Finding the Middle Ground Balancing Pragmatism and Risk (with Dean Graziosi) Pt.1 May‘23 Ep 573



In this episode, the host warmly introduces his friend and guest, Alex Hermosi, a highly successful entrepreneur who has built and exited companies worth over $120 million and currently oversees a portfolio generating over $200 million in annual revenue. They delve into the importance of owning one's future, with Hermosi sharing his philosophy on high agency and the journey of redefining personal meaning, unlearning others' imposed interpretations of the world. They discuss the power of actions in shaping mindset and the significance of taking action despite fear or doubt, using personal anecdotes to illustrate the struggle with insecurities and external judgments. Hermosi emphasizes the need to accumulate proof of one's capabilities, and both speakers touch on the mental exercises to reframe fears and uncertainties, such as considering worst-case scenarios and the concept of becoming a "veteran" of one's experiences. They conclude by highlighting the importance of making bold decisions in the present to avoid future regrets.

Summary Notes

Taking Action with Nothing to Lose

  • Having nothing going for you equates to having nothing to lose, which should encourage action.
  • Without any constraints, one should be more prone to take risks and opportunities.
  • This concept is related to entrepreneurial spirit and the willingness to try new ventures.

"If you have nothing going for you, it's another way of saying that you have nothing to lose. And so it means that you have endless shots on goal, and so you should be the most prone to taking action because there's nothing holding you back."

This quote emphasizes the idea that a lack of assets or advantages should not be a deterrent but rather a motivator for taking risks and seizing opportunities.

Building Relationships and Establishing Connections

  • The hosts built a friendship over text, sharing experiences and humor.
  • A shared investment mistake in cryptocurrency bonded them further.
  • Such connections can lead to valuable personal and professional relationships.

"And today to say the show is a friend. I think everybody says that when they first do an interview. This is my buddy, Alex, our guest, who I'll interview here in a minute. And I met via text, and we spent, like six months or a year getting to know each other."

This quote details the beginning of a friendship between the host and Alex Hermosi, highlighting the importance of communication and shared experiences in forming bonds.

Defining Success and Achievement

  • Alex Hermosi is recognized as a highly successful marketer and businessman.
  • His achievements include building five companies and generating significant revenue.
  • Success is also measured by the quality of personal relationships and being a good human being.

"He is truly one of the smartest marketers I've ever met. Smartest businessman. He is an incredible husband. He's a dear friend. He's a good human being, and I'm so glad we got to know each other."

The host's quote praises Alex Hermosi's professional and personal qualities, illustrating a holistic view of success that encompasses both business acumen and character.

The Concept of Owning Your Future

  • Owning your future is about making autonomous decisions and controlling your life's direction.
  • It involves breaking free from the influence of past beliefs and the expectations of others.
  • The desire to own one's future can lead to significant life changes and personal development.

"And that hit me. And I watched everybody's comment was like, oh, my God. Because you don't think about that. Your career could own you. Your old beliefs could own you. Your current income, because you're not stretching yourself to finally launch that business you were going to could be owning you."

This quote conveys the idea that if you do not actively take charge of your future, external factors, such as your career or ingrained beliefs, will control it for you.

High Agency and Personal Growth

  • High agency is the ability to define the world for oneself rather than accepting others' definitions.
  • Personal growth often involves questioning and unlearning the interpretations of the world learned from others.
  • Decisions should reflect personal beliefs rather than the desire to meet others' expectations.

"My goal personally, has been to dissect decisions and think, like, is this a decision that I'm making because I believe this, or because of what I want other people to think about me as a result of this decision?"

This quote reflects the speaker's introspective process of distinguishing between decisions based on personal beliefs and those influenced by the opinions of others.

Power, Blame, and Ownership

  • Blaming others for personal issues can inadvertently give them power over one's life.
  • Recognizing this can be a turning point in taking responsibility and ownership of one's future.
  • The realization that hated individuals have control can be a powerful motivator for change.

"Wherever I point the finger of blame is also where the power follows. It's like, power follows blame."

The quote highlights the relationship between blame and power, suggesting that assigning blame is also a way of giving away control.

Going Upstream to Address Root Causes

  • Addressing underlying issues is more effective than dealing with surface-level symptoms.
  • Personal and professional success can be hindered by unresolved issues from the past.
  • Identifying and resolving these deep-seated issues is crucial for overall growth and success.

"But really, when you go up to that next level, there are things sabotaging us today that were put in our lives by parents, by a teacher, by an experience, by a bad relationship."

This quote stresses the importance of understanding and addressing the root causes of personal challenges to achieve lasting success and fulfillment.

Overcoming External Doubt and Owning Decisions

  • Realizing the power of external doubt can drive one to be stronger, faster, more innovative, and creative.
  • Taking ownership of decisions is a process that evolves over time.
  • Power is defined as influence over someone else's events, actions, or decisions.
  • External voices can have a strong influence, often disguising themselves as societal norms or pressures.
  • Identifying the specific person or voice that is influencing your decisions can diminish their perceived power.
  • Writing down the name of the person who's influencing you can help put things into perspective and seem trivial.
  • Making decisions based on your own desires and not being swayed by others' opinions is crucial.

I define power as just, like, influence over someone else's events, things, people, et cetera.

This quote defines power in the context of the influence one has over others, which is relevant to the theme as it highlights the importance of recognizing who has power over one's decisions.

will I let this person stop me from exiting this company?

This question illustrates the speaker's process of acknowledging and then rejecting external influence in order to make an independent decision about selling a business.

Insecurities and Their Ownership

  • Insecurities are often inherited from other people's judgments.
  • Identifying who is responsible for your insecurities can make them more tangible and easier to address.
  • Insecurities can be tied to specific individuals whose opinions we value or fear.
  • Challenging the ownership of insecurities can lead to personal growth and self-empowerment.

most insecurities belong to someone else.

This quote emphasizes that the root of our insecurities is often based on what we believe others think of us, which is central to understanding how to overcome them.

who owns this insecurity of mine and why did I inherit it?

By asking this question, the speaker suggests a method for identifying the source of an insecurity and the reason behind its influence.

Confidence and Decision-Making

  • Confidence in decision-making can be built through evidence and past experiences.
  • Transferring skills and experiences from one area to another can bolster confidence in similar situations.
  • When lacking achievements or confidence, it's important to recognize even small accomplishments.
  • Stacking proof of your abilities can counteract negative opinions from others and reinforce self-belief.
  • Embellishing your past successes can sometimes be necessary to build confidence for future endeavors.

proof is the best type of evidence for a trait.

The speaker suggests that tangible evidence of one's abilities is more convincing than simply claiming to possess certain traits.

my goal in life has always been to stack as much proof as I possibly can to support that I am who I say I am.

This quote highlights the speaker's strategy for building confidence and self-assurance through accumulating evidence of their capabilities.

Additional Resources

  • The speaker offers a video version of the podcast on their YouTube channel, which includes more visual effects and graphs to aid understanding.

If you ever want to have the video version of this, which usually has more effects, more visuals, more graphs, drawn out stuff, sometimes it can help hit the brain centers in different ways.

This quote provides information about additional resources available for the audience, suggesting that different formats can enhance comprehension and retention of the content discussed in the podcast.

Decision Making and Evidence Stacking

  • Discusses the importance of stacking evidence as proof of one's capabilities.
  • Emphasizes the pragmatic approach to decision making based on past successes.
  • Addresses the psychological aspect of decision making, where some individuals may subconsciously seek evidence of failure to justify their fears or doubts.

"Can I stack enough evidence to give enough proof that I am who I say I am?"

This quote encapsulates the speaker's strategy of building credibility through evidence, which is crucial for making confident decisions.

"When you want to make a decision, if you stack enough proof, you look at the evidence and you say, I'm going to be pragmatic and say, I did it here, I'm going to do it here."

Alex Hermosi is explaining the process of using past achievements as a foundation for making future decisions, emphasizing a pragmatic approach.

The Psychology Behind Decision Making

  • Explores the mindset of individuals when faced with decisions and how some may anticipate failure.
  • Highlights the tendency of people to seek validation for their fears or doubts.
  • Suggests that a proactive approach to decision making involves seeking positive outcomes rather than focusing on potential failure.

"They're pretending they're moving forward, but they're actually looking for evidence of it not working."

This quote reflects the notion that some individuals may unconsciously look for reasons to validate their lack of success, instead of focusing on achieving their goals.

Overcoming Self-Doubt

  • Discusses how self-doubt is present at all levels of success.
  • Suggests that adopting a contrarian attitude can sometimes mask an underlying fear of failure.
  • Indicates that acknowledging one's unique challenges can paradoxically empower them to take more risks.

"You're just never going to succeed."

This quote, used in a reverse psychology manner, is meant to challenge individuals to confront their self-doubt and motivate them to prove it wrong.

Competitive Positioning

  • Examines the advantages of being underestimated in business and competition.
  • Encourages embracing the position of the underdog as a strategic advantage.
  • Emphasizes the importance of action and seizing opportunities, especially when there's nothing to lose.

"There's no advantage to being overestimated unless you're weak."

This quote suggests that being underestimated can be a strategic advantage, as it allows for more freedom to take risks without the burden of high expectations.

Action Over Mindset

  • Advocates for allowing actions to shape one's mindset, rather than the other way around.
  • Stresses the importance of taking action, even when faced with discomfort or fear.
  • Suggests that taking consistent action can redefine self-perception and lead to a more proactive mindset.

"What if you let your actions determine your mindset?"

Alex Hermosi is proposing a shift in perspective where actions are used to influence and change one's mindset, rather than allowing a fixed mindset to dictate actions.

Fear and Success

  • Acknowledges that fears persist even among successful individuals.
  • Highlights that fears can evolve and shift alongside one's goals and achievements.
  • Suggests that fear of not achieving one's expanding dreams can be a driving force.

"My fear is getting to the end of my life and not having accomplished those and then think, like, I guess I wasn't good enough to do that thing."

This quote reveals a personal fear of not living up to one's potential and the motivational aspect of such fears in striving for greater achievements.

The Role of Evidence in Self-Perception

  • Discusses how taking action provides tangible evidence for self-identification as a proactive individual.
  • Suggests that accumulating small successes can lead to a positive feedback loop, reinforcing a proactive and successful self-image.
  • Emphasizes the concept that actions are the foundation upon which mindset and self-perception are built.

"If the actions lead to the mindset, then it means that the actions give you the evidence of the mindset you should have."

This quote underlines the idea that actions can and should be used to cultivate the mindset of a successful person, as they provide concrete proof of one's capabilities.

Alter Egos and Joking as a Reflection of Truth

  • Friends often use humor to express underlying truths or concerns.
  • Jokes can reveal insecurities about finances and the future.
  • Humor is used as a coping mechanism for dealing with serious topics like economic collapse or political division.

"The insecurities that come out, I'm going broke. I'm done. It's over. Can I borrow money?"

This quote shows friends joking about financial insecurities, which reflects genuine concerns they may have about their economic stability.

"We joke, oh, my God. What if the dollar collapses? What if this country keeps. The media and politicians keep making us think we should hate each other, and we're so polarized that we're not focusing on the big prize."

The quote illustrates how humor is used to discuss serious societal issues like economic instability and political polarization.

Uncertainty and Decision-Making in Turbulent Times

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened uncertainty and fear regarding the economy and personal finances.
  • People are concerned about potential recessions, depressions, and the stability of the dollar.
  • There is a need for clarity to make informed decisions in the face of uncertainty.

"But there's so many things right now that have been uncertain, especially since COVID happened three years ago. The rules of the game seem to be changing, and I think it's caused this level of uncertainty and fear that, again, I said earlier, when you're under pressure, you kind of resort back."

This quote acknowledges the increased uncertainty and fear due to the changing environment post-COVID, affecting decision-making processes.

Mental Exercises for Navigating Uncertainty

  • Playing out worst-case scenarios can help in mentally preparing for adverse outcomes.
  • Reframing reality to disconnect circumstances from happiness can alleviate fear.
  • Considering historical examples of human survival in extreme conditions can offer perspective on current challenges.
  • Mental models can help in breaking the connection between external circumstances and personal happiness.

"One of them is I try and play out the absolute hypothetical worst scenario, right? And so the worst scenario is I die, okay. Then I won't be worried about it because I'll be dead, right."

This quote explains a mental exercise where considering the worst possible outcome, such as death, can put current worries into perspective, as one would not be concerned in that ultimate scenario.

"All of those things presuppose a single assumption, which is that your circumstances dictate your mood or your happiness."

The quote challenges the assumption that external circumstances are the primary determinants of one's mood or happiness, suggesting that internal factors play a more significant role.

The Frame of the Veteran

  • The "frame of the veteran" is a mental model that involves acclimating to inconvenience or adversity, much like a veteran becomes accustomed to certain conditions.
  • Applying this frame can help individuals cope with and accept less ideal circumstances.
  • This mental approach can lead to more resilience and the ability to handle stress better.

"And so if your mind can mentally weather itself to get to that point, then it means that you can apply that same frame to this moment."

The quote suggests that by mentally preparing oneself for adversity, one can better handle current inconveniences or challenges.

Regret and Living to Potential

  • Reflection on past struggles can remind individuals that they have overcome previous challenges and can do so again.
  • Thinking about potential regret can motivate individuals to take bold actions and avoid missed opportunities.
  • Envisioning a conversation with the person one could have been can inspire action and prevent future regret.

"Imagine meeting the person you could have been at the end of your life."

This quote encourages individuals to consider the regret they might feel if they do not live up to their potential, which can be a powerful motivator for taking action in the present.

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