Not everyone finds alignment with what they’re supposed to be doing in this world in their 20s. At Finding Direction, people of any age and from all walks of life are welcome to seek guidance in pivoting their lives and careers. At the head of this initiative is a personal development protégé who was trained under the wings of the peerless and incredibly magnetic Tony Robbins. Stu Massengill was introduced to the world of personal development through his early involvement in network marketing. When he met Tony, his life was about to change forever. He is now one of Tony’s national trainers. So why is he here on the podcast with Dr. Kevin Pecca? Stu had his own big battle with cancer some years ago. But not even the most vicious of diseases can beat the sheer positive vibe that this life coach emanates in himself. Listen in and learn how the power of positivity, gratitude, and all the good stuff from the personal development guys can help you with your health journey.
Listen To The Episode Here: Stu Massengill On Finding Direction, Working With Tony Robbins, And Beating Cancer
Stu Massengill On Finding Direction, Working With Tony Robbins, And Beating Cancer
We have Stu Massengill. Stu is the Founder of Finding Direction. He is a national trainer for Tony Robbins and a cancer survivor. He is a master in networking and communicating, which has led him to meet truly amazing people on his journey. Stu has been involved in personal growth and self-help worth for a while now, and he has learned from some of the best in the business. He gets to travel alongside Tony Robbins. He was also mentored by Bob Proctor. For a living, Stu gets to travel all around the world and speak at all Tony Robbin’s live events. He has inspired thousands of people. What I love most about Stu’s story is he took all the tools he has learned about mindset and personal growth and applied them to his own life to help him beat cancer. Personal development is one of my favorite topics, so it was a joy to be able to sit down with Stu and learn some new skills that I can apply to my own life. I know you could do the same. Please welcome, Stu Massengill.
We have a very special guest. I'm excited to have him, Stu Massengill. He is out of San Diego, California and he is a national trainer for Tony Robbins. He is the Founder of Finding Direction. Stu, how are you?
I am blessed. I'm breathing. My heart's beating air to my lungs.
What it's all about, another day above ground.
Truly that's a win.
I dove a little bit into your life story and it is truly amazing. You've been through and overcome a lot. I'm excited to have you on the show so thanks for coming down and sitting with us.
I'm pumped to be here and grateful to be able to hopefully give people some wisdom, insights and help people along this journey called life.
Stu, where are you from originally?
I'm originally from the Bay Area. For my non-California people, that's Northern California. I grew up about 45 minutes east of San Francisco in a small little town. I guess, normal for me but pretty regular childhood. I got one brother, two great parents and did all the kid things growing up. Playing sports, fooling around, all that fun stuff.
What were you into growing up?
I went through phases. Super randomly, I had one phase where I was convinced for the rest of my life, I was going to build fireworks for a living. My parents were like, “Your fingers might blow off though when you're trying to put all these chemicals together and you put the wrong one.” I was like, “I don't care. Fingers or not, fireworks are my thing.”
Were you a pyromaniac? I add a little bit of that in me too.
I had a phase of a pyromaniac. I did that for a little bit, that was probably not a super long phase but I would say probably in my younger teens I started skateboarding and I'd been snowboarding my entire life growing up. For me, that was probably the biggest thing I was into. I would go skate with friends, go snowboard. Do that, go to school and then do whatever else kids do when you're younger. I would say those were two of the biggest things that I was into was, fireworks at one point, which was super random and then the action sports, which stuck.
What was your mountain of choice up there?
Northstar. They’ve got a lot of good terrains, good parks over there. Powder day when you get a good dump. It's wonderful. Northstar was the go-to and I grew up going there with my family. We would go on a vacation every winter. It became a second home. Northstar’s in Lake Tahoe, which if you have not gone to Lake Tahoe and you're reading this and you want a miracle, that's a miracle on Earth.
Stu, after skateboarding and everything, what did you do? Did you go to college? Is there something you wanted to pursue there?
Yeah. I grew up very traditional. You go to school, you get good grades, you get a job, you figure out life. I went to San Diego State, that’s what brought me down now to Southern California. I live in San Diego now and I went to school and that was my plan. I always dabbled in the entrepreneurship space. I was the kid that sold gummy bears in high school and then eventually it turned into selling skateboard so I could skate for free. I got to college and probably at the end of my first year I was introduced to another business opportunity was a network marketing company that was probably eight years ago.
That’s when I fully went headfirst into this entrepreneurship world. I ended up dropping out of school for a little bit, pursuing that for a while. It was one of the most incredible opportunities. I talk with a lot of people in college now and there's this idea sometimes that pops up of like taking a gap year or taking a leave of absence for a year. For me, I took three and a half years off then I came back and then I took another half a year off. It took as long as you could to get through it, but for me it was one of the best experiences to leave school and just like experience life.
What did you do with that three-and-a-half-time frame? Did you travel?
I was introduced to this network marketing company. For those not familiar with the industry, essentially in a nutshell, there's a larger company that produces the products. They manufacture it. They do all the backend. What you do is rather than having to put all the energy into creating the product, building it and getting all the testing done, you are just a marketer for them. The more effectively you can market this product, the better income you make. I ended up going full-on into that for three and a half years. At one point, I was on a plane probably once or twice a week traveling all over the country, working with different organizations and teams.
For me truthfully, it was an incredible opportunity to build a business for three and a half years but really what it exposed me to was personal development. I was the shy, quiet kid growing up. I had an older brother, he was extroverted. He was social. He was the stud and I was the shy, quiet, introverted sibling that I would have my friends and then other than that I kept to myself. When I was introduced to this personal development world, it just exposed me for the first time that you can truly become whatever you want to become and I experienced that. I wasn't just someone's preaching it to me like I experienced the transformation of going from shy, quiet, introverted to love being around people and having conversations with people in whatever way, shape or form that was. Ever since I was exposed to that personal development for the last 8 or 9 years, I've lived in that world and I would say in a larger sense, probably been addicted to it because it feels so good to grow for me.
What tools, mentors were you first exposed to with the personal development? There is a wide range you can choose from. What were you gravitated towards in the beginning?
I would say the first two big mentors I had, one was probably Bob Proctor. Have you ever seen the movie, The Secret? They talk about the Law of Attraction. He’s the old white dude with white hair. No disrespect, Bob. He's a great dude but I was mentored by him for a little bit in this company that I was with. He dove deep into the philosophy of thoughts become things. There’s this book called Think and Grow Rich and he would expand upon that. I learned from him and he was probably my first real mentor in the industry. I was then introduced to Tony Robbins and went to one of his live events. For me, it was a little bit different because a lot of seminars or things you'll go to, you go there, you sit down for twelve hours or however long it is. They talk to you, they teach you, you learn, you go home versus I went to Tony's and it was more or less like a rock concert.
Lots of energy.
You’re jumping out, you’re dancing and you're doing ridiculous things. For me, it was that energy in that space that took to me, but I would say those two are probably and then I would listen to Jim Rohn was another big one.
It's funny. There's so much content on YouTube that I feel like I was personally mentored by Jim Rohn. You can find hours and hours. You can find all his seminars on YouTube for free and it's the world we live in nowadays information-wise, the sky's the limit. It’s unbelievable. People didn't have access to that 20, 30, 40 years ago.
That is crazy. You think 20, 30 years ago, you had to go to that seminar or go read about it.
You didn't even know these people were out there.
Most people probably weren't aware of it. That is a crazy concept.
Stu, what were some of the tools that you gravitate towards that you still use now? There’s so much information thrown at you at personal development, and I feel like little things stick with you. You go over it again and you're a little bit more stick with you. What are some tools that stood out to you?
I would say one of the tools that stood with me is state management. What I mean by that, if you dive deeper into that, Tony teaches this thing called the triad. It's that there are three things always determining our focus in life more or less. It’s the language that we tell ourselves. It's how we use our physiology and then it's the meaning that we give things. In this triad, it's like if you're aware of what am I focusing on? What am I speaking to myself? How am I using my body language? What you'll begin to notice is there are patterns that you can predict when you're going to be depressed. You can predict what do I say to myself when I'm depressed? What do I do with my body language when I'm depressed? What do I focus on when I'm depressed?
You can then start to look at, for example, let's say I'm skateboarding. I'm about to go jump down seven stairs and do this trick. Right before I'm about to do that, what am I saying to myself? What am I focusing on? How am I using my body? As you start to pick up some of these patterns, anyone that's reading to this, if we said, “I'll give you $10 million. There's someone behind a door next to you. They're depressed. What does their body language look like?” No one needs to be a genius to know that their shoulders are slouched and their breath is shallow. They're not moving a ton because we've all been there one time or another.
The biggest thing I think I got initially was learning how to create states that allowed me to prosper more in life. If I'm getting into this negative state, let me consciously look at, “What's my body doing? What am I saying to myself? What am I focusing on?” Allowing yourself then to change that because I think a lot of the times when we get into these sad places or depressed places or places of feeling like we don't know what we can do or we don't know if we can solve this issue that we're in, a lot of the times unconsciously we're not aware of what's going on. Those are three of the biggest forces that determine that.
Stu, I don't mean to put you on the spot here but this is one of my favorite topics. Let’s just take the example of you trying to land a skateboard trick that is a little bit out of your comfort zone. What is the self-talk you are trying to tell yourself? Are you saying, “I'm the best skateboarder in the world, I'm going to nail this,” or are there more levels to that?
I would say to myself, “I got this. I'm nailing this. I'm making this happen.” The focus that I always remember and this even after skateboarding has turned into a theme that I wasn't even aware I was doing at the time but the thing I would focus on is riding away from the trick. Some people focus on, “I’m going to jump down the stairs. I might eat crap and I might break my arm.” If that's what you're focusing on, where energy goes or where focus goes, energy flows. Those are some of the things that I would focus on and then body language, I'm a mover. I like to move my body. I'm jumping on my toes and heels a little bit to really get myself hyped up. It’s interesting, even as we talk about this now, those are massive things that I do in my life. When I want to create something, I'm focusing on, “What's the end look like?” In a positive manner. I'm moving my body. I'm shaking it around and I'm keeping that language of, “I got this. I can make this happen.”
One thing that's interesting as we look at COVID-19, let's take for an example and for anyone that owns a business. What happened to a lot of people when COVID-19 became is those three things. They started to look at, “COVID-19 is here.” They focused on business isn’t going to be as good. The language they told themselves was maybe, “I've never been in this place before so I don't know if I could figure this out,” and then their body language, maybe again shoulders slumped. One of the things that's interesting, I joke around and say, “I've had a masterclass in the business watching Tony Robbin's pivot in this pandemic.” One of the things that I noticed was interesting with him as he shifted in this business is once COVID-19 hit and you go through those different phases of first you're angry and you're pissed off, you're like, “They're not shutting my business down.”
Finally, you accept it. Eventually, you get into this phase of creation. If you're a business owner and you're reading this, you got to figure out, how can you put yourself in that positive state when you crush it in life? That’s where you must come up with ideas from because if you come up with ideas in this state of, “I don't know if I could do this, I can't make this happen.” The answers you give yourself will be different than the answers than if you put yourself in a peak state is what we call it. That’s one thing I would say even now that's relevant is for people going through all this craziness with COVID-19 and having to shut their businesses down. I'm sure it's affected you in a way as well with your business. It’s like you got to put yourself in a state that says, “I'm going to find a way. I'm going to make a way.” Once you find that state, you can create some beautiful answers on how COVID-19, although there's a lot of bad happening, how there can be some beautiful blessings with it.
You are a speaker in front of a live audience and so it also has been a difference to have been a different year for you as well. How have you pivoted in that circumstance because you don't have the live audience anymore? You're not selling tickets per se. How do you pivot in that situation?
Pre-COVID-19 to give people a little bit of background, I’m a national trainer with Tony Robbins. What that looks like is traveling 340 days a year, moving cities every four months. Speaking in front of audiences 5 to 15 times a week and orchestrating different pieces of training for different companies of all sizes and shapes. That’s what we did pre COVID-19. Now COVID-19 happened, We, Tony Robbins, our normal event is 10,000 people in a stadium and a lot of the speaking I would do would kind of cater towards leading people to that event. Once COVID-19 hit the way that we pivoted was rather instantly. Rather than trying to say, “We're going to still get in buildings. We're going to find a way. We're going to do live workshops and live training.”
We more or less pivoted and said, “This isn't looking good. Let's find a solution,” and so we went all virtual. For the last whatever it's been now, a few months, which seems crazy to say, we've done everything virtually. One of the most beautiful gifts that we've gotten from it and COVID-19, there are some bad things, but there are also some truly incredible things is because I'm no longer in cities and restricted to the confinements of how far people are away from me. If I'm in Chicago for a couple of months, I can only get to people that stay in Chicago. Maybe some people in Illinois, maybe some people in other bordering States but because we're virtual now, I've had the privilege to work with people in Africa, UK, Australia, in probably every state in the country in the US, with people in Canada, with people in South America.
It's been incredible to see when you do a pivot and when you detach yourself from this is how it's always been, there are some incredible things. That's how we've done it. There's a saying. I'm going to butcher it and I forget who it's by but the saying goes something like, “To thrive in the 21st century, it's not those who are the most intellectual. It's those who can learn, unlearn and relearn.” A lot of us have had to do in this world is we've done things so often one way that when they've shifted, we've been stuck to, “This is how it always been.” To succeed in and to grow, we’ve got to figure out how we can unlearn and relearn.
Stu, how did you personally go from taking one of Tony Robbins’ seminars to being involved in one of Tony's seminars all around the country? That's a huge step. It's very impressive. You don't see that too often and it takes an extra skillset, an extra form of focus because there are a lot of people that speak, do what you do. There are different levels to everybody in every profession. How did you get to the level you're at now?
One of my biggest philosophies in life is that through effective communication and networking, you can open any door of opportunity. What I more or less did is I went through a bunch of different things in my life. I was with that business. I went into action sports for a little bit, and ultimately through just experiencing and trying things in life, I figured out working with people was what I felt was my calling in life. Tony had impacted my life, that's where I went through. More or less through using the communication and network networks that I'd built over the years, I knew someone who knew someone in the company that knew someone, that knew the person that was hiring for what I do now with Tony Robbins was a trainer. Through my network, I met the person that I needed to meet and then built a relationship with that person. I showed them that I have the skills to perform for them. Fast forward now, here we are.
What was that first encounter like with Tony on a personal level when you knew you were going to start working with him? What was that like?
What interesting is the first time I met Tony was at church. I live in San Diego. He lives in Florida. This is pre-COVID-19 when we can go into places but usually have to go in the morning and this one day something happened. I went later and I'm at church and I see this giant human because Tony is 6’8” and he's large. I see this dude standing up, we're doing like the worship part and I'm like, “That dude looks like Tony Robbins. I'm going to go sit behind him because that looks like him.” Sure enough, I sit behind him and I was like, “Holy crap, this is him.” At this point, I'd been to some of his events. I went to one of his events in Australia.
I'd seen him at several different events and I went up to him after and was like, “Thank you more or less on how much you've impacted my life.” One of the craziest things for me was how ridiculously present this man is. What I mean is in nowadays world, it's easier than ever to get distracted by social media, by many things pulling our attention but the moment I said one word to him, it was like the only thing in the universe was he and I having this conversation and him genuinely appreciating my thank you. This dude probably has this happen thousands of times a day for the last decades and it really blew my mind on how present he was because I think especially in nowadays world, it's easy to not be present.
At that point, I don't think I really even had the idea that I was going to work with him but I've always been so aligned in the character and mission that he has and how relentless he is to make sure that he serves people to hike the highest capacity. He has such a high standard for how he needs to show up for his clients. He has such a high standard for life. I think that's what pulled me in. From even working for him, that presence has stood still and standard, something that's rubbed off on me where it's like, “Let's raise our standards.”
Stu, what has traveling done for you in personal growth aspects because you are constantly traveling? You took three years off to travel. I might've read that you've been to a couple of places all over the world. What has that been able to do for you?
I think my favorite thing about traveling is you get put in a place that requires you to be in that place. I've traveled a lot throughout the US for work a lot and for business. There are two different types of travel. One for work, you're going to place, you're getting stuff done. That's one way. I would say my preferred way of travel is for fun. I've been to the Philippines, Europe, a couple of other different countries and I think my favorite thing is once I get to that place because I know I'm only there for a week or 2, 3 weeks or a month, it's like, “Let me turn off everything else and just be here and embrace this culture in this world, the people here, have conversations and experience life in this place because one, I don't know if I'll ever come back to this place. Let me take in everything about it.” That’s been the most beautiful thing for me when it comes to traveling is just embracing the presence of the place and it started with, I think it was a few years ago, I booked a one-way ticket to New Zealand and I was like, “I'm going.”
Talk about this. You haven't even touched on this part of your story.
It took a curveball. It didn't work out. It started as we maybe say out of the travel, I think it's easy to get caught up in. I want to go travel and see the world, but I don't have anyone to go with me or my friends, they're busy or these friends don't have the money or this friend's got kids or whatever. For me, it was just like, “I know that I'm in control of myself and if I go, something cool has got to happen. Worst comes to worst, if it's really bad, I'll just come home.” I always wanted to go to New Zealand. It was a dream of mine since I was born weirdly. That first step and once I went to one place, it was like, “I'm going everywhere.” Once you get a taste of the travel, it's like that bug they talk about is real.
Stu, I don't know if you want to talk about this or not but you've had a health journey of your own and you've come out the other side of it. That in itself is a miracle. Tell me what that was like for you.
In this New Zealand adventure, I'm going to go travel and explore the world, all that good stuff. I went to New Zealand. I planned to be there for seven months and two days into my seven months, two days before my birthday, I noticed there was something not right with my body. I had a skydive appointment the next morning so I had to go do that. I jumped back on the plane but then went to the hospital. I was like, “I'm not going to die in this plane. I'll be all right.” I went to the plane, it was beautiful. Went to the hospital and basically after two days of tests because it was a small little hospital in New Zealand and I don't think they had specialists or anything like that. It was general medicine. After two days of doing tests, ultrasounds, things like that, they did the traditional in the movie scene like sitting you down.
By yourself, no family.
I was with myself, no family. They were like, “Sir, you're going to have to get the next flight home. We found there's some mass and it's either benign, meaning it's nothing or it could be cancerous. We suggest you get to the next plane flight home and you go see your doctor and you figure this out.” I'm a ridiculously positive person and I have a massive belief in my life that everything happens for a reason. It happens for the right reason. I think the three and a half years I dove into personal development massively prepared me for this moment because if I didn't have that, I might've heard that and been like, “Holy crap, WTF.” I heard it and for me it was just like, “Everything happens for a reason, not a real shame, sad or fear.” This is supposed to happen. I know I'm not supposed to die. It's not my time yet.
I'm going to go home and I'm going to figure this out. I'm going to get through it. Sure enough, I get home, whatever the plane flight is sixteen hours later, go see my doctor. After seeing him, he sits me down again and like, “He is the specialist.” He's like, “Basically, you have testicular cancer. That’s what this is and now we need to go through the protocols and procedures to not make you have cancer anymore.” One side note, I would just say to all my guys reading this, check your equipment. To be super vulnerable, open and honest, basically one of my soldiers swelled up to the size of an egg.
Make sure you're checking yourself and if something like that happens, go see a doctor. I was fortunate enough to catch it early. They ended up doing an orchiectomy and then after you have your surgery, they constantly monitor what you with CT scans and MRIs. They did a CT scan and they noticed there was a mass 3 millimeters large in my stomach. I guess testicular cancer can spread to your stomach through your lymph nodes. They were like, “This isn't a common thing that happens with testicular cancer, but sometimes it'll spread your stomach. If that's the case, we need to do the surgery.” It's called an RPLND, it stands for Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection. Long story short, they cut you open from pecs, from your chest down to your pubic bone. A foot and a half, they cut you open and they go along your main artery and vein, and they take out lymph nodes.
That was the case, it spread to the stomach?
It did. They took out 23 lymph nodes, 5 were cancerous. I just feel blessed that I had good care, I had some really good doctors that were working on me that they caught that. The question did come into play of like, “Are we going to do this surgery or not?” It’s a big surgery, it’s not something you casually say, “Let's do this and do it.”
Weigh out your options.
We did go through and do the surgery, and I feel extraordinarily grateful that I was able to catch it early enough that it didn't spread further than that. My cancer wouldn't react to chemotherapy, so I didn't ever do chemo which I guess I'm also grateful for because I have friends that have done that and it's a gnarly process. They removed everything surgically for me. I'm three and a half years from that, almost four years to the day.
Thank you. Almost four years from that now and I'm cancer-free. I don't know all the lessons that I've learned from it. I think it will continue to unfold in my life and I'll continue to see why that happened. I feel extraordinarily fortunate that I was able to catch it early enough to not have it spread.
I think just waking up on a bright, sunny day, feeling good, feeling healthy, feeling alive, that's probably enough for you. That’s probably everything because if you didn't have an experience like that, you wake up, it's just another day. You have something like that happen to you. You start counting all your blessings, your health and it feels good to be alive in Southern California in the sunshine. Life is good.
Every morning, I have a practice I do a couple of different things. One of them is practicing gratitude and every single morning, religiously I write down ten things I'm grateful for, five that are in my life and then five things I want to create. I write it in the present tense as if I've already created it. In the five things that I write down that I have in my life, I'll write down a combination of big things. It’s like, “I'm happy and grateful that in business, we accomplished this goal.” Another one will be, “I'm happy and grateful that I have air in my lungs or that my heart is beating.” My heart is on there almost every single day.” It reminds you of all the little things that we have in life that we can be grateful for. I am a firm believer that when you start with gratitude, it illuminates every other part of your life.
I do the same thing. One of my questions, is it a problem to be repetitive? There are 2 or 3 things that I'm writing down every day. I'm like, “This is getting a little corny but it's what I'm grateful for.” Is there a problem with saying that if you're writing down 6 or 7 things, 3 of those things are always on your list?
I don't think so. I'm very similar for the five things I write down. There's probably 1 or 2 that show up all the time and maybe a third one that shows up weekly. There are overlaps for the ones that I have and for the things I want to create in my life. I would say that probably 4 out of the 5 are always the same every single day. It’s like goals I have for business, goals I have for my life, dreams that I have. It’s every single day reaffirming to my unconscious mind. I started with, “I'm happy and grateful now that I,” and then I fill in the blank. What I put every single day is, “I'm happy and grateful now that I own a lake house on Lake Tahoe.” That’s a vision I have, a dream that I want to create in my life. By every single day, reaffirming that in my unconscious mind, I'll continue to do that until I have the house. I promise you in and a handful of years, I will have the house.
Stu, do you have a night routine as well or no?
I don't have a night routine.
I bought a great little book, The Five Minute Journal. I feel bad because I always leave the night routine blank. I'm good at the morning one but I'm curious to see if the night routine was a part of your daily.
One thing that I'll do sometimes, this is not as common of a practice, maybe like once a week I'll do this and usually I'll do it when I don't have the best day. Meaning if I have a day where I have some goals that I didn't quite get those goals or something didn't quite go the way I want. What I've noticed is if we have 10 things we want to do and we do 9, we crush 9 and we mess up on 1. Our brain tends to go to, “I could've done that better.” Those 10 things, 9 of them could be really small and that 10th one could be a little bit bigger. What I'm getting at is at the end of the day, I'll ask myself, “What were three things that I crushed it?” One concept I've learned in life is that success breeds success and failure can't breed success.
If you have something you want to create in your life and you did 9 things right and 1 thing is wrong, but you've gone to the next day holding onto that failure, that's not going to allow you to build success off that. All at the end of my day say, “What were three things I crushed it?” It could be I cooked an amazing dinner with my girlfriend and I crushed that. It could be I went on a walk today and one other random thing, big or small, but that allows me to take even if it's just the smallest little wins and carry that into tomorrow, so tomorrow I show up and I crush it even harder.
You've been around some very high-vibrational people. Is there a trend or something, 1 or 2 things you notice about these people that they have in common that you can extract from them?
I love the word vibration first and foremost because I think that's really like we're all on a certain type of frequency. Those are some of the things I learned from Bob Proctor as well as it's like we're on frequencies. Two or three things that I picked up. One is a sensational hunger to be better, to do more, to show up. The hunger for life I would say is one thing. Another thing that I've noticed is curiosity and having this general curiosity for life. Let’s say you own a business, and it's not curiosity towards your business and how you can grow that, it could be in a conversation you're having with someone in a grocery store, a genuine, real sincerity and curiosity on what does this person do? What do they know? Having this approach that everyone in life knows something that I don't know and is better at something than me. Having this curiosity whether it's in business, whether it's about relationships, whether it's with our health but this continued curiosity like this childlike curiosity that doesn't go away. I would say those are two of the biggest things is hunger and curiosity.
For me, the conversation we're having is a lot of it comes back to being present. It’s such a cliché thing to say be present, be where your feet are but when you are present and realizing that you need to be, it's a game-changer. Your whole life almost changes.
It's easier now than ever to not be present. I think you hit it on the head, even if you could just put a sticky note somewhere that's like, “Be present,” or little reminders that you can put so that each day because the presence is all we have.
Stu, I want to talk a little bit about more what you're doing now? What is Finding Direction? Why did you start something like that? Is that a side gig from what you do with Tony?
It’s a business I do aside from what I do with Tony, my own business. Where it started was after I left that original business that I was in for 3.5 years. I left it because of some changes in my heart. Once I left it, I went from this place of living the cliché of you never work a day in your life if you love what you do to, why am I here? What's my purpose? What am I doing on this planet? It’s a total loss. I felt lost in this world. It was one of the most painful things I've ever been through. It was more painful than all the cancer stuff I went through.
For years, I tried to figure out, “Why am I here? What's my purpose?” I went through all these different things to ultimately get to where I am now, where I live and I say this hopefully in a way that comes off authentic. I'm really happy with the life that I've created for myself and I feel fulfilled and I think fulfillment is a huge thing in life. I lived a lot of my life when I pursued business unfulfilled. When I went and missed a couple of years of figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, I had this realization that like, “Holy crap, I'm not the only person that's asked this question to myself and there are other people out there that are going I don't know what I want to do with my life.”
Let’s say in college and you're trying to figure out what you want to do with your life or you just graduated or you've been in the workforce for a couple of years. You are like, “This isn't what I feel like I'm called here to do.” That’s when Finding Direction was born out of there, other people suffering and going through this. I think that in philosophy, we've taken on this approach that it's okay to be dissatisfied with what you do where it's like, “What do you do for work?” You’re like, “You do this.” They’re like, “Do you like it?” You’re like, “No, it's work.” You look at the statistics, more than half of our life is work.
Especially in America.
I'm a believer. You should do something that you wake up you have to pinch yourself and be like, “This is the life that I lived, that I've created for myself,” because you can create that type of life if you have hunger, if you have curiosity. The Finding Direction, we have two pillars. One, we got a podcast called Finding Direction, and that's all about figuring out people that live fulfilling and successful lives how they did it and picking apart their life, having people on and really diving into their life. The second pillar that we have is Finding Direction University, and that's more of a hands-on approach. That's more of people that are trying to figure out what they want to do with their life but they don't want just the free content from the podcast but they want actual guidance in this process. A lot of the people we work within that are people I touched that are in college, that are about to get out of college and go to the real world. Even people that have graduated and are a couple of years into the mix wondering, “Is this really what I'm supposed to be doing?”
You can probably help out 45, 50-year-olds that have been doing what they're doing for too long. They know it and they want to change direction. It sounds like it's for everybody.
It's not confined to anybody. I think there are people of all ages, walk, life, size, shapes that wake up and go, “I'm not happy.” We want to help people shift from that and live a life that you love.
I had a 50-year-old guy in my chiropractic class, and he was one of the happiest people to be in the room. It’s never too late to start. It was awesome going into class, going to the lab, working on people and seeing this guy's face. He was a twenty-year-old kid again, excited for his new job, his new career. It was great to see. Stu, where can people find Finding Direction online, all your social media platforms, everything like that?
I would say probably the best thing, we have a free resource people can take advantage of. We've had probably about 100 people on the podcast to give or take. From my own experiences, we've learned that there are commonalities on how people got to where they are. We have this document. If people want to get it, it's a free resource. It's called Three Steps to Finding Direction and they can go to FindingDirectionUniversity.com/3steps. You’ll get our free eBook called Three Steps to Finding Direction. That can give more or less anybody clarity on what does that life look like that really lights you up? How do you get there?
Is there a personal one-on-one session that people do? Is it a group? How does it work?
We're all groups. We are launching our next group in about mid-February 2021. Depending on when this comes out, and so if you wanted to do that, I would say get the eBook or shoot us an email. Once you get the eBook, we'll send you an email. You can respond but I would say that's probably the best way to get in touch if you do want some hands-on help.
How does that work? Is it Zoom? Is it in person? What was that look like in February 2021?
It's a six-week-long process. It’s a program. We bring a bunch of different people in, all people trying to figure out what they want to do with their life. Over the six weeks, it's a culmination of online modules where we have different studies, different things you’ll go through. Once a week, we meet as a group and we do different things each week, but they're all around how we come together as a group, as a community. Make sure that we can figure out what we want to do with our life and make it a reality in our life.
Stu, at the end of every show, I'd like to ask all my guests what is one piece of advice that has resonated with you over the years? It could be anything that you would like to give to the readers.
I would say the biggest silver lining piece of advice I've received was from one of my mentors years ago when I first got into the real space of entrepreneurship. He said, “Successful people do what's uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable, and that's why they're successful.” Throughout my life, I've noticed where I've grown the most is when I approach an opportunity that is going to be so uncomfortable, but I know it's going to make me grow. That’s why it's uncomfortable because it's out of my comfort zone. I've had some things in my life, opportunities, things to pursue that I know is part of my calling on this earth, but it's uncomfortable because I haven't done it yet. Sometimes I'll be in this place of feeling I'm going to throw up because I'm like, “This is uncomfortable,” but I know I need to do this to grow, to become the best version of myself that I can be. I've learned to embrace that uncomfortability, so anytime that comes, that pops back into my head. Successful people do what's uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable. That's why they're successful and then take action.
Are there 2 or 3 books that you recommend that have helped you?
I would say two books. One is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. That is the most prolific book on people I've ever read. It changed my life. I would listen to it on repeat because I was this shy person that didn't know how to have conversations. I was like, “I'm going to devour this book until it becomes me.” That’s one of my favorite books. I would say another book, and this can help people in that process whether you're figuring out your life or you got a kid that's figuring out their life or a family member or friend or whatever. There's this book called The Defining Decade. It’s by this woman named Dr. Meg Jay. It’s all about how your twenties are your defining decade for your life. That’s a good book as well. There are many books but those are two good ones.
Stu, thank you so much for coming on the show. It’s a wealth of knowledge in the self-help field. It looks like you're doing great things, big things. I wish you nothing but the best in 2021. It seems like it's going to be a big year for you. Thank you for coming to the show, laying out all the cards on the table and sharing your story. It was amazing.
Thank you so much for having me, Kevin. Thank you to everybody. We appreciate you. Have a beautiful rest of your day.
Finding Direction - Podcast
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