, where can we find your podcast? Where can we find, I know you’ve written a book or two, right?

Speaker 2 00:36:03 Yeah, that’s right. So you find me through the life on purpose podcast with James Laughlin, it’s on anywhere you listen to your podcasts and apple, Spotify, whatever, and Instagram is a great place to connect socially. So James Laughlin official also for those of you who are in sales and the business world, I just hooked me up on LinkedIn, uh, James Laughlin. And in terms of books, CSR byte eight years ago, nine years ago, wrote a book called our journey. And it was, uh, I interviewed 45 world champions, the best of the best drummers. And I’m asking her, how did you do it? What was your story? What were obstacles? What were your success formulas? And they’re just sharing their journeys. And it’s a big old coffee table book. Um, you know, it’s something you sit there and pop on the coffee table and read through and flip through. So that was great. Um, I’ve also been working on a book on fatherhood and I’ve been interviewing high-performing fathers. So all different types of people, you know, CEOs of top airlines, uh, prep, presidents, prime ministers, uh, um, a guy Vader chart, show me north Americans may be familiar with him, uh, Evan Carmichael and other north American

Speaker 1 00:37:08 Leader.

Speaker 2 00:37:09 Yeah. So just talking to them about fatherhood and careers and how you balance really driven career while still being a good dad. Yeah. And we want to be proud of that and you’ll be at the end of our journey when a career’s over going, what’s that good that, you know, maybe I wasn’t the best dad in the world, but what’s that good dad? And so the book is all around the different pillars of fatherhood and work and how they have to check.

Speaker 1 00:37:33 I love that. It’s so important. I’ve talked about it a few times on here. Uh, but you know, a lot of us end up becoming a one or two dimensional and, and really, you know, work driven. And so it is really important to have that perspective of, um, you know, it’s, we’re so impactful and the things that got imprinted on us to be able to recognize and imprint differently. Um, you know, and the things that we didn’t like and the good things that we did, we did like, you know, to your point earlier, uh, so beautiful. I can’t wait to read that. Honestly. I’ve got a whole nother podcast. You don’t know this, uh, where I do book reviews called the book Legion. Yeah. So I have to have to give that one a review when it comes out, James, um, James, any advice for partying words for everybody?

Speaker 2 00:38:14 No, just be true to yourself. Be kind and, you know, go forth and do what you love doing. And you’ve got a short blink of an eye called life. There’s going to make the most of it. You never know when it’s over. So get out there and live life on purpose.

Speaker 1 00:38:27 Love it. Thank you. Thanks for your time today, James. I appreciate it.

Speaker 2 00:38:30 Great to connect. Hey, thanks a million for having us. Absolutely.

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