• Podcast

Episode 120 — Best of Season 3: Q2

No matter what field you’re in, you have the power to be a game changer and challenge the status quo.

In this episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast, we’re taking a look back at four true game changers from the past quarter who have turned their respective fields upside down and changed the way things get done.

You’ll hear our favorite moments, never-before-heard highlights, and top strategies from:

  • David Craig – renowned trucking attorney
  • Jesse Cole – owner of the Savannah Bananas
  • Kevin O’Leary – entrepreneur and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank
  • Steven Kotler – best-selling author and Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective

Get ready to rock worlds and open doors you didn’t even know existed.

Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, and Spotify.

Show Notes:

David Craig
A life or death situation. “I was diagnosed with colon cancer — and the crazy thing was that I wasn’t worried about me at all, simply because I’d enjoyed every moment of my life. I married the person I loved, raised three wonderful kids, and had everything I needed and wanted. That’s when I decided to step things up for my law firm because I didn’t want it to die with me, if that’s what was to happen to me. I was scared it wouldn’t survive after working so hard to build it and make it real. So I started running meetings outside of the hospital. I turned the page while I was there and decided to work on my business before I knew whether I would or wouldn’t survive.”

Being a well-rounded person. “To be successful, you have to be successful in business, but many people don’t want to work to be successful in life as well. To me, success means that I have a successful family and my relationships with my friends. Thankfully, those people know that when I need to focus on my work, they give me the grace and space I need to get the job done. Though my passion may come off as obsessive sometimes, they know that it’s all coming from a good place, and I try to make up for it when I’m not working. I believe that if you care about the people around you instead of yourself, you will be successful.”

Never complacent. “The thing that I’m the most proud of is that I raised three really good people — and it’s not because of me. It’s because of my wife. If that’s all I could accomplish in this world, then it’d be worth it. They’re good human beings, they’re married to great human beings, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. As far as my own accomplishments, it’s a little weird, because I’m never where I want to be. I can’t say I’m really proud of where I am today because I’m not where I want to be. I don’t think that ever ends.”

Treat your team with respect. “I try to look at my employees and figure out what’s going to be good for them, and maybe that’s not being here or being in a different position. Employees notice that and appreciate it. If you really care about them as a person, then they care about you in return.”

Jesse Cole
Stand out to show out. “If you really want to stand out, you’ve got to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. In the beginning, I treated the team as a regular baseball team, and it just wasn’t working. Today, the Savannah Bananas are completely focused on the ‘fans first’ mentality. We have a dance team, an all-male cheerleading team, breakdancing coaches, baby bananas, players in stilts, and so much more — and every single bit of it stems from the idea of putting our fans’ needs first.”

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack. “I used to have a love for baseball, but now I have a love for baseball for what it could be. I don’t love the current game of baseball, but growing up and living with my dad, our one bond was going to the baseball field every day after school to work. He built a mound in my backyard so I could pitch. I fell more in love with it each day, until I realized that watching the game wasn’t nearly as rewarding as playing it. That’s how 15 years of experimentation developed to see what would make the game more fun to watch.”

Focusing on what matters. “After buying Grayson Stadium, my wife Emily and I were consumed by work. It was the only thing we could focus on. We had so much debt that we needed to take care of, we needed to ensure that payroll would be successful, and so much more. It was full of challenges. Emily is a realist, and she would constantly tell me we weren’t going to be able to continue doing all of this. Having those conversations was difficult, but the biggest thing we learned was to stay in the lane of what we love and what gives us energy.”

Going bananas. “The team’s name ‘The Savannah Bananas’ came from not wanting to be like every other team. We didn’t want an animal-themed name; we wanted to stand out. We held a contest open to the public to help decide on the name. A 62-year-old nurse submitted ‘Bananas’ as a team name idea, and from that moment on we were throwing out ideas and rhyming words and having a blast. We knew we would get criticism for it, which is why we prepared for two whole days on how to deal with it — and we needed it. When we revealed our team name, we got nothing but criticism for days.”

Kevin O’Leary
The real motivator. “When you become an entrepreneur, if you’re going to be successful, it’s never about the greed of money. It’s because you’re so passionate about what you’re doing. If you are that way and you’re not pursuing money, you’re pursuing freedom. To a certain extent, if you love to get up in the morning and work, you’re setting yourself free. I enjoy everything I do. At that time, we were working seven days a week, 20 hours a day, and flying all over the world. We were growing like a weed, really competitive, being very successful, and growing market share — and we loved doing it. We had a really focused team of people that had been together for almost eight years. We were brothers and sisters on this mission to be successful.”

It always comes back to WHY. “I’ve asked many other people since then that have achieved success, ‘What happened?’ They don’t talk about the day they sold their business. That’s not really that consequential. They talk about the day they started their business and why they started.”

Two types of people. “In the world, there are two types of people: the people that scrape the stuff off the floor and the people that own the store. For me, I wanted to be the store owner. That’s what set me on my journey, and I never worked for anybody again.”

Control your own fate. “Entrepreneurship is not a destination. It’s a journey. It’s not for everyone. It’s not easy. It’s hard, but the whole idea is personal freedom each day. I tell my students when I teach this, ‘Look, the whole idea of being an entrepreneur is to get to a place in your life where you do not have to pick up the phone when it rings, that nobody has control over your destiny anymore. If the phone is ringing and you don’t want to answer it, you don’t have to.’”

Steven Kotler
The four pillars of your brain. “Motivation gets you into the game. Learning allows you to play it. Creativity is how you steer. Flow is how we turbo boost the results beyond all recognition. The same goes for action sports or business decisions or anything that requires you to accomplish something amazing.”

Energy-saving tips. “Peak performers realize that too much fear is problematic — a little bit is good, but too much can lead to bad things like backing out. In this case, they have to be able to do a lot of emotional regulation work. That’s why you always see athletes practicing meditation, gratitude, or exercise in general. All of these things lower anxiety and pretune the nervous system. Peak performers do this because the brain is an energy hog using 25 percent of our total energy. We spend most of its fixed energy budget on focus. That’s why whenever you can get focused for free, it’s a big deal that results in huge energy savings.”

It’s so easy to forget. “Forgetting is a key neurological skill. If we couldn’t forget, we would have really significant problems. Stewart Brand once said, ‘The only sustainable level of happiness is a job well done.’ I believe there’s a lot to that. We are goal-directed machines. Listen to someone talk about what it would mean to win the Super Bowl, and then talk to them after they’ve won it. Sometimes we even love the awfulness of it, like when we are finally done with a super gritty day.”

Who’s in your sphere? “Our brains take in so much information constantly, and it’s hard to know what we should and should not pay attention to. One thing that makes that easier is our Sphere of Caring, and that includes all of the things we care about: our families, our friends, our pets, and everything else that matters to us.”

RESOURCES & REFERENCES
Craig, Kelley, and Faultless
The Savannah Bananas
Grayson Stadium
Walt Disney
Kevin O’Leary
Shark Tank
Steven Kotler
Flow Research Collective
Stewart Brand
Super Bowl

CONNECT WITH MICHAEL
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