April 10, 2023

Finding Courage and Building Confidence with Michael Ferrera

In this episode, I speak with Michael Ferrera who is the Founder and President of Michael Ferrera Custom Clothing,.. See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/finding-courage-and-building-confidence-with-michael-ferrera/#show-notes

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In this episode, I speak with Michael Ferrera who is the Founder and President of Michael Ferrera Custom Clothing, a bespoke clothier for business professionals, athletes & entertainers. Michael Ferrera is the author of the book series titled The Perfect Gentleman’s Pocket Guide, an Amazon Best Seller, to be the perfect gentleman in life’s awkward situations.

Michael shares his inspiring journey of survival and how he found the courage to pursue his dreams at a young age. He talks about overcoming negative self-talk and how he switched his mindset to take action and achieve his goals.

Michael shares insights on how to find the courage to pursue your dreams and how to honor the impact of your losses in the way you operate. He also discusses the importance of not letting setbacks hold you back and how to pull yourself into the future.

If you're looking to boost your confidence, Michael provides three actionable ways to gain extraordinary confidence. Tune in to this episode to learn from Michael's incredible journey and gain valuable insights on how to overcome obstacles and achieve your dreams.

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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. Very excited to be back with you with another episode with my guest, Michael Ferrera, who is an entrepreneur and author, my friend. I've been very much looking forward to this conversation with you. What is happening in your world today?

Ferrera: Oh man, today is absolutely fantastic, and even better now that I'm here with you, brother. So, thank you, thank you for having me.

Michael: Yeah, of course, man, the honors all mine. I've been super excited to do this. You know what's really funny, man? The universe, I believe this to be true, puts us where we're supposed to be, where we're supposed to be there. And you and I have had just a heck of a time trying to get you on this damn show. And I just kept thinking to myself, man, when this happens, we're just gonna have a powerhouse conversation. So, for those who don't know you, tell us a little bit about your backstory, kind of the beginnings and what led you to where you are today.

Ferrera:Absolutely, and thank you for that, you know, and thank you for having me here. Backstory, I'll make it shorter than it needs to, you know, can go on forever with all of us. But born and raised here, Los Angeles, California, and I've always had the heart and drive of entrepreneur. I've been an entrepreneur since age 12, I started my first business at age 12 and really started making revenue at age 14. And after that I continued to grow and I ran that company all the way through college and then just continued to build and grow that eventually sold that company at the age of plus or minus 26 or something like that, that drove me into my passion of clothing design and other entrepreneurship and ventures related to finance, real estate and so on. Bringing us today so still doing a variety of those things to this day but since a kid, man, entrepreneurship has always been the cornerstone of ideas, creativity, and what if scenarios and anytime the what if scenario comes to my mind, in my heart, it's a very slow period from idea to action for me, I just love like trying stuff and, you know, taking it from there ‘cuz I've had the experience to do it and you know, why not?

Michael: Yeah, I get that. And I think that a lot of life you have to have that why not mentality And I think about this a lot, like why not me? You know, and a lot of people get stuck, man, they're trapped in, especially these ideologies that for most part don't actually serve you, they're like, man, it's not for me, it's for somebody else. I'm not good enough. I don't get it. You know, I talk about all the time. I've really started my first business as a kid as well, eight years old, knocking door to door and selling candy that I had stolen from the store around the corner. So, you're having a hundred percent margins, right? Not the most advisable business practices, but you know, you learn really young that there's a lot of potential in the world. And for me it was survival and I'm wondering for you, like, where did that come from for you at such a young age to be like, I'm gonna go and try something?

Ferrera:Yeah, and it is a good question. Well, my family's not from here. I'm born Los Angeles, but my families from the Caribbean, central America Belize, both of my parents. So, you know, when I'm a first generation American, you know, it's instilled to me like they didn't come here for normal, for lack of a better word, right? They didn't come here to get a job and move on, and why there's nothing wrong with that. My parents had jobs over their lifetime, you know, they did things to provide for us. But you know, myself unique story, never had a traditional nine to five jobs. I've always worked entrepreneurship in some capacity, always been on my own with the ability to create. So, from a young age, it was instilled from my parents. You know, they taught me that anything is possible, right? It's this weird cliche statement, but I felt that, and I had that energy from a very young age. Right. You know, if I had any weird idea, my parents would do their best to support me in that and that was an amazing, amazing feeling and I never take it for granted. And I know the people and clients that I serve to this day, everyone didn't have that, right? So, I never take it for granted that I had that and it's such a joy. Simultaneously, my first business I started was a DJ, right? I ran a DJ company 14, 15 years. I eventually sold that company after I built a whole bunch of contracts and, you know, fostered the relationships and was able to curate it into something that was of value. And the way I got to that business was my father actually had a DJ business that he did on the side after his, you know, day job Saturday, Sundays, he would DJ and I would always want to go. I had this extraordinary admiration for my father, that admiration is still there but it's definitely much more in context. And, you know, it was Friday, Saturday, Sunday night, and I gotta go, you dad, can I come? Right? And after I was old enough, he would let me come to the parties. And when he needed to take a little break and stuff like that, I was able to, you know, man, the equalizer, I was able to do the board and put on records and etcetera. So, after that I was like, man, this is amazing. Right? And I just wanted to do it on my own.

And so, I just started creating my own mixes, doing my own thing, I would buy the records, all the equipment is there, and I just was in a position where I learned and I was like, man, what if I would just practice and practice. And my father was traditionally a Caribbean DJ and what happened was we got a call back in the day, we used to have Yellow Pages ads, right? I don't even know that still exists, yellow Pages electronically, right? So, we'd have Yellow Pages ads, and my father's company had yellow page ad and we got a call from like an American, like they wanted American music, hip hop, all the stuff that I knew. And my dad like said, you want to take the gig. Right. Like I was like if I was 14 years old, right? Maybe 13. I was like 13 years old. And he said, do you want to take it right? And this was a real transaction, this was not like, oh, a kid's party, this was a wedding, you know, this is a $1,200 contract, you know, this is a real deal. I was like, okay, sure. And then after that I did it right and after that I did it, I rocked this whole party and it was just an amazing experience. And then, you know, after that I was like, I could do this. Right? And then I just kept growing and building, started to say, hey, I could do, you know, school parties and neighbors’ parties, etcetera and then I trained my buddies on how to DJ. And after that it started to run into a business, right? I wasn't DJing as much, but more focusing on the contracts and sending my boys to rock parties accordingly.

Michael: Yeah, I love that man. And so much about scaling businesses obviously is a big part of that. And obviously we don't talk too deeply into business and entrepreneurship here, but for you, it's a foundation for me, it's a hundred percent foundation. And I think it's one of those things that, and I say this all the time, like if you really want to find out who you are, go start a business. And I think that a big part of that is because when you are living truly as who you are, you are being of service to that thing that right for you. For you, DJing, for me, speaking on stage as podcasting, coaching people, whatever, it's like whenever I do anything else, I feel completely unlike myself and I think people get caught up in this idea like they can't have it. Right? They get stuck. I wanna go back into this for a minute because obviously, one of the beautiful things that you said is like, you have this amazing support system and we know not everyone has that like, fine, let's recognize it, let's talk about it. But if you don't, you still have to go and find it. You have to cultivate it. You have to create it. And for me that's been a huge part of my journey is going and finding mentors, going and finding people who can teach me because if I know one thing about my life, I learned the hard way, man, and so I'm like, somebody, please teach me the not hard way so I can come and navigate this world. When you were young and you started doing that and you were in this position where, here you are given an opportunity, a lot of people feel. If they don't deserve it or like it's not for them, how do you manage that? Because I would have to, I'm gonna assume, I don't know if this is true for you, but what do you do when you have negative self-talk pop up in your head about what you're capable of doing?

Ferrera: Yeah. And it is happened even as an entrepreneur and one thing you mentioned, you know, encouraging people to start a business, even if you're not right, that'll like test you even if it's not starting a business. And one thing that I shared in one of my sessions this week on my podcast is that I share with individuals like, even if you're not an entrepreneur, you should think like one. And the reason being is because now you become much more valuable to the people that you serve. We all serve some people in some capacity, whether you're an employee or a boss, an entrepreneur, you're serving some people in some capacity, right? So, if you have, this is an example that I think is valuable people that you know, don't have businesses, right? I share with individuals like think like an entrepreneur. If you're an employee, how can you think like an entrepreneur to like, okay, how can I be most valuable with these thousands of pages that I have to print on this Xerox machine? Right? How can I be efficient with the light and the energy that I use for the company that I work for, right? How can I be much more efficient in managing my time that I could take three appointments for the company that for rather than one. Right? Those are how the entrepreneurship thinking can allow you to be much more valuable to the company and the people that you serve. Because if you're doing those things and you're thinking like, the boss and the owner of that company thinks you're much more valuable to the actual company because of the way that you're thinking.

So, starting is amazing, right? Some people don't have that driveway. I challenge people think like an entrepreneur, even when you're not one. Right? Now, in touching on like the key point here about the negative talk or the down points. Man, we all have it and frankly, and from in full transparency, right? We still have it to this day. Right. You know, I know how to manage it a lot better now and some of the coaches and trainers that I was able to work with throughout my lifetime, right? One of the biggest things that I learned this years ago from Tony Robbins ever listen to Tony Step since I was a kid, ‘cuz of my dad and parents and stuff, but the biggest thing, we all have the negative talk, right? You know, even the key is that you have to make it short, right? You know, Jay-Z has the negative doubts. Right. But it's smaller than ours. Right. And you know, it's as awkward as it is, right? Beyonce has the short moment of like going on stage, nobody's perfect. It is what it is. It's part of it. And the reason I can say that is ‘cuz I've talked to these individuals and it's there; the key is that they make it very, very short, right? It's not a two week long extravagant of how bad a negative or a 10 day, or a two day, or a five day, or even an hour self-negative talk, right? It's a like moment of self-doubt, reflect and say, yo, I did this, this, and this, reminding yourself that you've accomplished and done some great things in the past and making that self-doubt, what? Maybe 15 seconds, 10 seconds, and then get on. Right. It takes time. Right? You know, it takes time for all of us, but that's what I share with individuals is like getting to a point where you make that negative self-talk really, really small. And after you do that, it's about getting by other people like yourself, you know, being in podcasts and rooms with other individuals that are playing life, in my opinion, at a higher level that can challenge your mind and challenge your thinking and put you in a position and be like, you know, you deserve to be in this room. Right. And some of my greatest moments of gratitude has been in, when I was in a position of what would I say, lowest on the total pole, right? I serve on two multi-million-dollar nonprofit organization boards, and when I'm in the room of, you know, CEOs and VPs of Fortune 100 companies, right? It puts you in a situation like they want you here for a reason, right? You're here in this room for a reason, Michael, and those are the things that remind you. So, getting in around circles and reminding yourself to make that self-doubt small, allows you to keep in the mind safe that you need to be to go to a higher level.

Michael: That's such a good point. And I actually was just thinking about that last night in one of the rooms that I was in where I'm like, there are people in here who are doing gigantic things. Things that I like am trying to push myself into and there's something about being in those, you know, I used to be the guy who was the smartest guy in the room. Let me tell you how stupid that is, I would go in these rooms purposely, I would make sure that I was the smartest person in the room because then my ego would never get hurt. And I'm not saying today, being in those rooms is about the ego getting hurt, it's about recognizing one of the really important truths of life it's like you have to be around people who elevate you, whether you're right in front of them, or you're consuming them on podcast in the internet or their book. And so, when I'm in these rooms, I'm in rooms with people, dude, where like eight years ago, 10 years ago, I was like, one day I will be in the room with that person and now it's happening. And I think about this every single day, how important it is to put yourself in a position to be successful. But so many people, they just beat themselves up time and time again and they don't even allow themselves to even step into the room, let alone stand in it. And the thing that probably I would say has felt the most true for me is recognizing what you just said andthat is that you do deserve to be in that room,that's a hard internal conversation to have though. Right? And especially the first couple times. I'd love if you'd give us an example of one of these shifts for you. How you went from, okay, here I am in this negative self-talk to, I'm gonna switch it. I'm gonna go and do the thing, or show up or be on the stage, or whatever that looked like ‘cause I think some context will really help people here.

Ferrera: Yeah. I've hoped so many different things on what to do and strategies and ideas. And one thing that I've found is that, and I'll share with some things here, but one thing that I've found is we all have to find like our one thing, right? We've heard the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, we heard the, you know, take a deep breath, all those things matter and all those things do work. But what I've found after working with millions of people at this point, it's literally about like finding what's your thing. Right. Is it like going into your car and pumping yourself up? Is it listening to a recording, an audio, whatever it is. Right. So, you know, similar to you, Michael, in the aspect of, when I was younger and as a young entrepreneur and being a young kid entrepreneur, you know, full transparency, like, you kind of get a chip on your shoulder, you really kind of get a chip on your shoulder as a young entrepreneur because the things that you're doing many people like desire to do when I was like plus or minus 21, 22 people would be twice my age and saying, wow, would love to do what you do on day. Right? So, then you kind of walk around with this chip, like, yeah, I'm doing it, etcetera, etcetera. So similar to you, I would walk into the room with my chest out and like shoulders up. And yes, those things are important to carry, but it should be genuine. But me, it was like I was walking in frankly, in an arrogant state, right? That's never where you want to come from, right? You never want to come from a state of arrogance when you serve people, right? When you serve people and you truly want to help people, you have to come from a place of a humility and service. Right. Because when you, when you come from a place of serving, you will always get whatever it is that you desire, right? You don't have to ask for money, you don't have to ask for a contract, you don't have to sell more products. But if you come at making the person's life that you're in front of or that you're working with, making their life easier, more simple, more productive, you'll get what you want. Alright?

So, I'll use an example of, a large organization here in Los Angeles for plus or minus four years and in that space, right? I was like, okay, I'm the leader. I'm the boss. I control these things, right? So therefore, whatever I say at the end of the day goes and, you know, while you can, you know, my failure is using the position as a state of power. Right. And rather than humbling myself and being in a position where I can say all these people are in this organization for me to serve. Right. And I'm grateful that I took and did that position because later on in life it, it allowed me to reflect on that. And even during that process, right, maybe halfway in that term, I had a shift to where I was like,

they don't work for me; I work for them. Right? They're part of this organization because, you know, I'm leading, right? I need to lead them, right? So how can I be of a level of service to them? How can I make their lives even, how can I get them to, for what they want outta life, etcetera, why they joined this organization, why they're here, etcetera. So, I had to make that hard shift of like, it's literally not. Right. And one thing I learned from, you know, Bob Proctor years ago is that, you know, come from the level of number two, right? Number two, right? Try to be number two. Yes, number one is important, but as long as you consider number two, the number one will always be okay and what does that mean, right? You come second, and so I look at myself as number two, right? Even when I came, was preparing for this podcast today, I was like, man, Michael doesn't need me, Michael is gonna be successful regardless if I'm here or not. Michael was amazing. I'm gonna listen to his stuff. I'm watch his stuff, I'm gonna father, et cetera, right? How can I come from the stage of number two? How can I be the second person to serve him? Right? How can I put Michael first and make sure that his podcast is more amazing, more fulfilled, more productive by me being on, right? So, a talent people, right? And when we go into these spaces of leadership, right? Come in with, you know, Dr. Bob Proctor used to have a number two pin, right? The number two pin was to say you're second because all the other people that you serve, they're number one. And as I said before, I think as long as you come from a safe place of service and giving, you'll always get what you want, money, love, respect, etcetera.

Michael: Yeah, it's very true. And when you come from a place of selfishness, like you will get that. And I've witnessed that in my own life you know, I go back to my mid-twenties and it's like my life was a disaster. I was only me first. I was very selfish. I chased money. I chased girls, I chased stuff, you know, I had so much stuff. I was like, what do I do with all this stuff? Because I was like, oh, this'll fill me up. And then I realized like life is truly about service, but it's difficult to get to that place, especially for many people who have had to be on their own a lot, who have had to go through this phase of life in which they had to rely on themselves almost inclusive, and I think unfortunately, it's a lesson we have to learn on our own. Here's one of the really interesting things about doing this for as long as I've done it, Michael, is that. I have come to realize that I could make 10 million episodes of this show and it will not matter unless someone takes action. And that ultimately becomes the reality of the truth of life. Yes. Go and be of service. Yes. Show up. Yes. Do all those things. And in doing so, here's what I think about, if you're really paying attention, like if you're really following the signs, it will all work out. I know that's like it may seem woo-woo, and so I'm curious about your thoughts on this, but I've put myself in situations where I'm like, this is crazy that I'm even doing this right now, not necessarily negative, but just in general, and it always seems to work out. I've had friends in my life come up to me and be like, dude, you're an insane person. I'm like, yeah, that's probably true but I'm also gonna see what happens ‘cuz I know death is inevitable, man, I know it. When I was 25, 26, I walked away from a Fortune 10 company where I was making six figures and with no high school diploma. And my friends literally were like, dude, you're insane, you will never be successful again, this is one opportunity. And what I've come to realize, opportunities are created, they're not just standing there waiting to be ticked off. And so, I'm wondering how do you step into that a little bit deeper when you have this feeling, this thought, this energy, this part of your soul speaking to you, or it's like, go do the thing. Like how do you find the courage to do that?

Ferrera: Yeah. I heard a statement a while ago, years ago. I'm looking off to see where I originally heard it and a statement is, do the thing and you'll get the energy to do the thing. Right? It sounds strange, but you know, once you get started, and that's the philosophy that I employ to this day, right? Even when I don't wanna reply to emails when I don't wanna man, I could just watch TV, but I don't. Well, once you start, once you get in motion, you know you'll get the additional energy you need to keep going, right? Motion like creates motion, right? And emotion creates motion and it's a vicious cycle, vicious in a positive way, right? Motion creates motion, emotion creates motion and continuously on, right? So do the thing and you get the energy to do the thing.

In getting to that point of truly like starting for me, similar to you, right? It is tough to even talk about this, right? But I know that I'm not here forever at a very tragic, you know, almost life-ending experience when I was in college as his historic car crash news, historic things you could sing from Las Vegas back home, diesel cars, whole bunch of stuff, you know, we could talk more, but stuff at the moment. But that moment going into my senior year of college, it was very clear to me the preciousness of life, right? I had an experience two of my closest friends are no longer with me because of that. Right? And I'm here. So, me being here, is a space where I just feel like, what are you gonna do now that you're here? Right. So, all of us that are here during this time and during this season, we are all here for a reason. I don't believe there's any accident. There's no accident child, there's no accident person that's in a foster home, there's no accident that tough to say, right? Accident that parents passed away early. We're all here for a reason. Right. If you're here right now, we're all here for a reason. We have to remind ourselves of that. So, for me, knowing that I had that, that tragic experience, and knowing that I was here and knew that I had ideas and visions and creativities that are weird and hard and expensive and costly and time consuming, I literally put things in perspective to say, my time here is so short. I give this example when I give talks to schools and universities, especially the kids, is that no matter how I asked the question, what is the oldest person that you know on this earth and what do you think old is? Right? My grandma's 91, right? And they said my grandma was 104, right? I get these really cool answers from kids. I love kids ‘cuz their energy and inspiration the optimism is so inspiring. But when I speak to them, I draw on a, usually a chalkboard or a whiteboard, and I put the history of Earth, right? I put it on a board, I draw it and I share with people, right? Let's say we call Earth zero to 2022, right? This long period of time that we have here. And then I draw on that graph or dot, and I say, that's how much 104 years is on the timeline of Earth. So, the perspective that I put things in to take action, right? Especially with my wife and my children, my ideas, I have to remind like however long you think the longest time of someone you know to live, that's just a dot, right? If we take, and even if we go, you know, if we take zero before zero, right? I don't know, whatever beliefs are, right? But if you take the timeline before zero, the earth has been here for a long time. Even if we get to the science and that technology, which I believe is there to live to 160, that's still such a short time. Right. So, that's the way I do it. I put things in the perspective of like, look how short I'm here in this place, and what can I do to make the most enjoyment of life while I'm here? That's what I do.

Michael: Yeah. I mean, you're literally like in my brain on that one. And I say that because I've lost my three best friends, they were murdered when I was a kid and, in my twenties, and to be honest with you and I think this'll always be something that I'm working through. There's a space in which I know like, I have to do this for them. Right. Like it's almost like a must because I look at the fact that I'm here, dude, I should have been dead probably 30 times in hand handcuffs more times than I can count, been in situations like I can't even tell you about because I'm scared, I might go to jail if I talk about 'em like real stuff. And it's like, knowing that my best friends aren't here, knowing that there's people who've been close to me are gone forever. There is a pull to be like, honored that man and honor that and I think that's a really, it’s a fine line because I think that you can overdo it where you're only doing stuff for the memory of people. I think that's a dangerous place to be. But I think it's more for me about honoring, like when you talk about this dot, is that what it is for you? Like what is the impact that those losses have had in the way that you operate?

Ferrera: Yeah, the toughest part for me is like, you know, I'm driving, right? So, if I'm the driver, you know, and there was a period for during that last year of college, it was like, this is your fault, right? And it's just tough to even like speak that out loud, you know? But just have a whole bunch of sessions and people that I'd speak to regarding it, but knowing that I was leading that situation, it was a lot of pain and stress that I put on myself to believe like it was me and why am I here? And even thoughts of, you know, maybe I should be gone too and thinking that I should leave or be with them in that capacity. You know, it's a tough space to be in, grateful that I made those periods and thoughts very short. Right. But the key is that I had to remind myself and get back to what I mentioned earlier, is like understanding if I'm here, it has to be for a reason. Right. So, you know, what is that reason that I'm here for, and what can I do to impact the world and impact the people that I'm around, my other friends, my other colleagues, etcetera, that I could help them, right? And live a life of love and passion in something rather than the stereotypical should. Right. All the careers and positions Java, I have, there all have been some form of entrepreneurship. Yes, I may have worked for companies, but it was all a hundred percent commission. I've never had a salary; I've never had a go to work and then get this check on Friday, never had that. I just always like, felt like I could do it. Right. And, you know, some of that came just because I liked the awkward challenging of what if, but I had to get to the point in those situations like getting out of my head, you know, knowing that the accident was a part of life and not only life. Right. So, putting that in perspective and knowing like, hey man, maybe that was to show me something maybe that was to share with me, make the most out of what you are here because ‘cuz my two friends now are with me. Wow. The impact that they had on my life is literally, it's priceless. Right. You know, one of my roommates in college, I'm a better person because I lived with him for the time that. Right. And the work ethic, the discipline that I saw and other people that I gained, I couldn't have got that anywhere else. Right? There are other things that he gave to other people during his time here, but I know what I got right. And it's such a blessing to be able to recognize that and be able to use that as an empowerment tool rather than a hampering tool.

Michael:Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking as you were saying that because when those experiences happen in our lives, which inevitably loss is gonna happen, man. We just have to call it what it is. We don't get any say in, I could die literally right now. Like I've rationalized that. And I think that you can be in this position where the things that occur in your life, not just loss like that, but mistakes you made, the person you dated, the thing that you did 30 years ago, can keep you trapped forever. And that's so unfortunate because it's like you're always just one decision away from everything being different. And I think a lot of that decision is forgiving yourself, being like you're a human. You know, I remember one time, God, this might have been five years ago, it was the first time I met Anthony Trucks, I don't know if you know Anthony or not.

Ferrera: Oh, a hundred percent know Anthony personally. Yeah.

Michael: Okay. So awesome. So, an Anthony spoke at Unbroken Conference back in December, great friend, and I remember the first time that I met him, he was speaking at one of Brendon Burchard's event so, four or five years ago, maybe longer. I don't remember, everything collapses on him. And I remember he was up on stage and he said something I'd never heard anyone say before, and he goes, you have to live life like when you die, God is gonna show you a movie of the life that you were supposed to have. And I was like, damn, that's so true, because this is so finite and short. It's like, yeah, you've made mistakes. Okay. Yeah. You've done things that alter timelines. Yes. You've done or experienced traumatic pain, hurt, loss, suffering, debt, bankruptcy, cheating, loss, all the things. And it's like, okay, how long were you gonna let it hold you back? Because the thing that I've discovered, and I don't know if you know a solution that I have not come up with yet, but to my knowledge, you cannot go back in time.

Ferrera: That's right. It is what it is. Right? And as you were saying that, one thing I was thinking about is, you know, similar to what Anthony said, one thing that that puts things in respect of me to take action like now in snaps, is that, you know, I say, if I was to leave Earth right now, and you reminded me of this when you said like, you know if you leave now, right? I say if I was to leave Earth right now, would I be happy? Right? Would I be satisfied? And that can get you in a point to, of taking action in the right way. You know, knowing that your listeners right are in a place where they want to grow, they want to achieve more, they want to be on broken, they want to get out of certain states, right? If that answer is no, the greatest thing is that we're here to change it. Right? And when I say like, if I was to leave right now, would I be happy? I'm so grateful at the state that I'm in now, right? Every nothing's perfect, but I'd be like, man, yeah, I did some pretty cool stuff, man, you know, an amazing wife and kid instead of, right? So I can be grateful for that, right? But if there's a moment, even if you ask that po that moment in the lowest space of a hotel down and out in the worst position, if you ask yourself, you know, if I was to leave right now, would I be satisfied or happy? And if that answer is no, you know, that's what prompts action for me that then you can get on the road and moving forward.

Michael: Yeah, but that's a hard truth you have to face ‘cuz I'm telling you right now, a hundred percent guarantee you there are people listening right now, they're answering that question, the answer is no, and they're still not taking action. And a lot of that is the fear of success like I'm gonna tell you right now, I believe this more than probably anything I ever say. Like, I think people are more f**ing afraid of success than they are of fear of failure. More afraid of the fear of success than the fear of failure. And I think the reality is like, success is here, man, it is abundant. And success, like let's be clear, you have to self-define like people ask me all the time, do I ever want to be a billionaire? ‘Cuz I've been mentored by billionaires. I'm like, I do not want that responsibility. No, I'm good. I don't even want to go close to that. You know, I want the life that I want, that I've sat and I've drawn out and I've created, and I've talked about, and that I'm working towards manifesting. And it's like you have to give yourself permission to be successful, it's right here like it's not that far away.

Here's what's really interesting, man, it's not that far away, it might seem like it, but it's not. And I'm wondering when success seems far away from you, like when you come and you've done some big things, man. I mean, you wrote your first book over a decade ago, right? And people will look at that and go, man, that's incredible, how did you do it? Like, how do you pull yourself into the future?

Ferrera:Yeah. And I think the one thing, the reason why, I know you're right in that statement of the fear of success rather than failure. Guilty. Right. You know, I've had that right and that's why I know you're absolutely right that the people listening right now are like, yeah, but what if, and I gotta move away from my parents and I gotta move to another state or country, or I gotta be in a different city. But then I got a man, you know, there's so many things that we play in our heads that never will happen. Right? As long as you have the right perspective, you can control and put things in place to allow success to happen.You know, awkwardly having that success as a young person, when I was a kid in starting companies is that you get into a place where like, if you could do it, you could do it again and while that is true in some capacities, man, there's like so many shameful like moments that I've had are failures, you know, because of like, oh yeah, I could just start this business because I've done this one. And I can laugh now, but the times that I was going through it, you know, it comes back to what we spoke about earlier is like my ego got in the way of being in the position of like, okay, you've done it before, you can do it again. And while that is true, you don't want to go in with the aspect of arrogance, right? Comes back to the arrogance state, right? When you come in a position of humility and service. Now you can get into a place of…

Michael: But don't you need a little bit of arrogance though? Here's why I'm saying this is because I believe, if anything in this earth that you want, you have really got to believe that you're capable of doing it. Probably to the point of arrogance, because people are always gonna shoot arrows at you.

Ferrera: Yeah. I love how you ask it. Right. You know, if you need a little bit, I've asked my myself that question in those exact words. Right. But doing it what I do, you know, as an advisor and lifestyle when I'm coaching and training my clients and scaring paper truth, it's actually not arrogance, right? It's extraordinary confidence, right? And it's nothing wrong with having extraordinary amounts of confidence. I use this example a lot, right? I'm relatively good looking, my wife is extraordinary, she's a very, very beautiful right person. Right. When I'm next to her, I'm like, okay. We have this running joke in our house where we're out in the mall, like I feel like people look at my wife and they're like, man, wow, she's beautiful. And then they look at me to like, does he qualify? Right? And then they're like, oh yeah, he qualifies and then she comes back to her like, man, wow, she's really beautiful. But I use that example to like for me wanting to go up and approach her right and say hello to her and say hi to her, that just takes a whole lot of confidence to want to do that. So, arrogance, people may perceive it that way and people may look at, man, that person is arrogant. Arrogance is when you're rude and you diminish other people. Confidence is when you're fulfilled in yourself and you uplift other people. So, the arrogance is tough for me to hear because I don't think you need the arrogance. Right. You do need extraordinary and insane confidence. And one thing that I heard from Conor McGregor in one of his interviews is that like, you kind of gotta be a little bit off of your rocker and that's okay. Right. I'm okay with that. Some people, you know, and you've done this, I've seen this with some of the things that you've done and the podcast and your live sessions and all the stuff that you are doing regularly, it's like kind crazy, right? It's crazy, but so, what? Right? You kind of gotta have a little bit of that crazyness to achieve extraordinary levels of success. And simultaneously without a doubt. Yes. You have to have extraordinary levels of confidence in order to a achieve great feats. You can have enough confidence and be good. You know, you could have enough confidence and be successful, right? But when you take it above and beyond and have extraordinary amounts of confidence in uplifting people along the journey, that's how you can accomplish it without having the arrogance.

Michael: Yeah, that's a phenomenal definition. I love that you said you do not, like, my mission is to never diminish people, but like, man, if we're playing monopoly, I know I'm gonna win. Like, I believe that in my soul, you know what I mean? Like, people won't even play Monopoly with me anymore, just calling it what it is. But I think that, you do have to believe in like you really, really, really do and you're right ‘cuz you look at people like Conor McGregor, you look at people, I mean, you could name the list of people and it's like they get pointed out and they're like, that person is arrogant, they're an asshole, they're cocky, they're all of these things. But it's like, I think often when people judge those people, and I have been a person who judged those people, let's be very clear about that. I think it's because there's a reflection of fear in that you look at that and you go, damn, I would love to do something like that. No joke, man. Go back 14 years ago, I'll never forget this, almost 15 years ago. So, I'm in my early twenties, I'm working for this Fortune 10 company, one of my friends sends me a clip of Tony Robbins talking and I know doing whatever Tony does in coaching, and I go, man, that guy's full sh*t. Who does he think he, this guy doesn't know anything about the world. He doesn't know my life. Fast forward all these years later, it's like I've been to seminars, read all the books, been in private coaching with him and it's like what I reflect on and what we're saying right now is like looking at that moment of judgment that I had towards this individual a – that I didn't know, b – who was actually arguably the greatest personal development leader in the history of the world. And then c – going like, wait a second. Hold on. Maybe there's something in here. What he said that is scaring me, there's a truth in here. And so, I love that you talked about this idea that there's a difference between arrogance because that diminishes people and confidence, which raises people that's so beautiful. Dude. I've never heard anyone say that before. I f**ing love that. So, let's help some people here really tactically, give me three ways that people can get confidence. How do they get extraordinary confidence? What are three things that they can do in their life?

Ferrera:Yeah. I love this question because it's something that I tackle with my clients on a regular basis and now I'm thinking about how to narrow it down. People could watch all my other stuff or do some YouTube stuff related to this topic as on confidence, but I think one of the greatest things, if I give a list, right? The first thing that we can do in building confidence is being in a position to where back to that number two philosophy that I shared earlier, but being in position where you can find the good in other people. But every single day when I walk out the door, I say, how can I be a light? How can I be of value to anyone that comes in contact with me? Anyone that comes in contact me at the vending machine or the water bottle station. I want them to be like, man, I bumped into that guy and I don't know, he just made me feel better. Right? So, the greatest way that we can build more confidence in ourselves is by uplifting other. Right. I can look at you right now and just find something great in you. I love the brand of shirt that you're wearing. I love that. Right? So, I could compliment you on that, that's a beautiful smile that you have. All people have something good, even if we take the homeless person, you know, in the street, and I live in Los Angeles, so, let's use that example, right?

I try to find the good in that person. The ability, the humility that it may take for that person to ask me for money or ask me for something that has to take some form of confidence or some fold of bonus, some people just wouldn't even do it. They would just, you know, quit. I'm downing out. This guy's wearing a three-piece suit. I give up, right? So, I look at that person and say, what an amazing, bold confidence. I commend you for even want to ask if I'm being transparent. I don't know if I would. Right. I don't know if I would you got something, sir or ma'am, that I don't, that's amazing. So the biggest thing that we could do to build more confidence in ourselves is by uplifting other people. Right? That's how we build more confidence. All right.

The second thing that I think the most valuable way to build confidence is that, making sure that you're in environments or circles that challenge you at a higher level, right?

So, you just got off a plane maybe an hour or 30 minutes ago, right? You are coming from a great event, great environment with people that are either peer or at a higher level or people that you can support, you're always in one of those three spaces, right? You either have people that may be able to mentor you and you looking up to them, and there's spaces where there's other people that you may be able to help. Right? So, when you're in those environments and when you're in those circles and you when you're challenged to go higher, to do better, to do more, to give more to whatever it is more that allows you to be confident and build confidence ‘cause it's saying like, wow, maybe I can. I can do this. I can do this. And I'm around this person did this to me. And you know it, back to that cycle, right? If you're in the right environments, those people that have the higher levels of confidence, they will uplift you, they will bring you up. So, that's why it's vital to be in the right environments, right? The people that will uplift you to say like, I deserve to be here and that builds confidence to take you to the next level. And the opposite those people that may be students or going places where you already been, you'll be able to say like, man, I could uplift this person. I could bring them in. Man, this ticket was expensive to get here. I'm so glad you're here, man. You're 19 and you paid the price for this ticket, man, that's awesome, right? That you could lift people up and, and if you think about this is the beauty of life, right? If you're in one of those three states, and if we're always in a position of recycling that and it's just a vicious cycle of continued progression, right? Because they'll be in a place where you are the mentor, right? And then even when you are the mentor, there's another level to where, you know, there's someone else that's at a higher level and there's other people that you can still serve. And if you always stay in this place of learning and serving and giving, it's just a vicious cycle of improvement.

And the last thing that I would say, if there's a third one on how you build more confidence is, this is a tough one to do, right? I do it to this day, but it's still tough.

You gotta be genuine and authentic to the reflection that you see every day.

You gotta in the moment where you have those tough moments, like man, even in the down moments, right? Hey, Michael, that that was a bad transaction you did, that was a bad deal that you did yesterday. But when you wake up in the next morning, you gotta say, man, I gotta learn from that. I'm gonna honor that contract. I should have charged more. I should have did this. I gotta raise my prices, whatever it is. But you know what, you committed to that, so you're gonna honor that. So,the greatest level of competency, you gotta be genuine and authentic to that person that's in the mirror and simultaneously remind yourself of the great things that you've already done, right?Those people that are listening to this podcast right now, there are some things that you have done great in your life, regardless of whether it's graduating from college, whether it's the fact that you are alive in being in a situation of potentially being, you know, you could take the worst situation of drug, alcohol, abuse, abusive relationship, the list goes on. The fact that you are here, that you are present, you are in a position, you have to remind yourself that you've accomplished great things. Right? And when I'm down and when I have the low moments in my life, I take out a tablet. I still love to write. So, I bring out some form of paper or pen, a tap, and I write all of the weird stuff that I've doing. Remember that time, you know, wrote a book at age twenty dot, started the company, age 14, paid that gigantic tax bill when you didn't have money, right? Figured out how to get out of the hole when you didn't have another option. And when you remind yourself of all the little great things that you've done in this world, right? Graduated college, whatever, big or small, right? You know, got off addiction the first time. Got outta alcohol abuse the first time could do it again. When you write those little things down, it builds the confidence in you that you could do it again.

Michael: Yeah, man, I could not literally could not agree more. And I love that because you have these three really beautiful things. One, go be of service. Go be of service. Go be of service. I'm gonna say it again. Go be of service. I teach my clients this all the time. If you are at your lowest. Go to a soup kitchen, go help someone. Stop being selfish. Number two, which I could not agree with more, go get in the rooms and look when you get in the rooms the first time, maybe you can only get the back row ticket, maybe you get standing room only,maybe you go put your ear to the door ‘cuz you only had enough money to fly there. But get in the room like seriously. And number three, I think is the most difficult and I will agree with you, being in your authenticity and taking your own flowers, it's everything, man. Bro, this has been a phenomenal conversation, Michael. I think we could go forever here, man, but it'd be remiss if I did not ask you the famous question. But before I do that, please tell everyone where they can find you.

Ferrera: Find me, best way I guess online is the best michaelferrera.com is always the best place to start. And then taking them to Instagram at this point, once everything related to Michael Ferrera is in my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. But I think Instagram is probably the best place ‘cuz most active there and most communicative there.

Michael: Amazing. And of course, we'll put the links in this show notes at thinkunbrokenpodcast.com, all you have to do is go to thinkunbrokenpodcast.com, type in Michael's name. You'll see the show notes, the transcript, and this full episode with more information. My last question for you, my friend, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Ferrera: And as I answer that, as you said, your day, I was like, what a beautiful name he has amazing, anyway, what it is to be unbroken, right? I listen to your podcast, all often and I love the state of vulnerability that you offer and the encouragement of vulnerability, right? But for me, to be unbroken is, and then this came to me recently because I don't think we need to be vulnerable to everybody we meet at the grocery store, right. Hey, we're I'm buying a cucumber. I don't need to be vulnerable about how bad my childhood was. Right. Hi. Bye. Peace of love. Right? I don't need to be drastically vulnerable to you, but what I think it is to be unbroken is to be okay with being vulnerable. Right. Be okay with being vulnerable. And what does that mean in this simple form, I'll keep it short, is that, you know, when there's an opportunity to let the guard down, to take the jacket off, to let all of the show of the brand, the person, the employee, the staff member that you are, when there's an opportunity to take all of that stuff down and say, Hey man, you know what, I went through that too. I did went through this situation and you know what, it hurts and I might even cry or tear up by even talking about this. Right. But you now can help that person because you went through it, right? And because you were okay with bringing down that barrier. We all have it, right? I hurts the word. So, it was from the Daily show, right? It was a comic show, comic place, it said the LinkedIn you and the text message you, the text message you was like, wtf, haha. Right. The is the LinkedIn went to Harvard and graduated Super Kim Loudy and right. So, the biggest thing that, how do to think and be unbroken, being okay with being vulnerable.

Michael: Hmm. Brilliantly said my friend. Thank you so much for being here.

Unbroken Nation. Thank you so much for listening.

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My Friends, Be Unbroken.

I'll See You Soon.

Michael FerreraProfile Photo

Michael Ferrera


Michael Ferrera is the Founder and President of Michael Ferrera Custom Clothing, a bespoke clothier for business professionals, athletes & entertainers. Michael Ferrera is the author of the book series titled The Perfect Gentleman’s Pocket Guide, an Amazon Best Seller, to be the perfect gentleman in life’s awkward situations.

Michael Ferrera has been a fashion designer since he was a child and has been designing professionally for over a dozen years. The Michael Ferrera brand is his second clothing company after he started his first casual T-shirt line while in college at UC Riverside called Maestro Tech. After graduating with a business economics degree and attending fashion design school, Michael elevated his design aesthetic to mature with his growth over time. Michael Ferrera Bespoke now specializes in one on one personal service to create the perfect fit bespoke suits, custom shirts, custom-made shoes and accessories for gentlemen who want to look and feel their best.

In addition to business, Michael Ferrera is a professional scuba diver, loves traveling, sporting events and enjoys philanthropic engagements. He currently serves on the board at the Los Angeles Urban League. Michael Ferrera still resides in his hometown of Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


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