Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant all had something in common more than just basketball excellence. 

They all had the same mindset coach, George Mumford. 

Many people model their workouts, wardrobes, and wealthy aspirations off of professional athletes… why should mindset be any different? 

We recently sat down with Kevin Bailey, Co-Founder and CEO at Dreamfuel, and David DeRam, CEO at Greenlight Guru, to talk through the practical effects mindset coaching has had on David and his business. 

This is an episode full of actionable techniques you can use to increase mental performance in yourself as well as your team in order to achieve higher results and stay composed under pressure. 

Kevin Bailey is the Co-Founder and CEO of Dreamfuel, a mental performance platform that helps elite teams & individuals thrive under pressure.

David DeRam is the CEO of Greenlight Guru, a dynamic MedTech company that provides software solutions for Med Device companies and clinical trial data collection. 

Both are incredible tech entrepreneurs and have accumulated many wins, losses, and lessons along the journey. 

Through all of the craziness that entrepreneurship brings, both of these leaders have found a competitive advantage by focusing on their personal mental performance as well as their teams’. 

Be sure to check out these great clips from the show:

  • [6:18] The Effects of Breathwork
  • [12:52] Mindset Coaching and Physical Challenge
  • [19:18] The Power of Mindset Coaching
  • [24:07] Transformation Through Mental Performance Work
  • [34:55] Importance of Managing Emotions
  • [36:40] The Threat of Emotional Reactions in Leadership
  • [45:28] Flow State and its Characteristics
  • [49:26] Motivation and Self-Rewarding Effort
  • [52:07] The Power of Dopamine
  • [53:31] Falling in Love With the Process
  • [1:00:51] The Mirror Neuron Effect

Get IN. is the show focused on the unfolding stories and most extraordinary innovations happening in the heartland today. Get IN. is brought to you by Powderkeg and Elevate Ventures.

In our conversation with Kevin & David, you will learn about:

  • The Impact of Mindset on Success: We explored the journey of Kevin and David, highlighting the role of mindset in overcoming challenges and achieving success. Kevin shared how mindset coaching can push individuals beyond their perceived limits and unlock their true potential.
  • Emotional Intelligence in Leadership: We discussed the importance of managing emotional states and the role of mindfulness in doing so. We also touched on the threat of emotional reactions undermining leadership and the importance of regulating emotions in high-pressure situations.
  • The Power of Visualization: David shared his experience using a visualization technique taught by Kevin, describing it as putting on an “Iron Man mask” that allows him to block out negative words and thoughts.

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Episode Transcript

Matt: From the crossroads of America in the Hoosier state of Indiana, this is Get IN, the podcast focused on the unfolding stories and extraordinary innovations happening in the heartland. I’m Matt Hunckler, CEO at Powderkeg, and I’ll be one of your hosts for today’s conversation. I am joined in studio by co-host Nate Spangle, Head of Community at Powderkeg. And on the show today, we’ve got Kevin Bailey, Co-Founder and CEO of Dreamfuel, and David DeRam, CEO at Greenlight Guru. And the episode kicks off with us doing a pretty incredible breathing exercise.

David: You’ve got six people pushing a jet and you’re trying to get the jet off the ground by running and you’re like, just keep pushing.

We can get this jet off the ground. Everybody’s I don’t know, coach. This thing doesn’t seem to be getting any altitude.

Matt: Our first guest, Kevin Bailey is the Co-Founder and CEO at Dreamfuel, a mental performance platform that helps elite teams and individuals thrive under pressure. Our second guest, David DeRam is the CEO at Greenlight Guru, a dynamic med tech company. That provides software solutions for med device companies and clinical trial data collection.

Both are incredible tech entrepreneurs and have accumulated many wins and accolades. But they also have losses and lessons along the journey that they share in this show today. It is an awesome conversation. We’re going to dive into mental performance and how it can be a game changer for growing your startup, your career, and putting your team in a place to win under pressure.

Here’s Kevin Bailey and David DeRam.

Kevin: This is gonna be holotropic breath work, so it’s a lot like Wim Hof breathing, but it’s a little more intense. We’re gonna do it for ten minutes, so that’s like a halfway point, but it’ll bring us deep enough that I think our intuitions will open up quite a bit, and we’ll be able to have some honest conversation about this topic, which is…

I have never

Matt: done holotropic breathing for more than five minutes,

Kevin: All that I want you to do when you’re breathing is I want you to think stomach, chest, head. You’re trying to bring in as much air as possible. So breathing through the mouth, it’s probably not gonna sound really good, but it’s yeah,

You hear the three kind of increments in that. I’m stomach, chest, head. You’re bringing all that energy up so you’re breathing in really powerfully, big, powerful breaths. Breaths in through the mouth. Don’t breathe through the nose.

David: Okay. The nose don’t work. I don’t know. I tried it.

Interesting. Nose don’t work. They always say breathe.

Kevin: Yeah, you just need to get as much air as humanly possible.

Matt: That’s right. It does make sense. That’s you know, when I said I took a couple singing lessons once and they’re like breathing through your mouth is the way to get the most area.

Kevin: Yes, we’re just trying to, we’re trying to fill the lungs up and it’s it’s a little bit rapid.

You go at as fast a pace as you can handle.

Matt: And when you’re breathing out and you’re just letting your lungs relax, you’re not like letting all the air out. You’re not like pushing air out. You’re just letting it, it’s a rebound.

Kevin: Yeah. Rebound. Yep. Yeah. As you do this, it’s basically an ab exercise or something, and cardiovascularly it’s going to get difficult.

And you just need to breathe through that. As David said, you’re going to feel different reactions in the body. You might feel like a kind of a tingly sensation in your body, different parts of your body. Get into what all that is at some point, but you’re going to start to feel just very oxygenated and just go with that.

If you see, if you feel yourself starting to slip in and out of consciousness, stop.

Matt: Nate, you heard that. You heard that. If you’re slipping in and out of consciousness, stop. Not until the timer goes off. Nate doesn’t know the meaning of the word stop.

Kevin: But for the most part, it should just feel like a tough exercise.

You probably haven’t breathed like this before.

David: And I’ve found it’s really helpful to do sets of 50. You might just go straight through, but straight through is like a long run, but I want more power, so I do sets of 50 big breaths and then 5 regular breaths. Okay. So whatever works for you.

Kevin: Cool. I’m just gonna, I just want you guys to hit it. Alright, go ahead and close your eyes. I’m gonna start the timer. Just want you to relax your stomach. Relax your shoulders. Relax your jaw. And we’re going to breathe really deep. Again, you’re going to breathe deep into your stomach, then you’re going to breathe air up into your chest, and then you’re going to try and breathe up into your head.

Obviously the air won’t go up there, but the intention is to really fill the whole body with oxygen. Let’s go ahead and start now. Take a deep breath in. Stomach, chest, head, out. Stomach, chest, head, out.

Matt: I was in a New York yoga studio one time Lower east side, like right in the middle of everything. And I go to yoga all the time. So a lot of times, you’ll do like a, collective om at the end, or just collective breath work at the end. And sometimes people are just like, let him exhale out.

And, this was like the moment I knew I never wanted to move to New York. It was… The yoga instructor goes, just let it exhale, and usually most people are like, And in New York, it was like this collective like,

Kevin: Oh my god.

Matt: It’s just everyone was so stressed out. But it was just like, like it sounded like a whale sound.

It was hilarious.

Nate: I am buzzing right now. Yeah. Holy. I’m

David: like. Where are you buzzing? What parts of your body?

Nate: My hands are tingling. And I can feel it down into like my forearms of just like reverberations of I just, the tingles. Like my body is buzzing.

David: That’s your energy. Oh my god. And it’s there all the time but you just don’t feel it because you’re so still and all the breathing.

When you lay down it’s your whole body. And then you can start moving it around. If you have a sore back or if you have a headache, you just drive all that tingle into one area. It’s so crazy.

Kevin: The first person who taught me this breath work was a Taoist monk. And I guess she’s a nun. And she’s a coach of mine back in the day.

And the first time I did it with her, my whole, I was laying down my whole body felt so electrified like David’s talking about. And then she started to explain to me about how your inner energy works. They call it Chi. Yeah. And your ability to move it into different parts of your body and heal your body with it.

And she’s a master at it. But I remember about 10 minutes in, which is, we went 10 minutes and I think we went about 30 with her first time I did it. Cool. And I remember like I was dying at the 20 minute mark. And I looked at her cause, actually through zoom, I looked at her and I saw her just be like, keep going.

I was like, I can’t even move my mouth,

Nate: My jaw locked up. It’s Oh my gosh, this is wild.

David: It buzzes so hard sometimes that I want someone to touch me and tell me if they can feel it. Like I’m certain, like it’s almost I’m certain that if you touch me, you’d feel it. But I don’t know cause no one’s ever been with me before.

And then the really amazing thing is to get in the ice after that. While you’re buzzing, then the go eyes. All right.

Matt: Next podcast, let’s do it at the recovery room and we’ll do this and then we’ll all do cryo or.

David: Let’s get four buckets of water. Yes, and then we’ll just get right in ice bucket challenge, and I’m soft on the water I’d be like you ever see cold as balls with Kevin Hart.

He puts those pro athletes in the ice And Kevin Hart’s been doing it so he’s used to it’s an unfair advantage. I love it He’s like you good over there. Oh Joe Cinco.

Nate: Yeah, I think there was like a cold sweat type thing going on. It was, that was wild. It’s still like lingering.

Matt: That’s Can you explain a little bit the neuropsychology of like why that’s effective?

Neuroscience, I guess.

Kevin: Yeah, I could get into that a little bit. Happy to. Obviously your breath controls your physiology. The thing that puts us into a flight response or a freeze response, which are maladaptive states that we don’t want to get into as an executives is actually by holding your breath.

If we sat here and we held our breath for a long period of time, we would all go into a flight response. We’d obviously all want to get out of the situation. But we don’t recognize and realize that this is happening to us all the time in boardrooms, on sales calls, et cetera. We’re getting our breath taken away.

That’s called glottal stops. And the breath has the ability basically to synchronize the whole body. So when it’s, when breath is uncoordinated and breath is short and sharp or various holds rhythmic breath patterns it causes us to go into these maladaptive states. And when we harmonize our breath and when we breathe deeply in certain increments, there’s about eight different variables you can adjust with breath work.

Rhythmicity and smoothness is one of the most important and depth is important. And when you do it basically it causes the heart to enshrine with the breath. And it’s a, the heart’s a biological oscillator. So are all the other organs in your body. But the heart is the most powerful, gives the biggest electromagnetic pulse.

So when your heart starts beating at a systematic pattern, then all the other biological oscillators in your whole body start to tune to the heart. And your body goes from being a cacophony to a symphony. And once all these organs are beating together with the heart, driven by the breathing pattern, now you have mental clarity that you would never have otherwise.

When everything’s in tune, when your body’s a symphony, your brainwaves entrained with that symphony and that’s your intuition comes online. So that’s the, what’s happening there biologically when we do that.

Matt: Super helpful. That’s really cool. Like to me, I think it’s one thing to experience it.

Which there’s no comparison to. But it’s another thing to understand what’s going on. And like I can, as you’re explaining, I’m like, yep, that happened. Yep. That happened. And it’s if you’re really in tune with your body, like you can feel that happening and the difference, like I can immediately feel the difference.

And I do breath work every morning, but for three to five minutes, I don’t do 10 minutes is I’m, I might switch that up.

Kevin: We just like Dave and I start coaching sessions off with that breath work. So that we can have the most honest and vulnerable conversations about what he’s going through in the moment on the coaching call.

So we don’t jump right into coaching. We spend 20 minutes before we get up. Then, yeah, it’s, yeah, definitely. That’s why the coach I first did it with. She’s we need to have the most honest, raw, vulnerable conversation we can have today. I’m going to start you off with 30 minutes of breath work, then we’ll talk.

Nate: Is there a difference between, like I feel energized and like ready to go and get deep in this conversation. Is there a difference in what, what would need to be done in the morning versus at night if you’re trying to like decompress? I feel like if I was trying to go to bed right now, I wouldn’t be able to.


Kevin: Yeah. Yeah. This one amps you up a little bit but opens the intuition up. There is breathing patterns from any different state of consciousness you want to get into. If you’re trying to calm down, what you want to do is you want to do long exhales and shorter inhales. Not Wim Hof breathing, but this is called paced breathing, but a smooth breath in and then a longer exhale.

Smooth, shorter breath in, longer exhale. If you want to amp up, you do long exhale in, shorter breath exhale. So if you’re like getting ready for a lift. You would do a long breath in, short exhale.

Nate: Like I run in the marathon at the end of October and I’m 100 percent gonna bring this in the morning before that.

I’m going to PR. We’ll report back on how it goes.

Kevin: We’ve done this with David and the rowing challenge, top 50, what is it? Top 10 in the world for your age group.

David: It was the most incredible validation of mindset coaching. So Kevin and I decided to try this thing. And he coached me through, not a business challenge, but an actual physical, what a lot of people call the most grueling thing ever invented is the 2k row.

So we decided to go after this to be, and the goal was top 10 in the world and we can get into that. We probably want to wait, right? So we’re live.

Nate: Yeah. Let’s just go into it and we’ll do intro at the end. Yeah. We can come back and do intro and all that. The end. And I think let’s just roll.

Matt: Yeah. Okay. Tell us about the 2K row.

David: Yeah, I think Why and what? When I had already been working with Kevin, from a business perspective, solving business challenges, but when we dove into this physical challenge to be top 10 in the world, this was like the ultimate proof because there’s immediate feedback. In every workout you’re going to get a time, you’re going to get a heart rate.

And everything in that kind of training is all heart rate based. So many things went into that too. And just talking to different trainers, they’re like, Oh you’re training like a professional athlete. You’re going to need this supplementation. You’re going to need this kind of recovery that everything has changed now.

But then the mindset coaching that came in was a visualization, a breathing pattern and an auto hypnosis that you listen to while you’re sleeping. So just all in a mindset, using every, everything that we could use from a, Mindset coaching perspective, but the hypnosis, the auto hypnosis, which is the same thing they taught Mike Tyson before he would go into the ring.

Kevin: That’s the cool thing about this is all everything we’re doing is coming from professional athletics. Every professional athlete has a mental performance or mindset coach. It’s just, it’s not proliferated in business yet. It was beautiful when you did the row because it’s your executive KPIs, we can talk about those sales KPIs are easy to measure, which is great.

You can use mindset coaching there. But when you did a physical feed, it was like, okay, Now we know exactly how this is working. We can really measure it. So go on.

David: And it was a lot on, it was a lot of pressure on me because, I’m the alligator blood guy and I’m the guy that you don’t quit. You do hard things and we can do hard things.

And so I really wanted to manifest that and prove that, in a very concrete, solid way. So Kevin coached me, we did the same auto hypnosis that Mike Tyson did. I would listen to that before I would go to bed. And we, the coolest part of it was, And we trained my belief system that as the race went on, it would get easier.

And so sure enough, you might like this in your marathon running, but sure enough, I had about 700 meters to go, and this is where everybody wants to quit. Like you got nothing left. You’re done. You’ve been sprinting, just on the edge of sprinting for five plus minutes. And you’re just, all you want to do is quit.

Every organ in your body is screaming for you to set that handle down, which is the ultimate embarrassment in rowing is you set the handle down. Like you just can’t do it anymore. And this little voice came to me, during the middle of the world championships, this little voice came to me and it said, man, this is getting easier.

And we had hypnotized that and there you can see there’s a video of this. You can see a little smile on my face where I’m like. Oh, we hypnotize that. That’s pretty cool. It is getting easier. I do feel stronger because no one would argue that you’re, this is one of my favorite things in the world. Please argue with me that how you feel doesn’t impact your performance.

Please argue because no one could ever argue that. So I started to feel a little bit better and I was in 11th place with about 200 meters to go. And Kevin says this was virtual. Normally everybody goes to the same place, but it was COVID. So Kevin’s in my basement, he’s screaming at me, I gotta pass this boat and I pass this boat with about 200 meters left to finish 10th in the world.

And it just all locked in exactly how we had trained it, exactly how we had, we probably should have gone for number one, a world record or something, but

Kevin: You were competing against Navy seals and professional rowers and

David: Yeah, the one guy that beat me was the world record holder and then there were three Navy seals from great Britain, The English version of the Navy Seals, like these were the people that were ahead of me on the leaderboard.

Nate: That’s awesome. I coach a high school wrestling team and I always like preach like third period. And I can’t wait to take a few tips from what we use here to get to the third period. And that’s when you’re going to, it’s going to get easier there cause it’s going to be harder for everybody else.

But I’d like to go back, right? So you’re a lifelong entrepreneur. We’re talking about how big of a change mindset and Kevin. Has in the, these strategies have affected, your rowing, your company, where were you at before you met Kevin? Tell us.

Matt: And where you’re at today is like your top 100 health tech company in the world operating at like the top echelon of software entrepreneurship.

You’re in a top 10 rower for your age group. Kevin, you’re running the business of your dreams are growing like crazy. And I think just understanding the journey to get there. Cause I know, because I know both of you, the journey wasn’t easy. And I know our listeners, I know our listeners want to hear the struggle.

David: Yeah. It’s interesting. Cause Kevin’s teaching me that you don’t have to struggle, but my experience has always been that there’s been a lot of struggle. And when I actually, Matt has connected so many people in Indianapolis, I’m sure beyond, but there’s so many early stage companies, so many powerful connections that Matt’s made.

But I saw Matt in a coffee shop and Matt asked me, Hey I got this conference and I was in between, I was moving from progeny to Greenlight Guru. We were putting the company together, you’re working 20 hours a day. And I was like, yeah, I’d be happy to speak, whatever you want. And it turns out he wanted me to be an attendee at this conference, which I was scratching my head.

I went home and I talked to my wife. Our wives are the best version of all of us. Absolutely. And she said, Okay. So he wants you to be an attendee. I was like, yeah, I thought he wanted me to speak. She’s like, why don’t you just go and just see what you can learn. And so I love this term. I’m like, okay, I’m going to go with an empty cup.

I’m going to go with no expectations and just see, beginner’s mindset, novice mindset, growth mindset. What could I learn there? And that was where I met Kevin and that set us on a journey, where at green light guru it’s getting the plane off the ground. It always feels to me like you’ve got six people pushing a jet.

And you’re trying to get the jet off the ground by running, and you’re like, just keep pushing. We can get this jet off the ground. Everybody’s I don’t know, coach. This thing doesn’t seem to be getting any altitude and it’s hard, and so Kevin came in and. He talked to our sales team a little bit and he was working with me and I said, this stuff is powerful.

You’re changing our results. You’re changing the way we think you’re changing the way we feel. And again, please argue with me that how you feel doesn’t impact your performance. And that was the beginning of what I started to understand as. This thing can be used for much more than playing scary movies about our future.

I believe 99. 9 percent of people use this, the most powerful computer, the most powerful weapon, the most powerful machine ever created. They use it to play scary movies about, and I do it all the time, play scary movies about what the future might hold. As opposed to, man, what can we unlock? We did a breathing session, and we found out what your body’s capable of.

We’re all capable of pretty much anything. I think we’ve proven that as a species. It’s just a matter of when will you lay it down? When will you put the handle down? How far will you go before you quit? And what these mindset coaching techniques can do is push you hundreds of times beyond what you thought you could do into these entirely new different states of being.

Places where your mind goes.

Matt: I think that’s one of your secrets to success. Like you are not afraid to be a beginner. And you weren’t a beginner when you were, in that coffee shop. I knew you weren’t a beginner. You’d already spoken at a Powderkeg event at that point when you were running progeny.

Yeah. But we had several other entrepreneurs who we’re beginning to Max Yoder was in that room. Santiago was in that room. People who were starting again, all of them on their second or third company. And. It was maybe a dozen entrepreneurs and the fact that you were like, hey, so many people are younger than me, but like I’m open and same thing with rowing, Hey, I’m a basketball player, but I’m going to go be an elite rower.

David: It’s a bad idea.

Matt: And Kevin, I know when you came into that room. To share, part of why I brought you in was your experience running Slingshot. You and I had worked together during the fastest growth year. We’re Inc. 58 on the Inc. 500 list. I was running marketing. You were the CEO of the company.

And I know at the time that I brought you in, I had already left the company. So it was a huge favor for you to come in and work with these entrepreneurs but I know you were going through your own journey at that time. Do you mind sharing a little bit about where you were when you and David met?

Kevin: Yeah I guess that’s an important part of the story. I was yeah, CEO of Slingshot. And we were rapid growth. I was in my… When I met David, I was probably like in my early thirties. But most of the the growth of the company that I had was in my twenties. And it was my first. First startup, I’d done something with my buddies in high school.

We’re actually my business partners at Slingshot. And it was really my first… I found that company, I was like, wanted to buy fast cars pretty much. And I thought it was gonna be… Was yours the Dodge Viper?

Matt: I wanted a Dodge Viper. That’s right. Yeah. I couldn’t, I can never remember. Dodge Viper.

But it’s you, Jeremy, and Aaron each wanted your own dream car.

Kevin: Yeah, we get into that journey, and I did not know that, you go in wanting cars and it ends up transforming your soul, or at least that was my experience. I think entrepreneurship is the greatest teacher of almost any profession you can do.

You learn about yourself, you learn about other people, you learn about everything your limits. And I was not trained in this stuff. So once we got over a hundred employees and the pressure started to go real high, I actually had my first child and kind of, we always say babies break mindsets, but and all this stuff coming together at the same time, a perfect storm.

We had some industry issues we were facing, headwinds, all this kind of stuff coming at the same time. And it’s just kinda, I guess I transitioned into a scarcity mindset, it’s the way I like to explain it, but started to see how everything could go wrong instead of how things could go right.

And I didn’t know at that point. I used visualization and certain techniques unknowingly. I was starting to dabble with meditation and stuff, but I was lucky enough to run into a neuroscientist at that point who started teaching me the tools of mental performance. She worked with some athletes and stuff like that.

And then I also met a mindfulness coach who was a former fighter pilot in Vietnam who’d use it to cure PTSD. And those two things together, the neuroscience and the mindfulness I started to just realize great changes in myself and those I was working with. Taught some of the sales team at Slingshot and then started teaching my friends like David.

And the results spoke for themselves. I was, when I started working with Greenlight, I believe the first, we did two big runs with you guys, and we’re currently in the second one. But the first run, How much did sales go up when we started coaching the sales team?

David: The number is, I want to say 79%.

It was important to you to actually measure it.

Kevin: It was a massive jump. I know in the second run, it’s 46%. Two quarters over two quarters mindset coaching with mindset coaching without no other variables changed. Wow. But I think the first one was even greater. I remember that the first time we sat down and like I could just tell, like you could cut the tension in the room with a knife.

You were running the sales team at that point. I remember like Zach and J Jason and all those guys and I just said, guys, this was a long time ago, breathing and stuff, breath work and what not is in the mass awareness. Now it wasn’t at that point. When I sat down and we didn’t do holotropic like we just did some mental reset breathing, but some deep breathing.

And I remember just on the exhale, the last thing you do is exhale hold for a little while. I just remember like almost that experience you had in new york. Yeah, the whole sales team just breathed out and he could feel all the tension just lift off. And then I remember we had a super productive strategy session as much as a sales coach.

I was a mindset coach in the beginning. And we had this super strategic conversation about sales and I could feel the team was really starting to connect and click. And then you rose to your best as their leader. And I feel like from that point on, it was like, go time.

Matt: What are the three biggest mistakes that sales teams make that they don’t even realize is a mindset mistake?

Kevin: Dave, we have stories about this stuff. Remember the story of the objections issue.

David: Yeah. Should I tell that? So I would always list out. So you have a big call. It’s a closing call. You’re going to try to bring on a new customer. I would always list out all of the possible objections that all your rebuttals are ready.

And for me, that just, it seemed like the conscientious thing to do, the discipline consistent thing to do is to be prepared. And Kevin said, I don’t like what you’re doing there. Because you’re just bringing up all this stuff into the pot, the world of possibility. Let’s go into a call with no prep.

Kevin: I told you one thing to prep. What was that? I said, what did I tell you? Can’t remember. What did I tell you to visualize?

David: A win? Yeah. So I had been on with this customer and it was a different type of customer. It was a different segment for us for months. I want to say six months. And I come in with no prep other than, just the right expectations.

And I’m, I am not kidding you. The guy picks up the phone and he says, Hey, good news. We’re in, we’ve decided to do this. And I just stared at him. We were on speakerphone and I just stared at him like that did not just happen.

Matt: It’s almost like magical.

David: It was, it just didn’t make any sense to me because My experiences inform my beliefs and my experiences are, if you’re disciplined and consistent, high performance, you, you do your work, you work hard.

And this was just something completely new to me. So I think that would probably be number one mistake

Kevin: To break that down just to give it some clarity. What David was doing is he was priming himself, priming is a big part of mindset mental performance. Just like an athlete going on the field, getting excited.

He was priming himself for a disaster. So that’s what I identified. He’s sitting down and he’s, basically all he’s doing is flooding himself with cortisol. He’s putting himself into a stress response right before the call. This could go wrong, this could go wrong, this could go wrong. So I know that, even if he prepared really well with the objections, when he jumped on the sales call, he was going to be in such a negative state That the other person on the line through a mechanism called mirror neurons was going to pick up on David’s basically fear and anxiety and start to question green light as a solution just because David’s showing up in such a high anxiety state.

So instead of trying to go through and say, okay, we need to breathe. We do need to do objection handling, but we need to do it with absolutely no emotional tone to it. We need to look, do it like robotically and go through all that. We don’t have time. Put that aside and let’s just sit down and visualize success for a minute.

I want you to jump on that call the most confident version of yourself you’ve ever been. And it was just beautiful that after that little coaching session, David jumps on and the dude says, we’re in and David thought there was no chance in a million years he’s going to do that. You just, that’s amazing, but that was a

Matt: Mistake number one is priming themselves,

Kevin: Priming yourself for a high anxiety state before you jump on a call. Yeah. Yeah. And it was

Matt: What’s another big mistake that sales professionals frequently make.

Kevin: I would say another one that’s really important is they don’t fix their state after tough calls. So we have and this is true of founders and executives as well.

We’re doing calls constantly. We’re sales people, everyone’s in sales, exactly. And and our leadership meeting, like you have a really tough meeting and then you just go straight into the next one without resetting your state again. , getting yourself into a better state of mind so that you can, when your neurons kick in, they’re gonna feel energized by speaking with you instead of, anxious.

So what they do is they, and they carry the state forward from the one meeting to the next, to the end, to the week, to the quarter, to the misnumber.

Matt: It’s just a chain reaction. Yes. Yeah. That’s great. Any other big mistakes that you see leaders and executives or salespeople frequently making?

Kevin: Yeah, a lot of mental performance is obviously knowing how to manage your state of being. So your physiology, your emotions, your feelings, your thoughts. A lot of people normally only talk about positive thinking, but you can’t really think positively if your physiology and your emotions and everything else is off.

You don’t always need to think positively, talk about toxic positivity or whatever. But But what I can tell you is a lot of people in the moment when you’re in a call and somebody says something, you weren’t expecting, maybe they say, ah, I could talk to my board and we’re going to push this out a couple quarters, sorry, or whatever.

The next thing you say is so important in that moment. And what happens is a lot of people immediately go into a stress response right there. So they themselves go into a flight response. So you got anxiety, bumped up against anxiety. What’s that going to do? That, that, that deal is definitely getting pushed.

So if you, what happens in a flight response, your IQ goes down sometimes around like 20 points. That’s significant. And you’re burning a bunch of energy and you’re not. That relational exchange is happening between you and another person goes dark. And so you don’t want that to happen if you’re a salesperson.

So we call this holding form. You have priming and then you have holding form. Just like you’re working out on a tough squat, how do you hold your form while you’re doing that? And so there are cognitive reframes and stuff we teach for executives and salespeople alike. That in that moment when somebody says that thing you don’t want to hear, you’re cool as a cucumber.

So the mistake is they let an action somebody else takes influence how they feel so that then they reflect that back to them with more anxiety instead of keeping their intelligence up, keeping their energy in the right place and coming in with the perfect thing to say next because they’re in their intuitive mind instead of in their inner critic, their fear state.

Nate: Do you have a few tips for how to take that inventory, right? You get off a tough call and it’s you don’t want it to snowball. It’s like, how do you even, some people don’t even, I don’t even know, right? Where it’s you get tough news and you’re like, how do I really take a pulse check on how my energy is doing?

Kevin: You have to develop awareness, and awareness is best cultivated through a breathing practice or a meditation practice. If. Step one is becoming aware. We have an act framework which starts with awareness. But if you can’t become aware that you’re in a terrible state as a leader, as a salesperson, you are very vulnerable to problems.

Nate: What are key signs for leaders to know that they might be in that negative state?

Kevin: If you want to interject on this, David, but I’ll say a few things. You can say a few things, but there’s something I do want to say, but go ahead. I was going to say the first thing you want to notice is what I told you in the beginning of this, you start holding your breath.

If you notice you’re holding your breath, you, your body is forcing you into a flight response. It’s a jungle response to get away from a predator. You don’t want to be in that state on a call or in a leadership meeting. So you notice your breath starts getting erratic or shallow. That’s step one.

Keep breathing. That’s the point where you need to tell yourself you’re not in the jungle. This is a tough meeting. Keep breathing. And again, keep you there’s four quadrants. We talk about fight, flight, freeze, and focus, but you become a a judo master of moving between these States.

David: Who’s great at this are baseball players when they’re in the box. Yeah. They’re like glove, like every single baseball player you see now has been taught these breathing techniques because they’re under massive pressure with a hundred mile an hour fastball coming at them. And in pictures too, you’ll see them go through a breathing system, make sure that they’re still breathing because they are under tremendous pressure.

What I wanted to say was when we went to do the cryo together years ago, you said something to me that has not stopped bouncing around in my brain. Oh, wow. Is that, and it was it’s dangerously connected to what Kevin is saying. The words were almost exactly, I’ve talked to hundreds, which is probably now thousands of founders.

And you said. What I’ve found is the most successful founders have the ability to control their emotions. That was what you said. Do you remember saying that? No, I don’t expand on that or tell me what you think about. So you’ve talked to all these founders, you’ve seen lots and lots of successful, you’ve seen probably 10 times more than that unsuccessful.

Do you believe that? Is it emotions that, does it come from leadership? Does it come down to emotions?

Matt: Yeah I, it absolutely is. It’s, it is mental state and managing your emotional state. And it is what Kevin is saying is it’s awareness. And I think it’s a human nature to think that we are our emotions.

And to just ride that wave, it’s a, it’s like a very human thing to just be in your emotions, our emotions, to your point, it’s like a, think about what we evolved from being in the jungle, not that long ago, being in the wild west, we’re going on the Oregon trail, like that’s not that long, that’s not that many generations for humans to evolve and so emotions have served us really well as a species.

But humans really have not evolved to, I it sounds like the word I use was take control. But I think that was probably like three, four years ago. I think work with is a good word. I think today I would probably use the language more like work with and practicing mindfulness because mindfulness to me is the tool to be able to be like, Oh, I’m feeling anxious.

And rather than being like, oh, I’m anxious, I need to stop being anxious. Instead be like, I’m curious, huh, why am I anxious? That’s interesting. And observe the emotion. Rather than it, letting it consume me, and become me. Be like, I have this feeling that is anxious that is not me.

And it’s an okay thing to have. It’s being comfortable in the… The fear.

David: Yeah. I think the threat in leadership is an emotional react, an emotional reaction that undermines your leadership. And I’ll give you an example. I do this thing called daily design where I will actually live the entire day before I do it.

So the actual experience of the day is the second time you’ve done it. And at the end, after I map out the day and how it’s going to go and. The winds, I’ll do a SWAT on it. So I always do the threats and the opportunities and almost every day the threats are becoming emotionally caught up in this, which causes you to do this.

So the great thing about daily design is you see that danger before it happens. But I will say that the dangers out there for leaders are emotional ones.

Kevin: It’s funny some people are naturally more gifted at this than others, and some have had enough experience over time to learn how to regulate their emotions just on the fly.

And obviously there’s an easy framework we teach on this, but it’s funny our startup advisor at DreamFuel, his name’s Bob Gleason, a really good dude. He’s brought a company public, I think he’s been part of a, some major startup runs. And it’s funny, he’s just… He’s all, we call him Obi Wan, but he’s just cool as a cucumber.

Yeah. It doesn’t matter what’s happening. He’s always the same. He’s always got the same confidence, been there, done that mentality, nothing shakes him. And that’s that leadership that’s magnetic that people look to. And it’s beautiful that I think a long time ago, we used to think that wasn’t, I couldn’t be trained or taught.

It couldn’t be learned. It wasn’t. Just some people had it. Some people didn’t choke under pressure. Some people choked, and we learned that in sports, the beautiful thing is that you can learn how to stay cool as a cucumber in the storm through learning these techniques and tools.

Nate: So you’re talking about staying cool as a cucumber in the bad times. Does that also like on the flip side, does that mean not getting too high on the like good times?

Kevin: So this is equanimity, which is there’s so many facets to this. It’s nobody’s favorite to regulate their emotions during the highs, but those who are masters of mental performance do you don’t want to run that much dopamine because what’s going to happen is on the back end of that, you’re going to have a response.

It’s basically a prolactin, which is just a hormone that basically doles you out. And you’ll get that on the back end. So maybe you had this high, big surgery, like people saw their company and they’re like, I’m lost. And that’s all that prolactin that comes in. It was most known for after you have a baby, women have prolactin and it can contribute to a postpartum depression, but we get that too.

When you’re at the high moment, be grateful, but maybe don’t go over the top. Yeah,

David: I have a controversial take on this. Oh, okay. It’s don’t make the highs too high. Don’t make the lows too low. Yeah. Let’s make the highs really high and let’s just cut the lows out.

I like that. How about that? I’m a dopamine junkie. So if I get a chance, like if my kids win a game, we’re going to dairy queen period, like I want as much dopamine as I can possibly get. And I will accept the crash. What’s it called on the other? Prolactin. The prolactin crash. I’ll take the crash. You take vitamin B to help with that.

Kevin calls it loathing. Like you, you do enter some loathing. Yeah. But why not celebrate the quarter? Why not celebrate the month? Why not celebrate the biggest deal we’ve ever closed in the biggest way we can and to continue to drive. Good energy, good feelings, dopamine, if you get a PR for a run, let’s celebrate that.

I like to take the highs as high as I can take them. I know that’s not the, it’s not the best, it’s not the best practice.

Matt: I’ve developed a hybrid approach to this, which is. One thing I didn’t realize how I was doing is like ruining my afternoons and it was because I was waking up, I was doing breath work right before I did sunlight, direct sunlight into my eyeballs as I was working out after drinking a pre workout drink while listening to my favorite music, it was just like dopamine.

I was starting my day with just like dopamine. And then what inevitably happens, right? Every yin has its yang. So my afternoons, I’m like, I don’t know why I’m crashing cortisol.

Kevin: There’s a little bit more neuroscience on this. I think it’s worth talking about. We naturally have a dopamine dominant and serotonin dominant cycle throughout the day.

So your mornings through about 2 p. m. are gonna be dopamine dominant and then after 2 p. m. It goes serotonin dominant. Serotonin is the happiness molecule dopamine is the motivation molecule. So it’s natural to have a little bit of like a crash What you’re talking about can moderate a little bit exacerbating.

But if you understand what serotonin is and how to work with that neurotransmitter, you can just basically tune your day a little differently and do serotonin based activities after 2 p. m. And it can feel very smooth. It won’t feel like a crash. It’s oh, I get into another state of consciousness. I can do different types of work after 2 p. m. versus before 2 p. m. I know Huberman talks about this a lot and it’s just it’s important to understand it’s part of our normal cycles. It’s not that somehow failed or something. If at 2 p. m. You start to feel,

Matt: I think that’s where I got it was from the dopamine episode of Huberman was just like, maybe don’t do the pre workout mix and your favorite jams and sunlight all at the same time while you’re working out. I

David: bet it feels pretty good. Terrible.

Nate: It sounds like limiting your happiness, like I don’t want to live in a world where we’re all high highs, but

Matt: I would say I way overperform better.

Now that I’m like, okay, I’m going to listen to my favorite song, but like maybe I’m not going to do the direct sunlight while I do it and do the breath work right before I’m going to save those for my afternoon session. And so all I’m doing is just moderating. So that it is less.

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I love the talk for the founders out there that you know haven’t Thought about this like this is not top of mind for them. What are a few indicators that they might be lacking in mental performance or that just can some indicators of hey, there’s something wrong here.

Matt: They’re not thinking about it.

Kevin: Yeah, restless nights It’s a big one If you’re waking up a lot in the middle of the night and your heart’s kind of racing a little bit and stuff cortisol is actually the hormone that wakes us up in the morning You just run too much cortisol in general. A lot of executives.

We just did a big survey with you guys, which was great. A mental performance study on on executives tech companies. But, I’d say, I don’t want to quote this this sample because, we’re not releasing the data yet, but a lot of people spend who are exactly to spend, as you said, like half of their day in low productivity, high anxiety states, the opposite of flow state, which is the thing you’re trying to cultivate with all mental performance training is to stay in flow state.

But it’s that’s, you’re noticing like you’re just staring at your computer after 2 PM and you’re not getting anything done and you’re just like loathing. David said, you’re thinking about everything that could go wrong constantly. That’s a good indicator. Waking up in the middle of the night, racing heart rate that kind of brain fog you get, and you’re just like can’t even focus on things.

You know really low energy not showing up for your family and your friends and your personal life If you’re like if you’re like, I’m gonna be grinding and I’ll you know You’re losing your friends and your whole like personalized turning into a tailspin That’s an indicator that in flow state.

You probably could maintain your friendships and relationships You probably could have a decent personal life and build a successful tech company. My god. Could you actually do that? Yes, you can

Matt: David can you explain to us what? What flow state is in your own words and what it feels like to you.

David: Flow state is magic.

There’s no time and there’s three constants in a high growth software company. And those three constants are fear, anxiety, and pressure. We joke around about that. So if you want to know, if you’re feeling some of the things that we talked about earlier, if you’re feeling fear, anxiety, and pressure, but in flow state, I think you’re creative.

There’s a certain element of joy. Lots of creativity like you can get flow state in a workout You’re like, ah, what if I just switch this to that and you’re just you have great intuition Time is not really a factor. And I think what Kevin is saying is we just are capable of being there most of the time and I don’t think people realize that like that state is accessible

Matt: What are the things that were most helpful to you in finding flow more frequently?

David: I think the other big thing about flow before I move on to that is they call it the Superman gene or the Superman molecule. Yeah. Like I said earlier, you’re pretty much capable of anything and if you’re going to do it, you’re probably going to do it in flow state. If you’re going to do something that, is a really big milestone for you or a PR or a record quarter or closing a great deal.

We’re leading a great team meeting and let’s face it as leaders that is our job is to lead great meetings And we have a lot of them. They’re on this thing called zoom. I don’t know if anybody’s been on that platform

Matt: Definitely didn’t spend six hours on zoom yesterday

David: But your question was whether how do you access it?

Matt: Yeah, what are your top tips for getting in flow whether that’s Sports or at home with family or in the boardroom,

David: I’ll give you, there’s a million working out, obviously driving dopamine, all the sunlight piece that you mentioned and great getting great sleep and taking care of your, taking care of the equipment, taking care of the mechanism, all that counts.

But I think the one that trumps all of it is just incredible passion can be like, forget all that you could be painting. And just enter flow state, you could be reading and enter flow state, but it has to be something that you really care about. And that’s why, we like tough people that are smart and passionate.

When you mix those three things together, I’m not going to quit. I’m going to put my heart into this thing. And I’m able to solve some really difficult problems because I’ll engage my intellect and be smart. When you have that kind of passion and you’re driving that kind of energy, you’re almost automatically in flow state.

The other thing is you enter danger. So surfers are in flow state, all the extreme sports Ski jumpers like it’s hard to not be in flow state if you’re going to die If you miss yeah,

Nate: What about the work that you’re not passionate about? What have you got to do, whatever the task is in the afternoon, you’re like, son of a gun.

Matt: He’s trying to get out of his emails

Nate: this afternoon.

Yeah. It’s really easy. Yeah. It’s like stuff you’re passionate about. Absolutely. I love doing stuff that I love to do, but sometimes I gotta do shit I don’t want to do.

Kevin: I’m happy to take this. I do want to do a spin on that question though, which is what knocks you out of flow state?

Cause you know, you can just sit here and, Oh yeah.

Matt: What are the top things that knock you out of flow state?

Kevin: You can sit here and breathe for 20 minutes and get in flow state, without doing anything without. surfing a big wave. But I want to answer your question. Say it again.

Nate: So David said, have passion.

And it’s there are some things that I just like, respectfully I don’t want to do this right now.

Kevin: This is a really important topic. And I’m glad you asked that question, which is how do you say discipline on mundane tasks? Like it’s a lot of what we coach on, that’s very well worded.

Podcast. I thought a lot about it. We talked about dopamine there a minute ago, the molecule of motivation. So you don’t get much motivation when you’re dopamine, when you’re doing a mundane task. You find boring, okay? Dopamine likes variety. It likes, recognition. All those boring things that nobody recognizes me for, okay?

The killer app on motivation is to self reward yourself for effort. It’s easy to get dopamine when you do big wins, dude.

Nate: Did you just give ourselves participation trophies? Is that, that’s kinda where

Kevin: You have to give yourself participation, trophies ’cause nobody’s gonna give it to you.

Now if you’re a leader and you start rewarding on effort, watch your whole culture change. Yeah. But for your start, start with yourself and watch that you can pulse yourself dopamine basically as much as you want by recognizing the effort you’re putting in. So when you’re doing that mundane task and you’re like, when the hell is this gonna end?

Nobody cares about this, blah, blah, blah. And then you go, Hey Nate, great effing job. For putting your head down and getting this thing done, you know that a year from now when your podcast is, top 10 or whatever It’s gonna be because the work you’re doing right now great job

Nate: From cleaning the SD cards

Kevin: Yep, absolutely And if you just put a little post it note on your laptop It says reward yourself for effort and you do that every now and again that motivation will be continuous rewarding yourself for effort getting dopamine to be triggered on effort rather than achievement is the killer app because you can do it as much as you want whenever you want.

You stop becoming a victim to your own success because I hear a lot of founders talk about, Oh the first, 10 million, it was like party time. I, this happened for me too. This first 10 million is party time. I was recognizing the media all over the place. And all of a sudden, boom, you hit a tough point.

And you stop getting dopamine constantly force fed to you by everyone, and you start to go through some real struggles and the deficit you get in dopamine is like causes the quit response, which is basically you don’t get dopamine long enough. It triggers a circuit in the brain, which is in all mammals that causes us to quit.

So if you learn to give yourself dopamine for effort, then you can stay in the marathon when it gets really hard. Okay.

Nate: Is that mostly those rewards? Self talk?

Kevin: A lot of it is self talk. What kicks you out of flow state? Self talk kicks you out of flow state. So you give yourself the right self talk.

You’re gonna keep yourself in flow state. Wrong self talk. You’re gonna kick yourself out constantly. You’re constantly going from like a fight response to a freeze response to a flight response. You want to stay. I wish I had a graphic to show you, but you want to stay in these prime physiologies and a lot of that comes down to self talk.

David: I want to challenge that thinking too. If you’re on a quest, there are no ordinary moments. If the passion is big enough, if say you were climbing a mountain, there’s a ledge I got to go over, I got to walk down this trail, but each one of those, if the quest is big enough and you have enough passion.

There are no ordinary emails. So I want you to think about where do you get your dopamine from. And as dopamine addicts, if you’re gonna get it from the win, you’re gonna quit. You gotta get the dopamine. My son was a cross country runner and I would yell at him. We’d be at the track running like 400s and I’d yell you gotta love it right now like in the worst part of the run This is the part you have to love.

See the way you

Kevin: taught your kid it feels so good. David had an affirmation he taught his kid. Do you want to explain it to the dude?

David: Oh yeah, he fell out of the car one day and landed on his back on the concrete. He fell out of the car? Just parked. He landed on his back and I looked at him he goes he’s laying on his back on the concrete.

He goes, it’s so good.

But when you’re running, do you love running? Do you love running or lifting? Do you love the act of running the act of lifting or do you love being done? If you love being done, that’s where your dopamine is coming from. If you love actually lifting heavy weights, then it’s a completely different experience and that’s scalable.

That’s what quests are really cool. And there are no ordinary moments.

Nate: I just read a book called Chop Wood, Carry Water. And it was very all focused around falling in love with the process, not necessarily the product. And it was like, he, the guy wanted to train to be a samurai. And it was like it’s a 10 year journey, 10 year quest, but nine of it was spent chopping wood, carrying water. Like you have, until you can chop wood and carry water, then you can learn how to swing a sword or shoot an arrow or whatever. But, the biggest part was the discipline and the process and getting dopamine out of that. And I, okay you reframe my thinking there.

Connecting some dots. Yeah I love it. Cause I always preach the, you gotta fall in love with the process. You gotta love the 5. 30 a. m. mornings to go run. Like I love it now. I didn’t at first, but now I’m like, oh. And I’m like pumped to just be up and it’s fun, it’s like everyone else, the normal people in the world are still asleep and I’m Oh yeah, we’re just seven miles deep already and it’s 6am, let’s ride.

Matt: They’ve got to follow along with the process, but so do you.

Nate: Yeah, absolutely. I have a question as we’re getting close on time and, I think at first glance you talk about minds and once we got into this and I’m like, Oh my gosh, it makes a ton of sense. But what do you, what can leaders do to bring this into their culture and not get looked at funny?

David: I think Kevin nailed it that take every single successful athlete. that you’ve seen. So you’re Tiger Woods, you’re Derek Jeter’s, Muhammad Ali. Aaron Rodgers, even recently I heard, visualizes getting out of sacks. As a quarterback, you probably don’t want to get hit. As a boxer, you probably don’t want to get punched.

Those are pretty visceral right in your face. But in sports, we’ve been doing this for so long. Brees with his eyes closed, going through cadences on the field by himself. How cool is that? Why if that drives performance, then why wouldn’t we translate that same level of mindfulness to our work in software, in business?

And the best part about it is it increases the quality of each moment. It increases the quality of life. So if we’re bringing this to our teams and we’re saying, Hey, let’s introduce this mindset coaching. It’s not about neurotransmitters. It’s about the quality of life.

Matt: How can your team and your community affect your mindset?

The environment. So a lot of what we’ve talked about has been on an individualistic level. But when you think about who you’re hanging out with, who you’re going to work with every day obviously if you’re an entrepreneur you get to choose that. Who’s on your team and who’s not on your team. But you also get to choose who you’re grabbing a beer with after work or not grabbing a beer and going to cryotherapy instead.

David: All right So this is when we started Green light Guru, like you said you get to choose who’s on the team My co founder John Spear, he had been asking me to do this for three years and I said we’re only gonna hire people we like I didn’t even really know what that meant, but We built the entire company on the culture and the culture has been it’s been studied.

I’ve flown out to the West Coast to speak about our culture and your culture creates an energy. So your question was the people, the team, how do they affect your mindset, your team, your energy, your vibration. That is the mindset of your company. And Kevin’s always reminded me the company will take on the energy of the leader.

Look at any team, look at a girl scout troop. They’re going to act like their leader. A college basketball team will act like their leader. So the energy that the leader gives will be the energy of the team, so they are linked and they do provide vibration and energy in both directions. But the culture, these two things are so tightly connected between the mindset.

So here’s what we like to do. We like to define things like what are people skills, what is strategy, what is culture. So we’ve defined the culture as how the work makes you feel. It’s that simple. How the work makes you feel. So the two are definitely going to feed each other between the mindset and the culture and the people and the energy, it all works together.

Matt: What’s the neuroscience behind that, Kevin?

Kevin: Yeah, it’s funny. The first time I really saw that before I even knew the neuroscience of how it worked was just watching we were at Slingshot and we worked with Sears. And I remember they were in a really tough spot. And I remember that person that we worked with, their account manager.

For their marketing was the most negative person we would ever interact with. And I remember he would destroy the attitude of we had pods, a client success team, basically, and this gentleman would destroy the energy of that pod. And it was rolling down from his leader and rolled down from his leader, rolled down from his leader, which was obviously the hedge fund guy who bought Sears and tried to turn it around or whatever.

I don’t remember his name was. But it was interesting because we work in hierarchical organizations, at least most of our organizations are hierarchical and the energy tends to roll down through the mechanism of mere neurons. So if David’s in a terrible mindset and he gets to the group of executives his exec team, and he just, craps on them for an hour and a half, they’re going to go meet with, their direct reports, mere neurons, they’re holding the energy of the David.

Now they’re going to crap on their direct reports and then they’re going to go out and speak to the customers. And then they’re going to bring that energy and they’re going to then the customers are going to mirror on off that. And and then this is the situation at Slingshot where like the account managers affecting a whole client success pot at my company.

And it doesn’t even work. Serious as a client, but that one guy was able to affect, us.

Nate: What advice do you have for dealing with negative people? When you find yourself in those situations?

Kevin: Good question. We all deal with negativity from time to time, and we all are negative from time to time.

It’s not it’s okay. You just have to know how to handle yourself and get in those states. How to work yourself out of them.

David: What about the iron man?

Kevin: Oh, there’s a bandaid technique that sometimes I teach. Oh boy you can you can play with mirror neurons a little bit.

There’s visualization is beautiful because it impacts everything. So that whole performance chain, you got your physiology, your emotions, your feelings, your thoughts, your behaviors. And then though that chain, that performance chain sits in the environment, which was Matt was just talking about.

But when you have when you have somebody dealing with a super negative. Since the subconscious, which controls all the negative thinking in you, basically 95 percent of your thoughts can’t tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined, you can use visualization to play with the subconscious mind.

So if anybody, if I’m ever just like out of nowhere getting attacked by somebody verbally, very negative, you can do a visualization where you imagine a iron man suit closing between in front of you, between you and that other person. And for whatever reason, the subconscious will perceive it and shut down whatever empathetic skills are between you and that person, the mirror neuron effect just blanks it off, shuts it down.

And I have to do as a coach sometimes because people, are basically sometimes people bring some pretty tough stories and I don’t, I want to be an effective coach. I don’t want to just sit there and resonate with them the whole time. But yeah, sometimes you got to put your shield up and that’s a way you can do it.

And that will shut down the mirror neuron effect. So that’s like a Band Aid thing. It doesn’t really, that’s a great technique.

David: I’ve used this like money. Yeah. You’re staring at someone and they’re telling you like, what a terrible person you are. And it’s like the Ironman mask is coming over the top.

And then the way Kevin taught it was, and this is what mindset coaching does for you. You have all these little tools in your arsenal and I was taking the words and it was going into the suit and straight down into the ground and out. I can only imagine the look on my face as someone’s yelling at me and I’m like

I’m shooting this down to be like, hello, is anyone there?

Kevin: It’s, it gets, it seems weird. Cause the subconscious just will basically do whatever you instructed to do in the moment. So the subconscious actually thinks if David’s doing that visualization, the words are being grounded, and that he’s not receiving them.

It’s once you can play with the subconscious mind, it gets really fun. And I think masters of this stuff eventually realize the subconscious becomes conscious and then that’s when the real work begins, but.

Matt: There’s so many different frameworks, tools techniques. How do teams work with DreamFuel and your team of coaches?

And talk a little bit, if you’re open to it, it’s the software side of what you’re building.

Kevin: Yeah, like I said before our mission is to bring the same quality of mental performance, coaching and training that happens in professional athletics, bring that into high growth startups because the pressure is similar.

Maybe not everybody’s watching on TV, but the pressure is definitely there as we can all attest to. And we don’t know. We’ve built as much neuroscience into it as we can. Our coaches have advanced degrees in neuroscience performance, psychology, organizational psychology. And and we’ve built a suite of tools and frameworks that make it easy to understand.

We have 52 different techniques and tools, or we call them practices, that we teach. We’ll deploy those one a week to people. They’re easy, fast to learn, little micro learnings. And then I think the coach is a special thing. We do have software that, that teaches this stuff too. It’s called Intrinsic, and it measures mental performance, which is really important.

But I still that something about the coach and the human side of mental performance coaching. And we call our company Dream Fuel because a long time ago when I was meditating, I realized that my friends who considered, who continue to pursue their dreams were much happier and more enjoyable to be around than those who had dropped their dreams.

So Dreamfuel, we consider your dreams sacred. And to have somebody, a mindset coach or a mental performance coach. Whose job is to care about your dreams nearly as much as you do to be there as you go through the toughest moments of your life and your business and to keep helping you step back into your power, step back into your strength and tackle whatever challenges in front of you.

I think about the value of that sometimes because there are so many opportunities for us to quit on our journey. I don’t say, I would say founders don’t fail. We quit internally and then it just gets manifest throughout our team, but we lose it. And the mental performance coach, a good one stands side by side of the founder with the executive and keeps pointing at that dream.

David had a dream, obviously, to build a wonderful software company that improved the quality of life. He’s done that. He also had a dream to build a great arena for it was not for profit progeny. And every once in a while, just, Reminding him why he’s doing this when he’s I can’t handle this situation.

This person’s driving me effing insane. Those kinds of things happen to all of us. I don’t care how good you are at mental performance and have that other person who’s in, in the thick of it with you, some, sometimes you can’t talk to your business partners about there’s some stuff your wife’s not going to understand or your husband’s not going to understand, but just to have somebody in the trenches with you, who’s only accountable to your mindset.

That’s the thing that we do. And yes, we know the neuroscience based tools, but it’s science and it’s heart. And what I just tried to talk to you about was the hard side of this.

Matt: I’m so glad you’re doing it. And I’m so glad you’re leading your team with these tools. It’s been a really cool journey to see how it’s all unfolded.

And I know all three of our journeys are super intertwined. And now Nate, you too, now that you’re on the theme last couple of years. So it’s really cool to see we’re going to link up the podcast we did on our other show. From years ago, so people can go back and check out some of those exercises in the early days of of what you’re doing with Dreamfuel.

And I’m sure we’ll have you back on the show again to keep sharing what you’re learning.

David: Thank you, Matt. I think so many people in the community here are just so grateful for your leadership and everything that you do. And obviously I’m so grateful for Dreamfuel. So I’m just just happy to be here hanging out with you guys.

Thanks for being here, man.

Kevin: None of this would have happened without you, Matt. This conversation you link up so many people in the community, and Powderdeg does such an amazing job at that. Again, very grateful for what you both do, Nate and you, Matt.

Matt: Absolutely, man. Really appreciate it.

Thanks for being leaders in the community. Yeah. Couldn’t do it, couldn’t do it alone.

This has been Get IN, a Powderkeg production in partnership with Elevate Ventures. And we want to hear from you. If you have suggestions for our guest or segment, reach out to Matt or Nate on LinkedIn or on email. To discover top tier tech companies outside of Silicon Valley in hubs like Indiana, check out our newsletter at powderkeg.com/newsletter and to apply for membership to the powder cake executive community, check out powderkeg.com/premium. We’ll catch you next time and next week as we continue to help the world get in.

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