How to Create a Successful Business Model and Live Your Entrepreneurial Life to the Fullest – Gay Hendricks, “The Big Leap”

Everyone wants to live life to their fullest potential, but how do you get there and take your business with you? On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome Gay Hendricks, President of the Hendricks Institute and best-selling author of more than 40 books, including “The Big Leap, Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Your Life to the Next Level.”

Transcription:

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Thank you Gay for joining us on the show.

Gay Hendricks:
Thanks a lot, Jim. I really appreciate it.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure. So I got to tell you, the reason that we’re having this discussion today is that I had lunch with a very successful entrepreneur that I have a tremendous amount of respect for. And he said to me, “This book changed my life.” And at lunch, he held up your book, which is The Big Leap, Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level. I guess you know that because you wrote the book.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
But he said this life change… Or this book changed my life and so I said, you know what? Right there, I called our producer and I said, “We got to get this guy on. It’s a phenomenal book.” And so thank you so much for joining us here on the show today. Very much appreciate it.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
First and foremost, I want to ask you what was the motivation behind writing a book like this? And then what did you want the takeaways to be?

Gay Hendricks:
Well, I always tell people when they ask me that I thought about the book for 30 years before I sat down and wrote it. I actually started thinking about the two big ideas that are in The Big Leap, which I’ll tell you about in a moment when I was working on my PhD at Stanford many years ago. And at the time Silicon Valley was just beginning to happen and all of these great entrepreneurs, I got to work with a lot of them when they’re in the younger stages of their career.

Gay Hendricks:
And of course later on, once the book came out and everything, I got to work with many of them in person again, but the key thing that’s in The Big Leap. Number one is I discovered that many of us, including myself at the time, operate under a set of limiting beliefs, that if we can get beyond those, get out from under the kind of the cloud of those limiting beliefs gives us access to something I call the genius zone. Which is a part of ourselves that has the most contribution and creativity built into it.

Gay Hendricks:
And so I started working with those two basic ideas, and basically here we are 30 years later now. I wrote The Big Leap and now a lot of our work has to do with helping business owners of various sizes flourish. And to flourish, you need to not only have your mindset on straight, but you’ve also got to have your heart set on straight.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s right and no question about it. And we are right now, many small businesses out there are struggling because of COVID-19 and I think there’s a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs that are questioning their own core beliefs and their own capabilities. And talk to us about the importance of staying on track and what your advice is to those people during times like this.

Gay Hendricks:
Here’s something I’ve really learned. My wife and I have been together now for 40 years and so we’ve worked with a lot of married couples in our relationship work, but we’ve also worked with about 800 to 900 different business executives from different businesses. All the way from mom and pop businesses all the way to, I used to go to Austin, to consult with Michael Dell and his two top people for a long time.

Gay Hendricks:
And so no matter what level of business you’re at, you’ve got to memorize one word that I want to teach everybody. It’s not just commitment. It’s recommitment because it’s like when my little girl was… She’s 50 now, but when she was a little girl, she was learning to ride horseback. And the first day I took her to the horseback lesson, she promptly fell off the horse, but the trainer put her right back on. I mean, she knew she wasn’t hurt or anything. She put her right back on, she got back on the horse and rode again. And she kept falling off about every two minutes, which freaked her pop out. But eventually by the end of the lesson, she was right on this horse. She had an original commitment, but then what it took was recommitment.

Gay Hendricks:
And so this is a time when business owners everywhere are having to go way, way, way down deep, and either reinvent themselves to make a commitment to something new, or make a recommitment to having fallen off the horse, get back on again and find some new way to get back on and express their genius again.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. And sometimes that’s… Those are great points and I agree with you wholeheartedly. Sometimes it’s difficult to be concerned about yourself and recommitting when you’ve got employees that in many cases are hurting. Sometimes you’ve got to affect layoffs and downsize your company to stay solvent. What’s your advice to those individuals that are also going through a very tough time personally, and then they’ve also have to become leaders during this time as well? Or are leaders during this time?

Gay Hendricks:
Well, I think the best leaders that I’ve ever worked with people like Michael Dell at Dell Computer, or the Galvin family at Motorola, they have an astonishing ability, a commitment to learning from every interaction they have. I’ve just been blown away by the amazing quality of people’s commitment to constant learning. And I think the way you’re going to make it through this situation we’re in now is by really going down deep inside and saying, okay, regardless of what the environment is doing, the external environment, let me go down and find that place of constant renewal and reinvention in myself so that I can come back out perhaps into an entirely different environment and prosper.

Gay Hendricks:
I ran into a guy at the airport the other day, an incredibly successful real estate developer that I’ve known over the years. And he told me something interesting. He said that he’d made roughly a hundred million dollars some years ago in his development and he stopped and took time off to devote to his family. A couple of his kids were having trouble and that kind of thing and so he devoted time to his family and he said he was getting back into the business. And he said, “Everything has changed.” And even in seven years, the entire environment he was working in, and he was…

Gay Hendricks:
I noted that look of amazement on his face. That it’s a different world we’re in now and so I think to prosper in that world requires us going really deep and uncovering what we call a space of constant renewal in ourselves.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. There’s no question. There’s people that are listening to this conversation right now and saying, “I don’t know. That might just be these two guys sounding off to say it’s all about motivation.” You’ve got those people out there, right. But at the end of the day, it is important that they hear this message, right. And to take a moment and as you say, recommit. A lot of people will say, well, the world is made up of winners out there and losers and you just don’t buy into that. Right?

Gay Hendricks:
I do not because you’re only a breath away and one thought away from changing your life at any given moment. If you’ve been operating out of one of… Like I talk about in The Big Leap, one of the limiting beliefs is I’m fundamentally unprepared for what’s going on right now, or I’m fundamentally flawed in some way. I don’t have what it takes. That’s just a fear and can be dissolved by putting in a much more contributive belief in there.

Gay Hendricks:
Like I do have skills that will serve this current environment, let me go deep and find out what my true genius is. And that’s really what I’m trying to do in The Big Leap is help people get beyond all of those fears. Not by being a Pollyanna positive thinker and trying to wish them away, but by acknowledging them, and then using the energy of those for that space of constant reinvention and renewal.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
We’ve spoken to some business owners here in the last few months that have reported back and said if COVID hadn’t happened to them and they didn’t make the necessary changes in their business, they wouldn’t be realizing some of the successes they now have. Have you seen that in people that you’ve been dealing with in business owners and leaders out there that because of the pivot due to COVID-19, their businesses are now on fire and doing great?

Gay Hendricks:
Well, I don’t mean to brag or anything, but ours is one of them. We’ve had a tripling of our book sales and a huge expansion of our e-courses because just for one simple reason, it used to be that people used to have to trek all the way to a small town in California, where I live to do our trainings. And every year we would have hundreds of people doing that. But now with video conference and things like that, people used to video learning, we’re reaching people all over the world.

Gay Hendricks:
I mean, we literally have people getting up in the middle of the night in South Africa, and Dubai, and Australia to take our e-courses live. And of course they’re recorded too, but just to participate in them live, we have people all over the world in a class at the same time. And for me as a teacher who wants to spread these ideas in the world it’s been a tremendous–

Gay Hendricks:
But I tell you, I hear every day, Jim, from people who have used this time to reinvent a whole other aspect of their business. I have some of them I directly mentor, and in one case they completely reinvented their business into a subscription business, which is now taking off like crazy because of this new environment.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. That’s incredible. No question about it. And once, what does life look like for these people after COVID is beyond us? It’s important for them to be constantly renewal, in a renewal form and recommitting. Not just in difficult times, but also in great times, right? Because sometimes bad habits can form when times are good. Right?

Gay Hendricks:
Yes. And in The Big Leap, I talk about something called the upper limit problem, which is your tendency to sabotage yourself when things start going well even. And so what that’s based on are some old fears. And as you get in touch with those and acknowledge those and put them to rest, you tap into a kind of energy that’s almost hard to describe in words. But once you get yourself centered down in your genius zone, you have a kind of a unlimited abundance of energy that you can use to put into whatever the new situation is. And that’s what I’m really after helping people learn in this time of stress.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah. For sure. Gay Hendricks, president of the Hendricks Institute, best-selling author, psychologist. Thank you so much for joining us on the show today. We very much appreciate it. I know that our viewers and our subscribers are going to get a lot out of your visit here today. And we’d love to do a follow up with you in the future. So thanks so much.


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