Feb. 27, 2022

E223: How to Succeed in Business and Life After Abuse Level Up Keynote | Trauma Coach

In this episode, the one thing about life about goals is that people always put something on you, or around they say you are not capable, don't fit into the box, or think like other people should or should not. So the biggest thing that you always...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e223-how-to-succeed-in-business-and-life-after-abuse-level-up-keynote-trauma-coach/#show-notes

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In this episode, the one thing about life about goals is that people always put something on you, or around they say you are not capable, don't fit into the box, or think like other people should or should not.

So the biggest thing that you always have to understand when you're stepping into life is that you are the Arbiter of everything that's going to happen next.

I'm really excited to dive into this with you to share a little bit of my story, my journey and talk about goal setting, which is one of my favorite things on planet Earth because I believe that we are all capable of doing anything.

You have to step into life and Make It Happen For You!

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So I was having this conversation preemptively before I get into this with you this morning with one of my friends and this was yesterday and we were talking about today, and I told her, “Yeah, I'm going to get up at 3:30 in the morning to make sure I'm prepared to go and talk to a bunch of strangers on the east coast.” And she goes “You're crazy”, and I said, “You don't get it”.

So you guys, the one thing about life about goals are people always put something on you or around you that says you are not capable or you don't fit into the box or you're thinking like other people should or should not.

And so the biggest thing that you always have to understand when you're stepping into life is that you are actually the Arbiter of everything that's going to happen next. So, I'm really excited to dive into this with you to share a little bit of my story, my journey and talk about goal setting which is one of my favorite things on planet Earth. Because I believe that we are all capable of doing anything.

You know, I'm such a firm believer that if you want to create change in your life you have to Create change in your life. Everybody is always waiting for the Disney moment or the magic pill and as I'm sure you guys understand like that's just not going to happen. So you have to step into life and make it happen for you. So I won't go too deep into my story this morning, but I'm going to give you a little bit of background because I think it's really important that we create context, and when we get to the end of this, it’ll would be space for you guys to ask any questions that you have for me.

So, first and foremost, I always like to talk about what is expected today.

And the number one thing that I want you guys to take away from today.

If you take anything away is that you have to commit, you have to commit first to the things that you want in your life. There's not going to be a roadmap that's going to lead you to this place where you have every single thing figured out. It just doesn't work that way, because I don't know about you, but every time I like, plot out everything, I got this giant ass white board over here, every time I write everything out, you know, I get stuck, lose momentum, I get to this place where I'm overthinking everything and we get to that, you know, analysis paralysis. But I want you to think instead about this idea of can you commit first and then figure out the rest on the way. So today, by the end of this, I want you to think about that one goal that you have, that big huge thing in your life, that is so scary that when you write it down you get goosebumps because that's the thing that we have to aim for. And to be honest with you guys, some of you might be thinking too small, so I want you to think about the biggest thing in your life that you can commit to that thing. That's scary, that's so credible, that every time you close your eyes, it gives you Goosebumps, because that means, you're on the right pace. And I want you to commit to that. Not to the roadmap, not to the game plan, not to making sure everything is perfect on the way, but to the idea.

So a little bit about me, I'm an entrepreneur, I'm a best-selling author, I'm an international speaker, I'm a coach, and I'm an advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma. My background is one that is very much; it feels like a movie at time. So I'm going to dive into this. I'll try not to make your Tuesday morning too heavy, but I want you to understand context.

When I was four years old, my mother, she actually cut off my right index finger. I don't know if you can tell from the video. You see, she was a drug addict and alcoholic, and my stepfather was hyper abuse of, like the dude, you praise, like, never your stepfather and I spent the majority of my childhood homeless, or in poverty. And I remember one time the water company they came, and they actually turned our water off. Like, that's how poor we were guys. I grew up in America and we were so poor, they turned our water off. And I got high for the first time when I was 12 years old, drunk at 13, and by 15, I was expelled from school. I was stealing cars, breaking in the houses, running with guns and hurting people and I was trying to figure out like, what is the solution for poverty? What is the solution for abuse? What is the solution for all the chaos happening in my life? And when I finally graduated high school, late, they literally handed me my diploma and they're like, “you just got to get the hell out of here”. And so, here I am an 18, 19 years old, trying to figure out like what's next in life. And I knew that I wanted to create a pathway to success that meant doing it legally.

This was super important because my childhood best friends were getting arrested, my uncle was in prison for life, and most of my family has been in jail. I've been in handcuffs multiple times, but somehow through the grace of God, Spirit, Universe, whatever you call it. I never got put in. And then I was sitting in, and I was thinking about the fact that my three childhood best friends had been murdered. And I knew that if I didn't create massive change in my life, I was going to be dead or in jail. And so at 19 years old, I made a decision that I'm going to go and get a job working in Corporate America making six figures by the time that I was 21. Well, low and behold, by the time that I was 21, I landed a job with a fortune 10 company, making six figures. This is what the high school diploma that was handed to me, and no college degree. See, I committed to the idea first and I figured out the rest of the way on the way.

Well, you would think that, that’d be awesome like goal achieved, but that just made my life worse. I ended up being 350 pounds smoking two packs of cigarettes a day and drinking myself to sleep, because you see the solution for poverty, the solution for not hitting your goals, a solution for coming from a place of being homeless isn't money. Money doesn't actually solve anything. And in fact, you always hear that old adage, like money brings out the worst in people. That certainly did it for me, until I have this moment where I looked at myself in the mirror, and I said “Michael, what are you willing to do to have the life that you want to have?” because you see, I was living life how other people said I was going to live. You're not good enough, you're not smart enough, you're not capable enough and we all have heard those stories, we've all heard those words from people in our Lives who compare us to what they are not capable of. And when I understood that, and when I change the thought process, and the narrative that I had about what I was capable of doing, my life really exploded. And that's why 12 years later, I'm sitting here talking to you guys at 4:21 in the morning, trying to figure out how we create massive change in our life, to reach our goals and ultimately become the hero of Our Own Story.

Now, a little bit of quick background on my work life. I started my first real job at 8 years old, selling Boy Scout popcorn door to door where you can go and knock on doors when you were a little kid. Those were the first time, so I was really hitting goals because they'd be like, “oh, you guys want to go camping?” Well, guess what? You got to go and sell this much stuff. And so there's always like an objective, right? It's really interesting to be a Boy Scout in the hood. And by the time I was 10, I was literally stealing candy to survive. Like I was going to the corner store around the corner, there’s a place called Big Lots. I don't know if they have them on the East Coast, but they have them in the Midwest and I would steal candy and I'd go sell it in the neighborhood in that school. And we're talking about 100 percent profit margins, guys. I know you guys are in business, it’s really important and I knew like in my teen selling drugs, wasn't going to get me there.

And so at 19, I got a real job working for Wendy's. I was in a leadership role as of what I would consider to be a baby with 52 people under me, which is crazy. I was thinking this whole time at 19. I'm like, okay, if I get this job at Wendy's, I can lead people, I can go get a job in Corporate America and I can go and make six figures, right? That was kind of the general idea that I had. Next thing, you know, I work at this job, making this company. they're fortunate in company over 25 million dollars. The commission's I made were unbelievable, but as I talked about, like, that money didn't change my life. And I started my own side business, started two of them simultaneously and drove them to six figures each within a year and a half. And then by the time that I was basically 29, I just had a breakdown. I was like, “oh, what is happening in my life? It's chaos”. And so I had to pause, remove myself and think about what’s next to my life, what was important, and I got really deep into the personal development, work into therapy into writing down my goals into creating the life that I wanted but instead on my terms and my goal wasn't money, my goal wasn't finances, my goal wasn't like fancy cars and nice clothes, I have those things. Instead, I thought, I started thinking about impact and this is a word that I want you guys to think about as you move forward and you think about committing to these huge goals in your life. What is the impact that you want to have? Because, I believe entirely, you can always make money, you can go right now and buy a hot dog cart and flip that, and make money immediately, you could do that today. But can you make impact today? Can you create to doing something so huge that leaves a legacy? And think about this, people misconstrue this idea that you can have impact and money, you have to have them simultaneously. There is nothing wrong with making money and the impact together. So short-sighted to believe that you can't do both. And to be fair, like I love the idea of fifty dollar donations and that matters, but aren't 50 million dollar donations more impactful. When you put yourself in a position to think about impact at scale, you can do anything.

And so at 32, I started Think Unbroken, and this thing started just as me sitting in my living room going up, I have an idea, how can I disrupt the conversation around mental health? How do I disrupt the conversation in personal development? How do I disrupt this idea that people are broken? And for years, I sat in the small one-bedroom apartment that I had and a corner of the room just writing blogs, creating content, not knowing what was next. The only thing that I knew is I wanted to create a massive impact and I knew that in order to do that, I had to start somewhere. I didn't have the roadmap, I didn't have the game plan. I never intended on being a coach, I never intended on being a bestseller author or award-winning speaker, or traveling the world or speaking in over 80 countries. I only knew one thing, I want to create impact. And so, the thing I want you guys to take away right now is, shutting out the haters. There are people in your life right now who are holding you back, right now. And that's the hardest part about life, because we want to create connection with people, we want to come together with people, we want to have Community with people. We’re communal species. We want to be a part of something. Think about this, it's Tuesday morning, you guys are together in community, trying to create something amazing, and you're going to walk away from this today, and there's going to be somebody in the wings of your life, going, who do you think you are? Who do you think you are to try to create change in your life, to be rich, to be famous, to create impact, to have a six bedroom house, or a Maserati or whatever the hell it is that you want to have. The truth about life is you have the ability and the capability to do anything that you want. But every time that you let those people seep into you with what they are limited by, their beliefs, what they don't believe as capable, you're taking that with you.

You hear this all the time, like, where the sum total of the five people. We spend the most time with. That's so incredibly true, because every single day were taking bits and pieces of information from those people. And the truth is guys and this is going to be hard truth to here for some of you, it's your husband, or your girlfriend, or your brother, or your sister, or a co-worker. It might be your boss. Hell, it might be you. You have to understand something. You can't let people dictate what's next in your life, because if you do, you'll never reach your goals. Why? Because people are terrified of the idea that they could reach their potential. So, the question that you have to ask yourself is, are you going to let people get in your way? And look, there's going to be haters along the way. And they always say, if you don't have haters, you're not doing something right. To an extent, I believe that.  But some people are afraid to take the first step, because of the fear of judgment, the fear of Shame, the feel of guilt, and it's understandable. This stuff has been ingrained and embedded in us since we were kids. Think about it, your teacher when you were like four years old, told you don't color the moon purple, and don't make the house green, and you started thinking, limited. Okay, yeah, I guess I got to live inside their box. I got to live inside of what they tell me I'm capable of doing. And then that's reinforced, maybe in your home, maybe in your community, maybe by your friends, may be on the football team or the cheerleading squad or maybe even in the Realty industry, right? The truth about it is let people say what they have to say but have unwavering belief and what you believe is possible. And want you to think about how you think massive in life. When I'm talking about massive, like your goals, even though it's 3:30 or 4:30 in the morning, over here, I sat down, I wrote down my goals. I don't know if you guys would be able to see this, but this morning, I wrote down, I will help 250 million people before the day I die. My goal, at the end of the day, has to end generational trauma in our life time and to empower people to be the hero of Their Own Story.

When I started this, though, the goal was, can I write a blog? Can I help 25 people? Can I help 250 people? Can I write a book? Can I start a podcast and all of these little small incremental things? And then I started thinking about, well, if I can help 25 people, why can't I help 250 million and why can't I create impact at a way that creates a scale of change that in something that impacts the world of so many people around the planet, and when I started thinking massive, I shifted my focus, that's the same way I worked for some major Fortune, 500 Brands, like Coca-Cola, United Healthcare, and unbelievable number of small businesses and branding, and marketing, and social strategy. Because I just started with the idea that I could, and I kept thinking bigger and bigger and bigger, even right now, your goal might be too small. And I want to challenge you guys to think about the idea that you could 10x or even 100x that goal into something. so big that you're actually creating Legacy. What I'm always thinking about is on the day that I die, on the day that I die, will the work that I do today live longer than me. Can I plant seeds? Can I grow trees? Can I create forests that outlive me? Because that's how you create massive change in your life. And it's not monetary. You can chase money all day and I think many of us have. And eventually you kind of run out of steam with that. But when you're chasing impact and you're saying, I'm going to sell so much real estate that I'm going to be able to pay for all the school lunches of all the kids in the inner city for the next 10 years, like that's massive. I'm going to be able to afford my mom's surgery, I'm going to be able to go on that trip and rescue a child who's in sex trafficking, I'm going to be able to do these huge things, like that's massive. Like money always plays a role, like, don't get it twisted because it's, it's the structure for the society that we live in worldwide. Money is an exchange everywhere that you go. But more importantly than that, is what you do now and what happens in your future. Now you have to be obsessed with this. And when I talk about obsessed and this is where people get lost on this. And so I want to be very clear because I want to give you something that you're going to take away with you today. Being obsessed is not a bad thing. Think about, I started this conversation telling you about the conversation that I had yesterday with my friend. She goes, you're crazy. You're getting up at 3:30 in the morning to go talk to a bunch of strangers on the East Coast? Yep, why? Because I'm obsessed with the idea that we can create massive impact together. I'm obsessed with the idea that through my words and this presentation today and this community, we can help you be the hero of your own story and whatever capacity that means. And because of that, expansion happens, and by proxy, you impact your community, you impact your neighborhood, you impact your world, and we start to create change together. So, when I'm thinking about obsessed and you hear these words, “I'm going to raise my hand, you guys raise your hand if anyone's ever called you a workaholic, right? That's fucking nonsense, man, that's nonsense. Being a workaholic when you are trying to create change is not a bad thing. As long as you're not sacrificing the people around you, as long as you're not sacrificing yourself. I don't think there's anything wrong with working 60, 70, 80 hours a week when you're driven for something big. That's power, that's how you start to make momentum, that's how you start to create a change in your life. And so when people tell you, you're workaholic or you're this or you’re that, again, you got a wave that off because the goal, the goal has to be bigger than the naysayers, right? So if your workaholic just makes sure this, this is what I always tell people, I'm not a workaholic, because when I want a day off, I'm taking a day off, like no questions asked, but you have to ask when you're in this process because a lot of people will take time off without have actually done anything in that day, right? That procrastination that we all have, so I always ask myself, am I taking care of myself or am I taking it easy on myself? Because there are two different things, and if you want to reach your goals in life, you're going to have to ask that question, and you're going to have to get really concise on the answer. And then this journey, I want you to think about celebrating micro wins, like even today you guys are here this morning. That's a micro win, celebrate that. Good job, I showed up on time. You close the deal, good job, I handled business. You did the thing that you said that you were going to do, like there is nothing wrong with giving yourself accolades and admiration. And in fact, I would argue that we're probably not doing it enough, and so every single day you have the opportunity when you're, because I know you guys writing down goals, I know you guys are writing them down every day, I know you guys are doing big things, but as you move towards that, as you check something off the list, as you scratch something off that list, can you celebrate a micro win and just congratulate yourself. Build yourself up to this place where you go, you know and I did a good job today, I took care of myself today, I took care of my family, my neighborhood, my community, my city, my world, today. I did a good job, because celebrating micro wins is so important because not very often do we get to build our self-esteem by having a reflection of the things that we've done. We're always looking for these huge macro victories where we've done this incredibly daunting task, which those are to be celebrated, don't get me wrong. But on the journey, can you celebrate the little things, like every single day. Ask yourself, am I celebrating the little wins? Am I building myself up as I walk down this path so that I can have the strength and fortitude and more importantly the resilience so that when I faced huge adversity, which you guys know you will, as much as I know that the sun will rise this morning because it has not risen yet here on the West Coast, I know that we will face adversity. And when you have built yourself up with a series of micro wins, you now have more resilience to be able to handle when that adversity comes, instead of shutting down, instead of retreating, instead of falling back, you can leverage the things that you have done to say, you know what, I can handle what's in front of me right now. I feel like I have the fortitude to step forward. And through doing that, one of the things that starts to happen, you start to trust your gut more, you start to trust your intuition more and this is really important, because intuition is everything, intuition is everything in decision-making. I want you guys to write this down because this is so incredibly important. Intuition is everything in decision-making. But coming back to what I talked about with the making the house when you're a little kid, when you're little you follow your intuition and you color them on the moon purple and you try to do that thing, that feels right for you. And you do that as a teenager and you do that in college and you do that in your first job, until the world keeps raining down on you that you're doing it wrong or you're not doing it the way that they're supposed to. And we stopped following our gut. When you follow your gut and when you follow your intuition, you're never wrong, but it's hard to do that when you're conflicted because you don't have a history basis to understand the decision-making process when doing it on your terms. So this is why Micro wins are so incredibly important. Because the more that you can trust yourself, when you say that again, the more that you trust yourself, the more success you will have in life. The more that you trust yourself the more success that you'll have in life, but the only way you trust yourself is by what? Trusting yourself. And so, it's this rinse and repeat that just starts by creating these small micro wins every day by reinforcing your ability to that you're capable of doing great things.

And want you to think about failure. This is one of my favorite quotes and you guys hear this all the time from Nelson Mandela, “I never lose either win or I learn”. See the thing that I believe people miss out on this quote, is that the fact that failure, failure is just simply data. Failure is simply the ability to understand something that has not gone according to plan that you need to course correct or even within the phrase of execution, you look at and go, that didn't work out. Failure stops people dead in their tracks so often. If I had a magic pill that I can give people to create change in their life, it would be this, failure is data. Can you look at what has happened in the course of the process to identify what didn't land right? And then take that information, course correct and keep going. The problem is most people when they get that information, they don't course-correct and instead they just stopped, and they go, it didn't work. Guys, the truth is the plans that you have, the life you want to create, the businesses you want to grow, the deals you want to close, the communities you want to build, the networking you want to have, all the things are always going to take longer to do than you think. And failure is so important here, when you understand that its data point, because it may be the 37th thing that you try, that becomes the solution. How many of you have ever had to try something more than once to make it work, right? Everybody. Here's what you have to think about guys, leverage that understanding, the first time you rode a bike, you had assistance, you had training wheels or somebody holding the seat, but the next time you got on without the training wheels and nobody helping you, you probably fell down. I'm going to guess you probably the most of us did and if you didn't that's amazing. But in that falling down the thing that you learn was, oh, okay, actually, I have to Pedal a little bit faster because if I don't then I'm going to tip over because I don't have enough momentum moving forward to carry the weight of me and the bike. And so you fall down three or four times. And then 20 years later, it's like riding a bike as the old adage goes, you get on and you just keep going forward because now you have the data to help you understand how to manipulate the problem, right?

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.