Things I'd Teach Younger Mike KitkoMar 01, 2023
A few weeks ago, my wife Angie and I traveled to New Orleans so that I could speak at a Real Estate Mastermind. It was a full day with multiple speakers, and I enjoyed listening to the other speakers just as much as I enjoyed speaking. Every time I participate in one of these events, I learn so many new things. But usually there's one single line, lesson or concept that really touches me. This event was no different.
There was a Real Estate influencer named Pace Morby who was one of the keynote speakers. I never knew Pace before this event but I'm so glad I paid attention. He caused me to understand being a content-creator and an influencer in a whole new way. He said that he never produces content for his audience. He produces the content that he needed most when he was fresh into Real Estate, and that just happens to be what everyone else needs too. But he keeps his focus on teaching the younger Pace.
This was game-changing for me. It gave me a fresh perspective on what to teach because I tend to make things too complicated, sometimes trying to sound smart instead of being helpful and useful to my audience.
So here it goes.
On March 18th, 2016, I was terminated from my final corporate position ever (I'm not unemployable.) I was also 300 pounds, suicidal, and drinking at toxic levels. Since that day I've rebuilt my health, built a business, created new income streams and new levels of wealth, and rebuilt my relationships with my wife and children.
Here are the most valuable lessons that that Mike - Day 1 Mike - needed to hear most.
You are Not Broken and Don't Need to be Fixed
No matter where you are right now, there's nothing wrong with you. You might feel broken or like there's something wrong with you, but those are just damaging and painful stories from your past. You see, what's happening in our mind directs the flow of our life. And typically, when the stories in your mind are not empowering, supportive and encouraging, that just means that you experienced and were taught some painful things during your life - typically before you can remember.
Those stories in your mind are unconscious programs, and although you didn't create them, they are yours to recreate. That doesn't mean that you're broken. You've done the best you could with what you knew up to this point. But now it's time to wipe them all clean and create a fresh, empowered, supportive, loving, disciplined mind focused on what you want most - health, wealth, success, and love.
The old programs got you here, they're not going to get you to the next level. Let's go!
You Were Taught to Not Trust Yourself
You were told “no” by your parents ten thousand times before you were a teenager. They controlled your time, your resources, and influenced your future path in life. You felt obligated to them, and they taught you that you couldn't trust yourself. You heard "you ought to be ashamed of yourself" at least 1,000 times during your childhood, so you chose to feel shame and relinquish control of your life.
Your schooling required you to learn what you weren’t interested in, to sit still when your body wanted to move, and that you needed to be blindly obedient to authority figures without question. You needed permission to go to the bathroom and speak. Someone could extend your day as a punishment at their own discretion or give you additional work which would eliminate any play or social time you needed to be a child.
Religion and religious teachers taught you that you needed to look to an authority figure or a book for answers, and that your true nature or what was in your heart would lead you to eternal damnation. Authority figures knew God and you couldn’t unless you learned their impression of God who they learned from someone else. If you didn’t blindly follow the indoctrination, you would be cast into the firey pits of hell. But God loves you, unconditionally.
The message in all of these?
Don’t trust yourself.
That's ok. The past is the past. You are no longer under the spell of this conditioning or influences. We can let go of the past and create a more powerful future. Let's give up all hope of a better past, create an awesome now, and dream of a better future.
Choosing Yourself is Never Selfish
When you were a child and wanted or needed something, you were told you were being selfish. Bullshit. Asking for what you want and having your needs met is part of being a healthy human being. You had it right, and adults who felt selfish for having wants and needs taught you to feel like they felt. You had it right. They were wrong. All humans have wants and needs, and that's your responsibility in life - to have your wants and needs met. To pretend that you don't have wants and needs creates martyrdom and misery. That's a recipe for disaster.
They confused self-centeredness with selfishness. Let me explain.
Selfishness is trying to get what you want and need at the expense of others. It literally means putting others at risk or in danger to get what you want or need. When you wanted that toy, who were you hurting? But they called you selfish. When you were scared and wanted all of their attention, they said you were being selfish. When you were asked for money to go to the store with your friends and buy snacks with them, they labeled you selfish. But who were you trying to hurt? No one. You had wants and needs. You are human. You weren't being selfish. You were being self-centered. There's a big difference.
Self-centeredness is what we're all here to experience. You can't live your life for anyone else, and no one can live life for you. I live my life according to my compass and you live according to yours. Pretty simple really. There's no shortage of anything in this world, so wanting or needing anything doesn't put anyone in harm's way. If they choose themselves, they'll get what they want too. Of course, there's times when we'll need to prioritize the needs of others who can't help themselves, but as long as we're capable, allow them to choose their own wants and needs too.
Given this new reframe, now prioritize your own self-care too. Make sure your cup is full so that you can serve at the highest level.
Marriage is Not Hard
You saw your parents’ fight. Mostly they fought about money. Your dad told you that marriage is hard, and you believed him. So, you made it hard. You created an abusive, toxic marriage and home.
You were taught it was hard, but marriage is very simple.
You be you. She'll be herself. And if you two can't coexist in the same household while each of you creates their dreams and ambitions, then find someone who will coexist in a supportive, encouraging relationship. Marriage is hard only if it's with someone who wants you to be less of you for their benefit, and who you ask the same of for your benefit. You can't complete each other, you can't take away each other's fears, and you can't make the other feel loved the way they want to feel loved.
But you can be yourselves while holding safe space and protecting each other inside of the home. You can create a safe, protected and drama-free environment which creates a pocket of comfort and love in the world. You can be that for each other or share that with someone else. But understand that marriage is not hard unless we make it hard.
Serving Others Creates Fulfillment
I know, I know. Self-centeredness is the way to have your wants and needs met, but service creates fulfillment. It's a little confusing, right?
The easiest way to get what you want and need in this world is to help people solve problems they need solved. That doesn't mean you do it for free. Again, we're not martyrs. We're here to share our gifts and talents in the world, with the world, and when we do so, we'll benefit by getting more of what we want and need. Money is the currency used to purchase resources and materials in this world, and the more we solve problems for others in exchange for currency, the more we'll enjoy materially.
And here's the coolest part. You've always confused money and materials with fulfillment, but money and materials will not create fulfillment. Helping others in this world creates fulfillment. So, the more you help others, the more fulfillment you'll feel, and the more materially prosperous you'll become. How's that for win-win-win?
Remember when you just went to work to make money for yourself, and no matter how much you had you were never fulfilled? That's right. Money and materials are not the path to fulfillment, but making a difference in this world will fill you up and light your soul on fire!
Be so self-centered and driven to be fulfilled that you make a real difference in the world instead of just focused on your own bank account. Then you'll see why so many people are miserable.
Making Money is Easy
You saw your father go to work for decades, come home tired and sometimes dirty, say that the only reason he went to work was to feed the family, and then he counted down days to retirement. You were given a lousy example to follow for how to make money and create wealth in this world.
It's not a surprise that you began to travel that same path. Totally makes sense since it's all you thought available to you.
Here's the real deal. Money is not hard to make. Solve problems for people that they want solved - for money - and they'll happily hand you the money you want and need. It's mind-blowing. Even cooler, find a problem you love to solve for people, and since you enjoy solving that problem it will never feel like work.
You know that phrase work hard? When you do what you love for work, work will never be hard. This is not cliche. You've heard this before and didn't believe it to be possible, but it most certainly is! Find what you love that solved problems for people who want those problems solved for money and go all-in! You'll feel like you'll never work again.
There's Plenty to Go Around
Listen closely. There's plenty for everyone. If everyone really wanted to become wealthy at the same time, we could. We live in an abundant universe. There's no real lack or scarcity.
Create wealth for yourself and allow others to choose to do the same.
Stop feeling shameful for asking for a transaction for your talents and solutions. In fact, stop asking what they'll pay and start asking for what you want. They can make more. Anyone can. Whether they're willing, that's another story. Stop fearing poverty, bankruptcy, failure, collapse, and solve problems for people while increasing your prices to create margin in your life. You deserve it. Remember, there's nothing wrong with you and you don't need to be fixed.
The water you need falls from the sky and the food you need grows out of the ground. The air you need to breathe is all around you. Focus on abundance and you'll see that there's always been enough for everyone, and the only reason they don't have what they need is because they're focused on lack and scarcity.
You Are Not Here to Please Anyone Else or Seek Approval
Just be you. It's safe to be you. You have wants and needs just like everyone else, you have gifts and talents just like everyone else, you have things you're not proud of just like everyone else, you have worries, doubts and fears just like everyone else, you have a past just like everyone else, and you're perfectly imperfect just like everyone else. Stop worrying about them and let them please and approve of themselves. You do the same.
You don't need permission to be you. You don't need to please anyone else. And stop trying to gain the approval of other people who don't approve of themselves. Focus on you and your destiny. Trust me, the right people will come with you, and the right people will drop off. In both cases, you win.
Putting it All Together
This is what I would share with Day 1 Mike. I can honestly say that these aren't all hopes and dreams, but conditions I've created in my life. My life has improved drastically, and I hope yours will too after reading this. I've shifted my focus from just filling up my bank account and buying new cars to making a difference in the world.
Because at the end of the day, I want peace, harmony, and fulfillment more than everything else in this world.
Want to be surrounded by driven entrepreneurs just like you, who are all creating time freedom, financial freedom, and the freedom from worry, fear and doubt?
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You become who you surround yourself with. When you around wealth, you'll become wealthy. When you are around health, you'll become healthy. When you are around success, you'll become successful. Tribe matters.
If you want more from life, we're the tribe for you.