EPISODE 64 — Best of Season 2: Q2

Connections fuel creativity. The most innovative leaders are interdisciplinary — they synthesize ideas from many sources into new, coherent concepts. Game changers know that great ideas can come from anywhere, and to shift the paradigm, they have to look at things through a different lens.

That’s why we’ve brought you conversations across the spectrum: to change your perspective and broaden what’s possible.

In this Best of Q2 episode, we revisit the ideas and conversations that have stuck with us the most. From Stoicism to CrossFit, from the courtroom to a race around the world — these stories will give you the tools to make new connections in your business and inspire you to keep changing the game.

EPISODE 64 — Best of Season 2: Q2
Show Notes:

1:58 – The law is a business, not a profession. [Brian Chase] “You’ve got to be innovative. You need marketing. You need verdicts to market. You need relationships. You need a good culture in your office. You’ve got to realize it’s a business. When I was in law school they told me, ‘No, we’re a profession. We’re not a business.’ Bullsh*t. We’re a business, and if you don’t run it like a business, you’re going to fail.”

5:26 – Don’t be afraid to fire bad fits. [Brian Chase] “I had a guy who was just terrible, but it didn’t mean he’s not going to be excellent at something else, something I can’t do. I had the kid come in, and I had to let him go. He was tearing up, asking, ‘Why are you doing this?’ I felt terrible, but it just wasn’t working and I wasn’t doing anybody any favors. I bumped into this kid several years later in the airport. He had his suit on and stopped me and he says, ‘I want to thank you for firing me. It’s the best thing anybody could have done.’ He’s done something on his own. He’s got his own business. He’s an entrepreneur and was on his way to being very successful. So he’s a superstar — he just wasn’t a superstar paralegal. And whatever he’s doing, I probably would be a D-player in that company. So it’s very important not to try to fix people. You’re not helping your business, you’re not helping them, and you’re not serving your clients properly.”

13:40 – Stoicism is about removing destructive emotions. [Ryan Holiday] “People think that Stoicism is the absence of emotions, because that’s sort of what the word means in the English language. I think what the Stoics are really focused on is destructive emotions. Does this emotion make it better or worse? Does holding on to this emotion longer than I ought to make it better or worse? That’s really what we’re thinking about. ‘This is unfair. I’ve been screwed over. This is not my fault. Why me? I’m never going to recover.’ You know, those sorts of things. They may well be true, but are they moving the ball forward in any way?”

19:43 – Accept what is outside your control. [Ryan Holiday] “Life will kick your a**. You don’t win every time. If you are so determined and so persistent that you never have the ability to just accept, ‘Okay, this didn’t go how I wanted it to go. This didn’t work out.’ You’re going to end up enduring something longer than you actually should endure it. I talked about preparing for nothing to work. That leads into that third discipline of Stoicism: the willing acceptance of external events or things that are outside of your control.”

24:06 – Everything in business comes down to people, process, and product. [Marcus Lemonis] “When I talk about people, process, and product, it’s really quite simple: you can’t be in a business and sell a product or a service that people don’t need or can’t relate to. The product has to be relevant, it has to be market competitive, and it has to be something that people actually want today and tomorrow. On the process side, it really is as simple as taking a relevant product or service and delivering it to the consumer in a way that they understand. And the people side of things matters because if you have a relationship with somebody that’s more than transactional, it ultimately works.”

28:55 – Size doesn’t matter when running a business. [Marcus Lemonis] “The principles behind running a small coffee shop and running a $7 billion business are ultimately the same. Yes, the product you’re selling is different and yes, there’s a bigger system and a bigger infrastructure, but the theories are relatively the same. With a large company, the problems are more complex and the resources are more bountiful. The downside of running a small business is that you’re really lacking a lot of resources in your mind, and you walk into a scenario where you believe that you can’t compete with somebody bigger than you — and I think all of those things are nothing more than excuses. What’s helped me help smaller-sized businesses is taking all these learnings and all these mistakes that I’ve had in my own life, and reminding them that 2 + 2 = 4, no matter the size of the business. Interacting with an employee is the same regardless of the size of the business, as is responding to a customer in a professional and timely manner. This idea that small or big should dictate the way that you run your business is a bit flawed.”

36:59 – You’ll never do better than what you set out to do. [Mark Beaumont] “I never doubted myself on my first circumnavigational ride because I did exactly what I set out to do. I said that I’d come home in 195 days, and I came home in 194. You feel like you left it all out there because it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but you’ll never do better than what you set out to do. If you look at all my expeditions over the years, I’ve never tried to beat anyone. I’ve simply created targets and built plans around them, which creates leaps in performance. The second time I cycled around the world, I broke the world record by 37%, but I beat my target by 1.44% — so I knew that I left it all out there. Once you get to one horizon, you can see the next. But you can’t see the second horizon until you’ve climbed that first mountain.”

44:11 – Simplicity is liberating. [Mark Beaumont] “The wonderful thing about expedition riding is that it might be brutally hard, but it’s also life at its simplest. You have time to finish your thoughts, to really think deeply about the past, the future, your motivation. People always conflate time on your own with boredom or loneliness, yet I’ve never felt sorry for myself or lonely. The momentum of that journey is what gives me that thought process to keep going. There’s always something to think about. It seems like a vast amount of time, but I would put the challenge back to people listening. How distracted is your life? How many thoughts do you get to finish? I much prefer to have moments in my life where I do have that space. Ironically, I spent half my time on those expeditions wishing I was at home because it’s brutal and half my time at home wishing I was on an expedition for that simple ability to focus on one task.”

46:32 – Leading is adding value. [John Maxwell] “People think leadership is a noun, but it’s a verb. Too many see leadership as a title or a position, and it’s neither of those. Leadership is influence, and the best way to gain influence with people is to intentionally add value to them. I don’t think everybody has the same leadership capacity, but I think anybody can learn how to influence people and how to add value to them.”

55:25 – There is value in failure. [John Maxwell] “We should never try to separate failure from success. They should always be together. When I work with people, I tell them they’re going to have some mess-ups, and it’s going to be okay. Because the value of messing up is that you become aware and you learn and you change. When you test a lot, you fail a lot — but failure can teach us so much.”

1:03:17 – Remove “what if” from your vocabulary. [Mat Fraser] “After college, I decided to go all-in on CrossFit. I made the call that I was going to do one year where there were no what-ifs. What if I wasn’t distracted by a girlfriend? What if I had a better sleep schedule, a better diet, a better training regimen? I decided to live one year without a single sacrifice and see what the results are. If I didn’t get the results I wanted, then I could go back to those other things. But I won. After a year of that dedication, I won the world championship by the largest margin of victory ever. And it was all worth it. It was great. I set up my life so that there was as little risk as possible.”

1:11:38 – Suffer now for the glory later. [Mat Fraser] “There are dozens of different reasons why I trained the way I did in the gym, but I’d say the most common one was that I want to have a cool f***ing story when I’m old. And another theme was that I want to have a life that I want to live, not a life that I have to live. When I was competing, I knew that if I wanted that freedom later on in my life, I needed to do these sh***y rowing intervals, for example. There’s nothing enjoyable about that, but the sense of pride and freedom it’s going to provide…that’s what I’m after. Someone asked me once if I have an addiction to suffering. I don’t enjoy it at all; I have an addiction to the product of suffering. I’m always working for that better tomorrow.”

Brian Chase:
Baby Fae
The Ford Pinto case
Yellow Pages
Fred Flintstone
Chevy Vega case
Jack Welch
Deepak Chopra
The Secret
Wayne Dyer

Ryan Holiday:
Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
Ancient Rome
Marcus Aurelius
Antonine Plague
COVID-19 pandemic
William Shakespeare
Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (boxer)
Ernest Hemingway
Tommy John
New York Yankees
1968 flu pandemic
Simon & Schuster
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Nick Saban
University of Alabama
Bill Belichick
Go for No by Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton
James Stockdale
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
Jocko Willink
Tony Robbins
George Raveling

Marcus Lemonis:
Senator Bob Graham
Wayne Huizenga
Lee Iococa
Auto Nation
Camping World
8-track tape
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
The Profit (TV show)
Customer relationship management (CRM)

Mark Beaumont:
Around the World in 80 Days (bike ride)
Scottish Highlands
Braveheart (movie)
Tierra Del Fuego
Ellen MacArthur
Around the World in 80 Days (book)
Around the World in 80 Days (movie)
Groundhog Day (movie)
David Peat
Alex Honnold

John Maxwell:
Zig Ziglar
Steve Harvey
Jeff Bezos
Richard Branson
Elon Musk
Jack Welch
General Electric
Jim Collins
No Limits by John Maxwell
21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
Max De Pree
Leadershift by John Maxwell
Steve Jobs

Mat Fraser:
CrossFit Games
Olympic weightlifting
L5 vertebra
Junior Weightlifting Championship
Spinal fusion
Olympic Training Center
Olympic Education Center
Don Fraser
Candace Jones
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
Rogue Fitness
Buttery Bros
Justin Medeiros

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