Mike’s Mailbag: Compete to Create

Hola Amigo,

Fill up your cup of joe and let’s go.

  • This is a really interesting read courtesy of a professional colleague of my favorite university professor at Dalhousie. The man goes by the name of Jeff Swsytun and lives in Toronto as a marketing & brand consultant. I have not met him but hope to one day. This is his take on the Palessi stunt where a New York marketing agency and Payless Shoes teamed up to create a fake store re-selling Payless shoes as $649 priced luxury shoes. While this particular event is the medium for his message, his extrapolation of the stunt as an indictment of our times is rather interesting. “Today, the majority of influencers are nobodies trying to be celebrities. Influencers are close cousins to “life coaches”. These twenty-something life coaches hang out a pseudo-science shingle with zero bona fides except their shared love of not working. More often than not, they pump-out hollow, try-to-feel-good diatribes on Instagram beneath a photo of them posing in sunshine only to return home at night to a bed in their parents’ basement before crying themselves to sleep.” Harsh? Perhaps. True? I’d say so.
  • A good buddy of mine in Toronto sent me an e-mail out of the blue in early January titled “Brett’s Year in Review”. I’d never received something like this. At the bottom of his note, he cheekishly wrote “See, even Tim Ferriss agrees with me” and included a link to this LinkedIn article. Tim’s message to readers is rather than create a list of lofty New Years resolutions, try doing a deep dive recap of the past year. I followed suit and found the exercise very useful. 2018 didn’t really feel like a peachy year but after doing a deep dive on the year that was, it reminded that things weren’t so bad. In fact, I was actually surprised and grateful for how many great things transpired amidst the struggles I encountered. 2018 in the books, 2019 top of mind. Perhaps doing such an activity might help you capstone 2018, for good or for bad, and shift your mindset into crushing 2019.
  • Dr. Michael Gervais – one of the eminent minds and thought leaders in the sports psychology / peak performance world today. The creator behind the podcast Finding Mastery and course Compete to Create. This is a company that he and Pete Carroll – Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks – founded to create a curriculum focused on mindset training. Traditionally, this course was only offered in corporate settings but they created an online version and had their first cohort of participants from around the globe start in the fall. I was lucky enough to be a part of this cohort and completed the jam packed 2-month course. If you’re looking to pull your headspace out of the gutter and develop a winning mentality or perhaps you’re only operating at 75% of potential and want to get to 90+%, I’d highly recommend Compete to Create. All of their team are ex-Olympians or high achievers in their own right and the curriculum is easily digestible if you’re willing to put in the work. This short clip of a project Dr. Mike undertook this fall dubbed – Project Catalina – will give you a better idea of who he is and what he’s all about.

What I’m Pondering / Struggling With / Grown From:

If you’re reading the Mailbags and not just reading / listening to the material but studying the materials, putting in the work, finding tidbits to incorporate into your craft, I’m in your corner all the way and betting on you. And if not, it’s never too late to start. I got beat down in 2018. An element of victims mentality started creeping into my mindset from all the perceived failures (in actuality, lessons) that transpired in 2018. If you’re struggling with your mindset, I feel you and am 100% empathetic to what you may be going through. I’ve been there. If this is you, reach out and let’s chat. If you’re not quite ready to share but are building up your courage behind closed doors, I’d recommend listening to the audiobook “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins. It is by far the most powerful audiobook I’ve ever listened to. If you let it change you, it will.

Quote of the Week: When the stake are high, do you bet on yourself? That’s a sign of inner mastery.” – Dr. Michael Gervais

With Gratitude & Fire,

– Wilkesy


Mike’s Mailbag: Career Capital over Courage

Hola Amigo,

Fill up your cup of joe and let’s go.

#MikeTime this week produced a reflection of sorts on my entrepreneurial ambitions running 4th Line Grind and building Eggnite in a piece called “Career Capital over Courage“.

Career Capital over Courage

Over the Christmas holidays, I delved into the audiobook “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” by Cal Newport. I’ve followed Cal’s thought leadership for years (TED talk “Why You Should Quit Social Media”) but this was the first actual book of his I’ve read / listened to.

It explores the notion of why millennials should opt for building career capital (aka. rare & valuable skills) over pursuing and trying to monetize passions.

Why is this important? Well, because this very thought haunts many 20 and 30-somethings on a daily basis, maybe even you.

Chances are, when scrolling through YouTube, you get pop up ads from various millennial gurus who escaped the grasp of the corporate world to monetize a passion (or create BS click-bait) from their laptop and travel the world while doing so. The glorified montage often leaves the viewer with the message what are you waiting for? Muster up the courage and take the leap.

You start to wonder if the key to leaving your day job really is just a matter of building up the courage to leave the known in favor of pursuing all the passions bottled up inside of you?

Let me share with you my own story circa’ March ‘17 and explain why, at least in my own experience, courage and passion only get you so far…

Full article here -> https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/career-capital-over-courage-mike-wilkes/?published=t

Quote of the Week: A business is like a canoe. The greatest risk is getting in and out” – Logan Day

Song of the Week: The Knife” – Maggie Rogers. Full album “Heard it in a Past Life” dropped last night and is all kinds of fire…

With Gratitude & Eyes Ahead,

– Wilkesy

Mike’s Mailbag: When 7/10 is Better than 10/10.

Hola Amigo,

Is your coffee hot? If so, let’s get rolling.

Mike’s Mailbag is up & running in 2019 under the notion of giving more 7/10’s. More on that below…

But first, just one clip for the week, some background on the “Foundational Five” pillars behind Mike’s Mailbag, and my opening thoughts for the year in a new section called “What I’m Pondering / Grappling With / Grown From“.

  • If you can’t think greater than how you feel, or feelings have become the means of thinking, by very definition of emotions, you’re thinking in the past. And for the most part, you’re going to create the same life.” – Dr. Joe Dispenza on Impact Theory. Whether you call them resolutions, goals, systems, if you are committing to change yourself in 2019, this video is unbelievably thought provoking.

What I’m Pondering / Grappling With / Grown From:

I’ve never been more content to put a calendar 365 days in the rear-view mirror. 2018 was a year of struggle, pain, difficulty caging my monkey mind, and learning a lot of life lessons the hard way (entrepreneurship & business, personal relationships, mental health).

As the year progressed, the tides started to turn when I started down a new career path. I tried to mentally prepare for the step up in responsibility joining a fast-growing, disruptive start-up making waves on a national scale. Like a lot of challenges in life, you can never really fully prepare yourself and just have to learn to swim amidst the chaos.

It has been a very enriching experience but up until now, the rigor of getting up to speed in the business forced me to sacrifice a lot of what I dub “Mike Time” – sacred time where I dive into building knowledge and exploring creative outlets. Namely, writing Mike’s Mailbag.

I recently had coffee with my mentor and was running him through a laundry list of things ruminating in my mind. I’ve always maintained that I would only write my Mailbag if I could give it 100% effort. He challenged me on that notion within the context of the increasing demands on my schedule. His message went something like this, “Mike – as you grow older, your life becomes less and less about you. There are very few things that you’ll be able to allocate 100% effort and dedication to. You need to become more comfortable giving more 7/10’s on effort — it’s the cost of participation. Otherwise, you’ll end up doing very few things in life outside of work if you’re only willing to engage at 100%.

Before you say, easy Mike, that message wreaks of mediocrity. Hear out the rationale – the point is not to diminish your standards or quality of work (nor reduce effort on the primary activity(s) in life -> spouse, kids, career, whatever it is for you). It is to learn to scale your time more effectively, cut out the slack and bullshit (social media, aimless nights of drinking, Netflix, etc) in your life to focus on enriching elements that pay personal dividends.

In turn, the benefit of you participating in more creative, athletic and social outlets will lead to your new 7/10 becoming better than your previous 10/10. The net effect of not doing an activity because of only engaging at 10/10 effort is ZERO.

Hopping back in the saddle and writing this Mailbag is my 7/10. Feels a lot better than zero and I’m not going to lie to you, it feels pretty damn good…

My question to you – what is something in your own life that you’ve stopped engaging in because of life getting in the way? If you could muster up a 7, participating would feel pretty good, wouldn’t it?

Song of the Week: The Gaudy Side of Town” – Gayngs

Quote of the Week: “I don’t think you can find peace without going to war with yourself. You have to figure out who you are. People want to jump to peace before they go to war.” – David Goggins

With Gratitude & Eyes Ahead,

– Wilkesy