The Happy Engineer Podcast

078: From Half-Dressed in a Ditch to Senior Partner & Board Member in 3 Years with Tommy Breedlove – Legendary CEO

Want to be a legend? How strong are you?

Not just your physical muscles. Your heart muscles? Your mind muscles? Your soul muscles?

In this episode, meet a man who knows how important it is to do the work and strengthen your whole person, the Legendary CEO, Tommy Breedlove.

While living a “Wolf of Wall Street” life, Tommy woke up flat on his back, lying in a ditch half-dressed, unsure how he got there, feeling alone… and decided it was time to change his life.

Just 3 years later he had doubled his (already extremely high) income, made Senior Partner, and was elected to the Board of Directors at age 39 when everyone else was in their 60’s.

More importantly, his marriage went from life-support to rock-solid, and his life went from loud uncertainty to quiet confidence.

Tommy is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Book, “Legendary” and the founder of the Legendary Life Movement.… A movement that empowers driven people to be Pros in Leadership, Business, Mindset, & their Relationships.

So press play and let’s chat… it’s time to stop chasing the ghost of “more” & “when” and lean-in to the Legendary leader and human you were born to be!

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

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The Happy Engineer Podcast

WATCH EPISODE 078: FROM HALF DRESSED IN A DITCH TO SENIOR PARTNER AND BOARD MEMBER IN 3 YEARS WITH TOMMY BREEDLOVE – LEGENDARY CEO

 

LISTEN TO EPISODE 078: FROM HALF DRESSED IN A DITCH TO SENIOR PARTNER AND BOARD MEMBER IN 3 YEARS INTERVIEW WITH ZACH’S DEBRIEF

Previous Episode 077: Do the Impossible and Overcome Any Disadvantage with Jessica Cox – the World’s 1st Armless Pilot

Back to ALL EPISODES

 

DO THE IMPOSSIBLE AND OVERCOME ANY DISADVANTAGE

Your Best Self starts with Being Selfish

I decided to make ME my full-time job, which was the most selfless thing I ever did. 

That is the single most important sentence from that entire interview with Tommy Breedlove.

You may or may not agree with it completely. I get it.

But here is how it relates to my story. 

At one point, I hit rock bottom. I went through divorce, depression, frustration, anger, and all of the emotions of hitting the lowest point in my career and in my life.

I can tell you that during that time being at rock bottom, I did not have anything to give to anyone else, and I turned inward.

I started taking care of myself again. I got help from a counselor. I reconnected with my faith and with my family. 

I began to be a bit more selfish with my time, and I was very intentional about choosing the things that I needed to get my life back on track. 

Nobody said that that was a bad decision at that time because they could see I was struggling.

I was in a rock bottom experience, and I made that decision. 

Well, what’s different about choosing to put yourself first when you’re at rock bottom and you need to change the trajectory of your life versus choosing to put yourself first when things are good? 

Let’s unpack that answer by addressing a really important truth about how our lives work. 

Be, Do, Have and Give 

Things come into our life in this order.

First be then do, then have, and finally give.

First it’s what you are: your beliefs, your thoughts, the self-image that you hold of yourself. 

That is what goes first in your life. If your mindset is aligned in a certain way, that will impact every single thing that you do.

You will not consistently act in any way that does not align with your own beliefs and self-image.

Being comes first. 

That is why coaching addresses the mindset and the belief system so fundamentally, because to take the proper actions consistently, we need to become the kind of engineering leader who creates those results and takes those actions.

Then comes doing

Doing is obvious. Doing is what we all see. It’s the action.

This is where it shows up in the physical. 

Doing is what gets all the attention. 

Doing is what most people think that coaching should be about. But again, it’s both being comes first, doing comes second.

Well, what we do is what yields the results: having

Having money, having relationships, having health, having energy, having time, having any type of resource in your life that you may desire, or having things that you don’t desire. 

Remember, certain actions that you do can yield negative results that you then have to deal with.

What you have is a result of what you do. 

Last comes giving

I love the phrase that the secret to living is in giving

The happiest people on the planet that I’ve heard, that I’ve seen, that I know are all incredibly generous givers. They love to give. They’re constantly giving, and I think that’s such an important part of life, and I cannot encourage you enough to give, give, give.

But here’s the truth. You cannot give what you do not have. 

This comes back to those cliche but true sentiments that you must put on your own oxygen mask before you help someone else to put on theirs.

You can’t give money that you don’t have. You can’t give time that you don’t have.You can’t give energy that you do not have. You can’t give knowledge that you do not have. 

Prioritize doing and therefore being a different person, taking different actions for self care to refill your tank before you will be worth anything to anyone else in giving.

Are you making yourself a priority at the level of your being? 

Are you taking care of yourself at the level of your doing, and do you have everything that you need so that you are able to go into the world and make a massive difference? 

The people who can give the most are the ones who have this abundance, this overflowing cup. 

They have a source of life pouring into them from their faith, from their family, from their health, from the way that they invest their time.

Make sure that you are constantly renewing your mind, constantly leveling up your own thoughts, your own identity and self-image and self-esteem.

And from that place, you will be able to give so much more. You’ll have a bigger impact. 

Self care is not about selfishness. It’s about knowing that you cannot give what you do not have. 

And if you need help with this, if you’re stuck in a downward spiral where you’re not taking care of yourself and you don’t know how to change that trajectory, take action before you hit rock bottom.

Don’t wait like I did, until you end up depressed and divorced before you actually reach out and get help from a coach. This is the time. It is much easier. To change that trajectory before you hit rock bottom than waiting until it’s too late. 

Remember, burnout in our careers is not just the moment when your tank hits empty.

Burnout begins the moment that you are burning fuel faster than you’re refilling the tank. 

Take care of yours. Get help, reach out to me. I would love to be a part of that journey. 

This is exactly what we do for the engineering leaders we support. It starts with being, it moves to doing, and then you will have something extraordinary to go and give.

Let’s do this.

ABOUT TOMMY BREEDLOVE

Meet Tommy Breedlove, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Book, “Legendary” and the founder of the Legendary Life Movement.… A movement that empowers driven people to be Pros in Leadership, Business, Mindset, & their Relationships. Tommy challenges high achievers to stop chasing the Ghost of “More” & “When” and lean-in to the Legendary leaders, spouses, and humans they were born to be.

As a Premiere Leadership, business, relationship, and mindset coach who is a regular featured keynote speaker at global events, Tommy started his 20-year corporate career at one of the largest financial consulting firms in the world, and eventually became a shareholder, the International Practice Leader, and a member of the board of directors for one of the largest public accounting and financial firms in the southeast U.S.

At the top of his career, Tommy experienced a transformational moment inspiring him to walk away from the corporate world to change his life and follow his true calling.

Tommy now serves clients and audiences everywhere by empowering them to build and live Legendary Lives. He guides people to discover a life of significance without compromising their drive or ambition. The simple tools he shares shows them how to work in their zone of brilliance, obtain financial confidence, and live with meaning and balance. The goal is to help everybody to become the person they’ve always wanted to be.

When Tommy isn’t speaking or serving his clients, he enjoys traveling the world, hiking, and spending quality time with his wife and two dogs.

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

 

FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

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

[00:00:00] Zach White: All right, Tommy Breedlove. Welcome to the Happy Engineer Podcast! Super pumped to have you today, man. Thanks for making time.

[00:00:06] Tommy Breedlove: My man, Zach, we’ve already had 15 minutes of world class and badass conversation, man, let’s get it in. Let’s lean in.

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:11] Zach White: Ah, come on. And it’s always that way with you, Tommy. That’s what I love about you from the first moment we met.

[00:00:17] Uh, so, so real quick. Most of the happy engineers out there don’t know you and your story and. I’d actually love it if you’d take us first to whatever moment you would consider the pinnacle of your career in finance and financial consulting, just to set the stage of the heights that you achieved in that first chapter of your life 

[00:00:39] Tommy Breedlove: and career.

[00:00:39] I’ll actually start right before the pinnacle. Perfect. So I was 36 years old. a real ambitious go-getter had climbed the ranks of some of the largest m and a financial consulting, public accounting firms on the planet. You know their names, you see ’em on buildings. Um, and I thought success, power ambition.

[00:00:56] Tommy Breedlove: That corner office, which I achieved real young, I was a junior partner in the firm on the, had the fancy suit, the shiny watch, the cuff lengths, and you said, Hey, on the outside this guy looks like he’s something. And I was filled with arrogance, right? Which is just insecurity on steroid. But really inside I felt alone.

[00:01:13] I felt worried. I was chasing a ghost of more. I was like swimming to a horizon, man, I’d never get there. And I came from very, very humble beginnings. And so when the money, the power, the status, the respect that I had, all those things, they didn’t light me up. They didn’t make me happy cuz I thought, hey, if I just achieved a lot, I would be a happy go get.

[00:01:32] Like, no. And I’m a money as important fan, so let’s not think I’m money. But it did not make me happy at. So I turned to all the darkness, man. I was literally living that Wolf of Wall Street lifestyle just looking for something to fill that void inside of me. just anything to make me feel okay safe, on the outside I was arrogant and look good on the inside.

[00:01:51] I was crumbling is that something that you can only say looking back, or did you actually in the. Really feel that tension between that arrogance and outward ego and the, the success and power. But you did recognize the emptiness, like when you were there at age, you said 36, 37, like.

[00:02:10] Zach White: Well, what did you have awareness of then? 

[00:02:13] Tommy Breedlove: I was totally unaware of that. Okay. Because that let me fit in. That was my tribe. That was the people I was running with. I was surrounding myself with the same type of people because I thought that’s what life was. You know? It was just a relentless pursuit of moral.

[00:02:27] Or, and brother, I didn’t know. Um, but what I did know inside, and I would never have admitted it, is I felt alone. That’s what I really knew. And I, I could be in a room with a thousand people or out with the buddies hanging and, and throwing down, and I felt alone. I felt like I was the only one who felt alone too.

[00:02:43] Like I was living a charade that I did know. Brother, the lifestyle in me. I ended up in a ditch in downtown Atlanta, looking at the sky. Didn’t know where my car was, half dressed, probably in a suit, I can’t remember, it’s been so long. But I was like, you know what? And I, this was my second pinnacle by the way.

[00:03:02] I knew I wasn’t gonna get a third. And I’m like, everything on the outside looks good, but my marriage is crumbling, I’m crumbling, I’m insecure, I’m alone. And so I really, at that moment decided to. Me and figuring out who I was from my core values, my non-negotiables, my principles, and live a life that I would be proud of and not a life that I was scared of.

[00:03:24] And stop running from the rage and start running to peace. And that’s what I was running from, cuz that’s the way I was raised around a lot of violence and abuse. And so, at that moment, brother, now here’s the pinnacle. At that moment is when I decided to make. My full-time job, which was the most selfless thing I ever did.

[00:03:41] Self-love, self-confidence, self-respect, and leading myself in a humble way. And in three years, brother, I never planned on leaving the financial world. In three years, my income doubled. I went from junior partner to senior partner, owner of the firm, and elected to the board of records at the. 39, most of the people were in their sixties.

[00:03:59] My network went from being those crazy people that were just wild and and reckless to world class. Just beautiful, amazing, abundant minded humans. But here’s the better part. I went from loud to quiet. I went peaceful, fulfilled, purposeful. My marriage went from life support to rock solid, and I really loved who I saw in the.

[00:04:20] And all those tangible results was a result of me doing the self work. And that’s when all of my network, private equity entrepreneurs, corporate executives, bankers, you name it, started reaching out to me. You know, I was a senior partner of a major firm. Firm, right? I thought they were reaching out to me, let’s do some deals together.

[00:04:39] But they were like, no, man. What did you? And that led to what we’re gonna talk about later, 

[00:04:44] Zach White: I’m sure. Okay. There’s two things that I gotta get deeper on. One is we kind of glossed over the half dressed in a ditch and, and that’s not a trivial moment in your life. And I know it’s not necessarily fun to go back there, but like, Do you have any understanding about how you ended up in that place?

[00:05:03] Like what was going on or truly you woke up and 

[00:05:06] Tommy Breedlove: here you are, like three days of pure partying man. Um, with the wrong people. Trying to feel that void inside of trying to feel powerful, trying not to feel alone. And you know, the deeper you go down into that abyss, um, the worse you feel about yourself unconsciously.

[00:05:21] And now I went from ignorance to awareness pretty quick. I’m like, okay. We need to figure this out. Um, but I remember looking at that blue sky and it was a true moment of gratitude. Like, I’m alive and I’m gonna make the best of what was going to be my second chance. I already had one big chance this was gonna be my second big chance.

[00:05:41] Wow. car dm. Right. 

[00:05:45] the energy of that shift. I mean, is that something that was visceral, like real to you? Like right there on your back, you’re looking at the sky and you felt that the weight of that decision just boom right there in that moment? 

[00:05:58] Tommy Breedlove: Well, I felt the weight, honestly, I was probably more scared of losing everything.

[00:06:03] Okay. Um, when I say everything, I mean everything. you know, I had a woman that loved me when I couldn’t love myself. You know, I was just chasing that ghost of more and win power, power, power, status, status, status, money, money, money. And it’s like swimming to a horizon. You, you’ll never get there. and so for me it was kind of cool.

[00:06:19] this is kind of behind the scenes. My wife and I clearly were not doing good at that time. So we were going through wedding, a marriage counseling, and a counselor said this to me. He goes, Tommy, there’s a place in Tennessee that can do more for you in seven days than I could do in 10 years. And when I woke up in that ditch, I remembered that statement.

[00:06:35] Tommy Breedlove: I’m like, I don’t know what that place is or what they’re gonna do, but I’m all in going. And so that was where I started drinking from the fire. That’s 

[00:06:43] Zach White: amazing. Yeah. That’s so amazing. So real quick for, you know, the engineering leader who’s listening to this, it’s always encouraging to me to hear, you know, these, these bounce back moments, but it often involves a rock bottom kind of story like this.

[00:06:58] I wish they didn’t. Right. I wish they didn’t. Yeah. So like, what would you say if somebody’s not there yet, but maybe they’re connecting with some of what you’re describing Is there a way to create. , the change with the same intensity and drama that, that you experienced without having to wake up in a 

[00:07:15] Tommy Breedlove: ditch.

[00:07:16] That’s why I do what I do now. It’s all about self mastery of business, of success, of mindset, of relationships, of friendships, and more importantly, I want people to master themselves. So yes, the first thing I want people to hear though is we’re all human, so we’re not in perfect and we’re not in control of anything.

[00:07:34] The only thing we’re in control is our choices. I want people to hear. Because if you were perfect, this world would be really boring. If you were aortal, it would be really, really boring. And so we’re not perfect. We’re not immortal. And whatever your audience like, we all struggle in and out of our relationships.

[00:07:51] It could be a family relationship, a friend relationship could be relationship with our significant other, could be a relationship with ourselves. What I want people to hear, no matter what it is in their business or life that they’re going through, is that they’re not. Especially men. Men, you know, we crave status, respect, and admiration.

[00:08:07] And we fear, fear, fear embarrassment. So we don’t like to show weakness and we don’t like to ask for help. Women are a little bit better at it, but ambitious, driven women struggle from the same thing. Can’t show weakness, or I’ll never let ’em see you sweat. And so what I want people to hear, whatever the hell they’re going through is they’re not alone.

[00:08:25] Millions are going. and show up with authenticity, show up with transparency and ask a coach, a mentor, a friend, a therapist, ask for help because yeah, yeah, you’re going through it. Millions are going through it, and there’s people who will stand shoulder to shoulder with you and help you be better in whatever phase of the life you’re lacking right now.

[00:08:45] So that’s what I want people to hear is cuz we think we’re alone in our thoughts. We think we’re alone in our insecurities and we’re, we think we’re alone in our demons and what we’ve got going on in life. And the truth is, we’re. And it takes a, it takes more courage to say, I don’t got it figured out and I need help than not.

[00:09:02] Zach White: Amen. Well, this is the oasis of courage here, man. So you’re in a good spot for that. Tell me really quick too, I wanna dig into the actual work, but you said something that’s really triggered for me, and I think it’s a mindset that’s broken in the way people think about improving themselves. You said that decision to make yourself your job was the most selfless.

[00:09:25] Decision you’d made and, and most people would say the opposite, like, well, you’re gonna put yourself first. That’s the most selfish thing you can do soon. Can you explain? Yeah, 

[00:09:34] Tommy Breedlove: we must participate in our own rescues. we can’t lead others if we can’t lead ourselves. And the number one failure in leadership is self-awareness.

[00:09:45] Knowing thy self, going from ignorance to awareness, to transformation, to mastery ignorance, to awareness, to transformation, to mastery, not just a master of being. Badass engineer, which probably everybody listening to this is, but also being world class in your relationships. Also being world class in your self-esteem and self-confidence.

[00:10:05] So if you lead love and respect yourself first, I want you to hear that lead love and respect yourself first fully. When you look in the mirror, you see an ally and not an enemy. When you’re. That’s when you can go lead love and respect others better. So it’s the most selfless thing you can do. And by the way, we’re taught to put ourselves last and that’s selfish cuz we’re not able to fully participate and experience life, love and success when we put ourselves last.

[00:10:34] It’s like the whole analogy on the airplane. You gotta put the mask on yourself first before you helped others. Same thing goes for life. We must participate and I want people to look in the. If you see an enemy and not an ally that that’s where you need 

[00:10:46] Zach White: to start. There it is. We could probably end the conversation right there and just tell everybody, pause this.

[00:10:52] Go look in the mirror and ask yourself that question. 

[00:10:54] Tommy Breedlove: Yeah, I, so what do you see? by the way, I call my, I was there for years and years and years, and you know what? I’m not a guru. I’m no sage on the stage. I’m not a therapist. I don’t have it all figured out, but I do the work every day to work on my heart muscles, my mind muscles, my soul muscles, and my physical muscles if you don’t work on ’em and we’re not taught that they atrophy and we get weak.

[00:11:13] We get mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and physically weak. And if you don’t think we’re weak, look at 24 hour. Facebook or Twitter, and that will show you how weak we are. . 

[00:11:24] Zach White: All right, so, so here you are. You make this massive turnaround. Your career then skyrockets, and now really reputable people are coming to you saying, what happened?

[00:11:35] How did this, you know, change in transition? Who, who are you? Who is this guy? Where was the moment where you said, I need to take this? The masses and Legendary was born. How did that transition occur? You 

[00:11:49] Tommy Breedlove: know, so many people told me to write a book and I’m like, I am never writing a book. ain’t happening.

[00:11:54] I mean, I’m a, I mean, I am an elite. I’m a financial engineer, man. I will make you and your company wealthy. That’s what I do. And I’m a good guy now, so I I, I’m a good guy too, so you can trust me. but so many people told me, but it was in, it was a weird thing. It was an entrepreneurship conference in Italy, some little small town in the middle of the mountains that I can’t even remember the name of.

[00:12:13] It’s tiny, but there’s like a hundred entrepreneurs there. And I was, I was just kind of thinking about entrepreneurship, and I’m telling you, a woman broke down on me when I told her the story and she goes, man, I just wish my son and my, my husband could hear. Hm. She just broke down on me and. And the whole point of all of this work, this, this self matching cause I want people to be pros in success, pros in business, but also pros in life, pros in relationship, and pros in their love for themselves and mindset.

[00:12:42] Yes. And so before they hit some proverbial rock bottom and everybody’s rock bottom or spiritual transformation comes differently. And really, I want people to be who they are. I want ’em to know who they are, be who they are, where they’re going, and who’s coming with ’em. And some of so many of us are lost.

[00:12:58] We think we know where we’re going. We think we know who we are, but we we’re not unsure of who’s coming with us too. So I want people to be crystal clear in that too. And so after this woman wrote down and about the 44th person told me to write a book, we wrote the book, legendary. It ended up doing really good.

[00:13:14] Tommy Breedlove: It made Wall Street Journal and USA Today best seller and I think it’s just a really good tool to help people be elite and pros in all phases of their life. And from that, I decided to step away, walk away. Now there was a, there was a time in there, by the way. There was some failed entrepreneurship in there, so I’m fast forwarding to the end here.

[00:13:32] Right. All right. There was a lot of, there was a lot of failed entrepre roles before we 

[00:13:36] Zach White: got to let, appreciate you sharing that. Yeah. And actually, you know, I’ve got a lot of of clients who are really successful engineers and have reached a, a point in their career where they’re considering would I do my own thing and it’s, it’s good to.

[00:13:48] The truth, right? You don’t, yeah. It’s almost 

[00:13:51] Tommy Breedlove: six years to get to that book. So I had left the firm and it took about six more years to get there. And there was just a lot of, um, yeah, not so, not so much success there, but when we wrote the book and it did well, I knew we were onto something. Yeah, that’s, and we built an entire ecosystem for ambitious driven men and women to come.

[00:14:09] Connect in retreats, go on experiences together, have fun together, but also do life and business together. Yes, in the form of masterminds, in the form of a community, in the form of retreats, in the form of experiences. So we built the entire legendary life movement around the principles of the legendary book.

[00:14:26] So 

[00:14:27] Zach White: good. And I have read the book. We’re gonna put a link to the book in the show notes and every engineering. Listening right now needs to go out and get a copy of 

[00:14:35] Tommy Breedlove: Tom. It is a true leadership book legend. I mean, that’s what 

[00:14:37] Zach White: it is. Absolutely. It’s really good. I love it. I mean the, whole heartbeat of the coaching I do at Oaco, there was not a single point in your book that I didn’t just say Yes, yes, yes and yes.

[00:14:48] So just big exclamation point. It’s, it’s awesome. the principles, the mindset of the legendary movement, and I know there’s a lot of places we could go with this, but there’s four. Different beliefs or, or you know, mindsets that show up. It’s right on the homepage of your website. It’s, it’s woven throughout all of, even today, this conversation, your book, et cetera.

[00:15:08] And I wanted to touch on them really quickly because I think, you know, mindset’s the foundation of the lifestyle engineering blueprint, what I coach, and these are powerful mindsets that you’re bringing into this world. So I’m gonna just read ’em real quick and I was wondering if you could just share a little bit.

[00:15:25] Maybe the genesis of this. Where did it come from? Is this just Tommy’s heart on the page, or is there something else that caused these to come to life? And maybe unpack it for us. So one is we don’t rely on the approval of others. MM two, we know we have to do things differently. Mm three, nothing is impossible.

[00:15:44] And four, you can truly have it. . Mm. Which is a really controversial statement, in a lot of places, especially engineers. We talk about tradeoffs all the time. And so, 

[00:15:55] Tommy Breedlove: which one of these you start with brother? Which one are you start with? Oh, 

[00:15:57] Zach White: it’s, they’re so juicy. I mean, we don’t have enough time to go into all of it, but, I wanna hit number one because I think the fear of rejection and this sort of social construct that we’re in is one of the places engineers and introverts, you know, painting with a broad brush, struggle with a lot.

[00:16:12] So we don’t rely on the approval of others. 

[00:16:14] Tommy Breedlove: Tell us about. I think humanity struggles with that, including this guy here, including the guy talking. because, you know, if we weren’t accepted by the tribe 300 years ago, it means we were gonna die. And we want love, we want approval. Especially, we want admiration.

[00:16:28] We want to be respected, we wanna be seen, heard, loved, and valued. But what’s better is what if we don’t let people who don’t matter? If you really look at your life, there’s probably less than 10 people who truly matter. their opinions truly matter. You want your clients to respect you. and my niceness is earned, by the way.

[00:16:51] I am a kind human, but you gotta earn my niceness. I will be kind and loving to you, but that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily gonna be nice. Earn that. And so for me, when you look in the mirror with full self-confidence and you know exactly who you are and where you’re going, you won’t really care that half the world doesn’t want to come with you.

[00:17:10] They don’t believe what you don’t believe. They’re not going where you’re, and that’s okay. You’re not doing anything if people all, everybody likes you. But we’ve gotta stop letting people who. Matter matter and letting them rinse space in our head for free and take up space. And you know what I say every day, this person is not going to ruin my day.

[00:17:28] I am not gonna let this person matter cuz they don’t matter. It’s not that I don’t love them. And you gotta remember, 99.9% of us are unaware. It’s not that we’re bad people and how can we not be unaware? We’re inundated with poison. almost all of our waking lives, 24 hour news, social media, most of the crap we watch on tv.

[00:17:48] All of that’s poisonous going into our eyes and ears. we’re angry, we’re worried, we’re scared, we’re insecure, we’re fearful. And if you’re tired of. Turn it off, lean into yourself and when you can stand in full self-confidence, knowing who you are, where you’re going, and who’s coming with you, you will not let people who don’t matter matter.

[00:18:07] am. It’s 

[00:18:07] Tommy Breedlove: important. And saying no in setting boundaries is it makes you feel good, man. No. Is it full sentence and it’s worth a thousand. Yes. 

[00:18:16] Zach White: I love that. No is a full sentence. I’m putting that on my whiteboard today. . Um. So I’m guilty of this as much as I know it and coach it and work with my clients on it.

[00:18:27] Just yesterday, Tommy, some troll shows up in my Facebook comments and you know, shut up. You more on, and it’s you doing 

[00:18:35] Tommy Breedlove: something that means you hit ’em in the heart, 

[00:18:36] Zach White: brother. I know, but, but I still am like, oh, you know, I. Do something about this and I’m, it’s occupying real estate and, and head space that it doesn’t deserve, don’t give ‘

[00:18:46] Tommy Breedlove: em air.

[00:18:47] Pain, loves pain. And that’s what they, they want the reaction. Yeah. I have a friend of mine who’s a very, very, very successful radio guy. He’s syndicated all over the country and, um, someone left their show and has just been mercifully bullying him and trying to get him canceled for the past two months, and he has given them no air.

[00:19:07] And guess what? It’s going away. 

[00:19:10] Zach White: I love it. So let’s hit number four. Really. You can truly have it all. What do you mean by 

[00:19:15] Tommy Breedlove: that? I would ask everyone listening, what does success look like for you? And for me, it’s a, a feeling of complete freedom and living up to my core values and potential every single day.

[00:19:26] O love that. You gotta define what success means for you. And I want everyone to earn as much money as their heart desires, because if you’re a good human, you’re gonna do impactful things with all that money. And by the way, if someone says, money is not, I. Run from ’em, they’re broke.

[00:19:40] That’s what T Har Becker says. And so success is money cuz that does equal experiences that US does equal impact. And you can do great things with that money. success is also a feeling of freedom. acting on who you are every day, not giving into the pain, being an ownership of your time.

[00:19:57] Are you in control of your time or is your time in control of you? That’s freedom. So you can truly have it all in life and by a certain point it gets, it gets diminishing returns on the, you know, what we all want is our life to be simple enough for us to experience all the things that we want to say, and Once you get to a certain point of success or a certain point financially, it gets really, really complex. So let’s be careful what we wish for. And trust me, it takes one to know one. Take that. Yeah. On the pursuit of simplicity, we can make things very complex and I’m a firm believer. I came from nothing, man.

[00:20:30] I mean nothing and was tortured as a young man both on the street and at home. Committed a crime, was looking at seven years in prison and literally went from a jail cell to Deloitte in three years and then worked my, but I never dealt with those internal demons, right? That anger that raised and insecurity, that fear.

[00:20:47] And that’s what hit me at 36. And then when I just started really working on. And I’m talking being a master of, you know, be proactive and not reactive. Be a master of my heart muscles and my mind muscles, my soul muscles. my whole goal and outlook on life changed and what I want to change. I want, I wanna be in charge of my time.

[00:21:06] I wanna work with people I wanna work with. I wanna hang out with my dogs and people without love. And to me that’s success. And I wanna go do shit that I wanna go do. Forgive my French there. But I also, . I am in love with the work. Yeah. I love watching people open and expand and so I, I’m living and working in my purpose right now, and to me that’s having it all.

[00:21:27]

[00:21:28] Zach White: love that. I love that so much. And I think a lot of the systems that we’re raised in don’t bring that heartbeat to life at all. you know, I think about in the world of engineer. . And I like how you said, I wanna be a professional with my relationships and my health and my, mental state and my soul, and my spirit and and in leadership and as a leader.

[00:21:51] Yeah. And, and as an engineer, you know, we want all of these pieces, but I think about, you know, we spent four years at least to get. Our entry ticket to the field of engineering. And then many of the happy engineers listening to this have advanced degrees or PhDs and think about how many thousands of hours we’ve spent to become a professional in that field and how much time and energy and focus and, We just don’t do it when it comes to this aspect of working on ourselves.

[00:22:18] And we, I don’t know where I got the assumption as a young, young man that that would just happen automatically. And, uh, I mean, those listening who know my story, I’m, I’m not, I wasn’t in a ditch, but I had my own rock bottom moment. So, so Tommy, the work you’re doing with the legendary, this community, this movement, I wanna hone in.

[00:22:38] The retreats, the actual, and you’ve said it a lot of times in this interview, right? Like together as a community, we’re doing life together, we’re doing business together, we’re doing success together. We have, especially since Covid seen a major swing towards everything being interaction in the digital world.

[00:22:57] You know, here you and I are even on Zoom right now and love that the technology enables it. But you’ve been really intentional to focus on face to face, shoulder to should. Occupying the same physical space retreats and invested big time and continuing to invest. We were talking beforehand about how you’re renovating and upgrading all your facilities right now and just doubling down on let’s do this for real together.

[00:23:24] I’m curious why you’re so convicted about that being the way, instead of doing what a lot of people are doing with, oh, now we’ll just do it all on Zoom. Less overhead, less expense. Why? What’s the reason 

[00:23:36] Tommy Breedlove: we want to be the community that you choose? We can’t choose our families. we can choose our friends, but we want to be the community that you choose to do life and business with and something magical happens.

[00:23:48] We can watch every concert in the world on tv. You can see every piece of art on tv. You can travel the world on your computer, but you can’t. You can’t taste it. You can’t feel it. You can’t touch it. And one of the things that made the the, the pandemic is we lost connection with each other. We are tribal creatures and we need to connect and we crave authentic connection cuz there’s so much fakeness out in the world.

[00:24:12] And when I bring, you cannot join our mastermind without going through a retreat. We do not allow it. Cause we want you to, we do not for everybody. We’re just. We want to discern you, and you discern us. And when we bring people together in the North Georgia Mountains in a beautiful, beautiful facility, and they are there to seek clarity on who they are, where they’re going, who’s coming with ’em, and to take mastery of their leadership of self.

[00:24:39] Our whole retreat is about clarity and self mastery, clarity and self mastery. We don’t walk on coals. We don’t rub each other’s shoulders. We don’t jump up and down. We don’t sit in nice tubs. We don’t do anything weird. We do hike for one mile up in the mountains, it is literally. Four days of just leaning in and getting crystal clear on all phases of your business success, life, relationships, and most importantly yourself.

[00:25:06] And it’s all about you tuning into you and you leaving a whole hell of a lot better than you arrived and then hopefully, You will want to do business in life with us in our experiences, our fun experiences all around, but also twice a month in the Mastermind. That’s what we hope that we are the family you choose to do business in life with and we’re pretty ambitious driven.

[00:25:26] We’re more for the entrepreneurs and executives. You don’t have to be successful. You just gotta want to be. Yeah. But I don’t want you to be elite engineers. I want you to be elite engineers, which you probably already are. And elite everywhere else. Yeah. Especially. When you look in the mirror, and by the way, I, I forgot to say this earlier.

[00:25:45] I called my, uh, alternative ego. Ike my, not my wife named him. She sometimes say, Hey, Tommy, or Is Ike talking or is that you talking? So literally this is gonna sound so, so, yeah, she’ll call me out, man. So with my team, and so it’s funny, every now and then when I look in the mirror, I’m like a fire Ike and I rehire Tommy , but I want.

[00:26:04] Stand with their head up and their shoulder back and literally work on that heart, mind muscle every day so that they can be a strong and, and lead themselves first so they can lead others. That’s what we’re hoping. That’s amazing for them. Work. 

[00:26:16] Zach White: you and I in the world of coaching, the alter ego concept is extremely clear.

[00:26:20] But why don’t we unpack that real quick for the engineer listening a case, they’re not sure what you mean by that. so who is Ike? What does that represent? And if they wanna take action on naming that alter ego, like what are they looking for and how might they go about doing 

[00:26:34] Tommy Breedlove: that? So I’ve got a engineering client that named his herb, which is his name backwards, which is kind of cool.

[00:26:40] Um, but it, you know, It’s that voice in our head and we all have it. If you don’t have it, you’re just done aware. and it’s the one that says, we’re not enough. We’re not something smart enough, rich enough, fast enough. We’re not successful enough, cool enough, whatever it is. And we’re taught that It’s the shame bug.

[00:26:58] And it looks like insecurity. It looks like worry. And most importantly, it looks like fear. Yeah. And it has one job to slowly. Tear you apart. That’s what that job is for that that particular alter ego. But the flip side of fear and insecurity and arrogance and anger and judgment is love, abundance, goodness, kindness, empathy, peace, presence, patience, all that good thing.

[00:27:22] True success. And so we all have it in us. And to know that you’re not alone, and again, I want to turn that voice inside your head and in your heart and what you see in the mirror from an enemy to an ally. Yeah. And Ike is the. And he has one job to slowly and systematically destroy me and everything around me, through my words, through my actions, through my insecurities, through my fears.

[00:27:44] And by the way, our, social and our news beat that fear drum incessantly and division drum and scare drum. So totally. We’ve gotta fight that. We literally, I am fighting against that every day to turn it off and tune in to what your, potential truly is. And so that, that’s what that alter ego is.

[00:28:04] And we all have it. Yes. We just gotta own it and work on 

[00:28:07] Zach White: it. Yes. I think that’s a really important point to emphasize is Tommy’s not judging you for having an alter ego like, You know, I have one. 

[00:28:16] Tommy Breedlove: Yeah. Work on it every day. 

[00:28:18] Zach White: for sure, for sure. And so do I and, and he likes to talk. I’ll tell you, he is got a loud voice sometimes, but, you know, and the thing that I found, what I, you know, coach my engineering clients on Tommy is the one thing that I used to do when I would hear the alter ego talking in that negative voice in my own head.

[00:28:38] know, try to turn it off by thinking about those things. And somehow you’re trying to rationalize why they weren’t true and trying to think my way out of it and listening to that voice as a way to try to chase it away. Yeah. And I found the opposite is true, you know? You don’t turn the volume down on the negative.

[00:28:55] You just crank the volume up on the positives. To your point, I’m gonna rehire Tommy. I’m gonna get back in the driver’s seat. This is what’s true. You know, we don’t rely on the approval of others. We know we have to do things differently. Nothing is impossible. You can have it all. Like I’m beating the drum of.

[00:29:10] Who I actually am and not who my alter ego wants me to be. Amen. And turn the volume up there. That’s, that’s the way out. 

[00:29:16] Tommy Breedlove: Authenticity, brother and I, you know how important all this stuff is? We put it in our employee contracts, who we are, nice, who we are, what we stand for, and what we fight against. And we’re not for everybody.

[00:29:26] And that’s okay. Go find a, a place. It is. So we, we practice extreme ownership too, and this is not what it sounds like to have it going on, but I will own it when I make a mistake and I will learn from it and move on. 

[00:29:40] Zach White: So you mentioned you have engineering clients and it’s not uncommon. We introduce ourselves as engineers, that the world has a, a picture, a stereotype.

[00:29:51] You know, we’re, we’re a special breed in some people’s eyes. And I’m curious for you, having done this work with people from all walks, would you say there’s anything about that deep analytical engineering mindset that stands out for you as a, a theme of where we might get stuck or trapped in this work that’s unique or.

[00:30:10] Is it kind of the same for everybody? What? What’s been your experience with that? Well, nothing’s 

[00:30:13] Tommy Breedlove: the same for everybody. There’s introverts and extroverts. I find that a lot of my client, my engineers, um, Whatever engineering there, there’s so many different fields of engineering tend to be more introverted and they tend to be very, very, very intelligent.

[00:30:26] Yeah.on the positive side, I say the world needs your voice more. I think I’m a big extrovert, but I think the world needs the engineering voice, the introverted voice more. Um, we just need it. And, remember you make the world safer, better, faster, more efficient for all of us, and so thank you for that.

[00:30:43] What I would say is there’s a lot of skepticism. It’s black or. I’m smarter than you are, and when we see things in black and white life is not black and white, what you do sometimes is very black and white, right? It is, but the world is. I mean, you can’t put black and white on emotions and fear and anger and love, and so there’s a lot of skepticism for any kind of self mastery, personal development, self leadership work.

[00:31:11] There’s a lot of skeptics, and rightfully so. There’s a lot of charlatans out there too, but when they put. I guess ego or mask or armor down and they actually lean in and want to look in the mirror and want to be better in all phases of life and be better leaders. The magic that can happen from an introverted, very intelligent engineer in the lives that you could touch and impact, I mean, that’s totally a choice.

[00:31:35] The only power we have, and this world is choice, and you can choose to speak skeptic or you can choose to be open-minded. You can be curious or critical. It’s totally up to. but I’m just telling you, when you’re, when you come in with curiosity and not criticism and we come in with open mindedness and not certainty a whole lot of magic can happen in your life.

[00:31:55] Yeah. And in your love, 

[00:31:58] Zach White: that skeptical starting point to your comment. I totally agree. You know, engineers, if we’re painting with the broad brush, lead with that in many areas of our life, partly cuz we go do cpu. 

[00:32:10] Tommy Breedlove: Yeah, 

[00:32:10] Zach White: that, that’s true. Uh, you know, we get paid good money, professional skepticism, right.

[00:32:14] To bees. Yeah, exactly. To be skeptical and to ask how can it fail and how can it break and, and to prevent, people from dying, from products, not doing what they ought to do, but it can be a huge barrier to our personal growth. And I just had a client yesterday. Tell me about a situation.

[00:32:31] You know, they invested five figures into a coaching program and it was a complete Charlottes. I mean, they got no value from it. They had a terrible experience, and it took a long time and a huge amount of courage for them to step back into another opportunity and, and to work with me. And you’ll spend a completely different experience, thankfully.

[00:32:50] But do you have any call it guidance for how can someone. get past this idea of like, curious the black and white. Yeah. Yeah. And like how, how do we open ourselves in the right way without getting tricked? And like, especially in the world of personal development, if they’ve never done a retreat like yours, they haven’t been a part of something like legendary and they’re interested, but there’s, it’s like, how can I tell what’s real, what’s authentic, what’s gonna help me versus not?

[00:33:15] You know, the easy answer is just work with Tommy. You don’t have to worry about it, But for somebody who’s in that 

[00:33:19] Tommy Breedlove: place, we’re not for everybody for sure. That’s 

[00:33:21] Zach White: true. That’s true. But I mean, maybe the question’s unclear. I just, you know what I’m saying? Like how do I actually get past that skepticism and know where to lean in first?

[00:33:29] Tommy Breedlove: 100% of my angel investments have failed. When I was talking about that four or five years, you know, I went into the angel investing, uh, world and Board of Directors world and Okay. Um, but I look at every single one of those as a. And I would say that $50,000 mistake or $10,000 mistake, or $8,000 or a hundred thousand, whatever it was, is a real learning.

[00:33:50] If you look at it as an opportunity and learning, and here’s how, here’s how I do it, is, I go in curious. First, I have to trust the person’s experience. And so it’s not about do they have been to some, do they go to Princeton or have some coaching? I mean, there’s no certificate for coaching and mentoring.

[00:34:09] It’s about life. And does this person live the life that I want? Are the words that they’re saying resonate in my heart and soul? Have I built trust with them? Yeah. Are they, are they being authentic? And there’s a lot of people out there that sit on their planes and scream at you and shame you. And I. All I wanna do is they shift.

[00:34:31] Uh, you know what I’m saying? I just literally want to find this person. Yes. Yeah. But it’s gotta be a trust is do they have the life experience? Do they have the true business world experience? Do they have experience in leadership? What have they done? Who have they done it with? And there’s no degree that can teach you life.

[00:34:48] Success or mentorship, you gotta go out there and learn and fail and be open to it. So first of all, I would look at everything that we’ve done or made a mistake on as a learning and an opportunity, not really a mistake. And you’ll learn not to do that again. So how much would you pay not to do that again?

[00:35:03] Right? Yeah, it’s good. And so to me it’s about trust and experience. Trust and experience. Have they been there and done that? And are they walking the walk? And if it feels off, it is off. And there’s something called n. They’re using NLP on you to sell. You watch your advertising. Look at social media.

[00:35:22] That’s, you can look it up. Engineers would probably enjoy looking that up. Yep, yep. But if it feels wrong, it is. Trust your gut. If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no. 

[00:35:33] Zach White: That’s beautiful. 

[00:35:34] Tommy Breedlove: Yeah, and, and by the way, I work with two coaches right now and I’m in three masterminds, so I walk the walk too. Brother . Yeah, well, same, 

[00:35:41] Zach White: same.

[00:35:41] I I walk the walk too, brother . I, I’d remind my clients all the time. You think you invested a lot to do my program? I spend 10 times what you just. Every year or more on my own personal development. And yeah, we have a 

[00:35:54] Tommy Breedlove: six digit budget for us. And lemme tell you what we do and note to you, engineers, you really, I’m gonna, I’m gonna give you, get behind the scenes real quick, real quick.

[00:36:01] I’ll do this real fast, please. Yeah. Let me tell you, there’s not a recruitment war out there. If you have a recruitment problem, remember hiring is reactive, recruiting is proactive. If you really want elite talent, here’s what you gotta do. A players like being around other A players. Other A players look for opportunity.

[00:36:20] They look for challenge and they look for personal growth. They want you to care about them as humans. And so for every single person that’sthat works with us, and we’re a small team, we’re only 10 of us, but all 10 of them. We invest in their personal growth, we invest in coaches for them, we invest in masterminds for them.

[00:36:37] And by the way, we’ve got one getting married. So we just have married and marriage counseling for them just to get proactive on the front end. So if you really want to be world class and elite and you’re recruiting, start investing in your people and what they truly care about and start investing them as humans and making them better.

[00:36:54] And they will be loyal to you for life. I’m getting off my soapbox. 

[00:36:57] Zach White: I’m just gonna exclamation point, exclamation point, like a hundred percent. All right, Tommy. If somebody out there they’re curious, they wanna, run that test and see if, the legendary movement is for them, can you tell. Tell us where’s the best place for them to go?

[00:37:12] How can they get hooked up with this amazing work you’re doing? Yeah. 

[00:37:15] Tommy Breedlove: Just email me at [email protected] Me or three other people on my team, check that email nonstop. Email me directly at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you. There’s a lot of dip your toe options, but if you want to go right in and lean in to a self mastering clarity retreat, we’d love to have you.

[00:37:31] I know I’ve been beating, I beat up social media a lot, but you can always follow us on social media as well. ? 

[00:37:36] Zach White: Yeah. All good. All good. I’m the same way. And by the way, if you’re not a 

[00:37:39] Tommy Breedlove: reader, I will read the book to you on Audible . There you 

[00:37:42] Zach White: go. There you go. So listen, I, I can only say amazing things about Tommy and the legendary team, so I, I highly encourage every engineer out there to.

[00:37:49] Send him an email, reach out, connect, and I’ll just push you, you know, don’t dip your toe in the water. Get outta your comfort zone. Jump into the deep end. And to Tommy’s point, the worst thing that happens is you learn something. It’s not even gonna be a mistake. So, um, that said, Tommy, let’s land the plane here.

[00:38:05] Man, I, I wanna hear from you. I believe great engineering, great coaching, the work that you do, it Al has in common that questions lead answers. And everybody’s seeking great answers in their life, but we wanna make sure we’re asking great questions. if the engineering leader who’s been tuned in with us today wants that legendary life, they want success, they want the balance, they wanna have it all.

[00:38:31] What’s the best question you would lead them with today? What are you 

[00:38:35] Tommy Breedlove: running from and what are you running to when you know that you will be crystal clear on where you need to? What are you running from and what are you running to? That’s all I need 

[00:38:48] Zach White: to say. That’s perfect. period. Tommy, you are legendary.

[00:38:53] Appreciate you the work you’re doing. Just wanna acknowledge you, man. You’re making a massive difference in the lives of these leaders, men and women who come and do work with you and your team. And hopefully I’ll be down there with you in Atlanta or, uh, outside Atlanta in your new facility, actually renovated soon.

[00:39:08] And, um, Yeah. Yeah, the Georgia Mountains such a beautiful location and thank you again for your generosity today, man. So 

[00:39:14] Tommy Breedlove: grateful brother. Y’all have a great one. I had to say, y’all, I’ve throw in at Georgia there. We’ve gotta throw in one 

[00:39:18] Zach White: y’all for you, right? Cheers, man. 

[00:39:20] Tommy Breedlove: Yeah, brother. Thank you Zach, and Thank you for what you do.

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