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Be Careful Who You Seek Counsel From

Episode #21

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”

In this episode, Doug brings to the table a real story of a man who was getting business advice from somebody who was completely unqualified to do so and it kicks off a discussion about the importance of surrounding yourself with like-minded people who you contribute towards your goals in business and life.

We’ve all heard the theory about how surrounding yourself with successful people who you admire will automatically rub off on you.

This sounds easy enough right, whatever you want to achieve, go find people who have done it already… but how do you know they have actually done it?! We’ve all seen coaches online who claim to be successful entrepreneurs who can teach you to be one too… but how do you know they’ve actually done it, this is the most difficult part of the process. Getting advice from someone who isn’t actually qualified is much worse than getting no advice at all.

Doug talks about how he and his wife decided to selectively choose who they would spend their social time with, this involved going out and actively looking for the people who they wanted to be most like, as a result, their mindset started to shift. He then applied the same technique to his business.

Often this will involve dropping all pride and judgment. We are automatically afraid to seek counsel and advice from others, they worry about how it will make them look… will it show my weaknesses? Yes maybe it will, but all of us have weaknesses and the most successful people are the ones that identify them and seek advice on how to overcome them.

Find out how you can surround yourself with the RIGHT people!

What you will discover in this episode:

    • How to make sure you’re surrounded by the right people.
    • The damaging effect of advice from the wrong people.
    • How to differentiate truly successful people from people who just claim to be.
    • How to seek out people you want to be like.
    • The importance of dropping pride and judgment.
    • How and who Doug and Tim used to achieve their goals.
    • How groups and networks can help.


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Head over to our BONUS page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man.

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Episode Transcript

Doug Holt  0:02  

Don’t let it be too late for you. Right? If you’re grinding it out, it’s not working, change, pivot seek counsel, seek counsel for somebody who successfully built businesses around their life, not the other way around. 

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man Show. I am your host, Doug Holt, here with my co-host, Tim, “The Powerful Man” Matthews. Tim, how’s it going? Brother?

Tim Matthews  0:29  

Yeah. All right.

Doug Holt  0:33  

The truth?

Tim Matthews  0:35  

Yeah, I’m all right. I’ve been better.

Doug Holt  0:39  

Well, we’ve had some great conversations over the past hour; we always talk for about an hour before we hit the record button here. And as always, where we dive into some intense and exciting topics. We still wish we hit a record. But today, Tim, as much as I want to share with everybody what’s going on with you. But really, what I want to share with everybody is a topic that keeps coming up for some of the men that we are serving, the guys that are going through The Activation Method right now. That’s the topic of being careful of who you seek counsel from. So the idea that I want to throw on the table here, Tim, for our conversation today is frequently, as men, we don’t seek advice until there’s an issue, right? It’s a stereotype we have; we don’t bring things up until it’s a problem. We may ask our buddies, we may ask our friends, or we may get advice from a coach or somebody else that we know and look up to as authority figures. I want to talk about some of the pitfalls of doing that and some of the things to look out for when making some of the common mistakes. Are you game for that?

Tim Matthews  1:53  

Let’s do it. 

Doug Holt  1:54  

Awesome. one of the things that comes to me is often, we talk about business, and I recently heard a story about a guy who’s going through a business problem. And really, what he’s looking at doing is “Should I grow my business?”, “Should I sell it?” “Should I just go get a job?”. It’s a common thing that business owners talk about, I get a job and not have to worry about this. He was talking about this in front of a group of men, and one of the guys said, turned to him, and said, very emphatically just like he knew the answer. Talking about very sure of himself, said, “Look, this is what you need to do, you need to get a cash flow injection into your company right away, about half a million dollars, and get that cash flow injection, and apply it to your marketing, make sure your marketing is polished, you need to be traveling, you’d be seen as the man, the man, and the public guy, you should be investing all of your money here, we’re also going to do is have three months of reserves in your business with this new cash flow injection you’re getting, this is going to be critical. 

Because if you don’t do this, your business will fail, you will end up at the bottom, you will end up not only having a job, but you’ll end up doing worse than having a job, you will feel horrible. You’ll let everybody down.” So that was his advice. As I watched this, Tim, I looked at the business owner’s face. this guy was again, so emphatic and so believable, that you just like, “Wow, okay, I got to get a cash injection of half a million.” You could see it in processing. The first thing is how? “How do I do this?”, “How do I get this money?”, “How do I come through?”, and I stopped after I saw this whole interaction. I reached out to the business owner because I know him. I said “Look, how are you doing? How are you feeling?” He said like, “Doug, I’m stressed, I got to get a cash flow injection of a half a million dollars, and maybe he’s wrong, maybe I only need $300,000 to make this business work and to inject into my marketing and to blow this up and scale. As he said, to beat the competition, I’m going to have to invest all this money into it; the competition’s been here before I have Doug. I just have to figure out how I’m going to get that money and how am I going to get a bank loan? What am I going to do with that?” And so Tim, I hear this. I turned to the business owner, let’s call the guy that gave him the advice Frank. I said, “Yeah, I heard Frank give you that advice. What’s Frank’s background?” And so this business owner, pause for a second, looked at me and said, “Well, Frank built a successful company” and then obviously, the economy crashed, and back in 2008. Then Frank lost everything and lost it all. He’s building it up now but obviously, he knows what he’s talking about”. I looked at him, and I said, “You know what? In 2008, was there anybody else in Frank’s business that didn’t have a hardship that or maybe didn’t have hardship, but that made it?” he’s like, “Well, yeah, Doug, of course.” I looked at him and said, “You know what, perhaps Frank isn’t the best person to be giving you advice. 

Perhaps Frank isn’t the person you want to seek counsel from? Now you can look at Frank, who’s now working in a nine to five type of job. You can look at Frank as a warning sign; getting advice from Frank is like getting real estate advice from a homeless person. You have to be careful about who you get advice from. Because the truth is for this business owner, this injection of cash, yes, it would help his marketing. Yeah, it would make it look better, potentially. But did it solve his problem? No, I don’t think it would have solved this problem at all. He was putting money after bad decisions. That’s dumb money; you don’t just put money into a business until you know exactly what it’s going to be used for what’s your ROI into it. he would have been giving up equity getting up capital going further in debt, which would have compounded his problems. And yet, he was taking advice from a man who hadn’t been successful in business, which had failed at the game of business. And that’s where he was getting his counsel and Tim, we see these other places, right? I mean, you’ve seen this in areas of relationships, where men are seeking advice from other single men or divorced men about relationships and how to be successful in them. And it’s not that being divorced or separated or single doesn’t mean you won’t have anything to share. I’m not saying that at all. I’m just saying Be careful on who you seek counsel from.

Tim Matthews  6:21  

So true reminds me of someone that we both know, and I’ll describe the situation. I’m sure you’ll remember who it is. But this particular person’s business wasn’t doing very well. So what he then did, was he went and sought counsel from certain people that were also struggling. He framed the scenario and the question in a way where it was a little bit leading and will get the answer they wanted. Because he was seeking validation, it was seeking to be proved right. Even when with him being right, in this instance, it was going to result in a loss, basically, financial loss, emotional loss, and so on. You see what you look for at the end of the day, don’t you? what you’re saying there is? Well, wow, I feel fear, friend, in a lot of respects. But I also it’s great there’s got someone like you by the side as well, because who knows, maybe you saved him half a million dollars and a hell of a lot of pain and heartache. 

And who knows what another impact that would have had had on other areas of his life, had he gone down that route? So kudos to you to reach out to him and offer him another insight into another way to look at this? But yeah, I know that in the past, very early on in my journey, I won’t say career, journey. This was a problem that I struggled with because I was aware of seeking counsel from the right people. But what do you do if you’re not surrounded by people that have walked the path before you? And sure you can go and get coaches? But is that how do you know that those people have walked the path before you? We see so often a certain image being portrayed and bringing this back to you, Doug, one of the things you have always done well from a very early edge is being very intentional and careful about who you surround yourself with. So, now my question is, how do you then surround yourself with the right people so that the counsel you do get is something that you can trust and rely upon?

Doug Holt  9:17  

Such a great question and I’m going to use a story to tell it. So, early on in my marriage, newly married, beautiful wife, we’d love each other. We started to run into problems as most married couples do. The first year is kind of notorious people don’t talk about it. Being notorious, but it’s a tough year you’re trying to figure things out together. And what we noticed we were doing when we’d fight, I would go out with my friends who happened to be all single, and she would go out with her girlfriends who happened to be all single. Of course, we bitch and moan about our partner a little bit here and there. we get advice from single people. Luckily for us, we quickly learned being coaches, we’ve figured this out pretty quickly. And we knew the answer is we knew that we needed to seek out couples, other couples to be in relation with the right to hang around. But when we asked ourselves the question, Tim, we’re like, okay, who are other couples, we want to model that who has been down the path ahead of us, kind of like you’re alluding to, and we had a hard time coming up with a really tough time. 

So what we did, and I would recommend this through business, or anything else, is we started seeking it out, we started seeking them out, I should say, we started inviting them to dinner. These are older couples, already successful, have kids, family life seems great on the outside, at least. you get to know them, and you realize that every family has its struggles. Of course, no one’s perfect. But we actively sought these people out; we went looking for them. We showed up to events, talked to people, people we did business with, talked about their lives, and actively sought these people out. And I’ve done the same as you said, with business. seeking out business owners who do mentor or coaching, they’re often hard to get to because they’re very good at business. In my experience, those who are crappy at business are easy to find because they’re all over social media talking about business. It’s kind of like when you have that friend who is out of shape and overweight, and they go on a new diet, right? Could be ketogenic one week could be vegetarianism vegan, and all they talk about is the way you should eat. Right? “Oh, Tim, keto, you got to reduce your carbs, it’s the best thing,” and they’re munching on bacon, and you’re looking at them, they’re telling you all about it, or veganism, you can’t eat animals. And this is why and that’s all they do is talk about it is because they haven’t mastered it. Right. And that’s where a lot of business coaches or coaches, personal development, men’s coaches, you and I, being in the men’s coaching space, we see this all the time where people are saying, you can have it all, and behind the scenes, because we know some of these people, they are out of control their lives in chaos. 

And they’re just trying to sell something that they’re searching for. Again, to answer your question, you need to seek them out; you need to find them. Social media is a great tool to search people out and find them to see people who are doing mentoring or who are posting quality content that resonates with you. If it’s the area of business, you can find them on LinkedIn, of course, or other places, and then reach out and have a conversation with them. Right? They should be willing to have a conversation with you. And then ask around. There’s nothing wrong with asking around. So with this guy in the story I was telling about this business owner when you’re seeking counsel, you know what I advised him to do because I was a friend of his I didn’t want to give him advice, per se. I wanted him to avoid this other path he was going down. But I recommended he talked to a few people talk to several people to see who resonates with you the best. Don’t be cautious, be cautious, but don’t fall into the trap of, well, I talked to three people, and this guy’s the cheapest, so I’m going with him. And it’s usually the reason that person is the cheapest. And when you’re talking about your experience early on in your journey, seeking out these coaches, and reputable and who’s not, I think getting recommendations from other people are top-notch. I also think about asking; there’s nothing wrong with asking them about their business, lifestyle, and asking them real and honest questions. When I get business advice, I don’t want to get business advice from wealthy people, yet having no relationships and having no health isn’t living their dreams. Because that’s not what I want to do. I want to build a business around those other areas. So I seek out people who can give them business advice and live in the other spheres.

Hey, guys, I had to interrupt this show because I want to talk to you about a case study we put together; it’s only 11 minutes. And what we do is we go over and show you how almost 300 men have taken control of their lives, already have 4X business revenue, and are having more connected intimate sex with their partner using The Activation Method. And they’re doing all this without burning down their relationships. And without suffering and sacrificing their health. We want you to have this too. So go over to https://www.thepowerfulman.com/bonus/, the number 11 one, and get this right now. It’s only 11 minutes, and it’s going to show you exactly how these men have done it. Alright, let’s get back to the episode.

Tim Matthews  14:43  

Now again, I’m thinking back to the early days for me, and I’m thinking about some of the guys we work with as well. in reality, I reflect, there are no excuses, are there? the excuse I used to use was, “Well, the area that I’m in is not a great area, and there’s no one around here.” 

Doug Holt  15:15  

Such a common excuse, right? Location.

Tim Matthews  15:19  

Yeah, it’s bullshit. We live in one of the most affluent areas of Leeds, but we do not because of money or anything, but I love to be surrounded by abundance. The point I’m making here is, you know, we can walk to the top of the street and restaurants where Rolls Royces are parked outside and Lamborghinis and all the rest of it. So that completely flies in the face of the story, I used to tell myself because the reality is, it’s all around it, I wasn’t looking for it, and I used to make the excuse that I’m just too busy. I’m just too busy to make time to go and harbor these relationships. But the reality was, I was busy and not productive. Also, again, thinking back to where I used to be, and some of the guys we work with, I was in a scarcity mindset, which meant that I wasn’t looking after myself in a way that I ought to have been. I was hustling hard; I worked 15, 16, 17 hours a day, and I wore it as a badge of honor. I remember getting into bed at night, just with a huge grin on my face because I just hustled my ass off. The point being is because I was in that kind of mindset, I than anything that didn’t give me immediate gratification, going, and investment into relationships with these people. So I had the right counsel around me. Anything that didn’t give me immediate gratification, as I didn’t see its benefit. Yeah, as you said, there are no excuses, and I look at someone like you, Doug, the relationships you’ve fostered with different people. 

And it’s inspiring. I love it, and one of the reasons I choose to be around you is because you’re a great guy, and that’s my counsel. If you will, along with other people as well, Because I’ve come to realize as you said, the real importance of this is paying attention to who you pay attention to. It’s funny, my mom, bless her, I love her to pieces. But she’ll often say, “Oh, how much is that?”, “Oh, that’s too much money.” she lives in a lot of fear and scarcity with money; it’s just her. But that has a really big influence on my sister. Whereas for me, I don’t listen to that. And she knows because over the past few years that I just kind of shut that down. If I’m ever in a conversation around my parents, and they have been negative and fearful, honestly, I get up and walk off. And that’s nothing against them. I’m very protective about my energy and myspace and who I pay attention to, which by default, as those guys then don’t have those conversations around anymore because they know nothing is real. I won’t say that. They’re very few and far between. Because I know I don’t want to get involved. But it’s very, very important. What kind of conversations are you in hence this podcast, being such a great conversation to be in, and who do you seek counsel from? You brought a great, great topic to the table here.

Doug Holt  19:03  

Yeah, it’s something that I have been very conscious of, and still am very conscious of who I’m seeking counsel from. I hear it in; we’ve all heard the whole thing. You’ve guys have heard it from me before, but I think it’s Jim Rohn that might have coined this. I’m sure he got it from somebody else. “You are the total of the five people you spend the most time with.” Now, if you’re listening to this, you get Tim, and I can be two of those today for you, we hope, but you are the total. And that’s the reason we came up with The Brotherhood. For those who don’t know, The Brotherhood is after the men go through The Activation Method, an eight-week boot camp type training style, where they’re working with a coach, and then they go through an actual retreat, very intensive, very amazing. And a certain percentage of them are offered an invitation into The Brotherhood, which is our ongoing fraternity so to speak, of men playing at a higher level and doing more in their lives. Wives that are out there to make a change in themselves and their families in their communities. And so that’s where we’re talking about surrounding yourself with counsel. The Brotherhood consists of all these men that you can turn to and, and get advice and know that you’re going to get honest feedback from somebody in, they might even say, hey, look, I’m not the best person to talk about that to this, but talk to Arthur, my friend Arthur over here. 

And he can tell you talk to you about real estate investments because he’s been extremely successful the last 20 years in that department. Right? So that’s what you want to be looking for. You want to be able to surround yourself with a network and build a network of people who can serve as your kind of board of advisors, so to speak, right? Who are these people that you’re going to come to? And you get to make your own choices? Right, you don’t have to listen to all of their advice. I’d recommend if you have somebody that has good counsel, definitely heed their counsel. So if there’s somebody, for example, I have a couple of friends who have been extremely successful in the area of financial investments. And you know, if I ask them a question on the stock to pick, or should I invest in, in this company or that company, and they’re experts in that situation, and they advise me not to do it? Why be stupid not to listen to them not to heed their warning? Right? They are experts; I’ve already vetted them out, so I’ve already gone through that whole vetting process. And I’m going to heat. I’m also going to do my due diligence, of course, there are no excuses. But I’m going to heed their advice. And that’s where it’s so important. I wanted to bring up this whole conversation on this podcast on this show because there are so many men out there right now that are struggling, right? 

There are business owners out there that are going through depression; they’re trying to grind it out. Only to realize you’re seeing this with some big, big figureheads out there that all they talk about was a grunt, like a couple of years ago is “Grind it out, grind it out.” And now they’re coming back and saying, “Yeah, that was wrong. Now I’m spending more time with my family.” They’ve changed their mind, don’t let it be too late for you. Right, if you’re grinding it out and it’s not working, change, pivot seeks counsel, same counsel for somebody who successfully built businesses around their life, not the other way around. If you’re struggling in relationships, your wife has left you or will leave you, which is a lot of you listening to this right now. Right? Seek counsel from people who have saved their marriages or have saved their relationships? How do they do it? How do they do it successfully? Right? Those are the kind of people you want to surround yourself with. And the more you can surround yourself in this conversation, the more you can invest in what you said, Tim; it’s all mindset. The more you invest in your mindset, the better you’ll be along your journey.

Tim Matthews  22:48  

So true, drop the pride as well. It’s okay seeking counsel, but if you’re doing it, again, I’m just thinking of the guy that we both know, that was speaking about earlier, he was seeking counsel, but from a perspective, they wanted to prove himself right. That’s no good. Seek counsel in a way that you lower the boundaries, don’t take it personally, be real, be upfront, be honest. Come at what you are fighting for; that guy, in particular, is fighting for the need to be right. He needed to fast where he got his significance from feeling like he was making the best decision. But although that was resulting in poor performance in his perfect personal and professional life, that’s why I was fighting for. So as you seek this counsel, I would invite you and encourage you to be mindful of what you are fighting for here? Are you fighting for your pride? Are you committed to your success, and if it’s the latter, then when you seek counsel, it always helps me be completely transparent, honest, and open. Accepting my shortcomings, sharing those and showing my wounds a little bit, showing my pains, my hurts because of the decisions I’ve made, and asking for their support. And be completely open to it, knowing that it’s not a reflection on me, not taking it personally. I’m going to go away and implement, but like I said, as well do your due diligence on it too. So that you’re not just taking advice or running with it, knowing that if the work is your fault, that that’s a key here as well. You get to take your responsibility, both from coming clean, and also that apply in 

Doug Holt  24:52  

Love it. Gentlemen, that wraps up another episode of The Powerful Man Show, Tim; thanks so much again for being here, man. I appreciate you.

Tim Matthews  25:00  

I appreciate you too, bro!

Doug Holt  25:01  

Guys, we will see you next week. Make sure you go over to the Facebook page, and we’d love to hear what you think about this episode and what you’d like to hear in future episodes. Until then, we’ll see you next week.