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[PODCAST] – Mike Zeller – Twice Born – How a Crisis Can Remake You and Going From Entrepreneur to CEO

Mike Zeller is passionate about helping entrepreneurs predominantly make the transition from the entrepreneur into the CEO role. he helps high achievers align their purpose with both the business they want to build and the life they want to live while getting unstuck and shaking off limiting beliefs.

In this episode, I am honored and privileged to have a good friend of mine, Mike Zeller, talk about his journey from entrepreneur to CEO and how he had a second chance or was twice born. he's known as one of the top entrepreneurs, mentors, business architects for small businesses. He just released his new book called Twice born, how a crisis can remake you. He talks about  how it really is about the journey and you need to understand and appreciate the journey.

Takeaways From This Episode:

  • Transition from the  entrepreneur into the CEO role.
  • Top three things an entrepreneur needs to do to become a CEO
  • Going from business operator to business owner.
  • Not asking for help soon enough.
  • Don't hire someone that's like you.
  • Going through a divine storm in your life and knowing how to navigate that divine storm.

Some people can cross that chasm between being that hustler, that entrepreneur, that jack of all trades , that just work harder than anybody else guy into the CEO but for me it was not that easy.  Mike calls it going from operator to owner and it is a true mental shift. We talk about what it takes to pivot that mindset and how sometimes it takes something really devastating to make you shift.

Transition from the entrepreneur into the ceo role.

Mike talks about  losing over $1 million in bad business breaks, poor decisions, and investments that just didn’t turn out the way he expected.
In one year, three of his businesses lost more than $100,000.  
Each. There are patterns of when we get enslaved to the operations, and one of Mike's  favorite quotes says, "Great operators get tired. Great business owners get rich".

We start these businesses or agencies because we have this entrepreneurial dream, but for far too many, we never achieve that entrepreneurial dream or it takes a lot longer to achieve it the necessary because we're slugging away as a business operator. You have to be an operations for a season but you can't stay there. The skill set you have to learn is completely different to take you to the next level.  We talk about the differences between being an entrepreneur and a CEO. Mike talks about the top three things an entrepreneur will do in the morning compared to what a CEO.

What an Entrepreneur thinks Compared to A CEO 

The first one that comes to mind, and I think it's the most important distinction is the business operator gets up thinking about, "What do I need to get done?" but the business owner wakes up thinking "What decisions do I need to make today?" Because your decisions as your business grows, make massive differences in your organization. As we grow in our business, we need to be focused more and more on making great decisions and less and less I'm doing things. I remember making that mind shift and wished I had made it sooner because it cost me a lot of money by not shifting sooner.

Going From Business Operator To Business Owner.

The next shift is that a business owner will take a lot of pride in getting things done for other people. The business operator takes so much pride in getting things done by themselves. So you as the business owner, what you end up shifting is the way you see getting things done. One of your primary goals is to actually be looking around and asking. "who do I need to hire or who's missing from my team?" You are enabling your team to be successful. So, you're better bigger goal, as an active business owner, and there is a difference.There's passive business owners where you just put money in, but you're not taking any part in the business. But as an active business owner, part of your goal is you got to build a healthy organization, and you have to enable people to perform at their highest and best. You are designing out the ecosystem and the culture of your business. Then you are also cultivating who do want to attract to enhance your company. Someone that is going to complement us and make us go to the next level. 

Not Asking For Help Soon Enough.

Mike talks about one of the the biggest mistake that he sees in  business owners and the fact - they don't ask for help soon enough. Having a coach or a mentor to help you as you make decisions, can be a lifesaver for so many business owners. Taking care of yourself and having masterminds get involved can accelerate your mind-shift. It is shocking how asking for help or slowing down can actually get you to your goal faster. Investing in yourself and your time away from work, pays series dividends and these massive dividends helps you shift from the operator to owner.

I had to learn this the hard way and I talk about the moment I had to start removing myself from my agency and start asking for help. Game-changer.

Don't Hire someone that's like you.

At the top of the list of things to think about and learn is, don't hire someone that is like you. First of all, you are already really good at being you? Why would you hire someone that's like you. Second, focus on finding somebody to complement you. There's no such thing as finding someone to replace you because you are the entrepreneur. It is your vision. If you hire someone with an entrepreneurial brain to come in and take all your information, what do you think they're going to do after they get the information? And number three, the way you replicate an entrepreneur, and nobody wants to hear this, but this is the truth is through systems and processes. As an entrepreneur, the way you replicate yourself is by putting in systems and processes to take the place of what you were doing before. Therefore, you can sleep at night knowing it's getting done properly. The goal is not to replace you with someone just like you but to find a system that can replicate what you do and then hire someone to complement you - something and someone to fill in the gaps.

As entrepreneurs, we are the risk-takers. the progress and success depend on us because we have that entrepreneurial spirit and this is our company. Remember, Ideally you want the whole organization to have elements of that spirit but it can not replace that spirit.

A Divine Storm In Your Life And Knowing How To Navigate That Divine Storm.

Mikes says, "I was frustrated, confused and exhausted. ‍I knew I had to make a change." See what Mike did to change.Mike now teaches the solutions he learned during his darkest days—solutions that changed his life forever.


Mike talks about the his divine storm. In 2017- 2019, he had a string of about seven different things that went wrong. They cost him over a million dollars. He said he was pummeled and he was like Magic Mike beforehand, when everything was great and then everything was not so great. He calls this his Twice Born stage -- it was one thing after another -- loosing 50,000 and then 100,000 and so on. Until I had to surrender. there were plenty of decisions he would have made differently, but there were also things that were outside of his control. sometimes like that divine storm and mass and Kip writes about and claimer power of like many goes through. Sometimes you go through a divine storm in your life and this is this is a journey of like how I navigated that divine storm like I went through in the depths of it, you know, I'd have weeks I'd wake up I'm like, man, how am I going to frickin pay my team this week? And those moments of like, dude, where's the cash coming come from and it might be sometimes it felt like it was seven weeks in a row but worried about payroll or seven. Yeah, I mean, the where I'm at now I'm so grateful for it. But you know, when you're in the season of hell, it's it's no fun 

Quality life for me that's that's everything now my identity got so caught up in in being the CEO and the entrepreneur you know, the move mountains no one can do it better than me. I don't know. I'm not a million different little sayings. I could probably fall in, you know, fall into that category. But for me, it's, you know, with all that stuff that happened to me in my personal life, then I had some health issues as well. it's not about going big for me it's about really moving the needle for a smaller group of people really want to make a real substantive change people's lives.


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