May 11, 2023

Overcoming Trauma and Building Your Dream Life with Matt Smith

Welcome to the latest episode of the Think Unbroken Podcast where we explore the journeys of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders... See show notes at:

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Welcome to the latest episode of the Think Unbroken Podcast where we explore the journeys of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. In this episode, we sit down with Matt Smith, an entrepreneur, speaker, and author who has overcome significant trauma in his life to build a successful business and live his dream life.

Matt shares his personal story of how he overcame childhood trauma, including the loss of his mother at a young age and a tumultuous family life. He talks about how these experiences shaped his perspective on life and inspired him to pursue entrepreneurship. 

Matt also discusses the challenges he faced when starting his own business, including the importance of perseverance and resilience. He shares his insights into how to build a successful business and offers tips on how to overcome obstacles and setbacks along the way.

Finally, Matt talks about how he has been able to create his dream life through a combination of hard work, determination, and a positive mindset. He shares his strategies for achieving success and finding happiness, including the power of gratitude, visualization, and goal-setting.

 Whether you are an entrepreneur or simply someone looking for inspiration to overcome challenges and achieve your dreams, this episode is a must-listen. So sit back, relax, and join us for this fascinating conversation with Matt Smith.

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Michael: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 guest and friend, Matt Smith. Matt, my man, what is happening in your world today?

Matt: What's up? I'm honored to be here, this is a great day,

Michael: Dude, I'm super excited to have you.

 Matt: I'm super excited, we connected now, I think a year ago, I was at your event in Pueblo, Colorado. Wake up Pueblo. We really connected though through my connection with Grant Cardone, which I'm sure we'll get into later. But where I want to start this is tell us a little bit about your background. You know, I think that unless folks saw the TV show, which they probably didn't because that whole thing with discovery that we all know about, right, who are you? How did you get to where you are today?

Matt: Yeah, that's a great question, I appreciate it. I'm honored to be on your podcast. I love what you're doing to the world and you're making this world a better place. Ever since I met you at UBB, I followed your journey a little bit, and you're making a big difference out there, you're making a splash and you're doing it the right way. Thanks for having me on here. Thanks.

My story, I mean, it goes back to single mother, two boys Pueblo, Colorado, born and raised. I always tell everybody that like what I lacked in monetary. My dad pretty much left when I was born. My mom raised me and my brother, but we didn't have money but I was one of those people that didn't understand money, so I didn't know that we didn't have money like it wasn't like we were broken, I felt it because she made up with it with love, like she was the most loving woman you've ever met in your entire life. So, you know, we were been talking about it for a second, but I remember like the electricity getting shot off and my mom wasn't like, oh my gosh, let's panic or the sky is falling. She was like, hey, we're gonna have ghost stories tonight and we've got candles and this is gonna be the greatest three days ‘cuz I get paid on Friday. No big deal. And it was just never skipped a beat. So, I didn't know I was broke when I was growing up, but, you know, and I didn't have a dad. So, I think my story always goes back to I wanted to understand money and I wanted to be the best darn father I could be in my entire life, those were my two goals, the older I got, the more that I saw the struggles, you know, financially just not being able to travel or see the world or just go on adventures and stuff like that in college. So didn't make it through college, but I started an entrepreneur early on, got in the mattress business somewhere around 19 years old, I remember doing paper routes and dishes and all kinds of stuff in my early 20 or probably 13 to 18, somewhere around 19, I got in sales from cell phones in Walmart to discount Tire and got into mattresses and 18-year career with the mattress business. I think early on with that I learned that I had made more money than, than my mom. And I was like, okay, I'm making money, what do I do with this? So, at literally at 19, 20 years old, I bought my first house and 21 bought my second house after I saw that wasn't that hard. And then kind of got in the real estate development, 25, got into the franchising game all while I was still selling mattresses.

So, at 18-year career in the mattress business, while I was kind of side hustling and met my wife in my early thirties. And told her that I wouldn't work a weekend again, so I could be around my kids and we had kids. And we had kids, and I retired from the mattress business at that point, I owned, you know, snap Fitness for 15 years, I owned a spa, I own a carpet cleaning company, owned a tuxedo company, restoration company, party bus, I had all these different ventures that I just kept getting into because it just became like a, I don't know, like an addiction. Like, Hey, there's a new business that's available in Pueblo, or, here's this, I wanna try this out.

Fast forward, after I retired, got back in the business, you know, I missed mattresses so much and bought a bus, a building next to Snap Fitness. Got back in the mattress business with an intentions to really disrupt the sleep game. You know, we have franchising's all over the country Snooze Mattress Company. So, we're blessed in, you know, I don't know, 10 states right now and growing and we're just really trying to change the conversation. So, the goal is to not just change the mattress game, but to change the franchising game where people understand the overall health of sleep and what that does for you. And I wrote a book Cereal Dad Preneurwith the intentions of just balance, you know, family first, but really understand, don't forget your dreams in the inside. So, I would say me in a nutshell, I'm a family man, love my wife, I married my soulmate, have three beautiful healthy children, and I'm an entrepreneur, I get up earlier and everybody and grind it out so I can still be with my family as much as possible.

Michael: Yeah, I love that man. And you do have an amazing family. I've been on enough to meet them. You know, you hear people constantly talking about this idea and this notion where it's like behind every great person, there's a great partner, whether that's their husband or wife and I obviously see that in you guys. Having been able to spend a good amount of time with you over the last year, which is really amazing. There's something about the journey of self-discovery that I think happens in entrepreneurship. I always encourage people, and especially those listening to this show, I'm like, go, start that thing, that side hustle, that dream. Just go for it, because two things will happen. One, you'll really find out who you are, and two, you'll really find out who you are. And so, when I was young, I went into entrepreneurship, but I didn't really have those words. I mean, I started my first side hustle when I was eight years old. There's a big lot around the corner from our house, and I'd go steal candy, knock door to door and sell it. A hundred percent margins, it was a good business. But I was a kid and I was just like trying to hustle and survive. Like I even remember stealing fake money from the grocery store, you remember the fake money? And I'd be like, I'm gonna be rich one day. And you know, part of that was a circumstance, very opposite of you in some capacity. No father, but a mother who's a drug addict, an alcoholic. And so, when things were bad, they just got worse. What do you think it was for you in childhood that kind of drove you into this place where like, I'm going to go find whatever this thing is about success and following my dreams? Like was there a moment when you were a kid that hit you like distinctly? Like do you have a recall of this scenario where you're like, this is the moment where I know this is the life that I want to move towards?

Matt: Yeah, it's a great question. And I think, my story goes, you know, in similar, I think in elementary school, I sold gum out of my locker, I'd go to Sam's Club by packs of gum and then I'd sell it individually. And I was always trying to figure out okay, money, but I was also hanging out with sometimes the wrong people. I was partying, I was going to nightclubs and drinking a lot. And New Year’s Eve of 1999, I actually was stabbed, my lower back on the lower East side of Pueblo, Colorado.

Michael: And I don't mean to laugh. I'm like, what the fuck it is?

Matt: It is so true because it was like we had been in fights, we were guys, and you know, this stuff happened all the time and this was the best thing that ever happened to me and I'll never forget it. I distinctly remember sitting in the hospital ‘cuz I was two inches away from my spine. So, I spent two hours in the hospital and it was like the stuff you see in the movies, there was me and my eight bigger athletic friends, they were all sports guys and then there was like 30 Latin ACEs that they would call it in public Colorado. And it like just went together at this New Year's party like you would see in the movies. These guys had bats and stuff and we didn't and I was like, I remember this slow motion like going down, like this is really happening. But most importantly, still at that time I didn't know, but the next day, I'll never forget this, my mom comes in there and she's just bawling. She's thinking, I need to send him to Texas, or I need to send him to some.

Michael: And how old were you?

Matt: Mm, 18 years old; 18 years old, she thought she had to send me to camp. And my grandma, who was very close to me at the time, my mom's mom walks to the, to the door of the hospital. And I remember standing in the door and she shook her head at me with so much disappointment, and she walked away, didn't even walk into the room. And I just remember my face going numb and going, this isn't me. I'm better than this. And everything that day changed. You know, I never got in a fight again that day, I started with Denver Mattress Company, got a career path to really start selling and I can't say I was like a bad kid. I always knew right from wrong. I just got in the wrong crowd sometimes. But that was the day I think that, I knew that I was on the wrong path, and if I didn't change it right then and there, everything can change my life one way or another and it was best thing that ever happened to me.

Michael: Yeah, I mean that's a crazy; it's crazy get stabbed, right? I mean, like I got stabbed in my lower back., I mean, it's a very west side story of you.

Matt: It's totally West side story, nobody believes me. They're like, what? This point, it's my first chapter in my book, because I'm like, literally, that was my aha moment. I think sometimes we need that.

Michael: Yeah. I mean that to me is like an iteration of a rock bottom. And I look at the multitude of rock bottoms that I've had to have to lead me to this place, and it's like, unfortunately, some people just don't pay attention. And I'm learned the hard way, guy like, I never learn easy, Matt, it's unbelievable sometimes where I'm like, dude, are you really doing this right now? Even today, I'm still like, Jesus Christ, man. So, when you're in this moment and you have this thought, where did you begin? Because I think a lot of people have these thoughts of, all right, I'm going to change my life, things are going to be different and then they don't take than action because you're on this, I would have to assume you're in this place where you're having conversation in your head. What was that conversation and what did that actually lead to, like in the jump?

Matt: Yeah. I think just I think at that moment I knew I could change it. I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I knew that big word was something that was really cool and I wanted to learn how to work that, and I think that I just needed the wake-up call to do that. But I remember reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Millionaire Next Door, and really focusing my life, volunteering into the community. I got involved with Chamber of Commerce’s, and I just remember saying, okay, this is the new me. And I also remember kind of distancing myself from people in my life, I think that was one of those moments that you're like, you know, I wrote in my book about talking about like the bus, you're in control of the bus, you're the driver of this bus. But you know, certain people are on that bus at certain times, but they're not all made to go to the end and at some point, that bus is going to crash life is over, but you get to pick your selective owner on there. And I remember, like, there was just certain people in my life that I'm like, I love 'em. But that moment's done, I gotta be able to shift into it. And I think when I had kids, that was another moment where I had to shift the bus of certain people in your life that you didn't want to be around. But I think I got around different crowds, you know, I think I got a mentor Daryl Vain, who was in the mattress business, who was my boss. And I remember just leaning in heavily, you know, leaning into the people that were smarter than me, people that were doing things that I wanted to do, asking questions, getting in the room, taking people out to coffee.

I remember so many people that I had looked up to. And I'm in my early twenties mind June, and I remember looking up to an ex-girlfriend's mom, and she was a real estate agent and I'm like, how do I buy a house I've never seen, my mom never owned a house. So, I'm like, how do I buy a house? And at 19 years old, I bought a house because she just told me the way, you know? And I'm like, okay, I'm making money, I could figure this out. And then I remember like, I want to open a business. I remember there was a Village Inn in Pueblo, Colorado, and a guy bought a mattress from me and I just said, can I take you out coffee tomorrow? And he owned the Village Inn. And I was like, how'd you do this? And I just remember being curious. Getting people in my life, asking and asking, I think to all your listeners, I think it's such a, so many people you can get in the room, but if you don't get in the room and ask the questions or get in the room and make contacts, what's the point? And it's like really going outta your way, finding somebody that you think can mentor you. People are good humans like I know you're a guy that people probably are intimidated by, but if they said, hey, you got five minutes. You'd give 'em five minutes, you're a good human. But people don't, they don't make that ask, they just look up and watch your podcast and listen and stuff but that ask sometimes I think was huge in my early tight.

Michael: Yeah. And I tell people all the time, like, you can slide in my DMs anytime. I'm always here to help people. You know, we have scholarship funds, we have grants, we have so many different ways that people can get into the community because I want them to feel help and support. I mean, you probably have that intimidation factor too. What are you like 6’6, 240 and I'm 6’4, 230, like, we're big guys, you know? Like we're freaking linebackers and that can be intimidating to some people. One of the things that has driven me, and I look at this frequently in my life is growing up with no real mentor. My mentors as a kid were Jay-Z, were television and movies and films and books. And I would literally sneak to the library as a kid and read every nonfiction book you could imagine because I don't know why, maybe it's just inherent in my brain, built into me. Like fiction mean does nothing for me but you show me a story about somebody who actually did some sh*t like I'm all in. And I realized this probably, I don't know, 14 or 15 years ago at the beginning of one of my early entrepreneur endeavors, when I was like, I'm driven into proving people like my father who I've never met like you made a mistake, dude because I'm gonna be great. But here's the interesting juxtaposition or dichotomy of that, I also like rationalize, I had a father, we're probably not having this conversation right now. Do you have those thoughts? Does that go through your mind? Like what has that journey been like for you to not have had a father in your life?

Matt: You know, it's funny because I do think I probably overcompensate where I won't miss a kids anything, I'm so heavily involved in my kids, so it's a blessing in that way. And I also think that full circle, my dad actually moved to Woodland Park about a year and a half ago to build a relationship with his grandchildren, my kids. So, we actually have a really good relationship now, but I didn't know him for probably 18 years, maybe 20 years before I really got to understand who he was. So, I think, yes, I think the biggest blessing, if you look back at it, is my mom was the most beautiful soul you've ever met. Rest in peace. She passed away 16 years ago. But if you could be raised by somebody that cares and that doesn't give you bad habits and doesn't have those, you know, I mean, how to say it, but I think if I was raised by my father, I'd be a different person right now. No doubt in my mind. And because I'm raised by my mom, I think I have compassion, I have car, I love humans, I am empathetic, you know, and I think that that's a blessing that if I was pushed into different directions, I would be a different person right now. I cry at Hallmark shows right now. I cry at certain commercials right now, but I think it's a special thing because I'm okay with being emotional. I'm okay with putting it all out there, but I think I care so much because of how I was raised, and I wouldn't change that for the world.

Michael: Yeah. I think one of the hardest things, I've shared this on this show before, the hardest thing I ever discovered in terms of like becoming a man was learning how to cry. Having it turned off for a really long time, having it shut off and being like, nope, never, this is not going to happen. And then going through this incredible healing journey, lots of therapy, lots of coaching, lots of books, and being like, yeah, oh no, no, it's okay. You can like be emotional. When you go back and you look at your youth and your childhood and trying to navigate just specifically in manhood like, what was that like for you growing up? Having a mother, being basically the matriarch and patriarch of the home and here you are, this boy, and then I assume you became a pretty sizable human being at some point in puberty and like, how the hell did you navigate that? Because for me it was a f**king disaster, man.

Matt: Really?

Michael: Yeah. It was constantly, like my definition of manhood is have sex with as many girls as possible, make a bunch of money, drive a cool car. And then I realized like, actually, actually that's really dumb. So, what was that discovery into manhood like for you?

Matt: Yeah, I mean, it's probably like as a boy, you're still a boy and a teenager and that's your thing. You know, you want to date girls and have cool cars and all of that side if you still want to dream that way. But I think that was probably more in my teens, but younger than that. My mom's my hero like she was the mom and the father. So, I don't think I knew the difference, I think so many people that had one extreme or the other extreme, like you definitely had some extremes in your life. I didn't because she protected that. I think she was such an amazing person that she knew. She had to overcompensate for certain things. Yeah. I didn't play sports like that to this day like I'm athletic, I'm tall. I probably could have gone somewhere, I probably could have got a scholarship or something, you know what I mean? But I was never pushed into sports. I played every recreational sport, I still play sports with my kids, but when I'm in the middle of the paint, I get called three seconds all the time because I don't know the rules of the game. I just know how to play street ball, that's who I was, you know what I mean?

So, there was probably a path of like, who knows if I would've played sports or been different. But again, I go back to like, my wife is my soulmate. I wouldn't have met her if, if I wasn't set up from my mom. And she wouldn't have liked me, you know what I mean? If I didn't have my mom in my life, I wouldn't have gotten the woman of my dreams and I truly believe that. I believe that Jenny is like another version of my mom with her heart and who she is and what she does for our children. And I don't think I would have that. Like, I wouldn't have been able to track that person if I wasn't raised by the person that I was raised by. Truly.

Michael: How do you handle being an entrepreneur and a dad and a husband? I mean, that must play just a, there probably a secret to it that I don't know ‘because I'm not married, nor do I have children and so I'm always like thinking into the future. How in the world do you navigate that?

Matt: Yeah. I appreciate that. And I think that's I did, I wrote a book called Cereal Dad Preneur, and the whole thing was based on that balance, because I think I've been blessed to figure it out but it is hard, it is very, very hard to be able to, like, this is a family day and this is a commitment that you, and I said, we're going to come do this, you know what I mean? But they're cleaning and stuff, so I'm outta that today. But truly it is, it is about making sure you're conscious of both. And I think that so many entrepreneurs, go through divorce because they're chasing this dream. And I saw it when I was at Denver Mattress for years, I saw people climb this totem pole and forget the most important things in life, like their family. So, I never climbed that totem pole, I stayed in my own little thing and I built my little side hustles because I didn't want to take this, you know, I'm going to get another promotion, another promotion I didn't want that. And I think there's a lessons, like this morning, we had a men's mastermind, a couple guys come over, do ice baths. We do hiking and we do just venting and talking. But we started at six o'clock this morning, which would've been five o'clock yesterday morning. But the time changed. So, we started early this morning, so by the time I got home and did this whole thing, three hours later my family was getting up. So, there's cheat codes. I think that it's out there like making sure that you outwork yourself so you can still spend that quality time and making sure you turn certain things off ‘cuz I think an entrepreneur like you or myself, like this stuff doesn't end, I'm always three months behind on work like I'll never be caught up, it's what? I'm never just gonna be like, Hey, I'm caught up today, I'm good. It's never gonna happen. So you just got to know at five o'clock or you got to go home and eat dinner, just leave the place because it's not going to in when you put the kids to bed, get back to work if you need to, like, that's okay, but making sure you set the right time for your wife and overcommunicate. Like me and my wife, have the 3,2,1 where always like, what are the three best things in your day? Two things that we're a challenge and what do you look forward to for tomorrow? And we do that with our kids every night, but it's like just little tools to just communicate, you know what I mean? And over communicate because if there's a stress, we need to run as fast as we can towards that and making sure they're prior and having each other's back. And I think that's another one that there's so many entrepreneurs, if you're not supported on the other side, this is an impossible journey. It's an absolutely impossible journey ‘cuz risk is a part of this and its risk daily and trust from your significant other to say, go ahead and take that risk of our life savings again and our home and everything again, and do all this. And you know, I'm faced with that on the franchise, I see this every single day. And if you don't have the right partner, whew. Good luck. Absolutely, good luck. But there's a lot of cheat codes, I believe to making it happen, but making sure you don't forget one or the other. Family's always first. I tell everybody, like if I was going to lose one thing, it's definitely not going to be my family. I'll live in a one-bedroom house on the east side of Pueblo, Colorado where I got stabbed before I don't lose my family, you know what I mean? All the rest of this is noise. This is all fun. I love the drive, but if I lose it all tomorrow is what it is, protect the family.

Michael: I resonate with that a lot and I feel like, I've gotten to the point in my entrepreneur endeavors and career where I'm like, if I lost it all tomorrow, I don't care. There's maybe I am an ilist actually, I know I'm an ilist. Like, I think wholeheartedly like when this is all over, like it's over. My books will go away, the podcast is gone forever, no one will even remember my name, but it drives me to show up every single day. And that's why we're here on a Sunday doing this because I'm like, no, no, no, right now matters a lot, like this moment matters so freaking much. I'm gonna ask you a question in a moment, but I want to preface it with this. One of the greatest, if not the greatest mistake I've ever made, ever as an entrepreneur, was putting the business before the people. I've lost relationships, I lost friendships, had hard moments with like my little bro; one of my little brothers literally goes, never talk to me again. You're not my brother. And I remember, you know, having a relationship end, now three years ago almost, and being like, oh, this is the cost. There's a tax for everything. There's always, the IRS is going to come knock on your door and say, hey, it's time to pay the taxes. And I had to pay the taxes on the business, not in a monetary way, but in a relational way. Losing friends, losing partners and the person I thought I was going to marry at the time, because I was like, no, no, no, it's gotta be hustle, hustle, hustle, hustle. And that's, to this day, the most heartbreaking thing I've been f**** 50 grand in debt, got my car repoed that doesn't even come close and so, I love that you just said that. How do you navigate the hustle culture when you're trying to put people in your life first?

Matt: Ah, that is a good question. You know, I think it's prioritizing and streamlined focus, you know, I believe that we've got to stay focused. And it's funny when you were saying that, I'm sitting here thinking to myself, and I'm like, gosh, probably one of my biggest failures is the opposite, that I probably cared too much about the people within the business and it got me in trouble and it got people's lives in trouble because they didn't succeed as they should have because I enabled them, you know what I mean? So, I'm just thinking out loud, I was like, I don't know. But the reality is like the hustle culture, this Instagram, this Facebook, all of this, you gotta be, look like this and feel like this is, is a little bit scary to me because that's not the purpose, you know what I mean? Like, you got one life to live and who gives a sh*t what you drive and what kind of a tower that you have as your business because most of those people, and I've learned this, and I will say I'm not gonna name any names, but the more I've been around billionaires and millionaires and all this stuff, that's not happiness. Half of those guys are depressed when they turn that camera off and they go to their lonely little house all by themselves in their fancy little car and then they get in front of a camera and they smile again and say, today's gonna be a great day, or today's great and they pretend that's not happiness. You know what I mean? Happiness is taking care of your health in challenging yourself to do something different but money is not. Money drives some like, freedom, you know, some new vacations or go see something but money is not what this is about. And I believe that this culture, to your point is, I got to look like this and I got to drive this but they don't understand the work to get there like that's not possible. Or you're saying here, it's gonna be repossessed someday if you don't put the work in, you know, you gotta out outwork everybody else in your business. And I believe that hard work over talent is always gonna win. But that's not with this hustle culture and the degree sometimes and stuff like that is that, that's not life like, what's the point? And it's hard, but you do have to hustle, but you have to out hustle. But hustle's different for everybody too. Like some people think I'm hustling ‘cuz I went to work from eight to five and I worked really hard from those, you know, and I think Gary Brecka said it on stage when he is talking about like, we're good at Clutch. And he's like, clutch doesn't mean you sat on your phone for three hours and then the deadlines is at five o'clock and then you're playing, you're on Instagram, you're on this, and then at four o'clock you're like, oh crap, I got to get this done. You work your ass off for an hour and you got it done at five o'clock. Woo. I'm clutch man. I'm really good at this like, that's the culture I believe that we're in sometimes like, man, I got that done by deadline. No, there's so much more to this, you know.

Michael: I've been around and we won't name them, but I've been around many, many billionaires and many, many millionaires had dinners with them, been on planes with them, had them on this show, not pointing anyone specifically, just simply saying that you're right. And it's like, I often think, you know, if you make 50 grand a year, 75 grand a year and you're happy like you won and Vaynerchuk talks about that a lot. When I was on his show, it's like 10 years ago or something and I asked a question, I'm going to ask you the same question I asked him, ‘cuz you brought this up and it's really important. And he talks about this idea of just like, be happy. You kind of defined happiness, which I think is powerful. It is kind of like living life on your terms and being around people that you love, care about and doing something that fulfills you And I ask Gary a question and it changed my life actually, it's probably one of the very reasons I'm here today doing what I do. I said, Gary, how do you ask for help? So Matt, I'm curious like thinking about this and knowing these millionaires and billionaires and a lot of these guys who they're struggling mentally especially, you know, suicide rate and entrepreneurship is skyrocketing every single day ‘cuz people are like, I'm not a billionaire. I'm like, you're not going to be, right? How do you you ask for help? Like, how do you navigate the mental of all of this?

Matt: Yeah, it's a good question because I think that it is entrepreneurship is a very lonely game. You know, when you're at the top, you've got nobody to talk to and it is because your employees, you're not allowed to show weakness, you're not allowed to go into that office and not be like, it's going to be a great day. Let's go. And these fires are coming at you and your job is to keep them motivated and excited, you know what I mean? Because that is so, it is very lonely at the top. But I have a lot of coaches in my life like, seriously every Monday at eight o'clock, I meet with a life coach. I got business coaches for the franchising. I'm hiring another coach for personal, I'm hiring stage coaches right now, so I just believe that, you gotta ask for help and I mean, nobody's gonna do this by themselves, absolutely nobody.

What I keep learning is the person that I was last year that I was really good at is not the person that I need to be this year or next year, that was humbling ‘cuz I was really good at running a business in Pueblo. I was great at inspiring people and finding the best in them and pushing them to the next level when I could do this. But as I've started to grow, I can't do this anymore. So now I have to depend on this guy to do that and it doesn't work the same, it's a whole different lane in systems. So, creating those systems is, I'm getting help like I ask for help all the time, but I'm also I think that probably goes back to me being raised by a woman, I don't care about asking for help. I have no pride in life. Like, I'm the easy guy that's like, I'll throw, I'll cry right here in front of everybody and tell you my life, and I'll go ask somebody that I just met today for help ‘cuz I'm not that normal manly guy that's like, no, I'm not, you know. So, maybe that's another blessing with me is like, I love coaches and finding people smarter than me to learn from every single day. And I think, most of the people on my team are smarter than me, you know what I mean? And I think that I don't have a problem asking for help personally, I guess so, I get as much help as I can.

Michael: How has been able to do that impacted your relationship with your wife and your children?

Matt: It's everything. You know, I think it's vulnerability. I think so many people are scared to be vulnerable in this day and when you are vulnerable, you make a difference.

And people, like everybody's been through something that you've been through, not everybody, but there's so many people that you can touch. But when you can finally just admit that you're wrong and that you suck and that you're in a hard spot like that can change absolutely, I think changed people's lives and my own kids. Like, I admit when I mess things up with my wife, she needs to admit when she's messed things up with me like, that's not easy, that's tough. For any husband, wife relationship you always want to be right. But she knows her lane, I know my lane in communication I think is absolutely the key to that. But yeah, it is why we are who we are, we're all very vulnerable in my family and you gotta be, 'cuz that's how you get better in life.

Michael: Yeah, I agree with that. And for a long time, I wasn't, I was scared. It's like vulnerability is weakness, you're soft, you're a bitch, you're a pussy. When I go kind of trace the steps leading to today, it really just started with me sitting in rooms with people and going, this is who I am. And there's a lot of fear in that, fear of judgment, fear of shame, fear of guilt. And you know, when you put yourself out there, you put yourself on the line like, you're going to get judged. I mean, it's incredible to me. Like even I could be sitting here like, I'm trying to help the world and I'll have people be like, you suck and I'm like, cool. Who gives a sh*t what you think about me? And I wish, that's my superpower. Right. I just don't care. And that has enabled me to go and do big things because it, it can be scary.

I remember, I spoke and I've shared this ad nauseum on the show, but since I'm going to get into context of something, I want to bring it up. I did this pitch off for Think Unbroken to Grant Cardone at one of his boot camps with 10,000 people freaking watching. And remember at one point, right before we're about to go on, Grant looks at me, he goes, Hey, hey man, you know that grant thing? Hey, you got something in your nose. Now I have a no gold nose ring. Right? He goes, you got something in your nose. I look at him and go, cool, I'll get it after. Right? Just knowing he's trying to mess with you, play with you, build you. I don't think he's ever trying to knock people down; he's trying to see what you're made out of. I distinctly remember that moment and being like, Cool man. I'm not intimidated by you plus you're like five, seven, bro. You know? So, he's somebody that I think gets a tremendously bad rep. And for me, has been a mentor that has dramatically changed my belief in self. I was shortly after winning that, somewhere in that window.

Matt: No big deal. No big deal. That's a badass.

Michael: Well, I believed I was going to and there was no way I wasn't…

Matt: And dominated it too.

Michael: Thanks man. Well, and that was something I've talked about on the show before you have to believe in yourself to the point of stupidity. Like people are like, that's so dumb, you believe in yourself that much. And I have that ability ‘cuz I've had to train it into myself. But shortly after I find out about this television show – Undercover Billionaire. Now, I had watched the previous season with Glenn Stearns and I thought it was a really phenomenal concept. Okay, you got this guy getting dropped off anywhere America, a hundred bucks. Can he build a million-dollar business in 90 days. On paper, you go, that's a cool TV show. In reality, you go, that's probably impossible, right? And so, this eccentric crazy billionaire, playboy Borderline psychopath, Grant Cardone lands in Pueblo, Colorado, and I'm watching the show and all of a sudden, here's your face on my television. I won't spoil it. If you haven't seen it, go to Discovery Channel. Watch it. I'll let you tell the story, it's not loud enough…

Matt: You can spoil it however you want.

Michael: Well, I want you to spoil it so. Talk us through that, just lay the framework, because I want to go into this, I'll go somewhere in a second, but I want you to lay out how this happened.

Matt: Yeah. So, long story short, Grant Cardone, a guy named Lewis Curtis was dropped into my community. And the premise of the show, he had a hundred dollars and he had to make a million-dollar business in 90 days. And when he was dropped into the community, he did so many unbelievable strategies and to your point, a mentor of mine now for sure. But he met a lot of people in our community, and I was known as that idiot serial entrepreneur in our community at this moment, because I've been the one guy that's open business, this is at the exact same time so I was known for that in the community. So, when he comes around saying, I'm looking for a business, the community kind of said, go talk to that Matt Smith guy like, he'll do it with you. And then the Discovery Channel came to me and said, Hey, we're doing a documentary on public Colorado.

So, I'm like, okay, I'm your huckleberry. And they did such a great job that fake names fake, Instagram’s, fake everything through this whole process. And these are like 20 guys, and gals and they follow me everywhere going. So, I think I'm the cool guy cause they're following me but really that was all fake ‘cuz they were really following him and this story was about him. And then all of a sudden, I met this guy and they were like, Hey, this is great stories, so we wanna put these two stories together. So, they really played it very well. But long story short, fast forward COVID, you know, we started from I dunno, probably 10 days, two weeks and then COVID hit and me and Grant or Lewis at the time were like, ah, this is fake, I'll see you back in a week. Go back to California and I'll be here, you know what I mean? We didn't know how the impact of Covid and what it was about to do to our world. But right before that, I wrote a check to him, you know, for $10,000, said, I'm like, is he going to cash this thing, this guy that I just met? Like, I had no idea what was happening with this. But then he ended up coming back during Covid and we finished off the show and it was a magical time, like you said, he is just a force to be reckoned with. He doubles down I mean, some of the stuff that you were just talking about is Grant Cardone the guy that doesn't care about what anybody else thinks about him that is on a mission and will do whatever it takes and that was different for me because I probably cared too much about what people thought about it myself when I met Grant. And I think that he was a force that said, hey, this is gonna happen and he wasn't going for a million dollars, she was going for 10 million, he's trying 10X this stuff. Like he always says when he is on the show that he was like, they told me million. So, I'm like, I'm going for 10 million. Let's see what I can do to get 10 million on this thing. And it's apparent the success that he's had is because of his ability to run fast and I always thought I was a fast runner. And then I met him and I'm like, wooh, this guy runs fast but he's always on a mission. Like there were borderline offensive conversations where we would be in a room and pitching somebody and then he would stand here and he would be like, they're not buying. So, he'd be like, okay, thanks for your time and walk out, I'm like, that was rude, this is a friend of mine that I'm bringing on here. Like you don't just walk out so, we would get in a little bit, but it's who he is. He's like, he's at a point in his life. He's not here to waste time. Every 20 minutes means something, it moves his needle to the next level in life. And those were so many lessons that I learned on there but long story short, undercover billionaire came out. I figured it all out at the end of the show. We've definitely become friends since and business partners in Wake-Up Pueblo a little marketing company down there and I went to 10X for the first time that year and just blew my mind. I had no idea how big this guy was until I went to the 10X conference.

Michael: I read the book. So, 10X Rule came across on a Facebook post and I was like, I'm going to go funnel hack this, right? This concept, this idea of like, go in, create and replicate what has been done. Like Tony Robbins talks about mimic model master, and so I got the book, it's sitting on my desk one night and I'm like, something, I was like, read this book. You know how people are like, I need to read the Bible, that's how I felt about this book. It was just right there calling to me and I was in this place where the business was growing, I was in a good place in my relationship at the time and things were going well. I was coaching wants of people, but I felt a blockage like I felt stuck, Matt. It was like there's something in my way. I couldn't really name it. And then I sat down, I went to bed that night reading that book, stayed up all night, finished it, woke up the next morning, got the audio, listen to the audio all day. And then it hit me, I was like, oh, I realized the problem, I'm still living in a poverty mentality. There's so much about the society and the world that we live in where people are meant to stay in poverty. We can get on the social construct of all that. I don't think it's necessary, but there, there are a lot of incentives to be in poverty. There are a lot of incentives to not live into your full potential. Right. And when I came across that book, it was revolutionary for me because it's the first time I really ever was like, it's not bad to have big dreams. Dude, I cannot tell you how many times I got shut down as a kid. Like I'd be like, I wanna be a rockstar and my mom would be like, that's never gonna happen. I'd be like, I want to go be in the WWE like I love wrestling as a kid. And my teachers would be like, that's stupid like, don't do that. And so, I read that book. I was like, oh my God, actually, you can think big, you can dream big. And then here I was for the first time having a mentor of sorts, not really, I'd never met him at this point who thought that way. And you talked about something earlier about separating yourself from the wrong people. And I realized even at that point, and I had to really take inventory of this, I did not like myself around certain friends, had nothing to do with them, nothing at all. But I would be in the, I'd be like, why am I here? Why am I around these people who are not raising me up, pulling me up, pushing me forward? And when I say, this is my dream, they don't go, Hey man, that's amazing, what do we have to get there? They go, dude, why are you always talking like this? And I was like, actually, you know what? No, you guys don't get it. How important is it to be around people who inspire you to be the best version of you that you can be?

Matt: I think it's probably the most important thing you can do in life. I believe that, you know, if you want to be the best father in the world, surround yourself by people that are great fathers. If you want to be the best pilot, go get figured out the people that are pilots. But what I think to all of what you were just saying, I think what Grant has personally done to me, and it sounds like to you as well, is just, I remember we were at wake up one day and he was like, go bigger. And I was like, go home and he was like, no, go bigger. Go bigger, go bigger. And it sounds so small, but I'm like, aha like that's good. And then, you know, as I kept hanging out with the guy, I'm like, holy moly, he thinks on a different level even though there was offensive things in times he was, he did things, you know, he's just Grant Cardone, he's amazing human, but he runs fast. But the lessons that were inside of that was like, he is teaching so many people in this world to think big and think bigger than they think. And to your point, like probably before Grant. I would think big and Pueblo big where I got somebody in Pueblo going, yeah, Matt, you can do this. Or they're just like, yeah, I'll support you, whatever. He's done a bunch of business; he's going to do it again. I always wanted to have a national company, but had no idea how I was gonna do it. I had no idea what room I needed to get in to get there. But when I went to 10X and then I've been in, I go to a lot of his functions for that one reason, it doesn't even have to be for what the content is out there, it's to get in the room with the right people, you know. And my DMs every single day since the show was released and now re-released on Hulu, get a success story in my LinkedIn or in my Instagram on a daily basis, somebody saying, because of that show or because of Grant Cardone in his 10X book. I was homeless, I was sleeping in my truck. I was this, and now I'm a millionaire. And that's what the power of somebody like Grant does for everybody and like him or not, he is a force and he will get you out of your comfort zone and talk about the nose earring and stuff like that to kind of push you to the next level. And I truly believe that's where I'm at in life now, is like, I want to get to that next room and I want to be surrounded by people that problems are million-dollar problems, and he always said, I'll never forget having breakfast with him the last day of the show, me and Grant were just talking and he goes, you know the difference in your problems and my problems, Matt Smith. And I was like, I don't know, Grant, you tell me. He's like, mine have more zeroes behind them, but they're the same freaking problems that you do with every single day. And it was one of the other most powerful things I've ever heard in my life because it is absolutely true so why think small, the employee problems, the day-to-day call-offs, the drama with customers, all of that is everybody's problems like it is what we sign up for every single day. Why not have more zeroes behind them? You know what I mean? Think bigger.

Michael: Yeah. And I want people on this show to think that way. I can't force it. Here's the hardest problem about doing this show. Here's the hardest problem about coaching people for seven years, writing bestselling books, speaking on all these stages, I cannot want this for anybody even though I desperately do, I'm like, join my freaking weekly coaching program, everyone can afford it. I made it affordable. Right. And it's like, come to the conference, come to the event, show up, just show up because that's 99% of life. And my hope is even if you don't, hopefully this show is just planting seeds in your ear. Like, Hey, there's possibility out here other than what you came from. I mean, here you are a guy who grows up with no father loses his mother a pretty young age, right? Has to go navigate the world, gets married, has kids is living probably the Pueblo dream life and again, we're not shitting on Pueblo, I'm certainly not, ‘cuz I've been there many times. I think it's an amazing city, but it's small thinking. And Think Unbroken is literally that, it's like there is something, there is a space in your mind in which you are not thinking to the full capacity and potential that you have as a human being because of sh*t that happened to you 35 years ago. And it's like, if I can just show you, if I can shake you relentlessly and go wake up, it's right here. It's right in front of you. It's that thing that if you are willing to take the risk to discover who you are, everything's going to be different. It's impossible not to.

Matt: And it's funny ‘cuz I remember pitching with Grant and I didn't know that. So, it's one of those things until you know that you don't know that until you get around rooms like you, Michael, I'm broken like you're changing lives every single day, like, we literally pitched person after person and I remember, and they were all people that I've known my whole life. So, I got the blessing to be able to say, let's go, we're going to go to this guy and I would call him like, hey, we're gonna come, just bear with us. And I didn't tell him what we were doing, but Grant on day, like, I don't know, probably pitched like six. He goes, this town is sleeping man, every single person that we have pitched, and these are friends of mine that are successful entrepreneurs in my eyes at the time, you know what I mean? Successful people are like, nah, we're making a hundred thousand a year. Ah, we're making 200,000 like, we're good and we still word of mouth, we shake people's hands and we get more business. And that was the mentality of the sleepiness but they didn't know any different to their defense, how do they know any different? Like, this is how their dad did it and their grandpa did it. And until you get into these rooms and get around people like yourself that make you think differently. How do you know, you know? You can't read that in a book. You gotta go out there and do it, and you gotta see somebody else that's done it as a mentor. So, yeah, a hundred percent.

Michael: You do. And I think that if you're willing to do that, you'll discover a lot about yourself and a lot of what I've discovered and what I see people discovering frequently in these circles that I'm in, it's not even necessarily the money thing like, dude, I don't care about money like, I've been dead poor and I've been rich, I've been everything in between and then I was happy. Right? And happy is fleeting, it's not an everyday, all the time moment like that's nonsense that's not how the world works. But it's looking at your life and going, can you look in the mirror and be, okay? And that's the cornerstone. Like that's the key because when you can do that, I believe it leads you to being a better person, a better contributor to your community, better father, a better business owner and ultimately better is subjective means something different for everybody. Like I have no interest in ever having a national chain of anything under any circumstances. Right? But I have dreams of being on every stage in the world. And so, like we have to find the thing that suits us. As you continue to go forward and build into your dreams, what is the thing that you need to do next?

Matt: Yeah, I mean at this point in my life right now, it's just getting better. I mean, it is really like, it is doubling down on, we say fail fast in my business every single day ‘cause we want to fail as fast as we can and move on‘cuz failure's a part of it. You know, you're either learning or you're growing, but you got to learn. Success is failure. That is how you get to the next level. And right now, we've got a lot of things that we've learned every single day. And the bigger that we get, the more that we've gotta influx cash into something to fix a problem. But you gotta be able to look in the mirror and say, okay, that was a failure, that was a hot stove, I'm don't wanna touch that stove again. And you know, and that's where we're at right now is scalability. I think I learned pretty early on in what I'm doing now as we talked earlier, is when you're in a smaller community and you have the touch of people, you can grow this pretty easily in your community, ‘cuz if not, I'll just sit in a room with you and figure it out. But as you scale this, it's systems that are scalable, people aren't scalable. My passion is not scalable. I can get you excited about a mattress and tell you how to change your life and sleep, that's not scalable. But systems and processes and accountability through systems and processes, now that's scalable, that's how you change the world and that was a hard lesson for me. So, every day right now we are investing in the right systems for franchisees to be successful, whatever that is, because what's what works here in Pueblo, Colorado or in Colorado Springs does not work in Utah, we're about to open or azo, we're about to open it's something different, but systems, it's how franchising winning and that's how businesses scale, you know what I mean? If you are somebody that wants to take it to the next level and go all over the world, you're not gonna do that with passion, zero chance. You can't just be Grant Cardone on a stage and have 250 successful employees underneath you, or 450 successful, whatever it is right now without having some kind of systems of what is a win and what is not. And I've watched him with the people in that system is unreal, what he's got at the 10X community, like the selling side of it and all of that like, it's crazy, but it is all systems and raising the bar from one person to the next. April 1st, we're launching a whole new website. We're watching a whole new data campaign where we can see everything about everybody's business and that's how I scale. So, what's getting me right now is, yeah, it's just systems and processes, man.

Michael: Are there systems that you're adding and changing in your personal life?

Matt: Oh yeah.

Michael: What does that look like?

Matt: Yeah, so, that's a great one ‘cuz I think there's that ebb and flow. There's always that your aha moments that you've gotta look in the mirror and be vulnerable to yourself because I think there was a couple weeks, or maybe even a month or so that I remember working late having some times that I'm like, Uhuh, this is not what I wrote in my book. This is not what I signed up for. You've got to pull back and and let enable other people to do things. So, in my personal life, it's really making sure that we enable the right people and quit being a control freak ‘cuz I like to be a part of a lot of decisions. And I got people that are probably way better decision makers than me, but I need to realize that so I can do what matters most to me. And that's be around my kids and be there for dinner every single night. And so, you know, and just communicate with the kids, finding out what they want. Parker, my oldest eight-year-old, he's in like four or five sports right now, and we gotta figure out, okay, which lane are we gonna run faster towards? Paisley's dancing, she got a medal yesterday, first time she's danced on stage for three minutes without freezing. So proud dad moment because she would get out halfway through, she'd be like looking at mom like at what I do next. And this is the first time she knocked it out from beginning to end, you know? Raising good humans is my goal in life right now and it's really, it's an everyday challenge like, there's no book that's gonna tell you how to do this, every kid is different. So, making sure that I take the time for my wife has been we take time for each other and look in each other's eyes and have dinner and date nights and communicate. So I think that those are like the keys, but every single week seems like a new chapter every month seems like a new chapter, but it's failing as fast as you can to run as fast as you can on both sides, for sure and over communicating.

Michael: If you look back on your life in 30 years from now, 40 years from now, how will you know if you've been successful? Let's keep business out of it. Business is gonna come and go, that thing could crash and burn tomorrow. How would you know if you were successful as a husband? As a father, as a friend, as a community leader. Like how will you know if Matt Smith ultimately became that dream?

Matt: Yeah, it's a great question and I think everybody wants to make the world a better place, and including myself. I think my goal in life is to touch as many people as I possibly can and make people think a little bit differently than they did before. But I think my happiness is through my family. I mean, if I raise these humans as I'm raising 'em to be beautiful souls that are give back to a community and that smile every day and make every day a great day, that's life. I honestly can confidently say that I know I'll be there in 30 years. I know with every ounce of my heart; every single day is a great day ‘cause I make it a great day and my kids do the same thing and I refuse anything other than that. So, it's like of all things in my life, I know I'll be there in 30 years, 20 years, 50 years, I'm gonna smile ‘cuz this journey's fun. I enjoy this every single day, but I've built that muscle. I think the muscle of positivity and the muscle of sh*t happens. And it does, like it's a part of it so you just gotta build a muscle, it doesn't get you down and you smile every day and you take a couple deep breaths, like Gary Brecka taught me, you know, take a couple whim off breaths and just get back to the day and keep smiling. I'm confident that in 30 years we're gonna look back and be like, wow. And if the legacy behind us is snooze is a worldwide name that everybody thinks of when they think of sleep, I'm gonna be excited about that and that's my business goal. But I know you didn't ask about business, but I wanna be able to help people live longer through sleep and health and understand the importance of what that does for somebody.

Michael: Yeah. I love that. I love that. And so much of that is in your day-to-day. I mean, as I was coming over to the studio this morning thinking about interviewing you, I was like, this dude has more energy than any human I've ever met. And I think it's really incredible, I'm pretty stoic and docile unless I'm on stage and then it's like fireworks. And so I was like, all right, I had to prepare myself mentally to come sit with you today because I think that energy is everything, right? I go through creating and building energy, changing my state every single day, doing all the things that lead me in this place where I can be successful, you know, from sleep to drinking very infrequently, not doing drugs, working out five, six times a week, being around people who speak positively into my life and that's the only way, that's the only way I have found to be successful in any capacity is those routines and those rituals. And my hope is that, in 30 years, 40 years, when you look back on it that you do have those experiences and those moments because you know, you said something that is, I believe, will be the reason why you will be successful. You said, I refuse to do it otherwise, and I refuse to not be a successful man. So, I rarely if I ever hear people say that, and so I resonate with that a lot. We have a tradition on the show to always ask a famous question, which I'll ask you, it's only famous ‘cuz I deem it famous ‘cuz it's my show.

Matt: Can do whatever you want.

Michael: I can do whatever I want. But I've asked question, I've asked hundreds and hundreds of people this question over the years and that question my friend as we wrap up the show today is, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Matt: Hmm. That is a great question because I don't think I've ever really thought that until I met you on and I think that it's such a powerful thing because it is, I think everybody is broken in some way somehow. I mean, nobody's born perfect. We all have a past and we are who we are because of that. And to be unbroken is not to be broken anymore, and I think it is to face the break, whatever it is, to smile in chaos, to make positivity out of negativity and to face your vulnerabilities. I think we talked about that a little bit, but I believe that broken people can stay broken for the rest of their life if they don't figure out how to be unbroken, you know? And it's an easy path to do like, it's the world we live in sometimes where you can stay at home and stay broken for a long period of time. And the faster that you can realize that you're broken and get out of it, the better off that life is. So, I think, being unbroken is being free; free of your broken, and being able to take on the world, man.

Michael: Yeah, I love it, man. Could not agree more. Thank you so much for being here, my friend.

Unbroken Nation, thank you for listening.

Make sure you head us up on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, leave review for Think Unbroken Podcast. Be A Part Of The Change My Friends.

And Until Next Time.

Be Unbroken.

I'll see ya.

Matt SmithProfile Photo

Matt Smith


Matt Smith
Dad- Husband - Snooze Franchise - Author - Entrepreneur - Committed to family first movement, helping 20 MILLION Humans sleep better and Change the game of franchising!

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


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