July 15, 2022

E362: How to be a VALUE driven LEADER with Michael Roderick | CPTSD and Mental Health Coach

In this episode, I am joined by my guest Michael Roderick. Michael went from a high school teacher to a Broadway producer in less than two years and created an amazing network and community of people in New York City...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e362-how-to-be-a-value-driven-leader-with-michael-roderick-cptsd-and-mental-health-coach/#show-notes


In this episode, I am joined by my guest Michael Roderick.

Michael went from a high school teacher to a Broadway producer in less than two years and created an amazing network and community of people in New York City through his compassion, truth, empathy, and leadership.

He decided to build working our networking and workshops for people in a way that would help make their lives better. Michael and I connected in this conversation, and I was excited to share it with you guys because, you know, I think about all the time, like every single day, I think about like, what does leadership mean? What does it mean to be the person who is willing to put it on the line and create the change in your world and in the life that you want to have?

In this conversation, Michael's going to not only dive into a lot of the tools that he's used to be an effective leader but also many of the tools that he's used to get over his own fears about stepping into success and building out a network of people that he now calls community, not to mention that he writes a public blog post every day.

I'm very excited to have this conversation with Michael.

I know you're going to get a ton of value from it.

Learn More About Michael Roderick at: http://www.smallpondenterprises.com/

Learn more about Think Unbroken and Pre-Order my new book: Unbroken Man. Plus, learn more about the free coaching and other mental health programs. Click here: https://linktr.ee/michaelunbroken

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Transcript

Michael Unbroken: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. I'm very excited to be back with you with another episode with my friend Michael Roderick, who is the CEO of Small Pond Enterprises, which helps thoughtful givers become thought leaders. I love this topic. I love this conversation. Michael, my friend, what is going on in your world today? 

Michael: Ah, I'm in New York, a lot colder than it's been in a while, which has been pretty wild. And I've got two little girls and one of them is off to school is at kindergarten, and the other one is home and potty training. So, lots of exciting stuff.

Michael Unbroken: Sounds like it that's dad life, for sure. And in that you're still being the CEO of a company and running your own business. And I think one of the things, you know, people kind of get caught up in these days is the idea that once they have kids, they can't still follow their dreams. How is it that you've been able to kind of navigate those two worlds?

Michael: Yeah. Well, I mean, I think it ultimately comes down to the aspect of your planning and sort of your thought around where is your time going to sort of land? Right? So, for me, I have a lot of conversations with my wife about when are the times when I am working and doing interviews like this and having, you know, experiences that are very sort of work oriented. And when are the times when I am in essence, really just kind of on dad duty. Right? And I just, am either watching the girls or taking care of something that is sort of home oriented. So, I think really the balance aspect comes from this place of saying, what is it that I need to accomplish, what is it that needs to happen? Who else is involved in making that decision and then coordinating the two lives, the two schedules that you end up dealing with.

Michael Unbroken: And in that, like what role does communication really play there?

Michael: It is of the utmost importance because it's very easy as an entrepreneur to get into a place where you are so focused on starting, you know, building your business, doing all of these different projects, that it's very easy for you to forget that there's somebody on the other side of that equation, there's somebody on the other side of that door, every time that you're doing that work. So, the communication piece is absolutely 100% key. My wife and I, we have a calendar, like a little whiteboard, right by the refrigerator where I'm able to write, when am I not available, when am I doing an interview, when am I out like physically out of the house or when am I traveling? And every week we update that, every week we look and we say, okay, what are our commitments on sort of both sides? So, that it's there, it's right in front of us. And even then, we still have times where in the evening we'll touch base with each other and be like, okay, did you see the calendar? Like, did you see like, this is what's coming up because, you know, when you're a parent, there's lots of things that pop up that you might forget about, there's lots of things that are going on, so, you're not always thinking about what's happening for sort of the rest of the day. So, there's a lot of that touching base and just basically being like, Hey, tomorrow this is going to happen. I know it's on the calendar, but I just wanted to double check to know that you are aware of it and you're able to watch the girls during this time, or you're able to take care of this and that's on both sides.

Michael Unbroken: In that, well, I know there's a lot of people right now who are listening, who may be small business owners, or they're thinking about the side hustle thing and they're trying to step into creating something different in their life. So much about what Think Unbroken is about getting this place in life, where you're living it on your terms. And I think the greatest sense of freedom in humanity right now is doing your own thing and not having to be told what to do by a boss or a corporation every single day. And that doesn't mean, of course you don't have responsibilities and things of that nature, but there's an immense sense of freedom that comes along with that. And when you're in this place where you want to step into your dream, but there's fear, there's head of cadency, there's, you know, am I gonna be able to do it? How do you start to do that in a way that you can create a framework of really doing right. Because I think so often, we talk about this idea of we have these dreams and yet we stop before we even take the first step. Like, what is it that you think you've been able to do to get you to where you are today?

Michael: Yeah. So, I think it really comes down to the same answer that I give when people ask, I write a daily email and I write every single day and I'm always asked by people, how is it that I do that? How is it that I just like bang out this content every single day. And I always come back to the same idea, which is I give myself permission to suck. And the thing is like, I recognize that there's absolutely no way that I can be consistent and brilliant. There are going to be days where things come out that I'm really excited about and that really work there are going to be days where I write something that I'm not excited about that I don't think really works. And in some cases, I'm right, and in some cases I'm wrong. There are instances where I'll write something and not be very excited about it, but my audience is, right? And they find, you know, all these different types of things. So, I think ultimately, you know, if we bring it back to this aspect of going after your dreams and going after the things that you want, you've got to have that dynamic of giving yourself permission to suck, understanding that whatever that first leap is, the odds of that first leap ending in you having some like monumental success are very, very, very, very slim like it's not very common for somebody to jump from maybe a job that they currently have, go into this world of entrepreneurship and then just instantly, soar. Right? And I would even argue that if you are in a position where you have something like that happen, it causes even more problems down the line because you start to expect that to always happen and for things to always work out.

So, I think it's better to approach and I think I've gotten far more done in my life by basically approaching it from the standpoint of, I am gonna try whatever this thing is, and I am going to learn no matter what the outcome. So, if it's successful, I'm going to learn about what works and I'm going to be able to develop frameworks around that, I'm gonna be able to develop things that I can repeat. And if it fails, if it goes completely awful, I'm gonna learn about what doesn't work and I'm going to be able to see the patterns and the anti-frameworks, the things that I need to stay away from that I will be thinking about for the future.

Michael Unbroken: Do you feel like in that consistency is kind of the overarching theme of success?

Michael: Yes, 100%, because the more that you do something, the more data it creates, the more data you create, the more you can see patterns. Once you see patterns, then you can build frameworks for yourself and you can start to figure out, okay, this is something that I see over and over and over again. So, I know that if I follow this particular path in most cases, the outcome is going to be similar to the prior 72 outcomes or whatever the scenario is. But if you've only tried something two or three times, that's not a lot of data, that's not a lot of information about what is and is not working. And when I used to work in Broadway, people would always ask me about raising money and they would come to me and they'd be like, oh, I haven't been able to raise it, and I'd always ask them, well, how many people have you reached out to? And they be like, well, I've got this one friend, who's an investor, and I talk to this other person and two or three people. And it's like, well, of course it's not going to work because you have no data there. You have no sense of like what works and what doesn't, if you're doing something every single day, if you have a level of consistency, if you're always doing that outreach, you are gonna start to notice like what is working and what's not, and it's going to be significantly more effective.

Michael Unbroken: What do you think is like the catalyst for being willing to go through that process? Because I hear what you're saying and I think most people can resonate with that and they'll sit with it, Michael, and they'll go, yeah, that makes sense to me. But the application, the follow through doesn't come. Is that something where you've gotta be like thoughtful on the why, like what is it that's the catalyst to really push people into taking the risk of consistency?

Michael: Yeah. I think it ultimately comes down to, you do have to have a clear sense of what it is that you want at the end of it. So, you're probably not going to be consistent if you have nothing that you're actually working towards. Right? And the thing is we are always much more engaged and much more excited when we're working towards something. And when we're kind of in that place of moving towards a particular goal or a particular outcome that gives us energy and it gives us the ability to be like, yes, I'm going to be consistent because this outcome is something that really matters to me. So, you first have to have that, you have to know, like, what is that outcome that you're striving towards. And then I think, in order to stay to stay with it, it's about really creating an environment that supports the consistency. I think that a lot of the time we fail when it comes to having something be consistent, because we never create an environment that supports that consistency. We never sit down and decide, okay, this is when this thing happens every day, if we're gonna do it every day, or if we're gonna do it three times a week, these are the actual days that this will happen and we make those decisions and after a while, it does start to feel more like a habit. It starts to feel more like, okay, yep, this is what I do today like, you know, this is how it goes. You're always gonna have a problem with the on ramp of that like the very beginning phases of any process that you haven’t been doing before, it's going to be a challenge to get into it. But once you've really structured the environment and made it so that, you know, this is when this thing happens and you commit to it multiple times after a while, it's going to just feel natural.

I mean, when I started writing daily, it wasn't like, I was like, yep, I'm totally fin like, I've got this, you know, it was okay, I'm gonna write at this time every day and we'll see kind of how it goes. Right? And it wasn't until I had been doing it for a while that it eventually reached a point where I was like, oh yeah, you know, I'm not even thinking about this anymore.

Michael Unbroken: Out of curiosity, when you started that process? Was there any stopping in there where you had to actually restart?

Michael: With that, there was not. That particular, the writing process I never had a moment where I didn't do it every day. Like, it was just always kind of part of it. I certainly had moments where I was worried about what to write, or I felt like I had no ideas or, you know, I felt sort of tapped out. Uh, I certainly had a lot of those moments. But I think again, because I sort of approached it from this angle of, I'm giving myself permission to suck. I didn't even care, you know, I was just like, okay, this is what it is, this is what it's going to be. And then there's another thing that I find has always worked really well for me, there's this idea of the minimum viable product, but I look at like, what is the minimum viable action, right? So, what is the thing that I can do that will start that journey? So, if I feel like, oh man, I don't think I can come up with anything. Okay. I'm gonna open up the computer and I'm going to go to the page where I'm going to write, I'm gonna write one sentence right now. I'm gonna write a headline, I'm gonna just write random stuff that doesn't even make any sense, I'm just gonna free write, whatever it is. I'll do something that moves me in the direction of that thing that I need to do. And I just find that anything that I'm struggling with, anything that I'm dealing with, if I say like, okay, what is the minimum viable action? And at the very least do that, I almost always am able to sort of move forward that that particular thing. Are there instances where you know, that minimum viable action doesn't lead to anything? Of course, we all have days where we're just, like, you know, I'm tired, I'm not gonna do this, you know, whatever it is. But for me, for the writing, I've never had a day where I was like, I'm just not going to do it.

Michael Unbroken: You said a word a few minutes ago that I think's really important that I'd like to circle back to, you said that you've made a decision to do this? How important is it to be decisive and to make decisions in building your life?

Michael: I think it's incredibly important. I think that we get stuck more often than not because we don't make a decision. And the thing that we often forget about is that not making a decision is still a decision, right? And that's the thing, it's one of those elements. It reminds me of the classic sales scenario of like, you want to get a yes or a no, cuz maybe you will kill you. Right? It's like you wanna decide whatever it is that you're going to do, you wanna make a decision because indecision will kill you.  Right? That's the thing. If you're in a state of indecision and you just never go and do something, you'll drive yourself nuts with all of the possibilities of what could be or what couldn't be so, it's better to just make the decision. It's better to just be like, okay, I'm gonna do this, or I'm gonna try this, or I'm gonna go in this direction because standing still is the most painful thing. And for a lot of entrepreneurs, that's where I think a lot of things fall apart when you are just standing still in that indecision, it basically will rob you of the things that you're trying to accomplish.

Michael Unbroken: One of the things that I think about here is what you do, right? You help thoughtful givers become thought leaders. I think all of everything we've just gone through, it feels very practical to get to that place. I feel like there are a tremendous number of people who are like, I want to be empowering, I want to be an impactful, I want to be a giver, I want to be a leader and often they just do not have a starting point. Like my starting point was kind of really stumbling into it because by being a writer first, the other things followed, you know, including being an award-winning speaker and best-selling offer, like that stuff followed on the backside of just, I'm gonna write some blog. For folks who are in this place where like, all the time, people ask me, how do I leverage this experience? How do I tap into my calling? How do I do that thing? And often I'm just like, you just gotta go do the thing. And so, what I'm really curious about is what are your thoughts? What are the first steps for people who are like, I want to be a leader?

Michael: Yeah. So, I think if you wanna be thought leader, the thing that you have to do is you have to create leading thoughts, and you're not gonna know which thoughts are going to lead if those thoughts are never shared publicly. So, whatever ideas you have, whatever concepts you have, if you do not put those concepts out into the market, you are not going to know how impactful they actually are. And you may have conversations with people and they may be like, wow, that was amazing, that idea, that concept changed my life, but that is one person and that is one data point. So, if you really want to move in that direction where you are stress testing, the ideas that you have and figuring out if you have leading thoughts, you have to share those ideas publicly. And whether that be that you decide that you're gonna write a blog or that you're going to just write on one of the social media channels, or you're gonna record a video of you talking about a concept or an idea that you have, you've got to do it because you have to see whether or not it's resonating with an actual audience, whether or not people are responding to the idea and to the concept. And the thing that I always look for if I am trying to figure out okay, well, which thing is really land this thing is really working, I always look for unprovoked response.

I look for instances where I'm not asking somebody to comment on the video or comment on the post or tell me what they think. I look for instances where if I share an idea, people write back and say, oh my God, this is amazing, this is really making me think, I never thought about this this way, whatever the scenario is and that tells me that there's a lot more to mind there, there's a lot more that I can develop and build out all those different types of things. I would say if that is the goal for someone, if your goal is to move into that thought leadership space and you have not yet tested at least one of your ideas in the market, that is your first step.

Michael Unbroken: Let's go through this, Michael, let's be practical about it, right? So, they go through it they're like, okay, I'm willing to do this, but it's not perfect yet, what do you do? Because I know for certain man, there are people who are like, man, I got the website, I started doing all the things, I spent all this money, I invested, blah, blah, blah. You know, and they're right there, it's time to pull the trigger. And this doesn't even necessarily only apply to stepping into being a leader. But I think for a lot of things in life, they're like at the precipice of what's next and they don't do it. They'll listen to this podcast 97 times and they won't do it.

Michael: Exactly. I call this polishing in the car, but never driving it. And there are lots and lots and lots of people who polish the car, but never drive it, and the reason behind it is expectation. So, if you have an expectation that you put on yourself and if that expectation is built around something being perfect, something being ready, it will slow down or stop your process entirely. So, the thing that you have to just address at the very beginning of a process like that is you have to just take a second to be like, this is the ideal outcome that I would want from this, or this is the thing that I would love to see this become, but it's never going to be what it's going to be in my head. And when I was in theater, that was one of the things I had to deal with as a playwright. If I wrote a play, I could see those characters in my head, I could see exactly what the play should look like in my head but in order to actually get the play up and choose a director and choose the actors, I had to accept the fact that the actors would not look like the people that I saw in my head, they would be close, but they wouldn't be exact copies. And the set wouldn't look like it would look in my head, it would be close, but it wouldn't be exact copies. And the way that everything was actually executed would not look like it was in my head because there would be variations, there would be things that I wasn't seeing or that I wasn't noticing. And if I didn't make peace with that, I would drive everybody on that team nuts, because I'd be like, nope, it has to look like this, it has to look what it, you know, needs to look like in my head. And I think that's the issue. I think when people don't do something when they get into that polishing the car, but never driving it scenario it's because they have created an image in their head of what that success or what that perfect thing sort of looks like and they're in love with the perfect thing, that they can see in their head, because the thing is, while it's in your head while it's not done, while it's not out there, it's allowed to be perfect. There is no criticism. There's nothing that can happen when it goes out into the world, criticism will happen. People will decide if it is what you think it is. There will be moments where it will not resonate in the same way where it won't work in the same way. So, that is certainly not nearly as safe as sitting there and imagining all of the things that something could be.

Michael Unbroken: You know, every day when I sit down with my journal and my cup of coffee, the first thing I write every day is face fear, because there is a 0% chance that I'm going to change the world without putting my ideas into it. And I have stumbled, I have fallen, I've been embarrassed, I've been criticized, I've had people destroy my writing and my videos and my podcast and the whole nine, but I also think about this.

For the people that I'm meant to serve they're here for it. And that's how I show up in the world. But I think people get caught up, especially right now in this idea that, you know, being an influencer is everything, its life, it's what it's about, it's like, you know, rags to riches stories, some guy on TikTok made some videos and suddenly boom. And I think people have a misunderstanding about what that is. What do people get wrong about this idea of influence today?

Michael: Yeah. So, when we think of influence, we're always thinking about it from the angle of how do I influence others, right? We're thinking about how am I gonna get people to do the things that I want them to do. And true influence is when people are willing to do something without you asking them to, and the only way that you're gonna get people to do something without you asking them to, is if it does something for them. So, the mistake that I see thousands of people make when it comes to the idea of influence and being an influencer is that they're spending all of their time trying to figure out how do they make themselves look cool. When what they really need to be doing is asking how do my ideas, how do the things that I'm sharing? How do the things that I'm putting out there make other people look cool when they share it? How am I packaging this concept or this thing so that others will wanna share it with their friends because it makes them look cool, because it makes them look smart, because it makes them look like a really great curator? When you do that, when you package things in such a way that other people wanna share it, because it benefits the people around them, you become significantly more influential. And that's the thing that most influence concepts just completely get wrong. There's this thought that we need to do all of these things, to get people to do stuff for us, but really all we need to do is make something that makes other people look good and it will just come back, it will just reflect back on us.

Michael Unbroken: I had my mentor share something with me one time that profoundly changed the way that not only I do business, but the way that I think about everything in the world. And he said to me, the moment you make your mission about you, you fail and that just hit me. So, it might have been the right time, I don't know, but it just hit me in this way where I was like, man, that's so true. And I used to think about this idea of, you know, how do I make people remember me? How do I make this about me and blah, blah, blah. And I realized like, it just can't be, it doesn't work that way. Right? And in that, when I became more of service, that really started to profoundly change the trajectory of my life. One of the things though, I still think about Michael is like, how do you get people to remember you? Like, because I do think that matters because if they don't know you, they'll never subscribe to the podcast, they'll never read the newsletter, they'll never do those things. And I know that you have this concept around less, and I would love for you to dive into that.

Michael: Yeah. So, if you want people to remember you more, you focus on LESS and that is, Language, Emotion, Simplicity, and Structure. So, the first is language. One of the core reasons why we all know who Shakespeare is, and only a handful of people in English majors know who Christopher Marlowe is, even though they were writing at the same time, is that Shakespeare added new words to the English language. If we go into the dictionary, there are words that are there that were not there before Shakespeare. And when we create our own language for things, we're carving out a little piece of mental real estate. People remember the fact that we had a certain phrase that we used, or we sort of put those words together in a certain way, and then they refer back to us. So, one of the things that can really just always get you to a place where people are remembering you and sharing your ideas and sharing your concepts is if you come up with your own language, if you come up with your own words for things, or your own ways of describing things that people hear and they say, oh, okay, now I completely understand, you know, I understand this concept. And if you are the person who helped them understand that concept, they're gonna share that word, or they're gonna share that the way that you've structured that idea with others. So, it creates that little element of, like I said, of a piece of mental real estate. So, if you are doing that, another way that you can intensify how much people remember is by tapping into emotion because emotion, solidifies memory. So, if I said to somebody, tell me what you were doing five days ago at 8:45 AM, most people cannot give you a very detailed description of that scenario. But if I said to choose what you would consider to be the absolute worst moment of your life and give me the details of that moment. Most people could give me those details because our emotions basically solidify these memories.

When we're in a heightened state of emotions, our brain becomes like a sponge and we absorb all of the content, all of the ideas, all of the things. So, if we are tapping into emotion, when we're having a discussion, people will remember the material more. And this is why you see lots of talks and presentations that often open with some kind of emotional story. And whether that be that they're getting the audience to cry, or whether they're getting the audience to laugh hysterically, there is this heightened moment. And that heightened moment creates that experience where basically the brain becomes like a sponge and starts absorbing that information faster.

So, the thing is if you've got the language and you've tapped into the emotion, the next hurdle that you're dealing with from a memory standpoint is how does the brain hold on to the things that you have to share? And that's where simplicity comes into play. And the challenge that we face is that all of our lives, we have been taught that complexity is good. So, all throughout our lives and academics, we're taught that if we use the biggest words, if we write the biggest papers, if we sound smart, then we will be successful. But our memories reward simplicity because our memory can only hold so much information at one point in time. So, if you said to me to go to the grocery store and you basically say, I need these four things, my memory can usually handle that. It's very rare that I'm gonna have to write down those four things, but if you say I want you to go to the grocery store and here are 37 things I want you to get, you're not getting your groceries unless I write down those 37 things because my brain will not be able to handle all of that information.

So, if we want people to remember something, we have to make sure that we boil it down to a point of simplicity, that they're able to carry that information with them and not feel completely overwhelmed by that information. And that ties to the last piece, which is structure because our brains need structure in order to process the information.

We need to know what order this information goes in. So, if we don't give people a structure, if we don't give them a system, a way to know this thing comes first, this thing comes second, this thing comes third or an image that helps them sort of solidify the concept that we're talking about they're less likely to remember it. There is a reason why jokes have been along around as long as they have, because jokes have a structure that never changes, and all we need to do is plug in to that structure. This is why we carry them over and over and over again, because there is a structure that helps our brain process and sort of order that information. So, if you want people to remember you more. You focus on LESS. And if there are people listening, they are much more likely to remember this concept of language, emotion, simplicity, and structure, because I gave them the structure of less.

Michael: Yeah, that's really fascinating. And I so much of what I hear of that is just really breaking it down again to your earlier statement about this minimal viable product. Right? I think we often convolute everything as human beings, you know? And that's why I love what you said about decision making, because there's so much space in just going for it, just being like, this is what I'm gonna do, this is what I have to, this is what I'm going to set myself up for. And when you do that, it's amazing to watch how your life changes. As we start to tell off here, when you're in this position, let's say people are going through this process, they're doing the things and they're like, I want to be a leader. How do you define a thought leader, Michael?

Michael: So, you are a thought leader if you are getting people to think differently about the world. So, if you are looking at the way that others are sort of presenting ideas and you're coming to the conversation with your own frameworks, with your own models, with your own way of thinking, and you can get other people to think differently about something, that's what moves you in the space of a thought leader. There are lots of thought follow the leaders out there, where what they do is they just parrot what everybody else is saying. And they just kind of go and they try to be sort of randomly motivational, but the true thought leaders, they say something and your brain has to work differently. Your brain has to take the time to wrap itself around this concept that was just presented to you. There's the classic saying, I think it's an Earl Nightingale saying a mind stretched by a new idea can never retain its original shape and it is so true.

So, when you take the time to develop ideas that cause people to rethink what they're doing, question their thinking process, look at how they're seeing the world, that's when you move into that space of being a true thought leader.

Michael Unbroken: Got it. And I love that. As I'm sitting here and you're saying that, am I really going hard enough? Right? And that's such a great moment to have here with you. Michael, before I ask you my last question, my friend, can you tell everyone where they can find you?

Michael: Sure. My website is just, smallpondenterprises.com and if anybody's curious about their referability, I have a tool, that's at myreferabilityrater.com where you can basically answer a series of questions and it will tell you how referable you are right now, in whatever it is that you're creating, whatever your brand currently is, it will give you a score that will help you understand, this is where I am on the referability side.

Michael Unbroken: Love it. And of course, we will put those links in the show notes. Michael, it's been an absolute pleasure, my friend, my last question for you is what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Michael: I think, it comes down to this aspect of accepting everything about you. I think once you're in that place where you take full responsibility for both the things that you've succeeded with, as well as the things that you've failed with, and you really accept yourself as the whole person, that's what I think it means.

Michael Unbroken: Powerfully said my friend. Thank you so much for being here.

Unbroken Nation. Thank you so much for listening.

Please like, subscribe, comment, share with a friend.

And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

I'll see you.

Michael Unbroken Profile Photo

Michael Unbroken

Coach

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

Michael Roderick Profile Photo

Michael Roderick

CEO

Michael Roderick is the CEO of Small Pond Enterprises which helps thoughtful givers become thought leaders by making their brands referable, their messaging memorable, and their ideas unforgettable. He is also the host of the podcast Access to Anyone which shows how you can get to know anyone you want in business and in life using time-tested relationship-building principles. Michael's unique methodology comes from his own experience of going from being a Highschool English teacher to a Broadway Producer in under two years.