"If you study the world's most successful people in any walk of life, you find that every single one of them began their journey by establishing the faith that they could do something that they had never done before."
Last week’s podcast episode was on How to Become a Millionaire Using the Miracle Equation which is a (30-minute) interview that I recorded on the Eventual Millionaire podcast with Jaime Masters.
I shared that with you because I felt it was the most concise explanation/training of The Miracle Equation that I had ever given. This week, we’re taking a similar (but more in-depth) path.
Today’s episode is also a recent interview that someone else did with me, only this time instead of being “concise” it’s actually the most “in depth” explanation/training I’ve ever given on the Miracle Equation, and I did so in this (60-minute) conversation with Mike Dillard on the Mike Dillard Podcast.
In this episode, we dive deep and offer new insights into how the Miracle Equation came into existence six years before I created the Miracle Morning, why miracles aren’t about praying, waiting, or hoping, the REAL purpose of goals and how to commit to achieving goals (regardless of your outcomes), and the incredible life changes that happen when you make your mission inevitable.
- What the REAL purpose of goals are.
- Why anyone who has achieved extraordinary results is doing something they’ve never done before – and how this builds the foundation of unwavering faith.
- Why extraordinary effort is about consistency – not 80-hour work weeks.
- How the people I call Miracle Mavens—the very best at what they do—made a conscious or unconscious decision to live by the Miracle Equation.
- How to apply the Miracle Equation to more than one goal at a time – and how it gave me the power to have my breakthrough year.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
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Mike: Mr. Hal Elrod, welcome back to the podcast, my friend.
Hal: Mike D, my friend. When we say my friend, it’s not just like we’re Facebook friends like I hang out with you, our kids go to school together. We go on a boat together like legit friends, man. I appreciate that.
Mike: We’ve got a fun summer coming up ahead of us. I can’t wait.
Hal: Yeah, man. Me too. Yeah, the Austin weather, the summer is finally coming in, man. It’s coming fast.
Mike: Yeah. Absolutely. So, glad to have you back on the show. You’ve been here once before to share your unbelievable story so if you haven’t heard that yet, guys, go over to MikeDillard.com, hit the podcast page and do a search for Hal Elrod and make sure you listen to that first episode. Many of you guys know Hal as the author of The Miracle Morning book which has sold millions of copies around the world. It’s really become a movement helping people turn their morning routines into one that really changes their lives and transforms their lives even if you’re not a morning routine person, but that’s not what you’re here hear about today. You’re here today because you’ve got a brand-new book, The Miracle Equation: The Two Decisions That Move Your Biggest Goals from Possible, to Probable, to Inevitable and I’ve already heard some fantastic stuff about this book, man, so tell us about it.
Hal: Yeah. Interestingly enough, The Miracle Equation as a concept is something that I came up with in my own life six years before The Miracle Morning. So, even though this book follows up The Miracle Morning, in some ways it’s the prequel, but in many ways, it really is the follow-up and what I mean by that is chronologically it came before The Miracle Morning as a concept, as a thing that changed my life. However, the way that I kind of separate these two books is The Miracle Morning gives you a practice for personal development and when I created it as a practice, not as a book, it was how do I create the ultimate personal development ritual so that I can accelerate who I am becoming. I can quickly develop myself into the person that is qualified, capable, and deserving of creating what I want for my life through personal development. So, that’s very foundational Jim Rohn kind of principle that your level of success is always in parallel to your level of personal development.
However, I think that many of us can relate to the following and that is that we become what I call personal development junkies, which is where we get addicted to personal development and we actually we chase the ahas and you can probably relate to this where we’ve all been guilty. You read a book, you’re reading it, you’re going, “Oh my God, that’s brilliant. Oh wow. That’s revolutionary. That’s going to change my life.” And then when you finish reading that life-changing revolutionary eye-opening book, most people as personal development junkies which I’m guilty of, we then all we do is start another book. You go, “Wow. That was a great one but I’ve got this next, this one on my shelf and this one, oh, this is really the area I got to improve,” and we just keep going from book to book to book. However, personal development isn’t enough to move your biggest goals and dreams from possible to inevitable. You need a process for goal achievement in addition to your practice for personal development. In other words, personal development is half the equation, so to speak, right? And the other half is, okay, well, now that I’m growing and I’m learning and I’m becoming more, I need to practice for goal achievement. And when I was 20 years old, I was trying to break a company sales record. I was one of the top sales reps, Mike, for as you know, Cutco Cutlery.
Hal: I sold kitchen knives in people’s houses. It was not my dream at the time but it turned out to be the greatest opportunity for growth and the discipline that was required to work a commission-only job at 19 years old. I mean, it was great. I started breaking company records and this one particular time I wanted to break – so I’ll be very specific here. I was trying there’s something called a push period in our company and it was every few months, there’d be a two-week push period, 14 days leading up to a division conference, a regional conference, a national conference. It was always leading up and it was this like secret. No one told each other how much they were selling and then you show up to the conference and it was this count up from zero to 1,000 to 2,000 to 3,000 and then it started out with 1,000 people in front of the room and it went down to 500 and then 300 and 100 and then 25 and then it got down to the number one person. So, it was this really intense two-week period that culminated in this live event in front of thousands of your peers, so really cool.
So, I was one of the only reps that had ever sold $20,000 back-to-back in two 14-day push periods consecutively. No one in the 50-year history of the company had ever done it three times in a row and, Mike, let me pause here. Here’s the deal when we – and I love to hear your thoughts on this if you relate where when we achieve extraordinary results in our life or in our business like you’ve done launches, for example, right? When you do a launch and you do a huge, a million-dollar launch or whatever and it goes everything just falls into place and it goes right, don’t you often feel like, “Man, there was a lot of luck involved. If that hadn’t happened and that thing hadn’t come through at the end and that lady hadn’t called and then that guy hadn’t shown and I hadn’t tripped and fallen and stumbled into this one guy who was the perfect person at the right time, like if all those things hadn’t happened in perfect uniformed synchronicity, I would not achieve that goal.” Can you relate to that?
Mike: Yeah. Absolutely.
Hal: What happens is then that create self-doubt and we go, “Man, I got lucky. The odds of that happening again are not very good.” So, for me, going into this third push period, I go, “Man, those first two, everything fell into place for me to hit that mark and the odds of that happening a third time are not very good.” So, it was a lot of self-doubt, a lot of fear which a huge goal that usually it’s accompanied by fear and self-doubt in some way. And I spent a couple of weeks leading up to the push period going, “I’m going to do this,” like just getting myself like mentally committed like, “I can do it, I can do it. I’m going to do it. I’m going to give everything I have. I’m going to do it, 14 days, $20,000. It can be done. I’m going to set the all-time record.” And we went to our sales meeting like the day or two before the push period started and my manager, Frank, he said, “Hey, everybody, push period is coming up. Just a reminder, the conference was moved back four days so you only have 10 days for this push period so you might want to adjust your goals accordingly,” and that was the first time I heard this. I raised my hand. I said, “Now, Frank, please tell me that this push period doesn’t actually count as like for the record books and stuff because we’re not getting the full 14 days, right? There’s no way that it could count.”
And Frank said, “Hal, I know. Everybody, sorry. If you’re working on a streak or a consecutive whatever, this counts just as any other push period.” So, I’m like as you can imagine like my heart kind of sank and I’m going, “No, no, no,” like I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to get myself to wrap my head around that I could do $20,000 in 14 days. The odds of doing it in 10 days, 14 days felt nearly impossible. 10 days feels like there’s no point in even trying.
Hal: And I went home that night and in my head ruminating and I’m going, “What do I do? Do I just lower the goal? Do I just sit this one out? Do I go take a vacation?” And then I remembered and what I’m going to share right now is I believe one of the most important lessons for all of us who have big audacious goals and dreams. And I learned this from my mentor in the company at the time, Dan Casetta, and Dan, he was one of the top managers in the history of the company, but he learned this from again our good friend, Jim Rohn. And I’ll paraphrase the lesson. The purpose of a goal is not to hit the goal. The purpose of the goal is to become the type of person developing the qualities and characteristics of a goal achiever who can reach any and every goal you ever set or reach future goals. And so, the idea is most of us live in this black-and-white paradigm around goal setting, either succeed or fail.
And we literally feel like if I don’t reach the goal, well, then I have failed and often we don’t even pursue a big scary audacious goal because the fear of failure. It’s like, “I don’t even know if I can hit that.” We usually pursue that which is there’s certainty around like I’ve done that before and I could see doing 10% more. And so, what happens is that keeps us playing small and staying in our comfort zone so to speak. And so, but when you realize, “Well, wait a minute,” and in that moment what I realize is, “Okay. So, what if I just commit to $20,000, to giving it everything I have, everything for 10 days of my life?” Not for the ultimate purpose of actually hitting that goal but for the ultimate purpose of becoming the type of person developing the qualities and characteristics of someone who I’ve never been before, like a better version of me. And then whether or not I even hit the goal, if I sell 20,000 or 22,000 or 12,000 or whatever, that really pales in comparison to the value of who I would become by giving it everything I had.
And so, I went, “I’m going to do it. I’m in.” Like, I can’t fail. I literally can’t fail because the ultimate what I’m shooting for isn’t the number. It’s the growth. And so, I went out and those 10 days, now, here’s simple math for everybody listening like I needed to average $2,000 a day for 10 days to sell $20,000 and, Mike, here’s the deal. Had I sold $2,000 in the day before, sure, but I celebrated because that was a big day like if you had a back-to-back, that was rare. So, to do it 10 days in a row is, I mean, I’m selling little sets of kitchen knives to housewives. The first seven days I needed to be at $14,000. I was only at $7,000. Turned in my orders for the week. I’m $13,000 away and I only have three days left. I applied these two decisions that were going to dive into the majority or the second half of this interview. These are what make up The Miracle Equation. When I decided I was going to go for this goal, I kind of reverse engineered it and this is what we all have to do. We have to go, “Okay. If this miracle were to happen,” and let me pause for a second if that’s okay. Define the word miracle in this context because I think it’s a really loaded word.
Mike: Sure. Yeah.
Hal: I think miracles have a bad rap. It’s kind of, well, it’s like they’re these random passive acts or you can’t count on them. They’re not reliable. They happen to random people. The only way to make a miracle happen is to pray and wait and hope it happens. To me, I’m not about passivity. I’m not about praying and waiting and hoping. I’m about making the things happen in our lives that we want to happen and that’s the context of miracles. Here’s the definition that I would give to you. Listen, a miracle is any meaningful outcome that is beyond the realm of what you believe is probable for you. So, I’ll say that again and then I’ll kind of break it down. Any meaningful outcome outside the realm of what you believe is probable for you. So, it’s a meaningful outcome. It’s something and you can call it extraordinary. I mean, you could really get loose with that language because it really is. It’s you accomplishing something that you may have been thinking about, dreaming about, imagining, doubting yourself for your whole life or for years or for who knows how long. And so, when you achieve it, it feels like a freaking miracle. You’re like, “Oh my, I can’t believe I did that.”
So, that’s the definition of a miracle. It’s one that it’s tangible, it’s practical, it’s actionable, it’s a measurable outcome. It’s not this woo-woo make a vision board. Hopefully, your miracles all start to magically appear in your life. So, for me, in the last three days I had to sell $13,000 and in the first seven days, giving it everything I had, I had sold $7,000. So, Mike, if you can imagine, not feeling real confident that I’m going to sell $13,000 in three days when in seven days the most I was able to sell was $7,000 so I’m way off here. But I committed to these two decisions when I started out. I thought if I’m going to achieve this miracle, what feels like a miracle, what will it require? And I thought, “Well, it’s going to require two things. It’s going to require the mindset internally, mentally, emotionally.” There’s a mindset that I’ve got to maintain for these 10 days, and there is then a method. I’m going to have to do something to take certain action.
And so, I tried to simplify this as simple as it could be so that I can implement it. Number one, the first decision I decided that I have to make was I’ve got to maintain unwavering faith that I can do this thing that feels impossible. And if you study the world’s most successful people in any walk of life, you find that every single one of them began their journey by establishing the faith that they could do something that they had never done before. No one’s born with skills and knowledge in making money. I mean, everybody’s born with nothing and then we have to develop ourselves into something. And so, anyone that’s achieved extraordinary results, they had to start by, they check the rearview mirror and they go, “Well, what does my past tell me I’m capable of?” and they go, “Nothing I’m trying to do now because otherwise, I’ve already done it. I’ve never done this before. It’s new.”
And at every stage of our life, in every stage of our development, every stage of our growth and accomplishment, we’re trying to do something we’ve never done before and that’s where the word faith comes in. That’s another loaded word because it’s like, well, yeah you sit back and you have faith? No, no, no. It’s faith in yourself. It’s faith in your abilities, your limitless potential, and your ability to live in alignment with and fulfill that potential. That’s the faith I’m talking about. I’m not talking about faith in stuff happening for you or faith in everything just magically working out. I’m talking about faith in yourself. So, the first decision I made is and I wrote it down and this is a very important part of – in the book I’d give you the template like word for word. This is how you establish unwavering faith. It’s not magical or mythical. It’s got to be practical. And so, for me, I wrote down the mantra, “I am committed to giving it everything I have to sell $20,000 in the next 10 days, regardless of my results, no matter what. There is no other option.”
I’ll say it one more time faster because I know it’s a long sentence but this is literally what I said to myself hundreds of times and now I modify this and I’ll give examples of my cancer journey and different ways I use this statement but unwavering faith is established through a statement along these lines. “I am committed to giving it everything I have to ____.” For me, at that time it was to sell $20,000 in 10 days. “Regardless of my results along the way,” because that’s where our faith usually goes out the window when the results aren’t what we want. “No matter what. There is no other option.” And I said that to myself hundreds of times during those 10 days, especially when I had a no sale or a no show or a canceled appointment or a canceled order or the seed of self-doubt was planted and instead of watering it, I replaced the fear with faith through the power of that mantra. And the second decision I thought, well, you could simplify this by saying I got to work my ass off but I thought I’ve got to put forth extraordinary effort and let me explain this.
This isn’t just work your ass off. In fact, extraordinary effort isn’t about Gary Vaynerchuk-ing it 80-hour workdays. This is if I had to sum it up in one word, extraordinary effort is consistency. It’s doing something every day that moves you in the direction of your biggest goals and dreams so that eventually you get there. Your success is inevitable. It might take you a year. It might take you three, four, five, ten, but the extraordinary effort is about defining what is the process that will make your result inevitable? Meaning let’s say your example is you want to lose weight, okay, well then that’s a relatively simple process. It’s, “Okay. I need to limit my caloric intake and I need to increase my cardiovascular output so that I’m burning more calories than I am taking in.” And then my success unless you have a genetic defect or some sort of physical issue, for the most part, that is going to almost always like 99 out of 100 times can lead to weight loss if you’re burning more calories than you’re taking in.
So, essentially, it’s pre-determining what is the process that is required to produce this result and I will commit to the process consistently over an extended period of time. That is the definition of extraordinary effort. So, for me, I realize, “Okay. I’ve got to make X number of phone calls each and every day. I’m going to do that at these times.” I got real specific. I committed to that process. That was my extraordinary effort and at the end of the push period, in those last three days when I was $13,000 away from my goal, it felt once again impossible and I do have to – I’m going to make one really important point here that it’s a distinction, it’s in nuance. If you’re listening to this and you’re thinking, “Man, I get it. Okay. I need to have unwavering faith that I can achieve this goal or this dream or whatever it is but that’s easier said than done.” Number one, you put it in writing. You read it every day that the mantra that I just mentioned, rewind and listen to it. Write it out. Put your goal into that goal and you read that every day and all of a sudden within a week, you start to believe it. It starts to acclimate within your being, within your emotional being, within your physical being. You start to feel the truth of the commitment that you are making because you’re in control of the commitment. That’s the unwavering faith.
And so, for me, but here’s the distinction. The distinction is, Mike, I didn’t really believe I was going to reach the goal, and it’s interesting, but that’s my point, my lesson here, my distinction is you don’t actually have to believe that you’re going to reach the goal for The Miracle Equation to work and what I mean is if you would’ve said, “Hal, are you going to sell $20,000 in the next 10 days?” Well, because my commitment to unwavering faith that decision was part of it was I’m not allowed to say anything other than I am committed to giving it everything I have, to sell $20,000 in ten days. I decided those are the only words that are allowed to come out of my mouth and they’re the only words that I’m allowed to think about and expand on and dwell on meaning the fear, the self-doubt when that shows up for me in my mind I replaced it with this faith and I am not allowed to go down the rabbit hole of self-doubt because that affects our behavior, it affects our drive.
And so, if you had said, “Hal, are you going to sell $20,000 in ten days?” I would’ve said, “Mike, absolutely. I am committed to giving it everything I have into the last possible moment.” And then if you would’ve said, “Hal, really? Well, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is? How much are you willing to bet? Hal, I’ll bet you $10,000 or $1,000 that you’re not going to sell $20,000 in 10 days.” Mike, I wouldn’t have taken that bet because I didn’t actually believe I was going to do it but it didn’t change that I was committed to those two decisions, maintaining unwavering faith that I would do it, that it was possible, that I was committed to giving it everything I had until the end and putting forth that extraordinary effort. It’s the same way that the world’s greatest athletes like take a Michael Jordan for example. It’s old school but, sure, growing up he was the guy for when we were a little younger. And Michael Jordan is the epitome to me of a champion because when I was a kid, I used to watch him.
And if you think about a Michael Jordan or any world-class athlete whether it’s another NBA player like Kobe Bryant or Lebron or whatever or it’s Serena Williams in tennis, it’s anybody, I believe that and I think we can all this is kind of a common sense thing you go, “Okay. Yeah. I guess at some point in their career, all of these…” I call them miracle mavens, people that understand how to create miracles but all these world-class athletes at some point in their journey to becoming the best at what they did, they made a decision either consciously or unconsciously, to live through the lens of unwavering faith in the way where Michael Jordan when the ball hits his hands, he believes he will make every shot that he takes. And that’s shown, that’s proven through the way that he played. So, you see most players if they take a shot, Mike, and they miss it, self-doubt creeps in. They’re like, “Oh, shoot. Uh-oh, hope it’s not an off night tonight.” If the ball hits their hands a second time and they shoot and miss it a second time, the doubt amplifies. It’s like, “Oh God, no, man. I am off tonight.” If the ball hits their hand a third time, most people even NBA players, some of the best in the world, they hesitate and they pass the ball to another teammate because now self-doubt, doubt is dictating their behavior and this is what happens for all of us.
Mike: This reminds me of Conor McGregor right now.
Hal: Expand because I’m obviously a huge fan.
Mike: Yeah. I mean, he lost his last fight or two and everybody’s doubting him. He’s probably doubting in himself because he was there so it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens next.
Hal: Absolutely. And I’ll tell you, Conor McGregor, whether you like him or not, I mean, I’m not a big fan of his outside-the-cage antics at all, but I could admire how he approaches being the best at his craft. And if you look at when he lost his first fight UFC that he lost was to Nate Diaz. He went up from 145 pounds, Conor McGregor did to 170, two weight classes on a two-week short notice fight. Nate beats him, chokes him out. So, Conor, a true miracle maven, I really believe that, he has unwavering faith that he can win every fight that he is in, beat every opponent that he has, and so he immediately called for a rematch at the same weight class even though it was two classes above his and with unwavering faith and extraordinary effort, he came back and he beat Nate Diaz. And so, that goes Michael Jordan even though no basketball player can make every shot that they take just like I didn’t believe I knew that wasn’t guaranteed that I was going to hit that goal, but it doesn’t change that Michael Jordan maintains unwavering faith every time he takes a shot. And that shot is a metaphor, it’s figurative for every time we approach a goal. It’s the lens. Unwavering faith needs to become the lens through which you approach every opportunity that comes your way as well as every challenge that you’re faced with.
Mike: Yeah. Agreed, and that as I’m sure we’re about to find out here, will provide miraculous results without a doubt. I mean, I can see that right now.
Hal: Absolutely. And most recently, in fact, what led to this book being written and you were a part, we were friends along this journey was I was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and I was given a 30%, well actually, a 10% to 30% chance of surviving and I’m going to say this kind of lighthearted but I say if you’re a pessimist, if you’re a glass-is-half-empty person, that is a 70% to 90% chance that you’re going to die like, I mean, that’s what I was being told and for me, like I’ve made peace with that a long time. I died when I was 20. I was hit head-on. You alluded to my story in the beginning of the episode. I was hit head-on by a drunk driver at 80 miles an hour, found dead at the scene, I died for six minutes, flat lined twice more during a six-day coma and was told I would never walk again. So, I had already kind of faced death and I was really at peace with that. I was like, “Hey, death is inevitable. I’m ready to go whenever it’s time and it’s great. Not great, but that is what it is.” But when I was diagnosed with cancer, it was a different ballgame because when I had my car accident, I was 20.
I was a single guy and now I’ve got at the time a seven-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son and a wife of 10 years who I absolutely adore and to be told that there’s a 70% to 90% statistical chance that they’re not going to have a father in this present that I’m going to die and leave my kids without a dad like that was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. And the day I was diagnosed, I called my wife. She was out of town, which is not easy to not have her here, but I called her. I had to tell her what happened and what the doctor said and that was the hardest phone call I’ve ever had to make and knowing how she receives it, knowing that she’d receive the reality of what may happen and what the doctors were saying was very likely to happen. And we cried together and I said, “Sweetheart, I know this is the hardest news we’ve ever gotten but I’ll tell you a few things.
Number one, I have unwavering faith that I will beat this cancer,” and I don’t know if it was before I called. No, it was after I called her but I had journaled the question, “What will I do to ensure that I beat cancer and live to be…” and for anybody wondering, by the way, the name of the cancer is acute lymphoblastic leukemia. And I wrote in the journal, “What am I going to do? What will I do to ensure that I beat cancer and live a long healthy 100-plus-year life with Ursula and the kids?” And the answer that I came up with within minutes was the Miracle Equation because I created it 19 years ago. I told you guys the story that the push period, the sales contest, and I ended, by the way, I don’t know if I finished that story but I ended up hitting the goal in the last hour on the last appointment and it was in miraculous fashion. It was the wrong woman. The woman I was supposed to see for the appointment was not home. Her sister-in-law from Sweden flew into town who happened to be in the market for two of our complete sets of knives, totally random, totally miraculous, hard to explain. That’s a Miracle Equation came in.
And so, what happened is right after that I was like, “That’s crazy,” but again, Mike, the same thing we addressed earlier. I felt I’m like, dude, what are the odds that this sister-in-law from Sweden is going to be there? And she happens to be in the market for high-end knives and she needs two sets, one for her and her husband to take back to Sweden and one for her brother’s 50th birthday party that she’s visiting America for. Like, it was the most unbelievable circumstance you can ever imagine. That’s where I’m like, “This just feels really,” sorry to get woo-woo for a second but it feels really serendipitous like what the heck are the odds of that coming together the way that it did? And so, I immediately I was coaching 12 of my colleagues and I immediately taught them. I’m like, “Hey, for the next push period, I’ve got this strategy for you. It’s kind of a woo-woo loose-y strategy in terms of like it’s not like send catalogs out to your past customers. It’s like a little more mindset kind of yada, yada.
So, I taught it to 12 of my colleagues and, Mike, we had a 100% success rate. Every single one of them went out during their next push period and they surpassed their previous best and a few of them broke all-time company records and the validity of the formula to me grew and I went, wait a minute, this wasn’t just me. This isn’t just luck. These are literally the two fundamental decisions that are standing between people and their full potential and then I started to kind of go out even beyond these 12 colleagues of mine and I kind of went like just looking at world-famous individuals, successful prolific achievers, innovators, creators, and I went, “These are the two fundamental decisions that every single one of them have made, not just once, but they live by these. They approach every goal, every challenge with the unwavering faith in their ability to overcome it. They approached every opportunity with their unwavering faith in their own ability to take advantage of it, to maximize it and they’re not lazy. They actually work their butt off. They put forth extraordinary effort into intelligent effort into whatever is necessary until they achieve these results.”
And that’s why the rest of the world sits back and marvels at what I call miracle mavens, these people that create these amazing results. We don’t have to marvel anymore like that’s what this book is. These are the two decisions. And so, when I had cancer, I looked back and I went, “These are the two decisions. The Miracle Equation is literally the formula that I’ve used to defy the odds in the past.” It’s what we talked on the last episode, how I learned to walk again when the doctor said I never would. It’s how I sold 1.7 million copies of The Miracle Morning like this is the formula that separates us from the statistics. I thought the 70% of people that sadly don’t survive that they’re not living the Miracle Equation. Most of us when you’re given a cancer diagnosis like that, a 70% chance of dying, you live in fear. You live out the rest of your life and hopefully, that’s a long life, but often for 70% of people, it’s not.
Again, I don’t know each person obviously but you can imagine just the general idea that, yeah, probably living with a lot of fear when you’re told that you only have a 10% to 30% chance of living. I didn’t do that so that automatically removes you from the statistics when you change your mindset. In the same way, the doctor said I would never walk again, but unwavering faith that I would and three weeks after I was found dead and my leg broke in half, the doctors came in with routine x-rays and said, “Hal, we don’t know how to explain this, but your body is healing so quickly, we’re going to let you take your first step in therapy tomorrow.” And it was like that was faster than I thought but again, it’s that mind-body connection. It’s that you remove yourself from the statistics so that you can and will defy the odds in any area of your life that you’re attempting to do that.
Mike: Yeah. Powerful, man. Powerful stuff. It’s awesome. I love how you’ve taken such an abstract principle and the activity that we’ve all observed in others, and we probably all experience at least once in our lives, and you’ve made it tangible which is just really, really, really powerful.
Hal: Thank you, brother. I appreciate that.
Mike: Yeah. Absolutely. I’m sitting here while you’re talking and thinking like, “Okay. How can I apply this to my life?”
Hal: Yeah. Mike, it’s time for you to stop being so lazy and accepting so much mediocrity and do something with your life, brother. Come on.
Mike: I’m still working on my sleep thing so that’s going to be number one. So, let me ask you this. What if you have multiple areas in life that you want to use this in? Do you have two or three of these that you can repeat at the same time? Should you focus simply on one? How do you handle that?
Hal: That’s a really good question and it is I’ll kind of argue, I’ll play devil’s advocate, I’ll argue both sides but I’ll first address the way that I talk about this in the book. In the book, there is an entire chapter dedicated to this topic and it’s about your mission and when I was 2005, the year 2005, it was my last year with the Cutco Company and I actually was going to not be my last year. I was going to be already done. I had hit Hall of Fame and then I was like, “All right. That’s like the crowning achievement. I’ve got nothing else to prove. I feel like I’ve kind of fulfilled my potential here.” I really want to be an author and I really want to be a keynote speaker and go down that route. And so, I went to my what was going to my last company conference, and like I was checked out mentally and emotionally meaning like normally I’d be taking notes and try to improve myself. I was like, “Dude, I’m done. I’m just going to relax and just collect my…” I got some awards to collect and I just want to see my friends and this is my last, just soak it all in, my last chance to be at a Cutco conference.
And while I was in the audience, the two top sales reps in our region for that year, they collected the coveted Rolex and the Rolex was an award for selling $200,000 of Cutco in a year. Now, I was one of the top reps but the 200,000 mark was kind of like the four-minute mile. It had only been done a couple years prior whereas the previous best ever was 151,000 so it was like this somebody made this. In fact, the funny part is my business partner now, John Berghoff, is the first person that ever sold $200,000 in a year and he has done the year before or a couple of years before. And so, I’m sitting in the audience and my biggest year ever was I did a couple years at like 105 and 106. I’m sitting there and I watched them get their Rolexes and I have the feeling of like the pain of unfulfilled potential seep into like my heart, into my gut, and I go, “Hal,” I’m like my head I go, “You never did that. Like you’re about to leave this company and you never really fulfilled your potential.”
See, it was a commission-only job. I was always where I started at 19. I was really young so making $50,000 a year was great money for my early 20s and basically, I would work for a push period. I’d break a record. I’d earn $10,000 and I’d like to take the next two weeks off, maybe the next three weeks off and just go spend the money, run out of money, and then I would, “All right. We got another sales contest coming up. Let’s go work again.” That’s how I worked. I was never consistent week in and week out doing it like a job, you know, like a professional over the whole year and I realize that in that moment. I’m about to leave here, having never developed the discipline to be consistent. And I mentioned earlier, that’s what makes effort extraordinary is consistency. And so, I thought I can’t accept that. Like if I leave and I think that’s an important lesson for all of us that the greatest value it’s not what you do but who you become. That’s what matters. And, of course, the irony is how you do what you do is what determines who you become. Do you do it with discipline? Do you do it with consistency? Do you do it with enthusiasm?
So, I realized I have to give it one more year and I have to give it everything. I’ve got to do it. I’ve got to become – and here’s the thing. It wasn’t to win the Rolex like that was the icing on the cake. It wasn’t even to earn my first $100,000 income year. It was literally for the ultimate benefit, which in my mind to become the person that I need to be that has the capabilities and the mindset and everything else, to achieve everything else I want for my life forever, not just this year. So, it goes back to what we talked earlier, which is the real purpose of a goal is to become the type of person that can achieve huge goals in the future and so that was it. So, I went out that year. Now, I had to double my income. Doubling my sale, I mean, increasing your income or your sales, your results by 10% or 25% or 50%, it’s a big increase but to do it by 100%, when you feel like, “I worked pretty hard to be one of the top reps those other years and then hit those numbers.” It’s going to be how am I going to double that? It was really intimidating.
What I did is back to the extraordinary effort piece, I broke down the process. I simply went back into my planner. It was literally a written physical planner. It was 2005. And I looked at my planner and I luckily kept stats on every time I made phone calls. I would tally my calls for the day, how many calls I made, how many appointments I set, and how many appointments I did for the day. So, I got to go back and add up my entire year and go, “Okay. How many calls did I make to hit my previous best? If I want to double the result, double the outcome, it’s as is simple as doubling that process.” And what I found is, wow, I averaged it was something like 20.2, or 21.2 calls a day, five days a week. So, basically, I made 100 calls a week, 20 calls a day, five days a week to sell $100,000 of my product and I thought, “So, wait a minute, the doubling my results and my sales total and my income that’s intimidating, but if I actually look at what will do that, it’s really just doubling the process and making 40 phone calls a day is nothing crazy. It took about an hour to make 20 phone calls so I thought making 40 phone calls…”
And if you’re listening, by the way, like I’m getting the weeds a little here because this is a really important lesson and this is, by the way, we’re going to tie back in like here, well, what if you have more than one goal? This is all you can tell like I kind of tell – I set the context and then try to deliver that answer. So, the point is I went, okay, 20 phone calls. It takes about an hour a day. I’ve made 40 phone calls in a day during push periods many times. It’s not hard. I can do two hours of phone calls a day and then I went, “Wait a minute. This almost seems too easy like am I missing something here? If I were to just go from an hour of calls a day to two hours of calls a day, super simple, I would increase my income by 100%.” That’s crazy. It seems too good to be true and too easy but I’m here to tell you that’s how it works. And so, that year I decided to make 40 phone calls a day, five days a week, just an extra hour on the phone not hard and that year I sold $205,000 and change and had my first $100,000 income year, a six-figure income year and hit the goal.
Now, here’s the answer to your question. What if you have more than one goal that’s important to you that you want to apply this to? That year it was the best year of my life by far. In fact, while I strive to make every year the best year, I don’t know that I’ve ever made a quantum leap from average to extraordinary for mediocre miracles, whatever, than I did that year. And here’s what happened. Going into the year I thought, okay, I got this huge goal to double my income. If that’s all I do, if I double my income and if during the year I put on weight and I’m unhealthy but if I hit that goal like that goal is so meaningful like, dude, I could fall apart the rest of the year and I’ll pick everything back up next year like I don’t even care. But then I thought, “Wait. I don’t want to do that.” I want to make this the best year of my life in every single area. I want to get in the best shape of my life physically, both through diet and through exercise and I thought I actually want to get bulk. I’ve never been really muscular. I was always kind of skinny.
So, I set a goal to put on 20 pounds of muscle. I also decided I want to look ahead. I want to be an author so why don’t I write my book while I’m hitting my sales goal? I’m going to write my first book. That was another goal. I thought my dream is to be a keynote speaker. My goal is to get my first paid speaking engagement even if it’s only one this year and then early on, I hired a coach that year to help me and then within about a month of coaching I thought, “I want to be a coach like the way this guy is changing my life and my mindset, I was meant to be a coach,” and so I thought I want to launch a coaching business this year so that I can transition from my sales career into having a book published, a coaching business launch, and being on my journey of becoming a $10,000 paid keynote speaker. That was kind of the goal back then. And I also wanted to meet my wife. I thought, you know what, I’m done dating. I’m ready to start to settle down and start a family.
So, Mike, a pretty big amount of goals for the year like pretty significant goals. If any one of those happened, it would’ve usually been like a stellar year. I thought I want to make all this happen. Now, did I know if all of them would happen? No, and here’s what I did and this is the lesson. I got clear on my mission for the year and what I mean by that is setting goals is fun. It’s a cute activity, we do it every year, half the time we know subconsciously we’re not actually committed to these goals. They’re just fun to set and imagine happening and then at the end of year you don’t hit most of them and then you do that fun cute activity again and it makes you feel good while you do it like a lot of personal development, affirmations, make you feel good. If you don’t do them the right way, but they don’t do anything. So, going into that year, I clarified. Language is powerful. The language we use affects how we feel about what we’re talking about, what we’re thinking about, what we’re focusing on.
And so, mission to me, a mission holds a lot more weight than a goal. Like, humanitarian organizations carry out missions. The military carries out missions. They’re like life or death missions. It’s not their goal to not die like this is our mission. We are fully committed to executing in a way like this is the mission. And so, for me, here’s what I did. I thought, “Okay. I have all these goals,” and what most of us do is we give equal importance to each goal by not giving more importance to any goal, not prioritizing and just going, “Well, these are all my goals. I’m going to work towards all of them,” and usually we’ll make a little bit of progress on each one. Usually, we don’t achieve all, definitely not all of them. Usually not most of them, sometimes none of them. And what I decided is I need to focus and there’s a great book that wasn’t out then but I’m sure you’ve read it, The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan and I’m a huge fan of that book and this is how they would teach you to set goals as well. I was ahead of my time like 20 years ago.
So, I thought I’m going to have a mission and then here’s the way this plays out in your schedule in real time. So, I’ve got one mission, and I think I had seven other goals let’s say, write the book, launch the speaking career, get in the best shape of my life, meet my wife, start a coaching business. Let’s say I had roughly five, six, seven other goals. And so, I went, “I’m not allowed to work on my goals until I followed through with the predetermined process that I determined will make achieving my mission inevitable.” And so, it made it real simple. Every day when I woke up, instead of that internal conflict like what do I feel like doing? Should I answer emails right now? Should I go to the gym? Should I work on that book? No, no, no. I’m not allowed to work on any of my goals until I followed through with what I have predetermined and committed to will move my mission from possible to probable to inevitable.
So, every morning I made my 20 phone calls and I wasn’t allowed to do anything else until I did and I earned the right, by executing my mission, I earned the right to work on the rest of my goals. At the end of the day, I had another 20 phone calls in my schedule and it was strategic where in the morning I’d call women that, men and women but it was mostly women. I’m not trying to be sexist. It’s just the way it was, that stayed home with the kids and I knew they were home during the day more often than not. They weren’t at work. I would always ask on appointment. In the evening I would call husbands and wives that both were working during the day so got a hold of them in the evening. So, that was my commitment to process. So, here’s what happened. That year I achieved every single goal that I just told you about. I launched my coaching business. I transitioned into the year having 12 clients paying me. I mentioned them earlier, paying me $500 a month, I think. Yeah, I think it was 5. I can’t remember. It’s been a long time. Anyway, it doesn’t matter.
So, I had 12 clients. I wrote my book and published my book, Taking Life Head On. I gave my first paid speaking engagement. Actually, I get two. $500 for Countrywide Home Loans. They’re not around anymore and that was 2005 and then one for a nonprofit in Pennsylvania. So, I got down to 5.7% body fat. I do not know if that’s healthy and put on 20 pounds of muscle, met my wife Ursula who I am now married to with two kids and did a few other things. Like, I did every single one of the goals and that was the longest answer ever to your question. What if you have more than one goal? Yes, apply the Miracle Equation to every single one. Just make sure that you prioritize that of every goal, what is the one that is your mission, that is the most meaningful, that will make the biggest impact on your life, on the quality of your life, on your success, on your future, and most importantly, on you becoming a miracle maven, on you becoming the person that you need to be who has the ability to create everything that you want for your life long beyond any individual goal.
Mike: Yeah. I love it, man. Super powerful. Super powerful concept and the interviews where I talked the least are usually the best and I think this is one of those.
Hal: I warned you in the beginning. I said I’ll be on fire. You’ll ask me like three questions.
Mike: No, but I’m just sitting here thinking and I can’t wait to dive into the book and to go through this and use this in my life so I’m just stoked.
Hal: Thanks, brother.
Mike: Yeah. It’s usually a sign that I’m lost in thought around whatever you’re saying. Well, awesome, brother. So, where should people go besides Amazon to pick up a copy of the book? I know that you said you’ve been giving out some additional bonuses to people who buy a copy and all that good stuff. What’s the scoop?
Hal: So, yeah, so this is my first. I have written 12 or 13 books. They’re all self-published except this is the first. The Miracle Equation is traditionally published by Harmony of Penguin Random House and so that means you can get it anywhere books are sold, not just Amazon. Target.com, Walmart.com, Barnes & Noble but, yeah, we’re doing something really special. As you can tell, I’m very convicted, very passionate about this message, and then how to help people. So, I hired my first ever book launch manager and I’m working with Tim Grahl who is phenomenal and what I love about him is he’s not about gaming the system. He’s about organic connection to readers, value-add, and so this was his strategy and this is what we’re doing. We’re doing something really special for if you’re listening to this right now, if you go order the book and forward your receipt to [email protected] you’ll get $1,347 in preorder bonuses or order. This book probably is out today.
But you can preorder or order the book and forward your receipt and what you’ll get is and these are like brand-new relevant bonuses. That’s Tim’s thing. He’s like, “Hal, don’t do a lot of authors do, which were they like dust off like all their old courses and stuff and just throw a big random hodgepodge package.” He said, “No, no, we’re going to create brand – I’d like you to create brand new value-added bonuses that are all about helping people to implement what they learn in this book.” So, we’re doing a six-week, I’m doing a six-week online live course starting the week after the book comes out. If you can’t make the live, you’ll get all the details when you forward your receipt, but you’ll get the recordings if you can’t be on live. You also get a guided meditation, a Miracle Equation meditation, that can help you program these two decisions into your subconscious and then you get a one-page front and back implementation guide that has the entire book, all the key concepts on one piece of paper printed out front and back. You can review keep of top mind every single day.
So, if you get the book today wherever you want to buy the book, you can buy the book, forward your receipt to that email address [email protected] and you’ll get automatically enrolled to get all of those bonuses and they are only for the launch of the book so hopefully you’ll take action and grab a copy.
Mike: Awesome, brother. Awesome. Well, I’m sure this is going to be another big hit and, yeah, I’m speechless. What a cool concise way to help people transform their lives radically and what I’m going to be working on here for the next hour or so.
Hal: Awesome, man.
Hal: Let me know and let me know how I can support you. You got my cellphone. You can shoot me a text.
Mike: Yeah. Absolutely. Well, Hal, thank you as always for joining us. I can’t wait to dive into the book. Guys, go pick up a copy. I think this is one of those key cornerstone pieces that will absolutely take you to the next level and I would challenge every single one of you to use and apply this methodology to your life for the next year. And assuming that you do, send myself and Hal an email. Hit us up on social media and let us know what happens because I think the stories that are going to come from this are going to be absolutely phenomenal. So, brother, appreciate you. Thank you again and, guys, gals, thanks for listening. As always, if you loved this episode as much as I did, please share it with your friends. That’s the only way that we grow the podcast and that your referrals mean the world so thanks so much and we’ll see you next week. Take care.
"Personal development isn't enough to move your biggest goals and dreams from possible to inevitable. You need a process for goal achievement in addition to your practice for personal development."
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