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Episode #204
Dan Burgos

The Mindset You Need to Succeed in Consulting

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Summary

Starting your own consulting business isn’t easy. You need a couple of key mindsets if you want to succeed. Danilo “Dan” Burgos is the President and CEO of Alphanova Consulting. He started his business by being a good and effective leader—a leader that empowers and supports his people. He also never took no for an answer and stepped out of his comfort zone several times. These are some of the mindsets you need to have if you want to start a business. Join Dan as he sits down with your host Michael Zipursky to talk about his leadership journey. Learn how to coach, consult, and manage your own business today.

I’m here with Dan Burgos. Dan, welcome.

Thanks, Michael.

You’re the President and CEO of Alphanova Consulting. A management consulting firm that works with manufacturing companies to help them to improve their operations. Your clients include some very well-known organizations like SpaceX, United One International Laboratories in Canada, and many others. You started your business in 2016 if I’m not mistaken. Take us back to that time. What drove you to start your own firm?

We’ve had conversations about this in the past, but I always knew that I wanted to start my own business. If you go back to the ’90s and even the ’80s, my dad is an entrepreneur. He planted that seed when I was a child. I always knew that’s what I wanted to do. It was over time that I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know how to do it or what business it would be until probably 2006 was when I was exposed to it. Fast forward to 2016. I was already planning on taking that step. It got accelerated as a lot of entrepreneurs where I was laid off of my job. That’s when I asked myself, “Am I going to go take another job that I don’t want to take or am I going to take a leap of faith and jump in and do what I want to do?”

You’ve had a very interesting journey to this point, which we’re going to get into because there’s a lot of lessons and insights that I think people will find valuable. Before we get to where you are and the current state of the business and the growth that you’ve been experiencing, let’s go further back. You mentioned that you were exposed to the world of consulting about ten years or so, maybe even before you pulled the trigger and started consulting. What were the early jobs when you got out of your early education? What were the roles and the types of companies that you worked at before you started your consulting business?

I worked back when I was in college. I was working for a very well-known airline. I did a number of different jobs in the operations of it. Towards the end of it, there was an opportunity to help improve their efficiencies in a lot of their departments. That was my first exposure formally as an employee to do that, but I knew I wanted to find my home in manufacturing. That’s what I always had in mind. I worked for a mattress manufacturer, making improvements being their internal facilitator of improvements. Eventually, I moved.

I think it’s fair to say is that I always knew that I wanted to see something completely different. Every time I changed jobs, I purposely targeted something completely different. I went to work for an oil and gas company. They had a machine shop, which was completely different from a mattress manufacturer. From that, which was the role was making from it, as well and the operation facilitating, but then I moved to a medical device company. At that point, I wanted to walk the walk. A lot of what I do, I have to teach people, and I have to help them change their habits. A lot of people that do what I do can probably connect with this. People always say, “You can’t find the time. You can’t do it. It’s not that easy.” I had to put myself in their shoes.

I put myself in their shoes and I went and sought out a job managing operations. I said, “I’m good. I know what I know. Now, I’m going to go use it in the role of managing operations,” because I wanted to prove to others than myself that it could be done. I was able to do it. I was able to manage an operation. I then transitioned into more like the warehouse scheduling the logistics of the base, if you will. After that, I went to work from an aerospace company that made cushion seats, the cushion where you sit at your back and armrests, and so on.

I was doing supply chain, which gave me again a better understanding of the operation because I had already been included in other aspects, but not that one. That’s when I went into consulting. I did it as an employee of another organization, a small boutique. That’s when I was laid off and decided to go independent and start my own company.

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When you were working at that boutique consultancy as a consultant, were there any big lessons? Anything that you learned that even now you still use or that you found to be helpful when you went out and launched your own consulting business?

Unbelievable. Yes, too many to name. It’s amazing when you’re able to work with effective leaders, the things that you learn and the growth you experience. That was a great deal of what I experienced at that time. Some of the lessons I learned were some of these principles, for example. Never put the issue ahead of their relationship. That’s one thing. If you’re going to build a partnering relationship with your client, if you win the argument at the expense of the relationship, you lose.

To be quite honest with you, I’m an engineer by trade. I’m very analytical and numerical. In addition to that, to top it off, my personality is very organized and structured. I was all about numbers and processes and all those things. In the company that I worked for, you have to also deal with the people aspect of things, having the right people in the right place, developing the right culture and empowering people, which is a gap in a lot of manufacturers. Also, in terms of the focus of a lot of my colleagues where everybody’s sold technically-oriented and we ended up neglecting the people side. That has influenced me so much that I said, “I have to make an approach that addresses both aspects of the business.”

You mentioned two words where you said, effective leaders. You said it’s amazing when you have effective leaders around you, how much you can grow as a person and how much you can learn. I think many of our audience are wanting to become more effective leaders. Some already have a very sizable team. Others might have a few people on their team and others might be thinking about making their first few hires, whether that is a part-time contractor freelancer, but they’re thinking about how they can increase their capacity.

I want to talk to you more about that, Dan, because you’ve been going through this yourself as your business has been growing. When you said effective leaders, what did you mean? For the people that you worked with, what for you was most effective about them? What do you still remember now that either inspired you, motivated you or made you think like, “This person is an effective leader?” What did that look like?

I don’t know that I can ask her that from the top of my mind entirely, but I’ll give it a shot. To me, I think a lot of leaders see themselves just because they have a leader title that whatever employees or resources they have, they feel it’s a tool for them to accomplish something. In reality, when you’re a leader, you’re there to support other people. The closest thing I’ve heard to it, it’s becoming a servant leader. In other words, when I work with someone that it’s on there, my leadership. In reality, in my mind, I’m here to support that person to be successful.

I can tell them what the direction is but let them figure out the how’s. As long as we define what those boundaries are and we’re in agreement in the outcome or the result, I let people have free rein as to how they want to go about it, as long as they accomplish that. Until a lot of times as leaders, we get so prescriptive and we get so caught up on the how’s when in reality, that’s part of the growth that people can experience by being leashed, to go through the experiences that are going to help them grow while they figure out the how’s.

CSP 204 | Consulting Mindset

 

Another aspect of it was, that I learned about coaching quite a bit. A lot of people say they coach, but to me, coaching is a process in itself. It’s helping people have that self-discovery of the answers because it’s a process of asking questions so that people find themselves the answers. What I learned very strongly was that there’s some very significant difference between me telling you the answer versus me helping you find the answer for yourself. Those are some of the things that to make me an effective leader.

Those are great points, very important and something that many of us here can take away or look at how we could apply even better to what we’re doing. Tell me about the work that you’re doing now. You’re working with manufacturers. You’re helping them to identify waste or inefficiencies and help to create greater efficiency, more profitability, productivity, performance. What would you say is one of the most common mistakes that you see your client organizations making?

I wonder if there’s any connection or connection point to consulting businesses. First of all, in terms of where you’re helping your clients the most and where they see the greatest mistake, let’s start with that. What are maybe 1 or 2 of the most common mistakes that you see your clients having that you’re brought in to help with?

A lot of times, I find that leaders are promoted because of their prowess, if you will, at some technical aspect of the business. I think a lot of leaders fail to recognize that leadership ability and technical ability are two very different things. I see some people that are promoted. You’re a good worker. Therefore, you’re going to be a great leader of all the people that do this work. When in reality, that’s not always the case. You can be amazing at anything.

To give an example, Michael Jordan is probably arguably the best basketball player. I’ve heard interviews where he was asked, “Why did you ever not go into coaching?” He said, “I don’t have the patience.” He recognized that he doesn’t have some of the qualities that leaders need to have to be able to help a team be successful. Unfortunately, a lot of leaders make those mistakes. I see that leaders put a little emphasis on leadership skills and think that because you’re good at something, you’re going to be successful at leading others that do those same tasks.

How does that trickle-down? What would be the visible result or outcome of lack of leadership or lack of the right person in the right seat that you’re brought in to fix? Give us a few ideas or what are the most common issues that your ideal clients are dealing with because of that lack of leadership.

I like acronyms quite a bit. One of the acronyms I made up that I learned from a colleague was TCR. I call it Trust, Credibility, Respect. If you’re a leader and you’re not effective at earning or building trust, credibility and respect with your subordinates, what you’re going to see is, you’re going to create unnecessary conflict. You’re going to see the morale going down. You’ll see productivity go down. When they don’t respect the leader because of their own behavior, their own shortcomings, then that starts creating conflict internally. In other words, if some people don’t carry their load and I see the leader not addressing that, now we have a problem with both the person that’s not carrying the load and the lead for not addressing it. It perpetuates depending on the behavior that the leader displays.

Be a servant leader. You're there to support other people. Click To Tweet

Do you think that most of your clients and the market in general that they’re thinking themselves, “We have a leadership problem? We have a coaching problem,” or is the issue in their mind more on, “Our productivity is low. We’re missing deadlines. There’s a lot of waste. Our profitability has decreased.” Where are they thinking? Are they thinking more about the soft leadership skills or are they thinking more about the numbers in terms of when they’re looking at you in the marketplace? What’s top of mind for those clients?

The numbers. The leadership side typically becomes a layer within the top layer, which is the result. Workers being laned, machine’s reliability, quality problems, all the problems that manufacturers deal with on a daily basis. A lot of times, they know these issues and the underlying root cause is these leaders not addressing these problems and not getting to the root cause or addressing if there are employees that are causing this or if there’s something systematic in the business that I’ve read that causes these.

I’m wondering how you’ve taken that information and used it in your own marketing and messaging down. A lot of consultants might lead with the messaging around leadership, coaching, the leader and team member type of message. Since that’s at the core of a lot of work that you do, but it sounds like that’s not what the marketplace is actively for, even though that’s what’s going to make a big difference.

What have you learned in terms of how you convey and communicate your work and your expertise? Has the focus always been on the numbers since that’s what people are thinking more about? Has that been a transition for you? Speak for a minute about your experience of how you’ve taken this understanding of your marketplace and how you’ve brought that into your marketing and into your messaging?

I definitely made that mistake initially, knowing or thinking that I knew what would be top of mind to clients. I led with the leadership aspect of things and what I believe to be the core of a lot of the problems. What I found was that it was not resonating with the marketplace. It was a tough lesson or a hard-learned lesson that buyers and people leading these organizations are looking for the results or the outcome. That’s been very clear. They’re looking for profitability or some other result. It could also be operational.

What I’ve learned or the takeaway was that I had to shift my messaging and my targeting and how I’m communicating to the marketplace because it was just misaligned. They weren’t connecting the messaging that I was saying as the root cause of the results. I had to shift my messaging to the results and that’s when I started to have more success in attracting people. These are recognizing what it is I do and maybe while, in a lot of cases, they’re not necessarily looking for help in that regard, at least it resonates where it’s very clear that this is what we do when the time is right. They’ll know that this is what this organization does.

I want to get into the success that you’ve been having here very shortly. First, I think it’s important that we address something so people can get a fuller picture of what you’ve been going through. I have to say, Dan, one of the qualities that I truly admire about you. I know that I’ve mentioned this to you before and I’ve been able to witness firsthand through some of the work that we’ve done together in the clarity coaching program. It’s persistence and commitment. You are more persistent and committed than so many people. You don’t give up. You keep taking action even when things don’t work as you would initially expect them to or want them to. You keep at it.

CSP 204 | Consulting Mindset

 

Now you have come through that process, seeing the success, but where does that come from? Where does that mindset of persistence and commitment and staying the course? Even if you get knocked down, you get back up. Where does that come from in your life? Is that something that you’ve always had as a child? Is it something that you’ve developed very consciously over the years?

It was not conscious because even to this day, it surprises me that people catch onto that very quickly. I’ve had a number of people tell me, “I’ve never met anybody that doesn’t take no for an answer.” A client once told me she was talking to someone else and she said, “I don’t know if you realize, but Dan is not going anywhere. We need to get this done.” My earliest recollection was as a child. My mother told me, “There’s no denying you when you get your mind up to something. It’s relentless. It’s like you’re not stopping until you get that, whatever it is you want.” Honestly, it comes to me effortlessly because that’s how I’m built or who I am.

I can tell you that, on the business side, there’s a lot of influence from my father. Plus, a lot of entrepreneurial values. Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, he planted those seeds. As a child, I was probably 8 or 9 years old when we would have these conversations. He would say things like, “There’s a difference between being broke and being poor. It’s all in the mindset and life is hard. The weak are going to fail. You have to be strong mentally.” A lot of those things influence me, but to be honest with you, it’s not a mindset. I didn’t have to change ever. I have always been that way since I was a child.

Take me a little bit deeper into your upbringing because you weren’t born in the US. Walk us through where you grew up, what things were like as a young kid making that transition to a new country.

I’m originally from the Dominican Republic. For your audience, if anybody’s not in tune geographically. It’s a small island in the Caribbean. Our native language is Spanish. I grew up there up until I was nineteen, so out of high school. It got to a point where I always had very high aspirations. In my childhood, I can say I was fortunate to have access to cable television. I had a lot of influence from the US in terms of customs and preferences and all the things that kids like at that age.

I always had that American dream. Again, as I mentioned, I don’t know how, but I know what I wanted. I wanted to develop a business and be successful and the world and do amazing things for people where I’m from will never do or never thing to do. Eventually, I left. I went to Puerto Rico and went to college. Just a tidbit. Believe it or not, I wanted to be a prosecutor. That was my first career choice.

Is that because you’ve watched a lot of law and order back in the day?

Yes. The appeal of that is the investigative aspect of it and the perseverance you have to have and the reward of accomplishing something that’s very difficult. However, being an attorney is not an easy thing if you plan on moving around. I assisted from that and the next closest thing that I could think of was what I studied, which is Industrial Engineering.

As a leader, guide your team towards the right direction, but let them figure out the how. Click To Tweet

Anyways, I finished my undergraduate there. I started looking for work and continued my studies in a Master’s. Eventually, I felt like I did in the Dominican Republic. I said, “I don’t think I’m going to accomplish what I want to accomplish here. I need to find a different place. A bigger place or a place that has the things that I’m looking for.” At the time, I was working for an airline and had an opportunity to keep my employment with that company and still change until the time to move to the US mainland. That’s when I got exposed to manufacturing and all those things.

A little bit going back to my childhood, I’m fortunate beyond having access to those things, but I had a very privileged childhood, you can say. I had access to playing sports and have a lot of the things that children these days don’t practice when it comes to sports. My parents enrolled me in English classes when I was a child. I was learning English as I was completing my high school studies. To this day, I have the benefit to communicate, understand and connect with people from completely different backgrounds.

That’s something that you and I both shared. In my background as a child, I played a lot of sports. I think my experience being very competitive in sports. Still to this day, it has an impact on me and my mindset and wanting to win, but also being a team player and languages. English is not my first language, even though I was born in Canada. I spent several years in Israel, so I came back to Canada.

I didn’t know English and was surrounded by a lot of people that I didn’t know anyone. I felt like an outsider, but my success or what I’ve experienced, I can also trace that to a wealth of experiences relating to language. Later on, I went to Japan and opened up a branch office for our business over there. I had some wonderful experiences.

I can trace that also back to language. I think languages and sports are two things that together open up so much possibility in our world. It’s nice to hear you say that because I certainly share those same things. Let’s fast forward a little bit more to the current date because of all this persistence and commitment and all the hard work that you’ve put in, it hasn’t always been where it is. You start to see demand increase for your services to the point that you’ve been booked pretty solidly for several months or maybe even longer at this point.

If you had to narrow in and identify a couple of things that you feel had the biggest impact or created the level of success that you’ve been experiencing, what would you say those things are that you would say, “This definitely was helpful in getting me to the place that I am, or I did these things and they had the biggest result?”

I can think of three right off the bat. One is getting clear in the ideal clients that you have to have that. I thrived for years without a dad and didn’t get anywhere.

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Can you elaborate on that? I think you’re hitting on an important point that people should hear and I don’t want to gloss over it. You said for many years that you weren’t clear around your ideal client. Talk for a minute about that. What were things like before and what are they like now?

For example, in the past, I’ve had experience working with a number of industries. I’ve worked with warehousing, services, oil and gas, higher education. I was always of the mindset that the larger we throw the proverbial fishing net, the more opportunities will come our way. Even though I’ve read it in a number of places, including your content, I was stubborn enough to never follow that advice, but come to find out, the more focused you are, the more opportunities come your way.

Of course, I narrowed down the focus to manufacturing, which is my passion. I enjoy working with manufacturers more than anything else. Doing that helps you zero in and draw attention to who the client is. When you put out a message and you say, “Business is,” and people are thinking, “Business is it? You’re not talking to me,” but if you say manufacturers and you think, “That sounds like me. That’s interesting.” That was a big one.

That was number one. What’s number two?

I’ll skip one because I want to get this one in. One of the things that I feel has helped me be successful in anything that I do other than consistency and persistence is having a mindset, an openness to learn new things. For me, getting on a phone and doing outreach and doing those things used to be like the end of the world. I would do anything I could to avoid doing that. I would stall. These days, it’s like nothing to me.

I have to get this done. Let’s get it done. If you hear a lot of people say, “Yes, I agree.” When I hear people, you have to play to your strengths, but at the same time, there are occasions where you have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and learn something new. When you become an entrepreneur, it’s almost inevitable, unless you have endless resources, that you’re going to have to wear several hats.

If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, I would say one of the prerequisites or at least one of the circumstances. You’re going to find yourself wearing those different hats. I’ve learned so much more about the different functions of a business. This is going to sound maybe controversial, but I have an MBA. The experience of running a business and doing the things that I learned theoretically in a college degree, it’s tremendous. You have to have the mindset to be able to step out of your comfort zone. If you have to learn a little bit about marketing and sales and accounting and so on and so forth, you have to have that mindset.

What do you think was the big gap or the switch that you made to go from where you would look at doing things like outreach or phone calls or follow up before saying that you would do anything to avoid? Now, when you send me an email, you are saying, “Here’s like what’s going on. I am making phone calls, even when I’m standing at the airport.” You’re always doing stuff. Maybe post that into the forum on the clarity side. I remember seeing that I was thinking, I was like, “Dan is doing whatever he needs to do wherever he is.” What changed in your mind?

CSP 204 | Consulting Mindset

 

I think there’s probably a lot of people now who are in that first cap. Deep down inside, they know they need to do more outreach, do more follow-up, whatever it might be, but they’re not doing it for some reason. What advice would you have for them? Also, what did you go through to get to that place where you’re much more open to it now? Even though you may not necessarily love it, you’re still making it happen.

I don’t want to sound corny, but one of my favorite players, it’s Kobe Bryant. I connect tremendously with this mindset. He says, “If you do something over and over, eventually, you’re going to get good at it.” There are some people that have natural ability and they’ll get there much sooner than you are, but if you have no choice, sometimes you have to face the music and do it. That’s been my mindset. The transition at first, it’s intimidating to talk to a stranger or do these things. The transition for me was, I am not so much a fan of calling someone, just cold call. That’s a little tougher. Nonetheless, it’s something that from time to time happens, but I started connecting the activity to my desire.

What’s going to be the outcome out of this? It’s connecting your dream to what you want to accomplish. You want to build a business. You want to be successful. You want to provide for your family. For me, it’s freedom. I want freedom. I want to be able to be in charge with my time and not depending on an employer to do those things. If doing more of that activity is going to lead me to get to that endpoint faster, I have to accept it and do what I have to do to get to that point. What I need to do to get to that point is get better at that. After I make that connection, it’s like, “Let’s put the effort in to get better at it,” and then to go to work and eventually it comes out.

I’ve seen this with so many clients over the years where it’s almost coming back to the why. It’s like, “Why am I doing this? What’s the end result, the outcome? Why did I leave that cushy corporate job or whatever it was to start my own business?” It certainly wasn’t for all the ups and downs, but there was a reason. It’s that freedom, flexibility, realizing your potential. Spending more time with your kids or whatever it is. For everyone’s different, but there’s a reason. Once you get clear on that reason, then even when you might be feeling a little bit uncomfortable or you might hesitate to take the action that you know that you need to, you come back to that why or that reason or that desire. It helps you to then take that step.

Once you do it and you do it consistently, you start to find that it’s not as hard as you initially thought it was. It becomes part of your habits. I think that’s a great way of looking at it. Demand for your services has been increasing. Your capacity has been an issue in terms of how you keep serving more clients because people want your help. One thing that you’ve been doing as you started to build your team, to add people, to be able to increase capacity. Walk us through what you’ve done in that area, Dan. What are the steps that you took to be able to increase capacity for yourself up? Give us a bit of insight into what’s been going on in that area, in your business.

I have to follow what I preach to my clients and part of that is building systems and processes so that things are scalable and transferrable to new team members, so it started there. I built a collaborative site and the first step or the first team member was bringing in an assistant that helps with the administrative side of the business. The process of doing that was managing it myself. Now, I’ve heard some people say, “I want someone to do it for me and bring the people.”

It’s the willingness to step out of your comfort zone and get into recruiting and run interviewing and screening and all those things. It’s been an in-house process to do that, but I do have an assistant now. She does great work for us. She runs a lot of the backend. The next step is to start adding consultants to help with delivery. That’s where we’re at now. We’ve had a couple of postings out there and we’re in the process of finding candidates that suit and fit with our culture and with what we’re looking to deliver to our clients.

Leaders fail to recognize that leadership ability and technical ability are different. A good worker doesn't mean a good leader. Click To Tweet

Did you feel any hesitation with the idea initially of bringing on an assistant, bringing on additional consultants? A lot of people do and so I’m wondering, is that something that you felt some hesitation around and if so, why do you think you did?

Yes, definitely. Initially, the concern was we were early in our journey. I wouldn’t consider ourselves established to the point where revenue is so predictable that you can start building a big team. When we were at that stage to add the first team member, I was concerned about bringing a team member in and not be able to support that. That was the main hesitation.

That’s one more hurdle you have to get through mentally and say, “If I don’t add more people, I’m up to capacity. I’m never going to get past this,” because I’ve been there before. I was trying to do it all by myself. It’s one of the two things that fail, either project or work delivery or business development. It’s still tough for one person to do if you want to grow us a bit if you want to grow into a business. Now, if you want to remain as a one-person company, then maybe that works, but if you want to expand, then it’s very difficult.

Was there something that happened or shifted you to accept that, “If I want to be able to grow capacity and therefore be able to grow revenues as well? Therefore, have the additional profit to invest more into building systems and team. I have to go for this.” Was there one thing that got you to overcome that hesitation that you had? What finally triggered it for you?

I have two or three words. It’s you and your teachings. In one of our sessions, you pointed those things out. Mentally, I went back to that place where I was fully booked, and I was unable to keep up with business development. When these projects ended, I didn’t have the continued work because, as you know, consulting projects have a beginning and end. If you don’t work on continuing to find the next work, it dries up. When I made that connection, I went back and had that flashback, when you to start taking because otherwise, we’re going to be in that place again.

Your schedule is very busy. I think now you’re in a hotel room working with a client, if I’m not mistaken. You’re all over the place, flying, seeing clients, spend as much time as you can with your family. You have a lot going on. What’s one thing that you do every day that you feel plays a big role in your overall productivity and performance? It could be health-related, mindset-related, businesses. When I say that, what comes to mind for you? It’s like, “This is one thing that I have to do every day. It’s a habit for me. I know it has a big impact on my productivity in my overall performance.”

I would say, it’s two things. They happen at the same time. One is exercise. I wake up very early and exercise about every morning.

CSP 204 | Consulting Mindset

 

I was wondering. Does that mean you’re up at 7:00? What is early mean for you?

I wake up at 4:00 or 4:30 in the morning just about every day and sometimes, depending on what’s happening, even at 3:00.

Why do you do that because I know now some people will be going like, “This guy is crazy. Why is he getting up at 4:00 AM?” Take us into the mindset of Dan Burgos. Why are you getting up at 4:00 AM every day?

That’s when I can fit it in. That’s another aspect that I’m working on, trying to go beyond being an amateur or not an amateur, more of a dedicated athlete. My schedule is so busy. When you ask people, “Why don’t you exercise?” “It’s because I can’t find a time.” For me, I take out that excuse and I say, “When do I have time to do it? When can I fit it in? What do I need to do to make that happen?” This is what happens.

That’s such a powerful idea and point you’ve shared. It can be applied in many different ways. I would encourage everyone who’s with us now to think about where you’re making an excuse. We all make excuses. Maybe we don’t call them excuses because that sounds negative, but we all find reasons not to do something that we know that we need to do. Whether it’s exercising more, eating healthier, spending more time with somebody, doing the things that aren’t as comfortable in our business that we know that we need to do, identify whatever the reason or excuse that you’re making is. Ask that question that Dan just asked like, “How can I find the time? What do I need to do to make it happen? Even though I can say that I don’t have time, what do I need to shift? What can I create?” I find it always interesting to see.

You can look at very successful people who have very busy schedules, or their output is tremendous. Maybe they’re writing books. They’re speaking, working with clients, traveling the world, whatever it may be. There’s a lot going on. We all have the same amount of time available every day. Yes, you might have kids, taking care of elderly parents, whatever. We can all create our own situations, but here we have someone who’s getting up at 4:00 AM to fit it in.

I think that’s also because, to add a bit of clarification, you’re not doing a twenty-minute light workout. The other thing that you have going on is you’re training for bodybuilding. You’re training at a whole different level. This is almost like another business that you’re running. It’s not a business, but it’s another real initiative. It takes a real focus, but that’s tremendous. Any other habit that you have aside from the daily exercise that stands out for you?

I tried to start watching some videos or listening to something that either makes me laugh, inspires me, or educates me.

Before wrapping up, what are 1 or 2 of the most influential books that you’ve read? It could be fiction, nonfiction but only one or two books that stand out for you.

I wish I had thought about that more.

I try and make it a little easier because oftentimes, people ask me, “Michael, what’s one book?” I’m like, “You can’t ask me one book because if you’re in the office with me now, you look behind and you see that I read a lot of books.” I can’t only name one, so I’m trying to make it a little bit easier. Like one or two or three books. Anything that comes to mind that you’ve read. That you feel like, “This has had an influence.” You can pass if you want. I’m not putting you on the spot here.

If you do something over and over and over, eventually, you're going to get good at it. Click To Tweet

No. I can’t claim I’ve read it, but I mentioned that I connect so much with the basketball player or former basketball player, Kobe Bryant. He’s got a book that’s called Mamba Mentality. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve seen a lot of videos of him explaining it. That’s one of the things I watched to inspire myself. I have a copy of it. I’m sure there’s a lot of inspiring mindsets. For example, he had a lot of the habits that I do have, which is he wakes up or he was woken up early when he was alive.

He worked at it and worked at something until he was good, then moved on to the next thing that inspires me tremendously, even though I haven’t read all the details. I know the central message of the book. If you want to develop that mindset, that consistency, that relentlessness, I think that would be a good book to read.

Speaking of that, Dan, have you read the book Relentless by Tim Grover?

I have not.

Tim trained or he worked with Kobe Bryant, a bunch of well-known basketball players. I think you’ll resonate with that book. I’m going to get that over to you afterward. Before we wrap up, I want to say thank you so much for coming on here, sharing a bit of your journey to this point. I know there’s so much more that we could dive into in terms of what you’re working on, the details of your business. What we should do is point people to your websites to learn more. Is the website the best place for people to go or if you want to learn more about yourself and see more about your work and about your business, where should they head over to?

Yes, on our website. The address is AlphanovaConsulting.com. Of course, if you go to the About Us page, you’ll be able to learn more about my journey and some of the things we do when the clients we serve. I’m active in social media. You can find me on LinkedIn and reach out and connect. I’m always active in social media as well. As long as you’ll be able to see some of the things we talk or the things that we command and they share and so on.

Dan, thank you again so much for coming on here.

Thanks for having me, Michael. I appreciate it.

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