The Happy Engineer Podcast

074: Proof that Anything is Possible in Engineering Your Career and Life with Pete Wilson

Have you experienced a major setback in life?

Today our guest will show you how to turn that setback into a setup for your future.

How will you create your life today? How will you create others around you? How will you create the world?

In this episode, you will meet an incredible coach who works with country superstars like Tim McGraw and top brands in the world like the NBA. The amazing Pete Wilson asks himself those three questions every morning.

Initially these questions may not even make sense. But when you hear Pete explain how and why they multiply the impact he has every day, you’ll want to join him.

Pete is a speaker, certified life coach, and best-selling author who has published four books with publisher Harper Collins, including his best-seller, “Plan B.”

He has experienced massive setbacks, and knows how to help you turn a situation around for your future good.

So press play and let’s chat… it’s time to multiply your impact at work and happiness at home!

>> Then join The Happy Engineer Community online and get access to bonus content and coaching in our free group >>



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Previous Episode 073: How to Go Green and Advance Your Career Credentials in Sustainability & LEED with Charlie Cichetti




“If you can do it on your own, do it. But my guess is that you probably can’t or won’t.” 

Pete Wilson is right. 

I see this every single week when we’re out there talking with engineering leaders who want more from their life, who want to get from point A to point B consistently.

We wait until way too late in the process to ask for the help that we need. 

It’s connected to the reality that the higher you go, the fewer people are around you who you can be completely honest and transparent with. 

It is a perfect setup for isolation, just like Pete described. 

And if you listened to one of our previous episodes, Aaron Walker, you know that isolation is the enemy of excellence.

So this is a critical conversation, and I would like to challenge you today to take action and book a call with a coach.

It doesn’t have to be here, just take action and book a free session with any coach. 

Most coaches will give you some amount of time for free as an introductory conversation, and I want you to think about this like going to a doctor for an annual physical. 

Don’t wait for it to become a true barrier, or wait for you to get passed over for the next promotion. Or fired. 

Now’s the time. Don’t delay. This is my passionate plea to you. 

If you wanna book with us, we would be honored to support you. We’ve helped hundreds of engineering leaders who are dealing with these kinds of challenges. 

I really do want to see you succeed. 

I want to see you living the life of your dreams, but we don’t get that by just learning and listening. So book a call with a coach that is my passionate plea for you, and I can’t wait to see you on our next episode. 

Let’s do this.



Pete is a speaker, certified life coach, and best-selling author who has published four books with publisher Harper Collins, including his best-seller, Plan B.

Over the past 20 years, Pete has spoken to over one million people across the world.

In 2019, Pete and his wife started Good Vibes Management; an organization that partners celebrities with corporate brands and nonprofits to pull off inspiring press-grabbing projects while also giving a renewed purpose to the celebrity’s platform. Good Vibes has worked with country super stars like Kane Brown and Tim McGraw, and brands like The Boys and Girls Club of America, the NBA, US Bank, and many more.

Husband and wife duo, Pete and Jordyn, also host the Good Talk Podcast, where they hope to inspire people to become healthier, happier and more purpose-driven versions of themselves through their weekly episodes.

When Pete is not speaking or working on developing new online courses, he spends a good bit of his time these days as a life coach, helping his high-capacity clients live their best life by filling the gap between where they are now and where they want to be, thus reaching their highest goals and dreams.





Please note the full transcript is 90-95% accuracy. Reference the podcast audio to confirm exact quotations.

[00:00:00] Zach White: Happy engineers. Welcome back, Pete. It is so good to have you on the show today. Really appreciate you making time and ironing out all these issues on Zoom before the call today to be here for the interview, man. Awesome to have you. 

[00:00:23] Pete Wilson: Yeah, I’ve had some audio issues today, but, uh, That’s all right.

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:27] Zach White: You know what, Pete, I am an engineer and uh, you know, the happy engineer listening, it’s like, we know at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good you are with technology, sometimes the software wins. 

[00:00:38] Pete Wilson: It’s just… it does, and it’s, I, I feel like if I’ve had like a 48 hour period of not being on Zoom, When I get on there, something is going to be different.

[00:00:48] Like it’s not going to be the same every time.

[00:00:51] Zach White: Yep. Well, for whoever’s out there who works at Zoom and is offended by that, we’re sorry, but it’s just the, so 

[00:00:58] Pete Wilson: I’m sure it’s user error, I’m sure a hundred percent operator.

[00:01:01] Zach White: Hundred percent, yeah. And, and hey, the one good thing about software, you just hit reboot and it always comes back to life, so, 

[00:01:08] That’s right. Pete, you have such a powerful story and I wanna dig into how you got to where you’re at today and the incredibly powerful work that you do as a coach, as a speaker, as an author. But there’s a phrase that you use that I think sets the stage and is a, a great diving board for us to just leap right off of into what makes Pete’s work, incredibly special and different from what I’ve seen from so many other coaches out there.

[00:01:37] It’s the phrase anything’s possible. And if I’m not mistaken, you have it tattooed on your arm. Is that right? I 

[00:01:44] Pete Wilson: do. Yeah. It’s right there. Yeah. 

[00:01:45] Zach White: So for those who are just listening, you missed it. Go check on YouTube, but you got anything’s possible tattooed on your arm. So can you take us, Pete, to the place where the seed of that belief was planted?

[00:01:59] Pete Wilson: Mm, that’s a great question. I, I, I think there’s a, a series of moments in my life that have really led me to believe that that’s true. And I, I think for me, years back, I, I’d watched certain people that seem to just accomplish incredible things and really I had a unique opportunity to, um, spend a lot of time with some very successful people, people that the rest of the world looks at and just thinks that they.

[00:02:27] gifted in a unique way that makes them, you know, perfectly positioned to accomplish the big things they’re accomplishing. But the more I had conversations with them, the more I discovered, while they had certainly had giftedness, their giftedness was not that far off the charts from everyone else. Right.

[00:02:46] But what. Did do was that they were very intentional about their life, and there’s this phrase, I use a lot of the difference between living a created life versus a default life, or you could say a design life versus a default life where a default life is basically you’re just responding to the circumstances around you, right?

[00:03:06] You just kind of react. life happens and sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. But then there’s this other idea that I saw with people that were living this created life, right? They really believed that anything was possible it wasn’t that they thought everything was just gonna be great and easy going, but they really.

[00:03:26] partnered their thoughts, their actions, their intentions altogether, and they went after the life that they wanted to live. And I just saw that again and again and again, and I just thought, Wow, that the average person, you have a choice. You can either live this design life or this default life.

[00:03:43] Pete Wilson: Yeah. And in a design life, I really believe anything is 

[00:03:48] Zach White: possible. It’s amazing. I, I know. Client confidentiality is important in coaching, Pete, but are there any examples of those people that you would be able to share with us where on the surface it might seem that they were gifted or advantaged in some way, but you had the privilege of discovering they’re not that different from you and me?

[00:04:08] Pete Wilson: Yeah. There’s a, a couple, one that really stands out that everybody will know this name, is Taylor. and this is years ago, she was still in country, but starting to transition over into pie and, um, spent a couple days with her. We were out on a bus. Her mom’s there we’re just talking through everything.

[00:04:26] Right. It became crystal clear to me that this young lady, 20 years old, I think at the time, I mean her talent, everybody knows her talent, right? But what was happening behind the scenes was just as, in my opinion, spectacular. There’s certain ways, right that, the music industry works with management Sure.

[00:04:46] Make a percentage of what you do. So it’s always in their best benefit to. Book you as much as they can possibly book you. Every tour, every movie, every whatever. And she had seen that happen. She had seen what? What happens in that traditional model and. She just turned the whole model upside down. She didn’t do the percentage thing.

[00:05:05] She paid people on salary, versus, percentage for this and percentage for that. Set her up to be more healthy, make choices for the overall brand of Taylor School. Yeah. Wow. And I, I just saw those little things of just like, Again, some people would, look at her life and just think, Oh, I, I want that.

[00:05:24] Like, that’s exactly what I want. But the reality is there’s plenty of people as talented as her with as many opportunities as her, whose life ends up in complete shambles. And she took control of that and said, No, I’m not going into the music industry and living a default life and just saying, this is the way it has to be.

[00:05:42] I’m gonna make some changes that will benefit me, my family, my. and it’s phenomenal at a, a very young age to turn that model upside down. Just a, a great reminder to me of how, again, anything is possible, and living a created life is absolutely something that we can all do. 

[00:06:00] Zach White: That’s amazing. Pete, what I love about that example, and I wasn’t expecting this to pop into my head, but there’s just as much fear and uncertainty.

[00:06:09] Default living on the road to success as there is to the perceived road to failure.Right. You know, I don’t think there’s failure, just feedback, but the idea of, reaching a certain. Stratosphere of fame, or you know, whether it’s income, a level in your company, you’re a vice president or cto.

[00:06:29] Yeah. But there’s a lot of dead bodies, if you will. I’ve used quotes here like along the road to those kinds of roles where people’s lives behind the scenes are absolutely torn apart, or one day that. Journey to success. Choose them up and spits them out. I mean, how many singers, songwriters, famous musicians, end up with these really tragic endings?

[00:06:49] So that’s a great example where, you know, anything’s possible. Doesn’t just mean getting to success, but sustaining it in a way that fits with what you want. That’s a really cool thing. Yeah. So when did that begin for you, in terms of your story? Was this something that you were doing? day one, right outta the gate, you were just born a coach or let, let, Tell us about Pete’s story a little bit.

[00:07:11] Yeah. How’d you get to this point? 

[00:07:12] Pete Wilson: and fortunately it’s not the prettiest of stories, you know, but that’s often the way growth happens, right. But I spent the first probably 20 years of my adult life as a pastor. I started two different churches, and the second one I started, here in Nashville where I live now, and, you know, had tremendous success.

[00:07:30] Year after year ranked one of the fastest growing churches in America. Wow. Uh, numerically, everybody would’ve looked at it and said, Oh my gosh. Like, how’d that happen? You know, but I was very much living a default life. I was, not really paying attention to, my health mentally, physically, I was completely burned out.

[00:07:51] Pete Wilson: I went through a massive personal failure with a divorce, uh, which is painful. No matter what you do, but if you’re a pastor and go through a divorce, it’s kind of lights out, I, I felt almost instantaneously everybody that had been around me for most of my adult life was running away from me, because I was considered, you know, damaged goods.

[00:08:13] And, I was very depressed. So courage. , probably suicidal. Certainly had those thoughts and struggled with that. Mm-hmm. , Uh, I had three boys at the time, if it hadn’t been for them, I don’t know what would’ve happened.

[00:08:26] I really don’t, but Seeing those three boys and knowing that they depended on me was enough to start to pull me out of the funk and say, Pete, you’ve got to get up on your feet and figure this out. Yes. It’s devastating. The divorce is devastating. Losing your career was devastating.

[00:08:44] But you’re not started completely from scratch. You have a lot of tools and experiences and relationships you’ve gained throughout your lifetime, and now it’s trying to figure this out. the default life for me at that point had become, Uh, literally almost deadly to the point where I said, I’ve gotta take control of this.

[00:09:01] I’ve gotta live a created life. I’ve gotta take control over my thoughts, over my actions and start to build the life that I feel like I was created to live. and that rock bottom probably for me was, the catalyst for me starting to put a lot of this back together again and use my past to help others so that maybe they could learn and grow without going through some of the painful mistakes I had.

[00:09:24] Zach White: Pete, I imagine, you know, you’ve probably gone through this cycle of questions many times and I don’t want to drum up, pain for no reason, but I think it’d be really valuable for, you know, the engineering leader listening. I’ve also gone through a rock bottom divorce and you and I share a bit of that story in common.

[00:09:43] But your point about as a pastor, like my heart really is I get that man that just feels. Like if there was one way to make my situation even harder, that would’ve been it if I was not an engineering leader, if I had been a pastor. Cuz you’re right, just the, the pressure of that congregation expecting a certain thing from you and then not getting it.

[00:10:04] so I’m curious, during those days, months, even years leading up to hitting that rock bottom moment of being divorced and what you just described to us, were there. signs or things that, like you blew right past a road sign that looking back it’s like, how did I miss that? That now you’re really intentional about.

[00:10:26] Zach White: And you know, that was a huge lesson for you along the way sounds like you’re achieving amazing results in the church, but these other areas became blind spots for you. Looking back, can you describe like what was. Trajectory, Like, I mean, did you just fall off a cliff and boom or was it a slow fade and you missed some warning signs along the way?

[00:10:46] Yeah, 

[00:10:47] Pete Wilson: yeah. Publicly, I’m sure it appeared to everybody to be a jumping off the cliff. Kind of like, I don’t think the vast majority of people would’ve known that for years stuff had been bubbling up. for years I had ignore. Taking care of myself. I lived with this scarcity mindset that, you know, every offer I had to write a book, every speaking invitation that came across my desk, I had to say yes to all of it.

[00:11:15] because I lived with this idea, it’s all, it could all dry up tomorrow. you gotta hit it while the sun’s shining and, that really contributed to the burnout significantly. I, I I had no boundaries. That’s probably one of my biggest issues. I was a people pleaser.

[00:11:29] being a people pleaser and being in full-time ministry is a deadly combination. , Yes, it’s, it’s toxic for sure. And so, you know, again, I had no boundaries. I was a people pleaser. But one of the incredible gifts that came outta all of that, I mean, nobody likes going through a public divorce, but.

[00:11:47] when your approval rating goes. Many would’ve assumed was like a 99% approval rating to like a 5% approval rating overnight. You know, it’s, I was not weaned off of the people pleasing. It just happened. all of a sudden I’ll find myself, sneaking into the grocery store midnight with a hoodie on.

[00:12:06] Pete Wilson: So nobody sees me. And you know, it’s just the shame that you have and you carry it can be so destructive. but again, I look back and while I wished. Would’ve been another way to learn and grow in the way that I, you know, I did. I’m grateful. I’m grateful that somehow, some way that message of anything’s possible sunk from my head to my heart.

[00:12:32] I already believed that phrase. I already had this tattoo when I went through everything. I believed it here in my head. I did not believe it to be true in my heart. And I think that’s often true of people that have some kind of like life message. They believe it to be true for everybody around them, but they can’t believe it to be true for themself.

[00:12:52] Pete Wilson: Wow. And what I got through that experience is I finally believed it for myself. And that’s changed everything and could not be more grateful for where my life is now. My relationship, my kids, the opportunity to get remarried and have a fourth. Now I have a daughter. I’m grateful, but man, it, it was a messy, messy process of transformation for me.

[00:13:15] Zach White: I had the privilege of seeing your beautiful daughter before we hit record today. And, Pete, it’s just amazing the redemption story of what she’s come through. Real quick, what prompted you to get the tattoo then, if it was before this, rock bottom moment? 

[00:13:31] it was always a message that was really, important to me.

[00:13:34] Pete Wilson: One that I talked about a lot, spoke about it at conferences and, at church and other places. This idea of anything’s possible. I really believe that, There were a couple phrases around. I used to always say, Everyone’s welcome because nobody’s perfect, but anything’s possible.

[00:13:50] And, uh, that, that idea, I, I believed in that. Again, I believed that for everybody around me, I talked about it, I wrote about it, but I, did not believe it for myself. And that process, that experience is what really helped it sink in from me. 

[00:14:06] Zach White: That’s really amazing how life, how God gives us the things that we need sometimes to, to become the vehicle that he wants us to be in the world.

[00:14:17] That’s great. So tell me, tell me for you, I remember in my own story after the divorce that I went through, does depression experiences and the days and months that followed some really dark, tough times. But a lot of people, and this was my story, you find yourself know. Intellectually that I need to take action and get out of this place.

[00:14:40] And it’s, I love your phrase, Get into a designed life. A created life. Instead of letting this default path that got me here, continue. Yep. I don’t know very many people who are in that place that wouldn’t agree with that statement intellectually. Sure. But getting yourself to do it is a whole different conversation and actually, getting up off the proverbial couch and taking action.

[00:15:04] So is there something for you, any moment or any catalyst that you remember where you, got out of that pattern of the negative thinking or the depression or the. Challenge of being in that place and said, Okay, it’s time. It was time to get going. what shifted or what caused the shift for you?

[00:15:22] one of the things I remember very specifically was, I was actually listening, I think it was a YouTube video. It was a woman named Byron Katie. And, she had this video where she was talking about this question of our thoughts essentially, is what she was talking about. And she talked about one of the most powerful questions you can ask is, is that true?

[00:15:41] Pete Wilson: And then she followed it up with the second question is, are you absolutely. That’s true. I I was like, That’s good, Huh? That’s interesting. I, and I started applying it to every thought that I had, my idea of walking into a grocery store and thinking that everybody was looking at me and judging me, I’d start to ask, is that true?

[00:15:59] And then I’d be like, Well, May, maybe it couldn’t be true. And I’d say, But do you know it to be absolutely true? And I’d be like, No, I don’t know. And it really helped me start to see that my life was gonna be moving in the direction of my most powerful thoughts. I, I don’t think I’d really ever connected before, how powerful my thought life was.

[00:16:19] so then my next question I would ask myself after I realized, Yep, my life is moving in the direction, my most powerful thoughts is, do I like the direction my thoughts are taking me? And the answer to that in that moment was absolutely no, I don’t like this. I. . I don’t like how I feel. I don’t like my lack of community that I have.

[00:16:38] Pete Wilson: I don’t like this depression that I feel every day. I don’t like the hiding. I don’t like it. I don’t like the direction my thoughts are taking me. So then the next logical thing is, well, we need to change your thoughts, Pete. You know, we, we gotta ask, we gotta think better thoughts, think more true things, more noble things.

[00:16:56] And that really for me, I think, was a huge turnaround for me to understand and begin to realize the power of my thought life and how it would impact me. 

[00:17:07] Zach White: This is huge. maybe to ex extrapolate on this idea a little bit, Life, Your life, my life, the engineering leader who’s listening right now, their life is moving in the direction of our most powerful thoughts.

[00:17:23] So for me, the first question that pops in my head hearing that is, what are my most powerful thoughts? Then, how do I get clear on what that is? What would you give someone, or how would you recommend. Explore that. If somebody, yeah, maybe this is the first time they’re hearing that idea, or they’re curious about like, Okay, so what direction am I actually going?

[00:17:45] How do you understand what that really looks like for you individually? What? What are my most powerful thoughts? 

[00:17:52] Pete Wilson: Yeah. it’s interesting because most people think, and this is true of almost every one of my clients, I’m sure it’s true of your clients, true of people listening to this podcast right now.

[00:18:01] We think our problems are out there, right? They’re out there in the world. I, I don’t have enough money to pull off what I wanna pull off. I don’t have enough education. I’m too old. I’m too young. I mean, we think all of our problems, it’s something out there. the reality is it’s almost always here in our.

[00:18:17] that’s where it really resides. And so there’s a little tool that I use that really helps me and it’s perfect cause it really combines, the two things we’ve talked about so far, the creative life versus default life. And that this idea that your life’s moving in the direction, most powerful thoughts.

[00:18:34] So there’s three questions that I ask myself every single morning. Oof. And I’ve been working through this for a while and this has been really helpful. So the three questions are this, How will I create myself? How will I create, others around me? And then how will I create the world today? Now, I know for engineers, this is gonna feel like a stretch, right?

[00:18:56] this whole idea of, your thoughts and starting your day in this way. But I walk through those three questions that the question of how do I create myself today is who am I as I show up, right? And I could start my day by. You know what, I’m, I’m not a good husband and I need to be a more attentive dad, my kids don’t listen to me or, uh, you know, I can spin off all these thoughts.

[00:19:20] Pete Wilson: Sure. That we often do when we start a day, how stressful today’s gonna be. You’re not gonna be able to solve this or figure this out. but I choose every morning when I ask that question of, how do I create myself today? I’ll literally write out. How I’m showing up, how I’m showing up to my work for that day.

[00:19:36] You know, I’ll often write things like, I am really good at coaching, high achieving people, I’ll write things down. Like I love being a great husband and dad. Like I really do, I love being a dad. I love being, a husband. and I’ll just kind of write out again how I wanna show up.

[00:19:54] Cause what I’m doing in that moment is I’m, again, I’m creating those thoughts. Around who I am. Mm-hmm. and my life is gonna move, in that direction. and then again, I ask myself, how am I creating others around me? And again, for some people this feels like a stretch cuz you’re like, Well, I can’t change them.

[00:20:11] And you’re right. You can’t change them, but you can completely change how you interact with them. Yes. Which then changes. And so let’s take today for an example. I could have been approaching this podcast. And thought, Oh man, I’m, I’m so nervous. maybe Zach’s gonna ask me, you know, really hard questions and I don’t know the answer to it.

[00:20:32] And I start getting nervous and I start spinning off all these worst case scenarios or like today. Cause I, when I talk about how am I treating others around me, I look through my schedule for the day. Right. I see. Oh, I’ve got a, podcast interview with Zach today. man, I’m excited about that. I’ve done some research on you and on the podcast.

[00:20:51] I love the work this guy’s doing. This guy. For me, right? He wants me to succeed. He wants me to do well. Like he’s invited me to be on this podcast. he believes in me so much, so why would I have any nervousness about it? Right? And literally go through that. I think about my wife and who she is and who I want to be, how I wanna interact with her.

[00:21:11] And then the, that third one, how I create the world today, I think’s a really important one too, because I believe that life is happening for me. Mm-hmm. not to me. Right. Good. And so I can sit there and spin off all kinds of worst case scenarios. The economy’s terrible politics are outta control. Sure. Or. I can choose to say, You know what?

[00:21:31] I’m gonna create the world I live in. And I live in a world where the vast majority of people are doing the best they possibly can. I believe I have a friendly God who loves me. and I just kind of think about this world that I’m living in and the world that I want to live in because again, I’m trying to create my thoughts around, the kind of life that I wanna live.

[00:21:53] Zach White: One of the things about this whole exercise I absolutely love, is that we’re going back to what I believe is the root cause of what ultimately creates, which is our thoughts. Mm-hmm. And so engineers, we do this at work all the time, Pete, and I see it with my clients where. your product.

[00:22:15] I was a Whirlpool engineer, so I’ll use an appliance example. You know, the dryer is failing a really critical test, and if we don’t solve this problem and. Come up with a solution to pass this test and we’re not gonna launch the product on time. And that’s really bad news. And externally, there’s this symptom, this result that is really negative, for failing the test.

[00:22:37] And what do engineers do? We immediately dig in and start saying, Well, alright, here’s the data from the test, the results. But what led to that and what are the inputs and what’s the. Facts about the design and what are the things we can control, Things that we can change, and let’s go change those things and then we’ll run that test again.

[00:22:55] And this is every day, right? We get used to this. Yeah. And then we forget that you can do the exact same thing. Or maybe I shouldn’t say forget. We’re unaware that we can do the exact same thing in our life. I don’t like the results. I’m getting , my income, the quality of my relationships, the way that I feel when I get home from work every.

[00:23:13] we don’t realize that you can reverse engineer those results the same way. And if you back it up and back it up to the actions that you’re taking and the way you’re showing up to those actions, and then ultimately starting with the way you’re thinking. such a powerful exercise. Can you unpack for sp, I mean, as a coach you have clients from all different domains, and of course, you know, I work exclusively with engineering leaders, but you have the luxury of kind of seeing a a different audience and not only an extremely high achieving audience with the types of clients you support, but in all different worlds.

[00:23:48] Zach White: And can you just speak to, does it matter or is there a difference between the type of work or the types of goals that people are pursuing as to whether or. life coaching is effective, or do you change the approach? Just kind of tell us a little bit about what you’ve seen in the work you do. 

[00:24:07] Pete Wilson: Yeah, I, I think it’s effective for anybody and everybody.

[00:24:11] There’s no doubt about that. for the average person, they’re at point A, they want to get it to point B. one of the things I love about a lot of the life coaching I do, it is probably true of you as well. It’s centered a lot around goals. Right. I think goals are just the fastest way to get from where you are today to where you wanna be.

[00:24:30] And, and so I do, I think life coaching is extremely effective for anybody and everybody. I do think that there’s some unique problems that come. With people who, no matter what it is they do in their particular world, the higher they go up the org chart. the more power they get, the bigger the title, bigger the office, whatever you wanna phrase it.

[00:24:50] Yeah. a unique problem usually settles in, which is the higher you go in any organization. The fewer people that you have that you can be honest with about life. Yes. And you know that you sense that. Right. And at the same time, what is also happening is there’s fewer people who actually feel like they can be honest with you.

[00:25:12] And so now you’re set up. Not saying it doesn’t guarantee that you’re gonna have major issues, but it’s the perfect setup when you feel like there’s very few people you can actually speak truth to, because you’re in a position of power, you gotta be careful, you know, people could take advantage of that, of your weakness.

[00:25:31] and at the same time, there’s fewer people who, feel like they can actually say honest things to you. It’s just, it’s a recipe. For a life of isolation, which then usually leads to all kinds of, of other things that will happen in your life. So that’s why I, I really, I’ve always seemed to be attracted towards people who find themselves in that position.

[00:25:53] Pete Wilson: Yeah. The rest of the world looks at them and says they’ve got it made. My experiences, they usually don’t, They’re usually very lonely, scared and feel like it could all cave in in a second. Have, have you 

[00:26:05] Zach White: seen that? Yeah. Wow. I, The way you framed it is so perfect and I have seen it. , with my higher level, you know, VP or CTO level clients and even in the world as I, do coach training and interact with other coaches and just have this exact conversation you and I are having.

[00:26:21] It shows up in every domain. It’s not unique to engineering or athletics or Yeah. entertainment or any, any vertical. But I love how you’ve put that just as you move up in whichever hierarchy you’re in, it’s career, cool, if it’s. Entertainment and movies, if it’s sports. When you get to higher and higher levels, fewer people you can be completely honest with, and the fewer people who are willing are courageous enough to be completely honest with you.

[00:26:53] Yep. Leads to a real challenge. That’s a hundred percent true, and I think it starts sooner than people. it’s not like only the top, top people. I see it with director level engineers, you know, their teams underneath them, one or two levels down. That senior engineer on the team is afraid to share the whole truth because they don’t want the wrath of that person or to be seen as a low performer or you name it.

[00:27:16] So I think it’s something to watch out for. Pete, I’ll layer in another dimension to this, and you and I talked about this before the, podcast today. What I’ve experienced as an engineer in my own journey with coaching was that my ego really got in the way of me asking for help before it was too late and I hit rock bottom, and it wasn’t until I was, dragging my face along the rocky bottom of my life that I actually got up and asked for help.

[00:27:45] so what would you say to somebody. Really interested in accelerating progress from point A to point B in their life. But currently the belief, the thought that they have is I can do that on my own. 

[00:28:00] I would say if you can do it on your own, do it. But my guess is that you probably can’t, or won’t, and they should hire you, Zach.

[00:28:09] Pete Wilson: That’s what I would say, that they, they should hire you to help them get from point A to point B. That’s, But I, no, I, I do, I, I believe so much in coaching. If I could go back in my life, I would’ve hired a. Much earlier than I did, because, uh, I’ve just found it to be incredibly helpful for a lot of the reasons that, that we just talked about, can, can you do it on your own?

[00:28:31] I mean, sure, maybe some people can, You could also completely remodel your house on your own if you wanted to, but don’t know if you know you can, you have the skill set or the time to learn that skill set, to do all that. Just in, in life. Sometimes I have found, Getting someone who has professional expertise in a particular area, whether it’s plumbing, electricity, working on your car.

[00:28:56] same true with life coaching. You might, through trial and error, be able to figure it out. but I know very few who ever figure it out on their own. A lot of us didn’t grow up necessarily in homes where our parents were a mentor or gave us the skill set to even know how to work through problems like that.

[00:29:14] Pete Wilson: And so I’ve just found that having somebody who can objectively help you look at your life Yeah. And help you make those right next moves, just gives you an extra confidence that is so helpful and it, and it speeds that process up, so 

[00:29:30] Zach White: much. Hmm. Yeah, I agree with that and totally did not set you up to recommend o Waco for coaching, but I appreciate the comment Pete

[00:29:38] Um, the, the other thing I’ll add to this, and I’m curious if you would agree or if you see this with your clients, I assume the answer’s yes, but I relate back to my old days playing high school baseball I loved being a part of that team, et cetera, but I can tell you with a high degree of confidence that even though being athletic and getting in.

[00:29:57] Is something I always had cared about. If I hadn’t committed to being on that team, there’s no way I would’ve gone to the gym twice a day every day and run nearly as hard as when my coach was the one blowing the whistle. And there’s something about being in an environment where you have a coach who helps you set a standard for your.

[00:30:17] And blows the whistle to help you get going. And just the fact that they’re there, you run a little harder. And the fact that you know you’re accountable to that person, you give a hundred percent or 110%. And for me, it’s not even like, I have to go as fast as humanly possible to my goals. But it feels good to run at a hundred percent.

[00:30:38] Absolutely. Absolutely. And that’s why I tell people like, Yes, you will get there faster. That’s another bonus. But to me it’s not just the bonus of time, Cuz there’s always then another goal, right? We can talk about that all day, but it’s. It’s the experience of actually giving my all That’s so rewarding.

[00:30:54] I just, yeah. That’s why I still, I have two coaches right now for different areas of my life I just love being pushed, 

[00:31:00] Pete Wilson: so, Yeah. I don’t know. Absolutely. And it’s, you know, I, I get it. I, I understand why some people drag their feet on it, there’s usually some kind of investment that’s required.

[00:31:08] Right. it’s funny how we all tend to count the cost. A book or we count the cost of a conference, or we count the cost of coaching, right? But no one counts the cost of being stuck in the exact same place you are right now, a year from now, That’s a big cost, a whole year of your life and you’re stuck in the same spot, spinning your wheels, so it really just comes down to how you want to invest, where you want to invest and what’s really most important to you.

[00:31:36] Zach White: Hmm. Pete, before we wrap, I wanna get curious about one thing. You being a visionary, goal-oriented leader yourself and supporting your clients in. , what is the most courageous, ambitious goal that you have in your world right now? 

[00:31:53] I think for me right now, it’s writing a book to my kids. So I’m in that process of trying to write a book, just based around life lessons.

[00:32:02] Pete Wilson: I’ve written four books and, but I haven’t written in 10 years and. Completely given up. I told myself I was never gonna write again. Even though I have anything’s possible tattooed on my arm, I as I’m not doing it like that, that part of my life’s over. I’ve really felt recently, that I, I needed to go back and kind of again, look at that thought of that thought of saying, You’re never gonna write again.

[00:32:26] And so I removed that. You’re never gonna write thing about a year ago. And ever since then, I’ve, I’ve got more ideas for books than I have time to write. But the most important one of me is just kind of a life lesson book, that I wanna write to my kids. To hopefully, uh, kind of coach them through some scenarios where they don’t have to repeat all the same, uh, mistakes that I’ve made in my life.

[00:32:50] Zach White: I love that. And if I’m not mistaken, Pete, you are addicted to hope. And I am, I hope as well that this becomes something extraordinary. It sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing that. Thank you, Pete. If, if the engineering leader listening wants to tap into this work, I know you’ve got amazing courses, amazing books, and some limited opportunity to actually work with you in, coaching.

[00:33:12] Where can people go to find out all about who you are and, and where you’re at to get. 

[00:33:18] Pete Wilson: Yeah, probably the easiest thing is the website. It’s pete It’s We couldn’t, so we got Pete, and Instagram. I, I do all the different social stuff, but Instagram is by far my favorite, so it’s just p Wilson on Instagram.

[00:33:35] It’s another great place. Awesome. 

[00:33:37] Zach White: Well, we’ll make sure the direct links to those are in the show notes for everybody who wants to check out Pete and honestly cannot. Recommend highly enough that you engage with Pete’s work. Follow him on Instagram, and if you wanna accelerate in your life from point A to point B, please connect with Pete and get support on it.

[00:33:55] You will never regret that. So, Pete, thanks again for being here today and I wanna end in the same place we always do, and you being a coach and having this heart, I’m excited to hear your thoughts on it. But great engineering, you know, great coaching. Has in common that questions come first and the answers follow.

[00:34:15] And we tend to look at the answers in our life, the results that we’re getting, and we wanna change those things. We talked about that a lot today, but it begins with our questions. So for the engineering leader who’s been with us in this conversation, who wants to experience that anything’s possible life?

[00:34:32] What would be the best question you would lead them with today? Hmm. 

[00:34:36] Pete Wilson: Can I give. Absolutely. All right. I’ll break the rules. That’s fine. Uh, the first one kind of fits the content, right, of what we just talked about, and it would be, you know, we’ve already mentioned this, but it would be, do you like the direction of your thoughts?

[00:34:51] do you like the direction your thoughts are taking you in your life? Hmm. I think it’s a really important question to ask, and then if the answer is no, you. Realize, Okay, that’s, that’s an area of my thought life and the power of my thoughts is an area I probably need to lean into. Get some coaching, read a.

[00:35:08] Pete Wilson: on it, do something about that. But another powerful question I love to ask my clients on a regular basis is, what’s one thing right now that you’re tolerating that you know you shouldn’t, you know, it could be something to do with how you invest your time. It could be a relationship, I really like asking that question. What’s one thing right now that you’re tolerating in your life that you know you shouldn’t,

[00:35:31] Zach White: I’m convicted by that question. Just hearing it right now. One thing that I’m tolerating that I know I shouldn’t, That’s powerful. Well, I hope. Pete, that everyone listening takes both of those to heart and takes action on it because it’s no good just to hear us talk about it if we don’t do something with it.

[00:35:50] But thank you again for your generosity, just the work that you do in the world. Wanna acknowledge you, Pete, for just, leaning into a redemption story and changing the world with who you are. Still to this day. It’s awesome. So I appreciate you and thanks. 

[00:36:05] Pete Wilson: Thank you. I appreciate that. I say the same to you as well.

[00:36:08] I love the work that you’re doing. You’re helping a lot of people. I love the niche you’ve got here you’re creating an amazing community and helping a lot of people in the process. So thanks for using your pain and turning it into a purpose. it’s really cool to watch what you’re doing.

[00:36:22] I can’t wait to see what’s next. 

[00:36:24] Zac