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Stephen Fleming’s Journey

Episode #364

Where was Stephen Fleming before The Powerful Man?

Before The Powerful Man, he was running in circles. He was lost – quite simply, he didn’t know his purpose.

While going through the program, he felt excited, engaged, and activated. He took action. He decided to be honest – and from that honesty, he was able to make the decisions that suited his needs best.

After The Activation Method, he realized that his relationship with his wife had also shifted, they became more connected.

In this episode, we are going to talk about Stephen Fleming’s Journey, the idea of being deactivated, who he was, and who he became after The Activation Method.


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Episode Transcript

Stephen Fleming  0:00  

But at the time, I didn’t get why it was called The Activation Method. And I didn’t get that until almost the end. And last week, we did it. And we were talking, and I just felt I got up, and I was feeling excited and engaged and enthusiastic about the future. And I remember saying on the last group call, and we did that. I was like, Yeah, I understand it. Now I feel activated. But I think that’s the transformation I felt from that was realizing the importance of changing my life to do things and having the courage. 

Doug Holt  0:28  

Hey, everyone, thanks so much for being with us. Very honored to have Stephen Fleming here today. Stephen, thanks so much for being with us. I have been looking forward to this all day. I was going through. So well, as I like to start, Stephen is just giving everybody watching this just a little background right there seeing this amazing man in front of us, anybody that’s met, that’s had any interaction with you knows that. But where were you before The Powerful Man? What was going on in your life?

Stephen Fleming  1:03  

So I was, I think I was just kind of going around. And I felt like I was going around in circles. I’ve been married for about five years. And about a year or so back, I just particularly felt like I was kind of floundering in France; my marriage wasn’t going so great. My work sort of felt like I was stagnating and losing motivation and energy there. Everything I kind of has fallen off with myself. And I think I just felt in a way  I’ve lost myself. That’s probably the best summary of everything. I kind of lost a sense of who I was and what my purpose was, and what I was into. Even if you asked me what I was into, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you. I started listening to podcasts last year, and something just seemed to click. I realize that maybe it’s not just me that’s feeling like this.

Doug Holt  1:52  

It’s so common. As men especially, we just assume it’s us. We’re the only ones because, yeah, that’s guys. Well, unless we’re at the pub, we’re not talking about anything that’s going on. We’re talking about sport or business well, you as a business leader, probably mostly business. That’s certainly something I can fall into. And, yeah, it’s just so easy to get caught up in that cycle. 

Stephen Fleming  2:16  

Absolutely. Yeah. Like you say,  the way that we’re sort of brought up is just kind of like keep your mouth shut and just carry on, just keep your head down and work harder and try harder. And it just, it sort of grinds away at you. I think over time.

Doug Holt  2:33  

Yeah. Especially that vision that we get as businessmen. Hey, if you just grind away, have a successful business, you’re going to be happy. Your wife will be happy, and your kids will be happy. Everybody will look up to you and love you and admire you. It doesn’t exactly pan out that way, does it?

Stephen Fleming  2:51  

Not at all? No. And I very much was in the process of starting a business eight years ago, every time I was just thinking, yeah, if I only give it another six months, another year, when we get to this point, then it will be okay. It’ll get easier at home, and then I can take time off and do this. And it did develop and improve certainly financially. But it didn’t solve anything else.

Doug Holt  3:14  

Yeah, well, it doesn’t get funny. We have the kind of sane wherever you go, there you are. And we’re always looking for things outside. But it’s the inside parts that have the most effect.

Stephen Fleming  3:29  

Yeah, absolutely. I should have known that because I saw that with my parents, their marriage, we moved a lot when I was a kid. And every time I got older, I realized it’s because my parents will have a massive relationship ending Fallout and reconcile that somehow. And then we move out. And then it happened again, and that sort of fresh start thing that they kept trying just never, not surprisingly, never worked. Because they were always there. The problem is always there because it was there. Yeah, do exactly that.

Doug Holt  3:58  

Yeah, I mean, I know, I saw it for myself as well. But we always think at least I did, and I don’t know if it’s for you. We always think our situations are unique. But for me, it’s different. And just three months from now, if I just wait this out, then it all changed. And it all will be good. When my wife figures out and corrects the problems that she’s doing? Everything’s going to be amazing.

Stephen Fleming  4:24  

Yeah, I’ve had those sorts of things like when they stopped doing that, then it will be good when they realize, and that generates anger and some frustration in yourself, which again, just adds to the downward spiral. It was for me anyway.

Doug Holt  4:40  

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I’ve got to witness your journey going through your The Activation Method and continuing through the programs and The Brotherhood. So tell us a little bit about some of the changes you experienced while going through the program. And afterward. 

Stephen Fleming  4:59  

Yeah, I mean, It was, I mean, one thing going into The Activation Method. I listened to the podcast throughout last summer, when I was driving to work. And just, I eventually got to the point where I’ve got to jump in on this, which isn’t like me, actually, I kind of very much, someone that sort of listens. And I think you refer to it as education, masturbation, don’t take action. And then I was away for a few days with my sons. And I just thought, I’ve got to jump, have to jump on it, just push the button and got on a call with Ryan, and got signed up The Activation Method, well go towards the right symbol signed up with it, then, at the time, I didn’t get why it was called The Activation Method. And I didn’t get that until almost the end. And last week, we did it. And we were talking, and I just felt I got up, and I was feeling excited and engaged and enthusiastic about the future. And I remember saying on the last group call, and we did that. I was like, Yeah, I understand it. Now. I feel activated. But I think that that’s the transformation I felt from that was realizing the importance of changing my life to do things and having the courage to go. I’m not just going to work, work, work, work or take some time for me, I’m not just going to put all my spare time into my relationship, because that I think I realized, for me, I’ve got a lot of nice guy type tendencies where I’ll just put myself as the second to my wife the whole time. And everything is around what she wants. And that’s what she wants, that’s what I want. And I kind of realized that it wasn’t serving me at all. It wasn’t serving her either. So it was those kinds of changes and shifting to concentrating on looking after me, my health, physical and mental, which had been elected for years. And, stop lying to myself; I’ve been telling myself, Oh, yeah, I’m fit, I’m active. I’m good at this. I’m good at that. And you are just telling yourself. You’ve got to do something. So that those are the kind of the main differences for me really

Doug Holt  7:04  

well, and the key here is you took action. You took action, obviously getting on a call with Ryan, one of our advisors and alumni who is an awesome guy, as well as talking to Tim, but we’ll leave him out of this. But then you took action in the program, and afterward, like you said, hey, look, I’m just going, to be honest with myself, not beat myself up. But just be honest. And from that point of honesty, you can take action and make decisions that best suit your needs.

Stephen Fleming  7:33  

Absolutely. Yeah. And I think that was refreshing. The other thing was being part of that process and The Activation Method, where I was there with a group of other people with the same problems, and there were no judgments. You can say whatever you want to share what you want to no one was going to say, yeah no one’s going to rubbish, your life it was happening. And great support from the other guys going through it, but also from the coaches as well. Which made a massive difference and accountability. I feel I’m one of those people that needs a bit of accountability. Meeting ready to play, okay, every week, and we’ve got to, you’ve got to report back on how it’s been, what you’ve done, what worked, what didn’t, what you’re going to do for me, or has always made a big difference on exactly that kind of person. If you tell me what to do, I’ll go and do it. And I’ll report back, and I’ve done it, but if you just say go and live your life, I’ll procrastinate and fritter it away. So accountability was a big thing for me.

Doug Holt  8:31  

Yeah, you were marked as your coach. You are right going through it. Yeah. And Mark, with most of our coaches, I’ve almost taken them individually with 20 years experience each going through there. So there’s no hiding. You can’t just do it on your own, you read a book or listen to an audiobook, you can go wow, just do that tomorrow or Sunday?  or what have you where you have to do it. Mark and the other guys, they’re not going to let you get away with that. Right? 

Stephen Fleming  8:56  

No, they’ll say something about somebody like Mark and Arthur as well. They sort of feel that they’re so friendly and they’ve been on the same road that you’ve been on, which I think is so important. They’ve been there too. And they’re friendly and supportive. But there’s something in there if you think if I don’t do what they’re telling me to do, I could be in big trouble. But no, just joking. But they are just there. But they’re serious when they need to be serious. Because it’s important for me not to be sure if you’ve got some physical Lego tick boxes because they can care and they’re concerned about the process, and they said listen, theories, you’ve got to do these things. Otherwise, stuff won’t show, so they’re very invested in the whole thing, which is fantastic because that helps me move on as well.

Doug Holt  9:47  

Yeah, I mean, that’s why we keep the groups small, it’s easier for us just to have big groups, but you would miss that intimacy and the ability for the coaches to see people slip through, and yeah, a group super small. There is no slipping through going through there.

Stephen Fleming  10:03  

Yeah, that was it. It’s good. It works. I did. I did feel at times that Oh, gosh, it’s just me talking all the time. But then I realized that you get plenty of space to talk because of the small group, which is exactly what’s needed. Yeah, it does feel like a white as we’re going through that. I just felt like weightlifting. I couldn’t put my finger on it sometimes, but once or twice on the cause that we something maybe you want the other guys that come across the table. And everyone just felt so energized afterward. That was what we got. I did the call, and then I went into my training session. I just absolutely destroyed the gym. I was called over. I was so fired up. That’s not usually me. I’m going to go work out. And like my trainer does. What have you been on today? What have you taken? It’s just I was so fired up. And that was me feeling Yep, and this is the process. This is me becoming activated. Am I feeling engaged in the world? And why are people slipping away before?

Doug Holt  11:00  

Yeah, I mean, the idea of being deactivated. No one thinks they are. And it’s kind of the way I describe it. Let me know if this sounds familiar to you, and I’ve seen this; my previous life is if somebody is 6070 pounds overweight, and not sure what that is in stone, but is heavily overweight. So Excuse me. Until they lose the weight, they didn’t realize the limitations they put upon themselves, and they didn’t realize that it’s effortless to go up the stairs or go for a jog or all of these things. And it seems to me that when guys go from deactivated to activated, it’s almost as if we always talk about the rose-colored glasses, you’ve been walking around with rose-tinted sunglasses your whole life, and somebody comes over and just takes them off. And all of a sudden, you can see all the colors, and you realize what’s possible.

Stephen Fleming  11:52  

Yeah, I resonate with that. And it’s that feeling that switches from feeling that you’ve got to push to do things I need to go out for and I need to exercise. I need to eat well, to be like, yeah, I’m going to go. So I feel great. And I want to make all of you even better; I want to eat well because it makes me feel good. I’m treating myself by being good. Rather than now, I’ve got to go on a diet to lose weight, or I’ve got to go and exercise. And that’s it’s an energy shift, I think because you have the energy, some have the energy to do it. And it’s just, it’s like a snowball rolling downhill, it just gets the momentum picked up and keeps going. Yeah, I’m not perfect ]some days that it doesn’t happen. And some days, it doesn’t work out. But the other thing I’ve learned from all of this is just not to beat myself up about it too much. And to go, okay, I think Mark offset this thing about sort of failing forward, but you’re not imperfect progress, and then you just keep on moving. But you recognize that the other thing I’ve got is I recognize now when I go wrong, I can see now, the way that I show up at home, if I’m in a bad mood, guess what, everyone’s in a bad mood, and the day doesn’t generally go very well. So I know that I can recognize this, okay? I’m going to take myself out of that situation for a bit and try and recalibrate. And sometimes even, that’s hard, but at least I can go back in and acknowledge that to the wife and the kids together. Sorry, guys. I’m just not feeling it today, for whatever reason, but in the past, I would have just got defensive inside, arguing and fighting and a mess so that our self-awareness is another big thing that has come through from the program.

Doug Holt  13:32  

Hey, sorry to interrupt the show. But I wanted to ask you a question. Do you ever feel like something’s just missing, like there’s something more out there, and you just can’t put your finger on it. I get it. Go over right now to ThePowerfulMan.com/bonus to discover the system that other businessmen just like you are using; we’ve included 10 case studies, ten men just like you who have found the solution and found their way on their path. But we want to share that with you. Go over to ThePowerfulMan.com/bonus right away. Now let’s get back to the show. 

You mentioned your wife loves that. I love all of it. And you mentioned your wife and your kids. How’s your relationship with them changed at all?

Stephen Fleming  14:21  

Yeah, yeah, I think it has. I mean, it’s um, with my wife, the lines of communication are way more open than they have been previously. 

Doug Holt  14:30  


Stephen Fleming  14:30  

I think we’ve had far more connected and meaningful conversations about all sorts of stuff. We always talk a lot, and I always talk. Oh, were great communicators, but the stuff we’re talking about is more personal and deeper and come away from a feeling far more connected and closer,  which is great, rather than feeling what was maybe starting to head in different directions with my kids, and with life as well, I think I’m I used to be grumpy around the house and very short-tempered. And I’m not like that so much anymore. It Still occasionally happens. But mostly I’m more fun. I’m just more fun to be around. And that’s been, I’ve had feedback from Jane and that she’s said, Yeah, you’re nothing like as grumpy as used to be. She’s never going just to say you’re not grumpy at all; she’s always going to push me a bit on that. And she’s also sort of fed back without any prompting at all, sort of looking at all the things you’ve done in the last six months or so since you’ve done this in terms of I took it running again, businesses growing lots of different things in different aspects. And she listed them off without me even mentioning them. So that’s the external validation around,

Doug Holt  15:46  

which is huge. Because you, it’s like any journey you’re on, you start to see, and you don’t see the changes yourself as much. And often, our partners, especially if things in a relationship aren’t good, will hold back; they’ll just nitpick a little bit. But then when your partner comes back to you and says, hey, look, the last six months you’ve been growing, and all of these areas, you may have come in to fit to work on one particular area. But it’s kind of weird, isn’t it that all of a sudden the business starts growing and relationships are good, the health gets good growing in such a short period of time.

Stephen Fleming  16:20  

Yeah, it’s not. It’s just sort of realizing that the same issue is affecting everything. And that’s not to say she’s not going to sit back and say, You’re amazing. Now, there’s still a lot. She’s a hard taskmaster. But that’s what I love about them. That’s what I’m wondering because she’s strong, that way, strong-willed, and she wants the best for himself and the kids and me, for everyone. And I get accountability and drive from there as well.

Doug Holt  16:48  

Yeah, well, strong men marry strong women. That’s what I’ve seen time and time again, my friend. It sounds like that’s your case, too. 

Stephen Fleming  16:56  

Yeah, definitely. Definitely.

Doug Holt  16:59  

That’s amazing you went on to go into The Brotherhood, the one-year mastermind group that we have. What base your decision on that?

Stephen Fleming  17:11  

I think I was so fired up at the end of that motion that I was like, Yes. What’s next? What’s next? And I was, I was I sort of, it had been a brotherhood alluded to by Mark and in the activation of the training. And I was sort of thinking, yeah, I like the sound of this. And then, but they said, well, not everyone gets invited to join in on this. And I’m thinking like, little boy, well, I hope I get asked to say, we’d like you to join, I was so elated with it. But I wanted to keep going. Because I could see the progress I’ve made. I didn’t want it to stop because when The Activation Method stopped, finished, I suddenly did feel a little bit of a sense of loss that I’ve gotten into happiness, weekly accountability calls and everything going through there and the camaraderie and stuff and some of that kept going, of course, but I wanted more. I wanted to keep people on the journey and keep on running. And that’s The Brotherhood is giving that up in essence, start the year, and that’s given me that unloads one I know there’s loads more that are still coming. There’s this thing’s still to do it as part of that, but it’s great just to have an even more engaged group, because I think one or two of the guys in The Activation Method group I was in, maybe it wasn’t things well, things happening in their life, it wasn’t quite the right time for them. But everyone’s in The Brotherhood because it’s that next stage on is, is engaged with it on this an even bigger, higher level of support and encouragement and, and zero judgment, as well as the other thing I just love about you, can put out whatever you want in that, and people are going to support and not judge.

Doug Holt  18:48  

Yeah, I was talking to him again. It was also in The Brotherhood. And so who said but one of the things he said was you’re the sum of the five people you spend the most time with, and he knew that, and he took a glimpse around The Brotherhood and said, this is who I want to become. And if I spend time with these guys, essentially, I’m going to be on the right path.

Stephen Fleming  19:11  

Great Lee is one of the guys now who are as to the accountability side of things. Yeah, brutal, sort of business stuff. And he said something. He was doing his business, and I said, Oh, that’s great. And he said, I’m doing this because you’re trying, I’m inspired by what you’re trying to do with yours. I want to have the same goal. And I was just like, hang on a second. I thought that was kind of a pupil-teacher type thing going on here. But it just flipped on its head. Yeah. And that just shows that everyone is streaming. And as you say the thing about the five people they should spend time with, this is a group of people I’ve never had the honor to spend time with. I do feel every day that I just have to jump on the group and look. I get inspired and motivated to keep going for the better, which is brilliant.

Doug Holt  19:59  

Right. Yeah, the crazy thing for me as well, and just seeing your tremendous progress and contributions in the group, as with everybody is, I mean, you joined and have been in during the COVID times right during the lockdown. So it’s been 100% virtual for you. And yet you’re still you can see the excitement in you in the passion going through. 

Stephen Fleming  20:22  

Yeah,  it’s been great. I know, I managed to meet Tim in person for Christmas, when he came to the kingdom I used in my shop for about an hour to buy some shoes. We had a bit of a chat. But yeah, it’s been mainly frustration, and it’s a COVID frustration that I’m desperate to do The Alpha Reset. But I know that because of COVID, that hasn’t been able to happen, but everything else is like making more than making up for it. The sense of community, even though it’s all virtual.

Doug Holt  20:50  

Just wait, my friend; we’ve got the dates nailed down for your alpha reset. So what’s coming your way, as well as a brotherhood event which you’ll love? Stephen, in retrospect, hindsight is 2020. Right? You can always see the past clearly. But if you could travel back in time and talk to yourself, what would you say?

Stephen Fleming  21:11  

I would have said to myself, seek out some of this information that I’ve downsized sooner than I did. I think it’s the thing about not constantly trying to please other people about not forgetting that I’m important too. I think that’s the thing about setting my practices and not putting so much validation on my career and my work. But at the end of the day, that’s not going to give you everything you need. Because before me being a business owner, I put so many years and hours into working for other people way beyond what I was expected to do for no benefit. So that’s part of why I think I lost myself to the degree that the focus on me is important not to let that go. And then also the importance of friendship with other people in a similar world, because I’m not someone who’s got a big circle of friends that vanishes in shape. And this program is giving me a feeling. It’s fantastic. So yeah.

Doug Holt  22:11  

Which is great. It’s that we hear the same thing from every guy who says the same thing. I wish I would have started sooner, like exercising. I wish I would have started running earlier. Because man, where do I be today?

Stephen Fleming  22:26  

Yeah, definitely. I think I mean, one of the sorts of the things I’ve taken from there is the thing about the kind of example I want to set for my kids because I’ve got four kids, three of them are boys. And I realized from less than my dad didn’t tell me any of this stuff because he didn’t know any of that. Yeah. And one of the things I’ve seen is that I’ve been making a lot of the mistakes that he made in his marriage and working life and relationships and stuff. And I went all the time, I always said, I don’t want to repeat his mistakes. I think I was unwittingly going down the same path without realizing it. But now I can see that there are things I need to teach my boys, particularly my eldest teenagers. There’s so much I can show them from this that hopefully will mean that they won’t be going in 2030 years, but I wish I had known that. Yeah,  because a lot of things I’ve had a chance to teach them. So that’s important to me to have my daughter as well, that’s, as you can see, somebody that she admires, and looks up to which I know, again, well, my dad and my sister look up to him particularly high so they know us. 

Doug Holt  23:34  

Yeah. Well, it is. And I’ll tell you right now that your kids are watching; the kids are amazing. They’re always, and you’re, and they’re going to watch the good things, the bad things in different whatever it is, but you’re showing them a role model of what it means to step into courage as you mentioned, David Goggins is awesome. But you’ve stepped. You’re consistently stepping outside your comfort zone. And that’s why you’re getting so much growth in all areas of your life and your business. And they’re growing up with a father who is an entrepreneur, a businessman, a great husband, a great role model, someone who is taking care of his health, prioritizing himself. They’re watching this, and I bet you that they’re changing their behaviors subtly, just because the leader, the leader of the house, is there and the leader of the house has taken charge in his way. And it’s showing by example, not just by talking,

Stephen Fleming  24:28  

yeah, it works. I was having a conversation this morning about morning routines and all the guys in The Brotherhood and how I’ve had to break mine up because my youngest two are ready to run around everywhere like a cracker door. I had to build my routine so that I can do it in and around them. But one of the positives is that they see me doing it. I’m not just taking myself away for an hour so to do that, they’re in and around me doing my exercises, and he saw the video of my daughter on my back when I was trying to listen and ask him that question, just decided to get involved. Well, that’s great because she’s seeing, they’re seeing the importance of taking care of yourself. Yeah, yeah. It’s a strong message. It’s good.

Doug Holt  25:08  

It’s a very strong message, and loving yourselves. So they learn to love every parent; I don’t care who you are. You want your kids to walk away with a sense of feeling loved by you, but just by themselves as they go out into the world. And what a better way to represent that is by seeing their role model their father doing it for himself.

Stephen Fleming  25:29  

Yeah. Yeah, that’s right.

Doug Holt  25:31  

Amazing. Stephen, thanks so much for taking the time to share your story, man. It’s just I continue to watch your journey. And it’s just absolutely been amazing. And I greatly appreciate you. I know this. Getting on video isn’t the thing that you do, but I appreciate the fact that you wanted to do this just to share it with other guys so they could get a glimpse as well. So thank you.

Stephen Fleming  25:51  

It’s important because I just know that other people out there could benefit, and I can help encourage people into the program by talking about my experience.

Doug Holt  26:02  

Absolutely. Well, I look forward to seeing your alpha reset, my friend. I can’t wait. Thanks, Stephen.

Stephen Fleming  26:09  

Thanks, Doug.