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Episode #43 Transcript: How to Run a Business When You Have a Family, Job and Bills with the Success Freaks - How To Quit Working
Episode #43 Transcript: How to Run a Business When You Have a Family, Job and Bills with the Success Freaks

Episode #43 Transcript: How to Run a Business When You Have a Family, Job and Bills with the Success Freaks




Jeff Steinmann:  Welcome to the How to Quit Working show.  Today, we’ve got some awesome guests.  This is the first time we’ve ever had a non husband-wife team, business team on the show.   So today, we have Charles and Mordant of the Success Freaks radio show.  And they’re going to be talking about… we’re going to have a real focus today on how do you make that transition?  How do you deal with balancing family and kids and maybe a full time job and the money while you’re in the throes of starting your own business?  Charles and Mordant are going to have some amazing advice from us from two guys who are all about success and having success in every aspect of your life.  Charles and Mordant, welcome to the show.

Charles:  Thank you, Jeff.

Mordant:  Thank you.

Charles:  Glad to be—hey, I’m talking.  We’re glad to be here.

Mordant:  Yeah, I’m glad, too.

Jeff:  This is the first time I’ve actually had a kind of a team of entrepreneurs on the show.  So this is going to be really cool.  Now, so I want to talk a little bit about what the heck do you guys do and how did you get started doing that?

Charles:  Well, that’s the question for the ages, isn’t?  Well ultimately, it comes out of a one line.  We help others be awesome.  And that’s something that Mordant has started on on his own.  I’ve started on my own.  And we came together about… what, more than about three years ago, decide to do a show together?

Mordant:  Yeah.  We started around 2010.  2011 is when we started working together.

Charles:  It just took off from there to where it started off as a show and then we really built it into a business and into coaching and learned that we really built off each other’s strengths and especially off each other’s weaknesses and that’s what we do.  We speak, we write, we help others be awesome.

Jeff:  All right.  Well so, you’ve got a show called Success Freaks.  Tell us a little bit about what’s that all about?

Mordant:  Well, it’s a comedic motivational podcast that we broadcast live every Tuesday night.  A lot of it is just kind of going over stuff that we’re going through, sharing some of our experiences and we try to remain as transparent as possible instead of saying hey, these are the great things you can be and this is what you should do.  It’s more like, well here’s the bumps in the road that we’re going through and this is how we’ve handled it.  Stuff that we’ve learned, stuff that we’ve experienced, and then we share it with you so that you can find the possibility of where you can succeed as well no matter what you’re going through.  Because everybody goes through the same kind of crap.  So as long as you can keep smiling and keep striving, you’re going to be a success.  And that’s what we share.

Jeff:  Keep smiling is the key.  Yeah.  Well, tell us about what are some of the struggles that you guys have gone through on this journey to creating this podcast in this business.

Charles:  Well, I’m personally in the middle of one right now which goes right along with the show here, how to quit your job.  I’ve worked a full time, very nicely paying office job that closed.  Bought us out and closed the office well over three years ago.  And I’m supposed to be laid off then and I was good at my job and they needed me so I actually got to come home and work which is almost the ideal situation, right?  I did that for three years, but I used that time to build Success Freaks.  It actually did happen right about the time we came together, Mordant and I, and so for the last three years, I’ve been home working my job on one screen and building Success Freaks on the other.  And then in August, I finally did get laid off permanently, and all the income went away and not quite everything was in place to go full time with what we’re doing at Success Freaks.

And so it’s always been that how do I support the family and still work this?  Because there’s a lot of work to do.  I’m sure a lot of entrepreneurs and small businessmen out there who know there’s a very tough gray time.  We call that walking through the mud where you can see the beach but you’re way pushing hard to get to that beach.  And it’s that time of money’s not quite there, you’re not living the life and working the dream, but you’re working a lot to get to that point.  And that’s been a hard balance is finding speaking gigs and finding ways to bring in money to support the family while at the same time, taking all the time it takes to really keep the business going.

Jeff:  Yeah.  Well, now that’s interesting because you, Charles, are right in the middle, it sounds like of this transition period and I think it’s what scares people most so I’m really glad that you’re here and that we can talk about this.  Now, you just said that you were completely, finally laid off in August of 2013.  It is now—we’re recording this in December of 2013 so it hasn’t really been that long.  So I got to ask the tough question, how are you supporting your family right now?

Charles:  We’re making it through.  That’s my line.  There’s just been days of screaming and crying and just not understanding why we do what we did.  Because Mordant and I both—and I speak for myself specifically, but in my house, we definitely attraction and we really focus on what you want but there’s some real days that come along.

And if you don’t believe it, for you who are out there and just go, I work and I make a living.  There’s just days when the stuff you do, everything that you’ve built on paper should be amazing.  You’ve done all these work and you’ve attracted all these great stuff.  You’ve helped so many people be awesome, however you want to phrase it.  On paper, you should be getting a return right now.  You should be getting that interview you know you killed.  And for some reason, they’re just not calling you back.  You should be getting that promotion or that next level that you know you deserve.   You’re 10 times better than anybody else but for some reason, it’s not happening.

And man, when those days come, I’m sitting at the table and crying and yelling with the wife going, I don’t know why this is going on.  I don’t know.  All I know is I got you going.  Because there’s no other way to do it.  Because I’m working both worlds.  I’m working the world of I’m doing my thing, I’m a Success Freak.  I’m helping others be awesome.  I’m writing another book.  I’m out there promoting us.  I’m knocking on doors and it feels like there’s no headway being made which I know is not the truth, but it feels that way.  But at the same time, I turn around.

I started putting out dozens on top of dozens on top of dozens applications everywhere at the holiday season, right?  Where we think fast food are hiring like crazy.  I literally got one call back out of probably a 100 resumes.  I’m going, I know me.  I know I can kill an interview.  I know no matter what I’m doing, if I’m scrubbing toilets, I’ll be the best toilet scrubber you have right now because what I’m focusing on—and here’s the key to getting through—you focus on getting what you need done for now, done without losing the vision for the future.  I actually did get a part-time job and I had to give up a lot of stuff for me that represented living the life.

Jeff:  What kind of stuff did you have to give up?

Charles:  Well, I had to cut my hair.  I have really long, beautiful hair and for.  I’m sorry now you got four.  I’m just saying. But for me growing up in a church household, it was—I always had to had the short haircut.  I always felt that was wrong for me.  And when I finally got on my own and grew long hair, I loved it, and I had to cut it for a job for awhile.

But then I got to a point in my life that I was in charge of my career.  And I could pick the jobs that would allow me to be me.  And that was a part where I represented that was I got to keep my hair the way I wanted  and I had facial hair which I’ve had forever, man, since I left working on a long, long time ago.  And having to cut that again was like giving up symbols of control.  Like, I don’t feel like I’m really in charge of my career right this second.

Yeah, I know that I am but I don’t feel like I am because I had to do something to jump through a hoop to do what I needed to do and that’s been the hardest thing right now is focus on—well, I’m choosing to take care of my family and it’s temporary.  I mean, it may only be as temporary as two months.  And yeah, hair grows back and everything else.  It was more than that.  It was the symbol of I feel like I’m living the life and I’m running Success Freaks.  I’m doing what I need to do, and now I don’t feel like that anymore.

Mordant:  Yeah, but you do whatever you need to do to—do whatever it takes to get the job done to take care of your family.  One of the things we stay at Success Freaks, it’s family first.  So if you have to, you cut your hair, you cut your facial hair, whatever it takes.  Now, a lot of people think that oh, I’m going to be that overnight success.  I’m pretty good at doing this, I’m excellent at doing that.  Of course, everybody’s going to want what I have to offer, and yet it’s going to take… there are some nuances that you don’t know yet.  There’s a learning curve.  I think book, The Outliers, they talk about a study where they found it takes 10,000 hours to be the best of the best.

So if you wanted to just be kind of mediocre, take a thousand hours.  How many hours have you actually put in to the things that you’re trying?  And if you’re like, why am I not a success yet?  Well, you have more to learn.  At the very least, you have more to experience.  Even if you have all the head knowledge, sometimes it shifts to some little nuance that once you put that switch, everybody else are going to say you’re an overnight success because all they’ll see.  They won’t see the sweat equity that you put in and that you’re putting in right now.

Jeff:  Yeah, yeah.  Well now Charles, you could have, right?  It sounds like you took a temporary part-time job.  You could have gotten another full-time job doing what you did before, right?

Charles:  Interestingly enough, that door is universally shut as well.   I tried that.  I did.  I have the credentials, I’ve got over six years in the job at one place which is huge especially in this day and age with how many people jump careers.  And no call backs.  That’s the welcome through the mud is and when you’re trying, when you’re trying all angles and nothing comes in, at that, you must be learning patience.  And I don’t want to learn that very well.  I’ve not enjoyed learning that lesson the last couple of months.  But maybe sometimes that’s what it is, is I didn’t want a full-time job.  I really didn’t.  I still don’t.  Because I don’t think it’s right for me but I would have taken that with the mentality like Mordant said, do the 10,000 hours.  The full-time job will support me still working Success Freaks and building that at a safe pace.

Jeff:  Even if you… a full-time job landed in your lap tomorrow, you might take it.  But your goal is still to build out Success Freaks.

Charles:  Yes.  Let’s go even back to some cornerstones.  Mordant and I teach—you have that priorities in your life and if you don’t have them, if you don’t know what your priority list is, you’ll always be in your wheels or you’ll always chase the shiny, shiny rabbit moments.  And my priority number one is family.  Number two is usually work matched with Success Freaks.  Whatever supporting the family and then your number two and number three float back and forth.  Work being supporting family but Success Freaks also supporting the family.

And so number one is family, taking care of that so yes.  Absolutely.  My number one priority for the last couple of months has been how do I take care of my family.  And I was lucky.  I actually had a goal in parachute.  I had a huge lay off package that lasted me about three months, two and a half months so I was able to not look for work and really focus on Success Freaks and it’s grown by leaps and bounds, just not enough leaps and–it’s not superman leaps and bounds. But it’s grown a lot with both the re-doubling of efforts by Mordant and myself too in the last couple of months.

So yeah, you do… you follow your priority.  If your priority’s to have your career first is to chase your dreams because not everybody is married, not everybody has a family.  I guess some people definitely just want to chase the world in their own way and they have nothing else getting in the way of that.  You follow your priority.  And yes, so I would take a full-time job if it meant taking care of my family but I also have to balance.  I can’t afford to take away from Success Freaks right now.  I have to find that juggling act.

Jeff:  Yeah.  Well now, full-time job or not, it’s quite a juggling act.  You’re always juggling something, right?  So even if you had a full-time job but you did work on Success Freaks while you had a full-time job, it’s so for three years, right?  And as you’re doing that, you also had a family that entire time.  So how did you find enough hours in a day to handle your family obligations, work a full-time job, and build Success Freaks?  Because all three of those things are a lot freaking work.

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Charles:  There’s a book that I’m going to let Mordant talk about because he really was impacted by it when I gave to him called Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk.  And what does Gary say about that, Mordant?

Mordant:  Well, you have to create that time.  There’s never—it’s going to be that we say that there’s never enough time.  If you want to be a writer, there’s never enough time to be a writer.  There will never be enough to be a writer.  Whatever that passion that you have, that dream that you have, there’s never enough time.  There’s too much obligation and things pulling you away from that.  You have to create that space.  And there’s choice throughout the history of people raising families in the wee hours of the morning or the late hours of the night speaking out that existence for whatever their passion was.

Your passion is what’s going to drive you.  This thing that you’re supposed to be doing or at least you tell yourself just what you’re doing, if you really want it bad enough, you’re going to make that space otherwise, all the excuses are going to come at you.  And they’re viable excuses, too.  You should be feeding the family.  You should be going out and going to this party that your kid wants to go.  Whatever it is, all these things.  But you’re going to have to create a space if you want this other thing or it’s not going to happen for you.

One of the things that Charles said, he was talking about this: find your why.  Now, for him right now, it’s going to be family and that’s a very, very strong why.  You have a stronger why, then no matter what else is going on, whether the adversity of just space or a lack of time or obligation, you’re going to create that space for yourself.

Charles:  What I’ve learned recently is patterns help, schedules help.  You want to build a world of adding to and not taking away from.  There’s a lot of people who see that,  I have to get work 40 hours a week and I have to take away more time to do this and take away more.  And you really want to focus on adding.  And when I had a routine, I knew my daily schedule.  I knew what days I’m in the office, which is upstairs in my house which is awesome.  I knew what days I would keep for the family.  I knew what hours I was working and I had a partner in my wife evolved fully.

I say, okay, how do I build this into the schedule?  And I was fortunate enough to have a job that I did not take away from.  I poured all my energy into it to be really, really good at it.  So I would get it done before my time at that job right now.  So in a 10-hour day, I work four 10’s.  In a 10-hour day, my work could be done in eight hours.  And my bosses were extremely pleased with what I was doing because overworking, I still left a couple of hours in a day to work some of the things I needed to do.  There’s multi-tasking.

I was fortunate enough to have a job that I could do while I talk to people like yourself.  And I could do interviews while I was working at the same time and not take away from my job.  And so, I never… well, I’ve rarely took away from the family or the job or anything else.  When you’re really focused on what you want, what you’re building and focused on adding in and not taking away, you’ll find the puzzle pieces fit together especially if everyone involved, your partners, your friends, your family, whoever it is knows about it and understands it.

Jeff:  So Charles, you have a couple of kids, right?

Charles:  I have four.  If you would count Mordant, by the way.

Jeff:  So, we’re going to get to Mordant in a second.  But so what happens when it comes down to Charles has got to make a choice between doing an interview like this or going to one of your kids’ soccer games?  How do you get down and make that really tough, specific type of decision?

Charles:  It’s very, very egg-shell thing to work right now because I’ve made the wrong decision in the past.  I’ve made the wrong decision in trying to… before really, Mordant and I focused on Success Freaks, I was his producer doing a show called Mordant World radio and I was really trying to build that producer business and help people on social media and pushed that out.  And a friend of my wife’s died and she wanted to go to the funeral and my son had a soccer game, and I felt like it was important to go build that business and I totally missed the boat and caused so many problems and made the wrong decision.  And my father-in-law took my son to his game.

I went and did a producer thing that never worked out and learned some really hard lessons and built a better relationship out of that.  So now, it would absolutely be, hey, I need to schedule around this.  And that’s the thing, you got to schedule everything when you’re building—when you’re balancing.  I mean, let’s talk about juggling, right?  And Mordant knows a ton of jugglers.  And I think he would agree that jugglers don’t just throw the balls and hope they catch them.  Jugglers practice and they know exactly where each ball is every moment, or knife or chainsaw or whatever it is you’re going to juggle.

Jeff:  What a cool analogy.  I think you made a really good point that you got to schedule everything and yeah, the jugglers, they know where everything is.  That’s just sinking in to me.  That’s really cool.

Charles:  Why, I think it’s just taking with me, to be honest.  Because I’ve heard it so many times, “Oh, I don’t know how you juggle.”  And when I answer back, “I don’t know either,” then ultimately, something gets dropped along the way.  And I just thought about that as you really do—I mean, Mordant would have thought me about lists and forced me into calendars.  Because I’m like,  yeah sure, next Thursday, I can figure something out.  That’s fine.  And now, I have I think five calendars I manage.  Even my wife has her own calendar that we share them.  Okay, I know you’re here and I’m there at this time.  It has made things so much better.

Jeff:  Yeah.  Now, that’s awesome.

Mordant:  I want to jump back on something that you said before.  You said you have to make a decision between your kid’s soccer game and whatever it is that you’re working on.  When I said create that space, it doesn’t mean that you infringe on their time, it means that you infringe on your time.  Maybe you’re going to have to plan your sleeping schedule a little differently.  Maybe you’re going to have to give up your video game time or your TV watching time.  But you’re going to want to spend time with your kids.

I am currently in the middle of a work-related call, date day with myself and my girlfriend.  She is shopping while I’m here in the French quarter.  Now, I’m trying to my time but I’ve already scheduled this and I’m like, honey, you go shop, I’ll take care of this and I’ll be done for the rest of the day.  So you don’t want to infringe upon their time.  You want to plan around that so that it works out to the best for your children, for your mate, whoever that is.  But you’re going to infringe upon your time.  So if you’re like, “Oh, I have no time,” and you find that you’re watching a lot of TV, you find that you’re playing video games, even if it’s something so  highfalutin as reading a book, if you really have a passion about something, that’s where you’re going to curb your time out of.

Charles:  Yeah, and I hate—I’ve always hated that TV reference because it’s right.  And I love consuming media.  And I say that I will watch TV, I consume media, men.  When I had the desk time, I watch so many TV series and movies and listen to podcasts and radio show because it’s what kept me going through the day while I did my work.  And now that that’s gone away, I don’t get to do that as much because he’s right.  He’s absolutely right.  You have to choose where your heart is and schedule that as well.  I mean, my wife and I schedule some TV time but I have my passion as making Success Freaks work is not working for the man.  It’s not having to cut my throat though I care.  And you go get a paycheck.  It’s to be out there and be who I want to be and live life.  And so I do.  I sacrifice sleep and TV.

Jeff:  Do you miss the TV?

Charles:  I do.  I do.  I see new shows getting on like, oh, that looks so awesome.  I keep up with a few of my most important ones, Dr. Who.  You guys Dr. Who, right?  And some others, but in this day and age with Netflix and Instant, here’s what I did, I’ll be honest again.  I’m following Mordant’s example.  I can’t tell you how many times I’m like, Mordant, have you seen such and such?  He’s like, no.

But he’s on the road working his business.  It’s not just comedy and he’s got three guys in the group.  They also have another group that franchises off of them.  They have I think six festivals throughout the year so he’s got to know where he’s going to be in the next couple of months.  He’s always managing something there, selling items, ordering items.  On top of that, he’s working in Success Freaks full time.

Normally, that’s going to be, what’s going on there?  And he’ll go, you know what?  I have season one of Dexter on DVD that I’ll get to you next year.  It’s not quite that drastic but oh, you know what?  He still sees what he wants to see on his time.  That takes away the image of, if I don’t watch it now, I’ll never see it.  And while I do miss it, I’ve learned from his example.

Jeff:   Awesome, awesome.  Well, Mordant, let’s hear a little bit about you.

Charles:  Why bother?  I’ve already told all the stories.

Mordant:  I think he has pretty much covered everything. My life or what.  What do you want to know?

Jeff:  Well, that’s cool.  You do stand-up comedy.  You travel around in doing that?

Mordant:  I do.  Actually, I do.  I perform comedy shows that people who have some festivals around the country and mostly Renaissance that’s why I’m with the triple guys  called The Tortuga Twins and currently, we’re in Hammond, Louisiana which is why I’m here in New Orleans at the moment, about to end our season.  So I’ve done this for the last 20, 25 years travelling around on the road.  And that takes most of my time.

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When we first started doing this, we had a two-day workweek and a five-day weekend because we only worked on the weekends.  But as our business grew, we began merchandising and things like that.  So, our two-day workweek turned into seven days a week.  And now, I have Success Freaks as well.  And I have a day off which is once a week, my girlfriend’s like, nope, you’re taking the day off and I’ll get up before her and maybe write a little letter, do something like that.

But it’s actually helped my brain a lot and help me creatively with all Tortuga Twins and Success Freaks to be able to take that time away.  You need to be able to recharge your battery even if what you’re doing to work is play to you.  Because on some level, it is.  I really do enjoy what I’m doing.  And we talked about giving up the video games and the TV and all that, that’s easier but I also know it’s always there.  If I jumped into playing a lot of video games for a couple of days, I might be more inclined to let that take up my energy.  Instead, I’m choosing to be about my writing and spending time doing that.

Jeff:  You said choose.  You choose to be excited.

Mordant:  Yeah.  These are choices.  You choose your addictions on some level.  And that’s what we’re talking about.  You do get addicted to that.  Somebody that you’re falling in love with, that’s an addiction on some level.  It’s a pleasant one, it’s a good one but you choose your addictions and which ones you feed.  And those are the ones that are going to propel you in life one way or the other.

Jeff:  Oh, now, this is interesting.  You said you choose your addictions.  And I was going to ask you how do you do that but you said you choose it by which one you feed.  Talk a little bit more about that.

Mordant:  Yes.  It’s almost like when I say you can get addicted to something and then it’s no longer a choice.  You struggle and whether it’s alcohol or drugs, I’m the cleanest  over about 10 years now.  And it’s a very happy choice that I make.  Now, the choice comes with when are you going to step into pool?  Where are you going to stick your foot at?  If I’m choosing to play video games, I’m going to play once, not a big deal.  I play twice, it’s not a big deal.  If I start playing it three or four times, I get excited about the game and suddenly, that starts coming on.  And maybe my writing is suffering.

These past couple of weeks, I’ve been waking up at—because of the time change, I’ve been waking up at 5:30 in the morning so I get some writing done.  And I’ve  really been enjoying it.  And it’s something that I wanted to—that was an addiction I wanted to choose so that I could start doing that.  I knew I would act like that.  I knew I would behave that way.  As long as I stuck my foot in the pool enough times, it’s more like creating habit.  I say addiction but it’s also creating habits.  The choosing what habits to have.

So you have to ask yourself, what’s your why and what’s your passion?  If you’re kind of just enjoying life and letting, I want to play, I want to just relax and let my downtime be video games or books or movies or whatever like that, that’s your life, that’s your choice.  If however, you’re looking for probably what challenges you in real life instead of reading about somebody else’s adventure, you get to have one of your own.  You’re going to choose where you’re going to put your energy, where you’re going to put your attention.  You’re going to choose your addiction.

Charles:  Now, don’t get that the wrong way.  He is very much a proponent of also recharging the energies.  You need downtime.  We’re talking about expending your energy in this case because everybody needs downtime.  Like, he’s doing the date day.  And he will not work today other than this because he’s committed that energy to his girlfriend.  But he also will relax.  He’ll recharge.  He’ll come back tomorrow refreshed, ready to go.  And I think that’s the balance that we’re not just focusing on work, work, work all the time.  If you’re playing games, you’re lazy.  We’re talking about your energy expenditure versus recharging.

Jeff:  Yeah.  Well, Mordant, you said something really, really interesting.  And you said, why wouldn’t you choose to have your own adventure instead of reading about or watching someone else’s adventure.  I truly think and this bothers me a lot about our society.  It pisses me off, in fact.  Way too many people are not doing what would make them way happier because they’re on their ass in front of that television.  In some cases, five and six hours a day.

And I’m really excited to talk to folks like yourself who you do enjoy that medium but you have chosen something different.  But why are so many people in this world choosing to sit on the sofa and enjoy someone else’s generally horrible experience?  I don’t know of any show about successful people that is encouraging and uplifting, but why do so many people choose to sit on the sofa for two, three, four, five, six hours a day and watch other people have adventures in life instead of getting out there and having their own?

Mordant:  Well, I think there’s a couple of reasons for this.  One is, it satiates their need for challenge.  We have something in this that is called mirror neuron.  That means like, if you lift your arms to drink a glass of water, certain places will fire in your brain.  However, if you watch somebody lifting their arm for a glass of water, the same place firing in their brain is firing in yours.  You’re having the similar experience.  That’s how dreams work, that’s how movies work, things like that.

So if you’re watching somebody doing something, then you’re having a similar experience.  We’ve all been Han Solo.  We’ve all been the romantic lead in the comedy.  If you’ve watched the movie, it happened for you.  We’ve all been Indiana Jones.  But if you allow that to be your life, then really what’s happening is you’re sitting on the couch while your mirror neurons are just kind of going, yup, you’re having this experience.  Why to play World of Warcraft and there are challenges and quests that they have there.  And if you feel pretty good about yourself, maybe your brain releases some dopamine and you’re like, hey look, I’ve accomplished something.  That’s a trap and very dangerous for creative people. Because creative people need to have almost on point of, wow I’m bored, I might as well create.

But if you have that satiated by playing a game, in fact, working and playing in somebody else’s world, then you don’t need to create anything of your own because you’re satiated.  It’s fine.  So, it’s now hard to get away from that especially when it feels so good to watch and so adventurous to watch it.  That’s also the trap that we have when we’re looking into celebrities.  Wow, look at that life.  I can’t believe they’re in trouble.  And you get all excited as if you’re a part of it.  And yet, you’re just sitting on the couch.

Jeff:  That’s awesome.  I didn’t understand that, and thanks for helping us to understand that, Mordant.  What’s some advice that you’d have for someone who says, yeah, I mean, I’d like to get out and have my own adventure but what you’re telling me is that I’m getting everything I need from just watching Dexter or the latest celebrity news.  What would you tell that person who’s skeptical about that?

Mordant:  It’s hard for one thing, because you got all taking in at one way.  I’m a big fan of going to the gym and keeping myself healthy.  I have to wear tight shirts so I better do that.  When you first decide to do that, you have a lot of inertia that’s taking you down.  Not only do you have to stop, do you have to turn around and go the other way, it’s not until you start getting on the ride that you actually see, oh look, I have control of my life.  I can effect a positive change in my life.

So it’s hard for those people.  Because you’re right, all you have to do is sit down and take it easy and the other way is too difficult.  But if you do that, then that’s all you’re going to have to your life.  Again, it gets back to what’s your why—why you’re doing this.  You have a fantastic life and you just need to recharge your batteries, no problem.  Read your book.  Play your video game.  Watch a movie.  That’s fine.  If your life is wasting away, if you’re playing World of Warcrafts to the point where you’d lost not one but three relationships, maybe you need to look at that.  You’re not having enough of a life outside of this unreal world, somebody else’s world.

My advice is pick something.  Pick something to try.  Something that gets you physically active, something that inspires you intellectually.  Some passion you’ve always wanted to do and throw yourself at it even a little bit.  Do it in baby steps.  It doesn’t matter.  Something other than that TV time.  Maybe take an hour a week.  Anybody can eat out an hour a week and build up to an hour a day.  I’m working on whatever it is to have a real life life.

Jeff:  In other words, like you said, start feeding that thing.

Mordant:  Perfect.  I wish I said that.

Jeff:  Well, and if you start to feed that thing that is your why and that you’re passionate about, if you feed that for an hour a week, that’s an hour a week less that you can feed the television addiction or the World of Warcraft addiction.  And I think you also gave us a really specific litmus test and that was, if World of Warcraft cost you three relationships, then you’ve got a problem.  Two or one is okay, right?

Charles:  I’ll go with that.  That’ll work.  That’ll work.

Mordant:  I think there’s actually a group online called Widows of Warcraft and I’m not sure if you actually have to go through the divorce or just a tongue-and-cheek thing but I’ve actually heard of this, Widows of Warcraft.

Jeff:  Wow.

Charles:  I would say that there’s a middle ground as well.  It’s building that world that adds in.  I think that’s what Mordant and I both are saying is, nothing’s wrong.  Even in the Bible, Paul says there’s nothing evil in the world.  It’s what you do with it.  And we’re saying that all of this stuff’s good but it has to add value.  It has to bring something to you.  There’s nothing wrong with World of Warcraft.  There’s some really great players who’ve made lots of money doing it.  There’s relationships that have been built because of it.  It’s what it takes away from your life.

If I watch this much TV now as I did when I sat at a desk working, it would take away—I would never get a job.  I would never get off the couch.  It was acceptable because it added to what I did with the show.  It added to conversations I had with people, and I was productive and working at that time.  But I found that happy medium now.  I love playing a certain game on Facebook.  I play it all the time.  And at some point after being laid off, I went, “I probably shouldn’t play this as much.”  And I found just really missing it, really wanting to play it, it meets all those neurons that fire in the brain that says I need to level up and chase this goal and do these things.

And I also love to talk for a living.  I do a show every week.  And what I found was okay, I’m not going to give that up but how do I make this an add-on value as opposed to taking away time and wasting energy?  And so I built a show around it with another partner of mine and it’s becoming a very successful show.  So now, I was very creative about it.  We’re adding value in with the game.  And now, I have a reason to play it.  You can call it work.  So you can find that happy middle ground, too.

Jeff:  Now, that’s awesome.  It’s like, there’s a couple of themes that are coming out of what you’re saying.  And one of the big themes is find your why, know why, know what the big thing is that you’re after and then start feeding that thing and stop feeding the other things.  So just shift the source of that energy.  And I think that the understanding the why, well, that’s really how we get the motivation to shift the dog food that we’re shoveling in to the wrong thing, as we’re shoveling it into the right thing.

Charles:  Yeah.

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Mordant:  Yeah.

Jeff:  Awesome, awesome.  Well now, so Mordant, you travel for a living.  And you’re taking this call from a coffee shop in New Orleans which—the French Quarter, which sounds really cool.  You’re getting to do what you want and do it on your terms.  Now, how do you like that whole travelling thing?  Is that something that you’ve built intentionally into your business?

Mordant:  Well, first of all, I’ve moved from the coffee shop as my group has come to the French market so I’m actually at a fresh market.  It’s raining outside.  I’m watching the segues go by on a segue tour and they’re all getting rained on.  Yeah, when I first started going on the road—I went on the road in 1990.  I started Tortuga Twins with a buddy of mine in 1987, went on the road ’90.  And in the beginning, we would be out, do a couple of shows, then go home.  And I worked as a waiter at the Peter in Florida and we did our winter jobs as where our summer touring habit.  Eventually, the business got better and better and better.  And we were able to just put those jobs and yeah, it’s part of it.

Now, I go back to a lot of these same places.  I stay in Arizona.  I have a room that I stayed in since the late ’90s so I’m usually renting a room out of the house.  But it’s not as chaotic as you would think.  We go to a lot of the same places over and over.  In fact, North Carolina is the one show that Carolina that was the one show that we’ve done most consistently.  And we’ve just finished the 20th year, and we’ve been there all 20 years.  I have friends in the Charlotte, North Carolina area that I’ve had for 20 years.  I have friends in the twin cities in Minnesota, in Arizona around that area, and it’s all over the world.

Charles:  Oh, I’m in Georgia and you didn’t mention me.

Mordant:  You’re not a friend, you’re a brother.

Jeff:  Oh, I thought we were going to have an awkward moment here.

Mordant:  Always.

Jeff:  Well, that’s awesome.  And the cool thing about Success Freaks is you can do that from wherever you are.

Charles:  Yeah.

Jeff:  That is so cool.  Now, I want you guys each to answer this question.  And the question is:  what is the biggest mistake that you’ve made on this journey?

Charles:   Wow.  I was going to have a really smarty pants funny answer.  That was a good question though.

Jeff:  Well, you’re supposed to be funny.  You’re a comedic motivational speaker, be funny.

Charles:  Be funny funny.  I was going to go with like, Jeopardy—famous Jeopardy answer in an enthusiastic question like, oh, that made me think.  Well, that’s my funny answer.  Man, the biggest mistake we made, I’d have to say it’s a collection of… for me, it’s a collection of… well, I guess it comes down to one umbrella problem is whenever I cut my wife out of loop or I stop communicating as I should with my wife or my partner.

That’s when problems arise.  As we go as human beings, we all have our messages.  We all have our previous.  We all have issues that we deal with.  So we view life not neutrally, not oh, this is a fact so I’m going to go from that.  We go from how we interpret and perceive things.  When I don’t know how to say something without yelling at somebody or when I just get angry, and when I get angry, I’ll get quiet because I’ve started way too many fights and bashed way too many people over the head verbally that I don’t want to do that anymore.  That’s my biggest mistake.

And luckily, my partner and my wife both know that when I start to shut down, let’s open up a channel of communication because I don’t know how to do it.  But then there’s Mordant, I’m sure he could spend the tell you how many times I’ve done that and these caused problems in our business.  And my wife… I mean,  I’m telling you, how many times this caused problems in our marriage.  But with every mistake, you learn and it has made my marriage so much better.  It’s made my partnership in business so much better we learn from those hard mistakes.

Mordant:  Yeah, one of the things that we learned at Success Freaks is that failures are just stepping stones on the way to success.  You can’t have success without creating some failures.  So it’s hard to look at what’s our biggest mistake?  That denotes almost a, wow, I wish we hadn’t done that because if we had, or we hadn’t, then things would have been much better.  And every mistake we’ve made so far as far as I can see has been a learning experience to help grow us forward.  Maybe our biggest mistake is getting in our own way, doubting ourselves, or something along those lines.  Not moving, that kind of thing.  But as far as tripping up and failures and things like that, they’ve all helped us.  So that sounds like a pretty chevalier answer but it’s an honest one.

Charles:  Yeah, I was about to say, I hear Gene Kelly dancing around and answer over there.  But that is honest.  I’ll back it up.  You probably would have gotten a more interesting conversation if you said, okay Mordant, what was Charles’ biggest mistake?

Jeff:  Oh, why didn’t I think of that?

Charles:  That would have radio.

Jeff:  Well now, the thing that I think is so interesting is I asked that question of every single guest that comes on to the show and they always qualify it by saying, well, nothing’s really a mistake or I don’t really regret anything.  That is a clear trait of successful people and people who run shows like Success Freaks.  I love asking that question and I love getting that answer every single time.  Guys, tell us, what is the biggest piece of advice that you would want to leave our listeners with?

Mordant:  I’m going to quote Nike and say, just do it.  You’re holding yourself back for whatever reason.  Just do it.  I have another quote.  It said, yesterday, you said tomorrow.  It’s tomorrow.  Take your eyes off of the screen and find out what that thing that you want to do.  A lot of people say, I have so much, I don’t know what to do.  Pick one.  That’s another excuse.  Stop making excuses for your own life and just do it.

Charles:  There’s three kinds of people in the world: those who can do math and those who can’t.  So, it’s a math joke because you get free tips.  I like picking on him, it’s fun.  Some of the people don’t get it, then I feel like a jerk.  No, I’m going to go back with help others be awesome.  That’s what has got me through.  I mean, my worst day throughout all these adventures is August.

And my worst day where I walk into a job that I had a friend that was a manager of another branch of this company who highly recommend me.  I knew that guy who ran this particular branch.  He loved me.  And I walked in and they’re full up and I couldn’t get a job where I would have loved to have worked.  And I walked across the parking lot to a place I would have hated to have worked and still couldn’t get a job there.  I was in tears.  I mean, I was so frustrated.  And what I found to get me past that was I can’t—I mean, this is really what I felt: there wasn’t  life.  And I emphasized felt because it is what we feel, it’s how we experience life.  It’s not what we think, it’s what we see, it’s what we feel.  I felt like I could do nothing for myself for my family.  I felt helpless.

So, what got me out was, okay, I can help others be awesome.  I can turn around and call Mordant, what can I do for you today?  I felt out of it, I’m going, what can I do for you?  “Aren’t you doing all of this other stuff?”  I can’t do anything for me.  If you let me sit here, I will spend and stew and get into a very, very negative, ugly mindset.  Let me do something for you.  Help others be awesome.  It will keep you moving forward.  It will make you feel great about yourself, and man, you’ll plant so many seeds, you’re lining up so many dominoes that when you turn around and things start falling your way, it’s going to be massive and you’ll never see it coming—in a good way.

Jeff:  What an amazing piece of advice.  When you’re feeling down, when you’re feeling frustrated, pick up the phone and call somebody and ask what you can do for them.  Amazing, amazing piece of advice.  Charles and Mordant, what kind of person would like to listen to the Success Freaks show?

Mordant:  Your listeners.

Jeff:  Okay.

Charles:   You know what?  People who like to laugh.  They will learn and they want to do something with their lives.  If you’re content, if you think you’re happy with your life that you’re just sailing along, you’re not going to listen to our show because—I found this to be true with many, many people—we disrupt that.  You have this image of my life is great—and not that your life’s bad.  We’re not saying that.  But you work everyday and you’re in a pattern.  You start listening to us, and it’s going to show you things you never saw.  It’s the matrix.  It’s the red pill and the blue pill, man.  You’re going to start seeing things that will make you go, I can’t un-see that.  I can’t not know what I know now and I want more.  So people who want more or think they want more.  If you think you don’t want more, don’t listen.

Jeff:  Excellent.

Mordant:  Also, I think it’s people who like to laugh.  Don’t take yourself so seriously, those kind of people.  Because we don’t.  And if you’re down with that and you’re not afraid of failure and you realize that’s part of the game, come play in our playground.  We’ll laugh with you.

Jeff:  Well, that’s awesome and I think this is a great fit because everybody who’s listening to this show wants more out of their life.  They’re looking to do something more even though everybody who’s listened to this show has accomplished amazing things in their life, they’re looking to go to the next level.  But the problem is, they don’t get humor from this show because I’m not really very funny.  So those folks can go over to Success Freaks and laugh with you guys and learn about how to be successful.  Where can we go to get to Success Freaks?

Charles:  Successfreaks.com will get you everything you need and of course, we do everything everyday on Facebook.com/successfreaks.  You’ll get sayings and posts and that’s where we interact with the listeners and people every single day.  So you can check us out there and Tuesday nights, 9pm Eastern on successfreaks.com/nas is when we do the live show.  You’ll see video, you’ll get the audio.  It’s a good time.  You should come out and check it out.

Jeff:  Tuesday nights at 9pm Eastern, is that right?

Charles:  That’s correct.

Jeff:  Check out the Success Freaks radio show.  Go to successfreaks.com and check out Charles and Mordant.  They are a blast.  And I had a blast talking to you guys.  It was a lot of fun.  And I look forward to seeing what amazing things that you do with Success Freaks in the future.

Charles:  Thanks, Jeff.

Jeff:  What a great show with Charles and Mordant, the Success Freaks.  Go listen to their radio show.  It’s at successfreaks.com.  Again, successfreaks.com.  You can also find them at Facebook.com/successfreaks.  Now, they’ve made a couple of really good points but a few of them that I want to highlight or two.  The two most important ones.  And the number one point that Charles and Mordant made was you have to set priorities.  You have to know what is the most important thing in your life, what will give and what will give when.

So when you got that soccer game and that business meeting, you got to know what decision to make.  That doesn’t mean that you have to go to the soccer game every single time, but it does mean that you have to understand in the grand scheme of things how does everything fit together.  Nobody can make that decision except you and you got to figure it out for yourself but it’s key to figuring out… well, it’s key to balancing your life, your family, your business, your finances and everything.  You’ve got to figure out what is most important and have a hierarchy that everything is assigned to of most important.

Now, the other point that Charles made towards the end of  the show that I thought was absolutely brilliant was when you get stuck, when you get in that place where things just aren’t working right and just doesn’t… you’re frustrated and maybe something went wrong or something didn’t come through like you’d hope it would.  Go help someone else be awesome.

Now, what better way is there to just bring yourself back down to the ground.  Bring yourself back into a good place and keep yourself from going into that depressed, panicky or whatever kind of mode you go into when things aren’t going right.  Go help somebody else.  Just pick up the phone, fire off an email, whatever you got to do to find somebody that you can help be awesome particularly with the thing that you’re building a business around, right?  So just go help somebody do something.  Don’t charge them any money for it, just go help them with it.

What a great way to get yourself back into the right frame of mind.  Get yourself  thinking the right way and get things moving in the right direction.  So great advice from Charles and Mordant.  Again, go check out successfreaks.com or Facebook.com/successfreaks.

Now, if you want to continue this conversation, you want to keep talking to amazing people who are doing amazing things and have amazing things to say and think just like you do, then go to howtoquitworking.com/group and then that will take you to the LinkedIn page for the LinkedIn group of a very small group of people who are looking for something more in life.  People who aren’t willing to accept the status quo as it is.  And we get together and we talk regularly about that at that LinkedIn group.  And you can access that at howtoquitworking.com/group.  So join us in that group.  We’d love to have you.  Love to have you in this awesome conversation that we’re having.  Until next time.

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About Jeff Steinmann

Jeff wants to help you Live More. He is the author of How to Quit Working, A Simple Plan to Quit Your Job for a Life of Freedom. He hosts a weekly show called The How to Quit Working Show that features lessons from Freedom Fanatics who quit their soul-sucking 9-5 job and created a business that lets them live a passionate life of freedom. Jeff also writes for several media outlets, including The Huffington Post, Lifehack and Elite Daily. Most of all, Jeff is a Freedom Fanatic, fiercely devoted to finding a better way to “do life”.

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