best coaching

Coach Krzyzewski’s Best Coaching Practices for Sports and Business

When many people think of coaches, they automatically think about those who coach in sports. However, those of us who are entrepreneurs know that there’s all kinds of coaches. Back when I first published this post on December 18, 2011, I had recently done a comparison of sports coaches and whether or not their practices transferred well to professional coaches. One such comparison I think transfers well was “Lombardi Time”. Today I think of it as “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.”

So, to make sure you’re on time ALL the time when you’re trying to make a good impression – set that clock for 10 minutes ahead!

Another sports coach that we can get a lot of takeaways from is coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke Basketball.

There’s been a number of people through the years who have studied the mindset and habits he forms with his players.

Here are a few that I think are notable.

Coach K’s Practices:

Overall Mindset:

“Why do you play a game? I play a game to see how good we can be.”

Slightly different than the mindset of coach Herm Edwards who responded to this question with the infamous quote “You play to win the game!”. One might think that these are the same thing, but they’re slightly different. Personally I would mix these two quotes into something like “I play a game to see how good we can be in winning the game!!”

Why is this first part of important? Because if your foundation isn’t strong, then winning games becomes almost luck at times. Other times you might try and win by not being completely moral about the way you got there. Many believe that as long as you’re “winning” it doesn’t matter how you get there. Heck, that might as well be a Charlie Sheen quote.

Interestingly, that’s probably why his whole situation was amusing to all of us. It showed us as a society that “winning” is almost cliche. That we all, at one time or another, don’t care how we win – just as long as we do.

On Defense:

A sign prominent in the Duke locker room: NO ONE PENETRATES OUR DEFENSE.

In the world of college basketball, defense is key to winning games. If you build your team based on playing good defense, then you won’t be scored on and you won’t give the opposing time at the line throwing free throws. Defense is more important than offense, it would seem.

“He’s coaching like he’s defending the most precious thing in the world to him, and he does everything with the passion you would as if your were defending the most precious thing in the world to you,” said Steve Wojciechowski, a former Duke player (1995-98) and now a Krzyzewski assistant.

And they are – they are defending the standards of their program. Chances are when they lose games, it’s probably that they were beat by a better team and/or they didn’t play good defense. The Blue Devils place equal stress on keeping opponents off the line. Krzyzewski considers that a “critical” aspect of playing intelligent basketball. His teams practice situations in which they have six fouls and must strive to play tough defense without incurring a seventh that would put the opposition on the line with a one-on-one opportunity.

On Offense:

Duke is known for getting to the foul line on offense, often attacking the basket with dribble penetration. For many teams that they face, this is probably a great concern. But that’s just scratching the surface. Coach K. says, “I have a plan of action, but the game is a game of adjustments. Our offense is based on thinking. If you can really think on the court, then you have as much freedom as your abilities will allow you. What you try to do is create roles for your players. Not numbered roles or titled positions, but you try to say, ‘Look, here is where you’re successful, now in this frame of reference you can do whatever the defense allows you, so read the defense.”

In true leadership, this is knowing what the strengths of your players are and putting them in the team accordingly. Put them in a position where their natural abilities let them excel. As a coach/leader, we need to recognize these natural talents early on so we don’t waste time forcing a square peg in a round hole. However, there’s nothing wrong with rounding the edges of the square peg just a bit to help them be more flexible. Just don’t expect them to be as good as a natural in that position.

On Recruiting:

That last point brings up another good one. Back in my LTD days, I remember my upline Greg and the other Diamonds on the team talking about how they got the chance to watch Duke practices on an annual basis. One thing that stuck out to me that Greg mentioned was that the best coaches aren’t necessarily the greatest at coaching. They’re just really great at recruiting. Great coaches find talent that want to get to the next level. It limits the amount of conflict that occurs between the “players” and the coach. “I don’t need to necessarily be a great coach to my players,” said Greg. “I just got really good at picking good talent that make me look good!”

Other Quotes for You to Think About:

Here’s a few handpicked quotes that I think are pertinent to building a winning mindset and positive habits.

“I don’t think we surprise people. We try to out-execute them.”
-Coach K

“Last year, I said I wonder where we’ll put the second banner. We’ve got to find out, don’t we? I’m probably stupid for saying this, but I wonder where a third one might go.”
-Coach K

“The best teams are teams in any sport that lose themselves in the team. The individuals lose their identity. And their identities come about as a result of being in the team first.”
-Coach K

“You can’t defer if you’re the person who’s in the leadership position.”
-Coach K

“I think leadership is never singular. In a good organization, it’s plural.”
-Coach K


Action Steps

Love him or hate him, you gotta admit that Coach K is a great coach. He’s written several books that I’m a fan of. If you want a good book of his that I read a few years back, check out Leading from the Heart. If you liked the quotes, I got them specifically from a book called Coach K’s Little Blue Book. While it’s an older one, I highly recommend checking it out if you’re a sports fan and like applying successful principles into your life.

I’m not the biggest of basketball fans, but I really respect Coach K’s philosophy. To me it seems that having the structure that he gives his teams is the number one reason they do so well. I think that any coach that takes some of his style of coaching is setting their players or clients up for success.

If you’re a coach, how could you implement this into how you interact with those you’re working with? If you’re already having success as a coach, what kind of success principles have you been using to get your people to perform as well as they have?

learning process

5 Checkpoints to Expect In Your Learning Process

Back in March of 2011, I decided that I was going to become part of the John Maxwell Team. This was a big deal for me at the time as I felt that it was going to be a good way for me to get out of the funk of losing Mom. At this point, it had been just a couple of months and I figured “Hey, I’m not getting any younger. I better commit to growing myself as a professional so I’m not stuck where I am.”

Needless to say, getting started with JMT propelled me in the direction that would eventually lead me to a good part of the network that I have, including Brawn Lide, who was my roommate for the week long training at the end of the program.

Anyhow, I wanted to share with you guys a little bit from what I was thinking as of April 3rd of 2011 as I officially started off on this new journey. Hopefully it will do two things for you: 1.) Give you courage to spend money to invest in yourself. 2.) Don’t have expectations of being great at the beginning of any new venture or experience.

So I’m finally starting the John Maxwell Certification Program. And I gotta say, after the first week of “class”, I’m impressed. The faculty is spot on. I really feel that this is a capstone program to my OLS studies. One that will get me to the next big thing – being a certified Exec and Life coach.

However, when I first signed up for the program, I kept asking myself “why did I just spend as much as I did on something that I have plenty of info around me on?” I knew I could eventually get to where I wanted to be by just reading book upon book that were recommended to me through LTD. This has worked pretty well for me already.

Then it occurred to me. The reason that I did jump into the program because it IS a program that has it’s own curriculum. It’s not a collection of “best practices”. It’s a program where the faculty actually are with you step by step through the curriculum. There are even Q&A sessions. Even though it’s extra work that I’ll need to be doing and I’ll be grading myself based on what I get out of the program, this is basically how I worked in all my years in school. Everyone starts on the same level and ends up with the same outcome. I love that it’s a level playing field. I’m just down right excited!

Putting It Into Action

One of the things that has seemed to be a underlying generality about LTD and what this program has taught me so far is that “growth” does give you quite a bit in the end. Most of the time, however, I think that both are referring mostly to the growth we go through in the process of self discovery.

While a particular event might motivate you to do something, it’s only the process that matures you – that grows you. An event happens in a day while the process happens daily. And simply put, the person who has grown the most will attract others to him. The ones that have matured the most will have more meaningful relationships than those that haven’t, including romantic relationships and clients (if those are what you’re seeking).

So what am I talking about?

I’m just saying that if you want ANYTHING to change for you in life, it’s not going to change on it’s own. You need to put the effort and work in. You ought to keep an open mind. Learn to ask the big questions. Read the books you need to read. You need to do the reflecting. In fact, you might just see your life going in reverse if you don’t do these things.

Checkpoints in Your Learning Process

If you are wanting to improve in something, here are some key checkpoints that can apply to any learning process:

1.) “I don’t know what I don’t know.”

Yes, that sounds dumb at first glance, but it’s a nice way of saying that people are ignorant about something until they actually start realizing that an alternate path exists.

2.) “I know that I need to know.”

This point comes into play when you start realizing that you need to know more about a particular subject that might help you out. If you do search for more information, make sure that the source is credible and not some anonymous source that can easily be a Joe Schmoe that hasn’t been greatly successful in their life. A lot of people put their trust in people they’ve never even met on the net vs someone they can actually get bodily communication from. Why would you do that? Are they really an expert? Just make sure you do a good “Lit Review” of the material out there on any given subject as you’re starting out. It’s better to have a consensus of 10 anonymous people on the web, two people you’ve met, and checking out wikipedia vs only asking 2 people that might have some knowledge.

3.) “I know what I don’t know.”

This stage occurs when you start realizing that there actually are people out there that have been successful with something that you want to do or been curious about using a method that you don’t know much about. This is when you start formulating your strategy for your own growth based on what these others have talked about.

4.) “I know and grow – it starts to show.”

After determining the changes you need to make and taking the advice of others who have been successful in doing something you want to do, you have put the plan into motion and small results are starting to show. This is also known as the “action yields results yields belief which in turn yields action again stage”.

5.) “I simply go because of what I know.”

At this point, the action is second nature to you. You simply do something because you know it has a better outcome then what the alternative is because you’ve seen both sides of the coin.

The more you know… the more you grow!

Action Steps

As I’ve been going down this entrepreneurial path for sometime after writing this post (already 7 years!), I have to say that the words of this post make so much more to me now than I’m thinking it back then. I understand the words on a much deeper level.

For example, the podcast. Would I have done things a bit differently if I was to relaunch the show? Sure. Would I have named it something else? Ha. Perhaps.

But it is what it is. We can’t expect to be perfect right out of the gate. It’s not fair to us or the people that we’re going to help with our work. As we move forward in our craft, we learn that it’s not necessarily about the craft, it’s about the people.

Or as Shawn Askionsie said in his book Meaningful Work: A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul, “It’s not about the chocolate, it’s about the chocolate.” Meaning his business isn’t just about making chocolate, it’s about the relationships he’s built in his direct trade based business.

I’m curious, guys. What’s some things you’ve picked up during your time as you’ve been working on your meaningful work? What are some things that you wouldn’t have known before you started working on whatever it is you’re doing? How did it help you grow as a person?

mlm network marketing

The Truth About Network Marketing: Should Your First Business be with a Multi-Level Marketing Company?

As many of you might know, I officially started my journey into entrepreneurship through Amway and LTD. It was where I had the opportunity to learn the true entrepreneurial mindset, learn more about what freedom really is, and even more about what this country is all about. I also got to meet great go-getters that I plan on bringing onto the podcast from time to time.

While I might not have gotten great financial results from being in it, I’m glad that I was able to absorb the knowledge and influence. Without that experience, I really don’t know where I’d be today. Maybe a teacher or engineer somewhere. I’m really not quite sure.

What I do know is that what I’m doing today allows me to utilize what I found out about myself when I was active in Amway. I realized that I do like to teach, coach, and work on a team.

However, I also realized some of the things that I wasn’t so great at as well. One of those things was to scrape off the negative connotation that comes with the industry. I just found it too difficult to constantly fight through that stigma. I hated being in “one of those things”.

So in this post, I’m going to utilize a list of Pro and Cons that was inspired from the Fizzle forums and give them my personal touch. They are items that the original author (Tony Rush – who’s earned well over $100k in a single month) and I have learned about through working in our groups (and what I’ve found out since I was active) and hopefully it will allow you to make a better choice if joining a group and company is good for you!


Build on a Shoestring Budget / Low Barrier to Entry:

As with an online business, you really don’t have to have that much money to start. Of course the more skills you bring to the table (sales skills specifically), the better off you’ll do from the get go. (In the online business world, the more technical skills you have, the more things you don’t have to pay others to do.)

Can (Should?) be a Part Time Endeavour:

While starting a traditional business is definitely time intensive, doing an MLM isn’t nearly as bad. In fact, because they’re designed for you to bring more people into the group as opposed to just sales, it’s almost foolish to not have a job as you’re getting started. Building your army of distributors takes time!

Team Game:

The more people you bring into your team, the more you’ll win. Period. That said, don’t rely on one person that you bring into your team to do all the recruiting. You won’t get rewarded for that. It’s not how it works.

Personal Development:

Your “Upline” has your best interest at heart. If you do well, they do well. So they’re going to want you to be as great as you can in all areas of your life – not just in bringing in money. The more stable your life is in the business, the more stable their life is. The more business skills you have, the less work they have to do in your line of sponsorship (LoS).

Learn about Real Freedom:

Somewhere in your upline there will be people who have really made it. These people live celebrity lifestyles without the worry of having to dodge paparazzi. With the ability to see and learn from these folks directly or from team events, this is often the first time that many people honestly see that they don’t have to work a 9 to 5. For many people who might be familiar with online business, they might also realize that they have better skills to perform in the MLM arena because they don’t have to have “technical” skills to do the work there.

True Passive Income:

Real Freedom comes from being paid over and over for work you did once. That’s the whole idea of passive income. If you become a sponsoring machine in your first two years in business and you do well in your own personal circle of sales (selling to people you know), you have really the main ingredients to be successful at any MLM. You build your group and help others build theirs. It’s really that simple. If you can’t do these two main activities, you’re going to have problems in having true success. (If building courses and creating other content is more your thing, then I HIGHLY recommend going the online route. This is definitely more my strong suit!)

Don’t have to handle Customer Support:

Again, your job is twofold: selling and coaching. You sell the idea of the business to prospects and the products to customers. You coach downline to do the same thing.

What your job doesn’t consist of is having to worry about invoices, returns, shipping, and other merchant issues. Totally the opposite of having your own online retail store.

Built-in Community:

There was a saying that I learned in my LTD days that I still use with online business making. You’re in business for yourself, but you’re not by yourself. In an MLM, this is particularly true. Again, you’re upline and downline both want you to succeed. When you succeed, they look good and are more likely to have success.

However, you can find plenty of community to help your online business as well these days. There’s plenty of Mega Groups on Facebook as well as paid membership sites like Fizzle. Heck, many courses that are out there these days have a group as part of the bonus for enrolling!


So now that we’ve looked at the things that I think are great about MLM’s, let’s look at the issues that I saw when I was active.

Low Barrier of Entry:

This is on both lists because there are simply some folks who shouldn’t be in business – period. They don’t know how to invest in themselves and/or their business. They’re consumers through and through and only take. You don’t want these kinds of people on your team and taking up your time as a coach.

Little or no Autonomy: Remember how I was talking about Freedom up above? Well, there is a catch to that. When it comes to your business, you usually have very little or no freedom when it comes to prices of products, what your online portal (“website”) looks like, marketing materials, and how customers are interacted with from the customer support side. You’re essentially a freelance salesperson/coach. Unless you make the board of one of these companies (which is possible in Amway), your thoughts on the business are not going to be anything more than feedback.

This personally drives me CRAZY.

Stigma of being in “one of those things” or a Pyramid Scheme: Yeah, I hate having to fight this. So many people believe that MLM’s are pyramid schemes. Heck, I’ve known a few people that would even go out of their way and tell others that I was in a pyramid scheme. Simply this aspect of being in an MLM can make life and the work you’re trying to do uncomfortable – even if you have all the best intentions in the world.

Not all MLM’s are created equal:

Some MLM’s like Amway have been around for awhile. Amway, itself, has been around for 50+ years. However, most MLM’s come and go as quickly as a summer storm. So one of the things that you’ll want to make sure you do is kick the tires if you’re thinking of joining a particular group and/or company. Find out how long they’ve been around. If they’ve been around for awhile, then you should be good. If they’ve only been around a handful of years or less, then check out the fruit on the trees. Are the leaders where you want to be? Do they have high morals or do they give you a feeling of being used car salesfolk?

This is a really important thing you check out!!

Commitment Levels Vary:

You might be completely jacked to start your new business. However, not everyone is going to be as excited as you are. You might sponsor some people who simply get started because you’re the most confident people they know. There might be people you sponsor who put more work into building this thing right away and then vanish all of a sudden. It’s probably because they’ve found the next shiny object project.

A Cult-like Experience:

Again, for many people, this might be the first time that many people have ever been exposed to self improvement material. At first, it feels unnatural that all of these people are constantly talking positively about life. For me, it was just weird.

Once you get past this, though, and you realize that there are all kinds of people in the group, you’ll find that there’s not many places like this in the rest of the world. In our perspective, this is great! It solidifies our interest in the group because we feel that it was the group that gave us this new understanding of the world.

In the perspective of the people that we’ve been around up until we joined the group, we might be changing in a way that they’re not comfortable with.

So, when those people, who might be life long friends or spouses, criticize the MLM, trouble might be brewing. The folks who are on the outside “just don’t understand” from the perspective on the member. From the outside, the member is drifting further away.

From what I’ve found out, this is entirely from a lack of communication. It’s completely unnecessary for relationships to get to this point. However, they do and I think you should be aware of it.


It might sound that I’m being ungrateful of my experience. However, it’s the contrary. I really enjoyed my active years and it really helped me change for the better.

The thing is that I don’t think many people see both sides of MLM like I do. Once you get in it, and if it’s really the only thing you’ve experienced, you might find it hard to leave. Or, if you’re like people I know that have built their fortune on it alone, then you can’t explore things outside of it due to risk of losing what you’ve built.

Ultimately, these are some of the reasons why I ultimately focused more on building New Inceptions.

However, not everyone minds these limitations. If what you’re passionate isn’t going to bring in the resources for you to continue to pursue it, then perhaps you should consider being involved with a MLM company. Simply think of them as a vehicle for you to bring in income that allows you to engage in your passion more.

Action Steps:

If you’re interested in getting into Amway, checking it out, and being shown the ropes, I’d be more than happy to sponsor you. The products are great and there’s plenty of people who aren’t Independent Business Owners (IBOs) and want to use the products as well. The last I checked, the buy in is around $63. However, you can get larger starter packages that have sample products at a discounted rate.

Also, Maria is in various ones herself. Each group has it’s own products. One is insurance focused, another is jewelry based, and yet another is health food based.

Connect with us if you’re interested to see if any of the lines that we’re involved with might be a solution for you!

For further information about MLM’s and network marketing, there’s a great podcast session with Michael O’Neal that I think you might want to listen to. The MLM he’s involved with is Isagenix. This particular interview features him in a conversation with David Wood at a dinner table at Joe’s Crab Shack. David is a multi-multi-millionaire in Isagenix and you can get connected with his brand here.

They talk more than just MLM, however. They also talk real estate and the entrepreneurial mindset as well. A well rounded great talk. The best advice towards MLM starts just after the 57 mark. However, the conversation is great after the 34 minute mark.

Also, David mentions an interview of Tony Robbins in there as well talking about Network Marketing. Here’s that interview:

So, I think that’s a good start. Let me know if you have any further questions regarding this topic below. Those of you who have seen some success in an MLM in the past – whether financial or not – let me know about your experience too!

Understanding Passive Income as Organic Earnings

In my last podcast session with Matt Bernstein, one of the nuggets of information he dropped (among MANY) was that he first heard of passive income from the same book I did, Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. The main difference was that he read it when he was young and I read it when I was starting college.

I was already heading towards getting my first degree when I read the book in 2002. My workload as an engineering student was pretty massive, but I’ve been in the search of ways for it to work ever since then. Why wouldn’t I be? To me, it’s the answer of old adage ‘What? Do you think that money grows on trees?’.


Passive income should really be called “organic earnings”. Not because they’re earnings picked from a tree, mind you, but because they are earnings that are based on how well we set ourselves up to sell something automatically. We simply have to let either word of mouth and/or online business nature take it’s course. It doesn’t matter if we personally do an additional hour of work, we’re not going to be paid any more for that one hour directly. Indirectly, however, we might get paid over and over again.

What I’ve found through 13 years of investigation and research, are a few things I really want to share with you guys today.

Passive Income Creates Options

Working on developing passive income opens up the potential for a whole new lifestyle that most would only dream of living. As they say in LTD, eventually you can have 6 Saturdays and a Sunday every week if you work on your business like a business and not a hobby.

If you want to travel somewhere – you could, with no reservations (no pun intended). Get up, buy a ticket, and go without packing. Get some clothes when you get there!

If you have some work to do, you can simply do it from the internet. All you would need is your laptop (or just an internet cafe), and your online business could still be up and running. This is exactly what Cam (from session 8) and Ginger (from session 20) do on their travels.

If travel to travel isn’t your thing, then you have other options. Perhaps you simply want to be at the gym or out on the golf range at any time you want. Or maybe, you just want the opportunity to go to any sports games you’d want. If you’re big into entertainment, you can potentially create a man cave for a king!

Or, if you’re like my wife, Maria, you could work somewhere you love that maybe doesn’t pay you a supporting wage (or you could even volunteer), and your passive income could pick up the slack.

It really depends on you and your ambitions!

If you can Share it Online, it can be a Source of Passive Income.

Any business that you do online can help you create passive income. At AMS, one of the things I struggled to do was figure out how to create passive income for the company. While we were mainly online, our events were TOTALLY not. All registrations were online, true, but our registrants had to actually come to our events. So, just like a brick and mortar store, our ability to provide value to people was based on our geographical location.

In 2016, however, we have started implementing Virtual Races. In the first race we had being virtual as an option, we had 93 registrants from all over the US. While many might wonder, “What’s the point of doing a race if you’re not at the actual location of the event?” in 2016, we should realize that many people run for the gear they get from the event. It’s their proof that they did the event. Virtual Races are considered passive income sources because all you have to do is make the event and you can theoretically sell as many entries as possible.

Likewise, one of our upcoming guests, David Picciuto, is what many of us would consider a Maker. When we think of a Maker, we typically think physical products that are limited and typically sold in a geographical region. Typically, you’d be right. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case either. In fact, in our upcoming chat, we’ll explore how his site,, where he shares with others how they can build things he’s built… and other topics related to doing what he’s done.

Another example of something that isn’t typically thought of being a passive income business, is being an artist. However, if you’re an artist and want to generate passive income, then one idea might be to do teach while they’re creating their work similar to how Bob Ross taught on his show for so many years. (And, in fact, whoever owns his brand now, has made a passive income site based on his teaching.)

Passive Income Doesn’t Come Cheap

However, let’s be clear that true passive income isn’t for free. In fact, earning a passive income simply isn’t a “get rich quick” idea. It takes some time, a bit of research and probably a little bit of luck too (although I like to say you can create your own luck), in order to get to a point where you’re comfortable saying you have a successful passive income creating business.

It’s about putting in the hard work now, so you can reap the benefits later. – Pat Flynn

Action Steps

Are you really serious about getting started on your path to developing passive income for yourself? If so, then you ought to think about what type of business you want and get on starting to make it. Not only that, but why?

Do you want it to…

  • Be side income on the side of your day job?
  • Be able to quit a job that you dislike?
  • Work On a project that you’re passionate about?
  • Be financially free?

This is part of what you should consider.

There are multiple resources around the web that I spoke of in this post. However, stay tuned for our very own resource that will combine the best thoughts of all these resources (and others) coming soon!

Comments are welcome below and check out Bob Ross’ site if you haven’t yet or not sure who he was. He was a great inspiration to my creativity as a kid!

AoL 023: Recognizing the Delusion of Passion: Helping Millennials find True Personal Freedom with Mark Nathan

“Being financially free. What a goal. Man, if we could only be financially free, we wouldn’t have to work!”

Has said many a millennial entrepreneur as they set out on their first business.

I know that was the case for me when I first fell into entrepreneurship. Just like, I’m sure, anyone else that has read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Those of us who have read Robert Kiyosaki’s work knows that ideally we want to have as many passive income streams as we can. In fact, he says that one of the easiest ways to build passive income is get started with a direct sales company or MLM.

So, in 2006, that’s what I did. Shortly there after, I met a guy who was quickly rising in the ranks of success in my group. Someone that inspired me quite a bit to leave the shell of an engineer behind.

That someone was this session’s guest, Mark Nathan. Mark has been financially free since 2009 and has worked his tail off to get there. Over the years, the speeches that I have seen him do and the videos that I have seen him in have made me realize that doing what he’s done is possible… and that anyone can do what he’s done. Like Pat Flynn, he’s a very relatable guy and a teacher at heart. But he won’t back away from giving you some tough love.

Recently, Mark has been using his financial freedom to help other startups in the Chicago area get off the ground. And I assume, that one of the things he’s realized is that a lot of us Millennials think that what we want is going to come easy to us. (I mean, why wouldn’t it? So many of us have only ever had to be in school… and that was relatively a cake walk!)

Well, that reason is why a lot of us fail at projects we set out to do. We simply don’t realize all the hardships that we’re going to face to achieve what we want to achieve.

So, to help us get the right state of mind of what it takes to succeed, he and his co-author, David Anderson, wrote their first book: The Delusion of Passion – Why Millennials Struggle to Find Success. Who better to give us struggling Millennials a little tough love than a fellow Millennial who’s reached the Summit?

In today’s talk, Laila and I talk with Mark about his ups and downs in business, what being financially free means to him, and what he and his wife do with their “extra” time.


  • What he learned about business early in his career during his time at Loyola.
  • What Mark and his wife do with their freedom (including getting on Family Feud).
  • His experiences in theatre, including starting a film festival.
  • His thoughts on developing a direct sales/MLM business and how to build one successfully.
  • What Financial Freedom means to him.
  • Where the idea for his book came from.
  • Some of the way’s he’s “embraced the suck” to get to where he’s at.
  • What mentorship has meant to him over his career.
  • How to make reliable partners out of followers.
  • …and MUCH more.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.




First Tip for Beginning Entrepreneurs

Meredith joins in talking about the Law of Resistance:

Mark’s brother, Father Matt, meets Steve Harvey:

You can tell that Mark and his family lead an Upgraded Life!

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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Four Systematized Business Building Resources Which Will Help You Find Clarity in Your Work

The world tends to mistake desire for clarity.  When people talk in a no-nonsense way, it’s often mistaken for aggression. Getting aggressively engaged with your future will bring you clarity.

In a world of much chaos and huge differences in “factual” information, it’s pretty easy to get confused in what we want out of life. We spend so much time figuring out who we are, that many times we forget the actual process that we’ve taken to get to that point.

We forget that not everyone has had our struggles. We forget others don’t have our same background. And many times, we see the strengths that we’ve developed as no big deal.

Many of us, while we know we’re good at things, simply don’t choose to capitalize on those experiences and strengths. Many times believing that we have to emulate someone else to be considered “successful”.

But that’s simply not the case.

When we look at many of our favorite successful people, we might have different ideas of what made them succeed. It’s easy for us to think, “Oh yeah, that guy is a product of the system they’re in!” or “she was just lucky,” or my favorite, “dude, he simply has extraordinary talent”.

But, from successful person’s perspective, are those the true secrets to their success? That the reason they were good is out of their control?

Of course not.

So why is it that so many of us believe that success is given to us? That it’s from an external source?

Personally, I think that we’ve been trained to think that way. Our past schooling and our supervisors were the ones in charge in determining if we were successful. Success was based on our grades and our ability to move up in corporate ladder.

However, I’ve re-learned that true success comes from being able to build a sound foundation that all your future choices will be built on. That sound foundation is often referred to as clarity of purpose or simply clarity.

What Championship Sports Teams can Teach Us About Systemization

For a majority of people, professional sports seems simply as form of entertainment. On the surface, I can see how they see that. And frankly, they are. And I think that’s how many of us started watching our favorite teams. However, as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that we can study them, not for stats and trivia, but actually for key elements that we can apply to the rest of our life. We can learn about relationships, teamwork, leadership, communication, execution, metrics… the list goes on.

For me, I learned a ton from watching the 2006-2007 Colts team win the Super Bowl. Every year prior while Tony Dungy was their coach, they focused on the small things – the basics of the game.

They focused on tackling. They focused on timing. They focused on communication development. I mean, compared to today’s team, they were pretty polished on every aspect of the game. There’s no way that this would have happened to that Dungy team. The team was simply prepared to win that Super Bowl.

Looking around the NFL, there are a couple of teams that might stick out as teams that just “have it”. They have a working system. One of those, as much as I and other NFL fans would hate to admit, is the New England Patriots.

For as far back as I’ve been a fan of the Colts, the Pats have been a powerhouse in the NFL. While there hasn’t been too much released to the public about how they win so regularly, NFL fans can tell that the program that they utilize works for each player on the team. A program that stresses that their players must “Do Their Job“.

Across the sports spectrum, we can see many instances in college basketball. Take for example, Coach K. Just like the system that the Patriots have with Belichick, part of what makes coach Krzyzewski is that he starts with the basics and that he wants feedback from those that are around him. Before Belichick and Krzyzewski, there was Bobby Knight, and before him there was John Wooden. Each had winning systems.

“But, JC. You just said that people aren’t a product of their environment.”

Well, they are and they aren’t. They are in that a good system can provide a player a good environment to get better in. However, it’s up to the player to take advantage of that environment. Those that don’t follow the system are yanked out and replaced. That said, the more a player excels in that environment, the higher potential they have. They excel, they get rewarded by more playing time. They can’t let their ego get the best of them or the team and they, themselves, won’t win.

They simply need to let the system work it’s magic on them. For some it takes a little less time than others. However, when the player utilizes the right system, they’ll have a much better chance to succeed than if they were the only star on their team… or outside of the league all together!


Systematized Business Building

Since personal development and business development have gone hand in hand since the Wallace Wattles days, we should realize that there are ways to build a business and ways not to build one.

Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot of the same material repeated about building a business. Each time I hear it, it differs just a tad bit. However, the foundational pieces stay the same. And the biggest and most important piece that most people who want to start their own business struggle with, right from the beginning, is clarity.

Following a system that can give you clarity, just like in sports, is a HUGE advantage when you’re trying to figure out a business that’s going to function and be successful.

Through the 8 years that I’ve been studying the entrepreneurship world in detail, there have been only four sources that I quote regularly for helping me move on. One of them is finally systematizing his findings. So I wanted to do a quick review for you guys today. Depending on what you want to do, these will all help you move forward without wasting time and money.

Leadership Team Development (LTD)

Type: Immersive Training. Everyone starts from nothing. You will be working with sponsors who have had success already. You’ll be selling already existing products and getting others to join your team. Marketing and training is available through the company.

Cost: Varies. Depends on how you get started. Whether or not you buy the same product you advertise. How much marketing stuff you’ll use.

So this is going to be a hard turn off for some. However, others will love it. Just depends on what you want your business to incorporate. If you want to just focus on marketing and growth, this is totally your thing. If you want control over R&D as well, keep moving down the list.

For me, if I hadn’t started with LTD, it would have taken me a little more time to get into personal and business development. As far as passive income goes, nothing beats the multi-level marketing business type.


Well, for one, it’s super simple. Because anyone can enter and it doesn’t take a genius to be successful. You simply move product for the main company, and you get more people started as IBOs, coaches, or whatever they call their members.

The second thing is that the right groups, like LTD, will teach it’s members life skills (I learned about John Maxwell and Coach K, among others, from LTD).

And the third thing is that if you truly build it like those that have gone before you discuss, it literally is the most passive income source available out there available for people at all levels. Once you build your business, if you’ve brought in the right kinds of leaders and trained them well, then chances are as your group gets bigger, you’re needed less and less. Oh, and your income increases as well.

If you’re wondering, I’m still a card carrying member, so if your interested to know more, contact me directly about it.

Just make sure you put “LTD” in the Subject line somewhere.

The Foundation (TF)

Type: Immersive Training. Again, everyone starts from the bottom and works their way to the top. You will be working with coaches who have been students in the program before. Originally geared towards building online membership software (Software as a Service).

Cost: Relatively high up front. The expense of being in this program runs in the thousands. So it might not be an option to all future entrepreneurs. But it’s definitely worth it as you will be fully virtually immersed by the class.

Another very focused group that I’ve been a part of has been the Foundation. There are 10 types of online businesses that you can start. Being a “engineer” is one of these options.

As an engineer, we specifically fix a problem that clients and future clients will have. Many times that solution will be done through building software. We do this through what TF calls Idea Extraction. 

Now, idea extraction can possibly scare plenty of people because it might involve cold contacting people – especially if you’re not connected to an industry you want to help. However, there’s ways to mitigate the effects of doing this contacting and it’s explained within their course.

Check them out here.

Pat Flynn’s Book: Will It Fly

Type: Independent Training. Most training across the web is what I’d consider independent training. “Students” can start anytime, anywhere, and at any level. (The previous two options makes everyone start from scratch.) They have complete control over everything about their platform. Some might find this level of control too much. Others might love it.

Cost: Least expensive of the four as it’s a book. However, it’s put together from years of Pat’s studies for his blog and interviewing for the SPI Podcast.

Being released in February 2016, I have had the pleasure of being on the Book Launch Team for this book by the Internet Marketing Crash Test Dummy himself, Pat Flynn. While it might not come with the specific community that the three other options have (not saying Pat doesn’t have community, he does), it does have a great interactive framework that you can use to start your online business.

Specifically the book is divided into five sections. Those five sections are:

  • Mission Design – Through a series of thought-experiments, we’ll make sure your target idea aligns with and supports your target goals.
  • Development Lab – No matter where you are currently in your business, this phase is used to uncover important details about your target idea that you haven’t even thought about yet.
  • Flight Planning – This is where you’re going to assess the current conditions of the market that you’re entering so that you can see what (and who) you’re up against.
  • Flight Simulator – You will be combining everything you’ve learned through your research together to actually validate and test your idea with a small segment of your target market.
  • All Systems Go – You’ll be doing some final analysis to make sure you’re ready to move forward with your idea. In addition to that, you’ll get some helpful insight on your next moves, and how you can take a lot of the information you’ve uncovered during your research in this book forward with you, so you know your next steps.

Check it out here. (Amazon affiliate link) 

Type: Hybrid Training. Is a mix between Independent Training and Immersive. While you go at it your own speed and can start from any entry point, there is a community to ask questions regarding anything you might have problems with. I believe this is the Jack of All Trades solution.

Cost: Typically $35 per month. However, there is a trial period. Which you can try here. (Affiliate link)

This resource for building your business, like LTD, is for the long term. You can learn the basics that Pat discusses in his book, but it will take you from creation all the way up to scaling up to a point where you actually start hiring a team to help you. As of the writing of this post, I am a local Fizzle meetup host for Indianapolis.

There are three main phases:

  • Find and Develop your Business Idea – Build a Solid Foundation
  • Launch Your Business – Earn Enough to Support Yourself
  • Optimize & Grow to Increased Profitability & Sustainability


Again, you can get started at Fizzle for a free trial here!

If you’re interested in being the best in anything, you got to find a working system to learn it in. As you can tell, I’ve gone through several myself. While I take full responsibility for my lack of focus and discipline in the past, it is my sincere hope that you will be able to excel in any of the above programs.

While each resource above is geared towards making you successful, whether or not you acquire that success is up to you. As the Under Armor Tom Brady (the Patriot’s quarterback) commercial says, “You are the sum of all your training“.


If doing what you love for a living is really what you want to start working towards this year, I believe you need to get yourself in a system that will help you focus and excel. There are many out there, but I hope this review gives you somewhere to start. Below, feel free to ask any further questions about each resource you might have.

If you’re a seasoned pro and have had training outside of these 4, I’d love to hear about your experience. Eventually, I’d like to get a guide and/or review for various programs so that people don’t waste their time or money on a program that doesn’t fit them.