When working hard doesn’t work, there has to be something else. A defining moment happened in John Mitchell’s life where he was afraid he was not getting the exceptional life of freedom, lifestyle, and sense of accomplishment that he had always wanted. His search for the top book on success and achievement ever written led him to Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich. From that, he developed the 12-Minute-A-Day Methodology. Applying this science will influence your actions and thoughts to help you operate on a higher level than you ever had before. He shares that what you envision in detail on a daily basis is what shows up in your life.
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Consulting and Operating On The 12-Minute-A-Day Methodology with John Mitchell
I’m very excited to have John Mitchell joining us. John, welcome.
Thank you. Glad to be here.
John, for those who don’t know you, explain what you do.
I’m in the success and human achievement field. I started my career as a CPA and became an entrepreneur when I was 30. When I turned 50, like maybe a lot of people, I just wasn’t as successful as I thought I should be. I had two goals in my life, to make enough money so I didn’t have to work and to find the woman of my dreams. At 50, I was falling short on both of them. As an entrepreneur, I was always blessed to make well into six figures but never close to a million a year. On finding the girl, at 50, I’d never been married, but I can tell you it was not from lack of interviewing. I could tell you a lot of interviewing. Then a defining moment happened, three days after I turned 50. Picture this, you’re sitting in your office, you’re kick back, you got your feet on your desk and you start thinking about your life, and you do the math. I realized that if I didn’t start netting over a million a year, I’d never had that exceptional life that I always dreamed of. The freedom, the lifestyle, the sense of accomplishment. This just hit me like a ton of bricks and it was clear I had to make it happen in my 50s. I made the decision. Working hard didn’t work.
While I worked for making six figures a year, I had clearly proven it didn’t work for making seven. I just knew there had to be something else so I made the decision to find out what that something else is. I’m on the search and probably three months after I turned 50, a pearl of wisdom hit me. Why not find the top book in the world on success and achievement ever written? Then apply it literally word for word in my life. The logic was so simple and compelling. After some research, I found that there actually is one book that sells over all others on the topic and it’s Think and Grow Rich. The book has created more millionaires and billionaires than any other book on the planet. It was like just exactly what I was looking for. I read the book and the central concept is what you envision in detail on a daily basis is what shows up in your life. Then I discovered a problem and it was a pretty big problem. There wasn’t a practical way to apply the book. After moping around probably for a couple of weeks, it came to me that maybe I had to create that practical application for myself. I did, and I applied it to a new business I was starting in the financial services industry. Over nine years I continually tweaked this twelve-minute a day methodology I created.
Over those nine years, my income went from low six figures a year to over $5 million a year. It was quite a change from my twenty-year history, a 25-time increase. Surprisingly, I could see why it was happening. By applying science to my life for the first time ever, I was influencing my daily actions and thoughts, and clearly I was operating at a higher level than I ever had before, and I could literally feel it. The best news was I also met the woman of my dreams by applying my twelve-minute methodology. The results I saw changed me as an entrepreneur and I became fascinated by the fact that you could take two key scientific principles and apply them to your life and materially impact your success and achievement in life. It amazed me that you could make such a small change that only took twelve minutes a day, and so radically change your outcomes. I found it so intellectually interesting that I sold my company and today I passionately teach this methodology to others.
We’re going to have to dig into this because I think we can’t leave people hanging with generalities. There’s so much that you just shared that I know people would want to understand more about. What is this twelve-minute a day practice or methodology or approach that allowed you to take your income from low six figures to $5 million per year? What exactly are you doing during that twelve-minute period per day?
I’m applying the central concepts of the book, Think and Grow Rich. What you envisioned in detail on a daily basis is what shows up in your life. How that plays out is I define exactly the person I want to be, exactly what I want to accomplish, and precisely how I’m going to achieve my clearly defined goals. When you feed that to yourself every single day, that’s what shows up in your life. Science literally takes over and that’s what shows up in your life.
That concept may not be new to a lot of people. They know that maybe what you think about is what shows up. There’s been other works even from movies and books that have talked about this concept, yet a lot of people in business I think are scared or just in disbelief that this actually holds true. They feel it’s made a little bit too far out of left field. It’s a bit too warm and fuzzy. It’s like, “If I think about it, is it going to really show up?” What do you say to those people? Maybe can you offer a concrete, specific example of one thing that you wanted to manifest or something that you wanted to do occur in your life and that it did, and how you made that happen.
This isn’t woo-woo, this is pure science. In fact, Time magazine did a cover story on the science behind this which is ironic because Think and Grow Rich was written in the ‘30s, and it wasn’t based on science at all. Andrew Carnegie who sponsored the book and got Napoleon Hill to write it, he saw something in all his rich friends, one thing, and he turned to Napoleon Hill loose to explore what that one thing is. He knew what it was, but he wanted Napoleon Hill to find it on his own and then share it with the world. Over the last twenty years, intense interest in what makes mega achievers mega achievers, and the science has been that it comes down to control of self and focus. I’ll share with you why that works, and maybe the way to do this is to challenge your audience a little bit.
Let’s step back from your life and just evaluate the way you’re creating success and achievement. Is it really working? That’s what I went through it at 50. Think big picture. Is your level of success in all areas of your life up to your standard based on the actual results you’re seeing? Sometimes we have trouble being objective about the results, but based on the actual results, are you happy with your level of success in each year of your life? I found if you’re not, you’ve been missing one key bit of information and once you understand it, everything changes. If you do no daily programming, you’re using the default operating system that is literally centuries old and gears you to daily survival.
Michael, there are three problems with this. First, it causes 90% of your thoughts to be fear-based. Secondly, it causes you to have literally less than 20% control over yourself. Thirdly, and maybe most importantly, it causes you to be reactive rather than proactive on your important agenda. It’s probably easy to see why that would be the case. If you’re innately geared towards daily survival, you have to be reactive, but it’s exactly the opposite of the way you need to be in order to be productive, creative and happy. That fundamental problem that we all have to have, you can only overcome it with a daily program.
John, what I’m hearing you say is we can think about our minds and ourselves as a computer, as a machine to a degree. If we just continue to go through our daily lives with the status quo and the way that we’ve always been doing things, we’re leaving a lot of opportunity on the table, because we don’t have the latest version of our software and we don’t have the latest operating system, where we don’t have the best operating system that we could have. By implementing an approach where every single day you are in the moment, presently thinking about what is it that you want, how are you going to achieve it, and working through that process, your mind starts to be more proactive as opposed to being reactive. Because you’re thinking actively about what you want and how you’re going to go about getting it. Is that accurate?
Yes. If you think about it, your success and achievement in life always comes down to your daily actions. There is a specific part of your brain that controls your daily actions and thoughts. That part of your brain is not influenced by logic, only by repetition. The reason that’s significant is because we’re all used to only influencing ourselves with logic. Logic is how you set your intentions, but the part of your brain that determines your success and achievement in life, your everyday actions and ongoing thoughts, doesn’t respond to logic at all.
Maybe the best way to explain this is an example. Let’s say you want to lose weight. The intention to lose weight was made by the conscious mind based on logic. The actual actions to lose weight, controlling what you eat, discipline and exercising, are controlled by the subconscious mind, which is only influenced by repetition. The reason most people fail at losing weight is certainly not from lack of intention, it’s from lack of influencing that part of their brain that controls your everyday actions and thoughts.
I want to go even more specific than to provide value for everyone. Walk us through what that daily practice looks like, in as much detail as you’re able to, so that we get a sense of what are the questions that we ask or what takes place during that twelve minutes.
Maybe the initial way to explain this is the comparison to meditation. A lot of people are challenged with meditation. Meditation is all about quieting the mind. This is the exact opposite. This is about focusing the mind and feeding to yourself exactly the person you want to be, exactly what you want to accomplish, and precisely how you’re going to achieve your clearly defined goals. In terms of feeding that to yourself, you’ve got five parts of your life. You’ve got yourself, you’ve got your health, you’ve got your significant other relationship, you got your spirituality and you got your career. You define clarity in each of those areas. When you feed that to yourself coupled with defining your top three goals, and the key behaviors behind those goals, then that’s what ends up showing up in your life approximately 21 days after you start.
You’re going to be thinking about and going through each of those five on a daily basis, plus the three goals that you have for that day and considering what actions you need to take to realize those goals that day.
Here’s maybe an example, this was eye-opening for me when it happened. I didn’t get married until I was in my 50s. When I did, I discovered something that my married friends failed to share with me. Every once in a while your spouse will say something irritating. I had found it hard to believe, but it did. When it happened, I didn’t like what came out of my mouth. I decided to fix it. I would feed to myself every day that I was flexible, patient and thoughtful. Fifteen days in, nothing. I’m no more flexible, patient and thoughtful than I was when I started. About the 21stday, my precious wife says something irritating, and in that moment, I’m flexible, patient and thoughtful. That’s who I was, and it happened automatically without thinking.
The reason it didn’t work fifteen days in is because my subconscious mind thought that the programming was going away. After 21 days it realized it wasn’t going away, and then it served it up into my thoughts and actions without thinking. That was the science kicking in. To me that was so enlightening to be able to step back and see that, because it just was so powerful that it happened automatically. I also from that, evolved to see that from doing this every day, literally, I felt like I had doubled or tripled my control over myself. I saw I was laser focused on what moved the needle and that happened automatically. It went like I was making myself focus on what moved the needle, it would just naturally I focused on what moved the needle every day and all the distractions fell by the wayside. What was interesting is at 50 when I was making $5 million a year, I could see I was just operating at a much higher level than I was in my 30s and 40s when I didn’t have this.
John, I want to come back to the time when you were making $5 million a year, but before we get there, I want to explore one other thing and that is the example you used around weight loss. A lot of people use that as an example because so many people are challenged by it. Let’s even take putting this twelve-minute practice into our daily lives consistently. Because like many people, we might have the intention and the understanding that this would be beneficial. There’s very little argument that I would have none to the value in this.
I can clearly see the value in this. Most people will see the value in a practice like this one. There’s a difference between thinking and seeing that value and doing it consistently. What is the key for someone to implement and then pull out their piece of paper, their book or whatever it is, and think through these five things and plan their three goals for the day. How do you encourage people? What have you found best to assist people in applying this practice on a daily basis?
We live in this world of everything’s the greatest, and that oftentimes we don’t know what is truly great and what isn’t. Do you think that’s true?
We know what we know and we don’t know what we don’t know.
I’ve just listened to a podcast about what’s the number one thing people want today, and they want to trust somebody. Trust seems to be the number one challenge for everybody to find something they trust. As that relates to this, I look back on when I realized that I got to make seven figures a year and the pressure was on in my 50s, and deciding to go find the book, Think and Grow Rich. Once I realized, “This is the greatest selling book of all time on success with over a hundred million copies sold and more millionaires and billionaires who have been created from it. How do I get any more credibility than that?” This is it. This is absolutely the peak in terms of credibility. That’s what made it easy for me to go, “At least we don’t have to go find something better. This is it and if I can just apply it to my life, then I got it.”
Was it a hunger that you had? Is it just the commitment that you want to be making seven figures? Is that what compelled and put you into action to practice this on a daily basis or something else?
If you look at it, most people have only a preference for big success. It’s not a necessity. When I created this, I decided that I was going to go to the top expert in the world on success and achievement, and I ascertained that Darren Hardy is that person. He is arguably the top expert in the world on success and achievement. I thought, “If I’m going to spend the rest of my life on this, I’m going to go show it to him and maybe he’s going to see a flaw in it or somebody else is doing something similar.” I showed it to him. He looks at it and he goes, “This is good,” but he says, “John, most people are not going to spend twelve minutes a day doing anything to improve their success and achievement in life.” I’m like, “How can that be?” He goes, “I know you’re not that way, I’m not that way. I’m talking about most people will not spend that time because success is merely a preference, it’s not a priority. It’s not a necessity.” To me I’m like, “Life is so precious and you only get one shot at it. Why are you not going to do something that is relatively easy?” It’s not like I’m asking you to go out and run ten miles every morning. That would be pretty damn hard. I’m talking about taking twelve minutes and reading about your favorite subject in the world, and then you let science takeover and it doubles your control over yourself.
John, this is such a powerful and important message because clearly, people who are committed to success and what I often like to call meaningful success, which is not only financial, it can be relationships or any aspect of your life where business is important to you. Those that are really committed to it, I see what you’re talking about as a great approach and path for them to become even better to excel in that one area. At the same time probably for the vast majority of people who just see it as an option or as you said a preference, not a priority, they’re not going to get the benefit from it. That’s true in every aspect of our lives and business.
When I look at consultants who say, “I want to land more clients,” or, “I want to be able to earn more,” and then they have clarity around what they need to do to actually make that happen. There are two kinds of people. There are people who will make excuses and not actually implement because for them it’s not a priority. Then there are people who have the exact same skill set who do implement and see great results because it’s the priority for them. This applies in every aspect of life and it’s why we have certain people in any given industry who are high performers, who see extraordinary levels of success, and we see others who struggle to get by. Would you agree?
Yeah. That’s something about your podcast that I love and I’m so appreciative to be on it. You’re leveraging this wisdom that you have to consultants who then spread it to their clients. I don’t know if you were like this but I know throughout when I was probably in my 30s, I started thinking, “Is there a success formula out there?” I would define a success formula as something that worked every time with every person, where if you just did it, you’d be successful. In my 30s, I searched for that and didn’t find it. Then in my 40s, I shifted a little and I thought, “I’m making six figures, which is not bad, but I see I’m not getting where I want to go.” I thought, “I’m just going to focus on doing my best, because that’s something I could control.” Helpful but I also saw that doing my best didn’t get to seven figures either because you don’t know what you don’t know, and especially if you’re not growing intellectually as much as you should. In my 40s, I’m searching for that success formula as well. Finally, when I hit my 50s, I’m like, “There is no success formula.” The closest thing I’ve come to is hard work, but hard work doesn’t qualify as a success formula. Then when I read Think and Grow Rich and read, “What you envision in detail on a daily basis is what shows up in your life,” I’m like, “That’s it. That is the success formula. Out of all of the things I’ve read and seen, this is it.” Surprisingly, it had the credibility behind it.
Now your focus is working with high achievers and helping them to implement this practice. When you were running the other business in financial space, I believe it was a mortgage business and you were generating $5 million in income for yourself annually, you went from six figures, got to $5 million, what did you do? Aside from spending twelve minutes a day working through this kind of practice, tangibly, what changed? Just walk us through how you got from six figures to $5 million per year?
Here’s what it was. I would feed to myself every day my succinct business plan, my unique strategy for success. The three things that move the needle in my business, the linchpin issue in my business, meaning what was holding me back from going to the next level. I would feed those four things to myself every day along with my three goals. Usually, only one or two of the goals would be on my business. Every day I would feed that to myself and it took twelve minutes a day. A couple of things happened. First, it was so easy to implement because it was so top of mind. The thing that surprised me was that by feeding that vision to myself every single day, my vision for my business expanded and moved forward probably twenty times faster than it ever had before. The reason that happened is because when you’re feeding that vision to yourself every morning, you’re getting your subconscious mind and your overall mind to work on it 24/7, constantly challenging and refining that vision that you have for your business.
Before I was doing this twelve -minute a day methodology, I certainly had a vision for my business, but it wasn’t applying my subconscious mind to it 24/7, that only happened once I started feeding it every day. Subconscious mind only responds to repetition. I felt this momentum pulling my vision forward was because my subconscious mind was constantly challenging what I had for my business plan. I realized that probably in anybody’s business plan and strategy for success, it’s 80% right and 20% wrong. It’ll vary. When you’re constantly challenging it subconsciously, it’s bringing to light the flaws in it. What’s interesting is when you discover a flaw, it usually brings you the better solution as well. It blew me away that I felt like I had this momentum of pulling my vision forward and I came to realize that, “Whatever I envision in detail, I can create.” It felt like having a superpower. That’s what I see today. Whatever I envision in detail, I can create.
A very important message and such a valuable one, I’ve myself experienced many situations like this and positive results from applying my own practice to this. It sounds like you have a good structure to this approach. John, I want to thank you for coming on and sharing. There’s so much more that we could explore together in terms of your story and specifics around your practice, but what I want to do is encourage people to connect with you, to reach out to learn more about your work and what you do. What’s the best way for people to do that?
The name of my company is Think It, Be It and the website is ThinkItBeIt.net. I’ve got a gift for your audience, and it’s Train the Brain to Net Over $1 Million A Year, The Five Things You Must Know. If that or anything I’ve mentioned interests you, text me at 44222 ‘TrainTheBrain’ and I’ll send you my gift once I get your text.
Thank you so much for coming on and sharing this with us.
Thanks for having me on.