Many of us have been raised with a work ethic that it’s hard work that makes us successful or abundant. You have to hustle and grind to get recognized or get that seven figures. But where does hard work really take us? Joining Juliet Clark on today’s show is Derek Loudermilk, a former pro cyclist and extreme microbiologist turned professional adventurer, author, and lifestyle entrepreneur. He is also the creator of LEAP which is a system for quantum entrepreneurs. Together, Derek and Juliet tackle how our busyness and hard work are often what gets in the way of our abundance.
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How Hard Work Really Gets In The Way Of Our Abundance With Derek Loudermilk
We have an interesting guest. I’m super excited to talk to him, but before we get going, I want to remind you to go over to YouTube and subscribe to us at Super Brand Publishing. Don’t forget to take the Promote, Profit, Publish Quiz. Find out if you are putting the right steps in the right order before you publish your book, gathering your audience, all those things you’re supposed to do. You can find that at www.PromoteProfitPublishQuiz.com. We’re going to have a little chat about something that might be a bit of a belief buster for some of you. Many of us have been raised with a work ethic that it’s hard work that makes us successful. It’s hard work that makes us abundant. Where does that hard work take us?
Many years ago, I was a real estate broker in Valencia, California, and I remember I wanted nothing more than to be the number one listing agent in the whole company. There were 400 agents and I worked my rear end of that year. As a sidebar, I worked my rear end off to the point that I worked myself out of my marriage as well. There were some downsides to what I was working for, but then I remember awards night, I hit it, I got it and I thought, “That was disappointing.” It wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and I wasn’t as profitable as I thought I would be after working very hard.
Our guest is Derek Loudermilk and he’s a former pro cyclist and extreme microbiologist turned professional adventurer, author and lifestyle entrepreneur. Derek Loudermilk is the creator of LEAP, which is a system for quantum entrepreneurs. His business coaching process incorporates The Thought Leader’s MBA, The Adventure Mindset, The Energy Experience, and Peak Performance. He is the host and creator of The Derek Loudermilk Show and The Art of Adventure podcast. As an international speaker and trainer, Derek regularly presents on topics such as spirituality, human potentials, skill mastery, adventure, charisma and confidence.
Derek has visited over 40 countries and all of the 50 states in the US. He’s been location independent for six years and travels the world with his wife and two young children. They have lived in fifteen different countries as a family. As the Founder of Adventure Quest, Derek leads entrepreneurs and thought leaders in a transformative adventure experience all over the world. Welcome. Whether you’re a loud mouth or loud milk, we welcome you heartedly. I’m excited to talk about this topic because when you brought it up, it is so true. What are we doing? How are we letting this busy, hard work get in the way of our abundance?
As you were reading all of these things that I’m doing, I’m like, “Am I walking my talk? It sounds like I’m busy.” I used to be there and a lot of my clients work from this place where they hustle and grind. You even see a lot of people like Gary Vaynerchuk who are like, “You’ve got to work until your eyeballs bleed and fifteen-hour a day,” and all these things. That is working backward because people think you have to do all these things. You have to hustle and grind, and then you’ll get something. You’ll get seven figures or you get recognized. You’ll be the first in your real estate office or whatever it is. You’ll get the relationship you always wanted, and then you will be happy, satisfied, successful or whatever it is.
That story you were telling, doing all those things, doesn’t change who you are. Ultimately, we’re chasing a feeling. We’re doing things because we want to feel a certain way. If we start with being the person we need to be and feeling the way we want to feel, then it’s a natural thing for us to do the things we need to do. For example, if you want to be a non-smoker, if your core and your identity is a non-smoker, then it’s not any work not to smoke. If your identity is a smoker, then it’s hard to not smoke. It’s the identity level. It’s who you are that leads to all the doingness. It’s a much more effective way of getting results in your life. If you ask yourself a question, “Who do I need to be to get what I want? Who would I be if already had what I want?”
For a lot of us, we were raised with a work ethic that let us believe that if we had those lists of tasks, we were going to get more. Tell me if you agree with this or not. You see a lot of coaches when they first start out and I always relate this to they quit their job. They’re giving themselves high-fives. They show up to their desk the first day and they’re excited like, “I can do this.” Somewhere around month four, they’re working twelve-hour days. They haven’t showered. Even the dog is looking at them and say, “Dude, shower.” They’ve realized that they’ve gotten in that grind. They didn’t realize that being an entrepreneur meant that there are many things they have to do. They’re not delegating. They’re not doing the things that are going to make their lives easier. Would you agree with that? Do you see that quite a bit?
I’ve fallen into this myself and sometimes I still catch myself at 10:00 at night. I’m like, “If I could just do these a little bit more then I’ll set myself up.” It’s a trap that you fall into. If they try to do it all by themselves, that’s a recipe for burnout. That happens so often. A lot of people think about investing money or investing in various other things like real estate or something like that, but a lot of people don’t think about investing in time. Whether you’re building a systematized way of doing business that’s going to save you time, or you’re hiring someone, or you’re stopping doing something that’s less effective, all those ways are ultimately going to give you more time, which is the only finite quality. You can earn an infinite amount of money, but you can’t get infinite time.
Time is going to be your highest leverage thing. When you are working, when you are hustling, you make sure that’s your highest value activity. You have to have time to understand what is going to be your highest value activity. Sometimes you even have to align your own values with your highest economic value activity. Even if you don’t like it or if it’s number eleven out of your values, then it’s going to be hard. You’re going to have to be using willpower and all these things to bring yourself to do it. You want to make sure you’re doing high economic productive things that are also easy and aligned with who you are, what you’d like to do, what your natural tendencies are, and all of those things so that it doesn’t feel like work at all.
Delegating those things to people around you that are better and working in your zone of genius would probably be another way to describe that. Here’s one thing that all entrepreneurs hate or most of them do. I personally don’t but I love this part. It’s generating leads. People are like, “It’s salesy. I don’t like it.” It’s necessary. Nobody is going to hand you a paycheck like they do in Corporate America. It’s necessary for you to do that. The question is, do you do it yourself or does somebody else? How do you sit down and put in your space those things that you are good at and delegate those things that you’re not? How would you go about that?
One thing that is important to remember is sometimes you may end up being good at a key skill that you haven’t mastered yet. Let’s assume that you can learn any entrepreneurial skill you need to. It’s all trainable and you can get better at it. If you’re a beginner entrepreneur, you might not have great copywriting, or you might not have good networking skills. If you decide that a specific skill is important for the long-term success of your business like, “I’m never going to outsource copywriting. I’m always going to be the one doing my marketing, my ads, my emails and stuff that I need to master this skill.” You then become the person that’s focused on marketing mastery. You live like a master marketer. You pay attention to the new things that are coming out and study it. You understand where the field is.
If the skill is not going to be that important, then don’t bother with it. There are too many skills for you to master all of them. Pick the ones. If you’re going to be a coach, a speaker, an author, you need to be good at writing. You need to be good at storytelling. You need to be good at interacting with people, understanding body language and persuasion. Maybe you don’t need to worry about internet marketing at all. You can outsource that. You need to look down on your career and figure out what the skills are, and then become insanely good at them.
You brought up a great point there. We’re in this age now where most people are coming in and they’re saying, “I need to be an internet marketer.” The truth of today is you need mild internet marketing skills, but people are looking for relationships, and clicks aren’t relationships. The challenge is, how do you know where your business fits in that? Are you looking at the products that will help your business? I’ve been around long enough to know that I’m relationship-based. Those clicks and ads probably aren’t going to bring me what I need. What about you? You’re focused in relationships as well.
I like to tell people that you can have a business without a website or social media. You can have a seven-figure business just from your relationships. That’s how they did it before there was the internet and that’s still totally possible. It’s one of the avenues of marketing. Word of mouth is great recommendations asking for referrals. If you have a few good high-value relationships, that can fuel your business for years. As I was alluding to before we started, relationships open the doors to abundance that’s much bigger than money. A lot of people focus on money as their primary like, “If I have money, then I feel abundant,” and they’re missing 80% or 90% of abundance.
I define abundance as, “You can do what you need to do when you need to do it.” When you think about that, money can sometimes do that. It can often do that, but you could have somebody gift you a service instead of paying for it. That does the same thing. It gets you exactly where you need to go or you could trade with somebody. You could swap with no exchange of money. Two coaches could coach each other. Two authors can edit each other’s books. There are also creativity and good ideas. A better solution may save you tons of money and tons of time. It get you closer to where you want to go. Relationships get you access to information that helps you along the way. When you focus on relationships, they can get you better opportunities that money could never get you access to. You can’t pay to get the chance to be on Shark Tank. Maybe you can because I’ve heard people can pay to get on the New York Times bestseller list or something like that.
They do. Most of them do pay.
It’s either $500,000 to be in New York Times bestseller or your friend can help you make the connections and whatever it needs to be. There are multiple different ways to do what you need to do when you need to do it. That’s the full picture of abundance. With relationships, people can become clients. People can become raving referral source. They can get you access to money, but abundance is so much more than that. It’s important to keep that in mind.
I agree with that. The other thing is being intent on what you want because I often find that if I set a goal and I write it down and I say, “Where am I going to find this?” Throughout my travels, usually those people that are in my network, something will land in my lap within a week or two. It’s like, “That’s where I go to get that,” and then asking for those introductions. You have to be on the lookout for those things where you know what you want and then watch it. I watch it drop into my lap like, “I just wrote that down the other day.” All that is part of that abundance equation too. It’s being very intentional about what it is you need.
I love that it drops into your lap and it comes in an unexpected way sometimes. You don’t necessarily specify like, “It’s going to be this person who’s going to do this,” or “It’s going to look exactly like this,” but when it comes, you know it, and you can recognize it, then that’s major. I have three questions that I’ll share. When I’m talking to someone in my network, first, I’m always asking them, “What are you up to? How can I help?” I’m trying to get a sense for where my abilities line up with what they’re looking for, starting with being of service. I’m also asking them for ideas like, “Here’s what I’m working on. Here’s where I’m trying to go. Do you have any ideas for me? Do you have anyone you think I should talk to?” It enlists them in their creativity to help you out. That’s an easy way to be helpful, “Maybe you should talk to Joe over such and such publishing company.” If nothing comes of it, that’s fine, but it’s continuing that momentum towards where I think I’m headed.
You’re right about knowing where you’re headed. I believe you have success with having these things fall into your lap because not only do you know where you’re headed and what the end result is, but you have a sense of what it will feel like for you to be there. Going back to the identity, it’s important to have a strong emotional tie to where you’re going because that means it’s yours. You’re the one who wants to go that way. Whether you’ve heard a podcast saying, “You should be an author.” “That’s seems like a good idea. Maybe I should do it.” If you’d have no emotional connection to it, then it’s just somebody else’s good idea. It’s not really yours. When you make it yours, then you have the energetic oomph behind it to have these things drop into your lap.
In that energetic oomph that you mentioned too, this is one of the things I’m firm about. I’m not connected to or looking for an outcome when I refer people. I’m a good connector. I never say like, “Derek, I gave you three leads last month, where are my three leads?” I always assume when I connect those people, that somewhere connections will drop in my lap and not worry about it. I know a lot of people get invested in that, “I did this for you.” You have to let that go energetically to have good things happen.Ultimately, we're chasing a feeling. We're doing things because we want to feel a certain way. Click To Tweet
I’ve come the whole way. I was an only child. I used to be a taker like in Adam Grant’s book Give and Take. Everybody gives me everything I want. I don’t even need to be a matcher. I then progressed in my university days to, “I’m going to give stuff to you and you give stuff to me,” but there’s that unwritten expectation of like, “Are you going to give me something back? I’m keeping tally of what you owe me in my mind, but you don’t even know what you owe me.” That gets messy. There’s a fundamental law of the universe, which is you get back what you put out. Whether it’s helping someone in business, love, respect or any of these things, it comes back to you. It’s the golden rule, however, you want to interpret it. Therefore, it’s highly strategic to give a lot away. You don’t have to specify exactly how it’s going to come back. The more you give, the more it will come back.
I completely agree with that because it comes back to you in unexpected ways. I remember that divorce I was talking about. I had a tough time. I asked a friend if she could help me. She brought herself, a couple of other friends, and I’m like, “Why are you all here?” They were like, “You don’t even realize how much you’ve done for us.” I never even thought of it like, “I’ve done stuff for you guys, like what?” When you’re in that mode, things show up at the most unexpected times when you need help. That’s a big piece of abundance as well. It’s letting go of that. We were talking about letting go of that money piece. It’s not all abundance.
There’s something I want to share here because sometimes people have a hard time with knowing what to give. Especially if they’re networking with someone who’s more experienced or successful or farther down the career road, “What do I have to be able to offer to somebody.” My favorite is making introductions, finding a win-win situation, and introducing people in your network. There are a bunch more things. You can give good ideas to people. You can be a listener. You can reflect for somebody. One of my mentors is an education thought leader and he would just spend time having lunch with a brand-new principal. He was at the end of his career and having lunch regularly with someone at the beginning of their career. They would listen to each other. That was valuable for both of them, even though one of them had way more experience, PhDs, and all that stuff. What are other ways that you like to add value to people when you’re doing relationship building?
One of the ways I reached out to you on LinkedIn and I have that LinkedIn automation. Here’s one of the things, most people go out and they try to sell you something. I just want to get on the phone and meet people like, what are you up to? For me, it’s that listening piece and getting to know people, because I feel like I have to walk that walk with the relationship building. Tips and tricks, and referrals, I love giving people referrals. I had a guy on LinkedIn. He jumped on a call with me and he tried to sell me to give him stuff for free. He wanted me to do something for his nonprofit for free. I said, “I can’t do this, but I can introduce you to another nonprofit that’s doing something similar.” The biggest is making those introductions to people that will help them refine what they need to do and get a little bit further because it’s all about networking. I hope that answered your question or was that evasive?
That was good. A couple of more popped into me talking about LinkedIn. You can recommend somebody for a skill on LinkedIn, or you can review their book on Amazon, or review their podcasts or subscribe to it. These are small little things. Adam Grant calls them five-minute favors. It takes almost no time for you, but it helped somebody out. It’s looking for opportunities to do five-minute favors. A lot of times I’ll even send people like, “I watched your YouTube video on blank and I learned blank and it was amazing. Here’s what I’m going to go do with it. Keep going. I love what you’re doing.” I almost always get a response. Somebody that has ten million subscribers, they respond to me because I’m not asking anything from them. I’m just sending them good vibes their way. There are a lot of different ways you can add value even if you feel like somebody is more successful than you. You can still add value to them.
You can and I thought of another. You know this about me. I’m the queen of thank you notes. I love the old-fashioned writing. I’ve got tons and tons. I love paper source. When I get on the phone with people and mostly it’s from LinkedIn, and they’ve given me something valuable that maybe they didn’t purchase from me, or they weren’t a good podcast guest, I try to follow up and write thank you notes so that they feel that I valued their time. That’s another thing you can do. Take the time to do something old-fashioned like that. I got that idea because someone saw a YouTube video. She’s locally here in Utah and I was brand new to the area. She wrote me this amazing thank you note. It was like, “Thank you and welcome to Utah. We can use people like you.” I thought, “I love that. I’m going to do it for other people.” That’s something you can do too.
I was on a podcast and the guy had sent me a custom-made bracelet. It had one of the words that we talked about on the show. He stamped it into the bracelet and mailed it to me. It came and I was blown away. I’ll always remember this guy.
I want a bracelet. Who was that? I need a new bracelet. There are many ways we can do that. I’m also going to bring this up. Derek puts together anthologies for people. Tell us a little bit about that. That’s how I got connected to him. We own a publishing company, but we don’t typically put together anthologies as you do. We are solo entrepreneur authors.
We’re doing volume three of this series. It’s become a series called Activate Your Life. The way that it started was I have a lot of friends who are amazing coaches. I would have them come and be guest presenters at my retreats or hire them. They had all these creative ways of teaching and getting you to experience a transformative process. All these coaches they’ve pioneered their processes. I wanted to get those out to the world. I also knew that having someone become a best-selling author is still one of these big social proof of credibility. When you’re a best-selling author, it does a lot for mainstream credibility. I was like, “Let’s combine these. I want to get these exercises out for people.”
They are compilation of coaching exercises that somebody can work through on their own or another coach could take and use with their clients. We’ve been doing it for a few years. Typically, we have 30 to 50 authors. The launching of the book and the marketing is fun. We do a bunch of Facebook Lives or interview exchanges to build momentum for the books. Imagine 50 people sharing their audience with 50 other people. It’s a big fun process. I’ve done both, I’ve self-published books and I’ve worked with traditional publishers on solo projects. To understand like everything that needs to be done with the formatting, the cover design, getting it uploaded, and managing the project of a book helps you when you’re writing your own books as well. Many of these coaches go on to become solo authors. They dip their toe in. They write a chapter for our book and the next year, they’re like, “I’m ready to write my own book,” and they’d go and do it. It’s an amazing introduction and showing them how it’s quite possible and easy to write your own books. It’s not as scary as it was before. It’s a fun project all the way around.
I love what you had to say. One of the reasons I started my company was that I had worked in traditional publishing. There are many self-publishing companies out there that are hands-off with people like, “Give me your stuff and I’ll make it into a manuscript and a cover.” Working with someone on a bestseller launch is a much better way to get to know people and build relationships, but it also being on the inside. This helps you help them understand what self-publishing should be. It shouldn’t be this disjointed, “Give me your stuff, I’ll give you a product,” type of thing. It needs to build into a relationship and helping them build their audience. I love that you’ve been on both sides of that as well and understand that, although you were there from the author side, I was there on the actual publishing side. That’s a good thing with it. It’s being able to build those differences so that it sets your company apart.
We charged a small investment to be part of the book that covers the cost of our team. People ask, “What’s in it for me? What’s the ROI on this $500 investment? I become a published author, but how does it help me?” Working with them like, how does this exercise fit in with, are you creating online courses? Are you building credibility to raise your rates to premium as a coach? Are you hoping to get more keynote speaking? We tailor it on, how does the book fit into the bigger picture of the various ways that you teach and train? That helps a lot of people understand the book is one good pillar in a multi-pillared branding strategy.It's important to have a strong emotional tie to where you're going because that means it’s yours. You’re the one who wants to go that way. Click To Tweet
We’re honest here about you will not probably get direct ROI from the book. It’s what you do with the book that builds the ROI. You mentioned a lot of those things. That’s why we put the quiz together because we have to be intentional about talking to people and driving that audience, not only for that bestseller, but what is it you’re doing for the book. Too many people write a book because they don’t have enough business. We go back and fix what’s going on with that not enough business in the process of the book. My vision is you should write a book because you have a validated process, not because you’re using the book solely to get more business because you haven’t been getting enough business without the book. It’s a catch-22 there, but you have to learn to go back and build, and figure out why you weren’t getting what you wanted before the book. I hope that made sense to all of you, guys.
What I see with these authors and with myself is that when forced to articulate your exercise, maybe you’ve been teaching it with your clients, but you’ve never written it down or something. You’re like, “How do I communicate this succinctly and clearly, and what’s the most direct and effective way to do this?” When I wrote my first book, Superconductors, some guests on my podcast was like, “You should turn all of these podcasts into a book.” I was like, “That sounds easy. I’ll do it.” It then took me two years to figure out how to put all these ideas together. I was teaching myself my own method through that process. I was teaching how I am going to make people superconductors.
That became the basis of my coaching. There’s this famous Mark Twain quote, “How will I know what I think until I see what I say?” I love it because whether you’re writing a book or even guesting on a podcast when you articulate what you’re trying to say over and over again, then it comes off as easily understandable, and you can start to see how people are responding, and does it make sense? Ultimately, we’re trying to help people. We’re trying to take concepts that we have and get them across through these words or the written word or the spoken word, and then they have to assimilate it. They have to understand and apply it to their life. We’re trying to expand people’s possibilities and help them feel alive through words. It’s such a good way of refining that.
I know you have seen my book Pitchslapped. I wrote mystery novels and when I put that together, it also took me two years because I took a year-long course. I thought, “I can’t put all of this into a book.” We had to go through and figure out what the key points are that people need to understand. I was surprised myself because I started with a ghostwriter and she went through my course. The thing was huge. I ended up going back and doing rewrite after rewrite to condense it. That quote is perfect for that because when I could see what I was putting out there, I was like, “That’s not going to do it with people.” That’s $5 there and people won’t read that much. You have to keep in mind these days that people like short books. They have no attention span these days. Derek, where can we find you if we want to know more about what you’re up to and the anthologies?
DerekLoudermilk.com and The Derek Loudermilk Show. That’s my podcast and central place where you can find me. The book is Activate Your Life. You can check it out on Amazon, it’s on Kindle and you can get a printed copy, and then ActivateYourLifeBook.com. You can see all the anthologies you could. If you want to apply to be in volume three, you can do that there as well. If you’re a coach or a healer, we were having more of a spiritual focus for the book because I think that will help the world’s progress, figuring out what we want this world to look like. That’s the intent behind this volume three. It’s how to help people create the world that we all want together. If you want to be part of that, you could apply at ActivateYourLifeBook.com
Thank you for being with us.
Juliet, thank you for having me. It was fun.
- Super Brand Publishing – YouTube channel
- Adventure Quest
- Give and Take
- Activate Your Life
- The Derek Loudermilk Show – Podcast
About Derek Loudermilk
Derek Loudermilk is a former pro cyclist and extreme microbiologist turned professional adventurer, author, and lifestyle entrepreneur. Derek Loudermilk is the creator of the L.E.A.P. system for quantum entrepreneurs. His business coaching process incorporates The Thought Leader’s MBA, The Adventure Mindset, The Energy Experience, And Peak Performance. Derek is the host and creator of the Derek Loudermilk Show and the Art of Adventure Podcast As an international speaker and trainer, Derek regularly presents on topics such as spirituality, human potential, skill mastery, adventure, charisma, and confidence. Derek has visited over 40 countries and all 50 US states. He has been location independent for six years and travels the world with his wife and two young children. They have lived in 15 different countries as a family. As the founder of AdventureQuest, Derek leads entrepreneurs and thought leaders in transformative adventure experiences around the world.
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