Best-selling business author and advocate for entrepreneurs, Mike Michalowicz, joins Dawn Brolin, CPA, CFE, to talk about finding the motivation to come back from setbacks. He details his own struggles and why his mission is to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty. He also gives Dawn tips on how to run a successful podcast…Michalowicz style!
How Mike Found His Motivation and His Come Back Story
Mike shares the story about how he had to lose almost everything in his life to gain back control. He talks about how making the active choice to try and solve the issues around him is what put him back on the path to success.
He also shares a quote that he keeps on his wall that reads, “Eradicate entrepreneurial poverty,” and uses that as his motivation to solve issues not only for himself, but to fellow entrepreneurs around him.
Mike’s Impact and “Profit First”
Dawn discusses how Mike’s book, “Profit First,” comes up in certain conversations with clients and colleagues, and how people always have wonderful things to say about him and his book.
Dawn and Mike also discuss how since the success of “Profit First,” other entrepreneurs have used his concepts and ideas to write their own version of “Profit First,” and tailor it to their specific industry and needs.
The Designated Motivator Concept and it’s Success
Mike discusses his admiration for Dawn’s new “Designated Motivator” concept, and says he really understood it when she presented it at an art conference he attended. He speaks fondly about her phenomenal presentation, and says “It really can be one person,” when discussing how the right individual can make all the difference in a team or company.
“One person with the right attitude and the belief in others can turn a company into anything,” he also adds.
How to Be the Designated Motivator
Mike asks Dawn how she is able to genuinely believe that a team or company is going to achieve success, despite their losses in the past.
Dawn responds by saying, “I’ve got to find out what makes this person…what makes them tick. What do they love, what do they not love…you got to get in their heart, and you have to show interest.” She talks about how if you truly take time to know someone, and genuinely want them to succeed, progress will be inevitable.
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Dawn Brolin 0:01
Hello everyone and welcome to the DM disruption. I’m the host Dawnn Brolin. I’m a certified public accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, and the author of the designated motivator. We’re here to help motivate you to take your practice to the next level. Have you considered outsourcing your clients payroll? Well, I did and I went with ADP. The resources they provide, along with their partner program become the premier outsourcing Payroll solution. We as practitioners already deal with a ton of compliance. Keeping Up With payroll isn’t a value added solution that I should be focused on. If you’ve considered outsourcing before, reconsider it today. Choose ADP to be part of your starting lineup.
Mike Michalowicz 0:48
This is your first podcast ever and that’s why I’m going to teach you how to do a podcast.
Dawn Brolin 0:52
That’s what we’re here on the designated with the DM disruption. It’s all about disrupting yourself while on camera.
Mike Michalowicz 0:59
Exactly in front of them. So here’s tip one. Tip One is you start in a facilitated conversation that sounds like it’s kind of off the cuff like, hey! I haven’t seen you in so long!
Dawn Brolin 1:10
Oh my Lord, Michael.
Mike Michalowicz 1:12
You look amazing.
Dawn Brolin 1:13
Oh, stop it.
Mike Michalowicz 1:14
And always sound like you’re in the same room. That’s the other thing.
Dawn Brolin 1:17
Oh, we definitely are.
Mike Michalowicz 1:18
I know we are and it looks like it. Are you broadcasting the video? Are you just showing just audio?
Dawn Brolin 1:24
Oh no, we’re doing both.
Mike Michalowicz 1:25
Okay, so do listen to recording. We’re in the same room. People are video. We’re not in the same room.
Dawn Brolin 1:31
But don’t tell those people. They’ll never know.
Mike Michalowicz 1:34
That’s tip one. Tip Two is have little icons of yourself that you can throw up on the screen.
Dawn Brolin 1:39
Oh, I like that. That’s awesome. I um, well, I guess this is probably a good interpretation. Here’s mine. Because if you know me, you need is looking for my face. You need a you this is a user manual. And we got a user manual. For what how do we use her? How do we use Dawn Brolin?
Mike Michalowicz 2:01
How often have you heard that like when when you were dating? Yeah. How many times you here? How are we going to use? How am I going to use her?
Dawn Brolin 2:09
I think it was the other way around. How many?
Mike Michalowicz 2:11
Did you ever say that? Like someday like I’m gonna use that person?
Dawn Brolin 2:14
Oh right to their face, though. I would not like look over the room. I’d be like bright up in their grill. Like, how old were you?
Mike Michalowicz 2:20
When you did your first date? How old were you?
Dawn Brolin 2:22
Seventh grade. I held hands. Man. It was intense.
Mike Michalowicz 2:26
Oh my god. That’s amazing. And I’m like, serious boyfriend girlfriend.
Dawn Brolin 2:30
Actually, he was my first real boyfriend. And I say, I still love him.
Mike Michalowicz 2:37
Oh, yeah! It’s your first love is always your permanent love. Totally. So how long did you date?
Dawn Brolin 2:45
Well, for about two and a half years, of course, you know, from junior high school into high school. And then he found this blonde and left me. I mean, let me give you the instance when I knew we were done. It was snowing. And I called him we’re supposed to talk on the phone, you know, talk on the phone. I called him and he’s like, I’m sorry, I can’t talk to you. I’m making a snowman.
Mike Michalowicz 3:06
Right now ninth grade.
Dawn Brolin 3:07
This is ninth, Like almost 10th grade.
Mike Michalowicz 3:09
That’s a dagger to the heart.
Dawn Brolin 3:11
And I think part of it was that every time we would get together I still thought it was like it’s a competition. So let’s play like, let’s play horse. Let’s like compete, and I would win and I think that kind of went against me. Yeah, the man. Want a competitive woman.
Mike Michalowicz 3:27
Yeah, so some people do some guys do some guys don’t. You know, he’s like, I’m making a snowman and you’re like, with who are by yourself? Or how did
Dawn Brolin 3:38
Yeah, he was he’s just like I’m making I’m making a snowman. I gotta go.
Mike Michalowicz 3:42
So what came of his life?
Dawn Brolin 3:44
Do you know? Wonderful guy is a chef.
Mike Michalowicz 3:46
Dawn Brolin 3:47
Nice guy. Yep. Marry to actually girl that I played basketball against named Pam. Great person. Love her. So it was all good. It wasn’t really good in the beginning. Oh, because I you know, we play basketball against each other. So I just want to pound her every time we were on the court. Oh, she stole him from me. And you know, after that phone call went upstairs. Of course, it was dinner time, which is always convenient. While I sit at the table sobbing. My tears go falling into mashed potatoes. My mom’s crying, I’m crying.
Mike Michalowicz 4:18
And let me ask this question. Obviously, that didn’t continue that relationship didn’t continue. But when it comes to family members, your spouse and people in your family, what are the professions you need for a well rounded family? Chef is one you definitely have chef in a family.
Dawn Brolin 4:36
A nurse or a doctor doctor? Yep. For the chef.
Mike Michalowicz 4:40
I’m asking I know that list. By the way. I’m asking to see if you can get the top five.
Dawn Brolin 4:43
Okay, so I’ve got chef I’ve got nurse,
Mike Michalowicz 4:46
I count six, nurse or doctor number one,
Dawn Brolin 4:50
Mike Michalowicz 4:52
Dawn Brolin 4:54
I mean, let’s be real, therapist.
Mike Michalowicz 4:57
Dawn Brolin 5:00
I would ah, a contractor.
Mike Michalowicz 5:05
Number two, well, we’ll take woodworker, cabinetry maker or contractor number two.
Dawn Brolin 5:10
So does plumber doesn’t get involved…?
Mike Michalowicz 5:13
Four! Number five?
Dawn Brolin 5:18
Mike Michalowicz 5:19
Dawn Brolin 5:20
Mike Michalowicz 5:21
Oh, you that should be, it’s not even listed, that should be on there. Number five is auto mechanic.
Dawn Brolin 5:27
I could I could have gotten there. I could have totally gotten there.
Mike Michalowicz 5:30
The thing is I was looking at this bill I got from TIA, I made the whole thing. Every time I looked down. I was like this bill, my insurance bill. I don’t know what the ranking is.
Dawn Brolin 5:40
Of course you don’t
Mike Michalowicz 5:41
Yeah, I have no idea. But I’ll tell you all those were good guesses. I don’t know you. Who don’t who don’t you want the family. A mortician?
Dawn Brolin 5:49
Mike Michalowicz 5:51
Ha ha! A therapist.
Dawn Brolin 5:52
I’m diagnosing you with you know, double personality disorder.
Unknown Speaker 5:56
Yeah. A home, a bum. A vagabond? You don’t want that one.
Dawn Brolin 6:03
An attorney would be a good one though.
Mike Michalowicz 6:06
Yeah, attorneys like you want them and you don’t want them.
Dawn Brolin 6:08
Right. Especially like if they’re a divorce attorney. Maybe not
Mike Michalowicz 6:12
When you’re in trouble. You want an attorney, but otherwise, you don’t want to acknowledge an attorney in the family. Oh, somebody was a chef. There’s a therapist.
Dawn Brolin 6:22
You know what you don’t want? An IRS agent?
Mike Michalowicz 6:25
Oh, well, they don’t have family.
Dawn Brolin 6:31
unless you don’t want to go to parties. If you don’t want to be around people. You don’t want people to talk to you have an IRS agent in your family,
Mike Michalowicz 6:39
I wonder if anyone’s ever said that like, oh, what does your wife do? Oh, she’s a Russ. She’s an IRS agent. An Earus agent? …IRS.
Dawn Brolin 6:55
I have a true story about that. I did a IRS case 2011. With with down here in New Haven. And we had a great successful case. I was on the side of the IRS, which is now you know, get close to your enemies. loved them. They were great. So the Assistant United States Attorney her she had a birthday party. So she invited a bunch of people and she invited little Don Brawl into the party. And you could see the tables of people that were like, not anything to do with that IRS group. And those that were the ones that came like actual friends that came over the ire IRS criminal investigation, IRS agents, nobody was sitting at that table. But me. Yeah. It was great.
Mike Michalowicz 7:38
Why would you work with the IRS? Typically, they’re the private entities do the defense side or the other side? I should say,
Dawn Brolin 7:45
Right. Well, that was in your–thank you for just interviewing me during the podcast.
Mike Michalowicz 7:50
That’s how the first podcast always goes!
Dawn Brolin 7:54
No, it’s good. So what happened was actually I was an accountant who was not doing his job and said that his his own tank defrauded his own tax return essentially, and said QuickBooks was broken and made the wrong accounts and the reports were wrong. And so they called the IRS called into it, and they said, Hey, your software is broken. According to this defendant. We need you to send somebody out to verify and testify and they said, Oh, we don’t do that. But we know someone in Connecticut that will. So they sent me over and I went in as a QuickBooks expert. We convicted him of of IRS fraud, went to jail for eight years.
Mike Michalowicz 8:28
That could be jail time.
Dawn Brolin 8:29
He was eight years. Stavros S T A V R O S, Gainias G A N I A S, you can look it up, Google it. You’ll see the case right in there. I should get a copy of the transcript because there was one line that I said towards the end of my testimony. The opposing counsel said to me, Ms. Brolin is anyone–
Mike Michalowicz 8:51
Can I use that term loosely. And I think color–
Dawn Brolin 8:55
He should have just said Brolin, Brolin.
Mike Michalowicz 8:57
He’s like do you go by groin or crotch?
Dawn Brolin 9:01
I go by duh best. So he asked me Is anyone in this is anyone perfect Ms. Brolin. And I said, Sir, and I looked him right in the eyes as loud as I could, sir. Only Jesus. And that is in the court transcript.
Mike Michalowicz 9:18
Dawn Brolin 9:20
And let’s just say that was pretty much the end of my questioning.
Mike Michalowicz 9:23
Oh my God, you did the biblical. Really? Yeah.
Dawn Brolin 9:26
It was so good though! The whole testament like they told me I testified for probably a total of six hours. I created a whole PowerPoint spreadsheet, a PowerPoint presentation for the jury to understand what was going on. And they told me that for the first like, hour, if you need to stand up you can really, because now I can use my hands. I said, I can. I’m pointing at the jury. Do you see what I’m saying? I’m looking at see that?
Mike Michalowicz 9:54
Oh were you you talking like that?
Dawn Brolin 9:56
Mike Michalowicz 9:58
It became your own show.
Dawn Brolin 9:59
It was sha–, they had the IR– I’m not bragging, maybe I am. I’m not. But the the CI, the head of CI in Boston. After my first day of testimony on a Friday, they recalled me to Monday, they called them and they came down from the Boston field office to watch the rest of my testimony.
The bet the bails guys, the ones that come in, they supervise the courtroom. Yeah, they were like, We’re, it’s my turn, we want to go to the show.
Mike Michalowicz 10:30
So let me, this is my best interview ever. I want to say this, when it comes to that personnel you have you are a rarity. And you gotta admit this, like most people are not like, you know, therefore, most people don’t have the courage to be designated motivator. You know, how can how can I be a Don Brolin? Or do I need to be made better question?
Dawn Brolin 10:51
You just need to make sure you have one in your life?
Mike Michalowicz 10:54
Oh, you can find one? You can find one.
Dawn Brolin 10:57
Yeah, you can find one. But you know, for those people who you don’t have to be screw, yeah, I’m a little over the top. A little. But really the end of the day. And this is one of the questions I want to ask you, Mike was, at some point you’ve been through, you’ve bought and sold businesses, you’ve been a part of you, you have your amazing story of a major struggle that you had towards the end of one of your opportunities, one of your entrepreneurial outings, if you will. And you had to pull yourself together. At the end of that you’ve told the story many times and if you want to preface with a little bit of that, what got you motivated enough to pick yourself up? And I know the answer this but people, people out there listening or watching do not know it that pulled you out of that pit that you were in and motivated you to say I’m not giving up? I’ve got to do this. Oh, yeah.
Mike Michalowicz 11:49
So sorry, the end now tell the story. Good. I found I know this is true in your life, too, is that we all experienced trauma. And there’s different flavors of it. My experience was around financial collapse I brought upon myself and it was in retrospect, I now realize I was trauma had all the symptoms, shock, disassociation, anger, depression. But I’ll tell you it compared to other traumas that people experienced that is nothing. There’s physical abuse, sexual abuse, I mean, there’s stuff that’s horrible. And we found those in those moments, we can make a declaration to say I will never allow this to happen to myself or anyone else again. And that became a declaration which I didn’t even really know I was making conscious. I was making subconsciously it wasn’t conscious. Ultimately, you’re unconscious. The mom was I built and sold to companies. I’m 30 years old. You You and I met on a TV set right after this traumas about two years later, but I made money and I thought I was hot. Shit. I thought I was the tamale. I walk around like, oh my god, if I saw you on the street, I’d say nice word. But like, I am so smart. I’m so much better than you. So Right. And I believe that’s really interesting. When I was interviewing you for my podcast about being a DM, you said you got to believe in other people more than they even believe in themselves. I believed in me more, I believe in others. And that’s the reverse of DMing. That’s what I’m doing. That’s where you’re a mad dummy. And what I thought was greater. And so I think God universe, something had to fix this for me. And what I did was I started a third business as an angel investor. I didn’t know what I was doing. I lost all my money, I lost well over a million dollars and wiped myself out. I lost everything, including my home. And I had to face my family to say we’re losing our house. We lost it 30 days later. And when I lost the house, we actually weren’t we were renting a house with the intention of buying in this neighborhood. We’re scouting it out. We couldn’t afford the rent. So landlord said, You got to you got split. And we saved our ass. That’s another story. But I went to my family say we’re losing our house. We’re losing everything. My daughter was nine years old at the time. And she said to me, she was I tell her I said, I can’t afford your horseback riding lessons was $20 a session. And she looks at me and she just starts welling up crying. And she ran away. I thought she was running away from me. And I think when we experience trauma, that sensation of running away is very overwhelming. She actually was running to her bedroom to grab her piggy bank. And she ran back to me and she was Daddy. I know you can’t provide for us anymore. I’ll provide for the family. And it’s such a gut punch. It’s that I brought that much devastation that a nine year old girl feels that she has to give her life savings which she was saving quarter by quarter penny by penny to buy a horse one day to give up her dream to support the idiot. And so that became my wake up call. And just to be clear about this dog because I think many people confuse this in other people’s stories like oh, so the next day you start kicking ass as An author or doing your thing. Now, next day I start hitting the bottle I was Busan, I spent over a year in depression, never went to a therapist. So it’s self diagnosed. But clinically, I meet all the parameters of depression. And but what came out of it slowly, was this growing awareness that I had problems in. First out, except I didn’t really understand how entrepreneurship worked. I didn’t understand how money works, at first admit that maybe I have a problem. And then I set out to fix it. And honestly, every piece of work I’ve done up to this point has been trying to fix my own problems, things don’t stand by entrepreneurship. The final thing I want to add to this is it has become a mission. I was on my wall right here says eradicate entrepreneurial poverty. This experience I have of all these challenges, entrepreneurship in entrepreneurship is not limited to me. So many entrepreneurs have it. So I’m trying to fix for me I’m trying to fix for millions of other people my book, that’s how it came about. And so he said, designated motivator, the first person for me in my life that motivated was me around a calling a purpose. I wake up every morning, I look I have my house too. I look at those words. I think those words, I’m like, I gotta fix this today. I got bring the best of me today, every single day.
Dawn Brolin 16:18
And you do and you you have changed many people’s lives. I run into weird places or client phone calls. And I’ll just say, Hey, have you heard of profit first? And they’re like, Oh, my God, last month? And of course I do and blah, blah, blah. And of course here my next line is? He’s a friend of mine. bodies. We did. We did some shows together. Have you seen? What’s your business? Your business? Episode 77 with? I mean, it was tucked away in the back, but it was there.
Mike Michalowicz 16:50
Yeah, I dare say we were too good for that show. Because first episode, it was just me. Yeah.
Dawn Brolin 16:57
Right. We crushed it.
Mike Michalowicz 16:58
We crushed it. And then subsequent episodes. They’re like, really? I don’t know if you should be the exclusive host. We want JJ. And JJ is probably the nicest person I know is she’s on her. Oh, yes. I could spin out show but never.
Dawn Brolin 17:11
You never know. Maybe in the future. Yeah, we could make our own movie.
Mike Michalowicz 17:16
Dude, that woman was awesome that the series of shows she made, I wish to continue on forever. And I don’t know, if they didn’t get renewed or JJ is like I’m just dying after doing like 500 episodes or something crazy.
Dawn Brolin 17:26
Probably no, it was it was a phenomenal opportunity. I just like no everything happens for a reason, the way you look back at it really does. So So I want to hear so it looks like so Profit First is like taking off. And I think that, you know, I’ve always been somebody since I met you to follow what you’re doing. So the first question I have is, What do you have in front of your camera? So you’re looking at the camera as opposed to the person?
Mike Michalowicz 17:49
How do you how do you do this right?
Dawn Brolin 17:51
Yeah I need that.
Mike Michalowicz 17:52
Yeah, you look at the camera.
Dawn Brolin 17:55
So I just go like this instead of looking at you.
Mike Michalowicz 17:57
I’m not looking at you, so I can’t even tell. So I see you out of the corner of my eye. So I can see like an outline of you by can’t see your eyes or anything.
Dawn Brolin 18:04
Okay, so it’s a strategy.
Mike Michalowicz 18:06
Oh yeah, and it’s one of the top things that people doing video don’t do. They look at now I’m looking at you. They do this the whole time. Yeah. And I wonder I understand for conversation, but this is presentation. This is different. So look at the camera like it’s your own. I guess someone’s eyeball and just never never break from it ever.
Dawn Brolin 18:25
Oh, so this is kind of like Monsters Inc. Where you have what’s his face with the one eye?
Mike Michalowicz 18:29
Yeah. Like, you know, I’ve never seen that movie. Mike was always that Mike McCalla watts, Mike was asked
Dawn Brolin 18:37
the same thing. You have one head one thing in your head. That makes sense. But off the part of that. So I’ve been following you. So I’m going to try it. I’m going to practice the rest of this. Okay, stay locked in on the camera, they lock down the camera. So yeah, actually, you know, it’s not like I’m like attracted to look at you. So that’s a whole nother thing but um, so because your wife is terrifying. So um, one other thing is that I want to let you know I’ve been trying to follow you follow in your footsteps on your success when it comes to being an author. But not only that, but being that inspiration motivator to all of your followers and all of your audience. And so I’m my whole goal is to follow your concept of Profit First, and now you have people writing their own versions of profit first for the doctor. I think it was a doc, I can’t remember I see a bunch of people popping up saying just came out what happened motivated with that what happened there?
Mike Michalowicz 19:26
So this is interesting is people that do these, these books are looking to gain further exposure for themselves just like I’m looking to for the work I do in you. And there’s really two paths. If you want to pursue a book, you can write your own book, but your thing garner the exposure you got to get the word out. So you really released DM and you’ve great, extraordinary idea. Now you got to do podcasts or podcasts and in hope it catches on, right. The other path is you take an established brand and you do a derivative. So he’s either said well Profit First so popular that when an entrepreneur hears about it now, they already know it, I just want to, I want to be part of that brand momentum. So that’s what these authors are doing. They’re doing Profit First for a vertical. What’s interesting is I think we have seven in circulation. And I think there’s one more coming out this year, every single author has really soared started, they own their category. The first book that came out was called Profit First for ecommerce providers. Well, if you’re not an E commerce provider means nothing but if you are if you sell on Amazon, that’s a big deal. And Cindy Thomas and the author is the authority now in that space, right?
Dawn Brolin 20:36
Yeah, so So my whole follow Mike Michalowicz, mission, right? Is and I don’t know if it’ll be people that are writing offsets of the designated motivator in the future. But I see what we’re working on right now is a designated motivator for the accounting professional, you know,
Mike Michalowicz 20:52
Where you write it yourself.
Dawn Brolin 20:54
That’s, that’s what we’re going for. So so even if maybe other people don’t want to write their designated motivator book, with their, like you said, with their industry specific or their passion, they could write. So I following that, and so did they approach you how did it work? Did you like put that out there? Or did they come to you what what happened?
Mike Michalowicz 21:13
They a few people approached me say, Hey, I would love to be a co author. So once, once I start getting all these, hey, I’d love to co author a book with you. Which I don’t do, I would suggest you never do. And probably I’m contracted not to do like penguin penguin would shoot me down in seconds. I don’t know, right? You are the brand. The thing is, it’s like any other business partnership to people author a book, if you’re going to and I know you buy you know, I know you over the years, you’re going to dry that so hard to be successful. If the other person doesn’t, they’re riding your coattails. So you really want to get in that and that your bed not for just a business, you’re in bed for eternity that book will always have your two names on it. Or the beginning it’s like I don’t know if I really want to do that. Now penguins lock me out. Real always not always but sorry regularly coming to me saying I want to co author a book with you. I’m like, can’t do it won’t do it. And then they start saying well, is there any way I can do a book with you? Because I want to leverage your brand and that’s like, oh, that’s what you want
Dawn Brolin 22:10
Well, at least they’re being honest,
Mike Michalowicz 22:11
Yeah, totally totally. They just want to get a quick like and are willing to pay for it’s not like it’s free. They pay 10s of 1000s of dollars just for the rights and then they earn a lot more just to do the process get printed. But this model isn’t new to me. You myth in the business space. Michael Gerber did this now this goes back 1520 years ago, it with E Myth for you know XYZ and you’ll see these themed books with these derivatives out there pretty regularly. Once a book gets traction..
Dawn Brolin 22:38
Chicken Soup for the Soul was like probably one of the ratios was a great example.
Mike Michalowicz 22:39
Chicken Soup for the Soul was a great example.
Dawn Brolin 22:43
A great example. So that was the concept.
Mike Michalowicz 22:45
Soup’s for your Mama’s soul.
Dawn Brolin 22:48
Exact always for mama always from Mama. Oh mama still around. She’s great.
Mike Michalowicz 22:52
Is she still working with you?
Dawn Brolin 22:53
Mama is still working with me. Shout out to Mama Mama. She’s great. She’s still still amazing. Still adorable. You can’t I mean, she never won’t be. Although she had to go to jury duty on Friday. And I told her I told her put some like fake piercings on your face. Maybe they won’t pick you.
Mike Michalowicz 23:09
Yeah. Does she care about the business? Or she care about being a noble citizen?
Dawn Brolin 23:12
I mean, right? Hello, it’s taxes. Let’s go. But um, yeah, so So I’m finding so what do you know? What are you thinking as far as like the designated motivator? Concept? Like, what do you think? What kind of impact do you think that that’s gonna have? And like, just be you know, you’re always honest with me. Like, what are you thinking? I mean, you wanna you wrote the foreword, buddy.
Mike Michalowicz 23:32
Yeah, I freaking love it. And the first time I heard it, and really understood it was when you presented it at our conference. Right was now that’s it two years ago, because it was pre COVID. I think it was..
Dawn Brolin 23:45
It was 19. I think it was 19. Because it was right after our season. It was the the fall of our contract season…
Mike Michalowicz 23:51
Yeah, you know, just to give you some context, when you come on stage, I have no idea we’re going to talk about I have no idea why. Yeah. Now anything you have a presentation, you just kind of go walking out there, like a little bit like Chris Farley, from when he doesn’t, he’s a motivational speaker, Matt Foley, kind of pull your pants up a little bit, and then just start rolling. And like, what are we gonna see this time? It’s always phenomenal. It’s always phenomenal. This one has something special about it. In that the story, there was a story arc with you turning that team around that softball team. Yeah. And what goes in my mind is nothing changed. The players didn’t change. The teams they are playing didn’t change, like the schedule, everything’s pretty much the same. There’s minor. Yeah, only thing of substance was one person you came in and started to treat them differently, have different expectations. The way you communicate is different. One person changed it. I started looking at other sports teams and sports is a great analogy for business. And you see a coach come in. And the same team that struggled for years all of a sudden turns around. It really can be one person And you see with companies, like you see, I remember looking at Apple computers, right grows with Steve Jobs, they get rid of Steve Jobs or he leaves wherever and apples are going, this starts tanking, they, they bring him back in one person, it was last season one person, and it goes right back up. I think people underestimate the impact they can have individually. And when you have it’s the strongest emotion, the strongest vision that wins. If you ever come home and you’re in a dispute with your spouse, what one’s really angry, one’s really happy, whoever, whoever brings that more and use the angry person, both sides are gonna go angry, or both sides are happy. And with his Desi motivator concept, I believe in so much, because if you bring it, you can change a team around and the performance can be extraordinary.
Dawn Brolin 25:48
Absolutely. And you know, that’s why the whole concept is if you’re not that person, that’s okay. You know, and that’s where I think people disconnect. Well, well, it doesn’t anymore. Yeah.
Mike Michalowicz 25:59
And I’m not Dawn Brolin, like, like, you know, this is like a tame you doing a podcast like you got to see you on stage. The, the antics is that you’ll do the stuff you’ll say. It’s unbelievable. And people love it and the same time say but I could never be that. We are here at our own. It’s not me. My name is Kelsey Eris. She’s actually down the hallway from me. Love her. Yeah. You know, Kelsey,
Dawn Brolin 26:23
I know Kelsey.
Mike Michalowicz 26:23
Kelsey is not Dawn Brolin, she doesn’t bring an energy this she doesn’t have craziness. She would not dress in a banana suit. Today she but she lavishes our team with love. She loves our people. And I saw our team who I was leading. Before Kelsey came on board. We were doing an amazing job. I so proud of us. When cows came on board it up. We went from amazing team members to team members who will take a bullet for the company now. And I’m like what’s changed? Kelsey, it’s just Kelsey, one person with the right attitude in the belief in others can turn a company into anything.
Dawn Brolin 27:04
Absolutely. It’s a genuine belief in somebody else. That’s part of it too. We you know, like everybody doesn’t have to, you know, order a body bag for instance, and put that in a dugout and then put the other teams scorecards up after we victoriously win 17 to one you know what everybody has said?
Mike Michalowicz 27:21
Would you do you bought a body bag? You’re so effing crazy.
Dawn Brolin 27:24
I bought a body bag. I thought it’d be fun. And I and we put the season we put the teams that lost against us on the body back body back in the body. Yeah. And then when when actually when I first brought it to the field because they never know what I’m showing up with they don’t know or so. How do you even buy a body bag you can buy a body bag I Amazon stores.
Mike Michalowicz 27:44
i wonder what the sales are!? Who buys that?! The guy the funeral home like Oh, my guy pick up somebody? Hey, hop on Amazon give me two bags. I need one for a chubby guy.
Dawn Brolin 27:56
Give me a orime order.
Mike Michalowicz 27:59
Give me a prime plus and a prime.
Dawn Brolin 28:02
Of course I didn’t just go cheap. I got the one with the handles. You know? So? Well, I got to the field. The kids who cannot believe it. They’re all crying laughing
Mike Michalowicz 28:11
And what did, did you have something in it? Or is it just an empty bag?
Dawn Brolin 28:13
Well, so I got in it, and you know it’s all zipped up, let me get in it! So I got in it. A couple of the kids carried me across the field. I mean, just you want to lighten the mood a little bit by a body bag and put one of your staff in it is here in the office
Mike Michalowicz 28:28
Was this if you want to lighten the mood, but somebody in a body bag, but it was this this game day?
Dawn Brolin 28:34
It was a practice actually was a good practice before a tournament and I’m like we got body bags now we got to start putting people in body bags only zip close early. They barely could couldn’t really breathe that seaway good thing only dead people.
Mike Michalowicz 28:48
So they carry you out in a body bag and what they unzip it and you’re like, Okay, here’s who we’re killing next. Or would you sell..?
Dawn Brolin 28:54
Yeah, they dragged me over to the duck out of the bullpen and the kids, you know, the girls are all warming up pitching, say bring me over there, put me on the ground, unzip it, and I just kind of pick my head up and the pitchers are just lose it. They just lose it. You know, and you don’t have to do that. But it’s pretty fun to do something out of the ordinary like, for next season. I heard about little violins to leave in a dugout for every dugout that we when we leave a little mini violin.
Mike Michalowicz 29:17
Oh my god, you’re on the opposing teams.
Dawn Brolin 29:20
Yeah, in their dugout, I mean, yeah,
Mike Michalowicz 29:23
It’s kind of like what you’re what, what’s really interesting about your designated motivator, technique, and people don’t realize this. It’s a technique used by serial killers. So you leave your calling card, some people chisel they take an eyeball with them, or they remove a tooth, or they leave a violin or something behind that’s your calling card.
Dawn Brolin 29:43
Your you got to know I was there. It’s awesome. So we’re, we’re you know, I’m always strategizing on how to here’s the thing people get so wrapped up in the seriousness of life like, unless we got to be serious believe me when you see me going against the IRS or I’m in here trying to battle for a client I’m assuming As they get, and I take all names, okay? And, and so there’s times when you obviously have to reel it back in and I have to work on that a little bit, sometimes sometimes a little word up. But at the end of the day, people will gravitate to abnormal, when it’s fun, and it’s creative, and they’re involved in it. And it’s like, you know, we had this one girl on team this past season, barely talked, and she really had a tough time kind of buying into what I was selling. And then one game, we started rallying, and one of the girls and everyone is sitting the same stay in the same spot. You know, we’re very super, what do you call it superstitious? And this girl that was seeing this one spot that we believe was the reason we were rallying? She had a go, she was she was going to pinch it. So I looked at this girl who has no emotion, I said, I looked around, oh, Taylor, she looked at me and I go, and she’s like, she went right over stood in the spot. And she was like, I can’t leave here. And, you know, so, again, it’s about like, I just want them to experience how great they really are. Yeah. And people in your office. They need to experience how great they are. Yeah, and that’s why, like you said, Kelsey, doesn’t have to be you know, buying body bags and stuff. But she she pours out love in the way that she pours it out and people know it’s genuine. Yeah, you know, and I think that that’s, that’s in the we need this in this in this country in this world, more than we do at any other time. Which I never thought I’d say that cuz I say that every year, I feel like, right, but we really do we need it. We need it now.
Mike Michalowicz 31:31
Yeah, no, I love that. And I love what I’m hearing is believing people so much. But let me ask you this. How do you believe in people when you don’t necessarily believe in, you arrive to a team? That’s not winning? So hard to say? Well, I believe in you and really believe that you arrive to a business that’s not selling and go to sales teams. I know you’ve got this. You can say those encouraging words. But how do you get the emotion there? So it’s an alignment?
Dawn Brolin 32:00
Yeah, you gotta like, the way I look at it is I look into like, your one eyeball in front of me here. I’m looking as much as I can into your soul. Yeah, maybe weird. But I’m trying to learn about you in as an individual. Because yes, a team is there’s no I in team, I get that. But unfortunately, there are eyes that comprise a team. Yeah. It’s that you can’t get the eye in the way of the team. Right? So the way I look at it is I’ve got to find out what makes this person as a person, not a player, not a student, not a what this person what makes them tick, what do they love? What do they not love? I can kind of feel their confidence level pretty easily. And you can do that if you really start to try to learn people and like, kind of get their vibe. That’s where you can start. You got to get in their heart. I believe you got to get in their heart and you get in their heart and you show interest. And it’s got to be genuine. You don’t ever talk fake to people. You don’t. How was your weekend?
Mike Michalowicz 32:59
Right? Yeah. Work? Yeah, it’s got by the way, thanks for not being interested for
Dawn Brolin 33:05
Oh, go ahead over Mike. Yeah, you just you have to have a genuine interest. And so once you start to your heart starts to connect to them. Yeah. You actually can’t stop it.
Mike Michalowicz 33:17
Have you read the book, Extreme Ownership.
Dawn Brolin 33:19
I don’t think I have.
Mike Michalowicz 33:21
Okay, so it’s a pretty popular book is by two Navy SEALs. I think the Navy SEALs, I know Jocko Williams or something. And there’s that guy. Here’s what’s interesting. They talk it was definitely Navy SEALs. They talk about the training they do out in San Diego Coronado. And what they did is they have these rubber boats, these riverboat races where the Navy SEALs at the rundown the beach kind of rubber boats, they go on the boat and they go out to a buoy and back and whoever wins the race doesn’t have to do next race and teams are racing us all day. It’s exhausting. And what the leaders saw was that one boat was consistently winning. And the captain who doesn’t paddle was the most encouraging we got this kind of thing. And the other one there was like almost mutiny they were fighting come on your your effing up. Right did was a they had a team that was unified and a team that was disjointed. They swapped out the the captain from the boat that was crushing it, put them on the crappy boat and took the leader of the crappy boat, put them on the excellent boat. And so they assumed that it’s the team members. Well, the first race it kind of same on the same way that the fast bow that was fast before when again, even the crappy captain, they already saw this dissension. And by the third or fourth race, the boats were about the same. And then by the fifth and sixth race, it flipped. What they saw was the captain was really determining the unity. And when when there was a problem, the captain would actually amplify and say You screwed it up. And then it was fingerpointing. The other one when there’s a problem saying, Hey guys, now we know something that we shouldn’t do again. Let’s do this. Let’s go at it in just that encouragement, flip the boat, same people just to words of encouragement and they flipped so it just points to what you’re saying. And we really hold on to do commercial you know anything about podcasts commercial break time. If you’re a book this guy Mike Michalowicz wits has a book for you. Yucca. Yucca. Yucca. Yeah. Okay. That was a commercial.
Dawn Brolin 35:15
That was stinking perfect. I was that’s what I was hoping for was a little like ad lib advertisement.
Mike Michalowicz 35:20
Yeah, you don’t want to be structure, because people will drop off your podcast if you like, Hey, let me pitch something right now. So the podcast, the speaker, people just kind of continue through the podcast host continues through. But you got to really quippy. It’s got to be engaging. Otherwise, they’re going to do the 15 seconds forward each time. So
Dawn Brolin 35:37
Yeah, we can’t we can’t blame a thank you. Nice job. See learning. We’re all learning the same time. I love that. So the last thing I want to chat with you real quick about is the fact that I know you know, it was a really difficult story where you lost everything. And then you were boozin’, you were homeless, all this other stuff.
Mike Michalowicz 35:53
Well, homeless is all extreme. But yeah, so without a home, it’s true.
Dawn Brolin 35:57
Okay, you didn’t have a home. But taking it that step you had you were struggling with finding a place to live. So now you have a place to live. You even have an office that you work in? What’s with the beard, like, you not afford a shaver? Like, what’s your story there?
Mike Michalowicz 36:10
So I’ll give you the honest truth. The primary reasons I started growing this just because laziness i It wasn’t this length, there’s just kind of like a shorter bear this. And my wife is like, oh, that kind of looks good. It’s like leave it. Like, I’m gonna ditch Cygnar not leave it. So my wife has encouraged it. Here’s what’s interesting. When I speak to speaking, sometimes people ask me about my beards. So I’ll say, hey, audience, let’s do a quick survey. And I did find this one group. It was like all women, and I said how many against the beard and I heard like Mongo. I said, How many for the beard, the place almost fell down. And like the beard stays. The guys are like, 50 guys really don’t seem to care. 5050 women, it seems like 95% I keep the beard. Now, here’s the other thing. So that’s one thing. So it seems like actually more people like it. Okay, I’m either way on so here’s the other funny thing about a beard. The pre how prejudiced people are so it just went in your favor. So I wherever I go people Oh, you look awfully handy. Eric question for I there’s not a a weekend goes by without someone asking me if I if I’m an electrician, plumber carpentry skills. If I can fix something. I was picking up some furniture for my son for college. Someone house was give me it’s almost like she sees me goes Oh, hey, my husband was trying to fix our door. She’s, you might just take a quick peek at it. And like of course I will. I was at Home Depot yesterday. I’m walking down the electrical aisle. Electric aisle and this guy comes up to us like, Hey, you’re an electrician. I gotta ask you a question. I’m like, electrician. The beat is unbelievable. It’s unbelievable. What a beard does in people’s perception. So it stays.
Dawn Brolin 38:00
I love that. I love that. Oh my goodness. Well,
Mike Michalowicz 38:02
I could store things in here. I could just I’m..
Dawn Brolin 38:05
I’m sure you have last night supper tucked in there so dinner lunch.
Mike Michalowicz 38:09
Yeah, there’s weird things. There’s a bird’s nest going somewhere on this side. Yeah.
Dawn Brolin 38:15
Oh my goodness. I love it. Well, Mike McCalla wits, the man of the hour. Just love you so much. Thank you so much for coming on. And I know we’re going to do some more things together as we move forward so we can make people profit, make profit first write Profit First, and be motivated to do it
Mike Michalowicz 38:29
Dawn Brolin, I love you!
Dawn Brolin 38:33
Thanks, everybody for listening and watching. We look forward to the next episode. Thanks so much. I hope you enjoy this podcast. Feel free to visit John Rowland calm in order to motivate you to improve your practice. Wishing you all the best. Have a great day.
Dawn Brolin, author of the new book, The Designated Motivator for Accounting Professionals, leads this strategy-focused session to help you implement key changes for more productivity and profitability this tax season.
In this session you will go through a reassessment process to help you determine the path for your firm moving forward, post-COVID, and in the face of ongoing changes for regulations and filings. We need to be sure we are prepared for whatever may come next. This will be an interactive session where you will use the time to lay out your firm’s business strategy and integrated technology ecosystem to become more profitable, more efficient, and most importantly, happier with your professional life this tax season and beyond.