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Five Pillars Of Leadership with Trey Downes
We’ve got a very special guest. We’ve got our buddy, Trey Downes, joining us from Your Superior Self Podcast. If you have not listened to his podcast, you can go on and check it out because he’s just dropping amazing bombs. He’s got some amazing guests on there. We’re going to talk about the ten pillars of leadership. Trey’s got a great book out about that, but I think it’s an important thing especially for us in the note space, in the real estate space. A lot of times we deal and struggle with entrepreneurship and mind game. Trying to figure out, “Is this next step we’re doing the right one? Are we double guessing ourselves, second-guessing ourselves definitely?” I’m excited to have Trey on there. If you didn’t know who Trey was, he’s the Founder of Your Superior Self Podcast. A podcast that helps you awaken to your possibilities through self-mastery. He started the podcast to help him crush his fear of public speaking, which a lot of people have. He helps others get motivated to move forward in their lives. Trey, we’re honored to have you.
It’s an honor to be here. When you told me and asked me there was a possibility coming on, I was excited. I know how successful you guys are over there and I love what you are doing. This is truly an honor. Thank you.
I love listening to your stuff. The beautiful thing is while there are a lot of podcasts that are being created, there are not a lot of people who are doing a little bit and they’re not doing anything. You’ve been cranking out and doing amazing stuff, amazing guests and you’ve got a real passion for it too. That’s why I love a serious podcasting space, I have a passion for it. I wouldn’t say few and far between, but it’s not quite the norm for the most part.
I have been grinding and putting out these episodes and learning along the way. We live in a time now where everybody wants the quick hack, the ten hacks, ten quick ways to success and it’s not really. Gary Vee talks a little bit about that in his book, Crushing It! where if you’re expecting short-term success, it doesn’t exist. The same thing with a podcast, it’s more so the long game, you have to put in an episode out each week or how you’re doing it. I think you have more than once a week, right?
We usually will try to crank out three to five a week if we can.
I do one a week just because with the kids and work and family life, but you have to be consistent. You have to do it continuously. You’re not going to have a million downloads your first twelve episodes and you’re not going to have a million downloads your first 75. It is slow and you’ve got to be consistent.
We find a lot of similarities like that in our note space, because I always talk with people. It’s not a joke. I said, “This is not a get rich quick business. It’s a slow burn. You’re going to buy distressed debt. You’re going to work out with borrowers and then you can get monthly payments coming in.” It’s all about building cashflow in the long game and building that momentum up to get to where you want to be. A lot of people these days, they just watch the TV shows or they paid $30,000 to $50,000 expecting something to happen quickly. It all comes down and it’s a daily grind. What are you doing to market yourself? What are you doing to lead gen? What are you doing to stay consistent in your actions? This tree doesn’t pop up overnight. We’re all planting seeds and you’ve got to grow. I’m a big believer that leaders aren’t born, they’re made over time. It’s the same things with leadership and entrepreneurship. Would you agree to that, Trey?
I think that everybody can be a leader. The hardest part is making that decision to become one. That’s one of the biggest inconsistencies that I see out there in leadership is that people want to be a leader, but they’re scared to make that decision. You’ll see that wherever you work. Most of the time the managers that become managers are the guys or girls that can make decisions and stand by those. It’s crazy to me to think that people have such a hard time making a decision and it’s not that hard. Make the best decision that you can and allow yourself to fail. That’s where the growth is. Don’t be afraid to fail because you’re going to make mistakes. You’re learning as a leader. The reason why I am doing what I am doing in that leadership realm is that no one taught me how to become a leader.
A lot of Millennials like me are struggling with that because we are stereotyped as this lazy generation and it’s not fair. They’re writing us off immediately in the workforce. One out of three employees is a Millennial. By 2025, we’ll make up more than that, double that. We don’t have that mentor. We don’t have those people that are willing to show us what leadership is. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience a ton of leadership scenarios and I’ve learned by trial and fire. I burned a lot of bridges because I thought that a leader was somebody who had that emotional fire inside of them and had to be not fearful, but fear-driven. To drive fear to some of the employees and make this serious and that stoic look and intimidating to get the work done. It’s not that at all. The more vulnerable that you are, the more influence you gain.
The whole fire and brimstone Baptist pulpit leadership is different. You’ve got to take a whole different mindset because people are so different than what they used to be and that’s not a bad thing. It’s just that things evolve as we become more conscious of our opinions and thoughts and feelings. The more vulnerable you’ll be, the more you can let people inside, the stronger you are as a leader, I believe, as a manager. People can understand that, “He or she is making these decisions based on their knowledge, their expertise not because they’re trying to be an A–hole or literally trying to do because they’ve been down this path before.”
We have the older generation, the Baby Boomers, they grew up watching John Wayne and seeing that type of figure be a leader and that strong, silent type. It’s fading out because we’re having this generational change in leadership. With the change as a leader, you have to change with it. Now it’s like the vulnerability. You’re showing that one way to gain influence is to allow your employees to see the human side of you. Immediately once you get that management role, they automatically put you on this pedestal of the boss. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “Hey, boss.” First, I’m Trey. You don’t have to call me boss or sir or anything like that, just call me Trey. A lot of the times being vulnerable lets them see you in that human light and allows you to gain that trust that sometimes experience doesn’t give you.
Why don’t you share your background and where you’re at, what you’re doing and where you get at to be where you’re at now?
I am a blue-collar worker. I am in the transportation business, particularly in the railroad industry. I went to college and dropped out. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I’m a third-generation railroader and my dad was like, “Let me help you get a job.” I started at the bottom and worked my way up. Now I’m going back to school and getting my degree in business. I hate to say it, but I had to fail my way to success. I think a lot of people do that. I saw that there weren’t many leaders in my industry because everybody had an opinion, but nobody wanted to step up. One day I said to myself, “If not me, then who?” I was like, “I’m going to try to do everything in my power to become that leader that everybody respects.” I burned a lot of bridges just because I thought a leader was someone who had to be feared and led by emotion. The more emotion that you showed, the more that you cared. It’s not that at all. We talked a little bit about the pillars. I’ll share five of them with you.
Accountability is one. Communication, motivation, mindset and systems. The accountability part is made up of being supportive, allowing failure and decision-making. Being supportive is supporting your employees no matter what decisions they make. A lot of people that I’ve seen management are just so scared to make a decision because their bosses are immediately on their backs or micromanaging. You’ve got to allow them to fail and you have to be supportive of their decisions anyway. I might not agree with what you did, but I have to back you 100% because that’s what good leaders do. Decision–making is one of the most important sub-pillars that I talk about because not a lot of people can make those decisions. The quick hack to decision making is making sure you have your systems in place. Make sure that you plan for scenarios that can happen, but also plan for scenarios that might not happen, but you have the systems in place. When you have something that you need to make a decision about, you have the information already written up and ready to go at your disposal. When the unexpected happens, you have an idea of what you’re going to do beforehand.
Decision-making is difficult for most people because a lot of them don’t want to be responsible, “I don’t know. It’s not my job.” If you’re leading people, you’re in a position, it is your job to make the decision, especially if you’re the one with the closest to the data coming in. You have the best knowledge of where things are going or what the situation is. One of the biggest things that I’m proud of the fact that I’ve got employees that work for me and I tell them, “You’ve got decision-making power. If you see something in the first 90 days you’re working with me, you’ve got $100 to $200 decision-making progress.” After six months, it’s $500. After a year, $1,000. I think part of it is you have to empower people to realize, “If you make a decision and it’s wrong, it’s okay because you’re going to the best knowledge. If you got it wrong, it’s okay. We’ll figure it out and go from there.”
It also falls on you as a leader too. I’m a big believer that if your people fail, it’s your fault as a leader. You either didn’t communicate clearly what the end goal was or there’s some communication of failure there. Something needs to be done so you need to go back and review your processes and have a one-on-one with that employee because they might not just be understanding what you’re saying. Communication is 80% non–verbal. The other 20%, you might need to clarify what you meant. Trust me, I’ve been through this so many times where I’ve said something and somebody misunderstood and I had to go back and retrace my steps in the conversation and make sure. Have some check-ins. When I set out a project, let’s say it’s a four-week project. Each week, I’ll set up a meeting and make sure they’re on a timetable and make sure they’re meeting their checkpoints. If they’re not, then we’ll have one-on-one and we’ll discuss, “Why aren’t you making meeting these checkpoints?”
If they’re still not doing what they’re supposed to do, now we’re looking at behavior stuff. I had this conversation, it’s pretty funny. Everybody’s decision, when you make a decision, it’s influenced by two things, external and internal. External would be everything that’s at home and personal and what’s going on in your life. Internal is everything that’s happening in your business. I don’t go out there and make these decisions like I choose to be a bad employee. It’s always influenced by something. It’s your job as a leader to go out and figure out what that influence is. Why is he making these decisions? Is it external or internal? I have a way as well in my leadership pillars of going in there and dissecting these influences and try to figure out why behaviorally they’re doing what they’re doing.
One of the biggest things we see on our side is looking to delegate things that they do not have to do. They’re not taking the time to coach who they’re delegating or to mentor or to just teach them, “Here’s exactly what I’m looking for.” I see it especially with virtual assistants. The virtual assistants expect them to get it right. When a week goes by and they get this stuff back and they’re like, “This is not what I asked for.” How much did you spend time on the frontend? Did you just assume? We all know what assume stands for, make an ass out of you and me both. That’s one of the biggest things. You’ve got to spend time coaching. I love what you’re talking about, “We’ve got a month project, we’re going to check in weekly.” That way, you see if something’s going wrong, we’re getting off course you can make that correction and get the boat back on the right track.
I’m a big believer in delegation. I think that delegation builds motivation in your employees because it allows them to have tasks that you’d think that they need to be doing. It frees you up for the vision where you want to go. I delegate a lot and people were like, “Aren’t you scared that somebody’s going to come up and take your position?” No, I’m not. That’s what I want. I want them to be able to come up and take my position because that allows me to hopefully be promoted to a higher level. You don’t want to box yourself into a position where they can’t do it without you. You want to be able to bring your employees up to where you’re at. That’s just one way of doing it. Delegation, I believe wholeheartedly that’s the way to help your employees grow.
What’s the second pillar or the second nugget there on leadership that you like?
It’s motivation, so information flow, mentorship and self-mastery. This is for your employees. This is to help them stay motivated in their job. Information flow is just being honest with them and allowing them to know what’s going on in the organization, what you get from the top, pass it down. To me, to build that trust and to gain that influence, you’ve got to tell them everything. There are some things that you can’t say, but for the most part in general, I think information flow is huge. You should be telling them pretty much everything, unless it influences them directly. Mentorship, you’ve got to help them with their careers. You’ve got to take time out of your day to develop them. If they’re weak in a certain area, don’t talk about them behind their backs to other employees and to your counterparts.
Take the time to develop them. You put them in some online courses, get them LinkedIn courses, grow them as a manager. That’s what your job is. I hate the word manager because I feel like a manager just manages the situation, but the leader leads the vision. You’ve got to lead that vision. You’ve got to help them, mentor them to be the best employee that they can be. I just hate when people talk about these management positions that they get into or they get promoted to and they start talking about their teams. They say, “I inherited this team and they’re not the best.” They hired you for the job, you’re getting paid the big bucks and it’s your job to develop these people. You’ve got to take an interest in them and you’ve got to mentor them. Point them in the direction they’re supposed to go. That’s why you delegate. You delegate your stuff so that way you have time to back up and mentor them and put them in the right direction.
You’ve got to figure out what’s the driving factor. Not everybody is money–driven. Some are more motivated to do other things and other people have a different why than what you have. I think a lot of people don’t realize that just because you’re excited to make more money, doesn’t mean that the people working underneath you, your staff is doing the same thing. They may think you’re an idiot for that. You’ve got to identify the opportunities for them, whether it’s maybe more training or they want to do something different than what they’re doing. I had one employee that wanted to write a book. I’m like, “Let’s get you started with it, take a class for you. Let’s get you online with marketing. Or I like what I’m doing, but I’d like to get my real estate license.” “That’s great. Let’s figure this out. What’s it going to cost? Let’s get you started taking those classes so you can hit that goal in a few years on a part-time basis or whatever.”
One of the best books I think that dives in more so than anything else is The 5 Love Languages. What’s your love language? Also, in the real estate industry, I think Carl Williams is one of the best for having the DISC test, the personality tests to help identify those things. If you can dive into what somebody’s true motivation factor and where they fall on that personality stuff, those are two critical factors to help you identify those opportunities.
I think you hit that spot on. The motivation part is huge. If I help you, Scott, do what you got to do. If I help you grow your business or I help you be a better manager, what is that going to do for you? That’s going to build your motivation in my company. It’s going to build my influence with you. When I ask you to do tasks, you’re going to do it with high motivation and you’re probably going to do a pretty good job at it. It’s all about the employees. It’s customer service and employees and then me. Customer service comes first. You always treat the client with the best customer service, best customer experience and then you treat your employees right after that. Treat them the best way that you can. By doing the mentorship, by helping them with their career, you are gaining that influence with them, helping them as an employee grow. It gains so much trust. That goes back to the experience part because sometimes you go into a new leadership role and you don’t have the experience. You might come from the outside field and you’re coming into a new company and people are looking at you like, “Who’s this guy?” I‘m like, “Who do you think he is?”
For the first month, what you want to do is set up some ops observations and see how things are running and introduce yourself and get connected personally with these employees. You want to meet them and see what makes them tick. That’s when you start. It’s a whole other section on a chapter I’m writing about. It’s coming in and being able to influence immediately, even though it’s a new company. It’s taking the time to know the employees and who they are personally. That’s another section. Go outside.
I do this sometimes. We’ll do a team-building session. My brother-in-law, Joe Mechlinski, he does this. He has a company called SHIFT in Baltimore. He’s been voted best place to work every year because they go on these little retreats and they do things together. I’ve learned this from him where he’ll go out in the park, they’ll do yoga, they’ll go out and do different things together as a team-building experience. You would be amazed by the camaraderie that it builds with people, the trust that it builds inside that team. When they are clicking on all cylinders as a team because of these events, productivity goes through to the roof.
I would not doubt that. I could see that they’re doing different events for some people, maybe they want to go see the Orioles play, some big fans about baseball or go and see the Ravens, some bigger football fans or go and do yoga in the park. Some people are more fitness fans, but getting everybody involved, now you have shared events, shared stories, shared camaraderie versus just focused on what the boss wants to focus on every time.
I think that’s why you see a lot of that brotherly love and that brotherhood in military settings. These guys get through hell, do the training and through all the crazy stuff that comes with that. I am not comparing the corporate world to the military, but there are some instances where you guys grow. The best thing to grow that connection is taking your employees on a trip and hang out and let loose and get rid of everybody’s titles and just hang out and chill. Have a barbecue, do something, have a couple of beers. Do something where you guys could connect and I guarantee it when you get back, that connection’s going to be a lot stronger than what it was.
You’ve got to get outside, got to spend some downtime and remove those titles and just get to know each other. It’s such a huge thing in helping me grow as a leader. When people have their guard down, they’re going to share more with you. You’re going to see what makes them tick and not to be buttons that you can push, but understand, “How do I approach people differently?” Some people want to be spoken to differently. They have different underlying factors. They’ve got different backstories that you’re not going to hear about and experiences that can affect them going forward.
I was going to say and go off a little bit about that is you spent 40 hours a week with these people. Most of the time you spend so much more time with these people than your families if you’re not working from home to create that connection and that trust and that influence. That’s one of the ways to do it without having that experience. Going back to another pillar, communication. It sounds basic, but you would be surprised. Transparency, I think the more transparent you are with your employees or transparent with whomever you want to be a leader to is the best way. Don’t hold back but be completely honest. Say what you mean.
One of my core values is self-integrity. If I tell you I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll tell you I don’t know the answer and I’ll get back to you. You have to be transparent. You could get somebody in a jam if you’d go out and tell them the wrong information, especially if you’re doing something financially. Feedback, give them feedback. Let them know how they’re doing. If they’re not doing the proper job or they’re not doing it sufficiently, make sure that they know that. That helps them grow. I hate it. It fires me up when I hear managers bashing their employees about how terrible they are. My question is always back to them is, “Are you talking to them? Are you giving them some type of development plan? What are you doing? You can’t just bash them and walk away. It is your job as a leader to that to develop them. You should care about these people.”
I read Phil Knight’s book, Shoe Dog, and I agree so much with what he’s talking about. He’s like, “If business ever becomes just business, it’s time to go.” That’s my philosophy. There are some decisions where there are going to be business decisions. When it comes to people, I don’t believe in that business is just business. Going back to communication, you and I are having a conversation. If I’m in a meeting with an employee, put the phone down and concentrate. Put the laptop down, get off your emails, look them in the eye, have a conversation, connect, be there, be present, be where your feet are.
That’s huge because I think especially in our society, so many people like to eliminate that face–to–face, “We can do it via email. We can do it back and forth via text message.” I’m like, “No, let’s go back to the original way of doing, sitting around a campfire, sit around and just talk it.” Seeing body language and reading the eyes and facial expressions when you see things. I was in the office with our marketing director, Shannon. I said something and you could see her visibly wince, which you wouldn’t have seen that in a text message or an email. I’m like, “You don’t want to do that.” She’s like, “I’m not comfortable.” I’m like, “No problem. We’ll get somebody else to do it. I want you to focus on things that you’re comfortable doing and rock and rolling. I can go from there.” That’s such a huge thing, being present. That’s not only in an employer setting, but that’s also anywhere I would say too.
Even if you’re making sales, like if you’re buying from someone, you want to be present there in the room because you’re going to pick up some body language. You’re going to pick up some vibe from them. You might be able to get out of a bad deal if you’re in the room with them and you can see what type of person they are by just being near them and feeling their connection and their energy. Everybody wants to do this Skype now, but we lose a little bit of ourselves when we do those types of things. We lose a few of our employees.
I know sometimes people will have big territories and make an attempt to go out and make a trip. Once a month, go out and see all your employees, but regardless of where they’re at, they might be in a different state, but go make that human connection. You know how much more respectful game for you. They’d be like, “They really care. They’re coming down and they’re actually spending the day with us hanging out.” That right there surprises them because the first thing that employees say to you when you show up is, “Nobody ever comes to see us.” “I’m here now, so let’s hang out.” I can go out there every day and just show face. I could see somebody that works after 4:00 or something like that. You’re like, “I don’t ever see anybody.” I’m like, “I’ve been out here every day.” They’re always going to say that to you. They do remember. Take one day out of the month. Go out and connect with them, it’s going to mean the world to them.
Because they know they can then pick up the phone or swing by and talk with them if they got a situation. I think that’s where a lot of people I know, vendors and staff, a lot of times they don’t communicate when they know there’s an issue because they don’t want to be touchy. I’m like, “No. I want to know if there’s something that’s going wrong. I want to know if there’s an issue. Please feel free to have that open-door policy with us. Try to solve those issues so that we can be better in the future.”
That’s another thing too, Scott, is the open–door policy. If you’re going to say you’re going to have an open-door policy, mean it. I’m not talking about leaving your door open all the time, but if an employee pops in, don’t get upset. Don’t get an attitude when they actually do pop in and take you for your word. That goes back to mean what you say. If you’re going to say something, you have to back it up.
What’s the next pillar that you got for us? What’s number three?
Mindset, that’s what I wanted to talk about, mindset as a leader. It talks about self-mastery, vulnerability and vision. Self-mastery, as a leader, you always have to continuously learn about leadership. Leadership always evolves and you have to do that as well. That means getting into some books, take some classes and keep on grinding. Getting yourself better as a leader and always learning it and refusing to stop. For me, I wasn’t a big reader before, but since I started working on myself, I consume books, especially Audible books and podcasts. I always start out the episode with some quotes from my favorite books. I have the Untethered Soul. It’s a huge thing for me in leadership. It’s crazy. I got John Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Work on yourself because it carries over to your employees sometimes.
Everybody’s talking about Brené Brown and her The Power of Vulnerability. I’m right there with her. You have to make yourself vulnerable to your employees. You have to show them that you’re human. You have to be honest. If something’s bothering you, just let it out and don’t be afraid to show that chink in the armor. No one’s steel-plated all the time and it’s okay because we’re human. I think your employees will sense that. They’ll respect you a little bit more when you let that guard down. Vision, you’ve got to be strategic, you’ve got to have that vision. If you’re going to delegate, that gives you time to step back and see the future where you want to go with your company, what strategic practices and strategic goals that you want to set for yourself. You’ve got to have goals and order comes with self-mastery too. You want to get better, you want to get your business to get better. You have to take the time and just plan out some solid goals for you and your business. I think that’s one and the same. Mindset is a huge pillar in my eyes.
Thinking back to the things, the books you’ve read or classes you take, what’s been the biggest thing that’s contributed the most to your mindset? If you think back to something that you went to or something you attended that rung your mental bell?
The more that I’m reading and the more that I’m working on myself, the more confidence that I’m building, the more momentum, the more motivation, just some of the things I’m talking about. The way to freedom and whatever you’re trying to work to, whatever your goals are, whatever they may be. My personal goal is to get to a point where my podcast is generating some revenue for my brand. The more that I’m reading, the more that I’m gaining knowledge, the more that I’m working towards that freedom. I feel like through education, through knowledge is freedom. No matter where you’re at in your life, if you’re stuck in a bad relationship, start studying up on some books, start getting a system together, get in any group that supports you. If you’re in a job you don’t like, start studying other avenues. Find out who you are first. There are so many methods that you can use. Through these methods and through this knowledge, you obtain freedom. I started reading Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and that’s opened my eyes a hundredfold. I used to be the guy that was like, “Why me?” At the end of the day it’s like, “I have it pretty good.” This guy was in the concentration camps and he was able to find hope in a place that had no hope.
Every day, I’m gaining that freedom and it’s not necessarily freedom from working, but freedom for me is an energy source. Call it a spirit or soul. That’s what freedom is to me is being that source of energy that puts up as these positive vibes and helps others achieve their success. That’s what I’m about. That’s the podcast too. I know I’m going on a rant here. That’s what I do. The podcast was all about me at first. It was all about me getting better as a speaker, as a communicator because I wasn’t the best. I would stutter, I would be so anxious when I would speak and it was terrible. The more I did the podcast, the better that I got. I started connecting with people and I started connecting with a bunch of great people. You’re coming on my show. I can’t wait to connect with you over there, but it started to motivate me to help others. People started writing in saying, “You helped me get over a certain problem or your guests opened up my eyes to a different way of spirituality.” It’s such a great feeling to be able to help somebody that I can’t see. I know some of my listeners, I don’t know all of them, but to know that I’m having an impact on them is fulfilling for me and it’s inspirational.
People don’t realize that sometimes this grind of cranking on episodes each week, sometimes it’s like, “Is anybody listening out there? Am I helping anybody? Am I just talking into a vacuum?” Anytime you can get that feedback, “This episode or this speaker, this presenter did an amazing job. It resonated with me and that’s why I love you’ve got such a great variety of different guests on the show.” You do an awesome job and you’ll do a great job too of drawing that info out. Helping ask not the easiest questions, the middle questions, the difficult questions that help get beneath that armor. There have been a few people that we’ve all had guests that had armor at the front and then you dive in and try to find that little nick in the armor to dive in and get those underneath questions.
It’s the vulnerability aspect. You see all these Facebook posts on Facebook. I know you know what I’m talking about. Everybody all of a sudden now is an expert on motivation and mindset and it’s like, “Give me an example of vulnerability.” “You have to be vulnerable.” “Give me an example.” I’ll tell you, I hate speaking. I know I might sound like I know what I’m doing a little bit, but the anxiety that I feel from growing up just being made fun of, calling me dumb or whatever. I would never want to have a conversation with anybody because I didn’t want to feel dumb. I didn’t want to go against the grain in an argument because I didn’t feel like I was smart enough to have an opinion about something.
Growing up, I shied away from it and it hindered me. In college, I remember I was transferring schools and I was in an English class and I was like, “I’ve got to go tell my professor I’m transferring and I want to drop this course.” I’d go to his office and I don’t knock because I’m awkward. I just walk right in there and I start telling him, “My name’s Trey Downes. I am dropping your course.” He looked at me. He was like, “You’re the worst communicator ever.” That stuck with me for a long time and I would always be scared to say anything because I never had any good experiences. I’m opening myself up to these experiences now. I’m trying to be a little bit more vulnerable because I’d feel like you connect more with your audience and you connect more with the people that you’re trying to lead and they see you for who you are. That’s being authentic. I think people that are trying to sell stuff all the time. You see it all the time. These podcasts are all about selling. You can tell when somebody’s just trying to sell and when somebody is actually authentic. You connect more with the authenticity rather than the selling method.
The big thing is I like to joke Fakebook because everybody’s trying to be a motivational speaker.
I just watched one like, “Do you have trouble with motivation? I have five steps.” It’s regurgitating what Tony Robbins is saying and it’s like, “Be yourselves. Be authentic. Read Gary Vee’s book, Crushing It!” If you guys are so concerned with growing your brand on Facebook or social media outlets, just be yourself. Set up a camera and film yourself. Don’t worry about being the expert on motivation because if you’re not, you’re not. You can’t read all these books on motivation and be the guy unless you actually mean it. You’ve got to have that authenticity.
I love Gary Vee but there are too many Gary Fakerchucks out there. I think I’ve coined the term the douchepreneur out there.
It’s true. Everybody wants that success. I was a follower back in the day. When I was in high school and college, I was a follower. I didn’t know what success was. I didn’t know. For me, we are tribal minds. We don’t want to go against the grain. We want to go with everybody else. I didn’t know what I wanted. I remember one time, I don’t know if you guys remember PacSun back in the day, the surfing outlet store. I lived in Southern Delaware. I wanted to get a Hawaiian shirt because I considered myself a local. I went to this very redneck high school. I walked in. I remember everybody just staring at me as I walked in with this Hawaiian shirt. I felt so out of sorts and I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. I almost didn’t wear that again because I liked it so much and the fact that if you tell me something, you tell me I can’t do something, I’m going to do it. That’s the type of person I am. I’m going to do it anyway. I don’t care. You guys are going to make fun of my shirt? I’m going to wear it all week.
That’s a different type of motivation. Sometimes the anti for you, “Tell me I can’t do something, I’m going to go prove you wrong.” A good scenario to have as a leadership sometimes is, “Why can’t we do that? Why can’t we do this?” I don’t care that we’ve done it like this for years. We’re not going to change. Sometimes you’ve got to shake it up and always be reinventing what’s going on.
It’s going against the grain, having that courage to go against it. I think a lot of people are seeing other people’s success. They look at you, see your success on a podcast like, “I could do that.” Everybody’s got a podcast now. The reason why those other podcasters fade-out is because they don’t have commitment. It’s not their thing. They’re not passionate about it. That comes to light when you start getting challenged a little bit but those hard times and those challenging moments is what makes you. It’s like the bootcamp for success. It’s hard times. It’s the tempering of iron and steel. Those are the times that you had to get through because on the other end is a success and you’ll be so hardened up that nothing’s going to bother you, especially the naysayers, the trolls out there. You have to get through the tough times to get to success. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns.
It is not rainbow and unicorns.
My last one is systems and I think it’s the last one for five. Sightline management, can we just stop doing that? Can we allow a little bit of space in between our employees and us and let them do their things and not calling every five minutes? “What are you doing?” Let’s give them some space and allow them to do their jobs because that challenges you as a leader. You find out what you’re made of. You’ve got to trust them a little bit.
The other system part is weekly meetings and check-ins. Each week, Monday morning, have a 10:00 AM conference call with your team wherever they’re at and see what they did this week and see what they did last week. Check–in with them, see how they’re doing. If they’re not doing what you want them to do, have a one-on-one meeting and make sure you have these systems in place so that way you can monitor from afar, not sightline management, what they’re doing. You want to be far enough where they feel like they can do what they want, but you still have a hand in the pot.
If there’s no system, start taking the time, get your staff, employees to help you write those systems. It’s especially important here on the real estate side. Many people are control freaks. I think a lot of people struggle besides just being in real estate or entrepreneurs. I tell people like, “If you’ve got staff, start putting those systems in place. Here’s what you do when you get this, here’s the step by step.” Because that will save a lot of time in the long run. If those people leave, you’ve now can re-delegate and put the systems in so that it helps you train your staff better. A lot of people will avoid hiring somebody, hiring a VA, hiring an assistant because, “I can’t afford. I don’t have the time to train.”
I’m a huge advocate that the number one hire anybody can have is to bring on that first employee, that first assistant to take so much off of the leader’s plate of little things that eat up our schedule. We all have 24 hours in a day. If you’ve got to run to the bank, have your assistant go. Go pick up the dry cleaning, go get a cup coffee. I get those are little small things, but it’s also like, “Print this. Get this figured out. Call this person, let’s get some stuff scheduled,” because we only have so many hours of the day. If you’re the one doing all these little things, you’re the biggest bottleneck to you being productive and being a better leader.
It’s like the captain of the ship metaphor. You don’t see the captain down in the boiler room shoveling coal. He’s up there on the wheelhouse and he’s charting the course. He’s up there making sure that we don’t hit icebergs.
Make sure the guy in the crow’s nest is actually watching out.
He’s up there making sure that you guys are going towards your vision. Keep that in your mind. The captain doesn’t have to do all the work. He’s not down on the cruise ship. He’s not making the beds. He’s not putting little chocolates on the pillows. He’s not doing the laundry. He’s not making dinner. He’s up there making sure that you guys aren’t going to hit anything and that you guys are going to reach your goal.
With your podcast, the people you’ve interviewed, who is probably the number one guest you’ve had on that you were jacked up and excited to have on?
This is going to sound weird and woo-woo. I had Paul Selig on the show. He’s a channeler and I’ve been obsessed with near-death experiences. I don’t know why. He has a book called Realization. I think it’s Aubrey Marcus and himself are going to go up to New York and they’re going to have a big release party and I’m going to try and sneak up there. He channels and it’s so crazy. Your readers are probably, “What is he talking about?” He channels to these guides and he raises his vibration and he gets all this great material. He goes into this room with a recorder, a witness, somebody else and they channel these texts and it tells us we are the sources of energy. Our spirits are so much more powerful than what we think we are.
A lot of the times that we’re living in it in this world, we are our small selves where we just worry about the small things in life and it’s not who we are. This daily 9 to 5 grind and this commute that is an hour in traffic. That’s not who we are. We’re meant to be so much more. He talks to us about it. I’m just getting into it, it’s very hard for me to explain, but definitely check him out. He channels and it’s very new to me. Some people might not like that stuff, but to me it’s so powerful because it’s all about that energy. I’m starting to align my energy in the direction that I want to go. It’s helped me out as an entrepreneur.
I don’t think it’s woo-woo at all because I think you can be around anyone and there’s energy. Anytime you can tap into that, I think it’s the sixth sense of us being able to find those things and see those things in our life. Because whether you’re spiritual or whatever, I think there is a bigger thing to what we’re doing. I’ve had things out in my life that I channel being one direction that anytime I tried to go against, I found myself coming back to it and I’m like, “Thank you. I’m moving on. I’m going to channel and go that direction,” and it turned out always for the best. When you’re trying to fight that, because I’ve seen friends and other people try to fight what they’re being pushed towards to, it doesn’t help them. It’s a one step forward, two steps back as they keep trying to fight it and avoid those signs that are out there everywhere for us.
I’m a big believer that the energy you put out there, you‘re calling that into your life. I’m starting to learn more about it. The Law of Attraction, I wasn’t a big believer in, but I’m starting to believe in that more. What you believe or what you put out there, you manifest. Changing your energy, your source and redirecting that in a positive vibe. David Goggins, I’ve been reading him too. He’s been so phenomenal and motivational for me because I just got back into running after a long absence. He talks about callusing your mind, testing your limits and going past those limits. He talks about when you’re out there running, let’s say you hit a mile and you feel like you can’t go anymore. You still have 60% left in the tank. It’s a mental game at that point. The brain runs the show. You’ve got to say, “I don’t care if you’re hurting right now or not. We’re going further.”
He’s run 24-hour races. He’s run in numerous ultra-marathons. Listening to him fires me up and gets me ready for my day. I don’t have all the answers and that’s what I try to talk about on my podcast. I’m here listening and learning with you. Even when I’m talking to you, I’m writing notes because you have some great information and content. Even with my guests, I’m constantly writing because I’m learning and that’s the best part about it. I get to have a conversation for free with some great people and connect with them and have relationships and build these relationships into something more. That’s the best part about podcasts is the people that are involved in it. You talked about Podcast Movement and the people that are involved in that, they’re phenomenal. Pat Flynn and a bunch of others, these are great people.
No truer words were spoken. I’ll tell you that. That’s what I love about the podcasting. People are coming together from total different avenues and backgrounds and sharing and being supportive. I’m a big believer, it’s the last true facet of free speech out there that we can provide versus other things, print media and stuff like that. It’s a melding of minds. It’s people coming together trying to do the same thing, all working towards rolling the boat, but diving into a word that we use all the time called coopetition. We’re all competitive in nature and want to get places, but we’re also willing to help each other out and realize that we’re not stealing from each other, not stealing each other’s thunder or audiences. We’re literally helping people and it explodes exponentially when you’re able to do that with people. I saw the photo of you with Seth Godin. I am a huge Seth Godin fan. I got about every book he’s ever written. I think he’s one of the best presenters. What’s your opinion of Seth?
He did a talk at CADREcon, which my brother-in-law helped me get to that. It’s so crazy. He gets up there and he has a ten-minute spiel about marketing and then he has a segment where you can ask him any question. He has this orange square that has a microphone in it and you can pass it around the audience and you speak into it and ask him a question. I’m like, “You don’t come to this CADREcon and you don’t not ask Seth Godin a question. I don’t care what it is, I’m going to ask him a question.” I can’t even remember the question was. I was excited to talk to him. I was like, “I can’t believe this is Seth Godin.” Linchpin, I love that book, and The Dip and all of the marketing stuff that he does.
I remember what it was. It was something about changing the world. I talk about it in one of my episodes. It was something like, “What was the deciding factor when you wanted to change the world?” He was like, “I didn’t mean it like that.” I’m like, I totally blew that question.” He’s like, “What I meant was you need to be able to change your world and whatever that is.” Your world might be smaller than his, but to be able to put more positive vibes out to your world is what he meant. Wherever you’re at in life and in general, don’t try to change the entire world but try to change your world. I was like, “Mind blown.” I was able to get up and talk to him after his talk and I was just mentioning him that I’ve been wearing him out on the emails. I told him like, “I appreciate you answering,” because he answers all of them. It‘s crazy. Out of all the emails that he gets a day, he told me he gets 20,000 a day or something like that. He answers almost all of them.
That’s what I love about him. Straightforward, always got a different take on marketing. I think Tribes is one of the most influential books I’ve ever read out there. I’ve always kept it in mind with what we’re doing here. We all have tribes looking for leadership. Whether or not you want to be loud because if in the absence of true leadership, people listen to the loudest person and I love what you’re doing with Your Superior Self Podcast. You’re a leader and not only providing great content and interviewing great people, you yourself are also being a leaderand helping people out there.
That means a lot and I do appreciate the support and you having me on the show. This has been awesome.
What’s the best place for people to connect with you?
They can find me on my website at YourSuperiorSelf.com. You can check me out on Instagram at @TDownes80 and on Twitter at @DownesTrey. You can hit me up over on the website. That’s where a lot of people send me messages. Sign up and I’ll send you over Ten Tips on Leadership immediately and then you can get on the email list and I’ll send you all the episodes right in your inbox. Hit me up on all social media. I’ll try to respond. I’m trying to get a little bit more into social media and do the little Gary Vee action, but that’s not me.
You’re doing a great job. Keep up the good work. Thank you so much. Check it out, Your Superior Self Podcast on the website. They’re on social media. I love his content, you’ll love it too as well. It’s got some great interviews, some great episodes on. It’s amazing to see Trey’s transition in different episodes from the beginning to where Trey’s at now. I wanted to have him because I know a lot of people, a lot of the investors, a lot of our readers out there in Note Nation are struggling with things, struggle with themselves and grow as an entrepreneur. Sometimes you need to grow into that mindset if you want to definitely go from one level to another level. You’ve got to get the mindset level and that bigger level first before you can actually achieve those things. Go out, take some action and we’ll see you at the top.
- Your Superior Self Podcast
- Crushing It!
- The 5 Love Languages
- Shoe Dog
- Untethered Soul
- The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
- The Power of Vulnerability
- Man’s Search for Meaning
- The Dip
- @TDownes80 on Instagram
- @DownesTrey on Twitter
About Trey Downes
Trey Downes is the founder of Your Superior Podcast. A podcast that helps you awaken to your possibilities through self-mastery. Trey started the podcast to help him crush his fear of public speaking. Now, he helps others get motivated to move forward in their lives.