Special Guest Expert - Michael Coles

Special Guest Expert - Michael Coles: Video automatically transcribed by Sonix

Special Guest Expert - Michael Coles: this eJwdjstqwzAQRX_FzKIrJ64dO3UNoZTSdtEHlJAssjFCGjmierjS2E4I-ffK2d45c-69AHeW0FJL5x6hgWdIQdlAzHJslYBmtbqv87LMU-BDIGeGgP52KNb5uqyKFBjnboiGG10_VvlDClKhFq1lZnZKpTFqfyfmuwDNBQavY3wk6kOTZdM0LTvnOo2sV2HJncmEVyNmY5HNryHL67MYf_b2W2931ThJ-aEXUp62494Z_Ps8vD0xTRuDQrG74AbPcSPcZLVjYherUiBFel6y7ZErppP3AQMlr6cePSWL5EvxI0OdvLjYFnHpvGEUedOXcL3-AxsTY2g:1nudKV:CM1dWg9cxQf_ZfpCloBdvgyW_3s video file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Brian Kelly:
So here's the big question. How are entrepreneurs like us who have been hustling and struggling to make it to success. Who seem to make it one step forward, only to fall two steps back? Who are dedicated? Determined. And driven. How do we finally break through? With that is the question. And this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Brian. And this. Is the. Body business. Hello everyone and welcome, welcome, welcome to the Mind Body Business Show. I am beyond excited for tonight's episode because of one gentleman by the name of Michael Colt. He is amazing, amazing guy. We're going to talk about his book and we'll bring that up later in the show. But this is an amazing book. I just started reading it earlier today, and I. I did not want to put it down. I cannot wait. I literally can't wait to end the show so I can finish reading it really. But no, I'm excited because I've been talking with Michael here backstage for a little while. And what an amazing, amazing gentleman full of integrity, of wisdom. And I cannot wait to share his brilliance with you. And that's the purpose of this show. This show is designed to help you to get farther. Faster how? Because what I do is I bring on only successful entrepreneurs onto this show. And when by so doing, I ask them the questions that will elicit their secrets to success. And there are no secrets. It's hard work. And you're going to find all this out as you watch more and more of these episodes. Oh, my gosh. Present company Michael Coles is a perfect example of his story. I cannot wait for him to tell it. If he's okay with doing that with all of you, you're going to learn a lot and so be ready and take notes and then take action. You know, it's one thing to learn. It's completely another to then put it into action and do it. And then ultimately the best thing to do that you could ever do is then teach it after you figured it out.

Brian Kelly:
And so Michael is going to be shedding a lot of great golden nuggets that you'll be able to take action on. I just know it it happens every show without fail. And so that is what the Mind Body Business show is all about. It's a show for entrepreneurs by successful entrepreneurs to help you get further in your business faster, take out the guesswork, stop trying to reinvent the wheel and do it on your own. Get help. All of that rolled up into one. And we don't charge a dime for this. I could charge a mint. This is like having a life seminar every single week. So be happy where you're at. I know I am. I love this. I get to have the most fun of anybody because I interview amazing people like Michael Coles. And so. The Mind Body business shows about the three pillars of success. I studied just successful people for about a decade, just finding out what the heck is making them perhaps more successful than, say, yours truly. And I started noticing a pattern develop and three things kept bubbling up to the top over and over and over. And that are the three main elements of the name of this very show. So mind being, mind set and that what that means is to a person, each of these successful people had a very powerful positive and here's the most important part and flexible mindset and then body to a person. These people that I studied took care of themselves literally. It's really simple by exercising and proper nutrition. And then business. Business is so multifaceted. There are certain skill sets that one must master in order to build and grow a thriving business. A successful one skill sets. What are those like? Marketing, sales, team building, systematizing, leadership? I mean, I could go on and on and on. The thing is to master anything in life takes time. It's like becoming an expert in anything. I think the number was an average of 10000 hours. That's a long time. Well, the good news is you personally do not have to master every skill set that I just mentioned and the many more that there are if you just master one.

Brian Kelly:
And I actually said it, it was one of those on this little list that I just spoke. If you just master this one skill set, then the others will fall into place for you. Anybody interested? You may want to know what that one is. Maybe I'll tell it next show. No, I'm kidding. I'm just. I'm just teasing you. That one skill set. And I can't wait to get Michael's input on this to see if he agrees. But that one skill set is a skill set of leadership. You see, once you have mastered that skill set and you are good at leading others, you can then bring in individuals who have mastered those skill sets that you have yet to or may never master yourself. That way you don't have to do it anyway. And now you have the skill to orchestrate the individuals that have the skill sets that are necessary. Isn't that great? It's good news. It's really good news. We should all be excited and happy. And speaking of being excited and happy, you know, I told you that. We have a nice book to talk about here tonight as well. And that's the other thing about successful entrepreneurs is I found out that they are very, very avid readers of books. And with that, very quickly, I like the Segway into a short segment. I like to call Bookmarks. Here we go.

Announcer:
Bookmarks for and to read bookmarks. Ready steady. Read bookmarks brought to you by reach your peak library dotcom.

Brian Kelly:
Yes. Reach your peak library. Michael Coles is in the wings. He's ready. He's about to pounce through the screen. I see him. He's just frothing at the mouth. He cannot wait to come on and I can't wait to bring him on. And I see you guys are already commenting. Thank you. We love participation. I'll get to those in a moment as well. But first, real quick, reach your peak library. There are many resources that are going to be shared during this show. There always are. Like his book, like this website, I implore a view rather than clicking away and going and researching while the show is going, while Michael is talking specifically instead, please, please, please write it down, take notes, and then visit the resources after the show is over. And why do I say that? Because I've spoken from stage many times, and I say this every time I'm from stage, up on stage is the magic happens in the room. That means if you're if you're if you get distracted, maybe you need to go to the restroom. I've seen this. I'm standing on stage. I know I'm about to get to the juicy part because it's my my presentation. Right. And I see someone get up and go out because they have to use the restroom or they got that all important phone call or insert distraction here. And I know they're at that. That is the moment I'm getting to the best part. And they could miss out on the best thing that could change their life forever, potentially. And I would hate for that to happen to you. So that's my soapbox moment. Please stay with us. Stay tuned in and focused for this next hour. It's going to be amazing because of Michael Cole's. So reach your peak library real quick. That is a resource I had put together literally with you and mine because I didn't learn the importance of reading books until the age of 47 and that's ten years ago. Now you can do the math. Yes. And every year is a victory, by the way. I love it.

Brian Kelly:
And I'm 57. I shout it from the rooftops, it's okay. And the thing is, once I learned about this and started reading voraciously, I was like, Oh my gosh, this is a life changer. I want to put together a resource of only the books that I've read that had a profound impact on me, either in business or in personal life or both. So what does that mean? Not every book is in this website that you see here. And by the way, this is not for the purpose of making an income for my company. If you click any of those buttons, they go to Amazon, get the book anywhere you can, anywhere you love. If you have your own source, go just find the book. Look at it. Say there's a little blurb about it. The first one that resonates with you. Go grab it wherever you want to get it from and read it because it does change your life for the better. I'm seeing a lot of these books that as they scroll up and I have fond memories of each and every one of them, and I can imagine I'm going to be adding one to. This library very soon. I can't wait to finish this bad boy. We're going to talk about that. Here in just a little bit. So that is reach your peak library, please. That's our gift to you. And I just would love to hear any feedback you have for those of you that go and find a book and go grab it and then read it and then act on it. Remember, it's always most important to do action. Speaking of action, it's time to bring the man who defines action under this show. It is the one and only Michael Coles. Let's bring him on. Here he comes. Get ready.

Announcer:
It's time for the guest. Expert, spotlight savvy. Skillful, professional, adept. Trained, big league qualified. And there he is, ladies and gentlemen.

Brian Kelly:
It is the one. It is the only. Michael Coles. Ooh, yes. How are you doing today, Michael?

Michael Coles:
I'm doing great. I'm so happy to be here.

Brian Kelly:
Oh. I am so happy you are here because. Oh, the stories you have and I just like I was saying, I just started digging into your books like, oh, my gosh, that's a page turner already. And thank you for that, by the way, for the book. I appreciate that. And we'll talk about that in a little bit. And the great cause you have behind it definitely got to bring that to the forefront. I so appreciate that. Before we get rolling officially, I got a couple a little bit of housekeeping items to take care of. So before we dove in deep to that big, beautiful brain of Mr. Cole's. The Big insider secrets. You see that logo above his left shoulder over there. If you're watching this live on the Mind Body business show, by the way, go to the mind body business show dot com and register to receive announcements. The moment we go live and we don't spam or sell anything, we just say, Hey, we're living, here's the link, go check it out and you can come on weekly and comment and participate. And don't worry, I we'll get those comments. I see them flying in the beginning site of secrets. Why are they important? Because they're sponsoring this very show and they are enabling us for all of you are watching live. You must be watching live. You get to enter to win a five night stay at a five star luxury resort. And that, again, is all compliments of my buddy Jason Nast at the Big Insider Secrets. And please do stick around. You'll want to stick around to the very end and I'll reveal how you can enter to win that. And then a couple more little pieces of housekeeping and then we'll get moving. So if you're struggling with putting a live show together and maybe you want the process is done for you, you want to get all the crazy communications, the back and forth, the testing and everything taken care of on your behalf. And you just want to show up and be the best host of a show you can possibly be without all of that mayhem that leads up to the show and then all of the mayhem that ensues afterward.

Brian Kelly:
There's a lot of pieces that go to a live show, a quality live show, then head on over to carpet bomb marketing dot com carpet bomb marketing. Saturate the marketplace with your message. And one of the amazing resources we use to stream live each and every week is the one we're doing right now is stream yard. It is. I've been using so many software studio type solutions for over ten years now. And I've got to tell you, streaming art has become the best of the best. There is nothing better out there. It is incredibly easy to use. It is feature rich. It does everything you need for a live show. And so you see the URL there on the screen. Write it down. Don't go to it. Write it down. It's our IP dot com forward slash stream live all together report. I am forward slash stream live lowercase write that down hit that. When the show is over you can start streaming for free. They have a free plan and you can give it a go, kick the tires, so to speak. And it is it's a game changer. And it allows us to to stream super, super high quality shows as we're doing right now. And now it's time for Brian to get close, to stop blabbing so we can listen to the man, the myth, the legend himself, Michael Coles. I love to open every show, Michael, with something to go to that has to do with the mind. Because in my humble opinion and man, I cannot wait for your your opinions on all of this. My humble opinion is that our level of success that we currently have today or our lack of success. Is, in my opinion, 100% due to what's going on between the two ears in our head. That's my opinion. And so when you get up in the morning, Michael, you've been oh, my gosh, I can't wait. I've seen some of the stories in your book. It's a teaser so far, but you've been through some stuff. I mean, holy smokes. So for you, who rose above it all? What was going on in that big, beautiful brain of yours.

Brian Kelly:
Every time you got up in the morning and you're being hit and these setbacks keep smacking you back. What is it that kept you driven and going forward all these years and continue on to this day?

Michael Coles:
Wow. We could take up the whole show with that answer. So, I mean, there's a lot. First of all, let me just say that I wrote this book not to boast about my career. I really wrote the book to try to lift people up and let them know they probably can do more than they think they can. You know, until I wrote the book, I don't know that I could have answered that question the way I'm going to answer it today. But when I was ten, my dad went bankrupt and we lost everything. But we still wound up moving to a pretty nice apartment, and I had to give away my dog when we moved, which was killer. And my parents, I didn't know what bankruptcy was at ten. I just knew we lost our house. I lost my dog. But we basically took all our furniture and plates and all the stuff that you would normally have around. You moved to actually a pretty nice apartment. Unfortunately, my dad, who thought he would always rebound, kept spending the way he had before he went bankrupt. And about less than three years later, his wages were being so garnishee that he was barely bringing home a paycheck. So in the middle of the night, after they sold all their furniture and dishes and everything else, we moved to Florida, which was a debtor state. And my dad, his wages could not be garnished. And he thought once again that he'd have the opportunity to get us back to where we were. Well, when I woke up that first morning in Miami, we were living in a less than 300 square foot apartment. We had none of our things left. It was a one bedroom apartment that I had to share with my sister. My parents had to sleep on a porch that was not even screened. And I woke up that morning. It was horrible. It was a horrible apartment. And I woke up that morning and I really understood what bankruptcy was. It was the darkest place I think I've ever been in my life. And if you ask me what motivated me, I had a decision to make that morning.

Michael Coles:
I could believe my dad would rebound or I could go out and get a job at 12, which I did, and try to help my family. And so I started working at 12, and when I was asked that question many other times, I gave a completely different answer. But the answer is it was the worst feeling I've ever had, and I never, ever wanted to have that feeling ever again. So whatever I had to do, whatever it took, no matter how much, how hard it was to get up in the morning, no matter how hard it was to recover from my motorcycle accident, whatever was thrown at me, I just knew that I never wanted to go back to that dark place. So I just kept moving.

Brian Kelly:
And then it became TGT. Is that it?

Michael Coles:
That's right. Time to get tough.

Brian Kelly:
Love that that came from this just for anyone listening. Yep. And you got to you got to read his book. It's oh, I'm going to I'm going to rave about it all night. I just know it because it is already it's it's got me. It's snared me. You know, those old sheepherder hooks that they would pull people off stage with? That's what it's done. It's going to pull me back over to read it.

Michael Coles:
No, Brian, also, let me just say, because I want to go to mindset, because I actually talk about mindset in the book. I think one of the things that's really important and especially for my in my own career, because I started working when I was so young, I really thought by the time I was 30 that I knew all the answers. And what I realized by the time I was 30, I didn't know all the answers. My problem was I didn't know all the questions. And so it was a big reality check because I always thought I had to be the smartest guy in the room. When I hired people, I was maybe in some ways intimidated by really great people because I thought they were going to be better than me and smarter than me, and they wouldn't follow my leadership. But I learned really early on, which was very fortunate that I didn't have to be the smartest guy in the room, that the best thing I could do is find the right people who are smarter than me in their specific areas of business. But give them the vision of where the company wanted to go. Learn from them as they learn from me. And we could be successful together. And that is mindset.

Brian Kelly:
Oh, you know what that is? It's also what I call a bomb dropping moment. Yes. Smart bombs. Bombs of. Bombs of wisdom. Oh, my gosh. I mean, I love that you knew you had all you you knew all the answers, but you didn't know all the questions. I mean, come on. That is gold right there. And then finding the right people and getting people that are smarter than you in different areas or better than you, and then basically letting them know the culture of the business well enough to where you work as a team for the same common goal. Am I paraphrasing that somewhat correctly?

Michael Coles:
Perfectly. And also let them do their job. Stay out of their way.

Brian Kelly:
Amen. No micromanaging.

Michael Coles:
Right?

Brian Kelly:
Oh, it's happened to me. And I got a yeah, I got a negative anchor for that one. I'll tell you, that's one of the things that as an employee that I was I didn't like. It was like you get told what to do and not just that, but when to do it, how to do it, where to do it. I mean, all of it. And it's like you're a walking robot. It depends. Different places have more flexibility and leverage, but you don't own any of your own work. I mean, when you say when I say, oh, not like financially, but you don't own it, it's not yours because you're not the one creating anything. You're basically following orders and just filling orders. It's like filling orders at a fast food restaurant, kind of. It's not very fulfilling, at least not for me anyway. And you know what? God bless those that do it and do love it. There are those that do. I'm not saying anything negative toward them. Please, please don't. No hate mail on that. So you've probably been through a few setbacks in your life. You've already gone through the great story of growing up and witnessing and experiencing bankruptcy and then learning what that feels like. So when you've had these setbacks, sometimes we'll chalk them up as maybe a failure. But the best thing to do with a failure is to learn from it and never either never do it again or do something better as a result. So what would you say are some of those moments or failures? Are setbacks that really come to the forefront of your mind that we're the most profound and why?

Michael Coles:
Probably. And I know you probably have heard this from a lot of people who started their own business that were entrepreneurs. Probably the best thing I ever learned was when I went bankrupt in my first business because I spent what a lot of people would do. I was young when I started the business. I was in my twenties and again it was one of those aha moments when you realize you don't know all the questions. And what I what I realized is that I did what a lot of people would do is I looked around and blamed a lot of people for the fact that the company went bankrupt. And then I had that moment where I realized, you know what, this is my business. At the end of the day, this is this is this was my problem. What did I contribute for the company to wind up going out of business? And it was it was probably one of the great learning lessons of my life and finding out what was that? It was what did I go wrong? We had a great business that started off, you know, like a skyrocket. And then it just all fell apart. And I knew that I would go back into business. I knew that I would I was going to make mistakes, but I was never going to make those mistakes. And when I made mistakes in my new business, I just wouldn't make those same mistakes twice. And I would try to learn from it. And we, you know, the cookie company, which is a company my partner and I founded, we founded that company with only 8000. And over the course from 1977 to 1998, when we when we sold the company, we never took in any partners. We grew that business from 8000 to $100 Million Company in 1998. I don't know how that would transfer today in revenue, but and we frankly could not afford to make many mistakes. And we had signed a personal lease with a mall and the rent was 25,000 a year. We're selling 30 cent cookies and we had a personally guarantee a ten year, $25,000 lease, a quarter of $1,000,000. We borrowed money from a bank to build the store and it was only 25 grand.

Michael Coles:
And and the bank was so confident we were going to fail that they sent a forensic accountant to our homes to inventory all of our personal assets. So not if we went bankrupt, but when we went out of business, they could just come seize our assets without having to go through the courts. And this is where the story gets good. On our first day of business, after researching the cookie business for about a year, on our first day of business, when we put our first batch of cookies in the oven, 300 cookies at 350 degrees in this oven. When the bell went off excuse me to take the cookies out, we realized we had forgotten oven mitts. So we looked in the oven at these gorgeous golden brown cookies going around in this Ferris wheel type oven. And we had no way to take them out of the oven. And we had there were people because we had promised free cookies. There were people out in the mall watching this through a window in the front of the oven. And basically the cookies went from golden brown to dark brown to catching on fire. The fire department was called out, and we almost literally had we had people on next door running out of the mall, their store in the mall, screaming. They thought the store was on the mall was on fire. The mall manager who had taken a big chance on us because we had no experience in the food, he could have broken our lease that day and we would have been responsible for all of that rent. You talk about a setback you have to overcome. Fortunately, he didn't break the lease and he gave us a second chance to get started. And the next day we wound up with great success. Of course, we had oven mitts, but there were oven mitt incidents to the 20 years we ran that company. We made plenty of mistakes. We learned from them, but we built a very, very strong company, which, by the way, this year is celebrating its 45th anniversary.

Brian Kelly:
Congratulations. I mean, if that doesn't talk about resilience and stick to itiveness, I don't know what does. Have you ever sold branded version of those oven mitts? That would be like probably.

Michael Coles:
But I can't tell you how many talks I've done and friends of mine that have given him to me for gifts over the years, I could probably do a whole wall of them, so.

Brian Kelly:
Yeah. That's awesome. Oh, my God. You were. You weren't kidding. This story. That's where the story starts to get good. Holy smokes. Yeah. So. And that's what I was reading in the foreword. And the beginning of your book was that all of these people that on the back of the people that had written about their experience of reading your book and they were all talking about how you had been through so much, and you've always come out on top and you're such a positive guy and energy guy and everybody loved. I mean, I get it. Well, I get why they do. Just in the short time I've known you, I understand. Now, why was that something that you had to develop know you're talking about you never did anything the same way that everybody else did. And then they all they all they all tagged you as a loser that you're not going to make it. You're not going to do good in school. You're not going to do good in anything. And then you just said you just kept going. I said, screw that. I'm going to actually crush it because you did things differently. So was that something you were born with or did you develop that over time? How did that come to be?

Michael Coles:
Well. I was very fortunate in my life. I had literally I've had four people step in and save my life, literally. The first one was a woman that jumped in a quarry after someone had jumped on top of me when I was five and I was struggling to get back up to the top of the water and she saw me struggling as a family friend. She jumped in and literally saved my life. So if it wasn't for Elaine Silverman, I wouldn't even be here today. So and the second person was a Mende. My first mentor was a guy named Irving Sattler, who hired me when I was 13 to work in the clothing business. And Irving probably taught me everything I ever needed to know about. Overcoming adversity. He was a bootstrap guy, came out, you know, poor guy, built a very successful business, took me under his wing, not just taught me business, but also taught me some social skills, which I didn't really have. And so but I think I always I had always been told my whole life that basically this is as far as I could go. And it has always given me an incentive to prove people wrong. Know, just show show them that I could do more than they thought. And I mean, I had that through my whole business career. But when I told you the one part of the cookie story we opened with this great success, we had people applying for franchises all over the country. We had shopping mall developers offering a space. But six weeks after we started the company, I was in a motorcycle accident, a near-fatal motorcycle accident that almost took my life. I wound up waking up in a hospital with two doctors standing over my bed, telling me that I was would I would probably never walk again. Normally, I would probably need some type of aid, either canes or crutches. And considering not waking up at all, I thought that's okay. But about nine months after my accident, I had an incident with my daughter Taryn, who was three years old at the time. She asked me to race her to the mailbox and we had a very steep driveway at our home.

Michael Coles:
And when I took off to run, this was like nine months after the accident. The pain was excruciating. And it was the first time since my accident that I realized that I was disabled. But it wasn't so much. And we managed to get up to the driveway. We walked up and, you know, I got back in the house. But it was the first time since my accent. As I said, I thought I realized I was disabled, but it wasn't so much disabled in my legs. It was disabled in my mind. It was the fact that at 33 years old, I can tell you learning how to walk again really hurts. And doctors had given me a safety zone basically to allow me to just give up and quit. And so I came back in the house and told my wife, Donna, that there was no way that I could spend the rest of my life like this, that I had to try to do something else to get better. And I began a self styled rehabilitation program that eventually took me from a stationary bike to a regular bike. And at the same time, we built the company to its national success to this $100 Billion revenue business, hundreds of stores nationwide. I not only learned to walk again, but c set three world records riding across the United States on a bicycle from Savannah to San Diego three times broke my record after setting a record in 82, broke my record at 84 by over four days, and then joined the four man team to do the race across America from your neck of the woods, which went from LA to New York. We crossed the country in five days, one hour, 8 minutes. We beat four other teams. It's the fastest crossing of America ever on a bicycle by a four man team. It's the fastest 3000 miles ever covered under human power. And both of those records still stand. So the moral of that story to tell you is this. Is that what I thought I knew about overcoming obstacles and adversity? I can tell you the greatest lessons I ever learned were during those races across the country, because you have to dig so deep, you find strength in yourself that you didn't even know you had.

Michael Coles:
And I knew in 84, after I broke my record that I would never look at anything, anything ever again, the same way that nothing could ever have been as hard as what I had just gone through, and that I would take on any challenge that I had to, and I would figure out the course to make it right and be successful at it.

Brian Kelly:
Wow. Wow. I mean, in five days, I don't know many people that could do that in a car.

Michael Coles:
Well, there were four of us, so. Yeah, we got 600 miles a day on a bike.

Brian Kelly:
My gosh. And I love that part. In in your book, a guy was telling the story about riding a bike and you became lifelong friends afterward. But he didn't know you at that time. And he said this blur, they were writing like they write all the time and they were going fast. And this blur came by them and it just blurred, looked like it had two bicycle tires underneath it. And it was you in your. Was it reclined.

Michael Coles:
Vehicle? Hpv. Yeah. Yeah. That was Jim. That was Jim Cox Kennedy who wrote the foreword to my book. That's how. And former former chairman and CEO of Cox Communications. I love.

Brian Kelly:
It. We've talked about it enough. We've teased about it enough. Let's let's let people know what.

Michael Coles:
Should we do with twins?

Brian Kelly:
Stereo yes. Time to get tough TGT. I love that acronym and it's a it's a page turner and I'd love for you to give a quick synopsis of the book and then also what you're doing with the proceeds to this book that that's one that really touches me.

Michael Coles:
Well, as I said, I mean, I didn't write this book to boast about my career. I did it to try to hopefully get people to step out of their safe space and try to do more than they think they can. I also will tell you, when the book came out in the fall of 18 and I was on a book tour all of 19, and then the pandemic hit, and I never imagined how this book could affect people during a time like that. I got emails from people from literally all over the world who somehow found my book and talked about how it helped them get through the pandemic. It it was absolutely an amazing, amazing thing. So the book took me it took me 25 years to get around to writing it. All of the royalties from the book, all the honorarium I receive going to a scholarship fund at Kennesaw State University here in Georgia to help veterans finish their education, because the GI Bill, a lot of people don't realize it's changed so dramatically over the years, but it literally went from the time you start your education, there's a sunset on it and a lot of veterans wind up just not having the money to be able to finish their education. This scholarship kicks in to allow them to have the resources to finish their education. And so it's it's it's been wonderful. My wife and I put $1,000,000 into this into the to fund it initially. And then I've had friends and again that are all that have made contributions to it. It's it's been remarkable. And it's really helping a lot of veterans finish their education and go on and be able to have a good life.

Brian Kelly:
God bless you. And I said that to you before we got started here, before we went live. I have such a wonderful respect, deep respect for any and all veterans. And I don't care what their role was. Once they've enlisted or were drafted, they're putting themselves in potential harm's way. They can take you out of a job and put you anywhere they want. And so I have nothing but respect for our military in all every every branch conceivable.

Michael Coles:
Well, let me just add one thing to this, especially for the people that are out there listening. Just don't get confused when they talk about increasing the military budget, the thinking that they're increasing veterans benefits. Politicians love to talk about how they love their veterans. But every year since the Korean War, veterans benefits have been cut. And you know, there are all kinds of organizations out there that go to to actually pick up the slack from what the government has not done. And this is my little way of trying to help.

Brian Kelly:
And that's the beautiful thing. Yeah. I've seen quite a few out there that are doing it on their own. And these are, you know, it's people like you. There's a special place in heaven for you because of. The fact I mean, you're not even a veteran yourself, and that's another telling part about you and who you are and what makes you up, you and your wife. So God bless both of you. Thank you for.

Michael Coles:
Thank you.

Brian Kelly:
Thank you for doing this. Yeah, you're very welcome.

Michael Coles:
So if you buy the book, just know you're helping a veteran. And if you love the book, do a review on it for you on Amazon because it helps sell books. If you don't like the book, don't do any. Don't do that.

Brian Kelly:
I cannot imagine if I cannot imagine one person not liking the book so far.

Michael Coles:
Either way, the book is just what the book is really full of are things that went wrong and how we learned from it and how we were able to make sure we didn't do that again. And and so that's that's what I think. And my story is very relatable. You know, I've been very fortunate. I've had success, but it's not like a huge success, like a Steve Jobs or we were talking about Elon Musk where people could read books like that and be inspired by them, but not really be able to say, Well, gee, I think I could do that, although there are people I'm sure that do. But I wrote this book for people who are thinking about maybe just starting a small one store operation or an online business and just have not been able to get the courage to take that first step. And, you know, the cookie company story is kind of like a lemonade stand. And a lot of ways it's easy to understand the business know, I went from that to the coffee business with Caribou Coffee and there's again, it's just full of things that did not go the way you would have anticipated. And I will just say this for most people that are sitting out there, don't think that success is some straight line. It is. It is got more curves and winding roads in it than you can ever imagine. And I'm not saying that there are people that don't just hit a homerun right off the bat. It does happen. But for most people like me, bankruptcy, success and failure run hand in hand on a highway. I mean, it doesn't take much. It doesn't take much to fail. It takes a lot to be successful.

Brian Kelly:
And I think that's one of the in a sick way that's one of the things I love most about it is that it it does take it takes a lot. You have to really have thick skin. You have to have a really strong reason why for what you do. You would crawl over broken glass for miles, almost like Michael did in his life and all these things he's been through to reach the price. And then then when you reach the prize, Michael, what's the next thought in your mind? Is it like, oh, I made it. I can just rest and I'm done with all this this crazy stuff or.

Michael Coles:
Well, the hardest thing on your laurels is resting on them. Because one thing that Irving taught me, I remember this like it was yesterday. We had the busiest Saturday. I was 14 years old. We had the busiest Saturday in the store's history. And I went to Irving afterward and I said to him, You know, I wanted to build a bigger I want us to have a bigger store. He always said, you know, it's better to have a small, busy store than a big empty store. But he said to me, I said to them that they said, Irving, we had the best day we've ever had here. I said, These these people love us. We own them. I remember the words, we own them. And he looked at me and he said, Kid, let me tell you something. There's 50 people standing in the wings trying to take this business away from us. We do not own anyone. We have to keep doing what we do every day better to keep those people coming back. And that has stuck with me my entire career. No one owns their customers. They don't. Some people have contractual businesses, but contracts can be broken. But most of us are in business where people don't sign contracts. Most of us in business where we have to hope people are going to come back through the door and they make that choice every day. And when I went to Karibu, it was more it was more of a obstacle in getting the mindset of the people that were there, to get them to understand that this less than 200 store company could compete against Starbucks at the time that it's 7800 stores to get them to realize that we could be different, we could be more nimble, we could offer an experience that was better than Starbucks could do and that we could be successful in our own way.

Brian Kelly:
Oh, my goodness. Such incredible words of wisdom. I hope everyone's getting writer's cramp right now. Truly. And they should. A quick couple of comments that came in earlier. Jeff Fricke said bringing the energy says, I love what I. And then he corrected it do. And my friend Linda Bachman. How are you doing? She said this some time ago. Cannot wait to meet this man and hear about the book. So now you're meeting him and you're probably going like I did and saying, wow, this guy is amazing and I can't wait to hear more. That's the way. That's what I'm saying to myself. I'm sure Linda is saying the same. So thank you all for coming on. Thanks for the comments. Keep them coming if you have questions for Michael. By all means, get them to us quickly because my God, Michael, how is this possible? We're only 20 minutes away from closing the show already. This is unbelievable. That's a good that's a great sign in my in my book. Okay. I want to get to a direct like more of a business question. You just kind of hit on it. But now, you know, you always have to be, you know, hustling, working. You don't own your customers. Well, how, in fact, do you you personally build a successful customer base? What does that take? What kind of effort, what kind of iteration, whatever it is.

Michael Coles:
Well, you know, listen, I grew up as a retailer, so I think I had a big advantage over a lot of other people that go into all kinds of businesses. I mean, and I was fortunate in where I started out as a retailer and then eventually became a manufacturer. And so I kind of learned all different aspects of the business, which helped me as I went into the cookie business, because basically it still was a retail, it was still manufacturing, but. I think you've got to understand that you're treating customers. You know, I had this actually a comment about this that was back in my days in the clothing business. I was in Detroit. I was salesman on the road. I was doing really well. And I was meeting with the customer and I was selling big department stores and big men's men's wear chains. And the orders I was getting, like for a single item, I would be getting like ten dozen units, I'd be getting five dozen units. And I went to see this guy who had a very, very successful business and we got ready to write up the order. He wrote down. He wrote down the first item. He worked like eight pieces, eight, not 8008. And I looked at him and I said, eight. I said, I sold this stuff in dozens. And he looked at me and said, Yes, you sell them in dozens. I sell them one at a time. And what it made me realize was that the bigger people I was selling, it was the same whether they were writing ten dozen. It was just as important to keep them as customers as it was for this guy to buy eight pieces because he was giving me a chance to build my business with them. And what I basically learned was I had to treat them both the same, or I or I didn't deserve either one of their businesses. And so when I started my own business, especially in the cookie business, my my whole objective in the cookie business was not to build a chain of hundreds of stores. It was to build every store as if it was the only store we had and do our very best to make sure that every customer was treated 100% in the best possible way we could.

Michael Coles:
Did we do it every time? Of course not. But if you don't set that site high enough, you're going to just you falter. You won't keep those customers. They don't have to come back. There's no contract. And so especially as the cookie business became more and more competitive, we had to up our game. We had to keep doing better and finding other ways to keep our customer base. So when I went to Karibu, you know, I'm I'm going against a company that's basically ubiquitous. I'm going in Starbucks. You know, they don't have it. They probably they started out with better product. But, you know, they were so big at that point. They were just like churning out coffee. Paribas product was so much better. What we had to do is get our people to give the same kind of service to the quality of the product. And so we put in a whole new service platform and we were able to go up against a company like Starbucks and be successful.

Brian Kelly:
What a great lesson for me and everyone else watching, listening, and that is to treat all your customers the same. And that is also treat them at a very high level, like really, really treat them like kings and queens as much as you possibly can.

Michael Coles:
Absolutely.

Brian Kelly:
That's the thing. You just made me think of so many things, Michael, because that one that was buying eight pieces, he could very well be that one person that is very well connected to major corporations that will bring in massive orders and say, these know how to treat people the right way. You never know who's watching. That's the other thing. Yeah. So always, you know, always put your best foot forward. Always treat people with the utmost respect, love, kindness, and go go above and beyond what you normally would or what other companies normally would to satisfy their needs.

Michael Coles:
And don't and don't burn bridges even when things are not going right between a colleague or or a customer or whatever it may be. Just don't burn the bridge. You never know what's going to be on the other side of that bridge where that person's going to go, just like you said. And I'll tell you one quick story. I had a young guy from Detroit that was a really nice, good guy. He was not a guy that was going to be a huge customer of mine. But that guy went on to become the first leader of the gap. And, you know, I wound up doing business with them later from from the company that I was with. It was it's just amazing because you just never know where people are going to wind up, especially talented people.

Brian Kelly:
Yeah. And that's so true. You know, I've read and seen so many stories of incredible, amazing people that like professional sports figures in some cases where they would treat the janitorial staff just as wonderful as they would coaches and assistants. And because, you know, let's face it, no matter what your vocation is or your level of education or how much money is in your wallet, you're still a human being and you deserve to be treated with respect. My humble opinion, I can tell that's yours. Mike Oh, my gosh. I can see. My God, there you are. One amazing person. I keep saying it told you about 20 times before we came on the show, but it's so brutally obvious now. I want a really just I implore of everyone watching it and those of you that listen on podcast after the fact, after this live show is really take to heart what Michael has been talking about. He's giving you the literal secrets to success and you're probably going, Yeah, but that didn't tell me how to market. It didn't tell me to sell. That comes as a result of the way you treat people and the way you develop relationships of the way you go about your business and hold yourself behind closed doors as well as up on stage. And so Michael is the perfect example of someone to model to follow his lead. And you will see, look, it takes time, it takes effort, nothing. It didn't happen instantly for Michael. It doesn't happen instantly for me. It can for some, like Michael astutely said. But the odds are it's going to take some time. So during that time, why not treat people wonderfully? Because what will happen is the rewards will be at the end or throughout the journey. Actually, it's the you said that in your book, I think something about the journey. It wasn't about reaching the what was it? Do you remember? Oh, gosh, I'm putting you on the spot to remember like one sentence out of 500,000.

Michael Coles:
Well, I mean, it's it's it's not something that I've created, but it's the idea that success is a journey. It's not there's not a stopping point. I mean, it's like you've got to enjoy the whole thing, whatever that is, and that there's going to be great days. There are going to be days, days that are not so great. And the higher up you are in a company, like if you're the CEO and you have this vision for where you want to go. People. You're not getting phone calls from people telling how wonderful.

Brian Kelly:
You are or.

Michael Coles:
How wonderful your business is. Every person that comes in to me, you is coming to me because they've got a problem. They get solved phone calls or maybe a disgruntled, disgruntled customer. You know, I'm not I don't I didn't get the people on the line that said, oh, my God, we just had the most wonderful birthday with one of your cookie cakes. It was fantastic. It was they spelled my daughter's name wrong, you know? I mean, you know, and that's what you have to understand. That's those are the things and especially today with social media, you've really got to be on top of your game because. You know, people can ruin your business if they want. And not deliberately, but just because they've had a bad experience. I can just tell you this. In my role as CEO of the Cookie Company, CEO of Caribou Coffee, I have people, customers and especially people on the front line of the stores had a direct line to my office. If they could not get something resolved before with their regional manager or the district manager, they could call me. I'd make sure it got resolved. And the same thing with customers if they weren't satisfied. Our customer service people, their last line in talking to someone, Have I taken care of you? If not, let me give you the direct line to our CEO.

Brian Kelly:
Wow. Wow. Who does that?

Michael Coles:
Well, plenty of people do it. And I'll tell you who does it. The best is Amazon. When you buy from Amazon, their their customer service is unbelievable. And their ability to sell you up, which is the big thing in retail, is how many things have you bought from Amazon? If anyone's out there and within 5 minutes before you're ready to check out, they're telling other things you might consider. You know, you buy stuff you never even thought about buying before. That's the upselling part. But also, if you're dissatisfied with something and they just make it so easy to return it and you know, that that's just that was just lost, that a lot of face to face retail when you think about it. I mean, big department stores thought that the way to success was to compete with discount stores and they lost all that energy that they had in building a customer base and knowing those customers that just it's gone except a company like Nordstrom's that's managed to hold on to that. And I can go on and on and on with this, but we have limited time.

Brian Kelly:
Well, no, I actually I got approval from people watching. I was chatting with them and they said, can we go another hour? I said, Sure. Okay. I could definitely easily do that. Yeah, we're looking at 8 minutes out or so left. Yeah, so much wisdom. My God, it's just oozing. You said something that was really compelling I wanted to comment on, but it's not that important because I just want to hear more from you. Who would you say? So you've been you've met a lot of inspirational people. I mean, you've run for political office, correct? Right. As well. I mean, I can't think of much. You haven't done what? When all this through all this time you are meeting I'm certain amazing people along the way. And you probably have read or heard or seen footage from people who may no longer be with us physically on earth. But if you were to pick one person. Just the first name that comes to the top of your head. Who would you say? And you may have already said his name already would be your greatest inspiration.

Michael Coles:
Well, there's no doubt. I mean, it would probably be Irving, but someone that I really knew. But of the business people that are out there that I think that really began to really disrupt business, it would have to be job. And I say that. Because he understood what he was doing in a way that is so deep. And it's not just about inventing the iPod that took what was an MP3 player that was so clunky to try to download stuff. And it's not even so much even just the seamlessness of how the iPod and of course now the iPhone does all of that. But it was so easy to download. You weren't pirating music. You were legitimately getting it. It was it was so simple that I remember when I first got an iPod and threw away my MP three player that I thought I was doing it wrong because it was so easy. I didn't really believe it was on the player. But but why I say that is because I hope everybody remembers this. The packaging was so beautiful that sometimes you saved it. How many things did we ever buy before that where we thought about saving the packaging? He understood what people wanted all the way down to what it came in. And what I'm saying today is I think we've seen a lot of businesses disrupted and the ones that have been the most disruptive understand it all down to the smallest detail. And that's why I would say probably John's because I think he was so influential over so many different industries in the way he approached business and product.

Brian Kelly:
My God, profound. I don't know if anyone else has writer's cramp, but I'm running the show and I have it taking notes like a mad man. I love this. I so appreciate you for spending all this time, Michael. We're not done yet. And in fact, there is one last question I close every show out with, and it's it's profound. It's an amazing question. It kind of happened by accident. I asked it now and then during shows when I first started the show and I started actually paying attention to the answers going, wow, that's pretty interesting. And so I decided, let's just make that the end question because of its profound ness, if you will. But before we do that. I promised everyone who stuck with us live that they would get away to win a five night stay at a five star luxury resort, compliments of the big insider secrets. You see the logo above, Michael's left shoulder up on the right on the screen if you're watching this live or recorded video. So let's bring that up right now. And all you need to do is write down this URL. You do not want to go to it yet because we want to hear the answer that Michael has for us coming up. But the lines will be open, as they say, a while after the show is over. So don't worry about it. You can't miss. You just have to have seen this URL to be able to enter the win. So here it comes. It's coming on the screen right now and that is our WIP. I am forward slash vacation. One more time R.I.P. Dot I am bored slash vacation all lowercase so right after the show's over race on over to that URL, type it into your browser and enter to win. And I cannot wait to be able to announce who that is. And I hope it's you. I'm talking to every one of you. Yeah. It would be awesome to be able to give this out to everybody. Maybe sometime I will. Maybe I'll just say everyone who's watching life can get it. All I have to do is enter. I'll do that. I'll have to do that. All right. So, Michael, this this question, I love it because here's the thing about it is there is no such thing as a wrong answer. It doesn't exist. It's impossible. In fact, it's because the exact opposite is the case. Is that the only correct answer is yours. That's what makes it unique.

Michael Coles:
Yeah, I wish I had that in school.

Brian Kelly:
Don't we all, brother? Yes. And some guests that come on the show that I've interviewed, some will take a get it instantly. They'll have it on. They'll just say, just shut up. Let me answer the question already. And others take a few moments to ponder even that there's no incorrect way about going about it, because it's going to be your answer. So there's absolutely no pressure now that you're going, Holy moly, what the heck is this question going to be?

Michael Coles:
No, I'm sitting here thinking, bring it on.

Brian Kelly:
Oh, I love it. I love it. That is the mentality, ladies and gentleman right there, that that breeds success. If you've got nothing else from this show right now, did you hear his reaction? Bring it on. Like no challenge is too big for him after suffering through those bicycle rides. Cross country, he's got it down now. All right. So with that, I don't even have to ask you then if you're ready, because you basically said you are. So here we go. Michael Coles. How do you define success?

Michael Coles:
Wow. That did. That is a surprising question. I guess I would say this. I hate the word success because it it sounds like a stopping point. I know I'm more successful today than I used to be. I know that when I go to hotels, I don't take the little bars of soap anymore, but I do grab all the shampoos I can get my hand on. So I guess I am somewhat more successful. But I think it's embracing the journey. And I know that when I first started out in my career, I bought an insurance policy, a life insurance policy from a young guy. And I was doing okay. I was not doing great. And he said to me, What's your five year plan? And I said, I mean, it was such an odd question back then for me to think about. I said, I don't have a five year plan. I'm trying to figure out how to put gas in my car to go on the road and sell my merchandise. And, you know, maybe someday I'll be able to buy a nicer buy a house. I haven't bought a house yet. I think that for me, determining your success is is just constantly challenging yourself and whether you get to the goals or not specifically, you're going to be at least on that journey and that excitement of challenging yourself. And I think that the challenge itself is the success of stepping outside of what feels comfortable and safe and taking chances. And, you know, there used to be a thing back when I first started in my career, there used to be this thing about having a positive attitude. And I think having a positive attitude is really important. But if you don't get out of the house or if you don't do something, that positive attitude is not going to do your damn bit of good. I mean, you've got to get out there and get into the fight and feel strong about what you do. And I'm going to relate this to fitness a little bit. I think that people overlook the importance of staying physically fit as they embark on their journey. And the reason I say that is because if you can do something, if you're a runner and you can go out and run five miles a day, you know that you've done something that the masses have not done, but whatever that might be, you've got to give yourself to something to reward yourself on a daily basis that can keep you going. Don't set these huge, huge goals for yourself that are not founded with smaller goals in between to keep you going, because every one of those is a success.

Brian Kelly:
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. So, Michael, that was amazing. I want to pull up your website real quick here and let folks know what is the best way to connect with you? Is it through your website that we have up? It's.

Michael Coles:
Yes, absolutely.

Brian Kelly:
So for everyone listening that can't see the screen, it's Michael Cole's dot com. So that's my chhelc0les and he's got some really cool you can see him behind the cookie counter. He's got some great video running of him biking, it looks like running for office. Yes, it's got it. Oh, my gosh. Look at that handsome guy. And look at this site. So this is where you also can come and get his a copy of his book. Again, the proceeds are going to help veterans. I cannot think of a better thing to do if and you're going to love the book, by the way, so you're going to get a reward for just purchasing the book. So go to Michael Coles, get the book, book them for your next engagement. Are you still doing keynote speaking and all that great stuff?

Michael Coles:
I am. I am. I actually have got several this summer, some keynotes that some very big business meetings that I'm doing. And I love it because again, the honorarium is go to help the scholarship fund so it's been great.

Brian Kelly:
This is awesome Michael Coles dot com Be sure to visit it and reach out to him connect to him. He has ways to do that on his website as well. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to you, Michael, for coming on here and spending this hour with not just myself, but everyone else who was graced by your presence and your knowledge, your wisdom, your your kindness, your everything. I mean, Jesus, like a bromance, isn't it? So. But I appreciate you.

Michael Coles:
Thank you very much. Honestly, I appreciate the opportunity to be here. An opportunity to talk to your audience as well.

Brian Kelly:
Yeah, it's the pleasure's all mine. And I appreciate you. And we're going to have to call this this little relationship off here that I've started soon before it gets too crazy. So I will close the show out. Thank you once again, Michael Coles. The amazing Michael Coles. Don't forget to pick up his book Time to Get Tough at his website at Michael Coles Dotcom. Michael, it's been an absolute joy and we're going to call it a night. So on behalf of the amazing Michael Coles, I am your host of The Mind Body Business Show, Brian Kelly. Until next time, hey, keep hustling and be blessed. So long, everybody. Take care for now.

Michael Coles:
Thank you.

Brian Kelly:
Thank you for tuning in to the Mind Body Business. Show podcast at www.TheMindBodyBusinessShow.com My name is Brian Kelly.

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Michael Coles

Michael Coles is a transformational leader, accomplished entrepreneur, education advocate and motivational speaker. He is living proof that there are no limits to what we as individuals can accomplish. He brings his story to life in his book Time To Get Tough How Cookies Coffee And A Crash Led to Success In Business and Life. All proceeds from his book and speaking honorariums go to a veterans scholarship fund.

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