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Oct. 2, 2022

717. "Always have something on your calendar to train for and look forward to." Manage stress, avoid stagnation, and beat burnout. w/ Alan Stein Jr.

717. "Always have something on your calendar to train for and look forward to." Manage stress, avoid stagnation, and beat burnout. w/ Alan Stein Jr.

Stress, stagnation, and burnout are something that we all deal with. Luckily, we have speaker and author Alan Stein Jr. to help us manage, avoid, and beat all three. Today it is my privilege to bring Alan to The Sales Life to share his excellent book, "Sustain Your Game."

In today's episode, you will learn: 

  • What are some of the lessons Alan has drawn from doing stand-up comedy? 
  • "Time is not replenishable, but energy is." How can you manage your energy to be more productive with your time?
  • Stagnation is a loss of momentum. How do you get momentum back and keep it going throughout?
  • "Burnout is a splintering of the sacrifices you're making and the meaning of your work." How can you align your life with what you do and why you are doing it?
  • "You can't be fulfilled if you don't know what it looks like." How can you daily live a life of fulfillment?

This is just the beginning of our rich episode! (We even talk about Uncle Rico and Air Jordans.)

Thank you, Alan, for coming onto The Sales Life.

Listen to the end for a special treat!

Find and connect to Alan Stein Jr on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Buy his books or have him at your next event at www.alansteinjr.com. 


The greatest sale you will ever make is to sell you on you. You're more than enough. Never settle. Keep Selling. 

Transcript

today on the sales life podcast. the little silent thing I say to myself every night before I go to. I say, Alan, you just traded 24 hours of your life for the progress you made today. Who are you happy with that trade? If the answer is yes, I'm happy with that trade. Then I get a really peaceful night's sleep on the very rare occasion. That I'm not happy with that trade. It wasn't my best day. I didn't show up as my best self. I made some bad decisions. I said some things I shouldn't have said because I'm fallible and I'm human that will happen. I give myself some grace and some compassion, and I just remind myself that tomorrow's a new day. You get another crack at this thing and let's do better tomorrow. And I still. Get a restful and peaceful night's sleep. This is the sales life. I'm your host Marsh Buice and I created the sales life because I believe the number one skill that you need in life to embrace uncertainty, handle the adversity and never settle. Is the ability to sell, but you don't have to be in sales to learn how to sell. I'll take the skills that I've learned in the sales profession, and I'll show you how I've applied these to every area of my life and how you can too. So if you're trying to get back up after life has slapped you down, or you're trying to move up because you feel like your life is kind of stalled out. If you wanna have more, do more, more. Then you're gonna have to learn to sell more. I'm so grateful that you are back here with me. Thank you for making the sales life a top 3% podcast in the world. Do you realize there's over 5 million podcasts that are out there today and I consider it an honor that you've taken some of your time. To be here with me today. So if this is your first time here, welcome to the sales life. We're gonna get you in, get you out and get you on with your life. If you've been here a time or 10, welcome back now, before we rock out what today's episode, I want you to be thinking. About what ideas or words stood out to you most. Would you share this with others on your social with the hashtag TSL? This will help support and grow the show. All right, folks. I got a special, special treat for you today. My guest today is Alan Stein, Jr. . He's the best of the best he's worked with the best of the best people like Steph Curry, Kevin de Durant, Kobe Bryant, just to name a few. And now he is a, prolific public speaker, just a great guy and a great dad as well. So Alan Stein welcome to the sales life podcast. Oh, it's so great to be with you. Thank you for such a, a kind and generous and thoughtful intro. This will be a fun con. Absolutely man. Alan, I've been following you since February of 2019 when you were on Aubrey Marcus's podcast. Oh. And, five wishes was the thing that, stood out for me about, about, about Steph Curry and, , I've just been a fan, and a follower , and a student of your work. So it's just really a privilege that you're, um, That you're able to call on today. Appreciate that. No. Well, I appreciate you sharing that. I, I didn't know how we had become, uh, connected on the Innerwebs if you will. Yeah. Uh, love the stuff that you put out. So that feeling is very mutual, but I appreciate you providing clarity. I always love knowing. Where someone comes across my work or my message or, or how maybe that's impacted them. So thank you so much. You bet. And you had the Larry legend shirt on, man. You had the green shirt. I never will forget yeah, that was a classic. I, uh, yeah, love that shirt. Huge Larry Bird fan. Yeah, absolutely. Well, uh, before we get into your amazing book and I don't use the, I don't use the term amazing lightly at all for you. If you can see, man, I've got, I've got coffee stains on the front of the book. That's how much I've been. I've been using it. But before we rock out with your book, sustain your game. And it really rocks all three boxes that every one of us, are confronted with day after day, Alan, , I, before we get into that, it, it's my understanding, man. You got into, to stand up comedy. Tell me about that, man. Yeah, well, I'm, I'm very much in the infancy stages of it. , as we're recording this right now, I've, I've actually only attempted to perform standup comedy twice. I did, what they call a, a bright new faces, three minute segment at a local comedy club, this past Saturday, where there were actual, real professional comedians that were on the, the ticket aside from me. And then I actually did my first open mic night, , last night. Last night was pretty rough. Uh, this is gonna be an interesting journey to say the least. I'll say because I'm a newbie at, at this, I'm not a newbie to stand up comedy. I've been a lifelong standup fan. I mean, I, I have vivid memories, of. Being in my basement prior to middle school and listening to vinyl albums of Steve Martin and, and bill Cosby and George Carlin. And just remember just being mesmerized. And even at that young age, still being able to connect with their sense of humor and would just laugh myself silly, now progress, several decades and I have devoured so much standup comedy and I still do to this day. One because I enjoy laughing, which I don't think makes me unique, but two, I really study the art and the craft of, of the best standup comedians in hopes that that will, uh, allow me to be a, a more captivating corporate keynote speaker. My keynotes tend to skew more towards motivational and inspirational. They're not quite as humorous, although I do try to add some levity and humor whenever. But it's more about the art form, uh, of learning how to deliver a message, and I, I study their timing, their rhythm, their tonality, their physicality, their facial expressions, cuz I do believe. Standup comedy is about the purest form of being a professional orator. And, uh, yeah, so I love it. So I thought what a ho what a great hobby for me to pick up here in my mid forties is to give this a try and, , like anything, your first few at bats are probably gonna be pretty rough. But if you're willing to stick it out, which I am and make that commit. Then it will only get better from here. So yeah, this, this is gonna be fun for sure. I don't know that I'll be funny, but I know this will be a fun pursuit, nonetheless. Well, I like the way, Alan, though, that most people given the scenario, how you just framed all that would not use the term fun. Most people, especially at your level of success. You've had great success. And I love your relationship that you call this, fun. Even though you've SU you've been able to sustain success in other areas as well. Well, I'll tell you what I actually find enjoyment in now at this point in my life. And , this is matured significantly over the past 15 to 20 years. , I find progress fun. Like I, I like doing something that I'm somewhat of a novice and a rookie at and studying it, putting forth my best effort to do the best I'm capable of. But then watching progress. And, you know, another example would be when the pandemic first hit in, in March of 2020, um, and the, and here in the DC area and all of the, the gyms and health clubs shut down, I decided to start running and, running has been a part of what I do in some capacity, as a former basketball player, but I've never really been into long distance running. And I remember going for my very first run, this would've been towards the end of March, 2020. And boy, I was sucking wind after a mile. Like I, I ran a mile and, I was fit in other ways. I mean, I don't wanna act like I was a slob. , I was really into strength. Training was doing hot yoga at the time. So I had a different level of fitness, but , my cardiovascular and my running fitness. Was abhorrent, at least for me and I had trouble running a mile. So that was another example of something. I said, you know what, I, I'm gonna dive into this. I want to get better , at long distance running and, started making a commitment to doing that. And from March of 2020 to labor day of 2020, six, seven months, uh, I ran my first ultra-marathon, and ran 38 miles. , and. Yeah. So I enjoy progress. I enjoy tinkering with things and trying to get better. I'm still not considered an elite long distance runner by any stretch, nor do I think I'll be considered an elite standup comedian, you know, after six months to a year. But I like the process and I like trying new things and I still do plenty of things. Where I'm in my strength zone, I'm in my element , and can derive my confidence from being really good in those areas. Mm-hmm so it gives me some freedom to try some things where maybe I'm not so good. You're being humble too. So in six months or so you, you go from barely making a mile to an ultra. So you do the last man standing, you do a 26 hour Navy seal. Simulation you go rim to rim, in the grand canyon. And then the, what was it? The hood, the coast, , I mean, dude, it's like every time I open up my Twitter app, I'm like, damn, there it goes again. well, I, I appreciate you, you following so closely and mentioning those, you know, I have a philosophy that I like to always have something on my calendar. To look forward to, but also have something on my calendar that I need to be training for or preparing for now with my current craft as a keynote speaker. I always have things on my calendar that I'm looking forward to and preparing for, because there are keynotes that I need to deliver. But I'm looking for something outside of that. And most of the things I have chosen up to this point have been heavily reliant on the physical component. Yeah. Now of course there is a mental and emotional component. To a Navy seal challenge to an ultra-marathon to, to some of the other events you made, but they were primarily physical. That's what drew me into trying stand up comedy, is that there really is no physical component to that. It's all mental and emotional and, , yeah, I mean, it's just amazing. I've been doing this less than a week and I've already seen a huge difference between going to an actual comedy show and kind of being a featured newbie. Versus going to an open mic at, at the back corner of a restaurant where half the people there aren't even paying attention to the person with the microphone. Yeah. It, it was humbling for sure. Yeah. , and, but this is good practice for me, because I, in full transparency when I left the open mic last night, , I felt a bit frustra. I felt a bit dejected. I started to question like, what am I getting myself into? And then I took a deep breath and remembered, this is exactly why I'm doing it to make myself uncomfortable, , to grab a microphone and say some things. And get a very tepid response where no one laughs so that I can go back and tweak that material and it will only get better from here. And that's what I'm really trying to work on is the skillset of resilience and grit and, and not worrying about what other people care or what other people think, but kind of being on my own pursuit and, and it won't be easy. And I don't wanna pretend like I've mastered any of this. Yeah. This stuff is incredibly challenging for me. And if anyone listening right now is thinking, I'd be scared to death to get up and try and open mic. You're not alone. I'm still petrified of it, but I'm just leaning into it and doing it anyway. Yeah. Yeah. It reminds me of, as you're talking about speaking in the back of the restaurant, it reminds me going back to Steve Martin's book and, and at the beginning, when he was talking about his come up, and he said, I played anywhere. He's like I played in the salad bar. I played at the play Playboy club. He said I played anywhere, but I could imagine just listening to what you're saying is. Alan, if you can be able to sustain the, the mental cadence and be able to play in those kind of scenarios, just imagine taking, you know, that scenario and now you'll be able to play in any room, even when you don't get the right feedback as a public speaker. Being able to feel what you're feeling now and being able to take that onto a bigger stage, dude, you're gonna be lethal. Oh, I, I appreciate that. And to me, the, the stark contrast between the two right now is what I'm finding most challenging. I'm incredibly thankful that when I have an opportunity to deliver a keynote. You know, I'm, micd up, I'm on a stage. I'm well lit and thankfully, most people are quiet and they're listening attentively. They're engaged. Right. , in many of my keynotes, if I pause for a few seconds, You can hear a pen drop, whereas you compare that to last night's open mic. As I said, half, you can hear a fork drop oh man. Well, last night you you've got the, the bartenders in the back. You can hear them shoveling ice. You can hear them blending up, margaritas, half the people in the audience don't even know a comedy show is going on. Right. But the other half are the other open mic. Who understandably, aren't real concerned with what I'm saying on stage, cuz they're staring at their material and their notebook or on their phone. Yeah. Cause they want to be prepared when they go up. So it wasn't really a captive audience, but that, that, that disarray and that chaos is part of what makes stand up so unique. And as Steve Martin said, and you just highlighted, so insightfully, that's part of what makes this craft hard. I forget that it's easy for me to deliver a keynote. When everybody's listening, everybody's paying attention and everyone's leaning in it's much harder when that's not happening. , and I remembered that on my drive home last night, and one of the things that I have to do a better job of, and I will improve, like even, and I only did like four minutes last night, but about midway through when it was clear that no one was really listening and no one was laughing, I could feel myself getting frustra. I could feel myself getting irritated. Like I wanted to tap on the mic and throw out a few expletives cause I felt like people were being rude for not listening. Yeah. Right. Um, and I have to learn how to overcome that. I, and that's why I'm doing this. I have to learn to be so resilient. And so Bulletproof. That I've got the mic for four minutes to practice my craft. And it doesn't matter to me if you listen, it doesn't matter to me. If you laugh, I'm gonna do what I need to do to try to get better at this. And so I, I'm still very, very new in this and, and this will be a work in progress for a while. Yeah, definitely. , listening to your podcast with, with your buddy, Robert Mack. And those of you who have not subscribed to. Alan's podcast. I would, advise you to do so. Just some great nuggets. It's raise your game podcast. Just type in his name and you'll see all of his stuff, but , what Robert was saying too much to your point as well is the, the sets that he does elsewhere are the things that, and the open mics or the are his material that he can kind of work on. And then he can take that into the keynote. And that's the part that actually, that butters his bread. Absolutely. And that's why I'm, I'm looking forward to, to continuing to commit to this process. That is something that makes standup rather unique, is the fact that there are plenty of opportunities here in the DC area, every single night. Mm-hmm , To get on stage, have a microphone and to try new stuff out. I don't really have that opportunity as a keynote speaker. There's no open mics for keynotes where you can go tell an inspirational story. sure. So anytime I'm trying new material for a keynote. I'm trying it in my home with nobody else around and , I'm writing and I'm rehearsing. I still go through the, but you don't get to test it out until you're actually in front of a live audience. And whether you're playing music, doing standup comedy or giving a keynote. There is a difference between doing something in complete solitude and actually having an audience, very similar, , to sport. I mean, there, there's a difference between me going to the playground and putting up some jump shots. And me being in arena filled with 18,000 people watching me play a game that there's different levels there. So, , yeah, this will be a fun opportunity. And. To me the most important part. I, I have no aspirations of being a professional comedian. Uh, I don't have any, , delusion that Netflix is gonna call me in a year and ask me to, to do a special, uh, I'm doing this so that I can, can learn to get better at something. Work on a very specific craft, but most importantly, learn to be resilient and Bulletproof enough that I can take the bumps and bruises and the, the frustrations of trying to get good at something. And I'll be able to apply that to any area of my life. Yeah. Great. Great. Didn't mean to get too far in the, in the weeds on that, man. I'm just fascinated that up. I've been dying to talk about it. That was fun. I just, I'm just fascinated on that. So let's rock out on your book, man. This is, uh, sustain your game. Like I said, from the intro, it's just, it is just an amazing book because it, it hits on three points that we can all identify with, which is the stress, the stagnation, and also the burnout itself. And I love how. Alan , you really segmented these because that makes it more so of a reference. So if someone is in a stressed, moment, that is the first section they can reference to the second section. If you feel like you're kind of stagnant, then that is something. But then also if you're burned out, , then you can reference to that. Did you pillar that off, for that purpose? Absolutely. And for a little more context, if you go to my previous book, my first book raise your game. There are also three sections with five chapters each, and there's a section on for players, for coaches and for teams. , and I just use that in air quotes, because. In all of our lives, even if we don't play sports, we are the player. At some point we are the coach at some point mm-hmm and we are part of a team, even if we're just talking about our families. And it's the same thing. Uh, I would want someone to be able to dive into this section that, that either they were struggling with or had the most meaning with at that time. Yeah. But I also believe we ebb and flow between all three. Throughout our lives. And it's the same thing with stress, stagnation, and burnout. One of those, might be, more pressing at the moment for someone, but I think we go through all three of them in different ways and different stages at different ages, at some point, and yeah, you know, with both books, , I'm not coming from a place of mastery on any of this stuff. This is all stuff that, that I'm still working on. And that was the reason I wrote sustain your game, because stress, stagnation and burnout. Or things that have plagued me and challenged me it's points throughout my life and still do. But now I've made progress in coming up with frameworks and systems, to manage them better. And that was the reason for writing it. So ultimately I write the books that I need to read myself. Yeah. But I do so in full service of others because I recognize that. If it's something I'm struggling with, you know, there's 8 billion people on this planet. The chance of me being the only one experiencing those things is, is almost zero. So I know that if I'm feeling stressed, stagnant, or burnout here in my mid forties, other people are as well. So I write the books in full service of others, but it's a very therapeutic and liberating form. Yes. , for me to work on that's how it is for the podcast. For me, the, the things I talk about, I, I, I tell people all the time, the podcast isn't for you, it's for me. , because it's very therapeutic for me, it really keeps me in check. But then also, I realized back in 2017, when I started this, that, whatever I'm going through, someone else may be going through something and they can just pick up on this. , or even, my kids later on. Of course they don't listen to dad all the time, but this may be something that when I'm gone, they can reference back to, and have just a catalog of information that, , that they can reference to, , as well, much to your point with your books itself. So let's talk a little bit about, the, the first section and the first section was, time and energy and one thing, man, that just like slapped me, left and right. Alan was you said that time is not replenishable, but energy is, and I never really segmented the two time and energy because it's the cookie cutter recipe that we all say, Alan. You know what, buddy? I, I just don't have time. And I want to ask it to you is how can I manage my energy? So that way I could be more productive with my time. Oh, man, I love the way you frame that this will be fun to dive into. So, to be clear, I can't get back yesterday. Yesterday is in the books. Yesterday's newspaper has been printed. There's nothing I can do to get back yesterday. , however, if yesterday I didn't have very much energy and I was feeling sluggish. I can actually replenish that. So I can have more energy today than I had yesterday. If I'm willing to, emphasize and reinforce the importance of self care and doing some of those things. So that's the whole point of, , once time, once that sand in the hour glass is dropped to the bottom, you can't get it back mm-hmm , but we can absolutely make sure the sand that's still at the top of the hour glass. Is as effective and as efficient as possible. And that's what we're talking about from an energy standpoint. , so I look at energy since it's replenishable is, is something that needs to be done. Every single day. And, we've, we've got different areas where we can, recharge our own batteries, the mental, the physical, the emotional, , spiritual, if that's appropriate. , and there's components of that, that we can, we can actually build into our. Our daily schedule. So for me, a physical is a big part of it. And I do believe that even though I've segmented them, they all work together holistically. Yeah. I believe that if you take care of yourself, physically, , if you get proper sleep, you stay hydrated, you eat clean, you move your body. If you do those things, it will absolutely improve your mental ACU. Your focus, your memory, your temperament. When we're tired and we're sluggish and we're hungry, which is where the term hangry comes from, we're usually irritable. Which now that's gonna start to degradate some of our relationships and maybe the way we speak to our children. So all of these things are interrelated. , but I'm make an effort, as consistently as possible. Certainly not perfect, but I'm making progress. To refill each of those silos that I can. So I do things for my physical health. I do things for my mental wellness. That's primarily what I read, watch and listen to, , I have very high discernment with what I expose myself to, very much the same way I do with what I eat. I choose not to eat fast food very often. And I also choose not to fill my brain and my mental space with what I would consider junk food. So I, I, I have very high discernment and only want to read, watch and listen to things that fill my bucket. Same thing from an emotional standpoint, I try to make sure that I'm, I'm forging relationships with people that nourish my soul and help me in that area. So, , if we can do those things consistently, and what I've found is when we need to do them is usually on the book ends of our. Our morning and our evening routine, that tends to be the time where we have a little bit more control, because I know during the day, we tend to have less control if you work, a typical nine to five job, you're at the mercy of whatever your boss or your team needs you to do that day mm-hmm And same thing for the rest of us. So for me, when I know the meat of the day is gonna be fairly. Scheduled and chaotic, what can I do on the book ends to keep my bucket full? And yeah, I make the time in morning and evening, , to do the things that I know, recharge my battery and give me energy. Yeah. And that's well put, , I have four or five, what I call beats that I put into my day. These are my dominoes. So I'll put these beats in that are something that no matter. Hellish the day goes because I'm in the sales industry. So no matter how bad things may go, if I hit these four or five beats, no matter what, then I'm, I'm still good because I tell everybody you come first, if you take care of you, then everybody else gets the best representation of you. So do you put in a few triggers or a few points in, so that way you can win the day by noon? Absolutely. And I love that you said that because I. Unconsciously and inadvertently our society gets that backwards. They tend to think that if you're making time for yourself, that you're being selfish. Yeah. But I would argue you're actually being selfless for the reason that you just stated, you're now allowing you to be the best version of yourself, which means you'll be a better. You'll be a better parent. You'll be a better sales professional. Mm-hmm you can better take care of your clients and customers. So yeah, we, we have to take care of ourselves first and we need to recognize that and others and encourage others to do the same. So for me, every day of my life is slightly different. I mean, I, I crave and I love structure and I love consistency. I'm a planner. I'm a. I like my routines. But some days I'm working from home and, and don't have a lot of things on the schedule, so I can use that time to, to create new content. Other days I'm working from home and I'm scheduled back to back to back with calls and with podcasts, some days , I'm on the road traveling for a speaking engagement. Some days I have my children some days I don't, because I'm very amicably, divorced and split custody with , my ex-wife. So every day is slightly. Different mm-hmm but what I can control is the consistency of my morning and my evening routines. And I also wanna highlight how important it is to have an evening routine. I think morning routines are, are what's sexy, and they're what gets all of the headlines and all of the clicks. But your evening routine is what allows you to properly wind down so that you can get the restful sleep required to be high energy the next day. Wow. And for me, my morning routine, the first hour of every day, I try and do something that engages me, mentally, physically and emotionally mm-hmm , I try to do some type of movement. Uh, I do something , to, learn something new, whether it's a podcast or a video and something that engages my heart and emotion. And, , if I can do that is kind of the foundation of my day. The rest of the day, there's a much higher chance that the rest of the day will be both successful, and productive, but even more important than both of those things, it will be enjoyable. Yeah. , what's the evening routine for you? I never even thought about it cause I do not have a evening routine. What's that for you? So this may surprise people because a lot of people label me as a motivational speaker. And I doubt you hear very many motivational speakers saying that they watch a lot of Netflix. Uh but I actually do now a good portion of what I consume as we teed up at the beginning of this conversation are stand up comedy specials. Yeah. But I, I actually watch probably more shows on the streaming services than people would think. And I do so for two reasons, one, , it allows me to kind of turn my brain off my thinker brain off and just enjoy the content. And that's what helps me unwind, but very similar to my fascination with, with standup comedy. I have a deep fascination with acting with directing, with cinematography, with everything that goes on to put on either a TV show or a movie. , I've always been fascinated by that. So a lot of these things that I'm watching, I'm not only watching them for the storyline. I'm watching them cuz I wanna learn about character development and storytelling and writing and , from a cinematography standpoint, why did they film this angle for this one shot? Why was that such a, a deliberate and distinct, uh, choice that they made? , so. It's actually kind of a learning environment while I'm watching. Yeah. And it, it allows me just to kind of turn my mind off mm-hmm uh, and then yeah. Get a peaceful night's sleep. Yeah. It it's cool that you say that because I'm, I'm a lot the same way where, you don't have to feel your evening or every waking minute with, another book, if that's what you want to do. But yeah, for me to decompress. I'll watch documentaries , and I'll watch different series and I'll watch, , stand up comedies and stuff like that. But it's funny, even though in your mind, you're saying, okay, I'm going to de decompress. It, actually, the material that you get in, I find that I can reference back to it. It just drops in there and is like, dude, I could run with this and some thought on another podcast or share it with someone else. Later on, it's just kind of a, a low consequence kind of thing. Absolutely. And I've always been a believer. And, and I know I said this earlier, that that I've been studying standup comedy as a way to improve my skillset as a keynote speaker. I do the same thing with hip hop. I do the same thing , with watching these actors and directors and cinematographers, , I like studying high performers in other industries to see what it is that they do to work towards mastery of their cl their craft. And while, as I said, I have no desire to be a professional standup and, and I can pretty much guarantee you, I will not be a professional actor. I can still learn from those different genres. , and I love watching, one, one of the best examples is somebody like Dwayne Johnson. If you go back and you watch some of his earlier movies, Respectfully, they're almost painful. And he'll even tell you, he was not a very good actor when he first started. Yeah. But then he got acting coaches and he got in some reps and, and now I really enjoy the movies that he's in, whether it's something comical like Jumanji or it's something a little more serious, like the fast and the furious, he has gotten so much better at his craft as an actor, you know? And that's above and. The brand that he's built and the following he's amassed and as an entrepreneur, what he's been able to accomplish. When I'm watching and studying a guy like that, it's not for me to try to be the rock, it's to learn from the path that he took to work towards mastery in those different areas. And, and I wanna work towards mastery, in the areas of my life that are most important to. And that's, that's so good. He's not one and you're not one to, to let stagnation, kick in which, leads into my next point of the stagnation part of it in your second section of the book itself. Alan, do you think that momentum or the loss of momentum would be another word for stag? For sure. And, and, and ceasing to continue momentum is what actually is the impetus for stagnation. And there have been a couple times where I admittedly had been stagnant in my life. I remember, , The summer after my junior year of high school. And I was a basketball player. I had a really good summer after my junior year. We had a summer league. I went to some different camps. I mean, I was playing the best basketball that I'd ever played in my life now, relative to players that went on to play at duke and Carolina and playing the NBA, wasn't anywhere close to that from an output level. But as far as I was playing the best basketball that I could play, and unfortunately, immaturity and lack of life experience. I allowed the stagnation bug to bite me then. Mm. Cause I was very. Very complacent going into my senior year. In my mind, I put on the cruise control and thought I've arrived. I just crushed it this summer. I'm gonna have a great senior year just by default that I'm just gonna ride off of the momentum of the summer. And I'll have a great senior year. And I stopped doing all of the little things that allowed me to have a great summer in the first place. I stopped getting to practice 30 minutes early to put up extra shots. And I, I stopped staying after practice an extra 30 minutes to work on different moves or my handle, that I was doing the bare minimum and it showed I had a very mediocre senior. Compared to what I believe I was capable of. And that's just an example of, of me allowing that to happen. No one did that to me, that was self-imposed now I've forgiven my previous self because, I was a knucklehead at 17. I, I thought I had all the, how you learn. Yeah, exactly. But I'm, I'm really cognizant now of doing the best I can not to let that happen. Yeah. And this is why I'm so proactive. About doing something like standup comedy, because I don't want to get complacent or stagnant in my craft as a keynote speaker, , and it's easy to fall into that trap. Mm-hmm I mean, I know there are portions of my keynote, certain stories and certain lessons that I've been telling for years, and I've been telling them for years because I believe in them and I believe in the principles behind them, but I have to make sure that that, that part. Just becomes automatic. Yeah. That I never put a cruise control on that. I go into every keynote saying, all right, what, what can I do to hit this target and have the biggest impact on this specific audience and treat every single keynote as if it's the last one I'm going to do. And, , yeah. So I'm, I'd like to believe I'm at least aware of, of stagnation, but to insulate myself even further. I have an inner circle of people, um, that I give full permission to hold me accountable. If they think I'm getting stagnant, if they think I'm just putting on the cruise control. So it's not, it's not something I'm immune to. And I don't think it's something I'll ever be cured from. It's something I have to be paying attention to. I've heard stories of folks who have, gone sober and, and have been a part of AA. And, and they'll be the first to tell you, I just focus on this one day at a time that I'm, I'm not gonna tell you that I'm never gonna drink for the rest of my life. That's too overwhelming. But I can tell you that I'm not gonna drink today. And, and while those are very different scenarios and I would never wanna to undermine the importance. Great metaphor though. Yeah. That's how I view it is. I'm gonna do the best I can not to be stagnant today. Yeah. So what can I do to learn something new or to work on my craft today? Yeah, I think Alan routine can be in a blessing and a curse routine is what got you to where you are today, but routine is also, what's gonna get you to where you need to. Yes. What are some ways that people can spot that their routine is becoming complacent and then what are also some ways that they can, Get the momentum or get the routine going back, going again. Well, well, for me, as I mentioned earlier, I, I love routine and I love structure and I love consistency. So I I'm so glad you brought up that point because that does make me incredibly vulnerable to being trapped and stagnant by my own routine. Now I'm very thankful that, you know, my morning routine today. Is a little bit different than it was a year ago, two years ago, five years ago. So I still have a routine, but I tweak it and, and I tweak it because I'm always trying new stuff. Whether it's a new. Diet to follow a new workout program. I'm turned on to new podcasts and new books. Like I'm always trying to switch up the inputs because the inputs, what we consume and what we read, watch, and listen to and what we eat and so forth, uh, directly impacts and dictates our outputs. Yeah. So in order for the outputs to not get stagnant, I want to constantly be mixing up. The inputs there's a quote that, that I love it for the simplicity. And I also love it cuz I actually find it kind of funny. It, it just says the key to success is do more of what works and do less of what doesn't . I mean, doesn't get any more basic than that. Yeah, no doubt. So, so I'm constantly reflecting and, and introspective to say, all right, what things in my life are working pretty. And how can I continue to double down on those and what things in my life aren't working very well and how can I either mitigate those or eliminate those completely. Yeah. So I'm constantly shuffling and, and I also realize, that with these different stages and ages that we go through, things need to change. Yeah. I mean, there's no way that I can have the same morning routine at 46 that I had at 26. Right. My life is incredibly different, you know? Right. That I'm the father of three, and as my kids get. They'll have different needs from me. So these things are always going to ebb and flow and I kind of like that. So I love having the guardrails and the framework of a morning routine. Mm-hmm I love having the freedom and the autonomy to switch up that routine. And part, part of it has to do with, me picking these different events to train for, , training for an ultra-marathon. Is different than training for a Navy seal experience. Yeah. Which means what I do in the mornings for workouts. Now I'm starting to vary that and that that's what keeps it fresh to me. Yeah. I just say that you have to be average in order to be great. And so build your averages in, and then you're gonna raise your game, , from there, so if I take something from you, Alan, and I say, okay, I'm gonna do what Alan does. And it doesn't work for me. Then that's okay. Let go of it. You do not have to freaking hold onto that. You know, Eric Thomas wakes up at 3:00 AM in the morning.

You don't have to wake up at 3:

00 AM in the morning if that doesn't work for you. So try it. You're kind of like a, a chemist man, you go into the lab, you work on a few different things and if it doesn't work, you're like, well, or if it works for a season, but you're great about just releasing it and going on to the next thing and then releasing any consequence or beating yourself up about it too. Oh, I love that you went in that direction. That is so insightful, cuz you are correct. There are occasionally, especially on social media, some perceived gurus that will tell you this is the morning routine that everybody needs to follow. And I've never, I've never believed that we, we all inherently, , are, are different. We're very unique. Now. Certainly there are some, some big pillars that unite all of us as human beings. Um, but generally speaking. We have so many nuance differences. , we have personality differences. We have learning style differences, you know, even introvert versus extrovert will, will change how you see the world and, and how you need to best prepare. So, I love the idea of, I, I see somebody like Eric Thomas and he, he suggests doing something and I try it and then I see does that fit for me? And if the answer is, yes, I'm thankful if the answer is no. I'm equally thankful cuz now I can cross something off the list that doesn't doesn't work for me. And, and even with, with the Eric Thomas example, , if he chooses to get up at

3:

00 AM for the rest of his life and it works for him, that's wonderful. Correct. Maybe for a season that will work for me, you know, maybe I've I've. I've got a deadline or a project I'm working on or a launch or, new parents can certainly appreciate the difference between having a newborn. Yeah. And having a child that's a little bit older. So these things are gonna, they're gonna cause you to shift and cause you to change. There have been times in my life where I would set my alarm for four 30 in the morning and I would hit the weight room as soon as I got. Now I get up more around six 30 or seven and, and have a slightly slower ramp up. But it, it works for me that works for me then. And this is what works for me now. And I think the key is having the awareness and the flexibility to try these different things and that's also what makes life fun, you know, that's what keeps things interesting. But, the, the only. Through line that I would pull from that is, I do believe everyone should create a morning and an evening routine. Yeah. And create it with intention, but do what's best for you. And the only way you'll know what's best for you is by trying a bunch of different things. Yeah, amen to that. Amen to that. Well put man, you just, you just always nail it. So let's talk about reinvention, because , you are a man of reinvention. Like I said, from the get go, you, you had , a great business going and then you just, you leave that part of it and you got big CA whos managers going a whole different direction. Using your life as a metaphor, when does someone know it's time? Reinvent our to pivot. So where you're leading this and I'm so glad you're dropping these breadcrumbs, , is if you get to the point of burnout, then you're almost forcing yourself. To make some type of pivot, cuz no one wants to live and burnout for the rest of their life. So the key is being able to recognize things before you get to that fully extinguished point mm-hmm and, and for me making these constant nuanced pivots is what will help me avoid getting there now burnout the way I see burnout, , is it's a, a splintering between the sacrifices you're making and the hours you're working. The meaning you find in your work that, that it's not just from working long hours, because I know plenty of people that make a lot of sacrifices and work long hours, but they find so much purpose and meaning the, the why the Simon Sinek, why behind their work. They're not really at risk at burnout now they, they need to make sure they're, uh, you know, sticking to their self care or they'll literally wear themselves out, but they're not really at risk at burnout. So for me, it's always making sure there is a connection between the meaning behind what I'm doing and the purpose I find in my work. And the time that I'm putting in and I use that kind of as my north star. So, you know, I spent the first, third of my life or a little over a third of my life identifying as a basketball player, that everything I did, I would walk, talk and act like a basketball player. Well, then I realized upon graduating from college that no one was gonna pay my bills to put a ball in the basket. So I needed to find something else and I had to make a pivot at that point. So I decided to become a basketball performance coach, cuz I figured what could be better than combining my original love of basketball. Yeah. With at the time, a newfound love of strength and conditioning and nutrition and mindset. Mm-hmm mm-hmm . So I, I reinvented myself as a basketball performance coach, and I did that for 15 years and loved every minute of it. But as I started to feel myself approaching burnout in that capacity, That was when I reinvented again and made a pivot over to, uh, being a keynote speaker. And I absolutely love what I'm doing now. Uh, I don't, I don't see an end to this road. Yeah. But I also have been around long enough to know that would be foolish for me to assume I'm gonna be a keynote speaker for however much longer I'm on this earth, hopefully another 50 or 60 years. So I may make another pivot or reinvent. 5 10, 20 years from now. I don't know. But in the meantime, I'm making some of these little minor pivots and reinventions. All of the things that we've talked about, you know, pivoting from being a non runner to a runner, , pivoting from being a non standup comedian. To an incredibly mediocre, standup comedian, like I'm making these little pivots just to keep me sharp. And, , I've always been a big believer that if you work on the big skill sets that have the highest utility, it will give you, , unparalleled number of options moving forward. You know, that's one of the reasons I have so much respect for you and anyone that identifies as a sales professional, because the skillsets needed to be a great sales professional. Have such high utility, you could apply them to any area of life in any industry. You know, it's, it's about leadership and communication and emotional intelligence and connecting with people. That, that adds value anywhere at any time. So I, I'm a huge advocate and fan of, and love speaking to groups of sales professionals. Dude, you ride my wheelhouse. And the reason why it's called the sales life is because sales is the only profession that so closely resembles life. One minute, you're on top of the world. The next minute, the world's rolling back on top of you. And so when I was at a rock bottom moment in my life, Alan, I was, I was demoted. I was divorced. I was bankrupt. And I was suicidal. Like I was at the bottom and, you know, I just got really, really dark, but then it dawned on me that, you know what, I can take the same skills that I've learned in the sales profession and reinvent my life. And that's what I did. And this is how the sales life came about. So it's five of 'em and it's communication. Curiosity creativity, continuous learning in action and productive confrontation. It's those five skills that, and that's what I go out there. And I use the sales profession as my metaphor, but I, I go out there and teach others, because you can use these skills and parlay this into any area of your life to, to never settle again. You don't have to accept what. Absolutely. And I love, I love those five and those five things, you know, I said it before, but I'll say it again. Those five things will make you a better spouse. They'll make you a better parent. They'll, they'll make you a better member of your community. They'd make you a better CEO. They'd make you a better high school basketball coach. Those things have such high utility. So, that's what, I'm I, one of the main lessons that I try to not only teach and preach my children, but to model for them. Is is to work on these types of skill sets, that, , leadership and communication and the ability to effectively and positively influence and impact others through written and spoken word mm-hmm , um, are, are just invaluable. And when you do that, Then then you have so many more options moving forward and yeah, I just always want my children to feel empowered, to choose the path that they want to pursue. Yeah. And, um, your, your ideology and your mindset and the skill sets that you've worked so hard to develop. Is what allows someone to do that? Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. , in the few minutes that we have left, man, , I could go on forever, man. I really enjoy this. It's so much fun. Let let's talk about, and I, and I think this is so key and this is what I wanna make sure I squeeze this in. Is your you expanding your circle, reading your book, , really made me think back to George Raveling , and coach Raveling. I guess you call him coach Raveling. I call him coach Raveling. I remember listening to him one time and he said, you know, I don't hang out with a bunch of 80 and 90 year olds. He said, I hang out with people who are younger than me. He said, why would I wanna hang out with just a bunch of MES? And he said, but that is the thing that. Keeps me fresh and keeps me invigorated. And I'm, I'm always looking for younger content out there. He said, I don't know anything about AI. He said, but I study it. He said, I look at it. He said, I'm interested. And I'm curious about it. So as it relates to expanding your circle, speak a little bit, if you would, , about the circles and mirrors and the relationships that we keep, if you. Most certainly, well, well, two things jump to mind one, regardless of somebody's actual chronological age. I do the best. I can not to spend too much time with people that are always focused on in thinking about the past, you know, the good old days and reminiscing of the past. Now there is a time and a place for that, and you better believe that if I get together with my high school teammates, we're gonna have some great laughs about playing high school basketball together, or college basketball together. And there's nothing wrong with that, but I want the vast majority of my mental space. Certainly to be on the present moment, but to be planning and preparing and excited and optimistic about the future. Yeah. So if I meet someone and most of what they're talking about is what they've done before and what they've accomplished before the uncle Rico is from Napoleon and Don white Yeah, exactly. Oh, that is, that is so perfect. Um, uncle Rico, I betcha I could throw that football over the camera. What a perfect example though. I'm actually glad that you brought that up. Uh, I mean, How much time would you really want to invest with uncle Rico? given that's the direction. He's always, he's always looking, but what this really reminds me of and the framework that I've used, and I referenced this in my first book, raise your game. Uh, I learned this from Frank Shamrock who, who was one of the original superstars in, in UFC. Yeah. Um, really before that became the, the billion dollar Goliath that it is now. Yeah. And he said, and he taught me this and I absolutely love it. And I think this speaks to what coach traveling was talking about. Frank said that you always need to have three people in your life. You need to have someone that is further ahead of you, someone that has already walked the path that you want to walk down, someone that can mentor you and send the elevator back down, and that you can learn from, uh, you want to have a peer, somebody that's kind of in the same stage of life that you are and looking to accomplish similar things. You know, somebody that's, that's kind of walking next to you and then you also want to have somebody that's behind you. And when I say behind. I don't say that in a, a diminishing way, but someone that you are further down the line than they are yeah. That you can serve as a mentor to them and you can send the elevator back down for them. Mm-hmm . And if you always have those three people in your life, someone in front of you, someone next to you and someone behind you. It will allow you, uh, to, to learn and ask questions of the person mentoring you. It will allow you to, to commiserate and exchange best practices with the person next to you. And it will allow you to teach and pour into the person behind you. Those three vantage points will keep you fresh at all times. And, and these can be rather informal. It, it's not like I, I need to, to send you an email and ask if you will be my person, you know, and it's not like you're signing somebody up for a lifetime co. Just be somewhat aware of, do I have someone in my life that I'm, I'm kind of chasing in a good way? Do I have someone in life that I can give a high five to, or a fist bump, cuz we're doing this together and do I have someone behind me that I'm gonna send the elevator back down for? And if you can always have those three people in your life, I think it keeps things incredibly fresh. Wow. What a great way to, in this episode with you, you're right there toward the end of your. and it just really was so profound. You, you write that you can't be fulfilled until you know what it looks like. So in closing, Alan, what scares you most to reach the end of your life? , that pushes you hard today. To give you a sense of fulfillment. So my north star, the sense of fulfillment that, that I'm pursuing, um, is, and, and we can use me as an example, I'm 46 years old at present, but I've got a crystal clear vision of the man. I want to be at 56, 66, 76. And, and it doesn't really change. Um, I want the 66 year old Alan to be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy and well, you know, I, I wanna have high physical, mental, and emotional intelligence if you will. Uh, I want the 56 66 or 76 year old Alan, , to have a very strong and deep connection with his children and his family and his friends and his loved ones, you know, really connected relationships. And I absolutely want the 56 66 or 76 year old Alan. To be doing work. He considers meaningful and in service of others, you know, pouring into others and, and a part of something bigger than myself. So I, I think if I can do those things. It will give me a high sense of fulfillment. So every single decision I make in my life at present, I do the best I can to make sure it's an alignment with those things that every decision I make from what I'm gonna eat for lunch, to what I choose to work on, watch on Netflix, to who I follow on Instagram. I want it to take me closer to being that guy. Now, the beautiful part is I'm not postponing fulfillment. I'm not waiting until I'm 56, 66 or 76. That's great. Those benefits. I'm experiencing those things in the present because I'm making these decisions in the present. Wow. I certainly don't want this to sound like I'm lacking humility. Uh, I'm saying this riddled with, with gratefulness and appreciation, but right now at 46 years old, I am the most fulfilled I've ever been. I am physically, mentally and emotionally fit. I do have a close relationship with my children, family, and friends. And I am currently doing work. I consider meaningful and in service of others. But in order for me to continue to do that, for the rest of my life, then I need to keep making those decisions. And to me, that's the framework I use, the little silent thing I say to myself every night before I go to. I say, Alan, you just traded 24 hours of your life for the progress you made today. Who are you happy with that trade? If the answer is yes, I'm happy with that trade. Then I get a really peaceful night's sleep on the very rare occasion. That I'm not happy with that trade. It wasn't my best day. I didn't show up as my best self. I made some bad decisions. I said some things I shouldn't have said because I'm fallible and I'm human that will happen. I give myself some grace and some compassion, and I just remind myself that tomorrow's a new day. You get another crack at this thing and let's do better tomorrow. And I still. Get a restful and peaceful night's sleep. So for me, that's kind of the yard stick and notice that with the things that I just shared, they are intrinsic, not extrinsic. Uh, I'm not too concerned anymore with external validation or reaching certain marks or having, I like to believe that if I'm the best version of. A lot of those external trappings will just be a byproduct and those things will happen. Uh, yes, I would love to be financially free and be able to provide any opportunity for myself and my children, but I don't have a set bank account number that I'm shooting for, or a set revenue number or a set number of Instagram followers. I don't concern myself with any of that. I just focus on working towards that north star fulfillment and I'll just let everything else fall into. Lay the brick yeah, love it. Uh, thanks so much, man, for that fist bump on that one, man. Yes, sir. I love it. that's thanks so much for coming on. , where can when people. Connect with you and follow you and get to know you more, man. So from a, from a speaking standpoint, the hub is Alan Stein, Jr. Dot com. If anybody listening to this, is, or, , manages a group of sales professionals and you feel like this message would resonate. You know, keynote speaking is, is my main focal point vocationally, but I also have a supplemental site, stronger team.com. Which has info on my books, my podcast, I do some one-on-one coaching, uh, and I have an online course. The books raise your game or sustain your game are very easily found on Amazon and audible. Uh, and I'm also easily found and very accessible and responsive on social media. At Alan Stein Jr. On Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. So if any part of this wonderful conversation and I had so much fun resonated with any of your listeners or viewers, uh, just shoot me a DM on Instagram or LinkedIn. I'm very good about getting back to folks. Yeah. And would love to keep the, the conversation going. Definitely. Uh, definitely. And I do wanna give back, for those listeners out there, no strings attached, , I wanna buy 10 copies of your book, sustain your game. Thank you. , and then share 'em. So just DME, your address, and I'll be more than happy to, , to send you a copy of the book, no strings attached or anything like that. I do ask though, if you, when you read the book, , if you would just leave him a, , review as. Thank you, , that just helps get the word out , he's given everything he's got and he's devoting his life to it. So that's the least we can do is just, just to give a word of things back. So I definitely want to do that. Oh, you're a good man. This was so much fun. I'm so glad that we've connected and , I really appreciate your support and for this opportunity, you bet. And I do want, before we leave. I got the, oh man, I got the Jordans on. Oh man. Those are so fresh, dude. Those are, oh, those are hot. I love, I love the elephant print. Yeah. , sadly, I've got on my, my Hoka running shoes because I'm I heard those good shoes, man. I'm gonna go for a little run, uh, after my next call. But, and I, I found that if I put the shoes on now, There you go reach the chance that I'll go for the run later. So, man, I love those gaze you're you're looking fresh brother. Awesome, man. Well, we'll talk soon and uh, thank you so much for being on you. Got it.