Decoding Your Leadership DNA: Identifying the Core Values that Propel You

If you’ve ever stepped into an entrepreneurial leadership role, you know that navigating the landscape comes with plenty of complex challenges. With endless important decisions to make, identifying and sticking to the right path can be a complicated thing. What defines the right path, anyway? When it comes to finding success, our guiding light often lies within us – the core values that resonate with our journey and shape who we are. These principles can help us carefully choose our actions, reactions, and ultimately, our leadership style. Taking an introspective approach to understanding our leadership DNA isn’t simple an act of self-discovery – it’s an uncovering of the very essence of why we find motivation to lead. Ready to identify your own? Read on for some tips on the vital process of decoding your core values.

Start With Self Reflection and Thankfulness

Though sometimes quiet and subtle, gratitude is a remarkable value that can completely shift your mindset. As you consider your leadership values, reflect on those moments that brought you a sense of profound gratitude. Did it involve your team? A successful project? Overcoming a seemingly impossible challenge? Identifying and expressing these situations and memories can open doors to better communication, increased positivity, and a more harmonious workplace. Creating this world begins with you – and it’s in the simple things. If you’re guided by gratitude, make it a point to express it in abundance – from a simple thank you note to a colleague to a daily practice of journaling – or even taking a thankful moment of silence to yourself in acknowledgement of a completed project. You’ll notice that working in accordance with this value can create a world of difference.

Identify Your Ethical Compass

Integrity is a cornerstone of success and leadership – but what does that mean to you? Contemplate your past actions. Were there times you chose to take the high road despite the easier alternative? How did it affect you and those around you? Doing what’s right, even when no one is watching, not only speaks volumes about our character but also sets an example for our colleagues. By placing a core value with your sense of integrity, you can foster respect and trust in a working environment, encouraging your team to always rise to their own personal high ethical standards, too.

Strive for Excellence

How would you define “excellence”? Is it delivering a perfect pitch? Meeting or exceeding a sales target? Or maybe it lies with your team – and seeing your guidance help in the successful completion of a project together. Excellence is a pursuit. It’s an ongoing commitment to making every effort count. Identifying your personal understanding of excellence and striving for it fuels ambition and resilience. When you’re facing a new challenge, you may turn inwards to this value as a guiding force. Show others through your actions that, in your leadership, “good enough” simply isn’t enough. You strive to do your personal best.

Embrace Humility

This one can be a sort of paradox when considering a leadership perspective. Humility stands as a power that commands respect without demanding attention. In the journey of leadership, there will be failures and setbacks. This is simply the truth – but how you choose to navigate those experiences can make all the difference. It is humility that enables us to learn from these experiences and grow. Think back on these experiences in your own career where you faced challenges and even losses. How did you step back and learn? How did it influence your relationships with your colleagues and your team? Leading with humility is key to crafting a culture where achievements are celebrated, but failures are seen as stepping stones – not roadblocks.

Harness Adaptability

In life, there’s only one constant – change. And in the world of business, change is an unspoken role. The winds of change can affect us in one of two ways. Either it fills our sails, propelling us forward into the future – or it knocks us painfully off course. The key to harnessing the power of change is staying adaptable. Do you consider yourself a leader who puts adaptability first? Think about a time when you faced a major change. Did you view it as a challenge to be overcome – or an opportunity to be utilized? How did your team react to your perspective? Make it a point to inspire your team to experience resilience in the face of change – and turn it into a catalyst for growth.

Translate Your Values into Daily Actions

Each new day in the workplace is a new, fresh opportunity to act on those core values. Don’t think of them as abstract concepts. Instead, consider your identified values as a practical tool to guide your actions and decisions. You could choose to demonstrate gratitude by verbally acknowledging a team member’s excellent work. Embracing humility might involve stepping back and allowing your team to shine where credit is due. Or, being adaptable might mean finally taking that leap towards implementing a new system or workflow – and getting ready to rise to new challenges and chase positive outcomes in the process.

Understand that decoding the DNA of your leadership style is a deeply personal, transformative process. This means working to identify, understand, and live out those core values. When embodied and put into action, they can ignite an effective experience of real leadership.

But also, remember that values – much like leadership – aren’t static. Over time and experience, they will grow and evolve with you. Reflect and remember to nurture your values while you progress in your entrepreneurial leadership roles. In doing so, you create a ripple effect of inspiration that extends beyond you – into your team, your organization, and ultimately, your success story.


New Year, New Business Goals: Here’s What You Should Be Planning for Your Business in 2023

It’s that time again.

2022 has now come to an end, so if you haven’t started forming a business plan for 2023, now is the time to start. To help you out, here are some useful suggestions on what you should be planning for your business in 2023.

Assess Your Long-Term Goals

When it comes to entrepreneurial innovation, few things are more helpful than tangible long-term goals. These all-important benchmarks will allow you to measure your progress while achieving growth.

With that in mind, take some time and visualize your goals for this next year. Don’t be afraid to be brutally honest with yourself.

When assessing your goals, it’s important to understand where you’re heading and why you want to move in that direction. This is where honesty and introspection come into play — any business leadership mentorwould agree that the ultimate enemy of any entrepreneur is their own delusions of grandeur.

Practice Entrepreneurial Innovation

Ask yourself what your business contributes to the field and how your refined vision will help it reach the goals you’ve outlined. Focus on the unique properties you bring to the table, including anything you can do to impart a cutting-edge strategy to your daily operations. 

This reflective practice is known as entrepreneurial innovation, and it will help you maintain relevance in a rapidly changing technological environment.


Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of lofty thinking and neglect to zero in on concrete, actionable goals and objectives.

One of the best ways to stay out of this trap is to prioritize your goals so you can achieve them incrementally. Paying close attention to what you’ve accomplished and what you still need to do will help you stay ahead of the curve — and your competition.

Now that you’ve planned for future work, all that’s left to do is calibrate your future work to stick to your plan. Here’s to a happy and successful New Year!


The Future Is Yours: What Is Entrepreneurial Innovation?

Entrepreneurship and innovation are intrinsically connected. This means that your success as an entrepreneur is contingent on your ability to think outside the box, seek alternative solutions, and be as creative as possible in order to address the needs of a given market. Putting these abilities to work is called “entrepreneurial innovation.”

But what exactly does this concept look like in practice?

Creating New Products

One of the clearest examples of entrepreneurial innovation is in coming up with a product that did not previously exist. It takes a certain amount of creativity to provide a solution for a need where there hasn’t been a solution before.

Improving Existing Products

Is there something about a popular product that bothers you or you feel could be improved? Envisioning a way to address that problem and create a better product is a form of entrepreneurial innovation.

Improving Production Methods

Sometimes, you have a great product, but it costs too much to make. Entrepreneurial innovation can involve the rethinking of your current production methods in order to improve your margins and make the product an overall more commercially viable one.

Reimagining the Business Model

There are certain business models that have been so successful for so long that it’s easy to take them for granted and anticipate that they’ll exist forever.

But those with a strong sense of entrepreneurial leadership (and entrepreneurial innovation) can often find a way to create a whole new paradigm by reimagining that business model

Creating a Whole New Market

This form of entrepreneurial innovation is likely the rarest because it requires both impeccable and fortuitous timing. But it does happen, and it will continue to happen.

Sometimes, great technological and cultural changes open up an opportunity to form an entirely new market, and entrepreneurial innovators who think and act quickly are able to capitalize on that opportunity.

Entrepreneurial Innovation Can Benefit Your Business

Whether through creating brand-new products or reimagining existing products or markets, entrepreneurial innovation can prove to be a beneficial and exciting concept worth putting into practice.

Innovation isn’t just about technology. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether you are an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur (someone who thinks like an entrepreneur within their organization), you can make it happen! If you need help, consider a visit to the Fountainhead Idea Factory.


How to Craft a Successful Business Plan

Starting a business is the pinnacle of professional goals for many people. Whether you’ve spent years learning the industry from an employee perspective and you’re ready to venture out on your own, or you have a brilliant idea you want to explore, pursuing entrepreneurial innovation can deliver unmatched personal and professional rewards.

Creating a business plan isn’t necessarily rocket science. There are templates and guides to help you if you don’t have a background in business. With that being said, crafting a successful business plan that will get you funding and carry your venture into a bright future requires a targeted approach.

Research, Research, Research

The importance of research when developing your business plan cannot be overstated. You need to detail the specifics of how your business will operate, from broad strokes to nuts and bolts. You need to understand your market, demographics, and competition.

Your plan should include all startup costs: a lease, staffing, supply chain, and office furniture. It should address every concern a prospective lender or partner may have, so do not skimp on the research.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

If you have some background in business, you may already know the basics of creating a business plan. Even if you’re new to the process, it’s not hard to find templates that show you the steps and tell you what to include. You don’t need to go it alone.

In fact, learning from others is probably the best way to craft a successful business plan. Seeking business mentorship through seminars or programs offered by industry leaders can help you to develop a toolkit for success from start to finish.

Embrace Entrepreneurial Innovation

In business, it doesn’t pay to rehash old ideas. You either need to offer something new or come up with a way to improve something that’s already out there. Finding a niche isn’t easy, but it’s the best way to stand out. 

When you develop your business plan appropriately, with strong research, expert mentorship, and innovative ideas, you have the best chance of finding success in your endeavors. 


Why Failure Isn’t a Bad Thing

Failure doesn’t need to be the end of your project — it can be just one more tool that helps with your ultimate success. One of the most important things you can learn from a business mentorship is that the only people who never fail are those who do not try.

Four Lessons Business Mentorship Teaches About Failure

It’s okay to fail. In fact, failure is inevitable for
anyone with entrepreneurial innovation. But once you begin seeing mistakes as opportunities (and not proof that you don’t have what it takes to reach a goal), you can embrace failure for the valuable lessons it provides.

1. Failure Helps You Grow Stronger

Failure is an experience that separates the doers from the dreamers. Doers get knocked down but bounce right back up with a stronger commitment to their goals. Don’t let failure stop or break you — let it motivate you to do more, do it better, and keep doing it until your idea succeeds.

2. Failure Sparks New Ideas

Sometimes, the best ideas come from ideas that didn’t work. Brainstorming by yourself or with others to find new solutions sparks some of the best creative thinking you’ll ever experience. Failure drives people to try different avenues and find the path they were meant to walk.

3. Failure Keeps You Humble

Successful people are confident, curious, driven, and self-assured. But they are also humble enough to admit that they don’t know everything and need the input of experts to achieve their goals. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you and you alone know best. Instead, use failure as an opportunity to tap into the expertise of others.

4. Failure Deepens Understanding

Getting a clear picture of where things went wrong improves your understanding of the project as a whole. The deep dive that some failures provoke also provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to reexamine their motives. You may realize you feel more committed than ever after a failure.

Don’t Fear Failure

The fear of failure prevents some people from ever getting started. But we’d encourage you to adopt the mindset of M. Jayson Meyer, who pioneers the idea of positive failure through his Failing Forward Initiative. That is, learn to let failure propel you into greater success.

Letting go of the anxiety of potential failure frees you to become a more creative entrepreneur. Embrace the lessons failure can provide, and remember — you only truly fail if you quit before reaching your goal.


What Is the Fail Forward Movement & How Is It Revolutionizing the Way We See Failure?

Throughout our lives, we’re taught to fear failure and avoid it at all costs. This becomes especially true as we grow older and our failures have more real-world stakes than simply falling off your bike while learning to ride or losing a match with your school sports team.

As adults, failures can have life-altering consequences, especially if you launch a business endeavor that ends up falling short of the goals you’ve set. Though these consequences can seem overwhelming, it’s important to understand that setbacks are inevitable in life, and what makes the biggest difference is how you respond to them.

How Failing Forward Can Lead to Success in Entrepreneurial Leadership

The concept of “failing forward” is the idea that even a circumstance that could be considered to be a failure could end up moving your life and career in a positive direction.

If one endeavor doesn’t work out or a piece of your plan doesn’t pan out the way you expected, you’re now armed with knowledge and experience that you didn’t have before. This knowledge and experience could be the very thing that sets you on the ultimate path to success.

Many of the most successful CEOs and professionals in the entrepreneurial leadership space are embracing the concept of failing forward. This mindset encourages people at all stages of their business journey and career to shift their perspective on failure and use each setback as a lesson, rather than a completely negative circumstance.

Find a Mentor and Shift Your Mindset

For many people, a business leadership mentor can be the catalyst for greater success with their company. However, the efforts of great mentors can only be used to their full capacity when this crucial mindset shift takes place.

This shift to the belief in failing forward can free business professionals from the fear of failure and turn it into an opportunity to level up in their industry.

As a boy I can remember my mother saying “it isn’t failure if you learn a lesson.” That re-wired how my brain looked at both risk and failure. It taught me that life is a learning process. It is about learning a lesson and continuously improving. Today, it’s how I lead and model the way for those around me.


Maximizing Your Creativity Through Auditory Stimulation

Can music and sound affect your mood and brain power? Many researchers believe specific sounds, beats or music may be able to encourage positive thinking, boost moods, and improve cognitive processes. Jayson is a big believer in it, too, and even plays music throughout the office!

If we all know that music can make us feel happy, inspired, creative, reflective — or, more likely, a mix of it all! — then doesn’t it make sense that different frequencies can do the same? It might seem a little out-there, but there’s actually a science to the way different frequencies can unlock your mind – and your potential.

Auditory beat stimulation (ABS) is the idea that using sound waves at different frequencies can generate beneficial effects in the brain. Some extremely low-frequency sound waves may help with relaxation, and others may improve focus and alertness. So, how does this affect business endeavors and our day-to-day lives? Let’s take a closer look at ABS.

The Effects of ABS

Sound waves are captured by the human ear, then processed by the brain as certain tones or pitches. In many ways, this is how people understand and appreciate music, which is just a series of tones heard in time.

If you hear a low-frequency tone, the pitch sounds low. You hear a high-frequency tone, and the pitch sounds high. The average human ear can detect sound waves from about 20 Hz (cycles per second) to 20,000 kHz. ABS is effectively the study and practice of using various frequencies to stimulate the human brain toward certain effects.

The interesting thing is that a lot of the most calming sound frequencies aren’t even technically audible. That is, the human ear can’t hear them. For instance, sound waves from 4 to 13 Hz are thought to produce relaxation and reduce anxiety, even though they can’t be heard by the human ear.

How ABS Works

As various audible sound frequencies are introduced to the human ear, a perceptible “beat” can be heard, if the frequencies are not identical. If the frequencies are far apart, you would normally hear musical harmonies. If they’re only a few Hz apart, you would hear a clashing sound, as if the music were out of tune.

ABS leverages these physical phenomena to produce precisely targeted beats with mathematically precise differences in frequencies. Because the frequencies are so low, they are not audible — but they do indeed affect the brain.

Some studies have shown that ABS actually alters synaptic activity in the human brain, and positive results have been reported, including better sleep, fuller relaxation, and reduced anxiety and stress.

ABS and Entrepreneurial Leadership

A boost from the effects of ABS means enhanced thinking that comes from better sleep and less anxiety, then entrepreneurial leadership should grow by leaps and bounds through ABS. Creativity could quite possibly become totally unleashed, and who knows what you could achieve?

For Better Rest and Better Focus

While extremely low frequencies seem to reduce stress and anxiety, some low frequencies in the audible range — around 40 Hz — seem to stimulate the frontal lobe and increase the brain’s ability to focus. It could be that using ABS therapy is the way forward for major potential breakthroughs, not just in human thought but also in well-being. If everyone were a little more fulfilled through better rest and lower anxiety levels – and if everyone had a leg up through a better ability to focus and reason clearly – who knows how much could be accomplished? Perhaps ABS could be a powerful resource in your pursuit of achieving your goals, big or small.


Jayson’s Story

Jayson is the consummate entrepreneur, dating back to high school days when he formed his first business in the rough-and-tumble computer and software industry. At the ripe age of 14, he was recognized as an early teenage whiz-kid on Oprah, 60 Minutes and other national and regional media. Later, Synergy Billing was cited as Inc. Magazine’s 762nd fastest growing company among its “Inc. 5,000 Companies.” His company has been lauded among the GrowFL and the Economic Gardening Institute top fifty companies to watch. Synergy Billing also earned First Place honors in the Brighthouse Regional Business Awards program.  Today Synergy Billing, an acknowledged and innovative leader in revenue cycle management, credentialing and education for Federal Qualified Health Centers around the country. He employs more than 100 people with a steadily growing workforce. Synergy Billing recently celebrated the first anniversary of the company’s move to its new headquarters at The Fountainhead in Holly Hill, a Google-inspired corporate campus that he conceived and is developing in collaboration with city and county officials. Additionally, Jayson is highly engaged in the community, serving on various boards of directors and volunteering. Finally, as a dedicated family man, Jayson and his wife Misty are busy raising their five young sons.

Jayson’s accomplishments over the past twelve months are as impressive in size as they are in the face of historic challenges he – and everyone – has faced. While he could have put his development plans on hold, he pressed on in his quest to create a model corporate campus for his company and other like-minded business professionals. In doing so, he generated a partnership with city and county officials to create The Fountainhead. It is currently wrapping up the first phase of development, having become the headquarters for Synergy Billing and its workforce of more than 100 people. Consequently, he has transformed a blighted and abandoned middle school site to a vibrant environment full of promise. In addition to hosting his own company and several compatible businesses, plans also call for  a community health center, daycare center, fitness center and dining facilities. As the developer of The Fountainhead, he has dramatically enhanced the economic development appeal of the City of Holly Hill. Jayson has guided this project through the myriad challenges typical of development, and he has deftly maintained a rapid pace of progress through the historic COVID-19 pandemic. By doing this, he was able to maintain service to his clients and keep his workforce on the job. Since his clients provide their communities with vital health care services, he has remained committed to serving them without interruption during this global health care crisis.

During the past 12 months Jayson has been a catalyst for business and development by creating his corporate campus, The Fountainhead, where he has relocated his workforce of more than 100 people to the new corporate headquarters.  He has been active in partnership with Stetson University‘s entrepreneurship program and is a founder of Innovate Daytona, which is a vital resource for entrepreneurs. In an effort to show there is nothing wrong with failing, he has advanced the Fail Forward Movement to help entrepreneurs learn to overcome challenges. Jayson has accepted speaking engagements to share his expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs and served as a judge in Embry Riddle Aeronautical University‘s student competition. Because of his belief of ensuring youth have character building programs, he serves on the board of the regional YMCA. He also encourages his employees to volunteer at a local food pantry as well as other charity activities during business hours – with pay. In a time when many companies are eliminating jobs, Jayson is actively recruiting workers and offering career-building training through his Synergy Career Academy. Jayson is working to expand facilities at The Fountainhead, setting the table for relocation of other businesses to the campus and thus generating new jobs for the community. He has worked in collaboration with CareerSource in providing training and job opportunities for the long-term unemployed.

Jayson is quick to say his greatest accomplishment is his family. He has a wonderful wife and five highly active sons. He enjoys doing things with them – cooking on weekends, playing volleyball and attending their sports games (before the pandemic). Recently his oldest son started to workout with him. And he takes each one on an annual “Birthday Trip” to spend one-on-one time with them, building lasting memories with each trip. Aside from his commitment to family, Jayson is a community volunteer. His efforts, along with those of his employees, earned his company Business-of-the-Month honors from Food Brings Hope, a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to providing collaborative solutions for families with children who experience hardships due to homelessness, poverty, or unfamiliarity with community resources – there are more than 2000 homeless children attending schools in Volusia County.


I Am Jayson Meyer

I wrote this on November 18, 2002 as a prelude to the man I wanted to become. I am still striving towards it but it holds true.

November 18, 2002
As I make the transition into my twenties I have been thinking a great deal about the man I want to become. What Jayson Meyer stands for? Not what I am or who I am to others but the core jayson principles and beliefs that compose me:
I am completely secure in who I am. I don’t live for others and I have nobody to impress. I don’t put on a fake smile or alter the truth. I don’t exaggerate I tell it the way it is but I can be compassionate and diplomatic in doing so if it is a sensitive issue.
I don’t lie. Everything is done with integrity. If I give a man my word it is my bond. I don’t intentionally mislead people.
I am aggressive in business. I put the survival and happiness of myself and my family before anything else.
I am tough but fair. I am respected not because I demand it but because I have built a reputation of being fair and honest.
Fame is not important to me I know who I am and I have people that love me already. I do not need strangers to like me.
I realize I can’t please everyone and I don’t try. I simply do what I know to be true and right.
Many people may not like me, I don’t let this bother me. My family is VERY important to me and I will do anything within reason for them. I always put them first.
I don’t feel guilt unless I have broken my word. I am never afraid to admit that I am wrong. I try not to be.
I think carefully before I speak and never say too much. This is one of my key traits. I listen to what people say and am patient. I have little tolerance for liars and conmen. I offer my opinion when it is
asked. I don’t volunteer my opinion and never force my views on others unless it is an issue relating to my business. I don’t preach to others my beliefs.
I am a man of faith – both in a God and in myself. I am strong in mind and body. I am also strong willed, if I believe in something I will achieve it. I realize the value and importance of hard work. I
always work hard.
I believe in being proactive not reactive.
I believe in constantly improving myself and increasing my knowledge. I try to learn about anything that interests me. I pay attention to detail and remember important things/events.
I believe in acts of kindness towards others. I don’t believe in sacrifice for people other than family. I do not require recognition or appreciation from many people. I believe in achievement.
I do not believe that money is the root of all evil. I believe in rewards for hard work. I believe in fulfilling obligations. I do not practice shady or dishonest business practices. I believe in earning what I have and not accepting charity from others.
I don’t believe in using people in life. Material things do not make me the person that I am and I do not need them in my life to be happy. I do believe in having nice things but I work hard and earn them. I do everything to the best of my ability and demand the same from people I associate with. I don’t expose myself to people or situations that may hurt me or compromise who I am. I am very choosy about my friends but will do anything within reason for a good friend.
In business I realize that it is highly competitive. I always strive to be number one and demand my people to do the same. I am an aggressive business man. Some people are intimidated by me, they
shouldn’t be. I’m only focused on profits and innovation. If I enter into a contract or give a man my word it is as solid as oak. I don’t worship money I respect and appreciate it. I appreciate all the things I earn.
I control my business and run a tight ship. I don’t overly depend on people in my business and have enough knowledge to carryout any task within any of my companies. I strive to understand every
aspect of my operations and scrutinize every dollar that comes in and goes out. If I am not number one in an industry I shoot for that as my goal. I have made a lot of money but it hasn’t changed me. I
control the money not the other way around. I am always humble.
I am serious when necessary but know how to have a good time. I believe in thinking things through.
I am a man of the world. I can be in the country working on a farm or in the city at a business meeting and I am still in my comfort level. I have come to realize that I shape the world, not the other way
around. I am a man who was born to LIVE. I am Jayson Meyer.


MJM Interview – Keys to Success

What others are saying about Jayson

“A brilliant strategist”
“He turns problems into solutions”
“Wisdom beyond his years”
“He has the “Midas” touch”
“Delivers on promises”

Interview excerpts from fall 2019

Q: Jayson, what is your recipe for success?

A: I don’t know if I have figured out that exact recipe yet. When I think back over the years I have always had this flame inside me that has driven me to achieve. Of every quality persistence is the one that has been most key. It has kept me from giving up when most people would have. Next would be a deep confidence in myself and my abilities which minimized the fear of failure. I’ve never been afraid to try something new if it makes sense. I always try to keep an open mind and not get too married to my ideas. If I distill it to the top 3 characteristics it would be persistence to push through, deep desire to achieve, and the discipline to create the habits necessary to succeed.

Q: You mention a flame inside you that has been there since youth. What were you like as a child?

A: Shorter and smaller otherwise, not much different.

I was always eager to achieve and prove myself to the world. I felt when I was young that I was destined to do something bigger and be someone that contributed to the world. My inner voice told me i could do anything if I set my mind to it. That minimized fears and anxieties which cleared the path for me to follow my dreams.

Q: You got started in business at a young age and dropped out of high school. What motivated you to do that and can you describe what your self-talk was like during that time?

A: That’s a deep question!

I remember certain mantras (from my mom) from when I was a boy “always try your best” “you can do anything if you put your mind to it” “get good grades and you’ll be successful.”

I recall being very focused on my grades because I wanted to be a “success” in life. I was a high performer in school until I learned that I could be a success in life without getting good grades and succeeding in school. I discovered this on accident when I was in middle school and I was paid $20 to help one of my teachers with her home computer. It was very much like the light bulb going off and I said to myself “if she would pay me $20, who else would pay me and could I earn more?”

By the time I was in high school my head wasn’t in the proverbial game any more. All I could think about is how I could leverage and maximize my skill to earn money and be successful. My grades started to slide and I had zero interest in traditional education.

I recall in my 10th grade year there was an opportunity to build several hundred computers and ship them to another country. I went “all-in” (the opportunity didn’t materialize) but that didn’t deter me. I was hooked on the thrill of earning a living and building my business.

I loved computers but the thrill wasn’t from computers. It was about using my skills and abilities to create and provide value to others and then receive a reward ($) for that effort.

The decision to leave school was easy for me. I remember for a split second thinking “what’s my backup plan?” Then “do I need a backup plan?”then “if this doesn’t work I’ll find another way to achieve my dream” the decision was made and there was no turning back, or looking back. I never gave high school another thought, not even when my fortunes changed.

Q: What did you want “to be” when you grew up?

A: As a child always looking for ways to earn money. This was mostly because my mother taught us to save up for half of anything that we wanted to buy. If we saved half they would match me and that could be used for buying toys or other objects of my desire. I did everything from pull weeds to sell gum at school to make some extra walking around money.

I had an innate sense of justice and I wanted to fight evil. I always liked Batman because he was a strong super hero but also a successful businessman. I thought I would grow up to have super powers. When I realized I wouldn’t have super powers I decided it would be neat to Be a comic book artist. It was a nice idea but my grandfather told me that it would be difficult to build a business that way and I started losing interest.

As far back as I can remember I loved to solve problems, to fix things, to build things. My grandfather had a workshop where he would fix tools and he let us take broken tools and electronics apart. I remember fixing a broken electric shaver and these experiences made me want to be an inventor.

As I became a teenager became more focused on earning money and went through phases of wanting to be a doctor, and a lawyer, and a computer programmer. I was in love with problem solving and loved puzzles. Computers became my outlet during those awkward teenage years. When my brother and I built our first computer at 13 years old I was hooked. That passion turned into my first business “Meyer Technologies.” When I was able to combine my passion at the time (computers) with money I thought computers were my calling in life.

I didn’t know it at the time but my true passion was solving problems and making things work the best way possible. It took me years to realize that it wasn’t the computer I loved. It was commerce.

Q: What was your self-talk like as a kid? What did you think about and what motivated you?

A: As a kid I thought constantly about making money. I saw money as freedom. I wanted to work as hard as I needed to in order to build a fortune. I was very enamored by money and the freedom and flexibility that I saw people with money seemed to have. I wanted that freedom.

The voice in my head was like motivational coach (or military boot camp instructor depending on how you look at it). When I would be ready to throw in the towel on a school project or something difficult I can remember hearing “don’t give up, don’t be a quitter, you can do this.” Sometimes it would threaten me with “do you want to be average and ordinary? i know you aren’t lazy, are you procrastinating? Are you doing everything you can.” Mostly it was curious “how do you think that works?, how could we fix this?, how is this built or engineered?”

All of this self-talk was driven by an innate desire to succeed and understand. Mostly I wanted to understand how things worked and what other people thought about. Like most kids I wanted to be rich and famous one day.

Q: A lot of people struggle with self-assurance and self-worth. “Fake it till you make it” is a main-stream concept that many people refer to. Even the most educated and successful among us struggle with self-confidence. Where does your confidence come from? How do you build it and how do you prevent it from controlling you?

A: First, let’s talk about “fake it till you make it.” I don’t agree with that mindset. I have seen it breed a fear of asking questions and admitting mistakes. It can cause “imposter syndrome” and actually be detrimental to personal growth. Instead I believe you should practice the art of “humble inquiry” and learn to ask questions and be authentic about strengths and limitations.

My personal philosophy is about failing forward which requires you to humbly approach new situations and apply discipline, desire, and determination towards achieving break thru moments. I define a break thru as a moment in time where the impossible becomes possible.

The more you fail and are able to recover you start to build a “coat of armor” that protects you. This coat of armor is actually your ego and it is like the immune system to your confidence. 2 things can attack this immune system: 1) self doubt 2) hubris
Both of these can make you sick and you can even cause your own “auto-immune” disorder where you start sabotaging yourself.

I have learned that there are only 2 things that you can control and that is 1. What you think about and 2. How you respond to the things that happen. Based on this knowledge I approach each situation with the quiet confidence that no matter what happens I’ll either find a way or make a way. That helps me to stay calm inside which in turn helps me to perform at my personal best.

Q: Fear seems to be a limiting factor for just about everyone. The fears of poverty, the fear of failure, the fear of illness… What were you afraid of in the early days and what are you afraid of now? How did you conquer that fear?

A: Fear can limit even the most talented amongst us. It can also motivate us to achieve new things if it is mastered and harnessed. So what are we afraid of?

Growing up I liked to tell myself I wasn’t afraid of anything. What I was masking was a deep fear of death and a fear of losing my business and the money i had earned.
Once I was able to be honest with myself and recognize my limiting thoughts and beliefs I could start to work on them. Whatever your favorite flavor, fear is a terrible master because it makes you see things that aren’t there.

The first step to mastering fear is to recognize it for what it is and put it into perspective. Then you have to work on it. I cannot say that I have mastered fear
but I put it in its place.

Q: A lot of entrepreneurs talk about the challenge of having structure and staying disciplined when “you’re the boss.” What has your experience been and how do you stay disciplined?

A: Most people wake up in the morning and they don’t have a choice whether to press snooze or not on the alarm. Anyone self-employed or without a direct boss to report to each day knows you have to self-manage and self-motivate.

As children we were slaves to our impulses and as we grow into adults we become slaves to our habits. Rather than fight this I have embraced it. If I am going to be a slave to my habits I choose good and intentional habits. Each person has to decide what habits (routines and activities) will help them achieve their dreams. Then it just becomes a matter of conditioning.

I have found that discipline is like a muscle that can get stronger with practice. The best advice I can offer anyone is to paint a picture of how you “want to be” and then combine that with intense desire. That will strengthen the discipline muscle and pull you towards the habit.

Q: What motivated you to be successful when you first got started and how has that changed?

A: I wanted to win at the game of life. I wanted to be the most successful and richest person in the world. I thought money was the key to winning the game of life. I had been conditioned by society into thinking money equated to “winning.” Interestingly, I struggled to accumulate and save money while I was chasing it. It ran from me. I had been in business about 10 years (27) and I lost a client (they didn’t renew) and it stung. I learned a really valuable lesson that has stuck with me and shaped me since:

You rarely get fired for doing a good job. If you do a great job someone will always want to hire you. If not today, sometime soon.

It really is that simple. If I focus on quality work people will want to hire me and pay me. The better the outcomes the more they will be willing to pay. It was an epiphany of the utterly obvious but it changed my entire focus.

Today what motivates me is much different. I like to convert my visions and dreams into reality. I enjoy solving interesting problems and doing interesting work. No matter what I am doing I focus on the quality of the output for that job. I ask myself if I am creating more value than it will cost. I remind myself how that work will get me closer to my vision or goal. That is truly my secret.

Q: How do you stay motivated?

I am a learning machine. I am driven by the desire to understand how the world and the universe work. It is a hunger to learn that drives me.

For me the key has been to remain “hungry” at all times. To never let myself feel too comfortable. To do that I am always trying to learn and grow.

Q: What was the largest challenge you faced earlier on? How did you overcome it?

A: Being young and in business I had to work extra hard to be taken seriously.

As I worked to grow the company I recognized the important of credibility and I worked diligently to build mine and to be “professional.” I wore ties and did all the right things to demonstrate my credibility. I always had a baby face and it was difficult early on to get customers to say “yes” because of the age barrier. Every time I would fail to get a contract or a job I would blame my age. It became my go to excuse. I would even add-on 2-3 years to my actual age so that I’d be taken seriously. In some ways my own limiting thoughts and beliefs about my age became a self fulfilling prophecy (i made it true).

It took a long time to overcome and I did it by building a reputation of doing quality work, focusing on my professionalism, and building my credibility. Credibility is a form of capital in and of itself. That was a valuable lesson that came from a difficult adversity.

Q: How do you handle changes in life and business and what tips do you have for managing that change?

A: “Change isn’t easy” it’s a phrase that most of us have heard and many of us can relate to. If we have certainty that a change is going to benefit us in positive ways (say winning the lottery or a scratch off) we are less resistant to the change.

As human beings we are really good at recognizing patterns. In fact it is one of the primary ways we learn through pattern recognition. When we become comfortable with a pattern we feel “in control” because we know what to expect. New patterns mean uncertainty and a lack of control (at least temporarily).

I think the reason change is difficult is because of the uncertainty that goes along with it. There is an underlying fear that things changing might not be changing for the better. That makes us as human beings feel unsettled and a little worried.

The way I approach it is by gathering as much information as I can to minimize the uncertainty. I look for the positive outcomes that should happen from the change. If I can’t find anything positive then I just suck it up and to come to grips with the “certainty” of “uncertainty” (the only thing certain is that things will change and be uncertain).

Q: A lot of people set new year resolutions to make changes. When do you think it makes sense to make change?

As a co-creator in this universe (we are all co-creators) I have an obligation to make the things in my sphere of influence the best they are capable of being. Said plainly, if shit ain’t working right I have a responsibility to make it work better.

My philosophy about change in my business has always been that once you recognize that something can be improved upon you have an obligation to improve it.

Q: You left high school when you were in your sophomore year. How did you learn the things necessary to be successful without finishing high school or attending university?

A: First, let me state that I think everyone should receive a higher education and that the value of higher education is priceless. That being stated there are different methods of higher learning and I believe university is just one of those methods.

When I was 15 I made a conscious decision to pursue my dream and vision for success. I recognized that I would have to do some learning on my own but I was naive to how much and how intense it would be. I was desperately seeking someone to model and emulate (a mentor) and I was hungry for knowledge.

I recall thinking if I want to be successful in life and business I should read what they read at Harvard Business School. I sought out any information I could find about their curriculum, syllabus, and required reading. I read many of the same books and business case studies. The difference was I didn’t have the experience to properly interpret and filter what I was reading. So began a long series of learning through mistakes and temporary failures. The key to learning what any of us need to know is to ask the important question “why?” My hunger for knowledge has always been insatiable and that created a drive that constantly pulls me towards my goals.