If you are like most people, it is highly likely that you have leaned on someone’s guidance and support at one point in your life or another. Even brilliant coaches like REI Radio’s Chris Arnold had to rely on coaches and mentors to help them stay at the top of their game.
In this episode, Chris shared the 5 biggest lessons he has learned from high level mentors this year and how he applied what he has learned to win and thrive despite 2020’s unprecedented challenges!
If you’d like to learn extraordinary wisdom that can help you become one of the best in the industry, consider listening to this episode a must!
The 5 Biggest Lessons I Learned from High Level Mentors in 2020 and How to Use it to Win the Wholesaling Game
This is a solo episode and you are just getting me. We are wrapping up the year. I wanted to spend some time sharing some of the lessons that I learned throughout the year from the coaches that I work with. I am a coach. If you are a coach, the most important aspect is that somebody’s also got a coach to coach. I am such a big believer in coaching as a whole. We go further and faster with a coach than we’ll ever go on our own.
For me, I have five coaches that I work with. You might say that’s crazy. For me, that’s a place that I’ve grown to. I find that having the right mentors and coaches around me matters the most of all the things that I invest in my life. I’m sure you’re asking, “Chris, what coaches do you have?” I will share that. I have a leadership coach that I work with that focuses on helping me become a better leader within my organization and my household. Anything that I’m leading, that’s what he focuses on.
I have an accountability coach as well that is someone that I can open up and share the difficult things with, the hard things, and is there to check me and keep me on pace, a safe place for me to be able to go open up potentially about any struggles I have. The other coach I have is a fitness coach, someone that I work with. Health is such an important aspect of the leader’s life. On top of that, I have a business executive coach, all strategy, all about growing the businesses that I work in.
Finally, I have a marriage coach as well. She works both with myself and my wife and comes in to make sure that my wife and I are continuing to better our relationship, which is something, particularly if you’re an entrepreneur, that you’ll continue to have to focus on. Business has challenged marriages. Those are the five coaches that I work with.
Here’s what you’re going to get. I’m going to share five things from the leadership coach that I picked up that would be of great value to you. I sat down and was reading through all the notes that I wrote down. You’re going to get to glean from an entire year of session after session me cherry-picking for you what I would consider some of the best principles that I picked up.
If you guys remember, there was a documentary series that came out on Netflix called The Last Dance and it was about the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan. It’s an excellent documentary if you haven’t seen it. A lot of us watched that documentary and were mesmerized by the level at which Jordan played the game. He is a GOAT, one of the Greatest Of All Time. I remember going back to my leadership coach and I asked him, “How does someone become the Michael Jordan of leadership? How do you attain that type of level?” Watching his commitment to the game made me question my performance level because I’m not pushing at the level that Jordan did.
Don’t take your eye off of your marriage and your family. Continue to put time and make it a priority in your life.
Situational Performance Vs. Lifelong Performance
My coach told me something important. He helped me understand the difference between situational and what would be called lifelong performance. Situational performance is what we see with people, primarily that are athletes. If I’m preparing for the Olympics over a four-year period and you look at the pace that I’m running at, you’re going to see me sacrificing on an extremely high level. You’re going to see a sense of obsession about getting everything right, shooting for perfection. That’s what’s required. You see this with athletes as well that are playing at a professional level.
What my coach helped me understand was that type of performance is situational. It’s for a season. Even if you watch the Jordan series, you see how exhausted he became. He could do that for a certain amount of seasons, but in no way was that a lifelong pace. He said, “Chris, you’ve got to understand that as a leader, as an entrepreneur, you’re not in situational performance. You are in what you would call lifelong performance.” That was huge for me to understand because the pace at which you move, the way in which you balance your day, treating life much more like a marathon is a better picture of what our day-to-day should look like as entrepreneurs.
A lot of times, there’s a lot of people out there talking about the grind and the hustle. We apply what we see from these great athletes, these people that are showing us performance situationally. We shouldn’t model that in our business and our leadership because it’s apples and oranges. We’re on a lifelong journey and it’s about performance. I want to share a quote that he gave me that I thought was powerful. He said, “I’m not going to jeopardize my long-term sustainability for a short-term blast that consistently pushes me beyond my boundaries.” That brought it home.
Four Levels Of Burnout
For some of you reading, I want to paint that perspective and give you permission to not feel guilty because you’re not sacrificing and burning it at both ends every day that there’s something wrong. The prudent walk is the one that’s much more at a sustainable pace. The second thing I want to talk about that’s in relation to this is a grid to be watching yourself on what my coach taught me was the four levels of burnout. We hear about burnout all the time. One of the major reasons people drop out of business or fail in leadership is to burn themselves out.
My coach said, “Chris, you’ve got to realize that there are four levels of burnout.” I said, “I’ve never heard of that.” He said, “What I want to do is give you a filter so that you can understand where you’re at all times and know when you need to back off.” Level one is, “I’m physically exhausted, but I’m going to push through and make it happen.” There’s nothing wrong with that level. We all find ourselves at that place. Level two is, “I’m physically exhausted, but I’m going to keep pushing through.” All of a sudden, I’m starting to drop all responsibilities. I’m missing meetings, calendaring things wrong, and making mistakes.” All of that mistake-making and forgetfulness is a sign of being physically exhausted.
The real skill of a business is not the ability to turn it on and drive but the ability to turn it on and off at will.
Level three is, “I am physically exhausted, but I’m going to push through.” At this point, what I’m seeing happen is I’m starting to lose appetite. I’m not sleeping. I’m losing sleep. All of a sudden, there’s a physical manifestation of my body telling me that I’m exhausted. This is a dangerous zone to be in. Level four is a complete shutdown. All of a sudden, mentally, emotionally, you shut down. These are those moments you hear where people collapse on a bed or in a room and say, “Something happened. I had a breakdown.”
I wanted to share that with you guys because it’s important to utilize that filter as I am to understand where you’re at on those levels and to understand when you’re beginning to hit that danger zone, that red zone. One of the most important things I would tell you is that you can’t jump back these levels quickly. You have to back out of burnout. We say back out of burnout because if you back out, that means that you’re backing out slowly. You’re not at level 3, level 4, and then a couple of day period, go back to level 1.
Marriage In A Leader’s Life
One of the things that my coach challenged me on was understanding when I push up to those levels, I’ve got to be strategic for longer periods of time to understand what it means to move from level 3 to level 2, to level 1. It’s a much slower process. I wanted to share with you guys that you can back out of burnout. The third thing I want to share with you guys, which is important, is the fact that marriage is the most attacked thing in a leader’s life.
Running Multipliers Brotherhood as long as I’ve been around, I know this to be true when my leadership coach told me this, “Being a leader, the way that we’re wired as visionaries, and we’re drivers, we’re not normal people. We have a goal in mind. A lot of times, we will do whatever it takes to reach that goal. We’re not quitters. We persevere and we have grits.” One of the challenges we have is that it can get into the marriage in a lot of ways and affect that. My coach was clear about the importance of understanding that as a leader, that’s the place that you got to watch the most because it is the most vulnerable area in your life.
If you’re not reading, you stop being a leader.
I want to challenge you with and was challenged with your focus on growing your business. Don’t take your eye off of your marriage and family. Continue to put time and to put that as a priority in your life. One of the reasons I have a marriage coach is because if I have a coach in that area of my life, it should communicate to all of you that I’m making that a priority. That’s what I’m doing with my time. I’m devoting a particular amount of time to that.
One of the things that are important as we’re talking about pace and all of that type of stuff is the real skill of business is the ability not to drive and turn it on. It’s the ability to be able to turn it on and turn it off at will. It’s that ability that when you sit down at the table for that day, you turn it on, you get that focus, and you accomplish what you need to, but when you push back from the desk and you walk back into your life, it’s that ability to turn it off. If you can’t turn it off, this is where your marriage is going to get attacked.
If you’ve been married to an entrepreneur for long, I’m sure your spouse, husband, or wife will tell you, “I don’t feel like you’re here. I don’t feel like you’re present.” That’s that inability to be able to truly turn the brain off, to turn the business off. That’s a skill. One of the things I wanted to share that I was challenged with is understanding that marriage is an extremely vulnerable place for you as a leader and you’ve got to put extra time and attention into that.
Taking A Visionary Role
The fourth thing is I was taking the visionary role. Everything that we have to focus on in a business, particularly if you’re new right now and you’re like, “The amount of things I feel like I’m trying to keep up with my business and focus on, I can’t even think about taking on 1 or 2 more things.” It’s a normal place to be. I want to paint a picture for you of what the bullseye is long-term. If you’re new to the business and not here yet, that’s okay, but you are on a journey. I want to paint for you what it would look like for you as the owner of this company to walk in and do every day as the most important thing.
It’s like the final place, the final seat that you should be in, the final lanes in which you should be running in and everything else should be delegated. My coach helped me understand that every owner fundamentally has five priorities. You want to get to a place that all you’re doing is focusing on these five priorities. Number one is vision, the direction of where the company’s going. You’re responsible as the leader to pioneer, to answer the question, “What are we going to do next? Where are we going to go?” As you build a team, they’re looking for you to be the one out front guiding them and letting them know what’s going to be next.
Vision is something that you will end up with and continue to drive forward. The second priority of a leader is cash, the finances. It’s something that you should never take your eye off of. You will be responsible for the cash in the company. The cash balance is in the balance sheet and the P&L. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have bookkeepers, CPAs, and CFOs. At the end of the day, your responsibility is cash because cash is oxygen for your company. If you run out of oxygen, you die, bottom line. It’s got to be a continual priority for a CEO.
The third one is the right people on the right seats. As a CEO, you will always be responsible for finding great talent and making sure that the talent in your company is in the right positions doing the right things. As we’ve all heard the analogy that Jim Collins gives, “It’s all about getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” My coach is telling me and helping us understand that what Jim Collins is talking about is something that the CEO will always have their hand on.
50% of a leader’s time should be spent on personal development.
The fourth thing is key relationships, building, and networking. Networking is something that I have seen such value in because the broader and stronger you build your network, the bigger levels and rooms you’ve been to with people who are more successful and have more experience. Those relationships pay off in so many ways because you get ideas and you can raise capital. You can get pointed into JV relationships and opportunities.
As the actual owner of your company, key relationships will always be important. This could even be with people within the company, someone that’s a key person in your organization like a COO, also vendors, people that you’re working with that have a big part or a big hand in your overall revenue. Understand that key relationships are important. The fifth one is continuous learning. You’ve always got to be learning. As they say, “Leaders are readers.” If you’re not reading, stop being a leader.
I want to summarize those quickly for you because it creates such a clear picture in the midst of the tornado, the chaos, and all the things that sometimes get thrown at us. At the end of the day, being entrepreneurs or business owners, the sweet spot that we should all be trying to attain is, “All that I do and focus on as a leader is vision, cash, right people on the right seats, keeping key relationships and building those, and continuous learning.” That simplified it for me and I thought that that would be valuable for you.
Becoming The Resource
The last thing I wanted to share that I learned from my leadership coach was this concept of the farther you go in business and leadership, the more you are the resource. This is such a big shift because what I find is we get caught up in the doing side of the business, the performance side, the strategy side. My leader has ingrained in me that the being and the becoming side of the leader is what’s going to matter further down the line. The impact and ability to attract the right talent and have people come and work for you who want to help build your vision. Your ability to get out and do all the things required to do, which are primarily a lot of times through other people, is dictated on who you become as a person.
If you’re a high performer and an absolute a-hole, it’s going to limit you in what you can do and you’re not going to impact the lives of people. You’re going to get crap done. I’m not going to say that you’re not going to drive a business, build revenue, and be profitable. If you are in the game of business because you understand that more important than building your bank account is building a legacy and living a life that impacts people’s lives. You’re known as a business owner who took your business and turned the profits to impact causes that were near and dear to your hearts. For me, that’s an absolute no-brainer.
I’ve realized that the longer I’m in leadership, it’s more about who I’m becoming rather than what I’m doing because the farther I’m going down this journey, the more I am becoming the resource. I’m becoming the thing in the organization that’s important in the sense of who I’m becoming as a man, leader, father, husband or even a wife. That is such a powerful thing to understand. As you’re growing your business, make sure that you’re taking the time to read books, go to conferences, or hire coaches, whatever it is that sharpens you.
I’ll leave you with this statistic I heard from a leader one time that I thought was powerful. He said, “In my opinion, 50% of a leader’s time should be spent on personal development.” I heard that and I thought that that was staggering. I began to understand a lot more that the reason that is because the leader that said that understood the importance of becoming and being overdoing. That’s what I want to share with you guys. I love this. If you were down in Tulum visiting me because you were on vacation and we were sitting by the ocean kicking back, having a cappuccino, I’d enjoy talking business with you and some strategies.
You would find me moving over to these types of topics because the longer I’m in business, the less I care as much about the business side as I do more about the people side and the impact side. I love business, strategy, and those things, but I find that the older I get, the more I want to have those conversations that I feel matter. It’s not always about what marketing strategy you are working on or how you are tracking that KPI. Those conversations are important, but the priority is the conversations that change who we become as leaders at the end of the day. I hope this was valuable to all of you. This was my reflection coming from my heart and what I wanted to share with all of you. Until next time, we will catch you soon when we add more value. I’ll talk to you later.
About Chris Arnold
Chris Arnold is a 15 year Real Estate veteran who has closed over 2500 single family real estate transactions in the DFW metroplex. Chris is the founder of multiple companies that are managed by a US virtual team, which allows Chris to run his organizations while living in Tulum, Mexico full time. His passion for leaders has led to the creation of Multipliers brotherhood which serves the top 5% of real estate entrepreneurs out of the US. Most recently Chris has launched his REI Radio coaching program. This program is designed to teach real estate investors the marketing stream that everyone knows about but NO ONE is doing!