Have you ever wondered about your life’s purpose- that desire to leave a legacy that has meaning? The cliché advice is to ‘follow your dreams’, but what do you do when that doesn’t work out and you’re left without a backup plan?
Taking a deep dive into this topic is my guest, Dov Baron. Dov is a leadership strategist, international speaker, and a bestselling author.
In this episode, Dov discusses the concepts from his book, One Red Thread, which taps into how following your passion is often times misleading, and discusses the important factors to consider when thinking about your purpose and passion.
Join us to be inspired by this conversation about living your best life!
Listen to the podcast here:
One Red Thread: Leadership And Finding True Purpose With Dov Baron
How would you like to be in a place where you could go out there and dominate mentally, physically, socially, spiritually, emotionally and be a better leader? Not out in the workforce, but at home in your community and have a global impact. If that’s something that resonates with you a little bit, you’re going to love our guest expert. He’s a leadership strategist, bestselling author, over and over again he’s an international speaker. We became good friends. His name is Dov Baron and he’s been on our show in the past. He’s the bestselling author of Fiercely Loyal and many other books. In this episode, we’re going to talk about the One Red Thread. How to find your true purpose in life and business. One of the greatest lies in business, which is finding your passion. What if the idea of finding your passion was steering you in the wrong direction? You’re going to learn a new approach that’s going to help you transform your life and business and a whole lot more. Dov, welcome to the show. How are you?
I’m great, Dan. Thank you for having me. I’m honored to be here to serve. I’m excited about our conversation.
Dov’s full of wisdom and information. You’ll never want to miss an episode, so go to GrowthToFreedom.com/Subscribe. Dov, I want to dive right into it. You are arguably one of the definitive experts in leadership. Full Monty Leadership, Fiercely Loyal, One Red Thread, and finding your true purpose, why are you doing what you’re doing?
I’ve got nothing else to do. You mean talking to you or what I do as a career?
Yes, to both.
I’m talking to you because I like you. You’re a good guy. You’re making a difference on the planet and I care about that. I’m doing what I’m doing for exactly the same reasons. I believe that leadership is personal first and it’s everything else. If you can’t lead yourself, you’re not leading anybody else. If you’re trying to lead anybody else without leading yourself, it’s a fool’s errand. Leading yourself means you have to have a ton of courage, vulnerability and willingness to step into greater levels of growth as a human being in order to serve on a higher level. You do that by having a greater positive. It’s more than a positive impact but an impact that creates a level of fulfillment for human beings.
I want to speak to the elephant in the room, Dov. I lead off with the idea of the difference between purpose and passion. A lot of people have been misled to a degree of thinking that if, “If I’m passionate, I can go achieve my dreams.” I’ll give an example. I’ll put myself in this case. I’m about 5’10”, 160-something soaking wet and no matter how much passion I have for a sport like basketball, it’s a pretty slim picking that I’m going to be able to go play pro basketball at a high level. Now, I could be involved in the game and other way, but if let’s say that was my passion for playing and I bought the dream of being passionate, I might end up disappointed in that approach. Speak about passion versus purpose, how it fits in in the context of One Red Thread in your world.If you can't lead yourself, you're not leading anybody else. - Dov Baron Click To Tweet
It’s an important question because it’s gravely misleading. First of all, there are people who are your height who are even shorter than you who play basketball at a pro-level. There’s a guy who’s 5’6” or 5’5”. He runs through the legs of the other guys and he’s an amazing player and he plays at a high level. Let’s not forget that he is seriously an outlier. For me, it’s not about the physical things. It’s about the misdirection of purpose versus passion. Here’s the thing where everybody gets lost, “Have you found your purpose?” They’re like, “Yes, I have.” I go, “How do you know?” “I love doing this. I’m so excited to do it and I am full of happiness.” That’s not your purpose, that’s your passion. That’s great. There’s nothing wrong with it. I’ll give you a round of applause. It may be tied to your purpose, but it’s not the same thing.
Here’s how I have you understand it. If you are entrepreneurs, a good chance you are as you’re reading this, you will know that there are things you were passionate about before that you’re not passionate about anymore, “I never thought about that.” You say. Let’s think about it. If you’re a straight man, by the way, in case you don’t know, I’m not politically correct. If you’re a straight man and you can remember being 15, 16, 17, 18 years old you know exactly what you are passionate about. If that was supposed to be your purpose in your career, we’d all be lining up to work at Victoria’s Secret. Clearly, it’s not. Passion is a vehicle that transports purpose. That’s what it is. For that reason, the vehicle will run out of fuel and you’ll need a new vehicle. As an entrepreneur, you can be extremely passionate about doing something go off and do it and go, “I don’t know. I’ve lost my passion.” That passions faded out. That’s okay but your purpose is inside that you’ve got to look inside. Purpose and passion are vastly different. Passion is always going to be exciting, exhilarating and it may be even joyous, but the purpose is the core and the undercurrent that runs through everything.
Speaking of that core that runs through everything and I know in your book, One Red Thread, and getting your true purpose in life in business, there are all kinds of strategies, insights, and wisdom that go with it. Let’s say someone’s reading and they’re going, “I’m battling this. I’m struggling with what is my real purpose is?” What am I meant to do? What am I called to do? I’ve tried it. I’ve been passionate. Something’s fallen short and something’s missing.” The reason I bring this up is that I’ve been there half a dozen times in my career. What would you say to that person? What’s a question or two that they could use that could help flush this out to give them that clarity and certainty that they’re more on the right path?
Some of you are probably familiar with the work of Joseph Campbell in the Hero’s Journey. One of the great quotes of Joseph Campbell is, “The treasure you seek is to be found in the cave you fear to enter.” That’s where your purpose is. It’s in the place you don’t want to look at. You want to look at your passion because it’s joyous, it’s exciting, it’s fun. Here’s the thing, your purpose is always hidden behind your pain. Your pain is protected by your ego. Until you’re willing to take on your ego and look at your pain, you will never find your purpose. Your success may exist in passion, but your fulfillment only exists in purpose. There’s a great deal of difference. This is success beyond success. This is touching into fulfillment so you create a legacy that only comes from living a purpose-focused life.
As you’re reading, what would it be worth if you could have a life that was on a purpose-driven life and to have success beyond success? Let’s face it, you’re an entrepreneur and business owner. The chances are I’m sure if you found yourself or you achieved a certain level of success but still felt something was missing. That’s what Dov is talking about. Here is a great quote from Gabor Maté that’s related to addiction says, “Don’t ask why the addiction. Ask why the pain?” Similarly, to find your purpose, go beyond the ego, problem, and issue to look where the pain is. On the other side of that pain likely is your greatest opportunity. As you’ve worked with countless and thousands of people all over the world, what do you see is one of the biggest mistakes that most people make as they’re on this journey to try to identify what is my purpose? What is the purpose? What would you say?
The biggest mistake is exactly what we talked about. People go looking for it in pleasure. Your purpose does not exist in your pleasure. You can’t find it there. That’s the number one mistake everybody makes. They’ve read Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why and I love that book, believe me. I like the title better. Start, it’s not the end. This is where people say, “I’ve read the book and I went through it.” Yes, but you’re not there yet because you’ve not looked at the place of discomfort. Your ego is going to protect that and I understand it. If you don’t want to go there, I respect that and it’s okay. You don’t have to. The people I work with privately, flying to work with me, a handful of people a year that I work with. That’s the work we do. We’re going to go to the place you don’t want to go to. We’re going to go into that dark cave, but that’s where the real juice of life is. That’s where you become alive. It’s transformational, not to your leadership, certainly to leadership, not to your business, certainly to your business, but to your relationships to your marriage and to the way you are with your children.
I will say to my clients, “I know you came here to grow your business and understand yourself as a leader, but here’s what’s going to happen. If this doesn’t transform your relationship with your partner, it doesn’t transfer your relationship with your employees, children, and friends, I haven’t done my job.” Every time they come they’re like, “I didn’t think it was going to do that but my marriage is much better. I see my partner much differently. I get my kids and I understand them. My people have become loyal. They want to be here.” Here’s why, if we’re going to go to that place of purpose, we’ve got to go to the most courageous place, which is vulnerability. We’ve got to go to courage. There’s no leadership without courage. Anything else is only an ego game.
To those reading, are you ready to take the journey to be courageous? Are you ready to take the journey to have this purpose-driven life and to transform your relationships, marriages, kids, your team, business and everything around you? What would be worth even to take the first step towards that transformation? We’re going to take a deeper dive into the strategies, insights and breakthroughs that Dov has discovered on this journey working with thousands and thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs. As you’re reading, are you ready to go inside that cave? Are you daring? Are you courageous enough to take a walk inside? Dov, you’ve worked with so many people over the years, thousands, tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands now. We got a chance to meet years ago.
It might be even a little longer than that, Dan. We’re showing our age. I know I had a lot more grace in those days.
As you’ve gone down this path, you hear and see a lot of leaders talk about this idea of fake it until you make it. You hear you hear people talk about the idea of showing up one way in the office but they’re different at home. This front stage and backstage almost disconnect. I don’t know about you but I see this in a lot of places. Let’s talk about leadership at home and how that carries forward into the business, office, and career. A little bit from what you found and what you’ve noticed.
It’s simple. If you think you have a work self and you have a personal self, you’re a fraud and you may not like me saying that. I’m not politically correct and I’m not going to be gentle about it. I’m going to tell you the truth because I love people. I deeply love, care and have compassion for them. If you’re a fraud, I understand. You’re doing it for a reason. You’ve done it because you felt that was what you were trained to do or what you were supposed to be. Here’s the thing that I love about Millennials. By the way, Millennials are not kids. Millennials are 40 years old at the top end and they’re in leadership positions. What I love about Millennials is they have BS meters a mile wide. If you are showing up as one person at work and another person outside, they will read that and you will have no loyalty whatsoever. They want to see the real you. That requires vulnerability but vulnerability requires courage.
Here’s the thing I want you to get. There are two pieces to this. Number one, vulnerability. When we talk about vulnerability and if you’ve worn a mask, you’ve been trained, you’re my age, or around my age, you’ve been trained to wear a mask and not show people who you are. Vulnerability seems like this outer edge thing like, “That’s not what it is.” It’s not about being walled off and emotionally vomiting on people with everything. That’s not vulnerability. You need discernment. Vulnerability is measured through reciprocity. As I share something about me, you share something about you and gives permission. If it’s not, it has no discernment to it.Passion is a vehicle that transports purpose. - Dov Baron Click To Tweet
For example, when Tim Cook came out as the CEO running Apple, he came out and said he was gay. That was vulnerable. It was incredibly vulnerable because he’s a high-profile CEO. Notice he had discernment. He didn’t give you the gory details of the things he likes to do in the bedroom. That would be emotional vomit, nobody cares. We don’t need to know that. We need to know that he was real. Now in his private conversation, somebody else might have said, “How did you meet your partner?” There’s a deeper conversation that has reciprocity to it. It’s this key to understanding that you have to be vulnerable as a leader. You have to go first. That’s what leadership is. It means you have to be courageous and vulnerable but you also have to have discernment and look for reciprocity. Your leadership and vulnerability give permission to the other person. When they show it step into that vulnerability with that permission and you go again. You always lead but you don’t empty the whole trash can on people. Nobody likes that.
As you’re reading, how would this impact you? If you took this approach at home in the workplace, career, and business, writing your team to go first and lead by example, go first. To be courageous, to demonstrate discernment, to be able to show vulnerability. How would it impact you? In fact, here’s the thing to think about. What does it cost you if you’re not? What does it cost you in the quality of your relationships? What does it cost you showing up as a leader? Does it cost you clients? Does it cost your team? Do they look at you like what Dov plainly said and go, “You’re a fraud?”
Deep down, maybe they don’t tell you in words but maybe how they show up, they show up halfhearted because maybe you’re not playing full out yet. What would happen if you could take that first step and lead by example? Dov, you’ve worked with many people. What would you say to the person that says, “I’m ready to take this step, but I’m a little afraid to take that first step to have a conversation with my spouse or my team?” What would be some right recommendations you could give that could help them get that breakthrough to get on the other side in the case?
The first thing I would say is congratulations. What I mean by that is if you say you’re afraid we know we’re in the right direction. If you’re not afraid, you’re not vulnerable yet. Here’s the thing you need to understand courage is subjective. There are things that I do that are easy for me that terrify other people. Here’s the thing, there are things they do that terrify me that are easy for them. Courage is subjective. If you’re not afraid, you’re not stepping into the unknown. I don’t care that they’re all going, “You’re courageous.” If I don’t feel courageous, I’m doing it, it’s not courageous. If other people were inspired by you but you’re not inspired by you, you’re not inspiring. It’s a rah-rah.
Let’s start there. Let’s congratulate somebody who is willing to go, “I’m afraid.” I had a conversation with one of my clients, a high-level banker. We’re working together. He wants to grow his business and leadership. I said, “I can see the stuff going on in your marriage that this is impacting.” He and his wife have been more than twenty years married, “My wife has complained because there’s a lack of vulnerability and intimacy.” We start having a conversation. You can imagine this guy is an A-type personality. He’s successful, driven and has to be good. He’s been a high-level skier and competed nationally outside of everything else. He said, “I’m struggling with this.” I gave him some work, started doing some work and it was great. After he said, “There’s something wrong here.” I said, “What?” He goes, “My wife is still complaining.” I go, “We only started talking about this in the context of your marriage three weeks ago.” He goes, “Yeah.” I said, “Do you speak Mandarin?” He said, “No.” I said, “If I come back in three weeks, will you be disappointed that you don’t speak Mandarin?” He goes, “No, it’s a hard language.” I go, “As is intimacy.”
It’s a brand-new language and you have no model for it. If you’re afraid it’s because you have no framework. That’s okay. It’s owning that. It’s claiming that and saying, “I can’t go at this at the pace I went to everything else.” By the way, everything else you’re doing and you’re excelling that you used to be crap at. That’s the rule. That’s how it works. To get better, it needs practice. We are impatient with ourselves, particularly on these things. The reason for it is because we want to put it in the woo-woo box. You want to go, “Those are the soft skills.” Here’s the deal. I do a presentation on this that I speak about internationally. It’s how to thrive in the age of AI. What I say is this, within several years, 40% of work will go to AI. That’s not my opinion. That’s all out there. That’s the research.
The number one skill you’re going to have are soft skills. Soft skills are the new bottom line. Which means you have got to develop your emotional intelligence and your leadership consciousness. That is going to come from learning how to be intimate in an appropriate manner. Now we’ve got this appropriate thing like the #MeToo Movement. Now, it’s even more reason to be shut down. No, it’s not. It’s more reason to open up, be real and true. That’s when people will bond with you. This is what’s key, in finding your purpose, you create loyalty because Millennials right at the top their list want meaningful work. What is meaningful work? It isn’t running an AI machine. Meaningful work is connecting to the purpose of the organization and the leader. When we connect to that, we’re bonded. How do we do that? It’s through vulnerability. This is why all of this is tied together. It’s for the growth of your business and the growth of the business.
As you’re reading, how would this shift the game for you? It’s to be able to grow your business, relationship, courage, and vulnerability by leading first. Dov, what’s a question I should ask you that we haven’t gotten to yet?
There are probably a million questions that you could ask me that we haven’t gotten to. The truth of it is, why don’t we do it? The answer is still fear. What is the fear? That’s the deeper question. Are there certain universal fears? There are. We all hear the talk that people are most afraid of public speaking. They’re more afraid of that than death. That’s not true. There’s fear underneath that fear. The fear is the fear of conflict. That’s what people fear. There’s no conflict if I’m standing on stage and people boo me. There is a conflict of being rejected. The fear of public speaking is a fear of conflict, which is a fear of rejection because we want to belong.
If you are a purpose-focused individual, people want to belong to that. This is why you have to go into that fear. Here’s the thing, you want to embrace conflict. If you want to be a purpose-focused individual, you’ve got to be willing to embrace the conflict, it’s not the conflict as you and I have been trained to think of it. It’s not knuckles or disrespect. It’s understanding this. I’m building a brand-new show and the premise of the show is the problem in our world now is we don’t listen to people we disagree with. We need to listen to people we disagree with because they’re not only that opinion, they’re human. They’re multifaceted. I can totally disagree with this person’s political views, but I totally agree with their familial, religious or spiritual views.
We need to see people in a bigger space. By that, we can learn how to bond with each other while still having a difference in opinion. If you want to grow as a human being, that’s the question you got to ask yourself. Am I willing to embrace disagreement with what we call the conflict in order for me to grow? Am I willing to be wrong so I can get better? This is the question I want to ask you in your business. You’ve got these blinkers on you say, “This is the way it’s done.” What would happen to your business if you could confront what it is you’re afraid of? Here’s the thing, I don’t believe in competition. Many of my competitors are now the people I collaborate with because I don’t believe in competition. How does that work? I embrace the potential for conflict. If we come together and you’re doing leadership and I’m doing leadership but we come at it from a slightly different angle, we can serve at a greater level, which grows both of our businesses and serves the world at a higher level.
How would you like to serve at a higher level? What if you took this approach, embrace the differences, conflict and disagreement instead of being right? Here’s the thing, you can be right or you can be rich, you can be right or you can be happy. Isn’t it true that there are a lot of ways to be right? What if you can embrace that? What if you could buy into that and use, leverage and be able to help other people? It allows you to serve and serve others at the same time. Dov, we’re only scratching the surface with a purpose-driven life in the idea of the red thread. Speak about the red thread a little bit. What does the red thread mean exactly?Your purpose can always be seen in the place you don’t want to look at. It does not exist in pleasure where people usually look. - Dov Baron Click To Tweet
The front of the book, One Red Thread, I give an example. I want you to imagine that you’ve walked into an art gallery. As you look around to all the magnificent and beautiful pieces that are on the wall, over there somewhere, it catches your eye is this magnificent tapestry. As you walk over to it seems intricate and yet simple in its design. As you look at it, you’re in awe of it. Down to the bottom, you read the little sign that says the title of the piece. It’s called One Red Thread. It said that it represents your life. Throughout your life, there is a single red thread that runs throughout the tapestry that is not always on the surface. It is mostly hidden in the back but it binds everything together. What is the one red thread of your life? What is that thread that’s run all the way through that you’ve probably dismissed?
My private clients who fly in to work with me, I always say to them, “What I’m going to reveal to you you’ve always known but you’ve denied because it’s only come to the surface occasionally. It will most likely come to the surface when you’re in the most pain, when you’re in the place where you’re most struggling. Things get back to normal and you push it back under.” It’s this thing that’s asking you to come to the surface and thing that you rather not look at that. When you do, you get to serve in such a delicious, magnificent way. It’s beautiful because you suddenly see it.
I’ll give you an example. This is a guy called Jamie Mustard. He wrote a book called The Iconist. I highly recommend this if you’re in marketing, read this book. It is superb. Jamie’s become a friend of mine and we were talking about this concept of One Red Thread. He’s like, “I don’t know if I agree with this thing around pain. In fact, I feel that I want to back up when you say that.” I said, “Jamie, what do you do?” He goes, “The book is called The Iconist: The Art and Science of Standing Out because I help people stand out. In a world full of noise, it’s hard to stand out and you’re absolutely right.”
I know his backstory as a child. I was like, “Jamie, when you were a kid, what was it like?” He goes, “It felt that I was this brown kid in LA. I didn’t fit in.” “You felt invisible?” He goes, “Yes, that’s it. I felt invisible.” I go, “What do you do for a for a living now?” He goes, “You’re right. That’s exactly it.” It was his invisibility. By embracing, understanding and looking at the dark pain of that has allowed him to serve the world by helping others not to be invisible. Your pain reveals your purpose and allows you to serve in a magnificent way. If you don’t want to look at it, that’s okay. You’re going to live a passionate, potentially transitionally passionate life that is not going to have the fulfillment. It may have enormous success but my clients have got Bentleys, Rolls Royces and all houses in countries. Before they work with me, they would go, “Something’s missing, Dov. What is it? What is the next level of my life? What is the legacy I want to leave beyond money?” That’s in your purpose.
What would it mean for you to be able to tap into the purpose so you can have a delicious, magnificent life in business? That’s what Dov is sharing and revealing with you. I encourage you that if you take one step, it’s to identify what is that pain of where you are and start there. We’re scratching the surface, Dov, with all kinds of incredible insights that you have available. If people want to go deeper with you, where can they connect with you, learn more about what you’re up to, and all those things? You’ve got a wealth of resources in all places.
There are a couple of things aside from over 700 videos on YouTube, a podcast that is the number one podcast in the world for Fortune 500 listeners, you can find all of that on my main website, which is FullMontyLeadership.com. You can find access to all of my stuff including 700 articles in my blog on under icons. All those things are there that are available to you. You can write to me personally Dov@DovBaron.com. I encourage you to do that. People think I’m crazy for doing this but you can write to me personally. Here’s what I want you to do. I’m going to challenge you to write to me personally. I’m going to challenge you to write to Dan and CC him because we want to know not only what you got out of this, but what are you going to do with it? Information is the hole in the donut. Transformation comes from application. What are you going to do with it?
Write to Dan, tell him what you got on the show, what you’re going to do it and write to him and tell him that you enjoy the show. He puts all these great people in front of you. Make sure that you go to the site, subscribe, and share the show with other people. This is important because we have to share the wealth of knowledge out there that is useful. If I can serve you, certainly you can write to me or that way, but you can find out all about everything. I’ve got all my different books and all those things at FullMontyLeadership.com
Dov and I have known each other for several years. He’s got several years of resources in all kinds of different places from YouTube to his site. Go to FullMontyLeadership.com. If you’re reading, grab a pen, write it down and tap into the amazing wisdom that Dov has got here for you. A little bit of backstory, you’ve been married for how many years?
We’ve been married for more than 21.
Can you think of your earliest childhood influence as a kid and what could our readers learn from that from you?
This is not what people would expect. My earliest childhood influence is my father. When I was seven years old, I came down the stairs into the hallway, and my father’s body was blocking out the light. The door was open to the outside into the street. I don’t know why, but intuitively I knew something was wrong. I said, “Dad.” He turned around and walked back towards me and he crouched down to be as close to eye level as he could. He put his hand on my one shoulder, his hand on the other shoulder and ruffled my hair as if to knight me and said, “I’m going now, son. You’re the man of the house.” He turned and walked away and left me, my siblings and my mother.
I was inadequately prepared to become the man of the house at seven years old. There he gave me imposter syndrome at a massive level. That imposter syndrome was debilitating in many ways, but it has become foundational because it’s what drove me always to be better, it pushed me. I knew that I didn’t know enough and I needed to know more needing to be better, and I turned that pain into a powerful driving force in my life.If people are inspired by you, but you're not inspired by you, you're not inspiring. - Dov Baron Click To Tweet
My father was a powerful influence in a negative way to me. That was when it started. The second one is when I was ten years old. I walked into the living room and I saw my mom crying and I said, “Why are you crying?” She pointed at a TV set and said, “He’s dead.” I looked at the TV. I had no idea who it was. It wasn’t a famous movie star or TV star or soccer player, I didn’t know who it was. I heard him say, “I have a dream.” It was Martin Luther King and I asked my uncle who he was.
To this day, that was my inspiration for wanting to be a speaker. Forgive me, I’m going to pretend I’m ten years old, but I saw a man who was a black man in a foreign country who was a Christian minister, and my mom, a poor Jewish woman in Northern England was crying at his death. It was mind-blowing to me that somebody could have that level of impact on somebody in my world on the other side of the world. I became fascinated with that. Those are the two major influences in my life.
Thank you for sharing that. Thank you for being vulnerable and giving us a glimpse of where you’ve been. It’s amazing how many people you’ve inspired over the years doing this. If you can think back to your first business, what was the first business? What was your biggest mistake in that business? What did you learn from it that our audience can learn too?
I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a kid. I washed cars and trimmed hedges and did all those things that most of us did. My first actual business, are you ready for this? You’ll like this particularly noticing, and you’ll see why in a moment. I was a mobile hairdresser. I had an affinity for it. I did a four-year apprenticeship in ten months. Being an entrepreneur at fifteen, I left the company where I was already teaching in the academy and started a mobile business on my bicycle. I cycled from people’s houses with a big bag with all my stuff in it and went and did their hair. Sometimes they ended up looking like you, although that wasn’t the plan.
I remember coming home with pockets full of pound notes and thinking, “This is amazing.” It was like, “I’m never working for anybody again.” I haven’t. The mistakes, as you and I talked about many years ago, were something that took me decades to learn. In 1986, I got to meet Tony Robbins for the first time. We’ve met him many times since. A friend of mine took me to meet Tony and I waited until the end of the event. Tony said to me, “How was it?” I said, “It was great. Awesome.” He said, “How do you feel?” I said, “Pissed off.” He said, “Why?” I said, “Because I’m at least as good as you and you made $11 million last year.”
This was 1986, I realized that $11 million would be a terrible year for Tony now. He laughed when I said that. He was kind, gracious, and he said, “Who’s on your team?” I said, “My team? I haven’t played soccer since I was a kid.” He goes, “No. Who’s on your team?” I said, “I don’t understand.” He goes, “Do you think I printed the brochure in your hand?” I go, “Probably not.” He goes, “Do you think I designed it?” I go, “Yeah.” He goes, “No.” He goes, “Did I take your ticket when you came in?” I go, “No.” He goes, “Did you think I laid out the chairs?” I go, “No.” He goes, “That’s right. I have a team. Who’s on your team?” It only took me about another 6 or 7, maybe 8 years after that to get that message.
My biggest mistake was always saying I can’t afford a team. Now, it is different. You can have a team. You can hire somebody in another country for pennies on the dollar. You can have people do things for you on Fiverr that you would never have gotten done before. It’s much easier. Get a team. You don’t need them to be working for you, but you need to be working with you and they can be anywhere in the world. That was my number one mistake is not having a team.
That is such great advice. As you’re reading right now, on top of leadership, being vulnerable and leading first and stepping into courage in being able to face the fear to get on the other side of pain. To embrace disagreement and conflict, how would the game change for you if you had a better team? What if you had the right team to support your strengths with their strengths? It would shift everything for you. What does it cost you if you don’t? What are 1 to 3 action steps that you would encourage our audience to take as a result of our time together?
Number one, ask the question, “What’s my purpose?” When I say that, I want you to understand that you’ve got to go to the pain and I want you to understand that you can’t go to the first level. You’ve got to go to the next level. You’ve got to ask why for three levels minimum, but probably five. Once you get to a sense of purpose, if you can’t get it then read One Red Thread, which will help you. You can reach out to me, I can help you or somebody else to help you get there. You’ve got to know this, nobody is objective in the subject of reality. That’s number one. Start there.
Once you’ve got that, then you want to ask this question, “If this truly is my purpose, what are the maxims that would hold that in place?” These are not values that are deeper than values. Values are things we throw around. Integrity is a value. What does that mean? It has a subjective meaning. When we get to maxims, we’re digging deeper, we’re saying, “What does that mean to me and why does that matter?” You have to get away from the social conditioning of it because it’s important, no. Who cares? Why five levels of that?
When you get to that, the next action you’re going to take is this, “What’s non-negotiable?” If there’s any way it can be negotiated away, it’s not non-negotiable. It’s not supporting your maxims and it’s not supporting your purpose. The final step in that is to own it. What does that mean? It means to build a thinner wall. What do I mean by that? People are afraid to push people off the wall. I want people to get on or off. It’s okay. You’re either on this side of the line, you’re on that side of the line. You have to own it.
You’ll notice that I’m not vague about much like, “This is who I am. It’s okay. I’m not for everybody. Understand that I’m deeply loving, I’m deeply compassionate, I’m deeply caring, but I’m also going to call you on your BS.” That’s okay. I realized that’s not for everybody, “I need somebody who’s a little sweeter, a little kinder.” That’s all right. I am kind. I’m not nice. Nice is an insult. Neurotic, Insecure, Controlling Emotions, that’s not me. I’m not fine. You can work out what that means. I’m not that either.
What I am is I’m deeply kind and compassionate because I care for your heart and your soul and if that’s not for you, that’s all right. Be willing to push people off the fence. Unless you’re willing to embrace the conflict that comes from that, you’ll never live your life on purpose. That’s what you’ve got to do. That’s what you’ve got to start for playing. You keep bringing up this question, it’s important, and I’m going to finish it off by saying my version of it is what I say all the time, “Who will suffer if you continue to play small? How will your business suffer? How will the people that you love suffer? How will those that you could serve to suffer if you don’t step into the courage it takes to live a purpose-focused life and build a full purpose-focused business?” There’s a price to pay and it’s way higher than money.Nobody is objective in the subject of reality. - Dov Baron Click To Tweet
I encourage you, as you’re reading, if you’re ready to play big even if you’re small, if you’re willing to step into courage for leadership to lead by example, to be a better leader, father, spouse, partner, and friend. To have a delicious and magnificent life as the leader you are destined to be. I encourage you to go deeper with Dov. Check out his resources, go to FullMontyLeadership.com. He’s giving you a challenge. If you want to go deeper and take him up on a deeper challenge, email him directly at Dov@DovBaron.com. You’ve been married for years as we wrap this up. I’m going to turn to your wife who’s been on the fun roller coaster ride that is entrepreneurship with you. If you’re going to thank her for how she has shown up for you, Dov, in helping give you the tools, space, the support to allow you to be the creative genius that you are as a leader. What would you thank her for and why?
Number one, I do this every single day, without fail, every night before I go to sleep, I thank her for saying, “Yes,” when I asked her to marry me. For marrying me because asking her was the greatest decision of my life and the greatest gift was she said, “Yes.” For always believing in me even when I couldn’t believe in myself. When I was beaten down and she would simply ask, “Why are you here?” That’s the question, “Why are you here?” She would ask me, “Why are you here? What’s more important than what you’re feeling right now? What’s more important than feeling beaten down?” She would constantly remind me of that.
By being the powerhouse that she is, that she does not take crap from anybody, including me, and she will call it out and have me step into it. At the same time, my wife will call me to be the powerhouse that I can be, but she also knows and this is what we’re talking about, understanding compassion. She also knows how to hold the little boy who is in me. Here’s the key to that, that’s where the curiosity is. It’s in that little boy. The curiosity is held in the little boy.
The courage is held in the men, but the curiosity is held in the boy, and that is what feeds me. That’s what keeps me going. That is what I’m grateful to her for every single day. I thank her every single day. Twenty ideas in, I don’t forget, even if I’m in another country, or another city, every day I speak to my wife and I thank her for marrying me. I thank her for those things. I encourage you to do that with your partner. I encourage you to do that with your children. I send my kids a text randomly, “I love you and I’m proud of you.” I’ll find something specific to say and they’re like, “What happened?” “Nothing. I want you to know I love you and I’m proud of you.” Try it with your employees. It’ll change everything.
If you’re ready to step into leadership and courage and go deeper with Dov, I encourage you to go check out what he’s got available for you at FullMontyLeadership.com. Dov, it’s been an incredible pleasure to have you with us here.
It’s always an honor to speak to you. Thank you for having me. I’m honored to be able to serve.
Thank you. I want to encourage you, take action with what Dov has been sharing with you. Number one, what’s your purpose? Take it deep. Don’t do the surface level, go at least three levels deep, if not five levels deep of asking why? If this is my purpose, what maxims need to be there to hold it true? Go 3 to 5 levels deep. What’s non-negotiable for you? Last but not least, own it. Because you might be small, it doesn’t mean you have to play small. You can play big. This is something I share with my son who plays quarterback. I say, “You can play big even if you’re small.” That’s a great thing to end the show with because in a lot of ways, that’s what Dov has been sharing here. It takes vulnerability, it takes courage, it takes curiosity, but you know what? You can do it and you deserve it. Take action. Seize the day. We’ll see you next time on GrowthToFreedom.com.