Mitch Matthews on Goal Setting, Entrepreneurship, & How to Live Your Dream
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My guest this week is a keynote speaker, success coach and best-selling author Mitch Matthews. His new podcast, “DREAM. THINK. DO.” is at the top of the iTunes charts. He has worked with leaders and teams from organizations like NASA and Disney, and has coached thousands of people through Coach Training and Certification Program.
He’s passionate about helping entrepreneurs and leaders to dream bigger, think better and do more of the stuff they were put on the planet to do!
Mitch Matthews has built three successful businesses himself, and published the best-selling book IGNITE: 3 Simple Steps for Re-sparking Your Buried Dreams and Building a Plan That Finally Works. So, basically, dude is a freaking rock star.
You’ll quickly see in the interview that Mitch is a huge personality who just oozes charisma and joy. He really has a thousand watt presence, and he’ll inspire you before he even dives into the message itself. In the interview, he offers a ton of practical and easy-to-apply skills to help you identify and live your dream, as well as overcome the fear of failure or uncertainty. These range from goal setting to mentality shifts, as he and I dig into some of the habits and skills that differentiate successful and fulfilled people. If I may say so myself, it’s one of the more inspiring episodes we’ve had thus far.
In this episode, we discuss:
- What Mitch Matthews is currently working on
- The differences between extroverts & high-performing introverts
- Mitch's journey to becoming a leader & entrepreneur, starting at age 12(!)
- Leveraging a corporate job to develop skills and mediate risk before pursuing your dreams
- The misconceptions about entrepreneurship and risk held by a lot of “wantrepreneurs”
- Should everyone be an entrepreneur? Who should and shouldn't?
- The amazing origin story of Mitch's annual conference, The Big Dream Gathering
- The magical power of writing out your goals and dreams
- The importance of allowing yourself to dream, and the power of shifting your mindset towards it
- What are the few basic secrets to success?
- Mitch's insightful thoughts on what he calls “the intellectual immune system”
- Why we need to create ownership over the ideas and concepts we wish to integrate into our lives
- Some incredible success stories that have come out of the Big Dream Gathering
- Mitch's own system for goal setting and prioritization
- 3 books that have most inspired Mitch Matthews in his own life
- Mitch's #1 takeaway and advise for learning to live your dream
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- The Lean Startup Methodology (We don't mention it directly, but it is closely related to risk mediation)
- The Customer Development Methodology (same as above)
- The Big Dream Gathering
- SMART criteria for setting goals & tasks
- Lessons From My 20's by Ryan Allis (must read)
- My bestselling course, Become a SuperLearner: Learn Speed Reading & Advanced Memorization (80% off)
- The Law of Attraction and a book that describes it, The Secret
- Getting Things Done, a very popular book by David Allen
- Things app for iOS and OS X
- Procrastinate on Purpose by Rory Vaden
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
- Seth Godin and his many, many books, including Poke the Box
- Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends by Tim Sonders
- Dale Carnegie's Timeless Classic: How to Win Friends & Influence People
- Mitch's Personal Website – Where you can get a free copy of the audiobook and the action guide
- Mitch's book IGNITE: 3 Simple Steps for Re-sparking Your Buried Dreams and Building a Plan That Finally Works
- The Dream.Think.Do Podcast
Favorite Quotes from Mitch Matthews:
Introduction: Welcome to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast. Where we interview extraordinary people to bring you the skills and strategies to overcome the impossible. And now here's your host, Jonathan Levi.
Jonathan Levi: Greetings, SuperFriends and welcome to this week's show. My guest today is a keynote speaker, success coach, and bestselling author. His new podcast Dream. Think. Do., is it at the top of the iTunes charts. He's worked with leaders and teams from organizations like NASA and Disney and has coached thousands of people through coach training and certification programs.
He's passionate about helping entrepreneurs and leaders to dream bigger, think better, and do more of the stuff they were put on this planet to do. He's built three successful businesses himself and published the best-selling book “IGNITE: 3 Simple Steps for Re-sparking Your Buried Dreams and Building a Plan That Finally Works”.
So basically, do it as a freaking rockstar. You'll quickly see in the interview that he's a huge personality who just oozes, charisma and joy. He really has a thousand-watt presence and he'll inspire you before he even dives into the message itself. In the interview, he offers a ton of practical and easy-to-apply skills to help you identify and conquer your dreams as well as overcome the fear of failure or uncertainty. He and I dig into some of the habits and skills that differentiate successful and fulfilled people from everyone else. If I may say so myself guys, it's one of the more inspiring episodes we've had thus far. And so without any further ado, Let me introduce you to my friend, Mr. Mitch Matthews.
Mitch, welcome to the show my friend, how are you doing?
Mitch Matthews: You know, it is a true honor and I'm doing fantastic. So thanks, Jonathan so much.
Jonathan Levi: Awesome. We had so much fun when we recorded on your show. I felt like turning the mic around and getting you on mine. So I'm really excited to hear what we have in store for the audience today.
Mitch Matthews: I love it. Yeah, your interviewee, and I can't wait to get it out to the world cause it blessed my socks off. And so it's a true honor to yeah. Get to flip the mix around and get to go the other way. So this is awesome.
Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. I'm super excited about it. So what's been going on what's new. What are you up to?
Mitch Matthews: You know, it's been amazing. We've, uh, you know, wildly blessed to get to walk this thing out. And our business is this combination of speaking coaching and then online training. And I say that too, you know, from a standpoint of an entrepreneur. It's always good to diversify, but honestly, for me, I just have a short attention span, so I've gotta be doing different things.
And it's just been fun. I've had a lot of speaking and live events lately, which I just love the interaction with people, but I'm also an introvert. Well, who's learned to be extroverted in certain situations. And so it's always nice for me to also after a live event or after a speaking gig to return to my office and quietly, you know, just be in my office and work and that kind of thing.
So it's a really good balance lately and I'm enjoying it immensely.
Jonathan Levi: Fantastic. I was actually just going to ask you. You know, you come off as such an extrovert, but I don't know about you, but I also am this closeted introvert. So I'm glad to hear. I'm not the only one faking the funk, you know?
Mitch Matthews: Absolutely. It's one of those interesting I did a podcast on that subject recently, and I think it's the whole extrovert introvert, you know, discussion is one of the most fascinating things. And it's also, I think, wildly misunderstood because I think a lot of people are probably more introverted than they think.
Think or maybe, you know, it's that they can find themselves on that line. But I always say the best way to test yourself. It's not whether you like people is not, whether you like to go to parties or whatever. It's I always say, you know, the way to test to see what you are, whether you're extroverted or introverted is how do you re-energize?
Jonathan Levi: Yup.
Mitch Matthews: You re-energized by hanging out with groups of people. If you're tired at the end of the day, do all you want to do is go hang out with 10 of your closest friends. Or are you like me that you want to retreat to a quiet room and read a book? Or, you know, I want to hang out with my wife or just one person or, you know, our kids just really having a quiet evening.
I always say that's how, you know, whether you're introverted or extroverted. And with that, then the great mystery, you know is kind of solved because if you're an introvert, all of us need to still build relationships. All of us still need to network. All of us need to still navigate, you know, open floor plans and every new business now, you know, all those kinds of things.
So I always say if you're an introvert, the key is to just find those times to intentionally recharge and really be, you know, clear about the best ways for you to do that and get recharged because I've found a lot of introverts. There's some of the best networkers on the planet. Because, you know, especially if they can re-energize, but an introvert's the first one to kind of focus on someone else.
So I think that whole introvert-extrovert equation, and there's a new term that ambivert, which is kind of in the middle, you know, I think that that is a really important question for people to ponder. Because it's all about how do you reenergize. And if you can understand that and maximize it and you can do so much more.
Jonathan Levi: That's absolutely true. And you know, it's about understanding the tools. It's about understanding yourself. And for me, it's about a good pair of noise-canceling headphones as well.
Mitch Matthews: Oh, you got to throw that into the mix. Amen.
Jonathan Levi: Indeed. So Mitch, let me backpedal a little bit and say that I saw in your bio that we have quite a bit in common, but one of the chief things that I saw as we both started our entrepreneurial journeys at a very young age.
So I'm curious to have you walk us through that journey a little bit from age 12, to where you are today.
Mitch Matthews: Yeah, absolutely. I love that. Yeah, we uh, are cut from the same cloth in a lot of ways my men.
Jonathan Levi: It's the unemployable cloth.
Mitch Matthews: So yeah, I actually I've kind of always been somewhat of an extreme personality, I guess.
Jonathan Levi: You don't say.
Mitch Matthews: That's right. So at 12, I figured out that I loved bicycles. You know, push bikes and all that kind of stuff. And so I lived in this small town, in a Midwestern community in the United States, in Iowa. And uh, there was one bike shop in town and it was kind of a hole-in-the-wall bike shop. Literally the Goodwill store, you know, kind of one of those thrift shops was next door.
And our local strip club was behind this bike shop. So hold on the wall, but a great place to hang out as a teenager. And that summer, I just wound up riding my bike up to this shop and spending all the time that I could hours at a time just about every day. Watching the, you know, the owner and the mechanics work on bikes and watching the salespeople sell bikes and you know, watch people order things.
And I, you know, it would kind of get into the catalogs and I'd do everything I'd sweep up. I do whatever it was that would keep them from having me arrested for loitering. And at the end of that summer, the bike shop owner and his wife decided, you know this crazy kid is not going away. So I suppose we should hire him.
And so at 13 I kind of had my first dream job. And that's truly where I didn't realize it at the time, but the entrepreneurial bug bit me hard because here I saw this guy creating, you know, kind of his own world. He created this bike shop and he could hire who he wanted to hire, you know even a crazy 13-year-old but you know, he could do what he wanted to do.
And that didn't mean an easy life. I mean, in the summer he was up working on bikes at 4:00 AM in the morning. But it was on his own terms and he got to do his own thing. And I you know, I just love that. And so I kind of fell in love with that at an early age. And then I actually, he took me to a sales seminar when I was 14, which was hilarious.
And that's where another bug bit me. And that was this whole speaking thing. And I didn't even know that was a job. I didn't know that was an industry at the time, but I saw the seminar. I saw the speaker and I was like, I think I want to do that. And so I started kind of working it on the side. I sold my first seminars when I was still in college. You know, making a thousand dollars a seminar as you know as a college sophomore, college junior.
I'm like, this is the shitness. You know, I felt like I was breaking the law, you know, or breaking the rules or whatever. But it just bit me and so I decided that I wanted to go kind of the corporate route first. And I always just kind of work the side hustle of speaking and doing these kinds of side gigs as I kind of work my you know, kind of hand at corporate sales and corporate training and all those things.
And then in 2002, we launched our own business full time and have been doing it ever since.
Jonathan Levi: Do you feel that your time in corporate America, as I like to call it, do you feel that it prepared you in any way, or did it kind of just allow you to pace yourself?
Mitch Matthews: It allowed me in big ways now. So here's one of the things Jonathan, I think we may have even talked about this a little bit, but I'm a recovering worrier, right?
So I grew up a bit of a worrier. And so it's one of those things where I'm not a huge fan of giant leaps of blind faith. You know what I mean? I need to make it a little bit more small steps of intentional faith over time. You know what I mean? And I think that's partly, you know, just a little bit of being a recovering worrier.
Partly, maybe just good, common sense. But one of the things that I looked at was I thought, okay, I know that eventually, I want to have my own gig. I know that I want to have my own company. But I also knew as I was emerging from college. And I'd had a lot of great experiences, but I felt that if I took a realistic look at my skillsets, my experiences. I knew that I still needed to learn a lot more.
And I thought, why not get paid to learn? And so what I decided to do was look at different industries where I could really learn and get paid as I was growing my skillsets as I was growing these experiences. So I went into business to business sales first, and then I went into pharmaceutical sales second. Because I thought, you know, first I want to just get the business to business sales experience.
I'd had a lot of sales experience. I'd done seminars on sales, all those things, but I thought I want the business business stuff first. And then I went into pharmaceutical sales, partly because of how much I can make but also I wanted to do something like a technical sale. And so I wanted to learn that.
And then I worked my way into corporate training and, you know, the company I worked for was a $2 billion company and I was one of the managers and the training department. They invested like $50,000 in me as a trainer and a facilitator. You know, for me to have done that for myself would have taken years and at least 50 grand of investment.
And they did that as a part of my job, right? And so it was one of those things where, you know, towards the end, those great fed experiences were becoming a bad fit but I think it was because I was finally evolving and kind of growing out of it. But during that time, I always said, gosh, you know, that gave me such an opportunity to learn and earn as I was growing.
And as long as I kept working that side hustle, as long as I kept working these things on the side to help me remember, this is not where I want to end up. This is more of a bridge. This is getting me somewhere, as long as I did that, I could keep myself rooted on the bigger dream, but take the time I needed to get there.
Jonathan Levi: I think that's really important. And I'm glad that you touched on the worrying because a lot of people that I meet, I meet a lot of what I call wantrepreneurs. So people can aspire to be entrepreneurial and do their own thing, but they have this idea that you know, to be entrepreneurs, to make these huge leaps.
And in reality, I always tell them, look, it's about small testing and doing side projects and keeping your basis covered while you explore.
Mitch Matthews: Yeah, absolutely. But I hang out with a lot of scientists. I wasn't that smart a kid. I didn't get great grades, but I love science now. And I know we have a shared passion there, but working with some scientists recently, they shared the two L's of science that I think so applied entrepreneurship too.
And they said the two L's of science are to learn fast and limit risk. Oh, yeah. And I'm like, Oh, I like that. So it's that old thing of, you know, of course, they put on the lab coat, they start to experiment, but they're learning fast. And as quickly as they can, you know, testing out their hypothesis, all of those things.
But as they do that, they're limiting risks. I mean, they're still taking risks. They're not taking these blind crazy risks though. They're saying, okay, how can we learn something? Test it, but not, you know, kind of do an all-in kind of risk. They say, okay, how can we limit this risk? And I think that's powerful.
I love your kind of awareness on the wantrepreneurs too. I think it's something that is important. I think that there's a lot of people who are trying to be entrepreneurs that maybe shouldn't. Ever or maybe shouldn't yet. You know, it's interesting. I don't know if you saw Gary V recently was asked kind of a great question person in the audience asked this question, you know, what do you think is one of the biggest mistakes young entrepreneurs are facing?
And Gary V looked at him. He's like, to be honest, just, you know, one of the biggest mistakes facing young entrepreneurs is not realizing they're not actually entrepreneurs. And it was one of those where he's like, I realize that's kind of a douchebag thing to say, but he said, know, there's a lot of people who want to be entrepreneurs.
It's kind of sexy. It's a sexy time to be entrepreneurs. But he said, you know, if you're an entrepreneur, you actually have a business. Right. You have a product, you have a service and you sell that. And that takes hard work. That takes time. That takes you to know, there's sexy parts of it, but there's a whole lot of boring parts of it.
There's a lot of aspects of that, that just flat out take hard work. And there's a lot of people who like the sexy. But once they start to, you know have some of those challenges, then they start to think well, maybe my idea is bad because it's not supposed to be hard work, right. They've seen the book title of you know, “The 4-Hour Workweek”. And that sounds awesome, but they just don't realize that you know, most businesses don't actually function that way. Or you know, you can move towards that, but it's that whole thing of going, this still takes a lot of hard work.
Jonathan Levi: Sure. And there are millions of people, if not billions of people who need the structure and who need to have someone else making the huge decisions and someone else setting the direction.
And those are the people who make fantastic first employees.
Mitch Matthews: Yeah, absolutely. And it's one of those where, you know, there's nothing wrong with starting there. I know for me, you know, I could have probably tried to fumble fart around starting my own business. But I kind of thought, why not go and learn? You know, I kind of thought in some ways, in the beginning, I thought even like my first manager was good, my second manager, not so much.
And as I was doing that, I was like, okay, first I learned a ton from this first manager. And then I started to almost dismiss that a second manager. And then I thought, Oh wait, this is a whole other set of learning. This is learning how I never want to lead. Um, you know, this is learning the, the best and the worst.
And so to just be able to, you know, continue to keep that perspective of being able to say, all right, what can I be learning in this situation? And then, you know, the other part of it for me was just to be able to say, you know, what can I be doing on the side to keep working. That speaking muscle. You know, coaching, I didn't even know coaching existed when I first got into the corporate world but you know, I still love to pour into people.
I still love to ask people questions. So I would find myself, you know, going and having meetings, which I didn't realize at the time I was really growing just at a solid network of great relationships. And as cause I really enjoyed kind of pouring into people, asking people, questions, drawing things out, you know, and helping them discover their answers, all those things.
So I was working on those muscles. But I was. In some ways having to do it on the side, but that helped me to do it at a progression or at a rate where it could really make sense. And you know, I wound up marrying, you know, the girl of my dreams. I totally married up, which is, you know, again you know, proof positive.
I'm a great salesman because I married up and then we started to have kids and all those things. So it was one of those where I couldn't just totally throw caution to the wind. I needed to do it in a, just a real intentional way. And it sounds like it's a real straight line as I tell that story. But you know, there's a lot of swoops and circles in there too. But it can make a big difference.
Jonathan Levi: Sure. And so now that we've talked about, you know, maybe your entrepreneurial dream, isn't the right dream. I have to say that through the big dream gathering and your talks, you've inspired thousands of people to actually go out and pursue their dreams.
So let's touch on that a little bit and, and touch on what kind of dreams those are and the work you're doing there.
Mitch Matthews: Absolutely. So the big dream gathering, something that kind of started as a happy accident. A number of years ago in 2006, where my wife and I were working on, you know, kind of a new dream for our business, we were working on a product idea and everything was clipping along great going great. But then over a period of about a month and a half, everything just kind of fell apart. We had a computer go down and the designs for the product crashed with it, which I'm a huge fan of backing things up. But I wasn't at the time. So we lost everything. We lost months of work.
And then, you know, we started to kind of run out of time. And then the big one was we started to run out of money. But you know, it was a lot more expensive than we thought. And this relationship with a manufacturer that we had was starting to crumble. And so, you know, here we are kind of. Out of time out of options, out of money.
And my idea was to throw a party which is crazy. But I realized like I need and help with this dream. And I bet my friends could help me if they knew about it, they can help me with it. And then I started to think, you know, I don't know what some of my friend's dreams are. You know, people I've known for years.
I don't know what their dreams are. And so we invited people over to do this thing. We called a big dream gathering where we invited people to write down. Some of their dreams, some of their goals, and then post them up on the walls. And then we looked at each other's dreams and then to see if we could help each other out, you know, leaving each other notes, comments, encouragements, ideas, connections, all sorts of things in that first big dream gathering happened at our house and it was supposed to go for a couple of hours, but we lost control of it and it lasted for a full week.
We knew everybody that was there the first night. By the second night, those people brought people by the third night, well strangers were just showing up to our house on their own. It was kind of crazy or just kind of nuts. And all sorts of amazing things happened. Two people met at that big dream gathering and had a shared dream.
They actually, you know, had a very complimentary dream and they pursued it and got a contract with Nike. Within six months, we had somebody who posted a dream about helping some kids. In Mozambique, some orphans in Mozambique, which she was from a small town, Iowa hadn't traveled outside, barely traveled outside the state, let alone outside the country.
So might as well have been Mars, let alone Mozambique, but somebody that didn't know her gave her a thousand bucks for the trip to get her started. And she was there within a year, helping these kids out, just, you know, amazing stuff. And I kind of got addicted to seeing more of that happen, whether it's give people, giving themselves permission to dream.
Or just that whole, you know, kind of the magic that happens when you can encourage somebody else in their dream, help them out. You know, give them an idea or, you know, just give them a go for it. You know, just kind of some encouragement or being able to even maybe link up, and you've got complimentary dreams and do it together.
So we've been doing it ever since, although we've never done it at our house again. Now we do it in, you know, auditoriums and gymnasiums and we do them primarily on college campuses now. And it's been amazing. But you know, with that being said, you know, we really celebrate big dreams, small dreams and everything in between.
We even let people categorize the dreams we put up categories, so the dreams can kind of group together. So you know, everything from sports, and health-related dreams to dreams involving you know, publishing or media, those kinds of things, or, you know, business dreams, career dreams. My favorite though, it's the category called dreams that defy categorization category.
Cause you just never know what's going to go in there, but it's just amazing. To see what happens when people give themselves that permission to dream and, uh you know, kind of let it flow from there. And so it's powerful to see, and we've had all sorts, as you can imagine, all sorts of different dreams that have been posted and then, you know, different people take an action on those things, but it really starts at the core with a person giving themselves that permission to dream.
And then also the permission to dream together, you know, to encourage someone else to help someone else. And it's just, it's a magical experience when people get to be in that.
Jonathan Levi: It's really interesting because only in the last year or so have I actually started writing out my own goals and dreams previously, you know, I had these kinds of vague ideas about what I wanted to do, and then I applied the smart criteria.
Right? Sure. You know, the measurable, actionable, specific, and I don't know if you saw those slides by Ryan Alice, the 1,284 slides lessons from my twenties.
Mitch Matthews: Awesome. No, I haven't seen that yet.
Jonathan Levi: Fantastic slides and we'll put them in the show notes, but basically this guy who sold a company at 23 or 24 for a hundred something million made up of PowerPoint presentation. And on his 30th birthday released all the lessons he'd learned about life business and the world in his twenties. And one of them was actually a lot of the slides go into, write down your goals, have one-year goals, ten-year goals, 15-year goals, stuff like that. And you know, you should be getting 60% of them no more, no less.
And just the action of writing them. I mean, I'm staring at a whiteboard in my room right now, which has all these goals and you'd be amazed how much more you get done just by writing them down.
Mitch Matthews: Oh, it, it is amazing. And it's that thing of, you know, taking something as somewhat nebulous and then actually making it clear enough to either verbalize.
I mean, that's one of the things that we talk about is if you can not only write down but verbalize your dreams. The chances of you actually achieving them. Go up exponentially. Sure. It's that being able to clarify it to the point of being able to write it down, but then also to be able to verbalize it to someone else it's so powerful. But it also, I mean, let's just admit it takes guts, right?
Cause it's one of those things to write those things down. All of a sudden, especially in any kind of public forum. Holy cats. I mean, that takes guts because all of a sudden than almost feel like you're accountable to those facts. Right. That, so I always say, you know, I always commend people for even just writing one down because it takes courage.
We take it, you know, it's that dreaming muscle. And honestly, people just, we don't have a lot of opportunities. To work that dreaming muscle, I think is one of the biggest crisis that, you know, I live in the United States and it's, I think one of the biggest crisis our country's facing is that crisis, that people aren't dreaming for themselves as much anymore.
I mean, our college students aren't dreaming for themselves as much anymore. And so it's one of those, I think that's actually one of the scariest things we're facing is that you know, people aren't just giving themselves that permission to say, what are. Some of my dreams. What are some of my goals? I mean, you think about some of the greatest, you know, products, some of the greatest companies, the straight greatest, even sports comebacks have come because somebody gave themselves that permission to dream.
And if we lose that, we're screwed. You know what I mean? I think it's an absolute, huge deal. So, and you know, I love that the big dream gathering is also one of those things where. It takes courage to even come to an event like that. But I love it because, you know, I do a talk on the front end just to kind of set it up.
And we had somebody that came a while back and he came up to me after my talk was done. And as we were in that process of dreaming and he's like, I just wanted to say, thanks. And I'm like, Oh, thank you. And he goes, I also want to let you know, I didn't like you the first 10 minutes of your talk. Awesome.
You know, this guy is like a young strapping, like wrestler type of something like, well, how are we doing now? You know? And, uh, he's like, nah, man, it's great. He's like, it's great. And I said, well, what was it? Is it my hair? Well, you know what, you know, it was the deal. And he's like, well, yeah, you said you were talking about dreams.
And those people that kind of gave themselves that permission to dream. And he said, I was sitting there going, I don't know what my dreams are. Like, I don't have a flipping clue what my dreams are. And he said that first made me kinda mad. And then it kind of scared. Right, and you see where he's just kind of ticked at you.
And then I was like, dude, I hear you, man. I'm sorry. He goes, no, it was great. And he said, you know, but you kept saying, you know, just give yourself permission to start, give yourself permission to just write down one dream, bigger, small, don't weigh it out, don't filter it, just let it come. And I said, Oh, as soon as you do that.
And he goes, yeah, I did it. And then he said in the last, like 20 minutes, I've got an 18 more. I'm like really? He goes, and then he looks at me and he's kind of scared to get. He goes and they just keep coming. He's like, I think he broke me open it up and he was just flowing out of them. And I was like, that's what it was.
And that's, I think for so many people, it looks like, especially if you're you hear that and you go cash, it may be you're in the same. Places as his name was Christian, maybe we're in that same place as Christian. Like, you know, I have no idea what my dreams are. You almost feel like you're like looking at a brick wall, right?
I always say that brick wall is actually made out of papier-mache and if you just give yourself that permission to kind of poke through it, it's amazing what can start to open up. And what's great is I've followed up with Christian and he took those dream sheets home. He put them up on his walls and within a year he'd clipped off 16 of those 18 original dreams.
Some of them were really small. Some of them were really big, but it was just like you were saying, it was because he kept those out in front of him and, you know, stayed aware of them, kept those in his conscience, all those things, and started to just, you know, sometimes work significant and intentional plans.
And sometimes it was just because an opportunity presented itself and he's like, Oh, That was one of the things I wanted to do and, you know, and then he'd sign up and go for it and, you know, those kinds of things. So there is something about giving yourself that permission to just write them down, but then also keep them someplace where you can see them on a regular basis.
Jonathan Levi: Exactly. That's the magic of it? I mean, how many times have I had an opportunity to do these things in the past and never done it? Yeah. Because it's not on my to-do list of goals, but then suddenly once it's written down and I have to check it off, well, ya'll go on that weekend trip to a country I've never been to because I'm supposed to go to two new countries before the end of the year kind of thing.
Mitch Matthews: That's awesome. I love that one. Yeah. What a great example.
Jonathan Levi: So Mitch, we've covered the writing down the goals, and in my opinion, that's one of the biggest secrets to success. What do you think some of the other ones are?
Mitch Matthews: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, it's one of those things where I think it starts with writing down those dreams, but sometimes people don't write down their dreams because they have no idea how they'd actually accomplish them.
You know what I mean? Like you start to write it down and it's like, I love this. Like, your heart starts to race. Like, this is so exciting, but then very quickly, you know, some of those objections start to come. One is, you know, how could I ever afford that? Or, you know, I don't know how I do that. I don't know the right people, all those things.
So it starts to then say, okay, what are some of those objections that happen for most of us? And, you know, again, a lot of times that first objection for most people tends to be, I don't have the money. Right and, you know, that's just one of those things. And so I always say to acknowledge that say, okay I don't have the money yet, but if I did, what might I do?
Jonathan Levi: Or, you know, do I need as much money as I think?
Mitch Matthews: Exactly, right. And to be able to go out, am I even assessing, how much is this going to take? Right. You know, it just even Mandy, the gal that, uh, you know, since she went to help those kids in Mozambique, you know, she wrote it down, but then she started to just share the idea that thousand dollar gift didn't come from somebody that was at the big dream gathering. The thousand-dollar gift came from somebody that heard about it at work at her work, like weeks later, and just said, I love that idea. I want to help.
You know, like they felt compelled and it was because she'd gotten clear and started to put it out there. Now I know for her, you know, the money thing was a big deal, but she gave herself that permission to move past it. So it really is kind of acknowledging some of those things, but you know, a couple of the other big tips, I even talk about this in my book Ignite, but one of the things that I talk about is what's key is to say, okay, let's identify a dream and then ask yourself, who could you be learning from?
Well, could you be learning from, to go to achieve that now that's key to be able to say, you know, it might be somebody that, you know, personally, maybe, uh, you know, a parent, a relative, a friend that maybe has done something similar and you can go learn from them or maybe it's, you know, going to your great friends.
At the library or Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You know, the, the great friends on the shelves of being able to say, you know, to draw from great wisdom of authors that are out there, those kinds of things, but as you start to learn from others, and this is something I think you'll love. I always say you have to watch out for your intellectual immune system.
Ooh. Okay. So here's the thing. Learn from others, right? You, you go and get your book from Seth Godin. You go get your, your book from Gary V you go get your five principles of great leadership or seven habits of the best entrepreneurs or whatever you go. Oh my gosh, this is so me. This is so what I need, right?
There's the, you know, does this author have a camera in my house? Oh my gosh. I'm so doing this. But like two days later, you can't remember what the third and fourth and fifth habits are, or, you know what the the, the second and the third and the seventh principles are or whatever, it, you start to throw those things out.
And if you're like me, like two weeks later, you can't remember the title of the book. Right? I always say that's the intellectual immune system. That's your intellectual immune system. At work. And what that is, is I think with working with people, you know, I coach people that have been doing that for 12 plus years.
I've seen this intellectual immune system happen. And what that is is it's the intellectual immune system is not medical. But it's metaphorical. And it, we, I believe that our intellect has an immune system similar to our body's immune system. Again, not medically, but metaphorically. So think about how your immune system works.
Like it, you travel all the time. So you've probably been on a bus or a plane lately, and somebody was hacking up a lung. Right. They probably sound like they had TB and you're like, please immune system work. Right. You know, you want that virus, that bug, whatever it is bounce off your immune system and keep you healthy.
Right? That's a beautiful thing. But our immune system can kind of work against us in certain situations. So at a buddy who needed an organ transplant, he was sick sicker, and a dog. And that the doctors figured it out. Uh, you know, they were able to explain it to him. So he understood that he needed it. And his mom was like this perfect match.
So she stepped up a total hero. So she was perfect match. They found a great surgeon, great hospital, all these things, they did the surgery. And even though he knew he needed the Oregon, even though it was a perfect fit, even the perfect match, even though the surgeon did it as just a stellar job, what did his body's immune system do to that Oregon yeah, anyway.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah, of course, it rejected it.
Mitch Matthews: Right? Because why?
Jonathan Levi: Well, the body has a set of patterns that it goes through that, uh, are pretty inflexible.
Mitch Matthews: Right. And it, it tends to reject those things that come from outside it. Right. So it's like, this is, this is my system. That's not my system out. Right. I think we do the same thing with ideas.
Right. And there's tons of data to back this up, but, you know, I usually don't have to lean on that at all. I can just say, you know, who's read a book recently, whether it's, you know, The Five Habits or Seven Principles or a diet book or an exercise book, and you totally commit to that. But you know, a couple of days later you can't remember where the book is and where the, whatever, those things. So let's just like go poof, because. They weren't yours.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah. I mean, I have to say that's a large part of the kind of neuroscience behind the course I teach in accelerated learning is actualizing that learning, internalizing it, connecting it to your existing knowledge or existing experiences. So that your brain, and actually there is, I mean, the hippocampus does exactly what you said.
If it's not relevant, if it's not something I agree with, if it's not something that I can connect to my existing knowledge, it removes it. So really the trick is to connect it to your prior experience so that your brain can't differentiate it from things you already know and memories you already cherish.
Mitch Matthews: That's the magic. Huge. Absolutely. And, and people go, okay, that sounds great, but how the hell do you do that? Right. And I always say, okay, so, you know, as you read that book or as you decide, okay, I'm going to reach out and ask for this advice, uh, you know, whether it's to travel to Europe or, or go someplace, you haven't been, or to start a business, whatever, start to collect that advice, start to collect that information, whatever it is, those strategies.
But as you do that, ask yourself, how do I want to adjust this to make it mine? How do I want to, what, what can I learn from this? And put my own unique spin on it. Just like you talked about, it's just that whole thing of how do you relate it to your past experiences, but how do you take that and truly make it your own?
You know, I mentioned growing up in that, working at that bike shop, one of the things that I found, I loved selling bikes, loved it, but one of the things we found as we would sell bikes, That if we did just one thing, it would just greatly increase the chance that somebody would actually take the bike home and write it versus putting it up on a hook, you know, in their garage or in their basement, never ride it again.
And the simple thing was as we get them ready, uh, no matter how well the bike fit or whatnot, we would always stop and adjust the seat. Ooh. Yeah, it was such a simple thing. But what that process was, was that was a simple part of the process of making that bike their own.
Jonathan Levi: That's so interesting.
Mitch Matthews: Right? It, throughout ownership, it takes, it took it from an off the shelf bike, and all of a sudden it was accustomed bike, you know, or maybe we adjust the handlebars a little bit or put like a spiffy bag on it, or, you know, a color-coded water bottle or whatever, you know, get maybe some of those tight bike shorts on there, you know, whatever.
But whatever it took to make that bike unique to them, it made it their own. And I always say, whenever you're going out and getting advice, whenever you're going out and collecting that information, you're going to need to make that goal or dream or reality, always check yourself and say, how do I want to make this my own?
So, because one of the things that beats the intellectual immune system is ownership. And if you can instill that sense of ownership, all of a sudden those principles, they become your own. And you can remember them. You can remember them in your sleep. You know, those, those, those habits, all of a sudden, they become your habits.
And those habits are things you live by, you know, whether you want to, or not, you're doing them on a day-to-day basis because you own them. So. I always say, you know, one of the first things you're going to need to do is say, who can I be learning from? But as you go out and do that, learning watch out for that intellectual immune system and overcome it.
And as you do that, you'll be applying those strategies all the more.
Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. And I love that you touched on essentially mentors and you know, none of the most successful people in the world did it on their own.
Mitch Matthews: No, exactly. Right. It's huge. That's, that's one of the other big aspects of this that we talk about too, is, is that a lot of times, you know, whether it's kind of as Americans, you were kind of individualistic and we can do this, you know, that kind of thing. Uh, but so often we tend to be pretty independent. And so a lot of times, you know, as you start to go after a dream or a goal, you start to realize, you know, just like you said, we can't do it on our own, even though we want to do it on our own.
But then it's almost that whole thing of recognize that. All of a sudden, we start to think, okay, I need help. And for a lot of people needing help, almost feels like a weakness. It feels like something you have to hide. And I always say, you know, keep in mind, especially, you know, and with doing these big dream gatherings for years now, we've seen this happen time and time again, that instead of if people don't hide those that need, instead, if they walk around like it's a puzzle piece and what they're doing is they're looking to see where does their puzzle piece fit with somebody else's puzzle piece.
We've seen it time and time again, where one person's need is another person's big dream. You know, it's kind of, well, let me give you an example. So we did a big dream gathering and a community and we promoted it and all that stuff. And a lot of times, as we do that, uh, you know, we hear from people that are excited about coming and we had one gal that ed let me know.
She was super excited about coming, but she was a little nervous because she was pregnant. She was due basically on the same day of the, the big dream gathering. So she wasn't sure she used to be able to come. And she was really excited and, and sure enough, that morning we get an email from her saying, hey, my water just broke.
I can't come to the event, but could you post my dreams, which is the ultimate compliment, but I'm thinking, Oh my gosh, there is a husband somewhere freaking out in the car. Like, honey, I have to go.
Well, it's like, let's get to the hospital, forget the dreams. Um, but we, so we did that. We, we post their dreams for, but, but a couple of days later, she was in the hospital. Everything went well with the birth mother and child, or great all these kinds of things. But there she is in the hospital with her baby a couple of days later, and a friend comes to visit.
And the subject of the big dream gathering comes up. Now she didn't get to come to the big dream gathering and her friend hadn't come to the big dream gathering either, but they start talking about it and the friend said so, so what, what is it that you. Wanted to put up, you know, what were some of your dreams?
And they started talking about their dreams. And one of the dreams was the gal that had had the baby was, was an artist. And she's like, you know, I've always wanted to have a website where I could sell my art and maybe, you know, I've got some other friends that are artists and I'd love to be able to sell their art, but it's kind of our own thing.
And this friend's like, Oh my gosh, do you know that you know, one of my dreams is doing websites. And then like what you do. They never had this conversation. And so they wound up working together. Building a website where they were actually able to sell the artwork and those kinds of things. It actually creates a really nice passive income for both of them.
Um, and it was all because they'd been willing to not only talk about their dreams but also talk about the needs that they had around those dreams. And we've seen that happen time and time again, where somebody had the courage to not only dream, but talk about what were some of their needs to make those dreams a reality.
The person in the room, the best friend, the, even the stranger sometimes, or even a family member. It's just that old thing of being able to say sometimes, you know, that puzzle piece walked in with that other gals puzzle piece. And all of a sudden, you know, they were able to actually help each other to achieve their dreams, uh, by helping each other out.
Jonathan Levi: Well yeah, I mean, it's a subject that's actually come up on the show before with the law of attraction or some people have read the secret. I mean, once you put out that energy in the universe of what you're looking for, what you have to offer, you know, whether you call it God, whether you call it karma, whether you call it luck or kismet or whatever it might be, somehow some force will manage to pair you with, you know, the corresponding component.
Mitch Matthews: It's pretty cool. It's very cool. Amazing to watch. And it's just one of those where, uh, you know, I know we've seen it in our lives. Feel wildly blessed to have seen it time and time again in our lives. Um, but you know, we've been able to see it without other people. And sometimes it's, you know, building a business together sometimes it's, you know, we had one big dream gathering where basically six people all decide all posted dreams about skydiving, and most of them had wanted to skydive for years.
And so they just decided, you know what, let's help each other out. Let's just set a date and let's all go do it. And they let, let me know they were going to do it. And so all of them, you know, they set a date. I think it was for like June and they all showed up and you know, some of them had to travel a long distance.
Some of them didn't, they all show up and all six of them jumped out of a plane. Amazing. The cool thing, five people lived. No, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. Six of them live, but it was that whole thing of, uh, you know, they needed each other just from just, you know, they didn't need somebody to fly the plane.
They, you know, all that kind of stuff. It was just, they needed each other for accountability, for support encouragement. So sometimes, I mean, it's a real intricate and those needs, and sometimes it's just simple, you know? Um, but that is, it's just, it's just amazing to actually see that play out.
Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. And I've seen that so many times. It's, it's, uh, one of the few things that makes me really believe in a higher power. I have to admit.
Mitch Matthews: No doubt. No doubt.
Jonathan Levi: Let me ask you this. We've talked a lot about the importance of goals and priorities and setting goals and writing them down. Do you use any prescribed system?
Like GTD getting things done or do you have any kind of system for outlining how your goals should look?
Mitch Matthews: Um, that's great. I mean, not getting things done is fantastic. Uh, you know, there's a lot of great resources out there, you know, what's hilarious is that I actually, you know, I have some, some systems that I talk about on my website, but I'm, you know, I'm also a huge fan of kind of keeping things simple, but in the, in the, uh, Kind of in the air or staying true to the intellectual immune system.
I've kind of had to say, okay, what are my own systems? And so, you know, as an example, I'm, I'm a big fan of, you know, creating to-do lists as well as to-don't lists and all of that. Yeah. And that's, that's big as far as I think actually my to-don't lists. Are actually tends to be more important than my, to-do lists.
And those to-don't lists are basically kind of creating restrictions on certain things that I'm not going to do. Or I'm only going to do them once I've completed this, You know, this task or those kinds of things. And I just keep those as readily apparent as my to-do lists. And it's, you know, it's just such a simple thing, but here's, here's where I'm weird, Jonathan is that I appreciate digital.
Um, digital to-do lists. So I use, uh, the, you know, the app called Things to keep track of my to-do lists, but I'm also old school from the standpoint that, um, you can clip them off, you know, digitally and all that stuff. But I actually found there's, there's more power in it for me. To actually, and this sounds s
o antiquated, it's almost a little embarrassing, but it helps to hit home how the intellectual immune system works because I tried a lot of different people's systems.
And until I figured out kind of, I gave myself permission to put my own thumbprint on something. And I say, you know, to everyone, like you probably don't have to go this extreme or this weird, but so I'm a to do list guy. Right. But I found that clicking a to-do list. Item is not as satisfying as checking it off on paper.
Right? So here's my weird thing that I do is I actually print off. So I have all my to-do list. Am I to don't list electronic? And, and my, my green friends, you're probably not gonna appreciate this, but I actually print off my to-do list and I put it in a journal. I tape it into a journal so that at the end of the day I can actually, or as I'm going, I actually can physically check those things off.
And I've found that there's just a higher level of satisfaction. Hm from doing that and it makes a difference. I know I just had Rory Vaden on my, uh, podcasts here recently and, and, uh, he wrote the book procrastinate on purpose. Um, he's done some incredible things, you know, he talks about not managing your time, but multiplying your time.
But one of the biggest things he talks about is finding those little rewards. Find those literal little rewards. Um, as you do certain items, you know, whether it's, uh, you know, a Tootsie roll or a piece of chocolate or something like that, along the way, what are those little things? And I found for myself just that physical, the physicality of that, checking it off, as opposed to just clicking on it.
That was enough of a reward that it registered a difference for me. And I found so much more satisfaction. Plus there's just something at the end of the day of looking at a, to-do list, that's got checks all over it just like, dang, you know, today was a good day. You know what I mean? So it's, it's. It's simple, things like that, to be able to say, you know, which whichever system you're going to do, find ways to make it your own, whether they're weird, like me, or just, you know, little subtle things, whatever, to put your own unique thumbprint on that.
So that's, you know, just as an example for me.
Jonathan Levi: I love that. Let me ask you one more question before we kind of wrap up any books, a couple of books that are most impacted you or your client's lives?
Mitch Matthews: Oh, boy. Uh, yeah, so, uh, you know, um, I'm a reader, so I love, uh, love this question, and I kind of went back and I thought, okay.
So one of the ones that I love to always put out there is, uh, Dan Pink wrote a book called Drive. And when that is one book that is just a complete game-changer. It's, it's, it's offensive. And all the right ways. Uh, and you, if you haven't read it, you'll love it. If you have read it, I bet you loved it, but it's, it's basically looking at, uh, clinical research, but around this question of what motivates us, and it is fascinating because some of the social norms that we've established, especially around the carrot and the stick.
Don't in fact work, especially in the creative class that we have now in our current economy, the carrot and the stick often are actually detrimental to motivation. Um, so it's a fantastic book and I always love recommending that one. Plus I'm getting, I'm working on getting Dan Pink on my podcast, so I always give him a shout out first.
Amazing. Uh, so, uh, you know, I'm also a huge Seth Godin fan. So, you know, we talk about experimenting. I know you're a huge fan of experimenting, but Seth Godin, you know, it's amazing as he's progressed as an author, his books keep getting smaller and shorter, which I'm impressed by. I think it's more difficult to make your point with fewer pages and fewer words.
Uh, but one of his more recent ones is Poke the Box. I'm not sure if you've read that, but it is fantastic around kind of the subject of experimenting, kind of pushing the limits, but more importantly, pushing your own limits, but it's, it's a fast read. It's an airplane book. Uh, but man, it will stick with you forever.
And then I thought of another one that had a huge impact on me. And this kind of goes back to the beginning of our conversation about being an introvert or an extrovert. Um, and you know, no matter who you are, no matter what you're doing, whether you want to be an entrepreneur, whether you've you're an entrepreneur and growing your business, or, you know, whether you're a salesperson or whatever is, you know, network your network.
Makes a huge difference. Oh, I always say, you know, it's that the network is critical, but what's even more important than that is relationships. Right. I mean, relationships are, are truly, what's, what's so important. Um, because that network, it's a little bit about kind of who do you know? Uh, but also, you know, when you talk about relationships, who do you know, love and trust and who knows you and loves and trust you.
Um, and so there's a book by Tim Sonders, um, called Love is the Killer App. It's not a new book. It's probably 10 years, maybe 10 years plus old. Um, but, uh, it's called Love is the Killer App and it sounds kind of touchy-feely, uh, but it is a fantastic book about creating value. And creating relationships and connections.
Um, and he does it in such a way that's compelling. Uh, but it's at a timeless fashion I made it's definitely, um, You know, strategies that you can weave in aspects of social media and some of the tools that we have now, but this one's kind of a timeless, uh, book at the same time. I think it's, in some ways, one of the best newest additions to how to win friends and influence people, uh, but from a business perspective and kind of a more modern-day business perspective.
So Tim Sonders, Love is the Killer App.
Jonathan Levi: I was going to say, I almost thought for a second, you were going to pitch me on the Dale Carnegie, which is perhaps my favorite book of all time.
Mitch Matthews: Well, it's one of those that Dale's, that is a fantastic and incredible book. And I think Tim Sonders comes up right next to it.
And I think reinforces some, but it infuses kind of a newer approach to it that I think if you're a, if you're a Dale Carnegie fan or the, you know, how to win friends and influence people fan, you're going to love this from that standpoint, it feels like he's throwing a couple of new tools in that toolbox.
Fantastic. So check it out. Great. Yeah.
Jonathan Levi: Mitch, if people want to get in touch with you, I have to admit, I don't even know where to send them because you got the blog, you've got the podcast, you've got the book, you got the gathering.
Mitch Matthews: So what are we saying? Just so much. Yeah. The easiest thing to do is just start kind of, uh, with our core website, which has mitchmatthews.com, M I T C H M A T T H E W S dot com. That will kind of allow you to find out about the big dream gathering about, uh, um, some of my speaking and, and the podcast as well, as well as some of the other stuff that we're up to.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah. And don't forget the book of course.
Mitch Matthews: Right, right. And actually, if people want to visit mitchmatthews.com, we have our book, Ignite and it will, uh, give you three steps to help you kind of reignite some of those buried or lost dreams and help you to get clear and then build a plan that finally works. If you visit the website right there on the front page, you can actually download a full audio copy of the book as well as an action guide.
So I'd invite you to ensure, you know, go grab the book itself on Amazon. Get an, an, uh, Kindle or paperback. Uh, but if you want to just download the audiobook, we want to get it out there. We want to help people, uh, reignite those dreams. So, um, go check that out and I invite you to do it.
Jonathan Levi: Awesome. Give me one takeaway. If people take one thing away from this interview, what do you want it to be?
Mitch Matthews: Oh, I love it. So here's the thing. I think, you know, we've talked about a lot, but I, one word that kept coming up was permission. And I know for a lot of us, uh, it's that, you know, giving yourself that permission in the beginning, just to dream and giving yourself that permission to maybe even write some of those dreams down and then giving yourself permission to think what are some of those small, but significant steps you could take.
And also what if you gave yourself permission to reach out. To ask for some help, but also give some help. So give that some thought, but more importantly, give yourself permission to get started.
Jonathan Levi: That's a big takeaway. I think that's the essence of success right there. So perhaps we'll end on that. Mitch, it's been such a pleasure chatting with you today, and I really appreciate the time. So let's keep in touch.
Mitch Matthews: Absolutely. You're one of my heroes, Jonathan, keep up the great work buddy.
Jonathan Levi: Back at you back at ya. You have a great evening.
So that's it for this week's episode. I hope you guys thoroughly enjoyed it. If so, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes and to share it with your friends and family.
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Closing: Thanks for tuning in to the Becoming SuperHuman podcast. For more great skills and strategies, or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit www.becomingasuperhuman.com/podcast. We'll see you. See you next time.Thanks for tuning in to the Becoming SuperHuman podcast. For more great skills and strategies, or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit www.becomingasuperhuman.com/podcast. We'll see you. See you next time.