and Robert dig deep, Chris lost his brother to suicide and it made him evaluate his 30 year corporate career and ask if he was making the impact that he wanted to make. Mental health is another topic that needs to be talked about like money, but for entrepreneurs it is even more important than money because male entrepreneur suicide is one of the highest categories, you are no alone, you don’t have to be alone and you have to be willing to talk about the struggles and get the help you need to get the results that you are proud of.
A little bit about Chris...
Chris Michel is an Author – The Red Chair Experience, Founder CM Consulting, LLC – Sales and Business Consulting for the home services industry. Chris has over 30 years of sales and management experience and helps small to medium business owners increase sales by creating processes, metrics, and key performance indicators. Chris helps develop business culture and provides big picture views to guide your company.
Check out more of Chris
How to contact Chris: linktr.ee/coachchrisconsulting
Robert Peterson 0:00
Our guest today is Chris Michelle. Chris is an author of the red chair experience, founder of cm consulting, sales and business consulting for the home services industry. Chris has over 30 years of sales and management experience and helps small to medium business owners increase sales by creating processes metrics and key performance indicators. Chris helps develop business culture and provides big picture views to guide your company Chris, Michelle and Robert dig deep. Chris lost his brother to suicide and it made him evaluate his 30 year corporate career and ask himself if he was making the impact that he wanted to make. Mental health is another topic that needs to be talked about like money. For entrepreneurs, it's even more important than money. Male entrepreneurs suicide is one of the highest categories. You are not alone. You don't have to be alone. You have to be willing to talk about the struggles and get the help you need to get the results that you are proud of. Chris, thank you so much for joining me today. I am so grateful that you're on the show. I'm grateful to our listeners that are listening in and just hope that we have a ton of value to share with them today.
Chris Michel 2:12
Sounds good. Thank you for having me. I appreciate being absolutely.
Robert Peterson 2:16
I let each guest just share their entrepreneurial journey and I use that as our jumping off point. Chris Michel 2:26
We're gonna dive off into the deep end. Got it. I've been in the corporate world for probably 30 plus years, and came to a point in my life where I realized this year ago, years ago that I wanted to teach and coach and train people. That really brought me more joy than anything else. I've been an individual contributor in the sales side for a long, long time. That brought value to the right to what I did. I really enjoyed that. I learned that through that process, I also enjoy inspiring people to do what inspires them so that they may be fulfilled. That kind of came about as I was making this journey. I really became a coach trainer kind of all throughout my, the last half of my sales career. Every time they brought on a new hire, they'd be like, okay, right with Chris, he's gonna show you the processes, he's gonna show you how to do things, right, that kind of stuff. Every time I decide, I'd really like to get into sales training or something like that. I was met with resistance. It was people within the sales industry, or my bosses, that kind of stuff that were like, Yeah, but you're gonna have to move here, or you're gonna have to do this or do that. You're not gonna make as much and all this other stuff. It never made any sense to me. Long story long, about a year and a half, almost two years ago. Almost three years ago, after my brother, my brother committed suicide in September of 19. When someone around you close to you dies, whether it's by their own hand or something else, when they die, it really is kind of a wake up call. You check your own mortality, and you kind of take stock of where you are. That's exactly what I did. At the end of last quarter of 19, I kind of started looking around at what I was doing and realized I wasn't happy. I knew that my boss knew that. Then the pandemic hit six months later. Then we're being quarantined. Then I started writing a book, and started doing all these things. Then in October of 20, I got the opportunity to shift and I lost my job with that corporate company. I started interviewing and trying to figure all that out then I'm like, why am I doing this? None of this sounds good. None of this sounds fine. I had several people asking me Chris, when would you start your own business, and I was like, I don't think I'm ready for that. Then again, I interviewed for maybe a month in 2020, and like November of 2020. I went, Yeah, this isn't for me. Like that I quickly figured out how to start my own business, got some input and found some people to help me. The rest, they say, is history. I started out with my own sales, and really business coaching, and consulting. I really focus on the HVAC, plumbing, electrical side of the home services. I'm not limited to that. I've just lived in that world for the last 18 years. It made a little bit easier for me to kind of transition in and work with them.
Robert Peterson 5:43
Let's dig into that idea that that niche, first of all, sorry, for your loss. Obviously, mental health has come to the forefront over the last two years, but obviously, I was wrestling with it even before the pandemic and so sure, I want to acknowledge that. I want you to know, everybody keeps saying, talk about it, talk about it, but I don't know how helpful that is.
Chris Michel 6:14
Can I share? Absolutely. This is what I'm finding is that for so long, we haven't talked about it for so long, we've used it as something shameful, or that we just, it's the thing you don't talk about. By talking about it by having the discussions, number one, it frees you up. It has done that for me when I talk about my brother and his death. There are other people that go out, I can relate to that. I understand that. They can, there's an understanding there. Then you start digging a little bit deeper. You and I will share this. It was really an eye opener. I was sharing with my youngest daughter, about my brother and about his death. It was a great question, but she totally caught me off guard. She goes, Dad, do you think that you could do that? We can all give the pat answer of No, I would never do that or whatever. It really dawned on me that I need to think through this and figure out what is the answer? What's the appropriate answer? The appropriate answer is, we're all capable. I shared with her I said, Robert, when I was talking to Katie, my daughter's name is Katie. I shared with her I said, Yeah, Katie, we're all capable of doing this if we don't talk if we don't share what's going on. We don't openly discuss some of the things that we're going through. That's the tragedy. When we think Oh, nobody else can relate to this, nobody else can understand this. When you open up about that, you'd be amazed at how many other people can relate or can they want to talk about it. The pandemic has really opened up this avenue for us to have the conversation. Before this, communication was, again, very surfacey. We didn't really dig into things. This gives me an opportunity. To kind of dig a little bit deeper, and be honest with who you are and what's going on. There's nothing wrong with having thoughts. There's nothing wrong with having feelings. If you're not dealing with them, and you're not talking about them, that's a problem. That's where it expands. There's all kinds of books out there to talk about it. That conversation with my daughter was a real eye opener, but it really helped me to understand, hey, it's okay to talk about it. There's nothing wrong with it. In fact, we need to, so that we can help somebody who, maybe Robert right now you're going oh, man, I've never talked to anybody about the deep dark feelings that I've had about doing this or doing that. Can I succeed? Can I move on? Can I move forward? I've been such a failure, this or this? Then you realize, I'm not the only one. It really is kind of an opportunity for us to dig a little bit deeper and have conversations. That's part of when I wrote my book that was kind of the catalyst for it was it was therapeutic and cathartic for me to write this book. Then I find out that there's so many more people that are struggling with this emotional side of them that they don't know what to do. They don't know how to handle it. That's part of just talking. It's just having the conversation and being open about it.
Robert Peterson 9:39
I have a military background. I have experience with first responders and one of the challenges in those places. Then I spent 20 years in ministry and even in that space, there's this person deposition. Many times self imposed, that it's not safe to say something. If I mentioned that I'm struggling with mental health, they're going to take me off the line. They're going to take my job away, they're going to, I'm going to lose more. I'm already stressed out. It's not safe. It's not safe to talk about my job and I think for entrepreneurs, they feel alone, they feel like they have to be the expert, they have to be on point, they have to be the front person, obviously, for their own company. Maybe they have some of that same, that same stigma that they feel like, man, it's not, I can't talk to anybody. There's no safe space for me to talk to somebody about this without putting my business at risk without putting my job at risk.
Chris Michel 10:51
That's what I've learned in being a solo slash entrepreneur is, we're not alone. We don't have to be alone. Part of the reason that I started a mastermind group. It was more of a mentoring group at the time, but it's becoming more of a mastermind group. It's an opportunity for us as entrepreneurs, to be honest about what's going on with our business and share our shortcomings and get help with those shortcomings. To your point, we can remove that stigma of, oh, I'm going to lose this, or I'm going to lose that, or people are not gonna want to talk to me, or people are not going to want to work with me or whatever. They're gonna put me on the bench. They're not gonna put you on the bench. If they do, it's for your own health. It's for your own health, that they put you to the bench for a second. You can talk about these things and clear your mind and clear your heart and then move forward. It's not that you're forgetting all that stuff. There's tragedies that we all deal with. There's hard stuff that we all deal with. I'm really just trying to open up an avenue, if you will, for people to discuss those things to have those conversations, and to be honest with who they are and where they're at.
Robert Peterson 12:07
That's fantastic. Obviously, one of the things on our show, at least my show, is to bring up these things that everybody says, don't talk about. Money has been the prevalent one. Obviously, mental health is just as relevant in injustice. challenging because of the stigmas and I think many self imposed ideas. Our brain is that voice in our head saying, Oh, you lose your job, oh, they're going to take something away. Oh, your wife will leave you to owe your kids trust. Of course, the voice in your head isn't exactly being your friend, if, in the midst of all these mental health struggles, he's probably the problem.
Chris Michel 12:56
That's the thing. I realized recently that the problems that I struggled with for so long, the serial perfectionism, and the overthinking, and all these things came about from a negative situation or negative situations that growing up, I was never good enough. It was just perpetuated in my mind. You can't do this, you can't do that. You can't. You can't, you can't, you can't. Instead of saying, hey, I can do whatever, we hear the messages all the time, you can do whatever you want to. There's some truth to that. We can do whatever we want to as long as we're not hurting other people. There's some truth to that, hey, we are capable of probably far more than we ever thought. I never thought I would write a book. Yet, I wrote a book, I never thought I would own my own business. Yet, here I am. I never thought that I would be a strong emotional person for other men. Yet, here we are. We have to turn off that voice in our head and kind of have conversations with other people to readjust that thinking in our mind that says you aren't good enough. A friend of mine said a long time ago, sometimes we need to be the parent or the boss that we want or need. We get opportunities all the time.
Robert Peterson 14:21
Part of it is ignoring that voice or challenging that voice just enough to talk about just enough to write to create the opportunity. Even asking that voice. Is that really true? The idea is that you lose your job, but is that true? The reality is once you start talking about it, of course, it's not near as bad as, as the voice in your head has been telling you. It is right. That's not to say that these mental health struggles aren't real. They're very real. Oh, yeah. Once you start talking about Their power starts to go away. That's the piece that you and I have experienced relief by talking about things and understand that the relief of getting outside perspective is really powerful if it doesn't have to be this. Obviously life ending, it doesn't have to be this powerful that people lose, they've lost so much and lost hope to the level of wanting to leave the planet. That's the challenge, it's sort of, it only takes a glimmer of hope to be willing to stay here and fight right to stay here, stay in the battle. For people that are at that place, in, and the opportunity to talk, the opportunity to have a conversation, the opportunity to get it outside perspective is so powerful. It's huge. It'll change people's lives, if we just all keep saying, not only is it okay to talk about it, but I've talked about it, and I want you to talk about it. I'm here to listen, and people say they're here to listen.
Chris Michel 16:21
The other side of that is, there's a stigma because people have gotten used to, oh, if I tell Roberts gonna go Intel, and he's gonna use this against me. If I tell my boss, then she's gonna, he's gonna keep me from advancing. We get caught up in this world of somebody who's going to use this information against me, or they're going to harm me with this information, of vulnerability. When you realize that it's okay to be vulnerable, it's okay to have these conversations, and talk about these things. Guess what, you're human, you're just like everybody else, believe it or not. Those who say that they don't struggle with these things are lying to you. You probably need to find new friends. I don't say that lightly. We all have the opportunity to readjust our friends, our people we hang out with. If they're giving you the message that life sucks, and you're horrible, and you can't do anything, and I'm going to hold this against you. Okay, it's time to move on and leave that person. That's okay. There's nothing wrong with that, I went through a time recently where I was, I wanted to develop new friendships. I wasn't, I didn't feel like I was getting what I was wanting or needing from the other relationships that I had around me. I literally had to revamp some things, I had to redo some things and stop talking to certain people and stop reaching out to certain people. Now I'm surrounded by people that are far more positive and far more giving and far more, right there. They're lifting my game, if you will. And all of a sudden, I'm going, Oh, crap, now I gotta step up. It's good. I'm meeting people all the time that are really helping me to step up my game, and to think more all the time about how I can serve others, and how I can contribute to what they're doing.
Robert Peterson 18:19
Absolutely, we talked about connections, we talked about the value of connections for building your business, but the value of connections for your personal development is so powerful. All the personal development specialists talk about that, you become the amalgam of the five people closest to you. If those five people are negative victims of the world, and getting beat up constantly and beating you up constantly, and that's pretty powerful. Even if you're in a job and the boss uses your statement against you, it's time to get a different job. If, if your family is using it against you, it's time to make some changes.
Chris Michel 19:06
Get a new family. People think I joke about that, but that's true. Your family is who you want to have around you. It's not necessarily the people you were born into. Sometimes we need to step outside of that and go, my family is here. These are the people who love and support me. They do it in such a way without condition. You get to create your own family, we get that opportunity to step outside and say this is my brother, this is my sister. This is my mom, this is my dad, this is these are my kids. There's nothing wrong with that.
Robert Peterson 19:43
That's so powerful. The opportunity to be your authentic vulnerable self is going to create more connection and more value in relationships than then putting on these facades right then we During these masks of pretending to be who we think, see, we never even asked people who they think we should be, but we pretend to be who we think they want us to be. That's the big It's crazy. Put it down on paper and look at it, you go, that's lunacy. Yet, that's what we're all trying to do. So challenging. Obviously, you've got a journey of authenticity for yourself. How is that how has that helped you in presenting your business and making this transition from corporate to entrepreneur,
Chris Michel 20:37
it really has been fascinating, like you said, you gather around you people that are, they're either gonna be in your corner, or they're not. If they're not in your corner, then maybe it's time to move on. Coming out on my own, if you will, doing this business on my own, I found my support system, I found the people who really want to support me in what I'm doing, and not just in words, but in indeed, connections in different things. It's having those conversations and being able to be vulnerable to say, Hey, I'm struggling with this. To have a mentoring group or a mastermind group that says, you can be honest with them. These kinds of conversations are the ones that we need to be having on a regular basis. Unfortunately, people don't, people are afraid of those conversations, they're afraid of the depth of the conversations, for whatever reason, and maybe they just aren't used to it, maybe they're afraid of it simply because they don't know. That's what fear is, it's just that fear is derived from not knowing. When we don't know about something, we either can look it up, right, we can check it out, we can learn, or we just live in fear of this thing, this situation, this person. It just this continual learning process,
Robert Peterson 21:58
I think fear. So many people are trying to control things that they can't control. We've seen that through this last couple of years, from the government down to the, our next door neighbors and our own family, trying to control chaos. If you get caught up in the chaos and the drama, which are our world markets, drama, we do people pay to watch it, people pay to see it, that's why the news propagates it, everybody can complain about the news, sharing all this negative drama. If the people stopped watching it and paying for the commercials, the news, we change to something different and we change to something positive. We have a natural inclination to the drama. Then there's that, if you tie onto that inclination to the drama, this idea that I have to try to control it. Obviously, right now, there's a crap ton of going on. So much of it is driven by fear. It's interesting to me, my wife, and I just toured the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, and they've got a special exhibit. Basically, it's titled, what did America know? What did America do? It's very well put together because it talks about, basically, World War One, it ended, it was this war over there, that was their problem, but we had to go fix it. We lost a lot of men in trying to fix it. Then this depression, economic depression, that basically people are standing in food lines that they've never had to do before, there's this whole unknown of all our money disappeared. Now there's a financial situation and so everybody was pretty much Hey, this is Europe's problem. This is not our problem. This is, of course, they had no idea. They believe this was, you know, the Jews and Hitler needed to just figure it out. They had no idea that he was exterminating people by hundreds of 1000s a day. Of course, that would have changed the perspective, I hope, I'd like to believe, but you can see that America woke up to what was really happening. It was all being driven by the fear of that unknown fear. It's interesting to have gone there just this year and realizing this economic situation and now there's war in Europe and in this, now we're going into a recession and coming out of this pandemic and so much unknown. So much is being driven by fear and negativity. I'm like, no wonder we are a political city. tuition is just right and in, and I quit watching the news years and years ago, and yet it still is because I've chosen to be intentional not just with my relationships, but intentional about what I feed this, this between my ears, because I'm coming to recognize how powerful it really is. It can spend a whole bunch of time regurgitating all this negative stuff in the world around me that I have no control over. Or I can focus on the things I do have control over and the people I can serve and the people I can love and the people that can encourage and, and lift up and add value to their days. Of course, that's so much more powerful. Now I'm focused on what I can do, in that I don't get caught up in what I can't do and what I can't control, and I'm not carrying stress from all of this stuff around us. It's fascinating to me, the number of people who are caught up in all this stuff, they have no control over. It's interesting, obviously, in the church, I've been around AAA enough to know the Serenity Prayer and recognize how powerful that is for our world needs this idea. Focus on the things you can control and let go of the things you can't and God give me the wisdom to know the difference. That's really, really, really powerful.
Chris Michel 26:30
I've kind of taken on this mantra that I'm exactly where I need to be right now. To your point, it's removing all the other trash that's there, right thinking, I need to go and take care of this and help this and do all these other things. Trying to take care of myself, if I'm not taking care of myself first, then I'm really setting myself up for failure. Then I can't help other people, it becomes the whole, when the airplane goes down, you gotta put the mask on yourself before you can help anybody else. Otherwise, you're useless.
Robert Peterson 27:06
It's interesting to me that my wife works with women specifically. It's fascinating that they still give that instruction to the whole flight. They specifically go to each mom, and they will remind the Mom, look, put your own mask on first. Sure, because we're asking you to do something that's going to go against your motherly instincts, your motherly instinct is going to say, I got to take care of my baby, I got to take care of my baby. They remind them at the beginning of every single flight. Then they go to mom, every child on the plane. Now the dads too, for some that are traveling, single dads, but the reminder for a mom, because this is instinctive to protect their children and sacrifice themselves for their children. You can't help your children if you can't help yourself. It's a huge reminder. I love that you're exactly where you need to be. That can be so powerful in your relationships, obviously, in your time with your daughter and your time with your wife. Being present is so important. For entrepreneurs, we can get so distracted by our business and all the things that are happening in our business. Of course, the big giant to-do list and in the overwhelming calendar, but allow yourself to say, this time is for this person, that I'm facing that I'm sitting with. I want to make sure that I'm present, I want to be there and not have my brain someplace else. That's super powerful for yourself when you're alone, I'm exactly where I need to be in what I'm doing and what I'm believing and when. I'm also able to be present with myself, with my family, with the people that are important to me, even with clients. When I'm meeting with a client, I'm able to be present. That's a very powerful tool obviously in coaching, but just in life, in conversation and in living in the moment. It's all we have. So much of our life gets caught up in other stuff, but we missed the moment.
Chris Michel 29:14
We're so worried that we're gonna miss out. That's the FOMO, the fear of missing out. We have to videotape everything, or we have to record everything and we have to write and we have to make sure that we've got our phone out. We can say, Oh, I was there and I did this. When was the last time that you just lived in the moment? When was the last time you put your phone away? Put it on Do Not Disturb, leave it in your car, leave it at home. You were there to your point you were present for whatever activity it is you're doing. Can you do that? That's tough for people. We live in this world where I have to show everybody that I'm doing these awesome things, or I have to be a part of this. I've gotten to participate in a number of things and I Have them recorded, but they're in my mind. They're etched in my mind and and they're etched in other people's minds, and the things that we got to see and the things that we got to do and be a part of. It's all we got to figure out how to do that more often.
Robert Peterson 30:14
I don't know that documenting the experiences takes away from the experience. You actually miss out on something because you're too busy trying to take a selfie in the crowd?
Chris Michel 31:03
You're gonna get hit by a bear. I just want to take a selfie with a bear. Hey, we should let that one go.
Robert Peterson 31:12
I thought about it. I was thinking about just this morning, I read my Bible and did this morning routine and that I pulled up my phone and was trying to get to a certain app. There's five pages of apps. What, when? When did I start carrying around this machine that it's still fairly recent. Now, all of this stuff is coordinated through that silly phone. I'm not that I want to go back because I love technology, it makes our conversation possible. It makes this podcast possible. It does incredible things. Yet, there's still a piece of it that's like holy smoke in my sleep. I want to make sure that I'm able to put it down. I love the idea of taking my Sundays and just not just leaving the phone on the charger and spending a day without it. I don't really need it that bad. So crazy. Man, this is so good. Obviously, you started in the niche that was close to you. How helpful is that? One of the things entrepreneurs really do struggle with is this idea of niching down this idea of picking a target audience and, and for the, for the people that don't have this tight connection to a community to a language to that kind of connections that you had, might not understand the value of human What do you mean, you're a coach for HVAC guy? Or HVAC companies? Remember, there'll be going, is there enough people? That's the worry. That's always the worry, there's enough.
Chris Michel 32:57
We live in this world of scarcity. We're being taught that we're constantly being, we're constantly being told that there's just not enough and you have to get more and more and more. It's why you have these people that are focused so much on making all of this money, and to what end. What I encourage people to do with, especially with entrepreneurs, is when you niche down to a specific group that you're comfortable with, that you've been working with for years, it helps your business doesn't hurt it. Now you have a clear message, you have a very focused message on who you need to speak to, and how that works. The flip side of that is if you are trying to please everybody, if you're trying to talk to everybody, you have a very convoluted message, and it can get lost, and people may not know who you are trying to help. I used to say, Hey, I'm just here trying to help small to medium business owners who are self managing sales and shouldn't be. That's a cool little message. At the same time, it's so broad that you don't really hit anybody with that. We talked about the small to medium business owners who are self managing sales. The reality is I focus on heating and air plumbing and electrical companies. Oh, I know a couple of those people. What do you do with them? I work with their sales team, I work with them, I set up their processes, metrics, KPIs, I help them to do these things. Oh, and by the way, I used to run a heating and air conditioning company. I'm also helpful on the business side. I know how to read a p&l. I know how to build not just the spreadsheets but I know how to set up the metrics and the KPIs, the key performance indicators to help you to set yourself up for a win as opposed to hoping right that we can do this. Excuse me, hoping that we can, may If we do something that will hit, and it's when we niche down, when we really focus, we narrow our focus on what we're good at and what we're comfortable with. We will be more and more successful. That's the crazy thing that people don't understand. To your question, are there enough? There's seven and a half billion people I don't even know anymore. There's so many people on this planet. There's over 300 million people in the US alone. Forget Canada for yet Mexico forget, any other country. Here in the United States, there's over 300 million people. There's, what, 2 million entrepreneurs or more right here in the US alone? Why in the world? Can't we help? Why in the world can't we work with so and so or work with this particular niche or right? Why can't we have this particular focus, you'd be amazed at what you'd be able to accomplish if you just focus on what you're trying to do.
Robert Peterson 35:57
That clarity helps in so many ways. First, I think the universe loves clarity. If you're clear on your goals, and you're clear on where you're going, you're clear on what you're doing. Clarity is so powerful, but clarity on your messaging is so powerful, like you mentioned, like, yeah, I help, you know, medium to small businesses in their sales functions. Everybody's like, okay, no, I helped HVAC company know, anybody else process? Oh, yeah, I understand exactly who that is. In fact, I've thought of two names, that are in HVAC businesses. Maybe I can introduce you. Now you've already added a referral stream. The clarity in how you communicate with those people in the language that you use to, to an HVAC tech who's started his own company, because he was really good tech. It's probably not very good at sales. Not very good at business, because the HVAC company is working for it and did all those things for him. It's the myth lived out and, you can speak his language, you can speak exactly to what he's jumped into. Exactly what he needs to generate his next sale, communicate well with the clients that he's serving, the exact language he needs to use to show them. I know, they can get away with a lot. Obviously, the furnace is broken. It's putting co2 in the house, it's pretty clear look, here, the meter says this, you need a new furnace. Then it's still a 10 $15,000 purchase for a home. Whew, that's a lot of outlay for a homeowner, and so being able to help them in that conversation and give them options for how they how they make that sale is super powerful. The idea of narrowing it down isn't about just buyers. It's really about marketing. It's really about language, it's really about feeling. These are people who you hang out with, they're people that you have rapport with, they're people that you just feel right being around because they're your people. When you're around your people, you don't have to fake it. You don't have to put on this salesy guy, you can just be you and say, Hey, this is what I do. Here's what I've done. That's pretty powerful.
Chris Michel 38:13
It is. That's the key. For a lot of people, they don't realize, Hey, I've been there, done that. I've made the t shirt I've met, I've got the hat, I've done these things. Why wouldn't you want to focus on what you've done and the successes you've had? Now, if you don't like that particular industry, that's a different story. If you want to focus, and really clearly give your message, there's no better way to do it than focusing on something like that. It talks about that in story brand, building a story brand. He talks about narrowing your focus so that you know exactly what you're talking about. There's clarity to your point, there's clarity about the message that is being sent out. People know exactly what you're saying.
Robert Peterson 38:58
Clarity is powerful. If you don't, you need to know who you serve, you need to know what you offer them. You need to know why you want to do it. If you know those three answers, you can have pretty clear messaging that communicates those things. People are gonna go, Oh, I know somebody or Oh, hey, he's talking to me. That's me. It's so powerful that your audience hears you and they go, Oh, he's talking to me. Let me let me listen to what he's saying.
Chris Michel 39:35
You understand the message. It's not just that, oh, they're talking to me. There's clarity of message. I understand what they're saying. I understand what he's getting at. Oh, yeah. Let me be a part of that.
Robert Peterson 39:48
Absolutely. Let's dig into a little bit more. You mentioned the book earlier. Let's dig in and talk about the red chair experience.
Chris Michel 39:57
Okay. Here is what it looks like. That's the book.
Robert Peterson 40:03
Yep, it's the addition of a red chair.
Chris Michel 40:07
It's not just any red chair, that is my red chair, when it's in my master suite, but that chair actually has meaning to me, it was owned by my previous business mentor, who was my stepdad. We lost him in 2016. Then it was passed on to my younger brother, who we lost in 2019. That's when it became mine. I'm holding on to it in case my niece or nephew want it later in life. That's where it says it's a place. For me, it became and the reason I called the book, the red chair experience is because it's a daily inspiration for success in life and business. You talked about your morning routine. You like to read in the morning and meditate or pray. Whatever you're reading, you want something that's going to inspire or help you to focus throughout your day. Naturally, what this was written for was it was an intentional focus. I read it, or I wrote it when I was sitting in my red chair most days. There's history there, there's a reason for it. The red chair experience is do you have a place that you can go to have this experience, it doesn't have to be over a chair, it could be a couch, it could be blue, it could be yellow, I don't care, it could be outside, it could be on your bike. It could be walking your path that you have near your house, it could be spending time at the ocean or spending time in a water, at some sort of a waterfall or even a river or something like that. It's finding that place that you can get into, for lack of a better term that zen like state where you can find what you need to find right through meditation and prayer. Trying to find what works best for you to help you to positively move forward.
Robert Peterson 42:05
It's like I think in spot
Chris Michel 42:07
it is. Yeah, it really.
Robert Peterson 42:10
It's so powerful. If you choose a spot, and it's even more powerful, you choose a time and use the same time in the same spot every day. Yeah, it saves you the those decisions, first of all, which is a huge advocate of cutting decisions out of our lives, so that our mind is focused on the decisions that matter. Creating a space and just giving yourself time, even if it's just 510 minutes a day in a space that is comfortable, it feels right in it. You give yourself time for your brain to just go.
Chris Michel 42:45
Like we were talking about earlier, Rob, the positive mindset, getting rid of the negative thinking that we are so used to and oh, you're not good enough, you're not this, you're not that. Find something that speaks to you, find that positivity that speaks to you. Pray, meditate, again, something that's going to put you in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day. It is important that you find a time and I meet personally, I found that first thing in the morning works best for me. Some people it's later at night, and that's okay, or in the middle of the day, whatever works best for you. Find that time, find that space, find that thing that will help you to get your mind right and put you in a better space.
Robert Peterson 43:31
So powerful. What other elements of your routine have helped you on your growth journey?
Chris Michel 43:38
The biggest thing for me is really it's surrounding yourself with the right people. Reading and I'm constantly trying to add more books to the booklets that I have. I've got probably 20 books that are sitting next to my red chair that need to be read. It's just finding those things right in and listening. I read a book years ago called the surrender experiment by Mickey Singer or Michael singer. That helped me to understand how to just call myself enough to be mindful of what's happening around me, so that I could pick up on the things that are being given to me at this time. There are certain things that appear at the right time. If you're not listening, you'll miss it. It's having the awareness and having the ability to be there and be present as you as you mentioned earlier. To be present in these times so that you can hear what's happening around you and what's important.
Robert Peterson 44:46
Absolutely, I'm thinking of another book by I think it's the same author,
Chris Michel 44:53
living untethered, Untethered Soul. Yep, that's the webbing untethered. I just read that one too.
Robert Peterson 44:58
The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. The first chapter is like he was in my freaking head, gosh, like, because he is really just talking about the voice in your head and recognizing that the voice in your head is not you. Right away his descriptions of the voice in your head, I'm like, Oh, dude, you're in my head,
Chris Michel 45:17
you're still in my head right now. I don't appreciate this.
Robert Peterson 45:20
exactly. It's a powerful message. A big part of my coaching, a big part of your coaching, it sounds like it is really helping people separate themselves from that voice in their head. Take control of it. Really reprogramming your subconscious so that the voice is working for you instead of against you. It's crazy, like, why would I have this voice in my head that's working against me, but it really is a remnant of our survival brain, the brain trying to protect us from the tiger outside the door, even though we haven't had Tigers outside the door for hundreds of years. Not only that, now we've got all this information overload. So the brains got all kinds of stuff that data to us.
Chris Michel 46:05
We go into this fight or flight, we go into the amygdala, and it's fight or flight. That's what that part of the brain is for. If we get put in that situation, it's go time or it's I'm taking off. That's what we're taught to do. That's what our brain teaches us to do. Too often we hear these messages that are mixed, and they mess with us, instead of listening to the calm serenity. That is surrounding us. It's not, to your point, we haven't had Tiger sitting outside our door for years.
Robert Peterson 46:36
Yet the brain is still acting like it. The worst thing is we don't understand the chemical reaction. The adrenaline and cortisol that if you let the brain trigger fight or flight, it's gonna dump cortisol and adrenaline into your body. It's designed for fighting or running. It's not designed for sitting on the couch.
Chris Michel 46:59
No, it is not.
Robert Peterson 47:00
Our culture is an epidemic of this state of anxiety and stress, causing the brain to be in fight and flight causing the body to be experiencing all these negative chemicals that are just not designed for sitting still. Of course, if you got those dump and you go out and you're running, you run a marathon or you fight a bear, then you're using those up, but, man, we're lucky. Men are lucky because men process those chemicals, even sitting still for about eight hours, until they go away. It takes 24 hours for women's bodies to fight those. Wow, that those chemicals pass. It's crazy. The science that's backing all of this up, Norman Vincent Peale wrote the power of positive thinking, and everybody's like, Oh, it's just woowoo. Oh, it just feels good. The truth is, no. When you have these positive thoughts, and you have this positive thinking, your brain dumps all these positive chemicals, dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and other endorphins that are just helping you feel better. It's designed to make you happy and experience joy. Guess what? It helps you control the fight or flight. Joe Dispenza is a chiropractor, but he's studying all his brain stuff. They've scientifically shown that there's about 10 seconds. An event happens, and there's about 10 seconds that you get to choose. You get to say, Okay, wait, is this a bear? What is this, just some drama? If you choose the bear, you're gonna get that adrenaline dump, and you get to run and you get to save yourself as long as you're faster than your friend. If you choose to say, Alright, wait, this is just drama, I can see the truth in this. I don't know how to get involved. Your brain doesn't dump those nasty chemicals in there. You don't
Chris Michel 48:59
experience all this. Then you have to have the downtime.
Robert Peterson 49:02
Exactly. I don't think enough people know about this, we know you're out there and take responsibility, be intentional. I love how intentional you are about putting positive stuff in your mind, feeding yourself intentionally. Helping other people recognize looks, if you intentionally take control of this thing, it actually works for you.
Chris Michel 49:24
That's the thing. That we're intentional about it. Too often I think there are people I know who are like, well, if it happens, it happens. I'm like, okay, but we can intentionally do some of these things to make them happen.
Robert Peterson 49:38
So on it and obviously there's a lot of people that are just stuck in their comfort zone they're stuck in the rhythm of life thinking that this is all there is they get up in the morning they have coffee breakfast. Go to work, come home, have a beer kisser family, good night and go to bed. They're literally living for the weekend because that's the time they get to do something fun. There is not the majority of their time, the 168 hours a week that they're awake that they're missing out on, on being able to experience joy and pleasure. Of course, there's an epidemic of depression in our country right now. We've got a bunch of people that are just just going through the motions. We're not communicating. Yeah, absolutely not. And not, believing that there's something better. The people that are in that place that are experiencing that feel like that's just what life is. Yeah, that's how it's supposed to be. It doesn't have to be that way. People like you, and I need to keep telling them. Look, there's opportunities out there, and I'm going to share this, obviously, we're sharing the stories of those hope. These are just inspirational stories, little TEDx talks in a story. Our goal is to get 5000. I'm going to send an invitation to Chris, and we'll get his story in here.
Chris Michel 51:03
thank you, I want
Robert Peterson 51:04
to share inspirational stories, I want to share inspirational things, I want to share positive living. My growth and add value to business add value to life, add value entrepreneurs is to help me make people feel better. Sometimes that just starts with a smile. The smile is so powerful.
Chris Michel 51:21
Yeah, it's huge.
Robert Peterson 51:24
Oh, this is great stuff. Thank you so much for sharing. I want to dig in. What do you love to do in your free time?
Chris Michel 51:34
Oh, gosh, I do believe it or not, I spend my weekends, typically, on habitat. I like to help out there on Saturdays, building homes and helping people get a helping hand up. The other thing is, when I can I like to golf, when I can find time, and I do yoga, and I find other activities. I do like to read so I never thought I'd say that. I'm waiting to really enjoy reading and that kind of stuff and spending time obviously with my family.
Robert Peterson 52:07
Let's dig into the family a little bit. This isn't typically my most challenging question. What is your most memorable date? Your wife?
Chris Michel 52:18
Oh, gosh. That's tricky.
Robert Peterson 52:26
I told you, that's the toughest question I asked.
Chris Michel 52:31
There's a twist. So I'm not married. That's where it gets. That's what I'm saying. It's tricky.
Robert Peterson 52:38
doesn't have to be your wife, you can pick the date with your daughter.
Chris Michel 52:44
I was talking to my daughter yesterday about some of the things that we've done, we've gone on cruises, and we've gotten to see different things and we swam with the dolphins. There's so many things that we get to do. Some of the most memorable things. For me, it's just the experience, it's just being in a situation where you can have a real conversation and you're getting to know that person. Whether it's your spouse, or your kids or whomever, it's what I learned years ago, it becomes more about the experience than it does about the event.
Robert Peterson 53:24
What should be?
Chris Michel 53:25
That's what it is for me. What I've learned is that I started collecting and drinking more bourbon years ago, and I say drinking more because I have a collection. What I would do is I would long for the sit down. Let's have a good bourbon or whiskey or scotch and let's just have a conversation and let's just maybe have a glass of wine or whatever. Yeah, fruit juice, I don't care. It becomes these deeper conversations. That you're not just how's your day, what's going on? It becomes the deeper conversations and the woman I'm dating right now, that's the thing is, when we go out to dinner. We go out to dinner about once a week, but when we go out to dinner, the conversations that we have over dinner, it's a two hour event, dinner is we eat for about 30 minutes, but it's the conversation that we have. It's the hour plus of conversation that develops around all of that stuff. For me, that's more of the magic. That's more of the place where you get to see and hear and learn more about someone else.
Robert Peterson 54:39
Nice. So powerful. With all the business success you've had, what's been one of your biggest challenges
Chris Michel 54:49
Certainly my own business. That really was a huge task, and I struggled with the negative thoughts that everybody struggles with. Can I do this? Can I make money? Can I? I remember saying to myself, when I first started, I said, I'll know in the first four to six months, whether or not this is gonna fly. People around me were like, What do you mean? I was like, I'll know in the next four to six months if this is a valid right thing to do. I was making money within the first four to six months. It was beyond paying the bills. It was because I was making money. I was like, okay, maybe I do know what I'm talking about. Maybe I do have the right people, maybe I do, know these things. It was a huge testament to me that I can be successful, and I can do these things that I wanted to do. That was kind of the bigger, kind of the big pat on the back. That you're doing fine. You're doing the right things to keep moving this direction.
Robert Peterson 55:50
Nice. What has been the power of mentors in bringing that about?
Chris Michel 55:56
Gosh, I've learned so much in the last month about masterminds. I know, you talked about mentoring, but mentoring, excuse me, mentoring has been a huge part of my life for a number of years. Then, this concept, this idea of masterminds has kind of shifted my thinking, and it has helped me to understand that, hey, a mentor is great. Many mentors are even better. Not in the negative sense from the biblical passage gather on your great number of teachers to hear what your itching ears want to hear. It's beyond that it's gathered you a great number of teachers to help you to move forward, and to expand your thinking and to expand your abilities. This whole idea that Napoleon Hill did a TV series on it years and years ago, I see that it was 67 or something. He did it. He talked about this mastermind principle. The mastermind principle is where you gather two or more people with a similar focus with a similar mindset and contain any similar drive. What you do is you'll learn more by combining your efforts with this other person or persons than you would ever learn on your own ever. What they found is that when you have these mentoring or mastermind groups, you learn so much more within one year that you can literally take your business to new heights.
Robert Peterson 57:27
Absolutely love the mastermind. Love that. Not just conceptually, but the power of a group of people in the same room aligned with the same purpose, even if you're growing different businesses, as entrepreneurs, but your purpose is the personal growth and development necessary to grow your business have a bigger impact. It is so powerful. It's a multiplier, not an additional, not an add. Until you've experienced it in that way that it does, it defies explanation.
Chris Michel 58:07
It really does. It's hard to explain to people the benefits that you can and will receive by being a part of a mastermind or mentoring group. What I found is, I wouldn't be where I am today with my business in a year and a half. If I didn't have my red chair counsel, and I do have a red chair counsel, but having them to be a part of my life and be a part of theirs. We've all seen things that we've grown in now, it doesn't necessarily mean that our business has grown financially, but maybe our business here has grown, and our ability to think differently and right way outside of the box and nonlinear and all that good stuff. Take all of that and what you gain from that and the years that it will, how long it will help you is really the other benefit of it. It's not just for the hearing now. It's really for the distant future too.
Robert Peterson 59:04
Absolutely. Chris, what's your big dream?
Chris Michel 59:10
What's my big dream? Right now my big dream is to have the book in front of 100,000 people over the next three years. Not from a financial standpoint, but truly from helping people I want people to feel the impact and be inspired and motivated from the book. Then as a side piece of that. It's being able to help individually. It's being able to do the coaching or the mastermind groups and facilitating those to get and help people that need help. They need someone's help to move their business or their personal life.
Robert Peterson 59:54
Nice. So good. You spent an hour with a young entrepreneur across the table from you and you want to leave them with Coach Chris Michels Words of Wisdom, what would you share?
Chris Michel 1:00:11
If you don't have one, get a mentor. If you don't have people in your life that are supporting you and helping you in the direction that you want to grow, change your friends, change your peer group, change those around you, because you can't do this alone. As much as you want to, don't do this alone, get help from other people. If you don't have the right people, find the right people.
Robert Peterson 1:00:37
So powerful. Chris, thank you so much for hanging out today and sharing this conversation. I love all that you shared and appreciate your vulnerability and helping people talk about difficult conversations. Those are really important too, and just appreciate you
Chris Michel 1:00:55
Well, thank you. I really appreciate the opportunity to be here today. So thanks.