Adam Markel shares the wisdom from his best selling book, “Pivot” about how leaders make the pivot to success.
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Adam Markel is a transformational teacher who inspires, empowers and guides people to live authentically, purposefully and powerfully from their hearts. He’s trained thousands of people from Singapore, Europe, Canada, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia and all across the United States. Adam uniquely bridges the worlds of business, psychology and spirituality, to facilitate MASSIVE and LASTING personal and professional transformation.
In this ground-breaking book on personal and professional reinvention, Adam reveals his top strategies and tools to creating a new path towards your ultimate happiness and fulfillment. Adam shares life-changing exercises and declarations, so you can start taking action, release negative patterns and replace them with powerful intentions and rituals that will produce MASSIVE TRANSFORMATION in your life overtime.
This interview is about giving leaders tools for making a successful pivot.
Here’s the Transcript:
Hugh Ballou: Greetings, this is Hugh Ballou. My guest on this session is Adam Markel, an amazing guy. I have seen Adam over the years, and we have had some conversations about things. Last time we met, we had some real resonance in transformational leadership and the programs he’s got that are really helpful. I love watching Adam’s keynotes. I love listening to his podcast. So I said, “Adam, why don’t we share some of these things with my audience who are orchestrating success and converting passion to profit?” Adam, welcome to this podcast.
Adam: Hugh, thank you so much for inviting me. I couldn’t think of any place I’d rather be right at this moment.
Hugh: Great. I am in the mountains of southwest Virginia, and you are way down in San Diego, where it’s always disgustingly nice.
Adam: Disgustingly nice is the way I would put it.
Hugh: There are maybe a couple of people in this audience who don’t know Adam Markel. I like to start out by asking people to share a little bit about yourself. What is the background? You have written a book, you do programs, you give keynotes on this thing you are calling pivot, which I think is a profound paradigm. What is your journey here, and what is pivot all about?
Adam: Hugh, thank you for asking me that. First and foremost, what I want people to know about me is I am a daddy. I have four healthy kids, the most incredible beings, and I feel so blessed that we were able to have four kids who are great contributors in the world today. My wife and I got married 28 years ago in two weeks’ time. I feel very blessed to be a daddy and husband for that length of time.
I have also been an entrepreneur since I was 15 years old. I started off selling baseball cards. I was a teacher. Just before the interview, you and I were reminiscing about our teaching careers. I spent two years teaching junior high school English, way back when. I had a short stint in publishing. I was a lifeguard. I learned a lot of great lessons from all those things: teaching, my little bit of space and time in the publishing field, and then being in service as a lifeguard and swimming instructor taught me a lot about life, including some things I have written about in the book I wrote many years later. I spent 18 years as a practicing full-time attorney. I am a recovering lawyer.
Hugh: Oh my.
Adam: I had a lot of hair before I started practicing law. You’re listening to a guy who has no hair. I am totally bald. By choice is what all bald guys say. I lost my hair primarily because I spent so many years doing work that I totally despised. I went into the practice of law because I wanted to provide a better life financially for my family. My wife Randi and I met in college. We got married a couple years later, and we had kids. I realized pretty quickly that kids are expensive. I wanted to provide a good life, have a house. I grew up and didn’t have very much financially. I shared the room a size of a closet with my brother in an apartment. I vowed that things would be different when I became a dad myself. I wanted them to have a house. I wanted them to have an in-ground pool and a vacation home and those things. So I worked my tail off. First it was 40 hours a week, then it was 50, then it was 60. At a certain point, 10 years into the practice of law, I was routinely working 70-80 hours a week. It is a disturbing tidbit of my experience back then, but I used to sometimes sleep in the office. I didn’t get the work done. I had a big case or something to catch up on, so I would sleep in the office on occasion. I think there should be an online support group for people who do that kind of thing because it is a little disturbing. I guess you could say I was a workaholic.
It wouldn’t have been so bad to be a workaholic, except for the fact that I did not gain a lot of fulfillment from my work. It was not purpose-driven work. I was doing it for the money. That is my dirty secret. I used to say that was my dirty little secret, but it’s not a little secret at all. I think the statistics, many of the surveys have found that more than 60% of people are working these days in a job that they do not love. When asked, they hate their job and are looking for a change in job or a change in career. That was no different for me. I got to a certain point when I was waking up in the morning and feeling pretty rough to start the day. What do I mean by rough? I mean anxiety to begin the day. I put my feet on the floor, and my first thoughts as I would greet the new day in the dark—it was early in the morning, my wife was sleeping, my kids were sleeping—and I would feel dread, angst, anxiety, and even anger about what it was that I was doing today, which was trade my time and my life energy- The only true resource or asset that any of us have is our time. I would give my time away for money, doing something that I didn’t love or believe in because I was a litigation attorney, which meant that I would represent people in litigation, in lawsuits, either between individuals or between corporations. A lot of the time, what I was seeing and experiencing were people at their worst. I needed to pivot. I needed to change. That is the term I use for change is pivot.
How is it that you can elegantly, gracefully, artfully make changes in your life, embrace change, embody change even, versus being in fear of it? I think a lot of people stuck in a job or in a life they do not love, the reason that they stay in it and continue down that path even if they know it is eroding their soul or eroding their heart, which is how I felt, is because they are fearful. I had fear. I had a great deal of fear. Ultimately, my path led me to make some changes, and that is what the book is about. That is what I am able to teach people all over the world.
People who are not familiar with me, I wrote this book Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life. It’s been a bestseller all over. It’s been very well-received, which was a blessing. I have also run one of the world’s largest personal development companies, and I ran that company for more than six years. As a result of those things, I have gotten to travel and speak on stages to vast numbers of people from divergent cultures, political persuasions, ethnicities. What I find is that we are all commonly looking for similar things. That is what I love to speak about and teach about, and why I believe I am a guest on your show today, which is exciting.
Hugh: I have been present when you have been a presenter. I notice people want time with you. You give them your undivided attention. That is an incredible thing. Instead of just blowing people off, you value people and you value what they’re doing. When you are presenting, you are very present. You do tell lots of personal stories, which I think is a great transparency on your part. You talk about things that didn’t go well, and you reveal what you have learned there. I guess it’s important to your story to have that side because it’s a story of pivot for yourself. What I have experienced is there is authenticity in your story. It’s a real story, and it’s a pivot you personally have done. When I hear you, there is a reason for me to pay attention because there is not only that transparency and authenticity of who you are, but there is also integrity in that process. When I have observed you, not just when you and I have been talking, but in presenting and doing your thing, so to speak, but also the follow-up of talking to people, I am quite impressed with how sincerely interested in people you are and how your listening is really in-depth, active listening. I am real honored to have you here because there is lots of value you bring.
You and I have had numerous careers. Teaching middle school and junior high was part of our learning experience and our gift to society. We have done other things, which now equips us in a very unique way to do what we are doing right now.
Pivot is a really good word. I am here, and I need to go here. Why is that pivot essential to success?
Adam: I think personally it is one of these skills that is a life skill that would be great if we learned it when we were very young, even kindergarten age. How do we manage change? If you swap the word pivot, which is a fairly—and I didn’t invent the word so I can say this with humility—sophisticated word. In many ways, the context for the word is about companies changing direction. When I first heard the word, it was really applied to Silicon Valley, start-up languaging around when a model isn’t working. I’ll give you an example: YouTube. Many people don’t know or aren’t aware that YouTube started out as a video dating site. That was the initial concept.
Adam: Think about that. You could find few companies more successful than YouTube. Arguably, nobody in that space yet, even though Facebook is certainly vying to be, among the other accolades you could say about them, they want to be the next YouTube and then some, but YouTube is the A player in this space. They began with a model that wasn’t going to work. They realized at a certain point it wasn’t going to work. So what did they do? I am obviously oversimplifying, but they dropped the dating piece and kept the video piece. They pivoted in other words.
A part of it is a lot of people don’t understand what the process is of changing direction in life. To me, if you could learn that in grade school, in elementary, in middle, in high school, in college, in grad school, it would serve you so well because all throughout your life you are going to meet changes. It could be that you are not happy with your job or career, or the job or career has changed since the time you got involved with it. Look, I didn’t hate being a lawyer when I began. In the first five years, I was pretty much excited by it. It was an interesting challenge, and I was on my growth edge. At a certain point, what I realized was this was not my legacy. This is not the work I want to be known for when I come to the end of my days. Looking at the people around me who had been in the profession for a long period of time, I said to myself, “That’s not where I want to end up.” It was the same when I was a middle school teacher. I looked at the people who were in the teachers’ lounge, which ironically were some of the people who had taught me because I ended up teaching for a short while at a school I had attended as a student many years earlier. Incredible, right? I thought, Jeez, that is not the model for where I want to be either.
I’d been looking always at where the road ahead leads. What I was missing was a process for being able to make change happen. There are two types of change. I will break off for a second to say this. We will change because we are forced to change, or we internally know it is in our best interest to change. One is a change by design. Another is a change by default.
By default could mean that you go to a doctor and you get a diagnosis. They tell you that if you don’t stop eating foods with sugar, you will die. Or that you get a diagnosis and you have some disease inside you and you have to do something to eradicate that, whether it’s prescribed medicine or they tell you, not so frequently but more importantly, to change your lifestyle: to change your eating habits, to exercise, things like that. That is by default. It could be that your relationships could be in crisis, like somebody leaves you because they choose to leave or because they pass away or something. It could be that your business goes bankrupt, or the market changes so the business that was once thriving is now struggling. Those are more default pivots, where you have to make a change because some mackerel event is forcing you to do it.
A pivot by design is more like where Henry David Thoreau said that “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” The reason why people live lives of quiet desperation everywhere is because people tolerate mediocrity everywhere, starting inside of themselves. For me, when I woke up morning after morning, putting my feet on the floor, feeling dread every day, walking into the bathroom and looking into the mirror and seeing my hairline disappear, feeling like I didn’t even know the person staring back at me, that literally felt as though my soul, my heart, was shriveling up on the inside. Coming home late one night, missing my kids go to bed for the umpteenth time and walking in the door and having my wife say to me, “How was your day?” and my response to her being, “If I continue to do what I’m doing, you’re going to be a widow.” I knew right then that I had to change something. That process of designing the next phase or stage of your personal or professional life is really what we’re talking about. That process of change management and change utilization.
Hugh: I guess it begins with an awareness of that there is something that needs to change, would you say?
Adam: For sure.
Hugh: I’m sure you have met people who are stuck in the rut, the old pattern, that need a pivot. There is no self-awareness, so they are continuing to make something work. It was Einstein who says, “One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results.”
Adam: Exactly. The thing is, you can get either the feather, the gentle feather, it’s like something that is whispering you, gently touching you every day. There is a change necessary. Something must change. I am not in joy. I don’t love my life. I am anxious. I have trouble sleeping. I have the symptoms of what I call divine discontent. If you don’t pay attention to the feather, you ignore those signs and symptoms, at some point the universe will send you a brick to get your attention.
Hugh: As James Allen says in his little book As a Man Thinketh, I will paraphrase, if people want to change their circumstances, yet are unwilling to change themselves, they therefore remain bound. There is an awareness and a willingness. People can read your book and say that’s not for me, and they aren’t people you can help. But if they say they are sick and tired of this… Let’s go back to something you slipped in there.
Adam: By the way, that’s the lawyer in me. I am always just slipping things in there.
Hugh: I’m listening. I’m a musician. I have these ears here. You say, “People tolerate mediocrity everywhere,” and that is so true. It’s very well put. You also talked about the forced pivot—you didn’t say it exactly like this—but we can choose to pivot or circumstances force us. And that happens on a corporate level.
At one point in my life, I was a merchant. I bought a little camera store near the beach in Florida that was doing $12,000 a year. In the next ten years, I took it to $1.5 million. That is a lot when you talk about $20 cameras and $5 rolls of film and five-cent postcards. But I started selling into the commercial market with professional photographers and people in other walks of life. It was me looking for where the need is and growing it. I had five distinctly different Kodak dealerships. At that time, Kodak dominated the imaging market worldwide. They didn’t pay attention to the digital revolution. They didn’t pay attention to Fuji Film when they came into the American market. They just said, “No, we’re Kodak.” There was this lack of awareness, and years later, they are filing for bankruptcy because they can’t keep the doors open.
There is this corporate attitude, a denial piece, but I have also seen very successful people who stay in denial and ride that ship to the bottom of the ocean because they aren’t willing to make the pivot. Go back to this forced pivot and a chosen pivot. How do we as leaders equip ourselves to be on the cutting edge of awareness here?
Adam: That is such a brilliant question, Hugh. It’s really about innovation. When I think about pivoting, it’s a word that you can replace with change. Things that don’t change die. I want to repeat that. Things that do not evolve perish. That is the natural order of the universe. We are either growing or dying. Take a look at Polaroid. You say Kodak, I say Polaroid. I lost some money on Polaroid stock for the same reason, going back many years ago.
I recently had done some research on the topic you are bringing up, which is how companies adapt and evolve and change, in other words pivot, so they can maintain their relevance in the future. I came across this statistic, which is pretty cool. In 1955, the Fortune 500 list was created. I’ll joke and say, “How many companies do you think were on that list?” People are looking around. “It’s not a trick question. There were 500 companies in the Fortune 500. How many do you think there are today?” I make another joke and say, “There are still 500 companies in the Fortune 500 list today, except they are not the same 500 companies. 88% of the companies in 1955 don’t exist anymore. That is not to say the products and the industries don’t exist, but the companies that would have been thought to be the most successful and the most likely to be long-standing, have longevity, of those companies, 88% of them did not evolve, did not change, did not pivot, and therefore, no longer exist. They perished.”
To answer your question, it is fundamentally a core competency for a company to be able to utilize change, not just to manage change. When I think about managing, in management and consulting terms, when you are doing organizational work, people think about change management. Even though that is necessary, the problem is that it’s sort of after the fact. You’re managing change that has already occurred. That means you are dealing with what’s on your plate, versus where I think Apple or the companies that will be around- If you could pick a company that you would expect to be around for 100 years, it’s a company, not one that manages change but actually is utilizing change. It’s seeking to see where the market is going. Where is it headed? Where will we be?
The question I will ask people, and this is a question that is very relevant for your audience here and for people who are involved in more formal corporate structures, is: What is the business you are in today? Answer that question. Hopefully people don’t have too much difficulty answering that question. Then the question becomes: What is the business you are going to be in in five years? That is where you get the blank stares and the pregnant pause in the room because that is a difficult question to answer. I get some people who will be very honest and say they don’t have an answer to that, which is wonderful. I will come back in just a second to why that is wonderful. Then I will get people who’ll say, “I’ll be in the same business I’m in because we are equipped to be here in five years.” They think it’s going to be almost like a test of will, that they will be around. The truth of the matter is you don’t know whether you will be around in five years if you are working the same model you are currently working today.
The one thing that we know that is more prevalent today than ever before is the rate of disruption. The rate of change in the marketplace is so great. The speed at which disruption and change is occurring is so much greater. It gets exponentially greater every day is my theory, which means you have to become a master at pivoting. You have to become a master at looking at the field ahead and being able to anticipate and utilize what you’re anticipating to be things that will happen in the future.
What most people do is play it safe. They will play for the status quo, and that is why mediocrity is so prevalent. In essence, mediocrity is born out of the desire to be safe, the desire not to make mistakes. If you are playing the game of business in particular to make the fewest mistakes, to me, you will be one of those dinosaurs, who will be around as long as grace will allow you to be. Planning for a longer, more profitable future will not have to do with playing it safe or making mistakes. In fact, it will have to do with making mistakes with greater frequency. Not making the same mistakes over and over again hopefully, but making new mistakes so you can learn what you need to learn from testing things and then making changes, adapting and utilizing that change to be able to move forward.
Hugh: I have reframed mistakes into learning opportunities because I have made plenty of them. I have done everything. Therefore, I have been able to create a curriculum out of what went wrong, not only in the lives of people that I work with, but also in my own life.
I was thinking of some synergies in Ken Courtright’s interview, and some of the same messages that he is sending are exactly what you are talking about, and it’s a crisis. It’s a crisis. We are asleep to some of these signals that come our way. It’s a leader’s duty and delight to stay on top of what’s going on. As a matter of fact, followers live in the past, and leaders live in the future. We are looking at what should be happening. We see the future, and we influence people to move there. It’s a different paradigm shift.
This whole awareness piece, the statistics you quoted are alarming. The only thing that doesn’t change is change itself. It’s rapid. It’s so rapid that it’s hard for us to get our head around it. Leaders live out on that front edge. We do influence cultures, companies, customers, donors. We influence other people. That is my place for leadership. It’s a position of influence, which means we must equip ourselves. We spoke a little about the paradigm of showing up in a middle school classroom. You asked me what I learned there, and I gave you some lessons. I learned that if I’m anxious, it’s contagious. You spoke about paying attention and watching what’s going on, but if I was not aware of what was going on in the room, then I would be lost. So staying focused and engaged and present. I had to pivot many times because a lesson plan I had written wasn’t going to work that day because the moon was in a different place when I wrote it and these kids weren’t playing. I knew where I was going, so I had to pivot my approach. As I am listening to you, there is a profound awareness that people must have.
I am looking at your bookcase behind you. That red book behind you, is that Pivot? Can they go to adammarkel.com and find it?
Adam: They can, but they will get it faster, easier, and cheaper on Amazon. They will find a chapter in the book in audio form, so if they just wanted to check a snippet out on audio, they can do that. They can also find a podcast there as well. We do some pretty exciting interviews of people who have pivoted. That is the most remarkable thing to me.
You just described an instance of a pivot. In a hostile audience, in a hostile territory, with 30+ 12 or 13-year-olds in your presence, you needed to change your lesson plan. Truthfully, it put you on your growth edge. In that moment, you could shrink and stick to the old lesson plan and push it by them and deal with the fact that it was no longer relevant information or inaccurate at the moment, or you could make a change on the fly. That is a skill that is—and this is a part I really want people to hear—it’s not necessarily something we have learned. My belief is that we have ben taught not to think that way. You are nodding your head up and down so I assume you agree with that, right?
Adam: We have been taught from the moment we were very young that we have to play things as straight as possible, make as few mistakes as possible, stick to the plan as often as possible. It’s a road that leads often to a place of frustration and even personal despair. I was unhappy and unfulfilled, and I was no longer willing to tolerate it. The question for me was: How long are you willing to tolerate things not really being the way you want them to be? If you are willing to answer that question honestly and say, “Yes, I’m willing to do something about it,” then what you are needing are skills and tools you didn’t have from your parents, didn’t learn in school. It’s not been taught.
That was the reason why I wrote the book. I was inspired to provide this information to my kids. We wanted them to be equipped to do something that isn’t all that common. Pivoting is a process; it’s not a plan. People that want a plan are seeking that shiny penny I can chase, that strategy, that plan for my marketing, the plan of how to grow or scale a business. That ‘s great. You should get your plan in place. To me, it has to come after a process that enables you to discover how to change not once but continually and not when you get the brick in the head, but as you are guided to change through a softer, easier, more graceful process.
Hugh: Absolutely. It means being anchored. That is a wealth of information. As you are speaking about what we have inherited, that really is a benefit. However, we don’t load it in like a hard drive. We don’t load the software in and go on automatic pilot. The software is there to help us make better decisions, so getting a feel from who we are from the family of origin and then pivoting to how we can be the person that we were created to be. It’s about managing self and learning how to differentiate ourselves. The studies and the whole methodology created by Murray Bowen is based on managing self and knowing self from your family of origin. I think there are a lot of things implanted that we are blind to in ourselves that need to pivot.
Being aware of self, I’d like to know how you do this. What I am hearing you say is that your book provides tools and thinking and systems and processes because it doesn’t happen overnight for us to move where we want to be. It’s a process. Wouldn’t you agree?
Adam: It does. Because you asked me to take it down, I am showing you. The book is divided up into two parts. The first part is about developing clarity. Clarity is why you think the way you think and why you believe what you believe at the core. There are six steps to that. The second part is what it takes to get into momentum. Once you decide there is a pivot that is going to be required in your life—it could be in a business context, a job or career context, or a personal context—once you have gained the clarity that a pivot is coming, and for most people, that pivot has shown signs already. I get two kinds of people who will read the book and become students of ours because we will deliver a program called the Pivot Launch Formula where we help people through an online process to get themselves into their pivot. The first part is they either have been called to a pivot because something isn’t working, or it’s the second part that you said earlier: they haven’t been paying attention or have ignored things, and now they are forced to pivot because they got a diagnosis or a job or business ahs gone bust, etc.
The first piece is to become aware of the beliefs that have supported the things you have done already and why things have happened, and the second part is what you must do to change your behaviors so that you can get into momentum, so you can make a change, pivot, and keep the momentum toward a new destination. It’s that process. Again, twelve steps to the whole thing. It’s that process that helps people to move and not to stay stuck.
I’d like to say that it was a quick, easy thing, or that you can do it in a day. You can make a powerful decision quickly, I believe. In fact, I know it to be true for myself. But to make sustainable, lasting, meaningful, positive change in your life is a process. It takes time. You pointed it out. Much of that process is an exploration of yourself, which is why when we are talking about finding clarity, you have to look at what you see your life being at the end of your life. What is the purpose of your being? If you can’t answer that question with clarity, if you don’t know why it is you were born and what your work here is on this earth to do—I am not saying your work doesn’t change because it does. There are things that change as you grow older, as you gain wisdom. You are called to new things. But if you are not answering those calls, if you are not asking to be guided to the call, how on earth do you expect it to be right at the end?
I will sometimes ask people: I get that you want to maintain a certain level of safety, so you stay in a job because it’s guaranteeing a certain income and there is a retirement offer in the future. That is a safe approach. But if you get to the end of your days and you got there safely, you safely got dead, is that the goal you are looking for? Most people, when they are being honest about it, say, “No, that is not my goal. I am not looking to get to the end of my days safely. I am looking to get to the end of my days knowing that I spent myself properly in a worthy way. I was in my right livelihood. I loved my life.”
I wake up every morning now—I have been in business for myself for a lot of years. I pivoted out of the law almost ten years ago. I have challenges. We all do. Yet I wake up every single morning, and I put my feet on the floor, and what I feel about the day is love, love for my life, love for the blessing and gift of that day. I don’t take those things for granted anymore. That is a pivot of a kind that you cannot quantify in money. I can’t quantify it, other than to say that it’s changed everything. Financially. It’s changed everything in my relationships. It’s changed everything in my health for the better. It’s what you said. It’s the work you do on the outside. It’s that inner work that produces things in the outer space. If you ask me what the most fundamental pivot is, it’s the pivot of how you think and how you manage your thoughts and your feelings. That is the ultimate pivot.
Hugh: That is so true. When you are not doing podcast interviews and speaking on stage, what does Adam Markel do in real life?
Adam: I spend time with my family. You said a lot there. Our oldest daughter is involved in my business, as is my wife, and we have a team of people who I absolutely adore being around. We love to travel and vacation. I surf and swim. I know it’s going to sound a little strange perhaps, but I try to spend time loving and accepting myself.
Hugh: Oh no, that’s key. Everything else. I thought you were using the word “hokey” there for a minute. The first time you and I met, you used hokey, and I said, “I’m from Blacksburg, Virginia.” There is a hokey meaning here. I’m not one of them, but that word is tossed around with a different meaning.
We have learned about who the Adam Markel is. That’s you. That’s your life. You live it to abundance. Let’s celebrate that.
You have people working in the business. What is your business?
Adam: We have a transformational training company, which means we assist people wherever they are in their personal or business life. We mentor and coach them through their pivots. We have an online course and training, and we have live master classes to help people engage this process. What is the change that is showing up in their life at that moment? Most of the time, it’s a business change. It’s a change in their job, career, or entrepreneurial pursuits. But when we dive into that well, a lot of times the business or the job isn’t going well is that there is deep personal work they have not yet explored within themselves.
What’s beautiful is that I have had this blessing of being in the training space for almost ten years. I have traveled around the world and trained thousands upon thousands of people in different countries and languages, communist countries and countries all over, as well as in North America. What I have gained from that experience is that people are people. How we are made up is the same. What we want out of life is identical, whether I am in Vietnam or Australia or Minnesota. It really doesn’t mater. At that root level, because of my experience, I am able to help to assist people in navigating the terrain of their pivot, both personally and professionally.
We coach and mentor them. We have an incredible online program and incredible live trainings. That is full-time work. We work with thousands of people. Our team is mighty and are very active all the time. We are learning more and more how to reach people on social media, which is our big focus now. Our business has pivoted. That may be the next question. I was doing 100 live events a year, and now we do a handful. We have pivoted because we want to meet people where they are. Most of what they are consuming from a content standpoint is through their phone or laptop. That is where we want to meet them. That is why the podcasting and the livestreaming and the online programming that we are doing is in essence with the hope that our business in five years is assisting an exponentially greater number of people. It used to be that I could train 20-30,000 a year doing 80-90-100 live events. Now what we really believe is we can be impacting millions of people every year through the online arena, this different paradigm for delivering transformational opportunities.
Hugh: That is powerful. You got your act together, and you have a real focus on where you fit. As we wrap up, I would like you to think about what you want to leave people with. I’m making notes on things I have to get done, paradigm shifts and pivots that I need to make. If anybody benefited from this interview, I did. So thank you for that. I would want you to summarize what you want people to take away, and what is one thing that will impact their life to make people do the pivot? Adam Markel’s book is called Pivot, and you can find it on Amazon. You can also go to adammarkel.com and find out more about Adam Markel.
This whole paradigm shift that you are talking about is so essential for us to stay on top of our game. As we are summing up and ending this podcast, what are some closing thoughts you want to leave with people?
Adam: Thank you. Two things. I want to call out something that I think is super important to everybody. Wherever you are in life right now, the most important thing is that you have resilience. We have social and economic issues that are around. We all feel them. We see them. We interpret them differently. We have opinions about them. All of that is true. Something that is a common denominator for everybody is that you have to be resilient. Regardless of where you sit opinion-wise about anything going on in the world, I think that it’s powerfully important that you are resilient. The key to resilience is that you take care of yourself.
We have a three-part system that we teach in Pivot. Of course, I would love for people to go and buy the book, especially if anything we have spoken about has intrigued you, if you are in a pivot, if your pivot is on the horizon, or you don’t know what to do about it. For example, if you can’t answer that question of what my business will be doing in five years, the book may be intriguing as well, as the commentary and the formula that I lay out for being resilient.
For now, I would recommend that everybody every day do an act of self-care, of self-love. Whether you truly love yourself or you think you deserve to love yourself or any of that, the first act that I can give you that you can start tomorrow and put into process every day, as it is so easy, for the next 21 days, if it sticks after 21 days, is to wake up in the morning. You have to wake up. I hope everybody is willing to wake up. I mean that physically and metaphorically, that you wake yourself up, you wake up your own consciousness and awareness a little more tomorrow than it is today. In the moment that you have that waking breath, taking that first breath of the morning, you are in gratitude. That breath is sacred. The fact of the matter is there are people all over this Earth, as you are taking your first waking, conscious breath, they may be taking their last breath. Your breath is a gift. It’s a blessing. And it is sacred. In that moment of being awake and grateful, if you are so inclined to say these words and try them on for size, “I love my life.” That is how I wake up every day. I say those words. It will change some things for you that you may not even be able to predict. 21 days, you wake up, you’re grateful, and you say, “I love my life.” That is a practice for resilience because it is an act of self-care and self-love. That is the first thing.
The second is I would like to give these folks who have been listening to us and hopefully loving what we have been talking about a gift, and that gift is six questions. It’s a process, an exercise. If you have been involved in any personal development work or seminars or workshops, then you’d be familiar with this. If you have never done that, this will be exciting and new for you.
There are six powerful questions you can answer. Find out whether or not you are in a pivot and to what extent you are in that process of change. What does the change look like? Where does it require management? Where is the opportunity for utilization? To get those six questions, go to startmypivot.com. It’s absolutely free. We’re not asking you for anything in exchange for it. There is no ethical bribe. It’s not set up to be a tripwire or a lead magnet or anything like that for a marketing perspective. You just go to startmypivot.com. There you will be able to download those six questions and from there, if you’d love to be in our community and participate, you can do that at your choosing.
That is what I’d like to leave folks with: an offering, a gift.
Hugh: I’ve gotten to know you to be a very generous person. And again here you are being generous. Thank you for sharing your time and your wisdom and giving us a pathway forward. I encourage people to get Pivot. People who are ahead of the curve, top leaders in their field, are always reading and working on self. Pivot is essential for anyone’s library, I think. Adam, thank you so much for being on the interview today.
Adam: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure.
I’ll see you on the video…and then in the winner’s circle!
The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM
(c) 2017 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved