clear conversations # 2 Lindsey Smith
Bryce: Lindsay Smith, welcome to clear conversations. We’ve been friends for a longtime. You’ve always been an absolutely inspiring friend of mine. I always said, I didn’t know this would come up but you are my friend most likely to become Tony Robbins.
Lindsey Smith: I appreciate that.
Bryce: You’re passionate, charismatic, you’re very knowledgeable and a constant consumer of information and knowledge. So I’m very excited to have you on clear conversations podcast number two, welcome to the show.
Lindsey Smith: Hey, thank you! So grateful to be here.
Bryce: So we met many years ago in a mastermind and that was incredibly formative in my early twenties in terms of transitioning my beliefs, my thoughts and my ability to create my own reality and manifest different things in my life. What, can you tell the viewers a little bit more about a mastermind group and what that entails?
Lindsey Smith: Yeah and I think I actually met the person who introduced me with the mastermind, who is no longer with us, Tracy- who I met through T.Harv Eker millionaire mind seminar and talk about consuming information. And she said, “We got these friends or we want to put together a mastermind group.” and I think, Napoleon Hill was the first one that kind of mentioned the power of the mastermind. So basically a couple of people get together, formed a group of 6-8 people and we had a retreat that was, you have 16 people or something like that, and they get together, they share ideas, collaborate and discuss ideas. You know, my saying of mass collaboration versus competition is so much more powerful and everyone got together and shared their thoughts, their ideas, and boy, can you get a lot more done in a meeting and in life. You don’t have to walk the path yourself, you get encouragement from it. I can’t say enough things about bringing together a group of like minded individuals who are pursuing different goals but similar mental attitudes and even then, there was diversity amongst us, but it was so good to have driven people. But I use that very loosely, into bettering themselves and getting the most out of life.
Bryce: You were talking about power proximity, mastermind kind of involves that, right? My experience with mastermind was like; we were meeting monthly and we would usually set goals with each other. It was a bit of accountable obviously. Then there’d presentation every month by someone who read something knowledgeable. So in a result to all this, I was very driven by that.
When you talk about power of proximity and there are eight people in this group or in this room, they’re all looking out for the best of each other and power of proximity is incredibly powerful for which I’m incredibly grateful for you and I think I attribute my strength and integrity, which I hope others would say the same about me when I say I’m going to do something, I do it. And I think I learned that just literally working alongside you. We worked together out of your house for so many months and that was an absolute blast. I’m not only just sitting next to you, I think it just clicked for me what integrity was and when I say I’m going to meet someone, like today, when I told you we’re going to do a podcast at 2 o’clock, literally on the nose, you’re there. There’s no anxiety for me on my end in terms of when you’re going to show up. And that integrity was ingrained in me. So where did you pick up that integrity and how does that translate into your life?
Lindsey Smith: Oh, man. I think that the people that we idolize in life are your heroes, and I always thought to someone who is my hero, or who do I want to be like. You look at guys like James Bond and it was funny because I was single, most of my life because you look at James Bond as an idol. But I remember doing an exercise, a guy named Raymond Aaron had. He drew a box and he was like, put everything that you believe about yourself in your box and also everything that makes up who you are, how you dress, where you wake up in the morning, what time you get up in the morning, what you have for dinner, whether or not you work out and what your relationships are like, you put it all in a box and then take somebody who has the life that you want or someone you look up to in any way. I believe you can have idols for different things, like the person that you might look to for health and fitness is not the same person you might look to for financial advice, but draw this box and see what kind of stuff do they put in? What time did they get up in the morning? What things do they do in their business? What decisions do they make on a daily basis? And I remember seeing that box exercise and just deciding that, wow, you know, we know a lot of what these people do and we really just need to copy that in a lot of ways and one of those thing is just like; I’m going to show up on time, so the type of person I want to be is not somebody who is doing that or is not showing up, for instance, if I set my alarm for 5:00 AM or 4:00 AM these days, because I’m going to have to feed a baby, but that alarm goes off.
Bryce: Do you get up at that time?
Lindsey Smith: Yea and yet you get out of bed and that’s it. You say you’re going to call somebody, you better call them and it’s just sort of became a decision. And of course, you’re not a hundred percent all the time, but you stay true to major values in life.
Bryce: In terms of power proximity; for me, I’m a very spiritual person, less like tangible. I feel like just being in the same room as you- I just absorbed that. How do you attribute that to power proximity and do you just consciously choosing the people around you and keeping them close so that you start to elevate your life?
Lindsey Smith: Yeah. There’s the fundamental piece I think beyond that is, there’s two sides of the power proximity of that term for me; One is, if you want to work with someone, if you want someone in your life, you need face time, you need to get around this person as much as possible and that manifested for me in terms of opportunities to get into various businesses in the past. I’ve started a few bit different businesses, and the most recent one that I have now was clearly because I hung around with somebody a lot. But on the contrary side of power proximity, you really become who you surround yourself and start to adapt their personality, personality traits or characteristics. I see it all the time when I work with realtors or self-employed people too, and you just see it. If you put someone in a room who is saying, “Yeah, you know, I just want to do one transaction a month.” And then all of a sudden an unsolicited, somebody else sits down and is like, “Okay, so I have 15 listings right now. I have 10 buyers. I’m taken out; I’m on my 8th transaction in the last two weeks.” And you just see the whole room just looking at this person and being like, like they didn’t even think that was possible. Hence the best example of that in my life is that I had a stint where I decided that I would run a leg of the death race and the death race is up in grand cash- it’s five legs and 125 kilometers over a two peaks and…
Bryce: I remember you telling me about this.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah, and so I chose one leg death race and in that we were trying to create a blog that was 365 things to do in Calgary. Our staff members found it after the death race and sent it to us and said, “Hey, you as a management team should do this.” So we went out, we did it. We joined up this group called Calgary trail runners. One day we were running on a trail run and someone says, “What are you training for?”
And I’m like, “Oh, I’m training for the death race.”
And they said, “Oh, that’s great.” And I said, “Yeah, I’m doing leg two, which is great. It’s got two mountains in it.” I thought I was a man, thought that I was so impressive.” And they said, “Oh, I’m doing the death race as well.”
And I said, “Well, what leg are you training for?”
And they’re like, “Oh, all of them.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
And they’re like, “yeah, I’m soloing it.”
The fact that the human body could run 125 kilometers over three mountains wasn’t in the realm of reality for me. And then three years later I decided I’m going to solo it and then I went from doing one leg to two legs to three legs and then you go to tackle them all. The whole thing of being around somebody that just pushes your comfort zone, your circle of belief systems that you have. And it can happen in a positive way and a negative way, but hanging around with likeminded people is transformational life as mentioned in the concept of mastermind.
I love the book called Influencer, and they talk about accomplices you have in your life and your friends and your best friends might be accomplices because if you have health and fitness goals, they’re the ones that want you to go out for beer and wings at the end. But, you know, your friends are the ones that are saying, “Hey, you know, let’s maybe go for a walk and have this meeting, or let’s, you know, do something.”, and that’s supportive. So it’s really interesting as you will become who you surround yourself with and that’s been talked about at length in various books and things like that I think.
Bryce: So how do you consciously cultivate that community around you? Let’s say that one of our listeners is out there and they don’t have that community. You’ve cultivated this for a long time, and now all of a sudden you’re just kind of attracting those people around you therefore it becomes a little bit easier for that to become your reality and you’ve trained your brain to be, “Oh that is within the realm of possibility, if that person does it. I can do it.” So what would you say to someone that doesn’t necessarily have that realm around them?
Lindsey Smith: Yeah, I know a lot of people in life want financial success, in some way, shape, or form. And we all have this sort of financial set point. I remember when I dropped out from university (full disclosure)
Bryce: I’m right there with you.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah, So when I was in university. I thought I just need $2,000 a month of passive income when I’m retired because that was my living expenses, even less than that and that was my set point. But when I was in real estate, just before you and I worked together, I needed $35,000 a month in order to meet my expenses and your set point changes there and I didn’t know anybody around me that was making this type of income or necessarily had the life that I wanted yet. So it was great because even when you and I met, we’re in our formative years, and you’re searching for people. Obviously, Andrew was impactful because he was well connected and he knew various people, but that’s when I think you have to turn to books, you have to turn to podcasts and you have to surround yourself with these people in any way that you can and listen or consume the books as much as you can. The 90% of my books that I consume are audio and podcasts and stuff now, but there’s never been more information available.
So just by using your library or using audible.com or iTunes or buying some books or taking out some books and reading about the people that you want to be about, you will naturally start to take on the characteristics. For instance, after reading somebody like David Goggins book, suddenly I decided I’m going to run a little bit farther that day because David Goggins is crazy. So I’ll callous my mind today. It’s raining so I’ll go for a run and the only reason I did that is because I heard David Goggins do it. So I’m like, all right, I’m going to go do that in a one sliver way of what David Goggins achieved.
Bryce: Very cool. Yeah. I used to do a meditation where I would sit around a table with Einstein or Gandhi, and visualize within my head and what they would be saying back to me. I would just ask questions and it would get different perspectives from them, obviously in terms of my perception of their response, but it was incredibly powerful almost putting myself in that position of having those attributes, but in a meditative state and it was kind of responding as if it wasn’t quite me, the answers coming back did not feel like me at all which was incredibly powerful. They felt like someone completely different with a lot more wisdom.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah, like in that box exercise, it’s like if we look at somebody else’s box that we idolize, I don’t like the word idolize, but someone you look up to or you want some of those as your attributes, there are few characteristics you want to adopt. I think we know in our head some of the work that they do, we might not know the extent of it but I think that we can sort of imagine what that would be like. Like I always joke with people and say, “Just imagine that you’re a fitness person today.” or “Just imagine that you’re a top producer in your career.”, or, “Just imagine you’re a successful business person.” “What type of things do you think you might wake up and start doing in the morning?” Let’s just pretend and make belief that we’re that person today.
Bryce: You know, a lot of things I’m not currently doing.
Lindsey Smith: None of us are currently doing all of the things. But those are the things, and it’s kind of like, let’s step back to when we talked about getting face to face and getting face time with someone who we look up to and that person might be someone who owns a company or who is a yoga instructor and you just joined the class to just spend more time with them.
I think a big mistake that people make is sometimes they think of this as sort of like, they want to be mentored by this person. I can’t think of the worse way to approach somebody than to call them up and say, “I’d love for you to be my mentor.” To me as someone who’s got a full calendar already, you know, a new baby, I do not have enough time and energy to give to that to say, “Oh, now I’m going to commit to you once or twice a week, we’re going to jump on the phone for an hour and we’ll meet up.” Like forget about it.
I think the way to do it is to just ask somebody, “Can I ask you? Like, can I get your advice on something?” And what’s neat about asking for some advice. First of all, it’s very flattering because someone thinks highly enough of you to ask for your advice. And the second thing is that people would say that they would love to do that and then the other thing is that they would want to see their advice work. So what also happens is this person will subconsciously enroll in your success and they will enroll themselves in it. For instance, I’m starting a company in which I’ll be selling baked goods and I need your advice on how much overhead you think I should take on or whatever it happens to be in the business. And suddenly that person goes, “Oh, well, you know, so happy you asked me. And then they’ll give you that advice and then suddenly they’ll be racking their heads saying, “You know what? I think my company could use like, you know, maybe some stuff for gifts for clients. Why don’t you give me your card and we’ll talk about it.”
Bryce: And I know 10 people or this one person that is opening one and could be your partner, who knows.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah. Or they say, “Hey. I need to introduce you to so-and-so who runs this bakery, or is this head entrepreneur or has a series of bakeries like they told me.” And it’s easy, it’s an easy way to sort of get that foot in the door and create that circle of people around you.
Bryce: That’s incredibly powerful. So really a lot of this ties back to your culture of influence, the people around you.
Lindsey Smith: Totally.
Bryce: It ties back to the conversation about brainwashing we both had before the podcast. Essentially for being protective or conscious of what you’re putting around you, which is just these powerful people, or powerful isn’t the right word. I mean powerfully dramatic, charismatic people…
Lindsey Smith: Influential
Bryce: Yes influential people around you. And essentially, I wouldn’t say they’re brainwashing, but they’re implanting belief systems in what’s possible and what’s not possible. So they’re literally changing your reality when before your reality didn’t exist that you could do that death race. That was just one leg, the pinnacle of what you could do as a human being, and then all of a sudden this became a reality for someone else, and that kind of collided with your reality and created something completely different than your reality. So what is impactful about brainwashing and how do you cultivate? How do you brainwash yourself properly? You begin to get brainwashed, right?
Lindsey Smith: Yeah. You nailed it. That’s just it, everyone is brainwashed and people have this negative connotation to it because we think of it as, something that was used in torture or supposedly used in portrait practices of the past and that we’re brainwashing people to take our side and even lots of the early professional development seminars, some of them that I went to they were as hokey as hokey can be, I always committed that I was going to try and pull one thing from them, something that I liked because I felt like I could get something from anything, from any one of those events. But people say, “Oh damn, there’s just brainwashing you to think positively.”, “They’re just brainwashing you to be mindful” and I’m like, Oh, heaven forbid that I think positively.
Bryce: It sounds awful, to be a better person, or a great father haha.
Lindsey Smith: Oh yeah. Literally, like I have seen it where you see shows on television. We have people around us, maybe my parents who I have a fantastic relationship with, you know, I love my upbringing, but hypothetically, some people might have parents who fought or were abusive or things like that, that brainwashed you and the people who you surround yourself with (Backed up by power proximity) brainwashes you in a certain capacity.
So if you want to reverse that, then you need to get very deliberate about what you’re brainwashing yourself with. And anytime that I have wanted to improve something in my life. I have consciously started brainwashing myself, and I don’t know if it was Brian Tracy or who it was, but he’s just like, if you read 10 books on any subject, you will be an expert on that. And I think it takes a little bit more than that to be an expert on a topic. It’s a lot of practice. There is a life dedication to it for the mid-levels of mastery that we want to achieve.
But, there’s a concept right, that the concept of just inundating yourself with it becomes remarkable. For example, my running; I started reading nothing but books on running, heart rate training, and you know, the epic Born to Run book that everyone says, but I started buying everything, running magazines, running podcasts, all these things. And then when I was about to have a kid, it’s like I read every book on parenting. I opened up a business and I started reading every book on systems. I wanted to become great with stress free productivity. So David Allen has a podcast for getting things done, and I listened to every single episode of David Allen’s podcasts. And did you wake up in the morning? Did I do my weekly review? Did I process my inbox? Is that something that I got done this morning? And suddenly that’s all you think about it. And I remember I had a stint in my life where I played a lot of Tetris and I would dream and the Tetris pieces would be falling down in my dream. It was like closing my eyes and the Tetris pieces were going.
Bryce: Yeah, that sounds terrifying. It would just land off to the side and you just woke up in pure sweat.
Lindsey Smith: Oh my gosh! Awful. Some of the worst nights of my life. But the thing is that now when I close my eyes all I’m thinking about is whether my to do list got done, or whether my, or my finances, I read Ray dahlias book Principles, and I’m worried about my asset allocation of my portfolios and that’s just where your brain goes. So when you are doing such a good job, clear float and everything is happening. Just by shutting your brain off so you read everything on mindfulness and meditation or clarity and you just start noticing period.
Bryce: It’s awareness. I mean, that’s how you start noticing,
Lindsey Smith: You can just read those books, listen to those podcasts, and there’s so much availability of information for free right now that has never been before.
I believe in coaching, and I had a coach for many, many, many years, but you can really fire your coach at this point because of all the information that’s available right now. Who do you want to be around? How would you ever get a chance to sit down with Warren Buffet or Bill Gates or the guys at Google and just listen to what they do? And now you can just flip on YouTube or do a podcast or books. And get all that information like you’re with them.
Bryce: Yeah. They become your friends or your circle of influence.
Lindsey Smith: Totally. Totally.
Bryce: Yeah. It’s not really brainwashing, It’s brain cleansing. I don’t know.
Lindsey Smith: That sounds awful.
Bryce: It sounds like it’s sort of like a CIA program.
Lindsey Smith: And that’s really where it becomes, when you think about it, you get to control what you think about, and if you just get deliberate about that, I think that’s massively impactful. I took a course one time and I don’t want to promote one course or the other, and they just said this impactful statement of…well, the whole course was on like, you build these stories around what you believe, and this happens to you and it didn’t mean anything because you just made up a story about what happened, you know, if you had a bad childhood or and it made you believe right now it’s just a story you’ve made up about it.
Everything is just giving you energy. And we just interpret it with our stories. And then someone said, your life is empty and meaningless, but it doesn’t mean anything that is empty and meaningless. And all it is saying is that everything that has to happen to your life is just neutral stimuli, and you just made up the stories about what it meant and that’s what influenced you.
I see some people in the room having a hard time with the concept, just absolutely resisting it, saying, don’t tell me my life, I have children, things like that. That’s not what we’re saying. What we’re saying is that your kid, crying, whether you interpret it as you being a bad mother, or you just interpret it as, you know, your kid’s gassy, like that’s it. That is very neutral. So my point with that is just I made a very conscious decision that I get to be in control of where my mindset goes. I get to make up a story. If someone posts a negative post about one of my articles or one of my training courses or something like that, I get to choose how I respond to that.
Bryce: Yeah. Sorry about those, by the way.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah, it is okay. It’s okay. Your feedback was correct haha.
Bryce: Yeah, I totally agree with you. That’s what I’ve learned through meditation is not getting so attached to those things and that’s where that practice of mindfulness comes in. Not reacting right away because that story can take off real fast, especially if your one thought pops in your head and says, this was my fault. And then it just continues from there. I mean, that can carry you for quite a while until you can recenter yourself and then create a different story. Right? Well, you can go back in time and create a different story, the most incredible part of the human mind is literally time traveling and seeing a different or putting a different emotion or different feeling around an event, which is a lot of their linguistic programming that Tony Robbins talks about. And I’m sure you’ve studied him in depth as well.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah. Well, and you talked in your first podcast about that concept of something negative happens to you and you just stop and you say, “Oh, that’s interesting”. And I do the same thing. Exactly. It’s like, hmm, okay what does that mean? It doesn’t mean anything.
It’s just a stimulus to me. It’s just neutral. I always think of it as, to me, especially if I have someone that I’m dealing with who is upset, you know, you’re dealing with an upset customer or something like that and I always hear Charlie Brown’s teacher just being like,[imitation noise] prices [imitation noises] oh this happened, this date, and you’re like, okay, okay. That’s interesting. Ah, that’s interesting. There’s garbage and so that’s it if you just take a step back and just notice things a bit more.
Bryce: Totally. You talk about David Allen, systems thinking, and managing your inbox. For me, that literally changed my life in terms of the way that he manages his inbox in terms of to do lists and action items and et cetera.
Systems thinking for me has transitioned so much in terms of keeping, I’m a minimalist as well so I keep things very clean, organized so that my mind is cleaned and organized as well. How has systems thinking gotten into your life and how has it impacted the kind of everything you start to do?
Lindsey Smith: Well, I mean, one of the things that I’ve learned is that it’s, and there’s an organization that teaches a sales course, called Ninja, they articulated it for me, but I was always into what they call the drama hook. And what it was is as soon as something was going well in my business or my life, I was always like I want that next thing, and I want that, that pursuit of more. Let me know if that’s the right articulation of it but the bottom line is I’d always invent something new. And the problem is when you start reading like the Toyota story and the concept of Kaizen and the flow of systems. And then I took the Disney leadership courses from Disney Institute and the customer service that comes from Disney is because of great systems.
They talk about it at length and various books and things like that. But it’s because of great systems they have that everything is timed down to the minute. They know exactly how it works. The park is so clean, they are literally pressure washing Tire Park at night. Everyone knows exactly how that’s going to happen, the hoses for water are everywhere. They’re attached in the right spot. You make it easy. So you make it with systems. And I think that the problem with systems is that it can make things for some people, very, very boring, and they can seem boring, which is why someone says, oh, well, this is easy.
It’s almost one of those things of, if you’re in sales, it’s like bring open your database and call everybody and then when you’re done, go back and give everybody a call…Like, oh, well, well, yeah, but I mean, I’m trying a landing page, like SEO on my website, like things like that….Yes, yes, those things are important, but if you just picked up the phone and called somebody. But it’s so boring and some of the best systems that I’ve ever seen is someone who had their database.
You know, you have Avery labels. Basically took an eight and half by 11 sheet of paper. He wrote on his whole all the names in an individual label spot on there and he called somebody, checked it off, and then called the next person and checked it off. And people are like, “Oh, well, what? What CRM software are you using?”
And he is like, well, my system was that I have a piece of paper often that I call the next person. Systems are something that are very very boring for some people and you, you systematize it, but it creates, as you mentioned, freedom, consistent experiences for the end user, consistent experiences for leadership and management and consistent experiences for even your bottom line and things like that. So, for me, that system of thinking has created some asset in my life that is boring. And I need to fight against that because I like to try to break it then, I like to think, “Oh, because this is going so well, let me insert another habit into there.” I can get this other workout in or I can take on this new project and that’s that. So me fighting against that desire to try to do more once I create big systems has been a challenge for me in my life.
But systems have created endless opportunities. It’s about leverage. It’s about working. I would say that nothing really meaningful happens by only one person. You look at like impactful people in the world Gandhi, mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, people like that. They have armies of people who they rally to a cause. If they were just one person their box is only this big but if you have the whole world rallying behind you, that mass collaboration makes it a massive thing and systems recruit resources and create freedom for you.
Bryce: Yes. I love that man. And I love your mass collaboration. Anytime I hear that, though it is not a word that you invented, I think of you. When we were working together, it felt like mass collaboration was uttered every 10 minutes, I would say.
Lindsey Smith: The stock markets are very simply mass collaboration companies. Money, well 3 million people invest a little bit of money into a company and now they have the capital to do big things.
Bryce: Totally. Yeah. We were talking about three mindset keys in terms of optimism: optimism, bias towards action and strong locus of control. You want to talk a little bit more about that? We were chatting about it earlier.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah, so, I’ve always…when, I look at my life and things that I’ve been proud of and even tough times and we’re going through a tough time right now with a pandemic upon us and various things in the market cycles happen and just stuff happens in your life that it feels a bit negative.
There’s always been three mindset keys that I’ve held onto, and I don’t know where I read this or heard this, but someone was saying that there’s all the parenting books that you can ever read. The one thing that they recommend is just make sure that your child has a sense of optimism in their life and that they default towards an optimistic outlook.
Being optimistic without a dose of reality is delusion. So you need to make sure you have that, but if you’re just in general an optimistic person and you have that sense of optimism that don’t worry in the end this too shall pass, everything will be okay and we will find a way, then that makes a very massive difference. And then the second piece, the first one being optimism, the second mindset key that I believe is having a strong locus of control. Basically what that says is that you need to know that you’re in control of the rudder of your own ship. You get to make decisions that impact your life. It’s always that saying of “it’s not what happens to you, it’s what you choose to do about what happens to you”. And my favorite saying, which I probably have like 50 of them, and I know that favorite implies one, I’m going to say that I don’t believe in that you can have many that are tied at the top. One of them is that a bird…does it fear the branch breaking because of trust. It trusts its wings. And any time I take a risk in life or I feel that something would happen to me, that’s the way I feel. It’s like, I don’t care what obstacles come in my way because I’ll find out. And so even with my management team and my staff, there’s this question what are we going to do? Like tell me what are we going to do. It’s like, I don’t know, but we’ll figure it out. Like if this happens, we’ll figure it out.
Bryce: Which is because you’ve built a toolbox, you feel confident around that. Basically, building your character through those different avenues as well.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah. And then once you feel optimistic, and once you understand that you have an internal locus of control, you can create the outcome in your life. Then you go to number three, which is the bias towards action, where you step out and you’ve got to do something about it now.
And I’ve been in some dark places in my life where the economies turn and I thought that the real estate market was going to go up forever and I spent a lot of time in my life in real estate and it didn’t. We had to let go of staff and I had to humble myself. I was moving in my office, my desk was my living room, and like that’s it. There’s a bed in my old office so we went through that. And I learned some amazing life lessons because of that. But I remember laying in bed one day just being like, wow, I was in a dark, dark place and that lasted for like probably six hours and then I was just like okay, I’m Lindsey. I can figure this out. I got this thing, so what are we going to do? And you wake up and you take a step, you take one step. And by taking action on anything you’re overwhelmed with, you start to feel better instantly.
Bryce: Totally. Whether it’s a shower or, just the little things.
Lindsey Smith: And then multiply from there. Absolutely.
Bryce: So what would you say to someone that doesn’t have that? I was blessed and I couldn’t even tell you how. Obviously my parents have been wonderful influences in my life, but I’ve just always been overly optimistic. To the moon and back where Fiona was just like, okay man, tone it back, be a bit more real about what’s going to happen.
What do you say to someone that doesn’t have that innate sense of optimism? Obviously it’s something that can be cultivated, you have to work towards it, but what if someone is just naturally negative, they naturally kind of gravitate towards the negative side of things?
Lindsey Smith: Yeah. It’s a great question.
And I always ask people to start thinking about it, and if someone’s my age, I’m just turning 40 and you look at it and you say, okay let’s go back into your life. Let’s go back and I want you to think about horrible things that have happened to you. And that sounds so morbid, but you’re just like what has happened?
Did you declare bankruptcy? Did you have an illness? Did you have cancer at one point in your life? Did you go through a really bad break up? Were you in an abusive relationship? Think of the worst things that have happened to you. And then I want you to just remember today that you’re past that.
Now, some people might still be in it, so they’ve got to think about other stuff that has happened. We didn’t study enough for that test. And you’re here to talk. You’re here to tell the tale. It’s like we’ve all endured stuff. We all had that long walk home and it was freezing or that hike that we went on and were like, this could turn out really bad because I’ve already overextended myself and I might not make it back in this. We have all had moments in our life where stuff like that has happened, and we’re still here to talk about it. By default. The fact that we’re talking and we’re talking about it.
Bryce:] So on the resiliency of it.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah, people have already demonstrated that this too shall pass. People have already demonstrated that they have the capacity to overcome things and not without scars, not without battle wounds that we come out of a width that become lessons and memories and things that we don’t want to repeat.
But you need to know that you made it through. You need to know at the end of it. You made it through. I’ll never forget when we had some political change in our province and people were just conservative like those in Alberta.The NDP got voted in and it was just like, Oh my God, I can’t believe it’s going to happen.
Bryce: It’s the end of the world.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah, literally, and I’m not here to make any political statement, but that’s the way Alberta felt because it was conservative and so interesting. But actually the gentleman that founded our company and he’s not involved in the day to day anymore and doesn’t own it at all anymore, but I walked into the office and he was sitting down and he was 80 years old.
And he’s just like, “isn’t it funny? I drove into work today and the sun came up. And there was trucks driving on the road and I turned on the lights and the lights came on in the office.” And you’re just like, you kind of giggled to yourself cause you’re like, Oh yeah, you know, I guess the world’s still happening.
And Covid-19 came and I walked into my bedroom and looked on the lights and all, oh my gosh, the lights came on. I looked out the window, the sun had risen. And I think we’d be optimistic because we have persevered through stings in the past and stuff that we thought was going to be devastating. I mean, the ultimate end is just like, oh, did you die? And we always joke about that. There’s that. Yeah, but yeah, but did you die? And it would kind of take some piece for that. There’s a life lesson there that is just like, okay. You know, you didn’t die. So you made it through. So the next thing that happens is you’re probably going to make it through.
And I bought my wife a Kirsten who can sometimes, and she’ll hate it, I’d be like be optimistic and she’d be like, don’t tell me to be anything. But we found this little sign and it says, I don’t mean to ruin the ending, but it’s going to be alright.
It was cool and I bought it immediately, and I swear once a month in our house, I just go, have a look at that side. And everything’s going to be okay. So I think everyone can take a piece of some optimism from that.
Bryce: Yeah, absolutely. Wow. And powerful. So you consume like crazy in terms of information. How do you not over-consume? I talked to a lot of people. Through the float spa that come in and they are trying to learn mindfulness and they are a gobbler of consumer of information, much like yourself, and you can over-consume especially with mindfulness, especially with meditation of I’m not doing it right or I’m thinking too much, or all these different things. How do you find that balance between over consumption and find the right balance, especially as a parent, because I mean, you can read every book and you start to read four or five books or six books. They all start stepping on each other’s toes. In a sense that one says this thing, one says another thing, and then all of a sudden you’re kind of garbled, and obviously that’s a whole another conversation about intuition and knowing the right thing to do, internally as we all do, but how do you not over-consume and how do you find that balance?
Lindsey Smith: Yeah, I used to, that used to be a big problem for me. I would always be on to the next book, onto the next concept, and just wanted to learn everything. And I sort of set my goals around, oh, I need to read 52 books this year. One year, I think I read like 75 and it became a game for me to try to state that I read this book, but then eventually you realize, you look back and you’re like, “Oh, did I implement that? Did I actually do something with that?” It just becomes noise in the background. It almost becomes candy for the brain and not that you’re actually doing anything with it and you’re not investing yourself in it. So now, if you are looking for, so a good one right now is sleep training where we’re trying to think about like, how do we sleep train our baby.
Yeah. So it’s like there’s all their methodologies and everything else. So what we’ve done is we’ve said, okay, we have these three books and we’re going to read every one of them. And then as soon as we decide this one resonates with us. Now, we still consume, except what we do is we go onto their website and we download every tool piece, every scheduler, planner that they have online, and we go, we fully enroll in that system. And so you buy in and then you move forward. And that’s the way I think you’ve got to go deep.
And so David Allen is a good example where I searched for productivity stuff and they have Franklin planners and Brian Tracy has a productivity system of ABC priorities and things like that. David Allen really engaged with me. So I hired a David Allen coach. And I bought all of his books.
I downloaded every one of his podcasts, there were 54 episodes and I went on and subscribed online to his stuff. I downloaded every online tool that they had in there which makes me a big consumer, but it’s got that hyper single-minded focus on that one concept.
We talked about systems. Well, there’s a book called systems busters. There’s a Toyota thing, total quality management and everything else, then you just go all the way down that tunnel. So what I recommend is anybody that’s trying to pursue any discipline or learning new skill and you know, meditation or whatever else you’re trying to do is find the one that you want to, I mean dabble in a variety, but then very quickly know that you’re never going to master it unless you get specific and dive in and then spend time going deep into one subject. So you’re almost like spending time going horizontal, looking over everything, and then you find the one and that’s where you drill down deep into.
Bryce: Totally. Wow man, so fun to chat to you. We talked about mindfulness and when I first invited you on the podcast, you said, I learned mindfulness through the school of hard knocks. So what kind of knocks were those and what is your mindfulness toolbox? We talk about mindfulness toolboxes a lot on the show. I say a lot on the show is the second one, but I want to continue to talk about that. What, what was the school of hard knocks that knocked you down and said, hey, wake up!
Lindsey Smith: So, like I said, I’ve started several businesses in my time, anywhere from the early days of university trying to start up a multilevel marketing business.
Bryce: Every early entrepreneur is like this is perfect.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah. Oh yeah, yeah. This is it. If I just sell enough toothpaste and if all my friends buy the same, I’m going to be able to get,
Bryce: They’re buying it anyways, might as well buy it from me haha.
Lindsey Smith: Exactly. So, you end up doing that. And then I got into some self-defense stuff and I had a little self-defense business. And then I got into real estate and I had customer service training and developing courses from that. And then from there I built a real estate team and now I run a real estate brokerage.
So all of these things came. But pretty soon I looked around and I was always onto the next thing. And it was actually where I read a book, snowball by, it’s not by Warren buffet, but it’s Warren Buffett’s sort of approved autobiography. One of these was so impactful for me.
I think this was like, I think I was 27, 28. And he just stuck to one thing his entire life and dove so deep into it that single-mindedness and definiteness of purpose of any became so good. You know, the Oracle of Omaha is so good at investing that it became the single minded focus that I find.
I noticed myself that I was jumping around and I was just about to jump again. When the real estate market in the end of 2007, 2008 when the financial world financial crash came, it hit me hard and I thought, maybe real estate is not my thing. Maybe I should stick to training. And I actually was going to try and get a job with air Canada being a trainer.
And then I read this book and I was just like, “Oh, wait, Oh wait. I needed to drill down deep into something.” And that is when I sorta became- okay there’s a lot of layers to an onion here and I need to start pushing away the other distractions and then I started to focus. And then when that happened then I started learning about the concepts of essentialism and the concepts of basically that single minded focus in recognizing distraction. I mean we were just on sort of the age of social media that’s coming in there and how do you focus in the power of your habits and carving out time and time blocking and obviously David Allen had a big impact on that, but if you just carve out the time for that and you have systems in your life to check in. It’s almost like you have your system to check in with your system. You have, but it’s funny because I have this, I have this area of focus list. It’s purely David Allen stuff. I got it from them and it has things like relationships, home, productivity, financial management, things like that.
And I just ask myself. I have a moment. It’s almost like this meditation where it’s like, okay, home and on a run or whatever else, or even just taking a moment of peace and I say what in my house or at my home needs to be improved? And, and I’m not looking for projects, but it could literally be something that is just like, oh, you know, I don’t like where I live, or, you know, I need to use something to my house more, or whatever it happens to be.
And once I sort of got clear on the direction I wanted to go, I could dive deep. And I think that that made a massive difference. And you sort of became mindful and I would never consider myself, sort of a spiritual person beyond the power of the human spirit, but I think that I value so much the messages of having a quiet mind and single minded focus on a purpose topic, the task, because that’s the only way that I think you’ll achieve the level of mastery that you want.
When you look at Amazon, Amazon was founded in 1997 and just now, three years ago or two years ago, he became the richest man in the world. And people be like, oh, that’s really quick. I mean, that was 23 years ago that Amazon was founded like that’s not an overnight success.
Bryce: Yeah, it pivots along the way. So, whenever I think of you, I think of the burn your boats analogy, which is the reason that I’m here today, that this podcast exists, is because I burned my boats many years ago to create the float spa. I had another job, and I was casually kind of working on a business plan to create Clear Float Spa.
And I was just writing it as I was having fun and continuing to grow. And I was like, I don’t know if I’m actually going to open this, but it’s fun to write a business plan. And then sure enough I kind of came to a head in my life and me and my current manager collided and words were said on my end that kind of burned that bridge.
Can you tell that story and about how impactful that is? Cause it kind of ties into your definiteness of purpose and in committing essentially to any project, whatever you’re doing.
Lindsey Smith: Sure and I don’t know where this originated from, I’m sure there’s an origin of this story somewhere.
Bryce: I think it’s a Roman myth
Lindsey Smith: Yeah. I wonder if one of your listeners might go and say, “Oh, Lindsey, that’s the wrong word, the way it’s supposed to go like this.” So bear with me. This is my version and it served me well. It’s my favorite version so far, so, okay, good. So, so basically, there’s these, I don’t know if they’re pirates, let’s assume that they are.
Well anyways, these guys get robbed and this group of misfits steal this guy’s treasure and they go sailing out to this Island and they’re there. And so now that the pirates have to decide, that we have got to go and get our gold back. We’ve got to go ahead and try to track down this booty that we lost.
And so they’re being very sneaky. Booty is the best word for treasurer of all time. I want some booty and plunder. So it’s like. Now they decide, listen, we, we, these guys were over here on this side of the Island. We’re going to be really sneaky. We’re going to sail around the other side of the Island.
So they parked on the other side of the Island with the sailing ships, and they needed to get people ready so they spent a few days, you know, that’s how the battles are, in training their men, making sure they get enough rest, enough sleep, enough food, enough nutrition. So these men are absolutely ready to go over to retrieve their treasure back and to win the day.
So now comes the moment where they have to leave and go and do this and that, and the captain of the ship has to stand up and make his inaugural speech that is going to motivate the man like William Wallace running up and down the men in Braveheart and explaining what freedom is.
And this is that moment, the captain gets up on his crates, and says to the gentlemen, “Burn the boats.” And everyone’s like, “Well, what do you mean burn the boats?” And he’s like, “Burn the boats. If we’re going home, we’re going home in their boats.” And what’s so cool about the concept is that you have no other choice. You have no other choice. I watched this, Australian fitness show, I think it’s calls like getting, bringing sexy back or something. The very, very first thing the trainer does is walks into the house, (This is my life in the mornings when I’m feeding a kid at 4:00 AM.) throws everything that’s junk food out of the fridge or out of the cupboards. He burns the boats for them. You know, you quit your job, you burned your boat. You know how relationships in the past were, I really enjoyed dating around, but I wanted to commit but then you give a key to your place and you’re like, you burned a boat. You’re not going to have like multiple dates. You’re not going to have a different person over, you know, you burned your boat, there’s so many different ways that we do.
I fear when we were at a fitness conference. That was another life thing that I did and we had to sell all of our fitness gear. And the way that we had it, we had this palette that we had to ship back our material on. And I remember I said to the salesperson with me, I had told him the story about burning the boats right away, and I said, “Go and throw that pallet, break it and throw it in the dumpster.” I said, we’re not shipping any of this stuff home and we became the craziest sales people ever at this conference, but we sold everything, like we burned the boats. And that has created such an amazing opportunity for me in life to the point that I thought I was an entrepreneur, and one of the depths of an entrepreneur is to take a job again, it’s like you feel like you failed and like, “Oh, now I got it.”, and we always say, “Oh, I’m willing to do whatever it takes.”
But someone’s like. Okay, now you’ve got to work for somebody again. You’re like, Oh my gosh!
Bryce: Yeah, do whatever it takes just not that.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah. Exactly. And so I got offered a job and I said, no, this was to become a trainer at CIR Realty, to train their realtors so I ended up coming on as a trainer and I said yes to it because I read Warren Buffett’s book, and that sort of got me to single mind as a focus.
Bryce: And I knew that was familiar. I was in the office when you took that and was reading snowball.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah. Exactly. So that was the impact that it made. And I burned a bit of a boat there because now it’s like I’m working for this organization and my thought process is that I still need to learn a lot. I was only 28 at the time, I guess 27 and I said, I still got a lot to learn about business, so I’m going to go inside this organization and I’m going to learn a bit.
And then, you know, one thing led to another and eight years later, I bought all the shares or bought 50% of the shares in the company and things like that and stuff has worked out. But I burned a boat. Like I committed to this thing that just made a massive difference. And when you’re all in, you’re all in. So I think it’s a powerful concept.
Bryce: Yeah, I totally agree. So we talk about brainwashing and obviously getting yourself prep-ed in an idea. Let’s say like, real estate is a perfect example. Rich dad, poor dad, by every real estate property, real estate is going to the moon. It becomes your reality; Calgary market is never going down, Oil is going to the moon- anyone in the oil and gas industry can relate to this specifically. So your reality is that you can’t lose.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah and then the sun will never set on the sun. that’s the way I believed.
Bryce: Yeah, totally. So that’s your personal reality. And then the reality-reality of the world around you comes down and smashes out in half. How do you reconcile your personal reality and I’m sure you’ll balance that as well so that euphoria doesn’t take over and your personal reality becomes something so detached from the actual reality out there that you can make the proper decisions and not get completely smashed down, which a lot of people are in this Covid crisis.
They had a personal reality that has now been shattered and they don’t necessarily have the toolbox that you have built in terms of the confidence that you can do anything and take on any challenge, all these different things, and then that personal reality was shattered and taken over by this different reality.
How do you kind of keep those in line or maintain those throughout tough times, Well, I mean, there are certain times when you’ll continue to grow and the Calgary real estate market will come back, but how do you not get caught up in that euphoria and not let your personal reality go on a completely different tangent that’s not truth, it’s not your personal truth?
Lindsey Smith: Yeah. You know, I just keep referencing books, but two books that come to mind, one of them is Mistakes Were Made But Not By Me, a fantastic book. And the premise of that one is basically that we will do anything to avoid cognitive dissonance.
And that is where, we believe in something and then something happens that’s contrary to that belief system. And we will do everything we possibly can to rationalize that decision. It’s like you buy this brand, new BMW and people are like, “Oh, how do you like it?” And even though. You might be really stressed out by the payments or whatever else, you’ll rationalize your decision making
Bryce: Flat earthers is a great example too like they buy into something and they just can’t fathom wasting these hundreds of hours or anything else, and it’s once they believe it.
Lindsey Smith: To the point that this psychologist infiltrated this cult who believed the world was going to end at a specific date and time.
So she went in to call that date and time came but the world did not end. And so she thought, “Oh, well, you know, for sure these people are going to turn around and be like, “Oh, well, guess we were wrong.”” Nope. They believed that their power belief saved the world and that’s you know, a very natural, natural thing.
So. You know, I think that’s the way to prevent it. The second book I’m going to talk about is called Black Swan, where it’s like, you know, is this a black Swan event? And not as, you know, Covid, and not that a Pandemic is a black Swan event, because people actually thought that a pandemic could happen.
I’ve got a neighbor of mine who’s asked you in food supply and agriculture, and they have an entire manual for pandemics.
Bryce: What’s a black swan event for people who don’t know?
Lindsey Smith: Oh, so Black Swan event is like, You’re writing a business plan and you got to write it, the worst case scenario is, our sales dropped by 30%.
Bryce: And or another competitor comes into the market or something like that.
Lindsey Smith: That’s right. Exactly. So then we look and we say, well, did I think that the sales like- pandemic that might drop 80%. We’re all together in this and someone could shut us down completely. So people talk about the a hundred year flood that seems to happen every 20 years, you know? And that’s a black Swan event; you take the high water Mark of that flood. And so people build the dams to go right here where the traditional high watermark is. But a new high watermark can happen at any given point in time where suddenly the high watermark is double that.
But people thought that was impossible. So black Swan event is something that we just can’t predict. Now by nature of being a black Swan, you can’t predict it except for to know that it might happen. I think that a big piece of this is arrogance where you start to become, I would say ignorant and arrogant in terms of the…
Bryce: It’s ego.
Lindsey Smith: That’s right, the ego of the fact that something like this could happen is arrogant enough to think that you will be okay within it. In fact, a lot of people, we’ve always heard the age old of having 6 to 12 months of expenses put away in a bank account somewhere. Well, how many Canadians or us or anybody in the world had 6 to 12 months of expenses put to wait because suddenly a pandemic happened?
And if you took that advice, then you’d be just fine. Like literally fine. Like Covid comes, you get a bit of a vacation and you’re off to the races. People, you know, they freak out because they didn’t take that advice. So I would say for anybody who is trying to inoculate themselves from this is you have to really look at the lessons of the past.
Say your ego aside and say, “Yeah, you know, I do need to put this money away.” just as a good example, “I do need to insulate myself. I need to keep my business expenses low, my overhead low, because. Tomorrow, my revenue could drop.” but most of the entrepreneurs write that line of like, “Yeah, okay, I got it. I got to grow.” You got to spend money..
Bryce: So many entrepreneurs are gamblers. You start a business on a bit of a gamble.
Lindsey Smith: That’s right. And then the justification of, “Oh well, it’s not our fault. The business went down.” I’m like, we just have this app where we’re sharing baby photos and it’s only the app that emailed us yesterday. He says, we’re going under, like we’re basically bankrupt. But of course they didn’t say that. They say, “Oh, you know, we weren’t anticipating the market conditions or things like that.”
No, you overspent. Let me tell you how this happened, you had crappy marketing cause no one’s heard about your app, and you should anticipate that the market will actually go down at some point.
Bryce: I hope you emailed them and said that.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah it was in my email, but this is it. So I think releasing the arrogance and playing a little bit more conservative would work. I bought to teach a course or writing or I don’t know where I’m going to go with this, but you know, being 40 years old now, my arrogance did get the better of me in 2007 I thought someone would never send the rules in the market.
My expenses were $35,000 a month, and it was massive. Like we had to try to make something that’s making a lot of sales to get things done. And I just thought it would never turn. I thought it was going to go up forever. And now once your teeth kicked in a little bit. You know, we’ve been through many recessions. What lessons have you learned and what lessons are you going to take from this? When you start your next business or you manage the financials of your family, and you are making decisions for what can happen? You know, have you tested your smoke detectors. And like, that’s something as simple as, “Oh, well, you know, I haven’t thought about it.” but like, this stuff can happen.
So, everything’s in life is a calculate a risk, but I think people can really protect themselves by paying attention to the lessons of the past and then be smart enough to know that, you might not have seen anything yet, like you might not have seen the worst of it yet in terms of what can happen to the disaster. The next pandemic that could happen could be a thousand times worse. Like the whole lethality of Covid is nothing compared to like the black plague. Yeah. I’m like..
Bryce: What happened to that optimism we were talking about there Lindsay.
Lindsey Smith: Yeah, no, but this is what my optimism is that we will get through it. It was like, “Come with me.” It’s like, “yeah, bring it on. Like I don’t care, but I’ll figure it out.”
Bryce: Totally. Wow, man. Well, I don’t know where to go from here. I love you. I’m so grateful for your friendship, I’m grateful for you..
Lindsey Smith: So happy to have this conversation with you. Yeah. Yeah. It’s so inspiring watching what you’ve done and you are literally a role model to me from the standpoint of hearing someone who chooses to manifest a life that you enjoy, that you want to happen and almost like a creator of it or like a designer, you know, whatever higher power there is.
I think that you have sketched out the life you want to live. And I think that’s super cool. I think a lot more people can take big notes from that. So thank you for doing this and thank you for having your previous guy who wasn’t named Tim before this.
Bryce: Justin, Dr. Justin Tan
Lindsey Smith: Justin. So close. But it was awesome listening to that. So thanks for bringing value to the world.
Bryce: Cool. And I just want to quickly focus on that one in terms of the life that I’ve created was from Frank Kern who actually learned from you when we were working together. Frank Kern, music fan of mine, and Frank Kern had said, “Write down your perfect day.” And then he evolved and said, “Write your perfect customer.” And my perfect customer was wearing flip flops because that’s what I wanted to do, was very laid back, loved to surf and was into spirituality and all these other things.
And when floating came along. I was like, this is my customer, I mean, they are laid back. They won’t be yelling at me when there’s an issue. So if there’s ever any issues at the spot, it’s more like, Hey, what’s going on? Like there were no issues at the spot. It’s a simple, clear conversation between two human beings and it’s resolved instantly.
It’s not something like, give me my money back now or I’m going to sue. And with all from Frank Kern who designed your perfect day, and then how do you create that every single day in terms of, you wake up, you roll over, you kiss your wife, you go pick up your child, you know you longboard to work that, that was one of mine.
I don’t even have a longboard, I just walk to work. But very similar in terms of all those things that were designed, and then all of a sudden the product in the manifestation of that just landed in my lap and this is how it felt in the world. It felt very divine because I wrote out that purpose in that ideal customer as well.
So it was because of you that helped me to design that as well. So I’m very grateful for that. And definitely my integrity came from you specifically. And of course, I’m grateful to my parents, but I learned a ton from you in terms of when you say something, you do it and that was so powerful for me, and I’m grateful for that and your friendship.
Lindsey Smith: Oh man, mutual respect, so much mutual respect. It’s amazing.
Bryan: Cool. All right, well we’ll end on that note before we just kind of go in circles complimenting each other. Man, I really appreciate this and let’s chat soon.
Let’s go golfing soon. Once these golf balls, you already went golfing today, so we’ll definitely make something happen soon.
Lindsey Smith: Awesome. Thanks Bryce. Appreciate it. Awesome.
Bryce: Thanks Lindsey. Thank you, Dude, That was fun. That was really fun.
Lindsey Smith: Thank you. Thank you. That was a lot of fun to do.