FRANK MCKINNEY: Well I’m excited to finish what we started what was it, a few months ago. I’m talking to you today from my tree house office which is where I came to you and your listeners and your readers from last time overlooking the Atlantic ocean here in South Florida. It’s really, literally, I am talking to you from a tree house. It’s 22 feet above sea level and it overlooks the Atlantic. It’s where I wrote all five of my books and where I design my houses from. So I’m happy to come to you again from here today.
JAIME TARDY: That’s excellent. Do you have photos of that too because I really want to see what it looks like. You talk about it. It sounds amazing.
FM: Yeah, you can go to our website and you can click on about Frank McKinney and some of the other links and see what it looks like from my point of view.
JT: Oh really? Maybe I’ll post that on mine too because I couldn’t find it before when I was looking. Excellent. I’ll definitely get that so everybody else can see too. So, first off, I want to say you already know this but you amaze me. I just ran a 5k this weekend and I’m actually still sore from it so I can only fathom what you must go through physically to compete. So how did you decide to sign up for the Bad Water in the first place?
FM: Well, a little background, the Bad Water ultra marathon, as you mentioned, according to the National Geographic is the toughest foot race in the world because it starts at the lowest point in the western hemisphere 282 feet below sea level at a place called Bad Water in the Death Valley desert. It is run on blacktop pavement and it is a continuous nonstop 135 mile race where there are no aide stations so I have to bring my own crew with me. So when that start gun goes off at 6:00 a.m. on July 11 this year, I will run continuously until I hopefully cross the finish line for the sixth time.
So it is an invitation only race. This year, you’ll find this very interesting and I think it’s fascinating that there are only 90 invitees. Of those 90 invitees, there’s 19 countries represented at that start line this year which is really going to be obviously an international field. It will be fun to get to know some of the new runners. So the short story is I was vacationing out in Death Valley in 2004. Listen, I feel most alive when I experience extremes for the first time and I think everybody does.
Really, regardless of what your definition of extreme is, we do feel and kind of squeeze the most out of life when we are experiencing those extremes either relationally, financially, emotionally perhaps and even physically. So I booked a vacation out in the Death Valley desert in 2004 in July just because it was the hottest place on the planet and it was the hottest time of the year for it to be the hottest place on the planet.
JT: Not most people’s idea of a vacation. That’s awesome.
FM: No, it was kind of a road trip and the Death Valley desert is also our country’s largest national park so there’s very limited, there’s actually two hotels inside the part system of over 6,000 square miles. So we stayed in this little hotel and I went out for this casual run, remember, back then, I wasn’t even a marathoner. I had never finished a marathon in my life let alone an ultra marathon.
So I went out for this casual 6-mile run just carrying about a 10 ounce bottle of water, tiny little bottle of water. I was intoxicated by the heat. I just couldn’t fathom how hot it was and that people actually come out here to either vacation and just enjoy what is a beautiful scenery. The Death Valley desert is a beautiful place to visit. So I’m running. I barely finish my 6mile run. Matter of fact, my wife had to revive me with cold towels and like cold water because I had come very close to heat exhaustion.
As I decided to further my revival process, I went to the general store, picked up some Gatorade and bananas and as I was checking out, I was flush. My face was red and I was obviously very overheated and the clerk behind the counter began to just berate me with this language that said something to the effect, “Hey, young man you better get back out there, you’re not going to make the cutoff. The rest of the runners passed you hours ago. You’re in last place. You better hurry up.”
So I’m thinking, I knew I was a little bit dehydrated and I was a little delirious from the heat and I was wondering why is this old, he looked like an old prospector like an old 49er, like an old miner, and here he was yelling at me to get back out there. I look at him and I said, “Well, you know, honestly sir, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m not in any kind of race. Yes I just ran a few miles but I’m just here to buy some Gatorade because I’m not used to the heat.” He said, “You mean you’re not in the Bad Water race?” I said, “Again, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve never even heard that word in my life.”
Well, long story short, he told me that there was a race going on at the time that I was vacationing that had already passed us about three hours before and that there were actually these people, these insane athletes, that actually ran this 135-mile race in 130 degree heat. So I went, I learned all I could. I actually bought a DVD, a documentary that was done on the race. I watched it. I became infatuated. I became obsessed. I hired a coach and a year to the day after that fateful six-mile run, I had already submitted my application for an invitation and by the grace of God, I was invited in 2005 to participate in my first of what would be six, now six soon, Bad Water ultra marathons.
JT: Geez! So you hadn’t even competed in a marathon before you decided to compete in an ultra marathon. That’s crazy.
FM: Well I think the lesson though, Bad Water, for those of you who are listening or reading, I think the important takeaway is I’d like, we made a really interesting DVD called the Power of Plan from my Bad Water experiences and I’d like for you to think yes it’s entertaining and it’s kind of interesting that people run this race but everyone listening or reading has their own life’s Bad Water or Bad Waters. Let me define what that is.
It is a seemingly insurmountable, incomprehensible impossible undertaking that lays itself on your heart, lays itself on that side of opportunity and we have a choice to make. We are confounded by the thought of whatever that insurmountable challenge may be and so let’s use Bad Water as the metaphor. For me, to think that there were people that actually could survive that kind of experience in those kind of conditions completely baffled me. But yet there were people, that race has been run since 1987. There’s people that have done it.
I am so thankful that I came across something that seemed to be, because I’m not an ultra marathoner or I wasn’t an ultra marathoner when I stumbled across this and I made a choice. I made a choice to do the best I could to hire a coach, to have the right nutrition plan, to become, before we can succeed, before there’s success there has to be obsession. And that’s not a bad thing. You hear OCD, an obsessive compulsive disorder. In some cases, obsession to succeed in life is a must.
So I became very obsessed with that concept of that race but the metaphor that I drew from it, meaning there are other things in my life and in your life that you’re going to be challenged by at work, by your health, by your relationships that seem insurmountable, incomprehensible and impossible and what are you going to do? Listen, there’s no medical research out there that says anything about participating in Bad Water is healthy.
I am far more unhealthy at that finish line than I am at the start line. So if I were to look for reasons to say no to that insurmountable challenge, I could have found on day one, in hour one, just on Google. But it was an important thing that laid itself on my heart and it has taught me now as I think about other maybe challenges with my business or with our charity or with the books that I write, if it seems insurmountable, well, I use that Bad Water race as the metaphor and I believe I can overcome that. That’s what I think I want our readers to kind of focus on today with this Bad Water story.
JT: And what came up for me is do you recognize that? When you heard about the Bad Water did you go oh these people are crazy and then only later it turned into obsession about doing it or do you recognize and you were like oh gosh I need to do that because that seems impossible?
FM: I think when, no, I’m a studier. I had to learn all I could about this idea of running that far in those kind of conditions and it’s that yin and yang, that constant pull where it says, “Hey Frank, you ought to just leave this alone. I mean this is not for you. This is something that other people do.” Well isn’t that the story we hear about successes, many entrepreneurial successes? This is somebody else’s success to have, not mine. I’ve never gone down that path.
In business I always chose to pursue some of the difficult challenges and the creation of some of the magnificent oceanfront homes that we build are also very risky. So maybe that’s just an extension of my personality. But I studied and I did have a coach my first year, a woman. Matter of fact, a woman that will race at Bad Water this year for the tenth time. No woman has finished that race more than this woman who was my coach in 2005.
So I did surround, just like in business though, Jaime, right? You surround yourself with people who have been there before, who are successful, who can fill in the blanks where you are weak and my resume, as far as on my application to get into that race, was weaker than any other applicant’s. But what I have learned, now let’s fast forward and I hope I’m not jumping ahead of any questions that you might have but if you could fast forward during the race to let’s say Mile 92 and I’m laying flat on my back in the crew van shaking uncontrollably with the chills, yet it’s 120 degrees out, so the body says we’re ready to go into heat stroke and my eyes are almost rolling back in my head and I’m barely hanging on, what do you do?
What do you do when you’re faced with something like that in life? Do you quit? Here’s another great takeaway. When we’re confronted with those debilitating moments in life, using Bad Water as the metaphor and that Mile 92 situation as the metaphor, what do you do? Every cell in my body is screaming it’s fine for you to stop. You’re not feeling well. My wife is there trying to revive me. My crew is there. Or with faith, patience and the passage of time, might I revive? So I might remain flat on the ground for a half an hour until that debilitating moment or sensation passes.
Then I got a choice. I can choose to pack everything up and go back to the hotel and pack up my suitcase, maybe probably go to sleep and then in the morning when I go to shave, how can I face myself in the mirror? You quit. Or, maybe I’m still feeling terrible, I put my running shoes back on, my sunglasses and my hat and I just start shuffling toward the finish line. Not running, not necessarily even walking, just dragging my feet toward the finish line. Relentless forward motion. It doesn’t matter how fast I’m going as long as I am going in the right direction, faith paces you in the passage of time.
Faith patience in the passage of time. I will eventually recover. Now that was something I learned from that race and I use that in my daily life.
JT: Wow, but the thoughts that must have gone through your head at that moment of just sort of laying there and going, ugh, like I could quit. Is that what went through your head of realizing that tomorrow morning when you wake up you can’t look at yourself in the mirror and that’s what pushed you forward?
FM: First of all, every year there is a moment or moments that the thought of you must stop enters my mind. Just because I finished it five times doesn’t make it any easier. I don’t take anything for granted because the success rate, the finish rate in that race is around 70 percent. So, if 90 people are invited to participate in the race, only 63 are going to finish. So far, knock on wood, I’ve finished every year. That thought is there. Believe me, that thought will enter my mind and then I remember back, what’s going to be worse? The pain and the agony and the blisters are going to be temporary versus I would have to go through a whole year of questioning why did I pull myself off?
Then my coach the first year said put yourself, mentally imagine yourself looking in the mirror the next day. Are you going to be set? Now, listen, if my kneecap fell off or I got hit by a car out there or something that was just completely out of my control and people have withdrawn from that race for very good reason but most of the time they withdraw, it’s due to some kind of mental issue, not physical.
JT: Wow, that’s crazy. Let’s go back then because you had only a year to prep for this whole thing. What was that process like and how did you set the goals? How did you improve so much over one year?
FM: Well, first of all, the race is held but it’s over in 48 hours. One way or another I’m either one of those 63 people that finish or I am one of the 27 don’t but one way or another people think the race, the training is harder than the race because it goes on for four to five months. Like, for example, on Friday night, I went out to train sleep deprived. I worked all week, I worked on Friday. Friday at 9:00 p.m. I started running and I ran until 7:00 in the morning until the sun came up.
There’s moments where I’m like why am I doing? Everybody goes to sleep but I have other things I have to do. So when it comes to preparing the mind and the body for something like that, going back to our one, having that coach who sat me down, it was more of an internet relationship than a direct relationship, where she would send me a schedule of a workout schedule, a training schedule for the week and I adhered to it, everything single thing she told me to do I did. When it came to running and cross training and the proper diet and so I really converted myself.
I was a casual six mile every other day runner and I really found, not found a way, but I believed there was a way to convert myself from that casual one step from being a couch potato kind of person to being an ultra marathoner. Now after five, going on the sixth year, I’m an expert. I mean there are people that come to me for advice on how to run their first ultra marathon. Now an ultra marathon by definitely is any race longer than a marathon. So you can run a 50k which is 31 miles. That’s an ultra marathon.
JT: I didn’t even know that.
FM: Yep, a 100k is 60 miles or 62 miles. That’s an ultra marathon. So anything longer than a marathon is considered an ultra and so a lot of people are graduating from the traditional 26.2 miles to say a 50k which is 31 miles and then they move up from there.
JT: But you didn’t do that, which is so funny.
FM: Well, no I guess I didn’t but during the training, from the time that I decided to hire the coach and begin training, it was September. Now mind you I had to have a resume that included, at the time, the requirement was one 100-mile race finished. It had to be on your resume. That was the minimum. Now a lot of these ultra marathoners, you know, they do these ultra marathons every other weekend so they have plenty. Their resume is stacked where mine was, my coach got me ready to run a 100-mile race in six weeks.
It’s funny. I did it. I finished in under 24 hours. It was the only really thing on my resume. Now I can write, I mean I’ve written five books so when you write an application to get into Bad Water it is like writing a dissertation to get into Yale or Harvard. It’s an essay process. There’s a five person application committee that reads the applications, rates them based upon their strength. So I knew I could write a mean application. I just wasn’t sure there was going to be a whole lot of meat in the application.
JT: That’s awesome. It’s funny because I was asking people questions about what I should ask you and that was one of the questions because I heard that you said there were 2,000 people that apply to Bad Water. What made them pick you for that very first time?
FM: Here are the things. Again, I take, still to this day, I take the application process very, very seriously. Jaime, I parched every word. I wrote that application, rewrote it. I sat on it for weeks so I knew that I wrote a strong application. I was very truthful in saying I know that my resume is weaker than anybody else’s probably in the field. I was touting the fact that I had this coach who was well respected by the race director and I said, “Look, you want to expand your base of runners, you need to invite new people and I’d like to be considered one and I humbly respectfully request your consideration” and when I got that invitation via email, I was ecstatic.
JT: You just saying that even gave me chills, which is crazy. So how did you fit in the time? I mean prepping for 100 miles in six weeks and you’re a busy guy. I mean I’m assuming you’re a busy guy, you run a very large company. So how did you fit in midnight runs? How do you fit that in?
FM: You just said it – midnight run. I would have to fit it in time when I wasn’t taking my daughter to school or I wasn’t working on the houses that we were building. I did carve out, I was fortunate enough, at the time, I remember we had sold a good portion of our inventory in a short period of time and I did have the luxury of time to cram in a whole bunch of training in a short period of time. But now, every year, I start training about four and half months out. I keep a really good base during the year so I don’t have to start from scratch.
It still is very consuming. It’s somewhat unfair to the family. My daughter’s birthday falls right on the race every year so she thinks she’s kind of getting ripped off for her birthday every year because literally it will be during the race, she usually comes out and sees me which is a great lift. It’s somewhere around Mile 100. There are sacrifices and I’ll tell you, just like anything else in life, if I felt like it was affecting my family life or even my health, I go and I get my hips x-rayed.
I get my knees x-rayed to make sure my cartilage is still good because I put in thousands of miles a year and as long as those things check out, I say there will come a day when we in life will not be able to undertake certain insurmountable challenges. It’s just inevitable whenever it may be. It may be in business. It doesn’t have to be physical. So while I still can and while we still can undertake something that’s quite challenging, why not go ahead and do it?
JT: Yeah, that’s excellent. So did you set smaller goals as you were going or how did you set up this goal setting process? I know you have sort of a process in general on how you work. What works for you?
FM: Here’s the great goal setting process that I’d like you and your readers to take away. If I were to ask you and you just said you did a 5k so, if I were to ask you and everybody reading this and again this is reading not listening, right?
JT: Both actually.
FM: Reading or listening. So if I were to ask everybody reading or listening to this, do you think that you could run 135 miles through the desert in a race?
JT: And if I’m going to answer it’s going to be no.
FM: And please, if you told me anything else other than no I know you’d be lying because that was my answer too. But think about, watch, just feel the sensation in your mind when I ask the question this way. Tell me how you feel about this. Okay, so no, you can’t run 135 miles through the desert. That’s a correct answer. Do you think you could run one mile, 135 times?
FM: Doesn’t that sound like maybe, possibly you could get your arms around that?
FM: It doesn’t seem as hard. So, in my training, and especially in the race, the moment I start to think let’s say Mile 17 there’s a checkpoint, I start to think at Mile 17, if I allow my mind to wander and think there’s 118 miles to go, I can psyche myself out very quickly. I break that race down. There are five checkpoints – Mile 17, Mile 42, Mile 72, Mile 90, Mile 122 and then the finish line. I break that race down into five separate races so that when I get to each checkpoint that race is over. I might change my shoes, change my socks, lay down and get a mini little massage or something and then I get back out there and I take on another section of the race.
And then when I get to that next checkpoint, oh celebration! That race is over. So not only the training, which I do the same exact way, Jaime. I start out at maybe five miles on day one and then I’ll work myself up to somewhere around 75 miles in little bitty increments. Isn’t that a better way to approach something that’s incomprehensible in life? If you think about it as a whole, you will probably never pull the trigger on it. But if you could break it up into those one-mile segments, you will likely find it easier to digest.
JT: That’s great. It actually reminds me of a quote that you said in one of your books and this sort of hit home for me. It was “What would happen if you decided that you didn’t have to figure everything out?” I’m like because I only have to do one mile. I don’t have to do 135. I only have to do one or in anything and that’s huge.
FM: And when you’re going through the process, you can default back to those three words relentless forward motion. I’m not running the whole time. There’s plenty of times I’m walking, I’m crawling, I’m shuffling but you know what, I’m always moving forward and I’m always moving toward that finish line and that should be the way we approach big projects in our life. Most people just blow out of the start gate, getting so excited, they’re so passionate about some brand new undertaking or endeavor or business and they flame out because they went out too hard.
In ultra marathon there is a saying, “Start slow and slow down.” Start slow then slow down and I’ve learned that from the best. There are some of these hot shots that will take off, the start gun goes off and by Mile 40 there’s an ambulance coming by to pick them up off the side of the road because they just, yeah they’re two hours ahead of me but you know what, they burned out. They flamed out. It’s the same thing in business or a significant undertaking. So the discipline, you know, the other thing that’s kind of neat. Another stat in that race that’s neat is that women have a much higher success rate in terms of finishing then men do.
The reason is that women are, they’re much more patient. They don’t have the problems with ego and testosterone like men do and they have a much higher pain tolerance. So, if the average finish rate for men is around 65 percent, the average finish rate for women is 85 percent. Most of the time I prefer to have women on my crew because they’re also very good caregivers. They can tone me down when I need to. I listen to what they have to say because they tend to have their head on a little straighter.
JT: That’s excellent. So, it’s funny because you said relentless forward motion. Sometimes though in business or in life we don’t know what forward is. You can’t tell the difference if you’re going down the right path or if you’re not. How do you determine that in your business in life?
FM: That’s very simple. There’s the goal. There’s always the goal at the end so in the race it’s the finish line. In business, I build big houses on the ocean. It’s finishing that house and selling it. So, as long as I’m moving toward that, whatever means I’m using toward that end, then I know I’m moving forward. It might be at a snails pace, Jaime. It might be at a snails pace. When I build a big house, it takes me 18 months to build it, 6 months to plan it. Let’s reverse that, 6 months to design it and plan it then 18 months to build it. That’s 24 months before I could even put a for sale sign in the ground and sometimes it will take me a year to sell it.
That’s three years. So I have to be patient but I know I’m always, it’s like when I, the five books that I’ve written. The first thing that I do is I always arrive at and become comfortable with the title. So if it’s my new book The Tap or Burst This, then every word I write I’m writing to satisfy the promise made in the title. So, in business, when people are thinking I don’t know if I am going forward or backwards, the only reason you would say that is that you haven’t identified the goal. Once the goal has been established, then you will be able to determine, without a doubt, if you are moving forward or backwards.
JT: That’s a really good point. I think the hard thing is like with clients that I work with, they want to change up the goal. So once they start on their mission, you know, we’ll work on a goal for a long period of time and, of course, in order for them to change the goal they have to really tell me why and explain it to me, but people always want to jump to something else. Like they start towards a path and then go well I’m not sure about this. I think I’d like this better. Do you have any advice on that?
FM: Yeah, sure, absolutely I do. Listen, there is a great, I’m sure you are familiar with this author – Malcolm Gladwell. He wrote The Tipping Point and he wrote another great book called Blink and in Blink, he references that to be an expert in anything in life you must put in 10,000 hours, 10,000 hours and if you do the math, at a 40-hour work week, right, that’s five years of time to apply to become an expert at anything. So that shouldn’t be intimidating to you. If you want to be the expert at whatever it is that you do, keep that 10,000 hour reference in the back of your mind.
So if you want to do it full time, you’ll get there in five years. Now I’m not talking about being just average, you can be average and spend less time but, if you want to be an expert at what you do, 10,000 hours is a good barometer. I believe that. I truly do. So the problem comes in with the clients that you refer to is you’re a younger person and I’m all about new technology but in the information society that we live in, how the ease with which we can gather information in today’s digital society, we have a tendency to what I say we over Google or we over spreadsheet our lives.
JT: I like that.
FM: But what we’re really psychologically, if you peel away the layers of that process, and you get to the root cause, why are we psychologically doing that? So one of your clients wants to start a new business and you help them define a goal and then they’re going to go and research it, the more research the more we spreadsheet the more we Google, we are subconsciously looking for a reason to say no to the endeavor and that gives us license to change direction and come back to Jaime and say, “You know what, I’m going to shift directions because the guy down the street is doing it this other way and I think his way is better.”
There’s no commitment. It’s six months here in the direction and you’re just starting to get ahead of steam and then you get a little bored with that and off they go. No, you must stick with your endeavor for longer than four months or six months and resist that temptation to use the spreadsheet or the Google to overanalyze and over kind of second guess and look for the reason to say no because you’ll find it. You will find it and then it’s kind of self validation. I knew there was a reason I should shift direction because it says so right here.
JT: Somebody else thought so too! Yeah, validation!
FM: Right, validation. And then they move on. So you have to first be cognizant of that and it’s going to creep in. Once you’re cognizant of it, you can avoid it.
JT: It’s funny because that also brings up what you were saying about obsession. Because once you can get in that mode where you are sort of obsessed with your goal and about completing your goal, that stuff, other crap, doesn’t come up and doesn’t happen where you don’t second guess as much because it’s all about accomplishing your goal.
FM: I don’t people to be, there’s a lot of people that are made fun of when they latch onto and grasp onto in an obsessive kind of way a goal but if you look back on some great American business success stories, at the root of all of them is the beginning. Obviously passion, of course, but then that passion leads way or gives way to a true obsession and I want people to see that as a good thing. There is sacrifice involved.
You got to be prepared to sacrifice but if you can get through that and don’t listen to what your friends or hey you’re so focused on this Frank, why do you go back to it for the sixth time? I mean there’s something wrong with you. I’m used to that. If you have to ask me why, then you’ll never get it. You’ll never understand why I choose to run in a race like that or choose to build the houses we build or write the books I build. I don’t let that deter me.
JT: Wow and that’s how come you can live a life of extreme success like your book says because you just move forward any way. Relentless forward motion. Excellent.
FM: That’s right.
JT: So, it’s funny because I was actually reading The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley the other day and it was saying that one of the top 20 traits millionaires rated as being most important to them was being physically fit and it’s funny because it sounds like you would probably agree with that. Why do you think that is?
FM: Well, let’s go into the science behind physical fitness and let’s forget about the extreme stuff, just basic physical fitness. The fact, there’s plenty of science out there to support the chemical changes that take place in the bind, forget the body, in the mind when one is exercising. The endorphins that are released, the amount of stress that can be released through exercise. We tend to gravitate towards exercise and away from alcohol and poor eating habits. So most of the mentors I have and people that I look up to do have some form of exercise regimen that allows, even when I’m not training for this race, I go out and I do run those six miles every other day.
I do it at 4:30 in the morning. I run right down the middle of our A1A, our Ocean Boulevard here in South Florida, and some of the greatest ideas and concepts when my mind was free from all the periphery comes to me. So aside that quiet time in which to come up with some great ideas and some new concepts, the chemical changes that take place in the mind and in the body are very conducive to allowing you to come up with those creative concepts and as a byproduct, I’m not even get into this part, you’re healthier. So that goes without saying. Most people exercise for healthy but business people exercise for an advantage.
JT: That’s awesome. It’s funny because when we first did our very first interview, you had talked about doing and I had read so much about the ultra marathon and I’m a ten minute mile kind of girl. I’m not really a runner and so I was like you know what, I’m going to make it a goal that at the end of this year I want to do a half marathon. So I did a 5k this weekend. I’m going to sign up for a 10k. It sucks. I’m not much of a runner. Do you have any advice for me about trying to get to that half marathon goal? Because after I did the 5k I was like hmm maybe I could just do a couple of these and just get really good a 5ks for a long time and then later do it, not necessarily have to do it this year. So what advice do you have for me?
FM: Very simple. I would say in order to be a good 10k runner, you should probably think more about being a 12 minute mile girl than a 10 minute mile girl. So you’ll ratchet it down. You could possibly even adopt what a lot of distance runners use which is run four, walk one a minute. Run four minutes, walk a minute, run eight minutes. I know my coach my first year, she had me on this 8/2 thing. Run eight, walk two. There was a marathon in Miami, a full marathon that I used as a training run where she had me enter the race as a training run and I did that 8/2 thing. I ran the marathon in 3 hours 43 minutes.
It’s amazing how little time you lose if you have a decent walking pace. So I would just say look, if you are thinking about you’re pounding your body for a 10k which is what, a little over six miles, with every single step being run, that’s mentally working on you. But if you knew you could walk for a minute every five minutes and you’re not going to lose much time at all, you’re going to recover in that minute and you’re going to go run for four more minutes, you’ll make it to the finish line a couple minutes slower than most people who run the whole thing because for the average 10k person, and I’m not talking about the elite 10k’er, I’m going to say the average 10k person, their pace slows down so considerably toward the end, yours won’t. Yours will be consistent because you’ve taken that minute to walk.
JT: See, that’s awesome. That’s the advice I needed. For the 5k, I was like I just have to run, I just have to run, I just have to run. But that opens up so much more and it’s conducive to business too whereas you don’t have to be pushing so ridiculously hard all the time. You can sort of step back and go slow for a little while like you said as long as it’s relentless forward motion.
FM: Think about it just from a statistical mathematical standpoint, if you’re running a 12 minute mile, which is a slower pace than what you’re doing now, so you’re going to ratchet it down, and you’re walking about a 16 minute mile which is about what you would walk, maybe, I don’t know, 17 maybe, but anyway, if you’re running that fast, at that pace, and you’re only walking one minute at a 16 minute mile pace, you’re not losing ground.
So in business, the same thing. You think you’re slowing down but as long as you’re moving forward at that decent pace, you’re not losing ground to your competitors, you’re not. You’re in the game, you’re in the race. At least you’re out there. At least you’re trying and at least you’re moving toward a finish line and you’ll get there.
JT: Great advice. So what resources have you turned to whether it be with your ultra marathoning or in your business? What books or tools have you used that have really helped you move your business forward?
FM: I mean we all have mentors. I have a mentor too that I rely on. On my website, there is a dropdown on the home page that says I think Frank’s Top 10 Reading List and there’s books that I’ve read that I review actually and suggest to people who, these are books that were impactful to me. The other thing is I try to find, this is kind of silly, but this tree house. You need to find a place that’s conducive to drawing out your creativity and your ingenuity.
So that’s why I work from here. I mean we have a main office. I go there once a quarter maybe. This is the place that, listen, in business, they say or they said, “Hey it’s only an MP3 player.” No it’s not, it’s an iPod. Or they said, “Hey it’s only another, hey there’s only another search engine.” No it’s not, it’s Google. Why do you think they set themselves apart? It’s because of ingenuity and innovativeness and creativity. So you need a place, in your space, wherever that may be to draw out ingenuity and creativity where you can map your plan towards success, towards your Bad Water finish line.
JT: So however you work best trying to figure out what that is because you work best in a tree house but for everybody else it could be different.
FM: You need to find a spot, yep. You need to find a spot.
JT: To make your own.
JT: Awesome. Excellent. So for the last question, I ask this now of every millionaire I interview, what’s one action that everyone can take this week that would move them forward towards their goal? Put you on the spot a little bit.
FM: Well, I think last time we said exercise your risk tolerance like a muscle. It will become stronger and able to withstand greater pressure. Let’s just leave with something really simple. Those three words. How about relentless forward motion? How about just thinking about when that insurmountable incomprehensible impossible undertaking lays itself on your heart, before you say no to it, why don’t you think about could I get there? Should I pursue it by taking that relentless forward motion approach?
JT: Great advice. Just from interviewing everybody so far, that’s the one thing I’ve noticed, everyone has had commitment to their end goal and that forward motion. You’re completely correct. That’s a great advice for everybody. So relentless forward motion. We’ll have it tattooed to your forehead so that way everybody can see it when they look in the mirror, right?
FM: Listen, I have a treadmill in my sauna and I have written in chalk where I look up at those three words.
JT: Gosh, I’m going to go write that on my wall now. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on today. Where is the best place we can find you? I know you said your website has the top ten reading list. What’s your website?
FM: The website is really, you’ve been on it I’m sure, there’s so much content there. I’ve written five books. You can click on every one of the books I’ve written. There’s sample chapters for a reader to read to see if they even like the concept behind the book before they buy it. There’s pictures of the beautiful homes that we’ve built. There’s trailers that we’ve excerpted from the DVDs we’ve made from my race in the desert. So there’s a lot of just giveaway stuff that you could enjoy and, if you want to buy a book or DVD, that’s up to you.
But you go to just, use my name which is Frank-McKinney.com. Frank hyphen like a dash McKinney.com and there’s a ton of dropdowns at the top. You can see the work we’re doing over in Haiti for our charity and where we’re going to be appearing and speaking. It’s pretty informative.
JT: I highly recommend. I just reread The Tap again. I’ll be posting that on the blog and in the show notes to have everybody take a look because it’s a really excellent book. Thank you so much for coming on today again, Frank, and I hope you have an amazing day and good luck with Bad Water for the sixth time.
FM: Maybe we’ll catch up after Bad Water.
JT: Excellent. Thank you.
FM: Have a great day.
JT: You too, bye bye.
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