Making It – Episode 137
Life’s A Progression (Shawn Shewchuk) Transcript
Shawn Shewchuk: I’m Shawn Shewchuk and you’re listening to Making It. I run a business called Change Your Results. I am branded as a number one results coach.
I grew up in a household that was very entrepreneurial. I watched my dad work exceptionally hard, exceptionally long hours. I was, at some level, even bitter about it as a child because all of my friends would go to school and come home at 5:00 or their parents would come home at 5:30 or whatever from work and they got to hang out with them, you know, in the evenings and on weekends. I didn’t get that. My parents weren’t there, and not in a bad way. They were just working.
I don’t know that I ever anticipated being an entrepreneur. I was a farm kid. And there was a point in time; I think I probably wanted to be a cop. When I finished high school, moved from small town to big city, I vowed I would never be an entrepreneur. Never. But I think when you’re young and a kid, I don’t think you take into account that, at some point in time, your ideals are going to change.
I was probably in my early 20s. I was in university at the time and I had a job. It was shift work. I showed up to the job early that morning, 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning. And somebody said that something had taken place on the prior shift. So I went and investigated. I wanted to see what happened, see if I could solve the problem.
Well, my supervisor, direct supervisor, I think felt threatened because it was probably his job. But I just felt someone’s got to do it. And I ended up losing my job over the fact that, you know, I had tried to help. And very quickly, I found out how truly unemployable I was or am. I decided to go into business myself. So while I have gone back to school a couple of times over the course of time over the years, I have been an entrepreneur for, since I was in my early twenties.
I’ve started running profit from 44 companies, the biggest of which was the largest independent management consulting firm on the western side of the North American continent. So I built a few decent sized companies over the years. The one constant throughout the entire period is I’ve worked with entrepreneurs, high achievers from a coaching perspective. In those days, it wasn’t called coaching. It was called business consulting or something along those lines, depending on who you talk to at the time.
So I was a coach before there was such thing as coaching and worked with well over 12, 000 clients. And one of the things I learned many years ago now is I had a really wise coach at one point in time. And he said, “Shawn, remember something. When times are good, it’s a cycle. So prepare for that. Be aware of it. Be cognizant of the fact that it is a cycle.” And he said, “When things are tough,” he says, “Don’t give up. Keep pushing because they will get better again. It’s a cycle.” He went further. He said, “When things are good and you’re making great money, things are happening,” he said, “take the money and put it away.”
I said, “Okay.” He said, “Because when things are bad, no one else or very few will have done what you did. And it puts you into a position where you can take advantage of opportunities that not many others are going to. And if you’re going to be successful, you’ve got to be able to think way ahead of where you are. You need to be looking down the road and anticipating what’s going to happen.
Freedom is the ultimate goal. And if I’ve achieved freedom based on what I believe is what I want, need, desire, and ultimately probably deserve, I hope everyone sees it that way, then I think I’ve achieved. I don’t think you ever get to a place where you say, I’ve arrived. I’ve got it all dialed in. I mean, I’ve been doing this for decades. I don’t know everything. I certainly make mistakes every day and probably will continue to. I invest $150,000 a year in me. And I don’t mean on clothes or watches or cars. I’m talking more about how do I become better? How do I up level where I’m at? And how do I take that and translate that into added value for the individuals, the groups that I have the privilege to work with every day.
There’s a big difference between doing well and winning. There was a company, and they’re now a large company called Sears. On the doors, when you walked into their stores, it said, Satisfaction guaranteed or money back. What does satisfaction mean? If you really take a look at it, satisfaction is settling. So, doing well by whose standards, right? Is it mine or is it someone else’s? So I choose to look at it from this angle. What does freedom mean to me?
Well, my description of freedom is the ability to do what you want, when you want, with whom you want. So, what affords me the ability to do that? There’s a monetary component. It’s really hard to have a positive impact without a positive cash flow. But if we’re focused on how we show up, what we deliver, and the level at which we deliver, meaning delivering that wow, money starts to take care of itself. If we’re going to sit back and wait for something or someone to do something for us, you’re going to enter some dangerous territory.
If someone would have told me 37 years ago when I moved, you know, small town to big city, that I was going to be speaking, writing books, doing coaching, running companies, advising people, coaching, consulting, these types of things, I’m quite certain, I probably would have laughed or even worse because I’m not that guy that you would have anticipated ever jumping on stage and having a conversation that way.
I get asked this question three or four times a week, why do you do what you do? Bob Proctor was my first coach. You may or may not know who he is. A lot of people do. He passed away last year. He wrote the forward to my first book way back and he said, “Shawn, none of us are getting out of this alive.” And he’s right.
I’ve also been told that when it’s my turn to check out, and let’s be clear, I’m not looking forward to that anytime soon, I have far too much left to do, but when it’s my turn to check out, my life will flash before my eyes. I want to make sure it’s a movie worth watching. So if I’ve been able to positively impact in a positive way, and that ripple effect starts, that’s what this is really all about.
And when you’re facing failure, there’s a reason why you’re there. Don’t run from it. Embrace it. It is your tuition. Now, I’m not suggesting you seek it, but it is your tuition. It’s a learning experience because there’s a really good chance you’re never going to do whatever it is that got you there in the first place.
I’m not sure that I’ve made it. To be very clear, I don’t know that I ever will, if I’m being very candid about it. I think life’s a progression. I don’t think it’s about the destination. I think it’s about the journey. I’m certainly still on that journey. I’m still making course corrections every day. If I was to do my very best to define what I think that means to me, it would very simply mean that I’m at a place in my life where I have the ability to do those things that are important to me as I alluded to earlier.
I don’t think you get to a place where you say I’ve arrived. Does that mean I want more freedom perhaps? I want to work my way out of out of having work. What I’m getting at is within the next five years, the goal is to be at a place that I can work when I want to and not because I have to/ I’ll share a story that was shared with me by somebody and I think it’s important.
A very well-known author, multiple books, bestseller, very much an introvert; he loved his studio. He loved his home with a stunning view of the ocean. He would be happy to stay there forever. His wife, on the other hand, was the exact opposite, end of the spectrum, to his personality. And at one point in time, she came to his studio and said that, “This weekend, our friends,” and she named them, “they’re having a party at their home, and we are going.” And on the evening of the party, he got dressed, and they went.
And she did her thing. She’s a very social individual, was out there, doing her social butterfly thing, as I think it was described to me at the time. He, on the other hand, being the opposite end, went into the kitchen, and he stood there with his hands behind his back, leaning on the countertop. Within about the first hour and a half of them arriving, a stranger came up to the author and he said, “You don’t like small talk, do you?” And the author said, “No.” And the stranger said, “Let’s go find a quiet place in the house and engage in big talk.”
They found a quiet room in the house and they closed the door and they sat down. And the stranger looked at the author and he said, “You said you prefer big talk,” and the author said, “Yes,” and nodded his head. The stranger looked at him and said, “If you died today, would you consider your life a success?”
If that was to be the story of my day today, and I passed today, the answer to that question for me would be yes. So I think it’s really important for us to take a step back and be aware of where we are in life. And if it was our last day on planet earth, would you consider your life a success? That doesn’t involve money. That doesn’t involve any of those material things. It’s far beyond that and supersedes and transcends anything that you cannot take with you. You know, Bob Proctor was right. None of us are getting out of this alive.
What is that one thing that would change your life for the better? If you don’t know, how the heck are you ever going to get there? What is it that you really and truly want? Once you’re clear, and you gain that clarity on what you want, there’s a second step. And that’s focus. Focusing to the exclusion of all outside distractions on what you want. And the third step is execution. If we’re executing on predetermined action steps that are built around what it is that we truly want, what happens? We actually start to achieve what it is we want. It’s available to you.
Now, you may not believe me. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what your background is, who your parents are, how much education you do or don’t have, what part of the world you come from, how you grew up. All of that is, well, important, not relevant. All it takes from you is a decision. That’s the starting point. An irrevocable decision to do something that scares the you know what out of you. The real goal is being able to do something that motivates, inspires, and scares you all at the same time.
Wherever you are today is not where you have to be. There’s nothing stopping you from achieving more, other than you making a decision and going for it. And a vast majority of people give up. This is not the easy road. To leave a legacy, to change lives is not easy. And there are bumps in the road and there are challenges. It’s not whether or not challenges are going to come up and arise, it’s what we do when we’re faced with those challenges. They are inevitable. How you deal with them is your decision and your choice.
I’m Shawn Shewchuk, and you’ve been listening to Making It. You can find me at changeyourresults.com and lionfactorcoaching.com.
Cassandra Topperwein: Making It is part of the Mirasee FM podcast network, which also includes such shows as Just Between Coaches and Once Upon a Business. To catch the great episodes that are coming up on Making It, please follow us on YouTube or your favorite podcast player. And if you enjoyed the show, please leave us a comment or a starred review. It’s the best way to help us get these ideas to more people. Thank you and we’ll see you next time!