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Show Notes:

Brian Dixon will look you in the eye with a big smile, and tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. That’s why I had to have him on the podcast, as he is a wealth of knowledge due to his experience in coaching high-performing entrepreneurs, and as the author of the best-selling book, Start With Your People. Brian has so much wisdom on a variety of topics, including:

  • How to “start with your people”
  • The “Five F’s” for success: Faith, Family, Friendships, Finance, Future
  • His concept of the “life calculator” which will help to clarify your goals in a super simple way
  • The HALT system of self regulation
  • How to “number your days” for maximum impact
  • The concept that “when people pay, they pay attention”
  • “What is easy to you, is magic to someone else” – love this idea for valuing your knowledge and expertise!
  • and much more!

Join us for this high-energy conversation that is sure to get you motivated to tackle your next goal today!

Brian mentioned many books during our talk, and here are links to all of them:

Show notes:

Connect with Brian:

Connect with Elaine:

Get a free chapter from Elaine’s book, Sell Your Passion:

This episode sponsored by TruShield Insurance, get a free and easy online quote to protect your business at

Announcer: 00:00

Welcome to Elaine's Kitchen Table. This is where we share tips about business and parenting. Being a mom of three, CEO of the award winning company Easy Daysies, speaker and educator, you're going to learn the tips and secrets of successful and incredible people. Elaine wants you to be inspired, challenged and motivated, and that person you want your kids to grow up to be. This is real talk for real life.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 00:24

Hi, welcome to Elaine's Kitchen Table where we talk about how to "create better". How to create better family, how to create better health, how to create better business and how to create better self. So recently, I joined a book club, yes, a book club because that is a great way to get yourself to read books. And it's all about learning new things and improving the way we do things.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 00:49

And there's this book that we just started and finished and it was a book that actually made me want to live it out loud. So when I would open it and I'd read it, I actually actually had to put it down quickly so I could act on it right away. And I remember doing that as I read how you know, you need to appreciate people and take the time to thank them, in fact take action on it right now. And so I did I put the book down and I text I texted three different people to appreciate them and, and let them know I was just thinking about them and how much I appreciated a specific thing that they are and what they do, and it's not necessarily something they did for me but just appreciating who they are and this book is called Start With Your People and it impacted me so much I had to reach out to the author and invite him on this podcast. And I have to read his bio is incredible because my guest today he believes that you are here for a purpose. He believes that it's about serving those around you. And to start with your people. He's a best selling author, podcaster, conference speaker, business coach. He is passionate about helping high potential leaders and teams thrive in a world of way overwhelming options. And he knows what he's talking about, he has his doctorate degree from the University of San Diego. He is a man who lives his truth. He is a father of three incredible children, a husband, and I cannot wait to share Brian Dixon with you. I would love for you to learn more about him. He has great free materials that are downloadable, all about his coaching and resources and you can find all of that on And of course all of this is in my show notes. But let's not waste any more time because I want to share our guest with you.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 02:56

I am just so excited. Welcome Brian Dixon.

Brian Dixon: 03:02

Elaine, thanks for having I know we're just shaking everything. It's so exciting. I'm so glad to be here.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 03:07

Oh my goodness, I am honored. I was telling Brian, I'm fan gushing over here because I am a huge fan. If you have not read his book, actually I have it right here because it is so awesome. Not only did I read it. I also listened to it twice. I know right? Hello. Thank you. No, you're awesome. And there's so much. I know that I appreciate you not just as a speaker, an entrepreneur a successful everything, but you are a husband and a father. Tell us about your family.

Brian Dixon: 03:48

Oh, thank you for asking. Yes, I'm honored to be here. I've been married for almost 18 years, which is really exciting just in a week and a half from now. And to I guess she's my college sweetheart. I think that's how it works. I was in my master's program and we met in a math for teachers class. So it was our first class. Well I just think it's a God thing so you know, whatever your beliefs happen to be I just think this was a God thing of how I had to sort of get humbled into being ready to meet Julie you know, I wanted to be a rock star I was in a band in college. I was in a big car accident that completely changed my life. And I just got to the end of that trying to be a rock star thing where the band broke up with me like we all quit except for me. And there I was left with you know, a lot of songs and a motorhome but no direction and no band. And through a long process of having to humble myself and sort of like discover, like, what was I really created to do? I just felt led to being a teacher.

Brian Dixon: 04:53

And so I remember my first day of class at this really conservative like Bible College. I was a math for teachers class, and I was like, I do not want to be here, this place is the worst. And, our professor was hilarious and I was like this might this might actually be okay at least I have one good teacher. It was my first class first day and then she had us to this, you know, a partner exercise. So she was like, you had to take toothpicks and, put them together in a certain way and she said so partner up and you know, take 10 minutes to partner up and do this exercise. And so I didn't know anybody you know, so I tapped the lady, the girl in front of me on the shoulder, she turned around, and I said, Will you be my partner? And that's Julie, that was the first time we met. And, you know, we got on the floor working on this like little math activity, and I'm just like, She's hilarious. Like, this girl's awesome. And I really knew I mean, I can literally say that that night. I got like, sick to my stomach. I'm like, I think I just met my wife like, what? I was 20 years old, I was like, What in the world? You know? 20. 21 years old. 18 years later, you know, we have three kids. Four, seven and 10, we live here in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 06:03

That is awesome. So the lesson here is be careful who you ask to be your partner in math class. Yeah, incredible. I am. That is a beautiful story. And have you told your children this story? Have they asked.

Brian Dixon: 06:21

I think they've heard it but they're stuck on the young so they don't know how that stuff works. Yeah,

Elaine Tan Comeau: 06:25

They're gonna be scared to ask for a partner in math now.

Brian Dixon: 06:29


Elaine Tan Comeau: 06:30

I think that's so wonderful. That is wonderful. And I do believe that that is a good thing for sure. Now when you met your wife, okay. I have to ask how long did you date for before we got married?

Brian Dixon: 06:45

We dated for Okay, so I have a personal philosophy on this is I think it's important before you marry somebody to see them in all seasons. And so I recommend at least dating for a year. I know I have friends who've been married a long time and they only you know, they met and got married months later. But I think it's a good practice to get to know somebody in all seasons, you know, because we all approach different seasons in different ways. And there's things that come out of our personalities in the summer compared to the winter and like, there's all kinds of, we can go into depth and all that stuff, but that's sort of like my philosophy. So we we dated for a year and a half, got engaged October 7, and then we got married June 29. So yeah, it was about two and a half years total before we got married. So we've known each other over 20 years now.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 07:33

That is a beautiful, beautiful story and I love that you say, you know, know someone beforehand, like go through all the seasons and, I don't know if you mean metaphorically go through all the seasons, or literally, go through all the seasons, but well said because that is so true. And I think sometimes even in business, you have to get to know a company way in advance before committing, and not every opportunity is your opportunity. And it is okay to say no there too. My husband and I, we took a marriage prep class before, before our marriage and actually before we were literally engaged, and I remember there was 23 couples or something in there. And the pastor asked on that first day, hey, how many of you are engaged? And everybody's woohoo and they put their hands up. And then he said, Okay, well, how many of you are not officially engaged yet and my husband and I were one of three couples who kind of shyly put up our hands. And I remember pastor said, You know what, good on on you three couples, because you know, it is easier to break up than to call off a marriage, call off a wedding. And, it was it was great because you learn so much that you normally wouldn't about that person if you didn't go through learning those seasons, as you call it, like, seeing what they're like going through those seasons. Now in your book you talk about, okay, I love your book. And your book is Start With Your People. And when did you write this book?

Brian Dixon: 09:25

It came out in 2019 so the manuscript was due 2018 so I wrote it yeah, over the course of 2017, 2018.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 09:34

Okay, if you if you're listening and you have not read this book, please like pull over if you're driving and jot it down, Start With Your People by Brian Dixon. Now, and I also love audiobooks. So if you're driving and you can find it on your on, whichever you're using, Scrib'd, Audible. Find the book. It is a great listen, I listened to it twice. By the way.

Brian Dixon: 10:01

I loved reading it, I got to actually, you know, record the audio as you know, because it was my voice but it was two days, two days in Nashville and I stood up because I have like I'm standing up right now I have a standing desk and so I stood up. And like that audio engineer said he never had an author read an audio book standing up. And it was two exhausting days. Because you want to get the personality through.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 10:23

You did! You did.

Brian Dixon: 10:26

It was a lot, it was a lot of fun. It was a very rewarding experience. The whole thing, but especially reading the audio book was a lot of fun.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 10:32

I think that's why I enjoyed it because I knew it was your voice. Right? And that is crazy. Um, so it was like having you in our car having you on my walk having you while I was washing the dishes was great. But I was saying to Brian, earlier that your book, Brian was one that I had to act on right away. I would read it and I would actually flip it over, just so I could do and take action on what you were saying. And I love that you said that the greatest legacy that we can leave is the investment we put in people. Wow. Right. Wow. And I love that you say it sounds simple but it's not easy. And for the person who's listening right now he or she is wondering you know what I don't have time to just like I'm really busy. I have kids I have my work I have multiple businesses. And I don't want to people please I don't want to do things out of guilt. So can you clarify what do you what do you mean by invest in people? Because often the woman, me the mom, we could easily do things out of people pleasing and guilt and that is not fun. But that's not what you're talking about. What are you talking about?

Brian Dixon: 11:53

Well, so one of my mentors, what he'd say is like there's a classic book called Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi I think and the same kind of idea like always bring someone with you. So literally Elaine when I go to the mail, like to go get the mail we're in a neighborhood so we have one of those boxes you have to go to the box you know it's not at your driveway but you have to like we have to cross the street and it's about a half a block away it's not that far. And I used to do it by myself you know I work from home and I'm like that's a nice way to sort of like get out of the house you know at the end of the day, go check the mail. You know, just clear my head, go check mail. And my four year old loves keys you know it's just like where he's at in life he just loves keys. He loves the idea of opening the the mailbox and especially because I you know I'm an author so I get books and I ordered things a lot and so if there's a box waiting so you get an extra key to open like the parcel or the you know, the package extra door. And at first I was like, this is my time. What are you doing man like this is my little break at the end of the day for me to kind of clear my head and take a short little five minute walk. But I realized, wait, this is a fun teaching opportunity. So let me bring him with me, I let them hold the keys, I let them you know, turn the key in the mailbox. And now every single day, as I wrap up my work for the day, and I go downstairs, the two of them, my four and seven year old are waiting for me. And they have a little system they take turns with who's going to open the mailbox.

Brian Dixon: 13:25

Now, here's the thing, that doesn't take any extra time at all. But I have an opportunity every single day. So every single day when I go and check the mail, I'm teaching them like, where does mail come from? And how much does mail cost? And did I order something and when we get an advertisement, how do they know to send it to me instead of send it to somebody else? So they are learning literally they're learning business principles, they're learning life principles, and they're four and seven, because I'm taking them along with me. So that's what that means, investing in people just means bring them along with you. You know, when I when I sign up for a conference, can I bring it team member with me or if I get the recordings can I send a couple of recordings to a team member to go through so that I'm investing in them as I'm investing in my own learning? So I think it's more of a mindset of just looking for opportunities to bring somebody with you. And as you're doing something, just explain what you're doing and sort of like, Come and look over my shoulder, let me explain like why I'm doing this. I wish I had that growing up, you know, and trying to invest in my kids and in my team and in others around me just try to be a connector.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 14:28

I really appreciate that. It's almost like you're having a little apprentices throughout your life. And not just our kids, right? When you're saying bring your team member, bring someone who could value from lessons that you are learning and have learned, and it is about people taking people up with you on that ladder. And I think that's such a blessing that you just put it so nicely. I like that, your apprentices in your life and doing it in such a humble way. So thank you, Brian. Now, in your book, you also talk about having a vivid vision. Yes. And you touch on five, five words that start with F and so that's your faith, family, friendship, finance, and future. And nobody usually likes f words, but these are great. The finance one is a little tricky. There's like, I could feel the tension in some people as they're listening going uhh, finance, but let's talk about each of those for a little bit. Would that be okay?

Brian Dixon: 15:37

I love it.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 15:39

Okay. What is Vivid Vision?

Brian Dixon: 15:44

Vivid Vision. It's a phrase that I stole from my friend Cameron Herold, who wrote a great book, which I think the book is called Vivid Vision, but I got it when he wrote about it in his first book, one of his first effects called Double Double. And the idea there is if you want to double the profits, and double the revenue, which are two different things of your company, you need to really know where you're going right? Begin with the end in mind. It's like a Steve Covey principle. You know, it's the old what Alice in Wonderland quote, like, Where are you going? And I don't know, well, if you don't know where you're going, any road can get you there. I think the Cheshire Cat said that. So it's like a proven principle that if you don't know where you want to go, you'll never get there. But you're gonna end up somewhere, right?

Brian Dixon: 16:27

And so I talk in the book, I talk about the life calculator. And what I did was I took a Google spreadsheet. This is really nerdy, but I think I was turning 40 at the time, or just a year before turning 40. And I wrote out my age, and then my kids ages and then my wife's age, and then our income from the last year and my weight and like a couple things I was measuring at the time, I was trying to run a certain amount of miles I was running. So how many miles had I run in the previous year? And then I said if everything just moves up by like 5% next year, what does that look like? Well, you know, obviously our ages move up by one year. But like, Okay, what about the income? And what about my fitness goals? And what about my network and like things that you can kind of measure. And then I took that second column, and I just dragged it out about 40 columns. And I'm like, Whoa, that's where I'll be when I'm 80? When I'm 80 my son will be this age, or when I'm 50, this is where my kids will be. And it just gave me a sense of the future is gonna happen, whether you plan it or not. So you might as well plan it. Right. And what's the old phrase? You shoot for the stars? You hit the moon, like, that's okay. Right? So what about if I had a really big vision, and work every day to implement that vision, even if I don't hit that big vision, I'm still gonna get pretty far compared to not having any vision at all.

Brian Dixon: 17:50

And then, I think Darren Hardy talks about it in the Compound Effect. The compound effect works both ways. Either, you know, I'm doing my ab workout every day and I'm getting trimmer and fitter, or I'm adding that extra donut or whatever every day and I'm going the other direction. So it just compounds. So the five F's, the whole big idea there is like get clear on your goal for the future, specific date, SMART goals, write specific date, and then just work a little bit every day. You can only, you're only given today, right? You don't have tomorrow. You can't do anything about yesterday. But you have today, if you go to work implementing your vision every single day, a year from now, two years from now, you'd be shocked at how far you went.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 18:31

That's incredible. And me being all about visual schedules because I created a product called Easy Daysies. And it's a daily visual schedule for kids. Yes. So Brian Dixon, what is your secret formula when you are talking breaking this goal down because you got to have that vision to get there. And that big vision and I love what you said about the stars and landing on the moon because when I was a school teacher and I would say that all the time to my kids you know, always reach for the stars and if you fall you'll still land higher than where you started right? And so you take your goal, you break it down, do you write down tomorrow's goals the night before? Like steps of what you want to do that morning to achieve to achieve that bigger goal? What do you do?

Brian Dixon: 19:24

Yeah, I start with a year from now. That's where I start. So the way the way that I think about it is what like what do I want? What do I want life to look like a year from now in those those five core areas and I get really clear on that? And then when I when I look at my calendar, I look at like, what can I do today? That the me a year from now, the me a year from now will say like way to go Brian, like good job doing that because that was hard. But the thing is we forget, like, let's say we have you know, I do a really big run on Sundays and so every Monday morning I wake up going, why am I sore today? Like, I don't remember. I'm like, why am I sore today - oh, because I did a huge run yesterday. So the thing is like, success in the moment is just about sucking it up putting your running shoes on or whatever the analogy is and just doing the work. But once you do the work, you kind of forget the cost of that work the next day. So really all you have to do. It's like getting on a roller coaster. You know, we took our kids to an amusement park a few a few months ago, and it was their first time they were on a roller coaster. And my son, my 10 year old son after after we went on, well we went to Disney. So we went on Space Mountain. And after Space Mountain, he goes, You know, dad, that was a lot of fun. The hardest part was standing in line and getting on the roller coaster. I was like, that's right, buddy, that's like our goals. The hardest part is starting because once we've started then kind of autopilot takes over. We're in the middle of doing something anyway. So it's really about having the clarity of what do I need to do just to get started. So just Okay, a couple things. Let's, let's finish this the answer.

Brian Dixon: 21:02

So number one, where do you want to be a year from now? Number two, what can I do today to move towards that. And then the way that I measure it is in 90 day rocks. So we follow a system called The Entrepreneur Operating system. It's by Gino Wickman in a book called Traction. Another really good book by Brian Moran called The 12 Week Year, they basically say the same thing. Don't have annual goals, because you wait till November to achieve them, instead have 90 day goals with weekly pebbles. And if you know, okay, I have to do this this week, then two weeks go by and you haven't done it yet. You fix it, you have to fix it, as opposed to vague goals and you forget about them for 10 months. So kind of those three big principles. Where do you want to be a year from now? What can I do today to move towards there and how can I measure it over the course of 90 days, those three I follow every single day and they make a big difference.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 21:59

I appreciate That so much. And I know that you who are listening right now, like just capture that and say, Okay, I'm going to start this, I'm going to start this right now. Because you know, I'm working towards this goal I would really like to achieve, and what will it look like in 90 days from now? And so and then work backwards and say, Okay, if I want to, for example, if I have a product based business, and I want to be in this retailer ABC, then I'm going to have to make sure I go to this tradeshow or I find the name of the buyer for my category. And then you take those steps and it will happen, it will happen, it will happen. And you talk about fiercely focus on execution. Yes. And how does one fiercely focus on execution when we live in such a distracting world of craziness where everybody expects everything instantaneously because of our awesome wonderful technology, which I am so grateful for. And there's so many distractions, because running a business means often you wear many hats. So how do you fiercely focus on execution?

Brian Dixon: 23:17

Such a great question. Okay, for those that are listening, you can't see Elaine right now. But behind Elaine is a whole bookshelf. And, there's awards and there's plaques. And there's pictures and there's books and there's all sorts of things and I even recognize a few of the books like I can even see them right now. And, and that is like life. Life is like looking at somebody else's bookshelf. Because the things I see are completely different than the things other people see. Like I see you have a copy of the four hour workweek. And I'm like, I love that book. I know that book. I've read that book, you know. So I recognize it or I might, so what we do. This is kind of some basic NLP neuro linguistic programming. Essentially the idea is our brain is a focus filter, and as we look at something, let's say we're driving down the highway. As we're as we're driving our car on the highway, there's only two or three things we're really paying attention to. But there's all these other things happening all around us, right? There's the smell and the sight and the sounds and, the billboards and what's happening outside, what's happening inside who's saying, what, how do I feel? How does my body feel right now, like, there's all this sensory input. And the reality is there's too much to process. There's too much, just like looking your bookshelf. Literally, I could pick any book on there. And even in every book, there's hundreds of pages, there's too much to focus on. So we filter our entire experience.

Brian Dixon: 24:39

And so even when you say, you know, we live in this distracted world, do we? You know, I don't know, I'm deciding to make the world the way I want it to be. I'm deciding. I've had several clients have told me this because I do one on one coaching, you know, over the last couple of weeks, because we're sort of in that, you know, it depends on when you're listening, but we're in the season of Corona, COVID-19, we're coming out of a couple really hard weeks as a nation of talking about Black Lives Matter and racial diversity and inclusion and, that really important, really important conversations. But we're kind of in just a couple of weeks out from that. And so it's been a weird couple of weeks and for many, hard couple of weeks. And so, you know, I show up on these one on one coaching calls on Zoom, and the first, I'm like, how are you doing? What's going on? Wow, it's been really hard. It's been really hard. And I say, well, like, tell me about the math. Like, how did you add up these different sensory inputs to now come up with the equation that the answer the sum is, it's been hard? Because the answers we all do that, right? We just add up our experience, and we say, Oh, it's been really hard or we add it up and say, Wow, what, what an incredible time or what a great experience.

Brian Dixon: 25:59

And it's just it's true every single day. You know, if somebody asks you how is your day, you look at all the sensory input over the course of the whole day, and you draw a conclusion. And I want to challenge the conclusion that we're drawing, because I believe that you can just that's the focus filter, we can decide, like, I really enjoy hard things, I get my kids to say this, I enjoy doing things that challenge me. And they're like Dad, I don't want to say it. Say it! I enjoy doing things that challenge me. So the question there, Elaine is like, what are the two or three things that you're really going to care about that you're going to look at on a regular basis, and then use those as your filter to, you know, create the life that you want. And for me, that's a life of impact and income. So I want to make a big impact on a lot of people. I have really specific goals there. But I also know that money is the fuel to help that impact be sustainable. So that's kind of how I look at it. And so when there's a lot going on in the news like today, there was a big story that broke and I'm like, you know what that I don't need to use that I don't need to use that as part of the addition to what my day looks like. Even if it's happening, it doesn't mean I need to pay attention to it just like your bookshelf there's a lot there. But I don't have to pay attention to everything I can only pay attention to a couple things.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 26:05

You have excellent vision, by the way. [laughter] When you talk about I love that you make your kids do that chant of I enjoy doing challenging things.

Brian Dixon: 27:29

There's several we have in our home.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 27:32

That's awesome. Because you know, I've often said you know, that our voice becomes our - the words that we say becomes our children's inside voice, right? But you're you're making it their own voice which is powerful, very, very powerful, because they will remember and when they are going through that they will remember they will say it out loud and it will make a difference. Because those words become their vision. And that's beautiful. Love it. Thank you. That's awesome. When you are coaching your clients and do you always start with start with your people? Do you say, hey, let's start with our people? Or is that not your first go to?

Brian Dixon: 28:14

That's a good question. I think I think a good coach, so I'm a clarity coach. I help my clients who are mostly entrepreneurs, speakers and authors, I help them really with three things, which is their audience, their message and their products. And generally that means it's about growth. It's about clarity, and it's about growth. So, so generally, I'll start with, you know, because I have ongoing, you know, I, there's a couple different packages available and so often it's like, I already kind of know what they've been working on. And I'm just checking in to see okay, now that you've been kind of doing it on your own or with your team for the last two weeks, and because it's generally about two weeks between our coaching calls, you know, what's going on, where are you at what's what's on your mind. And I found that, you know, David Allen in Getting Things Done, he talks about having a mind like water, a mind that just it responds in the moment just like water. You know, if I took if I took a water bottle and poured it out, the water's gonna do what it's supposed to do. You know, if it's gravity involved, if it's a slant on the table, it's gonna run downhill. Like it's going to do what it's going to do because it's water, you know, if you drop the temperature, it will freeze, if you increase the temperature, it will boil. In the same way, the way that we approach our work, if we set up our work environment, we can we can expect the outcomes based on based on the actions that we take. And so that's kind of where I check in. I'm just like, kind of tell me where you're at. Because whatever is top of mind for them is the most real thing right now. So it doesn't even matter what we talked about two weeks ago, like my some of my clients, when I'm first starting with them, they'll send me like a list of all their notes. And I'll say, well, you can send that to me, but I'm still gonna ask you Okay, on Thursday at 1:35, where are you at right now? Because maybe something happened 30 minutes ago that just derailed your whole day. And we need to deal with what's happening in the moment because that will that will help us figure out how to move forward. So that's kind of how I start the coaching calls just like what's on your mind what's going on, often the coaching will will go a different direction, but it will be exactly like I'm saying mind like water, it will be exactly what needed to happen in the moment in order to help my client move forward towards the goals that they want to achieve.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 30:32

I appreciate that so much and I, when you're talking to me right now, I think of your acronym that you have, which is HALT. Can you expand on HALT, that's such a great word, but what it stands for, I think you need to explain that and why.

Brian Dixon: 30:55

I learned this from from one of my pastors. He's also kind of like, I don't know, I guess he's like a counselor to me you know. He's a go to mentor of mine. I learned it from him and he said, You know, it sounds like you're in halt right now. I'm like, halt. What are you? What are you talking about? I've never heard that word before. So HALT. Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. So those are the three and I think there's an asset. I can't remember what it is. I think it's like a bonus, but the one that I know is halt. Generally for me, I'm a grump when I'm hungry, and the way I see the world through when I'm hungry, you know, because we generally wait about 5:15, 5:30. If it's 6:00, 6:15 Julie could ask me about something and there, it's gonna have a color to it, right? There's gonna be a little bit of extra negativity to whatever I say. Because I'm thinking about where's the food? Do I need to get it? Are you making it? Is it my job is your job like, Who is going like, Where will we get this food from? And as soon as I have the hope of food, we found this out in dating, as soon as I know like, okay, we're going to be eating soon. I'm a different person, you know, and just knowing that about myself, that just means I have to build systems in my life so that I'm not perpetually hungry. You know, unless that's part of my fitness goals for the month. So hungry.

Brian Dixon: 32:14

Angry, am I mad about something? Am I upset about something? You know, I was doing uh consulting projects the last couple days and my client got a pretty negative email from their client. And I was coaching my client on how to deal with it, but it kind of ticks me off because the person two people removed from me was being really unreasonable. And no matter what I helped my client do it just wasn't working. And it was just because this person was, you know, not I don't think authentically approaching the situation, was being a little disingenuous. And I was kind of mad about it. I was kind of angry about it so, last night as my day wrapped up. It's like, Hey, what's going on? I'm like, I'm kind of mad about this thing, because I couldn't do anything about it. You know, and so she knows by me being able to verbalize, I'm kind of angry about this thing. That kind of can set the tone not a tone of anger for the rest of the night, but a tone of, hey, Brian's got this thing he's thinking about and so if he's a little short or he is a little snippy, it's because he's kind of angry about this thing. Now, I'm not excusing my words or my behavior, right? Because there's life and death in the power of the tongue. So I still need to be aware of what I say. But just by identifying, feeling a little hungry right now, I'm feeling a little angry right now. Or lonely, you know, this isn't a big one for me, but for especially during this quarantine time, missing friends, you know, it's like kind of feeling a little lonely. That's why I'm over analyzing my life right now and rethinking my entire business structure. I'm just I'm missing people, you know, or the or the fourth one is tired. Just feeling a little tired. I know. I know for me, as soon as we get into a financial conversation, if it's after nine o'clock, I want to politely land the plane right? End the conversation say Honey, let's talk about this in the morning. Even if it's good, even if it's good, because my analytical I could just get too introspective and melancholy and negative about it because I'm feeling tired because I wake up super early and I go to bed pretty early so those that though that concept loan HALT, just like before I say something, am I a little hungry? No. Am I feeling angry, am I lonely or am I tired can save you from a snowball of emotions that will derail any conversation and usually crush somebody that's really important to you.

Brian Dixon: 32:35

I love that. So with HALT that word, would you say then, okay, you use it to identify how you're feeling? And then would you just stop there and say, You know what, let me get back to you or... Yes. Do you quickly figure out which one of those you are and let that person know or do you just excuse yourself, like, what would you do?

Brian Dixon: 35:02

I think it depends on the relationship. I remember I was I was at I was speaking at a conference and then we had this like reception thing. And I knew by going there I was gonna have because I coach. So I was I was gonna be in a bunch of situations in which I was, people were going to ask them for advice about their website and about their, their reader and their marketing. And that's great. I love doing that. But I had been traveling and it was on the west coast and I'm on the east coast. And so like, all that being said, I knew I was tired. Like, I just felt that I was tired. And my first couple conversations were kind of defeating, like defeating other people, you know, where they were so hopeful. And then I was like, I don't think that's a really good idea. I was being a little negative. And I felt myself saying these negative things and I realized, wait a second, the best thing I can do is leave and so I remember, you know, there we were in San Diego right across right across from the convention center, this really fancy restaurant and a lot of people I wanted to talk to, you know, other speakers at this conference and I found myself going in 30 minutes, can I can I leave in five minutes? Yes, I can, like, just make sure I talked to the right people. And then I needed to excuse myself because otherwise, like, who knows, right? It's sort of like the gremlins were coming out, you know, like I needed to be able to get refreshed and, and to be able to approach the situation a little bit more, you know, a little bit more alert, a little bit more awake. So this is basic human needs. You know, if we're feeling hungry or feeling tired, it's not a great time to talk about your relationship or talking about your mother in law or talking about your summer plans. It's not a great time to talk about the budget. You know, it's just like, Listen, my tanks a little low. Need to go fill it up. Can we halt right? Can we just press pause? That's the idea of the word halt. I haven't really siad it means stop. Right. Can we just stop? And not Can we just stop but like, Hey, honey, can we just take a break? Because I'm feeling super hungry. I'm gonna hop in the car. I'm gonna go get some food, and I'll come back in 20 minutes. Is that cool? Yeah, no problem. Okay, great. And then it's a completely different conversation, because now I have some food in me.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 37:06

Love my food too, right? Yes. And I think that takes training to learn how to identify that you need to halt in the first place. And that is incredible. And what a great lesson that we are all hearing right now is learning when we need to halt and pause. And I think that's also when you're writing an email and it's not just in a face to face conversation, you know, you're writing something and it might not be pleasant because you're upset, right? You're tired, you're hungry, you're angry. All these things and you're dealing with either a family person or a client that you are emailing, is take a pause, walk away, just walk away and then revisit it when you have dealt with your HALT issues. I love that very much. I want to touch on one more thing. And that is the value of a person. And I know that you talk about the value ladder, which I love and you need to read Brian's book so you can learn about his value ladder. Because often women entrepreneurs, women in business, we think oh, no, no, I should be. We don't charge enough we won't charge. We give things away for free. Yeah, we don't think we're good enough. There's so many things and I'm being general here. I'm not saying every everyone.

Brian Dixon: 38:37

I approve it, for sure.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 38:38

I'm not saying every female entrepreneur's like that. But one thing that you have said, which I so love and has resonated with me is in fact I had to write it down because it was so great. In fact, I wrote it down a couple times. And when you read Brian's book or listen to his book, you can't not take notes you want to write up around the margins of his book. And it is lots of invaluable must-knows in there. The one thing you have said that I've heard you say before, is, of course, I'm looking at my messy notes here is "what is easy for you is magic to someone else". That's right. I am going to say that again so that the person who is listening will will have this speak to them. What is simple to you? What is so easy for you is magic to someone else. Absolutely. So how does one take that and know their value and worth and say, You know what, I shouldn't be giving that away for free. And people need to stop asking for a discount. Mm hmm. Why? Why Brian Dixon? Why?

Brian Dixon: 39:57

Well think about the costs that you've already paid. You've spent years becoming a great mom or years becoming an amazing teacher. You've spent who knows how much money just tuition, room and board, you know, all of that sweat equity of the all the tests and the projects and the pressure and the nerves, you've invested all of this experience, education, your background completely into becoming who you are. It cost you. It cost me 41 years to become who I am today. 41 years. And then somebody comes along and says, you know, I'm really having trouble figuring out how to how to price my, my online course. And I say, Well, you know, I've got this five step process of how to price your online course. Would you like me to teach it to you? Because that's hard fought wisdom, right? I've been a full time online entrepreneur. helping other entrepreneurs for seven years now. So it took me seven years to figure out this pretty simple five step process. That five step process is valuable. And I think I talked about in the book, it's the old story. And I don't know if this actually happened or not, but I've seen it multiple sources. You know, Pablo Picasso, right? Famous artist, he's sitting there in a cafe. And somebody comes up to him says, whoa, you're, you're Pablo Picasso. And yes, I am. Says, oh, here, took out a pen and said, Would you like draw me something real quick, you know? So Pablo, just you know, a little sketch with signs it you know, hands it to him on a napkin. And he says, that will be a million dollars, please. Right? And the guy's like a million dollars. It took you one it took you like five seconds to create. He said No, sir. It took me a lifetime. And it took you a lifetime to become an incredible homeschooling mom, or an incredible, you know, fitness coach. It took you a lifetime to figure out how to deal with this mother in law and issue so you can help other women get clarity with their mother in law. It took you a lifetime to work through the communication challenges that you've had in your marriage so you can help other women with their communication challenges.

Brian Dixon: 42:10

And so when you discount your services, it actually doesn't serve anyone. When people pay, they pay attention. When it's free, they don't implement and this is true, I'm gonna I'm gonna call, call out a friend publicly here. A friend of mine has, her message is exploding right now. And she has an online course that cost $35. And she got on the free call with me cuz she's a friend. I said, Hey, congratulations, because I've coached her in the past for pay. And I said, Hey, congratulations, like I see this thing going so well. I just want to put some put some gas in the tank, like if there's anything I can do. Can I hop on a call with you, just give you a little bit of counsel. She said, Sure. So I hop on a call with her at the end of last week. And I said, Okay, would you like to make more money? She said, Absolutely, I would like to make more money. I said, Great. Here are the three things that I would do. And I gave very specific instructions of the three things that I would do if I were her to take her, her income and impact or impact and income to the next level. Very specific. I gave her a script for an email. I gave her suggestions on how to update her sales page and how to reprice it. And based on data, right, based on my experience based on best practices in the industry, I checked back yesterday, and she had done zero of those three things.

Brian Dixon: 43:31

Now, she had good results, but I know Elaine, they weren't even close to what they would have been had she followed my advice, and I don't say that of arrogance. I say that out of experience. Yes. The reason she didn't follow my advice is because she didn't pay for it. 100%. If I said hey, I'd like to hop on a call with you. If you're interested. She if she said yes. And I said you know, I normally charge $337 for a call. But you know, I'll do it for $197 since you're a friend. I really want to help you. And if she said, okay, and she paid that money, I'm 100% convinced based on data, that she would have taken notes, she would have taken the recording, shared it with her team and implemented what we talked about. So in the same way, it's true, you are not serving people by doing it for free. By giving away all your best stuff, you're not serving them. By charging you're bringing a higher level of yourself, your more more effort and intention because you feel like you want to deliver value. So you're going to level up but the person that pays wants to get a good return on investment, so they're gonna level up as well. So think about that. The best, most attentive Elaine not in HALT, but she's focused. The best Brian focus. The two of us working together can do incredible things. And that right there is the number one reason you should charge because it is true. What's obvious to you is magic to other people, but it's obvious to you because you spent time and money getting to a point where you were ready to share that wisdom.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 45:03

That is brilliant. Okay, you're hired. I want our listeners to leave with one valuable nugget from you. I know my husband doesn't like that word nugget. But I'm gonna go with nugget.

Brian Dixon: 45:17

Nugget - that was the name of my first car.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 45:20

Oh good. I hope it was a beautiful nugget

Brian Dixon: 45:23

It was like this gold GMC Jimmy. This is like just ugly SUV but it was gold. So it was called Nugget.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 45:30

OK I'm gonna have that image in my head now every single time I say the word nugget. Beautiful car. For that one tip if you could give, yeah, to that listener who's struggling right now or who thinks, there's, I need help and there's not anything I can do. But if there was one nugget for how she can increase her profit, I'm going to say her profit in what she does, whatever service she's offering whatever product she is selling, or even if she is not an entrepreneur and she is just a woman or a man listening right now. Yeah, what is that one thing that she's gonna stop listening and say, Wow, this Thank you, Brian, what is that one nugget? No pressure here!

Brian Dixon: 46:27

Yeah, I think you know, there's an old proverb that says teach us to number our days. So we might gain a heart of wisdom. And I think that's it. It's, pick, pick one number, pick one number. Maybe that's how many customers you had yesterday. That's your number. Okay. How many was it? 15 or three. I had three. And focus on what can I do to get that two four today? What can I do to get that just increased by one. What can, what can I do? Or maybe the number is your weight, you know, write it down, write it down everyday have a system every single day you just write down your weight. What's gonna happen is the reticular activating system, right? Your subconscious, your mind that pays attention while you're going about your day. It's gonna pay attention. You know, maybe it's how much how much water you drink every day. Okay, I drink seltzer water. So I drink about six cans of seltzer water a day, if I want to increase my water intake, if seltzer water counts, I don't know if it counts. But if it counts, then I write down the number six, and then tomorrow. My goal is just get it to one more. Get it to seven. Maybe it's in your relationships. What's the one number you can measure? Maybe it's the time you woke up. I did this as a 30 day challenge. So what's the time I wake up because I had a goal. And I just wrote it down. I'd wake up I had a little journal next to my, next to my bed and I would write down the time the first time I saw when I woke up, to train my brain to pay attention to what matters right. What you measure what matters and when you measure If you hold it accountable, things start to change because it knows you're paying attention. So whatever that thing is for you where you're kind of stuck right now, what can you do? Maybe it's for me one challenge. I've done many, many times is thank you notes. How many thank you notes did I write yesterday? Zero. How many do I want to write today? I'll write one. Okay. And then the next day how many thank you notes did I write yesterday, I wrote one, how many do I need to write today, two. Just what's the one number that you can start tracking because once you start tracking it, then you start paying attention and what you start to see out in the world as you're going through your day is you start to see ideas, ideas of how to improve or how to decrease or how to increase that number. And that's where you start to see results over time.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 48:47

Wow. So many things you just said, measure what matters and that simple, but not easy strategy of plus one, right and that is realistic. But we can do this, we can do this right people? We can absolutely do this plus one. And you know, I was gonna ask you, Hey Brian, I'm focusing now on on how to create better so we can be better and do better, whether it was with family, health, business or self, and you touched on all of it, like I don't even need to like, specify because Brian, you have a gift. And I feel very blessed to have come across your book and so incredibly honored and unbelievably honored to have you on my podcast. And I just want to say thank you, thank you with all my heart for how you've made changes in my life. And in appreciating and noticing everybody around me, and it does start with your people. So thank you, Brian, thank you so much.

Brian Dixon: 49:55

You're welcome. Thanks for having me. Listen, if you're listening right now, and you have a question. Send me a message on Instagram, you know, I'm brianjdixon on Instagram just send me a message it might take me a day or two to get back to you. But I will get back to you. Because I often think it's that one last number in the combination lock that you're so close to getting that thing unlocked to grow. But there's usually like one question you have. So feel free to message me over on Instagram. What's the one question you have? I'm happy to answer it. Elaine I'm happy to serve your audience to help you all move forward. I'm from the south. So we have to say y'all right, I hope you all move forward and grow your impact and your income online because your message matters. And there are people that need you to be able to serve them to help them grow.

Elaine Tan Comeau: 50:38

Absolutely. Thank you so much. And if you want to find Brian, please do check out my show notes where I will have more details on how you can reach him. His book, his website, all of it and this awesome awesome incredible human being. So thank you Brian Dixon and thank you for listening today. We are so happy Brian and I are just like so happy that you joined us today and that you took that time. And remember, it just starts by measuring what matters. And starting with that plus one on that one number. I love it. Thank you so much. Thank you, Brian. And I can't wait to have you on another time maybe. But thank you. Thank you so much. All right. We'll talk to everybody soon and please do check out our show notes to find out more information on Brian.