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Watch my Thrive interview with Heather Poduska

The Key to a Successful, Purpose Driven Life

Heather:
Hi everyone, I'm Heather Poduska, star-maker to entrepreneurs who want to find their authentic voice so they can attract their ideal clients and command any stage. Welcome to Thrive, the show where I bring you tips, resources, and people to help you create a more abundant life and business. You are in for a high-value content coming to you from industry leaders who are growing their business, making an impact, and rocking their brands, and I'm so excited to have my special guest here today, Mitch Russo. Mitch Russo is a highly accomplished, award-winning entrepreneur, whose Rolodex looks like the Who's Who of business consulting. Mitch co-founded the company Time Slips Corporation in 1985, which became the largest time tracking software company in the world. Mitch sold Timeslips in 1994 for eight figures and went on to become the CEO of Sage US a company with a market cap in excess of $100 million. 


Heather:
Later, Mitch joined a longtime friend, Chet Holmes, and a kind of well known person named Tony Robbins to create Business Breakthroughs International, where he was the president and CEO serving thousands of businesses a year with coaching and consulting services. Mitch is also the author of The Invisible Organization, which is a CEO's guide to transition a traditional brick and mortar company to a fully virtual organization. Today, Mitch helps clients find new and recurring sources of revenue with his proprietary certification training. You can also hear more from Mitch on his own podcast called Your First Thousand Clients. Welcome, Mitch. Thank you so much for being here. 


Mitch:
My pleasure. It's great to be with you. 


Heather:
Yeah, we were just talking beforehand how we got to know each other and how our connections got here, and it was through another entrepreneur, and you have this huge Rolodex. So we were just talking about that, how important it is to have those connections and to develop relationship. 


Mitch:
Absolutely. I would say half of my time is spent developing and continuing to develop the relationships that I have in my life, which these friendships go beyond just business. I mean, there are times when I might fly out to see another friend of mine just to hang out with them. In fact, we just did that recently with a guy named Mike Wolfe who came to Boston, spent two days with me. We had a blast. We had fun, and we did a little business too. 


Heather:
Yeah, I think all business is relationship relational. 


Mitch:
That's right. Exactly. Yup.


Heather:
Yeah. So you've had this massive, in my opinion, massive success. Sold the company for eight figures, you worked with Tony Robbins, known all the world around, and not everybody who works hard has that kind of success. You know, someone might be plugging away at their job and they're like just getting by. What makes the difference between having a thriving success and struggling? 


Mitch:
Well, I have to say, and you'll agree with me, I'm sure, it's got to be mindset. Because I mean, like you said, you could struggle away at a job, and we know what a job is. It's getting to the end of the money and there's no more month left. So the problem with all of the idea of working for a living is that you're really helping somebody else make their dream come true instead of making your own dream come true. So for me, I knew when I was in my 20s that yes, I wanted to get a job, yes, I wanted to work, but I knew that I was destined to start a company. 


Heather:
So what do you say to someone who believes in flow and alignment and in higher power, and they're chugging along, and they've got their Oman, and they're not prosperous or they're not prosperous yet? Where's the disconnect? 


Mitch:
Disconnect is they're not taking action.


Heather:
Okay.


Mitch:
The disconnect is that people can sit in a room and meditate all day long for ever, and no money is going to come dropping out from the ceiling. They have to go into action with the belief that everything is there ready for them to accept. 


Heather:
Right, and it has to be the right action as well. Right?


Mitch:
Right. Obviously. I guess if you're building a certain type of business, you need to go out and sell, and if you're not selling, then therefore there's going to be no money coming into your company. 


Heather:
So I'm just going to push this a little bit further because I think that people have these questions. What if you are not aligned but you are selling? What does that mean? So you know, maybe someone is like, "Well, I don't believe in all that, but I'm prosperous and I'm making money." How does that explanation get played out? 


Mitch:
Well, here's the thing. We all have some unconscious competence in our lives. All of us can do something really, really well, and most of the time we don't even realize we're doing it. In fact, if someone said, "Teach me how to do that," and you don't know what it is that he's talking about, it doesn't then matter. I mean, the fact is, if someone learned to sell and it was someone who's naturally good at closing sales, chances are they truly believe in the product, chances are they truly are of the belief that they have a moral obligation to make sure that their client purchases because it's going to help them. So those things alone can help increase revenue, increase sales, but without the mindset, most people don't ever reach where they want to be. 


Heather:
Sure. So is that something that you cultivated from an early age consciously or is it something that, as you went along, you learned more about, and then it became more of a practice? Do you think that you had that all along? 


Mitch:
No. 


Heather:
So what was the shift for you? 


Mitch:
The shift for me was starting to put myself in company with the right type of people. So when I first started my business, I started it in my garage in Hamilton, Massachusetts, and I didn't get out much those days. My partner and I spent seven months working every day of the week, 14 hours a day, to create the foundation for our company. In fact-


Heather:
You and Steve Jobs, right? 


Mitch:
Yeah, me and Steve, right. I wish. No, no, me and Neil Ayer, and it turns out that on that Sunday when we decided that we were going to take the day off, we both woke up that morning and say, "Hey, today's our day off," and I said, "Great. I just need to knock out a few more press releases," so it was about 1:00 before we took our day off. Okay? And then we'd look at each other, "What do you want to do?" He goes, "I don't know." I said, "Well, why don't we start with some lunch? Why don't we go get some lunch?" The mindset for me was that I didn't care about anything else in my life at that time, meaning not in a bad way, I just had set up my life so that I was going to be not distracted from creating my business. 


Mitch:
So I made sure that I had enough money to last me for some amount of time. I made sure that I didn't have any dangling relationships that needed tending to. I had a girlfriend at the time and she said, "How come you're not spending any time with me?" I said, "Well, because I'm starting a business," and she said, "Well, then call me when you're done." I said, "Great, perfect," and that's the way we ended and that was great because I needed the space. Now, I know your next question is, "Well, what happens if you have a family and kids, and you have all these obligations, and you don't have space?" The bottom line is that we're entrepreneurs. If you're truly an entrepreneur with an entrepreneur's mindset, well then you could work at least a half a day. Right? 


Heather:
I think that if you're connected to your entrepreneurial journey, you want to.


Mitch:
Exactly.


Heather:
And your family's like, "Hey, let's go to the beach or let's do this," and you're just like what you said, "Yeah, just give me a minute," because you're expressing yourself, you're using your talents and you're connected to that deeper part of you that's trying to serve and be actualized, so I think you really want to do that as well. 


Mitch:
Exactly. And you could come home at night, and there are the kids, and you have dinner with the kids, and then there's the family time, but then, at somewhere, maybe it's 8:00 or so, or 8:30, instead of sitting down to watch TV, that's when you go write your blog. That's when you go build your product. That's when you go code your new program. Whatever it is you're doing, you have from 8:00 til midnight every single day to work on your dream, and that becomes what I call the grand obsession. 


Mitch:
So I lived this life of obsessions. I moved from one to the other, and it's what keeps me going, happy, excited, totally in tune with who I am and what my life is, and it doesn't mean that once I move to another obsession the old one's gone. No, I just pick up a new one. 


Heather:
So what happens to ... How do you integrate it? How do you juggle all those things?


Mitch:
Well, yeah. I allow them to take the position that they take naturally. So I don't force anything at all. So I'm building a new project right now. You also know I'm doing a podcast right now, and the podcast started almost a year ago as my grand obsession, and I have over 40, maybe 45 interviews that I haven't even aired yet because I got so excited about it, I just kept going and going and going and going. Now my attention is shifting to another very big project, and now this is my grand obsession. 


Heather:
I was just going to say, what is your current grand obsession? 


Mitch:
Well, the thing that I've been doing now, and this is my joy, is helping entrepreneurs who have companies already, build certification programs, but I also found ... I told you this over the phone. I also found that I am attracting a certain type of person these days. I'm attracting typically women who are doing something so valuable and so unique that it has the power to transform the world, and the reason I seem to be attracting them is because they want to work with me so that we can get them to that next level. 


Heather:
Yeah. Don't you think though, like you're obviously a spiritual person and you have a core. You're evolving, you're spreading light and love into the world, and so it doesn't surprise me that those kinds of people are attracted to you. 


Mitch:
Absolutely. 


Heather:
There's a natural alignment with that. 


Mitch:
Right, but I think that's part of what I'm trying to explain. Let things be attracted to you. I mean, it's certainly ... I don't mean wait in the living room for something to happen. I mean let the world come see who you are. Let the world be attracted to you. The only way to do that is to get out. I mean, you could take your guitar and sit in the subway station if that's what you think of as ... And maybe that's a good strategy if you have new songs you want to get out, but at the same time, what I'm talking about is go network. Go be with people. Go podcast, go interview, go Facebook live, do all the things that you can do to show the world who you are. 


Heather:
I agree with that, and also this past year has been a project for me of being more belly-to-belly with people, because it's different energy. Like we ... I hope not. We won't forget this-


Mitch:
Oh, no. Yeah.


Heather:
... encounter. It's different than sending a facebook message, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's an initial contact, and sometimes that's all you have, but if you can take it to the next level, it deepens the connection. So I think that's super important, and I want to know what you think, if women have different challenges than men. Now that you're working with more women, and you said from 8:30 to midnight is your time, and I'm like, "Okay, well I still have to do the laundry. I still have to get the dishes done, and I know that my kid didn't finish their project for blah, blah, blah." So is there a difference? I mean, I know men are doing more of the traditional sort of women's roles now than they did 50 years ago, but what is your take on that? 


Mitch:
Well, first of all, I didn't have any clue that that was going to be the nature of this question. I thought you were asking me what the difference was between the mindset of men and women. 


Heather:
You can answer that one, too.


Mitch:
Sure. But I mean, in terms of physical activities, let's be honest here. If you can't convince your ... I mean, if you're in a relationship and you can't convince your spouse to do the laundry so that you could work on your future together, then really, that's a losing cause.


Heather:
But I think you hit the nail on the head. It's a mindset. 


Mitch:
It really is.


Heather:
Because I think that a lot of women take that on as their ... You know, whether they like it or not, they're like, "As a good woman, as a good wife, as a good mom, these are some of the things that I do." Not everybody, and I'm not saying that should be the mindset, but I think a lot of women do have that mindset.


Mitch:
And I agree with you. I think we were all raised by mothers, and I think we adapt in the roles. Women adapt the roles of their mom, men adopt ...

PART 1 OF 3 ENDS [00:12:04]


Mitch:
... adapt the roles of their mom, dad. Men adopt the roles of their dad. My dad was an entrepreneur. He opened candy stores in New York City. 


Heather:
I want to meet your dad.


Mitch:
He's 94 years old right now in Miami. 


Heather:
That's awesome. 


Mitch:
People take on the roles that they were given and that they were placed in. Part of our struggle in life is to break those roles. Those roles are traps in many ways. We find ourselves unconsciously obligated to things and people that are no longer part of our lives. 


Heather:
That's right. How do you do that?


Mitch:
You do that by being conscious of your actions. You do that by noticing things in your life and then changing the things that aren't right and don't feel right and really aren't right for you at all. 


Heather:

I love that you said that they don't feel right, because I'm a really big believer and I'm learning as I go along to trust the physical sensation of experience. We talk about if it feels right in your heart, and that can be esoteric sometimes, but I think you actually feel things in your body, and that your body is a great litmus for what is going on around you to tune into that. 


Mitch:
Actually there's two-thirds of your sensory perception coming from your gut and one-third from your mind and your brain. That was recently been documented. When you say, "I have a gut feeling," odds are it's probably more the truth than the things you were thinking, because thinking can be conditioned. 


Mitch:
Thinking is conditioned by the past, the hidden elements of the pain from the past. Gut feelings are the truth. When people start listening to their gut and they are executing on what the gut tells them, they know it's coming from a place of truth. 


Heather:
Don't you think a lot of times we get the gut feeling and then we override it, that the brain kicks in and says, "No. No. No"? 


Mitch:
Here's the test for me, when I get a gut feeling I ask myself one question, "Is this fear or is it real?" There's two reasons I ask that question, because if I want to do something, and I'll tell you what my fear is. One of my fears is speaking from stage. 


Heather:
That is not one of my fears. 


Mitch:
That happens to be one of my fears. I have done it. I did it for 20 years at one point, but one of my fears is speaking from stage. If someone invites me and says, "Mitch, would you like to speak on our stage?" And all of a sudden I feel that fear, I know I'm headed in the right direction. That's how I know I'm headed in the right direction. 


Mitch:
If my mind is saying, "Oh, no. You shouldn't do that because after all if you do that, then ...", then I just shut that right down.


Heather:
You challenge the fear. 


Mitch:
Absolutely. Fear is my ... That's my guideline. If I know that I'm following my fear, that means I'm going to grow as a person. 


Heather:
How do you distinguish between breaking through an egoistic fear that's keeping you stuck and your intuition saying, "This is not right for you"? How do you distinguish those two things?


Mitch:
Well, like I said, when I get that question, that feeling of "this is not right for me," I ask myself, "Is that me or is that a fear?" The fear "this is not right for me" would stem from the rationalization process going on in my subconscious mind telling me, "Okay, if you do this you'll be out of your comfort zone, and we don't like when you do that. We want you back in your comfort zone right away." That's really our conditioning, all of us. 


Mitch:
Our conditioning keeps us in our comfort zone. That's why women stay in the roles they are in. That's why people stay in the jobs that they're in, yet they hate their boss. They don't make enough money, and they have no way to advance in the place of business that they're in. 


Heather:
You have to challenge that. 


Mitch:
Absolutely. 


Heather:
I love that. Talk to us a little bit more. You've been very financially successful as well, so talk to us about how what you're doing now is really helping not only get the message out about changing the world and getting these important transformational messages out but also more financial abundance out into the world for the entrepreneurs and also for the rest of society. Talk about that a little bit.


Mitch:
Well, there are things out there, like if you spend any time at all on the internet, as I'm sure you do. 


Heather:
Never. 


Mitch:
Never. You see all these programs offered and all these people selling stuff and launches and countdown timers and all these crap going on on the internet where everybody's trying to sell you something. The idea is that when the people who buy those things are people who are still trying to find what it is that will get them to the next level. 


Mitch:
Most of the time unless it's a very, very specific skill, most of the time they're wasting their money, because the odds are and this is the statistics, only 10% to 12% of the people who buy those courses complete them. My current project is all around helping people overcome the issues related to moving forward in their lives. 


Mitch:
I'm building a new environment, a brand new system and it's very exciting to me. It's all about helping people find accountability partners and work one-on-one with each other with the guidance of my software and my backend systems. 


Heather:
Is that the key that's different from just buying a program online?


Mitch:
Very much so. 


Heather:
Is having that accountability. 


Mitch:
If you don't have an accountability partner, and you don't have a coach, and coaches can be expensive as we know, then consider getting a mentor. Find somebody that you admire and ask if you can occasionally have a chat with them. That's all it takes. The idea is by having a mentor in your lives, and by the way we have mentors throughout our lives and they change as we change. 


Mitch:
I've had many wonderful mentors. I had Tony Robbins as my mentor at one point.


Heather:
What was that like?


Mitch:
It's really hard to say. I'll tell you one quick story about Tony that really lights me up and makes me very happy. When I first started working with Tony and Chet we were invited, and of course we were invited to all of his events, so I asked if I could bring my daughter and he said, "Of course." He put us right in the front rows of everything, which was wonderful. 


Mitch:
I asked for another imposition. I said, "Tony, would it be okay if I brought my daughter by for a photo with you?" He go, "Yeah. No problem. Just make arrangements with my person." I called his person and I told him that Tony said it was okay if my daughter gets a picture with Tony. 


Mitch:
She said, "Okay. What's your cell number? I'm going to text you when Tony's ready." Now we go to the UPW event, Unleash the Power Within event. We get there at 9:00 in the morning and we're there all day long, and it's now 12:00 at night and we're walking on fire, and we're doing all this stuff. It's like 1:30 in the morning and my phone rings, text. 


Mitch:
"Tony wants to see you behind stage." I said, "Great." I get my daughter. We go backstage. We wait for five minutes and Tony walks in. Of course, Tony is about 6'7", and I'm probably on a good day about 5'7". I come up to here. His hand is so big, when he pats me on the chest it covers my entire body. 

Mitch: He comes over and he greets me which was, of course, nice, and then he gets introduced to my daughter. He proceeds to sit down and have a 40-minute conversation. Keep in mind that this man has been on stage outputting all this time. He is giving, giving, giving this entire time. It's 14, maybe 15 hours on stage, and he still made the time to sit with my 15-year-old daughter and talk about her life. That says everything about who this man really is. 


Heather:
That's amazing. 


Mitch:
He's an incredible individual. There are times when we ran into situations that I needed guidance on. We ran a 300-person company and I did it completely virtually. We never had an asset. We didn't have a building. We didn't even have a copy machine that the company owned. 


Mitch:
There were times when stuff happens in the way that we managed our culture that I needed to ask Tony about and get some help with. I had some incredible experiences with Tony. 


Mitch:
One of the things I do now, as you mentioned, is I build certification programs. Part of that is creating a learning environment for my clients so that they could bring people through and get certified. Guess who taught me how to do that? Tony. Tony and I built his learning system together. 


Mitch:
I got the chance to learn from this man who understands the psychology and the neurolinguistics involved in helping people learn. It was an amazing gift for me. 


Heather:
I was just going to say, what a gift. I was going to ask you, because a lot of people, myself included, refer to Tony Robbins like, "Be like Tony Robbins, if you want to speak like Tony Robbins." He's like Oprah. You want to compare. Can anybody be like Tony Robbins, or is it just who he is?


Mitch:
The first step I would tell you is stop comparing yourself to anybody. Compare yourself to you a year earlier and see how much you've gotten, how much you've grown, because that's the only fair comparison that you could really make. 


Heather:
Great point. 


Mitch:
For me to compare myself to Tony Robbins would be silly. I wasn't Tony Robbins a year ago. When I look at Tony Robbins, I say, "Now there's a man I could learn from. There's a man who has things that I admire that I could adapt as a human being." I look at anybody that way [crosstalk 00:21:23].


Heather:
I was just going to say, and people can learn from you, and all of the wonderful things that you're bringing, and from me. He is extraordinary. 


Mitch:
He is. He's extraordinary. He is an act of nature, an act of God. He is a person who has crystallized so much information and distilled it in a way that helps so many others. I think that is his gift more than anything else. 


Heather:
I love that. Circling back to what you said at the beginning is that he made a decision and a commitment.


Mitch:
That's right. That's right. 


Heather:
What are you committed to more than anything right now?


Mitch:
Right now I'm totally focused on helping people and I do this in my business, I do this in my work, I do this in my life. My joy is in watching another person benefit from the time I spend with them. I do that through many of my activities. I do it through coaching. I do it through my business work with the My Power Tribe, which is my certification program. Now I'm about to do it in a much bigger way with this new business. 


Heather:
Tell us where we can find out more about that or more about your projects right now so we can support you. 


Mitch:
Sure. The easiest thing to do is go to mitchrusso.com. Mitch Russo is the hub of all of my crazy ideas, and all of the activity that I'm involved in. 


Heather:
I want to take a moment to talk about that, because I do branding and it's to help people get focused. I always talk about zipping it together, and to have a clear message. I find that it's hard for people sometimes because they have a lot of interests. They don't know how to bring it all together. I've talked to people before about having a portfolio career, or a portfolio life. 


Heather:
It sounds to me like that's something you've done really successfully. We haven't even talked about your travel photography, that you have different aspects of your life and you don't try to shove it all into a box, but you let it evolve naturally. You go hard on something you're passionate about, let it take its course and then let the next wave come and take you. 


Mitch:
That's right. That's exactly right. I think that's the easiest way to live, otherwise you're forcing life. The other thing is that I don't want life to force me into anything, and I don't want to force life into things that it doesn't belong in. There are going to be times when I'll pick up a project or a client and I'll know within a week or less, or in some cases a little longer that it's just not a fit. 


Mitch:
It's important for me at that point to cut bait as quickly as possible. 


Heather:
That's a really good point. I think people try to also hold on because they're afraid to let-

PART 2 OF 3 ENDS [00:24:04]


Heather:
Well that's a really good point. I think people try to also hold on because they're afraid to let go, but when you're holding on, you can't open yourself up to the next thing that's coming.


Mitch:
That's right, and the same thing goes with employees. If you're an employer and there's someone in your employ who you get the gut feeling shouldn't be working for you, then the longer you take to let that person go, the more damage you're doing to yourself and to the company.


Heather:
I think that goes with all relationships. If you're in a coaching relationship you might have a coach that you're like, "I'm not sure if this is the right vibe,"-


Mitch:
Exactly.


Heather:
... and you stay.


Heather:
I can't remember that guy's name, but the guy that owns Zappos.


Mitch:
Tony Hsieh.


Heather:
Tony Hsieh, that's right. Selling Happiness, was that his podcast?


Mitch:
Yeah, yeah.


Heather:
He talks about not training or cultivating employees, that you hire someone that already is a fit for the culture.


Mitch:
That's right. The idea is, again we go back to mindset, the idea is to find a person who has the right mindset to become part of your company, and then from there you could teach them the mechanical elements of the skills that you need them to perform.


Heather:
That's awesome.


Heather:
Who is your idea client and what is your tribe vibe?


Mitch:
Sure. Again, this goes back to the Timeslips era. When I built my software company a very fortunate accident left me in a position to have a revelation. The revelation was that I can get the best of my existing clients, to help other of my clients who aren't doing so well. This came about in a way, it was sort of like what happens with opportunities. The opportunity shows up, but it's dressed funny sometimes.


Heather:
I love that. Say more about that.


Mitch:
Yeah, for example, something shows up and it's kind of ugly and stupid looking-


Heather:
Don't look at me when you say that.


Mitch:
No, no, of course not. You know what I mean.


Heather:
Yeah.


Mitch:
It turns out to be, that is the opportunity that has come to find you. You go, "No, no, no, that's ugly." Instead you should say, "No, come closer, let's take another look."


Heather:
Can you give an example of that?


Mitch:
Perfect example is the one I was about to tell you.


Heather:
Okay.


Mitch:
I have a situation where we built time and billing software for lawyers so it's so critical for us to get the endorsement of very important lawyers. 


Mitch:
I had this lawyer in Los Angeles, happens to be the head of the Technology Division of the Los Angeles Bar Association. She calls up screaming at my tech support, "Your software crashed my computer. I can't believe you people published this thing. It's a crime, and you're cheating everybody, and I'm going to sue you, and blah, blah, blah, blah." 


Mitch:
I don't want to digress too much, but I have a whole scenario for what happens when a customer is totally disgruntled and calls your company. In that case they put this whole plan into place because there was a plan waiting for that. When something like that happens, implement Plan A.


Mitch:
Plan A, is you say, "Hold on second, let me connect you to Alan Singer, he will help you."


Mitch:
Who is Alan Singer? You want to take a guess?


Heather:
You?


Mitch:
Yep, exactly.


Mitch:
"Hi, this is Alan, can I help you?" 


Mitch:
Now I'm listening to this woman and here's my goal. When I'm talking to this person I will do anything to turn her from disgruntled into what I then call an ambassador. By the end of that phone call or the end of our interaction she is now the ambassador to Timeslips Corporation. 


Mitch:
I listen to her and she was upset. She spent $99 or $199 for our software, but at that moment in time I realized I needed to get somebody to her office even if I had to fly somebody out there. I figured I would do that and I promised her I would get somebody out there in the next 48 hours, but I don't know how yet.


Mitch:
I hang up the phone. I say, "What am I going to do? Let's see. Ross is busy. He can't do that. This guy is ... Nope, wait. There's this woman. I just spoke to her yesterday. She loves Timeslips and she's, I think, six blocks away." So I call her up, her name is Ann. I said, "Ann, I have a favor to ask. I realize it's an imposition. I'm willing to pay you for it. Would you mind going over to this woman's office and helping her with her software installation?" 


Mitch:
She said, "Mitch, for you, of course. I'd love to thank you for the opportunity."


Mitch:
 said, "Great, okay."


Mitch:
She goes over there and I'm on pins and needles at this point. I have no idea what's going to happen. I'm waiting and I'm waiting. It's four or five hours later. I don't know what to do. Okay, I could have tried to call her, but cellphones were not very popular back then. 


Mitch:
Finally, it was about nine o'clock at night, I get a phone call and I said, "How did it go? How did it go?"


Mitch:
She said, "Oh, it went fantastic. We just reinstalled the software and reloaded her client database and everything is working fine."


Mitch:
I said, "Oh, Thank God, Ann. Thank you so much."


Mitch:
She goes, "And I gotta tell you the best part."


Mitch:
I said, "What's that?"


Mitch:
She handed me a crisp, brand new, hundred dollar bill, and I said, "That's wonderful. I'm so happy for you."


Mitch:
She goes ... And this is the words that changed my entire company ... She said, "And if there's anybody else who you'd like me to help, you let me know."


Mitch:
Bing. Now could there be other clients who'd be willing to do that? Could we maybe help those clients do a better job at helping more of my clients? 


Mitch:
That's when I created the idea of building certification for my software. We did it, we built this incredible Certification Program, but unfortunately, too many people applied. It wasn't well done, and we had about 50 or 60 certified consultants, but they were making a mess in client offices.


Mitch:
We were starting to get complaints, severe complaints. A lot of Alan Singer time if you know what I mean. So I shut down the program, and I said, "Okay, what went wrong here? This is a great idea. I know it's a great idea. What went wrong?" 


Mitch:
I called every single client who had a problem, and I documented every single element of what went wrong. I spent six months working with my team, and we rebuilt the entire Program from scratch.


Mitch:
I'll tell you what the key difference is in a minute. We restarted the Program and 18 months later we had 350 certified consultants all over the country helping hundreds and thousands of my clients with their software, and helping them build their little law practice.


Mitch:
Here's what went wrong and this was fascinating and it comes down to a question you asked earlier, a long way around to answer your question. It comes down to culture. It comes down to how people interact with each other. What I discovered was that there were basically 38 key components of culture, and I call those the Code of Ethics.


Mitch:
So I built a Code of Ethics and then created a training program around it. Now when I work with my clients one of the first things we do is we talk about how to implement the culture in this new group before we even build it. As it starts to grow from 20 to 50 to 90 to 200 people, we have a built in, fully installed, fully functional culture for them to move into.


Heather:
That's so important.


Mitch:
Absolutely.


Heather:
That's so important.


Heather:
Who can benefit from doing a certification program like you have.


Mitch:
It's a very limited audience. It's really only seven figure businesses who have either software, who have coaching, training, programs where they have sold at least a thousand people onto what it is that they do.


Mitch:
I've had people with meditation programs. I've had people with medical supply and medical device companies who wanted to build certifications so that other dentists can go teach dentists how to use their stuff. That's the kind of thing it is, and that to me is it's a very small, very lucrative business, very small though ... I only have three or four clients at a time. That for me with everything else I'm doing is great.


Mitch:
My goal is to change the world. The way I do it is by working through other people. If I could work through one person, one on one and have that affect a thousand other people, then net, net I feel like I'm doing the right thing.


Heather:
I totally get that and I feel like that when I help people with their messaging or their speaking to help them get their voice out. It is the ripple effect, and I think you can. I think we all can, and I think that if you believe that you can change the world, that's the first step to actually doing it.


Mitch:
Of course.


Heather:
Bravo. Love it.


Mitch:
Thank you.


Heather:
Yeah, absolutely. 


Heather:
Thank you so much for being here. I always ask people at the end because this show is Thrive, right?


Mitch:
Right.


Heather:
What does it mean to you to thrive?


Mitch:
I think it's one thing to make a lot of money, and I think a lot of people make a lot of money, but aren't happy. I think that there are people out there who can lead a mostly happy life, but then fall down when it comes to money.


Mitch:
I think that thrive to me means a more holistic version of staying fully centered and in control of your life. I don't mean that life is always something you can control, but if you spend a little time working on all elements of your life all the time, then you're doing what they call, "The best you can." If you're always learning ... They say that you're the sum total of the five most, the people you spend the most time with. Pick those people. Pick one of those five people to be your mentor, and spend time with him or her.


Mitch:
That's how I believe you how you thrive.


Heather:
If you're someone's mentor, they're doing very, very well because clearly you have so much to share.


Heather:
 want to thank you for your generosity of your insights and your heart and your strategy and how you bring those together in a unique way.


Heather:
Also, I really appreciate that when your Certification Program did not work the first time, you didn't just say, "This doesn't work." But you went back and used your engineering mind to say, "How can this work?" And you stuck with it.


Heather:
I noticed that ... My husband's an engineer too, and that ability to focus when other people can't, that's a gift, so thank you for sharing your gifts in that way as well.


Mitch:
My pleasure.


Heather:
Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it.


Mitch:
You're welcome. Thank you.


Heather:
Yeah.


Heather:
I want to thank all of you for being here as well, and as always, until next time, here's to hitting all your high notes everybody. Take care.

PART 3 OF 3 ENDS [00:35:02]