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Going All In On Yourself

Episode #798

Curious about the transformative power of self-reflection and personal growth within relationships?

Wondering how to navigate the complexities of masculinity and fatherhood?

In this insightful conversation, Doug and Brandon delve into their experiences, exploring the generational and societal influences shaping their perspectives on love, family, and personal development.

Reflecting on the challenges of communication and emotional expression within familial dynamics, they unpack the journey of self-discovery and accountability. From navigating the pitfalls of victim mentality to embracing the role of a nurturing father and partner, they share candid insights into the importance of setting boundaries, fostering emotional security, and prioritizing personal fulfillment.

In this episode, you’ll learn about the profound impact of active listening and holding space within relationships.

Discover how embracing a growth mindset can empower individuals to break free from limiting beliefs, fostering deeper connections and meaningful transformation in their lives and the lives of those they love.

Hungry for more?

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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Brandon  00:00

As men, we’re very logical, we’re task doers, like give us something, we want to fix it. And being a nice guy, when I’d have conversations with my past partner, I’d want to fix or resolve things, whether it was sharing how bad her day was, or this, I’d come up with answers. And the reality is they just want us to hold space and listen. They can figure these problems out on their own. We might not think that. But the reality is, when you hold space, and you validate, and you learn to create that safety net, where they can, you’re that safe haven, where they do confide in you and they are feeling that emotional security and support. Guys, I can’t tell you the shift you see in your partner. I never experienced that with any other partner, to be honest; first time I could ever hold space for someone.

Doug Holt  00:46

Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of the TPM show. I’m once again blessed to have another guest here, a man that shows up each and every time for the men in the movement. For you guys that are interested in our program, flagship program, The Activation Method, Brandon. Brandon, thanks for being here, brother.

Brandon  01:04

Doug, pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me, man.

Doug Holt  01:07

Yeah. We’ve been having a great offline conversation as we always do and I’m always like, “Man, hit record hit record.” Because one of the things we were talking about is you kind of found TPM several years after your relationship was over. And you’ve got a beautiful son who is the light of your life as our kids are for all us fathers that are out there, and all the guys can relate to that idea. And you were sharing with me, you’ve transitioned to a new relationship, but you’re talking about how doing the work, the work that you’ve done over the years and what you’ve done, how that, one, affects you, two your ex, three, your current partner, and then fourth, the most important is your son.

Brandon  01:48


Doug Holt 01:49

So let’s talk a little bit about that.

Brandon  01:51

Yeah. So when I came into TPM… Actually, let’s backtrack a little bit. A previous relationship, took a while to notice, but I was very victim mindset, blame on everybody, world was unfair. And after going through The Activation Method, I learned that my side of the street was filthy. And I was pretty resentful, and ultimately didn’t want the separation. I didn’t want to split up my family.

And at that time, I didn’t think there was any direction to feel any better about where I was at. But ultimately, I realized that I wasn’t showing up as a leader. I was a nice guy. I still am, working at it every day. But nonetheless, I lacked in leadership, decisiveness and ultimately creating just that emotional security and safety my partner needed, and I fell short. But coming to the realization that you have to hold yourself accountable if you’re ever going to get any clarity in your life. It’s been the biggest transition for me.

Doug Holt  03:04

Yeah, I think that’s really important. A lot of guys like, “Well, no, I didn’t do anything. She did this. She did that.” And really about being accountable, it’s just saying, okay, what’s the lesson here for me? Like, where did, to use your term, fall short, or where did I not perform at the optimal level? Whatever guys want to think. And it’s not about blaming yourself, it’s more like, okay, where can I improve?

Brandon  03:26

Yeah. Yeah, I think ultimately, it’s easy to put it on others, especially when things seem extremely unfair. But there always is two sides to every story. And I think a big thing for me is I was very reactive. I’ve always been an emotional person, definitely dominant in my feminine energy and working on my masculine and just creating that balance. But ultimately, you can’t have two alphas, you can’t have two betas. There is a leader and there’s a follower, and I lacked in leadership. And it’s as simple as you stated in the podcast, deciding where to go for dinner, or what we’re going to do for the evening or what have you. But ultimately, our wives, our partners are looking for that leadership so they can truly be in that natural feminine energy that, unfortunately, a lot of women aren’t in nowadays.

Doug Holt  04:30

Yeah, it’s true. And one of the things that you and I were talking about was how, fast forward to today, you’ve done a lot of work, right, you’ve done the work, you get to talk to guys all the time from around the world who are looking at bettering themselves. So you get to see what we call their shadow self, the image that they put up versus where you know they could be. And one of the things I thought was so powerful, at least moving to me that you shared was your son is in a split family environment, right, where he go sees your ex and then go sees you; and how what you want for your son is for you to be able to be happy for him and you truly are, regardless of what the situation is. Tell me a little bit about that and how kind of that journey came for you. Because I think a lot of guys, even if divorce is on the table, that’s a concern of theirs.

Brandon  05:18

Yeah, I think as men, especially having a son you want to be the idol, the superhero. And yeah, that was my biggest fear going into it is who’s going to be around him, who’s going to influence him? And I got pretty lucky she found a guy, a little bit older, a little bit — he’s lived life. He has children of his own. But there was a lot of insecurities and jealousies coming from, I guess what I could provide and what he might provide. And I was speaking with Mo, a couple of months back during one of our meetings and I wanted to talk to her about, there was a parent-teacher conference that my son had, and he’s young. He was going into first grade.

So I wasn’t sure, but I thought he might come and I had a lot of resistance to it. And I spoke with Mo because I wanted to be grounded and really know I’m bringing the version that not only I need, but he needs. And she had just shared with me that, one, he’s your son, he’s always going to be your biological son, you are his hero. And even though, I won’t use names, but her partner did end up showing up, and I wasn’t reactive. Internally, I wanted to say all kinds of things. Why are you here? You know, you have no business is what I was feeling internally.

But ultimately, Hudson doesn’t have a problem going back and forth. I can see when he lights — when he says things, and he’s enjoying the other man. He’ll share stories. And I realized that this guy does bring him joy and happiness, and it’s still a battle for me. It really is. But at the end of the day, it is about his happiness. And I know there was a lot of times where I was selfish and insecure, and sometimes putting him in the middle of it, which the more I process, it broke me down because he didn’t ask for any of this. And I think knowing that it’s — having two people love you versus one is even better. And I think just realizing that my level or my role as his father won’t change, I’m always going to be that person. And it’s a blessing to have another man who can influence him, guide him and just be a good figure when he’s not with me. So, yeah.

Doug Holt  08:09

Yeah, man. I mean, it’s such a testament to doing the work, Brandon, because it’s easy as a man or as a human, right, to be resentful. You want to be the number one. So who am I going to blame? I’m going to blame that person for dividing my son and I or getting in the way. Or who is he to do these things. But I think you’re taking such a mature outlook on it, that very few men do is, wow, great. Now he’s got another person that loves him or to love him, not maybe the same as you, but still that’s going to take care of him in his moments of need when you’re not there. And how great is that. And one of the things that you shared with me that I thought was really touching, is at the end of the day, you love your son and you want your son to be happy. And if this makes them happy, then heck you’re all in. And I think that’s a really cool and mature response that all men want to have. We all want to think we’ll be that way. But it’s also a testament for you to do the work. You’re doing the work and you communicate with your acts in a responsible manner.

Brandon 09:10

Yeah. Yeah. You know, we had a dynamic relationship. But after we split, it wasn’t, I wouldn’t say healthy. You know, there was so much anger and so much resentment. And like I said, I was blaming the world and everyone else but me. My circumstances shifted from we just invested in a home and put a bunch of money into it, and we were going to have our family, and not to mention, I had a stepson, so there was that part of the last as well. So I just was angry at everybody.

And I realized that if our conversations, our connection was severed, and she would view me as… I’m sorry, let me backtrack. If she would connect with him in the way I connected with her, meaning if our relationship was toxic or bad, it’s not going to help him at all. And I just noticed that if she’s happy, and especially with being with a new person, if he brings her joy, she’s going to be able to show up a better version for him. And it all factors down to his happiness. And that’s when we have to put aside our ego and just the things that we still might think are unfair.

But the reality of it is, he didn’t ask for it. He wasn’t one day just saying this is what I want. He was thrown into and if I could change things I would, but the reality is, this is how it is for a lot of families. And I think maintaining that balance between both houses is crucial, because kids get thrown into the middle of it all the time. And I caught myself a while ago doing it. He wanted to share with me the trip that they’d just taken. And he was fishing and talking about a fire and other activities they were doing, and I could feel jealousy building up. And I remember saying something along the lines of you must have a lot more fun there. And that side of me was coming up, and I caught myself and I went and looked in the mirror, and I was like what are you doing? Because he’s not processing this the way I am. He’s just a kid.

So yeah, there’s been moments where those things could spiral out of control, and you’re just hurting your children. And as much as a lot of people or a lot of men might not like their exes, you got to understand that it’s either going to help or hinder your relationship with your child. So that’s been the biggest piece for me is doing what’s best for him, and in turn it’s been the best for me, because I’ve been able to release a lot of this resentment and anger, and I have no ill feelings towards her. I wish her the best. She’s getting married this year. She has a great man in her life, and he’s great to my son. And I couldn’t be happier, to be honest. So it’s been a journey, but a good one.

Doug Holt  12:20

Yeah. I mean, like jealousy, revenge, I’m going to misquote it, but it’s like taking poison yourself and hoping the other person dies. Right? It doesn’t work that way. My parents divorced when I was five, and I still remember some of the resentful comments and energy that was on there. And obviously, they didn’t have what we teach the men in the triad of connection. That triad of connection, which most men don’t realize, can not only be used in your current marriage, but can be used in other relationships with your ex, with your kids. It is a communication framework that all men should know. Right? It’s three parts that all men should know, and that’s a foundation. And when you can apply that to your ex who, like you said, your ex is with the most precious thing that you have, which is your child, Hudson, right? And so you want her to be happy so that happiness transfers over to him.

Brandon 13:12

Yeah, 100%. Yeah, and the reality of it is, I had been through some, not say programs like this, but you know, inner work. And the more I realize that everything starts with me, like the exterior or the outside variables don’t play, like it starts with you. That’s the only way you’re ever going to make any transition in the direction you want. So yeah, just ultimately, with the triad of connection, like you said, it’s not just with my relationship with my ex, or with my son, or co-workers or family, everybody in my life, the way I connect with people, hold space. You know, it’s bigger than just man and woman. It’s everything in life. And I think as men, we look for peace more than anything, and I’ve have the most inner peace that I’ve ever had in my life ever since being a part of this and going through The Activation Method. It’s been life changing for me.

Doug Holt  14:25

Well, we get accused, as you know, all the time, of a bait and switch is guys come in to save their marriage and they realize, holy cow, I have skills now that affect every area of my life, including myself. And so skills and I mean you’re a testament to that, when you think about us as men, we know our role is provider, protector, right, the two things. That’s the assignment. You know, we talked about this in another podcast. It’s not the bonus, it’s not the extra credit, right? It’s provider and protector. And to be a provider and protector, you want to keep those people you love, even when they’re out of your sight, in an environment as safe as possible. And you’re doing that by creating a safe environment of communication with your ex, and by creating a safe environment for Hudson to be able to talk about these other adventures that he’s on in his little world. He’s just on this other adventure. Let me share it with you, dad, and for you to have the wherewithal to realize what was bubbling up within you, take a pause, right?

Sometimes you got to step away, take a pause, reset, re-calibrate, and then go back in and do the best you can to show up big for him. You’re giving him the skills, the coping skills that he’s going to take, me as a kid, like I got that resentment, right. I picked that up in relationships and I took it on. But Hudson is going to get this thing, it’s loving. It’s okay to share your good moments, it’s okay to share your wins. You can’t hide them, right. And I grew up actually literally hiding things and I’ve had to relearn to share when I’ve been successful in business. I wouldn’t tell anybody, or wins in team events. You know, you got to be quiet about that, because you don’t want to make somebody jealous. Hudson’s not going to have that barrier to cross.

Brandon 16:04

Yeah. And something as simple as understanding decisiveness being very important in a relationship. But I noticed something my son was doing a few months ago and it worried me. So he asked me, and it comes with several things, but if he has a choice between something. Like, do I want to use the red or the green? Or should we watch this or that? He’ll want me to pick. He’ll ask Dad, which one should I pick? And I’ve been making it a point to have him choose, because I know how far that will go. And he’s very loving. I know he could fall into the very people-pleasing. And him also being in a split family, a lot of the times he might not always be heard or feel like he’s able to be heard.

So that was just one small thing that I picked up on is really teaching him to be, to choose what he wants. And a lot of the times he doesn’t want to make those choices. And when we communicate, I always ask him, we talk really well together, but I ask him, how do you feel? How does that make you feel? Why do you feel that way? And I don’t think a lot of parents, I guess, connect with their children on a cognitive level. They might think they’re too young, or they won’t understand, but children are so much smarter than we give them credit for. And I’m blessed my son was, he came running out of the womb, and he’s gifted in all areas.

But I think nowadays with society and just the business with — and social media, and just all the influences, the connection’s been lost. Most parents are, here’s your tablet, here’s your switch, your — whatever. And that connection is really being lost, and I think it’s crucial to really be able to communicate with your kids and really know how they’re feeling. You might not understand it, but being able to voice it and have that space is so crucial, because I see such a disconnect with parents nowadays. And it’s easy. We all can get there, and I’ve been there. But I think kids need connection more than ever nowadays, especially as society is, unfortunately, the divorce rate and broken families is more common than not. So I think it’s more important now than ever to be there, to hold that space, and to know that our children still need to be first and foremost, the number one priority; set aside from the things we have in our life.

Doug Holt  18:41

Yeah, I agree with you. And you as being one of the guys that’s on the front line is one of our advisors that talks to many of the men, you know, a lot of guys come in to save their marriage and sometimes they don’t think of the kids and the secondary consequences. Like hey, this may not work out. Now, even if you don’t go with us or go through this program or another one, do you have the skills necessary to navigate a healthy relationship? Right? The proof’s in the pudding, so to speak. And if this one doesn’t work, hopefully it’s saved, maybe you can pull it out. Sometimes it’s too far gone. Guys are notorious for coming after the divorce papers are already served, people have moved on. However, you can take these skills and apply them towards your ex-wife, towards your future partner, and towards your children. And I think guys miss that, right. As men, we can be so nearsighted.

Brandon 19:32

For sure. Yeah. And even coming into TPM, I was single for well over a couple years. You know, I needed to work on me. And we all have those thoughts. Like, I’m broken. It’s me. I’m constantly in failing relationships, or just I’m not desired. But there’s pieces that I needed to put together. And I spent those two years focusing on my career and being present with my son. And I think that’s the one thing that’s probably been the most valuable for me is there’s moments where I have him and I might be finishing work, or I might run a little bit later, and I’ll make promises in the beginning of the day. Hey, we’ll drive the RC cars, we’ll go ride bikes.

And he’ll come and come up to the door, knock and say that we’re going to go ride and there’s been times, yeah, we’ll do it a little bit. And I’ve caught myself. And I was like you made this promise. And the promises that we make to ourselves a lot of times we break and those are sometimes the hardest to keep. They are, they are the hardest to keep but I don’t want to start showing him that and not letting him be able to count on me. So I’ve been able to follow through when I say I’m going to do something with him. Or we have an activity or something planned, I do it because I want him to be — I want to be the number one person he can count on, and I want to be a man of my word. And that’s just going to — that’s going to speak into his life later, and who he’s going to be as a man.

Doug Holt  21:06

100%. I tell the story, and it’s not one I’m proud of, is my daughter used to run around her house, three years old, I mean, she might have been two, but about three, I think. And she’d run around and go, “Just a minute, just a minute.” And she’d run around and tell everybody just a minute, put her finger up. And I go, “Holy cow. Where’d she get that from?” Dad always says, “Yeah, just a minute. I’ll be with you in just a minute. I got to make a phone call. Just a minute.” And in her young mind, this is what people do. This is the level like, “Hey, sweetie, will you come over here?” “Just a minute dad.” And kids pick up on things so young and so early, because they’re mimicking us. They look up to us as patterns of being, right. We’re the patterns, which they’re going to mimic for our adult lives.

Yeah, I talked to all the guys, myself included, I don’t know about you, Brandon. But every once a while I do something, I’m like, “Oh, crap, I was my dad.” I swore I wouldn’t do that, right. But our kids are going to do the same things. Are we teaching them the right way of being? Because we know it, everybody knows being jealous is not the way to go is not serving anybody, yet we all are jealous at some time. You caught yourself and you gave your son another, and I’m going to give you another compliment, I want you to take it. You gave your son another piece of evidence of another way of being, right, of a man listening to him and hearing his joy; which gives him more evidence to share joy, to find joy. Right? He’s going to have more and more of those things, versus I have to dim my light to protect my father. Right? And that’s the story I had. I have to dim my light to protect my dad. I have to dim my light to protect my mom. So I just won’t share things about that part of my life. So I was only able to share 50% of my life. Whereas your son’s going to be like, I can be whole and complete. And I want the men to really listen to drive this home, because that’s what’s possible in their houses too. They just need to focus and reframe the way you did.

Brandon 23:08

Yeah. And like I said, we want to be the idol, whether you have a daughter or a son. And there’s always going to be tests. We talk about shit tests, but there’s always going to be tests throughout with your children, with family and friends. And specifically,  we can get derailed, especially when it’s not us creating that joy. So, yeah, it’s an awareness that I can only imagine what my relationships with my son would be like down the road if I didn’t. Because I know the old me would have been — he would have been the same as you. He wouldn’t have shared. He would have been closed off and it breaks my heart to think that. Because like I said, our kids don’t ask for this, and then they’re generally the pawns in the game.

And it’s difficult to get to that part where you want to accept what’s happened, but the reality of it is we lose sight of who this is affecting. Of course, if you are going through a divorce or going through marital issues, it’s tough, and I understand that. But we can’t forget about the ones we brought in in that. Yeah, it’s a testament to what we do here. It does start with us. And I think, like most of the men I speak with, I really look for the accountability, even in difficult situations, questions that might be very uncomfortable, but it’s the men that step up and say, I fell short here. I could have done better. This was my fault and I want to do better. And it starts with taking full ownership. And it’s difficult to see that in the victim mindset. You’re either the victim or the victor. And I’ll tell you, the victor mindset is so much better.

Doug Holt  25:15

It is, man.

Brandon  25:16

Oh, it’s so much better.

Doug Holt  25:18

Well, I think the key is, is you can’t control whether you’re going to get divorced or separated, because you have another person involved. You just can’t control that. You can control how you show up. You can control how you show up, and that’s a choice. And if you want to choose to be the victim of your circumstance, whether your wife had an affair, whether it’s just didn’t work out, she’s not doing the work, you’ve done everything. You know, we’ve heard all the stories a million times. Guys have like one of three stories that they tell, and they all think they’re unique and they’re not. You’re either the victim or as you said, or the victor, right. You can’t control your wife, but you control how you show up. You can control your growth and your continuous development, and that’s where you put your money, because that’s where your stock rises. You can’t do that with somebody else, because you can’t control them. Nor would you want to.

Brandon 26:07

Yeah, exactly. And at the end of the day, we’re all looking for happiness. And we choose our battles even when we think we don’t have control of them. It’s just you have to, you sometimes have to detach, step back and be present with yourself. And I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole, but it’s such an eye-opening experience to realize that I am in control. Like, the outside world is always going to throw things at you, but you are in control of your life and how you show up for the people you love the most in your life. And it’s an energy as well. I can feel it, somebody walks in the room with just anger, or stressed or long day at work.

And like, the typical example of that’s home, go hide, or is he going to be mad, or can I share with him this. Like, I want my kid to run up to me, share everything in the world and just be a ball of light. And it’s no fun to — and nothing against my father. You know, my parents were in a restaurant, and he’s a very hard working man. But a lot of times his mood would be very effective around the household. And I remember kind of like you, I would shut down things that I did want to express to him. And I think about that and how I felt and I’m like, man, that is just, it’s very saddening. And I love my father, so nothing against him. You know, I think it’s generational. You know,  he came from a third world country during World War Two, so different times, different places.

Doug Holt  27:44

When you think about it, you as a child made a decision that you had to protect your father. No dad wants their little boy to think that they have to protect them, right. But that’s the reality of it, and guys don’t get that. Well, fast forward to today, if you’re okay, you shared with me that in new relationships, how have things changed for you?

Brandon 28:06

Oh, wow. Yeah. So I’ve been speaking to a wonderful woman since October. And like I said, I came into The Activation Method, I was single. But the skill set is just so far beyond that. I mean, this is work we do on ourselves, and then it resonates, and it affects the others. So for me, I think the biggest, I’ll share a couple, but one of the biggest takeaways was we talked about emptying berries, and I was sharing with Colton earlier, as men, we’re very logical, we’re task doers, like give us something, we want to fix it.

And being a nice guy, when I’d have conversations with my past partner, I’d want to fix or resolve things, whether it was sharing how bad her day was, or this, I’d come up with answers. And the reality is they just want us to hold space and listen. They can figure these problems out on their own. We might not think that. But the reality is, when you hold space, and you validate, and you learn to create that safety net, where they can, you’re that safe haven, where they do confide in you and they are feeling that emotional security and support.

Guys, I can’t tell you the shift you see in your partner. I never experienced that with any other partner, to be honest; first time I could ever hold space for someone. And boundaries, as well as I generally would stretch the line constantly to appease, to not rock the boat, if you will. And learning to set healthy boundaries in both people understanding that and realizing we need to hold a level of respect for each other. But I think most in relationship there aren’t boundaries. And if you’re a nice guy, you generally feel like you’re walked on at the end of the day, and the resentment is through the wall. But we’ve got to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves first. We matter, everybody matters. And boundaries is something that I’ve learned to adapt later in my life. Never had them before.

So putting myself first has been probably the biggest piece and I’m still working at it. I’m filling my cup. I’m not the best at it, but I’m getting better. And I realize how much better that makes me when I’m fulfilled, when I’m doing the things that do bring me joy I show up so much better. I show up full tank and just a smile on my face. Like I don’t feel — there’s not a lack, I’m not coming from a place of lack. It’s almost like a place of abundance. And I mean, I could go on for hours. I don’t think we have that much time. But there’s just so many things and I could keep repeating it. But it’s all about yourself and what we do, because we can’t control other people. As much as you’d love to, it starts with you.

Doug Holt  31:07

Yep. Well, that’s why so many women tell their man, I don’t feel safe. I don’t feel secure. I don’t feel needed, wanted desire. All these things have to do with the energy the man has. The man has to fill himself first, right? At TPM, we say that the journey is the destination because nobody’s perfect, right? I’m always working on myself, then I’m faltering in different areas and working on it. Coaches have my back and I have theirs. And there is no perfect human, you find the perfect human, let me know, right? They just don’t exist.

And people I know in the celebrity space, because I’ve been coaching for so long, I’ve worked with some of these people. And they look like they have it all together, but behind the scenes, they don’t at all. But the difference is they’re working on themselves. And so they’re incrementally improving. They don’t have it all together. They might be eights and nines, most of the time and the five territories. But they falter, but they’re always working to improve and sharpen the saw and get better. I think that’s the difference, that growth mindset that separates people.

Brandon 32:09

Yeah, 100%. And it’s sad. There was  a shift that was made. I mean, before working with TPM, I was in the culinary world. And if you’ve ever been in the restaurant industry, or the hospitality industry, generally pretty toxic environment. And I realized that that’s probably where a lot of the victim mindset came from, blaming others, not feeling appreciated, or desired or admired. But ultimately, I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. At the end of the day, I wasn’t doing something that truly gave me passion or joy. And it was a complete shift for me because you know, it’s sad most of society is — I don’t want to say most, but so many people are kind of in that rat race, if you will. And we’re just going through the motions and trying to get by, and it’s just a very mundane, sad life.

But I think once you start doing the work on yourself, and really digging deep and uncovering wounds that maybe have never been unfolded, the other side is just so much better. And we all need work. Nobody is perfect. And every day, I still do work. I still journal, I still do my morning routine. It’s a process and it’s a habit that you need to form to create that structure and stability, not only in your life, but for everyone else. And especially as men being the leaders, we’ve got to be that because the foundation generally crumbles if we’re not able to show up.

Doug Holt  33:44

Yeah. That’s one of the reasons when men graduate our foundational program, The Activation Method, the guys that move on to The Brotherhood, or the Inner Circle, which are our one-year mastermind programs, we put them in packs, accountability packs. So there’s a coach, but there’s also these men keeping each other accountable. And if a guy starts slipping, he’s got a guy that’s playing at a high level to call them out and pull him forward with no skin in the game other than hey, I got your back, you got mine. We made an agreement. Brandon, you’re slipping, I’m calling you out. And you do the same to me. Right?

And that’s a really cool way for guys to keep themselves accountable, because most of our men are at the top of the food chain in their industry, whatever they may be. So nobody’s calling them out. Right? Everybody else, their paycheck is represented by that person’s happy with them. There’s all kinds of elements going on. And so to have other men calling them forward to be their best selves, like, hey, I see you, you’re not stepping up, you’re not doing your Alpha Rise & Shine, what’s going on? That really calls men forward and does a great job.

Something else you said if I can, one of my old business mentors and a guy named Keith Cunningham, and I’m going to ruin what he said, but I’ll paraphrase it. He essentially says when guys come in and say, oh, my business isn’t doing well, it’s the economy whenever someone goes to a victim mentality. So guys can also say when my relationship isn’t working, it’s my wife. What Keith would say is, is there anybody else in your industry that’s doing well? And the answer is always yes. Right? Yeah, there’s a guy down the street that’s doing great, there’s a guy in another state, country, same industry. There’s somebody else with a marriage similar to mine that’s doing well.

What he always says is, it’s not your industry, it’s not the economy, it’s not your wife, it’s you. If somebody else has figured this out, go learn from them. That’s the fastest path. Stop blaming other people and start doing it, right. And we see this in business all the time, it’s common, right? I talked to a guy who owns a marketing agency recently. He’s like, ah, it’s just not working with AI out there. You know, just marketing agencies are dead. I go, is there anybody else in the marketing space that’s doing well? Is there anybody else that’s just frigging knocking the ball out of the park? Anybody? He goes, well, yeah, there are other people that are doing it.

Oh, so it’s not AI. Is AI affecting them? Well, you know. You’re being a victim. Go learn what they’re doing, and do it better or learn from them. Right? Stop using this victim-hood. So we can apply the same thing to being a father, to being in relationships, right? Instead of being the victim, to your point, is there somebody else that’s being successful? If the answer’s yes, unless they’ve got a third arm, or some special biological thing, they’re just doing it differently. And then take that mindset and learn from them.

Brandon 36:31

Yeah, 100%. And I think it all comes down to making a shift. There’s always another angle. And it’s easy to fall into victim mode, so easy. But the reality of it is if someone is being successful, there’s always another way, it’s just shifting that mindset or seeing a different perspective and willing to do something maybe different. You know, I think a lot of people, especially nowadays, in just this online industry, and coaching, for instance, there’s so many people that claim to do similar things. And I speak with a lot of men that are looking into possible different programs that claim to do similar things.

But the reality is, it’s not really who’s doing it the best, it’s how much do you want to apply yourself? Like, you could do one program or the other, but you have to be able to play 100% out. And kind of like with entrepreneurial-ship, some people will think, well, I want to run six or seven different small outlets for income. But I think it makes the most sense to double down and focus and just be the best at one thing. And kind of the same thing goes with accountability and ownership is you’ve got to fully invest in it. You can’t just put a little bit here and maybe I do… No, you have to commit 100%. And yeah, it all ties back to ownership.

Doug Holt  38:05

Yeah, it’s true. And you talked about learning from somebody, if I was going to start a business, let’s pick any industry. We use the idea of marketing agencies because that’s the guy I talked to you, right? So if I was to start my own marketing agency, would I go to somebody who’s already built a successful marketing agency and has crushed it, or do I go to somebody who’s read a book and has the theory of building a marketing agency? And the problem I see a lot of guys go through is it’s cheaper, usually money wise, in the short-term, to go with the guy that’s read the books and put out the videos or whatever it is, versus going to the person who’s been there and done that, and has been in the trenches and has proven not only success for themselves, but has made other people successful as well. And that’s the key when you’re looking at that.

That may cost more in the short-term, but in the long-term, the guy that you’re learning from, the marketing agency analogy again, that’s never really done it themselves, and doesn’t have a huge track record of people that they’ve helped do it, you’re going to pay more in opportunity costs and money to go back, because eventually you’re going back to the guy that says, hey, look, I’ve done this for hundreds of people. I’ve built these agencies, and I’ve made eight figures in this industry, so I know how to scale, I know the pitfalls. It’s not theory, it’s practicality.

And I think that’s what at TPM that we bring to the table is you’ve got coaches that have been there, done that. Some of them divorced and remarried, some of — Myself is a perfect example. My marriage was on the brink of divorce, and we pulled it back. Now we got two beautiful kids and we live 10 minutes from here, as you know, trying to get you to babysit my kids today, so I call my wife.

Brandon 39:41

I’m all for it.

Doug Holt  39:43

But I think that’s different than just the theory is getting to the practical how to do it, hey, I’ve been in the trenches, I know what you’re going to go through. When you do this, she’s going to test you and she’s going to push back. It’s not from theory, because I’ve had it happen to me, here’s what you do. Right? And that’s a very different thing than reading a book in college and having a theory of something. You don’t know how to react. You don’t know how to tell somebody else to react. You know?

Another analogy I’ll use because I hear this a lot in my old industry of fitness is can you coach someone to squat three, 400 pounds? Sure, a squat’s simple, but unless you’ve been under 400 pounds under the bar, you don’t know what it’s like to be at the bottom and how to get through that properly. You can cue the theories but the mentality of having that bar going to fall on you and feel like your knees are going to give out, that’s a different thing. It’s different, the guys that do 500, 600, 700 pounds. Like you’d want somebody who’s been there, done that, knows what the fear and trepidation of being under that bar is going to be like, what problems they’re going to encounter. And then hey, you’re back hurts. Cool. Let’s do some corrective exercises. Let’s not just squat more and hurt your back, you’re going to throw your back out, you’ll actually kill your vertebrae. Your marriage and your kids are way more important than your squat. That for some reason makes logical sense to people.

Brandon 41:04

Yeah, and I had a couple responses today from some of the men I was connecting with. And I think this is just a testament to the podcasts, I had found them even before. One of our old — Jake, you remember Jake?

Doug Holt  41:21

Oh, yeah.

Brandon 41:22

[inaudible] He introduced me to the company and I started listening to the podcast. And it really blew my mind. It was a completely different methodology than I’ve ever heard. And today, these are the messages that I get that really just make what I do just bigger than myself, and what we do here. I had a guy that recently found out his wife was having an affair, and obviously was extremely difficult to go through and hear. And he had just got listening, done listening to the DEER versus WOLF. Never heard the acronym.

I got a message from him this morning and he said, I can’t exactly phrase it correctly, but it basically was, holy crap. I completely understand why she stepped out, and I have been in Deer our entire marriage. And he thanked me. He said, this is the start of the journey. And I could see him coming in here in another month or two. But there’s things that you don’t know what you don’t know. And you know, what we do here, I mean, so many men kind of, you said it before, live lives in quiet despair, or just — we don’t ever speak up. A lot of men lone wolf it.

And there is outlets out there and there are people that care and the podcast. I mean, I encourage any guy that is a podcast listener, there’s so much valuable information and insight that truly can make the shifts today. If you’re receptive, you take them serious, you’re not just driving and sightseeing, but you’re really listening. I mean, there’s pieces in there that can make shifts in your marriage beyond your wildest dreams. And for me, it was a massive shift, because it was the first point when I realized I was a big role in to why we split. It wasn’t my choice but I realized I wasn’t the person I needed to be, not only for me, but for my partner and family. So yeah, I just want to say the podcast was the first thing that just gave me that mindset shift on this is another world, this is something I’ve never heard of, and it makes complete sense. I didn’t know that.

Doug Holt  43:42

I didn’t know that. That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing that.

Brandon 43:43

Yeah, 100%.

Doug Holt  43:45

That’s great. Well, man, I gotta say, guys listening to this, I know Hudson’s too young to advocate for himself. But on his behalf, I thank you for all that you’re doing for him and showing other men how to live. You know, going the righteous path can be a tougher path, but it’s so much more rewarding, is what I keep thinking and saying. And you’re an example of that and exemplify that in your work, and the work that you do with the men. Guys get on a call and they get insights from you time and time again, and they always leave a better person, so thank you.

Brandon 44:22

Yeah. No, I truly, I feel love is not a big enough word to express on what I do makes me feel. It’s those moments where I get those messages. And just knowing that I’m able to make an impact in not only a man’s life, but their wives, their children and farther. I mean, we’re talking about changing generational patterns. It’s just bigger. It’s bigger than me. And yeah, it’s been a pleasure. And I truly appreciate you saying that.

Doug Holt  44:53

Yeah, absolutely, buddy. Well, gentlemen, as we always say, in the moment of insight, take massive action. Brandon has given you lots of insights, insights how to be a better man on your journey, a better partner to your ex, and most importantly, an amazing father; amazing father that allows his son to have the space to share his greatness and his love and his joy, so that it can be amplified. And that’s what you want for your kids. And it all starts with us, guys. It always starts with us. So take action, whether you join The Activation Method, whether you go to another program, I don’t really care. I truly don’t. It’s not going to change my life, but it could change yours. So see you next time on The Powerful Man show.


All right, guys, that’s a wrap for this episode. But as I always say in the moment of insight, take massive action. You see, there are two types of men that listen to a podcast like this, those that go on from one podcast or show to another just hoping things are going to change and realizing that they’re going to be in the same place month after month, year after year.

You see, I was this guy so I completely get it. You may just not be ready. But there’s also a second man, a second man that listens to a show just like this. And this is a guy who takes massive action so they can shorten the learning curve, compress time, and get RESULTS to be the WOLF. See, WOLF is an acronym for Wise, Open, Loving, and Fierce.

Now ask yourself, which one am I? And just be honest with yourself there. And there’s no judgment on my end. But if you’re ready to move from deactivated DEER mode, which is Defend, Excuse, Explain, and React to activated WOLF, Wise, Open, Loving and Fierce, then go over to thepowerfulman.com/grow. And go there now. In fact, I’ll make it super easy for you. I will even put the link right in the description here so you can just click it and go over there now to learn more. Guys, in the moment of insight, take massive action. Go from deactivated to activated, because like I said, life is too short for average and I’ll see you on the next episode!