When you think about winning, how many times in our lives do we take the normal and regular definition of winning and just go with it? How many of us have limiting beliefs that literally define what a win is? On today’s podcast, Merrill Chandler shares a recent experience where he took an exercise with other CEOs about teamwork and defining what winning looks like for them. Oftentimes, our limiting beliefs rob us of our biggest wins simply because we do not define what winning is for us. Winning is not always about reaching the finish line first. Sometimes, it’s about enjoying the ride and finding other opportunities along the way.
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How Limiting Beliefs Rob You Of Your Biggest Wins
In this episode, I have got a wild ride to share with you. I’m going to share with you about a massive breakthrough that I had that is bigger than just fundability, even though it does apply to fundability. I can’t wait to share with you the insanity of my own limiting beliefs.
This one shook me to my roots. I’m going to confess. It is no bueno. I played this horribly. What am I talking about? First of all, I’ve shared with you in different environments where I joined what’s called Multiple Club. I went to Multiple Club thinking that I was becoming part of how to raise the value of my business, how to become a better CEO or in my case, how to become a CEO at all. We were at this quarterly event and I got my ass handed to me. The first activity on the first day of this quarterly event, we are in two vans and we are going from Newport Beach where they picked us up from our hotel and drove us out to the Salton Sea. I’m from Utah and we’ve got Salt Lake.
This is 2 to 3 times the size of the Great Salt Lake. They call it the Salton Sea. Next to it are all these sand dunes and crazy places to do off-roading, ATV Razors which are like dune buggies but with huge knobby tires. It’s a whole thing. I’d never been on a Razor before. When I say Razor, I’m talking about a dune buggy with massive knobby tires and all-terrain. We pull up to this all-terrain vehicle rental place and we’re all excited. All of a sudden I was like, “This is going to be so much fun. I can’t wait. We’re going to get out in the dirt.”
Winning The Race
I’m thinking everybody has an ATV or whatever is going to be. We go over to the side and it’s announced to us by Nick, our captain, chief and facilitator, “We’re going to split you up into teams of four people in each Razor.” We started all dividing up, and they named the people who are going to be in each car. You have to understand this. First of all, we’re all excited. It’s our first quarterly event. There were five Razors with four people each because there are twenty of us in the event. They came to us outlined who the four people were, and they set down some rules.
They said, “Take five minutes and decide how you’re going to win this race.” The only rules are that every single person has to drive 25 minutes. You couldn’t just all be radical drivers. Even the scaredy–cats would have to spend 25 minutes at the wheel. We huddle up as a group. We’re like, “Here’s our game plan. Who should lead out?” Nick is an amazing man. He’s going to be on a later episode. You’re going to love it. Nick is going to be the first to drive. I’m second or third with a follow-up on the last driver.
We have our plan. Everybody has their plan. There are four other cars. We all jump into our vehicles, and then they take us out to these dry washes where the runoff would go if it rained in this desert. It’s a huge wash. We set up five cars side by side, waiting for the flag. While we pulled up, something went wrong with one group. We were down to four of us. They were going to go back, and then they were going to do the activity. They weren’t part of the race. We all line up and we’re all excited. All of a sudden, they did the huge go.
If you’re not the lead car, you are eating dirt. I‘ve got 3 or 4 pictures that I took with my iPhone bouncing around because I was in the back passenger. I’m trying to catch pictures and it was insane. We’re blazing. We ended up passing one group. We’re third and we’re eating dust. We’re trying to get around these other guys. Dirt and sand were flying everywhere. Within a minute, we were covered and crusted with sand and dirt. We’re blazing through this desert. We’re given the instruction to follow a certain trail. We’re blazing up through this wash. We turn onto this dirt road. It’s a little smooth for a minute, and then we’re blazing and everybody has a pedal to the metal.
These are CEOs of anywhere between $1 million and $10 million businesses. Everybody’s trying to increase the valuation. Everybody’s participating in the Multiple Club as a way to create greater value in their communities and for the enterprise or business. We’re tapping on each other on the head going, “Go, go, go.” What do you get when you have sixteen alpha males and one alpha female? It’s insanity. There was no letting up on the gas. There were times when we are bouncing our rear end up. I was hitting my helmet on the roll bar because we are hitting every single bump at full speed.
We come up on this hairpin turn. It was unique. It was a bank. It was 12 feet high. You could gun it all the way around the corner and keep going, except we went so high that our right wheel caught a little crevasse between the banking hill and the rest of the hill. It dumped it right in there and straight-up flipped the car. We were several minutes ahead of the car behind us, and we were seconds behind the car ahead of us. No visibility, no dirt, no nothing. We wheeled around this hairpin curve up on the bank and totally flipped the car. It was like two minutes because there’s a little bit of shock and denial, the human condition.
I’m sitting there hanging from my seatbelt as is everybody, but we’re on our side. We didn’t end up on top of the roof. We didn’t roll it all the way over so we were belly up. I’m hanging for my seatbelt and the front passenger is also hanging. The other two were on the ground because it’s open air all the way around, shoulders on the ground in the passenger or on the driver’s side both front and back. This was a nightmare. I’m hanging there. Everybody’s like, “Is everybody okay? Can you feel your appendages, any blood, anything going on?” We all checked out. First of all, praise the adventure gods for this one. One of the guys said, “Who gets out first?” I’m like, “I think the downside need to slide outside of the window and get out first,” because the passenger side people were hanging. There was so much body weight on these that I had to use both hands to pull up on the roll bar, so my partners could unbuckle my belt. I fell to the ground from that side.
I now have the personal experience. We’re out in the sand and desert, but I totally understand now when somebody crashed into the water and there’s panic going on. The water’s coming up and somebody says, “I can’t get out of my seatbelt,” because there’s this pressure depending on where you are. I’m relatively strong. I had to use my strength to lift up to take the body weight off of the seatbelt so I could get out. I fall to the ground and my partner in front of me in the passenger side front, we both hit the ground and crawl out through things.
We all get out. We’re all checking each other. We turn around 360 and make sure it’s going on. I had a little blood on my hands and the driver, the other Nick, his shoulder had started to hurt, but no big deal at this point. Nobody’s come up behind us. They’re still way back. We walk out above. We turn around and behold the mayhem that had come out of there and everything that had happened. We’re all laughing and it’s that awkward, nervous laugh because we’re not going to “win this race.” We call the rest of the crew and they were in the chase car Razor. They came up and everybody’s laughing. It was so absurd that we even have the guys pull out their drones and take pictures, and it’s floating over. It was cool as hell. It was amazing. We‘re all alive. No one was hurt.
In the chase car comes up Nick one, the facilitator. I do not remember all the details because I was still in a little bit of shock, but it went something like this. What were your instructions? Instructions were you guys figure out what it means for you to win. What are you going to do to win? For us, all these alphas and our car especially because Nick was pedal to the metal. He was pegged the entire time. We all had bruises to prove it. Define what are you going to do to win. All of a sudden, that creeping suspicion came up, “Was this a wordplay? What’s going on here?” What came up for me and what I did learn was that we were in charge of defining what a win looks like. It wasn’t a race. He said, “You guys circle up and find out how are you going to win? What does it mean to you to win?”
It didn’t have to be a race. The point was made. How many of you went up on the bench of the bluff and looked over the beautiful surroundings? That’s a win. Every one of us interpreted it as a race. The funny thing was the rule was everybody had to spend 25 minutes at the wheel and even the fastest car didn’t technically win because they got there and only went through two drivers, not all four. Given all of the facts, we were in charge of what a win meant. We could have done 100 things. They had these cool things where you run up the hill, your motorcycles do it, there are all kinds of outdoor competitions, and get all the way to the top. There were several places to do that, that were designed for us to climb. If they’re there and they’re designed for us to climb, it’s going to be relatively safe. We already biffed it. What are we going to do? We’re not going to get more hurt. Every one of these was safe by design, but to give us the thrill of hitting these huge peaks.
There are these great hotpots and natural springs. None of us went to check out the natural springs. None of us jumped in the water. None of us did any of it. We raced to the end of the thing, trying to beat each other. We’re all on the same team. None of us are competitors in the marketplace. We’re all on the same team to build value in our organizations, inside of our persons, in our communities, and in the world. We didn’t collaborate. Not even the four people in the car collaborated. It was, “Go, 25 minutes,” then we’ll switch and you go 25 minutes. We didn’t define a win.
Our Limiting Beliefs
My limiting beliefs and every one of us, our limiting beliefs were this is a race. We’re all alphas and the winner is the one who crosses the finish line first. Even if only 2 of the 4 drivers got there. There was no accounting for the rules that were given to us. It was like, “Get across them.” It was so limited and narrow the definition of what winning looks like. You guys know where I’m going with this. How many times do you do the same thing that I did? How many times in our lives do we take the normal and regular definition of whatever is happening and we go with it? How many of us have limiting beliefs that define what a win is and it is external? We take it in as we did, “It’s a race. We’re all alphas. Let’s kill the other guys. Let’s kill the people in our groups. Let’s do this.”
There are two women in our group. I mentioned one because she was driving. We didn’t have a woman in our group, but the whole idea, part of the feedback loop after the event was, “Let’s put the women in a place because they’re not going to drive as radical as we are so we can make up time.” Not one of us were working as a team. We were all, “How do we peg this and make up for any weaknesses in this group?” I’m the oldest gentleman in the entire crew. In our car, I was the guy representing perhaps the weak link. They have never seen me drive.The thing that makes an adventure is a tragedy we survive. Click To Tweet
Much to my chagrin, a quick story. One of my partners a long time ago in Lexington, his name is John. We were going to lunch. He said, “Go ahead. Take the front seat,” and he gets in the backseat. Somebody said, “I wanted to defer, you’re older than me. I wanted you to have the front seat.” He goes, “No, I want to be as far away from the point of impact as possible,” because I am the freaking alpha driver. In this case, they all think that because I’m the oldest guy in the car, I am not going to flip this thing on my own as well, because I got that adventure gene. As I’ve defined to you guys in 100 different ways, the thing that makes an adventure is a tragedy we survive. I’ve survived every single one of my tragedies. They’re all adventures to me now and I have that feedback loop that everything’s an adventure because I survive everything.
In this case, they were playing to me as being the weak link. I never got a chance to drive. We biffed it on our first driver. The point is that we weren’t working as a team. We weren’t using each other’s strengths and perspectives. It was literally a win. There was no discussion. We had five minutes to decide what win looked like to us, and we took 30 seconds. How do you in your life give away all of your power to your beliefs about what a win is? Like me in this case especially, and all of my comrades, how many times do you not define the win?
What Winning Means For You
One of the things that I learned coming out of this because I’m here to up my game as a CEO. I’m here to make my company a spectacular example of giving and contributing to the world, happy, healthy, vibrant workplace, and giving a gift to every one of our students and clients. That’s my job as a CEO. What have I learned? You can ask any member of our team. Every team member is in the process or has gone through the exercise, “What does a win look like in your daily activities as an advisor, as the finance team, in enrollments?” Every one of us is in the process of defining what a win looks like on the day, on the week, on the month. What does it mean to win?
It isn’t just clients enrolled. For us, as a global organization globally, its clients funded, but there are also other metrics like how much money has been saved by students and clients by implementing fundability strategies? There are many things that we can define as a win. We’ve always defined as a win, “How many dollars in business loans and lines of credit?” Yet some of our happiest clients refinanced 6 or 7 properties, and are saving almost $10,000 a month in payments. That’s more than the two payments that they paid for their entire service with us because we got them in a position to get the very best possible rates. We’ve been defining for our clients and students what their win is instead of giving them the opportunity.
What’s a win? If I can refinance every one of my mortgages to 2.5%, 2.75%, that would be a godsend, but nope, “Merrill what do you want? Business lines of credit. Business loans.” For some, it is business loans and lines of credit. For some it’s like, “I want a powerful personal profile,” and they don’t even have a business, but they want to be able to get the best possible financing. In your life, in your business, where do you sell yourself out by externalizing your idea of a win? What does a win looks like, and what are the milestones that you get to define to hit that win?
Not only was this a brutal, emotional, spiritual, and psychic lesson for me. I noticed that I ended up with bruises all over my legs in the next couple of days. I was limping for two days because something kicked in on my hip from this. It wasn’t an accident. We are bound for it. I can’t call that an accident. The point is we all have limiting beliefs. We all have ideas that have been foisted upon us, that have been handed down to us. It could have been handed down from a mentor, parents, community, religion, political group, it doesn’t matter. We all have inherited beliefs. Socrates once said, “An unexamined life is a life not worth living.” How many of us have taken the time to examine our beliefs, and then define a win for us? What does a win look like for me?
Another example of that is even in this group, we got guys who are doing a thing called 75 Hard. It is a brutal exercise regime. There’s Core Four which is a self-defined exercise where it focuses on the body being balanced in business. The cool thing about Core Four is it’s self-defined. You get to define what a win looks like. There are suggestions for it, but you get to define what that looks like. I’m not in physical shape to do 75 Hard yet, but even in my own ranges, I get to push myself. I get to define for me what a win is. That’s the take-home message in this episode.
We got to stop using external values and priorities unless we’re willing to bring those into our space, evaluate them significantly, and then choose what a win looks like for you. It can be your physical regimen, your health and wellbeing. It can be your relationships. What is a win with your spouse or your children? What is a win in your Z? We spent time defining what is Z. In the entire scope of your life, what is your Z? What is your end game? What is the quality of life at any point in time? We’re not waiting until the end of our life. We’re saying, what is the maximum amount of quality that we want? Z is not your why? Your why is your motivation, generational wealth, a family that’s healthy, safe, and well educated, whatever they are. Your Z is the quality of life you have while you’re doing all of those activities and you get to define it.
In one bootcamp, I went through this exercise. What’s your Z? People are like, “I want a ranch in California that is self-sustaining.” Another one was like, “I want to circumnavigate the globe on my own sailboat.” Another one was to have a sailboat going from island to island in the Caribbean. That is Z. That’s the quality of your life, not the motivation that got you there. That’s why. In the bootcamp I say, “Why does not equal Z?” It gets you there. Unless you define what your Z is, we’re going to be heads down and working our asses off and not having a direction because we haven’t defined our win, and that’s not okay.
We get to define our win and that can be, “What are my weekends look like? If I love mountain biking, how many weekends do I spend mountain biking?” That’s my Z. That’s the quality of my life. I love spending time with my children, but how many of us spend time with our children? What is your Z and how do we accomplish that? You guys know me well. The Z for my business is funding your Z, getting you in position so that lenders look at you and go, “You can have my money.” That’s the entire Z of this business.
Define The Win
In the boot camp, I was going over this process. I said, “Do you want to circumnavigate the globe? Do you have the boat yet?” No. There’s our first way, the thing we can do to help. How do we get the best terms so you’re not going to have to pull out all your financials and all the tax returns in order to qualify? The first goal is how do we get the boat? The second goal is, how much time do you need out of the business to be able to do this? That’s the next thing. How do we build teams? How do we build credit lines so that we can finance expansion, so we can hit those things, so you can have your Z? Are you getting this? My Z is helping you fulfill your Z. To do that, you have to define the win.
They’re little tiny ones. We talked about this when we were doing the end of the year sprint. The new year’s revolution instead of the new year’s resolution. One of the things that we looked at is how do we create wealth in our finances, our health and wellbeing, and wealth in our relationships. Every one of those deserves your time and attention to define a win. What’s a win with your spouse, with your beloved, with your children, with your body?
I’ve been a slug for three years. Since I joined the Multiple Club group, every day I’m up to 225 reps and I pick the different types of activities. Some are burpee, pushups, shoulder presses in 25 increments. I get to define what my win looks like every single day by choosing the different 25 reps that I get to do. I am sore and happy because I’ve defined it to fit me. I’m not following one of the groups that these younger men are doing, but I’ll get there because I want to be the biggest, beautiful, bold and brilliant self I can be. I want that for you too. I know you want that for yourself. Let’s examine our beliefs. Let’s get rid of our limiting beliefs. Let’s define the win and let’s hold it as our Z, as the quality of our life in the day, week, month, quarter, year and our lifetime. We can do it and I want to do it with you. Let’s hit our Z.
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