How do we find peace in this chaotic world? Join your host John Solleder as he talks with Paul Blanchard about assessing how you think so you could create a life you want and deserve. Paul is the President and CEO of Habit Finder. He explains the science behind this tool that is much needed in the industry today. It’s an un-personality test that helps you assess your conscious tendencies and how you think. It also reveals the hidden habits you have to know what area in your life you need to improve. Until you understand what your brain is doing, you may not have the context to seek it out and adjust it. It’s time to experience your life differently! Learn how to assess yourself, how you think, find inner peace and take the journey to discover yourself.
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Habitfinder.com With Paul Blanchard
It’s truly a privilege to introduce a new friend, but somebody whose incredible work and impact I felt personally for many years, and that is our good friend Paul Blanchard who is the President of The Og Mandino Leadership Institute. The book, one of if not the self-development book, The Greatest Salesman in the World, a huge impact on myself, on our industry, and people beyond our industry. Paul, welcome.
Thank you, John. Good to be here. I’m happy to spend some more time with you.
It’s always a privilege. I don’t even know where to start with you because there’s so much we could do about seven interviews, but let’s start at the top. You’ve been running a Leadership Institute there for many years. Let’s talk a little bit about something that you and I, as guys who spent some time in a gym over the years, relate to and it’s something that I always get out of the Habit Finder work that I would love for you to elaborate on and explain to our audience. What gets measured gets improved in life. If you don’t measure it, you don’t know if it’s improving or not, and you don’t know if you’re wasting your time or not. Habit Finder is such a valuable tool in helping people establish that. I would love for you to explain the Habit Finder, explain the science behind it and explain why it’s such a needed tool in our industry and, once again, beyond.
You mentioned our mutual love for powerlifting and being in the gym. One of the most significant symbolic teachers in the rest of my life was what I learned competing in powerlifting. As you said, measurement is critical. You can’t show up to the gym and lift. First of all, you’ve got to be humble enough to know where you’re starting. You’ve got to know what weights you can handle, but not only that, can you handle them well? I’ve shared with people all the time the best lessons I’ve learned from powerlifting is I ask people, “Between squat, bench, and deadlift, which one do you think is the most dangerous?”
If someone’s got a personal story around blowing their shoulder out on a bench press or whether they’re back out on a deadlift or whatever, they’ll usually say that one, but what the answer truly is, is whichever one you think you’re the best at. As soon as you think you’re the best at something, the brain goes into autopilot and goes, “We got this.” It lowers how much energy, attention, and consciousness goes into that because it thinks, “We got this,” but life is never a matter of getting this. We’re always experiencing something different, somewhere different with someone different wanting to be able to understand the calibration of it all.
That’s what we’re constantly doing as lifters. We’re calibrating. We’re learning more about the measurement, the lift, and recovery. That’s another huge thing that lifting taught me. If you’re not good at recovery, you’re not going to be good at getting stronger. Being able to calibrate all of those things is so important. Those and several of the reasons are why we wanted to create and pursue if it was even possible.
Back in 2003, when we found the technology for the mathematics and science, we didn’t even know if it was possible to measure the core of transformation, meaning your brain patterns, because there are conscious and subconscious thoughts. Og Mandino, in The Greatest Salesman in the World, right upfront in Scroll one said that we have this other mind. He wrote that more than half a century ago. Before neuroscience was even a thing, he’s talking about the subconscious mind and then pointed that makes us act in ways we do not comprehend.
He said, “It never sleeps.” It’s not a fair fight if you try and take it on with awareness and intuition. We’ve got to know what’s going on under there. What’s also interesting similar to powerlifting is it’s usually an upstream or a day downstream issue. I’m sure you’ve had you felt that the pains of elbow tendonitis. Just about every single powerlifter ever has. I saw after everything I could to figure out how to address this, but I was trying to address it directly. It’s a pain in the elbow, it must be an elbow issue, so I did reps, cryo chambers, icing, straps, I did all kinds of things. Finally, one day I met this incredible trainer who said, “It’s your wrist mobility.” I say, “What?” He’s like, “It’s almost always something downstream or upstream that creates the pain.”
I started working on that and the elbow pain went away. We want to be able to measure and see because we have such a toolbox, “It must be this mentality,” with our conscious mind. If we can get under the surface and realize that it may be something different or something we’re not aware of, considering we have thousands of more thoughts that we’re not aware of, then the thoughts that we are aware of, and to be able to measure those was critical.
We didn’t think we’d be able to pull it off. We just knew we needed to try. We found the Hartman Institute and Dr. Robert Hartman, who spent his life figuring out how to measure the brain, how to quantify or mathematically value in the world, not morally, not ethically, but mathematically. It wasn’t biased to how you were raised or how I was raised. It was a mathematical value that unlocked the door to being able to find how people’s brains work in less than ten minutes online with no questions.
It’s a strange process. It doesn’t make you do anything strange. You’re ranking lists, but their mathematical equations turned into words that challenge you on what most people have never experienced. In ten minutes, it gives us six quadrillion variables in terms of the way that you think. I can’t go into that and know what you think, John, but I can certainly start asking some questions to find out how you are experiencing your life internally and externally. I can see the patterns your brain is using. The cogs, the gears, the wheels. It’s using to process what you think you are experiencing.Peace is one of the most intrinsically connected desires that we have in life. Click To Tweet
Give me that number again.
6.4 quadrillion variables.
How many zeros are we talking about?
Lots. Someone put it in the chat while I was speaking. The math wiz was like, “That looks like this.” They sent it and I was like, “That’s a lot of zeros.”
It’s funny, Paul. It reminds me of a buddy of mine that came from my judo life. He stayed at my house here a number of years ago. He was a professor here at the University of North Texas. He was going back to New Jersey to teach at a school up there, and he stayed at my house for about two weeks and he was writing a book on circles. He had been in a think tank over Sweden. He’s writing this book and I said, “Bob, why?” He started to explain it to me. It would be like talking to that doctor that created all this abstract thought. It was brilliant. He’d been a student of John Dash at Princeton. Brilliant guy. Anyhow, that reminds me of when I hear those numbers. I was like, “How many numbers is that?”
To that point, when people look at Habit Finder, they see a simple outcome to a very serious question of how they think but backed up. Let’s not lose sight of this with tremendous amounts of analytical scientific brain data by really smart people. Something that for a simple person in network marketing that says, “I want to build a bigger business so I can take better care of my family,” it does all for them. It’s an incredible tool. Thank you and your dad for persevering to bring that to our industry, and people not in our industry certainly use it as well.
That’s my favorite thing because it’s very complex in what it does but very simple in what it requires you to do. It’s like driving your car. The complexity of a combustible engine and how all the pieces and the pistons and everything works is very complex, but all you do is get in and push a button, push another button and then drive. Push the gas, push the brake, and that takes care of everything else. It’s very similar to the Habit Finder when we’re using concrete math and science. It doesn’t have to be complicated for you, which is why one of the most common questions we get ask that you were alluding to is, “How did it get all of that for me just doing that?” That’s one of my favorite things about it.
I’ve taken it and I’m a big fan of it. You go back to William O’Neil. I’m not sure if he’s the founder or not, but certainly a senior-level role with Investor’s Business Daily. He had a very simple statement, “How you think is everything.” You’ve got to know how you think because you have to quantify how you think to know how you think. You can take some direction from the Habit Finder to apply some of what you need to think or adjust in your thinking to get to the next level of where it is you want to be in your life and your career.
That Mad Hatter rabbit hole you took us down. How you think is everything, but how you think you think isn’t necessarily how you think. It’s just how you’re thinking about what you think that you think. It’s what the Rubik’s cube puzzle that Habit Finder solves because there’s what you think you’re thinking, there’s what you think you’re experiencing, then there’s what you’re experiencing. If you’re in a business that involves other people, it’s what they’re thinking and what they think they’re experiencing from your experience that you’re thinking about. The Habit Finder flattens it all out and says, “Here’s what’s going on under the surface. You are all going to be experiencing your life differently, but here’s what’s under the surface processing it. Let’s take a look at whether how that is influencing every facet of your life. Is it supporting you, or is it sabotaging what you want to accomplish?”
Before I forget to ask, tell people how they can get to Habit Finder.
It’s nice and simple. Go to HabitFinder.com. Right now, it’s a free assessment. We have conversations all the time about changing that people, advise us to do that differently, but the work we do is deep, difficult, and incredibly rewarding. We want people to find out whether they’re ready for it first before they invest with us in any other way. Right now, you can take it for free. You can even get 30 minutes with one of my consultants or my Habit Finder specialist because most people look at their results and immediately misinterpret them because they’re used to personality tests. They’re used to a test that tells them about them rather than about how they think. We want to be very intentional and very helpful and thoughtful on how we help people connect those dots.
I’ll say for everybody reading, I was surprised at my results when I did it. There are things that I thought I thought that I don’t necessarily think quite to the degree that I thought it is. There are other things that I didn’t feel as passionate about, that I think I feel more passionate about. Take it. Start there. Let me ask you this, Paul. The Greatest Salesman in the World had such an impact. I read it the first time years ago. As I shared with you when I had another interview we were doing, I reread it when our good mutual friend, Dan McCormick said, “I want you on my show.” I said, “I got to reread the book.”
I’ll never forget this. I read it 11 times in 7 days to the point where you read something in that book and it grabs you consciously. Right now, we’re awake, then all of a sudden you go to sleep and at 2:00 in the morning, it’s like, “I got to go back and we read. I’m not sure exactly what he meant. I think I know what he meant, but let me go back and read it contextually.”
I say this to my morning prayers. I don’t mind sharing it with people. I pray every morning and think other people should too, but that’s their business, of course. To me, I will persist until I succeed. Scroll three. If I can’t remember the rest of the scrolls, but I can remember that every day, and I do, and I say it in my prayers, “I will persist until I succeed,” that’s game-changing. That’s inspirational. How did you get involved with the Mandino family or foundation or become the foundation? How did that all evolve?
My dad lays this out in his book, Today I Begin a New Life, which is the first words of the scrolls and an homage to Og. He picked up the mantle to carry Og Mandino’s legacy into the 21st century, but my dad lost everything in 1989, 1990. He was in commercial real estate and the Tax Reform Act in ’87 caused a landslide of challenges for people in that space. He decided to use something he had started to dabble in before, more intentionally, and that was film. He’s doing infomercials, small films, scriptwriting. He did it all. Script wrote, directed, produced, edited, and it was the opportunity that led to writing a feature film script for one of Og’s books that Betty fell in love with the way my dad wrote, the way he honored the material. A lot of people have come and tried to produce movies, wanted to pitch movie ideas about some of Og’s books, but they want to change it a little bit or make it more edgy or whatever.
Betty, to her everlasting credit, is like, “You’re not going to alter this work. If you want to represent it as it is, please do.” She loved the script that my dad wrote, and then the film rights for The Greatest Salesman in the World, the pinnacle of his work, were being turned back. The foundation that owned them wasn’t renewing them. They were originally owned by Michael Landon from Little House on the Prairie. She offered them to my dad. He was in line in New York City for the Lion King and she called and said, “Are you interested in the film rights to The Greatest Salesman in the World?” Just a rhetorical question, “Yes, of course.” He had the deal done before the show started and called his attorneys, got everything wrote up, and essentially came back and said, “What if we create a whole company out of this?” He’s like, “I used to do coaching and consulting, and I love it.”
“This book changed my life. Let’s build an Og Mandino coaching company to work with companies, entrepreneurs, and individuals that have been so blessed by this material to carry it forward.” We did. We created the Og Mandino Group, which is still the name of our corporation now, The Og Group and that turned into The Og Mandino Leadership Institute. Now, it’s simply Habit Finder, the official Og Mandino company to keep it simple because that’s what we’re focused on. That’s what Og was focused on. It’s your habits and how that gets dictated.
We’ve had several different iterations of the assessment as we’ve honed it and made it better and better and we’ve added to our material as we’ve gone through because of what the assessment has allowed us to discover. When you can work with hundreds of thousands of people as we have with a map of their brain, you can start to see what’s taught out there that doesn’t serve people that think this way. What’s taught out there is phenomenal for people that think this way.
It’s not a matter of going out and reinventing the wheel of personal development and principles. The Coveys, the Napoleon Hill’s, the titans of the industry have done that very well. We want to unleash those principles. There’s no shortage of a-has and conceptual nodding heads in personal development. There’s a massive shortage of integration. Actually integrating, making personal development personal again, and that’s what we’ve strived to do.
Let’s talk a little bit about something that I heard you talk about live once, and I read your notes and listened to another podcast that someone had done with you about the three daily surrenders and life-changing stuff. I’d love you to go through them.
I try to keep things simple because life is not easy. It’s painful, difficult, counterintuitive and hypocritical. It’s forwards and backward, left is right, up is down. For those of you that have been paying attention, as soon as you think you’re the best out of powerlifting, as soon as you think you got it, life comes to remind you that you don’t get it. Keeping simple things. One of the things I found myself coming back to the most were these three things that were small hinges for me that would swing a big gate. If I would be diligent about focusing on these three surrenders, it would make a big difference.Most of us are trying to pursue peace externally, but peace is intrinsic. Click To Tweet
The first one is to surrender control. It’s a great challenge. Over 90% of the people that take the Habit Finder have a measurement called Analytical Obsessive. It means that their brain is constantly obsessively thinking about new and better ways to do things, but it also means their love language is usually some form of control, fixing or solving. It’s very difficult to surrender that, especially if you’ve come from an environment where you had the illusion of control, which is usually compliance. It’s like Corporate America, you have a lot of compliance-driven people.
Gallup expose that several years ago, when they found out that 80% of the people in the workplace are there for the benefits. They’re not there because they love the company or because they love their job. Their primary motivator is, “Because I have benefits. I have health insurance,” which is a vital, important thing but not very inspiring in terms of passion and drive. Control does a major challenge because the great paradox is we don’t have any. We don’t have the control that we think we do.
I love the old saying that the highest form of control is realizing that you have no control so that you can surrender control and adopt something that I think is far more powerful, and that’s influence. If you will surrender control, if you’ll stop trying to get people what you think they want, if you stop allowing the bias and prejudice that we all have in terms of how we see life, we play reality bumper cars with people trying to control their perspective without even realizing that we’re trying to do it. If we can surrender that, we can connect better, we can build trust faster and we can influence. Influence has more of an inevitable impact, not an expected impact. It has a totally different energy.
The second one is to be able to surrender constant or constancy. So many people will have challenges with procrastination and with consistency. It’s often because they’re pursuing a form of consistency that doesn’t exist, and that is believing that being consistent is being constant. It’s not. They’re two different things. To be constant is like going to a symphony or an orchestra and having the wind instruments or the brass instruments take a big old breath and play the same note for as long as they can. That would be constant, but they’re not there to be constant. They’re there to play music.
To be consistent in the rhythm, the staccato, the getting loud, or getting quiet, or the mood, the flow. All the things that come with the beauty that is music, it’s very similar to the music of our lives. We want to find consistency, but we’re not looking for a rigid constancy. That’s the number one cause of procrastination. The number one challenge people run into of trying to do too much that results in them doing too little because they’re trying to be constant, which no human being is. No one is on 24/7, 365.
We’ve measured and know that over 80% on average of people’s time and energy every day is thinking about what they need to get done, not actually getting it done. No wonder it’s so exhausting when we do a couple of things and we did a whole bunch more in our head that we ended up finding very difficult ways to sustain what we’re doing. In surrendering constant, we can then finally find the rhythm of consistency, the rhythm similar to the music that we want to be playing in our lives.
The third one gets talked about a lot, but not as understood as I think that it could be, and that is to surrender comparison. People hear about comparison and go like, “That’s bad. Don’t look at that person’s highlights and compare them to your low lights. Don’t look at one chapter of their life and compare it to your whole book.” That’s all well and good, but until we understand what the brain is doing, we may not have the context to be able to seek it out and adjust it.
What the brain does when it gets into comparison are two things. One, it magnifies the problem. We find something with deficit, something we can’t do or we can’t stop doing, or some way that we look or we don’t look, or where we went to school or didn’t go to school, whatever it is, and we magnify it. Our brain makes it bigger until we are unconsciously convinced that it is the most critical thing in our life. If we cannot solve that problem or substitute something for that or fix that, we’re screwed.
At the same time, your brain is scanning the landscape for someone who is exceptional in that very area to look at like a muse like, “That’s what I want to be,” which is unfair. Now you’ve magnified it and made it feel way worse than it is, and now you’re going to find someone who’s amazing at it to feel even worse that you can’t do it that way. Talk about insult to injury. If we can start to diffuse this and start to understand that we will never get rid of comparison, it’s never going to go away. No one is immune from comparison because it is hardwired into our brain, but it was hardwired into our brain as a tremendous benefit and it’s called reference.
We want to be able to reference. Reference is beautiful. Reference is, “Look, Billy Bob ran over there, fell off that cliff, and died. I’m going to make sure that I don’t go run over and fall off that cliff. They put their hand on the stove and it burned them bad. I’m not going to do that. I don’t want to get burned really bad. So-and-so used this Facebook post and got lots of attention. I’m going to try that.” That’s where reference is good, where it turns into comparison is when identity gets mixed up in it. When it’s, “So-and-so posted on Facebook, but they’re so much more popular than I am. They’re so much more eloquent than I am. They’ve been doing this longer than I have. I’m not worthy,” or whatever.
We may not use this language as obvious, but it’s what it feels like on the inside. We miss the opportunity to see the tactical reference versus the comparative identity crisis that it can create. If we can separate those two, we can still harness the power of reference but surrender comparison so that we can truly serve. A lot of people don’t understand we compare in two directions. We compare up the podium, “I wish I had or I’ll never be able to,” and we compare down the podium, which can sound like, “At least I’m not.” It can even sound more empathetic lie, “My friend has cancer. What do I have to complain about?” That’s comparison.
That is taking away from your unique personal experience, which is exactly what is teaching you to serve and what exactly makes you unique. What makes you such an incredible person to serve others is your unique experience. You’re taking away from your unique experience saying, “Don’t pay attention to what you’re going through because it’s not as bad as what he’s going through or what she’s going through.” That’s comparison.
When we surrender comparison, that is when we can be available to serve. On the deepest level similar to you, I pray every day, I don’t believe that everybody else has to. It’s to their own, but like you, I see a tremendous benefit from that meditative connection to a higher power, however people want to put that. A spiritual mentor of mine once said that we will be in awe of the equality of our testing after this life because there are so many variables. You and I could experience the same thing on paper, but you are going to process it and have different nerves hit, different buttons pushed, and different previous experiences triggered and drawn up than I will. We’re going to experience it differently internally, even though on the outside, you lost a parent, I lost a parent thing, or you lost a pet, I lost a pet or whatever it might be. You want a gold medal and I want a gold medal. We’re both going to experience them differently.
When we can understand that, in my opinion, it’s served, so take it for what it’s worth, that no one will be able to stand before God after this life and say, “My life was harder than hers or my life wasn’t as hard as his.” I believe that to be a false statement. If we can embrace that and let go of the comparison, not that we aren’t aware of people, not that we can’t reference people that are better than us, that we could learn from are people that are not as well off as us. In one particular area, I’ve met plenty of people that are not as well off as I am in certain areas but are way better off than me and other areas. If I’m in comparison, we can’t show up as the unique creatures that we are prepared to serve others based on our experiences if a comparison is robbing us of owning our experiences so that we can embrace our experiences, so that we can use them, so that we can find purpose in them.
You’ve got readers that want to figure out how to challenge their excuses, get rid of their procrastination, find more joy and fulfillment right now rather than waiting for some finish line that doesn’t exist. Find purpose in your painful life experiences, which is impossible to do if you’re in comparison. When you do, you will eliminate those other things, your reasons, your excuses, your procrastination are all at its core, painful life experiences you haven’t given purpose to yet. It’s too easy to go, “I can’t do that because of this and that.” When those are embraced and put into your heart as uniquely preparing you, you’ll go like, “I can’t do that because of, oh, that’s not there anymore because it’s in here ready to serve, ready to be available.” That’s the biggest reason for surrendering comparison, to be totally available to serve.
I spent three days with Rick Warren and an organization that he founded and the whole organization is predicated on what you said. Realize we’re all broken, now what are you going to do about it? Nobody has a perfect life. I don’t care. If we look at the Olympics that passed, then there are some great stories and great successes and great failures for that matter. Whether you’re Allyson Felix, Ryan Crouser, or the young wrestler from Minnesota one, or any of the other athletes. “Great moment.” It doesn’t mean they’re not going to have life challenges, that they already haven’t had life challenges. We look at that in business. Sometimes we think, “That guy’s got a great life.” You don’t know that his kid does has cancer. You don’t know that he’s dealing with an aging parent that’s going through. You can’t walk in their shoes.
What you said there, and the first time I heard you say this, I’m not an emotional guy by nature, but it got me because why do we compare ourselves instead of being the best version of ourselves. I work towards overcoming the habits and hang-ups perhaps that we have in our life to be the best version of us to serve others, our families, and our neighborhood at large. Before I forget, one of my new favorite words is equanimity and you’re the master of explaining it.
Equanimity first shows up in scroll nine, “I will act now,” when Og said that the lion of terror will turn to an active equanimity when we take action. Too many of us are trying to think our way out of a hole rather than do ourselves into solutions. Einstein said it. It’s been paraphrased a lot of different ways, but, “You cannot solve a problem created by the same mind that created the problem.” You’ve got to find different perspectives and change your mind, which is way harder when people realize. One of the things that the Habit Finder can help us do is we can see the patterns and then we can come in and start to disrupt the ones that aren’t serving you to be able to take that through. Equanimity is defined as peace of mind.
Peace is one of the most intrinsically connected desires that we have in life. We want to feel peace, but it is intrinsic, and most of us are trying to pursue peace extrinsically, externally. “I need to be here and I will find peace. I need to have this and I will find peace. I need to accomplish that and I will find peace.” It doesn’t work that way. Anything times zero is zero. If you’re relying on something that cannot create peace to create peace for you, it’s not going to happen. You’ve got to bring a sense of peace, a sense of joy, a sense of fulfillment to life and you can go use external things to get better at it, but it can’t create it for you.
Peace of mind is one of the most powerful things that we can embrace. It’s difficult to trust but to trust, “I’m okay. My bank account may not be okay, my relationship may not be okay, my health may not be okay, but I, the intrinsic I am, who I am, worthy, valuable, priceless, regardless of what I do or say, is okay.” That realization has got to be in place if we’re going to take on the madness that is our lives and the people around us that we want to love and serve and get driven crazy by and everything else. If we can’t start from equanimity, we’re returned to it to go, “I’m okay.”
I had this incredible story shared with me and I have permission to share this. One of our Habit Finder coaches was kayaking on a lake and his two seven-year-old twin girls were on a jet ski with his niece and the jet ski stalled. He’s kayaking, he’s on the other side of the lake and they’re trying to get it started. On the third time to try and get it started, it exploded. Imagine this father. You’re sitting there and you are on the lake and you hear one of the biggest booms you’ve ever heard in your life. You whip your head around to see a fireball and your seven-year-old girls flying through the air. At that moment, this gives me the chills every time I’ve shared it, he simply goes, “I’m here. This is happening. Let’s go.” He paddles, calls 911, gets there, do all the things totally present, equanimity.How you think is everything, but how you think you think isn't necessarily how you think. Click To Tweet
Can you imagine the gall to suggest equanimity and a moment that yet realizing we are okay? Peace will satisfy greater performance than any grit, grind, or drive in the world. If you are at peace, you are available. You can deploy aggression, defense, or all kinds of things far better than ever before. The messy mind gives a messy performance. A peaceful mind is a performance. A fun book called The Rise of Superman, it’s all about extreme sports athletes. They were shocked to find out what wasn’t happening in the brain when these athletes were in the zone. How chill it was in their mind. It wasn’t like they were performing at crazy speeds. No, the mind was chill.
It was almost like what was happening wasn’t happening. It was equanimity. If you’ve got anyone reading that wants to increase their performance, stamina, great, drive, great. All of those things, not bad, but all of them fail in comparison to finding peace and presence. To understand the difference between what is happening to me and who I am, to understand the difference between my value and my performance. If my value is intact and I’m not relying on my performance to feed that, I’m invincible and inevitable. That’s a cool way to live.
It’s something I’ve done now 35, 40 interviews. When you see me writing, it’s not to ask the next question. I got those ready. It’s that, I’ve got my hall of fame here on the bottom of stuff on my computer. Ben Gay III, who’s been in network marketing forever and written numerous marketing genius, worked for Dr. Hill in the last two years of Dr. Hill’s life. He worked with him as an advisor. He was with a company that hired him as a mentor, Napoleon Hill. I said, “What three things did Dr. Hill teach you?” He said, “Integrity in all things in life, not when the camera’s on, but when the camera’s off. Focus at the moment, what is it you’re focused on, and taking action.” I’ve got on here, as a testament to the things I’m learning from you, control, constancy, comparison, equanimity.
That’s how powerful these words are to say the least. I remember years ago, the first book I ever read on self-development. I was in the hospital at seventeen. I had spinal surgery and my father gave me Norman Vincent Peale’s book, The Power of Positive Thinking. I learned the word tranquility there, a similar word, and these words have such tremendous power. Let me ask you something. You’ve worked with two great men in your career. Tell me a little bit about your dad, Dave.
My dad, it’s clichéd, but he’s a hero of mine. I have a father who has never worked for somebody else in his professional career who wanted to go out and create, wanted to push limits and try different things, and had this innate ability to be able to see into people’s souls to be able to connect. If he were on here, he would tell you my mission in life is to heal torn bodies and torn minds. I’ve watched him do that relentlessly. It’s incredible the sustaining power that we have when we genuinely and authentically care about people and love them. He certainly hasn’t been perfect. I get asked all, “What was it to be Dave Blanchard’s son?” I was like, “Honestly, I was a rebellious teenager, so it was super annoying to be raised by one of the most intuitive people on the planet.”
You’d come home and the rules were, you come in and you kiss mom and dad goodnight every night no matter what time you get home. You didn’t even have to walk up. He could sense bad decisions. It was like, “Anything you need to talk about?” You’re like, “Crap, he knows.” There was never any shame or any guilt around it, just a safe place to be able to share that, “I want what’s best for you, but I also understand this is your life.” He taught me delaying gratification. He said, “You can have a little candy bar now, or you can keep working and get a bigger candy bar later.” I’ll never forget that, and then the famous, “I would rather have you hate me now and love me later than love me now and hate me later,” which I get any of those could be used the other direction destructively.
My father has been through a lot of lifetimes in this life. Pain, pleasure, opportunity, challenge, everything, but I would be doing you a massive disservice to talk about how incredible he is without talking about the reason why, and that’s my mom. Whoever was checking God’s inventory for angels messed up and she slipped out and got to earth because she is as sweet and pure and fun. She’s not a doormat. She’s everything. She’s like that all the time. Her patience is unparalleled. She loves being a mom, but she also loves challenging herself in other things. Loves taking care of the home, but loves to have a professional aptitude. She’s unbelievable and she was perfectly tailor-built to be the support system, the love, and the healing that my dad needed to be able to serve the world the way that he has.
When we started this company in 2000, we hired a bunch of consultants and experts to build the material for us. We were collaborating with people that knew Og and were so excited about having an Og Mandino company. They were like, “I want to be in on that. I knew Og. This is going to be amazing.” Three years in, we sold a whopping $56,000 worth of programs and you can’t sustain a business like that. My father, being a very spiritual man, went to God and said, “Why isn’t this working?” Essentially, he was told, “Because I prepared you to write this stuff. I prepared you to do this.” He said, “Why?” He said, “Because you listen.”
I’ve watched my dad outwork people. Famously, when he was in film back when you used to go into an editing bay rather than a MacBook to get these incredible edits done, all the footage and reeling everything together, he would go through three editors doing full shifts. He would then go take a power nap, get his Dr Pepper and come back and do it again. It was unbelievable. He’s always had a singular focus on the authenticity, the drive, the passion of it, and I got to see that.
The most important thing he taught me was how much he loved my mom and never had to wonder who his priority was in his life for his patients, his tenderness, his love, his appreciation, his gratitude, it was always for my mom. In the biggest regard, it’s one of the reasons he’s my hero and being able to work with him now directly. I’ve worked for him before but I wasn’t going to do that again. That’s not on him necessarily. That’s just in terms how we would butt heads. When he offered me an opportunity to work with him, and I literally said we’re going to have our attorneys clearly define what that means, it’s been incredible.
It’s been amazing to get to work with someone who has impacted as many lives as quietly as my dad has. Every once in a while, they’ll be like, “Are you that Blanchard?” “No, I’m not the one-minute millionaire or whatever. Not Ken. It’s Dave.” My dad doesn’t have any guru energy. He quietly and efficiently has served hundreds of thousands of people for many years and still challenges himself every day like he’s a brand new client himself. That’s awesome.
Let me ask you about the other great business influence in your life, Mr. Jack Welch, it’s because you spent a number of years with him. Talk about the greatest of all time. The GOAT CEO to me is Mr. Welch. There are some other guys who certainly are great, but when I think of a CEO from my limited knowledge of how many CEOs are in the world, Jack Welch is always the guy I think of. People our age group and a little bit younger, I think he’s the guy we think of. Tell me some of your experiences working with Jack.
First of all, I went into it blind. I didn’t know who Jack was. People would look at me like, “How on earth?” First of all, it wasn’t my generation. Second of all, I was all into the entrepreneurial personal development world and Jack was a corporate titan and an amazing one at that, but I’m glad that’s how it worked out. I got a text message that said, “We’re flying out to DC. You’re on a shortlist of people that are being considered to be the director of the newly acquired Jack Welch Management Institute.” I was like, “That’s awesome. I don’t know who Jack is, but let’s do it.” It sounds super cool. I love management leadership, all that stuff.
I grabbed Winning, his New York Times bestseller and read it on the airplane on my way over and was like, “This guy’s good. He knows what he’s talking about.” I still didn’t have a total grasp of who Jack Welch was, but I’m glad because there are some interesting media about him out there. There are some people that, as with anyone who has created at least perceived power and influence, there’s always people attacking, always people trying to tear apart, and he was as human as any of us. It’s just most of us don’t have as public of life as he does.
The amount of genuine caring that he has. He has some interesting ways of showing it sometimes, yet he wants to win, but he also knows what winning does for you, what it does for your spouse and for your family. It was always within the context of what’s in it for the people that are relying on me to win. What’s in it for them. That was amazing to watch someone that had a $750 million retirement package that included a private jet and box seats at the Red Sox games.
Honestly, it would pale in comparison to what he accomplished. That was a drop in the bucket for what he created at GE, going from $14 billion market cap to over $400 billion. This was before the day of billion-dollar companies popping up all the time. There weren’t very many back then, a handful at the most. I remember reading articles from his former C-Suite executives and VPs, which at one time over half of the CEOs of the 50 biggest companies in the world were pupils of Jack. They worked with him and I hesitate to say, under him.
One of the articles I read said, “Jack didn’t manage 21 different companies. He worked with 250,000 individuals.” He knew who people were. He was famous for creating these workout sessions, which were notoriously heated. The conversations were about what was best for the company, but he made sure that the janitor and someone working on the frontline all the way up to the executive were all in the same room and all had a voice. Seniority or status, if that card was played, he would burn it. It’s a matter of everybody has a thought and everybody has a voice. Not that we have to go with all of them, but everybody gets heard. That was awesome.
As someone who worked and communicated with him daily, I felt heard and I felt like I mattered to Jack, which was awesome. His company has funded and acquired Domino’s, Hertz, and all kinds of other companies that they were rebuilding and taking through the stratosphere of his methodology and everything. Yet, this could have been seen as this pet project executive MBA he was working on, but it was going to be his legacy. I remember going to dinner with him once and we were chatting. I was like, “What are you up to outside of work?” I told him about this race I was going to run, this mountain race, this trail run, 19 miles, 5,400 feet elevation changes and he was genuinely interested.
Six months later, we were in another city having a meal together, and out of the blue, he goes, “Paul, how’d that race go?” I was like, “What?” It wasn’t a parlor trick. It was this tremendous capacity that he genuinely cares about the people that want to do the work, that wants to win, and want to honor themselves. Sometimes, he’s going to say the hard things. I’m not going to say it was easy to work for the man. It was not easy, but you will not find anyone that worked with or for Jack that was going to tell you it wasn’t worth it.
Paul, we have to do this again. Amazing stuff. I know there are a million more Jack stories when you get into and dad’s stories and other stories, but I want to thank you so much for your time. Paul, I’m going to give you the last word to sign us out.
I appreciate the opportunity to be here. The attention and what we do are super important. The only thing that comes to mind as we finish here is to go back to your life with compassion, patience, and curiosity. Don’t try and play on one side of the fence to the other. Calibrate through it all and do it with that compassion, patience, and that curiosity to not try and be superhuman, but to be super human. Your humanity is what makes you great. The less you try to fight it, the more you’ll be able to create the life that you want. Thanks for your time, John.
Thank you, Paul. God bless you.
- The Og Mandino Leadership Institute
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About Paul Blanchard
I’m not sure I can keep going at this pace.
I’m burned out.
I want more.
These are the most common things I hear when people reach out to me.
They are already creators, successful entrepreneurs, and impactful leaders. However, too many have run out of hustle, hit a perceived pique in their performance, or can’t duplicate their superhuman grit to build sustainable and scalable businesses.
They come to me to find their missing piece. Spoiler: I don’t have it.
I am a “Pattern Disruptor.” What does that even mean? It means that by age 6 our brains are 95% developed and the greatest skill we can develop after that is UN-learning! The goal isn’t to get people to think what I think. It’s to shift what and how they think. After all, our habits of thinking impact every facet of business and life; the decisions people make, emotions they are dealing with, actions they take, and ultimately the results they create. You want to change your results? First step is shifting the way you think.
I can’t take all the credit. I have a secret weapon.
I utilize proprietary technology, honed by hundreds of thousands of users, called the Habit Finder. The data it provides in 10 minutes or less allows us to go below the surface of personality, attitude, aptitude, and tendencies to scientifically measure your hidden habits of thinking. This tool eliminates months or even years of guesswork and surgically targets the areas that will make the greatest impact.
Not only has pattern disruption assisted clients to achieve the highest ranks in their companies and multiply their income many times over while working together, it has also made a massive difference in all areas of their lives. It is impossible to improve your habits of thinking without improving all areas of your business, relationships and life.
Your systems, strategies, and opportunities are all subject to the ability of your brain. Let’s get to work on the source!