003: Dream Team and Dream Killers. Part 2 of an interview series with Kirk McDow

Session 3. Dream Team & Dream Killers. Part 2 of a two part interview series with business coach Kirk McDow.

Jim Holzknecht: This is Play By Play on Life, Session Number 3.

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Welcome to the transformational series, Play By Play on Life. This podcast series provides tips, tools, techniques and insights on how to reduce stress and increase joy, fun, creativity, inspiration and passion. I’m your host, Jim Holzknecht.

This is Part 2 of a two-part series with Kirk McDow.

We’re talking about resolutions here and goal as far as why they don’t work, why they don’t stick. And do you think it’s because people don’t necessarily start with why?

Kirk McDow: I think it’s a couple of thing. Absolutely, I think it’s because people don’t start with why. They’re not starting from who are they, who do they want to be in the world, who are they saying that they are.

All the time, we talk about “I like this,” “I like that,” “I’m not good at this,” I’m not good at that.” But really what is the I that you’re referring to? Is it your collection of experiences? Is it what you’re committed to? Is it what you do for a living? Is it your husband or wife? What is that I?

Well, I’m saying, you could literally invent that instead of having kind of move around by default. So, for me, what I invented was contribution, which really empowered me. Now, that particular why or that why may not empower someone else but that spoke to me.

But then, I know immediately, the biggest risk is it kept going out of existence. It kept disappearing. I’d wake up one morning and go, “Oh, my gosh, I shouldn’t be a coach. Who am I?” I’d be just be full of doubt and fear, and oh my God, blag, doom.

Jim Holzknecht: [Laughter]

Kirk McDow: Just, oh, like horrible, you know.

So for me, the most important thing was to keep it maintained. And I know for me, I can maybe go for a few days of nothing really crazy happening. But man, a few things happen in a row and I’m out.

So I assembled the team. Well, first thing I did is I hired a coach. What I have with her is whenever I speak with her, I connect to that which I created. Like that world, that possibility, that future I created, one of contribution and success and results. That world I created, when I connect with her, that world gets recreated and reinforced and strengthened. And we had strategy and structure and tactics and actions or whatever.

Or, if it’s no longer in existence, we bring it back to existence and then we go to work, like that, right? Without her, it would have dropped out several times, like no question about it.

And the next structure is my team. And for me, this is pretty informal. It’s about five or ten people. They are people who can hear what I’m committed to and who I’m committed to being, and they can assist me in empowering that, keeping that alive.

So, for me, there’s this big thing about maintaining that, that you’re now committed to, that you created, the new I, the new you that you’re… However it is that any individuals looking at it, whatever gets created, it’s got to be nurtured. It’s a little baby, and needs to be taken care of and nurtured. It’s going to be awhile before it’s got its own legs.


Jim Holzknecht: How would someone go about doing that? Like, whoever’s listening to this that say, “Well, that’s well and good. He’s in coaching. He probably already knew this people,” what would you suggest to them? How would someone out there listening to this, what would be a good structure for them, or good resource for them to find a good coach, accountability partner, that kind of thing?


Kirk McDow: So, there’s a couple of different categories here. So, one category is a coach. There are lots of great coaches out there, and every coach has her or his own approach, and views, and experiences and so forth and so on.

And the bottom-line is, are you empowered and strengthened? And when you experience that coach, do you experience a clear pathway right through what you’re committed to? Do you have that experience? And if you don’t, you should definitely keep moving until you have that experience.

Having a coach is an experiential thing, and it’s about results out in the world, whatever you say those results are – a particular improvement in your marriage or whatever it is you’re hiring the coach for. And if you don’t experience that, then that’s not the person.

So that’s one, you got to find a way to actually be in a coaching situation, bring something real. Then, if it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work. And if it works, that’s great. So that’s the coach part.

The accountability partner is a little trickier because… Actually, I don’t call them accountability partners. I call them my team. These are people who are on some similar journey. Or, some of them are just people who know me really well. They’re really effective. They’re really successful. And when I call them, either because I’m no longer connect in my power – like I feel weak and exhausted and I don’t know what to do next – I call them for that. Or, I call them for the brainstorm, the brilliant idea that, “Oh, this actually is going to change the world.” And the next morning, you can’t remember what it is.

Jim Holzknecht: [Laughter]

Kirk McDow: So the purpose of that, I immediately call one of my team members, and just like share, share, and share till we get it flushed out. So, at least, it has some existence until we figured out if it’s really worth the time or not.

So, just things like that. I’m in communication every day, multiple times with somebody that’s just like a support kind of thing. But it’s not formal. We might just talk and share, and share what we’re dealing with and support each other. But that’s critical for me.

Jim Holzknecht: You have some kind of informal agreement with this people that “Hey, we’re just kind of support each other.” You have that infrastructure, right?

Kirk McDow: Yeah, you might want to create something more formal, like a free group conference call every Tuesday at 3PM or whatever. And, just everybody support each other, whatever they’re dealing with. But, whatever the structure is, just make sure it fully empowers you and everybody involved.

Jim Holzknecht: Let’s talk about the Anti Team, the dream killers, baby.

Kirk McDow: The dream killers. This is my favorite topic.

Jim Holzknecht: Tell me about that, yeah.

 Kirk McDow: So the dream killers are the people who love you, who care for you and do not want you to get your heart broken. So, they’re good people. And the advice they give you and what they try to steer you away from is any chance you have of creating something extraordinary, outside the normal.

So people who love you want to make sure you’re safe and comfortable and housed and sheltered and fed, like that. So they don’t want you to go start up this bold new crazy idea, this new company. The day that you’re excited about this, totally crazy, and you burst it, and you share your heart out. You’re just like they’re going to jump out and scream halleluiah. And you’re finished sharing, they’re looking at you like…

Jim Holzknecht: Crickets. [Laughter]

Kirk McDow: “Honey, this is like not a good idea.”

Listen, they love you. It’s not personal. They just don’t want you to date someone who would get your heart broken, right?

Jim Holzknecht: Yeah.

Kirk McDow: That’s not who you should listen to for advice related to creating anything that’s extraordinary.

Jim Holzknecht: Yeah, if you’re looking to take your life into having breakthrough results, the comfort zone is not a place that you wanted to be in, right?

 Kirk McDow: And listen, you can honor and love and cherish the dream killers because they don’t know they’re doing it; they’re just loving you. And they’re actually doing their job. Their job is to keep you safe and comfortable. Your job is to create some crazy project and go fulfill it, right?

 Jim Holzknecht: Right.

Kirk McDow: So, there’s a little dance there. So, we all need some dream killers around. Otherwise, goodness knows, I’ll be out of the street a bunch of times. It’s a crazy thing, is failing. I’m such a crazy thing at failing.

So we all need a little dose of dream killers. They serve a role. They’re good. They love you. You should honor them. But please, don’t call them dream killers. For sure, don’t do that.

But, the team is the antidote to the dream killers. You got to create your team. Listen, don’t go at it alone. Some people go at it. I know people who are the lone wolves. And I know people who are really successful as lone wolves. They get it done, they’re really successful.

But here’s the thing. It’s harder that way. You don’t need to prove anything. Having a team, having people who love you, people who are giving you space, people who are reminding you of who you are and what you’re committed to and how great you are, and the difference you made in the world, and how they see you and what they see is possible for you, you’re going to need plenty of good doses of all that real often. And you want to get your team set up and ready to go. And you let them know what you want them to tell you when you need them to tell you that.

That’s what my team does for me. So I’ll go have a conversation with my dream killer. And she’ll break my heart there for a minute. But that’s her job, it’s cool. That’s what she’s supposed to do. That’s her job. God bless her for that.

And then, I’ll go get on the phone with one of my team members, it’s all beautiful.

Jim Holzknecht: Let’s talk about the most insidious dream killer of them all – our own internal chatter, right. Yeah, we talked about external, outside, there. That’s one thing.

Kirk McDow: By the way, This is beautiful. I can’t believe it.

So the biggest dream killer is yourself. Look, every individual, so whoever is listening right now. Look, you are your greatest asset. You are your greatest resource. You are what you need. You are the one you’ve been waiting for. You’re it. You got what you need. You can get the job done. Your skills, your experiences, your training, your commitment, your personal network, your professional network, your ability, the technical expertise, I mean, whatever it is you’re up to, you can get it done.

So you are your greatest resource. But, you’re also your greatest obstacle. Because you’ll notice from time to time, you’re not accomplishing everything you set your heart to.

So, listen, there’s no one else there. It’s you. It’s you on both sides. You’re the one who created an awesome miracle. You’re the one who killed it. You’ll have just back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, right? So you are your own greatest dream killer.

Jim Holzknecht: So some of the takeaways from today’s podcast – it’s important to start with why, because it will drive everything else you do.

It’s just as important, though, to have a structure in place, such as a coach or a team to help you reach your desired outcomes. Don’t try to do it alone. If you have a why that’s important to you, and you have a team, you can accomplish anything.

Because all the actions that you’re creating or generating are coming from that why, the true core of who you are. It’s inspiring you. It’s lighting you up. You’re in action. You’re moving forward.

When you things take you out, the dream killers come up, you got the team in place, you got the coaches, you got your accountability structures, all of that. You’re in communication with people, say, “Hey, you know, I need some help here. Help me out.”

You’re doing all that, your goals, your outcomes, will stick. You will reach them. Because you’re doing all the things you need to do to make it happen.

Thanks for listening. Have an awesome, awesome day.

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