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.


From Dreamer To Doer: 3 Tips To Unlock Your Potential

Everyone has a great idea inside them — that dream or passion project you simply can’t stop thinking about. But when it comes to executing that great idea, even the best would-be companies and inventions can die on the vine because you simply don’t know how to make your dream a reality. Even large companies can face this kind of challenge. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it!

Whether you’re already working with a company or you’re an individual trying to make it with a big dream and a passion, here are the three key tips for turning your ideas into reality — a.k.a. going from a dreamer to a doer.

1. Become Obsessed With Your Vision

As a dreamer, you likely have so many ideas swirling around your head at all times. In order to become a doer, you’ll have to get specific about the dreams you’re going to focus all of your time and attention on. These specific dreams will become your vision!

Don’t just spend a few hours a day or week thinking about your vision, though. Become obsessed with it! Make it your pastime, your hobby, Tinker with it night and day so that you are thoroughly familiar with it. This doesn’t mean spending 24/7 in your office, though; in fact, spending time with your vision can be an exercise in creativity! The more you think about your big idea and have fun with it, the more it will stick with you (and you, in turn, with it).

As you begin to take little steps toward your desired outcome, always keep your vision close to your chest, and make sure you never forget your “why.”

2. If You Can’t Find a Way, Make a Way

In some situations, the dream that you’re trying to make a reality simply hasn’t been done before. Perhaps there are even people in your life telling you that your idea will never work and that you shouldn’t try. But don’t worry – stick with it! Remember, nothing is truly a failure if you learned a lesson from it, so don’t be afraid to persist. You don’t want to stop short of the proverbial finish line when you’re only a few steps away.

When dreamers look for a way to make their goals happen but can’t find it, they often give up. Doers, on the other hand, will simply make their own way and forge a brand new path for others to follow. You have to be willing to go outside of the norm, sometimes, and that’s okay.

3. Believe in Your Potential

The other fun benefit of not seeing failures as, well, failures — but opportunities? You become way more confident. When you realize that failure isn’t an option, and start to fully have faith in yourself, you’ll feel unstoppable. And remember to celebrate all the little victories along the way. Even if they feel small or inconsequential, they’re actually unlocking your next level of potential.

Remember, this isn’t “blind faith.” You have every reason to believe in your ideas and abilities! Once you realize that, you might just notice your mindset starts to shift in an exciting way.

At the end of the day, no one path to success looks the same. And even then, everyone’s “success” may look different, too. But the only way to achieve success is to actually take steps toward it. While every step may not be what you planned or how you planned it, every avenue is a learning and growing opportunity. What big idea do you want to make a reality? What is your first step to becoming a “doer” not just a “dreamer?”


5 Ways To Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

Looking for ways to improve your communication, boost your confidence as a leader, and engage with your organization (and community) on a new level? Public speaking is the answer.

This may not be your favorite form of communication — but by honing your speech skills, you will be able to execute your vision on a larger scale than ever before. The best part? These tips aren’t just for keynote speakers. They’re useful for CEOs, team leaders, and anyone in your organization looking for ways to get meaningful messages across in clear, accessible ways.

Ahead, five ways you can improve your public speaking skills — starting today.

Be a storyteller

The first step on your journey to better public speaking? Stop thinking of yourself as an orator, lecturer, keynote speaker, or whatever the occasion might call for. You’re a storyteller, first and foremost!

According to Jennifer Aaker, a marketing professor at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, stories are more memorable than facts alone — up to 22% more memorable, in fact. That’s significant! Most people probably don’t see themselves as natural public speakers, but we’ve all told a story before: a funny anecdote to a friend, a teaching moment to your child, a spooky tale told around a summer campfire. By tapping into your storyteller side, you can help make the public speaking process a little easier.

Even settings that seem more formal or fact-focused can benefit from story elements. For example, if you’re making a financial presentation, you may be able to illustrate key findings with a story about how they impact your organization on a more personal level. Of course, you don’t need to forego exciting figures and important data entirely — but by bolstering your speech with a humanizing story, you make it that much more powerful!

Be kind… to yourself!

We tend to be our own worst critics, especially when it comes to public speaking. Though this type of communication can be nerve-wracking, it’s helpful to remember that everyone’s been there, in some or another. Look at it this way: when you’re an audience member, are you picking apart every detail about the speaker in front of you? Or, more likely, are you trying to absorb what they say — maybe even getting lost in your own thoughts about your next meeting, or upcoming projects?

The bottom line: no one will ever analyze you quite as much as you analyze you! Once you embrace this, you’ll be able to relax and engage with your audience on a new level.

Keep logistics in mind

It’s easy to forget presentation and technology logistics while you focus on the material of your speech, but this is an important step, too! You don’t need to use props or an elaborate slideshow to make your speech more engaging — but if you find it helpful to illustrate key concepts, you’ll want to ensure that the setting of your speech is compatible with whatever software you decide to use. (The last thing you want before a big speech is technical difficulties!) A few more considerations:

  • How easily your presentation flows from point to point
  • The amount of information on each slide (it’s best not to “overcrowd” a page, even
  • How you plan to speak and control your slideshow at the same time. Don’t be afraid to rehearse this for a smooth presentation day of!
  • 93% of communication is non-verbal. Sometimes, it’s less about what you say and more about how you say it!

Know your audience

While certain speech practices work across the board (such as the power of storytelling!), you’ll still want to refine your approach for your specific audience. Consider factors such as:

  • Whether you’re speaking virtually or in-person
  • The level of formality of your event
  • How well you know your audience
  • The audience size

Chances are, you’ve been part of many different audiences — keynote speeches, quarterly presentations, school orientations, you name it. Harness these experiences to inform your approach. For example, what did you like (or dislike) about a memorable guest speaker? Where
possible, jot down notes about speeches that captivate you in the moment, so you can employ those strategies when it’s your turn. You’ll thank yourself later!

Knowing your audience is also about making your audience more important than the words you are using. Connect deeply with the audience and they will retain more and be more engaged.

Learn by example

Speaking of speeches that inspire — if you want to seriously expand your communication skills, learn by example! You wouldn’t write a book before reading a few first or make a delicious dessert without embracing your sweet tooth from time to time. The same idea applies to public
speaking. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to access engaging speeches you can learn from, whether you find buzzworthy talks online or welcome a guest speaker to your organization! On that front, Jayson Meyer is more than happy to help.

With experience delivering encouraging, effective messages on a variety of topics — from maximizing revenue to motivating employees — Jayson is ready to support your team and share valuable public speaking insights at the same time! Connect with him today to learn more.


Why Companies Are Starting To Put People Before Profits

When profits are down, business leadership often makes up for that shortfall at the expense of employees. They may freeze wages, cancel bonuses, or eliminate perks. At the same time, they often expect employees to intensify their efforts.

Additionally, leadership may sacrifice customer experience. This is often justified with claims that it’s necessary to boost revenue and cut expenses.

All of these choices are demoralizing for workers and frustrating for customers. Fortunately, things are starting to shift — and many companies are now putting people before profits. Keep reading to find out why and to learn some improvement strategies for businesses that want to make similar changes.

Why are people-first approaches getting more popular?

Businesses are making this change for several reasons. First, consumers are demanding it. Price and quality may be key considerations, but customers also want to buy from companies that share their values. This means:

• Paying people well and offering attractive benefits
• Committing to environmental stewardship
• Caring for the community

Customers are also demanding that companies deliver better experiences. All of these developments have led leaders to realize that more stakeholders are involved in business success than just the investors. People are the key input ingredient to any business. Hiring quality people and taking care of them leads to more customer engagement and satisfaction which ultimately leads to more profitability.

People-focused improvement strategies for businesses

A company can experience long-term success if it has employees who are engaged and happy, customers who are proud to be associated with it, and a community that believes it adds value. Doing the right things for the right reasons follows the laws of attraction and brings into our personal realities the things we desire. Focusing on quality outcomes, whether that’s a customer engagement or a relationship, leads naturally leads to profit. Here are some strategies to achieve that success:

• Create a social responsibility statement and ensure your policies reflect it
• Audit and improve diversity efforts
• Build a pro-employee culture
• Collect employee feedback and act on it
• Review salary and benefits schedules
• Offer workers autonomy and flexibility
• Hire for cultural fit
• Train leaders to manage for outcomes, not processes
• Make a commitment to improving sustainability
• Create initiatives to give back to the community

People before profit aren’t just nice words it is a time-tested philosophy that works. As you make modifications, remember that small, permanent changes over time will have more impact than major shifts that can’t be sustained. When we focus on adding value and serving others the profit always follows.

Looking for more insights on balancing people with profits in your organization? Connect with Jayson Meyer today.


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.

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