Mike Szczesniak, Tracy Brinkmann

Tracy Brinkmann  00:00

High Performance What is it and what are the five anchoring pillars to high performance? Stay tuned and find out.  Okay, here’s the question. How are we dark horses? You know, the ones everyone is betting against the ones they don’t expect to win place or even show on the track. And they’ll even laugh on us when we talk about trying. How do we show the world our greatness and triumph? Come on? Well, that’s the question, and this podcast will give you the answers. This is the Dark Horse entrepreneur. My name is Tracy Brinkmann.  What is up What is up my dark horse friends and family. Welcome back to your weekly dose of high performance learning. I’m your dark horse host Tracy Brinkmann and you will that my friend is infinitely more important. You are driven entrepreneur or one in the making. Either way, you’re here because you’re ready to start, restart kickstart it, just start leveling up with some great marketing, personal or business results in order to build that beautiful business of yours into the Empire. It absolutely deserves today to be right. Oh gosh, my tongue is tripping over my eyeteeth again. All right, another big episode today. Today, Mike shares niak shares his amazing story talks about how the stigmas of belief serve you until they don’t. And then he lets you in on his five pillars of high performance. Plus, I’m gonna let you in a little sneak peek on next week’s interview episode Guess who has built his own marketing and footprint production Center at and so much more. Before we get into today’s episode, I want to share with you a slight change we’re going to be doing in the daily podcast format. Now I’m going to keep bringing you the daily content. But instead of publishing Tuesday through Friday into the podcast feed, I’m going to shift two of those days, specifically Tuesday and Thursday, into the Facebook group, I want to build the interaction between you and I want to hear your voice so I can learn from you your issues so I can research for you and with you your wins so I can celebrate with you your losses. So I can help you stand up and dust yourself off your pains. So I can help find and share solutions with you. Standing here, you know behind the mic is really, I guess my way of putting out the content, I hope you will find valuable. But I’m hoping that by shifting a couple of couple of days a week into the Facebook group, we can get one step closer to digging in. And really finding that spot where I can help you make a difference help you realize how big a win you just had. Because sometimes I think those small wins are really huge. Or perhaps just help you get up from a stumble of Bumble a fall a faceplant so that you well, because you know, we all have them as we go through our entrepreneurial journey so that you can get up, you know, again, dust yourself off and move on. So again, Monday is still gonna be coming at you with these amazing guests, their stories, their tips and their insights. Tuesday and Thursday, we’re going to shift into the Facebook group and have some two way dialogue. hopefully there’ll be live. And then Wednesday and for Friday, back here on to the podcast. So if you’re not already a part of the Dark Horse Facebook group, come on in there, the link will be down in the show notes. Or you can go to your favorite web browser, type in Dark Horse schooling.com backslash Dark Horse tribe all one word that will take you straight there. And let’s show everyone just how powerful we can all be when we come together to truly help each other and learn from each other. All right, as per usual, the Dark Horse corrals are chock full of personal business and marketing g o LD spilling from every corner of the Dark Horse entrepreneur HQ. So let’s get to the starting gates and go Alright, my dark horse friends and family. Today’s guest is Mike shizen. Yeah, you know, and I’ve even asked him if that’s the right way to pronounce his name. Hopefully I didn’t butcher it up too much. Now, Mike is an entrepreneur consultant, and a coach certified through the high performance Institute. He’s the president and head coach at the results engine where he helps D to D sales professionals scale their production and increase commissions by a minimum of 30% in 60 days or less. He’s also the host of the top rated podcast, the results engine podcast and he just got back from the DDD con, where he was a speaker Mike, welcome to the Dark Horse entrepreneur.

Mike Szczesniak  04:40

Tracy, thanks for having me.

Tracy Brinkmann  04:42

Absolutely, man. It’s a I’ve been looking forward to this and you’ve got a cool story and I actually just want to take a minute and sit back from the mic and let you share as much or as little of that, that road of the rocky parts the rough tumble parts and you know and then we’re going to lead into why you love doing what you do so much

Mike Szczesniak  04:59

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I’ll get the smart notes and anything that you want to dive into the thing could be valuable for your people. Let’s roll. Like, you know, I’m pretty open book. So right. But yeah, like you mentioned, you know, I’m CEO and President head coach wearing all the hats, right? I have a company called the results engine, we’re a high performance coaching consulting company. Basically, we help door to door sales pros make more money, right? And not from a sales strategy or coaching or, you know, closing tactics type of perspective, but purely from high performance, right? How do we show up more powerfully as humans? How do we manage our time better? How do we get our energy up or down? Right? It goes both ways. How do we do all of these things that we can show up, close more deals, make more money and help more people. And, you know, we wasn’t always in that space that this company actually started as a side hustle. I used software engineering as a vehicle to fund all of my business ventures, right? If we actually if we zoom out a little bit and go back a little bit further, my whole life revolved around where I could play soccer in college. And, you know, I remember one conversation with my guidance counselor was like, cool. Well, the, basically the flow is we would bring a list of coaches from a recruiting event, write a college showcase out, bring it to the guidance counselor, he would pull up my transcript and be like, cool. These are the coaches that you should be reaching out to saying, like, hey, come watch me play. It’s kind of how that process worked. And I very much grew up in a family that was like, hey, by all means, go play soccer in college, but use it to get a better education. Like I’m not going to go D one just for the sake of going D one and get a trash education and just an expensive piece of paper, right? So one conversation ended up being like, hey, you’re good at math and sciences, why don’t you look at engineering said cool, they make a lot of money. Because back then all I cared about was making a lot of money retiring, young and open a pitbull rescue foundation. That’s all I wanted to do as a kid. They said, Yes, dumb luck my way into an engineering degree. Four years later, they hadn’t scared me away. So I had a computer engineering degree, went down to Wall Street and started writing code for a living. And what I did, Tracy is I took all that money, and I basically pumped it into myself, my business ventures and my own personal and professional development. So that was the vehicle that funded everything. But that that climb in corporate was super, super linear. Every year was a big pay raise big promotion, like I had all the vanity things that I wanted, all the ego driven stuff that I thought I wanted as a young kid, you know, I had the six figure salary, the senior title, the luxury apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, had all those things like by the age, like 2425, and I was doing really well. But on the outside, like, that’s what it looked like on the inside is we know these stories, so well. It’s it’s not what it was like, you know, and for me, that looked like anxiety and debilitating panic attacks and figured out really what that meant. At a young age. I didn’t know anyone who had ever been through it. I didn’t know anything about it. In fact, when I first endured I remember January 1 2014, was the first day I ever had a full blown panic attack. And I remember I felt my lungs legitimately didn’t work. Like I thought it was a physiological issue. And went through a year and a half of like, going to the doctor’s getting my chest X ray doing brisk breathing tests. Like, again, I thought it was physiological, right. And it took me a year and a half to figure out and reverse engineer like what was going on. You know, like, why I was doing what I was in, during what was actually happening. I’m grateful that I figured it out. Because if I found out through the doctors, they probably would have pushed a bunch of prescriptions on me.

Tracy Brinkmann  08:42


Mike Szczesniak  08:43

And, you know, obviously, I didn’t need that.

Tracy Brinkmann  08:47

Or want it for that matter, right?

Mike Szczesniak  08:49

Yeah, definitely didn’t want it. So yeah, man, I mean, that was a year and a half. And in a weird way, it opened me up to the world that I’m in now, because what I realized in that moment is I had zero clue what I meant to be productive, like no idea. Because every single one of the attacks happened in a moment where I felt guilty for not working. Right. And if I were able to show up more powerfully when I was working, I might not be I might have been able to avoid what I was going through. And that was kind of the catalyst to go in and geeking out on productivity going down the rabbit holes, and it’s just a fraction of the work that we do now with our clients. But that was like I joked it that was like my gateway drug into high performance was just really having no clue what it meant to be productive.

Tracy Brinkmann  09:30

So so just make sure I’m hearing this right. You’re, you’re going through these, I use your phrase here the debilitating panic attacks, because of your own guilt for wanting to work hard.

Mike Szczesniak  09:45

Yeah, so you know, a common example that I always use is like saves a buddy’s birthday on a Friday night you got you have a couple of drinks with your friends as a young single dude making more money than I probably should have been in New York City. Right right and and then I would emotionally in Mentally beat the shit out of myself on a sunny Saturday morning. Because I didn’t feel 100% right. I’m like, I should be working, which realistically, we know these thoughts are Bs, we know that. Like, could I work? Yeah, of course. Like, should I? I don’t know, it might be nice. But like, I don’t need to beat myself up over not doing it right. Like, right, I had no grace with myself. And I also just, again, I didn’t know what it meant to be productive. So it wasn’t working as effectively as I could, right. I thought, I thought it was like being busy or checking things off a to do list,

Tracy Brinkmann  10:34


Mike Szczesniak  10:35

I didn’t realize that doing things doesn’t matter. If the things you’re doing don’t matter.

Tracy Brinkmann  10:42

Right. Like, if the checklist is bullshit, then what’s up?

Mike Szczesniak  10:47

Exactly, exactly. So that kind of opened up the world to this high performance world many years before I actually dove into it. I had my own stigmas around the coaching industry. And those held me back for probably about three years from entering the space. Even though a lot of really close people in my life, were kind of pushing me into it. Like, yo, he could help a lot of people I resisted it just because of stigmas I had, but that was what started it. It’s kind of

Tracy Brinkmann  11:14

nice. So now, when you when you had this realization about this, because you said that you you kind of found it out yourself. Were you still in the mid 20s range at that point, or was a little later.

Mike Szczesniak  11:27

Yeah, no, no, I was like, probably, it was a year and a half in. So when I say the first attack I was I was 23. Yeah, so I was like early to mid 20s.

Tracy Brinkmann  11:41

And did you now, I know you said it was all about this guilt for now I’m working. I mean, did you ever like look back to see a word that that guilt was from was it from just your the way you were brought up, say, Hey, you got you gotta be grinding away, or what may have motivated it.

Mike Szczesniak  11:58

There’s just maybe people can relate like, I’m a dude with extremely high standards and very high expectations here for myself here. And that serves me very well until it doesn’t. And I was there was the first moment where I like kind of found out in like, a very drastic way how it didn’t. You know, like, I think we’ve we, we noticed that a couple times to our lives and wherever it might be where we just realized that that intensity, that aggressive nature, like it, it might not serve us in the current season. And that was very much a large, large manifestation of that in my life.

Tracy Brinkmann  12:40

Gotcha. Yours Yours fliped to physical manifestations where the rather than just wearing yourself out or whatever, I know, if I think back there, and I shared some of the story with you. And when I was talking to you on your show, that in my climb in corporate America, when I’m after my daughter passed away, I threw myself into work and into personal development simultaneously. And I use, you know, to figure out how to keep myself from going the wrong way, so to speak. But at the same time, I literally started to disconnect from mother very family, I was trying to be there for in there, there was probably about about a year and a half of that. And, you know, there was this one moment where there was this intervention and the the ladies in my life, my daughters, he I come home from work, they’re like, sit down, we need to chat. And you know, we’re talking. They weren’t even teenagers yet. And so they had the mind say, dude, we we love what you’re doing at work and what it affords us, but we would like to spend time with dad too. I was like, Oh, okay. And I was just like, I’m just gonna keep doing this. I was pushing myself because that that standard, and what have you, but I had to have an intervention for me to have that realization.

Mike Szczesniak  14:01


Tracy Brinkmann  14:03

So high performance coaching is kind of your your, your result of pulling yourself out and start going down. So you gave us a bit of a an explanation of it, kind of dig down into Now tell me about high performance coaching. It’s and and go a little   go deeper there.

Mike Szczesniak  14:21

Yeah, yeah. So when I say high performance, the way that we define that is just succeeding beyond standard norms consistently over the long term, while maintaining positive well being and positive relationships. Right. So Tracy, every single one of our clients comes to us because they want to make more money and help more people and right. And we do that, right. But that’s not where the transformation happens. And this really blew me away. When I first started. I’m like, Why don’t like, how is the transformation not in the money stuff? Right? Because I was defining value financially. Sure, right. I’m like these guys need to get a positive ROI on this program. Right? Which majority of them did right? It’s personal development one no income claims and to like it works if you work in many cases, or people who don’t work fairly. At the end of the day, that’s not where the transformation was happening, it was in what I would call the life stuff, right, which is prioritizing date night with your significant other or, you know, if you work from home, taking 30 minutes to go eat outside on your balcony, instead of like, shoving food down your throat while your keyboard thrashing right all day, right, like little tweaks like this that actually facilitate long term growth and just exponential trajectory. And, you know, because let’s be real, everyone listening to this, we all know that person who might be at the peak of financial success in our eyes, but behind closed doors, their health deteriorating, or, you know, their relationships, or, you know, and that’s not high performance, high performance is creating this well oiled machine that’s, again, succeeding beyond standard norms consistently over the long term. But this last piece is key, while maintaining positive well being, and positive relationships. Right? So we break that down into a number of pillars that we work with clarity, which is the cornerstone habit, I compare it to a rising tide, when you have clarity, everything rises, but we don’t, everything kind of falls back a bit. Right? So clarity is number one than energy, courage, productivity and influence, obviously, productivity is like my baby when it comes to this space. But those are the main pillars that we’re working with people through and that’s really what the tools that we’re leveraging to skyrocket deal counts, right? For our sales guys. Really, like scale, the impact, right? I just love surrounding myself with people that are mission driven. So we’re very selective with who we let into our community and who we serve through our programs because, like, not not to talk down on nice things. Like I want nice things. I want nice cars, I want fat watches on my wrist, I want it. But like, that’s not what it’s always about. So we’re just we’re not just interested in helping, you know, the sales guy get another Lambo, right, what’s the money going to? Like? Why? Why are we trying to impact the what Who are we trying to impact to the growth? But those pillars are how we’re doing it.

Tracy Brinkmann  17:19

Now, obviously, I know all five of those are good. There’s five, right? All five of those are probably equally important. But if you if you had one where people start getting that aha moment, you know, they’re going through clarity. And that’s the first step I take any of my folks through is that, that that clarity, you got to understand what’s up. But is there is there one where you start seeing a lot of your clients going, ah, they start making that first turn of realization going, Oh, my God, it’s starting to make sense.

Mike Szczesniak  17:48

Yeah, I mean, clarity, is it right? It’s the cornerstone habit. But clarity is really like tightly woven into every single one of the pillars. Right? When we’re talking clarity, it’s literally just asking better questions. Tony Robbins says it says it best quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions. So if we can ask better questions, we’ll get better answers. those answers lead to essentially what we create our reality with. Right, those answers lead to the decisions we make, which leads to the actions we take and the actions we take sculpt are reality. So it would be remiss to not talk about clarity there. Yeah. But what I would say is, I think that three are the most like immediate impact. One is obviously clarity, like we talked about, right? The other two are energy and productivity. Energy is one that really blew me away when I entered the space, mainly because I also didn’t understand it very much like productivity. You know, I came from two worlds that were very heavily stimulant driven.

Tracy Brinkmann  18:49

You’re Now listening to the Dark Horse entrepreneur podcast.

Mike Szczesniak  18:53

Number one was software engineering, that running joke was like, engineers turn coffee into code. The language I worked in was literally called Java. So like, take that for what it’s worth. Right? Exactly. And then number two was the fitness industry. Right? Like fitness has been a massive piece of my life ever since I was trying to get recruited for soccer. You know, and it’s been persistent throughout it been a competitive power lifter for a couple years since retired had to transition out hopefully I’ll go back to it had to focus on the business I moved away from that sport, but like it’s always been there and it’s like, Okay, well, you know, 3pm in the rather before I switch gears in the fitness realm, it’s like cool got a job pre workout right 5am squat session, gotta go get pre workout or an engineering world 3pm slump is hitting in like lunches hitting the itis is hitting. Yeah, got a lot of code to write like, you got to hit Starbucks, right? It was very dependent externally. And what I learned as I was getting certified and working with Brendon Burchard and his team is your body is actually like a power plant. Right, like, you don’t need to, like rely externally on these things, we can actually generate and transmit and trend, excuse me, generate and convert energy on our own through simply leveraging our breathing practices. So if people want to YouTube, like release tension set intention is a really powerful practice to kind of cool energy back down a little bit right now. Or you can look up breath scaling, it’s another powerful practice to ramp your energy back up. And it’s not to say I don’t use pre workout or don’t use Starbucks anymore, or drink coffee or espresso like I love those things, too. But they’re tools, they’re not things that we’re relying upon. Right, right. So that would be one. And then on the productivity side of things, basically, the flow is we have to get the clarity, right, what do we want, what it’s going to take to get there, then we need to figure out how to generate the energy to get there, ie the practices we just talked about. Sure. Finally, once we’ve dialed those two things, and then we can go to productivity, right? How do we maximize our calendar? How do we maximize our efforts right there. And that’s when we can start to use things like there’s a great book called eat the frog by Brian Tracy love that phenomenal book. And literally every chapter is a new action item that you can use, many of them accomplish similar things, just like figuring out which flavor you like, essentially, right? Me personally, I love the love three. That’s the one that’s always resonated most for me and for all my clients is the one that I you given talks a lot, because it’s super, super powerful. Like, how can we get literally 300% of the results from 30% of the actions like it’s, it’s wild. So then you could start to deploy a practice like that. So that’s what I would say in that order. Start with clarity, always start with clarity, then we can generate the energy. And then finally, we can maximize the calendar via productivity.

Tracy Brinkmann  21:48

Yeah, there it is. That’s, it’s that’s the maximize right there in the nutshell. I think in the in the energy room, I find historically, there’s some folks that are, let’s use the phrase, real morning people like myself, like I’m up without no alarm. 334 o’clock in the morning, just probably from the years of being in the military. My dad was military. So it’s just natural for me. And I get up in the morning and I’m up and even on my weekends, you know, but you know, when do you really not work anyway, especially when you’re an entrepreneur. But there are those that I’ve met her like, dude, I could never do that. I I’m like, eight, nine o’clock, and I’m sitting there thinking, dude, my day is half over by then. Right? Do you find there are folks that are really literally better served to maximize their energy later in the day? Then, you know, then an early morning, I don’t know about the night owls or what have you. But you know, I’m saying?

Mike Szczesniak  22:46

Yeah, yeah, I think I think it’s a great question. Because at the end of the day, we got to do whatever works for us. Right, right. Like, I don’t believe in cookie cutter, like one size fits all solutions.

Tracy Brinkmann  22:56


Mike Szczesniak  22:56

You know, I’m jealous you man, because I was the kid growing up, like I have a pretty big family. And I was the cousin that like, everyone would be like, throwing shoes at and stuff to wake up. Go to the beach or whatever. bike. Yeah, but now like my family lot, like is just confused, because I’m the one that’s up early, like working, you know, and that was just a decision. Yeah, you know, it really was and, but again, it’s like, I make those decisions for me, like what I use those hours for is very, very strategic, right. It’s like, I want to use those for the hours, those hours for the stuff that I want to get done uninterrupted, like I want to pour into myself. So on that same token, though, Tracy like, if that doesn’t work for us, we need to be like aware of that and figure out how ever like whatever we need to do to make it work for us and one like, if that means go up and go for a run so that you’re firing on all cylinders, and then you can get your work done and maybe do that. Yeah, but if we can’t figure out how to make that work, then cool fill that time with something else.

Tracy Brinkmann  23:58


Mike Szczesniak  23:58

check your calendar. Right?

Tracy Brinkmann  24:00


Mike Szczesniak  24:01

We got to figure out what works for us.

Tracy Brinkmann  24:03

I got you there. I’m with you. Alright, so now there was something you dropped in there kind of in passing the pit bull rescue foundation is that something you’re still got a got a mission for?

Mike Szczesniak  24:14

Yeah, man. I love dogs. I have my dog shack give rescued him and adopted him in my senior year of college technically the end of my junior year. My girlfriend and I rest are fostering a dog right now. So like, there’s there’s so much that we like I think that’s why her and I get along so well. She runs a dog training business. So we’re very well aligned on that but yeah, man it’s it’s something that I’ve always loved. Like I was a weird kid man like pit bull. pit bulls and parolees on animal planet was like one of my favorite shows growing up and

Tracy Brinkmann  24:50

I remember that show.

Mike Szczesniak  24:52

Yeah, it was just a cool weird show. I’ve always played on weird times. Yeah, so like, maybe that just like fed into the inner like weird entrepreneur. in me, that was just like at home watching, like TV to unwind at like 11 o’clock at night on a Saturday instead of being at the bars, right? Um, but yeah, I don’t know, it’s always been a really important piece for me and I’m sure I don’t know if it will necessarily show up as that as a rescue foundation or who knows, but you know, it’s, it’s always gonna be a big piece for us.

Tracy Brinkmann  25:22

Yeah, I’m a big fan. I love dogs. I was just telling my wife the other day as I was sitting with her, we have a Great Pyrenees and a golden and our Great Pyrenees is a rescue and we rescued her she was down in Tennessee when we picked her out and we were still up in Wisconsin. So we had to wait for her through this volunteer van you know, network that they have built to get the dogs to different parts of the United States. And we went and picked her up but I was like, I love rescue dogs. There’s so many amazing dogs out there that you need our love. So when you when you through that naturally, okay, I got asked about this.

Mike Szczesniak  26:00

Yeah, yeah, I completely agree. I completely agree. Like, when I went to college, that was my dream is like as soon as I moved off campus and I could get a dog I was gonna adopt a pitbull. And the only reason that my dog isn’t a pitbull is because like, I lived in a house with seven other guys. And they were like, I think a chocolate lab mix, we’ll get more girls than a pit bull mix. Which I still don’t necessarily agree with. But my dog is awesome. I love that guy. So

Tracy Brinkmann  26:30

right on, right on. So I’m going to ask probably what what I’m going to call my one canned question. So given we’re called the Dark Horse, entrepreneur, and dark horse is someone that you and I explained to you before, I do believe that you know, someone that personally feels they can win the race, but a lot of the folks around them do not. You ever felt like a dark horse anytime in your life?

Mike Szczesniak  26:55

Yeah, probably most of it

Tracy Brinkmann  26:58

probably most or it, I guess. So. Here’s the real question. Now that we understand that how do you fight against that grain and breakout to you know, see the success you’ve seen? And obviously, even the success you saw before?

Mike Szczesniak  27:11

Yeah, it’s a really good question. I would say in some areas, I probably like a lot of the people in my world probably thought I would win. But there were some that some that didn’t. And or at least some that I didn’t think other people thought that. For example, I was always the the example that’s popping up to me is athletics. Athletics played a big role for me. And like I was always, for whatever reason that I felt that I was overlooked for certain things. Whether it was playing time in college, or because I was a goalkeeper in soccer, right? So it wasn’t like you’re not getting 15 minutes a game, right? It’s like one or zero. Got it. So whether it was like playing time in college, or like getting the captain’s armband in high school, or whatever it may be, I felt like I was overlooked in some of those areas. And what, and I’m sure there are examples in my career as well, actually. Yeah, most of the business I start, I feel like any any entrepreneur, it feels that way. It’s like, it’s like, oh, you’re doing what like, Oh, is that one of those things? Like, that’s a cute little side hustle. You’re on code? Yeah, yeah. And so, I don’t know, I feel like I have the most clarity around the soccer examples, because what worked really well for me is figuring out what would drive me, right. I remember my junior year of college, I was like, man, like, I don’t know that I want to play anymore. Right? Like, I don’t know that I want to keep putting in all this time and energy, especially because as I was getting into my junior year, studying engineering at my school, you could only go bright if I wanted to study a term abroad, there was only one option. And it was to go to Prague, but it was during soccer season. So I had this I was at this Crossroads where I was like, man, am I really going to? Am I really going to forego that opportunity to study in Europe? to sit on a bench? Right? Like is that? Why would I do that? It was like, I had to really, really go deep and think about this stuff. And what I realized is that, like, I love the guys that I was playing with so much that like my they were like brothers, you know, and and I just focused on that that year, and I ended up playing the best soccer my life at a time really didn’t really make sense, right? I was like living in my fraternity house, studying a little bit partying a lot playing a lot of soccer, and somehow coming out playing the best soccer of my entire life. You know, so, to zoom back in on the question, what that means to me is I figured out like what, what was driving me? right because I realized like, I wasn’t I wasn’t training for me. At that point, right? I didn’t care at that point, I was checked out. Like I genuinely, I was like over it. I was just not going through the motions because I was playing all out. But I was playing all out for everybody on that team. Yeah. Okay. Like, that was what was important to me then. And it just happened to result in me playing the best ball in my life. Nice. So I think that that’s pretty relevant. Like, it doesn’t matter what that is that we’re driving us. For me, that’s what it was. But it might not like call it your why if we want to get like, go into the cliche, like side of things, but like, it’s cliche, cuz it’s like, there’s a lot of truth to it. So, for me, it was always figuring out like, what’s driving it? and tapping into that, and letting that drive the decisions? Right. And, and that’s tended to work out? I don’t know if that even answered the question. I kind of just went on a ramble

Tracy Brinkmann  30:50

I think so. I mean, there’s a lot of personal behind that. It’s like, you know, it’s all about you. And if you believe in yourself, it’s almost like screw the rest of the folks. Right?

Mike Szczesniak  31:02

Yeah basically

Tracy Brinkmann  31:03

At the end of the day is and at the end of the day, the only person you have the answer to is yourself.

Mike Szczesniak  31:07

Yeah, yeah. 100%.

Tracy Brinkmann  31:09

So, one last thing, I don’t want to hang out here too long. But you mentioned the you folks were coming to you about, hey, you should do some coaching. But there was this, you still had that stigma, what finally helped you turn that corner and dump that stigma around coaching others?

Mike Szczesniak  31:27

Yeah, I met Brendon Burchard. And I were heard the words high performance, you know, like, for me to give context that the stigma for me was like, back then Instagram was big. It wasn’t as big as it is now. But it was really big. And I didn’t I came from the athletic world, right? coaches had the answers. That might be the case. And like, what people are calling themselves business coaches, I call that mainly consulting. If you’re providing the solution, I would consider it consulting. I didn’t understand what I would call like professional coaching now. Okay. Right. And what I mean by that is, so I saw a lot of like, 17 year olds on Instagram with a life coach and their Instagram bio, and I’m like, What logic does this have? Like, what? Because again, I thought they had to have the solutions and like, what life experience these dudes have, right? But I didn’t realize that that’s not your job as a coach, right? Like when I’m providing solutions to my clients, it’s because we’re in a more of a consulting role, coaching and consulting company, but what I’m truly coaching, I’m not offering solutions, if I am not doing a great job. Because my job as a coach isn’t to provide a solution. It’s to help navigate conversation to ask powerful questions, and to really help facilitate breakthrough best and service to my client. You know, and I didn’t understand that back then. But it took me meeting Brendan at an event down in Ohio, and hearing the words highperformance hearing him speak at that event and connecting with them afterwards. And getting to ask him some questions feeling his energy and, you know, high performance was it was a lens that I was looking at everything through again, it was that intensity, I could just relate to it, I could resonate with it. And I literally I wrote my first curriculum, my first program on the flight home from that event, the

Tracy Brinkmann  33:13


Mike Szczesniak  33:14

Ohio to New York’s like an hour and a half flight. So you can imagine how much I was keyboard thrashing,

Tracy Brinkmann  33:19

thrashing, right?

Mike Szczesniak  33:20

Yeah, but but that was it. That was the stigma. And it was just, you know, finding, I think in life, we’re, we’re really just waiting for permission, in many cases, right? And it’s whether we’re going to give ourselves the permission, are we gonna have to wait for someone else accidentally. And for me, I needed to wait externally, and probably held me back from impact for a couple of years. But hey, we are where we are. I’m grateful for it. And we’re crushing. So

Tracy Brinkmann  33:46

yeah, you were lucky enough to to find it. I mean, so many folks are so probably wandering through the river of life right now. I want to be mindful of your time, this has been kind of cool, just just hanging out and jamming like this. But if folks want to learn more about high performance, maybe we got some door knockers out there that are going oh, I need to learn more about Mike in the results engine, where should we send them?

Mike Szczesniak  34:12

You’re the best place is the podcast. You know, that’s where we’re putting out the most content. I don’t know when this is going out. We’re recording it mid January. We’re actually taking the month of January off for uploads, but we’re still recording. So starting February, we’re going to be firing them off. But yeah, we’re like 150 or so uploads in and it’s been a friggin awesome journey. We had you on the show, though. Literally. I was getting DMS the other day about how awesome that episode was. So well. Thank you again for joining me. My pleasure. But yeah, that’s the best place for content and then if anyone has questions or they want to dive in or challenge anything, we talked about getting more clarity on it. Just slide in my DMS on Instagram, I answer all of them and I’m happy to help however I can.

Tracy Brinkmann  34:54

Absolutely we’ll be sure to get those links in the show notes Mike. I definitely appreciate your time and coming to hang out with us here. Much appreciated.

Mike Szczesniak  35:02

Yeah. Thanks so much for having me, Tracy. Appreciate it.

Tracy Brinkmann  35:04

Absolutely.  All right, my dark horse friends family, there’s Mike dropping some high performance value bombs on us. Alright, so here are some thoughts I came away with thought number one is your ladder to success leaning against the right wall. I mean, Mike shared how early on in his career, he had all the trappings that we would all dream of right? He had the car and he had the big bank account. And he had the apartment in the good part of Manhattan. But he admitted to having zero clue of what it really meant to be productive. Now, if he wasn’t working, he felt guilty that he wasn’t working. And this began to manifest itself in physical ailments, right and constraints. So as a result of this climb to the top, he come to realize his his ladder of success was kind of leaning up against the wrong wall. He had he not had to he come to he came to realize that if he could show up more powerfully when he was working, he could have possibly avoided all of those physical issues he encountered. When he reached the top slot number two stigmas beliefs and standards serve you until they don’t might call us out in a couple of different ways. The stigmas and beliefs and standards served him until they didn’t his high standards and beliefs yet, they drove him forward, right, they helped him in his quick rise to the top. But once there, it was those very same beliefs and standards that drove him to the guilt when he wasn’t working. His stigma about coaching kept him from stepping into that role sooner. Since reviewing and shedding those stigmas beliefs and standards that were not serving Him. He has built an amazing business helping others be high performers via training to keep his clients generating energy boosting productivity in smashing through preconceived limitations. Now, for me, this comes back around to some of the coaching I give those in my sphere of influence and have shared on here many times, you have to periodically check in with yourself weekly, right? You should be checking in the past weeks wins losses in draws. Monthly, you want to review where you are towards your goals overall, and kind of re reviewing those weekly check ins. Are there patterns developing right? quarterly, you want to re review the monthly check ins? Are those patterns, continuing? Good patterns, bad patterns, questionable patterns, what actions do you need to take to offset any limiting patterns, and build upon those that are working in your favor in all aspects, and of course, those that many of us do. Anyway, those yearly challenge those yearly check ins, so that you make sure your ladder is still leaning on the wall of success that you want to climb. If it’s not stop right there, where you’re at, slide down, step down, get off that ladder, and move it to the right wall. Yeah, you might lose a few steps and a little time along the way. But get me on this, trust me on this right, it’s far easier to climb down and move the ladder. And to be then to be at the top and try to jump from one wall to the other as if you miss. splat, right? Not a good idea. Thought number three, what is high performance. Now Mike shared a great definition of high performance. But what clicked with me here was it wasn’t about just reaching for more, but rather it was about reaching for more, while still maintaining but a positive well being and positive relationships. Boom, Mic drop, right? We could just end this episode right here for one, two, but we’re not going to you see it’s all well and good to grab a hold of that brass ring and ride that puppy all the way to the bank. But if you sacrifice your health or your relationship with your spouse, or with your children, is it really worth it? Now I get it. So mostly Yes. Right? Once I get there, then I can rebuild the relationship you had that not not now, I’m not a part of that some and since you’re still listening to this podcast at this point, I’m gonna make the same assumption about you, my friend that you’re not a part of that some either. In my gold sitting coaching, I work with a series of questions. I have coined the million check, right? These are questions that cause you to pause and ask yourself things like, is this really my goal? Can I see myself reaching this goal, etc. There are like 12 questions. But let’s start with let’s start with this one. Is this really my goal? If it’s not your goal, trust me at the end of your journey. You may be richer financially, but you’ll likely pay the price in health, your physical health, your mental health. For the health of your relationships, you’ll give up your health, you know, physically or mentally because you’ll be internally battling with yourself about why you’re traveling the damn path that you’re traveling in very often this toxic internal battle will leak out into your relationships in spoil them directly or indirectly. That’s why it needs to be the very first question you address, and you’re going to have to address it. Honestly, I think what I’ll probably do in the follow up episodes this week is share the the remaining 10 questions I shared the first two here, and then we can discuss them a little bit deeper. Finally, thought number four, the five anchoring pillars for high performance. Now Mike shared his five anchoring pillars for high performance, starting with that Cornerstone habit of clarity. And you’ve heard me mentioned this one time and time again. It’s the first C in the six C’s of entrepreneurship that I mentioned way back in Episode 24. We all know that if we’re not clear on our destination, odds are we’ll just kind of wander around aimlessly, wasting our time and resources, including money getting nowhere fast. Then there’s energy and courage, productivity, and influence wraps up the remaining five pillars of high performance. Now pause for a moment and ask yourself, are you firing on all eight cylinders? When it comes to these five gears in your race towards your goal, you see, if you slip or skip any one of these gears, you’re going to get bogged down even black flagged as your life’s RPMs will grown slowly while you struggled to try and get yourself back to the pace that you were at before your foot slipped or jumped off that clutch. However, if you slide into and through each of these consistently, you’ll not not only jump off the line, but you can burn rubber through each of these gears tearing up the asphalt and break out of the pack to the clear air where things are far more smooth sailing. All right, I get it enough car analogies Tracy. And there were so many other things that Mike shared. So please, here’s the question, what inspiring tips or thoughts resonated with you, whatever they were, take some time today, write them down and put them into action. Get out there, run your race, get your results. And come Let me hear about them seriously, you can email me at Tracy at Dark Horse school, calm and share the tips or ideas that you came away with how you put them into action and what results you gain from them, right? Heck, I’ll even bring you on the show and let you share your wins with the audience I want to celebrate with you or Hey, come on into the Facebook group and share with us there. All right now, next week’s interview episode guests will be john Morley who started his first company just about 30 years ago. And he’s a passionate serial entrepreneur. He didn’t stop there. He’s got so many gems to share with us now. I know you want to keep getting all these valuable tips and inspirational stories from this podcast and the guests. I’m lucky enough to bring on so go on down there. Hit that subscribe button while we’re there. Yeah, please drop us a five star rating. Leave us some kind words in the reviews. And please don’t keep all this entrepreneurial, g o LD all to yourself. Share the podcast with other entrepreneurs and business owners. You know, we’ll get value from it with that. I’m gonna leave you as I always do, think successfully and take action.  Thank you for listening to the Dark Horse entrepreneur podcast. Thanks for tuning in. Check us out at www dot Dark Horse schooling.com All right. My name is Tracy Brinkmann.

EP 167 Mike Szczesniak 5 Pillars Of High Performance
High Performance What Is It And What Are The 5 Anchoring Pillars To High Performance?

  • Is Your Ladder To Success On The Right Wall – Mike shared how early in his career he has all the trapping that we all dream off…BUT.  I mean he had the car, the bank account and the apartment in Manhattan.  BUT he had zero clue about what it meant to be productive.
  • Stigmas, Beliefs And Standards Serve You Until They Don’t – Mike calls out in a couple different ways the stigmas, beliefs and standards served him, until they didn’t.  His high standards and beliefs drove him and helped him in his quick rise to the top.  But once there it was those very same beliefs and standards that drove the guilt when he wasn’t working.
  • What Is High Performance? – Mike shares a great definition of high performance.  But what clicked with me here wasn’t that it was about reaching for more.  But rather that it was about reaching for more, while still maintaining but a possible well being and positive relationships.
  • Five Anchoring Pillars For High Performance – Mike shared his five anchor pillars for the high performance that he mentioned earlier.  Starting with the cornerstone habit of clarity.  We all know that if you are not clear on your destination odds are you will just wander around aimlessly wasting time and money getting nowhere fast.

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