One Thing To Remember When Heading Into Hard Times

Episode #590

What do average people do during a recession?

What will you do to shine brighter as a leader?

Many people are scared during a recession, but you can strengthen your commitment to your growth so you can show up as a Chief Fun Officer of the family even in times of trouble.

In this episode, you will learn the one thing you should do during hard times and how to play to win in life rather than play not to lose.

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Tim Matthews: Welcome back, guys. It’s a pleasure to have you here. Mr. Dougie Fresh, how are you, sir?

Doug Holt: You know, I’m doubting it. So, what I mean by that is, you know, what a lot of people don’t realize here is, we’re real guys. Sometimes guys forget this. Actually, one of our guys reached out to us. One of our clients said, ‘you know what, I’m always calling you, asking for advice, and getting insights on my business and what’s going on in my family. I sometimes forget to ask you, how are you doing? You have a real life too.

The last three nights – a lot of the dads will get this – we have little monitors, my son is five years old. And it’s 2:30 in the morning, all of a sudden, I hear ‘daddy’, yelling and screaming. He’s looking at the monitor because he understands where it is, and he’s scared. He’s had a nightmare of some sort, or he’s scared of whatever it is. So, you know, begrudgingly, as any father does, I grabbed my cup of water and head upstairs to his daughter’s room is, and you know, get in, get in cuddle position and lay down there.

And these little guys, Tim, they just squirm, and squirm, and kick. He was up for an hour until he finally fell asleep. And of course, by then it’s 3:30 in the morning, I might as well just get up at this point. So I laid there for a little bit longer, and, you know, eventually got up and started my day. It’s an amazing thing. Because at the same time, as a parent, you never feel more like a dad than when you’re there protecting your kids.

It’s annoying as heck, but you also cherish it, because you got this little human next to you, who’s just a bundle of love. And, you know, he is counting on you to provide him the security and love and support so he can sleep. And that’s just a great feeling.

Tim Matthews: Yeah, I could imagine.

Doug Holt: How are you?

Tim Matthews: I’m doing well. And just going back to what you were saying a moment ago, that’s gonna be a really cool memory when he grows up, right? His dad was there, he called out, he was scared., and his dad came. I really love that you do that. And I imagine it creates a really strong bond between you guys too.

Doug Holt:  I mean, he’ll never remember it. But you know, he probably forgot about it already. That’s the beautiful thing about being five. But it’s the energy. It’s the energy, the bond between us, the feeling that he has of love and support. It’s a lot of the things that the guys that listen to this podcast are trying to produce, that same feeling in their marriage. And some guys are working as leaders in their businesses in uncertain times to provide the feeling where their staff, their team, looks up to them and knows that they’re going to guide them during troubled times.

Tim Matthews: Yeah, for sure. On that point, you know, speaking to one of the men in the movement last night… Amazing guy, as most of them are, to be honest. All of them are, quite frankly. Very blessed in that way, just tend to have amazing men that come through. I digress. So, yeah, I was speaking to him, and he was talking about the uncertain times. And he said something that- I understand why he said it. I don’t necessarily agree with it.

And that doesn’t mean that he’s wrong, or I’m right. It’s just opinion, right? So, he said, we’re heading into recession. The first thing that people cut back on in a recession is on themselves. I’ll keep the classes for the kids, and the activities for the kids, and so on and so forth, which I get. But people are going to cut back on their personal growth. It’s the first thing to go, happens every time.

And you know, he went on to say various other things, but it was that particular point, that during a recession, one of the first things that people will be cutting back on is personal growth. Now, I understand that that may be a reality or even a thought in some people’s minds. But for me, I completely disagree with that being the thing that people should do. And I wanted to bring it to this conversation. I wanted to open up the floor and take your perspective on it really, and just have a conversation about.

Doug Holt: Yeah, it’s a great topic. You know, during a recession, the things that actually sell more are what they call sins. In the States, we have a sin tax. So, alcohol, tobacco. Now, it’s gonna be marijuana and psychedelics as they become legalized in states here. Those things go up in sales. What people tend to cut back on are what they believe are frivolous expenses. So what this guy is saying, to him, or for other people, their growth or personal development could be a frivolous expense.

And I disagree. I think that is for the majority of the average people. The guys that we work with aren’t average, so I don’t think that’s going to be an issue for them. And it makes me recall back – in 2008, I had three companies. One of them, as you know, was a personal training studio in Santa Barbara, California. We were right on the main street. If you’re not familiar with Santa Barbara, California, it’s one of the wealthiest communities in the United States, if not the world.

It’s definitely in the top in the world. The city next to it, Montecito, is where Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres live, tons of actors and very prominent business people. And that was my clientele. That’s who I served. And so the majority of the people that I worked with were very, very successful business people. And that was my clientele base. So, I share that with you because I remember when 2008 happened, those clients all warned me.

They said, ‘hey, this thing’s happening, and it’s going to be bad.’ This is before the news was really talking about what was going on with the mortgage crisis. It was being mentioned, but these people all had a different understanding. And I always tell people, you know, I would see these people three to four times a week, more than probably anybody else in their lives, and people will tell you anything to avoid being tortured.

So, I’m the guy in my 20s or so, and I’m having them do things they don’t want to do. It was a very private, intimate training studio. And I got to know him really well. And there’s two things that they told me during that time. They said, this is the time to double down, this is the time to double down on your own growth, and your own skills. Because right now, people are going to go into fear mode. And when people go into fear mode, this is where opportunity is created.

They told me to really double down on those things. The second thing they told me to do – and this is across many people that were telling me, so there’s a lot of commonalities coming in. And I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but we start talking to really, really smart people that you know are playing a different game than you are, and you start picking up patterns, you’re like, I might want to do some of these things.

So, it was to down on my own growth. And the second thing was to be prepared for new opportunity. Be able to pivot into new opportunity. And it was those two commonalities. I saw my competitors just shutting their doors, and all of these things going on, and they went into fear mode. They went into this contraction, a state of contraction coming in. And we all know – business people, that’s who listens to this show – they all know that, coming out of the depression was IBM and some of the biggest companies ever to be around.

And the one thing you definitely do not want to do as the lighthouse- the lighthouse in your home, the lighthouse in your business, people are looking up to you- is contract. Now, you want to be smart, there’s no doubt about that. You want to be smart. But this is when people are going to be scared, and this is where you get to show up as the leader, and really double down on your strengths, the things that are going to bring you through this on the other side. Because there will be another side to this. There’s gonna be another side. The recession is coming. We’re all pretty positive about this, right? If we’re not already in it. And there’s going to be another side to this, and you want to be on top of that mountain when it comes out. And for a lot of us, it’s still sharpening the saw.

Tim Matthews: Completely agree. The idea of cutting back on your personal growth, in my opinion, is the idea of playing not to lose versus playing to win. The people that you’re around and the conversations that you’re going to be in are going to be very important over the next 12-24 months. If you surround yourself with people who are in the conversations about how we can play to win – because there is going to be a void created in the marketplace.

You’ve got companies out there right now that are laying off people, companies that are very well known in the tech space and otherwise that are letting stuff go. So, there’s gonna be opportunities to bring on board some real players into your company. However, if you play not to lose, just imagine how that interview process is going to go. These players, they can feel that. If you’re playing not to lose, they’ll feel the fear in your voice, because they’ll ask you certain questions.

Because at least people that come from some of the top companies, they’re used to being in an environment where they play to win. That is what they are used to. So if you are on the backfoot, considering cutting your personal growth, for example, I would really encourage you to examine where that is coming from. Are you in fear and scarcity, believing in the media and everything else, or are you choosing to be in a mindset where you play to win?

I mean, we were speaking to one of our friends on Friday, and one of the things he was saying- and this guy works with a lot of top athletes, works with billionaires, he goes around in some very influential circles, if you will. And he was very excited about the coming 18 months. He rubbing his hands together. He said there’s going to be a huge void created in the marketplace. The companies that are playing not to lose are going to shrink, some of them are even going to fold.

That’s going to create the opportunity for the companies that are playing to win, to take more market share, to be able to shine even brighter to your point, being the lighthouse. And more importantly, your family or your current staff. I mean, if you are playing not to lose, and you’re on the backfoot, being fearful and anxious, and you allow that to bleed in, imagine how that affects your ability to be the CFO.

Imagine how that affects you. The chief fun officer, by the way. Imagine how that affects your ability to plan, organize, execute date night. I imagine how that affects your mood when you walk in the door. There’s a whole cascade of consequences that can happen. It’s kind of like the analogy of the frog in the boiling water, right? If you drop a frog in boiling water, it jumps straight out.

But if you drop it in the water and turn it at one degree at a time, the story goes that the frog will eventually boil to death. And it’s kind of similar here. if you start to enter into a mindset where you play not to lose, that fear, that anxiety and that worry – essentially, the path of force – one degree, one degree, one degree. And before you know it, you’re gonna start to encounter problems in your marriage, you have staff that don’t believe in you and want to leave.

Old habits have started to creep in because you want to comfort yourself, be it more alcohol, be it food, be it whatever it may be, right? And you can create a whole… No man’s land, quite honestly, is where most people end up.

Doug Holt: There’s two things that come to mind here, Tim, for me, as well. And I agree with everything you’re saying. You got to stay out of no man’s land. I mean, a good representation of this was COVID, the COVID lock downs. The joke is, some people gained 20 pounds of fat, and some people gained 20 pounds of muscle, coming out of COVID. Some people chose to learn a foreign language, while other people binge-watched Tiger King.

I’m not picking sides here, but when you come out of something devastating – this will be different than COVID, it’ll definitely change things – but there’s businesses that are gonna have a huge uplift because of this, while other people are going to retract. And we saw, with The Powerful Man, when we saw COVID happening, we gathered all of our clients together, and we did emergency COVID meetings, so to speak.

We had emergency trainings, where we were sharing with them, from our networks, what was going on. And we saw a lot of our guys uplift. And we also had the phones ringing off the hook with people who were in the scarcity mode, and that was damaging their business and their marriage, and their relationship with their kids. This is going to be the same thing. This is going to put a stress on your marriage. If it’s not already stressed.

It’s already stressed, holy smokes, get into an Activation Method immediately, or something like that. Just do that immediately. And for those that aren’t, it’s gonna put a stress, it just the way it is. You have to play to win, not play not to lose. The second thing that comes to mind here, for me, is something that I was also told. So, I was working for a very long time with one of the more influential traders on Wall Street. He was a client of mine. Amazing man.

And one of those people that had such depth of knowledge, but also depth of wisdom. He could joke around, but when he was speaking about serious subjects, you listened because of the wisdom he had. And he said, ‘Doug, you know, I’ve made 10s of millions of dollars. I’ve also lost 10s of millions of dollars.’ And he looked at and said, ‘they can take your house, they can take your car, they can take your possessions, but they can never take your mind. They can never take away the things that you learn.’

This guy became a business mentor of mine. And I’ve talked about this on the podcast before. When I asked him, ‘Bill, what, what’s the number one book I can read as a business guy?’ I was young, mid-20s at this time. And he looked at me and said, ‘let me think about that for a little bit.’ He was very contemplative. And came back the next week, we had breakfast once a week. And he said, ‘Doug, the best business book…’ I’m thinking It’s gonna be Jim Collins.

Jim Collins at the time had a book out, Built To Last. I was a voracious reader.I was reading a lot. And I was reading everything to get my hands on. Typical 20 year old, thinking when I’m 30, I’ll be a billionaire and I’ll retire. But I was just reading everything I could, I was a sponge. And I was like, okay, what business book is Bill gonna give me that’s gonna just open up everything. And he said, Wayne Dyer’s Power Of Intention.  

What? Bill? What are you doing? You’ve lost it. It was Wayne Dyer’s Power Of Intention. He said, ‘Doug, you know, business tactics are great, but what most successful business people I know, they are the gardener in their mind.’ Right. It’s not his saying, but that’s what he said. They’re the gardener of their mind. And what they do is, they routinely go in and they pull out the weeds, the bad thoughts.

And that’s what’s going to happen here. So, to this guy that you were talking to, Tim, I would say to him, that, yeah, I think people are going to back off personal development, people are going to back off their health, people are going to back off putting investments in their relationship, back off their marriage, they’re gonna back off spending time with their kids, because they’re gonna go into hustle mode.

But that’s not what successful people do. Successful people don’t go into scarcity mode. They’re smart about their money in their finances, but they double down on themselves, in order to go out to the other side. Because they know what’s coming, just like when the stock market hits an all time low, or what have you, smart people buy into the market, if they’re playing the long game, not the short game. They buy in. The other people panic, and they sell at the bottom, which is the worst time to do it. But it’s the psychology behind it. And so, always follow the clues that are left by successful people to lead you along your path.

Tim Matthews: Yeah, spot on. So in coming out of this let’s say there’s somebody listening to this, that’s resonating with the idea that there’s a recession coming, and are beginning to get a little bit fearful. They’re already thinking about what they’re going to cut back. Maybe they are thinking about cutting back on their personal growth, or maybe trying to take a cheap approach, like, I’m just going to start learning from free resources, let’s say. What advice would you give to that person that’s kind of entering into that energy and mindset?

Doug Holt: Yeah, I would tell that person to take stock. What is it you really want? Right? My favorite exercise for this is the rocking chair test. So, you’re 80 years old,  you’re sitting on a rocking chair on your porch, sipping lemonade or bourbon, depending on who you are. And you’re looking back on your life. What are the things you’re most proud of? And invest in those things right now. Just do what you got to do. Double down.

You’re not going to be most proud about your Ford F150 Platinum, you’re not going to be most proud of the house on the lake. You’re gonna be more proud about the memories created in the house on the lake. You can be proud of the things that you were able to achieve, accomplish, especially in your relationships. And you want to invest. It sounds self-serving, obviously, we have a coaching company. So I’m trying my best not to sound self-serving here.

But at the same time, I’d be lying if I didn’t say this is the time to double down on you. We all know you get what you pay for. Free resources are great, we all use them. But if you go to YouTube as an example, a free resource usually just scratches the surface and you have to dive deeper and hire an expert. What you want to do is shorten time. As a business leader, as a business owner, your best asset is your time.

So, how do you shorten time? By paying experts to show you a proven path. A proven methodology that’s going to get you there. Work with somebody. Tim and I have a coach. We pay the coach over six figures to work with us. And we pay this person that much money, which a lot of people are going to be like, ‘what? I can’t believe you pay over six figures.’ Yeah, but it shortens the time gap for Tim and I to get to where we want.

We could probably get there on our own in 10 years, but we’ll get there in a year now. And we have nine more years of our lives to celebrate by achieving the goals that we wanted to by that simple investment. And it’s going to be a 10x return on our investment. Paying anybody over six figures can be one of those things, you start thinking about, is this worth it? But we have clients that pay us six figures for our one-on-one coaching. It’s a similar thing.

They don’t do it because they’re dumb, they don’t do it because they want to get rid of money. They do this because they realize that hiring a professional, doubling down on your mental space, doubling down on your learning with a professional that can get you to where you want to get faster, that’s a better investment. It’s actually cheaper in the long run. And you know, don’t trip over dollars trying to pick up pennies.

I think a lot of people do that. And when the recession comes, a lot of people are gonna be so focused on the pennies that they’re gonna be missing the dollars, or the pounds, or the euros, or whatever else it may be. Just don’t be that person in that scarcity mindset.

Tim Matthews: I love it. Great advice. Guys, you’ve heard it from the man himself, Mr. Dougie Fresh. And like he always likes to say, at the moment of insight, take massive action. So, if you are a member of the free Facebook community, by all means, if you have questions about this, go over there, post them in there. We’ll jump in there, we’ll happily answer them, engage with you on them. And again, at the moment of insight take massive action. Mr. Dougie Fresh, thank you so much for being here and sharing your wisdom on that topic.

Doug Holt: Always a pleasure, guys. One more thing, if I may, Tim, what I’m gonna invite you to do is write down on a piece of paper: am I playing to win? Or, am I playing not to lose? And answer that question every day. And that’s going to lead you to the promised land.

Tim Matthews: So do what Doug just said. And if you want to go a step further, set some alarms up to go off on your phone. So go into your alarms. This is something we do with the men that they say really helps them, they set some alarms to go off on the phone every typically three hours. So it could be 9am, midday, 3pm, 5pm. And that label on the alarm, edit it so it says ‘am I playing to win?’ When that alarm goes off on your phone, take 10 seconds.

Whatever you’re doing, stop, look at the alarm, take 10 seconds. Just 10. And answer the question: yes, or no? And if you’re not playing to win, then consider what you might get to do to shift what you’re doing, either in that moment, or in the day or the week, to be playing to win. If you are playing to win, give yourself a pat on the back. Give yourself a little cheeky smile, enjoy the fact that you feel like you are winning. And you’re part of a very small select group of men.

Because the reality is, even most people listening to this probably won’t do that. So if you are one of the ones that takes action, and gets those alarms on your phone, by all means take a screenshot, post in the Facebook group. Doug and I love to see it. And again, at the moment of insight, take massive action.


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