and Robert talk well, mostly about being grandparents. We also talk about coaching entrepreneurs and helping them build their business.
A little bit about Hal...
How would you define a coach? Too often we think in terms of an athletic coach with a temper throwing chairs across the basketball court or a football coach who yells all the time. If this is our definition of coach, we will fall into a role most of us don’t want.
I have adopted a different definition of a coach. I don’t want to push people if they don’t care, and I have never found it helpful to berate unmotivated people. I want to help people find their why and allow that to provide the motivation to push them forward. Everyone is motivated in some area of their lives, and if I can understand their why, I might be able to help them engage fully.
Think back to the pioneer days of the United States when a traveler rode in coach or buggy to get from one location to the next. Not everyone could afford to ride in coach, only people who had wealth and value. Riding in the coach was a status symbol and the coach transported the valued person to their desired location. My definition is similar - the coach helps valued people move from where they are to where they want to be. I like that definition. I have adopted that definition for my coaching. My role is to help the person I am coaching take their best next steps into their preferred future. I don’t choose the direction: the person I am coaching does.
Robert Peterson 0:00
Today, I'm pleased to welcome Hal Mayer. How would you define a coach? Too often we think in terms of an athletic coach, with a temper throwing chairs across the basketball court are a football coach who yells all the time. If this is our definition of coach, we will fall into a role most of us don't want. How can I adopt a different definition of a coach? He wants to help people find their why and allow that to provide the motivation to push them forward. Everyone is motivated in some area of their lives. If we can understand their why we might be able to help them fully engage. Hal Mayer and Robert have a great conversation, mostly about being grandpa's. We also talk about coaching entrepreneurs and helping them build their business. Hal thank you so much for jumping on the show today.
Hal Mayer 1:50
It's a pleasure to be here. Robert. I've been looking forward to this.
Robert Peterson 1:53
I typically let each guest share their entrepreneurial journey and tell us how they got to doing what they're doing now.
Hal Mayer 2:02
I want to get out of college. I coached for about five years High School, football and basketball. I went off to seminary in Texas, and then served on a church staff in Jacksonville and in Florida. For years all type of different roles. I was a lead pastor, a planning Pastor, I was a small group, first as an executive pastor. While I was doing that, I started doing some contract training with Bell South. I did some for Farm Bureau as well, and enjoyed that edge of it and saw so many principles that crossed over into the biblical realm. I began doing a good bit of that and I retired from full time ministry. In my retirement, I decided I didn't want to play golf and pickleball the rest of my life. That's fun. I want to do something that brings meaning. One of the things I've always enjoyed is coaching and adding value to people. One of the things I've realized I actually had a guy tell me this, he said, how we've got so many men and women out there in the business world, and in ministry world that haven't don't have a father image or father role, whether it's a spiritual fathers earthly father, so many looking for an encourager, really a mentor. I decided I would move into that realm. What as I left full time ministry, and kind of let it settle and see what happened. At this point, I'm having a ball. I'm coaching, nine business leaders, slash owners, and about 11 pastors. That's been a fun thing for me. For me, it's this. The pace of life is such an interesting thing. We all know life, some marathon, and some of us run life as a marathon of Sprint's. In my coaching, I really tap into all the different elements of their life, not their business. If you succeed in business and fail at home, nobody wants that, or if you succeed in business, you fail in your health. Mine's a holistic type of coaching. I help them in the areas they're looking at. I'm asking questions, I want it to be life giving, I want them to find the life giving way to run it. That's kind of a quick thumbnail for me.
Robert Peterson 4:32
I appreciate you sharing that we have obviously a similar background. Definitely we appreciate opportunities when our faith and holistic approach to leading people is involved, especially when we're bringing that into the business world. Appreciate what you're doing and respect what you're doing and of course, understand the opportunity to play pickleball and golf. You got to have something In between, so get you out of the sun, We don't want you in the sun too much.
Hal Mayer 5:05
That's all that is in the sun. I'm fairly dark, I'll load up with a bunch of sunscreen too. My dermatologist says I need to.
Robert Peterson 5:15
Nice. You mentioned questions in there and asking questions. I love curiosity. Of course, as a coach, Curiosity is a powerful tool. Let's dig into the power of asking questions.
Hal Mayer 5:35
For me, it got started. Back when I first became a student of Ken Blanchard, situational leadership. I don't know if you're familiar with that work, a helpful tool for me. I built my parenting off, all my relationships. One of the key things is that he asks questions instead of making assumptions, so one of the things I've learned is, when I'll ask a question, I give value to somebody, I show my respect for what they're saying. When I listen to them, and even add more. One of the books I've read recently, I don't remember which one I am trying to recall. It said the good electrode map of the brain in the brain could not distinguish, essentially, the same area lit up in the brain when a person felt loved as when they felt heard. That was pretty powerful for me. I recently wrote a book called Smart ask, questions that lead your team to win. The whole premise here is using questions to discover where people are, where they want to go, and questions to help them get there. Rather than being so prescriptive. In a coaching method, I'm much more on a different angle of opening up, finding out what they're passionate about and helping them move there.
Robert Peterson 6:51
We come from a similar space that I believe the solutions are inside of us. In my role as a coach is to help draw the solution out from the person. Never assume that they need to be told what to do. There's way too much of that going on in the world.
Hal Mayer 7:12
Nothing more offensive than knowing how to do something, somebody tell you how to do it? The question, and they already know, I don't have to edit it. Now there is a level where questions don't work. If I'm going to ask you, I don't have to be an expert in your area to ask questions. However, if you're doing brain surgery, me asking you questions will not help. There's a level of understanding and experience that are required before questions are helpful in some of the areas. That's not a reason to back off using questions.
Robert Peterson 7:42
Absolutely, yes. There's places where I agree with you that each of us is an expert in our own life, Brian, and one of the biggest challenges for the brain is when the brain says, I know that. The minute the brain says, I know that already. It shuts down. One of the challenges as a coach is to get past that little trick that the brain plays. All of us have read self help, and personal development books, and all of us know things that are better for our health, that if we made those choices, either they'd be better for our health. Yet, we're still not applying a lot of the things that we know. Knowledge is definitely not the answer.
Hal Mayer 8:29
Knowledge with the internet now. People are knowledge base, whether it's coaching, teaching, preaching, and they're missing the boat, because knowledge is on my phone. Actually, it's on my wrist, I can ask a question to my wrist and get the answer with this. Apple Watch. You're absolutely on point with that. I fully agree.
Robert Peterson 8:51
The challenge is a coach is not helping somebody have more knowledge. We've got plenty of systems for that right school crams kids full of knowledge and when the news crams is full of knowledge, and there's all these places for knowledge say Google, we can we can get all the information we need from from Google, it's helping somebody made the commitment to apply the knowledge. Want a change in their life. More than that, I guess that's even more than I want. Everybody wants to be healthier. If you ask him, of course, I want to be healthier. Taking that from a want to application of the knowledge to life change. Necessary is where the real application comes in.
Hal Mayer 9:41
I live three days a week and I get a lot of exercise. I've got a guy coming over for dinner tonight. His wife, and he's in incredible shape. I'd like to be in as good a shape as him, I'm not willing to put in the work to get there. That a lot of his land would like to be there. Are we willing to put in the work to get there? You Carol Dweck book on mindset, to me, is incredible. When it talks about everybody can improve. If you've got a growth mindset, a fixed mindset says, Nope, this is who I am. I'm judged by what I've done, as opposed to by my effort with a growth mindset. I fully agree. One of the challenges for us is if we're not asking questions, we don't get out of our own headspace, we start thinking and we run when somebody says something, instead of asking a question, we run scenarios. Usually it's not a best case scenario. It's the worst case. Carol Dweck in her book gives this illustration that I've used several times, the last couple of days, a guy and gal are dating, they're sitting on the couch, she's thinking, This is it. We've been dating now for six months, we're gonna get married, and they're watching TV, and he looks at her and she says, I need some space. If she stays in her own head, she's going. What does that mean? What have I done? Am I pushing too fast? Or do we go into that? Does he want to back up? Instead of chasing that rabbit in your head? If she were to ask the question, help me understand what you mean, when you say I need more space. He merely says, I'm scrunched on this couch too far, give me about two or three inches length, be comfortable, change the whole scenario. That's the value of questions, we make assumptions and operate based on those. We're a mile off many times.
Robert Peterson 11:30
So many times. One of the examples I give is, my daughter texted me and this happens a lot in texting and emailing, which, of course, is our modern communication. She said I'm going to have lunch with a friend. I said, Okay. In my mind, there was no emotional judgment or anything else. I got a phone call from my wife saying, Your daughter thinks you're mad at her. Wait, what? I don't understand what's happened here. That was exactly what had happened as she applied an emotion that she was feeling inside of her own head to my response, making the assumption that I didn't want her to spend time with this other person. Because of that assumption, she was amping up this entire Absolutely. emotional conversation and couples do it all the time. Of course, it happens in families all the time. Couples do it exactly as you know, Carol Dweck describes in that conversation. Another example is, she doesn't kiss you goodbye as you're driving out of the driveway, on your way to work. You spend the whole day eight hours of your workday thinking she's mad at me about something. I don't know what I did. You start trying to pinpoint all the reasons that she's mad at you. Then you get home that night. What have you done? You've built up this entire argument, you walk in the front door with this attitude of defense, and guess what's going to happen. You and her are going to have a fight. You set it up, you have no choice. Neither one of you knows what you're fighting about. If I really wouldn't have done it, I would have said, Hey, how come you didn't Kiss Me Goodbye this morning. She says, I was reaching down to grab the newspaper because it was sitting behind your car. I didn't want you to run it over.
Hal Mayer 13:28
I had that same experience with my wife. We were talking about where we live in Florida. She was grilling out. It was the summer. Some chicken. She knows I love chicken. I came in, she's coming. What do you do? She saw me, and I said, Why are you grilling? She went, he's not interested in my food. She said, l make your own dinner. She went on. Then we got back together later. She said, What was that about? I said, maybe he didn't watch out in the heat. I like chicken. She went, here's the thing, she had already attached emotion to it. She said to me, even the truthful break up of an emotion, it takes some little bit of time. Once you attach that emotion, and you spend the energy which is running through your head, you find out the truth, you're still emotionally Why am I so angry at it? I don't know.
Robert Peterson 14:26
It's crazy how quickly our mind attaches something to it. It is really hard to let it go. One of the things that I've worked as a pastor in helping couples is why would you ever assume the negative, you'd mentioned how quickly we jumped to the negative in our attempts, that negative activity to something and in a couple that assumes the negative, he doesn't want my cooking or he doesn't like my cooking or, he's mad at me. We automatically jump to the negative rather than assume the positive, if I have a misunderstanding and I assume the positive, my wife hasn't come home late for work. A typical person is going to jump to the negative because she's seeing somebody else, she's having an affair, rather than, maybe she's picking up something nice for dinner? It's so powerful.
Hal Mayer 15:23
To ask a question out there that I saved myself a lot of wasted emotional energy,
Robert Peterson 15:33
You save the brain from attaching something. Then that curiosity makes the brain go, I wonder. Rather than I know.
Hal Mayer 15:45
That's good. That's really good. the difference?
Robert Peterson 15:51
I love to help my brain stay in the Wonder space, instead of the no space. The brain loves to know, We love to know it all. Man, I spent, I spent too much time in my 20s and 30s, no one at all. Having all the answers, and, and not gaining anything. Now that I've figured it out, I want to explore and be more curious and, and stay in that space of wonder, because it's so much more powerful.
Hal Mayer 16:22
I agree. That's good.
Robert Peterson 16:24
I know you love questions. I want to explore and I want to help people, what are some questions? What are some ways that they can stay in that space?
Hal Mayer 16:35
For me the thing I must watch is asking open ended questions that have divergent answers as opposed to closed ended. I'm going to use a biblical context. A closed ended question will be like this. How many disciples did Jesus have? There's one on one right here. There's 12. It sets up you as the expert love people teach from that vantage point, they'll ask questions that people don't know. You don't know. Let me tell you. What your instead of asking an open ended question. I wonder why Jesus chose only 12 disciples. Instead of the clothes and I used to do training with Lamin Colvin, I don't know if you know that name. I do. He did. Certainly, I used to train their trainers. He's the guy that wrote the questions with every verse in the Bible. He really focused on open ended, getting people thinking, it's not open ended. As into theology. It's opening. It isn't the application, The truth isn't, it's the Honjo planet truth. For me with questions, I love to have discovered, if I'll ask the right questions, and I'm tired. I don't have to talk much. It's probably lazy, I'll also listen. If you'll ask questions, it's amazing how people will talk and never even think to look up. I'll use it. I've got grandkids, my wife, and other people in a funny thing with my grandkids. I asked them, we do a thing every year called Camp pagi. It's kind of funny that the name pagi came from my granddaughter. She was the first grandchild. She flipped grandpa at a party. We started calling it I do a thing. We do family vacation, my wife and I do some stuff with the kids. A couple years ago, we opened up a camp pagi store, which was merely this: I had money printed with my wife's the black picture on it. Then we brought all the junk that was left at our house. Every night would open up the store, they could earn money by respect and trying hard things and all that. At the end of that vacation. I said what was the most exciting part? I would have said the Kampai store. With that in every year, if I hadn't asked the question I didn't ever know. I thought it would, hey, it was thrown in the water. It was not the store at night.
Robert Peterson 19:09
We’ve continued that and they're buying back their own stuff that they left playing around you
Hal Mayer 19:13
I do that plus other stuff we get in the dollar store, I guess it's $1.50 at the store now, they love the idea of getting a chance to earn it. One of the things I do is I want to try new things and hard things to develop that growth mindset of trying stuff so I'll ask the question, and then I'll actually give them money. I pay him in front of the others. You owe 50 bucks for this and then we charge him for ice cream at night for 50 bucks. It's a camp pagi book, it brings this sense of fun for them. For me, I would have never guessed that I thought about the cheese factor. That's what people really want. If you're asked In weight
Robert Peterson 20:02
As a parent, I wish I would have had more of the idea of curiosity and wonder. It's too easy to want to be right. We were the right founders, we spent so much time finding each other. We corrected each other at the dinner table saying, No, there were 12 disciples, only 11. Because Judas killed himself. All these throw out and somebody's trying to be more than the other person, instead of being able to ask those questions. I'm at least proud of myself that I've learned at this stage and gotten to that place and was walking with my grandson in the midst of COVID, they were still living here with us and we're walking, he sees the moon, and he's Grandpa, I want to sleep on the moon. Rather than saying, that'll never happen, which is the typical response, I was able to respond with. Tell me more. What would that be like? That? actly? We spent the next couple walks talking about, how can we get there? Now we've got a whole list of we're actually making a book out of it. Having it illustrated, how can we get there? His first idea was tying grandpa's ladders together and, and having Grandma, crochet a rope, we can throw the rope up there and pull it down. Allowing that curiosity and the other places, as parents that can be so challenging is when kids make mistakes when kids fail, and we're so quick to jump on it. Upset that something's happened, like the milk spilled, Rather than leaning into it and saying, How can we take advantage of this? How can we do something different with the Spilt Milk rather than, that was a terrible thing, I want the kids to experience failure in a positive way and say, we got to learn from this. How can we play with it, too?
Hal Mayer 22:13
One of the most damaging questions you can ask, is why? I've got an employee that does something. It's not why and I look ever go, Why in the world? Would you do that? That's a condemning question. I'm asking the question now. No, it's kind of an assumption behind me. If you want to ask the question, help me understand the process that brought you to that decision. Tell me what your outcome was, what was your golf for doing that? Let them begin to process so they can understand where they missed it. Instead of attacking the why question is, why would you do that? The assumption is, you're an idiot. What do you think? Then you get that kind of response, instead of, help me understand how you got there. As you look at this, where would this take you? With kids, if you'll ask questions that way, much better. It's not right or wrong. It's what the process was in thinking. Then a fair question that says, how did that work? What would you try next? Get them out? Get them there? Instead of leaving him with you, fail? Now? What can you try next? Failure is not final. Failure doesn't define you. It's one more thing you've learned that doesn't work?
Robert Peterson 23:35
Absolutely. Those are so good. I agree. Hell, why is the question we're asking why, it's so loaded. We're quick to jump to, why on earth did you do that? You can hear the judgment, you can feel it, the vibrational energy you're putting out there is just, it's just rather than curiosity, it can be challenging to stop and, want to ask a question rather than engage rather than correct. We're so quick to correct and judge.
Hal Mayer 24:19
If you'll ask the right questions. To me, I'm using questions for us to draw focus. In life, there's a lot of things going on. Oftentimes, people can't decide the next step, because they're trying to focus on five things. I'll give you a physical metaphor describing this, because I didn't first believe this. As the trainer, and the guy said, asking questions will help bring focus. He said, Let's do a physical metaphor. He said, you could go, you could have a person shooting baskets and ask a question. It'll help them draw focus. I said, that's not gonna work. I went home, my son was about 12. We had a basketball court out in the driveway. I said, let's see how many baskets you can make out of 10 for 15 feet? I put pressure on how many out of 10. The goal is you got to do well, he made four out of 10, which isn't bad. Then I started saying, I forget how many, again, want to tell me what you notice when you're shooting while the ball spins this way? How about this time, and kept asking him questions while he was doing it. What he's focusing on, he made 10 out of 10. You got a role. What happens is when you ask a question, you can get people out of their headspace that are trying to chase down three things. They focus on that one thing. What's the big issue right now? My question often I'm coaching, what's the big rock? What's the pressure point you're feeling right now? Go after one of them? So many people are in the middle of what is trapped between two bales of hay, you can't make a decision. You die of starvation in between?
Robert Peterson 25:59
It's so powerful. One of the examples that I was taught when I was coaching was the idea of them using ski instructors to teach tennis. They taught the ski instructors in teaching tennis to do exactly what you do with your son to ask questions. How did it feel? What did you notice there? The tennis players improved. The ski instructors weren't focused on teaching them how to play tennis, they were focused on drawing out the very best in them, which is really making them focus.
Hal Mayer 26:39
Exactly. Tell you something interesting. In the tennis month, 10th grade, I played high school tennis, I was number three on the team. One day we practiced. I did a two handed backhand. Now obviously, this was a long time ago, nobody was doing that for the ladies in the coach who weren't very sensitive to the arena, and all this is how old the girls swing like that. Now, I quit doing that. Now all you do swinging like that is when Wimbledon, it's not a gender thing. It's effective. What we've got to look at is does it work? It may not be the same way we did. If cutting your grass with scissors would work, why get along more. Allow growth and start talking outcomes. That's what really helped me was when you start realizing what, they may not do it the same way you did? They mean and I let them find their way and let them improve. Like you said, how did that work for you? What else could you try? What did you notice? It's crazy.
Robert Peterson 27:41
It's interesting how, when you're an expert, you're caught in the process. Brian, you're an expert at what we've done, versus an expert at achieving outcome. Changing that focus from process to outcome is very challenging for a lot of us. You're taught, this works. How do we get something different? Of course, our culture, it's a small percentage of people that think at the level of something new and something creative. I love tapping into creativity and imagination and pulling, helping people pull out new things. It's super challenging. It's outside of the norm.
Hal Mayer 28:29
I read a book in the 90s that bumped me in that direction, by Robert Kriegel, called if it ain't broke, break it. The whole premise was, what you're doing works doesn't mean there's not a better way. Try new ways, try new ideas. Most of the breakthroughs come that way. It absolutely works. They used to tell you, I play basketball, don't lift weights during the season, it'll mess with your jump shot. Now everybody does because a little guy named Michael Jordan, best player in the world started lifting during the season, and found that would keep him stronger. If it ain't broke, that was a funny book.
Robert Peterson 29:12
That idea, that willingness to break it. So often, we're caught in the process. It's working and we're satisfied, and it falls into the comfort zone. Then we keep it there. That idea of having to break it that you have to fix it again. It's pretty rare, although I remember breaking something as a kid that I couldn't fix and my dad wasn't too happy with the outcome. I was taught a lesson on not breaking bad.That adds to the challenge, all of these ideas and things that have been put on us by others. Yes, you errands and teachers and in really digging into those, it's the power of asking questions of that story we're telling ourselves that helped dig into those spaces.
Hal Mayer 30:46
The thing I've discovered too, is values questions in my coaching, especially when I was executive pastor in church staff. I would help them focus on asking questions. What would you do next? What do you do next? What's your time frame? Okay, let me know how it goes. Basically the format in the book, they would come back to me and get more coaching later. If they ever came back and I wasn't available, how gonna? Do they ask questions, they ask questions to themselves. They get there because they've learned the process. They start self coaching, which is what we want everybody, You want your kids to grow up learning how to think and learning how to think outcomes.
Robert Peterson 31:25
super powerful. It kind of reminded me of the bracelets everybody had in, in the 90s in the 2000s. The WWE JD, what would Jesus do? As a pastor, one of the challenges for that is all the assumptions people make . What would Jesus do versus what would Jesus really do?
Hal Mayer 31:48
That's rd, J. Ardrey. Jesus, Jesus really?
Robert Peterson 31:55
Exactly. The challenge is getting rid of those assumptions. In recognizing that there's room to grow and ask another question, then make an assumption. So good. Let's talk about the value of, obviously, relationships are super important in this idea of being able to ask questions, and, and, the value of connecting and the value of relationships in general, for our growth journey, for our ability to see beyond the forest,
Hal Mayer 32:38
People don't do well by themselves. If you move to the mountains of Montana, and you live alone, you wind up doing crazy things. We were built for the community. We're also better when we really engage. I'm better because A good friend will say that when you say that feels like you're attacking, I didn't know that that was a blind spot. Your blind spots become open, it also allows you to care for others. The thing I've discovered is, especially my coaching, helping others go further, faster, is more rewarding than it ever was for me to succeed. My success is theirs. In life, it's that way, if you're married, you're not competing with your spouse, if you're you're gonna struggle, if you have kids, and you're gonna compete with them, it'll last for a while. I remember, my son was a basketball player and still is as well. We would play and I could always be that one summer on vacation, he started blocking all my shots. I said, Okay, you're better than me, I'm an old man, let me shoot the three quarters, and don't block them and we'll be fine. Competing with people doesn't share information. In fact, in business, oftentimes, the rewards they give salespeople are for individual action and success. That often goes against the whole team. If somebody learns some key phrases in selling, and they're winning the spiffs and the monetary reward at the end of the month, they're not going to share that with the rest of the team. Instead of becoming better together, they're siloed in silos. You don't get better living alone, get it get better it is community and in community if you can learn to ask questions. I'm going to love the cruise, anywhere, Florida and South. However, my wife has been wanting to go on an Alaskan cruise. I didn't know once I started asking questions, what she wanted to do for an expert. I said, I'm not interested in it at all. I'm gonna go with, I'm gonna be with her. It's gonna be fun. The amount of money we spent on that I could get five other cruises. However, I have other cruises that wouldn't do the same thing for one Cruise does. That's the one she wants. You got to ask questions and I'm the happiest when I wake my wife happy. Her and that house when we operate that way it makes for a different relationship.
Robert Peterson 35:20
There's so much in there. You mentioned first of all, the idea of not competing with our spouse. So many people get into marriage and get into a relationship. There's this struggle for power and control. Why are you fighting for power control with the person you love the most on the planet? If the person you love the most on the planet is your partner, it's you and her against the world. You've got a journey to go on together. That's the idea, The adventure together. You mentioned that with the idea of the cruise, it's not about the cost, it's about the adventure together. We're gonna both experience something incredible, because we're doing it together. So much power in that. That's the same thing you talked about with the collaboration, When we have a destination, it's a journey to accomplish together. We figure out how to get there, figure it out together rather than her life, figuring out how we can control or manipulate each other. which so many people get caught up in focusing on how can I take the power? How can I have control? How can I be the boss? Our relationship doesn't need a boss we've got each other and we know where we're going, Man rabbit a heck of a lot of fun doing it.
Hal Mayer 36:50
A recent book I read was Liz Wiseman's book called multipliers. She talks about two types of bosses. Those who are multipliers who get the best out of everybody share the credit, don't take the credit. The diminishers are the people there's one genius and a bunch of minions are multipliers is a roomful of geniuses, and diminishers. Nobody wants to work because they speak, they hold up all your faults, and they take all the credit. It's interesting what you're talking about in relationships, we really are better together. I've done several things in groups. When I was training for Bell South with movies, we would have people do ratings individually, and then get as a team and do ratings. Every time the team score was much higher than the average individual score, back the highest individual score, didn't touch the theme score. The reason is, if you'll be open and learn, we can all learn. If we're stuck in this fixed mindset, we're afraid somebody's gonna think we're dumb. We're not going to ask a question. I was in college working in the summer, in a paper coding plate my dad had been the executive with Bowater paper company. I came home and said, Dad, they want me to run the press for the paper coding, while this guy goes on vacation, tell me what to do. He looked at me and he said, Son, did you ask your boss? I said, No, I didn't want him to know, I didn't know. He said, he already knows because you didn't ask a question. Hurt. Bidding, beginning of learning, if you have to be perfect, you're not going to learn. However, if you can learn from everybody you get a chance to grow
Robert Peterson 38:37
The power of collaboration is really so much more powerful. My wife's working on her next book, and it really, it's taking the concept of the mastermind, applying it specifically to marriage and the marriage mastermind, and the examples of great marriages that have empowered one or the other, or both of the marriage partners to a higher level, because of that collaboration, and support that they created for each other. It's incredible to see when that happens. Even in bigger groups, he talked about the examples you give with training, when all people in a group are focused on the same outcome, their minds aligned together to accomplish that, and really great things can happen when we've let go of the idea of somebody has to be in charge or in control and get the credit. Let's talk a little bit about mentors. For entrepreneurs. Mentorship is crucial. A lot of people are afraid to find a mentor and are afraid to ask for a mentor. It's another place where questions can be asked, like you mentioned. Did you ask the boss Your dad said did you ask the boss, I didn't want him to, think I didn't know. The idea of asking for a mentor, asking somebody that's already been down the road, for a lot of people is scary, because they're like, I don't want them to know that I don't know.
Hal Mayer 40:16
In my coaching, it's coaching slash mentoring plus, sometimes given some how to stuff. I am pleased when I find people who have several, often mentors you need for different areas, you may need a financial mentor, because not everybody's the best in finance, you might want a parenting mentor. The key is I always wanted to find people who are further down the road than me. In my thing with parenting, I wanted to see people who had grown kids who were doing well, and ask them how they did. I'm six, five, I'm big enough to get compliance. Compliance that I want in their heart. I would ask people when I saw them, tell me what you did. Tell me what mistakes you made that I should avoid, is a guy named Bill Billingsley, a pastor down in South Florida who gave me some of the best advice. He says how my first child I was so disagreeable with and I always had to be right. She was strong willed, and she had to be right. I blew it. He said, I didn't teach her how to disagree with me. When he said, Do this, because I tend to have strong personalities, she said, teach your kids how to disagree with you. I set about building a thing called three A's, whatever, they wanted to disagree with me on three things, attitude, audience and have some alternatives. Work on that. What was very neat was they learned that they've applied it in life, they felt they could always disagree. I would say, help me understand why. Help me understand what you think. They would explain it. I'll tell you, my daughter must shoot me for this, I won't give you the rest. She was probably in the 10th grade. Maybe 11th. A bunch of her buddies were going out to sleep camp out in a girl's backyard. She wanted to go and listen, asking if it was a great kid. My first question was, are mom and dad gonna be there? I said, How about there gonna be any boys? She said, they're going to camp out on the other side of the yard. I said, Yeah, it's and I don't know how excited I am about that. Deb, we're not gonna do anything so big. I trust you. I know things can happen. That's probably not the best scenario that she said. Deb Ryan thinks it's a good idea. Ryan was gonna be the valedictorian of his class. He was one of his best friends, my son's best friends. Then I asked her this question, I said, let me ask you a question. Will Ryan buy your car? He said, no. I said, he will pay for your college. How about your wedding? He stepped up and paid for that? No. I said, Will he help care for your kids? When he dies, is he gonna leave you an inheritance? She said, No. I said, that's my level of vesting. I'm going to deliver all that when he's vested the way I am. His opinion matters. Right now, I don't care. That was a fun time with her. It teaches the principle, asking questions, investing, and I wanted to know why, and who and who y'all listen to. If I'm talking about how to have a good marriage, I don't want to talk to a guy who's been married seven times. I don't mean, he's a bad guy. You didn't know how to stay married. That's kind of the idea of mentors, I look for people that have succeeded, and that I still look for them today. In some sports, I play a good bit of water, volleyball, and some of the better guys and tell me what you're thinking, tell me how you're doing that. A lot of my mentors now in books that I'm reading, that kind of general development.
Robert Peterson 44:18
Mentors in books are super powerful. Then you can get their voice and, and their knowledge, wisdom with it without having to meet them face to face. That's the power of a book and the power of reading for sure. As a father of a daughter, my question would have been, why do you think Ryan thinks this is a good idea? You did a much better job and explored, setting up a precedent for why your authority was better than Ryan split. I tell you that those those are the hardest years for sure
Hal Mayer 45:01
I love those years, because I took to a coaching method. We had no curfews for our kids after the 10th grade, I made sure they had a credit card and I had a limit and it paid off at the end of a month. I wanted them to experience freedom. When they got off to college, they didn't get stupid,
Robert Peterson 45:21
I'm with you, I, my goal, our wife, my wife, and I goal was that our home was a safe space. That if they were running away from something they were running here, not somewhere else I agree with
Hal Mayer 45:33
You're saying that's the hardest time. I've got grown kids now with kids, here's where it gets the hardest. People said, why would that be? Now if I make a suggestion, and they haven't asked for it, it's criticism. I get that. I'm now kind of, I get to give me advice if they ask, and they do so. There's times I wouldn't do it that way. Then they don't need that relationship. My wife and I have had this conversation, we go, what, we love the direction our kids are headed. They're doing well, let's not mess up the soup by starting to add a critic in their suggestions, a critic. Unless they ask a question.
Robert Peterson 46:20
That's super powerful. Our challenge is, our daughters come to work for us. She's doing work, she's here at the house every day during the week and trying to work for us while of course, talking about her family and her challenges. You're right, we can't give suggestions without being asked. Yet the conversations are happening where we want to jump in. The funniest one is my son who's still younger, he's 22. He calls to ask all the time, and we have long conversations of half hour and 45 minutes. In the end, I'm pretty sure you're not going to do a thing I'vet suggested. Why are you calling to have this conversation and asking me all these questions, if you're not gonna do anything that I suggest, I'm happy that he calls and we have the conversation. It's definitely an interesting time. The thing my wife and I are the most proud of is that we were able to raise our kids and discipline them and provide them the boundaries and provide them a safe space. When life hit them and they made terrible mistakes. I reacted, I still reacted, I was still not in total control. After I reacted and said, that's so dumb. How can we do this? How can we work through this together and walk through the consequences? I can't take those consequences away. I'd love to, I wish I could every period, we wish we could take the consequences away. Of course, recognizing that growing through the consequences, and dealing with the lifelong consequences, in some cases, is part of the growing process. That's the reality of adulthood is everything we get in our life is the consequences of our actions.
Hal Mayer 48:19
It used to be that parents that got too close were called helicopter parents. Now their lawnmower parents share the road for their kids. I will make sure it's smooth. The problem with that, the book, The coddling of the American mind, very interesting book where he talks about because we grew up with kids that got trophies for everything, and never corrected, they get into work and they want to know why they're not promoted yet. Why they'll have a raise yet, because they haven't learned how to deal with failure, or missing something or whatever that is.
Robert Peterson 48:54
We were very similar. I definitely wanted my kids to face the world and have a safe space to come back to and in a safe space where we're not going to judge, we're not going to, we're going to try not to get upset, I guarantee we're going to help you. We're gonna love you. They always come back and face the consequences. Now that they're adults, they call us daily. They love us. They're for me, I didn't want to be my kids' friends when they were growing up. We were buddies. We were friends. I was still Dad and I still had discipline in our house. There were boundaries, rules, whatever you want to call them. We had guidelines and they got looser. I was similar to you, they're gonna go out and do you know, there were a few non negotiables. The one non negotiable for sure was if you drink, don't drive, I don't give a rip what happens, where you're at what you're doing. If you're drinking, stay there, call me. Call somebody there's too many, too many options, this day and age for you to drink and drive. I probably can't stop you from drinking. If you drive, I will take away everything. That's just one that I can't tolerate I have zero tolerance for that
Hal Mayer 50:18
gives them a relief to come get them.
Robert Peterson 50:22
There's so many options, we didn't have cell phones growing up, we didn't have all these options. There's so many options. It's easier to make that decision ahead of time. You can't make that decision once you start drinking. That was definitely a non negotiable for me.
Hal Mayer 50:43
We created a place where your kids knew they loved my daughter in the 10th grade. I looked at her and I said, Listen, I told my son the same thing. If you get stupid, start doing drugs, drink and run off with some guy, give that no, I will chase you now, I will find you, I will bring you back and I will still love you. You can't do a thing that's gonna get away from my love. I like to take off the thing of judgment. If your kid thinks you're gonna be mad, because they drink. That's not a wise decision. If you call me I'm not gonna tell my daughter, you call me if you're on a date, and you don't like the way it's gonna outcome get you I'm not gonna lecture yell at you. Then it makes it a safe space exactly what you say. Employees want the same thing. They want a place where they can experiment. Mistakes are seen as experiments, not as final, you don't get final from you don't get fired for mistakes. It's seen as you trust them, they were headed the right way. That's the strength there.
Robert Peterson 51:44
Having the space to face the consequences, to deal with, you made this mistake, you'd wreck this or you did that. There's gonna be some costs involved.
You won't have to face those costs alone, you might have to get a second job, because I'm not gonna get a second job to pay for your costs. I'll support you and help you in the process.
Hal Mayer 52:11
My son was having to pay for a slight accident he had. He bumped the guy's bumper, there was an old Volvo the guy wanted the bumper replaced. He got a second summer job working nights. Much better driver since then. Let's forget. Consequences are great teachers.
Robert Peterson 52:31
As you mentioned earlier, there's too many kids, and the more parents there are, they are taking away the consequences and taking care of everything for them. It'll make poor adults, it's absolutely going to make adults that aren't prepared. Life is hard. I was similar to you in that I don't want my kids leaving home. Facing this world that they didn't know was out there. I have bumps and challenges and realities of the world that can hit you in the face if you're not prepared for dealing with that. We kind of did it to them when they were little. Our kids grew up in South America, they went to a Christian school, they went to all Christian environments and they lived in all this bowl. Then we brought him home and my first realization was that we're standing in my dad's backyard, and my dad's talking to his neighbor, and my daughter says, Daddy, they're smoking. Here's my daughter at 11 years old and hasn't seen anybody smoking. I recognized our kids have been in a little bubble. The world is gonna, they're gonna, so we put them in the public school and on their first day back, we had stories about douchebags and marijuana. These are great conversations. That was a five set both kids down and gave them, told them exactly what a douche bag really was, what it was used for. Both my kids are like, no, no, no more. It's interesting how we think we're doing the best for our kids and protecting them and sheltering them. Then you put them out in the real world and you're like, whew, there's a lot more
Hal Mayer 54:33
They'll get fired for it. They get fired to go, why that wasn't fair. You didn't give me another chance. Consequences and I'd rather my kids face consequences younger and learn from them so they can avoid those devastating consequences later.
Robert Peterson 54:49
Absolutely. We definitely got down a rabbit hole there. The truth is helping them make better choices and dealing with the consequences is allowing that growth. You mentioned your camp pagi. I love that. I'm a big advocate for play and fun. I always want to ask folks, how important is playing fun in life and business? How do you inject play and fun into your life?
Hal Mayer 55:26
It can't be pagi. Our mantra is Love God, love people eat ice cream. I want to laugh, I want to have a lot of fun doing with our kids, because the truth is in life, you don't have to read the headlines for a minute. It's easy to fall down the rabbit hole of it, it's all coming on in, this is the worst it's ever been. I don't know what we're gonna do, instead of the other side of that, of having fun laughing. What I've discovered, especially as I'm getting older, because my kids helped me, is if you laugh at yourself, everybody laughs with you. You make fun of yourself, you do something, you laugh big at it. It changed the whole environment. I mentioned before I play water volleyball with a group of guys that get together on a Monday night outside of our league. Those are some of the stronger players, I guess. We played last month, and we were laughing our heads off. We were hitting the ball as hard as we could play. It was a sense of release. There's something cathartic about laughing, and having fun. So often, we get running and we're so focused, and we gotta lighten up some. I've told him before, if you can't laugh at me, laugh at yourself laugh at me laughing at you. The truth is, lighten up. Let's take ourselves too seriously. God is not serious enough who takes God's serious and yourself less serious. If you'll do that we could laugh at things you do. If you ever saw my golf game, you would laugh.
Robert Peterson 57:15
If you saw mine, would you? Pretty much everyone would laugh. That's so good. This is gonna be a tough one because you got a little history. What is your favorite, most memorable date with your wife?
Hal Mayer 57:31
Wow, I've been married 43 years now. Most Memorable Date. Can it be a married day or?
Robert Peterson 57:41
Hal Mayer 57:47
Goodness. I'm gonna make it a married day. Our first cruise, we were married 15 years. We didn't have the kids. We left them with somebody else. It was our first time not have kids. I don't recommend that as a plan. You got to hit what was interesting and fun. At the same time. We had a ball on this cruise. At the end of the cruise, we both admitted this. I wasn't sure. we'd have the kids, whether she would still like me hanging out with it. She said the same thing, because it hadn't been us ember. It was one of the most fun cruises. I don't know if it was the best cruise. I remember it more than all the others, because it was her and I. We were reacquainting ourselves. The kids weren't there. We had a ball. We danced every band down every night. They quit, and had a ball there. For me that was because there was this pressure of when we get along together. Are we still going to enjoy each other? We always had the kids around. We enjoyed our kids. They were fun, and that's not healthy for adults. It was after that point, I started dating my wife every week. I hadn't been up to that point
Robert Peterson 58:57
Great lesson. It is so important to set yourself up. I remind people all the time, look, your kids are temporary assignments. Your wife is a lifetime agreement. You should keep your wife the highest priority. The best lesson you can show your kids is to love your wife. The kids are gonna grow up one day and leave you. You hope. Whether you like you hope. A year ago, I would have said Man, it's not gonna happen. Now they're both gone. My wife and I are having their first year of a baby.That's fantastic.
Hal what's the big dream?
Hal Mayer 1:00:04
I love what I'm doing. Now, one of the things I decided in this partial retirement was I was only going to do what I enjoyed, and was life giving. Whether it's coaching, and I've coached guys, I said, what, this isn't moving forward, you're in a good spot, you don't need this. Honestly, they weren't responding. I dropped them. I really wanted to do it as a life giving where I could add value. If I can't add value to somebody, that's okay. I'm not everybody's coach. I'm not doubting myself because of that. Life gives me when I can help poor life and to somebody else. That's what I'm doing the rest of my life, is going to be coaching as long as I can still keep going. I say that I work hard to stay in shape, I can slow down gravity
Robert Peterson 1:00:56
Yes, sir. That's fantastic. It's been an hour having coffee with an entrepreneur and you want to leave him with his words of wisdom. What would you share?
Hal Mayer 1:01:04
Buy low, sell high? No.
Robert Peterson 1:01:10
We tried to figure out how low it's gonna go.
Hal Mayer 1:01:14
I tell guys, it's always too early to quit. It's never too early to start. When you're out there, you're gonna do some things that don't work. Don't make that your stopping point. Keep going, keep testing, keep finding new things. I watched Shark Tank. I don't know if you watch that or not. It's always interesting to find serial entrepreneurs. The first couple of things they tried didn't work. They kept trying things, and then they hit gold. That's what I want to say. Don't let your identity become what you create it. Somebody goes, my business only grew. No, no, no, no, no. Enjoy. I keep asking questions, and trying new things.
Robert Peterson 1:02:01
So good. Thank you so much for joining me today. I appreciate what a great conversation so much wisdom shared and appreciated the fun we've had.
Hal Mayer 1:02:10
Thanks, Robert. Great conversation, my friend. Have a great day.