Have you ever met people who seem to have it all, but yet appear to be empty inside, like something is missing? Are you seeking deeper fulfillment in your own life? It seems these days people are always seeking more of something- money, time, acceptance, freedom, etc. and yet, many take for granted what they already have. In this engaging episode, my guest expert is both a speaker and an entrepreneur uniquely qualified to talk about fulfillment, and what can happen to you without it. Tony Grebmeier, founder of ShipOffers and the podcast, BEFULFILLED, shares with us his stories of winning and losing, falling and rising up again, and all the lessons in between, that helped him beat isolation and find fulfillment in his life. Tony will also offer you beneficial strategies to shift the focus away from the noise, hit the reset button, and get on with living a more fulfilled life. You don’t want to miss it!
Let me ask you a question. Have you ever wondered the question, “Why is it that I’m doing all this stuff? I’m pursuing happiness. I’m pursuing the American dream. I’m pursuing the ability to go out and achieve incredible things, but yet something is still missing?” Do you ever wonder that? Have you ever met people who seem to have it all but yet they appear to be empty inside like something was missing? What if you could get the cornerstone and you could get the answer to that question of how you can be fulfilled or more importantly what it takes to be fulfilled? Here’s a harsh reality, the pursuit of happiness is a long road to nowhere. Focusing on being fulfilled though will bring you a lot more joy, peace, and freedom.
We’ve got an expert who is uniquely qualified to be able to talk about this topic and a whole lot more. In fact, he’s one of the top entrepreneurs. He’s become a great friend over the last several years. He launched his first business in Silicon Valley, a marketing agency that evolved into a supplement company. In 2001, he built his second venture, ShipOffers, which is an eight-figure fulfillment brand that he started with his childhood friend. It’s become an Inc. 5000 Company. It’s one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the world over the past several years. The reality is it hasn’t always been easy for this expert. In 2008, he was on the verge of destruction. He completely transformed his personal life, his business life and a whole lot more. He formed BEFULFILLED where he helps entrepreneurs, maybe like you, to help achieve your dreams despite some of the hardships, the noise, and the chaos. BEFULFILLED is the home to a podcast that inspires over 5,000 listeners all over the world. It’s a community to help you transform your life, your business, and your relationship. Welcome, Tony. How are you?
I am wonderful. Thank you for the nice introduction. I appreciate it and I’m honored to be here.
Tony, I know we’ve had a chance to have you on the show in the past. There have been all kinds of things that you’ve been involved in. For those people who don’t know you, why are you doing what you’re doing now?
Number one for me is growing up wasn’t easy for me to fit in. I felt disconnected a lot from people. My parents divorced when I was three months old. I grew up trying to figure out, “Where was my place in the world? Where did I belong?” I had a bunch of jobs by the time I was eighteen. I was fired from one of them. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. That’s the question we get asked when we’re little. People will say, “I want to be a policeman or a fireman. I want to go into the military,” whatever it may be. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up because I don’t think I ever wanted to grow up. I quickly found myself on an early path in my twenties in radio broadcasting. I love that. I love the whole theater of the mind. I love the ability to tell great stories to bring people into your realm.
By my mid-twenties, I became a millionaire. I saw success happen. I modeled my father, who I thought was a great person to model and he was. I didn’t have some help on the other end. He didn’t know how to manage his money and I didn’t know how to either. I quickly made it and lost it. I saw that pattern happen with my father. I tried to do it again and that was what took me into my 30s. By the time I was in my 30s, I was struggling. All those knee surgeries that I had caught up to me. I got addicted to painkillers. I got marital issues for three years. I separated from my wife. I was trying to be a dad but yet I wanted a dad too in my life. I had a difficult relationship with him.
What I saw were patterns and these habits that I had. I wanted to replace those habits with some new patterns and new habits that were formed healthy. Towards the end of December of ’08, I was at my wit’s end. I tried to commit suicide earlier in October. I was like, “I don’t know what to do.” I remember the phone call because it’s relevant to me. I called my mom and I simply tried to control the conversation. My mom said something to me about 50 times, “Son, you need help. You can’t do this by yourself.” That resonated so much with me.
By the end of the conversation, I said, “Yes mom, I need help.” I went into recovery. I’ve been in recovery ever since. Why I want to help people is because I believe that we forget to raise our hand and ask for help. Instead, we’re trying to do it all by ourselves. I’m here to tell you from a person who I literally thought I had it all to not wanting to live to where I’m at now, which is pure joy and awesomeness, that you have to ask for what it is that you want. You have to be willing to do work to get it. There are people like me and people like you, Dan, out there willing to help people unpack the lies and the stories we’ve told ourselves over and over again to create a new future, new habits, new patterns and replace the old disease mindset with the empowered mindset.
You are certainly doing that, Tony. I have to ask this idea of isolation. It seems to be a DNA trait of an entrepreneur. We’re the lone wolf. We’re the black sheep. We’re the rugged individualist. We’re the one who solves problems at a massive rate. There are times we can go dark or go in isolation. From your research of thousands of people you’ve talked to, interviewed and connected with over the years in your own journey, why do you think people go into isolation versus finding it easier to ask? This is a personal question. I have had a harder time over the years asking for help than going out and being open to ask for help. I’ve had a struggle with it over the years. Why do you think that is?
I would tell you if we can go back to elementary school. That’s where this question has impacted my life which goes back to being a kid in elementary school and think about when you needed to do something, what did you do? You got good at raising your hand and the teacher said, “What would you like, Tony?” You’re like, “I need to go to the restroom.” At a time, you did that a few times. She said, “You can go to the restroom.” You’re going into junior high, you raise your hand last and by high school it’s nonexistent. You don’t do it because you’re embarrassed by the outcome because you don’t know what your friends are going to pick on you more.
I believe part of isolation comes from our critics. We start hearing and listening to trues that are not necessarily real. They’re false and somehow we believe them. The next thing I know, “I’m not good enough. I don’t belong. No one will buy my stuff. I’m a piece of crap.” From what I’ve done by talking to thousands of entrepreneurs is isolation is real. The biggest problem why I think isolation happens is because we live behind a digital age and a digital screen. We try to be somebody we’re not. When we get shot down we said, “Why don’t we go hideout?”
That was my story. I spent a lifetime trying to look good to avoid looking bad. I remember that whole journey in my mind about, “I’ll have this persona. I live on the internet. No one is ever going to come and check out my stuff. I can be anything I want.” When that gets some whole shot into it, like a piece of Swiss cheese, it’s not intact anymore, then we hide out. I’ve also used this as a great way of explaining it. For so much of my adult life, I was a good person in the stands to watch the game. I lost the ability somewhere in my 20s and 30s, not at a competitive nature. I lost some of my ability to play full out. I started coasting. When you get rich quick, you think, “You’ve made it.” That’s the false belief that I had for a long period of time. If anything, any entrepreneur you talk to, any business owner will tell you, “You did it once. Let’s go do it again.” That’s where real success lies.
For me, isolation was the essential ingredient that caused the most amount of destruction in my life. Like you, Dan, I have my favorites on my phone. I have my go-to’s when I’m struggling, depending if it’s in business, if it’s in relationships, if it’s spiritual, if it’s in recovery. I’ve decided instead of knowing that it’s going to happen because it’s going to happen and doing nothing about it, I built an arsenal of go-to’s. Those go-tos are not people, “Dan, what do you think?” It’s, “Dan, I trust you. I need your input. I feel stuck. I feel I’m not 100% and I need some guidance.” I don’t want to be an ask-hole. I want to be somebody who asks and implements or at least comes and gets more counsel and then helps me to make a better decision.”Sometimes we forget to raise our hand and ask for help. - Tony Grebmeier Click To Tweet
Isolators isolate because something’s gone wrong and they don’t think that it will ever get better. There is no perfectness, but you don’t have to worry about it because we leave that one up to my belief is my creator. That’s the only perfectness that exists. Everything else is a lesson. I say chase the winds, study the lessons and never quit. Never give up. The isolation game is so real. People isolate because it’s so easy. Do you ever get stuck on a Saturday night watching Netflix and it’s brainless hours of television? Have you ever woken up on a Sunday morning and gone and done that? No. Most people don’t repeat the pattern. They get up. They’re like aimlessly walking through the day. They’re trying to figure it out what to do. Why does it happen at night? I believe that was what was for me was my isolation got bad at night because I’m exhausted. In my program of recovery, they use a phrase that says, “HALT.” Never get too hungry, never get too angry, never get too lonely and never get too tired. If you can stay in that mindset of being there, you have a great way of getting out of isolation.
If you are reading right now, would you like the antidote to isolation? Would you like the antidote to living a life where you can be fulfilled? We’re going to take a deep dive on what Tony’s found not only on his journey but also working with thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs, business owners, and high-achievers like you and what you can do to get on the path and fulfilled and the breakthroughs that go with it. Tony, you hit us with some great insights in this first segment. You talked about isolation. You talked about the antidote. You talked about the when. I don’t think it’s a question we think about enough.
When do our potential habits show up? Is it at night? Is it in the morning? Is it on a drive? When is it? You brought up the idea of HALT: hungry, angry, lonely and tired. You want to avoid that. Here’s a question with all the research that you’ve done, all the interviews, all the interactions, the communication, and all this stuff. What have you found in the last several months, not only for you but also your clients that you’ve worked with, to be one to three of the biggest breakthroughs that you’ve put in place that have transformed the quality of your life to be fulfilled as well as your clients?
The last time I was on the show I had two business partners. In the last five months of transition that is only having one business partner. I got hit with a pretty heart-piercing statement at the very end when we decided to part ways, which was, I wish you would have communicated better. From a breakthrough standpoint, that got me thinking of like, “Where have I been off my game?” I’m normally a person who communicates great. I was like, “Where did I lose that?” What I did is I stopped listening to my feelings and sharing them. I started isolating those feelings and burying them deep down inside. What you’re speaking of hits total home because it’s right here, right now.
I sat with a person who I work within the program. It’s called sponsee-sponsor relationship and talking about family and the dynamics of going through a separation. What does that look like and how do you prepare for the next so many years? We talked about when your life works, Sean Stephenson talks about it and I use it in pretty much everything that I do. He said, “List five to ten things that you do down on paper when your life works. Then give me what you’re currently doing to those five or ten things on the other side of the piece of paper. You’re pretty much like, ‘I’m not doing it. I could do it.’ I want you to see your excuses because your excuses are real. It’s what you pay every single day for not saying what you’re going to do and doing what you say you’re going to do it by when you’re going to do it.”
At the very end, I said, “Let’s reframe the ten until five.” What we did is we took what sobriety was way down eight or nine and we made it number one. I said, “Because if I do that, I’ve got everything that I need.” If I don’t do that, then I’ve got a bunch of trouble and here it comes. We talked about that. That was a big breakthrough, not only for me but again to preface it, see it, know it and then figure out how to do something about it. We were talking about health and that’s one area. Over the last couple of months, I haven’t been at the top of my game. I think what I was able to do is not blame anybody for it. I got lazy around what was important and my business partner looks like the best he’s ever been in shape-wise. The last five months when we had this partnership split, he doubled down his effort in his health department. I doubled down my effort in launching a journal and doing other things and talking to you and being real with myself. Those are the biggest a-ha breakthroughs for me is like, “I write about it all the time in the product that I launched to the world.” There’s a column that says, “Food.” I’ve been averaging three out of five. I haven’t been averaging a five out of a five.
Those are the biggest things. It’s easy to teach people at a high level. It’s hard to swallow your own medicine sometimes. That’s the biggest gift that I’ve been able to give myself along those other two breakthroughs is the ability to say, “I think now is the time.” I’ve had so many one-on-one conversations in my life, the guy in the mirror and me. I go deep with that guy. I tell him everything that I’m thinking. He sits and stares at me like, “Are you done yet?” For me, it’s coming to the realization that I can’t do this by myself, that I don’t have the perfect formula for everyone. I have the perfect formula that works well for me. I have to constantly work on improving. That’s being okay hitting the reset button if it’s ten times in a day or 100 times in a day, knowing that I’m not going to be perfect but it’s going to be better than it was. That’s your goal for the day, Tony. Get out of bed for contribution but be better than you were yesterday and make small incremental changes. Where will you be in 6 months, 12 months, 24? It’s going to be a lot better than where you were. Those are the big three breakthroughs for me.
That’s the power of having breakthroughs and knowing that your truth has to be the number one thing. The number one thing out of your mouth needs to be your word and your word needs to be golden. If not, you need to clean up your mess and figure out what you need to do because that’s what people buy. They buy from you. They understand you. Your spouse or your partner needs to know that you’re 100% committed. Everything comes from your truth so be your word. By doing so, I have everything I have in my life by being my word.
Speaking of being your word, I want to speak to something about you that I have observed and witnessed and that I’m so incredibly grateful for. You’re one of the most, if not the most transparent, authentic human beings I’ve ever met. You’d put it out there. I’ve learned a lot by watching you just be you. You show up and be your authentic, genuine self. Here’s a part of that observation. When people run around and they talk about you’ve got to be authentic and genuine. I wonder like I get a little asterisk in my head going, “What’s the mode of an angle here? Are they being authentic and genuine?”
I’ve never heard you personally say, “You need to be more genuine and authentic or I’m being authentic right now versus the other time I’m talking to you,” which again is like my own context. When someone says that it gets me to go, “The rest of the time, you weren’t?” You are your word. You’re vulnerable. When you’re on your game, you tell it like it is. You speak the truth. When you’re not on your game, you’re as open. I don’t think that’s a natural way for most people to be in my observation. What would you say to somebody to give them the power from what you’ve learned, to let go enough, to be okay with speaking the truth as it is?Real success is when you do it again after doing it once. - Tony Grebmeier Click To Tweet
I would break it down as simple as this. Are you ready to quit and try something different? Your results got you here. Do you think you have what it takes to get you to where you want to go by doing the same thing that got you here? That’s where a coach, a mentor, having somebody to guide you or teach you. My biggest teachers are no longer with us. I’m thankful for the digital form of them from Jim Rohn and Wayne Dyer. I spend so much of my time listening to Zig Ziglar, Lao Tzu. I read books and literature. I love watching movies about personal development and growth. They all hit on the same thing. Jim Rohn says, “You need to work on you more than you do on anything else.”
A lot of people miss out on that statement. They think, “I’ll work on everything else and I’ll forget about myself.” That’s why in my journal that I launched, the real piece for me is rate the following areas of your life on a daily basis, your focus, your happiness, your sleep, your energy, your attitude, your food, and your exercise. The last column is the you time. How much are you spending on you? Most of us are like, “I’ll go help ten other people but I won’t help myself.” You time has become the most important. I get up in the morning and I journal. I read the Bible. I spend time in meditation. I try to set my day accordingly to what I think is super important by asking myself one question, which is what’s my current focus? Where am I trying to get because I’m trying to get somewhere?
I don’t think most people spend any time thinking about what is it that I’m wanting to get out of this day. I think so much of an entrepreneur, a spouse, a friend, your parents or whatever, they’re stuck in a routine and patterns exist based on what they saw their parents. I admitted early on. I saw my dad do something and I copied it. I got the result my dad got, I copied it. I got the result again because I saw my dad do it again. We model the people we see and usually the people closest to us we model. If you have people in your life that aren’t working out, I promise you, you’re probably going to be one of them who’s not working out. If you come home every night and your partner or spouse is watching television, you may not be there day one, day two, day three but eventually, you’ll probably join them because it’s comfortable and it’s easy. If you’re used to always eating out, you probably keep the pattern of always eating out. It’s your routine.
Talking to you, I have to say thank you. I appreciate all the kind words and acknowledgment. When I got into recovery, I heard this line in the book. It spoke to me. It says, “God is everything or He is nothing.” For me to be everything that I possibly can be, I have to give up everything I knew that got me here. Yoda said it. You heard it in movies. You heard it where it says, “You’ve got to unlearn everything that you’ve learned.” In doing so, you became teachable. You became teachable to what someone was going to share with you because it’s hard to have an impact when your ego is like a shield all around you. You’re like, “You can never penetrate. You can never hold my heart in your hand. I will never let you.” If I drop my guard, which is me, edging God out, and I focus on what is it that I’m up to. That’s why your current focus sets the mode and the tone for your day. What is it that you’re trying to achieve? Dan, it may be for you, “I would like to have an impactful relationship and talk to somebody who is looking to transform their lives.” It’s language shifts like that that then tell the universe, “Dan’s up to some good, let’s go send them some good back.”
That’s the whole positivity boomerang that I love to throw every day when I wake up. Throw positivity out into the world. Stop trying to throw the negativity. You look good for about two seconds. If you’ve ever seen what a boomerang does, when it comes back, it hits you straight back. However you throw it, it comes right back to you. I try to focus on the good things. Every day I wake up, I got a dog that licks my face and telling me it’s time to go out. It’s hard to get mad when your dog is like, “Let’s go play.” That’s what I want life to be like, “Let’s go play.” I told you in the beginning, I never wanted to grow up. I wanted to be the Toys “R” Us kid.
I saw sometime along my journey how I was that spoiled little brat kicking and screaming on aisle three when I couldn’t get my Autobot. Then I realized, “I can’t have it all. I can live the most fascinating life if I’m willing, to be honest.” I’m that kid who didn’t raise his hand in high school anymore after getting bullied in junior high, after being that kid in elementary school who didn’t know. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I ended up in special education for most of my life through elementary and junior high. I kept it up in high school. I would find myself in a special ed class. I didn’t talk until I was four. I said four words. My parents were so worried about what was going to be and now you can’t get me to shut up.
I would tell everybody the same thing like, “Are you ready? Are you ready to make a change? If you are, you have to give up one thing.” That one thing is the hardest thing for anybody to give up and that’s that you know it all. When you let go of that and you say, “I’m going to become teachable. What are you willing to help me do?” Whatever you’re willing to give up in accordance with the laws of the universe to go give that thing a try. When I made a decision several years ago to get sober and to get drug-free and to get my life in order, what I said was, “I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and now I’m willing to go to any length to live a better life, one that my mom would be proud of. One, my dad would be proud of, my family, my friends, my children, my business partner or whoever.” The most important person was the person that I have that conversation within the mirror. I’m like, “You’ve got to be proud of that guy because that guy has tried everything and it didn’t work.” The one thing that got into his brain was being honest. Clear away the wreckage of your past, join us and give freely. I promise you, your life will be so much better. That’s it. The ego has to be crushed.
Speaking of ego being crushed, the question I have is, “Are you teachable? Are you coachable in this moment?” I’ve got to ask, what would get somebody into a place where they have enough leverage to say, “Enough is enough and now is my time to do something special, to do something big and to do something great?”Liquor, love, or law. When one of those things is pressing on you, you're going to decide to make a change most likely. - Tony Grebmeier Click To Tweet
I have one thing around recovery that’s super helpful. I said it to a guy, “There’s usually one of three L’s that bring you into the rooms.” He goes, “What’s that?” I said, “Liquor, love or law.” When one of those things is pressing on you, most likely you’re going to decide to make a change. The other is maybe financial. For my own personal well-being, I was a million in debt, separated from my wife for a few years. My business was what it was. It wasn’t anything great. My friends had got tired of me. I said, “Screw it.” I decided that was it. I was going to try to go commit suicide. I remember the knock because I think the knock is the thing that I want people to get most out of my story is that there’s going to be a knock in your life that’s going to cause you to answer. That knock for me was powerful. When my friend, John, came to my house and he gave me a hug. He said, “Tony, your life has meaning and purpose, but what you’re doing right now doesn’t.” I didn’t know what he meant other than it doesn’t have meaning and purpose right now. He didn’t say it will never have meaning and purpose. He told me right now. I said, “Okay.” I remember he laughed.
A day or so later, a pastor buddy came by. He says, “Tony, I see you doing great things on a big stage. I do.” Both of those people shared something that I want to keep sharing and that’s hope. I hope that the pain is so much that you say it’s time to do something. You don’t tap out. I’m not saying that at all. If you feel like you’re in that position, call the suicide hotline, I’m dead serious. I don’t play games around this. What I say is maybe it’s time that you do something different. There are people like myself and my community. There are people like me online. There are people in a phone book. There are people that you can text and call that will be willing to drop everything because I know what recovery looks like. It looks like whatever it takes. A lot of people are willing to go to that length. I can run the most successful business in the world, but if I’m empty and meaningless inside, it’s only a matter of time until everything crumbles. A dear friend of ours has always said, “A house built on sand with no strong foundation crumbles.”
We want to figure out how we can take the gift that’s been given to us, which is this day, not yesterday, not last week or two years ago. Today, this is the only day. That’s why every end of every podcast I say, “Go make this day the best day of your life. Today is the day, so you need to rise up. Everybody is looking for tomorrow.” I can’t even tell you what this day’s date is. If I didn’t know that it was my mom’s birthday, I would be hard pressed to tell you what the date is. Dates are important to me. I remember the ones that are important. I would say that when you find yourself questioning if now’s the time, I would tell you you’ve already arrived at the decision-making process. You have to either commit to saying, “I’m willing to do something different,” or you can keep playing the same game you’ve been playing and hope that the results get better and we know the definition from Albert Einstein. That’s called insanity. It doesn’t change unless you change. The only way you’re going to change is to make a decision. That’s the one thing everybody needs to do is to decide in the moment of fight or flight. Many people forget that you can stay. They think, “I’ve got to go do something.” Nope, you can stay. Stay enough so that the waves of emotions can crash over you.
You don’t have to act like something’s terrible going to go wrong. Stop for a moment and say, “I’m okay. I may not like where I’m at, but I’m willing to do something about it.” That for me is the key that unlocked everything. It unlocks the keys to the kingdom because it showed me that my willingness has to be the most important thing that I experienced after I get honest. Some people say, “Isn’t honesty going to be like after willingness?” I’m like, “Maybe for you.” When my mom told me that I had a problem and she said it for 44 minutes and at the 45th minute I finally said, “Mom, you’re right. I do have a problem.” That was honesty. I didn’t have any willingness. I just had flat out honesty. I’ve had that happen twice in my life where the words came out of my mouth. It didn’t go with the emotion I was feeling. I think sometimes you put things down on paper and you don’t ever believe they’ll be read. Sometimes you say things in your head, you don’t ever think it will ever come out of your mouth.
I remember two times, one, when a therapist asked me a marital question. I said, “Yes.” Another time when my mom said after 44 minutes, I said, “Yes.” They were like blurts. They came out of my mouth like somebody opened it up and locusts came out. The next thing I know, I was like, “Did I do that? Maybe I’m ready.” That’s the willingness that I had. It was like, “I’ve arrived, now let’s go?” That to me is the essential key. That’s why we were talking about growth. I would love to share growth. Growth is what I think your show is about. Growth is what I am as an entrepreneur. I’m constantly in growth mode. The growth mindset stands for grateful. I have to find gratitude wherever I’m at, whatever situation I’m in, good or bad or ugly. I’ve got to find some gratitude.
Second, I’ve got to get real. That’s my honest piece. I’ve got to be real with you, but I first need to be real with myself. I need to get open-minded to the opportunity that’s at hand. I don’t know what the opportunity is right now, Dan, with you and me, but I’m open to it. I’m like, “We’re going to learn.” I have some willingness to listen a little deeper, maybe ask some better questions, test a little bit, try a little bit but none of that will happen if I’m not teachable. I’ve got to become teachable. Teachable is the thing that I need to remind myself every single day. What works best for Tony Grebmeier is when he wakes up in the morning to ask God to do the big stuff, the heavy lifting, but don’t allow me not to play full out. Being willing is the key.
When I asked God for an intuitive thought or action, I’ve never not had an answer come back. I have to be teachable because I don’t have all the answers. The last piece that I’m left with is if I do all of that, I get to the H. That stands for happy or happiness. I believe if you can find gratitude wherever you’re at right now, I think the goal for all of us is this happiness. We all want to be happy. That’s cool but it’s an elusive state that comes and goes. How do you do it on a regular day-to-day basis? Take the growth mindset and implement it into your life for a week, two weeks, a month and report back what you find. I promise you’ll find your life so much better because that’s what I teach every person that I work with. Every person in my journal, we talk about the growth mindset. It is about owning the day and giving yourself the tools to win. Growth is everything.
Years ago when I met you, I love the word growth. I think so many of us forget what it takes to grow. That is to do some stuff that’s a little uncomfortable. That’s the stuff that we were talking about in growth. Nobody wants to be open-minded. They all got a close mind and know everything. That’s where you and I have come in alignment because I believe our goal is to help empower people for themselves, to see themselves better than they are given the tools to get to where they want to go and do it in the quickest amount of time. Success doesn’t happen overnight. I will say I’m an overnight success. It’s taken me 22 years to get to the place that I realized that I haven’t gotten where I want to go. I’m going to do it again until I’m not going to be able to. I keep going and going like the Energizer bunny has rechargeable batteries for me. That’s what I live off of every single day. Get up and go, “Did you have a good day? Did you spend any time in reflection? Did you spend any time looking at what you did well? Did you study the lessons? Did you find yourself at any time being inauthentic?” Nobody ever wants to talk about being dishonest because it becomes a habit. It’s a pattern. It’s this thing we’ve done.
I’ve had to smash a lot of idols along this journey in life to get honest with people, by being real with myself and saying, “Dan, I love it but I don’t know if I can do that.” That’s another hard word for an entrepreneur to say is they say yes because they’re afraid of saying no because they think the opportunities will run out. I’m like, “I’m pretty sure opportunities around my life are endless like yours. I have to be willing to listen for the knock because they’re right there every day in front of me if I’m willing to do the uncomfortable stuff.” Stop doing all the comfortable little this and a little that to get through the day. I want to live like this is my last day. I want to help people to live out their dreams so that they don’t get to the end of their life thinking and wishing that they would have lived out their dreams.
What I want to teach people and help people understand is if you live out your dreams, what you’ll leave behind is a legacy for everybody to follow because they’ll say, “I like Dan Kuschell. That guy did it his way and he had so much fun doing it. I’m going to go follow that guy’s legacy and learn a little bit about who he is.” That’s what life is for me is saying, “I did it the right way. I did it the honorable way, but I did it in such a way that I think my kids would say, “I’m proud of you, dad. You taught me a lot. You left me a lot of good clues of what to do and what not to do. Thank you so much for all the lessons.” That’s it.If you like solving the mystery of life, you should work on yourself. - Tony Grebmeier Click To Tweet
I know we’re winding down here. Speaking of tools, speaking of support, Tony, where can people go to go deeper with you, your strategies, get your journal and all of it?
I appreciate this opportunity to share this info too. One resource is TonyGrebmeier.com. From there, you can find a couple of resources. I have one that’s a gift called Drainers and Drivers. It’s a total five-day free little mini-course. I’m happy to give it to you. Also, the journal that I launched called BEFULFILLED. It’s a twelve-week journey to fulfillment. Not only is it a journal but it’s a planner, a guide and a whole support group behind it. You buy the journal, you get access to the guide. You get access to the community. We’re there to support you each and every day in your mission and your journey and know that my community is your community and come and be a part of it. If anything that I said resonated with you, you can drop me an email at Info@TonyGrebmeier.com and I’ll be happy to answer your questions. I believe in giving people what they want, which is the answers to life’s problems and circumstances and questions that they may have. My mantra in life is to leave you better than I found you. I’ll point you in a direction of a resource. If I don’t have it, I’ll find somebody who does. That can be exhausting at times but it’s always worked out because it’s been such a good, healthy, noble and honorable way to live a life.
I want to encourage if some of what Tony has shared with you has resonated, go check out what he’s doing. You can go to his website. I would encourage you to get the journal, BEFULFILLED. You can check out Drainers and Drivers. Hit him up with an email after you’ve gone through the process, and let him know how it impacted you. I know that if you follow the process and you apply any part of the growth mindset, starting with gratitude, it will transform your life. Go check out what he’s doing. Tony, I have a few questions. You have Ethan and Owen, your kids. You brought up legacy a couple of different times in our conversation. What would be the number one value you hope to leave Owen and Ethan with to set them up to be an independent, thriving adult?
You got it. You can do it. You have everything that you need inside of you right now, but use the growth mindset, be teachable. When the professor is telling you something and you already know it, listen anyways. Just because you think you know the answer doesn’t mean the answer is always what you think it is. I had been having these pretty in-depth conversations with my kids because they’re more like men now. You can have these adult-like conversations. I got a kid wrapping up high school. He’s got six months to go and then my wife and I are going to be free birds. I’ve got a sophomore in college. My kid for Christmas asked for an Instapot. My wife and I are like, “The kid wants to cook.” She says, “Where was this?” The whole part of teaching him how to cook. Remember when we were talking about it he was observant, so he saw.
Keep being and doing more of those things. Keep being observant of what you see around you and focus on finding good people. As a parent, all you want is your kids to be safe. You want them to be healthy. You want them to be financially well-off in their life by doing something that brings them joy and happiness. That’s it for me around the legacy piece around my kids. I have always told my kids and will continuously tell my kids that I am so proud to be their dad. That every single day, regardless of where they’re at or what they’re up to, mom and I are so proud of you and so thankful that we get to be your parents every single day. We may not always see eye to eye, but at the end of the day, there is always a warm embrace and a hug and, “I love you.” Those are the things that I want them to pass onto to their friends and their family is that whole thing about, “I love you regardless.” That no matter what it is that you want in life, you can go get. There is always going to be a price to pay for it. That’s something that you have to find out what you’re willing to give up to go get it.
I get a little emotional around it because I lost my dad, he was fairly young, 73 years old, of dementia and Alzheimer’s and it runs in our family. I would be the next contestant in line for that. I worked hard to try to better myself. I never do the same thing twice, never go home the same way, try to do a lot of little things that I can in my day to change up my routine and my pattern. My brain is in cognitive flow and everything is always adapting and changing and make sure I take enough supplements to help. I want my kids to do the same thing. We have to work together to kill this terrible disease, to stop this thing from happening and taking over. Part of my legacy is supporting my sister in that mission of being an advocate to get around awareness. That’s what a journal gets to do for you. It gets to help you break stuff from your head and put it down on paper. It’s all cognitive for me. It’s all-around awareness. It’s all about helping you to become a better version of yourself than you were yesterday.
You and I have had numerous conversations about marriage, family, being a dad, being a husband, as an entrepreneur and the craziness that can go with it. What would you say is the number one thing your wife has taught you?
It’s love. She has shown me how to love when I didn’t think it was possible for me to love because I thought I was not good enough. She gently grabs my hand and tells me she loves me, which is such a freeing gift because I’m in the process of writing a book for the past couple of years entitled, “I love you. I’m sorry. Goodbye. It’s all a lie.” I have a hard time with I love you. I do. I think maybe from my childhood, from my parents both working and being gone all the time to feeling alone, “If you love me, why did you leave me here?” Instead, I’ve been able to reframe that now. That’s a big word for people. If you need help around something, reframe it so it reads and speaks a little differently to you. What I realized is my parents did whatever it took to make my sister and my life better.
My wife has been able to help me reframe around the word, “I love you” and that phrase. Love is the most powerful thing my wife has given me is that opportunity to work on love with her and not to be perfect at it, but to be open about what I’m thinking and feeling. That has created more depth in our relationship, more intimacy in our relationship. We travel well together. We don’t argue. The only time we ever argue is when she asks me to help around the house and doing chores. I am the worst. I’m like, “Can you find the kid to do it?” “They’re not around anymore. You need to do it.” That’s the only time that I ever struggle, but I would say it’s love.Sometimes it's hard to accept help because it means that you're wrong or that you don't know the answer. - Tony Grebmeier Click To Tweet
If you were to turn to your wife right now and thank her for her support of you, what would be the number one thing that you would thank her for?
I would say, Amber, the key to our relationship that you helped me to unlock this thing about me who I’ve had everything in me locked up for so long was your gentle hand and understanding. There’s been a lot of forgiveness, a lot of trust, a lot of things that we’ve worked on in our marriage, but your ability to love me regardless and to love me, to help me to understand and see myself better than I maybe should because sometimes I’m my own worst critic. We talked a lot about that. I’ve got to say I love you. I’m so appreciative and grateful for you. I’m honored to be your husband. I’m grateful to walk through life together and I couldn’t have asked a better partner to help raise these two incredible kids. Love would be the thing that I would share. Amber that has made the biggest difference in our life is you love me regardless and you love me wholeheartedly. You love me from one end of the world to the other and you never going leave me because we made a vow to be together and you showed me what that looks like.”
That is leadership right there. You’ve got a glimpse of Tony the businessperson, Tony the motivational person who inspires and connects and contributes to many, but you also see the human being. I encourage you, if there’s something that Tony shared with you, go check out what he’s up to. Tony, what would you challenge our audience to be one to three action steps that they would take from our time together?
Number one is give up that you know it all. Regardless if you know the answer, do you know how many seconds it takes to solve three moving Rubik’s cubes in the air? I saw this and I’m like, “I had no clue, neither do you.” Go be willing to learn, grow a little bit, get outside of your comfort zone and go try something different. You’re like, “What about a Rubik’s cube?” I was the kid who always tried to take them apart when I was a kid because I was so frustrated in trying to solve them. I got a screwdriver and pop the pieces apart and then try to put them back together. Why I’m telling you that is I think it’s important if you like solving the mystery of life, you should work on yourself. Jim Rohn says it all the time, “Work on you more than you work on anything else.”
Number two for me is give up your right to know that because you don’t know how it works, that you’re not a failure, that you are a student. That’s what I think we all are on this planet is a student. My neighbor, Tom McGuire, brings us to my attention all the time, “Tony, there are good teachers and bad teachers. Everybody is teaching us a lesson.” You need to find the good ones, the ones that are teaching you. If you’re ever out with your family and you see somebody, a mom grabbing her child or a dad grabbing a child and yelling at him in front of everybody, that’s not a good lesson. I’ll bring that to his attention. I’m like, “That’s not what you want to do in public. There’s a way to do that. That’s not it.” It should be in that mindset.
Number three is accept help. It’s hard to accept help because it means that you’re wrong and you don’t know the answer. It goes against some things we talked about. I believe you’re not weak for asking for help. I think it’s a sign of your greatness. It’s a sign of your strength and that’s what growth is all about. It’s being willing to grow and get away from the “I can’t” to “I can.” To give everything you have to what it is that you pursue. If you’re going in the wrong direction, remember that you can stop, pivot, change, stay. You can make the necessary adjustments. Sometimes people get down the path and realize it’s too late. As long as your heart is beating, it’s not too late.
As you’re here, it’s your first step. The next step is your first step to being fulfilled. If you want to get a glimpse of what that can be for you, then I encourage you to go check out TonyGrebmeier.com. Get his book on Amazon, share it with your family, share it with your friends, get into the growth conversation starting with gratitude. It will transform your life. Tony, as always, thank you. It’s a privilege to be able to spend time and to call you a friend.
I love you. I appreciate you. It makes my day. I get to spend time chatting with you. One of the sharpest, most go-to people I have in my network. If I need something, business-related, personal-related marriage, whatever it may be, it’s a Dan Kuschell connection. It’s a good person to know. If you’re reading and you want more of what Dan is, I would love Dan to interview Dan. That would be awesome. I’m throwing it out there at the universe. You do the show, ask similar questions and then I want Dan’s responses. That’s what I want.
Maybe you should interview me as me because you look like me, only you’re six-foot taller.
Thank you so much for the opportunity and the gift to be on your show. I am blessed that you’re in my life. Thank you so much.
The feeling is mutual. Take action with what Tony has been sharing with you. Get his book, BEFULFILLED. Make it a great week. We’ll see you next time on GrowthToFreedom.com.
Tony Grebmeier launched his first business in Silicon Valley, a marketing agency that evolved into a supplement company. In 2001, he built his second venture. ShipOffers is an eight-figure fulfillment brand built with childhood friend Doug Roberts. It’s been an INC 5000 Company for the past five years. The pilgrimage to success wasn’t painless for Tony.
In 2008, he was on the verge of destruction. After struggling with addiction and the near ruin of his marriage, Tony decided to get sober. He has been sober ever since. As he got clean, he gained clarity on his vision to serve others. He formed BEFULFILLED, where entrepreneurs know they can achieve their dreams despite their hardships.
BEFULFILLED is home to a podcast that reaches over 5,000 listeners in North America. The BEFULFILLED community formed. Now, thousands of business owners share their weekly goals with accountability checks and access live Q&As with experts.
They also have first access to international networking events. The newest addition to BEFULFILLED is the journal. Tony also travels the world as a speaker. He teaches founders both the pitfalls to avoid and the keys to attaining on their own journeys to fulfillment.