This Entrepreneur Shows You What to Do If You're Feeling Out of Control | Dave Hollis | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "This Entrepreneur Shows You What to Do If You're Feeling Out of Control | Dave Hollis".
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If you are in a position where you can't fail, you are also in a position where you will never be fulfilled. And so when I finally figured that out, it was okay, I need to go chase something that I can fail at, not to fail, but because of the possibility of failure, guaranteeing that I will and I will grow from it. As much as I knew that intellectually, I make this sleep, I leave what I knew for what I needed, and in doing so, dealt with the identity shift challenges, dealt with going from being the primary breadwinner to my wife, just wildly eclipsing me, went from the status of a big company in a nice business card to something of more of a startup, and it was so jarring to everything that I knew that what had been a casual relationship with alcohol turned into a not so casual relationship with alcohol. - Hey everybody, welcome to Impact Theory. Today's guest is the COO of the HollisCo, one of the fastest growing media companies on the planet. He's also the former president of theatrical distribution for Disney, who was responsible for launching some of the most dominant film franchises the world has ever seen, including the string of box office juggernauts in the Avengers series, the most recent episodes of the Culture Defining Star Wars franchise, and such mega hits as Frozen and Beauty and the Beast. Now, if that list of titles alone doesn't already boggle your mind, consider this. During his tenure at the House of Mouse, he orchestrated the release of what has gone on to become nine out of the 10 highest grossing films of all time, but that was just the beginning. Since leaving Disney, in partnership with his unbelievably talented wife and business partner Rachel Hollis, this dynamic duo has built a brand that went from six to 60 employees at breakneck speed and is now globally recognized for touching the lives of millions of people on the daily. And as if that wasn't already a Herculean task, he's also the on-air co-host with Rachel of a Morning Show that's viewed by over a quarter of a million people per day, the co-host of a live variety show that's about to hit 800 theaters, co-producer of an event series that draws thousands and thousands of people from all over the world, the co-producer of a smash hit documentary called Made for More and Much, Much More. So please help me in welcoming this ridiculously accomplished father of four, an author of the incredible book, Get Out of Your Own Way, a skeptics guide to growth and fulfillment, Dave Hollis. - That's not really welcome, man. - Thank you. Thank you for having me. - Dude, thank you for being here. You are one of my favorite humans. I'm super excited to have you in that chair. I think this is gonna be a lot of fun. - You are one of my favorite humans. I am so grateful for the invite and I am excited to chat about all the things. - Let's do it, man. Let's start with being a skeptic.
Self-Improvement And Personal Growth
Diagnosing skepticism (03:18)
I actually find it kind of cool and interesting that you came to personal development and growth sort of drug kicking and screaming. So walk me through, why do you call yourself a skeptic? Do you remain skeptical? What's that journey been like? - Yeah, I mean, I interestingly, I grew up inside of a faith community that put some taboo around listening to teachers that if not holding a Bible could sometimes be seen as sacrilegious. And so like from the very, very earliest formative years, there was a little bit of careful who you listened to. So that is where it started. I've, I think tended to be a little more of a practical, pragmatic person just generally. And so skepticism runs a little bit as an undercurrent of my wiring in a way that with a bit more of a fixed mindset had me not really even considering that someone reaching for growth or development didn't in some way indict them for being broken or less in the first place. And so there were plenty of tools that existed that could have helped me all through my journey. And yet because of a little bit of how I was raised in faith, a little bit of how I was raised in masculinity, a little bit of how just the world informed me thinking that self-help was in some way for broken people, I was skeptical. And it, honestly, it took my wife walking into a journey for me to first be incredulous and then see some of what was working for her to have me ask a better set of questions. So how did you navigate that going from, you know, this is for broken people to thinking, "Hmm, this actually is kind of cool."
The bridge between 30 & 40 (04:58)
I had to get super stuck. I wish it was like a better answer than I had to get super stuck, but I found myself in this strange bridge between 30 and 40, where for the first time in my adult life, things at work were going so well that it was actually working against me. I'll come back to it, but I am not really being as challenged as I had been previously, found myself at this threshold birthday, asking why I'd been afforded certain gifts, but wasn't in a position to have to fully use them. And one day I'm out back with my kids, attending to a ritual of ask dad anything. I got three boys and now a daughter. And they usually were asking ridiculous things, looking for ridiculous answers, and I just committed, "Hey, I'll answer any question, "whatever it is." And my middle son asks, "What are you most afraid of?" And out of my mouth, he's looking for scorpions or tarantulas and out of my mouth falls, not living up to my potential, right? Like this idea that I've been afforded gifts, but at the end of my life, could look back with regret. And in an interesting way, as I was in this station of stock, it started of want to not be stuck. So when you say that you're stuck, this is the period where you're feeling like the job is too easy, that you're not really being pushed.
Grappling with living up to potential (06:21)
Is that what you mean by stock? Yeah, so I came into this last job of my 17 years at Disney, which was the head of sales for the studio. I'm putting these movies in. When I first got the job, Disney had just acquired Pixar. So now it's Disney and Pixar, but two years later, Marvel Studios comes into the mix, two years after that. Here comes Lucasfilm. And now the responsibility I have, though it comes with the trappings of the title and the access and the Academy and anything else, selling Avengers and Star Wars to movie theaters, it turns out, wasn't necessarily the hardest thing because of the quality of the team that was surrounding me, the strength of the intellectual property. And so I'm getting straight A grades, but I'm not studying for a single test. And that dissonance is creating in me this man. Am I truly fully utilizing the skills and tools that have been afforded me? And what it provoked, actually, I mean, like I wish I could say like, oh, I can cast a vision of some positive thing in my future and use it for leverage, but I am dark. I have to go to this place where I was imagining, here I'm just turning 40, my 60th birthday party. So now here's the 60th birthday dinner. My adult children now are sitting around the table and they've been asked to raise a glass and represent to me and everyone who's assembled what they're proudest of. And at that time I could see there was one of two ways that dinner could go. That I could either have a dinner where they were raising a glass truly proud for me, having pushed myself into spaces of discomfort intentionally so that I might grow or a dinner where some of them didn't show or if they did, they didn't have anything to say. And the idea that I could in the next 20 years let my kids down became this, who cares what you think about personal development? You better go figure out how to get yourself out of this hole because if you don't, you know how the dinner ends up. - Dude, you're the only person I've ever heard talk about negative visualization.
Negative visualization (08:32)
I'm actually glad that you called the book A Skeptics Guide to Growth and Fulfillment because I actually think it's interesting that you still do retain your obviously whole heartedly into growth and development but you retain a critical eye to some of the tools and techniques that I respond very well to. And I talk to people about like there's power in the darkness and I think there actually is power in the negative visualization and sometimes looking at the beautiful things you wanna do, sitting in gratitude. They are really powerful tools but they're not the only tools. Have you used negative visualization in other ways? Like is that still something that you like? - Oh yeah. I mean, there's a 45 minute montage at my funeral. Like it's long and it's one of two movies and I can stay connected to people not caring about the 45 minutes that play because of me having wasted the rest of my life. Because I am not, I just don't have this like my wife happens to have a furnace of motivation burning inside of her every day and I can't, I don't relate to it. I can't connect to it. And so when I wake up in the morning and I don't wanna do it, I have to stay connected to wanting to have the movie play the right thing. I had this opportunity to take a few days to just get clear and it was right around the new year and I went back and thought of every time in the last two years, five years, that I was at a low point. And I wanted to try and find the common denominator of what it was at that low point so that I could every time it maybe started to present itself, keep it from happening. And I found that there was unbelievable consistency in each of my low points and that is, I had either proclaimed to myself, my family, my employees or the world that I was a certain thing and then I showed up as something that was disconnected from that thing. And the dissonance between who I said I was and who I knew myself to be in the privacy of my own head as my head hit the pillow, that dissonance was pain, was shame, was unfulfilled potential and regret. And so I am on a mission to close that gap. Like every day my alarm goes off, it is an if then statement, right? If you say that you wanna be this thing, if you are legitimate in your claim that this is who you are now, then you better get your ass out of bed, get your shoes on and get out in that garage gym, right? Like I'm right now getting ready to head out on the road for this tour to support this book and man, I am excited for it, but I've done the if then equation. If I wanna have the energy that has me fully present and pouring into the audience, then I gotta get my health right, I gotta get my mind right, I gotta get my spiritual right, like my health, all of the health have to be whole. It's if I didn't, right? 'Cause I'm good enough to actually convince them of whatever it is that I wanna sell 'em, but I'd know, right? And the dissonance between them believing that I am actually who I say I am and me knowing that I am that, that's where pain is. And by the way, that's also where the skepticism comes from, right? Because anyone who has any ability to be a little perceptive inside of this space knows the people where the dissonance exists. They're selling you something, but when their head hits the pillow and yours, you both know that they aren't exactly what they say they are. - Yeah, that is something that I have experienced equally in my own life. So I talk a lot about congruence like that when you say something, and in fact, this goes to what you talk about with motivation hacks. So to me, one of the hacks that you can use is to say something out loud that you want to become true. And then by having said I'm moving towards this, I wanna become that kind of person. If you're not acting in accordance with that, that pain, that dissonance that you're talking about, kicks in and makes people act in a certain kind of way, I wanna go back when you said that Rachel wakes up with just like this furnace of motivation, but you don't have that. I think there are so many people. Like literally, the number one question I get asked is, how do I stay committed to something? How do I go after that thing? And I'm always like, you have to build desire. So what are your motivation hacks to stay amped up, to wake up every day, to actually give a shit enough to become that person 'cause you've got these lofty goals. So it's gonna be hard all the time. So how do you stay going? - It's two things, right?
So it's on the one hand in just incredible consistency. Like the habits that we have, the morning routine that we have, it is non-negotiable. It starts at nine p.m. the night before. Like my morning routine starts at nine p.m. If I want the life I say I want, then I have to be asleep by nine p.m. Because I have to be up by five. And if I don't get sleep, I can't have two o'clock in the afternoon happening the way I want. So it starts at nine and I have a meticulous routine that when my alarm goes off, I am a cyborg. It's not, there's no conversation. There's no snooze. I walk immediately to the exact same place every day because that's where my shoes are and my workout stuff is. I move from there immediately to where the green juice is, immediately from there to where the produce it. Like I just go in a very much like methodical beat by beat step by step routine. But the second thing is I am perpetually trying to find something physically that I can push myself further through to show myself that I am capable of more than I believed I was capable of. And this has become a newer hack over the last couple of years as I've truly tried to be my own catalyst for the momentum I want in my life. - You gotta talk about 29, 29, 29. - 29 or 29. - It's fucking crazy. - So 29 or 29, we get done with 2019 and we're sitting around a table and the question is what was the most important singular event of the entire year? My wife and I got recommitted 15 year wedding anniversary side of a hill in Ireland. That was her answer. I wish I had have gone second because my answer was completing this physical challenge because in this 29, 0, 29, it's an unbelievable endurance event and it's more about mind than it is even physicality. You're ascending the 29,000 feet that would equal Everest. 13 times as it turns out in the place that we were at Utah up a hill at a very steep pitch that for hour and a half, hour 45 minute intervals of the hardest workout I've ever been through, you're pushing through 35 consecutive hours of effort. And when I was like two or three a cents in, I was 100% certain that it was not a thing I was capable of.
Reframing your limits (15:26)
And when I finished that 13th climb and could put on this red hat that they give you, I now had reframed what my body was capable of. I reframed what my mind was capable of. How'd you go from certain you weren't going to make it to actually doing it? That's a pretty big shift, especially in the middle of pain and suffering. Well, in one way, I have as an accountability partner and best friend, a woman who was wired unlike most of humanity, right? So she was like, okay, you can die in a ditch here at the bottom. I am gonna just keep climbing. And the idea that she might continue without me, super motivating, I would also happen to be the beneficiary of someone who's been here, serendipitously riding down on the gondola with us on the second, after the second ascent, Colin and Obrady, happened to have just been walking up this hill. And though we had no concept of who he was as we were walking up the hill, we're sitting in this gondola and he says, oh yeah, hey, my name's Colin. Oh, cool, what do you do? I just walked across Antarctica and unaided. I'm like, oh, are you a cyborg sent back from the future? Or you made of skin too? And when I realized that like this human, truly as the same humanity as I do, was capable of spending 54 days of time pulling a sled, a switch went off. And I was like, you know what? If he can do that, I can walk up this hill 11 more times. And I just decided that I was gonna do it. That's such a cool moment, especially because knowing Colin's story, day one, he breaks down crying. He's like, I'm never gonna be able to finish this. And so to go from like crying, I can't do this to setting a world record and beating the guy that was essentially racing him by someone, godly number of hours, days, I think. Because he just finally found his sort of mental space to occupy and then went after it. It is really interesting to me when somebody can do that, just full stop. But when you can do that in the middle of the pain, I find it really, really interesting.
Self-realization is the greatest victory (17:37)
And what I love is again, using that like, yo, I don't want my wife to do this and I'm whistling out. I think that's really powerful. And I think a lot of people hide from how useful that is. And then hearing that, hey, somebody else can do it. - I'll say this too. I mean, like this is how much of an imprint this thing had for the last six ascents. I mean, like the better part of half a day. I did one thing. In through the nose, I said the word stronger, out through the mouth, I said the word better. I had ski poles and that is the only thing I did. I became a robot walking up that hill. I said stronger, as in in this step, I am becoming a stronger human being. I then said better, I will be better for having completed this challenge. I said it so many times, I got the words tattooed right here on my arms. Because I needed a reminder that when I face a challenge that feels mentally more challenging than I believe is possible for me to complete, or physically beyond the limits of my capacity that I am stronger and will become better for having endured whatever that thing is. I used it in completing my first marathon. I will use it as I am getting ready to do my first Ironman. I'm not looking for like the 100 mile race necessarily, yet. - I was gonna say, yeah. - I mean, here's the thing. - The rate you're going. - And the headline is, I came into the idea of pushing myself physically with some limiting beliefs around what was possible for someone with my frame. That I'm too tall to run was a story that had been told to me for years and years of my life. I didn't run a single mile until I was 36 years old. - Whoa. - One single mile. And in this last year, I've run a thousand miles. - That's crazy. - So literally, literally 1,000 miles on the road. And so it's just, you know, if there's something in a story that was given to you through the lens of someone else's fear, you have to test the hypothesis of your truth. And I, man, I now am in this position every single day of, well, I didn't think I could climb that mountain. So I did it and now I believe I can go do other things. - Dude, we've gotta go back to the statement that you just made about you've gotta test the hypothesis of your truth. That is so fucking rad. And I think that people get so stuck and they believe something and they never test it. So how do you systematically begin to, one, identify that you have a truth, except that it's a hypothesis and then how do you go about testing it? - Well, I've had to do a lot of work. I mean, like it began for me, honestly, in the midst of being stuck, I sat on a couch across from a stranger in therapy as a vehicle for my more pragmatically wired brain to understand why, right? I wanna understand why I do the things I do. And sitting with a therapist was a way for me to get a set of answers to my behavior because it was not something that was living on my conscious level, it was in my subconscious and through a lot of verbal processing, a little bit of journaling and sitting in front of a stranger who would listen, all of a sudden some of the wires start to show up. - This is so interesting. So I get asked a lot about like, or I'll get asked questions to which the punchline is self-awareness. But I always struggle a little bit to help people figure out like how does one become more self-aware? So therapy is something that you use. That's really interesting and I'd love. So I wanna, let's wrap this in a larger framework of becoming more self-aware, but let's go a little deeper on therapy for a second. So most people would bulk at therapy. It feels like going back to your thesis about, I thought that self-help was for people who are broken, people assumed that therapy is for people who are broken. So how did you overcome that? And then what were you hoping to get out of therapy? - Yeah, I walked into therapy thinking it was for broken people. And at the time, because of my station, I was stuck. So I was comfortable saying, all right, as a stuck person, maybe I'm broken. What I realize is none of us are broken. We have seasons of brokenness, but aren't broken. And that therapy, as much as I may have entered it with a negative stigma attached to it, it was a gift, not just for people who are experiencing a season of brokenness, but for full and whole people that are interested in having a fuller, bigger version of their life.
It was truly though, for me, this pursuit of, like finding answers. I was really in, like really interested in why. I feel like I am stuck, though, to the outside world as the president of distribution at the Walt Disney Company, as the father of three healthy children, as the husband to an amazing woman who has this house and car. And I mean, like the optics, they're good. And yet the feeling inside was bad. And the lack of congruence, in this instance, of me feeling the way I thought I ought to, gave permission to sitting inside of a space that I'd previously assigned some kind of negativity. Once I sat in the seat, forget it. It was beautiful. It was a gift. And if anyone has any reservations at all to therapy, here's the headline. It's gonna be hard when you first get in there because you're dealing with a bunch of stuff that you don't want to have to deal with. But once you push past the first six weeks of time, it is like writing in a journal where you are dealing with the conscious thoughts for the first 20 minutes. But if you write in a journal for an hour, the things that come up in the 30th minute and the 50th minute are things you didn't even know existed. But a lot of times people won't let themselves get past the 15th minute. They get bored, oh, this is all the stuff I already know. - How do you journal effectively? - I journal by sitting down with a blank piece of paper and I start writing what is in my head. And the first 15 minutes or so is more about my day and more about my marriage and more about my kids and things that are sitting on the top layer of my consciousness. And then when I'm not expecting it, something comes up that, oh, my goodness, where did that come from? And I start pulling on that thread without even thinking about it. And what's beautiful about it to me and is the same kind of experience inside of therapy. When you're saying these things out loud, you are taking the weight of them living as a worst case scenario inside of your subconscious and actually now getting to ask a better set of questions around whether the things that you think or the things that you have fear for or anxiety, if they're actually real. Is this actually a thing that should be weighing me down, holding me back? Is there really a chance of this being a thing? A lot of the time it was, for me, attached to the worry of what other people were thinking. And when I was able to actually either get it on paper or say it out loud, I was given this gift of this clarity that no one, literally, no one cares about what you're doing. And that is an indictment on the people in your circle. It's a statement of their humanity. We all care first about ourselves. And I was given the gift, even though I waited a long time to leave, of worrying about what it might mean to leave a job that meant so much, the framework that I was leaving in Disney to go pursue this opportunity with my wife. Was confusing to people. And I stayed in the job longer than I would have because of the worry of what they might think. And the gift I was given in leaving was the appreciation of how little anyone was actually thinking about me once I was gone. Again, not an indictment on them as people. A recognition of their humanity. - I wanna better understand how the journaling becomes in therapy, quite frankly, how it becomes an element of self-awareness.
Journaling in Therapy (25:42)
Is there, so I've never done therapy, talked therapy, I've done a lot of journaling. When you're doing talk therapy, are they sort of pointing out, like patterns that are allowing you to then recognize those patterns? Like how does it go from, I'm just articulating to, oh, I now have a growing awareness of what I'm like. - Yeah, I mean, for me, it was a lot more of, I feel statements, I feel like. And then I was able to ask, is that feeling real or is that a byproduct of some memory? Is it a byproduct of some way I had to be when I was young? And the prompts that I would get are the same that you might get in a personal development kind of setting where you're being asked, my first personal development conference, same kind of question of, who did you have to be when you were young? And who's loved did you crave? And who'd you have to be for that? Like those kind of questions, as you start following those threads, you realize, oh, I've been achieving all of these years for the affection of this person. And it's like imprinted on me in a way that makes me believe that the only way love will show up in my life is through me achieving for that love. And whatever version of that is for you, if you had to be a certain way as a younger person, or you've had relationships that went sideways and you in the bad experience of that relationship took something and had it sink in as a truth that was not actually true, it informs a little bit of what you now take on as a part of your self-identity. And the opportunity in that therapy, the opportunity in journaling, at least for me, is to pull those things to my consciousness and actually ask if there's truth and weight to them in a way that if they live underneath, just said is fear, insecurity, and ridiculousness, a lot of times. So it's very impressive when somebody frees themselves from the shackles of what other people think.
Internal process (27:44)
I'm guessing that you still struggle with it, you now have mechanisms to protect yourself against it. What do you do on a daily basis? So you've had the big epiphany, they fall into these three buckets, you know most people you just need to let it go, but it still stings like when people say something that, you know, says, hey, you're fucking up or you're broken or whatever, what's your internal process when that happens? - Well, it used to be grabbing a drink. I'll be honest, like I would be triggered by someone saying something and I'd grab a drink to mute a little bit of the insecurity. It sometimes could provoke an imposter, it could be a could provoke all kinds of things and I would grab a drink. I've tended now to run because my process of being out on the road for a length of time is giving me the benefit of time, like truly taking time before I have a reaction has been singularly the most important thing, but two, there's something therapeutic about the way that my body moving in nature outside with that run allows me to actually think through, is this real or is this imagined? Is this real? Is like the number one question for me to ask and 99 times out of 100, it is not real. Like this person has a problem with me? Okay, is their opinion something that really deserves a front row seat in my life? And if there are people with cheap seat tickets that I am affording front row seat opinions, that's a me problem. Sometimes it's a run, but sometimes it's just asking that question, does this really matter? Is this fear, is this opinion real? And if the answer ends up being no, does it still sting, does it still hurt? Yes, but if you can take a beat and actually deconstruct it, you tend to get freer faster. - It is crazy, the physical transformation that you've gone through. So getting your body moving is huge to getting your mind in the right place. Have you read the book Spark by John Radie? - No. - Oh fuck, you'll love it, dude. So in the book he talks about how, yo, you have a kid that's struggling with math, make them do PE right before math and judge PE entirely by how high they get their heart rate. So don't judge them by like, whether they finish a mile in a minute or six hours, it's where was their heart rate? And so if they are pushing their heart rate up, hitting a certain level of their VO2 max or whatever the hell, the heart rate percentage was based off of, then they get a good grade because they're really pushing themselves. And he said, if you do that, you will see that they will perform better in that next class because getting the body moving, stressing the heart in a positive way actually makes people perform better cognitively, which I think is really, really interesting. Talk a little bit about one, the continual escalation of the running that you just hinted in your prep for an Ironman, which is pretty extraordinary. But I also wanna hear about the promise that you made to yourself about drinking. - Yeah. So I, in an interesting way, knew intellectually that the thing I needed was a thing that would be uncomfortable, right? - How did you know that? That's so powerful. Most people do not know that. The number of people when I bring up cold fucking showers that like crawl into a hole, it's like, that's a pretty big thing. - Well, I was given the gift of really understanding and the connection between growth and fulfillment.
Growth and fulfillment (31:19)
And I had not previously had my finger on the pulse of that. I was the beneficiary at Disney of unbelievable job growth over time. The first 10 years, I had 10 jobs. So my professional ADD was satisfied on an annual basis. I was perpetually drinking from a fire hydrant. And what I didn't realize was my fulfillment was about always being uncomfortable. I was walking into a room of people to whom they themselves thought they were more qualified for my job. I was asking a lot of questions and learning a lot on an every single hour basis. And when I found myself in this job for what ended up being seven years, the first three years were the steepest learning curve I could have ever asked for. Those first three years happened to also be the height of me being fulfilled. And it wasn't until I sat in therapy. It wasn't until I went to a personal development conference. It wasn't until I started reading some books that I could actually put my finger on it. Oh, you are unhappy and unfulfilled because you are not in a position where you are being challenged. And in the absence of you being challenged, it's impossible for you to be fulfilled. I don't want to undermine or underscore how hard the team was working at Disney 'cause yeah, everyone was working hard. But I, as the leader of experts, was not in a position to fail. The movies were too good, the leadership was too strong. My team was the best in the entire universe. And so in the absence of being able to fail, I mean, could I make a mistake at times, of course, but on the whole, there was not a chance for me to fail. If you are in a position where you can't fail, you are also in a position where you will never be fulfilled. And so when I finally figured that out, it was, okay, I need to go chase something that I can fail at, not to fail, but because of the possibility of failure, guaranteeing that I will and I will grow from it. As much as I knew that intellectually, I make this leap. I leave what I knew for what I needed. And in doing so, dealt with the identity shift challenges, dealt with going from being the primary breadwinner to my wife, just wildly eclipsing me, went from the status of a big company in a nice business card to something of more of a startup. And it was so jarring to everything that I knew that what had been a casual relationship with alcohol turned into a not so casual relationship with alcohol. And I was having drinks to just smooth the rough edges after a long day. And what I didn't realize as a couple of drinks was turning into more than a couple of drinks, was that you cannot mute the anxiety without also muting the joy. Alcohol is not a local anesthetic, you know, right? You can't just take care of the problem without also taking care of any of the good. And so while I knew intellectually that, yep, I'm pursuing discomfort for growth, I was muting the discomfort, which meant I was also eliminating in drinking the chance for me to grow, which was the entire reason for me doing this big shift in my life in the first place. When I decided to write the book, the edits coming back on the book as the team grows from five to 60, as my wife and I are working together for the first time figuring it out, as we're starting new things in this business that are wholly and totally outside of my discipline, my competency set, I in stacking those things had a troubling time with alcohol.
Deciding to Stop Drinking for a Year (34:32)
And my wife, one of the best and worst things about her is the ability for her to be unbelievably direct. And we had a hard conversation about what the heck I'm actually doing. And so I've decided on that day, I am not gonna have a drink for a year because I committed to the discomfort as a thing that I needed for growth and the responsibility that comes with this job, with my relationship to my wife, with what my kids deserve is that I am sober enough to actually both experience the pain of all of this growing and the identity stuff and everything else, but also show up well for them. And so I had to identify the triggers, where do they come from?
Experiences And Life Lessons
Identifying Triggers (35:43)
And every time one showed up, replaced the routine, grabbing a drink with putting on shoes. And as evidenced by the thousand miles, the stresses don't go down even when you introduce new and better coping mechanisms. The stresses all there, all the time, I've just changed the way I think about failure in this business as being a part of what comes with running a small business and running as a thing that helps me process what basically ends up being failure happening on an every two or three hours basis. - How do you deal with failure? Like what do you, so I'm gonna guess that part of it is gonna be, okay, this is the very thing that I need to grow, but there's also, and this is what I like about your message, there's a fucking reality to, you've gotta build the business, and if you fail, 60 plus people are out of a job. So there's the yes, like, hey, failure's good, and I love it, and it's teaching, but there's also like, I have to be extraordinary at what I do. So how do you manage that? - It was definitely hard in that I came into this new job, thinking that 20 years of entertainment experience were totally and perfectly transferable. What got me here will get me there. And that mistake, oh man, having come out of an environment where with as big a team and as competent a team and as established a business model, right?
Any roadmap you follow will always be behind reality. (36:55)
It was more trail management than I would argue what we're doing in trailblazing. And in any kind of trailblazing startup scaling, you're going to fail. It's just a guarantee, and yet because I'd come out of an environment where failure didn't happen or if it did, it was fixed so quickly by someone with 25 years of subject matter expertise that when things started going wrong in our business, even though, again, from the outside things look successful, there's problems happening in the business, I wore them as, is this maybe a sign that I don't have the skills to do this job well? Or am I maybe going to be exposed as an imposter who should not actually be doing this work? And so I at first took it very, very personally until I had the benefit of sitting around other people who have spent more time inside of the entrepreneurial space to say, no, no, no, no, this is normal, this is Wednesday, this is actually what happens here. And so like the generosity of getting to sit with someone like yourself or, I mean, we have in John Maxwell, a person who's become a fantastic mentor and friend. And he said at one point, a leader never has two good days in a row. Like that's just a fact of running a small business. And so you can either decide, I'd like to run a small business, or you can decide to have multiple good days in a row, but you can't have both, right? And so like, well, what a gift. Okay, it's not me. It's just like this is the thing that we've chosen. Now good news, we're two years in. I can see it as you might put it data rich stream of info, right? I can see it that way now. But for the first year, I had a really hard time seeing it as anything other than, do I actually, even though I've got this great resume, do I actually have the ability to do this job as well as I think I can? - God, I hope people hear that dude.
Mike's experience dealing with the self-narrative. (39:01)
So to see somebody like you struggle with something like that, to have an imposter syndrome, to deal with the self narrative that everybody hears about, but like this has been part of the fun getting to know you. You are like the most freakishly unguarded human being I've ever met in my life. It is so fucking cool. And I love it so much because dude, look, your accomplishments are ridiculous. And the fact that you've been able to go from one thing to something that as you've learned is wholly unrelated, quite frankly, in structure of nothing else. And find your way through that to rebalance yourself, to find different coping mechanisms, to find the path to successes is really, really incredible. What's it been like for you to go from typical male breadwinner for a long time in your relationship and then to have the roles reversed? Did that fuck with your head at all? - Absolutely. I mean, from the beginnings of this decision, I had only ever been the primary breadwinner. I'm eight years older than she is, so I was just further along in my career when we met. As much as we met in the entertainment business, she ended up becoming an entrepreneur. And in that journey, yep, she continued to grow her business. And it had ebbs and flows like any business might. But over the 15 years, my career was outpacing some of the growth in her business to the point that I had as a part of my identity provider. And so we decided to make this leap. And when the book comes out as much as it does well, it had a very bizarre curve. It ends up by the time I'm leaving the company, hitting number one and staying at number one. And it opens up so many possibilities for the business. And to say that my wife in the last year had a big year, would be an understatement. I think she may have, in terms of provision for the family, had a bigger year in the last year than I had at the 10 previous years of the Walt Disney Company. And so I went through, because of it having been so entwined in my identity, a crisis. Where I thought because of the way that my salary afforded a backstop for her taking a chance on some new piece of the business, if she wanted to go into some space that required capital, don't worry, I'm here in case it doesn't get the kind of return that you're hoping for. And I'd given value to her loving me because of the security and the way that that ended up becoming a part of our relationship and when it was gone, if she doesn't need me, will she still love me? Became a real thing, which sucks. Because what it actually says is she doesn't love me unless or that it's a contingent kind of love, which isn't a love at all. And so as much as, yep, it spun me down into this place, getting to unpack it actually has afforded us a chance to appreciating how great a love we've always had because of it never having been about who made more and things like that. I will say though, we are in the midst of shifting our roles, our titles at the company. And what's interesting is when I was leaving because of how I as the man, as the person who was leaving this bigger company for smaller company, I'd put a lot of weight into what my title was and had pushed her, even though she'd spent 15 years of time as the founder of this company to be the CEO. And that request of her was a hard request for her to hear. There's a lot of pride wrapped up in having been a female founder. We run a business that is primarily serving women. And so for me to have asked her, hey, I'd like to be the CEO was a thing that because she knew, hey, I'm looking at this tipping point to bring in an integrator, operator that can help me, the visionary, take this to the next level. You have a special set of skills like Liam Neeson, come on in, right? She was willing to yield. But she did it begrudgingly and did it because of what for me was very much ego, not anything else driving that need. And it was a little more than a year in when the distance from the weight that I'd assigned to other people thinking certain things about me because of my title had completely dissipated. And in part because of that gift of my now knowing that nobody was actually paying attention to thinking about me, that we got back into a conversation and it was, wait a second, you as the visionary, this is your company, you are the engine that is driving where we're headed. I am still gonna every day play the role I play as the operator integrator to help us get there. But we can't get there without the what. You are the what person. I am the how person, but the how person without the what, that doesn't make a company. And so we've now swapped roles. And so if anyone who's listening in any way has struggled with like anything in the ego space with title, especially if you're working with a partner, that shit don't matter. - You navigate some insane waters and I will speak from experience. Working with your spouse is a whole beast that requires a lot of attention and a lot of thought. What are some marriage tips?
Marriage Tips (44:26)
- Well, I mean, we have a standing date night, every Thursday night, doesn't matter what is happening. We are going on a date and there have been plenty of times. I will say, especially as we have worked together in the last two years, where we have gone on dates loving each other more than we've liked each other. Just real talk because they're in the way that my practical to her vision roles play. There's just an inherent friction that has to exist for the benefit of the company that sometimes is hard to immediately pivot into an appetizer at a nice restaurant in Austin, Texas. And so, but staying consistent in that, we value intimacy, it is an important part of our marriage. And in that, we make out on the regular, even though we have four kids, which is like having a thousand kids. So like we're consistent with that. We had to, when we started working together, fundamentally changed the way that we have hard conversations with each other. We had been in a long part of our relationship, a little more codependent, I would say, in how we avoided things that could potentially tip someone into a bad mood, be something that maybe created a little bit of emotion. And then the stakes got too high. We have too many things to do. There are too many employees that are now depending on us to stay together on this. And so, we had to like Kim Scott style, employ radical, you know Kim Scott? - No. - So Kim Scott wrote a book called Radical Cander. - I like it already. - And the idea of Radical Cander is, if you have a respect for the person that you are in relationship with, then you owe it to them. In the moment that you're watching them do something that's outside of their lane, or inconsistent with their personal brand, disconnected from company values, pull them aside and respectfully give them feedback in a way that can have them appreciate how they could have done something better for the benefit of them actually doing something better. And in the times when it's a big enough thing, we send emails to each other articulating very clearly what it is that we wanna make sure we say right, so that the other of us will have the time to read it, potentially get emotional about it, let the emotion diffuse and then come back with a reaction that is something that the other person can actually hear. - Very good tip.
Dave's Impact (46:46)
All right, where can people engage with you and learn more? - Online, I'm at Mr. Dave Hollis on Instagram, I'm Dave Hollis on Facebook, the Hollisco.com is where every single thing Rachel and I are doing in our company can be found, come hang out with us at a live event, jump into some coaching, all the things, they're all there. - Nice. - Final question, what is the impact that you wanna have on the world? - I wanna help people appreciate this idea that they have to leave the harbor of safety and security for the opportunity to grow. I mean, I'm crazy. - I can say it reminds me of a certain tattoo. - I'm crazy about, I got this tattoo, a ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships were built for. I got it as a promise to my wife that I wouldn't find myself back in that place where I was stuck, clinging to things that were safe, anchored to the harbor, not chasing the choppy waters for the opportunity to grow, I got it as a reminder for my kids that the only way that they will be fulfilled is to push themselves outside of their comfort zone and do things that challenge them to chase failure, to fail so that in failure they will actually grow.
And I got it more than anything as a reminder for myself because I still wake up plenty of days unsure if I can be the captain of this ship on these choppy waters. And I have to remind myself that I was built for this. - I love it, man. - Guys, there's a reason that I dig this dude so much. I think his book is fantastic. I think everything that he puts out in the world is this crazy blend of vulnerability and fucking hysterical humor. He is hilarious, he is insightful. Dive into his world if you want a chance to open up yourself, gain the self awareness that you want, learn the skills that you need to go and do the things you wanna do. You will not regret it of this, I assure you. And speaking of things, he won't regret. If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe. And until next time, my friends, be legendary, take care. - Be raw. - Right on, bro. - That was amazing. - If you have a passion in your heart, fire in your belly, it's gonna be you. It's gonna be you getting up early. It's gonna be you staying up late. It's gonna be you running the miles and going to the gym and eating the kale and doing all the crap that you don't, it's only gonna be you.