I met Mike at Brendon Burchard’s Experts Academy a few years ago and I’m so happy to introduce you to Mike in this episode. His journey is incredible and his take on life is simply awesome. Mike is authentic from the inside out, beaming and shining throughout our call, enjoying his life to the fullest whilst helping countless others. Have fun listening to this episode and tell us how you liked it!
Mike is a real estate investor who also doing a lot of mentoring. «People sign up for a real estate training but really they get a personal development course disguised as a real estate training», Mike says smiling. He has been an entrepreneur all his life. Going back in time, Mike says that he didn’t feel a lot of joy. He was a workaholic, running around all the time. «Over time I learned how to change my currency from money to happiness and joy and fulfillment», he adds. Today he shares his story with us about how he switched from a workaholic to a playaholic.
«I make sure I do what I love every day. I love to travel; I love to hang out with my two grandkids, and I love to volunteer and give back. That’s really one of the key things, doing things for others and going beyond yourself. My happiness, my joy and fulfillment come from that», Mike answers to my question, how he creates joy. «I don’t think we’re put on this planet to just work all day. So many people identify with their career, their job, with what they do and only few of us really know what life’s about. I think it’s necessary to take some time and do the things that are important».
I remember the moment when I asked Mike what he does (when we first met) and he said: «My team is doing better when I’m away, so I travel all the time». How cool is that!? I ask Mike what made him decide to change and stop being a workaholic.
Mike tells me that he was brought up to think that as the man, he has to provide for the family, so «I became a really good provider, but I also became a workaholic». His daughter is now 25 years old and Mike remembers that there were many times when he left home to start work when it was still dark and his daughter asleep and he returned when it was dark again. «It got to the point where I had lots of money, but my relationships were falling apart, my health was falling apart, and I had no balance in my life on any of these other things». It wasn’t hard for him to work those long hours, because Mike really loves his career, «I loved the adrenaline from making deals and doing business». Mike has been divorced for quite some time and says that this is a direct result from that. «I had all the things that people think – at least from the outside – would make you happy: I had a big house, everything that you could possibly want and yet I would come home at the end of the day and something was missing, I didn’t feel the fulfillment». That’s the point where Mike started to bring people on his team, basically from necessity because he was working 12 to 14 hours every day and simply couldn’t do more. «As I built up my team, I started to get more time and I was a lot happier and I actually made more money doing less. These days I let my team do almost everything», Mike says.
I think that’s a big achievement, trusting people and also hiring the right people.
Mike says that most people start as solopreneurs and they get to the point where their business can’t get any bigger, where it can’t scale, so they hire people but micromanage them. «I went from solopreneur to being a micromanager/babysitter and eventually I realized that when you get the right people on your team and/or put the right systems in place, they know what they’re doing better than I do». When you stop micromanaging your team and give them more freedom to make decisions and empower them, they’re not only happier but they also do a better job. «Being able to get to that third phase is really the key to get your time back, when you have time you can go and make a difference, for me that’s where joy and fulfillment come from».
I ask Mike how he decided that he wanted to be happy and healthier.
Mike answers, that he wasn’t consciously trying to get his time back. «Originally, I was trying to be more productive, getting my time back, getting happier and more fulfilled kind of happened by mistake. As I got my time back, I made more money doing less, that was the first clue». Mike says that he hired more people on his team which resulted in more time for him and so he started to travel which was something that he always wanted to do. In Thailand he had an experience with a taxi driver that helped him get the right card to do a phone call, because he saw how Mike was frustrated at the phone booth and didn’t want anything in return. «For me as a capitalist that was so weird, that he probably didn’t know where the next meal is coming from, but he wouldn’t take my money. People were always smiling, and I realized that you don’t need money to be happy». Having many similar experiences during his travels and seeing how other people lived brought Mike a new sense of gratitude, a new filter of seeing the planet.
Mike specializes in fixing homes, bought some houses in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He fixed them and brought a bunch of people back. Although it was more of a give-back project and not to make any profit, Mike realized that this was his favorite real estate project that he ever did. Today Mike volunteers a lot, helping friends at their events, spending time with kids at an orphanage, caring about animal rights.
«I do a lot of stuff that is in alignment with me», Mike
«Getting the time back I learned a lot about myself. Travelling the world, I have lots of time by myself that gives you a lot of time to reflect». Mike found out that making a difference was really important to him.
«When you get to make money passively and it’s on autopilot, that’s when you get to do things that really matter», Mike
Mike’s mission is to make other people happy. «As I learned more about what makes me happy, it got me to think what makes other people happy, how you can enhance their experience and enhance their life».
I ask Mike what he’d say if someone wants to walk through life, happy as Mike? : )
«It’s the mindset of giving and receiving», Mike answers. «You make money and then you put it back into circulation, like oxygen, you breath it in and you breath it out. If you try to hoard money that won’t work. For me, money is an amplifier, if you’re a giver, it allows you to give more. If you’re heart-centered, it allows you to be more heart-centered. The more money in your bank account, the more people you can help. If you have that mindset, you don’t have a problem receiving money». Mike says that a lot of people repel money, and others are good at making it but can’t keep it. The first thing Mike teaches people is how to shift their mindset about money.
«Make everything you do a win-win. Focus on creating a win for the other person instead of only thinking about what’s in it for you», Mike
Mike tells me that when he was younger, he gave away a lot of things for free, people would call and ask him if they could «pick his brain», they’ll meet for a coffee and Mike would tell them valuable info with which they in the end wouldn’t do anything. One of his earliest mentors said that he should create courses and charge money for them. As people didn’t get results from his free tips, he felt bad about it and said that he couldn’t charge for that. His mentor said: «People don’t get results, because they don’t pay you money». So, Mike started doing as suggested and says «the more I charged, the more people benefited. Once they had some skin in the game, they wanted to get some return, to get something back. People don’t put value on stuff that is free».
«The problem with being mediocre is that it allows us to coast through life but not truly feel the magic of making a bigger impact and inspiring and helping others», Mike
I love the quote by Sarah Jones that says: «What if joy is my only metric for success?» Being nice and kind and empowering to everybody you meet throughout the day is just so cool. It’s like a game. Many people are like «you’re always so joyful, what’s wrong with you» but come on, isn’t it simply more fun being joyful instead of being grumpy? : )
«Gratitude Is one of the most important things. Be grateful for what you have, and not upset for what you don’t have», Mike
One of the places, where he once volunteered on a small island close to New Zealand, got hit by a hurricane so he and some other entrepreneurs got together, raised a bunch of money, bought a bunch of water filters and showed the people on the island how to use them to have clean drinking water. «When you do something like that and you come home, you turn up a tap and magically clean water appears, you never take that for granted again, once you’ve seen people that don’t have clean drinking water». Mike takes some time each morning to think about what he’s grateful for. «Being grateful doesn’t mean that you don’t need anything else, what it does mean is that you’re just happy and appreciative for where you’re at now. You might have a bigger vision for the future but instead of being negative about all the things you don’t have; you focus on the things you do have. I personally believe that the Universe rewards you when you are grateful for what you have as opposed to when you’re whining about things that you wish you had. I also believe in Karma; When you help other people, it comes back a 100-fold. I never do something with the expectation of getting anything back, but that’s just something I notice, the more I give, the more I get. I feel like I get into the flow by giving more».
Mike says that he never wishes on a volunteering day to be on the beach instead. «I give myself time for beach days, for grandchildren days and for volunteering days, it’s about that balance».
Do you have a habit of thinking about your vision and planning or are you simply in the flow, going from moment to moment?
«I’m very much a go with the flow. I have faith that the right people and the right opportunities will show up in my life without me trying to control it. I feel that when you take imperfect action the Universe will do the rest», Mike
«To me life is too short to not do the things that make you happy every single day», Mike
«Sometimes opportunities show up unexpectedly. Having the ability to keep an open mind and not be set in your ways will allow you to take advantage of them», Mike
Mike has taken the time during Covid, where he couldn’t travel as much as planned, to create more content to help people that are struggling financially. «Being in the flow really works for me».
We talk about being alone without being lonely. I love to be alone and I never feel lonely because I’m with myself, but for people who don’t like themselves it’s scary to spend time with their own thoughts. I ask Mike how he feels about being alone and travelling alone. He says that in general he likes to be with other people, but he also enjoys travelling alone because then he can do what he wants: «I like to see how people really live, I like to see other cultures. I would call myself a shy extrovert, I don’t love to be alone, but I adapted to being grateful for that, because there are some advantages in that too».
I expect abundance in connections and friendships wherever I go and that’s how it is, because that’s my mindset. I’m still working on that mindset regarding money though… : ) I have to learn a lot from Mike!
«When you create abundance in every part of your life then life truly becomes magical», Mike
«Having the power of decision every second of your day is so amazing», Ronja
I ask Mike what can people do who feel miserable or who don’t feel like they can be anything like what we’re talking about. He says that when you wake up tomorrow in the morning, think about what you’re grateful for and start with that. Stop watching the news, nothing good comes from that. Stay away from negativity and spend time with like-minded people. «Get as much negativity out of your life as possible and also start changing your mindset».
«Treat people the way that you like to be treated and give them solutions that are not only good for you but for them also», Mike
Mike says that some of the tyouhings that he teaches is about ethical real estate investment, where you can make yourself money but more importantly help a lot of people while you’re doing it. «When you have that, not only will you be healthy financially, but you’ll also sleep well at night, you’ll feel happier, you’ll feel fulfilled. Your life will be better as a result of helping people… that’s really what I teach».
«You can make somebody’s day and then they can go and make somebody else’s day», Mike
I ask Mike for a last, final big piece of advice, and these are his words:
«If you are watching this during Covid time, use this time wisely, use this time to really work on yourself, educate yourself. Five years from now you can look back and your story could be «I was doing really well and then Covid happened and everything since then has been horrible, my life has been really horrible, I lost my job», that could be how you look back five years from now OR you could say «Covid happened, I took that time to work on myself, think about how I’m going to reinvent myself, knowing that the world is going to change and I came out of it even better. Looking back, Covid as bad as it was in some ways and obviously devastating for some people, I actually got ahead as a result of it». Use this time wisely, be kind to others, be kind to yourself, stay positive and just really focus on positivity and gratitude and the rest will all fall intoplace».
This is where you can find Mike:
Read my blog post about self care here.
Watch our conversation here: