454: Create Your Vivid Vision with Cameron Herold
How much more effective could you be at creating everything you want for your life if you had a detailed (aka “vivid”) vision of where you’re going? Without a clear vision, it’s easy for us to get pulled in different directions and end up arriving somewhere less than ideal.
That’s why I’m excited to talk to my friend, Cameron Herold. Cameron is the co-author of The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs, founder of the COO Alliance and author of Vivid Vision: A Remarkable Tool For Aligning Your Business Around a Shared Vision of the Future. Cameron’s the guy to talk to if you want to gain exceptional clarity in your life (or business) to make your goals a reality.
In our conversation, you’ll learn Cameron’s strategy for creating a Vivid Vision for your life, why setting bigger goals motivates you to achieve them, and the habits that make top performers successful.
You’ll also hear Cameron talk about his experience living with monks, what he learned from working with Elon Musk’s brother, Kimbal, and how to put yourself in a peak emotional, physical, and spiritual state so you can improve your life and the lives of those around you.
- What living in a monastery taught Cameron about being present and living a spiritually rich life.
- Stop waiting for motivation to arrive! Learn how bigger goals can fuel you to achieve what you thought was impossible.
- Why you should enjoy the process instead of always worrying about the outcomes.
- The greatest obstacles that prevent people from achieving their goals.
- The importance of surrounding yourself with smart people that will hold you accountable and push you forward.
- Top performers know when it’s time to take action to achieve their goals. Others search for the magic bullet.
- The importance of anticipating setbacks and only focusing on things you can control.
- Perfection is the enemy of progress. Be kind to yourself when you slip up, and do better tomorrow.
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- Cameron Herold on Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook
- Couple’s Vivid Vision PDF
- Personal Vivid Vision PDF
- Company – COO Alliance Vivid Vision
- Ep# 293 – Talking “Entrepreneurship” With The Business Growth Guru, Cameron Herold
- Cameron Herold’s TedX – Your Vision Statement Sucks
- The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs: Elevate Your SELF to Elevate Your BUSINESS by Hal Elrod, Cameron Herold, and Honoree Corder
- Second in Command Podcast with Tiffany Swineheart (Hal’s COO)
- Gerber Auto Collision
- Boyd Autobody
- College Pro Painters
- Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality by Anthony De Mello
- Stop Fixing Yourself: Wake Up, All Is Well by Anthony De Mello
- Steve Sims
- Go For Stupid: The Art of Achieving Ridiculous Goals by Steve D. Sims
- Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork by Dan Sullivan, Benjamin Hardy
- Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century (Think and Grow Rich Series) by Napoleon Hill, Arthur R. Pell
- Front Row Dads
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Hal Elrod: Hello, my friends. Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod, and you’re about to hear a conversation that took an unexpected turn before it even officially started, meaning Cameron and I were chatting before we hit record and he was telling me the story and I go, “Wait, wait, wait. This is an incredible story. You’ve got to share this. Let’s hit record and then you can tell me about this.” And the short of it, well, I’ll let you hear the story. But the podcast had a really beautiful start to it. And throughout the entire thing, you’re going to get wisdom from Cameron. And the angle today that I wanted to take with Cameron is that he works with CEOs and COOs, executives, people that are leading companies. And you think about the goals that we set as individuals that may include our business for sure. But executives and CEOs that are performing at the highest level, there is so much pressure and so much stress and so many stakeholders and such expectations, yet at the forefront of these entrepreneur enterprises is the CEO or the COO, the individual, the human being that deals with fear and uncertainty and overwhelm and isn’t motivated all the time, probably doesn’t feel like doing what they need to do but they don’t have the luxury of the average person that’s at home where nobody’s checking in on their every move. They’re leading an organization that has a lot of layers of accountability.
And so, I wanted Cameron to bring in his wisdom and his experience that we can apply, that he’s learned from top performers and these leaders in different capacities. And how can we apply that in our pursuit of our goals, achieving everything that we want for our life? And I think Cameron really delivered on that theme today. So, you’re going to get a lot of wisdom. And the theme that I pulled the title of the episode is to Create Your Vivid Vision with Cameron Herold. And the reason is that’s only a part of what we talk about today but, to me, it’s the foundation and it’s what Cameron has become known for. It’s his keynote that he gives to corporations all over the world. It was a chapter in our book that we co-authored, The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs, which if you are an entrepreneur, of course, I would check that title out. It’s one of our most popular and it’s the foundation. You create this vivid vision as Cameron will walk you through today and then from there, now you are clear on what you want your life, what you want your marriage, what you want your business to look like. And you can begin living into that vision, living in alignment with who you need to be and what you need to do to make that vivid vision your reality.
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All right. Without further ado, a great conversation with a surprising opening with my good friend, Cameron Herold. Let’s talk about how to create your vivid vision.
Hal Elrod: All right. Cameron, you were just telling me the story about how you spent eight days in the Himalayas with monks meditating, eating meals with them. And I went, “Whoa, whoa, whoa.” We need to share that. This is fascinating. My audience wants to hear this story. So, let’s just start with this, man. How did you end up in the Himalayas meditating with monks for eight days? And who was with you, by the way?
Cameron Herold: So, my wife was with me, and the timing of it. And I don’t want to kill the buzz on this but I think it’s very relevant. My dad passed away five weeks ago, very suddenly at 80 years old, and I was really struggling with starting the grieving process. But we had this trip to Bhutan with these 20 other entrepreneurs. So, we went and we went off to India and spent four days in India getting ready and then off into Bhutan and the Himalayas. And it was 20 entrepreneurs with the CEO who organized it all. And we spent eight days hiking up to one day up to 13,500 feet, which is very, very high altitude. Most of the days we were around 10,000 or 11,000 feet and we were sleeping in monasteries, eating on the floors, living with monks, meditating with monks, hiking with them. It was an unbelievable experience.
Hal Elrod: That’s incredible. I mean, it’s funny you say that. Just it was probably yesterday, I was thinking about how I have this inner conflict between my desire to change the world. You know, I also enjoy the fruits of my labor but I also really want to be a monk and I’m anti-social. I want to be by myself all day just connecting with my spiritual side. And so, it’s this interesting dichotomy between like being of the world and then trying to transcend these worldly achievements and things that society has told us are important.
Cameron Herold: I think that’s why it was so powerful for me to be there, too, because I needed to have some space to decompress and to try to start processing and to think about what really mattered. And my wife and I got married back in May, so maybe like five months ago. So, it was really amazing time for us to have this time to decompress together and do the trip but, yeah, to see the way that they live. You know, we were sleeping, 20 very successful entrepreneurs who could sleep in any of the best hotels in the world, we’re sleeping on one-inch thick mattresses with old sheets and blankets that I’m not sure when the last time they were washed. And we’re sleeping in our dirty clothes from hiking because there was nothing else to really change into. We were hiking with a day pack like this was the only pack that we had to go hiking in and we had to keep everything in for a few days. And then we’re eating rice out of these plastic bowls and sitting on the floor of the monastery and just super connecting. But man, it was amazing, the time, the meditation, the connection with people. And just seeing some of the stuff that we did with them, I think blew them open as well but it also really blew us open.
So, I was saying to you at the beginning before we went live, the second last night that we were there, we had a bonfire with them and they’re only allowed to have one bonfire per year. And so, we had this amazing, huge bonfire. You know, they poured gas on it like a real proper bonfire. The kids were all just standing around staring into it. And then my wife, who really loves to dance, had this Bluetooth speaker and she put her phone on to Bluetooth and just started playing music, as you would normally probably do at a bonfire. But the monks had never really been allowed to dance at the monastery. And all of a sudden, 10 or 15 of the youngest ones were just dancing and super excited. And then the older ones started dancing, and then the head monk was kind of going, “I guess I can’t stop this. So, tonight’s a dance party.” And for 2 hours, we like danced with all these monks at 11,000 feet. And then what completely blew us away, this all of a sudden, foggy kind of clouds over the valley parted and there was a massive full moon. And it was almost like God was just saying like, “I got you. I see you. This is amazing.” We went back into the monastery with them afterwards and we’re teaching them how to make paper airplanes, which I guarantee you they didn’t know how to do.
I think we kind of blew their hearts open, that they blew our hearts open, and it’ll probably tilt their learnings a little bit. I’m sure it will take them a few months to unlearn some of the Western stuff that was maybe taught them. But it’s only the second time that anybody’s actually stayed in this one particular monastery. It’s only the second time they’ve had strangers actually stay there and there were 20 of us there for two nights.
Hal Elrod: Wow. Yeah. And right now, they’re telling stories about you and your Bluetooth speaker and, “These Westerners came in and some of their ways weren’t so bad.”
Cameron Herold: Yeah. Well, they were never against Westerners. They just decided like they know what civilization is, right? They’ve been removed or have decided or their families decided to put them into this monastery. And they want to live this life so they know what’s out there. They’ve just decided to live a life of simplicity and in prayer. And they’re actually sitting, praying for, which I didn’t realize, they’re always praying for all living beings. They don’t pray for themselves. They don’t pray for their group. They’re paying for everyone. So, they’re praying for your happiness, for my happiness, for everyone’s happiness all the time. They’re very hyper-aware of what’s happening with the world and also, even if they’re not aware, they’re aware of the suffering and the pain and the opportunity, I guess.
Hal Elrod: If only we could all live more that way, right, where we see each other as family, one big human family. And they’re all on this journey called life together. And just because your political views might be different than mine, that’s also superficial in the scheme of life, right?
Cameron Herold: Yeah. It’s funny. One of the things that I have always struggled with at events and you and I have been at lots of business events together, I always struggle with remembering people’s names.
Hal Elrod: Oh, me too. Oh, big time.
Cameron Herold: You know, I’m not present enough and I’m so focused on the next part of the conversation or whatever my ADD is feeding me with. Although the final morning at 7 in the morning, we’re eating breakfast, and this young monk who’s probably eight years old, walks up to me and he said, “Cameron, we’ll miss you.” I’m like, “How did you even remember my name is Cameron?” Like, we’re not wearing nametags. English isn’t their first language. I could never remember what this kid’s name was, and it was amazing that he was so present that the one time I mentioned my name he was able to remember it or thoughtful enough to care. And I was just like, “Wow, like, what a lesson in just being there.”
Hal Elrod: Well, and you think about one thing that comes up for me is that his mind isn’t clouded with a thousand stimuli every day, right? You know, whether it’s his to-do list or the three television shows he watched that day, I mean, all of those things just cloud our consciousness and remove what really matters, which is, “Hey, this human being named Cameron came in. And that was really the highlight of like maybe that day.” That’s the only thing he really focused on outside of his normal just connecting with the present moment.
Cameron Herold: Yeah. That other thing. We put these two flip charts up on the wall, and one of them said memories, and one of them said gratitude. And we were writing our notes on Post-it notes and putting them up. And this was the CEOs were doing it, you know, our memories of being at this particular monastery and what we were grateful for. And then these monks started coming up and doing it like they wanted to put up what their memories were.
Hal Elrod: Wow.
Cameron Herold: You know, one of the guys, this guy, Len, who runs the social enterprise in Toronto only knew one magic trick but he taught these people magic tricks, this one magic trick. I’m sure in a monastery, they don’t mind magic. But the next morning, the kids were all replicating the magic trick. And one of them wrote his favorite memory was The Great Lendini. It was beautiful. It’s an amazing experience.
Hal Elrod: That’s beautiful, man. Have you read the work of Anthony De Mello? He wrote the book, Awareness?
Cameron Herold: No, I know the name but I have not read his stuff.
Hal Elrod: So, I discovered the book, Awareness, I don’t know, six months ago or so. And then I just got his new book called Stop Fixing Yourself. And I was reading it the other day, and I think all of his books are I’m not sure if he’s passed away but I think his books are just lectures. I don’t think he ever wrote a book. I think it’s other people taking his lectures and transcribing them and organizing them into books. But he’s just brilliant. And he shared something I had never heard before that will now be part of my work, and it is a distinction about happiness. He talks about like all of your unhappiness is a result of society’s programming. We’ve been programmed to think that happiness is outside of ourselves. It’s in the achievement, it’s in the recognition, the praise, etcetera. And he said there is a very different kind of happiness that is available that is real, true happiness. He said, “I want you to think about the feeling you have when you achieve a goal,” which ironically, we’re about to talk about achieving goals, but when you achieve a goal, when somebody recognizes you, fame, fortune, when you buy something, that excitement when the Amazon package arrives and oh, my gosh, I’m so happy about this new thing.
And he said, “I want you to contrast that feeling of what you think is happiness, what society has told you is important with the feeling you have when you watch the sunrise or the sunset, the feeling you have when you see a baby smile, the feeling you have when you connect deeply with another human being.” Are those the same, right? Those two forms of happiness, right? No. One is this manufactured happiness by society that is short-lived, that we’re constantly chasing, the next stimulus to make us feel good. It’s just short hits of pleasure and dopamine versus this inborn happiness that God or whatever you believe, we were born to see a sunset and feel. They’re just nature. We were born to when we’re in nature, to feel the presence of God. And just the moment is perfect. And it was just such a powerful distinction.
Cameron Herold: Yeah. It’s so simple when we actually can kind of get present and think about it that way, too.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. So, with that, let’s talk about goals. I had you on the podcast. Last time we had a conversation on the podcast. It was Episode 293, and we focused on how to be successful as an entrepreneur. Since you and I co-authored the Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs, that seemed like the obvious first choice. And when you and I were going back and forth on text about what today’s topic was going to be, what I came up with is you work with individuals who were required 5to perform at the highest level with major stakes, a lot of pressure. I’m talking about CEOs and COOs and executives, and they’d have the entire company, right? They’re responsible for the success, for their shareholders, for their employees, you name it. So, my thought was, well, anything that applies to them, applies to all of us in terms of setting goals, overcoming obstacles, following through. How do you follow through when you’re not motivated, right? For most of us, if we’re not motivated, nobody really sees that we didn’t do what we’re supposed to do today but the executive doesn’t have that luxury of just taking a week off and going and sulking or procrastinating. They’ve got accountability at the highest level. So, that’s the angle that I really wanted to take, is what have you found working with top performers, with executives when it comes to, we could start with setting goals, creating a vision like let’s start there.
Cameron Herold: Yeah. It’s interesting that you brought this up because I’m going to even slightly switch it to, I think even tie in closer to everybody who’s listening. In the book that we wrote, The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs, one of the chapters that we worked on was the Vivid Vision idea for a business or for a person to have a vision for their life. My wife and I, and I’ll send you the link to it, maybe we can share it, just actually created our vivid vision for our relationship as a couple and what Cameron and Ashley as a couple look like, act like, and feel like December 31, 2025. So, we leaned out into the future and we described our fitness, our relationship, our mindfulness, what we’re doing with friends, travel with family, what we’re doing with our spirituality. We describe our sexuality like we literally describe the future state of our business. And what it’s done is it’s given us some things to work towards and things to look forward to. It stretched us. And I think, as you mentioned, these CEOs that have to find motivation, one of the easiest ways to find motivation is to set bigger goals, to create a vision or a vivid vision that’s a few years out that stretches you again. And in the absence of that, it can kind of become very routine.
Life can get boring or life can get routine, or your business can get routine because you don’t have motivation. No one’s going to come to you as an adult and give you goals anymore. You know, your parents aren’t raising you. So, I think that may be a good starting point to talk about is that vivid vision process and how businesses and people can use that.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Let’s dive into that. You know, our mutual friend, Steve Sims, I had on the podcast a week or two ago and Steve’s new book, Go for Stupid, it was about how do you set these big, ridiculous goals. So, I’d love to kind of follow up on that for anyone that listened to that and hear your perspective on how to create a vivid vision because that is one of your, I mean, that’s your keynote. That’s one of your expertise.
Cameron Herold: Yeah. So, the basic idea is to not worry about how your vision is going to come true. So, let’s say that I described my eating habits. Right? I’m eating healthy meals. I have a chef that comes in a couple of times a month to cook for us. We actually lived globally now. We sold our homes in the US, sold our homes in Canada, sold our cars. We literally live out of backpacks. We’ve been to 14 countries in the last five months. So, we’re spending a lot of time on the road. But how do you find healthy food? How do you find the local grocers that are healthy? How do you get wellness? How do we find personal trainers? So, when we described our fitness, when we described our relationship with food, when we described me as an example, my relationship with alcohol, that now I only drink on Thursday and Friday nights and only if I worked out that day.
Hal Elrod: Nice.
Cameron Herold: So, because I’m on the road, I could be eating in a restaurant seven nights a week. I can’t have a glass of wine with dinner every night because I’m not really in the restaurant. I’m now just eating. So, what we did is we leaned out into the future and started describing what our life looked like.
Hal Elrod: By the way, Cam, real quick. Sorry to cut you off but I just got to point this out. Am I understanding correctly that you got married five months ago and right around when you got married, sold your houses, cars, and you’ve been traveling to 14 countries on the road? Like, that’s crazy to get married and then be like, “Let’s go.”
Cameron Herold: Yeah. We actually sold our stuff about 14 months ago but, yeah, we’ve been to 35 countries together in the last four-and-a-half years. So, even during COVID, we found ways to still stretch ourselves a little bit. But yeah, since May 1st, we got married in the middle of May, since about May 1st, I think we’ve been to 14 countries, and it’s…
Hal Elrod: That is a wild way to start a marriage, man. Yeah.
Cameron Herold: It’s been fun. It’s really cool. So, yeah, we’re just trying to. So, the Vivid Vision idea becomes a four or five-page written description of what your personal life or your business or what your relationships look like three years in the future. So, that if you can lean out that three years and describe it, not how it happened but describe what it looks like, then you as a person or you as a couple or you as some of your friends or you as a coach can start figuring out the plan to make each of those things come true.
Hal Elrod: How far out did you say you typically create your vision? How many years out?
Cameron Herold: Three years. Anywhere past three years is too far out there and it feels like there’s no real urgency to get around to it because it’s so far and if it’s one year out, it’s too similar to today. So, the idea is to kind of stretch yourself out three years and then think about every aspect of your life or your business in that way. You commit it to paper. Maybe you get a copywriter to help you polish it and make it pop off the page so it really resonates well, and then you just figure out how to make that come true. So, that’s been something that we’ve been working on both as a couple. So, I have one for us as a married couple. I have a vivid vision for me as a person, just to me as Cameron, as a dad, a husband, a friend. And then I have one for my business, for the COO line.
Hal Elrod: I love this. So, I’m taking notes here. So, through your vision. So, for you as a person, your marriage, and your business. Did I miss anything?
Cameron Herold: No, that’s it.
Hal Elrod: Okay. So, for you as a person, your marriage, and your business, I love that.
Cameron Herold: And what this does is this provides kind of the end game. It’s almost like if I handed you a jigsaw puzzle and I said, “Here’s a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, all of the pieces are red,” you’d have no idea how to build the puzzle because you need to see the picture of the front of the box to know where the pieces go. So, the Vivid Vision becomes like the picture on the front of the jigsaw puzzle box of your life, or the picture on the front of the jigsaw puzzle of your business or your relationship. So, then you can start figuring out, how do I make parts of this start to come true?
Hal Elrod: So, if you’re listening right now, I would do what I am doing and schedule one hour to create your vivid vision. I literally just put it in my account. I’m actually putting it in now, create my vivid vision in three areas. So, this is what I’m going to do, goal achievers, and I would encourage you to do it. It’s like anything, right? It’s not what you learn, it’s what you live. You’ve got to implement this for it to actually make an impact. But I love that analogy that Cameron just gave, Cameron the puzzle box analogy, right? If all the pieces were red and I think that not having a vivid vision it’s kind of like that. Right? It’s like I don’t know what I’m working towards. I’m just working.
Cameron Herold: And most of the people that are listening have either built a home or done a renovation, or maybe they’ve been around people. They’ve seen a home being built. So, if you got the best contractor in Austin, you hired a great contractor and you said, “Here’s a whole bunch of money. Go build my dream home.” And you left and came back and a year later, they’ll have built your beautiful home but it’s not going to look anything like what you wanted because you didn’t describe it in enough detail. You need to describe the vision of your home in so much detail that the contractor can come up with the plans or the blueprints to make your vision come true. All right. So, I actually just put a link in the chat on Zoom right now. You can even click on it and open through it but you’ll see probably 15 different areas where we thought about our life as a couple and described it, and then we can figure out how do we make each sentence come true. And that’s the same approach that I used in all the businesses that I helped build. Whether it was building 1-800-Got-Junk? or building any small businesses along the way, it was all about thinking about the future state and then reverse engineering each part of that vivid vision to figure out the plans to make the vision come true.
Hal Elrod: Actually, I want to talk about that. You said something a few minutes ago, don’t worry about how you’re going to achieve it. Before you answer that, I think not knowing how someone’s going to achieve more than they’ve achieved up until this point is what stop people from even considering achieving more. It’s like I’ve only achieved what I’ve achieved and that’s all I know how to achieve. So, I can’t really see much more than that. So, talk about setting a vision, and then not knowing how you’re going to achieve it.
Cameron Herold: So, if you’re the homeowner and you’re going to get a home built, most of the homeowners don’t know how to do electrical. We don’t know how to do plumbing. We don’t know how to hang drywall. I don’t know how to build cabinets. I don’t know how to do flooring. I know what I want my home to look like, but I don’t know how to build it.
As long as I can describe what I want built and I have the money and the time, a contractor can figure out how to build it. They’ll create the plans. They’ll get all the employees. They command, the employees will follow the plan. The employees will build my dream home without ever having to talk to me.
So, it’s the same as designing your personal life. If you can describe what you want your fitness to look like, you can then start figuring it out later or get people to help you figure out later how to make that come true. It’s kind of like our friends Dan Sullivan and Ben Hardy said in their book Who Not How, it becomes a who problem, not a how problem. You don’t have to worry about how to do it, it’s who can you get to help you. Maybe what book can you read that can help you? What friends can help you? What accountability partners can you get that can help you?
It’s why having that vivid vision for our marriage is really powerful because we can help each other. We can hold each other accountable. We can help. We’re calling it our bucket list life. We’re helping each other cross off things on our bucket lists, but we’re also helping hold people accountable. I’m right now 43 pounds lighter than I was 11 years ago.
Hal Elrod: Wow.
Cameron Herold: And it’s because I have this woman who I’m in love with who cares about my fitness level and I don’t eat crappy food and I get exercise. Like today, I worked out in the gym. I went into a cryo deep freeze and I went into a high-pressure kind of recovery pod tank. Two days from now, I’m going into a circuit training with a fitness trainer. Like I’m really focusing on fitness as part of me. And I can’t wait to have a glass of wine Friday nights. I haven’t had one for a week. I take one week off every month without any wine, but those are written in my vivid vision.
Hal Elrod: Beautiful. And that really is– that’s where it starts and that’s why it’s important because such an obstacle to creating a vision is us stopping ourselves before we start because we don’t know how we’re going to achieve these big, audacious goals. And it’s like, well, the way you’re going to achieve it is first and foremost by creating a vision for it in writing. And then I have a friend that he used to say, when you commit to something, the how reveals itself. And that’s what we’re talking about here.
Cameron Herold: I think it was in Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich where he talked about conceive, believe, and achieve. And if you have the vision for what you’re doing and you believe in that vision, you’ll figure out how to make it come true. So, what I’m saying, don’t worry about how, I’m not saying forever, I’m just saying while you’re writing the vivid vision, don’t worry about how you’re going to do it. But if it feels right, right now, you’ve got to be realistic. Like if you can’t walk around the block, you’re not going to run a three-and-a-half-hour marathon in three years. It isn’t going to happen.
But you could at least say in three years, I’m going to be running a 10k, or in three years, I’m going to be walking 10 kilometers three days a week. Like you have to have some reality check in what your vivid vision is. And that’s why it’s also good to only go three years out. You don’t want to stretch 20 or 30 because then it’s a dream.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. And then you have, there’s no sense of urgency. Well, you mentioned the running thing, when I decided I wanted to run an ultramarathon, I had never run more than a mile, and that was when it was required in high school PE class. And I hated running. And so, the idea of how, I had no idea, I can’t run a mile, how am I going to run 50, but it was putting it in writing, setting a date, and then committing publicly. I thought, well, if I give my word to other people that I’m going to run this race to raise money for charity, my own ego is not going to let me look like a total jerk and a fraud. So, like just leveraging that integrity also, just like, hey, I said, I’m going to do something, now, I’ve got to do it. Let’s talk about the obstacles.
Cameron Herold: Where’s your ultramarathon?
Hal Elrod: Say it again.
Cameron Herold: Where is it or when was it?
Hal Elrod: Oh, I did it, it was 2009, the Atlantic City Marathon. So, what’s interesting is it wasn’t an ultramarathon. It was a regular marathon that my good friend, Jon Vroman, I think you know Jon Vroman, Front Row Dads.
Cameron Herold: Yeah.
Hal Elrod: Jon Vroman founded the Front Row Foundation charity and he had reached out and asked me if I would run. And he said, it doesn’t matter, you could walk a 5k. I thought, I’m not going to walk a 5k. He said, run a marathon. And at first, I said no. And then I thought, man, what better way to challenge myself to expand my capacity mentally, physically, and emotionally, if you will, spiritually?
And so, I got back to him, I said, I’ll run, I’ll do a marathon. I don’t know how, but I’ll do a marathon. And he had run an ultramarathon to start the foundation. That was like his defining moment to start it. And then I just kind of thought, if I could run 26, I could run 52. That was my total, like lack of understanding, running like…
Cameron Herold: How hard it really is.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, I just thought 26 is so impossible that I might as well say I’ll do 400. Like they’re the same to me.
Cameron Herold: Yeah.
Hal Elrod: So, yeah. And so, the point was– so it was the Atlantic City Marathon, it was only a marathon, it wasn’t an ultra. So, what I did and I convinced three of my coaching clients to do it with me, we showed up at the marathon at three in the morning, which was five hours before it started. We ran the marathon before it started and then ran the marathon once it started with everybody to get the full 52.
Cameron Herold: Oh, my gosh. So, you actually really did run the marathon twice.
Hal Elrod: Yeah.
Cameron Herold: That’s Crazy Town guy, because I ran my marathon in Portland. I want to run one before I was 50 and I ran one right in my 50th year, and it was mismeasured and the marathon ended up being 300 yards longer than a marathon is supposed to be. So, definition of an ultramarathon is any race longer than a marathon. So, technically…
Hal Elrod: Oh, so, you’re an ultramarathon runner.
Cameron Herold: Yeah, by 300 yards, though, not by another full marathon.
Hal Elrod: Hey, once you’ve run 26 miles, 300 yards, it feels like infinity, right?
Cameron Herold: It really does. It’s incredible.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. We have a picture of me crawling across the finish line, just like legs. And I was in a wheelchair the next day. My wife had to push me around in a wheelchair at the airport. I literally couldn’t walk.
Cameron Herold: Oh, yeah. It destroys. I can’t imagine doing 52 and a half. That’s crazy.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, well, and it was part of it. They say you become the average of five people you spend those time with, Jim Rohn’s famous line. So, my good buddy Jon Vroman had run a 52-mile ultramarathon. My friend Jamie Baugher had run a 52-mile ultramarathon, and then Jon Berghoff had run a couple of 50s and he had run a 100-mile ultramarathon. So, that was part of it. I’m like, well, if they could do it, I could do it. That’s one of my primary beliefs. If another human being has done it, that means I can do it.
Cameron Herold: It’s possible, exactly. It is actually quite true, right?
Hal Elrod: Yeah. And then afterwards, people said, what’s next for you? I go, dude, I’m burning my running shoes and I’m never running again. Like, check that off the bucket list. Best day of my life, but more so the worst day of my life. Like it was so difficult.
Cameron Herold: I had to get my hip replaced two and a half years ago. So, it’d be my last marathon too. But now I’m hiking tons, so I’m quite happy just to hike.
Hal Elrod: Good for you, man. Good for you. So, let’s talk about obstacles. To me, this is one of the most important, most relevant, most crucial, and yet under-discussed aspects of achieving goals, which is anticipating the obstacles that are likely, if not inevitable. And my thought on this is if folks, if you’re not aware of an obstacle that is likely to show up on your path to achieving a goal, then that obstacle will more than likely it will derail you or it will bring your efforts to a halt completely.
But if you can anticipate the obstacle and you go, okay, so when I’m moving towards this goal, things aren’t going to go perfectly. It’s not going to be a clear path. I’m going to have internal obstacles, like fear and self-doubt and laziness. I might have external obstacles where things aren’t happening as fast as I want. I encounter a challenge. Someone doesn’t respond the way I needed them to. And now, I got to start back three steps, so on and so forth. So, I want to ask you, working with these executives, these CEOs, what are the obstacles that you see prevent people from achieving their goals? And then we can get into what overcome them?
Cameron Herold: So, when it comes to obstacles, there’s a concept called the Black Swan. And the idea of the Black Swan, and I think it’s one out of every 1,000 swans that are born is black. All the other swans are white, but there is this genetic thing that happens and it’s predictable that one out of every roughly 1,000 will be black. So, you just know something weird is going to happen. While in business or in life, something weird, something unforeseen, some obstacle is going to pop up, and when you least expect it, boom, there it is.
So, part of it is, is to just not get all ruffled when it happens, it’s kind of to go, oops, there it is. So, we were building an auto body chain years ago. In the U.S., it’s known as Gerber Auto Collision. In Canada, it’s called Boyd Autobody. My partner was the CEO of the company. Terry used to get pissed off every morning by this guy Greg. So, Terry wrote on his to-do list one day, get pissed off by Greg, and then he walked in the morning and Greg upset him and Terry was like, well, I got that done.
Hal Elrod: Nice.
Cameron Herold: That was a mindset that he allowed himself to no longer get upset that this guy was upsetting him. He’s like, I expected it. It happened. It didn’t bug me. I moved on. That’s kind of the way that you have to get around obstacles as well. There is no straight line from where you are to where you’re going. It’s a bit of a bob and weave, it’s a bit of a make-it-up as you go. But as long as you’re pointing in that general direction of that vivid vision of your goals, as long as you’re working towards that, you can kind of meander your way through, much like driving a car. We’ve all been driving a car and gotten to a point where it says, oops, detour. Well, we don’t get all upset and we just follow the detour signs. And about a half mile later, we’re back on the road.
Hal Elrod: We might get a little upset, to be fair.
Cameron Herold: Right. But the reality is, there’s nothing to really worry about because it’s just telling you where to go and you’re going to be back on your path again. So, the being upset part doesn’t serve us at all. The getting frustrated part doesn’t serve us at all. When we were building College Pro Painters, we used to say that we hired people that were very high in tenacity.
And tenacity was the dog-like work ethic to get over, under, or around any obstacle put in one’s path. That was a core, fundamental trait that we hired for. I remember hiring Kimbal Musk, Elon’s brother, in 1993, and that was one of the core things. Kimbal was very strong in leadership, very high in tenacity, very high in introspection. And I tell you, in all the businesses Kimbal’s built since 1993, he doesn’t let obstacles get in his way. He’s like, oops, there’s an obstacle. I expected it. How can I get over, under, around it? If I can’t figure it out, who can help me? Let’s keep going.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. And by overcoming the obstacle, you now have a new capacity to overcome future obstacles, right?
Cameron Herold: Right. It builds that muscle. It builds that strength. So, the reality is there are going to be challenges. It’s how we mentally approach them and how can we leverage our network and the ideas that are out there. We used to have to be the smartest guy in the room. Now, we don’t. Now, we have to know the smart people around us and work and collaborate together.
Hal Elrod: Love that. So, how do top performers overcome those obstacles that all of us face? Many of them internally. And here’s the biggest one I get, I was talking to my COO, Tiffany, who you’ve interviewed on your podcast. And the other day, she mentioned, we were just planning, we’re doing these things. I think this will be our third month called the Miracle Morning Community Monthly Gathering, and it’s a Zoom meeting with a few hundred Miracle Morning Community members where we all get together and connect and we lead them through a practice and I teach something and then they go into breakout rooms, so on and so forth.
And we were planning for that. And I said, Tiffany, you’re ears to the ground in terms of she kind of is our customer service person right now. And I said, you get 100 emails a day, what are people saying that they need? And she said, I feel like what I hear most is, Hal, I don’t feel motivated, like Hal, help me. I don’t feel– and a lot of it is I’m so overwhelmed, not only with personal life, but I feel like collectively, our collective consciousness, ever since 2020, our collective consciousness, what is out of our control has been just thrust into our faces every day. Whether it’s a pandemic or it’s politics or it’s other people. That, which is out of our control, which makes us feel out of control when we focus on it, it’s just constantly in front of us.
So, this overwhelm is not just our individual overwhelm, which is like I have so many things to focus on. I got my marriage and my kids and this and that and I’m trying to achieve these goals, but it’s just this collective overwhelm of like life in general as a member of the human race feels overwhelming. So, if somebody doesn’t feel motivated, if they’re struggling in their personal lives, how do top performers, what can we learn from top performers on how to overcome those obstacles and achieve our goals?
Cameron Herold: One of the big ones is that the top performers realize they can’t solve the world’s problems, so they actually don’t worry about the world’s problems. They don’t think about all of the angst that everybody else is going through. They worry about what they can control. Control the controllables. What’s the prayer? There’s a prayer on that. It’s like God…
Hal Elrod: The Serenity Prayer?
Cameron Herold: The Serenity Prayer. God, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. There’s a huge part of that that we have to bring into the business world. The reality is, in our business, there’s some stuff that we can change, there’s some stuff that we can’t. Don’t stress. Work on this stuff you can change.
The next part of that is the high performers realize they don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. They have to know the smart people in the room. The school system, at least the one I grew up in, really hurt me because I grew up– I’m 56. I grew up in an era where we had to memorize everything. I’d go to the library to grab the one book to write my essay on, and it was checked out, so I had to change the entire thesis for my essay. Now, I can just go on Google and it’s all there, right?
So, now, you don’t have to memorize. You have to know how to find information. You have to know how to access it. You have to collaborate. I think it’s the high performers realize that it’s not a how do I do this? It’s who can help me. My dad told me that years ago. He said, you’ll never be smart enough to figure out all the business problems on your own, follow what the smart companies are doing and just do what they’re doing and it’ll get you most of the way there.
Hal Elrod: So, what does that look like for someone listening that is in the business context, they’re either a solopreneur, so they’ve got no team to lean on, or someone listening, half of our audience, they’re not in business at all. So, they’re going, okay, well, my goal is to kind of like you talked about, I want to lose 10 pounds and be in better health or…
Cameron Herold: So, let’s go back. I always go back to the basics. If somebody said to me, I want to have a more productive day, I want to have a better life, I’d say, well, are you practicing the morning SAVERS? Are you doing the silence, affirmation, visualization, exercise, reading, scribing? No, I’m not. Well, then, don’t ask me any more questions. Do the SAVERS. When you’re doing that for six weeks, then I’ll give you the next step, but until you do those.
So, years ago, we had a franchisee at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Call Me up if you wanted the next marketing kind of secret silver bullet. And I said, are you parking all of your trucks in high visibility? No, no, but give me the next step. Are you putting signs out there? No, no, but give me the next step. Are you putting fliers out around every job? No, no, but– I’m like, look, until you’re doing the three basic things, I’m not giving you any more tools. Those three things work. And by the way, if there’s something better, we’ll tell you later.
So, all of these people that are reading another book, reading another book, reading another book, and not doing the stuff that the best books are telling you to do, you’re your own worst problem. So, the smart people are actually taking the advice they get and they’re using it. The smart people are taking the cheat sheets and they’re using them, the shortcuts. They’re just following those hacks because they work.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, I think that’s a big problem.
Cameron Herold: There’s no secret for how I lost weight. I stopped eating crappy food. I stopped eating everything that was on my plate. I’d stop eating when I was full. I’m drinking tons of water constantly. And I’m not drinking anywhere near as much as I used to drink and I get exercise.
Hal Elrod: No alcohol, right?
Cameron Herold: Right. And so, like it’s pretty basic. Put healthy food in your body, don’t eat as much food, and get some exercise.
Hal Elrod: So, let’s talk about that then because the obstacle to that, so everybody, like the reality is it’s we know what we need to do more often than not, it’s that we don’t do what we know we need to do. And so, whether it’s a lack of discipline or a lack of motivation, how do you get yourself to do what you need to do or top performers you’ve worked with? How do you get yourself to do what you need to do when you don’t feel like it? Because I think that’s the biggest thing holding a lot of people.
Cameron Herold: The one is that I– and I talked about this in the Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs is if I have a bad morning and I don’t follow all the SAVERS and I don’t follow my morning routine, I don’t stop. I wake up tomorrow and I try to have a better tomorrow than I had this morning. So, if I all of a sudden have a bad day and I order the fries instead of the salad and I have a protein shake when I should have the juice or I have juice when I should have had water or whatever, I don’t get exercise, and I have a glass, I don’t quit. I just shoot, I shouldn’t have done that and I wake up tomorrow and I try again. I kind of give myself the benefit of the doubt, and then I try again. But I’m always driving towards a goal. And I tell people what my goals are. I share them so I kind of have this built in accountability group.
Hal Elrod: So, I mean, really summing up what you said today, it’s you’ve got to create the vivid vision, right? So, you know what you’re working towards. Don’t be surprised by obstacles. Expect them. I love that story you told about your friend, that to-do list, get pissed off. You’d be upset by Mike, got it done. It’s amazing. That’s that Wayne Dyer quote, when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
Now, when the obstacle comes, you’re like, oh, yeah, I was expecting that, I was ready for it. And then honestly, do the SAVERS, like I can’t argue with that logic, which is like it’s the fundamentals. It’s the basics that work in our society. We’ve been conditioned to think that we need to find a magic bullet, a secret, or something new when the reality is what has created success for people for the last 100 years, the fundamentals, that daily morning practice, setting yourself up for success with the clarity of your vision, knowing what you need to do, and following through, that’s the recipe for success. It isn’t magic. It isn’t a secret.
Cameron Herold: Yeah, if you’re hungry and you need a snack, go get some carrots and a glass of water instead of going in to get a bag of chips and a Coke. I think it’s pretty simple.
Hal Elrod: It’s pretty simple. Well, man, where you…
Cameron Herold: And it’s just caring about your goals and caring about yourself and caring about that vision. And then, as you mentioned, surrounding yourself with other people that are driving for that success, too, right?
Hal Elrod: Yeah. And that can be your significant other, like you talked about your wife supporting you and vice versa. And it could be a friend. It could be your accountability group. It could be your Miracle Morning Community. I mean, infinitely anyone, and it could even be a Google search, right? You mentioned, don’t be the smartest person in the room. I always say that we’re all one Google search away from any solution to any problem that we have or any answer to any question that we have, right?
Cameron Herold: Yeah, exactly.
Hal Elrod: Awesome. Well, where are you and your bride headed next?
Cameron Herold: From here, so we’re in Dubai right now. 1st of November, we go to the Genius Network Event back in Arizona for a bit, and then we’re doing some work with a couple of coaches in Arizona throughout the first couple of weeks of November. And then we’re off to Israel for about a month in December, and then we’re skiing with my kids in France in Les Trois Vallées over Christmas and New Year’s.
Hal Elrod: Man, that living the dream on so many levels, Cam. Congratulations for creating this life, brother.
Cameron Herold: Thank you. It’s been fun. Thank you for actually asking me to be that coauthor on the Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs. Dude, it’s been great.
Hal Elrod: No, man, I mean that it’s amazing that you and I– I think we met at Genius Network. I think, wasn’t that where we met and had the conversation at that meeting in Arizona?
Cameron Herold: Yeah. You were walking out of the bathroom. I was walking to the bathroom and you kind of stopped in the hallway. I was like, hell, yeah, I would love to be, like I just trusted my intuition because the opportunity to coauthor was aligned with the vision of where I was going as well, right? It was helping entrepreneurs, helping people with their businesses. So, it was a hell, yeah.
Hal Elrod: And I love that you just told that behind-the-scenes story, right? Isn’t that funny? The way things happened. We coauthored a book because we happened to cross paths in the hall, and may or may not have happened without that chance meeting of me leaving the bathroom and you heading into the bathroom. So, we actually owe the bathroom a debt of gratitude for…
Cameron Herold: It’s also another good reason, to put yourself in the rooms with other high performing people, even if it’s in your city and going to meetups in your city or going to coffee or joining a running club, like start hanging out with people that are driving forward in their lives in some way, shape, or form, and that will make it better you as well.
Hal Elrod: God, that’s so important. I mean, yeah, we could talk for another 10 minutes. We won’t, but on that topic, which is surrounding yourself with like-minded people or people that have the mindset that you want that maybe you don’t even have yet, but that you want to be around those people. And that’s the thing is I personally am anti-social, so I have to get out of my comfort zone. I’m going to this mastermind in Colorado next month. And like, I don’t want to go in that, I don’t like to– I’d prefer to be at home with my family, which I do most of the time. But it’s a group of people that I realize are the type of people that I want to be around.
And so, I’m going to get out of my comfort zone and I’m going to invest a little money and I’m going to make that trip, and who knows what will come out of it? But as you said, you don’t know if you don’t take that chance, and putting yourself around people that are like you and that are headed in the direction that you want to go can make all the difference in the world, so. Well, I’m grateful that you’re one of the people in my corner, brother.
Cameron Herold: Same. Thank you.
Hal Elrod: And I’m always in yours. Cam, I love you, buddy. Goal achievers, I hope this is valuable for you. It’s the most valuable if you take action if you schedule time to create your vivid vision for yourself, possibly for your marriage, possibly for your business, but start with yourself. And then again, don’t be surprised by the obstacles that are going to come your way. And like Cameron said, can stick to the basics, do your SAVERS every morning to put yourself in a peak physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state so that you are at your best to be the best entrepreneur, the best parent, the best spouse, the best leader, the best human being that you can possibly be to make the best impact you can make in the world and create the life that you want, the life that you deserve, and the life of the people you love and the people you lead deserve from you. So, I love all of you and I will talk to you next week.
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