This master connector has built a network that includes the likes of Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank, James Altucher creator of the James Altucher Show, Jack Canfield author of Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul and Lewis Howes from The School of Greatness. In fact, he recently connected with all of them in person at his global conference Thrive. He’s an author, investor, speaker, and entrepreneur who has built a mission-driven business and life that has impacted millions.
Cole’s power comes from his perspective. After 2 accidents 2 months apart, he was left me in a wheel chair. His body was physically broken, his heart emotionally broken, and his bank account…it was “broke” too.
Out of desperation and an uncertain future, Hatter pursued entrepreneurship. He has since launched several multimillion dollar businesses and lives what some might consider to be only a “dream” lifestyle. His motto is simple but powerful:
“It’s important to know how to make the kind of money you’ve always dreamed of making, but it’s more important to not sacrifice actually living your life while you do it.”
This episode of Powderkeg is brought to you by DeveloperTown. If you’re a business leader trying to turn a great idea into a product with traction, this is for you.
DeveloperTown works with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies who want to build and launch an app or digital product. They’re able to take the process they use with early stage companies to help big companies move like a startup.
So if you have an idea for a web or mobile app, or need help identifying the great ideas within your company, go to developertown.com/powderkeg.
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In this episode with Cole Hatter you’ll learn:
- The art of manufactured urgency. (10:00)
- The importance of authenticity. (26:32)
- The importance of work/life balance. (30:30)
- The true meaning of wealth, and the importance of for purpose business. (44:10)
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
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Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
Connect with Cole Hatter:
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What stood out most to you about what Cole shares in this podcast?
For me, it’s the importance of having a balance of work and life.
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Welcome to the Powderkeg Podcast, episode three with serial entrepreneur and investor Cole Hatter, I’m your host, Matt Hunckler, founder and CEO of verge, a community of tech entrepreneurs, investors, and top talent growing high growth businesses outside of Silicon Valley. And my mission during this episode is to share with you the very best parts of a conversation I had with the CEO. I know you only have a limited amount of time and energy, and I’m so honored to get to spend this next 30 to 40 minutes with you, and our podcast guest today. You have your own personal Powderkeg of raw talent and abilities. And I see it as my job to help introduce you to the guides and strategies to help you sharpen your skills as well as learn some new tactics as we explore these stories today. This episode of Powder Keg is brought to you by developer town, if you’re a business leader, trying to turn a great idea into a product with traction, developer town is for you. They work with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies who want to build and launch an app or a digital product. They’re able to take their process that they use with early stage companies to help big companies move like a startup. So if you have an idea for a web or a mobile app, or need help identifying the great ideas within your company, go to developer town.com/powderkeg. And stay tuned at the end of this episode because I have a conversation with Nick wangler partner at developer town as well as Scott Humphries from Johnson Controls. And he talks a little bit about how to get buy in on larger projects as an intrapreneur and how to find mentors to make that project a success along the way. This is very similar to the conversation that we have today in this episode with Cole Hatter. Now if you don’t know who Cole Hatter is, I’m shocked because he seems to be one of the most connected people on the internet and in the business world. He’s an investor, an author, a serial entrepreneur, and the producer of the Thrive conference where just last weekend he helped hundreds of attendees make money matter. They had speakers like Jack Canfield from Chicken Soup for the Soul. James Altucher from the James Altucher show, and Lewis Howes from the School of Greatness. Now some of these people you might actually see in some future powderkeg podcast episodes. I’m not trying to give away too many spoilers here, but we have an awesome lineup. And Cole is right in there amongst the top people we’ve got here on the powder keg podcast. You can find more about Cole Hatter at cole hatter.com Of course, Cole Hatter on Twitter, Instagram, and you can learn more about Thrive conference at attend thrive.com we dive into a lot of different topics here with Cole. He’s got a really powerful story, and even some near death experiences that gave him some insight that he’s been able to translate to the business world. So without further ado, here is episode three of the powderkeg podcast with Cole Hatter. Thank you so much for being here. Where are you? tuning in from?
I’m sitting here in wonderful sunny Southern California man, Orange County, California.
Oh, that sounds beautiful. I’m here in Indianapolis and with the entire audience of the powder keg. I want to say thank you for taking the time out of your day. I know you could be outside enjoying the sunshine. But appreciate you being here to share your story, man.
Yeah, my pleasure. And no worries. As soon as we’re done. I already promised my daughter a date swimming pools while being the son in no time.
Oh, that’s beautiful. Well, I, one of the things I really enjoy about you, Cole, I’ve done a lot of research. I’ve done a lot of reading, listening to other interviews that you’ve done in the past is that you’ve created a wonderful life for yourself in a very entrepreneurial and enterprising kind of way. But you’ve done it with purpose, as well. And that’s something that is near and dear to my heart as well as the hearts of our audience out there at powderkeg. I was wondering if you might be willing to share a little bit about how you came to the conclusion that business wasn’t all about just earning a profit but was also about a purpose.
Sure. And you know, I’ll give you the cliff note version, we can dive as deep in any part of that journey as you’d like but was originally a firefighter. After a couple of accidents. That career ended because I was in a wheelchair for a while and had to learn how to walk again and turned to entrepreneurship out of necessity. I had to figure out how to pay my bills. And at 21 years old entered into real estate and I was nothing special. I was just in the right time in the right place in the right industry and exploded and made a ton of money. Never broke over seven figures but had more Multiple six figure months and did very, very well from about 21 to 26. And then 2008 was here, the recession and for any of your audience that’s here in America, we know real estate and the economy as a whole collapsed. And I stuck through till about 2011 Until finally I’d had enough and said screw up and moved actually to Mexico, and lived there for seven months, working full time for a nonprofit that built houses for homeless families and actually ended up starting an orphanage. And as I reflected back over all the years that I’d made money and bought myself Escalades and wakeboarding boats and, you know, took all my best buds and paid for all their flights to go out to Vegas and put us in a gargantuan 4000 square foot penthouse at the top of Caesars, you know, they’re just going nuts, because at 2223, they’re all still live with mom and dad going to college, right. And here, I was crushing it. And so I looked back and all the fun that I’d had. And now that it was all gone, and I didn’t go through all the drama of like foreclosures and bankruptcy, but I fire sold everything I owned, to lower my overhead. It was all gone. And as I’m sitting there in Mexico, with people who genuinely have nothing, I looked back on all the stuff I had and sold and I said, You know what, I have nothing to show for the success that I’ve had, probably should have spent some of my time and some of my money, doing something that would have mattered that even if still I lost it all, I at least had something to show for it. And, you know, a lot of that had to do with my faith growing up as a young man, you know, I grew up with my faith. And for whatever reason, when I started making oodles of cash, you know, that became my priority. And so, after a season in Mexico, we went back to America, can it?
Can I pause you right there? Cool, because yeah, I’m really fascinated by this sort of rock bottom moment, and talk to a lot of other entrepreneurs, and often investors as well who have been at these rock bottom moments, or at least what they perceive as rock bottom, because a lot of times we find out the bottom gets a lot deeper later in life, depending on how things go. Talk to me about how you were feeling there. What did you do? Were you inclined to go and be around people and mentors that can lift you up? Did you kind of hold yourself off and get in a solitary room and and be alone with your feelings? What How did you react to that, as when sort of the bottom fell out, and everything you would work so hard for was gone.
So all of the above, I’ve had a few rock bottoms, whether it be you know, the financial one, or the emotional one, you know, losing my my career as a firefighter, and just some of the other details of that accident, you know, not everyone survived. So losing loved ones. And so so I had a few different types of rock bottom. So that was a place I was very familiar with. But this specific one, when you know, financially, my business went from killing it to me getting killed financially, I decided to go to Mexico to get away from everything that was normal, I realized that in my current circumstances, in my, in my normal environment with my normal friends and my normal routines and habits, nothing was going to change that I had to shake everything up. And, you know, making the decision is important. But for me, maybe other people have more self discipline. But if I decided okay, you know, things are going to change my life. But then the moment after I made a decision, I kept doing everything I’d already been doing nothing would have changed for me. So I knew I needed to get away and I had some other motivating factors to want to go away. My my girlfriend and I broke up who’s now my wife, by the way, I got her back. Oh, yes. Thanks, man. Yeah, so at the time, she was my girlfriend, we broke up and you know, compounded with what was going on in business and just kind of the emotional baggage I still hadn’t fully recovered from from, you know, losing people in the accidents. I was involved just a few years earlier. I said screw it. And I moved away from everything. I moved to Mexico, I didn’t have a phone, I turned my cell phone off, I called AT and T and said, Hey, I’m gonna be gone out of the country, suspend my account. And I went down there had no land phone, nothing. I mean, the only way people could get a hold of me as if I called them I wasn’t a black hole of solitude. And I decided that since I was going to go down there to serve and eat tacos, I might as well do something productive with my time and ended up joining staff with a nonprofit and fast forward after seven months had complete healing and clarity in what I want to do in life. And here’s why. For the seven months I was in Mexico, I didn’t focus on myself, I focused on others. And I didn’t go down there. I didn’t say Alright everyone, I’m gonna go to Mexico to get healing. I’ll be back you know, all put together and better again, I moved down there to just face basically say screw everything. I’m just going to start over. And what I found is that literally by all my nine to five, quote unquote, was is working with the local homeless community building houses for homeless people and starting an orphanage. That’s all I did. And if I wasn’t doing that I was surfing. And surfing is like my solitude is nature. You know, you’re by yourself. And something about that combination of being alone or serving others. There wasn’t a magical moment. There wasn’t a moment where like, you know, the clouded skies parted and the sun came down and I heard you know, whatever violins playing and harps and stuff, it was just progression, almost like losing weight. You didn’t lose 50 pounds, you lost one pound out at a time, and then someone who sees you six months later, you look like a whole new person, I lost one bit of, I don’t know, emotional baggage at a time until when I came home, I was the only person. And so for anyone out there who feels stuck in a rut or even dealing with personal loss, like I was, you know, for me, at least I don’t know that this is universally applicable, I would imagine it is. But by not focusing on my problems. And by helping people with true problems, like my girlfriend broke up with me, and I’m not making a million dollars, boo hoo, well, they’re not eating, they’re starving to death and dying. Like when I had perspective on what problems looked like, and then saw my ability to help that community, I got a sudden sense of self worth, that I never had before, and an enthusiasm to do better in life than ever before. Because I have access to resources, I’m living in Mexico like them, but I could if I chose to go home and make a million dollars and or millions of dollars, which is what I ended up doing. And they didn’t have that opportunity, but I could and make a difference in that community. So that’s what it was for me.
Cool. How would you recommend someone find that perspective without maybe losing all of their financial assets and having to go move to Mexico?
Yeah, so I get that a lot, right? Because of the crazy circumstances in my life people like do you have to go through, you know, almost near death or crazy life experience to to get that perspective, and I’m gonna I’ll be straight up definitely helps. You know, to, to have a reality check always helps. Surely, you know, Tony Robbins talks a lot about this, you know, decisions like deciding and then mental programming is important. You know, this was one area of my life, but there’s a lot of things I had to work through that going to Mexico didn’t address or have happened post, right, that that mean, I was home from Mexico 2012. We’re now in 2016, the last four years haven’t all been puppy dogs and lollipops, right? I still have things that are challenges that I need to work through. And so I think the biggest thing is just making those mental commitments, and then finding like, genuine urgency. And so the way that I answer this is, what is motivation? Like, essentially, what you’re asking me, Matt is how can someone have enough motivation to change whatever it is in their life, whether it be more successful, or their perspective or etc? And I feel like motivation, like how do you describe the emotional or even chemical feeling in your body? What motivation is, and I say it’s urgency, right? There’s that what if you’re motivated to go to the gym, you feel urgently, you need to go off the couch and go, if you feel motivated to make money, you’re, you feel a sense of urgency to change your financial position. And so if motivation is just urgency, let’s examine urgency. And where does urgency come from? And I think there’s two types of urgency. There’s natural urgency, like, I have a three year old baby and a four month old baby, she’s not really moving yet, right? She’s a baby, but I have a three year old. And if I see my three year old daughter running towards the street and seeing approaching car, I’m going to feel a sense of natural urgency that we all have, that there’s nothing anyone can do to teach me that I just have it I race after I savor. But then there’s something I’ve kind of coined as manufactured urgency. And that would be like, you know, Matt, I don’t know what type of student you were, I was the one that waited until the last possible second, always. And so you know, the tomorrow the book report was due. And I’m just starting today. And no matter what was going on in life, no matter what, you know, let’s go surfing calls a perfect swell, or let’s go to this concert. Or no matter how good the invitation was, I knew I had to turn it all down, open up the book and do what I needed to do to go to the, you know, the school the next day and take that book report. And so that’s called manufactured urgency, there was no fear of loss or danger. But it became my top priority paramount to anything else. And all of us are capable of manufacturing urgency, we’ll all have, you know, someone’s about to get hurt, or even yourself a sense of natural urgency. But every single one of us can create what I call manufactured urgency, when the thing is important enough to be paramount to everything else. And so whatever the person who’s listening to this podcast is struggling with or stuck on, they have to make the result of the change, whether it’s making more money or quitting the job or getting a healthier relationships are quitting an addiction, whatever it is, they have to make that result paramount to everything else, and manufacture urgency, and then without almost dying, without a near death experience. You can have these life changing results in your own life as well. You just need to find the urgency to do so.
I love that concept of manufacturing urgency. Could you maybe give an example of how you manufactured urgency now, maybe even with this upcoming conference that you’ve organized, which by the way, it sounds amazing. And I want to make sure we tell people about at the end of this episode, but it is a huge endeavor to put on a conference. I know from experience. I imagine that that was not something that was necessary from a financial standpoint for you, especially since you’re donating all of the profits to a nonprofit. So how did you manufacture their urgency to put together a half million dollar plus event in Las Vegas that could potentially be something that you could be spending, you know, on the waves surfing instead of organizing a conference?
Sure, I could have picked up a couple of Ferraris or something right so so here’s the deal when it comes to examples of manufactured urgency for me, I’ve got 1000 of them specific to thrive my event. Here’s where it’s came from. My wife and I, so again, the ex girlfriend, long story short, I came back from Mexico asked her to marry me. She said, Yes, we didn’t even start dating again. I was like, Hey, you dumped me 10 months ago, and let’s just get married now. And she said, Yes. And yeah, and she and I decided, because I had made money before. And even though I was completely broke, I knew I’d make money again and and did within 20 months, became a millionaire for the first time in my life. So I had done well lost everything, and then got 10 times back. And when I was in the ugliest financial season of my adult life, she and I said, Okay, you know, I’m just, I’m gonna fight period, I’m gonna make money, there’s no way this is not going to happen, no matter how many failures, I’m going to keep going. That’s just something that manufactured urgency I have, right. And so we decided that there are certain things that we will or won’t do with my money, whether I’m making 100 grand or 100 million a month, I’ll never do certain things. And we live our lifestyle in a very unique way that kind of caught the attention of people. So I started getting asked to be on podcasts to talk about this, this four purpose, lifestyle, like you talked about the beginning of this episode, or, or a for purpose business model of not just making money, but making a difference simultaneously. And it kind of caught on and my wife and I realized, oh, geez, there’s kind of an audience to this, like we are consistently people are picking our brains on why we do what we do, or how we do what we do. And I saw for those that were closest to me, and my inner circle that I kind of mentored personally on how to implement this, I saw their lives changing, finding more fulfillment in their work, it wasn’t that their careers changed. It was that their priorities around their career and their income changed. And I saw dramatic differences in their life. And I said, Man, if this has literally changed these 2030 people’s lives forever, this is a message that has to get out. It’s scary. I’ve never done a conference before, I have no idea what I’m doing. But I have enough urgency because I feel like I have found a way of life. That is true happiness. I don’t say this to pat myself on the back, because I didn’t invent anything. But through my life circumstances, the decisions I’ve made and what life has dealt me, I’ve found a pretty sweet way to live of, of, you know, without sounding cliche, I live the dream of a beautiful wife, beautiful girls, I live in the place I want to live in the world and make more money than I ever thought I could but at the same time, who cares about any of that I get to make an impact in people’s lives. And so that urgency is what was the creation of Thrive, which essentially brought together the greatest business minds in the world for three days to teach the attendees how to freakin KILL IT and business within the end goal not being success, a lot of content out there. And I know you’ll agree with this man, a lot of content out there teach people how to make money, and that’s great, but that’s where it ends. So now you’re filled with cash. And then what what Thrive does is says okay, here’s how to make money, and we’ll teach you how to do that from the best people in the world. But that’s just the beginning point now that you haven’t, you’re successful, now you have the platform or now you have the resources to go out there and really do meaningful work. And so instead of success being the end gold, it’s it’s step one in what we teach and, and that was thrive. And my sense of urgency was, I have through circumstances I could have never predicted and would have quite frankly never asked for I would never have asked or gone to the car accident or lose the people I did, but it happened all the same. I’m choosing to take that information. And I found a pretty unique way of living life and I just want to share with the world
I love it man and I really appreciate you sharing insight as to why but not only why how you’re taking action, how you’re creating urgency to create this Thrive conference because I think people are particularly interested in that. And I think that you know beyond realizing that you need to do it and not just should do it but must do it. One of the clear things that all of our podcast guests have in common is that they have some sort of a guide or a mentor that comes along and helps them along the way is there one particular mentor or guide for you that really stands out that was a pivotal mentor for you and just changed the trajectory of your entire life.
So there’s several I’ll briefly say my grandfather you know rest his soul when I was a firefighter pre car accidents you know when I thought that that’s what I would do for the rest of my career. I’ll never forget it because he pissed me off he sat me down and said Do you really think that all you were built to do that all God puts you on the earth to do with all your talents ambition and everything is a spray water on fire? And I was like Screw you old man I’m here saving lives you know I’m doing all this stuff. But and you know he had like a it wasn’t just a one liner. He had like a 15 minute conversation around Listen, keep fighting fires that’s great, whatever. But like challenge yourself call to consider there might be more. And you know as a firefighter I worked one day on two days off one day on four days off, that was my rotation he’s like with all your off time. Go go do something that at least challenges you in a way that firefighting doesn’t I remember how messed you know Mata wasn’t him. Then firefighting ended and when I was in a wheelchair, which as just an update for your listeners, I’m 100% healthy today, thank God I learned how to walk again. And I have no physical ailments from that. But that first year I had to choose, or I had to figure out I guess I should say how to make money without it. And that one liner that my grandfather shared with me probably at 19 years old has never left my mind. So that was one just answered question. Mentor that gave me a piece of advice that changed the trajectory of my life forever. As far as the man or woman Who’s giving me the most insight that I’ve applied in business since because my father is a huge mentor of mine, as well as my mother, who’s also an entrepreneur. But as far as Yeah, she owns her own totally different industries. She’s a therapist, so she has her own, you know, private practice where people show up to her office, she gives them you know, counseling, marital counseling, etc, to help relationships be healthier. So she’s a little ninja entrepreneur as well,
you know, that’s what my mom does to no way right on. Yeah, that’s, that’s great. Yeah, so she has her own private practice the whole deal. But the other person as far as tactical like cold two plus two equals four, not a whole lot of mindset, or one liners that have changed my thought process, but actually skill sets that I’ve used with the fan metal, a fan metal, you know, any of your audience can just Google them, the guy’s a gazillion areas, companies do almost 300 million a year. He’s actually one of the speakers at Thrive this year. And you know, the guy’s a massive success at 38 years old, generating hundreds of millions a year. He, you know, I found him in an audience, I was sitting in there as a student, he was on stage. And I ended up buying his program and over the years, got on his radar, and then became friends. And now we’re great friends, I talked to him every single Tuesday for an hour or two for the last three consecutive years. And I would say that, that time with him being able to observe a guy like he’s not just someone I know, we’re close. And I’ve literally watched him making hundreds of millions a year from like the best front row seat ever. And so that has been huge. And watching how he scales business manages teams, how it comes out the craziest idea and then executes and makes it happen and a financial success from the front row seat number one, and then number two, the personal mentorship from him has been huge.
So you said you saw him on stage, he bought one of his courses, and then you got on his radar. How did you get on his radar as someone who hadn’t achieved these levels of success yet?
This is ninja if I do say so myself, I will pat myself on the back for this one. Because this is something any of your audience can do. So check this out. Because people will say that today like oh, well, yeah, cool fans, your buddy. Well, you know, no wonder you’re you got to talk to him or whatever that right. Some people are, you know, skeptics. And here’s the deal, I was just a random dude. And fans audience one of the things Dan does is he has a seminar company teaches real estate education, which is what attracted me to him to begin with, because I am and was a real estate investor. And so I’m sitting there, I buy his product. And I’m no different than any of the other 14,000 people who have bought fans products over the last six and a half years, he’s been doing this. And I knew I wanted to get on his radar. So I thought of about 100 different things, from some big suggestions to just little suggestions like lighting that he could do that would up the quality of his business, his presentation, his actual event as a whole, or anything that I observed online about his website, like I went to try to find as much value as I possibly could without being condescending, like, hey, this sucked, you should change this. I’m a genius, just genuine like, man, you blew my mind. And this might even be a cooler way to do it or something like that. And I knew that he’s a busy guy, and that I would never in a million years be able to send him this 15 page email with 1000 suggestions, he would never read it. And I wanted to be in his mind consistently. So here’s the formula that worked for me, your audience needs a memorize this, I got his email address, once you can get a hold of most people, right? I mean, even if you’re like, Well, how the heck did you get fans email, your your, you’d be surprised how many people you’re one person removed from anybody out there. So I get things I get Dan’s real email, the one that he reads, And I sent him an email with only two or three ideas, the whole email was probably 100 words, you could read it in less than a minute. Then two or three days later, I did it again. Then two or three days later, I did again, each one with new points. And I literally did this for probably 20 emails, never once got a reply, I didn’t care. It wasn’t costing me any time or money, I’d already thought of the list. And why it was doing this because number one, I want to create value. But number two, I want to always be in this guy’s mind. So that every few days, he’s like, here’s another email from cool, here’s a few more points. And I did that finally he responded and said, come to San Diego, let’s meet for an hour. And I was like no freakin way I’m not even getting a phone call. I’m getting an in person Hekia I live in Orange County, which is about an hour away. So I made it down to the meeting. We had an hour together and I brought my best content man I literally practiced for days like the stuff that I was going to say to fan and to be quick and and to the point and compelling and, and I sat there and I talked about my experience in real estate and what I thought of his product as a student, you know, real life feedback so that he can always be critiquing and getting it better. And that turned into a friendship right there on the spot, which then eventually came into a mentor mentee relationship. And, you know, I’m also one of the fans trainers now to I get to, on occasion stand on his stage and teach his audience as you know, a, I guess you’d call it as a student testimonial, but more of just a friend and an industry expert from so. So that’s how I got this guy who had never ever ever just take a phone call from me or read one email, because I I sent him a reminder like I was in his mind I call a memorable moments. I gave him a few memorable moments a week so that Cole Hatter was in his name like if someone even before he met him if someone said, you know Cole Hatteras, he would say immediately, yeah, he’s the guy that won’t stop emailing me. And that’s where I wanted to be in his brain. And it worked.
That is a really cool strategy. And I love that tenacity there. Do you remember how long it was between when you first started emailing fan and when he actually responded?
It was mid February so so I can I can remember actually, it was mid February when I went. And when I started this it was January went to his event was mid February when I started emailing him and we had our meeting in late April cuz I remember I had just had my birthday. So 90 days. Yeah, well, yeah, maybe like 7080 days, mid February to mid April. So yeah, like seven yeas, 80 days.
That’s incredible. Man, I love I love the tenacity. I love the fact that you started literally with nothing and really no real connection or real in other than the fact that you had some knowledge and you had some time to think about how you could add value. And I think that so many people miss the point. They’re on adding value to other people’s lives. And I’m sure that that’s the same strategy you employed to develop the relationships that you have now, with all the speakers that are coming to speak at Thrive.
Yeah, totally. So the first thrive. I invited a lot of my close friends like Lewis Howes Tucker, Max, Adam Braun, Jordan Harbinger. And, you know, probably about 12 or so of the 22 speakers were close friends, and then everyone else was yeah, one removed and then Robert Herjavec. From Shark Tank, who spoke last year that was reaching for the stars. But same thing I just went after him, we pursued him. And this year, the same thing is happening. We’ve already made a lot of announcements of the speaker, we have John Assaraf. Coming we have Jack Canfield coming. We have James all teacher JJ virgin, of course, my mentor, Thanh Merrill, and the people I’m talking to which I don’t want to say anything yet, because we’re just in communication are people who I never ever could have spoken to before. If I was like, Hey, I’m a fan. Can we talk no way. But hey, I have a massive event this year, it’s in San Diego this year was in Las Vegas last year, this massive event in San Diego. They say okay, I’ll take his call. Let’s hear what he has to say. And, you know, I noticed that too, in podcasting. And I’m sure you know this as well, Matt, that if you want to get a hold of someone who’s iconic, they’re busy, but ask them to record the conversation of you picking their brain and put it on a platform where 1000s or 10s of 1000s, or millions of people hear it they all of a sudden make time. So one of the advantages of being a podcast host is you get people’s attention and time that you otherwise wouldn’t. And it’s times 10 on at an event, I’m getting massive people. I mean, dude, I was in direct communication with Mark Cuban, he’s not coming to thrive, he was unavailable those dates. But how in the heck would I be emailing back and forth with Mark Cuban just on a goof? It didn’t work like that. It’s because I was invited to an event he’d already heard of. And you know, very politely said, Thank you for the invitation, I’m unavailable. But how can I ever get into communication with people like that, and it’s like you just said, I just go for it?
Well, and the fact that you are looking first to deliver value, but then throughout the relationship to deliver value, by providing your platform by making sure that the people that you’re inviting get something in return that’s way, way far in a way higher than what they’re committing, which is their time and travel. Totally. I love that man. Well, one of the things that you mentioned not to not to backtrack, but I, I love the fact that you kind of booked it down to Mexico when you felt like you’re hitting your rock bottom. And the time you spent was spent giving back and sort of reframing your worldview. And when you weren’t doing that you were surfing, which is almost like putting yourself in a state of flow. Right now, I haven’t really I haven’t surfed enough that maybe hang on the same waves that you can hang. But I’ve served enough to know that when you’re actually riding the wave that only happens when you’re in that state of flow. And maybe you could talk a little bit about how we talked a little bit about reframing that for sort of this for purpose, kind of bit approach to life. Can you talk to me a little bit about the state of flow, not just that you’re in on a surfboard, but when you’re one on one with someone, or you’re on a stage and speaking to 10s of 1000s of people, because I know you’ve had a very successful speaking career as well. Can you maybe speak a little bit on flow and some of your approach to get in that right state?
Yeah, it’s, I mean, it’s a cliche answer, I guess, but it’s just authenticity, man. I mean, it’s like, if you’ve got an agenda, it never works. When you speak from the heart. I’m trying to not be cliche but like, do this. Okay, so we’re recording this real time it’s 2pm and my NY where I am right now, as you know, who knows when your audience is gonna It’s 2pm from 9am to 12pm. For that three hour block, I was shooting video for 10 Different things shooting video for the Thrive website, shooting video for the Thrive attendees shooting video for some of the speakers that I’m pitching, to come and speak at thrive, to give them a personal invite instead of an email and so I was in front of the camera and I kid you not one of the big speakers, which I’m not going to say it because he hasn’t he doesn’t even know I’m pitching him yet. And I have no idea when this podcast is gonna go live and who knows you might be one of our listeners. But as I’m shooting this video, I’m trying to like act like I think he would think is cool or what would catch his attention and get him to actually watch a three minute video not see six seconds and close it. And I had to do like eight takes and I’m like one take wonder over here I just don’t care I just I shoot straight from the hip, I look in the camera, I just talk what’s on my mind. But this, I got out of character out of flow as you just described it, trying to be who I thought he would appreciate, right? Trying to try to be someone who I’m authentically not. And I had to take up to take that ticket. I got all frustrated. I’m like, I freaking hate recording. And this is later like three hours ago. That’s why it’s fresh in your mind. Like I freaking hate recording. This sucks. And then my wife who was upstairs, I was doing this from home, my wife was listening me upstairs. It’s like, well, she called me out. And she’s like, dude, listen to yourself, like, what do you what are you even saying? Like, what are you talking about? And I was like, good point, I’m gonna be myself. And he’s either in or out period. And so flip and turn the camera back on, nailed it in my lap my next take and moved on. And so that’s true with this specific example of recording videos. That’s true with how I speak on stage, you said, you know, I’ve had a successful speaking career and I have as well. And one of the most common feedbacks I get from people is they say, you know, cool, it’s not that you’re rough onstage or informal. You’re just real, you’re not polished, like you’re trying to be some pro speaker. The way that I talk to you on this podcast is the way I talk to people in real life is exactly the way I talk on stage. I don’t get into stage mode, where I’m like, some polished using big vernaculars. And like trying to impress an artist, I just talk I just say what’s up on my mind. And so I think what flow is whether you’re speaking on a podcast, recording a video, like I just explained, on stage or even in business, of what your business operations look like, has to be authentic to who you are. So let me give you one last example to kind of 30 More seconds on this, please do. Alright, so Gary Vaynerchuk is a friend of mine. He spoke at Thrive last year, and anybody who follows Gary Vaynerchuk knows if you’re not working 18 hours a day, he thinks you’re a total just worse, right? He’s like, hustle, hustle, hustle. What do you mean, you only worked 16 hours today, you know, go punch yourself in the face you you baby. And I love Gary, and that’s inspiring for me. But that’s not authentic to me. I do not like it. And when I try that I hate it. I work the weirdest hours of anyone I know anyone who follows me on my Snapchat says Do do you work at all? Because, like I told you, you and I are gonna wrap this up. I don’t know 2:30pm On a Thursday, the middle of the business day and I’m gonna go swimming with my daughter. But once she goes to bed at eight, what do most people who aren’t a quote unquote nine to five do at 8pm Sit around watch TV or something, I can’t stand watch watching TV. That’s when I’ll work is from like eight to 1am. When my daughter’s asleep, my wife is doing whatever she needs to do laundry or hanging out with a girlfriend or hanging out with me whatever. I schedule my own hours. And so at the end of the day, I’m not working 18 hours, I’m at least working a full hour workweek like anyone else. But my flow is in the middle of the day, like right now where I’m seriously looking at my window and I can’t see a cloud anywhere. My phone on this time. It’s 84 degrees outside of this gorgeous pool in my backyard. Why in the heck would I sit here and work? Well, because the industry standard is it’s a nine to five, I’ve got a business and I should be working now. No, because then I’m gonna lose the time that my daughter’s awake number one and number two, it’s the beautiful, sunny, gorgeous part of the day. So while still knock out eight to 10 hours today, but around my schedule. And so that’s what flowing for me in business is. So I think what anybody that’s listening to this needs to do is figure out what your flow is. And for me when I heard you ask the question, to me, my response is being authentic in the way I communicate or even in the way I run my business, that I’m not going to say hey Wi Fi, I’ve got to be responsible. You know, I’m gonna go into my home office now and I’ll see you at 5pm I’m locking the door, no way because then I get to hang up my my girls what from five to seven, I might as well go get a frickin job for that. I hang out my work early. Then I hang out my family from basically like 11 to four every day. We go to Disneyland, we go swimming, we go, whatever. And sometimes it goes later than that. And then the evening I get back to work. And then our eat dinner with my kids every night. I eat lunch with my family every day. I just got done doing that before this podcast started. I get to put my girls and I have two babies of two girls, a three year old and a four month old so I’m starting a sorority over here I have a wife I have two daughters. And I have two girl dogs.
It’s true story get an even bigger house.
Oh my gosh, well, we have enough room it’s just all women. I’m you know, I’m outnumbered. So Matt, feel free to swing by and hang out anytime. on it. Yeah, but so so I get to give them their bath, I get to put them to bed like I’m the most present dad I can possibly be on the most present husband I can possibly be because I make that my priority. And I make my hours around it, which is the point of being an entrepreneur. So that’s a long answer. But that’s how I stay in the flow is that I know who I am. If I screw up and go outside those boundaries like I did this morning. It’s ugly. When I get back into my flow or my authentic self and how I operate my business where I communicate, everything comes together.
It sounds like you’ve found a really good rhythm and a really good flow in life and I I think that’s something that all our listeners either have or strive to have. And that’s part of why they’re on this journey. And they want to share in the journey of others in this awesome community that we’re building here on the podcast, as well as in our events. One of the things that we really like to talk about, not because we want to dwell on it, but because we want to extract and share the learning from it. Could you talk to me maybe about a time when you’re out of flow, or a time when you made a mistake, and really had to pull everything that you had, not only in yourself, but in your network, maybe in your community, from your family, to recover from that break in flow?
So do you want a personal or business because there’s no shortage of those stories? Either?
Yes, I think, I think that knowing both is, would give us an insight into you and how you think, maybe start with business. But we’ve got time, I’d love to dive into the personal side as well.
Okay, so in business, I’ll just say this with Thrive one, I got into partnerships with people I never should have, I didn’t do proper due diligence, I saw that they. So basically, people do this all the time, you think someone’s gonna make you a ton of money, you have some reservations, but you’re like, oh, my gosh, the money’s gonna be worth it. In this case, it wasn’t the money, it was the relationships, I said, Oh my gosh, these people know everything. So I’m going to bring them in at to my closest inner circle, and use their community, their relationships to help me build this event called Thrive. And they turned out to be full blown criminals. And so, you know, I still have ripple effects from that partnership, even now, a year later. And so one mistake I made in business where I was out of flow is to do business with people who I was like, Man, I hear what they’re saying. There’s definitely some incongruent sees, but I’m going to just close my eyes and wish for the best, I mean, clear, clear from day one, woof, this little bit, nothing like oh, wow, I see they’re stealing money from people, but I’m going to look the other way. Nothing like that. But like, there’s there are some things that they say and do that give me some concern. But man, they know everybody. And if I just do business with them, you know, oh, I’m going to know everybody too. And literally, put my little reservations, I had to the side didn’t do the proper due diligence or courting, I should say in business, you don’t just meet someone and marry them, you date them. And I don’t think you should just meet someone to go into business. I see people do that a lot. And I’ve been burned. And so you should, in essence, professionally, date people like, like, do joint ventures at first before you get into partnerships and things like that. And so, bottom line is, in business, one way I was out of flow is I did business with people who my intuition said do not. And I said yeah, but I’ll benefit if I do. Right. It wasn’t about the money. It was about the relationships. And again, I’m not sure there are people here, who maybe had an opportunity to make a lot of money. And he maybe made the right decision to pass because I had concerns or or didn’t they know exactly what I’m talking about. But that would be an example of where I was out of flow, seeing people who I knew, didn’t think like I did care about people like I do, didn’t have the end goal in mind of the impact of the world that I want to make. And we’re more just about stepping on people and saw thrive as a great platform to better themselves. So it was like symbiotic where I saw there. They knew people I needed to know. And likewise, they now have this event that they got to act like they were a major part of to leverage that to make themselves look good, right. And so on paper, it was a good relationship. But behind the scenes, I was doing thrive to make the world a better place they were doing thrive to make themselves rich, and it did not work out well. So that would be a business example. And well, cool.I I wish I could say that I didn’t learn that lesson the hard way myself. But unfortunately, I can relate all too well. And I think so many people on this podcast can and so I appreciate you for sharing that. But I’m also interested to know what habits or systems did you put in place to make sure that didn’t happen again.
So funny. I was literally eating dinner with my mom. I’m super busy. And so my mom, I scheduled dinner dates once a month. And that was last night and she literally was drilling me asked me the exact same question she called the due diligence. She said, What better system for due diligence do you have on people? And you know, that’s something I’m still learning? Because how do you really know like how I mean, never know, right? Like, people get married, and they assume they’re going to be that person the rest of her life. Five years later, things fall apart. They get divorced all the time. The divorce rate in Orange County where I live is like 60 something percent. So you can have done due diligence and dated someone. And everything looked good for years, and then something falls apart. Right? So there’s no way to hedge against that risk. People are people, people change, people’s priorities change. And when you were once in a lab, which by the way, I’m not pro divorce at all, I’m just using that as an example. But in business, people’s priorities changed. And so, you know, I would just, here’s what I would do. I have and this is the answer I give my mom, I have something we didn’t have time to talk about which are my absolute truths in business. And there are absolute truths. I have 11 of them that I will never ever, ever, ever, no matter how good the opportunity no matter what the potential result would be will ever do it. If it doesn’t fall into a line with these 11 truths. Now I have a lot of like guidelines, I have a lot of things I want. But there are 11 truths that are deal breakers. And can you say that give me an example of one. Okay, one example of an absolute truth is I have to be able to make money from anywhere I live in Orange County, California, I choose to because my wife and my family and my wife’s family, we’re all here. And, you know, we want our kids to have their grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles. So my whole family and hers are here. So that’s one reason we are in California. But guess what, every dollar I make, I could move to Paris tomorrow, and not make $1 less, I could move to if there, if there was an internet connection, and cell phones ignore I can move to Antarctica tomorrow and make as much money as I make right now. And so no matter how good the opportunity is, if it requires me to sign a contract to move to, wherever, for six months, I won’t do it. That’s just not happening. So so that’s an absolute truth, I must always be able to make money, no matter where I am in the world, as long as I have internet access, and a cell phone. So that’s an absolute truth. And you know, there’s nothing really romantic about it. But no matter how great the opportunity is, if someone needs me to leave, take my wife away from her family, take my children away from their grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles, and go and be alone somewhere because we wanted to, quote unquote, take a job opportunity, which I see a lot of friends, you know, the cost of living VR is not the cheapest by any means. But Orange County is ridiculous. And a lot of my friends now in their late 20s and early 30s, who are starting to get married and have kids are realizing it’s not cheap to buy real estate here. It’s not cheap to live here. And I can’t tell you how many great childhood friends I have had moved like to North Carolina, like the a totally different part of the country, away from their entire family being alone, because that’s what they could afford to do. And they found a job out there. And I’ll never do that. So that was way too long of an answer. That’s one example of an absolute truth. No,
I think it really illustrates it. Well. Cool. And I appreciate you sharing it, because I think so many of us either go through life not having absolute truths, or at least not having them written down. You know, I’m guilty of this myself. I don’t have absolute truths, but I have core values. And I think if I didn’t have those written down those decisions when it came down to it, like for instance, the event that you were talking about and whether or not to work with a certain person, if I didn’t have those core values in place to check myself when I’m, I’m on that edge of Alright, should I do this? Or should I not? It’s like, hey, check, check the core values or check the absolute truths. So I think a great exercise would would be to challenge people to write down their absolute truth set for this podcast.
Yeah, and core values. That’s a perfect synonym. And so like, another absolute truth for me is that everything I do, my daughter’s have to be proud. And so I’m, I am an angel investor. And I’ve invested in a lot of different companies, some tech companies, some startups, just like what you your community is all about. And I’ve been pitched on one in particular, I won’t use any names because it actually is out there. That is an app designed to use GPS to just find other people who are app users for the souls sole point of hooking up getting together. And whatever happens happens. It’s not a dating app. It’s like a let’s hook up app. And unfortunately, with today’s culture, I guarantee I would have made a ton of money on that. But is that something like Hey, Daddy, we’re rich, where’s all the money come from? Oh, you know, I help people have affairs and I help people just have one night stands and, you know, an app that I hope to god my daughters never find out about, right. And so another absolute truth is that whatever opportunity I take, I need to be able to explain to my daughters when they’re old enough to understand and have them be proud that I’m in it. So that’s an absolute truth, which would also somebody call, you know, a core belief. And so you know, I’ve got those are two of them, I got nine more. And as long as everything fits into the, the absolute truths, that’s, that’s when I do business. And then back to your original question of my due diligence on others, I need to make sure that their core beliefs are that their absolute truths are in alignment with mine period. I love that. I love that. And I think it gives some really great homework to people. Not only the absolute truths that we talked about, but some of the things around flow, some of the things that you mentioned, about creating that sense of urgency is is so so important. And I hope people will do that after this podcast. If people want to learn these kinds of skills from you and this amazing community of influencers and leaders that you have brought together for Thrive this year. What do they need to do and maybe even if you could tell us a little bit about how this particular Thrive event is different from the ones you’ve done in the past.
So actually shot I think it’s 80 minutes long a video of me explaining how to build a for purpose business. It’s just real brief. But you know, how much can you teach in 18 minutes, but I also know that the attention span of people that’s already pushing it, so if they want to go to attend thrive.com Ford slash friends, like you and I are friends, then they’ll be able to download that for free and it’s just me on camera, using a little whiteboard and explaining how to start not just any company but a for purpose company. I’ve talked a lot about this on my social channels. So any social media it’s always at cole Hatter, one word on everything. That’s Snapchat that’s Instagram. That’s Facebook, Twitter, just add collateral so they can They can always connect to there. But so so as far as your question about, you know what, what’s next and how to build a for purpose business, that’s a great resource that video. And so go ahead and download that for free. As far as Thrive specifically this year, that’s the whole point is we’re bringing together just ninja ninja entrepreneurs like again, Jack Canfield, the author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, we’ll be there. John asked her if we’ll be there, and a dozen others. Well, we’re at 16 speakers right now we’re going to cap it off around 20. And we’re going to teach you the attendee how to freakin dominate business in today’s economy, not once upon a timers. But people who make millions today, people who are going to make millions of dollars in 2016 are going to be on stage showing you exactly how they do that. And then the whole thing is about building a business that doesn’t just make money but makes a difference a for purpose business, we’re going to be showing you how to do that as well, because teaching you how to get rich is cool, but teach you how to be wealthy as better. And wealth isn’t about the money in your bank account. It’s about the different it’s the it is about the money big account, and then the difference that you’re making in the world. You know, I think I’m wealthy not because I have a lot of money, but because I’ve a wife and three daughters who love me and are proud of me, that’s wealth. And so we’re going to teach that. And so that’s what thrive is it’s a three day conference in San Diego, California, October 28th 29th, and 30th. And so they can just go to attend thrive.com. To learn more about that.
It sounds like an awesome event. I’m hoping that I can be there to attend and participate and meet the amazing people not only on stage, but the people that are taking the time to be there in person to experience it. Cole, I want to say thank you so much for taking the time to share what you’ve learned because it’s clear that you’re making an impact on lives, and you have become very polished, not because you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but because you faced real struggle along the way. But the fact that you found the right people, and were willing to share how to find the right people, is just so so important. And I want to acknowledge you for that. If people can do one thing other than follow you on social and check out that video, which sounds amazing. I haven’t actually seen that yet. So that’s the next thing I’m doing. What’s one thing that you would ask entrepreneurs to do, or to think about tonight, when they go home from work?
The world has taught you that what the purpose of life is, is to do better each year financially right to do better in all areas, which is a good philosophy live by but it’s taught you that that’s it, that you should just make more money every year to be able to buy more square footage in your home to have a little bit nicer car to essentially be as comfortable as you can live this cushy, comfy life to then tip toe to your grave and arrive safely without anyone even noticing or knowing you or you’re here or mattering to really anyone. And I want to say I want to challenge you to think about tonight as homework is that really it right? Regardless, I don’t care what your religious beliefs are or aren’t this isn’t about that. Whether you believe that it’s God or the universe or anything else that you’re here. Let’s just all agree right now we are here. And so my question is, is the 8090 years that you have on this earth just supposed to be about making money to then make yourself comfortable? Or do you think that some of your skill sets some of your ability and some of your income was given to you to make some impact in someone’s life in some way. And I would challenge you to not only believe that that’s true, but practice it because if just having money and stuff made us happy, then the wealthiest richest people would be the happiest, some are, some aren’t. So it’s not just having the money that makes people happy. It’s what they’re doing with it. And I can tell you from personal experience, I’ve bought a lot of car, every car, I’m a car collector, I have a ton of cars, I have a beautiful house and all that’s great. But nothing is felt as good as the ways that I’ve been able to make my money matter. Like having an orphanage in Mexico where I take care of 21 kids or building clean water projects in Africa or any of the philanthropic work I do. Those checks always make me the happiest. And so that would be the challenge I would have people ask themselves is is outside of working a job? What other work are you meant to do?
I love it. Cool. Thank you for being here. And I’m looking forward to thrive.
Yeah, man. It’s been awesome. Thanks for coming on the show.
I love this conversation with Cole Hatter. And I love the entrepreneurial growth story that he shares with us here. And as we know about any entrepreneurial growth story, it’s not just about that entrepreneur, it’s about who he or she surrounds themselves with, that helps them reach that next rung of the ladder and continue the climb towards their dreams towards this reality that they’re bringing into the universe. So I’m here with Nick wangler, who is a partner at developer town who of course, is our awesome sponsors and partners here at the powderkeg podcast. Nick, what did you think about the episode
I loved it and you know, just listening to the different ways that he was able to get buy in with people around him was killer. And, you know, Scott Humphries, who is leading an internal startup at Johnson Controls, which is which is one of our clients has talked about this with me before and he was kind enough to share some of those thoughts in our recent conversation. So in this next bit, I think he’s he’s really going to be focused on how do you like what are the different ways in He’s he’s learned about when you’re inside of a large organization, how do you get buy in, you know, both up and down the chain of command? And I think it’d be helpful.
What was one particular skill or strategy that you’ve learned from one of your mentors, that’s been particularly helpful with growing your product within the company,
I would say the biggest skill that I’ve had to work on is getting that buy in from the whole, you know, from the larger organization. And I have a tendency to want to say, hey, this seems straightforward. Let’s just go, I don’t want to be patient, I don’t want to wait. But you know, taking the time, you know, to put together the presentations, think about, you know, what are the angles for each of these individual groups? What are their needs? And how do I need to approach them? So just, you know, almost being empathetic and putting myself in their shoes to understand, you know, hey, I have my knee, but how can I help them meet their need? And that comes back to the alignment? How do you start getting everybody on board so that we’re all going in the same direction, instead of you know, somebody’s trying to pull you someplace else?
Were there particular leaders there at Johnson control, or even here at developer town, that were particularly helpful on your journey to realizing the full benefit of this product that you’re launching?
Oh, absolutely. And, you know, again, it’s like having Nick as part of this, and since he’s sitting right next to me, you know, with his experience, especially with the marketing, the digital marketing, and his go to market strategies, I mean, that was huge are having you know, Ken Miller, who’s one of the partners who has come from corporate America, you know, he’s seen both sides, he’s not worked at developer town, but he’s, you know, been a vice president someplace. So he knows what it’s like he knows how it’s navigate. And then my, you know, manager within Johnson Controls, he was a former CEO of the company that I came into Tyco with, you know, that was an acquisition. So you know, all of these leaders have really, you know, helped say, Here, here’s how you can work internally and externally to be successful.
Great hearing from Scott Humphreys at Johnson control are a client of developer towns. And I love that we’re continuing the story from episodes one and two. If you miss those stories, where you got to know a little bit more about Scott and his role as a product lead, definitely go back to those episodes and check it out. Because I think even in these little spots that we’re dealing with developer town, there’s a lot to learn from some of their clients and their lessons learned on really big projects, that they’re developing new technology, new web apps, new mobile applications. So there’s all kinds of information like this that you can find on developer town’s website. So if you’re an entrepreneur inside of a big company, or at a startup, and even have an idea for a web or a mobile app, go to developer town.com/powderkeg. And of course, you can find all kinds of other resources online including more information about today’s guest, Cole Hatter, check them out at cole Hatter, on Twitter, and Insta and all the big platforms. And of course at cole hatter.com. If you want to learn more about Thrive, which is an amazing conference, go to attend thrive.com. And now of course, I’ve only seen videos of the conference. I haven’t been there myself, I want to be totally transparent about that. But from what I can see from their lineup with guys like Jack Canfield and Lewis Howes, you know, he’s bringing quality and there’s tons of resources online, that you can find just by searching, attend thrive.com. And checking out the website. powderkeg, of course is presented by verge which is a network of local communities with global reach for tech entrepreneurs, investors, and top talent in our our suite of resources is going to help you build something that matters. You can check out The Verge VIP newsletter, absolutely free for exclusive event invites global exposure opportunities and curated education, sign up for free at verge hq.com/powder keg, and you can join our movement of people building amazing things with technology, not even necessarily in Silicon Valley. But all over the world. If you did what we’re doing here on the powderkeg podcast, please drop us a review in iTunes. Let us know which stories resonated with you what lessons struck a chord, or what else you’d like to see from a guest here on powderkeg. Thanks to everyone who has already left a review. Even with those first two episodes, we’ve seen some awesome comments and people leaving great reviews there. So I appreciate that. Keep hitting me up on Twitter. I’m at Hunckler on Twitter, that’s Hu NCKL Er and Instagram, and of course actually all the social platforms. So Snapchat hit me up Facebook hit me up and then at verge HQ. So HQ as in headquarters, a verge was not available so we had to go with at verge HQ and you can find us there on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter. What am I missing here Snapchat comm drop us a line we would love to have a conversation with you. We’ve got a small but mighty team here at verd headquarters. is based in Indianapolis, Indiana, but flying all over the world, to the startup communities that are building such amazing companies. Thanks for being a part of this and I’ll see you on the next episode.