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: Braving The Wilderness

Gooooood Morning,

Jumping right in…

  • A few months ago, I embarked on a road trip down to Seattle for the World Specialty Coffee Expo. On my way down, I listened to Perennial Seller (mentioned last week). On the way back, I listened to Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging by Brene Brown. Brene is an absolute powerhouse and trailblazer for mankind. I have a ton of respect for her. She dives deeper on the subject of vulnerability, shame, empathy and courage than anyone and is able to articulate her research in a very matter of fact manner. While some gents reading this may have had a spouse or girlfriend send you one of her TED talks in the past and you may have thought “nah, this vulnerability and empathy stuff isn’t for me.” If this is/was you, I’d encourage you to rethink your decision. At one point in time, this was me. Here is a good video to start with: “Why Your Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count?“. There’s plenty of material once you get rolling…
  • I’m in the midst of reading a book by Scott Adams. He is a very wise man and in this book, he lists all of the cognitive bias listed on Wikipedia. Scott thinks they are very useful to familiarize oneself with, even if on a very elementary level. Down the road, I’m going to take a deeper dive on the book but will leave you with the interesting list of cognitive bias to chew on…
  • A one-woman band. Multi-instrumentalist. Call these unbelievably talented ladies what you will. They are both incredible artists and play all of the instruments, loop them together, and sing over top. It’s done live and is all kinds of awesome to watch! Like seriously awesome…
  • Leafs / Islanders fan or not, how can you not love Johnny T? Class act and world class athlete. His farewell letter to Long Island after signing with the Leafs via The Players Tribune.
  • Quick clip of Nick Foles, backup QB turned Superbowl hero with a few words on embracing failure in an era of the highlight reel.

Song(s) of the Week: On the subject of cover music, I’m going to test-drive a new once per month feature called Five Cover Friday. 5 songs for the price of 1. Take a listen and then you’ll realize what a steal of a deal this is 🙂

  • Tennessee Whiskey” – Chris Stapleton live at Austin City Limits (George Jones)
  • Crazy” – Ray LaMontagne (Gnarls Barkley)
  • If I Needed You” – Mumford & Sons (Townes Van Zandt)
  • Bang Bang” – Kaleo (Cher)
  • Take Care” – Florence & The Machine (Drake & Rihanna)

Quote of the Week: “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked” – Warren Buffet

Happy Listenin’,


Mike’s Mailbag: The Scenic Route to Alaska

Goooooood Morning,

Apologies for missing last Friday, twas’ a busy week so we’ve audibled to Monday morning. Let’s put a little jump in your step to kickstart the week…

  • DISRUPTION Magazine. This is a new, hot off the press Canadian publication and is one of the best reads to get your fix on how disruptive technology is impacting the world we live in. The content is extremely relevant and explained in a way that allows even the non “techie” to digest and comprehend. I would highly recommend tuning in and spreading the word to other friends and colleagues inclined to stay sharp in this realm.
  • Do you have these 5 “super-skills” for the future? According to Fast Company, arming yourself with these will help you thrive in the evolving workforce. Agree or disagree?
  • This next interview is bold, humbling, and revealing. Dr. Michael Gervais is one of the world’s eminent sport psychologists and his recent interview with Tom Bilyeu on Impact Theory is raw, rugged and packs a punch. The first time I tuned in, I was hook, line and sinkered. I hit replay and took notes. Michael’s words (and Tom’s) may fall flat on some (you may even flat-out disagree) but to others, his words will strike your heart and mind like a lightning bolt. If you’re seeking growth in any area of your life (personally, professionally, in relationship, etc), this video is worth every second of your time.
  • Love Gary Vee or hate him, I’ve come to realize that he has some pretty insightful things to say. At first, his brashness and tone didn’t really resonate with me. But once I got through some of the smokin’ guns and cliches, I realized he puts out some really solid content. This two-minute clip on rationality in business is one of my favorites.

Coffee of the Week: Interesting look as Bloomberg open the kimono on 5 tricks Starbucks uses to seduce you in their shops. No interior detail is left to chance…

Song of the Week: A great tune to start your Canada Day roadtrips -> “Coming Back” by Scenic Route to Alaska

Quote of the Week: “Sometimes you need life to save you from what you want, so you can get what you need.” – Tim Ferriss

Make it a Great Week,